Helena has given me the first tag of the year. I know y’all are jealous but that’s OK. Odds are pretty good that I tagged you! Here are the rules:
1. link to who tagged you
2. put the rules on your blog
3. post six stupid and non-relevant things about yourself
4. tag six peeps at random
5. let them know by leaving a comment
Ready for my randomosity?
1. I’m not a very forgiving person. I can hold a grudge for years. Decades, actually. It runs in the family — on both sides — so I guess I come by it honestly. I don’t dwell on the person, place or thing; I just cut it out of my life. Honey is not such a fan of this trait.
2. I like to sing and dance in the car. This often embarrasses my children. I don’t care.
3. My pets are all named after vegetables. Really. The cat from Wednesday? His name is Broccoli. Our other cat is Rhubarb (usually called Ruby) and our dog is Ava (Avocado). Why? Step into the way-back machine and journey to 1993. I’m at Wal-mart (THE place to shop in my small Alabama hometown) with my newborn son (no idea where his brother was; probably with grandparents). He was a little fussy and I was talking to him to help him calm down. A little boy a few steps away turned to his mother and said, “Mommy! That baby’s name is Carrot!” (It’s not but it rhymes!) When I relayed this story to my now-husband a few years later, we chose veggie nickname for the whole family: Squash, Carrot, Poppy Popcorn (the kids call Honey “Pop” or “Poppy”) and … Mommy Salami. It was only natural to give the pets vegetable names, too. Any future pets will either be Asparagus or Olive.
4. My current condiment of choice is Sriracha Chili Sauce. It’s hot and yummy and I looooveeeee it. Even though it makes me cry and my nose runs like a cheap motel faucet.
5. I have the best sisters-in-law in the world. I’ve known two of them since I was 12 (my late first husband was my childhood sweetheart); the other is Honey’s little sister and I’ve known her since she was 16. Gena tormented me when we were younger (we’re only a year apart in age and grade) but after my oldest was born we became much closer and have stayed that way even after her brother’s death. We have great gabfests whenever we get together. Kime is my sweet baby sister and such an amazing mom. She has four kids — three girls and a chunky baby boy I could just eat up — and more determination than just about anyone I know. She’s like a big sister to my boys and has such a great relationship with them. Jenn is one of my best friends. We talk on the phone a couple of times a week and I absolutely adore her daughter, who always yells into the phone “Aunt Mary, I love you!” I always wanted sisters when I was growing up and consider myself blessed to have acquired them. (For the record, I have three more — Flilica, Rina and Stephanie — and they’re also lovely people; I’m just not as close to them.)
6. I’m a voracious reader and I read pretty much anything. Of course, my secret shame is that I read trashy romance novels. I blame my mother: she did, too. (BTW, so does Gena!)
Now for the tagged: Emily (I’m gonna make you blog, girl!), Heidi, Amy, Stephanie (I’ve done my first challenge project; just need to take pics!), Rachel and Ula. If I didn’t tag you but you feel inspired, by all means, do it! I don’t always participate when I’m tagged and I’m trying to spread the tag love around when I do take part.
I’m avoiding all the things I still need to do before Christmas and what better way to procrastinate than take part in the Sew, Mama, Sew Holiday Meme?
- Do you have a favorite gift that you love to give?
- I love finding just the right gift for each recipient. I have so many people for whom I buy that I’ve yet to find a one-fits-all type of gift.
- If you’re making gifts this year, what are you making? (Post photos if you have some!)
- Do you have any good stories about handcrafted gifts you’ve given or received?
- My mother died less than two weeks before Christmas six years ago. She had been diagnosed with cancer 10 weeks before and still managed to make bins full of afghans to give the people on her gift list. Unfortunately, she did not leave me any clues regarding the distribution of her crocheted bounty, nor had she been able to finish off all of the afghans. I have steadfastly refused to do anything with yarn, so I had no idea how to fix all those loose strings — and also was not ready to let go of all my mother’s hard work. So, for the past six years, I have lived with Rubbermaid tubs filled with unfinished, homeless afghans. This year, I decided it was time to start letting go. I borrowed my son’s Beginning Crochet book, bought a pack of yarn needles and started weaving in all those strings. And then I washed and dried one, put it in a box, wrapped it with some pretty paper and included it in a surprise box of Christmas gifts I sent to an online acquaintance and her family. It made me feel good to know that something my mom made was going to a new home, somewhere I thought it would be loved and appreciated. Plus, it always makes me feel closer to my mom, doing random acts of kindness like that. She didn’t have much money but she still found a way to make sure everyone she cared about received a handmade gift from her at Christmas.
- Name one thing on your personal wish list.
- A new duvet cover and shams for my bed.
- Do you make and sell things that would make fantastic gifts? (Link)
- For the past few years, I’ve sold dress-up tutus online through my Web site, Flourishes. I’m thinking about adding some new things to my site next year, including crowns (felt and tulle ones), and maybe aprons and felt cookies.
- What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
- Every Christmas Eve, the kids get to open one present: a new pair of jammies to wear to bed that night. After they change, I take pictures of them in front of the tree. The boys are old enough to know what’s in that bag but it’s so fun to see my daughter get excited. And this year, I’m making those jammies!
- Have you started any new traditions with your family that you didn’t practice growing up?
- Opening a gift on Christmas Eve is one. Our big one is brunch on Christmas day. I love having a family that’s so into breakfast! LOL! I make a huge spread every Christmas and then we snack on it the rest of the day (usually a couple of days!). No big dinner (maybe soup and sandwiches) for us.
- What do you love most about the holiday season?
- Seeing how excited my kids get over every aspect of the holiday — even my jaded teenagers.
- What do you like least about the holiday season?
- The pressure to buy-buy-buy. Also: Christmas stuff in stores before Halloween (August this year!).
- Anyone close to your heart that you’ll be missing this year?
- My mom. She was my partner in crime, especially where crafting is concerned.
- What is your favorite holiday food?
- The boys’ great aunt makes the world’s best sweet potato casserole. It has a crunchy pecan topping that is To Die For. I’m also a huge fan of sausage balls, being the good Southern girl that I am. There are, however, some brunch dishes that I make only at the holidays because they are just soooooo goooooooood.
- Do you have a great recipe to share?
- Every year I make this Oatmeal Creme Brulee for our Christmas brunch. It really is best cooked the morning of because it gets a little too thick (for my tastes) if it sits overnight.
2 cups oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar (splenda equivalent)
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 1/3 cups nonfat milk
2 eggs, or 1/2 cup egg substitute, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar (brown sugar splenda)
• Baking time: 43 to 50 minutes
• Heat oven to 350 F. Spray 8-inch-square glass baking dish with cooking spray.
• In large bowl, combine oats, granulated sugar and salt.
• In medium bowl, combine milk, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to oat mixture; mix well. Pour into baking dish. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until center jiggles slightly. Remove from oven to cooling rack. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over top of oatmeal. Using back of spoon, gently spread sugar into a thin layer across entire surface of oatmeal. Return to oven; bake just until sugar melts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set oven to broil. Broil 3 inches from heat until sugar bubbles and browns slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. (Watch carefully to prevent burning.It may be necessary to turn baking dish.) Spoon into bowls to serve.
- Do you have a great recipe to share?
The lovely and talented Helena tagged me to share some of my favorite things and I never managed to get around to it. Oh, I am just awful at this meme business. And now the equally lovely and talented Sheree has tagged me to share seven random things about me. I think I’ll find a way to combine the two!
So here are the rules of which you must follow once tagged.
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.
- My go-to, gotta have sweet is, without a doubt, Jelly Belly jellybeans. I’m not so much a fan of traditional jelly beans, but these are perfect little pellets of yum. I’m especially enamored of the Sizzling Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Pudding and Marshmallow flavors. And I’ve also been known to enjoy the occasional Tabasco and Jalapeno bean.
- Reading is probably my all-time favorite pastime. I read a lot, and I read a pretty broad spectrum of stuff. Sci fi, fantasy, cyberpunk, thrillers (but nothing gory — I don’t do gore and I don’t do horror), trashy romances, historical fiction, humor. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of Christopher Moore, having been introduced by one of the dads on my son’s cross-country team.
- I really don’t have any friends from my childhood. Or high school. Or, really, past about seven-ten years ago. (Excepting Honey, of course.)
- Speaking of high school … my 20-year reunion is coming up and I’d sooner poke myself in the eye with a pen than go.
- I know I’m running the risk of offending my dear readers with this but … I love Kevin Smith. He is hysterical, his movies are a laff riot and Clerks: The Animated Series was brilliant.
- You know that item up there ^ about my reunion? Yeah, I can’t believe I am that old. When the heck did that happen? I swear, on the inside, I’m a good ten years younger.
- More favorites: I don’t work outside the home these days and pretty much live in jeans and tees. My favorite t-shirt is from Peace, Love, Mom (the Rock n Roll Mom tee) and it is perfect in every way — just the right cut, flattering and long enough that my muffin top doesn’t scare the world. I actually met two-thirds of the founders/designers/brilliance behind the company at Market earlier this year and they are so incredibly sweet and just fun, the kinda gals you’d love to go have margaritas with, if you could still drink tequila without flashing back to that Awful Tequila Experience. And I adore my Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (picked up at Nordstrom Rack for the amazing price of $26). I’m seriously kicking myself for not buying two or three pairs for that price!
- Bonus randomness: Miss L’s name does not begin with an L at all. Not her first name nor her middle name. It’s actually the first letter of the nickname which she is called all the time (OK, when we’re not calling her Bunny or Bitsy or Bitser or Bunnycakes or a hundred other random appellations.) We had actually intended to call her by her middle name but came across the nickname in a baby name book that said it was a German diminutive for her middle name. Since I’m half German and her middle name is for my Oma, it seemed serendipitous.
I’ve been tagged! I have to admit that I’m not very good with this whole tagging thing. I tend to over-think things and then am too embarrassed to follow through because it’s been weeks since the initial tagging. *sigh*
Have you met my friend Christi? She’s an amazingly talented scrapper and just an all-around sweetie. We “met” about 3.5 years ago on a pregnancy forum when we were both pregnant with our youngest kids. Anyway, Christi has tagged me with an acrostic meme.
Here’s how it works:
1. Players must list one fact, word, or tidbit that is somehow relevant to their life for each letter of their first or middle name.
2. When you are tagged you need to write your own post containing your first or middle name game facts, word, or tidbit.
3. At the end of your post choose one person for each letter of your name to tag.
4. Don’t forget to leave a comment telling them that they have been tagged, and to read your blog.
5. If I’ve tagged YOU (see below), please join in on the fun!
Y’all are lucky I’m going with my first name instead of my middle name (and all nine of its letters)!
Mother: My mom inspired my love of all things crafty. She’s the reason I sewed and took up cross stitch, plus a million other projects. She could crochet like nobody’s business. I loved watching her create something, a whirlwind of activity that always resulted in a treasured keepsake.
Alabama: Most of my childhood was spent here, which may seem odd for an Army brat. They’re supposed to move all the time, right? Yeah, not so much. My dad was stationed at the same post from before I was born until he retired, with the exception of one tour in Vietnam (while my mom was pregnant with yours truly), one in Korea (I was 12) and three years in Germany (my mother’s homeland and where I started school). I think it surprises most people to find out that I don’t have a Southern accent, in spite of living here more than 30 years.
Reality TV: Mostly not a fan, although I do enjoy the occasional Top Chef and America’s Next Top Model. Project Runway? Oh, yeah! My problem with the majority of “reality” TV is that it seems to be centered on humiliating and embarrassing people for the entertainment of others. That’s not saying I haven’t embraced the occasional schadenfreude moment — it’s just not something I could enjoy on a regular basis.
Yes: I have a difficult time saying “no.” Seriously. I could be stressed out from all my overcommitting and someone could ask for my help and I’d probably say, “Sure! No problem!” Actually, I have gotten much better about this — still need to work on it, though.
Jaime is super sweet and shared some love with the Nice Matters Award. I am just so touched! Jaime has a fun blog, where she shares her crafty adventures and little bits of life, as well as an Etsy store where she stocks her super-cute designs. Thank you, Jaime!
In return, I’m going to tag Katie, Jessica, Amy and Anne Heidi. There are so many wonderful people who visit here and whose blogs I read that I had a hard time singling anyone out. Katie is new to blogging but not to sewing and was so incredibly helpful when I decided to start sewing again. She continues to mentor others at her new blog with some great tutorials and tips. Jessica is a sweetheart and a talented artist, to boot. She’s the kind of person who’ll just send you something because she thinks you’ll like it (and you do). Amy is so generous and caring, and she makes pretty stuff, too. I know this because she sent me a big ol’ envelope full of her work this week and it just made my day! My first swap ever hooked me up with Anne Heidi and I’m just so grateful to have “met” her that way. She’s a great example of following your dream, since she recently opened a quilt shop (and still finds time to make her own pieces, plus teach her kids to sew/craft/quilt, too).
1. List seven random facts/habits about yourself.
2. Choose another SEVEN bloggers to tag and list their names in your blog.
3. Leave your seven tagged bloggers comments to notify them of their tagging and to direct them to your blog for tag instructions.
1. I curse a blue streak. It’s really pretty awful. I’m trying to cut back, especially since I have a little blonde mimic following me around everywhere.
2. My pets are all named after vegetables. Dog Avacado (called Ava) and cats Broccoli and Rhubarb (called Ruby).
3. My hair is naturally curly and I have three naturally curly haired babies.
4. I was widowed at 23 (today is actually the anniversary of my first husband’s death). I hate the look on people’s faces when they find out.
5. My mom was cremated after she died five years ago. My intention was to spread her ashes down in the Keys. That has not yet happened, so my mom is still in a box in my closet. I tell her “hi” every time I walk in.
6. I have not spoken to my younger brother in three years.
7. My favorite job is being an aunt. I will, at the end of the summer, have 19 nieces and nephews: Dylan, Hayley, Noah, Madison, Davis, Anthony, Jameson, Katie, Julie, Belle, Clayton, Brice, Conner, Sidney, April, Alex and Amelia.
Now that you’ve read it, consider yourself tagged!