Thursday, December 28, 2006

oops, i did it again...

the nail technician has just finished the top coat on the pedicure of the woman sitting in the chair two over from me. the tech stands up and turns to push her stool away so that the woman can awkwardly get up and walk to the area where she'll receive her manicure.

just as the woman is about to move her feet over to extract herself from the chair, she swishes her freshly painted christmas red toes against the technician's lab coat. all the polish comes off in ten tiny graffiti swipes.

i can see the tech's expression, but her back is turned to her client. her grimace is a mixture of, "holy crap," and "how can i punch her in the face and still get a tip?" but when she faces her customer again, she says with a slight smile on her lips, "that's okay. we'll fix it right up."

and that, dear reader, is why i could never do this particular job...i'm not a good enough actress.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


sisters! sisters! there were never more devoted sisters.

a year of december...

teresa of maggiegracecreates has challenged craft bloggers to make a list of 12 handmade gifts (one for each month of the year) they will commit to making in 2007. this should help us avoid the last minute crafting crunch many of us got caught in (yea, right).

i can't list most of the handmade gifts i'd like to make for christmas next year, but i CAN list 12 christmas crafts i'd like to make for myself that totally did not get done because i was so busy getting gifts bought and made. here goes:

january -- pom pon garland (this has been on the to-do list since LAST christmas)

february -- dress ornaments made from cheap-o craft felt with the help of my sizzix machine

march -- new stockings for the wallaces made from felted sweaters embellished with our names needlefelted using martha's stencil instructions

april -- gum wrapper style garland made from old sheet music (i started this one when i was recuperating from surgery in january of 2005...i need to either finish it or send it to the recycle bin)

may -- forest of stuffed trees ala little birds

june -- yo-yo garland ala hello my name is heather

july -- make a village of little cardboard houses covered in glitter and sparkles

august -- maybe i'll finally finish MY gingerbread house i started on 12/10/06? editor's note: i threw the whole kit and kaboodle in the trash on christmas eve morning. i decided i didn't need another nagging project hanging around...i didn't even miss it when it was gone.

september -- work on making christmas cards

october -- i feel like at least once in my life i need to make a popcorn/cranberry garland, don't you?

november -- make giant snowflakes for the dining room windows

december -- make homemade hot chocolate mixes to give as last minute gifts (these were so delish and such a big hit at this year's gingerbread house party, i want to make it a tradition!)

i AM going to make a list of handmade gifts for each month, but i think i'll keep that under wraps.

i shopped a lot ten presents crossed off my list for next year. now if i can remember where i've hidden them next year, that will be a good thing.

on another note: this year, i finished all but one gift/craft item by christmas. this is in addition to kelly's knit cap that i completed on christmas morning. he wore it and watched a couple of episodes of the original star trek while i napped on his lap. the perfect christmas day, if i do say so myself.

hope yours was merry.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

an embarassment of riches...

my sweet friend, lesley, made and then gifted me with this exquisite needle felted pin cushion as a hostess gift for my gingerbread house party. i about fainted from delight. i placed it on a high shelf where seven-toed cats and baseball glove-wearing men couldn't topple it or sniff it or bother it in any way. then i adored it some more. see the little "insects?" those are tiny straight pins embellished with shrink-plastic. they are quite detailed and so perfect on this elf-like toadstool.

then, last night, she gave me this...
it is as perfect a confection as ever there was. layers and layers of "cream" and cherries (i sincerely think cherries are the most fab fruit ever! and yes, more wonderful embellished pins.
and that was not all! oh, no! there was an envelope filled with vintage christmas stickers, a vintage christmas apron (i wore it while watching "britain's next top model" when i got home), a luxurious length of vintage flocked wall-paper, homemade fudge (yea, that got eaten while watching rail-thin models strut their stuff, hence the need to wear the apron), and the sweetest note that sincerely made me turn into mush inside.
it was the perfect way to kick off the christmas holidays! thank you, made my heart grow two sizes today!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

730 days...

...cancer free. 1095 days to go 'til my five years are up.

i got turned down yesterday at the office blood drive. i never even thought that having had cancer was an automatic disqualifier for donating blood. the little five minute interaction with the nurse made me quite emotional. the tears didn't start to fall until i was in the stairwell of my office building, but i couldn't put my finger on why it made me cry until i was home and in the sanctuary of my bedroom.

it made me worried that the cancer would come back.

i know it won't come back...because i have a feeling that it won't and, more importantly, the odds are against it.

but when a very official nurse-type tells you that you can't do something that you thought you were 100% healthy enough to do, it can give a girl reason to pause and think about why the nurse-type would say that.

the very logical part of my being knows that it has nothing to do with me specifically...that there are tables and charts and graphs that tell the medical community that most of those with cancer shouldn't give blood because of the possibility that the cancer could be laying dormant in their systems.

it is not about ME.

but honestly, i really just wanted the free sweatshirt.

Monday, December 18, 2006

hey there!

i'm a bit of a crafting frenzy these days--mostly things i can't share here because they're presents or in process and not ready for public viewing or still in the idea stage or my camera's never where i need it to be at the right time or i'm too exhausted to think about blogging and/or taking an object's picture.

and i just realized i have about 15 more items to sew, embroider, felt, bead, than i had originally thought. you know what that means, right? a night in the craft dungeon for me.

although the above two paragraphs may sound like i'm overwhelmed, oddly, i am not. energized. excited. filled with the christmas spirit, actually. it is, after all, only time...and time is infinite (at least that's what i keep repeating to lull myself to sleep each night).

Thursday, December 14, 2006

winter gal...

the cd in my car is joni mitchell's hits. my older sister listened to joni when she was sad. her husband would walk in the door, hear joni's voice coming out of the stereo speakers and brace himself for the sight of the puddle of a girl he was sure to find huddled on the couch. it helped her get over the sad--pulled the tears out of her and dried them up too.

me? i like to listen to joni when i feel just fine. the music makes me want to live the artistic life...bowls of oranges on the table and beads hung in the windows...imagining i had a secret past with a short love affair that ended with him longing for me for the ages and me smug in the knowledge that i was the tops for him.

mostly, though, i play joni at holiday-time. my favorite, non-traditional, christmas song is her "river" (lyrics follow). the plinky plinky piano accompaniment is so melancholy it never fails to pull one tiny tear out of the corner of my eye each time i listen. let's just say i had it on "repeat" this morning.

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
But it don't snow here
It stays pretty green
I'm going to make a lot of money
Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I made my baby cry
He tried hard to help me
You know, he put me at ease
And he loved me so naughty
Made me weak in the knees
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I'm so hard to handle
I'm selfish and I'm sad
Now I've gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river

I made my baby say goodbye

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

so sweet!

take ten creative, fun, adventurous women and throw in 40 gazillion pounds of candy and royal icing and you end up with hours of fun and 10 completely different gingerbread houses! my house smells like christmas and halloween all rolled into one....mmmm....sugar.

Friday, December 08, 2006


can't remember where i got this, but i found it when i was cleaning out my bag this a.m. thought i'd share it. i thought it kind of cool that you, as the reader, have the chance to see my handwriting. here are my answers if it's too hard to decipher up there.

my name is heidi sue wallace

childhood ambition to be a nurse

fondest memory 3-way tie -- 1) day i got married 2) day nathaniel was born 3) day i found out my cancer was gone

soundtrack "stealing beauty"

wildest dream to join the peace corps and work in central america

proudest moment each and every time i see nathaniel

biggest challenge being patient and easygoing

alarm clock don't need one...i wake up early, early, early on my own

perfect day wake up early and drink coffee and knit 'til kelly wakes up, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner out, oh the bookstore, thrift store shopping and yarn store

first job babysitting -- i HATED it!

indulgence dove dark chocolate

last purchase shhh, it's a secret for kelly

favorite movie when harry met sally

inspiration the world is my inspiration

my life is a pink & green merry-go-round

my blog (well you're here aren't you?)


late autumn of the year 1984 i was 19 years old. the thought of going home during my six week break between thanksgiving and the new year felt like an existential game of "mother may i" and i decided to stick around small town middle usa and work my campus job. i worked in the college post office. i sorted mail into the ornate student mailboxes and picked up and delivered to all of the classroom buildings, three times a day. i earned not a penny for this job as all of my "earnings" went toward my portion of my tuition. (it turns out that this decision was one of my worst financial mistakes as i had yet to learn that my work study portion for the year was to be forgiven when i went abroad the following term, and i could have/should have gone home and worked a regular job and actually made money, but the independence was worth the self-imposed poverty, i suppose.)

i lived in the home of a sociology professor who was on sabbatical. it was cottage style and decorated with all manner of danish inspired pieces. in my sophomoric mind, it was the height of academic sophistication. i shared the house with my spanish professor and her aide. it was then that i learned to appreciate the calm afforded by preparing meals as a community, carefully choosing ingredients and spices while thoughtfully listening to npr. the food was simple and comforting, almost always vegetarian and filling. my housemates were introspective and mellow. i was a loose cannon comparitively and i caught them on more than one occasion, shaking their heads at my choices (personal and fashion-wise). i rode an old one-speed schwinn between my job and the house. i didn't own a proper coat, so layering was the order of the day. army pants, three sweaters, mis-matched mittens and a hat i procured from the lost and found to cover my shaved head. i spent what little money i had on marlboro lights. the house was without a television so i spent my evenings often alone in the study turned my bedroom--reading, writing, smoking and listening to kate bush, joan armatrading, and prince.

on the way to work this morning, the light was exactly the same as it was when i boarded my bike and headed to work and it was just as cold. i remember the satisfaction of smoking the first cigarette of the day in the cold, how the smell could be fresh and lingering. how good coffee special i felt toting the mail on the deserted campus. how original it all seemed.

when the students returned after the new year, i was protective of the grounds and the sidewalks and the light in the morning. i didn't want to share it. i wanted to hold it close and guard it from the casual attitudes and loud voices.

those six weeks were the last time i was truly alone in my life. i gave up smoking and solitude and traded those in for a lifetime of devotion and caring and company (all very good things). but this morning i really wanted to stand out in the sunrise and watch smoke curl from between my lips and be 19 again.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

w.b.w. {one day late}

happy 20th {engagement} anniversary, baby (also one day late)!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

sage advice...

first off, let me say, quite honestly, that i love the holiday season. i love it even more when the weather cooperates and fulfills my dreams of cold air and snow-covered ground. it feeds my obsession toward perfection like nothing else can. i tell you that because this past weekend when the world got covered in twinkly ice and, what my mother likes to call, "white death," my over-achiever holiday self kicked into high gear and the vortex of disappointment began.

yesterday i typed up a list of things i'd like to accomplish by this weekend and before THE BIG DAY. this morning at the breakfast table, i added to the list. it's now over a page and half long. "unrealistic" does not begin to describe the magnitude of what the list encompasses. kelly, ever so gently, and with twenty years of experience behind his words, suggested that i might want to prioritize. i held the list where he could see and pointed out that i had already done that...the items i wanted to get done before sunday were in bold. if those got crossed off, then i would move on to the items that were italicized. if the heavens aligned, then i would work on the list of things in plain type. of course, up to that point, i hadn't added handwritten items to the list. the question then was, should i re-type the list? re-prioritize? adding new bolded items and deleting items i accomplished last night. or do i leave it as is and look on the list itself as not another project, but a helpful guide?

in the shower i thought of more items to add.

dear reader, "vortex of disappointment" sounded like an exaggeration two paragraphs ago, didn't it? do you grasp the magnitude of what i'm dealing with here? it's like i can't stop. and no amount of dove dark chocolate promises wrapped in a foil fortune that tells me, "it's okay to do nothing," will right my course.

and then i came into work.

overnight we had received a daily fax newsletter that is actually a giant advertisement disguised as a newsletter. i don't usually read it, but this morning, something caught my eye--a column on holiday depression. and in bold letters were the following:

don't let the holidays rule your life.

make sure to get enough sleep.

save some alone time.

try to be realistic.

to tie the word "depression" with my tendency towards obsessive behavior stopped me cold. over-achiever heidi is going to have to take a back seat this season so rational heidi can take the reins.

can you say "wake-up call"?

Monday, December 04, 2006

photo booth monday...


Friday, December 01, 2006


photo booth friday has morph-ed into photo booth monday, okay?

the weather here in "the lou" has thrown us for a loop. midday yesterday the ice, sleet and freezing rain poured down. by the time i left my office there was a thick layer of ice covering my car--freezing my car doors shut. oops.

two hours later i pulled into my driveway. last night was the very first time in my 23 years of licensed driving that i drove in ice/snow. it was about time, wasn't it?

i am a spoiled queen. since kelly works for a school district, whenever there is bad weather, chances are that he doesn't have to go in (he and nathaniel share the television vigil on nights with bad weather). since i DON'T work for a school district, i still go to work in the bad weather. hence, kelly has driven me to and from work on bad weather days for the past 20 years. but yesterday the bad weather came in the middle of the day. it was not bad, really, but i did call kelly before i left just to confirm the correct driving tactic if i were to go into a slide. i think that call might have concerned him a bit. but i made it just fine and now i know that if, in the future i start to swerve, to turn into the swerve and take my foot of all of the pedals.

yes, i'm learning.