Time To Get Ready…

October 21st, 2014 Filed under Fruit Salad Tagged , , , , , Leave A Comment

…for Christmas decorating! My favorite time of year is almost here. I start decorating on Halloween eve. If you know me, you know I have to start that early to get year-round stuff packed away and get tub after tub after tub of Christmas decorations out and placed.

I made a few Christmas birdhouses last year and had so much fun I decided to do a few more. I have a certain place in the house earmarked for this collection and since they are all going to be displayed together I wanted to go with all white bodies and similar embellishments. They all started out as bare wood and they averaged $4 in cost. The embellishments and supplies cost less than $30, so for 7 birdhouses I spent approximately $8 per.

I must admit that I had been trying to create snow since last year. My sister and I tried everything from hot glue to tree flocking and had limited or no success. Then I saw a tip online for making your own out of styrofoam. The suggestion was to rake it with a fork. That only worked somewhat. So then I tried crumbling it with my hands. That was slow-going and painful. Then I got out my mom’s old meat grinder. That worked great–until it got hopelessly clogged and I had to take it all apart to unblock it. And I wasn’t getting the results I wanted.

Then Nanner (sweet, sweet sister!) called me and said, “Have you tried your cheese grater? ‘Cause I did and it works great! You can get fine snow with the small holes and you can get larger pieces (for that heavy, piled up look) with the big holes.” So I tried it and in less than 1 minute I had enough snow to do all seven birdhouses. Thanks, Nanner!!

I also invested in a good adhesive to make the snow and glitter stick. Of course, I know that there’s going to be some loss with moving and packing them, but I can actually pick them up and shake them and there’s almost zero loss!

Birdhouse Collection

Birdhouse Collection

Church and Triple House

Church and Triple House

Barn and Chalet

Barn and Chalet

Three Birdhouses

Three Birdhouses

Send me pictures of what you created and I’ll post them. Happy Decorating!!

How’s This, Nanner?

October 11th, 2014 Filed under Fruit Salad Tagged Leave A Comment

My sister, Dee (Nanner), didn’t think my last desktop guy, So Ji Sub, was all that good looking. Nanner, number one, I never said he was; number two, yes he is; number three, it’s not all about their looks, it’s their acting abil—, oh hell, even I can’t convince myself.

So, here’s my latest tablet wallpaper.

Jang  Hyuk

Jang Hyuk

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 9th, 2014 Filed under Fruit Salad Tagged , , , Leave A Comment


If you haven’t had a breast cancer screening in the last 12 months, schedule an appointment today.

There are many different kinds of breast cancer and you are at risk if:

  • Your family has a history of breast cancer
  • Your family does not have a history of breast cancer
  • You are pre-menopausal
  • Your are post-menopausal
  • You are female (men can be at risk, too)
  • You have breasts

Please make all your friends and family aware of the importance of annual breast cancer screening. The new 3-D mammogram technology requires less compression of the breast, so it is now virtually painless and it only takes about 5 minutes to complete.

If you don’t have insurance or are not able to pay for it yourself, there are resources out there to help. Here’s a link to find resources in your area.

Please don’t make excuses and don’t put it off. I had mine yesterday. So glad I did….

Today’s Wallpaper

October 8th, 2014 Filed under Fruit Salad Tagged , Leave A Comment

I’m featuring one of my favorite Korean actors, So Ji Sub, and notice the dual clock…yes, sometimes I just need to know this!

Samsung Wallpaper

Samsung Wallpaper

Oh, That Emma Michelle…

September 14th, 2014 Filed under Four Legged Lytles Tagged , , , , , Leave A Comment

Does she love and trust her daddy? It would appear so.

Emma and Papa

Emma and Papa

Little (Beautiful) Things Mean A Lot

September 2nd, 2014 Filed under Family Leave A Comment

My sister, Dee (Nanner, as I call her), is the Master Gardener of the family and from time to time she brings me cuttings from her own gardens. And her gardens are fabulous and numerous.

She even stopped along the way to my house and cut the weeds from a ditch. Why weeds? Because they’re only weeds if you think they are ugly…. She knows what it takes to make a beautiful arrangement, no? Yes!

Sunflowers, Ragweed, Queen Anne's Lace

Sunflowers, Ragweed, Queen Anne’s Lace

Closeup of Sunflowers

Closeup of Sunflowers

She also brought me zinnias in a vibrant array of colors. Even though these are the last of the season she knows how to keep them looking great until the end.

Zinnias and Ragweed

Zinnias and Ragweed

Closeup of Zinnias

Closeup of Zinnias

And because she likes me to feel totally indulged, she makes yet a third arrangement of the bunch that she brought. I would have stuffed them into one large vase!

Budvase for the Boudoir

Budvase for the Boudoir

Closeup of Budvase

Closeup of Budvase

And did you notice the ‘Triple Tiered Frame’ print in the picture?

We make a total production of arranging them just so; cutting them to length, maybe walking around my yard for little sprigs of greenery, etc. Of course, placement in the house is a huge part of this. So much fun!

Thanks, Nanner, for thinking of me, for knowing how to grow beautiful things, for being my sister. I love you so much I can’t even…you know…. Wish you all had a sister like mine.

Fun Tutorial!

August 28th, 2014 Filed under Paint Shop Pro Creations Tagged , , , Leave A Comment

I discovered this great website for frame tutorials yesterday. Diane McFarlane is the owner/artist of Vision Designs. If you love good tuts and great results, you have to visit this site!

I tried my hand at a couple and was amazed at the results that I got. I played a little with the settings but didn’t deviate much. Here’s what I came up with:

Tiered Frame One

Tiered Frame One

Tiered Frame Two

Tiered Frame Two

Tiered Frame Three

Tiered Frame Three

Emma’s Day at the Dentist

May 9th, 2014 Filed under Four Legged Lytles Leave A Comment

We knew the day we got Emma that she had some dental problems but we were about to find out just how serious they really were. Her breath was stomach-churning and a brief inspection revealed a sickening brown/green “goo” on her teeth.

We booked her first physical with our vet and scheduled a “cleaning” for the same day. A few hours after dropping her off, the vet called to say that he would be pulling nine teeth! This was a shock because Emma is only six years old.

Everything went well and we picked her up that afternoon. She will be on an antibiotic for a few days as well as pain medication. But, only 2 days after major oral surgery, she has bounced back to her “old” self. She’s playing, romping, eating (soft food for now) and generally being her sweet, little loving self.

We asked our vet how this could have happened to such a young dog. He explained that sometimes it could be genetic and sometimes nutritional. He put us on a good preventative plan to help us avoid future problems.

Just look at the before and after pictures–shocking, no?

Emma's Teeth

Before and After

I don’t want to blame Emma’s previous owner, because I know how much she loved her. Emma was her baby, that’s for sure. But love is not enough. As it’s true with people, it’s true with pets. Love is not an emotion, it’s a series of actions and deeds.

Please take this time to inspect your pet’s teeth. You could be saving them years of pain and even from an early death. Bacteria that collects on teeth can affect the heart, liver, kidneys and cause all sorts of health problems. If you love them, hug them. Then take action to keep them healthy and happy and pain-free!

Meet Emma Michelle Lytle!

May 3rd, 2014 Filed under Four Legged Lytles Tagged , , , Leave A Comment

This is Emma, a six-year old Beagle mix. She came to us under very sad circumstances. The only mother that she had ever known died suddenly. We gladly accepted this little dog into our home, hoping that in time she would come to accept us. To the extent that dogs get attached to people, we weren’t sure how the transition would go. The first few days she cried like a puppy (darling but heartbreaking) whenever I got out of her sight. But how willing she was from the first day to trust us. She got on our laps, she exposed her belly for a good rub (she loves it) and wanted to play with toys immediately. Except for some longing, pensive gazes out the window, searching for her mother who would never return (yes, I know I’m projecting…) she settled right in.

My husband always said two dogs were enough. We had a joke that we would say, when petting the dogs: Two hands, no waiting. Now we’ve changed that to, three dogs, some waiting.

During our adoption search for Patty and Gunner 3 years ago, I always had a small dog in mind. It didn’t work out that way. Both Gunner and Patty, although they think they are lapdogs, are not. Gunner is almost 40 pounds and Patty is 50! And their big feet, long legs…don’t even get me started. We do, however, accommodate them, all to our discomfort. What won’t we do for love?

So the “two dogs is enough” theory wasn’t sitting well with me. For three years I have been saying, I want my sweet, little lovin’ lapdog. Husband would say, two is enough. This was a weekly litany.

Then the tragedy of Shelly’s death happened. I called my husband with the situation and told him that we need to foster this dog until a home could be found for her. By the time he got home from work that evening, the word “foster” had dropped from my vocabulary and had been replaced with “adoption”. He said he told everyone at work that he knew by the time he got home that dog would be ours.

I have heard you shouldn’t change a dog’s name but I seriously disliked the name she had been given at birth. To me, she looked like an Emma. And to honor her mother, Shelly, I gave Emma the middle name of Michelle. And guess what? She began answering to her new name almost immediately!

I finally got my sweet, little lovin’ lapdog! Welcome Emma Michelle Lytle!

Emma Michelle

Emma on guard!

Emma Michelle

Emma grazing!

Emma Michelle

Sated on grass!

Iowa Hawkeyes–Pay Attention!

March 1st, 2014 Filed under Love and Basketball Tagged , , , Leave A Comment

With our first chance to play in the NCAA tournament in a long time (years) it seems that we will be going to the Big Dance this year. But first things first.

The Hawks had an amazing start to the season. It’s been a long time (years) since the Iowa Hawkeye men’s team has placed high in the Big Ten standings (mostly due to Steve Alford. Bad coach, bad!). And after years of not being nationally ranked (mostly due to Steve Alford. Bad coach, bad!) we are! Coach Fran McCaffery did what no coach has been able to do since Dr. Tom Davis: Coach and recruit! You and your staff are amazing, Coach!

We held on to 3rd place in the Big Ten for a long time, but with two tough losses back to back, we have slipped into 5th place.

Current Big Ten Standings

Current Big Ten Standings

I don’t want to wish ill will on anyone, but for the Hawks not to end up at or near the bottom of the heap, there can only be one outcome in this weekend’s play (teams in bold MUST win):

Saturday, March 1

Illinois-Michigan State

Sunday, March 2

Wisconsin-Penn State
Ohio State-Indiana

Note: The Illinois-Michigan State game outcome won’t really affect us, but who doesn’t want to see Michigan State lose?

And a personal word to some of the players:

  • Aaron White: Whaddup? Get your game back on, we need you.
  • Zach McCabe: Watch those freshman fouls.
  • Adam Woodbury: Watch those elbows!
  • Roy Devyn Marble: When you’re hot, you’re hot. Find a way to get and stay hot!
  • Mike Gesell: You’re a little pepperpot, stepping up when we need you. More of that, please.
  • Josh Oglesby: Counting on you for those insane, from-the-parking-lot threes.
  • Gabe Olaseni: Keep doing what you’re doing and smile more, you light up the place!
  • Jarrod Uthoff: Wisconsin’s loss, our gain. Make those threes!
  • Melsahn Basabe: Stay healthy.


Go Hawks!

Sheri Loves Her Hawkeyes!

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