Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hello there!

How in the world are you?  It's been such a gigantic change to suddenly find myself living with four other people!  It is nearly a year since I posted, but in my mind, I have written over and over.  Wanting to lately,  more and more . . .

Winifred Watson, the author of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, abandoned her successful writing career after the blitz in London destroyed a family home and forced multiple generations of family to live under one roof.  When Persephone Classics republished that book a few years ago, an interviewer asked her why she had stopped writing.  Her answer was simply, "You can't write if you're never alone."
 . . . this, I understand.

Today, I'm going to dip my toes back into the water, ever so lightly.  I have something that I just have to share with you!   Do you know Made by Joel yet?  I've been enjoying the daylights out of his wonderful ideas these days . . . with multiple generations living under one roof. ;)

He's posted such a fun project today!  Since I went to Paris, there are a couple of little girls in my life who can't get enough of it.  Particularly the Eiffel Tower, probably because Grammy was kind of pleased to have climbed it, without having a heart attack or anything!  They will love this.   It's a sort of animated stroll through Paris.  Joel intends it as a Valentine . . . maybe I can wait till then.  

I've been off blogger for so long, I can't seem to make the photo into a link . . . while I sort that out, this link will get you to the page that includes this printable, and a brief instructional video.

Here's a little get acquainted video  . . .

He has the most wonderful ideas.  All manner of playthings, coloring pages . . . his Paper Cities . . . I just  love his Paper Cities!   Paper City . . . Paper City Paris . . . Paper City Sydney . . . Paper City Road Trip . . . I love, loved . . . Paper City Nativity Scene . . .there is even travel sized Paris . . .

Enjoy, enjoy!  I hope to see you again!  For now, I'll try to figure out how to do this, again . . .  

Much love!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Things, they are a changin' . . .

Well.  Life has a way at throwing surprises at you, doesn't it?  Mine surely has. It's such a Merry-Go-Round!  Maybe a Tilt-a-Whirl.

I've practically abandoned my blog.  Not because I want to, but there are no more hours in the day than there were before . . . and mine are ever so much more full!

My husband retired.  Gasp!  He's way too young for that nonsense  :) . . .   but you know how the economy has been . . .  and there was a kind of golden parachute . . . jump now.  You know?  So he did . . .  by doing so, helped to save the jobs of younger men.  We hope.  Suddenly {6 weeks notice}, I went from living virtually alone to suddenly having a full time husband.  I teasingly refer to time, as "before" and "after" "he moved in".  Twenty-eight days later, our daughter's marriage ended.  She has a toddler and one who was just about to enter Kindergarten.  She had been a stay-home Mommy.  So that's that.  While our daughter adjusts to the challenges of becoming a working, single Mommy . . . Papa and I are learning to be nearly full time Grandparents.

This kind of adjustment can take some time and effort . . . but the children . . . the sweet little things!  So . . . we're busy learning how to entertain little ones, and figure out what those cantankerous little appetites will eat.  I think we're getting better at it.  We're doing training wheels and training pants . . . I know I'm much better at cooking now that I have a two year old standing beside me on a chair to show me the ropes.  It's true!  She told me so!   I have re-learned; the unbelievably musical sound of children's giggling glee because I made pancakes!   . . . the indescribable  beauty of a multi-colored chalk covered driveway . . . that my oven can still bake cookies . . . {not that it should} . . .  I know who Chloe, and Peppa, Angelina and Poppy Cat are.  I have vases full of the shortest stemmed flowers!  {And very few blooming in the yard.}  :)  I know where to find Goldfish crackers and Fruit Roll-ups at the grocery store again.  I have a secret stash of M&Ms, for melt-down emergencies.  I'm not half bad at slicing apples, and cheese, and serving up a delightful array of tempting, healthy snack trays . . .  Creative Sandwich Cutting is becoming my favored creative art form . . . my Pinterest has fun and educational Children's activity boards . . .

Yep . . . this is where I am. . . not so much of my typical blog fodder, I suppose . . .  Of course, there are still the Silversmithing Classes {which I take}, and the Soldering Classes {that I teach} . . . but a typical day isn't nearly as involved in my once customary pursuits . . . and I am so much richer and more blessed for it . . .

I will stop by now and again to check on all of you and your wonderful pursuits . . . but as for me . . . well, things have certainly changed around here!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello. My name is Debbi. I am a bibliophile.

Yes.  That pretty much sums it up. 
I borrowed the photo from Yesterday's Books in Modesto, California . . . one of my favorite places on Earth . . . even if they have retitled their previously Pre-1950's Fiction section, to Pre-1960's, and totally allowed that category to atrophy.  I can live with that.  I have Internet.  But as a previous small business owner, I would really, truly, rather buy locally. 

I still recall the day, gosh, a lot of years ago when after months of searching, that they finally found a copy of For Love of a Rose, by Antonia Ridge* for me!  In England! Oh, my word!  The wonder of it all! In England!

Recently, I wrote this little recommendation for them . . .
I might be a bibliophile, but . . . I picture the first time I walked into Yesterday's Books {100 years or so, ago} as though it were a scene in a movie . . . slowly I wandered through the aisles {which glowed with a golden light from above . . . the air is a little bit misty in my movie version}, awestruck . . . unbelieving eyes moving from row of books, to stack, to the next row . . . taking in the beauty of it all . . . ;) and the scent . . . oh, my Goodness, the scent . . . the perfume of wisdom and knowledge . . .
I have had the privilege to visit the basement of Princeton Theological Library where the very oldest tomes are held {it is the second largest theological library in the world, second to the Vatican}, and the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in England . . . I want you to know that this place shares the very same wonderful perfume of aged and wondrous books. Yesterday's Books is a little spot of wonder and wonderfulness in this world.

Would you like to see a picture of pure glee?

Princeton Theological Library, with my favorite theologian, our youngest son, Sam.

See?  I'll bet you thought I was kidding!
In our home, we have 24 running feet of floor to ceiling book cases . . . and piles, and boxes, and stashes of books.  Then there's our son's very large theological library, and while, technically, they don't belong to me, we are storing them {possession being 9/10's of the law, and all} . . .  
I have often said that my legacy will be that I have left all of my children with a love for reading, and an entire library.

The minute that we moved into this house, my husband built window seats and bookcases in each of our children's bedrooms.  A proper place to read, you know . . . with curtains that draw . . . allowing for quick transportation to Neverland . . . or Wonderland . . . or Dreamland . . .

As a child, I was often called a bookworm.  I always thought it a compliment. 
I have completely missed the intended mark of this post . . . {I rest my case}
I wanted to share with you the manifesto that is posted in the window of:
A World Class Bookstore in the Heart of Mendocino Village

I stood there and read it with complete joy and satisfaction!

"WE BELIEVE IN THE BOOK. We believe in quieting the noise and listening to the stories. We believe in traveling far and wide between paper pages. We believe in touching the words, scribbling in the margins, and dogging the ears. We believe in surrounding ourselves with books long finished and books not yet read; in revisiting our younger selves each time we pull old favorites off the shelf.
We believe in five-year-olds inking their names in big letters on the flyleaf. We believe in becoming someone else for four hundred pages. We believe in turning off the screens and unplugging the networks once in awhile. We believe in meeting the author, reading the footnotes, looking up the words and checking the references. We believe in holding our children on our laps and turning the pages together.

We believe in standing shoulder to shoulder in comfortable silence with our fellow citizens before a good shelf of books; we believe in talking face to face with friends and strangers in the aisles of a good bookstore. We believe that together, readers, writers, books and bookstores can work magic.

If you believe, please join us: SAVE THE WORLD. BUY A BOOK."


~much love!~

*For Love of a Rose was recommended by an article in Victoria Magazine . . . the Rose issue that year . . . which also directed me to an annual antique rose garden tour in the gorgeous hills and Gold Rush era gardens of Placerville, California . . . that Rose Garden Tour is still one of those special moments in my life . . . you know the kind . . . every time you think of it, you can even feel the feelings that you felt at the time . . . feel the heat, remember the fragrances . . . hear the footsteps on the gravel paths in the gardens . . . taste the lemonade, revisit the must and the darkness of the antique stores . . . 
I'm sorry.  I'm back, now.  :)  Don't read the reviews!  I didn't know that it was a history book when I read it, although it becomes obvious . . . what it IS about, is three generations of the same family in France . . . the story of their struggles to develop and propagate some of the most famous and still sought after rose varieties, ever . . . while having their homeland and gardens ravaged, repeatedly through two World Wars.  All reviews contain a spoiler!   Not this one . . . such as it is . . .  Since I hadn't knowledge of the end of the book, it was all the more wonderful for me . . . I remember thinking it was as much a romance as an historical account {not that kind of romance} . . .  I promise . . . I still wish I could see it in movie form . . . maybe I'll write to Johnny Depp.   
Two year old Fiona, deeply engrossed in a good book . . . her Mommy noticed that she was curled up with a book in my favorite reading chair.  "How sweet."  I asked her if she could tell which book . . . Jane Austen's Minor Works . . . that's when camera came out!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Left Brain, Right Brain

I need no other words . . .    Click on the photo to enlarge . . .  It's a Mercedes Benz ad.  Go Mercedes!  It can be difficult to enlarge enough to read the descriptions . . . just for you . . .

I am the left brain.
I am a scientist. A mathematician.
I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear.
Analytical. Strategic. I am practical.
Always in control. A master of words and language.
Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers.
I am order. I am logic.
I know exactly who I am.

I am the right brain.
I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion.
Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter.
I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet.
I am movement. Vivid colors.
I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas.
I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel.
I am everything I wanted to be.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Remember Your Old Friends

Did you see "For Better or for Worse" in your comic pages, today?  Pardon me, but I have to comment . . . it's not my intent to pick on the cartoonist . . .I think this was the greater thought that she was after . . . and I would like to expand on it . . .

Eight years ago, my blessed Father passed away near the end of September.  Two months later, December 2003, I was still in no emotional condition to send Christmas cards.  I planned to send notes in January, I had so much to tell!  We had our first grandchild!  Our son had safely served our country and was now out of the service! . . . but in the very first week of January, they were suddenly able to squeeze me in for the right hand surgery that I cancelled the day after we lost Pop.  No Christmas cards, and no notes went out that year.

The next year {2004} the number of Christmas cards that we received dropped to half.

That's not all!  The day before Thanksgiving {also 2004} {the year we received so few cards . . .}, I had a second surgery on the same hand.  For that one, I got to wear a 10 pound cast that immobilized my arm from my fingertips to between my elbow and shoulder for six weeks.   . . . again, I wasn't able . . . after six weeks in a cast, I wasn't even able to hold a pen . . . sigh . . . no Christmas cards, and after having the cast removed somewhere around New Year's Day . . . no New Year's letter to explain . . . you can imagine what that did to our Christmas cards the next year! 

There were so many other sad and difficult events that took place in those couple of years that it even hurts to remember those times . . . At a time when we were absolutely reeling, so many of those who we thought cared the most, dropped us from their lists. When we could most have used the greetings, the remembrances and the cheers . . . old friends assumed we were cutting them off . . . so did the same to us. 

Here is my plea . . . if you haven't received a Christmas card from someone with whom you have exchanged greetings for years, Call them!  Check on them!  Reach out to them!  SEND THEM A CHRISTMAS CARD!  This year AND next year, and the one after that!  What's the worst that could happen?  They could know that you care?  Isn't that worth a few minutes of your time, and the price of a postage stamp?

I'll step down from my soapbox now.  Thank you very much. 

~Much Love!  Merry Christmas!~

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The P.I.N.K. Method

This post is definitely gonna fall in the T.M.I. category . . . and I'm embarrassed to admit this, but . . . I am on a diet. There. I said it. {They say that it's a good idea to share that . . . accountability and all . . .}

My doctor says, I am not obese. Well, that's a relief.  Here's the most embarrassing part, I bought the P.I.N.K. Method. I've never been on an actual organized diet before, but I guess I've finally arrived at that place . . .  you know? . . . where I am ready to do something about it. So far, in three days, I've lost four pounds.

Let's say that I'm a mature person {I am a Grandma . . .}.  {Had to make sure you know where I am coming from . . .}   I've read through the book, and I can tell you this much . . . prudish, Christian Grammy's are not their target market. I am completely offended by the writing, the silly visualizations, the language . . . Sexy Salad?  Come on.

. . . but the diet makes sense. I bought it because I get to buy and prepare my own foods. No additional cost, and it seemed like a reasonable price to me, two $40.00 payments, or one $67.00-ish payment . . . which still came to about $80.00 with the addition of sales tax and shipping . . . que sera, sera . . .

I have certain dietary restrictions . . .{one of those health things mature people get. . . sigh . . .} I can't eat nuts, seeds and berries. These things are staples on the diet. . .  you know, whole grains, strawberries {any berry, really}, nuts . . . great fibre and protein, but not for me . . . I decided to substitute as nearly as I could . . .  I'm using strawberry nectar instead of strawberries, which includes a certain amount of sugar . . . this substitution displaces fibre, so I take fibre . . . what can it hurt? I will eat cracked wheat bread when it's called for instead of whole grain . . . am using dairy milk instead of dairy substitutes . . . and it is working! {If I had known it was this easy, I would have gone on it the minute I had to take prednisone!} . . . and still, for the first time in my life, I'm losing weight!

I have not yet begun the work out portion of the program, I need to stay in the first stage till I have lost 5 to 10 pounds, then the next stage including the workout begin . . . I'm loving that 5 pounds could be tomorrow! It could be right now! This minute!

I plan to partake of Christmas festivities and all of the goodies that come with it! So my start may be slow-ish . . . but doggone it! Christmas only comes once a year! And I started just two weeks before Christmas! But start I did. And so far, while I find the book to be crude, tasteless, and  unprofessional {it is self published} the diet is working just fine. And I am very pleased. Thank.You.Very.Much.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Winter Wishes Theatre

Have you always hoped that someday you would be able to take a class from Colleen Moody, too?  I found one that I loved, and I couldn't find a single reason not to go . . .
I can't believe it!  I finally did it!  Above is the beautiful project, originally designed by Colleen Moody and Iva Wilcox {this day Iva couldn't make it to teach}.  Such a shame, but Colleen, I think can do anything she turns her hand to . . . it was a wonderful, if intense day long class . . .
This is not my doll, but the model that I'm working from . . . don't you just love it?  Colleen is such a uniquely talented doll atelier . . .
and if I wasn't aware before, after I had the opportunity to observe her talented and capable hands form a lump of clay into a beautiful doll face, I certainly am aware now!

Colleen's sweet little snow lady . . .

And mine!  Only partially finished . . . but maybe tonight her skirt will happen . . . 


My lighted theatre was a only slightly more complete than this, the last photo I took of it before leaving it in Dede's tender care.  :)  I flew . . .  didn't even try to get that on the plane, Dede Warren is shipping it to me.  Bless her sweet heart!  Thank you, Dede! 
The completed theatre made by Colleen Moody and Iva Wilcox . . .
Mine only dreams of being so lovely someday!
Hopefully before Christmas!

I had a sweet little visitor the day that my package arrived . . . Thank you, Dede. 
Now I really can't wait to finish it.