Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Sarah over at My Wonderful Life tagged me (again!) and I haven't finished the last one yet. 8^(
But I think this one could be a little easier.

ACCENT- Yep, Southern, though most Southerners will say I talk too fast, and 20 years in New Mexico put my ending consonants back in my speech. Still, the time I called "Clear, y'all" during a Code Blue pretty much defined my roots.

I DON'T DRINK--enough water. But I am training myself to do that.

CHORE I HATE--Mopping the floors. Mops just seem to push the dirt up against the baseboards, and I'm too (tired, lazy, busy) to get a sponge and clean there, but I hate the way it makes the floor look like it's still dirty, so my solution is just to postpone mopping the floor until ANYTHING looks better than the way it is.

PETS-- Tandi, my loveable, huggable, exasperating rescue cocker spaniel. During some summer vacations, Christmas breaks, etc. I also have the grandcats--14-year-old Cyrano, and 4-year-old Eleanor.

ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS--computer, digital camera, CD player, and now, the Dish DVR (like TiVO). Perfect for "Huh? What did she say?" and skipping commercials, or stopping everything to answer the dratted phone. (Note I didn't include the cell phone.)



INSOMNIA--a side effect of going back and forth between night sleep and day sleep. I can go to sleep, but can't usually stay asleep.

Career title--wife and mom.

MOST ADMIRED TRAIT--Dependable. (A nice way to say I'm predictable [boring?])

KIDS--One wonderful daughter, just graduated from law school.

PHOBIA--Claustrophobia. Almost broke a door down when I got locked in a closet at school once. Lately, driving over high bridges makes my heart pound.

RELIGION--Flesh-eating, caffeine-guzzling, chocolate-loving Baptist nurse who works in a Seventh Day Adventist Hospital. Go figure.

SIBLINGS--three: one younger sister, two younger brothers.

TIME I WAKE UP: Working or Off? And does this include my insomnia?

UNUSUAL TALENT/SKILL--I learned sign language while in nursing school, and interpreted for a couple of churches in the past. Now my hands still remember most of the signs, but I'm too rusty to read it when someone signs to me.

VEGETABLE--Just about anything except butter beans.

WORST HABIT--You want me to pick just one?????

X-RAYS--I always wanted to see the x-rays of my feet in those shoe stores back in the 50's, but my parents couldn't even afford the quarter. Who knew it was going to be bad for you?

MY FAVORITE MEAL--Church's fried chicken with the usual sides.
Or maybe Spinach Enchilada casserole, green chili stew, tamales, chili rellenos and flan for dessert.

Okay, now for the facts about me starting with the letters of my middle name.

L--Las Vegas. I can't get there as easily as I used to, but love to go there. I got to the Star Trek museum at the Hilton, the Wax Museum, saw the fountains at Bellagio, saw the Blue Man Group (hilarious), and other free or $$ things the 3 times we've been. Went underground at Aladdin and shopped that wonderful mall, drove out to try and find Area 51, saw artifacts from King Tut's tomb...so many things to see and do. Love that place!

A--Annoyed. I am so annoyed by all the organizations wanting money who manage to get through the loopholes despite the DO NOT CALL List we signed years ago. Can't see that it's really done any good.

N--Nearsighted. What I am, but also the title of a song by Rupert Holmes (Pina Colada song) from years ago. Part of the lyrics go: "Nearsighted, Clearsighted, Dearsighted--all I need to see is you."

E--Elaine. The aunt my middle name came from, but Stephanie Elaine was too much of a mouthful, so my parents shortened it to Lane. I kinda like my name.

Since there are 4 letters in my middle name, I have to tag 4 people:

Ellia from Greenbeanbaby

Autum from Creative Little Daisy

Linda from LBP sews

Eren from Vintage Chica.

Not sure they'll all know me--I lurk a lot. But if they want to play, fine. And anyone else who wants to play is invited, too!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

This and That

Sorry I've been so lax in blogging these last two weeks; I've been doing mostly quilty things. I'm co-leader of our area, (a small group within the larger guild) and was busy getting activities ready for that. We played Quilt Bingo for the second month in a row; seems the ladies really liked that. Here is a brief summary of the rules, and how to sew the bingo "card": http://www.smokymtnquilters.com/Bingo.htm. (There's also a photo of one of the cards in the column on the left.)

Fons and Porter has a download to print the calling cards on business cards from office supply stores, and that worked really well. Then we take the bingo "cards" and sew them together to make a community quilt. The ladies made 41 cards all total, 12" square. I'm thinking of doing assembling 20 in each quilt, (yes, the perks of being co-leader)4 x 5, with sashing, which will make nice sized lap quilts. We've donated some lap quilts to the VA hospital, who use them as bingo prizes for the patients, so that's where these will probably go.

In addition, no one signed up for the Block of the Month for Aug, so I did a quick demo for string quilts. Most of these ladies have been quilting far longer than I, but there are some newbies in the group, and sometimes a refresher is helpful. As I had signed up for refreshments, too, I was beginning to feel like a one-woman show!

I started a string quilt a couple of weeks ago myself, which will go to one of the local oncology offices for their chemo patients, along with that brown/beige scrappy quilt I blogged about earlier. Now DD wants a scrappy sofa quilt in autumn colors. Can't decide whether to do a Wicked Easy quilt, or a string quilt for her, too. Either one will work up pretty quickly.

I have about 4 quilt tops in various sizes ready to be sandwiched and quilted, but the only place in my house large enough to spread them out to do that is in my bedroom floor--and getting down on my knees, and getting up again, is still difficult, even though my injury was almost 3 months ago. So I just keep churning out the tops. My little Kenmore just purrs since she was serviced, and sewing is a pleasure again.

Besides that, I got a long-postponed eye exam this week. I really hate having my eyes dilated, but I have to admit it wasn't so bad this time, and it was by far the most thorough eye exam I've ever had. The optometrist told me as we get older, the eye develops more layers of epithelial cells, making the eye thicker--which makes most people farsighted as they age. For us nearsighted folks, our vision actually gets better--which means my current bifocals are way too strong. Okay, I'm aging, but it's nice to learn that some part of my body is actually improving with age! Then again, it means it will be easier to see bad hair days, extra pounds on my butt, wrinkles and age spots.

DD is home for a few days until the rental house in her new town is finished. Just as well, as she is suffering from sciatica after all the lifting and moving, and then the long hours on planes and in cars during her visits to friends this month. Poor thing keeps saying, "But I'm just barely 29!! My body isn't supposed to do this!". Welcome to adulthood, baby. So she's alternating the heating pad with ice packs, taking ibuprofen around the clock, and hanging out on the sofa a lot. I'm really sorry she's in such pain during her free time.

It's kind of nice that she needs her mom, though.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


H--Hot air balloons! (See previous post)

Home centers and hardware stores. Those places just fascinate me. I can wander around them for hours looking at gadgets and tools. Several years ago I took a basic home repair course from the community education part of our (then) local university. It was so very helpful, and I loved buying new tools. Before the course was over, I was forced to redo our bathroom. I took out the vanity and sink, helped install new ones, hung a new medicine cabinet (3 sections, very pretty) installed drywall and repaired part of other wall, helped install a new bathtub and the plumbing and lighting. I didn't install the commode or the tile--there are some things best left to the experts--but I did assist. And then painted it all. It turned out really well, though it took months to finish, since we could only do it as we had the money. Then we sold the house. Now that I know I can do it if I have to, I really don't have to, and since I'm no expert, I figure my time is best spent doing what I do well, and not robbing someone else of a job. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Housebreaking. Hear that thump, thump, thump thump? That's me, banging~~my head~~against~~the wall. It's been 2 weeks since we had the dog trainer over, and Tandi is better, but now has discovered the litter box and I guess she decided she needed to mark it as her territory, so she's peed twice in a place she never did before. Now she barks or whines to get out of her crate, but it's not always to go potty--sometimes she just wants out. And she's finally started ringing the bell at the door, but sometimes it's just because she wants the treat. Thump, thump.

Halloween! My DD laughs that I will work Christmas, Thanksgiving, my birthday, etc, but the two days I always request off are the Oscars and Halloween! Now, before you frown and give me the pagan holiday lecture, let me say that might have been how it all started, but that's not what it means to me, nor to most people I know. I respect your opinion, but my enjoyment of Halloween goes back MANY years--as a teenager when I first had my crush on J-man. That's another story.

Anyway, we moved into this house the week before Halloween '03, and I knew where all my stuff was so we could decorate right away. Each year I've added more and more, and have to start earlier and earlier in the month to get it all out.

I usually carve about 15 or so pumpkins, and Puking Pumpkin is a staple, with variations. (Last year he puked on another pumpkin's head. Never underestimate the attraction of the "gross" factor. Green food coloring mixed with the pumpkin insides and a few gummy worms for added nausea. 8^P )

My hands hurt by 5 pm, but it's worth it to see all their faces. Even the adults love to come by, and last year one of my teenage visitors told me it was all "SWWEEET". The ultimate compliment.

I am getting a little antsy this year, because it's only a little over 2 months away, and I'm just now beginning to figure out how to accomplish the theme I've decided on. Time to start hitting the yard sales for supplies! That's the nice thing about Halloween--you can do a lot with cheap stuff!

Black twin sheets to hang in the window: $2.00 each from Wal-Mart.
Plain white masks--10/$1.00 (can't remember where)
White gloves stuffed with leftover batting--25 cents at yard sale.
White gauze over white satin for ghost: discarded wedding dress at yard sale.
Black light--$14.00 (I think) used year after year after year.....

One head of cauliflower in the top of a pumpkin--? from the grocery store.
Red and blue food coloring applied with a toothpick.
Black trash bag on a log cut from a fallen tree.
Voila--Brained pumpkin!

Halloween 2007?? Wait and see!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Show and tell

Kelli is hosting her customary Show and Tell Friday. Click the logo to see some fun items and meet new folks!

I love hot air balloons. Many years ago, in Alabama, I took toddler DD to a park fair/event. Present were a couple of hot air balloons, though how they lifted on a hot muggy summer day is beyond me. I couldn't get very close, but absolutely fell in love with them.

Fast forward a few years. We moved to Albuquerque, NM, which, to my delight, is the Hot Air Balloon Capital of the World! The first through second weekends of each October is their fiesta, with hundreds of balloons aloft. I began collecting hot air balloons in that mecca.
Now we live in North Carolina, and I miss seeing the balloons, so I have to surround myself with them here.

Here are a few of my balloons:

This clock hangs in my sewing room, as do most of the items.

A pretty little wind chime with beautiful sounds.

Light switch in my sewing room:

A wall-hanging bought for me by my best friend:

A Gallileo thermometer, bought off eBay:

The license plate on the front of my truck:

I have more--balloons pins, necklace, paperweight, and am working on a hot air balloon quilt--but these are enough for now.

Several years ago J-man gave me money at Christmas for a hot air balloon ride. But a friend was in straits and I loaned it to them, and they were never able to repay me. So then J-man gave me a certificate for a hot air balloon ride, but the last 3 autumns, every date we set was ruined by weather. I'm hoping to go up this fall, and have tried to set my weekends up so I will have more than a couple of options. Keeping my fingers crossed that the next photos of hot air balloons (and I already have LOTS) will be from inside the basket!

(edited 2314 8/17)

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Green chili. How I do miss it. Chili rellenos with pablano peppers are not the same, nor are they as good. We usually order Hatch green chilies, fresh from NM about this time of the year, and I do a semi-roasting in my kitchen. I love the way the kitchen smells then--like Albuquerque in late August.

Gardens. I never had one growing up, and don't have much of a Green thumb, unless it will grow in containers on my deck. I'm hoping to get the lawn whipped into shape this fall and winter, so I can concentrate on making little garden areas the next year.

Grandchildren. Don't have any, probably won't ever have any. Just the grandcats.

Graveyards. They fascinate me, the old ones with monuments, especially. I've never tried the rubbings that some people do, but I like looking at headstones and reading them. I really wouldn't mind living next to one.


It might just take me into Sept. to Finish this Encyclopedia of Me.

F==Fancy. Nope. No one could accuse me of that.

Fig preserves. I love this on warm, buttered biscuits. They remind me of my daddy, one of the better memories. I couldn't seem to find them when we lived in the SW, but now that we're back in the Southeast again, it's much easier.

Furniture. Most of mine we've either bought at moving sales, had given to us, or bought when we first got married, 36 years ago. Some of it pre-dates us as a couple. Not nice enought be be antiques--just old.

Flylady. Wonderful woman. Couldn't have moved without her tips, couldn't have anyone over on the spur of the moment before her.

Freedom. What I try not to take for granted, but do. Now and then something jolts me into appreciating it, but then I forget.

Flag. Flies from the front of my house. The only way to my door is under my flag.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday breakfast

I would love to give the credit for this little recipe to whomever deserves it, but I honestly can't remember where it came from. But it is so handy, and so simple, and practically fool-proof.
Does your family like all different toppings and ingredients in their omelets? Or, are you having family members over for a special breakfast or guests from out of town? This will fill the bill for you.

"Ziploc Omelets"

1 qt-sized FREEZER zipper-closed baggie
permanent marker
2 eggs
toppings of choice--peppers, onions, cheese, ham, etc.
pot of boiling water

Have each participant mark a baggie with his or her name, then dump in 2 eggs. Add whatever ingredients he or she likes, then squeeze all the air out of the bag and seal it. Mush it to mix the eggs and ingredients together, then drop into pot of boiling water. Boil for approximately 13 minutes. (We put 5 in the pot and it took 15 minutes).

Fish baggie out of the water with tongs, open and slide omelet onto plate. Voila!
Everyone gets to eat a hot omelet made especially to his or her liking--and all at the same time!

Enjoy! And if you make these, let me know if you liked them!

Saturday, August 11, 2007


E is for enervated. For those who are too enervated to look it up, that means drained, lacking in Energy.


The temperatures here have just hit the 90's--and so has the humidity. J-man's recliner broke, and we went shopping for a new one yesterday. In the spirit of buying locally, we stopped by our local furniture store, which had only 2 window unit air conditioners for the entire store. We didn't stay THERE very long. By the time we got back home, we didn't care if we ate or not--so we didn't. Not even sandwiches.

When I went to pick up DD from the airport at midnight, it was still very warm and humid. And today is going to be more of the same. This is not supposed to happen in the mountains.

E is for endless.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me: B, C, and D

B, Believe; C, Christmas; D, Daughter, (also her first name)
I was having a really hard time with a B word, so I started randomly listing all the words I could think of beginning with B. When I hit "believe", it came to me, and then the C and D fell into place.

When DD was born, J-man and I disagreed as to whether we would raise her to believe in Santa Claus or not. He did, and was cruelly disillusioned by an abusive relative. I was raised not to believe, and felt cheated by that when all my friends did.

The first Christmas, she was only 5 months old, so it didn't really matter. Her second Christmas was right after his catastrophic illness, and she was still too young to understand. However, by her third Christmas, what with TV, well-meaning strangers, and the other children at her baby-sitter's house, she was 2 1/2, and caught up in the whole Santa thing.

Now, let me say, we taught her all about Jesus, too, and the reason for Christmas, as much as she could understand. But face it, there are a lot more commercials and ads and displays for Santa than Jesus. So I took her to the local mall to see Santa.

There was no line, which should have clued me in. DD got up on his lap, told him what she wanted, we got a picture made, and that was that. When she got down, she informed me "Santa grumpy." That would have been the perfect opportunity to tell her the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but I was a wimp. So I told her that Santa couldn't be at all the malls everywhere to find out what children wanted, so he sent out some people dressed in Santa suits to help him, and that the real Santa was out there somewhere. That seemed to satisfy her.

The next year, I checked out the local mall first, and there he was again. So I took her to a mall across town to see Santa. By this time, she was 3 1/2, and more savvy.

We stood in line for what seemed like hours. I was getting a little nervous, because I worked the evening shift, and I still had to get home, change, get DD to the baby-sitter's and get to work. I craned my neck to see how much longer, and saw Santa get up out of his chair and make his way up some steps.

Great. He was going on a break. But no, he stopped at the top of the steps and crouched down beside a little girl in a wheelchair. (Before Americans with Disabilities Act, folks.) He very solemnly listened to her requests and gave her a hug before returning to the Santa throne.

The line inched forward. Then I saw a boy of about 14, with Down's Syndrome. He perched on Santa's lap, whispered to him, and had his picture made, then went back to his mom, all smiles. The kiddo was almost as tall as Santa, but the jolly guy didn't seem to mind. I was impressed.

Finally it was our turn. DD climbed up on his lap, and they whispered together. I was close enough to get a pretty good look at the guy--and saw no laugh lines, no wrinkles. I asked the "elf" taking photos just how old this Santa was, anyway. She asked why I wanted to know, and I told her he was the best Santa I'd ever run across. She then told me--he was 20 years old.

I got a lump in my throat. This young man was so unbelievably full of compassion and patience--more so than the old gentleman posing as Santa at the mall close to home. Not what I was accustomed to seeing in one so young.

We got the picture made, and DD was all smiles as she ran to me. "Mommy!" she exclaimed. "That was the REAL Santa, wasn't it?"

My voice caught as I said, "Yes, honey, it was." And I believe that.

That young man would be about 46 years old now. I hope he's had a happy life. I hope somehow he knows how much joy and wonder he brought to at least one little girl and her mother, and hope that God has blessed him.

(Wondering about what to tell your child about Santa? See this:http://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/christian-parenting/christian-santa.html)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

This fun Meme was started by Bella Dia (http://belladia.typepad.com/bella_dia/) and was based on a book that I might just have to check out of the library. I mulled it over a couple of days, and decided to join in. There's still time if you'd like to check out her site for the explanation.

A---American, and proud to be one!

Albuquerque, where I lived for over 19 years, and which is the home of the International Balloon Fiesta!

ALIENS--one of my favorite movies. I never get tired of watching it.

THE ABYSS--ditto

Academy Awards--one of the two events in the year I always request time off for. I have been watching this for probably 30 years, but am so disillusioned with the recent hosts, I just might have to bag it.

Alabama, state of my birth, and where most of my relatives still live.

Apple. Trite, maybe, but I live in the most apple-producing county in the state, and one of the top 5 apple producing areas in the country. We have an apple festival every September, and I started this wall-hanging during the festival last year. It was my own design and will hang in my entryway this apple season. (Click on the photo to enlarge and see the little worm!)

Oh, and I have canned some very tasty apple butter in the past, made from an old Farm Journal canning and freezing guide.

I'll have to do the B's tomorrow.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Do Gypsy Curses Really Work?

What a week!

Monday we had part of the carpet cleaned -- AGAIN! Tandi is a sweetheart, but she's just not getting this whole housebreaking thing. The cleaner told us the scent's probably in the pad now and the only thing to do is pull the carpet back, cut out and replace that part of the pad. But there's no sense doing it until she's housetrained. I asked J-man how he felt about tile. Or Pergo.

In the meantime, the carpet guy said he'd used a dog trainer with his dog, one who came out to the house to work with the dog. He had her call me, and she will come out to the house on Monday to meet Tandi and tell us what she has to offer. The carpet cleaner said he'd paid her $300.00, but I don't know what all she did for that. Of course, we've already paid out >$250.00 since March to clean the carpet, so...

Last Fri. I drove up to DD's in VA to pick up the grandcats. DD is moving from one town to another, now that she's finished grad school, but the new place won't be ready until the end of Aug. As she's taking the month off to visit friends and shake off the last 3 years' stress and studies before starting her new job in Sept., we get custody of the cats.

Meet Eleanor, 3-yr-old (?) rescue kitty:

It's a terrible photo, but she's a little camera shy. She rules the roost at her house, bossing the older male around, smacking him if he looks at her funny. But she's very soft and lovable, and if you sit down, she'll be in your lap in a heartbeat.

Then there's the grumpy old man, Cyrano:

He's also a rescue, having been saved from the pound at 5 months of age. He's been with the family now since 1993, and has been through at least 6 of his nine lives. He's VERY vocal and converses regularly with DD and anyone else who will listen.

After helping DD pack up her kitchen on Saturday, I made the 5 1/2 hour drive back home. Tandi was so excited--Momma brought her some new toys to play with! They're soft like her other stuffies, only these MOVE! Whoopeee! Hide and seek is a fun game, except they never let HER hide. Tag is fun, too, especially when the beige stuffie wheezes!

But then came Thursday -- Tandi's second trip to the groomer since we got her 4 months ago. Just over an hour after dropping her off, the groomer called. "You have to come get your dog. Now."

Seems Tandi went ballistic on them, pooping everywhere, almost strangling herself on the noose, growling, snapping and trying to bite them, lunging at them from the crate. Tandi? My dog who's so timid, she won't come up on the porch if the delivery man has left a box there? Who's so scared of the new flowers on the hostas she has to take a different route to the potty place?

I drove down there right away. Tandi was so frightened, she wouldn't come out of the crate even for me. I had to get down on my knees to pull her out, and she was trembling. The groomer was freaked out, and her husband, who just got out of the hospital, was lifting his shirt to show me where Tandi scratched him. (I didn't see a thing.) On the plus side, they got her bathed and trimmed, though not dried, and the hair was gone from in front of her ears, so I could see the ear infection she had going on. Okay, that might account for a little sensitivity, but not the behavior they described. Does this look like the face of Cujo to you?

So today we made a trip to the vet to rule out any other medical conditions or illnesses that might trigger this behavior. Nothing else is going on, except a tooth that needs cleaning. It's just a part of this whole fear issue she has, and her attempt to protect herself from percieved danger. He recommends much more desensitization, and agreed that some of the herbal remedies or aromatherapy would be worth trying. I already brush her with a lavender spray, and he suggested soaking her collar in something lavenderish before going for a ride (which also frightens her). If all else fails, we might have to resort to doggy Prozac. I think I'm going to have to find another groomer, though.

Poor little thing. Makes me wonder just what her previous owners did to her. At the risk of sounding vindictive, I hope what goes around really does come back around to them.