Wednesday, February 29, 2012

~Eager Hands Giveaway~

Hello to everyone on this blustery wet leap-day! I love getting an 'extra' day this year- don't you?

I have a quick little announcement featuring a giveaway over at eagerhands!

Lora (who made the necklace pictured below) is giving away a very special handmade "joy" necklace.

Go check it out!


Monday, February 27, 2012

~Tea and Rainbows~

We slept in late this morning . . . not hard to do on a two-hour late start Monday. Especially after a particularly busy weekend. And a sinus headache when the alarm went off.

Sunshine was served along with breakfast.

And the company was nice, too.

This one I hardly ever get to see- yippee for two extra hours!

The sunny day also turned the kitchen into 'Rainbow Land' due to our wonderful little 'disco ball'- named so by the Younger. Whenever it's spun it washes the whole kitchen in twirling rainbow madness . . . and the boys break out their dance moves!

But today, a new game was invented: rainbow catching.

It's all about starting out on the floor with your chosen rainbow in your palm.

Then slowly, as carefully as you can, you stand up and keep your rainbow in your grasp.
You keep going until you are completely standing still holding your rainbow- as long as it never gets away, you win.

It's a very demanding sport, and sure to become a world-wide sensation.

In other 'news'- if it can be called that, my tummy has been aching on and off since Sat. night. I've tried various teas, eating, not eating- nothing other than the grapefruit yesterday afternoon has seemed to help. And I would get more grapefruit, but that would requiring going off to the store- which I'm not up to.

However the happy note is that though standing upright is unpleasant, sitting or stooping are just fine, so . . .
Lots of reading going on in between a few minutes of cleaning here and there.
Most surprising is the amount of gardening I was able to do  . . . crouching down to cut back the dead wood of autumn's garden hasn't bothered the tummy a bit. Good thing too, as we have rain and possible flurries forecasted for the week ahead. And it happens to be 'yard waste day' tomorrow and I am quite happy to have two bins out by the alley-way awaiting a dumping. Been months since I had bins filled.
Alright, off to what 'standing work' I can stand-


Friday, February 24, 2012

~ A Few Things for Friday~

 Woke to sun streaming into the dining room this morning. Had to grab the camera to capture it.
Glad I did, too, because it is long gone now.

The Youngest had a 'poetry reading' at school this morning. I wore my new sweater for the occasion. :)
I am so grateful I actually made it on time- the gas gage was on the big E and swinging by to fill it up nearly made me miss it!
 (Oh- and is anyone else just about to pass out when they see the price of a tank right now?)
Anyway- loved seeing my little guy up front reciting his poetry. He was so loud and clear and expressive- I was so proud of him. Wishing I had remembered my camera!

So this is the little project I was working on last week- it was for a swap partner in Belgium. Hopefully you can tell it's the letter 'A'-

I had lots of fun working on this and I have to credit the Oldest with half the idea. He had been day dreaming a couple months ago about how beautiful it would be if trees could make cherries in winter- in the snow. (Heart of a poet, huh?) Anyway, I loved the idea and sketched it in my idea book and let it simmer. When I signed up for the swap (everyone creating a letter 'a') and read that my partner liked cherries, I knew just what to try. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out- happier still that I actually enjoyed creating once again. 
Any bit of 'normal' is truly welcome. 
And the extra benefit was that it became a catalysis for this week as I painted a birthday card for a family member. Only I'm kicking myself because I was so grateful to finish it off last night, that I forgot to take a picture before it was safely sealed away in it's envelope. Oops! Oh, well.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

~Unexpected Gifts~

Today ended up being filled with unanticipated pleasures.
It started with some shopping while the Youngest was at violin. Normally I have 'important' things that need to be picked up during his hour lesson (like toilet paper and mouthwash), but today I found myself not 'needing' anything so I meandered over to Penny's which is where I found this beauty:

I love, love, love the color- and it looks pretty cute on as well.
Since I found the sweater pretty quickly and it ended up taking most of the birthday money I've been saving, I headed to Goodwill to kill the rest of the hour.
And what did I find?

Isn't is gorgeous!? And the exact amount leftover from buying the sweater!
I really love the bright, friendly colors! They shout "Spring!"

And then, speaking of spring- would you believe that the morning started out as dark and stormy as you can get, and then by lunchtime there was blue sky and sunshine?
I went out into the garden for the first time in quite awhile and the evidence of spring time was all over!
It's been a very mild winter in my corner.

Here is one of several buds on the clematis.

And here is that marvelous sun shining on one of my favorite pieces of garden art! 

Early spring bulbs.

Indeed, the tulips I planted last fall are poking their way up, so I guess the squirrels didn't win that battle after all.- and I can't remember what color they are suppose to be- isn't that fun?!

Brilliant golden crocus. Aren't they delicious?

And even more evidence of sun inside the house.

Happy, happy rainbows and flowers. Another surprise waiting for me to find.

And speaking of surprises- this is one I've been meaning to share for ages:
about a month ago, a very, very special gift came across the country just for me.
I had no idea it was coming- and I can't describe how meaningful it has been to me.
A fantastic, hand-stamped and specially made necklace by a dear friend-

Isn't it exquisite? It says, "be thou my vision" which is a very personal insight from God to me.
Nothing could have been more perfect and spoke to me as well as this unexpected gift. It has made me feel truly covered in love. In fact, I hardly ever take it off!

She hasn't asked me to do this or anything, but I wanted to share her lovely work and her shop which is here.
If you need any gifts for someone special- or for yourself- you need to check it out.
She does custom orders as well as ready-made jewelry and let me tell you, this picture just doesn't do her work justice. It is all truly made with love. :) 

Anyway- I hope you find your day filled with unexpected gifts- no matter how small or surprising!


Monday, February 20, 2012

~Walk in the Woods~

Yesterday afternoon ended up remaining dry, which was rather a surprise, but certainly a boon. Younger and I struck out to find a new hiking area (new for us)- and we found one, complete with a gushing river and moss-covered trees. It was so, so quiet there- even with the kiddo's non-stop chattering as we went.
It was a lonely sort of place, and a lonely sort of quiet. At least if felt so to me. Loneliness and I are becoming quite familiar with each other so I'm going to go ahead and say it was so.
And so cold.

But the fresh air and exercise were very nice- and so were the french fries we found our way to afterwards.
And of course, after cold, fresh air and several miles all you want to do is curl up with hot coffee and a good book, and maybe fall asleep for a wee bit. I may, or may not have done all those things.

The Older came home from Winter Camp- in one piece, but with a black eye. I suppose a black eye is pretty good considering all the crazy things those kids do- there is a reason parents don't come. I don't want to know. He also came back with lots of laundry and an attitude. Again- why do I let him go do these things? I suppose it's a 'right of passage' for him, and maybe even for me. As in, we are now passing from all the sweetness of childhood into the turmoil of the teens years. Can I waive my right here please?


Saturday, February 18, 2012

~Paper and Paints~

Just a quick 'hello'~
I've been doing a little something with paper and watercolors which I will have to wait to share for a bit.
It's been nice to be creative after nearly three months without the heart or desire. Only problem is every muscle in my back and neck are screaming from the intensity I tend to get into anytime I am creating.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend. Things are very quiet here with the Oldest away at Youth Winter Camp. The Younger is begging for a Lord of the Rings marathon, and if the weather continues to be wet and cold, I may have to oblige him.

How is your weekend- doing anything fun or creative?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

~Moments of Valentines~

A Valentine's Day breakfast means getting up before dawn . . .

 to set the table
slice the strawberries

 'french' the toast
pour the juice - or the coffee
 whip the cream
sprinkle it with hearts
and set out the valentine's

All before the sun is fully up.

 After the school run . . .

light a candle
sniff the hyacinth
admire the handmade valentine

curl my hair
visit with a friend
find some surprises on the doorstep

And in the evening . . .

bake the heart-shape pizza
hide the clues
find the boxes of chocolate
watch a movie

. . . end the day with LOVE.


Monday, February 13, 2012

~A Valentine S.O.S. & Other Ramblings~

The picture below best describes how I feel each morning- as in, I don't want it to be here yet. 
Especially on a Monday with an entire week stretched out before me.
Sad- because I used to get excited about Monday mornings- a whole week to come meant possibility; I miss being in that place of expectancy. It does still come in, here and there- but it's a struggle at best. At least it is for now.

However- even though it is a struggle, joy can be found if I intentionally let things as they are go, and decide to put down roots right where I am- it sounds contradictory, but it's the only way.

One joy that has been easy to find is my hyacinth- already in full bloom and casting it's sweet fragrance for the passerby.
Loving that bright, no-nonsense pink!
It won't last long, but it is content on shouting 'Here I am!' while it can.

And here is something else that is shouting, "Here I am!"- the laundry pile.
It procreated over the weekend and has now taken over. It needs to be taken care of- 
so here I am, blogging about it. Makes sense.

The kitchen looks about the same way. That's partly due to our little 'tea party' last night.

We've had a tradition of a 'Valentine Tea' followed by family valentine making for years now.
This is my feeble attempt for this year: heart shaped scones were about the best I could muster.
And really, it's okay. We didn't even end up making any valentines- none of us really cared.

 Holidays and their traditions are hard when everything that used to be just isn't anymore.
As the Older said, "It just doesn't matter if we're not a family."
Yeah- I know. 
But even though his dad isn't here anymore, I wish he could see that we three are still a family. Of course, that's easy for me to say- I'm not the one going back and forth between the broken pieces. 
And at the same time- it isn't easy for me to say. I love him and miss him too.

So this is where I'm sending out a Valentine S.O.S.-
I need ideas; new traditions to start this Valentine's Day!! 

Please, please help if you can!! If you have any ideas of something special to do for/with a couple of 'pre-teen' boys for Valentines PLEASE let me know!!
I really need some help here!

And speaking of the big day full of hearts- here is about all I could handle decorating wise:

A carved heart under glass.
It's a familiar feeling.

And a few other little bits of pink and purple made there way into February's decor as well.

And a swirl of snowflakes.

And even a smidgen of romance- something I hope to experience again. Someday.
And so I say fondly to you-