Monday, December 12, 2011

Coming out of seclusion...

Hello friends. I want to take a moment to thank everyone, from the bottom of my heart, for the lovely, heartfelt words of support at my dad's passing. I thought I would get back into the swing of things much sooner, but it has taken more time than I expected.

I have thrown myself into work, trying to keep busy and stay focused. If I'm busy, I don't have time to think. Blogging makes me think. I have to think about things to write about, usually what is going in in my small little life. Dad is always in my thoughts it seems, and it's just been too hard to put into words what I've been feeling.

I want to apologize about the "Bad Case of Blogger's Block" post that showed up in November on my blog. Can you believe that that was a post I actually started over a year ago when I couldn't think of anything to blog about? I grabbed some photos from my computer, intending to eventually making it a coherent post and I scheduled it to go live the following year. I then forgot all about it and because I haven't blogged since August, I didn't realize it had gone live in its rough, non-verbal state.

So what have I been doing? Dealing with guilt of my dad having been in a nursing home/rehab facility, a place he did not want to be. Wishing I had done many things differently. Revisiting so many things and wishing I could go back in time and do some things differently which (in my mind) may have changed the outcome. Stress eating. God, have I been stress eating. I will be getting rid of my Weight Loss log on the sidebar because I've regained all the weight I'd worked so hard to lose. If I ever feel up to starting the weight loss journey again, I'll start a new log on my sidebar.

I'm still wearing dad's blue shirt. The one everyone said was "his" color. They were right. It's a beautiful shade of pale blue. The rhinestone brooch was my addition. I can say without any hesitation that my dad never sported the brooch when he wore this shirt.

When I take a break from transcribing, the shops, and/or trying to paint, I sometimes see these beauties in our neighborhood.

A friend called me last week to let me know they were in her yard, so you know I had to grab my camera and head down for a visit.

After having no tree at all last year, we decided to take a chance this year even though Baby is as crazy as ever. We didn't put any of our breakable ornaments on the tree which was a smart move because she's constantly batting at everything and trying to climb up or through the tree.

She's a very mischievous little cat and I'm certain she thinks the tree was solely put up for her amusement.

I have a feeling she will miss it come January.

Sweet Jarrett is also enjoying the tree. I think all the critters are excited that Santa will be bringing them some treats. They've been very, very good this year (yes, even Baby).

Our little Tiger, now 18, spends most of her time on Amanda's bed, laying next to the heating vent in my office/studio, or watching the world go by outside her window... Santa knows her favorite treats are Temptations and I'm sure he'll be leaving her a few different flavors.

(Baby watching for Santa)

I doubt I will be back before the holidays so I want to take this time to once again thank you ALL for your kindness and to wish you all a Merry Christmas!


Friday, August 26, 2011

To my dad...

 May God hold you in the palm of His hand until we meet again...

On August 6th, Dad left us and went to rejoin my Mom.

 To say he will be missed is such an understatement.

 I don't think it has completely sunk in yet that he is gone.

I believe with all my heart that both Dad and Mom are together once again, happy and healthy...
I wish I had told you every single day that you were my hero. I hope that the many things I should have said, or didn't say, you can hear now with your heart as I whisper them to you in my nightly prayers.

You are my everything, Dad.

My sweet, kind, caring, gentle father.

I will always be your Little girl.

I would give anything to have you sitting here, once again, for supper. You are my inspiration to be a better person. I love you beyond words, Dad.
Until we meet again, I love you....

Donna Doo, Ducky, Your Little Girl

Thank you so much to everyone who said prayers and sent positive thoughts our way. It was so very appreciated. You are all in my thoughts and prayers today.

Friday, August 5, 2011

And then there was one...

I tend to crave symmetry when it comes to decorating.  The thing is, I love the look of items that are staggered, unbalanced, layered. But I always come back to my comfort zone, anchoring things on either end of a shelf, a mantel, or the top of a cabinet.

A few years ago when I came across this pair of lamps in a junktique shop, I was in heaven. Soft cottage blue with pink roses. I was in love. A pair. Two. Anchors. (Not to mention they were only $6 for the pair!)

For the past few years, those beautiful lamps have enjoyed a place of honor in our living room, framing the mirror on top of the pie safe.

And they survived a year with our wild and crazy Baby, who we adopted last August. But luck finally ran out for my sweet pair of vintage lamps. They are no longer a pair.

Hence the title, and then there was one. Just look at the gaping empty spot where that gorgeous lamp sat before crashing to the floor into hundreds of pieces.

Now to find a Baby-proof spot for the one remaining lamp.

The loud crash of the lamp did scare Baby. She ran into the family room and hid under the hassock. I'd like to say that this incident cured her of her wild antics, but I'm afraid she was up to her old tricks the very next day.

In my next post I'll share another treasured item that sadly didn't survive our crazy little Baby. I'm also linking to Cindy's My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday.

Changing the subject a bit, I don't normally ask for favors, but my Dad is going through a very tough time right now and I would be so grateful for any prayers or good thoughts you could offer up on his behalf. Thank you all so much.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bird Nest Love....

 "If I can stop one heart from breaking I shall not live in vain. If I can ease one life the aching or cool one pain, or help one fainting robin unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain." (Emily Dickinson)

I love birds... I love bird's nests... So you can imagine how thrilled I was to learn that I won a giveaway that Sharon from Corgis In My Garden had for one of her handmade bird's nest pendants!!

Just look at the pretty packaging it was attached to! A work of art in itself! (Perfect if you were to give one of these as a gift. Such a lovely presentation!)

Just look at this intricate, delicate silver nest! Isn't it beautiful???

Court was kind enough to model it for me so I could take pix (but she made me promise to crop the photos because she said she looked a fright - hardly! But a promise is a promise.)

 I think it looks perfect on this simple silver choker. I'm also going to try it with a simple silver chain.
Sharon sells these beautiful nest pendants for $15 which includes shipping, so if you'd like to order one for yourself or for a friend, feel free to email her at: or visit Corgis In My Garden to contact her through her blog. And speaking of her blog, you must pop over to visit - you will fall in love with her sweet little Corgis! And you won't believe the recipe she just posted for Cold Oven Pound Cake... OMG, it looks SOOOO good! 

Thank you, Sharon. I love my bird's nest pendant!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. I'll be posting soon about some of Baby's latest escapades. She may be a cat, but she is definitely in the dog house!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hummingbird Heaven...

All critters and birds are welcome in our little backyard...

...and that definitely includes the tiniest visitors, our hummingbird friends.

I have four feeders in all. Two of the feeders hang from our swing set deck, one on each side.

I love sitting out here in the evenings because our little hummer(s) always hit at least one, if not both, of these feeders as they rotate around the yard about every 15 minutes or so.

It's a bit hard to see this little guy in the photos so I really cropped them.

But if you look close, you can see him enjoying his sugar water.

From the swing set deck, you can see across the yard to another hummingbird feeder that hangs from the mulberry tree.

And just look at that Lucifer Crocosmia in the foreground, now in full bloom. I have some very lazy hummers this year because they choose to fly right over those beautiful hummer flowers, preferring instead to plunk down at the various feeders!

(So far my Sammy Squirrels have left this window box alone. Remember last year when they dug out all my flowers so they could lay in the cool soil during an oppressive heat wave? Well, we're having another one of those heat waves, so the flowers may not last much longer!)

The white metal 'thing' that the feeder hangs from was a freebie from the dump several years ago. I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I brought it home, but it's the perfect place to hang the mulberry tree feeder.
I was able to get a picture of the female hummer at the mulberry feeder, but it was taken from over on the swing set deck with my zoom on, so again, I'm afraid the quality isn't so hot.

The last hummingbird feeder hangs from the old oak tree next to our deck.

This photo was actually taken last year. I was sitting on the deck right next to the feeder when this little gal came to eat so I was able to get some pretty decent photos of her.

I find myself changing the sugar water every other day in this oppressive weather. I found this great way to speed up the sugar water preparation (which is always 1 part sugar to 4 parts water).

Quick Hummer Solution: Put 1 cup water in saucepan. Put 1 cup sugar in saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. As soon as it starts to boil turn off the burner. Add 3 cups very cold water to the sugar solution and stir. And that's it!  Now it still might need to cool down before you fill your feeders (I always check it with my finger to make sure it has cooled enough), but it's just ready so much quicker than having to boil the entire 4 parts of water and then having to wait for all 4 parts of water to cool!

Speaking of cool, I hope you are all taking it nice and slow. So much of the country is suffering from such extremely hot temperatures, as we are here in the northeast. So take it easy, everyone!

I'm linking up to Cindy (My Romantic Home) for Show & Tell Friday so be sure to stop by and visit her and everyone else!