Monday, April 28, 2008

The Beautiful Eagle Landed and What a Landing it Made

I'm so sorry y'all that it took me this long to get this post done. The package arrived on Saturday just about the time my hubby's cousins were arriving for a short visit from Long Island. I did arrange with Kurt to deliver that evening. They had her so mystified by the time I got there but it was too fun to be with her and enjoy her awe; it was like Christmas morning with sprinkles and glitter on top. I promised to crop her out of all the photos but I thought the one above should make the cut. We'll see what she has to say when she sees it. You can see how seriously overwhelmed she was, it was right at first and she was still trying to figure out what in the world all these treasures were about.
Of course I kept forgetting to take photos so I don't have too many. I was so caught up in the moment. Her mother and brother were there too soaking it all up. Every so often I'd remember to turn my camera on and click.
When I look at these photos I think back to how gently and slowly she opened and studied each one and looked to see who it was from and sigh and pretty much tear up everytime. I think it took over an hour to go through them the first round.
I truly was not playing any favorites as I had not had a lot of time to look at them while placing them in the basket since the cousins were coming. But watching her and then getting a turn "petting" them, I saw how every one was so special and wonderful in its own unique way just like the folks who made them.
There is just one I'm sorry but I have to make special mention of because it won First Prize in The Tear Category...Beth Quinn's necklace that said, "She added such beauty to being human.". That sent Mellie's brother, Eddie, running for the tissue box for all of us including himself. Sobbing. We had been tearing up from the beginning off and on but we did have to shut down the operation for a few minutes to collect ourselves. What a fabulous sentiment and so "Mel".
Just had to show off my little ditty that I took to her in the hospital the one day she actually had a room. She is doing so great; better and better each day. Tomorrow our friend, Janine, and I start painting her living room and kitchen. I'm planning to sneak before and after photos and share them with you; her home is already so, so sweet and wonderful but she's ready for some change and we're on it. There are no words to express completely how much it meant to Mellie that so many folks were thinking enough of her to make and send such gorgeous pieces of themselves to her except to say I know she was feeling truly loved. And, of course, a special thanks to Heather Rowley for making this all happen, bless you.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Day in the Life of Hope Wallace

Of course the worst photos I take are the ones of the person who takes the best photos in the world. Yesterday I helped Hope with assembling her new catalogs that she'll be taking to the New York Gift Show in May. Every so often we really worked seriously but there was also a lot of distraction with her fab work, all the fab art that other folks have sent to her, and decorating ideas. And throughout the time we had constant company in the form of Tullah, Hope's sweet, wonderful beagle.
This is an easy photo-op of Tullah as she loves to be near someone...
...but here she is mugging from her nap bed.
And then there was lunch. I got to ride in Hope's totally cool Cooper. We hit Home Goods then Gourmet Girls for lunch-yum.
Here's part of the package that Debrina Pratt sent to Hope for a swap. OMG! Drool... the mail from Bayberry Cove came this great guy which Hope had to have after she saw mine last week. We aren't sure about placement but "we'll" play with it next week.
This is high up so I didn't get a good angle on it but too sweet, right? I mean not Too sweet, so sweet.
And so many cool put-togethers that I could only get a handful between lunch and work and more next week...

New Bits of Doojies at the Shop

I hadn't noticed a color palate theme until I uploaded these photos but fuchsia and chartreuse seem to be the colors of the day. Some of the colors are a bit brighter looking here than in person. But somewhere in the last week I squeezed in some workroom time and cranked these plus a few more. I was on the cell with my sister the other day and we talked so long that I told her, "While we've been on the phone I've finished my grocery shopping, driven home, put away the groceries, and made four...". I can walk and chew gum when I really want to. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the look, I'm running out of words and still have one more post I want to do...

Saying Good-Bye to Uncle Allen

Uncle Allen, dependable as you can get. He came when the family first moved here two years ago because Cedric had to go to Iraq then he came back in November when Cedric went back. He's Cedric's younger brother and has stepped up to the plate with a jump every time Cedric has needed him. He has been a substitute mother and father whenever asked. Here's Matt, Allen, and C.J. mugging it up. Allen has been the only other person my age to be at home during the day since we moved in 11 years ago. I told him he's the only other housewife in the neighborhood. We've become good friends and it has been so nice to know the street's not empty and that there's someone to hang out with between laundry and dinnertime and whatever. And on the weekends he's been Justin's hangout buddy.
Here's the first of two "herding the cats" attempt of taking a real photo of the group. From left: Cedric, Andre', Matt, Allen, Alec, and C.J.
They behaved slightly better for this one but it warmed my heart when Cedric said something about me taking family photos because I'd been thinking the same thing while I was taking them. They are the neighbors we have always dreamed of-just like family.
Justin, Allen, and Daniel. We had the family over a couple of nights ago as a good-bye dinner out on the deck. The tamer of the group went inside at dark to watch Lord of the Rings while us wilder ones stayed out with our Natty Boes and talked trash until the bigger numbers on the clock came around. And on a school night! You can probably get an idea of how much attitude Uncle Allen has by this photo; he's a riot and a pillar all at once. We miss you dearly already. Don't even ask me about when the rest of the family goes back to Georgia...

Fun Car

When I came out of Lowe's the other day this little guy was parked next to me. I'd never seen one before. I was on the cell with Lucas and he said he'd seen them all over Europe but never in the U.S., it's not a maroon pickup after all. It had its little lid open and I snapped the photos, peeked all around, then snuck back into my car.
A minute later there were several other folks surrounding the car and doing the same that I'd been embarrassed about. I got back out and got some questions answered and got to discuss it with fun people. The owner didn't show up the whole time; probably hiding near the exit door until we left.
No surprise about the name, it probably get 120 miles to the gallon, but it was too cute to not photograph or post about.

Jumping with Spring Inside and Out

The time finally came...time to spruce up and bust out the flowers-Yippie!!!! Last weekend after spending 11 years with a tiny crack running the length of our porch I finally decided NOW. Saturday was the day; sunny, dry, not too hot, not too cool...just right. Paul and I cleared the porch the night before and he power washed. I spackled then painted with concrete floor paint and it looks great. One of those "Why did it take us so long?" things. I hadn't felt secure enough about the products out there until doing some research this year. Got it at our local Ace Hardware.Sometimes it's meant to be not to sell something as in the clock table I made above. I fits perfectly and allows much more room than the bench I had there before.
I did a no-sew recovering of the wicker cushions.
Detail of crown of crock below. I bought three from a man, put two in the shop, and had to have the "5" for myself. 5 is important to me and Janine as that our birth date. And, come on, a crown!
With petunias.
And finally safe enough to invest in the hanging baskets, oh boy!
And anticipation of getting a new couch (that will have its own post, a sofa I rescued at the dump), I started fiddling with furniture placement, etc. in our living room (ours is really a LIVING ROOM) we don't have a formal one, just one room we live in. HAD to get a new table for between the chairs. I had a huge assortment to choose from at The Pink Cabbage, of course, and found this one at Sweet Finds that's the perfect size, shape, and even has a shelf, and I didn't even have to paint it.
Also at Sweet Finds was this pink vase that "spoke to me", then the small bust from From The Heart at "The Cabbage", and topped off with glass grapes from No.5 at, wait for it, The Pink Cabbage. They all spoke the same language so got together on the table.
And my little vignette on a favorite plate; a couple of Jill Schwartz's jewelry pieces, one of my own, this and that, and a wonderful old photo album. Yum...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Home Visit with Mellie with Cupcakes on Top!

Yes Mellie is home!!! And yes this IS a photo of Hope Wallace's left boob with Debrina Pratt's necklace (sorry I didn't get a better picture) that Hope got in a swap with her. Mellie...yada, yada, yada. I went straight home, straight to my computer, straight to Earth Angels , and purchased a necklace like Hope's. Okay, back to the important issue-Mel. She's doing great and it was so fun that I happened to be there when Hope was too because she and I got to crawl into bed with Mellie. It was like a mini sleep-over with lots of giggling and talking and Hope had even brought cupcakes from Baltimore Cupcake Factory!!!! We had it all and it will only get better as Mellie's healing progresses. I start helping Hope with her new catalogs tomorrow then start painting Mellie's house on Friday so I'll do some before and after fun party pics and keep you updated on Mellie's progress. Oh boy!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mellie's Great!!!!

At 11:00 p.m. EDST the doctor came out and told us that Mellie's surgery went very well. They got here at 5:30 this morning, it took until 8:30 to prep her, and until 10:30 before surgery started. They got to the tumor at 3:00 this afternoon. They had told us 8 hours or so but it was 12 1/2. We were starting to unravel. Fortunately Kurt had finally stopped pacing and had just laid down (that's to Dr. Doojies' little pharmacy) when the doctor came in so he was surprised rather than looking up at the 5th floor waiting to see him walk down all day. The doctor said her brain stem and facial nerves were already responding very well. We will have to wait to midnight or after to get a peek in ICU. I shall update all y'all tomorrow. But until then, thank all of you for keeping her in your thoughts and prayers and please continue as she has quite a road ahead to get back up and running at full speed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pre-Op Luncheon

We all live so close to each other but it's ridiculous how seldom we see each other much less get all of us together. What better reason to finally do so than one of us having a brain tumor removed this week; I can't think of a thing better. Above, from the left, Mellie, Hope, Janine, and Karen. So sorry, Karen, it's not a great photo of you but it's the only one I got and would not leave you out for a thing. Mellie is the one who is undergoing surgery tomorrow, Thursday the 17th. She has details posted on her blog.
Please forgive me for showing off my table. I do love to dress a table and my dining room is my favorite in the house so I just had to...
...but it does look so much better with people added!
And food and gifts!!!!
It just so happened that we had other reasons to get together. Hope's birthday was the day before'll have to check with her for other details. I wondered if it was wrong to use an artist's own art to decorate their gift. As you can see, she was quite pleased. I was going to use several of her stamps but when I placed this one in just black ink it was so simply beautiful that, along with a simple robin's-egg-blue ribbon, it was perfect. All agreed. If you too want to have a great style, click here.
Even the Kahlua cake that Janine made deserved its own photo-IT WAS FANTASTIC!!! I shall post the recipe as soon as it surfaces, I promise. *******Please keep Mel and her family in your thoughts and prayers especially today, tomorrow, and the next few days******

Finally, Spring is Coming Around...Slowly

Here it is the middle of April and we are still having pretty cold weather, using the heater, and wearing winter clothes. Except last week when we had two hot because it was so dang humid that in the 70 degrees felt like a sweltering 90. But I'm not here to complain, I'm here to celebrate our color coming back, so here it is...
We have not one but two requisite cherry trees in our yard; one in the front, one in the back. They start out white as snow then turn pink then fall off, it looks like snow again, then the green comes out.
Believe it or not with all my love of gardening and flowers I've never tried bulbs before. So last fall I went straight from a young mother's funeral (from breast cancer) to Lowe's to get bulbs. I went directly home and planted them not knowing if I was doing it right...I just knew I needed to do something as a permanent reminder of not only Denise but also of her husband and three children left to grieve her. I had always heard that they are to be planted in fall but forget as fall is when I start to freak out about the color going away instead of thinking of planting. The occasion inspired me to break the pattern and have a remembrance of the spring bloom that follows the winter death. I was so pleasantly surprised that it looks like I did it right. I'll try to remember to add more next fall but need for the same reminder or inspiration.
That hardy Vinca, kept at it all winter somewhat, and now back early and in bloom and ready to jump.
This falcon or whatever it is landed in back of our house week before last. My father-in-law and I studied it for quite some time then I got out my camera. It made several great sweeps around the back yard right when my batteries were dying but I got at least these for proof.
This is the cherry tree from our back yard in full bloom. Updates as they arrive. Still stalking the birds at the feeder quietly but haven't caught my perfect photo-op yet but have been enjoying in person very much.