Friday, September 30, 2005

oh, the fun we will have...

folks, there's so much going on this weekend in the world of wallace, it's difficult to quantify.

but first let me update you all on the status of student heidi and her foray back into the realm of higher education. let me begin by saying that dealing with those in academia is a challenge. apparently, i have not yet satisfied my college-level math requirement in lo these 20+ years of higher, i have taken what shall hereafter be referred to as "remedial" math courses. okay, basic algebra at st. louis university was a breeze, but i can assure you that intermediate algebra was no cake walk. so sometime very soon, i will sit in a dimly lit classroom with students less than half my age and take a test whose sole goal is to ascertain if i am prepared to register for contemporary math (glorified check-balancing from what i gather).

the letter i received from the institution (that i sincerely hope will someday grant me a degree) stated that i should meet with my advisor to register for classes. after registering for classes, i would receive a picture student id. BUT before meeting with an advisor to register for classes i had to take my math placement test. however, the flyer included with said letter told me that in order to get proper credit for the math placement test, i had to present my picture student id. i have one question for this highly respected institution--catch-22 much?

and...this is the kicker, i have to take a grammar course. dear reader, please do not look to this blog for concrete evidence of my writing skillz. on my word alone i want to assure you that i am an amazing writer and although i might split my infinitives, i am talented. so my ego took quite a blow yesterday and i almost had to follow in the footsteps of all the authors before me and turn to the drink for comfort, but i did not. no...i held fast my willpower and instead ate a sugar-free fudgcicle.

what other delights does this weekend hold?

  • buying a new pod coffee maker since this morning i found a piece of plastic in the bottom of my cup. apparently the coffee maker shed during the coffee preparation process.
  • homecoming haircut
  • homecoming wrist corsage pick-up
  • driving to and fro for homecoming
  • journal club [karyl, mary lou, jane--anybody out there?]
  • preparing much more jewelry inventory than i have for a weirdo craft show at monsanto on friday
  • eating out--yay, phase 2!
  • trying to find something to spend my $$$ on at borders since i have THREE coupons
  • again try to upload pics...blogger is having difficulties again

what about the rest of you? what are you doing?

Thursday, September 29, 2005


wow! the uploading feature on blogger is now working, so as promised, i present one of the multitudes of cards i made earlier this week using the masterboard technique.
note to blogger users: apparently blogger is having trouble with its servers. some of the servers aren't uploading pics, others are. try signing off and signing back on again. also, i cleared out all my cookies and that may have helped too.
seems like a lot of work for one lousy picture of one lousy card, huh?

here is where there should be a picture...

but i can't get blogger to accept my upload. don't know if it's a blogger-wide thing or not. is anyone else having trouble?

i was going to show you one of the 13 cards i made after trying out denise's masterboard technique. thanks again, denise, for the demo last weekend. i've made two masterboards and they are so much fun. the possibilities are endless. now i know what to do with all of my 12"x12" papers that i feel lukewarm about...jazz 'em up with paint, stamping, molding paste, and glitter and them cut 'em apart to use elsewhere.

i bought denyse schmidt's newest book quilts. there are so many simply elegant and visually appealing projects in this book, i feel a rejuvenated quilting spirit rising up from my toes. some of the ones i must try right away are the cards, bedroom slippers and scarf with matching muff (perfect for nathaniel's chilly soccer games).

i have yet to come up with a salient plan for my back tack ii project. my buddy is a tough nut to crack, but i know i am up to the challenge. i'm not giving too much away, but i know that there is this perfect bit of vintage fabric in my stash that i think she'll really dig.

today is finally thursday! i definitely can make it one more day. can you?

update: see above for cool pic that finally uploaded! yay, blogger!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

nobody likes a braggart...but...

WARNING: I AM GOING TO BRAG ABOUT MY SON. for those readers that don’t dig on the doting mom thang, please direct your browser to another blog.

those that abide in my home (three humans and one very human-like cat) are geared up for the end of the dreaded “FIVE WEEK GRADING PERIOD” (you must say it as if god herself is speaking and the resulting reverberations shake the windows and the walls). tomorrow kelly and i will receive a phone call from nathaniel’s advisor telling us, class by class, what his five week grades are.

as i’ve mentioned before, nathaniel is shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone, kicking it abe lincoln style this school year. he attends a magnet high school and the standards are very challenging. an “A” at his regular public high school would be like a “C” at this school. students earn “A’s,” “B’s,” “C’s” or they fail. sorry charlie, metro high school don’t play that way. so five week grades are very important. it’s a chance to check in and make sure you’re on the right track. nathaniel was so keyed up about it he couldn’t even wait for the phone call home tomorrow. he had to check in with the vice principal to find out what the scoop was. turns out he has 2 “A’s” and 5 “B’s”. nathaniel was so psyched he placed a call at lunchtime to kelly to give him the good news. kelly said he could imagine nathaniel breathing a sigh of relief deep into the receiver of the phone.

did i mention nathaniel plays varsity soccer? and that he’s only a sophomore? and that he’s super cute and cuddly and he still tells me he loves me all the time? and that he was extra special grateful when i found a tie for him that matches his girlfriend’s homecoming dress perfectly and he gave me a buddha t-shirt to thank me?

just let me know if there’s anything you’d like to know about my kid, really anything at all. i’m glad to talk about him. can’t you tell?

Monday, September 26, 2005

programming/art/motherhood is...

please note: i already wrote this post once and sent into the ether, so i think for the "programming is" fill in the blank, i'd have to say, "frustrating."

i didn't manage to fix my blog template this weekend so this morning i am cutting and pasting and checking to make sure none of the stuff i liked gets goofed up. the links list seems much shorter, so if the link to your blog/website is missing, please let me know and i'll edit again later this week.

dang!!! i sure do like this new pink color!

instead of programming this weekend, i did ART! yes, i know it is hard to believe. after seeing my friend denise demo at my fave art place, red lead, this weekend, i was inspired to create. it felt great to get paint under my nails and look at all of my rubber stamps and collage bits and get down to it. scans coming soon of the finished projects.

i also worked and neared completion on a piece i am donating to the breast cancer fundraiser auction at red lead on october 8. it's a fun day filled with demos, snacks, coupons, an amazing auction of fabulous art and lots of friends and laughs--all for a great cause!

in other news, nathaniel is going to two homecoming dances in the next two weeks. guess who's job it is to try to ascertain the correct color of wrist corsages to order? and to order and pay for the corsages? yes, you've got it. how fast would society collapse if mother's weren't involved?*

finally, some cooler weather has arrived in the midwest...sweater weather, here i come!

note: i have also now been charged with buying a necktie that matches nathaniel's date's dress. does the madness never end?

Friday, September 23, 2005

what the h-e-double hockey sticks!!!

so yesterday i was playing around with the idea of changing my template (the way my blog looks to the rest of the world). i decided to wait until this weekend because updating your template on blogger means that you lose all of the tweeks you've made to your page. it was too much to undertake on a workday.

so imagine my surprise when i clicked on my link this morning and "POOF" it's all pink and pretty, but WHOA--there are no links, no counter, no cute quote at the foot of my page. all the parts that were "me" are gone. i swear i didn't do this. it must have been the internet elves. now i have to personalize my page from scratch. i don't know html so i just pick and prod and copy and paste and view edits until i'm not unhappy with the way everything looks.

remember when i alphabetized my links at 3:00 a.m.? i have visions of that happening again this weekend. and i really wanted to work on some art!

so in the meantime, here is another picture from the party last weekend. thanks to my friend, jeff f. for taking pics.

check out the patent leather go-go boots!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

inquiring minds may want to know...

i went to the doctor yesterday, just to have some prescriptions refilled. i spoke with her about the south beach diet and the progress i've made and the successes i've had. (even after the diet detour of "birthday week," i've managed to lose 8 pounds and the waistbands of my clothes are feeling more comfy.)

one of the prescriptions i was having refilled was for my migraine medicine. i told her of what i perceived as a sharp decrease in occurrence and severity of my migraines since being on south beach. i told her i wasn't sure if the two were related; i surmised that perhaps the headaches were food-related, but i never knew which foods were my triggers. she agreed that my migraines were most likely a reaction to high sugars--the consumption of refined carbs and sugars. WOW...if i'd known that i would have stopped eating white bread a long time ago!

she also confirmed that for me, this diet is the most healthy way to eat. especially for those who have had colon cancer, a diet high in whole grains and fiber and low in red meats, is the smartest choice. she also wanted me to try to convince my husband and son to try it out. i just don't think i can wean my 15 year old off pizza and french fries or his daily lunch dose of $2.50 pork fried rice. he's 6'2" and weighs 135 pounds. right now it's just not an issue for him. but if i can work in whole grains into the nightly menu, it would be better. currently, i'm fixing two dinners a night. i don't know how long i can keep that up. not to mention the dishes associated with that undertaking. we don't have a dishwasher, and i really don't want one (i couldn't bear to part with the cabinet space), but it is starting to look attractive.

also, she suggested taking an aspirin a day--not for heart health, but there is new evidence that for those who have had colon cancer or a strong family history of colon cancer, it could prove beneficial. so this morning, i added it to my multi-vitamin, calcium, metamucil cocktail.

could i be any more boring if i tried? i just re-read metamucil cocktail and sighed a low moan. but damn i look good!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

mini party recap...

everyone said how happy i looked, and i was.

all evening i was surrounded by the people that mean the most to me--the people that make me laugh the hardest or have known me the longest or have given me the inspiration to tackle something new. those people were there. of course, some folks couldn't join us in the celebration, but i felt them in spirit.

the food was delish (i hardly got to eat, but the leftovers were amazing).

the band, the orbits, rocked the house with their mellow, perfect mix of swing and cajun and ballroom. thank you guys.

i enjoyed most of all spending the evening dancing with my truest love, gazing into his bespectacled eyes and knowing that i am his forever.

the curse of my dreaded horoscope has been broken and there doesn't exist a better way in the world to slough off the cloud that hung over me recently than to dance, drink and eat with so many kind, wonderful and gracious friends and family.

if this is what your 40s is all about, i am raring to go!

Monday, September 19, 2005

swingin' sixties bash...

what a way-out couple!
the party was great! more later--this is just a teaser!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

40 + 1 day...

here i am in all my 13 year old glory. i remember that day, being so worried about how i looked--was my hair okay, did my make-up look good? if only i could go back in time and whisper into my ear and say, "you'll never be as young as you are right now. you'll never be as carefree as you are right now. you'll never have as much energy as you do right now. enjoy it. revel in it. BASK in it!" would the 13 year old me have even listened or known what to do with all that information?

i'm heeding my own advice from now on. i will never be as young as i am right now, or as energetic. last night i performed an annual ritual--i did a cartwheel and a round-off in the birthday moonlight--legs stretching towards the heavens, hands deep in the dew-y grass.

this is as young as i will ever be.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

this is how happy i am today...

i'm welcoming my 40th birthday with arms wide open. who knows what the day holds for me, but whatever comes my way, i'm ready!

let the celebration begin!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

famous women?

my famous women (?) atc's for red lead's september trade!

Monday, September 12, 2005

just an update...

tried to upload a picture yesterday but was denied. it said the photo was uploaded, but then when i went to look at it, there was nothing.


south beach update: i am in phase 2--i can eat a piece of fruit! i can eat a piece of bread! it seems like so much food after two weeks. i lost 6-7 pounds on phase 1 (my scale is from the 80's so it's hard to tell exactly how much i've lost). one thing i can attribute to south beach diet, though, is a better understanding of how poorly i was eating before. am feeling much more energetic throughout the day and am sleeping better at night. although i still get an occassional mild headache, they have all but disappeared. i don't know if that's related, but i welcome the change.


this is my "birthday week." yes, in my world, i get an entire week of celebration! tomorrow is lunch with some co-workers. then wednesday another co-worker lunch and the actual birthday. thursday, who knows? friday is a pampering day--manicure and pedicure. saturday is the big blow-out of the century. hope i have the stamina!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

art-ful weekend...

this weekend is FULL of art related events.
  • art outside at schlafly brewery in maplewood, missouri. stop by and say "hi" to mary beth shaw
  • clayton art fair--there is delectable food, awesome people watching, and great art
  • bead art at lady bug beads in webster groves, missouri--lots of bead artists and a great outdoor venue

i hope to make it to all or most of these events.

also, tomorrow is a hurricane relief fundraiser at the tap room in st. louis city--bands, food and drink--all for a good cause.

Friday, September 09, 2005


i got accepted into back-tack II! for those of you unfamiliar you can click on this link to learn more. in a nutshell, it is a group of folks who craft for one another, anonymously, a bag and a kit for their secret crafting desire! i am so psyched.

the person assisgned to me is supposed to troll my blog over the next few days to find out what craft i've always wanted to try but have yet to get to. for those of you that know me, there isn't much i haven't age 5 started with embroidery, moved on to sewing, then photography, paper arts (all kinds), watercolor, knitting (but not really purling--i know becky is out there laughing at me right now), but i guess that is my most compelling desire, to REALLY learn how to knit. reading a knitting pattern is so foreign to do i do it? the very first thing i knitted in my entire life was a pair of mittens for a friend in high school as a christmas present. it took me months to finish those mittens, but i did do it and they looked so great i was tempted to keep them for myself. but the process was so confusing to me as i was self-taught, that i think i mentally blocked out the pattern reading skills necessary to do anything other than k1 in a big circle. i wish i could re-learn how to knit well enough (read: FAST) to make a scarf that i could wrap luxuriously around my neck or a capelet or a shrug or a pair of finger-less gloves.

my crafting loves are vintage fabrics, circa 1940-1965 (go figure). i LOVE/LUV/LURVE rickrack. i troll the thrift stores weekly for rickrack. i adore old dress patterns. i love all colors, but mostly pinks and oranges, teals and greens. i'm loving the clean lines of all the japanese design books i've been seeing lately, but my designs tend to lean toward the slapdash but ultimately stylish fashion.

i cannot wait for this trade to begin!

coming foray into creating more atcs.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


the days roll by. sometimes i feel like i'm in a 1940s movie watching the calendar pages flip over to signify the passing of time. although each day is unique and filled with hope and promise, there still lingers a sense of the mundane.

i wake up.
i eat breakfast.
i shower and dress.
i drive to my office.
i eat my lunch.
i drive home.
i make dinner.
i wash the dishes.
i go for a walk.
i make lunches for the next day.
i may plop on the couch and watch a bit of something on PBS or wait for the weather.
i wash my face and brush my teeth.
i change into my pajamas.
i go to bed.

i realize each and every human being experiences the ennui of day-to-day existence. i am not unique or special. the free-time that modern conveniences have afforded us have given us, as a species, or more specifically as inhabitants of the first world, the luxury of self-examination.

and as i've written about here in the past, self-examination is critical. the act of looking deeper into our motivations and feelings about what we experience helps us grow into elaborate beautiful creatures.

so where does that leave me? torn between the daily grind and the notion that the creative life, in my case, is the one worth living.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


it seems i can only devote my energy to one idea/project/distraction at a time.


  • when i get it in my head that my house needs to be clean, i can think of nothing else. what's worse is everyone else who resides in my house with me, must be in total agreement or be banished. yesterday, i 409-d my entire kitchen (including the floor). grease spot, be out! i also gave the cat a bath...yes, i gave the cat a bath. that is how deep the insanity runs when i get this way.
  • today is the celebration of a co-worker's birthday. yesterday i baked cupcakes and knew that on my way to the office this morning i was going to stop by the grocer's floral department to pick up a mylar balloon and some daisies. even though i had a plan in place and a sticky note on the front door to serve as a last minute reminder as i left the house, i still tossed and turned all night and even dreamed of my morning to-do list.
  • in the shower this morning all i could do was think of the evening's plans. soccer practice for nathaniel, vet appointment for tootsie (my now, very clean cat)--what about me? i need to eat and walk and play! all i kept thinking was "is there going to be time for me?!" i'll probably obsess about my after work plans all day.

and all of this is thought in the context of how grateful i am that i have a house to clean, know where my friend is so that i can bake her cupcakes and my loved ones around me that i can cook for, obsess with and care for.

Friday, September 02, 2005

commuting woes...and fulfilling a promise...

i tried to put my money where my mouth was yesterday. i called the metro office and asked them how, using public transportation, i could arrange a route so that i could arrive at my west county office by 7:30 a.m. turns out, you can't get here from there. at least not in a way that would work for a person with a life.

i would have to leave my house well before 6 a.m., travel by bus eastbound into a dicey neighborhood and transfer to the metrolink, then disembark in another compromised area of the city and transfer to a westbound bus. does anyone else see the back-ass-wards logic here? i have to travel out of the county into the city to travel back to the county. how do we expect people to use public transportation when public transportation doesn't work for US? i know it's a catch-22 whereby if more people used the system, the system could afford to add more routes that would enable more people to use the system. but,'s not rocket science, folks. other municipal areas of the country make it work. why can't we?

oh yeah, i promised more art, fun and family in this post, so here goes!

i haven't mentioned it here before, but i have been participating in artvent, a daily art gift exchange involving 34 artists. the exchange began on august 1st and tomorrow is the very last day. i have been so filled with inspiration by the offerings of each of the participants. i cannot believe that the generosity will end tomorrow. thanks to karyl h. for her organization of this event. it has been the highlight of my year!

my son has been working shoulder to the grindstone hard in his sophomore year to keep up with all of his challenge courses. last night we studied a map of the fertile crescent and all its ancient cities (that coincidentally he was just given yesterday) for a test first thing this morning. we had to come up with pneumonics and tricks to help him remember where the rivers, cities, countries and regions were. he just called my dear husband (thank you cell phone!) and said he got 100%! nathaniel, you rock!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

the sky is falling...and miscellany...

i would be remiss not to speak here about the devastation in the gulf coast. i am too overwhelmed with emotion each day to do much beyond wonder inwardly what it must feel like to be a victim of such destruction. it has obviously brought out the best and worst of those affected. i imagine i would be on the "best" end of the human behavior spectrum, but that's only wishful thinking. how would i behave if my child were hungry, thirsty, or in need of basic human services? would i brandish a weapon to help him? would i shoot someone for a bag of ice? to what extremes do people go to when they feel that they or their families are threatened?

i've been pondering where we're headed as a civilization. i've heard the news reports about gas rationing in some states. at what point will we wise up and conserve energy? when will our president take the necessary steps to warn the country of the looming crisis? when will NASCAR no longer be allowed because it is wasting our precious resources? how long before neighbors begin siphoning gas from one another's cars?

do i sound like chicken little? i don't mean to, really, but i cannot believe that there aren't things that may happen in the very near future that will change the very fabric of this nation. in addition, because of the extent of devastation, the refugees from the gulf coast states will be unemployed. those on the public dole will inevitably rise at a time when most of those programs and services have been slashed. this will have a domino effect on ALL of us! food will cost more-clothes will cost more-people will not be able to afford to eat out or shop or go to the movies or pay for new goods. why aren't there more people wringing their hands? why aren't more people looking to the white house for more guidance? why did he just fly over in a plane and not get down to the ground and actually DO something?

it is no wonder that there is chaos in the streets of new orleans. those people have no framework to work within...they have no hope that help is on the way. bush has done nothing. blankets are good to send, george, but we also need a concrete plan. i beg of you, please, for once, do something presidential and inspire this country to come together and accomplish what may prove to be, historically, our greatest challenge.

on a much lighter and self-absorbed note (which is what you've come to expect here at queen for a day, isn't it?)...last night i went and applied to college. after reassessing my voluminous transcripts from institutions of higher education both far and near, i've come to the alarming conclusion that if i were to attend college full-time, i would have my bachelor's degree in 18 months. of course, full-time education is not in my near future, but if not now, when? to be so close to completing my degree is bordering on the passive aggressive. that's to say, once i have my degree, i will no longer be able to blame my underachievement on anything besides sheer laziness and inertia. besides that, i would love to finish my degree 1) before my son gets his and 2) before my husband retires in five years and goes back to school himself.
i promise the next post will be more art, fun and family-filled. just needed to get it all off my chest.