To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A beautiful weekend

It was a holiday weekend, after all, and what do you do on the holidays? Well, you hang with family and you have a great time. A fabulous time!

Oh, we stayed busy, and we laughed and we loved.
We fished...
And we swam...
And we fished...
And dug in the sand...
And fished...
And played in the water...
And, um, we fished...
We danced with loved ones...and bestowed kisses...
Some of us danced and sang...
And brought the house down with fabulous dance moves. No kidding. Everyone else stopped dancing to watch the amazing moves of this young man. Where did he learn to move like that???
Mommy and Daddy (aka d-i-l and F.O.S) played Cat's Cradle with the fishing line...
Have I mentioned that we fished? This was the whopper of all the fish that were caught. Yes, catch and release, but I think Miss M was up to 17 on just one day.
And we remembered, because it's important, and it's personal....and that's what we we remembered.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Love notes

She pulled it off my shelf and asked me what this was?

I said it was a roll of paper from an adding machine.

She asked me what I used it for?

I said I used it for making notes to myself.

Wouldn't you know she would use it to make a note for me as well before putting it back on the shelf.
I found it yesterday...and it made me smile. Her daddy left love notes for her mommy all over the house before he left. Her mommy loves finding those notes as she goes about her everyday business in the house.

I love this note.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The lamp

It belonged to your grandmother. She used it for a long time in her sewing room. More recently it's been used by me, but after the shade broke a couple years ago it's been in the cellar. I always thought the lamp was ugly and only used it because it was still functional. You know me, I couldn't justify investing in another lamp just because this one was ugly, but nor would I buy another shade. So it sat, in the cellar, collecting dust, until F.Y.S. needed a lamp for his living room.
Hmmm, remember when we refinished the salvaged table? I still have his can of paint and suspected it would make your grandmother's lamp usable again. I took it completely apart and sanded all the pieces, painted the wood the same color as the table, resprayed the antique gold pieces a matte silver, found an acceptable shade and voila! A new to him lamp.
Not bad for something that's been taking up space in the cellar. I think your grandmother would like that he's using her lamp now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I got a package!

For Mother's Day, from F.M.S. It contained treasures.
A Cotton Friend magazine with a new idea I've already implemented (picture coming soon), a beautiful paisley fabric that will become either part of a lap quilt or a pillow case, a perfect shade of red that will become a pillow backing to a needlework piece I picked up while thrifting, and a most heartfelt card.
I love it!
I'm a lucky Mom...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Meet me at the bridge.

Favorite Youngest Son asked if I wanted to go for a bike ride on Mother's Day. I said yes. He said, "I'll meet you at the bridge and we'll ride the White Pine Trail." My goodness!
I can't begin to tell you how much I love all of you and how much I cherish your differences, but one of the things I love most about this 'boy' is his quiet strength. How he could give a hoot what other people say because he's going to live his life the way he wants to live it. He doesn't say that, but he surely lives it. Good for him!
We met at the bridge at 10 a.m. and proceeded North with the plan of stopping for lunch somewhere in Rockford. What a gorgeous morning. Just a slight chill in the air when we started, and it wasn't long before we were grateful for the shade along the path. We were also able to chat quite a bit because, as you know, the trail is wide enough to easily ride side-by-side.

Arrived in Rockford about 11:30, but since the restaurant didn't open until noon, we window shopped. He willingly agreed and said with a grin, "it's your day, we can do whatever you want." No worries, I didn't abuse my privileges.

Sam's Joint in Rockford is in an old hotel. Love that these restaurants choose old buildings and the only changes they make are those necessary to actually run the restaurant and bring it up to code. They're so quaint...just my kind of place. Delicious lunch and pleasant, easy conversation.
We rode up to the Wolverine store after lunch to look for low hikers for me. I tried on lots....and lots...and lots before finally settling on a super comfortable pair just as Kyle came around the corner, looked at the shoes and asked the sales clerk if they were Moab's. They were. Kyle said that's what both he and you wear. Yes, I bought them. Now I have boots just like Favorite Oldest Son for winter and cold weather hiking, and I have some just like F.Y.S. and F.M.S for warmer weather. Guess you know that makes me happy. Actually, I say it makes me feel more connected to all of you so I'm really happy the Moab's were the ones that fit the best.

Homeward bound and I have to say we rode a little slower going home. This is my first long ride of the year and my legs were kind of tired. Still, we made decent time and parted at the bridge, he to go his way home and me to continue on home as well. I took a picture of the odometer once I got home.
Yes, 29.2 miles later I was back home. My face was a touch sun burned and my legs a bit shaky, but it was a beautiful day and I got to spend it with one of my favorite sons. How perfectly wonderful!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Got it!

So, I was out walking in the woods. I know, big surprise, right? And I had my camera with me, another big surprise, when I heard a strange bird call in the big tree in front of me. The bird was quite high up and I spent about 10 minutes trying to get a good shot. I could see that it had an orange belly and I remember thinking, "if this turns out to be a damned Robin..." It wasn't until I looked at the pictures on my computer that I realized I had a male and female Baltimore Oriole. Sweet!
I know, it's blurry, but I really like this picture.
I have no idea what these are, but they're probably 5 feet across and there are many of them dumped in the woods at the park. They make for interesting photo ops, but seriously, they don't belong dumped in the woods.
Hello pretty Goldfinch.
And this, my dear, is called Golden Alexanders and now you know why I posted it.
The boy? Oh, once again he ended up with Grandma wounds. I said, "hey, S, why don't you leap over that log across the path and I'll try to get a picture of you jumping." You can see he went for it, but upon landing on the other side, which happens to be a path with a downhill slope, he slipped on the leaves and bashed his knee on another log. ~grins~ Someday he's going to stop trusting me with all my crazy suggestions. I hope not too soon though because we get some very interesting shots this way.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Other things

I have been doing other things besides hiking even though it doesn't appear so. I finished the back landing in my house; ha, that was an adventure...not! It all started when painting the walls moved to the top of my To Do list. So, before I could paint the walls I needed to wash them and as I washed them I realized the paint was rubbing right off. Hmmm, guess I better the get the scraper out and get some of this weird paint off. While I was doing that I thought, hey, why not paint the trim as well, and if I'm going to paint the trim I might as well refinish the floor and hey again, before you know it, I had the walls scraped down to bare plaster, all the trim had been ripped out and the floor was stripped down to the bare wood. Really !?!. It was supposed to be an hour job (not three years)...two hours at most! Never buy an old house unless you want every project to turn out like that. It's never as simple as just painting a wall...Ever! I don't mind, I really don't, but just once I want to do a tiny project on my house and have it stay tiny. Please?

See, and that's not even what I meant to write about, but that's how things go for me. What I meant to show you was some of the other fun things I've been working on when I'm not ripping trim out of my house or traipsing through the woods. Things that require my left brain, and are much more soothing to me. I think art and crafting and sewing are soothing because I'm starting with a blank slate and building up the creativity as opposed to home improvement projects and having to undo someone else's work before I can do my own. I always feel I have to first bring the house back to a blank slate first, if that makes sense. Anyway, I've been having fun no matter what I'm doing.
I've been messing around with layering for my journals.
And playing with scrapbooks for the Littles.
I've been trying my hand at Altered Art.
Practicing book binding so I can make my own journals. This is so stinkin' easy! I see no reason to ever buy a ready made journal again.
Ahhh, and I've been Soul Journaling. Yes, yes, I know, Soul Journaling was originally posted in 2008, but I'm a little slow to the party. Doesn't matter. I'm doing this with my sister and we're having a grand ole time with it. And it keeps me in my journals and playing with different media. That's a really good thing.

Now, how about that bike ride?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I've been to the woods...

Yes, I've been to the woods again. Imagine that!
Black Capped Chickadee
Pipevine Swallowtail

Yankee Springs Recreation Area again. This time we hiked the Chief Noonday Trail down and around Hall Lake, up to the Devil's Soup Bowl again and back out via the mountain bike trail. Next time I think I'll just bring my compass and map and go crosscountry...just for the fun of it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Back in January I posted about taking art classes this year so I could learn how to work with different media and I've been steady about taking them. First I took a watercolor class, then a drawing class and now I'm back to watercolor. I think I've learned a thing or two since I started but it's been not so much what to do, but what not to do that I'm seems to be working.
Favorite youngest son (FYS) called me Easter morning to ask if I wanted to go hiking with him. Of course I said yes and we ended up at Hemlock Crossing where I had hiked earlier with a girlfriend and Sir S. FYS loved it, took the lead and I followed along with my camera. How lucky for me to have taken pictures because his birthday was a few days ago and wouldn't you know, I needed a card for him; feeling quite brave and sure of myself, I ventured a painting of one of the photos I took. I see mistakes and areas that could use improvement, but I also see that this painting gives a definite air of hiking in the woods. He recognized it instantly and was astonished that I had painted this. I'm rather astonished myself. ~grins~

Want to see the original?
Pretty cool, yes? Love that I'm learning this media and that it's finally startling to click in my head.