Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Put a Little Love in Your Heart!

Ah, Valentine's Day. Doing Valentine's Day right is a tricky business. Come on! You know I'm right! Either you don't do enough for that special someone and they wind up disappointed, or you go above and beyond and your efforts aren't appreciated. Finding the middle ground is difficult.

For myself, I've found that for The Grouch (that would be my husband who isn't much into celebrating "Hallmark" holidays), a small, well thought out gift, a card and a nice meal are all he needs. Me? I need a bit more than that, but that's another post (entire blog? lol!) entirely. And, I'll be honest and reveal that The Grouch is very much a card and heart full of candy kind of guy. Not that that is a bad thing, because the sentiment is there. But, sometimes, you want the day to feel... Special. So, I've learned to create that special feeling for myself, because I know what I want from the day.

Yesterday, I spent part of the day hunting down little gifts and cards for The Grouch and The Little Grouchkin (that would be my daughter, who is so much like her father that it is scary). Then I joined my daughter at school for her class party. I took a mylar Valentine's balloon with me to give her to make her feel loved♥♥♥. Afterwards, she and I came home and made dinner together, including a strawberry fudge heart!

It was remarkable how much joy this brought me! The joy of accomplishment, the joy of sharing with the people I love, the joy that came with the fun we had making it... It made my whole day wonderful, and it was remarkably easy to make! I found the idea for it on Pinterest, but here is the link to the original site where the recipe is. I have a heart shaped pan from Pampered Chef, so the shape was easy and the taste is yummy! Just like Strawberry Qwik!

So, in short, if you always feel a little deflated by these holidays where others are supposed to make you feel special and sometimes aren't successful, find a way to make that day special for yourself. Bake something that you love, or buy yourself flowers, or clean your kitchen spotless and look at it shine with a smile on your face. Because, ultimately, we are in charge of our own happiness :).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Beadtastic Disaster!!!

A year or so ago, I took an Anatomy and Physiology course as a prerequisite for my eventual nursing degree. My professor required that we create a visual guide through the body's immune response. There were no other guidelines, just that we be as creative as possible. She provided several examples from previous semesters, such as game boards and paintings. You guys know me. I needed to be inspired! I headed to Michael's, and then to Hobby Lobby, but nothing reached out and grabbed me until I stopped at Walmart to pick up something for dinner. I passed down their miniscule hobby aisle and saw a giant container of clear plastic beads. All the little girls of the 1980s are familiar with these:
You know, the beads we hung off barrettes and strung for bracelets and necklaces? Now, most folks reading this know that I was raised as the only female in a house full of men. Those men were (and are) fantastic, but they never understood the lure of barrettes dangling with plastic beads. Oh! How I wanted beaded barrettes! Of course, I got over my desire for those oh so lovely barrettes, but I never quite let go of my love of those beads. Even on the nonexistant hobby aisle in Walmart, I had a couple of options, but I sprung for the 5000 count container. I blame my childhood obsession, but Lord only knows why I thought I needed so many! I mounted the beads on pages of felt in the shapes of immune cells (B cells, T cells and macrophages, etc.) and created a "book" of the stages of the immune response. It was a big hit with my professor, although I preferred my classmate's Star Wars take on the assignment! I wish I had pictures of the project to share here, but my professor requested that I leave the assignment with her so that she could show it to subsequent classes. I'm tempted to go get it back from her, though. It took FOREVER to put together! So, why do I keep rattling on about my A&P project? Beads. I have lots and lotsa beads. Malena picks them up from time to time and makes a bracelet or necklace, but the box of beads has pretty much been sitting there for a year or more... until last week. Last week, I picked it up while sitting in an awkward position and lost my grip on the box and NOOOOOOO! CRASH! 5000 beads all over my kitchen floor. *sigh* I swept up as many as I could and saved them, but I just tossed the last few in the trash. Or, rather, what I *thought* were the last few. Apparently, when you drop approximately 5000 beads on the floor, it is quite impossible to sweep them all up. It's kind of like smashing a pyrex dish... You never find all the pieces! I keep stepping on newly revealed beads, finding them under appliances, and hearing them skitter across the tile. I have the beginning of a tick triggered by that sound. Seriously! I'm certain that my grandchildren will be sweeping out this house after I've passed away and they'll find beads in the kitchen! There's no real point to this story. It's just a cautionary little tale about the dangers of plastic beads! Next time you see that 5000 count container of beads at the craft store, remember my story of woe and choose the 500 count instead ;-).