Thursday, July 19, 2012

The hardest part

The hardest part of living in the city is having a supremely awful day and having no where to go.

I have had a hell of a time of figuring out what is so difficult about city life at time but when I really have to put my finger on it, that is it.

I am searching for a job. I have a job, but I am looking for a new one. One that would actually pay me a living wage. I applied for a new position at my current place of business and was turned down. Oh they were impressed with my interview and really considered me but in the end went with someone else. I could have scream. Whoop de doo, they seriously considered me. The outcome is still the same if they had not considered me at all isn't it?

Then the drive home was a nightmare. Someone actually made contact with my car. Pulled over in front of me no less that 3 times. Just didn't did give a rats behind that I was actually in the lane. Then I was bumped from behind by a truck while stopped in traffic. OMG! REALLY??

And when I get back to the condo. Well here I am. In a condo. In the middle of a city.

I want to go out to the barn. I want to go see my goats (which I don't have anymore). I want to go and see my horse, who is 2 hours away. I can't. I am stuck. I am here. Yipty Do.

Today I hate the city.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happiness Project

Over the past year I have been struggling to be happy here in Chicago. Sometimes I can't believe what a wonderful city I live in and then others I can't believe I live in a city. I have been going back and fourth between the two a lot, even in the same day.

I am not an unhappy person. I don't want to be an unhappy person. More than anything I want to be happy with my life, and it is a good life. I really have no reason to be unhappy. I still own a horse. I have two wonderful dogs. My partner is the perfect man I could hope for. I have a roof over my head and a job. I am not wanting for food. Although I could use a new car, mine runs fine.

So I started reading The Happiness Project.  I am also reading The Happiness Project blog.

Both of these are helping me to start thinking about being happy. That is a step in the right direction. I want to start my own happiness project. As Mary Dunbar suggested, I want to find my own special light.

We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light. ~Mary Dunbar

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Crafting: Quilling


It has been hot hot hot and continues to be. I am not a 90's girl, I am not really even an 80's girl. I love the 60's and 70's. Over that and I start to wilt. With temperatures reaching into the high 90's and with the heat index into the hundreds, I am so not going out there! Other than taking the dogs out to potty and going to work, I been hanging in the condo and crafting.

I recently found all my quilling supplies. Quilling, or paper filigree, is an old art form. Thin strips of papers are wrapped around a quill to make little  coils. Pinching those coils makes some basic shapes, which are then used to make designs. Often the designs are floral.

It is an art form that started back in Egypt.  During the Renaissance, French and Italian monks and nuns took the thin strips of paper left over from binding their books, and decorated books and other religious items. After that it was practiced mostly by ladies of leisure, as it was thought to not be too taxing of their minds. Okay really want to insert an eye roll here, but okay, ladies who didn't have much to do quilled.  

Early ladies magazines had patterns and directions for making many things including boxes, trays, ornaments, game boards and fire screens.Yeah, I know paper as a fire screen? I don't know but that is what I have read.

That  decorative box at the left is a very nice example of what one might do if they have a lot of time.

Quilling today is done a lot for card making and scrapbooking. Although it can be used for making jewelery, ornaments and wall decorations.
There are tons of pattern books out there and lots of kits too.  I am using these books:
The Book of Paper Quilling
Quilling Flowers

Quilling for Scarpbooks and Cards
I am still making my creation and will be sure to post the finished product. I actually lost my slotting quilling tool last night and have to either use a needle or wait until the one I ordered arrives.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Crappy Job

I am dawning on a first year here. I have not done a very good job of keeping up with this blog, which saddens me. I wanted to have a record of what went on, but so far I have failed.

There are lots of reasons. I have been at a loss of what to write at time or just been so down that I didn't want to write about my journey. I am not as happy with my writing as I could be, although that might mean I should be writing more and practicing. Finding country in the city is difficult at times, and at other times I am just so fet up with city life I want to scream, on occasions I have.

There are cool things about the city. They are so hard  to see beyond the horrible drivers, annoying neighbors, busy body self appointed block lords, and long commutes. Not to mention the lack of  space, no pastures with cows or horses. I have not seen chickens, ducks, or very much wildlife in a long time.

I miss those things. I miss so many things it hurts at time. I miss the country, the country life, the country style, the country mindset.

I also miss exercising and getting outside and doing real work. I have gotten into the habit of going to work, which is exhausting and coming home and collapsing. I get exercise at work, but no strength training and my core is weak. I keep hurting my back because of that.

Bad day. I'll get over it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I made a bathmat for my tub!

This weekend I decided that I needed to use up some towels. There are way too many for our closet and we have several that are just old and not very big. We also need a bathmat. So I made a bathmat out of the old towels.

I found a few that I really liked but this one caught my fancy first. It looks straight forward and added some interest since my old towels are drab.

I did a few things differently. First of all I didn't cut, I ripped. Mine has raggy edges but I like the way it looks. Also she said to sew around the outside first and that goes against everything I know about sewing so I didn't. I sewed all the vertical edges first then sewed all the horizontal ones.

My tips:
Pin the heck out of it. I mean it, get all those edges pinned as it shifts a lot. I did a pretty good job with mine, but even then when I got it to the sewing machine things had shifted. I actually ran out of pin and had to run out to JoAnnes. I have to say that was the worst part of the project was pinning it.

Keep track of how things are lining up. I had to keep making sure that I was not sewing through too many layers.A few of my corners have little holes. Don't bother looking you can't see them in the picture, but I know that they are there.

Also I didn't fold over my excess at the ends of the rows, I just cut it off. Mine has a very raggy look to it, but I  like it.

All in all a good Sunday project. I must say it reminds me of a checker cake.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dollar Store Garden

Spring is here and seed catalogs are coming. Beautiful blooms and luscious veggies abound on their pages. Red tomatoes, green cucumbers, big bright yellow sunflowers, all bursting from the pages promising the ultimate in beauty and deliciousness. It is now that I find myself sorely missing open spaces to  plant those seeds in hopes for a rich harvest. Trying to lift my spirits I found myself wandering around the dollar store.

What to my wondering eye did I spy?


A little pot, some seeds, and peat pellets. Not much, and definitely nothing fancy. Yet the same promise is there that is in the seeds catalog. Fresh pesto, extra kick on salads, real fresh herbs for cooking.  I was not sure how these seeds would germinate, but heck for a buck how could I go wrong?

I bought chives and basil first.  Like I six year old I oohed and ahhed as I watched the peat soak up the water and turn from a little hard pellet into soft growing medium.Adding a few tiny seeds and cover them with a plastic lid.  Those little seedlings have sprouted! I am not sure how many more amazing things are in life than seeing that little green poke through the soil.

So I went back and got parsley and for some real fun ...daisies! I am going to plant those this weekend.

It might not be a whole garden full of exotic veggies like purple carrots and heirloom tomatoes, but in the city, I do what I can do!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mary Janes Farm

I love this magazine and just had to share it. Mary Janes Farm is a modern old fashion farm girl's magazine. From stitching to cooking MJF is all about tradition, organic, sustainable, and earth friendly practices.

Some of my favorite articles have been about cooking. Making ketchup and crackers. Two things that I just always bought from the store. I loved the recipes and although I am not sold on making all of my ketchup and crackers I really love that I know how.

Along with the magazine is the Farm Girl Sisterhood. A bit like girl scouts for big girls! There are local chapters or you can do it all on line. Merit badges are awarded much like in Girl Scouts. They have badges in such things as: Going Green, Civic Heritage, Know Your Food, Backyard Farmer, Carp-hen-try, Stargazing Chicks, Knitting.

And I don't even have to live in the country either. To quote the website:

 " We’re country, we’re city, and every texture and stripe in between. It’s not at all about where we live, but how we live."

WOW ... Now that is the help I need to be a country girl in the city! See ya over in the hen house!