Friday, February 26, 2010

Show Us Your Life - Collections

This week KellysKorner is having Show Us Your Life - Collections. I haven't entered in a while because we have just been so unbelieveably busy! But I thought I would like to sit down a moment and show my collection of Russian things. It has taken me many years to get this far and there is far more stuffed in boxes under my bed, in the garage and at my mom's storage. I left my camera in my car (husband took it) and so I snapped these quick photos with my iPhone.

When I was a child I feel in love with Russia. Maybe because Texas is always so hot, I wanted to go somewhere colder, maybe because the photos look so pretty... maybe the rich history of the country... maybe all of those. I just fell in love. When I was around nine years old I found this picture in an old book in my town library. I tore it out and promised myself that when I had my own home it was going to go somewhere in it. It now sits atop my mantle. Read more about the picture here. I used to have a whole collection of nesting dolls on my mantle but decided it was time to do something a little more grown up.. so down they went and up this went. I found out about eBay several years ago and this is where the majority of my pieces came from. It's funny because when I started collecting them they really weren't expensive (probably why I have so much) and now they can get pretty pricy! These plates are all from the Bradford Exchange. I have 20. Each one depicts a fairytale (skazki) or some story. There are still many more plates in the collection but I don't want to overdo it!
These are a couple of my favorites....

This one shows the Red Square during a New Year Celebration... This particular plate is really hard to find and can get expensive.
Another one of my favorites. This style is super expensive and I found this one for around $10 and was sooo super excited to get it for such a steal. When I received it, it was cracked. I immediately went to the auction page and the seller did state that it was cracked. I was just too excited to pay attention. I love it anyway!
I think this one is my favorite...Snegurechka...the Snow Maiden. She was one of my first purchases and I love her!
These are small versions of the Russian tray. There are supposed to be four but Lena knocked on down and I have put it back up yet. I also have three above the pantry door but I didn't take a photo of that because Emil knocked one down being silly and never put it back up! These trays and the plates are all hand painted.
This is my wall of Russian cutting boards. They are all hand carved. Some of them are hand painted and depict some type some of story. The big one in the left corner, I out bid my friend on. You should have seen her face when she came to my house!

This is the other half of my wall with more cutting boards....
Svetlana brought me this clock from Russia. I am sooooo happy. I love, love, love it. This style is called Khokhloma (hock-low-mah). The big Khokhloma tray above was also given to me by Sveta. She told me the next time she comes she wants me to serve food on it. I am too scared.. it's sooo pretty!
These are my Russian tea cozies. They are quilted underneath and are to be placed on top of the tea pot to keep the water hot. Please click here to look at more pictures of them. It's worth it!
I bought this tray of Ivan and the Firebird. I love this tray.. I love the vibrant colors, I just don't have anywhere to put it. So for now he lays in a kitchen drawer.

These Russian dolls are so beautiful. They have porcelain faces and hands. I love the intricate dresses and head pieces. I had many more but I was sick a few years back (at our previous home) and thought I put my tea kettle on and instead put on a pan of grease. The stove caught on fire and my dolls burned. I was so sad. Now they are so expensive I haven't been able to begin collecting them again. This one Svetlana brought when she visited from Russian. She's about nine inches tall. I love, love, love her! She used to be on my mantle and now lives on my dresser!
This necklace and earring set is in a style called finift. It's all hand painted. The necklace broke and I haven't had Emil repair it yet (my jewelry is always last!).
These collectible are in the style of gzhel. They are produced in major ceramics center just south of Moscow. This is just a dribble of figurines my mother-in-law gave me.
There are gzhel tea sets, serving dishes, chandeliers and name it! I definately want to expand my collection of gzhel!
I thought I had my collection of Russian lacquer boxes on here but I didn't post that photo. So, you can click here and see them. Again, these are just a few of the ones that I own. I had given my mother a lacquer box with the Snowmaiden on it. At the time it was around $10 and now those boxes easily go for around $50.
Thank you so much for stopping by and looking at my collection of Russin items. I hope you enjoyed them. See more of everyone collections here!
Tomorrow I plan to go to the Home and Garden show at the Alamodome. It's supposed to be huge and some hosts from various shows on HGTV (my fav) are going to be there so I surely don't want to miss that! I'm going to dig out my comfy tennis shoes and get ready for tomorrow! Sunday we are going to a going away party for a co-worker. She is moving to North Carolina because her husband comes home from Afghanistan mid-March and will be stationed in No. Carolina. I will miss her so much, she is such a sweet and genuine person but I hope to visit her there! What do you have planned for this weekend? Anything exciting? Or one of those wonderful, quiet weekends at home?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Let's Rodeo San Antonio (2010)

Lisa and I had been planning for a couple of weeks to take our kids to the rodeo on Thursday. Since my girls are homeschooled and she took the day off to take Jakob to the dentist we thought we'd meet up afterwards and go before all the crowds start. We made it perfect! There really wasn't alot of people until we were leaving.

Last year when we went to the rodeo CC was having a sore throat and Lena was at home with tons of fever. Both girls ended up going to Goodnight Pediatric that night and both tested positive for the flu....and both girls had gotten their vaccines, so last year wasn't a fun time for them. This year, however, we had a blast!

When we got there it was alot of auctions going on and a lot of people just sitting on bleachers and benches and then kids and older people showing their pigs and cows. The angus cows were beautiful! I have always loved angus cows... HOWEVER... the smell as you walked through the barns was simply disgusting! I nearly threw up several was horrid!
I did get a photo of one little cutie laying in his pen. Up close the piggies and cows are really beautiful!
As we were walking through one of the big barns toward the shopping area and rodeo grounds I saw a girl with zebra cowboy boots. Of course I joked about it to the girls, but if I were going to wear cowboy boots I would totally wear zebra print ones!
It was nice and sunny and cool... on the edge of cold!

The tickets were so expensive...the rides were at least four or five dollars a piece.
While walking through the games section we saw a booth advertising the World's Smallest Woman. It was only a dollar a person to walk through and see her. The loud speaker was saying she will talk back to you. We all thought it must be some type of illusion.

I wished it was. What we saw made us so very, very sad. Behind this man was cube set up about waist height and sitting behind that cube, looking at that white wall, was a very small lady. I think she must have been a dwarf. Her legs were about the size of my elbow to my wrist....she was mentally normal, sane. She was dressed in modern clothes and was playing on her blackberry when we walked back to look at her. And that is what we did...look at her. It was so sad and so disgusting. A person put on display like this because of her physical deformity. She said she was from Haiti, all her family is still there, this was her first time in Texas and she was 34 years old. I didn't know what to say or how to act. How does one person pay to look at another's deformity? I felt so disgusted and sad. I put some dollars in her bucket and we all left feeling uneasy.
I think about the other people who come in there to look at her and might not have the compassion we had. I can only imagine them looking at her and laughing in her face and mocking her. No one deserves this, no matter what their physical condition is. When we spoke to her she didn't even look at us. I think she made eye contact once, maybe twice. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen and I feel so ashamed I took part in it.
Further down the way we saw a display for the World's Smallest Horse. This I don't mind looking at. It's an animal and it's not getting mocked. We all assumed it was a miniture pony.
My girlies looking at........
the miniture pony! The sign said "No pictures" but these were all taken with my iPhone, so I don't think anyone noticed!
Speaking of expensive rides... Lisa and I took the kids on the Haunted Mansion. We paid a total of $18 to sit in a miners cart and go through about 30 seconds of darkness. There were four cheap, pathetic light up spooks that skreeched went you went past them.
We wanted to ride bigger, faster rides but Jakob wasn't tall enough and I didn't want to get on a ride and leave the little ones standing their alone. That is just not safe at all... so we just walked around, ate and shopped!

My girls above and with Jakob below....
We did let the kiddos play bumper cars.... poor Lena couldn't get hers to work. It just kept going around in circles and bumping into the parked cars. But she had fun and that's all that counts!
After bumper cars we saw this attraction... Half snake, half woman... notice it says body of an ugly snake, head of a beautiful girl.....
The beautiful girl was in fact an old, wrinkled up, sounding like she'd been smoking since she was 5, fresh off the street crack head.... ugh!
This was the best photo I could get because of the light glare. It was a mirror and she was sitting under a platform and it was really dumb!
We kept seeing booths for airbrushed t-shirts, caps, hoodies and beanies. CC really, really wanted one, so I finally gave in and bought some things.
The air brush artist is making my beanie in the above photo and sealing the image with a hot iron press below.
Finished product...sprayed with glitter of course! Ta-dah! I like it. Will I ever wear it? Probably not, but it was only $3 and it's cute... who knows?
Lena got one and we made Emil one that says "Beba" but he says it's "ghetto" and wouldn't even try it on. Oh well, at least I tried!
CC picked out a really neat design at a different booth. I think it compliments her perfectly!
We were going to buy Mom a mug that changes pictures when hot liquid is put in it but CC insisted we get her the Tinkerbell air-brushed shirt. I'm glad we did. Tink is her favorite and it came out beautiful!
This artist was great! But the first time he did her shirt he spelled out "Rhonda" and not "Bonnie" so we had to have him redo it.
Lisa and I both couldn't wait to get our hands on a funnel cake. You CAN'T go to the rodeo and not eat a funnel cake. They gave the option of adding cherries or apples for a dollar but neither one of us did, I wished I would have gotten the apples!
When I was little my grandmother would make me fresh homemade funnel cakes and I loved it. That is one of my good memories of her.. that and her apple pie, her aurora borealis earrings, Coty powder, giving me bags of her old make-up..... These funnel cakes brought her back to me for a few minutes and it was nice, however, it wasn't as good as hers!
After five hours of walking around we decided to head back to the car. I have been looking for a new purse and I knew what I had in mind I just couldn't find it. The coliseum was full of vendors so we walked through there and I found exactly! what I have been looking for....
I called Emil and told him I was very sad. He asked why and I told him because I found the perfect purse and I want it so bad.... he said yes and I took it home with me! I love, love, love this purse. Inside it has the softest teal satin lining and it's so big and roomy.
Right now as I type my girls are being so silly! One is sitting on the skateboard holding the handle of Luigi's leash and the other is holding the other end and pulling the skateboard. CRAZY!
I'm about to head out to Taco Cabana to meet Lisa for Margarita's. After this week I definately would like to sip a nice cold strawberry margarita to just help me wind down and relax!
I don't have much planned this weekend and I like that. I really want to rent the past few seasons of Big Love so I can catch up before I watch my DVR'd episodes from this season. That's really about it. What about you? Do you have anything special or exciting planned?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Karmic Retribution

Just a quick post.... no pictures... yesterday my alarm didn't ring..or I now see Emil and I slept right through it... so I came into work a minute! Dorothy (my boss) tells me I need to be careful I was late this morning and I was late coming back from lunch with Adam the day before... yada yada yada. Then she jumped on Adam about being late. She told him he was 8 minutes late and he had to make up 15 minutes for those 8 minutes. He told her no... his phone showed he was 3 minutes late. He stood his ground and I don't know the outcome. Anyway.... she told Adam that we run on Frost Bank time... which is wierd because we are BBVA Compass.. but anyway. Ok, so supposedly we run on Frost time. At break (8:00 a.m.) I called Frost and it said "Frost Bank time 7:57 a.m.) Hmmmm I think Compass is NOT on Frost time, which happens to be UNIVERSAL time, the same time that ALL our computers are set to.... I think Compass is running on Dorothy's time. So I let her know that of the three clocks in the office, two are two minutes ahead of Frost and one is three minutes ahead. So, since we are on Frost time, I was on time by one clock and one minute late on two clocks. Hence, our clocks are WRONG! She just kept saying, "I don't know what to tell you April, I don't know what to say." How about saying you're sorry and that you will change those stupid clocks! ~~OK~~ So today we, all of Compass, was down .. the whole computer networking system was down. No work could be run.. no checks deposited...nothing. All we could do was open and prep the accounts.. which we did. Eveyone was going nuts and worrying, deadlines were looming. Nice... I love that karma paid them a visit and had them on their toes, worrying about time..time...time... just like we ALL have to worry about time because no one knows which stupid clock to set our watches too. It's a guessing game! Well, the system finally came on around 11, when every one went to lunch and I was left to begin inputting all the workfiles in. I had a huge percent of it done by the time everyone came back. All they had to do was key in some checks! So the point of this story... Dorothy was concerned about time for once, not ours, but HER deadlines (hahaha) and secondly, she saw that yes, I may come in a minute or two late once or twice a year, but I do my work and I do it damn good and whether she likes it or not she NEEDS me!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A year older (CC) and Guests!!

Lots to catch up on this past week. I called in Monday and Tuesday because CC was sick. Then Lena got sick... I went to work Wednesday and Thursday. Then Thursday night Stas came over and told us our back tire was low. Emil and I went later to check and the passenger rear was flat and the driver rear was very low. We went to fill it up with air and the flat tire just deflated... we could hear the air whistle out and watch the tire get flatter and flatter. Papa Bear changed the tire to the donut and I had to call in again Friday morning!
Wednesday, my baby CC turned 14! I can't even imagine where the time went! I loved dressing her up in dresses with big bows and matching socks... and now she's wearing makeup and flatironing her hair. I want my weetle weetle baby back!
This is our last photo of her 13 years old. And we've been so busy here I haven't had a chance to get the first 14 year old photo yet. She is such a good girl. I really have no big complaints about CC. This is good! I think alot of that is attributed to her being homeschooled and away from those influences that can really change young people's minds. The only big thing we argue about it her music ( I think this had been a child/parent arguement for ages) and her wearing high heels...with EVERYTHING! Even when she cleans the house she likes to wear high heels! I have one thing to say.... Thank God this is all we argue about!
Mom has also been spending time with us. Since she planned on staying a few nights we decided to bring along Bella, her Russin Blue cat. Bella is mean, grouchy, fussy.... and so very pretty! Charlie doesn't like the idea very much. They just sit and stare and growl at each other. So far she has been in CC's room and Charlie has free roam of the's HIS house after all!
Since I love getting all my pictures and posts out of order, I thought it appropriate to let you know we lit the fireplace last Sunday night. This is the first time this winter we lit it. I love, love, love my fireplace. I usually light it every chance I get (which isn't alot in San Antonio) but this winter I just never made time to go in and get some firewood.
Lena is still hooked on Rock Band. She unlocked the Endless Set List 2. She hasn't been able to complete it yet because I WILL NOT let her sit down and play 82 songs non-stop! I tried my hand at the's fun.... but I LOVE my drums!
Mom made sausage rolls for us....all from scratch! Let me tell you... there is nothing like having a warm, homemade sausage roll early in the morning when you have to go to work in the cold rain! Well.... there is nothing like my mom's sausage rolls....period!
Mom is going to visit my sister this weekend. Bella is still here and will be til Mom gets back. It's nice to have this four day workweek. And it was kinda nice to be back at work. I had lunch with Adam today. We had bar-be-que and he showed me lots of ins and outs about my new i-phone. I'm still playing with it and it seems to be really, really nice!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I've been bad!....(For You, Mom)

I've been a very bad blogger. I tell you just how much I plan to get back on track here and then I fall off the wagon ....again! But it's ok... lots of pictures coming up!


You know how I love my Charlie. Everyone knows how I love my Charlie! In fact, Mom gets disgusted with how much I love my Charlie.. so Mom, this one is for you.... this posting will start and end with a picture of your mostest favoritest grandson!

And try as I may I never can seem to get my photos in perfect order. Yesterday Lena and I made a stop at Starbucks while CC's medicine was being prepared. (She has a bad sinus infection, lots of fever and today is my second day off). I just love this picture of Lena.... it just may become one of my favorites!

And now hoodless... we wanted to get my new favorite drink... Caramel Apple Spice....but they were out of the "apple" so Lena had a chocolate chip creme and I had a caramel frapp. Yes, it was windy and cold and we had iced coffees! We were the only customers there with cold drinks...we're crazy like that! But we brough CC home a Calm chai with honey.

Last Sunday, no the Sunday before that, January 31, was Mom's birthday. So we took her to LeMadeleine for lunch. It's one of her favorite places to go! My girls love it too!

We had a slice of the Sacher Torte (pronouced sass-shay). We also had this torte at Serg's birthday party. I've said it before... I don't like chocolate..but this may be the best chocolate cake/torte I have ever had in all my life! Delicious!

We also had flatbreads...

oh my they are so good! And I had a mini- creme brulee!

I think the balsmic chicken flatbread is my favorite (above)! I think I'm happy there isn't a LeMadeleine close to my work! I'd be broke and bigger than I already am!

We had a full table...lots of food...lots of conversation...lots of love.... a really great time!

Mommy with the girls outside. It was around 33 degrees out... they all just wanted me to snap the picture and let them run to the car!

That night was the grammy's so before meeting mom we went to Target and picked up the 3-D glasses for Michael Jackson's 3-D special.
It was ok... less than what was seen in his movie...This Is It.... in fact that's what I was asking myself when it was over.... All they hype and this is it? Nevertheless I love Michael Jackson and I think his children were the best part of the tribute.
I love how Luigi was sitting with CC here and watching Tv. I don't think he realizes he's a dog.
Lena preparing. What was really neat was that her shirt had a 3-d effect! It was so cool. It looked like the white hearts were jumping out at you. She's the only one who didn't get to see it though..poor baby!
Papa Bear and baby bear watching the tribute.....
The cold weather and being home made me feel like cooking.... so I made one of our family's favorite...chicken parmesan!
with none other than fettucine parmesan pasta......
It was delicious... every plate licked clean and not one piece for left-overs!
Mom has been spending some nights with us and it's been so much fun! I love having her over and it's so sad when she goes. I love having all that time to sit with her and talked and not be rushed to go anywhere or do anything. It was really nice and we are looking forward to many more sleepovers! BUT..... she has a problem with me and Charlie. She thinks our relationship is unhealthy (!) because of the way he loves me and I love him... the way we snuggle and sucks on my hair... he cries for me to hold him. He's my little boy! Soooo Mom.... Charlie and I would like to send this posting off with a picture of us...just for you!
We Love You!!!