Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Am Loved

I have been "fighting" a cold since August. For real. I kid you not. Sore throat one day, gone the next. Sniffles one day, gone the next. Fever one day, gone the next. And so on. Well....yesterday I woke up with a full blastin' head on cold! Plus a sore throat and by nighttime I had totally lost my voice. It's the pits! Today, my voice is slowly is coming back, but the cold nonsense has decided to linger on. When Tim or Landon get sick, I am the one who makes sure they have cold meds and that they are taken care of. When I get sick....I'm pretty much on my own. Tm and Landon aren't very nurturing and my mom is a million miles away. My dad is here in Wheaton, but he won't come within a mile of our house when we are sick. (I do have to say that Landon did voluntarily unload the dishwasher last night, so I could rest. Bless his heart.) Last night I took a hotbath, rubbed Vic's all over me and drug my sick body to bed. There wasn't any point in closing my dc as all the kids have the crud too and I wouldn't be able to just lay around and do nothing anyway. So, I opened the doors for business and went through 3,444 boxes of kleenexes between myself and the 8 little ones today. (By the way... Check out the label on your Vic's jar. It says..."Spirits of Turpintine!" I'm gonna throw mine away. That's just not right.) Anyway, today one of my dc mom's walked in the door to pick up her kids, and was holding a bag full of goodies. For me! She made homemade chicken soup, homemade natural cough/cold syrup and homemade/natural vapor oil to help me breathe. I felt so loved! Isn't it amazing how just being "taken care of" can make you instantly feel so much better? I so needed that. And the best part is, it is actually working and I do feel better for real!!! Thank you so much Jenna (If you ever find this and read this) for taking care of me. Can you come over at bedtime tonight and tuck me in too? Just kidding! ;) But, I sure do feel blessed. Thank you.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ah, Bah, Humbug!

When Landon was a baby, I used to LOVE Christmas. He would get all giddy and excited when I would bring out the boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations. We would plaster them all over the house. Fill every room. It looked like Christmas threw up in our house! But, we loved it. Now that he's/I'm older, the excitement has worn off. Tim isn't much help either, so like probably most homes in the country, Christmas is up to mom. (me.) I'm not diggin' it so much these days. I don't enjoy hauling all those boxes up and down the stairs. I enjoy having the decorations out and about for about 3 days give or take, after that I am so ready to pack it all back up and have my house back. I also don't enjoy vacuuming up pine needles daily and cleaning up pine needle puke. (We have three cats that think they are suppose to eat and puke them up, daily.) Since Landon doesn't believe in Santa Claus anymore either, (I still make him hang up his stocking along with mine and Tim's. I want my Christmas candy, darn it!) even that little joy is gone. So, if it wasn't for Landon, I could easily do away with the holidays all together. I know, I know. I sound like a scrooge. But honestly, my dream plan would be to go to church on Christmas Eve, then drive to the airport and take off (With Tim and Landon) to some warm country until it was all over. But, I have a husband who won't fly and a son who still wants a real Christmas. So, on I go. Last night, Tim and I made a quick stop to Menard's to pick up a Christmas tree. (I had gotten rid of our artificial tree a few years ago. I was DONE hauling 4,567 bags of fake tree branches that poked through and ripped my arms apart to the bones, every year! Done, I tell ya.) Every year, we pick out a big ol' tree that takes up half our living room. It takes 45 hours of turning it so, "the good side shows." 67 hours to decorate it and I pick out needles from the carpet all year long. This year, I told Tim I wanted a smaller tree. I guess I was thinking, "skinnier" and he was thinking, "shorter." I had just done a purse show and was really tired, so I told Tim to just go and pick one out, while I went in search of a few other items we needed. We left it in the van last night and today, when Tim brought it in and set it up, I immediately didn't like it. I didn't hate it, but it was sooo short! So, I started looking around and thinking of what I could do to make it taller. I decided to set it on my new/old trunk table and added a few coffee/grain sacks and other items and called it good.

But then....(Sorry. The story's not over.) The nightmare began. We usually get a short needle tree, but this year Tim decided to get a long needle one. Have you ever tried to hang ornaments on a long needle tree? It's like trying to wipe snot off your hands, with your hands. It just doesn't work! So, I had to "set" a few snowflakes and little light ornaments in the tree where I could. They kept sliding off, and I had a few choice words that just seemed to escaped my mouth somehow. I swear at that point, I had no  control over it whatsoever! But, since everyone disappeared when I announced it was time to decorate the tree, I had no one to offend and nothing to worry about. (Because of the cats, I can't decorate the bottom quarter of the tree. It wasn't that I gave up, it's just I didn't want to put up with cat tennis this year.) As if that wasn't bad enough, after spending 45 hours trying to get the lights to stay on the tree, half of them decided to quit working! Of course it wasn't until after I had the ornament's hung/set up in that darn ol' tree, that decided to do that. Then I wanted to use my new camera to take "beautful night time, twinkle light" photos. Not gonna happen. I tried every setting on the darn camera and all I got was big blurs of blobs of color. UGH!!! So, I flipped on the lights and shot a couple of ol' regular shots and stuck them up here. Done. Last year, I had a few little red signs, with white letters that I sold at my holiday craft shows. They said.... "This Is As Merry As We Get." So, like those signs....this year....This Is As Merry As This Momma's Gettin'! Merry Christmas and to all a good night! (Don't worry. I'll come around after the stress of today wears off, and all will be merry and bright once again! Until I have to fight the crowds to go Christmas shopping anyway.)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

There is always, always, something to be grateful for.
Some of our cupcakes in life may not look perfect,
but they might just still, taste devine!
 Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Evangeline Elmquist

I posted my little "special friend" story on my Swedish Cowgirl facebook page and the response was overwhelming. I am still in shock. To me it was just another one of my little stories, but boy how it seemed to touch a lot of people. At the present time, I have almost 80 likes and I don't know how many comments. All of the comments were sweet, positive and wonderful! There were several compliments that I had received myself, that just blew me away. It wasn't my intention to get compliments when I posted that story, I just wanted to share my "special friend" with everyone as she had really made my day. It was the first real story I've posted on there, and unlike my blog which doesn't have a place to comment, I wasn't prepared for all those comments! It is so nice to know there are so many nice people out there! Because my S.C. page is public as it is a business page, I didn't even know many of the people who commented! Through those comments, I found out that my special friend's name is Evangeline Elmquist and she is a published poet! (Funny thing here, she reminded me of my grandma who passed away with Alzhiemers and whose last name was Lindquist. Hmmm...maybe grandma was just saying hi through Evangeline?)  She had a twin sister who she lived with all her life, but sadly passed away. I was able to find a site that has one of her books of poetry for sale. It is a tribute to her twin sister, May.
I encourage everyone to purchase this book. It's just a nice thing to do and I think it would make Evangeline happy. Who knows....it might make you happy too!


Precious Memories in Life�s Garden of Remembrance of a Beloved Sister, May Violetta Elmquist, by her sister Evangeline

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Special Friend

I went to Hoffman today to do a purse show. Over the years of doing shows, I have met 7,767 people and remember about 5 of them. O.k. maybe a few more than that, but it's mostly a sea of nameless faces. My memory leaves much to be desired! But, every now and then, someone comes along who leaves a really big impression on my brain and on my heart. Today was one of those days. Whenever I do holiday shows, I have a little bowl of mint candies sitting on my checkout table for my customers to help themselves to after they check out. Today, I decided to put some of the candy in a basket and pass them out to the people who were in my booth, while they were still looking and deciding. Candy makes everyone feel good, and I thought it was not only a nice gesture, but it might be a good business move too. (It was!) As I was chatting and passing out candy, something bright and colorful caught my eye. It was the sweetest little ol' lady, dressed in the most colorful, floral dress. She had a long strand of pretty pearl beads hanging around her neck, a lace shawl over her shoulders, flowers in her hair and bright red lipstick applied just, oh so right. She was with another younger woman who was either her daughter or maybe her helper. (I am not sure if she was mentally challenged or a victim of Alzheimer's.) As I started to walk towards her with my little basket of candy, she spotted me and held out her arms towards me. She excitedly proclaimed to her companion, "Look! Look! It's my special friend! I missed you special friend. I'm so happy you're here. Are you happy?" Now this sweet lady had never seen me before in her life, and even though I can't remember everyone, if I had met her in the past, I never would have forgotten her! But, in that moment, at that time,to her I was her special friend. So, her special friend I would be. But before I could answer her questions, she suddenly got really quiet, grasped both of my hands in hers, and in a whispering voice she asked me, "Did you miss me?" She look so sad,  as if she thought I was going to tell her that I hadn't missed her, and I gotta tell ya, it was heart wrenching. So, in my most overly excited voice, I reassured her that yes indeed, I had missed her. She clapped her hands and laughed and smiled a huge bright smile. All was well in her world once again. I loved what she said, and so to all my special friends out there...."Hello special friend. I 'm so happy you are here. Are you happy?"

I hope you are happy and that you have someone to miss and to miss you, whether it be a spouse, child, or special friend. Life is short. Be happy.

Now you know I didn't let that sweet lady leave without a picture! Her helper/daughter took the picture with my phone, so it isn't the greatest. But, you sure can see the happiness pouring out of my special friend's face. She's happy!

I'm A Winner, Baby!

Guess there was a reason I didn't win
 a turkey at turkey BINGO.
There were bigger plans in store for me!
Just in time for Christmas shoppng....

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Every year we head over to the American Legion
to play turkey bingo. This year Landon took the
winning turkey home! He thought it was pretty
cool to win, but not so cool to take a picture of
him with the turkey. So, no smile for momma.
That's o.k. He still looks sweet as pie to me!
Turkey pot pie!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Road Less Traveled

I've come to another crossroad in my life. Yep. Another one. I probably have had more irons in the fire than I care to mention, but that's me. I have to keep busy. I can't just sit and play with kids all day (even though I love them!) and I can't just sit and watch t.v. all night or go fishing all weekend. (Even though I love Tim and Landon! I just can't!) I've always loved old funky junk and I love to create fun stuff out of it. I also love just having it sitting around to look at. It makes me happy. (I was so born in the wrong era.) Last summer, I decided to try my hand at repurposing/upcycling cool old stuff to sell with my purses. I told myself, as long as it was fun and enjoyable, I would keep at it. I had a ton of fun digging through antique shops, thrift stores, flea markets, and people's trash. (I did ask for permission first on the trash digging and washed my hands really good later! ha!) Then I set up a booth at our local farmer's market for the little stuff and took the bigger stuff to craft shows along with my purses. Our town isn't big on the junk thing. So, there wasn't any point in dragging the big heavy stuff to the farmer's market. That's a lot of work!But if you head north a little where there is an antique store on every corner...well, that's worth the extra work! At first, it was a lot of fun to decorate my booth and see the looks on people's faces when they checked out the things I had made. (They weren't all weird looks.) It made me feel good when someone loved their junky treasure as much as I did. But....after awhile it started to feel like "work." While I loved to create cool stuff for my own home, I didn't enjoy "having to" come up with new stuff to fill a booth at a show. It was a lot of pressure. So, I've decided to take a side road here, and see where it leads me. Since I love the hunting/shopping for treasures part so much, I am going to continue to do just that. I am in the process of setting up an Etsy store and I am going to "try" and sell some of the treasures I've found and will continue to find, for someone else to enjoy/make something out of. When I started selling my purses, I didn't have a clue how it was going to go. I remember ordering boxes and boxes of purses and Tim standing in the living room surrounded by 5,466 boxes and telling me that "this had better be good!" My first Open House was at our house. I had over 400 purses set up in every room on the lower level. It was jammed packed! I even had a few cowboy hats back then. (Hmmm...I kinda miss those hats. Might have to do that again...) Anyway, I had put an ad in the paper and I hung fliers around town. The day of the Open House, I kicked Tim and Landon out of the house and waited. The show started at 8:00 A.M. and at 8:10 no one had showed up. I called Tim almost in tears to tell him, it was a big flop. I felt just sick. I had so much money invested and as much as I loved purses, what the heck was I going to do with 400 of them?? BUT, then the cars started to pull up. And up! And up!! People were showing up!! They POURED into my house! It was crazy!! It seemed like every woman in town was at my house buying a purse! And eight years later....I'm still the bag lady and I still love purses. So, while I haven't a clue if this Etsy business is going to be a dead end or another beautiful scenic highway....one thing I do know. I have to try. Ready to go for a ride?

Landon's First Buck

He did it. Got his first buck, and he was quite happy about it! It was all I could do not to cry or puke taking this picture. (Now you can't tell me that tongue doesn't make you at least a little queasy!) Since Landon is quite the animal lover, I was silently praying that he wouldn't want to be a hunter. At best, I was hoping that after getting his first buck, he would feel bad and wouldn't want to go anymore. I just feel so sick inside when he is out there in the woods, with a gun. (And his dad who is known to fall asleep at the drop of a hat!) I try not to think about the "what ifs" and just let him be a good ol' Minnesota boy. But, it's so hard! I want to protect him and keep him safe, right here at home with me. Forever. Not gonna happen. He loved it! He called me on his dad's cell phone and said...

L: Mom! I did it! I got a buck!!
Me: No way.....you did? Oh, Landon...how exciting! (This is where I was hoping he was going to tell me he felt bad and was it o.k. if he didn't want to go anymore.... Didn't happen.)
L: It's HUGE mom!!! Huge!
Me: That's nice. Are you all done now? Are you coming home now?
L: Moooooommmm.....(I swear I felt him roll his eyes at me) No. I'm not coming home. We gotta get it gutted! Bye!!!!
Me: Bye...sob....sniffle....gulp....WAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Movie Night!

Last night was movie night. Landon had won a free movie pass from Homer's so he picked out, "We bought a zoo." It was a great movie, but a little on the sad side. I would recommend a full box of Kleenex if you decide to check it out.

I do not recommend taking family pictures in the dark though.
We all look a little freaky!
But, licorice is always a good idea!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My View At The Stop Light

As long as I shall live, I will never get used to hunting. While everyone else is thinking what a lucky guy this is, I was sitting in my car holding back tears and bile. It just sucks. I posted the picture on facebook and someone said that the should have covered it up. Yes, I agree. It's the least they could have done. I hate it.

Life With Landon

Landon was really quiet last night, as I didn't hear any thumping on the ceiling...so I went to see what he was doing. He was making a cat hotel for his buddy, Lucky! It's closed at night because Lucky sleeps with him at night. (Need to brush up on his el/le's!)

He had pom pom balls in there, which Lucky loves and a little dish of cat food and water. (I will be taking the food and water back out after he goes to bed!)

I think they both like it! I think Landon might have a future as an engineer someday. Forgot to take pictures of the pully/bucket he built that would move a pail of cat food from his top bunk to the floor and back up again for Lucky. (Took that cat food away too. I'm the cat food police, I am.)
The hotel is now closed.
Lucky is all tucked in for the night.
And so is Landon. Nighty night boys. Sweet dreams.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

R.I.P. Kodak Easyshare

If you were wondering why I didn't post 3,498 pictures of the craft fair yesterday, it's because last week my camera passed away. Yep. Dead as a door nail. After dropping it 899 times (me) and throwing it across the room and bouncing it across the sidewalk 677 times (dc kids) it finally kicked the bucket. Wouldn't even turn on anymore. All I had for a camera was my phone camera and in all the excitement, I kinda forgot about pictures. (imagine that!) I've been doing dc for 8 years and I've been through 5 cameras. This time around, I've decided I am going to buy a better camera and cut back on the 5,667 daily pictures and take care of it! Anyway, today I headed to Alex to find a new camera. You know the new camera commerical that Ashton Kutcher is doing? Well, at the end of that commercial, it says "Water proof! Freeze proof! Drop proof!" or something like that. When I saw that, I literally jumped up off the couch and screamed, "SOLD!" Because I don't live in a town with a big box store, I had to wait a couple of days before I could go and get it. Kinda got a couple of ol' jobs I'm committed to, ya know? So finally, today was the day! My plan was to go to Office Max first. I knew they sold electronics and because they didn't sell pickles or diapers, I thought they would be the most knowledgeable. As I walked in to Office Max, I was greeted at the door by a young man. Off to a good start I thought, as those youngens seem to know a lot about the ol' technical gadgets. When he asked me what he could help me with, I told him about Ashton's commercial and that I was interested in that camera or one like it. He wasn't sure he had seen the commercial. Say what? Not a good start. Then he took me over to the camera department which consisted of six pieces of paper hanging on a rack with pictures of cameras and descriptions of what each one did. When he pointed to the paper and he said, "Well, we got these...." it was all I could do not to say, "Are you freakin' kidding me???" I swear I get every stupid customer service rep to live. I swear.... So, I thanked him for his time and walked out. I headed to Target next as I thought I might have better luck with their electronic department. Not that I have lost my love for Walmart, but I've been to Walmart's electronic department and I have to say, they aren't quite up to snuff over there. Well at Target, there was a wonderful young man who had the patience of Job. (He's a dude from the Bible. Look it up.) He answered all my questions and because he was so helpful and not only found a perfect camera for my needs, he also found one that was on sale!! Whoo hoo!! I ended up going with a Nikon COOLPIX L610. Not a top of the line, but not the bottom either. It takes super clear and up close pictures which is what I need for Etsy/Ebay and it also takes clear regular shots too! Here is a regular shot with no editing whatsoever. Even though I took it at night, with not much light in the room, you can still see every single word, clear as day. Now that's a nice camera. This is one of my favorite signs. It is hanging in the dc kid's playroom, where I see it as a daily reminder.

R.I.P. Kodak.
Come on, Nikon.
Time to ride!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wheaton Craft Fair Rocks Again!

WOW!!! The Wheaton Craft Fair ROCKED!! It was so crazy busy that I wasn't able to sit down even once today. I don't know if it was the warm weather that brought them all out or what, but it was wonderful! Don't get me wrong. Every year is wonderful, but this one was crazy wonderful! Let me share a little of my day with you.

In the morning, the vendors at the craft fair are given a lunch menu and if they turn it in early, the helpers will deliver their lunch to their booth for them. I filled mine out and handed it in. I requested a walking taco and a bottle of water. I thought the taco in a bag would be easy to eat and easy to set down if I was needed. I didn't get to eat it. There just wasn't a minute to spare. (That my friends is a good problem to have!) Luckily, my friend Jackie came by and out of the blue gave me a baggie with my two favorite candy bars in it. (Recess and Snickers) I gave her my taco and made the candy bars my lunch. I was so thankful for them as I was starving and I was hoping the Christmas music I was playing was loud enough to cover up the rumbling in my tummy. She saved the day. I owe her one. (or six)

One of the first things to go (Besides purses) was my sled! A lady came up to me and asked if she could pay for it and would I hold it for her. Because there were several people in line before her, I told her to just pay for it when she came back. About an hour before the show was over, she still had not come back. I was getting a little bummed as after she left, three other women wanted to buy it! Finally, at the end of the show, she showed up! All was well again. Sigh....

The highlight of the day was, my blinged up chalkboard/picture frame. I posted about it a few posts back... A sweet little old lady bought it. When I told her she could erase the Elizabeth Taylor quote I wrote and write anything on it, as it was a chalkboard, she told me that she loved Elizabeth Taylor and was leaving it! (I might be writing that quote on everything! ha!) Then when I told her that the "bling" was two clip on earrings and a dangle pearl bracelet, she said.....(This is the part I love) Shuuuuut Uuuuuup!!!
Yep. The little old lady told me to shut up.

Thank you everyone for making this year one of the best ever. I am blessed and I love you all!!