Friday, October 31, 2014

The time of year for secrets..............

Our family does not celebrate Christmas the way the retailers would like us to celebrate--
several years ago, we collectively decided that we needed to get away from the frenzy and focus on what Christmas is REALLY about.  God and family.

We choose to forgo gifts, (Except for gifts for our grandson,) because after all, what do we need?  If we want something, we go buy it.  We have enough.  MORE than enough.  And we are content with what we have.  

So our Christmas involves family get-togethers, lots of good food, memories and fun. In truth, no one misses the gifts.  The stress of 'having" to buy is gone, and no one needs to worry about overspending.  Our holidays are back to old fashioned values, and we love it.

So what is this about secrets?
Well, I have a small group of friends who gets together for a Christmas luncheon.  Just 6 of us.  These ladies mean a lot to me, and we always exchange gifts.  Last year I received a needle felted ballerina mouse,  a wool snowman, honey made by the bees that one lady raises, homemade jam,  and a huge plate of cookies.  All of these gifts were given from the heart, and all of them were home made.  
Likewise, my gifts to them were also home made--tiny, carved tuckcomb dolls that I carved and dressed.  I LOVED making them! 
We all give something that is the work of our hands.  

So my "secret" is that I am making gifts for my friends-- I have set aside Evies portrait rug for now, and will return to it when the gifts are done.  I cannot show the gifts until after the luncheon--don't want to spoil the surprise!!  The main work on them will be finished in a couple days, and then I will need a couple hours to do the finish work on each one.  I will do that after completing Evies rug.

Is anyone else stunned that tomorrow is November??????

Monday, October 27, 2014

Quarantined woman to be discharged, Christie's office announces

Proof that if you scream loud enough, and hire a lawyer, then the laws do not apply to you.

Bad, BAD precedent to be setting.......................

Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Quarantined nurse slams new policy"--CNN

So this nurse CHOSE to leave the country, and go to another country where Ebola is spreading like the plaque.  Now she is home, and furious that she is in quarantine.

I have only one question for Kaci Hickox--

If you cared so much about the sick people that you went to help them, WHY DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE IN  AMERICA?

(Sadly, this new quarantine policy will get destroyed by the very men who are supposed to be taking care of the American people.)

She claims that her "human rights" have been violated.
Question--what about the "Human rights" of every other person in America?  Just as YOU have the right to travel where you want, WE have the right to protect ourselves from you.  PERIOD.

Sorry to "inconvenience" you, Kaci Hickox--maybe you should have just stayed home to begin with.  Because you are not acting like a caring nurse, you are acting like a spoiled brat. You did what YOU needed to do, now we are doing what WE need to do to make sure you didn't bring Ebola back with you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Colds and Flu season coming--Moms home recipe!

Growing up in a large family, we had our share of colds and flu.  My mom always mixed up a jar full of her special cough syrup.  I have passed this recipe on to family and friends over the years.  They all swear by it!!  There are now tons of variations of it online, which always makes me smile--because I never heard of anyone else making this when I was a young!

WARNING; this recipe contains alcohol.   Do not use it if you have to be out driving or working!

Mom took a canning jar, and used equal parts of
lemon juice
(I use 1 cup of each)

Shake well.  Take 1-2 tablespoons as needed. Keep the jar in the refrigerator.  The honey soothes your throat, the lemon juice cuts the phlegm, and the whiskey helps you sleep.  If you are an adult, and are going to be home, put some in a mug with a little water, heat it in the microwave, and drink before bedtime.  Better than all those store bought, expensive, chemical filled concoctions.  You can also add a shake of ginger powder and a shake of cayenne pepper, these are also good for colds.

Stay healthy!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Life is Short

Life is short.  Find things that make your heart sing, even if no one else understands them.  They don't HAVE to--it's for you, not them. 

Working on Evies portrait, planning more--some would wonder why I don't buy some nice patterns and work on them.  There are beautiful, stunning patterns available on rug hooking canvas.

I won't hook them.

My life is short, and I don't want to spend it working on someone elses dreams.

Evie is a doll, yes.  A TINY doll, no less--6 1/2" tall.  To me, she is not "just" a doll--she represents so much more.  To look at her, to know I created this from a piece of wood, still blows me away.  Her creation was my salvation, in so many ways.  She gave me courage to work with razor sharp tools again, which I was afraid to do after my bad carving accident.  She taught me that I do have courage, and perseverance, and talents I did not know existed.  Her creation brought me so much farther in my life than I ever thought I would go!  I am leaving her as part of my legacy, so I want her to have things that will show how treasured she is.   She has tons of clothes (and more I will make!), furniture, a gorgeous hand made bed that I designed just for her.  She has journals, complete with photographs.  Now she will have hooked pieces that depict her in many different ways.  

I wish everyone could have one possession in their life they treasured as much as I do Evie.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Working Again

Pain levels down to "tolerable"--YAY!!!    Evie is doing headstands while I work on finishing the border.
 I can't get over how fast this is coming along, considering the many days I haven't been able to work on it.   I am LOVING using colors instead of the drab primitives I am used to using.

I am already in the planning stages for my next hooking. Still have to draw the frame better and position her inside of it, but this is my preliminary idea;
I plan on using proddy and other techniques on this one--that bonnet just cries for 3-D roses and ruffles!!  As to colors--I have two color schemes in mind, but I am not going to decide that yet. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What Did YOU do today?

Today I wanted to work on my hooking--

the house was clean, the laundry was all done, it was supposed to be a day just for me!  

My body had other plans.

You see, I live with not one, but TWO "invisible" illnesses--Lupus, and Fibromyalgia.

No matter what I might want to do, or might plan on doing, my body has the final say.  I may want to spend the day hooking and listening to music, but instead I must obey the master named Chronic Pain, and basically do nothing.  If I cannot lift my arms, and my shoulders are in stabbing pain, then I cannot hook.
Or do much of anything.
I call these days "couch days", which are MUCH preferable over "bed days".  At least I can get to the bathroom without my cane.  At least I can feel PARTLY normal.  I can look forward to another day when my pain levels are not so high.  These are the days I cannot do much more than THINK, because thinking doesn't add to my physical pain.  So these are the days I plan what I will do on my "good days".

Be kind to people.  So many people are fighting a daily battle with chronic pain illnesses,  and to look at us, you would never know it.  Our pain is invisible, but it is real.  Imagine having a really bad flu that never goes away.  Remember how it felt to hurt everywhere, and feel exhausted, and not be able to do anything about it?  This is the daily reality of Fibromyalgia.  It never goes away.  You have some days when it is not so bad, and some days where it is completely debilitating.  But the pain is always there, in one degree or another.   Your mind does not control your body--your body dictates what level of "living" is acceptable at any given moment.  You learn to accept this, and plan ahead--lots of books on my Kindle, lots of apps like Netflix so when these days hit, I can still have something to do. 
This still doesn't make it GOOD, it makes it managable.  
Except for those days when the pain is really severe, and you just want it over.  Not that you want to die, you just want to get away from the pain for a while. 

I would not wish this illness on anyone.  Even my worst enemy.

If you were able to have a normal day today, you are blessed.  Please think about that.  Because I would trade places with you in a heartbeat.  If you can stand long enough to wash a pile of dirty dishes, do you realize how lucky you are?? 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Here it comes--are you ready?

Black Panther Calls for “Black Rebellion” If Darren Wilson Not Indicted Malik-Zulu-Shabazz Last week, we reported that city officials in Ferguson, Missouri, were preparing for riots and demonstrations should the grand jury fail to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson. Now comes an interview with Black Panther Malik Zulu Shabazz on Fox News radio who called for a “black rebellion” if there is no indictment. He called for a rebellion against the “wicked world order” and said blacks “have as much right to rebel against American society as America did against the British.” “The white media has not been fair to black people or black leaders,” he said, going on to claim the police was “murdering us.” He claimed he is not calling for violence, but said he would not condemn it. “The authority of the white man and white America is illegitimate – you have been killing us for 400 years.” Shabazz has been stirring the pot in Ferguson since Michael Brown was shot and killed this summer. Shabazz is the former leader of the New Black Panther Party. The group was identified as previously suggesting bombing nurseries to kill white babies. A Nation of Islam member also advocated genocide against white people. “I say, if they don’t get out of town, we kill the men, we kill the women, we kill the children, we kill the babies, we kill the blind, we kill the cripple, we kill the crazy, we kill the (gays), we kill the lesbians, I say (expletive deleted) we kill them all,” Khalid Muhammad said. “If they are white, kill ‘em all.” Gee … so I wonder why Ferguson is preparing for a massive confrontation.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Second post of the day

It's time we all realized that the news media---ALL OF THEM--are LYING to us.   Because of the "National Enquirer mentality" of all the news stations, our police force across the country is under attack.   They have taken the story of a criminal, turned him into a victim, and made the police out to be the bad guys.  Because of the news media, in just three days, SIX police officers were shot, and one died.  SIX, folks!  And this is just the beginning.

Please take a moment to read this article, written by a cop--a cop who puts his life on the line every day to protect people, and who now has a target on his back.  Because of how the news is reported.

If you feel strongly about this, contact your local and national news stations and DEMAND fair reporting!  Let them know you are tired of biased stories, and that they better get the facts straight.  Unless they make major repairs to the damage they have caused, they have lost all credibility.  I myself will never turn on the "news" again.

Hide and Seek

I didn't want to make a boring background, but I also didn't want anything that would distract from Evie--then I came up with the idea to put her name on each side of her, delineated only by the direction of the hooking.  I bet most people won't even see it!

Friday, October 10, 2014

St. Louis errupts--again.

So it seems that a young black man had a gun, and fired at an officer three times, before the (white) officer took him out.

GOOD FOR YOU!!  This man gambled that no police officer would DARE shoot him,  after what happened in Ferguson.

He was wrong.  

He chose to do whatever he wanted, because he thought the police in Missouri are all afraid to shoot anyone who is black.

He chose poorly.

Yet now, all over "social media", there are people crying out and asking gangs to KILL ALL POLICE OFFICERS!  People who make these statements are guilty of terroristic threats, and should be reported to authorities immediately.

I am sick of all the people in this country who think cops are the bad guys and are screaming about them doing their jobs.  My position is this--don't like things here?   LEAVE.  THE.  COUNTRY!

There is a war coming, folks.  And it will not be the middle east, or the Russians.  It will be good people here in America, fighting to reclaim what is right.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Always Planning

Seems I always have too much going on in my head!  The idea of seeing Evie as a real girl just wouldn't go away, so I played with some sketches.  Here she is as a young Victorian girl;
 This reminds me of an old postcard or Valentine--I could see hooking it in lots of "girly" pinks and creams and roses.

So far, this one is my favorite;
I love American Folk art--I can see Evie in this period. Her head is a bit oversized, as these portraits were often done.  I would hook her long hair in curls, and her gown would either be rich blues or maybe reds, to look like velvet.  Even though I am nowhere near done with her current portrait, I like to get things together for winter projects.  I will get a few more composite portraits of her ready before I head to Office Max to get them enlarged and printed. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Progress Oct 5

Still debating my frame/border--I have discarded a dozen colors.  I planned on doing tumbling roses entwined around the edges, but now I think that will take away from Evie, who is the focal point.  I think she needs a simpler frame, dark, to pull your eyes into her.  Still need to do some work on the background around her before I make a final decision as to frame color.  Right now my two top choices are deep wine or deep green.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Wade and I had our 44th wedding anniversary on Oct 2--because it was a weekday, we waited until today to celebrate.  Went to our favorite restaurant, Mama Maria's in Hudson, Wisconsin.

While the food was good, I was sad to see how much the restaurant has changed.  An appetizer platter, which used to consist of 6 thick pieces of crusty bread, covered in caramelized onions, was now 4 very THIN slices of bread.  Same price, though.  The entrees, which used to be $10.95 and were always enough to take home for a second night, were now $14.00, and SMALL.  I got butternut squash ravioli, and there were 9, 1 1/2" ravioli for that price.  Pasta is one of the least expensive things you can buy--normally!  After ten years, I think we are finished with this restaurant.  I understand prices go up, but this was crazy.

 I would like to say that the only thing that hasn't changed is US, but that would not be true.  After 44 years, we have both changed a lot.  Isn't it funny, though, that no matter how old you get, you still see the person you married?  Yes, he has wrinkles--as do I--but so what? He is still my beloved husband, the man I fell in love with in high school.  I love him now more than I did then, and I didn't think that could be possible.  This man is my world.  He not only dances with my angels, but just the sound of his name silences all my demons.  

I love you, Wade.  Happy 44th anniversary.  God willing, we will have many more.

Friday, October 3, 2014

My Thoughts Lately

All around, everywhere you turn, there is nothing but bad news.  I can't do anything about it, so why let it bother me?  Well, because I am human--
so I find my comfort in my rug hooking.  As the colors bloom and change beneath my hand, peace begins to fill my brain.  Only good, happy thoughts come in.  I am hooking Evies portrait. Evie, in case it isn't widely known, is a tiny wooden doll I carved--all 6 and 1/2" of her.

To see her "life sized" was rather startling at first!  But I found my thoughts wandering all over the place, and one of the things that kept creeping into my mind was, what if Evie WAS a real girl?  Now, I KNOW she is a doll--but let's say, like Pinocchio, she  suddenly turned into a real girl.  A light went on in my brain.  That light that always shines brightest when I am cooking up some new project.  So as I sat hooking a portrait of a doll, I thought, "How would she look if she WAS real?  If I portrayed her as real?  Put her in a nice setting, gave her realistic hands, shaded her face to look more human than doll-like.  Would it still be Evie?  The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea.  It may end up a flop, but I have to see what I can do with this.

AFTER her portrait is done, of course!  It's good to plan projects for over the long Minnesota winter.

And it's good to get your mind away from the terrible things going on in the world.