Friday, March 30, 2007


A picture of my desk this morning. Fun - isn't it. I spend an enormous amount of time on the phone at work. I doodle while I wait. More often than not those doodles are in whatever ink pen I have in my hand. And they are on my desk pad, the corner of a customer's quote, a file folder, the phone message pad, just whatever is close by.

Well I signed up for a swap over at SwapBot. An ATC swap. I love projects with constraints and this one has a major constraint. No paper layers - only embellishments allowed. You get to use your background and then only embellishments other than paper. So on Monday, I had a brain storm (that is probably what you felt rumble under your feet) and decided to bring my colored pens to work and grabbed a piece of cardstock out of the paper stash. I am going to fill this page with random doodles and use it as my ATC backgrounds for this swap. When I cut it into ATC sized pieces, I will have one of the girls turn it over and put it on the cutter, then I will have no idea which elements will be severed. Flip the pieces over then decide how to embellish. ( I see glitter in the near future.) This sounds like fun to me.

Today is a much better day emotionally. I received the last ugly parent phone call last night. I actually dreaded this one and when it happened, I was ready, so I had no real problem dealing with it. I can now move on in the direction I need to go. Making this decision freed up extra time in my life and I plan to use that time finishing the studio and moving MaggieGraceCreates in a more structured direction. For years I have created as I had time, or I squeezed it into small spaces within other activities. Now I will have dedicated time on Wednesday and Sunday that I will be able to "know" and plan for. I am now poised and waiting for the next door to appear so I can open it readily.

I like 4 more granny squares to finish the ones I need for my afghan. I hope to be able to post that over at CIP on Monday as well as here too. I will have lots of input tomorrow to arrange the squares. Abby has a softball tournament and the girls will help with that. I will take a flannel backed tablecloth and spread them out. Then I can roll it up and keep them in order. A portable design wall. That should be fun.

I hope this finds all of you having a wonderful Friday.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Here it is. The yard needs work. Time for a coat of paint. You cannot tell but it is covered in this horrid yellow dust right now. Welcome to spring in the south. Pollen count today - over 5900. I turned the wipers on this morning and the pollen literally caked on the blades.
When we bought this house the yard was "clean swept" - an old southern thing. All of the top soil was gone and what remained was a concrete-hard clay expanse. If it was dry. If it was wet - think slime - slick and nasty. Tthe bare spot you see is the only remining bare spot and we continue to try and get the top soil to stay here. We have put 14 large dump truck loads of soil on this part of the yard. We have sodded and sown grass many, many times. We make progress every year - maybe someday we will get there.
The gravel here is the driveway and the MaggieGrace studio is even with the side porch, just across the drive.
You can see the bench I posted the other day here. And the front porch where I spend a lot of time during some evenings. Complete with porch swing and a screen door that slams. Its a typical southern farmhouse.
I chose this to post today, because it is easy. I am struggling today with some things, so I needed easy. I keep my camera with me all the time and I save some of these kinds of photos for days like this.
I have an enormous amount to say, but I need to sort it out first. I am emotionally tender, fragile even today. I made a decision this week that was hard for me. I resigned from my duties as a youth volunteer at the church. I know in my heart it was the right decision, but it is still hard. I told the kids last night and have taken a little of a beating from their parents about it. I did not leave them alone, if you go back through the archives here, you will find that the church hired a youth minister almost a year ago and eliminated my job as director leaving me as a volunteer.
I am sure more of this will surface here in the next few weeks as I ponder my feelings and hopes and dreams about the next door I will be opening.
On to a nicer note, cruise over and see Vallen . She is putting together a neat ATC swap. I already know where I am going with mine. I have been wanting to make a quiltlet and now I know how I am going to incorporate that desire into a goodie. While you are there. let her know that you continue to remember the Queen Mother, who is still recovering from an infection.
I got the most wonderful package yesterday from MaryAnn. Thank you dear - love the purse - can't wait to fill up my apron pockets with crafty tools, and maybe some lucky person will get a note on one of those fab cards. I have your fabric spread out and I am drooling over ideas.
I still have my spring birdie pattern laying on the table and I am thinking I might have to complete some more birds. Then maybe some fun stars for July. Not really sure.
As for my CIP posting - Go over there next week. I hope to have some wonderful goodies to post by Friday/Monday.
Happy Thursday All - Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bad Influence Mommy Confession

If you are a regular reader, you know that I am very close to my girls. You also know that both of them are good students. We have always stressed doing their best in all aspects of their lives. They are active in church, school, and community, academically successful and athletically successful too. All of this requires an enormous amount of discipline to keep everything running smoothly.

This amount of involvement also requires Mom and Dad to be committed and disciplined too, and we take this parenting job seriously.

So why the title above?

Well Molly had three soccer games, two proctices, and a two day weekend volleyball tournament several weeks ago. Add church and you have the potential for a meltdown. She had a huge heritage project due as well.

Many of you also know that my Dad died when I was 15. We did not remain close to his family. As a result of that I did not have photographs of relatives.

For her project, she had to create a scrap book. Big problem - what do we do????

She and I talked about it and here is where the bad influence Mommy comes into play.

We layed out our family tree very accurately. Back four generations on both my side and her Dad's side.

Then we (I) went online and googled "vintage photographs". I wetnt throught the images and found a website that sells vintage photos.


Printed the photos. Trim. Scrapbook embellish. Label. ADOPTED RELATIVES. And turned this project in.

Now I am sure we would have liked these people. But we do not know them. I do not advocate this approach as appropriate. But it was a source of continual amusement, while we were working on it. Molly turned in the project. And we (she) made and A+. The comment sheet was funny too.

Hang onto this. I holds wonderful family memories and is something you will cherish always. Great job -

Molly did not tell the teacher that the wonderful family memories had nothing to do with those people in the pictures, but were the pictures themselves and the way we ADOPTED those things to complete this project.

The only reason I tell you this story is to encourage you to be close to your children. Be willing to work alongside them. We amy not have true ancestors represented in the pictures in her scrapbook, but we do have real memories there. I want my girls to have the idea that we are a close family. And the indications are right now that they feel like we are.

Have a great day.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A giveaway

Good Monday morning. How was your weekend? Mine - busy as always. A little emotional. Gorgeous weather. Productive.

I am still doing the "use what I have" thing. I am working hard on the granny blanket from earlier. I have set a goal to finish it by Easter weekend. I need 42 squares and I have 33 finished. I found another box of yarn in an armoir this weekend so I will not have to purchase a single skein to finish this project. How cool is that?

I am also planning a baby quilt with the Moda cowboy print fabrics I bought. Hence the sense of urgency on completing the granny blanket. So in that frame of reference, I KNOW I have some chambray shirt fabric SOMEWHERE in my stash and I went looking. I have not done this in a while so it was a load of fun to go through boxes and fondle myriad fabrics I have stashed. Why is it that fabric lovers always touch fabrics? I even love folding my fabrics, because I get to smooth them as I do that. I really can't wait until the studio is finished to organize and sort everything out.

Did I find the fabric I was looking for in my stash? Not even. But I did find a goodie. Yards of baby quilt panels. How long have I had these??? Not a clue. They are the end run of some that I bought at my favorite fabric warehouse. Teddy Bear playing with a Noah's Ark set. Appropriate for either a boy or a girl. And there are 6 panels. I am going to send them to the first 6 commentors on THIS POST ONLY. How is that for spring cleaning? I had to buy them all and then I only used one of them. So six of you get to reap the benefits of my warehouse purchasing.

It always feels good to give things away, especially if they are going to other creative souls. So comment away my friends. Please leave your email addy so I can contact you about addresses.

Happy Spring.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Happy friday

This was a fun ATC to make. I sat down last night and put this together. Again -USING WHAT I HAD. I love the vintage image and the sarcastic humour of this one. The image is from a 1947 published spelling text book for eighth grade. Seems the males and females could not communicate then either.

I have signed up for three more swap-bot swaps as well. The last time through, I had much better luck so I am trying again. We'll see.

I also completed this baby blanket this week. No "new" money investment on this either. I bought these hospital grade receiving blankets at a warehouse sale for $2.00 each months (years) ago. So when the latest round of aquaintance baby showers started, these are what I am going to do. Crocheted edge, applique emblem or embroidered detail in the corner. Quick and simple. These are a great size too 30 inches by 40 inches so they can be used as lightweight blankets for toddlers too. This heart appliques was made from material I received in a swap. Feels like and older (washed many times) soft sheet. I love sheets that get softer and silkier when washed, reminds me of the cotton nightgowns I slept in when I was little.

Finally, this little bird was singing in the mailbox yesterday. A huge thank you to Dawn (4:53) for this completely unexpected surprise. I sent her a goodie many months ago and this is a return surprise. She is beautiful (like her creator) and immediately went to the fridge door. Where she will live until the studio is complete. Thanks so much my cyber friend. I LOVE her.

Sorry to post quick and run. Seems I am a delivery driver today and I have to go. Windshield time calls.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

In memory

3-23-07 update - bacterial meningitis complications have been determined the cause for Patsy's death. Please continue to remember her family at this time.

Me on the left and Patsy on the right. Taken in Chicago last spring.

We found out at lunch today that the showroom person in one of my other locations passed away suddenly. No one is sure what happened.

Patsy was a beautiful 50 year old mother and grandmother. When she did not show up at work this morning her brother went to check on her and found her not breathing.

I helped train her and she has been my roommate on business trips. I am at a loss for words about this.

As I have learned in this small and yet worldwide blog community, prayer will travel from around the world once a need is known. I hope all of you will stop and pray for this family as they deal with their loss.

Thanks in advance for your prayers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Some Anthro Love

This image was blatantly swiped from the Anthropologie website. Their tomato wrot iron garden bench. I am in lust over this piece. I cruise through their site routinely and drool. Drool over clothes and home accents and furniture and decor - its a favorite place to play.

Anyway, when I saw this yesterday, I realized how cool my little iron bench really is.
I showed you this in a blurry photo earlier, and alluded to the fact that I would tell this story.

I found this in a antiques shop of my favorite kind. You know the one with the antiques label but really is a conglomeration of true vintage, and junk. This bench is neither. It is of fairly recent manufacture and it was that horrid verdi green finish. Well Ned, proprietor extraordinarie, knows I will love the bench and tries his best fast talk sales pitch. But the bench is green and I wanted a red one.

Fast forward 3 weeks. This bench is haunting me. I go back and ask if he still has it because I don't see it in the shop.

O yea - he has it - AND he went and bought 2 cans of gloss red spray paint AND he painted it red for me. Is he not just awesome.

So now he has a red bench for me to buy and - of course - I did. It now sits in my side yard. I visit with my girls there. I visit with my friends there. We leave packages there for the UPS guy and he and the postman leave bloggy love goodies on it from many of you guys.

Here is the comparison for some real green eyed monster action.

Anthropologie Bench 998.00
shipping to me 150.00
Sales Tax 80.36

Green Bench 35.00
spray paint and labor 10.00

Is the look close enough to make this kind of comparison? I think so.

I think I scored here . What about you????

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

And the winner is

The Queen herself. I listed all the names from my comments and cornered a plumber to pick one. That part may have been a mistake, because now he wants to know about my alter ego. Mark drew Vallen's name, so one of my little Georgia birdies will be flying off to her house.

Is the suitcase at the top not wonderful? (Image from an older Country Home) I carry a bag with me at all times with a portable project, but occasionally I would like to sit down and create away from home. I am thinking this idea could be adapted for that purpose. Maybe for ATC creations, note cards or collage projects.

Now what would I need?

glue stick
ribbon, string, fibers.
card stock
watercolors or acrylics.
sketch book
miscellaneous embellishments

I think I could easily get all this in a suitcase. Throw this in the truck for road trips. And since I travel a fair amount for work, and I have outgrown the party crowd, this will give me something to do in the early hours and evening hours. I adore this idea and have had this image and others like it in my clipping files for a long time. Even cooler - I already have a suitcase - thrifted years ago and full of fabric right now.

Perfect for a slightly more detailed time of creation.

What would you take with you?

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Random Monday Ramblings

This is Earl. He is our mascot at work. Lives in the pasture out back. Talks to us. Greets us every morning. Kids love to feed him so we keep bread and chips and use that activity as bribery for good behavior while mom picks out her materials. Why am I sharing this? Earl gets mail here. At some point in the past Earl's name was given out to someone on the phone as the person in charge here. (We also use Seemore Butts name as well - telemarketers wear us out here) Telemarketers sell those names all the time.

Well Earl got mail last week - from CitiBank business credit card services - seems the jackasses behind the scenes at CitiBank do an awesome job of checking credit. They sent Earl a preapproved CitiBank business credit card with no credit limit. He can earn frequent flyer miles too.

I have a question for you CitiBank. Whose job is it to double check the credit rating on donkeys? Or is it that every name and address you receive, starts getting mail from you? Does this mean that all those "preapproved" credit card offers I receive have no validity either? Just questions for the Jackasses who sent a jackass a credit card.

One prom dress - check. Now for shoes. Tried on several. Knew this was IT when it went over her head. Mon Dieu she is beautiful. Need a hair and makeup appointment. It wasn't even a stressful shopping expedition. And she was serenaded all the way over to the formal wear shop. "Some boy" called her and sang to her. ("Some boy" is the nickname given current boy by her dad.) She laughed and grinned and giggled and blushed. Do you guys remember that first true romance? Not puppy love. The relationship where you are starting to form ideas about lifelong decisions. It scares me as a Mom and yet it fascinates me too. I see her making decisions based on my ideas, others ideas, and her own ideas. Is this where you start letting go? She and I are close and yet she is starting to keep things to herself. I think this is natural and a part of the separation that occurs as children go into adulthood, so it doesn't devastate me. Oh but I do pray, for her and her future mate and the choices she makes for her life.

Last but not least, we squeezed a tiny bit of antiquing in. We are buying Molly a hope chest for her birthday. And this is the everyday dishware she wants to start accumulating. Cannonberg Pottery Pattern Temporama. Aqua and Olive and a Taupe color. The shop we saw it in had it with Aqua Fiesta. Classic and yet trendy at the same time. I do hope to find some pieces of this to have in her chest. Pretty good taste - she has - don't ya think.

Did I create at all? Sure did - finished a crocheted baby blanket edging and the giraffe on my sister's Christmas gift. Photos to come.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, March 16, 2007

A blur

This is how my life feels - a lot of the time. From the moment I get up until I go to bed. I don't just sit still ever. This is why I sqeeze crafting into the late hours or into ball games. I often sit in the car for part of my lunch hour and get a few stitches in.

I have learned that things at my house can wait.

I look from the outside into blog world and sometimes think all of you have it SOOO together. I read websites like flylady and wonder if I am just lazy, since you will find my house in disarray a lot of the time.

Then I get a dose of my reality. Last night - Dad went to a ballgame with Abby, I went to a Soccer meeting for Molly's team and I found that I am not lazy. My name is mommy and I am focused on my children - and according to the input I got last night in talking to teachers and other parents. My girls are happy, well adjusted, respectful, and committed to excellence academically and athletically. They KNOW that they are loved and supported by us. And I accept that since I work full time outside the home and I mommy full time when I get home, some things have to slide, and that's okay.

Yes - I am overwhelmed at times - and yes the dust bunny brigade occasionally has the upper hand at my house. But - guess what - my children are loved and they know it. They know that one of us will be in the stands cheering them on. They know that if they need us it won't matter what time it is - we will come. They know that - they are so much more important than dishes or dusting or laundry. And they help catch all that up when we have those blocks of time.

They also know that their friends are welcome at our house and that if someting gets broken (priceless family heirlooms included) it is just a thing.

So yes we blow through the week going from place to place - activity to activity - and it all feels like a blur. But when I do get the opportunity to sit on the bench, I am hardly ever alone. One or both of my beautiful baby girls, usually slides in beside me, and we catch our breath and visit with one another, and those moments alone are worth everything.

We don't have a single ball activity Saturday - so will we sit still - no - gotta find a prom dress.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Don't forget - I am giving awy a birdie from yesterday's post. Cruise back and leave a comment there and I will pop him in the mail Monday evening.

The bench is a thrifted find. More on that for a later post. It sits at the end of the front porch and I snapped this shot as we breezed out of the driveway yesterday morning. So you are seeing the view I see as I leave every day.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Spring

So sorry these pictures are dark. I took these LATE last night in the dining room. My addition to the spring bird frenzy. I was inspired by Dawn over at 4:53 (see sidebar) and Teresa McFayden. I did simplfiy mine quite a bit.

All of these were made USING WHAT I HAD. Card stock and scrapbook paper. Embellishments and stickers. Stamps - I think this font just screams SPRING and fun.

I wanted to add a little more to the embellishments and I had some milliflora (sp?) beads that came in a grab bag from Fire Mountain. it was so much fun to pour them out and poke through them to find just the right one for each bird's personality.

To pose these lovelies I hung them from my dining room curtain. All of my window treatments are "unique" in their materials. The living and dining rooms are one big open area and there are three windows. Because I am a thrifter/bargain shopper/recycled materials user, I went looking for something different. I found these three lace tablecloths on the clearance shelves at WalMart and they are hanging from three wrot iron plate racks from Tuesday Morning. Total expenditure for three eight foot tall windows $75.00 The light filters through and leaves the most wonderful evening shadows in the room.

Now just so all of you know how "really sick" I am about saving things. The glitter on the wings of these is mixed. I have a jar that I put my glitter back into after the 3 & 4 year olds finish their projects in Sunday School. Once I started the jar, I keep even my glitter remains. I won't even throw the "dregs" of glitter away. That's bad. but I find uses for it all the time. Since it is mixed - it acts as a neutral and I can always just get that jar out at SS and let the kids go to town. I used it here - just because every girl needs some bling.

Since my comments are dwindling. I have decided to jump on the giveaway band wagon. I will draw a name on Monday March 19th at 4:00 pm est and send you one of these happy faces. Some have already been mailed to new homes but I have one left and she needs a new place to sing. So leave me a comment and I will send you a singing bird. (Maybe I'll send a tiny bag of the mixed glitter - shall we call it fairy dust - too.)

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I got the coolest ...

The coolest blogger buds. I have been remiss in bragging about the goodies that show up at my house. So I made a pile and here are some fun mail love.

A wonderful crocheted flower from the Queen herself. Ms. Vallen. She spoils me in word and deed. And she is participating in an organized sales in her neck of the woods. Go by her blog and check out the details.

Then MaryAnn - the professor, runner, and special lady that she is sent me a complete surprise. She is participating in Relay For Life in her area. As a cancer survivor myself, I try to support these causes so I sent a donation for her team. She was running a promo on earrings at the time, and although I expected none, she sent some anyway. Cute overload - those kittycats. And she put them in a tin that I definitely will reuse. See I have this container fetish too.

And then Jen - remembering that I had fallen for a journal that she sent to someone else, sends me the cutest wrapped package containing what ........

My own "Makes Me Happy" journal. And last night I put my first entries in it. I have decided to use it as a record of quilts and such as I complete them. I have room for photos and notes. Last night I added the tree quilt and those notes.
I love these ladies and wish they all lived close enough to run by for a glass of sweet tea - or a margarita or two - and then some crafting fun.
Thank you all so much for the goodies. For the spoiling. For the encouragement. For everything.
Have a fabulous day.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Money Has been Spent

Okay, so I have spent months trying to use what I had. And I have done an enormous amount of that. The armoir in the dining room no longer threatens avalanche when the doors open. The island no longer pukes its contents unannounced. There is space to breathe. Progress continues slowly on the studio.
When there is vacant space in your stash storage, what has to happen. You HAVE to fill it up. (Just a joke) I did not spend that much money. But I did buy some fabulous wool Manos del Uraguay Autumn hand dyed yarn. YUMMY.

And on Friday, Molly played soccer in Dawson County. I have been up through there on numerous occasions and there is a quilt shop on the way. Mind you this is a two hour drive from home. I always get past there after hours, but with leaving work early Friday, I was able to stop and spend some time. And money. On Moda Fabric. And an apron book. More about this shop in future posts.

I bought a fat quarter sampler that features the fabrics I have here in the post and some others. And yardage of this fantastic Cowboy and Cowgirl photo print. Too cute. We have two baby boys coming to friends this summer and I am thinking a quilt for each. I will add some chambray shirting to the fabric mix for these quilts. I was thinking a quilt for Best Friend but that just isn't formed in the brain yet. And I have to be inspired for that to occur.

Molly and Abby played a LOT of ball this weekend, so I finished 8 scrap grannies in the wait time between matches and games. Did a TON of driving between home and those locations. Endured the time change - this one wipes me out. And made some cute little birdies (more tomorrow) and gift enclosure cards for the CIP group. Had to come back to work to rest.

So I spent time on the road and money on stash. I guess that makes for a great weekend.

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Abstract Melodies

This is one of those skip around - random - abstract posts. You know how abstract art is - sometimes it doesn't seem to go together.
The photo above was taken at the Quilt Show I was not able to attend this weekend. This was one of my favorites of the pictures my friend Lanie sent me of the show. Bold - colorful - a stretch for this area - Athens is a very traditional market.
Randomness I just want to blurt out.
I hate stupid people. I am not talking about truly learning disabled. I will cut those some slack. I am talking about those who refuse to engage their brain when they wake up in the mornings. It took 45 minutes this morning to cash a check at a bank. The most unfriendly environment I have encountered in a service type business in the world.
Why do all the stupid people in the world get in my path when I am suffering from PMS? Because they are too stupid to see that their life may be in danger because I am ready to explode.
Are really cute shoes always uncomfortable??
Does anyone really understand why the time must change THIS weekend? Or is this just another "tax dollars at work" decision?
Why is it that when you get the giggles you cannot regain your composure without walking off?
Does everyone process phrases by conjuring up mental images or is that just me and my friend Melissa? (see question about the giggles)
Why can a man not let a situation go - and just keep on fueling the fire? (see question about the giggles)
Would you like to know what the #@&^& I am refering too? (what triggered the giggles)
Then read on - Warning - this is crude - rude and obnoxious. I told Melissa this and her husband knows she processes mental images so he kept whispering phrases in her ear at the soccer game last night.
Why do men snore when they lay flat on their back??????
Because their balls fall across their butthole and they vapor lock.......
I know - you laughed too.
Have a wonderful day. Sorry for the off colored humour.

Monday, March 05, 2007

What I did with my weekend

The local Home and Garden Show. This is what you start with. A 16' x 10' empty space. We hauled the materials out of my store over to the civic center. Then pile the stuff around and try to figure out the best way to put it together.

I had found a landscaping book from the late 40's in a thrift store. Then in surfing the blogosphere I found inspiration at and decided to put up a paper wall. (note I found this adaptation this morning too
I used ornament hooks and unbent paper clips for mine.

A view of the finished space. Lavatories and faucets and toilets (and a tub with a stone decing around it.) Against my "wall" of book pages. The amazing thing - almost every one slowed down to look at the pages. Many, many people asked about them. And that was a great starting point for discussing my wares. So the effect was exactly as I planned.

And apparently the judges panel for the show liked the idea too. Because I brought THIS back to the showroom with me.

If you click on this, you will see my favorite fabric in the world - today anyway. I love the oriental theme of this fabric and the color and the image of the lady. Now to decided what to accomplish with this.

Thank you Elizabeth House for permission to blatantly use your idea in my booth.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A look inside

I promised a look at my sketch for a quilt. I ALWAYS have something to sketch on and with. All three of these are quilt ideas. The top will be a baby quilt inspired by one at Pink Chalk Studio. The lower left will be an art quilt and the lower right will be a full sized quilt and could be adapted for a baby or art quilt.

When will I make these? I do not have a clue. Maybe never. Maybe tomorrow. These sketch books / journals / picture books are for inspiration and notes. They are a conglomeration of my thoughts, quotes, mag pullouts, pictures I have printed, fortune cookie fortunes, notes, phone numbers, addresses. You name it - if I found inspiration - if it was something I needed to remember - if I found it worthy of writing down (even a shopping list) - it could be in these.

They are a lot of fun to go back through too. The most amazing thing about the older ones, I can still look at the sketches and immediately "see" what I was trying to catch at that moment. I can refer to these much like an Illustrated Discovery Journal referenced many times by Sarah ban Breathnach in her Simple Abundance writings.

There are creations, decorating ideas, gift ideas referenced. The RED RECLINER that I sit in everyday is one of the things that has appeared over and over in the books. I clipped photos of red leather chairs and kept them for years. So when I found that recliner and it was sucha great deal - I knew without a doubt that this was IT. No indecision - no fears - no regrets.

What is not in these books. My dream career. Not in that format. I can see the direction my life has taken by looking at these, but there is not actual reference to my "DREAMS". I think having recognized that fact, I will focus some energy on defining that path. I have spent years slaying demons and now am ready for that serious look forward to plan my future. Pity you have to get to be 40 before you can decide what you want to be when you grow up.

Really - I want to take an active role in planning my future. I want a comfortable retirement. I want to be able to travel. I want to be able to help my children with their children when needed. I want my house to be the place all the grandkids remember spending time at. I want time to be creative and a place to work on that stuff. I want the people around me to encourage me wholly. I want to help others get on this nurturing path earlier than I did. I want a better life for all my loved ones.

I may not get all the things I want from my life. But I can identify the steps to take to try and accomplish things. Then I can blame no one but myself - that's the scary part - when you take control of your life, you have no one to blame.

So what are your dreams for the future? What do you want to be when you grow up? Are you in control of the plan? Are you ready to take that control?

Have a wonderful day.