Owl for my Sister

Meet "Uno". Yea I'm being silly. I named it Uno because its my first and probably only crochet owl I will ever make. I didn't find it to be easy.

My Sister called me texted me the other day and during our conversation she asked if I could crochet an owl? Well, I didn't know, I never tried. So I went googling. I found several YouTube videos and free online patterns on how to crochet an owl. I guessed at making the eyes, nose and wings.

I picked out three colors I had on hand and tackled it. Crocheting in "round" is something I just can't seem to figure out so I pretty much forget how I did it as soon as I'm finished.

My sister didn't know I made this for her but I started on it the same day she ask me. It took me about an hour all together to make it. As soon as I came across the right size box, I surprised her by mailing it to her.
She lives close by but sometimes its just fun to get little things in the mail besides bills. "oops" , there is a bill on this owl. Oh well, I guess there is no way around it.

I actually crocheted an owl. "What a Hoot!"
Sometimes I actually surprise myself. Still trying to find "my thing". My projets and crafts are just all over the place.

Ive shared this on;
made-by-me at jaqs studio

Broccoli Salad

Here is a recipe I haven't made in a while. Its just one of those things that when it has the word "broccoli", it somehow gets lost in the recipe box.

This is a recipe I inherited from my mother-in-law. It is a delicious and tasty salad. Even if your not a fan of broccoli, you will like this.

You start off with a bunch of broccoli trees. ( I used 3 small bunches).

I like to cut the tips up really small and get rid of any stems. I just like the florets but you can leave some stems in if you really want to.

I added the rest of the ingredients:
1/2 small onion,
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup raisins
4 slices of cooked bacon crumbles.
Then I poured on the mixed dressing consisting of:
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of vinegar.

Stir it all together, put it in the fridge for 30 minutes and serve.

This is quick and easy and is always a hit at covered dish dinners. It will keep for 3 or 4 days but it will probably not last that long.

I've shared this on:
kitchen fun and crafty friday link
miz helens country cottage full-plate-thursday
Get schooled Saturday at Too much time
nifty thrifty tuesday at lindas coastal charm
whats cooking love

A Night at the Ballfield

This past weekend we had a little fun at the ball field.
It rained all afternoon and I was afraid it would rain it out but the clouds broke away, sun came out and the players removed the field cover.

We do not get into baseball that much but we like to go support our home town team called the Gastonia Grizzlies at least once in a summer.
It was a themed night of "Gaston's Got Talent" so some of us girls from the dance fitness class I belong to did a pre-game performance. We did steps to four different songs. It was fun, and hot. My husband and daughter were there to cheer me on.

Thats me! Far right end, center row.

After our performance the game began. Do you think that meant popcorn and peanuts?


It meant "a waffle burger" and a doughnut dog!"

They can come up with some crazy stuff around here.

The main reason for this post. I just had to share this! So here you have it....

waffle burger- with syrup, cheese and meat
doughnut dog- a hot dog wrapped in a Krispy Kreme doughnut.

As the game went on, I took a few more pictures then called it a night. 

 What is your favorite thing to do or eat at a ball game?

Paint Party 3

I have been to three Madhatter paint parties. You can read about my first class and what a Madhatter paint party is  HERE . The most recent one I attended, I believe was my favorite one so far. We painted a cubism style picture of wine bottles. We had alot of fun. It was a pretty small class this time of only five of us and the two art instructors..

I love to do pencil drawings but Im getting used this painting on canvas thing pretty quick.

The first thing we did was drew a rough sketch of our painting. We normally do not draw the picture first, we just paint it but with this style of painting it was easier.

Eat a cookie, sip a drink....then ....

Eat a another cookie, sip some more....then

Its finally looking like something.

Ya known, when you get several girls in a room painting, you get alot of silly stuff.
While everyone is busy painting, we tell stories, talk about songs, things going on around us and joke around. You may even learn a new word or two like, "swirly dizzle" or dibble dabble".  I even learned what a Tangent was. I also learned that when someone is asked to paint a "woody" they mean a style of car. Ha!

Wah Lah!
My painting is complete.

I'm no Picasso but it goes pretty good in my kitchen along with all my vineyard and fat chef decor so I'm ok with it...all except the black mark on the left hand side where I dropped my brush on it at the end. pfpffhh.

It's Work Until It's Art

My plan is to not talk about work on this blog, that's why its called life away from the office chair. But I did a project for the company I work for and just had to write about it. I mean, really, Its not considered work when its actually an art like project. And after all, I did do this at home.

The company needed a new sign. It was looking really bad. It was short and the bushes have grown too tall for anyone to see it from the road. I was going to redo it but it was too rotten, so I volunteered to make a new sign from scratch. Little did I know this would be a pretty big project to do. I didn't mind though. I love to paint.

The first thing I did was went to the local hardware store for some lumber and then picked out the perfect "yellow"paint, and some brushes.

Thanks to my wonderful husband, he handled picking out the right kind of wood to use and cut it to down to the size I needed. Then I painted it with a few coats of the yellow paint. I wanted to make sure the paint was on good enough to make a good seal. I used the old sign to trace the letters onto paper then cut them out to make a stencil. that was really hard considering I could barely see through the paper to trace. A lot was guessed at and therefore, really, there are different shapes to the letters than the original, but hey, its my design now right?

Anyone that knows me, knows that I have zero patience and I'm surprised I didn't cut my finger off during this process. My daughter was just itching to help so I let her trace some to the letters onto the wood from the stencil once I had them cut out.

Now Its time to paint the letters! Being a lefty, I have to paint right to left so my hand does not smear the paint. Just another obstacles I've had to deal with all my life. If your left handed, you know what I mean.

This is scary! I'm giving myself  ZERO confidence at this point and wondering what in the world have I gotten myself into. I carefully and tediously painted on the letters and the boarder. I was really afraid of messing it up. One wrong mark and its ruined. However, it does have imperfections, but from the view of a passerby, they may never notice.

Wah Lah!. Its finally finished.

The boss seemed to liked it. Can you say 'brownie points"?
I want to also give thanks to the mechanic here at the company for making a taller signpost and hanging it for me. I'm sure that was a job in itself too.

Diet Plan/Game

Everyone in my household is always trying to diet cut back on eating so much. We are going on vacation in a month and would love to get down a size. We have found that breads and sweets are our weakness. After different plans and ideas that have never worked, we have come up with a new plan that we hope will be fun like a game.

The first idea was to cut out ALL breads, pastas and sweets. That's seemed a little drastic all at once for everyone. We figured we would not last long doing that so we started with just saying NO SWEETS.

Here's the plan...If either of us eat something sweet, we have to put a dollar in the jar. At the end of 30 days, the one that has lost the most pounds, gets to keep all the money in the jar. I'm hoping this works. My daughter was all into the idea once money was involved. ha, ha.
However, my personal plan is still not to eat any rice or pasta and only eat healthy breads but still lighten up on the intake.
This is pretty much how my meals have looked so far.

Breakfast-English muffin and southwestern omelet
(OK, so  may need to cut out so much butter too. ha)

Dinner-Homemade chicken salad in a romaine lettuce wrap with tomatoes.

We have been making trips to the farmers market for a healthier choice. We will be doing a lot of veggi grilling and any meats we want!

Note: There are some sweets we consider healthy, such as breakfast bars, honey, jello, or sugar free desserts.

Wish us luck and check back next month for an update on our success.

Update: Its a month later. This didnt work to well for us. I only lost 2 pounds, my daughter lost 1 pound. My husband did not loose any pounds and hes the one that stayed away from the sweets the most! There was 23 dollars collected. Guess i'll try something else.

Sea Shore Treasures

When people are walking on the beach, most of them have a handful of tiny sea shells and will look so diligently for the perfect one to pick up and keep. I always wonder what they do with them or what particular shape and kind they are actually looking for.

I love finding things on the beach too, but I'm not that hard of a "looker". I usually have to stumble on something to see it. We go to the beach quite often since we only live 4 hours away and have a camper.
Here are a few things found while me and family have took our daily walks on the beach. Enjoy.

 We found blackberries on the sand dunes.
I'm sure they don't tastes as good as the ones in my area.

 I have found a total of about 15 sand dollars.
 Makes me feel rich. ha ha.

 We found this in a tide pool.
When I picked it up, it had a creature inside and it spit water on me
so I put it down, snapped a picture, and left it alone.

 Bottle washed up on the beach.
There was nothing in it except for maybe memories of someones crazy night  before. haha.

Now this was found on our walk far away from where people are. We took it in and opened it up. We could tell it was not old. It contained several little hand written letters of what
appeared to be from children that lost their mom in a tragic accident
and one note asked if anyone found this bottle to please put it back to sea.
So, later that night, my husband tossed it back out to sea as far as he could throw.

We have found other things but I didn't have my camera with me. Like the time my husband found a live starfish. And we had a sand crab come up from a hole between our beach chairs once and spent the day with us in the sun. yuk, and the Jelly fish.  I could go on but without pictures, its no fun.

What are some interesting things you have found on the shore? And if anyone knows what people are really looking for out there, please share it.