Tuesday, October 31, 2006

a gift a day

My big announcement? I have gathered a whole month's worth of terrific gift ideas and decorations to get you in the swing of the holiday season. Check in every weekday afternoon for something wonderful and new. I'm excited for you to see it all.

Some of the things will be very limited editions and are sure to sell out quickly. Many will be made to order and very special. All are sure to make the very best gifts.

To kick of the month of a gift a day surprises, check in tomorrow afternoon for a new batch of lucky charm bracelets...

happy halloween!

Stay tuned this afternoon for an exciting announcement!

Monday, October 30, 2006

happy happy birthday!

Today is my parents' birthday! Both of 'em at once. How do you like that?

My mother is the big 7-0 today and my father is 73. I hope they don't mind me telling.

Happy birthday, Momma & Daddy! I love you both so much. I'm so lucky to have you as parents. I couldn't have picked a better pair.

Rich update: My sweet patient is feeling his way around with a pair of crutches. He wanted to stay in bed all day but I insisted that he camp out in the family room. It's so much better in here, so cheery with all the sun filtering in. I set up a little tv table with snacks and magazines, the phone and the laptop. And best of all, I was right here with him. In a couple of hours, we'll head back upstairs. But don't you think it's worth the effort?

p.s. Euphoria was listed as a side-effect for the vicadin Rich is taking for pain. Is it wrong that I secretly hoped for it? I half-imagined Rich hopping around the house on one foot singing and dancing and swirling me around.

broken bone

Rich fell off a ladder yesterday while he was painting some trim around the windows. It was a windy day and the ladder started to fall away from the house. He landed squarely on his feet and broke his left heel bone.

We spent the bulk of yesterday waiting in the emergency room. This morning, he's in an incredible amount of pain, poor guy. And last night was not a good night for sleeping.

I'll check in again once my patient is fairly happy and comfortable. I'm doing my best.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

me? twee?

I found this review of my site:

Inspire company, besides having a charming site, has some lovely gifty ideas. Although some of their things are a bit twee, who wouldn't like the toile notes or coral necklace. And I want the birthday ring!

"Although some of their things are a bit twee"??? As soon as I read this, and just after I shouted out to Rich "I'm a bit twee! Is that good or bad?!" I dashed over to the dictionary to find its meaning...

adjective Chiefly British affectedly dainty or quaint
[Origin: 1900–05; appar. reduced from tweet, mimicking child's pron. of sweet]

Another dictionary defined Twee as: Overly precious or nice.

Oh boy, I am soooo twee!

And I love this new (to me!) word. What a gift to have such a word added to my vocabulary. Is it a new word for you?

Oh and look for some twee new things next week!

Update: Thanks to Geraldine from England for setting us straight. Twee, my friends, is not such a great thing to be. I overlooked one meaning of the word "affectedly" in the definition of "twee" meaning feigned or artificially. I certainly don't want to be artificially sweet, dainty, or quaint. It's still a good word to have in my arsenal.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I wish for...

Here's an early entry for my Christmas wish list...

Monogrammed clogs! I think I would pick dark pink with a light pink curly A, pink pom-pom fringe. Oh yes, indeed. Although I do like the chocolate brown, too. Hmmm...decisions, decisions.

Click here to score a pair for yourself from my friends at Persnickety Palm.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

sleep, perchance to dream

Guess what...I spent last night at the sleep study clinic. Honestly, though, I don't think I slept for longer than an hour at a time. I feel very groggy but I will try to give you a report.

You would not believe all of the nodes and tubes and instruments they attached to me! There were electrodes connected to my legs to measure leg jerks. There was an instrument attached to my nose and mouth to measure the heat of my breath. I had EKG nodes attached to my chest. And all over my face and in my hair, they attached electrodes with paste to measure my brain activity. I had two belts strapped to my body, one at my chest and the other at my waist.

The biggest problem through the night was the room temperature. They had to make sure that I didn't get too hot and perspire else the electrodes wouldn't work. Well, I like to be very warm when I sleep. I had flannel pjs on (the very same that Rosanna sent me last week with candy decorating them).

After about an hour or two, the technician, Lindy, came in and turned down the thermostat to make the room cooler. A little later she turned on a ceiling fan that was going so fast it could easily power a small helicopter. Then, sometime in the middle of the night, she came into the room and took all of the covers, leaving the high power fan on and the air cooled to arctic.

I woke up many, many times through the night. Geezy pete, I'm tired. At about 5 this morning Lindy woke me up to take all of the nodes, prods, and tiddlywinks off. She couldn't tell me anything about the results. I do know that I don't have sleep apnea, thank goodness. Otherwise I would have to sleep every single night for the rest of my days with some sort of machine connected to my nose to pressurize the air I breathe. Lindy did say that I slept very lightly.

I think sometime around 3 this afternoon I will collapse into a drooling nap...the kind you awake from in a shaky, confused state.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

nice works

I've been thinking, my friends. I'm so grateful to all of your nice comments that you've left concerning that unpleasant comment from anonymous. And I keep thinking how wonderful it is that all of the nice people are congregating here in blogland.

What if we quietly started a little revolution, my friends? A Nice Revolution. Little by little, one meanie at a time, we might be able to change the world. Okay, maybe not the big WORLD, but we can change our little worlds. And then maybe someday some of our little worlds will bump into each other and we'll spread. Not like wildfire, I'm sure. More like molasses pouring out and spreading patiently.

The best way to spread the niceness is to be nice. And since you all are so nice, you may have found the same to be true for you, in your own lives, that when you are nice...when you choose nice...people are generally nice in return. Sometimes it really does seem to floor them when you are nice, doesn't it?

Like all revolutions, I think we need buttons and bumper stickers. Just for fun, I made some for us. Click here to see.

It's not necessary, goodness knows, to have any of these accessories in order to join the movement. All you need is a sweet smile and patience and the willingness to offer the other cheek.

I think I will make up some membership cards for us too. So that we can be card-carrying Nice People. What do you think?

Monday, October 23, 2006

hey, what's new...

I have a very, very busy week ahead of me. But I'm very excited...

I am going to work on for the "Amy Made This" section (which, by the way, if you haven't noticed, has been empty and lonely for a very long time).

I have a few loose ends to tie up today...a few last things to get out of the way before my Amy-making-things week begins. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

shout out

Shout out to Stephanie!

Stephanie is my friend Linda's oldest and dearest friend. Stephanie (whom I've never met but whose reputation proceeds her...you should hear some of the funny stories!) started reading my blog this summer and she seems to be hooked. I think of her often, just like so many others who are connected to me through this blog.

It can be overwhelming to think of what an audience I have. My secret though is to pretend that I'm just talking to one of you at a time. Whether it be Linda's Stephanie, or any one of the others that are out there, listening, what I mean to say is thank you. Thank you, too, for your very kind and reassuring words the other day. I think that I should print out each comment and fill a cookie jar with it. Then if I have a blue day and need to be boistered by your love, I can pluck one out and get on with this wonderful life.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

pajamas, amy's cure-all

I love pajamas. I know I've told you that before. But perhaps because my love for them is so deep it bears repeating.

I just love how slipping into a cozy pair of pretty pajamas after relaxing in a warmly scented bath makes me feel brand new. Oh, and add to that a cup of perfectly made hot chocolate and I am in a kind of pink heaven.

I just bought these...

I put Susan Branch pajamas on my Christmas wish list last year but they were all sold out by the time Rich ordered them. And then he got confused and thought he'd bought them so he counted them in with the gift total. This, to me, justifies this purchase. They are rightfully mine. Go get yourself some too and we'll be pajama friends.

Speaking of pajama friends, just look at what my sweet friend Rosanna from Italy sent me.

I think these will guarantee sweet dreams, don't you? I'm going to put them on tonight and test them out.

I have lots of pajamas, as you can imagine. I always wear them in order from my favoritest to my least favorite. There are some pajamas so far down the favorite list that they never get worn. I am going to go through my pajama piles and weed out the least favorites. Does Goodwill take pajamas? Even least favorites?

it's the little things

Just before I went on vacation officially, someone left a different sort of comment on my blog than I'm accustomed. The anonymous commenter said something on the order of "I can't believe something so small [my conversation with Gayle King] gets you so excited. It's not like you talked to Oprah." and then they suggested "You need to get a life."

Now, really. Was that last part necessary? That's the kind of thing that can keep me up nights. And, admittedly, I did have a little trouble resting my sleepy head after that one.

But just for the one night.

The next morning a few things occurred to me.

1. I do get excited over little things. That's who I am. I get excited over trying new laundry detergent. I get excited about a bell for my bicycle. I get excited about a conversation with a child. I get excited about a flower blooming. When I got my new coffeemaker, I really did exclaim "This is going to change my life!" and it did. And so do the countless other wonderful things that happen in my life everyday.

2. That said, I don't think talking to Oprah's best friend, with whom she talks to every single day, is small. I cite the transitive theory. If Oprah talks to Gayle. And Gayle talks to me. I talk to Oprah. Not really but it's close enough for me.

3. I have a life. I have a tremendous and glorious and wonderful life. I have hundreds of special friends. I have a darling husband who thinks the world of me and I, him. I have a beautiful home with nice neighbors. I don't need to "get a life". I've got just about the pick of the litter.

Thank you, all of my regular readers and the new ones that drop by every day, for "getting me" and for encouraging me to be who I am.

And, for the one who wants me to get a life, I would like to recommend that you heed a piece of advice I've heard hundreds of times but obviously escaped you, "if you don't have anything nice to say, keep it to yourself." And secondly, I'd like to suggest that when you are nice, your world is nicer. It's just like when the color appears suddenly in the Wizard of Oz. But when you throw out insults with abandon, I imagine that the world is dark and ugly. Step into the light, anonymous. Be nice.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

the tiniest nest...

This is the sweetest gift I received with the batch of NeSts from my wonderful friend, Deb. It is the tiniest handspun NeSt, encapsulated in a locked and sparkly trunk. I love it with all my heart. Thank you, my friend, for this gift but most of all for your love and friendship.

Deb is a retail display designer in Seattle. She travels the country speaking to shopowners about the art of displaying products. And believe you me, she is incredible at it. If you are lucky enough to live nearby and are in need of her help, I hope you'll give her a call. But don't despair if you live far away...she can help you by email. And she'll blow your mind. Check out her site

Thank you everyone for buying up all of the NeSts in such a feverish rush. The last one was picked up just a little under 2 hours after I opened the floodgates. Thank you, each and every one of you darlings. And, for those who missed out, dry your eyes. Deb is busy preparing a batch of holiday-inspired NeSts. How's that for exciting?


My friend Deb, my favorite little nest-builder, just sent a new shipment of freshly made NeSts! Hurry! They are sure to go fast. They are just a tiny bit different from the first batch, and just as lovely.

A bit later, I will show you the wonderful treasure she tucked in for me! You really won't believe your eyes! This little wonder will capture your attention and you'll see why I love my friend so much!

bon-bonnets are in!

The Bon-bonnets arrived just in time for me to take them with me to the beach so that Maggie, my favorite little toddler, could model them for us. Isn't she as sweet as she can be?

Click here to get your own.

Unfortunately, during this little photoshoot, Maggie's little bon-bon fell off (it's a magnet) and we never did find it. It made me think to tell you that it's not permanently afixed and that such a thing could happen, especially if you have a toddler who is the wiggly sort (and aren't they all?)

dwight calling...

Do you watch The Office? If you do, you'll appreciate this...

You can have a voice recording of creepy Dwight
saying all manner of crazy things sent to your phone number. Try it...

Monday, October 16, 2006

i like to ride my bicycle...

One of the most wonderful pleasures of my vacation was my daily bicycle ride.

Just before we headed off on our vacation, we stopped by the bicycle shop to buy a bike rack. While there, I decided I really needed a basket and a bell, too. The basket helps complete the dream I have of casually riding my bicycle with a baguette and a bouquet in the basket. The bell is essential, don't you think? It completes the dream nicely. The bell I got is brass and is very loud and clear. Briiiiing....brrrring!

The epiphany I had on my vacation (which was entirely unplugged, by the way!) was that while it seemed like I had more time on my hands I have exactly the same amount of time here, at home. I want to try to do more things that I love and fill my days with delight more than dread...I want to have more better than bitter.

The vacation couldn't possibly have come at a better time for me. I was feeling completely overwhelmed. So much rushing about and too little recovery. My to-do list (which was never really committed to paper) had a life of its own. And my life was getting lost.

So today, after I prepared my orders, I decided to go on a bike ride. My first stop was the bike shop for a lock. Certainly my cruiser with such charming accessories as a brass bell and basket attached would tempt a sticky-fingered passerby. I love the fellows at this bike shop. When we bought the basket and bell there, we had such a lively and fun exchange that as we drove away Rich said to me "Amy, life with you is like being in a Doris Day Musical!" Well, if you know the least little thing about me, you know what an incredible compliment that is. It's just the nicest thing he's ever said to me.

So today, the bike shop "musical" turned comical. I asked the bike man to show me how to use the new lock. And when I went to unlock the contraption, the key snapped completely in half, while engaged in the lock! So just imagine this scene...the bike man, who had just explained how exemplary this particular bicycle lock device was because it is so terribly difficult to cut open, witnessed me breaking the key in the lock rendering it permanently locked to the rail in front of his shop!

The bike man had to employ all manner of gadgets and electrical equipment to cut the lock apart. You should've seen the brilliant display of sparks that the rotary tool made as it cut through! They gave me a new one, even though it was clearly my fault that it broke (I must have some sort of hidden superhero strength!)

Since the grocery is right next to the bike shop, I decided to keep the bike securely fastened to the front rail and pick up some things for dinner tonight. Baguette and bouquet, excluded. So I put my two heavy packages in my basket on my bicycle parked in front of the bike shop. When I carefully opened the lock on the bike, the weight of the packages unbalanced the bicycle and all of my groceries fell all about the sidewalk. Can you imagine the scene?

Embarrassed at causing such a scene, and especially so when I looked up in the window of the bike shop and there was the bike man shaking his head in disbelief at what a character I am (Doris Day, maybe?) I quickly repacked the bags, hopped on my cruiser, and headed home.

did you miss me?

I'm back...and I'm renewed, relaxed, revitalized!

Bear with me while I catch up...I'll be back with a real post later. I missed you...did you miss me?

Friday, October 6, 2006

bacon people

Last night, just like clockwork, my eyes opened up (at least one of them) at exactly 2 am. I turned on the radio just to see. And, miracles of miracles, I started to hear the familiar monologue...the one I'd heard a couple of days ago on the other end of the telephone. There was one small change...they edited it to add a segment with Gayle's son, Will, who is 19 and away at college. She ended the monologue with the same description of her breakfast with bacon. Commercial break. And then....ME!

I asked Gayle about all of the gifts she surely receives from people she knows and doesn't know. And whether receiving so many gifts changes her level of appreciation. I also asked if she was a good gift giver. On the phone call, she gave a long answer to this last question but that was edited out of the radio show. It makes me feel special though that I know this little bit about her that's not going to be aired.

The show will air again at 8 am, 2 pm, and 8 pm tonight, all EST.

I'm so pleased...what a way to kick off my vacation! If you're able to hear it, will you let me know? If you can't listen to the whole shebang, my bit comes on around the half hour mark.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

stop the presses...

When I rolled over in bed, peeked at the alarm clock with one eye, and saw that it was 2 am, I turned on the radio knowing that the first airing of today's Gayle King show was on. I called out to poor Rich sleeping on the other side of the bed to tell him that I was going to be on the radio. He replied sleepily "I know".

The monologue seemed mostly the same as what I'd heard when I was on hold waiting to talk to her. But then it changed.

My heart started pumping faster. I was getting more and more awake. With each difference I noted in the monologue.

When I listened to it on the phone, she ended it with how much she loved bacon. The producer came on the line and said "Amy, do you like bacon?" Well, I was so hyped up that I would've said yes to anything. But, yes, definitely, I love bacon. Enthusiastically. Supremely. Love. Bacon. So the producer said "Okay, Amy. You're going to talk to Gayle next. When she comes on, talk to her about bacon and then ask your question."

Okie dokie. I waited a long, long time. Then Gayle came on and said "Hello, Amy? I have it on great authority that you love bacon..."

Thus began our conversation. Me saying how much I love bacon. I think I said that I thought heaven might smell of bacon. She agreed, saying one of her favorite things is to smell bacon and coffee in the morning, even though she doesn't drink coffee. Me saying that I sometimes wonder if I might be capable of being a vegetarian but then I consider bacon and realize I couldn't. She saying that she could never be a vegetarian. She asked her friends who are vegetarians how they do it and they said they never crave those things. And then, here's the kicker, I say "That's the difference between them and us, my friend. We are bacon people". I said it. Crazy me.

So tonight when the first caller (named Amy incidently) starts the conversation in the very same way but with C*U*P*C*A*K*E*S for heaven sake...something I feel much more passionately about, my heart sank.

"Hello, Amy? I have it on great authority that you love cupcakes..."

Is this some sort of cruel twist of fate? I love cupcakes ever so much more than I love bacon. And I do really think now, given a chance to rethink the whole heavenly smells idea that it smells much more of cupcakes up there than bacon. Yes, I'm sure of it now. I think the golden gates, in fact, might be built completely of cupcakes. And you can take one as a sort of party favor when you meet ol' Saint Peter and he gives you your boarding pass.

I listened to all of the callers, waiting for bacon to be reintroduced to the conversation. It was not. And neither was I.

It's late...3 am. I have to find a way to go back to sleep. If you were planning on listening in to hear me tomorrow, you can pretend that the Amy caller talking about cupcakes is me. But it's not.

I suppose there's a chance that they taped two monologues yesterday and that the bacon one will air on Friday.

If I sound sad or dejected, don't worry...it's just because I'm not my usual cheery self at 3 am. I'm still so happy for the whole experience. Whether it airs or not, I did in fact speak with Oprah's best friend Gayle. It was a wonderful thing to do. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

And now that commercial for dogs and bacon is playing in my head "bacon bacon bacon".

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

I talked to Gayle King!

If you have XM radio, please listen to Gayle King's show tomorrow on Oprah and Friends, XM 156. Why? Because I was a caller on the show!

I'll give you a better report soon. I'm so tired I can hardly type this. And to top that off, we're having some strange computer problem and Quickbooks won't open at all. Very bad news. :(

Good news. Bad news. Isn't that how it works?

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

where'd she go?

Are you wondering what's become of me? I'm buried under a sea of projects. Pardon the mixed metaphor. I'm trying to get lots of loose ends tied up before I head out for my little break. I am sooooo looking forward to this break. I think I will do a whole bunch of nothing at all. And then rest.

Nothing became of the Gayle King call-in. Well, not yet. It might happen another day. It was sure exciting around here just thinking such a thing could happen to little ol' me. Just imagine if I get this kind of thrill from calling into a radio show how crazy I'll be when (did I just say WHEN?) a-hem, if I ever get on the Oprah show. Honestly folks.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

a face for radio?

I'm working on a secret project for which I needed photos of myself. I take really terrible pictures. Either I blink...or I look like a deer in headlights. Rich took these pictures, plus a million more, of me on Saturday. I told him to shoot as many as he possibly could so that we'd have a better chance of a good one. I thought you might like to see some of them.

I'm going to go on holiday next week. I've been meaning to tell you. I have to figure out how I'll handle letting people know that their orders won't go out that week. Do you think I should put a notice on the front page? Or do you think it should be on the order form? Should there be something on each page?

Breaking News: As I was composing this post, I got an email asking if I would be a caller to Gayle King's show tomorrow! I had emailed her through the website to tell her about Five Guys since she loves cheeseburgers. I told her about all of the toppings I put on it. I guess it was a good email because they want me to be on her show! The email I got from them said that I should participate by asking a question relating to her monologue, something interesting in the news, or a question for Gayle. I'll give you an update tomorrow. If you have XM, tune in. I hope I'm audible and clear and friendly sounding. And not too nervous!