Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What we have to look forward to... the Post Office

I purchased this punch bowl from waringhomestead, a shop on etsy on December 16. The very nice owner of the shop shipped it on the 18th. Delivery Confirmation shows it was accepted by the Post Office on that date. I figured there was a chance it would be here for Christmas...great for eggnog I thought. It was coming from OH to MD. Expected Delivery date was the 24th. The next scan was on the 24th at the Capitol Heights sorting facility. I had hoped it would be here for Christmas but really didn't expected to be. Well it is still sitting at the sorting facility today. It will be interesting to see when it will arrive.

I had this problem with oh so many of the packages I shipped to customers before Christmas. At one point I had a number of packages sitting for 6 days in the Baltimore facility. These were all Priority Mail and they took at least 8 days to be delivered. Another package, shipped on December 1 sat in the Baltimore facility until 18th and was delivered, finally on the 20th. It was going to MI. The customer of this order was very understanding, thank goodness. I had one person who purchased several signs from me file a non-delivery case with one of the venues where I sell my signs. She didn't seem to understand that the package was shipped, even with the tracking info supplied. Once I put it in the Post Office system, the time it takes is out of my hands. It sat in the Baltimore sort facilitiy from December 12th until it reappeared at the TX Post Office on the 18th and was delivered on the 19th.

Another local crafter told me that the sorting facility in Frederick, MD had closed. This info supplied by her local Post Office when she asked why shipping was taking so long. It will truly be interesting to see what happens as more Post Offices are closed.

As for the red glass punch bowl...I guess I can use it for 4th of July...Independence Punch maybe? Just hope it will be delivered by then!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And I Think to Myself...What a Wonderful World




The weeks leading up to Christmas this year were crazier than the normal crazy of years past. Our living room, which has been torn apart for months for a redo due to a leaky roof, was put on hold until the roof was replaced, a huge job as two layers of roofing needed to be removed before the new roof could be put on. With the help of our daughter Meagan and son by love Erik, my brother John, Lou's brother Charly, nephew Nicolaus, and family friend Paul, Lou was able to replace the roof on Thanksgiving weekend. We have certainly been blessed with a wonderful family and how thankful I am to them for their help. Son by love Chad, otherwise known as the Darlin' D's Daddy, helped Lou replace the crown moulding and other woodwork in living room the weekend before Christmas.

I had planned to put the tree in the living room as it is a larger room than the family room and wow am I glad I decided not to wait and set the tree up in the family room instead because on Tuesday Lou was just sanding the spackled ceiling. While it's wonderful to have a hubbie who can do everything, it ends up being the old tale of the shoemakers children going barefoot. On Wednesday, Lou had a problem with his back, so the painting of the room was down to one roller and brusher...me! But, I believe in the fear that I might run away from home, the dear man rallied on Thursday and we were able to get everything painted but the mouldings around the doors and windows. The morning of Christmas Eve, with the help of Meagan and Erik, we had the furniture back in place, curtains on the window.

Then, at 7:45 the evening of the 24th, I am tucking the bottle of window cleaner under the kitchen sink and find the floor of the cabinet covered with water. The trap under the sink had a hole in it and when touched it just fell apart into tiny pieces. Of course no store that would carry replacement parts is open on Christmas Eve...so an empty spackle bucket was tucked under the cabinet, which made it possible to use the water for Christmas morning, however dishes had to be washed in the bathroom sink.

Even with all the delay and drama, our Christmas was wonderful.
Holly, Chad, Dylan and their dog Dre slept here on Christmas Eve.
Dylan hung his stocking on the family room fireplace.

In the morning, my family was here for a breakfast of kielbasa, egg casserole, crumb cake, French toast casserole and fresh fruit.
However, before we ate we all watched "the child" open gifts.





Lucy enjoyed her gift...
a pink flamingo and it took all of 30 seconds to get the squeaker out of it


Dylan helped Dre opened his present.


And in the evening, at Lou's sister's home, I was able to get this photo of Holly, niece Jamie and niece Leslie. All 3 will be having babies in 2012. Those of you who have been followers of this blog for a while, may remember that Holly and Leslie were expecting at the same time in 2009. Holly had Dylan 2 weeks after Leslie had Cali. The second babies are also due 2 weeks apart and both are girls. It will be several weeks before we know if Jamie is having a boy or a girl.
The next generation of cousins...


And I Think to Myself...What a Wonderful World.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas in Hampden...Hon

Photo by Maryland Artist Edwin Remsberg

Great photo of the Christmas lights and decorations in Baltimore's neighborhood of Hampden.
The 600 block of 34th Street is the most decorated block in town every Christmas.

Here is a link for a video of Baltimore's Miracle on 34th St.

Also this year, at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore there is a laser light show on the Power Plant Building. It's quite magical.
Link for Light Show



Monday, December 19, 2011

Trimming the Tree




After a crazy couple of weeks with an abundance of orders to make and ship, I actually was able to get our Christmas tree decorated with the help of my favorite boy.


He was so serious about getting those ornaments to stay on the branches.


Just loved having such a wonderful helper. I am finally finding some Christmas Spirit.
I've been a humbug for weeks.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wishing All A Wonderful Day

Photo courtesy of oldtownflorist

Give Thanks With A Happy Heart


I have so much to be thankful for this year and when asked to send my thoughts on this to my younger daughter who is putting together a collage of thankful thoughts of all family members, my reply, of course was my family. I am so very thankful that both my girls have married their best friends, wonderful men who are the loves of their lives. By marriage they have enlarged our family with their families, and although there are so many jokes about in-laws, we are so very fortunate that these young men each have wonderful families and we are now one big family.
Having grandchildren is also right the on the top of my thankful list. My Darlin' Dylan holds a big spot in my heart. (although his new thing to be thankful for is pizza with bacon, I've been nudged out by dough and cheese). On Monday, I was invited to go with Holly for her latest sonogram and was able to see my new granddaughter...how amazing is that!

So my wish for all of you, my family and friends, is that your lives be filled with so much to be thankful for that your hearts are just overloaded.

Have a beautiful Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's a Blessing, and a Curse....



Many things can qualify as both a blessing and curse. This phrase became well-known in the popular Monk TV series, when Adrian Monk frequently referred to his gift to solve crimes as a blessing and a curse. Solving tough crimes was certainly the blessing, while being overly attentive to detail was certainly the curse.

That is the way I always feel this time of year. Now is the busiest time for The Country Workshop, an abundance of orders and shows, which is a good thing, the blessing part. But I end up having to spend hours and hours in the studio, and missing out on time with family and friends, the curse part. We have become a shaggy bunch in this house. Lou and Lucy both need haircuts ( I clip them both, usually on the same day but just haven't had the time) and I finally colored my hair on Saturday as I was beginning to look like Cruella Deville with two toned hair. Things won't slow down until half way into December, when I will close down my shops on various selling venues, by putting them on vacations setting until after Christmas.

The past two years we haven't even put up a real Christmas tree. I did pull out my little artificial tree I've used at craft shows and had it in the family room, but as we weren't having any gatherings here for Christmas, that was enough for Lou and me...and it was so very easy to put our Christmas decorations away. However this year the girls and their husbands and our Darlin' Boy will be here on Christmas morning. We will need to find just the right tree and I would love to put together a small train garden but I don't think that's going to happen
...but we'll see.


Speaking of my only grandson, Lou received the the photo below on his phone the other night.
A jar of Vaseline was just too large a temptation for him. Don't know if he thought it was hair gel, but he covered his head and face with petroleum jelly. After almost a week and quite a few head washings, his hair still had bit of a greasy shine to it when I saw him earlier in the week.

I spoke with Holly today, she had gone to a Thanksgiving luncheon at Dylan's school. When she asked him what he was thankful for, he told her,"Mom Mom"
What Grandmother could ask for anything more?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dog Gone Goodies

I been looking on Etsy for doggie gifts, for either the dog or the dog's human. I made some wonderful discoveries.


From Doggone Tags
I actually have one of these for Lucy. Cute tag for my fuzzy girl.



This amazing mosaic of dachshunds is from Animal Instincts




From Monster Hallow Studios I love this unique wedding cake topper.



From Graphic Spaces...this cute vinyl graphic for the pet feeding area.


Walk the Dog Art Prints from Going Places 2

Find many more unique pet items on Etsy...

And of course you can find pet signs for dogs and cats in the Pampered Pets category on
The Country Workshop Website






Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The HON Battle has ended...

Hons Photo by Diane Creagh

I heard this morning on the local news that the battle over the word HON has ended. Local restauranteur, Denise Whiting, owner of Cafe Hon has dropped her legal claim to use of the word "HON". A Baltimore endearment, and yes people from Baltimore really do use it, (such as a waitress asking, "What can I get for you Hon?") was trademarked by Ms Whiting last year and Baltimoreans have been angry enough to have boycotted her restaurant.
Her business has been off by 20-25%. But now Chef Gordon Ramsay's Restaurant Nightmares has been filming at Cafe Hon and Chef Ramsay, it seems, has done what the wrath of Baltimoreans couldn't do...have Ms Whiting make a public apology and drop her ownership of the Hon trademark.

John Waters memories of being a teenager in Baltimore in the 1960's were made into the movie Hairspray, written and directed by him, in 1988. Beehive hairdos, the Buddy Deane Show (Corny Collins Show in the movie) , racial segregation were all part of 1963 Baltimore.

Hairspray Movie Trailer

Now, every year in June, Bawlmer celebrates with the Honfest.
Featuring Music, Food and Big Hair!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Let sleeping dogs lie...



Wednesday morning I went into the kitchen for coffee. When I returned to the bedroom
I found Lucy sleeping on her Dad's pillows.
I always have said she loves him best...


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

M*I*C*K*E*Y M*O*U*S*E

My Darlin' Boy was Mickey Mouse for Halloween...
Lou and I met Holly and Dylan at my Mom's yesterday so that she would have the chance to see him in his costume. I snapped these photos at my Mother's place. Dylan went out on the trick or treat journey with his cousins last night and then came here
to spend the night with Mom Mom and Gramps.


This morning we made Mickey Mouse waffles for breakfast.

It's a beautiful morning so in a bit we'll be heading outside to see what we can get into.
Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween From Lucy and Dre

My grand dog Dre as a devil...


and Lucy as an angel

Hope you all have a Happy Halloweenie!
Be safe out there!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

And Now We Know...


Yes folks...my new grandchild is a granddaughter.
My daughter had her second sonogram this week
and it has been determined...It's A Girl!

But did I already know??? Is it possible that a dream I had before Holly found she was expecting, really was letting us know the baby would be a girl???

Just about a week after returning home from our vacation in June, I had a dream that I had Dylan and a little blond haired girl (named Jenna) floating on a boogie board in water that was only waist deep, but the water was so dark that I couldn't see the bottom.
The children fell off the boogie board and I panic because I can't see them but am able to grab both of them and have them in my arms, huggin' the stuffin' out of them when I wake up.
My immediate thoughts after waking from this dream were...I never would have had those 2 children in water like that without swimmies to have them float and I knew the little girl was my granddaughter. I just didn't know who her mother was...Holly or Meagan. I told both my girls about the dream and two weeks later over dinner, Holly announces, "I know who Jenna is."

So what do you think...was the dream telling us that this new grandbaby would be a girl?

I am so looking forward to shopping for smocked dresses and hair bows.



Friday, October 21, 2011

When all else fails...





And who wouldn't want to hug my Lucy...
with her sweet little face?


Live Long and Prosper...

Darling D, the Captain of the Enterprise.
Found the shirt on Etsy.

RhodeworksLink

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Baltimore Wedding



Friday evening, Lou and I had the pleasure to attend the wedding of the daughter of our neighbors of 30+ years. We watched this adorable little girl grow into a beautiful, accomplished woman. The wedding was held at the
Baltimore Museum of Industry in downtown Baltimore overlooking the famous
Domino Sugars sign and the Baltimore Harbor.



During the day on Friday, thunderstorms rolled through the area most of the day.
But the skies cleared in the late afternoon
and it was a beautiful evening, windy but beautiful.


Julie and her Dad...

The reception was held inside the museum...a glimpse of Baltimore history.

The new Mr. and Mrs.

And the Wedding Cake...cleverly disguised as a bushel of Steamed Crabs.

Wishing Julie and Jeff many happy years together!


Friday, October 14, 2011

The Not So Itsy Bitsy Spider...

Every morning the porch pets, as we are now calling the spiders who have taken over our porch, leave us a beautiful works of art.


The Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water spout...
www.countryworkshop.net


An age old nursery rhyme on an 8 inch x 24 inch custom sign with a glittery spider web on a worn sage background with white lettering.

I sang this with my daughters and now with my grandson.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oh Crap...It's Full Moon





Werewolves...Vampires...Zombies...Shapeshifters...Ghosties...Witches...
and Things That Go Bump in the Night.


A Full Moon brings out the best in us!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Colorfest in Thurmont, MD 2011


New spot for us this year at the Colorfest in Thurmont on a beautiful October weekend. We set up in the front yard of Mountain Memories, a small craft shop, which is located directly across the street from "The Cozy" the oldest family owned restaurant in the state of Maryland.
It also houses the Camp David Museum.


Lou and I set up on Friday afternoon and as we are pulling the pieces out of the trailer that all hook together to make up our display, we find a table is missing. We had used it several weeks ago when we had the family here for steamed crabs and it never made it back into the trailer. I freaked, as I usually do when something doesn't go as planned, but my Mr Fix It was able to put together an end for the display where the table should be, which ended up working out so well that I think I would like him to build something similar to be used permanently in the display.

A shot of the Halloween table...although we sell
Witch, Zombie and Vampire items all year long.


A new addition for this show was a credit card reader for an i-phone. You plug the jak (from ProPay) into an i-phone and a credit card can be swiped. You get an approval or not for the card. The customer signs the phone with her finger tip and can have an email receipt sent to her if she would like. We had to purchase the i-phone last week...and we really didn't need a new phone with all the bells and whistles. But we've been tempting fate all these years at outside shows with taking cc and not knowing if they were good until we ran them when we got home.



This little gadget saved us $84.00 when a mutiple item purchase wasn't approved.

Am off to read your blogs...have been so busy getting read y for the show that I'm way behind reading and commenting