Friday, April 25, 2014

Bag Lady

That, apparently, might be me.

In yesterday's post, I alluded to the fact that I had been asked to complete a writing project for our family's pretzel business.  The assignment was to write a 100 word descriptive piece that would ultimately be printed on the back of pretzel bags.  Lots of bags.  A gazillion bags, perhaps.

Does that make me a bag lady?

Our family has been making pretzels for a long since.  Since 1861, in fact.  Even though the Civil War was stirring into action that year, my great great grandfather, Julius Sturgis, was busy opening up a new business venture.  That same year he opened America's very first commercial pretzel bakery.

Since then, six generations of Sturgis's have continued making pretzels to this day.  The company today, Tom Sturgis Pretzels, is named after my grandfather, Marriott (Tom) Sturgis and my father, Tom Sturgis.  Although my father is now 80 years old, he shows no real signs of retiring.  My brother, Bruce Sturgis, is the operational chairman.  Over the years, my other brother, Chris, and I have also been involved in the operation of making pretzels.

Here are a few bags I have in my cupboards right now.  (I told you I was a bag lady!)  Oops, I ate the ones in the left bag.

Most of my tasks over the years have had to do with either cost analysis or writing.  I've written descriptive narratives which are printed inside the lids of our pretzel gift tins, newspaper ads and advertising brochures, and family histories.

A collection of our gift containers
This "Kids" themed gift can features a scene in which my four children are playing:

From left to right:  Caleb, Lindsay, Rachel, and Sarah
This latest assignment involved writing a piece for a brand new type of pretzels we are offering - horse and buggy shaped pretzels.  As of this point in time, these pretzels are still in the experimental phase, and are only being sold in the factory retail store in bags with temporary labeling.  Later, once they are refined, they will be packaged in bags similar to the ones shown above and sold in grocery stores and other outlets.

On the back of each bag it is required by law that we list the nutritional elements.  However, that leaves a space on the other half of the bag for a few paragraphs that we write to our customers.  That little note on the left side of the bag is what I was working on yesterday.

One may think it is easy to write such a short piece, but it can actually be a good challenge to write all the thoughts and comments you want to convey in a short and concise manner.

Anyway, I got 'er done and sent 'er in.

Then afterwards, I went and rewarded myself with a snack.  Aren't they cute?

This bag lady really likes what's in those bags.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Whirlwind

Piles of stuff, ready for move in
It's just a whirlwind of preparation here at the Thomas household, with recently returning from our camping adventure and preparing for our move this weekend into our new lodge.

Yesterday I finished the mountains of laundry from our weekend vacation.

Today I will work on a little writing assignment for our family's pretzel business.  (More on that later.)

Tomorrow I will purchase cart loads of groceries to take us through our move in week.

Saturday - Let the loading, hauling, and moving in commence.

Puppy Sheila is simply exhausted from this whirlwind of activity.  She has happily accompanied son Caleb from home to the lodge and back again, many times over the last several months.  She always seems to find her way back to her favorite corner spot on the couch.  If I remove that blanket for washing, she wanders around the house not knowing what to do with herself.

Reports coming in with news of the grandchildren are always good to receive.  Grandson Jarrod (15) is nearing the end of his first year of high school, and is involved with baseball.  He works at the local swimming lake during the summer - a great job for a young guy of his age.

His little sister Ellie (soon 3) had a nice time with the extended family at the Easter Sunday meal, in spite of a large furry bunny that continually circulated throughout the restaurant.  By the end of the meal, Ellie finally conceded a small wave and a grin towards the rabbit.

Twin granddaughters Tori and Brianna (almost 8) are still showing everyone their character autograph books, Disney princess gowns, and Mickey Mouse earrings from their recent Disney World trip.  It's so obvious to everyone that they had a magical and memorable trip.

Daughter Sarah got a good report from her obstetrician yesterday.  With only 3 1/2 weeks until delivery (or less, I predict), baby Gabriel is preparing for his grand entry.  The doc says everything looks fine and the baby is in good position for birth.  Of course I keep my phone in my pocket at all times, and I'm ready to drop everything and make the seven hour drive to be with Sarah and Lance when the time comes.

Workers arrived here in our yard yesterday morning and began the process of Spring clean up.  First they took an inventory of which plants and bushes had not survived the Winter and would need to be replaced.  Then they trimmed, pruned, and removed all debris and any dead branches.  All the garden beds were raked, cleaned out, and re-edged.

First thing this morning new plants were delivered and placed around, ready for planting.  Later today a truck of mulch will arrive, and the workers will do the spreading.

Another day a different work crew will come and service the water feature, and a third crew will start repairing our lawn and planting new grass.  Our yard took a serious beating last summer when we had all the workers and their equipment in for weeks while they replaced our roof, soffits, eaves, and part of the siding.

We've begun to bring out the summer patio furniture, too.  Typically in the summer we enjoy several meals outside every day when weather is good.  Neighbors are always welcome, too.

I had a few pictures remaining to show you from our recent camping trip.  We saw numerous deer over the five days we camped, and they all seemed to be of good size and have healthy coats.  Obviously they are eating well.

At the lake we saw several of these.  Grebes?

And finally, I just realized I had recently passed my two year Blogiversary.
Here was my very first trial blog post:

Two years!  Time certainly seems to fly when you're having fun.

Let the whirlwind continue...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

First RV Outing Includes an "Oh Crap" Event

The husband had some extra vacation days surrounding the Easter weekend, so we eagerly made a reservation for our first camping trip of the season.  We were able to secure site #9, our favorite site, at the campground in the Bald Eagle State Park in Howard, Pennsylvania.

We spent part of last week un-winterizing our fifth wheel from the LONG winter we've had here in central Pennsylvania, happily assuring ourselves that there had been no water leaks, vermin infestation, or any other catastrophe since last Fall.

Groceries, clothing, and plenty of books, magazines and movies had been packed.  The truck was gassed up, loaded with a small supply of firewood, hitched to the fiver, and ready to roll.

We were so happy and anxious to get our camping adventures of the season started, and to the best of our recollection, we had never camped this early in the spring before.

Our departure day was bright and sunny.  (A rarity here in central PA.)

Bob examines the damage
We didn't get very far from home when it happened, that "oh crap" event.  In fact, we had only traveled about 20 feet down our alley....

Our alley is tight.  Our camper is huge.  And... that's all it took.

We got a little too far to the left going down the alley, and when we turned right to exit the alley, well,  "oh crap" happened.  I looked back and discovered we had boogered up the neighbor's garage as we made that fateful turn.

I should have "spotted" Bob down the alley.

I didn't.  Not thinking, I just got in the truck with him, and off we went.

Lesson learned.

After looking over the damage, Bob seems to think it won't be that hard to fix.  He claims that when he is done with the repair, it will be better than it was.

Primarily the damage occurred at the rear corner of the structure,

Neighbor's damage
and at the rear left of our camper.

Our damage
Of course we reported the incident immediately to our neighbor, and she was more than gracious about it all.  We have been neighbors for the 33 years we've lived in this neighborhood, and honestly, we could not want for better neighbors.  Our kids grew up together, and these are good people.  

She urged us to go on our way and not think twice about what had happened.  She rejoiced with us at the news that our daughter's recent surgery showed no cancer this time.  She reminded us that the blessing of Easter was right around the corner.  She stated that compared to those two things, this garage damage is negligible.  

In fact, she even joked about how she is so thankful that at least we didn't scratch the paint on the garage doors.

We left with a promise to her that we'd make it right, and she wished us well and waved us off.

It was a quiet drive to the campground, as you can imagine.  Very quiet.  Bob was feeling bad about what had happened.  I was wracking my brain to think of some local RV storage facility for the future, so that we could avoid the hassle of getting in and out of our tight spot in that narrow alley.

En route we stopped to eat at a new-to-us restaurant and to purchase some repair supplies at a nearby Lowe's.  

Our spirits perked up when we were greeted at the campground entrance by a beautiful indigo bunting.   It's been a long time since we've seen one of those.

Arriving at our campsite, we found the campground to be almost empty.  There was only one or two other camping units in our loop, and only a few more joined us over the weekend.  We like it quiet and peaceful like that.  

After setting up, I went inside, made the bed, and did a bit of dusting and vacuuming.  No matter how clean I leave it at the end of a camping year, it still always seems to need a bit of freshening at the start of the next season.

Outside, Bob was tackling the damage to the camper.  He loaded the seam with plenty of caulk, and attempted to bend the corner piece back until a new one can be installed.  

That evening we turned on the "fire" in our indoor fireplace to take the chill out of the air.  We relaxed and did some reading.

Throughout our five days away we saw loads of wildlife around the campground, including 2 grebes, 1 bald eagle, several deer, a bluebird on a stop sign (there are a bazillion bluebird boxes around the park), 1 humongous ground hog (the size of a small bear), and a coyote that ran straight across the hillside adjacent to our campsite.  

Driving by the lake, we saw several grebes, ducks and one especially sparkling tree that had been fully "decorated" with plenty of shiny fishing lures and bobbers.

On Easter we had our first campfire of the season.  It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and we sat out near the fire and soaked up the sunshine for quite a while.

Now that we are back home, the rest of this week I'll be organizing more and preparing the final details for our move into the new lodge.  The moving in process has already somewhat begun.  Appliances are being installed, and carpets are being laid.  The workmen are wrapping up many loose ends as I write this.  The first batch of furniture will be delivered on Friday, and son Caleb with his puppy Sheila will be there to meet the delivery truck.  From there on, each day will have its own delivery, and set up will continue all next week.

Some folks have asked for clarification about this new place of ours.  No, I am not selling or leaving my home, nor moving out of town.  This new lodge is a vacation home that (sort of) replaces our old cabin.  In fact, it is built in very close proximity to that old cabin.  I am so excited about the new lodge that I expect I will rarely go back to the old cabin.  After all, this one has SHOWERS and a DISHWASHER!

I will share pictures as the move progresses and as things come together and are fully set up. 

And until all that is done, please bear with me - I may be a bit sporadic with blogging. 

Plus, grandbaby #5 will be making his appearance soon.....

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Tiny Dancer

Granddaughter Ellie loves to dress up.

When she gets home every day after "school," she immediately strips down and picks out one of her dress-up outfits to wear for the next few hours.  Usually it's a princess dress, of course.

Ellie loves princesses, and she especially loves Elsa, the princess of Arendelle, in the Disney movie "Frozen." Elsa is the character who has the ability to create ice and snow and who belts out that blockbuster song that we are hearing a lot these days, "Let it Go."

At my last visit to daughter Lindsay's home, I brought along a special gift for Ellie.  No special occasion - just for fun.

Watch as she opens her very own DVD copy of "Frozen:"  (in her swimsuit)

It wasn't long before she was dressed up and dancing to the movie tunes.

It is uncanny how this two year old has memorized so many of the song's lyrics and also knows all the movements the Elsa character will make at any point in the song.

Sometimes Ellie gets ready for the big stage screen, and that's when she dons her blue princess dress and her clear clomp clompy high heels.  Take your seats, everyone.  Ellie's gonna need the entire room for this performance.

I was a dancer many years ago in my youth, too.  When I turned just five years old, my parents enrolled me in ballet and tap classes at a nearby studio, the Wyomissing Institute of Fine Arts, in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.  

That was back in the days when dance studios had live piano accompanists.  

Miss Patty taught us dance, while Miss Edie played the piano accompaniment.  Of course there was a wall of mirrors in the front of the studio and ballet bars on two of the other walls.  On the fourth wall was a long bench on which sat the parents and younger siblings.  

Each of us had our own fancy dance bag.  Mine had two handy compartments - one held my ballet shoes and the other larger compartment contained my tap shoes.  

Every week our class included three components - ballet, tap, and some very basic floor gymnastics.

At the end of each class year a dance recital was held at the Wyomissing High School.  I remember taking my little suitcase to these recitals.  It contained my various costumes, my dance shoes, and hair and make-up supplies.  The dance classes lined the hallways with their suitcases, and I sat next to my little blue case until we were called to head for the stage.  

In my first dance recital I danced a tap number, "Do Re Me" and a simple ballet song, "I Feel Pretty."

When my three daughters were little, they also wanted to dance.  Daughter Rachel learned after one year of dancing that it really wasn't her thing.  Later she gravitated towards, well, motorcycles.  Daughters Lindsay and Sarah especially loved ballet and jazz, and both danced from the time they were three years old until their late teens.  When they finally gave up dancing for other life adventures, they had both been dancing on pointe for several years and had made several good friendships with some of the other long term dancers in their classes.

With all the ladies in this family that love to dance, I guess it should come as no surprise that now Ellie loves to dance, too.

It's in her genes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Young Musician

Ciel (left) and a friend
The beautiful teenager across the street, Ciel, is having the time of her life.  Currently she is on a bus trip to Nashville with the high school music department.  I've been following her daily facebook posts and pictures from the road, and let me tell you, she is having some fabulous opportunities.

This girl is quite the artist.  Not only does she sing, she also plays an instrument, and is a serious ballerina, too.  And, along with being good at what she does, all the photos easily convey that she loves every minute of what she is doing.

And so I love watching her.

Recently she sent this message from the road:  "So yesterday I got the chance to sing on the Grand Ole Opry stage on the sacred circle... I was so nervous and happy that I started to tear up... My biggest dream just came true!"

Congratulations, Ciel!

I'm often reminded of my own early involvement in music.  I spent many years learning to play the piano and participating in middle school and high school music groups.  I also had a few opportunities to sing with and accompany the county chorus.  Later I accompanied soloists and the church choir for special events.

Oddly enough, what I really remember most about those performance years, are the very earliest of my recitals.

My piano teacher had a recital every three months and she held them in the tiny piano studio in her home.  We were required to memorize our pieces, and we were taught how to introduce ourselves to the other performers properly.  Only students of hers were in the audience, no parents or families.

For example, Mrs. Homan would say "next - Jill Sturgis."  That was my cue to get up, stand before the group, and say "I will be performing 'Dancing Elves' by Munson."  At the end of the performance while the others were applauding, we were required to take a bow.

God help us if we got stuck and forgot our music.  Although that never happened to me, I did watch as others sweated their way through some terribly botched pieces.

Program from one of my early public recitals
At the end of these little recitals, Mrs. Homan would disappear into a side door, and re-enter carrying a tray of ice cream cups (chocolate and vanilla) with little wooden "spoons" and a basket of pretzels.  We would eat in silence (mostly) then leave when we could see our parents drive up out front.

I was always glad when those recitals were over.  By then I was sick to death of the piece I had worked on so hard and long for that performance.  Plus, each of those recitals wiped out a perfectly good Saturday afternoon.

In my ongoing efforts at decluttering my home, I recently came across several of the programs from my earliest days as a little musician.

The one you see at the left was perhaps the first recital in which I performed that was held in a public auditorium.  Guests and families were invited.  It was a dress up affair, as I remember.

To this day, I can still play parts of Beethoven's Fur Elise.

Another program I found was from a Piano Festival held in the Albright College Field House, in Reading, Pennsylvania.  In this festival there were 26 pianos, arranged in a pattern so that two pianists at every piano could all see the conductor in the front.

26 pianos x 4 hands on each = massive sound

All that sound required a huge venue, and so the field house at that college selected for the festival.

Funny thing, my father had graduated from college there, and years later I was the graduation speaker at my own high graduation in that very same space.

Oh, in case you're wondering, I played in the group that performed J. F. Harrison's "Wild West Suite:  On The Lone Prairie, The Indians Meet for War, and Square Dance."

I unearthed a number of other ancient momentos, but I'll save them for another post.

In the meantime, Ciel, you keep enjoying yourself down there in Nashville and making lots of good memories.

Someday you may be blogging about them.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Miracle?

Lindsay recovering after her surgery
Yes, we believe so and wanted to share our good news with you all.

You may recall that daughter Lindsay had surgery last Monday, to remove a lymph node in her neck that the doctors were all identifying as cystic and abnormal.  She has been battling thyroid cancer for the last nine years, and after numerous surgeries, lymph removals and bad reports over the years, frankly we were praying for a miracle.  For a good report.  For no cancer.

Well that is just what we got this morning.  Her surgeon called to notify her that the lab report said "NO CANCER."

Our entire family is rejoicing in this little miracle, and whatever the future may hold, TODAY IS A GREAT DAY, and we are thankful for her good news.

Son Caleb with his girlfriend Stacy
In other random bits of news around here, our church has requested that son Caleb go in today and film the video announcements for Easter Sunday.  There is an actual "green room" permanently set up there where the weekly announcements are filmed and made into a weekly video.

That can only mean two things:  one - there will be several thousand people in attendance that morning, so that practically makes him a movie star, and two - Caleb is most certainly cooking up some comedy for the filming as I write this.  I saw that little twinkle in his eye when he told me where he is going.

Too bad I'll miss it - we are going camping this weekend for our maiden voyage of the season.

And, speaking of camping, the husband/lover/handyman has been busy over the weekend installing stabilizers on our fifth wheel.  He's got the two front ones on, and says he'll put the back two on while we are camping.

He also made an appointment to conveniently get the camper's yearly inspection done on our way to the campground.  We were able to reserve our favorite site at the Bald Eagle State Park in northern central Pennsylvania.  Our site offers a good view of the hillside which is usually teaming with all sorts of bird and other wildlife.  We make good use of our binoculars while camping in that spot.

In other upcoming adventures, we are preparing for our April 28th move in to our new lodge, two weeks from today.  What that really means for me is that my "hoarding" days are rapidly coming to an end.  Today I unpacked many of the purchases we have made for the lodge over the last six months, consolidated and rearranged, and labeled boxes for a smooth move in.

It will be good to have my home office back to normal again.

Daughter Sarah
Out in Ohio, daughter Sarah informs us that she is having Braxton Hicks contractions every now and then.
 Although her baby's due date is May 19th, all my babies came early and they say daughters typically follow their mothers in birth trends.  So, we anxiously await this little guy's arrival.  I hope he has the good sense not to interfere with our lodge move in week, although we will be unpacking and setting up a brand new crib and rocking chair to accommodate him and any other little ones that will come for a visit.

I've already been planning meals for the week of our move in, and while doing so I came across an article in Prevention Magazine (November 2013) about the next big thing in protein.

Apparently it's insects.  The article claims that "If insects are the next big thing in protein, then cricket flour is the gateway bug.  Ground crickets provide 5 to 7 g of protein in these bars from Chapul, with a taste entirely obscured by lime and ginger."

For a mere $17 you can get 6 cricket bars.

No.  Thank.  You.

In other silly news, I learned a new word this week, and you all know how much I like finding new words.  This one is the best ever:

jillick - to skip a stone across a pond

I suppose it's no surprise I love that word, huh?

And finally, and this is really random, I can't believe he ate those mushrooms!  I'm hooked on watching that Sunday night television show, "Naked and Afraid" on the Discovery Channel.  Last night the male contestant made a very foolish decision and ate an unidentified mushroom.  It wasn't long before he had a reaction in his mouth, and soon after that he became very ill.  Whether the illness was a result of eating the mushrooms or simply some sort of jungle virus is unknown.  Either way, I've gotta say, "What was he thinking?"

The contestants in their hut in Malaysia
Have a great day folks.  Eat crickets, not mushrooms.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Saturday Night and I Ain't Got No Money,..."

And that's because I wrote out my checks and paid my taxes.

I mailed them today, two whole days before the April 15th deadline, which is highly unusual for me.

And no, I didn't crinkle up the envelopes, roll my office chair back and forth over them, and stomp on them with muddy boots before mailing.

Gotta keep the Infernal Revenue Service happy.

Nuff said.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Curtains, But Not From Wal-mart!

Some of the lodge curtains, ready to go
Our April 28th move-in-to-our-new-lodge date is rapidly approaching, and with only about two weeks left until then we are finalizing our shopping and other preparations.  The womenfolk are even planning what meals will be the first ones prepared in our new kitchen.

To say the family is excited is a ridiculous understatement.  We.  Are.  Beside.  Ourselves.

I was busy at work over the last two days doing what I can to check things off our lists, namely sewing curtains for five of the rooms in the lodge.  That sounds like a lot, and although it was a bit of work, really each of those rooms just has one window.  But, I can now say five rooms are curtained, and that sounds to me like good progress has been made.

Curtains, packed and ready for move in
We are all anxious in our own ways.

My father says he cannot wait to see how our selected furnishings will look when finally put in place.

My mother says she looks forward to reading a good book in front of the beautiful fireplace.

My husband anticipates relaxing on the deck in front of the outdoor fire.

I look forward to cooking and baking in the spacious kitchen.  (With a modern dishwasher.)

My son hopes he is the first to poop in the new lodge.

I still had some shopping to accomplish and add to the LODGE PILE, and since it was 70 degrees and sunny this morning, I figured it was a good time to go to Wal-mart and git er done.  (I forgot - it's never a good time to go to Wal-mart, especially not on a Friday or Saturday.)  However, we don't get many of those sunny, pleasant days here in central Pennsylvania, so it seemed that everyone wanted to be out, and many of them ended up at our local Wal-mart.

Wal-mart was, well, Wal-mart:

There were the girls from the Williamsport Storm baseball team, selling Krispie Creme donuts out front.

The were multitudes of families buying rubber fishing boots, as today is the opening day of Trout Fishing in Pennsylvania.

There were carts full of pastel eggs, cellophane grasses, and chocolate bunnies.

Folks were loading shovels and rakes and pansies into their pick up trucks.

There were idiots making u-turns in the main thoroughfare right in front of the store.

There were teeny boppers with goosebumps wearing very teeny shorts.

Puppies were locked in hot cars.

A little boy proudly walked his brand spankin' new neon orange two wheel bike up to the cashier.

There were grannies in house dresses and slippers.  (The hubby said, "Don't you EVER do that to me.")

Two out of every three male shoppers were wearing camo clothing.

Out front there were massive stacks of potting soil, ready for the season.

And finally, plenty of campers were parked out in Camp Wally.

We took care of our business, and got the heck outta there.

And no, I didn't go anywhere near the curtains aisle.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Martha Stewart For a Day

Ironing my new curtains
I'm pretending I'm Martha, just for the day.  For some unexplained reason, I got into this mood to do a bit of home decor upgrading, and so I'm being creative and crafty.  Martha and I could be best friends.  Today only.   (I don't like her wardrobe.)

It all started about a week ago when I decided to change out my bedroom and eliminate its winter look.  I wanted something way more happy looking, lighter and brighter.  So, I put away the heavy dark purple comforter and curtains.

At TJ Maxx I scored a great deal on a new bedspread and two shams.  For some reason I always find great bargains there on bedding items.  I also found some coordinating placemats there in a very bright green for the dressers and nightstands.  Several days later I found curtains at Wal-mart in the same green.

So, today I am ironing the curtains and putting the new look together.

For some reason, I've just never been one to do much ironing.  I've become a master at "fluffing" all those ironables in the dryer, then hanging them.  There are very few items that I feel compelled to iron, but new curtains out of the package - yes, definitely them.  I like my curtains to look crisply pressed.

As I ironed those four curtain panels, I got to thinking about my trusty iron.  That little appliance is almost 36 years old now, as it was a wedding gift to me that many years ago.  I don't even know if that brand (Jewel) is still manufactured today, but this little gem sure has served me well for many years.

My ironing board, too, is almost the same age.  It's two years younger, and that is because the first apartment we lived in after getting married had one of those little closets with a hidden pull down ironing board.  We purchased a stand alone board when we moved into our home.

Although I don't iron many things, I do use the iron and board a lot when I sew.  My grandmother taught me to sew when I was a teenager, and I clearly remember her telling me that if I wanted the things I sewed to look professionally made, I should iron before and after every step of the process.

So yeah, that ironing board has seen quite a few projects over the years.  In fact, the cover on the board is pretty much disintegrating and is stained from all the steam ironing over the years.  I should probably replace it one of these days.

The ironing done, I proceeded to create my new spring-ish bedroom look. Curtains are hung, the bedspread and pillow shams are on, and placemats are in place on the table tops.  Walking in there now gives me an uplifting, happy feeling.  Lots of light and nice bright colors.

I even added an old painting, done by my grandfather many years ago, of a fisherman on a lake.  It makes me smile and think of him when I see it.

Then later, I visited with another old friend - my ancient sewing machine, another gift many years ago.  My parents presented it to me upon my college graduation.  At the time, it was a state of the art piece.

However, it had been so long since I'd done any sewing that I was almost wondering if I'd even remember how to thread the machine.  I guess it's kinda like riding a bike, though - it always comes back to you.

After another few minutes I had a cute little valance to install in my upstairs bathroom.  Again, using my newest favorite color - bright green.

After such a long winter, I seem to want everything bright and happy around me, and as far as bathrooms go, this one definitely is.

My sewing machine and iron will get some more action tomorrow, as I'll be working on curtains for a number of the windows at our new lodge.

Martha Stewart would be so happy.