Friday, August 31, 2007

Beady Friends

My friend from Washington just sent me these pictures of her and her hubby Thom. They both work hot glass. Mona has been to stay with me in our new home, right after it was built. She took a glass class with me in Omaha, then she, Sandy and I all went to a class in Depoe Bay, Oregon together. We had so much fun! I count her as one of my most treasured buddies.

Mona on Thom's bike, which her father built for them:

Thom on her bike:

Mona is an incredible bead maker, she is innovative, creative, sharing of her knowledge, encouraging and downright one of the greatest folks I know. My life has been richer by knowing her. Here is her website


I just attended an MS Project 2003 class yesterday. I was amazed at how much easier an application is to run if you know all the little shortcuts. Just goes to show you, time and money spent on educating yourself on these little things really makes a difference. I loved the place where the class was held, New Horizons in Omaha on 120th. They send you a link to use after the class, it's good for 6 months. You can repeat the material over and over. I think that is phenomenal. Studies show that your retention after a class can be/are as low as 7-10%, after a good night's sleep, it can increase exponentially to 50% or as high as 80-90%. But, if there is a span of time between the class and your application of the knowledge, retention will decline. I think it is impressive this company is doing something about that lack of retention. We have known this information for years, it is innovative to finally do something to allow that knowledge to be retained. I have already signed into the link they gave us to 'study' the materials.

This weekend proves to be a long one, thank God for the Labor Day holiday. I have warned Steve I plan to shop at least one day. I still have gift certificates from my birthday in April I haven't used. Steve and I are taking a little trip in January, so I'll need new clothes. There is a killer shoe sale at Younkers. They put coupons in the paper to get an additional 20% off, I am so there. I am not one to buy a lot of shoes, so mine get beat up pretty bad, I need a couple new pair to replace some that are showing wear.

Shoes are lacking in my closet, but you can't get a slip of paper between all the stuff hanging in there. It is crazy, I have to thin again. I love to buy blouses, I have a ton of them in call colors. Such a wide range of taste, too. I haven't really decided what my personal taste is, I don't think. I can go from flowery to tiger prints in the span of an afternoon. Keeps life interesting, don't you think?

Only thing that could make my weekend better is to see my grandbabies.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Department Photo gone astray

Matt, the guy in front of me moved his head just as we got ready to take the photo. All of us got together for a photo op (required annually). These photos go into the hospital directory. This is the very last one, they just had to get it all out of their systems before we could break up.

The photo has to be redone, the gal taking the picture got so tickled at some of the comments and 'behavior' that she took very blurry pictures! HA, and to think they are all very professional in their jobs!

The woman with her finger up in the air telling us we are all number 1 is our boss!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Halloween Party is coming SOOOOOOOON!

NOTE: I edited the last part of this today, I was too lazy to do a whole new post. I am trying to find time to download photos out of my camera to put on here. Projects are keeping me hopping, I got another area to try out the Facial Recognition software, so that will keep me moving a little faster! GOD! I love this job!

Today I got the email I waited for all year! We will start planning the party at Michelle's house. Michelle is one of my sisters. She has a twin, Michael. In her back yard is a huge outbuilding, one of those metal things farmers put their equipment in. It has electricity, a furnace and a wood burner. WE have all kinds of get togethers in that building. She does a fish fry twice a year. Her husband has an uncle from Alaska that brings back fresh halibut and salmon in huge coolers. They cut it into bite sized pieces, we cook it in a big turkey fryer. The family on both sides comes to the gathering.

Michelle and Jason also have their musical equipment all set up in this building, they sing and play music all night long. Sometimes we go into the wee hours of the morning.

Last year, we did a Halloween party for the kids in all the families. Each child invited their class. I forget how many kids came, but it was close to 100, maybe more! This year the kids are already talking about it and how much fun they had last year. We did games, had food in typical Halloween style, witches fingers, eyeballs, a brain, here is the link. I used most of this gal's ideas last year.

Michelle made this Litter Box Cake:

It looks just like kitty litter. The kids were so disgusted, but they wanted to eat it, too! The link for the recipe is here

We did a brain mold, it was realistic. The kids thought it was fun. :

We left the raspberry jello out of the center that made it look like it was bleeding when you cut it.

There were also hot dogs, maid rites, chips and drinks, but you can imagine the fun they had trying all the 'gross' stuff.

The kids all won prizes for playing games.

Michelle has a little house between her main house and the large outbuilding. We used it to house "Mesmerelda" a fortune teller that had a spooky room all set up with lights and things. The kids loved her the best. She told fortunes, stuff like: "You are going to get a boyfriend/girlfreind this year." Or, "You are going to pass this year," or "You will have a pleasant dream tonight." Pretty predicatable stuff, but the kids LOVED it. One of the girls after she told her she was going to get a boyfriend, she said, "OH, I Hope he's cute!" We laughed over that one.

Here is Mesmerelda:

Her room:

EDIT: want to try this punch!


See why I am so excited to do it again?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Homemade Noodles galore

Today I spent the day with my sisters, Deanne, Brandy, Michelle. Three neices came to help with the noodle making. We made 35# of flour and 10 dozen eggs into noodles for the Whistle Stop days. WE had a good time, everybody was pretty even tempered, nobody got into an argument of any kind (kind of unusual for our group, everybody is so opinionated and strong minded, we survived).

It was a ton of fun to get together. Most of the work was done and all the sisters and neices left around 1:30-2:00. I hung out and finished the task of bagging noodles, cutting and bagging the beef roast, washing all the cookies sheets and re-arranging the freezer to hold the 3 Gal. buckets of broth. We did the laundry, folded it, vaccuumed the area, and then Deanne didn't have to look at any of it again until the event on Sept. 15th. Wish you could have been there. Pictures will most likely be on Tarbender Dee's blog.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

HomeMade Salsa and Tomato Juice

I have spent the last two nights at my sister Deanne's canning salsa and tomato juice. The salsa is just right, not too hot, and not too sweet. I haven't canned since we were first married. I forgot how much better homemade tomato juice tastes in chili and that kind of thing.

There are more tomatoes for me if I want them, so I am thinking I am going to try to make some more juice. First I have to get a couple pieces of equipment. I can't intrude on my sis and her hubby every time I want to make something. They do have an incredible set up to do their canning, big commercial sinks, HOT WATER to get the jars ready, and a juicer that makes you salivate, it cuts the prep time by 3/4 when getting your tomatoes ready to can.

I think it is great her hubby helps her do all the canning. It would take forever if you were out there alone. He helped me last night, they have a definite routine, it goes pretty smooth, and quick. I was quite impressed!

Thanks, Deanne and Mike. I will take pictures of my jars and post, I am so proud!

Monday, August 20, 2007

TOMATOES coming out my ears, my toes, my nose.....AND a BRAG on my Dear friend, AIMEE!

Yesterday I was gifted with some tomatoes from a woman that works in our local Casey's store. She told me she had a ton of them, and to come get them. I wanted to make salsa (Something I never have ever made, but I want some anyway) I had told my little brother Ron this a week ago, he usually brings tomatoes to me, but he didn't. I put it out of my mind, but Deb asked me if I wanted some for Salsa, I jumped right on it. I went down to pick them up, I ended up with a huge rubbermaid container full, a large dishpan and a box. I got a recipe from Dianne (thanks, SIS!) I needed green peppers, jalapenos, and a few other things, incl. jars. Today I came to work, our department gardener brought in a whole box of jalapenos, and green peppers. SCORE! I don't have to buy them now.

After work I am going to get jars, and the other things I need, and start the salsa making process after I get home tonight. I understand it is quite a process. But, I am up for the challenge.

One of my dear bead making friends went to NC to tape a segment for a stained glass show last week. She has been testing some lampworking tools for a man that makes tools. He gave her name to a woman that does a stained glass show, and told her to get Aimee on her show, because he liked her creativity with his tools. Here she is on the set:

This is her with Vickie, I have not seen the show, but I plan on watching it now!

This is Aimee with them taping:

I am not sure how many of you know I do lampworking, it is an ancient art form, glass was melted over a flame to creat beads worn in adornments. They were created by melting glass over a lamp, thus the name lampworking. You can see Aimee's torch on the counter in front of her, it is a surface mix oxygen/propane torch used to make a clean flame that will melt the glass at very high (2000+F) temperatures. The glass is then wound on a metal rod coated in a clay like substance. The bead is then placed in a kiln, controlled to cool the glass very slowly. (A process much the same as 'tempering'.) This stabilizes the glass so it will not shatter. I became addicted the first time I ever saw the process. My husband built a studio on the back of our garage that serves as a studio. All of my lampworking tools/tanks/kiln, etc. are housed in that structure. It allows me a place to do my art, I literally melt away the hours in there. (Pun intended).

This hobby has taken me to ABQ, New Mexico, Portland, Oregon, Tucson, Az., Phoenix, AZ., Louisville, KY., as well as provided me with an income to support the hobby. I have enjoyed doing it, along with making many new friends along the way.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

School Supply Drive We Kicked REAR!

Our department's donation for last year was good, this year it was $1833.18. We won! Although I understand it is not official, it hasn't been announced housewide. We'll be in the newspaper that goes around the hospital. The teacher was so excited to see the stuff we brought, we had a huge box full of book bags (their number one most needed item each year, total of 30). We donated 130 notebooks, and 125 boxes of crayons. 40 pencil boxes, which she said she needed desperately for the kids in isolation. (Karen got them on clearance for a dime) She bought 2 cases.

Leslie, who lives in Malvern, and was a neighbor of ours for about 13 years read my blog. She took her kids to the stores, allowing them to pick out school supplies to donate. She got some great things, the one the teacher liked the most was the tinkerbell metal box, complete with a cute little beaded handle, the scented orange boxes with a little handle in the back molded in for easy grasping, the sequined pencil pouches, and her pencil boxes. They were especially thrilled to get the 2 pocket folder with team logos on them, they have older kids they care for in Peds. We sometimes forget them, we get so cuaght up in buying the cute things for the littler children. The pencils Leslie got were adorable, they had little heads on them. The teacher said they use them for motivational prizes. All in all, we had 3 people to take the items up the hill. WE had a large cart loaded with stuff, one person taht carried the big box of book bags, and one carried the boxes of pencil boxes.

When we approached the desk to deliver the items, the people all shouted and clapped their hands. They were worried our department wasn't going to 'show' this year. (We have now built up a reputation. Who would have guessed?) Anyway, they all shouted that IT was here, so the people came out of all their cubes to look everything over. They couldn't believe the things we had on the cart. Balls, rattles, educational games, flash cards, workbooks, color books. It was so much fun, gave you a warm fuzzy feeling for doing such a good deed.

Here's a picture of my dear friend Kim, she works in my department. She and I are good buddies. We do the donations at Christmastime together. We take them to the Ronald McDonald house. It is also fun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hump Day!

Got back to work yesterday, hit the floor running. I have a new project due to go-live in October. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be a project manager. Didn't even know what they were until I became one. My performance review was yesterday, apparently I am doing a great job. (I don't feel very confident about that, since I don't feel like I know what I am doing.) At least in nursing, I knew what to do and where to find information if I needed it. This is a whole different animal. I have a great mentor in my boss, she is just amazing. The hospital has utilized her talents for approximately 10 years, she blazed the trail in the organization. I am very fortunate to have her as my boss. She doesn't read this blog, so don't think I am sucking up.

Isaac has been turning wands on the wood lathe. The Harry Potter phenomenon has caused a huge need/want for this type of thing. They are really pretty neat. He charges $4/$5 each for them. He has researched them on the internet to gain an understanding of the type wood to use, as well as length. They are anywhere from 11 1/2"-13 1/2" long. I didn't like him making them at first, but I have to admit, they are pretty neat. I'll have to get some pictures to post. He's going to sell them at the local craft show in Oct. or Nov. I don't remember when it is.

Going to a wedding this weekend at the Castle Unicorn, the reception is held there, also. I have never been there, haven't even gotten a wedding gift for the bride and groom. I better get hopping, I think. The girl didn't register at very many places, and only for about 5-10 items. She has invited 250 guests, it amazes me that the brides never register for anything, then the guests are left to their own devices. I wouldn't want to get a purple yard gnome, a tiger striped shower curtain, or whatever. Many people are clueless about gift giving. I would be more specific, but that is just me, I've gotten very anal over the years. Drives Steve insane.

Only 2 months and the grandbabies are coming to visit. Noah's birthday will be around that time. I can hardly wait to see them again.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Anniversary Surprise

Steve called me at work on Friday, told me to go pick up a rental car, leave my car and come on home. I did, we went to see the grandbabies for our anniversary. I couldn't believe it, he didn't indicate all week that he was taking me there. He didn't call Karen or Bryan to tell them we were coming. (Just in case something happened and we cancelled the trip.

Saturday night when we were sitting around visiting after dinner, the kids were playing, they had various things on their heads for hats. They would turn around and ask us "What do I look like? We had a variety of funny things to tell them, they'd giggle and then go find something else to put on their heads. One thing lead to another, we all had to have 'something' on our heads. I got the soccer ball halloweeen bag, Steve got the lid to the drum Noah had on his head, Olivia had a Thomas the Train sand pail on her head, and they stuck a hockey puck on Karen's head. We laughed so hard at each other. Bryan walked in the door after a long day at work to see us all in our "GLORY". He decided it was a Kodak moment:

Noah and Olivia love the crocs shoes. They wear them everywhere. Mostly because they can slip them on and be out the door in a flash. Since the have been little, I always get them some kind of socks when I come to see them. This time I found Spiderman socks for Noah, but was unable to find any socks for Olivia.(These are not easy to find, I tell ya.) He immediately put his on along with his Crocs, and 'posed' for us:

Isaac gives the kids gifts that he hopes they will cherish, as well as remember him by when he is not in their presence. Olivia kept telling me when I visited in July that she wanted a cupcake. I would look and look, but never found any, I was looking in the wrong place, I thought they'd be in the cupboard. Well, this little brown dog Isaac got her is 'Cupcake.":

I also took the kids an orange and purple bag to put their swimsuits in when they go to the waterpark, Noah put his on his head, slipped his arms thru the handles, put his orange crocks on his hands, then would run around chasing Olivia growling and telling her he was a "monster". He woult then whip the bag off his head and tell her it is only "ME" Owivia. She would sigh with relief and say "OH, it's only Noah, Grandma". It was so cute, you can see thru the bag, but she got nervous anyway. They are toooooo fun to watch:

We had a great time, unfortunately, we had to come home early, it would have been fun to have one more day, but we couldn't. I wish they lived closer, but God has a plan for them, it doesn't include a move home any day soon, I don't think.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

32 Years ago today

I changed my life forever. I married Steve, I couldn't believe my good fortune, he was everything to me, and still is, I find him more amazing each day. He is polite, thoughtful, sweet, considerate and patient. Today I got into my car to find a card from him, he manages to always find a card that says what he wants to say, but in a way that he could never put into words. Does that make sense?

When we got married, the event was made even more special by my friend Karen, she drove in from Denver to be my maid of honor. I have never met a kinder, sweeter person. I only wish we could keep in closer contact. She is such a great gal, I named our first born after her.

We're goign to the Iowa State Fair this weekend, we tried to think of something to do to celebrate, but we both wanted to go to the fair, we haven't been in about 3 years. This will give us a good excuse.

Today the temperatures are headed back up into the 90's, it will be 100 on Sunday while we are walking all over the State Fair Grounds in Des Moines.

Here's some pictures of the grandbabies. I miss them so much!
Noah didn't mind the bug, or bugs at all, he looked it all over before turning it loose:

Olivia is our little spicy pants, she is busy as ever, all the time:

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Happy Birthday STEVE!

Last night we celebrated Steve's birthday. After a hair appt. (I got highlights) I got home later than usual. Steve's dad had already been by, Steve's brother showed up around 8:30, we had cake and great conversation. They left around 10, saw the news and off to bed, short night.

Not much else going on, we finally have some rain and cool weather, with a nice breeze. I love weather like this after it has been scorching hot for weeks. Wish it were the weekend, it would be great weather to be in the studio torching.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Grandma Quote for Aug. 6th

"I'm at an age my back goes out more than I do." Phyllis Diller

"I was grown up at 10 and first started to grow young at forty." Madge Kendall

"Age is a matter of feelig, not of years." George William Curtis

"Grandmothers just let us be ourselves; and the thing is, when we are ourselves it's when we are at our best." Oliver Kent

"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook." William Jones

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Little Brother Mikey

When I was 15 my mother delivered twins, Michael and Michelle. I thought they were the bees knees. When I wasn't working in her restaurant, I was helping take care of the two babies. They were happy, sweet little things. Michael spent most of his first year in the crook of my leg. I would sit with me legs crossed, Mike would be in the crook of my leg, I would talk to him and make faces. Cooing at him, I totally adored the two. It is no wonder I still love and adore Mike and Michelle. They bonded to me like I was a parent. I had a hard time getting married and leaving home without them. Steve and I would go see them often after we married. I took lots of pictures of them. We would take them out for littel trips, it was so much fun.

I have a picture I blog-swiped from little sister Wendy of Mike's little boy Justin. We call him "MR." HE didn't want to talk for quite a while, they got him to see a speech therapist that determined he COULD talk, he just didn't want to. Now he won't be still. Here he is when Mike's twin told him to say "CHEESE"

He is a funny little man, he has to get to know you before he will say anything or even come greet you. I finally got him to where he will come see me when there is a family gathering. He is so dang cute!

I hate that he is so allergic to peanuts. He has had a few very close calls. It is so scary, there is peanut oil in so many products that you would never think about unless you read the label.

WOWZER, it is HOT!!!

This morning we got up to get to the coffee shop early so we could beat the heat.

It's Steve's birthday on Tuesday, I ask him for 6 weeks prior what he wants, and I always hear 'nothing.' Well, today he woke up and told me he can't stop the pain in his feet anymore, so he thought he needed to get his workboots replaced. After he showed me the inside of them, the back is pushed down, the sole is thin, the inside is wearing out, ummmm, ya think? Steve is a diabetic, their feet are the number one thing they have to watch and worry about. Lord, I wanna smack him sometimes. (LOve him too much or I would) But anyway, keeping a decent pair of shoes on his feet is key to a healthy lifestyle. His feet hurt anyway because he has neuropathy, he can't let his shoes cause him problems. I don't know why he does this, he worries about the cost. HELLOOOOOOOO, a major hospitilization from causing him foot problems is a lot more expensive. So, off to Bass Pro we went to get him a pair of boots. I love that place, at first I thought it was kind of boring. I changed my mind when I found the area where they keep the bird feeders, and the GPS's and they have all kinds of cool friers and things. Not to mention the field glasses for watching birds. (I know, I'm a DORK)

When we got done, we went to Wal-Mart for groceries. I wish I had known it was tax free day, the place was a bigger zoo than usual. I felt like I had been violated by the time I got out of there. UGH! But we did get home in time to get all the groceries put away, and then I have been cleaning. I wish that they would make self cleaning houses. That little vaccuum thing is kind of cool. Have you seen it? It will do the vaccuuming for you.

They are called Roomba's. I saw one working in Virginia Beach in a bead store, the man said he and his wife loved it, the thing would vaccuum each day at the same time, leaving them free to stock, do books, or wait on customers. It is also quiet. It seems to run in a random pattern around the room. However, the internal sensors pick out the dirtiest areas first and do eventually get the entire room. Is knows when the battery is low, so it will go back to the charging station to recharge, then finish the room. When they bump into things, they automatically back up and continue on their merry way. They are quite pricey, I'd love to have one, though. As all things that are fairly new, the price will eventually come down to a level where I think the cost is doable. Until then, I drag out my noisy vaccuum and do it myself.

My sister in law had to attend a funeral today, it was to be her SISTER breakfast day, but she had to cancel, which is a bummer, cuz they are so fun. All 5 of my blood sisters and our sister-in-law go to Deanne's house, open the gifts, have a cup of coffee and great conversation, then we go to the city to eat at a restaurant of the birthday girl's choice. It is fun. The other two sister in laws used to go, but they stopped, so it all of us and one sis in law.

Isaac worked, I haven't heard from Karen today, and Steve is napping. Not much going on here, too hot to do much. Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 3, 2007

School Supply Drive

Each year at work we always do a school supply drive for the "Too Cool School" inside the hospital. The supplies are donated to this school so that children that are terminally ill or chronically ill will not fall behind in their studies. My department has won this drive 2 out of 3 years.

My friend Kim and I are the two that collect money, keep track of the supplies, tally the total at the end, then drag it all the way up the hill from Leavenworth St. to the main hospital. Last year we collected $1300 in supplies. When it is all done, if we win our entire department will receive an ice cream social. It's a ton of fun to see the absolute delight on grown people's faces when they are making ice cream sundaes in that meeting! Each year it is about winning for me, I am ferocious about it! I want to win each year! I love that wal-mart sells the notebooks for $.10, Office Depot has crayons, compas' and glue for a penny right now, there is a limit of 3 per person, but it gives me great satisfaction to get the stuff knowing it makes the kids so happy.

The number one need each year is back packs. Last year we had 18, this year we only have 11, so there is a huge push right now to get at least 7 more to hit last year's number. I love it. We'll make our goal if I have to buy things myself to get our numbers up. We even buy for pre-school age and early learning, so they want rattles, mirrors, baby grooming brushes, etc. Nothing can be used, it all has to be new. Today we found $.50 rattles at Wal-Mart that were very neat.

Hey, Leslie, don't sweat it, sometimes I take things the wrong way, I appreciate that you came here to at least explain. I grow weary of people telling me Malvern is wonderful when I have had many unpleasant experiences with the town and people in the town. Some people judge me on things that I have not done, but things that people in my family have done.

Yes, Karen is old enough to have children, they are really neat, she is a wonderful mother!