Cuckoo Buds 3 Column

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ahhh ~ Comfort For Me In The Kitchen!!

This is a product review ~ telling you up front.  I don't have any affiliation with either of these companies.  Many of you know I have my fair share (and some extra) of medical issues.   I have severe Fibromyalgia, spinal injuries that affect my neck, mid range back and low back from disc and vertebra damage, and terrible osteoarthritis. But life is what we make of it.  I am grateful for each and every minute of every day I can wake up, get both feet on the floor and stand up. Takes longer some days, takes help some days, but as long as I get up on the sunny side of the grass, I feel life if pretty grand and I am greatly blessed!
Many of you that have followed me for a while also know one, of which there are many, of my passions is scratch cooking and baking.  I love, love, love to cook and bake, make jams and pastries, just about anything.
When we moved into our new home in 2006, I found the beautiful tile floors we had were horrible for my back (as well as my feet and legs!) Cooking went from being a passion to a drudgery. While thumbing through the Fibromyalgia Network Magazine, my sweetie found Gel Pro Chef's Mat.

I phoned them, spoke with them about my issues, their product and they gladly sent me samples of the color range.  These weren't as readily available in 2006 and 2007 as they are today, so when I saw the advertisement again in The Arthritis Today Magazine, we decided to purchase them.  Now - I need to be very clear - NEITHER OF THESE MAGAZINE COMPANIES ENDORSE THIS PRODUCT, they simply advertise with them.

Now the reason for the product review - and please read down to the bottom because I was blessed by finding a replacement I will show you!!!  The first three - and those of you who have checked these out will tell you - are not cheap by any stretch - but after a couple of years I began tripping over them!!  A little at first, and then to the point of being afraid of another fall - which in my case could have been catastrophic!
Take a look at these!  All edges had curled, and had become a hazard for me.
After checking online, we did find this was a common problem for the company.  We called, sent them photos like these, and were sent three brand spanking new mats!  We were very surprised, indeed.
Fast forward another year or so, and whammy, they started getting a bit slippery.  And day after day, it got worse.  Until one day I stepped from in front of my stand mixer onto the one in front of the sink and did the splits!  Holy Cows jumping over the moon - scared the pants off me!!  After checking on the Internet once again , it showed how yes the company had solved the rolling edges, but now developed a slippage problem.  The answer, they sent me Rug Grippers.  I must say, GEL PRO did stand behind their product, and even though it didn't work for us, they sent boxes and a return slip - and then a check for the full amount we paid FOUR YEARS AGO!

Problem now?  Hard floors once again, and in the last four years, my back condition worsened.  Finding a replacement for these mats was now crucial.  We got samples - would you believe some companies send out 3/4"x1" samples for you to feel the comfort!?  Well those Holy Cows are back, because I don't walk on my fingertips!  We searched and searched the Internet, and then found another company.  We found WELLNESSmats.  I watched videos of the products, and gosh they looked great!

So, I decided to give a call and chat with someone at the company and ended up speaking with a fantastic woman named Marissa.  I told her my concerns and health problems, and she talked about her company's products.  She offered to send me a sample - and guess what?  The sample size is 3 1/2"x3 1/2" which means you can not only squish it with your fingers (which no other company's sample I could do that with as they were not soft at all!) but you can actually stand on it with the ball of your foot and toes!  Oh the samples were like heaven!!

The other mats were 18"x6' and these are a full 2'x6' with a whole 2" slope, so no curling!  and look and the design!  The is my favorite and is called Bella Motif and is in burgundy.  Oh my gosh, my Sweetie and I are like two little children!  We start at one end and walk all the way around the kitchen on the mats when we go to get a cup of tea or coffee or tea.  Honest to goodness, these are like walking on clouds!  So soft, and even the finish on your feel is soft and cushy!
These came yesterday, and I called the company right away to let them know we were so happy with them.  My contact wasn't there, and when she called again, we'd already had them for about 18 hours and decided to purchase another 2'x6' for the entrance of the kitchen to the front of the fridge!

Price wise, I think they are about the same price as the first ones from Gel Pro because they are 6" wider.

I will be sending a copy of my blog to my contact at Fibromyalgia Network Magazine and then over to Arthritis Today because I feel that strong about these mats, and this is after only about 30 hours!

Those of us who suffer with life altering medical issues love to share what helps us in our lives.  There's so much stuff out there in the market place, and we are so desperate to have a normal, or as normal as possible life again, many times we need to hear the experiences of others.  That's why I'm sharing. I email with many of you and know some of you suffer as I do, or have family that does.  Honestly, I really love these mats!  Oh - and I forgot to tell you something important!!  The warranty on these WELLNESSmats - A FULL 7 YEARS!!!  Yes SEVEN years!  Not 1, not 3 - 7!!  Now that's standing behind your product!

Blessings to all!
Hugs with happy feet,

Monday, May 28, 2012

God Bless Our Fallen And Their Families ~

Today is a very special day for all of us.  A day for us to remember our fallen Soldiers.  These brave men, and women, gave their ultimate gift for us ~ for our freedom, our liberty, for our country ~ The best country in the world!
There are parades, flags placed on graves, flowers placed next to photos, picnics, BBQ's, family gatherings in the parks.  The Holiday however was not set up to just be another day off, another day for fun in the sun or meant for us to just carry on without remembering the sacrifices made for us to even be able to have the opportunity to celebrate this holiday and all of the other holidays we are able to freely partake in.
This is also a day to thank all of the husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, children, brothers and sisters of all of our fallen.  Thank you for your service to our country!  They have lost so much, sacrificed right along side of their Hero.   
God Bless our Hero's!
God Bless the U.S.A.!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crocheting And Knitting And Tatting, Oh My!!

Last weekend I held a 'Let's Learn Together' for some of the ladies in my Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter.  I crochet, and one of the ladies said she'd love to learn.  I'd love to learn to knit. Our knitter said she'd be happy to teach me to knit as well as show tatting. Before I knew it we'd set a date and time for a get together in my home for Crocheting, Knitting and Tatting.

So what does one need?  Yarn!!  I keep mine separated - Acrylics, Wool, Cotton, Ribbon, chenille.  I also keep it stored in plastic bins until used.
And, you'll need to pick out a good hook !

The size of the hook depends on the yarn the pattern calls for.

Sharon wanted to learn to crochet and finally learned to make a chain - which as we explained is the foundation of all patterns and learning to gauge, was second on the list.


Or a set of knitting needles!

A REALLY good Learn How Book is also very helpful!

By the time I got to row three with my knitting, Alice had to take over and try to make mine look rectangular again, as I'd done something incorrectly right smack dab in the middle and had a perfect pair of lips!  Like Lucille Ball's upper lip for those who remember!!

We had a ton of fun, and it's easy to see how it looks so easy to do when some one who is schooled in the art is doing it and quite another as I felt I had two left hands!!  We'll be doing this at least once a month, maybe twice.  But, here's the real treat -

Alice brought this over to share - this is a 'Tatted' baby bonnet that her mother or grandmother had made for her older brother, so it had to be AT LEAST 93 years old!  It was amazing, as was tatting - she gave us a 5 minute lesson on how it is done.  It's this silver pincher thingy that looks almost like a strawberry corer, except pointed with an ever so tiny hook on the end of it and a spool, like a sewing machine bobbin in the middle.  See how thin the thread is by the 'O' shapes?  This is the size of the thread, the 'O's' are actually 20 or 30 knots all around in a circle - there must be 1,000's of knots in this little cap! You have to find some one to show you - it's AMAZING!!

Oh, one other thing I really needed, so I went out and got this for myself to help me learn how to learn knitting a bit better - with this little book, I can see sweaters in my future!!!

Week's almost over, and we're coming up on Memorial Day weekend!

Stay safe,

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Secret Dove Arrived All The Way From Vietnam!

I have a made some of the most wonderful friends here in Blogland. I met Love Stitch early on in my blogging and she and I have become such very good friends.  You all may remember, about a year ago, her father had a horrible stroke and the recovery was grim. Both LS and I believe it was all of prayers offered by our friends in Blogland all over the world who prayed for him, for his health and determination to get well, that brought the miraculous healing to her wonderful father.

Many months ago, I sent to her a package of items I felt she might enjoy, bring her a bit of happiness and joy, and kindness from across the Pacific Ocean.  We lovingly call it our "Dove."  She sent it back to me last week or so and when I received the knock at the door from the Post Man this morning, I said, "I hope this is my Dove from Vietnam!!"  He looked and sure enough - there was our Dove!
I felt like a little girl, jumping up and down, ran and got the scissors out and opened it up - I'd love to share these heartfelt and hand made gifts that LS sent to me that she made herself!
I was so excited!  I knew she had made some very special items because she asked me about colors, but I had no idea it would be this much!  LS is self taught in all of the crafts and sewing I will be sharing with you!

This is the very first hand made card she has ever made!  LS, you did such a lovely job on this and I will treasure this forever! The note she wrote is a very special message and is all hand written to me!  And, on the very last page, oh my goodness, look at this beautiful hand crocheted heart with a motif in the center.  This is crafted with a thin cotton thread, like we use to make doilies!

Hand embroidered handkerchief.

She made me this beautiful Cowl (knitted I believe) scarf to wear when the winters get icy cold again - and I just adore the colors, the design, the softness of the yarn!  I wish you could each reach in and touch it ~ it is so soft and so beautiful!
Enclosed was this beautiful ruffled scarf, also made for me - it feels like cotton - so soft and will be perfect for adding to our cool Spring or even Autumn evenings as just a neck wrap.  The detail is gorgeous!

Three cute bookmarks hand made in Vietnam!  They are beautiful!

A total surprise was this cap for my Sweetie!  He was so touched my LS's generosity and love!  It is knitted and is very soft!  And, while it has a design, it is very manly!

Can you believe this small Dove has no bottom!  Gift after precious gift, kept appearing!  This is a set of four absolutely wonderful dish clothes!  And, look closely at the ribbon - it too is hand crocheted!
This scarf is the most special to me!  First, they are my favorite colors!  Pinks and Lavender, Purples, just love, love, love the colors.  This was a very exquisite skein of yarn, very expensive, I know, because I gifted it to her.  LS, living where she does, doesn't have the same opportunities for shopping for the multitudes of yarns and threads we do, so I sent this as a special gift to her.  What a wonderful thing she has done, to turn around and make something just for me and send it back with all of the love it took to make it.  LS~I will treasure this forever and think of you with love every time I wrap it around my neck!

So, all of these gifts flew across the Pacific Ocean from Vietnam to California, United States.  Each item made with love for a friend.  I have already started my Dove going back to Vietnam in a couple of months.
Each one of these crafts she has taught herself - crochet, knitting, embroidery and now paper crafting.  This young woman is so beautiful inside and out.  We have become such wonderful friends.  If you have a moment to visit her, please do ~ compliment a self taught Artisan on the beautiful items she has made.  She goes by Love Stitch - there's love in every stitch, too!

Thank you all for taking a peak at my gifts of love.  And, Love Stitch, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity and love.  You are an amazing woman.  May God continue his blessings upon you, my friend!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Guess Who Came For Dinner???

That's what we wondered, too!  We bought way too many plants to try to get done in a short period of time, but ladies, honestly, do we ever admit we bit off more than we could chew?  Sure we do - but we just want to keep it between us - don't tell the guys, OK?  Tell you what, I won't tell yours, if you don't tell mine!  Deal?  Deal!!

In case you forgot what these little sticks with the leaves on top are, they are our apple trees - this one is a Fugi Apples - mmmm - so crisp and tasty!

The on to the right is a Honey Crisp Apple - also pretty sweet and crisp and both will bear fruit at different times of the year! Apples almost all year!
Here the are together - yep, pretty small!  The gentleman helping us at the store must have thought we were much younger than we are, because it will take years - many of them - for these guys to give us a couple of sweet crisp apples!  Already made the mistake and we were ready to live with it!  We had our gardener come out and plant it a week ago and they seemed to be doing well, until Saturday morning.  My Sweetie gets up every morning and checks on all of the plants - just in case a water line has blown off and we need to do some hand watering and this is what he found on the left tree ~
Yes, you see it correctly!!!  Every leaf is gone!!  What the heck!!??  I mistakenly called OSH who told me, 'Oh ~ it's Grasshoppers. Buy Malathion and spray both trees and any other plants you have.' We try like the dickens to do everything organically without a lot of poisons and I really didn't want to put this stuff on it (I'm sure it's great, but we have lots of wild life around and we just don't want to hurt any of them needlessly.)  When our gardener came later that day, one of his guys said it was ants.

Oh now what to do??  Sweetie reminded me we didn't buy them at OSH, we bought them at Lowe's.  They are the best and our store is fairly new, so I forgot ~ and when I called the gal there said, 'well, bring it back and let's have a look!'  So we did - everyone in Lowe's said the same thing - 'Oh you have deer!'  Great!!  They were really busy in the store and the Manager and staff said it had happened to many in our neighborhood! So now we are rethinking our front yard!!

It makes perfect sense though, as their habitat is being disturbed just below us, and it is the beginning of fire season and all weeds and brush must be cut down.  The river bed runs behind us about 1/2 mile, as the crow flies, or as the deer roam.   So for now, no apples unless I find room in the back for two!

We did get our Lavender, and Breath of Heaven planted and those look lovely - and the deer should stay away from both.
Oh, we're also getting some of the rocks rearranged, too.
This one really looks grand here, and the four in the background I have to think about.
Right outside my office/craft room window are these blooming Star Jasmine plants.  Oh my gosh, the odor is like Heaven here on earth!  I just love it and feel so blessed after it being 100 degrees today, it has cooled off to the low 70's, high 60's and I have opened my window to smell these beautiful citrus like blooms!  Love it!

It's time for a brand new week to start in a few hours!  I hope everyone was able to do what they wanted this weekend and this new week is blessed and productive for all!  


Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Whirl Wind Week!

Oh my goodness, I can't believe it's almost dinner time on Thursday already!  Where in the world did this week go?  I mean, my Heavens, one would think I'm still raising wee ones and working full time outside the home!  Blink, blink and the week is gone!   I've had lots of appointments, meetings and house guests this week (special friends we adore!) and haven't even had time to visit my blogging friends.

I would love to mention June over at Dezinaworld again because she's doing something new I thought some of you creators might just want to partake in!  If you make cards or create art work using her images (a couple of posts back I wrote about all of her wonderful sites she has where you can both buy and get free images June has put together!) you may unload them to her, and she just might select yours to highlight on her new blog!  How fun would that be - to see your creation being praised and singled out as something special!? June, what a wonderful way to show off other people and their work! See, didn't I tell you she was a great gal!?

Well, after looking at the current creations listed, I saw the most beautiful card you ladies simply must go and see!  This card is one of the most beautiful cards I have ever seen!!  I would love for you to take a look at Sassy's Secrets who has incredible blog candy available, too - but you'll need to go visit to find out more.  She's an exquisite artist!
See!  I told you this was beautiful!  The image is from Dezinaworld, the card is Sassy's Secrets!

The weekend is coming - yea!!  What are you all planning to do?  I'm finishing up my garden - yes, I'm still working on it!  I have tons of crafts to get finished, cards to make!  What ever we do, let's all have a great time, get lots of projects completed, see our friends or loved ones, see the beautiful flowers blooming!

Blessings to all!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

As Mother's Day Comes To A Close ~

I thank all of my wonderful friends who wrote personal notes to wish me a Happy Mother's Day.  To all of us on our blogs wishing each other a blessed and lovely Mother's Day, I pray you all had a good day.  A day filled with love, or memories of love.  Some of us, our sweet Mother's have passed on to Heaven, for some we look in to Mom's eyes and remember all the heavenly things she did for us. Others of us were blessed with Moms, AND Grandmas, Aunties, big Sisters or good Friends and have many to be thankful for today!

Some of us are blessed with little ones who make cards, or pictures, or have gifts for us to open.  Some of us are still waiting for the miracle of life one day.  Some of us have raised our children, and are watching them become wonderful Moms (and Dads!) and we now have wee ones that call and wish us "Happy Mother's Day, Grandma!"

How blessed we are indeed this opportunity of celebrating today!

My very first Mother's Day was May 10th, 1970, two days after the birth of my daughter.  As I held her that day, I thanked our precious and heavenly Lord for the blessing I'd received and asked for His guidance as I held her so close to me.  I whispered, "I love you, my sweetie,."  As she slept in my arms, I cried tears of joy!

I received a call today and was serenaded with a 'Happy Mother's" song and when I asked to hear it one more time, please?  My eldest son's entire family joined in and sang both verses!  When we said "Good~Bye and I Love You" I cried (I cry when I'm happy!)  My son also made a surprise visit on Friday and stopped by and joined us for a quick dinner on Friday!  He was on his way home after being away from his family, and I was so thankful for his personal wishes for a Happy Mother's Day!

My Sweetie and I slept in today, and he awoke with banging on the front door.  He was handed this from our youngest son and his beautiful wife, who live states away!
For me, the love of family, I love you's, hugs and kisses, songs from the children, pictures and cards, happy memories ~ not just today, but every day, I am most thankful for.  I've come to know so many wonderful people here in Blogland, and I know these are the things that are most important to you as well.  As one of our bloggy Sisters said today, 'I remember when Mom would say "always wear clean under panties, you never know when you'll get in to an accident!"  Or "If everyone else jumped off the bridge, would you jump, too?"  I know you remember these, too!  How about this one ~  my dear Uncle Fred used to say, "you always hang your hangers over the bar and all in the same direction!"  Why you ask?  Well, what if there was a fire!!??  I guess in the old, old, old, old, old days, it took longer for the houses to burn!  Oh, and just in case you're wondering, every single hanger, in every single closet is hung OVER the bar - no, no, I'm not rescuing any clothes if there's a fire!   Me, I'm making sure before I run out the door I have clean panties on!  Just sayin'!

This is my favorite, my sweet loving Granny, who was one of the most important people in my life, use to say, "Watch out who you are friends with - birds of a feather, flock together!"  As I grew up, I learned what she meant.

I'm glad we're all in the same flock!  Chirp, chirp!

Love to each and every one of you Chicks!
Blessings, and hugs,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Introducing A Wonderful Friend ~

Many of you already know June, to some she may be a new friend ~ What I would love to do is introduce or reintroduce her many fabulous blogs!  This woman is so talented, and such a wonderful friend to all!   And there are tons and tons of new things to share with you about what has been happening in her Art World!!
Many of the items on this Website are free, some are $1, $2, $3 ... for tons to use as you please, as many times as you please!

So who is she?  June is a wonderful and creative woman who found images old and new of every thing you could ever imagine wanting to use in your creative art collection!  She has taken images, post cards, photographs and the like, cleaned them up and made them new.  Some have color added to them for interest and beauty!  

Now, this is a very simplistic explanation of what she does, because I don't know about you, but I have enough trouble just taking a photograph that is perfect, copying on to my computer and inserting into a work of art, much less taking something maybe 100 years old and making it look both old and new at the same time - hard to explain - so head over to Dezinaworld  Olde Curiosity Shoppe where you will find hundreds and hundreds of images ~ Vintage; Backgrounds and textures: Fashion, Flowers, Plant, Trees; All things French; Steampunk; well ~ starting to get the 'picture' here? June literally has almost everything, and if she doesn't, she will venture to try to obtain it for you!  Oh, did I forget to mention all of these beauties are free?  Yep - June has done a ton of gorgeous work, and it is available for free.  (You can of course make a donation to keep this kind of work available, and new work coming.)

Do you make cards?  Scrap?  Altered art?  Jewelry?   Make collages?   Love to incorporate old with new? Take a look at what some of the other designers have done, along with June's own work and let me know what you think?

As if she's not busy enough, here's another Blog ~ and WOW ~ gorgeous work here!

June's talent has also been tapped at a new Blog as a member of the Design Team of "The Game"  This one I can hardly wait to see the work done, for most of these ladies on the design team are disabled in one form or another - but they are going  to teach the world what I try to do each day too, is that they are ABLE!!!  I cannot wait to see what they design!!!
So ~ there you have it!  My introduction, or reintroduction, of a wonderful woman, excellent artist, and a something of interest for everyone!  Join me in following all of June's ventures, and learn from someone who loves what she does and shares everything she can with fellow artisans!

Blessings to all, may you all have a wonderful and Happy Mother's Day!