Wednesday, March 24, 2010


What is it about spring that makes us so happy? I have heard all sorts of comments recently that allude to how horrible winter is, and how most people hate it and they can't wait for spring to arrive! With the swell of population in the Sun Belt states, a whole lot of people put feet to their negative feelings about winter and live permanently where the temperatures are more moderate.

For me winter is a necessary passage of time to have a wonderful spring. The trees need to sleep for the winter to regather their energies to make more leaves to shade me. The bulbs need to have cold conditions to be able to raise their colorful faces to greet me. We NEED cold/cooler temps to make us appreciate the warmth when it gets here. GOD knew when HE created the seasons that we NEED them all to sustain us, just as we NEED HIM to sustain us through the different stages and seasons of our lives. The seasons give variety and color, and rest. I am reminded of Scripture that tells us not to "take thought for tomorrow!" We are not to be upset or worry about what is to come. TODAY is the PRESENT and we are to walk with GOD, ask HIM to show us where HE is working around us, and join HIM in His plan. That is what gives true happiness and inner peace and the seasons no longer become the focal point of our lives. THANK YOU HEAVENLY FATHER FOR ALL THE THINGS YOU HAVE GIVEN US! May we love you more than ourselves.
(L: Wild strawberries, R: Woodland Violets,
L: Front flower bed with tulips, grape hyacinths and other perennials, R: pink Rhododendron, White flowering crab with our house behind it, Pink flowering crab with the neighbors house behind it.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010


My Belated Birthday card is my card for Color Throw Down #84 using colors taken with teal, black, sky blue and tangerine tango.

The recipe is:
Stamps: Stamp in Up flower cart, Stampin Up message
Inks: Memento black, Stampin Up black writer, Stampin Up Water Color wonder crayons
Punches: Martha Stewart hydrangea border, Marvy Uchida notched corner (or notched scallop)
Card stock: white base, Bazzill Basics in Island Breeze, Cyan Cover, Tropical Breeze
Stickles: Frosted lace
Ribbon: Archivers

Having used two shades of teal and a light blue, I felt I covered that part of the challenge. My tangerine/red flowers and the black outlines and ink are my part for the rest. It surely is a brightly colored image and I added color to the message to coordinate with the flowers. The rest of how I put it together is easy peasy. I did pop the watering can, the pot of red tulips and the basket of purple flowers up for dimensional perspective. I also used the C3 Copic to add shadows in various places on the cart and under it. Since the recipient doesn't speak much English, I added the Spanish word "celebrar" (celebrate) to the upper right corner. Thanks for taking a peek.


Years ago, we had an exchange student from Costa Rica. Both our son and daughter were Scouts and I was at a meeting one night at the District Office and they asked if anyone would be interested in hosting a scout from Costa Rica. My hand flew up first, so we had the privilege. Krissia was a year older than our son, and spent from Jan through May with us in 1993. She was only going to stay two months, but we paid for her ticket to be changed for a longer stay. She attended Apple Valley high school with Beth and took her own classes. We encouraged her to take classes that would help her with her English. She had two hours of ESL, a class of speech, a class of typing, an art class and a dance class. She made friends easily and fit so perfectly with our family. She was and is the sweetest and kindest woman and is like our daughter. Our families have "adopted" each other and keep in touch through visits, emails, calls and cards. I have had 11 trips to Costa Rica, and spent most of those trips with her family and enjoyed myself immensely each time. They are lovely people. Krissia now teaches English at an elementary school in Costa Rica.

Recently Krissia's fraternal grandmother passed away. Nene was always kind to me even though we could not communicate well. She called me "Muy contenta" because I always smiled and she recognized the peace I have knowing I belong to God. I made a sympathy card for the family and included an orchid on the front. That is for Krissia's father, Carlos (Nene's oldest son) who grew orchids for a long time and may still. They are so beautiful and I have loved their many colors and shapes ever since. I believe purple is the national color of Costa Rica ( at least their favorite soccer team wears purple ) so I wanted to include shades of purple on my card. We extend our deepest sympathies and prayers to the whole family.

Krissias' mother also had a birthday at the beginning of March. So the belated BD card is for her. She likes flowers and Costa Rica has its own "cart" and so I thought a cart of flowers was appropriate. I have put a simple list of what I used on each card below. Hilda, I hope you have many more Happy Birthdays! We love you all!

Sympathy card:
Stamps: PSX orchid stamp, Stampendous "Encouraging Words" clear stamp sentiment, Stampin Up plaid background stamp
Ink: Tsukineko Dew Deops in lavender, sky blue, purple (for background), Black Momento Ink
Card stock: white base, print paper is Karen Foster "Friendship Knots", Bazzill basics in Boysenberry, Plum delight, Sparkleberry Delight.
H2O's: shades of purple for the orchids, hunter green for the leaves, and yellow and gold for the flower pot.
The layering is obvious and I kept the corners simple and didn't add ribbon or too many elements since it is a sympathy card.

Birthday easel card:
Stamps: Stampin Up flower cart, 1998 Stampin Up "Happy Belated Birthday"
Ink: Message and Cart stamped with Momento black. cart painted with Stampin Up Water Color Wonder Crayons, as well as part of the message.
Punches: Martha Stewart Hydrangea border, Marvy Uchida notch corner
Card stock: white base, Bazzill Basics Tropical Breeze, Cyan Cover, Island Breeze
Ribbon: Archivers
Stickles: Frosted Lace
Copic Markers: C3 gray for shadows
An easel card is constructed in two parts and then put together. The front image of the cart is made, matted and the inside with a folded flap is made with layers, borders, ribbon, and the matted message. The top front image is added to the folded part and the message provides the stop so that it stands for viewing, yet folds to fit in an envelope for mailing. Thanks for stopping to visit.


Every one knows that it is yucky getting sick, especially the flu or viruses that make you make many trips to the bathroom while holding a barf bucket. I won't go into details but Bill and I had a noro virus last week that we came in contact with while eating at a Mexican restaurant. Someone there contaminated us through the food, the dishes, the silver, or maybe washing off the table with a contaminated cloth. We had three of the eight in our party who became ill. Bill and I each lost 5 lbs, but it was not the best way to start our weight loss program.

We are better now and I am thankful I was two days behind Bill's episode. I helped him and he helped me, and that shows what true partners we are. We are getting closer to our 45th anniversary in May. We complement each other and that is part of our success. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


HELLO to all my followers. At last count there are about 6 of you, and that number has probably dwindled since I have been away from my blog and haven't posted anything for awhile. I do apologize if you missed me. But I just can't seem to find anything good to write about recently, so I haven't. Not that my life is falling apart or anything. I am the kind of person who LIKES to share positive happy things on here, and the norovirus we caught while eating at a Mexican restaurant and has kept me down 5 days this week was not a happy occasion. Also I didn't think you would want to hear about the leaky porch roof where the ice dam that was under all the snow up there kept the melt off and rain from going down the roof to the gutter and instead it is creeping into the porch through seams and holes in the boards on the ceiling and I need to do "bucket brigade" twice a day. GRRRR! And all this happening while Beth came to visit and I couldn't prepare the meals I had bought food for and we had to cancel our card class because this flu virus could be contagious for a week. Bill had this virus first and I caught it from him. So far Beth has not caught it, and I pray she got out of town quick enough not to get it.

AND then there are the dreary, cloudy, foggy days we have been having lately. I think the weather man said 6 so far and 4 more expected and more rain forecast for Weds. YUCK! And I didn't even feel like making you know I am sick!

But my spirits are renewed. I finally got my hair washed and set, and there are birds singing outside, and lots of squirrel and bird activity at the feeders, and I know spring is not far away and the rain is good for the earth, plants, animals and people. GOD does a marvelous job of keeping everything going and giving us what we need, when we need it, and delievers it through people we least expect. We are such selfish individuals, wanting what we want, when we want it and how we want it, and we often tell God HOW to do HIS job of being our provider. No wonder we make GOD angry and HE just lets us go ahead and do our own thing and HE stays out of it, and we have to bear the consequences and it usually is not fun or pretty. So much of what we think and do is under our own power. How much better the world would be if we would let GOD coordinate our lives and everyone else's would fit all together. That would bring about much more peace in the world for sure.

I am determined to "give THANKS" even in my present situation. I have been given much and need to share it with others less fortunate. "I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me". Philipians 4:13 I have to remember "It isn't about ME!" We are HIS creation and all of life is about HIM, HIS WILL, HIS PURPOSES! We must remember that and join HIM in HIS WORK. "THANK YOU FATHER, for even these times in my life. Help me to have the wisdom and courage to change and you will have the GLORY because I can't do it alone."

The two cards pictured are pretty simple. I made them a month apart. The first one was made for my friend Jim ( a high school homeroom buddy), who graciously gives me a ride to and from the SA airport to my mom's house every three months. He saves me $75 each way and I am so thankful. I tried to make his card masculine by keeping it simple and graphic looking. I used a Whimsical clear alphabet set for the lettering and I turned the first purple mat under the word "you" at an angle to the darker purple under it and popped the whole thing up and put a little clear jewel in the "O" of you. I did the corners with the SU ticket punch.

The second card is much more feminine with two butterflies punched with the Martha Stewart large monarch. I punched one out of the graphic paper and was going to do the second the same, but couldn't do it without folding the paper. So you can see the turquoise mat under the top one and I punched the second out of another piece of the graphic, reinforced each large butterfly by punching two out of plain card stock and gluing the colorful paper butterfly over the plain one which gave them lots of body and popped them both up. The tiny butterflies are left over from the Marths Stewart butterflies border. I stamped the "THANK YOU" with a small clear Stampendous "typewriter" set and then matted with turquoise CS and stacked them at the bottom right. I kept the corners simple using the corner rounder, then diamond Stickles over the monarchs to give them some pizazz. I think I like the butterflies best. They make me smile and we all need to keep smiling. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


My quick one week trip to TEXAS is over and I am home in MINNESOTA again. I am so thankful to be able to share time with my mother every three months or so. She seems to appreciate my company. She is trying to live alone in the house they built. It has been 18 months since my stepfather passed away. She has to do all the things he did with bill paying and getting things fixed. But she is doing remarkably well considering her age of 88. She often talks out loud to hear a voice, watches the clock beside her bed and when her pain and discomfort or lack of energy get the best of her, she and the cat take a rest on the bed. She lives one day at-a-time and has no plans for tomorrow or where she will go when she can't live alone.

I did talk her into getting some care from a service called Home Instead Senior Care. A gal comes in for 4 hours Tuesday and Thursday and it breaks up the week and gives her a person with which she can exchange ideas and have conversations. This gal cooks a little, does dishes and vacuums and drives mom to the store, bank and they occasionally eat out. This arrangement works out well, but mom grumbles at having to pay the fees. There is something about people her age who went through the Great Depression and they do not want to part with their money. They also have a hard time having fun. I know this is a generalization, but so many of the people we have met that are about Mom's age are like that.

While visiting Mom, we went to an Asian Grill and Sushi Bar. It was new and I was hoping for the Japanese grill where the chef cooks your meal right in front of you and throws the shrimp tails up into his chefs hat and makes an onion volcano. It is quite the show as he prepares your food and I thought Mom would enjoy seeing that hoop-la. But alas, it was just an Asian eatery, serving a variety of Asian dishes. We were not adventurous enough to try the Sushi Bar but had a plate of mixed vegetable Tempura with a couple of sauces, some Dim Sum (pork and vegetable) which are steamed dumplings that are fried on a dry skillet to brown on the bottom with a sauce, and some whole shrimp fried in a wonton wrapper and of course...2 dipping sauces. Everything was delicious and we were able to practice our chop stick maneuvers. The meal was light and by 9pm, we had to have a snack. Happens every time.

So now I have cleaning, organizing and preparation for Beth and Sujan who will arrive Saturday. Bill and the cats survived without me as I knew they would. But the cats were really hungry and had wet cat food three times before we all went to bed. Guess they were trying to catch up on the good stuff.

I added a picture of Emma and Matti with their Christmas dolls from my mother. They call her Mamaw Jo and pray for her sometimes. They have never met but see her picture and know she is in Texas. I need to make a bunch of cards, but cleaning will have to come first.

Thanks for stopping by. Be Blessed by HE who has overcome the world!