Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We are deep into Bead Soup parties, raising money for the Divine Design mission trip. Saturday night, I did a great party with ninth grade girls. It was a delight visiting with them and watching how they relate to each other. They had a great time digging in the soup pot and designing their own bracelets.

Even though they told me that Daniel Boone was accused of being a witch in Salem. History teacher???? Get back to work now please!

Best of all, they were proud of what they made!
Normal Girl

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Conspiracy

Overheard in the backyard:

Ratface Raccoon: First that human chases me out of the house.  I worked long and hard chewing a hole big enough to get in there.  She shines a big light in my face and screams at me.  She thinks that house is hers.
Sneaky Squirrel:  If you had just waited one more day until she was out of town, we ALL could have been in there out of the rain.  Poor planning.
Ratface Raccoon: And now, she has boarded me out of the house and is setting the trap and baiting it with food.  How stupid does she think I am?
Sneaky Squirrel:  We can fix her.  Everytime she puts the apple and peanut butter inside the trap, I will go in and get it.  I am light enough to not spring the trap, so I will take the apple out, we can lick off the peanut butter and leave the dumb apple.
Ratface Raccoon:  hahahahahahahahahahahaha
Sneaky Squirrel:   hahahahahahahahahahahaha
Ratface Raccoon:  Who is stupid now?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Painting the Nursery

This is another job we are doing to raise funds for the mission trip to Atlanta. We are painting the walls of the 2 year old room at church. Here is the beginning of that.

There is so much furniture and storage and sand boxes in the room, I wonder how long the pictures will be visible. It is encouraging that they have already rearranged he furniture for it, so we'll see.

We also have Jesus calling the little children to Him, but I am not showing Him to you because He looks a little like Charlie Manson right now. He will eventually look safe and loving, and you can see Him then.

Normal Girl

Monday, March 23, 2009

Raise Your Banner

These photos are from the auditorium at church yesterday morning before the service began.  With the help of my generous friends, I spent most of the day Saturday hanging decorations for the Easter series.  I love to go in when all the lights are on and everything is up and new and just sit and look.  A lot of hours go into this. I never know if it is going to work, or how people will receive it.    It was discussed that we all raise some kind of banner and that a banner shows who you are for and to whom you are loyal.  

I don't know if you experience this now and then, I pray that you do.  But, yesterday, I was having issues and I sat there during the service asking God to bring me peace.  He showed up and through the music and the whole experience, He let me know He was there.  It was a bit overwhelming....in a good way, but I was a mess.  

Today, AW told me that he feels that everything we do in preparation comes together to make the experience, and possibly change people's lives.  I wonder if the pieces of fabric and ribbon do all that, but maybe they add to the ambience.  I don't know.  I do know that God was there and people were moved.  Including me.  

Thanks to all of you who gave me your precious hours,
Normal Girl

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bead Soup Training

I have a small team going with me to Atlanta on the first Divine Design road trip.  And, I am really looking forward to it.  I will have two veterans; Wonder Woman and the Lunch Lady.  We have been on summer mission trips together for the last 4 summers.  And, I will have these two amazing young women with me as well.  I am so looking forward to getting to know both of them better, they are both a delight.

We are raising money by doing whatever comes along, and bead soup parties is one of the things we are doing.  We had a little training tonight so that they can go out and do a party themselves.  They both made pretty jewelry and picked it up like they have been doing it all their lives.

We have tons of work ahead of us, we will be spending alot of time together before we even get on the road....all kinds of events planned for raising money. Stay tuned in case you can help us out!

Normal Girl

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Add a Vintage Button

One of the things I thought about while in Santa Fe, was that I am not scheduling jewelry making time into my life right now.  And I think I need it. I have been trying to figure out how to work in a day a week to make jewelry.  Well, I got an hour in tonight, and here is the result.

I am fascinated by the big and chunky jewelry that is trendy right now.  I mixed a bunch of stuff together.  
  • the button is one my mother in law gave me ages ago, it is vintage...if you call the 50s vintage
  • some dyed coral discs
  • I bought the round silver beads in Santa Fe, don't they really look Santa Fe-ish?
  • the two big red beads are hollow glass, I made them
  • the huge chunk that is turquoise color is a mexican opal
  • the smaller turquoise color bead is dyed magnacite, sort of looks like turquoise
  • and I added a flat square silver bead from my stash and made some seed bead rings
That was fun, I really do need to make more time for this,
Normal Girl

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Instruction for Women Part 2

As always, I strive not only to entertain, but to instruct and make our lives better.  As a follow up to this one, I offer another helpful video for women.  Enjoy and please be careful of men who have interest in taking diabolical liberties with your knees.

Normal Girl

Monday, March 16, 2009

Praying with Focus

This is why I listed, "pray with more focus" on my New Year's Resolutions.

Can you teach my church to clap on 2 and 4 instead of 1 and 3?  Hoot!

Normal Girl

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It is Over

I am home, sorry to leave behind the peace and calm I acquired while in Santa Fe.  Why is it so hard to keep that when I come home?  This was the view from my driveway.  See the ski runs on the mountain on the right?  

Balcony at the Ore House, overlooking the Plaza.  It is one of the oldest restaurants in Santa Fe.   I ate lunch there one day....roasted corn soup and, what else, guacamole.

My view from the balcony.

I think this is a Ponderosa Pine.  They smell like vanilla.


I miss it already.

Raccoon update.  None.  I found nothing in the trap when I got home.  Good news for me.  Not so good for the raccoon.  I have not forgotten..........

Normal Girl

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Plaza

Notice anything strange about my rental car?  The dash board is blank??  This is a weird little car, the dials and gauges are in the center of the dashboard, not in front of me.  I find it really distracting and dangerous, so I can't look over there. I never know how fast I am going, because it takes my vision away from the road too long to find the gauge.  Bad design.

I went into town yesterday and hung out around the Plaza a bit.  The Plaza is THE place to be in Santa Fe.  This is a pic of the Palace of the Governors.  Native American artists sell their work here.  It is a weird set up, if you ask me.  They are given a spot each day by a lottery system.  If you win a spot, you get a space on the sidewalk that is 4' x 5'.  They each spread a little blanket on the sidewalk and lay out their work.  To shop, you have to get on your knees.  Does that seem a little weird?  Demeaning, kind of?  On the plus side, if you love silver bangle bracelets, this is THE place.  The silver work is incredible and gorgeous.

The place I am staying is out in the boonies.  They have all kinds of animals on the place.  When I read the 30 page (not kidding) instruction book for staying in the casita, I read that soil in New Mexico has no nutrients, so if you want to grow anything, you have to compost or let animals poop all over the place.  You have to watch where you are walking.  But, aren't the peacocks gorgeous?  I am glad I am not sleeping next to their house.  They make a sound like a baby being tortured, it is very unnerving.

The day was perfect yesterday and I got my camera out in hopes of making a little portfolio of Santa Fe pics.  This is the Presbyterian Church.  I got a couple pics and then my battery gave it up.  Battery is charged and ready to go today, but it is dark, cloudy and snowing.  Hoping it lifts a bit later, I have a need to walk Canyon Road this afternoon.

Did I mention that I love it here?
Normal Girl

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Red Buffet

I am sitting in a computer room at the place where I am staying. It is the only way I can get online.  I want this piece of furniture, it would look great in my living room.

I love the colors and patterns here.  This is my shower of Mexican tiles.

I did not do much in town yesterday, just a quick drive through.  Doesn't everything look cuter in adobe?

I did stop at one of my favorite stores here.  It is called Jackalope and is like a Pier 1 on steroids.

Need I say more?

I am headed to the Plaza today...the heart of Santa Fe.  And the bead show starts tonight.  

Normal Girl

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bye to Raccoon, Hi to Turtle

Monday night, I set the trap in the basement just in case something else fell through the ceiling and was hiding in Girl World.  The trap was empty yesterday morning so I headed to the airport for my trip to Santa Fe.  I heart Santa Fe big time.    I was sick all day yesterday and just knew that I had some disease from cleaning up raccoon pee and poop....which is red in case you ever need to know that.  So, I put the raccoon behind me for a couple days and am now in Santa Fe.  I am staying in a little cabin north of town, in the turtle house.

I do not have many pics yet.  VoteMom, I am having my retreat time with God, just the two of us. Today has been amazing already!  So here is a pic of my patio.  I love the architecture of adobe houses.  My cell phone will not work inside the house because the walls are 28 inches thick. And there is no reason for you to feel all that jealous because it is the same temperature here as in Michigan.  It was toasty in Albuquerque yesterday, but Santa Fe is at a higher elevation, so colder.  They are saying snow here on Friday!

On my way out of Albuquerque, I did some bead store shopping for work.  I got some turquoise and coral for me.  Who wants some?

This afternoon I will be heading into town to do a few things.  Stay tuned for pics of some of my fav places here in Santa Fe over the next couple days.  Did I mention I love it here?  Love it!

Normal Girl

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Aftermath

I can stand in the basement and look all the way out to the sky.....through the big hole in the ceiling....through the hole in the roof.

Today I worked with one generous man who jumped in his car and came to help when he heard wild kingdom had gone wild....one man who bid for the work and was proud of his dishonest ways around the insurance system... and one man who worked hard to win my business, making the process very easy for me.  Oh yeah, and one really smelly wild animal who is smart enough to open a window.

Interesting day,
Normal Girl

Wild Kingdom Oversteps it Bounds

It is 4:30am and I have a raccoon in my kitchen.  Yep.  All those pics I have shown you of raccoons and woodchucks and you said....aw, they are so cute????  Wish you were here now sharing this experience with me.

I woke up at 4am to the ceiling crashing in over the basement stairway.  I kicked myself and decided not to get up and check it out because there was nothing I could do right then.  A few minutes later, I heard things breaking in the kitchen.  CRAP! I got up.  I flicked on the lights, I knew he was there but it took me a few minutes to find him.  If I had had a gun, I would have blasted him to his maker right there on the kitchen window at 4am.

I went out the front door, walked around the house, and opened the back door, hoping he would take the chance to escape.  He must have done it while I was walking back to the front door.  I have not heard a sound in the kitchen since then.  

I just went back in and looked around.  I don't see him.  The back door is now closed.  He is either outside or playing in Girl World.  I am now thankful for the pocket doors on both kitchen doorways.  I have the kitchen closed off from the basement and from the rest of the house. I am thinking I should have someone look in the attic for more of satan's friends before I leave town this week.  And, it stinks in there, just from his short visit this morning.  If you have not been up close and personal yourself, you can believe me that raccoons stink.  Literally and figuratively.

Hoping I can go back to sleep now,  I have a really busy day ahead, made even worse by the masked evil thing.  I have to wash everything, ick! 

Update 5:30 am.  I went back to bed..... and a few minutes ago, I heard him in the kitchen.  I had turned on all the lights, looked under everything with a flashlight and did not see him.  Where was he hiding?  But, that is why is still smelled in there, he was still there.  So, he had tried all three windows.  He is now at the third window.  I watched him open this window, and leave.  He pushed the top half of the window all the way down.  He was a strong little bugger.  I struggled to put it back up again.  At least I know he is gone.  Still wondering how many are still in the attic.  And, he could be back up there again by now.  Have I mentioned how much I hate raccoons?  I am seriously creeped out by this.

Hope insurance pays for this,
Normal Girl

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bead Soup Parties

One of the fundraisers we are going to do for the Divine Design mission trip to Atlanta is Bead Soup Parties.  We will be asking our friends and family to host bracelet making parties for us.  Who doesn't love that?  

Populating Michigan with beaded bracelets, one party at a time.
Normal Girl

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Crazy Resolutions Update

Remember my list of resolutions on December 31?  Twenty Six, one for every letter of the alphabet?  I thought it was time to take a look to see if I have accomplished anything.  It has been 2 months.  

B: Bead Soup make it/take it table at craft shows....might be good additional income
Not exactly accomplished, but I think we will be doing bead soup parties as a fundraiser for Divine Design, so kind of

G: Glucosamine and Chondroitin every day
almost every day, doing much better

I: Increase my Facebook friends to 200, I am pitiful and don't have many friends
Working on it, I am up to 153

K: Kim’s private spiritual retreat...someplace out of the way, just God and me
Next week, I am going to Santa Fe for a bead show and am spending two days for Kim's private spiritual retreat.  I have a cottage out of the city at the foot of the mountains.  It is quiet and beautiful. Stay tuned for pics.

P: Pray with more focus
I am making progress.  I know if I have a tactile experience during prayer, it helps me focus.

V: Very interesting semesters in school… all three of them, not sure if I have control of this, but I am saying it anyway
Semester 1: Ethics and Moral Reasoning, maybe a 7 out of 10 on the interesting.  Not horrible.

W: Widen the focus of Divine Design
Oh yeah.  I have excelled at this one.  We will be doing 2 mission trips, with the additional trip going to Atlanta, GA!

Z: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Learn to sleep less, hahaha! How else will I accomplish all this?
I definitely have been sleeping less.  I think it is partly because I have a lot of things that hold my interest and partly because I have been coughing too much to sleep.  No matter, it gives me more waking hours.

I have to work harder on this the next 10 months.
Normal Girl

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Place I Like

Fabric Warehouse.  Ahhhhhhhhh! Can you hear the angels singing?  I really like this place and the two very helpful guys that work there.  Before I found this place, I had to take a 40% off coupon to three or four Jo-Ann's locations to get enough fabric for my project.  

Now, I walk in, they practically run over to me asking to help.  I say, I need a snow white fabric that is lightweight but I can't see through it.  They walk to the perfect bolt and voile, I am done.  AND.  Every fabric is $3.49 a yard.  AND.  They have enough for my big projects.  AND.  We talked today about having a church day when they give me back a 30% rebate, for Divine Design,  on everything people from my church buy.

Don't you love things that make your life easier?
Normal Girl

Monday, March 2, 2009

Acquisition Therapy

I acquired this one button today while I was coughing down the aisles of Jo-Ann's looking for snowman parts.  

That sentence says so much, doesn't it?

So, the button jumped right off the peg into my hand.  Does that ever happen to you?  What do you think I will do with this one black button?  It is nice and big, asymmetrical and has square button holes.  I love those things about it.  

Any guesses?
Normal Girl