Nov 30, 2010


My MacBook crashed on Thanksgiving Day and now it's all better!  Yay!!  Now I can get to working on my special Steps.  I lost what I had so I'll be starting over.  Stay tuned.

Nov 29, 2010

Romantic Style

If you like a romantic style of decorating, go on over to Maison Decor and check her out.  The book looks good for some inspiration.

Nov 25, 2010


I posted this last year and I really don't think I can top it.  At least not in the time I would need.  I'm blessed.  Two that I definitely have to add, though, would be the two additions to the family.  India married Cory Brigger in August and they have a baby due in late February.  Yes, we're very blessed.

I'm a blessed person. Truly I am. I have a lot to be thankful for. I'm thankful for Cherlyn and for the fact that she calls me just about every morning. I can't really think of a better way to start my day. I'm thankful for the smile I hear in her voice and for her turkey gobble call. I'm thankful for telephones that enable me to talk to people I love. I'm thankful that I can talk, that I have the gift of speech. I'm thankful that I'm able to express myself fairly well through the written word. I'm no Ernest Hemingway, but I get along. I'm thankful for the little books I've written over the years and, more than that, for the people or incidents that inspired those little books. I think of them even now and smile. I'm thankful for smiles. Smiles from babies, smiles from friends, smiles from strangers. A smile is a wonderful way to help your spirit. It makes the giver and the givee both feel good. I'm thankful for that cup of coffee I have every morning and for the people who work hard to get it to me. I'm thankful that I have the option of buying coffee that was grown by people who were paid fairly and who didn't have to destroy their land to grow it. I'm thankful for coffee with Katie, for when she asks me to grab her some when I'm in Ukiah and bring it to her work. I'm thankful that I have her to bring things to. I'm thankful for Katie's help around the house; for doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen without me ever having to ask her to do those things. I'm thankful for Katie's personality and the fact that she's found a job she likes and that it's given another thing for her to share with Michael. I'm thankful for Emma and for Katie letting them live here with us so that we can help. I'm thankful for the way Emma comforts anyone who's hurting and for her tender heart. I'm thankful for her unconditional love and for the way she yells, "Grandma!" when she comes into the house after being gone, even if it's just for a little while. I'm thankful for India and that she's found her niche. I'm thankful for her school and for the fact that she loves it. I'm thankful that she's found a place to live with people who are willing to open their home to her. I'm thankful for her caring heart and her comfort during sad times. I'm so thankful for my mom and dad. Without them, I wouldn't be who I am and I wouldn't BE at all. I'm thankful for the way they opened our home to our friends and let everyone gather there to hang out. I'm thankful for the example they give me every day of people who are not lazy or slothful but ones who are good stewards of everything God's given them. I'm thankful for my mom's love for my dad and how she does things for him and takes care of him because she loves him. I'm thankful for all the times she's talked to me and for all of the advice and help she's given me. I'm thankful for her example of a good wife and mom. I'm thankful for my dad's love of my mom, for the way he's taking care of her. I'm thankful for his devotion to her for so many years. I'm thankful for all the work that he's done and how he's taught me, by example, how to try to fix things. I'm thankful for both of their love for Mike and for teaching me how to do without, how to make do with what I have, and how to be happy even if you don't have a lot of things. I'm thankful for Pat, Tim, Beck and Ted. They are the best brothers and sisters I could ever hope for. I'm thankful for Pat and the way she serves others so selflessly, without expecting any recognition. I'm thankful for her example. I'm thankful that she was with me all through school, from kindergarten through graduation. I'm thankful for Tim's giggle. Thinking of it makes me smile. I'm thankful for the hard work he does in helping Mom and Dad and everything he's done to make their lives easier or more comfortable. I'm thankful for Beck and how she takes Mom out to lunch or to run errands. I'm thankful for her sense of humor and for her tender heart towards others. I'm thankful for Ted and for his devotion to his family. I'm thankful for the way he embraced Orthodoxy and has now taught his family to love it. I'm thankful that he's able, and chooses, to take his family with him when he teaches. I'm thankful that my brothers and sisters are also my friends. I'm thankful for my many friends over the years. I'm thankful for my oldest friends; Ev, Scott, Kit, Kevin, Neal, Bob, Bob, Patty, Ann, Linda, Carol, Nicki, Debbie, and more. They helped me grow up and gave me some great experiences while doing it. I'm thankful for newer old friends; Coleen, Sherri, Kris, Les, Mary, Eva, Tracey, Jeanne, Kristi, Karen, and more. They helped me through difficult times and provided me with laughs and entertainment. I'm thankful for newer friends and the promise of new memories to make, new laughs to have. I'm thankful for WPD. I'm thankful that Mike's helped it to become the agency that it is. I'm thankful for Michael. I'm thankful for his sense of humor, even if I don't always get it or think it's funny. I'm thankful for the way he helps people and how he cares. I'm thankful for the saving of lives he's done and that he's been kept safe. I'm thankful for our years together and for the good stories we have. I'm thankful that he's worked at being married. I'm thankful that he likes to travel and is a good traveling companion. I'm thankful that he does the dishes and helps me. I'm thankful that he knows how to fix things. I'm thankful for the example he's been to our daughters and others. I'm thankful that he's such a good grandpa and that he's learned over the years how to be a good dad. I'm thankful that he cares. I'm thankful that in the most challenging of times during our marriage, he's risen to the challenges and been an inspiration and a leader for the family. I'm thankful for a good husband.

I can't believe I left them out! Lastly, I'm thankful for Emma, Bobby and Michael. They are the most recent blessings to our family and they are dear. I'm thankful for being a Grandma. I'm thankful, more thankful than I could ever express, for these dear, sweet little human beings who love me so unconditionally. They're better than puppies! I'm thankful for Cherlyn's husband, Rob. I'm thankful that he loves Cherlyn and the boys. I'm thankful that he gave up his leave to come over here so that the entire family could spend Mike's 50th together.

There's so much more that I'm thankful for. My challenge is to live my life expressing that thanks and appreciation. So thank you, Lord. Thank you for everything you've given me.

Such is Life

I just got back Tuesday night from visiting my folks for a few days and I'm going to visit my sister tomorrow so I haven't had much time for writing.  Also, my MacBook Pro's hard drive just failed so I'm using my desktop.  I definitely won't be dragging it along with me to my sister's.  I'll have to catch up on Saturday or Sunday.  Until then . . .

Nov 18, 2010

If Ever Two Were One, Then We

Using Photoshop CS3 and a photo from Everyday Elements Online:

 I started out with the basic photo and then added the Classic 6 texture that I obtained from Shadowhouse Creations.   I toned down the opacity of the texture to about 53%.  I burned quite a bit of the flower petals to darken them and give them a little more detail.  Using the Jane Austen font, I penned in a few lines from one of my favorite poems.  Anne Bradstreet is my  9x Great-Grandmother.  Enjoy!


I love it! I love it! I love it! I redesigned my blog, updating the look and the title. I considered moving over to Wordpress, but I just don't have the quantity of posts and/or followers to make that move worthwhile. Blogger is really simple and simplicity is good.

I'm going to include some new categories starting now. I have many (less than 100, more than 20) old antique books, some with beautiful artwork therein (including a set of really nice 1924 encyclopaedias and a world atlas from 1902!). I've checked the copyright and they are now in the public domain. I also have a bunch (maybe 100) of postcards from the early 1900's, some with beautiful graphics. My intention is to scan these, as I have time (ha!), and make them available.

The new title has to do with a moniker given to me by older family members when I was a wee lass. (I love that term . . . laddie, too.) I was happy, cheerful, sunshiney, etc. Perhaps this will be a reminder to me to show that countenance more often. More childlike faith, love, cheerfulness and just plain gladness is in short supply these days. The graphic within the header is a placecard that my Dad made for one of our family dinners. He did one for each of us. I don't remember what the others' said, but I kept mine because it means a lot to me.

I would also like to include book reviews as a category, but I anticipate those not showing up as often. We'll see.

There will be a few more design changes as I have time, but I at least wanted to get this much up right now.

Until later!

Nov 17, 2010


I haven't given up or forgotten about my walks. I'm accumulating my steps so that I can go for a nice drive someplace special. I believe I'm up to about 7 or 8 miles and I'm going to need about double that. It'll be nice . . . you'll see.

Tuscan Room to Pink Room

Emma wants her room painted pink, "Just like Mama's." This creates a little bit of a conundrum because that was the "atelier" (studio/workshop) I set up for myself before they moved back home. I did a very cool Tuscan sort of paint treatment on two of the walls. Here's a serendipitous moment in that room that shows the wall color fairly well. I used orange, yellow, brown, and a coral-ly sort of red. I LOVE it so that means I'm reluctant to paint over it. It'd be another matter if we were getting ready to sell the house and move, but we're not.

So I think I've come up with a Plan B . . . and maybe even a C and D. My first thought was to get some pink sheets and put them up on the walls I don't want painted. My next thought was wrapping paper. Now I'm thinking maybe even pink contact paper. I don't want it to look cheesy and I don't want it to fall down tomorrow. Everything will have to be pinned or stapled or whatever. Wrapping paper still sounds pretty. I think Emma and I will go to Dollar Tree after I pick her up from school.

What else does she want? Flowers and faeries. That's MUCH easier. I just happen to have both in the form of Wallies.

Oops. Look at the time. Time to go get her!

Nov 10, 2010

Cool Blog - Adventures of Stig and Lolo

I just discovered another very cool blog that I know will be inspirational for the house. Check it out and check out what she's giving away.

Nov 7, 2010

Steps, Day 6

Well, I finished all of my shopping at the Garden and Leisure Centre and now I'm ready for another mile and a half or so. We're going into Houghton and Wyton (pronounced Ho-ton and Wit-ton) today. They're two villages that appear as one. Let's set off down the Huntingdon Road.

Not far at all, is it? We're coming up on it now. Make sure you get a good close look at the village sign. Many of the villages have them and they're pieces of art in themselves. If I didn't take a photo of it, you can see it here. Alconbury has one and it's very pretty, too.
We're getting off Huntingdon Road and we're on The Thicket. It's an ancient road/trail that runs between the villages and some of the surrounding villages.
Check out the beautiful houses!
I may be wrong, but I think these are millworker cottages. I read a little bit about them on the website that's linked below.
Stuart House is a privately owned home. Wouldn't you LOVE to live here?
I'm looking back to see where I've come from.
Magdalene House is another very, very old house that's private owned. Look at the low windows. This house makes me think of the old cottage in Babe.
Ah, The Three Jolly Butchers. Think I will stop in here for lunch. More fish and chips? Maybe a steak pie? Roast beef? Roasted chicken? While I'm at it, I'll have a Green King ale. The brewery is in Suffolk over by Bury St. Edmunds and the village of Bardwell, which is where some of my ancestors come from. In fact, my Dad's middle name is Bardwell.

Leaving The Three Jolly Butchers, I head down The Thicket and see a couple of really cool houses on the left. I believe I also see The Green, which is the center of the village.
Gorgeous thatched roof cottage with a beautiful garden. I'd love to see it in the springtime!
Apparently that wasn't the town center yet so I'll keep on walking. These are more of the little cottages that I think the millworkers used to use. Houghton Mill is a well known mill that the National Trust owns. They do demos for folks.
More of those beautiful thatched roof cottages and barns. I love the little windy road, don't you. We're still on The Thicket.

I'm looking backwards at the cottages.
I believe we call this style of house a "saltbox." Not sure what it's called there. I love the stone wall, too.

We're getting close to the village center now. These houses are much older. Look at this one on the right. Isn't it fantastic? I'm sure this one is one mentioned in the links.
Now this one is fantastic! This is The George and Dragon, the oldest surviving house in Houghton. It was originally a yeoman farmer's house, built around the end of the fifteenth century. It's now a private house. Look at those beams! Look at how the house isn't exactly vertical any more! This house is over 600 years old. Absolutely amazing to me. It's right on the Green. Of course the village green isn't so green any more, is it?Here's a better picture of it. Wow.
The Village Green, the center of Houghton.
Think we should stop in to The Three Horseshoes for dessert? I'd like to, even if it's just to take photos of the interior.

And I definitely want to stop into the antique store!
We're heading out of the village now, but not without a look back to the Green. Oh, that's the clocktower in the center there. It was built in the 1800's.
Down The Thicket on our way out of the village.
Look at the beautiful gardens.
Now I can see why they call this road 'The Thicket.' I can just imagine what it was like when it was just a walking path, surrounded by trees and bushes.
The Manor house.
I never get tired of the thatched cottages.

Almost out of the village now. If I were to keep walking, The Thicket would lead me to St. Ives.

One last cool house and then we're going to call it a day.

Off to St. Ives if you continue in this direction, but I think I may go somewhere else tomorrow. There are so many cool places to walk around here. I don't think I'll ever grow tired of discovering them. Just wish I could walk them with Cherlyn and her boys!

That's all for now. Until tomorrow . . . I know I'm a few days behind. Bear with me. :o)

Nov 6, 2010

Steps, Day 5

I walked to the Huntingdon Garden and Leisure Centre today! I started out where I left off yesterday and kept going the same way.

I'm not the only one out for a walk today. It's a small country. Everyone walks.

What a beautiful Fall day, huh?
Many of the homes over there have names. I thought this was an interesting one for this home. "The Hole?"
I'm looking back over my shoulder here to see what I've passed. It's all so beautiful.
And so we'll keep on walking. It shouldn't be too much farther now.
Should I stop in at the pub? Maybe for another pint and some dessert?
I love the signs for the pubs. Those and the names! They're so distinctive.

This is a really pretty house up here on the left.
Look at these beautiful houses. We think that we have such old, cool buildings and we have nothing. We can't compare to what they have there.
So would you take the white house or the pretty one with the wisteria? I think I'd take the cream colored one . . . wish I could see the inside!
Looking back.
Yes, it'd have to be the wisteria one for me. It just looks like it has so much character.
I'm not sure what this building is, but it sure is pretty. Love the wall, too.
Well, it's decision time. Should I continue on this road or should I take the Old Houghton Road here to the right? Let's try Old Houghton Road.
It's pretty down here. No houses.

Oops. Dead end. I know that this walking path goes through because I checked it on the map. But, let's go back the other way anyway.
Here's where the walking path comes out. Just wanted to zip ahead and take a look on the map. Back to the road now.
More pretty houses. I need to find a walk with more to see, don't I?
Looking across the field, I can see where the path is.

Ok, off the path and off the road and I'm definitely closer to Huntingdon Garden and Leisure. I LOVE that store!! They have EVERYTHING there! Another roundabout to get me onto the right road again.
The sun is out and the skies are beautiful. What a beautiful walk.
This is the Huntingdon Road we're on. Huntingdon is in one direction and Houghton Wytton is in another. I'll walk there after I'm done here.

Did I misplace a photo? Or maybe the other one was in the wrong place? Doesn't matter. This is where the footpath comes out.
Does it freak you out seeing cars coming at you from the "wrong" direction? It sure did for Mike. I never drove while we were there. I was concerned I'd be worse than him. :o)
Oh, I'm so close!
I love the thatched roofs with the patterns cut into them. I would love to see someone putting a thatch roof onto a house. What a cool job that would be!

We're here! We're here! We're here! Huntingdon Garden and Leisure Centre! Gifts, food, art, restaurant, books, toys, clothing, pets, kids' play area, garden nursery, everything! Check out their most recent sales flier. I would probably go there at least once a week if I lived there. It's a good thing I don't live there. :o)
After several hours in the store, and many pounds less in my pocket, I'm off again. Actually, I had lunch and Starbucks coffee there, too. Could a store be any better?
This is where I'm going to stop. I'll pick up in just a bit and then we'll head into Houghton Wytton. I think that's the name of the village. I'll wait for you to catch up to me.
What a spectacular day!
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