Monday, December 21, 2009

Ah, Amor, Amor! ...sigh...

You know the feeling, or I'm sure you remember it: total infatuation. It's wonderful and wonderfully awful at the same time. You can't stand being apart from The One. You think about them all the time when you're not together. You look at pictures of them and it makes you feel both happy to gaze at their lovely face, and heartsick because they are not with you and all you have is a crummy photo. You wait impatiently for your next meeting. When you're alone, you sigh a lot and gaze off into space.

That describes me to a T ever since my granddaughter was born a little over a year ago. When I see Lily, words like snookums and punkin enter my vocabulary. I call her little one, baby doll, baby girl, sweetheart, snookie-wookums, punkin-roo, cutie pie, Lily Pilly -- they just roll right off my tongue. I'm not an overly demonstrative person and use very few endearments even with my husband who, although I love him dearly, is only once in a while called anything other than his name. In fact I've been accused of never giving anything away, but if Lily is in the room with me my whole world turns into a "precious moment" and the pet names and superlatives begin to fly out of my mouth. What is it about babies anyway that they can get under your skin to the point where you forget yourself and become a love-smitten fool speaking words dripping with honey? Ain't it great?

Lily with Lily's Mom, my daughter, Emily - another person who made my world precious.

Monday, November 9, 2009

St. Andrews, Scotland

I'm slowly working my way through video taken during our recent trip to Scotland. I don't have much in the way of editing tools so I find myself stuck with the raw video. Ah well. I'm learning a lot about what I should and shouldn't do next time.

This little movie of St. Andrews was taken after a harrowing drive from Edinburgh in a rental car. Thankfully, my husband was driving because we wouldn't have made it alive if I had been behind the wheel. Even though I began to get used to seeing people drive on the left side of the road, there is something forever cemented in my brain that kept screaming, "LOOK OUT! You're going to die because you're on the wrong side of the road!" I wish I was just being dramatic, but I'm not. I was a complete wreck by the time we got back to our flat that evening. My husband and I had a little heart-to-heart about avoiding rental cars as much as possible for the rest of our vacation. I had to voice my concerns tactfully so as not to insult his driving techniques. Being the wonderful man that he is, he took it all in stride.

On this particular day we ended up driving a little more than necessary because we kept missing turns that were clearly marked on our map, but not on the streets. Scotland's street signage is a little skimpy. We ended up winding around and going back and forth over the same roads until we finally got it right, only to find that the road didn't lead us to the place we were aiming for (we were looking for a particular hotel bar so we could stop and have a drink). We settled on second choice, the Rusack's Hotel, which is where you can hear silverware tinkling in the background (mine, as we were the only people in the bar at the time). We ordered a "full tea" for the equivalent of about $16 per person that consisted of ham and grated cheddar cheese on buttered white bread, cucumber and tuna fish salad on wheat bread, potato chips, various desserts that provided me with my first taste of clotted cream (yum!), and of course, tea. If our priority hadn't been the cultural experience we might've been a little annoyed at the price. You can just imagine that they saw us Yanks coming from a mile away and somebody said, "Quick! Get the tourists' menu out!"

The weather was windy and cold (you can hear the wind howling around us in the outdoor shots) with a few sprinkles thrown in for added effect. We shopped a little while there and bought some authentic St. Andrew's Golf Course paraphernalia as well as some Scottish tartan woolen throws. It is almost as difficult to find "made in Scotland" items as it is to find things "made in USA".

The town of St. Andrews is, to put it mildly, quaint. It reminded us of Carmel, California, which is one of our favorite places, although the median age of the buildings in St. Andrews has many hundreds of years on the buildings in Carmel. The sense of history in Scotland is just awe-inspiring. It was my first exposure to such a collection of ancient buildings, although I understand that that is the norm in  many countries. In California, we speak with pride about a building in Old Sacramento that was built in the 1850's. A contemporary build compared to what we saw in Scotland.

Downtown St. Andrews

Once again, I apologize for the amateur-level video, but I hope it gives you a taste of St. Andrews. Except for the car ride, I thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One Hour on a Bus in Edinburgh

I'm not very good with my video camera yet, but I thought I'd post the video I made during a city bus tour my husband and I took while in Edinburgh last month. It was a good introduction to the city and a good way to see some sights while still recovering from jetlag and our nightmarish experience on the plane. Our tour guide was a very friendly woman named Gwen, who we found typified most of the Scottish people we met while there. I highly recommend vacationing there.

Pop a dramamine and enjoy!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

International Travel Nightmares: Come Fly With Me, Come Fly, Come Fly Away....

Recently, I boarded a plane with my husband to fly from San Francisco to Amsterdam, on our way to Edinburgh. We flew KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines. Do not let the name fool you. Royal Pain in the A-- Airlines would be more accurate. We flew Economy Class. Again, a misnomer. It's really Serf Class. But then, we were flying to Edinburgh so what could be more appropriate than to pretend we were serfs. The problem was that nobody checked first to find out if we were game. I, as it turned out, was not.

When it was time, we went to our gate and waited to be called for boarding. I was feeling more than a little apprehensive about the 10 hour flight and the 11 hour layover in Amsterdam before we would proceed to Edinburgh.  I asked my husband if the plane we’d be on was bigger than the planes I was familiar with (I admit I am a novice when it comes to flying). The most I'd done recently was a two hour flight to Tucson in a 737. He assured me it would be much bigger, but warned that it would also be a lot more crowded. I had no idea. It went something like this:

Our row is called. We shuffle down the long, narrow, stuffy ramp to the plane. A flight attendant at the door checks our boarding passes. We go thru a narrow opening into the Serf Class section of the plane. Another attendant is flagging people to their appropriate side of the plane to find their seat. Down we go, passing row after row of full seats that are incredibly close to an adjacent wall with small openings to kitchens and lavatories. Our seat numbers are in row 42. Way down, over the wings. Oh good, I naively think. Sitting up here across from this wall would feel so claustrophobic. Glad I'm not up here.

Row 42. Doesn’t look too bad, but wait. Our seats are not on the window side of the plane. They are in the middle, where the wall used to be; four seats all in a row. As I study how close the seat backs are from the seats in front of them, I figure I must be hallucinating. I’m flabbergasted. Before climbing in I start thinking about how it’s going to feel to have my head in that tiny space. After my husband wrestles our bags into the upper compartments, I take the bags I want handy and start stuffing them under the seat in front of me by drop-kicking them into place. I sink into my chair, start doing some deep breathing exercises, and whisper, “Oh God...” the sincerest prayer I’ve ever prayed. Once seated, I found that I couldn’t lean over far enough to touch my fingers to my ankles, and even to get this far my face smashes into the seat in front of me. The flight is 10 hours long, and I am literally wedged into a space designed to comfortably hold my 20 lb granddaughter. To make the flight even more enjoyable both of the people in the seats in front of us elect to immediately, and permanently, push their seat backs out of the upright position so that, if I wanted to, I could count the hairs on their heads to pass the time.

Eventually, a couple of hours into the flight, dinner was served. I was optimistic that we'd at least have something to do to pass the time for a little while and take my mind off my space problem. Not to be. To get the full effect of what we experienced during our meal here’s what you can do at home. Strap yourself into a dining room chair with another chair within 6 inches of your nose. Then put your arms at your sides and have someone tie them down at your elbows. Now have your helper put a small, flimsy plastic tray full of food on your knees. The challenge here is to actually get food on a tiny picnic-size utensil and lift it all the way to your mouth without flipping the food over your shoulder. Trust me. This is fun for the whole family.

After a few hours I realized what a joke it was thinking I was going to whip out my knitting and while away the hours working on a cap. In fact, I had put enough yarn in my carry-on for two caps. I didn’t even crack a book, let alone knit. How could I? I couldn’t reach the floor to pull out my bag, and even if we did somehow manage that, I didn’t have any extra space in my lap for my knitting needles.

Finally, it was time to attempt sleep. We were jumping ahead 9 hours from San Francisco to Amsterdam, so suddenly it was 2:00 in the morning. Time to pop an Ambien and whisper another prayer for at least semi-consciousness for a few hours. I managed to wiggle my eye mask out of my purse, and then in a complete act of defiance, I too tilted my seat back out of the upright position and tucked my 4 inch pillow behind my head. Well, God is indeed good, and I think my husband and I both managed to doze for a few hours. Enough to make the time go by quicker, but not nearly enough to meet the minimum FDA requirement.

At long last we land in Amsterdam. How odd we humans are. The people all around us were noticeably quiet during the flight (probably couldn't inhale enough oxygen to produce a sentence), but as soon as the ‘fasten seat belt’ sign was off and people began standing, there was a flurry of conversation. I overheard several people who had just spent the past 10 hours sitting next to each other, discussing what they were going to do in Amsterdam, who they were going to see, who they worked for, etc., as if it was suddenly safe to open up because the conversation could only last for the few minutes they had before leaving the plane. I, however, uttered only a few necessary words to my husband, thinking that if I could just hold on another few minutes, I could have my panic attack in the comfort of the airport terminal.

Well, we made it to Edinburgh and have been enjoying our visit. Two nights after we got here we called KLM. We've upgraded our seats on the way home to Business Class. It only cost us $5,000. Some things you just can't put a price on -- well, I guess you can. In this case, it's $5,000. When I get on the plane, I will still whisper a little prayer for all the serfs, but fortunately for me I will not be one of them.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Prunes. It's What's for Dinner.

Prune-Fest 2009

One of my granddaughter's favorite foods is prunes. All in all, a yummy feast was had by all, and believe it or not, none of it ended up on the floor. We are nothing if not tidy.

I don't think Lily's mom was even in the same league when it came to face painting with food. And all she had to work with was a crummy biscuit.

Biscuit-Fest 1980

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Up for Adoption

adoption, adult adoption, motherhood, fatherhood, parenting, single parent, children

Twenty-nine years ago, when I was almost 26, I had a baby girl. I was single, making a minimum wage, living alone, and my baby's biological father (who I had been madly in love with) was nowhere to be found. I had the unrealistic hope that he would be so overcome by a sense of love and devotion once he saw the baby (which he never did, by the way) that he would sweep us off our feet and protect and provide for us forevermore. (What planet was I living on?) That was not to be, but I still wanted very much to be married for all the conventional reasons, and felt quite desperate about seeking a mate; there was no one on the horizon. That desperation probably seeped out making the whole "landing a man" thing less likely (men can smell desperation a mile away), even though I tried very hard to play it cool.

Back in 1980, the year of my daughter's birth, unwed mothers were still a bit risque. I hoped that being a single mother would add another layer to the veneer I was laying down that told the world I was tough, independent, liberated and didn't care what the establishment thought. The truth of the matter was that I was very tired all of the time, lonely a good part of the time, and constantly broke, although I can honestly say that I truly didn't care what the establishment thought.

I never doubted, however, my ability to be both mother and father. I always felt that my love for my daughter was so great that she couldn't possibly feel a void in her life that should have been filled by a father. And I think to some extent this was true.

After many years of dating - findin
g a few men along the way that I thought I loved but didn't love me, finding men who thought they loved me but I didn't love them, and finding men who fit neither category - I found my husband with whom I first had an off-again on-again relationship that went on for more than a decade before he finally decided he was ready. During our long courtship (I can't think of a word that actually describes what we put each other through during those years) my husband had watched my daughter grow up and had played the role of 'dad' in her life, even more so than most 'real' fathers I have known. By the time we married, my daughter was 17 and given her delicate emotional state (what can I say -- she was 17) we didn't entertain the idea of my husband adopting her, although we had discussed it previously and I knew my husband loved the idea, even though he already had five grown children.

adoption, adult adoption, fatherhood, motherhood, parenting, children

A few years later, my daughter got married and a few years after that, got pregnant. At the same time, we were finally putting together our Last Will and Testament, and for some reason, once again talking about my husband legally adopting my daughter. She was already 28, married with a baby on the way, but somehow it just seemed like such a beautiful idea. For many years my husband had felt like her father, and my daughter saw him as a dad, but wouldn't it be sweet and wonderful to make it so in the eyes of the law as well. To our joy, my daughter was enthusiastic about the idea, as were all five of my husband's children.

Yesterday, with our 7 month old granddaughter in tow, we went to court. The judge barely said two words to us as he pored over the documents we had filed, making sure everything was in order. He then looked up at us, the only people in the courtroom, and said, "Well... that's it." The four of us (my husband, my daughter, her husband, and myself) practically said in unison, "That's it?", and we were done.

As we walked to the elevator to go home, I fought back tears. I was amazed at the depth of my feeling about what had just transpired. I thought to myself, I'm a parent
with someone now. My daughter has a mother and a father. She's legitimate. Why these thoughts crossed my mind I don't know since I never felt she was illegitimate just because her biological father chose to abandon us. I never felt we were less of a family because it was just the two of us. But it was almost as if the void being filled yesterday was in my psyche as much, if not more, than in my daughter's. I felt as if a gap in our family circle was finally closed. I felt more complete somehow.

On the way out last night, I thought my son-in-law summed it up beautifully in his parting words to my husband. He said, "Thanks for adopting my wife."

Thank you, sweet husband, for adopting my child.

adult adoption, court procedure,legal adoption,family,parenting,fatherhood,motherhood

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Grandma's Prayer

I knew I was happy
(I was certainly content)
Then along came Lily
And up it all went
The ideas I had
About how I should spend
All of my days
Laid end upon end

God please give me strength
To hoist and to schleppe
This sweet baby girl
Who is gaining in length

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gimme Chocolate Everyday: Weight Loss Journey

I just joined a free online weight loss site ( instead of joining one of the ubiquitous diet centers. I have promised myself for years that I would never go on another 'quick fix' diet again. I know that the fix is indeed quick, but so is the time it takes for the weight to come back on. Weight Watchers was a winner for me for a number of years, but I'm feeling too lazy to join something that requires that level of attention to detail (hm, I think I may be unearthing some reasons for my recent weight gain).

So, back to the quick fix solution. Those commercials they air... those almost got to me. My daughter and I would speak in hushed admiring voices, "Did you see the Valerie Bertinelli swimsuit commercial?!?" That's what hooked me almost to the point of going for it.

Then I started thinking about the prepackaged food. How much I'd have to pay for the prepackaged food. How hungry I would get and then still end up scarfing my own food. How my blood sugar levels would probably drop through the floor. How my head would hurt because I was hungry and eating all that prepackaged food. Let's face it - the prepackaged food was my undoing.

So now I'm trying to keep my online food diary with sparkpeople, which I find pretty easy. If you find the food in their list it retrieves all of the pertinent information for you, and if it doesn't exist you can easily add it. It does a lot of other things too, like provide pie charts showing which categories of food you ate and why those were either good or bad choices. I love pie! I digress....

Today while I was lying to my laptop about what I'd just eaten I looked up and saw my little Lily grinning up at me and I thought, I can't wait until she's old enough to bake chocolate chip cookies wit
h me!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We Love Until It Hurts, But...

Today I didn't say the right things
I didn't give enough hugs
I didn't listen to all of their imaginary stories.
Today my prayers were too short and
my lectures too long.
My smiles, I'm sure, didn't hide my fatigue.
Today I didn't heal any wounds;
in fact, I'm sure I caused some.
Their tears fell and I felt too lifeless
to wipe them away.
Today I felt completely defeated and totally inadequate
for this position called "mommy".
But as I kneel in prayer to confess my failures,
I am reminded...
I am not their hope.
I am not their total joy.
I am not their salvation.
He is!
And they are his children even more
than they are mine.
I am reminded...
he always listens,
always guides,
always touches,
and always loves perfectly.
I can rest now, Lord, remembering
that I am not alone.

My daughter was almost grown when I came across this poem (written by Wendy Brewer). How I wish I had had it to read while she was growing up because I so often felt those same feelings of inadequacy and failure described so well in the poem. I worried about the effects my failures would have on my daughter. I knew that some of my shortcomings would leave permanent scars; the question was how deep would they go.

I want to pass this on with the hope that the poem's words of encouragement will help another struggling, tired parent who, each day, tries so hard to be everything to everyone.

And Emily, if you're reading this, remember these words whenever you feel motherhood overwhelming you. And you should know that I have always felt that you are a gift, more than I deserve.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thank You, God, For Saving My Life

(C, this poem is especially for you)

A little bird I am,
Shut from the fields of air;

And in my cage I sit and sing

To Him who placed me there;

Well pleased a prisoner to be

Because, my God, it pleases Thee.

Naught have I else to do;
I sing the whole day long;

And He whom most I love
to please,
Doth listen to my song:

He caught and bound my wandering wing,

But still He bends to hear me sing.

My cage confines me round;

Abroad I cannot fly;

But though my wing is closely bound,

My heart's at liberty;
My prison walls cannot control

The flight, the freedom of
the soul.

Oh! it is good to soar
These bolts and bars above,

To Him whose purpose I adore,

Whose providence I love;

And in Thy mighty will to find

The joy, the freedom, of the mind.

I found this poem in the book "A Step Further" by Joni Eareckson-Tada (check out Joni's website, she has an amazing story!) This poem was written by a French noblewoman named Madame Guyon who was arrested in 1688 and falsely accused of heresy, sorcery, and adultery by jealous church officials. She spent ten long, lonely years in prison after being convicted, and wrote the above verse during her confinement, which, Joni writes, " an eloquent expression of the strength God will give to the suffering heart that waits on Him."

I read this during a particularly difficult time of my life when I was suffering both physically and mentally. I was in so much anguish, day after day, month after month, that each day I woke up I wished it could be my last. I wasn't suicidal, I just wanted the pain to be over, longing for God to take me. When I read, and then re-read (many times) this poem I sensed my whole perspective on pain and suffering changing. "Well pleased a prisoner to be because, my God, it pleases thee." That is a point of view that never would have occurred to me on my own. My mind
just doesn't work like that, but I was able to see the beauty of it, and I wanted that conviction for myself. As I claimed this poem as my own prayer, my life slowly began to change. I know this isn't always the end of a person's story, but I was eventually able to find the medical help that I needed to drastically reduce the amount of pain I was having to deal with.

I'm much healthier now and, when I think back on those difficult years I realize I wouldn't trade them for the world. I never thought I'd be able to say that the suffering was a "gift", but it was. Would I still be able to say that if my pain level had remained high these past couple of years, had I not been able to find medication to help me? I'll never know. I'd like to think that I would, but I'm sure the jou
rney, if graphed, would be a line going up and down continually.

I know my suffering in this world is not over. Somewhere along the way I will experience more - it's part of the human condition, and I know I won't like it or necessarily be able to embrace it as I learned to do before. In fact, I'll probably have to start all over again in the process, but I'll have the memory, the experience of my previous victory over discouragement to draw on.

At the beginning of "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart, the angels are talking and Clarence, the guardian angel, asks if George, our hero, is sick, and the other angel responds saying, "No, it's worse. He's discouraged." May God help all of you with your own personal discouragements so that you can also say, "My prison walls cannot control the flight, the freedom of the soul."

Have a truly happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Are You Looking At?

"A year ago I was barely more than a cell.
What's your excuse?!?"

(Sometimes Lily has a bit of an attitude.)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Featured Etsy Shop: Rose Creek Cottage

One of my favorite shops on Etsy is Rose Creek Cottage ( Just the name of the shop makes me think of a cozy sitting room with a fire burning in the fireplace on a cold day, a good book, and a cup of tea. Or if it's summer, I see myself strolling through what else but a rose garden that surrounds a pretty white cottage.

The shop's owner, Carol, also writes an outstanding blog, sharing the ups and downs in her life and providing regular awesome inspiration to all of her faithful readers, of which she has many. As one of her "followers" I enjoy checking in reg
ularly to read her latest post ( One of the most poignant things she shares is her journey with her mother who has Alzheimer's. It's both heartbreaking and uplifting as it's obvious that Carol's approach to life is to never let go of her faith and never be afraid to share what's on her heart.

Back to her wonderful Etsy shop....

I've purchased a nu
mber of her Scrabble tile pendant necklaces for my granddaughter and several of my nieces. On seeing the necklaces at Christmas, my sister-in-law wanted one for herself. One of the great things about Carol's jewelry is that it appeals to all age groups.

I especially love the rhinestones that embellish so many of her pendants, adding such a sweet touch of bling. The packaging is fun, too. Each necklace in the 'Truffles' collection (like the ones pictured above and below)
is nestled in a truffle cup and tucked into its own little tin.

I also love the 'Definition' pendants. Each one comes with a charm that complements what is written on the tile.

Carol says, "You'll see that I love incorporating words and stories into most of my creations. I think you'll be pleased with the stories each one conjures up!"

Obviously a lot of people have been pleased since, as of this writing, Carol has sold 949 items on Etsy alone. She's also sold on Ebay and participates in craft shows and festivals.

All the best to you, Carol! You and your shop are part of what makes Etsy such a great community to be a part of.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy Birth Month!

jewelry, handmade jewelry,bracelet,birthstone,countenance jewelry, handcrafted jewelry,etsy,shopping,fashion, aquamarine, pearl, sapphire, amethyst
I love the idea of birthstones. Whenever I make a piece of jewelry using a birthstone, I always make sure to include the information about which month it is for in my description. I wonder who came up with the idea (a jeweler, probably) and how long it took to catch on with the general population. I also find it interesting that the list of stones has changed for some of the months over the years (a list can be found at the bottom of my Etsy profile page if you want to take a peek For example, the traditional birthstone for November is citrine; the modern is topaz. Who got to change that? Probably a jeweler who ran out of citrine.

When I was a teenager, astrological signs were a big deal. My best friend and I shared both a birth month and sign. We were very philosophical about the whole thing, spending time comparing our personalities and making sure we fit the description of our shared sign. We were polar opposites in many ways, but we always dug deep to find all the ways in which we were alike. I mean, we had to be, right? We shared a sign!

We humans love to find similarities with each other, and I guess if I met you and found out that you were also born in March, right away there would be that little bit of connection. And I'd have no problem knowing your birthstone: aquamarine, just like mine. I'd also wish you a Happy Birth Month!

Friday, March 13, 2009

All We Are Saying....

Never one to be overtly political,
Lily Joy surreptitiously flashes the peace sign.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Laying Up Treasures

On Etsy, if you time it just right, you can create what's called a Treasury, a selection of other people's work that you put together in an artistic way. I really paid attention last night when I knew I might get the opportunity to create one and was so excited when I was successful. This is the first Treasury that I've created, and it was so much fun I'm sure I'll try again sometime.

With Easter coming up next month I felt the crosses were even more meaningful, and I was thrilled with all the artistic interpretations of this beautiful symbol of faith. My Treasury was in place until March 13th. Thanks to everyone who visited.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Unexpected Landings

This seems so improbable and yet it happens time and time again every year when our magnolia tree loses its blooms. I imagine the exactness of speed and angle with which a petal must fall onto another plant in order for it to be impaled so perfectly. This petal has been given a second chance to survive for a short while longer - it won't be trampled or swept up with the other petals on the ground - all because it was snagged unexpectedly as it floated down to what would've been its natural destination.

Please excuse the easy metaphor -- sometimes I can't help myself.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Featured Etsy Shop: Sweet 'n Sassy Baby Boutique

I've been wanting to feature someone on my blog for a long time and decided that, due to my new status as Grandma, a baby store would be perfect. I find myself searching Etsy for anything baby-related, day-dreaming about all the good stuff I'd buy if I was a new mom. When my daughter was a baby I was always broke so buying just the basics was all I could afford, but also there just wasn't the great selection of baby goods available that there is today.

Sweet 'n Sassy Baby Boutique ( has some adorable accessories for baby and mom, and I might add, Grandma. Jennifer at Sweet 'n Sassy, says:

"As a stay at home mom, I did not like the usual baby accessories that you find in stores, so my mom and I decided to make our own. We got so many compliments on them that we thought we'd go into business! We specialize in funky, fun and fashionable burp cloth sets, wipe cases, blankets, and more. All Sweet 'n Sassy Baby items are handmade with the highest quality standards. We would not sell you something we wouldn't use ourselves."

This owl motif makes such a cute baby wipes case.
I love the trim around the edges. Gives it a nice finish and shows the attention to detail you will find in the products at Sweet 'n Sassy.

I particulary like this item because you can use it as a diaper clutch (it's big enough to include a packet of wipes), or use it for yourself as a clutch purse. Sold in two sizes.

This baby blanket is made with Robert Kaufman fabric and lined with soft white chenile. Looks so cozy!

Lots of great gift ideas in Sweet 'n Sassy's Etsy shop, for someone else or for yourself. Be sure to check them out!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Recognize the Joy

You never know what or who may show up on your doorstep...or windowsill. When I looked out my kitchen window one day and saw this little guy peeking in (actually he was about three inches long) I felt as if I'd just been given a gift.

Here's to living life always aware of the little surprises that make us smile.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I turn on the news and listen. I try to hear between the spoken lines that people still do have hope. I hear nothing but voices tinged with fear, frustration, anger, righteous indignation. I understand.

I turn on the news and watch. I try to see in people's eyes that they still trust. I see nothing but faces full of worry, sorrow, exasperation, sometimes even hatred. I've seen some of the same looks on my own face recently.

I turn off the news and look out my window. I see the beauty of our 50-year old magnolia tree, blooming its heart out, just like it does every year. This tree is full of hope.

I see daffodils that have come up from ground that hasn't seen a decent season's rain in many years. Their flowers are the softest pale yellow and the brightest golden orange. They are blooming almost as if in defiance of the drought we've been through.

It's been raining for days now, glorious, steady and pounding. This doesn't mean the drought is over. But it means we have rain today... now.... I can't help but feel more hopeful watching the rain. More peaceful. I feel that God is speaking to me through one of my favorite channels: nature.

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."

Matt. 6:26-30

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some of Us Got It, Some of Us Got More of It!

You know how it is. Some mornings you get up and you just know you've got it going on. It's a good hair day, you feel pretty in the outfit you've chosen, your skin has cleared up, those last few pounds are finally gone...yeah, one of those days.

My sweet cupcake, Lily Joy, at 2 months old. She's looking too 'something' for her shirt!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Etsy Shop Open

Help me choose a banner for my new Etsy shop.

Banner 1
handmade jewelry countenance sterling silver gemstones necklace bracelet earrings

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