My blog dress and header has changed! As a newlywed, I am excited to present a whole new theme.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

For Better or for Worse

Have you ever loved a comic strip so much that you would run to the paper as soon as it arrived on your door so that you could turn straight to the comics section to read it? Or have you kept the online comic as number one on your favorites list so that it's the first thing you go to when you log on to your computer in the morning? That is how I feel about this comic strip, For Better or for Worse by Lynn Johnston. You can find the official website here.

Let me introduce you to the Patterson family: the parent's John and Elly, and their children Mike, Elizabeth, and April. During the passing of the years, Mike married childhood friend Deanna, and they had a daughter and son of their own, Meredith and Robin. Just this last week, daughter Elizabeth married high school sweetheart Anthony. I have followed this strip for 28 years. I feel like my children grew up with the Patterson children, and I feel like I have known them personally.

As of September 1, the strip as we have known it comes to an end and starts in a new direction. The strip will no longer progress the characters and they won't continue the story. Creator Lynn Johnston is going into semi retirement and is taking the comic strip back to the beginning, redrawing her strip from the very start, and adding new things every now and then.
Even though the comic strip won't completely go away, it will never be the same, and I am mourning the passing of the story as I've known it.

I'll never forget this strip below which I saw in the Sunday paper when I was pregnant with my daughter. I even clipped it out and probably have it in a box somewhere. I thought it was so funny, and could imagine my daughter's father doing something like this! They showed a repeat of it a few months ago and I squealed with delight! Please click to enlarge the comics.
Over the years I saw the Patterson children grow. For many years it was just Michael and Elizabeth, then by surprise, along came April. April was born at home during an April snowstorm. It was a pretty dramatic story line!

Perhaps my favorite storyline was about the family dog Farley and his dramatic rescue of little April when she fell into a creek.

There's Farley above, happy and full of life. The week that this series unfolded, I couldn't think of anything else and would wait by the door for the paper and rip it open to see if April was okay.

I breathed such a sigh of relief when dear old Farley rescued her from the water, and with the help of John and Elly, were both pulled safely from the creek.
Once on land though, Farley didn't fare so well and he died. I bawled and bawled. To follow the series, you can check it out here.

There were other memorable series such as when Michael's friend Lawrence came out of the closet. She was dropped from several papers during this time, but I applauded her for bringing this issue out into the open. I hope it opened the eyes of people. She also had series on how Mike and Deanna got together. Some of my favorites were when Elizabeth went to teach in an Ojibway village in northern Ontario called Mtigwaki. This was a village that Lynn Johnston went to great detail to portray. Another memorable subject from the series was April's friendship with a special needs girl at her school named Shannon. Whatever she portrayed in her comic strip, Ms. Johnston made you feel great empathy and like these were people you could know personally. You can read some of her most popular series on the website under the Explore More section.

This past week, Elizabeth married her high school sweetheart Anthony. After many years apart, they maintained their friendship through Elizabeth's boyfriends, and Antony's unfortunate marriage and divorce, and finally found love again with each other.

However, Elizabeth's grandfather had a heart attack shortly before the wedding, and immediately after leaving the church, the newly married couple went to visit Grandpa Jim and his wife Iris at the hospital. It was a very touching end to the story. I bawled like a baby.
There is one more post that will be in today's paper that will wrap up the storyline and tell a little bit about the future, although sadly, we won't get to see it play out. I would really have liked that. You can see it today here. After I read it, I had to cry a little more.

Although the series isn't really ending, it won't progress, and that makes me a little bit sad. I feel like I am losing some old friends. I just want to thank Lynn Johnson for sharing them with me for the last 28 years! Well done, Lynn!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pink Saturday #6, Pink Candles

Welcome to this week's Pink Saturday. Bev at How Sweet the Sound is our gracious hostess. I want to thank her for taking the time to organize this every week as she sends out a multitude of emails to confirm each blog's participation, and then puts all those links together. I hope everyone will join me in thanking her for making all this pink fun possible!

On to my contribution for this week. As much as I love pink, I can't believe I don't have more pink candles. I found this darling set at a local Hallmark type store in the deep clearance rack. I got 70% off and I think I only paid about $2.50 for them. I haven't even taken them out of the packaging because I think it's 90% of the appeal! That little pink container in the middle with the ampersand holds matches. They're too pretty to light!

This next strawberry and kiwi scented candle was a gift from my sister-in-law and my brother as part of a housewarming gift. I just love the pink and green stripes!

This little stack of candles is from Diana Lynn of Candles from the Heart, and I won the "boobie prize" in her last giveaway, but I feel like I won the grand prize because the scent of these candles is to die for! I don't even take them out of the baggie, but the smell just fills my bedroom. So heavenly! There were more candles in the prize package, but these are the pink ones.

I received a new award tonight from Justine at Justine's Froggy Bloggy and I am so honored to get this award. She has one of the funniest blogs out there. Just for an example, the first blog post of hers that I left a comment on was a blog about how good it feels to take your bra off at the end of the day! So funny. I introduced myself by telling her that as a woman who is very generously blessed in that area, as I get older, the thing I like best about taking my bra off is that it pulls the wrinkles down out of my face. Heh. Anyhow, Tiney is bold and brassy, tells it like it is, and has one of the biggest hearts out there. I am proud to be one of her friends!

I have an award to give too, a pink award! I talked about it in an earlier post. I'm posting it again for more exposure. It isn't your usual award like a friendship award, but I feel so strongly about woman being able to get their yearly tests, even if they don't have insurance and can't afford their pap tests and mammograms. By simply clicking on the very top graphic on the right sidebar, you can get to a site where you click once more, and it gives money (no, not yours) so that someone can get a free mammogram. I know, I am like a broken record here, but it is the easiest and coolest thing to do to possibly save someone's mother, sister or friend's life. If you have clicked, whether on my blog or somewhere else, please take the award below as my thanks to you.

By the way, I got my mammogram results back this week and everything is A-Ok. Whew! That's so very good to know!

Here's to all things pink!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fashion Show Friday!

Deb at Deb's Country Kisses is hosting a fashion show! How fun!
I decided to show off some of my dressy outfits. I feel a little silly posting so many pictures of myself, but I thought that being in a fashion show, even just online, would be fun! My hair wasn't doing what it was supposed to tonight, and you can witness the decline.

This first item is a red brocade jacket that I bought at CJ Banks last spring for only $20 on sale! I love it! I'm wearing a silky black shell in black that I also bought at the same store for about $12.
What I really like about this jacket is that it's reversible! I have a corner of the inside turned out so you can see.
I got this jacket on eBay. It's not a very good picture, so it's hard to see the little rhinestone pattern in the lapel. I think this would be fun for a dressy occasion or out on a date. Jakey, aka Sir Poops-a-Lot had to get into the picture!
Oh boy, here is where my hair really starts to go south. I really really need a perm and a cut. Without one, my hair is stick straight. It's flat on the top and curly on the sides, and I am sporting a Bozo styled do. About the outfit, this is an outfit that I bought on eBay to wear on an actual date. I wore the same jeans, which hug my butt, and these black high heeled sandals. Did my date like my outfit? Oh yes, oh yes! I'm such a little hussy.
Here is a better picture (with better hair) of the same outfit, but with the wrong jeans. The baby-doll top with sequins is from The Avenue, and the jacket is from Dress Barn. I think I paid a total of about $25 for the clothes, not counting shipping and handling.
Still channeling Bozo with the hair here, and I'm sporting an outfit I wore to my best friend's wedding. The black dress is from Jody Myles at Myles Ahead, a designer for plus size women. The jacket is from Spencer Alexis. I found it on eBay too. They have the most beautiful clothes!
Here is a Spencer Alexis dress, also found on eBay. I always thought it would be a great dress to get married if that would ever happen again. Ha! Oops, forgot to change out of the black bra.
Did I ever tell you that I have actually participated in a real fashion show? I have attended an annual event called Big As Texas, a get-together for plus size women, as often as I can in the last few years. Here I am modeling for Jody Myles in her beautiful clothes.
And this is another of Jody's outfits in snakeskin. I soooo badly wanted this outfit, but the clothes are pricey. She gave me an awesome discount on the black dress though.
Modeling in real life was so much fun! I had a blast. The dressing room accomodations were severely lacking, but that's a whole other blog post.

Just wanted to add a little something here. I am obviously a big woman, and I am very okay with that. I have never let my size keep me from buying anything that I didn't love, and I have never waited to get something pretty until I lost some weight. I'm a firm believer that if you don't love yourself exactly as you are, that you won't love yourself if you become slender either. So my advice is to go out and live life fully, be seen and be gorgeous no matter what your size...

...even if you're channeling funny looking Bozo hair.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nature's Bounty: My Feel-Good Day

Look what I found this weekend at a farmer's fresh produce booth in a neighboring town last Friday! I can't believe I have never visited the booth before as it had the most luscious fruits and veggies. It made my mouth water!

Just look at that tasty corn, those new red potatoes, those incredible luscious berries, those juicy peaches!

Here is a closeup of the berries. I admit that they didn't all make it home as I snatched a couple handfuls of the raspberries on my drive home.

Here are the peaches. They look as good as they smell! I like the way they look in my blue spongeware. I collect blue spongeware by the way, and this is only a small part of my collection.

Even the bag that the peaches came in looks cute! I just loved the idea of buying fresh food locally. It's home grown and hand picked. I'm trying to be more of a locavore...someone who eats locally grown foods. It just made me feel good to buy all this fresh stuff!

It was a feel-good themed weekend, I guess. I was in that town to get a blood draw. No particular reason, it had just been a couple years since I had any blood tests done.

I had found some actual photographs of blood draws, but didn't want to gross anyone out.

The weekend before I had my lovely annual "open up and say ewwww" test. You know the one I am talking about!I could have posted a pic of the actual exam, but didn't want you all to be sitting here crossing your legs.

And then on Saturday I had that test that turns your cup...
...into a saucer!
Yep, a mammogram.

So I am feeling all good now about getting these tests done. I'm trying to eat healthier and take good care of myself, and as Martha Stewart says, "It's a good thing!"

It's a good thing I had my tests done too. The female exam showed everything okay, and I am still waiting for mammogram results. My cholesterol was excellent (132 total), but the good cholesterol was low. On the other hand, my fasting blood sugar was high, so I go in for a second test this Saturday. If I am diabetic, we may be looking at some major life changes here because I want more than anything, now that I am rapidly approaching my 50s, to be really healthy. This could mean a necessity for more exercise and weight loss.

I've never been one to back down from a challenge though. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Awards given to me, and a new award!

I have recently received a couple new awards, and I have a new one I want to present to you! The first is the smile award that I received from Christie at Somewhere in Time (you know her as yardsalequeen at RMS), and then from Justine at Justine's Froggy Bloggy. Thank you so much Christie and Justine! Please go visit their blogs as they are awesome! Christie has a great love of all things vintage and pretty, and Justine has a blog that is so real and honest and funny that it will knock your socks off! You have to read about her "sperm brows." Seriously.

The Smile Award Rules are:
1. The recipient must link back to the award's creator Meme at The Babblings of Mere.
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must choose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award (see below.)
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude. (not necessarily at all times--we are all human).
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes.
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life
7. Must love kids.

Ok, here is the deal. I cannot pick just five. You are all fabulous! So if you want the award, please take it with my blessings!

This next is a friendship award from Glenda of Tootsie Time. If you have never visited her blog, you most definitely should because she has a beautiful flower garden and very generously takes the time to share all kinds of great tips with the rest of us! To me its better than a gardening magazine! She also posts hilarious stories about her three children.

Ok, on to something new! See this graphic below? I have it in the upper right hand corner of my blog and I click on it every day. This helps give someone in need a free mammogram. It's free and you don't have to give money, but money gets donated somehow. I think it's an awesome thing.
Once you click on the graphic, it takes you to a website where you have to click on one more button to have your click count. This is something that is very near and dear to my heart because I have twice been the recipient of a free mammogram during a time when the factory where I worked closed and I was in school full time and working part time. I lost my insurance when my job went to Brazil. I have insurance now with my current job, but was so thankful that there were programs out there to help women get a free mammogram. That brings me to this award:
If you have ever come to my site and clicked on the graphic, please take this award as my thanks to you! I'm not attaching any rules to this one except that you have to click. You don't have to link back to me unless you want to. Even better would be if you added the graphic to your OWN blog so that you (and others) can click daily too! You could be helping give the gift of life to someone.

If you are in need of a free mammogram or pap test, you have to be at least 40 and fit certain income guidelines. There is also a medicaid program to pay for the cost of treatment if you test positive for cancer. Just contact your local Health Department and ask about their Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) grant.

Here's to smiles, friends, and healthy breasts!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pink Saturday #5 - Pink Nightgowns

Welcome to my latest installment of Pink Saturday! This weekly event is hosted by Bev at How Sweet the Sound. Please go to her blog to see a list of all the other ladies posting all sorts of pretty and pink things!

My contribution this week is pink nightgowns! I first started wearing pretty silky nightgowns when I was around 19 years old, and I have never gone back to old shirts, anything flannel or regular pajamas. Not only are nightgowns comfortable, they look so feminine and pretty! And face it, I know that we love flannel nighties because they're warm and soft, but if you were a man, wouldn't you love to have a beautiful nightgown on your mate? Besides, not sure how to put this gently, but I think it helps the kitty breathe. ;)

This is my favorite nightgown and I found it in K-Mart on clearance for only $7 last year!
I love the pretty pink roses.
I haven't even worn this next one yet. It's actually a slip that I ordered from Lane Bryant, but I plan to use it as a nighty. I love the lace hem, though actually it's made to snip to fit the length of your dress.

Here is a really elegant gown I bought a few years ago. It also has a matching robe. It's just right for romantic nights! I love the black lace bodice and the slit in the front. Woohoo!

Now if I only had someone to wear these for! *sigh* I haven't given up yet!

I have received some awards, and I'm so sorry that I haven't got them posted yet, but will in the next couple days!

Here's hoping your Saturday is spent in the pink!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

OMG! There are naked ladies in my yard!

OMG! I went outside tonight to check out the sunset and I found naked ladies in my yard! Imagine my shock!

No, not this kind of naked lady! Pretty statue by the way! It's not mine. If you were in England you could buy it through Scotts of Stowe. But this kind of naked ladies!
These weren't in my garden last week! They must have come up all of a sudden. A lady at work had one on her desk. I exclaimed, "oh, you have a naked lady!" She seemed offended and told me "they are also called suprise lilies."
I don't care what they are called. I think they're pretty! The idea that they are called naked ladies just makes me like them more because I am much too easily amused.
Please ignore how badly I need to weed this garden! Those green flowers are going to be a beautiful soft purple pretty soon.

Let's see what else is in the yard! This is just blooming. I'm not sure what this purple flower is. Can anyone tell me? I don't remember them from last year. I might even have pulled them thinking they were weeds before they got too big! Oops!
In the spring I kept seeing a squirrel hopping through the yard with a bunch of leaves that it had gathered from the riverbank in its mouth. I finally found what he was doing with it! Can you see the squirrel nest in the middle?
Here is a better look. It's that big brown blob in the middle. I wish I could peek in there to see if there are baby squirrels! They would be so cute!
Here is that setting sun that I originally went out to see. The grass that was so green in spring is fading now that we aren't getting much rain. You can't tell, but the sun is starting to set over the river.
Here is another view that I love, the sun setting with a view of my deck. I don't have the cushions on the chairs or all my other pretties set out in case of rain. I don't know what I am so worried about, it is dry as can be. However, it might be sunny and clear in the morning, and there may be torrential rains by noon. That's Ohio for you. There is a saying that if you don't like the weather, stick around a couple hours because it will change!
Sorry I haven't posted in the last few days. After blogging so much last week, I had a bit of blogstipation and had no idea what to post until I saw the naked ladies in the yard.

I'm still in shock. The very nerve of nudity in my garden!

Don't look Ethel! (Oh yes they call him the streak!)