Friday, December 23, 2011

Send an E-mail to Yourself Next Year with

Send an E-mail to Yourself Next Year with

What a great idea! Maybe it’s just me but the thought of getting an email from myself written a year before is intriguing. Hmmmm, I wonder what my future self will think about it?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mindful Living

My blog needs a restart today.The following is a piece I found at Mind Deep a blog on mindful living. It is meant to be shared. I pass it along to you.

(Kate the writer of this poem, was unable to speak but occasionally seen to write. After her death, her hospital locker was emptied and this poem was found.)

What do you see nurses what do you see?
Are you thinking when you are looking at me... A crabby old women not very wise,

Uncertain of habit with far away eyes, who dribbles her food and makes no reply, when you say in a loud voice 'I do wish you'd try'
Who seems not to notice the things that you do and forever is losing a stocking or shoe. 

Who unresisting or not let's you do as you will, with bathing or feeding a long day to fill. Is that what you're thinking is that what you see? Then open your eyes nurse you're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am.... As I sit here so still, as I use at your bidding and eat at your will. I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother, brothers and sisters who love one another. 

A young girl of sixteen with wings on her feet, dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet: A bride soon, at twenty my heart gives a leap. Remembering the vows that I promise to keep.

At twenty five now I have young of my own, who need me to build a secure happy home. A young women of thirty my young now grow fast bound to each other with ties that should last. At forty my young ones now grown, will soon be gone but my man stands beside me to see I don't mourn.

At fifty once more babies play round my knee, again we know children my loved one and me. Dark days are upon me my husband is dead, I look at the future, I shudder with dread. For my young are all busy rearing young of their own and I think of the years and the love I have known.

I'm an old women now and nature is cruel, 'I' is her jest to make old age look like a fool. The body it crumbles, grace and vigour depart. There now is a stone where once I had a heart. But inside this old carcase a young girl still dwells and now and again my battered heart swells. 

I remember the joys, I remember the pain and I'm moving and living life over again. I think of the years all too few- gone too fast and accept the stark fact that nothing can last. 

So open your eyes nurses open and see, not a crabbit old women, look closer- see ME.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Made in America

Did you know…  According to ABC News, if every American spent just $3.33 more on American made goods, the result would be the creation of almost 10,000 jobs here in the USA! 

That is amazing to me.  I think I’ll start paying more attention to where things are made and try to find an American product if possible. Want to join me?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

MIL=Mother in law

Yep, I acquired a new role in the past couple of years. I am a sister, wife, mother, and now a mother in law. My two oldest kids are married and I am a proud mother in law to my son in law and daughter in law.  This is another part of life where there is no manual or instructions. What is a MIL to do?

Just like when my first child was born I had all sorts of crazy ideas about how I was going to raise MY child. Foolishly I proclaimed,"My child will never watch TV, not even Sesame Street.” I was so naive.  Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers saved my sanity most afternoons as my kids were preschoolers.

Well, I had similar naive ideas about being a mother in law.  Initially, I thought it was just like adopting two more kids.  I thought my 3 kid family turned into a 5 kid family. Well. . . it had but not exactly. My new in law kids were all grown up and had a mommy and daddy already.  So the mom hat didn’t fit.

Over the past few years, I’ve learned my MIL job. It’s really simple.  I love and give unconditional acceptance to my in-law kids.  They are wonderful and special.  They love and are devoted to my young’ins. I cherish them. They have enriched the Bell/Sailstad clan in so many ways. Thanks Katie and Josh.

I came across this article,What Makes a Good MIL?  It’s a primer for the learning the ropes as a mother in law. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Done=Summer Dress Challenge

I  forgot how much I enjoy sewing.  My recent adventures into weaving, knitting and spinning took over much of my creative time. I hadn’t sewn for a long time. Making clothes for myself fell by the wayside years ago.

It has been fun renewing my sewing skills and reenergizing my love of sewing.

I intentionally chose an easy pattern. Easy pattern means quick project completion. The most difficult parts of the pattern were the interesting  y-shaped straps on the dress back.
I took time to draw out the seam lines onto the fabric

Carefully snipped the inverted points to get a smooth finish

I lined the top with a purple broad cloth.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Study: How 'Fake' Fats Can Make You Really Fat

I am determined to lose some weight. More specifically inches. My expanding waist even amazes me.  How did this happen. It was a slow process. Gradually, the inches appeared until I can’t comfortably wear my summer pants. Major bummer.

One thing I thought I had been doing that was calorie wise was eat Skinny Cow bars. But it got to be a Catch-22. I’d eat one and find after I ate it I craved another one. My sugar craving energy remained high.  I thought about eating a Skinny Cow bar most of everyday. Weird! So I stopped those suckers cold turkey.

Fortunately, this is the best time of year to watch what I am eating. There are so many fresh fruits and vegetables at the markets.

My waistline is making progress toward its former self. thank goodness.

This article talks about how artificial sweeteners do not help us lose weight. The article helped me to understand the Skinny Cow=sugar craving phenomena.
Study: How 'Fake' Fats Can Make You Really Fat

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Dress Challenge

Found a pattern from Burda. Could download the pattern. 
Woot, woot! It’s amazing that I do not have to drive to a store to get a pattern.
 Online shopping rocks! 

I haven’t sewn for myself in ages so I decided to sew a muslin copy first. I only need to do the top piece.  The tiers won’t be a problem.

Fit was good with a few adjustments.
On to cutting out the batik fabric. . . 
to be continued

Monday, June 20, 2011


Here’s a great article with tips for becoming a better listener.

The writer caught my attention when she said we learn to read and write but we aren’t taught how to listen in school.  That is so true and I have never thought of that before.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Challenge = Summer Dress

My latest challenge =  What to wear when it is so darn hot.  I have a tried and true floor-length sleeveless dress that I got many years ago. Unfortunately it has seen better days.  I slip it on after showering or returning from a day at the beach. Its cool to wear. Best of all it simply hangs and is loose. AND it doesn’t look like an old lady mu-mu.  So I need to replace it and haven’t found any ready to wear options. I’m pulling out the old sewing machine and going to SEW.

My inspiration came from Hancocks of Paducah.  They put  a bunch of batik fabric on sale.

Here’s the fabric I chose.

Next finding a dress pattern.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How Much Water Do You Drink?

Water. I’ve alway had this thing about water. I love it. I love to drink it. Bathe in it. Swim in it. And sometimes simply gaze over a pond or stream.

Most of us drink liquids through out the day, of course. But unfortunately, sodas, coffee and tea are not what the body needs. It needs adequate water to be fully hydrated.

Did you know your brain is like a giant water logged sponge? When we don’t drink enough water, our brain can’t do its job as well. Will drinking more water help me to remember where I left my keys? Maybe.But it certainly can help me feel healthier.

Years ago I learned that the correct amount of water one should consume a day can be figured out simply. Take your weight and divide it in half. That number is how many ounces one needs to drink daily.

So say you are 120 pounds. Divide 120 by 2 equals 60. So you should drink 60 ounces of water a day. That about 6 glasses of water a day.

Here is a really cool way to track how much water you drink a day. It’s a free printable list. Check it out at Wild Olive Blog.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fairy Tale Wedding

Isn’t this a hoot? 

Friday, June 10, 2011

How Many Friends Can We Really Have?

According to "Dunbar's Number," human beings can maintain a network of only about 150 close friends.  Robin Dunbar is a professor of evolutionary anthropology at the University of Oxford. 

Dr. Dunbar tells how a company with 150 employees remains a close knit group that is more productive and a better place to work than a company with more employees. This research substantiates 'bigger is not better.'

I first noticed our culture's trend to 'largeness' when the mega-schools arrived in the 1990's. My kids were in elementary school then. They did not have cohort of friends from one school year to the next because there were 8-10 other classes at each grade level. The feeling of the school was  anonymity.  Dr. Dunbar’s work speaks of our human need to be know in a community, a community that is of no more than 150 people 
NPR's Rachel Martin interviews the professor and the interview can be found here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


The dresser is complete. It turned out nicely. It even has brass plates on the key holes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Half way there

Conclusion of morning session with dresser

Wow, all that white paint is almost gone.
The big surprise is that the oak is tiger oak. That's cool.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nannie's Dresser

My daughter was given an antique dresser that came from her  great-grandmother's. It was painted white. We always suspected that it was made of oak underneath.
I volunteered to refinish the dresser.  Here it is after it's first application of stripping gel. That stuff is gross. I had to use my industrial strength gloves

I found out stripping a well painted dresser is not an easy feat. It took a couple applications of stripper and lots of scraping. I could feel my biceps protesting after a couple hours.

What is looked like at the end of the first day

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pesto Making Day

I couldn't resist. My first crop of basil is ready. I planted lots of basil this year in order to make pesto sauce. The amount of pesto sauce I put up last year hardly lasted through the summer. I put in 10 plants a while ago and they are ready to harvest.

I spent the morning in the kitchen. The basil yielding 12 two ounce containers of pesto sauce. They are all sitting on the top shelf of freezer. Yum!

It's time to transplant my new basil seedlings into the garden for second harvest.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


There is nothing in this world more fun than taking a piece of cloth, I have woven, off the loom and finishing it.

I LOVE how these turned out.

The only thing I'll change in the future is make them smaller. The pattern has them finished at 22 X 40. Way too big for me.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another year of blogging

I missed my blog anniversary this year. It was at the beginning of May.  This blog has been kept for two years and one month. Wow, I actually have a written record of my doings and musings for two years. Pretty neat!
Thank you, my loyal readers. It's nice to share and know I'm letting others into my 'little world.'

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Running Til You Fall

Running Til You Fall is a great piece of writing by Chris Brogan. I follow his blog. He is a good writer and offers great blogging tips.

In this short article, he highlights the modern phenomena of 'hurry up.' Somehow faster is better than slower. 'Git her done' has become a mantra of daily living.

It may be that I can no longer keep up with the pace of business and commerce that I had to find my own slower pace.  Ahhh. . . To me there is nothing better than doing a job well and completely. It doesn't matter if it takes 2 hours or 2 days.

I have yet to figure out what people do after they speed through their work. Why is 'now' less important than later? Do we really get to 'later?' or do we miss it as it whirls by?

Friday, May 27, 2011

'Keep It Simple Towels' On loom

O man, my mistakes faded away and I got 'good' at this pattern. I love how they are turning out.
Here's what I have on the loom currently. Notice mistakes in first one and none in last one. Whoopee!
Lots of oops

Getting better

Close to perfect

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Brain Research

This post is totally off my usually topic list but I want to share this. In my work-a-day life, I'm a psychotherapist. I am especially fascinated by the discoveries that are coming out of neuro (brain) research and their possible impact on my work, and general mental health concerns.

Here is a brief video that explains a research project that is occurring at MIT. If you or someone you love suffers from depression or other mental health disorders, this kind of research may someday lead to effective treatment.

Sorry it has a commercial preceding the video.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nifty SLR Camera Online

Here's a website where you can practice using an SLR camera. Try it out. Adjust lighting, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and distance settings to see what happens. Try out

It has helped me understand my SLR camera.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Glimarka Loom Up and Running

I recently purchased a 'new to me' Standard Glimarka loom. It arrive at the house in the midst of a flurry of activity. I have longingly looked at her for weeks, waiting for the chance to get her first warp going.

The time has arrived.

I picked an 8/2 cotton to use with the Interweave pattern "Keep it Simple" dishtowels. The pattern is in the e- book for 4 shaft projects.

I admit I took my time dressing the loom. I want to savor this learning experience. I knew I'd make plenty of mistakes. What's the point of weaving if I'm always in a rush?

I got it set up over a week's time. I messed up the shaft height a couple of times. JoAnn Hall's book, Tying Up the Countermarch Loom was a life saver.

Ain't she perdy?

Here's what the Keep it Simple Towels look like so far. Yep, I'm learning and there are mistakes. Most importantly, I'm having fun. Hopefully, I'll work out the kinks as I weave this pattern.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Doubleweave Workshop

A while back, I attended Jennifer Moore's Doubleweave Workshop that was sponsored by the Triangle Weavers Guild in Chapel Hill, NC. I was fortunate that they allowed me to attend since I am not a member.  What a great bunch! I enjoyed every moment of the workshop. Jennifer is an outstanding teacher. She was patient with people like me who are fairly new to this weaving gig and she knew exactly how to make complex problems have simple solutions. I could also tell that she could challenge those weavers who were experts themselves.
Thank you Triangle Weavers for including me in the workshop. I wish I lived closer so I could join. You have an awesome guild.

Jennifer Moore

Some of Jennifer's work

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Flowers are Beginning to Bloom

This last picture is of my new Sally Holmes Rose climbing bush from Witherspoon Roses in Durham, NC. Isn't it delightful?

Friday, April 29, 2011


This is our first harvest of the year, spinach. We had a few volunteer plants come up in one of our raised beds. It was enough to pick, wash and steam. It tasted marvelous on a veggie pizza.

Talk about potential! These rose buds are getting ready to burst into bloom.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Marrying George Clooney

Please raise your hand if you have ever had a fantasy of marrying George Clooney.
I have taken a poll among my many curiously deranged, off-balance girlfriends who very often find themselves dancing or, in some cases, swaying to the beat of their own iPod in the middle of the night.
That is how this excerpt from Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis Marrying George Clooney!.”  by Amy Farris  begins. 
OK it not just that I wanted an excuse to post a picture of George Clooney on my blog, I really LOL reading this excerpt.
So enjoy:
Each one, honest to god, has a similar fantasy. Mine goes like this.
Tossing and turning, more tossing and turning, and more . . . tossing, and more . . . turning. You slip out of bed and find yourself standing in front of the bathroom vanity mirror: the puffy droopy eyelids, along with the ever-so-slightly sag in the jowls—and you can understand on a cellular level how Faye Dunaway was able to turn herself into a radioactive trout. First it was the eyes. Let’s pull and tuck them tightly (adding the glamour of Scotch tape) so that they appear to no longer be in the center of the face. Let’s take the nose, which at one time was so perfect and straight, and now expand the nostrils so they can hide canned goods in case of a nuclear meltdown. And now the lips—it’s always such a tragedy when the mouth starts to take on the form and shape of a six-lane freeway. Why, oh, why do we women do this to ourselves? Really, what is the point? Because we want to get hired as the ingĂ©nue, the sexy hot babe. Hey, I’ve got news for you—we are sexy hot women, but we’re all botoxing ourselves into non-expression frenzy mode. I mean, really—what is so sexy about a shiny forehead that only seems to move when you jerk your arm?
MarryingGeorgeClooney cover 300x450 Marrying George Clooney!Back to my fantasy.
I go into a bar.
There are a few scattered customers. Mostly drunk out of their gourd, mumbling, wobbling, and peeing in their pants. I order a Cosmo, straight up, which really means cranberry juice with a twist of lime. I get up from my bar stool and saunter over to the jukebox. I play Laura Nyro and Rickie Lee Jones. I, for one, want to hear women sing about rejection and pain and unrequited love and abortion and guys named Chuck E. who, yes, are in love.
And then he walks in.
Makes himself comfortable at the end of the bar. Orders a beer. Fiddles with his brand-new, sleek, black, sexy iPhone. He looks at me. I look at him. He looks at me again. I mouth, “Hey . . . want my number?” in perfect Italian. He looks at me in his Clooney kind of way, eyebrows tilting up, eyes looking down . . . a smirk . . . he nods. Then he slides the iPhone ever so gracefully—landing right in front of me. I punch in my ten-digit number and add a smiley face with a wink, sliding it right back to him.
“Hey,” he says, “you have three 7s in your number. That’s lucky.”
“Yeah,” I say. “Yeah. That’s me, Ms. Very, Very Lucky.”
Nine months to the day I give birth to our first child, whom we name Dolores Claiborne Clooney. She dies three days later under mysterious circumstances. Then I fall into a coma. And stay in a vegetative state for eight years. The only people who seem to visit me on a regular basis are Robert and Mary Schindler, Terri Schiavo’s parents, who petition to adopt me. I vaguely remember hearing someone—possibly a nurse or an attendant—saying that George thanked me at an Oscar ceremony. He didn’t mention me by name, but he did refer to me as “his coma girl.”
Boy George releases a single that same year, “Coma, Coma, Coma, Coma Girl,” and experiences a huge comeback post-jail.
I end up on the cover of Time magazine, as “Vegetative Person of the Year.”
I wake up from my coma; George and I inevitably divorce. Amicably. I open a fast-food vegan restaurant, called Vegetative Taste, with a drive-through for hybrids only. It becomes a franchise, and I am awarded the Nobel Prize.
I am jarred by the sound of an alarm clock.
My husband, upon waking, turns to me: “What’s with the Scotch tape?”
He cannot relate at all to my fantasy life with George.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why Do Some Boomers Act Much Older?

As I approach my 60's, I've fallen victim to the notion that I'm suppose to feel achy, old and used up. The article I linked here is a great antidote.

Life gets better! Being older (and wiser) is fun.

Why Do Some Boomers Act Much Older?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Quilt Block Cube Calendar

I am so often amazed by what creative people can do. I found this cube calendar from Pen Pencil Stencil.

I love the quilt blocks and it is such a clever idea! Awesome!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Whew! that was quite a long break.

Just as I was gearing up to be a more consistent writer on my blog, Life happened. I still don't know exactly what pulled me away. But I hope we can assume I'm back.  Time will tell.

I and the family have a great vacation over Christmas break. I had my first cruise. I loved it.  There was plenty for all the kids (who are all adults now) to do, good food and beautiful sunshine and scenery in the Caribbean.

Yes we took a lot of pictures (even pictures of us taking pictures)

During my hiatus from my blog. my niece had a wedding shower. Isn't she a darling bride to be?

I did do some sewing/fiber stuff too but didn't take many pictures (maybe I was overwhelmed sorting through the vacation pictures). 
I made table toppers for my niece's upcoming wedding out of this dynamite blue/green/brown paisley fabric.

And completed a place mat or two out of cotton broadcloth.

So I'm back. Sorry it took me so long.