Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Arts of Living

Recently, we've been doing a lot of hands on studying of the old crafts, arts of the Ozarks, and girls in general. I, personally, have a very strong belief that we must; as directed in the Old Testament, pass the knowledge to our children. More than just the stories and traditions, more than just our faith, we must teach them our ways. The humm drum day to day skills that we use to do what we do. And we must instill it deep enough that they in turn pass it down to the next generation. Not only is it a way to connect our decendants to thier heritage, it will someday, be our decendents preservation.

Okay...so, in doing that we spent an afternoon at a wonderful presentation Shiloh museum hosted for the community. "A stitch in Time" so to speak. The crafters ranged from quilt makers to lace makers...wonderful ladies who took the time to actually speak and teach and share thier love of the old with a new generation.

Awhile back we had toured Laura Ingalls Wilder museum in Mansfield, MO and I had bought Rachel a drop-spindel as a souvenier. How lovely to find a lady who took the time to show her step by step how to use it.

Rachel already had somewhat of an idea from my instruction, but it wasn't something that had held my interest for long so I couldn't really give her anything other than basics. This lady answered all of her questions and gave her plenty of practical tips to help improve her spinning. She came home and spent the next two days practicing. She also brushed the dog to get more hair to spin.

Miss Emma was taken in by the smocking. She's only recently been open to any kind of sewing instruction even though she's helped with several different projects over the years. I was pushing her into it before...now she has her own interest.

The demonstrator not only showed her how to do the stitch...she allowed Emily to use her things and smock a piece of her own from beginning to end and sent her home with pieces to practice with.

Me, I reflect fondly on all the different 'arts' I can choose to do and am thankful that my daily comfort and survival is not tied in so dramatically to me actually 'doing'. One hundred years ago, few things in a home were bought even in wealthy families. The lace maker also shared an interesting thought with me. She uses lace making with her ADHD sons as 'therapy'. As the mother of an ADHD child (and myself too), I can see how this would be a good tool.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Ten days to baby chicks!!
Yes, the anticipation is growing. Babies are precious to begin with. Such hope and possibility all in a tiny little adoring package.
At this stage of the game, the new additions are all snug and warm in thier shells, half formed. In another week, they will begin 'pipping'....I wish I could be there to see them emerge from thier shells and totter around the first time. I am content to wait on the hatchery though. I know they will ship healthy little ladies to me and they will arrive one day old and raring to grow.
I have some decisions to make while I wait...
Do I put the brooder inside or outside? As warm as the weather has been lately, I bet I could put it outside and thereby save myself some clean up hassle.
Where am I going to place their new coop? I don't want it too far from the house so that I will be able to hear them. Since our neighbor logged his land, we've had a zillion predators move onto our place.  The good thing is part of the new birds will be guineas, who will sound the alarm at the approach of anything and everything that makes them the least uncomfortable.
Do I share? ummm...gotta think about that one some more.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


As the last rays of the days sun filtered through the forest, the Council of Evinrue gathered to say goodbye to their champions.
With hope and trepidition, Lady Jazelle and her handmaiden Nareena accepted the blessings and gifts of the little people.
"What adventures  lie ahead?" they wondered,as they hugged the Elder goodbye.
Only the absence of the animals and fairy folk portrayed the danger that faced them all.
Only by finding them and returning them to Evinrue could they stop the spell.
Only by holding on to their magic could they break the curse and stop everyone from growing up.
~I might have to make this the theme for my next book.

Hidden Treasure

Seeing fields of wild flowers always makes me think of one of my grandmother's. She only had one leg...the other was wooden. And so i always knew her as a 'disabled' person..yet never thought of her as 'handicapped'. Grandmother was very talented...a nationally known illustrator, an accomplished musician, and one of the strongest women i've ever known.
Among her many talents was also one of hybridizing new varieties of flowers, especially iris, daffodils, jonquils, day lilies and African violets.When her flower beds became over grown, she would thin them out and put all the ones she'd culled into paper sacks. I thought she was nuts...why didn't she plant them into a new flower bed? or give them to a neighbor? Her varieties were much sought after especially by the locals...Why even cull them to begin with?  All of my questions went unanswered as she would fill the sacks and have me carry them to a cool spot in the garage.
On town day (once a month for us) she would have me load the sacks into the car and we would drive the back roads that led to the highway into the city. Windows down, and inching her way, she would instruct me to throw the bulbs out the window one at a time, onto the road's side.
Today...30 years later...I drive many of those same roads and it lightens my heart to see all the flowers my gma planted. Every spring it is a delight to see them return...more abundant each year. It was years before i realized she was not throwing them away...that she was planting for the future, and in her quiet way...trying to build and contribute to her community.
~compliments to my daughter for her lovely photo and the use of.

Do you see what I see?

I've been to the mountain,
and I've been to the sea.
I went to the desert,
and brought it back with me.
People think it has no beauty.
It's as barren as a thing can be.
But they didn't take the time
to see what they could see.

Friday, June 12, 2009


As for cupcakes,
I don't really care.
Vanilla, or chocolate.
Just put them there.
Sprinkled, or plain
it's all the same to me.
I might eat only one,
but then again,
could go with three.
They're good sligthly warmed
with puddings and cream.
Oh, with extra icing
Is simply a dream.
So, at the next party
Please don't leave me out.
I'd have to have a fit,
scream a bit and shout.
Just pass me the cupcakes,
if you so please.
I'll have one of those
and two of these.

Adventures of a homeschooler

Science is so easy when you homeschool. Just take a look at these photos from our adventures.

This first one is a Snapper Turtle we passed on our way to an afternoon activity. They live near water, bite!, are a pest to fish, and make a great chowder if you're brave enough to be the predator.

Next, we passed a pair of these....now, don't panic. The ol' saying that the only good snake is a dead snake simply is not true. We need snakes in our enviornment, and while I can not put up with them in my home...I'm more than happy to see the pair of these Black Snakes live so close to me. Their presence means I am less likely to see the venomous snakes. She sure is a beauty.

Farther along on our adventure....Rachel begged for my camera and took this photo of two moths...I'm not identifing them just as yet, because miss Rachel needs to figure it out and let me know...can't have her reading over my shoulder and using crib notes.
Imagine my delight when I went to feed chickens and found this little lady making a nest in my back yard. She is a Box Turtle, totally harmless, habitat is mainly woodsy areas, and she doesn't get big enough for soup unless you've got several of them. The girls think she's about 16 yrs. old. What do you think?

and finally...can you guess the name of this beauty we found at the park on the swing set?
It's a Leopard Moth, and while it's hard to discern, it's "eye's" and antenae are the prettiest color of blue. They have several broods of babies each spring and summer, and while they are quite common, most people never even notice them because they like to stay on the underside of wood. Any wood...play equipment, woods, pic nic tables....

Take a look around you today. There's no telling what you will find. God, is all his awesome imagination has created beautiful and fabulous creatures.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Is half way far enough for a 50 yr old out of shape woman who's tremendously afraid of heights?
hope so...cause that's as far as i got.
You didn't think i was going to let the daughter's outdo me did you?


Ironic too.
funny how they'll climb to the top of a 60 ft. cedar tree, but can't make it more than half way up a Climbing Wall with safety ropes attached.

Advertisement Plug

Coming back from the zoo, we HAD to turn around and come back to this little place in the middle of Alpena, Arkansas!!!
The sculptures are fabulous and oh how I want several of them for my own yard!! It was sad that the business itself was closed so we were not able to learn more about the crafters. They do have somewhat of a website though. CajunCarver.com   Ya'll go look at some of thier creations. The photo's do not do them justice. We'll be stopping by again on our next trip thru Alpena.


In a perfect world
I could spend all day with you
Never waste a moment being sad, ugly or blue.
You would always be there royal, regal and true.
I know the world's not perfect
and you are only bronze.
But a moment of my heart I'll give to you in song.
One day I'll be safe to walk amongst the fierce and free.
Rachel asked me to take her photo with this statue at the zoo. She wanted to imagine what it would be like if the tiger was really "Aslan" from the Narnia books.

tree hugger

no poems, no verse or prose....
just recording the adventures
of this wild climbing rose.
i remember i had to save her
when she climbed her first tree
she made it two feet and started
crying for me...
MOMMMY!!! help, I'm stuck
and I can't get down.
Please get my feet back on the ground.
Sissy you do it and then you'll see
You can't make it any higher than me.