Sunday, January 31, 2010

Guess What Today Is!!

Can you, can you? Can you guess what today is? It's an extra special day for me and possibly for one of you, too! If you can guess what today is, I'll send you a fabulous prize. It could be a set of hot pads, a picture frame card, two mini gift bags, or two Love cards. It's the winner's choice of one of those four. So, get to guessing. If more than one person guesses correctly, I'll used that fantabulous random number generator to choose the winner. Guessing stops Wednesday, February 3. Good luck!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

All's Right in the World

Michele's home and I would like to say that it was her homecoming that did away with the last of my migraine. I think it definitely helped, but most of the credit goes to prescription medication, time, rest, and yoga. By the time I picked Michele up yesterday, all the pain was gone and I was ready for our planned night of fun. We did our two favorite things: ate out and went to the movies. We went to Red Robin, our favorite burger joint, which we love because any of their gourmet burgers can be made with a Boca patty! Yummy!! And we saw It's Complicated, which was about the funniest and sweetest movie I've seen in a while. I very highly recommend it! Tonight we're off to a dinner party with friends and then EARLY tomorrow morning, Michele is off to Georgia. It's a whirlwind, but every second is wonderful.

Friday, January 29, 2010

They're Baaaack!!

Migraines. I had them as a kid and they have returned to torture me as an adult. My doctor refused to perform an in-office brain-ectomy yesterday, but did give me a good plan of attack and some great meds to help. She recommended that I spend the day resting in a dark room, which I know is pretty typical advise and should have been pretty easy. When I got home from the med center, I realized that was harder than one would think. There is not one room in my house that has 1. no windows through which light floods or 2. drapes/blinds/shades that can be drawn to darken it. So I made due by laying in Michele's workout room - figured the bright blue walls with the sun glowing through the orange curtains would be better than the BRIGHT yellow walls and sunshine in the bedroom. Even when Rochester's gray, if there's snow on the ground it is bright! Maybe I'll buy a shade or two for the future.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Eye-Twitching Pain

I have had a headache since last Friday. This is an ache that no medicine I have access to will touch, so I am actually going to the doctor today! I hope that she performs a quick outpatient surgery and removes the offending part of my head.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An Oh So Gorgeous Scarf!

I am a particular lover of scarves. I must have about half a million of them made by my mother, step mother, and sister, or made from my own hands. Well, when my friend and fellow RNEST artist, Sarah (not football, sledding, snuggie, bad influence Sarah) offered to give away one of her hand woven scarves on my weekly post on the RNEST blog, I wept inside. My tears were 25% joy because it's absolutely gorgeous and 75% sadness because, as the hostess of the giveaway, I can't enter to win! But you can, and I hope you do. This is artisan-ship at its best! Check out the post here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Auditioning Entertainment

After Teresa's heartfelt assertion that Enterprise is worth my TV watching time, I decided to stick with my plan and continue watching. It is definitely growing on me, but I find that I cannot watch three DVDs (12 episodes) in a row, like I would with TNG, DS9, or VOY. I can't even really watch one DVD straight through - I need a break after each episode. This wouldn't really be a problem, but I'm keeping each DVD for far too long, so I needed a new plan. To that end, I've been looking for something to mix in with Enterprise that will be a quick watch. After several suggestions from coworkers (and some strangers), I decided to audition Battlestar Galactica. I remember watching it as a kid (at least I think I do), so I hoped I'd enjoy it as an adult. Well, I just watched the first DVD (which I didn't realize was the four-hour pilot episode!) and I really like it. It's similar enough to Star Trek that it interests me, but not so much alike that I feel disloyal. The only thing I will need to get used to is that the new BG was a cable show, so it's a little more risque than I'm used to, but as long as my parents don't find out, I think it will be OK!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Yesterday, I received an email from one of the women running Craft Hope letting me know that they'd gotton the two bags I sent listed in the shop. I thought I'd mention that today and post the link in case you were interested in either of them. Well, I went to the shop and looked and looked and couldn't find them. I thought, "Wow! I wonder if they sold ALREADY??" Lo and behold, I looked in their sold listings and there were BOTH my bags! Sold not today, but yesterday!! WOW!! I'm so excited to be sending them off to whoever participated in such a worthy cause!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday-After-Church Ritual

I actually did enjoy the retreat and planning day yesterday, just as I enjoyed church this morning. Regardless of how much I enjoy church, by Sunday afternoon, after having spent all week and most of the weekend around people, I am really ready for some alone time. To that end, I developed a new Sunday-After-Church ritual for myself and really look forward to it. As soon as I get home, I change into one of my sweat suits (I have about 9 of the same style in different colors), make some lunch, brew myself a pot of tea - oh so lovely!, and take a good book into the parlor or onto the sun porch if it's sunny.

Depending on how much relaxing I need to do, I will use either my fat yellow twelve-cup pot or my tall, thin blue six-cup pot (which matches the set of "for good" dishes that my parents received as a wedding gift and my mother passed on to me.) The minute I take my first sip of my favorite African Red tea, all my stress melts away. I hope you have a relaxation ritual, too. If we all did, the world would be a much calmer place, don't you think?

[By the way, today was only a six-cup kinda day!]

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Being a Good Church Member (Very Nearly Without Complaint)

We have a church retreat and planning event all day today. I know it's important, but it's supposed to be really nice today, so I would rather be playing outside. OK, let me get honest: I would rather be playing in my craftroom with an occassional sojourn onto the sun porch for a cup of tea, a snack, and a good book. But, with Michele on the road, I will be the only representative of the Wescott clan that can attend and attend I will. I'm sure it will be fun and it's such an important activity, so I will enjoy myself. It's over at 3 and I have promised myself an uninterrupted evening of crafting, chocolate, audio books, and soda (with maybe some dinner thrown in there for good measure!)

This is where I'd rather be, but what's new? If I had my way, I'd be in here 24/7 365!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Craft Hope

Teresa, one of my blogging friends, clued me in on this awesome group of ladies who are really doing their part to save the world, one craft at a time. They have a blog called Craft Hope on which they generally post crafting projects for others to make and donate to selected charities. Well, in the wake of the Haiti disaster, they opened an Etsy shop to raise money to benefit Doctors Without Borders. They opened the shop last Friday expecting to make a few hundred dollars, maybe a thousand or two, and have made over $20,000!
I wanted to bring this amazing group to your attention if you're a crafter because all the items they are selling have been generously donated by crafters like you and me. I also wanted to bring it to your attention if you are in the market for some beautiful handmade items. Defintely check it out. Teresa's working on some really great shopping bags (I have and regularly use a set she's made and LOVE them), I've donated the tote bags you see in this post, and there is such a great diversity of other items to choose from. Why not multi-task and get the item that you need while supporting a very worthy cause?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sunny Skies

I love really sunny winter days so I has to capture this one. It was even sunnier and brighter because Michele was home to share it with me. I truly felt like spring (but I'm no fool! I know I live in Upstate NY and spring is a LONG way away!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Giving Junk Mail a Swift Kick in the Pants

OK, one of my missions in life is to do less work. Another is to live lightly on the earth. Well, I'm not sure what happened, but it seems like within the last year, Michele and I have been getting massive amounts of junk mail. And it's my job to sort through it and shred what needs shredding and recycle everything that I can. My recycling bin is about 95% junk mail and I'm really sick of it. So, I decided to find that buttom I can push to sock junk mail right in the jaw. Yeah, right! It's not an easy job to stop getting junk mail at all, but I think I've taken all the steps needed and I thought I'd share them with you.
  1. Go to and fill in their form. They will auto-populate the letters that you need to send to the mailing lists to get your name off them.
  2. Go to and register with them. They will (1) help you stop being added to new lists and (2) direct you to contact information for getting off lists you are on because you have purchased products from the company or because you once requested a catalog or something.
  3. Look through your junk mail and catalogs and contact the individual companies you are receiving stuff from who are not registered with DMA.
It doesn't work immediately, and it takes a lot of time to do it all, but I'm hopeful that it will (1) save me time in sorting through it all and (2) save some trees!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Help

I've joined a book club organized by some ladies at work. Thankfully, we meet during our lunch hour, so I don't have to try to juggle another evening committment. The first book I am reading as a part of the group is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It is so good I'm having a hard time putting it down. Since I spent most of my time this weekend reading it, I've come upon two realizations (which, unsurprisingly, have nothing at all to do with the book in particular):
1. The snuggie commercial that complains that blankets are hard to use while reading because your arms are outside the blanket and get cold is right on the money! As you know, my house is chilly. When I'm laying down reading, I am usually covered with a blanket and usually have on a hood or hat, but my arms get so cold! So, although I tease my sister and my friend, Sarah, for their Snuggie usage, I am going to make myself one and you can, too, by clicking here!

2. Although I sell and am giving away lots of bookmarks and they are totally fun and easy to make, when I need to mark my place in a book, I tear a corner off of whatever paper is laying around. That's a shame, so I decided that in addition to the snuggie, I will make myself 5 bookmarks (I need 5 because I can never read just one book at a time!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Have a Dream

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day, everyone! Dr. King did indeed have a dream, and in so many ways it has come true . . . and in so many others we have a great long way to go. I encourage you to do what you can on this day, this, month, this year to end oppression and bring about equality. It can be an internal thing, like changing the way you think about people who are different from you, or can be an external thing like signing a petition or participating in a rally for something you believe in. Whatever it is, do what you can to make this world a better place and to make that dream come a little truer by next year.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Have a Heart for Haiti

By now we all know at least a part of the enormity of the tragedy of the earthquake in Haiti. My mother had a church friend who hadn't heard from her family, but, after calling out the prayer warriors, she finally heard from them and they are well. There are many joyful stories and many that bring me to tears. Michele and I, like so many of you, have dug into our bank accounts and given what we can. When Michele comes home next she'll take the time to go donate blood - they are in such desperate need, so if you can donate, please do. Many of us are using the simple text message to send $10 to the American Red Cross - Verizon has already given $3 million dollars on behalf of Verizon users simply texting HAITI to 90999. We're all doing our part worldwide. In church this morning, Rev. Jim said that if you feel like you're alone doing just a little, it is very difficult to feel hopeful. I want to let everyone know that no one is alone in this effort. And I want to personally thank everyone who has done even a little something in the wake of this tragedy. And to that end, it's nice to get a little something as a "thank you!" for doing what you can. It would give me great joy to send each person reading this blog a little "Thank YOU!!" in the form of a quilted bookmark. So, for the rest of January, if you've given to the relief efforts in Haiti, go to my profile and email me your name and address so that I may personally thank you.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Fly, A Mysterious Fly

There was a fly in my house this evening. I know that may not seem bizarre to you all, but it's winter. Don't flies die or hibernate during the winter? I mean I know that today we had quite the heat wave and got up in the 40's (I went out without a coat and felt just fine!), but did the warmth revive the flies prematurely? I think the warmth teased the insects into thinking it's spring.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


We're having a heat wave here - it was in the 30's today and may well reach the 40's tomorrow. That's bikini weather in these parts! Unfortunately, that is also slushy messy roads, melting icicles, and overworking sump pump weather, but it is winter, right?

I cannot comment on the weather without acknowledging the catastophy of the earthquake in Haiti. I've been riveted by the reports and every time I hear one more I say a prayer. It definitely puts it all in perspective. If you are moved to do something to help, I urge you to search for a reputable organization and do what you can. Here's a good place to start. Tragedies like this one truly reveal our character as a loving and giving people.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

OK, Now That's Cold

I don't believe I really need to say anything much - this picture says it all. I'll just say that this is the library at the end of our street. Brrr!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Perfect Tissue Paper

Oh, how I ache, so to distract myself from my post-sledding bruises, I've been thinking about my decision to really embrace The Quilted House brand by using only the company colors in my wrapping supplies - I wrap most everything in tissue paper and tie it with a ribbon before sending to a customer. Well, The Quilted House colors are yellow, orange, and green (my three favs), so I usually use yellow or green tissue paper and tie things with a yellow, green, or orange ribbon (it's easier to find large quantities of yellow and green paper than it is to find orange unless it's halloween or fall!)

When I was digging through my tissue paper box to find paper to wrap the bookmarks I mentioned yesterday, I stumbled upon some paper that Michele had used for my birthday two years ago - yes, I save everything! It is absolutely perfect for The Quilted House: it's yellow, green AND orange, and has stripes of ribbon, buttons, rick rack, fabric, and other sewing items! Now, my fingers are crossed that 1. Michele remembers where she bought it; 2. they still sell it; and 3. it doesn't cost so much that the wrapping is more expensive than what's wrapped inside it!

My fingers are additionally crossed that 1. I will soon be able to sit comfortably on my bruised posterior and 2. I will soon be able to stand and walk erect as opposed to my current state which resembles the hunched stature of one of the hermit trolls from the old-school fairy tales.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fun in the Snow, or, Oh How My Body Aches!

Although I complain, I really do love winter. I love the snow, think it's really beautiful, just don't like shoveling it or getting my car stuck in it at the end of the driveway. Today I embraced that love of snow and went sledding with some friends. There are designated sled trails at a park not far from my friend Sarah's house and her friend Dave has five sleds, so we were well prepared to have a ball! And, oh, how we did indeed have a ball. Now the only problem with sledding - ok, there are a few - is that once you experience the thrill of going down a huge hill, you, that's right, MUST COME BACK UP!! The first climb back up almost killed me! I don't care what kind of shape you're in, climbing up a massive hill is torture! And climbing up a massive hill after totally wiping out on your sled is inhumane! (Yes, of course I wiped out! This is me we're talking about here. If I survive an activity without injury I obviously wasn't playing hard enough!) It was really a blast, but after flying down the hill, going airborne, and landing, still on the sled, on the hard-packed snow on my butt jarring EVERY BONE in my body and still having to walk back up the hill, I was just about done! Then, however, we moved to what we thought was a less challenging hill, but looks were deceiving. Little jumps were built into the hill, but you couldn't see them from the top, and I went flying down and then flying up into the air, did a little in-air somersault and landed on my previously bruised posterior - and still had to walk back up the hill!! Oww! It was hours ago and I am still having trouble sitting and I don't even want to think about how I'll feel in the morning! But you know what? I'll go out again in a heartbeat! What's life without a few bumps a bruises, right?
This is my friend, Sarah. She's
a bad influence. She invited me
sledding and organizes our
Thursday football games! I blame
her for my pain!

Charity In Stitches

By avoiding shoveling the snow, I've been having a lot of fun the past few weeks. I've been relaxing and playing in my craft room. I gave myself a few weeks off from making things for the shop and have been enjoying working on my pay-it-forwards (yes, they were due by the end of the year, but good things come to those who wait.) I've also been working on a flannel quilt for the bed in Michele's truck. It's so cute and I can't wait to finish it to show you all.  Another fun project is one that sort of benefits the shop, by getting the shop name out there, but really is all about the animals (not squirrels, rabbits, or ground hogs, though!)

Back in November, I found this Etsy shop, Vegan Craft Samples, that sells bags with 17-20 vegan craft samples and donates all the money from sales to an animal santuary or rescue program. I thought it'd be very cool to participate, so during my break I sewed up some very pretty bookmarks to be included in the Valentine's Day bags (on sale February 1st!) I had so much fun making them, but had even more fun wrapping them up! Oh, how exciting to send out 25 little gifts! The proceeds of the current bags and the Valentine's Day bags all go to the Pigs Peace Sanctuary, which rescues abandoned pigs from pounds and other shelters - most were abandoned after the pot bellied pig pet fad fell out of fashion (wow, try saying that 10 times fast!)

Flossing update: still on track, morning and night (even Friday night at 3 am!)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Snowed Under

Snow hats on trash, compost & AC!

Wow, it has been snowing non-stop all week. I went to my friend Deb's house last night for pizza and a movie (though we talked so much that we never got to the movie), and when I went out to my car to leave (at 2 am!!) there was at least six inches of snow on my car! I got home and my driveway (which I've neglected to shovel or have plowed) was impassable! So, after narrowly avoiding getting run down by a snow plow plowing down my street (at 3 am!!), I parked on the side of the road and hiked up the driveway into the house. The snow in my driveway was up above the tops of my boots and I have to shovel in front of the door before I could get it opened! So, today I decided I needed to call my neighbor to get her plow guy to come over and plow my driveway. Michele and I had a guy, but we can't get in contact with him, so, for the past two years, we've called Rita and had a conversation like this:

Hey, Rita, do you think you could get your guy to come over and plow the drive again?
Well, I dunno. My guy's pretty busy. He's gotta lot to plow. You should be shoveling everyday like me to make it not so hard for him when he comes.
I know, Rita, but it's just too much snow for me to shovel. Can you ask your guy?
I'll ask him, but he's pretty busy. He has real customers and I don't want him to feel bothered. He's a good guy - I'd hate to lose him. You got too much snow - it's crazy - why'd you get so much snow in your drive? (as though it's only snowed on my driveway and no where else in the city!)
OK, OK, I'll do better next time it snows, just get your guy to come this once.

Of course it's all just a ritual - her "guy" is the friend of her neice's aunt's nephew's cousin, so he's related somehow and always comes and takes care of our drives when Rita calls. And heaven help us if we get someone else to plow for us: Who'd you get to plow? How much did he charge? That's too much! It doesn't even look like he did anything. You should have called me and I'd have had my guy come out! She just likes to give Michele and me a hard time to show she cares. Gotta love good neighbors and Rita's one of the best!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


As I mentioned in my last post, my goals for this year are many, but this week I am focusing on flossing (baby steps), which I am finding great success at: Day three and teeth were flossed this morning and I have plans to do the same this evening.

Another of my goals was to make my shop official with the state of New York. Mission accomplished. I just got notification today that my application to accept NYS sales tax was processed and approved. The Quilted House is now official! Yippee!!

As I am on the subject of goals, I thought I would share with you a few of the funnier ones from the "do before I'm 40" list I mentioned yesterday. So in addition to my goal to have a fish in every room, I (at one point about ten years ago) wanted to:
  • Become fulfilled (hmmm? OK, I can check that one off)
  • Have the perfect craft room (mission accomplished - BIG TIME!)
  • Help people (not sure why I needed to put this on the list, but maybe it was a loftier goal than it sounds)
  • Take advantage of opportunities (I guess I hadn't heard of SMART goals yet)
  • Own a tub I can lay down in (OK, this is still a great desire - I'm 6 feet tall and when sitting in the original tub in our house from 1920, I'd settle for a tub I can stretch my legs out in!)
  • Know a lot about something (wow, really?)

Also on the list: Have fun. As you can see from the pictures of Michele, our Utah buddies, Cindy and Jeremiah, and me on New Year's eve, I can cross that one off the list, too!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year Greetings, Fishes, and Clean Teeth

Hello friends! Sorry I have been away for so long. I took advantage of the holidays and squeezed every drop of fun out of them. I don't think I turned my computer on more than a handful of times the whole two weeks. We had a lovely, wonderful Christmas and the New Year has begun divinely! I hope you all were equally blessed this holiday season!

Now, I never make resolutions, but I love lists, so I make a list of goals I'd like to accomplish for the year. A few years ago I made a list of things I wanted to do before turning 40 and have about 75% of that list done! There are a few weird things on it that make me wonder what I was thinking, though. One thing is "have a fish in every room." Not sure where I was going with that, but I don't think it would be a bad thing - the cats would LOVE it!!

So, anyway, back to my goals for this year. I decided to focus on one a week and share that goal with you with an update on my progress at the end of the week. This week's focus goal is to floss regularly. I'd like to make flossing a habit this year and so far I'm doing OK: I've flossed twice this year, which is two times more than last year! I'm on my way!!


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