Thursday, July 26, 2007 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

I'm off... Skaneateles today!

My cat, Gizmo, has already given me that "I've-seen-the-big-red-suitcases-and-I-know-you-are-leaving-me" look.

It breaks my heart to leave her now that she is hundreds of years old (exaggeration)...but, I have arranged to have someone stay at the house with her part of the time that I am gone....and my wonderful neighbor will look in on her the other days.

I will try to get to a computer when there is a "quiet moment" (ha!) on the trip and do a little posting if I can...

'til then...


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Beam me up, Scotty", port-a-lets... and other rants

I go through this every time I leave town.

What to take, what not to take?

Packing can take a lot of the joy of traveling out of a person.

Oh, to just be able to be beamed up to New York already!

This is going to be quite a family get-together. I am already practicing my deep breathing techniques just in case the need arises. My favorite is "nostril breathing". Here is how it is done: Cover up one side of the nose. Breathe in deeply through the other. Switch and cover up the other side. Exhale slowly. Reverse and repeat. : )

There are going to be eighteen people sleeping in a five bedroom house...and another 11 staying in nearby accomodations. Blow up beds are being inflated...tents are being set up outside...all in preparation for this family onslaught!

Truth be told, it isn't the sleeping part that is of concern for is the bathroom situation. There is one powder room downstairs and only two bathrooms of them being part of the master bedroom.

Now, that makes for some interesting dynamics.

I hear that my sister is posting some "bathroom rules and regulations" and time limits. I can only imagine....

Someone jokingly suggested getting some port-a-lets and setting them up outside.

I actually thought that was a good idea.

Sneak preview of what's to come....

When my family gets together, creative craziness abounds! Without going into details (since family members may read this), part of the festivities involve everyone doing a skit, poem, song, whatever, about my mom and dad.

Dave and I are doing a take off on the Flintstones--so this picture is one of the props from our skit. Little caveboy, Owen.

Did I mention that I can't wait to see him again?????????

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As we all get ready to celebrate my parent's 65th up in New York...I must make note that today, July 25th, is the actual date of their anniversary.

So, love and hugs, Mom and Dad....Happy Anniversary!

See you tomorrow!

Can't wait!!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What's a Skaneateles?

That is actually where I am heading on Thursday for a week! : )

Skaneateles, New York. (click on the word to read more about it)

My youngest sister and her hubby purchased a second home in this quaint little upstate New York town and the entire family will be converging there to celebrate mom and dad's 65th wedding anniversary. (!!!)

Both of my boys and their wives (and OWEN!!!!) will be there as will my sisters, some aunts and a variety of cousins.

It will be a crazy, fun time and I can't wait.

Of course right now I am in that excruciating process of deciding what to pack. This is always an issue with me as I end up taking waaaaay more than I need to. (Just ask Dave) : 0

So, with that in mind, I am going to end for today and get that process started.

Later. : )

It's packing time again.....

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Monday, July 23, 2007 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
Well, Dave read my post yesterday about his peanut butter, jelly, mayonaise and onion sandwich and took issue with some of what I said.

He said that he does not use "copious" amounts of mayo and that it is not his "favorite" kind of sandwich as I had previously stated. It is just an interesting combination of flavors that he enjoys.

He also noted that the onions were sweet Vidalia's...not your typical strong onions.

So, I am issuing this retraction.

But, I still think that it is a pretty peculiar combination, Sweetie. : 0

Sunday, July 22, 2007

...another idiosyncrasy?

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The more that you date someone, the more quirks that begin to surface.

I am finding out that Dave enjoys very strange combinations of food.

I have always sensed this about him, but lately it has become even more apparent. Here is an example of one of Dave's favorite sandwiches...I wouldn't have believed it until I actually saw him making it right before my very eyes.

1) Butter your bread.

2) Put copious amounts of mayonnaise on said bread covering the butter.

3) Spread peanut butter on one of the sides.

4) Spread strawberry jelly on the other side.

5) Cover the peanut butter with sliced sweet Vidalia onions.(!)

6) Sliced tomatoes and/or bananas are an option on either slice. (He didn't do either)

7) Put slices together.

8) Enjoy.

Of course I would add a final ingredient:

9) Pepto Bismol. : )

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dave's Smoothie?

It had been a long day for Dave.

After spending three days out of town on business, he attempted to get back to Birmingham as soon as he could....but, the airlines were not cooperating.

A delayed flight kept him from making one connection so they rushed him through and got him on another flight...and then he ended up sitting in the next airport for about 4 hours. I finally picked up this weary traveler around 7:30 p.m. last night and headed back to my house.

He didn't have much of an appetite at first and it was too late for me to start preparing something too I just decided to make some quick stuffed mushrooms to nibble on...along with a glass of red wine for both of us.

After standing at the refrigerator looking for something appealing to eat.....I finally convinced Dave to use some of my (very) ripe (rotten?) fruit to make a smoothie--- thinking that this might be a light and refreshing drink for him to have at the end of his long day. So, he started with some peaches and then added a nectarine. It was looking pretty good and healthy so far. I had other fruit available, but he decided to put in some vanilla and strawberry ice cream for a creamy coolness.

I was okay with all of this until I saw him scraping a fudgesicle off of the stick and adding that to the mix. ugh. And, then for the final touch, he poured a bunch of milk on top of the whole thing. This was blended together and I have to tell you--it didn't look too fact, it looked like mud. He stuck the whole thing in the freezer for a bit and then later enjoyed every last bit of it...

So, there he was, happy as a clam....playing computer poker, sipping his smoothie, drinking his wine and munching on stuffed mushrooms.

Quite a combination, don't ya think?

Friday, July 20, 2007

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Say it "ain't" so.....

When I occasionally escape from my "dungeon" (pottery studio) and get out in the real world, there is one thing that always gets to me: cell phone users.

We have become a world of zombie-like people walking around looking like we are talking to ourselves. No matter where one goes, there is no escaping from this popular modern day telephone.

I can't even tell you how many times I have said: "Pardon me?" to a person who seemingly was trying to talk to me...only to find out that they were conversing with someone at the other end of their cell phone.

I often wonder how we lived before? I mean, I am old enough to remember putting a dime (then a quarter years later) into a pay phone while breaking my fingernails trying to dial a number on the old phones. You know the ones....where you stick your finger tip into the appropriate cut out hole and pull it all the way around. And even then we would sometimes get a busy signal and our money would clink down into the change place. We would actually have to try again later. And, messages? No way! You actually had to reach the intended recipient of your call or keep attempting to reach them. (Young people everywhere are reading this and saying: "Huh?"....Of course, who am I kidding, I probably don't have any young readers?!)

Anyway, I have always gotten pretty aggravated with these cell phone robots....

that is


I got my new phone....

...and it came with a blue tooth feature.

Before I knew it, the Verizon salesman had produced a whole "package" for me that included the dreaded blue tooth headset, phone holster and car charger. All I had to do was sign on the dotted line and renew my vows to stay a Verizon customer for at least two more years! You all know the drill...

It took me a while to get used to having this little blue tooth headset stuck in my I just used it sporadically around the house...especially while chatting and doing my pottery. It was great...but, I still wasn't about to go outside of the house with that "thing" stuck in my ear all of the time. That is, until today.

As I ran my errands it was actually very helpful to have the blue tooth capability without having to search crazily through my purse for the ringing cell phone. All I have to do now is press the little button on the headset and voila...the caller is in my ear.


As I glanced at my reflection in the clothing store today....

I realized that...I couldn't help myself...

I had now become one of THEM. : O

Thursday, July 19, 2007 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Confessions of a chocoholic...

Good news: I bought several types of candy that I knew Adam would enjoy during his short visit here.

Bad news: I ate all of the chocolate Raisinetts before he had a chance to have any. In fact, I began eating them before he even arrived.

I can't help myself.

You know I have realized at this ripe old age of 58 that as long as the chocolate is out of the house I can do fine. But, the minute that there is a bag, box, piece--whatever-- of that wonderfully rich, creamy, delectable milk chocolate is not safe.

I must have gone to the pantry several times a day this week...taken a handful of the chocolate covered raisins....devoured them....and then returned for more. Each time I would admonish myself and make a deal that "this is going to be my last handful" as I close up the bag....and shut the pantry door. Sometimes I even count them out and promise myself that I will only eat 10 more....

It never works...

Inevitably, I return for "just one more" little bit. And then there is always the issue, does a double Raisinett count as one or two? And do two small ones equal one larger one?

My craving got so bad one night last week that I scoured the house for any kind of chocolate that I could find. Finally I discovered a box of white chocolate baking squares! I took out one big chunk of this baking chocolate and cut away little slivers one by one until the entire piece was gone...ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I truly believe that I am addicted to the stuff. The more chocolate that I eat, the more that I crave. I am sure that there is some scientific reason for all of this...but, who cares? I admit it...I just love chocolate.

I may have to start a new group: CCA--Chocolate Cravers Anonymous...anyone care to join me?

Of course we would serve refreshments at our know....M and M's and Raisinetts. : )

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My grandson, "The Player"

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As Owen approaches the cute little blonde, it looks like he is saying: "Hey baby, want to come up to my crib later?"

The precious girl in this picture is Vera, visiting in Minnesota from Sweden with her mom and dad. Monica, Vera's mom, and Jenny have been best of friends since they were around thirteen years old. Jenny's uncle is best friends with Monica's dad from many, many years ago and they introduced the girls to each other when they were young. The relationship bloomed and has stayed strong through the years...both of them being in each other's weddings, etc. While Monica and her husband still live in Sweden, the distance has not kept them from staying in contact and remaining in each other's lives.

Now that Vera and Owen have seems as if this wonderful circle of friendship may continue to spread out to the next generation...How nice. : )

Owen, Andy (Vera's dad), and Vera
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My 'boy' is home! : )

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Mom's oatmeal cookies save the day!

A mother hen is always happiest when her "chicks" are around. : )

So, you can imagine my delight in having my oldest son, Adam here for a few days on business. It was so great waking up and seeing him downstairs having a bowl of cereal before he was off for the day. Of course I made sure to have some General Mills cereal on hand so that he would not think that I was slighting his company!

As part of the Pillsbury consumer insights section at work, he and his group are here doing some research into the South...our eating habits, way of life, etc. etc.

Wanting to show a little Southern Hospitality, I had baked a couple of batches of my "famous" oatmeal cookies for him to take to the whole crew that was here in Bham. So, as he headed out this morning to a remote area northwest of here, he had the bag of homemade cookies with him. He found himself on some real country dirt roads at one point on his journey...when he got to the end of the block, he tried to make a turn around so that he could head back up the street. Unfortunately, he found his car surrounded by a pack of dogs who were not allowing him to move any further. No matter what he did...he was held captive in that spot.

Fortunately his eyes went to the bag of oatmeal cookies sitting on the seat next to him. He grabbed a couple and threw them out the window away from his car. The dogs ran to get this "treat"....and he was off.

It does a mother proud to know that her cookies are enjoyed by all...including wild dogs. : )

Monday, July 16, 2007

weekend musings....

We had a pretty lazy know the specific plans for Friday and Saturday night...just hanging out.

It was so lazy, in fact, that I totally missed making a "Happy Birthday" call to my daughter-in-law on Saturday! I made a belated call on Sunday but felt pretty badly about not speaking to her on "the day".

This weekend Dave picked up some fresh snapper and a few shrimp at the local fish market and we decided to make broiled Greek style snapper for dinner. I used olive oil, fresh lemon, oregano, pepper, garlic and Greek spices and it was so delicious. Sometimes I find myself snorfing (is that a word?) through my meals without really experiencing the pleasure of eating. So I am trying to slow down a bit in order to savor every bite-- making sure to take a sip of wine every once in a while as part of the total experience. : ) (I believe that is how the French keep from gaining weight? ooo la la)

My son is coming in later tonight with some co-workers for business. Even though he is staying here at the house, it sounds like my moments of visiting opportunity will be short as they are all going to be quite busy....but, you know how we mothers are....I will take what I can get. I can't wait to see him. I went out and bought him some of his favorite sweets, like red licorice sticks, to entice (bribe) him to hang around a little more.

On Sunday, Dave donned his team colors of gold and black (Pittsburgh) and headed to Atlanta to watch the Pirates play the Braves. Since it was televised he made signs to hold up...I watched the whole game but never spotted Dave nor the signs. Oh well. Fortunately the threatening rain held out...unfortunately, the Braves won 5-1.

I am determined to be productive and not let the day slip by me I am going to get it started right now! Have a good one...Bye! : )

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Please pass the butter....

I love this picture of Adam and Jenny's dog, Oscar, looking like he is enjoying this grilled corn on the cob and waiting for the butter to be passed!
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one of those email "forwards" that I kept....

"As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did.
You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back. Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Birthday Girl!!

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My dear Jenny,

Happy Birthday to you....the wonderful wife of my son, the absolutely unbelievable mother of my grandson and the most incredible daughter-in-law!

You have been a part of our family and my heart for the past 11 years and I can truly say that there is no one like you, Jen. You are so special to me and I love you very much on this special day...and always...


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Friday, July 13, 2007

HUH? What was that you said?

The music was so loud last night that it took me a while to get my hearing back.: 0

The reason for this temporary hearing loss was that my girlfriend and I followed the rest of the "Middle Aged Groupies" to the American Idol On Tour concert playing in Bham last night!!!

What can I say? We love that show and the talent it produces! ( Dave won us two tickets in a radio call-in contest!) : )

Anyway, the concert was held in our coliseum and was surprisingly only about half-filled. I guess that we are just so spoiled here in Birmingham in that the past tours have always had Birmingham people (two winners-Ruben and Taylor...and runner up-Bo Bice) to go scream for...but no top people this year. : (

And, talking about screaming...between the way-to-loud sound system and the screaming 13 year olds it was quite a night.

The coliseum is not known for its great sound last night proved once again. But, we still enjoyed the show. Ellen, my partner in crime, and I had pretty good lower level seats...and, of course there were several big screens to get a better view.

In my opinion the best entertainers there were Jordin (of course), Lakisha, Blake, Melinda and Phil. I was surprised at how incredible Phil sounded...he was outstanding and won the crowd's hearts when he leaned over from the stage and let a fan rub his bald head...(!)Lakisha belted out her song and left me with chill bumps...and Blake was definitely the crowd favorite with his incredible beatboxing. Jordin ended the show with three excellent sounding songs (still can't believe the pipes on that 17 year old girl!!) and I captured the last one for you on the following video:

..and then there's Sanjaya.....what else can I say???

A Standing O....!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

"Super Sleuth" Succeeds!

It looks as if Dave's crime fighting skills have proven to be helpful after all...

As I expressed in my previous post, after his house was broken into, Dave started to do his own detective work. He began calling local coin shops to see if anyone had tried to sell his stolen coins. This was made easier by the fact that Dave had documented each coin that he had in his prized collection.

After several attempts he met with success!

A 20 year old kid had just sold "Dave's coins" in the local shop. The proprietor immediately stopped the check payment and was able to produce the name and address of the thief, This information was now handed over to the police for further investigation.

So, the bottom line is that Dave's coins will be returned to him and this young man will be slapped with a misdemeanor charge From what we have now learned, this kid has been in trouble with the law before.

This still doesn't return some of the other other valuable items that were taken, but there is some relief in knowing that the offender has been identified and charged.

Lesson learned for me....start documenting all of the valuables in my home!

I can hear my very organized, "list-keeping" Dave saying "I told you so...!" all the way over here!

OK, you are right this time honey....but, don't let it go to your head! : )

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

: (

When it rains, it pours....and I'm not talking about the weather.

Dave has been so enmeshed with what is going on with his sister lately... and understandably so. This has just drained him as he tries to make sense of a situation that just doesn't make any sense at all...and probably never will. Plain and simple....Cancer sucks.

As though that wasn't enough, he went home from work last night to find that his home had been broken into. His kitchen window had been forced open as a point of entry for the robber/robbers.

Strangely, with all of his computers, stereo, tv's, and even credit cards that are around his seemed that the person who broke in simply left with his digital camera and its supplies and left the other, more valuable items, alone.

That is, until this morning when Dave found that they had taken his little box of coins and other memorabilia that were worth their weight in gold to him. This little metal "safe" of sorts held years and years of memories for Dave and it broke my heart to know that someone out there had taken this. You can't put a price on these precious gifts from family members that he has collected through the years...especially the ones from people who are no longer around.

Just the idea of knowing that some strange person/persons were in his home when he wasn' gives one such a feeling of being violated. His drawers were left open and in disarray and there were other obvious signs of someone rushing around looking for what they wanted. Money for drugs? Just a thrill? Why?!

Dave did report this to the police and gave them all of the necessary information. Ironically, he gets very absorbed in the crime shows on know, the real ones...the court stories of real situations and real people. So, today he is using some of that knowledge to try and figure out exactly what happened to his home and who might have done it. He told me that he is going to call the local coin shops to find out if any of his coins have been brought in to be sold. Dave is very diligent and always makes lists of things for future reference. I have teased him about this list keeping before....but, not anymore. He knows exactly what was taken from that little tin "safe".

I know this type of thing happens to people every day all over the world, but when it happens to someone you are close to, it really "hits home" more ways than one.

I'm so sorry, Dave.

Monday, July 09, 2007 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
Today was one of those fun days.

You know, annual check-up, blood work, mammogram, and bone density test. *groan*

The first order of business was discussing my hot flashes with my internist. She's young, she listened, she smiled, and she sympathetically gave me some samples of some "estrogel" which is basically a foam (!) that I am to rub on my arms once a day. The fun continues...

Bone density was next. This is where you lie still while a machine hovers over your spine and hips checking out the thickness of your bones. As I lie there on my back I thought how nice it would be if they would put something clever on the ceiling that we could read during this test. The technician didn't seem amused with my idea.

From there it was on to the ever joyful mammogram. What can a woman say about this lovely test where your bosoms are basically flattened between two pieces of heavy duty laminate?

First they send you to this little room to remove your upper clothing and to put on this humongous robe of sorts that, of course, opens in the front. They also leave you with instructions to use the available "wipees" to remove all traces of your deodorant. One has to wonder how that will be running errands after the testing is done????

One picture isn't enough, of course....they need to take four different shots. The funniest part to me is how I feel that I must make small talk with the nurse who is doing this delightful thing to my upper body."So, how are you doing?" I ask. "Have you smashed a lot of breasts today?" and other idle chit chat just to make the time go by quickly.

Well, with all of this behind me, I will await the results in the next few days. In the meantime, I have some foam to spread all over my arms...

What could be more fun than this?? : 0

Solution to the water shortage....?!?!

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(Owen likes my sense of humor)
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Sunday, July 08, 2007

count down....

Eighteen more days until I get to see you again, Owen!!!! : ) xoxo Grammie
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The scene of the "crime"...

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A "word" to the wise....

Dave and I played Scrabble last night. He consistently ends up the victor in these little "friendly" competitions.

But, last night was different...

I was gloating as I easily filled the board with my double letter, double and triple word points. There was no stopping me!

Dave was not happy...he takes his game playing very seriously and he was behind me in points most the evening. I was pretty much blowing him away.

Little did I know that he had a "Z" and a "Q" in his hand as we neared the end of the game and had no place to put them...

In my naivete' I didn't imagine that he would resort to a desperation attempt in the final minutes!

Suddenly, he was using his high point letters and racking up points. It looked like he was about to have a real come-from-behind victory...and I was quite impressed.

When all was said and done, I still came out the victor....but he had closed a 70+ point deficit to come within 3 points of beating me.

Basking in my glory, I decided to take my camera out and document this win. Looking over the board, I suddenly spotted some discrepancies in some of the words.

"What is this word?" I asked.

Had I not noticed this before????

When questioned, he finally came clean as he laughed hysterically. He had been "borrowing" letters from the board to help him make some of those last few words! Hoping that I wouldn't notice, he surreptitiously snuck a few of the letters away allowing him to use his "Z" and his "Q" and rack up the points.

I couldn't believe that this sweet man would resort to such tactics!

Trust me, I will now be installing surveillance cameras around the game table for the next time....So, watch out, Dave, the jig is up!

Saturday, July 07, 2007


YAY! It is raining outside.

Not just a passing shower....but an all day kind of rhythmic rain. It is music to my ears....I just hope that it keeps up....heaven knows we need it!

The only one a bit unhappy about it all was Dave as it messed up his morning golf game... : (...but, I know that deep down he is thrilled for our lawns, shrubs and plants! )

Last night I cut a fresh salmon filet into sections and Dave and I each did our thing with them. We had decided to wrap them in filo dough for a change of pace. We spritzed it all with fresh lemon and then he did his with a dry rub...I have no idea what he put in it...but it was very good! I did one with Dijon mustard and a little garlic and the other one with soy sauce, ginger, toasted sesame seeds, garlic and sweet and sour sauce. Once seasoned, they were wrapped individually in layers of buttered filo dough and baked until crispy and brown. I must say that my favorite was probably the mustard one...but they were all quite flavorful and delicious. I'm looking forward to eating the leftovers for tonight...!

We opened a bottle of pinot grigio and had a lovely meal together before settling in for tv, a baseball game, and a relaxing, "do nothing" evening...

...more with Sheryl : )

Well, now that Sheryl's pottery pieces have been created, it was time to paint them with the underglazes.

In this picture taken yesterday, she is using the "famous" standing-one-hand-painting approach...very rarely seen in beginners! : )

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The angel is painted and ready to go into the kiln! Pretty impressive for a first-timer !

Sheryl has headed back to Atlanta so I will be firing everything for her...and then coating the pieces with a clear overglaze. I know that she will be pleased with the final results...she did an awesome job....and, more importantly, had a great time doing it.

In my opinion she is a much more talented lady than she gives herself credit for!

I loved it...let's do it again soon, Sheryl!

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Friday, July 06, 2007

A clay artist is born!

Here is Sheryl experimenting with some of my texture and lettering tools. I just wanted her to experiment and get a feel for the clay...but, she ended up making a great plaque that we are going to actually fire!
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I thought that it might be fun for her to try out the wheel. I barely, if ever, use it as I prefer handbuilding....but, I dusted it off and let her have a go of it.

She looks pretty professional here...but as she increased the wheel speed her lump of clay went flying off of the center and was sliding all over!

We were in hysterics at this point. : )

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Sheryl's clay covered hands after her wheel experiment. We considered putting the clay on our faces for a mud facial...but, later decided against it!

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She really liked my clay angels so decided that would be her "real" project. I was amazed at the final result...isn't it adorable? She did a great job and even though she based it on my angel, she definitely put her "Sheryl" touches in it to make it uniquely hers.

She will be back today to paint her pieces...and add her final touches.

I better watch out, she may head back to Atlanta and open up a little pottery store of her own! : )

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