0

Happy Birthday and Graduation Sarah!

My niece, Sarah Marie turned eighteen yesterday. She had a combination graduation/birthday party which was pretty awesome. At her party her mom had a notebook to write memories of Sarah. Of course my mind went blank and I only thought of a couple things. Of course last night as I was falling asleep the best story came to mind.

Teresa was telling a new neighbor about the letters that all of us wrote Sarah when she was born to read on her eighteenth birthday. She said to the neighbor it took a lot to get Sarah here. Such a beautifully painful statement! I told Sarah yesterday I prayed for her long before she was ever conceived. I will never forget how happy (and yes a little nervous) I was when her mom announced at Thanksgiving she would arrive in July. I remember thinking as I wrote her letter that eighteen years was a long long time away and yet here we are in just a flash of time.

My very best memory I am sharing on my blog so that one day when I am gone if any of my kids, nieces, nephews, and anyone else who wants to read my blog they can be entertained with my stories.  Sarah and Tyler came to our house every New Years Eve for years while their parents went out with friends. They stayed the night and then we would take them to Mimi and PaPa’s house for the annual New Year’s Day celebration. I worked evenings back then so every other year Brian would be on his own with all the kids. We so enjoyed that special time with both of them. And in a flash Sarah was old enough to babysit and then hang with friends and the old Aunt and Uncle became irrelevant. It was ok because we still had Tyler and ultimate ping pong (where you play off the walls and the ceiling) until last year when he went and hung out with friends as well. On Christmas morning 2007 Sarah and Tyler awoke to find a new dog out in their front yard. She was a puggle and they named her Chloe. Well, I am a total dog lover so I had them bring her over that New Year’s Eve to spend the night as well.

This was also the year Emily was dating Cody (he came over that New Year’s Ever as well) and he nicknamed Sarah and Tyler: Dog Girl and Chocolate Boy after Shark Girl and Lava Boy. He would have no idea that thirteen years later Sarah still loves dogs and Tyler is still insane about chocolate. Chloe passed away earlier this year and they just got a new puppy named Daisy. I am not sure how Sarah is going to be able to go away to school and leave her. As for Tyler he honed right in on the Ted Drews chocolate ice cream at the party yesterday!

Sarah did baton when she was younger. She was amazing at it but ended up moving on to dance. She started at Denoyer when Kayla was going and then moved to a closer studio and then was on the Lindbergh dance team. I went to a few of her competitions but not as many as I would have liked! I made Sarah this quilt as her graduation present. So many memories for her and of course she can’t forget me because I made it.

Screen Shot 2020-07-12 at 6.51.08 PM

July 11, 2002 seems like just yesterday. Teresa was in the hospital with Sarah putting an offer on a house she wanted to buy. She came home and then got her house market ready and sold and they moved it seems like by the time Sarah was six weeks old. It may have been sooner but my sister in law is as crazy as me with doing that kind of stuff! Happy birthday Sarah, I love you more than you can ever know!

 

Mole Moral ~ If you are ever asked to write a letter to a baby to open up when they are eighteen, do it! I can’t think of anything more special and I wish I would have thought of it for my girls!

 

0

We’re all connected

Last night was our fourth subdivision block party. Every Saturday from 6:30-7:30 pm one of the original homeowners who is also a DJ plays music. He has super powerful speakers as it can be heard all over our street. I had received an email stating the news would be coming as well. I persuaded Allyson to come out with me for a little bit. After she left, one of the neighbor girls hung up a sign that said, “Fur suiters welcome here”. I read it like five times to make sure I read it right. So I went home and told Allyson what the sign said and she should put Prince on and come surprise the kids. I assured her no one would know it was her. She wasn’t so sure at first but when I came back with the ice cream she was almost ready to come out. If you are wondering what a fur suit is, you can read about her fur suit creations here.

So Allyson arrived

27198502-B89F-4005-9B6F-109207E51194

and at first the kids weren’t too sure about this. Allyson has an original character named Prince and commissioned a girl to make the actual head. The fangs make him look scary but indeed he is just a kangaroo with a really long tail. The girl that posted the sign was so excited she wrote Prince a note asking if they could be friends. Of course Prince nodded yes. Then she got her suit on as well and they had a great time interacting and playing with the kids.

86FA09D2-4527-40DB-B6E3-C8A145C7440E

Also way over a year ago at church a guy came up to me and informed me he was my neighbor. He lives in the very first house. He is not the original occupant (that man I believe is in jail) but bought the house to stay at when the Rams played. His wife passed away a few years back from cancer. I chat with him at church and wave when I see him on the road. A few months ago he introduced me to his friend at church and then I noticed that a car was at his house a lot. (Yes, you all know I am a stalker with mad door way assessment skills.) Yesterday before the party he told me that she was his girlfriend. I was so happy for him! It made my heart skip a beat. Last night I was chatting with the two of them and discovered their first date was at The Local House. This is where Allyson is a bus girl! I must be getting old or soft or something because it made my whole evening. This morning when I ran by his house, this was in the front yard.

7582C62E-07DD-4773-BDE8-F036D5D6A135

What a nice surprise for him! He is so nice and has been so nice to me that I am glad someone brightened his day!

I was so proud of Allyson last night that of course I told all the adults who it was. Our neighbor said she should hire herself out for kids birthday parties, she could make a fortune. Back in middle school she performed for an assembly and I was told she was a huge hit!

Mole Moral ~ In a world where everyone seems isolated we really are all connected in one way or another!

 

0

Cornbread

When Brian and I were dating I was in nursing school. I came home every weekend because no one stayed over the weekend. This was in the mid eighties and we were not allowed to have boy visitors past ten. They had to be signed in and out and if you were caught with one over night, you were kicked out of nursing school. So Brian and his work friends would pick me up on their way home from work on Friday nights and he would bring me back on Sunday night and leave by ten because the rule follower wasn’t risking getting kicked out of nursing school.

My mom made dinner a lot on Sundays and one of them she made cornbread. Well, Brian just raved about how good it was and how he liked it. After this she would make it for him almost every time he ate over. Lets fast forward about five years. Brian says to me I really hate cornbread, I just said I liked it back then to be polite to your mom. I of course reported back to my mom who died laughing and she never made it for him again.

I can honestly say I have never made cornbread the entire time we have been married. Brian will tell you I don’t cook anyway and my mom will tell you I starved my girls when they were little. They would come to her house and wipe her out of food. I do enjoy the cornbread when I eat at Cracker Barell.

Mole Moral ~ Sometimes being kind and polite bites you in the butt and you get stuck eating something horrible for years!

0

Roadside America Part Two: Peanut Butter Cookies.

Way back when I was a kid, probably around the age of twelve or thirteen because we lived on Glen Haven in the “black shack” (another story for another time) I made a batch of peanut butter cookies. Those who have seen me cook or bake know I am horribly messy. As we are eating the cookies some flour had spilled on the table. My mother looks at it and it is moving. She announces we have boll weevils in the flour but the ones in the cookies are dead so we eat them anyway. This was way before computers or the internet so I couldn’t look them up. It’s a good thing because they are pretty gross. Imagine my excitement when I’m looking for places on Roadside America close to Troy and there is a boll weevil monument thirty minutes away. Emily says we must go because my mother has told her the peanut butter cookie story more than once.
Upon reading up I discover boll weevils eat cotton and destroyed the cotton crop in the early nineteen hundreds. This caused the town of Enterprise to plant peanuts instead and saved the town. The monument should have been to George Washington Carver but would never have happened in the south at this time period due to segregation. So a man named Roscoe Fleming set about to construct a monument to the boll weevil.
The history was crazy. First of all it was a statue of a Greek woman wearing a Peplos holding an oil lamp over her head. It was in the middle of a giant bowl and water shot out the end of the lamp. However it was too powerful and the fountain was only used once. Before the streets were paved mules would drink from the bowl. There was no boll weevil on the statue until 1949 and the first was the size of a fist. The bug was stolen in 1953, 1974, 1981, and 1985. Each time the weevil was made larger. Then on July 11, 1998 not only was the weevil stolen but the lady’s arms were ripped off. Fear not, a mold of the entire monument had been made in 1996 and exact replica was cast out of unbreakable polymer resin. They say the new weevil is the size of a basset hound. I got super close to it and it did not look as big as a basset hound.
The monument sits in the middle of the intersection but since it was a Sunday there was no traffic.

The town was super cute and since Emily is a foodie she found a couple restaurants that they want to come back and check out. I also enjoyed the murals. Sadly it was Sunday so the Boo weevil museum was closed.

8F4387D2-7D59-4F64-98A1-11ACBCF69B76


However,  boo weevils are not found in flour. Boo weevils eat cotton. Flour weevils live in flour and eat the dust. I was going to go into more detail but after reading up on them, I really just want to vomit so if you are interested just google.

Mole moral ~ A fun story about me will forever live in Emily’s memories when she thinks about the three months she worked in Alabama. Also I have thrown out all the flour! Hahaha

0

Christmas Angel 2019

Another Christmas has come and gone and another twelve days of Christmas angel has just finished up. This was my sixteenth year and I have been blessed by a total of twenty three families who I’ve rang and run and still have not been caught.
Because I left my job in April and took seven months off of work I had no one in mind to angel this year. I texted my friend Laura (aka Harry’s mom) and asked her if she knew of anyone. Now Laura had been filling in for the  Heartprints coordinator so two people came to mind. I was very excited because the Heartprints program was the reason I had transferred to women’s health all those years ago.
The first night went well and we easily found the houses in the dark. Laura’s daughter went with us so I snuck up to the door with her and she dropped the gift and rang and then we ran. She loved it. The next day someone was riding my rear while trying to find the house again so we drove past and then circled back. We could see the address much clearer coming from the other direction and realized the house we dropped the gift at the night before was not the right number. Laura then got on her phone to look at the picture of the address. Sure enough she had typed the address in wrong and we had left night one at the wrong house. So we went to right house and dropped off night two. I told her I would get another night one and then leave one and three the next night.
After I dropped her off it really bothered me that the wrong house would only get one gift and nothing else. I really felt this was done by God and this house also needed a Christmas angel so the next morning I got up went to Target and bought gifts for the other eleven days for them and day one for the right house.
I then went to a cookie party and then the snow came in. My new job was willing to pay me to sleep at hospital to be available to work in morning so I took them up on it. The roads were so bad that Laura and I decided we would not risk an accident and the next day we’d drop two gifts off. However the next day the roads were still terrible and my job offered the same deal so I stayed at the hospital.
I told Laura we could skip one day and end on Christmas Day instead of Christmas Eve. This was the first year I ended on Christmas Day. I ended up dropping three gifts off at the houses close to each other and two at the other. The rest of the time was pretty uneventful. Well except for the night I’m walking down the sidewalk gift in hand when the husband pulls in the driveway. I hide gift and keep walking like I belong there. I get five houses away and turn around. He has made it in the house and has locked his car so I head back. I’m two houses away and out he comes with his dogs. I turn back around and walk around the subdivision for a good five minutes before I can finally drop the gift off and run. I couldn’t wait in my car because the house was between my car and where I was.
Laura ended up with the flu and had been sick since Saturday. She wanted to knock and wait today to talk to the people. I wrote all of them a nice card and told the wrong house what had happened and that I hoped the nightly gifts blessed them.

Mole moral ~ When one feels called by God to add a third family to the fun, I don’t question, I just do it!

0

My Linda Hansen Original

Last October I visited Gary and Linda before my Disney Wotld vacation. You can read about it here if you are interested in how we met. I’m not sure how long ago Linda started painting but I always enjoyed when she posted her work on Facebook. She always said she would be happy to give away her work but you had to agree to frame it and hang it up in your home.

A couple of weeks ago she posted this and as most of you know orange is my favorite color.
715B13B2-8B12-4088-9038-66349962CC2A
I had to have it and instantly knew where I would place it. So yesterday the door bell rang as I needed to sign for it. Yes I tell my mail guy this is my Linda Hansen original and not a St. Louis Blues memento. (The US post office and UPS has been insane with all the deliveries for those items). My mail dude smiled like I was nuts.
I opened it and it was even more beautiful in person. The frame I had was a little too big so off to Hobby Lobby for a mat. Imagine my surprise when they had that color in store and cut it right then and there. I went straight home and hung it on the wall. Allyson noticed immediately because it replaced her Woolzy character painting she did in art. She’s wanted me to take it down for a year. Brian has yet to notice.
910203AD-A20C-4641-9C47-34AD8C516D1B
Now I just need to find something to replace the 16×20 picture on the other side. Allyson says “mom that’s simple perspective take it down”. I’m thinking about asking the Tony Bologna to do one of my favorite, the dog. I just need to ask him and pick my favorite picture.

Mole Moral ~ Change is awesome, especially when it involves a Linda Hansen original!!

0

The Long Road to the Cup

It was November 2, 1985, and my first official date with Brian after our initial blind date. He asked me to go to a Blues Hockey game and I don’t think I had ever even once watched hockey.

IMG_7022

It was at the old Saint Louis Arena. I remember arriving and telling Brian if I got hit in the head with a hockey puck I was suing him. I use to think I was not outspoken when I was younger but looking back I was pretty outspoken. Why he ever wanted to go out with me again is beyond me. He will tell you that we had horrible seats as we were in the first row of a section on the end where people walked by. It’s hard to explain but I remember him being totally annoyed. I have no idea if we won or lost but I always remembered it was the Red Wings and back then helmets were optional so a few of the Red Wing players did not wear them.

Brian and I continued dating and he always watched the games on TV. I can vividly remember studying for nursing school stuff on the weekends with the games on in the background. Every year he would swear they were going to win the cup and almost every year they would “choke”. I gave up on them many years ago and most of the time when they were on TV, I would either be at work or working on crafts. Sometimes I would listen to them and think about nursing school days.

So this year one of Brian’s friends went to Las Vegas and he had her place a bet that the Blues would win the cup. Now the odds were not as high as those who placed bets in January but 20/1 would be a decent payout. I was like sure whatever dude, not a lot of money to lose because no way they would win. His work partner also placed a bigger bet. So I think it was sometime in January they were in Maggie O’s and were sitting next to Cam Jansen. Brian told him he and his friend placed the bet that the Blues would win the cup and Cam spit out his beer and told them they had wasted their money. So last night after they won when good old Cam was on TV acting like he believed they would win all along Brian got a text from his buddy calling him out on it. He said he’s hunting him down and calling BS on him.

It was so much fun watching how excited Brian was last night watching the game.

IMG_7017He had already told his work if they win and the parade was during the week he would not be coming to work. I think he has missed one day in twenty years. It looks like the parade will be on Saturday so I am so excited to attend it with him.

Mole Moral ~ Dreams do come true, sometimes they take thirty-four years for me and all of Brians life for him but when they do it’s time to celebrate!

1

There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute

I decided to look the origin of this saying up when I decided on the title. It was quite the interesting story. The expression has been associated with PT Barnum but he is not the one who actually said it. It really was about one of the most famous hoaxes in American History. Briefly a man named Hull hired someone to create a 10 foot petrified man that he then pretended to dig up and discover. He then charged twenty-five cents to view it. He eventually sold it to a museum and the museum refused to sell it to PT Barnum so Barnum hired someone to create a replica and then called the one in the museum a fake. The lawsuit was dismissed because you can’t call a fake statue when the original was fake. The story is very entertaining and the statue is ridiculous looking and worth googling.

About six weeks ago some guy started messaging me on Fitbit. He had some nice little quotes and nice words so I started chatting with him. He asked for me to send a picture of myself to which I responded I have two rules that I have drilled into my children head, one don’t put anything on the Internet or Facebook that you don’t want the entire world to see and two don’t send pictures of yourself to people you haven’t met in real life. I had just recently broken rule one and no way I was breaking rule two. I didn’t hear from him for a couple days but then he started back up messaging me. Keep in mind as you are reading this that my husband is convinced he wants nude photos. Here is the background he told me. Originally from Spain (I knew English was not his primary language) and dual citizen. Works for UN in NY but currently in Afghanistan on a peace keeping mission with the UN. He is divorced and has a 12 year old son who is in boarding school in NY that he hasn’t seen in a while.

Yesterday I am running up my hill, trying not to die when I get a message asking for me to send him an iTunes gift card so he can talk to his son. I had just finished watching part one of Dr. Phil show not three hours ago. This eighty year old man’s wife had passed away and he started internet dating. He met this girl that was supposedly stuck in Germany and he had sent her one hundred and fifty-thousand dollars over the past six months. He had never met her in person or spoken to her on the phone. So I let this guy have it. I told him I would never send him money. I have watched the show Catfish one too many times and I told him about the Dr. Phil show. He apologized and said to forget he ever asked but I have a feeling I will never hear from him again.

When I came in from running and told Brian he looked at me and said, just send him nudes. I said look dude I don’t send nudes to you and I know you in person, no way am I sending them to a stranger that is a freaking scammer. It would be nice if people could just be real and who they are. Don’t spend six weeks being nice to me and checking in on me because you think I am going to fall for your stupid money scam. Be assured I looked at his Fitbit stats and he doesn’t even own one. He has never had any steps listed or any badges or trophies. I discovered this two weeks ago.  I am so much smarter than I look and I have excellent assessment skills. I had a feeling this was where this was going so I just played along.

 

Mole Moral ~ One day I will actually listen to Meg Barry!

Nicknames

In the Mole family, if we like you, you usually end up with some sort of nickname. I am not sure when this started but it certainly is a tradition. Today one of Emily’s friend (Heather) posted about cloth diapers. Now the Trollinator has two children well under the age of two so I commented and tagged Emily in my comment. This caused a text to me asking me to explain the purpose of cloth diapers to her boyfriend Micheal.

So I explained how they worked and how it helped the environment. He was throwing a fit and grossing out just like her father did when she was born. Brian got on board with the diapers. Then I remembered I used a diaper service for the first six months. I told Emily about it and how you didn’t even have to rinse the dirty ones. Now we did because a weeks worth of poopie diapers in a diaper pail is just gross. Micheal continued to gross out and I said please tell him to calm down you aren’t even married yet much less expecting.

And so I then remembered the nickname of our diaper guy. We called him Dan, Dan the diaper man. I cannot remember for sure if his name was even Dan but he came every week and picked up the used and gave us new. He was a super nice guy.

 

Mole Moral ~ Nicknames are a lot of fun in my house! Please call me Big Red from Bring it on and not Married with Children. HaHaHa

0

My Masterpiece

About six months ago my boss asked me if I would make a T-shirt quilt for her niece. I said sure just bring in the shirts. Of course the gal who always loses her debit card forgot to bring them home. Fear not, for my boss put them in her office until I remembered I had forgotten them. She gave me free rein to do whatever I wanted.

Therefore I googled T-shirt quilt ideas which was my first mistake. I quickly decided I didn’t want to do the standard cut them all the same size. I did not head the warning that said do not attempt a quilt with varying sizes if you are not an expert. Ok so I thought this girl is just saying this so she can make all the money. It was game on.
I then cut all the shirts up in various sizes. I used both front, back, a sleeve, and a pair of sweat pants. I then laid them out on our pool table and quickly realized I was in over my head.
After about a week of thinking how am I going to make this work and considering sending them to the girl who said not to do it, I thought of the graph paper in the closet. I figured each square could represent an inch. I then measured every shirt square twice and cut the pieces out to represent the dimensions of the shirt pieces. This turned into a jig saw puzzle but I would then be able to know what size to add the blank pieces too. I had this finished by the very beginning of December.
IMG_5917
I had been asked to make T-shirt pillow’s for a friend to give as Christmas gifts so I put the pattern and all the shirts in another room. Because the pillows were made from my friends fathers golf shirts and I had a ton of material left, I made her a quilt out of the leftover shirts.
Sometime after the first of the year I picked it back up and realized it was now or never. I figured out how to sew all these pieces together and keep them flat and nice looking. I did partial seams and stuff. This took a couple of weeks because I did not want to rush. I finally got the top all together and it looked pretty good. Of course I can see little flaws but that’s just me.
I then decided rather than hand quilt around the edges of each square like I normally do, I would quilt around some of the words and the volleyball’s. After I had finished three-fourths of it, I then decided I needed to do the edges as well. I just didn’t like the way it looked.
So I had a bunch of blank material squares and I seriously didn’t want to do anymore volleyball’s so I asked my friend Meg what she thought about putting volleyball fun facts there. She thought that was a fantastic idea so I embroidered a bunch of different things. This took a lot longer than I had originally planned.
46F433AB-0D4A-445D-9405-03D1EF2EC2D4
E23B3DE5-422B-4C58-89A8-5A82F89D9FD3
Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 2.44.56 PMScreen Shot 2019-04-13 at 2.42.49 PM
I gave it to my boss this past week and she loved it. She was so excited and couldn’t wait
to give it to her niece. Because she did not ask for this insanity and gave me free rein I only charged her what I had charged for the easy ones. However, I would not even consider making another like it for less than five hundred dollars. This may seem outrageous but when you look at the picture of the back all of that sewing was done by hand. There was no machine involved.

Mole Moral ~ It’s dangerous to give a creative person (who doesn’t think she’s creative) free rein.