Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2008 Gingerbread House

Max_2008Gingerbread Last Saturday Kara brought Max and Roy over to the neighbors annual gingerbread house party.  This gal does 3 sessions with 20-25 kids each.  CRAZY!  I was happy to let Kara take Max!  I was recovering from my 2nd eye surgery (happy excuse!)  I just do not do well with that many people in small quarters!  Super nice of this family to do the parties!  Here's Max's masterpiece!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Big Easy! Me in New Orleans!

Thumbnailcawu4cez These are not my pictures - grabbed them off the internet because i forgot to bring a card reader fro my own photos.  i am here for work for a tradeshow, so this morning was running around to get everything set up.  Thankfully, everything was here and we only had to buy some speakers so our video display would work better. 

Boy, is it hot and muggy here!  I wish my hair were just a bit longer so I can put it up nicely.  I am hoping for some serious air conditioning in the convention center! 

At about 12:00 - seperated from my co-worker and went up to change.  Headed out onto Julian St.  Popped into a few galleries and totally somehow missed the Ogden Art Museum.  Maybe I will make it back - Ended up walking all through the french quarter - had lunch in a little place - got a table right on the sidewalk.  All the restaurants are open air - all that seperates you and the walkers is a wrought iron fence usually.  My lovely place had fake plants, but the drinks were cold and the hamburger was good!  Really fun to people watch here! 

After lunch walked over to the French Market.  Found a smaller purse that will be easier to walk around with.  Fake Coach - gotta love those knock offs!  I stopped at the famous Cafe Du Mounde (sp?).


The beinets (a pastery with a crap load of powdered sugar on it) was fantastic - think mini donuts on steroids.  I had a frozen cafe aulait - I just can't spell tonight - so forgive all that.  Anyway - SUPER yummy!  I will gain 5 pounds here just from that!  I got a great shot of 3 of the waiters taking a break and arm wrestling!  I could hear cheering when I was done, so I strolled over to see what was up.  It was 3 black guys and 1 white guy break dancing and performing a show in this stepped courtyard.  Very funny!  I have pics of that too.  After that - headed back to the hotel and changed to meet up for dinner.  Yes, I ate dinner at Bubba Gump's.  It was very good and I got Max a glass that lights up on the botton. 

All in all - a pretty fun day.  Lots of cute dogs!  Off to bed I go!


Sunday, September 21, 2008


Originally uploaded by maxi_fortend
Here's me using the bad boy buggie as my easel! Very handy! Got in the basic color blocking in about 3 hours. For first time, I think that's pretty good! Very, very, very fun.


Here's my farm house that I love. It's about 1 mile away from my in-laws and I dream of one day moving in and creating an artist haven. A place where people can come and relax, learn how to draw, paint, whatever art they love. Right now, I am just enjoying photographing and painting it. I will post a few more...

Friday, September 19, 2008


Originally uploaded by maxi_fortend
Here we all are at our first college roomie get-together! We met in Woodbury and my stomach muscles still hurt from all the laughing. Very, very fun! That's me, Ang, Shelley, Kathy, and Deb.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back to painting

Back to painting
Originally uploaded by maxi_fortend
Jerry Yarnell has a series of books that Kara has been painting from. I watched on admiring her work and just could not get the interest to dig out my paints again. This weekend, we headed to Michaels and I bit the bullet and re-stocked up with some good acrylics. This is the result! About 4 hours of work off-and-on yesterday. It's actually a fairly big canvas18 x 24" probably...Now I am off to create a video of my in-laws trip to Africa.

K & G - The Boys

K & G - The Boys
Originally uploaded by maxi_fortend
Early August, we were at the lodge and went out to dinner at Kate & Gracies in Alma. Here are the boys posing for me.

Kitchen after

Originally uploaded by maxi_fortend
I used Scott's grandfather's table top he made and put two wooden boxes I had gotten on clearance from Target as the base. That is a story in itself! Oak is heavy and a circle is really awkward to get up the stairs from my basement! I love that I took the island out (now in the mudroom, where it is just as handy for storage.

Extra tip - I hated my trash sitting out by the island in the middle of the kitchen, but my pipe config under the sink was too weird to put in a standard waste basket. I sat and looked and looked at it and wah-la - a 5 gal rubbermaid tote would just fit if I did some creative hack-saw work on the sides and on one of the handles. I am still lovin' the openness 1 week later!!

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before
Originally uploaded by maxi_fortend
This is the kitchen during the big clean...

Living Room After

Living Room After
Originally uploaded by maxi_fortend
This is the after - took down the the dining room table, re-configured the sofa - you don't see the lounger part of the sofa except on elittle forher, but that is up by my fireplace and it's a perfect spot for reading the paper and knitting! Breaking up the sofa made all the difference in being able to easily move around. Plus I moved the computer from my kitchen over to behind the couch - I have almost 5 times the wireless speed now! Yeah!!!

Cleaning means Chaos at Kelly's

Lving Room Before 2, originally uploaded by maxi_fortend.

Scott went Elk hunting and so I got busy! This is my living room before...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Go Team!


We are headed off to the championship game at 8:15 this morning!  Very exciting for the Somerset Collision Team!  8-9 Year olds in search of baseball glory. 

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ahhh, the joys of Surgery!

Well - here's my entry on my lovely vitrectomy!  Don't google it, cause it will really kinda gross you out. 

Wed.  5/21 - Marcia and John picked me up at 9:30 and we headed over to Phillips Eye Institute.  Got there just fine - if I have my other eye done, we won't need John to take us.  I got checked in in about 15 minutes and then sat with a buzzer.  Yep, just like waiting for a table at your favorite restaurant!  I was asked, no lie, 10 times - who are you, what's your birth date, which eye are we working on today...then they literally put a red sticker on my right cheek.  No way could you operate on the wrong eye at this place!  The nurse brought me back about 12:10 to get on my surgery gear.  At about 12:45, we went back to the "corral" where they get everyone ready for surgery.  Must have been 8 of us back there.  I told the nice nurse - you will not be able to find my vein.  Oh, she did not believe me until 10 minutes later, she was still not able to find a vein - both arms!  I think when I get nervous all the blood leaves my extremities - they all thought I had way too cold of hands!  Anyway...Tim the Super Nurse to the rescue!  He put the rubber band on super tight and asked me if it hurt too much.  I said - I have gone through 22 hours of biggie!  So IV is now successfully in.  Little discomfort when they would put in a new drug, pressure and ache, but doable.  I made them promise to give me lots of drugs!  They gave me the sleep drug and then next thing I know, Tim is telling me that my eye is already to go for surgery - I couldn't believe it...Really?  Really?  So that bad deal you can not worry about because - you literally feel like you just closed your eyes for a little bit - did not feel a thing!  So I am all ready for surgery and Dr. Gilbert is late.  So I hang out and finally by 1:45 he says - I am ready where are you guys!  So whisked down the corridor to the operating room.  They get my other eye patched up and then uh oh...I can see Dr. Gilbert with my right eye.  Whooo - everybody said I would not be able to see out of my right eye during this surgery - is the block wearing off already?  I start to shake, they cover me with extra blankets and give me another dose of medicine.  Well, I think they had to give me 2 more after that - cause there was one point where I could feel him doing stuff and then wham, my legs and arms were really heavy and everything was ok.  WONDERS OF DRUGS, I tell ya!    So after 1/2 hour - surgery done!  They wheel me back out, I get dressed and sit for about 1/2 hour while my blood pressure stabilizes back down to 124/70 - I got to test Kashi bars for them.  Very hungry!  Off to home to recover!

Thursday 5/22 - I slept ok til abut 2:48, then woke up and my eye felt really scratchy.  Made a sandwhich and watched Leno til I got sleepy.  Fell asleep on the couch.  At about 6:00 I took off the bandage and whoooooo - big time double vision!  So much so that I have to re-patch the eye.  Hmmm, little bit of freak out - they did not tell me this would happen...We had the FUP appt at 11:20 - so by then the double vision was much better.  Sat there until 12:30 - I met a very nice nurse that also has RP and other eye stuff - she is facing the same uncertainty I am, so it was nice to meet someone who understands!  Dr. Gilbert finally checked me out and said everything looks good.  We head off to LeAnne Chin for late lunch.  Headache starts at about 4:00 - the block is finally wearing completely off and it's a headache from the top of your head down into your shoulder - take 1/3 vicaden!  Perfect dose for good nights sleep! 

Friday 5/23 - Answered work emails for about 20 minutes - definately clearer vision, but the glare from the computer is a little tiring.  I watch tv and nap during the day.  We head off to the lodge that night.  Headache again at about 5:30 - 1/3 vicaden is good again!

Saturday 5/24 - Hang out at the lodge - read magazines cause too hard to read books right now.  We have the Hales over for tacos and the boys get filthy in the pond trying to catch tadpoles!  We stopped by to see the dog Scott is interested in - great dog, but way, way too big!! We go to Hales cabin to check out the new fire pit.  Very nice!  Head home about 8:45 - no vicaden that night.  Slept great. 

Sunday 5/25 - I can read for short periods of time - so hang out in the sunroom reading Nora Roberts book.  I feel much more like myself today!  We head home about 3:30 - too stormy to pick up the couch from Hedins - will get later this week.  We had hale the size of golf balls and a few about double the size!  Really loud!  Scott's truck has damage and we have to check our siding.  Blessed though, cause Hugo saw a tornado that took out multiple homes and one 2 year old lost their life.  Very. very sad. 

Today - Monday 5/26 - Computer work is ok!  Yeah!  Little glarey, but not terrible as on Friday.  I think you definately need 5 full days for recovery - so just plan on taking the Monday off following surgery.  Don't know if I will have the other eye done right away.  I am gonna wait 3 weeks until i decide about that.  Well - that's the super long story of my vitrectomy! 

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Max - 4 year old chatterbug!

I was looking for something totally unrelated and I found an old digital recorder.  I had taped Max while we went to daycare one morning, so it's about 10 minutes.  How stinkin' cute he was and what a chatterbox!  I am going to work on getting it out of the old recorder and into a CD somehow. 

Craftiness has taken a slight backseat as I have been out of town alot this first few weeks of May.  I am still pluggin' away on my Kindness cross-stitch.  Got some beading basics that I was out of - jump rings, head pins lots of projects that need to be done on that front.  This is good, cause I will have some time this weekend during my eye procedure recovery.  First day will be with eye-patch, so I think a movie marathon and lots of naps will be on the schedule!  Other than that - we'll see how things go!

Spent the morning raking up pine needles for John so he can use as mulch on his raspberries.  I had grand plans of getting the new firepit ready to go.  Spotty rain showers kept coming in -so no go on that.  Tomorrow, we are off to the garden center to get grass seed, dandelion killer and fertilizer.  Maybe a few flowers too while I am at it.  Got some house-keeping done this afternoon and now it's off to movie night with the boy.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Clearwater Recap!

P1010653 The three pirateers!  This was fron Friday night when we took our pirate cruise!  Very fun, LOTS of kids and families, but it was fun to see the sunset.  To see all the pics from the trip  - click here.  Highlights:

The rental car guy who so wanted to upsell us on a cool dodge avenger!  Oooooohhhh - no thanks!  Being out of compact and getting a mid-size for the same price - score!

Road construction and a Garmin GPS are not friends.  You can't go straight when there is a barracade up!

Spending an hour on the beach and deciding that no adult beverages or lounge chairs is not the way to go - off to the hotel pool we go!  Getting down to the pool every morning to scope out and save the best spots!  Kelly snagging shade cause she hates to get sunburned!  Fluffy drinks and people watching.

Round-abouts are very confusing for us midwestern gals.

BEAUTIFUL WEATHER!!  Sunny and 85 til Sunday! 

Great food! - Seafood place on Thursday, Onion rings on Friday at Crabby Bills - (Cranky Dicks) - $4.97 for 3 drinks????, lovely dinner at the Marriott restuarant on Saturday, out on the deck.

Dolphin sighting off the pool deck - this is not a great pic, but we did get to see one!


Thursday, April 3, 2008

5 days from now!

Jiang_pieratsunset I've been on this very pier about 1 year ago and I will be there again in 5 days - YEAH!! I think 3/4 of the fun of vacation is just knowing you are going on vacation in 5-4-3-2-1 days! 

This is not my photo, but one from flickr I found by the name of Jiang - pretty cool!  I do not want any massive clouds on my trip though - just light wispy ones! 

Well, as soon as I get the right video cord, you will get to see Maxi at his Young Author's conference.  It was last Saturday and he did a great job!  We got to hear not one, but two real authors!  Headed off to the lodge after that and came right home that night.  Sleeping in your own bed is always nice!  Had a fantastic visit with Jill on Sunday.  We went to Mall of America, then over to Dicks to peruse the work-out wear.  She has started high intensity interval training from my suggestion and sounds like it's going well!  I have been doing pretty good myself.  I have sore muscles where I did not think you had muscles!  Let me just say these few words  - reverse pike on the exercise ball.  You go as if to do a push up - put your feet up on the ball, balance and then bring your knees into your chest.  Yep...just you try it and stay upright!  I can do 15 in a row now! 

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Where the heck have I been?

Well, the last post about going off to sunny Clearwater Beach has been the motivation to finally get going on being healthy and fit.  So I have started clean eating, revved up my running and started to weight train. wonder I am tired and have no time to post!  I am gonna get better because this blog is really for me to remember things that have happened through the year and I enjoy reading back through past entries.  So no more blog laziness! 

Craftiness Update - I have been working studiously on a cross-stitch project and crocheting some washcloths.  I like to try out different stitches on those, but the cotton yarn is tough on your hands!  (hard to pull).  I think I am gonna get enough yarn today to start working on my own ripple blanket.  My grandma always had one on her couch.  Mine will not be in that exact style, but it's just the idea that every cozy house should have a ripple blanket.  Once again, I am about 2 years behind on the crafty trends!  That's cool though, cause I can see everyone else's completed blankets and steal ideas! 

Movie side notes:  August Rush is really good!  My TIVO did not get the first 35 minutes, but what it did get was good!  Super Size Me - movie from 2003 about the perils of eating at McDonalds for 30 straight days is also an excellent eye opener!  When you are feelin' the need to cheat, just watch that movie for a little motivation reinforcement.

Well, I will have Max easter pics tomorrow (that's one excited little boy!)  I was at corporate this week and wow, is he a lovey boy since I got back! 

Saturday, March 1, 2008

This is...Sunday Dinner

Gosh, I am so behind in my This is...postings.  This is...Sunday Dinner.  Jill and I had actually not seen each other since last September!  Geez..too long!  So we planned a day outing and it was soooooo cold that day!  We settled on going to Rosedale and finding her a new purse.  I got my birthday dinner at Macaroni grill. Very fun day - convinced Jill to be a wild thing and buy the red purse - she has since thanked me profusely - she loves, loves it! 


Mommy's Valentine

Max_valentine2008 I received a special valentine from the boy - it's been patiently waiting for me to photograph it and post!  You have to look close, but he wrote little messages on the heart.  The pink one says "You Rock"  How cool is that?  I love my boy!

Max - The Future Art Teacher

Max_mommy_artlesson_2 A few weeks ago, Max was feelin' a little bored, so he asked me to think up something fun to do.  I said, we could paint?  He enthusiastically said "I can teach you a few art lessons, Mommy!"

So we dug around for a piece of cardboard, he showed me how to cut it into a 2 inch square, dip it into black paint and "flick" it across the paper.  You then dab the different colored dots to make the leaves.  Final step - add your blue sky.  While not my best work, it's a piece that's getting framed with this story tucked behind it.  My boy, future art teacher!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

WOW - What a birthday!

I just got re-connected with 2 out of 4 college roomies - how is that for bizarre and super wonderful birthday present?  Talk about a time-warp!  Just think ladies - 18 years ago we were celebratin' my 21st and headin' down for happy hour - CJ's right(?)  - it was not a pretty sight! I think we were back to the apartment by 9:30 cause I had to work at the co-op at 5:30 the next morning....  I just figured out - it was 1990....ohhhh!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Besthotair Last weekend we traveled over to Hudson to see the Moonglow.  Hot Air Affair is Hudson's winter hot air balloon festival.  I pictured 10-15 hot air balloons spread out on a field.  Nope, 4 - pretty close together and they had them lit up for 5 rockin' minutes!  It was fun and we got out of the house.  Found out Max hates crowds, though!  We were in the warming tent playin' games and he said - "Mama, let's get out of here..NOW!" 

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Depth of Field & First Biscornu!


I want depth of field darn it!  I have been reading my camera manual and playing...playing...playing - such a slow process!  I have a Panasonic DZ7 - while it was expensive at the's just not doin' it for me - I think I need some new lenses - of course they are on back order...Nice thing about B&H Photo is that they will send you an email when they are back in stock...

There are so many things to balance, focus, apeture, lighting...jiminy crickets!  Well, I am gonna get better at this and I'll use my journal to track my progress!  I do like the BW feature of the camera - the cool color feature is "cool" too!   

Frontbiscornu1In crafty news - I finished my first biscornu over the weekend.  Thanks to Flossbox for the pattern.  They are very fun to do!  Off to Craftster to post it.  Am I getting better with my stitches, Lor? 


Sunday, February 3, 2008

This is...a mosaic of some of my collections!


Playing along with This is meme from Three Buttons.  Learning my camera - finally reading the instruction manual! I also figured out how to make the cool mosaics I've seen on other folks sites!  Could not do just one collection.  In order top to bottom, left to right:

The mis-matched socks collection

Member of the candle holder collection

Priceless Hardunger from Scott's Grandma Edith

Outings with my son, Max

Clutter on my bedside table

Fall leaves photos

It's hard to see - roosters and recipes - collect both.  New collection - things bought from etsy  and last but not least, my growing collection of acrylic paintings by moi!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Young Author, Cold Day, My Own Joy Journal

Max_youngauthor_2Good news!  Max does not have retinitis pigmentosa - yeah! All checked out yesterday and the Dr. did not see any signs.  Also - he has been invited to a Young Authors conference - 1 of 5 kids in the second grade to be picked to go!  It's Saturday, 3/29.  Very excited little boy! Excited parents as well - As Scott says...We must be doing something right! 

Today - School is cancelled!  We have windchills of 35-45 below!  Temp is 14 below!  My turn to stay home with the boy - Scott got the strep throat day off a couple of weeks ago.  I feel a little guilty, but boy am I gonna get a TON done!  We are having folks over on Saturday and I need to clean, clean, clean! 

I downloaded a great Romantic Fingerless gloves pattern from whiletheyplay on etsy. 

Here's a FOB!  My promised very own Joy Journal - doing pretty well with getting entries made.  It was from Aimee Ray's book Doodle Stitching - pattern was for a scrapbook cover - I modified for a notebook cover.  Very fun book - highly recommend!!  Joyjournal_cover

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Craft in Public

Read about craft, do your it all in public so we can see each other. 

So I travel in 1 week a month to work because of the not driving anymore and I stay in a nice hotel for that week.  I eat breakfast every morning in the restaurant there and two very nice people are usually always there working.  So literally this is going on for 6 months.  I bought the book Craft, Inc. from Borders on Wed. and I was reading it at breakfast and low and of those nice people is a Crafter! She nicely asked if she could check out the book and we struck up a conversation.   Jewelry, knitting, crocheting, jewelry boxes...a gal after my own heart!  So there ya go - It's also a lesson to me that I just need to stinkin' chat more instead of being stuck in head thinking about the upcoming workday...

Hi Bailey!  Here to the left of my blog is just a small, small part of the crafting blogiverse.  Get a beverage, something to snack on and settle down, cause it'll be hours before you can drag yourself away!

Side note - I am working on Three Buttons meme for this is...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Valentines Tree, Projects and I love legos.

Valentines_treeI think I get hung up on needing a photo for each post and then don't post.  So, I am figuring out ways to get photos out of my camera much faster and streamline my process. (I am also getting out my cameras user guide to figure out why I am not getting sharp photos - I think the image stabilization thingy is turned off.)   I am awesome at streamlining at  work..lose it with home/personal stuff.  But ya know...those crafty blogs out there have a tendency to get me a little off these...Ric cute is her post about the little softie boys!! Future Girl...well, she's just been a favorite since this fall.  So seriously, my favorites...I have to now have folders...CraftyGoodness...CrochetGoodness...KnitingGoodness....EmbroideryGoodness...SewingGoodness...How the heck is a girl gonna get off the internet and make something?  I will have to give myself a timer like I do for Max...1/2 hour of playing Playstation and then you are done. 

Crafts Update:  Started crocheting a hooded baby blanket.  I am 1/2 done with my first real cross-stitch project - a biscornu - inspired by The Flossbox - aren't these darling?  They just look doable.  I am also working on a another project - Any Small Acts of Kindness are Never Wasted. 

I promised Max we would work on Super Lion today too. 

Oh yeah - I love glitter and I made a valentines tree cause I just love the glow of white will turn into St. Pats Tree, Easter Tree, Spring Tree, you get the picture...

Max_sicklegosHere's a quick Max update - he made this most recent Lego Booster creation last weekend when he was recovering from strep throat.  Literally 6 hours of concentrated work where there was no tv, no computer and no nintendo ds.  Worth every dime!!! He was pretty stinkin' proud of himself too.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Good Music and Joy Book News

Wow - I have been hankerin' for some new music for the ipod!  I have hit the mother-lode!  I went to iTunes a couple of times with no luck.  Tonight - I happen to see the cast album for Xanadu - no offense, but ya just can't improve the original version!  So, that got downloaded along with a few others:

Boogie Shoes - KC & Sunshine Band, Le Freak- Chic, Do that to me one more time - Captain & Tennille, Is She Really Going Out with Him? - Joe Jackson...I think you get the idea!  Now, to go find my Greatest Hits - Hall and Oats and I am completely transported to being 12!  It really was not that long ago...:) 

Other news - Max told me tonight that his teacher said that she is going to bring in the Joy Book for the kids to put in entries on when they are having really good days and bad days.  I think that is so sweet!  I hope I get to peak at it when we go to spring conferences. 

Cardinal_crossstitch Cross-stitch - I did my first mini-project and it was ok - Lor gave me lots of good advice and I can already see a difference.  Gotta start somewhere!