Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Catnip Mouse Toys

Dear Mom,

Prior to Christmas when my list was a mile long and I was helping Jessica with her new nonprofit (AlphaWom) fundraiser which was a huge success by the way, I spotted an article in ReadyMade magazine about making a mouse toy filled with catnip for cats. I never think about getting Smeagol something for Christmas but when I saw the article, I decided I would make the little stinker a mouse. And while I was at it, I’d make one for my friend Carole’s two cats Cookie and Amy—and one for Jessica’s cat Kitty. I probably could have made 50 for all the cat lovers I know, but there wasn’t time.

My husband came down while I was sewing. He’s been hearing me whine about all the tings I have to do and how this and that probably won’t get done. “What are you doing?” He had that tone—what is she up to now?

“Making these.” I pointed to the article sitting next to me. I felt like a child getting caught at something.

Of course he rolled this eyes and walked away. As he was leaving I said, “It’s something I really want to do!” I had no idea why I wanted to make cat toys when I hardly had anything else finished on my list—and even scratched some things off the list! But I was happy sewing cat toys.

I took the cat toys over to Cookie and Amy. Much to my surprise they loved them, licked them, cuddled them, tossed them and you could see how happy they were to have them. Cookie and Amy normally stay curled up napping when I’m there. Cookie meanders out and allows me to give her a belly rub. Amy barely wants to be seen but on rare occasions permits me to rub her belly too. But that day I found out they could move!

All the love I put into making the cat toys was absolutely worth it watching how much they loved their catnip mice. There must be something to doing what you want—what’s pulling at your heart to do.

Just look at those little cutie stinkers. Cookie is the mother of Amy. Cookie is in the first picture, Amy in the second. The last picture Amy sits a bit disappointed as Mom took over both toys!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Birthday Blessings

Dear Mom,

I do believe I’m overwhelmed by all the sweet things that loved ones have done for me for my birthday. It started a week before my birthday when my “other mom” Elsie (that I wrote about when I wished my best friend a happy birthday) came over with a gift. About 20 plus years ago, I had started on this little quilt. Recently I found it and decided that I was never going to do anything with it and gave it to Susan to give to her mom who quilts. Some of the pieces of material came from Elsie’s mother and it seemed appropriate to give it to her. It just needed a back and to be quilted. I had already appliquéd the hearts on the squares. Now that little stinker finished it and gave it back to me—for my birthday.

The next day I met a dear friend who gave me a cookbook (The Route 66 St. Louis Cookbook by Norma Maret Bolin) and some beautiful stationary. In the cookbook is a gooey butter recipe that I’m anxious to try to see if it’s as good as mine ☺. Nothing like bragging, but somebody has to do it.

Sunday my little sister Ruthie drove on the snowy highway and delivered a homemade birthday/anniversary cake for Norm and me. OMG, it was so delicious that it is now my favorite kind of cake—Spiced Chocolate Torte wrapped in Chocolate Ribbon. She told me it came from the December 1984 Bon Appétit magazine. The cake has 42 ounces of chocolate in that baby—what’s not to love?

My daughter Rita knitted a lovely scarf—not the kind that keeps you warm as she has knitted me several of those. This one is to class up my looks! My stepdaughter Robyn created an owl necklace that’s absolutely beautiful—it goes along with my new role as Mother Owl. My granddaughter Logan wrote the sweetest note and letter to me.

Norm and I decided not to give each other anything—there’s nothing neither of us need. However we decided I would purchase the goods that are needed to go with a book that my sister Ruthie gave me some time ago (Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François). Anyone who loves homemade bread will love this. It doesn’t fit in the “trying to lose weight” category, but better for you if you’re going to eat bread, in my opinion.

Then there were many birthday wishes via email and Facebook. Real birthday cards were sent my way and phone calls all throughout the day. Such overwhelming love —who could ask for more?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary!

Dear Mom,

You gave birth to me 53 years ago—on Friday, the 13th. You had mentioned more than once that you had appendicitis while in labor and we both came close to not making it. You were 40.

My husband, Norm’s mother gave birth to him 63 years ago—on Saturday, the 13th. No mishaps with her labor. She was 19.

Eight years ago, when Norm and I finally tied the knot after having been together nearly the same amount of time, we decided to celebrate that occasion on our birthdays. As we grow old together, there won’t be any confusion ☺ remembering the date.

I tease Norm that when we hit our 10th anniversary that it will be a record for me—I’ll have been married to him longer than all three of my previous marriages combined! He’s already broken the record strictly for the longest, period.

Norm likes teasing me too—and modified this comic strip depicting me with my girlfriend.

There was a time when I didn’t think we’d make it. I wondered what was wrong with me and that maybe I wasn’t the marrying type. Turns out I didn’t have the right one—someone who wanted it to work too! Every day I give thanks for I am blessed to have the best little stinker. And the decorative pillow that Norm gave me one year sums it up for me as well… “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.” Winnie-the-Pooh

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary Norm!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chicken Soup for the Soul Fan?

My writer friend, Linda O'Connell posted a blog about a book signing that is going on in St. Charles on Main Street for Chicken Soup for the Soul, Canned Food for the Body event. Check out Linda's blog: Write from the Heart.

There's a few other friends who will be participating too - Becky and Tammy - check out their blogs too!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another Family

Dear Mom,

It’s Susan’s birthday today. My best friend from grade school. After you died, Susan’s mom Elsie was like a mother to me, and I became part of their family—ha whether they liked it or not because Susan, being the oldest, always got her way. And now I’m really like part of the family since Susan and I fixed up her brother Bud and my sister Ruth. They have a son Josh. Susan and I always joke, if we were married that’s what our kid would look like. No one gets that—what we’re saying—it’s a friend thing from having had over 40 years sharing the good and the not-so-good times in our lives.

Before we could drive, we wanted matching cars. Susan a light blue Volkswagen Beetle and I wanted mine a bright yellow.

Susan and I went to different high schools. I was dating a guy, and went to a CYC dance at my old grade school. It was at the dance my date laid eyes on Susan and he fell in love—love at first sight. After high school the two moved to Hawaii and married. The good thing from that marriage was their son Steven.

Both Susan and I have gone through three divorces and are currently on our fourth marriage. We didn’t plan it that way. It seemed like when she was getting a divorce, I was getting married and vice-a-versa.

We’ve had a brief period of not speaking, but the love of our friendship was too strong to let that go on.

Even after 40 years I’m still discovering something new about Susan. There are as many differences between us as there are similarities, but we both accept each other for who we are—and that is a beautiful thing.

Happy Birthday Susan!

P.S. Mom, here’s a rendering of the two of us that your grandson Casey created from our grade school pictures that's below the painting.