all that matters

One day away from the month of March, a.k.a. my birthday month, I find myself forced to consider the fact that Jodie will be graduating in less than 90 some odd days! I don’t know the exact number of days. Ask her. She, no doubt, has a countdown going on. It’s snowballing I tell you and although she isn’t my first…she’s my 4th…I find myself trying to wrap my head around the inevitable.

Honestly parents of those young, totally dependent ones who steal your sleep, slow down and savor the diapers, the potty training, the teething, the snuggles and all of that. No really.

My youngest daughter is thisclose to graduating from high school and dancing on to the next big thing for herself. FAFSAs for her and her other sisters still in school have been filed. Jodie is finishing up assorted grant and scholarship applications. Her cap and gown has been ordered; and all the other Senior activities preceding graduation are coming up fast and furious. There’s no getting away from this reality. She and I both consider whether she wants to send out grad announcements or not. Honestly, we are just not feeling what the school has contracted to offer so we start looking elsewhere. It’s then that I remember one of my favorite cards I received from a dear friend over the holidays which was printed by Minted. I loved the design as well as the overall quality of the card. So I began to look through what they have to offer in card designs for graduation. So many lovely designs created by Minted’s community of independent designers, all easily customizable to suit what Jodie (and her parents) want to share with everyone. There are definitely a couple designs that would be perfect…and affordable too because AMDA and dancing shoes and all it takes to feed that dancer ain’t cheap. Narrowed down to a couple possibilities, I find myself distracted as I explore what else Minted has to offer because they offer so much, so much good design that is their seasonal cards, wedding paper and decor products, stationery, party decor and art.


Yes, beautiful art for your walls.

through the fog by R studio

Beautiful photography.

And Per Se by Sarah Brown


Happy Monster by Shasta Knight

KIds prints…great baby gift ideas.

Wood Grain Hearts by Max and Bunny

Prints that celebrate Love & Marriage…great wedding gift ideas.

Heart Snapshot Mix Photo Art

And virtually endless custom art designs, like this one, I would love to see hanging on the walls here under the Big Top.

Are you looking for something truly eclectic and original to hang on your walls? Definitely check out Minted. Added bonus, Minted loves Moms. They donate a portion of all art sales to Every Mother Counts.

I was invited by Minted to check out and share with you all some of my favorite unique art designs that they offer. In exchange I received a credit towards a purchase of my own. 

seven minutes of awesomeness

Mima! Look what I can do.

And with seemingly no effort what so ever, Hazel lifts her right leg holding on to her ankle straight up and just stands there.

Of course it is made all the more awesome because she is wearing my Oz 3D glasses.

Want to know how long I can hold my leg like this?

How long, Hazel?

Oh about seven minutes. Watch…one…two…three…four…five…six…seven.

She lets go and lowers her leg down.

Seven minutes, Mima! Pretty cool, huh?

Definitely. Just as cool as your timekeeping skills, Hazel.


And she skips off into the other room.

Equally awesome is Hazelwood where you will find a different take on wooden wall art.

From sarcastic and crass to lovely and sentimental, you won’t find this stuff at Target. Oh and they take custom orders too. 100% of the profits support Hazel’s participation on the dance competition team and her ability to stretch her leg like that for “seven minutes” or more.

weekend good

Not that I am bragging or anything, I am just sharing what has been good this weekend because that is so much better than me whining or bitching or moaning about what might have been bad this weekend (nothing).


Getting off night shift just in time to see the rain clouds rolling in which any night shift nurse will tell you means they will sleep well.

When a photo of your photo and how it got put on display and your name is on the front page of the paper. Added bonus is they spell your name right.

Punching more holes in the walls but not nearly as many because gallery ledges are awesome.

Bottling the Tears of Angels IPA.

Sampling this delicious treat because how can I possibly recommend Christina’s Cupcakes if I haven’t sampled them? They are damn tasty and yes, if you live in the 209 you need to order some.

At the Madden Fall Fair, I tasted a bit of The Rustic Puff handcrafted artisan marshmallows. All she had to say was to let the marshmallow melt in my coffee to enjoy the salted caramel deliciousness and I was sold.

Celebrating the first day of Fall as one does by turning on the oven and baking The Pioneer Woman’s amazing meatloaf. Thank goodness today wasn’t hotter than balls as it could be on any given Fall day here in the Central Valley.

But saving the best for last, as one almost always does, there is this.

On the left taken August 29 and on the right taken today, September 22. Yes the camera angles are all wrong and lack continuity but LOOK AT THE RULER MARKINGS!! YES, I AM SHOUTING!!! Those growing pains are real. We are loving human growth hormone therapy.

Have a great week y’all!

perfect imperfection

Today I delivered a very special Not Pottery Barn Growth Chart Ruler for another mighty human like my son whom I met here at Adventures in Juggling. It’s always fun to watch our children grow but it is freakin’ triumphant to watch a child who once fit perfectly nested in your hand when they were born. So when Liz asked me to make one for her little girl, I was very excited to. Of course it had to be perfect…even more perfect than all the other ones that I am making and selling because Jodie’s dancing competitively is much too much expensive…but worth it…yes, this ruler had to be perfect for a perfectly amazing little girl.

But as I began to work with the wood, I found myself frustrated with the imperfections that this piece seemed to have. Perhaps this wasn’t going to work I began to think. Still I pressed on sanding and burning and sanding and staining and so on. It seemed that the more and more I worked with the wood, the more beautiful it became…in spite of the  imperfections…or perhaps BECAUSE of them. Sometimes it is those with the birthmarks, the scars, the imperfections that end up being the most beautiful, the most amazing.

Liz’s perfect imperfect Not Pottery Barn Ruler was delivered and is now ready to mark the growth of perfectly amazing little girl.

And now it is time to get started on the next one.

These Not Pottery Barn Growth Chart Rulers are available for sale here in Northern California for $50 (compared to the now discontinued Pottery Barn $149.99 version or comparable ones on Etsy selling for $50 to $80 not including shipping and handling). Each piece is hand sanded, burned, stained and polyurethane finished. All proceeds will help to offset the costs of Jodie’s last year dancing competitively. Yes, you will be funding the dancer and when you see her on stage someday dancing during some awards show or behind the latest and greatest pop star or as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette, you can smile proudly knowing you, yes, you made that possible.


You did.

Oh and you’ll have some lovely decor to mark up with your kids or grandkids growth or to just show off.

on the walls

Watching me hanging pictures on the wall, Hazel notices that there are NO pictures of her and Fallon…”why, Mima?

Why indeed?

She was a little judge-y in her query kind of like the way she has judged my fashion choices in the past. Still I couldn’t blame her. I would have been upset too if the tables were turned…which reminds me of the fact that there no pictures of me in her home.


We’ll address that later.

A friend of mine suggested that the lack of pictures of my grandbabies on the walls of the Big Top is actually the responsibility of their parents…meaning that they should be providing the framed photographs and portraits. I would say true. I always provided lots of portraits of my circus clowns to the grandparents until that one time when that one grandparent asked me not to give anymore pictures. I guess the fact that I have so many kids means that a lot of space is taken by all those pictures I had given in the past. I refuse to believe that the grandparent didn’t want pictures of these adorable children because that would be ridiculous. And so I stopped giving pictures of the kids…more for me to enjoy here under the Big Top! But one of the reasons Hazel and Fallon’s parents aren’t showering me with pictures of these gorgeous pictures is because I am the one who takes pictures of them…all the time. Well, I AM the mamarazzi.

And so we go back to Hazel judging her Mima for not having any pictures of her and Fallon on display here under the Big Top.

Well not anymore!

So now we will discuss why there are no pictures of Mima and Papa in Hazel’s house.