Saturday, February 28, 2009

On Unexpected Illness:

So far, I have been able to blog here everyday since I started back in May. But my gall bladder started to act up again last night.

The doctor told me last time if it flares up again he wants it out. So if you don’t see me here for a few days, you’ll know what happened. They dragged me kicking and screaming off to the hospital to have it out.

Friday, February 27, 2009

On Working Without a Net:

Yesterday I sewed myself a mini or opera cape.

It is black cotton, 3/ 4 inch wide grosgrain ribbon for the tie, and 1/ 4 inch wide grosgrain ribbon and clear glass buttons for decoration.

I wasn’t careful with my scissors and cut a little where I shouldn’t have, so I added a strip of ribbon down the center back to hide the mistake and added a little bow and button there too, just for good measure.

I was going to make the mini cape shorter but with my elephant ear upper arms… (You know what I mean. The excess flesh on your upper arm that when you are done waving goodbye it keeps on waving long after the person is gone from sight.) Well, when I made it to come to mid upper arm it came to a bad place bringing attentions to the flab on my arms so I went with making it a little longer and hiding the ugly. So now it comes almost to the elbow.

Of course it doesn’t matter if I wear it with long sleeves but if I wear it over a gown or short sleeves I’m joke fodder for weeks.

The reason my sewing projects take a bit longer to accomplish is I rarely work with a pattern. And although I do have a dressmakers dummy it is not larger enough for my ample size at the moment. I wind up having to try the thing on any number of times, accidentally sticking pins into myself as I go. (It’s not the prickings that gets to me, it’s the blood stains.) Ha, ha.

Thankfully they don’t show as much on black. Don’t look at me like that. You know it’s true.

I also worked on my long, hooded, black velvet cloak/cape. It is getting a light gray lining and a matching muff. But I’ll post more about that at another date.

Yes, I know it is nearing the end of winter and you are asking yourself, why is she making it now? Because now the fabric is on sale to make room for all those colorful spring and summer prints I don‘t buy.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

On Sewing Dress Up:

I got up early this morning and you found me with a mouth full of pins because I was sewing away for the last couple of hours.

I love to go thrift shopping then taking the clothing I find there and changing them into something new and different.

Last night I was watching the movie ‘Lemony Snicker’s - A Series of Unfortunate Events.’ I just love the clothing in that movie. So Victorian, yet twisted just a bit.

I woke with an idea for changing the sleeves on a extra large men’s black cotton shirt I have been reforming for myself. Fortunately the sleeves were over long and I could cut off the cuffs, slim the arms and hem it so it came a few inches down my hands with a button on the inside in the opening slit left from the old cuff. I had put in a few darts to slim it around the waist the other day.

Sorry, I didn’t think to take pictures before I started the project.

I’m thinking of adding removable puffs to the top of the sleeves in a complimentary fabric. Give it a ‘leg-o-mutton’ Victorian, puffed sleeve look when I want to. And I was going to change the collar but it stands up in a nice stiff way without scratching. So another blouse will get the ruffle collar I was thinking of making here.

I also want to make a mini cape. Just an over the shoulder thing with a ruffle hem coming to about half way between the shoulder and the elbow with a bow at the neck. I can use this to change the look of a few different tops.

I like making pieces that can be moved from one dress, top or skirt to another. I like mixing things up while also saving space in my closet. It also helps when I can get others to join me in making cemetery pictures. They don’t need to have a Victorian wardrobe just for an afternoon photo shoot. And with the use of a few pins or ties they can be used by almost anyone over their own clothing.

Add a puff to the sleeves on a blouse and a separate bustle or train over the waist of a skirt, that can be any length really, and you have a whole new look. I love the mix and match quality of black.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On A Home for Dreams:

I had an odd dream last night. I used to like dreaming. I still do in some ways. But since my son died it got a lot harder on me. At first it was the grief that would rush back when I awoke after a dream about him even though in the dream I knew he was dead.

Then after a few years, I had a dream about finding him again. In it his death was just a mistake. When I woke I had to give him up all over again. It took me days, no weeks to even start to get over it a second time. I was so devastated by that one dream I just didn’t want to dream again.

Of course I did dream again. I’d dream about solutions to problems. I’d dream about the places in my head that I was writing about in my stories. I’d dream about places I don’t think I’ve ever been in the flesh but I have visited all my life in dream time.

Most of my dreams are a collection of thoughts and experiences from the day before all scrambled into a new and interesting way. I like unscrambling them again in the morning like a puzzle only I can play with.

Some of my dreams are perfect worlds that leave me with a wonderful feeling of true beauty inside and out.

Some of my dreams seem to have messages for me for the future. They are different and stick with me until I figure them out. Later something will happen and I’ll have a moment of clarity where the dream will suddenly make sense. I’ll find myself saying, ‘I dreamed about this.’ or ‘Now I get it.’

The trouble is the dreams that don’t fit into any of these categories but still haunt my waking mind. They are not solutions, visiting, stories, puzzles, perfection, or messages. They just seem to be odd dreams not connected to me at all but more like they are looking for a place to rest, a home. Am I dreaming in someone else’s dream while they sleep? That was the kind of dream I had last night. Am I a home for lost dreams?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Carnivorous Plant Terrariums:

Well the carnivorous plants are doing well in there new homes. I managed to get a large matching Cookie/Apothecary jar from my local Target store. The jars stand over a foot high, 35 cm, with the lid on and have a nice 7 1/ 2 inch, 19 cm, across opening. They are very reasonably priced, and there are smaller sizes for the less adventuresome. Small stones, Peat moss, plants, water to top of stones. The white in the jars are thermometers so I can keep them comfy.

In this one I have a Sundew on the left, two pitcher plants in the center of the picture, and a Butterwort on the right.

And in the other are my Venus Flytraps.

I also got a Cryptanthus bivittatus or ‘Pink Star’ this year. She is not a carnivorous plant but with those nice sharp saw tooth edges to her stiff leaves I could pass her up. She is just a bit dangerous too. In the day time they are all on the window sill, with their lids cocked open a bit so they can feed.

Well February is almost over and it is time to get those seeds for the garden. I know that there is still snow on the ground but if we are going to start the seedlings we will have to get started soon. The end of May will be coming faster then we believe it will at the moment. And the little seedlings with be going in the garden by then.

Monday, February 23, 2009

On The Tea Party:

The dolls had their own Tea Party in their house. I don’t know what they wrote on their thankfulness lists but they all seemed to have a nice time and were smiling when it was over.

Mountain Man joined me for the Thankfulness Tea Party yesterday. We went with a Raspberries and Cheese theme in the foods this year. We had cheese and crackers, raspberry jam, cookies and cream filled chocolates along with our tea. I even had berry flavored tea but Mountain Man stuck with his favorite orange pekoe.

I also set out a plate of pretty Victorian scrap pictures to decorate the pages of our Thankfulness books as we went along.

I dressed the table with my nicest hand made lace table cloth and we set the table with a few things from the china cabinet and some paper doilies. I put on harp music this year and lit the candles.

I dressed in my black skirt with the new overskirt and a white blouse. And we spent the next few hours nibbling and writing sharing the plate of scrap pictures and the glue stick. It was a lovely afternoon of thankfulness and watching the snow come down outside of the window.

I won’t share all of it with you as some of it was quite personal but I will share a few things from my list. Besides the obvious Friends, Pets and Family that is.

Candle light to warm a cold dark room.
Books both to read and to learn from.
A naked tree against a gray winter sky.
People who understand.
My creativeness.
Stone walls.
Special times with the ones I love.
Blustery days with my arms thrown wide, riding the wind.
Friends around the world.
A smile when you least expect it.
Writing a new story.
Black nail polish.

My heart and soul are now refilled again.


The Epitaph Contest will be back next week.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

On Thankfulness Tea Party:

Hi Everybody,

Today is the first annual Internet Thankfulness Tea Party.

I hope that everyone had the time to collect some goodies to eat, pen and paper, and a good attitude. If you are expecting guests, that they arrive in good time and that they are happy and healthy.

I’ll be interested in hearing what others have added to their parties to make it special to them. Did you listen to rock music or have pizza rolls? Did you indulge in chocolate latti or had a mixed drink instead of tea? Did you dress up or dress down? Was it a personal alone time experience or a family get together with the kids?

But mostly I’m interested in hearing some of the things you are thankful for.

Some lists will be long and others short. Some full of family and friends and others the names of the cats. But I know that each list with be as individual as the maker and just as special.

My lists have varied over the years. The one after my son died had little on it but the word ‘tears.’ But through it all I have found something, no matter how small, to be thankful for.

It is a good thing to take stock of the good things in your life. It gives you perspective and fills the places in your heart that are running low on positive energy. It gives you hope and lightens the soul in hard times.

If you have a hard time getting your list started, look around at the party you have created for yourself and list the things you added to make it special for you. I hope your list is full of wonderful things that mean a lot to you. And to start with I’m thankful for you my dear readers. You have taken a little idea I had to help me through the last long days of winter and expanded on it, embraced it, and made it you own. Feel free to do it again whenever you feel the need of it.

Have a happy Thankfulness Tea Party day, everyone.

Sincerely, Lady Euphoria Deathwatch

Saturday, February 21, 2009

On The Nick of Time:

I had been feeling really bad about not getting to my mothers house for a visit on Wednesday.

Back in November she had moved from a moderately large Victorian that was too much house for her to keep up with, (Lets just say that since I’m 50 plus, she is not getting any younger.) and she moved into a three and a half room mobile home with her two cats, one of whom just died a few weeks ago from a long standing illness.

I felt the ‘need’ to see her and to see how she was doing with all the changes in the last few months.

So, I poked at Mountain Man’s guilt receptors (Something I reserve for dire emergencies by the way.) and he changed his plans and took me off to see my mother early Friday morning.

We had a good time chatting while I did some knitting in the car and three hours later we arrived at her door. Once inside we were bowled over by the smell of heating oil. We let her know that the place was unsafe and had her call the landlord.

Do to the extra cold weather we had been having this year at one point the heating oil jelled. This caused it to collect sentiment in the tank and make it come through the pipe and clog her heater. She was being poisoned little by little by carbon monoxide for days.

By the time we had gotten there it was getting critical and she was totally unaware of it because it had built up gradually. And since the furnace was serviced just before she moved in she never thought it could be the reason she had been so tired and headachy lately. She thought it was just the winter blahs.

We had headaches within minutes of going through her door. The problem was fixed and we are all glad nothing really bad had happened. But I am thankful to the powers that be for making me determined to get to her house before another day had passed. Because if I had waited until next Wednesday like we had planned my mother would have likely died sometime later that day or the next.

They don’t call me Deathwatch for nothing.

Friday, February 20, 2009

On Basket Care:

A number of people commented on my basket blog yesterday so here goes.

Although I do not use all my 126 baskets in my house at one time, I do use them. Only a few are just for show. Some of my baskets are over thirty years old. My house is decorated in a ‘catch as catch can’ style. What pulls it all together is the birds and baskets in all the rooms.

The baskets you get with flowers or fruit are often the ones that have a shellac or color on them that comes off when you try to wash them. These I usually just get rid of because I don’t want it coming off on any food or projects that I might keep in it.

Baskets are washable to some extent. ‘Do Not soak in a tub of hot water!’ I use a spray hose in the bathtub and warm water. I spray them hard for a few seconds to get the worst of the dust off and shake them to get the excess water off. And of course I wash each basket with suds before I use it for food.

The trick is to get them dried before they loose shape. I do a more thorough cleaning in the summer when I can spread them out on the grass to dry in the sun. It’s then that I have a soft scrub brush in a bucket of disinfectant sudsy water at one end of the bathtub to get the grime off. Then I rinse with the spray. Out to dry in the sun shine which also kills germs and after fifteen minutes or so I turn them in the sun to be sure they are dried completely before I put then back in place.

I do have some willow baskets that have sprouted pussy willow heads on some of the whips a few days after cleaning. But you can’t count on that happening.

I have boiled the baskets made for holding paper plates to clean them after a garden party or picnic. You just have to hold them flat with a plate that has something heavy on it to keep it from curling into a bowl shape as it dries.

That is really all there is to it. It’s the fact that I have so many that makes it a chore.

PS: Don’t tell the dolls in the doll house. I only clean their little baskets once a year.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

On Living the Fantasy in a Basket:

For a long time now Lady Deathwatch has been living a fantasy life of living with a dragon here at Dragon’s Breath Manor. This in no way refers to sex or any other parts of loving goodness that do reside in the lady’s world. No, this is a fantasy of cleanness. Or more specifically dust eradication.

Back in the days of my pre cancer world I dusted more often. And in the back of my mind I started to think of the woodstove that continually belched dust into my house as the dragon I lived with. I can dust today and in a few days it will look like I haven’t dusted for over a month.

This is not an idle exaggerated statement to get your attention. Within a week you can literally write in the dust on my furniture. And when I haven’t dusted in a few weeks it can hang from the ceiling and try to strangle you as you walk through the rooms. (I have to say I didn’t mind the haunted way my house looked with all the cobwebs hanging about, but really, some cleanliness must be maintained.)

After I got cancer my priorities changed. I was tired of working for the dragon, feeding him wood, twigs and even the bones left over from the animals and fowl Mountain Man eats, only to have him belch out dust and smoke at me and my home. And I was very tired of the cleaning of all the dust my dragon leaves behind.

But once a month or so in the winter months when the house is closed up and the dragon heats the house almost continually, I have to take the dust in hand or the cobwebs will start to fall and choke the life out of whoever inhales them.

So, on Ceiling Dusting Day I become the dragon’s lowly hand maiden once again as I remove all the baskets from the beams and rinse them off in the bathtub. Once they are down I take my ceiling sweeping broom (Yes there is a broom just for the job.) and clear the cobwebs from the rooms. The baskets are then hung, but not to closely, by the dragon to dry and be returned to their perches.

The mud in the bottom of the tub would astound you by the time I am done. (There are 72 baskets in the kitchen/family room area alone.) While the baskets are down I take my ceiling sweeping broom (Yes, there is a broom just for the job.) and clear the cobwebs from the rooms.

Today is such a day. In the end we will be breathing cleaner air but for now I’ll be wearing a kerchief over my face until the job is done.


Reminder: The Thankfulness Tea Party is on this coming Sunday, only a few days away. I hope you can join me in being thankful for the good things in your life and have a fun time doing it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On Unearthing a Good Day:

Well we didn’t get to my Mother’s house yesterday but I did finish my sew project.

The pictures are hard to see but I added them mostly because I haven’t had any pictures on here lately.

Inspired by the clothing at Retroscope Fashions I made myself an overskirt of crushed organza.

I put it over a white skirt for the pictures so you could see it better but it was still hard to see.

Front picture of ruffles and Back picture of the bustle.

Mountain Man saw that I was feeling a bit sad about not getting to my mother’s so he took me to the cemetery for some pictures of my new bit of Victorian Gothic fashion. (He knows just how to thrill my dark little heart.)

We also went shopping and I got a lot of strange looks. But I didn’t care. I dress to please myself at home all the time. And sometimes I let Lady Deathwatch in all her Victorian finery come out to play in the real world.

I don’t have any Goth friends or even Victorian friends around here to play dress up with and only a few of my friends that tolerate my black gothy street clothing, but I still find myself having to let my Victorian Gothy side shine thru at times. It may make others uncomfortable but why shouldn’t I be comfortable or even happy sometimes too. I don’t tell them what to wear or that they make me uncomfortable.

Anyway, although it may not look it, I’m at my happiest unearthing my Romantigoth self in the cemetery taking pictures, and having my picture taken, all dolled up in my Gothy Victorian clothing.

We got some good shots before the batteries in the camera died. And I got some new stereograph pictures to play with too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On A Busy Day:

On A Busy Day:

I was supposed to visit my Mother tomorrow but the weather is not cooperating. I hate when that happens. I had my week all planned out.

I’m in the middle of a sewing project that I started yesterday afternoon. There is the Internet Thankfulness Tea Party coming up on Sunday and I hope to see you there by the way. We are busy on Saturday. Mom works on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Friday Mountain Man has an eye doctor appointment. So Wednesday was it for this week.

Mom lives some three hours away, with mountains and valleys in between so now we will have to try to fit a much shorter visit in this evening after she gets off work this afternoon. Mountain Man doesn’t like to drive in the dark as much any more so he is not happy about this.

We like to get a longer then two hour visit in when we have to drive for six hours in a day. And staying over night is out of the question. Between the old sick dogs at home and the woodstove for heat. We never go away for an over night in the winter.

So, now I have to rush around and try to fit the visit in today. I have a lot to do so I’ll see you later.

PS: I have a new story up for you on Thrill or Shiver today.

Monday, February 16, 2009

On Analog TV:

I don’t know about you but I’m a little sad about the end of analog TV broadcasting in the USA.

Maybe it’s my age. Because I remember the Christmas my family got the first color TV in the neighborhood. People who I’d seen all my life and never thought of saying hello to me showed up at our door to see it for themselves. We had neighbors coming and going for over a week and every ‘Color TV Special’ had the living room full of friends.

I can still tell you that the first thing I saw on TV in color was the NBC Peacock unfurling it’s cartoon feathers full of colorful glory. I can even hear the music jingle in my head. This is not the one color per feather peacock of today. This one had two colors on each and the color on the tips was in a tear drop pattern.

I remember vacuum tubes and test patterns, little round screens and snowy static, black and white with announcers explaining what you were seeing in case you couldn’t see it well, and besides they were used to doing it from the days of only radio. You had to turn it on long before you wanted to watch so it could warm up. There were rabbit ear antennas and every station, of the few that there were, would sign off for the night with the national anthem.

It might just be the change. The change of things is a constant, but having constant things makes us feel safe.

Don’t get me wrong here. I have made the change to digital months ago. There are things I like about it and things I miss about the old way. I’ll miss being able to use my VCR to record the shows I am missing to go to my meetings. I don’t have tevo or a fast enough internet connection to see them in another way.

It is the change of an era that seems to be going un-noticed by people younger then myself that bothers me I think. The fact that they don’t appreciate just how far we have come in just my lifetime, let alone my parents.

Tomorrow I will have a moment of silence for the changing of the original Television era. It is the end of an age that I can still remember.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

On Did I Do Something Wrong?:

Is it February that makes you tired and less apt to play? Did the doldrums get to you and you are having trouble thinking up new things? Maybe it’s me and I’m not offering the prizes that excite you to join in the Epitaph Contest. Or did I insult you in some way so that you don’t want to play with me anymore.

Whatever the reason, this is the second time in a row that no one has sent in an Epitaph. I used to get Epitaphs sent in just for them to show up on the Epitaph of the Week spot. I was appreciative, so started to offer prizes. But that sort of back fired because then no one send in epitaphs unless there were prizes being offered. Now there is no one sending in any Epitaphs at all.

I know that new people have joined in reading my blog that may not have thought about sending in an epitaph, so I will continue to have the contest every other week for a while. It just may die out for lack of interest for all I know.

I am moving the Epitaph of the Week back to the top of the side bar. Winter is almost over in the northern hemisphere and few people are thinking about making mittens for those in need any longer. I’ll keep making mittens each week through out the year for the charity because the cold weather will come back and the need is likely to only get greater.

I hope that it is just a case of having other things to do at the moment and that the Epitaph of the Week will have some contributors soon. I did enjoy hearing from you and seeing how other people’s imaginations came up with Epitaphs.

The next Epitaph Contest will be on the Week of Feb. 22 - 28. Feel free to send in Epitaphs to share even if you don’t want to enter the contest.

A great big thank you to all the people that have sent in Epitaphs in the past. You get that death is part of all life and should not be ignored or avoided.

Here are the rules for writing your own headstone epitaphs and having them shown on my blog.

1. No more then 10 lines, but the shorter the better.
2. It does not have to rhyme, but it can of course.
3. Just words. No pictures, cartoons etc.
4. Nothing ‘overtly’ sexual, violent, disgusting, or racist will be considered.
5. Leave a name of who sent it. (It doesn’t have to be your real name.) But it will be attributed to that name. No name, no entry.
6. If the words are not your own. Add the original authors name if you know it. Otherwise just add ‘Anonymous’ and add ‘Sent in by’ and your name after that.
7. Spelling counts. Please proof read it before you hit the send button.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

On Remembering Friday the Thirteenth:

I was thinking about past Friday the Thirteenth’s in my life and the one that stands out most in my memory is one that happened when I was in school. I must have been about thirteen or fourteen myself.

Back in the day we had school dances once a month. You paid for your ticket, Seventy-five cents in advance or a dollar at the door. Parents took turns chaperoning these dances and it was just my luck to have my mother coming to the dance on this Friday the Thirteenth to work the refreshment table.

We didn’t bother to decorate the school gym/auditorium. Folding chairs were placed around the walls. The only difference to it’s day time appearance was that the lighting was lower and a lone record player was set on the edge of the stage with stack of old records sitting next to it, all watched over by the man who owned them and played the songs.

But this night was different. I had my first casual date to the dance. We were going to meet at the dance and I find out last minute that my mother is going to be there. And worst of all was my mother took it into her head to decorate the walls of the dance. And of course I was mortified. A date with my mother looking on and she is going to embarrass me with decorating not with streamers and balloons. Oh No, not anything normal like that. No, She had spent the day making cardboard ladders, black cats, and aluminum foil covered cardboard to look like broken mirrors.

I almost didn’t go and if not for my date I wouldn’t have gone if you paid me. At first I tried to spend my time hiding in the corner trying not to be noticed. My date didn’t show and I was miserable. But in the end it was those stupid decorations that made my night as more and more boys (we called them boys back then.) came over to talk to me about the decorations and ask me to dance. I danced more dances that night then I ever did at any other dance or party since.

Who cares about Valentines Day when you can be the bell of the ball at a dance on Friday the Thirteenth.

Friday, February 13, 2009

On Silly Day the Thirteenth Feb. 09:

Freezer Tag Day:

How strong is your stomach? Are you ready to play? Well today is Freezer Tag Day. It is time to clean out the freezer of all the old food being stored there. The larger the freezer the more people you can invite to join in. Make a party out of old food prep.

To play you only need to clean out your freezer, prepare and eat the oldest things in it. Some families play that you have to have to eat the oldest foods in the oddest combinations. I find that covering most anything in chocolate syrup can help get it down.

We always play the game at the end of winter when cabin fever makes people ready to try most anything.

All bets are off as to who will get sickest. Now that we play it yearly there is always the joker that puts some things back in the freezer that is almost a year old already and hides it in the back of the freezer in hopes it will still be there for the game next year. (I’m on to you!)

The rest of the food that is on the older side, gets eaten over the next week by the people still standing. And I have to tell you that the food combinations can get interesting.

By the end of the week the freezer has been cleaned out, the household is glad for plain home cooking again and some people have had a vacation at the hospital and came back a few pounds lighter.

* I would caution anyone not having cleaned out the freezer in a long time to try Not to kill off the family with food far beyond the expiration date. This is a way to have fun doing a boring household job and not meant to do harm. *

Have fun! What was the thing you ate on Freezer Tag Day and lived to tell the tale?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

On Riding the Wind:

It may not be March yet but last night the wind started roaring through my mountain top.

The wind and I have a love hate relationship. I love how it dries the clothes quickly on the clothes line. I hate when it takes down trees which then take out my electricity. But for some reason it stirs my creative juices and I can’t stop writing horror fiction.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my Silly Day the Thirteenth. But for now I’m very busy riding the wind.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

On Pictures of Different Things:

I have some pictures I told you I‘d show you.

First of the pair of dog puppet mittens in the child size. Too Cute.

Next the prizes to choose from for the Epitaph Contest.

1-P. Stereograph Pictures. Set of three double pictures on card for the old fashion 3-D viewers printed in black and white. (Not for Viewmaster.) Choice of subject: Doll house, Cemetery, or Front yard/Garden. (These are new, made by myself and not antiques.)
2-B Bookmarks. A choice of one of two sets of four. Lady Euphoria made the lace and created all but one of the sayings on these. Paired with a bit of her tatted lace these original bookmarks were fast sellers when they were for sale.
3-N. A Tatted lace, cotton choker Necklace. Lady Euphoria designed and hand made by the lady herself in your choice of black or white.

And last the snow still left in my yard today. I’m hoping it is gone soon but the weather forecast is for more in a few days.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On An Invitation to Tea:

After mentioning the Thankfulness Tea Party that I have for myself each year, I had gotten some interest from others for knowing the date I would be doing it so that they could join me from their own homes.

I have decided to have the now Internet Thankfulness Tea Party on Sunday February 22. I hope that twelve days is enough for you to get something together so that you can join me. If not, feel free to do it on the closest day to it that you can.

All you need is a few special treats to eat, a table setting for yourself that you think will work for your tea party. (I always add some of those lacy paper doilies to dress up the table and on the plates of goodies to make it festive. Some years I have flowers on the table too.) Add some pretty writing paper or a note book with a pen or pencil.

Guests, are of course, up to you, just be sure that they understand the reason they are there and that they have something to write out their things of thankfulness too. The idea is for self knowledge not necessarily sharing so the sharing is also an individual thing.

I dress up for this but the dress code is also up to your liking for the day. Sometimes just a pretty hat, shawl or piece of jewelry is all that you need.

Remember the point is to set a mood of happy thankfulness by surrounding yourself with nice things. Start by having some nice music playing to add to the mood, make yourself some tea or other such drink that you enjoy with some special treats to eat. Then take some time to write down the things that you are thankful for. If you like, you can hold onto the list for next year and read them back to yourself, but this is not necessary. If you blog feel free to let us know how your tea party went for you.

That is all there is to it. I hope that you all join me in this new yearly holiday.

Monday, February 9, 2009

On Knitting New Mittens:

The boredom of knitting the same mittens over and over again with only the size and color changing was starting to get to me. Creative Knitting magazine came to my rescue with a series of animal hand puppets in their March issue.

The pattern in the magazine fit’s a larger child or woman’s hand. With little more than a change to a smaller needle size, I have started to make puppet/mittens in children’s sizes for the Women’s and Children’s Shelter in town. Of course I have to make two of each animal to make a pair of mittens out of it but it is working so far.

The only other change I’m doing is that I’m not using buttons for the eyes so they don’t get caught on things. And I think the embroidered eyes look fine.

I needed a bit of a boost to keep on track with my commitment for the Kevin’s Mittens Charity. Not that I’m off track but I could feel it coming if I didn’t do anything about it. I’ll throw in a fancy pair of mittens every once in a while to keep it interesting too. But I needed this puppet thing to have something more usable to donate in the warmer months of the year.

There are two free puppet patterns of the mouse and pig on line, under the Web Bonus tab of the page. But the elephant, frog, lion and puppy are in the magazine. And I think I’ll add a kitty cat of my own design into the mix too. What do you think of a dark gray cat with yellow eyes?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

On Epitaph Contest Feb.08, 09:

Last Contest had no winner. Not one epitaph was sent in for the last two weeks. I am hoping that everyone was just too busy or distracted.

Mountain Man is out of town for the weekend and I’m not getting around very well so I will post a picture of the prizes in the next few days after he gets back.

Here are the rules for writing your own headstone epitaphs and having them shown on my blog.

1. No more then 10 lines, but the shorter the better.
2. It does not have to rhyme, but it can.
3. Just words. No pictures, cartoons etc.
4. Nothing ‘overtly’ sexual, violent, disgusting, or racist will be considered.
5. Leave a name of who sent it. (It doesn’t have to be your real name.) But it will be attributed to that name. No name, no entry.
6. If the words are not your own. Add the original authors name if you know it. Otherwise just add ‘Anonymous’ and add ‘Sent in by’ and your name after that.
7. Spelling counts. Please proof read it before you hit the send button.

Choice of one of these Prizes for this week are:

1-P. Stereograph Pictures. Set of three double pictures on card for the old fashion 3-D viewers printed in black and white. (Not for Viewmaster.) Choice of subject: Doll house, Cemetery, or Front yard/Garden. (These are new, made by myself and not antiques.)

2-B Bookmarks. A choice of one of two sets of four. Lady Euphoria made the lace and created all but one of the sayings on these. Paired with a bit of her tatted lace these original bookmarks were fast sellers when they were for sale.

3-N. A Tatted lace, cotton choker Necklace. Lady Euphoria designed and hand made by the lady herself in your choice of black or white.

Send in those Epitaphs and Good luck! Lady Euphoria

Saturday, February 7, 2009

On Buttons and Bones:

Yesterday I was doing my weekly clean up of all the stuff I leave laying around. I like to start the weekend tidy in case someone shows up for a visit unexpectedly. I was in a hurry to get it over with because I was going to see the Coraline movie at it’s very first showing at 2:05 in the afternoon.

Mountain Man was restocking the indoor woodpile and we were doing the dance of avoidance. You know the way you flit through rooms with your arms full of stuff and you side step this or that or the other person doing the same thing. I was flitting. Not so much Mountain Man with his arms full of wood.

I thought myself quite good at that dance and I rarely do crash into anything along the way. Laundry headed to the wash room. Books to the living room shelves. Crafting stuff to it’s bins and containers. I was on fire. A fairy in flight. Nothing could stop me now. Crash!!!!! Was that exercise bike always there?

I spend entirely too much time without shoes on. I know this fact because of the number of times I have broken my toes on things around the house and yard in the past. I don’t even bother to go to the hospital for most breaks anymore.

I know the drill. They pack it in ice, ask me if I can feel it when they touch my toe tips, take an x-ray, charge me a lot of money and tell me to wear hard shoes for the next six weeks until it heals. I didn’t go to the emergency room. For a foot yes, for a toe no. I did pack my left foot in ice. I got in bed and put it up on a pillow.

I watched Young Frankenstein and Space Balls on DVD because I felt in need of some Mel Brooks medicine and I ate cookies in bed.

I didn’t get to the Coraline movie‘s first showing. By the time the swelling when down enough to let me put my shoe on Mountain Man had already left to go to a prior commitment and I couldn’t get to a later showing.

I will get to the movie sometime this coming week. I’m determined. I’ll be the one with the limp and grimace. My two broken toes on the out side of my foot safe in hard shoes.

Did I tell you I spent most of my childhood in saddle shoes?

Friday, February 6, 2009

On I’m It:

I got Tagged yesterday by Darkside of Knitting.

This was a first for me. In the beginning I was happy to join in. But now I have decided I never want to be bothered with them again. They are harder then they look and I found it depressing not having a fun filled life to write about. (I had wanted to write about my excitement over this being the first day of the Coraline movie today.)

Link to the person who tagged you.
Mention the rules.
Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.
Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment to tell them they are tagged.

I pondered this all day and although others find me quirky I don’t see it. So you will just have to be satisfied with boring.

1. I wear glasses and have since I was nineteen. I have never even thought about contact lenses. I think I like to be able to hide behind my glasses.
2. I’m a slob. I constantly have to pick up after myself. I get busy and next thing I know there is a mess all around me and I have to stop what I’m doing and do a tidy up.
3. I don’t like watching sports. If I was interested I’d be out there doing it myself. Sitting around watching sports makes me antsy and I don’t see the point.
4. I have a liking for things that aren’t good for me like junk food. Note the extra 75 pounds on my body.
5. I like to read children’s books more then adult fiction. Not that I don’t like and read it, I just like kid’s books more.
6. Apparently I don’t play tag well. I will never do another meme again. I have learned I don’t like doing them at all.

I do get that this is a way for us as bloggers to share the links and info so I will add a few links here because I like these bloggers and would like you to check them out also. But I will not tag them. I will just invite them to join in the ‘fun’ (If they find it so.) in my comments on their blogs.

Knotty Mouse
, Little Black Crow, Judith and Mandella of Coffee and Tea Gals, Joan of Dark, Kiley of Red Letters Ink and anyone else that wants to take up this silliness.

This afternoon I will be having fun at the movie house watching Coraline in 3D with my ‘in the dark’ knitting. I’m hoping the movie is so good I don’t get any knitting done.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

On Pretty Plants that Bite:

Picture of my terrarium of carnivorous plants last year.

It is February in the northern hemisphere and that can only mean one thing to a girl like me. Carnivorous Plants! If you are looking for them they are generally only available for sale in February. I rushed out to one of my local home improvement centers and scooped up these lovelies.

Those of you who have been reading here for a while know how bad I felt when an early cold snap came and I had left my terrarium on the window sill at night. In the cold behind the drapes I lost my Sundew and Butterwort. The Venus Flytrap survived but weakly (It had gotten colder then 40F behind the drapes.) and when it went into the veggie bin for it’s winter hibernation period I wasn’t sure it would survive.

My Venus Flytrap did survive in the frig wrapped in it’s damp paper towel and tucked into it’s zip lock baggie for the winter. But I must say it looked so lonely in the terrarium by itself when I repotted it last week. I just couldn’t wait for the new carnivorous plants to come in and go on sale.

I do have to go and buy a new terrarium jar for this year. I found that the Venus did not like quite the same temperature and humidity as the others and I got myself a Purple Pitcher this year too and all five will not fit in my one jar.

So now my new little Venus Flytrap will live with the older one and the Butterwort, Sundew and Purple Pitcher Plant will be grouped together in the new terrarium. At least until the Pitcher Plant gets too tall and needs a new home of it’s own.

Fear not. There will be no repeat of the slug feeding incident. Mountain Man has repented his grievous act on my baby last year. And he has promise not to feed anything larger then a small cricket to my plants again.

I am now a happy carnivorous plant mama again. I must remember to put distilled water on my shopping list for them. And what to name them?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On Selective Reading Time:

I have been cleaning house, reorganizing, and making room. And in doing so I have un-followed some people’s blogs. I feel bad about this.

I don’t know why I should, but I do. I will still be looking in on most of these blogs I just won’t be reading them within twenty-four hours of their posting anymore.

I will say that a few have lost my faithful viewing. Either they post far too infrequently to hold my interest or I grew bored with what they had to say. This is not to say that they are boring just that I have moved on.

Know that I am keeping up with the average of fifty blogs in my following bin and I also have a hundred or so bookmarked in a folder and I pop in on them when I have the time. This is added to by the blogs I am reading their backlog of stories and stuff.

What I realized was that I hardly ever read a book anymore. The same book has sat on my nightstand for over a month. My current read used to follow me around to be glanced at every chance I got. But as my blog list grew I have been becoming a desk potato. I walk around with blood shot eyes from computer screen strain. It was time to be kind to myself.

I was using my knitting and exercise bike as an excuse to read on for hours each day. But we knew it couldn’t last. I was running out of clean clothes and I had stopped doing my daily walk.

I love you guys in Blogland. It’s a wrench to pull myself away. But I have to do other things in my life too. So, I will still check in on you from time to time, just not as often as I once did. You didn’t do anything wrong to drive me away I just got tired of looking at the dishes and laundry pile up around me while I sat around reading your blogs. It could only last so long.

See you later. Lady Euphoria

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On Who is that in the Lavender and Lace?:

Lets see, I’m back to knitting mittens for the homeless. There is house cleaning and shopping going on. And the shopping is more restocking than anything else.

I did go to the thrift store. I’m on the hunt for a dress and clothing for my daughters wedding in August. The colors she has for the wedding are not my colors so I will probably never wear it again. Nor is anything about this wedding my style.

Don’t get me wrong here. I love my daughter and I’m happy to do it her way. I just don’t have anything close to her modern style, natural, neutral, type thing going on in my closet.

I’m frugal. There I said it. I like to get my money’s worth out of the things I purchase. So though I want to look good and yet not steal the show from my daughter, I have the need to not break the bank on a dress that I won’t wear again.

Any other wedding and I’d either just be myself or borrow a dress but this is my daughter here. All black is out and will not be seen for days at this event. And I’m not free to do the lavender and lace thing either. All my pretty Victorian things will be staying home too. My wings are not allowed or my clunky boots.

This wedding is a long weekend affair, three days of meet and greet, at a retreat center/ organic farm out of state. Relaxed and laid back for the guests but with the self imposed freaky ban in place, not my thing at all. I just may have to buy casual clothes for this thing.

So I went to the thrift store and bought some light colored flowing skirts and matching cool cotton blouses and a few fifty’s style cotton dresses with the buttons down the front. (At least I can make them over to a Stevie Nicks thing afterwards and fifty’s goth is cool.) This shopping of course induced a quick trip to the craft store to buy some yarn. You know I’m gonna’ need a new shawl or two for this.

Do you think I can hide a small pair of wings on the back of a corset under my clothing to get to keep a piece of myself in a daughters wedding world?

Monday, February 2, 2009

On Silent Poetry Day:

Today is the silent poetry reading day and I was invited to join by Knotty Mouse this year. The mogs blog is hosting this year I think. But even if it is not feel free to join in today and post poetry today. And when you are done leave a comment on here or Knotty Mouse or The Mogs and let one of us know so we can all find your poem and read it.

Here is my bit of poetry:

Box of Memories and Dreams

By Lady Euphoria Deathwatch

There is a box inside my house,
that’s full of this and that.
A sweater chain, small knight on horse,
a pin made for a hat.

A fan, a screw, a safety pin,
A picture of a dog,
It has a few old bits and bobs,
a penny and a frog.

Some rings and things, a garter hook,
a red fish and a shell,
A long forgotten dream of things,
and needed things as well.

To fix a shirt, mend a coat
or pretty up a skirt.
A bit of color, pomp or dash,
and maybe even flirt.

My mom or grandma had these things,
collection of old stuff.
There still are hopes and new ideas,
all hiding in the fluff.

I pull out one or more if need,
the little things inside.
The bits and bobs of lifetimes past,
Now here they do abide.

A bathroom token, set of dice,
And keys that have no locks,
But mostly there are buttons there
inside my button box.

Mouse got back to me and said The Mog is where you want to make a comment letting them know you have posted a poem.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

On Umbrella Ribs and String:

A few years ago I bought myself an old parasol. The fabric was all dry rotted and falling apart at the folds and seams. I removed the old tattered fabric with its lace inserts and laid it out to measure. I didn’t find any comparable fabric so I put it aside until I could decide what I wanted to do. This was before the breast cancer and so it got put away for another day and pretty much forgotten.

Knotty Mouse
had been over to my story blog and commented on the plain parasol (Yes, that is a plain black parasol. It does not repel water. Rain comes through it in fact.) that I used in the cemetery picture there and she told me that Knitty had a knitted parasol pattern there. I didn’t want to work on all those seams and since I wanted something lacy I didn’t want the bulk either.

I was intrigued and set to work in the round. I wanted something a little more lacy so even though I started with size US 5 needles I soon was using US 10 1/ 2 after a few up sizings rows. The ribs are 25 inches long so it is a good size.

It is Lily, Sugar and Cream Cotton in black with a simple ‘V‘ shaped ‘yarn over/ knit two together’ in the stockinet to give it a lacier look. I have a bit of black strapping on the edge and I’m still sewing it in place. I needed it to have something more substantial to sew the points onto the umbrella frame. And I’m still sewing and tying it down to the ribs.

It took a few tries. The first was too big and sagged between the ribs. The second try had to be frogged in a few places too. But all together I think it turned out well and I like the dappled shade it will make. So thank you Knotty Mouse for reminding me I had an umbrella frame with a beautiful handle waiting to be recovered and turned back into a pretty parasol again.

Part of me wants to add a bit of fringe to the edge or maybe just a tassel to the handle. What do you think?