Sunday, January 15, 2006

miscellaneous things that have brought me joy

I couldn't figure out how to tie these together into a nice story, but here's a bunch of stuff that's brought me joy thus far in the new year.

I sent six jars of colored bubble soap across the country to a friend in the southwest. After pouring out 10% of the bubble soap and squeezing out a bit of the air to create a partial vacuum in the jar, they were sealed with duct tape with a layer of paper towel and Saran wrap on top. I had a bit of trouble getting the lids on over all of that and hoped that meant the seal was tight. After the jars passed their "three hours laying on their side on the table without leaking" test, they were each put into a Ziploc bag and then into their duct tape bubble soap carrier which was generously lined with paper towels. More paper towels lined the sides, and the whole thing was enclosed in a large Ziploc bag. Amazingly, my friend reports that not one jar leaked in the whole trip from Michigan to Arizona. (Thanks, Dad, for the packing recommendations!) She and her children had fun making colored bubble greeting cards for a very late Christmas.

The U.S. Post Office might have raised their rates a few cents, but who cares? I'll gladly pay extra for cute stamps like these new ones! My mom (known to the kids as Moogie) was up for a visit (which was even more fun than the stamps) and we got to enjoy their cuteness together.

Shortly after Christmas, we got a new (to us) table and six chairs, all of which look a lot nicer than our old ones. And the chairs actually all fit under the table, which does NOT bow in the middle like our old one did.

And not only do they look nice, but they are virtually indestructable, being of heavy oak, with a laminate table top. Which is exactly what we'd been wanting, only we didn't know it. And we didn't have to pay anything for it. Sometimes I am still taken aback by God's goodness to us. As you can see in nearly all the photos above and below, the table gets a lot of use!

My daughter let me borrow her Rainbow Art paint set to make more different greeting cards. It was easy and fun... and actually made nice cards (in my humble opinion, anyways.) Top are the cards, bottom two are envelopes.

Some friends of ours left Michigan for a job in Wisconsin. Though we're sad to see them go, it was an enjoyable goodbye party with good food and bedtime stories from Narnia. I even got to cut Wisconsin-shaped slits in the apple pies. At least I think they are Wisconsin-shaped. It's amazing how you think you know the shape of a state until you try to re-create it from memory!

In other cooking-related news, I got a bunch of spices for Christmas from several friends, most of which were in glass jars. So I emptied plastic jars, threw out old spices, labeled, organized... and emptied out one of my kitchen drawers and made a spice drawer with all my spices in it. Alphabetized, even. (I detest cleaning, but I do so love to obsessively organize.) Who knows how long my alphabetical spice drawer will last in a house with two curious chair-dragging toddlers? But for the time being it makes me happy to have all my spices organized and easily found.

Angry Chicken, one of the craft blogs I visit often, had a link to a new-to-me blog, MeggieCat, which in turn had a link to some fun papercrafting activities, including Keri Smith's free Secret Note Dispenser from her new book "Tear Up This Book."

BigE and Chickie and I had tons of fun making a bunch of these for some young cousins of ours (oops, did I just give too much info away to certain cousins?) . We used the "adjust hue" feature of our graphics program to turn Keri's teal box into a whole rainbow of boxes. Thanks again, Keri! After BigE and Chickie went to bed, I made two more dispensers for them and wrote "secret notes" for their lunches. I don't often take the time to do that sort of thing for them, but I ought to more often because they always thank me profusely for the extra fun.

And here I thought these two weeks had been sort of blah... until I remembered all of this all together in one place. I think blogging, as an intentional public declaration of joy, has been good for me.


Anonymous kim said...

fun! am I related to the young cousins ands therefore should not "discover" the secret note boxes just yet?

I'm trying to let Fun Mom show up more this year, so I love the ideas & reminders in your blog. I never thought of greeting cards with the rainbow painter!!

1/16/2006 7:38 AM  
Blogger Wool Winder said...

That pie looks yummy. I need to make one for my state (TX)...a much easier shape to remember. I would have to get out the map for Wisconsin.

1/17/2006 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Jon said...

Blogging has been good for you? So much the better -- because your blogging has been fantastic for the rest of us!

1/18/2006 10:17 AM  

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