Showing posts from January, 2015

And then there was one

The Writing Challenge prompt "And then there was one," ending with images that intrigue me. And then there was one baby doll mugshot, a recent inmate on . And then there was one Pattern of the Day, let's lounge around in a 1970's housecoat.  And then there was one orchid illustration An orchid a day and some patterns will appear in the posts I am preparing for the AtoZ Blog Challenge in April.  I am No. 128 on the sign-up list this year.  Woot woot! And then there was one wayward llama that keeps visiting the ranch.  


The writing challenge prompt for the day is "Steamed," and that fits right in with my mood.  My Dell red XPS laptop blue screened, fatal errored and we all know what that means.  She is no more.  Granted I was running Vista (some of you may ask, "What is that?") and it took forever to get the old gal up and running.   My new XPS will arrive in about two weeks.  I admit I am brand loyal.  This will be my third XPS laptop and they have all served me well.  I get to try out Microsoft Office 365 and the Windows 8.1 operating system.  I hope I don't regret that decision but I can always upgrade to 10.   If you are in the market for a laptop Here-are-the-best-upcoming-laptops-2015-if-youre-planning-to-upgrade

Imagine that

The Writing Challenge prompt is "imagine that."   Imagine that I have not worn a ring for nearly ten years, for various and sundry reasons.  I have missed it so and have decided it was time, time for a ring.  It was in part to celebrate completion of my one-year probation as a State employee and seemed an apt way to start 2015. Oh, not just any ring but a pave of diamonds from the Le Vian Exotics line.    I purchase fine jewelry in the days after Christmas when it is discounted to the lowest possible price.  While it is still outrageously expensive, this piece was worth the delight it will bring me for years to come.   I have fallen in the love with the ring.  Irrevocably and totally in love.  It is like Gollum from the Lord of the Rings. Imagine that.  

10 years ago, I was probably

The  Writing Challenge prompt is "10 years ago, I was probably ...." Climbing Mount Everest Ok, probably not.   Acting as lead singer for a Ska group Another probably not -  Ten years ago, I was probably listening to Right Said Fred. (So I am a year off on time frame - still worth a revisit) Ten years ago was not a good time in my life.  Thankfully, time, maturity and major changes have made for a better life for me today.  

Grow Your Blog and repairing a vintage baby quilt

It is blog-hopping time again with Vicki at 2 Bags Full .   via phantomzucchini To count myself worthy of this mainly fabric arts group, I complete at least one hand sewn project a year. This year's project was repairing my daughter's 25-year old baby blanket.  When she first brought it to me, I thought, "This thing should be thrown out."  It seemed it had sentimental value to her. Both sides of her vintage baby quilt were ripped from stem to stern and there were small holes and tears throughout.  The floral print was a $1.50 remnant from the local thrift shop.  I made the patches and appliques by ironing in seams and trimming the corners then hand stitching to the fabric. Pattern of the Day from 1967  My recent thrift shop rescues - Madame ($5) and Fern ($2.50). The Madame Alexander doll just required some bluing to brighten the dress. Fern was embellished with a doll skirt and costume bracelet around her neck. The week's thr

Bears, beans and beer

Bears, Beans and Beer is the Writing Challenge Prompt.  This happy guy is a permanent resident at our house, a full-size bear rug that hangs above the big screen TV.  Mr. VZ bagged this bear in the Mokelumne Wilderness , in Northern California.   He scouted the bear for three weeks.  As he hiked back into the back country, he decided to stay alongside a creek.  The day was turning very cold.  When he awoke there was a light covering of snow on the ground.  He struggled to light the campfire to get a cup of warm coffee and ate a three-day old donut.  He walked down the trail and noticed a pile of steaming scat.  He stopped and looked around.  He saw tracks going toward the outside of a clearing.  At the clearing was an outcrop of rocks that ascended about 200 feet. He slowly entered the timber and stayed in the shadows of the trees while watching the clearing.  All of a sudden, the bear started running towards the tree.  He made a mad dash to intersect the bear.  The bear t

Organizing and tipping over to the other side

"Organizing" is the day's prompt for the Writing Challenge. Edna had meant to start organizing but the stuff just kept on multiplying.  She couldn't remember when it went from sketchy to dire.  Was it after the death of the Mr.?  The kids had stopped calling a long time ago.  The friends had stopped coming by or just couldn't come by. She was a child born just prior to the Great Depression.  Finding her solace in the thrift shops, she would bring home bags of treasures. She had long since given up sleeping in the bedroom.  The room had morphed into a stuffed animal purgatory. The kitchen had gone from tidy to unusable.  Bags and bags filled to the brim were everywhere.  Collecting had long ago jumped shark into hoarding.  There were magazines and newspapers she would never read, cookbooks she would not use. There was room, just enough for her to sit in front of the TV.  It was where she slept, sitting up.  The amalgamation was more important than he

10 Tips for the Newbie Blogger

"Newbies" is the Writing Challenge prompt that I have expanded to 10 Tips for the Newbie Blogger.   To give some credence to my tips, I must reveal I am not a newbie blogger.  I had a "starter" blog that I ran for two years, pulled the plug on it and began this current blog that I have now maintained going on four years. Blogger lists my page views at 130,000+ and Google+ lists my page views at 1,062,000+. No. 1:   Remember blogging is a platform.  You can start with the gem of an idea in mind and use the forum to expand your audience.  My blog began as a showcase for thrift shop finds.  While that was all well and good, it was limiting.  No one is going to give you demerits if you don't stick to your blog's original premise.  No. 2:   There are no rules.  I have combined blog hops, and why not?  Do I post daily?  Sometimes.  Do I take months off?  Yes, to rest and rejuvenate.  Blogging can be exhausting, especially when one is participating in c

Word for the Year

The Writing Challenge prompt is "Word for the Year." My word for this year is: I have scads of it, way too much of it.  When I left my private practice job as a law firm administrator, my previous boss asked me how I would be happy at a public sector entry level job and I told him I would have to "claw my way back to the top."  That really is not my style, I am competitive though.  I have fulfilled my year long probation as a State of California employee.  I went from a private office to working in a hallway, from supervising employees to being supervised, from worrying about whether I will continue to have a job to knowing I will always have one.   The name of the game to promote within the State is to become list eligible or to qualify for certain positions.  Once you are on the list, you can send in an application packet when the position is posted. Since October I have gained entry onto six lists, mainly in the analyst/management realm, mailing out on

The Morning After

The writing prompt of "The Morning After" and I am drawing a blank other than this song by Maureen McGovern. I am claiming the little known Free Pass rule of the challenge (yes, I make these rules up as we go along ...)  

Dishing the Dirt with Lurleen

The Writing Challenge prompt is "Dishing the Dirt," wouldn't you know it, Lurleen showed up for this one. Got anything you want snipped? (Sung to the tune Jolene) Lurleen, Lurleen, Lurleen, Lurleen, I'm begging of you please don't dish the dirt Lurleen, Lurleen, Lurleen, Lurleen Please don't say you did my hair Your beauty is beyond compare With flaming locks of pink and black hair With ivory skin and bloodshot eyes Your smile is like a crooked path Your voice grates from your beloved Marlboros And I cannot compete with you, Lurleen You dishing the dirt like that There's nothing I can do to keep From crying when the gossip gets back to me, Lurleen And I can easily understand How you could easily talk the trash But you don't know what it means to me, Lurleen. .  

Favorite Article of Clothing for the Winter

The Writing Challenge prompt - w ithout a doubt, my favorite article of clothing is my full-length cashmere *sings the word* coat.  It has been one of my clothing staples for at least 10 years.  It was a lifesaver in the bitter cold of the Great Lakes, north of Chicago, Illinois, when I saw my son graduate from Naval basic training.   This image was taken near the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.

Ten hotdogs and I cheated on this prompt

The Writing Challenge prompt is "Ten hotdogs" Rather than try and recreate the wheel, I will defer to one of the experts - Rachael Ray and her  hot-dog  embellishments.   Hot Dog #1 - the Deli Dog topped with egg salad.  Interesting. Hot Dog #2 - the Seattle dog, topped with grilled onions and jalapenos.  I am not sure how this relates to Seattle in any way.  I'm a Seattle native and never encountered this hot dog embellishment. Hot Dog #3 - the Nacho dog. Hot Dog #4 - the Pesto dog. Hot Dog #5 - the Pastrami Reuben dog, a slice of melted Swiss cheese over pastrami, topped with sauerkraut and thousand island dressing.   Hot Dog #6 - The Pickle dog. Hot Dog #7 - The Pimento Cheese dog - spread with pre-prepared pimento cheese spread and crushed Ritz crackers.  Hot Dog #8 - Hummus Deluxe dog - spread with hummus, topped with roasted red peppers and sprinkled with paprika. Hot Dog #9 - The Buffalo dog.  No

What is "Chill" and How Do I Do It?

The Writing Challenge writing prompt of the day, "Chill, what is it and how do I do it?" My interpretation of the word will be within the fashion realm, "chill" being one is so confident in the day's fashion ensemble, the state of Chill is achieved.   I compiled an outfit in the Pantone color of the year for Spygirl's 52-pick-me-up-pantone-party-2015 .  Color of the year is Marsala.  My mission was to find the Pantone color via thrift.  I found a Jessica McClintock evening gown and a Coldwater Creek jacket (grand total $13). Barbie styling the color of the year. She was a thrift shop find.  I bought her for her "retro" looks. I suspect her hair was cut and her head was placed on a later version Barbie. 1959 Pattern of the Day - picking up the Pantone color. I am also chillaxin with the Visible-monday  crowd and their OOTD (outfits of the day).  Patti is also hosting a Karina dress giveaway. Finally, a majorly Chill

The Sarcasm, Snark & Sass Blogfest and Ode to Platinum Hair

Linking up with a great gal, L.G. Keltner , for her ~ This link just has to be shared and fits right in the sarcasm theme, Prompt of "Invisible."   Ode to Platinum Hair My platinum hair - I've earned the right to wear it. While it sometimes make me feel invisible, I cannot deny my youth has passed on by. I'm free to wear the clothes that would have caused disdain, if worn to meetings at the P.T.A. (parent teachers association) . It's my hair, you see, that has caused me to be this way. Who is that person I see in window-front reflections? That platinum-haired person passing by?  Sweet Mother of Francis Ford Coppola, it's me!   But that hair, shining pure white in the day's light, realizes discounts of the senior citizen kind.  While I still feel like I'm that brunette from days gone by, it is my platinum hair that keeps my spry.  

Travel and continuing on with the chill

The Writing Prompt is "Travel."  Having started a new job a year ago, I haven't had much opportunity to travel.  I do have my bucket list of locations I would like to visit and they are: 1.  Cuba.  Now that the "chill" is ending with that country, it appears as though I may be able to visit.  2.  Chile.  From what I have read, the climate in Chile is similar to Northern California ... and they have salmon, one of my fav foods. 3.  New Orleans.  I have always wanted to visit New Orleans, Louisiana, NOT during Mardi Gras but off season. 4.  Puerto Rico.  One advantage to this location is it is a territory of the U.S.  5.  Hawaii.  I would at least like to say I visited one of the islands.  I hear Kauai is the one to see.   What travel places are on your bucket list?  

Willy Wonka's Greatest Candy Making Secret

Candy, how does Willy Wonka do it?  And what is his greatest candy making secret?   Since candy making is especially magical at the Wonka candy making factory, the greatest candy making secret is the troll candy making personnel. Yes, the trolls come to life at the Wonka factory.  Course, there is no accounting for their terrible fashion sense.  I will give them points for the colored hair being on trend.     

Favorite Winter Comfort Food

The Writing Challenge prompt is "Favorite Winter Comfort Food."  Since I am not a food blogger, I find it difficult to wax poetic about it.  I would rather be eating it than writing about it and food in general is difficult to photograph.  This recipe is from the 1950 Ford Treasury of Famous Recipes from Famous Eating Places.  I snuck in a few of these recipes during the last writing challenge.  What I like about this book is the artwork on each page with each recipe.   My father was Czech.  His mother dearly loved kolacky.  She was not supposed to eat it, that calorie-laden dessert, but she did anyway.   And Hi-de-ho to visitors from the Czech republic, that country is coming in at number three after the U.S. and France for visitors to my blog.  

Spilled Milk

This is Day One of a Writing Challenge with the day's prompt being "Spilled Milk."   I am going to cry over spilled milk!  How do I contend with these odd, unusual and near impossible prompts (listed below). January 5:  Spilled milk January 6:  Favorite winter comfort food January 7:  Willy Wonka’s greatest candy making secret January 8:  Travel January 9:  Invisible January 12:  What is “chill” and how do I do it? January 13:  Ten hotdogs January 14:  Favorite article of clothing for the winter January 15:  Dishing the dirt January 16:  The morning after January 19:  Word for the year January 20:  Newbies January 21:  Organizing January 22:  Bears, beans and beer January 23:  Frosty January 26:  10 years ago, I was probably ___________ January 27:  The awkward dinner party January 28:  Imagine that… January 29:  Steamed January 30:  And then there was one I took this image on July 2