Friday, March 30, 2007

A Sunny Day

The weather was beautiful here today. I have every other friday off of work, so I managed to catch up around the house a little. I finally had time to put out a few Easter decorations. I love being able to just hang around the house and enjoy it all.

And here's TheEmpty NestChild, just a little stressed out because I'm outside and he's inside.

I hope you are enjoying some nice spring weather where you are!


Now this is funny....

Among the many blogs I love to read is Gyl at Rhembein. She makes absolutely beautiful purses and children's clothing, lives in an idyllic setting, and posts fabulous pictures of newborn lambs. So, tonight, I was reading a post about a no-complaining challenge she has joined. Hmm, this is interesting. And at the bottom of her post, she has tagged three people to join. Wow, isn't this interesting, one of them is named Anna, just like me. So, I mouseover. Wait. It IS me. HahahahahaHahahahHhhhhaaaaaa! The challenge is to not complain about anything for 21 days. Me??? Gyl! I've been married to TheManofTheHouse for TWENTY-EIGHT years (ahem, I was a 7 yr. old bride) -- you're asking the impossible !!! (And, BTW, TheManofTheHouse is laughing even harder -- there's no way I'm even going to mention this to the boys-- they'd have a field day with this one!)

Ok, now, I'm attempting to regain my composure. I'll have to try it! How could I not -- I'm feeling honored that Gyl thinks I'm up to the challenge. So, here are the rules (as copied from Gyl):

There's a movement right now to help create a Complaint Free World. Can YOU do it? Can you go without complaining for 21 days? Scientists say it takes 21 days to break a habit and create a new one. So can you? Here's what you need to do.
1. Click on Beki's blog to order a free purple Complaint Free bracelet.
2. Tag at least 3 people and spread the word. Challenge them to participate.
3. Sign the Mr. Linky On Beki's Blog so we can see how far this goes!
4. The final step, and most important. STOP COMPLAINING! You put your bracelet on and any time you catch yourself complaining you must switch it to the opposite wrist. The goal is to go 21 days without switching it. If you switch it, your 21 days starts all over again.

Of course I'll probably die with my purple bracelet on one of my arms. And said demise will probably be hastened since no complaining will cause me to swell up and with that elastic on me and my circulation will be cut completely off. But, oh well, it's all in the name of self-improvement in blogland.

I have to tag three other people, so I'm tagging Sandi, Sunny, and Sierra 'cause your names all start with "S" and like Sunny's name implies, I'm sure you all have sunny dispositions and never complain! (And I'd like to apologize to those of you who are PG, I know it's rather unfair!) As your disclaimer, I won't be offended if you choose not to join in!

Laughing-still Anna

P.S. Gyl -- there's NO way you'll make it complaint free longer than I will!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Did you know?

I've been thinking a lot lately about this information age we find ourselves in -- the internet, blogs, information everywhere we turn. And then, the other day, in a site-wide meeting at work, they showed us this video. It's really worth taking a look, just to think about where we've been and where we're going. For those of you outside the U.S., it's very U.S. centric, but if you can get past that, there are some staggering statistics (which are all documented on the authors blog). Even if you were to half their impact, they're still amazing. Besides, I love the music!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Let's Get Real Monday

Randi over at I Have to Say... is hosting Let's Get Real Monday with a theme of spring cleaning. There's plenty of dirt around here, but I didn't want to be too disgusting. Like, say, the toilet in the kids bathrom upstairs. I haven't been up there since the kids went back to school after Christmas break. So, I'm assuming there are probably things growing in there by now. Outta sight, outta mind. Or, life's too short to clean a toilet no one uses.

So, on to my most dreaded spring cleaning project: The Linen/Gift/Overflow ClosetIt might not seem like much, but all those linens really need to be removed, laundered, and re-folded. The last tablecloth I took out of there had spots on it, and I know it was clean when I put it in there. Spots grow in the dark, you know. And all that other junk needs to be straightened/pitched. Oh, and see that little orange teddy on the top shelf? He's there for his own protection -- TheEmptyNestChild thinks it's his boyfriend. If you know what I mean, and I'm sure you do.

Now you've seen it. Post your own Get Real Monday project and hop on over to Randi's and list yourself. Like Autum, I'm going to close the doors. Maybe I'll get to it later. Maybe not.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

It's Slow Here.

There's just not much going on here at Thimbleanna's. I've been gone so much the past few weeks that I haven't had time to work on any projects. I posted a few weeks ago that I was getting a cold and I finally adimitted defeat and went to the Dr. today. On Wednesday, I flew to NJ and I'm pretty sure during the descent, someone hit me in the head with an ax. My travel companions told me to take pseudophedrine for the return trip on Friday and that helped with the pain, but I haven't been able to clear my ears since we landed. I feel like I'm walking around with my head in a trash can. Hopefully, we'll have a little clearing as the antibiotic begins to take effect tomorrow!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a picture of my airplane knitting. You'd think with all my trips I'd have these done by now, but I've been sleeping pn planes more than knitting! I love to knit socks -- they're portable and once you've made a few pair, they don't take much concentration. These are my first sort-of-red pair.Autum posted that Randi posted about "Let's Get Real Monday." The premise is that we post "the truth" about something, instead of only showing nice things to our guests, as we so often do on our blogs. The theme this Monday is spring cleaning. We'll see if I get brave enough to show some of my disgusting dirt. There's certainly more than enough to go around.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I was going to title this post “The First-Timer’s Guide to Hawaii” but decided it was too confusing. I meant the title as if the author was a first-timer, but decided that a reader might assume that it was a guide for someone making their first trip to Hawaii (which, I guess it really is, but I’m certainly not experienced enough to offer comprehensive advice.) So, whatever, you want to call it, this is my guide, as a person who has just returned from her first trip to Hawaii. Warning: This will be a long post. ;-) I’m going to list (and rate) the things we did in chronological order.
First off, a bigfor renting convertibles. We rented two convertibles for eight of us and we had SO much fun driving around with our “lids” down. We rented from Thrifty Car Rental – their service was good and their weekly rate was almost half of any of the other major car rental agencies. Well worth the moolah!

And while we’re driving, a big to traffic in Honolulu. If it’s remotely near rush hour, expect to crawl. Try to do a better job of planning around traffic than we did!
Bumming Around. Just checking out the beaches, relaxing, and enjoying the waves should be a number one priority. We didn’t get to do enough of this ‘cause there was so much to do. Must. Rest. More. Next. Time.
Turtle Beach. This is a beach on the north shore of Oahu where BIG sea turtles come ashore to sun themselves on the beach. It’s just a free beach on the side of the road, but there are rangers on duty to keep an eye on the turtles. In addition to seeing some turtles on the beach, you might also get a glimpse of one in the sea trying to come in. Very peaceful and beautiful!
Waimea Falls. Also on the north shore, Waimea Falls is a gorgeous botanical park. Even if botanical parks aren’t normally your thing, this place is awesome, because after a mile hike, you get to swim in a 30 ft. water hole that is fed by a waterfall. This was one of my favorites!
Polynesian Cultural Center. I didn’t actually go to the PCC as I was pretty sure it wasn’t my sort of thing. Several of my cousins had been before and they love it and had a great time – one of my cousins even declared it a “spiritual experience.” MyDadLovesMeBest sister went with them, however, and declared it a complete waste of her money. This split of opinions was pretty much what I found out when researching whether or not to go there. You either loved it, or you didn’t. One big debate we had was whether or not to attend a Luau there. Most people recommended a better Luau (at least one that was on the beach) – the PCC is inland a little bit, so their Luau can’t be on a beach. We went to a different Luau – more on that later.
This was our “Island Hopping” day. We split up, with ½ of us going to Kauai and the other half going to Hawaii.
Kauai. I didn’t go to Kauai, but those who did had an awesome time. And, since a friend had told me earlier that her very favorite thing in Hawaii was the helicopter ride over Kauai, our Kauai party took the helicopter tour. They loved every minute and said it was incredible. Fortunately, they took their trip the day before the two helicopter crashes on Kauai. They say your odds of being in a car accident are greater than a helicopter accident, so, you be the judge (again!) (Sorry, no picture from Kauai as I wasn’t there!)
Hawaii. We went to the Big Island for the day to see Volcano National Park. You can’t even get close to the lava flows unless you take a helicopter tour, so we did. I’m sure it wasn’t nearly as beautiful as the helicopter tour on Kauai, but it was still incredible. Being able to fly directly over the volcano vents and look down at the red hot lava was an unforgettable experience. After the helicopter flight we drove out the the National Park. Very educational. We also visited the Mauna Loa macadamia nut plant. It was ho-hum – only do it if you have time to kill.

Swap Meet. We had a great time visiting all the booths and buying a bunch of souvenirs for the friends and family back home. Much better deals on touristy junk than anywhere else.
Waikiki. It was a complete accident that we ended up at Waikiki and I’m so glad we did. My mother got too hot at the swap meet, so we decided that we should find a cool restaurant to hang out in and someone told us there was a Cheesecake Factory in Waikiki. We had pineapple and coconut cheesecakes. Yum-O. We lost a lot of time in traffic getting both to and from Waikiki however, and we weren’t able to stay nearly long enough. We did get a glimpse of the beach though, and it was fabulous. If I had it to do over again, I would have spent a day there and checked out all the great shopping. (Check out Diamond Head in the picture!)
Paradise Cove Luau. This Luau is on the west coast of Oahu, so you get a beautiful view of the sunset. And there are lots of people dressed up in Hawaiian costume. And you could visit different stations to make lei’s, etc. And they had a little show where they lifted the pig out of the pit and hauled him away for you to presumably eat later. BUT. I felt like I was at a church supper. Long tables with plastic tablecloths and plastic chairs. Then, when it was time to eat, you took your plate and went through a pot luck type of line. Very Tacky. For 65 smackeroos, I expected overflowing platters of pineapples and Polynesian fruits and flowers. And oh, it would have been nice to be served. But maybe I’m just getting old and finicky for my money.
Hanauma Bay Snorkeling. This is a state park and costs $5.00 plus snorkel gear rental. We had a fantastic time – even getting both the grandmas out to snorkel and they loved it. Fish viewing inside of the buoys was somewhat limited, but if you’re a good swimmer, you can venture a little outside the buoys and see lots more fish. Great Fun. Highly Recommended.
Pearl Harbor. We certainly felt that any visit to Oahu would be incomplete without a visit to Pearl Harbor. We all loved it and I’d definitely go again, even though I’ve just been there!
Kaimuki Dry Goods Fabric Store. Naturally, the place of my ill-fated meeting with Sawyer should get a thumbs up. Seriously though, if you’re a fabric fondler, it’s worth the visit.
Shrimp Trucks. We stayed on the North Shore which is known for all of its Shrimp Farms. There are little shrimp buses/trucks all over. Just pull on up, order at the window and eat at a picnic table.
So, it was a whirlwind trip, but I definitely give it a big . In spite of the minor difficulties of traveling with 8 women (at one point, I was prepared to dole out estrogen patches!) we all had a great time! Highly Recommended.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The First Day of Spring

New Beginnings. New Births. The first day of spring is the perfect day to have a new baby. And that's just what I was doing, twenty years ago today.

Son2 entered the world on March 20, 1987 and things have never been the same. We've laughed and cried and had a wonderful time. He's smart, cute, funny, and witty. He works hard and he plays hard. As a little boy, he was so laid back you hardly knew he was around. But, like the old stock broker commercial, when Son2 spoke, everyone listened. He didn't say much, but when he did it was so perceptive for such a little guy.

The perfect child with a few glitches thrown in here and there. Like when he was around 15 or 16, as Mo says, the body snatcher came. Teenage Hell. Many gray hairs for me. But today we're out of the "teens" and the sunshine is peeking through. He called yesterday from school, so excited about his new job. He'll be working in a neurology research lab.

Me: So, what did they have you do, on this, your first day?

Son2: The easy part first, I'm sorting fruit flies, based on their characteristics.

Me: Hmmm. How do you catch them?

Son2: (Wish I could have seen him, I'm sure there was some eye rolling here.) Mom. They're born in test tubes.

Dumb mom. I never could keep up with that sparkly child. He's my baby and I'll always adore him. Happy Birthday Big Boy!


Saturday, March 17, 2007

I'm So Weak

That's what Autum says when she's been fabric shopping and has no willpower. All my recent travel has left me very weak. I bought fabric and I couldn't help it.

In Hawaii, we visited Kaimuki Dry Goods. (Sadly, we were running late and missed Sawyer though.) Kaimuki was a wonderful shop with lots of different fabrics. They even had woolens and fleeces, which on the 90 degree day of our visit, I found myself wondering when they would ever use/wear them. In my weakness, I purchased the prints to the right for some summer shirts.

In the Kansas City area, I visited Prairie Point Quilt Shop (no website, phone is 913-268-3333), Harper's Fabric and Quilt Shop, and Country Expressions Quilt Shop . I always visit Prairie Point when I'm in the area. They have a nice variety of fabrics and samples. I also love Harper's. Mostly because they have more modern quilt fabrics which are harder to find where I live. I've been on the lookout for the Freshcut fabrics, so I had to get some, along with some other prints that snuck into my bag.

At Harper's I also found the valentine pin-up-girl print that's been on my search list. It's pictured here with a Hawaiian pin-up-girl print from Kaimuki's. I have a great time making boxers for my boys with these types of prints. (Please ignore the wrinkles, these fabrics are fresh out of the suitcase!)

This was my first visit to Country Expressions. It's about an hour from the KC airport, but it was well worth the trip. I got there just as they were closing and they were so nice to stay and let me browse for a few minutes. I found the flannel to the right that will eventually appear in my wardrobe as new jammies. Also at Country Expressions, I bought a few of the prints that are in the picture above of the Freshcut fabrics.

And if all this fabric weren't enough, when I got home, more fabric had arrived from the Flibbertygibbet fabric swap. I waited until I mailed my packages this morning, then came home and tore into my packages to find all of this loveliness!

First, from Dawn some wonderful bright fabrics. Dawn, they're not too bright and I love them! Thank You So Much! Then, from Helen some great earth tones with orange which I also love! And some beads to match and a little piece of the chocolate I've heard so much about. I'm hoarding it, but I doubt it will make it through the weekend! Thank You, Thank You Helen!

Swapping was so fun -- I'm ready to do it again! I am a little concerned though -- it seems everyone has high expectations that I'll actually get something made from these fabrics! I'm a hoarder -- I thought you all knew this! LOL!

Oh, and this is a little late -- but Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone, especially you, little Irish lass!

May your troubles be less
And your blessings be more

And nothing but happiness

Come through your door.

-- Irish Blessing