Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Greetings

Howdy ya'll! (Picking up the lingo while visiting family in Texas) Hope everyone has a blessed Easter. Be back soon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

From the rising of the sun

"I still find each day too short for all the
thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want
to take, all the books I want to read, and all
the friends I want to see."

John Borroughs

Counting blessings

365 - palm

366 - my own sun puddle inspired by Emily

367 - fern-filled forests

368 - gleefully getting lost

369 - inviting you to tea

Joining Ann today

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Letters Home

I'm an adult who loves childrens' books. There, I said it, and I'm not ashamed. There are some things I missed out on in my younger years that I'm making up for now. Here's a favorite that I'd like to recommend:

The Gardener is a story about how seeds of love transform. It follows the story of a little girl living an idyllic country life, surrounded by a caring family, poor but happy. Sadly, when the Great Depression hits hard, she must be sent away to live with a gruff, old uncle who lives in the city while her parents look for work. The story is told in a series of letters that Lydia Grace sends to the folks back home.

You know, God is always speaking; even in the most unusual places, He will reveal Himself. I hear Him in this funny little story. There's a line in one of the letters that would make my voice crack if I read it aloud:

"I've tried to remember everything you ever taught me about beauty. Love to all, Lydia Grace."

This one line makes me want to write my own letter:

Dear Abba,

I write this to You, recognizing Your fingerprints all over this lump of clay. And I also own that any creative spark and thirst for beauty in me was a gift from You, came out of You. I'm Your girl; I got Your DNA. So while I'm far from home, I'll try to remember everything You ever taught me about beauty. And in my small, imperfect way, I give it back to You. I want to make You proud.

Love to all,


Joining Emily today

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Have all three

Rules for Happiness:
Something to do,
Someone to love,
Something to hope for.

Immanual Kant

Counting blessings

360 - Your childrens' children

361 - summer in a jam jar

362 - alliteration

363 - matinees

364 - "I burn while I am of use" (Thomas Carlyle) - my new motto

Joining Ann today

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Time to cut the wick

To be honest, I didn't want to get out of my warm bed early this morning and put on four layers of antique garb, trudge up a muddy path, hold my breath past the pigpen, and cut the wick, stir the wax, and play at being a chandler for 96 fourth graders.

Today was my first day back to work after winter hibernation, and I always grumble while searching for my buckle shoes in the dark. But once I get there...

...I remember why I love this job and the children with their questions. Like today - "Are you comfortable wearing that junk, lady?"

I love the tools of my trade - today, a candlemaker

and the smell of wood smoke

and still rooms

and the company of other history geeks

Every year I say "This year - I'm quitting. I'm too old for this." And when the day is over, I say, "Well, maybe next year".

Thanks everybody for your kind words and prayers. I'm feeling much better.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Not enough sleep repost

Hey everybody. It's funny when you don't blog for a few days. You really miss it. I'm putting up a seasonal repost 'cause I'm recovering. Nothing serious. The love of my life had to pull night shift all this past week. Midnight to eight a.m. Yuck! I don't sleep well when he's not there. I don't sleep at all, actually. Which doesn't go well with rheumatoid arthritis, which I have. Plenty of rest is essential for me to function.

No more night shift - hooray! But my joints are still in recovery mode. So here's an oldie but goodie.

This is my friend Laurie. She makes exquisite Ukrainian eggs. Laurie's not Ukrainian, but she is talented and generous with her knowledge. She will teach anybody who wants to learn how to make them.

She's crafty and hospitable, serving us pysanky students a delicious lunch beforehand.

Everything Laurie makes is pretty

Can you believe we're going to learn how to make these?

The tools - egg, beeswax, and kistka (writing pen)

dyes especially made for pysanky

she demonstrated how to heat the kistka in the candle flame, dip the hot pen into the beeswax, and scoop it up to write on the egg, like a waxy ink.

Both the colors and the designs on a pysanky egg are symbolic. At one time the designs were a form of pagan folk art but later took on Christian meaning.

You dip the egg in dyes from the lightest to the darkest colors, covering with wax any parts that you want to preserve.

After the final dye bath, with black traditionally being the last color, it's time to melt away the wax.

Carefully holding the egg near the candle flame, you melt the wax and gently wipe it away with a cloth.

"Humpty Dumpty had a great fall..." Yes, my egg broke shortly after I finished it - one of the risks of pysanky which make it so exciting - sort of like an extreme sport...

More of Laurie's artistry

Gorgeous. My friend has been making these eggs for her family for many years. What a gift!


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