Saturday, March 31, 2012

How closely do you watch TV?

Our younger son is a student of films. He watches TV and especially movies on a different level than hubby and I do. Some of his observations have rubbed off on us. Often we catch mistakes or sometimes a clue as to what will happen later. The random item that seems our of place is probably in the scene for a reason.

Yesterday's weather was gloomy at best, rainy (complete with occasional hail and slush) at worst. We were home almost the entire day and the TV was on most of the time. Hubby caught a few mistakes in movies and programs, such as 7 shots being fired into a paper target yet the target revealed a happy face made of eight bullet holes.

I usually watch TV while doing something else so it rarely has my full attention unless something grabs me. The bullet discrepancy probably would not have caught my eye. Last night I was watching CSI New York while knitting. * Stop reading if you DVR'd it and plan to watch it later so that I don't reveal a spoiler. * 

Okay to continue now?

The police used measurements of the crime scene to determine that the killer was 6'1" and presumably male. The obvious suspect certainly fit that description which of course made him innocent in episodic TV. (Hear that son? I pay attention to what you've been saying!)

Analyzing footprints had them eliminating all but two sets of prints of mens' shoes. A pair of prints left by a woman wearing heels was thought to have been left by someone earlier in the day until it is revealed that trace evidence on the victim had to have come from one of three female coworkers. Aha!

One of the investigators bemoans the fact that the evidence isn't adding up. They have size 7 women's shoe prints but the killer was 6'1" and none of the three women are that tall. "Unless" say the two female investigators in unison "she was wearing heels".

Have you caught what I caught?

I am 5'7" tall and wear a 9.5 shoe. My tallest niece is 5'10" and wears an 11. Even if the killer was wearing 5" heels (and walking around in the cold in NY?) that would make her 5'8" without heels. The likelihood of a woman of that height wearing a size 7 shoe is pretty small.

I can't wait to call my son today and talk to him about this. Have I mentioned that it doesn't take much to amuse me?

Friday, March 30, 2012

A pan, a pen, a pin and a pun

Nothing like a little alliteration on a Friday morning, especially done in alphabetical order.

Did you go back and check?
A pan: Symbolic of a meal plan. I am always happy when I know what I am going to fix for dinner. Odd that in retirement, meal planning is harder than when the boys were young or when I worked. Having the day to ourselves and calling our time flexible means that sometimes we find ourselves away from home when dinner should be started. Or maybe we're eating with one or both of the boys and family. Or maybe we were out running errands and had a late, big lunch and the planned dinner is just too much, too soon. I plan, very loosely, and shop for a few days at a time. I know what tonight's dinner will be. I think. If nobody calls.
A pen: Why do so many of us have pens near the phone that don't work? Scribble, scribble, won't write. We toss it aside and grab another one to write down the phone number, name or date that is important. And the offending pen? How many times to we put it back in the cup or tray? I have a set of pens that handle beautifully. The ink just glides across the paper. The problem is the ink takes forever to dry and if the written word gets wet later, it smears. Horribly. A grocery list in the rain weeps and bleeds right off the page.
A pin: I just finished reading the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy called, big surprise...., The Hunger Games.  The cover illustration is a pin that the heroine wears. I avoided this book for a long time with a preconceived idea that I wouldn't like it because it was too violent and too sci-fi for my liking. It was neither. It was a very quick read that I hated to put down because I really wanted to see what was going to happen next. There is violence that is germane to the story (as opposed to gratuitous violence so often thrown into movies) but it is not so graphically described that it lingers in your mind. The sci-fi qualities are easy enough to follow and does not create a layer of confusion. It isn't a world of alien creatures, just one with occurrences and inventions that we don't have. Not yet anyway. I really liked the book and have started the second book in the series.
A pun: Boy, do I love puns. I go in streaks of posting one a day on Facebook and smile thinking of my friends groaning aloud as they read them. Need some examples?
    • What do you call committed bachelors? Heartful Dodgers.
    • I kept failing to get a job as a butcher because I couldn't just make the cut.
    • The trailer for the movie was produced without a hitch!
    • My dog was mustard-colored. That made him a Gulden Retriever.
    • At the petting zoo I saw a sheep scratching itself. Turns out it had fleece.
     I'll stop now.  Happy Friday everyone.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    Are you feeling fashionable?

    I like clothes, shoes and accessories but I don't know that I have been fashionable for years, if ever. If I had worried about this, I probably would have more gray hair than I have now and surely would be covering up those grays because a stylist said I should.

    According to someone on one national morning show, floral pants are big and everyone can and should be wearing them. I think you should wear whatever you like but really, if you want my opinion, not every thing works on every body. Let's start with the first pair of models in this clip:

    Personally, I think the bold print and tight cut makes the first model look larger than she probably is. Since appearing heavier isn't something most of us are aiming for, I think a straight cut fabric in slacks rather than leggings and perhaps not such a high contrast print would be more flattering. I think the slimmer model looks ok for schlepping around home but don't find her top and cardigan all that flattering.

    The next pair of models in the clip are wearing tribal prints. I wonder if the large floral print on the first model would look better in sheer, flowing palazzo pants. Sheer fabric tones down the contrast of colors and a loose cut wouldn't be hugging her thighs.

    Is there anything wrong with her wearing the first pair of pants? Of course not! While I am airing my opinions here, I would never presume to tell anyone what to wear. That is precisely what bugs me about most fashion segments on TV. A woman who has never been over a size 4, or one who has never been under a size 14 aren't likely to understand the feelings and fit problems of women in other size ranges. Same thing with clothing budgets. When someone says a top is only $249 and such an investment, I wonder if they're just saying what they are paid to say or have they never had to juggle mortgage, orthodontia, and car payments along with utilities, keeping the car fueled and oh yeah....groceries.

    Will I be wearing floral pants this season? Probably not, but I do have two floral dresses that make me feel good. Half of carrying off a look is how you see yourself. If you think you look good, you send out a vibe that others pick up on that is positive. I wear makeup and jewelry every day because I like how I feel wearing them. It isn't for the public, I do this even if I don't leave the house.

    Another morning show discussed the return of jumpsuits. Oh boy! {said sarcastically}
    Who is old enough to remember them from the 70s? I had some and loved them. I also loved hip huggers and bodysuits. Remember bodysuits with snap crotches for when nature called?
    The closest thing I've tried to a bodysuit in recent years was Spanx. They didn't have a snap crotch, they had a cross over opening. Getting them on came close to killing me. Read about that Here.

    Even without extra weight on my frame, I think I am too old for anything resembling a bodysuit or a jumpsuit. It isn't about my chronological age or silly rules like not having long hair past a certain age or wearing white after Labor Day. It is about practical issues. When I have to go, I have to GO....if you know what I mean. I'm not in need of pills or disposable protection, but the mechanics of bodysuits or jumpsuits might cause an embarrassing situation. At the very least, either would give me uncomfortable, worrisome moments.

    Some things are best left to the young or in my past. Even if I can't wear a jumpsuit, I can still strike this pose (I believe I was saying Ta-Dah for some reason, circa 1976) and this very pose could be helpful to any of you who need someone to hold the ladies' room door(s) open in your hurry to unbutton and unsnap your way to urgent relief.
    It is time for me to wrap this up and go make a $249 investment in groceries and gas. Aren't those prices getting depressing? I need to comb my hair before I go. I already have makeup and jewelry on as mentioned above, but for the public I need one more thing. Clothes! No wonder I was getting chilly sitting here typing! My refusal to wear bodysuits or jumpsuits had me sitting here....oh never mind.
    Anyone want me to pick up some bleach while I'm out to wash that image out of your mind?

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    Three bracelets

    Stringing simple beads for a bracelet is nothing challenging but sometimes I just need a quick project for instant gratification. Not to mention needing more bracelets.

    * Ahem *

    I think the pink one will stay as it is. The black and yellow one will be redone after I find something that I like better to go between the yellow beads and the round black ones. The small and medium crystals that are filling in currently to make the bracelet long enough to wear are black but just not "doing it" for me. I'll figure something out on my next trip to the bead store.

    The bracelet on the lower left is a stretch bracelet made of felted balls with seed beads attached. These were sold as trim in packets at a craft store. I tried spacers between the balls but decided I liked this look best. It may not be worn often as I don't know how well it will hold up, but was very inexpensive and will be fun to wear when I go to my knitting group.
    If a gal is going to have balls, they should be cute and colorful, don't you agree?
    Did I just hear a gasp? A groan? C'mon people, surely you aren't surprised!

    Friday, March 23, 2012

    Quilt made, stash reduced just a bit

    I seemed to have spent years acquiring fabric, yarn and other craft supplies based on the notion that these commodities might halt production and then whatever would I do with my free time? I’ve pared stashes down over the last few years, making some things, donating some supplies and tossing out a few things that just needed tossing.

    When my sewing buddy and I used to go on an annual quilt shop hop here in SE Michigan (anywhere from 5-8 stores are involved in the annual Michigan Stash Dash), I was always drawn to baby and toddler quilts. I like the colors, especially the bright ones, and whimsical prints appeal to me. Once I was a purist about selecting my own fabric, cutting and piecing it and hand quilting it so that I could truthfully call it a handmade quilt. Then I found a printed panel for an “Eye Spy” quilt that I absolutely loved. I bought it, made it as a gift, and went back to buy 3 more panels. I still have one here to make up for Colton. He doesn’t need another blanket, but playing Eye Spy with it will be fun.

    On one of the trips I saw this fabric and thought it might become the backing for the other panels. When my son asked me about making something for a co-worker’s baby, I decided to use this to make an easy quilt. The baby is a boy so the race car fabric (purchased for something else that never was made) is appropriate. What I like about a busy backing fabric is that the print hides some less than perfect stitching that might occur. quiltI took the easy way out on this. I ran straight stitching following the lines of the hexagons, the green border stripe and the red banner with the words. The binding is a purchased binding also applied by machine. In this case, I think it worked just fine.quilt back Normally I take more time on a project like this, and likewise, my son would give me more of a heads up when asking for this kind of favor but the employees in charge put this together at nearly the last minute. Collecting money and shopping for baby gifts doesn’t take as long as making something. Money is really tight for my son right now and he knew I am trying to downsize my stash so this worked out to both our benefits.

    I played with stamps, colored pencils and ribbon to make a gift card for the event
    card front
    Card back
    A recycled gift bag takes one more thing out of my closet. Now if I could keep up this momentum and avoid bringing anything new into the house, I’d really be getting somewhere!

    On a serious note for a moment, I don’t know that I’ve ever asked for prayers, good vibes, and/or anything else positive in your belief systems, but I am asking for something today and apologize for being vague about this. All I feel comfortable saying at the moment is that it is that someone close to me needs a turn in their luck and encouragement. This person knows as I do, that luck doesn’t happen without you doing the work towards your goal, so neither of us is unrealistic. I believe that God knows what is in all of our hearts and what our needs are, but I also believe in the power of prayer. Asking for a little light to shine on both the person and their need would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks. I will explain more when I feel that I can.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    The never ending afghan

    Thank goodness we’ve had a mild winter with unseasonably warm weather the last month since I’ve been home from our two winter vacations. Not because I can’t function in cold weather (although I do pretend that is the case if it gets me out of doing something unsavory), but because my younger son didn’t actually need his birthday gift back in mid January. afghan 1 The poor neglected baby didn’t have his parents home on his birthday. We were gallivanting through the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii while said goodbye to 31 and hello to 32. I really need to work on him and his brother (who is older by 22 months) to start lying about their ages. I can’t possibly have children that old!

    Billy, the birthday boy, painted his living room last year and hinted that a new afghan would be nice. When he saw a picture of this afghan in these exact colors, he declared this one perfect…if it wouldn’t be too much trouble. afghan 2 Do you crochet? I do, but I don’t like doing miles of single crochet, especially in ripples. I made too many ripple afghans back in the 70’s and am still burnt out, but I couldn’t say no. The afghan is 235 stitches wide. There are 10 plain single crochets to the hills and valleys with either 3 stitches in next stitch to form a peak or two skipped stitches at the bottom to form the gulley.

    Normally I like a mindless project to work on while TV. This wasn’t mindless, it was mind numbing! I’m not really bashing crochet, this is just my personal angst after all those ripples done years ago. I could have knit this, but one “live” stitch on a crochet hook is easier that 235 of them on knitting needles, especially when you’re working and then quickly hiding the project when the recipient pops in unexpectedly. This was originally going to be a surprise gift while we were gone. It was a surprise alright, he got it unfinished!

    These photos were taken in my family room. The afghan will go to Billy’s later today or tomorrow where in all likelihood it will look like the following photo unless he knows I am coming over. afghan 3 I bet this hadn’t been done an hour when Billy called me from work to ask how long it would take to make a baby afghan for his favorite coworker. The people at work are throwing her a small surprise shower.
    In ten days. th_faintthud

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Electronic addictions

    I am humming Donovan's E-lec-tric-al  Ba-na-na (actually song title is Mellow Yellow ) now that I've titled this post. I hope my post makes more sense than the song lyrics. What does it say about me that I still remember them 40 years later?

    But I digress. Digression is my favorite form of exercise.

    Today I am admitting my electronic addictions. It began with a Kindle.
    I love books. I like the feel and smell of them. I never thought I would enjoy a Kindle but I do. Bound books still appeal to me and I do read them but Kindles are so portable, light and there is only one of them, not a growing accumulation on my shelves. Books are wonderful things to collect but I am in a downsizing state of mind. Traveling with a Kindle is wonderful. I used to travel with multiple books. What if I finished a current book while away from home? Heaven forbid I be without a new book! And what if I didn't like book "A"? Hence the need to pack both "A" and "B". Kindle had lightened my load considerably.

    Next came the iPhone, thanks to my son and daughter-in-law.
    My previous phone was a flip phone that had served me well for many years but did not text or take photos. I didn't really need those features. At least I thought I didn't. The main reasons for wanting a new phone was the limited volume and short ring before going to voice mail. I don't text often, but I do occasionally find this a nice feature and the camera is so handy that now I would be lost without it.

    My last birthday brought me an iPad.
    Oh I can travel and keep up to date with my internet friends without lugging heavy equipment around! I got a taste of that with the phone but reading certainly is easier on the iPad. I've been known to take the iPad to my knitting group to show them something wonderful I've found rather than just talk about it or email a link to everyone as I once did.

    These are tools. Conveniences. Are they really addictions or is it the applications that are the source of all evil fun? Yep, it is the apps that cause me to lose track of time. I did download and play Angry Birds to see what all the fuss was about. It was ok, but not really my thing. I still haven't gotten over my kids playing Mario Brothers and *knowing* when to jump to catch an invisible mushroom that dropped coins or something magical. Perhaps Mario Brothers was influenced by Mellow Yellow and both the game and song were created during a druggie's flashback?

    I am pure of heart, liver and anything else that collects drugs. Vitamins, Aleve and an occasional Excedrin Migraine don't count. My app addiction isn't drug influenced, it is word related. Mostly.

    Even if you don't play, I bet everyone has heard of Words With Friends but what about other word games? Do you know about 7 Little Words, Whirly Word or Moxie? None of these require an opponent which is nice if you are unsure of playing or are filling time while waiting somewhere. I don't recall if any of those three were ever a free download, but none are expensive.

    I've just started playing Draw Something, (a game where you draw the word you want another player to recognize similar to playing Pictionary) thanks to blogger Empress Bee who just today mentioned use of a stylus which will make drawing much easier.

    I tell myself I don't need anymore games or distractions but find myself listening to strangers talk about what they're playing. I fear I am hopeless.

    Some of you might be wondering about using a Kindle while having an iPad which could also download books, or using a Kindle Fire to browse the internet in place of a separate tablet. If I was just beginning to acquire electronics today, I might not have both and I can't address issues that I haven't personally experienced, but I believe the Kindle is easier on the eyes for extensive reading because it isn't back lit. The Kindle's battery life is much longer, especially with the wireless turned off.

    If you are a Kindle reader, do you know about Pixel of Ink, a source for bargain and free Kindle books? Free books are offered daily, I believe three times a day as a rule. They don't always remain free so checking daily is a good habit.
    One last word (or 50) about things being free. Sometimes you get what you pay for. I don't mind waiting for an ad to download and click off in exchange for playing a free game but sometimes the books offered at Pixel of Ink are free for a reason. The site is definitely worth checking though and if you find the book isn't to your liking, it is easy enough to delete and pick something else to read. Maybe a blog entry. Maybe mine.

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Who teaches them to be cute?

    Who teaches children to give you a big grin to make up to you after you've corrected them?

    There isn't much that Colton is not allowed to do here unless it puts himself in danger or would really be destructive to someone or something here. He is button pusher. Not "our" personal buttons, but real ones. The TV, the DVD player, the timer for the curio cabinet, light switches and the doorbell. Sometimes pushing these elicits an exasperated comment, but the real "Colton! No!" doesn't come out until he hovers near an electrical outlet, opens the oven door or heads toward the street.
    Grandpa and I don't begin to return a smile or need to stifle a smirk if danger is involved. But when we tell him not to run his cars on the new furniture or up the wall or across the TV screen and he turns and gives a look like this, we try really hard not to buckle.
    He also has an expression that I haven't caught yet and he didn't show it to the photographer who recently took these professional shots of him for his second birthday. The look that really gets me has his cheeks slightly sucked in and is often shown in a sidelong glance. Depending on the position of his eyebrows, he is either saying "Grandma" (it would be said slowly with disdain) or "Who me?" ever so innocently.

    For someone who doesn't talk much yet, he sure says a lot!

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    The Bright Red Hat

    This is certainly true for me and a lesson I hope all will consider.

    I look at my face and see both of my parents and both of my sons. 
    Will Vogue put me on their cover?   Who cares!

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Hypnotist at the Senior Center

    How about a little humor on this fine Tuesday? Caution....there is one swear word below, but it is important to the joke. 
     It was entertainment night at the Senior Center .

    Claude the hypnotist exclaimed, "I'm here to put you into a trance. I intend to hypnotize each and every member of the audience."

    The excitement was almost electric as Claude withdrew a beautiful, antique pocket watch from his coat.

    "I want you each to keep your eye on this antique watch. It's a very special watch. It's been in my family for six generations." He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly
    chanting, "Watch the watch, watch the watch, watch the watch..."

    The crowd became mesmerized as the watch swayed back and forth, the light gleaming off its polished surface.

    Hundreds of pairs eyes followed the swaying watch until, suddenly, it slipped from the hypnotist's fingers and fell to the floor, breaking into a hundred pieces.

    "SHIT!" said the Hypnotist.

    It took three days to clean up the Senior Center .

    Claude was never invited back to entertain.

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    This curmudgeon doesn't want ALL the details

    I try to avoid voicing opinions here that might step on someone's toes but today I am venturing into that possibility. Today's topic isn't religion or politics. It isn't about Coke versus Pepsi and it isn't about the right way to hang your toilet paper on the spindle. That is a silly debate anyway. Everyone knows it should over the top of the roll and down the front.

    Today's topic is direct sales parties. We've all been to Tupperware parties and I bet most of us have been invited to Mary Kay and other cosmetic brands, cooking parties from Pampered Chef to Tastefully Simple, jewelry parties and let's not forget PartyLite. All present nice products, some have individual items that some of us might even swear by, and home sales presents a way for many women to work part time to supplement an income or perhaps even full time in a job they prefer over all others. I have no problem with any of this.
    Where does my problem begin? When the demonstrator tells all in attendance that by becoming an ABC (my generic brand name for the gizmos sold in this hypothetical example) sales associate, you will make 50% off of each home sale! And then she goes on to say how much the hostess makes! (Exclamation points necessary here because you know a sales pitch has to be peppy and positive!) And how the area manager above the demonstrator makes her money, and the district manager above her!!!!!!!!!

    I'm not naive about business. I know that the hourly labor charge at a car dealership or your local repair facility doesn't all go to the mechanic doing the work. Built into that fee are his wages, worker's compensation insurance that his employer must have, perhaps medical coverage that his employer hopefully offers his employees, rent and utilities. Clerical personnel and maintenance people have to be paid also, and the corporation itself has to make a profit or why be in business?

    Why does this bother me when it comes to home parties? I choose where to have my car serviced or where to buy my next refrigerator, pair of shoes or haircut. The nature of home parties is to encourage the hostess to invite her friends, relatives and coworkers into her home, have a snack and some fun while the demonstrator does her best to convince us to buy ABC's gizmos. Most of us feel obligated to buy something after being in the hostess's home for a few hours. I can live with this concept and often decline parties if I know I truly can't use anything in their line or if the hostess is a neighbor who otherwise doesn't speak to anyone on the street until she is hosting an Exciting Opportunity to Shop!!! Photobucket

    Years ago, the demonstrators encouraged us to shop or to book a party so that our dear hostess could earn the Gizmo Deluxe. If we were interested in exciting sales opportunities, she spoke to us afterward or called us within a day or two. Now the financial breakdown is often given during the main presentation. THAT is where my mind starts clicking away and not in a good way for the ABC company.
    Recently at a home party I looked at an item priced at $72 What??? 'I don't think so' was my first reaction. I've seen similar items in brick and mortar stores for much less. After the profit breakdown was given, I learned that the demonstrator would make $36 on the sale of this item. Her "mother", "grandmother" and "great-grandmother" would each make 10% off it (these terms were for the woman who brought her into the company, the woman who brought that woman in, etc) If the ten percents were off the $72, that is an additional $21.60 being paid, or $10.80 if it comes off the $36 after the demonstrator makes her 50%.

    It is a given that the hostess will receive products or a percentage off of products based on sales. She should earn something, that isn't a problem, but we all realize that the company has to pay for that somehow, and it does so in pricing the items we buy. If I spent $75 at the ABC party, I could get a $40 for free. Huh? By the time you figure out all the cuts taken out of that $72 item, including corporate profit whose percentage was never mentioned, the item itself was probably produced for well under $10.
    Years ago when most of us were buying lipstick for much less than $10, a home party sold theirs at $16 and was the first company I experienced who gave so much detail about the profit structure. I figured the tube of colored wax cost 94 cents by the time everyone made money off of it, and that was without knowing what the wax, dye and packaging cost. The demonstrator's supervisor, a woman I had met many times, surveyed me a few days later about the presentation as the demonstrator was new. I told her what I had figured and said they should probably keep those details out of the presentation, saving them instead for individuals truly interested in becoming part of the company. She sputtered. She was insulted. But she never refuted my calculations. I did not intend to upset her. She asked for opinions and I gave them. I assume the company she represents still handles things the same way as many other lines are following those guidelines now.

    I do most of my shopping in stores where my purchase comes home with me right away. I know that the clerk's wages, the distributor of the product, the manufacturer, insurances and store utilities are all built into the price but I am not looking into the face of someone making 50% and feeling bothered by it. 

    Maybe it is just me. Maybe I've reached the age of Curmudgeon-ness.
    I will come to your party, especially if it is a product that hasn't saturated my community already. When it comes to the Exciting! Sales! Opportunities! that I could be part of though, I will excuse myself and go use your powder room but if your bathroom tissue is hanging incorrectly, I will have to fix that while I am there. Photobucket

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    Communication Failure

    What we have here is a failure to communicate. But a very cute failure.

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Here comes the clothespin bride

    I am invited to a bridal shower this weekend. The bride is a friend of both my sons and my daughter-in-law will be in the bridal party. I've known the bride since early high school if not middle school days. Sheesh...that was a while ago!

    The bride is a real girly girl, so the frou frou dress on the front of the card I made for her seems appropriate. The heels and tiara seem right too. The painted clothespin will hold the card on the package. The original idea is from Pinterest.
    I tried using a fine line of glitter glue at the bride's neckline but didn't like how it turned out, hence the pearls. They are too large to be of scale, but hey...maybe clothespin people normally dress this way!
    I liked the look of this paper from Target until I got it home and started working with it. I've become a wrapping paper snob. I prefer Hallmark or a brand that has a similar weight to the paper as Hallmark papers. This paper is very thin, tore easily and the glittered lettering falls off just by looking at it. I have the packages in a clear plastic bag and will be carrying them into the shower this way.
    The shower is going to be in a side room at a restaurant not far from me. I'm sure there is a time limit to the room's use so I don't know if games will be played or not. I'm hearing of more and more women who don't like, maybe even detest, shower games. I don't like them if they cause the event to drag on needlessly, but in general I like them. It isn't about winning prizes, I just like games and puzzles. How about you?

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Step right up!

    First, a bit of seriousness:   Whatever made me sick in Florida reared its ugly head and attacked me again early this week. I knew it wasn't killing me, but it sure got in some hefty kicks even after I was down. Feeling much better today, I pause to consider all who live with pain on a daily basis, or with chronic illness that prevents them from living the life they'd like to live. I was never without compassion but definitely caught up in my own world that usually only has minor bumps in the road. To those who battle discomfort daily, I both salute your courage and strength, and pray for relief and cures.

    Now, onto the fun! Are you ready to attend a Big Top Birthday Party? 
    Mommy found this invitation in an Etsy shop. She purchased the download and was able to enter pertinent info about the date, time, phone number to RSVP, etc, all in the same font before printing the invitations, two to a page.
    Mommy made this cake, based on directions she found online. It was four 9" layers, alternating chocolate and yellow cake. The popcorn on top and on the tray is actually mini marshmallows. Most had a snip or two made to make them look like popped kernels.The yellow was provided by spray on food coloring, lightly sprayed into a bag of the marshmallows and slightly shaken to unevenly distribute the color. It really did look like butter.
    Red and white streamers draped from the basement rafters suggested the big top. Grandpa was pretending to adjust chairs down at that end, but the snacks are to his left. We can't see his left hand, can we? Hmmmmm.
    Freshly popped popcorn! Mmmmmmm! Besides other party appetizers, bowls of jelly belly candies and bowls of circus peanuts were throughout the basement. 
    The party was for family and close family friends. The young guests each got a take home box with a fake mustache, wax lips, and clown nose among other prizes. 
     Grandpa got some one on one time with the guest of honor before the other circus patrons arrived.
    Colton didn't want to let go of his new best friend, Buzz Lightyear.
    Sort of looks likes Christmas, doesn't it?
    Uh-oh Buzz, this plane is pretty cool. You might not be the favorite toy anymore...just ask Woody how that feels!
     Happy Birthday to the light of many lives, our very own Colton! 
    With love from the Carny's Strong Man and the Girl on the Flying Trapeze!