Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year Massage and Message

Hubby and I each went for an hour-long massage and just got back. We have a membership at Massage Envy. It is a spa franchise that opened up near our home a couple of years ago. We pay for 1 massage per month and the hours accumulate if you don't use it for whatever reason. Everyone once in awhile we get 2 hour massages and are practically unconscious at the completion. It truly is a luxury and yet is so beneficial.

I love getting massages. They are relaxing, great for tension, sore muscles and headaches and over-all health and well being. The beds at Massage Envy are heated which was particularly nice on this cold winter day.

Some people are really uncomfortable about getting massages. One of my best friends has never and says she will never get one. She feels like it is too intimate to strip down for a stranger and she says she wouldn't be able to relax. First of all, you don't have to completely strip, you can wear shorts if you'd like. Of course you are covered with a blanket and the therapists are well trained at keeping you covered; exposing just the body part being worked on, like an arm.

There are all kinds of massages, light touch, deep tissue, maternity, Swedish. I prefer a firm pressure and, unfortunately I didn't get that today. If I am able to fall asleep during the session, it is not firm enough!

What about you? Have you had a massage? Or, are you like my friend who say's she will never do it? If not, why not?

In the new year, I am wishing you all many, massages or at least one.

To your health!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Simple Christmas Party

My family is from Oregon and hubby's are from California and Arizona, so we really miss them at Christmas. Most years we have family that is able to come stay with us. I enjoy that so much. Especially with my sister and her girls. It is like we are all the same person; we laugh at, respond to, and say the same things. It is amazing how that occurs since we are not around each other very often.
My husband's sister lives here,so we were able to have her, her husband and 2 boys over for a light dinner and White Elephant gift exchange a couple days before Christmas. They brought Anny and Penny, the mini-dachshund cousins, to enjoy the festivities with us. Christmas day, however , was spent with our 4 kids that are still at home. Very quiet, comparatively speaking...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Library

I love my books. Even as a teenager, my hangout was the library. In the last couple of weeks 8 Christmas idea books have arrived at my door. They are presents to me and they didn't cost any $$. I am a member of People all over the country post books that they are finished with and people that are looking for books get to order. It is just like ordering from, say Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You search and browse for the books you want, click a button and it is on it's way.
Don't let the name Paperback Swap mislead you. Most of the books I received are hardcover in excellent condition. There are audiobooks, too.

Besides Christmas books, I have received gardening, sewing, painting,curriculum, and cultural stories.

If you'd like to start swapping, post 10 books and you will immediately receive 2 credits to choose books. After that, for each book you mail out to another member, you receive 1 credit.
You may be thinking: "Ackkkk, shipping books sounds expensive since they weigh so much!"
Actually, the USPS has a Media Rate, so the books cost , usually, under $3 to mail. Great deal!
Check it out. Perhaps it will contribute to a New Year's Resolution to read more.
Christmas Blessings Everyone!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bulk Potpourri Equals Many Gifts

Now this was an easy, can't mess it up craft/gift to make by yourself or with the young'ns. Well, actually, you might be able to mess it up by goofing up the scents you add to the dried botanicals. I used Cinnamon~Balsam for this Christmas blend. If I used the scented oil of, say, Lavender or Pina Colada or Georgia Peach, it could really mess with people's heads. I like to try and match the style of the florals to the fragrance.
Some other scents that would work with this blend are: Apple Cinnamon, Home for the Holidays, Christmas Tree, get the idea. I added about 1/2 oz. of scented oil and gentle stirred the ingredients together. My pictures are working backwards, but, all you need to do is grab a large bucket. I dumped some baby toys that I no longer needed, out of this tub; washed it really well and started grabbing my dried herbs and florals.
I buy my labels at They have every shape, size and kind you could ever need and they have templates that make creating the labels a snap. I used cellophane bags and whatever ribbon I had, to make 3 dozen fragrant and timely gifts for teachers, neighbors, co-workers, friends and those that you hadn't yet realized you are trading gifts with.

I threw in dried apple slices and dices, too.

I added rose hips, amra pods and mini apples (faux). I threw in rose leaves because they look like Bay leaves.

Mmmmmm, fragrant green leaves.

These cinnamon sticks are 1 inch long. You can use whatever length you have or desire.

Here are some fir pieces. Coco Flowers and Cellulose Fiber. I always add Cellulose Fiber as an inexpensive fixative for the scented oil.

I threw in some pinecones, first. I have Mountain pine cones and Engelmann cones. You can use any cones. The best come from your own yard or park.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not the Reason for The Season

I am horrified and after being disturbed all day, I have to vent. I hope you don't mind indulging me.

My hubby just told me that we are invited to an old "friend's" birthday party in a couple of days. I was told I had to bring dollar bills.

"What for?"

For the surprise Santa Claus stripper.

First of all, I am not a huge fan of Santa. I don't appreciate how he has hijacked the true meaning of Christmas.

Secondly, Santa Claus stripping down to a g-string is not a visual I would appreciate.Ewwwwww.
During the Christmas Holidays; Holy-days, this whole idea just seems sad.

Thirdly, if I have extra dollars to throw around, they will be thrown in the direction of worthwhile charities to help the widows, orphans, homeless, hungry.

Someone told me : "lighten up", "it's just for fun", "don't be so judgemental".

It appears that I just don't know how to have fun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Muslin~Fabric Paint~Stencils

My girls and I love to work on projects when we get together. Thankfully, my oldest daughter, Danielle, her hubby and son were able to make it out for Thanksgiving. They have purchased their first home in San Diego and love a cottage/beach theme for decor.
The girls and I ran into Joann's and bought a yard of the cheapest muslin they had for 1.49.They had muslin up to 6.99 per yard but we wanted to try the cheapest to see if it was good enough. It was! We found some fabric paint in the color "Fawn" and chose some beach themed stencils. We cut the fabric to pillow-size. The girls used sponge brushes to dab on the paint inside the stencils. We found it easier to cut the stencils apart so the stencil doesn't lay on the wet paint as you move it around.

I sewed up their creations and let the girls stuff them with fiberfil. Danielle stuffed hers really full and Lilly, not so full. There really is no right or wrong way.
The pillows look sandy against the ocean/spa blue bedspread in Lilly's room. This was such a fun and easy project that we worked on and completed within 2 hours.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Easy and Best Gift Ever!

It is 2 frigid-degrees out here which reminded me of one of my all time favorite things: the corn filled heat pack. I have sent these to many people; my sister and her girls, my mom, my son-in-law, who took it out to sea on a 4 month naval tour in the Middle East(the other sailors wanted it!), my niece and her room mate at the University of San Francisco (they said they are surprised their microwave hasn't exploded from non-stop use); some seriously ill friends, whom these gave non-stop comfort. This is,by far,the most used and appreciated gift I have given.

If you can make a pillow, you can make a corn filled heat pack. Use whatever fabric you desire or cut up an old sheet,towel or table cloth.I found the darling vintage-style Christmas fabric at JoAnn's for half price. Make whatever size you desire as long as it will fit in your microwave.I have often wished I could make a body-sized heat pack that I could lie on but I still haven't found a big enough microwave. Stitch right sides together and leave about a 1 inch hole to pour in the corn. Use a tight stitch to hold the corn in better. Turn right side out.

Haul over a 10 or 50 lb bag of feed corn and load up your "pillow". I pay under 10 dollars for a 50 lb. bag and I manage to use it all. You can get 10 lbs for a couple of bucks and the ability to carry it yourself. Don't use your Orville Redenbacher corn kernals; they will pop all over the place and burn up your bag. Don't accidentally take home dried corn cobs like I once did; not comfy. Be sure you ask for FEED CORN.
When your bag is pretty full of corn, yet flexible, whip stitch the opening to close.Sometimes, I sprinkle in lavender flowers for aroma-therapy.
Put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. You will learn just how long you can leave it in the microwave, to the second, before it gets too hot. My corn heat packs stay warm most of the night; better than a water bottle, better than a rice-filled bag.
Put it on your ice-cold feet, rather than putting your ice-cold feet on your hubby! This is a necessity for cramps; along with chocolate, of course.
I have never done this because I love the warmth and haven't yet needed an ice pack, but, put the corn bag in the freezer for a re-usable ice pack; works like frozen peas but better because it doesn't thaw and drip all over you.

Make a few of these for gifts. I guarantee you will have thankful and warm recipients!


Saturday, November 28, 2009



Thank you all for your prayers.My daughter, son in law and grandson were able to make their flight to be with us in Colorado for Thanksgiving.

Danielle, is doing well and I think it has been good for her to be with us, to recover and get lots of love .

She had surgery for a tubal pregnancy. Once the doctor got in there, nothing was found. Apparently she miscarried, and the doctor didn’t realize it. He thought he saw something in her tube. It was unnecessary surgery but we are thankful it was not  a tubal.  We are all so thankful that she is doing ok and was able to come. We are all sad about the baby but are trusting God.

The girls cooked all day.308 Sherry in Phoenix: that is your box of Cinnamon Bun potpourri on the table. :D It is on it’s way!307 007 The layered bar cookies are to die for!

Monica’s famous spinach artichoke dip. She serves is with slices of crusty french bread.008 014 We ran out of pie plates so the pumpkin pie turned into  mini pumpkin pies baked in the muffin tin.

011 This doesn’t look too pretty but the pistachio pineapple salad is so yummy. My 17 month old grandson hunted and found every little marshmallow in his serving. I have more pictures that I will be sharing soon.

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I am never happier and more content than when I have all my children together. We shared a traditional Thanksgiving feast with roasted turkey, honey ham, green been casserole, jello with sliced bananas, cucumber salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberries, stuffing…AND, we had the exact same meal the next day, with all the leftovers. We are truly so thankful for our blessings. Even during tough times, God has never failed to provide.034

Anny and Penny love going for a stroll in their dog stroller. They don’t resist like I thought they would!035