Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh s{NO}w!

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water. –Carl Reiner

Remember that lovely hint of spring last week? It was just to tease us all. Friday we woke up to 6" of new snow and it snowed pretty much all day Saturday. It was a wet snow, and will melt away again soon. The days are clear and cold now, with white as far as the eye can see. It is a bit bleak. So I make an offering to appease the Snow and perhaps tempt it into hibernation. This is my tribute to this and all winters past.

InsideOut a Cappella - In the Sun They Melted (Snowmen II)

Once there was a snowman, snowman, snowman.
{Grasshopper, 2002}

Once there was a snowman tall, tall, tall.
{Mr. Bug & Grasshopper, 2002}

In the sun he melted, melted, melted.
{LadyBug, December 2010}

In the sun he melted small, small, small.
{LadyBug, January 2007}

Once There Was A Snowman
–words and music by Moiselle Renstrom

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Sermons: Unselfish Service

We are happier and more fulfilled when we act and serve for what we give, not for what we get. –Dallin H. Oaks

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Happy Birthday LadyBug: Nine Years Old

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. –Elizabeth Stone

I started LadyBug's baby announcements while I was still pregnant. I chose purple because the ultrasound technician was only 80% sure that she was a girl. I waited to stamp the little rosebuds on the front until after she was born. I'm so glad she was a girl, because even without the little flowers on it, that color of purple would have been hard to pull off for a little boy.

With a 20% chance that we were having a boy, Mr. Bug was going to name him Edward James. Yes. Really. Edward. He was going to call him Ed. I told him that when he spent nine months growing a baby, followed by major surgery to remove the baby, he could call him whatever he wanted, but there was no way I was going to waste a perfectly good baby on the name Edward {oh, the irony :rofl:}. Sometimes he calls LadyBug Ed. It's her favorite nickname.
{2 weeks, March 2002}

When LadyBug was born, she weighed 8 lbs. 7 oz. My sister said that she was eight pounds of cheeks. I love this picture of her at 6 months. That is her blessing {LDS tradition were the baby is formally given a name} dress. I made it as one of the required projects for my sewing class during my senior year of high school. The dress was 11 years old when LadyBug wore it, and since we didn't bless her until she was 5 months old, I had to take the bodice out and make the neck larger. While I was at it, I removed some lace from the sleeves and around the bodice and added the little flowers and ribbons on the front.
{Six Months, July 2002}

Already a year, still bald as a billiard cue and still the best cheeks ever. LadyBug was such a calm, content baby.
{1 Year, March 2003}

At 18 months we shaved her little head. She had nothing but peach fuzz up there anyway. Six months later she had way more hair than she had before we shaved her head. My only regret about that is that we didn't do it sooner.
{2 years, March 2004}

LadyBug is generally reserved in crowds. She takes a while to warm up, even around family. But she has the most sassy-sweet personality and I am so glad I get to know the real her.
{3 years, March 2005}

I can't believe how fast the time has gone. She's certainly not a baby anymore, even though I still call her Baby fairly often.
{Almost 4 Years, December 2005}

Absolutely adorable, even with chocolate cake on her face and crazy bumpy hair from letting her braids out.
{5 Years, February 2007}

In getting ready for Kindergarten, we took LadyBug in for her check-up. The doctor noticed that one of her eyes wasn't doing what it was supposed to, and so LadyBug began wearing glasses. She's still the most adorably sweet girl I know.
{6 years, February 2008}

LadyBug is definitely her own person. She's quiet and reserved, and just a little bit stubborn. Her personality is a lot like Mr. Bug's, and she's a restful sort of person to be around. She knows what she likes and she doesn't compromise. She tags along with her brother, interested in doing whatever he's doing — LEGO's, Bionicles, computer games — and she's not into girly things, or the color pink. This dress was a huge compromise for her, because it's . . . well, a dress. The pretty chocolate brown color was a point in its favor, as was the silky texture. But if she had her way, she'd wear gym shorts and a t-shirt all the time.
{Almost 7 Years - November 2008}

She has grown into quite an incredible girl. She likes math and has worked really hard to become a good reader. She makes friends easily and is loyal and kind.
{8 Years, February 2010}

My sweet birthday girl has got her day all planned out. We started out with a pancake breakfast and then she went to Activity Days. She wants a Texas Brownie Sheet Cake and she's going to help me make it. After that we're going to Build-a-Bear Workshop and she wants to eat at Golden Corral for dinner. I'm excited to spend the afternoon with her doing things that she enjoys.

:partytime: Happy Birthday, LadyBug! I hope your day is as special as you are.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Favourite Things Friday: Wit and Cleverness, i.e., Good Humor

After God created the world, He made man and woman. Then, to keep the whole thing from collapsing, He invented humor. –Bill Kelly, "Mordillo"

I'm not entirely sure that this post won't fall flat on its face. I don't know if I can convey this in a way that anybody but me will get. My post is clumsy and awkward, and not at all like the favourite thing I want to share, but here goes anyway :lol:. I like good humor. I love a good pun, an inside joke, a reference to pop culture, or witty, clever banter. I like well thought-out comedy. I thought I'd share a bit of what tickles my funny bone.

I'll start off with Fred & George Wesley. You never know what you'll get with those two. For this one, I'll point you to a collection of clips {the embedding feature was disabled} over at YouTube.

The TV show Psych is always good for a laugh. The dialog is pretty funny and they do tons of inside jokes and references to pop culture. This is one of my favorite funny references {feel free to stop the video after Gus, a.k.a. Jazz Hands, says his line, at about :35}

For witty banter, nothing can compete with Gilmore Girls. The entire cast is amazing. It is hard to convey the funniness of this show out of context; it is kind of one you have to see. All the same, I hope you'll enjoy this collection of funny moments. My favorite is 'the yellow stick road.'

It is a shame that Dharma & Greg was cancelled, because it just so much fun. I love to catch it on re-runs. Don't tell anyone :paranoid:, but I kind of have a girl crush on Dharma.

Today's post brought to you by:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vintage Thingy Thursday: Salt & Pepper Shakers and Butter Dish For My Old China Set

Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.
–H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

My grandpa sent me a Valentine :Heart:. In that Valentine was a check. It was payment for the bibs I made him :rolleyes:. I told him more than once that he didn't need to pay me. And I probably should have sent the check back :wall:. But I was too busy thinking about what I wanted to do with my Valentine. It wasn't anything responsible, like paying bills. I was thinking of selfish things I could buy for myself. I thought it was kind of fitting to buy a few more service pieces for my china with the money he sent me, because he gave me the set of dishes. I went straight to eBay and got the salt & pepper shakers. So cute! And the butter dish. To die for! Not to mention really hard to find :cool:.

Pasadena 6311 came out in 1962, but there is no telling exactly how old these pieces are, because they could have been manufactured any time up until 1978. This pattern, which is 49 years old, is so timeless. I think it is so pretty and I love getting 'new' pieces to add to my set.

And shhh . . . don't tell :paranoid:. While I was buying the butter dish and the salt & pepper shakers, I got a cereal bowl because one bowl was missing from the set my grandpa gave me and I wanted to take advantage of combined shipping. I mean, I could have ordered it separately some other time and paid a separate shipping. But why not have it tag along in the same box as the butter dish and salt & pepper shakers. I just makes sense to save a little money on shipping, right? Right.

I think I'm finished collecting service pieces for now. As cute as the coffee pot is {not to mention the tea pot, sugar bowl and creamer}, I'm thinking those pieces are just something that I won't use very often at all. I would like to get my hands on a round covered vegetable dish, though, the giant price tag notwithstanding. And I'm kind of dreaming of expanding my set from 8 place settings to 12. That's going to have to wait for a bit though. Still, it is fun to have something to look forward to.

Today's post brought to you by:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bradbury 13: Here There Be Tygers

Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.
–Ray Bradbury

Today's Bradbury 13 is Here There Be Tygers. It was the twelfth in the series to air and is based on the short story of the same name in A Medicine for Melancholy, which was published in 1959.

Here There Be Tygers
The rocket ship sank down towards planet seven of star system 84. They had travelled millions upon millions of miles. Earth was far away, her system and her sun forgotten. And now the rockets of these tiny men could travel anywhere for the speed of their rockets was the speed of a god. And now, they were feathering down towards an alien world.
My Rating: :cat: :cat: :cat: :cat:
Travel through space has fascinated man since . . . well, since somebody looked up and noticed there were other planets out there. This story is really very enchanting, if you love stories about space travel and things that you imagined doing when you were a child, with a dash of the dangers that lurk in the unknown to keep it interesting. On the surface, it would seem that this story is all about those dreams we dream when we are young. But as with each of the other episodes, there is a deeper meaning to the story. This one deals with how we treat our natural resources and how money equals power. It makes you stop and think. I was 11 when these stories came out and listening to them then, I only enjoyed them for their entertainment value. As I've listened to them again to get ready for posting, I find there is more there and have really liked grasping the deeper meanings.

Air Date: June 18, 1984

{Tim Eisenhart, Bruce Newbold, Max Robinson and one other.
Photo Courtesy of Phil at Ray Bradbury & Media
©Mike McDonough}
Paul Frees

Max Robinson
Bruce Newbold
Michael Drury Beck
Tim Eisenhart
Jeff Raider

Roger Hoffman
Greg Hansen

Production Assistant:
Patrick Mead

Associate Producer:
Jeff Raider

Created, Produced, Directed:
Mike McDonough

Executive Producer:
Dean Van Uitert

Audio Clip of Here There Be Tygers
Buy Here There Be Tygers mp3
Buy Bradbury 13 Audio CDs

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. –Henry Ward Beecher

I don't go in my back yard much in the winter — it's just too cold. But in my travels to and from the car, I've noticed little green things peeking up through the dirt in my north facing front gardens. So I decided to see if anything interesting was happening on the south side of the house. Look what I found . . . early bloomers!

These adorable dwarf irises are the first of the spring bulbs to bloom. And that is a regular iris coming in behind it.

A mini-bouquet of dwarf irises. To the right are a couple of hyacinths.

A dwarf iris and a couple of daffodils coming in to the left of it.

In the bottom left corner are two giant purple crocuses. So gorgeous! Another dwarf iris is in the middle and behind and to the right are hyacinths almost ready to bloom.

This pink hyacinth bloomed really early, even for a hyacinth. There is also a nice big bunch of tulips are coming in.

And this was absolutely amazing to me. A daffodil already! That is really early too! Spring is coming, if we can just hold on for a few more weeks!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Not for the Faint of Heart

Warning: due to the graphic nature of this post, reader's discretion is advised.

Apparently, I've been working Grace too hard. She threw a tantrum in September and refused to take another stitch. I sent her for a two-week spa retreat and we were back in business. For the record, I take good care of my machine. Proper maintenance is on my mind. I keep her swept out and lint-free and every once in a while, I drop a tiny bit of oil down the holes in the face plate, because that's what they're for, right? Well, apparently not. Grace's manual does not give any instructions whatsoever on how to oil her. So, when she froze up again during the middle of Friday Night Sew-In, I was, well . . . I don't know what I was. Mostly annoyed. Annoyed that she was ready to quit long before I was. Annoyed at the possibility of having to take her for another spa retreat so soon after her last. Annoyed that someone doesn't send me on a two-week a spa retreat when I throw a tantrum and say I'm overworked. Annoyed that a tune-up is ¼ of the price I paid for the machine and that it is apparently necessary twice a year, effectively making the machine disposable after two years. Annoyed at myself for not having done something to prevent this. Yes. I think annoyed sums it up.

Because the budget is very tight at Bug Cottage right now, I went on-line. Google knows everything and I figured that somewhere out there would be instructions on how to oil this machine. No luck. Then I went to the on-line source, but as with the manual, there was nothing on the manufacturer's website; nothing on the machine's page, nothing in the FAQ's, so I filled out on an on-line inquiry and not-so-patiently waited for their reply. Saturday afternoon the reply came. They recommended taking the machine in to have it professionally serviced as it has to be opened up. Can you hear me rolling my eyes :rolleyes:?

Not happy at the prospect of having to pay for another service call and having do without my machine for another two weeks, with trepidation I started to disassemble my machine to see if I could figure out what was wrong with her. I pause here to again mention, that the following images are very graphic in nature and discretion is advised. I also want to say that I do not recommend or endorse this and if you pull apart your own sewing machine and it goes badly, I do not accept any responsibility for it. Proceed at your own risk.

I'm removing the screws from the bottom of the case. It is good that Mr. Bug has a very large collection of screwdrivers. I think we used 8 different screwdrivers to remove all the screws and get the case open.

After you remove all the screws that hold the case together, you have to pry the plastic clips inside of the machine open. That's Mr. Bug there, getting the job done. It was a little nerve racking. I was afraid that case was going to crack.

After no small amount of prying, we got the machine open. It is kind of like looking at a one of those medical drawings of what a human looks like under the skin. Please note the color of towel I put under her. Surgical green :paranoid:.

I moved from joint to joint, cleaning and oiling as I went. I started under the bobbin casing. I was sure that was where the sticking spot was going to be. But as it turns out, it was right next to the hand wheel. To get to it required removing a computer board {:bug eyes:} from its mountings. Between the two of us, we got the joint cleaned and oiled and amazingly we got Grace all back together. There was only one screw left over when we finished up, so we marked that down as a success.

Grace was back on her feet in no time at all. Saturday evening, I put together the rest of the pinwheels for the quilt I started during FNSI. Here it is all laid out on the living room floor up on the design wall, ready to be assembled. I'm hoping I'll have a bit of time to work on that after the Little Bugs are in bed tonight.

I am not going to put a border on this quilt, so once the top is done, I'll get it ready for quilting. I'm considering loopy flowers instead of stippling. But I also thought a swirl might be nice too. Any suggestions?

P.S. I was only joking about having a screw left over. Miraculously, we got the screws back in all the right places.