Friday, October 2, 2009

Think Pink for October

I created a Treasury on Etsy yesterday with such beautiful items from such a talented group of artists! You can see it at What a great time to shop for very cool items and to shop for such a wonderful cause! Shopping and doing something good does it get much better than that? I'm certain that we all have our story about someone we know and love that has had their life stopped for a time with the news of Breast Cancer and it is all you can think about and then the many decisions that go with this news of surgeries, and treatments. This is my chance to share my story of the first time this frightening cancer attempted to enter into my life. Unfortunately since this first time there have been so many others. It is time for a cure what a silly statement it is way past time for a cure!
I was a Junior in high school which would make me 16 years old when my mom was hospitalized in preparation for surgery. The night before her surgery my dad returned from the hospital and I can still visualize him sitting in his brown recliner with tears running down his face. This was the first time in my life that I had seen my father cry! This left quite an impression on me! Life truly was easier when at 16 mom and dad pretty much control your world even though as a teenager you are not always so grateful about that fact and thankfully I thought that dad could take care of anything! I used to tease my parents saying that mom knew everything and that dad could fix anything! So this was a tender reality jolt to find my dad in this distress. I don't know yet seeing this time in hindsight if dad didn't have something to do with fixing this too as I know he was sending so many prayers to our Heavenly Father about this situation. My mother had a lump in her breast. This was in 1972. When my dad was at the hospital the day before mom's surgery was scheduled he was pulled aside by our family physician who told him that he wanted to prepare my father for the worst possible outcome. He thought mom had breast cancer, he thought that her lymph nodes were involved, and that he was concerned that it was so involved that my mom might not even make it off of the operating table. My dad traveled home that night offering up prayers to God that he would do anything if God would save his wife. My youngest brother Kevin was only 12. My oldest brother Wayne was married and had a child of his own and my older brother Mike was just finishing his University studies and was to be married that Spring. My mom would tell of this day of her surgery that the surgeon patted her hand before surgery and told her, "innocent until proven guilty." My brother Kevin reminded me recently that what he recalled was the impression it made on him when he heard that our family doctor took time to pray with mom before the surgery. This was a terrible scare for us however we were very blessed by the outcome as her lump was benign. I will always remember how it felt like my life would be changed forever by this and how fortunate our news was. Regretably at this same time I had a class mate named Nan that was in a hospital bed in the room directly across from my mom's room who had also had surgery and her news was not to rejoice about. She had throat cancer and we both missed our Junior Prom that was the weekend following these two surgeries. I always think of Nan when I remember about my mom. You know the feeling when you actually feel guilty because your news is so wonderful and someone else has such terrible news? Then too I remember that I felt so bad for Nan and prayed for her but I was a putz and didn't cross the hall to walk into the room to tell her these things! I have always regretted that! Of course other than being a not so great friend to her I truly was afraid that I would faint! Seriously! Fainter at the scent of hospitals maybe that should be the title to another blog? It is an embarrassing burden that thankfully has since left me. She was a courageous girl who lived to graduate from high school, ended up being employed in the same place that I was, married, had children and unfortunately did die too young. That puts me back to the reason for this blog. Too many lives have been touched by cancer! It can leave us feeling helpless and that is not a good way to feel. The month of October is set aside to remind us to be educated and take all of the precautions to do our part to help remove breast cancer. Make a stop by the Susan G. Komen website to learn what you can to help prevent and fight against this cancer. Get your yearly mammogram, do a monthly breast check, take care of yourself you are important!
Now for a fun topic as women shopping is like a sport to us. We might not be sitting in front of the television to watch every football game this time of year but chances are good that we are searching flyers or strolling through the mall to find the latest item that we really NEED (cough, cough)! I want to encourage you to check out there are so many talented artists there and you don't even need to leave home to browse and shop. Many shops on Etsy are offering to donate for Breast Cancer Research so stop by to see their beautiful things and know that your purchases could be helping to someday remove this frightening disease. I too have faced this disease twice in my life the first time I discovered a lump was when my firstborn was only a few weeks old. I remember going in for my first mammogram at the age of 22 while my husband held our baby boy in the waiting room. I was safe as the lump was a remainder from having Mastitis when trying to breastfeed but I remember all too well what a frightening time this was. I have since faced this scare a second time a few years back when I went through several tests, a biopsy and then surgery. I had a fast growing lump and was fortunately benign. I think it is important that we don't become so immersed in the fear that we don't do our health checks. The proceedures that can be done to save lives have increased. There are so many survivors of breast cancer. We need to be a part of cheering this process on. So this blog is to honor the women in my life who have been touched by this disease or by going through the frightening time of finding a lump. This blog is for Eva, Sharon (survivor), the memory of Shirley,memory of Colleen, Joanne (survivor), Becky (survivor),memory of Dorothy, Mary (survivor) , memory of Elvis' mother. Feel free to comment to leave the name of your loved ones.
Also, if you managed to get through this long blog there is some fun to check out. My two shops and are offering free shipping throughout the month of October to encourage shopping for the cause and any item in my shops with pink on them will have a portion of the sale price donated to find a cure! So please stop by to see if there is anything that just has to come to your home. Also, I am going to have a drawing to give away a free pair of earrings on this blog. So please register in the comment section for this drawing with your name and your email address and on November first I will choose the winner and notify the winner! Have fun!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Invisible Illness Awareness Week

I feel so honored to be able to write my blog entry today about Invisible Illness Awareness Week! First let me say if you are interested in learning more about this then just click on the nifty badge that I actually figured out how to add it to my blog without daughter or husband help! This badge will take you directly to so much information about Invisible Illness Awareness Week that will be especially helpful to you if you or a loved one does have such an illness.

I really want to applaud those who have gone through so much to bring this information to us and their efforts to educate those who are either unaware of this or who do not understand. I am especially impressed by this group of volunteers who have made this annual event possible because most of them suffer from an invisible illness and yet have taken their time and energy to put this week together. Now try to imagine the last time you had the flu. Right, you don't really want to think about this as it was quite unpleasant. Now imagine putting together a large national event while you were in the midst of having the flu. Hmmm, tissues in hand, comforter pulled around you, body aches turning you into a whining lump of yewww, you aren't moving from that couch today let alone pulling a vast organizational event into place. Good job! You have just imagined what most people with an invisible illness go through every day in just trying to get themselves out of bed, getting dressed, and trying to make some type of semblance to their day.

I first started writing this blog so that I could be a spokesperson and hopefully comforter to those who have an invisible illness. So I am especially happy to have the opportunity to be able to blog today and to have the ability to send you to a place where you can receive more informative guidance. But before I do that let me explain a little about what is involved or the meaning of this phrase that I keep repeating of Invisible Illness. Invisible Illness has the face of so many symptoms. Those most familiar to me are Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Sjogrens, Arnold Chiari Syndrome, Muscular Sclerosis, Depression and Lupus. This gives a very small start to the list of illnesses that fit under this category. So now just click on the I'm blogging for Invisible Illness Awareness Week at the side of my blog and it will take you to so much more information. That is where I am headed so that I can find the broadcasts for this day and feel the companionship of others that face the same challenges that I face.

Monday, August 24, 2009

How Great This Feels

August 14 through the 16th my daughter planned and organized a Bake Sale. It took the efforts of many helpful hands in our community but let me tell you Deanna is a baking whiz! And Steve wins the Father of the Year award for volunteering to work at the sale for two days. The Bake Sale was for The Great American Bake Sale so google that if you are a baker or a willing volunteer. It is designed to feed hungry children. Deanna's hopeful goal was to raise $200.00 but instead ended up donating $400.00 to the Great American Bake Sale. People from our church and our community and our family generously donated baked goods, items for an auction, and baking ingredients. Then most of those that purchased baked items did so without accepting change from their purchase. And several threw in very generous donations as they purchased their baked goods. Deanna decorated the tables in our church where the sale was held with table cloths that had my vintage aprons added for a bit of whimsy and color. Steve and I are just so proud of her that she took on such a large project and was the impetus of having it be successful.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It has been a very busy Summer for us. That is a very good thing! We have had lots of time with our family which is so wonderful and rare for us. As a Minister's family we are located far from our families and time spent with them is so dear to us and just does not happen often enough.

This July our daughter had a visitor from Birmingham, England. She has been communicating with him for almost a year through e-harmony. His name is Elvis and he is originally from Cameroon, Africa. He was at our home for almost two weeks which did not seem nearly long enough. This was his first visit to America so we tried to think of ways to introduce him to American culture through our food choices, restaurants, and trips to the mall for his souvenir shopping.

We live in a very small city so there is a limited amount of things to do but we managed and he seemed very content. We also introduced him to our extended family which at the time lived in Grand Forks, ND. They have since moved. Sniff :( but that is one other part of our Summer. Our nieces and nephew participated in the Grand Forks SPA (Summer Performing Arts) and so they provided some very wonderful entertainment for us at the time Elvis was visiting. We were able to enjoy Bye Bye Birdie that our niece Mary performed in. And then an all girls musical performance that our niece Sarah performed in. And to not leave Nathaniel our nephew out I must say that Steve and I thoroughly enjoyed his performance in Damn Yankees!

We also took a trip to Itasca State Park which is where the headwaters of the Mississippi begins. I do have photos of this delightful trip to share. There are a couple of areas in the park that one can walk across the Mississippi and the water is so clean and clear that you can see the bottom of the river bed and there are three areas where you can walk across the Mississippi. It is truly a beautiful place to visit and I would encourage anyone that is going to be in Northern Minnesota to take the time to check this out.

We have also enjoyed two weddings this Summer of our dear nieces Sara and Brooke and we were able to take vacation time to travel to Madison and Illinois for this time to enjoy their weddings and time spent with family.

Summer isn't over yet thank goodness! I am hoping for a few more adventures or at least time around our fire pit toasting S'mores.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dreams Do Come True

My husband is just crazy about bikes! He loves to ride them, to talk about them, to tweak them, look at me using bike terminology! He has recently starting riding again and he is so excited about this. On the 4th of July he rode 20 miles with some newly found biking friends who hope to do some riding every Saturday. It is part of his determination to become more physically active and fit and I am in his cheering section to help him reach his goals. For years he has had a dream of fixing bikes and then being able to give them away to those who do not have bikes. Those who can not afford them or for what ever the reason have not been able to own a bike. This dream is finally coming true. The only disadvantage to this is that our garage is now taking the form of a bicycle parts shop. I guess it is a good thing that we needed to sell our second car because now the bikes have taken over it's parking place. He is able to select bikes from a community resource and then cleans them, tweaks and repairs, and then finds new homes for them. I took this photo of his first attempt at this endeavor this past Spring. He advertised the availability of the bikes on our local radio swap shop and within minutes of the announcement he had received phone calls and all of the bikes had new homes. It means a lot to him to be able to pass on his joy of riding to others and especially to children. It would be his dream to have every child supplied with a bike. That would be a pretty large undertaking though so for now he will just focus on our community.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wonderful Surprise On Sunday

I was greeted by a conversation on my Nanna's Knitting at Etsy this past Sunday that my scarf Tribute which was in a beautiful treasury had made it to the front page on Etsy. The creator of the treasury Jennifer Hewett of was even kind enough to mail me a screen shot of that front page on Monday so that I would be able to see it. Her treasury featured beautiful gray items and it was the first treasury that she had created. So way to go Jen! Needless to say I was ecstatic about this news. Steve was out on the deck reading the Sunday paper and sitting in the sunshine when I was able to tell him. I couldn't even wait to get out to the deck to do my happy dance so I had to let him know through the kitchen window. Well there were significant reasons for this as to go out on the deck would require a change from my pajamas into clothes and I was much too excited to take that long. I will include a photo of Tribute and I will also show a button of this made it to the front page of Etsy. Well that is what I intend to do anyway. That depends on if my computer skills are up to the challenge. I must confess, I couldn't figure this out. It is a wonderful thing to have a daughter that knows how to use a computer!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Time to Rejoice

It is a beautiful day today. The sun is out. It is in the 70's AMAZING!We have watched as the Gold Finches have gone from a dingy gray to their beautiful Golden color which in itself seems to be a miracle of Spring. It feels like a season to rejoice. Spring is new life a burst of freshness in a way it is like Ready... Set...Go! Our family has been reeling with illness the past couple of weeks Steve with Pneumonia, Me with Sinusitis, Deanna with Cysts and Enlarged Lymph Nodes which was a better diagnosis than Appendicitis, though she is still having pain. So antibiotics for Steve and I and pain medication for Deanna and we are all more than eager to jump into a fresh new Spring.

As I am writing this the view out my front window shows little tiny pink buds on our flowering crab. In a couple of days that tree will be exploding with blooms. Our garden has it's newest layer of fertilizer on top and is ready for tilling. I'm thinking about which plants to put into our garden. Always tomatoes, there must be potatoes as this is one of the best regions for growing those. I'm thinking carrots, peas, yeww I don't know if I even want to fool with green beans though they will have to go in as my sweetie is the one who tends the garden and he does like these. I think asparagus would be nice though it can appear to be messy and if memory serves me I don't think you can harvest the first season. Any fellow gardeners reading this can leave a comment for me on gardening tips. I'm looking forward to seeing how large my herb patch will be this year. Last year my Rosemary did not make it through the harsh winter. The Lavender was growing wonderfully and every time I see it or take a whiff of the fragrance I think of the fields in Provence and dream of someday visiting them.

The Collies in residence Abby and Skye are even smiling as they have been diligently watching Steve pound posts into the ground to put up the fence in our backyard so they can run, leave it to the females to advise from the sidelines on building projects. I know that our neighbors must be giddy with joy as they see the fencing going up. As they have looked at that neon orange snow fence throughout the end of last summer until now. Well it was covered by snow for most of the Winter so at least they didn't have to see it then.

God is so good all I have to do is look out my window and see the gorgeous world that he has created for us and the abundance of beauty and eventually the provision of food that he will give to us through our garden. Life is good!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why Didn't I Think of This Sooner?

I have a brain that is filled with wonderful ideas today. I just finished cleaning my refrigerator. And ewww....who wants that job! So while cleaning with an ever busy brain that likes to run non-stop I started contemplating that for the next Presidential election that will probably start up the campaigning sometime next week. Oh wait I think that I just shifted from contemplative thinking right into outright bitter sarcasm so forgive me as I wander back to my great idea. If the next Presidential candidate would promise little tiny refrigerator elves to every household in America so they could make sure that leftovers didn't get left. And they would make sure that anything growing fuzz that shouldn't be would be discarded immediately thus saving both face as in non embarrassment and nose as in PU! I am telling you this person would have a bi-partisan win that would be overwhelming like no other in history. Now you just try to tell me that isn't a great idea.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Learning New Things

Ask and you shall receive! I know that is Biblical and sometimes it is just so hard to ask. As a parent I know how much I would truly love to give to my children. I would not wish for bad things to happen to them nor would I give them something to intentionally harm them. Doesn't the Heavenly Father have so much that he would desire to bless us with? I am trying on this journey through life to learn to walk a little closer to God as he is always there for me. It is I who neglects to seek this close walk. I become distracted, disheartened, and sometimes I forget that he is just a prayer away.

My brain went to this thought of ask and you shall receive as I was reading a Blog by an Etsy seller whose shop is called ennadoolf you can find this shop at I have been seeing these great displays of Etsy shops on blogs but did not know how to put this feature on my blog. I left a comment on her blog asking how this is done. Within a very short period of time she sent me a note that gave a complete helpful explanation to walk me through the steps of setting up this feature. Guess what? It worked! I think that for the most part people want to help eachother. I want to believe firmly that there is a lot of good in this world to be found. It isn't always easy to ask another for help. I'm just thankful that there are many good hearts who are willing to step in if we just ask. I guess I'll be working on that skill. And many thanks to ennadoolf!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fire Treasury

This bright orange scarf made a Treasury on Etsy yesterday. I am on the Etsy Knitters Team and I will receive an email when there is a new Treasury that the team has items in. I always try to look these up so that I can leave a comment as an encouragement. It is so much fun for me to do this. As I was paging down to look at the entire scarf was included in it! Happy dance! I tried to put the direct link in for you to see this. I don't know if my computer skills will be enough to accomplish this. Treasuries are only up for a limited number of days but if you have time try to give a peek at this because the person that put it together did such an outstanding job. All of the bright orange and red is really so beautiful to see. It reminds me of a gorgeous sunset.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

If I Gained The World

This day has been such a mix of joys and sorrows. I've joined the world of Facebook and Twittering and I have been interested in the variety of contacts this brings. The familiar faces of friends and family that I don't see very often. This is definitely in the joy department! The chase of more followers and their tweets. Sorry, Larry and Ashton, I'm just not even tempted to keep up in this race though it does make for a time of fun distraction. There was a tweet today that led me to the blog of a grieving mother. Her son took his life about two weeks ago and she is blogging in an effort to work through the grief and to hopefully help others to not go through this type of tragic loss. The tweet about this blog was from a woman that attended the same church as the grieving family. One life lost is not just one life touched the sorrow builds out in rings like when a pebble is tossed into water. One life touching another, touching another. As a mother I can't help but think what if it was my child? My daughter walked a little too close to the fire during a recent bout of depression. Thankfully, I have been able to witness a healing that is none other than a miracle that happened during a time with her father and I and two dear Pastors named Scott and Dan who took the time to fervently pray over her. I'm not saying that the answer is always this simple, I know full well that there are times where counseling and or medication, or hospitalization is needed. It is a true neglect as a Christian if I assaulted with the pray and pull yourself together attitude! But likewise it would be a disservice to God if I did not share that I have been a witness that God does still deliver miracles and healing. While together with our daughter we were able to grieve with her about things that have happened in her past, to feel her pain as she struggles with a debilitating chronic illness and to laugh with her as the depression left her and the transformation on her face and the laughter that bubbled out of her was a true miracle that took place right before our eyes. The joy of the Holy Spirit working in her life!

Life is so full of joy and sorrow and the contrast today has been evident to me in so many ways. I was able to look at my grandson's photos as he is savoring his first bites of sweet potatoes with as much or possibly more ending up on his face than in his stomach. I laughed with joy as I was able to enlarge the photo and see that his hair is coming in about the same color as the sweet potatoes on his face. Yes, this definitely falls into the joy department!

I am a little weary tonight. I have been working a lot lately with both of my Etsy sites. I have had two more unexpected treasuries featuring my work. I am so delighted with this and I pray that it brings in sales. Yet as I work I find that I am focusing so much on this that sometimes it makes me feel very driven. And I feel the rush of excitement with the Treasuries and then the excitement of a sale which can be followed by many days of hearing nothing and no sales. Excitement/Disappointment all emotions. I had decided it was time tonight to stop working, to take a hot bath, read a good book, and listen to a new CD titled "The Longing" by Alberto and Kimberly Rivera. As I was reading my book titled "If I Gained the World" written by my new favorite author, Linda Nichols, I came upon the words of an old hymn.

"If I gained the world but lost the Savior,
Would my gain be worth the lifelong strife?
Are all earthly pleasures worth comparing
For a moment with a Christ-filled life?
Had I wealth and love in fullest measure,
And a name revered both far and near.
Yet no hope beyond, no harbor waiting
Where my storm-tossed vessel I could steer.
If I gained the world but lost the Savior
Who endured the cross and died for me,
Could then all the world afford a refuge
Whither in my anguish I might flee?"

That beautiful hymn will be the end to this day and accompany my thoughts as I fall asleep.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Treasury for Nanna's Knitting

I opened up my Nanna's Knitting mail today and found to my delight that I have been included in a treasury! This is just so exciting for me. It is a pretty gloomy looking day weather wise today. But all sunshine inside from this joy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Messy Life?

Last week as I was writing in this blog I asked if I could introduce you to the Savior of my messy life. Do you ever have that messy life feeling? I don't have it all together. Harmful words come out of my mouth sometimes that I just can't erase. Sometimes as I flip through the channels on TV there is the temptation to watch something that just has no place in my life. Some people annoy me and it seems just a little too hard to love my neighbor. You know the term the month is a little too long and the paycheck too short? When that happens I get anxious instead of turning it over to my Savior and allowing him to provide for me. And anger, bitterness, hanging onto something that I should have forgiven, yes that sometimes takes place in my heart and it should never be allowed to be there. Is your life ever making you weary? Is anxiety attacking at night as you sit and watch the news? Do you ever have that empty yearning feeling in your gut and you just can't figure out what it will take to make you feel whole? Believe me I know messy! Asking Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior does not keep life from giving you a few bumps as you journey through it, but he does give you a reason to get up in the morning, a true 24/7, 365 days a year guarantee for a lifetime plus the hereafter promise to cling to.

"Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant-I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do." Psalm 73: 21-28

Yes, I know messy. But I also know and love a Savior that has promised never to leave me or forsake me. A Savior that loved me enough to suffer agonizing brutality and die hanging on a cross because he loved you and me enough to take our sins to that cross. If you feel the need for a Savior who will walk with you through this journey of a messy life, who will hold you close if anxiety tries to attack you late at night, who will give you a brand new start like jumping into the shower filthy and stepping out of it freshly clean. Then these are the steps that you can take to receive this. All you need to do is ask. Jesus will never force his way in.
1. Acknowledge that your life has an empty yearning inside and that you have sinned.
2. Ask Jesus into your life. Ask him to forgive your sins.
3. Believe that Jesus is true and trustworthy and that through his death on the cross and then
his resurrection he has given you a new life.
4. Thank him! It is time to celebrate!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

First Treasury Selection

I am so excited this item was selected from my Jewelry shop to be in a Treasury. This is the first time one of my items has been chosen. So when I received the email message that this was chosen I did my happy dance. It was a very good feeling!

Chosen for my first Treasury

I came home on Friday to an email message that told me that one of my jewelry items had been selected for a Treasury. I was so excited that I did a little happy dance. So I wanted to share this. I hope you enjoy!

EtsyKnitters’ Spring Scavenger Hunt

This week, I am so excited to announce the EtsyKnitters Team Spring Scavenger Hunt!

We have a grand total of 31 Etsy shops participating, each offering BOGO specials, discounts of 10-15-20% on purchases, and/or free shipping, and/or charitable donations from their sales!

The eye candy clues on the official Hunt page are worth the trip alone. Wow, it’s really an honor to be a member of such a creative & talented group of knitters! (Learn more about the EtsyKnitters team.)

The Spring Scavenger Hunt is a simple concept:

  1. Find any 10 items in the EtsyKnitters’ stores, using the gallery of photo clues we’ve provided.
  2. Send us the 10 item numbers matched with the Etsy store where you found them, using our easy online Entry Form.
  3. You’ll get the “magic word” back by email!

Use that magic word with any order you place with these participating EtsyKnitters, and voila! You get tons of great deals on handmade, fiber-y goodness.

The Spring Scavenger Hunt promotion begins today, Friday April 3. Deadline for entries is Sunday, April 12. Your special discounts will be good for shopping throughout the Hunt, plus an additional week – until April 19. Click here for complete details.

Anyone interested in some fun and a chance to look at some beautiful items? Just follow the above and have a great time as you look for clues and find some great shopping deals.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Etsy Knitters Spring Scavenger Hunt

If you are up for a little hunt. The Etsy Knitters Team is sponsoring a Spring Scavenger Hunt. Just click on the badge on the right and it should take you directly to the page to find the information that you will need to participate. Have fun!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Knitting Time

I have been busy working on my knitting for the past few weeks. I seem to need to have my fingers busy working as I watch TV or just as time to relax. Knitting has been known for years to be an anxiety reducer. I guess that is if everything with your project is going well with no dropped stitches or impossible instructions. Actually ripping out a project is sometimes a frustration helper. I had been making scarves to stay warm. Which actually is still needed here. But with Spring in mind I have started making frivolous fun flowers. Along with my jewelry shop I have a knitting shop called Nanna's Knitting. It is located at stop by to see what I have been busy with. The latest scarves are crocheted which isn't my first love, but it has provided a nice break for me. All of my projects are very simple nothing very involved but I enjoy making them and that is what is important.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ever Had One of THOSE Days?

Have you ever had one of THOSE days? If you haven't you surely must not be human. My daughter is on Christian Mingle it would be one of the desires of her heart to find a Godly man that can capture her heart and live happily ever after as we all hope the story goes, and for the most part that is the way the story goes. The reason I bring this up about my daughter is that one of the young men that came up as a possible match made a statement that I won't be able to quote directly but it made such an impression on me that I have been thinking it over for weeks. He mentioned in his profile that he thinks that Christians have a way of putting people off because they try to act as though they have everything together. He said something about not having everything together in his life but having everything cleansed because he has a Savior. I think this young" twenty something" has labeled this very well. Or as my husband has quoted you don't clean your fish before you haul them into the boat why do Christians act as though people should have everything cleaned up before they enter into a church? Let alone why should we act like we expect this behavior from someone who hasn't even had the chance to know Christ? If this is the impression we are giving as Christians, man am I ever sorry for this and I know a Savior that must weep over such an arrogant attitude!

My thoughts are back to have you ever had one of those days? You know the kids are sick and you can't fix it. The car has something seriously wrong with it and for the life of you the ability to pay for the repair costs isn't to be found. You have been on the wrong end of the down sizing that the corporation you are employed at needs to take to keep it solvent. Your marriage is falling apart and every time you walk into your front door at the end of the day your intent is to tell your loved one how sorry you are that it has come to this, but something he or she says as soon as you walk in that door really ticks you off and it is another night of arguments and crushed feelings. You have just found out that your unmarried teenage daughter is pregnant and your heart is broken as you wonder how will this little girl who is yet a child raise a child? Your loved one is serving their Country in a land so far from home and tonight all you really want is to crawl under the covers and be able to hold them close. The flood waters are truly rising around you. You have sandbagged with your community. You have tried to assess what is most important in your home to take out just in case all of your sandbagging collapses and the water comes pouring in. How do you take a life of memories and try to save something from it? Have you ever had one of those days? Your life can be a mess, it can be one of those days, or weeks, or months I think we have all had them. And I truly thank God, he doesn't expect us to clean it all up, straighten everything out, and be polite before we can approach him. He will listen to us, love us, hold us close even if our life has been messy, stinky, depressed, and broken. Can I introduce you to the Savior of my messy life?

"The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does. The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness. The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. The Lord protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked. I will praise the Lord, and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever."
Psalm 145:13-21

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I've found that since I have been making jewelry that I am crazy about pearls. I don't really know exactly why, but here are a few reasons. They seem pure, they are organic, something from nature the beautiful sheen, the value that they have had for generations. I don't work with really expensive, impressive pearls. But little beauties they are! Here are a few pics of what I have been up to lately. I have a wedding theme or collection going in my head when I am making these. I know they could be used for any occasion but I just think it would be very sweet for brides to give as gifts to their bridesmaids to be worn at the wedding. Each one is similar to the other yet they have subtle differences to give them a little personality.

As White as Snow

Yesterday it rained buckets...pails...cats...we already had dogs. Anyway it RAINED! From watching the weather channel it looks like most of the United States is having crazy weather. It looked like March doldrums yesterday. Then in the early morning hours it started to snow. When we looked outside today all of the muddy brown depressing goo was gone transformed into a beautiful canopy of white snow. I know most people probably aren't too happy about snow when they are looking forward to Spring, but somehow it was a relief today. We are still watching for the flooding to happen and we are so thankful that we are safe but I think the idea of flooding and mud and people possibly losing their homes just seemed to be put on pause for a short spell today as we looked out at the wonder. I always think of the Bible verse, He washed me whiter than snow when I look out at that cleaned up landscape with sparkling diamonds. Whiter than that is one cleaned up heart! And only God would be able to make such a transformation.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Water Is Rising

My thoughts feel scrambled today. It is cloudy here and very gloomy. Thankfully, the snow and rain that is in the forecast has not shown up yet. The city siren went off at 10:00 a.m. today and Steve headed to help sandbag. Our city, Grand Forks, ND and Fargo, ND are trying to prepare for flooding. Our home is not in danger. The Fargo and Grand Forks cities were clobbered in 1997. I just can't think of much today other than what if it were my home? What would I be doing now in preparation? What would you grab from the house and move to higher ground? I'm praying a lot! I have been so impressed to watch the communities as they pull together to try to help one another. They have closed several area Universities and these young students are out there working so hard to fill and pile up sand bags. It is so wonderful to see their spirit, their passion, their desire to make a difference. My ears are closed to those who knock youth. Our world is in good hands by most of the examples I have seen of those in the 16-30 age range. One life can make a difference! We may not be able to hold back flood waters, but to watch courage, integrity, leadership and community spirit demonstrated as people jump into that line sand bagging and working side by side is truly a sign of what is good in this world!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

I'm sitting here all decked out in green today. I remember this holiday being such a fun one when I was in grade school. I tried to make it an exciting day for our children when they were young but I think they just about threw their mother out when they came home for dinner to green pancakes and green food coloring in their milk. I'm just not sure if my oldest child has been able to shake that one off yet. There was just no convincing him that it didn't taste different. He just couldn't look at the green milk without a little gag kickoff. Then we discovered that corned beef and cabbage was the best! A little slow on picking that up I know! It's not like that couldn't have been discovered sooner. Enjoy the day and enjoy making your own family memories and traditions. They are the things that stay with you and bring a smile to your Irish eyes for all the years later as you recall them.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Dad called today to tell me that he saw the first Robin today. In fact he told me that there were several. So there really is hope that Spring will indeed arrive and in fact if the Robin is an indicator, it has already made its presence known in Southern Illinois. Now just fly North birdie. Far North! I've heard there is a nice house that has bird seed in the feeders just waiting for you. Just a little bribery on my part. You just never know when a Robin might be checking out your Blog.

On my work or play front I made these blue earrings yesterday. Aren't they just the best color?

Happy Spring thoughts to all who are stopping by my blog today!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


My dear husband had to shovel for three hours just to get out of our driveway this morning. So I decided to add some more snow photos to show the results of yesterdays blizzard. Hey when you live in Northern Minnesota a stones throw from Canada that is what you do! Shovel and update on blizzards. Too bad that Wednesdays are the longest work days for Steve as I am sure that his muscles are screaming by now. Extra back rubs for him tonight. I'm not sure that these photos will tell you how truly deep these drifts are. I think we should have put a tiny person next to the really big drift but I didn't think of volunteering for before my daughter shot the photos. Though if you will look at the basketball hoop in the picture on the right....well you will get the idea. So enjoy! Stay warm! And if you are living where it is Sunny, Warm, and flowers are blooming, man are you lucky!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Today's Blizzard

The temperature today is 1 degree. I'm not kidding! A blizzard is taking place right at this moment. Good things about blizzards:1. My sweetheart is home today because everything is closed. 2. I love snow. 3. I'm inside 4.The power is still on. Yeah, I guess that is about it. Only a top four moment here.

So as much as I am not complaining. REALLY! My work with my jewelry creations took me to sunny California today. It seemed to be a really good idea while enjoying a hot cup of coffee and watching snow whip by my window at a bazzillion miles an hour to think warm thoughts. I'll put a little picture in to show you what I listed today.

When we visited Dane, Julia, Ethan and Connor in SUNNY California. We stayed in a lovely home given to us by the generosity of our son and daughter in loves friends. In the fenced in back yard there was a sand box. I took my cup of coffee out with me to enjoy the sun one morning and to my delight I found the sand box was home to a very sweet sociable turtle. I did have a wonderful photo of him, that is before my computer crashed. I guess that's another story though. I'm still muttering about the photos. Back to the turtle...I found tiny turtles at an Etsy shop. I just had to purchase them and find a way to make them into earrings. This is the result of that project.

Now about the photo muttering, I still need to find a back up system. And we received the best thing in our mail yesterday. Our daughter Deanna notified her sibs that we had lost our photos and asked them if they could send copies of theirs. Yesterday the mailbox had a CD of photos from Kelsi and Dirk. A GIANT Thank you!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Delightful encounters with a three and a half year old's world. My son called me a few weeks ago, so that he could put my grandson on the phone to tell me what he had slept with the night before. It was one of those times when grandmas need better ears as I could not for the life of me understand what he had said. With my son back on the phone to translate, he told me that Ethan's teddy bear had been tossed aside so that he could sleep with his new cool blue SNAKE. Wait did I just shout that? It's maybe a good thing that I could not understand my grandson. Even though it might have been very funny for him, it might also be an unwise time to share my phobias SNAKES taking the number one spot, with public speaking almost making a close tie for first place. Funny little boys what is the deal with them liking wiggly, snakes?

Happy Birthday

I just want to give a shout out to my Dad today. Happy Birthday Dad. It is his 81st birthday today. I guess with men it is alright to say their age out loud. So hey Dad Happy Birthday! Let me tell you a little about this man who I love so dearly. He and my mother were married when they were both kids at the ages of 17 and 18. Then it wasn't too long until they were kids raising kids. Any of you with young families know exactly how that goes. Rent or mortgage payments, grocery bills, doctor bills, little sleep and never feeling like you can stretch far enough or be in enough places to take care of everyone and everything. As we turn on the nightly news and hear of job layoffs and a poor economic times they aren't telling this generation of 80 plus anything new. They lived it, pulled themselves up from it, worked so hard, saved what they could, tried to put their kids through school, or at least keep them in a new pair of shoes when they were growing like out of control weeds. There wasn't instant gratification for this generation. It was hard earned and grown over a long period of time. So much wisdom we could learn from them.

I want to share with you one of my dearest memories of my Father. Everyday after working in a factory that we lived close to. He walked to and from work. At the end of each work day my brothers and I would wait for the time of day when dad punched out at work and started walking home. From our home window or yard we could see as he turned the corner and we would race to meet him. My dad whistles happy, sad, busy, whatever he whistles. As we would run toward him you could start to hear the whistle. As we reached him he would pick us up put us on his shoulders and we would ride the rest of the way home perched on the best spot in town. Listening to the contented whistle. Thankfully my siblings and I are spaced several years apart in age. So each of us had our turn in who was able to ride home on dad's shoulders. Yeah, that's what life is all about. Good memories of a loving Father who meets us in the most simple moments of our day.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


So many things to write about today! First a word about my remarkable grandson who has found his toes and is happily sticking them in his mouth and learning to coo! This would be my four month old grandson not the almost four year old one. Funny how playing with your feet is just so adorable when you are four months old.

Then I was emailing a friend on the East Coast who was hit by the Winter Storm this week and asking her if she still had snow. I told her it was actually melting where we live. To which she replied that I was bragging. Pretty funny huh? So I thought I would include a few photos of what melting in Northwestern Minnesota looks like. Don't ya know?

Then I want to add a photo of my work today that I put in my Etsy shop. With all of these snow photos I decided that a little Spring green would be a joyful sight.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Buttons Update

Buttons has his new home! Actually, he has been in his new home for almost a month. I guess I need to update blogs more often. Although, this week I have been pretty good about this. I just want to tell how my timing isn't always the best. A bit, well maybe a lot of fretting went into finding a home for Buttons. Then the perfect home became available with Hannah and her brothers:) They attend church with us. Hannah a delightful, full of energy little girl went to her class the day after finding out that Buttons was coming to live at her house and announced to her teachers that she was getting a service dog, who would be coming to school with her. Hannah is a girl with Cerebral Palsy who zips around in her wheelchair with an amazing zest for life! The teacher's were perplexed upon this announcement and questioned Hannah's mom who informed them that they were getting a companion dog. Which just might be able to attend class just to visit when he is settled in. Well a Collie will absolutely enjoy meeting Hannah's class. And who can blame a girl for trying to bring her new best friend to school with her?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Blessed Assurance

I can't help but think that my Mom is smiling in Heaven today. I woke up singing one of her favorite laundry day songs. God is healing me giving me days with much less pain, and I am joyfully singing! Only, sorry Mom my version sounds a little froggier than yours! She used to belt out hymns while she did her housework and mostly when she was in the basement doing laundry. Some people sing in the shower. Some people sing and dance in their cars. Mom sang in the laundry room. I think that it all stems from the same theory though. Somehow, showers and cars must make people think they are invisible, I can't see them, they can't see me. Well, hopefully, that theory is true for the shower. YEWWW! So as they are bopping around in their cars singing at the top of their lungs (come on, I've been there and I bet you have too) thinking that nobody can see them. Mom belted from the basement and she had a beautiful voice. So this one is for you Mom...Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine! It's ok sing along if you would like, no one can see you as you sit in front of your computer. And surely that means that they won't hear you in the next room. REALLY!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sharing some of my work

I have learned how to add photos of what I have been working on lately. Newbie at this. I love making jewelry and call it my work but really it is like going to play each time I make something. Isn't that what we are told that we should do something we love? Well, I do feel very blessed by this and wanted to share with you what I have been up to. With the past few days at -17 below I have been working with a lot of pastels maybe if I think Spring it will bring Spring. Hmmm...sounds good.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I have been thinking a lot this new year about how one person can make a difference in this world. The movie Pay it Forward comes to mind. How just one person helping another can change things. How to leave this world a better place. God just sometimes places people into your life at just the right time. It seems like chance encounters but they are not by chance at all. I have met two women this week who have been a blessing to me through the site. The first is a woman who beautifully recycles some items and makes them into wonderful floral brooches. She then sells them and takes all of the profit and turns it into charitable giving to areas in her community. So can you give shout outs on a blog? I would think so. You can find her shop at If that isn't the correct way to display this then just go to and under sellers names look for The June Bride. I'm still trying to find my way in this computer world. The other is a woman who makes Handcrafted Aritsan Metalwork it is some of the most beautiful work. She can be found at I had contacted her about an order for silver ear wires this week and mentioned that my shop on Etsy had me stumped or something like that. I had a few sales at the beginning and then things stalled out.
She has offered to give me some tips that will hopefully bring in some business. She used the term Pay it Forward. Some one helped her at one time, at least that is how I understand it, and now she is helping me. It's a great world when we can look out for each other this way. Wiping tears, bandaging skinned knees, embracing someone with a needed hug, supplying food or time to a soup kitchen, or something as simple as a smile given or opening a door for someone. We are being challenged or deluged daily in the news about banks failing, foreclosures of homes, people out of work and news of trying to follow the first 100 days of a new President in office. So to repeat his political slogan of, "Yes we can." Can we make it a better place to live, one person, one life at a time, one act of kindness, yes we can!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Life with the Collies

This morning it was -31 here. -31!!!! I want to make sure that you saw that. Our Collies are going a little stir crazy, as are their human companions. They can't get their walks in because we are freezing. They however, conveniently have fur coats and don't seem to mind the cold. So little trouble makers they have turned into. I will need to take a pic to add here so you can get the full effect. Just keep in mind that it involves a certain library book that is titled, "It's Me or The Dog" written by Victoria Stilwell I wouldn't usually condone bad behavior but this was just too funny, well except now I will have to pay for a new library book. I think that they didn't want me to read this, which would bring up the point...hmmm... do you think that they were a little worried about the title? Now, I will show you a few pictures of the little darlings. Other than being naughty, they have been good companions on a cloudy COLD day, as I danced with the puppies to songs on a Matt Redman CD! This puppy is Buttons and he still needs a good home! Well, he has a good home, but it would be more convenient for us if he did find another home. He is the last of a litter of eight. Beautiful, gentle, but maybe a little mischevious lately.