Saturday, December 15, 2012

No Words Today...

It's officially the day after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary... I have no words to express the sadness I'm feeling.  Instead, I want to share two blog posts, both from teachers.  Each with their own perspective and coping styles.

Read "On This Day"  at Sing Teach Run  and "Twelve Years From Now" at Forever in First.

If you are touched by what you read, please share these posts with your blog readers.  May God comfort the hearts of the families in Newton, and may He bless each of you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Comfort Media...

When I'm cleaning, or doing little odd jobs around the house, I always turn to comfort media.  By that, I mean music, TV or movies which have a nostalgic feel to them.  Occasionally during the holidays, I tune into Days of Our Lives simply to see them decorate their tree.  The ornaments have each character's name on them, and they are placed on the tree during a big family party, including those of cast members who have long ago left the show or passed on.  I never watched soaps much but when I was living in Phoenix, before the days of the VCR, mom would have me watch her soaps for her.  She worked during the day and hated to miss them, so she'd call on the weekend and I'd fill her in on the antics of Marlena and Roman Brady, or what Grandma Alice Horton was up to.  I became a faithful viewer for a few years because of mom.

A lot of people dismiss soaps, as just so much fluff, naughtiness, and bad acting.  That doesn't bother me.  I watch them for the same reason I read comic book adventures as a child.  They were fun, imaginative, and quick.  They were for the days when I didn't want to dive into a Tom Sawyer or a Great Expectations.  It's the same reason I turn on easy listening music, or a light holiday musical, while doing my chores.  It takes my mind off the mundane tasks, without drawing me into something heavy or distracting.  So, it's time for me to tune into a classic movie and get back to my chores.  Until next time...

This free image is from My Vintage Studio.  Sharon has many wonderful images to share. 

© 11DEC2012 ajjahner

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Not Quite Ready...

Six days into December, and I don't have my Christmas tree up!  We can't decide on a natural tree or a new artificial one this year.  If we go artificial, I want a tall, skinny one that will take up less floor space, and I want it to already have lights installed.  Our existing lights are very old, and should be replaced anyway.  My husband looked at artificial trees on sale, but they were sold out of the skinny ones.  I guess we should have started earlier.  Looks like a natural tree may win by default!

Before I go, here are some music videos that I love.  They may help you greet this Christmas season with a little more peace, hope, and joy.

I Heard the Bells

One Holy Night

And... Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel

I Heard the Bells is one of my all-time favorites, One Holy Night is a beautiful original composition, and Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel is so poignant and beautiful, with a gorgeous cello part that I love.  Laurie Roberts is my cousin, and Tammy is her cousin (she feels like mine, though technically she's not). The selections are from an album they made last year.  There are a few more of their songs on Laurie's YouTube page.  Please feel free to share with your friends on your blogs, Facebook pages, or wherever.  Laurie's blog is SingTeachRun, and Tammy's is Forever in First: A First Grade Blog.  I hope you enjoy the music and the blogs.  Blessings my friends!

Friday, November 30, 2012

My list...

Many of my Facebook friends have been doing a daily "what I'm thankful for" post.  I started, but it quickly went by the wayside.  I decided to do one long blog post, listing 30 things I'm thankful for.  You know, the whole month in one big post.  So here it is:
  1. Today is my 56th birthday... I'm thankful for each and every day of life! (This list was actually started on the 16th... where oh where did the month go?)
  2. My loving husband, who is the most awesome man!  We've shared the good and the bad, and he always reminds me that he loves me no matter what!
  3. My two sons!  I could not love them any more than I already do.  They are a blessing to me.  They bring me such joy!
  4. My parents and my grandparents... they left a legacy of love.
  5. My sisters and brothers!
  6. My extended family... yes, every one of you! 
  7. My friends.
  8. My church home.
  9. My home.  
  10. Clothes to wear.
  11. Food to eat.
  12. Reliable cars.
  13. My cell phone.
  14. Computers!
  15. Working appliances.
  16. My new scanner!
  17. Books... and more books!
  18. Art
  19. Family photos
  20. Music
  21. Good neighbors
  22. Wind chimes
  23. Colleges and Universities
  24. Prayer Chains 
  25. Good Doctors
  26. Diet Coke... cuz I really needed one today
  27. The Internet, which has expanded my world
  28. The right to vote
  29. Freedom
  30. Faith
These are in no particular order of importance, and the list doesn't even scratch the surface, but it's a start.  There are just so many things to be thankful for!  Even though this is the month of the Thanksgiving holiday, I try to remember to thank God, every day of the year, for all that I've been given.

With that said... it's goodbye to November and hello to December... hohoho!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Welcome November!

It is an absolutely beautiful November day here!  There are still gorgeous leaves on the trees, lovely days and cold nights.  Perfection! While I enjoy the blessings of such a start to November, my heart goes out to those on the East Coast, who have had such devastation in their lives.  So while I give thanks for my blessings, prayers go out to those who are not as fortunate today.
This is a photo of Camel's Back Park in Boise, Idaho, taken by my husband with his cell phone.

What does November mean to you?  For me, it reminds me of happy family times.  The bounty of harvest; the raking and burning of leaves, after jumping in the piles, of course; the coziness of a fire in a fireplace; practicing for the Christmas piano recitals and Sunday School Programs with my lil sis; Grandma's deep dish apple cobbler; my birthday celebrations, with Mom bringing me a Date Nut Cake from the Royal Restaurant... so good;  Thanksgiving meals complete with Turkey and all the trimmings, football, board games, laughter... family.  November is about family.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Near-Perfect Autumn Day

I'm having a near-perfect day.  It's cold and overcast, but the BSU-Wyoming game is on TV, and both sons are here watching it with me.  Go BSU!  A big roast is in the crock-pot for supper.  A new catalog arrived in the mail.  I am a happy lady today!

Here's a free Halloween image for personal use, compliments of Dover.

Wishing you a near-perfect weekend of your own!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Family Time

It's been a wonderful week.  My youngest has been home on break from college, but heads back to the dorms tomorrow.  My oldest son has had some time to drop in and visit this week, which has been fun.  They're both spending the night. and I'm loving it.

I started sorting through some old photos, earlier in the week, I thought had been lost forever.  They were safely in an album, in a storage box, that I'd shoved into the back corner of a closet.  I definitely need one dedicated space for photos, but I have so many that it's very hard to do.  My son suggested scanning all of them and putting them in the internet "cloud" so I'll always have access.  But, what happens if that "cloud" disappears or malfunctions?  Yes, I'm a skeptic!  I may have to give it a try though.

I haven't been able to do any creative writing for a while.  Just have a mind-block I guess.  I read about a well-known author who took a long break when that happened to her.  She just spent months reading every book she could get her hands one, enjoying the journey of other people's stories.  Afterwards, her head cleared and she was able to get back to her writing.  I thought it was worth a try, so I've finished two and a half books this past month.  One is a collection of short mysteries, and the other two are the most recent Agatha Raisin mysteries by M. C. Beaton.  I'm still not ready to write, so I'm splitting my reading time between The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Treasure Island, and another light mystery called Crunch Time by Diane Mott Davidson.

It's been wonderful being able to read again.  I'm still doing the eye meds and drops, and still delaying the start of the new drug with the vision/heart risks.  I just have too much living to do right now, so I'll think about it later on.  For now, I'm just enjoying each day as it comes!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The MS Struggle Continues

I'm very close to making a decision on medications for my MS.  I'm thinking of moving forward with the Gilenya.  There are risks, but there are very few options at this time.  I saw a marvelous Doctor this past week.  She is a neurological ophthalmologist.  She feels that the risk to my eyesight, from the medication, is minimal.  The risk to my eyes, from the MS itself, is actively happening.  I have something going on called Optic Neuritis, mostly in my left eye.  I'm having a lot of trouble with my vision.  I'm spending very little time on the computer because of it.  Thankfully, computers allow us to make the lettering very large.  That way when I do check in, it's much easier to read.  My eyes just tire very quickly.  This condition happened back in 2006, but after a couple of months I recovered almost all of my vision.  The doctor is also watching for something called macular edema, so I'm using medication in both eyes every night, as well as drops every two hours.  I see her for another evaluation in a couple months.  This is a lot of boring information to most, but hopefully is interesting for those of you who have been following my journey with the MS.  (By the way, I should edit this for run-on sentences, etc., but my computer time is running out for today... sorry...)

As for the rest of my life... excellent!  My husband participated in the Alzheimer's Walk and Vintage Car Show yesterday.  He walked in memory of his mother and grandmother, who both passed from Alzheimers, as well as for an aunt who currently has it.  Today he is honoring his dad, by participating in a Veteran's Vintage Car Show/Benefit.  My sons are happy and enjoying their classes.

Autumn Scene. Free image, compliments of My Vintage Studio.

I am loving the cooler autumn weather and seeing the changing colors!  I'm appreciating all the visuals so much more, and not taking one thing for granted.  Wishing you a beautiful week.  Enjoy autumn!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

WARNING: This is Not a happy post...

I'm trying to remain positive, but having MS is really getting old!  So, if you came here today looking for something cheery... well, you may want to move along, right now, to some happy decorating/cooking/gardening type blog, because I'm getting "beat up" by MS again, and I have to talk about it!

I have been in a downward spiral for some time now.  The pain in my lower back and legs was unresponsive to medications, but now that pain has gone.  Instead, I have lost feeling in the lower back and most of both legs.  My left eye is again swollen, vision blurred, and is being treated with steroid drops.

They (the great "they" of the medical world) are offering me Gilenya.  A disease modifying drug, which also happens to have death, heart problems, loss of vision, compromised immune system, etc., to it's short list of "side effects" and I don't have the time, or the stomach, to read any more...

Pray you say?  Yes, I have done that, and also have many friends and family praying for me.  Awesome!  But, God does not always choose to heal people.  Even really nice folks like me.  I can accept that... sort of.  I do believe He loves and understands me... I never doubt that!

Where to go now?  What to do?  Say "NO" to this drug, and live with the certainty that this disease will continue to tear my brain and my body apart?  Say "Yes" and take the risk of leaving my family way before my time... or going blind, which steals my favorite activities from me.  Choices.  Choices.  I do not like these choices, but after this brief "pity party" I will dry my eyes, put my "happy face" back on, and try to pretend that life would never give us way more than we can handle.  I'll be back soon, hopefully with a big attitude adjustment and a more optimistic view of life.  Till then, be well dear friends!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Welcome Autumn!

What a busy summer it was, and I'm so happy to officially welcome autumn!  We are still suffering from the terrible fires in the surrounding mountains.  I live in the Boise area, and we often get inversions, so the smoke has just settled in.  It's like living in a murky, suffocating fog.  I'm hoping for a cleansing rain to come our way, and soon!

I didn't get any yard or craft projects finished this summer, my writing went on the back burner again, and I just don't know where the time went or what I did with it.  If I'd been blogging more faithfully, maybe that would give me a clue.  Oh well, I had some fun with my boys before they started school.  Both are happy in their choices.  One at BSU and the other at College of Idaho.  The empty nest thing is both wonderful and a little lonely at times, but they are both very near to home so they can drop in for visits.

I picked out an old photo to play with... "Autumn Leaves" which I tweaked with an "Ink Sketch" application.  I really like how it turned out.

I wanted to put a new image up for my header, but I can't get my photos sized correctly, or centered, so I decided to go with just the name for now.  You ignore blogging for a while, and you forget all your skills!  Hopefully, I'll get back into the groove very soon!  Have a glorious "first day of autumn" and many happy days to come!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Move In Day!

Tomorrow is "Move in day" for my youngest son.  Even though he won't be terribly far away, it's going to be so strange to have an empty nest.  My emotions have been on a crazy roller coaster for the past two weeks. I felt well enough to get out and make a couple "dorm shopping" trips with him.  Fun!  He and my husband are out on the very last shopping excursion, as we forgot new sheets, a lamp, and a shower caddy... rather important items!
This was from our visit to the campus last July!
Being the OCD personality that I am, I've had to wash every new item purchased.  I lost count of how many loads of laundry I've done in the past two days, and as soon as those sheets come in the door they'll go right into the washer!  When I told my husband I had to wash our son's sleeping bag (it hadn't been used all year and was in a box in the garage), he just snorted. Honestly, I'm so lucky he puts up with me!  Anyway, it was in the dryer for an hour and still not dry, so I just draped it over two lawn chairs.  If any of nature's critters dirties that bag, there will be heck to pay!  It may have a slight wildfire smoky odor, but we've lived with the smoke smells for so long that EJ will probably not notice. It's got to be better than stale, garage odor... right?  He has to have it for the two day Wilderness Experience that all freshman are required to attend.  Praying that there will be no problems with wildfires or excessive smoke blowing over into the area they'll be in.  It's near McCall, Idaho, and is such a beautiful place!

My oldest, MJ!
My oldest son, MJ, started classes last Monday.  After working a few years, he decided it was time to get back to school.  He's studying at BSU, while working full-time.  I'm so happy for them, and so proud!  I still don't know where all the years have gone.  Friends are always asking me why my boys are so nice, and how did I get to be so lucky that they never gave me any trouble.  Well, I don't know.  PJ and I certainly did our best, but really, they are just kind-hearted, wonderful men.  I prayed for boys who would have kind hearts, like my grandpa and like their dad... my prayers were answered.

So many seasons, so many memories.  Too many to post, but here are a couple of photos from their childhood days...

So many summers...

And winters
I'll be back after the big move-in weekend, with some new memories made to add to the thousands I already hold in my heart, and I'll let you know how it went.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pushing Through the Pain...

It's been a while since I shared much about my journey with MS.  The last three weeks have been very difficult physically.  I had to swallow my pride and have my husband put my walker back in the car, in order for me to even leave the house.  It's been a long time since I had to use a walker.  The timing has been difficult, because we've been on the countdown toward my youngest son leaving the nest.  Move-in day at college is this Saturday!  I had plans for joyful shopping trips and last minute fun moments together, but this recent attack on my body made it nearly impossible.  A few days ago, I had to be placed on a heart monitor for 24 hours, and they took an ultrasound of my heart... no results yet, though I'm fairly certain they will decide it was something called an MS "hug" that I was experiencing.  They increased my pain medication, added steroids and muscle relaxants...  The results were that my face and neck swelled up night before last, and I woke in the wee hours of the morning fighting for air.  This is apparently from the steroids.  I'm feeling much more myself today, although I will still be using my walker and/or canes for the time being.

When I'm tempted to let the "dark days" take over, I have to remind myself how blessed I am.

~ I have family and friends who love me, and pray for me.
~ I'm still able to do many things I love.
~ There are those much worse off than I am.
~ I'm one of the fortunate ones with a good health insurance.

I have a faith that sustains me, even on days when I just want to sit and cry like a small child.  When those days come, and they do, I can find my way out of the darkness because of that faith.

It also helps to read about what others are facing in their lives, and how they deal with it.  I've shared many times about Baby Gabe, and his journey.  Here is a link to an uplifting blog I just discovered.  The writer is Jenn, and she shares about Gabe's birthday balloon release, and about her own journey with an invisible illness.  I think it will bless you, it certainly blessed me...  Her blog is called Chasing Joy.  Then, take just a moment to read Julia's Happy Birthday post for little Gabe, here at The Four of Us.  It is beautiful!

Well, my youngest just walked into the house... time to get busy on that list of things we want to fit into the next two days!  Wishing you a day filled with love and simple joys...


Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Final Post for My Little Cousin, Gabe

This week, Gabriel's family will be celebrating his life.  His first birthday would have been Tuesday, and the family and friends will gather at a local park to release balloons in Gabe's honor.

Julia's most recent posts, at The Four of Us, are heartbreaking and beautiful.  If you click on the blog name, it will take you there.  It's a touching look at a mother's faith, love, and saying goodbye to her little one.

Here is the Face Book page Hope For Gabriel's Heartand if you want to donate anything toward his funeral costs or medical expenses, see the link on my sidebar with his photo.  If you are unable to donate monetarily, I just ask that you continue to hold this family, especially Julia and Nick, in your prayers, and please say a special prayer for his big brother, Judah...

The story of little Gabriel's life is a blessing, a testament to faith.  We wished for a much longer life for him, here on this earth, but his family's faith tells them he is safe in the arms of a loving Heavenly Father.  Even in heartbreak, there is hope and peace.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Update...  Nick and Julia let us know that Gabe passed into the arms of his Heavenly Father at 8:58 EST.  They were there holding him, surrounded by nurses and doctors who also loved their sweet little boy.  They know he is in loving arms, but pray for continued peace as they move forward...

Please Pray...

Many of you know the story of baby Gabriel.  Things seem to have turned for the worst, but we're still hoping and praying.

Here is a video prayer by his daddy from yesterday:  Prayer for Gabe.
The following is a copy of the latest post...

Gabe's white bloodcell count has continued to rise. It is now at 22 and still getting higher. We will check it at 8pm, and if it has not improved we will hold Gabe off of the ventilator and say our sweet, painful goodbyes.

No parent should ever have to lose a child. The most surreal and strange feeling in the world. We are in so much pain but so thankful at the same time for all that Gabe has done for our family and our world.

Still hoping, but it doesn't look good at this point. Please continue to pray. Thank you for your love and support during this time.

There are no words to say except... please say a prayer for baby Gabe and his parents, Nick and Julia.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Here in Idaho, we're surrounded by wildfire in the surrounding mountains and deserts.  Sadly, we've even made the national news this evening.  I live near the capitol city of Boise, and we've been living with heavy levels of smoke in our air for what seems like weeks.  Those who work in the outdoors, like my husband does, have been faced with breathing issues.  PJ comes home with irritated lungs and eyes.  I can only imagine how difficult it is on the men and women on the fire lines, risking their lives fighting these fires.  It seems like the whole northwest is under siege, even down into California.

My heart and prayers go out to those who have lost lives, homes, livestock, pets, and those who are still on the verge of evacuation.  We could use a heavy, cleansing rain; a break from the heat and from the fires.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


It's been quite the summer.  I lost the urge to write somewhere along the way.  There are just so many changes going on in our lives that creativity had to take a backseat.  I haven't even been keeping up with my email.  I have over 1400 messages to work through.  Yikes!  It's going to take me forever.  Thankfully, I'm sure most of them are spam-type advertisements from sites I visit.  I just have to have the patience get on it.

I've been watching a lot of the Olympic competition.  Kristin Armstrong is from my home state, and my husband got to attend a big celebration in her honor today.  Here's a photo of him with Kristin.

My handsome husband with Kristin Armstrong!

He got a signed postcard and poster.  He'd almost given up as the lines were so long, but when he found out I was happily eating leftover Chinese food and watching Scottish TV shows on Netflix, he decided to grab a slice of pizza and wait it out.  I'm so glad he did.  The weather is still too hot for me to get out much, but I love that he can go enjoy the events.  Plus, he shares the goodies with me.  The poster is really nice.  It's the picture of her with her little boy!  It's one of those "once in a lifetime" moments that are so special.  We're really proud to have a lady like Kristin represent Idaho, as well as the USA!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I don't think I'm meant to go on vacation.  Just like last year, everything is conspiring against us.  Last year a tree fell, air conditioner had to be replaced, car window shattered.... etc....

This past week, we had a funeral to attend, the fan for our central air failed, the Ford had to have more repair work done...  Yep... we stayed home.  The next segment of our vacation time begins this Saturday. Already there are things cropping up, threatening to absorb all of the time and/or money allotted.  There must be a very good reason... right?  Oh well, whatever the outcome, I've already made my back up plans.  I have a list of great books I've been wanting to read, movies I haven't yet watched, some new decorating ideas I've been longing to try.  Who needs a vacation anyway?!

One funny side note... our paper arrived late this morning.  Very late.  And, right on the top was this coming Sunday's comics!  That's right!  Dated July 15th!  I phoned the paper as it was a little bewildering.  They'd had a massive power outage, so didn't get all of the printing done.  The comics are done in advance, so they decided to add them to the tiny paper they were delivering today.  That made me laugh.  Then I hung up and went to read my bonus Sunday comics.  I definitely needed a bit of laughter today, but never imagined it would come "compliments" of a power cut!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

What's in your family tree?

If you've been here before, you will know I've been researching my family history.  So far, it had been a fascinating, but fairly routine journey.  Until this week.  I won't go into specifics on all I've uncovered, but it's more or less what I'd hoped to find.  A diverse family, with some secrets, Union soldiers and Confederates, blended families, and sad, tiny gravestones of children who didn't stay in this world very long.  I have always loved a good mystery, and this is what the search for ancestors is like.  There are twists and turns, with some predictable outcomes, but happily for me a few unexpected surprises.  You should definitely give it a try!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


My husband is off to the Father's Day car shows, which is tradition for us.  We'll be celebrating with our sons, this evening, over dinner and a movie.

I'm sitting here watching the pilot of Dallas.  JR is back!  Yes, I was a huge fan of the show back in the day.  I still remember where I was when I watched the episode, "Who Done It?" revealing the question millions had been waiting to see the answer to... "Who Shot JR?"  It was being shown on a big screen TV, in the upstairs room of a local pub.  I was with a group of friends, and it was definitely the big deal of the day.

According to Wikipedia, The "Who Done It?" episode received the highest domestic ratings at that point, with over 90 million American viewers tuning in for the answer.  That record was broken only by the last episode of M*A*S*H in 1983. Wikipedia states that internationally, Dallas still holds the record for the most-watched episode, with nearly 360 million viewers tuning in to see who shot J.R.

I'm enjoying this new episode so far, but I don't know if it can pull me in like the original series did.  That was a different time for me.  I was totally wrapped up in Country Music, cowboys, and the fantasy of striking it rich.  Youthful fantasies.  It is fun looking back and remembering who I was, or at least who I thought I was.  I always got a kick out of Larry Hagman, from the time he was Captain/Major Anthony "Tony" Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie, until the iconic roll of J. R. Ewing on Dallas.  Larry's definitely looking his age.  In fact, a lot of my favorite stars and musicians are either older, very elderly, or have passed on.  I guess that means I'm not as young as I think I am.  I still have "young" thoughts, and then I catch a glimpse of an older, greying woman and realize that's my reflection looking back at me.  I'm not complaining, it just still surprises me a little bit.

I hope you're all having a wonderful Father's Day weekend, I certainly am!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Where do the days go?

It's mid-June already!  Unbelievable how the days just seem to fly.  This week my oldest son spent some time recuperating at our home after a health scare.  He was at work and started having severe chest pain and tightness.  His heart checked out ok, but they did advise him to take it easy for a few days.  It was most likely stress related.  It's definitely made him think about taking better care of his health.  It made me reevaluate some of my bad habits too.  My weight has crept back up again, I've been taking in too much sugar and caffeine, and not getting enough exercise.  Time to turn that around!

I meant to share the following a couple weeks back, but it got set aside in all the busyness of life.  I decided to take on the cemetery visitation my mom had always done. For me, Memorial Day weekend has always been a time to look back and remember loved ones who have passed on.  In actuality, I'd been reminiscing well before the weekend arrived.  I've been working on my Ancestry search again, plus I joined a site called Find A Grave.  This site posts photos of headstones from all across the country.  I was able to view gravestones of some family members who are buried in distant states. I wouldn't have been able to see them without traveling across the county.

I found my most immediate family members too.  Because of the kindness of a couple of Find A Grave members, I now manage a few of my family's memorial pages.  Some contributors chose not to transfer a memorial, even if it is your immediate family.  I understand this, as they have dedicated hours of time to find, photograph, and post the information.  I am just so happy there are people willing to volunteer their time to do this.  The memorial pages of family members and friends can be placed in Virtual Cemeteries on your own page, so I've created Virtual Cemeteries for each branch of the family.

During the Memorial weekend, my husband took the time to drive me to visit several of my family's graves.  I hadn't done that in years.  My mom was the one who always did the visitation of the graves.  I decided it was time for me to step up, and take it over, in her honor.  We took flowers, and PJ took photos of the grave markers for me to add to my Ancestry files.  There was a lot of walking, in 72 degree heat, so it was a stretch for me, but I did it!

I have to share the worst part of the day.  I was getting light-headed, so I sat under some trees on a contemplation bench, while PJ continued to look for my great grandparents markers.  I felt a little tickle on my arm.  It was a spider!  I knocked it off.  Soon I felt it again.  I looked down, and I was covered with little spiders!  Yikes!  I hate spiders when they're up close and personal.  Later, I found Paul had some on him too.  They were floating down from all the trees. So icky, but it was still totally worth being there.   In future, I will visit early in the day while it's still cool, and I will definitely avoid the trees.

Well, this is a seriously long post, and I still haven't shared everything I intended too.  It will all keep for another day.  I don't want to be putting you all to sleep! Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Art House Co-Op Mystery Project

I decided to do something fun and different.  I entered a Mystery Project Challenge through the Art House Co-op on Facebook.  They mailed me a card with a theme and a Prismacolor pen which had to be used in the challenge.  Other entries can be seen on their Facebook page by clicking Art House Co-op.

My theme was "Things and the people and places using them" and it had me stumped for a bit.  So I started going through some of my "things" and found a teacup of my grandma's (by the way, Happy Birthday Grandma!).  It was the inspiration for my project.

I chose Miss Tami's Restaurant/Cafe for my "places" because of the memories.  You can visit Miss Tami's on Facebook or go to the web page by clicking on Miss Tami's.  My mom and I loved going there.  It's a restaurant, tearoom and gift shoppe.  Miss Tami not only stocks collectibles of all kinds, there is jewelry, art work, stationery, books, and vintage items.  The gift shoppe area is smaller, as the tearoom/restaurant has expanded, but it is still filled with many lovely things.  Just a note... if you click on the photos, they should enlarge for better viewing.

This is Miss Tami's... Wouldn't you love to sit and have tea or lunch here?  So cozy!
So now, I had my "thing" and "place" for the challenge.  I looked through my collection of tea cups and found three favorites.  One was Grandma Martha's, one was my mom's, and I believe the other was Grandma Wait's.  I played around with different arrangements, taking photos of each, and I finally settled on one.  I printed the photo on to fabric, washed, dried, and ironed it.  Next I outlined areas with pencil to make them stand out, and used the green Prismacolor pen to highlight the leaves and shamrocks.  I mounted it onto poster board and matted it.  It was complete.

Just a few of the treasures to be found at Miss Tami's!
Thought you'd like a closer look...
The next part of the challenge was to take the artwork and install it in a public place.  I had to document the installation with a photograph, and post it onto the Art House Co-op Facebook page.  Then I was to leave the artwork for someone to find.  I put a short note of explanation on the back of the photo, with the instruction that it was free to the finder.
More treasures...


And there it is!  My Teacup Photo!
I hope it makes someone smile.  It made me smile.  I had so much fun doing this project, and I can't wait to try a new challenge.  While I was in Miss Tami's, so many memories washed over me.  Not only of my mom, but of my dear friend Judy and her mother Ann.  After my mom died, Ann would take Judy and I out for our birthdays.  Ann and I had November birthdays and Judy's is in October.  Miss Tami's was one of the places we loved going to.  I hadn't been back to Miss Tami's since Ann passed.  Being there today just made my heart happy.  I enjoyed every minute of it!  I even found a picture during my visit, that had to come home with me.  A couple of delicious lemon shortbread cookies also found their way to my house!  It's been a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just Checking In...

First of all, I'm hating the new blogger layout!  I have a hard time adjusting to new formats, so I feel lost right now.

Secondly, does anyone know how to stop following a blog?  I tried to figure it out, but can't seem to make any changes.  I have decided if I am not inspired, uplifted, connected by friendship... maybe it's time to stop following.  Especially if there are things that I find uncomfortable.  Everyone has the right to post about anything they want, and rather than complain or rant in their comments (which I find that a lot of people do), I'd rather just quietly slip away.  If you know how to do this, please let me know.  I just can't seem to find the right "button" or place to do this.

Life has been hectic.  My family is still working through the loss of my father-in-law.  PJ made another trip with his sister to take care of things at the house, etc.  I'm continuing to work on organizing my home, and trying to plan a graduation celebration for my youngest.  He actually received his diploma in the fall, but we were waiting until good weather so that family could come.  He has been accepted into a very good college and will be living there, starting in August.  I am going to feel a little lost with both sons gone from home.  I do have a long list of new hobbies I want to try, and maybe even take an online course myself, so I plan on keeping very busy.  Even doing that, I know it will be a huge adjustment for me!

I've missed all of you!  I still don't have a new computer, but have this little laptop I bought from MJ. It's a little Apple, and I'm still learning how to use it.  I hope to be blogging more consistently before long!

Wishing you peace...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Sorry I've been absent.  My computer crashed and is beyond repair, so I'm waiting to get a new one.  My son loaned me his this evening, so I could check my email, blog, etc.

Life has been crazy.  Between traveling, family stuff, getting one son registered for college last week, and our other son registering for his college this week, I haven't had the energy to think about writing.  For the NaBloPoMo Prompt, I'm using the following poem.  I originally wrote it for a Sunday Scribblings challenge.  I love watching dancers, and dream of dancing, but am content to still be able to walk.  I hope you enjoy this:

In dreams I dance,
spinning effortlessly across the flour,
my soft dress fluently swirling
around me to the rhythm of the music.
Moving gracefully, lightly,
unencumbered by age and circumstance.
In dreams, I still dance.

© 07MAR2010 ajjahner

Friday, April 20, 2012

Violets & Kittens...

For dad... who left us on a Friday, 22 years ago today.  He loved animals and flowers.  My violets bloomed this spring, for the first time in several years, and this forgotten image came to mind...

nose pressed to flower
soft kitten breath on purple
the violets dance

I hope this verse conveys the curiosity of kittens, exploring a world new to them.  Treasure your loved ones, your days, the beautiful world all around you.  Enjoy life.  Breathe it all in.  Rejoice in the simple moments.

© 20APR2012 ajjahner

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Some thoughts and a short poem...

I have not lived up to my bargain to post every day this month.  It's been a crazy, sad, busy time for my family.  Dealing with the loss of a loved one takes a lot out of you.  My husband and I just returned from a trip to his father's home.  We met his sister and her friend there, and we spent a hectic weekend sorting through years of accumulation.  There was, and still is, a lot of stuff.  The one nice thing is, it was very organized.  We donated and recycled what we could, but two pick-up loads still went to the landfill.  Some precious treasures went home with my sister-in-law and with us.  There is still a lot to do, but it's mostly cleaning, small repairs, and painting in preparation to possibly sell the home one day.  There is no rush on that.

Every room in the house was filled with memories, as was the yard and the garden.  It was like whispers, too quiet to hear, but definitely all around.  Poignant, palpable, precious....

Silent rooms and
walls with dusty photographs
Paintings created, hung with loving hands

A chair, a throw,
favorite jacket in the hall
Symbols of the life they once enveloped

Quiet whispers
of voices no longer heard
but hanging in the air, just beyond reach

Memories linking
hearts to hearts, throughout time
Unbroken chain of life continues on

© 17APR2012 ajjahner

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Poetry Memories...

I've always loved poetry.  As a child, my mother bought us a set of Childcraft Encyclopedias that I loved to read.  Book #1 was Poems and Rhymes.  I spent hours thumbing through it.  Continuing with poetry month, I'll post a couple that bring back memories of those days.

For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

~ The Song of Solomon



Will there really be a morning?
Is there such a thing as day?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?
Has it feet like water lilies?
Has it feathers like a bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I've never heard?
Oh, some scholar!  Oh, some sailor!
Oh, some wise man from the skies!
Please to tell a little pilgrim
Where the place called morning lies!

~ Emily Dickinson


Afternoon on a Hill

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

I hope these brightened your day, as much as they have mine.  I may be absent from posting for a few days, but I'll "see" you all again soon!

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Request...

I'm skipping a poem for today.  I wanted to ask for some special prayers this week.  Tomorrow Gabriel goes in for a very important surgery.  The doctor will be building him a full heart or doing something called a Fontan procedure.  The full heart is what we're hoping for.  You may have seen the link on my sidebar, but if not, this is Gabe:

I encourage you to go to his mother's blog.  She wrote the most beautiful letter to him.  You can find it at The Four of Us, click on the title...  "If I Never See You On Earth Again".

It will touch you, I promise.  It make break your heart a little bit.  I know it will make you want to pray for a miracle for sweet Gabriel.  Please read it... Please Pray...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Surprise in the Mail...

To begin, I want to wish each of you a Happy Easter!  It looks like a beautiful day here in Idaho.  My plans are simple, to spend the day with my husband and sons. 

I received the most beautiful package in the mail last week!  I won the giveaway from Michelle Palmer, and here is what I saw when I opened the package...

 This is what was inside...

Michelle does such beautiful sketches and painting.  You can see more of her work in her Etsy Shop,
Michelle Palmer Art.  She drew the acorns, placing them randomly in the squares of this vintage piece of linen.  She left the buttons separate, so I can place them where I wish or leave them off altogether.  I love this!  The acorns take me back to my childhood, and the giant oak tree in our yard.  I spent hours in the shade of that oak, reading my Nancy Drew mysteries, looking for 4-leaf clovers, making dandelion chains, and collecting acorns.  Precious memories of simple times.  I will treasure this!

Today's Sunday Scribblings Prompt is Treat.  The word is implied, rather than being inserted in this post.  The treat was winning the Michelle Palmer piece!  Continuing with my April poetry theme, I wrote the following:

In the shade of ancient oak,
branches stretched upwards and out,
solitude is not lonely.

In the wonder of cool shelter,
a bumpy floor of grass
and acorns so abundant. 

I choose a spot and stretch out, 
favorite book in hand,
under comfort of green arms.

© 08APR2012 ajjahner

Those of you who are readers, will recognize the treat in this piece.  There's nothing quite like finding a place you love to enjoy a great book.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Taking Flight

Here's another earlier poem of mine, that really takes me back.  Isn't memory an amazing thing?  If I close my eyes, I am on that swing, going higher and higher.

Taking Flight

My feet push against the earth
Higher, higher
The swing takes me up
To blue sky and then back again
Toes striking the soft, dusty brown earth
Pushing, pushing
Reaching for the sky
Imagination taking flight with the seagulls,
The robins, the wild geese
Grandma calls, “Dinner”
Releasing the chains I fly through
The air for an instant
Then feet connect firmly with the ground and
I go running back to reality and the mundane

© 11JAN2010 ajjahner

As with all my writing, journaling, photos and art, please do not reproduce or copy without express written permission.  Thank you for respecting my copyright.  I hope you're enjoying this month of poems for the NaBloPoMo prompt "Poem" and to celebrate National Poetry Month. 

Friday, April 6, 2012


It comes, and then goes
like breezes on a summer's day,
or ice melting in the sun.
When the water runs,
then trickles away
til the stones are
dry again, and warm,
and no trace remains
of what once was.
Life changes
and moves on.

 © 06APR2012 ajjahner

Another Selection for Poetry Month

Just a little poem, on this cold spring day.  Even with the wind, and the chill in the air, the birds have been singing outside my door...

Sweet bird, thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear:
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
No winter in thy year.

Oh, could I fly, I'd fly with thee!
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Companions of the spring.
~ John Logan ~

This free image was shared by Dawn of The Feathered Nest.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Poem, Art

I decided to go with a short poem, lighter poem today.  This was written for a Sunday Scribblings prompt in 2009.  I've been thinking about art, and some projects I started but never returned to.  Springtime makes me think of painting, creating, renewal... 

Pencils, pens
Paint, charcoals, watercolors
Brushes, palettes, canvas, paper
Putting imagination to work
Bringing the unseen to life
Recreating what is seen
Visual, visceral, vague
Yet defined

copyright February 2009 - ajj

Monday, April 2, 2012

#313 Sunday Scribblings - Reflect

In preparation for National Poetry Month, I've been going through some of my old poems.  I'm participating in NaBloPoMo (see sidebar link), and also Sunday Scribblings.  The prompt is Reflect.  The word doesn't appear in this piece, but I feel like it ties in with the theme.  It was written during a time of reflection and healing in my life.   I hope you enjoy reading it.

The Long, Dark Hour
A. J. Jahner

Did you know
When you slipped into her room, in the heavy darkness
That weighed down like an old, stale wool blanket,
Till a breath could not be taken.

Did you know
When your hands crept in to touch the secret places,
Terrified eyes pooled with tears,
And silent screams filled the throat.

Did you know
When mocking voice, while telling lies, shattered and
Scattered round the room, her thin, glass sheet of confidence in pieces,
And sweeping them, they disappeared.

Did you know
That over time, the shifting boards revealed the shards
Long buried; and though broken, and undefined,
Created a picture in her mind.

Did you know
It rises to the surface in raging waves of anger, exposing the heart
Of who she was, or might have been, before the darkness
And the fear betrayed her.

Did you know
She walked in shadow life, appearances deceitful, a smiling face
With vacant eyes, and now the gaping scars reveal
A wounded child, no longer hiding.

Did you know
She searches for the answers still, for innocence breached, betrayed
By trusted hands, who held the power, but by choice
Redefined a life, in that long, dark hour.

© 10MAY2008 ajjahner

Life takes us through many experiences, along many journeys.  not all are sweet.  Some define who we become, but we can choose how it will define us.  It's what we make of it, that makes all the difference. 

April is Poetry Month

I am tired and uninspired, so I'll just share a poem I love...


Forgotten Language

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?

Shel Silverstein

Friday, March 30, 2012

Whether To... Or Not...

I made an uncomfortable choice yesterday, which I completely regret.  Watching my morning news program, I heard a very loud "boom" that rattled my front door.  Making my front door, or even my house rattle, is a thing even a loud car stereo can do.  I assumed it was kids hitting the front of my house with something.  That is an occasional occurrence, since the bus stop is on our corner.  I'd forgotten it was spring break.

I went to the front door, opened it, and looked out.  Nothing.  Oh well.  I walked into the front room and began opening my curtains, that's when I saw them.  I could see two Police vehicles blocking my street and two further north.  Then I realized all the activity was just south of my home, across the street.  I could see at least three more cars, and men in Police vests on a neighbors front porch.  I phoned a neighbor directly across the street from me and asked if she knew what had happened, and if she'd heard the "boom".  She had.  She thought it had been a sonic boom until she spotted the police.  She had trouble getting her little dog calmed down, so we could talk.

Some time passed, the mail came and they were still out there.  The street was no longer blocked and it didn't look threatening, so I went out to get my mail.  My neighbor came out and chatted a minute.  Worry and curiosity were probably the main things we were feeling.  Not knowing if someone was hurt inside or what the noise had been.   About that time, I decided to contact a family member, who works for a local news station, to see if he had heard anything.  He hadn't.  Before long, I was asked if I would send a photo.  I waited a bit, then reluctantly walked out and snapped two photos.  I can tell you I felt like some kind of snoop, a Mrs. Kravitz.  I never did send the photos.

As I walked back up my drive, the news van pulled around the corner and waved me down.  They wanted an interview and I declined.  I used conflict of interest... family member employed with you... they jokingly offered to fire him and laughed.  They asked again, and I reluctantly agreed.  When asked what my worst concern about this event was, I stated "That one of my neighbors is hurt or worse."  That didn't make it on air, just a brief statement about the noise, which was fine except for this terrible feeling I can't shake.  My neighbors were having, perhaps, one of their worst days.  I was chatting to a news anchor about it.  It just felt wrong.

I believe in the value of news coverage, but I'm thinking if I had to do it again, I would probably just close the curtains and check with my neighbors after the fact.  I am definitely not cut out for a job in news or as any kind of detective, no matter how much I enjoy a good mystery novel.  The reality is, no matter what was happening, it was happening to people, to my neighbors.  Neighbors I don't know well, but who I care about because they are part of my little community, my world. 

© 30MAR2012 aj

Sunday, March 25, 2012

#312 Sunday Scribblings - The Rest of the Story

I've been doing a challenge called Sunday Scribblings for a while.  If you click on the name, it will take you to the prompt list.  You can also read what other writer's have done.

This week's prompt, The Rest of the Story, inspired me to go back to a story from an earlier challenge.  That prompt was When Pigs Fly.  I'd often wanted to revisit Cassie and Joe, so this is the rest of their story.  If you want to read the beginning, go HERE.

The Rest of Their Story

Sitting on the porch, sun setting in the distance, Cassie thought back to a long ago, starry night. She had been so young when Joe had proposed to her. She could never have imagined the road that night would take her on.

Daddy had agreed to the marriage, so at 17 and 21, Cassie and Joe had started their lives together. There had been obstacles along the way. Finances were never good. Joe's job at the Quicky Lube never paid enough. He worked long hours, and the bills just kept coming. Cassie worked, cleaning houses for other people, while her babies were with their Gram and Grandad. Her dreams of going to back school had been set aside with the arrival of the first baby. Three more followed in quick succession. Her days were spent scrubbing, polishing, sweeping, her nights spent cooking, cleaning, washing. There was little time for just sitting and holding the babies, even less for fun or romance.

Joe became more and more distant as the bills piled up. Cassie loved him with a depth she couldn't put into words. She'd wanted to take away some of the pressure, the frustrations, but she had felt so helpless. All she could do was keep working hard, and raise their little ones.

The years kept moving on. So many changes had come into their lives. Joe had finally managed to open his own body shop, with an inheritance from his parents, and it was a success. He had a way with people, and they appreciated his honesty and work ethic. Once the children were in school, Cassie had been able to take some classes at the community college. She learned the accounting end of the business and kept the office running efficiently. She had also started doing some photography for fun and found she had an eye for it, so she sold art prints and did some private sittings on the side.

As she sat reminiscing about their lives, she had to laugh at the youthful hopes, the optimism. That was the beginning of a long journey. Of life. If she and Joe had known about all the hard work it would take to keep a marriage together, to make a life, would they have jumped in? Definitely. Dreams are started with youthful wishes, but they are built on hard work, perseverance, and love.

The screen door opened. Joe walked out, handed her a cup of coffee, and bent down for a quick, sweet kiss. They sat side by side, in the rockers that had belonged to Joe's parents, looking out into the darkness. It was another beautiful starry night, and this was their dream, their pie in the sky.

  © 25MAR2012 aj

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom...

Dad & Mom. A bit worn, but a favorite of hers.
Another "whether" or not decision (see the NaBloPoMo link on my sidebar).  Today is my mom's birthday.  She would have been 74 this year, but passed away at 65.  In June, she will have been gone 9 years.  That's so hard to believe.  It took a long time for me to come to terms with her loss.  Longer than some thought was healthy, but my processing of change tends to be slow.  I've talked a lot about how her life and her loss impacted me, so the decision was whether to talk about it again.

Obviously, I decided to do it.  Those of you who have lost a parent will understand.  They remain imprinted into our psyche, whether they are present in this life or have moved on into the next.  Lessons learned, laughter shared, a look, a touch, just their "being" is missed.  It doesn't mean I don't have faith in where she is at.  My beliefs tell me she is in heaven, with those who traveled there before she arrived and since, but my heart wishes I could call her on the phone for a chat, or go to a yard sale with her.  Here's an earlier post I wanted to share with you today.  In it, I explain why I began writing my blog.

I wrote it on my two-year anniversary of blogging.  Tomorrow I will celebrate four years!  Blogging has been a wonderful experience for me.  A place to share my laughter and my tears.  A community of like-minded folks, as well as some who are so very different from me, and I've loved it all.  I look forward to continuing this interesting journey with each of you.

 © 22MAR2012 aj

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This moved me...

I was deciding whether to blog today or not, then I read this beautiful post.  It's written by Julia, of The Four of Us.  It's about how forgiveness, and what it can do... I don't want to try and tell you, just please go... read it.  It's beautiful.  Click this link:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Live Well...

I am overwhelmed with emotions today.  It's snowing on this first day of spring.  My heart is still sad over the loss of my father-in-law, and all that we will never get to share with him.  We were waiting to have a graduation celebration, for my youngest, until spring.  He received his High School Diploma last autumn, but we wanted the weather to be nice so his grandpa might be able to come.

My father-in-law always wanted his grandsons to go to college.  My youngest received confirmation he was accepted into college two days after his grandpa's passing.  My oldest son had decided to return to college in the fall and was working on the paperwork.  We never got the chance to share any of this with their grandpa.  He would be so proud.

When loss comes, there are always things left unsaid, undone.  We move through the stages of loss and acceptance, and ultimately realize it wouldn't matter when the loss occurred.  We will always have more we wanted to share with those we loved.

The best tribute we can give is to live our lives fully, completely.  Just get out there.  Accomplish our dreams.  Live well.  Appreciate life, and love every day we are given.

 © 20MAR2012 aj

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Sweet and Sad Farewell...

Today was the funeral service for my father-in-law.  This was such a difficult day, especially for my husband, his sister, and my sons.  He was a WWII Veteran, so has been buried at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.  It was pouring rain, but we got a brief reprieve right about the time we needed the casket moved to the Committal Pavilion, a covered area where the service was held.

As we drove up the hill toward the Pavilion, I saw the soldiers standing at attention.  That meant so much to us.  I had never been to a military funeral and didn't know what to expect.  It does go very quickly, because they have services every hour.  It's handled with dignity, precision, and respect, from the moment you arrive until Taps is played.

My husband and sons were pallbearers.  Even though it's just a short movement of the casket, from vehicle to a transport cart, I was so proud to see my boys do this for their grandpa, and my husband for his dad.  One final act of love and respect for their grandpa, and of my husband for his father.  It's heartbreaking to say farewell, but we believe he was welcomed home by those he loved, those who had made the journey before him.  We will miss him.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'll be absent for a bit...

My father-in-law passed away earlier today.  I may share about him another day, but today is too soon.  I'll just leave you with a couple of favorite photos...

Fishing with Grandpa PJ

With Grandpa PJ at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center - 1998
Our Lucky 13, EJ with Grandpa PJ

MJ and Grandpa
We have some beautiful memories... We'll miss him so much...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Real Life or Dreams...

I haven't been using the NaBloPoMo daily prompts this week.  I just didn't have the time, or the focus, to keep at it.  I decided to go back and try a couple that I'd missed.  Today I've chosen the prompt for Thursday.  Would you rather have a video copy of your dreams or a datebook that contains the events of every day of your life?

This is a difficult choice.  I find my memory is not what it used to be, so the idea of a datebook filled with all the events of my life is a tempting one.  Family, holidays, friends, so many wonderful things, but to be honest, a whole lot of boring.  Day after day, getting up, getting dressed, going to school, to work, wherever, doing dishes or laundry, filling the car with gas, balancing the checkbook.  You see where this is going. 

My dreams, on the other hand, have been filled with adventure, premonitions, family, friends, strangers.  I've traveled to unknown cities, and I've been in the mountains.  Swam underwater, something I'd never do in real life.  Faced monsters and fears, been in terrible accidents, been killed, but lived to tell about it, because it was a dream.  I generally dream in full technicolor, though a couple of times in black and white when I was young. 

For me, the choice is easy.  I'd choose the video of my dreams.  That would provide hours of entertainment and adventure, and I'd love to see those forgotten details.  You know, the ones you can't quite remember when you wake up, no matter how hard you try.  Yes, for me, it's the dreams!

© 10MAR2012 aj

Friday, March 9, 2012

This, That, and The Other

Why I've been absent...
My writing for NaBloPoMo is lagging this month.  It's not for lack of desire, but due to family circumstances.  My dad-in-law is still in serious condition, and our hearts and minds are consumed with it all.  The uncertainly of it falls into the category Whether, as decisions are made regarding his care.  I appreciate those of you who continue to remember him in your prayers.

Now on to the writing... 
I just read a post about the love of writing, and how to get started.
Here is my new favorite quote... 

"It begins with words." 
Christy Woolum

Christy writes about how she gets her students started writing.  I'm not going to share her secrets.  I am just going to encourage you to read her post at Learning By Heart.

On to other things...
I recently blogged about an amazing giveaway, hosted by Debra at Common Ground.  It was for a gift certificate to the Etsy Shop English Transferware.  This shop is run by Nancy of Nancy's Daily Dish.  I won the giveaway!  If you're not familiar with transferware, here is a photo with some examples:

This image is owned by Nancy, of Nancy's Daily Dish.
There are so many beautiful pieces of transferware, that I'm having a difficult time making a decision.  If you haven't visited Debra or Nancy, take a few minutes to have a look at their beautiful blogs.  You won't be sorry.

And Other Stuff...

Earlier this month, I was given a blog award by Andrea of From the Sol.  I had decided to make my blog Award Free recently, but I'm making an exception because I thought the questions and random facts were fun!  Andrea is a new blogger, and I am really enjoying From The Sol.  I want to encourage all of my friends to visit her!  She has some beautiful photography and is such a warm, friendly person.  Here is the award information:

 The Rules:
1. Thank & link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Answer the form questions below.
3. Share ten random facts / thoughts about yourself.
4. Nominate (at least) 7 other blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award.

I want to sincerely thank Andrea of From the Sol for honoring me with this award.  Andrea, it is a joy getting to know you, and I'm so happy you have become one of my blogging friends!

My Answers to the Questions...
  1. Favorite Song: I can't say I have one favorite. I love all kinds of music. A few favorites... Amazing Grace, Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Eva Cassidy), Dream (Priscilla Ahn), Both Sides Now, Forever Young... there are just too many to list.
  2. Favorite Dessert: Gooseberry Pie... followed very closely by Rhubarb Pie and Cheesecake!
  3. What Ticks Me Off: Liars! I hate deceit.
  4. If I am upset: I find it best to retreat to a quiet place until I feel calm... I did say that was best, sometimes I just cry all over the place. I do try to keep the crying and moaning to a minimum. Lol!
  5. Favorite Pet: I have loved many, but my favorite cat was Tomasina, a beautiful Calico I had while growing up. She was so gentle. She let me dress her in doll clothes and carry her around. She brought me field mice she'd caught... ewwwie! She “talked” to me, and I loved her!
  6. Black or White: If referring to clothing, I generally lean more toward black. In d├ęcor, I like a bit of both, with lots of other accent colors.
  7. Biggest Fear: That my husband or my boys will be hurt. That my MS disability will get so bad, that I become only a burden to my family.
  8. Everyday Attitude: It changes like the weather. I do have the ability to bounce back from hard times, and I have faith that things happen for a reason. I believe that all people have some good in them, even when it isn't always visible.
  9. What is perfection: Life, with all it's uncertainty.
  10. Guilty Pleasures: Chocolate, Coffee, A good book, or movie, Pinterest, FaceBook's Words with Friends, and blogging... when I should be cleaning.

Here are my 10 Random Facts... and they are really random...

  1. I love my family. My husband is my best friend. My sons are amazing, kind human beings. I am very blessed!
  2. I'm a writer. That's not an easy thing for me to say. I've often put too many rules and/or restrictions on myself... not good enough, not educated enough, not published. I write because it's part of who I am. I need to write, whether anyone else ever reads it or not. I am a writer.
  3. Music is part of me. I can't imagine a world without beautiful music.
  4. I am a very spiritual person, and I believe in premonitions, intuition, second sight... whatever you want to call it.
  5. I both love and fear animals.
  6. I'm funny when I don't mean to be, and if I try to tell a joke, it falls flat.
  7. An organized house is my dream, but I seem to lack the necessary skills or concentration to make it happen.
  8. I'm fascinated by family history.
  9. I worry about offending people... maybe that stems from a need to be liked.
  10. Making a list like this is hard, because I worry that I've put the wrong answers, left something out, said too much, offended someone, sounded lame/stupid/delusional/or any of a million other things that are just wrong. Oh, did I mention, I obsess too much?
I had a difficult time deciding who to give this award to.  There are so many blogs I love and read on a regular basis.  Here are 7 that I know you will enjoy visiting.  I will just say, I won't be hurt... not even a tiny bit, if any of you choose not to participate.  I know many blogs have chosen to be award free, as I have... with this exception.  So, that said, I would love to pass this award on to... in alphabetical order:

Carol at Silver Valley Stories
Christy at Learning by Heart
Donna at Cottage Days and Journeys
Donna at Made in Heaven
Gail at Shabby Cottage Studio
Lana at Honeysuckle Lane
Mary at Scottish Nanna

I want to wish each of you a beautiful day!