Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas.  My morning has been filled with joy.  My older son came over yesterday and spent the night, so I got to have both boys home on Christmas morning!  Loved that!  We were all up very early to open gifts.  I've had Mastering the Art of French Cooking on my wish list for a long while... I got it, plus several other lovely gifts which included Carole King and James Taylor "Live At The Troubadour" and Nora Ephron's book "I Remember Nothing" (which is how I feel a lot of days... Lol!).  I am now going to have to get serious about cooking!

I got a "Grandpa" living Christmas card this morning... a huge, gorgeous pheasant in my back yard!  Tried to get some photos, but my little camera just isn't good at distance shots.  Here is the blurry pic!

He was so much more colorful than this image shows.  My Grandpa loved pheasants, in fact the signpost in their front yard was a pheasant with their name under it.  Having this pheasant show up was a fun Christmas surprise!

Take a moment to visit Michelle Palmer's blog.  She was the winner of my giveaway, and recently hosted one of her own.  She posted about the giveaway in her December 21st post.  Click Michelle Palmer Petals & Palettes to visit her blog.  I love her amazing artwork.  I think you will too!

Well, it's time to go make my salad and get things going for dinner.  Have a lovely day and a Very Merry Christmas!

Nita Jo

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We Have a Winner!

This has been so much fun!  I loved combining my Giveaway with my husband's birthday.  Here are a few photos.

This is the baby doll with her slip and dress on...
 The entries all folded and waiting in my little sleigh...
 My honey reaching in to select the winner...
 Congratulations to Michelle Palmer!
Thanks to all who entered my little Giveaway!  

This has been fun for me!  I hope it was for you too.

I want to encourage each of you to check out the Tidings CD.  This is the most uplifting Christmas album I've heard in a while.  Please click on the Tidings picture on the sidebar.  You will be able to hear samples of the music.  You can buy a complete CD for $15.00, plus shipping, or download your favorites for only $.99 each.  And no, I don't profit from this.  It is the creation of two people I love and respect.  I just want to share the talent they were blessed with, with each of you!  

Okay... I just found a way I can offer something to each person who entered my Giveaway.  I can get you the Tidings CD for only $12.00, including shipping.  I will be picking up the balance as my Christmas gift to each of you.  This will be for one CD per person (this is limited to those of you who entered my Giveaway).  If you want to get your copy of Tidings for $12.00, please send me a message, including your mailing address.  I will get a PayPal invoice sent to you, and I'll get your CD mailed to you quickly.  This will give you time to enjoy it before Christmas arrives!

Wishing you a Joyful Christmas!
Nita Jo

Monday, December 13, 2010

Giveaway Ends Tomorrow!

Go to December Giveaway and post a comment to be entered.  You have until Noon MST tomorrow, December 14th to get your name added for the drawing.  If you are not a blogger, you can still post... just make sure to leave your name or a way for me to contact you.  This Giveaway is open to all!  You can get an extra chance by posting a link on your blog. 

Just a note... the baby doll does have a dress.  I wanted to get it cleaned and ready to go, so it's not in the photo...

Even if you don't win, you can purchase the "Tidings" CD, by clicking on the photo on my sidebar.  You can hear samples at the website.  This is a beautifully done album!  I know you are going to love it!

Hope your Christmas plans are all falling into place!  My shopping is almost complete.  I sent out my overseas cards, but still have my "stateside" cards to complete. 

Wishing you Peace and Joy...
Nita Jo

Friday, December 10, 2010

December Giveaway!

My giveaway is finally here!  I will be drawing names on December 14th (my husband's birthday).  If you want to be included in the drawing, just leave a comment on this post.  If you share a link on your blog, please add a second comment telling me... this will give you a second chance at the Giveaway.  Now on to what is in my first Giveaway.

These are bits and pieces of things I have loved and enjoyed.  Three vintage embroidered pillow cases, a couple doilies... these are slightly tattered and show signs of their age, but I loved them anyway and know there are some of you who will love them too.  

 There is a tiny baby doll that I found at a yard sale a while back.  I have enjoyed it, but am now ready to pass it along.  The lady who sold the doll had made it in a doll class.  You can see it's size by comparing it to the CD in the first photo. 
 I have also added a pretty notebook, a funny little Christmas book, a pair of vintage earrings, and my favorite item of all... the Christmas CD, Tidings!  This is special to me as it features my cousin, Laurie Roberts and her cousin, Tammy McMorrow.  They do an assortment of beautiful, traditional Christmas music in addition to a couple pieces of their original music.
And finally, there is a large bag of buttons... all colors and sizes, some extra paper tags from a lot I purchased, and a little bunch of faux flowers.  If you are a crafter, I think you will love the bits & pieces in this package.

I hope this Giveaway will bring a smile to one lucky person!  Please add your comments by Noon, Mountain Standard Time, December 14th! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I don't know how December got here so fast!  Life just keeps running by.  While I've been absent several things came and went... my surgery,  my churchs' 70th Anniversary, my birthday, and Thanksgiving.  With all the craziness, what was to be a birthday Giveaway didn't get put together... oh sad procrastination... I am haunted by you!  LOL!

My promise... to get it pulled together, photographed, and posted before Christmas! 

Snow... we have it, and lots of it too!  Yesterday morning I measure 9 1/2 inches in my front yard.  That was at 6:30 am, and it continued to snow all day.  Every school for miles was closed, even colleges and universities including BSU.  Speaking of BSU... those who follow college football will know that we lost last week in Nevada.  Sadly, some "fans" decided to take it out on our kicker, Kyle Brotzman.  Yes, he missed two kicks that may have saved the game, but I'm with Coach Pete... it's a team loss.  Many mistakes were made.  And for all you "sunny day" fans... get over it or get lost!  A real fan is there in the bad times as well as the victories!  So I say, "Go Broncos!"  I'll be tuning in to the next game to cheer them on!

Today I'll be making my Christmas cards out.  A few will be handmade. I send way too many to do all handmade, for this year anyway.  If you want to be on my Christmas Card List, just send me your address.  I love sending cards!  I've saved special cards that I received over the years... some for the messages, some for the art! 

Hope your Christmas shopping and preparations are not making you cranky.  This year, I did all my shopping online.  Most of my gifts arrived, with just a few more coming in over the next week or so.  Paul got our lights up before the big storm blew in... it was so pretty to see them lit up against the snow.  So often we have a "brown" Christmas in this part of Idaho.  I have the luxury of really enjoying all this snow... I don't have to commute (or, like my Honey... deliver mail) in it!

Have a "Hohoho" Jolly Day!

Nita Jo

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Recovering... and Brenda Photo Challenge

First of all, today is the Brenda Photo Challenge (click on the name to see all the entries).  My entries are posted on my other blog, Nita Jo's Photos.  If you enjoy photography, you will love looking at all the entries for this months theme... "Broken"

Other news... I am recovering from my surgery.  Yesterday, they removed the drain tube I'd had to wear for the past week... I called it my "vampire necklace"... I am so happy to be done with that.  The growth is gone!  My calcium and blood levels are back to normal, and the biopsies showed I am cancer free!  I am so thankful for God's mercy, and for all of your kind thoughts and prayers!  God has been so good to me! 

Well, it's the wee hours of the morning.  I'm going to try and sleep a bit as today is full of things I need to get done.  Sunday is the celebration of our churches 70th Anniversary.  I still have photos to gather up and get delivered for display.  I had hoped to get my hair done, but that may just have to wait till next week.  And, I haven't forgotten about my promise of a Give Away... it's just going to take a few days longer than planned, but it is going to happen soon!

Love and Blessing to all!
Nita Jo

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Prayers Desired... Autumn Beauty... Upcoming Give Away...

Well, today around noon I'll finally be in surgery.  They are removing one of my parathyroid glands.  They will do an immediate biopsy, and they will do another one 24 hours later from a frozen section. I appreciate any prayers you have time to send up for me.  God has been so good to me.  I trust in His wisdom, whatever the outcome...  "I know who holds tomorrow... and I know who holds my hand"

Yesterday, as I drove to an appointment, I was struck by the beautiful autumn colors.  Some years, the leaves seem to drop off shortly after turning.  This year they have lingered... it's been awesome.  What a world we live in!  Sometimes, I get caught up in the day to day issues and forget to just look... just breathe... and take it all in. 

Now... a commitment!  I am finally going to have a Give Away.  I started this blog on March 23, 2008.  It's been hit and miss, so I am only at 239 posts, but should have hosted a Give Away long before this.  Sometime in the next two weeks, I will be posting photos of the items.  I can tell you this much, there will be some ephemera... bits of things for crafting like doilies, buttons, etc... a favorite book... and my favorite item of all... a Christmas CD called Tidings.  You can see the CD in the upper right side of my blog.  If you click on it, you can preview some of the songs.  My cousin Laurie, and her cousin Tammy, are the creators of this beautiful collection of Christmas music.

Check back soon to see photos of the items that will be included in the Give Away.

There!  It's done!  I have committed to it, and I'm excited to finally be able to share with all of you who have shared so much with me!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Theme for the November Brenda Photo Challenge... Broken...

Time to get ready for the next Brenda Photo Challenge!  (click on the name to sign up)

We have three weeks to get our photos taken and posted! 
The Theme is Broken.  The date is Saturday, November 13th!

This is always a lot of fun.  I post my entries on my photo blog... Nita Jo's Photos
I have to admit, I've neglected my photo blog lately.  I haven't even entered the Challenge for a while, but I'm definitely entering this one.  If I can't take three photos on this theme... well, let's just say all I have to do is walk out to my backyard to find one or two subjects that fit. 

I may be absent for a few days... my youngest sis arrives today!  We have a lot to pack into this visit, so I'll see you after...  Maybe I'll even post an "honest" picture of me if we take some.  My profile picture is from the 70's... it is labeled "young Nita Jo" but maybe it's time for "much older, very overweight, but still happy Nita Jo"...  We'll see...


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CAT Scan Results

Well, they found a small tumor in the parathyroid.  Doctor feels it's benign, but wants me to see an ENT surgeon for evaluation.  We'll be deciding whether to "watch and wait" or "remove"...  I'm already leaning toward removal.  My appointment with the ENT is next Tuesday afternoon, so for those of you who pray... please remember me in your prayers.  For those who don't, just send your good thoughts my way.

I do believe prayer is our most powerful healing tool.  I also believe in the talents and knowledge God has given doctors. 

God alone knows the number of my days, and nothing can interfere with His plans for my life.  Don't get me wrong... I am asking and praying for complete healing... but my heart is at peace, because I know who holds me in the palm of His mighty hand.

Bright note!  My sis arrives tomorrow!  I'm so excited to see her!

Nita Jo

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm Back...

I've been online a few times, but just hadn't taken the time to get back to blogging.  Still working out computer issues, as always.  We went to visit my father-in-law.  I hadn't been over in four years, and it was nice to be able to travel again.  I did really well on the trip.  Didn't even have to take much pain medication.

Today I'm waiting on CAT Scan results.  Had to have two of them done last Thursday.  Most of you know how claustrophobic I am, so when they said they'd have to bind my arms for the second scan, I could feel the panic rising.  The scans were four hours apart, so I took an extra Xanax for the second one, prayed a lot, and practiced visualizing happy things.  I did just fine with it, but was pretty groggy from the Xanax well into the next day.

Anybody else out there with "space" issues?  I do not like small, confined spaces... MRI machines, elevators, tiny rooms with only one exit (this is why I won't see movies at the historic Flicks movie theatres anymore)...

I was able to get out to church yesterday.  It was a great service, and was just what I needed.  It is always good to look outside yourself and your circumstances.  Perspective.  Positive attitude...

These are definitely things I needed this past couple of days.  We made the mistake of co-signing for an apartment rental for someone.  They didn't default, but the roommate did.  Although we were told my husband was only signing for one, the fine print legally tied him to the roommates debt.  After a large hit to our credit card (which we have been trying so hard to pay down) and many tears of frustration, we can say "lesson learned" and try to move on.  We hope at some point the young lady will pay us back.

Happy news!  My youngest sis is coming to visit for a few days, first at my home and then over to her mom's.  It's been about four years since she's been here.  I am so excited to see her!  I'm trying to think of what all we can squeeze into the two days that she's staying with me.  We have so much to catch up on!

Well, I know this was a long, long post... just so much on my mind today.
I hope you're all enjoying the wonderful autumn weather like I am! 

Nita Jo

Update:  In case anyone "guessed" the identity of the young lady we covered the debt for.  There were extenuating circumstances, landlord difficulties, etc.  Also, once she learned what we'd done, she immediately made plans to pay us back.  Awesome young woman!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No Internet

Hello all!  I'll be without Internet for a week or so.  I will be sure to check in with all of you when I'm back online!

Nita Jo

Friday, October 8, 2010


I love October!  It's been a week of cooler temperatures... perfect for me.  I'm listening to Mahalia sing "I'm Gonna Live The Life I Sing About In My Song"...  Love it.  Makes me want to hug my Grandma... sending love heavenward... Yesterday would have been her and Grandpa's anniversary.  It is my uncle and aunt's, and my cousin's... Happy Anniversary to Burt and Pat, Kent and Robin... and also to another cousin, Elverta and Bud.  Celebrate your love!

My priorities have been to continue filling donation boxes and spending some quality time with my family.  There is a peace in my home that was missing for a while.  It came from my heart... battered, broken, frustrated, sad... the peace also comes from my heart.  There is a healing power when you give over everything, and just let God's peace cover you.   I miss my loved ones who are no longer with me.  Maybe that's weak.  Whatever... I will always miss them.  Sometimes tears will come.  It doesn't mean I don't know they are in a better place.  It means I wish I could pick up the phone and share a moment; I wish I could have one more hug; just one more shared laugh.  But, "It is well with my soul..." and I don't fear death... I did when I was a young woman, but that fell by the wayside on this journey of my life.

Autumn memories... beautiful, nostalgic, poignant... I feel them with every breath.  I love my life.  I love those who were, and who are, a part of it.

Blessings to you, my dear friends!
Nita Jo

copyright 10-08-10 ajj

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

There's Still Time

It's late and I should be sleeping, but my head is all tangled up with thoughts.  I am turning 54 later on this fall.  My life is more than half over, unless I live to be the very stately age of 108 or beyond.  This fact doesn't frighten me.  It does make me curious though... have I accomplished the life goals that are most important to me?  I've done the best I knew in raising my boys, and in dealing with family relationships and situations.  When I was able to work outside the home, I worked hard and I loved it.  I've served God as I understood serving.  I hope I have honored Him.  I am still a work in progress and continue to reach for higher knowledge in my spiritual life.

The areas I'm not content with are my life goals... being published, writing songs, creating art, being physically strong and active.  It seems there is never enough time in the day.  I have boxes of lovely crafty items and paints, etc.  I kept copies of articles I wrote for my church's newsletter for several years, because I had plans to compile them into a small book.  I have beginnings of four books... none close to being finished.  Rough drafts and incomplete short stories and poems.  I had songs... I tore up most and tossed them during the past ten years.  I am my own harshest critic.

What am I trying to say?  I don't have a clue!  I guess it's that more than half over, is not over!  There is still time!  I can't allow myself just to give in or to give up.  That's it!  I must keep reminding myself that my life is a journey.  Until it officially ends, I have no business living like it has ended.  God expects more of me than that.  I expect more of me than that too.  So, that being said, on with the living!

Copyright 09/29/10 ajj

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Where Did Autumn Go?

Another day slated to be in the 90's... I miss the lovely autumn weather we were having.  It's too warm for me, but this is Idaho so I am confident that in a day or so we'll have another change.

I have rediscovered Maura O'Connell... such a beautiful singer.  I love the Irish folk music the most.  Folk music has a way of describing what's happening in the soul, singing of trouble without leaving you feeling down.  Songs of the people.  Telling tales of hardship and of overcoming.  Sometimes I feel my life is a folk song... trials come, sadness, but I am not one to be keep under the foot of trouble.   If you're under water... keep holding your breath, kicking your feet till you surface into the sunlight again.  Don't give in to the voice that says "just inhale the water and let go of life"... silence the voices with the spirit of a survivor.  Call upon the Lord... your constant help in every situation.  There is no loss that can destroy you, if you refuse to be destroyed.  No evil can take your dreams away if you stand firm and deny it's right to bring you down.  Stand strong... live your life, the life you want, the life you choose.

Okay... I'm getting off my little soapbox.  Here's a bit of Maura singing Trouble In The Fields!  The link will take you to YouTube to listen to it.  Be sure to pause my Playlist so you're not hearing two songs at once...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumn Begins...

Autumn... the best time of the year. It awakens the imagination... it brings hope of holidays and family gatherings to come...  

Golden leaves, harvest, warm days, cool nights, ducks and geese heading south... I love it!  I hope you are enjoying this beautiful first day of Autumn!  



Feel free to copy the image if you like it...   

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm Still Around...

Hello all!  Sorry for the lack of posts this summer.  It's been a crazy one.  I'm still over my head in projects, so it will continue to be hit and miss for a while.  I am starting to get the writing bug back... my muse disappeared months ago, and I wondered if inspiration would ever come back.  It has, so I'll be blogging as well as working on some ideas.

I'm still only part way done with my photo scanning project... technical difficulties.  Artwork and crafting have taken a back seat to practical "life" matters that needed attending to.

Currently being annoyed with a couple health issues, but refusing to let them rule my life!

God is good.  I'm doing well!  Hope to be much more faithful to my blogs as we head into my favorite time of year... I Love Autumn!

Happy days...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I Love My White Shoes!

This is the sweetest story!  
It's got a message that's great for adults as well as children.
 You'll want to pause my Playlist music before playing the video.

Keep walkin' along... 
It's all good!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Farewell Grandma... till we meet again...

My sweet Grandma left us this morning for brighter places.  For the past couple of weeks... a bit more... we have known this day was close.  Grandma had slipped into a deep sleep, and we were told she was preparing to leave us.  Grandma's rebirth into Heaven coming today, of all days, was very special... it is the birthday of one of her dearest, most faithful friends... Marjie D.  It would also have been the 100th birthday of another dear friend, Paul T.  I told his grandson she must have wanted to attend Paul's big 100th birthday party...

Grandma at about 15

I won't say too much more today... it's been a long one for me...  If you want to read more about my Grandma go Here and there will be a lot of the posts where I talked about her.  Some are blended with other subjects, so you may have to scroll through to get to the bits about Grandma Martha. 

Grandma - Christmas 2008

She was my Grandmother... she was my mother... she taught me to sing... she taught me to pray with faith... she was mentor and friend... I'll miss you forever Grandma!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Brenda Photo Challenge - Dirt

Don't forget to check out my photo for this challenge.  It's at Nita Jo's Photos.  You can go to the links for all the participants at The Brenda Photo Challenge.

Sorry for the brief post.  It's been a crazy week at my home.  I will share more when things have settled down for me.  I hope you are all having a wonderful August weekend!

Blessings to each of you...
Nita Jo

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Brothers... Charity Yard Sale... Helping Hands

My mind has been on "brothers" this week.  My brother, Tom, has been gone 10 years today.  I still miss his laughter, hugs, and our conversations.  His birthday was July 31st, so it's been a time of reflections and remembering.  You can see pictures of him on a birthday post I did a couple years ago... Click HERE.

I've been busy the past couple weeks preparing for a Charity Yard Sale.  It was this Friday and Saturday, and went really well.  The "brother" connection was... the sale was to raise money for a family who recently found out their 2 year old son has Leukemia.  It will be a minimum of three years of treatment.  About forty-three years ago, I lost my 3 year old brother, Donnie, to Leukemia.  I remember the agony in my Dad's eyes and in Mary's (his mother's) face.  I remember thinking how sad it was that Ronnie did not have his baby brother anymore.  I had hoped to scan pictures of Ron and Donnie, but unfortunately my scanner is still unresponsive.  I may need a Printer/Scanner Surgeon... or a shopping trip...

I was so happy to help raise money for this family.  No parent should have to lose their baby.  And, his brother needs him in his life.  Remember them in your prayers. 

God is so good, He will meet their needs if we just ask... and sometimes His answer is to put our hands to the task.  That is what He required of me this week... to give a helping hand.

Blessings to each of you today!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Rooster Party!

Here are my photos for the Rooster Party!  I don't have as many as I used to, but it was fun pulling them all together for this project.  To see all the submissions, click on the Rooster Party Photo on my side bar.  To see the photos larger, just click on each one. 

I love this wooden rooster. He's a favorite!

Rooster Salt & Pepper with my hens.

Closeup of my clear glass rooster.

Vintage Rooster/Hen sets from my mom. Love the hand towels!

Two different Salt/Peppers, Glass Rooster, Hen Bowl, Tiny Red Hen

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ruby Red Macro - And Other Stuff Below...

All the pictures are up for the Challenge.  Go to Nita Jo's Photos to see mine, and to Brenda Photo Challenge to see all the entries!

Summer Update...

Sorry I've been absent so much.  Summer gets lazy... and busy... and hot... no big excuses, just the normal ones.  I'm still slowly sorting through my possessions for stuff to donate, sell, recycle, or free-cycle.  Slow and steady wins the race... at least I hope that's true.  It sometimes feels like the more that leaves my house, the more I find.  It's like Mary Poppins magic carpet bag... you can't believe all the stuff that comes out of that little bag... and, there's always something more!

I'm also working on my art/craft projects.  I've discovered I stink at decoupage.  How is that possible?  It's such a simple concept.  Paste images on something, brush with Mod Podge, let dry, and done!  Mine keep coming out all wavy and wrinkly.  Maybe I should stick to pencil drawings.  At least with a drawing, you can erase the mistake.  Oh well, I am having fun with it and that's what's most important... right...

MS Update (skip this if you prefer not to read about health issues):I am doing a semi-detox.  Took myself off injections about 2 1/2 weeks ago.  Injection sites just weren't healing anymore.  Stopped the Lyrica about three weeks ago, with Doctor approval.  I am giving my body a break before starting any new therapy for the MS.  This has increased some symptoms, but helped others.  It's like with any medical condition... what works for one may not work for another.  Thanks to my readers who have supported me in prayer over the last couple of years.  Keep praying for a cure to this nasty thing we call Multiple Sclerosis!  There are so many who suffer with it!

Okay, that's it for the serious stuff.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.  Fill it with family, friends, bbq, watermelon, swimming, baseball, summer movies in a cool theater, concerts and art in the park... on and on.  Make some happy memories!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Busy, Busy...

Summer has been busy for us.  This week my husband is working on extending our back patio by adding some pavers around the original slab.  Since the ground is mostly made up of clay, it is back breaking work to get the digging done.  It is going to be wonderful though!  He's doing this as our anniversary gift this year.  It was earlier in the month, but we couldn't decide what we wanted to do to celebrate it.  This makes the perfect gift.  For my part, I'm doing some more "releasing" of my huge collection of stuff!  I just Free-cycled six big boxes of VHS Tapes!  Yay!  The lady getting them is disabled and is really going to enjoy watching them.  Double blessing... I gain more room, and she gets something she really wanted.

Here is Paul, working hard on the patio.  
Doesn't he look happy?  That's my Honey!

If you don't see me here quite as much, it's just the summer projects keeping me away. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crafting... Cleaning... Selling...

I have officially started my crafting.  The little chairs I showed you over at Moonflower Cottage have been sanded and primed, thanks to the help of my sweet husband!  Now all that remains is the painting and drying time, then adding my own design touch... hopefully, I will turn out a product that is worthy of selling.

I also started painting and decorating some small wood craft items.  Years ago I did tole painting, and these are leftover wood cutouts that I never got around to using.  I'm  in the process of decoupaging three of the larger sized hearts.  Pictures to come at a later date.

This morning I found a note on my mailbox.  My subdivision is having a yard sale... this Friday.  Kind of short notice, but I'm going to see what I can get ready to drag out to the driveway.  I would have loved a little more preparation time.  Oh well, anything I can get rid of means more room in the garage and a little spending money in my pocket!  It's all good!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Happy Fourth... and a Happy Birthday!

Wishing each of you a Happy Independence Day!  It's a time to remember, and to celebrate our Freedoms.  I hope you are having a glorious weekend with family and friends.  

I also want say "Happy Birthday" to my cousin, Deborah!  You're the original firecracker! 

This is a free image from Dover.  Click on it to save a copy for yourself. 

Love and Blessings to all! 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Heat, New Projects, Beginnings...

After weeks of cooler than normal weather, the thermostat hit 101 yesterday.  Those familiar with MS (multiple sclerosis) know that heat is our enemy.  I have to be very careful about my body core temperature, so summer is the season for hibernating indoors. Spring never seems to last long enough for me.

While I'm waiting for October, I've decided to keep busy with some indoor projects I've been putting off.  I started a blog for my art and sales.  It's called Moonflower Cottage, same name as my Etsy site.  I do not have any items for sale on either site at this time.  These are works in progress, but I am hoping to have them actively running within two months.

I'll be selling homemade cards, reclaimed items that I put my own spin on, possibly some original art, and some vintage items I've decided to part with.  I'll post a note here at Little Grey Gardens when I have added items to sell at the other sites.

This is something I've wanted to do for a long time, I just hadn't found the energy or motivation to get started.  It's a new beginning for me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Weary Heart

Father's Day weekend was hard for me this year.  I'm not even sure why.  I do miss my Grandpa so much, but that wasn't it.  My mil's birthday would have been yesterday, and I still miss her.  That wasn't it either.  My family was together, husband and my two sons.  Our brunch was wonderful, and we had a really nice time.  I just can't put my finger on it.

Do you ever just slip into a "blue funk" for no apparent reason?  I'd love to write something cheery and entertaining, but it's just not there.  Mahalia just came on... "Trouble of the World"... I have to say that's not cheering me up.  The songs come up randomly, and this one just happened to fit my state of mind today.  "I want to see my mother... going home to live with God..."   *Sigh*  I don't want to "go home" to see my mother, father... any of my loved ones... not today.  Not anytime soon.  I love this life.  I love my family and my friends.  I just wish I were seeing more of my prayers answered... well, answered the way I wanted.  So many people suffering with illness, job loss, sorrows...

I guess I have a weary heart.  I know tomorrow will be better... this evening may even be better!  I'll leave you with these thoughts...

"Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive.
One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life."
~~ Eleanor Roosevelt
"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, 
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."  
~ Anonymous

and when I get weary, I remember...

 The joy of the Lord is your strength.
~ Nehemiah 8:10

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's A Beautiful Day...

First, I wanted to remind you to visit The Brenda Photo Challenge.  I didn't participate in this photo challenge, but I wanted to post the link so you could see all the amazing and fun photos that were entered.  Go to:

The Brenda Photo Challenge    (click on the name to go...)

It's been a crazy couple of weeks for me.  I will spare you all the details, but I'm glad to be back posting.  This beautiful, sunny day is perfect for all the activities going on in our surrounding communities.  In my little town we are celebrating Dairy Days.  You don't see a lot of dairy farms anymore, much of the farmland is now subdivided into homes or shopping.  Our community still honors our dairy heritage with a carnival, farming/animal events, a parade, and more.  My husband's car club participated in the parade last night.  It was a 50's theme.  Their float was for awareness of Alzheimers, which my husband's mother had. All the classic cars followed along behind.  I may be able to post a picture later on.

Also, this weekend is the Emmett Cherry Festival, A vintage car show in Eagle, Idaho, another Vintage Car Event in Boise featuring Jerry and the Stingrays, and the Gay Pride event in Boise.  My husband is fitting in the Eagle car show and going to hear Jerry and the Stingrays.  He hates to miss the Cherry Festival.  He has participated in it for years, but it just happened that everybody picked this weekend for their events.  I don't get out to many of these events, as it just gets too warm for me (this is an MS issue).

My niece, JP, is singing in a competition at the Gay Pride event.  There was an elimination event this week and she was in the top five.  She has been singing almost from the day she was born.  Some of my family will be there to support her, some won't.  Her choices aren't supported by our faith... well, the faith we were brought up in.  I will always love and support her no matter what... I was not placed in this world to be a judge... only to show love to others... all others.  If you met her, I know you couldn't help loving her too! 

I am looking forward to a Fathers' Day Brunch for my husband tomorrow.  My oldest son is joining us for steak and eggs!  Yum!  We'll eat, do gifts, visit for a while, then Paul will be off to the Fathers' Day Car Show.  This is a huge weekend for "Car Guys" in our area.  He looks forward to it all year.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  Take a moment to celebrate the Fathers' in your lives...  both earthly and Heavenly...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Nothing Much To Say

I've been in a quiet state of mind the past few days.  Some changes happening... not all good... not all bad.  My heart is sad this morning for a dear friend, Robin.  She lost her brother to cancer yesterday.  I know how hard it is to lose a brother.  I still miss mine after 10 years...  What I do know is her faith will sustain her... when the tears just keep coming, God's loving arms will hold her close... when it feels lonely and unbearable, her friends and family will provide love and comfort.

Also, my writing muse seems to have left me.  I haven't worked on a story or poem for weeks.  I think I'll throw myself into some other projects that I've been neglecting... so if you notice I'm rather sporadic in posting, just imagine me knee-deep in other jobs around my home...

God bless your day.
Nita Jo

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Brenda Photo Challenge - Weathered & Worn

My entries for this month's Weathered & Worn category are Here, at Nita Jo's Photos.  To see all the entries for this Brenda Photo Challenge, go Here!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Life Has Been Busy...

I've really lapsed on my blogging!  So much has been going on.  My husband spent a week with his sis in Chicago.  They got to do a ton of sightseeing.  They also went to two Cubs games... Cubbies won both times!  My husband loved that.  He's only seen three live games, the two in Chicago and one in Denver.  All were wins!  I told him that he may be a lucky charm for the Cubs... they could sure use one!

During that week, I was able to get some errands taken care of.  It's nice to be driving again.  I am still waiting for a replacement lens so I can see with my left eye!  About a month after my prescription went in, my left eye improved back to where it was before!  Such a blessing!  They ordered a new lens in, free of charge... unfortunately when I drove in to get it, the wrong lens had been sent!  So I'm still waiting...

Wow!  Just as I was typing this, the phone rang... my lens is in!  It came a week earlier than expected.  Happy news! 

My grandma turned 92 on the 30th of May! Since I've had a horrid cold, I talked to her briefly on the telephone.  She responded better than last time, but fell asleep while telling me something.  Lol!  Guess I called during nap time!

I'm going to go enjoy the rest of this rainy afternoon!  I love rainy days!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lucky the Dog...

I just wept through a story of a woman and her dog, Lucky.  It was posted by Diane of Vintage Tickled Pink.  I think it will touch you even if you are not a "dog person"...  To read it, go here:

I have a busy afternoon, so I will leave you with this quote:  

There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, 'Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams.' Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they're still there. These are great dreams, but they never even get out of the box. It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put your dreams on the line, to hold them up and say, 'How good or how bad am I?' That's where courage comes in...     
~ Erma Louise Bombeck

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Be Still...

I've been watching a video called, "Be Still" and it really has some good thoughts.  Here's the Netflix description:

In an age in which multitasking has become second nature, the idea of being "still" almost seems luxurious. Yet achieving stillness through Christian prayer is a spiritually rewarding practice that can change your life forever. In this inspirational program narrated by actor Judge Reinhold and co-directed by his wife, Amy, noted authors, ministers and educators discuss the techniques of contemplative prayer.

I have been thinking a lot about the over-stimulation of our everyday lives. Cell phones and computers are wonderful.  I couldn't imagine doing without either, it's just that I realized how much they can take over.  Responding to phone calls, replying to emails, updating our Facebook, our Blogs, our YouTube pages, watching our favorite programs... all good things if taken in moderation. 

My heart has been crying out for silence... for a time of stillness in my day.  I love the idea of contemplative prayer.  Setting aside a quiet time to enter into God's presence, and then, just listen... wait on Him with no requests, no expectations;  making it a time of opening yourself to what He might say to you. 

Meditation has been around in many religions and cultures for centuries.  As a Christian, I find that applying the concept to my prayer life enhances it. 

I intend to make this part of my daily routine.  I need the stillness, the release of stress, the bit of quiet solitude in the midst of a noisy world.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy 18th Birthday to my Lucky 13!

I posted a "mother" poem yesterday.  Today, I am celebrating my baby's 18th birthday.  He is no baby... actually, never really was after about the age of two.  He has always seemed "tuned in to the world around him.  He had those eyes... brown, dark, people said "He looks at you like an old soul" and, he did. Our Lucky 13... EJ, he learned so easily, reading when he was barely 4 years old. Well, that's when he told me he could read!  I didn't believe him and picked up a book.  "Read this then" I said.  He read it all, smoothly and clearly, and every other page I picked out.  I was stunned!  

 My little Lucky 13 and I... a long time ago

We had always read to him, even his big brother had pointed out words to him.  Sometime before the day he told me he could read, he had drawn a cat on their little blackboard and spelled "cat".  When he showed it to me, I asked how he knew how to spell it... "My brain told me" he replied.  

Even without those things, our youngest is special to his family and his friends.  He's weathered a lot of loss, illness, and more in his 18 years.  He keeps those things to himself.  I believe he has an inner strength that he doesn't even fully realize yet.  

Here he is fishing with his older brother and Grandpa

He has so much creativity.  He has a wonderful, unique sense of humor.  He has a talent for music.  I always loved hearing him play his Cello.  He doesn't play as often, but still loves music.

I know folks get weary of hearing people brag on their children, so please indulge me today... this wonderful day, as I look back over the years.  If my own PC wasn't down today, I'd be posting a lot of pictures.  I'm using EJ's PC, and there very few photos on it yet.  Anyway, I want to say how blessed I am.  I prayed for children years ago, after being told I might never have them.  God gave me two wonderful sons, different and yet, so alike.

My family has been blessed by having our Lucky 13 in our lives.  God knew we needed this child... who is now a man, in our lives.  Happy Birthday son!  Our "Lucky 13"!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


A friend sent this to me this past week.  It is beautiful.  Whether you are  a mother or a daughter... whether you are blessed to still have your mother around, or if she has passed on, I think it will touch you.

Author Unknown
The young mother set her foot on the path of life. 
"Is this the long way?" she asked. 
And the guide said: 
"Yes, and the way is hard
And you will be old before you reach the end of it.. 
But the end will be better than the beginning."

But the young mother was happy,
and she would not believe that anything 
could be better than these years
So she played with her children, 
and gathered flowers for them along the way, 
and bathed them in the clear streams; 
and the sun shone on them, 
and the young Mother cried,
"Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."

Then the night came, and the storm, 
and the path was dark, 
and the children shook with fear and cold,
and the mother
drew them close
and covered them with her mantle,
and the children said,
"Mother, we are not afraid,
for you are near, and no harm can come."

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead,
the children climbed and grew weary,
and the mother was weary.
But at all times she said to the children,
A little patience and we are

So the children climbed, 
and when they reached the top they said,  
"Mother, we would not have done it without you." 
And the mother, when she lay down at night 
looked up at the stars and said, 
"This is a better day than the last, for my children 
have learned fortitude in the face of hardness.
 Yesterday I gave them courage.
Today, I've given them strength."

And the next day came strange clouds 
which darkened the earth, 
clouds of war and hate and evil,
and the children groped
and stumbled, 
and the mother said:  
"Look up. Lift your eyes to the light."
  And the children looked
and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, 
and it guided them beyond the
darkness. And that night the Mother said,
"This is the best day of all, for
I have shown my children God."

And the days went on,
and the weeks and the months and

the years, and the mother grew old;
And she was little and bent.
But her children were tall and strong,
and walked with

And when the way was rough, 

they lifted her,
for she was as light as a feather;
and at last they came to a hill,

and beyond they could see a shining road
and golden gates flung wide.
mother said,  
"I have reached the end of my journey.
And now I know 

the end is better than the beginning, 
for my children can walk alone, 
and their children after them."

And the children said, 
"You will always walk with us, Mother, 
even when you have gone through the gates."

And they stood and watched her 
as she went on alone,
and the gates
closed after her. 
And they said:
"We cannot see her but she is with us still.
A Mother like ours is more than a memory.
is a living presence."

Your Mother is always with you....
She's the whisper
of the leaves 
as you walk down the street;
she's the smell of bleach
 in your freshly laundered socks;
she's the cool hand
on your brow 
when you're not well. 

Your Mother lives inside your laughter.
And she's crystallized in every tear drop.

She's the place you came from, 
your first home; and she's the map you follow 
with every step you take.
She's your first love
and your first heartbreak,
and nothing on earth can
separate you.
Not time, not space... not even death.

My favorite part is the last.  I feel my mom near in times of laughter and tears.  It's all part of the gifts that she instilled in me.  She lived life fully, in good times and in bad.  She faced it with courage, and with her unique sense of humor.  I was blessed to be her daughter.  I hope each of you have been blessed in life with a loving mother.

Images provided by Dawn of The Feathered Nest.  She is such a generous lady!  Please take some time to visit her beautiful blog.  If you are new here, you just click on the highlighted name of her blog and it will take you there.

Have a blessed day!
Nita Jo