Saturday, October 31, 2009

Today's the day little goblin's will come knocking adorned in there finest make believe. I so look forward to those little knocks every year and the little voices shouting "trick or treat." I made pumpkin sugar cookies this morning, so yummy, if I would have brushed them with egg white and super fine sugar they would taste like those shortbread cookies we used to sell a million years ago when we were girl scouts. I say a million because the girl scouts have changed their recipes over the years and the little sugar cookies are just not the same! Don't mess with a good thing! I found this recipe in a Better Homes and Garden Christmas Cookie booklet. It probably came free in one of the magazines or something. I'm not quite sure where I got it, but I've had it for years. For some reason I thought it was vintage, must be the color of the cover and the picture quality...but to my surprise, when I looked in the front cover it said, "first edition, second printing 1986." My first reaction was disappointment, I wanted it to at least be from the 60's, my next thought to my chagrin was, was 23 yrs. ago, which does make it kind of old...uh oh...isn't that funny! Why doesn't the 80's seem old to me??? because I was graduating from high school in the early eighties? LOL. Good simple yummy recipe just the same!

Yummy Cut Out Sugar Cookies
1c. butter
1c. sugar
2 tbs. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour

Mix the first four ingredients together, then mix in the flour a little at a time. Roll out dough and cut with your favorite cookie cutter. Bake at 375 until edges start to turn golden brown, about six or seven minutes. WahLaa...yummy buttery cookies! Do not however skimp on the ingredients, you have to use real butter and real vanilla to get that delicious wonderfulness! Let cookies cool and frost away!! I love that it takes barely any ingredients to make these!

The other night both the kids came over.

They had to try on mask and play dress up.

Then the madness began. It started with baby boy doing this to his baby sister.

Then he did this.
He thought it was really fun to throw her over his shoulders! I love the shear delight on their faces in this photo. They can't leave their hands off each other when they are together! I have to yell at them sometimes because I think they play too rough!
Remember when I said we went to the beach last Sunday? Well I drove home while American Husband laid in the back seat taking pictures of his feet hanging out the window. (About ten of them to be exact!)
One of the awesome things about living in OZ is you never know what your going to run into...a lot of places here are landmarks for famous movies. Twenty short minutes from us to the coast and somewhere in between is a little town we have to drive through to get to and from.
A charming little town called "Bodega"
Do you know what happened in this town?
I'll give you a hint...
Did you guess?
Potter School.... a spooky little place...
The one and only Alfred Hitchcock movie called "The Birds"
I can remember how terrified I was when I was little and first watched this movie! I think it was a Saturday afternoon, remember the "Saturday Afternoon Matinee?" I think I was about ten yrs old. It gave me a bird phobia! Not joking either!
A family lives in this house now. This sign is right in front of it.
This is an antique shop across the street from it. You can't help but feel a little spooky when you stand on this little street between these buildings. It didn't help that everything was pretty quiet here except a couple of big black crows squawking! Awesome! I snapped the pictures as quick as I could and jumped right back in the car! Baby girl was laughing at me and American husband was laying in the back seat annoyed, still taking pic's of his feet, he was ready to go home after a long fun day at the beach!
That's all I got today! Happy Halloween and have a blessed day (filled with lots of costumed goblins knocking...) good citizens of blog land!
XO Keke

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Thursday! more day! Keeping it short today, need to get into the office as all is not well and I lost sleep last night because of it!
I've been thinking lately that I need to start an additional blog to talk of my other seems impossible that I leave that detail off this one so maybe if I had another place to spill it I could keep the Kingdom as I intended which would be pure and fun and full of lovely things! I've been thinking of doing this for a while since I pretty much consider my blog writing therapy. Issue #1 What to call it? "A day in the office", "Another torturous hell day spent with soulless", (that's a little long) LOL, oh...don't have time this morning to think of something witty, maybe I need counsel from my followers! Help! I also think I would like to start a food blog just because I love it so much! Issue #3 while I'm getting all these bright ideas I need to remember that being a responsible blogger means not letting your readers down, which means, TIME, it takes TIME...a valuable commodity that I always seem to run short on...back to the office...I pretty much manage my staff as I managed my children, I don't mean to have that sound demeaning in any way but remember that book about everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten? Well I figure that only helps with part of life, every thing else you learn while being a mother... when my children were small there would inevitably be those times when one would feel neglected or feel that something wasn't fair... and then you have to sit down with them and explain that every one is loved equally but sometimes someone needs more and vise verse, blah, blah, blah, you know the speech...having a staff is very much like that, on any given day one of them is coming into my office and shutting the door behind them, sometimes it's personal, sometimes professional, most times a mix of both. I have always told my staff that I'm a pay it forward kind of girl and that when ever they felt they were ready to spread there wings and promote up or out that I would totally support them. I love my staff, they wouldn't be on my staff if they weren't all the qualities that basically people would call a "10". Well, I have one flying the nest and long story short, thanks to soulless it wasn't handled in a positive manner, not a surprise, hence the name soulless...needless to say it has brought out green monsters everywhere, and yesterday my office was a revolving door, some days I feel more like a therapist than a manager...exhausting! Um...look at me, didn't I say I was keeping this short? Speed dial...I have a new pic of baby Alex on this computer somewhere that I wanted to post today...wait to you see, one word, YUM! Cupcake DD decided we would do "home for the Holiday II" theme for the swap, that should be easy and fun. No that I'm rushing my thoughts are again scrambled and random so I will leave you with one last question..."Was it against the law to smile when you had your picture taken a hundred years ago?" This family either hated each other, hated their picture taken or were entirely too serious! Maybe all three! Have a blessed day good citizens!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Alice Lidell the child for whom "Alice in Wonderland" was based on. I feel like Alice. Actually she kind of looks like me when I was little, mainly because of the haircut. I can remember begging my mom not to have my haircut like this, or worse yet, the dreaded "pixie cut", OOOOH that was the worst! I can remember crying and feeling like I looked like a boy! My mothers reasoning at the time was that it was easier to take care of. I beg to differ! I've had long hair practically since the day I left home. There is nothing faster and easier than long up swept hair, in a knot or a pony tail, ten minutes and I can be out the door! Give credit where credit is due. Thanks to my mother and her mothering technique I have raised two incredible babies and all because I basically assumed what ever she did, I would do opposite. I say this in love, so don't immediately start thinking I'm a monster...she did the best she could with what she had, I'm sure. I think a lot of women of my mothers generation had conflicted mother wasn't exactly raised in a loving, emotionally intelligent and aware home. Those were the days when parents would say, "stop crying before I give you something to cry about..." That is quite possibly the most ignorant statement on the planet, ok, maybe not the most, but it's in the top five. Obviously if a child or anyone is crying for that matter, they already have something to cry about! I hated hearing that as a child, I wasn't exactly a whining, whimpering sickly child. Again, gratitude. I allowed my children to cry all day long if they felt it necessary, our home was an emotionally safe zone where everyone was free to express their feelings and always, always speak in truth. Why is all of this stuff spilling out of my head this morning...sorry, I have no idea...I guess somethings you spend a life time trying to reason and process. Two for Tuesday fell to the wayside, too exhausted by the time I got home, always, always too much to do and not enough time and energy in a day. Maybe tonight, or maybe tomorrow, actually, I probably would have posted again if I had enough time to run and get the pictures onto a disk so I could download into this stupid malfunctional lap top! Wait to you see the pic's, I think they are going to be pretty awesome! But then again, you can't really take bad pic's if your at the beach, sand between your toes, the crashing waves, the moist salty doesn't really get any better than that! Mad hatter time. This post has been a random spilling of random thoughts that probably has made no sense...some days are just like that! Have a blessed day! XO Keke

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two for Tuesday

Two for Tuesday... Two days since my last post...Sunday was spent at the beach, baby girl, American Husband and I headed out for what I thought would just be a couple of hours, turned into the whole day. The Pacific captures you that way, it struggles to pull you in, you struggle not to leave... I will post hopefully tonight the experience along with pictures...
Monday spent trying to catch up to myself. As hard as I fight to live as normally as possible and not let Dystonia define me, normalcy and the struggle depletes me...more to say on that later as well... Yes, madhatter time, still waiting for med's, not working so well, so I have to throw it in and accept it will be one of those days so I just have to go...
I hesitated to post these two pictures. Paper doll templates. Today I will find where these come from and give proper credit. 1920's...just had to of my favorite things, paper dolls. Another life long fascination, I remember begging for them and loving them so much when I was a little girl...I haven't out grown them...

Sigh... aren't these two pages marvelous? The year before last I participated in a paper doll swap that I absolutely loved...I would like to host one of my own, but then again, I would need more than four followers wouldn't I? Am I the most boring blog on the planet? I definitely need a better marketing plan! LOL. Not that I don't love my existing four followers, they are magnificent women! Maybe Terri at Blooming Ideas can help that woman is well connected! LOL!
Love you Terri! Well, the clock has struck one and it's time to run... Have a blessed day! XO Keke
P.S. Two for Tuesday is intended to mean hopefully I'll be back tonight with more enthralling news... ;-)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sometimes I feel so far, far away from home. Sometimes I wonder where home is. I spent today as I said, cleaning, grocery shopping, praying. Mostly in contemplation. Wondering how I got here, to this very moment of space and time that I am now. It's now 11:00 p.m. It's been a very full day, but yet it felt so surreal, slow, like I was watching myself move through my day from outside of my body, this evening as I sit and write this post the feeling lingers ... I've missed Mitzi terribly today, I would call but it would be 2:00 a.m. for her. I miss Mitzi everyday and wished we lived closer, but I think especially today because I knew it was a tough day for her and her lovelies and much to my sadness & disappointment I couldn't be there with her. They said good-bye today to Mitzi's mother-in-law. Such a hard thing, and another reason for such solemn contemplation, reflecting on our life, past, present and future, flood gates open, memories of past and hopes for the future spilling to every corner of my mind like a picture show...

I stumbled across another lovely site tonight... "Crystal Neubauer, Art and Objects". It is truly lovely and so creative. She also has a way with the written word that makes you want to continue to read, loosing all relevance to time and space.

With the October 13th post she spoke of a guardian angel she felt had been sent, by the name of "Wendy". Her story reminded me again how sacred each day is and how sacred our relationships with other women are, and how badly we need them. I paused a moment in gratitude remembering all the "women" in my life, we must not be hasty in our remembrance of these jewels, I wouldn't be able breathe without them.
Baby girl, Mitzi, Amy, Katie, Stacey, Jessica, Oliva, and Emily the littlest woman of our bunch...Oh how I love them all so..., and it's not just our inner circles that deserve our's the friend at work who now works in another department but remembers to call and ask you for lunch even though you haven't worked side by side for years. It's the woman in your office that picks you up when your down, the one that has her mother sew you a neck wrap when you've just found out you have cervical dystonia, it's the mother who made the wrap even though I'd never met her, it's the one that brings you flowers for your desk for no reason at all. It's the women who read our disappointment and reach out to us even though they are a thousand miles or more away and has never even met you. Or the old woman who tried to teach me to knit even though her hands were bent back to her wrist from arthritis...over and over she tried to show me, the greatest gift I had ever received, this longing by the old woman to teach me and the frustration and angst on her face from the pain , did I ever tell you all this story from when I was just a young women? Beautiful Women...sacred, almost mythical creatures, care takers and lovers, our spiritual guides.

I remember when I was a little girl being fascinated with women, especially groups of women. I could sit and watch and listen for hours. Even then I can remember feeling as if I were witnessing something sacred.

And again as a young mother, watching my daughter in awe...she would come to the kitchen and put on her little apron and partake of the work without ever have been asked, as if this sacred little being knew exactly what to do, what was this within that had called to her, care taking inherent in her, even to this day.

Add Image
Beautiful, beautiful women, you have my heart and I will forver carry you with fondness within my chest...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday, my second most favorite day of the week, yes in large part because it's a two day break from "soulless" but even before she was a torturous plague in my life... Friday's to me means I have two whole days of domestic bliss. I know you'll all think I've lost my mind, but it's true... I love housework, ironing, mopping floors organizing the hall closet...there is something sacred about this woman's work. And nothing feels better than the "fresh" sense of accomplishment when your done. I have a full list to accomplish this weekend, it will be a good weekend to do it, I will spend tomorrow in prayer for Mitzi, so sorry I couldn't be at the memorial service with you tomorrow Mitzi...but I will spend my day praying and doing this sacred act of cleansing the nest.
XO Keke

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate."
- Julia Child

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I thought I'd share something of inspiration with you this morning...really just a distraction of everything that is wrong right now that I'm trying to spin out of. This site has awesome graphics, inspiration and supplies that are quite reasonably priced! Esp. considering that you can shop in the comfort of your own home, relaxed, with a cup of tea. If you haven't visited before, you really should. Of particular inspiration is
is this picture of what they call Altered Crystal Art. Three Crystal French Pendants for $ 6.50. That's pretty reasonable, and they explain the supplies you'll need to accomplish this project which are also reasonable. What girl doesn't love shiny crystal things, they call these pendants, I think they look like chandelier thingy's (yes that's the technical word for them) But, if you have an old chandelier laying around, or could find one at a tag sale...but still, I think these would make a wonderful gift and @ three for $6.50, you could go all out and give some one all three or just one for which your gift(s) would only cost around $2.17 ea and you really couldn't find anything nice for less...can you imagine what a tree would look like filled with these little babies as ornaments? Speaking of, Julie of Cupcake DD is trying to pull a little swap together on her Vintage Ephemera Swap Flicker Group. She's calling it, "Home for the Holidays II." She's asking group members to pick between two themes they would enjoy participating in and one of them would be an ornament swap. I told Julie I couldn't decide, but after seeing these I'm inspired to change my vote to ornaments! You should take a peek, Julies an awesome swap hostess.
I'm also thinking Mitzi's Kingdom needs some of these and so does Cherry Kingdom...last year my staff wanted to do an ornament swap for the holidays, so maybe I would do this for that as well...Speaking of swapping, Linda at "A Swap for all Seasons" posted the most adorable catalog card today just to fuel our imaginations for the impending swap.
I bought my cabinet card last Saturday because I was impulsive and now I'm rethinking the image, I knew I should have waited to find out who my partner was first...and I should have also did some research since I really had nothing to pull from for this having not ever done one's ok, that's the whole point of creative growth, right? I actually am happy to have found these "little" projects since I promised American Husband no more projects for a while any way...I'm not really breaking my promise, I'm just adding a small "claus" in the deal! HA! I figure if I keep them small and don't liter the dining room table with my creative endeavors for weeks at a time I'm staying with in the legal confines of the agreement. Right? Besides, while he may not realize the benefit of a little bit of "art therapy", I do, and I promise him he might not like me very much if I could not partake in such therapy! Well that's all I have this morning, madhatter time and I've managed to get through this posting almost not posting my complaints which was the goal! Have a happy day dear citizens! XO Keke

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall... How is everything ever going to work out and be normal again? Having a blue day, just too exhausted from the constant struggle...Will I ever be happy, be normal, not have to struggle all the time?

Mitzi and her band of Princess' on my mind all week. Photo above is of her baby, dear sweet Emily...So adorable I could just bite her!
Picture of beautiful groom and baby Alex from my visit with them, another beautiful thing that inspires one to keep breathing at least for one more day. He returned back to work from his paternity leave yesterday, and while I wanted him to have that time with his new little family, I'm sooo glad to have him back!
I don't think I told you about my "Free" mirror...American Husband thought I'd lost my mind as I called and woke him up on my way out to work and told him
there was a really great mirror by the dumpster and he needed to get his rear end out of bed and go get it for me before someone else got it...didn't have time to throw it in the car as madhatter time was in full swing! Actually, he was really quite grumpy about it! I didn't care! I had to have that mirror...he changed his mind once he got down there an saw that it was made of "real" was an ugly brown, but American Husband painted it for me...It weighs a ton, but I just love it!
Here it is decorated for Halloween...American Husband being the driving force for every holiday, I swear he's a five year old in a grown up body! Don't mean for that to sound disparaging...some times it's cute, others it's just entirely too much! But it's still a great mirror!
I'll end this with a picture of him trying on his Halloween mask, he can't decide if he'll be a bank robber with this mask, Al Cappone or Buster Keaton, he has three different hats and every time he changes them he looks a different way...he's been decorating and messing in all the Halloween stuff since September 30th, so I'm certain he'll have it all figured out by showtime!
Have a blessed day good citizens!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I have no time this morning, but am ecstatic to tell you that I have received a partner...close call, whew! I had emailed Linda at "A Swap for All Seasons" to tell her I would like to participate in the cabinet card swap as soon as she posted what the swap would be a few weeks ago, and I think I was sent directly to SPAM! So typical! Soooo...yesterday, when she said she had sent out partners I was shocked that I didn't receive one! Long story short, I sent another email and lucky, lucky me...Linda answered back this morning and had a partner for me! Whooo too close for comfort, I would have been severely disappointed, I had already bought my cabinet card on Saturday. That is a trip and a story for another day! So I quickly jumped on to my new partners blog and you know what? I think we'll get along nicely! Her name is Patti, she lives in Illinois and she has quite a lovely blog... You know how much I love sharing bits and pieces of others hearts and homes, this should be wonderful! On that note, way past Madhatter time, have to run...Have a blessed day good citizens!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Two post in one day? It's because I've been so
inspired that I have to share.

Inspiration #1 :
"Red Letter Words." I can only say check it out! The site will speak for itself. Two words... "Love It!"

Inspiration #2: Corrine Grant

This bracelet states "Peace" in four languages.
Just one piece of yumminess and you have to see the rest of her stuff!

Now I'll end with desert! Such Yumminess!!!
Whoo Hoo, I'm on a roll tonight!
I stumbled across a site called "Party Cupcake Ideas"
And if you love cupcakes, (who doesn't?) you will love this site. And see that picture to the right?
Yes that is a "Tiffany's" box and it's a little cupcake pendant give away!!! I would love to win this for baby you know one of her nicknames is "cupcake". I could put it under the tree! Christmas is just around the corner and I think she would just faint to see the "Blue" box! Every girl knows..."Blue Box = Tiffany's!"

Ok, that's a wrap, I've worn myself out again with so many yum yums!
Ahhh..Sunday, the loveliest day of the week, don't you think? Esp. in Autumn. Crisp morning air, church bells ringing, the smell of American husbands coffee brewing, my lovely kitty comes home and it's a day of rest, or play, mostly just loving and catching up...I have been behind on so many things, I mean really behind...rambling pieces of this and that tumbling through my head, things that are a year past, or day blends to the next...I think how should I do this? Manage to catch up? Emotionally, Intellectually, Spiritually, Financially, day at a time, it's the only way, starting small feat to keep up with the present while catching up the past... So I'll start with a lovely gift of a person...Terri from "Blooming Ideas". She had reached out to me after reading a post of mine concerning my disappointment for not having been able to participate in an "Alice in Wonderland Swap"... check out her heart and her blog here:
She asked me if I wanted to swap privately as she had an extra...I'm going to use her pic's as hers are better, and pictures already don't do justice to the beauty.
This is what she sent me:

This is what I sent her:

But what was really exchanged was a little piece of each others heart...I couldn't believe she reached out to me with such generosity in the first place! She and I have been having a provocative discussion on swapping. I have to say I totally agree with her on things she's discussed in recent post. Swapping for me is the exchange of little pieces of each others world. What you send for better or worse tells a little story of who you are, not so much in your style or art abilities as much as who you "really" are...are you generous, respectful, thoughtful...these words can be redefined as, did you send your swap on time, sometimes things do happen, but did you communicate honestly, which is where the respect and generosity come in. We are all intelligent human beings so if your response lacked, lets moral comes through, I think we've all probably been in situations where the communication was less than truthful from our partner and we knew it! Greedy stinkers are always seen coming from a mile away! It is this topic that make the generous of heart shrink away and not want to participate, which I am saddened is at that moment that we all lose...the disappointment of having a greedy stinker for a partner is ...well, just that! You've spent so much of your time, resources and heart making sure that your partner gets a spectacular gift, only to find out one way or another that you inadvertently got hooked up with a "Greedy Stinker" I think I should try to make a button that says, "no greedy stinkers!" Terri also said something cool...she said, "Art shouldn't hurt", which is what happens when your in this situation, it hurts! And she is absolutely right! I think that should be a button too! All of this said, I want to acknowledge all of the amazing hostess' out there who also give so much to all of us to make these swaps happen, and it is in no way a reflection on all of them who do their best to give us safe swap zones! So huge "THANK YOU AND KUDOS!" to all of know who you are!!! And thank you Terri for your generosity of spirit and sharing a little piece of your world with me! Moving on, I've promised for a few weeks to post what I rec from the "Fall Tin Swap", (ugh hum...Linda, from "A Swap for all Seasons is one of those amazingly generous hostess'), and my "Circus Swap" lucky for me Julie from "Cupcake DD" and my partner was sooo much fun! Here is my circus swap items sent from Julie:

All kinds of yum yums in every shape and size...

The cute little circus cart she made for me...

The back of the cart... Thank you Julie, you were a truly fun hostess and partner!
And now for my "Altered Tin Swap" items:
Little owl tin...
With other Halloween trinkets...
Speaking of..."A Swap for all Seasons" has started the next new might want to check it out... And as this has been entirely too long of a post and I've worn myself's time for a nap with visions of sugar plums! Have a blessed day good citizens of blog land!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Mitzi !!!

Pssssttt, pass it on...

Today is Queen Mitzi's birthday.

The horns have been tested....

I shed a few tears that I could not be there with her...
American husband tried to console me...

But, then he was spanked for sticking his finger in the cake.
Inexcusable to stick your finger into the royal cake with royal icing.

The king and his nobles declared a royal proclamation that October 17th, forever more, will be "Queen Mitzi Day."

A great party ensued, and toy barbies lined up in front of the largest cake the kingdom has ever seen.

Every one clapped and cheered at the promise of another national holiday and all to honor Queen Mitzi!

So to you Queen Mitzi we wish you the Happy of the Happiest Birthdays!!