Around the House the Last Day of 2010

Made out of scrap felt, ribbon, an old window cling, aluminum foil and paper backing.  Last time to use and then it gets tossed,  major clutter clearout to come in 2011. 
Oops, I cut the angel's head off in this photo.  Joseph won't stand  and keeps falling, so he's leaning on the back of the manger.  Why do most manger scenes make baby Jesus look about 4 years old? 
These bottom tiers are supposed to have been replaced ages ago.  I can't find the fabric I want to make new ones and these were made out of sheers which were the long, 72 inch ones.

The instructions said to bake the orange and apple slices at 200F for 2 hours, but after 8 hours they still weren't dried out and took even more time.  You can't see very clearly in the photos, but there is just a tiny bit of glitter on the orange and apple slices, which is not overpowering.  Just a little bit country with the ribbon trims.
First Christmas Cactus, surviving so far!

My quiet place to read, two windows is nice when it's sunny outside. 

Lucy enjoys her mat, when I brought it home from the store, she tried to have at it before the tags were unclipped to unfold it and make it full size.  It's a daily battle keeping her off the couch, so this is a second pillow as her bed is in the den and much bigger to suit her size.   We tried three different beds before she would accept the one she decided she would sleep on.  Fussy and bossy.

We had a thaw and grass appeared, all the snow and icicles disappeared. 
He's my #1 Pet.
This was from the first Christmas after we adopted him on Dec. 21.  He was so skinny then and absolutely enchanted with the camera.  He'd pose for me or walk up and get right in my face, very funny at the time.   The pinecones come from my home state, I had so many given to me that where I previously lived, I sometimes used them as kindling for the fireplace.  Now that I can no longer get the pinecones from home, I have to keep these forever and a day. 

Here's the front door, now Get Out of Here 2010, Make Way for a Better 2011!

Under All the Snow

There is still green grass under all of the snow.  How do I know?  Because yesterday we had a brief glimpse of the ground, and although the grass is mostly brown, I know that it will become green again in the spring.  Winter came early and often for us here.

We haven't had a mild day for at least two months.  The nights are very cold and the daytime temps haven't gotten above 22F for weeks on end. 

I made this Etsy Treasury with the theme of, "Green."  Not for ecology, conservation, etc.  but green for Spring and fresh flowers and feeling warmer than it is here at the moment.

I Won! I Won!

I just got the exciting news that my name was pulled as a winner for a goody bag from Tiger Food Press, a Letterpress artist.

I'm looking forward to receiving the goody bag, I'm not a very lucky person so this was a very pleasant surprise.

Please check out Tiger Food Press on Etsy and also read her blog.  She is very talented and has a good sense of humour, too.

Here are the links for her Etsy shops: 
http://www.etsy.com/shop/tigerfoodpress   http://www.etsy.com/shop/tigerfoodbooks

Here is the link to Tiger Food Press blog:  http://tigerfoodpress.blogspot.com/

Joy to the world...Nat King Cole

Nostalgia and a favorite Christmas carol, enjoy!

He has come!  Merry Christmas and Blessings Everyone!

Nat King Cole - O Holy Night

I love this song and enjoy Nat King Cole's style.  Here he sings, "O Holy Night" with some stunning photos to accompany.  Enjoy... and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Camera Test Shots and Newsyness

Monday evening, after a hard day of housecleaning, laundry, and cooking, I have put my feet up and am trying out my new camera.

Lucy is the subject and she does not like the camera, she won't sit still for her photo to be taken.  She's had a hard day, as well, she is all nice and fluffy after her bath and that is a workout for both of us.  Today, though, she was at the groomer for a pre-Christmas bath and nail clip.  I usually bathe her, but today she went to the groomers for a longer washing and nail clipping.  She's lovely and soft and smells just right.  That'll last for a few days.

(Update on Tuesday morning, during her walk, Lucy spied the mail lady and had to catch up with her from a distance in order to get her biscuit; so her smell is not quite as nice after running down the road.  Lucy's eyesight must be pretty good, she couldn't have smelled the biscuit from that distance.)

The Christmas Tree Closeup

Not sure if this camera will be the one I keep, I have to practice quite a bit more.  It's heavy, uses 4 AA batteries, and my carpal tunnel started up right off the bat, my left hand and wrist were numb  from holding the camera.  I will try to adjust my grip on it and see what happens.

I took all three of these photos without using the Flash, and these were indoors, curtains closed, in the early evening with the Christmas Tree lights on and one table lamp also turned on.  I haven't yet got the knack of all of the settings, and my memory card was full after taking 16 photos, so a lot more practicing is in order.  I also need a bigger memory card, this one is 64mb. 

So at least all of the cobwebs in the ceiling corners are gone, the dusting and vacuuming are done, the floors are washed, the windows cleaned, laundry done for a few days, well- it's all done for the time being anyway.

Faces in the Lighthouse Ice

Can you see any faces in the lighthouse?  Also, it looks like an ice cream cone, too.  This is one cold building out in Lake Erie nearby Cleveland, Ohio.  It reminds me of some of the snow and ice scenes in Dr. Zhivago, when they were escaping to the house.  This ice looks dirty, though,  and the snow was light and bright in the movie.

A Child's Christmas in Wales

This is the audio of the author reading his work.  If you have about ten minutes to listen, then you will be rewarded with a great time.  It's well worth the time to sit and listen, no video, just close your eyes or enjoy with a cup of tea.  The Welsh accent is not too hard to follow.

Louis Armstrong, Deer, Cat, and Rabbit

This is a sweet video to accompany one of my favorite songs, "What a Wonderful World," by Louis Armstrong.  I've always wished the song was longer, but then, life can be short and leave us wanting.

Watch the cat snuggle up to the deer, he hugs the deer's legs and the deer wraps up the cat in his hug.  It's so lovely.  Not sappy.  Enjoy...

Anniversary of Attack on Pearl Harbor

Yesterday was the 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  As the years progress, there is little mention of this in the media.  Survivors, their families, friends, and the people involved are barely remembered. 

Yesterday I thought about the anniversary, but  was going here and there and dealing with snow, driving, and also being sick and didn't have a chance to post.  I wanted to post something and add a video, but decided to omit a video- it would be hard to find something not violent and not cutesy, the meaning would be lost. 

Gone, but not forgotten.  December 7th, 1941 a day in the history books.

Opera Company of Philadelphia "Hallelujah!" Random Act of Culture

A little video break to start off the Advent season.  (Similar to flash mob.)  This is a treat if you enjoy Handel's, "Messiah" plus the surprise and pleasure on the shoppers' faces. 

Macy's moved into the old John Wanamaker store, glad to see the old building is still being used.  Years ago, I bought a nice winter coat from Wanamaker's.   I miss Philly.

30 Thanks 30 Is At An End

Thank you for reading through these Thanks posts.  Thank you to my blog followers. 

Thanks for all the blessings of my life.  All of them.  Thanks.  I appreciate even when I forget to say, "Thanks very much."  

Hope Your Thanksgiving is A Happy One, and that being thankful or grateful is thought or given or acknowledged in any way, every day.

No Need to Panic

Reasons Not to Panic:

1)  Doctors' office called, but not about lab results.

2)  Went to store to buy a roast.  Since there was only one on the shelf and it wasn't very good, I asked the butcher for a choice of same roasts to pick a better one.  Butcher didn't have any of said roasts which were advertised and gave me a more expensive  roast for the price of the advertised one.

3)  Went to another store to return items.  Managed to not get hit by three cars all of which were going the wrong way and driving on both sides of my car.  Whew!  They even managed not to hit each other, too.

That's three things to be thankful for and not to panic about.

Name for the Bowl

Whether you are of the the marrying mindset or not, it's sweet to see people who care about each other and profess for all the world to see, that they love each other.  The royal marriage to be of Prince William and Kate Middleton will be a distraction from serious news and problems.

A few years ago when these two lovebirds had broken off their relationship, I used my small bit of knowledge about Kate to my advantage.  Her name won me a prize on a radio show.

If my camera was working, I'd take a photo to show you what I am talking about.  I answered the question correctly and won a BBC Radio Wales Early Birds Breakfast Cereal Bowl.

Congratulations to William and Kate.  Thanks also for my treasured bowl.

Fated to Win

Does fear, especially an irrational fear block a blessing?  For instance, wouldn't it be great to win a large amount of lottery money?  I'm talking many millions of dollars, pounds, euros, etc.

Being the practical person I usually am, I've pondered what I would do with such a gargantuan size bank account.  I already have charities selected to donate to.  I've decided I would splurge on fresh flowers whenever I wanted them, which would be often.  I was going to surprise family members with certain presents, etc.

The concept of managing such a large amount of money is overwhelming.  That's the fear I'm referring to.  I don't know the first thing about tax shelters, investment portfolios, living off interest and preserving principle, etc.  Finding accountants and lawyers to advise me, whom I could trust is another dilemma.  I think the fear of having all that money is keeping it from landing in my lap.

The odds of winning the lottery aren't great.  I'm thankful that this silly fear hasn't stopped me from purchasing a lottery ticket.  Besides, is it a blessing to win or simply a matter of fate?

Think Thanks

Making a conscious effort to be thankful has reinforced a universal truth.  It's an acknowledgement that my blessings haven't been earned through my efforts or requests.  It reminds me that thankfulness by me and you and everyone who is thankful, has opened us to receiving these blessings as the gifts they actually are.  It's a great big giveaway, freebie, sometimes unexpected hit the mark bonanza of wonder, specialities, and joy.

These thoughts are tempered  by knowing that it's not puppies and gumdrop land here.  Sweetness and light- not.  For where ever there is good, the shoe does drop, landing hard and sometimes making it difficult to walk on through the rest of the day.  Just saying.

Thanking God for an Ordinary Day

Thankful that the plumbing is fixed, the roof doesn't leak, the heat is still churning, the dog didn't get sick, the cable is not down, the stove is under warranty, the sun is in the sky, and the moon hasn't fallen out of its orbit ...  A wonderfully ordinary day here at home.  Thanks.


Thank you, God for quiet moments.

Something Warm This Way Comes

We've been having lovely unseasonable weather for about two weeks now.  Just a couple of weeks before that, we had our first snowfall and lots of frigid temperatures.
Last winter was our snowiest ever, a history maker. 

I don't know if the weather will settle down into sustained coldness before Thanksgiving, but I am thankful that  an unexpected warm spell came to our area.

What Would You Do?

Would you have risky and invasive medical testing if the outcome was not going to give you a definite answer?  Would you take that chance?  Would you  move cautiously or jump in feet first?

I'm thankful for new technologies, but wary of the rapid speed of doctors to disengage the human from the science of this new medicine that is available in our swiftly changing world.

Thanking in Absentia

My family gets smaller instead of larger.  Losses weigh heavily on my heart and increase my isolation. 

I thank God for my Mom and Dad, though no longer here, they remain with me each and every day.  They blessed me greatly in very many ways.

Gift Tags

My church has a "Giving Tree" which is an artificial Christmas tree hung with angel shaped tags.   Each tag is labelled with an age and sex of a child or adult.  The tags tell us what the item is that we should buy and wrap and then return these to the church.

On Sunday, I took two tags off the tree.  It's difficult to buy extra gifts what with all of my medical bills, but I decided to do this anyway.  I'll never meet the people I am buying gifts for, and I am sorry that they are in circumstances of need.

I am thankful for my blessings and hope to bless others with a prayer and a gift.    Do you do something similar in your churches?

Counting on Good Eyesight

The Senility Prayer:

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
The good fortune to run into the ones I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Thankful for reading this on a forum and that we have a sense of humor against all odds.

The Cat Is Out Of The Bag

I read the following on a forum, "I really need your help, I was given a gorgeous leather bag for my birthday and when I went to get something out of it today I discovered to my horror that my cat had peed inside it..."

Cats are wonderful creatures, but today I am thankful for my dogs.

Upright at Lonely Attention

War Memorial near to Trawsfynydd, Gwynedd, Wales... "Thank You" to those who served everywhere and to all the sacrifices made by themselves, their families, and friends.  I remember. 

SH7035 : War Memorial by Keith Evans

War Memorial

  © Copyright Keith Evans and

licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Another Perspective

About two years ago, I happened to land on the most colorful and cheerful blog by Lucy, who writes "Attic24."  She doesn't know me or what her blog and the blogs of other people did for me back at that time.  It was a low point for me for various reasons and one dark and depressing day I saw the computer screen in front of me light up with spectacular colors and happy thoughts. 

During those moments, nearly every day I would go to read Lucy's blog and know that I would be refreshed and uplifted.  Now, I know this is too big a burden for a blog writer to have to write consistently and without moments of sadness, I'm not saying that.  I was able to feel connected to somewhere else when I looked at her photos and felt that out there, apart from my dark corner in the world, people are still plodding along and getting real joy out of ordinary things, people, places, and objects.

Because I found Lucy's blog, I would click on other links and find blogs which also gave me a bit of cheer.  I've tried recipes from other countries, watched videos, and went travelling throughout foreign and domestic lands.  It's wonderful.

Thankful to have found places of hope and happiness which sustain me.

A Penny A Day Would Be Nice

Lucky 13!  30 Thanks is at post 13.   I'm thankful that I am not superstitious. 

I have purposely walked under a ladder and it did not collapse onto me.  I accidentally broke a mirror and my good luck, nonexistent as it is, did not get any worse.  Black cats followed me on my neighborhood walks, so no bad luck there, either.

I previously would not pick up a penny if it was tails, but since the economy is what it is, I will pick it up if these things are all aligned: 

     If when I bend down, no one is close by to see my rearend!
     There isn't a car coming who wouldn't see me, so I don't get rearended!
     It's a clean enough penny, so I'm not grossed out.
     And last, but most important,  I know bending to pick it up will not dislocate my hip!!!

Where To Be, Here or There?

Did you ever wonder why you are alive at this time, in this day and age, and not in some past century?  What makes us pertinent at this time in the history of the world?

I used to enjoy reading factual history books, the kind that were big and heavy, with black and white illustrations or photos  Turning the pages carefully lifting the thin tissue-like page which covered the photos and smoothing it back down to protect it, I'd wonder how these pages had survived so very long.

I wonder how people have survived so very long as well.  There must be a reason.  Best not to dwell on it and to just live your life.  It will be as long as it's supposed to be.

I'm thankful that I get to enjoy electricity- cooling in the heat and humidity plus heating in the cold months.  It's all as easy as pie, at the press of a button, without finding fuel to harvest, carry, and maintain.  We have shops full of everything worth eating, and some not, nevertheless, we have everything at our fingertips, including instant publishing- right here and now.   

Please Don't Tell Me How I Feel

This 30 Days of Thanksgiving posting is giving me a workout.  Just got more bad health news yesterday.  I had to take some time to ruminate, which I did after having a mini meltdown.  Angry, frustrated, defeated, hopeless, just a few of those passing emotions.

Thankful that at the moment although the situation is not good, it may not get really terrible, and if it does, well, I'll have to cope.

This cliche that people have shared, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is apt.  I could almost hate that phrase, but since I can't hate, learning to mute them will have to suffice.

Driving Down the Highway

Thankful that I have finally gotten back to driving after the surgery.  I hadn't driven for about 7 weeks.  I like to have my independence and driving gives me some.
Pedal to the Metal Once Again

Christmas Before Thanksgiving

November 3, the day after Election Day, I saw my first Christmas commercial on the tv, it was for Lottery Tickets, which I just do not associate with Christmas, not the true meaning of Christmas.

Ordinarily I would gripe about the start of the shopping season so early, but this year it doesn't bother me as much.  Don't know why that is.  Perhaps writing these posts makes me feel more charitable to those who are trying to make their quotas in business.  In this economic downturn I hope people don't overspend, but still make donations, and keep to the spirit of Christmas. 

Also, I am thankful that Black Friday sales are starting long before that day and so hoping that there won't be throngs of people and not enough cashiers in the shops during the busy weekends!  Keeps the parking lots and roadways a bit less stressful too, by spreading out the shopping days.

The Air is Mostly Muck-Free

Thankful that now that the election cycle is closed in the USA, that the despicable commercials are off the tv.  This batch of commercials for the elections was truly ugly, lowdown vindictive, and mostly full of lies.    Mailers for the elections are still coming through the post, but I always discarded them anyway, so didn't feel the assault on the senses as sharply as tv and radio commercials were designed to do.

A Word Describing Mother Angelica


When I first saw Mother Angelica on EWTN and listened to her talk about her faith and relationship with the Lord, I was intrigued by her easy relationship with Him.   One of her most used words was, "awesome."   I had never been exposed to someone who was so relaxed and happy in her relationship with the Lord. 

She said He was, "Awesome."  That got me to thinking that we hold Him at arms length when it would be better to be in His arms.

Mother Angelica made me feel it was okay to pray at ANY time, not just in church, or in a quiet and solitary room, but at any time.  So, on my very long drives into work I silently prayed about all kinds of things and the time was made a bit less stressful, but not stress--free, not by a long shot.  There were still lots of near crashes and lots of crazy drivers and long waits.

So, when I fall asleep praying it's due to Mother Angelica's awesome Christ relationship and the generous sharing of her faith with the world.

Adventure Girl

I'm thankful that I used to be adventurous and now have some happy memories to remind me of my courageous moments.  What frightened others didn't give me a second thought.  I'd like to dredge up some of that fearlessness as walking into the future can be on delicate and unproven paths.

Nights of Ordinary Thanksgiving

Sometimes when I cannot fall asleep, I start to thank God for all of the things I can think of.  The list is full of things taken for granted: being able to eat, breathe, and walk without assistance.  Thanking Him for my teeth, eyes, ears, skin, feet, etc.  Thanking Him for the house and everything in it, etc.  You get the idea.

Some days I can hardly walk because of a hip problem, so I am thankful to be able to walk and drive.  Sometimes climbing steps takes me a bit longer than I would like.

So, there I lie in bed, thanking God for lists of ordinary things and if I get through the list and still can't sleep I start to thank Him for the beauty and majesty of his creation.  I tell Him how beautiful His flowers are, and the amazing variety of His birds and sea creatures.  Eventually after I start listing these things, my mind wanders and I relax all the while seeing those beautiful images and eventually I nod off and then it's morning and time to get up.

Compassionate Thanksgiving

Both of my dogs were rescue dogs.  I could not turn away from them.  I've been given more love and laughter from these two pets than I could have ever imagined.  I'm thankful I was given a compassionate heart and that they jumped into it, love at first sight.

Thanks For Being My Friend

Thanks Jesus for not giving up on me when I probably deserved being abandoned by you.  Although it felt like you did walk away, you didn't.  Sometimes just leaning on a friend quietly is all that is needed to know I am loved, refreshed, then ready to get up and make an effort to face things again.

Thanking in Silence vs Thanking On the Web

I've made an effort to be more thankful.  Over the past three years when situations have given me tremendous grief and hardships I decided to just be thankful for being able to cope.  Not being victorious or successful, just to be able to cope.  I'm thankful for patience learned by being beaten down but not destroyed. 

This was a silent prayer of thanksgiving which is now out there...

Happy Birthday To Me and Here's a New Etsy Treasury

If you view the treasury on Etsy after this original post, you will find it changed with replacement items all of which are just as fabulous and lovely as these items here.   

Land of the Giant Vegetables

Llanharry, Wales featured a Giant Vegetable Show.  Lots of huge, gigantic homegrown veggies and proud gardeners.  Here is one photo from the show, featuring Mr. Joseph Atherton, the photo is from Walesonline, see the website for the full photo show and article.

I chose the photo of the giant leek to show here as it reminds me of the time, way back when, when Mom forced me to wear a little fabric felt leek on my coat to show the IRA that I was Welsh and therefore should be safe when walking about London.

I don't know if the leek stopped an attack, but I still have the little leek brooch, don't wear it, but glad Mom was always looking out for me.

Her brother, my uncle,  was an excellent gardener and grew lots of veg which we enjoyed on our plates.  No pesticides, for him.    Fresh and flavorful. 

Needing to Spread Out

At one time I thought having an office desk with drawers and a wipeable top surface was the way to go for doing crafty, creative, artsy, and sewing  projects.  This desk was bought at an office furniture secondhand type store.  It is a very heavy desk, in great condition.  But, I am looking for a table with room underneath to roll the plastic carts which are currently in the closet and out of sight.   Moving away from the wall is also something I am trying to do.

I already measured the height of the carts and found out that I'll have to build up the table legs by an inch or so.  The carts are just too high to pass under the table lip.  Lip?  I think that's what the bottom/underside edge is called.  Sounds funny, although I recently compiled an Etsy treasury with a kissing theme. 

The shelves on the wall are old spice racks from a charity shop (fifty cents per shelf, good deal!) which I painted to give a brighter outlook than the dark brown they originally were.  I store paint and glues in those racks.  The metal rack below the blue rack has lots of paint brushes.

I put one of those new type of lightbulbs in the table lamp, and it's nice and bright and the metal shade doesn't burn my fingers now!

Lucy, The Wonder Dog

I wonder why Lucy is still anti-husband after living with us since January 2009.  He walks her, feeds her, and is very kind to her; tries to play with her, and grooms her.  She is friendly to everyone she meets, men and women alike, but has an aversion to the husband.  We adopted her at 7 years old and she is now 8 1/2.  I wonder if they will ever bond.

ACEO a Work in Progress

ACEO work in progress.  This image is also the current banner above.  I'll probably replace the banner, not sure as of now.

Walking on through life.  Ahh!  The water and the waves are on the right side of the railing.

ACEO means, Art Card Edition Original and the size is always baseball card size,
2.5 inches by 3.5 inches horizontal or vertical placement, it doesn't matter. 

ACEOs may be made of anything: fabric, metal, paintings, collage, etc.  The size is the key to being an ACEO.

Dreams by the Waterside

Sorry that the photo is so out of focus, the pixels aren't clear on this image.  I sold this Aceo on ebay and don't have the card to take another photo of it.     This was inspired by a photo I took of a canoe by the side of a small stream.  When something sells I am happy, but sad to part with it.

Looking Forward and Not Backward

New End Studio blog begins.  Looking at a photograph from London.  That's my Mom in the foreground.  Happy Times!