Monday, December 31, 2007

It Was A Beautiful Christmas

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We celebrated on Christmas Eve at our house. It was a wonderful day.
We had:
Two sons, two daughters-in law, two grandsons, one granddaughter, two brothers-in law, two sisters-in law, assorted nephews, great nephews, a niece, a great niece, my sister, a girlfriend of one of our nephews, and three large dogs.
I don't know what made it so memorable for me, but it truly was. We had delicious food, lots of visiting, wrestling between the young ones after dinner, a saxophone solo, piano playing, music and a game at the end of the evening. I loved every minute of it. I am so grateful to be so blessed!
I received a wonderful mix of gifts: the girlie type...yummy bath soaps, hand lotions and some great food items, a pair of adorable egg cups with little chicken feet and a CD. I am the proud owner of My Very Own Tool Box. I have a small saw, a file, wire cutters, a level, a stud finder, screw drivers, hammers, a measuring tape, needle nosed pliers and wrenches. I am also the excited recipient of a gift certificate to Purl Soho! Whee!
Christmas morning was slow and equally delightful. Our granddaughter and her parents had stayed over. What is more fun than watching a three year old wax on excitedly over a Dora toothbrush or her very own first pair of scissors? She took her time opening her presents and of course helped her grandparents and parents unwrap their gifts. When asked what the name of the DVD was that her Poppy had gotten, she mused, "Um, um, mmmmm, I think it's called (long pause), The Way of the Hummingbird!" (It was the Bourne Ultimatum. Close, huh?)
I am thankful to have such special memories such as these.

I wish all of you the best of New Years, filled with health, love and peace.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

This Is Not A Political Blog

but I just cannot write about the beautiful Christmas we had. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to do it.
It seems almost obscene to wax on about how wonderful it was in view of what has happened. I want to scream, to pray, to enlist the hopes and needs of so many people in this world today. GOD help us. May we all reach out to people who are in situations so horrible that their hope is blown up before their eyes.
Rest in peace, may your death not be in vain. Help us all to love one another, to be gentle, to care and to walk in each other's shoes, to understand, to collectively hope and work for what saves us all.
a small p.s. i do not mean to dismiss anyone who writes about their holiday, happiness or wonderful Christmas. This is just me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Greetings..

For some unknown reason (me?) my scanner is not working so I will copy some of these words that seem so apt at this time. I wish anyone and all who come here now and then a blessed Christmas, Holiday Season...however you choose to celebrate. I fervently hope that each and all of you are surrounded by people you love, and people who love you.
May this coming year be filled with joy and when and if hard times come, as they do to all of us, may you be supported and held in comfort and grace.


What we hope for, pray for, live for, comes as a gift.

Christmas Blessings.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gift To Self

If you haven't read The Gift of The Magi by O Henry in a long time, or if you have not yet read it, take a few moments to reread it or to experience it for the first time. You can read it online if you don't have a copy.
I reread it this morning and it was a wonderful little present I gave to myself.
What a simply beautiful story to be treasured at this time of year.


Monday, December 10, 2007

An Early Christmas Gift

Our three year old granddaughter spent the weekend with us. She came down Friday evening with her Daddy. Mom stayed at home to have some R and R after her final exams. A well deserved rest for her, and a gift for us.
Samantha was a Busy Lizzy all weekend. We went for a walk on Saturday, she helped carry some plants in the nursery when she wasn't making mud pies, "feeding" the maples by putting spent leaves in the pots, and hitting every mud puddle she could possibly find.
Inside, she was "cooking", grocery shopping, arranging my Christmas bears and working on her Project. This project consisted of heavy stock paper, every sticker I could find, and random pencil squiggles on the paper.
Her enthusiasm for everything knows no bounds. Her pride in her accomplishments and joy of just Being is contagious.
My wish and prayer for her is that she can hang onto her enthusiasm, pride in her accomplishments and her sense of wonder for life. I fervently hope that the rug of childhood is not snatched out from underneath her too soon.
I know that before we turn around, she will care about what she puts on in the morning, she will be cognizant that her headbands she now wears backwards on her head are not "cool", and that she will soon begin to compare herself to others and may feel she comes up short. Someday too, she may want to be somewhere else rather than with her grandparents.
I am keeping safe the memories of these times we have. I am going to remember always this weekend when she declared, "Gams, you are hilarious!", or "Gammie, you are my best friend!"
I am going to keep the sight of her hugging her Poppy and the memory of her draping pieces of my yarn all over her Daddy's head in a safe place.
Thank you, Samantha, for the gift of you. We are blessed.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy Birthday

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The birthday boy is pictured on the left.The one on the right is his brother, another one of my all-time favorite people.
I have read on a number of blogs how mothers are amazed at how time passes so the blink of an eye. Don't I know that!
Birthday boy, I know that you have forgiven me for leaving you at kindergarten, those many years ago, when there WAS NO school that day, when I got half way home and the light bulb exploded in my head!
I know that you have forgiven me the day I took my time coming out to check on you, the day your little brother kept running into the kitchen to tell me you had fallen off of your skateboard. Three times he ran in and three times I said I was coming. Your brother finally yelled, "MOM, Kevin's fallen off of his skateboard, and he is lying in the BUSHES!" I went out to find you and, sure enough, there you were in the bushes with a broken arm. My only excuse is that you were a tad bit overly dramatic in those days.
I have forgiven you for breaking my tail bone when you were born. You won't remember, but the rubber donut and I were inseparable for a year.
I have forgiven you for having to listen to your first grade teacher tell us that in all of her years of teaching, she had never had a child like you in her class. This was not uttered with a smile on her face.
I have forgiven you for your thirteenth year, something best forgotten and filed away under "teenager" self-absorption.
I love you with all my heart, I love you for your integrity, your sense of loyalty, your "hard work" ethic, and your unstoppable sense of humor. I love you for your constant affection for your parents and your true love for that other special guy up there in the picture.
I know I am a few days late in writing this, but my pride in you is absolute and the joy I receive from having you in my life knows no bounds!

Oh! p.s. Sweetie, I've also forgiven you for taking my BRAND NEW Le Creuset frying pans into the back yard, building a little camp fire with pine wood and cooking some hamburgers. I also forgive you for encouraging your little brother (in the above picture) to make, as he whispered in my ear one time, "Frank Phone Calls".
And I forgive you both for taking the Hungry Jack refrigerated biscuits and placing them on a red hot burner so that you could watch them explode.
(If any readers are tempted to call Children's Services over my neglectful ways: it's too late to do that.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

And How Have You

been spending your free time this afternoon, Mrs. Kelley?

Well, I have been wasting an inordinate amount of time chasing these creatures away from my bird feeder by taking on the persona of one of these figures. My outfit for the afternoon actually comes close to the fashions posted here.
I do not like thee Mr. Jay.
Please fly away to someone else's feeder.
Your porcine manners enrage me.
Your rude and aggressive ways give me a pain, and
Your loud, obnoxious voice grates on my ears.
You truly may be one of God's little creatures, but so are flies, maggots and viruses.
Forgive me, but I have little use for you.

p.s. I think this is my 100th post and although it's filled with drivel, I thank each of you who come to visit. Your stopping by means a lot to me. Thanks and.....


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dear Reader,

I have one more Thanksgiving snippet to share. This is a short accounting of a man and a cat and a Thanksgiving turkey.
The man was my Uncle Angus, whom I have briefly mentioned before. He was my Daddy's younger brother. His true name was James, but for some reason he was known to many as Angus. In truth, Angus suited him much better than James. My sister and brother and I adored him. He is a difficult man for me to describe. Not a teddy bear type, perhaps more of an impish nature and one who never lost the twinkle in his eye. He and our aunt lived on the other side of the island of Oahu where we were raised. They had no children but they did have a cat and that cat's name was Available Jones. (He once had a dog called Binge, and years later one he named John the Baptist.) I don't really remember Available Jones as I was too young at the time, and it probably was prudent that Available not be left alone in the presence of such a small child. Considering his behavior, he must have been a formidable animal.
Apparently at Thanksgiving, my aunt opened the refrigerator door and Available Jones spied the turkey resting on the top shelf. In one magnificent leap he managed to straddle the turkey. He proceeded to help himself with determination. My aunt could not remove that cat from the turkey. He was so aggressively possessive that he probably consumed a greater part of it before he calmly removed himself to lick his chops and clean his paws.
I would venture a guess that was just one of many of Available Jones' transgressions, because shortly after the turkey debacle, Uncle Angus made a cage of sorts, packed Available in the cage, and left him on our porch for the Humane Society to pick up. My sister is convinced that the cage was purposely made in a flimsy fashion so that Available could escape. Escape he did. I believe that he eventually found his way home after several weeks. It's unclear what happened after that, but the conjecture is that Uncle Angus took Available Jones to a nearby military base where he was adopted. Given his tenacious personality, he was probably promoted to Second in Command.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

One More Thing

to be thankful for in this post Thanksgiving time. She was so beautiful, so overwhelming last night.
"That orbed maiden, with white fire laden, whom mortals call the moon."


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

Today I will be with my family and will be thinking about all of the blessings that have been given. I think there are too many to pack into one day, so I shall try to continue to give thanks each day for gifts both great and small.
Wishing you and your loved ones a beautiful, safe and joyful day.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Practice What You Want To Become

...and you will become that. Did I make up this axiom? Probably not, but I am going to "Practice Practicing" and see what happens. I will be training and conditioning myself in the Habits of Happy Housekeeping. Why, you ask? Because I am determined to become one of those people who find joy in organizing, who experience Zen-like states as they employ their sponges, brooms, dusters and toilet bowl brushes. I want to clap my little hands in glee when I look at the calm and peaceful surfaces that surround me. I hope to find inspiration and Nirvana. I want to experience Enlightenment in bathroom mirrors whose toothpaste freckles are a memory, in toilet seats that are not decorated in Newfoundland dog hair, in ceilings, nooks and lampshades that are bereft of spider webs, and in refrigerators that house no molding remembrances of last week's soup.
If I had wanted this to be easy, I would never have gotten married, or at the very most I would have married an anal man. I did not marry a perfectionist. I chose a lovely, relaxed man who supports all of my tactics and diversions that prevent me from being a paradigm of organization and neatness. I would have chosen to remain childless. I did not. Although my children are long gone from this house, their ghosts linger. I would have lived in the city with its paved streets, sidewalks and orderliness. Instead, I live in the country. There are no sidewalks, no paved driveways and citified order. I would have lived in a part of the country where there is no mud nine months of the year. I would not live where my family has to wear rain pants, boots and slickers while they work....and where those accouterments have a proper place. They would not be hanging at the end of the day on the railing by the wood stove. (In fact, I would not have that railing at all as it justs shouts, "Hang anything and everything on me! I want your wet socks, your jackets and rain pants. I can hold the dog blankets and wet laundry too!"
I am going to begin today. I shall put on my serene and dreamy countenance. I shall commence by gathering all of my equipment in an organized fashion. Perhaps we'll have a little group hug, my vacuum, sponge, Swiffer and me.
Oh, hold on a second. I seem to be experiencing a cold sensation in my feet. I am beginning to think this is all akin to a Do It Yourself Lobotomy. That could have dangerous consequences. I am going to leave you with this poem I love, and then I am going to rethink some of these utterances.

Cleaning House

There's something wicked that empowers poets cleaning their houses
Poetry loves a fresh floor, a spotless toilet, even under the rim.

There are a thousand ways to get grout white again.
A thousand ways to shine tile, to polish a sink new.

Poetry lives between the bristles of a used toothbrush,
Metaphors choke when the poet touches the feather duster:

poetry loves grime. It's tired of living like an old washcloth,
wiping away staleness like lime from a spigot.

The garbage must be dumped, the dog washed, books alphabetized.
Help me, whatever it is that makes poems.

Whatever divine synapse clicks invisibly like a dust mote
in the darkness, gathering word upon word,

balling phrases under the bed where only the broom's
eyelashes touch; help me whatever thing drives the scouring pad,

the dish cloth, the mop, each hand latex-gloved, dumb and callous,
the pen dormant in its shell, but clean. Sloth saves poets

the way the sea saves painters: each wave decorating a new landscape
to love, every handful of sand, original, capricious.

I know each coffee stain on the sofa is a stanza waiting to set in,
that glass-ring on the nightstand an unending orb waiting for its tenor.

I'll just tidy up a little while poetry dies inside my sponge.
I live here among the dog hair, the mildew, the rust.
Nikki Moustaki

(apologies to the author, I don't know how to fix the breaks in the lines where they should not appear.)


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Favorite Things

Mrs G. at Derfwad Manor has enticed some bloggers to list a few of their favorite things. I am a day late, but what the heck. I'm not posting pictures because it's too early in the morning to rant and rave and turn the air blue with my swearing when I screw up trying to download something that inevitably I won't be able to find. are a few..

Waking up without an alarm
Breakfast, big, huge artery clogging breakfasts of eggs, hash browns, sausage and them, but don't eat them anymore. (well, hardly ever)
Books..forever and always
A clean and organized house (which is a dream, because you actually have to work to make that happen)
My family, funny, irreverent and loving
Things that kids say...often funny, often prophetic
A large glass (or two) of good Scotch
Sitting quietly and just looking out the window at the beauty that surrounds me (with that Scotch?)
Coming home, opening the door and just being here where I live.
Good and ridiculous jokes

There's more but it's not one of my favorite things to bore people to death, so I'll stop here.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

U if for Unfinished

....and this is barely the tip of the iceberg. I took a few other pictures, but the light is so bad in this house, especially in winter, so I'll spare you trying to figure out what the heck each one is.
Unfinished as in "do not complete anything before you start something else" seems to be my mantra. I could argue that it keeps me from being bored, but that's not true. I am never bored. I just love to start projects and now and then I even surprise myself by finishing.
I refuse to feel remorse. After all, my mother who was crafty and talented as all get out, started me over 65 years ago and I am still a Work in Progress. I am proud to be "Unfinished".


Thursday, November 8, 2007

T is for Teaching

...or memories of my first year.
Fresh out of college, I began my first year of teaching at West Gresham Grade School. I was to be one of two second grade teachers. My salary was a whopping $5,000. I had a tiny apartment right off of Stark Street. It cost me $79.50 a month. You could justifiably describe my apartment furnishings and possessions as Spartan. I had a few dishes, some pots and pans, a single bed, a clock radio, two small rattan chairs and a table that was smaller than most peoples' computer screens are today. I had no dresser, no t.v. and no car. My good friend "K" who was the other second grade teacher did have a car, so that solved my transportation problem in going to and from school. Did it bother me that I had next to nothing on the home front? Not a wit, because I had a teaching job. I was a teacher at last and I was raring to go. I was full of enthusiasm and happiness. It was going to be a great year!
Two students stand out in my mind from that little class. They were both boys and I adored them. "T" was a character whose father was a swimming coach. One day I noticed that he kept bringing out a small object that he had carefully wrapped in a Kleenex. He would pull it out only when he thought I wasn't looking. I kept quiet about it, but kept sneaking peeks to see what he was up to. I could finally tell that it was a very small, but dead lizard. "T" would carefully unwrap the lizard, gently trying to open its mouth, while blowing little puffs of air down its throat. He would then place it on his desk and just as gently, with carefully curved finger, apply a wee bit of pressure to the lizard's abdomen. He would repeat this process as often as he could, trying not to draw the attention of his teacher. It finally dawned on me what he was trying to do, and where he had learned this life saving technique. I think he would have continued with this all day if I hadn't finally convinced him that his lizard was truly dead and beyond resuscitation.
We reverently consigned him, wrapped snugly in his Kleenex, to the trash can at recess. I think we even said a few respectful words. I gave "T" some hugs and life went on.
My other vivid memory is of "J". He was a bright and engaging little guy, but one who would perform a very odd ritual now and then. This ritual was the methodical and intentional habit of licking the surface of his desk. These were not randomly or carelessly applied licks. "J" had a plan and he stuck to that plan, by golly. He would start at the bottom right hand corner of his desk, lick all the way up to the top in one fluid movement, turn the corner, go across the top, down the left hand side, and finish at the point where he had begun...always the same, never deviating from his thoughtful self appointed task. Ahh.
My guess is that "T" became a danged good swimming coach like his dad.(Forgive me, he "followed in his father's wake") I'm not so sure about "J", but I would venture that he's highly successful and works in Washington D.C. for the Federal Government.
It was a wonderful year. I loved every minute of it. Oh, wait a moment while I eat my last words. I didn't appreciate the whopping case of measles my dear class shared with me.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Beautiful Saturday

Yesterday I took a walk around our nursery. I went through our small bit of woods and out to the fields. It was the most perfect of Fall days, so lovely, crisp and peaceful. I took number of pictures to share.
I hope everyone is having a beautiful weekend, though some of you may be in the midst of a storm. If the wind, rain and power outages are in your area, I hope that you are safe, warm and dry.


Thursday, November 1, 2007


Rest in Peace little garden. Though you are being surrounded by the greens of your lesser sisters the weeds, black flags are being raised for you. Black flags are heralding your impending journey...back to the cradle from whence you came.
Thank you for all your summer goodness, thank you for the color and nourishment that you so exuberantly provided. Thank you for sharing with us all of your bounty. Thank you for the promise that you bring every Spring. You were beautiful in all of your fulfillment. I miss you already. Though you are gently going, you are allowed to rage against the dying of the light.
Rest in Peace little garden and know that more black flags will wave in remembrance and mourning tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

To Ellen from Another Ellen!

I received a lovely collection of cards in the mail yesterday from Ellen.
Thank you so much. I will enjoy using these!


Monday, October 29, 2007

S Is For Siblings

Here we are, the three of us...years and years ago.

My sister: who can still play almost any musical instrument she comes across...
who spent hours with me when I played with my doll house..
who held my hand when we walked to the movies.

My brother: who is one of the funniest, quickest people I know...
who called me PeeWee to annoy me...(he still does)
who used to tell me, "Heads I win, tails you lose."*

The two of them convinced me that there was a ghost in our attic. I knew with certainty that I was that ghost's main target. I still remember my dreams about him. One in particular that even then had a theme...a name. It was The Red Shoes nightmare. The ghost came and got me out of bed. He threw me over his shoulder and carried me up to the attic where my entire kindergarten class was assembled. We were all commanded to dance, to dance until we fell senseless and exhausted to the floor. I don't remember how long it took me to truly understand that there really was no ghost. He was certainly fodder for some bizarre dreams!

I still have that chair that I was sitting on for our picture. It was my grandmother's and the fabric covering the seat is worn, torn and faded. I just can't bring myself to recover it!


*It took me years to figure that one out. Not too swift here!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Runaway Crochet/Knitted Veggies

Here's the picture that disappeared on my give away post. If this one vaporizes, you'll hear me scream.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Double Yuk

These disgusting things are driving me NUTS. We have had a warming spell and "Voila!" let's all pop out, get our e tickets, grab our vacation gear and move in with Ellen. They have also brought along their smaller, but just as annoying cousins, the fruit flies. I certainly don't recall putting up a sign of invitation and good will.
This too shall pass. I hope they freeze their butts off this winter.

Totally unrelated to this post...but now I notice that the picture of the crocheted and knitted vegets on the last post has totally vaporized. What on earth is going on. I'll try to get it back on.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Vegetables For Health and Beauty

Aren't these fantastic? (click on for larger view) I've had the patterns for these for about 30 years. They are in one of those fantastic magazines I posted about a while ago. If there are any of you out there who crochet and knit, I would love to share the pattern with you. Please leave a comment, or better yet, email me, and the first four people to do so, will receive instructions. I'll keep this open until Oct. 29th. You can't see all of the vegetables in this scan, but there are directions for radishes, tomatoes, turnips, carrots, artichokes, leeks, cauliflowers, and cabbages. What a soup! The yarns specified in the pattern may not be available now, and the directions state that these are not for the inexperienced. I don't crochet that well, so I have not attempted to make them, but I think they are fantastic and should be fun to make!

p.s. and if you make them, you have to promise to post about them so I can enjoy them!
(I just noticed that the picture is now not showing up. I don't know why, but if you click under the title, the enlarged view will show. This is weird!)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Not Quite Ready For Project Runway

...but she does have her Rules and Philosophy for The Enlightened Three Year Old.

When reminded to chew with her mouth closed, she now will reply that she can't hear you when she has food in her mouth.

On Sunday, while jumping up and down, the declaration was: "I must be so happy!" When I inquired why, she replied, "Because my mouth is open!"

Why didn't I know that rule?


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

R is for....

Robins, one of my favorite birds. I love the return of these birds in the Spring. I love waking in the early morning hours to hear their song, and I love watching them as they hunt for worms in the newly turned garden.
Until recently, I didn't realize that when summer waned and they had left, that they actually come back for a brief time to enjoy some of Fall's bounty. I never noticed, because when I was still working, it would be dark when I got home, dark when I left for work, and I was really missing out on some fun "birdy" stuff around here.
You see, they come back for a final fling, party and whing-ding in my grape arbor. We have some wine grapes out back and they are taking their Pinot Noir with reckless abandon! They are swooping down out of the fir trees, balancing on the vines, and eating as many of those grapes as they can. I'm a little worried that I should be carding them, taking away their keys and policing the whole affair, but they seem to be handling it, albeit a bit raucously and unsteadily. Here's to the Rockin' Robins and their Roaring parties. I've got to run now. They've requested some crisp crackers, aged Gouda and some goat cheese to go with all of that viney goodness. I hear them singing, "In vino veritas!"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Q is for Quercus

Quercus, commonly know as Oak, is my favorite tree. I love that something so large and majestic and lasting, can grow from such small beginnings. Poets and sages are better suited to singing praises to the mighty oak than I.

"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." Emerson


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

P is for..

...a little person's passion.
I was stumped for a personal "P", so I am borrowing from my three year old grand daughter and her Passion for cooking. I've blogged about that before, so I won't repeat myself here. I made this little apron for her last week and sent it home with her Dad on Sunday. I hear she likes it and is planning to wear it to church! I hope she is planning to wear something underneath it!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

The End of Summer

The End of Summer

Turn and take the summer with you to its fall.
Take away its outlook and its need--
the message of the sun at hilltop--
and hand it to the courier, who waits
to run the valleys and the shade
and hand it in good season
to its heir.

It has blessed you, truly once again
but summer goes its way, it must,
and craggy hands of autumn
seduce you fresh with promises
filled in blinding summer light,
unnoticed, not ahead.
Ahead lies cold incrimination
that faults you yet again
for missing twice the splendour.

Do not rush estival's cool end,
for behind her is the icy breath of winter.
Hold her hot against your form
and let her breathe her lovefire on you
and make you sweat
beneath her crushing heat.
Hold her as you know
that she'll be gone soon,
and in her place will be the snow.

(Peter J. Gorham)

Best end of summer to all.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

O is for Oh...

..consider this minuscule word made of only two letters. Consider all of the emotions it conveys in its smallness. Consider how powerful this word can be.

Think of the "Oh!" and what it carries when you receive unexpected gifts from thoughtful, caring people. The "Oh!" of delight, the unanticipated pleasure when opening up your mail. Thank you Amy for the lovely pincushion! Thank you, Marylou for the note cards and post-its.

Think of the "Oh!" of "My Lord!"..and the "Oh" followed by several expletives when you come home to see a very guilty looking dog, a very big dog who can reach things you never imagined she could reach. You are not expecting this. She is the dog you blogged about so glowingly. Something is amiss. You notice a plastic bag lying in the hallway. You enter the bedroom and shriek, "Oh, no, #@#*&#!" You see on the carpet the remains of a bag of dried beans, a blend of wild rice and other yummy grains and what was left of 3/4 of a loaf of whole wheat walnut raisin bread.
There is also the uttered scream of, "Oh!" when you see that she has "loved" the above beautiful pincushion. You see that there is the tiniest of holes and the ghost of doggy drool on it.

Reflect on the "Oh's" of sadness and disappointments, of hurts and grief..the "Oh's" of emotional exhaustion and mental anguish.

There is the wonder of "Oh" when you catch a shooting star out of the corner of your eye, or the quiet surprise when you look up from the kitchen sink and you suddenly are made aware of the beauty of a Harvest Moon that is perfectly suspended and framed in that window. The "Oh" of glee when you spy the first seedlings coming up in your garden and the "Oh" of greeting as you run outside to see the first geese of Fall flying overhead.

"Oh's" convey comfort and contentment: warm, enveloping baths, hot showers and cozy beds, fire on winter evenings, hot chocolate and the ending to a yummy meal.

It's a grand word this "Oh" is. It's a "wonder word", proving that small can be mighty and humble can be powerful.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Exiting Out of the Alphabet For A Short Note

On the morning of 9/11 I was being wheeled into the emergency room to have surgery. I had no clue what was going on, and to tell the truth, at that time, I wouldn't have cared...such was my state. I am ashamed to admit it, but there I was and that was that.

I am sure that I am joined in sending prayers, however each of us form them, out into the world today. Fervent prayers for peace, comfort, love, clean water, education, shelter, hope and tolerance for all people. In our own personal way, I hope that millions, billions, around the world are holding their own special vigil. A vigil that will penetrate barriers of hatred and ignorance, a vigil that will honor and remember all innocent victims of violence, a vigil in which we will all say "No more" no matter who we are and where we live. May our prayers, meditations, hopes, dreams and actions take wing and join together. Peace to All.

N is for Nadia the Newfoundland

Oh, how we love this dog. Nadia is the sweetest thing on four feet. She is the second of our Newfoundlands, and a gift to us from her breeder who wanted her to retire from making puppies and from being in a show ring. She wanted her to be in a place where she got lots of attention and company. Nadia will be six in December, and we've had her for just about a year. She is gentle, loving, patient and so good hearted. We feel blessed to have her!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

M is for Magazine and Making Things

American Home Crafts was and still is, my favorite craft magazine. It was published in the 70's and is filled with all kinds of wonder for the lover of all things handmade. There is nothing "cheesy" about any of the projects in these magazines. Projects include anything from embroidery, knitting, sewing, needlepoint, crochet, weaving, leather work, painting, rug hooking and carpentry. Why they never lasted very long is a mystery to me. If you have a mother, aunt or grandmother who crafted back in the 70's they may have copies hidden away somewhere. I would encourage you to run, not walk, to get your crafty mitts on some of would not be disappointed.

M for Making...I've been practicing and polishing my non-existent crocheting skills. These squared circles are my latest endeavors. I found some directions from Teresa at maggiegracecreates. (Thanks!) Since I normally can't crochet my way out of a paper bag, I'm pretty happy with the results.
Wishing everyone a great week.


Monday, September 3, 2007

L Number Two...For Lena

Lena was my maternal grandmother. She left Downs, Kansas to go to Hawaii where she met and married a young man who had sailed out from Prince Edward Island. I remember my grandfather but I never had the privilege of knowing Lena as she died several years before my birth.
I am so fortunate to have a good collection of little pieces that she crocheted. She was obviously very accomplished. There are some lovely, and to even my untrained eye, exquisite bits. It is almost as if she were practicing and expanding her repertoire of skills as they are so varied. It's wonderful to hold something that she held and she caused to grow with her hands. I'm disappointed that I did not appear to inherit this talent that she so strongly possessed and enjoyed.
L is also for learning. I have been practicing some rudimentary crocheting in my attempts to make a granny square to my liking. I have also been learning the ins and outs of my new printer. I'm thrilled to have a new one that doesn't eat paper, jam or just refuse to work...but I am as slow a learner with this as I am with granny squares. Some of us will always be taking "The Little Yellow Bus". That's me!


Monday, August 27, 2007

L...A Little Leave, Not For Long..

I am taking a short Leave to catch up with things that are getting beyond my control. If you check in now and then, I won't be gone long. Life is good, it's just that sometimes Life, Like Laundry and Lists and Learning to do new things require Longer periods of time.

This may be totally inappropriate, it has nothing to do with L, (well, perhaps I could use the word Livid) but it does have something to do with Me, and this is a Me Meme.

What is happening in this country when we pay certain people loads of money to play certain games? We ignore education, the hungry, the homeless, the sick and the disenfranchised, the helpless and just damned common decency. This person apologizes to his team. This person says he made the wrong decisions. (This was a Decision? This is just plain sick.) This person is acting meek and mild. This person needs to do some community service until Hell freezes over. This person should never be allowed within 100 miles of an animal. This person should be banned from ever playing and making money off of the game which gave him his livelihood.
If I live to be a thousand years old, I will never, ever understand how a person could harm an animal. I will never understand the mentality that says, "This is o.k."
In my anger, I would just like him to have a taste of his own medicine. I would like him to be helpless in the face of someone who has power over him. I would like him to truly understand that cruelty to anyone, be they animal or human is inexcusable. I sincerely hope that God is keeping score. If He is, this person will never win again.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Kaleidoscope of K

...totally unrelated K stuff.
I have pictures of my new kitchen (well, it's a year old new) but I can't find them on my computer! So no pics to look at. I do love having cabinets that close, that look nice and that don't have 26 years of yuk on them. I appreciate an oven door that closes all of the way and actually opens fully so that I can get a casserole in and out of it. I like having a sink that hasn't rusted so much along the edges that it's rising up out of the counter. You can get that picture I'm sure!

K is for my first born, Kevin. There were times when I wasn't sure I would survive him. Perhaps I should have paid attention to the fact that he actually broke my tail bone during his entrance into this world. I should have taken that as an omen. He pretty much challenged every dang thing that came along. Well, he's all "growed" up and is a joy to be around. I am very lucky to see him almost every week day as he works in the nursery. He's funny, he's good with people, he's a wonderful father and I just love being with him.

K is for cousin Clodagh. When my grandfather left Ireland in the late 1800's, he brought part of his family to Hawaii. His sister Lily married the Rev. Kitcat and they went to New Zealand. I vaguely remember Auntie Lily. I do remember Clodagh because as a wee girl I just thought her name was hysterically funny. I was also fascinated by her because my Uncle Angus used to refer to her as "the eyebrow raiser" (he also called another relative "flannel brain"). Anyway, Clodagh would come now and then to visit us in Hawaii. I would perch on the edge of my chair and be mesmerised by those active eyebrows. They were like fuzzy woolly bear caterpillars which moved across her forehead with every word she uttered. Alas, I am sure that the Kitcats of New Zealand are no more. I am sure that Clodagh died 40 years or so ago and I know she never married. Here's to you Clodagh Kitcat. You were something else!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

J Has To Be For...

my husband. We met in college, had our first date on a Friday the thirteenth.
It has been quite a journey all these years. It has certainly not been all sunshine and roses. There was a time in the 70's when I would have gladly slipped ground glass into his coffee or flesh eating bacteria into his clean laundry....but, we have survived and evolved. It's been well worth some rocky roads.
I love so many things about J. He works incredibly hard. He is enthusiastic and "digs life with big shovels". We are polar opposites in many ways, but we have learned from each other through the years. He has always encouraged me to do whatever I have considered doing. He has supported and helped me to be more independent and to appreciate and recognize my strengths. He has been a fantastic father to our two boys. He is positive, funny and very up-beat. I love him and wish that we could have 40+ more years of toodling down this road we've been on, holding hands, but letting go now and then so that we can have our "separateness together".
J...thanks for the journey. It continues to be the trip of a lifetime.

"Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum.
You came along and everything started to hum."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Impossibleness of I

This little letter I is causing me a bit of Indecision and Irritation. I am not Inspired. I'm going to go with some "I am's" and some "I am nots"..

I am not particularly Industrious

I am Interested in many things

I am Imaginative

I am Inventive

I am way too Introspective

I am an Idiot when it comes to math..just try to get me involved with numbers and I become Immobile and will go to great lengths to make myself Invisible.

I am somewhat of an Idealist

I am not Impulsive

I am sometimes Impatient

I am done now.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

H is for Hanahauoli beloved elementary school. Hanahauoli is in Honolulu and I was a student there from kindergarten through the sixth grade. It was an amazing little school. Poor in as much as the buildings were simple wooden structures which gathered around a central court yard. Poor in that there was no glass on the windows except for the office, but absolute richness abounded in every classroom and in the expanse and depth of the curriculum. Looking back, I guess we were immersed in a sort of Waldorf/Steiner/Montessori soupiness of education. We had art, music, rhythms, shop and never ending opportunities to "study, make and do".
I learned to use saws, drills, hammers and nails and a treadle sewing machine in shop. I made a bird probably weighed 40 pounds. I made an entire set of bowls by pouring slip into my mold, firing them and then glazing them. I sewed and designed my own softies as you would call them now. We all designed and made a stepping stone. We carved linoleum blocks and printed with them.
I learned to make a "real" book with hand sewn pages and hard cover. I still have that book.
I could go on and would take up pages. Hanahauoli was an amazing school. I loved it and the gifts it gave me still amaze and delight me.
This is a picture of my sixth grade class.(click on it for a ginormous view) Aren't we a raggedy, but happy looking melange of innocence and youth! I am in the second row, 4th one in from the left, dead center. I'd go back in time in a heartbeat and relive those years again.

Monday, August 20, 2007

G is for Gratitude and Grace

Gratitude for the abundance of Gifts that have been bestowed, Gratitude for the Grace that has been given...there is no place else I'd rather be than right here, right now...each and every day. I have questions about deserving all of these Gifts. I am reminded of the song:
Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good.

Perhaps, I just don't know...but I do know it's important to give thanks to all Gifts Given.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

F For Flowers and Fragrance

These grew all around my green mountain valley home. Don't let anyone tell you that there's no magic in this world. Fragrance is the magic which carries you back over years. It carries you back over thousands of miles. It carries you back to the life you lived so long ago.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


This is what it could have looked like yesterday. Fortunately with the help of two helicopters, a spotter plane, a battalion of firefighters and the DFPA, there was a happy ending. It sounded like a war zone here, and I guess it really was a war against such a potentially dangerous enemy. It started on the other side of our property, probably from some logging equipment. This time of year, all it takes is a tiny spark.
I can live without this kind of Excitement. Thanks are given!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Another Entry to D..

I have a very short entry to the letter D.
When I was an eighth grader, my beloved brother left Hawaii to go to school in California. I was bereft, I was in mourning, I couldn't imagine life without him.
My sister had been gone for several years...I was alone and I didn't know what I was going to do without my brother whom I adored. Enter a cousin whom I had never met.
Dan was the son of one of my Daddy's favorite cousins. He had survived horrendous things during the war in Korea. For some reason, he came to live with us. He had been a graduate of Stanford and, I think, just needed a place to be and call home.
He was my savior. He gently guided me through algebra, through geometry...he was my substitute brother, he was the one that allowed me to be silly and outrageous. He called me Bubbles, which I loved, because it affirmed and granted me the chance to be be, in my limited way, wild.
He still lives in Hawaii. He has Alzheimer's now. I will forever be thankful for him, I will forever love him and remember with joy how he helped me through such hard times. I will forever think of him and will probably be angry and unaccepting that he and his family are having to deal with this terrible disease. I love you Dan and I will always thank you for what you did for me.

D=Daddy and The Dear Diary of a Demented Domestic Diva

I can't talk about Domesticity without mentioning some of my Daddy's Disastrous and Deviant Doings. (You may want to have a rest before you read may be long and Dumb)
We used to have a refrigerator like this. It was a behemoth, weighed a ton and couldn't be budged. We lived in a huge old house, the kitchen was immense. My mother wanted the refrigerator moved from one side of the kitchen to the other side. She kept threatening to call a moving company to do so. One day when I was very little we all went somewhere, leaving Daddy to his own Devices. When we came home several hours later, the refrigerator stood exactly where my mother had wanted it. Nothing in it had been removed: the milk bottles were still in the same place, the leftovers undisturbed. My father had attached a pulley and rope to the frig, had gone out to the garage and found a big can of axle grease. He greased the floor and slid the refrigerator across with the rope and pulley. It worked like a charm, except for the fact that it took my mother several days to remove the axle grease.
On another occasion when left alone, my father decided that our yard needed some fertilizer. He had some chicken manure on hand and an old pump. He somehow reversed the motor on the pump and blew the manure all over the yard. This also worked brilliantly except for the fact that he had neglected to close all of the windows in the house. We arrived home to find manure in every nook and cranny and the not so Delicate scent of chicken manure wafting through the rooms.
Now being the Daughter of such a man, you can imagine that now and then, I can indulge in Doubtful and Dodgey Domestic habits.
I have been known to wash chard in my washing machine (no spin cycle) when I had picked so much of it to freeze. I was going nuts rinsing it off in the kitchen sink. The little light bulb went off above my head! Ta did work.
I've used my handy dandy shop vac to suck up all manner of dried vegetable matter that has been hiding in my refrigerator. That worked too!
I also shop vac one of my Newfoundland dogs. She loves it. That also works well.
This I do not recommend: the Drying of bread crumbs with your hair dryer. It's not a pretty sight when you're done.
I leave you with a poem that's really not about housecleaning, Domestic Doings or brooms, but it's lovely. Emily Dickinson wrote this:

She sweeps with many-colored Brooms--
And leaves the Shreds behind--
Oh Housewife in the Evening West--
Come back, and dust the Pond!

You dropped the Purple Ravelling in--
You dropped the Amber thread--
And now you've littered all the East
With duds of Emerald!

And still, she plies her spotted Brooms,
And still the Aprons fly,
Till Brooms fade softly into stars-
And then I come away--


Friday, August 10, 2007

The C Conundrum

By Cracky, C Certainly is. Can't Conjure up much of a Collective today.
Consider Color...what a bleak world we'd be living in without all that gloriousness.

Consider Culinary Creations...this one Could have been a Catastrophe, but it is a delicious Concoction. I have loads of plums, pluots (sp?) to be exact and I had two peaches. I cut them up only to find out I did not have enough regular sugar...and no transportation today to get to the store. I used Turbinado sugar, threw in some sour Cream, Cinnamon, ginger, flour and butter and I think it is just about perfect! I am sporting a Cheshire Cat grin about now.
I gotta get back to Cleaning out my Closet.