Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks....

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, 
but the parent of all the other virtues."

"Be thankful for what you have. 
Your life, no matter how bad you think it is, is someone else's fairy tale." 
(Wale Ayeni)

Wishing you all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. 

I want to share a short clip from Knotts Landing, a show I used to watch many years ago. When I heard Kevin Dobson (Mack) recite "A Prayer for Children" on that show, it moved me so much. It made me realize how blessed I am, how blessed those in my life are, and how much I have to be thankful for. To this day I have never forgotten that scene and today seemed a fitting time to share it with you. 

P.S. I'm so sorry I'm late with the giveaway drawing. I'll announce the winner in my next post.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all...


Thursday, November 21, 2013

The bed hog...

This scene is not uncommon at our house.

Baby decides to sprawl out...

... on the comfy dog bed...

... while poor Mr. J is left with nothing but the hard floor.

Does this look like the face of a cat who has even a shred of guilt? 
No, I didn't think so either.

Sometimes Mr. J does try to make himself comfortable on the old chenille scatter rug...

... but it's hardly as comfy as his thick, padded dog bed.

Mr. J is confiding to Lamb Chop that he saw mommy (me) watching a video on the computer that shows this same scene playing out, on a daily basis, in houses all over America!

(This video is sooooooo sweet!)
Mr. J has never confronted Baby over his bed, but be sure to watch these sweet pups who are very politely trying to reclaim what is rightfully theirs from the family cat!
(I highly recommend enlarging the video so you can really see these guys!)

And don't forget, Monday at midnight is the deadline to leave a comment here if you'd like to win (your choice of) a print from my Etsy art shop!

I hope you all have a great weekend!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Step by step, inch by inch...

S-l-o-w-l-y we transform the larger spare bedroom into my new studio/office.

We're not quite ready to make the room mine yet, but we're inching along! Just a few months ago the corner of this room in the above photo looked like....

... THIS!

Yes, that's Baby up on the shelf peering at me. This is Amanda's old room. After graduating from college she did move home for one year, but then moved back to the city and has put down roots there. And although she moved out, many of her belongings did not! So before starting the room makeover, we started boxing up things she wanted to keep.

The first step in the remodel was to remove all the shelving. (Sorry, Baby!)

Next the outdated 1980's wallpaper and border had to come down.

 As you can see, this room has not been 'remodeled' since Amanda was a toddler!

I have to admit, this was the hardest part for me. I am way too sentimental for my own good. And as much as I was/am SO looking forward to this room being fresh and 'modernized,' it really bothered me to see the wallpaper and border come down. Amanda always loved it, too, and never wanted it changed or removed, even as she got older.

After the wallpaper removal, it was time for the old, worn wall-to-wall carpet to come out. Now that I had NO problem getting rid of!

After the plywood floors had been cleaned, the walls, woodwork, and closet doors were painted white. From this angle you can see that it's not a huge room by any means, but at 11 x 11, it's still bigger than Court's old room that I'm currently using as my studio office. It's just under 8 x 10.

All of the back-breaking work to this point was done by hubby as I've been too busy with transcribing and subbing to be of any help. I don't say thank you often enough - so a big huge THANK YOU to hubby for all he does!!! 

And then, in late October, the big day arrived!

And like magic...

... a shiny new hardwood floor...

... was installed by one/two guys who were in and out in record time...

... and we were left with all this GORGEOUSNESS!

I just wanted to stare at the floor and not put anything in the room at all!

But for the time being Amanda's old bed was put back in here...

... so that Tiger, now 20-years old, can sleep where she has always slept since she was 8 weeks old.

And now we're even talking about replacing the three bedroom windows!

There's one (drafty) window in each bedroom. Boy, do they leak cold air. So I'm not sure exactly when it will happen, but it's in the "definitely being talked about" stage!

All this getting the house in "order" made me think of one of my new prints that I just received copies of a few weeks ago. It's my take on an old house blessing.

The Beauty of the house is Order
The Blessing of the house is Contentment
The Glory of the house is Hospitality
The Crown of the house is Godliness.

I was thinking it might be nice to have a giveaway, so if you'd like a chance to win this 16x20 print (or any other 16x20 or smaller sized print from my Etsy art shop), just leave a comment by midnight on Monday, Nov. 25th, and I'll announce a winner on Tuesday the 26th.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tokens of Love and Canada Geese...

It is so apparent on my walks through the cemetery that loved ones may be gone, but they are certainly not forgotten.

If family members live nearby, it's not unusual to see grave sites decorated for fall.

You might find potted mums of hot pink...

... yellow...

... or red and orange.

In other spots, fall perennials pop up...

... adding beautiful color...

... to the graves they adorn.

There are ornamental grasses...

... autumn flags...

... and mini pumpkins...

... on some of the graves.

Yes, it's very clear that our loved ones are not far from our thoughts, whether we are close enough to visit and decorate their graves... 

... or whether we hold and cherish them in our hearts from miles away.

That's probably one of the many reasons I enjoy walking the cemetery so much.
You can feel the love. It exists in the newer sections where loved ones have recently been laid to rest and in old sections, where the gravestones record past decades, even centuries. It is felt by the graves visited daily and by those whose loved ones are not able to visit. Love knows no distance or boundaries; it transcends miles and years, and it can be felt as strongly as the warm sun or, more recently, the chilly air, when I take my walks.

And these guys are one of the reasons I enjoy my early morning walks. 
That's most often when I find the Canada geese there.

I always stay back a distance from them because I don't want to disturb them.

This was taken on a different morning, when it was quite foggy.

I fiddled around with the zoom on my camera and the contrast in editing this photo to make the geese more visible.

Just a couple of videos taken...

...of the geese flying (sometimes right over me)...

while visiting the cemetery.

This photo was taken in early October before most of the trees started changing. On this particular day, when I got into my car to head home, there was one perfect autumn leaf resting on the windshield. Not caught in the wipers or anything, just laying on the windshield. My mom's favorite season was fall. It made me think of her, of course. Perhaps that was the plan all along :)

Have a beautiful week, everyone!