Monday, July 28, 2014

Blogger challenge #12, 7.28.14

...If I won the lottery. Hmmm.... I used to think of this quite a bit, as Ruben J., Chelsi and I would drive to Illinois every Saturday, back in the 80's, to get our lottery tickets. It was kind of fun, as it was the new thing back then and I think people honestly thought they had a good chance of winning. Kind of funny thinking back on it.

But, the reality is, I don't think winning a lottery (where you would win a large amount of money-like millions) would be good for me. Now, don't get me wrong, if I won, I wouldn't give it back or anything! My kids would be benefiting from that, for sure. But, honestly, I think the challenge of juggling my bills every month is a motivator for me. A motivator to shop more frugally, to be more creative while decorating and fixing up my home, to really be aware of what I need vs. what I want, etc. At this point in my life, the only thing that I really want, other than what I already have, is to have enough extra money to take all of my kids and their kids on a nice trip every year or maybe every other year. That is really all I want. I could live in a shoebox (well, maybe 'shoebox' is a bit of an exaggeration, but a 'tiny' house is part of my future plan) all year long if I knew I could afford to do that. I'm fine with shopping for my clothes at Target (on sale) or the resale shop. I'm fine with having old, hand-me-down furniture (which really is all we have).

As the saying goes, "necessity is the mother of invention". And I think that's a good thing :)

I'll leave you today with  photos of one of my recent resale shop purchases, which I'm pretty proud of :

 Not a great picture (I apologize), but this is the most comfortable rocking chair I think I have ever had. It sits really low to the floor and it is made with solid oak and  dovetail joints. (It does have really ugly fabric on the cushions, though, thus the throw cover over it.) But, the best part- it was only $6.00!! $6.00!! I know! And, after I bought it, I still had a $93.00 credit at the shop since I've been taking all of my excess junk there all summer. I love it!

I don't need no stinkin' lottery! Ha!     Have a great day :)  Juli

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Blogger challenge #11, 7. 24.14 proudest moment. Like most parents, my proudest moments revolve around my kids. And there are many of those moments- graduations, weddings, awards, jobs, etc. But I'm going to lump many proud moments of all three of them into one-  the way they have stood by each other, lifted each other up, been there for each other, helped each other and spoken up for each other since the death of their dad. They had no time to prepare for this, as they lost him suddenly, tragically and senselessly. But, from the very first night you could see that it was a priority for all three of them to do anything they needed to do to help the other two get through this time. And I like to think that this is the reason that they have all made it through almost three years of  grief, holding their heads high, keeping their dad's memory alive and living life like they know their dad would have wanted them to- having fun, loving life and celebrating every single day.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

So, even though it's really a moment of being proud of someone else, I am proud of myself, and their dad, for raising three strong, resilient, caring people. We definitely weren't perfect parents, but we must have done something right. And I think it was the fact that we both loved them more than life itself- loved being around them, loved talking to them, loved listening to them, loved having fun with them- and we were fiercely protective of their well-being. And they knew it. I think that was the key. They knew it.

I know most mothers will say this, but I am completely in awe of all three of them.

Have another great day!  Juli

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blogger challenge #10, 7.23.14

My first celebrity crush was Bobby Sherman.


He was a singer/songwriter, sometimes actor, back in the 70's. I'm sure I was drawn to him because the first song I heard was titled "Julie, Do Ya Love Me?" and I thought he wrote it just for me. haha! But my favorite song was one called "Cried Like a Baby". I LOVED that song! A really great memory for me was when my mom took us shopping at the P.N. Hirsch store in Wentzville and secretly bought the 45 of Cried Like a Baby for me. As I've mentioned here before, we didn't have much money, so we didn't get to ask for frivolous things when we went shopping. We were just there to go along and "look" or to get necessities. So, you can imagine how surprised and happy I was when she gave it to me once we got home.  I listened to that record over and over again. Great memory :)

So, if you're interested in who Bobby Sherman is (and I'm sure you are!), here's a link.

And if you want to hear the songs I mentioned above (and I'm sure you do!) here ya go:

Julie, Do Ya Love Me?

Cried Like a Baby

Have a great day!  Juli

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Blogger challenge #9, 7.20.14

Before I get into #9 of the blogger challenge, I thought I'd share the list that I've been working from:

*via Pinterest:
So, #9- Piercings and tattoos. Kind of a weird topic for a 48 year old grandma, but I do have some stories! First- piercings. The first time I had my ears pierced, I was 12 years old. My mom and dad said I couldn't have my ears pierced until I was 16, so I had my friend pierce my ears in her basement bedroom with a needle, a potato, some ice cubes and string. I know. Believe me, I'm embarrassed just thinking about it now. But, I was defiant! Very! (Sorry, mom and dad!) And, man, did that ever hurt! I ended up being so scared that my mom and dad would find out, that I pulled the string out of my ears a couple of days later. Oh, my. I still have the scars on my earlobes!
Today, the only piercings I have are double pierced ears. My parents did cave in and let me get my ears pierced the right way when I was 14, so I should have just held out, I guess! Since then,  I've had various piercings (cartilage piercings at the top of my ears and my nose). I ultimately took those out for various reasons- the cartilage piercing just hurt too much; the nose piercing, I decided, just wasn't for me. (Although I do love nose piercings. Just not on me. )

Now, onto tattoos. I've never had a tattoo, but I think they are fine. My favorite tattoos are the meaningful ones.  And, of course, the ones done by experienced, talented tattoo artists. (There are some really bad tattoos out there!) If I ever do get a tattoo, it will be of my kids names tattooed around my wrist like a bracelet. A family friend has one like that and she said it was one of the best things she's ever done. She loves it. And I love it. So, I'm thinking it might be a 50th birthday present to myself next year :)

Here are three of my favorite tattoos, for obvious reasons :)

Little Man's...


and Eddie's tattoos in memory of their dad. 

Hope you had a great weekend. I'll be catching up on the blogger challenge this week and doing some making. I'm ready!    Thanks for reading :)  Juli

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Blogger challenge #8, 7.12.14

Blogger Challenge #8- an old picture of myself. "Old" is not defined, so here are a few, in no particular order :)

Have a great Saturday! Juli

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Blogger challenge question #7, 7.10.14

Question #7- my 10 favorite foods. Well, this will be interesting since I've completely overhauled my diet over the past year due to crappy digestive issues. I really blame some of it on getting old and becoming more sensitive to certain foods and some of on good old anxiety, but, either way,  I'm ALWAYS aware of what I eat or drink. It's kind of exhausting. And although the changes haven't "cured" me, they have made me feel a LOT better, overall. So I'll tell you some of the before and after changes that I've made. I've included drinks in my list, too (because it's hard to think of ten favorite foods!)

1. Then- Pizza. Now- gluten free, dairy free pizza with roasted vegetables. Daiya fire roasted vegetable pizza is a good one.
2. Then- Ice Cream. Now- dairy free coconut milk ice cream. So Delicious Dairy Free is really good.
3. Then- homemade chocolate chip cookies. Now- nothing can replace homemade chocolate chip cookies, so I just don't eat them. Such a bummer.
4. Then- Pasta. Now- rice noodles from the asian food section. A Taste of Thai tastes just like regular pasta.
5. Then- Kettle cooked potato chips. Now- Kettle cooked potato chips. Yep. I can still eat potato chips and I eat a LOT of them! But sometimes I try to be better and eat sweet potato chips or popcorn.
6. Then- Birthday/wedding/shower cake. Now- again, nothing can replace these, so I eat them sometimes and prepare to pay the price!
7. Then- Flourless chocolate torte. Now- Flourless chocolate torte. I can have this if it doesn't have dairy in it. Yay! Love the one at McGurk's.
8. Then- coffee. Now- green tea in the morning and herb or decaffeinated tea for the rest of the day. Tazo teas are all really good and affordable. (Good tea can be expensive!)
9. Then- soda. Now- water or tea.
10. Then- wine, everyday. Now- wine, only on Fridays and Saturdays. I LOVE my wine, and it really doesn't bother me, but I know it's not a good thing for women (well, I guess, anybody) to drink alcohol every day. I have to admit, I just started this a few days ago, but ... so far, so good :) And, of course, my recommendation would be Blumenhof wines!

So, there it is. My boring favorite foods! No, really, it's not so bad. The no gluten part of it really eliminates almost all junk food, which is a good thing. And I really do feel better. So, hopefully that helps someone else out there who may be trying to eat healthier. I've done a LOT of experimenting, believe me.

Now, onto some art: layer #2 of my vineyard painting. Not abstract, but I did try to keep it loose and limit my brushstrokes. I'm trying to decide if it's finished or not. When it is, it will be listed in my Etsy shop :)
Have a great day!  Juli

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Blogger challenge question #6, 7.8.14

Three personality traits that I am most proud of. Hmmm...this is hard. Now, if it was three personality traits I'm least proud of- that would be easy. I'm usually pretty critical of myself, so I really had to dig down to decide on the answer here. But, here goes:

1. I'm honest. Read more about that in my blog post from 2013, which can be found here.

2. I'm a devoted mom.  My kids are the reason I was put on this earth. I would do anything, be anything, go anywhere, etc. for them. They are the light of my life.
One of my all-time favorite quotes:
"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
-- Agatha Christie

3. I'm easy. (No! Not in that way!) In the way that it doesn't take much to make me happy. I've never wanted a big house, fancy furniture or expensive clothes. Maybe it's because I've never had these things. But I like to think it's because my parents taught us, by example, how easy it was to be happy without "excess". 
I love this video. I know I've shared it here before (probably more than once), but it inspired me so much that I think about it almost every day. Maia's recipe for a long life- simplicity, work and enjoyment.  If the end of my life could be this simple and serene- I would consider myself a very rich person.  

So, there ya go! Have a great evening- Juli