Saturday, February 23, 2019

Light in the Darkness...

Just a little peek at a new light I was given this week.

One of my dear friends was a senior in high school the year I started teaching, and we've been together all these many (43) years! I was honored to teach her two children, and following my retirement I finished off my career with only one long-distance student, her son Antonio. This wonderful young man has been featured here several times as his life has touched so many of us. A brilliant writer and incredible spiritual motivator, Antonio does not speak due to Autism. I miss the day to day contact with one of the kindest, most intuitive, and expressive souls I have ever known. However, I see his Mom nearly every week and have the pleasure of seeing his sister and her husband and new baby often.

As well as writing, Antonio paints with his mother's assistance, He makes these fabulous lamps, so, of course, I ordered one... and my friend wouldn't let me pay!!!  I will try to think of something fun to do to thank him, but in the meantime, isn't it fabulous? Depending on which side we look at, I see many hidden figures and impressionistic shapes...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Stitchy Cheer

Well, I finished this lap afghan I am calling The Briar Rose. It was just an ordinary granny square with an "H" hook and medium 4-weight yarn. I used 3 skeins each  (total of 6)of Premier Sweet Roll in two colorways: Mint Swirl and Rose Swirl. I just did a little border I made up that I thought looked like a rose garden fence...   I started it a few days after the break-in was discovered because I knew the handwork would help my spirit and the colors would cheer my heart and remind me of my Gramma.

I decided to keep this one. Normally I like to give things away that I make. I have noticed as I watch FlossTube (stitchers with YouTube channels) just how many people do crochet and counted cross stitch for themselves. I really think my grandmothers and my mother did this. It was actually really relaxing to know the recipient so well.  ha ha!...... Sometimes I even like her...

Using those self striping cakes is so much fun because I didn't have so many ends to sew in.  It looks as if I swapped out a ton of colors! 

Have a fun Friday.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

All those "buckets" of lil stuff....

Meadow Lane, my name for this old house, has declared war on all the miscellaneous periphery... Does anyone else have little buckets of treasure (aka junque) that just accumulate and naturally multiply at an alarming rate? Then it spills over to another "bucket." Now I say "bucket," but it may manifest in a bowl, a basket, maybe a drawer, a box, or a pretty bag. Ugh... I might have more trouble with this than you because I don't walk around as much... but actually I remember this bad habit of "bucket-filling" as a teacher and even as a child.

Well. That's my jam this week. I am taking a few minutes to empty each container, sort, and put away. I know. I make it sound as if I've translated the Magna Carta or something. Baby steps, I guess.

Sunday here hosts ice and snow, grey skies, and damp cold. My dad was not a "cusser" or really much for dramatic emotions [until pushed beyond his limit.] But he liked to tease my mom and push his luck a bit... "Boy, Norma. It's damp cold today! Really damp cold." His eyes would laugh at me and wait for her to say it: "Now stop that! You know better than to do that in front of your daughter!"

I made Swiss steak in the Instant Pot, green beans with butter and garlic, cheesy mashed potatoes, and Stovetop stuffing with sauteed celery and onions. My son and our friend who likes to come for Sunday dinner are watching old Rutger Hauer movies on this day that never got any brighter than twilight outside. I love grey days... I really do.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Another Sweetheart Day .... Wrapped up!

52 degrees last night at 5 p.m.  Then it just plummeted to 14 by morning... Big snow right now and 11 degrees... Maybe rain and ice tomorrow. When I was too young to have ever gone to school, I remember writing on the basement canning cupboard door. I could write my name and Hi and Lo, and my Dad found me out. I had used one of those first markers that had such a stink... probably also had it all over my hands... caught! I know he was not happy because he had clearly taught me not to do grafitti ("Fools' names and fools' faces are always found in foolish places;" he hammered that in.) However, he was a bit impressed I knew hi and lo at three or four years old. I stood in the kitchen door awaiting my mom's opinion. Oh, Mama... you always had my real number. "She just got that off the TV weather. DON'T WRITE ON THE WALLS!" So, that was my attempt at being a weather girl.... until now with the power of Alexa!

Last night we had a lil impromptu party. My friends brought out Taco Bell salads, and I made sugar cookies. For table favors I had bought these cute heart-shaped pans on Amazon. They were pronounced "so darn cute" by all... and the sugar cookies were a hit!

It is on to a little St. Patrick's Day decor tomorrow. We also may move furniture. "We'll see...." said my son. Funny how that line made the role reversal shift. I don't really need him to move furniture... just a lever and a place to stand...

In the immortal words of A.L.F., "Ha! I kill me!"

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, hello there! And suddenly it is half-way through February! Have a special Valentine's Day!

My sweet son brought home some cool treats for Valentine's Day!

Maybe my kitty was hopin' for "chickin" but she was duly impressed with the little plates!
Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, February 8, 2019

This is why I don't do a cooking blog!

We are all cozy and warm although I think my son has a little cabin fever. He has worked from home three days. Now, not me... I am such a homebody... and not this girl either.

I did not think to take beautiful dawn pictures, but I sure saw them on Facebook. The world is glittered, ready to enchant the brave souls sliding forth.

I decided to make 2-Crust pizza because I had everything I needed. I have shared it before, but I just thought to myself: I will take step by step photos! Um.... I don't think Pioneer Woman has any competition.

First I sprayed my oven pan. Then I flattened a tube of crescent rolls, added leftovers of choice. Today it was juicy burger and mozzarella cheese.

Add the top crust (2nd tube of crescent rolls) and pinch the sides to seal.

Pop into a 350 degree oven....

so far, so good... But you see, I have a cog missing with my little convection oven... I either have things burn in record time... or they're raw. Today... because I set it and forget it, I I got both!

First I burnt it... Then I realized I had set one knob too far over... on broil. So it was totally raw on the bottom. I flipped it over (Big mess and NO PHOTO!)  Finally.... Voila! I burnt it on the bottom, which was now the top...

Once a long time ago I remember sitting down to a meal prepared by Mom... I don't remember what she served, but evidently it was a new recipe, and she was "testing" either the new grub... or my daddy. I saw him slowly take a bite. My dad loved the same food over and over. He could have happily lived on a little cheeseburger at every meal, and Mom dearly loved to make him try new things...  Dad ate this dish and looked over at me, grinned, and loudly announced to Mom: "It tastes better than it looks!" He was so proud to be able to say that.... but if you knew my Mom, you might suspicion she was really not all that pleased! I guess today's big do was kind of like that... better than it looks...

I washed the flow blue and rearranged it today. Some of it was Mom's, and some was recovered after a little "journey" by our local sheriff's department. I have decided to use some for table settings.. Life is short. Use the flow blue... It could be here today, gone tomorrow, back the day after... or not. Most of my stuff is not... I am really happy to see this because every piece "sparks joy, Marie."

Boy, my kitty is in love with my space heater!  She really "don't care" it costs me six dollars a day extra to run! Have fun... Stay cozy.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019


Greetings from one of the slickest spots on earth. My poor son almost had to crawl in from his truck. He "hates an audience" so I didn't really watch, but the decking was too slick, and it really must have been perilous.

I took a wild, summery crochet holiday today. I finished a shawlette.

Then... to satisfy my soul, I started a Wild Rose farm blanket. I decided to try a combo of two self-striping yarns from Jo-Ann Fabrics or Michaels. Red Heart has these, too.  I change strands every four rows, but the skein changes in color four times along the way.

My Gramma loved pink and green together even before it was so popular in the 80's. This crazy idea was just pure fun this grey, icy day... It reminds me of summer roses and of sweet watermelon. Pink is not a color I use often, but it made my day today!

Stay warm and safe.
Pineapple Pattern... I ended up "frogging" this, unraveling it and saving the yarn for this project...

My son is working from home tomorrow so I will probably do a bit of crochet while he codes... Sounds perfect... with a kettle of chili? Well, why not?

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, February 1, 2019


Whimsy and Hugs!

I couldn't tell you if this will be super short, kinda lengthy, or just fair to middlin' (as my gramma would say.)  The only image you will see is the one above. Here is one of my few glimpses back to another dimension, another lifetime, another me. This is just one precious corner of my other home, the one I left to move here with my mom after Daddy died. I cannot believe that was in 2007. My mom called about eleven o'clock the August night after I left off staying with her.... about a week after the funeral. I heard her voice and registered her words, "I cannot, will not, live here alone." She was crying, and this bird flew to her nest... I can count the number of times I have been back. I made one attempt to keep this house mine as I decorated and entertained a doll club from up there while my son stayed with my mom all night. He and I laughed that we had originally agreed we would take turns and stay with Mom for two weeks and then go home two.... I took my turn first, and then it was his birthday, so I took his.... then mine... then he uh.... never took his turn.  At first, I stopped by that house on my way from school on golden Autumn afternoons.... and I went in to sit there, to briefly shut my eyes there in a few minutes of comfort before coming on to Mom's. Please don't read this wrong. My life was good. Mom made this house sparkle and shine, and she made it fun and easy to live here. 

Where am I going? Well, Monday as we prepared for -27 temperatures and -38 wind chills, my son gave me a frantic call. Long story short, we learned the house up north a mile, my old Sweetheart "home," had been ransacked, vandalized, burglarized, and left with doors kicked in and windows wide open where "they" had tossed out valuables. Interior of the home is now the aftermath of every single drawer, box, cabinet, attic, closet, and basement thrown wildly, broken... destroyed. 

We are in the middle of law officials, people in custody, whether permanent or temporary, and utter chaos. This morning saw another invasion, a 911 call, a very minimal return of 6 items... I don't think it is wise to give more detail, but I can dip into my own personal chaos just a minute. And then I will let you go.

Friends, you can imagine. I feel simply overwhelmed. I am sad: so many special treasures gone. I feel guilty: was 12 years not enough time to get my life in order? I am mad as hell: who does this kind of thing? I am afraid: Are we ever safe in our homes? I am tired: God knows, I didn't seem to have the energy to care for anything before the work involved was magnified like this. I am  worried: My son has less joy than I had dreamed and wished and prayed for his life already... You get the idea.

I am an optimist and "relentlessly cheerful" (my son's loving sarcasm today)... but I kind of feel like I've imagined Katie Scarlett O'Hara when she rounded that hill and found Tara in ruins and her Mama dead. It is such a stark chill to realize with a shiver that you actually have no one to run to and hear them say... "I got this." I don't have a husband, and yes, I am blessed to have comfort in God... but I am being honest here... and I'm talking earthly rock... A while back I felt better about my son's health and was just caught up in things. Perhaps the heavenly message for many years has been to mentally dismiss "things." I certainly realize their low priority vs. people or even pets. But these things we collect in our lifetime represent events, feelings, eras, and loved ones. It just feels inexplicable and the more I "wrap my head around" what just happened, the worse I feel... 

I will not let myself get too far gone from joy, from hope, from beauty... but here in this Oatmeal and Whimsy place, I just feel like pouring out some pain this morning... Thank you, dear friends for "getting this."