Sunday, March 26, 2017

My new Title - Gramma

Yes it's true.  We have recently been informed that we will now be changing our title....or adding another new one.  Last year we got to add IN-LAW to our list of accomplishments/jobs.  Now, In September, we will be grandparents for the first time. Thanks Alex and Alyssa for this opportunity to spoil.  It's got to be less pressure than the whole parenting thing.  I'm looking forward to it... and also I'm looking for fairly simple baby knits.  I am not a good knitter.  But I'd like to be able to knit a couple of special things that I can make a baby wear.  You know, cuz even if it's wonky, they can't fight their way out of it.

Alex was my dino-lover.  Does every family have a kid who is more into the whole dinosaur scene?  My mom got an education reading dinosaur books to Alex, and he gently helped her out when she couldn't pronounce their names.  Might be time to get the books out and have her start practicing.  We are excited for this next phase of life.  Knitting pattern suggestions, greatly welcomed.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Because I want you to think about it....

Tonight I posted this on my Facebook page....and then thought since it's been a while since I took the time to post on my blog, perhaps this was the time and place to share...

Today, my heart was I sat beside the older gentleman, who was new to me this tax season. He was signing the papers for a joint return, but his wife was not with him. Beside her name was printed "DECEASED" on the papers. He had some questions and I had some answers. We ended satisfied that everything was understood. As he gathered his papers together and I slipped on the rubber band, he said "Now I'm headed to the cemetery." I replied, "Going to talk to your wife." Not a question, but a statement. He nodded, but I could see the tears pooling in his eyes. I was tired and feeling a bit more sensitive today, and mine started watering, too. We stood together and I reached around this near-stranger, and gave him a hug. I said, "It's hard to do this together stuff alone." He just nodded again. Fumbling in his pockets to find his hat, I looked at him and thought of all the people who I know and love, and so many more that I don't, who sit across the table from an empty place, who go for hours, or even days without talking to anyone, who don't know how the things will get done, that someone they loved used to do, who never had to cook for one before, or those who never really cooked. I cried some more after he left, a time or 3 during the day, and then during "be" at church tonight...
If you should happen to see one of those people in the next few days, and you're unsure if you are brave enough on your own, just reach around and give them a hug from me. It might have been quite a while since they had a good squeeze. And you can tell them,"Karen sent this."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I Am ...a MOM

I'm a MOM...are you a MOM?  Maybe you are and maybe you are not.  I have had 2 kids get married, one more move out on his own, and the last one head 1049 miles away to college.  On some days, I think my mom days are pretty much over, as I know them.  It is a new role I am playing, as a mother-in-law and remote mommy.  I've not totally been kicked to the curb.  They know I'm just a phone call away.  And I have skills.  Mom skills.  Things that they didn't outgrow, and never will.  Some are side by side skills.  The painting partner.  The sewing machine lady.  The fix it up chappy.  The power tool handy girl.  The cooker and baker.  Not that I'm great at any of these things, but I dabble enough to have some skills.

Well, today, I looked at something on the counter.  There were 3 choices.  As is the case in many mom situations, I did NOT think, which do I want?  I instead thought, which one will others NOT want?  Crazy, right?  Do you ever do that?  Why do we do that?  Perhaps that is why I have trouble choosing my food at restaurants, or choosing the restaurant to eat at... choosing which movie to see, or whether to bake cookies or brownies...  Am I really thinking about what I want?  What brings me joy?  Yes, I read the book.  Or am I so used to taking care of others, that I can't kick the martyr role?

 I admit, that when my hubby goes away to golf at the end of Tax Season, I have sometimes traveled with him to meet up with my sister, and sometimes stayed home to hold down the fort.  I have decided this year, with 2 dogs, that I will not travel with him.  Partly because of the dogs.  But partly because I enjoy working on projects at 2am...if I want to, not if I have to.  And now, I've got this new friend, Jill at TaDa Quilting in Erie PA.  And I intend to spend some quality time with her that week.  And maybe painting something, or picking up some stuff at Lowe's and building something or 3, and then again, eating weird things at weird times of day and not having to explain.  I don't say these things because I have a mean husband who makes a lot of demands (when it's not tax season!), but just because for the point of conversation, there are questions that would be asked and out of politeness, I should answer.  There are meals that are normally shared, with decisions made based on the hankering of two, that now can be cake and ice cream...just because.  Or peas.  Just peas.  But now, I am rambling, and as is the case with mom's, we too, must go to sleep.  Or to our sewing machines for a little while to unwind..

Later, gator!!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Yarn Along...a little late...

"~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading and I love sharing my projects and current reads here. I would love for you to join me every Wednesday to share a single photo of what you are knitting (or crocheting) and reading too! Share your photo on your blog, on Instagram (#yarnalong), or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us!~"  Ginny at Small Things

I've made it.  I've completed the wedding the same year as the weddings... and they have been delivered...and life is good... and I'll just wait to see if they make their beds and send me a picture... I took a couple before they left, so I'm good... the daughter has returned to school, the 2 older boys and the misc spouses have returned to work, and the last one will get on a plane next Monday to fly back to Florida for the spring college semester.  Life is slowly adjusting...and tax season is coming fast and furious...and I THINK I'm ready...well, it's coming so I have to be ready.

So, in light of having a portable, in the car, project, I've tried a little preemie cap.  I know someone whose baby was born too early.  She is doing well, but she'll be in the hospital for a while.  Last weekend, she got to the 3 pound mark.  But along with that, I listened to a missionary speaker talk of infant mortality in the country she was living in, including her baby.  How the families have trouble finding clothes that little hats keep their little heads with all the tubes and wires, normal little clothes just don't I googled, and searched pinterest, and I've found a couple of projects.  This is my first little cap... The top needs a little help.  When I switched from my tiny circular needle, to double pointed needles, I didn't have the same size, so I winged it.  Next time I'll wing it a little differently. But hey!  If your tiny little head is cold, even my pointy hat will work!

And I've been trying to read good books.  Here's one I finished and liked...

right here.  I watch their show, and although I'm not in Texas, they might just be some good neighbors.  They don't argue and fight on the show, and I appreciate that.  I'll probably NOT do a huge reno to my house, there are things there that I can use.  And God is in there.  And they have come under fire recently, someone trying to lambaste them because of their church and preacher and what they believe, and my local Christian radio station had a great link today to Chip's response.  Amen to that.  Please, people, try to get along.  Give things and people a chance - you just might be surprised.
Let's none of us be HATERS...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Quilting before Christmas?? CRAZY!

I have been working on a couple of quilts for a long time....  Let me clarify that.  I started 2 quilts quite a while ago.  But life got busy and my hands got stiff and swelly and it was just difficult to proceed at a very fast rate. 
The first quilt I started before the May wedding, but soon figured out that I wasn't progressing at a rate to finish for the wedding and hey, when it's hot outside, who worries about a winter quilt?  So it was bagged, labeled and put into a basket.  It came out in fits and spurts to be worked on from time to time.  Most recently, I decided if I could work on one row of instruction, or one little part a couple of times a week, the end would come.  And my hands started to co-operate a bit more, so as I sit here typing, the quilt top is finished.  Until I was at least halfway through, I vowed never to try this again.  Now it is done and I love it!  Isn't that funny... I have actually made several quilts with colors or pattern chosen by the recipient and thought, wow, I'm not really lovin' this.  And then when it's done, it's almost hard to part with.  I've hopes that people that receive my quilts, are at least a bit in love with them.  Early in my knitting adventure, my husband lovingly said "Don't knit anything for me" and I really haven't.  He doesn't get the who sentimental bond with homemade things that I do.  A handknit, a handsewn (especially quilt), a piece of pottery that was created by my hand... pretty much, I put some of my heart and soul into them.  We have a ministry that our church is involved in that makes prayer quilts and prayer shawls.  Quilts are made by individuals or collectively by the group a few times a year and layered and string ties are sewn through out the top, and the top is stored in a special cupboard.  When there is a need, a request is made and the quilt comes out and it's laid on a table at church, and the people coming in and going out are asked to tie a knot and say a prayer for the person in need.  Sickness, death, issues, no judgement is made.  Quilts have come back when return hospital visits are needed, to have more knots and more prayers.  It really is a great ministry, as is the prayer shawls that are given out.
I like to think that my quilts are a bit of prayer quilts all their own.  I think quite a bit about the people I make them for.  And I pretty much always know who I am making a quilt for.
And so, as I work on this quilt for my son and new daughter-in-law, I've thought a lot about them.  About the years that they have already been together...about the trips and the adventures that they have had traveling.  About the life ahead of them, at this young age.  Of the joys and hardships to come, and the love that will get them through that.  And I sew, and I pray.  And I'm happy to gift it.
But I'm not sure I should post a picture here yet.  It IS a gift, although neither reads this...really, no one reads this...and that's partly because I have slacked on posting... but yesterday I treated myself to a long arm quilting class, and tomorrow I will take this quilt, and the cool pack that I pieced, and load it onto the long arm, and quilt the daylights out of it...yeah, it's going to be my guinea pig quilt... and then I'll put a binding on it and maybe it will even make it under the tree.  So I should probably wait for a picture of the totally completed end product.. probably the July wedding kids quilt won't be done enough to be there....but the wooden gift for #3 will be there, too.  I like to make my gifts and I like them to be practical.  Hoping the feeling is mutual.
Counting down...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Baby, It's finally COLD outside

This is my view from the kitchen window.  The birds are hungry and digging through a deep dump of snow to get to the seed in this feeder.  They totally cleaned out a tube or two.  I've had them out only since the weekend.  But, I've had junkos, nuthatches, bluejays, cardinals (male and female), chickadee-dee-dees, tufted titmouse...they are cold and hungry and I'm the best stop right now.  I enjoy watching them through the window.  Makes washing up some dishes almost a pleasant job.

We had that good weather awhile back, and got lights up.  We are blue and white out front.  This is a little of what it looks like at night.  I like the blue and white... I got a blue LED bulb for my front light, too.

And then we got some blue rope lights and lined the path.  It's the new sidewalk we put in last spring and it is curvey, so we thought we should offer some guidance on where it is, and where it isn't!  Even with snow, the glow will guide you.  It's rather a cool look, don't you think?

I apologize for the lack of posts and chat lately, but right now, I'm getting ready to go to Buffalo Airport to pick up #4, coming home on break from Florida.  He might have a chilly re-entry.  He'll be skiing by the weekend.  Almost 4 weeks of cold and then he can go back to his shorts-weather. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

New Tower

After MANY months of fighting with my desktop computer, we finally just bit the bullet and ordered a new tower.  It sat in the box all weekend.  Then tonight, when I finished with a couple of today's jobs that were hanging on, I finished some filing, finished some culling of year 8 in the files - I keep 7 years of your tax returns, anything older than that, you keep yourself.  There was the Excel file that got cleaned out, not once, but TWICE, and I had to go back to February to re-enter them.  I was finishing some of this up and feeling tired, but good.  I have the mysterious quilt pieces ready for inspection for the recipient, and not quite ambitious to start the next one...maybe tomorrow night.  So I decided to take the tape off the box and set the computer tower on my desk.  I attempted to re-start the old tower one more time, to no success, then I moved it to the floor and brought out the new one...
It was half the size of the old one-runs so quiet, I thought it had shut itself off.  I now know that my email contacts are all lost-again.  If I can get the few documents and the 15,000 pictures transferred to a temporary place to sort through them.
So, for an hour or 2 of puttering, I'm up and running...well, I still have to figure out where the email is...not obvious.  But I'm smiling.  Ready for jammies.  Reading in bed sounds like a good place to be right now. 
Hope your day was pretty good and that you're tomorrow is even better.  Yesterday, I got the second shower and the end of the hot water.  Today, my repair man didn't get here, so showers were "invigorating".  He promised to be here by 8am tomorrow.  I have to be somewhere at 9, but I'm coming right home, after the freezing shower earlier, to the hot shower, where I will use every drop of hot water.  Better this weekend then Wednesday or Thursday.

Oh, so I went to my special doctor last week for a checkup and she told me my Vitamin D # was low.  Oh, I said, because I don't drink enough milk- NO, she said you need more sunshine. the information I've been directed to, says I'm supposed to be avoiding sunshine.  NOPE, now I've just been depriving myself of sun for NO REASON!  And now I'm headed into winter and gray.  So I got as much sun as possible last week hanging up the lights...I hear my jammies calling...

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Where does the time GO?!?!?

this is what I was up to today.  it was a beautiful day in western New York state.  70 degrees or so.  Sunny skies.  Not much wind.  Good day to have the hubby on a ladder...hanging up the new lights we bought in case all the ones the youngest put away without checking last year, didn't work.  As you may be able to see from the floor display, there were chunks in all but 2 of these awesome twincicle lights that I bought on sale after Christmas a couple of years ago.  They are blue and white in one dripping strand.  I have a love/hate relationship with icicle lights.  I really like the way they look, but with our winter weather, I've found that they often blow up onto the roof and get snowed up there and then we start having technical difficulties.  After shaking and wiggling these strings of lights, and knowing there was no way I was going one by one to see what worked, besides the facts that I couldn't get the darn bulbs in and out, I made a creative decision.  I got the wire strippers and the electrical tape.  I noted where the dead spots were, I unplugged the string, cut the bad part out, stripped the wire, wrapped them together and taped them up good and now, what is hanging of these lights, is only the working parts.  I was so proud of myself.  I was throwing all those strings into the trash, but saved all but 2.  and had enough to get across the front of my house, thank you man on the ladder.  Now, this weekend, winter is supposed to come and I say, bring it on!  I have firewood and lights and books and food.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Church Photographer

I've taken on a new purpose over the past several months.  In an attempt to spur some curiousity, I've been taking a camera to church, snapping pictures before, during, and after the service, and then posting them on facebook, tagging anyone I can. 
It is an attempt to bring our church service, and our church family, outside our walls.  I want you to see that God's Not Dead,  that there is a family connection in a church, that believing can be hard, but the "team" works together, that, like anything, you cannot control the words and actions of all the member at all times.  We are not perfect, none of us.  As Christians, we should be even MORE aware of the fact that we all sin, no matter how we try.  Trying, forgiving, reaching out, loving each other...those are all things that make a difference.
I find the world a hard place to be some days - where are the manners I was raised to use?  Is it the times, or am I just old enough to see things I have been blind to in my younger years?  Why is it so difficult to be nice to someone? Since when was it All About ME?  anyway...

So, I've taken to the camera.  To show my appreciation for the family that I have a get together with every week.  Those folks that, I know at least a few, have my back.  Those people, during the welcoming/greeting time in the service, don't look for a handshake, but an honest to goodness hug.  It's fun to have far-away friends and relatives comment when they see old friends posted one week or another.  Some are former members who have moved away.  A few weeks ago, we had a former pastor and his wife visiting.  I couldn't find his name initially on FB, but managed to find it.  It was the weekend that we did our parking lot party.  Where we invited the neighborhood.  Some of which, were in the neighborhood in the 70's, when this couple lived in the parsonage.  It was fun to watch these folks re-connecting with neighbors.  Isn't life funny, when we make the effort, when we leave our comfort zone, just a little, when we call or drop a note to let someone know we care...when we give a hug instead of a wave, and you can feel the power, in you, going into someone else, to fill a spot that needed it so.  Maybe you pass some lifesavers over the pew back, to the folks in front of you.  Maybe you visit, when you should really be leaving, because it means something to those around you, to know that you are listening.  Taking time for kindness and if

Friday, October 21, 2016

Autumn Is Fully On

This has been my view for the last little while.  Actually, it's the view I have ever single day, with seasonal adjustments.  There's a good sized corn field across the road from my house.  Behind that is a hay field and then the woods.  Further over is the pasture and the farm.  In the winter, it is a smooth stretch of snow.  If I was a snowshoer, or a cross country skier, this would be the perfect place to start... there are often deer in the field...Canadian geese like to stop in ...turkeys and fox have been seen running around this stretch.  It's country's my kind of living.

Springtime bring the plow and disc and the corn going in.  It tends to be one of the later fields to be planted.  And then you wait..little rows of green sprouts emerge from the furrows and the sun warms them as the stretch their leaves up and up.  It's a late field, but I've yet to not have it knee-high by the 4th of July.  There was a bit of time this summer, when it was so blasted hot, that I think I could hear the field gasping for a drink.  It was a slow grow time.  But then we turned the corner, and it grew and it grew and the hayfield was just a memory and things in the back were all hidden from view.  It's the time when you drive a little edgier, waiting for deer to jump into your car for a ride... I had one this year, but a different field.  But following a banner hay crop year, we had a wonderful corn harvest around here and the field is just corn stubble...and animals having an early evening snack...and my view goes all the way to the woods, and the pasture and the cows and the farm again.
Forecast for the weekend is cold and wet.  We've had a blessing of several warm and sunny days recently.  I guess it's a good time to practice cold and icky.  I'm wishing my calendar was totally clean this weekend, because staying in, wearing flannel, sewing and reading or knitting, eating comfort food, fire in the fireplace- those all sound pretty good to me right now.  But I've got stuff, so I'll take what I get, a day at a time - a blessing at a time and be grateful for each one...have a beautiful weekend.

and this


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Just Do It

Nothing excites my bones more than driving 9 hours in my car/truck.  Seriously.  It is something I really creak about for a couple of days after.  I'm not as young and bouncy as I used to be.  But sometimes you need to JUST. DO. IT..
That's right.  Jump in.  Especially when it comes to people.  I'm a pretty cheap traveler.  The thought of plunking down lots of money for a hotel room, and moving that chunk of change from the shopping side of the wallet to the necessary side is not always a joy.  But the really fun part of this is stuff like what I did this week.  You just move in with the relatives.  Sometimes it's friends.  You really have to know them well enough to judge if this is going to stretch your friendship.  Most relatives just have to keep you.  And if you are comfortable, then go for it.  I have found that my sister has enough room for us to be together for a certain number of days, I think, before it starts shrinking.  Add another person or two, and the time is shortened.  I figured if I left on Tuesday, with my mom, and drove to VA, arriving before dinnertime, and then spent 2 whole days, ate breakfast Friday a.m., and headed back, we should be good.  And I think we were, for the most part.

I've been here several times now, but the first time down for my mom, to the mountains.  We had a good visit.  Ate out a bit.  Saved leftovers to eat another day.  Sat around visiting and chilling and it was good.  So maybe it's past time you went to visit someone.  Or invited someone to visit you.  A night or two on the sofa, or inflatable mattress is good for you!
Make a memory or 2.  If there are kids involved, all the better.  Spend a weekend with relatives and play cards and laugh and remember things from when you were young and explain the good old days to the kids.  Sometimes this is where confessions of mischief 30 years ago surface.  You'll be glad you went.  Next time we just might drag the other sister along.  And we might do Raleigh instead of Virginia...who knows... Sometimes you just have to GO.FOR.IT.
Have a great week!


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

These are my People - this is where I come from....

I sometimes hesitate to post pictures of this group.  It is a select and carefully cultivated group of friends.  Sometimes this kind of thing comes across as snotty, snooty, exclusive, unwelcoming, cliqueish, rude, uppity, and oh, so many terms.  It is an established event that has occurred 27 times so far.  It happens every fall and spring.  Originally, invites were mailed or emailed to dozens of people.  Many refusals were given and people just weren't interested in spending weekend scrapbooking or crafting with a bunch of other women.  But it's more than the craft.  The craft is a big part of what gets you there.  This is a group of women who shares time and ideas together.  We've had death and divorce affect us.  We've had job changes and life changes.  We have shared so much laughter and some many tears.  And this is the group that is the core.  It starts with the starter list, and when the spaces are all filled, the inviting is done.  So I guess the words above could describe us.  But we are also a group of women who understand the meaning and the need for community.  The need for a sisterhood.  For compliments, criticism and chocolate.  Our lives are not all peachy.  Sometimes they are just plain rotten.  But this is one of the things that keeps us peddling along.  The encouragement and accountability of this group that tells you that your seams are crooked, your word is spelled wrong, and your wine glass needs refilled.  Some of these women hardly see each other except for these 2 times a year, but we fall right into step.
Have you got a friend group like this?  If not, I suggest you start one.  Our shirts this time, with the big fall tree dropping leaves, says "Friendship is not a big thing...It's a million little things."  That's sort of the way we work this.
Another thought...if your husband doesn't have a group like this, start one.  Mine was originally a bowling team that was tired of bowling and would rather throw horse shoes and cornhole.  And they do that as long as the weather permits.  A couple of the guys have big enough farm buildings for indoor cornhole in the winter...that's the season of cards.  500 is the game of choice.  No money changes hands.  Beverage and snacks are contributed here and there.  Monday nights are sacred for this group of friends.  Politics and religion discussions, along with wife bashing, are off limits.  They come when they can, they leave when they need to.  They enjoy each others company.  If they are outside, there is often a fire to sit around.  The wives know where they are and that they are safe and happy.  It's a therapy all it's own.  If you don't have one, start one.  You'll be glad you did...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Packing it up

This is the weekend of the fall, when I pack 3xs as many projects as I could possible do if I did NO TALKING at all, into my truck, along with the food and snacks and fixings for a group of about a dozen, and drive a couple of miles to our local HI Exp and set up shop. 
This is a girls' weekend.  Some come, some go.  But we craft, and talk and visit, and sew and scrapbook and eat and snack and run out for supplies so we can keep going for the weekend.  For some, the talking is the biggest part.  We laugh and cry and puzzle over missing things.  We share stories and hankies and chocolate.  We do this twice a year.  Once in the fall and once in the spring.  We make messes we don't have to pick up all weekend.  We don't feed others or find missing shoes.  We sometimes have to go cheer kids on.  But there's something to this.  This will be our 27th occasion of this type.  Many years of friendships.  We don't NEED help, but sometimes we ask anyway- what do you think of this?  should I use this pink or this pink?  can I just crop him out?  won't I EVER finish this project?!  And after a few, we started getting shirts printed.  Nothing fancy.  Just something to remind us...from one time to the next...that if we can just hold on a little longer, we can get together again.  There isn't husband bashing, political feuds, or picking.  There are a few practical jokes, several bottles of wine, a couple of growlers of homebrew, and lots of chocolate.  There are the early to beds, and the early to risers, and these are not all the same group.  There are the no-sleepers, and the nappers in peace...but we have come to understand that this is the weekend to take care of yourself, as best you just BREATHE.
All that said, I have a bunch of packing to do...Yoga pants and flannel jammies and slippers....a few more projects, just in case...and some crockpots, as that's how we cook our lunch and supper on Saturday... The group is small, but the room is full...Laughter and Late Nights and Friends' Love.....just what is needed in this crazy, crazy world....

Our Very first shirts...Miss you, Elaine...we mostly look this same, right Sue Henry??!!

Monday, September 26, 2016

I'm back !1

Yes, I wasn't just skipping posting these last couple of days, I was skipping town.  After a gold tournament on Friday for Scott and some last minute dress alterations on a bridesmaids dress for my daughter, we headed out with the dogs and camper on Saturday to Meadville KOA.
We haven't been there this summer or last summer, so it was an easy choice- easy ride.  Kallie the dog used to be a carsick dog, and although we don't feed her before we ride, or in the car, she seems to be adjusting to it.  We are trying to stretch out the rides and see how it goes.  So far, we are OK. 
We have not figured out the cable TV hookup.  Hub says we had it once or twice, but we don't really watch it much, and I never mess with it.  We do watch movies, and that's what we did the last two nights when we came in.  Saturday night we had I think our first campground campfire this summer.  There was one going a kingdom bound away from us, but so much of the summer was hot and I think that contributed to not sitting around a fire.  There were nights of playing cards in front of a fan outside.  And throwing cornhole with Christmas lights lighting the way from one board to another.

I'm on the cell with AT&T trying to finalize the changing of my home land line to a cell that i had from before.  I have conflicting answers on when this switch is complete.  OK...according to Antonio, who is the 3rd person I talked to today, I will be live on Wednesday morning, right after midnight.  Now to get back to TWC,  I'm not very good at this stuff.  Please press 2 now... press 1...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thirsty Thursday

I am...but I think I'll wait.  I was thinking about a cherry coke, but it's later than I want to try that since I haven't been drinking much caffeine.  Who KNOWS what might happen?  Lots of good stuff happened today.  A whole bunch of puttering and 2 boxes of books left my house to bless someone else.  And my house is sparkling and so far my dog didn't eat anything.  (she's been on a roll.  I find lots of little pieces on the LR floor, and then I have to guess what it used to be...not fun)... and I'm still purging file cabinet in the office, but I've cleared out what I purged before, so there's room again.  I've had my port error, so my SIM card did NOT come fed ex, so I did NOT get to turn my house phone number into a cell phone number yet...I have to admit, I'm still a little nervous about this.  You know, I'm getting old and this is CHANGE...and well, we've always done it the other way... heeheehee... if you are in any group, that is the phrase that raises many a hackle.  I made a trip to Joann fabrics tonight to prepare me for tomorrow afternoons Bridesmaid dress adjustment, then halfway there, remembered that I'm headed to the chiropractor tomorrow morning and could have done it then... oh, well.  Brewing up some tea - green for drinking and black for kombucha.  Gonna try to get back into the groove of the kombucha drinking.  Had some chicken wing pizza from my favorite CWP place, Neckers Company..talked to some people on the phone... got cut off on both conversations.  Guess it was a sign.  Going to jammie up.  It's FALL and I'm OK with that.  The weather is beautiful and I'm camping this weekend and I'm even hoping for some rain on saturday or sunday, so I can just curl up with a book.  But no one else is going, so I can do that anyway.  And I tried to buy a flyswatter today at Neckers Company because I was INVADED by flies on my last camping weekend and they gave me one that said NECKERS COMPANY!  I was so happy.  Some days it doesn't take much.  Hope your day was peachy keen, SUE HENRY and I can't wait to spend next weekend talking your ears off and eating too many snacks together.
Here's a quilt I made this summer for a benefit...Someone was happy to win it...See you tomorrow

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday, Wednesday

Do you ever wonder whose job it was to spell Wednesday?  hmmm  Let's google it -
"The name is a calque of the Latin dies Mercurii "day of Mercury", reflecting the fact that the Germanic god Woden (Wodanaz or Odin) during the Roman era was interpreted as "Germanic Mercury". The Latin name dates to the late 2nd or early 3rd century."
Soooo... today I went to the dentist for cleaning and conversation.  You know, they put their hands in your mouth and ask questions... my hygienist is very nice, so I don't even mind...and she entertains me.  We were talking about families and holidays and trips.  And how they switched from Christmas gift giving to family trips...and before you know it my teeth are sparkly and clean.  They also were quizzing me about the girl who is in dental school and what are her plans and send her over to visit and talk if she's interested at all in the area.  Yeah, I'll relay that.
Right now I am burning...shhhh...I am doing my shredding with a hot dog fire.  It's a good way to fix supper and save your shredder.  Too many clips and staples.  So it's a bit like stirring a brew for a while, but there's a couple of logs in there, so it's making coals even as I type.
Today, I switched my home phone, my land line to a cell.  I just kept the same number and moved it to my already existing AT&T plan.  Hoping this works out OK.  We forward that phone number to where ever we are for the day and have to remember to unforward it.  Now, hopefully, we will remember the actual phone and just carry it along.  If you are my friend or family, I'll give you an optional number.  If not, call and someone will answer the phone...or leave us a message, pretty much the same as before.
The next step is to get my whole TWC thing straightened out.  Maybe tomorrow...or the next techie thing at a time.  Until tomorrow, this is not completely complete, so I think waiting until then is a good idea.  I was never excited about relying on a cell phone instead of a fixed phone.  Perhaps that comes with having a daughter who is usually on the end of the battery life.  But, we'll give it a try.  One step at a time
Now I'm off to a church meeting.  It's all about hospitality and I'm on the team.  We are planning our fall Parking Lot event and I'm pretty pumped.  Better get a move on.  I'm always late for everything.  I can always find just one more thing to do before I go and then....
See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

It is Tuesday

I said I was going to make an effort to post more posts...
Yesterday's post already got 3 messages to me.  Maybe my audience is coming back!  I'd better write something else.
A BIG excuse for not and computer switching.  I was having problems with my downstairs desktop.  It doesn't get a good signal.  It is slow.  It sometimes won't even start up.  I used to spend a half hour or so down there every morning.  Lately, I've needed to get up and out.... like for the last year or more.  I'm not sleeping as well, so I'm not real perky getting up.  Thus, leaving the rushing around morning.  Isn't funny how so many things all interlock to mess up a good thing?  And I got a new camera, that doesn't use the Kodak easyshare docking station.  And the Kodak downloading was being a problem and isn't it funny how I used to be fine just writing or maybe inserting a picture, and now I've come to feel like I need several beautiful photos on every post...even sometimes to the point of not writing much at all, just relying on the pictures to fill you in on the details.

So let's see...I've spent a billion minutes today on the phone to TimeWarnerCable.  All of our children have flown the coop...the nest is empty, for the most part.  So the need for space for video game tournaments, and chick flick marathons, and lumpy slumber parties of all kinds has kind of dwindled.  Do you KNOW how hard it is to reduce your services??  I have a rash from all the stressing over the chat on my laptop about knocking down what we have in this house.  The second HD set box for the room that rarely sees much action these days, was the easiest thing to get the OK to let go.  I said the TV was leaving, so the BOX should, too.  The second easy thing became confusing at the end.  At the time that we out in internet, you were required to lease the modem from them.  Even later, you were required to use their modem and pay the lease.  Now that is NOT the case and instead of leasing a modem for $10 a month, you can buy one for $70-80 that is superior.  But in the end, it appeared that the cost of the lease would be included in my I supposed that means I can't get $10 off the bill.  And if they are going to charge me for it anyway, maybe the $80 should just stay in pocket.  And then in the course of reducing the service, they are offering me the same channels I have on my regular lineup, FREE DVR ( don't have that), FASTER INTERNET, A PHONE LINE WITH UNLIMITED CALLING & FREE VOICEMAIL, EXTRA MOVIE CHANNELS, and FREE INSTALLATION.  For less money than I am paying for having less right now.  Hmmm... no brainer, right?  Maybe not.
 Money was not the only motivator in this move.  We have phone service from our local phone company remember them....we still have a telephone hanging on the wall in the kitchen...collector's item.  We have 2 phone lines into our place.  We have cell phones.  We have cable and internet, the internet being very much a necessity with our jobs. Plus we have phone and internet in our office in Erie.  It seemed as though some of this was doubling up and we were looking to simplify.  Why do we need 200+ tv channels when we don't really watch that much and we have DVD's and we can pay per view a movie and Netflix is a possibility, too.  Why do we have extra stuff on our bill, that has been there for years, and we just never paid attention?  Why can't I drop to 70+ channels, the same internet, no extra channels, 1 less HD setbox, return the modem and have a smaller bill??  Why do they quote me more than what I want?  Should I be sucked into the deal?  Offering me more than I want?  To save money?  I told them I'd call them back.... too much to think about in one day...
Good Night Sue Henry!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sue Henry is my friend

I saw my friend, Sue Henry on Saturday at a woman's event at my church.  I make a point to get together with her at least twice a year at our Scrap & Sew weekends.  She is a hoot.  She makes me laugh.  And then she said "I used to read your blog when you had it."  Wait...Don't I still have it?  When's the last time I posted a post on it?  Why don't I post posts on it very much??  I told her I would post a picture of her on here...I'd better find a good one.  This wil work.  She's on the left in the middle row...right behind me.  I do my best to get her into trouble whenever we get together. I'm getting ready for another Scrap and Sew...  less than 2 weeks away. There will be 11 of us for the weekend. I have plenty of stuff I could work on.  I usually take twice as much stuff as I could ever possible do...and Sue will do more than me... so had focus!!

I signed up for another round of pottery with the experienced group from last fall.  More Mugs for the world!  I made 7 last week and this week I get to remember how to make their handles. I'm not very good, but I'm happy that I'm able.

I was diagnosed with Lupus 3 years ago, in the midst of a flare and it's still a mystery to me.  I read and I google, and I read and it's still a mystery.  But I have had inflammation in my hands since last January and unable to wear rings.  I went to my dr and rode it out through the craziness of our spring/summer.  Then my friend Kathy - that's her standing behind Sue- suggested I try a chiropractor.  I have tingling fingers and suspect carpal tunnel could be part of the problem.  But I'm going to the chiropractor on a regular basis and it's helping.  Feeling good enough to get some stuff done.
Like this paint job to cover up some plaster repairs from a leak.  Needed doin' and I decided there would never be a time unless I MADE a I did this Friday and since the last paint had just been 3 years and I was feeling not quite ambitious enough to do the whole I just went a bit further than the new  patch and we are happy enough with the results to call it good...

Guess I'd better go to class.  Handles...I can do handles...See you soon, Sue Henry!

Monday, September 5, 2016

School starts tomorrow here, in my town

But not in my house.  There is no local school child in my house this year.  First time since 1994, I believe.  Yes, that's about right, since my first kindergartener is 27.  It is an adjustment in this house.  Not just the back to school shopping, since I did that a couple of weeks ago in prep for moving our last college student to Florida.  We took a fast drive of over 1000 miles to get him there for Monday morning, did the parent stuff, then worked our way back home.  But that was then, and tomorrow the buses from school will NOT stop at my house.  There is a bit of sadness in this, but also that freedom of starting another stage of life.  Here's a picture of Bert on the sands of Daytona Beach.

 On our last night in Daytona, we took skipped a freshman and parents social, and instead took Bert to Joe's Crab Shack, to fully get him kicked off as a Daytona Beach resident...
We are all wearing our Embry-Riddle shirts as we enjoy some crabby dip and other fishy food.  So off we go....on a new adventure...
Things I've noticed so far...the leftovers are still in the fridge...tripping over a few less shoes...the boys' room still smell a little like a locker room...the dogs take up more space...the milk expires before it is gone...there are is a bit quieter....the pile of laundry is a bit smaller....
It'll be OK.  This is the way life is supposed to go.  All birdies out of the nest.  We had a nice long weekend of camping with dogs who hog the bed...gotta do something about that.  I partnered with the hubby for my first games of cornhole for the year and we won all 3.  Not because of me... but we still won.  Listened to live music at the campground.  It was very good.  We used to have young, new bands at our school often for dances when I was young.  Kids don't know what they are missing these days.
Been going to the chiropractor this past week.  He is trying to get me relief in a couple different places and so far it is working well, so I'm going again tomorrow.  Maybe he can undo the cornhole stiffness...  stuff to do...places to go...lists to make....reading up on bullet journaling to replace my planner...good night...

Friday, August 12, 2016

This is what I just finished reading....

Describe the photo or the page it links to

But it looked different when I read it, because it was Emma of Aurora and it was one big, fat book as a trilogy.  I used to shy away from the big heavy books, and I have to admit that the sheer weight of that book in my hands at night, reading in bed could be a bit discouraging.  But last summer on Vacation and again this summer, I tackled a big book for summer and it feels good. 1170 pages worth this summer.  WOOHOO!!  One of the advantages of doing a series all in one book, you are never caught finishing one and not having the next one available!  Have you done that before??  Maybe the one you need is checked out from the library, or your mom's not done with it yet.  Sometimes I have lost interest or have trouble remembering while waiting for the next book to be published.  Young readers don't have this problem, I'm sure, of losing track of the story, but I've that's just the way it is now.  I have a large stack of magazines to read on my Florida trip, and a couple of library books on my Kindle, and another couple of books on the hot list on my night stand, but for now, I've finished my BIG SUMMER READ.
I would recommend this book to others... I would lend you mine if you wanna stop over and pick it up...  Sorry- too heavy to mail it.

Soooo.... about that trip to Florida.  It sounds like a vacation type of statement, but Florida is where our youngest has chosen to attend college, so Embry-Riddle in Daytona FL is where we are headed in a week or so.  Far, far, far from home, but not worried about it at all.  Independent and ready for his next adventure...The kid who spent last winter on the ski slopes here, most every day, teaching ski lessons and volunteering as safety patrol.  His room is getting messier by the day.  Piles here, bags there, everywhere stacks.  Our last college freshman to leave the nest.  And then we are 2... plus 2 crazy dogs...hmmm.... So in prep for this historic event, there has been some shopping, washing, collecting and sorting...the quilt binding was completed, the scrapbook finally completed last night, fleece purchased for a new tied blanket - maybe tied sheets and towels washed, hung out in the fresh air to dry, and tossed in the tub.  Fresh supply of socks and underwear, washed and dried.  Socks that are really white and still match - a novelty here.  But there will soon be a lot less socks to lose their leaving them in the locker room, in the car, at a friends's more the single socks issue.  If they left both socks, it wouldn't be an issue, but so many singles have hung out at our house for years, and years.  It is possible that Sept will mark the end of the leftover sock basket.  If I haven't matched them with a partner, perhaps it's time to chuck them all.  Do you??  Do you save the singles forever, hoping to match them??

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday date

In an attempt to be writing more, I'm trying to just write a bit.  Not worry about some awesome photos.  Or anything.  Just thinking and writing.

Today we had a lunch date.  In the winter, Jan-April we work tons.  The trade off for that is that at other times of the year, we can take off for a lunch date.  It's often a working date.  Drop this off at a client, make a deposit at the bank, answer some client questions, planning for next season, discussion on some changes we want to try.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Getting back to normal...

I'm sort of ready for a bit of a break.  My daughter doesn't like that I refer to her wedding festivities as stressful.  But you want your kids special days to be as special as they could hope for... and that does lead to a little tension in a mom's life.  But with 2 weddings and a graduation under my belt for the year, everything was pretty smooth.  the brides were beautiful, the grooms, handsome.  The relatives, crazy. 
Then there was Bible School with a ton of kids, and Kingdom Bound at Darien Lake with 55 youth and 20 adults...and now I'm ready to chill.
I'm into a new Bible Study with some girlfriends.  It's by Priscilla Shirer.  I really like her.  She was in the movie WAR ROOM and if you haven't seen it yet, see it now!!  But it is called BREATHE.  and it is really hitting me between the eyes right now.
God didn't rest on the 7th day... He CREATED rest on the 7th day.  It was a conscious decision and it totally has a purpose.  So I'm going to try to be more purposeful in observing a sabbath and maybe getting more rest. 
In less than a month, we head out to Florida with the last birdie from this nest.  He decided that going far, far away to college was the best option for him.  Unfortunately, that is many hours away.  And I always drop my kid off at school and cry all the way home.  Not sure I'm going to have enough tears for this trip.  SO this weekend, when there's nothing on the schedule, I might just work on the scrapbook that didn't get done for graduation, to go with the graduation quilt.  To take along to the new college and the new life, to remind him of what's here, waiting for him, thinking about him, praying for him,  every single day.  This mom thing is WAAAY harder than they told me it would be... as I move to the next step, to finding a new normal, or maybe rediscovering just who I am...
Good night..

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Andrea & Chad

I'll soon make time to write again... but for now, here is the photo of our daughter's July 9th wedding.  It was a fairy tale day...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Getting to the Fourth...

It is now the Fifth of July and counting.  Andrea got a bit miffed after someone said 2 down- one to go about the current major events in our household.  She said I'm sorry my wedding is such a problem....that's not it.  It's just 3 high emotion, sort of stressful, deadline kind of events that are happening in the span of 6 weeks or so... It's not that they are not happy, happy days, these 2 weddings and a graduation...  It's just a little overwhelming at times.  So I assured her all was well, and I wasn't really feeling much pressure anymore.  Afterall, Scott cooked for Prayer breakfast at church on Saturday the 2nd, we had a picnic for the end of our Bible Study before our summer break on Sunday night and had friends and family here last night for food and fireworks.  That's how we roll.  It's who we's what we do....
So now, we've had a lovely evening visiting with a bunch of friends.  From the treeline in our back yard, we have a good line on the fireworks they set off on the other side of the lake.  And lots of vacationers set off their own stash of bangs and sparkles... it's a several night event here.

Here's proof that my last one graduated from high school a week or two ago...

 We have a girl...a lady, I guess, because we're older than I think, who makes cakes at our church.  We actually have a couple, but I happened upon this one first.  And she made us the most delicious cakes...2 white, 1 chocolate... just enough to have some leftovers for the next week.  In my town, in my neighborhood, the family has a grad party for their grad, and invites friends and family and we do ours the night of graduation, right after the ceremony.  I've done all of ours then.  At our church...a block and a half from the school...just swing in for a sandwich, some fruit and veggies, a chunk of cake, and lots of visiting.  It's a good time....
And this was Bert's display.  Notice that AWESOME quilt...but don't notice that the binding didn't get finished until yesterday... see the 2 scrapbooks, but don't mention that one is from his adoption trip and the other is our preschool class picture book... They were entertaining...and there were 3 posterboard collages of his pictures.  I was happy with the way the quilt turned out...especially that applique of the FFA logo.  I like doing stuff like that...when I have the time.... which is why there is a little more stress of 3 things close together... my turning point was when I gave up what couldn't get done.. and just relaxed..  You know what? This 2nd wedding of the summer... Next Sunday, if it didn't get done, it's not going to matter.  I still have a scrapbook and 2 quilts to make this summer.  But it shouldn't be cold here until fall, so I'm all good.
Have a great day...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Hey!  Don't look now, but it seems that I might be finally posting a post!
Life for me, not unlike yours I'm sure, has been pretty much nutso!  I have made it through my mother-of-the-groom duty with flying colors, as far as I know!  The wedding was lovely, the bride-beautiful, the groom-handsome as ever... I left my camera at home, but had my phone photos...but not really any with the bride and groom because, well, I was in those!

This is one of the official photographer  shots.  Pretty nice, right??  I figured out many ballgames ago that if I'm taking pictures, I'm missing out on the real action.  SO...I unplugged and enjoyed myself.   They traveled across the sea for their honeymoon.  They are brave and daring that way.  Not scared at all. Spain - Italy - Greece.  And they looked very happy and rested when I saw them on Sunday, but back to reality...But also, time to relax and take time in the house they moved into in February.  To just enjoy being there, instead of looking at a big TO-DO list. 
    And now, I'm working on the finishing touches of a graduation quilt and scrapbook for #4's graduation from HighSchool next Thursday night, along with the party right after.  It is my tradition.  DO the party that night and enjoy the rest of the weekend and parties with no stress or worries of what needs doing.
    Then we have our second wedding July 9th.  That one will NOT be as relaxing as we are the family of the bride and we have lots more responsibility.  But on the 10th, I'll be relaxing...except for when I have to go to Bible School for the night...for the week... but I'm at my own pace on that, so, it's all good...
  Then each happy couple has an order in for a quilt, that got noted, but I realized they weren't going to happen before the weddings, so I am trying to focus on the stuff that needs done before next Thursday...
It's good to be back... I'll try not to be gone so long....

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sneaking a post tonight

Well, I don't know if that's quite true.  Squeezing is probably more like it.  This is my incredibly busy time of year, and it's even more so than last year.  I'm looking forward to the finish line, but I have lots of stuff to look forward after my work lets up a bit.  And in the midst of all of this craziness, after we had discussed the idea of adding another dog next fall, after weddings and graduation and college check-in....someone posted this cutie of a farm puppy.  And how could I say NO??
Her name is Kali... or Callie... or Kallie....I'll have to decide before I get her name on her collar.  But for now, she's crazy.  And cute and loveable and not totally house broken and she takes my slippers and dumps her water and chases leaves when she's supposed to be taking care of business outside... but she is so cute when she curls up on my bed to nap with me.  Or flops in her crate during our work day... or chases other dogs around the house, and maybe even an occasional kitty.

Yep, I was crazy with puppy fever, but she's a keeper.  And I have to have something to train up, since these kids are pretty much done with what they want to learn from me for now...although I could get smart again later...I'll just hang around and see what happens.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

February winding down.

I once had a wise veterinarian tell me that life is like a roll of toilet paper - the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.  He never led me astray on other things ,so I'm trusting Dr.D on this one.  Seems the days and months are passing me by.  Sometimes it's sad that I don't enjoy more as it speeds away.  So I picked for my word this year (which is what EVERYONE is doing instead of resolutions) JOURNEY.  Because it's time I slowed down and enjoyed the trip and not just focused on the destination.  How many trips do you go on, that you jump in the car, go as fast as you dare, stop as little as possible, no matter HOW much leg-crossing is involved, so you can GET THERE.  Don't always remember how you got there, just know that you are now ready to enjoy yourself. 
Perhaps this is one of those over-50 revolutionary thoughts.  Heck with the rest of it, it's time to enjoy the ride.  So i stitched myself a little quilt for 2016.

Right now, it's just got a couple of pins through the tabs, but the instructions I gave to others, was to find a special stick and slide through to hold it.  And they have so far... and finally mine is done.

And so the days roll by, and the snow falls in huge dumps, then melts away....a bit different from last winter, where it came, it froze and stayed cold, and the same snow just hung around a long, long time.
Bedtime for me.  Tax season and lots of other things clammering for attention.  Need to do some more questions for our 52 weeks with Jesus project, but it's not happening tonight... see you in the morning!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Snow Angel Day

Sometimes, on a whim, you start a tradition.  Like when your friend doesn't make it through her bucket list...
this is the start of our tradition:  In 2013, when Elaine left in the early morning of January 29, she left behind a group of friends who were happy to cross SNOW ANGELS off the list... so in 2014, on January 29, we met at 6 a.m. in front of the school that we had attended with Elaine, and later, she taught, and dropped and flopped and we made art...And we have returned to the scene of the crime two more years.  Different years, different people... and then everyone coming in the school that day could have a smile and a good memory.  Last year was sooooo freeeezy cold.  This year, it was supposed to rain...but someone sent us enough snow...a little blessing for friends...  Here is part of the group...just getting started...

And before long, a whole string of beautiful angels... can you see mine?? Last year I hit my arm on a little tree...they trimmed it up so I wouldn't have that problem again...
 wow...this is what friendship looks like in a little town....

My angels are a little deeper in the seat every year, and we struggle a bit to climb up...but we have fun doing this together...  We laugh and do the front, then out back by the bus entrance... then we get ourselves out along the unplowed, untracked fitness trail, to Elaine's memorial bench and do a few more out there under the light of only the moon...sometimes a little frosty tears runs down your cheek, but it is with a smile that we do this....
And then we load up and head out to do our regular January day stuff... Renee and Willowe walk up to Bryan's to leave a couple in Elaine's yard....I stop by her mom and dad's house and leave a couple for Clayton and Avie....and then think of another special lady who is spending time with Elaine, so I stop at Howard McMullin's house and leave one in the front and the back yard for Sally, a special lady...Howard had been out in the front of the school when we were gathering, on his way to the weight room, as has been his daily routine for many, many years...I couldn't figure out which one of the crazy friends showed up in shorts until I realized it was Howard.
Here is Sally's angel...a little heavy in the seat... a bit of a drag to get out and up, but made with love..
Cuz that's what friends are all about.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Happy Friday... from the trenches...

Welcome to Friday from the trenches.  Here we are.  Tons of snow, but it didn't really snow today.  Cold.  The ski instructor in this house is happy for the work and the bonus of a snow day off school following a MLK holiday off.  I guess I'd rather have a bonus day on another week, but hey, if you're on a roll, keep on rolling!!
I took some really nice snowy tree pictures last week and have intentions of grabbing a Groupon coupon and printing one or two of them on canvas to hang.  My husband likes HOT, SWEATY weather...not much love for the snow....I say, hey, we have a LOT of work to do in the office in the winter and when it looks like this outside, golf isn't an options, so you may as well sit inside, next to the heated, sometimes in your sweats and slippers, and get LOTS of work done.  So we do...

Back to my snowy pictures...I picked up a Pottery Barn catalog before Christmas and was looking through it and saw some great canvas pictures of winter, but one of snowy pine trees really caught my eye and my heart...but not my wallet.  As a DIY girl, I thought, Heck!  I can do that!  Andrea had given a canvas for a wedding gift to her friend that had enlisted her help in catching the engagement on film.  And it turned out very nice!  So I decided I needed to be on the lookout for just such snowy settings to take some pictures.
If you've done groupon before, it's always good to check out the details.  I did family calendars for Christmas, but didn't realized until I was deep into creating, and had already purchased my groupon, that it did NOT include any writing on the calendar pages, only the photos on the top of each month.  350 or so dates later, I know that next year, I will check that fact BEFORE I buy.  They were still cool.  But I left a couple of things off.  Thought I only did one mistake, but others have shown up.  I guess I needed a proofer.
10 calendars, 35 special dates, it was bound to happen.
The canvas picture groupon that I had looked at first ended up to be only a panorama print.  I'm not sure if that's the shape I want, so I'm needing to do a bit more research.  But I'll have my own snowy picture, and it will mean even more to me, because it will be some snow and trees that I know personally.  And that's always a nice thing.  Like this tree here...not one of my shots to be considered.  But it was a gift several years back for answering some questions and offering advice, from a Christmas Tree guy.  He knows how to score points with me! 

 It's in my sort-of front yard.  It's my front yard, but I can't see it from my Kitchen window, because it's kind of tucked around.  But if you look realllll close, you might see the little baby to the left of it.  A tree that came home with a kid...from school, or church, somewhere like that.  It was planted by the back deck for a few years to keep it from being a lawn mower victim, but now has reached a point where it needed moved and hopefully can hold it own out in the wide open spaces of the yard.  So far, so good.  It's not really as close as it looks, because it is small and set back a ways.  There's plenty of room for it to sprawl out.  And give the birds some cover...and hold snow on its branches....and make me smile.  In a couple of years, I'll ask myself why I didn't put Christmas lights on it while it was still small enough to be a doable thing.  And then it will be too tall to reach... and I won't be able to mow it over, no matter how hard I might try.  But I'll smile, because like kids, these trees grow, because of, and in spite of what goes on around it.  And sometimes we are just plain surprised at how much time has passed, and how big they are, and did we miss anything along the way??