Moxie & Mel

{August 31, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Due to the rain delay, last night was…MOVIE NIGHT!

Master and Commander

We chose Master and Commander because, well, my family thinks they’re pirates and it seemed appropriate. If you haven’t seen this movie, I recommend it! Aside from a few rather gory parts, it was a really good story. Of course, most people knew that, since it won 2 Oscars and had another 17 wins & 43 nominations in other ‘movie competitions’.
Here’s a summary from IMDB:

The year is 1805. Europe has fallen to Napoleon, and only the Royal Navy stands in his way to total victory. Off the cost of South America, a new conflict is brewing. Captain Jack “Lucky Jack” Aubrey (Russel Crowe) of the Man-of-War HMS Surprise is under orders to sink or capture the French privateer Acheron, which has been deployed to the region. After seven weeks of uneventful sailing, the Acheron strikes first, all but crippling the Surprise in an engagement in which Aubrey realizes his enemy’s ship is nautically superior to his own. Along with his close friend and confidant Stephan Maturin (Paul Bettany) who also happens to be the ship’s surgeon, Aubrey is now faced with the choice of retreating to England and admitting defeat or remaining at the Acheron’s mercy. Aubrey must now do the impossible if he is to survive, repair his ship, catch up to his enemy and defeat the Acheron–somehow

My favorite quote is a rather funny comment from Capt. Jack Aubrey, who quips, “Name a shrub after me – something prickly and hard to eradicate.”   Moving on…
Ah, after the rain. What a wonderful time to explore the outdoors. The air is wonderfully cool, the breeze is still moving along and everything looks so…clean. I spent some time out in the garden this morning. Most of the garden is past its prime, but we still have some hangers-on. The parsley, sage and rosemary to be specific. I love rosemary, but I’m sure I’ll address that in another post; today I was looking at flowers.

I love flowers. I love the colors, shapes and textures that each flower offers up. Nature amazes me.  The flowers around here are in a happy place today, turning their faces up to the sunshine and soaking in all the water from the storm. Even the plumeria are celebrating the tropical weather, sending out the first blooms of the season. I snapped pictures to share with you.

In the gaden



Today I spent some time working on an idea for a charity. I spoke with Carrie Watts at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, which is where both my niece and nephew have been treated. After our conversation, I was sure my idea was perfect- we’re going to make items to donate to the hospital. The kids will be making jewelry (Princess) and hats (The Boy) and I’ll probably be making baby blankets. Here’s the information in case anyone else is interested:

Knitter and Crafter Volunteers

The Knitter and Crafter Volunteers donate handcrafted items to be used and enjoyed by our babies, children and their families. If you enjoy knitting or crocheting and would like to donate your items, please contact Carrie Watts at 321 841-5932 or send an e-mail to

Guidelines for Knitters and Crafters

Baby & Pediatric Items

Baby Items: Mommies love the pastel colors.

Pediatric Items: Primary colors are great. (Basic red, yellow, blue)

Blankets and quilts can be in any shape or size you desire.

Booties are 3 inches on bottom; 2.5 – 3 inches heal to toe.

Full term baby hats should be 11, 12 or 13 inches wide and 7 inches long.

Clothing: Diaper shirts can be made in these sizes. Please use Velcro to close the shirts.

Small 11 inches long and 7 inches wide
Medium 11.5 inches long and 8 inches wide
Large 12 inches long and 9 inches wide

Preemie Items

Please use the pastel colors.

Preemie hats are 8, 9 or 10 inches wide and 5 inches long.

Isolette covers are 36 inches X 48 inches with ½-inch quilt batting in the middle.

Fetal Demise Items

The fetal demise gowns should be 7″ in length and have an open back all the way down. Hats are 4, 5 or 6″ inches wide and 2 inches long.

The pastel colors are pink, blue, and white.

Special Care Instructions: Because some of our precious babies are on ventilators, items that have been exposed to smoke, mothballs, perfume or pet fur cannot be used.

I’m still hard at work looming the second panel of my afghan.


God as my witness, I will finish this thing!

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!



{August 30, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Wow @ the storm system you kids had up there. I can totally sympathize-What a dreary day it is here!
Tropical Storm Ernesto is basically a really long rainstorm. It’s grey and yucky and just plain WET here! Here’s a quick clip I got while dodging rain bands.

I’m taking advantage of the inside time to work out the scarflets I have been plotting. Due to my current ‘storage system’ (read: plastic store bags stuffed with items randomly and shoved under the bed) I can’t find the adorable vintage-style buttons (one has an argyle pattern! they’re chocolate and turquoise and pink! I am in love with them and it breaks my heart that I can’t find them 😦 ) I went with a ‘keyhole’ pattern that I adapted. Here are the results:

Scarflet Scarflet Scarflet

I’m taking a break while I add a brim onto a hat The Boy is making for his teacher, then I’ll be back on the scarflet track. I’m thinking I’d like to do one with more of a ‘pattern’ to it.

Talk to you soon~


{August 30, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

Oh WOW! I am so glad that you and hubby got to go away for your anniversary! Sarasota is beautiful and that house is just fabulous! You are such a good photographer. Someday I’ll be able to take some half decent pictures so I can share too!

My sister and I are planning to go to Shipshewana on Tuesday. I will definitely take the camera this time. It will be much easier to take our time and browse. Different than going with my dad. LOL

Well, let’s talk about the weather. There were “an abundance” of funnel clouds here on Monday evening. There was only one that touched down near here though. It didn’t do a lot of damage and thankfully no one was hurt. It took down quite a few trees, many power lines, flattened a garage and turned over 2 cars. Here’s a picture from the local paper.

It was a little scary, but we came through just fine!



{August 29, 2006}   Dear Mel-

How’s life in tornado alley? Last time I spoke to you it was a ‘duck and cover’ exercise accompanied by loud sirens, so I’m hoping your town came through unscathed.

Endless SkyMore on weather later…first…our weekend.

We had the BEST time! First, we headed west on 70 towards Sarasota. We really enjoyed the more ‘backwoods’ section of the state and had a ball just gawking like tourists. At one point we passed a billboard that read, “You should see the state you’re in!”. Boy are they right!

As we went through the little town of Arcadia we ‘mentally noted’ some really amazing buildings, deciding to cut the trip slightly short so we could go back and investigate. We headed on towards our destination and finally arrived at Sarasota Cay Club.

View From The RoomThey let us check in three hours early and even upgraded our room to a marina view for free. Can’t beat that!
After having a toddy at the hotel bar we headed out to meet up with Nicole and Taylor at St Armands Circle. What an amazing place that is! The shops were quite dangerous, filled with great products everywhere you looked. We spent some time browsing the stores, drooling over shoes and then headed off for an early dinner at the Tommy Bahama Cafe. Yummy! That is all I can say about the food. The place was so relaxing and the service was excellent; I highly recommend it to anyone in the area. Nicole and Taylor
After dinner we headed back out and wandered the shops some more. A quick stop at the Starbucks procured coffee for three of us and Jim went in for a waffle cone at Scoopdaddys. Then we wandered over to the beach to check out the sunset.


Downtown ViewsWe snapped a few pictures and then it was off to the hotel to retire for the night. The next morning we woke up early and wandered downtown. I can’t even begin to tell you about all the amazing- AMAZING!!- stores and such downtown. YOU HAVE TO GO! You’ll love it! I took a TON of pictures, which you can see here.

Arcadia County BuildingAfter spending quality time with Jim and my Fuji, we hopped back in the van and headed home. When we reached Arcadia, we absolutely had to stop. The first thing we explored was the county building, which is a stunningly preserved bit of history. The architecture in this building is so beautiful, and I was enjoying just standing in front of it, but Jim noticed something and drug me off into the back streets of Arcadia.

Historic HomeHe’d found an old double shotgun residence, early 1900s, that was not only for sale, but was OPEN. Sure, I know, we’re not supposed to just help ourselfs inside, but we just could NOT resist! The place was just awe inspiring and made us wish we had the money to lovingly restore it. CounterweightsThe owners had completed a tear out, as we believe it was suffering from storm damage (common now in Florida). The roof was leaking and it was starting to affect the interior of the structure, but under the dirt and the dust were beautiful hardwood floors, four fireplaces, wide french doors and windows that still had their original counterweights!

Before we left Arcadia I spotted this gorgeous wedding dress in the window of a little local bridal shop:

Wedding Dress

The details on the dress were impressive. Too bad I’m not looking for a dress!

Once we got home, I got back to work. I finished up Princess’ WIP, a neck pillow:

Neck Pillow

It’s lumpy, but strangely VERY comfortable. I also whipped up some slipper socks for myself, which I have fallen deeply in love with already.

Slipper Socks

Right now I’ve worked up something that is going to be a wrap…or a shrug…or….I can’t decide. LOL.

I am thinking that I’ll start on a bag next. And work on the afghan. Maybe. Jim suggested the afghan become a table runner. *grin* I think he thinks I have forsaken it. Well…..maybe I have. Not sure yet.

Today I went down to the county administration building and got a sparkly new badge. It reads, “Emergency Services, Priority One”. I feel What it really means is, “Starting next Tuesday, you will work 6pm-2am learning archaic police codes and seldom-used street names in order to prepare you to assist the citizens of our local with their emergency situations.” I like the shorter version better.
And now back to the weather.

TS Ernesto is headed our way.

Ernesto Path

We’re not overly concerned about it, as it weakened a lot over Cuba, but we are preparing. The usual things are going on (stocking up on water, food, batteries, gasoline, blah blah blah) and we’re preparing for (ack!) losing power. We have a backup generator complete with two portable air conditioning units (Florida+ August+ No A/C= BAD) and we’ve cleaned up the yard (did I mention we have Plumeria blooms FINALLY?).

Anyhoo, if you don’t hear from me for a day or two (ugh!) don’t panic, we’ve probably just lost our connection abilities.

And with that, I’m going to go work on my shawl-shrug-sweater thinggie and then head off to pick up the kiddies from their various educational establishments!

Talk to you soon~



Forgot to mention I finished the hat that goes with the pink and chocolate scarf. Here’s the picture:

Strawberries and Chocolate

{August 25, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

OMG! As much as I’d like to start from the beginning, I am going to explode if I don’t comment on Princess’s top! WOW!!! You amaze me every day with your crafty energy!

Yanno, I saw that pic of Ken on Firegirl’s Flickr and thought he looked familiar! Duh! It’s ‘cuz I know him. LOL

I haven’t made much crafting progress in the past few days. I’ve been babysitting here and there and driving people hither to and yon. Besides that, I have two friends moving at the same time so I’ve been trying to help with that where I can.

Hopefully by Monday I’ll be back on track. I’m going to work on a habitat house on Saturday morning and probably go to the drive-in on Saturday night. Sunday is family time so I should be rested and ready come Monday!

Have I told you that we still have a couple drive-in movie theaters here? We try to frequent the ones closest to us and do our part to keep them going. I would hate for them to die out before the next generation gets a chance to experience the outdoor movie theater!

Well, it’s time to meet the hubby for lunch! Hope you have a wonderful time this weekend visiting with Nicole and seeing “the other ocean”!



{August 23, 2006}   Dear Mel-

LOVE love love those belts! Really. Love them. I want one of those in MY stocking!

The necklaces are awesome, but then I’m sure you knew that!

Your class reunion sounds fun! I won’t even comment on the fake id thing…lol

Speaking of reunions….

I thought I’d update you on someone from our past…his name was Ken and he was from KY. *grin* You’ll probably remember him best from the time when Dad caught him laying on the back of the couch and  reamed him for it…lol.

Anyway, he works with Firegirl now (Firegirl is my sister, the firefighter for those who don’t know) as a fire fighter and is working on becoming a model. Because she’s been working on her portfolio, she took some shots for his comp cards and I thought you’d enjoy seeing what he looks like now!

Kenneth from Ky

Okay, on to the good stuff!

This morning was beautiful! It’s been unbearably hot and icky here with lots of cloud cover, but this morning the sun was trying hard to beat the clouds at their own game and it made for a really pretty sky. I snapped a quick picture for you:


Last night The Boy finished his second hat. Now he and Bubba match…

The Boy in his hat

Bubba in his hat

I worked on the last of my first ‘garment’ for Princess. I’m pretty proud of it, even with all its flaws…

Princess' Tank Top

Today I’m going to work on a hat and then I’ve PROMISED myself I will finish another panel for the afghan!

Hope all is well in your world~


{August 22, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

WoW @ The Boy’s hat! That kicks butt! So proud of him for sticking with it and getting it done.

About the class reunion, I had a blast! Was so cool to see everybody again. We had a pretty good turn out for the thing at the golf course then all the party people went to a dance club after. Was kinda funny when we got to the club. It was filled up with the same people that had fake i.d.’s and went clubbing when we were younger! (Of course I am guessing because I wasn’t one of those fake i.d. having, under age drinking, dance floor hogging kids! LOL) The best part is that the guy that I would have voted most shy in school has totally come out of his shell and he and his wife hung out with Keith and me all evening. We’re planning to get together for a bbq this weekend!

O.k. as requested (repeatedly) here are some pictures of my jewelry. I have many more, just no pictures as of yet. Still working on that for you!

Also, here’s one of the belts I’ve been ‘whipping’ up


Those pictures don’t really do them justice, but I’m working on that!

Have a fantastic day!



{August 21, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Loved the links to all the shops in Shipshewana, thanks for sharing. Looks like a wonderful place to go waste a serious amount of time! How’d the class reunion go?

We spent our Saturday driving hither and yon. Hubby went fishing in the morning (caught a ton of fish and one unfortunate seagull who decided to eat his lure). Princess spent the night with Cat so we had to pick her up when he got home. After that came a quick trip to the yarn depot (30% off day…got five skeins for $7. I’m so good~!) and then back home. Vikki got here shortly afterwards and we headed off to the home improvement store and muddled our way through buying the items to install new tile in her bathroom and added in a new front door for her house.

Sunday was spent watching Jim install said tile. Princess and Bubba watched the movie Anastasia while The Boy and I worked on some new knits. I’m so proud of him- he had a ball with it, stuck to it and finished his first hat in about three hours! Here he is showing off for the camera:

The Boy's Hat

The Boy's Hat

I joined the stitch and rip club. I redid my latest four times; I just wasn’t happy with it. Eventually I settled into something I liked and churned out yet another scarf. I love the baby soft pink and chocolate together. Pretty but preppy. I think this one will get a matching hat (brown brim, pink hat?) to go with it.

Pink and Chocolate

Pink and Chocolate

I think I’ll work on a wrap today. Or maybe some neck pillows…I really SHOULD do the next panel in the afghan, but I just can’t ‘feel’ it

Hope all is well with you and I’m STILL waiting for the pictures!


{August 19, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

I just wanted to share some of my favorite places in Shipshe with you. My very favorite place there is Lotions And Potions. They have almost every scent you can imagine and creams, lotions, soaps, and all kinds of other things that they blend them in just for you! It’s a fabulous place to find those perfect things to pamper yourself!

Another of my favorites is Shipshe Log Furniture. It’s not my particular decorating style, but I have a deep appreciation for the fine craftsmanship that goes into every handmade piece.

There is also Lolly’s. This is a fantastic fabric store with about every pattern and texture that you can imagine. They also offer quilt kits with patterns and fabric squares so that you can create your own version of any of the quilts that they have for sale! Unfortunately Lolly’s website is under construction so I have nothing to link you to. 😦

I found a bead shop there called Gierek’s Beads. They offer a pretty wide variety of glass, clay, and bone beads as well as Swarovski Crystals. I didn’t see much for macrame but a wire jewelry artist would go balistic in there. Again, no website. (I don’t know why this surprises me, they are in the middle of Amish Country. They are lucky to have lights and running water! LOL)

You absoultely can’t visit Shipshewana without catching a show at The Mousetrap Puppet Theater! You are never too old (or too cool) to see a puppet show.

I must give honorable mention to the fully restored 1906 carousel on the third floor of The Davis Mercantile. I couldn’t find a single picture of it online so I guess you’ll just have to go there and see it for yourself!

There are so many more places to see and shop, but I am hoping that if I leave a little mystery, you’ll come to visit! 😛

I have to go to a class reunion this evening (know how I can lose 10 pounds in the next 3 hours?) so I won’t be able to create until tomorrow.

Hope you are having a wonderful Saturday!



{August 18, 2006}   Dear Mel-

I’m green with jealousy. I’m surprised you can’t see the glow from there. I took your advice and googled Shipshewana. I am now in tantrum mode; I wanna go! I do hope you’re taking pictures!
Instead of browsing through cool handmade kitsch like you, I got to spend most of my day (again) dealing with the bureaucracy (i chose that word because of definition #3 on, which states, “An administrative system in which the need or inclination to follow rigid or complex procedures impedes effective action”) of the school system here. I feel like I need a Relpax just from remembering it, so I won’t go into detail.

As a sort of occupational therapy I decided to skip the afghan (so boring, and do something fun. In the spirit of WIP Friday (Work In Progress Friday from here and here) I am now sharing pictures of my never-before-seen WIP. I believe I will call it “Chasing Waterfalls”. FYI, the turquoise is VERY brilliant, almost [dare I say it] NEON in comparison to the chocolate. I’m lovin’ the whole concept and its turning out better than I could have hoped for.

Retro Stripe

Retro Stripe

Retro Stripe

I whipped this up (for the most part) while at the ‘Castle’ park with Bubba. He played in the towers and I sat in the shade with my treasures. All in all a rather relaxing experience.

I’ve decided we’ll have pizza for dinner tonight while I keep working on the retro scarf…it’s way too hot here to cook. Thank goodness for the air conditioner or it would be too hot to do anything, even create!

Talk to you soon!


PS: Still waiting on those pictures of the oft-ripped-out-and-redone-choker. Hurry Hurry! LOL

PPS: If Mel is good, Santa might just provide her with a bag in her stocking. Or maybe a bag AS her stocking!

et cetera