Thursday, September 30, 2010

Alphabe Thursday, B is for Baths of Mud

Please join us in our journey thru the alphabet, round two....It is hostessed by Jenny Matlock at

Today is Thursday, and the letter is B......I thought about it for a while, and then I remembered the perfect B' story...

The year was 1999 and I was selling motor homes. I won a contest sponsored by Fleetwood Motor homes and it was a trip to Nascar in Sonoma....Until that point, I know nothing about Nascar and what a big deal this trip was. My best friend went with me and we decided to have a great time even though we knew nothing about racing....We got racing jackets, Watched the race from the pits and I even rode in the pace car. I found out I enjoyed the whole Nascar experience and I brought my Dad home a lot of autographs and pictures. He was thrilled.
There were six of us who won and Dawn and I were the only girls. The first few days were trial races and we weren't all that interested in them. I asked the Fleetwood Rep if we could do something "more girly" and he suggested the town of Calistoga Springs and their spa treatments. We were all for it!

Spa treatments? Oh yeah, I am all about that. So they chauffeured us down there in grand style. We were going without any appointments made. When we got there, the facialist was booked but they said they had mud bath packages available.

I had never seen or experienced a mud bath but I was ready and so was Dawn. In my head I pictured a Zen kind of room, very quiet and private....soft music playing in the background relaxing in a soothing mud bath.

The lady at the front called our names and took us to our dressing rooms and told us each to undress and leave our clothes in the room......I stood there, in shock looking at her....I said, "ok, hang on a minute here...." "Where is the fluffy white robe or a towel?" "where are we going?"

She asked me if I wanted to see the mud baths first. Well yeah, I did at that point...We walk into this institution like room with naked women running all about and these vats filled with what looks like poop.

My mouth dropped open. I looked at my friend and said, "you have got to be kidding!"
She immediately starts begging...."please, please, please, I want a mud bath, it will be fun, blah, blah, blah......

It looked like a demented scene from One flew over the Cuckoo's know like a place where they might give you a shock treatment or an ice bath with a tarp over you and restraints.

Now was that my only objection? NO! I did in no way want to parade myself naked in front of a room full of people....Modest I have always been. Finally she whined so much that I gave in letting her know that in no way or form did I care to see her butt naked nor her to see mine.

I undressed and mortified, I let a spa girl lead me to a vat where she plopped me into it up to my neck. It was hot and squishy and had texture and it smelled. She tucked my arms and hands into it and the mud held them down.

Then she slapped two cucumbers on my eyes and left me surrounded by naked crazy people buried in mud.

I laid there and tried to find my happy place. I never found it. I was too hot, and my nose itched. I couldnt see, so I said quietly, " I need to scratch my nose..." no one answered. I yelled it a little louder....No answer....Finally I had enough and yelled full volume, "I am naked, buried in a cow pie that stinks, I am blinded by cucumbers and I want out of this now!!!!"

A very quiet voice by my head said, "Ok let's hose you off..." HOSE ME OFF! NAKED....Sure enough she led me to a shower room and washed my butt crack free of mud with a hose....I was in a nightmare. Then she sent me to a steam room with a hand towel to wipe my face. I was in a steam room full of naked hoo hoos trying to cover my happy places with a hand towel.

I ran right back out, hand towel in place and let them know that I had reached my limit. Finally they wrapped me in a white robe and took me to a quiet place. Because of my hysteria, or because that was normal, I dont know...I missed out on the herbal mineral bath in the community naked room. I was relieved.

My friend, on the otherhand thought it was just amazing and went on and on about how we were glowing and refreshed. That night the winners of the trip and the sponsors ( all men) got together at a Napa Valley Winery and had a very fancy dinner. My good friend Dawn proceeded to give a play by play of my mud bath antics....It is funny now, but not then. I wanted to strangle her little neck.

(I won a trip to Hawaii the next year and I didnt take her.....)

I would never do it again in a million years, but I can say I did and survived the ordeal. Anyone been to a mud bath?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

mice, catnip and stuff......

I have now been working for a month and the feet are doing better...I have lost two more pounds and weigh in again tomorrow for the third week. Don took a picture of me bending over picking apples, a nice butt shot, (leave it to a man) and I see where I can lose a few more pounds. I will spare you the picture however.
We went in to Best Buy a couple of weeks ago and I got a new phone. An LG Android...I am just now figuring out how to use the darn thing. There was quite a crowd around the phone counter when I announced that I needed a phone with the internet "so I had something to do at work." Everyone got a big laugh at that one. Furniture sales is either busy or it is not and what a great way to keep up with blogs. If you get a comment on your blog and there are spelling errors, I am at work on the phone......pathetic I know. I must have called thirty people by accident before I figured out how to lock it. So the phone thing is all good.
I actually have been making a few things upstairs. Tonight I even made something quilted, but I cant say yet, cause it is a surprise. It felt awesome. Oh how I miss sewing........
The first little package I put together was for Elizabeth who won my little giveaway...I made her a lavender filled heart with lavender from my garden. The theme was violet so I made it in purples.

I also used catnip from our garden that I had dried and made a toy for her best friend Bluebeard. I was worried that it wasn't strong enough so I put it on the floor and Joe Bobbins pounced on it. It was in his mouth and he was running for the attic to store it like the little magpie he is. I caught him by the tail. I think the catnip will be a hit. It is funny, because I didn't smell it at all....I put in some fancy tea cookies and Lavender Earl Grey because Elizabeth always participates in Teatime Tuesday....The cookies looked really good, especially for someone who loves cookies and is not able to eat know, because my butt is too big.

I also sent out a package to my friend Gin, who was my partner for the Enchanted Ornament swap. This month the theme was mice. I got some fimo clay which I had never used and made these little mice ornaments. I made a cheese ornament too. I really liked using the fimo and it bakes up hard. I used paper clay before which you air dry and it falls apart.

These mice are way cuter than a mouse who might crawl in a hole behind the dishwasher and the cupboards and have little baby mice. This might have been a traumatic event for someone I know......
Gin sent me the cutest chrocheted mouse for my pink of course... Look at this fun package!

Today it was 91 outside....I had cutback my flower planters thinking I might be lucky enough to get a second bloom before the cold...They have gone banannas......I am loving it and it is only fair since we had snow after Mothers Day!

We also took five gallon buckets and went in the garden to HARVEST! I love that word....I was THANKFUL too...For a first year garden, it was amazing...We pulled carrots and beets and dug potatoes. I cant wait to make purple mashed potatoes. I just wish my little Andrew was here to enjoy his garden treasures. He loved the garden. I still have zucchini, green beans, peppers and tomatoes going...The only thing that did nothing is the pumpkins...I planted them from seeds and they are so behind. I may purchase a pumpkin plant next year to give it a head start.

I have baked a ton of zucchini fact, I am going to bake a couple of loaves now so I better get off this computer...Happy Fall......

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Alphabe Thursday, Aging gracefully

Welcome to a whole new round of Alphabe Thursday hostessed by Jenny at
It is just starting, so feel free to join in and be inspired to write about a new letter of the alphabet every week.

This weeks letter is A and my topic is Aging Gracefully....Ok, lets get down to business here....I don't know if anything is graceful about the way I am aging. What does it mean? Is it acceptance? Is it compliance? Does it mean that I should put away my bikini underwear and accept that from now on I will only wear granny panties?

Should I cut my hair because I am past the age where long hair is flattering? Should I shop in the "set" department of Macy's and try to dress my age?

I think not....With all sincerity I promise you there will be no "too short" cut offs and blue eyeshadow and I still will comport myself with some sense of style.

I will embrace my wrinkles, especially the ones from smiling. I have earned them, they are mine, uniquely me. I still will play hide and seek with the kids outside on a summer night and run to touch the tree and be free for all I am worth. I will make snow angels and sled down a hill with the best of them, broken hips and all that be darned.

I have to age, I am aging, but why do I have to do it gracefully....Can I just go down in a blaze of fire if I choose to? Forget the pearls and white hair, I want to be a real character. If the spirit moves me, I want to sing full volume in a crowded place. I want to wear orange and lots of jewelry. I want to feel like I did when I was a kid, that anything is possible and an adventure is just around the corner..Because in my heart, I really think it is and I am going to find it. Gracefully? I have never been graceful and I dont intend to start now.........

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yep, I'm still here......

This last week I have contemplated quitting this blog...It is hard to squeeze in and I miss visiting everybody and feel bad when I don't get to you. You all have become a part of my life. There are times when it would be easier not to blog, but I have decided that I cant give it up...It has become part of who I am, a blogger with friends around the world. Who knew that when I started this in 2007, that it would be such a part of my life? It is amazing really. So here I am still...tired but here.
On Sunday I had the day off and we worked in the yard for a garden is still going gangbusters...We decided to prune back a tree so the front rose bed got a little more sun...I clipped a small branch and reached up to grab it and saw the sweetest thing! A tiny little hummingbird nest....It is hard to tell from this picture, but I can hardly fit the tip of my finger in it. I am glad we didn't cut back the branches any sooner. I love hummingbirds!

I also lost just under five pounds last week...I ate oatmeal, fruit and veggies and chicken....I also walked on the treadmill in addition to running all over the showroom floor. I really just want to lose two pounds a week and I would be thrilled...We are having a "Biggest Loser" contest at work with vacations as the prizes and I am trying to lose thirty pounds. I don't think I have it to lose, but I will try...From what I can see at work, very few people are doing anything so I may have a chance anyway...Of course, we went to lunch at Red Lobster today and I ate a cheese biscuit....(I know it is shocking)....with butter!!!! I am hoping that eating less sugar will help with my energy level....So far, I am really missing it!
Elizabeth from won my little "Violet, your turning violet" contest.....I am sending her a little package is a teaser Elizabeth....

Notice the cute little tag "handmade by Melinda"? My friend Rianne made them for me! She had previously made me some really pretty cards to send with swaps...I am crazy about these tags...I think they add a really cute touch to my stuff....

I have been doing little bits of things upstairs...I finished a leftover quilt block for Joanne from and am mailing it to her tomorrow...I didnt like it until I embellished it up a bit...She is hanging quilt blocks from friends on a wall in her quilting room. I think it is a great idea!

I have more goodies to show, but right now it is bedtime....besides, you would know how spoiled I really am by my friends, so I will save it for next time!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

the most beautiful pillow in the world!

And it is mine, all mine.....My friend Laurie from made it for me....I saw that she had made Colleen, the Amazing Mrs. B a crazy quilt pillow and I asked her if she would trade me one for a pet portrait of her Bobby dog. We both had a lot of fun and mailed each other our surprises at the same time. She asked me about a theme and colors and I told her to just make what she liked and I would love it.... A few days ago I got this stunning beauty of a pillow in the mail......

She used our wedding photo to build around! Isnt it just wonderful? The stitching is amazing and it is the best keepsake ever...I cried when I saw it. You have to click on the picture so you can see all the detail. This is a pillow that I will treasure forever...I am half tempted to wrap it up and put it away for safe keeping, but I think I will show it off for a while first.
I sewed for a little bit felt good. I am making a little something for my violet" giveaway....I also hemmed a pair of tiny little jeans for Ruth Anne....I caught her out in the yard doing a little rock climbing...She also is wearing a new hair do....(wig)...and the jeans and blouse I made for her.

Have a great day everyone.....

Friday, September 10, 2010

Published again and Surprised!

Jeanne, a fellow blogger sent me a second email and let me know that C&T Publishing put an art quilt of mine on their blog again....Wow, I am honored....I sent it in a long time ago for a challenge using Lutrador and never heard a word and now there it is...Both Jeanne and I are wondering if a book deal is So here is the link if you would like to see it.

It is a nice validation and I sure appreciate it...

I also appreciate a good surprise and boy, did I get one in the mail....My friend Sherry ( sent me a package...No reason, other than friendship, and isn't that the best reason of all? This girl can make anything, yet she is super humble about it...She made me the cutest crocheted pillow and dishcloths for the cowgirl trailer we redid....She also made a pocket organizer using denim and cowboy fabric. I am going to use it on the closet door to store toiletries....Here are a couple of pictures.

Thank you so much Sherry, not just for the sweet surprises but for your friendship...I am lucky to have it.....

Work is getting easier and I think I am starting to manage my time a little better too....I am now in bed by midnight instead of in the morning...At work we are having a ten week "Biggest Loser" contest...I am giving it one heck of a try...I certainly walk enough in a day to lose a few pounds...Yesterday I had a day off and the husband and I worked in the yard and garden for half the day...It was really fun and makes me appreciate how much I love to be home!

I also got some shoes in the mail that I ordered for Ruth Anne, Olivia's Blythe doll....They even make doc Martins....can you believe it? Ok, I admit it is kinda my doll too but don't tell anyone...but look at these shoes? What former Barbie lover wouldn't have a swoon over these babies?

I appreciate a good pair of shoes, I really do!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Violet bit of trivia contest......

It is Rainbow Summer school today and the last color of the rainbow is Violet....I love Violet, It is right up there with pink! There are so many pretty shades, from deep purples to lavender. Go check out all the other entries at jennymatlock.blogspot. com

Here is my little bit of movie trivia. Name the movie this quote is from and from the right answers, I will have a little drawing...I think I will make something pretty and purple for a prize and it will also include chocolate. Because chocolate goes with everything....Here is the quote:

"Violet, you're turning Violet!"

Happy Rainbow day and good luck!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I am sad to see summer go....

Even though the weather is still nice, my garden is drooping a little and at night, I can feel a chill in the air. Oh how I love the Fall though....It always makes me sad that summer whips right by while my head is turned. How does that happen? I just know it does and that I will miss it.
Labor Day was the retail day from hell....I worked over twelve hours on my feet and did a lot of running..The store I work in is ginormous so I am thinking maybe I shed a few pounds. Working does make it hard for me to stay up on the whole computer thing but I still am making an effort....I had to laugh....My friend Laurie sent me a message saying I hadnt been online for a while and I needed to visit her blog....I headed on over and this is what I found.....(click on link)

Laurie is helping me in my quest for chickens....Don and I both had a good laugh....
Laurie and I also did a personal trade and we are both really excited about it...She made me a crazy quilt pillow that I havent seen yet and I made her a framed pet portrait of her dog Bobby....The frame is the first one that Don and I made and I think it looks really cool with the pet quilt underneath.....
So here is the handsome Bobby......

And here he is all portraited and framed....(I know portraited isnt a word, really I do.)

Laurie is a very kind hearted animal lover and I was excited to do this for her....I hope she and Bobby both get a kick out of it!
I also got my Alice in Wonderland package. Regina was my secret partner and she really spoiled me....She made me a Queen of hearts apron without a pattern and fitted it just for my measurements...It is a beautiful apron.....

She sent along some of the best goodies gotta click on the picture so you can give it a good ogle.....This swap was really, really fun.....

Ruth Anne, my new Blythe doll also wanted to model her new tights and dress that I made here she is in all her glory....

This is the first dress I made and it took me about four makes me laugh cause now I can do one in about 15 minutes....I think this second view shows the ladybug hiding in her pocket....

Look at her little shoes! I just screamed when I saw them. Liv has been following along with her wardrobe progress on facebook....she is pretty excited.....That's about it for tonight....Thanks for hanging with me thru this whole getting used to work thing.........

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rainbow Indigo

It is Thursday Summer School again hostessed by the incredible Jenny. ( This weeks color of the rainbow is Indigo....The shade of the darkest night and Levi 501's. Did I ever mention that I was a weird child? Well, I was...a bookworm with a very active imagination. It was the 70's and I loved to read survival type books like "My side of the mountain." I knew I could live off the land if the need arose. I was schooled and ready. Remember Euell Gibbons from the Grape Nut commercials? By gosh, if he could eat a pine tree then so could I. So what if it tasted like a pine tree, it was good for you...

So there I was the ten year old naturalist...Green before my time. Around the time I got my first pair of 501's, I read something about dyeing with indigo. I had never seen an indigo plant but being my creative self I decided this dyeing thing would be a snap....My friend and I spent several days gathering Salal berries...They are indigo, (well blue really) and they have a lot of seeds and grow everywhere in Oregon. The only reason we were able to stockpile so many was because they aren't the greatest berries to eat.

Of course, I did eat a few just so I knew what they tasted like in case I had to survive or something....
We got some old t shirts and a white ceramic bowl and a bucket...We took off our shoes and stomped the grapes, I mean berries....We made an unbelievable mess. It was hard, satisfying work and the only thing we dyed was ourselves, our clothes and my moms favorite formerly white ceramic bowl.

All I had to show for it was a sore bottom and another adventure. Like all my adventures, it was worth it.

I will tell you all about dandelion tea and the time I almost drowned myself trying to get cat tail tubers to roast another time.......