Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Birthday to *me*

My first birthday, Sept. 1968

Today I turned 21 for the second time. My daughter taught herself how to play "Happy Birthday" on the piano so that she could surprise me. It was a sweet surprise and we all enjoyed singing it together. My family took me out for breakfast, which is always a treat, and then we decided to go wandering. I *love* meandering roadtrips! We stopped at Rockbridge Winery to do some tasting, went down the road to an open house at a Llama farm, drove through the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington to see what was happening (nothing, it turns out) and then headed for points west. We ended up about 12 miles from the West Virginia border in the George Washington National Forest at Lake Moomaw. The weather was perfect. We had the entire lake to ourselves. It was a good day for a birthday.

I remember hitting 21 the first time. I expected it to be this great year of freedom and liberation but it really wasn't. I was young and cute; I had already graduated from art school and was earning a meeger living as an entry-level designer. I didn't know much about the game of life or what I really wanted to be. Though I suspect I behaved like I knew everything. I found that life wasn't really that much different. I hadn't yet met the man I would marry or seen all the places that for a short time I'd call home. The idea of children was far too big for my mind to grasp.

Today I can't imagine my life without my family or without all of my wonderful friends. The journey to 42 has filled me with a deep appreciation for what truly matters in life. I've learned great lessons about love, understanding, compassion, loss and true heart. And the more I learn, the more I want to learn. Last week I started teaching myself how to play piano, which is something I've always wanted to do. And I'm learning how to speak French because I figure that will surely come in handy on some upcoming adventure, right? I don't know what lies ahead, but I do know that enjoying right now is the best way to spend today.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Guest Post at Mamikaze

I am so excited to have my post up on Mamikaze's blog today. Thanks Astacia for giving me this opportunity to share some fun with your readers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Art Works

This is the view of the bottom of the windowsill in the waiting room where I have the oil changed in my car. I figured if I had to sit and wait I might as well do something constructive. I'm carrying my sketchbook with me for little stolen moments like this. Seriously, sketching is crazy-good therapy.

Before & After: The Blue Chair

Before - the sad blue castaway chair

I found this vintage chair at a yard sale about 2 weeks ago. The chair was structurally solid and the cushions were in great shape. I loved the vibrant blue paint but the black denim pinstriped fabric had to go. The man selling the chair was amazed that I was able to make it fit in my Prius. "Never underestimate a woman who's thrifting," I said with a smile as I closed the hatch on my car. I brought the chair home and spent the afternoon making new cushion covers from a stash of blue toile I'd picked up at Goodwill a few months back. The thrifted fabric matched perfectly and it turns out to be a rather smart looking piece of furniture. A few days later, I popped it back into my car and took it to my antique booth at the Greenwood Country Store to resell. I think it will make a lovely addition to someones home. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

After - the chair is much more cheerful now

Monday, September 21, 2009


It's Monday. It's rather grey outside today and I'm tired. I would love to just go back to bed. But I have a meeting to get ready for and much to accomplish today. Sometimes you just have to light a fire under yourself, you know? I managed to drag myself out early this morning to write my very first guest post for Mamikaze. While I was hoping to meet Astacia in person this week at the type-a-mom conference, I will settle quite happily for a guest spot on her blog (more details about the guest post as it runs later this week). I admit I am feeling a little sad-sack about not going to the conference. But it's a busy week; I won't be bored. Plus I have a birthday coming up in a few days so that's giving this week a little extra sparkle. I'm turning 21 for the second time which feels rather momentous. And tomorrow is the first day of fall; clearly I am looking for any excuse to make myself smile. :-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is the birthday of a very special man. My Dad turns 79 today. My birthday wish for you Dad is for many more years of driving your tractor, working your garden and hunting in the woods. I had a hard time finding a photo for this post. I wanted something circa 1940-1950 but turns out I don't have pictures of my Dad from that timeframe. I found this family photo which is from another very special day just a few years ago. My nephew Steve, who is also my parents oldest grandchild, was visiting from Florida. It was a really happy time! Enjoy your day Dad. I hope you remember lots of happy moments as you blow out your candles tonight and make a wish for many more!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chicken Love

Rooster 365
(12x12 original oil painting by Roz)

When I read that it was National Chicken month I excitedly clicked over to the link but was sad when I saw it was all about cooked chickens. I won't be including that link here! Not that I don't eat chickens; because I do. I guess it just burst my little idealistic bubble of celebrating the beauty of chickens rather than the eating of them. Chickens give so much to us. Where would our baked goods be without eggs? And they really make nice pets, though I'm still working on convincing my husband of that. We used to have a small flock of chickens and really enjoyed our time with them. Ours were free-range during the day and in the roost at night for safekeeping. We didn't eat our chickens, just their eggs. They are truly gentle, lovely creatures. I hope you enjoy this roundup of chicken-inspired loveliness. I'm thinking Rooster 365 would look especially nice hanging in our family room.

Chick Fabric (by Middleburg)

Marthas (5x5 fine art photo by bomobob)

Vintage Tea Towel Dream Pillow by TuttieLou

Grow Food Poster (12x18 poster by joeseppi)

Primitive Chicken Pin Cushion (by LookHappy's)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I will *not* be bringing it after all

I am really bummed to report that I will not be heading to the Type-A Mom conference in Asheville, NC this month as I'd hoped. I bought my ticket early and had big plans to go but several things have come up that prevent me from going. There's still time to get your ticket though if you'd like to be a part of it. It's going to be a great conference with some very talented speakers and tons of networking opportunities. I'm sorry that I won't be meeting all of you awesome type-a ladies in person. There's always next year...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Little Miss Disappeary

I've had a few of you asking recently if I'm okay. I'm sorry I've been absent since my one and only September post. I've only had a few fussy entries this month on Twitter and Facebook as well. The truth is I really haven't been feeling very well. I'm having some issues with my back and my stomach. I think there is some sort of food allergy that may be triggering my stomach funk. And all of this is setting off a series of migraines, which is the last thing I need right now. I hope to be better soon and back on track with life and blogging. I hope you're all having a creative and healthy September! I promise to be back soon.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ah, September

The crispness in the air whispers to me, "September is here." My favorite month! It's always been my favorite, for so many reasons. The biggie; my birthday is later this month. Every year I'm like an anxious child waiting for my special day to arrive. It also means the beginning of Fall. I grew up in the mountains of Southwestern Pennsylvania where September brought a chill to the evening air. Here in Virginia it's pretty much the same story. I love watching the seasons change here, especially spring and fall.

September always brings with it a flood of community events like county fairs, arts & craft shows and fall festivals. I love hitting as many of these as I can. It's a great way to show your support for handmade artisans. Good food, people watching, fall colors -- some of our favorite family outings happen in the fall.

About a week ago, I found out it was also National Honey Month. Sweet! You have to check out the honey bear in the classics series – they are too cute. And, just when I was looking for an excuse to spend more time with my Janome, it's National Sewing Month. Perfect timing. I have a dozen summer sewing projects I need to complete. I went looking and found a rather long list of all the national month events for our beloved ninth month. Some of them are pretty interesting and unusual; so I thought, why not chose different national month themes and post on them throughout September? Let's have some fun. After all, it is Nat'l Be Kind to Writers month.
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