Friday, July 31, 2009

# 70000 Blog Lane (We are in the toolies)...

So KJ came up with this delicious idea and I was totally enchanted...kind of a wishcast..kinda just really fun.

So..welcome to the ranch..we a have been expecting you. It has been a bit of a trip to get here come in and relax. We have some coffee brewing. Don't let the moose bother ya. Come take a soft chair and enjoy the view.

We will take your bags up to your room. When you have settled in and freshened up come on down to the kitchen.

I have something wonderful cooking..can ya smell that and savory. It has just the right cowboy spices and the bread..the smell is to die for!!

When you have rested up and had your fill..we will take a wander out to one of my very favorite places..the barn...oh the barn full of horsey smells and well of course horses. Wanna take a ride?

This handsome boy is waiting for you..lets ride...

Because I would like to introduce you to the beauty of North Idaho..the cowboy way.

***Post note..Am adding a few guest houses as we speak.. whoo hoo retreat for friends..

A Few Shots I Liked.....

Do you see the heart in this daisy??? Isn't nature wonderful!!

So I thought a bit of beauty was in order today. I am feeling low and was thinking rather than vent, I would try to redirect my blues into something that will maybe lighten my heart. In the process..maybe it will bring a smile to your heart too!!

I just really liked this picture..pumpkin vines curling,or uncurling as the case may be.

Here is Nonni doodling away...hmmm wonder who she got that from??

OK so this just makes me smile. Yup there it is the smile I was looking for. A lovely shot of Lucy Lu..she was after those goldfish in the last shot - Mama had some..she wanted some..what a sweet face!!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Namaste, Sarah

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pimping My Sister Barbara...

I am thrilled today..I get to pimp someone I love. My sister Barbara has joined Anne and I on the blogs. So we now have a full set. A full set of what I'm not so sure..but I am sure that I love having them here!!!

I discovered something wonderful when Anne joined me here..I got to know an amazing side of her that as a sister I was not privy to. It has been wonderful to watch our friendship grow. I have no doubt we will find the same joy with Barbara too!!

Barbara is an accomplished writer with several published books under her belt. I am very excited to see her Vampire screenplay progressing through the production process. She has her Master's in Creative Writing and teaches for UCLA. She is also my Grammar muse and so very appreciated..I suck at the spelling thing. What she will not tell you..she has been a guiding force in my life..telling me truth even when I didn't want to hear it. So...Barbara (K..I call her Barb) has put up her first post and is a bit nervous..would you go by and give her a welcoming hello. Welcome hon..I am thrilled you are here!! Can you see my happy dance??
Namaste and hugs, Sarah

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday...

Jamie our fearless leader has asked another thought provoking question today...What do you wish to remember? An appropriate one for me today as I have been filtering though several hundred family photos this last week. Seeing my past laid out in front of me has brought forth a hurricane of emotions.

I love seeing them, people I love, people I have lost, people who were little and have grown. People from my past. Seeing myself as a younger woman was a bit thought provoking. I wrote about it in my Quilting Bee this week. It has been a joy to see my parents whom I lost years ago. We had wonderful closure. Seeing my sisters and I grow and have children has been a joy to see again. But...there is just one period of time that keeps tripping me up. Unexpectedly it is reaching down into my soul and stirring up deep emotions. My late teens and early twenties.

I want to remember what it is about this time that I have not remember what I have blocked, that I have not dealt with. Why does every photo of my darling horse Stormy make me break down and sob. My soul is screaming at me to take a closer look. I know I must. There is so very much to deal with there. Loss in so many ways. Loss of potential, loss of people, loss of self in some ways and a loss of direction. In many ways what happened in those short few years determined the path I would take in life. Every single one of them different from the path I had planned.

I know you are saying.."Sarah, you know what is there!" Yes, I guess I do. I just have to face it. In 1981 I became a single parent. Let me state clearly, I would never trade my Julia for the world. I love her dearly. But it is a truth that the choice forever changed the path I walked. I never dealt with the losses I guess - just plowed on. I had to, I was a single Mom and I had a job to do. I lost so many people dear to me because of my choices. People that I thought would be in my life forever. When I was five months pregnant, I moved with my parents out of state and so many of those people were just gone. People I loved.

You ask..but what about the horse? Stormy was on of the "things" I had to let go of to take care of my daughter. I did what had to be done and moved on. But I don't think I ever mourned his loss. I don't think I dealt with any of the losses. He was with out a doubt that one animal in my life that was a soul mate. It killed me to let him go. But I did and sucked it up. "Suck it up and deal" became my motto for many years. I am today, 28 years later sobbing. I will pull out my journal and write, get this all out. In the process I wish to remember all the details of those few years, to let flow back over me so I can hold them again and lovingly let them go. That is my wish today..I wish to clearly remember those years. Namaste, Sarah

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kate and Cody Come for a Visit....

So..yesterday my beautiful Kate and her Cody came to visit. I was was everyone else.

This is my Kate..21 and beautiful (22 on Friday whoo hoo)and this is her Dear half Cody. I do make cute kids huh??

Aww that is so sweet!!! Love that!!!

Some sister love.....

" Hard Lemonade for me???" I'm thinking...uhmmmm nope....

A delightful visit...I love my kids!!!! I know I'm biased but...I think they are all goofy and gorgeous! Namaste, Sarah

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quilting Bee #17

Good morning all!! So very glad you have joined me today!! I have a full meal to offer up today..Southern Style. Biscuits and red eye gravy, French toast and pancakes with real maple syrup, smoked bacon, cheese grits, scrambled eggs, blueberry muffins,fresh squeezed orange juice, a delightful fruit salad, sweet tea and some delicious coffee. Can ya smell it...oh I surely can!!!

We will be working on the inside layer of our latest quilt this week, the stuffing if you will. The part that makes is cozy and warm. Please join me, pull up a chair. I'm so happy to see you here!

I have spent this weekend filtering through some old photos. I have several hundred of my Father's slides from as far back as the 1940's. He sadly passed away in the early 1990's so they end there. On Facebook of late several of my high school choir members have been posting old pics so I went looking for a few to share too. What I wasn't prepared for was the effect looking at decades old photos would have on me. So I am going to do something unusual today..add a couple of old photos to my Bee.

I never thought of myself as very attractive growing up. My sister Barb had the Apple Pie looks. I was unusual looking I thought. Not ugly or totally unattractive...just not what I wanted to be. These days I hate having pictures taken of myself..I'm older and have a couple pounds I would rather not have. I look at the mirror these days and see my Mother. Why does that bother me? Why would I mind looking like this beautiful woman?

So I wanted to share a few pictures..not to get cuddos..just to make my's all in the perspective. Why are we so hard on ourselves? I think I looked pretty good here with my Dad.

Looking at all of these pictures this weekend made me wonder..if I was wrong about my looks when I was younger. Am I wrong now? Was I focused on the wrong parts of me all these years??

Why do we worry so much about what is on the outside and give so little credit to what is on the inside?? So..I looked through pictures of myself over the years and thought about all the things I have done in my life and decided that I like who I have become. Not in a conceited way but in a comfortable in my own skin way. Nothing is permanent everything is ever changing. So I guess I am asking myself to not only be gentle with myself as I grow and work on my inner self, but clearly I need to be gentle about what I view my outsides to be. I know there are things about who I am that I like, I have gifts to offer and beauty to give in many forms.

Last week I talked about how we judge others who are considered different by society's standards. Today I am asking you to consider that the same difference that make them amazing make us all amazing in our own way. To be human means to have gifts to offer..your outsides are irrelevant. When we worry about what we look like and not who we are inside..we loose those gifts. When we blog here we don't look at faces or bodies..we get a chance to look at souls. Beautiful, funny, troubled, wandering, leading, hurting, giving, caring, loving souls. Does the body attached really matter so much?? Only if you beat yourself up about it and loose focus on the soul.

This week I strive to be healthy rather than beat myself up over wrinkles, happy and giving rather than preoccupied with outside pounds. I am going to focus on what the wonderful insides of me have to offer & be gentle with how I view my outsides. So my question to you this week is.. how do you view yourself inside and out? Are you being gentle with you?? Tell me about beautiful you!!

Breakfast is my very favorite meal!! So I am going to dish up some of those biscuits and gravy, delicious fruit & a hot cup of coffee!! Please help yourself!! Thank you for joining me this week!! I love seeing you here!! Namaste, Sarah

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Have Been Remiss...and a Few Swans...

The Mental Duck to Mental Swan Award is given to two amazing groups of bloggers;

1. To Bloggers who encourage and nurture others bloggers to explore and grow in their creative, spiritual or mental lives.
2. To Bloggers who are blooming and growing creatively, spiritually or mentally in their lives & sharing it on their blogs .

Please do not pass this one along....I like to give it out every now and again as a gift from me..Thanks!

So..... I thought it was time to offer up a couple more of my little award. You all amaze me every day here. I could give this to a 100 folks here. But..I will limit myself to a few folks that have really stood out of late. So as Renee inspires me, I hope I can inspire you a little. Thank you for all you do.

I have watched these folks consistently offer not only amazing support to me but many others across the blogs - yup I have been watching.

Anne @ Aginglite is of course my sister! It has been a huge joy of mine to blog with her here. I have gotten to know a side of her that I didn't know. That kind of part of folks you only know as a good friend and kinda miss as family. How blessed am I!! Anne started her blog as a purely professional thing and I have watched her bloom into a wonderfully personal blogger. She has amazing things to offer up. And well...I just really love her!!

Alicia @ Boylerpf is one of my greatest supporters here and I adore her. She is witty, charming and deliciously surprising! I have watched her blog bloom into a delightful picture of her!! You will find her comments everywhere as she is not only a wonderful blogger, but supports up so many others with her kind words! She is a joy to me!!

Claire @ Clairedulune is another of my supporters whom I adore. I have watched Claire struggle in the beginning with her blog and bloom into the most wickedly funny blogger I know. She never fails to crack me up with her witty honesty about life and love. Beyond being funny she is a very sweet soul. It is my happy luck to have found her!!

Robert @ Suecae Sounds is one of those people that you "meet by chance" folks in my life. This amazing photographer has reached out all the way from Sweden to touch my heart in so very many ways. I have watched his blog go from simply his amazing photography and music to a deeply personal and touching place to visit. It is no understatement to say he is a blessing to me!!!

Holly @ Your Mother Knows but Won't Tell You..
Yes, Queen Holly will delight, make you shoot coffee out your nose, be refreshingly honest, make you think deeply & hug you all in one post. She gets me..she really does..very clearly - I love that. Her blog is a delightful mix of delicious photos, deep subject matter and her amazing life. She is that amazing kind of friend that will tell me how it really is not what you want to hear...the truth. I love that about her!! A joy in my life!!!

Tabitha @ Knitting Journeyman Redux has become one of my very favorite places to land. This girl will make you stop and contemplate the universe and your place in it. I have watched her write her way through so many things this year!! She is amazing..truly a bright spirit!! I have watched her spread her wings and fly on her blog!! Yeah..I adore her too!!

Heather @ Witch Hollow Primitives was one of my original art supporters! We met on Ebay and she has encouraged and supported me every step along the way. Truly a mentor and friend. I would not be here is she had not encouraged me to reach out on line and get my name out there! I have also learned what a truly amazing woman she is. She has done the same thing here on the blogs...offered up love, support and advice to others!! She has been and remains a daily blessing in my life.

Cindy @ The Shabby Hag is another one of my Ebay buddies that has started blogging here this year. Wow..has she ever..she wasn't so sure about this in the beginning - but look at her fly now!!! Amazing stuff girl. She is a huge support system for so many and spreads her amazing love around to all that come. I always feel like I have walked away with a hug when I chat with her, she just has one of those amazing spirits. Yup another blessing in my life!!

I have been remiss in my award duties...I deeply apologise if I have missed any one's sweet treat & that it has taken me a couple of weeks to show my thanks for these. I plead illness and summer stress.
Audrey whom I adore gave me these two new ones for being a happy follower..Thank you so much hon. Following you is so very easy!!

Clair offered me this sweet treat. I loved this one too!! If you have not been to Clair's yourself a huge favor and let her tickle your funny bone. The girl is wicked funny!!

My sister Anne has offered me this fun award/tag. Thank you hon!! I looove these!! quick things....
1. I played the flute for many years.
2. I love my Crocs.
3. I once sang the lead in South Pacific.
4. I am a total scifi geek. Am currently addicted to "Torchwood".
5. I can't stand all.
6. I danced for 14 years, primarily modern jazz.
7. I prefer the scent of carnations to roses.

Wow that was a long post....thanks for bearing with me! Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday.
Hugs, Sarah

Friday, July 24, 2009

Some New Work..and Our Week...

These four little pieces are 2" x 2". They will come framed in sweet little frames and will be available on my sale blog this weekend. I kinda liked the little dragon myself...

We have alleys behind most homes here in the garden district. People put their garbage out back instead of the front. While strolling with the kiddos this weekend we found that someone had thrown away this geranium. Granted it was beaten up and needed a bit of loving - but clearly still alive. So we snagged it and took it home, cleaned it up and look!! Who would throw this away???

It was a very busy week here..I had a house full of big kids. As I do not put some of my kiddos faces on line at their parents request is the backside view. I really wanted to show you the fronts making really silly faces..but this will have to do....

So...I had to show a few macros that really pleased my eye this week. Here is a honeybee.

The inside of a Hollyhock - I just liked the way the light came through this one..

And...Nonni's beautiful hair. Not sure why this appealed to my just did.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! Namaste, Sarah

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blast from the Past and Datebooks...

I just had to share this with you all..because it really made my month. I ran into some friends from high school on will find me there as Sarah Sullivan. I was in an amazing choir group in high school... we even did a singing tour in Hawaii. My senior year we did a production of Grease...I was of course Rizzo. Cause lets face it - the bad girl is always more fun to play!! One of our members did the above program with drawings of each of us. She did a wonderful job! The one highlighted in blue is me. I was skinny then - lol!! Talk about a blast from the past!!!

I was lucky enough to do a second page for the wonderful 2010 date book!! This was a wonderful project and I really enjoyed being part of it this year. So here are my two for my Etsy shop and one for my blog here!!

Have a wonderful Thursday...whoo hoo almost Friday! Namaste, Sarah

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday...

Jamie is offering up another wonderful question today...What do you wish to tell the world? If you have not been to her new Studio on her name above and enjoy!!!

So to the question...I guess those of you who follow my blog kinda know I have issues with unfair treatment of others, especially those who are unique. My last two posts were pretty focused on that concept. So I thought I would maybe go in another direction. I frequently use the phrase "Let Fly". Not let fly with a bunch of F words etc.. I brave, let loose of old ideas, try something new, step out in faith, speak, write, create..Let Fly!!!

Given my profession as a teacher of young children, I am blessed with daily reminders about what it is like to be young. As a teacher I am always striving to be create wonderful memories for my kiddos. In return they remind me that it is ok to be silly, blissful, to stop and do not much of anything for a bit, to share, to love. To Let Fly! You should see what happens around here when the music gets turned up loud!! Whoo hoo lots of line dancing and massive silliness ensues!! Loove it!!!

I have been accused in my lifetime of being immature. Well..yup there is that. There are certainly things there that needed to mature..I believe they have...mostly! A friend of mine recently describe my artwork as having "childlike qualities". Whooo hoo she gets me!! I hope so, I pray so.. that when people see my artwork or photos that they will smile. Because when I draw dragons in bonsai trees, or witchy villages, mermaids frolicking..they make me smile. They are intended to do the same for you. I want you to look back at your childhood and think to yourself....Oh remember that wonderful book about.....I loved that story. I want you to feel that joy, bliss, silliness, the peace you felt at that moment. I want you to bring that into your adult life. I want you to "Let Fly".

So what I want to say to the world is...Don't forget what you loved as a child, bring it back into your life. Be brave, be silly, be blissful, be adventurous, be creative and Let Fly!
Namaste, Sarah

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our Sunday morning....

Almost got it - a bug of course!!

The kids and I went off to the park on Sunday in an effort to keep our minds off Jim's absence. Good for the spirit and my backside. We headed down to visit big sister Katie at the restaurant where she works downtown..but alas she wasn't there yet. So we tootled down to the lake and got our tootsies wet.

Then we stopped by the local coffee house for a quick treat..iced latte for me, cookies for the kids. Nonni found this big adorable fellow. He seemed as enchanted with her as she was with him. A big ol' softy!!!

Then of course the swings were just across the street, so well we had to go swing!! While we were there a wonderful family joined us. Look at that sweet face!!!

Even better...look at her Mama's lovely face...

But by far my very favorite picture of the day (other than my own clanletts) was this shot. Why, because I bet people judge this Dad because of his slightly biker look, tattoos, handlebar mustache. But....look at the hands, do you see the gentleness in those hands as he helps this sweet child across the balance beam. Look at his face. The beautiful contrast in this touched me. The contrast in these two wonderful people touched me. Beautiful!
Namaste, Sarah

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quilting Bee #16

Good morning all!! I have laid out something delicious this morning. I borrowed Martha Stewart’s cupcake book from the library. So…. for your taste buds today I have set up a few cup cake towers with these delicious treats. We have.. carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, sticky toffee pudding cupcakes, Boston cream pie cupcakes, classic vanilla with butter cream frosting, Lemon meringue cupcakes, S’mores cupcakes with toasted marshmallow tops & classic chocolate with fudge frosting…yuuuuummmmyyyy. I have also set out some pound cake and strawberries. We also have Kona coffee today and blueberry ice tea. Ok I didn’t say it was calorie free this week.

The quilt we will be working on is different, unusual, unique. I have racked it in the garden breezes flow through the floor to ceiling screens there. It really is a delightful place to be. Please pull up a chair and join me won’t you? So glad to have you here today!!

I have worked with young children most of my life. I am always the preschool teacher who is given the different children. They are labeled odd, not right, unique, disabled, autistic, ADHD, wild, undisciplined, shy the list goes on. The children who are on the fringe – one end or the other of the “Normal” scale. These children seem to just come to me, where ever I matter what, they come to me. The older children..yup them too and the adults..many of them have flowed through my life. As a teacher I am the first to admit, despite all my work and concern..some children need much more serious care than I could offer them. But more often than not, what I have found is that the children on the fringe are truly amazing. Years of working with children and adults with autism, Aspergers, ADHD, mental issues, learning disabilities, my sincere belief is…we are truly missing something amazing here. That we need to start looking at these children as “Differently Gifted” rather than set them apart as abnormal.

Have you seen the movie “A Beautiful Mind”? Take out the schizophrenia and you have my amazing husband Jim. I cried when I watched this movie… there was my husband!! He describes himself as “Mental Genius..Social Retard”. We laugh about this but it is very true. He has this amazing sense of humor that most folks will never see – because he feels huge discomfort around people. He is fine with me and the kids..wonderful really…but outside of the home, he functions. But…OMG that brain he has is beyond amazing… now…I am not a stupid girl but, he contemplates things that challenge me daily. What are normal conversations around here? Well… human genomes, protein strands, ribbons, black holes, mineral chemical composition, Latin roots, etc. etc. Amazing!! I am never bored with this man!! The fact that he adores me doesn't hurt any either.

So, what is my point today? After years of watching these folks on the fringe, I truly believe it is time that we recognize that different is not always a negative thing. That there are a large portion of these folks have things to offer us, huge gifts. Have you ever seen a Dr. in the ER with ADHD? Huge intelligence, unending energy!!! Amazing! I would challenge you to tell me of all the amazing gifted people you relate to on these blogs , which are “normal” and which are not?! Can you tell me if that gifted artist or writer is mentally ill? Should it matter? If they are labeled as “not normal” does that mean their amazing gifts are worth less? I for one think not. Maybe, if we quit looking at them as broken, but look for their gifts we might find treasures instead of junk. What do you think?

K…am stepping off my soap box and I think I will have……uhmmmmm..a carrot cake cupcake and some blueberry iced tea!! Yummmy! What can I get for you?? Thank you for joining me again today! I do love it when you visit me here! Namaste, Sarah

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Bit Blue....

I guess I don't feel much like posting today..but well here I am. Jim is off for training for several weeks and we have been warned that their alert to deploy may come during training. I know lots of women who would give their right arm to have time without their spouses. I even had a few ask me if I was gonna celebrate..uhmmmmm not so much. I am not one of those women..I miss him very much. Frankly..I quite adore the man! Nothing feels quite right without him here.

Yup am dealing & am feeling like a whiny baby just saying all of this..but I'm really deeply scared that he will not be back for months rather than weeks. Fox and Nonni are despondent and struggling too. So I am busy trying to boost them up and keep them to busy to think about the next three weeks. We decided not to mention the chance that he may be gone for months. To top it all off the last couple nights of little sleep has brought this coldy thing creeping back..ackkkkk. So I feel sad and sick ta boot. Anyway, thanks for listening to me vent a helps to put it out there.
Hugs and Namaste, Sarah

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Friday Shoot out is......

My Friday Our Town shoot out is on my Photo blog please click here....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Busy Week at School....

So..we had a fun week..still a bit of tie dye waiting to be done..but mostly done. This is one of my favorite weeks of the summer. We learn about using 100% cotton and what it is. Why the color sticks to cotton but not to other fabrics. Why we use soda ash to open up the Cotton to accept the dye. We also talk alot about color combos and what putting them together makes. Lots of experimenting with color and being messy!! Whoo hoo love being messy. I usually have dye up to my elbows by the end of the week. The kids fingers- yeah tend to be a bit purple too.
Our basic supplies....

My very favorite dye medium. Nice rich colors and very inexpensive to use. I use Soda Ash too - also cheap.

My new bandanna....loove it!! can only tie dye so long before we need a break. It was such a lovely day we decided to stay outside. Of course this led to more science stuff. Do you remember doing this as a kid?? Magnifying glass and a dried leaf...make smoke and fire - whoo hoo. We only had older kiddos we decided to play with light a bit. Strict instructions never to do this without an adult (have good kiddos)...and NEVER fry a critter..period.

Very serious stuff....

It's smokin'..

Here is Nonni giving it a try...

Lots of discussion about fire safety & what materials will burn.

Giggle..Fox and Razzi decided to burn a smiley face into this paper.

Very fun week!!! Hope you are having some summer fun too!!! Namaste, Sarah