Monday, December 31, 2012


This might be a long rambling post or it might be quite short.  I have a heart full of feeling, but not sure I have, I will just begin.

Weeks ago, maybe even years ago, I realized that I am not a big fan of least not the frenzied festivity filled version.

I don't know why we have to squish all the love and peace to the world and joy and brotherhood and gift giving into the few short weeks from Thanksgiving until December 25th.

Maybe it is just my age or this season in my life.  Maybe I am just turning into a Grinch.  I used to enjoy searching for the right gift, wrapping it up pretty and presenting it to the one person it was meant for especially.  I used to love bringing out the Christmas carols.  I have an amazing collection of Christmas creches and I know how to decorate a Christmas tree that I want to just sit in front of for hours.   Now, I don't want to be bothered with getting them out and putting them away....sigh.

All of that was already going through my head, when a most horrible thing happened on December 21 to my sweet friend Rachel, and her family.  Lives lost....Christmas forever changed...

But, it is in this tragedy, that the miracle of Christmas begins to blossom...
LOVE.  Not for a season or a holiday, but for a lifetime.

So,  I am beginning again to imagine the Love of Christmas and I am beginning to see it lasting all year long.  I won't be waiting to try to get it all done in December.  I will be peacefully spreading it out from now until then.  I am inspired.

If I have the perfect gift, card, song, letter, word for you in my heart or hands, I am going to give it to you and we will share joy.  I am going to look for ways to share joy each and every month...maybe I will be celebrating the 25th of each month!  What can we call this celebration????

God didn't come to love us for a season.  He's in it for the everafter!

So, Happy New Year and here's to celebrating the Miracle of Love all year long!
Here's to bringing light to dark places all year long.
Here's to joy everlasting.

And peace.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Show & Sale

Here's the thing.  I love making my Whimsical Woolies.

I NEED to create to be happy,
 but I REALLY don't like standing in a 'booth' trying to sell my things.  I'm not sure, exactly, why that is, but it is.  Really.

I could sell your stuff like a pro.  I could convince a reluctant buyer that they do, in fact, want to buy whatever you are making and selling.  I can smile and schmooze and chat....about YOUR stuff.
My stuff?  Not so much.

I set up a tiny booth.  Cute, but much tinier than anyone else's at the show.

  I stand behind my space and create.  Eyes on the work.  If someone stops and lingers I look up and smile.  If they pick something up, my heart beats a little faster...maybe they like it.  Oh, no.  They put it back down.

I tell you what.  This has made my arts and crafts shopping different.  I chat with the seller when I can.  Compliment their work when I like it...even if I can't afford it.

Then a friend comes to shop...and buys!  "How much will that be?" they ask.  And almost all of me wants to say, "Oh, just take it and enjoy."  Christmas Show and Give Away!  But, I did make these really cute sales receipts!  They were fun.

I was so humbled by the fact that friends did buy for themselves and to give as gifts to make others happy.  Happy...that is why I do this.  To bring joy and happiness.
That is why I create.  It brings me joy and happiness.

Wonder if I will ever find joy and happiness in shows and sales?

One thing I did do was help a facebook friend, Marla Taviano, raise money for a project in Cambodia.  I had purchased some bracelets from her girls and then I resold them.  The money will go right back to them.  I also created a special piece of art featuring one of the bracelets.  I sold it and all the money will go to them.   That part did bring me joy and happiness.

So, I had a good show and sale by my accounts.  I would guess I sold as much as anyone else there.   One of the other sellers even told me that because I was selling so much I was pricing things too low.  See?  That's what I just can't get....if I want them to sell, I want most people to be able to afford them.

A few of the artists do this full time and I am extremely grateful that I don't HAVE to sell to survive.  That would take all of the fun out of it for me I am afraid.

OK.  Enough ramblings of a crazy crafter creator creature.

Anyone else suffer from this particular kind of crazy?

Wanna see some more of what I had for sale?

And if you are still here, I leave you with one of my favorite new painted canvas with felt creations.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Soft Heart

In a world where all too often all we hear about are the mean things, the tragic and horrific things, I often ask God to not let my heart grow hard.

I want a soft heart.

Sometimes that hurts.  Sometimes it is too much.  Sometimes I don't even want to drive in my car for fear of killing a butterfly or wooly worm caterpillar trying to cross the road.  Sometimes I am overcome with all that needs to be done, that I can't do.

But usually, it helps.

It helps me to be peaceful when things seem unfair.
It helps me to have patience when the person in front of me can't find the money they are looking for.
It helps me to be kind to servers and neighbors and strangers.
It helps me to strive for goodness in my life and the life of others....goodness of body and soul.
It helps me to be faithful in the little things that no one will ever see.
It helps me to be gentle with my words and actions.

It brings me love and joy.

I have more tears when my heart is most tender.
  Tears of joy.
  Tears of wonder.
  Tears of thanksgiving.

When my heart is soft, I am able to rise up with enthusiasm each morning and believe the best is about to the sign from pinterest says:

I am more thankful when my heart is soft.  How is your heart?

Happy Thanksgiving to friends far and near!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside

We are day #7 of no school for the kids and they won't be back until next Tuesday, so that makes a 10 day unscheduled vacation which might be fun except about 1/2 of our county still doesn't have, are the kids warm, safe, fed?
There are shelters all around the county, some Red Cross and some churches, so hopefully they are getting the care and attention that they need.
Here at my house, we have had electric and heat since day #2 of the whole event, but I don't turn the heat up very high and wear lots of, Skippy Jo Lohr had to take matters into his own short furred paws.

New boots (and their box) that I never got to wear last winter.

Skippy Jo Lohr has an idea.
Let me look at it from this side.

Skippy Jo Lohr got himself into the box.

And is waiting for me to put the lid back down and go away.

 He spent quite a little while napping inside the box with the lid down....snug as the proverbial but in that same rug.
This is just one of the machines that are in and about our county right now.  We have lots of people from far away working long hours in unfriendly weather and rough after day after day.
At the end of the day the lot where the Buckwheat Festival takes place is full of 
BIG work trucks from all over the south east.

And this guy below was in the shower with me the other morning.
Cute, huh?

Just wondering if the real winter is going to be like the end of fall?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Snow-loween!

We are used to snow here in the mountains of West Virginia, but not usually on Halloween.  Yesterday there were about 17,000 people without electric in Preston County.  Today there are about 16,000.  I am one of  the lucky 1000!  Today, after cutting up a big branch that fell down right between the car and the power lines (Thank you, God.), we ran a few errands and I took a few pictures.

Can you see how that branch fell right between 
the power lines and the back of the car?

My job was to move them after they were cut...
and take pictures!  A nice man with another
chain saw stopped to help, too.

This one fell in the backyard...2 feet from the roof.

At the end of our street.

In the school parking lot.  
The Do Not Enter sign may not be necessary.

Another unnecessary Do Not Enter sign.

Lots of poor broken trees.

But these pines standing tall.

After the tour of town, we headed out to check on
the house at Shangri La Ti Da.

Hmmmm.  This is usually 2 lanes 
without tree bridges.

Ducks taking a bath...yes, ducks taking a bath.
For me and them, I suppose.

Time to turn around.  This bridge was too low.

Now on the other end of the road to Shangri La Ti Da.
Yes, two ways in.

Still not two lanes.

Still with tree bridges.

A safe and beautiful drive even in the storm.

And then we decided to drive up the mountain to see 
what we could see...sort of like the bear in the song.
A little more snow...fluffier, deeper.
Passable road.

I showed you this view not long ago...resplendent 
in all its Fall finery.
Now in its Winter wonderfulness.

My favorite apple tree.  
There.  Just there, through
season after season.

And this little store is one of the reasons 
I love living here.
Not a light on, but someone came out.
I said, "Oh, are you open?"
She said, "Yes.  We don't have electric,
but we're open.  People need stuff."

Yesterday on Facebook there was this story:

Dollar General allowing people in to shop as long as you have cash and patiently wait in line since items had to be added up the old fashion hand!! Manager there to direct people with his flashlight!!!
Thanks, Laurie Thompson for sharing.

Another reason I love living here...even during a blizzard
spawned by a hurricane on Halloween!

We take so much for water, hot food, warm house, mobility....yet even when we don't have those things...if we look, we can find the blessings still.