Saturday, March 31, 2012

Snow! (really?)

What a weird season it's been.  For the most part, it's as though winter never really showed up. Until the last couple of weeks.  We had snow last week and snow today.  It was beautiful.  Fluffy flakes that built up and made everything white and pretty.  

I love the sound that walking on fresh snow makes.  It's a squishy sound.  And, everything seems so quiet and muffled.  Snow.  On the last day of March.  Crazy!  

It bent over the daffodils.  Bummer.  But they weren't all in bloom, so we will still have plenty of them left for Easter.  

It snows so rarely here.  I'm excited when it happens.  But, at this point, I'm tired of being cold.  I long to sit on my deck and enjoy sunshine.  I'm ready for spring and even more ready for summer.  Bring on the sunshine!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Girl Day!

I got a gift for my birthday and I decided to treat myself to a pedicure.  But, only if my dear daughter would go with me.  We did this for her birthday too!  Any excuse to spend time with her is good with me!  She had a doctors appointment and we met right after.  

At her doctor's appointment they got another picture of the baby.  Wow.  In my day (I can't believe that I talk like this!)....we didn't even know for sure that we were pregnant at this early stage.  I don't even remember having home pregnancy tests.  But, now, at only 9 weeks, they have a picture of the baby and my son in law even video taped it on his cell phone.  Amazing!  They are so excited. Beyond excited!  

He dropped her off at the salon and she was ALL mine!  We relaxed and talked and just enjoyed each others company.  It seems like we are always busy and finding time to just visit is rare these days. 

I love getting a pedicure.  The place that we go is really pretty and nice.   It has a spa like feeling.

I have to share this funny video about getting a manicure....prepare to laugh!

After our mini spa session, we did another favorite activity.  We went thrift store shopping!  Or as I prefer to call it "treasure hunting".  We have four places that are our favorites.  At the last one, we both found a few things and when we paid they undercharged us.  My daughter tried to point this out (isn't she honest!), and we were informed that it was HALF price day.  What  a great ending to a fun day.  I drove her home to her new mansion (did I tell you about that?).  That's what I call her new house.  It's huge and oh so nice.  Once they are settled I'll take some pictures and share them with you.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm not an artist

My husband can draw anything.  I'm always amazed by this talent.  My kids can all draw also.  Hubby's family are all artists.  But, not me.  I always say that I can't even draw stick people.  Well, that has changed.  Lately I've been drawing a LOT of stick people.  

Last week at my birthday party, we were all sitting around chatting.  One of my kids started talking about this fun game on the Iphone.  Before long, five of us had our Iphones out and were playing this game with each other.  Imagine all of us sitting in my living room glued to our phones and laughing!  That is the modern world folks!  

The object of the game, Drawsomething, is to draw something and the other person guesses what it is.  It can be pretty hilarious!  You can play with people you know or strangers.  

My daughter posted this drawing she made on her Facebook page:

It's a butcher.  I asked her why she would murder a bunny.  She said it was because she couldn't draw a cow.  Lol.  

My son could not get over this drawing.  It was one of my first ones.  I ask you, how does one "draw" a "fart"?  Once you get the word assigned, you have to follow through.  I kept telling him that "I" thought it was obvious!

Once you get going, it's really fun. My son in law drew this one:

Did you guess "sky"?  

I drew this one for him:

Golf cart.  Obvious...right?

I was on the phone with my son and I couldn't figure one out (with a stranger).  He told me to text it to him.  He had to instruct me (of course), to take a picture of it and how to text it.  I learned two new things there! Alas, he could not guess either.  

Yeah.  I could not figure this out.  First of all, where is the "drawing".  We all think words are a last resort (but I would rather use the words than lose the points).  The answer ended up being "glee". 

We are drawing with only our finger.  More points gets you more colors.  What did we all do before having this technology?  Is it a waste of time?  Maybe, but, for me, I love that little connection when one of my kids plays a game with me.  They are so busy with their lives, it just feels nice to know that in that moment....we were connected.  

And, it's made me draw.  I am no better now than I was when I started, but I have learned a little bit more about getting my point across without words.  Yesterday I was explaining a project that I need hubby to help me with.  He asked if I could draw in on a piece of paper.  In the past, this would have caused me trepidation.  Not now, I just whipped out the paper and proceeded to draw it out.  It's not art.  But, he knew what I wanted.  Thank you Draw Something....for making me a reluctant (and not very good) artist. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Day

Today was a happy day.  For no reason in particular.  I felt like I was whining a couple of days ago.  So I wanted to share with you how great I feel today.  I have gotten myself back on track with eating healthy food and that is the only change I made.  What a difference a couple of days can make.  

Today I feel inspired and happy.  I have so many creative ideas swirling around in my head.  I'm amazed that food can take all that away.  Last week, I wasn't having creative exciting thoughts.  Today, I am back to having so many inspired ideas that I am writing them down in my notebook.  This is how life is supposed to be.  

For a while I have been thinking about 3 decorating ideas for my home office that I have been remodeling, and today, I found the materials that I need for all three of them.  I'm excited to get to work on them and I will share as soon as I have some results. 

Getting back on track was really easy actually.  For only the past two days, I have had two Isagenix shakes and one regular meal.  For snacks, I had a slim cake (an Isagenix fiber cookie....mmm yummy) and an apple with a little peanut butter.  

After last week, where I had pizza, cake, ice cream, chips, wine and more (it was my birthday after all).  Ugh.  Oh, and Starbucks.  So, simply giving those things up have brought me back to happy.  It's totally worth it.  I'm going to go back to one cheat day a week, where I can eat whatever I want (after 4pm).  If you want to buddy with me with healthy eating, send me an email!  

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Online Neighborhood

It's raining.  again.  We really need it, we've hardly even had a winter at all. When it's raining, I just want to stay inside where it's warm and dry.  And, I can do that.  I have the luxury of working from home.  I've got my morning cuppa (not's a shake), and my internet.  What more do I need?

I am so happy that I do not have to get up and go to an office.  But, I am a people person, and there is no one here but hubby (who also works from home).  My "watercooler" is the internet.  When you work in an office, you can talk to your co-workers.  When you work from home, you can go on Facebook and see what everyone is up to. 

Can you really make friends on line?  I say YES!  In fact, one of my dearest friends found me through my blog, and now we are in business together.  How fun is that?   

I think of the internet as my neighborhood.  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogging, I enjoy interacting with people in all of these areas!  I like reading about their lives and what they like and don't like.  The internet is a wonderful place indeed.  My daughter even met her wonderful husband on the internet (Match).  

If you are new to Lulus Cottage, please feel free to look around.  And, I would love it if you would leave a comment, I would like to come visit you too!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

That damn wagon!

I have fallen off the wagon....again What is it about that wagon that makes it so slippery?  I'm talking about food.  I have been eating all the wrong foods for a few weeks, and it's taking it's toll.  Am I addicted to food?  It's possible. I read a study (click here to read it ) that measured the brain activity and the result is that food addiction has brain reactions that they see in drug addicts.  Uh oh.  

I have to say that the more unhealthy food I eat... THE MORE I WANT!   And, the more I eat, the more I feel my control and will power slipping away.  
I've even had some (gasp) fast food!  I've had pizza, chips, cookies, cake, wine, fried foods, goodies (I'm getting hungry again!).
Here is what I have noticed over the past few weeks.  It's way more than those pounds that have shown up or that my clothes feel tight......

*The more I eat the hungrier I get.  Right now, I'm hungry ALL the time. Even when I'm full.  
*The more I eat (unhealthy) the more susceptible I am to suggestion, tv commercials, invites to eat out etc.
*I have lost my "mojo", I don't have the energy I'm used to, and I don't even care.
*I don't have my "happy".  I miss feeling really happy and excited about life.  Now that I am living off the wagon, I don't have that anymore.
*My sleep is not as restful anymore.  I wake up tired.
*My food doesn't taste good.  But, that doesn't stop me from eating it! 

The one saving grace I have kept up with having my protein shake (Isagenix) every morning.  I can't imagine where I would be without it. 

NEWSFLASH!  As I was typing this, hubby came in and invited me to brunch.  I felt like saying yes.  But, I just can't do it anymore.  I need to get back to feeling good.  So, NO it is.  He looked disappointed, but we both need to get back on track.  Life is so much better when we feel good.

I think about how many people never eat healthy.  Somebody is eating all that fast food.  And, people in general, are getting heavier and heavier (and sicker and sicker)...(and tired-er and tired-er).  I wonder if they even know what it is to really feel good.  To feel excited about life.  To have energy and happiness.  I'm sad to think that they are missing these feelings and don't even know it.  This is way more than what size a person is or how much they weigh.  It's about having a zest for life and preventing illnessBeing healthy.

I'm lucky to have tasted that good life and I know that it's worth the discipline that someone like me has to employ to get there.  My daughter teased me and said I need to go to "rehab".  I know that there are many people who can't relate to what I'm saying.  Food has no hold on them.  But, it does on me.  Always has.  

So, now that I told hubby "no" to eating out,  I feel like I've taken that first step back to normal.  Plus, I told YOU about it, so that should keep me honest, right?  Thankfully, I have the Nutritional Cleansing Program that is Isagenix at my fingertips and I can bounce back quickly.  It's such a blessing.  I can remember when I didn't have this healthy simple solution to fall back on.  Those feelings of frustration are still fresh in my memory even now 8 years later (read about it here).  So, Isagenix to the rescue!  Whew.   Isagenix is my wagon and I want back on!

P.S.   Two (Isalean) shakes today and 30 minutes on the treadmill....and I'm feeling sooo much better!  Ah.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Being a Grandma

Today is the last day of "Grammy Camp" and on both sides there is a mixture of "Boo Hoo" and "YAY".  It was just the right amount of time.  Any longer and they would be very homesick.

Being a Grandma is....lots of things.  I was going to say hard.  I kind of envy those women that seem so natural at being a Grandma (and Mom).  They seem to have all the patience in the world.  I wasn't born with the Grandma (Mom) gene.  I'm sure of it.  I have literally zero patience.  I think back to all those years as a Mom and all the times that I completely lost my cool.  I'm much more in control as a Grandma.  I'm nice (or at least I try!)  But, for me being nice is soooo much work.  

I'm used to my quiet little life.  Just having people around 24/7 is an adjustment.  When they are my own's exhausting!  As they get older, it gets much easier.  But, I feel the need to keep them totally occupied.  I worry about making memories and wonder if they are having fun.  Is washing the dog fun?  Or a chore?  After seeing them dress him up, I'm thinking it was a good call.  

As for the sewing project for my oldest Granddaughter, I hope that I was able to show her something useful.  I think I sort of took the project over and she just ended up watching me make her dress.  It turned out great and she was super happy about it.  But, I imagined having her do a lot more of it herself.  There was that lack of patience again.  Sigh.

It's hard to find the balance between doing too much and not doing enough.  In the end, it just is what it is I suppose.  Still, what would it be like to be a "natural" grandma?  Someone with endless patience and love and caring?

I remember when my kids were little and my son was being a real challenge (putting it nicely) at about the age of 10.  I was telling my good friend that I didn't think I was a good Mother.  She looked at me and wisely said that a bad Mother wouldn't even wonder about it.  With that said, maybe I'm not so bad at being a Grandma after all.  They seem to think I'm pretty wonderful.   Hope I can continue to keep them fooled!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grammy Camp!

A while back, when my granddaughters were visiting, they said that lots of their friends got to go to "camp".  They told me that they would rather come to my house, that it is "Grammy Camp"!  I love that!!  Grammy Camp it is!

At Lulus Cottage, it's just me and hubby.  I don't have a guest room, per say.  But, I do have my "bonus room" with a cute day bed.  And, that's where the girls sleep.  After moving my office down there and recently moving it's a wreck!  So, we had to clean.  And, clean.  And, clean. (get the picture?).  The GOOD thing is that it's all CLEAN and ready for them!

To get them involves long drive to meet my son half way, about four hours for each of us.  The cool part of the drive is Clear Lake.  It's a very pretty part of the drive.  

This particular visit is Sewing Camp!  My oldest Granddaughter, asked her friends on Facebook a while back if anyone knew of a place in their town that had sewing lessons.  I wrote on her FB page that she should come HERE and learn to sew!  

On the way home we stopped by Joanns and picked up the supplies.   I will post our lessons here on Lulus Cottage as we go with all my best beginner sewing tips.  

While we were at Joanns, I texted my son and he surprised the girls by dropping by.  

After shopping...more driving.  Ugh.  Such a long drive and I was soooo tired.  But, luckily the girls kept me awake with constant chatter.  They even taught me a new song!  And, we saw a beautiful rainbow.  

We got home, relaxed and I tuck tuck tucked them in!  

Today we are getting ready to sew.  Just a few days ago, we were practically snowed in, but now it's melting fast.  

They love Pookie.  And, he loves all the attention.  

Fun Times at Grammy's house. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

We Have a WINNER!

Today is my Birthday!  Woo Hoo!  And, to celebrate I am drawing a winner for my giveaway prize, this beautiful (if I may say so myself) necklace and earring set that I made.  I made a duplicate for myself and it has become my absolute favorite!  I get lots of compliments.  

I took all the entries, some people had one entry and some people had three.  Because of that I could not use a random number generator.  So I wrote each entry on a piece of paper.

Then I folded them and put them in a bowl.  

To make sure that everything was aboveboard, I had hubby draw the winner (on video!)

The winner is....drum roll please....


Congratulations Catie.  Thank you to everyone who entered.  That was fun.  I'm already planning my next giveaway, so check back!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

We had a huge storm this weekend!  At our house we get snow every winter, but not a lot, so it's still an occasion.  It was so pretty to wake up to white all around.  I can always tell it has snowed first thing because it's so quiet. gets even quieter when the electricity goes off.  Argh. 

This is me, standing on my deck out front.  We decided to go to town and have breakfast....mmmm mmm....and to get warm!

After breakfast, we took a drive up the mountains to enjoy the snow.  I wanted to go by my daughter's new house, but she said we would be stuck for sure, so we just drove. 

Here I am again...we pulled over and took a picture.  Hubby is always taking pictures, but he is never IN  the picture.  I wish I had just taken my camera and snapped one of the two of us.  Hindsight.  

We stopped for gas at STP.  We have stopped here a billion times, and believe it or not, I never noticed this tree growing right through the building.  Now, that's country living!

I loved our snow day.  We have really missed winter this year.  It's almost spring, so it was good to get a taste of REAL winter!  Luckily, when we got home the power was back on.  Ah.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the Farrell House!  Yep, hubby is IrishMe?  I'm German.  In America we are always saying stuff like that.  But, what does it mean?  Is my hubby really Irish?  What we mean when we say that is that somewhere in our family history there was at least one person who was Irish, German, Italian, etc.  I think if hubby was in Ireland right now, they would say that he is NOT Irish.  He is American.

Here is the real Irishman in his family. His Grandpa Farrell (hubby doesn't even know his first name) came from Ireland.  That's my hubby in the middle.

The family lore is that he took off the "O" in O'Farrell when he came here.  I have heard a few fun stories about his accent.  But, he died young enough for my hubby to have pretty vague memories of him.

Am I German?  Well, my Grandpa was the first person born in America in his family that came from Germany.  And, I had a German last name until I married. So, I have always said "I'm German".  But, I know next to nothing about the culture and history of these people who came here to America so long ago.

I guess that is all part of living in the Melting Pot of the world.  We are all American.  

But, TODAY.....we are ALL Irish.

Or pretending to be.

So. What fun and special thing are you doing on this holiday?  It's raining here, which has put a damper on some really fun local happenings.  Darn.  

As for me, I have a gig with my band tonight.  It's been a while and I'm really looking forward to it!  I will be posting an update on my band blog about it in next next couple of days.  Now, I have to I can figure out what to wear!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Princess Phone

I want one of these!!  

This one sold for only $12!

When I was a little girl, my mom had a Princess phone beside her bed.  It was adorable.  I'm pretty sure hers was blue.  

And, she had it on a nifty little stand just like this one. 

Back then, so many people had the exact same phone.  And, the exact same stand.  

Today there are so many more choices.  

With all the modern technology and the great phones we have these days, why aren't they cuter?
We all choose different decor themes, I like cottage and shabby, my daughter likes bohemian and modern.  But, our phone are almost the same.  What?  How does that work? Why aren't there more decorative phones available?  When you talked on a Princess phone you felt like a princess.  

This is my current phone. It speaks the number or name of the person who is calling, it can take a message, it can show me the phone number of who is calling or a history of who called, it has a list of commonly dialed numbers and soooo much more.  BUT..... What do you feel like on this phone?

Here are a few vintage ads for Princess phones....don't they make you want one right now?

If I do find a vintage Princess phone, will it even work?  Can you still use a rotary phone any more?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Appreciating technology...or being frustrated by it?

I'm writing this blog post from my laptop.  That should be amazing, right?  But, no.  I am frustrated because my main computer has some kind of issue with the internet and it's running really slow.   This frustrates me.  I just want it to WORK.  I told my husband that it was a slow as dial up. Who even remembers "dial up" anymore?  Remember that series of sounds that you would hear as the computer connected to the internet?  And, I remember being amazed by the internet.  In the beginning, it didn't matter that it was slow, because that was all we knew.  And, it was so cool to even have an internet connection.

Our rural phone company had DSL before some of the major cities in our area.  Wow.  That high speed connection literally changed our lives.  We used to have to drive to deliver large files that we can now just upload via the internet.  So, when things aren't working the way I want them to, why would I be frustrated?  Why wouldn't I just be grateful for all of the wonderful things that technology has made possible in my life?

If my computer doesn't work, I can switch to my laptop.  I can check my email on MY PHONE!  I can go online with my Iphone.  I have never been more in touch with the world that I am at this very moment.  And, I need that capability to find out what my Facebook friends are up to, play words with friends and other trivial things.  I need to  check the headlines to see what's happening.  Why do I NEED this?    I guess I don't.  But, I have become accustomed to it.  And, I like it.  And, I need to find out what the heck is wrong with my computer.  

This guy says it all.  It's comedian C.K. Louis on Conan O'Brien, talking about how "everything is amazing and nobody's happy".   I laugh every time I watch it.  Enjoy:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Touring this old building is like Time Travel

I interviewed a really nice person to day, Debbie Dunn.  She has taken over a very cool store in the town of Volcano in a very old historic building.  She says that the building has had a general store in it since 1852.  It has something in it from every generation.  I took a few pictures to share with you.  Let's take a time travel tour of the Country Store in Volcano California.

From the outside it really doesn't look like much.  In fact, I can tell you that I have, in fact, walked past this store many many times and never once went inside.  I was truly missing out!

Right outside there are brick wall and rock walls.

Up the street....

Down the street....

Old plank wood floors that creak delightfully as you walk on them.  Do you see the wooden bar stools?  

On the right is a restaurant.  Look at the old vintage counter.  

The eating area surrounded by rock walls and lit by a skylight above.  There are vintage pictures of the store and the town all around.  

Same room, other side.  

 This brick oven is very old and is used currently to cook on.

These iron doors were there to protect the building from fires.  A fire back in the 1800's could destroy a whole town before they could put it out.  The rock walls were great protection against fire.  The iron doors would keep the fire from entering.  Debbie told me something I did not know.  They put a layer of dirt on top of the ceiling.  If the roof burned, it would get to the dirt and stop (hopefully), once again preventing the fire from spreading. 

The place is a veritable treasure trove of cool stuff in every nook and cranny.  This vintage light up sign was stuck in the storage room behind the iron doors.  I hope that Debbie resurrects it somehow.

This the the same room looking back from the iron doorway.

I love this vintage cigarette dispenser that is still in use in this store. From this vantage point you can see the two separate areas, on the left is the store and on the right is the restaurant.

This candy rack is vintage and makes me think of my childhood.  Debbie has added the candy bowls at the top for "penny" candy.

This store has served many generations.  You can almost see any one of them shopping here.  And, it's stocked right now with current inventory.

Debbie features local Amador County wines in the store.

Cool old meat display.  She plans to get it back in use.

What's back here?  It's fenced in....must be important.

Yep.  It's the old safe.

I can remember using a vintage/antique cash register like this one.  Or something like it anyway.  Aren't you just dying to start punching those buttons to make the drawer open?

Another storage room with an eclectic mix of stuff.  And, these interesting lamps just hanging over nothing in a corner.  What's the story here?

The storeroom ladder looks pretty old and vintage. 

I imagine these spikes were meant to keep the ladder from sliding.  But, I didn't see any holes for it.  Must go back for further inspection!!

This sign was for a pool that used to be where the park is now.  It was filled in long ago.  My husband has told me about swimming in that pool when he was little.  It was fun to see the sign that is the last proof that a community pool existed.  Debbie remembers swimming in it too.  This is the perfect final resting place for this nostalgic sign of a time gone by.

This is the picture that I sent to the paper to use with my article.  I like it because it shows both stores and Debbie.  She is so passionate about the building and the history.  I see her as a caretaker of a little piece of history and she takes it seriously.  She is eager to share her knowledge about the building and what it's been used for.  I really appreciate Debbie for giving me the tour, even the secret hidey places!  I was charmed by the building and by her enthusiasm.  I definitely plan to return to hang out and enjoy the ambiance.  I'm looking forward to a burger cooked in the brick oven.