Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Santa brought Erin a hamster cage for Christmas.  Sunday, we went to get a hamster.  Erin found Steve.  
He is a long haired hamster..  a tan/cream color.   And he's very sweet.  

Welcome to the family Steve.  


We're on winter break.  We managed to go to the library and bookstore yesterday to get some reading material for her.  Her nose has been in a book for the last week so I can't complain.  Today is laundry day and rest time before Family Game night.   So what does she do. Read.

I love my girl.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Her first game- the 2 of us

Her first game- the 2 of us
Originally uploaded by melblackrose
I took Erin the Sabre's game last night. And she loved it. I splurged and got her a hat and necklace, oh, and a foam finger. And lots of munchies. It was such a good game too. Lots of scoring and fights.

I am very lucky to be able to take her. Our seats were in the 100 level and not cheap.

So today, we are recovering. Neither of us have voices.

GO SABRES!!!!!!!!!!


But before the game we did go downtown to Prima

and then road the train to get to the Arena. I refuse to pay more than $5 for parking.

The Electric tower is all lit for the Holiday.. So pretty.
Lights Downtown

Thursday, December 02, 2010

too heavy

too heavy
Originally uploaded by melblackrose
I took this at 4pm. The snow was so heavy that the hedges started to bend with the weight of the snow. There is a tree in our back yard that is doing the same thing.

I'm so glad I didn't put lights on the hedges. We did that 9 years ago and we have the same type of snow fall. Totally ruined the lights.

After shoveling for some 3 hours, this is how my arms feel. I can't lift them.

And we're not done. The approach to the drive way has to be done.

I'm going to try and sleep now... maybe, if I can move.


Originally uploaded by melblackrose
So we've had snow since yesterday. I'm thinking we've got at least 3 feet. In a 24 hour span, that is a lot.

I've taken some great shots.. if you like snow. Needless to say, we haven't seen or heard a plow yet.

I do think I need new gloves... ones that don't absorb liquid....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sweet potato latke

we tried sweet potato latke. All i have to say is yum. Best new idea for dinner ever!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010


I did something bad today.  I hung Christmas Curtains..  well winter ones at least.  I found 2 flannel sheets at Amvets and they were Snowflakes.  One was red snow flakes and the other was blue.  Sheets!!!  So up they went today. Being flannel.. I didn't bother sewing the bottom.  So up they went and the Fall stuff came down.  BUT THAT IS IT!! Really.. Until Friday.. Really.. ok. except the snowman sugar bowl in the kitchen. BUT THATS IT!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

small rant

Off the holiday lists for a minute..


spice it up! Holiday Gift Idea #4

I didn't find Penzeys on Elmwood until a few months ago.  I needed some new spices and boy, was I impressed.

The store smells wonderful first off.  And the selection was overwhelming, but in a good way.  The staff was more than helpful and there is even a little station for kids to color at while you shop.

They do offer some gift sets already prepackaged.  But go nuts!  You can make your own sets up in either the pretty glass jars or in the bags.  To be honest, its really not that expensive.  For the amount that you get, they do last quite awhile and if you store them correctly, they won't get stale.

I need to go back and get some good Vanilla for Christmas this year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

etsy local shopping - Holiday Gift Idea #3

I hate shopping at the malls for Christmas presents.  I'm rushed, I'm tired and I can't carry my coffee and my bags and my purse at the same time.  I will do short specific spurts to the mall ONLY IF I REALLY HAVE TO!.  I prefer to hit the Elmwood Village or shop online.

One of my favorite sites on etsy is a local shop - elm studios.  I remember like 2 years back at a craft show I saw the beautiful little containers.  So sweet and personal.  The work of Erin Lynne Meissner is always on my list of things to look at on etsy.

The breathe bowl is probably my favorite.  Here's a shot of it (no, I don't own it.. I covet it.  I need to remember to do that every so often - the shot is from her etsy site.. go there. really.  you'll love it)

again, in no way I am connected to the artists.  I'm simply tossing out different ideas for the holidays.  If I mention it, it must be good.  everyone should create. and i applaud these artists for doing what I can not.  with that, I'm going to snuggle up in my flannel sheets and read a book.  yes,  a real book.  with pages and a spine and ink.  

martha Holiday Gift Idea #2

I hate Martha Stewart but at the same time, I love the stuff she and her staff come up with.  I suppose I hate her because I should have thought of the stuff first and I can't seem to get around to making the items I so covet.

I'm on the hunt for little things I can make with the kiddo for Christmas - little gifts or ornaments she can give to family and friends.  I saw this Pipe Cleaner Snowflake that would be awesome for her.

I took her new book out from the Library and I love it!

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia Of Sewing And Fabric Crafts: Basic Techniques For Sewing, Applique, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, And Printing, Plus 150 Inspired Projects From A To Z

I have been flipping through this book and it would make a wonderful addition to any sewer or crafter's collection.  She explains the basics and provides some neat tips.  I do love the section on the Japanese embroidered linens.  Nothing in it overly complicated or things you just wouldn't use.  She covers Aprons, Curtains, dolls, stuffed animals, how to Applique, making sheets for your bed.... you get the idea?

Now, I think I need to go sew something.

pottery junkie - Holiday Gift Ideas #1

This is part of my pottery addiction.  Only 4 pieces are missing.  I adore handmade pottery and I am fortunate to know several potterers.  

The newest addition is the Polish Pottery - the white and blue.  I won them at a basket raffle and boy was I lucky.  I used it last night and I couldn't have been happier.

The bowl on the top left was made by a local artist.  The Cup on the left was made by Dancing Pig Pottery and the little green/blue mug on the right was made by Hughes Pottery  

I adore these pieces and I really do use the mugs every day. So if you are thinking of getting something for the Holidays this year, why not consider hand made pottery.  They are unique and very well made. Don't hide them in a china cabinet...USE THEM!!

Note: These are not endorsement  at all.  I was not paid or contacted by these wonderful artists.  I just simply adore their work and a wanted to share some different Gift ideas for the Holidays.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Thats pretty much my answer. Its that time of year and everything is going. School is prepping for Christmas and the play, and the Gingerbread house and the Santa Breakfast.

Work is,... well work. December will be nuts. Home is a mess... not emotionally but physically. The Cookies are finally done and now I have to recover from that and having to clean out my car to get it fix. The door no longer has a hole in it. Thank goodness.

All I want is a clean house. I had it.. but its gone. Saturday and Sunday will be the cleaning days. I want my space back.


I think its time for some meditative music while I do this client install. Nothing make me focus like medieval choir songs.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

totally worth it

Today was the crazy Community Days sale at the BonTon. Now, I'm not one to go to Black Friday, crazy super busy sales at any store. I don't like the crowds and I can never usually find anything. But I did have a $10 off coupon and I was looking for hankies. Some nice lady gave me another book so I had $20 total off. Nice.

Well, after wandering around for like 30 minutes, I found 1 thing. A plaid (browns) shirt for $15, normally $60. $60!!! um.. who spends that money on a flannel shirt. Well, I paid $5. So there.

I did find a nice flannel sheet set for us - Tim likes the one set we have but its pink. I got a green set for $29.99... yep, on sale and $10 off. Normally, this set is $80. Again, who spends $80 on sheets??

Last bit of luck was spent on a wool pea coat from London Fog. Normally $225. $70... yep.. And the blasted thing fit and has pockets and a hood and a scarf.

go me! I'm done. I have my oxford shoes, my pea coat and I finally figured out how to wear my hair in a 40's style.

So now I'm chilling - waiting for the kiddo to come home from the zoo. I am wearing my new flannel shirt, my new woolly lined flats and miraculously, my brown gauchos from ON.. which match the shirt. DOUBLE SCORE! I'm too cute to stay home.

Friday, November 05, 2010

you'd think it was disney

I'm wide freaking awake. Tomorrow is Hallowtide down near Olean. Its an SCA thing. Long complicated thing but in a nut shell its like living history of the middle ages. there. now you know.

Regardless. I'm taking the girls (the daughter and my niece) on a 2 hr car ride along with a good friend. I think I have everything packed. PACKED!! We are only going for the day.. and I have to pack.

Garb, drinks, stuff to do, scroll, feast gear, munchies, DAMN!! I forget the daughter's garb in the laundry room. Need to grab that.

It honestly feels like I'm going to Disney, or a long vacation... or the night before Christmas. All I want to do is sleep. I don't even have a good excuse like eating a box of Girl Scout cookies....

Thanks and Cookies

Its always interesting to have your Mom read your blog (HI MOM!!!!). I kind of like it. Although I need to remember to not spill the beans on any Birthday or Christmas secrets and such.

So Thank you Mom... You raised me right. I did a good deed today because it just had to be done. The cookies came in late and some parents were miffed. Well, Pissed. The poor troop leader was frazzled by this one parent. As we walked in, we saw the lack of help and offered to lend a hand. Damn it, I wanted my cookies.

To make a very long story short, I am still a Girl Scout at heart. So Thank you Mom... you'll get your cookies on Sunday.


Ohhhhh , look a pretty new blog. watercolors and all..

It will do for now...


I woke up this morning feeling a tad bit better after the dust attack yesterday.

The house looks a little better. At least there is room for cookies now. I found some fabric and now I can make my Christmas Curtains for the kitchen. And hung the brown ones for fall from my mom. Since we can actually eat in the kitchen now, I wanted to make it pretty.

I have plans to make 2 dresses for me. One green and one black with pink roses. It was a top sheep from Mom that would make a rocking vintage house dress.

Not to mention the trip to the Dollar Store yesterday. I have all kinds of "I need to make..." ideas for Christmas for people. I hope you all like scarves with embroidery...

Back to work I suppose....

Thursday, November 04, 2010

giving up

The dining room is done. The Bathroom is done. I am done. I can't breathe! Damn freaking dust. All thats left is Laundry (sort, fold and more washing). That I can tackle tonight. So now, its Coffee and a movie while I regain hold of my sinuses.

The Young Victoria is in order I do believe.

crazy cats and sneezing

I have to use 2 vacation days that I moved in order to complete some project at work. Yes, everything is scheduled for the month of December.

I opted to take today to clean the dining room as I have some 200 boxes of cookies coming tomorrow.

2 hours into the cleaning I can't stop sneezing (yes mom, I will dust more). While taking my break (and to blog this), my cats are going nuts. I tossed a wind breaker on the ground (yes yes yes, i know, why didn't you jut hang it up? 'cause its project #4.... so shush). Now, I'm watching Ribbon go nuts jumping onto the windbreaker - it makes noise. Spaz Kitty!!

Dining room is almost done. Laundry is started. Sigh... not how I wanted to spend my day off but I do get to spend it in peace and I meditate while I clean ... Ommmmm I will have a clean home..Ommmmm

Friday, October 29, 2010

happy halloween!

I dressed up for work. I'm a Geisha. And yes, I made the Kimono. The hair is a wig, not mine thank goodness.

So everyone knows, my face is itching like a fiend! But I look good and I have the Halloween spirit.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

retail therapy

There is something to be said about going to Amvets and finding something you have been looking for.

I have been on a quest to get a tan overcoat. I refuse to pay more than $20 . I'm frugal. So there, on the rack was a hook! Holding my coat (teehee). For $10.98, a Lands End trench. My size. No stains or rips. How can I say no? I was fortunate as it started to rain just as I was leaving.

I checked out the current coats at Lands End. I think I may have saved a bundle! The coats run $60 to $120... I paid $11. You do the math.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

halloween homemade

On some blog somewhere, I found that someone (sheer genius) took a piece of muslin for a table cloth and then embroidered the corner with a spider web. Simple. Creepy.

I wanted to do it. So Thank you Dollar Tree, I found the flour sack towels. All I did was embroider the web and spider in the corner. Its now proudly hanging in my kitchen as a valance over my blinds.

I need to do a second one. Erin wants a bat. I guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend
(photo to come as soon as I get a chance).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

books and a guardian angel

Someone left me a bag of Celtic books and some other goodies. Strangely, there are the very items I need. The books have the basic celtic knotwork designs and images for me to use for a scroll for Erin along with some embroidery things I want to do.

Here's the deal.. I have no idea who left it for me. I wasn't at the event and my friend took it for me for me. All she remembers is 1)she was tall 2) blonde and 3) never saw her before.

I can not for the life of me figure out who it is. This person used my SCA name.. so... yeah. no idea.

To whomever it was.. THANK YOU!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Its time to start this again. Life is winding down in some areas and gearing up in others.

The kiddo is in 2nd grade and has a new responsibility of making sure homework is written down and completed, none of this pre-printed stuff. So we are thrust into the world of "did you do your homework?". Joy.

I'm also tightening the budget more and looking for alternate ways of doing things. One that surprised me was getting rid of shampoo and conditioner. Replace the shampoo with Baking Soda and use a Vinegar/water mix for the conditioner. I used it this morning. I have to say, my hair feels clean is soft. And no, it doesn't smell. Both of these options are very inexpensive so I'm going to stick with them for a while and see. Tim won't do it.. But maybe I can convince the kiddo to do it. She is partial to the smelly conditioners. I'll be posting on how that goes over the next week or so since its going to be a long term experiment.

I've also been trying to do something with my tomatoes. Since I'm not a huge fan of eating them and Tim can only eat so many, I have resorted to freezing them. I'd love to learn to can them but that will have to wait. It’s a process I've read about but haven't been able to put it into practice. I need some tools too. So for now, I have several bags of frozen tomatoes. The oregano came in quite nice this year and I've that drying. The Rosemary not so much but it’s the first year. My poor pepper plants just wouldn't grow. I got 2 green ones and a red one that fell off early and didn't get a chance to change. :( I will try again next year.. Maybe onions too. But I need to research that one first to see what is involved.

There just hasn't been enough time to go the farmer's markets with Events and family things going on every weekend. I wanted to get some more berries to freeze but I missed it. But Damn, I will get to Blackman Farms next week for apples. That is a must. I'm also looking for a good deal on pork and beef raised locally. That can freeze and since we don't eat the meat as often we did, it could last quite a while.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


In prep for the trip, I got a deck of cards from the Dollar store. You'd think in this house, we'd have tons. Nope.

I cracked them open and started playing Solitaire. Erin became interested and helped. She had seen Papa play and wanted to learn herself. After some lesson, I went to go finish dinner. Upon walking back into the living room, I find her playing Solitaire herself.

Just before bedtime, she wanted to play "Goldfish"... Go Fish. After a few matches, it was War. Now, she seem interested. I think its time to introduce Rummy to her.

I play on and off. Only with my Mom. I was about Erin's age when I learned to play at my Grandmother's house. We'd play on the sun porch and we'd keep score all summer long. She'd kick my ass. I stopped playing just because thats what you do when you are a kid. Now, I'm bringing it back. I've re-read the rules and I think I remember them. I'll jot a few notes down before we leave and then give it a whirl with the 7 year old. I figure its a nice time sink when you are camping and need to kill time.

Mom, expect a phone call in the next day or so to clarify the rules.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The Kiddo is passed out on my lap after watching Doctor Who and insisting on wearing the skirt I just made her for Pennsic.

She's too cute when she is sleeping on me. She may be 7 but she's my baby gir

Sunday, July 18, 2010


For you Mom, since I don't update this often enough. And Sam, I know you read this too.

Pennsic prep is well underway. This will be the kiddo's first vacation away from Tim and no TV on top of it. No DS, no radio... It will be interesting. I think we'll need to find a kid friendly drum circle to let her wiggle a bit.

My clothes are mostly ready. Once more check of garb and I should be good. Then I just need to add in the mundane essentials. And shoes. I will forget shoes. For Erin, well... we are working on it. She has 3 tunics, a viking, jammies, hood and a cloak (that needs to be hemmed a lot). I am making her 2 more tunics, 2 skirts... I'm almost there.. I think. 3 weeks.. I can do it.

Not to mention I have an AOA to do as well. NO FREAKING GOLD THIS TIME! and a Knighting and another AOA... ok. Sew first.. then scroll. Food and Packing and then I can focus on the 2 out of kingdom scrolls.

Yep, I am rambling. What more do you want from some who has a pile of fabric cut and pieced sitting in her living room. And a tent and popup in the dining room.. and a tote of food that is marked " DO NOT OPEN 'TILL WAR!".

The sewing for tonight has stopped due to hand issues. I've been hand sewing to stay cool. Big mistake. 2 coifs and a skirt, lining in a coat ... and teaching Erin to hand sew.

Now I have cat next to me, so typing is a challenge. So there is where I am and where I am headed. Crazy.. as usual.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

in a hurry

There is a woman whom I often run into during the morning rush in. She must live near me because I have been behind her or she's driving in front of me... very fast. I do believe she is trying to read my bumper stickers but need new glasses if you know what I mean.

So this morning she was right behind me and weaved her way in and out to get ahead. With all that hurried driving, her parking spot was... one away from mine.

I stroll into the building and she's impatiently waiting for the elevator. I opted for the other one. Hmmm.. Mine arrived the same time as hers. And she pushed her way onto the elevator first (no doubt she stood right by the floor buttons).

Sigh... I've seen her do this on more than one occasion. I've given up rushing in most cases. Its not worth it. She never smiles.. never seems happy. So with that, I am going to enjoy my drive this evening and get there when I get there.

Friday, May 07, 2010

elevator antics

I truly dread the elevator in our office. There are 4 on our wing - 2 go to our floor and up. Now.. we are on the 5th floor and the top in 10.

Morning - The regulars know the routine... let those who need to scan their cards scan them and then press the button. While that is happening, you wait. Patiently. The others see it fit to push their way onto the elevator and push you out of the way while you try to press your floor. Not to mention the fact they don't move to the back of the elevator. For heaven's sake.. if you are on floors 8, 9 or 10.. do you really need to stand by the door? And when I am shoved to the back of the elevator, don't glare at me when I try to get out.

4:30 pm- Good Luck. This is the prime GO HOME time for 10, 9, 7 and 6. There have been countless times when, as soon as the door opens on 5, the mass of groans and complaints surface. Not to mention I'm lucky if I can get on the elevator. There is either no room or someone is button happy and closes the door on me.
This is not your personal elevator folks. Manners, please.

And before anyone says "why don't you take the stairs?".. we can't. The stairs are emergency exits only. This is total suckage.

The only bright side is that a few gentlemen actually will allow the women on or off first, hold the door and are polite. But only just a few.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

rag curls

I bit the bullet last night and tried rag curls. Needless to say, with my hair being so short, I have accomplished a very tight curl. I only tried the back of the head so I think tonight I will try the rest of the hair. I used the soft foam curlers and well... can we say curly?

Yes Mom.... I am crazy and tried rag curls. Now, if I can just get the kiddo to sit still...

Friday, April 23, 2010

skipping rocks

I never mastered the art of skipping rocks. She was trying and then just wanted to see how far she could throw.


This week has been.. well.. interesting. I am convinced someone once said to me "May you live in interesting times". This week proved it.

I can't give much detail but I had to do something this week that I really dreaded doing. But it was something that had to be done. Kind of like going to the dentist (that's next week) or going to the Girlie doctor. You just HAVE to do it. Well, I did it. I was prepared. Concise. And passionate. I channeled my best friend who happens to be a lawyer to make sure I stayed focused (and looked good too). And I lived.

Along the way, I have gotten to know some people as well. People I never intended on knowing.

So to lighten the mood.. here's a shot of me and kiddo. School held an International Food fest and our country was Sweden. ABBA was playing in the room. yeah.. ABBA. thus the Viking helmet and braids.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


More on the hedge saga (i actually just forgot this bit as my arms are still killing me)

While I was outside mowing the lawn on Monday, the Kiddo comes out and asks if she can make some Pink Lemonade - you know, those little single serve packs you add to a water bottle.
I said sure.. told her how to do it and off she went. Not 5 minutes later, she returns with a water bottle for me. Hands it to me...I was for me.

I drank it without thinking and thanked her from the bottom of my heart. She wasn't prompted to bring me something to drink. She did it all on her own.

As it turns out, the drink was supposed to be lemonade... the regular kind. It tasted off so I asked her how she made it. And there I see the empty Lemonade Kool-ade pack on the counter. She used the whole thing in the water bottle. No sugar. She thought it was the same as what she had.

I told her it didn't matter. I like lemon water.. I added a little sugar and it was fine.

My kid... for all that she messes up on...she more than makes up for it when she does stuff like this.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I have been on a vintage kick of late. Specifically the 1940's clothes. Now, given I am not a small or medium NOR do I have unlimited amounts of cash, I have to work with what I have and go for a vintage style.

With luck, I own several items already that I can use and Old Navy had some dresses I can use. Also, Target had knee socks.. that I can pull to my knee. I know! Crazy.

Hair is easy. I have short style now so Curlers and fake victory roll is in order. Red lipstick. Check.

So far, I can pull it off.. but I would love more. The day dresses are so nice to wear around the house and super comfortable too.

Pictures to come as soon as I charge the batteries on the camera.

woman vs hedges

It all started a few years ago when we tackled the hedges with a chain saw. It was nice for that summer then well, they grew back. These hedges are very tall and wide so getting to middle of them is hard. I usually trim the fronts and Tim does the top.

So yesterday, I was sitting outside with the Kiddo and I happened to look at one section that has been dying. Some weed of some sort strangled the hedge and one section is dead and another is half gone. I made the mistake of making a clean spot. So 30 minutes later, the dead area was cleared and the half dead was pruned. It was 5 pm by now so I got to thinking "why can't I just start trimming the hedges?". So I did. The section along side the driveway is almost where I want it and I rounded off the corner to the sidewalk. There is almost no green on them yet so I was cutting branches and it made for very easy work. If the weather is nice this weekend, I will work on it some more.

There are a few more spots that are dead or dying so I think I may yank them out. It will thin them out just enough. Whoever planted them originally planted them way too close together.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I am a total slacker with the blog. With Facebook and Twitter, I have learned to condense my thoughts to 140 characters or less.

I promise more posts. really. Things may slow down a bit in life so I may just find a few minutes to post pictures of the kiddo and stories of her crazy ideas.

really... I promise.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

April Fools Continues

Its been awhile. But all I have to say is its April 3 and its day 3 of summer like weather. Its 9:30 am and 71 degrees. I am sitting in my driveway with the kiddo. she's playing and I am surfing the net (equivalent to reading the paper I suppose) and drinking coffee.

Ok..so she went back in the house. I am soaking in the sun a little bit longer...