Thursday, September 30, 2010

A sweet favor

I have a love/hate relationship with shower and wedding favors.

I love searching for or creating favors for a small group and love it when they are something the guests will truly enjoy. The problem is that showers and wedding receptions are seldom small groups. Making or buying a dozen items for friends whose taste and personalities you know well is very different from doing this for 50 shower guests or 200 wedding guests.

While I truly believe the guests should treat the items as a gift and accept them graciously, there was point in my life where I had been a guest many times in a two year period and I thought that if I received one more silver tone photo frame that would hold a wallet sized photo or another votive candle, I might possibly scream. What I did instead was smile, say thank you, and collect the frames in a drawer until I could find someone who might enjoy one, two or six of them. "Who doesn't like candles?" is a common thought, but I have a husband who is more than a little antsy about unattended candles, even votives in appropriate holders. I do use gifted votives, but not as readily as most women, and let's not forget that there is a scent issue. You may love citrus scents while your best friend nearly gags over anything but vanilla.

When did it become expected that every guest at a shower receive something? And worse, when did that become the norm at wedding receptions? Remember when a Jordan almonds tied into a piece of netting or in a paper cup was the only thing at each place setting? As a guest, I feel bad when I don't want the favor. Someone spent a lot of money and time on favors, money that likely could have been used for the bride, the bridal couple or any other guest of honor. Years ago, Bill and I went to a wedding reception where everyone was expected to take home champagne flutes. We don't drink champagne but I nonetheless have 8 very pretty flutes at home that are used when the occasion calls for it. Having two plain ones from this wedding would mean nothing to me except a burden as to where to put them. I have more glasses than any sane woman needs but that is another story. While this was a nice gesture on the parents' part at that wedding, many must have felt as I did, or simply forgot to take them home as there were dozens of glasses left behind at the end of the reception.

So, with a family wedding coming up in just over a week, what will be on the tables at the reception? My friend's son and daughter-in-law had these favors 9 years ago at their wedding and here is our version:
If it isn't clear, those are two Hershey Kisses on a spoon and the tag reads A Spoonful of Kisses from the Mr and Mrs. The red matches the bridesmaids' dresses.

Prior to the wedding, the rehearsal dinner will have a Hershey bar at each place setting with this wrapper:
 I found the template online and tweaked the wording and colors. Some things could not be changed using this template, but I am going to play around with it and see what I can do for other occasions. This is my idea of fun. Photobucket

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Getting closer to the big day!

It is now less than two weeks to the wedding. Showers have been held, more payments have been made, dresses have been picked up after alterations and tuxes have been ordered. All is going well but we haven't tackled the seating chart yet...yikes!

I think the worst of my cold is past and the healthy family members (extended family included) still seem healthy as the three of us with the crud continue to improve. With a few minutes to myself this morning, I probably could have made better use of my time than changing the blog background but that is what I did anyway. I'm already having mixed feelings. I like it, but I can't customize colors or change the font in the title. If I have time in a few days and feel twitchy, this could all change again. PhotobucketThere are a lot of missing photos in older posts due to housecleaning of my Photobucket account. I had reached the limit on free image hosting. Oops! Photobucket

My son the groom had wanted to enlarge an old photo of him and his brother, taken on a camping trip when they were roughly 6 and 4 years old. The original photo and negative is missing. Enlarging a small copy did not work so I attempted to recreate the feel of the photo in watercolors. The groom is happy and wants one for himself. I am going to see about having this copied rather than trying to paint it again. I just hope his brother, the best man, is happy with it too.
My sporadic posts and visits to your blogs should all improve in a few weeks. Best wishes for a happy end of September to everyone!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flat tire

I had a flat tire yesterday, so I got out of the car and opened the trunk.

I took out my cardboard men, unfolded them and stood them at the rear of  my car facing oncoming traffic. They look so life like you wouldn't believe it!  They are  exposing their nude bodies to the approaching drivers. 

Cars start slowing down looking at my lifelike men which made it safer for me to work at the side of the road. 

Traffic starts backing up. Everybody is honking their horns and waving like crazy. It wasn't long before a state trooper pulled up behind me.

'What's going on here?' 

'My car has a flat tire,' I said calmly. 

'Well, what are those obscene cardboard men doing here by the road?' 

I couldn't believe that he didn't know.. So I told him, 

'Helloooooo, those are my Emergency Flashers.'

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Old Rock Stars

Can you relate? I can, especially today. My bones and all the other parts are a year older today. Have a cupcake on me today. They're all calorie free.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Humorous Quotes

 Today's post is rated M for mature audiences. I hope at least one quote brings a smile to your face. 

And possibly the best for last...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Truths for Mature Humans

As I sit here pondering the big things in why is it so hard for someone to fill out a stamped, addressed RSVP and get it back in the mail....and wondering if I am going to get everything that needs to be done by Friday done by Friday, and will I meet next weekend's deadlines, and the rehearsal dinner deadlines, and oh yeah...the wedding too....and will my thoughts ever be clear and concise again (what do you mean they never were?!!) or am I doomed to run on sentences forever..

* taking a breath *

I am missing blog land but don't seem to have much time to write or visit lately. Plus I have a cold or fall allergies or stress that I simply choose to call "the crud".  God love my friends with a sense of humor. They are unknowingly keeping my batteries charged in their funny emails and forum postings which I am shamelessly sharing with you today and the next few days.

Truths For Mature Humans
1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired. 

10. Bad decisions make good stories.
11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day..
12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to. 
14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well. 
16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option. 
18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said? 

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!
24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974.That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.
Ladies.....Quit Laughing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

I haven't had children in school for a long time, but the time of year when kids return to school still signals a change in activity level at our house. With anniversaries and birthdays in our household and among extended family, September has become a very marked up month on the calendar. This year we have the added excitement of a wedding next month with bridal showers these next few weeks and appointments for tuxedo fittings for Bill, dress alterations for me, and deadlines to pay for some of the services related to the wedding. Extra arms would be helpful right about now.
Despite the hectic days, I couldn't NOT work on crafts but I did manage to tie some of them into wedding related things.

First we have an invitation to the rehearsal dinner:
The first pack of scalloped cards went through the printer without a problem. The second pack jammed the printer and since then I haven't been able to print anything on 4x6 paper. I printed the info in a word document as a table, added the red border, cut them out and adhered them to the scalloped page. I have a paper punch that cuts out two slits for this narrow ribbon. It works easily on light weight paper, but took a bit of muscle to go through the heavier white cardstock. Good thing carrying Colton around has built up my strength!

This cross stitch wedding sampler will be one of Kim's shower gifts.
Not the best job cropping this photo and having the frame look right, but it was the best view without glare from the glass. The word LOVE was done first in light gray, then outlined in a shade darker. The swirls are two shades of a peachy pink and the border is done in a half cross stitch with three strands. Most of the rest of the sampler is done with a single strand. Along the inner border are two rows of an outline stitch, one thread light gray, one a metallic silver. They are done one row apart and don't show up here, but look nice. The double mat and a frame were available from The Stitchery, but the frame came without glass so I changed frames. I used my own floss so the coloring is a bit different than what is shown at that site, should you go look at it there.

And finally, my socks are done!
I hope to get to a few blogs today to read and reply. I am way behind in visiting and missing reading what everyone has been doing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Three and a half decades!

Bill and I celebrated our 35th anniversary yesterday. Holy cow! My card to him said that if I hadn't found him, I'd probably be driving someone else nuts now. Outwardly romantic? No, but he knows what I mean. I often ask him if I'm driving him crazy yet. Sometimes he even listens and answers. Photobucket

I can honestly say that our marriage hasn't taken much work, but I certainly acknowledge that sometimes a relationship does require attention and it is sad that some people will put so much into careers, hobbies and children yet not give much effort to their marriage. One person can't do the work alone, nor can they force change on their partner. Bill and I have been lucky to share pretty much the same outlook and goals so it has been easier for us than some. The hard times we've faced have been from the outside world, or things just plain out of our mortal hands. Weathering them together strengthened our bond.

We're such comfortable old folks right now, we didn't do anything special to commemorate this event. We went to the cottage, the kids visited and we had an enjoyable weekend. The table held yellow roses from Bill, predictable but sweet.
The rest of this week promises to be busy, yet again. Who told me retirement was going to be about sleeping in and throwing away clocks? Liars! But today is Labor Day and I am not laboring.

If you need help figuring out what to do today that isn't labor, I have a book and a knitting pattern to recommend.
The book is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It seems to be on display everywhere. I bought my copy at Target and am glad I didn't wait for the long reserve line at the public library. Click here to read about it Amazon.

If you knit and have an infant to 4 year old in your life, the September issue of Creative Knitting magazine has an easy hat on page 54. It calls for DK weight yarn, and the hat is worked using 2 strands throughout. The ties on the hat I made for Colton are knitted I-cord rather than twisted cord as given in the directions. I used a washable acrylic yarn, Patons' Astra in Copen Blue.
You're on your own finding a cutie patootie to model your finished creation. Photobucket

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sufferin' succotash....the Spanx story

 Remember the cartoon character who said Sufferin' succotash in such an exasperated manner? That could have been me yesterday....

Just wait until I see Dr O, the woman I thought was my friend.

"Try Spanx" she said, "You'll love them!"

"I wear them all the time" said Jennifer, her assistant.

I told them about the time I tried a less expensive brand. I wrote about it here.  Oh no, they assured me, Spanx are the real deal and make a world of difference. I believed them and bought a pair.

They both said putting them on the first time is a bit difficult, but once on, they're great. There is an opening in the crotch so you don't have to get completely undressed when you need to tinkle.

I ordered a pair and decided to try them today. Maybe they would push up all the extra poundage and I would need a G cup when I went to the bra fitting today! (For those that know me, this is beyond a hilarious thought or image!)

I waited until I was completely dry from showering. Because the Spanx are returnable if I am not 100% satisfied, I thought I would try them today over cotton panties.

Remembering Dr O's advice, I waited until after nature's other call had been answered before I attempted to shimmy into this contraption.

At 11:30 AM I took the Spanx out of the box. Uh-oh, they've sent the wrong size! These were meant for Barbie, right? Hmm, the tag reads the same as what I ordered and they do stretch...

At 11:35 I've read everything on the box and packing slip. None of the info pertains to getting into the garment. I took off my right hand ring and hoped my fingernails wouldn't go through the garment while tugging.

11:40  My left leg is in the Spanx up to my knee and I attempt to put my right leg in the other opening. I cannot stand and do this. I sit down and find that my foot is entirely too long to go easily into the garment at that angle. I lower the Spanx already on my left leg and roll the right side to make it easier to get into. Ha!
11:50  It occurs to me WHY Dr O has recommended these things. She is a chiropractor! I am now a human pretzel, complete with salt. Despite air conditioning, I've broken into a sweat.

11:55  Both legs are now in and my knees are touching. They've never touched quite like this before. My legs look like this:  )( 

11:58  Should I try to pee again before I get any further?

11:59  I can't walk like this so scratch that idea.

12:00  First attempt to pull the Spanx up further. Oh sure, they stretch and I can almost get the waistband (actually meant to go higher and stop just under my bra) to my waist, but the crotch is still 1/4 inch from my knees.

12:05 - 12:20  Multiple attempts at rearranging me, rearranging the Spanx, wiping sweat away, pinning up my hair and swearing at the happy people on the box.

12:25  Looking at the amount of me blossoming above constricting waistband, I wonder if I will have red or purple marks for a day, a week or a month where progress has stalled.

12:30 Consider going downstairs from some Crisco, WD-40 or at least ice (both to reduce mid-section swelling and to cool off)

12:35 Suck in everything suck-able, do the old heave-ho number and pull as if your life depends on it and voila! .... the Spanx are almost in place. Kinda. Sorta.  The crotch is still too low, the waistband still isn't where it should be, but most of my jiggle is confined.

12:40  Stretch, finger walk, tug, and plea bargain with God to get the crotch and waistband into place.

12:45 Stop and look in the mirror. Hey! Not bad!   I can't get the back "waist band" up high enough because I am not a contortionist. Ponder asking Bill (who isn't home now, but for next time) and wonder how much laughter I would have to endure.

12:48 As I am standing there thinking Dr O and Jennifer are right, that they really aren't uncomfortable, the band begins to roll on my right side. No! I pull it back into place and while doing so the left side rolls.

I decide to go to the bra fitting in them anyway and ask the lady there what she thinks. I take a shopping bag to put the Spanx in if I decide to remove them at the store.

1:00 Good grief, that took a long time. I am hungry. I'd better not eat yet though. If I drink, I'll have to pee. There may be an opening in the crotch, but remember,  I have cotton panties on underneath all of this.

1:05  I grab my keys and head to my car.

1:06  Oh my gosh, this thing makes you sit up STRAIGHT. My hair is hitting the lining of my car roof. The seat is all the way back. If I decide to wear Spanx often, I am going to need a new car!

1:20  Arrive at bra store and tell the woman what I am wearing and why before we even get into the fitting room. She says "Oh yeah, people tell me that all the time about Spanx".
1:30 After bringing in the first few bras to try on, she looks at me and says "no wonder you have trouble with bras that have a band under the cups and with those Spanx, you are very short waisted".

1:31  I begin to cry. I remove the Spanx. Store owner pats me on the shoulder, hands me a kleenex and takes me to McDonald's for a Big Mac, fries and a super size shake.

McDonald's was out of napkins so we wiped up our spill with the Spanx.