Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Owl Be Home For Christmas

That Wide-Eyed Creature of the Night
That Wise Old Feathered Friend
The Owl
I used to doodle this bird
on the margins of my paper
when I was in school.
Have you noticed?
He's made a comeback!
I can't go anywhere these days without
seeing this now
retro design.
I found myself doodling again...
creating an image I liked...
then turning to my
felted woolens
to bring the image to life.
Blanket Stitch...Running Stitch...
a couple of vintage buttons
set off by the daisy background...
a little stuffing...
a pinch of balsam...
more stitching and
there he was!
Looking happy to have been

With a twine loop

so he can

hang around for the holidays.

I felt he needed a branch

to perch on.

Those that I doodled in school

always sat in a tree

with the moon behind them.

It just made sense

to me.

Here he is in shades of gray,

blue and burgundy.

Do you know what

a flock of owls is called?

My guess...


Hung on the tree

where he can keep a watchful eye on things.

Scenting his surroundings

with the mellow classic

Frasier Fir.

"Owl be home for Christmas... you can count on me... please have snow and mistletoe... and owls upon the tree..."

Owl be seeing you...
okay, okay...
owl stop now.

Enjoy your day...create something beautiful.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Around The Table

A Thanksgiving Like No Other
In that I was unusually calm...
making my family feel like
something wasn't
quite right.
Where was that woman who barked-out
sweeping...and peeling
With a small group of guests...
I am happy to say,
she was
not in attendance.
Why stress?
That's my new motto.
Somehow the food is always ready
on time and family
gathers at the table to enjoy
the spread.
With a lot of
"remember when"
Between bites.
My sister Mary called from Indy
after hearing how I got
together with Mom on Wednesday
to prepare many of the side dishes...
cranberry salad, green jello salad,
apple sauce, pumpkin pies.
She said..."I thought from your blog
you were going to
To which I replied,
"Read it again...I said I was
going to enjoy the process...we still
want all our side dishes...I just
enjoyed making them."
From every angle...
Working with mom in the kitchen
was one of the highlights
of the holiday...
such fun bumping into each other...
mixing, concocting...
taste testing
My boys telling me that
this was one of their
The food has been cleared away...
a little turkey and
green jello are all that remain
after weekend nibbling.
And of course...
of good times...good food...
shared with good people.
I hope your holiday was just as filling!

Friday, November 25, 2011

This Moment

Joining Soule Mama and her many friends in this Friday ritual. A single photo. No words. Capturing a moment from my week that I want to pause and savor and remember forever. amen

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Tradition Of It

A day to pause and to simply
remember to
give thanks to God
for all He has given us.
I have dinner at my house
and each year the guest list changes.
The family grows...
the family changes.
This year I will be serving a rather
small group.
So I can put stress aside and
enjoy the process.
And turn to recipes
that have stood the test of time.
Each year I focus
on that which makes Thanksgiving
special to my guests...
other than the turkey or pumpkin pie.
My father-in-law looks forward to
Lime Jello Salad.
All my boys love Grandma Ondrus'
Sweet Potatoes and Green Bean Casserole.
One year my brother-in-law requested
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls...
now that I can do!
Nothing says Thanksgiving to me
quite like
Cranberry Sauce Salad.
It starts with making
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
as directed on the package.
First sorting and cleaning the berries.
waiting with anticipation
(as we did when we were oh, so young)
for the cranberries to pop
...and then reducing the mixture
into a thick sauce.


following my mom's recipe...

given to her by her


my Grandma Thompson.

This dish has been served at every

Thanksgiving dinner I have ever attended.

No wonder...

it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.

As you can see the rest is

so very easy.

I will note that I use walnuts

(is there any other nut?

not as kids there wasn't!)

The best part...

you make it the day before and

store it in the frig

until you serve the guests.

I am in the process of making it

as I blog so no finished pics.

Trust me...

if you don't have a

cranberry go to recipe...

then give this one a try.

This is the original card given to me...

as you can see by the many splatters

and the "passed on" date.


my mom's dates somewhere in the 50's.

Precious memories flood in

as I peruse these recipes.

Love...Laughter...and averted disasters!

So much to be thankful for.


What makes your Thanksgiving special?

Monday, November 21, 2011

On The Road Again

The Scrappers are Back!
Our day started early in the a.m.
with a travel
mug filled with
Chock Full o' Nuts
Then out to my newest love...
I haven't named her yet
so I'm open for suggestions.
Our red Ford Ranger
was too nice for
our rough and wild ways...
when we were offered a pretty
penny for her
we said our sad good byes.
Ergo...we were out of business.
Sort of.
When we found metal we
made it fit in my Jeep Cherokee.
This morning we were all smiles.
In our new/old
Ford F150.
I have one word to describe her...
She heated up fast for our
early take-off.
Our lucky charm.
She led us right
to some
precious metal.
Even with the 8 foot bed
we had a 3 foot over-hang.
We're talkin a big find!
A loaded bed...
the best kind.
We high-fived our success
and headed home
by way of back roads.
First day back in business.
Here's the one
who made this post possible. (other than James)
A classic ride. We found her in
Maybee, OH...
way down country roads.
We had been looking all weekend.
Nothing was quite right.
We were about to call it a day
when we decided to check this baby out.
An hour from home...
at night...
but it was love at first sight.

She'll be twenty this year...

with plenty of miles left in her.

When you see this in your

rear view

don't forget to wave.

I'm thinking our bumper sticker

should read...

"You Wish"

for all the other trucks out there.
Because it doesn't get any better than this.

A Ford F150...

Royal blue with a broad white stripe...

cushy seats...

a radio that works...

an 8 foot bed...

loaded down with metal!
The Young Scrappers
are Back in Business!

Friday, November 18, 2011

This Moment

Joining Soule Mama (and her many friends) on this Friday adventure. A single photo. A simple, extraordinary moment from my week. A moment I want to pause and savor and remember. amen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

As The Family Grows :: Forest Cemetery

An Unconventional Field Trip
An unconventional history lesson
Answering the question...
Where did I come from?
Family Genealogy.
This particular outing was orchestrated
by my brother, Tim.
He wanted to take Mom to what's known as
The Old North End...
the area our mom grew up in...
an area that is now known for its
high crime rate.
This cemetery has seen some
unfortunate vandalism...
but as we walked the grounds on a crisp
November day...
I can attest to the fact that it has
retained its quiet beauty.
Many family members were buried
here at Forest Cemetery.
Armed with a map provided by Tim
and mom's crystal clear memory...
we went in search of
our family plots.
Marie Brockmann...
our Great Grandmother.

Surrounded by family...

remembered through stories told by mom.

As we travelled...

we couldn't help but stop

and appreciate the beautiful


Even though it was damaged...

this angel still caused us to pause

and appreciate

the beauty

that could not be

taken away.

We made rubbings of

those markers

that brought

us here.

Steven Paul Thompson.

An older brother I

never met.

But who I know through the

many stories passed down through

the years.

I know that we will meet someday.

Now that is something

to look forward to.

Our Grandparents.

We never met our grandfather

but Dorathea...

was the best grandma ever.


I'm sure my boys would challenge that

since they claim to have the best.

My memories are pure

and simple

and so very precious.

She still visits me from time to time

in my dream world.

Maybe tonight I will be so fortunate.

Whether we knew the person

or not...

we often found ourselves

caught in thought

and prayer.

Caught in moments of joy in remembering

or contemplating the times

in which they lived...

reading names and dates and


the who...the what...

the when.

The unexpected emotion

of happiness.

To have gone on this adventure


as family.

Discovering moments

from a shared history...

and from the history we have learned.

This marker caught our attention...

as did the many that

surrounded it.

Finding stone steps

that led to the


This one in particular

captured our imagination.
If you look closely
you will see
the small peek hole
which begged to be looked through.
What would you expect to see?
A hole that looked
through to another hole in the
stone seal beyond?
Then you would be correct.
Who put that hole there?
Was it made by the vandals
or by the family it now housed?
A good start to a compelling
novel for the very
Of course my boys had to
include gym class
in their day...
rock climbing.
The best kind...
with no safety harnesses to
make mom feel
better about the height.
The sparse landscape...
the bare trees of November...
the low hung clouds of Fall...
the cool breeze that
told of the coming snows.
The quiet and cold beauty
of a cemetery.
With a single purple flower
found by Susie.
A flower that must have
forgotten the season.
A simple reminder that even in the snows of Winter...
we will all bloom
in glory.