Thursday, February 28, 2008

You Make My Day Award !!!

WOW !!! Isn't this nice !!! Tamara has awarded me this award !!! (Actually, she awarded me this award a few days ago but I couldn't figure out how to post the "You Make My Day Award" button/picture thing on my blog, so I had to go running to Tamara for her to tell "Miss Computer Incompetence" how to do it!) ......So..... NOT only was she thoughtful enough to honor me with this award ..... she also was nice enough to teach me a new blog/computer skill!!! THANKS Tamara!!!

......OK, now for my Acceptance Speech.......(clearing throat, dabbing tears...)
I'd like to thank the Academy .....(oops, wrong speech .... that's the one I wrote for the Oscars, but by some oversight, I wasn't called upon to deliver it ....)

.....ANYHOW .....Thanks Tamara .... and now I'm supposed to choose 10 more bloggers to pass the award on to ..... but I'm a terrible decision maker ..... and see all those blogs listed on the sidebar? they ALL deserve this award because I love reading them and they definately MAKE MY DAY !!!! So, I here by award this award to ........(drum roll......) ALL OF YOU !!!!

..... and now I must confess ..... thisis the only award I feel I deserve ...... yes, I know it's known as a "Major Award" by the dad in the movie, but let's just call it what it really is ...... a big ol' boobie prize !!! Anyhow, I feel I have earned this "Major Leg Lamp Award" because , in true MBIAJ "Better Late Than Never" style look what I FINALLY packed up yesterday ....

...... yes, that would be a Christmas tree ..... and you know it was just yesterday since the proof is in the new plaid comfy shoes right there in the picture .... would I kid you?! Ugh! Christmas stuff .... FINALLY packed away !!!

........and there it goes ..... back up to the attic for another year ... and not a minute too soon!!!! .... because now the Easter Bunny will be hippity hoppity hopping down the bunny trail in 3 .... THREE weeks !!! (but first the leprechans do a jig in their kilts ...... which by the way are worn with nothing under them other than their shoes ..... and I have that info straight from the head leprechan's mouth ....seems a bit breezy to me .... but how can you argue with tradition?)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Falling arches, blurring vision, & stray chin hairs......

OK ..... so how did I go from perfect vision to my arm isn't long enough to hold a needle and thread far away enough to see to thread it?!? HMMMMMM?!?!?! Well, to be honest, it didn't happen over night .... but over the course of the past few years. At first it was kind of fun buying jazzy, snazzy "cheater" glasses like these.....

.....but then I started to need glasses more and more ..... I had to make sure I kept a pair in my purse ..... at first for reading menus in restaurants .... and now I find I need to use them at work ..... I NEVER had to do that before!!!.... I have to keep a pair by my sewing machine .... I have to keep a pair on my desk...... and I have to keep a pair downstairs in the kitchen to read those teeny, tiny labels on cans, etc ..... and to read through examples in my kid's algebra book ... and to read recipes ..... SHEESH !!! ...... and today I discovered yet another room in the house where I should keep a pair of glasses ...... that being the bathroom ..... seems I now can no longer spot a big ol' black hair hanging out of my chin .....not to mention my unibrow growing in ...... nope..... looked in the mirror while combing my hair and putting on mascara (and now I'm amazed that I can do that without glasses on .... oh wait, maybe I go out in public everyday with black blobs that I think are my long luxurious eyelashes like they talk about on the commercials.....) .... anyhow, today I left the house thinking " hair combed, make up on .... I look good! .... then when I got out in the car , I put my glasses on to read through my list of stuff to take to the high school for the basket auction today, I happened to also look in the mirror ....... and then I looked closer ...... WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?!?!? .... a GIANT BLACK HAIR STICKING OUT OF MY CHIN !!!!! GASP !!!! I flew back in the house , running upstairs to get tweezers, or hedge clippers while yelling at the kids "WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THERE WAS A BIG OL' BLACK HAIR HANGING OUT OF MY CHIN?!?!? ARGGGGGG!!!!! ......, anyhow, I bought myself a dazzling pair of bathroom glasses with fake diamonds on the sides and everything! I tried to get Daisy to model them.....

......but she was busy sticking her tongue out at my "kitchen" glasses ..... I got these guys to model them ....


Let's see now .... we've covered blurring vision and stray chin hairs ...(UGH! what's next ? bunions and hemrrhoids? ..... NO!!!!!) .... falling arches .... that's what! For about the past week my right foot has been HURTING when I'm not wearing my sneakers/running/walking shoes (which I wear everyday for work)....when I come home I put on my sloppy, sloshy slippers .... and then my heel and the arch of my foot HURTS ..... why? hmmmmm ..... no arch support like in my sneakers! (in other words .... MY DAWGS ARE BARKIN'!) So, when I was at Walmart I decided to look for shoes of some sort that I could use as slippers around the house with some decent arch/heel support ..... and lookie what I found!

Pretty jazzy, huh? ..... and my Valentine socks add that little extra pizazz don't ya think?'s another look ..... cute plaid "earth shoes" (I guess) with .......(sigh of relief) ... ARCH SUPPORT !!!!

.........AHHHHHHH.......that's the stuff ...... my tootsies are so happy that we're dancing here at MBIAJ! (now, turn up the volume .... cause we're dancin' to Frank and Dean .....)

.....OK ..... me and my HAPPY FEET are gonna go get our jammies on and dance off to bed ...... (and dream about aging gracefully!)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, February 22, 2008

More snow........

Another snowy day here in Pa .... schools were closed again .... and I didn't venture out on the roads either ..... but I did put on my trusty red mittens (which look like they've seen better days, but these babies are WARM !!!) and my snow boots and ......

trudged through the backyard to fill up the squirrel .... I mean bird feeder.

Sam decided it was much more warm and cozy to watch the birdfeeder activity from INSIDE ...

Daisy was busy inspecting the paint job in the foyer ....

......and Shadow ..... well Shadow just wasn't about to exert himself at all....

......after my exhausting trip out to the birdfeeder , the rest of the day kind of got lost ..... you know .... the kind of day where you think "where the heck did the day go and did I even do anything today?" I was thinking of claiming alien abduction to explain my lack of knowing how all of a sudden it got to be 8 PM and I still haven't combed my hair or spruced up at all .... but I do remember cleaning up last night's left over mess in the kitchen .... and a few loads of laundry were done ... and some bills were paid .... some paperwork was finished ..... but nothing FUN was done ..... THAT'S the problem !!! THAT'S why I feel like nothing was really accomplished ..... because even though I did that other stuff ..... that stuff just really is NEVER done ..... it all just keeps coming back like heart burn or gas (depending on your diet) .... BUT, when you work on a quilt, for example, you've accomplished something .... you've made some progress .... and then you go on to the next step toward actually FINISHING it .... and then it's DONE .... but, those smelly socks and gym shorts, those endless piles of dirty dishes, that dang paperwork ..... NEVER REALLY DONE !!!!

.....anyhow, the only remotely crafty thing I did today was to start throwing together my 2 baskets for Kid #1's senior class basket raffle on Sunday .....

The first one is an Italian dinner "basket" ; and the second one is a kid's craft/activity "basket" ....... both need more primping ..... tomorrow, tomorrow ....

...... oh ! and thanks everybody for your opinions on my last post about the green wool hearts/vs no green wool hearts ..... seems you're all on the same wavelength since EVERYBODY seemed to like the green wool hearts ..... me too! .... so, stay tuned for green wool hearts getting stitched to the yo yo hearts! (can you stand all this excitement?!?)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Decisions, Decisions ..........What do you think?

Okee Dokey ..... here's what I'm trying to decide ...... should I layer the green wool heart behind this yo yo heart (which will be hanging from that rick rack)

.......or not ?

......OK .... let's have another look ..... here's a group shot ..... with the green wool hearts ....

......and without ....

........Hmmmmmmmmm ...... well, while we're pondering that urgent question ..... look and see who decided to take a nap in the sink .....(that's my MBIAJ decision maker assistant, Daisy ..... she was fed up with my indecisiveness and stormed off in a huff to take a nap ..... in the sink.)

......and then one of my other assistants , Shadow, decided that a nap in a sink was a good idea ...... except ......

"hey, there are DIRTY DISHES in my sink!!! How's a guy supposed to take a nap in here?!?" (he looks kind of irked about that doesn't he?)

.......OK, I guess I better get those dirty dishes out of the sink so Shadow can take his nap ..... I can't afford to have disgruntled assistants on my hands ...... while I do that, don't forget to ponder that urgent question about green wool hearts/or no green wool hearts ...... discuss amongst yourselves .... I'll be back.....

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Valentine's Dance, Oompa Loompa Hair, & Wax Lips

Last night was my kids' high school Valentine's Dance ..... a semi formal. Now, back in the day , as I recall, we girls went through quite the long list of procedures to get ready for a dance, especially a semi formal..... and, although I myself do not have any girls, I have 8 nieces plus friends who have daughters ..... and getting ready for a dance , for girls, continues to be quite the all day procedure (and probably also involves at least a couple of weeks prior to the dance, too.) Now, for those of you who do not have boys, I just wanted to share with you how teenage boys get ready for a semi formal dance .......

Here we have big brother Matt (a senior) trying to figure out how to tie younger brother Evan's tie (Evan is a freshman and this was his first high school semi formal dance which he swore up and down that he was NOT going to go to because "it's stupid" .... but an hour before the dance, his buddies talked him into it ..... yes, ONE HOUR before the we rummaged around in Matt's closet and Dad's closet to come up with an outfit for Cinderfella to wear at the last minute....) (oh, and about that HAIR color ...... ugh .... we'll get to that later...).

Anyhow, Matt couldn't figure out the tie tying thing..... so in jumps Matt's friend Ed, who , in the first picture, is googling in "how to tie a tie" on the internet ..........

.......and here we have Ed giving it the ol' college try as he's consulting the "tie tying" diagrams on the computer screen which is on the desk behind Evan.

.....and here is the end result .....

.........ummmmm....OK .....close enough.

Now, Matt and his buddy, Shane decide to get ready ..... and this takes all of 5 minutes because ......

...... no time is wasted putting on socks.

....or tucking in shirts..... or even putting on ties !!!! So, here we have Matt (black shirt) and his friend Shane all set for the semi formal dance ..... (note Matt at least put on his good sneakers .....) ...... and Ed, by this time had already left to pick up his girlfriend (at least there's one gentleman in the bunch ... I think)

Now, about that hair color ...... Matt and his buddies Shane and Ed decided it would be a great idea to dye their hair an unnatural weird color of blond/YELLOW for the last few wrestling matches of their senior year ...... and then Evan decided to follow in their footsteps ....... and none of them took into consideration the fact that their eyebrows are still their original dark brown color and now stick out like a sore thumb!!! ....also, a few weeks ago, Matt , having inherited his father's skill for compliments, told his girlfriend that she had Oompa Loompa hair ....... (how's that for a pick up line .... telling a girl she has Oompa Loompa hair?) .... SHEESH !! and , in his girlfriends' defense, she happened to just be getting over the flu, and she just pulled her hair back at the top because she wasn't feeling up to going through the whole hair do process .... So, anyway, I said to Matt ..... now who has Oompa Loompa hair ? Hmmmmmm?!? (and that BETTER be grown out by graduation!!!)

Well, I really should remove myself from this computer ..... since I had a house full of teenagers all weekend, the bathrooms are, to say the least , GROSS !!! So, I need to put on my HAZMAT suit and go sterilize them .... yuck!!! But, before I do that , here's one more picture of my little darlings modeling their WAX LIPS!

.....oh, and while I'm cleaning bathrooms in my HAZMAT suit, you should go over to Debbie's blog .....(she was the winner of my Valentine's Give Away)..... she and her hubby and kids look simply DAHLING in their wax lips!!!!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ice sculptures in the park

As part of President's Weekend, our little town has different activities going on .... they call it Winterfest. One of the activities is ice carving in Packer Park, which is right in front of the train station. I think it's pretty amazing how they carve something out of a block of ice using a chain saw !!!

Anyway, it was REALLY, REALLY COLD outside while I was in the park taking pictures of those ice sculptures (because I had to take my gloves off to do it) .... so I quickly finished taking the pictures (which is obvious in the quality or lack there of) and trotted off to warm up and nose around in some of the very cute shops.

....... and look at the fun stuff I found!! (actually I found lots more, but my wallet wasn't cooperating today.....)

The two candles are soy candles that I got at a shop called "Homespun" (sorry I didn't get any pictures of the shops, SOMEBODY in the MBIAJ photography dept FORGOT to change the batteries in the camera!!) .... ANYHOW....those candles smell GREAT! I got one for the winter months called "Warm and Cozy", and one for the spring called "Lilac" (mmmmmmm.... and it really does smell just like spring.....).

Then there's that Bag - O - Buttons I got at Country Cottage's a close up of the Bag - O - Buttons (just cause I wanted to try out the close-up thing on my camera)....... (looks like I should read over the section on close ups again in the instruction book!)

Anyway ..... that pink thing that the buttons and candles are sitting on is a CUTE apron I found at another shop in town, The Dreisbach House (again, sorry, no picture....) ..... but here's a picture of the apron!

.....oops .... I guess maybe I should have ironed it! .... but, anyhow .... don't ya just love that blue rick rack around the edge and around the pocket?!? .... and I'm thinkin it looks pretty cute just hanging on the back of that chair in my sewing room .... but, the back of that chair is where a pile of jeans with holes waiting to be mended usually is plopped ...... and usually is collecting DUST because I HATE mending!!!! (and I usually pass it off to my mother who is the queen of mending and a really good sport about tackling my pile of mending along with my sister's pile of mending for her gang of kids.), when I got home from my little outing "over town", I lit up my winter scented "Warm and Cozy" candle .....

........and worked on my Valentine/Spring project (since it wasn't finished in time for Valentine's Day, I've now rolled it over to qualify as a Springtime project .... because here at MBIAJ, as you know, we make up holiday project rules with deadline flexibility built in!)

.....anyhow..... stitching away and daydreaming about when we can switch to the springtime "Lilac" candle!!!!!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day !!!


.......(BIG SIGH ......) these are two of my favorite Valentine-ish movies to watch during the Valentine season ...... "Chocolat" and "An Affair to Remember" ....... (another BIG SIGH .....). I would LOVE to sit and watch at least one of them tonight, but around here I'm totally outnumbered by the male species ..... Daisy is my only female ally .

....... here's my plan ...... after the male members of the family are totally stuffed with those chocolate covered strawberries, blueberry muffins, rice krispie cement treats AND the choclate candy I got them for Valentine's Day ..... and I send them off to bed with their Pepto Bismol ..... Daisy and I will try and figure out the stinkin' remote that goes with the DVD player and we'll sit and watch a Chick Flick !!!!

.......and since I have to choose just one movie to watch, it just has to be "An Affair to Remember" with ....... (drool, sigh...) CARY GRANT !!!!!! .... I'm partial to Cary Grant, not only because he's GORGEOUS, and FUNNY ...... but because I got to see him up close ( as in within inches of his face) when I got to serve him hors d'oeuvres (and believe me, I had to consult Mr. Webster on how the heck you spell that)!!!!!! YES !!! You read that right ..... I served Cary Grant hors d'oeuvres !!!!! Back when His Royal Majesty (aka my husband) and I were newly weds (1985) and we lived in Sierra Madre , California, my husband was the grounds keeper/maintenance guy (while he was trying to get his music career off the ground) for the British Retirement Home in Sierra Madre. Well, every year they have a formal dinner dance/fundraiser thing where the guest of honor is a British person of some degree of fame ....... and that year, somehow , they got CARY GRANT !!!!So, the president of the Home, always looking to be economical, had my husband be the bar tender (now, the only thing he really knows how to do is open a bottle of beer .... so who knows what the heck he was serving these people when they asked for a mixed drink!) .....AND, she had her daughter, Patricia (who is NOT a waitress, but is a lawyer) and me (who is also NOT a waitress other than that brief stint at Pizza Hut where I was sent home on my first day with the threat - hopefully not serious - of a contract being taken out on me by the Mafia connected manager .... that's how bad of a waitress I was) .... anyhow, the president of the Home had her daughter and I (again, NOT a waitress ) serving hors d'oeuvres . Well, let me tell ya ..... Patricia and I were keeping our eyes on the entrance just waiting for Cary to arrive ...... each one of us was determined to be the one to wait on him .... Well, the poor guy sat down and the race was on ...... Patricia FLEW from her side of the hors d'oeuvres table, and I FLEW from my side ..... both arriving at Cary Grant's table at the same time .... she shoving a tray under his nose from his left and me shoving a tray under his nose from his right ...... being the cool gentleman that he was he took some from each of us .... (BIG SIGH ) ..... and even though at the time he was in his 80's, he was STILL gorgeous !!!!!!

.......Happy Valentine's Day everybody !!!!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chocolate covered strawberries, blueberry muffins, & cement....

Today was another SNOW DAY ......YEAH!!!(and I only say that because I take a snow day when the kids have a snow day .....i.e. since my home health care P.T. job involves driving around from one patients' house to another .... and the majority of my patients are up on a mountain .... which involves driving up and down a windy mountain road ..... if the school buses arent' running up there because of bad weather, neither am I !! that's my policy .... and I'm sticking to it !!! )

Anyway, since it was a snow day, and I'm conveniently in denial about what a pig pen my house is, and the pile of paperwork on my desk ..... the MBIAJ (Moonbeams in a Jar) Baking Dept decided it was the perfect day to make some Valentine's goodies..... such as Chocolate Covered Strawberries !!!! .....and Blueberry Muffins ..... and cement ....I mean Rice Krispie Treats !!!!! Now the MBIAJ Baking Dept has never been know to go to too much trouble .... cutting corners is their trademark .... and this Dolci frutta hard chocolate shell fits the bill perfectly!! I found this stuff right next to the strawberries in the produce aisle. You just microwave the entire container, then dip stuff in it .....
I had left over chocolate , so I dipped some mini pretzels in it ..... great idea, except I forgot to put them on wax paper to dry and I had to use a chisel to get them off of this plate!, while the strawberries and pretzels were drying, the Baking Dept went straight to work on these .....

....yep ..."homemade" blueberry muffins from a mix .....

and while they were in the oven, that industrious Baking Dept mixed up a batch up Rice Krispie Treats ....

......mmmmmmmmmm....that big blob went right into the taste testers big mouth !!! Anyhow, this sticky mess would have been fine had I not been interrupted by ....

.....His Royal Majesty, (aka my husband) who decided he didn't like the color of the foyer ... and since it's crummy weather and he can't play outside .... decided to repaint the foyer ... anyhow, my Rice Krispie Treats were put on HOLD while I held the ladder.

Upon my return to the kitchen, I proceeded to excavate the Rice Krispie Treats out of the pot .... they were now pretty much like CEMENT !!!!....... but, I figure if I dress them up and plop a chocolate covered strawberry on top (I know, it kind of looks like a turd sitting there on top of the Rice Krispie Treat ....) they'll pass for a fancy dessert!

.....Phew !!! After all that "baking", a coffee break .... or more like a hot chocolate break, along with some stitching on the Valentine project left over from yesterday, was in order .....

.....and this is as far as I got on that project today.....

WOW !!! that was one LONG post !!! (probably breaks the record for longest blog post !!) --- hope you didn't fall asleep reading it ..... actually, that's OK if you did, because I'm falling asleep writing it !!! Long post.... Long day !!!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)