Saturday, January 29, 2011

Slow, sleepy Saturday

  It is grey and cold outside, and that was my mood when I awoke this morning.  A headache ...there just enough to make me uncomfotable and a kind of blah feeling.  So much for the trip to Walmart I had planned with my Mom for this morning. Instead I think I will have some coffee finish some buttons on hats and just stay in warm and try to shake of this feeling. 
     I need some sunshine and warm weather, maybe a bunch of bright yellow flowers would help. A dafodill or two. In that case I know just where to look for a pick me up and the flowers.
     Everyone should have that one person who knows what your feeling without you saying a word. Who listens and doesnt judge and who sincerely does care.  I have such a person.  Not an old childhood friend or sister, but someone I met about four years ago here in town.  A fellow busines owner who now, seems like I have always known.  Alot has happened to both of us over the past few years and she has always been there with a kind word and hug.  I hope I have been the same for her. Jean owns the Teapot Quilt Cottage and Garden Center with her husband, Bob . Two of the nicest, down to earth people you could meet. p.s. her husband grows THE best sweet corn in the area.  Jean gives classes, sews, knits, gardens and is always there when you need her.  I am NOT a knitter or quilter. Let me say about 20 years ago I made a pledge to make my first Grandson Joey knit mittens, like any good Grandma. Well he is 21 and I never made them.  I did take a class at the high school, which I learned to put stitches on the needle. Then took a cass with Jean at the Teapot, I did make half a mitten. I am not as patient as I would like and knitting is not for me.  I would like to do some quilting though. My Mom moved up here from Tulsa in October and she quilts.  My other Mom, ( I have two ) also quilts. A baby quilt makes such a nice gift and I could add them to my Etsy shop. Another project for me. Maybe before the snow melts I will go visit with Jean and take a class.  If you are living or visiting in the area, this is a must see stop.
Jean's February calendar is done and so many nice classes to choose from. Beginners Knitting on the 3rd, kids woven heart basket from 1-3 on the 5th ( no charge),Needle felting for beginners oon the 11th,  baby rag quit on the 12th ( I think I will take this one ) , recycled wool mittens on the 16th ( these were  ahuge hit for the holidays ) no frills apron, cherry pie day and so much more.  If you are interested and want to know more stop by at 505 Main Street in Montello or give Jean a call. 608 297-7849 and she can explain all that is going on at the Teapot Quilt Cottage in Montello.
This email with Jeans calendar came at just the right time, I was sipping coffee and feeling yucky as the kids would say when YOU"VE GOT MAIL popped up and there she was. A good friend always knows when you need to be picked up a bit.
I did get a couple hats done and hopefully I will get them posted yet today.

from baby to teens everybody can use a hat! 
Even this one for those grouchy days !

Friday, January 28, 2011

Grouch Day

  It is finally Friday....this week has gone so slow.  All of the orders for Green Bay Packer hats have been made and sent, bread was baked, the charter school board meeting was attended and now FRIDAY.  My husband says I   ( shoot myself in the foot ) by making plans for the day.  That may be true. Last night I had what I thought was a great plan.  Get up early, get the kids off to school and then QUICKLY get the housecleaning done and work on new hats.  Get some photos taken and posted on Etsy before the weekend.    Sounds like a do-able plan.  Not so much.
  When I woke this morning I found a grandson and friend asleep on my living room floor. They had been out late.  So much for early cleaning in there. My daughter back in bed, not much help there and one granddaughter who because she attended the school boad meeting was allowed to go into school two hours late.   The internet was not working, so no uploading pictures for the Etsy listings. ughhhh    
                                    So much for plans. 
      It is now a little past eleven now and I finally have the living room done and the internet is back up and running. Grandson and his friend are awake and now playing video the living room. The daughter who was going to be so helpful has awaken and run to town to the bank and wherever else.  Granddaughter taken to school. So much for help.
    I need a new plan, I used to think it would sound selfish to others but here goes.  I need some me time. Time to get my things done and maybe just catch my breath. I tend to take on many things and with eleven people in the house at any given time, I just need time to be me.. not Gramma, or wife, or MOM  but ME.
   After my plan going south quickly I find myself getting crabby or GROUCHY and then the whole day seems to go bad. Someone suggested I find something I like to do and set a timer and just take that time for me. The family will get along just fine on their own for that time and I will feel some accomplishment and stress released.  Right now as I am typing this three dogs are chasing around the dining room and barking, all in good fun but oh the noise. Two big boys are quietly playing video games and I have put on a second pot of coffee as a treat for myself.  I am going to get out some pattern books, take a look and find some new fun things to do before conquering the kitchen. This is against everything I was trained for. What if someone drops by and I am sitting reading patterns and my kitchen isnt clean?  Hopefully no one comes because as much as I would lik to say WHO CARES, I would be devastated. Old habits die hard and things taught as a child come back to get me every so often.  But, if I wait until everything that should be done is done, will I ever get to find a pattern of make a hat?  Good question, right now I feel like NO.  So, as I get off this computer and sneak off for coffee and pattern searching PLEASE do not come knock on my door, I would be horrified. But, I need a few minutes for me.
Have a Nice Day  from Grouochy Me

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You Could Hear a Pin Drop

  This morning the boys, went back with their Mom for her fourdays.  Yes, my house is quiet and calm......but I somehow miss them already.  Friends who have no little ones around cannot understand.  Let me see if I can explain it.

When I wake, if there isn't a small guy in my bed, I will find one already up and in the kitchen. Carsen is hungry when his eyes open.  Shark like he never stops moving.  For awhile we were afraid that this little guy would have many health issues. He was thought to have Downs Syndrome before he was born.  He is perfect.  A few months ago he gave us quite a scare with convulsions over a two day period.  I spent many hours in the ER. He now is walking, running and funny.  He now thinks if he can't see you, you can't see him! 

There he is....... This makes him laugh for hours.  

He is also the perfect size 3-4.  So, he comes running when you say I need to measure something.  He tries on hats and much to his Dads dismay....sometimes a girly cape or poncho. This morning he was kind enough to model the Little Red Riding Hood Cape for me .  I took a few photos for Etsy and Facebook and his Dad cringed when I posted them.  One day he will care but right now Carsen loves helping out.
He was the baby in my first skunk hat and now the face in the sock monkey hat.

This little face sold many a skunk hat.  He is a true little stinker!

The sock monkey is also very fitting as he is always making someone laugh.!

Now, he has a brother who at almost three is my first Great Grandson.  The spitting image of his Dad and even has his temperment. A little redhead who loves to draw and cook with me.. Some ofhis favorite movies have Elvis in and he loves football. A Packer fan in a house of Bears fans.
He cheered on the Packers Sunday in his hat!  He sometimes forgets and cheers both sides. That took a little of the tension out of the game for Grandpa.
He looks like an angry duck.  I did ask if he wanted to try it on and he said yes, because the baby was also taking photos

A Packer colored dinosaur made him fairly happy. This was going to be his Halloween costume until he found Spiderman.
The three teens and Mike, who is twelve are all good kids.  Yet  the two little guys bring a smile to my face all day long.  Yes, I am exhouseted by bedtime and I do say I wish I could at least go potty alone again. But, the secret is I LOVE having them.
Today before they left we baked bread again. Four loaves of wonderful white bread. The recipe I found at Pioneer Woman .  The  day has been quiet, with the smell of resh baked bread all around I say completely still for 3 hours making hats for orders. Heavenly , peace and quiet!

Now, dinner is in the oven. The big kids are home and my life is noisy and full. 
I don't think I would have it any other way.  I must say there is one thing I would change. I have five grandkids ( including our newest Isabella ) living near Chicago.  If they were closer this would be perfect.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Living in a House Divided

Not by politics or religion but what on this weeknd seems much bigger.  BEARS vs Packers.  Tempers will flare and voices will be raised as we watch the game at home this weekend.
Here is where the problem began. We are originally from the Chicago area. Hubby was born and raised a BEARS fan. I think football is fine, but would'nt go as far as to say I am a fan. Yes, most years BEARS fans are disappointed but occasionally , like this year they have hope. My daughters, two of who will be here for the game are BEARS fans. One insists on donning a jersey and Bears hat to work and betting her rival coworkers. The other is just a quiter hometown fan. Most of the grandkids, born in the Chicago area are BEARS fans. None very noisy about the game so far..Then, we have the three youngest, Mike who is 12 is a Packer backer since he was born. A few years back he found the Polka song The Bears Still Suck and drove hubby crazy playing it over and over gain.

                    ( he was kind enough  to model this hat for me, against everything he believes in.  the look tells it all )

JJ is almost three and will run to the tv whenever he hears football, but wants his Packers. His Christmas wish from Santa was a football. Grampa may finally have gotten a football player in the family. Carsen is following right behind.    I do think though, he is more of a cheerleader for JJ. He does not like being tackled and isn't into throwing the football around yet.


For me all this seems quite silly, but will happen in my livingroom this weekend. Hubby will yell to the BEARS, like they will hear him and take his advice. The boys will root on their favorite players and tempers will be high. I am well prepared to feed them so when one group of them loses and it will, maybe it won't hurt quite so much.

The little guys are starting already, wearing their colors and getting their friends riled up.  Their friends are the two dogs in the house, Trixie or rescued border collie and Mandy the crazy Bichon. Both seems very interested in the food , not so much football. They do enjoy chasing the ball around the living room with JJ .

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Someone Watching Over Us

     As a child, I lived in a house with a Mom and Dad, 4 siblings, an Aunt and a Gramma.   In a quiet suburb of Chicago. A house like all the others on our block, except we had a Gramma, right there every day ! For as far back as I can reember, Gram was there. She mended our booboos, got us off to school and loved us unconditionally. I was the first grandchild. There was never a doubt that you would need to tow the line. Dinner was always, without adoubt at 5:30 Monday through Saturday. This time did not fluctuate, nothing threw us off course. Monday was laundry, Tuesday she ironed, Wednesday and Thursday I am not sure of , but Friday . That was cleaning day. Serious , kids did not interfere with the days events. Floors were scrubbed, furniture polished and everything in its place. No matter what. Through all of this , Gram sewed and crocheted to make as she called it...pocket money. The pocket money she off course spent on us, maybe an occasional toasted almond bar from the Good Humor man as she bought us all popsicles. She didn't ask for much, she just wanted us to all grow up to be nice people. That said I think she did a grea job. Yes, I have a couple teflon spatula marks on my butt from reminders she gave us occasionaly. All well deserved though.
  As a child I was never sick. My brothers had everything rom tonsilitis and asthma, to seizures and broken bones. Gram got them through all of it. One brother laid up for months with 2 broken legs , she taught to crochet to kill the time. My sister and I were very lucky and not sick. Later though after I was all grown, or so I thought. Gram came to make me all better. With the birth of my youngst daughter, there were complications. Cheryl needed surgery at three hours old. When I came out of recovery, foggy and scared, there was Gram. Magic washcloth in hand. She would sit and wipe my forehead until all as over and I felt better. On a few more occasions, she appeared at the hopital and di her magic. If you aske dher what she was doing she would just say...its my job, I am the Gramma.
   Gram is gone now but not ever very far. A few days before Christmas I was looking through an old box trying to ind something new to work on. There I can across an old pattern. A pinafore Gram had made too many tims to count. She was a much better crocheter, as she could take any pattern and knew just how and where to add or subtract to make any size. On the back of this old magazine page in her writing were a few of her changes. As I read this tears started to flow. Gram was right here again, helping me out.Never a doubt, she always knew just what to do and when!
  Now, I have 11 grandkids and 3 great grandkids of my own. I use some of Grams tried and true methods and make sure that we all remember her. I went to Chicago and styed with Gram her last few years as her mind slipped and she forgot alot of things and people. Looking back I think I was trained for just this since I was a child. I can remember apromise from Gram after my Grampa died that she would not go ANYWHERE until I was big enough to take care of myself.  I held her to that many times over the next thirty years. Back in the 70's my Great Gram came to live with her and was promised she would never go to a nursing home. I made Gram that same promise, and did my best until it was more than I could handle. For a little more than 2 years my hubby and I dated on weekends when he would drive down from Wisconsin. It was hard for everyone, but looking back I think I didi all this more for me than her. I was not ready to let Gram go. When she finally did need around the clock care I came daily even ,  she did'nt remeber who I was. I made sure she ate lunch and was safe and cared for. She was there, but no there. If asked, she would say I was the sister in law or nurse. But, ask her where Patti was and she would reply at school or grounded to the porch. The porch was a usual spot for me to get punished to!
   I want the kids to remember the Gram who sewed the Christmas outfits, made perogi with a kitchen full of girls. The one who never showed up for an event without her potato salad and coleslaw. The Gramma who loved you no matter what, she did not neccesarily like what you might have done but loved us unconditionally ALWAYS.  We all held a different place in her heart, we were wht she lived for. Her lifelong job was GRAMMA.

   As I sit here and work up the little pinafores for the etsy shop, I get a warm fuzzy feeling. It is like an inner hug she sends, just when you need it. That is the feeling I hope I can get across to my grandkids. If so I will have done a good job at being a gramma and that was the lesson she had been trying to teach me all along.
Gram probably did not hear I LOVE YOU nearly enough .  I can still see the glimmer in her eye as someone would compliment us on the beautiful baby in the handmade christening gown, or those adorable holiday dresses the girls had. All her handi work and made with love. 
  That is my goal, to make her proud of me every day and give my Grandkids the beast Gram since mine!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I am still needed

The Grandkids who live with me are in high school and growing up fast. Liz is getting ready to go off to college in the fall. She wants to be a nurse and is a great student. Very well rounded, always on the go and off to a sporting event or some type of meeting. The other tow are sophmores and in the new charter school. High Marq has been a god send for them. They are able to work on projects that interest them and have gone from grumbly and uninterested to happy and very well informed kids. So, some days I sit here working on baby items for the etsy shop ....thinking....a couple more years and they will fly the nest and I will need to find some new projects to keep my days full. THEN, Liz arrives home with a request. She, a senior in high chool wants a dispicable me hat. So, off to the computer we go so she can show me what Frank looks like. With an idea now I go back to my comfy chair and set out to get one done. This is what we came up with !
Liz wore it to school today.
      I do still have my two favorite little guys at the house at least 4 days a week. On those days I don't even have time to think about being alone. They keep me running until we all drop off to sleep. I did get Carsen to model the new giraffe hat I am working on for my Etsy shop. He is a character, funny and on the move constantly.

the two boys keep me going.....
I also have a beautiful new granddaughter who lives near Chicao and I can't wait to work up some ste little sweaters and such for her.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No more fest work!

I will no longer be looking for vendors for the Fish n Fun Fest. When I arrived home this evening I found this email
We are all very thankful for the effort you have put into the Montello Fish N Fun. A number of people have expressed difficulties in communicating with you either by phone or email. Due to these continuing issues the coordinators felt the need to find someone else who is better able to fill the vendor position. We need you to please turn in any vendor information you have and money you may have collected. Please remove your name and association from anything regarding the Montello Fish and Fun.
      There have been some things going on or awhile and I saw this coming, so I was not surprised.  The city deserves and needs a good event to help the tourists find their way back.
     What does this mean for me?     Time now open to work on my projects and get ready for the spring.
Any of you who would like to be vendors at the fest, be sure to get your applications in to them.  Mothers Day weekend in Montello should be alot of fun.

Snowflakes and Hot Cocoa

            As the flakes fall outside I am warm and snug inside.  Busy working on photos for the Etsy shop and chatting with a local shop owner , Jean.  She owns a lovely Quilt shop in Montello. The Teapot Quilt Cottage, also the Garden Center. With shoppers at a minimum during the wintr we discuss plans for spring, which will be here before we know it.  Valentines Day is aso fast approaching and we exchanged ideas and talked about the projects we have under way.  These winter months are great ties to take a class to learn a new hobby or just get together and chat.  Jean offers many classes in quilting and knitting in her shop.  If you are ever in the Montello area, tis ios a must see shop. At 5050 Main Street right in Montello, just watch for the gian teapot sign and treat yourself to a visit.

             This morning I finished up a new pattern I bought on etsy for a giraffe hat. It is adorable. I can't wait to get a few more sizes done. This is one I will surely take to Watertown for Josephines. I have yellow yrn ready to start the duck hats and sweaters. The frog hat and poncho are done and a new frog prince hat. Many new items for the spring.

My new found time, after closing the shop has been great.  I am finally doing those tasks I had trouble finding time for and feel like I am getting my life back.   Long over do!  I hve made dinner and been on time, baked bread and made dinner rolls. One afternoon snuck in a short nap and no one even knew !   Soon enough I will find my niche and a new project, but for rght now I am doing ok.  I do feel the need to get permision to enjoy a day.....that too will pass I hope. Life is too short to always be chasing a dream.  I want to be living it a day at a time and enjoying the people in my life.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday was for Monkeys

I had a great plan for the New Year. I would prioritize, make lists and stick to them. So far it is working out fairly well. I am making my lists and doint the items on them.  The other family members, not so much.  I am beginning to think there needs to be rewards and penalties put in place. I will ponder that later today after  get my list accomplished and have  cup of tea and watch the snow fall.
   The two little guys just left for thei four days at MOMS.  This never seems to last four days. She will calll after one or two with an excuse to bring them back early.  Tht is ok, because then I know they are cared for, happy and on some sort of schedule.

  Monday, I had a huge list. Sock Monkey hats to put on the Etsy shop and a few for Josephines in Watertown. If I can get a few of these finished, photographed and listed that would be great. I did get them done and this morning while I had coffee got them photographed and listed. That done I am off to he next project, Valentines Day ponchos, done , photographed and listed.
  With som quiet and time this afternoon I am hoping to try a new pattern and then work on my mailing list. I would love to keep past customers informed on sales and new items. Ther must be  good, free program or app out there somewhere. Any suggestions , please leave a comment or email them to me.
  One resolution was to make working from home easier and more productive.  A good mailing list would be a start.

The menu planning and new chore chart have worked out well so far. I have bread in the bead maker, chicken thawing and ....what is that ....quiet ! It won't last long before the MONKEYS (boys) are back so I will take full advatage of it.  I find myself not really minding all the extra time to pick up toys, read those books or just chase them. Mainly beacasue I know all to well, before long they will be too big and off exploring on their own. Grandma won't be needed as much and that makes me very sad!  I think my favorite job in life is Grandma, and I had a very good teacher. I grew up in a home with my Gram ,she crocheted to support herself and made sure we had love, discipline and was always just a phone call away.  If I acheive that, I would be extremely happy .

With that said I am off to get some things done and enjoy that cup of tea ....alone for now!

Friday, January 7, 2011

MOM a really Tough Job, Gramma tougher

            I have 5 grown kids, for the most part they grew up OK.  I do think,  an owners manual should be given out at the delivery of your first child)   My oldest daughter Patrice, is referred to as our experimental model. There are those things we would all like to change, one has a tendency to get loud, one seems to fly off the handle quickly, one does NOT take a sorry ( this from the time she was born )  Did they all turn out just like I had planned?   NO, maybe because God had a plan bigger than mine, or kids just turn into their own person. I do have to say though, my son, if you ask anyone here, turned out perfect.  I agree, kind, thoughful and just an overall nice guy..  With all that said and all of them grown, I was blessed with a bunch of fun, unique grandkids. None much like their parents. Although there are moments I like to say, you look or sound like your Mom when you do that. That statement usually puts a stop to whatever they were doing. Over the years 5 of these unique individuals has lived with me, and they are so very different and nice kids. The teens for a few were a rough patch , but I think we will all come out ok at the other end of that long tunnel. What is amazing to me is my new little batch as I call them. My first grandson Joey has two boys JJ and carsen. They are a different as night and day. But, JJ is his dad throuh and through. He is a ritual kind of guy, likes his stuff in the same place, wants his blanket , favorite toys and stuff always the same. A very easy going guy. He can color or draw for hours while I crochet, he loves to bake and lick the beaters and is a cuddly little 2 year old. Carsen is funny. After a scare that he might be born with Downs Syndrome, he came to us perfect. We have had some scares with convulsions and a few trips to the ER. He seems to have a great sense of humor and the faces he makes are priceless. All this siad, they have parents who are divorced and oh what a mess. They guys as we call them stay with me, ( Dad is here full time ) four days a week. This is not  problem they seem to fit right in. Our first day i always rough because they come back tired and just off in some way. Potty training has been a bigger job because it is not consistant and makes it harder than I remember. My heart breaks each time they cry not to leave and I can't just scoop them up and bring them back into the house. My hat is off to all these divorced prents who have found a way to make this arrangement work. Right now ours is still new, with phone arguing, kids crying and I am an unhappy Gramma. I do what I can while they are with me and we make alot of happy memories for them to take to the other Grandmas house with them.
A big surprise was when on Wednesday, JJ returned talking about his friend bunny and how he needed him. I sent someone out to the car to see just what he had left behind. To my amazement it was the Velveteen bunny I had bought his Dad and saved from 18 years ago. As I type this he is curled up asleep with bunny tucked under his arm safe an sound.. I tell Joey, probably more than I need to, please thing about what they hear and how they feel. Althought they are so small, I am amazed at what comes out of the mouth of babes. Nobody is perfect , Iagree but if I can get them grown, happy and healthy. With a feeling of safety and belonging, I will be happy! It ugs at my heart when my daughter who is in the Chicago area seds photos with her phone of our newest little one Isabella, I want to just hold her and cuddle.
Today as I get some pieces done for the etsy shop, do my Flylady routine and find alot tof time to enjoy my guys, I tuck these moments awy in a special spot. THIS is what it is all about, Not stuff, but those we love happy and safe.  Have a great weekend and HUG someone!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Baby its Cold Outside Contest

here is our first contest. 
The rules are simple
leave a comment   for one entry
follow this blog    an entry
send a friend    ( have them comment and add you sent them...for another entry)
follow us on facebook      another entry
twitter us      another entry
make us a favorite on Etsy another entry
 entrie will be counted on the 10th and the winner can choose the hat of their choice from our Etsy shop

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

The New Year has come in cold and windy here in Wisconsin. With a list of changes I want to make, I have rousted the family and begun to lay down some new rules and I must say they took most of it fairly well.
   I will need to stick to my guns to have any real change happen. I did get on the computer early today and list my first new item of the year on my Etsy shop. I am off to a good start!
      I am working on a giveaway for new readers, so watch in the next few days for the offer and how to get in on the contest.
  I have some great new patterns I am working on for spring, ponchos and adorable hats for baby to Mom.