Thursday, December 31, 2009

Beginning the New Year with Gratitude

First of all, thanks to you for taking the time to read my blog. With so many wonderful places to chose from, it is an honor to catch your eye. If you are returning even more so.

Another year, and in fact another decade comes to an end this evening under a rather rare lunar occurrence, an eclipsing blue moon. We all have so much to be thankful for on any day, the wonders of the world around us, friendships, family.

The Christmas wrapping paper has all been disposed of, memories starting to be tucked away, and our eyes turn toward the future on New Year's Eve. But I'm going to change the focus of my blog for this next year. Try to make it a little less random, and back off from the trying to let it help build a business. Celebrating family happenings will continue, but also share the generosity of friends in a more open forum.

I've been blessed, flat out, to join two hooking circles this year, both of them flowed out of joining 10 minutes a day Rug Hooking, so April if you read this, a Huge thanks to you, and a real hope that things will settle into a midwinter slower pace in your work. I've missed seeing and being inspired by your work. I'm adding some yarn to my latest project, another thing you introduced me to. :)

Before the hooking circles were many online friends. One of the features of many groups are "swaps". Some of the nicest treasures in my home were made for me by friends and sent in swap boxes. If I were to post all the pictures over the years, you would be amazed! But I'll do that going forward... my picture taking never is a proper setting for these gifts, often perched on an ironing board or chair. But like the jewels of generosity they are, the gifts sparkle on their own despite my poor photography.

Betty is a talented mom who designs cross stitch, needlepunch and rug hooking designs, as most of you who read this blog already know. She sent a wonderful box of Christmas gifts and a birthday pinkeep to me. Each package had the most precious candy canes made from pipe cleaners! The dragonfly pinkeep was especially dear to me, and the "Willie" needlepunch was inadvertantly overlooked in my first unwrapping of the gifts. Because I tend to let myself get too busy and fragmented, I've tried to make myself leave things in the box until I get a picture taken. Doing that, revealed the punch needle piece. It is magnificent, Betty will be pish poshing that, but those of you with some of her work will know it to be the truth. Colors TDF! plush, finished beautifully and with her dear initials on the back. When you do things by hand, the thought of the time someone else spends to make you a gift, makes it all the more dear. In addition, Betty contributed 2 lovely dolls to our Comfort Dolls box earlier this year. I'm honored to be her friend.

Sharon, sent a box filled with things of beauty and use for New Year's swap. We were to include a "white elephant" which she tried to call a handmade set of mittens she'd made. They are peeking out from under the floss in the picture of everything in the box.Two inches of "confetti" filled the bottom of the box! A gigantic salad bowl(my own) was quickly filled with wooly worms, wool rug yarn, and a lovely tan piece of wool. The picture of things inside the box, just couldn't show it all. Every bit of that bowl is filled with a wealth of wooly worms, and in an amazing act of ESP on her part, in some of the colors I needed most! What I thought was mascara, turned out to be cuticle oil that is already making my dried cuticles feel better~notepads perfect for a quick shopping list or jotting down a phone number after bumping into a friend who has moved back to town. Sharon's blog is linked to the right from My Chocolate Mousse she is as much fun as talented, and again I'm honored by her friendship.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Baking Day 2009

For almost as many years as we have lived in TX, it has been a tradition in our family to have a "Baking Day" for Christmas treats on the first Saturday in December. That day was selected because of the local Scout show. Daddy would be gone all day, and after the show was over, packed up, and the Astrodome area cleaned up he could come home to a special treat of homemade cookies, Chex Mix, or once a gingerbread house.

It was a time to bake together with our daughter, laugh and work throughout the day. Cookie plates for neighbors were one of the goals ~ to kick off the holiday season, before everyone was tired of treats. A few chocolate kisses or Hershey's mini candybars extended the variety, and some years we even included a few salted in the shell peanuts. This year, she'll be sharing with coworkers at her office, and I'll be sharing with my quilting bee and ATHA rug hooking circle, Stash Sisters. We made a few angel cookies for Miss Ann and Miss Joan, Livvie's MDO teachers. :) My sister and her family will receive some in their Christmas box, and yes, we'll nibble a few ourselves.

Today, December 5, 2009 was Baking Day. We started about 9:30 am and made lots of treats to share with family and friends. Livvie didn't care too much for the apron, I'd made for her, so she only had to wear it for our "official" photo. Our Baking Day banner, was made from a gift that a friend, PattiJane, sent for my birthday. It had a little different plan, but it is on the reverse side of Livvie's Advent Calendar with Santa, and we hope to take a picture of all of us beside it for many years to come. ♥

She had on her ELF APPRENTICE onesie, which is an inside joke for our family, and that was a perfect fashion statement for the day. You'll see her decorating cookies farther down in this post, using the aerial sprinkle drop method. ;) It began with vigorously shaking of the container and a swoop UP! She had a great time, and so did her mom and grandpaparazzi taking pics.

Last cookies we baked today were Linzer cookies, and that was when Jenni and I were really laughing. These cookies taste pretty good, but are not easy to assemble for novices. Next year, the recipe makes the cut, but probably not the cookie cutters! Jenni and I were trying to "remove the excess dough so they could go right into the oven", and finally ended up using corn on the cob holders with her push,push, shove method.

Like many family memories, it doesn't sound nearly as fun in the retelling, as it was while going on. Bottom line is that while I enjoyed our baking days when Jenni was a child, tween, and teenager it was a really wonderful day today. Whether Jenni and Livvie continue the tradition or not, it was fun to work, laugh, and share a day when lots of treats were made, along with memories.... Livvie's daddy returned at the end of his day of work to the smell of treats baked and waiting.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Go Buckeyes!

If your family is like ours, you will be watching the football game between The Ohio State football team and Michigan. My dh was born in Ohio, attended college in Kansas, but wears an Ohio State cap or tshirt at every opportunity! We will be cheering for the scarlet and gray! Although I have friends that live in both Ohio and Michigan, my heart is not undecided!!! Go BUCS!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm back at Discovery Green! Come See Me :)

If you live in the Metro Houston area, you really should visit Discovery Green Park sometime. There are two great reasons to come on a Sunday afternoon sometime soon. First, there is a wonderful display of Globes by a variety of artists promoting the "GREEN" life. I'm putting one of my favorites here.

Another good reason to visit on a Sunday afternoon soon, is that the Holiday Market will be in full swing for the next two weekends in November, and the three weekends before Christmas in December. I'm there with rugs, some small ornies for the tree, and other assorted wares. The first one was a bit misty and windy, but all in all a lovely day. The park is busy and vibrant on Sunday afternoons with families, lots of cute dogs, and couples enjoying this wonderful park. You can stroll through gardens, enjoy a gelato or latte, visit one of the food vendors for a cookie, Indian Food, or buy a bag of organic veggies. Of course, I hope you'll stop by to say hello!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

CPLG celebrates a Star Spangled Christmas! :)

This year has just flown by! Country and Primitive Ladies Group on Ebay will be have a launch with a twist on Christmas in July, by doing a Star Spangled Christmas! So if you like Americana items, check out our CPLG listings between December 4th and 12th. Who knows, maybe the garage guys will even join in. :) If you do a cplg search you'll see couplings are abreviated on ebay as cplg. We just laugh at their items in our search, and really laugh when we think about the shoppers for couplings get our items in their search. I'm doing an Americana Santa, from a pattern from Cheswick Place, thanks Cathy! Love her patterns and their whimsical details! Hope you'll check out our listing search several times that week! New things might be added daily, but will be throughout the week for sure!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Houston Quilt Festival Fun, but I'm getting Old!

Had a wonderful with friends today, shopping at the Houston Quilt Festival! Took a list, and found all my list items in some form or other. Jim Shore signed a couple of his statues that I'd gotten as gifts, and was a wonderful kind hearted guy!

Barbara and I hit most of the aisles, and enjoyed looking at so many wonderful booths. We had fun chatting about Olivia(our granddaughter). It is such a blessing when your child marries someone who also makes a good parent. Our families have blended nicely during the past few years.

My feet, hip, and back aches cut short our trip to the show. Helped me to see how very much I need to get walking now that the weather is more conducive to it. Fun with the bee at lunch, and as we bumped into each other. The fun of buying small gifts for friends... a great day. It was the same Saturday as one of my hook ins. But after years of rug hooking on my own, and the delight of finding 2 hooking circles, the quilt show is the older of my obsessions. (Did see several friends and even a couple of other hookers from Kirby Circle!)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sharing my Wool Pattern available at my Etsy shop

Recently finished hooking a portrait of our KirbyKat sleeping in my wool hooking basket. He is often there on cool evenings, which we are finally starting to get again here in Houson. KirbyKat was always the ring tailed toot of our cat herd, and I still think of him as the baby cat.(12 years old in human years) Over the years, we've slowed down considerably and so has he. I have the pattern for this rug listed on Etsy. It will be on linen(wonderful and durable as a hooking background). The particular background I choose is called hit and miss, although if you are considering hooking a rug, you most likely know that. :) The cat's paws(so far as I know) are my own spin on a familar shape often used along the border of a hooked or penny rug. That familiar shape is generally called a sheep tongue. It's kind of amazing when you think of how many of us that do hooking, also have cats in our home, hearth, and heart. So perhaps, you know of an earlier version of a hooked rug with it, I'd love to know. It isn't like inventing an airplane, but always fun to "invent" a new way of looking at something common.

I do think this would make quite a nice top for a footstool of these dimensions. There is a French term for tricking the eye, but of course, I never think to google such as that before blogging. One of the reasons, I'm not hurrying to finish it...

The design area of the rug is 20 inches by 25 inches on the linen pattern. I'm working on paper patterns that would come with the design drawn at 12 x 16 or so with my permission to increase or decrease the size for personal use. I'm reserving the right to do custom hooking of someone's personal pet, although there may not be a big market for that at any rate. However, if you personally are interested in a rug of your cat, and don't do rughooking, you can contact me through a convo at my etsy shop. Depending on materials and difficulty of hooking, I'd probably charge between $200 - $300. . for the rug. But it would be one of a kind. One half of the fee would be due at the beginning of the project to purchase materials, (that portion would be nonrefundable). The second half of the fee would be due upon completion. All shipping fees would be paid by me. I could change the background to a single color if that would fit into your decorating better. I'm not out to hook the cat world, but I do love hooking them...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our comfort dolls are on their way!

An American Primitive Gathering is a friendship group, and I am honored to be a member. A few of us made dolls to send as a group to the Comfort Dolls Project. I'm going to just put in one picture, of the dolls gathered in a basket before I put them into the package that is going to the post office tomorrow. Others in the group may send donations at a later time.

The styles are varied, and hopefully each and every one will find its way into the hands of someone who will enjoy it and be encouraged to put their face toward the light and let the shadows fall behind them.

Special thanks to:

Our dolls took the short trip to the post office, the beginning of their journey! I said a prayer for them to get to just the right person before handing them to the Postal Worker. Time to let go and let God!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In the end, only kindness matters....

With a nod to Jewel, here are a couple of links/embed to show you an update on the Iraqi Bundle of Love Project...

and Thanks to the guys and gals with boots on the ground hauling these boxes around, and this was about September 15!

And a good laugh!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Two Wonderful Projects

Do you believe you could change the world? Would you like to try?

There are many opportunities to spread generosity throughout the world we live in. Here are two that I basically found out about today, and want to share with you. (See how easily sharing can happen). :)
Just read on IBOL website that more than 14,000 bundles are on the way!!! Way to go sewing community.
First, and foremost The deadline was Tuesday, September 8th. Sorry, but sometimes life requires that we move quickly... An American soldier is helping to distribute fabric and sewing supplies to Iraqi families, to make clothes for Iraqi children. Your cost is fabric or sewing supplies you can donate and $11.95 for postage on a flat rate shipping box at the post office. If you sew, knit, crochet, please take a look.

The other one you can join or just follow their suggestions. Basically, for 29 days you give away 1 gift per day. Before signing up, think of a gift you'd like because they will ask for something you'd like as a gift. I requested visits to my blog and a prayer for world peace. So if you are a 29 gifts member it is working, and you might be able to send a bundle or two to the top opportunity! :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Primitive Betty give away on CPLG blog

If you are a fan of Primitive Betty, you'll want to hurry on over to the and make a comment to have a chance to win one of Betty's handdid dolls. I know I'll be hoping to be the winner, but my chances are slim, while your's are phat! Don't forget to check her out!
On August 16th, we will be having a group launch on Ebay. We will be featuring items with a "Falloween" theme, so Autumn and Halloween. If your summer has been anything like ours, HOT, HOT, HOT you are looking forward to cool breezes!

I'll have up a hooked rug, and some other small sewing items. Hope you'll check us out. If you are a hooker, I plan to have a couple of strip holders ready for you then too! Don't worry if you seem plumbing parts, cplg has become a common abbreviation for coupling. We jokingly call them the "garage guys" but remember to look all the way down the list for items in ebay stores as well. :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A special comfort doll

A friend of mine requested prayers for an elderly nun, that is special to her family. I've created a little comfort doll pattern recently for the comfort doll project, and had finished several of them in whimsical fabrics. This seemed like a good additional use for my pattern, and I love the way it turned out.

I'll be offering a handmade doll in my etsy shop later today, as whenever I make one of something, I generally try to make a second. If you have a friend who might find comfort with a similar doll, I'd be happy to provide one for you.

Friday, July 3, 2009

It's a Grand Day to Celebrate!

Wishing everyone in every part of the world, the blessings and freedoms they desire. We aren't all alike, or all that different. But after watching Iran election protests last week it made me extra glad that our country has such a great Constitution! Of course, tomorrow is the celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. While finishing up my teaching career in 5th grade, it provided again the opportunity to learn about our revolution, the dangers faced by the patriot families, and how really blessed we were to have the founding fathers(and mothers) we did.

George Washington, our first president, was an amazing man. The Virginia Compromise set up the two houses of congress, and as amazing as it may be to us today, our Congress works as it was designed to do. Hurray that Al Franken will be joining the Senate soon.

I won't get much into politics, except to say that I'm so proud of our president, Barack Obama and pray for his safety and that the burden will be no more than he can bear. It is sad to see how it is aging his appearance already. He is so earnest, and I love his family too. We are truly blessed to have such a leader at this point in our democracy.

Tomorrow is a day to enjoy our blessings, listen to stirring music, watch fireworks, and give thanks that we are still the Land of the Free. God bless the troups, and make it so that they may return to their families asap.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Etsy TX Crafters has special Monday sales

This Monday, June 29th, will be the 5th Monday in June. Five Mondays in a month only happen a few times a year. If you Click on Armadillo Tex to view our $5 listings on at the top right of the blog, it will take you to all the listings from the WHOLE team for $5. not just mine. The search will only work so long as someone has a special tag. So if you click it next week, it may not show any items in the search. But if you would like to look for an item $5. in price, give it a try! There are already some 72 items in the list if you want to get a jump on Monday. :)

I'm going to make sure to get some things listed this weekend! Jo

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rug Hooking tutorials on Rag Rug Cage

If you've always wanted to make a rug, there is a new website you'll love! They have very clear directions on how to make rugs of the style usually called toothbrush rugs. Videos make the process very easy to understand!

They have set up a special blog for me, to give directions on rug hooking. Now that is really funny in many ways, because I haven't ever been to a hook-in with a roomful of actual rug hookers. I have gotten tons of information in a variety of groups on ebay, for hookers. (what we call ourselves-don't be shocked) However, since this blog is to help people interested in learning how to make rugs, any instructions about the process may help. The other thing that makes it funny to me, is that none of my creations has actually ever been used as a rug. But I've seen some fabulous hand hooked rugs on the floor in pictures of other ladies homes.

Unfortunately, we don't have a video camera, although I might need to start dropping birthday hints for one now! So my tutorials will be digital shots. Hope you'll drop by , leave comments, ask questions, and help me get it off the ground floor! Jo

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My dear husband hung my retirement hooked rug today. It is in a post near the end of February that I updated and edited today. After we were finished he mentioned that he hung Bob's rug too. Bob adopted us about a 10 years ago. He is an American Bobtail with tuxedo markings. I'll add a pic of him to this post after find one on the computer. He has been quite a clown, and is a great hunter. His favorite prey seems to be the rats that are quite common to this area, although our address is in a suburban area that wouldn't boast about rats. So his rug had to be of him finishing off a rat. Bob will eventually cross the rainbow bridge, as so many beloved pets do, but this will help us to keep our memories of him in his prime. I made it during our first challenge this year for An American Primitive Group.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Mini Lesson on Color and Value

I thought this was a great time to document the benefits of reverse hooking on a rug. Color choices can make such a difference. Unfortunately, I didn't take a pic of the original prior to reverse hooking and choosing a different color for an area. The dark brown of the dirt road went up to the dark purple of the "trailer". From a distance, the trailer just didn't show up very well. Brown and purple and it didn't show up? That was because their value was too close. It is why lots of deep colors can be mixed in with black for an antique black. So I knew change was needed.

My color choices are limited by the fact I don't dye with anything but koolaid. More about that in another post. Most of my wool is upcycled from discarded men's sport coats, ladies blazers, or skirts*trailer is from a tweed skirt* OR hand dyed wool I purchase from other members of Primitive Rug Hooking Group PRHG on ebay. Such as Christy Mason of Double M Sheep! So first the reverse hooking which really just means pulling out the wool strip that is hooked into the backing. My backing, 100 % linen is visible in the photo. You simply find an end and tug to remove it.

If you look below the trailer you'll see a light brown that appears brighter than it is because of the contrast in value. So now the trailer "pops". :) Should make me happy, but sadly, as my hooking experience has developed, thanks to observing the beautiful work of all my rug hooking groups, An American Primitive Gathering in particular, it just won't do. Not only does the trailer pop, but so does the new buffer color. Looks out of place with two darks on either side.

Second reverse hooking, with the really medium brown strips coming out and a sage green plaid strips in their place. Voila! The rug works so much better! :) Blending is quite an improvement over disappearing or sore thumb placement! I like clear bright colors, but not when they stand out like a sore thumb.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

CPLG monthly giveaway!

The drawing for these precious yellowware baskets is currently going on at the CPLG Blog.
The actual drawing will be done on April 14th, so you still have a few days to make a comment! Good luck!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Come visit me at Discovery Green on April 11th!

If you are in the Houston Area, this coming Saturday will be part of the Earth Day celebrations. I will have my items in a booth area during the afternoon from 2 - 6 pm. The Green Market will open in the morning, and there will be lots of other activities as well. If you haven't visited Discovery Green yet, why not come out this weekend.

I'll be bringing some small rugs, table mats, and upcycled items such as the bunnies now listed in my etsy shop. The bunnies were made from a hand embroidered and quilted lilac quilt. So why cut it up? Well, the quilt was also covered with cigarette burns. Why not set the good parts free to another use? Hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Earth Hour 2009 Saturday March 28, 8:30 pm your local time

Join in the vote for our planet! Saturday, March 28 8:30 your local time. Turn off the lights, stay off the computer, no tv, maybe go outside and look at the stars. Meditate, pet the cat, or whatever you'd like to do. Help world leaders understand the need for working together on the problem of global warning.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My first recipe to share!

Grandma Jo's Birthday Party Grits preheat oven to 350

Spray pans before filling. This makes a lot. I used a short round 12 in diameter casserole
pan, and a foil cake pan.

2 cups quick grits
8 cups water

Place 8 cups of water in a Dutch Oven or large stockpot
Bring it to a boil
Add 1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
1 TBSP garlic powder
2 cups of quick grits
Stir constantly once you add the grits, cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.

Once the grits are cooked,

Add and stir in:
1 TBSP parsley flakes or fresh chopped parsley(chives are good too)
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
1 ~ 8 oz package of cream cheese cubed
1 16 oz container sour cream
12 oz of Velveeta cubed ~ I cut off the chunk, then slice through in thirds from 3
different sides to make the cubes. Break the chunks cubed apart before dropping into
the still hot grits.

Once all the add~ins are incorporated/melted into the grits, put them in the pan and
pop them in the oven for 30 ~ 45 minutes until the top is nicely browned. I usually
sprinkle a bit more Montreal Steak Seasoning and Garlic Powder on the top of the dish.

Grits tend to be a bit bland, so adding extra seasoning on top, spices up the servings.

The kids are having a good ole Texas Barbecue to celebrate Olivia's 1st Birthday. We'll be bring Grandpaparazzi's Barracho Beans and my fancy party grits. There would be lots of ways to slim down this recipe, like using no fat cream cheese, or substituing plain yogurt for the sour cream. So if you are watching your calories, Use Molly McButter instead of the real McCoy...

Friday, February 27, 2009

I finished my Retirement rug!

It is finally finished. The edges are turned under, and it is hanging on the wall. This rug is actually a primary source! I started my teaching career in 1968, and taught until 2008. During that period of time, we landed on the moon, the internet became available for use by schools, and our first African American President, Barack Obama, was elected! At the bottom, you can see a white section, that has my first email address acquired somewhere around 1990 or so. To the right you can see portions that include my two favorite internet projects. The Jason Project, which we did at Hidden Hollow Elementary in Kingwood, TX and Journey North(my absolute all time favorite internet project).

But there is so much more hidden in the symbolism of this rug. For example you probably notice that the 3 central parts have different colored backgrounds at the bottom. They are black for slate, green and white. My first school actually had the same style slate boards as when I went to school as a girl. After moving to Texas, and returning to newer school there were green chalkboards, and eventually the magnetic white dry erase boards. On the first you can see A, B, C in white for the white chalk we used. The middle section has j,k,l, in yellow like the anti glare yellow chalk that became popular. Those letters happens to be my initials and the middle of the alphabet and at the end W, x, y, z. You might have already figured out the profile is one of my favorite presidents, George Washington. If you haven't read a biography of his life, you should give yourself that pleasure.

The school house in the middle section has a dragonfly zipping along above it. TX roof, because the larger part of my career was here in TX. Dragonfly because, well, if you know me, you know that :)...

To give some perspective to its size which is roughly 30 inches by 50 here is a pic of a part of the rug and a French Door leading to our dining room. If you peek through the door, you can see light reflecting off the top of my dh's bald head. He hung this finished rug for me today. Not quite a year after the date I retired after 35 years as an elementary teacher.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm a hooker, not a blogger...

While most people might think it strange for someone to call themself a hooker, in this case I mean rug hooker. I've finished one rug this week, and am within a couple of evenings of finishing my BHR.(Big Honking Rug) I won't put any pictures of Bob the Mighty Hunter up until the end of March when that challenge is over. It is one of the rules of the game in our group. The pics cannot be posted online except on the challenge blog, until after the challenge is complete. When I finish the BHR which is a retrospective of my teaching career, up it will go. The deadline for that challenge was December 31st 2008. So missed that deadline by 2 months. Which isn't tragic or mean I'm a bad hooker. The bottom border just wouldn't come into my mental design...When it did I could have slapped my forehead! :) It was actually rather perfect in the way it fit into the symbolism of the rug. Every bit of my rug is about the 40 years or so while I was a teacher. It speaks to me of transformations. Some good, some I did not like at all. But change is inevitable.

When I put up the picture of that rug, there will be details of some parts and an explanation of what that section symbolises to me. You may laugh at how much I think this rug has to say about being an American teacher in the last 40 years. It is a job I recently retired from, June, 2008. It is a job that was my pleasure during the day, while working with students, and my bane while attempting to keep up with papers, deadlines, and the ever increasing convergent thinking of how children should be taught. Since my strength as a teacher was in divergent thinking, the last few years were extremely difficult for me. Ageing no doubt, was a part of that difficulty. Still in all, it is a job I was proud to do, and feel I could look God straight in the eye and say I done my best. Not with pride, just as a summary.

So watch for my rug to appear sometime soon. Bob will follow in April... his story will be told then too, but it is the same. As a kat, he done his best, and is still doing it. He is turning gray, and ageing too, but he is still kicking it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A new view of life

Our granddaughter graduated into a new car seat this weekend. No longer facing the rear with only a view of the upholstery, which is fine when you are a baby. She wasn't sure when being buckled in, our daughter said she looked like she wasn't sure she approved of her new place. But then, the car started and she realized she could see the road ahead and perhaps out of the side windows too. She has always twisted her hands and feet with excitement, and looks a bit like someone conducting an orchestra when she gets going.

How often in our lives do we hang back, unsure about leaving the comfort of what we know? How do we change how we think of ourselves, define what makes our life of worth to us or others? I seldom think about these things anymore. Perhaps it's time for me to get a new car seat as well! But not tonight...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

In Memorium Sandy Deabler

Today was a celebration of a dear friend's life, but after her death last fall. She will be with us for as long as we remember the times spent together. I had grieved her passing a couple of times, when she first told us of her illness, again when she moved to New Hampshire and to be nearer family at the end. Why do I still think of her as if she is just a phone call away? Beats me, but I hope that it goes on for the rest of my life.

Her children spoke of her, and read emails from her. Those were especially dear to me, for I had never had the chance to read them. We (the coffee group) called ourselves cybercoffee in the early days of email and stayed in touch nearly every day. She had quotations, jokes, questions and all kinds of insightful comments. It was a delight whenever we talked on the phone, she and I both flitting here and there with tangental comments, coming back to the original topic and shooting off in another different direction. She was well versed in every area. She read everything, and helped me to understand so much of life.

It may sound corny, but she still feels so close. I will continue to talk to her in my head, just like when my prayers of thanksgiving or please go up... So dear Sandy, keep on hanging around just a moment away!