Sunday, November 25, 2012

On June 23rd 2012 my husband John died unexpectedly.  The day before started as a normal day and within 10 hours my husband was gone. 

The depth of my grief is more than words can measure.  I pray each day John will walk through the door from a day of fishing and announce “I’m  home!”  I’d give anything, ANYTHING to be able for that to happen.  Yet in my heart I know I am going to somehow have to figure out how to live without him.  It’s unbearable and something I truly don’t want to do. 

I’ve experienced loss in my lifetime.  My grandparents, my father, an aunt, an uncle.  But this is my husband. My life, my light, my heart and soul.  The absolute best thing that ever happened to me.

We were a perfect fit.  Had the same humor, likes, dislikes, silliness… everything.  Truly.  We finished each other’s sentences, would say something right before the other was starting to.  We’d hear a song playing and starting dancing really badly and out of sync with the song and just laugh and laugh at how funny we looked. 

Some people tell me they don’t know what to say.  Some say nothing because they too don’t know what to say.  The best thing to say is just “I’m sorry for your loss.  Is there anything I can do for you”. 

Looking back I know I was terribly inept at knowing what to say during someone’s loss.  I think we have a desire to fix it.  Know the perfect words that will provide someone peace in their heart.  Sadly now knowing from personal experience… there aren’t any words that can fix it.  Just let the person know you are there if they want to talk.  And make sure you listen to them.  How ever long it takes.  Listen. 

I’m having great difficulty getting into a routine.  Getting back into my crafts, cooking.  I guess most everything. And to be quite honest, getting up in the morning,  getting a shower, eating, even breathing is something I don’t want to do.  I really just want John back by my side. 

I write this for those who do read my blog will know why I’ve been away.  Every day is a struggle and I don’t know when I’ll write again.  Soon I hope.  And for those of you who do read… thank you so much for sticking with me.

Until next time,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Waste Not Want Not

When I first started decorative painting I gathered many different supplies to 'have on hand'. Brushes, surfaces, sealers, varnishes and on and on. Problem was, after I would buy them I wouldn't want to use them. I tucked them away and saved them. And saved and saved.

Unfortunately, a lot of finishes, varnishes and some paint clearly had a shelf life. And it all had to be thrown away. I was more than mad at myself. And quickly came to realize, you need to use what you have! Enjoy them! Because in the end, saving only meant that I wasted the money and the product and.... never got the enjoyment of any of it. Such a lesson learned.

All the surfaces I saved over the years have stayed intact. And one of those are vintage Cape Cod roofing slates. I bought a slew of them from a supplier in New England (now no longer in business.) Lately I've been pulling a few of them out and painting on them.

Here's the latest one I did with Raggedy Ann with a big slice of watermelon and the American flag. This is a Maxine Thomas design with some little changes.

These slates look super cute hanging by your entrance door to welcome guests, in the garden on a stake or anywhere else you want that Americana look.

Until next time,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spotlight on Billy

On May 22, 2000 Billy found me in the parking lot of the office building I worked in.  He darted up to me and started meowing like nobody's business.  I thought perhaps he had wandered away from a home in the area and just needed help finding his way back.  So I scooped him up and took him around knocking on doors and asking if he belonged to anyone.  At the last house I tried, there was a couple who said he hung around underneath their house but he wasn't theirs and they really wished someone would take him. They didn't want him there :(  

So I took him back to my office, set him up with a comfy place to lay and gave him some water to which he immediately stuck his paw in and started slapping it all over.  After he was done playing in it, he stuck his paw in his mouth.  Silly cat.

The workday ends and here we were.  I come home and tell John I brought him a present!  He says, "it's not a cat is it?"  LOL!!!  He always tells me I'm a cat magnet. And the rest is history. 

Billy is kept separate from the other kids until we get him checked out at the vet.  So the next day we head to the vet and on the way I sing to him.  Now at the time we thought he was female. I swear he looked like it!!!  Anyway, I sing him a song calling him Lily all the way to the vet.  He meowed like he loved the song!  Or not. 

He gets blood work done, vaccinations, fecal test.. you know the whole kit and kaboodle.  We continue to keep him separated from the others until the test results come back.  Sadly he is positive for Felv and FIV. My heart breaks. 

The vet recommends euthanasia. I began reading any and everything I can on Felv/FIV.  John and I decide we are going to give him a chance to live his life. And as of the 22nd of this month, our sweet Billy has blessed our lives for 12 years.  Yes, twelve.  We are so thankful we followed our hearts and did not euthanize him.  

Until next time, 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's all in the details

We're doing some landscape remodeling of sorts in our backyard.  We're adding  a pond along with a bridge over it and lots of plants surrounding the area.  

Now with all this going on there is lots and lots of dirt.  And I'm constantly calling out, 'wipe your feet!'.  Yesterday I must not have called out enough because I found these large sandy shoe prints leading all the way from the back porch to the kitchen sink.  John naturally blamed it on the cats. 

So today I see him heading inside.  I go out and hand him a pair of these blue bootie thingies to put over his shoes.  He just gives me an 'are you kidding look'. I stand firm with booties in my hand :-)

Much later in the day John says he's heading to Home Depot.  I mention he can drop me off at Michaels on the way.  I've been eyeing those Smash books.  Still on the fence about whether I'd actually commit to doing it.  I have several scrapbooks that I haven't done.  We return home and I'm in the garden checking plants when John comes out the door saying... 'look what I went to Home Depot and Michaels in'.  I look and see these on his feet,

I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants!!  He was shocked no one said anything.  I said they were too busy laughing.  So I took a picture before he tossed them in the trash.  I imagine tomorrow I won't win the bootie battle. 

Here's a little baby card.  All girly and pink.  I love the umbrella paper.  It's by Jillibean.  

Until next time, 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Press 1 for a Medic....

There was a message on our recorder last week asking John to call a specified number and follow the prompts regarding supplies for his TENs unit.

So John calls the number. I’m at the computer and I hear him on the phone. Yes. Yes. One. Yes. One Eight Nine Two Five.  No. One Eight Nine Two Five. No. One Eight Nine Two Five. NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! ONE EIGHT NINE TWO FIVE!!!!  Now he’s yelling into the phone like a crazy person.

I say, ‘honey, give me the phone. No use in you getting your blood pressure all raised’. So I respond. Yes. One Eight Nine Two Five. No. One Eight Nine Two Five.  Uh, no. One….Eight….Nine….Two….Five. NO!! It’s One Eight Nine Two Five!!!  One Eight Nine Two Five!!!
NO!!!  So now I’m yelling into the phone like a crazy person. And the stupid automated attendant still hasn’t got it.  So now I’m so aggravated I’m like a screaming banshee!  And then I look up at John and we both bust out laughing.  I mean, we’re yelling at an automated attendant.  I hang up. Gosh I miss real people.

Earth Day today! Look what I planted. 

Ok so I didn't plant Allie Oop.  But I did plant these flowers. 

The parsley was planted earlier. I love being able to go out and snip a little of this and some of that to enjoy.

Doing a little painting recently.  Here's a custom order, a little garden angel with her bee skep painted on a vintage roofing slate.

Until next time,

Thursday, March 29, 2012


History always repeats itself.  Like the current 'Going Green' move.  A new generation comes along and everything old is new again!

Take sun tea for example. 

In the 70’s this was the way I always brewed my tea.  It was the ‘thing’ in the day.  I would sit my big ole jar of tea bags and water out on the deck to steep.  I was hip!

Then there was Shaklee.  Did you use Shaklee?  All natural vitamins and cleaners.   I bought Basic H by the gallon and used it for all my household cleaning.  Used the laundry soap for all my laundry including those delicate hand wash only garments.  Hung everything on the clothesline and felt so, well, green! 

I was helping the environment and helping my body.  I wore t-shirts with an image of a beautiful water stream on the front with a quote, “we all live downstream” and other environmental friendly quotes. I tie dyed skirts and shirts.

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I loved the green movement and felt empowered to be part of such a big thing.

And then something changed.  Don’t know what.  Don’t know when.  But slowly most of us flowed with the times as they pressed forward.  New products, new ideas, new generations.   

And now here we are forty years later and the Green Movement has again taken hold.  People shop with their eco friendly shopping bags.  They shop at Whole Foods. They wear eco friendly clothing and participate in their county or city’s recycling program. 

Me?  I’ve jumped back on.  I’m re-learning ways to be green.  Trying to use less paper and plastic (although I admit this is super difficult for me as I love my paper towels).  We have a compost pile.  We recycle.  We ride our bikes to the store versus driving the car when we’re picking up just a few items.  We re-purpose as many items as we can.

We replaced all our lawn with brick paths, stepping stones and drought tolerant plants, herbs  and shrubs more than 10 years ago.

I haven't gone so far as to start tie dying our clothes but I do wish I still had those t-shirts.

Until next time,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I love spring. Love the colors, the flowers, the spring breezes.  I like spring cleaning too!  A time for washing off the porches and window screens and getting everything ready for cookouts and rocking.

The oak pollen will be gone soon along with those annoying little green caterpillars dangling from the trees.  I can't stand them and typically will walk around outside with an umbrella so they don’t drop on my head!

I don't spend a lot of time on Pinterest, but that’s not to say that I don’t occasionally browse the site.  I do like the pictures and inspiration but don’t want to spend the day sitting at the computer.  That being said, here’s some pictures that just sang Spring! to me. 

Do these look yummy or what?  I remember making Jello parfaits loooong ago.  So pretty and so simple.  I'm adding this to my list. Along with these, 

Lemonade with raspberry ice cubes.  I'd rather have cherry ice cubes myself but love that red. 

And now for a card I made.  Love those pretty sweet peach colors. 

Ok, off to do some of that spring cleaning!

Until next time,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Strawberries! You Pick

I planted a strawberry plant early in the year. I wanted to have a couple of nice strawberries to occasionally enjoy with my morning yogurt.

Yesterday I checked and there were 5 berries just a day of being perfect to pick. So I covered them good with hay so the birds wouldn’t get them and was ready this morning to enjoy. But when I went out to get them, there was not a single one there. Dang! The birds snagged every one. I can’t believe they eyed them thru the hay. Or smelled them. Whichever. It’s always a challenge here to be able to get something for us that I grow. I don’t mind sharing but couldn’t these critters leave a little for us?

Next up will be cherry tomatoes that have blooms. Of course, all my herbs they want nothing to do with. Hey, maybe I should plant herbs all around my other plants!

Spent some time in the studio putting all the valentine themed stuff away and getting out some spring papers. Easter is right around the corner! I love all the bunny stuff. Something about those bunny ears that you just gotta love.

Here’s a little gift pocket I made. You can tell I love to make pockets. They are just so sweet to tuck a little something in.

The clown paper is really cute although I am slightly afraid of clowns. LOL! I think I saw a scary movie preview once and have never been the same since.

And here's another card.

When I first started this card the idea in my mind ended up totally different in the end. I knew I wanted to use the floral paper and a butterfly. The rest just evolved. As things do.

Well, until next time,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Spring Is In The Air

Here’s a look inside to our local Humane Society’s, Monday Feral Trap Day, where each Monday the clinic is devoted to the Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program where we, as volunteers, humanely trap community cats and bring them here to be treated. The clinic then spays/neuters, vaccinates and treats them for any wounds or medical issues. We pick them up in the evening and take them home to safely recover. The cats are happily released back into managed environments by Tuesday. On this particular Monday, there was a record number of spay/neuters. A total of 151!! As one of the volunteers who participate in feral trapping, these numbers are a wonderful thing to see.  It means 151 cats can no longer reproduce and contribute to the over-population of unwanted animals in our community. 

If you’d like to see some of the process, you can check the pictures out here:

The cages are much larger than they appear in the pics so don’t be concerned.  The hardest part for me is the recovery.  I worry, worry, worry until the cat is fully alert, eating and doing it’s business like normal. 

I’ve gotten a lot of my posies planted.  I love this time of year when the breezes are sweetly blowing, the temps are just right and the humidity is low.  A perfect time to be in the yard puttering around.   And hanging clothes on the line.

Photo Credit
And isn’t this the cutest clothespin bag? Makes you want to hang clothes! 

Photo Credit
Only a couple things going on in the studio.  One is this card.

My inspiration came from the clothespin bag. Love that red!

Until next time, 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mustard Yellow and Lemonade

We had ameba pizza for dinner last night. When John asked ‘what’s for dinner?’ and I replied ameba pizza!, he made an ewwww face.

Ok, so it wasn’t really ameba pizza.  It was a pizza I made that looked like an ameba though. This was my first time making a homemade pizza and that crust and I went round and round. Ha! Round and round. I crack me up.  But actually it didn’t go round and round at all.  Hence, the ameba pizza.  I finally gave up and just put the odd shaped crust on the pan and called it a pizza.  Clearly I need more work in the pizza department.

You know all those lemons picked from our tree?  Well, I juiced 40 of them and ended up with 2 quarts, plus a couple of odd bottles and a pint container.  Here’s a pic of part of them.

Lemonade here I come!  And broiled fished and lemon meringue pie. Yum.

Here’s a greeting card recently made.  Love the cameo. Always wanted one when I was younger.  I think they are just so romantic looking. 

I used Crate Paper papers.  I absolutely love, love, love Crate Paper!  Some of the designs remind me of vintage wallpaper. You know the kind you’d see in your Nana’s house. 

That’s all for today.  I’m off to run some cat errands.  They are soooo demanding.  They think we are their Butlers for crying out loud. 

Until next time,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Such a Purrfect Day

Yesterday was such an wonderful day.  You know, one of those days when you feel like you can take on the world?  Well that was yesterday.  I started getting the garden ready for planting, John helping me with the hardest parts, did some much needed pruning and planted some lemon balm and a hanging basket with impatiens.  Doesn’t sound like much does it?  But as a fibromyalgia sufferer, it was everything!  One of those rare days with very minimal pain.. I was on top of the world :-) 

Such a beautiful day too.  Perfect temps and a light breeze.  We hung the hammock up.  It seemed to be calling us.  Hey, you two, over here.  And, of course, our Allie was all for that.  She loves to relax in the hammock.  She thinks it's hers.

Pulled most of the lemons off our tree yesterday too.  Love our lemon tree.  It has these HUGE lemons, lots of juice and it was a volunteer tree to boot.  We didn’t even know we had a lemon tree until a couple years ago and BAM! I spot a lemon on the grapefruit tree. Ha!

Aren’t these great?  In total, we pulled 60 off the tree.  And there are still more.  So today I have lots of juicing/freezing to do.  And when summertime arrives…  let there be lemonade. 

And of course one of the kids had to get in on the action.  No Bailey, this isn't something you can eat.

Nothing going on crafty yesterday although I did make this little valentine pocket with tag recently.

I love to make pockets.  This one starts with a little Kraft paper envelope I made then lined with Basic Grey Kissing Booth collection.  Love the little cupid. 

Until next time,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Getting A Home

Bear with me as I post another story about cats. Yes, it is clear I love-love-love them.  Actually I love all animals. How can you not when you look at their little faces and see all the hope coming from their eyes. Ahh.

So today I want to show pictures of several of the cats in a colony I’ve been taking care of. First, here’s the story (from my original blog) of how these cats came to be in my care.

This blog, Purrfect Whimsy, was the initial blog I started. At the time I thought I would keep just the one. But then I thought (gets me in trouble every time) that I should have a blog more in combination with my Etsy shop name. And soon I realized I was not going to be able to pivot back and forth between the two trying to keep up. So, I’m just posting to this one. Much easier and I can spotlight animals when I want, crafting and this and that.

So, I digress. Sorry. Here are pictures of some of the colony.

Lots of black and whites here. Look at this little girl.

Is that not the most precious little face? I named her Lola. She is the first in this colony that I was able to socialize. This little face peeking through the fence was there to greet me each day as I showed up to feed. Sigh. It just melted my heart.

I’ve been able to get Lola a forever home. So thrilled!!!!! Not seeing that little face peeking out as I arrive each day is bittersweet, but there’s more to the story. I’ve been able to visit her and help getting her adjusted to her new home. It’s been a win-win. And when I come to visit, little Lola comes a runnin’ when she hears me. It just fills your heart doesn’t it? Yes indeed.

Stay tuned for more from this colony.

Until next time,

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pockets and Purrs

Remember the cat I was finally able to trap around Christmas?  Well here he is.
I named him Grayson. He’s really sweet but sometimes he has a look that will stop you in your tracks. John says he looks like a body builder that’s hasn’t built his lower body. You can see a little of that in this picture. Big head and then the rest of him thins out. Bless his heart.

He’s the only solid gray cat in the colony. I really don’t see many grays around. Lots of black and whites, tabbies and oranges, but not grays. Apparently the grays weren’t invited to the parties very much. Probably because they act huffy puffy with others :-)

Some of my favorite materials to create with are paper bags and Kraft paper. Something about that natural background that I love. So many possibilities. I love to make pockets with them. You can tuck so many things into them and then give as a sweet little gift. Wrap a homemade cookie or treat in a doily, tuck in the pocket and you have a sweet little gift for one! Personal and heartfelt.

Here’s a recent paper bag project. 

Slip a candy bar, cookie or other treat in one of the pockets and add a little handmade card or note in the other.

That’s it for today.

Until next time,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Note to self

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a list maker.  Grocery lists, things to do lists, what to take on trips lists, book lists, you name it. I love lists!  Big ones, fat ones, short ones, tall ones, thin ones. Such a handy dandy thing to keep you on track.

A number of years ago I kept a running list of to-do projects in our home. Loved crossing through the things we completed and looking back later to see how much we had accomplished within a certain amount of time. I then took the information from that list and entered it into what I call our “Home Sweet Home” binder. The binder is a compilation of everything about our home. Year built, year bought, appliance upgrades, room and paint colors, when painted, etc.
I made this list pad yesterday.

The cover is cut from white cardstock, then I dressed up the front with some shabby layers. The pink wrinkle ribbon is from Prairie Bird Boutique. You can find them here. Beautiful colors, generous yardage and the bundles are sweetly packaged.

Maybe this inspires you to make a list of your own.

Until next time,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year

Well we didn't stay up until midnite but we did wake up shortly after hearing the neighborhood fireworks.  Surprisingly they didn't last as long as they typically do.  So back to sleep we went!

I'll start taking Christmas decorations down this week. Wrapping everything carefully and tucking it away for another year.  It's a slow process but for some reason always seems to take less time than putting everything up.  I love all the decorations but by the end of the holiday I am ready to get my house back in order. 

A little card to share with you today.  Fresh pinks and greens. Love the cottage look. 

Until next time,