Sunday, March 29, 2009

Where are my cuties?

Where are my cuties? There they are! Under the "tent" I set up in the living room for Brownie to hide under when she hears all that thunder (our snowstorm was complete WITH thunder and lightening and she's not crazy about thunder). I came around the corner and there was Pooker with his head under the tent, too. I had to get my camera. Loved the way they are both looking at me in the second picture.

Dripping and Melting

I loved the way the ice was melting off my rose bushes and how the snow melting off the roof formed droplets on the leaves.

And this beautiful concentric circle--loved it! (The snow was melting from the trampoline and with all the rain we've gotten, the water just dripped in such a steady flow that it kept the water rippling in a circle for hours.)

We got copious rain and big fat snow

We got at least six inches of rain (probably more), then the next morning it turned into big fat snow. It snowed all day yesterday and we ended up with at least three inches of snow. It turned our yard into one big mess. Brownie sure enjoys playing in it, though. She loves to bury her ball in it and "find" it by pouncing on it and dragging it through the snow. (I love watching her play in her pretty pink jacket.)

My parents (I should say our because I do share my parents with my siblings and this does involve the area where they and the majority of my aunts and uncles live) got 24 inches of snow and were without electricity for three days. This may not seem long to some, but when you are in the country country it's a long time to be without. Especially since without electricity, you can't flush your toilets or take showers or anything else. As for food? Whatever you've got in the house. They just got their electricity back on at 6:30 tonight, but they are still not able to get out to get hay to all their cattle despite their best efforts to get around. And that was WITH the sun shining today and it melting. Guess it takes 24 inches a few days longer to melt than it does four. Not fun, not fun, whether you live in the city or the country.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Vintage Patterns

These patterns are just a few of the items I've been working so diligently to get in our Etsy store. I came back from the funeral with a big bag of patterns Nee had cleaned out of the drawers in Mom's sewing room (although to call it a sewing room is a stretch due to the fact that I have her sewing machine and it also contains the washer and dryer). They have been lots of fun to look through and I'll eventually get them all on, but it just takes a while to do it. I'd rather just do two or three here and there and work my way through it that way (not so overwhelming).

I've talked to Mom today and she said they lost their electricity this morning (due to the high winds and ice). When I talked to her this evening, they'd just gotten their electricity back on. During the course of our conversation, they lost it again. She said they've gotten 9 inches of snow and it is still falling (alledgedly will keep snowing through noon tomorrow). Crazy. We've probably gotten that many inches of rain between yesterday and today with the chance of snow in the morning. I hope that doesn't happen as I have things to do that involve actually leaving my house to do them (one of which involves letting a dog (not mine) out to potty in the evening). Mom was sad they didn't have electricity (for obvious reasons) but also because she can't get on the computer to see if she has any new friends on Facebook. She just got on there this week and she's been adding friends like crazy. Yesterday it was 20 friends, who knows how many more today? (I haven't checked mine today, either, so I couldn't tell her if she had any new friends or not.)

Well, I'm getting sleepy so better stop. You know how I get when I get too tired. I know I start to slur my words in person, but don't want to take a chance that I'll start slurring my typed wooorrrths. Oops. May be too late.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Funeral, Prayers, and Craft Time

We're back! We've been here for a few days, but I haven't been able to do much besides unpack, get more vintage items put in our Etsy store (that I brought back with me), and take care of some errands. Plus, funerals and all that go with it sure take a lot out of a person. I haven't felt like doing much else.

Yesterday, my sister (Nee) said a good friend of hers (who loves her creations) offered to take our items in with her to the school she teaches at and sell them for us! How nice and yes, please! Then, Pooker said his peeps at work wanted to see some samples of my stuff (after having sent a cake (from Merritt's) with him to work (last person who has a birthday brings the stuff for the next one) and a card I'd made for them to pass around and sign. They loved the card and told him to bring some of my stuff in. Wow! Two requests in a day. I've got to get busy and make more stuff to send in with both peeps as I can't/won't take items off my Etsy store to send in. This will take some time, but I'm more than happy to see where it goes.

Another friend also called yesterday and was needing me to cover some of the fake Dr. appointments next week (to help train residents by sending in "fake" patients that they don't know are fake until the end of the visit). It's like doing improv on the stage. A little frightening, but fun to do. I think the patient I am playing this go around has Irritable Bowel Syndrome. (Yes, let's talk about poop's consistency and color.)

In case you were wondering about the funeral, it was very nice. Grandad looked great (so great even that Grandma looked at him and said if he had looked this good, she wouldn't have let him go). They do a great job at the funeral home out there. They are able to erase years and illness quite wonderfully. It was a sad day. I cried on and off at various times, but really cried hard when at the end of the funeral, the congregation sang "Victory in Jesus." That song is a good one, but not one you'd think you'd cry over. When the congregation started singing, something in me just snapped. It was as if I could still hear Grandad singing that song and it made me sad that he is gone and I'll have to wait to hear him sing again. I couldn't join in until near the end of the third verse (complete with tears streaming down my face). I think we were all glad when that day was over and we could move forward. It was like the release of weight off our shoulders because Grandad was taken care of and we don't have to worry and pray and wonder and be in limbo anymore. Neither does he. In fact, I think he's got the better end of this deal.

Well, gotta get to my crafts if I'm going to have a nice selection for people to choose from. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. They were felt and they do make a difference.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Grandad is now in Heaven

Grandad passed away on Saturday night, so we'll be going home for the funeral this week. It has been a roller coaster of emotions for the past seven months since Grandad had triple bypass surgery and then ended up with accelerated dementia. His passing was both a relief (his little body was so wasted away and he had no quality of life) and terribly sad (I want my Grandad). I'm happy for him, yet my heart will grieve anew this week as we lay his body to rest and try to adjust to life with Grandad now physically gone. It's hard. We've lost far too many grandparents in the last four years and I can't speak for anyone else, but my heart is still grieving for the loss of the other two. It makes my last Grandma extremely precious (as if she wasn't already extremely precious). I know so many people either didn't get to know their grandparents at all or only had one or two growing up. I know I've been blessed to have all 4 for so long.

Once again, God has been so gracious to us. Instead of having Grandad waste away slowly for years in a nursing home (again, with no quality of life), he went ahead and took him to heaven. That is truly gracious (and you know that if you've had any association with the elderly and nursing homes, especially with dementia and Alzheimer's). I am overwhelmed with God's graciousness, not only to Grandad, but to us.

I'm sorry to have to do this, peeps, but I probably won't be able to blog anymore this week as I have things to do to get ready to go. I'll try to resume next week as I've got lots to show you (as usual). In the meantime, take care of yourselves and try to make it through a blogless week as best you can. (I just know I'm the highlight of some of you all's days!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tiny Gift Tags and Teeny Tiny Gift Tags

These top two are teeny tiny gift tags -- only an inch by an inch and a half!

These yawning mice are tiny gift tags - measuring an inch and 3/4 by 2 1/2 inches.

Vintage Cookie Cutters

1970's Tupperware

1989 Wilton Reindeer

1970's made in Hong Kong

My sister went home a week ago and she helped our Mama clean out some things in her kitchen to help her better organize her stuff (it was getting difficult to get to some of the pans and such). They unearthed these vintage cookie cutters and she decided she could part with them. So, they are now for sale in our Etsy store (thanks, Mom!).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mushroom Triad

They're back! Just when you think there couldn't possibly be any more mushrooms, we rounded a corner on our walk this morning and I gasped to see the mushrooms sprouting. I guess with the deceptively nice weather, lots of things had starting growing including this mushroom triad. In my mind, the ones above (both pictures in the middle) alternate between looking like little rolls of dough rising and marshmellows. Very surprising, but oh so interesting!

Brownie and I love to sit outside!

We really love to sit outside, especially when it is nice. We managed to sit out there yesterday afternoon before it turned cold in the evening (went into the 20's at night after being in the 60's during the day). I plopped down and she plopped down right beside me. We both sat there and just enjoyed the warmth and looked around. I'd reach over and pet her every once in a while. Right there, in that moment, all was right in our world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Swaying Gently in the Breeze

We ran across this swaying gently in the breeze during our family walk. What it is doing hanging from a tree in a place where bikers go to ramp and such, I can only guess. I saw a man with the city park service a few days later with a garbage bag down there collecting trash. I can only assume he snagged it out of the tree (and put it in the trash rather than in his pocket) as it is no longer in the tree.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Family Walk

We went for a wonderful family walk a couple of weeks ago. We were on lots of trails and spent some time where bikers go to do their jumps and twists and spins and what have you. Brownie enjoyed going up them and then jumping down. She loves going for walks, but she especially loves it when we all get to go together. It makes a little dog's day.

"Purposefully Planned"

"Purposefully Planned" painted 2/19/09

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The pansies are out!

Over the last couple of weeks, we've been seeing that the pansies are out! The only drawback with the pansies is we have to walk where people have planted them as they don't tend to grow wild by the river. Right now, we're kind of more into wild by the river as that's where we've stuck close to for our walks the past week and a half.

Branch in Sillhouette

One of our walks was on a cold, overcast day and I liked how the sillhouette of this tree branch looked against the hazy blue sky. I found it quite interesting.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Frolicking Flowers 2"

"Frolicking Flowers 2" painted 2/19/09

Kayaker on the River

Brownie and I were taking our usual walk when this guy in a pickup pulled into the parking lot and backed into a space facing the river. He got out and he had on those hip waders (that are attached to the rubber boots). We watched him open his tailgate and pull out this tiny, lightweight kayak and paddle and put them in the grass. He went back around to the cab of his truck and pulled out a large cooler. He looked up and saw us staring (but we quickly looked away), then went and put his cooler in his kayak. He closed up his truck then proceeded to drag his little kayak (and cooler) down the steep incline from the parking lot to the bank of the river. We tried to casually get closer to watch him get in and shove off, but he looked back up at us (probably wondering why we were so interested) (it's because we're the curious sort). We continued on our walk and when we saw him in the river, I took this picture to show you.

Again, I'm sad about the lack of a really good zoom (this IS zooming as far in as I could) (I'm guessing a telephoto lens would be good for me as when I'm zooming, I want to see the expression on someone's face be it person or seagull or blackhawk chopper or egret) (close enough to be a little invasive). Anyway, here is the kayaker we saw on our walk, out for a day on what little river there still is at the moment.

Home for Valentine's Day

We weren't home for long over Valentine's Day weekend, but this is all the pictures I have to show for it. I've got to try to remember to take pictures of people, but seems like when we all sit down together, it's to eat! (And the food is soooo good.)

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Chocolate Covered Flowers"

"Chocolate Covered Flowers" painted 2/19/09

(FYI: All my paintings 14x14 and under are for sale in our Etsy store.)

Victorian Gift Tags

These are the Victorian gift tags I made this week and put in our Etsy store (am selling them in five groups, 13 tags in each). Those are the last of the Victorian pictures I had (thanks to my sister for giving me her odds and ends), so when these are gone, that's it.

I'm trying to work through all the stuff I have (and have been given recently, again thanks to my sis) to make something out of seemingly nothing so I can try to lighten my load by making something useful out of it all. Only so much I can do at one time....

Recent Update on Grandad and our Etsy store

I'm sorry I haven't posted much lately. I have lots to share with you and my pictures sit on my computer waiting for me to get around to posting them. I've been working really hard to get the things I have on our Etsy store and as of yesterday evening, we are up to 96 items for sale (although I hope it doesn't remain at 96 for long!). I had a bookmark sale earlier this week (thank you, Sharon!), so that bring us up to 9 items sold. It is really rewarding and I enjoy it, but it does take time and effort to get everything on. I'm just believing our time and effort will pay off in lots of people finding just what they want/need in our store and that translates to lots of sales. I don't know about anyone else, but I've got several loans to pay off and I'd love to be able to get those out of my hair.

As for Grandad, he wasn't eating or drinking or going to the bathroom (sorry if that is T.M.I.), so they sent him to the hospital. They discovered he had a kidney infection and an MRI showed a pocket of blood in his brain (from falling and hitting his head really hard in the past month) that is pushing on his brain stem (which is the part that controls swallowing, breathing, etc.). The doctor said they could probably find someone to operate on him and drill a hole in his head and drain the fluid, but it probably wouldn't improve his life any (other than he may be able to swallow and breathe easier). Since it was the anesthesia from surgery six months ago that hastened the dementia (in my opinion) and considering his great lack of any quality in his life, it would be pretty cruel to put him back on the operating table where he may not make it out of surgery or where it would just extend his poor quality of life for a bit longer. The doctor thought he could go at any time over the next two weeks. This whole situation has just really been horrible, which is why you can understand that I just want my Grandad's suffering to end. It's because I love him so much that I can let him go on to wait for me (and attend that massive party being prepared in honor of his Homecoming).

I'm just trying to get everything done that I need to, which includes trying to get to my part-time job work, bathing Brownie (which I already did this morning), cleaning my house, and tying up my odds and ends (I can only have so many things hanging over my head uncompleted at any given time since I like completion.). If any of you are moved to pray, please just pray for peace and comfort over Grandad and God's will to be done and that during this we (the family and most especially Grandma and my Dad) are comforted and at peace and that we are given a peek into Heaven. The peeking is per my request as we would like to know what is going on those last hours, those last minutes. Will try to keep you updated so you'll know what is going on and forgive me if I'm not able to post as much as I would like to.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Update on Grandad

Grandad is dying. I've felt it for a few months, but there wasn't really any signs of it until this last week. His blood pressure dropped really low and he didn't have much oxygen in his blood. They (the nursing home) called the ambulance to take him to the hospital. On the way there, the attendants talked to him and roused him enough that by the time they got to the hospital his blood pressure and oxygen were normal.

They (the nursing home) called Grandma yesterday and told her he hasn't been eating or drinking and they couldn't rouse him. Grandma went out and I don't know how the decision was made or if there really wasn't even a decision to make, but Grandad is now in hospice care. I guess this involves hospice people coming to the nursing home and taking care of him. Basically, they take care of a person during their last days.

I knew when they couldn't rouse him that he's been straddling the fence between heaven and here and it would only be a matter of time before he's more in heaven than here. I've been grieving him for months. It's not that I don't want my Grandad here, I do. I just don't want him to suffer anymore. His quality of life wasn't good (losing your mind never is) and I know he wouldn't want to be like that. He's ready to go. Once again, God has been so gracious to us. He's given us time to adjust, to prepare, yet his graciousness extends to Grandad, too, in that he isn't going to make him wait for years wasting away to go home. His time is near. How gracious.

I grieve for our loss, but I'm so happy for him to finally be able to shed his wasted body and mind. So we wait, not for death, but for Grandad to be made whole again and be waiting for us on the other side.

Rusty Things and Firepits

We found these on our walk by the river. I think I've taken a picture of those springs before, but they sure weren't there by the large rusty pipe. I guess either the current of the water moves things around or someone picked it up and put it there. I also found this little firepit someone had made in the riverbed. The river has been low for a few months and someone may have made themselves at home with a little fire to warm them. I didn't know you could do that, but people do lots of things they aren't supposed to do.