Saturday, May 25, 2013

A couple of pictures...

Nothing much going on here yet.  It will probably be another two or three weeks before my remodeling starts.  In the meantime here are a couple of everyday pictures.

Here I am wearing my new prasiolite earrings.

Went to the yearly gem and jewelry show at the nearby civic center.  Got a pink beaded bracelet that I don't have the time right now to make myself, and it was only ten dollars.

Got a matching prasiolite ring (some call it green amethyst, but that's not actually the case). There is no such thing, but if you heat a purple amethyst, it turns a lovely shade of green and I like the look of the set that I chose.

I got some nice silver toned spacer beads and a strand of blue fire agate faceted beads.  The colors really spoke to me. I could have gotten them cheaper online, but there is just something about holding the beads in your hand (not to mention the convenience of taking them with you) that makes the few extra dollars worth it. 

The stone in the other ring is larimar.  It's a stone that I wasn't familiar with but apparently is found only in the Dominican Republic and has become so popular that they may become harder and harder to find.

I kinda splurged on the large piece of polychrome jasper (desert jasper) that will look lovely in my new sun room when it's completed. Desert Jasper is a new find, coming from Madagascar and it's really lovely.

Last but certainly not least, I had to really splurge on this next item.  It's my sister's fault.  We were talking about our love of sugar wafer cookies and I mentioned that those cookie making elves had some chocolate covered cookies of this type, I thought they were called grasshoppers, but that's another delicious cookie made in a hollow tree.  So this is my weekend treat...

I do hope everyone has a good weekend and remembers what the real Memorial Day is about. 

Here is my sister Peri's take on things.  Hope she doesn't mind me sharing her FB status.

To all those folks who lost loved ones in wars fought by this country..whether they were or were not "sanctioned" or whether or not they are today considered "improper actions" or "rebellions"... men and women died and May 31 is the day chosen by women in this nation to remember and to honor "the brave fallen". So have your barbecues, your parties, your sales, your drunken sprees this weekend and on the Federal Monday holiday, and then on May the 31st, stop, be quiet, be sober, and reflect on what it means to give up one's life for one's country. Remember them ALL, from ALL the wars, from ALL the countries, shed a tear, say a prayer...but do not belittle their memory. You walk free and proud and can say you are an American because of them.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Remembering Salvation Mountain

I was so happy to see that Yahoo had done a beautiful video of Leonard Knight returning for a visit to Salvation Mountain. Tim had found out about the mountain while searching online for unusual things to do in California. I told Peri and she and Peg made arrangements for us to visit the mountain as a surprise for Tim's birthday in 2008.  I did have to tell him ahead of time, but that didn't lessen the joy and excitement that Salvation Mountain held for us.

We stopped by Home Depot on the way and got several gallons of vibrant paint to help keep the mountain alive...

You see Marc and Tim unloading paint and brushes and other supplies to help spread Leonard's message of "God is Love".

Tim did a short video of Leonard giving his famous thumbs up, "let's everyone love one another", signature message.  This is so sweet, as Tim had done the thumbs up for his entire life.  He tried to be a really positive guy. Even in this quick photo, you can see the joy on Tim's face.

Our buddy Marc drove us out into the desert of Niland, California to experience Salvation Mountain.  Marc was a sweetie, helping me to climb to the top of the painted mountain, holding my sunglasses when needed and even taking pictures of Tim and me...

It was a fun vacation, a most exciting birthday for Tim and now another wonderful, joyful memory of time spent with my husband.

As I mentioned, this post was brought about by a video that appeared on Yahoo today about Leonard returning to the mountain.  It's about seven minutes long, and I hope you can find time to watch it.  Try to ignore the not so family friendly commercial that precedes the video that hopefully can be seen here

Have a great week and remember that God is Love!  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Matisse trinket box

Just realized that I forgot to post a picture of the trinket box that I made for Peg, my sister-in-law.  I drew the design on the canvas with markers.  I used a Henri Matisse coffee table book for my design.  I really like his use of vibrant colors and thought that they would work well as a needlepoint design.  I started the project several years ago, as you can see here.  I really like to eventually finish what I start and that is why and how the needlework ended up as a trinket box.  I really have very few unfinished needlework projects.  Unframed, but not unfinished.  Blah, Blah, Blah...all that being side, here is Peg's trinket box.

I purchased an inexpensive black box at the craft shop and painted animal stripes on it.

After getting everything penciled in and painted, I glued craft felt into the inside of the box and glued the needlework to the top.

The craft felt will allow her to put delicate items, such as sunglasses or jewelry in the box without worrying about scratches.

I really like painting and drawing needlepoint canvases and have often thought about doing some and selling them.  After I get my house remodeled, that may be just the way to relax.  I will have lots of room with lots of light and I can already predict an increase in motivation to be artsy.

Well, taking Sister Peri's advice to heart, I'll be posting random things as the construction progresses and probably asking for advice on things, too.   In other words, I won't be a stranger.

Take care and enjoy your Spring.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'm still around...

Just wanted everyone to know that I'm OK.  I've just got a lot going on right now.  Signed a contract for a remodel of my garage into a sun room and if they do it as nicely as I think they will, more  improvements to the house are in the near future.

I have tree people here today and tomorrow and my landscaper is working up a proposal for some work to be done this summer.

Getting ready for the remodel will required cleaning out the garage, donating items and storing others.  If I  decide to have the kitchen updated, that will also require packing and moving items to other areas of the house.  Well, I think I'll have plenty of help and I'm still in good enough shape to pack and move some  items myself.

Life is moving forward in a positive fashion.  I'm feeling good about things and settling into a new routine.  I still check out your blog (even when I don't comment), so keep me posted on all your "goin'ons".

Take care and we'll talk soon.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

More vacation pictures

Yes, dear friends, there are many more pictures to be shared.  I can't believe that I didn't take any pictures at our friend Ellie's house, which was our first stop on the road trip.  She has a beautiful home and served us a wonderful lunch with dessert and coffee afterwards.  Forgive me Ellie for not taking any pictures.

I started taking pictures in Colonial Williamsburg.  I do have pictures of the hotel we stayed in

 (The Williamsburg Inn)

and pictures of the rooms and such, but for today we will take a quick tour down Duke of Gloucester Street.

Walking towards the center of it all you see the beginnings of lovely gardens (it was early April) in the backs of some of the houses.  If the gate is open to the fence feel free to roam about quietly and enjoy them.

On your way to the main street you see lots of restored homes that I wasn't sure what they were, Peri said that some were private residences. I've come to find out that some of the restored structures are also used for lodgings and are staffed by the same folks that run the Inn where we stayed.  These houses are much more original inside, with canopy beds and even trundle beds, some sharing a bath and sitting area with other guests, and some are houses that you can rent the entire dwelling for your stay.

 Here you see the Brick Tavern Inn, with a sign that states there are "Sixteen Good Rooms for Ladies and Gentlemen".

Hmmmm, now that's a thought, actually staying in one of the restored buildings in the middle of everything that happens.  Anyway, I digress and I'm not sure I'm ready to "rough it" after staying at the Inn.

Here is a beautifully restored house that has a sign attached to it, but I can't remember what it said, and can't quite make it out.  It may also be lodging.

We were taking our time as we were walking, something I thought would be easier than it actually was. The walking, that is.  It's a long street, and it's not a bad idea to get a carriage ride.

Further down the way we come to a building that has a sign that says grocer, with a cutout piggy, but I didn't see a flag outside, the signal that you may come in, so it may also be a private dwelling.

The main reason I took this shot was for the doors that appear to go to the cellar, on the beautiful barn shaped house next to the grocer.  I just love everything about the houses in this picture and probably will use it for a watercolor painting.

We saw a man with his oxen.  Later in the day, Peri talked at length with this gent and can give us the info on them in a future post.  (It's about time for her to be guest author, anyway.)

These structures were painstakingly restored and are proudly maintained. There is much history about the restoration itself. There are, in fact, several blogs about Colonial Williamsburg that would really give much better information that I can, but in the meantime I'm still walking, talking and taking pictures.

I went in one shop that had all kinds of pantry and kitchen items for sale, including this wall of lovely pottery and crockery.

Colonial Williamsburg is a historical tourist site after all, and while they try to keep everything low key and staffed by folks in period attire, there still has to be bar codes and scanners and all the things that keep modern day merchants on top of things.  (some of the proprietors will tell you in their British accents that they dislike the new fangled gadgetry and wish it were not so).

One of the shops sells stationary and inkwells, along with printed material pertaining to colonial times, that is actually printed in the lower portion of the dwelling. 

 Print Shop and Store

I, being retired from the commercial printing industry, should have taken the time to visit the printing area, but there was still so much more to see.

We ate and did other things that I'll discuss later, but the main thing I wanted to do was get back to the hotel and soak in the tub.

I knew as I stepped into this narrow, deep tub that I would have trouble getting out, but I really wasn't prepared for how difficult it would be.  I didn't have a phone handy or I might have called Peri for help.  After about five minutes of maneuvering, I was able to get on my knees to stand up.  I just could not for the life of me, push my self up to a standing position using the safety rails.  For a few moments, I felt a bit like a beached marine animal with no rescuer in site. Whew, finally I figured out how to do it and got myself out.  A bit embarrassing, even if I was by myself.

Many, many other fine things happened on our week long road trip and you will have more (yes, I did say more) pictures in the next few posts. 

It was good for me to get away from home and learn that the world is still the same as I remember it and I can do things and go places.  My life is different now, but that's to be expected and I'm learning to make the changes that I need to.

I have to say once again, that the love that my sisters have shown me, doesn't surprise me in any way. It's just that I know that they loved Tim, too and they miss him and want me to be able to make the most of this new life.  Friends and neighbors have been kind and thoughtful, but these two sweeties have shown me, that my life is about me now.  They are helping me move forward and have done so much to help me to keep Tim's memory alive in a wonderfully strong and healthy way.  I love them both so much.

OK, enough of that.  Hope you liked this weeks travelogue.  Stay tuned for the next installment.