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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Robin or Sparrow?

"I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me." --Gospel hymn by Civilla D. Martin

This is the final day of the Macro Challenge and I love this last picture. This afternoon, I was returning to my office after several IEP conferences in a row and one very difficult behavior session with a child. I was feeling rather "worn out" as I pulled my cart full of paperwork with my laptop perched precariously atop it. As I walked through the parking lot, I passed behind the dumpster to go in a "side" gate. And right in front of me I saw this:
a very tiny bird's egg.

I stooped to look at it closer. The way it was laying, at first I wasn't sure if it was broken or not, but when I turned it over, I saw that a tiny baby bird must have vacated it recently. I scooped it up, placed it in my sunglasses case and carefully put it in my purse to take home.

Funny how something so small and so simple can fill your heart with joy.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Again??

"Everything old is new again." --Unknown

Well, I decided to take a look at my wedding shoes in an effort to begin their transformation into Callie's wedding shoes. I must admit that upon really examining them this evening, I have some work ahead of me.
The shoes are 25 years old, so I guess I should be really glad that the leather is still in really good shape--no obvious yellowing or scratches on the white shoes. Now the insides are a different story. The fabric lining is discolored with age stains and the elastic strap has yellowed a good bit, so it has to go.

I searched online looking for ideas to embellish the toes of the shoes. Surprisingly, I could find absolutely nothing helpful in this area. I found several shops offering bridal flat shoes that were embellished with
sequins and flowers, but they just seem so tacky to me. Not what I have envisioned at all. And absolutely no DIY advice or instructions. So, I'm going to see if I can bring the vision that is floating around in my head to life on my own.

While antique shopping in Warrenton last month, I found this great antique button vendor. Of course, I could have stayed there all day long---gazing at and touching all the buttons. But, I managed to walk out of there with only a small purchase---some great vintage buttons.
I just love them! They are so dainty and pretty. Surely I can transform these slippers into something suitable for a new bride's feet.
Monday, April 28, 2008


"What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine." --Oprah Winfrey

Imagine. . . . Wow, I could get lost in that thought. In fact, I do---fairly regularly. Today, I am imagining a program at our church that teaches literacy to adults from our neighborhood.

It all started with a simple "Can I ask you a question?" from one of the students in my Sunday School class. I teach a class for mentally challenged adults and yesterday only one student was there. "L" is a wonderful lady who lives in the neighborhood and manages her own apartment. She has just enrolled in adult literacy classes at Centenary College and is so proud to be going. Once before she attended the classes for a while, but eventually stopped going for some reason. "L" has explained to me several time previously that she "can't read too good" and I can tell that it is a source of embarrassment for her. Yesterday she explained to me that she needs her teenage daughter to help her study, but she hasn't been around very much, so she is struggling because the list of words is so long. After talking to her for a while, I proposed the idea of working with her on her word lists in the extra time between Sunday School and Worship each week (usually about 30-45 minutes) and she seemed really excited about the idea. I suggested that she get her daughter to call me with the list of words and I would make some study aids that she could use at home.

Then, last night "L" called me. She said that her daughter hadn't been home yet, and she couldn't read the list to me, but she could spell them to me. And so she did. All 62 of them!! I quickly discovered that the "words" were actually bits of words in most cases---three letter combinations with short vowels. And she can't read any of them yet. And is desperate to learn!

So, now I imagine a program where I can help her---and others like her---learn to read.
Sunday, April 27, 2008

April Showers

April showers bring May flowers." --Unknown

Well, almost anyway. Actually the April showers we've had lately have brought April flowers. We had a few showers today--nothing hard or stormy, but instead rather drippy and drizzly. And the flowers have already arrived, as they always do. But, they seem to be especially beautiful this year! These are some that return every year to my backyard. I don't know where they came from; they just appeared in the very back of my yard many years ago.
Near one of our busiest interesections, the city planted wildflowers a few years ago. Of course, that area is a "no mow" zone for a couple of months in the spring and for a while there, things were looking mighty scraggly. But, now, Oh My Goodness! The wildflowers are amazing---the prettiest that I ever remember. Since they are planted on a hill that separates the road from a run-down neighborhood, the poppies and other flowers most certainly bring a smile to passing motorists (they do to me, anyway) in an area that rarely receives one otherwise. Maybe it brings hope to those that live there, too---a place of beauty in the midst of their personal struggles and chaos.
Saturday, April 26, 2008

Souper Saturday

"Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish." ---Louis P. DeGouy

Today is "Souper Saturday" at my church. Noel is located in a historical neighborhood in Shreveport. But, over the years, the area that was once the heart of the city has become a transitional area filled with rental houses and lower-income residents. Many of the people living in the area are elderly or disabled in some way and have their meals delivered to them by "Meals on Wheels". This is a great service, but it doesn't deliver food at all on weekends. That's where our church comes in. On the last Saturday of each month, we deliver soup to residents who otherwise might not have a nutritious meal for the weekend---Souper Saturday.
It's a relatively easy job--One person volunteers to cook a big pot of soup (we actually make homemade soup--not Campbell's in a can) and the rest of us show up on Saturday morning about 9:30 and deliver it to 50-60 nearby residents.

Lately, Cindy and I have been delivering to a large subsidized high-rise housing project that is across town. The first time we went there, be both forgot our reading glasses, so we spent as much time laughing about straining to see as we did actually delivering the soup. Today, things went quite smoothly---everything delivered in less than 45 minutes. We enjoyed seeing Miss Lillian, who comes to the door dressed in a pretty floral dress each time and always brightens our day more than we could possibly brighten hers. And then there is Mr. Frank---after delivering to him, we remembered that the office had instructed us to leave his there for him to pick up because he sometimes surprises visitors by greeting them in his birthday suit!! (note to self----read the fine print on the list!!!). Fortunately, he stayed behind his door as he opened it to us and all was well.

It was a good morning! After delivering soup to one elderly lady, the door was closed and she began talking to the woman who was there to help her make a grocery list. As we waited for her next door neighbor come to the door, we could hear her tell how much she likes to have the soup ladies come and how they always bring her soup on her birthday! Now, I have no idea when her birthday is, but apparently it made her feel like she was having a special day!! . . . and that makes it worthwhile.


“The existence of forgetting has never been proved: we only know that some things do not come to our mind when we want them to”--Unknown

Well, I think I jinxed myself Thursday---being so proud of how I've posted so many days in a row. Then, yesterday, I forgot!! Horrors!! So, here I am today, posting twice to make up for it.

These are some of the late blooming azaleas in my backyard. These pretty white azaleas are around my deck.
But on one of the bushes, there are these few pink blooms. Where did they come from?? And on the white azalea bush!
Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring Comes

"Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself." --Zen Proverb

Well, I can't believe that I've actually posted for this many days in a row!! I'm running out of "profound thoughts" (haha), so today I'll just post a couple of pictures I took
today--the weather was so beautiful and after work I sat outside in the swing while I talked to Jana. A few years ago, she gave me this great iron bird feeder. It sits out on my back deck and I love the weathered look it has developed over the years.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008


"A weed is no more than a flower in disguise." -- Unknown

A few weeks ago, my flower beds were looking fairly nice. I'd weeded, raked and bagged up the scraggly vines that filled them. While there was still work to be done to get them in good shape, I was pleased that they
looked so much better after a day's work. And then this afternoon, I notice that things are getting out of hand again. At first glance this looks really pretty. But if you look closer you realize that under the bloom of this blackberry vine are stems covered in prickles! And they're everywhere. I've tried for years to get the blackberry vines out of my flowerbeds for good, but so far---no luck! They have runners all over the place and if I don't get busy they will take over my flowerbeds again. Anyone want to come help weed my flowerbeds???
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thanks, Dr. Suzuki!

"It is incontestable that music induces in us a sense of the infinite and the contemplation of the invisible." --Victor de LaPrade
This afternoon was my last day to teach theory at the Centenary Suzuki School. I was trying to remember how many years I've taught there, and can't really remember for sure, but I think it's been about seven years. It has been lots of fun and I've gotten to know so many wonderful children and their families, but it's time to move on now. The Parent's Association honored me with a gift card and this cute frog statue.
Jana began taking violin lessons there when she was in first grade. And then Callie joined in just before kindergarten. Time passed and I sat through so many lessons that it's impossible to count. They both learned so much in that wonderful program---through positive teaching and lots of practice.

But, I learned a lot, too.
While I learned to play the piano as a kid and have always loved music, I must admit that piano lessons were not especially fun when I took them. In fact, they were often torturous. I had three different teachers through the six years that I took lessons, but only one was what I would consider as nurturing. While the others knew quite a lot about technique and one had trained some very famous pianists, their teaching style was far from positive and I began to dread each and every lesson.

When Jana decided that she wanted to give violin a try she began Suzuki lessons, and I was introduced to a totally different style of teaching music---a positive style that encouraged rather than discouraged. Although Jana decided that violin was not "her thing", at least her introduction to music was a positive experience and she learned and played well. Callie on the other hand, found "her thing" in violin and flourished under the direction of the Suzuki teachers.

And through years of sitting through lessons and teaching theory classes to young children, I not only learned a different style of teaching music, I learned to love classical music and to appreciate the hard work that musicians give to develop their skill. I am so appreciative for the chance to work and listen and meet and learn--and will never forget the friends I made.
Monday, April 21, 2008

Someday, I'm going to . . .

"If I could turn the hands of time, I'd turn it forward to tomorrow. I want to move beyond with optimism and growth, taking the past which has gone by as my lessons in realizing the future with hope, courage and determination." --Unknown

Sitting next to my computer is a dollhouse---a fairly large, Victorian styled dollhouse that is not quite complete. It's been sitting in here for many years, collecting dust and stacks of books and papers. But, someday I'm going to finish it.
About eleven winters ago, the girls and I were going through a really difficult time. Jim was in and out of the hospital and everything in our life seemed totally out of control. We were spending a lot of time over at my parents' house and I just couldn't seem to concentrate on anything. It was taking everything that I had within me to try to keep things as normal as possible for the girls, but that was taking its toll on me. My mother recognized that and suggested that I get a dollhouse to work on---something to take my mind off of life and give me some sort of outlet for my feelings. Both of the girls had dollhouses and my dad loved working on his miniature train, so with a bit of skepticism, I picked out the house and we began working on it--my mother and I. And Mother was right---it helped. Working on the dollhouse in their upstairs bedroom gave me a chance to release some of the stress--to escape from a really difficult reality for a while and focus my thoughts on something fun and creative. The decisions that had to made with my dollhouse revolved around what kind of glue to use or what color paint to buy and didn't have the lives of two little people hanging on them. And while it certainly didn't change the reality of what we were facing, it gave me a chance to reflect on other things and return to life with a bit of renewed energy.
For several years after, I worked on the house---making tiny furniture and accessories from bits of wood and paper---often in the winter when it was cold and lonely outside.Then, as things in my life began to fall back into place, the dollhouse was put on a shelf. To work on again someday--- in happier times, for happier reasons. Or maybe just because . . .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dust Bunnies

"Dust is a protective coating for fine furniture." --Mario Buatta

Gee, I almost forgot to load my macro shot for today. Here it is---some of my favorite things---buttons!! Of course, seeing things this close shows all the dust, too. Better go get the dust rags out!
Saturday, April 19, 2008

The cut!

"I like making a piece of string into something I can wear." ~Author Unknown

Well, I made the cut!! No, I didn't audition for Wheel of Fortune (which several friends did while it was in Bossier this week), nor did I participate in any sort of golf tournament. But, almost as momentous, I laid out pattern pieces and cut into the fabric for Callie's wedding dress. We picked it out while I was up in Chapel Hill in March and the fabric arrived here a week or so ago and it is beautiful---dyed white silk and lots and lots of tulle. (those little silk worms worked really hard!!)

It always takes a bit of courage to make that first slice into expensive fabric. And in this case, I had to wait until a time when Emmi was not running around the house. So, after dropping her off at the groomer, I set to work.
I made a "mock-up" of the dress last month and Callie tried it on when she was here for spring break. It fit with only a few minor adjustments. After altering the sweetheart neckline a bit and measuring out the train, I cut! Somewhere in there, I pricked my finger on a pin, but thankfully no blood on the fabric. And tonight, with Emmi safely back home, I've begun sewing.
Friday, April 18, 2008


"G.R.A.C.E.---God Reaches All Children Everywhere."

I have a small rocking chair that once belonged to my parents. And before them it belonged to my grandparents. It sits in my living room now and has this beautiful cane back--intricate and pretty.

In my "someday I am going to . . ." posts, I should mention that someday I'm going to rock babies. I love rocking babies and dream of having the time to go rock tiny babies in the hospital nursery.

But, tonight I'm going to rock babies. Well, not really babies---these will actually be toddlers. And, well, there might not be a rocking chair in sight. But, I'm going to babysit and there may be some rocking going on somewhere. Brookwood Baptist Church has a wonderful respite service for families with special needs children. They are invited to bring their children to the church for babysitting, both special needs and their siblings, while the parents go have a night out. They do it once a month and call it G. R. A. C. E. What fun for everyone!
Thursday, April 17, 2008

Down in the Valley . . .

"Down in the valley, valley so low. Hang your head over, hear the wind blow. . ." --unknown author (song lyrics)This is the ukulele that we used to play when we were kids. Amazing that it made it this long, considering the abuse it has taken. We used to strum and play and sing a lot (and probably bonked each other over the head a few times) "Down in the Valley" was one of the songs we knew best.

Do you ever find yourself in a valley that you don't think you can get out of? I don't find myself down in any valley very often or for very long. Occasionally I sink down there for a short period of time, but generally I stay pretty close to the top of the mountain. And when I find myself falling down there a lot of self-talk and a change of scenery will usually help me climb back out.

A friend had a heart cath today. She lost her husband to cancer this year and has been devastated by the loss. Then this . . . She saw a doctor for the medical problems she was having and after such things as a stress test, echo cardiogram, etc. they scheduled her for a heart cath. She and the doctors were prepared to have a stint put it or even angioplasty if that was deemed necessary. But, the diagnosis from the doctor after all the tests were completed---a broken heart. How very, very sad. I pray that her valley does not deepen and that she is soon able to begin to climb out.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is This the Season??

"To everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under the sun." --Ecclesiastes 3:1

This is the first sprout coming from the tiny basil seeds I planted. At my house, plants have to be pretty hardy in order to make it, particularly when in my kitchen window. But so far these tiny sprouts are surviving. They are so small and they tend to grow sideways toward the light, but hopefully they will eventually be big enough to plant outside and to harvest their leaves.

At lunch today, one of my co-workers asked me about a particular mission project that I'd mentioned to her many months ago. At the time, I'd hoped that her church might also be interested in participating and we talked about presenting some information in an effort to recruit more help. Unfortunately, I told her, since that time the idea seemed to have sort of fizzled. The original committee has met so many roadblocks that we'd really lost "steam". At this point, I explained, it was beginning to look like this was not the right time to tackle the project.

Then this evening, I checked my emails before opening this post to add my thoughts. I had an email from one of the committee members---(the first since the beginning of the year)---setting up a presentation at a church in the coming weeks. Coincidence??? I don't know. But perhaps--just maybe---it is a sign that we shouldn't give up. Just like that tiny sprout pictured above, maybe if we give it the proper time and care, this program can develop into a program that helps people in our community. Maybe it is the right time. . .
Tuesday, April 15, 2008


"Life forms illogical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?" --Margo Fonteyn

Well, this is a totally random photo. It doesn't have a thing to do with what I'm doing right now, although I probably should be using it on all the pollen. But, it does make an interesting pattern for a macro photo. . . In fact, it's a lot more fun to take photos of a rake than it is to actually use a rake!
Monday, April 14, 2008

Green Thumb

Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love. --Stevie Wonder

Clematis will always remind me of my mother.
Not because they were her favorite flower----in fact, I don't really remember her ever even mentioning them. She loved flowers and gardening and had such a green thumb. But, I don't remember clematis being in her garden. I planted my clematis vine years ago---probably 10 at least. I've never been known for my green thumb, but the vine did okay. I wouldn't say that it thrived, but it grew a bit over the years and always had pretty green leaves on it. But it never bloomed. One year, I'd saved enough money to have a new privacy fence built and my only concern for the builders was to be careful with the clematis vine. After they were done, I noticed that my warning had gone unheeded and the vine was trampled and broken. "Oh well", I thought---"it never really bloomed anyway." But, I carefully brushed off what was left of the vine and replanted the roots. The clematis vine lived and continued to produce a few spindly trailers and green leaves each year----but no blooms.
Then, on April 17, 2003, as I went out to get in my car to go to work, a flash of white caught my eye and I looked to the fence to see one beautiful, perfect bloom on the clematis vine!!! On the one year anniversary of my mother's death, the clematis bloomed for the very first time. And it has bloomed every year since then, multiplying the number of blooms each year. For me, it was just a little reminder, through the nature that my mother loved so much, that she would always be with me.

This morning as I left for work, I noticed that there were several buds and thought to myself that once again the clematis would soon be in bloom. And when I returned home this afternoon, there was this one perfect bloom on the vine, with the promise of many more to come. It's not quite April 17th, but my mother always liked to be early--never late!!!
Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dot the i's and Cross the t's

"What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork!" --Pearl Bailey

Paperwork!! I am completely overwhelmed by the amount and extent of the paperwork involved in my job these days. Each year, I think that surely it cannot increase and every year I am surprised by how much it does. This year we are at an all-time "high". It has gotten totally ridiculous!
I feel like I could have a full-time job just managing my paperwork, and never even get to work with a child. How sad!!!! Whatever happened to the "paperwork reduction" law that was supposedly enacted in our state??? And whatever happened to just teaching children?? With state monitors arriving in our parish this week, we have all been particularly stressed by checking to be sure that all is in order. Since I have been trying to catch up for months, it seems, I have really been burning the midnight oil with forms and organization this past week. And tonight will be no different. After church and a nice lunch out with my dad and step mom, I'm at it again!! At least the end of this part is finally in sight--what isn't ready by tomorrow morning at 8:00 just isn't going to be done in time for monitors anyway, so I'll move to the next thing. Because, of course there are more IEP's to be written meetings to be held and progress report time is approaching again. . . .
Saturday, April 12, 2008


"Sometimes it is hard to find a little inspiration. But inspiration is never far away, sometimes we just need to know where to look for it." --Author Unknown.

This morning I helped my friend, Debbie, with a "Women's Retreat" for ladies who participate in the Lighthouse program here in Shreveport. These are ladies who find their lives in transition right now---maybe from a bad marriage, an abusive relationship, troubles with the law or just plain poverty. Most are moms who are struggling to get their lives back on track and provide for their children in the best ways they know how.

Today was about reminding them that they are loved by God--even when life is tough and when they feel unloved by those aroun
d them. And I'd say it was a success. Although, that had seemed doubtful when we first arrived.

I'd agreed to help Debbie with leading a craft project. She'd asked for something that could be used to hold a photo, whether it be a frame or whatever, that they could take with them. When planning began, we expected about 30 people to attend. However, the count on Wednesday evening was for 62!!!! Wow!! And I'd hardly even begun to put the things together. I had an idea, but up until then, it was just that--an idea in my head and nothing concrete.

I've been on "paperwork overload" this week and had scheduled my retreat preparation time for Friday night. Of course, the addition of 32 more people meant a REAALLLLYYYY late night for me last night.
I measured and cut and punched and folded and printed and counted and. . . finally about 1:00 a.m., I had all the packets bagged and ready to go for the retreat.

I arrived at the center about 30 minutes early to help set up--then we
waited for the ladies to arrive. By 10:30 (the appointed start time), there were only 3 ladies there. So we waited a while longer while the social workers began to make phone calls. By 11:00, we started the retreat with only about 10 people there. A disappointing turnout, but we were determined to make this a meaningful time for those who had shown up. Slowly, people began to trickle in and by 12:00, we finally had about 25-30 ladies. I took pictures of the ladies as they arrived and ran to Walgreens to get them developed so that they would be completed by the time the retreat was over (of course, they lost the order making another snag in our well-planned event).

We ended up staying longer than the appointed time since we'd adjusted our program to fit the delays. And while it was not nearly the 62 we were expecting, those that came seemed to have needed this time to share and forget the grind of everyday responsibilities. They sang and they shared and as we made the craft---a folded "scrapbook"---we found that we, too had been blessed: inspired by the perseverance of these ladies and reminded that we are all loved by the same God. All in all, it was a good time----another blessing in a long, long list!
Friday, April 11, 2008

It Fits!!

Well, I forgot to tell you that my dress also arrived yesterday. I tried it on this morning and it fits! Yay!!! Of course, everything would look a bit better if I lost 10 pounds, but even if I don't, it still fits. I love the dress!!! The color is just what I wanted---blush pink---and the embellishments on it are really nice. It's mostly plain, but has a bit of beading/embroidery (pictured here) on the front of the jacket. I'd ordered shoes to match, but unfortunately, they did not fit. My fat feet were just too squished in them, so I guess they'll be going back.
Thursday, April 10, 2008

. . . Something borrowed, something blue . . .

"A happy bridesmaid makes a happy bride." --Lord Tennyson

Well, I certainly haven't solved the mystery of the right corner shadow, but I just had to post these anyway. Callie's bridesmaid dresses arrived today and they are so pretty. We ordered them from a 2" swatch of fabric, so I don't know if this is the color Callie had envisioned or not, but they are beautiful!! Can't wait to see them on the girls!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Macro for Dummies

"It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning." --Claude Bernard

It seems that I need some work on my camera skills. I have always just used the "point and
shoot" mode of my camera and am finding that when taking photos in the macro mode, that is not always sufficient. I might actually have to get out that instruction book and take a look at it. Will it tell me how to get rid of the pesky shadow in the lower right corner???

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Little Things

"Inchworm, inchworm, measuring the marigold, Seems to me you'd stop and see how beautiful they are. "---children's song lyrics, unknown author

I'm like that inchworm---in fact, I think we all are sometimes. I get so busy with life and all the big things around me that often I forget to stop and see the little things.
One of the greatest gifts of this challenge is that it is causing me to take notice of the things around me. I find myself looking at ordinary things (like teacups and pollen) in new ways and seeing the beauty in their designs.
Monday, April 7, 2008


The difference between an itch and an allergy is about one hundred bucks!" ---unknown

This closeup "macro" picture captures the essence of spring for many people----allergies!! For some reason, those beautiful pale green puffs on the big oak tree out front, are a source of misery for those allergic to pollen. After having my yard mowed and raked and looking so nice, a thunderstorm came and it seems that every single piece of pollen must have landed in my driveway---and it's no longer pretty and green. Now its ugly and brown and I can't sweep it up without succumbing to the sneezing and watery eyes. The price I pay for having that great Live Oak shading my drive.
Sunday, April 6, 2008

Shades of Green

"For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver." --Martin Luther

As I returned to my house after church and lunch today, I was struck by how beautiful the Grancy Graybeard tree in my front yard was. As I looked at all the different shades of green, I thought this was the perfect subject for my next "macro project". The frills that hang from the branches only last a week or two at most, but while they are blooming, the tree has such a delicate, dainty appearance. I don't know much about this tree except what people have told me. Apparently it is an old, Southern variety most commonly seen in forests. This one was a gift given to me in exchange for making and embroidering a stole for a friend when she was ordained as a diaconal minister. I had no idea when I planted it, how much joy it would bring me each spring.
Saturday, April 5, 2008

Macro Challenge

"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."--Dorthea Lange

Okay, so I"m a few days late beginning, but how about 25 day photo challenge???? While catching up on some blog reading, I noticed that Kleas is participating in thirty day photo challenge. Sounds like fun, so I think I'll join in! Orange_30day_badge_2
Here's my first photo:
This is a small figurine that Valine gave me last week. She found it at an antique shop and thought of Callie playing her violin. She is sitting on my piano with my collection of "violin bottles" (some of which you can see in the background). I don't even play the violin, but love music and since I have been teaching violin theory to little children for the past six or seven years, it's been a fun thing to look for in antique shops. I had not noticed it before I took this picture, but the little eyes on this girl remind me of the eyes that my mother used to paint on hundreds of tiny ceramic animals in preparation for the church's Easter sale.

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