Friday, July 31, 2009

For Dad, For Us

Anyone who knew my dad at all knew of his great love for the Portland Promise Center. He volunteered there and served on the board and his face would light up when he talked of the work being done there.
Today our family celebrated Dad, his birthday, and my parents' anniversary by having an ice cream party for the kids there who had completed their summer book clubs.
It was great fun to see Mother, my sister and I, Shawn, and all 5 of the grandchildren there in that place, knowing how very happy it would have made Dad.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Remember me?


Back today with a little Wednesday Link Love!

And what’s not to love about this?!  I’d love to make a wide pass through Phoenix Hill with some of these!  Beats the graffiti we are plagued with.

I love the outdoor dining room, and I love the whole Hooked on Friday line-up.  Scroll down and check out some of the other folks blogs.

Got some time you’d like to lose track of?  Head right over to the Favorite Poem Project and hear folks read or recite their favorite poems.

If you’ve hung around much, you know I’m a big Amy fan.  There are two posts that I still go back and swoon over that I have to share.  As you can see, I’ve been following Amy for a while.  First, I could POSSIBLY be enticed to camp if I could camp this way.  Surely if Amy could do this, she also has a private bath house worked out.  And I want to go spend some time in this sherbet-y house.

Need a quick chandelier?  Love polka dots?  How about this one?

I would so love to stumble upon one of these matchboxes, and even more so would love to make some and leave them about.

The concept on these looks simple, and the outcome is great, but the middle parts look a tiny bit more detailed than I can see me doing, but you might!

And finally, I cannot wait for this!!!  I read Julie’s blog almost every day during her little project and loved it.  Never dreamed it would become a movie! 

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Queen of Fun


Today I celebrate the life of one of my most treasured friends.  I often say that she has been the friend with the greatest influence on my life, but in fact that title belongs to her mom hands down.  When I was 19 years old and fresh out of Medical Assistant school I took a job in a surgeons office and Loie was the insurance clerk.  Well, she was actually the office social worker, fix it chick, peacemaker, and comedian.  She was the one and only redeeming piece of that job, but because it hooked me up with her, that job was life-changing for me.  If you were to do a genogram of my friend family, Loie would be the first and foundational block.

Because of Loie I met her daughter Suzanne and because of Suzanne I met Linda and because of Linda I have an Aunt Francie and a host of other women who have shaped my life. Faye was Linda’s neighbor and some of you who read this are my friends solely because Faye shared.  I am forever indebted to Faye for the circle she drew me into, and that’s another whole post!  Suzanne invited me to join a book group and I showed up.  Pitiful as my memory is, I can clearly remember that first night and I am struck with how you never know when one step across a threshold is going to alter the course of your life.

That book study group went on for a good ten years with many women moving in and out and back into it, and a core of steadfast hangers on like myself who knew it was my life raft.  I don’t think I’ve had an original thought since then.  Sadly, we have now reached the point in life where we mostly just see each other at funerals  as we all lose our parents and loved ones.  Let me tell you though- if I were in need, as long as I could make a tiny sound in my throat, those sisters would be all over me. 

The unofficial queen of this group was and always will be Suzanne.  She is hands down the funniest, most creative, most insightful, most committed friend ever, and I feel like the richest woman in the world because of her.  She taught me so much about life, parenting, being married, bringing color into my life, saying yes even when it scares me, not giving a hoot if others think I’m a fool as long as I’m having fun, and how to be a servant of Jesus. 

Suzanne has made a move or two over the years and who knows if we will ever live in the same city again this side of Heaven.  Thanks to the blogging world, I now get a little dose of Suzanne almost every day and it really makes me happy.  Happy Birthday to the Queen of Fun.  I love you!

8 Things


002_au 8 Things that made me happy this week

1.  My beautiful friend Lisa defended her dissertation yesterday and next week is moving to Boston to teach at a college there.  Fun party tonight to wish she and her partner well as they move away from us.

2.  We celebrated Chiayim’s birthday this week- lots of laughter and tom foolery at our table that night.

3. Shameka and I had a lovely lunch today at Mayan Cafe’ and began the last minute lists of things to do in the next 2 1/2 weeks.

3. I did indeed finish a whole scrapbook last weekend, and embroidered a rather sad little tea cup (I did remember the stitches, but I learned them back when I could actually see the needle and the floss then.  A bit harder with bifocals. 

4.  Homegrown tomatoes- every day.  “Only two things that money can’t buy and that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.”   (I wanted that song at our wedding, but Shawn nixed that)

5.  Alex is home and is slowly slowly coming  more back to himself.  They really don’t know what caused the whole problem, so that’s scary, but at least at home they can both rest.

6.  Went to a party celebrating Steven and Lauren’s upcoming wedding at the farm tonight.  It was perfect!  Nice and cool and a zillion stars shining, rivaled by the sound of the crickets.  Took a little walk and enjoyed it so much.

7.  Window film!!  Yay for window film!  I got some that looks like rice paper.  Sure does add to the brightness of the whole room!

8.  And finally, my beautiful happy well organized pink room with it’s great plank floor

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

50/365 July 20, 2009 by a.funk.

So, check out Bench Monday and some of the very fun people who participate!

These would be fun for some little someone special! 

I love Sara’s house and her art!

If you are a beach lover, there is this…. and this

I’m seeing all kinds of pretty envelope wraps these days.  Here’s a nice printable.

Years ago I kept a good memory book.  I kept it for quite a while, filling the pages with good things that had happened that day.  I did it because I knew that I had days when I thought not one good thing ever happened for me, and I needed a written history that proved me wrong and that recounted sweet stories to me.  Here’s a chance to take a little stab at documenting good things.

Need some questions to keep the conversation going?

I loved these block puzzles as a child, and love them still- especially ones like this one!

On my heart tonight


This is my sweet friend Shanda and her so so so amazing romantic husband Alex.  They have the sweetest love story in the world.  Just before they were to be married in just a routine check-up Alex was found to be in kidney failure and immediately went onto dialysis while they waited for a kidney donor.  They pushed their wedding plans aside so that they could just meet the demands of just keeping Alex alive.  They are fortunate to be a part of a wonderful church who “threw” a wedding for them- a great wedding with all the bells and whistles.   They waited and waited and then a donor came forward, a member of their church, and the transplant has appeared to be a great success.  They have busted their butts and worked multiple jobs between the two of them and managed to pay off the staggering debt incurred with a transplant.  They are kind and thoughtful and happy folks, and tender in their care for each other as one would expect after all they have had to deal with.   Yesterday Alex became disoriented and lost his memory and his speech was slurred.  He has undergone a ton of tests through the night and all day, and while they have ruled out stroke and blood clot, they still have not narrowed down exactly what is going on.  There is a possibility of some kind of a brain infection caused by the immunosuppressants that Alex has to take in order to keep his body from rejecting his kidney.

Shanda and Alex have a strong faith that has brought them through so much already, and they continue to hold steadfast to that.  If you are the praying sort, I’d like to ask that you hold Alex and Shanda up to the light in love as we all wait for Alex to be healthy again.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Music Monday

Disclaimer: my speakers are not hooked up to my computer correctly at the present time so I am hoping that indeed this is a decent quality and is the Hands Across America song. I own the 45, purchased as a momento of the trip my friend Becky Park and I made to Greenwood, IN to clasp hands with others. It was where we were assigned to go and we were excited about it all, but in the end, it just felt sort of.....odd. There was no music swelling in the background and there was much confusion about when to start the hand holding and there were gaps that made it hard to envision that we might be holding hands with all America. Anyway, we did and have the memory and a 45 in case we forget.

Edit, Add, Appreciate

Edit-  The room in our house that I spend the most time in is our office/my craft room.  It is a tiny room that was painted a cheery aqua when we had the house built…..15 long years ago.  It was flat paint.  And a  15 year old paint job with flat paint has its limits on cheerfulness.  On top of my computer and shelves and a closetful of craft stuff, it is also home to the chest freezer that wouldn’t fit anywhere else, the closet that my son and husband share, my son’s drum,  and the bed and food bowls of Herbie the 17 year old pug.  Did I mention Herbie is incontinent and has no use of his back legs? The carpet in this room had become so unbearable (see above info on Herbie) that I had long ago torn it out and just lived with plywood.   Can I get a witness that this room was long long overdue for a little bit of an edit job?!!

Add-  Well, since  all those things and I share space, but since I am the only one with a preference, I decided to pick a color that makes me happy.   And so, I have a Botticelli  Pink office.  Herbie is not amused.  Adding this little touch of whimsy to a corner that is mostly mine makes me very happy.  And a beautiful wood plank floor!

Appreciate-  As mentioned before, my sweet family was generous enough to send me off to a wonderful retreat weekend while this was being done.  It’s my understanding that they worked until 5:30 this morning on it and got back up at noon to start moving furniture back in.  When I walked in the door, there were candles lit in every room, the kitchen floor had been mopped, not a dish in the sink, not a dirty sock in the laundry basket, and then the “reveal” of the room-  I feel like a queen!  I appreciate the teamwork it took my husband and girls to pull this off- from sanding and painting to sawing flooring to keeping the dogs fed and out of it all.  I appreciate their hard work, and most of all that every inch of it was a gift of love.  How rich am I?! 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

8 Things, Berea edition

8 Things I want to do this weekend
(My husband is painting my offfice/craft room at home and putting down a new floor- after 15 years without being painted and over a year with only a plywood floor after removing the carpet I couldn't stand any more, this is great news. The bad news is that that level of chaos pushes me to the edge and it gets ugly fast. Sooooo.... I've been sent off to Berea for a couple of days! Poor me!)
1. Finish a scrapbook that I've been making a friend- the one where the title page says , "with love from Sue 2006" on it...
2. Embroider something. I'm no Amy, so don't expect to see pictures of my gorgeous sampler, but seeing hers has made my fingers itch to see if I can still remember basic stitches. The year I was a senior in high school I took a class called DecorativeTextiles in which I learned to knit, crochet, do macrame, and make an embroidered pillow with about 8 different kinds of stitches represented. It may have been the most influential class I took in high school. No, Mr. Ruby's chorus class where we watched old musicals every Friday wins there.
3. Sleep according to my own body rhythm. I don't have to be anywhere at any specific time so I can do whatever I please!
4. Get in some chunks of uninterrupted reading time- Reading The Stolen Child for book group next week.
5. Find chunks of silence. Yes, I am alone, but that doesn't mean I am silent. There is the tv, which oddly enough I am drawn to when in a hotel room. We gave up tv at home years ago. I have my ipod and the computer and my own thoughts banging around, so finding chunks of silence would be nice.
6. Eat out alone- something I rarely do and would like to get over feeling awkward doing.
7. Go home with a new appreciation for and desire to be with my family.
8. Find a lovely Botticelli pink office with wood floors and my computer hooked back up when I get back home.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday Link Love


Hop on over to A Place To Bark and check out the news there!  Check out ways you can support Bernie just by doing  such simple things as joining her facebook, twitter, or youtube group.

I’ve been enjoying seeing the different offerings at A Plate A Day .

What a sweet sentimental gift this would be- to yourself or someone else.

A sweet spot if you are a cat lover or if you just love art.

I just want to know if anyone I know knows any of these!!!

If you’ve ever thought of doing an art journal and don’t know how to start, this was very encouraging to me. 

Check out the Create Every Day challenge after you watch that video!

And here’s another fun video and it is as easy as he makes it look!

And now, Pioneer Woman has taken it all over the top with this great recipe site!

Finally, I linked to Amy’s sweet embroidered sampler recently, and now you can see not only the beautiful end result, but the tender story that unfolded as she worked.  I’ve linked several times to Amy and her sweet love story with Alfredo. 


In one month….

One month from yesterday I take S off to college. She’s been ready for college since she was about 10 years old. I have this huge conflict of emotions as I prepare to send her out. I will miss her so bad I can hardly even think about it, but I also am so so excited for her! I feel like some piece of me is about to head out on a big exciting adventure through her. This poem crossed my desk the other day and it helped me to know that other parents grapple with the same balance.

To A High School Senior

Don't go. Don't stay.
Daughter. Morning after afternoon
the last year slips away.
Singing all the old songs, you will go
(ambivalence of moon, certainty of sun)
we know
only half of what we are.
The earth is earth to us, star
if apprehended far enough away.
Daughter – don't go.
Don't stay.

"To A High School Senior" by Pat Schneider, from Long Way Home

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Music Monday

I was going to put up I Am Woman, but then saw this one. I'm sort of embarrassed to even say this- but I actually found something sweet and touching about this! I now I'll be embarrassed tomorrow that I put that out there!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Edit, Add, Appreciate

Edit-  Years ago when I truly kept a garden (before kids!) I marked my days by my morning weeding time.  I would touch every plant in my garden and call it by its given name.  This year, I have several plants put in so hastily and less than joyfully that I didn’t even save the stakes to know what they are.  Just as with people, learning something’s name makes them important to you.  So, if anyone can identify that little purple plant, I’d be glad to know.

Add-  If I had room, I would add huge banks of crape myrtle.  What a generous friend my crape myrtle is, showing off with beautiful color for months.  Every year I get anxious for the blooms to burst open,  and fret and think it’s late and something must be wrong, and my friend Faye reminds me each time that it’s July before we can expect blooms. 

Appreciate-  I never get over being awed and amazed that I can throw tiny seeds onto the ground, pull a little soil over them, and that beautiful things show up when I do.  I am anxiously awaiting blooms on two different Cosmos- one (the one with the more leafy foliage that has little buds showing) is Bright Lights and it is my total favorite.  On the other side I’m anticipating doubled pink blooms on the more “ferny” foliage. Grace upon grace.  That’s what I think of when I see the color of a crape myrtle or the riotous pattern of color of a coleus leaf or sunflowers growing lanky and tall.  Grace upon grace.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

8 Things


8 Things I Remember about Fontaine Ferry Park

(I was fortunate to have parents who took me to Fontaine Ferry Park often and would take along my friends.  In 1964 the park became desegregated and several of my friends who went with me often were no longer allowed to go there.  We continued to go there until it closed in 1969 and I never returned to the park when it opened under another name.)

1.  That it was in fact spelled Fontaine Ferry, but all Louisvillians called it Fountain Ferry.

2.  The Turnpike- You had to stand up to a measuring chart on the wall to see if you were tall enough to drive, and the park closed shortly after I was finally tall enough.   The cars had brakes and gas and there was a little turnpike to drive on.  It had bumpers along the edges of the street and the cars had big bumpers so you couldn’t really get into too much trouble, but ohhhhh it felt so grown up!

3.  Hilarity Hall-  Again,  the park was near closing before I was finally old enough to not be scared by the big garish moving mannequins that laughed incessantly  in the front window, but oh the delights found inside.  Big two story wooden sliding boards,  boards that moved when you stepped on them and big wooden bowls you sat in and the force of gravity would push you against as they spun.

4.  The House of Mirrors-  Of course I loved all of the mirrors that made you look short or tall or wiggley, but I also loved the maze. 

5.  The Jungle Ride- You got into the cars outside, and entered into the hot darkness where your car jerked and lunged along and suddenly it would appear you were going headlong into a shrunken head lit up behind glass, and the car would dramatically turn just in time.

6.  The wooden roller coaster that I never had the courage to ride- people died on that thing.  I couldn’t even watch it- the big thing was to stand up and hold your hands up while riding. 

7.  Little carts that you hand pedaled along a track that included a tunnel with a western mural on the walls.

8.  The TiltaWhirl and the Scrambler, two rides I never tired of , conveniently located next to the turnpike and in front of the pool.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Wednesday Link Love on Thursday, but now it’s Friday really……


Get yourself right over to Smitten Kitchen. You must! And spend long periods of time sighing over the great recipes there.

And speaking of Smitten, have a look here- yet another variation on the old photo booth theme I am clearly stuck in!

I can do this! I can do this! Even though it calls for a sewing machine and I can’t seem to get mine threaded, I could do this by hand and I want to give them a try!

I have a soft spot for little books made of all kinds of papers.

And to switch it up, what if I made something BIG and messy like these great pieces?

Yet another thing I’m sure I could make, and even have everything under roof to do so.

Now these sound easy…..but I’m pretty sure mine would not come out like these…..

And because I haven’t given you any Cake Wrecks lately, I present the 4th of July showcase…..

And if you’ve been wanting to know all there is to know about window films…..

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Wednesday Link Love will be up by this afternoon. Computer issues last night. I'll leave you with this picture of my mother in Hawaii until then. Do you think she's having any fun?!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gotta Love a Splash Park!

The future of swimming in Louisville should the Mayor and his cronies get their way!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No Music Monday

I was going to throw in a little Don Ho this week to commemorate my mom's trip to Hawaii today, but couldn't resist using this instead. Back to music next week.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Edit, Add, Appreciate

Loucon_Lake_3 Edit-  Two words.  More sleep.  I think about it all day long.  Gotta  happen.

Add-  Gonna throw a movie in the mix this week.  I feel like a slug when I watch a movie while sitting in a house full of things that cry for attention.  Kendra loves movies and could sit and watch them all day long, and in fact does!  Me, not so much.  But it’s just she and I this week and I know she would enjoy it so I’m going to do it.

Appreciate-  Eight years ago before C came to live with us, I signed him up to go to Camp Loucon with a group of kids from Wesley House.  Imagine his delight horror when I told him Basketball camp was full and he would be going to junior high choir camp?!! He cried and said he wasn’t going, but I put him on the bus and hoped for the best.  He hasn’t missed a year of choir camp since.  Yesterday he left for Loucon, now to be a counselor at the same junior high choir camp.

My heart is full of love and memories and great appreciation for the steadfast ministry of Camp Loucon.  I myself went there for 8 years, and even more years if you count retreats as a young adult.  It was at Camp Loucon that I learned the fruits of the spirit, and how to do the Salty Dog Rag.  I loved the familiarity of cabins where my initials were carved into the wall beside every bunk I ever slept in, and that we had spam with pineapple on top on Thursday nights for dinner.  I saw my first falling star there and had my first kiss there- this after the coaching of one of the girls in my cabin who held a little informational session for all of us saying that you just more or less put your lips on his and said PRUNE.  I got saved at Camp Loucon- every year on Thursday night. (right after that big spam dinner!)  More importantly,  Camp Loucon was the place where I began my spiritual journey.  We all have to start somewhere and it was a great place to head out from.  I’d come home with a religious zeal that would often last for…days, and with a deep yearning in my heart to grow and know more that continues to this day.

Never once did I imagine that I would have kids someday who would love Loucon as much as I did.  For years I daydreamed that I would be married there in the outdoor chapel with someone singing John Denver’s Follow Me, my groom the counselor I crushed on for years.  I never pictured myself as anything but young at Loucon, and some 30 years later when I began dropping off my own children I was astounded at how little had really changed.  They have a pool now and high ropes and ziplines, and they don’t have spam on the dinner menu at all, but so many things remain the same.  I can pretty much bet that C is doing the Salty Dog Rag tonight, that he sees a falling star, and I hope he gets saved- again and again.

Saturday, July 4, 2009



8 Things I wish I could do:

1.  Get my house in order- painted and decluttered and things fixed so that it would free me up from feeling anxious about it all of the time.

2.  Sleep and enjoy it like so many others do.  Or survive and feel fine with little sleep.

3.  Quit looking at other people’s art and do some of my own!

4. Remember things like I used to- things like people’s names and where I put stuff and where it is I’m supposed to be.

5. Entertain with greater ease.  See #1

6.  Be a more flexible person.

7.  Do better at keeping up with my friends.

8.  Skate in the Olympics.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday Link Love


So, how very cute are these little cupcakes?!!

I’m loving Amy’s little freehand sampler as it grows….

Now, wouldn’t I love to have a “shed” like this!

For the gardeners, have you all been seeing this around?  Harvest Moon Coneflower- I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before, and I really like it!

Here’s a delightful little sampler of pretty things.

Ahhhhhh so sweet!!!

So many beautiful things to be seen here.

We’ve been having fun with this game around here this week.  I hear it’s also called Amish Golf.

6 months check-in


It has been six months since I chose my word for 2009- Less- and it seemed like a good time for a check-in.

Overall, I think it has been a time of less sadness after a long fall and end of the year time.  I’ve been a little less needy (I think).  I’ve made a concerted effort to have a little less “stuff” cluttering my home and life.  As one more child is about to begin college, after a lot of working and waiting and praying, there is another load lifted and a lot less anxiety and pressure to see that they all get into college and on the road to opportunities I have not had.

I’m still holding hope for less time spent doing obligatory things, opening space for time to do art and dreaming.  I would still like to see less unhealthy habits.  I have six months to work on less of me, more of God’s nature within me, less time sweeping up dog hair and more time spent nurturing my spirit, less critical thoughts about myself, less, less, less.