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This and That…..

I keep finding odds and end photos on my computer and I always say “I really need to get that blog post written and loaded”…..but I never get it done.  So I’ve decided to just post some pictures with some explanation.  They will be totally unrelated…but that’s OK with me!

Here goes…

Last year, during the whole cancer business, one of my 8th grade girls brought me a breast cancer awareness bracelet….

I thought it was incredibly kind.  She also bought herself one so that she could show her support.  Wow!  I have pretty amazing students!  Kylie moved to Las Vegas a few weeks after she gave me the bracelet but now every time I wear the bracelet I will think of her.  (yes, I am the pasty white arm on the left!  She was also about a foot taller than me too!)

In July, (I think), Mom, my sister and my niece got together to make jewelry.  We try to do this at least once a summer because we all love to do it!  So here’s our creations!

we always make such a mess!  LOLOL

Mr. Elroy makes me laugh….here are some of my favorite pictures of him.  Some were taken with my phone so they aren’t so good….

He often sleeps like this…and in the middle of whatever I’m working on…..and I have to check to see if he’s still breathing because he looks dead…..

2 different naps ….2 different days…..same old pose….

One night….while working at my computer desk, it got kinda hot….so I turned on the fan….and this is where he put himself….between me and the fan…and again, laid right on top of the paperwork I was working on…..crazy boy cat!

I LOVE cat paws…..these are Goldie’s….and they are HUGE!

I knitted this little sweater for Kaylore….It actually fits her perfectly and I think it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen….if I do say so myself!!!!

This summer I was invaded by tiny ants…..I planned an ant massacre…..and it worked!!!  You can find anything on the internet!!!

I helped JW with his back to school backpack by embroidering his name on it……

It came with a wallet and everything…..and I think he liked it just fine!

It’s hard to believe he’s in 1st grade already!  Wow!!!

Ok….I think I’m all caught up….Oh Wait!  I almost forgot to celebrate!

Last week I went in for my yearly mammogram (and the first one since my diagnosis and surgery) and I’m proud to announce that ALL IS GOOD!!!  No reason for extra pictures, or procedures!  I’m so very extremely thankful!

Until next time!

JoAnn

Creative Ventures

My friend Dawn and I have both decided to step off the edge start a new business….separately.  This past weekend we rented a booth at a craft fair in Stillwater, OK to show the world our talents and try to make a buck or two….

Here’s our booth…..

Dawn has become a self-published author of the most darling children’s books featuring Benjamin Boo.  Here’s her Author page….Dawn Cawthron Behren.

She takes her own photos and writes her own stories.  The books are available in full color soft-cover and Kindle e -books (and you can down load a free Kindle app for your iPhone, iPad or android phone).  They are adorable and kids LOVE them.  If you need some little kid gifts or just have a love of children’s books…you’ll want to purchase these for sure!

I have ventured into recycling thrift store sweaters….into designer pillows.  I’ve opened a 2nd Etsy store called Aunt J’s Knit Knacks.  I’ve also included some of my hand knit items.  I’ve saturated my gift market with hand knits…so I’ve decided to try and sell them!

Here are some of my favorites….

Elroy is always hanging around trying to help….but sometimes….it’s just exhausting….

or hot….(and yes….the fan is on…and he is blocking me from getting any of the cool air!)

Dawn has her books on consignment at a few stores in Stillwater and has sold a few.  I’ve sold a few pillows and hats in the Etsy store.  The craft show wasn’t as successful as we had hoped.  Discouraged?….midly…..heartbroken?….no way!

New adventures are good.  2011/2012 has been stressful and heartbreaking for both Dawn and I.  We have often commented that God never allows both of us to be in the depths of despair at the same time…..and we are thankful for that.  We are both happy for the solace that creativity brings us….and feeds our souls.

Today…

 

Today is my birthday.  The last 12 months has been a roller coaster ride that I don’t want to ride again.  I’m grateful that I’m still around to add another candle to the cake.  I see people every week that have lost their lives to the same disease.  I’m grateful for all the friends and family that helped make this past year bearable.  It’s not something I want to do alone.  I’m thankful for my friends who let me cry….while I heal emotionally.  I’m thankful to be here to teach another year and make up for what I couldn’t do last year.  I’m thankful for a loving God.  I’m thankful that I can exercise and grow physically stronger.  I’m thankful to be able to look forward….not just day to day.  I’m thankful….very thankful.

I DID IT!!!!!

 

 

Today, July 20, 2012, I completed my goal of walking/riding 500 miles!!!!!!  I really thought it would take me much longer!  I asked Steve, my trainer, what another reasonable goal would be to complete the year.  After some discussion, we decided my goal would be to keep doing 100 miles per month.  So….that’s what I’ll do.  Maybe I’ll have 1000 by the end of the year!

 

 

This week was J.W.’s first time to spend the night with me. He has come for the day several times but never overnight. So we had about 2 days to cram a LOT of stuff into!

Day 1 – By the time he got here and we went to the grocery store and had lunch….it was just too hot to do anything outside….so…..

We built things and crashed them with cars…

we played with the rocket….inside and out…

Stirred up some chocolate chip cookies dough. JW was the official dough taste tester….(we didn’t bake them until the next day)

After Supper, we went to the park and walked/explored around the “lake”

We helped this lost baby duck find his way back to his momma and siblings…

Played on the jungle gym…

(I call this his spiderman imitation!!)

When we left the park we decided we were hot and needed a snowcone to cool us off a bit….We took it home and ate it on the front porch…

Rusty joined us…and was looking rather proper!!

and finally….at 10 p.m. this happened (although this was taken the next morning….it didn’t take long for sleep to come for this busy boy!)

Day 2….

I finally had to wake him up at 7:30….so we could do as much as possible before he had to go home!

I needed to do some yard work so he helped by playing with Rusty and “fixing” my fence…

While I finished up some work in the front garden….he enjoyed the sprinkler

After He dried off….

we watched some cartoons and I baked the cookies

Then my neighbors invited us to go swimming with their grandson…So JW made a new friend!!!

JW and Jimmy

Did some twists and cannonballs…

shared our cookies…

Then we went by the house and picked up Rusty and hit the road to Kingfisher…

And this is how you know you’ve had a great time with Aunt J!!!!

Come back again J.W.!!!!!

I almost forgot that I started this post.  You won’t see one for July because I haven’t done NEARLY as much as I did in June…..does baking count?  LOL

 

Each summer, I challenge myself to do at least one project around the house per day.  It doesn’t have to be big….just has to accomplish SOMETHING.  I’m also a list person but have discovered that if I make a list of the things that NEED to be done in the summer….I find myself resisting and actually do less.  Weird, I know, but that’s me!  So I have decided to make a list of the things I’ve accomplished AFTER I do them.  It’s much  more rewarding that way!  Here’s a running tally of my lists since I was out of school, May 25 to the last day of June.

1.  Painted Bedroom walls, ceiling and trim (still need to paint doors)

2.  Purchased new bedroom furniture, including mattress (this took a LOT of shopping)

3.  Purchased new linens for new bed

4.  cleaned, painted and purged bedroom closet

5.  cleaned and purged the dresser and chest in the guest room and moved into my new furniture.

6.  cleaned and purged bathroom cabinet in preparation for new counter top

7.  purged tv cabinet, music case and book case in the living room

8.  assembled new tv cabinet

9.  installed new area rug in living room

10.  Helped disassemble the old Mr. Elm and cleaned up the mess after he was carted away.

11.  Balanced check book (had not been done since December…..used cancer as excuse…)

12.  knitted 1 scarf, 3 hats and finished a pair of mittens

13.  started cleaning garage

14.  walked/rode stationary bike 423.5 miles

15.  took a road trip to Iowa

16.  Took Parents to Dr. Appt.

17.  4 dr. appts of my own

18.  laid sod on new sewer line in the back yard.

19.  Did a bit of gardening

20.  Blogged

21.  washed all the winter scarves and hats

22.  Attempted to de-flea the animals (many baths, treatments and brushing….sigh…)

23.  Kept up the Etsy store.

24.  took lots of naps…

25.  Read a book

26.  Helped interview one of my new bosses.

27.  Watched and cheered for Thunder Basketball

28.  played with Kaylore and Karver and J. W.

29.  Ironed a basket of shirts (at least a dozen)

30.  Hemmed a dozen fabric napkins

31.  Stupidly agreed to serve on another choral directors board….sigh…when will I ever learn?!?!?!?!

32.  Spent a little time in the garden.

33. carted many bags of crap to the thrift store (and didn’t even go in to shop!)

34.  made breakfast for the nephews

35.  cleaned and purged linen closet

36.  Shredded 10 years of tax records.

Remember this…..

 

 

Well…..It now looks like this….

Here’s all the things that happened in this room….

1.  Refinished 1958 wood floor (done by professionals)

2.  Painted walls, trim and ceiling (by me)

3.  New Furniture (Purchased after looking at every bedroom set in the city about 3 times)

4.  New Mattress, bedding and quilt (all purchased)

5.  New closet doors with mirrors (also installed by a professional)

6.  New Curtains and curtain rods (again…purchased)

7.  Purged LOTS of clothes and clutter (and it felt GREAT)

8.  Shoe Shelf (temporary fix….will be getting a bench that holds shoes to replace the shelf and chair)

9.  Created a new playground for the furry residents

 

Here are some things I need to finish….

1.  Paint doors….They are primed but the weather just go too hot to paint in the garage so when it finally cools down then I’ll finish that little job…

2.  Replace the shelf with the bench to hold shoes

3.  Replace the ceiling fan….It’s old and noisy….so I’ll be looking for a new one.

4.  Replace the door handles.  Some are original with the house some have been replaced but none match…It’s time for an update.

 

One day I needed some help so my friend Dawn came to help me position my furniture….That’s what BFFs do, right?

 

 

I LOVE my new cave!!  It’s more than just an updated room.  I think it represents the renewal and moving forward I needed after all the cancer crap.  The bulk of the work was done in 2 weeks (including the bathroom and couple of other minor projects).  I think I needed something new to prove to myself that everything was going to be alright again.  I am truly happy with my room and my life.  Thank you God!!!

 

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