Sunday, March 30, 2008

Old Sarah meet new Sarah

Sometimes I can hardly believe I am the same person I was 10 years ago.

My very first car was a 1980 Mustang. I loved that car, I babied that car, and I cried when that car was totaled in a rainy day accident at a stoplight. It was followed by a red Dodge Shadow that I didn't give two hoots about, then by a 1985 Honda Accord. I liked the Accord well enough, but I was so happy to upgrade to a newer Accord when I graduated from college. One with a CD player and a sunroof. I cruised all over Florida in that car. The sun shining in on me, the radio blaring.

When I was pregnant with Jack that Accord started to die too. And I cried again when it went to someone new. I was so mad at my dad when he suggested we buy a minivan. Who wants a minivan? Ugh. But a mini van it was. I was never over the moon over the last mini van, but I liked it well enough. It can hold a lot of crap at flea markets, and it is useful when you have a child.

So, imagine my surprise when that minivan died and I marched myself right over to the used car dealer and told them that there was no question about it, I wanted another minivan. No SUVs, no sedans, please only show me the minivans. What?!?!?! Did I say that?

That's my new-to-me minivan up there. And it rocks. Well, as much as a minivan can rock. :-) Who knew there was really a minivan driving soccer mom inside me of after all?
Despite the fact that the daffodils are in full bloom, the weather here is the pits. It is raining, raining, raining non stop. We have not seen a ounce of sunshine or warmth in so long I cannot remember when it was last here. I was so hopeful that March would bring spring. I guess there is always April, eh?
Bad weather means that the flea markets and garage sales are still as sparse as can be also. We went to a one time flea market yesterday in Eureka, and I am here to say it was so cold out there I thought I was going to die. The wind was whipping, I couldn't feel my fingers, and even me, die hard junker, did NOT enjoy it one single bit.

I did manage to pick up this piece of pottery at a different flea market a few weeks ago. I think we were out there in the snow. I know. Crazy. I am desperate for that mindless, relaxing wandering that comes with yard sales and fleas. Desperate I tell you. It's been a long winter.
I did find some ornaments yesterday. Holding the box in that whipping wind was pure torture. I think it nearly gave me frostbite. LOL

I put a lot of new pottery photos on Flickr too.

I am off to check in on all of you! I feel like I haven't had a chance to look at your blogs all week. Maybe you are having better flea market luck? Maybe you are soaking up the sun? It sounds lovely.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz

Oh what a relief it is.

One more x-ray (and one x-ray tech who very clearly remembered Jack), and we are quite clearly battery free.

I will be back in a day or two. In the midst of all of this we discovered my mini van was truly dead, and after the emergency with Jack and not having a car to take him to the doctor, the pressure was on to find a different car and sort all of that out too.

I am beyond exhausted...

A quick note

Thank you for all of your concerns and emails.

It's been 60+ something hours, 5 poopy diapers, and no battery yet.

Our regular ped is out of the office today, and I am waiting on the nurse to find out what we should do next.

I am pretty sure we are going to at least have to another x-ray to see what is happening in there.

As you can imagine this has been a very trying week, and I am hoping like hell I have just missed the damn thing in a diaper, although I feel pretty sure I haven't. :-(

Monday, March 24, 2008


Jack stopped taking a daily nap about 2 months ago. (I think, it is all starting to blur together.) But I am still trying to institute some daily quiet time during that part of afternoon. Today I was exceptionally tired from an over busy holiday weekend, so I put him in his room with great hope that he would actually rest. He was playing in there for an hour and when I went in to get him, I sat down on the floor to tidy up the messes he had made while he was putting his pants back on.

In the middle of his toy mess I discovered one lone button cell battery . I immediately asked him what toy it came from and where the toy was. Instead of telling me where the toy was, he told me this:

"The battery is right here. In my belly."

And I proceeded to freak out.

I demanded the toy the batteries had come, and he produced this light up jack-o-lantern, which sure enough, once held 3 button cell batteries. I kept asking him over and over where the other batteries were, and he insisted they were in his belly.

I phoned David, who called the pediatrician and then was on his way home, as I don't have a car right now.

Then I called my friend Renee and had her keep talking to me while I tore his room apart hoping to find the other 2 batteries. I knew they weren't in that room though. Jack doesn't make up stories, and if he says the batteries are in his belly, I knew they would be in his belly.

Googling only freaked me out more, and at some point the waiting was killing me and I started to cry. We have never had any sort of incidents with Jack, no trips to the ER, and he has never been the kind of kid who puts weird things into his mouth, at least not once he got past 8 months old or so.

Off to the ped we went, then to urgent care, then to radiology, then back to the ped. In radiology I stood on the other side of the wall watching that image of his little body pop up there on the screen, going painfully slow, and sure enough, there was the damn battery.

In his belly.

He swallowed a freaking battery.

Of all the things to swallow, he had to pick hazardous waste? All those years of giving him organic food and milk from cows who aren't treated with hormones and using all natural soap and so on and he swallows a battery.

And now the waiting begins. Unlike a coin, or a bead, or something harmless, that battery has to get out of there and the sooner the better. I have to give him laxatives and hope like hell that thing is out of there in 2 days time.

2 days of digging through poopy diapers. Although the alternatives are much scarier, I am not looking forward to it.

Please God, let that battery come out quickly.

(And double check all of your children's toys to make sure they do not have access to button cell batteries while unattended. I try to be very diligent about that sort of thing, but clearly accidents happen, and those small batteries are the ones that cause the biggest threat to children under 5.)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A visit from the Easter bird?

Many moons ago, we had an incident involving a squirrel in the house. Imagine my horror, when on Easter Sunday, with our family coming here for Easter dinner, my husband announces from the living room while I am making the bunny cake, that we have an animal in the chimney. It actually went down better this time, with him catching said animal while it was still in the fireplace. Thankfully it was a bird and not a squirrel. But still, the Easter bunny visit would have been enough animal visitation for the day, thankyouverymuch. LOL
We've had a super busy weekend, which including dyeing the eggs. (No tears this year when one of the eggs broke!)
The aforementioned bunny cake is complete, despite the bird invasion.
It's been snowing. On Easter. Crazy.
Easter baskets have been inspected and approved of. (And some candy has been eaten of course.)
Adorable bunny ears photos have been taken.

And all that's left to do is eat that nasty ham. (I really dislike ham. It is way too shiny for me to eat.)

Happy Easter!

*More photos on Flickr if you need them. :-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hopping down the bunny trail

For the most part, this has been a crappy week. We have had a ton of rain here, and the rivers are overflowing everywhere. I will never, ever forget the flood of '93, and knowing that right now many families are sandbagging to save their homes breaks my heart. Flooding is both devastating and dangerous , and it is all too easy to forget that.

And we have had our own crappy stuff too. My mom is in the hospital, our van has transmission issues, there was a notice in the mail box saying our bank account may have been compromised, and that is only the tip of the crappy iceberg.

So in some ways I could not be happier to just get Easter done with already. I am totally unprepared still, but whatever. Bring it on.

I actually had access to a car this morning, so I popped in the thrift after picking our latest round of family photos from JC Penny. These little mice wanted to come home with me. They have longish skewers on the back and I think they were probably meant for serving cheese. I think they will be appearing in a new blog banner soon.
I used the pink feather tree for Easter this year instead of the usual white one. It was pure laziness on my part, I still had it in here from Christmas. I like it though. All the different wooden ornaments and my little plastic lambs made it pretty sweet.
Jack actually picked up that big bunny in the car at the thrift himself. There are 2 others on the tree that were in the same bag.
I can never really get a good photo of this tree. There is always too much visual noise where it is sitting when it comes to photographs. It is sweet this year too. Usually I stick to one type of ornament on it, all glass or all paper, or whatever suits my fancy that year. This year I have cotton lambs and real eggs and glass ornaments and resin ornaments and even a few mushrooms.

I guess I am into a patchworky thing all around this year. :-)

Welp, I better get back to hopping down that bunny trail.

Happy Easter to you and yours, if you are the celebrating type.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Eggceptionally Easy

One of the things I love about needle felting is that it is really, really easy*. You can make tons of cute stuff just with things lying around in the kitchen and the craft room.

I have a ton of styrofoam eggs leftover from last year when I thought I was going to make those Martha Stewart string eggs. So sometime after Christmas I thought I would needle felt enough eggs for the Easter tree. I didn't quite go that far (and actually this egg could use a bit more roving), but I have put them to good use!
I made all the critters over the last two days using styrofoam eggs as a base. A little chick, whose roving was dyed with food coloring.
A fat little bunny with wool felt ears.
And the piece de resistance, a chubby bluebird! I love her. (Her roving is also dyed with food coloring.)
Every bluebird needs a vintage wallpaper parapluie, doesn't she?

The umbrella could stand to be a little smaller, but it took me forever to work out how to make it, and I was not about to remake it at 10 pm. LOL

And she is going to need that umbrella today, as it just keeps raining and raining and raining some more. I might retake their photos when the sun comes out.

*If you want to needle felt all you need to buy is plain cream colored roving and a few felting needles in different sizes. The roving is very easy to dye with food coloring or kool-aid and for less than $10 you are off and running.

(My feeds are updating so slow right now. Gah.)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

An Easter army

I have not made anything in so long that I cannot even remember what the last thing I made was. It is making me a bit frustrated, but it seems like everything I try and start right now ends up in the trash or I simply give up. Jack is into EVERYTHING, and wants to be involved in EVERYTHING (dangerous or not), and by the time he goes to bed I am just dead tired.

I am getting desperate. So I thought I would try some placecards for Easter dinner. They took me 2 days to make. 2 days! Goodness.
They are cute little things though. I used old wallpaper, crepe paper ruffles for the wings, some vintage velvet bows, and some millinery flowers.
And glue. Lots of glue. Nearly every last drop of glue in the house. I even had to resort to hot glue, and I hate hot glue. It was the only thing that would make them stand up straight though.
They are sitting on eggs made with more old wallpaper and the pinking shears.

Cheep! Cheep! I cannot believe Easter is only a week away...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Can you feel it?

Spring is getting seriously close, can you feel it? We can hear the birds singing, feel the sun shining and we are coming out of our heavy winter coats.

I am seriously excited. Thrifting has really been the pits this winter (recession?), and I cannot wait for garage sales to start again. I miss the thrill of the hunt.

It doesn't help that I am in a big "making" rut also. I cannot for the life of me manage to make anything other than dinner.
Of course I have still managed to find a few things. I found this pair (what is it with the pairs?) of cornucopia pottery vases on Ebay. They were so ridiculously cheap that even with shipping it was less than I would have paid at the thrift. I have 9 cornucopia vases now. I never would have imagined myself a cornucopia person, but I am really drawn to this shape in pottery.
There was an estate sale this morning that I originally took a pass on, but after visiting 2 nearly empty thrift stores, I changed my mind. I waited until all the crazy take-a-number waiting hordes were gone, and figured I could dig through whatever "trash" was left.

I am glad I went back. The house was gorgeous (a historic home in St Charles, built in 1890), and there were plenty of beautiful, interesting things to look at. I managed to find 4 tablecloths, all spread over the house. But man, they are dirty. I see boiling in my future. I love these novelty cloths, and they are sometimes hard to find.
And I picked up a quilt top. This thing is pretty darn big and machine sewn, but I love the simplicity of the blue and white. I was a little bummed to see plenty of grandma's flower garden tops walking around on other women's arms, but, eh, I already have a gorgeous totally done quilt in that pattern now!
When I upgraded my flickr account, I got 10 free moo cards. These things are gorgeous and so much fun. I will definitely be making more. The lanterns in the tree look particularly awesome.

P.S. I finished Drowning Ruth last week, and if anyone in the US wants it, just let me know. I will send it to you on the slow boat. (It's hardcover.) It was a very good book.

This week's book was Julie & Julia , which I read in a day or so after I grabbed it at the last minute at the library. An excellent little read also. But I have no idea what to read next...

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

That *!&%$*@ Easter Bunny

At some point on Monday Jack asked me where the Easter Bunny was. I answered the only way I knew how at that moment, "at the mall." So his constant refrain all day Monday was, "Can we go to the mall and get the Easter bunny and bring him home with us?" I promised we would go visit that bunny first thing Tuesday morning.

I got up Tuesday, checked and double checked the Easter bunny's schedule, got Jack dressed and his hair actually combed (this is quite an ordeal right now, his hair is not baby fine anymore and no matter how we try and get it cut it is pretty much always a mess), and off to the mall we went at 10 am. We arrive and there is no bunny. We wait 20 minutes and still no bunny. (And that was 20 mins of disaster, trying to keep him clean and from rolling on the floor as he prone to doing right now.)
A girl arrives at the booth and I ask her where the bunny is. She informs me that the bunny will not be arriving today until 11 25 or so. The bunny that I was assured would be arriving at 10 am is not arriving until lunchtime.

I tell Jack we will have to come back later and he bursts into tears. "BUT MAMA WHERE IS THE EASTER BUNNY? YOU SAID WE WERE GOING TO SEE THE EASTER BUNNY!" You have to know that at this point it's a good thing there was no Easter Bunny around. I wanted to throttle someone.

Ok, keep calm Sarah. What lies can you come up with now? Right. The Easter bunny has car trouble. This seems to appease Jack for the moment.
We run an errand and return to the mall. On the way Jack says to me, "The Easter bunny can share with me." (He means candy of course.)

I am so relieved to see that big headed Easter bunny sitting on her bench. And there is no line. We get Jack on her lap and then he starts being oh so very three. He will not smile. He is desperately trying not to smile. He is pressing his lips together as tightly as he can. The bunny is tickling him. She is showing him her teeth. They are blowing bubbles. They are throwing rubber toys.

Still no smile.

I am starting to feel like a crazy person again, wondering why I ever agreed to this. (Of course I agreed to it because I want Jack to enjoy being a kid.) And then he cracks a sort of smile and thank the gods the girl snapped the photo in time.

We get a pretzel and get back in the car to go home and blow bubbles outside. As we are nearing the neighborhood Jack drops the real bomb, "When I get bigger I can drive the car. Like mommies and daddies. 16 comes after 10."

I have barely survived the Easter bunny. I have flashes of BIG trouble ahead. 16 and cars and girls and slamming doors. Oh my.

Ahhhh, the good times that $20 will buy me. LOL

Thank you *@&$#(@&% Easter bunny.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You light up my life

Since some of you were asking to see our chandeliers, here they are*. We have one in every room except the kitchen, where I find the ceiling fan quite useful in the summer. (I do have a gorgeous kitchen chandelier that my husband made for me from teacups though, but it hasn't been hung in this house.)

I found this one 2 weeks ago at the flea. It was still it's ugly brass color, and was missing all but 10 of the crystals. It was ok by me though, the price** was way too cheap to leave it there. While I was cleaning the birdcage, I spray painted it and it replaced the IKEA chandelier that was hanging way too low in the sewing room. I love the addition of a few blue crystals. (By the way, I have always tried to buy crystals second hand, because I had no idea they sold them in Home Depot. Am I the only one who didn't know that? LOL)
A better shot of that one in the bathroom. One day I was rummaging around in my wallet and I discovered that I had 2 20 pound notes in there from a long ago trip to Notting Hill. I cashed them in at the bank, went to Lowes, and bought this chandelier out of the clearance pile.
The daisy chandelier hangs in our living room, the only that is swagged. I picked it up at a garage sale when we lived in Florida. It was the first chandelier I bought. I guess it started a little love affair.
A flowery one in our bedroom. (Sorry the photo is so dark, our bedroom is dark until the afternoon.) This one was painted before it was properly cleaned (not by me), and I have never been able to get all the darn painted dust off of it. I picked it up at a flea market in Florida.
We bought this beauty the very first time we took Jack to the flea market. It is not what I would ordinarily think of as my style, but man do I love this thing. It is in gorgeous original condition, with it's little metal made in Italy tag still intact. We recently hung it up in Jack's room when we started his little room make over.

You have already seen the chandelier in the hallway , and it was one of my very best buys ever.

Well, there you have it. What lights up our life. Well, aside from all the vintage table lamps. I think I need a vintage lighting intervention.

I must admit that I find it a bit strange to look at bits and pieces of our house that way. Maybe I am in complete and utter denial about how feminine our house is, because the bits and pieces sure are girly. LOL

* Do not be surprised to find them dusty or with mismatched light bulbs or crooked shades or missing a crystal or two. They are old, the light bulbs are often mismatched because I don't want 400 watts of light, and I don't dust them very often after I was severely burned dusting one last Easter. I reached through the darn thing and burned myself on a hot light bulb. I have a giant ugly scar on my wrist as a constant reminder, and it makes me a little gun shy around them.

**Aside from the brand new one in the bathroom, they were all less than $20.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I said I wouldn't

I said I wouldn't be decorating for Easter this year. And I really thought I meant it. It's just coming so early and so fast, and let's face it, it is totally winter outside still.
But when I finally took down the last of my little Christmas ornaments off my wire tree and replaced them with Easter ornaments Jack got really excited about Easter coming. So while he slept Friday, I drug out the Easter stuff and put it out for him to find when he woke up Saturday morning.

And I found some things I had tucked away and forgotten about and am crazy about this year. I remember when I bought these eggs I was skeptical. They are a bit too 70's for me, but I couldn't just lave their patchworky goodness at a yard sale. I think she made them with those old pantyhose eggs, L'eggs. I was wrong to be a skeptic, they are darn cute in a big basket.
I remember buying this nutcup at the antique mall and being so excited to finally have a nutcup. Yes, just one, but I have one! And he's a cute 'lil chicky too.
I think I rummaged this egg out of a bag filled with gaudy plastic Christmas ornaments. Soft millinery flowers, a velvet ribbon and pearls on pins. Just my style.
When I found this bunny I was amazed she had survived. She is made from a real blown egg shell, with big chenille stem ears and the cutest little flowers on top of her hat. She always makes me smile with her crafty cuteness.
I showed you these painted blown eggs when I found them this summer, but I always have a hard time deciding what to do with them. I realized they fit perfectly in those disasterous Martha Stewart pipe cleaner baskets from last year. And this egg is a spectacular example. Her work is so fine and perfect.

I also finally (!! how did I lose it?) managed to find Jack's Easter basket. Now all we need is to go visit the bunny , and we are ready. Sort of. :-)

P.S. A few things from last year are getting love too. This basket , and this one too , this pair of bunnies , and mustn't forget this sweet wreath . I am glad I didn't leave them all in hiding until next year after all.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The business of being and blogging

(Thrifted pair of pottery vases. Lately pottery seems to be finding me in pairs.) We all had a dentist appointment yesterday, and it was Jack's first real tooth cleaning. Previously they had just poked around in there, counted his teeth, checked his chipped tooth, etc. to get him used to going. The ladies in the office were all swooning over Jack from the minute he walked in the door and I not sure he knew what on earth all the fuss was about!

At first he was like a deer in the headlights, but he followed directions very well and he was so very proud of his new toothbrush. I had tried to explain to the very young hygienist when she was asking who brushed his teeth that Jack is 3, and 3 is all about independence, so getting him to let anyone help him brush is a battle. When she was finished showing him how to hold the brush and brush his beautiful little teeth she said to him, "Now Jack, you let mommy help you brush in the back." Uh huh, good luck to me there! LOL
(Over the moon cute vintage fabric from the flea market.) I was listening to NPR this morning after I dropped Jack off at school and I started thinking about my little blog here. One day last week I was driving down the highway and noticed that every overpass was filled with firetrucks and firemen who were all hanging American flags down over the highway. I had no clue what was going on, came home, turned on the news and discovered that body of a very young Marine was on it's way back to St Charles after he was killed in the war. He had just graduated high school in 2005, and a life that should have been so filled with promise was ended.

That stuff kills me. I start having a million thoughts about his mother. About how she must have watched her little boy take his first steps and play baseball and go on his first date and just recently graduate from high school.

And yet, I am pretty silent about the war and politics and religion here. It doesn't mean that those things aren't on our minds, but this morning I wondered what Jack will think of the absence of those things here when I am gone, and the books containing this blog are his to keep.
(Totally awesome vintage craft book.) Will he wish I had had more to say about what is like to live in the world right now? Or will he already know what I had to say about those things because I made it a point to tell him so?

He's so little that it is a non-issue right now, but I am acutely aware of his growing up, how much he is changing every day, and how his understanding of the world around him is changing. So far I have worked very hard to protect him from any type of guns, or violence, or even really any talk of death. But when he picked up a toy gun at another house a few weeks back and asked me very innocently what it was, I realized that very quickly I am going to have to flesh out how to deal with all that stuff. (Where we live every little boy plays with those kinds of toys.)
(Coasters from the coaster swap, from Danetta .)Also on my mind are few thoughts on the business of blogging. Jack and I both received a lot of very lovely gifts during Feb. I had photographed a few of them (lost the photos during the blue screen of death), but not all of them, and I just don't want the thank you's to get lost forever.

So, even though I am pictureless, thank you to: Tiff for the gorgeous little bird rug; Stephanie for the lovely collage (Jack enjoyed finding bits and pieces in it too!); Betty for the train pillow that Jack and I are assembling this afternoon; Jane for the sewing cards which Jack and I use several times a week; Jennifer for the wee bunny that has made it's way into Jack's bed; Vallen for the sweet nest ornament, and the pin that Jack's teacher adore on my coat; Mel for the gorgeous Bon Jovi Tag; Saucy for the gorgeous Valentine banner; and I really hope I haven't forgotten anyone!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The one where...

I am pretty sure this will be the post that will either make you say that I am completely, totally insane, or that I am occassionally clever. LOL And I won't be offended if you choose insane.
When I saw this sitting under a table at the flea market this weekend I only noticed the perfect green paint and the screen on the front. I assumed it was some sort of pie safe, and when the man said it was $5, I ponied up the cash without even looking at the thing twice. And then he told me it was an old bird cage.

Oy. What on earth had I done? What about the visions of filling it with my tablecloths so I can see some of them? (Other than the one on the kitchen table, they are all currently in drawers, unlike the quilts and aprons, which I can see and admire every day).
It only got worse when I got it home and saw the filthy god awful mess it was inside. You wouldn't even know there was glass on the right side in that first picture would you?

Ah well. It was sunny and I had nothing better to do, so I spent a good 2 hours cleaning and sanitizing the thing. We retacked the screen down, took the pieces of wood off the top and bottom where they had been desperately trying to keep the bird from chewing it's way out, switched out the handle and I brought it inside.
I moved this darn thing all over the house. Things always seem smaller at the flea market, don't they? I finally found the perfect spot for it in the kitchen, filled it up with tablecloths, and I have to tell you that I love it.

Is it weird? Well, maybe only if you know it was a bird cage...

You can't get stories like that at Wal-mart you know. :-)
And because I like to keep track of these things, this was the scene at our house yesterday. So much for that basking in the sun thing.
But snow angels are fun too!