Saturday, October 24, 2015

Blessed in the Midst of Chaos!

Where do I begin? I suppose I should start by saying this past week has been one for the record books! Seldom do I have so many "challenges" in one week!

Friday, October 16, I got a phone call from my older daughter saying her son/my grandson had been seriously injured in a soccer game. I should mention he is a Senior at college three hours away. He was at the Emergency Room with a broken leg! Both bones in his lower left leg had been snapped as he came down from stopping a goal and was kicked at the same time! My Grandma concern went immediately into overdrive! First reaction: My sweet baby was seriously injured! Second reaction: I wasn't there with him and neither was his Mom! Third reaction: What do I do next? Needless to say, I immediately started praying for my grandson and asking for guidance as to what to do next. He told his Mom he was ok and, no, she didn't need to come over. Then we were told he would have to have surgery to repair the break. Overdrive X 2! A steel rod and the hardware to hold it in place was put in his leg. All this time, he was basically alone. We were in phone contact but not there with him. After he came out of recovery, he called his Mom to let her know he was ok. When she asked again if she should come there with him, he quietly answered, "Yes, please...".

As it was the weekend, my daughter took my eleven year old granddaughter along on the trip. At this point, none of us had any idea what the trip would entail and what planning had to be done. The important thing was just to get there! They arrived safely and immediately went to his room in the hospital. My daughter was not prepared to see her son laying there pale, weak, and with bandages, tubes and hanging bags around him. This was his first surgery ever and not a common sight for any of us. The hospital was wonderful to explain the care and prognosis. They even offered sleeping chairs and refreshments so they could all stay in the room together. First plan was that he would be discharged the next day and go back to his college room. However, his pain proved to be more than anticipated and he was kept an extra night. They got him home and as comfortable as possible. Now, it is Sunday and no way to contact college offices to see what would come next. His care and comfort were the main concerns. However, this is college and classes go on no matter what.

Monday arrived and my daughter went into Executive Assistant mode! Prescriptions filled, home equipment arranged, offices contacted, emails sent, phone calls made and planning for a longer stay than expected! Remember, my granddaughter is still there and missing school, too! And, remember I can't drive! So, with the help of a dear friend, we were able to meet halfway and pick up my granddaughter so she didn't miss any more school. Tuesday seemed a little better and my daughter decided she would come home to arrange her own work schedule and try to help from here. Wednesday, my grandson called her to say that all his professors had agreed to let him finish his classes on line! What a blessing! He wouldn't have to worry about maneuvering a wheelchair around campus. When asked if he would like to come here for recovery, this proud and brave young man quietly answered again, "Yes, please". So, it is off for three hour drive there and three hour drive back, getting him settled and comfortable, grabbing a couple hours sleep and getting baby sister to school and then to work for my daughter! So proud of her and her stamina! But, any Mom will tell you it is like "autopilot" when your child is involved, and you do whatever it takes!.

All day Wednesday, I felt like I was getting a bad cold or some sort of allergy attack. I woke up weak, aching and nauseous. Now I am thinking, "this can't happen because too much is going on already.". So, I grabbed my all time "go to" when there is any illness...a cold washcloth! I sipped some ginger tea and tried to eat a cracker or two to settle my stomach. Then I went back to bed and hoped I could "sleep off" this crud. All day I was feeling yucky, but by early evening, I started to improve. After mega doses of herbs and vitamins and lots of sleep, I was doing much better the next morning. In the meantime, my daughter made the trip to the store to get me some ginger ale and I was so grateful for  the support and prayers of family and friends for all the stuff going on!  Then I get the message that my younger daughter (9 hours away) is seriously ill and trying to hang on to finish her work day! No, this can not be! I immediately go into Mom overdrive and bombard her with ideas for medicines and order her to rest!

It is now Thursday of the week and my plan is to spend late afternoon and evening with my wheelchair bound grandson while my daughter goes to work. The morning starts with a phone call from my younger daughter saying she is worse and staying home for the morning. Her plan was to go into work in the afternoon. NOPE! Plan changed when she gets call from her son's/my younger grandson's school saying he is ill and she needs to come get him. They think he needs to be checked for a concussion! My overdrive has once again accelerated, but this time it is in prayer mode! I am in no position to do anything else at this point! This daughter and grandson are finally able to be seen at the clinic and it is confirmed that my grandson DOES have a concussion (from football) and my daughter is to be treated for pneumonia! Now, I am on social media telling Satan to leave us alone. Enough!! I am then amazed and humbled by the outpouring of prayer and support once again!

Friday morning rolls around and no one in my immediate family has had much sleep in the last several days. I have an appointment with my doctor and a ride all arranged. My doctor proceeds to examine me and then tells me I have a fungal infection! WHAT?!?!?!?  I leave there and finish errands for the day.  As I came in with groceries and meds to take for my infection, I saw the message light flashing on my home phone. I set down all the bags, pushed play, and then I heard the voice of my uncle in Oklahoma. I had spoken with him earlier in the week about my aunt who was rapidly declining with Alzheimer's. This aunt is more like a sister as we grew up together. The message was to tell me she had passed away Friday morning. Although we knew it was coming soon, it still hit me right in the gut! So, I did what I always do when completely overwhelmed...I went to my knees! The prayer flowed from within me somewhere and I just let the tears roll. I was already feeling calmer when my big white fluffy dog came up and put her nose on my hand and demanded petting. I thanked God for the gentle "hug" and just sat there in the floor and cried while stroking this precious pup. I decided to go to social media once again and express my love for this very special woman that influenced so much of my life. Once again, family and friends came back with love and prayer support. I was so thankful for the "company" of the wonderful prayer warriors.

Now, this week is ending and I am worn out! But even through the worry, the sadness, and the frustration, I know I am blessed beyond measure! God was with me every moment of every day and made sure I had His love and grace with me. He also made sure love, kindness, prayers and support came exactly when I needed it as He always does! I am so thankful for all the generosity of the people in my life. I am thankful my grandsons and my daughter are covered in God's healing. I am thankful my older daughter had the strength from God to get through the week. And, I am thankful my precious aunt/sister is in God's hands and no longer suffering. I am so blessed!

My prayers now are with gratitude and for all of you to know the awesome power that got me through this week! No matter what comes at us in this life, we are never really alone if we know our Lord and Savior! I thank you for stopping by and joining me as I journal the chaos of this week and put it all in perspective. Please know you are always welcome and encouraged to share your "blessings in the chaos" as they affect you. It would be my honor to pray with you and for you! I wish you all-


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Happy Fall Y'all!

Greetings, Friends!

We have been blessed this week with gorgeous Fall weather!  Warm, sunny days and calm, cool nights! Leaf color is starting to show up and the Fall festivals are starting up all over the place! There will definitely be a caramel apple or funnel cake in my near future!

I couldn't help but be a little emotional today as I looked around at all God's beauty and contemplated how truly blessed I am to live in these beautiful mountains! We are in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Most years we see a good taste of all four seasons. I grew up mostly in East Tennessee as did three generations before me. I live in a house built well over one hundred years ago and we are overwhelmed sometimes by the fact we have had six generations live in this very house. It amazes me to think of twelve people living in three rooms so many years ago. I truly believe they managed it much better than I ever could living here now. That old saying about "if these walls could talk" bounces off the walls in the original rooms. You can't help but feel the energy and envision the trials and celebrations that filled the house. It makes me chuckle to think of what I was always told is the "New Room"! You were special if you got to sleep in the New Room because it had soft beds and a tile floor! Also, the only bathroom was attached to it! Then I was told it was added on in the early 1930's! What a hoot! The New Room also has its own front door! I learned a few years ago that the house is described as a "saddlebag" house. This is because it was built in two phases, each phase having its own front door, and the areas shared a central fireplace. I guess you could say it was the original duplex!

You may think it is always peaceful and serene here. Not so much! Traffic has increased to a frenzy in recent years. The County just paved over an old wagon road that runs through the property. The house is on one side of the road and the "driveway" parking area is on the other. It worked out well until the GPS became available. My poor dogs just can't seem to grasp why so many cars keep coming through their yard! Many times folks have to wait until they amble out of the way. Thankfully, there have been just a few incidents where the dog was injured. Locals know to watch for them, but the "shortcut" folks aren't always as patient. At least once a day I hear someone honking the horn to move the dogs along.  We have also been listed with the bicycle clubs in the area as "the scenic route". The cyclists have their own tales to share about my dogs I'm sure! HA! Even with the added traffic, we all manage to get along. We are proud to show off nature's bounty to those who aren't as blessed as we are!

I also realize now why children were many and a welcome addition to the family. There is ALWAYS some sort of chore that needs to be done! Trees to cut, grass to mow, fences to mend, creeks to clean out, house repairs and upkeep and on and on. As I am aging, I adjust my priorities accordingly. The gutters can wait as I do not want to fall off the ladder, bushes will get trimmed when my back is having a good day, the house will get power washed when I can hold the spray wand for more than fifteen minutes, and the porch will get painted when...well, we won't worry about the porch at all for now! I've decided the spider webs all around the outside are perfect Halloween decorations! I'll work on getting those swept down after November 1st!

Some of my most treasured moments here are early morning when a symphony of bird songs fill the air and I can smell the honeysuckle vines in bloom, or watch a golden leaf float to the ground as the sun makes it glow. Just watching the dogs and the cat play in the yard is relaxing and entertaining. Then to look out and see the horses grazing with their tails swishing and the occasional whinny or snort echoing adds even more to my overflowing cup of blessings.

I thank you for stopping by and letting me share some of what makes my days so full and my heart so happy. I hope you will visit again and share some of your own moments of happy for you! Until next time, I leave you with ...


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Here I am!

Hello World!

I am so glad to be here! It has been some time since my last post! Years even!  I started this blog as a means to share craft projects and fellowship with other crafters.  Somewhere along the way life got topsy- turvy and I found myself with a severe case of "burn out".  I have now decided to chalk it up to "growing pains" and get back to my blog. Anyone else ever have growing pains after middle age?!?

Crafting, especially paper crafts, has always been dear to my heart. That being said, I am going to change things up a bit and make this a "journal" blog! Yes, there will still be craft projects posted all along, but I want to try a new adventure. Those who know me well are aware of my philosophy, "The day you stop learning is the day you stop living!". So, I hope you will come along with me on my learning journey! We can share ideas, projects, prayers and whatever else comes to mind (except politics); I don't want any cat! Whatcha think?

Feel free to go back through time and check out the archived projects. I always appreciate  comments and "atta girls"!  I am looking forward to getting reacquainted with my former blog buddies and making many new friends along the way! As always, I send you...



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Design DIVAS July Oldies But Goodies Blog Hop

Hello Friends!

It is time once again for the Design DIVAS Oldies But Goodies Blog Hop! The Design DIVAS are a fantastic group of crafters on Facebook! For the hop, we are challenged to make a project using items in our stash that are at least six months old. I'm sure, like most of you, the real challenge would be to find items that AREN'T six months! I have the privilege of starting our hop today. Hope you enjoy your journey!

** Long Post Alert**

My project today is a bittersweet one. Due to some life changes and circumstances, I had to reevaluate my pet population. I have three dogs and a cat. The two big "farm dogs" and the cat do their own thing most of the time and require very little effort to love and care for. Then I have "Missy", my little Boston Terrier DIVA! She is precious and a hoot to have around. However, she does not behave very well outside. She likes to "herd" the horses and run the hills like a shepherd. I live in the mountains and coyotes come through on a regular basis. Not good for a little dog to be out at night trying to conquer the hills! She is on a leash most of the time, but escapes from time to time and worries me to no end that she will get hurt or killed. While I am away from home, she is very happy in her crate. The problem now is that I have to be away from home as much as 10 hours a day/night. That is no life for a precious pup. So, I made the decision to find her a new home. The local Humane Society was wonderful to help me find a loving family with two adorable little girls who wanted to love and care for Missy. They have a fenced yard and a stay at home Mom, so, Missy will be in a much better situation. I asked the little girls if they would like a journal or notebook with a list of Missy's "likes" so they could get to know her better. They were thrilled with the idea (as was Mom)! This idea led me to making a journal for the family.

The journal had been buried for ages, but I thought it would do nicely. I had some doggy paper I had purchased quite a while back from Big Lots. I wrote poems about Missy's likes and printed them on cardstock. I cut the poems out with decorative scissors, matted them and adhered them to the pages of the book. The pages came with a beautiful rose image printed on each page, too. I tied a ribbon bookmark to the spine of the journal and added more ribbons on the spirals. I printed a pic of Missy on photo paper and adhered it to the front. The title words are computer generated and sponged with Chestnut Roan chalk ink. One of the poems inside reads:

I like to sleep under the covers
All curled up in a ball
Sleeping next to those I love
Is the greatest sleep of all...

All the poems are written so young ones can hopefully read the book for themselves. It has been a labor of love to make this journal, but I have to admit it took its toll on my emotions. I know I have done the right thing about Missy but I am sure gonna miss the little stink!

If you are still awake, you can hop on over to Mary Witter's blog and find some good things going on! Mary always offers us inspiration!

Thank you for letting me have my therapy session! I feel much better! I also want to thank you for stopping by and sharing our blog hop! Your attention and comments are always a boost and are welcomed. Aren't crafty ladies just the BEST?!?!?

Hope you are all having a great week and I leave you with exactly what you bring to me...


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Design DIVAS Oldie But Goodies May Blog Hop

Yep, you guessed it! It's time for the Design DIVAS to share some "stash stuff" with you again!! We are asked to create a project using items in our stash that are at least six months old. (Not a problem for most of us!) It's always a hoot to see what these talented ladies come up with! If you arrived here from Lorie's blog, you are in the right place. If you would like to start at the beginning of the hop, you can begin with Maria's blog.

I decided to share a special order card I was asked to make for my daughter's dear friend. This friend is a German Shepherd lover and has two of her own. We wanted to make her a special card when she so graciously helped my daughter with her own dog. In truth, she helped save the dog's life. I found a really good photo on line and used it as the focal point on my card. I printed it twice on glossy photo paper and layered the photos on the base. I had some cute "doggy" paper I had picked up at Tuesday Morning. I used that as my card base. I used a Thank You stamp cut out with a Spellbinders tag die for the greeting. I framed the photo and greeting with trimmed pieces of the cardstock. This was a half fold card and the colors really popped with the glossy photo. I also added a metal "sweet" tag as an accent. I loved this layout and plan to use it for more fur friend pics in the future.

I hope you enjoyed your visit today! Please come back soon! Your next stop on the hop is on Barb's blog. She always has an inspirational goody to share! Have a great week and I leave as always with-

Blessings to you,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Woo Hoo! It's OBG time!

Hello Friends! Hope your week is going well! It's that wonderful Wednesday for us at Design DIVAS! It's time for our Oldies But Goodies Blog Hop! If this is your first visit to our hop, you should know that the Design DIVAS are a Facebook group of crafters who have come together to share our love of crafting. We also share inspiration, motivation and support with each other. It has been a true blessing to me to be a part of this great group of ladies! The Oldies But Goodies hop challenges us to make a project using items in our stash that are at least six months old. If you are like me, the real challenge is to decide which "oldie" to use first!!

I have the privilege of starting our hop this month! So, grab your coffee or tea and be ready to be inspired! The awesome talent in this group just goes on and on!

Today, I want to share with you a birthday card. My dear friend (and best requested a card for her daughter. I decided to go vintage because that is my favorite and a theme I knew her daughter would enjoy. I started with a card base of stock from a K & Company stack called "Life's Journey". The vintage postal marks and stamps were just what I was looking for. This is a double sided stack so I used the "written" side for the base. The matte layer was cut and edged with a scallop punch. The birthday sentiment is stamped on vellum and embossed. Now, the really fun part! The buttons used are from a collection given to me by the mom who requested the card. I knew her daughter would appreciate this touch of nostalgia. I adhered the buttons with glue dots. So far, every thing used has met the criteria for this challenge. The ribbon trim on the card is a more recent purchase. Lastly, I used Old Olive ink to shadow the edges. I love the antique look of this card!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit here today! Thank you for sharing your time and interest! The next stop on the hop is Cindy Pec's blog. Be ready for a real treat! Mark your calendars so you can join us for our next hop the third Wednesday in May!

Have fun on the hop and leave some love for these wonderful ladies! For now, I leave you with...

Blessings to you,

ETA: In case you get stuck along the way, here is the "hop" list:

1. Vicki Patranc -

2. Cindy Johnsen Pec

3. Mary Witter

4. Cindy Grigiski

5. Maria Matter

6. Sue Morris

7. Barb Wibel

8. Heather Dennis

9. Gina Lindsay

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Design DIVAS OBG Blog Hop for March

Hello Friends!

Welcome to the March edition of the Design DIVAS Oldies But Goodies Blog Hop! The Design DIVAS is a group of crafters who have gathered together on Facebook. We share our love of crafting as well as inspiration and support for each other.

The theme of our monthly blog hop is Oldies But Goodies. We are asked to use items in our stash that are more than six months old for the project. All of us can meet this criteria, right? I think I have some stuff that would qualify for six years old! Come on, have some, too! We can all understand the idea of keeping a piece of paper or a ribbon or an embellishment for just the right project can't we? Yep, I knew you would!

If you have arrived here from Mary's blog, you are in the right place! Doesn't she have some amazing projects to share?!?! If you would like to start at the beginning of the hop, please visit Sue's blog. There is always a choice tidbit to take away from her blog!

For my project this month, I wanted to share a fun and easy version of a tissue box cover. The inspiration for this cover came from this video. I designed my cover for a dear friend who also happens to be my hair stylist. She has been so supportive of my craft work, I wanted to make a little something for her shop.

I started with some DCWV patterned cardstock. I'm sorry, but I have had the stack (or parts of it) for so long, I don't have the cover. I am thinking it is from the Spring stack. The bright butterflies seemed perfect for this busy shop. I also cut panels of white cardstock for the inside walls of the cover. I wanted to strengthen the sides as this was going to be in a heavy use area. I used an empty tissue box inside to support the cover as I punched the corners for the ribbon. I then threaded the ribbon through the holes ending at the top, where I added small bows. I used adhesive rhinestones and butterflies to embellish the sides of the cover. On the top I used decorative brads and more rhinestones. The lid sides are embellished with "glass stickers" of phrases and quotes about children. I added these as my friend and her husband just adopted three small children! My friend really enjoyed the bright colors and whimsical embellishments! She has since asked me to make another cover for her home. I'll share the photos of that one at a later date.

I hope you have enjoyed your stop here! Friends are always welcome to visit! Your next stop on the hop will be Linda's blog. Be sure to check out the wonderful projects there!

Hope everyone has a great start to a Happy Spring!

Blessings to you,

ETA: My bad! I'm so sorry! The dimensions and measurements are given on the video link. Also, these covers are designed for Kleenex tissues. If you are using generic brand, be sure to measure the box!