Christmas is coming – and I’m not quite ready!

But I am gaining on it. Judy (the other grandmother) and I worked with Elanor and Jack today on our annual let's-help-the-kids-make-presents day. We both thought this was the best year yet. I'm going to share with you in case you are needing some last minute kid present ideas.

Elanor made pinecone Christmas tree ornaments. She helped with the spray painting of the pinecones. She painted the tips white. She went back and painted the tips with glue and sprinkled them with glitter. We worked together on the pipe cleaners. Way cute!


Way back, when Jeff was 3, he made us a toilet paper tube angel. I've loved that angel and it's on the shelf in my dining room every day, next to the one Elanor made one with me and Judy when she was 3. I wish I had one for Christopher, but I don't.


Today was Jack's turn. We couldn't find any white toilet paper tubes so Elanor helped out by painting the brown tubes white. Instead of painting on the cheeks, Judy put on dots of glue and Jack sprinkled glitter. The noses were his idea and he was right – they are better with noses!


And then there's this:


My mom has a my brother's handprint from way back when with the poem you see above. I made one like this with Christopher's handprint when he was 4. How did I miss getting Jeff's handprint? I have no idea. But today, Judy and I got both Elanor and Jack's handprints immortalized on paper for their mom and dad.

Please notice that Elanor at 8 and Jack at 3 have nearly the same size hand. Oh my. I knew the boy was big, but really. He's a big kid!




A new tool!

I think the main reason Steve loves a new project is that it often means that he needs a new tool. I'm good with that because I need new sewing tools pretty often too!

His new tool is a power planer. I thought planers were only hand driven but, no, that is not the case. He cut the airplane hanger floor planks (see previous post) to a uniform length and placed them on the frame he made. He's pretty proud of that frame and he should be. This is the platform that he'll use to glue together the boards and it will keep everything level.


That's the very fine power planer in his hand (below). It's loud and it spits out LOTS of sawdust. You can set the depth of the cut. He's taking off 1mm.


Look down the length of the board behind the power planer. You can see the clean pine. Under other circumstances I might not want to take off so much of the wear/character of these boards but there is probably a lot of machine oil in the wood. I'm afraid the polyurethane won't adhere well if that's not taken off.


The change in the look of the wood is kind of amazing! Steve says I'll be staining and polyurethaning before we go to OKC on the 23rd. He's got a lot of glueing and sanding between now and then. I'll post more photos as he makes progress. We have a party here on New Year's Eve and I really hope we have the new table in place for it :-).


Cute for Christmas…

I did a little blog surfing the other day and I found a link to these cute string snowmen on Spidatter. Why didn't I ever think of doing this with yarn or string?


And from NieNie Dialogues I found this link. I'm not usually one to wear a corsage, but Decor to Adore by Laura Ingalls Gunn has some that could change my mind:




Funny from Steve…

We all get those funny emails, right? I rarely pass them on because I hate to clutter other people's inboxes. But MDH, Steve, sent me this list this week and I thought it was good enough to share.

Truths for Mature Humans

  1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
  2. Nothing is worse than the moment in an argument when you realize you're wrong.
  3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
  4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
  5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
  6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
  7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
  9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
  10. Bad decisions make good stories.
  11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
  12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection…again.
  13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to the ten-page technical report I swear I did not make any changes to.
  14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
  15. I think the freezer deserves a light, as well.
  16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.
  17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Construction" routing option.
  18. I have a hard time discerning the fine line between boredom and hunger.
  19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?
  20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
  21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
  22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
  23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in less than 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!
  24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974.  That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

#24 reminded me of my photo for next year's Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative Challenge. There are more of us challenging each other and the theme is hockey! I look intimidating, right?


This or That?



Linda just got a Sweet Sixteen from Handi Quilter and I have sewing machine lust! She is really excited and I know she's going to love it. Guess what I'm going to be getting instead?



That's right, I'm getting braces. I only need them on my top 8-10 front teeth for 4 months, followed by a retainer. I'm getting the more invisible bands and buttons (I think that's what they call the doodad that is glued to your tooth). As braces go this is not all that bad.

But you know what? Braces = most of the cost of a Sweet Sixteen. That's the part that hurts! At least Linda will have a year to learn all the ins and outs of the Sweet Sixteen and I look forward to the time she can share what she's learned!


Shopping in Dallas…

Steve and I went to Dallas today to shop – but not at the mall. We went to Orr-Reed Wrecking looking for used wood to make a new dining room table. We tried to buy one new, but I guess we are too particular. We decided to make something unique! We found this wood:


Notice that it's tongue and groove? It's 2" x 6" pine flooring. Not what I was expecting to find but Steve is very happy. He's going to glue them together, side by side, to make a solid tabletop. The tongue and groove is going to make that process easier.


It turns out that these boards are about 60 years old. They were flooring in a hanger at Love Field. I would never have imagined an airplane hanger with wood floors! They are currently stacked on our garage floor with the 2 porch posts that we also purchased. We're going to cut them in half and use them for the table legs. Steve is going to start working on this soon so I'll post more photos as the table progresses.


This is what Orr-Reed Wrecking looks like. There's a lot more than this. Notice the bird houses?


Mr. Jones has been making these bird houses for many years. I have one on my front porch and love it dearly.

Next we went to Century Modern where we picked up this chair for our living room. It's my new sewing chair! Century Modern is like an antique store except that their 'antiques' are century modern in style. Great place to find this sort of thing.


And these are the chairs that I had to leave behind. I don't think Steve was sorry that we couldn't afford them. They are almost awful – but I loved them anyway. But I can picture them without the horrible vinyl seats…