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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autumn Blessings

I love this time of year especially Halloween. As a kid I'd plan all year what my costume would be. How wonderful to be blessed with my own reason to celebrate the day in yet another way when I grew up.

Taken at the Shaker Village in KY.

My little pumpkin at one year old.
He was born on October 31.

Now he has a pumpkin of his very own.

So many wonderful reasons to celebrate life today.
Happy Birthday, son.
~I love you~

And soon we will gather at the table for another special holiday.
I can't believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

"What? Thanksgiving?? Holy Turkey Gizzards!!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Almost a Monk

A quick update on my status. My cell phone was suffocated and permanently damaged by moisture. Next time I won't use my bra as a pocket to carry my cell while hiking, and photographing the lovely fall foliage....

My power cord to my laptop took a swan dive with the cell phone, and I must bury them side by side. Apparently they mated for life while I wasn't looking. I guess they saw sparks when they looked at each other....

So that left me without a cell phone, and the internet. Oh that's not all folks.... My car was in for servicing, and the warranty company I have my car covered under never responded so my car was in the shop for 3.5 days!! No phone, no Internet, and no car. Monk Ville on the mountain top..... which is NOT a bad thing at all. It just made me aware how dependent I am on things, and the fear of being cut off from the world. I don't think our generation could have survived 100 years ago.... We don't know how to be by ourselves---and I'm not talking about holing up in your room with your computer. I mean being completely isolated from other people, and depending wholly on yourself for survival.

So Superman flew in with his laptop, his cell phone for me to use while mine are being fixed, and took me to pick up my car... PLUS he brought me an inflatable bed.... WHY an inflatable bed you ask?????? Why??? Why???? Why???? Because of this.....

In the midst of all this excitement came the BEST news ever. [no not the news that I could have become a Monk and crafted my "Ommmmmmsssss". While that is appealing, I don't look that cute in an orange tunic and a shaved head. [yes, I know that is a stereotype...just trying to make you yuckity-yuck a bit]

Here's the news!!!!

My son, daughter-in-law and adorable grandson, Emery, are moving back home. They will be in tonight, U-Haul and all. You all know how hard it's been for me not being able to drive that far to see them with my PTSD. Grand kids don't stay little so you don't get to see their growth, and cuteness unfold unless they're close by. And the times I've just wanted to hug my son, or hang out with my daughter-in-law, made me sad that I couldn't or play with my grandson. I've missed them so much.

They'll be staying with me until they find a new place, and this weekend we'll be celebrating Jake's birthday. He was born on Halloween 24 years ago. I was so ecstatic I was going to have a baby on Halloween, my favorite holiday, I nearly burst right there on the spot. I had a marker pen in my hand ready to draw a jack-o-lantern on my tummy to go to the hospital "dressed up" for the occasion.... but lost my sense of humor as things rapidly progressed. My little pumpkin was born with a stunningly beautiful head of hair in the most amazing color of red I'd ever seen.
People stopped us on the street or wherever we went, and ohhhhhhh'ed and awwwwwww'ed about how gorgous he [and his hair] was.

Now people do this with Emery. His Mama has a beautiful blog, "Sweetest Thing", all about Emery, if any of you care to take a peek. Much to my joy, Emery was born with his Daddy's hair. Click on her blog title and it will take you there.

I believe this is a gift. Happy Birthday to me! Oh wait.... I mean happy Birthday dear Jake!!!! Happy Birthday to you!!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Colorful Way to Recycle

More pics from the road trip to KY.
We found this car sitting on the side of the road as a
colorful sign for an antique store.
Plus you can scarf down some great cookin'...

Yes, I give this car a thumbs up for color
and all it's junk is out in the open not in the trunk.
As George Carlin said, "To you it's my me it's my stuff."
I also have a gift of finding great junk left on the roadside.
So my car has resembled this one
when I hauled my treasures home.
Yeah, baby, I have lots of gifts.....
Just ask my friends...
~They want most of the stuff I've hauled home~
Recycling at its finest....
I have a few more pics to show of the trip to my Mom's in KY, then I'll share with everyone what I learned about myself regarding my PTSD, and my progress with it. I needed some time to digest all the things I experienced being in a car for such a long trip. Bottom line, I did it. Fears and all, I did it! But sharing it helps it get smaller in my mind. Does that make sense to you???

Maybe if I drove a colorful car like this one people would stay the heck out of my way on the road! Hmmmmmm..... [makes a memo to herself to slap some bright paint on her car....]...[or collage it.... yeah, baby!!]

Friday, October 23, 2009

No Ordinary Ass

Look it's Eeyore...

Told ya he was no ordinary ass. He lives in Ky. Shhhhhhh.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kentucky Cool Cats

~Some very cool cats we met in Kentucky~

Hamlet, the barn cat.
This is how he was introduced to us
by the young woman in the blue dress.

One of Hamlet's smoking hot girlfriends. Meowwwzerz!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hippie Hearts and Sisters Forever

My trip home to visit my Mom was needed. Not only did she need me but I needed her, too. What is it about going home that can stir up so many emotions inside you? I didn't expect to get such a sweet gift from my sister, Vicky. I'll tell you about it in a minute...

She was home, too, taking care of some business. Vicky lives in Alaska now, and is a wildlife photographer. She recently captured a video of a whale coming into their small village port which a worldwide green movement [to be announced later] asked her to contribute it to a new documentary they are making. Apparently she caught something on film they'd never witnessed a whale do before. How cool is that????

Vicky makes cards from her photography and I got to see her collection while I was home. I'm in awe of her work, but I'm even more bedazzled about her courage to take off on her own to a very remote part of Alaska to live her dream of being a photographer. How many of us sit on lifetime dreams and watch them wither away as though they had no merit? I think the story below may explain why she grew up wanting to capture nature, and wildlife. And why I want to be that hippie girl I was again. I think she [me] was packing the tools in her overalls I need now to help me get over my PTSD. And I'll bet she's still there waiting for me to rediscover her as I work through PTSD today. By Jove!! I think I'm on to something!!!!!

The gift is the picture above. I literally cried when I saw it. I didn't even know this picture existed until Vicky pulled out an album buried in her cedar chest. She loaned it to me to scan for my personal use. I vividly remember the trip to West Virginia for my Dad's family reunion that this picture was taken at. I was a California girl, a hippie girl all of 19 years old, traveling through the mountains of West Virginia in a classic 1961 Thunderbird. Oh... that car was a beaut! Jet black with a plush, red leather interior. The steering wheel slid to the left and right to allow you easier access to get in, and out, of the car. Some of you are nodding your heads. You know exactly how cool that car was.

I was married to Greg, my first husband. He was a Seabee I'd met while he was stationed at the Port Hueneme Naval base in Oxnard, CA. He was a hippie at heart, too, and even in uniform, he didn't "conform" to the status quot. He cleverly hid his long hair under a wig while he was enlisted, so when he was discharged his hair came down below his collar. We left CA as hippies traveling to Ohio in that car that stood out a wee bit [OK a whole lot....] with a bummer sticker plastered on the back that said, "Lick Dick in 72". It was a sign of the times. It was after all, the 70's.

Did you just gasp??? Or laugh??? That ought to tell you how people across most of the US responded to us when we drove through town. Most people didn't laugh but we thought it was hysterical. We'd go into a restaurant for breakfast, and by the time we left, the bumper sticker had been ripped off. Looking back I imagine we were lucky we didn't get our heads ripped off traveling through TX, OK, and a few other states in the Bible belt. Oh my... But we had a huge batch of the bumper stickers, and would just slap another one on to cover up the shredded remains of the previous sticker.

Youth has its blindness and other parts of the anatomy that make it hard to cross your legs without yelping. I suppose that's why I preferred overalls in the early 70's.... to give me room for all that "cocky attitude" between my legs.

So there we were: Me, Vicky, Greg, and Cheryl, [my sister-in-law who was married to my brother Larry who was in Vietnam at the time] trekking through the mountains in a 62 Thunderbird in God's country for a family reunion. I might add we still had the novel bumper sticker in place on the back... And I suppose we may have stood out just a wee bit, too, standing on the side of the road with our mouths gaping wide open watching some live cow action.

Cheryl and I had looked over at field and saw a bull, and a cow doing the nasty "right out there" in front of God, and everyone. We demanded Greg pull over. So to oblige two screaming, giggling, young women, and one teenager saying, "OMG!!!! Those cows are doing it!!!!" Actually, I believe we used a different adverb but you catch my drift.... He pulled off the road in a Duke's of Hazzard tail spin with gravel, and dust shooting behind the car like bullets. We watched in awe of nature, and in shock of cows, well... just being cows. We never saw that on Wild Kingdom, and everyone knows hippies love nature.

I remember the roads getting narrower, eventually becoming dirt roads instead paved ones. There are no street signs in mountainous rural areas, and to city slicker hippies like we were, it became obvious we were lost. I'll never forget the man and woman we stopped to get directions from. It was literally, "Well ya'll got a fer piece ta go. I reckon ya'll best be headin' down Old Man Clark's road till ya'll see the fence by the crick at Miller's landin'. Take a left at Owl Holler, and head north fer a spell. Past the old mine, and I spect' about two corn fields on down.. is where yer folks lives."

Good dang thing I hadn't seen the movie "Deliverance" yet.... Oh boy.....

It turned out to be the neatest family reunion I'd ever been to, nor have been to since. I loved the mountain people, their warmth, sweet spirits, and hospitality even though I found out later I was probably eating squirrel and not beef. [shiver] Ahhhh, memories.

The picture above was taken at the reunion. I had another reunion this past week with my family. It did my heart good. I'll be posting pics, and telling stories about my trip this week. I got some incredible shots of KY, and did a special photo shoot for one of my nieces, Gabby. I'm still saying, "Ya'll...." and am loving every sappy, syrupy, sugar filled tweak I can add to it. Yep, I embrace my dorkiness, and love my overalls, my genuine Woodstock Lily-fied sassy pants.

If any of you would be interested in Vicky's cards, let me know. I'll get you her contact info. You'll want to keep all of them....just to warn you in advance of how amazing her shots are.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Contest Winner!!!

We have a winner!!!!!!

There was a total of 94 entries! 94!!!! WOW! Superman and I printed them up using the hotel's printer since we are still on the trip to visit my Mom. So I apologize for being a day late announcing the winner. Birthday celebrations, and a flurry of family visitations made it for a very late night.... [details soon to follow]

~BUT we do have a winner, and here's how we did it~

Every name had its own slip of paper.

Including a name to go with each person
who liked Lily Pad as the prospective new name.

We hand cut each one...

Folded up all 94 entries....

Put them in my favorite hat...

Superman mixed them all up and.....

Handpicked the winner.....

Are you dying to know??????

I had butterflies waiting for him to unfold the winner.....

Lily Pad entered by Lisa @ Eco Yogini

Her blog is delightful!!!! ~check it out~

But first, please help me congratulate her!!!

I am ecstatic!! Giddy!!!! Elated!!!!

Lily Pad

Thank you so much everyone for making this a fun, enjoyable and creative experience! Everyone of you are winners in my book for participating, and especially for being such great friends, and followers! Email me, Lisa!!!! Let's get started planning your painting!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Opie, the Driving Cat

Opie's driving me down to visit my Mom. It's about a 6.5 drive from where I live on back roads. My Mom is facing a major surgery [2nd one] on her back. I haven't seen her in 3 years. That's way too long. She's been unable to drive up here to visit me because of her back, and since my car accident---I've been unable, and too scared , to go visit her.

Superman will be flying along to assist should Opie need a cat nap. Or if his little legs get too tired from pushing the broom stick down on the gas pedal. Or should he just need to groom or something like that. I have drugs...errrrr I mean ways to cope should I need it.

Road Trip....
Oh crap....

But I'm going drugged.......errrrrr..... I mean... medicated, or not. One way or another. My Mom needs me. I need her. She's my Foster Mom. I was adopted as a teen, and was the first of 11 other foster kids. You'll hear about her more in my book. My Mom should be on Oprah. She is the reason I'm alive today, the person I am today, and she needs me. Hearing her say she needs me is bigger than PTSD. Bigger than my fears of being in a car. If it takes 12 hours to get to her, I will do it!!!

On the way back we're stopping to visit Lily, from Blawgh, Life on the Farm. It's our first time to meet. A fellow blogger, now dear friend is going to let me drive the tractor on her farm. Can you do that medicated, too??? Oh wait I think that's what she said... Oh maybe she said I could pet her horse or at least ride it in a circle in the corral. Holy Horse Doo! I'm gonna be a cowgirl!

Any whoooooooooo, peeps. There I said it. I'm taking a long arse road trip. And spending my birthday tomorrow with my family. We're leaving in about an hour and a half, and I haven't thrown up yet. This is good... very, very good. Hey send cake... birthday hugs, presents hehehehe and especially your love, and well wishes. But seriously.... [ummmmmm I AM serious about the presents......and cake]

It's my birthday and all I want is for one moment to be able to feel like I used to, War Warrior Extraordinaire... the one who used to drive back and forth across the USA by herself chasing her dreams as a singer. With Opie as my co-pilot, and Superman flying overhead, I should be just fine.

I'll update you later from the hotel... OK now start singing Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!

Yikes!!!! Opie just asked me if he'd need a broom for the brakes..... Good thing he's on the ball. I love that cat!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dragonfly Keepsake

A couple of Sunday's ago, Superman and I went on a nice Sunday drive. It's good for me to get back out as much as I can on the highway of life. Most of you know I do really well on country roads, and am working to get back out on the freeways or major highways. But I have to admit... I love a scenic country road far better than a freeway any day, and I was that way before the accident, too. [aren't most of us that way??]

I asked Superman to take me to this antique store I found in my new hood recently that I'd been itching to check out. They drag items out to the roadside, and in front of the store every day. [glad that's NOT my job] They'd been advertising for a TAG sale that weekend, and I was excited to see what charming items awaited me inside. I never expected to come home with a dragonfly.

The store was full of everything imaginable, and not--trinkets, babbles, furniture and antiques crammed into every spot, and then stacked on top of those spots. I loved it. But amazingly nothing was catching my eye or my " I JUST gotta have that bones". I was browsing the wares when a woman who worked there came out from behind the counter and asked us, "Do you know what dragonflies eat?"

Huh??? What??? I did my best "tilt my head to one side Barbie blond wrinkle my nose duh WTFrap look" and said, "I guess they eat small insects like gnats or something. Hmmmmmmm... I don't really know to be honest with you." Truth is, I slept through my Biology classes, or was ditching class, or was on a 25 minute bathroom hall pass smoking in the boy's room break, or was too busy writing love letters to my boyfriend of the week in school so I honestly didn't know what to tell her. She said, "Thanks." and went back behind the counter.

Now how could anyone go back to browsing, and not be curious about why she'd ask such an odd question, seemingly out of the blue??? I had to ask her why.

"Well yesterday just before we closed, a dragonfly flew into the store and ended up flying right into one of those ceiling fans above your head. It knocked it for a loop, and I kept it here overnight to see if it would make it. It's still alive so I wondered what I should feed it until it can fly away."

"Ohhhhhhh....." I answered looking up at the multiple ceiling fans whirling above us on the ceilings, and could understand how the poor thing didn't have a chance if it had been frightened or confused inside the long warehouse. I went about my shopping and wandered outside to look at the mis-mosh of treasures that had bejeweled some one's home in a previous life. I found a container of sea glass for $2.00, and scooped it up like I'd hit a gold vein deep in the Sierra's.

The woman at the counter asked me what I was going to do with the sea glass, and I explained to her that I was an artist. I could see she hadn't perceived the sea glass as anything but junk before, and nodded her head in approval. I had the same curiosity about the dragonfly. I imagined a tiny, cobalt blue dragonfly like the ones that liked to hoover around my cobalt blue kayak. I always felt like the Mothership when they flew around me, and my kayak, and then landed on my knee or arms while paddling. I'd sometimes sit for several minutes just admiring their intense colors, and unique bodies.

I never expected to see such a huge dragonfly, lying on a bright red paper plate on top of a piece of notebook paper as if it were it's protective lining. It was stunningly beautiful.

It was black with the brightest lime green stripes on its head and body, and its wings were iridescent. I'd truthfully never seen a dragonfly this large before in my life. I could see one of its arms was cupping the side of its head as if to say, "Man my head hurts." I instantly hurt for it, too. I wanted to touch it, brush it tenderly as a mother trying to soothe her child after falling off a bicycle. I gently came in for the touch, careful not to frighten it any more than I suspected it already had been, and to my sorrow, it didn't respond at all. I touched a tiny leg. Only 5 of its 6 legs remained on it perfectly intact body. "Its dead, I think." The woman said, "Oh no its still alive."

I was sad to tell her it wasn't. I gently moved it again to show her, and could see she, too, felt helpless, and sad the dragonfly had died. She took the plate off the counter and placed it back on the desk behind her. I picked up my sea glass, and we left the store. We weren't 100 feet out of the drive when I told Superman we had to go back to get the dragonfly. I saw him look at me like the lady had looked at me when she asked what I was going to do with the sea glass. "I'm going to preserve it into a piece of art. It is too beautiful to end up in the trash can."

Superman knows my heart, my mind, that I talk to the trees in the forest, and love every creature large or small. He knows my trash to treasure philosophy in life, and how I can transform anything into a beautiful piece of art. He had no objections to stopping on our way back home, and willingly went inside to rescue the dragonfly on the red paper plate. The woman was afraid it wasn't dead, and if it wasn't that it would starve. Superman assured her I would never do anything to harm it if it was still alive so she gave him the dragonfly, red paper plate and all. I held the paper plate on my lap as if it were a prize. To me it was a prize, and beauty like this should be treasured, made immortal as a piece of art that it is.
It's in good hands now. I plan to encase it in a piece of art, and preserve it for everyone to enjoy its beauty forever. I will showcase the finished art in an upcoming post. Perhaps I will offer the dragonfly artwork as the prize for the winner of my contest to name my new place. Let me know what you think about that as an option. I can assure you, the piece will be beautiful, and will be one of a kind. Just like this amazing dragonfly was.....and still is in my eyes.

One more day!!!
To put in your suggestion for a name for my new digs.
Did you notice the new pic on my side bar???
It should give you some inspiration.
~Contest closes tomorrow at midnight~

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

~Contest Reminder~

The house sits atop a lush green hill in a quiet valley.
The sky is bluer than a robin's egg,
and clouds dance in the heavens as if no one's watching...
Apples hang on the trees waiting for a hand
to pluck their ripeness from a branch.
At night the moon crawls past my windows
and I can hear the old man laughing.
Welcome home, dear one, welcome home.

Hosta in bloom

The Red Bench

Woodstock Lily Yard Art

Here are the names people have entered as the new name for my new digs. It's not too late to enter another suggestion.

~Lily Pad~
suggested and supported by;
Lily @ Blahwg!, Life on the farm
lovelyprism @ Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,
Rachael @ Rachael's Carrma
priti.lisa @ priti studio
Lisa @ Eco Yogini
Jean @ Pondering...

~Star Gazer~
by Allen @ Allen's Adventures

~Apple Cottage~
by Lily @ Blahwg!, Life on the farm,

~Smoke Free Peace Place~
by Mark @ The Walking Man

~No Smoking~
by Rick @ One Big Love

~Angelic Hill~
~House of Bliss~

by Tina @ "Yes, that's my child screaming"

~Big Sky Cottage~
~Night Sky Cottage~
~Starry Sky Cottage~

by Stoneweaver

~Paradise Found~
by Anne and Sassy Sasha

~Heavenly Hill~
by Joanna Jenkins @ The Fifty Factor

by Robert @ Barefoot Navigation

~Junior Acre~
by The Gaffer Girls

~Hill House~
by Snowbrush

~Sky View~
~Star View~

by Nina P's Thoughts and Musings

~Dream House~
~Sketch Pad~
by Jake @ Scattered Rhythms

~Lily's TLC, "Tranquility, Love, and Contentment"~
by Mother Moon's Message

~This Side of Heaven Manor~

by the Jodi @ Creager Studios

~Faraway Cottage~
by The Water Cats

~Lily Hill~
by the Squirrel Queen

by the Frog Queen

~Avalon Cottage~
Avalon is a type of apple
by TMC @ Return to Rural

If I've missed someone please speak up! I'd hate to think I missed anyone. This is so exciting. There are some great name suggestions.

I'll be closing the contest on Sunday October 11 and announcing the winner on Tuesday October 13 my birthday! [send cake... send balloons... send hugz... send ice cream... send licorice jelly beans.... send spice gumdrops.... send love...send smiles.. did I say send cake??... carrot cake....yum...]
In the meantime....

~Opie's waiting patiently to announce the new home name~

Friday, October 2, 2009

Shedding Stress

I think my little darling has settled in.....

Yes, he's definitely settled in...

All that matters is that he is happy. I can attest the move has been very smooth as far as Opie is concerned. He adapted so nicely to the new house which I didn't expect.
But here's a curious matter I need some help from you about.

Right after we moved into the Tree House (our former home for new followers) Opie Taylor began shedding like crazy. I thought it was because of all the stress of moving. He hated seeing all the boxes, and things changing around him. Let's face it. Cats hate change of any kind. In fact, he hated my job. I used to travel extensively, and he recognized when my suitcases came out that it meant I was leaving. He shed so badly after we first moved to the Tree House I thought it was all stress, and feeling confused about where he was suddenly. But it never let up--the shedding. It got worse. And soon it became the "norm".

This time I never packed one box in front of him or moved one stick of furniture. I bundled him up, and took him to Dylan's house to stay with her while I moved. He lived with her for a week in a large kennel cage, and was given a room with a view to hang out in. He sat in her window, and was brushed, and loved and tugged on like a wishbone by her, and her daughters.... What kitty wouldn't love all that attention?

A week felt like forever not having my kitty with me. I picked him up late one evening, and brought him home--to the new house. I held him in my arms, and gave him the grand tour. I let him smell familiar furniture, my bed, and bedding, all the time talking softly to him. I even took him down to the basement where I placed his private bathroom, and took one of his paws in mine to scratch through the litter in his box so he would know where it was.

Now here is the miracle, and where I need some help. He has completely stopped the excessive shedding! I am in shock. I used to pet him [at the Tree House], and with just with one stroke over his body would have a handful of hair in my hand. His fur literally stuck to everyone like Velcro whenever he walked by them. I chased him off my bed because his shedding was so excessive it drove me crazy. I'd brush, and brush, and brush him but nothing helped.

Until now..... magically he has stopped shedding. Was it the ions in the air living on an island, surrounded by so much water that caused him to shed so much? Was it something in the Tree House he was allergic to? Was there something negative about the Tree House he could sense and caused him to shed so much??? What do you think it was? I know, I know why does it matter now that he's stopped shedding... But I'm still curious. Does anyone have any ideas or similar experiences that could "shed" [ha ha] some light on this for me?

I'll tell you this... I love this. No fur flying in the air when you touch him. Nope just a soft, silky little boy that is welcome to get up on my bed now.... Happy Happy Joy Joy!

REMINDER: Contest still open!!!
Winner will receive one of my paintings.


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