Saturday, November 27, 2010

Then the Leaves Fall

The man and I were remarking the other day how odd it was that all of the leaves were still on the trees this late in the year. 24 hours later, all of the leaves, in unison, decided to fall. Our back yard went from green to this in under 30 minutes.

I love the way the trees just 'know' when to shed their leaves and one tree sends the secret signal to the rest and it's game on. It's a conspiracy to leaf rakers everywhere, but a beautiful sight to watch the leaves lazily making their way from treetop to ground. It's been 3-4 days since I took this picture and it's even more covered now, but it's rained a bit, so it's not as inviting anymore.

I've been remiss at posting this last week. I hope everyone had as wonderful of a Thanksgiving as we did. The broccoli didn't head up large enough to eat, but I did pick a bowl and a half of peas that we used for shelling and as appetizers. More carrots were picked and set out as well. It was funny to watch people eat the orange ones first then hesitantly moved to the white and purple, but the only one enthusiastic about them was the boy. Some family members ventured to the white carrots, but more kept eyeballing them and asking what was 'wrong' with them. ;)

I also had enough sweet potatoes left to make the sweet potato dish, only to find out the man and I are the only ones who eat them, but they sure were good!

Instead of a pumpkin pie, I tried a friend's recipe for a pumpkin 'cake.' It darkened up after I took it out of the oven and was very sweet, but obscenely good. I think next time I'll leave out some of the powdered sugar in the filling mix, but we'll certainly make it again.
Keychains for a Cause is trucking right along and we'll hopefully pick up some steam with the Christmas holiday coming around. This is a custom order I had for a women's group. I got an email asking if I could do their group's colors (yellow with white stars). Sure! No problem.
We also got two more collegiate ribbons in - Duke and The University of Maryland. Go Terps!
When it comes time to fill those stockings, don't forget us!

The morning comes early. Especially when your girl decides to sleep in your bed and talks in her sleep and spends the whole night patting your head and calling you a "good dog." I suppose it's better than "big-fat momma" which she called me all day Thursday. Sweet fall gardening dreams.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

All Good Things...

Are the peas at their end? They completely fell over in the wind we had two nights ago. They're a jumbled mess even though they've been strung up for support.
However....they're still full of peas. I think I'll let them go through Thanksgiving. I bet I'll be able to get some for a little side dish or pre dinner snack and I'll be a happy gal. I'll go through and pick around Tuesday or Wednesday, I think, so they don't get too large and starchy.
Last year I didn't have hardly anything from the garden to put on the table, but this year I've got sweet potatoes that I'll marble with regular potatoes for a dish, peas, carrots and rosemary to season the turkey with. I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out.

I posted yesterday on the Keychains for a Cause page that I had a customer ask if my dislike of the Florida Gators was greater than my love for Relay for Life. My first instinct was, "Heck yeah!" but she was right. Relay won over and these got made last night:
I was thrilled today when my new University of Georgia ribbon came in. After having to wear a gas mask and gloves to make the FLA keychains last night, this was a relief. ;) I like the two UGA designs I already have, but this one is my favorite.
Also in the order was my Mississippi State ribbon, so I was able to finish a custom order.
So there you have it, sports fans. Keep us in mind for Christmas gifts!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Broccoli Abounds and Name That NFL Team!

Now that it's cooled off during the day, the broccoli is starting to look really nice. The big one second from the left is actually starting to show a little bit of a head. There's nothing like home grown broccoli. Its sweetness can't be beat. I'd say it's second to home grown tomatoes in terms of the taste being superior to that of store bought. Then again, so are the peas, the carrots, the squash, the garlic....maybe it's all just better. I need more boxes. ;)

Today I got an email asking for custom orders for keychains depicting a certain NFL team's colors, but only if I got it right. I made a mock up and I'm putting the test to you:
Which NFL team does this keychain represent? I wrote on the Keychains for a Cause page that the first two people who email would win one of the collegiate keychains we offer (EG....I got in Auburn! Even though you throw punches like girls.) It's open to any of you who come by here as well. It's game time! Let me know if you think I can propose this to the customer.
The morning comes early....and so is the night being that the kids don't understand daylight savings time and start asking to go to bed at 6:00. What? I'm not going to fill them in. ;)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

O Garden, How Have I Forsaken Thee

I've been so busy with the keychains and the end of the semester that I've nearly forgotten there is a garden out back which is good and bad at the same time. It's good because I'm not tempted to pull every carrot out there and therefore just may have some still in the ground for Thanksgiving use and the peas are filling out nicely; as you can see, even though strung up for support, they're almost pulling down the trellis!
I ripped out the peppers and beans today and here's what I got off of the pepper plants and pea vines.
The decision is made. I won't bother with peas in the spring and only do a few carrots since they do soooooo much better in the fall and I'm not overly eager to pull them to make room for the summer veggies. The broccoli outside is just starting to show a head. I wonder if they'll grow large enough by Thanksgiving to use and cabbage worms or not, I'm thinking of finding out if those cabbages are salvageable. You can serve cabbage for Thanksgiving, right?

I was going to make a zucchini pie from the zucchini in the freezer, sweet mashed potatoes from the ones from the garden, carrots and peas as appetizers and if I can work the cabbage in there this will be one fantastic garden holiday!
The girl is becoming quite the fashionista. She's entered the "I'm getting dressed myself with blatant disregard for the seasons or original intended function of the clothing stage. She was adamant this is what she was going to wear on this 45 degree day:
And yes...those "shorts" aren't shorts at all, but a shirt she's thrown on upside down. Oh, and that tattoo is one she's had since Halloween. She holds it out of the bathtub so she doesn't get it wet, but some mean, soapy hand always manages to grab it and dunk it before we get out of the tub. I'm about to break out the baby oil when she goes to bed to get that sucker off.

This Saturday I took out a booth for Keychains for a Cause at another elementary school fall festival and did better than the first one I did, so that makes me very happy! The large youth group order is finished, packed up and ready to ship, although I forgot to take a picture before I packed it up.
Here is a few that I made for someone. Thank goodness there's some red and black to bust up all of that yellow. ;)
My collegiate ribbon is in although not listed on the website. Email with inquiries.

The morning comes early....even when the kids play outside for five hours and fall asleep dead tired, they STILL wake up early. Is nothing sacred!?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Not Much Gardening Going on Around Here....

In the garden, things are pretty much either dead, waiting to die or biding their time before they produce like the broccoli, onions, garlic and carrots. There were, however, a few surprises. I thought the recent three days of frost in a row would have gotten all of the green beans left, but it only nailed a few and I picked a whole bowl on Sunday which was pleasantly unexpected. Right now, I'm just twiddling my thumbs and waiting for the mood to strike me to clean up the dead and dying vines.

Right now, what's keeping me busy is making keychains! We got that order in for just under 60 keychains for a church youth group so I've been sewing like a crazy tonight. I've gotten 15 done today so depending on the amount of other orders we receive this week, I should get them done in time to ship out Monday. *sigh* it's the first time I haven't shipped out within 24 hours, but I think it's understandable in this case. Here's the ones I did tonight:

And here's what I found when I came downstairs Sunday night. They were like three peas in a pod!
It was very cute.

Hopefully the broccoli will sprout heads soon and we can get back to gardening! The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Sale and Advertising That Can't Be Beat!!

We hit the Wally World today to do some grocery and clothes shopping since the girl and boy both decided to grow without consulting anyone. We also happened upon a 90% off Halloween sale that was STUFFED with costumes in the boy and girl's sizes. The boy got a ninja and Darth Vader costume for a whopping total of $3.50 and the girl a girl Robin costume and a Yoda which went perfect with the Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker that the boy actually was for Halloween for just about the same amount.

Here's my point....all football season this girl's been singing this song of hers she's entitled "Georgia Bulldogs to the Rescue." The refrain is simple, yet pleasing:

Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia Bulldogs
If you need help call
Georgia Bulldogs to the rescue!

It doesn't deviate from the course...ever..not even in her fifty billionth recitation.
So here I am playing at my sewing machine and making up some UGA keychains with real, official ribbon I found (GA Tech, Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Auburn, USC and Illinois coming soon), and I hear her singing the song with the jingling of a keychain in the background.

So, here she is in her Robin costume glory singing our new, completely unsolicited Keychains for a Cause theme song. However, she's sideways and even though I save it rotated, it won't transfer here as such, so try not to crick your neck.

So, here they are....the two new Georgia Bulldog keychains to the rescue!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Fall Festival is Over...

...and I am sunburned!

It was fridged cold with the wind whipping and highs in the low 50's if that, but my booth faced right to the sun and I've now got the fancy raccoon eyes to go with my sunburn. This being my first fall festival, I really didn't know what to expect. I suppose I wound up doing better than I thought, but not as good as I would have wished, if that makes sense. I only sold three off of the table, but I got a few special orders and handed out a lot of business cards, so hopefully those people will come back. Most seemed very excited about using them as teacher's gifts, stocking stuffers or gifts for those people who you always want to give gifts to, but usually wind up spending far more than you'd like to.
This here is one of the orders I took today. I'd never made one up with the leopard print or green polkadots before, and I really like the way they turned out.

Will I do another festival? I don't know. The woman at the fancy watch and jewlery booth next to me said she was surprised that she didn't sell a single watch since she usually sells a lot, but it was just too cold and people weren't in the mood to loiter and shop.

There's another fall festival next week at which I've been invited to share a booth, and I may just do it, but at the same time I'll keep my fingers crossed that some of the people that took the cards will pop on over and order some as well.

Anyway, thanks for humoring me. The morning comes early, or actually a little later tomorrow for those of you without children who act as human alarm clocks regardless of what the digital clock says. Sweet dreams, my friends. Sweet dreams.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Erin Started It...

Once upon a time in a land far, far away (ok, it was somewhere around 1997 and we lived in Hinesville, GA), there lived a young woman who was tired of sewing all of her crafts by hand so she invested in a cheapo, lightweight, insignificant, good for nothing, poor excuse for a sewing machine, sewing machine. I knew how to use it. It wasn't my first rodeo with a sewing machine but within the first week, that *$&@^ thing was going to be chunked out the door. It got relegated to a closet where it only rarely and begrudgingly saw the light of day. I toyed with the idea of leaving it in Hinesville when we moved, but it made nice, gave me puppy dog eyes, and it came with us. "Sucker," you could hear it sneer.

I'd always wanted a sewing machine that would also embroider. A machine that was REALLY a machine and not just a "poser." I watched Ebay for months and decided on an old Babylock Esante (ese) that had been computer upgraded to an ese2 in order to manage the big embroidery hoops. I was so nervous buying something of this size off Ebay. What if it didn't work or got damaged in shipping?

No need to fear. This Cinderella found her glass slipper. I've used it for going on 7 years now and I wouldn't trade it for anything. She's carried me through an uncountable number of embroidery projects and is now the cornerstone of helping me through with the keychains.
She's a super stud. For the moment, as embroidery has given way to keychains, her embroidery arm is stowed on the floor next to her.
She obviously sits begrudgingly next to the bloody beast that can sit there until it rusts and the floor beneath it decays to where it plunges two stories to the basement floor where it will most likely remain for all eternity because I sure ain't giving it the time of day.

I'm not bitter, really. I should get rid of her, but I feel guilty even giving it to the Goodwill because by keeping it, I'm also preserving someone else's sanity.

Tomorrow is the elem. school fall festival at which I'm setting up a Keychains for a Cause booth. My dilema on if I should make keychains to bring that don't sell has been solved for me! I got an order today for 10 different key chains. I made those tonight and those along with the ones I was going to give the boy and girl's teachers are the ones I'll bring with me. If they sell, yea! and I'll make them again. If not, they go out in the afternoon mail on my way home. They're sold even if they don't sell. I'm nervous, but very excited as well.

The morning comes early...and it's going to be a cold one. Sweet sewing dreams.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cabbage....Do I Dare?

Earlier this fall I posted a picture of some pretty beat up cabbages. The cabbage worms certainly had their way with it earlier in the season, but now look!
Most of them look like this and are just beautiful. Now, I know the wee beasties got in the early leaves pretty fiercely, but what do you think? Do you think they're still burrowed in there feeding like fiends, or do you think I may actually salvage some cabbage after all?

Thank you for the warm wishes on the Keychains for a Cause. We met with the students on the Relay for Life team for the first time today and they seemed very receptive to the idea and are going to help promote it. I've got a booth reserved for the elementary school fall festival this weekend, but I'm a bit nervous about it since I don't want to make a ton of keychains ahead of time in case they don't sell. The way I keep the costs down is by only making them when they sell so I don't waste supply by having a ton of stock just sitting around. I've printed out pictures of the website and all of the designs and I'm wondering if I should just go and see if anyone is willing to place an order that I can ship to them for free and just hand out business cards. Or, should I just bite the bullet and make a ton of random ones and hope they sell which makes me nervous.

I have until Saturday morning to figure it out. Any advice on that or the cabbages?
The morning comes early. Especially when the girl has nightmare after nightmare and then I have nightmares that she's having nightmares and it keeps on going until the alarm goes off at 5:00 AM. Sweet cabbage eating dreams.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Where to Begin.....

The peas are blooming everywhere! They're taller than me at the moment and the cold weather is coming on fast, but right now they're looking pretty good.
They're not giving me much at one time, but this helping along with the carrots from the garden. was enough to go in a baked potato soup I made last night. I also put some jalapenos and sausage in there which gave it a bit of a bite. It was yummy!

Yesterday, the kids had the day off of school. I love my children very much, but I know nobody will take offense to the fact that on occasion I do need to visit the restroom by myself. I hereby submit a petition to God or whomever that mothers be excused from bodily functions that require us to leave children unattended for even 45 seconds, for we inevitably come back to this:
It's simply not fair.
Then, this morning after third period I went to the restroom and caught a glance of myself in the mirror. I had put my lip liner on as eye liner and my eyeliner as lip liner. Boy was I a red-eyed sight. No wonder the kids kept asking me if I was okay!
Last month, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month I took out a few advertisements for Keychains for a Cause and they were successful enough that I thought to move advertising to another step with car magnets!
The came in a set of two, but it's too bad the man rides motorcycles to work and back. I'll most likely be using the second one as a stand in or prop when needed at craft shows.
Now that people are starting to think stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts, business is picking up and the extra advertising can't hurt. I've taken out a booth at our cluster's elem. school's fall festival and we got a tentative order in today for 50+ key fobs for a church youth group. I'm so very pleased with the support we're able to provide my school's Relay for Life team and I can't wait to see the check I can cut them in April and look forward to doing it year after year.
The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The kids have the day off today from school because of election day. The boy is so geeked up about his blog and all of your comments that he's asking every hour to check his email for comments. He's just thrilled that all of the names he recognizes from this blog have come to visit him there. He's even taken to taunting me that he's more 'popular' than I am which is just fine with me. Thank you all, family and friends alike, for helping to encourage him. Once we learn to type a bit better, I'm sure his posts will improve. The hunt and peck system gets a bit frustrating for him at times.

Anyway the kids are home today and this is the first day it really feels like fall. Temps have still been in the 70's during the day, but today we're in the 50's and it's completely cloudy. I'm so ready for it to be fall! The last few nights have been very, very cool and the broccoli seem to have just exploded with the cooler weather! I took this picture yesterday when it was sunny and they looked fantastic.

I promise they weren't this large the day before yesterday. I was beginning to wonder if they'd ever grow and then WHAM! They're monstrous.

Well, EG....Here it is...and I'm going to say it...ready? ...WAR EAGaaggghhhch..hold on, I think I just gagged. Okay....war eagle. There. I said it. All joking aside...I'm more than happy to make whatever keychains are custom ordered, even if they are rival team colors like this Auburn one. Besides, this woman also ordered two University of Georgia keychains so the good ole' Dawgs outnumber the Auburn one. It's all good. ;)

The morning comes early. Sweet fall broccoli and football dreams.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gifts and a Request

A long time friend, but sadly, one we see far too infrequently, has done an amazing thing for Keychains for a Cause. She had some left over ribbon from craft projects that she offered to send me. I was thrilled. I received the package today and was just overwhelmed by her kindness, for not only was there the bag of random lengths of ribbon,

but laying on top of that bag were oodles and oodles of full spools of ribbon.
Some designs I've been drooling over for ages and just never have bought. I especially love both the brown and black cow patterns for she and I share a certain affinity for that lovely beast.

What makes everything infinitely more wonderful was in the bag of ribbon was the dark, dark blue ribbon I had been needing to complete the Auburn keychain order I got in this weekend.
Something told me not to go out to buy that ribbon! Thank you, Suzanna. You've done a wonderful thing and we'll most certainly put the ribbon to fantastic use. I'll try to get some of it on the website as soon as possible, knowing that it will never all fit on there. It's that fantastic.

Now for the favor.....the boy has started a blog. This is a labor of love, and I stress 'labor' for in learning how to type I had to assure 'Duck' that there was indeed a 'p' on the keyboard. Duck has grown up watching me blog and doesn't particularly like my blog name, so in a response fitting my gender I said, "When you get your own blog, you can name it whatever you want," which prompted the response, "Well...can I have a blog?"

It's my hope that blogging will aid him with his communication skills, written expression and spelling, for blogging can be a fantastic teaching platform. He's typing it all by himself and may not catch his mistakes. He knows many of you, Granny and your puppies and magnificent harvests, EG and your films of Jude, Stefaneener and your sweet, sweet honey, Kate and Crew for your dancing chickens and Erin and your kids who are so much like him. and he'd just have a duck to hear you respond to him with words of encouragement. This may last five days or five months, but I'm happy with whatever he'll learn from it. So, check out the boy at The World, By Duck and fill out his poll to let him know what to write about tomorrow!

The morning comes early, and that's a sure thing since the boy's going to be chomping to get on the computer to write his next post. Sweet gardening and blogging dreams.