Sunday, January 31, 2010

Memories and Regrets

Bottom row – Uncle Nelson, Uncle Ernie (married to Aunt Marg), and Uncle Paul
Middle row – Mom (Jessie Armstrong – my great-grandmother), Herman (my maternal grandfather) with my mom, Polly, sitting on his lap, and Uncle Bob
Top row – Aunt Marg, and Ruth, my grandmother
My mom was about two or three so this picture was taken in about 1930.

My maternal family was a potpourri of personalities and they weren’t always close. I didn’t grow up near either my paternal or maternal aunts, uncles, and cousins. The one story that I remember my grandmother told me from when she was a child was that she convinced one of her brothers that he could jump off the barn roof with an open umbrella and float down…which he tried and promptly broke his leg. I do believe she got into a little trouble for that one LOL Uncle Nel was my favorite uncle.  Although we didn’t see him much, when we did, he was always very jolly and I thought he sounded just like Disney’s Jiminy Cricket when he talked.

Everyone called my great-grandmother “Mom”. I don’t think I even knew her given name until I was grown. She lived to be 95 and was a real fun person to be around – although she didn’t put up with any nonsense. I can remember her chasing my younger brother around the house when she was 87 trying to spank him for something he did. The few times we did go and visit her, all the best china would be on the diningroom table and we’d always have waffles – homemade in her old circular waffle maker. I still have a chair of hers that she got when she was first married. They were called ladies chairs and sat by the bed in the bedroom – where they could sit and put their stockings on, etc. That chair has to be over a hundred years old and is one of my most cherished possessions.

Herman, my maternal grandfather died when I was ten.  During our growing up years, my brother and I were lucky enough to be able to spend a week most summers with them.  After my grandfather's death, my grandmother Ruth, lived near the beach in a tiny duplex and loved the water so of course we spent a lot of time on the beach. She would fix our favorite lunch – homemade icy cold applesauce with cinnamon, and hot dog buns fried in butter then slathered with applebutter. Sometimes the tiny local grocery on the corner would have watermelon ice cream and we’d have that. I’m sure we ate other things – she was a marvelous cook – but those are the things that I remember the most. At night we’d walk on the beach with flashlights to look for sea turtles laying their eggs.

Precious memories but regrettably few of them. For you younger people out there, don’t let the time go by and think “I’ll do it tomorrow, I’ll ask my grandmother what it was like when she was a child, I’ll ask my mother how she felt on her wedding day, I’ll ask my grandfather how he felt on his first day at work.” Tomorrows go by very quickly, one person passes, another passes, and finally there isn’t anyone to ask. People generally love to talk about their lives. When my mom was dying and I was spending as many weekends with her as I could, I found out some family things that I never knew about and would never have guessed. In that short time though, there just wasn’t enough energy for her or time to start from the beginning.

One of my goals this year is to gather up all the little pieces of journal entries and history that I do know about my family and write it in a “Family Journal”.  Your greatest gift to yourself and your family would be to get a journal and begin writing down all of those things you remember about your kin and yourself. At some point it will be a very precious keepsake for someone.

PS If you have a favorite old picture that you would like displayed in a very unique way, contact
Sharyn at her Etsy shop.  She took my scanned picture and made this most exquisite soldered luminary. And if you’re wondering why the number 13 on the house? That’s a story for another time.

Untie a ribbon in your life – you might find an adventure!

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart

One World One Heart begins today. Just click on the OWOH Magic Carpet button at the left to find out all about it!  Last year when I ran across it on the internet, I was amazed at the number of creative and like-minded people that I read about. Blog after blog where excitement and bright spirits were shining. I can’t wait to get out there and see who is participating this year – read new blogs and possibly meet new friends.

For me, creating is to my soul what food and water is to my body. I MUST think it, touch it, do it, and revel in the happiness it brings to me. When I’m unable to create – the world seems a little dimmer. And my spirit certainly is. As a friend says to me sometimes – “your eyes just sparkle when you talk about your work.” You may see some of my creations if you click on Dolls and Woolies to the left of this post. Just a tiny bit of MY magic carpet ride through the world of creativity.

Now for the really exciting part! Leave a comment on this blog post between now and February 15th 5:00PM EST. Later that evening I will be randomly drawing five of those comments and those five people will win one of the five creations shown below. Only one comment per person will be counted. Please be sure when you leave your comment that there is a way I can get in touch with you. If you aren’t linked as a fellow blogger, please leave me your email address.

All items are handmade. There is a primitive winter quilted wall-hanging (24” X 21”); a felted wool neck purse (great for carrying your sunglasses or cell phone and credit cards while shopping – (7” X 5”); an appliqu├ęd wool and silk pillow (14” X 14”); a hooked and beaded flower pin (approx. 4” X 3”); and a hooked flower sampler mat (12” X 7”) – ready to hang.

Good luck and let the magic carpet ride begin!

Untie a ribbon in your life – you might find an adventure!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Grammy Time Again And I Don't Mean Singing!

Precious one, so small, so sweet

Dancing in on angel feet

Straight from Heaven’s brightest star

What a miracle you are!

Yea! I’m a grammy again.
Kalleigh Shannon was born this afternoon at 2:15pm to my stepdaughter in Phoenix, AZ weighing in at 6 pounds 12 ounces. Everyone is doing well and I’m sure we’ll get pictures soon. 

Untie a ribbon in your life – you might find an adventure!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lady Mavis of Tibshelf

Lady Mavis comes from a long line of fine chocolate Labs from the county of Nottingham, in the United Kingdom. She was married for a brief time to Sir Jacques de la Fontaine, a scoundrel of a Lab from France. Unfortunately for Lady Mavis, when the ten pups came along, Sir Jacques ran off with a French poodle named Tootsie la Couer.

For a time Lady Mavis was in a panic – how was she to raise all of those puppies on her own? She soon discovered that she had a talent for making delicious hand-molded truffles using the finest chocolate. Though she could not eat her own creations, (she somewhat wickedly used cats and squirrels and an occasional bird or two for taste testers), the chocolates became a hit in the local markets. Lady Mavis was set for life.

Her pups eventually all made their own way in the world.  Two still work with her, creating chocolates, one became a famous gourmet dog food chef, three became plumbers – they love water, another is a carpenter who helps beavers build their dams – he is really into chewing wood, one is a sculptor and one a potter, and unfortunately one is just like his father – he loves them and leaves them.

Untie a ribbon in your life – you might find an adventure!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eat Your Greens

Here is a new dish I created tonight which turned out really great!  It's enough for four people if you only have a spoonful, but honey and I ate every bite of it by ourselves!  LOL 

1 bunch Lacinato kale
3 baby bok choys
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

Rough chop onion, bok choys, and Lacinato kale (also called dinosaur kale). Just chop kale and baby bok choy down to the bottom of the leaves. Heat olive oil in pan, add vegetables and stir-fry until crisp tender. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup and stir in. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 5 more minutes.

Here is a picture of Lacinato kale - I think it stir-fries better than the other types and isn't bitter at all.


Untie a ribbon in your life – you might find an adventure!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tonia Mitchell Gallery & Bead Salon

A friend and fellow artist, Tonia Mitchell, called me today with exciting news. Tonia is a very talented fiber artist and doll-maker. A few years ago she had a wonderful display of her dolls at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on the international concourse for over a year. HGTV also sponsored a segment on her doll making.

Tonia has just opened a shop – Tonia Mitchell Gallery & Bead Salon in the new Olde Towne Morrow entertainment district in Morrow, Georgia. This area is brand new but has moved six old homes throughout Georgia to the district and they are being re-established as restaurants, ice cream parlors, galleries, shops, etc. They will eventually have a replica of Gone with the Wind’s Tara Plantation, which will house a bed-and-breakfast inn. 

Tonia's shop is in the Napier House, which was built in 1842 for Leroy Napier and was designed by Elias Carter. The 4,000 square foot house, which was Napier’s country home, was originally on 125 acres before it was moved in 1924 to Macon, Georgia. The house originally had twenty-six rooms before it was altered in order to house four apartments. The house was restored in 1948 by Buford Birdsey and in 1970 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Buford Birdsey – don’t you just love that name and you KNOW it has to be Southern!

Olde Towne Morrow is just off I75 South at the Southlake exit. Once you exit you'll turn right and turn into the Southlake Mall entrance.  Partway down towards the mall is a bridge to the right which houses Olde Towne. The gallery address is 1053 Southlake Circle, Bldg. 14, Suite 2, and has a sign saying Napier House out front. Tonia’s shop number is 678-876-7238 and she’s open from 11:00am until 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday.

Tonia will have her own and other artists’ art for sale as well as a large selection of beads. And since Tonia is the bead queen – I can only imagine how many she has! She will also be sponsoring various art classes as the shop gets going.

I can’t wait to go and see it later this week. She has certainly untied one of those ribbons in her life. Way to go Tonia!

Untie a ribbon in your life – you might find an adventure!