Thursday, January 28, 2010

Grandma Cassie Lillian

I want to thank all of you who have prayed for and asked after my dear Grandmother. She went to be with the Lord 48 short hours ago. She was 99 years, three months and 5 days old. She said she always knew she would live to be a hundred, so I'm thinking the fact that she was in her hundredth year must qualify. She had the most beautiful spirit. She was cheerful, and funny, and happy, and never stopped working, in spite of the most difficult life.

Grandma lost her Mother very young. She was only about 40 when she died in a car accident, when there were still almost no cars on the road.

Then there was Louise . . . Grandma's second daughter. Louise was buried on her 13th birthday.

I'm telling you this because I keep having this picture come into my mind, over and over . . . and it's beautiful . . .

it's Grandma, in a housedress, as a young woman . . . and Great Grandma . . . and Louise . . .
they are all holding hands and laughing and dancing around in a field of white wildflowers.

I think they must be . . . . . .

Joann, Grandpa, Louise, Grandma

Grandma and Kenny

Grandpa and Grandma
Yep . . . they trapped.

Grandma is in the car, her sister Nellie is behind it . . .
{I'm not sure which is which, but since there are six children they would be} Grandma's Children: Louise, Joann, Haward, Kenny,
and Nellie's daughters; Geneva and Carolyn


Adults, left to right; Nellie, Viola, Grandma, Their Papa ~ Ambrose Brown
Children, left to right; Geneva, Carolyn {both Nellie's}
Haward, Joann and Louise {Grandma's}

I found these photographs on facebook, courtesy of a cousin . .
except the first one, the most recent . . . I took it at Sam and Amy's wedding this last June.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One World One Heart

All Good Things Must Come To An End.
I'm sorry, but the giveaway can no longer accept entries.
The winner is . . .
Rachel at Jives Jools!
Congratulations, Rachel!
Enter by Valentine's Day!
February 14, 2010
{Drawing will be February 15!}
One World One Heart was established by Lisa Swifka on her blog A Whimsical Bohemian.
The goal is to encourage bloggers from all over the world to find one another, and hopefully become friends.
If my memory serves me, it is a time honored peace plan. When you have friends in another part of the world, you are more inclined to see that place as real, with real families, who really shop for groceries, launder their clothes and love their babies. A kind and noble plan.
So . . . the deal is for you to click on Lisa's link above where you will find a list of all of the current participants, each one offering a free gift drawing. At this writing, there are already 796! Can you believe that? 796 opportunities to win a prize! How wonderful is that?
My giveaway will be a hand strung pearl necklace. {Made by me! Honest, I know what I'm doing.} Please leave a comment, and you are entered. If you don't have a blog, you will either need to leave me an email address or check back February 15th to see who won! You're all so sweet . . . I wish I could make one for each of you!
Until February 15th . . .
here's a snapshot of the prize that I am offering . . .

Life and Art

Sooo . . . I joined a charm swap, lots of parameters, and kind of a short deadline for my schedule, by the time I joined. It sounded like fun . . . loved the theme, but the deadline was December 8th, smack in the middle of Christmas preparations. I was working away when I got the happy news that the deadline was extended . . . to early January. Naturally, {and mistakenly, as it turns out} I stopped working immediately . . . I had plenty of Christmas preparations to occupy my month. The new deadline was a gift, and I so appreciated it.

As it turns out, January has been a really, really bad time to try to complete this project. It has certainly been a month of highs and lows . . . all that life can throw at you, but some of it really, really wonderful as a matter of fact . . . and none short of movie fodder . . . so it is that I have let down my host, and the group, and I have finished very, very late.

That said . . . here is my completed project. The charm is tiny, made from vintage French watch crystals and vintage Children's illustrations. The theme was Fairy Tale and to include red somehow, with a finished size of no more than one inch, bail included. I bought a vintage copy of the book, and reduced it to roughly 2 1/2 inches, square. The real walnut is hinged {sort of}, and is the intended gift box, {directions here}. . . . sigh . . . all dressed up and no place to go. {The image inside the charm is one of Thumbelina comforting the Swallow.}

So, I am sorry, to the group in the swap that I let down. Life and death await no one's schedule. We have the most beautiful new granddaughter, and my blessed Grandmother is dying. Oh, my heart, my heart.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Puttery Cure for Discombobulation

I'm all discombobulated. The last several days have been frightful and unnerving, and I am, really truly, discombobulated. My dear blog friend, Alison, has a cure for this. {Although she intended it for a sweet, soft, tender bedtime, tuck-in treat, I have another plan for it.} By subscription, she sends daily Puttery Posts into my very own inbox . . . just waiting for me to open this little gift~wrapped delight. Today's puttery treat . . . dare I share . . . suggests the loveliest cup of Chamomile~Lavender~Vanilla tea, sipped from the loveliest cup and saucer that one can find.
It has to work . . . it just has to.
I'm off to find that cup!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Creative Clutter

Aren't they beautiful?
Don't you just love creative clutter?

All over the house?

Look what I'm making! They're unfinished, and likely I won't get pictures of the finished product, but I'll try . . .




It's going to be such a beautiful wedding!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Do you know what today is?

It is just the happiest day! . . . The most wonderful day! Yes! Yes, you're most right! We're getting a baby, we're getting a baby! Our son and daughter in law are blessing us today. They're keeping the baby's gender a secret, so we'll all find out together bright and early this morning! Oh, happy day!
Isn't it wonderful!?

Maeve Elizabeth
Mommy and baby are wonderful!
. . . and beautiful, too!
Talk about tickled pink! They already have two boys. We are all just beside ourselves!
Her Daddy's
Graphic courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Mmmmmm . . . .

Ever have one of those days when coffee tastes as good as you wish it would when you've directed your cart down that aisle at the grocer, and someone slightly ahead of you has just ground coffee beans into a lovely craft paper bag, bound it up and gone. . . when you just wish you could tell who it was so you could run after them and beg pardon, "Could you please share with me which variety has stirred that incredibly luscious, full bodied aroma into the atmosphere" . . . teasing your taste buds into a frenzy?

I'm having one of those.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Community Responds to Injured Firefighters

On Facebook

During the night on January 1st . . . almost January 2nd, the roof of a garage on fire collapsed . . . while two Modesto Firefighters were on it. JD Clevenger {Jason}, who was burned on 10% of his body, and JW Adams {Jim}, who had burns over 40% of his.

Firefighters train. They train a lot. They know how to tell if it isn't safe to be on a roof. Of course, fire is inanimate. It does what it does because that is the way fire behaves. In this case, it appears that there may have been an alteration of the roof's construction that caused it to fail, when all the training in the world said it shouldn't. And besides these two men, an entire community of firefighters and their families are loving each other just a little bit harder.

We have felt so complacent and confident for such a long time. My husband has been a firefighter in Modesto for 29 years. There have been almost no similar injuries during his entire career. There have been terrible, life altering, injuries, but never this type. I have been asked a thousand times over the years how I manage to keep from worrying every minute. I explain the training, and the confidence that I have in my Man's strength, experience and most especially his judgement.

A couple of years ago . . . I hit a car in a parking lot while backing out. I was intent on watching two bouncing children coming my way . . . when I heard that awful smash, I had no idea what I had hit. None. Couldn't reconcile it. . . . it changed me, as small an event as that was . . . for a while I had little confidence driving at all, and I had never been in an at-fault accident before. I still park at the end of the parking lot where there is ample space . . . and walk . . . and call it exercise.

If something as small as my fender bender in a parking lot can do that to a person's psyche . . . what can this catastrophic roof collapse and the resulting injuries do to those men, this entire Fire department and their families?

Please pray for JD Clevenger and JW Adams. Please pray for their physical and mental well being. Please pray that infection will never plague them and they will have miraculous healings and successful surgeries, and . . . the pain. Please pray for the pain.

Please pray for their wives and children and parents, brothers and sisters, possibly grandparents. It is also so very difficult for all of them.

I understand that the community of Modesto has shown such compassion and caring that strong men are brought to tears. In response to the needs of these two men and their families, the City of Modesto administrators, the Modesto Police Department, the Fire Department, {chiefs and rank and file} have begun to show what they are really made of . . . and they are made of fine stuff.

The show of support from other fire departments has been touching. Touching indeed. I will try to gather stories of the thoughtfulness and kindnesses to report to you, later.

In the meantime, the affected, who really, really can use your prayers for comfort and healing {in addition to those already mentioned above}, are the 911 dispatchers, AMR crews, the doctors and nurses, the woman and her two children, residents of the house that burned, {especially the woman who accidentally started it}, the neighbors who were witnesses, the other firefighters on scene, JD and JW's captain {Captain Ewert}.

Thank you for your care and concern, and prayers . . . especially your prayers. Most especially your prayers.

Please feel free to join the Facebook group, above, posted under the video.

from Debbi ~ {a Modesto Firefighter's wife}


I am making my first ever {that I remember} News Year's Resolution! There. I said it. That makes it official. Obviously, I don't "do" resolutions. So I kind of prefer some other term, which as yet escapes me . . . ah well . . . but as I want to be official about this {we'll call this little session: accountability} I'll spill my beans right here, all over your computer . . .

Spurred by my very dear blog-friend Alison May of Brocante Home:

". . . might I suggest you set upon creating a list of must-read books for 2010? Choose a book for every month of the year: books you have always planned to read but have never found the time, books from one particular author or books that will teach you everything you need to know about a subject that makes your heart a little giddy..."

I am reserving the right to switch them out . . . because I made this list out of my very own library, and one or two are going to be . . . maybe not what I hope they will be.

I have many, many books! Many, many! {ask my poor husband} {many} I am a hopeless bibliophile. I used to work at a little shop that sold a few used books . . . when I left, their sales went down considerably. I have a really, quite wonderful vintage collection from which to select . . . I simply stood in front of the bookcase, and this time, instead of thinking, "I really want to read that one sometime", I added the title to my list.

I don't plan to schedule them in any particular order, likewise, I list them in no particular order:

Shadows and Sunbeams by Fannie Fern 1854
Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis 1925
Looking Backwards 2000-1887 1888
My Favorite Stories 1928 {a collection of stories published in Cosmopolitan Magazine . . . it was not available for sale, only by subscription.}
Auld Licht Idylls Better Dead by JM Barrie 1896 {another interesting article youmight enjoy}
The Story Teller 1902 {a collection of Fairy Tales}
The Science of Poetry and The Philosophy of Language by Hudson Maxim 1910 {signed!}
The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew by Margaret Sydney {This is a re-read, I read it when I was a child . . . mmmmm, such happy memories!}
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart 2007 {Youth Fiction which I ran across while Christmas shopping . . . looks good!}
For Love of a Rose by Antonia Ridge {Can't find a link that I like well enough to include, but I can't understand why this hasn't been made into a movie yet! Oh, and it's another re-read.}
Ruby Rest by Tyler Oaks 2007
. . . and something . . . anything by Miss Read

I really like the look of this list! Seeing it typed out . . . it's really exciting! . . . to quote Alison again, "it's something that makes my heart a little giddy!"

I am very, very happy with this list. So there you go. When you make yours, tell me about it for sure!

I have a cute story for you about Ruby Rest by Tyler Oaks. A couple of years ago {obviously 2007} as I pulled the door open to our local Borders Bookstore, my eye was captured by a sign advertising that there was to be a book signing at 2:00. I glanced at my watch, and it was a little after two. Perfect! So scanning the store, I saw a large number of people seated in the coffee area, all seemed to have books on their laps. So that must be it. After I finished my shopping, I would stop by. I was really intent on figuring out where the author was. When I finally turned to look where I was going, suddenly, there . . . directly in front of me, within practically inches, was a table where none should be . . . a beautiful girl seated behind it. I'll remember the mental picture always, a beautiful young woman with gorgeous long blonde locks, lovely in a bright red dress, smiling brightly and looking expectantly at me as I approached her table stacked with her brand spanking new, just released book! {Tell me you would have bought it too!}
She signed it to me afterall! This is the year that I set aside the time to do her maiden book justice! She is such a lovely lady, afterall.

P.S. Did you notice, that I did indeed come up with a word that I preferred to resolution? Intentions . . . yes! That's it! It is my intention . . . Works for me! Good luck with yours!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Urgent Prayer Needed

Please pray! Two Modesto Firefighters were seriously injured in a roof collapse a little while ago.
My husband was not on duty, but they are his friends. Thank you! Modesto Bee article. 3:33AM January 2, 2009

Friday, January 1, 2010

Amour Valentine Swap

Just in case you . . . like I . . . are always looking for a fun swap . . . Cathy, over at Treasured Heirlooms is hosting just the bestest one! She's leaving sign ups open until January 8th! You have to check it out! I'll bet you'll join, too! Let me know if you decide to . . . it'll be so much more fun with you there!