Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Saturday, March 21, 2009

There's a Moush in the Housh

Yes, some could say I have spent more time with Noah than with Storm and Kane. But then considering we keep him during non school hours , is that really any wonder? The title of today's entry is courtesy of Noah, who was relaying the above information to anyone and everyone who would listen when they experienced their first uninvited house guests. My kids grew up in apartments, duplexes, finally a house and although we didn't see any mice while we lived there, we did have them. Our cats Baby, Charlie and Itty Bit liked one room in particular....my craft room and so I knew there had to be something of interest in there. We didn't find his dried up little carcass until we began the move out.

Although my kids did not experience living with a mouse first hand, I had great knowledge of the little critters. In the fifties, farm houses were known to be infested with them. And as luck would have it, I think we rented every old farm house that was ever plagued with the vermin! Seriously, I love animals and even a mouse has it's place, but it is not in my turf. Out in the barn, ok. In the garage, sure thing. In my room, in my bed, NO WAY!

I was probably seven, maybe eight, when I had my first up close and personal encounter with a moush. We lived in a two bedroom country house which sat on the ground, with no real foundation beneath it. There were 7 of us--mom and dad, the four boys and me.

I know we had lived in previous farm houses where mice were prevalent. You could always hear the scratching in the walls as they scurried from here to there and back again. Mom always said if you saw one, there were a hundred more! I know at one farm house they used to run across the bed at night....they knew no shame! And apparently no fear! Anyway, My Grandma was always trying to help my mom with things....lighten her load with the five of us kids and living in the country....not my mom's forte' at all. So that particular wintry day when they were trying to accomplish great amounts of work, they bundled the five of us up and sent us out side to play in the snow. I returned to the house complaining that there was a bug in my clothing and it was scratching me. I was ushered back outside and told to play in the snow. Roll on the ground and if there is a bug, you will smoosh it. Again I returned to the house. There aren't any bugs in the winter, now get outside and stay there. Grandma was very insistent that I not return again, so I tried to handle this wicked grasshopper myself! I flattened myself onto the snow and began the rolling to and fro process. Got to my feet and I could still feel his craggly feet scratching my skin. I finally stormed into the house and told them nothing was working and I needed help. As I was shaken out of my winter clothes, out jumped a dizzy little mouse who had ventured into dangerous territory. Only then was I believed, but I had erred in the credentials of the scratching scathing little varmit. Of course they were all sorry then! Too little too late.

We moved into another farmhouse when I was a Senior in highschool. It was a large stucco farmhouse, four bedrooms, beautiful woodwork and just as mouse filled as the little crowded house. I usually washed my own laundry and one day, I washed a load where a suicidal moush had hidden himself deep into the clothing. I didn't see him when I removed the load of laundry, but there was a peculiar smell when I dried the clothes. And then I saw his pesky little corpse! Do you know how long it takes to wash that smell out of your clothes? I thought we would surely run the well dry before I got rid of that smell!

But the best moush story happened to my mom, who was terrified of the fast moving creatures!

She was changing the bedding in the boys rooms and unknowingly stepped on a deceased rodent lurking under the edge of their bed. He had apparently been dead long enough to bloat, as dead bodies do on occasion. POP! and EEEW!! Oh my did she scream! And oh my how she did a jig!..... Oh my how he stunk to high heaven! It's a miracle she didn't land on him again. And how we all laughed at her dismay!

Love ya mom! You're my favorite!

So tell me, what gives with the attraction to House Mouse stamps? Obviously the designers never had to rewash their luandry, shake them from their clothes or cast them out of their beds at night, or they would be depicted as MONSTER MICE, rather than adorables. The card pictured used House Mouse stamp "Scaredy Cat" and is colored with colored pencils, my favorite medium, ( depends entirely on the day) of course.

May your days always be moush free!

Friday, March 20, 2009

O So Fru Fru Butterfly

I have been ill with yet another cold....this time a deep chest cough that has hurt so bad. Each cold seems to hit harder than the last and I have had enough! I am sick of being sick! And as such I am going to let this beautiful sparkly butterfly just carry me away to a land where healthy and feeling just ever so fine is the rule rather than the exception!

I had ordered fru fru flakes from Pennywise Arts way back when fru fru was a featured technique in the TJNL and I finally got to work with it. I was really afraid to try it and learned alot doing it...what to do and what not to do. Pennywise Arts no longer carrys the fru fru flakes, so will have to find another source when my stash is exhausted. What a glittery, awesome result though! Using permanent markers yields a much darker stained glass effect...the card featured was made with Stampin Ups Wonderful Wings stamps. Image was stamped on acetate with Staz On and on this butterfly I colored with Stampin Write markers. The card is beautiful in real life!

When Noah was two, we were treated to a beautiful large monarch butterfly who was resting. He lit on my hand and we watched as he fluttered his wings, without flying anywhere. Noah was super intrigued, as was his grandma. That was certainly one of those aha moments! I still need to get that roll of film developed!
May the brilliance of peaceful butterflies warm and refresh your soul!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Are your ducks in a row?

Everyone is wondering these days if their ducks are in a row and what their future looks like. Have I saved faithfully, am I prepared for a recession, a depression, aggression, supression, layoffs, no money, no food , retirement, my choice or otherwise, etc, etc. etc. In some respects we have listened to the media way too hard.....just because they print it and spout it, doesn't have to make it so. We fear what we hear and so we tighten our belts and quit spending and the result is the downward spin of the economy. And we're all caught up in it.

It is a self fulfilling prophecy in many ways. So I'm hanging it up. I'm doing my best to keep the economy alive and well. I can't take it with me anyway, right? So I continue to shop at my favorite stamp stores, whether local or internet and I enjoy my art and my love of color and flair.

This card is one I made when Ankeny's Stamp Lover's was my favorite digs. I loved the people that owned it, loved the people who worked there and loved the folks, men and women alike who took classes with me there. I consider that an awesome chapter in my life! Anyway, the stamp is from Northwoods. They have fantastic nature stamps and you should check out their stamp line. Here's their link: http://www.northwoodsrubberstamps.com/default.aspx

We stamped the image on vellum and then colored with colored pencils. The ducks themselves were colored on both sides of the vellum for an extra pop. I bought the stamp thinking of Mother's Day. Mama duck leading her ducklings through the thick fauna of the flower bed!
She's got her ducks in a row!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

As I Recall,

the conversation went a little like this. It is Wednesday, hump day and I only had to work 3 and a half hours. My daughter asked me to be available to pick up her son at school for an early out day. Dismissal time 1:50 PM. The plan, work short hours, take her car and pick Noah up. Pick her up at 5 PM when she gets off work. Plan is simple. Plan should work.

Reality check. Tuesday night Erik, the truck driving husband returns to town, we pick him up after work. He needs car to get back to truck in middle of the night. Simple plan is foiled. Our van is being used on Wednesday for my DH and his medical tests. We were told it will take all day. Not to worry, change of simple plan. I will rise early, shower and run him to medical center, then pick up Noah and take him to school and run his mother to work. Will leave in time to pick him up for early dismissal.

Reality check. My DH calls at 10 am and advises he is on his way, walking, to my building, where I am trying to complete my 3 and a half hour day. He needs the parking card to get out of the ramp.

Yes, he agrees to come back at 12:30 and pick me up so we can pick up grandson together. Meanwhile, daughter, mother of grandson, has also asked for time off this afternoon. Originally she was declined, but for reasons unbeknownst to me, she has been approved to leave at 1:30 PM.......Hmmm, I should stay at work, but I rushed around this morning and didn't shower like I had planned on, so decided to "stick" with the simple but changed plan. Yes, I will tell your father we need to come back at 1:30 and also pick you up.

DH is not happy....why are we zigzagging across town all day? We will go and get grandson out of school an hour early, then pick up daughter. Meanwhile daughter has called school to tell them she will be picking up her son at 1:50, to please let him know. The school advises, well, he just left with his grandfather. And then my cell phone rings. Guess who?

So within mnutes we are all together in the van and since daughter's drivers license has expired, we take her out to the DOT for reinstatement. I had cataract surgery on February 11, maybe I can also have the restriction previously on my license removed at the same time.

Enter the DOT and evaluate long line of customers. :( Being the brilliant person I am, I pull my drivers license out in preparation of providing it to the clerical staff checking us in. She said, "What can we do for you today?" I explain I'd like to have the restriction removed on my license as I've had my cataract removed. She said, " We can do that for you, I'll need to see your license." and then she said, "That's your credit card".

Maybe I should rethink removing the restriction.

So today's card is a hinged card which was featured in the Stampin Success Magazine March 2009. Always looking for that different design, I had to try my hand at it! SU stamps used are from the retired Season's and retired Sugar and Spice sets as well as the currently available Embrace Life Stamp set. I also used a think spring stamp from A Muse Artstamps. It is a colorful, springy card and I had fun making it. I think my gals will enjoy it as well!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lovely As a Tree

Spring is just so darned close! We survived January and February and here it is the third of March. March stole in silently and sweetly, surely that doesn't bode well for the end of the month, but I'll take quiet and sunshine and warmer temperatures in Iowa anytime! Come along spring, you make my heart sing!

It's been a few days since I posted a card and this is my rendition of Lisa Somerville's design using the SU Lovely as a Tree stamp set and Flower Soft. Lisa's card was done in more red and gray tones and I went with a blue and brown color theme. Unfortunately my scan of my card is not the best. Sorry. I just hope you see half the beauty I see in this card.
I love trees and fresh air, thunderstorms in the spring summer and fall, cool breezes, warm breezes and listening to the trees whisper to each other. I like the idea of hugging a tree, climbing a tree, sitting under a shady tree, and saving a tree. Trees are tall and unyielding ever reaching for the sky, housing squirrels and birds, and the tiniest of tree frogs. Their feet are narly looking and tightly grasp the earth and much beneath earth's skin to hang tight against all the elements that fight to weaken it. They are strong and yet they are wise enough to bend when a strong wind blows through. How many children have danced around the broadest of tree trunks, delighting the afternoon breeze with their joyous giggling and singing? How many little boys have shimmied upward after a squirrel or a cat and seen the world from the branches far above the earth? And who hasn't wanted to hide in the branches and the protective leaves of a tree when a bully comes walzing into your yard? Trees, beautiful trees, full of life and aged to perfection. What stories they could share! That is why Lovely as a Tree remains my ultimate favorite Stampin Up set.
I dare say, I doubt it ever leaves the top notch in my list of favorites!