Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zibbet!

Such an obvious choice! And so easy to write about but since I've done it before I won't go on and on. Aside from a few tiny issues that need tweaking, Zibbet, in my opinion is the best online, handmade venue out there today. Yes, Etsy started the ball rolling but has lost some of its mojo. After being there and on and off 5-6 other sites, I know a good site when I see it. In June it will be 3 years on Zibbet and every minute has been a treasure. I was the featured seller this week which actually is the 2nd time. I think the first time was when there were less than 50 members and the post wasn't archived so they posted me again. So if you want to know more about me, read it!
It is fitting that this last challenge post is a Z as Zibbet is the last site I will put any effort towards. If you're thinking about a move or starting to sell online, it is THE place to be.

Credit for the above photo goes to Portable Graffiti , a great Zibbet source for buttons, vintage and graphics...visit!

Regarding Saturday's Y one guessed why it was a Y post. Go back and read it and guess. I'll tell you later!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


We're nearing the end of this A to Z April Challenge and I am so glad I participated. It was a push for me and sometimes a down right struggle but I made it.
The question... will I continue to blog at a greater pace than I did before this? That remains to be seen.
As I write this I  know what the last post is so that's a good feeling.
I loved reading all the comments and exploring new blogs & I believe I gathered some new friends along the path.
Pushing for the 26 posts brought up memories, stoked my creative writing and even made me laugh sometimes...all good.
Now....who knows how this is a post for the next to the last letter????

Friday, April 27, 2012

X marks the....

One of the highlights of the school year for third graders was learning to write in cursive. They felt so grown up and important. The 3rd grade teachers were very possessive about keeping this part of the curriculum at their level. It was a relaxing, fun part of a day that was all too often filled with tension and anxiety experienced while learning and trying to understand other difficult concepts.
Side note: Today I understand cursive is barely taught. With the advent of the computer, some say "Who needs it?"...that's another post!
I was a relaxed cursive teacher. No strict formation for me. I believed readability was  important. Can a complete stranger pick up your writing and decipher every word?
You pass! My way of teaching it  was additionally fun. I grouped together letters of similar stroke and shape like lower case e,l,i, u and t, followed by m,n and h. Immediately loads of words can be formed and the children really felt so proud. Not just shape routines but real words.
One of the last letters was X and x. Based on usage, it's a rarity.
This list of letters show frequency of usage:

As you can see it's #23! And it's hard! Look at the keyboard photo below...lowly X isn't even a factor in the most often used letters typed. The English combination of words starting with ex is plentiful and soundwise, it confused the kids. Then there's advertising and the dropping of the 'e' so kids think 'xtra' is a word and spelled correctly.
Well, I won't go off on grammar and spelling issues further but today being "X-Day" brought to mind the fun days of teaching cursive.
How's your handwriting?!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Whoopee!

I won't keep you in suspense any longer if you've been waiting with bated breath since my U post the other day. I have been seriously hunting and surfing online and a bit off, for stores or sites that might want to carry my tapemeasures. They have received such a favorable reaction online and at craft shows and I love making them. They are one of the few items I like to make again and again. I have had an answer from someone and it could be a major leap but am still waiting for an additional response.
Out of the blue, unrelated to my search, I was contacted with a wholesale order for 15 of my tapemeasures!!! They are going to a store that is soon to open in North Carolina with an owner who is a huge handmade supporter. They were paid for in full and just completed and about to be shipped out. So W is definitely for wow, wonderful, way-to-go and WHOOPEE!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Vibrancy...excitement, energy, movement. I was just inspired to write about color after reading this post on Abracadebra Designs.      
Lately I've come to really appreciate and act on color and how it affects my moods, especially in my clothing. I wore a white shirt and a white hoodie the other day....blah!
Yesterday I had on a red polo with the same white hoodie...energized.
Around the house I wear t-shirts and sweats or shorts depending on the season. The dark brown, black or deep blue shirts slow me down. I have a soft orange tee (with ice cream cones on it...yum!) that seems to get me moving.
Today I'm in a true tan and white combo....okay, a little life.
I have started going through my tops and sweaters, eliminating the ones I feel sharply adjust my mood downward when I wear them. Although I might "like" the color, I seem to reject the deep colors and go more with the brights. I am pale complected and have light eyes so brights do liven my face, despite the wrinkles, they just crinkle more...
Black and white works, as the sharp contrast is lively.
My home is mostly decorated in browns, sage green and grays but with orange flower pots showing off my emerald green plants and a bit of yellow here and there.
And food? Who likes brown food? Pretzels, maybe. Yet again bright reds, oranges, greens, even blueberries are so much more energizing.
Oh, yellow...everyone hates my's BRIGHT yellow with touches of blue, a seaside theme (Cape Cod, JoJo and the photo below!) I love it despite the yellow cast it gives to your skin and hair, you have to smile in there. So here's to color and vibrancy. Thanks,Debbie. I thought V would be a tough one!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Utterly Unbelievable!

When it rains,it pours....I am not usually superstitious but I am going to keep this one a bit quiet for awhile. I have always joked about wanting to make the next pet rock or hula hoop or Chia pet. I'm not saying I have it but my tapes are beginning to sell rocks! Some great, exciting news is coming down the road so if you want is the time!
Sorry for the self-promoting for the letter U but for me, this news may be unbelievable!
Find them here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

T for Tea!

I always associated drinking tea with being sick. Along with toast (another T!) I never disliked hot tea but never sought it out unless my throat hurt or I had an unsettled feeling. Three years ago I bought some commercial flavored teas and really enjoyed them. But since I always love to buy handmade I searched and found the Teaman.  I purchased a sampler package and fell in love. Never a fan of any of the mints I preferred the fruit flavors and the vanilla, green and black tea alike.
Now, remember, I love coffee. In fact my kitchen, the one I only cook in because it's there?, has a coffee theme but I have come to prefer tea at night. Warm, delicious, soothing and although I no longer seek it out when I feel under the weather, it always makes me feel better.
Check out the Teaman, whose name....are you ready?...T for Tim!

I carry teabags in my purse, secure in this:

Saturday, April 21, 2012


When I was growing up, the term remote meant far away. Now there are 4 on the night stand.
Computer? Huh?
Microwave? Double huh!
Phones without cords? That was on sci-fi shows or in the comics. And we had ONE for the whole house.
TVs? One then, numerous now.
Books without bindings? What?
I could go on and on as we all know. The accumulation of stuff that we didn't have growing up and can't live without now is seriously amazing!
I am convinced that computers generate paper as I never had as many little slips with VERY important info on them before I had a computer. And please note, I have had a PC for a VERY long time.
But the stuff we tend to accumulate is getting out of hand.
I need more feet for the numbers of shoes I have. It is sickening how long I could go without repeating the same article of clothing. Now, since I'm so honest, I also take good care of my things and they tend to last but still...
How about the cooking/kitchen gadgets that are supposed to save us time? Maybe, but that's after the 20 minutes it takes for us to remember where we put them.
I just came back from the 10 year old's baseball game...gone are the days of carrying your mitt and bat. Each kid lugs a bag that the airlines would double the fees as a carry-on. Filled with stuff. And the parents? They have baggage carts for all their stuff.
Over the years I have had maybe 10-15 garage/yard sales as well as having made huge item donations to various charities. All the 'stuff' I rid myself of hopefully has made someone else happy but aren't I just transferring stuff from point A to point B? One man's stuff is another man's...stuff! There is no end.....
Listen to George Carlin's take on stuff and then go clean up!

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Rebecca

This post is in praise and thanks to Rebecca West. She created, mans, and works hard with the Sample Z Box shop on Zibbet. It is a voluntary job where she accepts samples and donations from other Zibbet shop owners and places them in groupings for sale, advertises, packs up sales and ships them out. It is a wonderful and inexpensive way to get some fabulous creations and get a taste of Zibbet.
Rebecca maintains a Facebook  page and blog all in the name of ZBox and promoting others. This is in addition to caring for her adorable daughter as well as some other toddlers every day of the week. Oh, and she has 2 great shops of her own:
Body and Soul
Rebeccas Jewelry

A wonderful side benefit of online selling is meeting terrific people like Rebecca.
Thank you for all your efforts!
This week on the ZBox blog is a giveaway that I donated to so do check it out. Should you win there will most likely be an additional gift in your package.

Z Box:
Giveaway from:All About The Buttons!!!!
This is o...
: Giveaway from: All About The Buttons!!!! This is one unique shop! Barbra has found a way to incorporate buttons into all of her...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ah, the dreaded Q....

Out on my quest for quality quahogs,I ran into a quarrelsome fellow quester who was in a quandry while  trying to determine quality in what would qualify for his chowder. I quickly quantified my abilities as a quahog expert and quizzed my fellow quester about size. The quiz perturbed the quahog quester and he procceed to question my qualifications.  The quirky questioner quieted when I said I was a quadragenarian of many years clamming in Quonset. "Oh", he replied, "Your quirky questions were quite surprising. May I address you as the Queen of Quahogs?" I bowed to his quixotic question and quickly quoted my quahog fees...invite me for chowder as long as there was a quorum of quite like minded quahog questers present. "Done", he answered quite quietly.

PS....the chowder was delicious!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


No, this is not a sentimental post regarding a long ago loved and admired grandfather.
Pay attention!!! Pay attention!!!!!! PaPa....
As a teacher it was tempting to say that several times a day but I tried hard to not single children out. If there was a distracting behavior I dealt with that and not a public scolding with PAY ATTENTION!!!
Today, 2012, paying attention seems to be a lost art.
Talking on a cell while conducting a store transaction instead of pay now, talk later.
Texting while driving....need I say more?
Playing an electronic game while watching television and missing the whole theme of a show and then questioning others so they miss what they were paying attention to...phew!
Multi-tasking has become an art and some would say, a necessity. Sadly, few do it well. When the safety and consideration of others is at risk, I say please pay attention!
(Sorry, I said yesterday no more soapbox but this was an issue for me today-multiple times. I PROMISE tomorrow will be less lecture and more informative!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Many are intimidated by orchids. While admiring their beauty, they exclaim "Oh, I couldn't"...
I'm here to tell you,  YES,YOU CAN!!!
My most important piece of advice: choose one that has many buds, not open flowers. The flowers will last many weeks. If you choose one with open flowers they may be on the downside and you will have lost the joy of watching them for a long time. And the plants themselves have a long life. Some of mine are 6-7 years old and still flowering like the one in the center photo with the deep purple flowers.
Just a few pictures to get you up and out to purchase one!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Here's my crotchety, yes, I'm getting old, new pet peeve....noisy restaurants. I cannot stand it and even when the food may be terrific, I am reluctant to go. Never noticed until lately how the octaves may be so high. What I can't understand is why some restaurants are quiet and some are so loud you can barely hear the waitress. It has little to do with price as some chains are quiet and some fine dining establishments are cacophonous! Some smallish places can be ear splitting but it usually is the larger restaurants that strain the timbers! So I guess it may be the sheer number of people? I don't know. I do know, when possible, I won't sit near children. Spent a life long career, 6+ hours a day with them. Love them but don't want to eat with them. I also have learned to sit near the walls of a restaurant. It's ear-splitting hell to sit in the center.
My hearing is fine and there is no loss, despite the many concerts in my youth, but when I'm out for a meal, whether a sandwich, an omelet or chicken cordon bleu....shhhhhhh!
Off crotchety-old-lady soapbox!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


As a child it was so exciting to get mail directly addressed to you....maybe a letter from Grandma in Florida or a postcard from a traveling aunt, certainly birthday cards...all handwritten sentiments.
Not so much today!
Junk mail
Political notices...sorry, I already said junk mail!
Sales flyers
And did I say bills?
But every once in a while the excitement comes back.
Today, my mail included:
a wedding save-the-date card for the daughter of old college friends who thought she'd never 'settle' down. 
a check for $14.62 that AT&T had owed me for 2+ years
a notice that my AARP membership has expired
2 magazines
1 catalog for sailing accessories...?
a discount card for an oil change
the electric bill
2 charity requests with address labels & my name was misspelled on all of them

Most excitedly, a handwritten thank you note from my grandson for our contribution to his baseball team...sweet and a reminder of the past.
Ahhhh, the good ole days!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lessons Learned

The other day my daughter-in-law called with a question about the 6 year old's homework. As she was asking me the question about the lesson, she realized what the teacher meant on the assignment so I actually never answered. (For those who don't know-I was an elementary school techer for over 30 years.)
It got me thinking about lessons, how we learn and greatly, what we retain.
It is amazing how what we don't use, we lose or it morphs into something else. I taught the exact lesson my grandson was learning for decades but I don't think about it anymore, ever, and neither does my daughter-in-law which is why she mis-read it to start. The student actually got it and had been arguing with her! 

I do believe the first 3-4 years of school includes information we will always use, no matter our profession or life course. Reading, writing and arithmetic....they used to be called the "3 Rs" though only one word started with an 'r'! I used to tell the parents I believed in another set of Rs...responsibility,responsibility and responsibility.
The curriculum load has grown hugely over the years and has been pushed down the grade chain. A great deal is expected of kids today but they can do it as long as they are responsible about their learning. And then all the lessons will be learned and hopefully retained.

Lesson learned reagarding gardens:
Perennials, perennials,perennials...initial work but less as the years go on! Sit back and watch them grow!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I love the poster/saying "I only have a kitchen because it came with the house".....these days those are my sentiments exactly.
I can cook.
I have been doing it forever and I dare say, I do it well.
I have been with partners who have trouble locating the forks and spoons as if they just moved in yesterday.
The current one is proficient with tuna fish. The other had a shorter menu!
Why do I have to prove it over and over again that I can do it? I'm tired.
I enjoy eating out more frequently than we can afford but look forward to the simplest of meals prepared by a stranger.
Not thinking about the meal.
Not food shopping.
Not collecting the ingredients.
Not preparing it.
Not cleaning up.
All is solved by eating someone else's efforts.   Brilliant!
Thankfully the other  current  resident is usually easy and doesn't mind leftovers so I often over prepare on purpose.
I'm tired.
Please don't make me go in the kitchen....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Just a second....
Just a minute....
Just wait....
I was just thinking of calling you....
I just didn't have time to.......


As an adverb, just means:
  • within a brief preceding time; but a moment before: The sun just came out.
  • exactly or precisely: This is just what I wanted. 
  • by a narrow margin; barely: The arrow just missed the mark.
  • only or merely: He was just a clerk until he became ambitious.
  • actually; really; positively: The weather is just glorious.
Just is a weird word. It just feels strange to say it and it has so many meanings.
I honestly just got  stuck today with the letter "J" for the challenge. It should have been easy with so many close people in my life with names beginning with "J" but I just didn't feel like writing about them. I just wrote about my mother and just didn't feel right dragging more family members into this. I just couldn't come up with a better idea. So my blogging about just is just (as in keeping with the truth).
I also have just read another blog with photos of Cape Cod so I just couldn't resist adding one of mine...just one!


My Mom's name was Irene. I always loved the name,especially since it started with a vowel and as a child, I thought that was special. She was special,too. Talented and warm, she suffered from middle child syndrome. She had an older and younger sister and never felt she had anything special to offer. She even dyed her hair red to stand out. Not the baby, nor the first she rarely accepted herself for who she was....a strong, creative, giving person that everyone liked to be around, including her sisters.
It's coming up on 20 years since she's gone and I still miss her. Always will and it makes me sad to think my child one day will experience these feelings of longing. But that's life and it does go on. I still talk to her and have unanswered questions and the apron strings were long ago cut but I was blessed.
So though it may be a cliche, it's the ones who are here now because tomorrow, who knows? I take pride that we often expressed our love for each other and I wouldn't do much differently if I could.
The memories are sweet but there will always be a bit of a hole in my heart.



Sorry for no post on 4-9...Blogger issues!

I love hearts, LOVE them. I have been wearing one around my neck for over 14 years. It took me almost 2 years to find what i thought was the perfect one. I have other pieces of heart jewelry as well. So today I'm just sharing some heart photos from my collection and others. Ya' gotta have heart!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I know the initial purpose of a garage was to house and protect the car. But they have also become warehouses for
gardening equipment,
old art,
paper towels,
out of season cushions,
packing materials,
garbage cans,
artwork not worthy of being indoors,
laundry supplies,
excess big box purchases,
Yes, those are just some of my garage's contents and it drives me nuts. You cannot open a car door for fear of hitting a planter pot on one side or a 3' by 5' mirror on the other or the other car, with little green or white dings to prove it's happened. The mirror was moved here almost 10 years ago, never hung inside but it can't leave!!!
It's a nearly impossible space to keep clean....think oil drops, leaves, spiders and more. It has been, past tense, the residence of a 4' black snake, a bird and a black widow spider, to my knowledge. Who knows what other creatures have come and gone (hopefully)?
But I am grateful to have it, nonetheless. For 6 years in new York I didn't have one...think snow, so I am appreciative.

I am happy that we can put the cars inside but I just wish someone, anyone would clean it up. Are you listening, Mr. Someone???

UPDATE: He listened and didn't read this post. The garbage can is full. There's a nice pile for the yard sale and the floor is squeaky clean....almost. Hopefully the mouse we disturbed finds a new home!

Friday, April 6, 2012


I am not a floral, flowery person. I virtually never wear prints of any sort, just a rare stripe or check. I don't decorate my home with florals either-no photos of buds or sprigs and no flowered chair anywhere! I do have plants indoors as well as outside and if one of them decides to bloom, I'm over the moon.
There is nothing like this time of year for flowers and I do enjoy them. When my hard work from digging in clay soil rewards me with a perennial bloom, I am gaga!
So today I just want to share my 2012 far! The last photo is an odd,yet beautiful flower from an indoor plant. You'll have to wait for the "O" post to see my about over the moon!!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


If you're an online seller, you mentally have certain expectations and hopes about your product. I always thought "Maybe this is the next pet rock or Cabbage Patch doll or hula hoop"......wrong approach.
False or misleading expectations can lead to disappointments. Beauty is in the know the phrase! And what I may think is an indispensable thing of beauty and function can be seen as a worthless piece of junk by another.
Make what you like. Create what you believe in. Find a niche. Prepare to be disappointed and then it won't hurt as much. We have winners and bombs and with that comes experience and knowledge. Don't over inflate your expectations. If one or two sell, terrific. Three, very nice. Four,hmmmm, maybe you have something. Take it slow. Do your research. Listen to experienced friends. Don't overstock with supplies, just in case.
The world changes so fast it is hard to keep up. One of my "winners" are my magnetic bookmarks. I have been very pleased with the sales. I had a reasonable expectation but I did NOT anticipate (how could I?) the advent of the Kindle and the Nook tablet readers? Many still read 'real' books but now I have to pause and adjust the expectation.
Again, create what you enjoy and love to do. There are bound to be others with your sensibilities and they will enjoy your product. Just don't expect there to be a line outside your door with crowd control guards...not likely.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Is drive a noun? A verb? An adjective?
1. to send, expel, or otherwise cause to move by  compulsion: to drive away the flies;
2. to cause and guide -to drive a car
3. to force to work or act: He drove the workers until they collapsed.
4. urge, compel.
Well, for me, Drive is the name of my grandson's travel elite baseball team. They are all driven little guys. And I drive all over to watch them play!! It is so enjoyable to watch these future men learn about sportsmanship, develop their skills and have great passion for the sport. They are a driven group! I know how sports had a positive influence on my son throughout his youth and I wish the same for these fellows. Oh, and they won a tournament last proud!


I love reading the comments that people leave here on the blog. I also love to comment on other blogs & I even read other comments. I believe it's validation and a way to connect with others who may be alike or different, doesn't matter. It's letting the writer know they have been read and that something may have been stirred, a connection. To me it's almost silly to open the door-read a blog-and then not say hello! They are saying "Come in!"
Many blogs are  creative outlets for the writers and making connections through comments is crucial. Many blogs are tools to show creations & comments are helpful. And in the blog world as well as reality, it is vital to coexist.
So this commentary is really short because I am off to comment on others and make some creative connections while striving to coexist!!!

C is also for clocks!!!....and to coexist, my dream.

Monday, April 2, 2012

And B is for.......

First off I must tell you I am participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge so you will see and hear alot more from me than normally! The posts will be short and sweet.

Today's letter is B and an easy one for me!
and did I say buttons?!!!!
Imagine life without buttons...

Can't believe I left off my name from that list!!!! Barbra....

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for Apples

For 2 days now I have been thinking about apples. I have a recipe to make for next week which is basically apples and walnuts and a few other ingredients, a semi-sweet concoction.
The recipe just says 'apples'.....Delicious? Granny Smith? Macs? Macoons (can't get them here anyway)? Fuji? Cortlands? Honeycrisps? Galas?
Life was so much simpler with fewer varieties but some new things make life so much better. I'd like to do a taste test of apples one, not fattening.
But I haven't yet decided on what type of apples to use. Maybe I'll mix it up since I need about 5 but maybe that will muddy the taste.
Questions...Does the color of an apple affect its taste? Size? What's your favorite?