Thank you to those who served and serve today

I hope everyone takes a moment to think of those that have served our country in the armed forces. I am grateful to those brave ones! Happy Veterans Day!

Today I became holder of U2 tickets for June 20, 2010 at Qwest Field! YeeHaaaaa! So excited and checking something off my bucket list! I was doing the Happy dance today with a co-worker who also got tickets. SCORE! We both got them during the Pre sale event for subscribers. I guess that makes us some kind of Bono Buds. Awesome since I am just getting to know everyone.

So Mel came into town this weekend for a visit with Teriann and Jane but we all got a chance to have brunch in Edmonds and catch up. What great fun to visit with the girls. We got onto the subject of foster to adopt and other issues of interest which got me back on my soap box friends! Check this out.....

OCC 2012 Stories: Women of Purpose from Overlake Christian Church on Vimeo.

I was in one of those bars during my Thailand (what we do for our buyers!) business trip. I saw these girls firsthand. I cry for them too.... If I ever have the opportunity to go back, I will go back with different eyes and a different message of love and hope.....


a new addition to my soapbox

I have added a link to the Women of Vision blog to my soapbox interests on the right....

I joined the local chapter of WOV recently and have been reading a lot about the different activities available to me for additional service work. I have to be 100% honest that I recently applied for a job at World Vision (parent company) so my motives might be a bit tilted.

Anyhoo- I recently saw the Dianne Sawyer 20/20 special on "Children of the Mountains" and found it a fascinating documentary revealing great need for the people living in the Appalacian mountains. The Women of Vision organizes an annual trip to the Appalacia region for providing services and the spirit of hope to those in need. The next trip is scheduled for Oct. 2-4 and I plan to take that trip next year. It requires little personal $$$ investment but I am sure it would reap many rewards....

So go check out the blog on the right and see if you see anything that strums at your heartstrings. The Blog also has a link to the main Women of Vision website where you can join your local chapter. Local chapters participate in community service events near your home and abroad.

Let's make a difference together.... just one little effort at a time; we can do it!


Labor day.... how fitting a name!

First thing and very important; Happy Birthday Judi!

Starting the weekend trying to finish the third book of Twilight series then on to packing and organizing a lifetime of "stuff". I sold the condo but with the ability to stay here for several months while the new owners sell their Detroit home. So my moving experience will be much less stressful and better executed than usually is the case when you move a lifetime of "stuff" to it's new home.

I also am desperately struggling with trying to figure out the new IPhone I received this week as a bday gift (Thank you friend). Not easy for a tech-challenged girl like me. Thank you to all who sent me Birthday wishes this week. I love you too!!!

So it is perfect rainy weather for my weekend plans of purging and packing, reading & watching the US Open (tennis).....

Check out this video that I really love. I am off to look for my bra; but I think I burned it years ago! LOL at myself!

Have a great weekend!


so it started with a birthday.....

and since mine is today I ask you give me the present of your attention to this video.......

The story of charity: water - The 2009 September Campaign Trailer from charity: water on Vimeo.

don't forget; change happens one person at a time. YOU can make a difference in this world.....


Artful reminders of a bigger picture....

Since the house is on the market I have taken down the little inspirational cards I am known to have around.... but my favorite messages are slowly emerging now as artful collage canvases.

A simple one made a few weeks ago. Seriously this took probably a half hour to make. The quote is "greater things are yet to come"

The one below is my largest work to date. 10" x 30" collage. I love the messages that remind me to do my part to help others. It is titled "Feed the World"


memories of recent concert.....

I got to hear Steven Curtis Chapman at the recent Women of Faith conference. I hadn't really listened too much to him before but have become a fan now.... I love this song! At the conference he sang this song and told us the story he tells afterward.

I think a lot of girls can remember standing on their daddy's feet and dancing like a grown up!

It's August and I think of and miss my Daddy a lot still....

This is a particularly sad story he tells after singing this song. One of the little ones he spoke about was tragically killed in an accident last May.

He grieves his little girl and I still grieve my Dad.....


no more excuses.......

My belly is full and content. My taste buds filled with the delights of my lunch of Fried Green Tomatoes. But what about those who do without the luxury of a lunch? What can we do for them? What can you do for them?

Excuses not to serve from Overlake Christian Church on Vimeo.

I have wanted to go to Africa to contribute to a positve message for many years. Serving others in greater need than me has been a significant influence in my recovery from self destructive mind thought and behavior. I learned this long ago and try to practise in everyday life. I have long admired my brother Dick and SIL Margy for their time in the Peace Corp when they were younger. I have always admired the work of World Vision and Save the Children. My biggest dream is to go on a mission trip to Africa and I believe the time will come next year.

There is some good interest in my home recently and I will be able to make a lot of positive changes when I have sold it. I will be able to pay back all debt and start rebuilding a retirement account and still meet my goal of going on a trip to help those in greater need than me. I also have sent my resume to World Vision, headquartered in Federal Way. No openings right now, but you have to start somewhere right?

So there it is..... Set a Goal and take one step at a time to move toward meeting those goals! That is what I am all about today.....


I need a weekend to rest after this weekend!

Living proof that I am getting out of my shell and enjoying life a little more...... Thank you friends and you know who you are (Roy, Leslie & Todd)

Friday night Concert series at Bothell Landing....

Normally camera shy Roy in right corner below.... Thank you for being my friend.

Saturday Hike with Leslie and Connor; Mirror Lake on Snoqualmie Pass...

Two buddies bonding ....... a love fest on Connors part. Me? I took a quick dip in my hiking clothes to cool off. It was absolutely heaven. Hey Leslie; thanks for being my friend.

Seafair Sunday I went out with Todd, Julie, Amanda and her GF to watch the Blue Angels on the I-90 bridge. I am practising my T pose (I will explain next week). All I can say is that the Angels are again AWESOME. I think I had more fun than the rest and expect to go it alone or have to gather a new group for next year (their interest died with the heat).

Finally got to meet Julie. I hope you are feeling better!

So there...... She lives......
and has fun with the help of some awesome friends! Thanks to everyone! (except the bugs that ate me up; 52 bites and counting)


For the record.....

Yowza it is a hot one out there today. Current temp of 104 actually sets a record here in Kirkland topping the previous record of 103. After what seems like a month of above normal temperatures I think I am actually starting to acclimate. Listen to me, talking pretty tall for a girl that is sitting in front of a fan in a cotton sarong. Not that there is anything else to do in this heat….. Simply not a day for outside activities.

With a renewed hope for my job search I have spent the day in front of the computer and fan searching all the job sites. That being completed for the day, I move onto checking in with the old blogaroni.

Last weekend I went to a Women of Faith conference with a couple of girlfriends. I’ve been before and really recommend ladies with the opportunity to check it out. A great weekend filled with ladies sharing courageous stories of their Faith walk. I both laughed and cried throughout the weekend. And danced and sang with Steven Curtis Chapman and Mandisa. Just a great way to spend a weekend!

I thought I would share a few collage pieces I have done recently. I did the Seek 2 Learn canvas a while ago as I am dedicated to remain open for spiritual growth and a deeper relationship with God. I used to have cards with scripture written on them plastered around the house but with it being on the market I thought these might be a better alternative.

The past month has provided a recurring theme in my life lesson. It seems that my requirement is to learn forgiveness. Whether at church, at work, the recent conference or in talking with friends, the topic of forgiveness comes into the picture. I have worked hard at resolving resentments over the years but have been stuck when it comes to an ex-boss and my ex-husband. Through the help of the scriptures and several friends counsel, I finally accept that forgiveness is a choice I make, not a feeling that can be acquired. So as a reminder of the gift that I have received and am now expected to also give I made this collage now hanging on my bedroom wall……

Ok I have nothing else to say for now…. I am heading out to set up the sprinkler for my nightly romp with Connor. It’s been a wonderful thing we both share on hot evenings!


Friday night video.....

Can't believe it's been almost a month since posting. 2 part time jobs and full time job search are filling my days. I just wanted to post this video making the news circuit today. This is my kind of wedding..... I absolutely love it! These kids got married last month in St. Paul MN. I wish them the best!

To see correctly Double click on the video to enlarge the screen....

I have been gifted tickets to the Women of Faith Conference this weekend at Key Arena. I have gone before & am sure to get a boost of Inspiration, Hope, Lovin'. There is something special when women hold women up isn't there?

Have a great weekend! It is going to be a hot one!


friday night video on a monday.

wow its been a while since I ranted on the old blogaroni.....

I have had a little trouble adjusting to all the different duties now required daily. I will get there and am making progress. James moved out and now I am living completely alone for the first time in my life. That reality alone, with all its pendulum swing of emotions, will take some time for adjustment. One moment I love the perks, the other I fall into a loneliness I have never experienced. I know I will be ok. Just another opportunity for growth even though I kind of wish I hadn't had so many growth opportunities over the past 1.5 years.

Moving on; changing topics.....

Lately I have been thinking about the topic on the video below. My family would definately confirm the I am one that has been preoccupied by the external appearances for most of my life. Over the last several years I have been gradually letting that go. Now I know I have a few non churchy readers but this is still a very effective message about todays obsession for the tan, thin and beautiful. This video will hopefully make you smile or laugh and more importantly think about the bigger picture. I especially like the Washington white joke. Now you watch this video while I go spread on another coat of self tanner...... lol! It is all about progress, not perfection!

Burning Barbie from Overlake Christian Church on Vimeo.


finally feeling my mojo return......

I was totally inspired after a great church service on Sunday and came home and whipped this out in a couple of hours. No Fear!

most product is from Studio Calico or Jenni Bowlin

hopefully I will become a great Auntie again this week...... waiting patiently for the news from across Lake Washington.


Lots of not so little things…..

It’s a little after 3 and I have had a full day by my usual standards. I woke up to some great news. My son James got an awesome email from the U of Washington. He was awarded a partial scholarship from the Engineering department for his Senior year. He worked with his counselor and through a few minor changes (like moving out of moms house) he now qualifies for more grants and a higher level of subsidized loan. After all is said and done, he will have his senior year covered by a combination of scholarship, grant, and loan. And some say there isn’t a God……. This mama is sighing in relief and is very grateful for one less thing to guilt trip over.

I spent a few hours working on a Habitat for Humanity project in Redmond this morning. It was great working side by side with the single mom who will be living in the townhouse I was painting and cleaning. It was fun watching her take such loving care as she polished and vacuumed her future home. I did so little in retrospect but I have full intention to get more involved with the program in the future. One thing I know to be true is service work for others reduce my own tendency to throw outrageous pity parties for myself.

Last thing for today is showing a layout I just finished. It has been really hard to keep up on the scrapping and I think my mojo might be lost forever….. however this one was way to quick and easy…..

I hope to be back again tomorrow with another post. I have a burning desire to jump up on my soapbox and talk a bit about something affecting every American…..

PS - had to add this video for my Pastors wife Jodie. This awesome woman in doing a half Iron man in Boise as we speak. Her theme song is one of my favorite U2 song. I am going to play it this afternoon several times in her honor. I am pretty sure that right now she is doing the bike portion..... Go Jodie you Rock star you! By the way a link to her blog is on my sidebar to the right. Jodie Howerton. Just click on her name......


hold your head up and keep on dancin.....

Welcome to a new series called FRIDAY NIGHT VIDEOS!

I claim this blog title literally because when I found this one I just couldn't help but get up and dance. Connor was the only witness to my nuttiness! Yes, music turns me into a 20 something all over again!

Come on back tomorrow. I have some plans to share more this weekend! Happy Friday!


The birthday girl......

Just a quick note to show off the birthday girl Megan and her new awesome haircut! We had such a great time and we ate our brains out.... I am feeling a bit guilty because I didn't get charged my fair share for dinner. I will have to do something really nice for Jennifer who carried most of the burden. It was so much fun and a really big deal for me as I can't remember the last time I went out.
I have been working 2 part time jobs lately which is really helping ease the stress. I am still in negative cash flow but at least at a slower rate. The job listings have decreased lately, so I am really grateful to those who are giving me the occasional odd job for income.
Monday night TLC watch and getting ready for Jon & Kate + 8. Now that is a storyline that helps me keep my life in perspective. I count my blessings ......


a birthday wish.....

Pulled together this simple canvas for a friend celebrating her twenty something Bday. We are meeting at PF Changs for a celebration so I wanted to give it a fortune cookie theme. The fortune reads "you will always be surrounded by true friends". It is shameful how easy this was to do. First I have a collection of small canvases bought long ago during the major Dick Blick sale. When I see a technique I like on other blogs I like to play around creating canvas backgrounds to keep on hand for future. I had done this one a while back and it became a perfect base for this project. Like usual, I pulled out my Studio Calico stash and began cutting and gluing....... so simple yet so different from the other birthday cards she will receive. I will hate to see it go, it kind of looks good next to an old photo of a Monk at a Buddhist Temple in Bangkok, Thailand (circa 2003).

I hope everyone is having a great weekend and keeping with the Chinese theme.....

Nee How Ma !
(good day in Mandarin)


run on popsicles in the northwest.....

it is way to hot to fall asleep easily tonight so I am exploring the vimeo website to see what inspires me.

I am lovin' this tale of a local dude doing great things. OK maybe I've been listening to my SoCal transplant surfer dude pastor for a bit too long. I say this with a lot of love.......

Motor(ed) Bike from Overlake Christian Church on Vimeo.

I hope to one day be in a position to do something this great and this selfless. I would absolutely love to work for a non profit organization. Is this the time? I wish I could see what the future holds for me, but if I could see what is in store I would not grow in Faith. For everything there is a purpose. and a season.

Good night all......


payback for a wicked winter

Disclaimer to my Artist friends: being crafty can be a real challenge in NW summers. We had such a lousy winter that when the weather is good, I am drawn outside. There are gardens to tend, parks to explore, lakes and rivers to visit and mountains to hike....... so inside crafts just don't compete with those options.

We are currently having the kind of weather that helps us put up with our horrible winters. Absolutely beautiful blue skies and perfect temperatures sustained over several weeks. I got up early to take Connor to the park for some exercise. Focused, obsessed, addicted? All apply when it comes to Connor and a Ball. This past week I have been using a soft Frisbee like disk instead of a ball and he is getting the hang of it jumping up to catch in mid air. It went missing last night so the balls went to the park this morning. Maybe my Vet niece Emily can explain something...... why do dogs tend to run in a somewhat crooked position? I mean he is running forward but he is kind of at an angle. He has always done this and makes me wonder....... Anyhow when he plays fetch he refuses to take water breaks so when we get home he quickly plops down in the cool grass by his water bowl.

Sometimes I am afraid he will have a heart attack or something. It generally takes a bit before he settles down on my cold entryway tile for a long sleep.

So I am feeling the need to capture every corner of my home and garden on camera lately. My way of saying farewell to everything I have planted or tended to over the past 8 years. Here are some of my current blooms.........

I really hope you are enjoying your weekend and doing what you LOVE to do!


wonderful wanderings over the weekend....

Jennifer and I went to Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island for some sun and conversation.

Later we met up with Megan who took us to lunch where we sat out on the patio and relaxed a bit before walking through downtown Issaquah....

I am a bit depressed today as I had a job rejection last week and another one yesterday. I guess I should be thankful that I at least had interviews....... but interviews don't pay the bills. Tomorrow is another day and I pray for better spirits!
One awesome thing to celebrate is James was informed last night he received a scholarship from the Chemical Engineering Department. He will have half of his tuition paid for his final year at the U of W....... I am really proud of him.
additional post:
I have just learned from a friend that a family I know is in extreme crises. Both husband and wife, parents of small children, are taking a nose dive straight to their individual bottoms due to addiction. This family would make TLC's Jon and Kate count their blessings.....
It breaks my heart to see this happen but driving home tonight, I reflected about it. This has helped me put things in proper perspective. While I might be unemployed and in financial crises, I at least have my health. Who cares where I live, who cares if I have to start over again. I am healthy!
Thank you God for revealing what I needed to see.......


what a nice saturday in seattle.....

I spent the day outside working in the garden. I know I told myself I was going to wash my car today but the back yard and the mid 70's weather just beckoned..... I had been waiting for a good day to spread the compost throughout the beds.

Compost..... "Black Gold". I find it cool to put old flowers, weeds, and kitchen produce in a barrel and return a year later to this wonder soil and organic fertilizer. It's not quite that simple but I've been composting since the early 80's and still get that awesome sense of accomplishment when your large pile is reduced to this........

Connor was also working hard with me. Always following close behind with the ball just in case I got the urge to play...... we did get some good fun time in the sun today too.

Gosh - I love the look of the gardens with the rich dark soil spread around the borders and feeding my precious roses and flowering shrubs.

I hope to get outside tomorrow afternoon too. I still have the car mats to scrub and looking forward to doing it in the sun after church.....
Great day! Great Weekend!


spring rains and a little art

Todays rain is making the garden look lush and green...... The lilac is just about ready to open in full bloom. I am a patient gardener; waiting 5 years for this colorful explosion.

Connor even enjoyed his time outside. He takes his fetch job so seriously. He too is patient....

I did these layouts this past weekend. The first layouts I've done in months. I used a mixture of past Studio Calico kits ......

James and Megan at Disneyland and California Adventure - Spring Break 2009.


Happy May Day!

Thank you for all the encouraging words. The act of writing down emotions tends to be quite cathartic for me. Putting thought to paper helps the process and I am today more focused on the exciting aspects of upcoming changes. James moving out, a career change and a home change all at the same time can be daunting at moments. But I was reminded this week how often being uncomfortable accompanies times of great growth.

So I took my earlier advise and have watched the Mike video a couple times; gaining perspective once again.

I am off to wash my sofa slipcovers and look for a few throw rugs per realtor advise. We are going to have great weather; sunny and in the 70's -
Nothing will get in my way of enjoying today!

Have a happy Friday! and a happy May Day! I am adding to my to do list.....

Make a Posie and put on my bedside table!


saying goodbye

With the close of my business during a horrible employment market I made the decision to sell my condo in order to get some capital out of my investment. You see the self employed experiencing a down turn in business just can’t go refinance with the banks. So as I stage the home for sale I am reflective and falling in love with it all over again.

Why is it so hard to let things go? Why am I having such a hard time in saying goodbye? Why do I find it impossible to call the realtor and sign the contract? Maybe it’s because this home holds a significant place in my heart as the first place I was able to own since my divorce in 1993. I worked hard to get a broken life pulled together and to focus on achieving some pretty lofty goals made in 2000. This place is my sanctuary, a place where I feel both safe and free.

It is a place where I had my own business for five years. I enjoyed much success before the eventual fall of the furniture industry…….

I will miss this yard, the second garden I have designed, and the beautiful sunsets on the back patio. I will miss my hydrangeas and clematis collections which I adore and Connor will miss his only home and favorite place to stretch out in the sun…..

I will miss this Rose. David Austin’s Shrub Rose “Evelyn” was planted shortly after arriving in 2001. It shares the name of my mother who is responsible for planting the gardening seed in me many years ago. Mom’s ashes are sprinkled beneath this rose among the campanula.......

My family has shared many holidays here and I have attempted to form new traditions.

Intellectually I can recognize that career and living changes might be good for me now. But I am just waiting for my heart to follow my head. Because the heart is hurting just a tad right now……