Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties
and things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!


Friday, October 30, 2009

And the Award Goes To . . .

Today I pass along the lovely award I received yesterday. 

This past month, especially, I have found so many wonderful blogs to follow, and I feel like I've made some new friends, too.  I would love to list every blog I follow for this award, but I will just list 6, lest my award be relinquished . . .

So, I pass this Gorgeous Blog Award on to:

Altered Schoolmarm  (Great music there, too, btw.)

Bobo Bun  (I hope you're feeling well enough.)

Everything by Twos  (You, too!)

Rainbow Child  (Such cute creations!)

Sadee Schilling Studio  (Wonderful art.)

Stitch Girl Stitch  (Happy Almost-Birthday!)

Now, ladies, this award comes with the obligation to post 6 things we don't already know about you.  And then pass it on to 6 blogs you enjoy.

Thanks again, Teresa (Marigold Manor)! 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My First Award!

Well, I am just giddy over here.  I received my first award/acknowledgement today!  Now, I know . . . I should not be looking to others for validation and worth . . .

But in the words of a great societal observer, Sally Field . . .

You like me!  You really like me!!

Okay, okay, I'll knock it off.  Keep my cool. 

Okay, I'd like to thank Kraft Service . . .

No, that's not right, either.

Well, the lovely Teresa, from Marigold Manor, has passed this lovely award on to me:

Along with this award comes the impetus to tell you all 6 things about myself that you don't already know.  Hmmm . . .

Okay, here goes . . .

1.  I have a pink kitchen and make no apologies.

2.  I can talk like Paula Deen, Edith Bunker, and the priest's mother in The Exorcist (quite an ecclectic bunch, don't you think?) despite being a confirmed Midwestern gal . . . complete with "accent," as I'm told by these East Coasters in their Baltimore accents that strongly resemble a New Jersey accent . . . deny it as they will.

3.  I have red hair that used to be stick-straight and went spiral-curly when I was pregnant with my son; I think I like having curly hair better.

(Okay, okay, that's not me . . . just an example!

4.  A rescued mourning dove lives with us.  She was found as a bald nestling after a spring storm.  We brought her in, kept her warm, force fed her (as doves must be), and raised her.  She, somehow, imprinted on the dog, so she couldn't be set free.  (She approaches the dog and tries to sleep by him -- what great news for the neighborhood foxes!)  So she has run/flight of the house all day, but sleeps in her cage as night as she has a tendency to become disoriented in the dark.  She is a full member of the family, and I adore her.

That's her claiming my daughter's Christmas gift for herself.

5.  It is my biggest fantasy to be a Radio City Rockette.  No idea where this comes from -- perhaps the fact that I am short and -- well, nothing of mine is shaped like a Rockette's.  When I met one in person last year, I got teary and made a fool of myself and I didn't care.

6.  I used to be renowned for my Christmas cookies, but just can't seem to pull the time together these past couple of years. 

So there you have it.  Still wanna hang around with me?

Many thanks, again, to Teresa.  Be sure and visit her blog, Marigold Manor -- it's one of the warmest and most enchanting blogs I've run across.

I'll be passing the award along in a separate post, so stay tuned!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Through The Eyes of a Child

So, as I said, I had Christmas on my mind yesterday.

Imagine my surprise when I saw my son's pumpkin.  He, all on his own and without consulting anyone, decided to carve a nativity scene on his pumpkin.

This was his first year actually carving by himself -- he's 9 -- and he did it freehand.

Let your eyes adjust, and you'll see a stable shape and then the three figures underneath, two even with praying hands, one in a manger, even the north star in the sky:

I know, I know . . . spoken like a proud mommy.  Well, I guess I am!

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God ~
even in the surface of a pumpkin.

Merry Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Revisiting Santa Claus

Okay, I know it's not even Halloween yet . . .

Please try not to get the pitchforks out . . .

but . . .

last night . . .

I started thinking about . . .


(I know, I know.)

Well, it wasn't so much me, it was Santa Claus who was thinking about Christmas.  Santa has to plan ahead and sleuth and slink to decide on -- and then find -- just the right gift.  I think you know what I mean.

Anyway, this led me to thinking. . . So I thought I'd get you thinking, too . . . (you can thank me later) . . .

If you could get one more gift from Santa Claus, what would it be?  What is the toy you wish you had most and missed out on?  Or which toy do you miss so much, you'd choose it again?  I'm speaking to your inner-child here . . . no mortgages-paid-off or dream cars.  What would the child that still lives somewhere inside you ask for?

Mine would be a very elaborate dollhouse.  Not a molded-plastic PlaySkool model or anything PlayMobil.  No.  Something more like this:

I see a Christmas tree in the middle of that gazebo . . . lit with the big, old-fashioned lights.  What?  You don't see it?  Hmph, funny . . .


Get any ideas from this view?  I wouldn't even know where to begin!  (But I'd figure it out.)

Now, trust me, this is pure fantasy.  The cost of one of these little beauties would -- and should -- go into our own house right now.  And I have been having enough trouble keeping up my real house, no idea when I would find the time to decorate a pretend one.  And let's really nevermind the fact that I don't ever think I had such a stellar year of good behavior as to be rewarded with this.  It's just pure fantasy.

Any idea what you would ask for?  (Let's forget whether we would actually deserve it or not, 'kay?)


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Quiet Sunday

Seems like a day to knit, watch football games, and possibly carve up a pumpkin or two . . .

Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy (Pink) Saturday Before Halloween!

Well, it's the Saturday before Halloween -- that means I have 4 costumes to conceptualize AND pull together, 4 pumpkins to get into touch with their inner-ghouls, barrels of candy to buy, and The Great Pumpkin to watch (this Tuesday, 8pm EST here in the US, on ABC, btw).

But, it's the Saturday before Halloween . . . these days, "Saturday" means P-I-N-K.

So in an attempt to meld the two, I bring you pink Halloween items for your pleasure, perusal, and purchase (if you so desire).  I trolled around on Etsy and came up with these unique treasures . . . and each and every artist was quite gracious about me posting their wares -- thanks you artsy gals!

Grab a snack and have a shop!

First, is this fun brooch, you would have to look far and wide to find such a cute -- and PINK -- Halloween accessory!  (But, don't worry -- I have!)

How great is this pink witch's hat?


Perhaps you would prefer something a bit more subtle?

Pink Heart n Crossbones Necklace

Or this one?  Who knew a skull could still look so pretty?

I know I wrote tenderly yesterday about Halloween cats, but who knew there was a Halloween rabbit?

These Day-of-the-Dead babies shoes are to die for, Amigas!

Another sample of this artist's work is in the right margin -- beyond cute!

Think of the wicked witch's brew one could cook up if only properly attired!

And last, but not least, this is not for the faint-hearted, but, I say, if you've got it flaunt it . . .

How 'bout this to hand out candy in?? 

The kids might not get it, but the fathers sure would!  

A big thanks to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for so graciously allowing me to participate in this fun little exercise -- it sure pink-ifies a Saturday!  Thanks, Beverly!

So, to all my fellow pink enthusiasts . . . well, actually, to whomever comes by to read this post:

I wish you a day of pinkness . . .
pink cheeks flush with laughter,
lips pink from a sweet kiss,
and hearts pink with joy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Original Halloween Cat

Once upon a time, there was The Original Halloween Cat.  You know the one; the one seen in all the spooky prints accompanying witches, popping out of pumpkins, and stalking along on a fence.  The cat was given this distinction because of the uncanny resemblance he bore to that black cat.  Afterall, if witches never die, nor do their cats, you can be sure.

His name was Wilson, and he was a skinny, scrawy, whiney sort of fellow.  He was adopted from the pound and made so much noise on the way home that his owners stopped the car and got him out to see what was the matter.  There was no matter, that was, as they would find out for the next 15 years, just Wilson.

The scrawny, black cat made his mister sneeze and wheeze, and he was as naughty as they come.  As a kitten, he never slept -- it was the talk among all who knew him.  And he rarely did as a grown-up, either . . . creepy, some would say.

The truth is, Wilson never grew up.  He remained a pushy, whiney, high-maintenance kitten all his life.  When his home expanded to include a dog -- when he was 10 -- he pouted under the bed for over a year, coming out only when the dog was outside or he when he was personally assured privacy and protection from such a beast.  You never do see a Halloween cat along with a dog, do you?

Wilson was skinny and he stalked around with his back all hunched up a lot, because he was always nervous and somewhat hesitant . . . as if he saw things no one else could see. Under the dark-lit sky, he longed to stand on the face of a sleeper and paw their hair on the pillow . . . so he spent most of his nights in a little "house" all his own in the corner of the bedroom. 

He liked to go outside, but was only allowed in an enclosed yard because he couldn't be trusted to look after himself, being the way he was.  The little black cat never accepted that and used to plot and plan all day, just waiting for the chance to run out the door as someone came in.  His mister and missus finally stopped chasing him, knowing he would come back eventually and beg to come in.  Here is a picture of the naughty little thing doing just that:

  See his orange Halloween collar?  Standard uniform for him -- he always looked quite dapper.

See his look of sincere regret and posture of reform?  See the plea in his eyes?  All lies.  All deceit.  But charming deceit.  As soon as the little black cat gained entry, he would proceed to immediately sit down -- even before the admitting door had been closed -- and cry to go out.  'Tis true.

As you can see, this cat was a lot of trouble and a lot of time and a lot of mayhem and, for all his fifteen years, he made his mister sneeze and wheeze, but, despite all that, his mister and missus loved him absolutely.

The Original Halloween Cat died a little over a year ago.  Well, perhaps it is more proper to say, he left his mister and missus, but he can still be seen every Halloween . . . on postcards & pillows, on candles & candy, in windows and down alleys.  His mister stopped sneezing and wheezing and, for that, his mister and missus are grateful.  But despite that and despite his constant whining and his constant trouble and mayhem, they miss him every day . . . but especially at Halloween.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's Almost Halloween, Dearies!

Okay, I thought it was time I finally Halloweened up for the holiday.
  What do you think? 

Now I have sunshine and breezes going to waste while baskets of dirty laundry languish in the darkness of the laundry room . . .

I have weeds that just may live to see another day . . . again . . .

And I have no idea what's for supper . . . none . . .


I DO have a cute Halloweeny theme now complete with cool stuff all down the margin.  So have yourself a look around . . . because after spending all this time cutseying things up . . . I've got nuthin' to say . . .

Oh, do consider clicking on the "playlist" on the right . . . I tried to scare up an unusual blend of bewitching tunes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Ever been kissed like this??

Fess up!

Most exciting/unusual kiss . . .

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Talk: Quote of the Week

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
  -Albert Schweitzer

Monday, October 19, 2009

Two Little Old Ladies Just Sitting on My Windowsill

Well, ask and you shall receive!  I bought two new girlfriends today.  Yes, bought!

You gals and your thrift store (or Op Shop!) finds!  I am usually soooooo jealous.

But. Today. Look who I found:

Aren't they cute?  (Excuse the bad picture . . . I'm not a good portrait taker.)

They are small enough to sit on my kitchen windowsill and listen to all my trials and triumphs as I do the nightly dishes.  Oh the talks we'll have.  I'll bet they'll even hear some mutterings. 

These faces certainly look like they have all the answers, don't they?

I've yet to figure out their names, but I'm sure they are something old and eccentric . . .

Any ideas?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Every Gal Needs a Girlfriend Sometimes

I'm single-handedly declaring today,  

"Best Girlfriend Day."

I'm in sort of a melancholy mood . . . no reason and lots of reasons all at the same time.  Know what I mean?  Only a girlfriend would.

It seems I am going through a time in my life where all my girlfriends are busy, as am I.  Most of us have kids' needs and lives to attend to or careers to keep plodding along.  Or both.  Some of us are busy caring for our beginning-to-age parents.  Some of us are trying to figure out what to do next.  I guess that's what it is.  I suppose that's what it is.

All I know is I'm in the middle of a house filled with love and kids and a husband and, yet, I admit I feel a degree of loneliness.  I really wish I had a good girlfriend with nothing to do today.  I could really use a day out (or in) with a girlfriend -- someone to share my gloom and cheer things up all at the same time.

Know what I mean?  A girlfriend would.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pink Saturday!

In the lovely tradition begun by How Sweet The Sound, I am introducing Pink Saturdays.

You may not know this about me yet, but I am a bit of a pink enthusiast.  Now, don't go all overboard and think I dress in all pink and have a pink, foofy house filled with pink puff balls and dyed lace curtains.  I'm still a normal person . . . we all are . . .

There are many of us, you know.

Each Saturday, I will share a picture of something pink.  This week, I share my favorite pink thing that I own.  Well, is it my true favorite?  Well, let's just say today it is.  I have so many wonderful pink things.

So, without further ado, my vintage pink wall-mount dial telephone:

It is in working condition and has a real bell inside that rings -- sounds so much nicer than today's digital rings.  It also has the original owner's telelphone number in that center circle.  My son is always after me to call it . . . little does he know how tempted I am sometimes.

It resides on my kitchen wall -- part of which is pink.  Most of the wall is actually two other shades of gray; the colors in my kitchen being pink, gray, and black, mostly.

That is an original photograph of my grandfather and his brother when they were young men in the 1930s. I love it.

(Ignore the object above that . . . I believe that would qualify for its own separate post some Saturday!)

So there you have it, pink thing #1.

And a big pink hug and kiss to any new visitors who stop by to see it!  

Friday, October 16, 2009

Need a Laugh? Me, Too.

My son woke up sick this morning.  Fever, headache.  blah

I sent my daughter off to school, my husband off to work, and set my son up in a chair in the living room for a morning of juice and rest.

With my cup of coffee, I sat down here feeling sort of glum.

Then I visited Weza at Everything by Twos and things brightened up considerably.  Actually, brightened up is an understatement; I laughed out loud.

So rather than do what, by comparison, would be a sub-par post, I will just send you over to Weza's for that smile she promises.  And I dare you not to laugh  . . . out loud!

Thanks, Weza.  I'm glad I found you. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

(In case you can't see . . . she's knitting.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Me and My Dad

Well, it's done.

My house is clean.

Well, just don't look in the closets.

And my dad is here visiting.

I only have a minute here.  We've been talking non-stop since he got here last night.

It's funny.  When my parents usually visit, they come together and my mom and I spend all the time talking while my dad sits by quietly and contently.  Now it's just me and my dad, and now we're still talking non-stop.  Hmmm, maybe it's me.  It wouldn't be the first time someone called me a chatterbox. 

How nice it's been catching up with my dad like this; it's a special time for us.  What a treat.

So please forgive my absence yesterday and short post today.  I'm too busy talking to talk.  :) 

I'll catch you all up soon. 

P.S.  We went to the pumpkin farm with the kids yesterday.  And we bought the biggest pumpkins ever!  Pictures to follow later.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Grandmother the Artist

Today is my grandmother's birthday. 

She died several years ago, but I still remember her clearly.  And the older I get, the more extraordinary she becomes.  Do you have someone in your past like that? 

She raised three children practically alone despite being married.

She did without more times than I'm sure she would admit to.  

She wrote to my father every single day he was away at war; that was 735 letters.

When she was older, she took herself to Hawaii -- alone, because it had been her dream and she couldn't find anyone to go along with her, despite being married. 

And she was an artist.  An artist who persisted without much encouragement.  I think my father was the only one who valued her work, when I was a child, at least.  Here is an example of her work, I think she'd like it if I showed it to whomever might be interested:

Of course, it's much better in person, but you get the idea.

I took my grandmother for granted when I knew her.  I was a child and, while she was certainly pleasant to me, she was not really a "kid person." 

Being a grown woman now, I finally have a full appreciation for the woman she was - extraordinary.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hugging My Tree

This past Wednesday was an extremely windy day.  So windy, it made the dog nervous.  So windy, it blew all of the papers off of my desk; my desk does not sit near a window.  So windy, it cracked a branch on my favorite tree in our backyard.

I love that tree.  It is awkward and misshapen because it was neglected when it was young; much the same way many of us are.  Someone planted it and never paid it any more attention.  It needed pruning and more sun, but it had to march on without.  (That all happened before we lived here.)  So it looks kind of weird now.  But it's awkwardness is what I love about it.  It drapes itself over our deck and cradles us in shade on the hottest summer days.  It holds the other end of my laundry line, making it possible for me to hang laundry out while standing inside my laundry room doorway.  (The day my husband installed the pulley, I insisted he tie it around the tree, no holes would be burrowed into my tree.  She has repaid me by holding whatever I hang on that line, even on the windiest days.)

The branch that cracked was a large branch and the lowest lying one . . . the one that fancies itself an awning for our deck.  It was large enough that, had it broken completely, it would have smashed the side of the chicken coop . . . the one that has taken our family (my husband, mostly) all summer to build.  So my sweet tree held onto that branch until we could have it removed.

The tree service came today and removed that branch and gave her a little shaping while they were at it.  She looks much different; I'll get used to it.

But I can't help feeling sorry for my poor little tree.  It seems she's been through a lot this year, this cracked branch being the most recent.  A severe gnawing by a dastardly squirrel being the worst.  That darned squirrel gnawed off a section of bark bigger than a dinner plate.  All the bark is gone, down to the bare wood.  I see that spot each time I look out my kitchen window.  It looks so much like a wound.

Then I saw these pictures and got an idea:

This was the work of Carol Hummel, genius artist.  Doesn't it just make you smile?  It's all crocheted.

Now, I am no genius artist, but I am a copy cat.  And I don't know how to crochet, but I can knit.  So (you see what's coming here, don't you?), I think I am going to knit up a little cozy for my tree.  I think she could use a good hug and a little scarf for the winter.  Yep, that's what I'm gonna do.

I'm off to research a little to I don't do her more harm than good.  Then I'm going to have at it.  I have some lovely pink Peace Fleece, that just sounds right, doesn't it?

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