Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye to the first decade of the millenium!

The news shows all say "its the end of the first decade of the millenium" It has been a hard ten years, and yet there were many bright moments as well.We moved to Canada in January of 2000. We brought Niles home in February of 2000. My sweet man! In June 2001, I lost my son to an asthma attack, the US was attacked in September.Then we brought the Murphy home in October 2001. This year saw the loss of Niles in June and my husband left to find his way in July. See the contrast? Good, and horrible juxtaposed against one another.

That's what life is. This past year has put many of us here in blogland to the test. I read somewhere that we experience these trying times as God is trying to strengthen us. That may be true, but golly, I am about strong enough now to pick up Sparkle and carry him around my yard! LOL!

What do I plan for the next year? I plan to follow where I am taken, to accept what I have, live without what I don't and just be happy in the moment. I plan to make the decision each day to be happy in the face of whatever comes my way. I plan to continue to love my friends, make some new ones and find my place. I am going to make a new career for myself and move on into a new decade with hope and optimism that better things await me in the new decade to come. I will always love my bullies and try each day to make their life the best ever; and be the kind of person they think I am. I am no longer looking back. I am moving forward quickly and letting the past hurts and sadness go. I will love again and trust again.That is a work in progress. But I am okay.

I still mourn for my baby Niles and my son Joseph. These are the things that happen to us in life and we have to honor them by living a good life, continuing to love and opening our hearts to possibilities. I will never forget these hurts, but will let them strengthen me and my resolve to find a better way.

The bullies and I say "BULLY NEW YEAR" to all of you!!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Meaning of Christmas

Yesterday I spoke on the phone with someone close to me about the subject of Christmas. After hanging up, I came to a realization that this person didn't really know me anymore. And truthfully I guess I'm not "me" anymore, at least the old "me" of just last year.

For my entire life as an adult, Christmas has been a stressful time of unrealized expectations. I think many people can identify with this. The advertising onslaught from even before Thanksgiving on tends to urge us all toward excess. The children are encouraged by the ads to want more and more. And parents try to give it to them in order to make their Christmas " the best ever". We get caught up in the fever.

Each year, after I had kids, I would run all over the place trying to get the "best" of everything; get all the items on their "lists". Because you "have to" fulfill the list to make it the "best Christmas ever". And every year, there would be so much unhappiness; even when I could get every last item on the list. So much frustration and sadness every year. I never received a gift from any of my spouses that was heartfelt or demonstrated any knowledge of me as a person, or fulfilled the promises made on the television by all the romantic Christmas jewelry ads! So I am guilty of falling into the trap as well. I will own that. I hated the holidays every year; the past few I have been so depressed that I just barely got through.

I have, outside of my daughter ( and formerly, my husband), absolutely no family. My parents divorced when I was nine as my mother wanted a different life than the one that she had. And she got it, for us kids as well; pretty much both sides of our family abandoned us. No Rockwell family Christmases for us!My mother died from alcoholism when I was 18; she was in her early forties, in the early part of December, 1980.My father, who was much older, passed away a few years later. My son, who passed away in 2001, was born just a couple of weeks later; December 28. My daughter was born, as many of you know, December 24th,1978. So there is much sadness at this time. Also some joy. Even though my daughter hates her birthday, I still think it is perfect.
So there is a basis for my issues I guess. After the events of this summer, I was not holding out much hope for anything different, actually I figured it would be much worse. I live alone with my dogs. So why bother with it?

BECAUSE I CAN!!!

This year I am finally coming into my own being. I have had much time to think about who I am and what I think and feel. So here it is. I learned that I can and have CHOSEN my own family in addition to my daughter and my fur kids; Rikki and Sue, Sonny, Karen,Adam and Sam and all their fur kids, Rebecca and her fur kids,Jennifer and Jerry and their daughters and fur kids, Karen C ,the "puppy lady"and her fur kids. Renee and her fur kid,AND, all my bloggy friends and their fur kids that have sent me love and kindnesses all through this year. I even found old school friends on Facebook that have really made my life better!

I have learned that I am happy with my little house and my doggies. I miss Niles so very much, but I will try to honor him by the way I live the rest of my life. He will always be my canine soul mate. I decorated this year the way I could and didn't stress out over being unable to go out and buy more. I have been far more aware of my own gratitude in the silences of my home. I have had to learn how to do more with a whole lot less, and no predictability of what will come. I could not go out and buy anything really, for anyone, other than the few items I have picked over time for the fur kids. But in my heart, I feel at peace.

I know now that I cannot buy happiness. Don't get me wrong, I love to decorate and love to find goodies for my home. But I also know that things will never give me love or happiness. I have found that within my heart. Even though things are bad right now, I am calm, and I am happy. I am strong. I am living more simply,

Christmas has lost its meaning here in this country. I will tell you what Christmas is to me now. It is having a home ( no matter how small,large, fancy or plain) to share with friends and family, food to feed the hunger, joy in the little things; like someone making you a gift from their heart (Sonny!) and the knowledge that there are people in the world that really love you and care for you that would never hurt you, no matter what. But this is not just for one month of the year; this is my whole year. I have so much; I have Christmas in my heart all year.

Last night I stopped at our local McDonald's. The drive thru girl saw Sparkle all done up and said to me " You are really all about Christmas aren't you?" And I answered "yes, I am" without even thinking about my answer. And then it dawned on me, I AM REALLY ALL ABOUT CHRISTMAS! All year long!!!! It isn't what we buy, it is what we give. Our hearts and our real love. That is it. Love. And I give it to those I love freely; even when they are not perfect, I still love them.

All my love to all of you who have made me the person I am today. Thanks to you every one.








Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Christmas Cruiser and assorted other fun things!

Sparkle, the Christmas Cruiser, is ready to jump in if Rudolph can't perform his sleigh pulling duties; the extra lights will sure be useful if the weather turns bad for Santa and four wheel drive never hurts for those unpredictable landings In addition that big ole trailer hitch in the rear will be able to tow along lots of goodies for everyone! Doesn't Sparkle look happy?




Murphy says "So whaddaya got to do to get some turkey 'round here?"

This is Murphy's PINK Christmas tree! He really loves it!!



I just made these from things I had around the house; both inside and out! The pine branches are from my trees in my yard, and I always have Mason jars. They really smell great and cost nothing. I tied on a homespun bow and added two rusty jingle bells to the ends.

I also cut some additional branches and wired them together complete with a Canadian flag bow that I had purchased years ago for Canada Day. I tied it to a pole that is right behind Mr. Niles' grave so that he would have something special. (He was Canadian born, I am in my heart:) I found out that tears will freeze on your face indeed. Hope you are all staying safe and warm!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December !

It has been a good long time since I have felt like posting anything. I do read all your blogs though and keep up with some of you through Facebook as well. But I still felt guilty about leaving my blog hanging. And it sure has been hard to keep my mouth shut so long; those who know me will be laughing in agreement.

This month is my little Sydney's birthday; she will be two. She is still a puppy:) My human ( or hooman in LOLspeak) child was born on Christmas Eve in 1978. My son, who lives in Heaven now, was born two years and four days later on the 28th. Both were preemies. My daughter was 4 lbs. and 8 ozs, my son was 5lbs,10ozs; they had told me while in labor with her that she would most likely only weigh a pound or two and would not likely survive. She surprised them though.

I had to fight for her to be born; she was not wanted by my then husband or even his family; who are all allegedly Catholics! They are quite demented. But I refused to have an abortion; even though I was very young (16) when I married her father and only 17 when I had her, I knew there was something there for me to love and care for, someone who would not reject me as my own mother and sisters had done. ( At least until she was a teenager!LOL) I felt her spirit inside. I was afraid she would leave me soon after birth. I went into labor on the 23rd of December; she was born early on the 24th. She was my Christmas miracle. I named her Christmas Eve as there was no other name that could be as special and miraculous as she is. People give her a lot of grief about her name, but I think she knows why I chose that name for her. She was the Christmas gift that I so wanted and received. My miracle. And she still is.

She was a fighter from the beginning as was my son. She had to tolerate taking a back seat to her brother who was ill with asthma most of the time as well as being developmentally delayed. He required a lot, but she tried to help as best as she could. She was a little mama to him and a big sister who was fierce in her devotion to her brother. Anyone who tried to say anything cruel about her brother, or to take advantage of him was quickly taken to task by my baby girl. If anything I feel so guilty now, as when I was in the situation, I did not see that she was left behind in many ways. I loved her then as I do now; she was and still is my baby girl; my first little girl.

My anniversary is the 27th of December. It is still a busy December no matter how you look at it. My husband and I are talking to each other and have formed some type of new relationship. I do not know where that will end up. I am letting God figure that out, I can't control everything no matter how much I would like to!

This will also be the first Christmas without my beloved Niles as well as my husband. I know already it will be hard. His birthday ( and his Dad's) was last month, I found it so hard to keep going forward in November. I think I will be okay now. I don't know why; maybe its all the help I have received from ALL my friends, or the prayers you all have sent, but when I woke up Saturday morning, I had a sense of well-being that I have never had before. I knew when I got up that things were different. I no longer had any anger in my heart and I felt renewed. At peace with what is right now.

Murphy has been ill all weekend with some kind of canine cold. He saw the wonderful Dr. Rita yesterday and is now on his way back to health; Thank Goodness!!! I am hoping this continues. Thank you all for the love you send our way; it is a healing force in our lives. I'm back to stay!!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Wonderful Dog Party!

We entered the Katillac Shack's Design Gives Back Dog Scarf Decorating drive this summer in honor of Niles. We made three scarves and submitted them to Kelee at the Katillac Shack. Today you can see the video and Murphy, Zoey and the Piz are in the video. The Katillac Shack raised $2000.00 to help feed the animals at the shelter who have been given up because of the horrible economy. All of us here have been honored to be a small part of this endeavor, we are blessed to be able to continue to love, feed and house these sweet doggies. I don't know what we would do without the love of the sweet bullies here. And I know that Niles is giving us a big root-roo for helping dogs in need in his name. So watch the video and have fun loving your babies! ( you can pause the blog music at the bottom on the player to hear the video)

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11/2001 -9/11/2009

I found this today in my inbox and thought it perfect to share today of all days.
I lost a lot in 2001 myself but also gained the sweetest love; my Murphy. He came home in October of 2001 and has given me so much love and joy. As did his brother Niles whom I will never forget.

Today is a sad day for this country, for many families and for all of us who had their illusion of safety and invincibility destroyed on that horrible day. But arising from the ashes came, much like myself,, a phoenix. This country's citizens and many in other countries as well, came together to extract from the rubble of the Twin Towers, that field in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon, a new strength, a new heart and a resolve to build our lives again. And so we have been, one day at a time. We have made it to year eight.

I lived in Ontario, Canada at the time of the attacks and I saw first hand the love of the Canadian people.They took in the planes that day and made the passengers feel at home; some took passengers home with them! I wrote an opinion for the Hamilton Spectator that was published letting the people know of my thanks and the gratitude that I as an American in Canada felt in seeing how our neighbours to the North truly felt about us. I saw them send equipment, dogs , staff and money to aid our country. When people found that I was an American, they offered me their condolences and love. When I made American flag bows and placed them on my van, many Canadians stopped me to say thank you. For the first time that I was aware of, the American flag was flown everywhere I went in Ontario! I was awestruck at the demonstration of support and love, the prayers offered, the ordinary citizens who volunteered to help. That was a dark time for me and for our country, but the light kept shining through the darkness in the form of so many hearts coming together as one. If we band together in love, no one can take the light away from us. Keep the light in your heart for all that were affected that terrible day and for those whose suffering continues.

TWO FRIENDS
WERE WALKING THROUGH THE DESERT. DURING SOME POINT OF THE JOURNEY, THEY HAD AN ARGUMENT; AND ONE FRIEND SLAPPED THE OTHER ONE IN THE FACE.

THE ONE WHO GOT SLAPPED WAS HURT, BUT WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING, WROTE IN THE SAND, TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE ..

THEY KEPT ON WALKING, UNTIL THEY FOUND AN OASIS, WHERE THEY DECIDED TO TAKE A BATH.

THE ONE WHO HAD BEEN SLAPPED GOT STUCK IN THE MIRE AND STARTED DROWNING, BUT THE FRIEND SAVED HIM.

AFTER HE RECOVERED FROM THE NEAR DROWNING, HE WROTE ON A STONE: 'TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE'.

THE FRIEND WHO HAD SLAPPED AND SAVED HIS BEST FRIEND ASKED HIM, 'AFTER I HURT YOU, YOU WROTE IN THE SAND AND NOW, YOU WRITE ON A STONE, WHY?'

THE FRIEND REPLIED 'WHEN SOMEONE HURTS US WE SHOULD WRITE IT DOWN IN SAND, WHERE WINDS OF FORGIVENESS CAN ERASE IT AWAY.

BUT, WHEN SOMEONE DOES SOMETHING GOOD FOR US, WE MUST ENGRAVE IT IN STONE WHERE NO WIND CAN EVER ERASE IT'.
LEARN TO WRITE YOUR HURTS IN THE SAND AND TO CARVE YOUR BENEFITS IN STONE.

THEY SAY IT TAKES A MINUTE TO FIND A SPECIAL PERSON, AN HOUR TO APPRECIATE THEM, A DAY TO LOVE THEM, BUT THEN, AN ENTIRE LIFE TO FORGET THEM.

TAKE THE TIME TO LIVE!

DO NOT VALUE THE THINGS YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE, BUT VALUE WHO YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE!

Be kind to everyone; we are all fighting some kind of battle.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Lesson in Joy

Last week I discovered something I did not know before. I discovered a very pure form of joy and living life to the fullest extent. And my teacher was someone that many in the world have discounted and labeled. But I know now the secret that she holds and the lessons that you can learn when your heart is open and you see the human spirit and not the package it comes in.

I will tell you the whole story , It began when I met this young woman at the mental health office I worked in. She cleaned my office each evening as part of a cleaning crew. I loved running into her as she always had such a sweet spirit and her outlook on life was always upbeat. After a day of dealing with a lot of doom and gloom, this gal was the sunshine in my day. She cleaned better than anybody I have ever seen. She has an eye for detail that I envy! She often talked about her mother, and later I learned that her mother was one of my favorite co-workers. What a neat surprise!

Time passed on and the unit closed its doors; my friend was relocated to another position and I took employment elsewhere. But we always stayed in touch, having dinner together and shopping together on occasion. I always asked after her daughter who was always working hard and loving it. She had her own home in the same town as her mother and had a roommate to share the load of taking care of the house. None of this sounds even remotely remarkable does it? Well, read on.

As the economy has tanked, my friend's daughter had to move back home with her; the house payment and bills were just too much as her roommate had left; so they rented the house to a family and began living together again, as many families have had to do in this awful economy. But think about it, that is the way it used to be; families living all together and supporting each other in many ways. Children often had their parents and grandparents readily at hand, and things weren't so crazy then.

Anyway back to my story; my friend is in a wheelchair and gets around and does more than I do!!! And her daughter is working at two jobs; because she LOVES to work! Can you imagine that? And she would do more if she could get more to do. And she is always cheerful and happy about life; she spreads that joy around to everyone she meets. And that is how she, Rikki became my teacher.

Last week, my friend and I went out for a ride with Miss Rikki. I drove her car as it makes loading the chair easy; it has a lift on it which is the greatest thing ever! It wasn't so much what we did, it was doing it with Rikki. Everywhere we went, we talked and laughed and actually had fun doing much of nothing. We went on a hunt for a fruit smoothy with no dairy as Rikki really wanted one of these fruity drinks. We eventually found it at Sonic. But it was the atmosphere I found myself in that really brought out the joy in my heart. Rikki gave it to me, much like a gift. And it is the gift that I treasure as it opened my heart and mind in a new way.

As we shopped, I watched her interactions with strangers and saw something remarkable. When she spoke to people, they immediately had a smile cross their faces. I could see their body language open up and they became different for that brief interaction; there was a light that entered these people as they talked with her. No matter their mood, when she talked to them, they became happy and filled with a joy. It was amazing to watch. As we walked through the store together I also could feel myself getting lighter and happier.

Rikki loves Motown music and she found a CD while we were out and she bought it. On the way home, she sang every song and danced in the car without a care as to who might see her, or if she sang off key; she sang from her heart and it was beautiful. As she sang I could feel this sensation all through my body; a warmth and feeling of happiness that I haven't really felt before. It was as if a new spirit had entered me. I laughed and sang with her. I was driving or I would have danced in the car. Her mom sang and danced in the seat and for the ride home, we were just three girls having a whole lot of fun, a whole lot of joy.

Rikki is 42; she would want me to tell you that. She tells everybody, including me how proud she is to be 42! And that set me to thinking; age is just a stupid number that we use to quantify things. It really has no meaning other than to label people and give a reference point that maybe we really don't need. When I look at Rikki, it is hard to believe that she is 42; my daughter is 30 and that is equally hard to believe because both of these girls look so young. I am 48. That is my number. Nothing more. I feel like I am still a teenager. And I really don't care anymore who knows my age or my weight (282 lbs) my real hair color is pretty much grey, but me and the salon do a good job of keeping it blonde; which was never my "real " color either!

Letting go of that nonsense with the numbers was a Rikki lesson too. She would tell me in proud tones "I am as old as you are" I would laugh so hard ( Our birthdays are in the same month, July). And she just does not care about that number or her weight,hair color etc. She is just a genuine human being who lives life as it comes. She doesn't sit around worrying if people like her or if she is as good as others. She just loves and lives and gives to all. I am awestruck by the lessons I have learned from her. She does her work happily and cheerfully and at the end of the day she returns home to watch her favorite tv shows; Cosby and Golden Girls. She has a mad list of friends that she goes to dances and picnics with, and she loves their sweet Bailey doggie. He loves her too!

Why is this remarkable? Well to the outside world Rikki is "handicapped" I hate that word. I think she is differently abled; she sure has talents I don't possess and no one calls me "handicapped". Rikki has Downs Syndrome. Her mother was given all kinds of doom and gloom when she was born 42 years ago; but as usual the angels had something else in mind! Rikki is an angel disguised as a girl. I know this because I spend time with her and I see it. I know her mom would say she isn't perfect and has her days; but all in all she is what we all could be. I often think to myself, perhaps it is we, the so-called "normal"( hate that word too; it is a setting on the washer not a label for people!)ones that are "handicapped" and these individuals with Downs Syndrome and Mental Retardation and other developmental disabilities are the true human beings here. They put up with a whole lot of abuse and yet, if you look past the package, the outer shell, you will see the angels inside. I think God sent them here to encourage us to stop being so judgemental and uppity, to learn to really love without restriction and to value what we have, not what we don't. That is what Rikki taught me this past week. I just wanted to share my angel with all of you. Hope you find your angel!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The One Eyed Guyz!!!

Here is something fun!! I was at WalMart recently picking up food and found these guys; they are called one eyed guys; I don't know why, but that is what they call them. They were ONLY 97 cents!!!! So, here they are!







So I brought them home because I figured we all needed some fun and even if they only lasted a few minutes, hey, it would be a few minutes of real fun for all of us. Murphy chose green man, Zoey chose the orange man and the Piz chose the yellow ( of course five minutes later, she "collected" ALL the little men and laid on top of them!LOL)
The truth is, they loved them and except for two mishaps; Zoey pulled a hole in the orange man's ear and Piz tried to "remove" the green man from the Murph's mouth ( never a good idea) which "removed" the green man's ear, they all are pretty much intact. They all have squeakers, which is a beloved sound to these mugz.
Later on,Murph ran to his "safehouse" AKA the chair in my bedroom; he played with green man for a long time. Then he came in to eat, and I tried to find green man, to no avail! i still have not found him! Piz is great at hiding things, but I do not think she even was near it at that point as she was busy throwing her baby off the back of the couch and then running around to get him back and starting the whole process again! She is active for sure; she loves to throw things!

Zoey loves her baby as well; she was so excited she just wiggled and wiggled! She loves babies:) Murphy likes to carry his around with him; I had to chase him down when he went out to potty as he took green man with him!! usually the one who does this type of thing is Zoey; not the Murph! Since green man was lost I went back to secure three more; and we now have a supply of the one eyes! LOL. These guys just love them and they are pretty good at not instantly destroying them. Now, if I could only find the hiding place of the original green man!! He is really in the one eyed witness protection program! I hope you enjoyed a look at the furkids and their babies. They are such good babies, they really are! I just love them!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wonderful Friends: Old and New

I am trying to post on a regular basis now, that is my goal anyway! Last night my wonderful friend Rebecca took me out to dinner, she even filled up the gas in my truck so I could get to dinner and home again. I had forgotten how much fun she is and how much she brings out the "happy" in me when I am around her.

I met Rebecca when I first came to Michigan. She was hired directly behind me at the mental health center we worked for. She came in the first day all happy and bouncy and blonde. Now I have blonde hair too, but she had the blonde attitude. You know what I mean, so sweet and innocent and all. At first, I was like oh good grief! And she did not know the ins and outs of substance abuse. I could just see the clients using her up really quickly. Because we were hired at a VERY strange time at that place, we were both shunned by most of the employees in the unit including our supervisor who exemplified Eeyore.

We bonded together first from desperation, then a really great strong friendship came about. I was suffering from deep despair at the time as this was the first time my husband left me. I was so down, I put on a great mask of being funny and all, but she could see through that. She often brought me funny presents and encouraged me to be all I could be. She bolstered up my self esteem which was at its lowest. Every day was easier because she was there, it was like sunshine. We were so funny together. She would say things like " Oh we are so NOT gonna do that" in response to some idiotic request that the agency had ( usually something that was compromising the care of the clients) and I would just say "yeah, what she said!" It was so wonderful that she brought me back to myself.

We planned the Christmas party with the team there; they were calling us goofy names like Barbie, glamour girls, uppity girls. Now I have never been considered either of those. So on the night of the party we were going to wear tiaras, well our supervisor actually threatened us if we wore the tiaras she was going to get us! I wore mine, Rebecca left hers back in her car. EVERYBODY had that tiara on before the end of the night. We had cultivated friendships all through the center in the different buildings and if our own building did not like us, well, it was their loss. One of my favorite memories of that night,besides the tiara, was when we walked in, our building had sat at a table where we were not welcomed (and they had taken up all the seats!) BUT ALL the other folks clamored to have us sit with them.
Then, when they played "OUR SONG" LOL!!! (Baby Got Back by Sir Mix a Lot) We jumped up and had our whole table, including our dear friend Sue (who is wheelchair bound) dancing to that song!!! We got the dirtiest looks, but we had FUN!!!

When she got bigger and better jobs, believe me she moved up and out so quickly,she left and it was harder to get together, although we still did. She would stay in touch with email and calls. I always knew where she was. She got remarried to a wealthy man and I thought she outgrew us. But she didn't. When I was really scared about having surgery, I emailed her; she made it sound like a day at the spa! I was a lot less scared after that. I always think well if Rebecca says I can do it, then I can, and she always told me that.

Last night, sitting at Harvey's restaurant, watching her drive up chewing gum; she loves gum, Orbit especially! I felt my heart feel better. Then she gets out all cute and hunting through her truck; I am like what are you doing; she is all I lost my diamond earring somewhere. Yikes!!! She was at a training a good ways away and of course she had to stop and shop on the way out; " I bought these shoes today at DSW" and she brought gifts for me; wonderful bubble bath bombs and CHOCOLATE bubble bath and mango body creme. And that is how she is. She once , when we were still working together, bought me a pair of bulldog slippers; I wore them all up and down the hall that day!! I still have them and think of her each time I see/wear them. They look just like my Murphy!

She loves me just as I am; she is the one person I have told my weight to; she said, yoiu DO NOT look like you weigh that much and anyway, you look good! Who doesn't need a friend like that? She is a riot and is so positive and caring. I had forgotten so much, life just sweeps us along at times and we lose touch, but she and I may not have SEEN each other, but we were still connected. When I was afraid with the surgery I had asked her to look after my daughter if something ever happened to me and she said she would. I knew she meant it. She has been my living guardian angel, I told her that once and she said "of course I am, I just love you and will always be there for you" All I had to do was call her and she is right on top of it.


My other friend Sue is another wonderful friend as well; we met at the same place. She recently retired from that nut house ( the employees are nuts not the clients!) Sue has had a difficult life to say the least. She is in a wheelchair; but she gets around more and often better than I do! She is a sweetie pie! Her daughter Rikki is a doll; Rikki has downs syndrome, but her energy and drive put us all to shame. Rikki just had her 42nd birthday; which as she told me made her " as old as you are Merrie!" LOL; Rikki is the only gal I know that is PROUD of her age! Sue raised Rikki to be as self sufficient as possible. And she is. I love being around them both. Sue has such a great spirit. And she is funny as hell. She has made a beautiful home for herself and Rikki ( who actually has her own home, but the economy forced her to rent it out and move back in with Sue)

She is always in my corner and we go a lot of places together. That was us at Holly Hills Primitives together if you follow Dawn's blog ( who is also a great new friend) We were having fun this summer just getting out together and looking at things, making plans to sew together.

Last week, I went over to her house and took my doggies for a visit with their "brother" Bailey. Bailey is Sue's dog that I trained up for her; he was a lil white fur ball; he is kinda Shih Tzu looking, but big. And sweet. Murphy immediately remembered him. Zoey and he played a bit and Piz was very interested in him. The funny moment came when the dogs went in the house and SAW all the TOYS Bailey has; oh no he is NOT spoiled!!! They did not try to take them, they just looked at the toys; I mean it is a huge pile stacked up in a corner, and THEN they looked at ME!!!! OOPS! I am always in the doghouse! Phooey! I had gotten them all a hamburger darn it!

Today I had the babies out in the front yard with me as I was getting the mail, which darn it I never got! Well the neighbor guy has this German Shepard and he lets this dog go back and forth with him in his truck ( in the bed which gets me dirty looks from my babies cuz I would NEVER let them do this!)or running behind it the two farms are right next to each other directly across from me; well today ole Roscoe ( I now know his name!) decided to visit us. I did not see him initially, but Zoey did. She kinda went wooo; real low, not a growl, just a question. I turned and saw this dog.
Now he is large, but did not seem threatening, he was pretty bouncy and happy and wanted to play with my babies. But he kept running into the street; I ran after him and got him and mine out of the street, but he kept leading them back into the street.

So here I am all alone trying to herd three plus one into the yard. Well they would play and chase each other ; they were all having fun! I was too; the dog was so sweet and he just wanted some new friends, and these guys all loved him. No barking, no growling. He was more afraid of them than they were of him! What a riot! One of the older ladies from the families came over and after I got mine in, no small feat; "mom, why can't we play more!!!" then getting him back to their house; so I ran down the middle of the street with ole Roscoe following me! Oh yeah; I don't run often, umm ever, but I so wanted him safe. He is now. And all had a good time! Even mommy!! LOL !

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just so you know

I have been so overwhelmed by the love and prayers you all have sent this week and in the past month. Yes times are hard right now. But as I have thought upon it, I wanted you all to know that my husband is not a monster nor is he hateful. He, like I, has made some mistakes. We all have. For those I forgive him, much as I am sure he would/has forgiven me. I have a whole lot of things to work on in my behavior and that is what I am doing now because I am sure not perfect and have made a lot of mistakes that I wish I could change. So I can't be too hard on anyone else.

My husband is a good person, one that tries to help others. He has always been someone who is very intelligent and insightful. He is one of the best management leaders around. He can motivate others like no one else. He has a good heart, he really does. He does tend to keep things to himself, which is not good for anyone.

He has experienced a lot of grief in his life as well although he never speaks about it.
He has long been my best friend and confidant. He was and still is the light and love of my life. He has always tried hard to take good care of us.He is really great with the fur kids. They love him so; they keep looking for him. I don't want people to think he is bad because of what has happened. He is not. I think he just got overwhelmed and didn't know what to do.
As many of you know, he had some serious health issues this past year and I think that was a really big part of the stress that lead up to this.
I am trying to find and develop a spiritual life to help us deal with life. I think God would forgive him as I hope God will forgive me for my part in this whole mess. I am praying that God will find us and help us heal. I really am. I do love him. He may be a little bugger, but he is my little bugger.

I am thankful to all my blog friends that support me here; and could you please say a prayer for my husband that he finds his heart and his way back home again? Thanks and my love to you all.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I am sorry to say, another sad post

I am sorry to have to post another sad story here. It seems like that is all I do these days; talk about sadness. I wanted to be in the blogger community to learn new things, and make new friends; I have done both. I wanted to have a fun and upbeat creative blog, but one that really reflects my life. Sadness is a part of all our lives and I feel I need today to share this burden.

I am at a loss to explain this; my husband came home last evening and he brought a state trooper with him. I was so scared when I saw the policeman as I though he was hurt or injured in some way. Never in my life did I think he brought that policeman there to protect him from me; so that he could leave me without any explanation or reason. I am not an idiot, I am NEVER going to commit a violent act no matter how mad I might get because truthfully I cannot do prison and no one is worth going to prison no matter how mad you may be at the time, or how justified you might feel!

I am not angry; I have not cried at all( I do cry about the prospect of losing my home and babies as well as my husband though). I am just numb and lost if you want to know the truth. I shared so much with this man, and love him with all my heart and soul. Did we have problems? Yes we do; like anyone else. Money and communication seem to be the biggest issues. Those can be fixed if both parties are willing to work on them. I have always been open to working on issues. For whatever reason he was not able to.

Am I a bad person? Yes sometimes I am. I get upset and frustrated when people lie to me and he always knew this was a big deal to me. Yet he would do it over and over. I have yelled about it and been very angry. I have cried buckets of tears over this man. He has done this to me before and I should not have been so gullible this time I guess. But even having said that, I still believe that people can change and become whatever they wish to be. Love is hard at times, not always the easy road. I was not allowed to have any answers which makes it even harder to process. He says there is no one else, but I am not so sure about that.

Today I am very sick at heart. I was ill all night with chest pains and nausea. I will be seeing the doctor soon because it did not go away like I assumed it would this morning. I did not sleep much at all; I kept waking up, hoping this was a bad dream. I have never slept well by myself anyway. I am having flashbacks and stress from the last time this happened still and they are really bad this time.
I feel like a lost girl. The person I shared my life with threw me away like I am nothing. I have a big hole in my heart.I have to contemplate losing my dogs, my home, our life together.

The dogs are upset as well, last night they peed all over the house when the policeman came in the house as they were frightened. Bitsy has looked all over the house for him, she was in the laundry basket this morning smelling his clothes. I thought of doing that myself. Murphy had an episode yesterday morning that I never got to share with his dad; he woke up screaming from his airway being clogged with phlegm and then he had a really long extended head nodding episode; this morning he is just moping around. Zoey looks sad and has not really moved much. None of them will eat a thing. These animals are all I have in the world. Contemplating not being able to keep them or having to lock them up all day in the house alone is scary and depressing.

I know one thing; I am a survivor. Even walking through pain, I am willing myself to go on. No easy way out for me. I have asked God why am I suffering so much? I know I have done many bad things in my life that I wish I could change. I am remorseful for those I have harmed with my behavior. I am sorry that I made choices that were ill-advised. There is nothing more I can do to change the past. All I can do is learn for my past mistakes and try to be a better person in the future. That is what I have been doing now for the past ten years; trying to make amends to any I have harmed. Trying to do what is right in any situation, trying to be a honorable person. I am trying my best each day to do the right thing.

I was trying to make this relationship work; I was trying to create a home for us, a sanctuary from the world. I never,ever thought once about having an affair on my husband. I could not bear to hurt him like that; to see pain on his face that I caused is an abhorrent thought. I am guilty of saying thoughtless things in anger, I have been awful when I have been wounded. I know it wasn't right to say those things to the one I love and I regretted them as soon as I said them.
My life has always been an open book to him. If he could only do the same for me, our life would be great I believe.

Well I do not know what will happen to us now. The stress is waiting to see what he will do next; I have been living with this fear since he came back in 2004. Always living in fear of what might happen next. Even though he told me nothing bad would ever happen to us again. I know that many think I am stupid for believing him, but I did. Because I was/am in love. I don't know what else to say, other than these past two months have been the absolute worst for me. I have lost my true loves, both of them. I hurt all over. I am so very,very heartsick over it all.

Butch, if you read this, know this; I am sorry that you felt this was the only recourse available to you. You have caused me a great deal of hurt in the past years and I have always forgiven you. You know that this is true. I have tried to encourage your pursuits as long as they were not damaging to our relationship (other women) I don't understand, I just don't; you certainly would never explain it to me. Maybe you think I don't care, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Than you to my friends who have been writing to help me through the loss of my sweet Niles. I have no family other than my daughter, and she is not really close. So I am pretty much all alone except for the doggies. I appreciate you all hanging in there with me during all these days of sadness. I am expecting brighter days to come. I really am. I am just doing the best that I can today, I will handle tomorrow when it gets here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Love to You All

I came to say I have made it to Thursday. I wanted to come and say to you all; thank you for all your prayers and sweet thoughts. I have found it hard to read them without crying for it is a wonderful thing when strangers will stop to take time to say a kind word to someone they have never met. Yet here I guess we are not really strangers are we?

Here we share our happiness and our sorrow knowing others will help us along. Kindnesses extended to a fellow blogger or non-blogger; things that we may not be safe to do in our daily lives because of the way the world is today. I am alone at home, yet when I turn on this magic box I can instantly be transported to any place in the world I choose. I have friends I have never met, yet they give me something I have not ever had; support and belonging. I try to return that kindness.

In our little blogging world live people with such big hearts. They are always willing to extend a hand without even thinking of any reward. They are selfless and have a spirit that I wish to cultivate. Women of strength and valor,honor.

You all have left me in tears reading your comments; tears of joy that for the first time I belong to a community of support. I have gone through much sadness in my life alone. My husband is a man and men grieve on the run I think; they are often taught that grief is not a manly thing and so many are not brought up to know how to handle emotions, especially grief. He does the best he can, but he goes off to work and I am left here to walk through a loud silence. I didn't know how much Niles contributed to my life and the laughter here, and the love. The house is so quiet now and sad.I am mostly alone during the day until I come here.
I came here in pain on Saturday. I don't know why, but I needed something outside my home. I have come here in happy times; to share our life with you. Our love for these furkids and my quest to be the Queen of Country Sampler.
I have come here to learn from you; to see your life and its rewards as well as your struggles. There is no judgement here; there is only unending support. You laugh and cry with me; you offer encouragement and prayers. You bring me laughter and hope. You lift me up when I cannot walk. You give me courage and drive with the words you leave on your blogs. You have made me want to live a better life; to be a better wife; a better mom. I wish I had you all years ago when I struggled with life. I have had pain in my past that I can't seem to put to rest; if I had a place such as this then, maybe things would be different. But I am glad I have you now.
When we make these blogs, they are for us initially. But they have become so much more than just a frivolous waste of time; they have become a support system, an educational endeavor; who hasn't learned something here? I learned about making hummingbird cakes ( to eat) from Susan; pantry cakes from Jenn( to show in a bowl); I learned about ole Mr Snakie from Shanda (among other things); from so many I learned hope; my first swap PIF from my bully buddy Jane; she has also taught me a lot more! Cynthia Lee taught me about graciousness I will never forget the PIF gifts she sent me. Shari taught me some business; Char taught me all kinds of good things from Mason jar goodies to woodworking. Jill taught me about Kentucky and her wonderful life; Leslie reminded me about being a young mother; and I wish I were as good at it when I was her age; I wasn't! She has a wonderful life. And talent. So many young moms who are rich in the right way; they may not have money but they are building our future and we all will be the richer for it; moms like RuthAnn of WarmPie,HappyHome; wow I wish I could be as good as her at everything. Tammy my lil country girl; who has a sweet girl of her own whose very name, Joy, gives me a thought of just that:Joy. Michele another country gal who has it all together and keeps us on our toes:) This is just a small bit; there are those I have met in lands faraway; Australia;England,Scotland(hello Diane; still love that lil dress!) and closer; Canada; Sandy who sent me peppermints( and other goodies!) from Canada!
Another great friend; closer to home; Dawn at Holly Hills who is more than a shopkeeper! She is a great friend and a talent. Kim my bully buddy here in MI; who is funny and a great mom to her kids! Lori at PrimitiveHouse who is a gem;I know I am forgetting some folks; oops ;Meg my margarita bud and TrainWreck who made me a beautiful necklace and who has a hot cowboy for a DH! CindyDianne; I am so coming to Texas one day I swear! Her husband's blog cracks me up as well! Lisa has shown me courage in taking control of our bodies, there are so many of you all. I have learned and have been touched by every one of you all. These blogs may not look like much to the general public, but they are important. You never know who is reading them. You can be that inspiration to someone looking for guidance. Sometimes we just need to know someone is listening.
Thank you for sharing your world with me. Also, to PrimAngel; thank you for your comment; it was so heartfelt; I wish to convey my thanks to you, but was unable to do so on your blog; if you email me at wheretheblackbirdssing@gmail.com I would love to say thank you again.
I am so amazed at all of you; you offer love and care to everyone; I am so wishing to send some your way; from all of us here; we send bully love and kisses to you all; our blessings from our hearts to you. Thank you my friends. and to the new friends and the ones I have yet to meet; bully love and kisses to you as well. If I did not mention you it is probably because I am having stupid mad cow memory issues AKA probable menopause! I still prefer mad cow thank you very much. (If you are on my blog list you know you are loved; I am too lazy to type that much without some kind of attachment!LOL)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We lost our baby Niles today





I write these words through tears; so I hope there aren't too many typos. My sweet boy Niles left us this afternoon. He was never ill; other than his eye issue, and even today, he was playing acting as usual. This morning I hand fed him his food; because he wanted to be babied as he often did. Then we sat on the couch and I cuddled him and told him how much I loved him; then I put in his eye drops. I was going to go to Quincy today for a prim show and possibly Holly to the prim shop. I was on my way to Holly had just gotten off at the exit when my husband called me to tell me he was gone. He was out with his dad and siblings playing with his favorite ball. He stopped playing and laid down to nap and then he left us. The pain I feel right now I cannot describe. I feel guilty because I left today; I was not ready to let him go. I never would be. I hoped for a miracle; a dog that lives as long as we do. I screamed in the car and cried for a long time; I drove home screaming and crying. I saw him when I came home; I kissed his muzzle goodbye. I hoped my husband was wrong; maybe he is just asleep. But no, he has gone. I am left with a broken heart. We took them to McDonalds last night for a burger. Niles was so happy! I tried to give him and all of them my all. I tried to give them everything I could. I hope he was happy; I think he was. I will love him forever. I didn't write about him as much and for that I am sorry. His favorite song was "Who Let the Dogs Out" and he would dance to that! He loved hamburgers, dog bones and rides in the car. He was extremely smart and I often counted on him as he knew everything. He loved life; he loved everyone and everything he came in contact with. His favorite toy was the big orange ball he played with today. Second favorite was his ringy-ding-ding. He growl talked to me and would often carry on a conversation with me at length. He loved water and his favorite thing was for one of us to say "soak-a-bull" he would then run to that bathroom and bark at the tub! He was a one in a million baby. He was not my dog, he was my child, my heart. I was struck immediately when I came home by his loss. Even with four, now three, you immediately feel the missing part of your heart. We will bury him by the willow tree he loved. I wish I could have him back; I am so very,very broken today. I love the all I do. But he was my very first bully and really the best. I will be back sometime in the near future. Right now, I have to learn to live without him. I really don't know how. I love you Niles! My sweet boy; forever in my heart.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sad Day at Dogster

In loving memory of Jake,Nari,and Joey who went to the Rainbow Bridge on May 28.2009. (Image from Dogster) Hoping there are endless toys,bones and lots of friends there for you all. I know you will be missed by your family greatly.


This is Nari (above)

This is Jake (above)


This is Joey (above)



Today I opened my email to find a sad notice from Dogster. A family's THREE dogs were poisoned by someone with antifreeze and all were lost. You can read all about it here: http://dogblog.dogster.com/2009/05/29/sad-day-at-dogster/


I am truly sickened by the evil in this world. Many years ago I had this happen to me not once but twice. My Irish Setter was poisoned by a neighbor who was a wife beater and child abuser; I had helped his wife get help and food and medicine for her children, he was a dirty low life and took it out on my dog. (I did get him later though; I am NOT a turn the other cheek type; I bashed in the headlights on his car and the windshield and I flattened every tire he had!)


The second time; my beautiful Great Dane Arielle died; I thought it was heat exhaustion; we took her to the vet and found out that she was poisoned; then the little mixed stray I named Killer; he was a doll; but little and thought he was a big dog; he loved Arielle and she loved him; became ill; I thought maybe he was mourning the loss of her, but no, he also had been poisoned and the vet said we had to put him to sleep. I was so broken over this whole incident. I never could prove who really did it, but I had a suspicion that our elderly female neighbor had done this as she had been trouble from the first day we moved in. She once called the police on my kids, who were very young then, for, get this, playing in the dirt inside our OWN fenced in YARD!!! The police, they did nothing; animals just don't rate any help. Which makes me sick!


We now live in the country and each time I think I might like to move to a town, I remember these things and think I'll just stay put. I am so angry that some idiot would kill these animals; society is just getting worse and worse. And even if they find this idiot; they really won't do much. I'll tell you why; the morons who often show up for jury duty are just that; morons! I will tell you why I think that; here in Huron County,MI there was a horrific case of a gigantic asshole who thought he would teach his neighbor's PUPPY a lesson about not wandering on to his farm; so he tied the dog to the bumper of his truck and dragged that puppy home; damn near killing it; its paws were almost completely burned off from the road rash; he drove at highway speeds!

The dog was in great pain; the vet was able to work on it and save its life. This asshole was charged with something like animal cruelty and you know what; the idiots on the jury let him go!!!! Now,you may be a great juror and very good at it; but these jerks should ALL be drug behind a truck themselves. You know the way a society treats its animals shows a lot about that society.


I am beside myself with anger. I can feel the pain of these folks. You know to live among others and not know who would do such a thing to a poor defenseless animal; well it is very hard. I hope that you all that read this might drop over to Dogster and leave a note for the family; if you go to their page; there is an envelope icon there to leave a note. I think everyone on my blog list is an animal lover and I know that you all love your furbabies as much as I love mine.
I am sorry to bring you such sad news, but the world is so full of meanness; we must all be on guard. And we must all make sure to give our kindness and love to combat the evil. So hug ALL your babies; human and canine,feline,equine etc. Let them know you love them every day.







Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poor Niles


Poor Niles; He says "What's a bully to do?" He was hiding out in the crate one day and his younger sister "the Piz" decided to lock him up in "Dog-a-Traz" LOL!!! Niles says " and THIS is how they treat me, first my bratty sister shuts me up in here and THEN my mom takes a picture of it!" "Funny mommy, I am surprised you could take the picture as hard as you were laughing!" "Look at my face, do I appear to be laughing, HUH?" "Oh great, now she's putting it on her blog, could someone please call my lawyer and my agent!!!?"

Sorry Niles; but you WERE complaining about Murphy getting all the publicity!!! I love ya Niles!!!
Posted by Picasa

Murphy's Advice

Murphy says that blowing bubbles is the best stress reliever ever. His favorite Spring and Summer activity is to chase bubbles. He says that you can never really have a bad day blowing bubbles. His mommy keeps him supplied with bubbles and has bought him a bubble machine as well as two new Wal-Mart bubble wands ( and his hooman sister bought him one too!) Murphy prefers Gazillion bubbles as they make the best bubbles ever. Murphy thinks everyone should blow bubbles!! So have a bubblicious pink day from Murphy and the mugs here at Where The Blackbirds Sing!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Something Funny


This is what I'm talkin' about!!! LOL!
Posted by Picasa

Some Kinda Crazy Rants

There is so much I want to write about today! I am so tired of the rain and gloomy grey days. They make me feel depressed and tired; not in much of a mood to do anything. First I want to share some things I forgot about: I did go to Primitives in Thyme in Cadillac,MI again ; the reason was to pick up a special item! I found a really pretty Hoosier cabinet there at a REALLY great price and was able to afford it!






This is what it looked like at the store! I can't seem to find the other pictures I took of the store front and of the cabinet at home! I will have to take some more. I have been having a lot of trouble with the Adobe PhotoShop lately; I also use Picasa, but the photos aren't showing up right in there either! Anyhow, Shelly is a very nice lady and her husband and son helped us get it in the truck. She has the most adorable granddaughter too that I just fell in love with! She was just a little doll and even gave me a hug :) I hope to go back there again, it is worth the drive.

I told you all about Jan Patek the fabulous quilt designer; and the link is on the sidebar for you to visit her. I have to tell you she is the nicest person ; I left a comment on her blog and really didn't expect a reply. Many of the designers that have blogs are too busy to reply, but I was pleasantly surprised when I got a nice email from her! She is a very busy lady and yet she took the time to respond to my post! I really love it when I discover that someone I admire is really a great person in addition to being successful. I really hope you all will consider this when you are looking to purchase quilt patterns and supplies and visit/shop with Ms. Patek. She is truly a gem!

On to another topic that kind of relates to the above; Shelly and Ms. Patek are really great people; they are ethical in their dealings with others, they are the type of people who understand that business is more than just making money; they want people to come back and love their items; which I do. I truly feel that these folks really care about their customers and that is why I do business with them. The reason I am telling you this is because I have been dealing with a situation that just saddens and frustrates me to no end. I had found nice little shop not too far away from me and became friendly with the owner and her husband. Over time, I purchased items there and felt we had a great rapport.

We often came up with some wonderful ideas while talking. I saw that her husband was talented with woodmaking; he made many things for her shop and they were really prim and well done. I asked about custom orders and she assured me that he could do whatever we needed. I did bring in measurements for my two living room windows; I wanted those indoor shutters with prim stars in them. This is something I have always wanted, yet could not afford; the ones in Country Sampler are wayyyy high! They took the measurements and gave us a very good price for them; $398.00! So we gave them a deposit of $198.00 and began the wait that now has extended into well over a year; we are now coming up on two years! I had also placed some items with her to sell. Over time as I was coming in and out of the store to buy items and check on the shutters, there were many conversations over the status of the shutters; and many realistic reasons were given for their slow progress,

At one time she had told me her husband was too busy with his business, but had made the larger window's shutters; she had a crafter who did wood that could finish them and the other set. I agreed; and waited....

You guessed it no shutters. Then, every time I came by the shop was closed! They did not conform to the hours listed. I dropped by at different times; I called the shop and left messages. One day I went by and there was an auction being held; I saw her husband and he said they were closing the shop. I asked about my shutters and he acted as if he did not know anything. I asked him to give her my number AGAIN ; Now I was not nasty; I just want my shutters.

No calls; I emailed her; no response ( until months later which was just more excuses) We were driving by one day; I saw they were again having an auction and I saw her car. I went in and talked to her; same deal; we will get you the shutters; she had many viable excuses. I get it, the economy blah blah blah; but I CAN'T AFFORD TO GIVE AWAY MONEY! HELLO! Well, to date I have received NO SHUTTERS AND NO REFUND. AND my items are also gone! I am just so upset even now about this. I trusted her and she has decided to play games with me. I just don't know what to do.

I cannot believe that there are people out there like this that can take money and just run off with it. If you have a business you have to tend to it; there were people in there spending money all the time. But to be successful you have to tend your business or in any economy it will FAIL! You can't just open when you feel like it and expect people to keep comeing by to check to see when or if you will open; she had many renters who got tired of this and quit and THAT is why she had to close.I am just so mad about this whole episode. And now it is hard to trust anyone!

I guess I just feel so broken by this betrayal! I just am at a loss sometimes to explain why people do the things they do. I am going through a period in my life where I am stressed out by the people in my life and need to have some sanctuary where I can have some stress free time. This kind of stuff just makes me crazy!!!

Hopefully better days will come and I will get over this. I am just happy to have found a few folks who so far have been good people. I just try to hold on to that. And let people know that they are out there; like Jenn at Bittersweet Prims and Fixins; Cindy at Cynthia Lee Designs,Jane at Jane's Fabrics, Shelly at Primitives in Thyme, Jan Patek, Anne at Bunny Hill, Tammy at Country Girl. Holly Hills Primitives, Lin at Gathered Treasures, Nancy at the Hen House,Pam At Baskets and Prims;So I know you are out there and it is comforting. I know there are many others I didn't mention but I am getting hungry and my mind is soooo gone!! Talk to you all again soon!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Isn't this pillow too cute? It is from Jan Patek and so great for Spring!
Something new; Jan Patek has a blog now!!! So go over and visit her and see what she is up to! Her store/website is here. I love it; I get an email when there are new patterns and other interesting things; you can sign up there for that as well as shop too.





I was reading a blog the other evening and noticed that the author was speaking to the slow loading of pages; she believes that it is due to the music many of us add. Well I have noticed that at peak times things may load slowly; I have satellite internet which is high speed; but mostly it is due to all the pretty things we have on our blogs; like the page designs and widgets and such. Pictures are another culprit. If you are having problems; I have a fix; put all your favorites in a reader; or feed; they only load the photos we put in, not the music and backgrounds and widgets etc. They are always updated when a new post comes in, so you know if you have read the latest. I like the Google reader myself; but I also have some in the Microsoft feeds too. It is easier to keep up with you all; time wise and if you want to comment you can easily click through to the actual blog and leave a comment. Just a little time saver and help for bloggie friends!!! Hope you check out Jan Patek site/blog; she has such neat primitive style patterns!




Thursday, April 23, 2009

Here we go again!!!



Well; you know how it is!!! I have been working around the house on things; especially on getting my sewing and crafting room in order! I refused to take a picture of it to show you all; the shame!!! Well, it is almost done!!! And I am getting stuff together for a yard sale, some from the craft room!!!




I have been hopping around reading your blogs too; I love them all and have them in the GooGle reader; but that makes it harder to comment; but easier to keep up with, so if I have a need to comment then I click on over to your blog!!




I see with sadness that we are losing some bloggies! Lea of Farmhouse Blessings; I was so sad to see you go: I understand that you need to do what is right for you, as do we all, but I will still miss you. That brings me to this; maybe you are a blogger who is slower to post or whatever; I say who cares. I am doing this for me; I post when I can and what I can. And the thing is I do feel guilty when I don't do it as often as I like. I think everyone eventually gets a rhythm of their own. I think we need to look at quality above quantity. And don't feel pressured so much that you need to leave, unless that is what you truly have to do. I will miss the bloggies that have left. I know that there will be new folks, but you know its not the same :) But we will be friendly I swear!!!




So I will do what I can to be more regular!!!( not that kind of regular!! Golly where is your mind today??LOL) I know I am a Bad Bloggie!!! I am tired of winter! I have taken the mugs out on every nice day; we play with the big orange ball that Niles loves; and we (I) blow bubbles which they all love to chase.


Some fun news; my favorite primitive quilt and craft shop The Hen House has finally gone online; now you all can see the shop for yourself; it is in the beginning stages, but you can see the shop and the cool stuff Nancy has in her shop. I am placing the link on the sidebar; please visit her and let her know you heard about it here!!

I have also found out that Warm Pie, Happy Home has changed to
Sugar Pie Farmhouse; but it is still as delicious as ever! RuthAnn seems to be so sweet!!! And she is so darn cute (and thin!!) How can someone who is such a fantastic cook be so darn thin!!!! I am tellin' ya gals, it just ain't right!!! LOL! I'll be back soon with more; I can NOT find some photos I want to show you all!!!




Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Fun Stuff to Make

I have been on the Bunny Hill blog and website; the generous designer Anne is giving away these patterns each month and the instructions for the BOM (block of the month) quilt. And there are other freebies on the website as well as lovely things that you can purchase including a new line of fabric named for her chihuahua Chelsea ( Murphy is sooo in LOVE with Chelsea but that is not the ONLY reason I love the fabric! LOL) I have put a button on my sidebar; each month she will post a new block (free) that you can make in either applique ( whatever method you choose) or you can stitch it out in redwork ( or even blue or black work would be interesting I think) So go to her blog Bunny Hill or her website Bunny Hill Designs and enjoy her wonderful creative and gorgeous designs. And Murphy says Chelsea is his new girlfriend and so you may admire her, but that is all! LOL: he is soooo possessive of his girlfriends hee-hee!
Enjoy these pics of the BOM's; the February one was looking funny when I tried to post it, but you can see it at the site; look for free patterns. There is also a cute bunny quilt and a lampshade. I just love the soft colors. Have fun!!!

March Freebie at Bunny Hill:





January Freebie at Bunny Hill ;







Monday, March 30, 2009

Well Duh to me AGAIN!!!!

Well, I was just reviewing an older post I made about going to Cadillac and the neat stuff I saw there, the reason being that I was just on the phone with the owner of Primitives in Thyme, Shelly Lee Gregory. What a sweet lady! And so full of great ideas. I met her when I went to her shop in Cadillac,MI. I heard about the shop from Pam of basketsnprims blog. And she was right, the shop is so wonderful, The prices make it easy to get what you want and there is much that is locally made, so we are supporting our economy by making purchases. She does have wonderful furniture pieces as well. On Wednesday I am going back to the shop and will have much to show, I hope,(you know I get excited and forget to take photos), of her shop for you all to see! You can call up and order things if you see something you just have to have. I somehow forgot to put in that post the name of the store and the neat stuff I got there! So now I have to download those pics as well; so this is a double-duh day for me!!! So if you are in Cadillac,MI stop in at Shelly's shop, you won't be disappointed! I will get you pictures I promise!!!!

What I have been doing!

Check out this Easter Basket from Moda!!! You can make this quickly!!!! And they have LOTS of fantastic tutorials and other projects as well for FREE!!!!!




http://www.modabakeshop.com/2009/03/fabric-easter-basket.html

Murphy says he would like to see his Easter Eggs in a pretty basket like this!!!

Well I see by my dashboard that I have made 100 posts! Is that even possible? I just started and I am always behind!!! LOL! Anyway I have been working around the house; I just finished painting the tv armoire; we bought it two years ago in unfinished pine and it just sat while I argued with myself about what color I should paint it!
Wellll... when I went over to the Old Granary earlier this month, I bought a can of Old Century Colors Paint in Tinderbox Brown. The paint was a wee bit pricey; $14.95 for a quart, but I have to tell you it was well worth the cost and I will be using this paint on everything I can! I usually buiy the cheapest paint I can find. This may be why I hate to paint! This paint was so creamy and went on sooo beautifully! It really covered extremely well in one coat.It dried so quickly too!I am lazy so I did NOT prime the bare wood and it did not get sucked in like other paints on dry wood. No brushstrokes or roller strokes were visible like i have had in the past with other paints!
And the color is fantastic!!! I just love it, I can't believe how wonderful it looks. The look is that of an expensive cabinet. At my local country store they used it to paint a bedroom in Olde Ivory and I am sooo gonna paint my bedroom in that color. They do sell gallons for about $45, I kmow that is a bit high, but the paint covers so well in one coat AND the paint goes a longgggg way.
I was surprised by that as usually no matter what I do, I wind up having to go get more paint! Not with this brand. AND there is no real odor, as many of you know Murphy is REALLY sensitive to odors, as am I , so this is always a big concern. I have to be careful with the paints I use around the house. When I use spray paint I do so outside away from the house and leave the items out in the garage until the scent dissipates. This paint company has a WIDE range of colors and is able to be used indoors and outdoors. They also offer a simulated milk paint with some gorgeous colors as well! I'll have to take some photos and post them!

I am also working on bandannas ( with breat cancer ribbon fabric) for my kid to sell at work to her co-workers for part of her fundraising efforts. McDonalds employees work on raising funds all through the year for various community and national projects. This one is for breast cancer research. They have done quite a few fundraisers for this cause. There are a few of her co-workers who have been afflicted by this disease and so the crew wanted to do something to help stop this terrible disease. I know they don't raise a lot of money, but every dime and penny counts in the race to cure this awful disease! I think many folks don't know that McDonald's crews are out there doing what they can for their communities. At Christmas time they always find a needy family and help them with donations for the family to have a good Christmas. The money for this comes entirely from the fund raising by the crew committee, like bake sales and internal crew events. The owners and management support these endeavors by participating and donating to these events as well. I thought this might help you all see different side to your local McDonald's store. I know you have all heard of the Ronald McDonald charities and the great work they do, but the local McDonald's folks are working hard too! So next time you see a bake sale at McD's you will know the inside story. The workers are always glad to share their story behind their events as well, just ask:) And the goodies are cheap and very good! ( I have made goodies for them from time to time)It's nice to see good things being done by everyday people.

I have gotten a few goodies from the GW recently that I have been painting on; they need a second coat as I used the cheapie paint on them! Well, shoot you gotta use what you have in these times and I love getting things done! I will get you some pictures; I thought I had downloaded them but I guess not ! Well, DUH on me!!!

I'll be back soon with the pics!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Playing catchup!


Well, here he is; my Irish bully Murphy!!!! LOL!; He is such a good fella. I named him Murphy because he looked like he was going to be a prize fighter, especially with his health issues. He was just a little fella. I hoped by giving him a name like Murphy he would grow strong into his name as an Irish prize fighter; LOL! He sure did! He is such a sweet little boy who is the world to his mom. You could never find a bigger heart than my boy has, nor could you find a better example of unconditional love. I wish that human beings could love the way dogs do. They don't play games with your head or your heart. They don't cheat on you, nor do they compare you to anyone else. They are always so in to you! And they just don't care what you look like or how much you weigh as long as you love them and feed them! Hurray for doggies!

I did go to the Pig in the Poke show on Saturday in Nashville,MI. I also went to the shop by that name. I did not buy anything.For a couple of reasons: Some of the wares were a bit high for me as I am on a budget (and then some!). And then there is the husband factor; when he is with me I often second guess myself and feel intimidated by his tastes in items, not that he doesn't let me do what I want, but because I get wound up and want to make our home beautiful!!! The other element is that I can make many of the things offered, and I do like to spend money with my Michigan stores/crafters as much as possible because our economy is really bad!

There were many fine things there and so many neat vendors. I did not take any photos because I am a nut!!! Well, I think sometimes I am just overwhelmed and then later I realize that I forgot to take pictures. I did stop at my favorite quilt shop, The Hen House on the way to the show, Nancy was off sewing; how fun is that, but I met a sweet lady named Rhonda. While we were talking, another lady entered also looking for Nancy. We all joked about that for a minute, then somehow we began discussing the show, and guess what?? I was talking to Jackie; she is one of the ladies Linda, of Primp your Pad at Gathered Treasures, helped with arranging her home!!! We have all seen the photos on Linda's blog! I wish I could get Linda over here! So we began to talk and she was so sweet, we exchanged email addresses and I gave her my blog address, she thinks she may have been here before; how cool is that? So then they told me a shortcut to the show. It was perfect and a nice country drive.

After the show, I had it in my mind to go to Quincy, the location of The Old Granary! We had to make a quick stop in Battle Creek at Sweetwater's Donut Shop. My husband had seen it on some food program, so we went and got a dozen and a coffee cup for his collection. Then on to Quincy. Joann is the nicest shopkeeper you will ever meet! She and two other ladies were in the shop that day. They were so much fun! They told me I just missed meeting Lori of the Ole Primitive House. They laughed because they said we were so much alike, they would love to see us together!!! LOL! I can't help it, I am funny!!! Now, I am not funny on purpose all the time, but I do have a good sense of humor about life. And I am not shy or quiet. I tried to be for a while, but it ain't me!!! I'm loud and I'm proud of it!!! I am not ever mean to people; unless they hurt an animal or do something mean. I believe in making life fun. You all need to go visit the Old Granary! She has a pictutetrail; I will have to locate the link. I just love to go to these shops. I got a little mouse someone else made, some of the most wonderful smelling tarts; Sweet Annie scent! And some paint from Old Century for my cabinet in a nice prim brown.

I love getting out and meeting people. One of the ladies at the Old Granary, Robbie, I think her name was, said she had read my blog!!! That was so nice; she does not have a blog; maybe she will get one sometime, but I don't care as long as she wants to visit, she is sure welcome. She was such a nice person too and I hope to hear from her again! I am glad that all of you come and visit, I love yoour comments and enjoy reading your blogs too.

Currently I am thinking about how to do a prim tour/quilt shop tour by bus of some of Michigan's prim/quilt/antique shops! I wonder how much interest there would be in such a tour? I think it would be great to let someone else drive while we have fun and laugh and eat!!!No parking worries and a big ole' bus bay to store larger treasures!!! I am really interested in increasing the tourism in my area and I want to open my own prim shop. We have nothing here locally to speak of. And Michigan's economy is so bad, I would like to do my part, however small to help it . I love all these shops and have a vested interest in keeping them open! LOL! So send me your thoughts, I would love to hear your ideas!

On that note; I was saddened to hear yesterday that Krispy Kreme Donuts is closing their Flint location this Sunday!!!! HOWLLLL of disappointment!!! Now Flint is not EVEN close to me, but we made trips to Flint to shop and GO TO KRISPY KREME!!!! Now I will have to drive to Troy which is sooooo not close!!!!! Darn it all!!!!! I LOOOOOVE those donuts and the grocery store ones are NOT even close to getting them at the KK store!!!!!! So good when the HOT light is on!!!!!! I think the East Lansing one is going too; I'll be checking on that too as it is a little closer ( and I go to a quilt shop there on occasion and Williams Sonoma too!)

I hope you all had a great week; I have been having some kind of intestinal bug and back pains! Today feels a little better; I just refuse to be sick!!!!! I could NOT even enjoy that 70 degree day Tuesday!!! Hurry up Spring!!: And congrats to Jane of Jane's Fabrics on her new grandbaby!!!!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Here I Am!!!

Murphy and my friend's daughter playing dress up! He is sooo good with kids, he didn't even fuss about it :)


That was a long ole' break. Well, like many of you, I have been trying to find the time to do things and write, and visit you all.( Okay; I HAVE been visiting also called "lurking"!LOL) The past month I have been really Spring cleaning in anticipation of my friend from Indiana's visit. I mean REALLY cleaning!!! I needed to do this, but I had NO motivation or energy until this came up!!!

We went through the end of commuter college together. We both were never able to attend college as kids, so we attended a college for, basically,adults. That is where we met. And for some reason, we became very close friends. We both went through a lot in order to finish college. She was suddenly thrust into the role of single mom to two boys when her husband ran off to do his own thing, which consisted of dealing drugs and mainly getting into trouble with his gang. This all culminated in his arrest trying to cross back into Michigan from Canada where he had gone to secure more marijuana I believe.

She was lucky to have the support of her mom and sister. And then we met and we kind of helped each other. I was married at the time, rather unhappily, and had two kids as well so I guess we bonded over that. Both of us had married very early and became responsible people wayyyy earlier than our peers. We are probably seven years apart in age, but not very noticeable to us.



We began to do things that we had NEVER done before; like go out to bars and listen to music/dance. We both experienced some wild times like we had never done before in our lives; we were always homemakers and stay at home moms. I think we were really, in the beginning , seduced by the glitter of the night scene. I love music and going out to dance, but my husband did not, so we never went out to anything. My friend, was always afraid of going out so she just stayed at home too. But together we were never afraid to try anything.

We often hung out with others from school or from her neighborhood. We only did this on Friday and Saturday nights. Yes, we drank, silly amounts of alcohol at times. Neither of us had ever done this so we were just nuts! I was an addictions counselor so I know alcohol abuse when I see it and when I do it!!! LOL! Eventually, we graduated, but we kept having fun. I got a job prior to graduation and so could not be out all the time. My marriage broke up prior to graduation for so many reasons and for the first time in my life, I had my own home and was a single mom too. And, it was okay. Not easy, but okay.



I had met someone at school that I was deeply in love with and admired. That relationship and working eventually lead to a loss of contact with my friend. You know how life gets in the way sometimes of being with people you love? We still talked on the phone, and we went out from time to time, but I grew away from that "fun". I have to also say that I am the child of an alcoholic who died from the disease of alcoholism when I was just eighteen (my mother). She drank for nine years straight and it killed her. So I am acutely aware of the risks inherent in abuse of chemicals. And now being educated as an addictions counselor adds to that wealth of knowledge!


Eventually I left the U.S. with the subject of my admiration. At one time, my friend came there to visit. She is that kind of friend; she will go to the ends of the Earth for you! She brought her youngest son, whom I always had a soft spot for. He was a little guy then. We had a nice visit and then she returned home. After that we talked on the phone a lot. And she was the person who called to let me know that my son had died; she was trying to get me to call my daughter for the news, but eventually she told me. She was the one who stood by me through all the bad times ; the funeral and wake; and then somehow, I lost track of her. I know that I was depressed for a long time and did not want to be around people for any length of time. It was as though I had changed; that was what I felt.

Each time, from the moment I received the news, I left the house I felt lost. I felt like I could NOT understand why the world kept going on while my world was devastated. I often felt overwhelmed by life, the grocery store was so overstimulating that I didn't like to go there alone.Add to it that I was in a country I never lived in before with no friends nearby, and you can see why I was dis-engaging from life.

I still talked to her, not about my grief, because; it is strange how people react to this loss of mine. I know they don't know what to say or how to act. I get that, I really do. I have been there myself. But eventually I just lost touch with my old world.

When we moved to Michigan, where I also knew absolutely no one, I let her know where I was and we touched base briefly. That is when I lost the connection. I moved again to the country here in Michigan and could not find her. Time has gone by so quickly.



Well one night I was on Facebook and MySpace and thought of her older son and he loved computers. I figured that if anyone would be on the Internet, it would be him! I had sent messages to people with her name to no avail. But I found a young man with his name and even though the picture was very unfamiliar,it had been over eight years since I last saw him at my son's funeral, I sent him a message.



He responded and my friend and I were reconnected! And so she made plans to come here. When I was in Indiana in December, I drove around her town trying to find a sign of her. I later found out that her mom had passed away last year and that she had a little girl that was now 6! Of all things!! She did come here these past three days and we were able to go out for a brief tour of my area; she is a urban girl and I am a country girl. She was amazed at the space and the quiet here. I wish we had more time, but she says this summer they will come back. I hope they do. And I will go there too.


She now has a guy in her life and a house of her own. She works in sales and is happy with that. She still does the party thing, but appears able to handle it. But no matter what I will always be her friend as she will always be mine.

Part of me wishes that I could do as she wants and move back there, but the other half loves my home and the quiet. Who knows what the future will bring? I know it was nice to be able to see her and to also see the changes in myself. We graduated in 1997; and I know more about myself now than I did then.

I have made many friends here in Michigan, and have learned a lot of new things. I have made a lot of friends on this blog too. So no matter where I end up I will always have my blog with me to record the new events without losing the old.

I do have some other neat things to share; I went to GW yesterday and yes, I agree that they are pricing things WAYYYY too high! I know it is for charity, but you are going to price some folks right out of the market and then there will be NO money to give out at all. I did get a few things;

All for $11.00!!! The framed picture was brand new from Kmart and still had the sales tag; $12.99; I got it for $2.99; I figured even if I get tired of the picture, it's a great frame! The blue thing I will paint and the burgundy box too; it was from JoAnn's and still had it's price on it; it was like $15.99 or something; I paid $2.99. Everything else was under a dollar; some were the color of the day and were half off; so they were like 30 or 40 cents! You just have to be aware of prices just like anywhere.


I also went to Cadillac a couple of weeks ago as Pam from basketsandprims suggested. That is one great place, the whole town and a big GW; we then went to Traverse City as I had never been there either; and woooo! We had some fun. I found the cutest quilt shop; the Quilt-N-Bee! The owner is a cute girl who is so much like me it's scary!!! But she is so lovable!!! She and her mom own the shop and it is fab!!! And I did not take any pics there cuz I am a moron!!! I will next time, cuz I am going back there! She suggested Red's Barbecue for dinner and it was GOOOOOD!
We also went to the D.O.G. bakery!!!! Daisy and Oscar's Gourmet Dog Bakery! We bought the most beautiful hand made dog treats ever!

A bag of Shamrock cookies and a bag of Michigan shaped cookies made from cherries! If you go to Traverse City go to D.O.G. Bakery. We also went to Cherry Republic!!! WOOO! I got a whole BIG bag of dark chocolate dried Michigan cherries! Nummy!!! And we got some cherry wine, some hard cherry cider andddd they let you taste things before you buy them. They also had samples of mulled cherry wine, so good on a cold winter day. So aromatic in your home too!!

Well I guess I better go on now and get the pups their dinner!!!! I'll be back soon with more antics and goodies!!!

My Country Baby Murphy