Thursday, March 29, 2007

Quote for the day

"The older you get, the more you learn to see what you've been taught to see. When you're a kid, you see what's there." Steven Wright

I wish I had something exciting to say, or show you, but I don't. Not feeling real well, am getting a bit shaky, lightheaded and queasy in my stomach. I might need to go home and sleep.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Counting down

It is just 3 days now until I have to set up for the bead show. I am always nervous when the time gets closer. I love to do this, but hate to tag and prepare the beads for the show.

Here is today's quote on my calendar:

"Being grandparents sufficiently removes us from the responsibilities so that we can be friends." Alan Frome

I am listening to a book on tape, "The Black Dahlia" by James Ellroy. I am familiar with the murder, but not the details, it is pretty interesting.

I really feel a let down when a truly good book is finished. It is like a friend just got up and walked away without saying good bye. I felt that way about this book: I just finished "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" by Betty Smith. It reminded me a little bit of Frank McCourt's 'Tis', and 'Angela's Ashes'. I am appalled at the depth of poverty in Ireland while these children were growing up. It always humbles me and makes me feel so blessed to have lived in a time when we didn't have to steal milk or bread just to eat.

The day is beautiful outside, we are supposed to get rain, but I am sure enjoying the sun right now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

From my calendar

My grandchildren got me a calendar for Christmas, each day there is a quote, generally about grandmothers. Here are a few I have saved:

"Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild." Welsh Proverb

"Grandmothers have bottomless handbags." Anonymous

My daughter will wonder why this one is true: "Grandmothers have all afternoon to play with you, and never have more important things to do." Joanna Foster

Karen marvelled at the time I spent while making noodles with the grand kids one night. Wondering why I would never allow her and Isaac the opportunity to explore like that. I would have minded the time it took and the mess, but it seemed right to do it with Noah and Olivia.

"Middle age is when your age shows around your middle." Bob Hope

"If becoming a grandmother was only a matter of choice, I would advise every one of you straight away to become one. There is no fun for older people like it." Hanna Whitall Smith

"Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting." Anonymous

"One of life's mysteries is how the boy who wasn't good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world." Jewish Proverb

"Your children are always your babies, even if they have gray hair." Janet Leigh

Today's quote, "To show a child what has once delighted you, and rediscover your pleasure in the child's interest; this is the great happiness of a Granmother." Joyce Miller

I hope you have enjoyed these, I read my quote each day and tear them away, but can't bring myself to throw them away. HAHA

Monday, March 26, 2007

This touched me

My daughter has a blog that I look at every day, hoping to see photos of those grandbabies. I don't get to see them nearly enough!

Today she talks about another woman's blog on her site, this woman has an autistic son. You can make a donation on behalf of Autisn Speaks. Here is the link to make a donation.

Autism is becoming more prevalent in society today, the research will tell us the reason why.

I am an advocate of making donations to organizations that can help families, or help research different illnesses. When I was a young newly married woman, my mother had cervical cancer, a short while later, my little sister was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis. An inflammation of the kidney's filtering system, causing multiple side effects. Wendy was gravely ill. My folks had 7 children at home, it was a very lean time for them. What with Mom's trips for radiation implants soon followed by Wendy's multiple hospital stays, and the medications, test strips for her urine, etc. There were no organizations that swooped in to help them with medications, the other children in the home, etc. They scraped by as best they could without any outside help. I think of this each time that I see something like this. Please don't feel any pressure to help out, but if you can, it would be wonderful.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bragging just a little

I brought home a cheesy little rolling pin from one of the cooking stores at the outlet mall. I asked Steve to make some for the grandkids out of wood. He turned some rolling pins for us a few years back. That is a story in itself that I'll tell you one day.

Here are the pins he made for Noah and Olivia. They love to bake in the kitchen with their mom. The pins turned out very cute, he used the el-cheapo one as a pattern for it's length and the diameter. Otherwise, they are along the same lines as the ones he made all of the sisters.

My son, Isaac makes pens out of wood. One of the women from my bead group gave him some deer antler to turn some pens for her nephews. It is pretty cool. Her dad picks up antler, and she is asking Isaac to make pens out of that antler to encourage the boys to practice their penmanship. Here are two of the pens. I think they are so beautiful. When Isaac first asked us to get him some antler, I thought it was the most awful, macabre idea, but the results are just unbelievable. However, the antler is toxic to work with, once this order is done, he won't be doing it again, it is making him sick.

That's about all I have to say, got to get to the studio, I have a ton of beads to make today.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Time is running out!

I have a bead show next weekend, I am making beads each night, trying to have enough stock to put on the table. Most of our shows are about the camaraderie of being together as bead makers. We aren't really all that competetive with each other. All of us work full time except for a few that have made a business out of lampworking.

For those of you that don't know what lampworking is, it is an old form of melting glass over the top of an oil lantern. Glass in a molten state is a liquid. To get the hole in the bead, the molten glass is wrapped around a metal rod called a mandrel. The rod is stainless steel, coated with a clay like substance that will allow the bead to come off the rod after it comes out of the kiln. Once glass is heated to molten, it is not stable, the molecules have moved around in such a way that the piece could explode without warning. Once the bead is cool, it is taken off the mandrel, the hole is cleaned to remove the bead release, and the bead is born. When purchasing glass beads, it is important to look at the ends of the beads to be sure they are not ragged, and the bead release is gone from the center of the bead. If you don't do that, any time you wear the bead, your clothes will be covered in little gray or white specs. The bead release will chip off the inside of the bead.

Putting the bead in the kiln is a process called 'annealing'. The debate amongst glass artists is a continuous process of debating whether a bead should be annealed or not. Most will say beads of a certain size don't require annealing, while others should be placed in the kiln. I made a bracelet out of some of the beads that I created before the kiln. I have worn that bracelet for 4 years now. Guess what? Just last week, I cleaned the silver on the bracelet, and noticed the beads were cracking. So, in my opinion, each bead will need to be put in the kiln, no matter that size to prevent a customer from being harmed, or worse yet, one of their children. I never sold any beads that had not been placed in the kiln. I am pretty stubborn about things I think are 'right' and 'wrong'. So, instead of debating the issue, I quietly did my own research. This proves to me that you should always ask before buying beads if they have been KILN annealed. You will find beadmakers that want to sell beads quickly, they will tell you they 'flame anneal' their beads. It's not the same.

I have also had people tell me, Oh, I made beads and it has been 2 years now and they are still ok. Now I can tell them that I KNOW THEY WILL CRACK eventually. It is only a matter of time.

Well, sorry for the long rant, if you all want to see my work, or come say HI, I will be at the Westside Community Center in Omaha, Saturday March 31st. I will try to get photos posted of the beads.

Today we continue to call the process lampworking, but we use a torch. There are a variety of torches on the market that are 'clean' enough to use for melting glass. Some torches use oxygen and propane, some use plumber's fuel. The beginner torch is a very inexpensive one, called a hothead. It is a good way for people to try the art without a huge financial investment. I used that torch for a short time, decided I liked what I was doing, and moved to the next level. My husband bought me a kiln within a week of my working at the torch. It allowed me the opportunity to do the larger beads, eventually getting to a point where I could market the beads I created. It is a hobby for me, one that I enjoy, but I don't take it all that serious. I don't think I 'have what it takes' to make it big in the bead world. I am happy doing what I am doing. I will post photos of the beads I am taking to the show. My camera is not that good at photo taking.

I have a little sister that bought some fancy shmancy camera that would most likely take awesome photos, but I don't like to impose on people to help me with things. WE are all busy in our lives. She is really busy, a school teacher, mother of 2 little ones, and is going back to school to work on her masters in Education. So, no spare time for her, plus she is an amazing scrapbooker, going to scraps all over the place when she has free time.

Details for the show:

Sat, 3/31/2007TimesSat. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Location:Westside Community Center
3534 S. 108th Street
Omaha, NE

AdmissionFees: $3 coupons at local bead stores.

DescriptionThe Bazaar will be filled with exhibitors, both nationally known bead vendors as well as local bead shops, displaying and selling beads.

Free demos on jewelry techniques and lampworking will be ongoing through the day.

Additional InformationWheelchair Accessible - Yes
Adjoining Parking - Yes
Credit Cards Accepted - Yes

Monday, March 19, 2007

5 Quirky Things About Me

  1. I have to put my socks on before I can put on my slacks. If I don't have socks right there, then I run around until I get them, then put on my pants. Weird, I know.
  2. Butter or margarine have to be soft. I don't like it hard at all, therefore, it sits out to be spreadable. I know where this comes from.
  3. Can't run out of TP or bath soap, I am a fanatic about this, I usually have 3 packages of 8 bars of zest on hand, and don't get me started on the TP.....this way with laundry soap, too. Have 2 on hand most of the time.
  4. I sort my potato chips before I eat them, not sure why, but I do, then I eat them in order of their size, starting with the smaller ones first.
  5. When the weather is cold outside, I love to have the window open so the cold air blows across the bed, but the bed warmer must be on, and I am in my flannel PJ's, drives poor Steve crazy.
  6. Shower curtain has to be SHUT, no ifs ands or buts about it.
  7. I have a certain way my towels have to be folded, and my washcloths, and I get twitchy if they are put away 'wrong' or folded 'wrong'.
  8. When eating, my foods can't touch. If I have second helpings and there are 'wet' items on the plate that ran, I wash the plate off before I use it again. Hate holidays when people have all their food touching each other, can you say NASTY!?
  9. Don't like things sitting on my counters. I want things tidy and neat. I have things sitting on them most of the time, and it drives me nuts.
  10. I have been told I am a tight wad. I will use the same water bottle over and over until it is too old and worn. But, if you want something, no matter the cost I will make a way to find it/buy it/get it for you. WHY? Don't know, but I do that, makes my family crazy. I will buy them things, then whine I have to pay $5 for something for myself.
  11. ADDED THIS: Oh, I eat the food on my plate one item at a time, the potatoes first, then the veggie, then the meat. Usually in that order.

It's weird, I named 10 things on a post that says 5 things quirky, and I bet there are others that can tell you I have more. HAHA

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I am having a BIG Birthday???

While attending my great nephews 1st birthday party over the weekend, my darling (?) sisters pointed out I would be having a milestone birthday in April. I argued with them until I realized I was! I was going to be the BIG 5-0!!!!!!!!!! OUCH! They asked me if I had a huge celebration planned. I do not, I didn't even think about it.

My daughter turns 30. Her wish is to have her good friends Aaron & Jen, and Sarah & Andy come celebrate with her. She is excited about her big birthday. I don't know...............I was not that tickled about 30, but 50 is no big deal.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bead Show coming up

I will be involved in a bead show in the Omaha area on March 31st. I have been making beads each night in preparation of this event. Here are the details. When the sun finally comes out, I will photograph the new style of beads I have been making and let you see them. I am warning you, I expect huge oohs and ahhs. HAHA:

Sat, 3/31/2007
TimesSat. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

LocationWestside Community Center
3534 S. 108th StreetOmaha, NE

Admission Fees$3, coupons at local bead stores.

DescriptionThe Bazaar will be filled with exhibitors, both nationally known bead vendors as well as local bead shops, displaying and selling beads. Free demos on jewelry techniques and lampworking will be ongoing through the day.

Additional InformationWheelchair Accessible - YesAdjoining Parking - YesCredit Cards Accepted - Yes

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Work Potluck today

Ok, today is a pot luck for March birthdays. I made 2 chicken pot pies, baked when I got home last night. I didn't photograph them, but they look prettier than the one in the other post. I keep changing the recipe around, but here it is:

Chicken Pot Pie (semi-homemade)

2 pastries for 9 inch pie
2-3 chicken breasts
2 c. frozen mixed vegetables
1 sm. onion chopped (I use frozen chopped onions, cuz I am lazy, about 1/3 c. )
1 stock celery chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2- 2 c. frozen hash brown (the southern ones that are CUBES)
1 can chicken broth
2/3 c. milk
1/3 c. flour

For the chicken breasts, , cook any way you want, baked, boil, etc. I bake mine with a little olive oil, parsley, onion and garlic powder sprinkled on them in a foil lined pan for about 20 min, or til done, then cut into cubes when done. I like them baked for this, but I am not sure why. Usually I have these already in the freezer cooked, I buy the big packages of boneless skinless breasts at wal-mart and cook them all at once so they don't go bad, then when I need one, I thaw and use them in recipes. But, there are only 2 of us at my house, so things have to be done this way, or I toss out a lot of meat.

I put the olive oil, onion and celery in a pan and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the 1/3 c. flour, stir it around, then add the milk and chicken broth, stir until it is thick, then I add the vegetables, and the hash browns. I cook until it is all hot, add the chicken. I roll the pie crusts to enlarge them a little, because there is too much filling to put in a 9" pie plate. You can bake the bottom crust a little, or just put the filling in the pan. I put it all in a 10" pie plate, place the top crust on, puncture it to let steam escape, bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 min. Watch it close so the crust doesn't burn. Weird thing is, the store bought crust just lays there perfect, and the pie doesn't run over in the oven. I have not used home made crust for this recipe, as I don't have any in the freezer at this time, and I was too lazy to make it at home.

That is all there is to it, they are pretty nice looking, and they are FULL of filling, unlike the ones you buy at the store. Even the expensive ones don't have much filling. (Marie Callender's) Part of the reason I make them at home is the ones at the store are mostly liquid. They aren't very good, the men at work are teasing me they weigh about 10# each. HAHA, I guess I want my pie full of goodies!

Friday I have another one of these, but the managers are supplying a 6' submarine sandwich. We have to bring dessert and/or a side dish. I am not too thrilled about that one, and may just skip doing it altogether. I don't think I will have time to do 2 fruit pies, and I have no cool side dish recipes, unless any of you have one I could try. I will need at ASAP so I can buy the ingredients.

Now I am going to cower in the corner and hope what's her name doesn't sue me for using semi-homemade in my recipe title, LOL.

OK, Edit to add: If you like to make pie crusts, or find it to be a daunting task, here is a link to all you ever wanted to know about pie crusts, but were afraid to ask. I found the information useful, I wondered why the ice water I used suddenly produced a beautiful, flaky crust, even though the recipe was the same.. WHO KNEW? .....the scientists know:

Saturday, March 10, 2007

New carpet is down!

This morning, I awoke to the joy of knowing the new carpet would be installed today. We had to take the bedroom apart and move it into the kitchen again. The installer came around 9:30, and was done at 10:45. He did a wonderful job. While he put the carpet in, I made a meatloaf, a huge pot of cheeseburger soup and a home-made chicken pot pie. I took the meat loaf and some soup to my in-laws because my father in law is doing the cooking until Joyce is back on her feet. Here's a photo of the pie:

I am so excited, and have been very busy today. The carpet is laid, the bedroom is put back together. I love the new look! Here is how the carpet looked before, I am not sure you can see the big curl in the room, but there were about 6 spots like that:

Now the carpet is nice and neat, the way I like it:

Friday, March 9, 2007

Getting new carpet has not been fun

We have been looking for new carpet to put in our bedroom for awhile now. When we got our home (NuTrends) in Omaha, we ordered and paid for premium carpet. After being in the home only a few years, the carpet has 'wrinkled' in all the rooms. We have spent the last 18 months replacing every one of the floors with hardwood and new carpet.

This time, I got a patterned carpet, it has little leaves and vines in it, will look very nice in the large room we have. I ordered it, my hubby wanted dark green, so I ordered that. When looking for new bedding and drapes, I realized the color would limit me to the amount of decorations I could do, so we went back and changed the color. This would be my undoing.

Last week the carpet was to be laid on Monday, Nebraska Furniture Mart called at 6:45 am to say the carpet was being put on the truck, and it would be there in 1.5 hours. My hubby took off work, and was delighted that they were so prompt. About an hour later, the guy on the truck calls to say he broke down on the highway and would not be able to come. So, we rescheduled the carpet for the next day. I had to take the day off. When they showed up on Tuesday, the pad installation went very quickly. The installers carried the carpet into the room, and I mentioned how it was nice we got the WIDE carpet so there would not be any seams. HAHA, they both looked at me rather odd, and assured me we would have 3 seams.

I paid a small fortune for this rug, and I was not happy to hear this, so I called the store. After arguing with them for about 15 minutes, them telling me I DIDN'T ORDER WIDE CARPET, I suddenly realized I had changed the color, and would put money on the fact the width did not get copied over to the new order. Sure enough, the girl told me that I was correct, she could see the original order, and there it was, WIDE ordered. No apology from her or anything, she assured me the installers could lay the carpet and I would never be able to see the seam. When I hung up, I asked the 2 men to tell me honestly what they thought. Thank god there are still people in this world that will tell you the truth even at the risk of them getting in trouble. The guys told me they would not like to seam a patterned carpet, and over time the seams would show. Now, I ask you, how hard was that to say? So, I called up NFM and told them to fix the order, get it there and we would wait the length of time it took to get it laid, but they would have to lay it on a Saturday because they had already cost us 2 days of work.

That turned into an argument in itself, but they are going to be here tomorrow and put in the carpet! YAHOO! Thank GOD! I am so tired of my bedroom being all over the house. Pictures to come after it is all done!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Old Pictures

I am a major procrastinator, I just loaded pictures off the camera from the kids being here while Karen and Bryan went to Disney World. I loved having them, here are photos of us getting their parents at the airport. They were so excited to be there, they loved looking at the planes thru the window. They are so darn cute, I could just eat them up.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Barely awake

When the alarm went off, I swear I only slept 15 minutes. HAHA In class now, and no students have arrived.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

UGH! I can't sleep!

I have been up for a few hours now playing Luxor on the computer. I can't sleep. This has been happening to me for some time now. I get all worked up over the projects I have going on at work. I love my job, I have a great boss, but I get all pent up with anxiety that I will mess something up and not do a good job. Then I get home, feel like I can't stay awake,and when it is time to go to bed, the eyeballs pop open and I can't sleep! I hate that!

Went to see the in-laws tonight. Joyce, my MIL is getting along great with her walker, I can't believe she is doing so good for 77 and a new hip just a week ago! She is amazing. Part of her motivation might be a trip to Ireland. She has wanted to go all her life. They will inherit a little money here pretty soon, and she really wants to take the trip. I hope they get to go, she wants to really bad. She is doing the family tree, the trip will help her to track down ancestors on my husband's side of the family.

I have two pot lucks coming up at work. I love to do them, it is fun to see the reactions of the people that I work with when you do something out of the ordinary. This recipe is one that I had at a bridal shower once. I brought it home and made it, since then it is a family favorite. I think I might make it for the pot luck, either that or a chicken pot pie, homemade. I did that last week and impressed myself. If I do, I will take a photo and post it. Supermom took a picture of a pie I made and posted it on her blog, so that might be fun.

Chicken Salad

2 c. cubed cooked chicken
¼ c. diced celery
¼ c. golden raisins
¼ c. sliced almonds
¼ c. dried cranberries
¾ c. mayonnaise
2 T. chopped red onion
¼ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
4 split croissants

In a bowl, combine first 9 ingr. Split croissants, spoon about ½ c. chicken salad onto each croissant. Very good.

Well, I am going to try to get some sleep, I teach a computer class all day tomorrow, then I go for a hair cut in another town that is 25 miles north of the metro area where I work. I think I am going to switch hair dressers. I realized just a week or so ago that one of our daughter's friend's sisters is a hair dresser. She is located in the area where I work, it will be easier to go there than drive so far all the time. Now I just have to find out how to get hold of her. Ta ta for now.

I am a blog virgin

This is my very first blog, I decided to do it for fun. Many of you know me by my posts as GrandmaCarnes, or oldestsister Cindy. Many of my family and friends are blogging, and it looked like fun. Kind of a journal of your life, but shared with others. I asked for suggestions for the title, and my sister in law responded with a suggestion to call it Gray Hair Gray Hair.
I decided that women wear many hats in their lives, I wear these: Grandma/Mom/Wife/Aunt/Sister/Glass Bead Maker/Aunt/you get the idea. I want to show you my passion, I make glass beads, for fun, for a hobby. I love to sit at the torch and melt the time away. Since this is my first image, I don't know how big the picture will be, but it will be fun anyway.

I have a mother in law (MIL) that just had her hip replaced, tonight I am going to take her and my FIL a box full of easy, quick items to cook. Their stove has served as a file cabinet for many years, they eat all meals out. We got them a crock pot last year, they use it on occasion. Last night, I got them an electric griddle, hoping I could teach them how to make french toast, grilled cheese, pancakes, etc. Wish me luck!

I would also like to include a photo of my grandkids, they are the love of my life. They are adorable! Noah is 3, Olivia is 2. I call him Noah BaNoah, and her Miss Spicy Pants. Forgive me, the pictures are a little old, but I don't get pictures anymore, not since Super Mom started to blog. Here is a picture of her and her husband, too.
I have no pictures of my son, he is 19, a wonderful, loving, caring Christian boy who is in college struggling to discover who he is and what he wants to be when he grows up. I know how hard this is for him, I wish him luck. I want him to find what he wants to do, he is worried he won't make me proud, it is too late, he already has. With his loving, caring, gentle spirit and his kind heart, he has made me a very proud mother. Love ya, Isaac. I will get a picture of him up soon! This is all for now. I have a bead show coming end of March, I will let you know my progress as I go.