24 August 2008

What caught my eye...

These few things above came home with me today. My cat Alice Cooper aka Allie is checking them out. I found a great old framed family photo, a heavy black iron urn, a glass spooner, a silver plate creamer/sugar set, an old black brush and a black toy trumpet that I am going to attach to my friend Barb's birthday gift (some mercury glass candleholders for her bedroom makeover project). She likes musical instruments and bought a toy accordian on one of our last shopping trips. I love the things I got.

I have been looking at this dining set for a while now, and I think I have decided to cash my big flea market check and get it sometime this week. I think it would look great painted shabby white with new chair covers, and it would fit perfectly in my dining room at the new house. The whole set is only $90. I just don't know where I will put it in the meantime, especially while we are trying to sell the house. Garage, I guess.

I also think this weathered green chair would be great with a new seat...It is $49.99.

A cute shabby booth at STD East had several of these altered photos. I liked them all, but I think this one is my favorite. I didn't buy one, but I should have.

I also should have bought these way shabby baby pictures for $1.50 each, but hmmm....where would I put them? Macauley has been begging me for a little sister all weekend, and these would be so cute in a shabby nursery. When he woke me up Saturday morning, he said, "Mom, I really need a little sister. I am so bored." I said, "Well, what do you want me to do about it?" And he said, "Just don't take that medicine that makes you not have babies and have just one more and love her as much as you love me." Hard to resist, but I don't see it happening, especially since I work.

Thought this little jar was cute with my H monogram, but I let it be...

and I liked this old black wicker sewing basket for $45...

I love old tins, and this Crayola one is great...

and I like the Martha Stewart green and cream look of this Angelos Marshmallow tin.

Finally, I saw 2 absolutely fabulous old typewriters, each for $30, which makes me proud because I have 3 of my own and none of them has cost over $8! My craigslist friend Christie told me about the big L.C. Smith one and then I saw the Woodstock one at STD East. I think both of them should come live with me...

My last stop was TJ Maxx, where I found Barb's mercury glass. I needed a white button down shirt for a possible 1st day of school outfit; I found 2 and a cute pink one as well, all on clearance for $5 each. All in all, a good way to spend the last day before school starts...

Working the booth

I went to straighten my booth and put a few things in this morning. The cabinet I distressed and the cottage chair are still there.

I clipped a bunch of notions and scrapbooking stuff on the folding gate.

And I always have a shelf of mostly silver. This time with white and glass. I got my check today for the last two weeks and it was over $200! I even had a 40% off sale for part of that time! So I shopped a while today...

23 August 2008

The kindergarten 'do

We let Macauley's hair grow out all summer, and everyone we know has said they like his hair long, but it had to be cleaned up a little for the start of school. So we went to Mojo Pie Spalon and my stylist Nikki, who has done my hair for about 4 or 5 years now, I think. It's still a little longer. My dad said he calls Macauley's blonde locks "Robert Redford hair," and I can kind of see why. I, of course, think he has many movie star qualities. He is so excited for the start of kindergarten. He keeps asking me when Monday is. I filled out some more paperwork the teacher sent home with us Friday and packed his backpack with those, his lunch money check ($41.00 for a month of lunches) and his daily milk money (40 cents per day) packed in one of those day-by-day plastic pill boxes as the teacher suggested. One of the questions on his kindergarten questionnaire was: "Each child is unique. What are 3 things that make your child special?" I had lots of answers but settled on: #1 Macauley has an excellent memory. #2 He loves his stuffed animals and SpongeBob #3 He is tender-hearted and friendly and kind. I wanted to add HE CAN READ! and HE IS THE MOST HANDSOME BOY ON EARTH! and HE IS HILARIOUS! and HE HAS A SUPERIOR VOCABULARY! and HE HAS AN ADORABLE WARDROBE! but I think I already told his teacher some of that on Friday and I don't want to be a psycho mom.

Ready or not...here they come

I finally got my classroom set up and ready to go for school on Monday. I have the same room as last year, the one I painted a shade the kids ended up calling "honey." It's a nice room, pretty large compared to many others in the department. I probably could have stayed another hour Friday and gotten things a little more set up for Monday, as far as what we're actually DOING in this honey-colored room that day, but I went home utterly exhausted. It takes me a while to reaclimate from the lazy days of summer to the days of getting up with the sun and being on stage all day.

The desk is set with a new Vanilla Caramel Yankee Candle and complimentary mints...oh and enough paper clips to last a lifetime.

I am also lucky to have a SMART Board, a projector and great speakers so I can use all sorts of multi-media elements to supplement my lessons. I'll be teaching 2 classes of senior English and 1 section of Creative Writing. Should have great kids, many of whom I already know. That helps.

And I posted some words to live by, both in my classroom and beyond, accompanied by a darling bee I painted myself, which some of my kids last year named McLovin. I can't believe this classroom will be full in just over a day from now...Ready or not, here they come...

21 August 2008

Ready to roll

We get to meet Macauley's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Bryant, in the morning at Wanda Gray, and we are to bring his school supplies with us, so we are packed (in an environmentally-friendly, reusable shopping tote!) and ready. We bought all the supplies on the list at Target a few weeks ago, during Missouri's tax-free holiday weekend (no state sales tax on school supplies and clothes for 3 days). Our total was just over $39. The list was quite extensive (I think they compile communal supplies rather than each kid having his/her own stash?):

Please place your child’s name on coats/outerwear, backpacks and folders.

Large pencil pouch with zipper

3 pkgs of No. 2 lead pencils (sharpened)

4 boxes of Crayola brand crayons – 24 size only

Fiskar brand blunt point scissors

15 glue sticks

1 bottle white school glue

2 sturdy pocket folders

1 box colored pencils

1 box washable markers

1 pkg white board markers – low odor Expo brand

2 boxes of tissue

1 bottle waterless hand sanitizer

1 pkg Clorox wipes

1 box of white envelopes to keep at home - Please use every time you send money to school. Always write your child’s name, amount, and purpose on the envelope.
If your last name begins with:A - L – 1 box of quart size Ziplock bags with zipper topM - Z – 1 box of gallon size Ziplock bags with zipper top
For additional items requested, Please look for your teacher’s wish list at our Meet the Teacher event in August.

Macauley was pretty revved up when we shopped for the supplies, and we were careful to get the exact items the list specified. The 2-pack glue sticks triggered a mini-meltdown for Macauley, since we only needed 15...we couldn't possibly get 16. So we had to put one of the 2-packs back and get just one single stick, the only one we could find being the JUMBO stick. Hope the teacher can find a use for that one.

His pencil pouch came with a bonus sharpener, so he tried it out for a while before bed tonight. I can't believe we are doing this...I went by Wanda Gray at 4 today when they posted the class lists on the front doors to make sure Macauley's name was there and that he had a spot. Lots of parents and kids were excitedly looking around. I found his name, spoke with a couple of parents briefly and then promptly burst into tears as I walked back to my car. I am so pleased that he will go to such a great school ( http://sps.k12.mo.us/gray/index.htm ) and he is willing and ready. I just can't get used to my baby being so grown up.

19 August 2008

Here and there

We are without our little boy again. He got back from his camping trip with Ryan's parents late last night, and then we were off to meet my mom today in Monett for her to keep him this week while I attend school meetings and get my classroom ready. We met at VB Hall Antique Mall in Monett and I got a few little goodies: a white plastic butter dish that I will use to hold something in my office, a little miniature goat for my shadowbox (I have wanted a couple of real goats for a while now, the little bitty ones that are so cute), a dog with her babies in a basket and a black and white hankie. We had lunch at Acambaro, a Mexican place where I always order the #11, no lettuce, then I headed back to Springfield and straight to Kickapoo. My classroom was a huge mess, and after about 5 hours of work, now it's a medium-sized mess. We have meetings all day tomorrow, so that leaves me Thursday and Friday to not only put everything in its place, but also to figure out what the heck I am doing at least the first few days next week. I am not in a teacher state of mind just yet, but I will be...We are going to watch the movie Smart People tonight. We watched the award winners No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood last week. I'm not one to enjoy violent movies, but Ryan and I both really liked the dialogue and characters in No Country for Old Men. There Will Be Blood was rather tedious for me. I can see why critics loved it but I sure don't want to sit through that one again any time soon. My sister Lindsay is over tonight and made the Cowan Family Taco Salad for dinner. Delish. And she brought Andy's Frozen Custard for dessert! She can stay with us anytime!

16 August 2008

Last day of summer...

Macauley and I celebrated our last day of summer vacation together Thursday by taking our friend Ellie Swan to White Water for the day. We got off to a later start than planned because I was signing papers on the new house (we got it! that's another post...) but once we were there the kids were excited to do everything, including this big 4-lane racing slide. I wasn't sure Macauley was big enough for it, but he wasn't skeered, so off they went. My camera battery lasted only long enough for me to get a picture of this guy coming off the slides...bummer. The kids got me on it later and is pretty fast and really fun. The extra tall one to the left of it, though, is way too scary. Ryan's done it before but I won't. I just know my swimsuit would fall off. Unfortunately, about midday there was lightning sighted in the area and the lifeguards cleared all the pools for over an hour. The kids wanted to wait it out, so we spent a lot of time lounging in the semi-sun, eating junk food to pass the time.

Once everything finally opened up again, we only had time for a couple of other rides and then the park closed at 6.

I'm really glad we went though, and I am so glad Ellie came along. Macauley had a lot more fun with someone to do everything with. It's been a nice, lazy summer and this was a good way for Macauley and I to bring it to a close and get ready for school. He's gone for the weekend camping with Ryan's parents now...that kid has quite a life.

13 August 2008

A couple more projects

I made this little altered art box this afternoon to put in my booth. I saw the image on the front of the Drury magazine and liked it. Decoupaged it to an old Scrabble Cubes game box and added some embellishments.

I also re-painted this black nightstand and put it in Macauley's room. It goes with the bedroom set Ryan and I bought when we first got married. It was light pine and has been black, then blue, then white now back to black. The match is in the guest room. I got the big TOYS sign at a flea market a couple of years ago. The bed was Ryan's when he was a little boy. I painted it a weathered red at a "farm finish" painting class at Seminole Paint just after Macauley turned 2 and was ready for a big boy bed.

When Ryan got home, we took Booker and a Sonic picnic to Sequiota Park. The boys played while Booker and I walked the Greenways trail. We came back with one of our boys covered in dirt and the other one just dog-tired.

Tomorrow is pretty much the last day of summer for Macauley and me. He is leaving Friday to go camping with Ryan's parents again, and I have to work next week, so tomorrow we are going out with a bang. We're taking our little friend Ellie Swan (the oldest daughter of our good friends from Drury, Chris and Jen Swan) to White Water for the day. Should be fun.

12 August 2008


The weather has been pretty bearable here this week, so I got out this afternoon and evening and finished a couple of projects for my booth that have been gathering dust in my garage. I painted the chair and distressed it a little, then put on the seat cover that I've had in my basket of fabric for years. I sewed some ties for it but the machine messed up on the last one and I got to looking at it and realized I could make it work without them. Pretty cottage, I think.

I've been working on this hutch I bought at the thrift store off and on for several weeks. I ended up distressing the bottom much more than I planned but it looks kind of neat. I took this picture before I finished matching the top to the base, which wasn't working very well. I think I used two different paints. So I took my garden spade to the top and beat it up. I'll take another picture of the final product when I put it in my booth on Friday.

A teacher I work with asked me at the end of the school year to arrange some of her grandfather's military memorabilia in a shadow box for her over the summer. I haven't ever done a shadow box before, but she said she wanted to keep it simple. This is my first draft. I haven't pinned anything down. I sent her some pictures for feedback before I made it permanent. I wanted to put an old flag in there somehow, but what I had took up more room than I thought it would. I'm trying to think of some other things to make or dig up to put in my booth. We'll see what I can come up with.

Magic School Bus

Ryan brought home this school bus "tent" as a surprise for Macauley last night, and I've hardly been able to get him out of it since. He's been pretending that it's his camper and all of his stuffed animal "kids" are camping in it with him. Dad made a great pick!

I am so excited that I got him enrolled at Wanda Gray Elementary today, a really good school with a brand new, bright and colorful kindergarten wing that is fabulous. I did this in hopes that the deal on the new house will get worked out this week...if it doesn't, hmmmm...not sure where that will leave us. I so want him to be a Wanda Gray Wildcat!

We've kind of just been bumming around the house other than that today. I am working on a couple of projects for my flea market booth but got frustrated when my sewing machine came unthreaded and I couldn't get the bobbin to wind right. I always need my mother when that happens. Macauley needs his mother to just stop what she's doing and play with him more frequently, so I've been trying.

10 August 2008

Old friends

I had a good time at Kandi's shower in Cassville yesterday...I was right--we haven't changed much at all. She got a ton of stuff and we laughed a lot. I will see them all again in a couple of weeks at the wedding in St. Louis...

The girls I have known since I was eight: Me, Brandi, Andrea, Kandi and Tonya.

Another of my all-time best buddies is Andrea Lea Henningson. We spent a lot of time on our bikes in early middle school, then in her Buick Regal in high school, and were in each other's weddings. She always makes me laugh and is looking better than ever these days. There's just nothing like old friends...

08 August 2008

I go bearing gifts

Two things I really like to do are buy gifts for people and wrap them as cute as possible. I am excited to be going back to Cassville, the town of 2000 people I grew up in, for a bridal shower for one of my childhood friends tomorrow. A bunch of the girls who knew me way back when will be there. Unfortunately, due to all the worry and stress I've been dealing with lately, my skin has gone wackadoodle (I got that word from Suede off Project Runway) and I might be looking the worst I've looked all summer. But these are the girls who knew me flat-chested (that lasted for a while, sadly) and in Jellies that didn't match the Jams (Jellies and Jams! I've never put that together before...) and too-short jeans we all lived in back then. They've seen me better; they've seen me worse. I couldn't find the towels Kandi registered for at Target so I got a few with similar color names (put those in the big bag) and then, since I was also invited to her personal shower but can't make it, I got her a cute little PJ set and some undies (something bright and funky like her, not lacy and cheesy) which I wrapped in the leopard print. I tied it with some black tulle and then hot-glued a vintage gold button in the center of the bow for added flair. Kandi is one of my oldest, fieriest, most fashionable friends and I have missed seeing her since she and her twin sister relocated to St. Louis. I used to spend the night at her house all the time and we always went to the Trojan PQ, the convenience store her parents owned in nearby Washburn (population 10, I think) and loaded up on junk food and VHS rentals. We often reached the convenience store by way of the red Firebird her parents bought for her before she was 16, even though she was a few months shy of being a licensed driver and I was barely 14. The night we watched Halloween, we got so scared creeping back down the hallway from our snack run to the kitchen (for Little Debbies, I remember) that we both took off running and dived on her bed, breaking off two of the legs and sending it crashing to the floor. Her poor dad James, jarred from a sound sleep by furniture hitting the floor and teenage girls screaming, had a little trouble understanding when we said we just both instantly saw Michael Myers' white face at the end of the hall and had to run. Her sister Brandi had a boyfriend our freshman year when Kandi and I did not, and we would always pester the guy to drive us into town to cruise and look for boyfriends of our own. (Kandi was "allowed" to drive the Firebird down the backroads to the store because she worked there regularly, but she wasn't allowed to drive much of anywhere else until she got the license, although she might have anyway...) Brendan and Brandi were in her room with the door closed one Friday night, and desperate to escape the house in the boonies for the bustling social scene of the Cassville square and the Sonic, and after already trying to lure them out by obnoxiously singing show tunes while Kandi pounded on their piano, we finally unfolded a clothes hanger and attached a pleading note ("Take us to town, Brendan--PLEASE!!!") to the end and waved it back and forth under the bedroom door until the exasperated couple took pity on us (or finished making out, maybe!). It wasn't too long before I found those boys I was looking for, and now that I am older and wiser, I really regret that I later got pretty wrapped up in teenage romances, some silly and some not, and neglected or wronged my friends like Kandi. I was that girl. The one who always chose the boy...and I wish I hadn't been. Brandi later took over the Firebird and Kandi got a charcoal Camaro that was equally awesome, if not awesomer, and she picked me up for school almost every day in it, early enough to stop at Casey's General Store for Mini-Middles. Funyuns and Mountain Dew to get our day at CHS started. I haven't met this Chris who has won the heart of my dear old friend, but I am glad that Kandi has found him and plans to marry him the day of my 32nd birthday in St. Louis. I still smile when I think of all the immature and hilarious things we did growing up in that sweet little town, and I can't wait to see those girls tomorrow. I don't think we've changed all that much...

Even more distracted

The saga continues on the dream house...we weren't comfortable with going ahead with the purchase without some help from the seller on the number of unfinished issues we discovered, so after he rejected our request for less money and more time, we backed out of the contract. I felt on the verge of tears all day and Ryan kept calling to say he was sick about it, too. So what do I do when I get down? Shop, of course. Actually, Macauley and I had to go to STD to pay my booth rent and pick up my check and that's what started it all. I am happy to report that my check from my booth for the last 3 weeks was...you won't believe it....$359! My dinky little $40 a month booth! The manager, Mike, said he'd never seen anything like it. Wow. So I blew $6 there on some chippy white spindles to put in this urn I have by my fireplace. Then Shannon called (while waiting in a chaotic line to see New Kids on the Block at the Mall of America) and reminded me that she still wanted me to check on a duvet cover we saw in Ozark months ago, so Macauley and I headed down to Riverview. The whole place had a freshened up look and I saw several things I liked, including the green bench and shelf above, and this black wicker bench below that is only $35. I might have to go back and get that Sunday...

We were also happy to see Brian from The Seedbox there loading up his two booths. We caught up with him and told him we missed seeing Meloney and Ruby and him at their old store. He had a bunch of clocks and a great black mannequin.

Ruby is the cute little dog that Macauley has always liked to visit...she was helping her dad move furniture around, I guess...

So I came home with the spindles, Shannon's duvet (I love that pattern--it's Ralph Lauren, but which one?) and a chippy black mirror I decided to grab.

Then, when all hope was lost and Macauley and I were moping around Target avoiding reality, our realtor called and said the banker had emailed late in the day and asked for a list of the minimum repairs we would take to make the deal go through! So he is willing to meet us halfway...maybe. Don't know what will happen but I am heartened by that. Wish we didn't have to do another weekend not knowing, but we really need to sell our house to make this whole thing work, so maybe we will get some leads from the open house we're doing Sunday.


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