Tuesday, December 26, 2006


From the most amazing, creative and generous Secret Pal ever..... Kim Kramer

In this box are gifts for Me and Mesa and TATE!!! Tate is getting Christmas gifts!!!! This year was much harder to endure without Tate than last year. I just KNEW that I would be holding Tate in my arms and gaze at the lights of the tree, open gifts and watch the astonishment and wonderment of the season played off of a child's face. I will not denied that a few tears were shed on Christmas Eve by me because of the loss I felt this Christmas. Just the simple act of leaving a Christmas wish in the comment section by Kim comforted me so greatly. Opening Christmas morning these gifts given by Kim and Mike and Emma and Jack and Kosmo brought sheer JOY!!!!



The cutest box EVER!!!!
Inside this box was this.....

A red velvet "elf outfit" with silver sparkles and trimmed in white fur!!!! Kim decided to do a Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer theme for Tate, complete with two baby board books and a DVD of the original classic Rudolph show that I grew up with and watched and loved each and every Christmas!!! The outfit.... beyond CUTE!!!! I really think that this outfit was fashioned after the girl elf outfits from the movie Rudolph!!! Kim, you are so very clever and creative!!! I cannot wait to see Tate next Christmas decked out in this outfit enjoying the wonderment of Christmas day!!!


For MOMMA.....

I am so touched by the gift I recieved from Kim and Mike and family. I have eyed and loved and even given the Willow Tree figurines, but never have gotten one for myself. I am now the touched owner of a Willow Tree figurine.... SISTERS OF THE HEART. How true is that???? Kim and I are truly "SISTERS OF THE HEART".


For Mesa......
A Christmas ball..... And a personalized doggie treat stocking with Mesa's name on it!!! As you can see, Mesa loves balls.... and this one was oh so fun cause it had a tassle to chew on.... and pull on.... and squeak..... Kim, I really need to know WHERE you get such cute things for Mesa!!!

Merry Christmas and a WOOF thank you from 90 lbs of snuggle lovin' pup, MESA!!! She loves everything you have givne to her!!!! WOOF to Jack and Kosmo!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006


The box was delivered a few days ago.... I have such a "helpful" neighbor who has been taking boxes off my porch when I am not home... This morning she showed up with this box!!! Grrrrrr!!!

Inside the brown BOX was.....

And inside the INSIDE BOX.....

A HUGE fortune cookie!!!

So this is what is what I am thinking.... Deep breath!!!! Untie the ribbon, take out the cookie.... There is NO WAY I want to break the cookie open!!! What??? I can pull out the reveal...... RELAX, BREATH, the time is HERE!!!! My secret pal is.......


Yah!!!! The mystery is still mine.... Now I will get online and see who YOU ARE!!!!

I know who my SECRET PAL IS!!!! I cannot even imagine it is none other than the family I was giving gifts to also!!! How "Red Thread" is that???!!!!

I am not going to ruin the surprise for anyone following this reveal... see for yourself who THE MOST AMAZING SECRET PAL IN THE WORLD IS!!!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Whew.... a few more days of living in the wonder of who you are!!! YOU are just a hoot!!! In case you cannot read this note, I should be receiving, in the next few days, another package that will reveal who my Secret Pal is!!!!

This is soooooo much FUN!!!!



The REVEAL.....

At exactly 11:47 am there was a knock at the door. Mesa started barking and pasted her nose to the door. Me??? My heart skipped a beat, I kid you not. Opening the door, I am greeted with "the box"!!! As instructed via blog comment, I opened the white box FIRST.

What to my wondering eyes should appear?? Presents to be opened on Christmas day, oh so near.....

Now onto the next box of wonders, my adrenaline was pumpin' and my body was shaking like a bowl full of jelly....

Two cards, two choices!!! Play by the rules??? Or go right for the reveal card???? A deep breath I took and opened the right card. Buried within a drift of white tissue paper like snow... treasures were found bearing the theme of "Something for the Snow".

For Momma...

THREE kinds of PEEPS!!! Snowmen, Christmas trees and Gingermen PEEPS!!! Oh how I love me some PEEPS!!! Chocolate.... C.H.O.C.O.L.A.T.E.~~ Lindt chocolate truffle snowballs!!!

For MESA ....

Treats, pink ball tug-a-war....AKA work out for arms for ME!!! Thanks!!! And a Christmas puppy... something for Mesa??? Alas, Tate will enjoy.

Mesa was so anticipating the ball and what was hidden in the package, that her whole body was a quiver..... Thus a fuzzy Mesa.

For TATE .....

Bib overall snow pants and the softest hat and mittnes!!! All in PINK!!!! I can just see my little Miss Snow Princess, toddling next winter in the snow chasing the snuggle puppy!!! Rosie cheeks and shining bright coal eyes!!!! Hurry up next Winter, PLEASE????

FINALLY the unopened REVEAL envelope. With a warning from my Secret Pal, do you really want to know who it is???? SO scared to reveal yet so anxious to see who you are my AMAZING FRIEND and PAL!!!!

So here it sits, a few more hours of not knowing ....

I will open this tonight and KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!! I promise!!!!!



Today is the day I think I will find out who my amazing February Secret Pal is..... The one who has provided Me and Mesa and Tate with so many thoughtful and loving gifts!!! The one who has added so very much to this LONG Wait for Tate. I am not sure if I want the excitement of the unknown to end. I purposely DID NOT LOOK at the return address and so very quickly got rid of the temptation of the return address. Yesterday I recieved from UPS the box that was the "do not open until the white Secret Pal labeled box comes".... This brown box is STARING at me to open!!! Resist I must!!!

So very excited but nervous!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006


With Bows and Berries.....

Fa La La La LA......LA la la
........ LA !!!!

Finally got in the MOOD to decorate a touch. I was hosting a Birthday celebration for my mom / Christmas Concert pre-party at my house on Saturday and had to make the BIG decision to either clean well, or decorate TONs.... Being the fast thinking gal that I am, I opted to do a quick clean while shoveling clutter in closets. Decoration was limited to a completely decked dining room light and glittering fireplace mantle.

And as promised, SPECTACULAR FOOD and a STUNNING HOSTESS... who was ME!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


So what is Tate getting for Christmas this year???? Hopefully she is getting love and warmth and food.... and kisses on the wind from me.... Her MOMMA. But I really did buy my gal something for Christmas!!! I am getting a little grief from a few and a little are "you crazy" from others, but I did it anyway..... I bought Tate's American Girl Doll BITTY BABY. I figure that right now I can afford spending the $98.00 on a doll rather than when I am paying for daycare and diapers and maybe (hope not) formula. I bought a fair skin, almond eyes with black hair doll. My thoughts are.... I will give Tate the doll either for a Birthday or Christmas gift, whichever is closest to the time when she ready for her Bitty baby. I have previously bought two outfits for the doll on SALE, and now have gotten one more that should be arriving with Bitty Baby. I have decided that it is okay if I open the box and played with the doll and clothes.... I am sure that Tate will understand. Maybe it will be a substitute for Tate???

I wanted to share my experience growing up with my mom and dolls.... Her theory was to buy quality and build upon it. I guess I am in the same thought process. I remember VIVIDLY the Christmas I was given my doll "Sally Ann", named after a cow in a storybook. Sally Ann was a Madame Alexander baby doll. She could open and close her eyes, wet the diaper when she was given a bottle, and cried MOM-MA when tipped from front to back. As custom by the Norwegian, we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. This is when we open our presents. I am hoping that I'm not ruining for those who believe in Santa, but my Santa gift was given to me that night. I remember my Uncle tipping the box and hearing a MOM-MA!!! I KNEW THAT GIFT WAS FOR ME!!! This was the Christmas just before I turned 3 years. Three months later on my third birthday, I was given a handmade wardrobe sewed by my Mom for my Sally Ann. I also remember my older brother giving me a wooden highchair. I was in heaven!!! Growing up during World War II in Norway, my mom never had a doll of her own, and felt that this is something she wanted to give to her daughter..... Just like I will give to my daughter....

Merry Christmas my little darling Tate.... Momma is waiting for you with your very own Bitty baby.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I have made THREE patches of each of these!!! My feet are killing me!!! To the right is English Toffee. My Pups and Scones friend, Polly came over this afternoon and I helped her make a sheet for her. Later in the evening my neighbor, Helen, came over and as a Christmas gift, I made a sheet for her..... Now I just finished making a sheet for ME!!! Three batches of English Toffee!!! Once it is cooled, I am sure I will be sampling.

This is starting to be my TRADITION... I am making and bagging for friends and neighbors, Gussy's Goop..... I made three batches of this SIN OF CRUNCH...I think we nibbled one batch and I still have the rest to bag, but it just feels so good making stuff while Christmas music is playing in the back ground. And yes... the star Christmas Caroler of the day/night is still my SWEET BABY JAMES.... oh I love this man SO!!!!

Gussy's Goop
10 cups rice or corn CHEX cereal
12 cups Golden Grahams cereal
1- 14 oz bag coconut
2 cups cashews

Mix above in large bowl.

1 1/2 cup butter (3 cubes of BUTTER) a must
2 cups white sugar
2 cups light Karo syrup

Melt and boil for 2 minutes. Pour and mix with cereal mixture. Cool on parchment paper or wax on counter top...BAG...and ENJOY!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


We (Me, Mesa and Tate) have the best February Secret Pal.... EVER!!!!

My F.S.P. chose SNUGGLY and WARM.....She strayed from the assigned theme and created her own theme!!! Ah... a woman after my own heart!!! First, who comes up with these themes anyway??? Take a close look at the yellow package just behind the bear.... It is empty because Mesa has it. This was the only way I could get peace from Mesa while I opened the package. She is insane when we get our S.P. gift!!!

Tate got the sweetest bear!!! A blanket and a personalized Tate "Taggy". Every items was so very soft!!!!! Also Tate got the cutest Teenagy outfit.... sparkle jeans, a long sleeved short sleeved combo shirt, and a headband!!!! My pre-teen niece, Sparkle, just could not believe how cute it was and was wondering if she could get a matching outfit!!!

CHOCOLATE... DARK and delicious.... and this frame. The frame was give for me to use with my first picture of Me and Tate.... on Tate Day!!! This will be a moment I will never forget and having this picture in this frame makes it even more true.
A wobble ball and treat..... the package is empty and was enjoyed by Mesa. Mesa's S.P. apologized that the treat was not low-fat. Mesa would like her Special S.P. to know that she has now accepted her girlish figure and has come to terms with it. With all the "Junk in Her Trunk" she is the hottest gal at the dog park and gets plenty of male attention. (Something Momma is kind of bugged by)....... So bring on the FAT!!!!
Next gift will be the big reveal and I can hardly wait to know who the most amazing Secret Pal ever is!!!!
Oh... Did I mention before that -

Saturday, December 09, 2006


I got this in the mail today..... It is my 103rd quilt square!!!

You trace a soft finger across tiny,
sleeping eyes and wonder...
"God gave you to me???"
A sweet, little gift from the Lord.
"Children are a gift from God..." psalm 127:3
This is from another single momma, Catherine from Canada!!!! She is waiting for Hannah.
Thank you so much for this lovely thought. The 100 wish quilt is my project for January 2007. At least this is the plan on those COLD DARK JANUARY WINTER NIGHTS!!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Thanks to my February Secret Pal, who wished me a happy 9th LID..... That today is 9 months.... 9 FREAKING MONTHS!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Today at work I ran into a old friend. This is a gal who was oh so cool. Always on the cutting edge of fashion, travel, cooking, music, films .....Basically the cutting edge of EVERYTHING. I used to be so WOWed by her. She was to me.... OH SO COOL!!! But today, something happened. this happenin' diva was.... now how do I put it ..... S.H.A.L.L.O.W. As I looked into her perfectly made-up face and listened to her hip lingo, I thought, after 5 years nothing has changed. Still there is an interchangable amazing resturant to try out or a to die for artsy movie that is a must see..... Basically the same stuff that we talked about 5 years ago only a different name or location. When I asked her about the homefront... the meat and potatoes of life, well, she said nothing has changed. NOTHING HAS CHANGED???? FIVE YEARS and NOTHING HAS changed??? The world has stopped turning for me, I have done a total flip flop with my life.... dog and adopting my Tate. Would she have understood my deep feelings and emotions and the peace and love in my soul??? I decided not to even go there and flashed my pearly whites and gave her an empty answer.... NOTHING HAS CHANGE with me either......

Sunday, December 03, 2006


This picture has nothing to do with the post, just liked it and since this is a RANDOM not set subject post, I am enjoying it there.

I think I have a crush on James Taylor!!! I am not one to get crushes on random guys. Sometimes I even questioned my like of the now EX-Boy Toy. But today it is a crush… I stand corrected…. LOVE with James Taylor. Maybe it is that UNI- brow or the continuous forehead. Maybe it is the sensitive eyes or mellow serenading voice or long elegant fingers strumming his guitar (strum me JT). But whatever it is, I just bought his NEW Christmas CD and LOVE IT!!!! On this CD is the song Some Children See Him… I actually stopped what I was doing and listened to the WORDS. There is a verse where it is specifically addressed to Asian children…. Oh man I love me JAMES TAYLOR!!!

Mesa in now training…. to be a DOG
. She seems to think (as do I) that she is not a dog. She has full run of the house and the car and everyone who comes to visit. So this weekend we started with the baby steps… While I had a massage on Friday night, she stayed out in her room. Whined a few whines, but stayed there for a few hours. I really had a hard time relaxing when she whined, but we both survived. Saturday she was kept outside in her fenced yard with all her balls for a few hours. SURVIVED THIS TOO!!! Today she was put in her room while I enjoyed scrambled eggs and toast without sharing with her….. Next weekend will start the riding in car training. This one will be the hardest one for me….. I love riding around with Mesa next to me snuggling with her left leg up over my shoulder…… All this is in preparation for Tate. I want Mesa to change her behavior before Tate comes so that she does not resent Tate for changing her place from BABY of mine to DOG of mine.

Bah Humbug??? Last year I did not put up Christmas decorations. This year I thought I just might do the same. Last year it was like “this will be the last year I can get away without decorating because NEXT year I will have Tate”. This year it is “Why bother? I’m never home anyway!!!” I am hosting two if not three parties---- two family parties and possibly a friend party. There will always be outstanding food, but not the atmosphere of Christmas. Is it fair to host a Christmas party without Christmas decorations??? After contemplating I have decided to semi decorate…. The Fireplace mantle and dining room table, buffet and chandelier. And of course there is always TONS of burning candles. Candles are something I do year round!!!!
In the Christmas spirit, a friend of mine’s husband came by yesterday to replace the missing drawer from Tate’s hutch. He measured and two hours later showed up with a finished drawer!!! He will not take a thing for doing this!!! He said it is given in the Christmas spirit!!! Oh how I love to give but find it so hard to receive….. Just maybe some kind of yummy might show up on his front porch.

Rules for Posting Pictures while in China…. For all those who are traveling to get their gals, I have specific rules for you to follow whilst posting pictures of your gals. First, I live vicariously thru you all….. I want to see pictures of the babies!!! I want close-ups of the face. I want to see the Mommas and Babas with their treasures. Pictures of the amazing Chinese places are just great… but show me the kiddos and save your travel log pictures for the lifebook or family albums…. Selfish I know, but really I want to see the babies and you!!!

Randomness over and out…. What’s happening with everyone else???

Saturday, December 02, 2006



I was just looking at an old email account and noticed that I have A LOT of emails from people on this email account..... Sick, I tell you that I would this miss the opportunity to communicate with you.... Sick, that I emailed people asking for their password protected accounts and miffed that I did not get a response and an approval to be part of their lives..... Sick that I seemed to blow off requests for quilt squares..... For this I am so very sorry. I only hope that I did not hurt feelings of people who were reaching out to me.... I do not know how this happened and I have learned that I need to check this email account often.....


Wednesday, November 29, 2006



Just take a look what we woke up to this morning.... in all it's brillance and bright crisp white.... Breathtakingly beautiful SNOW!!!!

(update on guess blogger.... Smiley missed a few days of eight grade and needs to catch up on homework ... then he will be able to blog his trip!!!)

Monday, November 27, 2006


I will have a guest blogger..... It will be my 14 yr old nephew, Smiley. Smiley (what I call him) just spent his Thanksgiving vacation in the jungles of Guatemala where he did his eagle project. My brother does some financial funding work for Choice Humanitarian and has taken groups down to help add irrigation and clean drinking water and build schools for the remote villages in the jungles. This Thanksgiving, my brother took both his boys (Awesome 18 yrs and Smiley 14 yrs) with him. Smiley decide, as his Eagle Scout project, that he was going to provide school supplies and solar electrical panels to three village schools. The theory was to provide light to the school for evening classes for adult education. Most of these villagers do not speak Spanish but only their native language of Kekchi. By providing education and Spanish language skills, the lives of these people will greatly improve. Also brought on this expedition were 13 throddle sewing machines. Each village received 4 sewing machines, and will use the new solar light provided at night to gather in the school houses and sew on these machines.

As promised by Smiley, he will provide a post and pictures of his trip. During his trip, they were able to see Antigua and the Guatemalian ruins. Also, something I have wanted to do, take a zip line thru the tops of the tree of the jungle. When asked how much he enjoyed the sights and his zip line experience, he did say he enjoyed it all but the most profound experience he had was working with the villagers and the love and friendships of these people.

Hopefully, this posting will be followed soon with Smiley's post and pictures.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


This year I have so much to be thankful for..

Thank You every single one of YOU for blessing my life with your friendship... For this I am so very THANKFUL!!!


Monday, November 20, 2006


I have a lump in my throat and my heart is so full. I am almost unsure if I want to share this, but somehow I need to since this is a journal for Tate.

Can I put adequately to words the feelings I have? But in an attempt I will.

Something just clicked these last few weeks. I have motivation to get the projects done… the baby steps to get Tate’s kingdom complete. First the changing table was painted and knobs in place. Next was the Hutch all painted and almost complete (missing a drawer). The room was cleared of all the stuff minus the computer area. In moves the two finished pieces and the start of Tate’s nursery.

Why the bursting heart???? Friday night I sat at the computer cruising blogs. I had mellow music in the back ground and the light on the top of the hutch was on. There was such calmness to this room. An energy of peace and tranquility. I sat basking in this warmth. In my heart I felt the spirit of my little girl. I felt the love and the beauty of Tate. My heart was bursting full of strength, safety, love and completeness. I pray that during this time of wait, Tate’s deceased Uncle Rolf is by her side, giving her assurance, comfort and love. Until I rock Tate in my arms, I will bask in the beauty of her spirit sitting in the peace of her room.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


One more step in Tate's Kingdom. The CRIBBEGE cometh!!! Summer 2005, I bought this Pottery Barn Kids set off of Ebay. I have been designing the color scheme around the colors found in the bedding. Also bought during the paperchase Summer was the white medal bed found at a yard sale for $15.00. I had orgininally hoped to get a new one in white wood, but really decided that I am more than happy with this one. I am hoping that Tate will be more of a toddler and that I will not need this for too long. I would rather spend my BUCKS on a darling single bed when she is older.

This picture is not the best at seeing the bed and the bedding, but the room faces South and is so sunny that I really cannot get a better shot until after the sun goes down. When the room is complete with the walls and paint like I want and the window trimmings done, I will post more professional looking pictures. I also have some sewing to do for a down comforter cover, and all the other treasures that will make the Kingdom complete.... only missing my Tate.

Mesa was so interested in the crib and bedding. She keeps sniffing it and licking the crib.... Hmmmmmmmmm, does she know what is in store for her in the future????

I put this crib together ALONE.... Just got excited in the moment and did not call friends or family for help..... the antics were just short of a Cirque du Soleil performance. For you woman with husbands... KISS THEM NOW and tell them how much you NEED and love them!!!


This is the before but some how it just looks better in the lighting of the garage.

This Hutch belongs to the same set of furniture that my Buffet came from. Also included was a table and four chairs that I did not need and someone else is enjoying instead. Missing drawer??? Lost on the freeway during the transporation of this treasure. I'm looking for a carpenter to build me a new drawer. Take you eyes away from the Starbuck green walls. Do not let the green influence how cute the Hutch is!!! The colors and mouldings will change soon.

A few coates of high gloss white Benjamin Moore paint and it looks amazing in real life!!! I used the same flowered knobs and silver handles that I used on the chest of drawers. Also on the shelves, I will put books, and a lamp. I have just what I want in mind for the lamp, but have not gone out looking for it.....I hate shopping!!! Also on the shelf... see that lamp shade??? It was bought and carefully transported from Norway. It is all embroidered flowers and birds and such. It was bought at IKEA in Oslo. I am not sure where I will put it in this room, but somewhere!!!! LOVE IT!!! Stuffed animals from my Secret Pals and friends..... Lamp on top will not remain the same color or maybe not even end up there..... So much decorating to consider.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


It kind of seems a little strange to refer to myself as MOMMA. I am hoping when I hold Tate in my arms, it will just seem natural and right to be called Momma. All my life I have been called LISA. When I became an Aunt at age 16yrs, I never took on the name of “Aunt Lisa”. It just seemed strange. My nieces and nephews all call me Lisa. When I talk to Mesa, I refer to myself as Lisa. You know, “Give Lisa the ball, Mesa” “Lisa loves you so much!!!” Some pet owners will call themselves Momma and Daddy. This is cute, but just did not happen for me when I first got my Mesa. I know a gal whose kiddos call her and her husband by their first names. To each their own, but I do not want Tate calling me Lisa. Lately, I have been referring to myself as Momma to Mesa. Trying the sound out on my ears and getting Mesa’s reaction to it. Today I was out in the yard raking and cleaning up readying the estate for winter. I am probably the most amazing person to Mesa with all the raking and digging in the dirt. Maybe Mesa is afraid that I will discover her hidden stash of bones and chew sticks??? So Mesa’s coal black nose is into everything that I am doing. I am talking to her as I work. Out came the Momma name kind of in this context…..“What is Momma doing Mesa???”…. Over the back fence I hear a slight snicker and on to a burst of laughter. I think my Momma referring will be done in the privacy of my home away from the ears of others!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I would term myself as a frustrated artist. I cannot paint or draw. Heck, I can't even cut a straight line. Somehow I needed to release my creativity in some way. I am not a crafter. Glue guns scared me. Mode Podge (oh man I love the sound of that word) is just now starting to be part of my life. Repeat, MODE PODGE (said again for you Julie).

Back 23 years ago I started to find my creative outlet. I was traveling in Norway and noticed that a large number of the shopkeepers knitted while they waited for customers. This just sort of took hold and captured my interest.

My mom taught me the knit purl stitch but that is all. I kind of taught myself. My first project was a sweater. The wool was bought on that trip and the pattern was written all in Norwegian. It helped that my Mom was able to translate the instructions but was NO help with the knitting.... To the right is that sweater. It has pewter buttons also bought in Norway. Since it was my first project, I can forgive myself for the neck being a little tight. At the same time, I bought my second project also written in Norwegian. (on left) Since then I have knitted many other sweaters and given away as gifts.... some for adults and some for kids. I have always knitted patterns with colors, some as many as 6 colors at one time.

It now has been 10 years or so since I last knitted ANYTHING. I have always wanted to knit sweaters for my own children. Top corner is the project that I will do as a warm up before the first sweater I will be knitting for Tate. It is a strawberry hat. I have the pattern for the sweater I will be knitting for Tate. I have had in mind the perfect color for that sweater and will have elements that will be a challange and new to me. The sweater will be a pull over with babbles.... Today I saw that perfect color. Is it too much to spend $60.00 on yarn to knit a sweater for a two year old??? I really will have to consider just how much I love this particular color....

Oh, the most amazing brother in the world, John, just gave me a brand new scanner/printer!!! What does this mean to you??? It just means that I will be able to scan the picture of the sweater from the book and post on this blog!!! I guess you didn't realize that this is an adoption/ knitting blog!!!

Here are some of my other projects..... Both sweater are knitted in Icelandic wool and patterns, but this time the instructions were written in English. The green cartigan is still needing buttons. I will have to finish it so I can wear it on this blistery Fall day.