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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Salute


Today is Memorial Day.  I don't like saying things like "Happy Memorial Day" because it feels inappropriate.  I don't get giddy over a store sale, no matter how much red, white and blue they splash all over it. It's a day of remembrance for souls lost. A day of gratitude for those that have stood and continue to stand in our place to protect all that we as Americans hold dear. Many, many members of my own family and numerous friends have served in Our Armed Forces. I am extremely fortunate that the ones I have known in my lifetime came back home. So many did not.
My Dad
     Seeing the American Flag makes me pause any day of the week and both the National Anthem and I'm Proud to Be An American make me cry. I know how blessed I am to have my family members in my life. I cannot imagine some of the things they saw or experienced. How frightening some of those days and night might have been.  I am blessed that we never had some military officials coming to our door to tell us a loved one was not coming home.
USS America - My Dad served on her

     I get upset when I see someone not handling the Flag correctly or desecrating it. I have to clench my fists and grit my teeth and remember that those men and women fought and sacrificed so that person would have that right. I am upset that when the National Anthem is being played or sung and I see people talking, eating, doing everything except taking a few moments to show respect. They haven't been taught what those words MEAN. I wonder if they understood more fully, if they would have more pride in this country and even in themselves. Do they fully understand what other people have sacrificed for them? That some one they never knew stood in there name and fought or even died so that they could wake everyday in free nation? I have to hope that someday they will gain that knowledge. I DO understand. So today, I offer my deepest, heartfelt "Thank You" to all that have served for this Country and to those families who said goodbye too soon. I shed a tear for your loss.With hand to heart, I honor you all and salute you.    

 To my Dad, Brother, Grandparents, Uncles, Cousins.  You have represented in all branches of Our Armed Forces. I am proud of you and honored to have you in my life! THANK YOU


Defense of Fort McHenry (The Star Spangled Banner)
By Francis Scott Key

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


When you see a member of our military, shake their hand and tell them "Thank you".

May God Bless America and May American Bless God!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hobbies! What Do You Do For Fun?

 Do you have any hobbies?  I love crafting.  I am all over the map .. I love to paint. Wood, glass, metal clay pots, gourds, spoons ... anything paint will stick to. I also love fiber crafts. I don't know how to crochet or knit, so I do other things.. I love to weave and make blankets. In 2011 I bought a floor loom from a lady and in conversation with her, I learned that there was a local fiber guild! I made contact with the lady that heads the guild and began attending the monthly meetings in January of 2012... I fell totally in love with it!
 It makes me nervous sometimes because sometimes it takes me longer to "get it". I often do things differently or backwards from others. I am left handed and become so accustomed to the fact that I automatically adapt things... sometimes it DOES matter if you're doing it backwards though! Sometimes I get what I think is a good start on a project only to hit a dead end and have to start over. Sigh. The people that attend the workshops are so great. They are funny are fascinating. Everyone brings something different to the group  and are so generous with their knowledge and techniques. I have learned about many different things that I would never have attempted on my own.  Sometimes I learn that I really love the new project and make more on my own. I totally enjoying growing my own gourds and then drying, prepping and painting them! Other times I find out that I really dislike the project and it comes home and is put away, never to see the light of day again. Beading with seed beads. HATE IT! I am fascinated by the things others can make with them, but one of our projects was a lip balm cover. It was seed beads that when strung made a super cute flower pattern. I kept getting it backwards and having to start over. And those beads are instruments of torture! They are so tiny! Needless to say, the lip balm cover did not get finished. We have done some great stuff. We have learned Natural Dyeing, Drop Spindle Spinning, basket making, weaving and twining. I would show you a photo of my craft room, but it isn't really MINE yet.... I am redoing the garage into my space so I can spread out and not set up projects on the dining table that have to be moved every time it's time to eat! So I'll wait until that's finished. While I have given a lot of the things I have made away as gifts or sold them, here are some things I have made:

These are blankets I have woven with a small square loom.

Wrapped Metal lid Snowmen

Door Knob Key Holder, Painted Grater, Photo Frame, Door Knob
 Key Holder

Recycled DC Snowman, Painted Spoons, 3-D Photo Frame
Springtime Gourd Back

Springtime Gourd Front

Snowman Gourd

Wood Sign From High School Art Class

Paper Mache Egg Basket, Yarn Wrapped Basket, PaperMache
Egg Basket with a REAL Decoupage Egg, Purple Mache Box

Glass Last Supper Plate, Leaf Pounding on Fabric, Painted Kitty
done in High School Art Class, Wooden Eggs

Leaf Pounding Close-up

Glass Plate Close-up

Baby Hat

Stepping Stones Painted for a School Auction

Twining Bag

     Twining was one of the latest things we learned at the fiber workshop. This is one of those things I found that I really love doing. It is a weaving method that the Cherokee used to make bags for collecting herbs, flowers, roots, etc. This is the one i started at the workshop and I am already halfway done with a purple one. I think I'll be making more of these for the girls in our families for Christmas gifts!
     So there you have it. I LOVE crafting and creating stuff. What kind of hobbies or crafts do you do? Do you create to keep or do you give things away? I'd love for you to share!