Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve

This is it, the end of 2012. What will you be doing to welcome 2013? What resolutions will you be making?

In this house, we will not be doing anything special. Husband and I are relaxing and resting as we try to recover from the crud. Slowly but surely we are improving.

I will be choosing a word to shape my new year, but more about that tomorrow.

I wish for all of you a good last day of 2012. Hoping 2013 will be a winner for everyone.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Family Love

I am full...replete...gorged on family. Last Sunday at this time the husband and I were putting away groceries and supplies while awaiting families coming for the holidays. This Sunday saw an early morning drop off at the airport and saying goodbye. What a wonderful week it was. Despite some illness all the gifts got unwrapped, stockings opened, meals cooked and eaten, games played. We laughed as we formed new memories.

Now life slows down and turns toward normal. A new year will begin. I am fueled with love and wonder for this talented, hardworking, creative group who are my family!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve

Quiet time with family. The final gifts are going under the tree. Tummys are full with our traditional meal of cheese fondue. Just putting out cookies for Santa and filling the stockings before tucking into bed.

Love to all and to all a good night!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Quote of the Day

Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.
Charles de Lint

Shame on You!

Shame on the NRA for their stupid statement. Putting guns in the hands of more people is not the answer. We are not living on a movie set where the good people can shoot the bad people without more lose of innocent bystanders. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm pretty sure this is not.

Peace and understanding!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Still Here!

The world didn't end today...or at least so far. Let's take the chance for another cycle and make it a mission to spread kindness.
I love the idea of random acts of kindness.
Let's smile at each other.
Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line.
Let the person behind you in line, go first.
Pay a toll for someone else.
Give a dollar to 10 people. (Or 2 to 10 kids.)

You get the idea. It doesn't take much to make someone else smile. And let your message be, pass it on.

Let me know what you did to brighten someone's day.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Small Joys

My dog wriggles with delight in the bright sunshine as he rolls in the grass. If dogs' could smile, he would.

A gift emerges from my hands. Birth in my designing mind ends in success!

Wrapped presents under the tree. Many thanks to my husband who has taken on, not only buying many gifts but also wrapping them.

Time with grandchildren. They are all so special. Their smiles light up my life.

Christmas lights that sparkle in the night.

The morning parade of deer down my street.

My life is filled with so many of these small joys.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stepping Along

After a moment of absolute panic last night ("There is not enough time to finish all that I must!"), I am settled in humming along and putting some finishing touches on gifts. There is still so much to do including my least favorite task - cleaning. Where are those elves who come in the middle of the night to get my house in order? Oh, right, only in my dreams.

(We need those elves in Washington. In the face of the tragedy in Newtown where adults and kids lost their lives while going about doing what they were suppose to do, it seems so trivial and immature that our "leaders" can't do their jobs. It's a strech to connect previous part of blog with this observation, but I can't help myself. Raise taxes and decrease spending. We know it is coming.)

Today is wrapping, baking, ironing and (yecch) a bit of cleaning. I wish everyone a productive and fulfilling day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


As I work to get ready for the big family Christmas extravaganza, my thoughts keep returning to Newtown. Unimaginable. Incomprehensible. So many lives lost. So many lives changed for parents, siblings, grandparents, friends and neighbors. The survivors will endure but they will be changed forever. The colors of the holidays have left; now they grieve in black and white. The mourners leave the funeral services  surprised to find the sun shining. They wonder how  people can Christmas shop, carolers sing and fairy lights sparkle. How can life go on in the face of such a tragedy? We, lucky ones, continue with our ordinary days doing all the tasks to prepare for the happiest of seasons, while Newtown's days are filled with viewings and funerals. So sad. Words cannot express the unending sorrow for all those families.

Peace and love to all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

'Tis the Season

Lucky me. For the next several days I have a variety of holiday programs to see. It's always a fun part of being a grandparent to see the holiday singing, dancing and acting. Those earnest shining faces are a joy.

First, "The Messiah" performed by Providence Classical School in Spring, Texas. Quite an undertaking for grades 1 - 6, but they are awesome. Then a choral celebration and nativity in the great outdoors by Life Point Church in Magnolia, Texas. Finally a Hanekka play at the Meridien School in Round Rock, Texas. Whew!

So this proud, happy Grammy takes off a few days to get in the spirit, applaud wildly, and dispense hugs!!

See you all in a couple of days.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Life Questions

Why is so difficult to except a compliment? Recently I found myself in a situation where my knee jerk reaction to a compliment in front of a group was to deny it. Why?

I want to be recognized. I want my achievements to be recognized. But in a public situation I'm embarrassed by praise. (And, conversely, I'm hurt if ignored. Make sense out of that!) I've tried to learn to accept and thank the person who is being so kind as to acknowledge me, but I still have so much progress to make. I do appreciate every kind word spoken about me. New Year's resolution - to get better at being complimented. After all, aren't I fortunate to have nice things said about the projects I have and continue to work on.

Why wait to the last minute to get anything done? I need a deadline. Why? In my view of the perfect world, I work steadily toward various goals in my business and volunteer projects. Reality!!! I can't seem to get really productive until the end is close.

As the holidays near with the long list of gifts to finish, baking to be done, cleaning to accomplish, my stress is high. I regret every minute I spent in the month of November in time killing game play, daydreaming, lollygagging, and other mindless activities. I need that time back in order to get it all done. Why did I waste this time...again?

Confession - I feed off this stress. Having a day of whining is part of my process. Not very pretty, is it? Sorry. I'll leave you now to tackle some of my projects.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Love Emily

Emily Dickinson's poetry always moves and amazes me. So simple; so profound. She birthed my interest in the art of poetry. Monday was her birthday. Let's all celebrate.

Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door

                                                                                      Emily Dickinson

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Hanekkah

Sending to Linda and her family a wish for a very happy hanekkah. (Never sure what the correct spelling is.)
Ours is a very eclectic family with many different philosophies and ethnicities. I think it makes for a very vibrant group. We don't always (never) agree on politics, religion or lifestyles, but we respect and love each other.
As varient as we are, there are some traits we share. A healthy sense of humor. Love of words. Respect for education. A thirst for knowledge. Voracious reading. These traits cut across our differences and bond us as a family.

So I send forth wishes for a Happy Hanekkah to Linda and her family. And in 2 weeks I know she will have a Christmas tree and share a Christmas meal with her community. (She's been known to invite her rabbi.) Hooray for differences!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Like Lemmings to the Cliff

Yes, that fiscal cliff that everyone is talking about. My question for all  - if we fall off the cliff, doesn't that raise taxes on almost everyone? Doesn't that break the "no higher taxes" pledge that the Republicans agreed to? Can inaction be embraced as "not our fault?"

Just asking. Staying tuned for the rest of the story.

PS. Lemmings go over the cliff as a natural form of population control. Too many lemmings, not enough food;  run to the cliffs.
      Political parties - too much power, not enough common sense. Let's run for the cliff. Maybe it's time to winnow the power brokers in the parties. Too much posturing, too many senseless words; time for common sense, doing the job they were elected to do, caring more for the country than the party.

Just saying.

(Every time I try to finish this post, I hear something else.) Bob Schieffer on Meet the Press this am.
"What hypocrisy, what fakery!" Well said.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away

Linda writes a response to my blog of December 4. Since she lives in the Portland Oregon area, she is much too familiar with rain while here in central Texas we are in the throes of a drought. If only we could share. I'd send her more sunshine, rosy sunrises, golden sunsets. In exchange she could package up a few gentle, long showers to delight our lakes, trees and grass. Sounds like a great gift exchange to me.

So from the sodden Northwest here is the poem.

Skies glower grey with rain for days,

which dawn late, and nights creep in

too early. The year spins down and out

and we struggle against the brevity

of life and light.

Today, at last, clouds float like gauze

In front of the rising sun which reaches

Through with five fingers of silver

Light toward the frets of earth,

To pluck the notes of a Gloria in excelsis.


Linda Knowlton Appel


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Words, Words + Sketchbook 2

Words are such important things. They tell of love, friendship, neighborhoods, news, gossip, our history and our future. With the growth of social networking and electronic communication words are the new pop stars - even if often abbreviated or initialized for the sake of speed.  New words are born and old words are often discarded along the way. Lately a few old-fashioned words have been uttered anew.

Bamboozled  Love the way it sounds. Aren't the meaning and the vocalisation synchronized? This is what "pulling the wool over someone's eyes" sounds like.  (I'm tempted to go on a rant about how over-used it would be in any discussion of Washington and the political rush to the fiscal cliff, but I don't have the time today. Lucky you!) See if you can use bamboozled in a sentence today.

Newfangled  Another example where sound and substance merge. Noises that bling make. A word of invention whether it is a product or an idea. Our world is moving at an ever increasing rate where daily we hear about newfangled things that will improve our lives. Just this morning I was treated to a new promising way to treat Alzheimer. Newfangled can be good.

Curmudgeon  My aspiration is to become a full blown curmudgeon. It seems like it is a rite of passage for elders. We get to complain, make pithy comments on modern life. At the same time we celebrate the good of the olden days. When Andy Rooney died this year, everyone used this word; so I guess I'm saying my ambition is to be Andy Rooney. (Not dead, but sardonically smart!)

Speaking of words below is the second poem from Linda Appel. "Excitement" was the blog title. These words and phrases are what jumped out at her.


“teaser”`         ”not sure”        “roads we will travel together”

“racing”          “WILL be done”

And the poem.



Excitement. This day

is off to a magnificent start.

Through our electronic messaging marvels,

I’ve talked with you, and I

am  energized with your excitement and spirit.

I have set a project in motion

and you are racing to your sewing

machine. Our tasks WILL be done today.


When I arose from bed this morning, the moon

shone full upon me. Later, leaving the house,

I crested the hill, turned left, and halted.

At the end of the alley of trees a rainbow

arched bright across my path.

Excitement at these blessings propels me

along the road we are traveling together

despite distance and distractions.


                        Linda Knowlton Appel, 12/1/12

Thanks, Linda, what a wonderful use of words! For all my readers I hope that your day is bright!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Getting My Sparkle On

Thanks to the husband, son Jeff, granddaughter Ivy and two grandboys, Jack and Hudson, my living room is ready for Santa. It has become a family tradition for them to do the tree. Isn't that a great tradition? I love hearing the sounds of laughter, oohs and ahs as favorite ornaments are unearthed, and the occasional tinkle of breaking glass.

My family asks each year what I want for Christmas. My frequent reply is, "The hardest gift of all for busy people to give, time with you!" So this tree is a wonderful symbol of the gift of time. As far as I'm concerned, I've been given the best present of all. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Morning Glory

Wow! This morning the sun and clouds were a symphony in grey and gold. All the clouds floated in front of the sun which painted their tips in a rosy gold. Some times mother nature justs knocks me to my knees with her glory.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Sketchbook - "Every eye is different"

When last I talked to you, I was teasing you with the latest blogging idea - a collaboration between my sister, the poet, and me, the blogger. Well, here goes.

Let me introduce the poet, Linda Appel. She lives in the Northwest, too far from Texas. Mother of two, grandmother to 3. Half of a long, long marriage. Professionally she is a librarian. Now retired she writes. Her poetry is carefully crafted, polished, full of soaring images that evoke the universals of life. Currently she is working on compiling her second chap book.

As mentioned her poems are carefully created and usually go through many rewrites before the finished version is shared. To send me and allow my audience to read the quick reactions to some ideas or words  from my blog is new and a bit scary for her. Will people think her words are sloppy? Will it hurt her reputation as a serious writer?

I look at these poems as from a sketchbook. As an artist uses a sketchbook to record quick impressions, ideas and images so as to remember them for future works or to play with different takes on a project, so these quick poems are Linda's sketches. Not meant as finished, polished gems. They are flashes, thoughts, responses. At a later time she may go back to some and turn them into edited poetry; some will remain thoughts. I am thrilled that she is willing to share her "sketchbook" with us. I am honored that she is using some of my words.

So here goes. I hope you enjoy this experiment.

An answer to the blog of November 28, "The Eyes Have It". (click on link to read )

Every eye is different

Every eye is different  and responds differently. None are ever the same.

The body is complex and has a mind of its own.

Life is full of mysteries, and the human body continues to be one.


Every eye is different; every eye responds

differently, never ever the same.    My mind’s eye

sees you, sees you as you were last year, last decade, or when

as children, braided and bobbed and with brand new glasses,

suddenly the blackboard came clear, and from the rear

of the classroom I could read the letters, the numbers,

the problems in arithmetic.

But that has faded now and the color of our eyes as well,

reflecting not the startling blue of sky into which we might soar

but the  aqueous paleness of  the sea whose depths mysteriously

surround and support us.

On good days, we float in the salty source of life

and on occasion dive deeply, searching with failing eyes

for more, more, more.


Nov. 28, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012


This will be a teaser post. My sister, who is a poet, has decided that she will compose some poetry using my blogs as a jumping off point. I'm honored and excited. We aren't sure what roads we will travel together but isn't that part of the thrill?

She sent me a poem, but before I post it I want to make sure she is okay with me unveiling her babies to the public. Here is my hope that she will let me put it in the spotlight because I know it will resonate with many of you.

Until tomorrow. I'm into the final part of a special order. I'm having to remake a skirt that I wasn't pleased with. So I'm racing back to my machine. This order will be finished tomorrow. (I almost wrote "should" but realized that I can't have any doubts. It WILL be done!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Excuses, Excuses

I'm suppose to be writing daily, but I've missed a couple. When last heard from I was getting ready to have my second eye operated on; this time I'm a little slower getting back to computer. All is fine. Not the miraculous result as before, but with slower improvements expected. For some reason not known to medical science, doc says every eye is different and responds differently. No surprise to anyone who has been pregnant. None are ever the same. The body is complex and has a mind of its own. Okay, so that is so non-scientific, but it is true. Life is full of mysteries, and the human body continues to be one.

Secondly, I mentioned that I was all caught up with work. And I was, until Monday. Happily I got some special orders. I say happily bcause I love working. I'm now busy at my sewing machine trying to get 3 skirts and a jumper finished by Friday afternoon. Wish for me no mistakes!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Eyes Have It

I hope. Tomorrow I have my second cataract removed. The first one has been a success with vastly improved vision. Can't wait to see what the next one brings. Since it takes a bit for the sight to settle in to its new normal, I've been working very hard to get everything caught up or ahead in case I find it a challenge to do close work.

So my old age advances. Between my hubs and I, it has been a year of repairs. New eyes, new knee. I've been put on insulin which I thought would be horrible, but I certainly feel better, so I adjust. I'm finding that my thoughts and dreams are becoming more about how to handle aging with grace. Hearing fades so I spend much time in every conversation saying "what?" conversations between husband and I are often comical as we try to interpret (guess) what each other is saying.

I'm feeling the need to write about some of the challenges of fading physicality. I'll try not to be too whiny. Looking for the humor in it all. But be warned, the vagaries of the "Golden years" are not always pretty.

Tomorrow opens another chapter. Growing older does not mean stagnancy. Life continues to change and requires constant adjustment. Especially attitude adjustment. Laughter does make us all feel better.

"See you day after tomorrow."

Friday, November 23, 2012


Thanksgiving is finished. And it was a quiet success. My food contributions were well received. I had a few leftovers to bring home, none of them desserts which is good for my body. I don't even have to be tempted to over indulge. How was your dinner?

Now I get into Christmas. This is my all time favorite holiday especially since I have the time to plan, clean, bake, wrap and enjoy. I love being surrounded by the bedlam of kids and adults in a crowded house. Noise, laughter, secrets. Good smells from the kitchen. Evenings playing games. I look forward to it all.

For this coming month I'll be writing many posts about my Christmas wishes and dreams. Bear with me. Do you like the holidays as much as I do?

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving to all.
I am thankful for those with whom I get to share my day.
I am thankful for family spread far and wide.
I am thankful for Annarella Girl.
I am thankful for being alive.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wishing and Thanks

Thanksgiving will be quiet here; children, spouses, and grandchildren are coming for Christmas. My Georgetown son and family have invited me for their feast, so my cooking chores are at a minimum. I'll be baking some brownies and 2 sides. I must admit I am thankful for not having the messy kitchen, but I will miss the rest of my family. I can't help looking forward to Christmas.

Speaking of which, maybe it is old age, but I really am missing my siblings lately. We are not a close family in geographic distance or communication. There is no reason for the lack of talking or writing, (othing as juicy as a family feud) just a habit. We grew up in a family that moved and was not often around extended family. I guess we got used to being insular. But I love, admire and respect my brothers and sisters. I find them to be interesting, thoughtful, humourous, and full of knowledge. I wish we interacted more often. When I'm with them or talking to them, I'm always left wanting more contact. I guess I'm very lucky to have such a great family.

I wish all of you a good Thanksgiving. Skip black Friday and shop small business Saturday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Good Idea!!!

As I travel through life, I amaze myself with my good ideas. (Read with a bit of irony.) Recently I've had 2 light bulb moments.

Yesterday I went gocery shopping - on the MONDAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING!!! Parking lot - full. Grocery aisles - full. Youe know how every TV and radio station have rush hour traffic reports with a constant barrage of updates. I propose that grocery stores do something similar on busy days...insanely busy days.

So instead of the Muzak accompaniments, traffic bulletins. "Avoid aisle 5, bread, stuffing, salad dressings, carts are at a standstill." "Need milk and eggs. Expect long delays in front of dairy cases. Avoid converging aisles 7 and 8." "Collision in front of butter. Estimated 10 minutes to manuever around." Punctuate such announcements with public service messages. "Patience is a virtue." "A smile makes everything better."


Second eureka moment. Talking to a fellow senior citizen when the topic of computer issues came up. LIGHT BULB!!!! Apple and Microsoft listen up. With every computer, pad, phone offer an accompanying 13 year old. Two problems solved - no more frustrated help technicians trying to communicate with computer illiterates; fewer parents trying to deal with thorny teenagers.


My power solving genius stuns even me. Accepting all pats on the back.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What Comes Next

Having pledged, to myself, that I would post daily from last week until Dec. , I find I don't have a topic today. My mind is rushing ahead to Thanksgiving. Making my mental schedule for shopping and baking while continuing some deep cleaning and organizing. Then I realise that I am engaging in one of my worst habits - looking forward at the expense of enjoying the now moment. So I'm taking a few deep breaths, looking out my window and relishing the now. (Didn't I just chastise some of my neighbors for being remiss and not smelling the pines or, as a reader suggested, the pumpkin pie? Mea culpa.)

So on one hand I have a mental list of things to be accomplished but I am frequently stopping to look out the window, watch the busy squirrels, enjoy rubbing Butler's ears. Not huge time consuming pauses, but enough to remind me that every day I have today to enjoy. I will relish, no I am relishing, my life.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


As I sew my TV is almost always on. I suffered through the political season with its spate of negative ads. Hallelujah, that is all done. Now here come the shopping ads. Every store, brick and mortar or online, are making deals - vying for the lowest prices. Many are hawking goods made in the orient where there is cheap labor and little pride in workmanship. (I know this is very broad and there are exceptions.) All this is in the name of promoting the acquisition of the easily disposable, not very interesting, the mass produced, the low quality,  rather than discerning ownership of the special, unique, durable items which are treasured year after year.  The message is shop more, not wisely.

This rant leads me to the question of today. Is there a market for handmade goods in today's world? Can an artist or artisan make a living creating his/her vision?

Saturday, November 17, 2012


In my travels today, I saw a sight I don't believe. More than one house in my area is busy putting up their outside decorations. Forgive me for saying, but isn't Thanksgiving still to come? It is not time yet for Christmas! We are not retailers who must put out holiday merchandise, so please wait until after the turkey and stuffing to decorate.

Are we following the suit of Target et al who are starting Black Friday on Thursday? Are we teaching the youngsters by example that good things aren't worth waiting for. Gotta have it now!! Bigger and better!! It is enough to make the Grinch want to steal Christmas all over again.

In my old grump way I think these jumpers are sucking out the fun and joy of the season. Maybe I'm painting the hyperbole with neon colors, but I'm distressed.

I love the Christmas holidays. Eagerly I await the blossoming of the outside fairy lights which start appearing the Saturday after Thanksgiving on a few houses and continue to grow until almost all yards wear their sparkly finery by 2 weekends before  Christmas Eve. After dark the various homes light my way home from grocery and gift shopping. They make me smile. They fill me with anticipation for family coming together, holiday baking, and tree trimming.

BUT I want my holidays one at a time. First comes Thanksgiving, then comes Christmas. To witness the pushing of them together saddens me. Are they trying to take away the specialness of each? What does Christmas mean to them? I think these people who are rushing forward need to pause, take some deep breaths and slow down. How can you enjoy the scenery along the way when you are moving at the speed of light?

Come on, people, don't race through your year. Meander and smell the pines.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Parade Passes By

Yesterday morning there were many deer on my street. Look closely and you can see a family group. I missed getting a picture of a stately buck with an impressive rack of antlers.

I love watching them They move with such grace that they remind me af ballerinas. Head held high, straight backs, and measured steps. Beautiful.

Nature fascinates me. It feeds my soul and brings me peace. Flora and fauna. The stately deer, the soaring birds, fluttering butterflies, turning leaves, final flowers on my impatiens, chittering squirrels. All autumn delights in my sphere.


Thursday, November 15, 2012


It's been since Oct 12 that I've shared with you, my readers. My mind has been filled with random thoughts and half finished blogs, but I've not taken the time to put them down on paper. (How quaintly old fashioned. How long has it been since I've actually put a pen to paper?! But it is so much more romantic to say this than to say fingers to a keyboard. Just doesn't have the same warmth.) Sooo, today I'm sitting in front of my window watching the deer go by and talking to you.

Sometimes I'm absent from here because life is challenging me. Despite some evidence to the contrary, I do try to limit my whining and complaining. When I'm in "my poor me" mode, I don't write much. I don't talk to friends or family much. But this last month I've been feeling good, just overwhelmed with sewing special orders and getting ready for a show.

Now my work is slowed down. I've cleaned and organized my sewing room gearing up for Christmas projects. And I'm getting back to you.
Hello, again.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Many thoughts; little time.

Had a fun Wednesday this week. My 3 Georgetown grandchildren went with me to see "Frankenweenie," Tim Burton's new movie. What a chuckle. It is jam packed full of horror film references, some blatant and others subtle. My favorite character was Sparky. He was so full of life and loving wagging like the dog in my house. Can't wait to buy the kids the DVD when it is released. I couldn't believe that they knew every Tim Burton movie and liked them all. My grandkids are a hoot!!!

Tonight is the reception for the juried art show from Georgetown Art Works. This show just gets better and better each year. Come join the fun with food, drink and artists from 6-8 at the library. The organisers are all volunteer and have worked very hard to mount a good show. If you can't make the opening reception, you can take in the show whenever the library and other venues are open. For the first time there is a student show at the Williamson County Museum. They have a special get together on Saturday.

Next week I'm joining a couple of long time friends to unwind. A time to catch up with our lives. A time to do niothing. Doesn't sound too exciting to my husband and kids, but to other women they understand. Doing nothing when you want and with who you want is sooo special. So excuse my distraction as I eagerly anticipate a few days of R&R.

See you all tonight!! If not, wishing you a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Little Holiday Spirit

The morning talk shows are talking about the new Neiman Marcus Christmas wish catelogue which is as always filled with over the top gift ideas. They feature some outlandish fantasy gifts. My wishes are not so exotic, nor are the gifts that I will be giving.

This year I'm trying to give as many handmade gifts as possible. I think of this as a "feed an artist" venture. So , family, don't give me your gift list as I'm going off the grid to get things you didn't know you wanted until now. I'm hoping you will be pleased with them and not hide them in a closet only to be brought out when I come to visit. Each item has been chosen with care and reflects my image of you. (I hope this is complementary. Does anyone remember the "Brady Bunch" episode when the crazy aunt visits and brings Jan a special present? Jan doesn't want to be like her crazy aunt and hates her gift. Am I the crazy relative?)

What I want - time spent with me. Morning conversation over cups of coffee. Hugs, warm strong hugs from my children and grandchildren. Cookies baked with love. Love all around. Now, these are my fantasy gifts!

Speaking of gifts. Here's my latest suggestion for a baby gift.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cool Monday

Central Texas is having Autumn. Eat your hearts out, my northern readers. This morning in the 50's to warm to 70's by afternoon. Yipee, I had to wear long sleeves this weekend for the first time.

I spent endless years in the North. While I endured some hot weather for short periods of time, my closet always had some sweaters and lightweight jackets to put on for cool evenings. Now living in the South my winter closet always has some shorts and short sleeve shirts as I never go too many days without needing light clothes. Folks, that is the big difference between us southerners and northeners!

I pause to listen. Ahhh, the sound of silence. Yep, the air conditioners are quiet. My pocketbook is enjoying this time between the electric bills for the hot, hot summer and the heating bills of the winter. Winter bills are much less but still an increase over the fall months of wonderful weather. It's nice to take a breather.

So I'm sewing away in the cool of Monday morning. Outside my window the trees and grass are very green. My fall colors are in the fabrics I use. Some browns, greens, blues and rust. Enjoying life this Monday morning.

Friday, October 5, 2012

First Friday

Tonight is October's First Friday in downtown Georgetown. This is a tradition that brings a large audience to our Square. Always energetic. Always fun!

I'm so excited for tonight because "Little Loft" (above The Exchange on 8th st) is hosting a trunk show for Matilda Jane. This children's clothing line is what inspired me to create Annarella Girl. It is funky, colorful and different. I try to channel that same vibe in my clothes while creating a different look. While we both combine colors and patterns in unexpected ways, I'm a bit more color crazy. And I'm still producing everything from my sewing room  by hand, stitch by stitch. My line is limited edition and often one of a kind.

Make sure you stop by tonight to see some Matilda Jane and some new Annarella Girl. You can have the best dressed daughter, granddaughter, cousin, niece, goddaughter around!!!

PS. I'm pairing leggings or leg warmers with most dresses and skirts. Some have a handmade crocheted flower and some are without. So cute!!!! I love the idea of flowers on legs.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


As I push open the door to the waiting room, every head turns with eye patches in place under a gray head of hair. Welcome, to the "over the hill" pirate convention taking place every Tuesday at the eye doctor's office. It is 24 hours after catarac removal surgery. We are a motley crew but excited to remove the patch and see.
And I do. For the first time ever I not only know that a giant E tops the eye chart, I can actually see it. Ta Dum!!! I'm at my computer without glasses. Maybe there will actually be fewer typos. Hurray!! This afternoon I'll be driving to the grocery store. It promises to be a new world.

A special thanks to my son, Jeff, and his boss, J Bryant Boyd. Jeff has had to ferry me to appointments, and Bryant has had to allow him the time off. I have the greatest son, and he has the most understanding boss! I couldn't have done this without you all.

I'm off to plunder the world with a very happy dog at my side. (He was very confused and concerned with my pirate garb.)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday: Amuse Bouche

Here are a few snippets I'm pondering today.

Ed Asner during interview on CBS Sunday Morning. (paraphrased) I feel like a little kid in anadult body. Can I ever relate to that. How about you?

Last night's sky was a mosaic of snow white clouds, dark gray thunderheads, light gray wisps with accents of bright blue splashed about. Nature is a wonderous thing.

Morning talk about upcoming debates. I feel like I'm observing a train wreck. Can't take my eyes off the ufolding scene all the while I'm cringing. I'm hoping both candidates decide to show politness while engaging in a substansive discussion.

And from Ms. Mediocrity "Sometimes you have to give up the things that aren't working." Ah, but the question is, what are those things?
"Sometimes you have to pull the weeds that have crept into your life to make room for the flowers." But I'm afraid I'll pull a flower that is temporarily disguised as a weed.
"And sometimes you have to stop everything and just sit for a moment enjoying the viewe."

Just some little thoughts that resonate on this Sunday.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

Time keeps on runninging even when I try to ignore it. Summer is my favorite season, and it is always bittersweet to say goodbye. Goodbye to long summer days. So long to summer flowers. Adios to sweet tomatoes and corn. Adieu to killer humidity and monstrous electric bills.

Hello to cool mornings. Welcome to soups and cornbread. Bonjour to the sweet smell of burning fireplaces. Good day to long sleeves.

Since I'm too old to roll in the fallen leaves, I'm rollicking with autumh's colors - gold, rust, bronze, green, orange and a splash of red.

Moments to enjoy the change of seasons. What do you like about fall?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Welcoming a "Normal" Day

I still have car problems, but I'm taking a day off from worrying about that. I'm declaring this a "normal" day. A bit of washing and ironing, a quick swifter to the tile floors, and then time in the sewing room.

I'm working on a corduroy jumper with a fall vibe  pink, brown, cream and yellow zinnias on an orange background. Here it sits on my ironng board awaiting the bottom ruffle which is hot pink. So Annarella Girl!

Above the jumper style is beautifully modeled. She shows how cute it looks with a tee and leggings. Very comfortable! I'm working on some leggingts to go with the jumpers and dresses. Hope to have some soon to show you.

Here in central Texas, we are having flashes of autumn. Mornings are cooler; afternoons not quite so hot. It is inspiring me to work on pieces for the coming seasons. What do you like about fall?  I love plaid flannels and corduroy. I love curling up with a good book under a warm throw. I love colorful, funky knee socks. How about you?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Calling Mom

Even though I am a lady into my "golden" years, every once in a while I have a day when I desparately want to call my mom. I want to pretend I am a child, and all the mishaps in my life can be cured with a kiss on my booboo. Yesterday was such a day.

Nothing big, mostly car problems, surrounded by the stress of helping the invalid return to full health. Cars baffle me. I don't really want to know much about them. I want to open the door, turn the key, and be on my way with radio going and cool air coming through the vents. Not going to happen today. Seems like along with no air conditioning, the car has a brake problem. Help, mom. Can you and daddy handle this? I feel very ignorant around mechanics, and they do tend to treat me as such. I had to resort to getting my son (Talk about someone who is having a lot of stress as he tries to balance job, family and care for helpless parents!!! Send him lots of hugs.) So anyway I had to get son on the phone so he could talk man to man with the repair man. Upshot of all car problems is that I have to get in the queu for a brake diagnosis. Probably for the ac, plenty of wishing for cool weather so we can handle that later.

Meantime I've had my moments of yearning to have my Mommy take over and handle my problems. Now it's back to adulthood and reality. We'll all get through this, including you, my faithful readers, who have had to listn to alot of whining lately.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Finally, the day is nigh. Friday is freedom day. The last trip to the rehabilitation hospital. Home comes the patient along with the walker, flex machine, tiny little "bike," and extraneous other equipment. It well be a carful, but a trip eagerly anticipated. Husband is really doing well. Hooray!

As caretaker I will appreciate not making the once or twice a day 30 minute trip to see him. The dog will appreciate not having to spend so many hours alone. My credit card will appreciate fewer stops at the gas pumps. So it is freedom for both of us.

We have  learned from this experience - too much about our medical systems. Medical care could be/should be better. But we are thankful for the caring and considerate aides and therapists who have been kind and careful to explain what is going on. and who have spent time with the patient. Good for them!!!

Thanks to all who have phoned, emailed, etc. to support. We couldn't have done it without you.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor of Love

Happy Labor Day!! It's time to celebrate the winding down of summer. Although the thermometer is stuck at 100, the morning is slower to come and evening turns our lights on sooner. The seasons of the year march on. Fall approaches. Can Thanksgiving and Christmas be far behind? Oh my.

I'm busy sewing for fall and winter. My palettes become deeper in shades of magenta, golden yellow, and rich browns. I've worked on some plaid jumpers. When I was a schoolgirl, I always had a new dress for the first day of school and it was always plaid. So I associate cooler weather with plaids in greens, blues and reds. Having found some wonderful brushed cotton flannels, I'm happily channeling my inner girl into an updated plaid jumper. Fun,funky and comfortable. Ah..... It may not be a color of my youth but it satisfies my memories.

A labor of love from my sewing room.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Birthday

Two of my favorite women have back to back birthdays - August 30 and 31. My daughter, Jen, made her debut after a lot of hard work and has brought endless joy to my life ever since. Then there is my older sister, Linda, who has always been my role model. Great ladies, both. They are smart, talented and beautiful. I think my lucky stars that they are a part of my life.

Family is a blessing.

By the way, rehab is back on track. Hooray!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Knee Rehab: Ups and Downs

The road to recovery is not smooth. Infection has reared its ugly head which slows the rehab process. We are hopeful that with the introduction of antibiotics this stumble will be short.

This medical problem has emphasized a bigger and more endemic problem - communication. As in the famous quote from "Cool Hand Luke." What we have here is a failure to communicate. Husband has a prodigious capacity to endure pain. The nursing staff didn't take this in to consideration and ignored his statements of increased discomfort. Plus he doesn't register fever as the "normal" person does. So those two facts together created a situation that was more complex than necessary.

I can't fault the overworked staff too much. They don't know each patient as an individual. To them he is a knee replacement. They are not encouraged to take the time even if they want to. Time is money for the corporation that runs the show. Frequently the personel give the quick, convenient response just to get out of the room. So complaints are ignored. As aides, nurses, therapists and doctors are urged to see more patients in less time, sometimes good care gets compromised. I think that this is one of the primary problems with a big business approach to medical services _ good communication between all the parties involved from patient with family to all staff.

Is there a solution to the problem of communication? There should be a patient advocate who is part of the admittance process. Someone who's job is to take the time to learn patient and family - the  history and dynamics; expectations and experiences. Then they can advise those who are involved in patient care what they are dealing with. Is this a negative, complaining person? Or a docile patient? Does this family need a constant stream of what's going on? Or are they content with little interaction?

Seems like someone is missing a huge business opportunity. If this is the way medicine is "advancing," someone should create a questionaire for a social worker or patient advocate to administer on admittance. This professional must then be able to interpret and condense the information gathered into a form that the medical staff can read and use when interacting with the patient. Information delivered in clear, concise language so as to be actually useful. Someone smarter than I could write a good program for this. Wouldn't this lead to more efficient care? A better experience for patient and staff? Even better care which leads to shorter, less expensive medicine.

Okay, packing up my soap box for the day. I feel better for getting it off my chest. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back to Work

Happily I'm able to spend more time in my sewing room. I'm finishing up a sundress, size 2, which will be in "Little Loft" unless someone snatches it up first. As you can see in pic, I'm trying to decide between blue ribbon or black. I'm letting my mind percolate on the choices for a bit.

Next I have an order for 2 dresses for sisters in Boston area. Mom wants them to be similar but not the same. I enjoy this challenge - any excuse to play with color and fabric. Happy me!!

Finally I have another design challenge. I've been talking to someone who wants a Halloween dress for her daughter. Although I've always thought I was a colorful designer, this mom wants BOLD and BRIGHT. I'm not sure I can do this project justice in her eyes. So I'm deciding how much to compromise my style. Sounds like a dilemma on Project Runway. I'm channeling Michael Kors when he counsels contestants to not desert totally their aesthetics for the wants of their clients. Sometimes the designer does know best. It is a matter of having a dress go out into the world with my name on it. I have to be proud of what I produce. I am limited by my eye and passion.  In my heart I feel that another maker would make this customer happier than I can. Stay tuned for solution. I'm taking the time to make the best decision for both customer and me.

Rehab for husband continues. There are some frustrations. Doctor missing in action, so our questions are piling up. My sister tells me that I'm talking about food in every post, but I must mention it again. For 2 nights in a row I've been delivering meals, and 2 mornings in a row coffee. I'm beginning to think we might be better off at home. Is this a sign that he is getting better that we are complaining more?

Have a great day!! I'm off to start cutting out for the 2 girls in Boston.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Week of the Knee Replacement: Rehab

Friday, husband made the move to a rehabilitation hospital. It was exhausting and painful. New digs are bright, staff is caring, but food is bad. In the name of being healthy it is flavorless. There are few choices. Looks like we'll be taking in some meals. I can't believe it is possible, but they've made my cooking look good.

We don't know how long he will be there. Hopefully not too many days. He needs to be able to get up and down without aid, get dressed with minimal help, and take care of fundamental needs. Hubs is looking forward to reaching these goals.

I'm back in the sewing room for a few hours a day. There have been some inquiries about special orders that I want to get started on. Plus I need to finish off a few new things for "Little Loft." Business is good right now. My creative urges are itching and need scratching.

Updates on rehab will be less frequent now. We've survived the first days; now there is the unglamorous hard work ahead. Lots of little steps to mobility and freedom.

Good Sunday.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Week of the Knee Replacement: Dismissal

Friday is here. Yesterday was spent getting wires and machines removed in preparation for release. We still await a decision on what today brings. Will he come home? Or go to a rehab facility? One sure thing, this hospital is done with him.

There are pros and cons for each option. At home he gets to be surrounded by familiar things, but he has to leave his hospital bed behind. At rehab he gets more intensive therapy, but he must eat hospital type food. At home he has one feeble caretaker to help him around; at rehab he has strong arms and backs to teach him how to take care of himself. Pros and cons! We await a decision and are prepared to deal with either option.

Husband has been a good patient. He is doing everything he is asked and enduring the discomfort stoically. The goals of getting better, walking, bending and flexing are never far from his mind. Thanks to all who have called. He has enjoyed the conversations and laughs. You've made the time pass more quickly.

Until tomorrow -  wherever we are.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Week of the Knee Replacement: Questions

Why do all the support team - physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers and nurses tell important information to a patient riding high on drugs and expect them to remember it? (I would include the surgeon, but he is not very visible himself.)

And the companion question. Do above mentioned professionals have a surveillance system which alerts them when the patient's coherent future caregiver leaves the building so they can swoop in to impart important information? 

Just asking.

Husband continues to make progress - short walks, sitting in chair, knee on flex machine. He was a bit cranky yesterday. Is that a sign he is improving? Or a sympton of withdrawal from "Mike and Mike in the Morning?"

Talk again soon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Week of the Knee Replacement: From the Bedside

Morning after the operation. The surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses, and past recipients of new knees all warned that it was very painful. and so it is. Many painkillers are involved, but they wear off. Hubs is hanging onto idea that it will all be worth it. Friends and family affirm that the end justifies the means. Oh, to be able to play golf again, walk the grocery aisles, get up and down from chairs without pain that is the goal.

Hospitals are a whole different experience these days. They've discovered customer service. Sure it is expensive, but if you have to be there you might as well be treated well. Private rooms. Cable TV, but sadly no Mike and Mike in the morning but lets not make him so comfortable he never wants to leave. Room service with a menu that is available from 7 to 7. Gone are the mass meals under the domes rolling down the halls.  Since they are charging you 5 star hotel rates, it's nice that the amenities have improved.

That's the update for today. He is expected to be in hospital until Friday, then it's home and end of pampering. That's offset with the return of all sports, all the time on TV. Yay!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Week of Knee Replacement: Operation Day

Whoo! What an early start to our day. Head out to hospital at 5:00 AM. No mistakes  in the dark as we find the right hospital and check in. Why must everyone ask the same questions ad nauseum? Name, date of birth, what procedure? Check and cross check. I haven't seen him yet after surgery, but I can't see how they could make a mistake. There was a big black sharpie check on the proper knee, and a shunt in groin north of knee to deliver the nerve blocker. Hard to miss signs pointing to bad knee. So I have faith that they have replaced the right knee.

He is now in recovery. As soon as he gets into his room, I'll go to see him. Not expecting him to spend much awake time today. As a young man he talked in his sleep. Who knows maybe I'll find out some juicy secret.

Thanks for all your positive thoughts and keep thinking them. Be back tomorrow with more updates.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Week of the Knee Replacement: Day One

No, it's not me but my husband. After some years of ignoring pain and increasing immobility the man has decided the time has come to get a new knee. The operation is tomorrow; today is filled with pre-op stuff.

We had an  unscheduled reheardal yesterday. The pain was unbearable (and this is someone with a very high pain tolerance.) So off we trundled to the ER. After x rays, ultrasound, consult with surgeon, blood drawn and much time, it was decided to pump him full of pain killers and wait for surgery. As the doctor said, "This knee is truly a mess and needs to go."

Today we practiced my fetching and carrying for him. Believe me, he won't be gaining weight while having to depend on me for all meals. He can't drive; I must be his chauffeur for the next month. All of you, feel sorry for him and sorrier for me as we deal with a loss of freedom and increased dependency. We will survive (as long as we are kept far away from sharp objects!) I am confident when the operation and rehabilitation are finsihed. we will think it was worth it as the pain becomes a dim memory and walking becomes a reality.

Updates coming as we settle into our new routine.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August Stroll

Those of you who have been with me for awhile know that after a break from blogging I have to start slow again. Just to get back in the habit I have to compose a piece about nothing. (Hey, I hear you out there. Many of my blogs are about nothing. Ha, ha! But your cynicism doesn't deter me.) So here goes with some of my random thoughts.

I really enjoyed the Olympics.It was a welcome relief from the mean political season to have hours of TV devoted to positive deeds. The games celebrated hardwork, incredible talent and pride. Although it is all about winning, the athlete who strives just to finish is applauded and cheered. I wallowed in the feel good moments and agonized in the disappointments. Even the commercials were up-beat and inspiring. (I loved the planet guy from Dow. I wanted to hug his leafy body and cavort through streets and fields with him.) Forteen days of man's best, I can't wait for the Winter Games of 2014.

But I'm left sad and filled with wondering why our politicians can't campaign with positive messages. So much finger pointing, so little respect for the American people. I dread the next 2 1/2 months.

Enough said for today. Dragging my soapbox back to the closet. Have a great weekend.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Afriend died this week. He took his own life. Why?

Suicide is such an ugly act. It leaves a bewildered family and confused friends to mourn. Sadness is laced with many questions. How do you celebrate a life which left him so unsatisfied that he could only see a premature end? How do you commemorate an event which hurts so many people? Do we ignore the offense and concentrate on good times?

He was a part of my family's life for almost 50 years. At first meeting there was an instant recognition of kinship. There were good times and much laughter. Good golf with the guys. Great cookouts with kids in constant motion. Memorable Caribbean vacations from St Thomas to St Lucia to the Bahamas. There were unimaginable tears shared with the death of a daughter.

In short we shared all that life threw at us. Now this. Good or bad we never lost hope that we would go on - together. Shattered. Strange. Sorrowful. We are sorry that life became so unbearable. Our hearts ache for the grief and pain left for the family to deal with. We friends are left with a hole in the fabric of our history. Memories will be held close, and regrets about the loss of chances to make more will continue.

There are no answers to the questions. Only  "what ifs" and "if onlies."

So, we say a simple goodby. We were glad to know you. We hope you know that we cared.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to School

A sample of this year's fall/winter jumper. The plaid is a soft brushed cotton. It feels so good to touch. The bodice and ruffle are cotton prints. Yes, it's a lot of pink - not for the fainthearted princess! Maybe for the tree climbing tomboy who's not afraid to show her feminine face. So what do you think? Put a tee and leggings with it, and your Fancy Nancy is ready for school.

Soon to be listed on etsy. This is a very limited edition. You can always email me to reserve any size between 2T-6. Any questions? Email me..

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Love Ya Still

After I posted yesterday, I kept thinking about my siblings. Dreaming about what I would do if I could have some time with them So here are my thoughts.

Older sister - I'd like to explore the Northwest with you. Visit the San Juan islands, dine along the Columbia River, indulge in the family love of books at Powells. Then sit and talk, read your poetry and fill my soul with your laughter.

Sister 2 - I want to share my morning cup of coffee with you on your porch with the cats where we will catch up on the past, the present and our future. Wonderfully warm chit-chat to start our day.

Brother - I'd like to share the soarings of the bald eagles that nest near your river. To sit in silence as we enjoy the amazements of nature all around us.

Youngest Brother - I want to introduce you to my dog, Butler. I know he would love you, and you would be properly in awe of him. We could sit outside and appreciate the frolicking of our dogs while discussing the foibles of mankind.

Simple wishes for time with family. I find great comfort in just having the dream.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Love Ya

I work in solitude. Some weeks the only person I connect with is the grocery clerk. Even my email is silent unless I need an insurance quote or an enhanced sexual experience. Being a bit of a recluse is not a bad thing, but like everything else in life needs to be experienced in moderation. Right now I need to break my routine aloneness with some family.

Throughout my life I've moved often. The result of leaving family and friends behind has left me leery of making new friends. Each move created pain - the wrenching ache of saying goodby to neighbors, club mates, friends who lunch. The price of embracing the new adventure of relocating is the death of the familiar, the comfortable, the warm hugs of friends. Don't get me wrong, I've loved being able to see so much of our world. I'm just saying that there is a price to pay. Now as I slow down, I realize how much I miss being near to my siblings. Seeing them every couple of years isn't enough.  Wuldn't it be nice to be able to grab a cup of coffee with my sister? Or share a bar-b-qued pork chop with a brother?

I have a crazy dram that as we advance into this later stage of life families could reunite, live in a compound, share a big back yard where if we wanted companionship we could grab our cup of coffee or tea and wander outside to chat with family. What a treat it would be to say good morning to the extraordinary people in my family. What a joy to see their smiles, hear their comments, feel their love at the start of my day.

Can you tell how much I miss them? Why aren't I better at keeping in touch? I miss them so much and frequently carry on a lively conversation with them in my mind, but I let weeks, months, years go by without being with them. I want to share in their lives but the habit of not communicating is difficult to break. I must do better.

 Or perhaps I fear the reality of close contact with my family cannot match the dream. I'd love to find out. On those rare times when we get to share time and space, I come away more in love with those who share my gene pool. So I'll continue to dream of closeness. I will anticipate the next visit. I will fill my solitude with family memories. Love ya!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Small Thoughts on a Summer Morning

This morning as I sat outside watching my dog, a cardinal came to visit. He conversed from a branch with a chip, chip before flying away to the next yard. Cardinals always remind me of my mother. Outside her kitchen window over the sink perched on the sill was a birdfeeder. As we washed dishes a variety of birds nibbled the grains and seeds. It was entertaining to watch them squabble and search out the choicest morsels as they practiced pinpoint landings. Often their behavior mirrored our actions inside. "Who's turn was it to wash the dishes? Why is she off tonight? Where is she, she's suppose to be drying?" I wonder what the birds were thinking on their side of the glass as  they observed our antics.

Speaking of morning moments, last week a hummingbird came to cavort in the sprinklers. A sight I've never seen before. I love these special happenings in nature. Although it was a one-time, probably, event, I hold it in my mind and revisit the memory often. Isn't nature wonderful? What joy and wonder is in our world.

Temperatures are hovering around the 100's here, so it is hard to think that autumn is close. In my sewing room I'm finished most of the summer special orders and turned toward fall and winter. Above is a wondeful, soft brushed plaid being made into a jumper. It makes me smile as I work - the pinks, the plaid, the touch. How lucky am I to be spending a Monday morning doing what I love!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Little Loft Opening

Meet Amanda. She's wearing one of the new apron dresses that Annarella Girl has available for fall. Perfect for back to school. She can layer it with a tee and leggings for easy wear.

This is just one of the new color combinations I'm featuring for the fall/winter season. I'm rolling them out for the Grand Opening of Little Loft this Friday, August 3.
When: 5 pm
Where: 709 7th st, on the square in downtown Georgetown - upstairs at The Exchange
What: lots of fun with a balloon artist, clown, food and DISCOUNTS.
           ONE DAY ONLY - 20% discount on all Annarella Girl.

We're hoping for a big crowd, so help me spread the word. See you there.

soooo cute!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Grammy Camp Finale

Laast grammy camp of this summer. What better way to wrap it up than with chocolate cookies supreme!!

gathering supplies and equipment

mixing it up

aw, come on, can I have a little taste
spooning the dough on the cookie sheets

least favorite part of cooking

Daddy's special cookie - BIG


A good day in the kitchen. The kids shared some to their dad's office, took some home and left a few for Grammy to enjoy

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Here Comes August

One more day. The last month of school vacation unless you're my 3 grandkids who go back next week. Their school is trying to ease into year round classes. The kids don't seem to mind; they are eager to return. Never thought I would hear this from them. What an awesome school!!!

An explanation - yesterday I wrote about freestyling, but I never fully explained. I call it freestyling when I go into my fabric stash to find remnants that I love but can only make one or 2 more things in. Often I can work with a whole new fabric combination to highlight the scrap. It helps me clean out my stash plus ramp up my creative juices.

Into the Olympics. I am fascinated by watching world class athletes compete. Some rise to the occasion and above - the British men's gymnastic team - some crumble - the U.S.  men's team.  Highs and lows. Awesome!

Monday, July 30, 2012


Sometimes when I have a break in special orders or just want to have fun, I "freestyle." Today I chose a remnant that I've had for a long time to make the apron on a dress. This piece was given to me a couple of years ago by a friend to integrate into a dress for her daughter, Brighton. It had been picked out by her grandmother and was very special. I was cleaning out some shelves this week and found it. I fell in love with it all over again.

Yes, it is bright. Don't you love those splashy flowers? I'm really pleased with the finished dress. I'm taking it to the Grand Opening of Little Loft which takes place this Friday evening. The space looks fantastic. Owner, Amanda, has done a super job with the display, and you won't believe the brands of gently used clothing she has gathered together. I hope that those of you in the area will stop in and say hi. Don't worry I'll be reminding you again.

Keep on the lookout for the results of a new photo shoot!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Judge Judy Says

Heard this morning on CBS Sundy Morning, "It's your life, live it well," Judge Judy.

I'm trying. I'm trying, but it is so much easier to live everyone else's than my own.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Busy Summer

Although I've been very quiet online, I've been sewing like crazy and working on business growth. As far as the blog goes, I felt like I had gotten very stale and needed a break. So I've concentrated on living my life rather than writing about it.

Annarella Girl has moved into a new space in on the square in Georgetown, "Little Loft." This children's boutique is upstairs in the new location of "The Exchange" which is now on 7th St opposite the courthouse. The boutique is an innovative combination of really. really gently used clothes (wait until you see the brands she has) and new handmade items. If you're in town, you must check this out. I think you'll make it a regular stop for kids clothing and gifts.

Last night my favorite photographer, Sarah Havard, stopped by "Little Loft" to take some pics of AG clothes. Here is a sneak peek of what she does so well.
 She really makes my clothes look good. Of course, Johanna, the model, also makes the dresses and headbands beautiful. She was a trooper with all the clothing changes and posing. What a joy to work with.

On another note, I've been one of the featured sellers on

White onesies with attached skirt and a matching headband for $18. With free shipping for additional savings. There are 6 different fabric combinations from which to choose. Swing on by ane check out Cheep Boutique. I'll be there until July 31st.

Yes, I've been busy, but I'm balancing it with family and friend time this summer. I have a hard time keeping baklance between work and relaxation. Like so many others, I feed my self-worth with work and the recognition it brings to me. My goal this summer is to like myself even when I'm playing or doing nothing. Maybe I'll make some progress this season.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Grammy Camp Is Cooking

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted. Today, with the help of 3 grandchildren, I'm touching base with you all. It has turned out that cooking has been a big hit here. Last week we had breakfast for lunch when evryone made their own eggs. Make that 2 scrambled cooks and one omelet cook. This week....well, I'm gonna stop there and let them tell you about their menu projects.

Here's Ivy.
Today I did some cooking but first we had to shop for the supplies. The first thing I helped make was an "Avalanche Bar". It was basicly White chocolate chips,Paenut butter,and Rice krispies. Then we all made our own pizzas. My favorite thing was the avalanche bar even though it was a little crumbly :)

Jack says.
Today we cooked an avalanche bar using white chocolate chips ,chocolate chips,peanut butter,
and marshmallows.And we made our own pizzas.We had fun today with grammy:)

 the end

Here's Hudson.
Today I cooked pizza.  It was good. We, also. made a dessert. The pizza was my favorite. I liked the pizza because it was square, and the sauce was good. We had fun.

Back to Grammy.
It's been a fun summer with the Grammy Camp projects. Only one session left next week. Looks like we'll cook again. Maybe homemade chocolate chip cookies. Any suggestions out there?

PS When you cook with Grammy, you do it start to finish. Plan menu, shop for ingredients, prepare and clean up. These kids have been champs at doing it all!!!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

After the Break

Last week was a very weird week. Two Mondays, two Fridays and a short weekend in the middle. That's what it felt like. Good thing noone was giving me an orientation test. I never would have been able to tell the questioner what day of the week it was.

Despite my confusion  the business took some foward steps. I firmed up a presentation for Cheep Boutique, a new trend in internet shopping. They give the smaller businesses a forum to present a product for less than retail in an effort to increase the customer base. I'm trying out my onesies with a matching headband. It will run in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know when.

I've been freestyling some new clor combinations with an autumn vibe. Tell me what you think.
longer skirt with thin waistband and bottom ruffle

dress in greens and pink great for back to school
See you all tomorrow.

Monday, July 2, 2012


I've been enjoying watching all the trials for forming the various Olympic teams. Such inspiring young people. It takes not only talent, but, also, incredible drive. Working for years to improve a skill! We can learn much from the passion of the contenders who practice, practice and practice some more. Despite physical injuries, losses. mistakes these athletes persevere. I am in awe of their talent and persistence. I can't wait for the Games to begin.

Bad segway coming.

Speaking of excellence....I recently posted a new apron dress on my facebook page. I haven't made many of those this year. Well, I had a good response. Many people seemed to enjoy seeing one again. Yes, I'm still sewing apron dresses. Now I think I'll make some more, especially for fall and winter. Is there any other design you haven't seen in a while?

Neither heat or dry will keep me from moving forward!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Premier Video

Wednesday saw the second session of Grammy Camp, and the kids made their first video. It was a trial and error endeavor but in the end they made a short video which we posted on my facebook page.
production meeting

First they decided what they wanted to film, and the parts they would take. Ivy became director and cameraperson. Jack and Hudson were soldiers in a short combat sequence. After blocking out the scene, they rehearsed. Finally the filming.

We're still working on what we can do and not. I haven't figured out how to put video on this blog. We're learninng in baby steps. It helps to have kids who are more savvy then me when it comes to modern media stuff. Meanwhile it's a fun summer project for us all.

Next blog is video. As I said learning in baby steps. Is there an app for that?

Qik - Backyard Combat by Ellie Skross

Here it is. Despite title this video was made by the Skross Kids Production Team. Director and cameraman, Ivy. Written by Ivy, Jack and Hudson. Starring Jack and Hudson.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday To Do List

Sew a little. I'm working on a dress in a new (to me) fabric and color mix. By next week I'll get it listed in my etsy shop.

Read a little. I so enjoy some light reading in the summer. I like to take a mid day break with a book or magazine. A few of my favorite authors this summer are Michael Connolley, Ann River Siddons and Carson McCuller.

Dream a little. I have fingers crossed for a new retail outlet to give me a home. News soon, I hope.

I think it will be a productive day as I tick off my list. Work, learn rest!!
enjoy another variation of the pastel pallette I love so much