Monday, December 29, 2008

BJP November 08

Well, like a lot of those who are participating in this project, I am behind. Most of the reason was that I couldn't even THINK of a subject to bead. November can sidetrack you with thoughts of...well...thanks. But before Thanksgiving comes Veterans Day. When I read that Obama chose General Eric Shinseki as head of Veteran Affairs, I felt hope. Not only hope for all Veterans, but hope for the entire country.

Well, with my theme settled on, how would I depict hope.

When I think back to the darkest times in my life. Those times of depression, sadness or feeling helpless, the one thing that always gave me a feeling of hope was a bright sunny day.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

If You Don't Like the Weather, Wait 15 Minutes!

We thought that we would get up early on the day after Christmas to take advantage of the after Christmas sales at the mall. We woke up to "the morning after" a snow and ice storm. It was so icy we couldn't walk out the mail box to get the paper. We watched the neighbor's visitors try to drive up their driveway and couldn't make it. The visitors took wrapped presents out of the car and tried to slide them up the hill to the house. That WAS kind of funny. We watched cars and trucks slide sideways on the road or get stuck on ice. Where in the heck was it so important to go? So we sat back and watched more action than we usually see. My squirrels were looking pretty hungry so Terry threw a few ears of corn onto the ice so they could eat. But, they are accustomed to getting peanut butter sandwiches, so we had to oblige. You can see one sitting on the porch rail after I had fed him one by hand through the open window.
There was actually quite a lot of critter action on the road too. Terry called me to the window to see a coyote running down the road. Too fast for Terry to get a pic. We know they live in the woods across the highway, but I had never actually seen one before. I was pretty excited.
Later, while watching out the window I heard a bird chirping pretty loud. I watched as it flew by the picture window with a hawk in pursuit. I think the hawk won.
Here is the front yard and driveway on December 27. Terry and Corey are clearing the ice from the driveway, but you can see there is still quite a bit of snow. The next picture is just a few hours later when the snow is almost gone. The temp got to 62 degrees.
And this is December 28 and you can see the grass. We should be safe from snow for a couple of days. I am wondering if this is what we call the "January Thaw". Winter came a little early here and if this is the thaw, maybe that means spring will be early. Oh, I hope so.
For all of you that have commented and asked about my neighbor Katie, she is doing well. The Humane Society has taken the dog for quaranteen and we think they will not give it back. Katie is under doctor's care and has a home service come to change the bandages every couple of days. She is healing, but I am sure she will worry when she walks outside again.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An Upsetting Situation

This is their home. They are the neighbors directly across the street from me. They are Harold and Katie and have been married for 65 years. We have lived across the street from them for 32 years. We have been neighborly friends. You know, we look out for each other's homes, making sure no strangers are lurking around. We get their mail when they are away. We know where they hide the key.
Today is Sunday. This morning Terry was in the back garage and heard a bad sound. He finally realized that someone was being attacked by a dog. He ran through the house telling me to call 911. Katie was being attacked by a dog. She was on the ground in her drive way. The dog ran off when Terry got there. Katie's neighbor that owns the dog, let it back into her house. I called Terry on his cell phone to give him the instructions the medic on my phone line was giving me to tell him. The ambulance was one the way. When I could, I went across the street. Katie was in the dining room with her leg up. Another neighbor who came to help was compressing the wound, as I had been instructed to tell him. Katie was shaking like a leaf. I held her, telling her all would be OK and an abulance was on the way. The paramedics came. When they started asking questions, Katie's husband was slow to answer. I felt compelled to tell the paramedic standing next to me that Harold had been a General in WWII. That he was a retired chemist from a local factory. I wanted him to understand that Harold was one of the smartest people I know. But sadly what we had been noticing over the last couple of years really hit home. For lack of another description, Katie and Harold were getting old.
It broke my heart when Katie told Harold "I am so glad this didn't happen to you". They have the same love, honor and respect for each other that Terry and I have for each other. That is the exact same thought I would have had this had happened to me. That's the kind of love that keeps people in love with each other after 65 years.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Tribute To My BFF

I am a member of the yahoo group Beaded Art Dolls. I recently entered my first beaded art doll beadalong. Though I have made many art dolls, I had never made a beaded art doll. My first project was a transition from "art" to "beaded art".

It is a tribute to a long distance friendship that I highly value. Deb is one of the kindest, most loving, giving and conciderate people I have ever met. The doll was supposed to depict a song. I don't even know the name of this song. It's a little tune that I'm not sure where I heard many years ago. One of the girls on the group, Rosalie, thought it was in an I Love Lucy episode. The words are:

Friendship, Friendship. Just a perfect friendship.
When other friendships have gone to pot
Ours will still be hot.

Thats all I remember.

The dolls are a tribute to my friend Deb who lives in California. BDZ members know her as dochoamom.

I met Deb about a year ago on My Space. Our love of beading is what brought us together. Thanks to the internet and the Verizon Network, we have become good friends and speak on the phone every day. Deb's outlook on life is different than any other person I have met. We share the events of the day. We support and console each other, encourage each other and bounce ideas off each other. We share Saturday morning coffee, review books together and skim through our newest magazine issues together. When my husband saw the finished dolls, he picked them both up, one in each hand and made them dance and sing "ta dee da da, I finally get to see you". He is so funny and supportive.

The symbolism in Deb's doll is that she lives in a hot climate and wears flip flops and skirts. She has pet turtles and beads belt buckles. My doll has my wild hair and 2 of my animal totems, the frog and cardinal. I am wearing jeans that I would still love to be able to wear all jazzed up. I love glitz and glitter and rhinestones. Each bead was applied with thoughts of our friendship and love.

Deb this is my tribute to our friendship. I feel sure that we will be BFF.

PS: Someone on BAD just posted the words to the song. Here it is Deb. This is totally how I feel about you.

If you're ever in a jam, here I am.If you're ever in a mess, S.O.S.If you're so happy, you land in jail. I'm your bail.It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship.When other friendships are soon forgot, ours will still be hot.Da da da da da da dig dig dig.If you're ever down a well, ring my bell.If you're ever up a tree, just phone to me.If you ever loose your teeth when you're out to dine, borrow mine.It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship.When other friendships are soon forgeet, ours will still be great.Loddle doddle chuck chuck chaa.If they ever black you're eyes, put me wise.If they ever cook your goose, turn me loose.And if they ever put a bullet through your brain, Ill complain.It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship.When other friendships are soon forgit, ours will still be it.Ah loddle doddle hip hap hap.If you ever loose your mind, I'll be kind.And if you ever loose your shirt, I'll be hurt.If you're ever in a mill and get sawed in half, I won't laugh.It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship.When other friendships are are up the crick, ours will still be slick.Ah loddle doddle woof woof woof, hep hep hep, chopp chop chop, digdig dig.Good evening friends

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Frogs in My Pond

Talking to Jonna, I realized that I had never posted pics of my frogs. Afterall, we put the pond in partly to have them near so I should introduce you. Well, I haven't actually named them. But I talk to them constantly. They don't jump in the water when I come near, and I am very close while taking these pictures. They know that we gave them a beautiful big home and we would never hurt them.
Frog is another of my animal totem. Frog teaches not to be so materialistic and to grow more spiritual.
Here is the frog pond today, covered in snow and ice.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Look what Jonna Sent Me

These are some of the most beautiful stones I have ever seen. I think they are Agate, maybe Jasper. I'll have to ask. Jonna is one of my Cyber Pen Pals. We follow each other's blog. I sent her something I wanted her to have. Today, I was surprised with an envelope from her with these polished stones. You can just look at them forever. She collected them and polished them and she loves them. I feel honored that she shared her treasures with me. Thank you Jonna.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Answering My Own Challenge

The day was overcast, but I grabbed the camera to take pictures wherever I went on this Saturday morning. I no sooner got out on the road when I saw a hawk flying low and perch on a lamp post. I can't resist getting a pic of Hawk. He is my highest animal totem.
It is really mesmerizing to see a hawk watching you back. I can't move on until he flies away.

My spirits are high all day. Not many things raise my spirits higher than an encounter with Hawk.
Ok, I'm moving down the road now, on my way to one of my LBS. There are only two near me.

This is my LBS..Beads & Something More, 3019 LWE, Mishawaka, Indiana and the owners.
I should know their names. We chat for a long time when I go there. I love them. They are perfect people, people. The kind of people that make you welcome and you enjoy being in their store. They are the best. There is another store in town and when I go there, I'll get pics also.
I left to take lunch home to my grandsons and things got busy so I had to put the camera away that day. The following pics were taken the next week, after we had had about 3 inches of snow.

I know, you're saying why in the world would I take pics of a cemetary. Well, my home is near a railroad yards. The direction I usually go in is over the tracks. There are about 50 trains a day coming and going, so quite often you are waiting for a train to pass. This cemetary sits next to the tracks and the road I am waiting on.

My attention is always drawn to the headstones. Some of them date back to the early 1800s. Entire families buried next to each other. Calculating how old they were when they died. So many died young. Wondering what their life was life in the era in which they lived. What kind of house did they live in. What was their job. Quiet time spent in meditation while a 15 minute train clacks down the tracks. Cemetaries have always facinated me.

This is a view looking in the direction toward the little town of Osceola. I think it might be about 10 blocks long. This is about how much traffic that is usually on the highway, unless its a weekday. However, since the unemployment rate here is about 10%, its been alot less.

This is the same intersection looking in the other direction. This road runs along the railroad tracks.

This is a connecting highway. I live just a couple of houses off it. This picture is taken from the bridge over the St. Joseph River.

The view of the river to the east.

Below is to the west.

This is the road I live on. It dead ends into a bay on the river. This is a nice little rural area. Mostly pretty quiet. The subdivision down the road is relatively new and causes more traffic than I like, but it was part of the housing boom.

This is the bell ringer at my neighborhood Walmart. I took this picture because there are a lot of bad things said about Walmart. But one thing I like is that they allow the Salvation Army bellringers. The Boy Scouts can sell popcorn at the door. The Girl Scouts can set up a table to sell cookies. The Lions Club can come to give you candy, if you take it, in return for a donation. Our local organization against child abuse is allowed to wait outside for donations. I don't know of another store in our area that still allows it.

And just for laughs, here's the airport. I think its just used for corporation planes and for Notre Dame alums to park theirs when they come in town for games. Charlie Weiss better watch it. I don't think they like him very well right now.
So there you have it. Nice little area. Boring? Well, maybe. But my life is quiet and I guess I like it that way.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Birdfeeder Saga Continues

A little while ago I posted that we were trying to keep my squirrels out of the feeder that I bought especially for my beautiful Cardinals. The first pic shows the completed project. We put an acrylic dome (formerly party salad bowl) over the feeder. That didn't work since Chippy could still hang by his feet from the branch above and swing into the feeder.

Then we got the idea that if we added a wider platform above the bowl, Chippy might not be able to reach the feeder. We kept watch and never saw Chippy get into it. Solution to the problem? NO! See that green feeder to the left? We Chippy just climbed on it and leaped into the Cardinal feeder.
My solution was to move the Cardinal feeder farther out on the limb. Heck, I think that worked! Wrong!!

Chippy still gets in there, sometimes. But not often. I'm happy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Here is a Challenge!

I have a good friend who lives in Southern California. On my way to work today, I was wondering what scenery Deb sees on her drive to work. I have not traveled much, so I don't know much about other areas of the country except I am excellent at Geography! So I have decided to take my camera with me this weekend wherever I go and snap pics around the area I live. I want to give Deb an idea of the lay of the land when I talk to her about what I am doing. BTW, we talk EVERY day and I am addicted to those conversations.

So, the Challenge is for anyone interested, take a few shots of what YOU see everyday so we can place you in the setting where you live. This will be interesting. I promise.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Squirrels in the Bird Feeder

I usually believe that Sunday is a day to relax and do only what you want to. But I have given Terry a task today. You all know how much we enjoy our little rodent Squirrel friends. Well, I bought a special feeder for my Mr. Baldy and Family (Cardinal) and I can't keep this little guy or his friends out of it. A plastic dome over the top didn't get it. Moving it away from another feeder to Chippy can't perform an aerial trick didn't get it either. We'll see what Terry the Toolman comes up with. More later....
OK, I need to clarify this for new visitors: I absolutely LOVE squirrels. I feed them peanut butter sandwiches by hand. When I open the window to feed them, they try to come in the house! They stand at the window to get my attention to let me know they are hungry! BUT...I also love Cardinals and bought a special feeder for Mr. Baldy and Family. That is the feeder that I need to keep my Chippys out of. Show you a pic tomorrow.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Show and Tell

I don't buy much for myself. But when it comes to gardening, birding and beading there is not much that I deny myself, within reason, of course. So I decided to show you some of the things I have bought recently.
This little birdie bead was a purchase from Heather at She has such cute little critters also. Worth a moment to take a look.

And, since starting the BJP, I realize how much more I want to know. So, what better place to find answers than Robin herself! I ordered these two books directly from her at If you are new to bead embroider, or just want to learn cool techniques, please check these out. They are absolutely wonderful. Want to know how to make an interesting tree trunk? Or a mountain stream? Or just thoughts for journaling. Definitely one of my favorite purchases ever.

Ok, I'm not a great photographer. But this pendant is awesome. Its by Laura Mears and I bought it from You may have seen some of her work incorporated into pieces done by Sheri Serafini or Heidi Kummli. I was obsessed to own one. Now I must really plan this piece to do it justice. I see bead shopping in my future!!

This picture does NOT do this pin justice!! It was a gift from Sue U She had a drawing from the names of all people that posted on her blog during a certain time frame. I'm thinking that I'll do that sometime. When I was taking the picture of the pin, my daughter and her friend came in and they went wild over how beautiful it is.
I thought the next thing would be "can I have it?" - NO!

And here is a book that my bestest friend Deb sent to me. We are on a journey together. I believe in the power of the universe and I have heard a lot of good things about this book.
I would also like to mention here that I have also bought some absolutely beautiful beads from Charlene at Right now she is having a buy 3 get one of the same value free. Charlene's son is ill with no insurance so she has been trying to increase sales to be able to help him. She is a wonderful person to purchase from and is one of my favorite on line stores.

And saving the best for last here!!!! My grandson spent the weekend at my house and was gracious enough to take a trip to Michael's and Hobby Lobby with me. While I was in the bead aisle, he was looking around for something crafty to do. He selected one of those potholder looms. This is a potholder that he made and turned into a stuffed chicken. It was a present for my husband who loves chickens. He probably loves them because he misses his youth, when he had chickens and roosters for pets.
So, that's all I have for now. Hope you enjoyed looking at my treasures. I don't buy a lot, but when I do, its because I really love what I buy.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


These pictures are from a distance, but I had to post them because they are special to me. 6 hawks all overhead at the same time! They are so majestic. They glide in circles, rarely flapping their wings. I watch in awe, and thank them for being there for me to honor them by watching their flight.
Thank you hawk. You lift my spirits.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

FADE TO BLACK - Finished or UFO?

This is an Opal Agate faceted bead that I wanted to turn into an embroidered cab. The stone itself is 1-5/8" wide.
The stone is perfect rusty orange, then gray, fading to really dark, dark brown but the entire bead is surrounded in black. The large beads encircling it are kind of a strange iridescent orange/gold that picks up the gold stripe down the center of the stone. The next circle of beads are faceted black bicones. I could be done here. But, in the fashion of Jamie Cloud Eakins, I think I will add loops bale and fringe all around it. I also plan to make matching earrings. I have two small fat coin beads that are also orange Opal Agate. I already have the design in mind. I love this piece. It is so ME.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What you really don't want to know

This is my Boxador- Jack.
Black Jack
Black Jackshelack
Jack of all Trades
Jackie Chan
I rescued him from Doggy Jail about 8 years ago and we are dedicated to each other. He is one of my two dogs.

I have been tagged to tell anyone who reads this 7 things about me that no one could possibly care about! Then I get to tag 7 others to do the same.
1. I love rocks. I use them to landscape the yard wherever I can. I have little terre cotta saucers around with pretty stones in them that my daughter gave me when she was little, my husband has given me and my grandsons have found. I put little animals on them..a frog sitting on one, or a turtle or whatever little critter I have.
2. I love, love, love coffee. I drink about 2 pots a day, sometimes more. The hard stuff with caffeine, but hazelnut flavored. It doesn't keep me awake and I drink it right up until I go to bed.
3. I hate reality TV shows like Great Race, Survivor etc. and I dislike the Oprah Show. BUT
I love those Forensic shows on Court TV, anything about the Supernatural and MSNBC.
4. I love to watch my grandkids play sports.
5. I love the build up to Halloween. I like quiet Thanksgiving days, love to shop the day after Thanksgiving Day sales, and celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve.
6. I hate winter. We would move south but we can't leave our grandkids.
7. I have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon, and travel in the west.
My tags are going to be people that I want to know more about and a couple that also have shops that I love. That way if you have never seen them, it will give you some entertainment too!
1. is Stoneweaver has a pretty interesting blog. She tells the healing power of stones and crystals and has a shop on etsy. I hope you will visit and I hope you find her blog as interesting as I.
3. This is my bestest friend. She is always trying new things and encourages me in every way.
4. Here is another interesting person I'd like to know more about.
5. Please visit this blog. She is new but has made some amazing dolls.
7. You may have seen her on Art Bead. I found her etsy shop looking for a hawk bead, which I ordered and is featured on her blog today! Please visit and see her cute cute cute critters and you all know I LOVE critters!

So there you have it. My seven tidbits and 7 places for you to visit and see where I like to go.
My list of blogs to follow is growing everyday and I am meeting some really great people.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tagged!! WOO HOO!!

This picture has nothing to do with this post. I just love it. My oldest grandson and his grandfather shooting hoops. They are great friends and I love that.
I have been tagged and will post about that later when I have plenty of time to say it right.
Temp here is 34 degrees at 6:30 this AM. High today will be in the 60's and snow is in the 7 day. Thats really early. Not sure I mentioned this before but Woodpeckers are making roosting spots in the birdhouses around the property. Also saw sparrows with dog hair in their beaks doing the same thing. Watching my critters prepare for winter leads me to think its going to be a harsh one. The squirrels totally ignored us for about 3 weeks while they gathered acorns and hickory nuts. Would not even sniff at the peanut butter sandwiches I offered. If you have read any of my past posts, you know that is totally weird. You can learn a lot watching birds and animals and I am learning more everyday. Seems to be one of my favorite past times more and more. You all have a great day, and be kind to yourself.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

October BJP

Happy Halloween!

I know, you're all thinking Halloween, spider web, spooky...huh? Well, no. This is quite an interspective page.

I thought..spider web, me caught in a spider web, spider web is a symbol of responsibility. So, now I am caught in the web of responsibility. But responsibility to what? Not thinking in terms of family, work, surely not HOUSEWORK. What?

A responsibility to this earth. Earth's every resource. The plants , animals, air and water. A commitment to conserve, recycle and protect wildlife. The faces depict my spirit guides. I love the concept of this page.

You can't tell here, but my face is was done by a process using Omni Gel. You copy a picture on a copy machine. Following the Gel instructions, you brush the Gel over the picture. When it dries you soak the paper in water and rub the paper off the dried Gel, leaving a rubbery kind of picture. I glued it to a button and sewed the button on the page. Cool process that I am going to want to play with in the future.

PS: Please view my two prior posts that were entered today also!

Pond Progress

I have been talking about the pond that we added to the critter area in my back yard. Well, basically its done. We still need to add more rock around the perimeter and more rock to the bed. The little fishing guy is a gift to us from one of my daughter's garage sale finds the we were happy to receive. In the Spring we'll start the fun part..the landscaping. We have a lot of ideas that includes plants of course, fountains and lighting. I can't wait, and I know this winter will fly by. Oh, I forgot. There are goldfish in it and my frogs moved over from the little pond to the new improved one. They seem to be pretty happy. There is a very shallow end where the water just covers the river rock on the bottom. Birds take baths there and the little critters and squirrels drink there. We are in Critter Heaven.