Sunday, December 23, 2012

Screaming Monkey Christmas

Christmas at my mom’s house is never quiet…but as the grandchildren have grown up there is less screaming, less crying and less general noise than in past years.  I was chatting on the phone with my sister Cindy, who lives in Anchorage, discussing that very point on Friday afternoon.    Little did I know that she was silently giggling….
She’d sent screaming flying monkey slingshots for Christmas.
You put your fingers in their mittens, pull back their body on their stretchy little arms and let the monkey fly…
When the monkey reaches its screams…. like a monkey.
Imagine twenty screaming monkeys being slingshot across the living room.   There were a couple minor injuries to boy parts.  My brother has his own high-pitched scream.   My brother-in-law barricaded himself behind presents to prevent monkey damage. 
We repeated inappropriate monkey sayings and jokes.
I laughed and laughed.  My sister got a migraine.
My mother confiscated the monkeys. 
That woman is a saint.
So, perhaps now I will go on to facebook to post pictures of the Weaver family Christmas…  
Beautiful daughter and  Beautiful sister.  Cousins giggling together.   A baby and a brother taking a nap.  Presents.  A walk in the woods with my sister.  The kids on the sledding hill.   Brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. My sister sang a Christmas song.  There were beautiful handmade wool mittens.  My mom prepared a fabulous meal.   Another perfect proper Christmas.
I love this family… just enough dysfunction to be fun and I loved The Christmas of Screaming Monkey Slingshots.   Everyone agreed it was better than the Christmas of  the Repeating Parrots.    And even though she had to confiscate the monkeys,   I think my mom preferred the monkeys to the Christmas of Glitter… she still seems a bit annoyed with that one as she pointed out some glitter on the wall.   I know Jay enjoyed the monkey Christmas more than the Trip to the ER Christmas (thank you girls for not building a huge ice jump on the sledding hill this year – fun for kids but lethal for adults!)
Merry Christmas 2012.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Before and After...Daughter's Apartment

My daughter recently graduated from college and has her own apartment for the first time. One thing she did not have was furnishings so for the last few weeks I have been scouring my basement, garage sales and consignment shops to help her furnish it.   My sewing machine has been busy too.  She was shocked when her dad and I showed up with trailer FULL of furniture and furnishings.

I had been on face time with her and seen the apartment that way and had her measure everything so I knew where to put everything as it was being moved in.   She was quite surprised because she thought we would be bringing a cabinet from her old bedroom and her grandma's old ugly love seat, curtains and potholders I'd sewed....

This is her entryway when we came...

Minutes later....

Her wish was to have a bright, welcoming entry so I painted a mirror that came off a consignment dresser with bright colors, made a orange pad for a bench that she'd had in her room growing up, and sewed a bright pillow.   You can't tell in the photo but I made a window valance for the front door that matches the pillow.   

Her living area when we came....  She made delicious pork barbeque sandwiches with coleslaw and we ate before we got to work hauling stuff inside.    We had to sit on the floor because she had absolutely nothing in this room...


In a short time, it looked like this...
(bad lighting...sorry)

Now she has a place to sit and watch the TV we brought her, a place to eat meals and to relax.   She is thrilled.    She painted the dresser green after we left... it was a project I didn't get to complete but I left her the paint and paintbrush and she was happy to finish it.  Everything in the room except for the counter height table came from our basement, garage sales and consignment stores.   The love seat was her grandmothers, from probably the 1970's.  I painted it and made slipcovers out of drop cloths.   They aren't perfect but when you don't have anything, they are good enough.    As my sister says ... you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

She had a cute little nook that we furnished as well.

Before (this is all the furniture, except her bed, that she had):

And After
 again, repurposed, repainted  stuff...   looks very cute...

Her little bitty kitchen just needed a bit of organization and a few decorative and practical things and it looks much neater....    My sweet sister Tonja bought her that microwave at a garage sale... I come from a family of thrifters...

Her bedroom and bathroom got a few updates too but I don't have any pictures.  

I had asked her to repaint before I came and  I'm so glad she did; everything was bright white and clean.  She was thrilled, surprised and grateful.   

I, of course, was beyond thrilled with what could be accomplished from hours away on the cheap with what was in my basement, garage and consignment sale finds, paint, and a sewing machine. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Polar Plunge

A few weeks ago in Duluth, my daughter did a Polar Plunge with some sorority sisters to raise money for Special Olympics.     When she told me she was doing this,  I had no idea it was such a big deal.


There were many interesting people.   Notice the spectator with the fur hat…  He was nothing compared to the plungers.


This man walked around dancing and yelling that it was his seventh year in a row to do the plunge.  Woo Hoo!  

DSC_0448DSC_0435I’m clueless about where to buy shiny pants like these guys were wearing.  DSC_0471

There were also some rescuers in the water ready to save the plungers.    No one needed saving.    Sometimes there is ice on the water but there was not this afternoon.  There was ice on the water the next morning.


There were 1,400 plungers. 


A lot of money was raised this day.   Great job polar plungers!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Superior Sunrise

The sun rising this morning over Lake Superior was spectacular.


I woke up to see a faint pink in the sky out my hotel window that started getting progressively lighter.


The sky continued to got more light and pink.


And then the sun started to break through the horizon.


I was taking pictures every five to ten minutes.


There was a  very thin layer of ice  on the lake which had developed overnight.


It was beautiful.


It changed every few minutes.


These pictures are in order over the course of somewhat more than an hour.


I love staying at hotels in Duluth with a view of Lake Superior.  I’d never seen a sunrise like this before.  When I checked out of the hotel the clerk mentioned it;  she said she’d lived in Duluth her whole life and this was one of the most beautiful sunrises she’d seen.    She told me she took pictures too.


It was a superior Lake Superior sunrise.


What a beautiful way to wake up.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Entertaining and Decorating

When I have a party at my house, I usually concentrate on critical areas… making sure the house is clean, picking up some flowers, and  concentrating on the menu.  I try to keep by fussbudget tendencies in check and remember that when I go to a party I’m relaxed and happy, not judgmental, and I imagine other people are probably the same.  

DSC_0389 DSC_0384

The recent cocktail party we hosted was so much fun because I had a little bit of time to prepare for it and my husband and friend handled all the food and drink preparation.  We had a Mexican theme, Sangria and Margaritas were on the menu.   I don’t think we served one Margarita.   The Sangria was just that good!  The recipe was from called Sangria!Sangria!    Delicious…


DSC_0414So, with the foods and drinks handled.  I got to concentrate on cleaning and actually had time to do a little bit of extra.     In the weeks before the party,  I sewed colorful cocktail napkins.   I also hemmed piece of fabric for the top of the island.


My favorite decorations were the paper tissue balls hanging from the ceiling over the island.   They were my take on Mexican paper flowers.   They were quick and easy to make, super inexpensive, and so bright and cheery.     I think I’ll leave them up for a while.   They make me smile.   


I wonder if my niece would like me to make some orange, black, and white tissue balls to decorate the garage for her graduation party?  


It’s been a long time since I’ve had time to spend on being a little bit creative.  I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoy it.   It feeds my soul.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Missing Justin

January is almost over…. my mom used to tell me that the older you were the faster life passed by…. she is right. 

I’ve been missing my son who lives in Seattle.   He doesn’t like to talk on the phone much… or text… or email.   In person, he talks and talks and talks but on the phone I must usually settle for short conversations.

In July,  Jay and I got to spend two weeks with him and his girlfriend, Harshana.    She is now Justin’s fiancĂ©e.   I couldn’t have picked a more perfect match for him.  


We took the ferry to Whidbey Island to visit my husband’s uncle and his daughters.     We drove our car on the ferry and got out for the ride.


My son looked pretty scruffy when we arrived in Seattle.   I think sometimes he doesn’t shave just to irritate me and Harshana.    It took a few days but Harshana and I eventually wore him down. 


I miss that scruffy face.