Monday, December 28, 2009

2009: A Pictorial Review

Reflections of the past year...

The sun dawned on a cold but bright new year...

Esme turned 15...

Lia turned 11...

And the snow started to melt, much to my joy!

The lake was still too cold for swimming...

but the St. Patty's Day Parade was unusually warm!

Esme went Pretty in Pink...

April saw lots of sun, but also those infamous showers...

But eventually we could picnic amid the May flowers!

Jacqueline celebrated her birthday!

We had picnics at the beach...

And saw rainbows!

We all celebrated at Harborfest on Jo's 13th birthday...

And Ant turned 17!

The summer drew to a close at Flat Rock...

And with bittersweet joy, Benji came into the world, as my step-dad Frank departed.

In September, I gots a new camera!

And Fall arrived in a show of color...

We partied in October!

And Benji loved movie night!

We started November in another state (Tennessee)...

And started a new Thanksgiving tradition!

We sent everyone warm holiday greetings...

And December ends cold & icy, but with warm and sunny hope for the dawning year...

The Best of 2009

The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

December 26 Insight or aha! moment. What was your epiphany of the year?

Definitely all I talked about here...

December 27 Social web moment. Did you meet someone you used to only know from her blog? Did you discover Twitter?

We met Reid! And a lovely bunch of unschoolers when we went to ARGH, but I didn't really know them before...

December 28 Stationery. When you touch the paper, your heart melts. The ink flows from the pen. What was your stationery find of the year?

Erm... I haven't really done much letter writing, and I usually use a card when I do... However, I kinda feel that way when I pick up my sketch pad & pencil! ^-^

Mosaic Monday Bunday

It's time for another round of Mosaic Monday Bunday! Here's a small collection of some lovely rabbity items with a New Beginnings theme!

Click any pic to see its Etsy listing!

For other Mosaic Monday posts, click here!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Best of 2009

The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

December 21 Project. What did you start this year that you're proud of?
Gala and Nubby
Obviously still a work in progress... Wonder if I'll have time to finish it soon...

December 22 Startup. What's a business that you found this year that you love? Who thought it up? What makes it special?
Hmmm... I don't think we discovered any new businesses this year that we were enamored of, but we did find the people of Monro Muffler to be extremely helpful on more than one occasion: Taking a good 30 minutes to thoroughly check our brakes and not charge us anything when we experienced what they called "brake fade" and then later when we had our brake lines actually fail (many months later). They were also very reasonably priced and didn't try to push extra repairs on us, even though they probably could have...

December 23 Web tool. It came into your work flow this year and now you couldn't live without it. It has simplified or improved your online experience.
Google Calendar! I used to use a Yahoo group calendar for Jacqueline & I, but it was a pain in the butt to go enter things on it in order to get the reminders and all. But Google Calendar is SO easy and Jacqueline & I just share our calendars! Easy peasy cheesy!

December 24 Learning experience. What was a lesson you learned this year that changed you?
Life is short. You can DIE at any moment. You could trip on a rock, hit your head, and be gone. Do you really want to waste a single moment when life is so unpredictable? (I've been forgetting this a lot lately...Thank you for asking & reminding me...)

December 25 Gift. What's a gift you gave yourself this year that has kept on giving?
Car repairs! LOL! Without them we wouldn't have been able to go swimming so often, drive to NYC, be there when my stepdad died, or Benji was born, and especially drive to Tennessee!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Day

I have been very productive this weekend! Yesterday, I spent a bunch of time doing Chemistry, then spent some time working on some crafty gifties! ^-^ I melted a Christmas record into a bowl for my mom and glitterfied it, then did some... well, worked on some other things... Not gonna spoil any surprizes... ~_^

Today, I sorted through old holiday cards I've been saving for DECADES, and let the kids have the ones I didn't want to save for myself for scrapping or holiday crafts. Then I put together a gingerbread house kit, made peanut butter balls, chocolate truffle filling, and started dipping things! ^o^

I forgot to eat lunch, but I am sure my sugar is all outta whack anyway because bits of candy and frosting and chocolate kept ending up in my mouth somehow! XD LOL! But a healthy dinner is in the oven now, thanks to my love, who also made yummy krinkle cookies!

OH! Earlier, I was taking some pics of the sky, and saw what I thought was my cat run down the driveway, over the snowbank across the street and down the hill to the neighbors, but then when I saw a red fox come running down the path in the woods, jump the stone wall, and then trot down the street looking for *my cat* I knew it had been a rabbit! (And yes, Bunny, my cat, was sound asleep behind me when I turned around, oblivious to anything...) It all happened so fast, that despite having my camera in hand, I got none of it. >.<

Well, back to the balls! XD

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Best of 2009

The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

December 17 Word or phrase. A word that encapsulates your year. "2009 was _____."


December 18 Shop. Online or offline, where did you spend most of your mad money this year?

Mad money? What's that? OH! We spent a big chunk of money getting my camera; that was through Walmart, the cheapest place we could find it; and another big chunk went to ARGH. ^-^

December 19 Car ride. What did you see? How did it smell? Did you eat anything as you drove there? Who were you with?

Best car ride was the trip home from NYC. We drove through rural PA and saw the most wonderful autumn scenery. Driving to & from TN was nice but a lot of it was in rain or the dark...

December 20 New person. She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?

Best new person has to be Benji! ^-^

Thursday, December 17, 2009

BlogCarnival: Favorite Gift

LindaB asked us, "What was your favorite gift received? Was it handmade?"

And the first thing that jumped to mind was a gift I asked for one year as a small child: a big blue bear, as big as me. You see, I had memories of this wonderful stuffed animal, as big as me, that I had as a toddler, that had disappeared, and I just wanted it replaced. So all I asked for, over & over that year, was a big blue bear. My parents must have thought I sounded like a broken record.

I was so happy on Christmas morning to find a fluffy stuffed bear in baby blue. It was not as big as me, but it was pretty big compared to my other stuffed animals. Sadly, when Spring came, I left him outside, it rained, and my mom threw him away. I was mad at mom for a long time for that, but years later, while rummaging through old photos, I came across one of me as a toddler carrying a big-as-me, bright blue BUNNY...

Yep, all along I had been trying to replace that big blue bunny, but had gotten it wrong in my head somehow... Yet all these years later, I still remember that my parents got me that great big blue bear, and even though it wasn't the right color blue or quite as big as I had remembered, it was still the softest prettiest bear, and the best present, I ever had...

Check out other EtsyBloggers answers at LindaB's blog!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Best of 2009

The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

December 16 Tea of the year. I can taste my favorite tea right now. What's yours?

Since starting this low carb kick, I've stopped drinking coffee in the mornings because I didn't want to drink it without flavored creamer, which is full of carbs, and the *sugar-free* ones are nasty. So I've started drinking Lipton French Vanilla, which is a flavored black tea, with a splash of real heavy cream. The cream makes it absolutely decadent, and the vanilla adds a sweetness without adding any sweeteners, and tea is naturally not as bitter as coffee anyway...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Best of 2009

The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

December 15 Best packaging. Did your headphones come in a sweet case? See a bottle of tea in another country that stood off the shelves?

This is something I usually don't think about... Packaging? Hmmm... I can't think of anything at all that had packaging so awesome I'd want to blog about it...

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Best of 2009

The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

December 14 Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?

This one was hard for me and I had to read a lot of other people's entries before I could figure out what *my* best rush of the year was...

Was it going to NYC? No, we had a lot of fun, but the driving made it too stressful to be a rush. Was it ARGH? Same thing, tons of fun, but the crazy roads stressed me out too much to make it a rush. So I thought and read some more...

Jacqueline suggested the first dive into the lake (in May she said, but we all know I didn't get in til JULY practically), and that was indeed a rush, but was it the *best*...??? No, I can't say it was.

First kisses? Um... none this year.

Meeting my grandson Benji? Giving him a bottle for the first time? Making him giggle? All awesome wondrous marvelous things to me, but not *rush* producing moments...

Getting the car fixed all right & proper? Hmmmm... close, but no.

I think the BEST RUSH for me was getting my new camera. Crazy, no big deal to some, maybe a little materialistic, but I had a lot of emotional attachments to my old camera which died before its time, and I have been very sad, and without a good camera, for a long time. Jacqueline & I researched all kinds of cameras, and looked for the perfect camera for me in our price range, and I really couldn't be happier...

I've had her for several months now, and I still am discovering new things and learning all the settings. There is rarely a day that goes by without me taking some kind of pictures, and I am frequently thanking Jacqueline for encouraging me to get it, helping me find the means, and researching so many different brands and features...

I <3 my camera...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just in time for the holidays!

There are some new fancies at Faerie Gardens!

Buy Handmade

Don't forget our holiday sale is still going on! 10% off everything! Prices already adjusted so no need to wait for an updated bill! ^-^

The Best of 2009

The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

December 13 What's the best change you made to the place you live?

Well, living in a rental it's not like we can make a lot of changes, but we did decide that we weren't using rooms the way they were intended to be used, so we re-purposed them. We moved the big table from the eat in kitchen where it was taking up too much room and was just covered with my art projects, and stuck it in the living room where we all use it now for meals, drawing, etc... We also moved a small table into the kitchen for me to have a crafting area with light.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Best of 2009

The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

December 12 New food. You're now in love with Lebanese food and you didn't even know what it was in January of this year.

Hmmm... I don't think I've tried too many new cuisines this year, unless you count low carb. LOL!

I've been counting my carbs and testing my blood glucose in an effort to get it under control. It's actually going pretty well. If I want treats I can have them but I need to plan for them, cut carbs out someplace else.

We've been trying a bunch of different low carb recipes and while none have really been spectacular, none have been terribly horrible either. I've discovered that BBQ pork rinds are pretty good, and Jacqueline made a pan of almond flour-based, cheesecake-topped brownies that were really good!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Best of 2009

The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

December 11 The best place. A coffee shop? A pub? A retreat center? A cubicle? A nook?

Oooh! I did this one for Photo Friday back in July....

Next to Jacqueline

When she has that smile... Or maybe it's just Flatrock...