Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z ~ Zentangles

     I spent many hours of my childhood watching in awe as my Dad sketched lighthouses, and drew beautiful pictures. At the time there was nothing more that I wanted than to be good at art. The memory of me running to my bedroom, grabbing pencil colors, and drawing a bunch of flowers every time my Dad or some famous artist inspired me is still fresh. But now that I think back on those days I can see that drawing suns in the corners of pages and lots of flowers under trees was not as epic as I used to think it was.

     Last year I was going through my art book and almost keeled over while looking at how lacking my art skills were, not to bash all cross-eyed cats and horrified owl pictures, but mine were horrible and I was abashed that I ever thought they had been nice.

     This year I took an art course in school and I was and still am delighted with how I have progressed. I started drawing scenery and dabbled in portraits, but lately I have found my art calling when I discovered Zentangles.

     I have spent hours drawing as of lately and have enjoyed every second of it, if there is one favorite thing about art, it's how all the little details bring a picture together. So naturally Zentangling is perfect for me.

   Here's a little glimpse at the first Zentangle I ever made.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y ~ Yawn

     If there is one thing that I do not enjoy in life it has to be, being bored, finding myself dazed with my eyes glazed over is the worst. No wonder swooning was so popular back in Victorian days. Women were probably just extremely bored.

     Today, since I love lists so much I will be sharing a list of things that bore me to pieces, or in a less dramatic way of wording it; a list of things that make me yawn.

Yawn Inducing Things.

Mechanic talk ~ My Dad is a mechanic, a rebuilder/fabricator of semis, and my brother loves the profession as well so every evening if I am not careful I find myself bored beyond comprehension as Eldon and Dad discuss torque wrenches and the best way to remove a motor mount and a host of other things that I can't remember now, because of feeling dazed and my eyes glazing over.

Politics ~  I don't think that politics are ever a good idea to be discussed, period. In my opinion the word politics is just a fancy name for boredom.

Dishes ~  My most splendid dreams have a maid washing all the stacks of dirty dishes, or at least an automated dishwasher in them.

Public speakers ~ Not all public speakers, but most that I have listened to are dreadfully dull. The only excitement they offer is counting how many times they say "Uh" or "Um."

Algebra ~ Needless to say spending hours and hours of my life solving algebraic equations is boring.

History ~ I know I sound horrible when I say this but I can not stand studying History, how in the world is anyone supposed to remember all those dates anyway? It is a fact that massive History tests haunt my nightmares.

Medicare ads ~ Oh horrors! Do I ever dislike medicare ads, I know they are for the elderly but the way I think about the subject is that the elderly should be treated with a lot of respect, so naturally inflicting horrid commercials on them is not very nice or proper at all.

Though that is probably not all of the things that cause me to yawn that is all that I can think of right now. Until a later day I must now bid you adieu.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X ~ Xerasia

     I don't quite understand how anyone thinks that having a bad hair day once in a while is that horrible. Anyone that says they hate bad hair days earns an immediate laugh from me. I, for example, live in one continuous, never ending nightmare of bad hair days. Never in my life have I had to try for volume.

     After years of trying to figure out just what exactly the matter was with my hair I came across this one "disease" that I apparently have a touch of. It is called Xerasia, and it afflicts innocent woe-begone girls with a severe case of dry hair.

     For most of my life I've been healthy as a horse and the only person in my family with no broken bones until I went and stubbed my pinkie toe extremely hard and actually broke it. Then later on I broke my pinkie finger on my sister's jacket where it got caught when we were racing. All of my scars were achieved by a treadmill accident and running into various objects. And now I realize I have a "disease" Even if it is only a severe case of dry hair.

     So to all other girls out there with Xerasia, I feel for you, but always remember this one quote. "Big hair is closer to God."

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W ~ Weeping

     There are so many things in this world that make me really happy, like tea, kittens, crocheting, laughter, Celtic music, and many other things. Then, there are some things that I positively, absolutely abhor. Weeping is one of those things (more commonly known as crying). There's nothing fun about having tears steaming down your red blotchy face, your stomach in knots, and plowing your way through a box of tissues.
     So in honor of the letter "W" I will be making a list of things that make me cry.

1. Happy endings in movies.   The Lord of the Rings had me bawling.

2. Sad endings in movies.  The first sad movie I remember crying over was  Charlotte's Web. (And I don't even like spiders.)

3. Sweet words spoken in honor of a person or people. 

4. Weddings. There is no such thing as me not crying at weddings.

5. Seeing people cry at all, especially when they have just lost something dear to them brings to me to tears.

 6. Books. Okay, not all books, but I have shed my fair share of tears because of fictional characters. The worst was when Tris died in the Divergent series. I was an emotional wreck!

And then there are things that make me feel like crying even though I don't actually cry.

7. Trying to make a blog post when my brain seems to be on vacation.

8. Not being able to find any of my socks when truly necessary.

9. Accidentally staining my favorite article of clothing.

10. Finishing my favorite book series.

11. Peanuts or any other nuts in brownies. Why? Just why?!

12. When public speakers say the word "Uh" 114 times when they are trying to collect their thoughts. (Yes, I counted).

13. When people use improper grammar on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V ~ Vacation Fun

     I have always loved anything to do with water, whether it is a creek, waterfall, lake, river, or the ocean. So a few years ago when my parents announced that we would be having our yearly vacation in South Carolina by the beach with a few of our friends, Diane and I couldn't think or talk about anything else until the vacation actually took place.

     The weather was perfect with gorgeous blue skies, a hot sun shining on us, and nice breezes drifting through the palm trees. Every day of our vacation we went to the pretty beach on Sullivan's Island. The fact that the island has a delightful name contributed to the splendor of the whole affair.

     While the grownups took the more logical and rational approach to the beach my sister Diane and I went crazy, we went splashing and jumping into the waves, we gathered lots of shells and shrieked every time a crab sneakily pinched our hands before we threw the occupied shell back into the ocean. We made sand drawings, "tried" to learn how to swim, and had an all around good time.

     I still love the vast, blue ocean and can't wait until I get to see it again.

Monday, April 25, 2016

U ~ Unique

     Somehow in all of my favorite words out there the simple word "Unique" has held my affection for quite some time now. I hold a lot value on the existence of people being unique. I don't find a single thing wrong with standing out from the crowd, in one perspective (the optimistic one) being called unique or a misfit is not to be frowned upon, but is to be desired. I don't know why so many people nowadays set so much store on "fitting in" when in my eyes I don't see why you would want to be average.

     I quite readily embrace my "uniqueness" and it is actually one of the qualities that I am happy I possess. I simply don't morph my being to fit into society's mold. I let myself be free and take whatever shape I see fitting. I don't call it misfit, I call it being true to yourself. Which is of course what it actually is.

     Lots of people think of me as a little granny in a young girl's body because I love knitting, crocheting, drinking tea, puzzling, using big words and so on. I have never yet been offended by that.

     When some people would assume that I was born in the wrong time (because of my being unique in an old fashioned way) I know for certain that I have some purpose to fulfill, and I was made the way that I am to fulfill just that purpose. My whole point in this entire post is to embrace your uniqueness and let it flow free.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

T ~ Things I Need Therapy For

     Oh! The traumas of emotional scarring! Some of the most emotionally scarring things that ever happened to me as a little girl have actually affected my life now as I have grown older, those horrors of my past have shaped parts of me indefinitely. I know a lot of you think I must have had a horrible childhood from the sounds of this, but the truth is that I am just being a little dramatic.

     Today I will be sharing with you things that I can not look at or even hear the word being spoken without thinking back to a traumatic experience.

Spiders ~ My Grandma is a dear little lady who is very sprite and energetic for her age. One day whilst I was playing in the sandbox beside her porch I spotted a massive spider. Naturally I screeched and ran for Grandma who was sweeping off her porch. She followed me to the sandbox and took her broom  and smashed the spider. The crunch it made echoed against the walls of my brain and stayed their for the rest of my childhood years. But as for Grandma, she took back her broom, laughed, and said, "Well that one was juicy."

Dentures ~ When I was about three my Mom took me over to one of my Aunts for dinner one day. My Aunt had served Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream and as a young child you really don't care what is going on around you when you have Mint Chocolate Chip Ice cream......That is until you hear people laughing and you turn around to see your Aunt holding all of her teeth in her hand and smiling with an empty mouth. Shudder. My Mom says that this memory must have really scarred me if I can remember it from when I was three.

Treadmills ~ If there was one thing that I loved when I was a little girl it was treadmills. On the day my brother Sean was born my parents had dropped Eldon, Diane, and me off at one of their friend's homes. She gave us permission to play on their treadmill, and I thought I had it made until I played around with the buttons. Naturally I pushed the Incline button up to like 35 and was running at top speed while hanging on for dear life. Before I knew it I had fallen on the treadmill and was being grated alive. Her husband, hearing my screams, woke up from the nap he had been taking and came to scoop me up and carried me upstairs where they started assessing all the damage and applying band-aids to all places I needed them. By the time they had me bandaged I was covered with 26 of them. I distinctly remember hearing the woman's husband saying "Your Dad is going to kill me" while he applied a bag of frozen peas to my shoulders. My Dad, though very supportive and caring still has a sense of humor, so when I was presented to my Dad by two very worried babysitters he burst out laughing. I guess seeing your frizzy-haired, little girl hobble across the floor covered with almost thirty band-aids is a funny sight. I still have physical scars from that episode, and emotional scars as well. I've not been tempted to get on a treadmill since that day.

High School Anatomy ~ I had loved learning about all the bones in my body, like the Femurs, patellas, phalanges, and so on. That is until I reached High school where they insisted on shoving graphic pictures of toenail fungus, and infected knee cuts, and a host of other things right under my nose. I'm telling you, I will never be the same.

Friday, April 22, 2016

S ~ Sunday School Teacher

     My Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Kelly, was a very kind and charming lady, one who you could feel the love of God radiating from her. Each and every Sunday she would play games with us and do dances with us and quite simply be like the one Sunday school teacher everyone missed when they grew older.
      Every Sunday she would pick random children that got to pick a song to sing, my best friend and I always agreed on everything so our choice in the songs was easy and delightful for both of us.
     Now that I think back to those days I have to laugh because my poor Sunday school teacher had to choose me sometimes or it would be unfair. To explain myself better here goes.... no Sunday school teacher liked my song choice because each and every single time that I was chosen I loudly and clearly said "I would like Father Abraham" which I happened to love because I got to jump and spin and sit and sing faster and faster till we all had our brains spinning in our heads. My poor teacher had to dance along with us too, she must have been exhausted by the time the song was over.
     If someone was to ask me what the one thing is that I miss the most about my Sunday school in the Ozarks when I was a little girl (since that is obviously a question that comes up in normal conversations) I would simply laugh and say "Singing Father Abraham."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

R ~ Rainbow Slides

     When I was but a little girl, and we were living in the Ozarks we used to have a splendid view across the rolling hills when we looked out the patio doors in our dining room. It used to be especially lovely when a rainbow was settled over it. I used to think when I get to heaven I'm going to slide down rainbows with angels.

     I think the saddest part of growing up is losing some of those innocent childhood dreams. It is one of my deepest wishes to never lose my enthusiasm for life and the beauty and surprises that it holds.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q ~ Quotes

      I have always loved a good quote and marveled how all of the old fashioned women in movies like "Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma all had a witty quote to say right off the bat when their intelligence was questioned.

      I have gathered quite a few favorite quotes by now and will be sharing some of them with you.

Favorite quotes:

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. Robert Brault.

Why wish upon a star when you can pray to the one who created it. Unknown

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass it's about learning to dance in the rain. Unknown

Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day. Unknown

The truth is everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for. Bob Marley

What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story. F. Scott Fitzgerald

No two persons ever read the same book. Edmund Wilson

It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and forget his own. Marcus Tullius Cicero

A mind is like a parachute, it doesn't work if it isn't open. Frank Zappa

The earth has music for those who listen. William Shakespeare 

A room without books is like a body without a soul. Marcus Tullius Cicero

Why not go out on a limb? That is where the fruit is. Mark Twain

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P ~ Poetry

     Thanks to parents who talked and read to me from the day I was born, (and very likely even before) I don't think I have lived a single day without enjoying some beautiful word or phrase. At a young age my discovery of poetry satisfied my deep craving for beautiful words. I can't really describe the essence of poetry though, but I know of a quote that does. "Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words." Robert Frost

     Anyways, to get back on track, I will be sharing a few of my favorite poems with you today.

This The season

A wispy smoke, a golden haze,
A burnished sun come Autumn days;
A burst of flame on distant hills,
As season's winds bring dusty chills.
Bright pumpkins stacked by shocks of corn
In dewy pose at early morn,
And night birds flee in fluttered flight
To seek their shelter ere the night.
A village bell tolls end of day;
A farmer wends his weary way
Toward hearth and home and sweet repose,
As western skies strike daily close.
Golden Autumn, no sweeter time
Than poignant days of fairest clime;
September's gift, October's glow-
Comes this, the season I love so.

Henry w. Gurley

The Signature of Spring

As I stand by my window and breathe the fresh air,
I notice Spring's signature penned everywhere:
The snow's disappearing beneath greening grass,
While buds and green sprouts are emerging at last.
New plumage embellishes birds on the wing,
And a fresh note of joy sparks each song that they sing.
An early Spring shower pours droplets of white,
As a wintering cloud slowly makes its last flight.
In wakening woods I can hear peepers sing;
Redundant their song, yet as new as each Spring.
As I stand by my window and breathe God's fresh air,
I rejoice in Spring's signature everywhere.

Loise Pinkerton Fritz 

The Road not Taken

Two roads diverged by yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that passing there
And worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no steps had trodden black.
Oh I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
Took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

And that will be it for now. I decided 3 was a good number of poems because the number seems very random and odd. So very satisfying!

Monday, April 18, 2016

O ~ Outdoor Adventures

     The closest things to adventures I've had all happened in the "Great Outdoors." Therefore I will be centering this post around some of the adventures I have had out of doors.

#1 It was a gorgeously hot summer afternoon and Diane and I were very bored, and too warm. We looked wistfully toward the waterfall across the road and decided that even though there were cows in the field around the waterfall we would still go. We scurried across the road, climbed over the fence that kept the field from us, being careful to avoid the shocking wire, and then we proceeded to walk slowly towards the waterfall. "Just don't look at the cows" I whispered quietly to a horrified Diane, "They can sense fear, or is it smell fear? Whatever, I think I read about it somewhere" We tried to walk confidently across the pasture while avoiding eye contact with the cows. When we were about half-ways to the waterfall one mother cow started walking towards us. "She'd have to cross the creek to get to us" I quietly assured Diane.
"She just crossed the creek!" Diane screeched. After turning to see an angry and speedily approaching cow coming towards us, both of us ran towards the fence as fast as we could make our legs fly, for that ornery old cow decided it would be delightful to charge. We fell over so often and got so many scratches, by the time we were safely in our yard again we were both delusional and laughing like crazy while shaking quite uncontrollably.

#2 I had this one phase where everything that was climb-able I climbed. Whether it was a tree, porch, garden wall, or in this certain situation a gate. Diane and I had this one red, old, rusted, and hole-y gate that we constantly climbed over to get to our creek. This one certain time Diane jumped up on top of it and she was very bouncily making her way to the other side when out of one of the holes in the gate a horde of angry yellow jackets flew ready to attack. And attack they did. Diane screamed and froze after jumping off the gate and it was me to the rescue. I literally went in there squished, flicked, slapped, and stomped every last yellow jacket that had the audacity to attack my dear little sister, I dragged Diane under the fence quickly and we hurried to the safety of the house.

#3 Last summer Diane and I decided to go berry picking across the road in the woods above the barn. Happily we grabbed several buckets and skipped merrily along. We chattered a lot and discussed life in general and were delighted when we found a berry bush even before we reached the woods. Concentrating on picking all of the berries I stepped up behind the bush in search of any missed berries when my foot plunged right into the middle of a very busy ant hill. Ants swarmed every where and bit my foot incessantly. I swept them off in swipes and decided to go looking for a better place to pick. Our hands were covered in berry juice which attracted some deranged wasp who attacked us and Diane and I bobbed and weaved and ran as hard as we could not really paying attention where we were running in our desperation to get away from the wasp (it was super persistent) till finally we lost it. And our water bottles. After hacking our ways through thorns and brush we found the road again and decided it was time to go back home. Sadly the only thing that was positive about that particular trip is that we picked enough berries for Mom to bake a pie.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

N ~ New Life

   I absolutely love spring and for one main reason. Springtime is the dawn of new life. It is the time that all of the birds that migrated south last fall come home and build their nests hopping about cheerily as they sing the songs of springtime. It is the time that all of the little flowers spring out of the ground and turn their pretty heads in greeting of the glorious sunrises every morning.

  Springtime is the time for love and laughter, for new life and adventures. There is just something about the feeling I get when I am outdoors on a spring day. There is a glorious feeling that the world is awakening and a veil of surprise and beauty hangs over everything. Ahh! I don't think anything can replace that feeling!

  There are quite an assortment of sure signs that spring has finally arrived here in my corner of the world.

    Everywhere I look I see new life. Charming little buds on our lilac bush, frog eggs in our pond, an array of flowers in our flowerbed, and simply the awakening of the sun each day.


Friday, April 15, 2016

M ~ Me

     In all of my posts in the past I have rambled on and on about various things but never just described the essence of me. So today will be the day you get to know me better.

     I was born in the North Eastern U.S and when I was very young we moved to the Ozarks where we lived in a log cabin on close to 400 acres for several years before moving to a double-wide on 20 acres and then finally back to the North Eastern U.S. of A. Where I am still living with my family of 6 today in an old fashioned country farmhouse.

     I am of moderate height, not tall but not short. I have curly brown hair, warm brown eyes, and a tiny dimple on my left cheek that only shows when I smile. I have two small scars on my forehead, one comes from biking straight into the the "neck" of my Dad's goose neck trailer, and the other scar comes from smacking my head into the corner of my Mom's china cupboard when I was running around the dining room one day. And now that I have established the ground work for getting to know me I shall now proceed with the fun little details.

     I am a lover of all things vintage and have been known for spending hours paging through Victorian catalogs dreaming of the day when I will live in a little cottage in England.

     I am an incessant dreamer, and because of that I tend to ignore the uglier side of life and focus on all of the beauty instead.

     I hate olives, mushrooms, liver, sausage, and most seafood.

     I love the outdoors and everything it has to offer. Spending all of my days out of doors would be delightful!

     Ever since reading The Hobbit I have wanted nothing more than to have a real adventure, absolutely every fiber of my being craves an adventure. Mind you not filled with dragons and Medieval villains but an adventure nonetheless.

     I love crocheting and have a rather long list of projects that I want to complete in my life time.

     I don't know how to swim, the closest thing I have ever come to swimming is flailing madly in my friends pool thinking my death is nigh.

     I am a lover of wit, good humor is my friend and is a trait I prize in people.

     When reading books I like to be positioned in just the right way with just the right things to accompany me. Like birds chirping, classical music, peppermint tea, and a warm blanket to cuddle under.

     I positively love using delightfully long and satisfying words. Words in general are something I love and I am always positively delighted when I find a splendid new one. Like Opia which I found out means "The ambiguous intensity of looking someone straight in the eye."

     I am also a lover of complete randomness, it is somehow very satisfying to me.

     I simply love creation, if you look at all my favorite hobbies like crocheting, cooking, baking, and crafting you can see the general theme.....Creation.

     I can not stand touching things that have the main theme of being crusty or powdery. Which I why I hate touching chalk, flour, potatoes, and dry mud.

     I love being being unique. In all reality I would be rather sad if I actually fit in with all the other people in the world. To me, being different is a prized quality, not a thing at which to turn up your nose, and sadly, few people acknowledge that.

     I love the simple life and feel blessed to have one. Though having a few good adventures would be delightful!

     Fall is my favorite season, summer is second, spring third, and winter last.

     And I know that there are many more things that are unique facts about me that make me, me. But if I were to list them all this post would drag on for miles on end.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

L ~ Lemonade

     I think that every little kid has their favorite Uncle, Aunt, or relative, which of course I did. I had this one Uncle that was beyond fun, always playing pranks on us, telling ridiculous stories, and pretty much being cool with any harebrained scheme that I came up with, and every one who knows me really well knows that I am always coming up with new schemes that can be considered harebrained.

     This one day my parents were going away and needed someone to babysit Eldon and I (This is when I was just a little girl) Since my uncle was living with us at the time, naturally my parents got him to babysit us. He agreed and plopped us down on chairs with a coloring book per person and a box of crayons. Considering that Eldon and I were little kids we became bored very quickly and wandered into the kitchen. Now one thing that I loved very much was trying to copy my Mom, and a few days earlier she had made lemonade for us. It was one of my favorite drinks and it had looked so easy when she had made it so I decided I would make some myself. I grabbed random ingredients and dumped them into a big pail and stirred it together. The concoction did not look like lemonade, or smell like lemonade, but hey, how bad could it be?

     We dashed over to our Uncle and got his permission to go out to our field and pretend to be daring adventurers with only lemonade to survive on. He didn't think it was a great idea, but unlike my parents, a little persuasion worked very well and before long we went plowing our way through the field that was filled with really tall, scratchy grasses until we found one of our favorite spots and we sat down to try out my delicious new recipe.

     Eldon and I eagerly dipped our glasses into the pail and filled them up with the concoction and almost laughed with glee, no one was there to tell us how much lemonade we could have. We each took a large swallow and turned to face each other with big eyes and horror-stricken expressions before spitting out the beyond horrible drink, we choked and gagged and both took a hold of our pail and flung the contents as far as we could. Still trying to get rid of the nasty taste we spit and sputtered and decided we better get back to the house as soon as possible.

     By the time we got back to the house our arms and legs were completely covered with scratches from the grass and we were itching something fierce. We sneaked into the house and were tippy-toeing past our Uncle when he looked up and almost died laughing (he is very supportive) he fixed a bath for us and got us dressed all cute and set us down at the table with coloring books.

     So when my parents got back we were the perfect little pair of children still sitting all neat and tidy coloring with crayons while our awesome Uncle kept an eye on us.

     That was one of my very favorite memories, even back then I loved adventures and just because I couldn't make lemonade didn't mean I couldn't make a pretty awesome batch of weedkiller.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

K ~ Khakis

     As a little girl my life had been blissfully unaware of the world around me. I would spend my days romping our woods with Eldon, and playing dolls with Diane, climbing trees and blowing bubbles. Life was easy, life was good, and life was very much fun-filled.

     Every Thursday my Dad and Mom would dress us all up and to town we would go. I can still remember the exhilarating feeling of clinging on for dear life to the front of the shopping cart when Dad would go running down the parking lot after we were done shopping. Anyways, to get back on track here, I used to love looking at all the shoppers around me and imagine what their lives were like, besides, nothing beat trying to guess why a woman would wear a pair of orange pants with a red shirt. My mind would wonder and I would sink into the blissful dreams of painting other people's lives. That is until out of the corner of my eyes I saw a man standing in the corner of an aisle talking on the phone, wearing a dirty t-shirt and a pair of khaki shorts.

     Oh the horrors! I hadn't even known leg hair existed until that man came along. Long after my eyeballs were wounded and my brain cells scarred, the vision of his hairy legs haunted my dreams. Ever since that unfortunate happening I have not been able to see any khakis without shuddering at the memory. To me, a khaki free world would be just peachy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

J ~ Journal Names

     Ever since I was seven years old and my Mom introduced me to the art of journal keeping I have  loved keeping a journal. Somehow having an orderly way to write down my thoughts, dreams, and aspirations was exactly what I wanted (though as a seven year old I wrote more along the line of dolls and stuffed animals) and I have to say I loved my journal from the very start.

     Many years have passed since then and now I have a stack of finished journals. I always feel rather attached to my journals, like they are very close friends, and naturally since all good friends have names I have named my journals, they rather deserved it too.

     My journals all got named according to what they looked like. My light pink journal was Rosebud, my pale blue one I always thought of as Magnolia, my vibrant rosy pink one is named Rosella, and my stunning purple journal is named Jacqueline. Yes she is my latest journal and since I just happen to adore french I have already named one of my future journals (which is light blue) Celine. And this one I have named Avril.

     I love how charmingly, elegant, French names sound so I made sure to incorporate some pretty names into my journal-naming.

Monday, April 11, 2016

I ~ Imagination

     To the young child the imagination is a very prized gift, and was quite frankly not lacked by Eldon, Diane, and I when we were still little children. Whether we were princesses, pilgrims, airplanes, or pirates, our imaginations always played a very large role in our playtime.

     Out of all of our games that we used to play, the one that stands out the most is a game we called Invisible tape. The rules were very simple and the game kept us entertained for hours.

      Out in our yard we had a rather large and splendid propane tank. With our childish imaginations it sort of looked like a giant pill with lots of little caps. Anyways, for several weeks that one summer, we would run outside barefooted and eager, and climb on top of the propane tank. Balance was never a problem for us so we could easily scamper all over the tank, but the game in itself was completely absurd. We had made ourselves believe that there was a long line of tape stretching out from our propane tank to the closest tree. All we had to do was place our feet on exactly the right spot where the invisible tape was and we would be able to walk to the tree on the other end of the invisible tape.

      Now when I think back to that memory I have to laugh, we could have saved us many hours of failed attempts if only we would have been logical. But than again none of us were prone to being logical so we would all step into the air and go crashing to the ground. In fact we crashed to the ground so often that it kind of became a game in itself.

     Imagination is a true treasure, and I am very happy that our mother allowed and encouraged us to use it.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

H ~ Horrific Hair Horrors

     One of the biggest struggles in my life is unfortunately being responsible for trying to take care of my unbelievably huge, frizzy, and horridly curly hair. No matter how hard I try to tame it, to sleek it down, to somehow make it look decent it just simply does not behave!

     I declare it has a mind of its own. I can leave the house looking half way decent, but on our way to get to where we're going my hair takes on a mind of it's own. Some of it decides to go one direction, while the rest divide up any other available directions to explore.

      Indeed limericks similar to this one by Edward Lear could be written about my hair.

                  There was an old man with a beard
                  Who said it is just as I feared
                  Two owls and a wren
                  Four larks and a hen
                  Have all built their nest in my beard.
       Not that having bushy hair isn't bad enough but lately these well-meaning elderly ladies at church keep hobbling up to me, patting my shoulders fondly and smilingly say things like, "Your hair isn't that bad" and "when I was a teen I used to roll my hair up in orange soda cans" and some of them even had the audacity to say "Well you won't need a perm when you're older". I mean really!

     I think that if this outrage keeps up I just might have to show up to church with orange soda cans in my hair and see what they have to say about that!

Friday, April 8, 2016

G ~ Giraffe Story ~ Tea with the Gaftons

          When I was a little girl all I needed to keep me entertained was a piece of paper and a pen. Writing stories was one of my absolute favorite things to do. My Mom used to keep me supplied with writing prompts. The one that inspired this story can be seen here.
      A few days ago I found this one that I had written when I was probably eleven or so.
     The beyond ridiculous details had me laughing, and because they say laughter is good for us all I will be sharing the story with you.

Tea With the Gaftons

     I used to think my life was the boring, average woman's life, but that all changed a week ago when Mr. Wimple became my neighbor.
     I woke up to a gorgeously sunny day and immediately headed to my kitchen where I started baking scones and boiling jams. Tomorrow the Gaftons would be coming over for tea and everything needed to be perfect. You see the Gaftons were only the most important people of all of Cordinia.  Mrs. Gafton was rumored to have the most expensive hatpin of not only Cordinia but all of the neighboring villages too.
     So I baked and baked. I scrubbed, boiled, and baked some more. As for the subject of house-cleaning it wasn't very messy since I lived alone, so I needn't clean too much.
     While lifting a jar of preserves from the pantry I heard an elephant screech. "Very weird indeed" I thought to myself. But the explanation was simple of course, I had baked too much and was a bit dizzy. "I'll go lie down" I said to myself, "I've worked way too long". But sadly while walking past my front door the elephant noise I had heard earlier was indeed standing in my front yard. After recovering from a miniature heart attack I opened my front door and found to my immense surprise not only an elephant but two giraffes, three zebras, a dog, two kangaroos, and one short and quite bald man.
       "What is the meaning of this?" I asked, mentally checking that I didn't order any wild animals.
     "I'm Mr. Wimple" the little man said.
     "Yes, and I'm Gertrude Whifftopla, and I would kindly ask you to remove these beasts from my yard."
     "I' very sorry miss, I' just taking these here "beasts" to my yard" he said in an outlandish accent.
     "Why do you have them?" I asked incredulously
     "I'm havin' a circus tomorry and need 'em" he explained.
     "Surely you don't intend to have these out and about?" I asked knowing that the owner of a very expensive hat pin could hardly approve of zoo animals roaming the neighborhood.
     "I'll keep them in my yard miss, don't warry." he said.
     I stomped in frustration as I went back into my house and began planning my tea for the sewing room instead of the parlor. "Maybe those beasts will be out of sight" I said hopefully.
     The next day dawned with many glorious promises hanging in the air. In no time the sewing room was ready and the food carefully planned and placed.
     Mr. Wimple started his "Zoo Circus"earlier so it would be safe to bring the Gaftons through the front door.
     After thinking about the animal situation for a little while I burst out laughing, most people worry that their scones will burn for tea, but I have to worry that an elephant might flatten my guests. What a dilemma!
     One o'clock came swiftly and soon a carriage pulled into my driveway, Mr. Gafton stepped out nimbly and opened the carriage door for his wife.
     Mrs. Gafton was dressed in a long, poofy, purple dress, a frightfully green hat, and the biggest, most positively, ugly, glass, parrot, hatpin.
     I hurried to open my front door and soon we were all seated at my sewing room table. I made sure not to say anything about her attire unless she asked.
     I served my scones and jams without anything absurd happening and it wasn't until the roast veal was being served that a zebra neighed.
     "Why, whatever was that?" asked the very shocked Mrs. Gafton.
     "Um.... my cuckoo clock doesn't cuckoo properly anymore" I replied, hoping nobody would notice that it was 1:42 in the afternoon. The rest of the afternoon went by smoothly enough with many compliments being offered for all the dainty sweets I served. At three o'clock they got up and excused themselves saying thank you for the splendid tea. But just then two giraffes stuck their heads through the window knocking over my sandwich platter in attempts to eat Mrs, Gafton's feathery green boa.
     Their intended snack however fell to the floor along with Mrs. Gafton herself who had fainted, quite to the amusement of Mr. Gafton. But while mid flight Mrs. Gafton's hatpin ever so poetically flew through the air and and hit the floor shattering into thousands of little pieces. I was so horrified I couldn't speak, and when Mr. Gafton finally stopped laughing I noticed Mrs. Gafton stirring, "My hatpin!" she moaned hysterically, "My great Grandmother gave it to me as a wedding gift!" she sobbed.
     "I'm ever so sorry" I said, "My neighbor Mr. Wimple was holding a circus today, I'm sure the giraffes didn't mean to destroy your antique."
     Mrs. Gafton however took one look out the window towards Mr. Wimple and stormed out of the sewing room and through the front door. She simply refused to get out of her carriage and waited impatiently for Mr. Gafton so he could accompany her home.
     "I never liked that awful hatpin away," Mr. Gafton said as he left out the back door. As their carriage drove away I didn't feel any remorse for what had happened because I had heard Mr. Gafton telling Mr. Wimple that he had two very fine giraffes.

     As you all can tell, my story was ridiculous but I think it's one of the the better one's from my early writing years..

Thursday, April 7, 2016

F ~ Freaky

     I used to be quite the tomboy when I was a little girl and I could be found climbing trees, jumping fences, digging for worms, splashing in mud, and exploring the woods on our property. No dirt or squirmy form of life ever freaked me out.....until I accidentally stepped on a worm that proceeded in getting stuck between my toes and ever since then not only do worms freak me out but a lot of other things do too.

     Things that Freak me Out

Flour ~ Oh my goodness! I am getting goosebumps just thinking about flour. I beyond abhor flour. It began on the day that I got covered in it by accidentally tipping a bag of flour over myself. The very feeling of flour and the sound of it sweeping across a dry surface or smacking against someone's hands or apron makes me want to scream.

Chalk ~ My irrational hatred of chalk branched off of my hatred of flour, they have the same texture and the same level of scratchiness to them that makes me avoid touching chalk whenever possible. Let's just say that sidewalk art is never done by me.

Tennis shoes ~ Oh how they freak me out, I want to gag just thinking about their disgusting feel on my feet, and the way that they look! I have no idea when I started to hate tennis shoes but eventually I couldn't stand them anymore.

Crocs ~ Yep, to me they are the most disgusting shoes ever created in all history of foot wear. The very thought of having to put my feet into a pair of crocs, or even touching them makes my skin crawl.

Used straws ~ Ack! They are so disgusting! Seeing one lying innocently on the kitchen sink, crinkled up from being chewed on by a toddler.... I think I might barf.

Toenails ~ Even when they are firmly attached to someone's foot they still freak me.

Potatoes ~ Eeek! Their dry and crusty skin makes me shiver every time I touch them, even seeing someone else touch them makes me shiver.

Mud ~  I hate mud because it is squishy and squelchy and slimy. Jumping in muddy puddles is not something that sounds like fun. I think that the reason I hate mud so much is because when I was a little girl some bully of a boy asked me to stand close to him while he showed me a trick and he jumped right into a huge puddle of mud purposely showering my Sunday dress with globs of goopy brown mud.

Beards ~ I don't know what it is about beards but they freak me very badly. Maybe because they grow out of bony chins is why, but I'm not sure.

Man Buns ~ Goodness, I don't even know where to start when it comes to man buns. They are weird, look greasy, are gnarly, and are simply a trend that I wish never happened.

Slugs and snails ~ Pretty much anything that secretes mucous is considered freaky, disturbing, and disgusting to me.

And now that you know a lot more strange things about me I will end my post. The End.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

E ~ Essence of Life

     Instrumental music is my inspiration, for the little things that others find unimportant, for the big things that others find formidable. Naturally, since I love it so much, I have explored the wonders of many different composers, but my favorite one is BrunuhVille.

     BrunuhVille is a young man from Portugal who loves composing some of the most beautiful instrumental music. I love listening to his music while writing. It does wonders for my imagination. An added bonus is that he looks a lot like Frodo.
    Today I will be sharing one of his compositions "The Essence of Life".

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

D ~ Dishes

     Seeing dirty dishes turn from grimy to sparkling clean used to be one of my very favorite chores back when I was 8 or so. Fast forward a number of years and doing dishes became the most horrid, detestably nasty, and terribly boring chore that I have ever done.

     Sometimes I wanted to do nothing more than get rid of all of our dishes, I spent lot of time dreaming up positively splendid ways to destroy them one way or another.

Here's a sample of some of the things I used to think would be fun doing with them.

Operation Dish Destroyer

1. Use our plates as Frisbees. Precision in aiming is not necessary.

2. Use them as Archery targets.

3. Break them over horrid people's heads.

4. Float them down our creek.

5. Throw them over our waterfall.

6. Simply smash them against the floor.

7. Tie them to helium balloons and watch them soar over clouds.

8. Hand them out to random people.

9. Use the plates as hopscotch squares.

10. Throw them onto the road and drive over them.

11. Get up at Midnight (because it is more daring that way) and bury them.

12.  Use them to teach myself how to juggle.

13. Have a giveaway for used dishes.

14. Take them on picnics and forget about them.

15. Play pitch and catch with them.

16. Dump them into somebody's backyard.

17. Dump them into somebody's front yard.

18. Throw them down our stairs.

19. Throw them up our stairs.

     And last but not the least.  20.. Throw them out of a plane, and then jump out after them. I have always wanted to skydive.

Monday, April 4, 2016

C ~ Chocolate Chip Cookies

       If there is one recipe that my family is constantly remaking and loving just as much every time, it has to be the dear little recipe for chocolate chip cookies that I found in one of my Mom's Amish cookbooks.

     Absolutely nothing beats the smell of warm, baking cookies wafting throughout the house, I really don't think anything excites my brothers more being told there are cookies in the kitchen waiting to be devoured. Not that I make it a habit of telling my brothers that there is devour-able food around. (That just sounds weird.)

     Since I have sadly been lacking in the recipe department as of lately I shall share our recipe with you today. Besides, I really couldn't help but fall in love with these cookies when I discovered that they always turn out perfect every time.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cups softened butter (you can use shortening too)
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
4 cups flour
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips (an average pack)

In a large bowl cream the sugar and and butter until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla making sure to mix well. Add the flour, soda, and salt and mix until well combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. Using a spoon (or your hands) drop the cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet, I use parchment paper since the cleanup is easier that way, and no one like scrubbing more dishes than necessary, right? Right! Bake at 350 for ten minutes. They tend to look under-baked but trust me when I say that they turn out to be super chewy and delicious if you bake them for only 10 minutes. This makes a sizeable batch cookies but if you have starving brothers the cookies should be gone in no time. I find that it is wise to hide several if you want to eat any.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

B ~ Books

     Ever since I can remember, reading has been a big part of my life. From listening to my Mom and Dad reading The Roly Poly Puppy to me as a little girl, to being delighted when I could finally read when Dick and Jane became my life. I am still enjoying the delights of reading books. I mean, nothing compares to the excitement that courses through me when I get a new book to read.

     Naturally, after all my years that I have spent reading I have accumulated a rather large list of favorite books, and since I love lists so much, I will share with you my rather large list of favorite books.

My Favorite Books, and why.

The Lord of the Rings series.   I simply love the tales of love, bravery, loyalty, courage, and good triumphing over evil. Not to forget an amazing adventure woven into it all. Combining it all makes for an epic tale that will never be forgotten.

A most Peculiar Circumstance.  I love comedies and this book had such a delightful mixture of hilarious moments and awkwardness that I found myself laughing all the time. Plus, the main character, Arabella Beckett, was someone I could relate to.

The Tutor's Daughter.   I loved this book, it's a Christian romance book that had a large element of mystery and amazing plot twists and betrayals to it that kept me eager to find out what happened next the entire time that I was reading it. And since I am a sucker for wanting the underdogs to get the spotlight (spoiler-alert) I was delighted when the underdog got the glory. To have this book take place in England in the Regency era made it even better.

Anne of Green Gables series.  Now these were just delightful! Anne is such a spunky fun-loving girl that I couldn't help but to fall in love with these books. By the way, the scrapes she was always getting into, made the books a lot more lighthearted and joyful than your average orphan story.

The Hawk and the Jewel.  I love old fashioned books and since this one was in the 1800's  I loved it even more. It also had several plot twists that you would never have expected. Some parts of the book were awkward. ( like 47%)  but it was still an overall very interesting and good read based around the royals of the time.

A Rebellious Heart.  Now this book was the kind that had me cowering behind blankets for some parts, it was part nerve wracking and part delightfully horrifying. This book also had a horrific villain that satisfyingly got what he deserved in the end. It has a touch of romance, but because of all the drama in the book I always remembered it as a thrilling tale.

Into the Whirlwind.  This book was based around the great Chicago fire, so naturally destruction was involved, but the book still had funny moments that literally made me burst out laughing and awkward moments when I wanted to crawl into a hole and never climb out again. Spoiler alert..... Canned peaches are not always a good idea.

Miranda series.  This series was beyond delightful, Miranda was such a smart witty girl that kept my reading experience very enjoyable. After years of her helping others she finally gets a spotlight on herself.

Glory.  This book was based around a wagon ride to Oregon with a country girl as the main character, naturally there was a bit of drama but mostly a lot of funny relatable moments that I loved. She was a very likable person that kind-of  "stunk" for the first few chapters. 

A Gown of Spanish Lace. This book was pretty much a story of devoted love and a kidnapping, escape, and a shooting. In other words it was kind-of a Western written by a woman. Not to forget a woman was the main character. But this book was one worth reading over again, which I did.

Moonlight Masquerade. I loved this book. It was based around a spy for Napoleon, and an undercover opposing spy who portrayed an unassuming butler. Lady Celine Wexam was one of the main characters and I fell in love with her the moment I saw her name. The book of course had a lot of adventure and one moment when a very satisfying punch was made.

Trouble In Store.  This book was a murder mystery that wasn't actually as morbid as it sounds. This book had so many plot twists that I never managed to guess who the culprit really was. They say it is always the butler but since this book had no butler I was floundering around helplessly guessing who the murderer was one chapter, and changing my mind the next. But it was a very good story of a young lady who inherited a store that just happened to have been given to some man too.

The Miner's Lady. This was a story based around two feuding Italian families and naturally a mine. It had an element of surprise in it and a tragic accident that changed many hearts forever. I had personally loved this book and all of the adventure and secrets kept me well entertained.

Gone Camping.  This whole entire book was based around just one camping trip that had an unbelievable amount of ridiculously embarrassing and awkward moments. The reason I liked this book so well was because of the comedic qualities in every awkward situation. And plus, the main character was totally someone I could relate to.

The Blue Castle.  This entire book was such a very satisfying story of a woman finally breaking away from the very boring drab life she was required to live. Rebelling never was more right. Though the first chapter was beyond snore-worthy I loved every other chapter and loved how she proved that fitting in is just a rule for helpless people.

The Divergent Trilogy.  This series seems to be a misfit considering my previously listed books but I loved these books because of the thrilling tale woven throughout them. Spoiler alert.... sadly the series had a horrific ending that left me an emotional wreck.

 That seems to be only a smidgen of all the books that I love as a teen, so now here is a glimpse of a few of my favorite childhood books.

And though there were a lot more I just summarized my favorites.  And since that concludes the ends of both of my lists, I bid you Adieu.

Friday, April 1, 2016

A ~ Adrian von Ziegler

     Celtic music is one of the things that I love deeply. The reason why is simply because I love the stories that dance and twirl through my head when I listen to it. Celtic music always tells some kind of story. It can be of brave warriors past, of woodland tales, of love, laughter, joy, sadness, or of some long forgotten truth. In other words I love the beauty that is found in Celtic music and today I will be sharing one of my favorite Celtic pieces by Adrian von Ziegler.

Woodland Tales, by Adrian von Ziegler