Thursday, December 13, 2018

More Teacup Craft Ideas

Did you enjoy yesterday's post? These ideas let you expand even more with your unused teacups, with the addition of decorative items and some small-scale plants.

P.S. They make great Christmas presents.

Here are 8 teacup gardens from Country Living magazine. I particularly admire this one:

Such a dainty thing...

Go here for more; these are from Creativities.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A Really Unusual Wreath...And More

If you've got extra decorative cups and saucers -- or a thrift shop nearby that's selling them for pennies -- this wreath is for you.

Its maker calls it a 'tea totaler' wreath . Click on the  Hometalk link for instructions on how to make it.

Friend Laura Levigne sent me the link to this; she said it reminded her of my "hankie pankies." What a girl!

I really want to finish up the sequel to this book, which is currently out of print, and going for big bucks on Amazon. Soon, Dear Readers, soon...

I keep thinking of these other teacup crafts too, via Pinterest.

From -- this is pretty with clear glass and wineglasses, too.

From Cleverly Inspired
Or dispense with the cups and go right to the pot for an unusual windchime, thanks to ZellesAttic via Flickr. A Shabby Chic approach -- but lovely.

Thank you, Laura, for getting me started on this!


Click here for:

Fine, make just a few kinds. Invite me over...I'll bring the coffee.
(Thanks for sharing, One Hundred Dollars A Month)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Hanging with Cory...And Other Political Thoughts

The Brick got invited to Senator Cory Gardner's open house Friday night. This chi-chi event was held at the Brown Palace Hotel in all its glitzy splendor: chandeliers, crystal, a jazz band playing and people dancing down on the ground floor.

    We (the Brick, accompanied by his independent wife and fellow staunch Republican conservative, Tommy) trooped upstairs to Gardner's room. An Easter Seal fundraiser was going on next door -- lots of evening gowns sipping champagne and holding auction tickets. We, on the other hand, had jeans and heavy jackets on -- we were headed next to Denver's Christkindl Markt ('Christ Child Market'), which is outdoors and cold, despite heaters and cheerful lights.
     The room was jammed with people -- literally smashed against each other, many talking loudly. No one recognizable, though I was pretty sure most every Republican mover and shaker in Colorado was present -- or had been there. We kept to the wall and inched into the crowd, between a random back or around a suited backside.
     We were headed toward the bar -- but much to our surprise, Senator Gardner was only a few feet away! The Brick stopped. Tommy did, too, cellphone in hand. I had no such need -- so squeezed back against the wall. (This many people in close proximity give me the creeps -- I feel like I'm going to be trampled. I've struggled against this ever since I first became pregnant.)

The Brick, waiting his turn.
     Closer, closer. Next thing I knew, my husband was shaking Senator Gardner's hand and talking with him. Tommy's turn came soon after, including a selfie. I have to admit -- Senator Gardner was friendly, warm, and really worked that crowd. (He is an interesting guy, with some distinctly independent leanings mixed into the conservative ones. It would have been fun to hear more.)

Tommy, dispensing advice to his buddy.

     Later, on the 16th Street Mall bus, I talked to a couple who'd also been invited to the open house. The man was griping about how much money he had to donate in order to be invited. I didn't dare tell him we hadn't given a cent!  (The Brick was a Republican state delegate; we're guessing that's why he got an invitation. But who knows for certain.)

     Private note to Senator Gardner:  Thanks for inviting us...but we didn't get a chance at the appetizers we heard were being circulated earlier in the evening. In fact, we didn't see a single coconut shrimp. Don't let the Brown Palace overcharge you for this. 

denver christkindl market
Denver's Christkindl Markt: German/Austrian everything --
plus a number of marijuana booths (sigh). At least the latter weren't doing much business.

Other political musings:

Have elections become the property largely of bazillionaires? Rick Scott spent nearly 65 million dollars of his own money to get himself elected as a Florida senator. That makes Jared Polis' $11+ million, spent on his Colorado governor's campaign, look like chump change. (Yes, Polis won.) And they're certainly not alone.

Maybe not, though. USA Today argues that 80 percent of self-funded candidates go down in flames(I dunno -- they seem to do quite well in Colorado.)

(I should have asked Mr. Gardner about this, since the official report has him spending nothing on his 2014 campaign. Of course he freaked Democrats out when they couldn't find his campaign headquarters in 2014. Or catch him doing something bad, even though the Dems hired a 'tracker' to shadow him.)

* * * * *

President Trump will resign 10 minutes before his presidency VP Pence can pardon him for any crimes he might be indicted for. Or so says a Newsweek columnist. One of the sillier indictments of Trump that have come out lately, including the assumption that Pence, who has shown himself to be a man of honor, would even agree with this.
     Like the rest of the world, rappers included, President Trump has to be responsible for his own actions.

* * * * *

Why aren't we hearing much about the migrant caravan at the U.S./Mexico border? Have they all gone home?

Obviously not.

I was hard put to understand why the Central American migrant caravan headed to Tijuana (i.e., the California border), rather than going to a U.S. border that's a lot closer.

This article has some cogent points, including what seemed perfectly obvious from the start:

This was not a "let's go" decision spontaneously arrived at by thousands of random migrants. It, like the previous migrant caravan, was organized by a group:
                               Pueblo Sin Fronteras, or 'People Without Borders.'

     Says one source: "Pueblo Sin Fronteras cheated the migrants; they told them lies that once they arrived at the border, everything would be very easy."
     The organization says that's not true: that the migrants decided for themeselves where they were going. Members simply "accompany" those who have already decided to leave. (Pueblo Sin Fronteras members have been leading some, if not most, of the charges toward the U.S. border; they were front and center when the caravan stormed the Mexico/Guatemala border crossing, as well.)


*Tijuana is said to be less dangerous than other border cities.

*More charitable organizations have shelters and aid societies there. But most of all:

*California is a "sanctuary" state. More immigration lawyers are available, and judges decide in the immigrant's favor more than other districts. (Read the article. It's really not disputed.)

U.S. immigration authorities are processing applications. Slowly. Meanwhile, thousands of immigrants are milling around at the border --

And it's been raining.

Alex Mensing, a Pueblo sin Fronteras activist, says it's not the group's fault that these people are struggling. After all, they didn't have to come -- and according to Mensing, the migrants were warned about the dangers. "We can't force people to listen," he said. "We never promised anybody anything other than that we would walk with them."

I'm sure that is such a comfort right now.

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi plans to meet with President Trump to offer $1.5 billion for building a border wall.  (I thought they were adamant that not a cent would be advanced for this?) They're not negotiating because they suddenly agree with Trump that a wall is needed. The real reason? Trump has threatened a government shutdown, if he doesn't get the funds needed for a border fence/wall...and the Democrat (and other) leaders don't like the idea of a shut-down. Big-time.

(Update: Yep, the shouting match and not-so-veiled insults did a lot of good. Way to show progress, people. Did it ever occur to you -- on all sides -- that LISTENING, modeled by Vice President Pence, might have solved some impasses?)

     So what does this say to the average American schlepke, like me? That the topics of immigrants and border issues were probably not nearly as important to Congress as they'd like to make out. It's just another weapon to use against Those Mean Conservatives -- Trump, in particular.
     Does the average Congressman really care what happens to the immigrant caravan? Based on recent actions... probably not. But hey, it's good for lots of blowhard posturing.

     Meanwhile, plenty of people, including me, wonder if a few days of shuttered government offices might not be a bad idea. Let's put the money saved toward the national deficit!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Piano and Progress

Still dreary, still cold. And still working. Last month continues to wreak its havoc on me...but not for long. 

Yesterday was a recital for piano students of two teachers: a young friend -- and me. 

    I only have one student right now. He did some years of lessons when he was young; now as an adult, he's resolved to start up again. He's only been playing three months, but is doing a good job. Even better, he's serving as an inspiration for other adults in our group of friends. I've got two guys in the new year who also want to start lessons.
     My student inspired the kids who played yesterday, as well. I'm proud of him. 

From - via Pinterest

Surprising facts gleaned from interviews with 100 millionaires.  (From ESI Money)

Two nuns embezzle $500,000 from the Catholic school they worked for; part of the money went to Las Vegas trips and gambling. But hey, they're sorry...

The Irish lady who 'married' the spirit of an 18th century pirate? Well, they're getting a divorce.

Ten interesting new discoveries connected to ancient Greece -- including the oldest copy of the Odyssey yet, and a huge mosaic in great condition. (From Listverse)

The Nebraska elementary school principal who banned candy canes -- because they're shaped like a 'J,' for Jesus. (Actually, I thought they represented a shepherd's crook.) If it's any comfort, 1) she banned a bunch of other symbols, including Santa Claus, and 2) she's now out on administrative leave. So teachers and students can decorate for the holidays, after all??

Now PETA has a new target: popular sayings. (Guess the animal crackers didn't keep them occupied.)

Price per pound: Civil War cottons.  (From Brackman's Civil War Quilts)

Very funny airport signs. Maybe they should hire:

Emily the singing donkey, though I might disagree that she has a "glorious bray."

Thinking about visiting the Smithsonian? Here's a nice look at some of the earlier quilts in their collection.

"Why we're not getting a big Christmas tree this year." Some practical ideas for celebrating the holidays as a family -- without having to do the same traditions you've 'always' done. (From Moneysaving Mom) In keeping with that:

Christmas on a zero budget.  (From Snail Pace Transformations) She also has an extremely helpful series:

How to plan Christmas on an super tight budget.

A sad story about an elderly mom stranded overnight in her wheelchair at O'Hare Airport...only it's not true. Kudos to American Airlines for keeping careful records of what their employees did -- and they kept track of her until relatives picked her up. (Double oops.)
     Why do people lie about stuff like this? I know, I know... $$$$.

Al Sharpton just sold ten years' worth of rights to his life story -- to his own charity. They paid $531,000; hey, great buy, huh.

Medicare-for-all could be almost funded, just by the errors in Pentagon spending. Or so Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says. (Oops, the numbers don't even remotely add up. But it's the thought that counts, according to her spokesman.)

Blanket stitch binding...pretty and tidy.  (From We All Sew)

Another effective binding method(From My Sweet Prairie)

A third binding method - machine sewn from start to finish!  (From Mommy's Naptime)

Santa belly doughnuts -- something new from Krispy Kreme.

Have a good week.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Christmas Beard

So there you go...

This weird (but funny) moment has been brought to you, 
        courtesy of Suzanne Konig (via Pinterest)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Another Book Signing! Dec. 8

Roxborough State Park in the metro Denver has a special author event on Saturday, December 8.
I'll be one of four authors there to present their books, give a talk (mine's around 11:30 a.m.) and sign books for you. (My photographer, the Brick, has promised to come, too. Two signatures for one price!)

Here's the info -- hope to see you there. Plan to stay and check out the park, as well -- it's one of the Denver area's best-kept secrets.

Annual Author Book Signing!

Saturday, December 08: 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Join us for this annual event. Each author will give a short presentation on his/her featured book, then convene in the lobby to sign books for that special person. Autographed books and all merchandise is 10% off. Get a head start on your holiday presents! The featured local artists and the title of their books include: Chris Englert “The Best Urban Hikes Denver”; Within Denver’s C-470 loop, numerous trails invite exploration. This book highlights 30 hikes throughout the urban core, including Golden, Aurora, Westminster, Arvada, Littleton, and Thornton. Special coverage of the 9 Creeks loop, a 41 mile urban hike on Denver’s Best trails. Ed Sealover “Colorado Excursions with History, Hikes & Hops”; Colorado is replete with natural beauty, award-winning breweries and a history that reflects its wild and rugged character. Ed Sealover offers this detailed guide to ten-three day excursions full of nature, history, and unique watering holes. Uncover the craft, creative and cultural gems that make the Centennial State a curious wanderer’s dream. Cindy Brick “Ghosts & Legends of Colorado's Front Range” Stunning natural wonders and bustling cities make Colorado one of the country's best places to live, but its rowdy past left some residents unable to quit the state--even in death. In the basement of the Capitol Building in Denver, the disembodied heads of two vengeful banditos float through the air. And the Broadmoor Hotel of Colorado Springs plays nightly host to a mysterious phantom lady. Author Cindy Brick reveals these and more gripping tales of the Front Range's spectral history. We will have complementary hot chocolate, warm cider, and baked cookies from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Please note that a park pass is required for each vehicle entering the park so make it a day with presentations, shopping and hiking! No pets allowed in the park. Reservations are required at least 24 hours prior to the event through Eventbrite. Meet at the visitor center.
$7 entrance fee per vehicle
Please meet at Visitor Center
Reservation required on Eventbrite

Audience: All Ages
4751 East Roxborough Dr. Roxborough, CO 80125
Roxborough State Park
Phone: 303-973-3959

We don't have a lot of snow right now, except patches...
The park still looks wonderful, though.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Take Heart!

"Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it."
                                                                                                 -- Bryce Courtenay

Which brings this memorable John Wayne quote to mind:

More John Wayne quotes here. More here, too. Yes, some of them are rude. But many are thought-provoking. We could all use a slap on the back -- and elsewhere -- on dark days.

December Snow...And A Birthday Guy

It's snowing.

Wet, messy flakes are freezing and giving the streets a slippery coat. The Brick drove home from choir practice tonight, fortunately -- even the heavy truck slid around a bit. For safety's sake, I put my errands off until tomorrow morning. Ever since we sold the Outback, the truck and I are cohabiting...but we're still not at ease with each other. I'm not confident on ice, either, particularly since our neighbor's son totalled his car during the last snowstorm. (Our hill is steep, and he couldn't keep himself from sliding.)

It sure is pretty, though.

From leave-me-colourless via midwestern darling...and fresh farmhouse

Take a look at Fresh Farmhouse's Tumblr page... it has some of the most peaceful mix of pine branches, trees, snowflakes and quiet holiday celebrations that will make your heart glad.

Colorado Ponderosa pine -- from via Pinterest

P.S. Today (Dec. 4) is Brother's birthday... Happy Birthday, and many more from your big sister, who cares a great deal about you. Have fun on your special day.

From, via Pinterest

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Trudging Does Get You Somewhere!

So everything's not put away yet.

I haven't gotten all my reports done. (But I'm close!)

It still looks dreary outside. A lot. 

But the flu is definitely on the wane. The Brick is playing Christmas music, andwhat's even stranger, mewing to it! (I need to point out that this is a fine old Brick tradition.)  He puts on Christmas movies regularly; Friday's selection was a Hallmark-type Snowed- Inn Christmas. This from a guy who used to be proud of being a grinch.
     The fridge has plenty of easy stuff to cook, and a full pot of green chili is simmering in the crockpot. Bills will be paid this month, easily. (I haven't felt that way for ages.) And once the reports are done, I can clean up more, and start decorating. Maybe even wrap some presents. 

Welcome, Christmas...I can feel it in my bones. You're starting to arrive.

A little silly...and they've got some weird idea that Aspen, one of Colorado's glitziest towns,
 is somehow homey and country. (Ha.) But fun, nonetheless.

P.S. Thankfully, the people we know in Alaska are okay, in spite of the earthquake. Our niece and nephew have a crack in their house wall -- but everything is still upright and fixable. Some people had it much worse.

Former president Bush is gone.  Reunited with his beloved Barbara.

Women and kids to the front... that's how you storm the Mexican/U.S. border.

What's really going on there? A border agent describes what he's been seeing at the Mexican border. (Yes, I could have posted more...but just got tired of it.)

The Irish lady who's convinced she's married to a ghost -- an 18th century pirate. Then there's the Japanese guy who just married a computer hologram. You just can't make these things up...

Writers who hated film adaptations of their work.  (From Cracked)

Handmade Christmas presents -- including something I've never heard about: knitted tribbles! (From Harvest Lane Cottage)

A framed 1774 newspaper is found at a New Jersey Goodwill.  Value? The appraiser is saying $18,000. (I'd actually bet it's more.)

Daredevils who lost their lives being... daredevils.

More money's coming through for Bernie Madoff victims.

A mom fakes her 21-year-old daughter's death and funeral... and is outed by the daughter. Why did she do it?

You may think this is just another glitzy look at some rich celebrity's house... but it really is an open declaration of love for a wife of 50+ years. Over and over. She says, "It's embarrassing, really," but clearly loves her Brit just as much.

Clever animals...and birds:

Ten unlikely people who ended up becoming royalty. Shades of Meghan Markle... (From Listverse)

Pontius Pilate's stamping ring may have been found. 

Ten strange things about moons...including the possibility that more than one moon orbits our Earth. Weird.  (From Listverse)

A huge batch of 'the customer is NOT always right' stories... passed on by the employees forced to wait on them.

Pine potpourri. Ever since Aunt Ethelyn gave me a pine needle-stuffed pillow, I've loved this stuff.  Now you can make it yourself.  (From One Hundred Dollars A Month)

A suitcase packed with more than a million dollars of cocaine came into JFK airport via a flight from Ecuador. No one's claimed it yet. Figures.
    Tell that to the model who got caught with a million dollars worth of heroin inside statues in her suitcase. (She says she didn't know a thing about it...)

Ten interesting Christmas traditions from the Victorian era. Including a very weird reason why some people hide a pickle on the Christmas tree...The Mama included.  (From Listverse)

Go to a guild show & tell... in your pajamas. Karen at the Sew Fun 2 Quilt blog gives you a peek.

'King Cotton' in Wartime:  a number of interesting illustrations here. (From Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts)

A bunch of funny holiday cartoons from Scott Metzger.

Hamster en wheel: sometimes I feel like this.

More if you find this funny:

One of the funniest (true) stories ever.

From the Department of 'Oops:' A light show in China, featuring more than 300 drones. Dozens fail, falling from the sky... better luck next time.

There are still good people out there -- 33 moments that prove it.

A Texas ATM spits out hundred-dollar bills, instead of twenties...and once the word spreads, plenty of people try to take advantage of it, incuding pushing, shoving and fights. (Yes, I put this directly after the video on purpose. Makes you wonder, doesn't it...)

The truth behind the Idaho 'Bigfoot' supposedly filmed by a drone. Yes, Gentle Readers, it was faked. Some fun videos on this link.

Five ways to make an artificial Christmas tree look more real. (Or at least more distinctive.)

Have a great week.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Elf Yourself...Or Someone Else... Quick!

Yes, it's back.

That zany program, wherein you can insert anyone's face and make them prance like a besotted elf, is here again.

I enjoy doing this to our girlies and Son #1, who put up with it patiently every year. (I add the dogs in too, but they don't care.)

Go here for more. 

Some silly examples, so you know what you're getting yourself into:

Christmas with Cats   (Mew)

and  Secret Santa (these are said to be the original dancers):

Just think of the opportunities for embarrassment.

Rudeness and the holidays...they just go together.