Wednesday, December 15

Wanna Dance?

The quality of this picture of Julia is terrible, but my cell phone was the only device handy at the moment.  She is sporting newly acquired hand-me-down dance clothes. SCORE!

So, in honor of dancing...

Tuesday, November 30

Definition of Insanity

What makes a fairly intelligent, college educated mother of 4 decide to get a puppy for her 12 year old for Christmas? Especially since said mother also has a 2 1/2 year old daughter with  Can everyone say "insanity" together now?

Julia and Garfunkel

Monday, October 25

A Finished Project!

It seems I have more unfinished projects than finished ones, but I promised I would post a picture of my finished knitted hat.  The pattern was easy to follow and I really enjoyed getting back to knitting.  I loved the yarn I used as it is soft and colorful, however in the future I think I will use a solid color for this pattern.  I'm not sure if I like the self-striping for this particular pattern.  Gotta go!  On to the next project!

And the finished project on model #2

Friday, October 1

I've taken a long knitting hiatus, but I found Laurie's blog and beside making me pee my pants with laughter, it makes me want to knit (and drink wine).  Really though, the days are getting shorter, the nights cooler, and the treetops are tinged with the most beautiful amber color one could imagine; knitting season has arrived.  So I allowed myself 30 minutes in the yarn store (any longer and I have to visit the bank for a short-term loan) to find something lovely with which to knit a hat.

So the yarn I chose is Chunky Mochi, color #805 by Crystal Place Yarns.  It is 80% merino wool and 20% nylon.  The hat pattern I chose is called "Brimming with Style" and I found it in hats gloves scarves by Louisa Harding.  This is what it looks like:

I'll post my version once its completed.  I'm not a fast knitter, so don't hold your breath while you wait!

Friday, September 10

Getting Sparked

I recently joined The Gritty Bird Academy and decided to give Becky's Creative Spark Fridays a try.  Here are the sparks for the week of 9/3-9/10:


Artistic Theme

Kaleidoscope of Color



Theme Words, Poem or Phrase

the kaleidoscope turns
in patterns and colors
a swirl of blend
continually tossed
by each turn of the hand

within the tube are
prisms of light
easily colored
by the direction
it's pointed

and what was a star
becomes a flower
a shape disappears and
becomes a pattern
then shifts again
into the blend

beautiful glimpses
that tumble around
each small piece
a part of the whole

pieces of stardust
pockets of glitter
you know with each turn
nothing much matters

just that you turned
and looked at the colors
admired its moment
and swirled in the blend
- Debby Rosenberg


**Creative SPARK THREE**

Theme Color Palette

You'll notice that the punch of pink in the image is missing from the color palette. I am not sure why it did not come through the generator but I am plan to add into my sparks, so please feel free to as well if you like!

And here's my Sparked Creation:

Wednesday, September 8

Golden Memories

I have vivid memories of one Christmas in the early eighties when my dad and uncles gave my grandparents a VCR.  It was the size of today's microwave and weighed 100 pounds!  It was the most amazing thing to me.  Along with the gift of the VCR, came the movie "On Golden Pond."  I don't remember my grandparents ever having any other movies except the tapes my grandma "made" of PBS programming and "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson."  I watched "On Golden Pond" so many times, I think I must have had it memorized.  The other night when I finally plopped exhausted onto the sofa, I was excited to see my husband had run across the movie while channel surfing.  What was a girl to do but watch it one more time.  I must confess after watching, I had to do some web-surfing of Squam Lake to check out the real estate market.  If you are in the market for a little cottage with a $1-5 million dollar price tag, this is the lake for you!

Wednesday, August 25

I've spent the last 2 1/2 weeks learning some metal-smithing techniques from Stephanie Lee.  I can't tell you what an absolute blast it has been!  Here's just a peek at what I've been creating.

Tuesday, August 24

Play Date with the Cuz!

We had my nephew this weekend for an overnight stay.  What fun to have a little boy around again!

And of course its always fun to have a little girl around!

Tuesday, August 17

Start Spreading the News...

I'm leaving today.  I want to be a part of it, New York, New York.

These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray.  Right through the very heart of it,  New York, New York

I want to wake up in a city that doesn't sleep, and find I'm king of the hill- top of the heap

My little town blues, they're melting away. I'm gonna make a brand new start of it, In old New York.

If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere. 
It's up to you New York, New York! 

Don't you worry New York, I'll be back!

Monday, August 9

Time to Fly

It can't possibly be 18 years ago that I snapped this picture at a turf convention.  And now here it is 2010 and my oldest has officially flown the coop.  
Finger paints and Halloween parties at Jungle Ginny's, sandy everything from swimming at Hillsdale Lake, combined birthday parties at Hillsdale, laser tag, and  the swimming pool, baseball bats turned stick horses, Power Rangers every Halloween, hikes and forts and campfires with s'mores, soccer games, basketball games, baseball games, football games, teaching his younger brother and sister to ride their bikes, dirt bikes and motor cross uniforms, golf cart rides, learning to drive, muddy uniforms in the washer, sprained ankles, sprained knees, torn shoulders, student council, LEO club, homecoming candidates, proms, so many memories to list.  The feelings this transition brings are so opposed to each other; sadness that my little boy is no more and happiness and pride that he has become such a caring, compassionate, intelligent, and capable young man ready to begin his next great adventure.  All the blessings of God and the universe to you Ash.  Can't wait to see you soar!

Friday, August 6

It's Summer and the Livin' is...HOT!

It's August in the Midwest and that means hot and humid.  We are a comfortable sweltering  95 degrees today!  Here's my prescription for cooling off:  Great big glass full of ice, shot (everyone's definition of shot varies) of Passion Fruit Vodka, lemon wedge, lime wedge, and fill the rest with Peach Fresca.  Perfect!

Monday, June 14

Good Things

Despite all the "It goes so fast", "Enjoy every minute", "They'll be gone before you know it" advice, I wasn't emotionally prepared for this day.  I thought I was; really.  I made it through football season without tears, I wasn't sad when he decided not to play basketball his senior season; not even his last prom brought a tear to my eye.  I had been telling myself all along that I had done my job.  He's prepared. We had instilled in him a faith in God, a strong work ethic, a sense of responsibility and loyalty, a love for all that is America.  I was ready.  I was so proud.  And then graduation day came and he said "Bye Mom, I'm gonna head over to the school now.  I'll see you in a few minutes."  And that started the waterworks.  I just couldn't bear to watch him go. Despite my tears I was so happy for him and so proud.  I look forward to watching the way he will meet the world head on.  I cannot possibly describe the pride I felt as he addressed the crowd at graduation with such confidence, humor, and intelligence.  There are good things to come from my boy.  REALLY good things.

Congratulations Ash.  Here's to many more GOOD THINGS.

Wednesday, May 12

It's In Their DNA

Because I have my degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Kansas, I spent many hours debating Nature vs. Nurture.  We also frequently discussed what toys you should allow children to play with (i.e. should boys play with guns and swords?) That was of course before I had 4 children of my own.  I'm here to tell you, it doesn't matter what toys you give 'em, boys are going to turn it into a gun or a sword.

Exhibit A

And girls, well, they will turn the plastic packaging for garden hose washers into a phone.

Exhibit B

Here's to imaginative play at any age!

Monday, May 10

Yeah for Moms!

What a way to spend a chilly Mother's Day morning in Kansas!  27 of us moms and kids left Louisburg at 6am and headed to Overland Park to participate in the Mother's Day 5K.

As you can see in the background, it is a tradition for groups to decorate a port-a-potty.  Ours was "The Powercat Potty" and we had a fabulous time covering it from head to toe in purple.  Being a Jayhawk myself, I liked to think of it as a LOUISBURG WILDCAT POTTY, but I must say I was very proud of the way it turned out.  During the race the boys stayed back to gift the Powercat Potty patrons with purple Hershey's kisses, chewing gum, and purple hand sanitizer.  Our potty placed 2nd in the competition to the group that wins it every year.  Can you say RIGGED?

All along the race course were husbands, dads, brothers and kids cheering on the special women in their lives.  Our own Andie even placed 3rd in her age group and 89th overall out of 3432 entrants!  

I can't think of any other way I would have wanted to spend Mother's Day morning.  We will definitely be adding this to our tradition list.

Our sentiments exactly Julia!

Thursday, May 6

It's Official

Many things have become official lately.  We have moved from our big house in the country to our beautiful house by the lake in town, we have a contract on our big house in the country (yeah!),  and we have a son getting ready to graduate from high school (what?).  What I'm referring to though is the official start of summer for me; planting my pots for back deck and front stoop.  I'm not lucky enough to live in a temperate climate like Mary Ann, so each spring I must drag out the pots, make a dash to the nursery, and get my hands dirty.  Ahhh summer!

If only my hibiscus could live in the yard and greet me year after year!

Moss is my favorite to line my wire forms, but who knew it is harvested right alongside some illicit drugs!  Every nursery that is lucky enough to get it in the door is witness to its immediate disappearing act. Coco fiber mat will have to suffice this year.  With a little TLC these babies will cover it right up anyway.

Fuscia geraniums in hanging baskets.  Love, love, love

Don't try to hide beautiful hibiscus bloom.  You may just be the star of the show!

Saturday, May 1

Things I Don't Like

Okay, so I am copying Andrea's idea, but it just got me thinking.  So here goes:

  1. Laundry, you are a cliche, but really, must you breed in the dark corners of every closet AND the laundry room?  There must be a solution.  
  2. Mean girls.  13 or 55, I just don't like you.  Peace on earth will begin with us, girls so let's not tear each other down.
  3. Musty towels.  Enough said.
  4. Flying, stinging insects.  I know, I know you are necessary for my beautiful garden, but frankly, I'm afraid of you.
  5. Cigarette smoke
  6. Grammatical errors.  Call me a speech snob, but blame it on my parents if you will.
  7. Liver and onions.  Really?  Mom and Dad, this was cruel and unusual punishment.  The one meal that could make me become a vegetarian! 
  8. Helicopter Moms.  You know, the ones that hover around everything their children do, get in the airspace and kick up dust everywhere in their wake.

Monday, February 8

Why? or Things I Discovered While Cleaning My Kitchen Cabinets

My kitchen cabinets have been calling to me for quite awhile now.  Most days I tell them "hush, I have much more important things to do!"  However, an impending move has me clearing spaces in my home that haven't seen the light of day for 11 years.  So, inspired by Andrea's List Project, I thought I'd share with you some things unearthed from my kitchen cabinets today:

  1. 9 boxes of food coloring- Can there possibly be enough Easter egg coloring left in my lifetime to use this much?  
  2. 4 jars of cinnamon sticks- Apparently we haven't been drinking enough "spiked" cider.
  3. ###!!! bottles of expired medication- If you are in the medical or pharmaceutical field, please just ignore this item!
  4. A pedometer- Mom, I think I received this from you in my stocking a few years back.  Sorry!
  5. Door code to a vehicle we no longer own- My husband and my father-in-law have both been locked out of said truck.  A locksmith was called on each occasion because the code was nowhere to be found.
  6. 6 packages of expired yeast- Try as I may, I did not inherit my grandmother's ability to make fabulous homemade bread.
  7. A box of Tapioca pudding- Must have been purchased during one of my first 3 pregnancies on a craving-induced grocery store run.
Unfortunately, I could continue with this list, but alas, another corner of my home awaits me, my yellow trash bag, and my vacuum.

Friday, February 5

Wonderful Obsession

I recently came across a photography technique called "through the viewfinder."  It involves taking photographs with a "top" camera through the viewfinder of a vintage camera.  Well, what was a girl to do but buy a couple of vintage cameras off eBay and give it a try!  I waited patiently (not really) for my Argus Seventy-Five and my Kodak Duaflex II to arrive.  The happy pair are pictured below.

Using an empty cereal box, i built my contraption for the Duaflex II, instructions courtesy of Russ Morris.


The following collage shows some of my favorite shots so far.  The top two were taken with the Argus and the bottom two with the Kodak.  I have to say my favorites are taken through the Argus Seventy-Five.

There is no doubt this will become another wonderful obsession!

Friday, January 29

Normal Daze

  I've been spending too much time lately perusing the wonderful, creative blogs of so many women.  The need to create something beautiful and lasting is an urge that tugs at the soul of so many of us.  Often the blogs I visit leave me feeling wistful for a lifestyle so different from my own.  I happened across Molly's blog today and found these words which she had borrowed from Ali's blog, they shook me awake and so I share them with you.

                Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.  One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. ~Mary Jean Iron~

Although I can't bear to share with you pictures of the dishes that patiently await me in the sink, or the piles of laundry breeding down the hall, I will share pictures of the first of many times this day, Julia will empty the bookshelf.


So, normal day, I will embrace you.  And at least for today, not wish you away.

Monday, January 25

ROD Journal Video

ROD Journal from Jennifer Dover on Vimeo.

This is the journal I completed in Mary Ann Moss' online course, "Remains of the Day."  I had so much fun making this journal and I have even started to fill it up!  I can't wait to start my next journal.

Wednesday, January 20

Fill 'er Up Please!

Growing up in a small town in Kansas, we had a few gas stations but my favorite was Blair's Station.  You could have a tire changed, your oil changed, even your engine changed if need be, but the best part was that is was full service.  You could just pull right up and within seconds someone was at your window and you could request "Fill 'er up please."  Right now, in the dead of Kansas winter with a small child, I long for the days of full service gas stations!  What I am truly excited for though, is to begin filling my new journal that I just completed in Mary Ann Moss' fabulous online journal making class Remains of the Day. Making the journal has been a creative journey in itself.  Watch out!  It is very possible you will become addicted to making these one-of-a-kind beauties!

Monday, January 18

Learn Something New Every Day

I am taking an online class from Mary Ann Moss called "Remains of the Day."  This is my journal cover that I completed today and I am so excited to get to work on the "guts" of the journal this week!  Be sure to check out her blog where you can catch a glimpse of all of her fantastic travels too!

Friday, January 8

Summer Dreamin'

 As I sit with coffee in hand and peer out my bedroom window...
and see that the snow would love nothing better than to swallow whole the pool fence,

I'll just pretend it's July.

Thursday, January 7

The Road Less Traveled

Happy New Year!  I'm not one much for New Year's Resolutions, but I've been thinking lately about the direction I want my life to take.  It seems so often I am caught up in the race just blindly being herded along with all the rest, head down, nose to the grind stone.  I am getting ready to start round two of a fabulous journaling class called Thought Threads and it has encouraged me to think more about possibility, direction, intention, and living a creative life.  I want this year to be about traveling the road I choose, not the one everyone else is pointing to or heading down.  The speed limit on my road will be much slower than most.  That will give me time to be a part of the scenery, not look at it in my rear-view mirror.  Here's to the road less traveled!

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