Wednesday, November 29, 2006

BOND has moved...(click here)

Daniel is over at Mayden's Voyage Photos~

He did nothing for X

SJ might have been a tad concerned over my immaturity?

Pug said he was boring (Red? From that 70's show? Definite jealousy :)

Some were confused

/t was shaken

Schaumi was unscathed :)

Iamnot may have found his twin, and
K9 lost his squirrel breakfast over a bathing suit pic-
So- here I am last Freya's scarf a test shot...(heavens I hope she gets to wear it one day!)
Besides...Daniel is just a fantasy- and each of you are real :)

(Schaumi, Kate, beloved Lux, Rach...please feel free to view the lovely Mr. Craig on my other page- I'll be there too :)

Monday, November 27, 2006

P.A.R.E.N.T.I.N.G. 101

I read this article-
"A better Nation Through Education"

Well, yes, of course- this is the premise of schooling children from age 6 until 18.
The idea that all children should be educated in the basics of Math, Language, Science and History- whether in a public or private environment to better our society.

However, this man wants things like Compassion and Kindness to be taught in school.

Oh- it sounds good.
My kid's elementary school has had a "Virtue" of the month for years now- and they have a program called "Caught being good"- where students who are "caught" going the extra mile in clean up, or helping another student, get tagged by a teacher and get to have a special celebration. There is a celebration every month.
I think this is fine, it boosts morale, and it does reward good behavior- but only on the surface.

What about doing good for it's own sake? What about being kind as a way of life?
Where is this taught?

Are we to depend on teachers for knitting the moral fiber of our kids as well as instructing them on how to add, and spell, and memorize important dates in History?

Ummm- excuse me...are parents responsible for nothing???

Everytime I meet a new Teacher for my kids- I tell them the same thing..."If you have problems with him/her- call me. I will back you up."

If my kids were disrespectful to a teacher and it got back to me-
I'd- well, actually, that has NEVER happened to me.

Know why? You know why!

Momma don't play that!

Nor do I let my kids listen to anything they want on the radio, or watch anything they want on TV, or play video games all day- even on vacation I limit TV and game time.
I do not let my kids "talk back" to me- or say ugly things to each other...and I sure don't let them push anyone around.

And you know what- it shows in all the things they do. They know how to be respectful, good and kind because I SET THE EXAMPLE!!!

I know there are kids with great parents and real problems. I also know there are great kids with royal screw-ups for parents- and those parents need to have their butts kicked.

I love teachers. They have an important job, but not more important than the job that I have of being MOM. If I do my job right- the teachers can focus on teaching- both through their broad educational background, and by their own example.

Here's a program that might really make a difference-

"A Better Nation Through better Parenting"

Can I get an Amen?

INVESTing in your child...with your time, love, patience, kindness, and ATTENTION is the greatest cure for what ails our country- and then, invest yourself in the lives of your kids friends.

And send a goodie to your kids teacher every now and then- remember- you are setting an example~

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgivng 2006, Done and Dusted!

Thanksgiving, for me, is celebrated over 2 days~

Thursday is spent with hubby's family~

Mother-in-Law loves to decorate for Christmas...

I thought the De-capitating Snow Man" Bear was a bit odd, but the kids loved it :)

Hubby and me :) And.... ----------------------------------------->J wanted a new hair color!!!

Friday is spent with my family~
Counting all my siblings- their spouses and their kids- and add my parents- we are a group of about 21 people, and 18 were able to make it this year.

The Friday Feast with all my relations was supposed to be at my sister Robin's house.
However, at 11 pm on Thursday night- her 4 yr old became rather sick. I'll skip the details- but somehow, someway- I ended up with 4 overnight guests, and 18 people in my house for Thanksgiving dinner on Friday!!!

From 8 am Friday until 7pm that evening- I cooked, arranged, cleaned, (and only cried once), organized, and entertained :)
A wonderful time was had by all- I thought I'd share some of it with you~

A bunch in the kitchen ! And Aunt Nonna (me) gettin' some love from one of my nephews :) SMOOCH!!!

I had 3 tables set up- with just enough room for everyone :)

We all had a great time, the sick little one turned out to be OK- and I was happy to have my house back late Friday night!

Hubby and I even got to see the James Bond movie Saturday night...

Daniel Craig is BEAUTIFUL!!! LOL!

Ok- time to go back to real life~ Hope your holiday (if you had one) was as good as mine- and hopefully yours had less work involved! :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Naughty Thanksgiving recipe :)

Here is a recipe I thought you would like for the holidays!
1 whole chicken or turkey
1 large lemon, cut into halves
sprig of rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
butter or olive oil, whichever you prefer

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Rub butter or oil over the skin of the chicken/turkey until it is completely coated.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other seasonings you prefer.

Take a knife and gently separate the skin from the breast meat;

Slide lemon halves under the skin with the peel side up, one on
each side. This way the juice from the lemon will release into the breasts.

Place sprig of rosemary into the chicken/turkey.

Cover and bake for 30-45 minutes. Remove cover and continue
to roast until juices run clear, basting every 15-20 minutes.

If you've followed these steps correctly, your chicken/turkey should
look like the one in the picture.

Bon Appetit!




Friday, November 17, 2006

Broken, Beautiful, Thankful...

My friend, EOR at quoted Plato at another blog saying that each of us is broken and looking for our "other half".

I got an immediate visual image of my being a broken tube or bottle- with jagged edges- and searching for another broken something to complete me-

And then I began to think about my "other half".

As I considered my Marriage- my union with another flawed human- I saw all the ways that we have failed to connect. I have not fully completed him, nor has he fully completed me. Somewhere, back in dusty corners of my mind, did I really think we would, or could?

I think I've come to see that where a spouse or partner is lacking, that often our friends or family take up the slack. At least this has been true for me this year.

Most of us are broken people...and I know very few who aren't. The ones who aren't broken have found a way to keep everyone out- and they are lonely- and more flawed than those of us who have been shattered.

Enemy's comment brought about introspection and inspiration- The next image to come before me was of a Stained Glass window, and all the little bits of broken glass it takes to make one.

I thought about how I am only one color, and you are one color- and in order for our window, our lives, to be a masterpiece- I have to share my broken color with you, and you share your broken color with me.

I like this analogy- the idea that we are not completed by just one person; and the more I give of myself, the more room I make for others. Certainly there are people in our lives that contribute more than most- and that is only right and good...but I don't want to miss out on those who'd add a bit of Sharp Tangerine, Cloudy Pink, Breezy Yellow, or Earthy Brown.

It would be sweet, I think, at the end of my life- if given the chance to see my years as a Stained Glass window- that I'd have to look hard to figure out which color was mine.

I hope that I would have given so much of myself away, and taken in so many colors- that a picture of me is not what would be seen...

I hope I'd see a Kalidescopic window,

Beautifully Colored,

Completed by the lives that touched mine,

And lit up with LOVE~


Whether you are in the US, Canada, the UK, India, or on a gorgeous island in the South Pacific... I'm thankful for the ways your lives have touched me- I will celebrate this Thanksgiving Holiday with each of you in mind~

Happy Thanksgiving :)

I'll be around- and hope to catch up at all of your blogs over the next week :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Painting, Scarves, Meme (from Lux :)

What a week! My daughter's 11 b-day party is this weekend, then we travel for Thanksgiving, and home in time to celebrate with my family on Friday the 24th.

My friend "Boneman" (Berry) at posted some of his paintings on his blog a few months ago that he was entering into a competition.
I saw one that I liked very much and I asked him about it.

We worked out a price- and the painting arrived this past Monday! I was so thrilled:)
This is kind of a Christmas present to myself. The painting now hangs in my office and I hope to get it framed in the new year. It's a permanent reminder to me of how very real and special each of you are~

Thank you Berry :)

(And I'll bet he has a few more if anyone is interested :)
********** ***

Next- I've been a "Scarf-making Nut"- and I hope to get them all finished and sent out by the 1st week of December :) I might even get to hand a few out in person- but more on that soon.
My sweet dog and his bride might be over for a visit- or we may meet halfway- we are still working on the details :)

From my beloved friend Lux :)

My pet name is ……Oh- the best one so far has been "Sunshine"- the worst was something I can't write here- this is a kid friendly blog!
The silliest one in high shcool was "Baby Pop"- which came from a Beastie Boys song when I was 17. (not to be confused with Barney's "Baby Bop"- ICK!)

I was born on the 30th day of May, 1969- around 8am. 8am is still a lovely time to get up- I think! :)

My magic is in the food I cook, the things I create, and letters I write~

I can change my mind about something in a flash- and not worry about it :)

I was once approached to be in a beauty pagent, when I was 8- and I won! :)

I am a die hard fan of the old Winnie the Pooh(Milne), C.S. Lewis, and Robert Louis Stevenson...and I adore George MacDonald fairy tales.

I love cloudy days, thunder storms, bubble baths, large ancient trees, the sound of the ocean, the mountains in the fall, candle light, a clean kitchen, fresh sheets on the bed, to be on a boat on the lake at sunset, or sunrise, the sound of my nephews laughing or saying my name..."Nonna", my children saying good morning, or good night, or thank you- or I LOVE YOU MOM...
A breezy country home- full of comfortable furniture- and looks lived in (and believe me, mine does!)- books everywhere, chocolate hidden in special places for an emergency, an abundance of tea bags- English or Irish breakfast :) A bikini wax, a trip to the hair salon, and a footrub by a pair of strong hands that love me.
I love alternative music- that combines the sound of nature with bells, and harps, and wind instruments~

I think my husband is strong, and brilliant, kind, and trustworthy.
Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn was sexy beyond any man I have ever seen...except for a Marine I saw last summer at the beach- but I digress ;)

I dream of dancing with abandon, in the beach, under the brightest smiling full moon with my soul sisters… (this I copied from Lux- but it was too good, and too true for me not to include it!)

5 is my favorite number ;) (ok, so I added one more! :P)

I have one more blog to post before Thanksgiving, and then I think I'll be away for a while- but I'll be reading up on all of you! :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Pie to Die for! :)

OK- that was an exaggeration- but it is a MIGHTY GOOD PIE! Especially if you like chocolate :)
I thought I'd post this in time for the holiday. I love Pumpkin pie, unfortunately I'm very allergic to pecans, and walnuts. This is a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert table, and it has no nuts in it.

(If you are allergic to pecan and walnuts- tell me. I'd like to hear your story ;)

This is a snap to make, and if you are like me- there is always butter, eggs, sugar and chocolate in the house, and I buy the cheap pie crusts 12 at a time at the grocery store and put them in the freezer. I just never know when I'll need to make a pie- especially THIS one! :)

(Angus barn is famous for this pie here in NC)

1 unbaked pie crust (NOT a deep dish pie crust)
1 stick of butter (real butter is much better)
2 squares of Bakers Chocolate- semi sweet (2 to 4 oz of semi-sweet choc. chips work just as well!)
1 C of white sugar
2 eggs- beaten
1 Tsp of vanilla
dash of salt (the salt is important, it really does season the chocolate)

Melt the butter and chocolate (in the microwave, bowl with a lid- 2 to 3 minutes at 60% power works great)
In another bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add in the melted chocolate and butter- mix well.
Pour the mixture into the pie shell, bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let the pie cool before cutting whip on it is great. It is VERY rich- good with coffee- and don't eat too much of it :)

I will be serving this on Thanksgiving- I'd love to make something from your pass along a side dish or dessert idea :)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

November Swirl....

Fluffy- vanilla- cool whip breeze…
Sunshine wraps itself around me,
A cocoon of light- tangled in golden tresses-
Blue eyes peer out through dark shades-
The brilliance is too much to bear unaided.

The love that swept around me
When I entered the room-
The rush, the flutter- a Tsunami of gentle peace
Engulfed me- raptured and filled me- even with a migraine pounding-
I was wanted, missed, and loved -even by a stranger…
Known only to me by my prayers uttered for her.

I was not expected- but I was invited.

I did not RSVP- having let too many down in the Past-
from having said yes…only later to have to decline…
Due to the man of my life…having obligations that supersede mine.
I’ve downplayed my aggravation- my losses- to his career.
Tears dry unseen on my pillowcase.

Throbbing and in nauseous pain- my head wanting to explode- my spirit longing to be where I was requested…
I pleaded- “Can you drive me out there? I NEED to be at Hope’s house tonight.”
He consented- graciously, kindly…he knew what this evening meant to me.

And oh- the hugs, the love, the cries of “I can’t believe you’re here!”
Have I been that absent?
Have I wandered out of the shelter of those who love, respect and mentor me?
Far from those who’ve shared their life?
Yes I have.

In this case- it’s not the tyranny of the urgent that consumes me-
Rather the tyranny of being a single parent- a lone wife – partnered to almost a ghost- or a spirit.
And expanding my boundaries, listening to other voices…testing love-
And LOVE severely testing me.

I returned home- awash in the glow of sisterly fire.
The pain in my head easing-
My heart full from the joy poured out on me-
The moon had risen- and silver light spilled out into the darkness.
I gathered it up in my heart- and went to sleep- like a child in her
Favorite Aunt’s arms J
(that would be me- the favorite Aunt!)

I awoke this morning- in no pain, rested, and ready to reach out to anyone who would reach back.
I had breakfast with my mom, my real sisters, and some of the children of our
Family…5 kidos/babes in all, and one 11 weeks in-utero.
A table for 10 was barely big enough~

Have you tasted the sweet intangible fruit of family? (Lux, I know you have )
Family that created you, or family you created?
Have you held in your hands- the tiny grasping hands of the future?
Kissed the lips and cheeks of precious ones who will carry your love
Into generations past you?

And have you told the ones behind you- your parents- that you will
Carry their love and sacrifices beyond their grave (Schaumi- I think of you in this)…hugged them, twice-
Once for yourself, and once for a friend whose parent is gone? (Kate, that was for you )

My Spirit is swept up today in the golden light of all that’s possible-
Of all that’s probable. I am unmarred by the trauma of the past.
I am immersed in all that’s good…
Fragrant from the aroma of being around and near and inside of Love.
Breathe deep as you wander past-
Inhale, absorb, grasp hold- of the care, and thoughtfulness, and warm feelings
I send out to each of you…

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sunshine, dinner, voting, movies!

This bit of sunshine is dedicated to all of you~ (K9, yours is further down- lol!)
I seem to be all better- lets hope I stay that way! Thank you for your notes, and calls, and IM's :)

For Dinner tonight~

Roasted Pork Loin with garlic, and rosemary from my garden
Rich brown pork gravy
Steamed rice
Sweet buttered corn

Baby lima beans- long simmered with a tiny bit of salted pork
Sweet tea- of course :)

On Sunday hubby and I went to Staples and we picked up a software program called Printshop 22. I didn't have a good photo editor- and I am playing with this one~
I'm almost afraid of all the things I will be able to do with this!
If you have used this software- let me know what you think of it.

**Also- if you use a photo editor that you really like- tell me about it- please.

I'm having wayyyy to much fun with this silly thing! LOL :)

I couldn't find a single ear ring- so I used silver door handles and shrunk them down!!! I'm a goof!


GO out and VOTE tomorrow!!!

Did any of you see the film called "Obsession" yesterday?


VOTE tomorrow!!!


Whoo- hoo! "CARS" comes out on DVD tomorrow!!! :)

What a fun movie that was! I'm sure before the week is over we will have a copy-

Want to come over and watch it with us??? :) We'll make room for you! :)

Hope you all have a good week!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Images hidden in a picture, and stories hidden in a life~

(I've been taking care of my 2 and 4 yr old nephews this week- and continuing to battle a returning illness...I may actually have to break down and go see my Dr- ughhh...)

I love 3-D pictures. The ones that look like a mish-mash of colors and shapes, and once you look deep into the art, or look past it...something astounding emerges.

But your eyes have to be right. The light has to be good. And you have to WANT to understand- to see- to FALL into the art and let it consume your vision.

It's like being on vicodin and percocet without the stomach ache and nausea.
It makes me giddy when I stare at these things; and I feel like Alice in the Looking Glass, only without the strange cat and mad hatter, or the evil Queen.

I am Alice...asleep under a tree and having crazy dreams.

Last night I dreamt that I was being chased by the Mafia.
A bunch of mean and burly Italian men wanted to find me, hurt me, and then kill me.
(Forgive the stereotype- sorry!)

I was always evading capture, but just barely. People who were trying to help me were not very smart and kept getting caught- and killed. I heard them screaming- and all I could think was how dumb they were for running into trap after trap. And then I felt guilty for thinking they were stupid.

I was terrified- and couldn't get far enough away. The bad guys were always just around the corner...always within a few minutes of finding me. It was an awful dream. I kept wondering where my friends were...

I'm wondering who my friends are these days. (In meatspace I mean)

I'm close to my sisters, close to my family- but there limits on things I can say to them.

I have a dear friend of 25 years who knows me like the back of her hand- but our schedules are crazy...we barely connect once or twice a month.

Ahhh- the truth is trying to surface here. This is about a friend- who is missing from my life. I can't say more.

Have you been in this place? In a dark corner you've painted yourself into? Are you facing something ALONE, or have you in the past? About an illness, or an honest friendship that others would question or frown upon, an addiction no one knows about, a secret from your past, an unnatural fear or quirk that wakes you up at night? Are you taunted by an unkind voice that reminds you of all the times and ways you've failed in your life?

Did you think- "If I had such and such, or so and so...I would feel better."? It's not true you know...what you think you need to be happy is an idol.

Only I have the power to make ME one else can.

It's not depression, it's not a broken heart...but this is a LAMENT. A regret.
And not just in one area, but in many- in this perfect American life I lead.

I can't say all that I want to say...
Too many eyes, too many opinions, so few who would understand.

Even in my confession that I "can not say what I want to say"- I risk much.

"What do you mean?"
"Are you hurt?"
"Are you ill?"
"Have you sinned?"

I can't explain what I mean. Yes, I'm hurt. I might be sick. I sin often.

And yet from reading my beloved bloggers- I know I am not alone. Some of you who are "anonymous" have said more. Some of you who have revealed who you are to me- and oh- how I love you for it...have hid very little.
I have been honest with you too.


I wish I could say more. I will not.

But I can tell you that your interaction here- your care- your thoughts matter a great deal to me. Thank you...

I'm weary of them, but...

I was thinking today that if it were possible- I would go to Iraq.

I've wanted to go for about 3 years now.
I want to help soldiers, women, and children.

I want to see for myself what is going on. I want to believe my President when he says that our presence there is making a positive difference for the Iraqi people, and that we are killing terrorists.
My friends on the ground over there tell me this is true. Friends who have friends over there- also tell me this is true.

The talking heads on the news- sitting in comfortable studios with perfect hair and make up tell me otherwise. Actually, it seems that most of the "Nay-sayers" are a safe distance from the Middle East.

I give more credit to my friends who are there, or have been there.

The "News" isn't the news anymore- it's a popularity contest, and frankly, it stinks. Politics stink too. My friends on the Left, and the ones on the Right, are not so very different from each other.

I don't have any radical friends- or not many- on either side of the fence. What always surprises me is how much we all have in common. Especially the women, the moms I know.


I hope my good health returns soon. I've noticed in the past that when I get bugged down with something and have trouble getting over it- that I'm doing too much. I should lay low and knit all weekend :) And read up on blogs I've missed, and return email- there are several letters I want and need to write~

I might also spend some time in that 3D art book I got for Christmas last year. It does make me giddy you know...

Take good care of yourselves- I send warm thoughts and love to many of you :)

The last days of the Tomato garden along the side of my home~ A few tomatoes are still growing!

Me, obviously- October, in my office/craft room :)