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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Ahh, one of my favorite colors----turquoise! I looked back through a few of my photos and found these with shades of turquoise.
After working on homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina, a float on the "lazy river" was just what was needed. Here are a couple of kids from our youth group:And part of the group that I go antique shopping with:
Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Sewing

What a nice, relaxing Saturday I had .

I got out the new pack of Anna Maria Horner fabric squares that I recently received from Ebay and I made a quilt! An entire quilt! Now, it's not a big quilt---more of a "throw", I guess---but, I finished the whole thing!
The fabric from the Garden Party line is so beautiful!!
I love the bright, cheery colors and the bold prints.

I began by stitching them together in blocks of 9----three rows of three.

Then I cut the large square into fourths with the new rotary cutter that I picked up at Big Lots for $3!!After arranging and then re-arranging the blocks a few times, I finally sewed them together.
I decided to make a run to my local fabric store to see what I might be able to find in the way of "backing fabrics". The only fabric stores around here are "chain" stores and their selection of designer fabrics are usually quite lacking. But, today, I was in luck at Hancock's! All of their 100% cotton fabrics were 40% off and they had a few that were just right. Of course, being the fabric junkie that I am, I bought more than I needed, but look how pretty they are!

With a few sappy movies on Lifetime playing and rain coming down most of the day, I sewed and ironed and even tried my hand at "free motion quilting". While certainly not yet perfected, I am quite pleased with the finished product. I have not idea what I'm going to do with it yet, but I love it!! My mother would be proud!!
Friday, August 22, 2008

Hope For The Future

"In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years." ~Jacques Barzun

Callie and Jordan came into town this evening and we went to grab a bite to eat. We gave our order to a cute, young clerk at the counter who seemed vaguely familiar. As she handed my debit card back to me, she shyly asked "Did you use to teach at 81st Street?". When I answered, "Yes." She smiled broadly and said "Hello, Ms. Jamar. I'm Kierra L____!" Oh my goodness!

Kierra told me that she is now almost 19 years old. Her mother passed away eight years ago and she is a senior in high school. She looked wonderful, and I was instantly transported back 15 or so years to the sweet, shy smile that she always flashed in my classroom. I taught Kierra in a preschool special needs classroom when she was just 4-5 years old and after she left my class, she moved to a different school and I never heard from her again.

I can't really explain how good it felt to see her. I've kept in touch with several of my former students---quite a feat since I taught them when they were so young. But, more often, I teach a child for a year or two and then lose touch----never really knowing what happens to them in subsequent years. Given the poverty that many of the children face and the difficult family situations, I sometimes open the morning paper hesitantly, wondering if I will read about the arrest of a former student.

In the classroom, I always tried to make school a place where it was fun to learn and discover. But, more importantly, given the population that often passed through my doors, I wanted them to know that my classroom was a place where they could feel safe and loved. So, to see this beautiful, confident young woman who is obviously doing so well, brought me close to tears.

I couldn't wait to get home and dig through my box of "school pictures" to see her again as a preschooler.

Thank you, Kierra!!

What a great way to begin a new school year----
with hope for the future!!!!

Good Morning!

Good morning! While outside this morning, I couldn't resist the perfection of these tiny blooms. A hummingbird was hard at work already, but much too fast for my camera.And while it is old and certainly not suitable for sitting, I love this old chair I found at Canton a few years back. (the sign is certainly applicable)!
Thursday, August 21, 2008

What's a Wordle?

Okay, this is too fun! I was checking out a few new blogs and ran across Simplify. Upon reading through some of her posts I found this link. And of course, I spent WAY too much time playing with it and getting this wordle :
Now, I'd better stop and get to work!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Too Much Food

"Food is an important part of a balanced diet." ---Fran Lebowitz

A couple of months ago, my good friend Pam and I decided to try out one of the new businesses in town where you can prepare dinners to go. After researching a couple online, we settled on The Dinner Station that is not far from work/home and had the most interesting menu. We scheduled our first night of making meals and had such fun, that we signed up to do it again the next month.

Last month, there was a local church there with us who does this as a "party" each month--to earn points. Our attendance helped them earn extra points for them and for us! We've had such fun doing it and hopefully I'm beginning to eat a little healthier--certainly there have been less meals of fast food since I began.

But, I've learned that the minimum number of meals really is just too much food for me. Each of my meals feeds 3 people and since there is only one of me, I usually eat it for several days. Granted, this month had some interruptions, with days spent away from home due to no A/C, but still it is just a little too much food. So, this next month, I'm going to send a few of the meals home with Callie and Jordan.

Now, I have to choose which ones I can part with . . . .
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More Rust

How about a little more rust? It's funny that most of the rust I've found has been inside rather than outside. With the new iron home decor items, it seems that rust is everywhere!
On my piano, is a book of music with pictures inside. . .The angel sitting atop a bookshelf . . . .And in my collection of finials on the mantel.
Monday, August 18, 2008


"Rest breeds rust." ---German proverb

A few photos of rust to start the week----
First the color, rust. . . .And then, the state of rust . . .
Sunday, August 17, 2008

You Can't Catch Me

"Run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!" --from The Gingerbread Man

This afternoon, I finally found my old pattern and was able to stitch up a new "Ginger" for Valine. As her classroom mascot, she helps inspire creative stories and goes home with children on the weekends. Though school has already started for her, my lack of A/C delayed her construction.
As you can see, Emmi is not at all sure about the this new friend! But, I am happy to report, that tomorrow morning, she will be well on her way to Valine's house. If indeed she is as fast and sly as she claims to be, she should be meeting a new classroom full of curious kindergartners by the end of the week. Run, run, Ginger!!

Sawing ZZZZ's

"Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week." -- Joseph Addison

It's Sunday and I just got up from a refreshing afternoon nap. What a great thing Sunday naps are!!! I haven't had one in months for some reason, so when I got home this afternoon and lay down, it was especially nice. When my girls were little, they came to expect that after church it was time to play quietly in their rooms while I turned off the phone in my room and lay down for one hour of rest. Somehow that brief respite gave me the energy to face the upcoming week.

And now that another week has begun, it is time for a new color in the Shades of Inspiration photo challenge. I've only been participating for a short time, but I like the way these challenges make me aware of things around me. When I'm in the house or taking a walk outside, I seem to tune in better when I have something specific to keep my eyes out for.

This week's color: Rust (how great is that quote above!)----The photos can include the color or things that are in a rusty state, so stay tuned for more photos this week.

And, look at this cute, linen purse--------and it's being featured in a "give-away"!! Pick me, pick me!!
Saturday, August 16, 2008


Hey---wanna play?? You do the same on your blog!

10 years ago?
Beginning a new job as an itinerant preschool inclusion teacher and raising 2 daughters alone--one was starting middle school and one was starting high school--juggling church, school, work, dance classes, violin classes and (although they probably have little memory of this) cooking for them in the evenings.

9 favorite things?
Family, pansies, hummingbirds, photos, mountains, fibers (paper, fabric, etc.), Buttons, puppies, babies.

8 favorite foods?
Shrimp, popcorn, potatoes, granola, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, pralines, fresh spinach, home-grown tomatoes

7 favorite places I've been?
Colorado, Vermont, Montana, Wyoming, California, Mexico, North Carolina

6 things I need to do?
Clean up the living room, Paint my bedroom, Take painting lessons, Rock babies, Read the entire Bible, read most any book all the way through!

5 years from now?
Teaching preschool inclusion, have traveled abroad, traveling to visit daughters and their families, Have a clean house!!

4 things to do if I had lots of money?
Set up college funds for my future grandchildren, pay off my house, set up community center at my church for neighborhood kids and adults, travel

3 favorite colors?
Blue, Aqua, Yellow

2 favorite hobbies?
Sewing, Scrapbooking, antique shopping

1 favorite part of your house?
My overstuffed chair.

Red and White again

Yesterday afternoon, on a quick walk down the street with Emmi, I snapped a few photos of more red and white things.

The flag hanging in front of John and Jere's houseThe stop sign at the cornerMy tail lightOur neighborhood watch signThese red and white flowers in full bloom in a window boxand the zinnia in front of John's picket fence edging.
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Top Dog

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to Emmi! Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Graduation!
Emmi's birthday is today---she is one year old. And tonight, we had Obedience School graduation. She's learned quite a lot (as has her master) and contrary to what I would have thought a few weeks ago----she passed!!!! And in fact, she came in 2nd place---Top Dog went to a pit bull named Angel. And her friend down the street, Buddy, came in 3rd place!!! Who would have thought?!?!! Okay, maybe I should mention that there were only 3 dogs that made it to this last class. And that perhaps the judge was extra lenient with Emmi's "excitement". We've had fun and it has definitely been a good thing for both she and I. It can be kind of frustrating to have a hyper little puppy under foot all the time. In addition to the the fact that she puts everything in her mouth and she pulled wallpaper off my walls in the kitchen at first, it seemed like it took a while to house-train her and she barks incessantly when the phone rings and I pick it up to talk. When she sees people, she gets so excited that she can't keep from jumping and wiggling and sniffing (which is actually kind of embarrassing if you are introducing her to a date that you have). But, at night, when she has calmed down and she runs to her little "crate" and comes back with her favorite stuffed animal, it makes me smile and I'm so glad to have her company! And when she curls up in my lap and falls asleep so sweetly, I'm sure that she's definitely "top dog" to me!

Back to School

Well, this morning is "back to school" for me. Since I work most of the summer, it seems kind of weird that starting back is any kind of event at all, but it still is. The beginning of school marks a more steady routine and homework.

For the first time in about 21 years, I did no back-to-school shopping. Every year since Jana started preschool, there has been some sort of trip to buy fabric or new clothes or new shoes. But, with both girls now married and working, there was no shopping trip. That, in itself, felt as weird as anything ---- almost like I was forgetting something. So, as a last minute gesture, yesterday afternoon I bought a new shirt on sale for myself, a few notebooks and pens to organize my caseload and I'm now ready to go.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Red, White and Emmi

Here are a couple of totally random red and white pictures:
This first one is of a vintage tobacco tin that Valine gave me.And this one is of a vintage woven trivet. My mother gave me this, but I believe that it first belonged to my grandmother.And while this is not red/white, I just had to include this photo of Emmi. Last week, I got her groomed and asked them to cut her pretty short. I was not completely prepared for how short her hair was when I picked her up, but I knew that it must feel much better, considering how hot it's been. Her fur has already grown a bit and she is now looking quite cute!
Monday, August 11, 2008

Red and White

"Red is the ultimate cure for sadness." ---Bill Blass

As I sat down to watch the Olympic coverage this evening, I was interrupted by images of red and white all around the house. Since this is the first day of my "challenge", I grabbed my camera to take a few shots:
The head of this rooster sitting in my kitchen window. . . . .
The small bird on her side . . . . .Emmi's collar against her white fur (I didn't dare get out her red leash for the picture or she would have insisted upon another walk around the block!) . . . . .The tag off my newest Target reusable shopping bag. . . . .The buttons on my new digital remote control. . . . .And, of course, the side of my Diet Coke can.Which reminds me---the Olympics are on TV!!!

Window Treatments vs. Curtains

I don't know exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way those things hanging on the windows that I grew up calling "curtains" (or "drapes" in the fancy houses) have become known as "window treatments". I am in awe of the conversations amongst friends (mostly at church) that revolve around decorating and the fabric/style of their window treatments. Now, maybe this is something like allergies were when I was a kid. My mom used to tell me that only rich kids had allergies---the rest of us had a cold!! Perhaps that's why I still call the coverings on my own windows "curtains".

But, nevertheless, I spent a good part of the weekend making new window coverings for Callie and Jordan's apartment. Always looking for a good deal, I set out on a mission to make stylish curtains on a budget. First, for their living room, I had this pillow from their couch (a hand-me-down gift from friends):
Since they essentially have 6 windows to cover in that room---2 double windows and 2 single windows---I weighed the options of buying fabric vs. ready-made. I found these at Wal-Mart for $9.96 a pair and decided to given them a try. First I took one set and split them down the middle, hemming under the ends of the attached valance. Next, I shopped for fringe
and braided trim. (the embellishments actually cost more than the curtains)
And after sewing both to the bottom of the valance and to the tiebacks, this is what I ended up with.Now, on to the bedroom. A couple of weeks ago, I sewed up some pretty brown valances for their bedroom---to go with their brown quilt. However, they have since learned that the window A/C units in their apartment are not especially efficient and are therefore looking for window coverings that offer some bit of insulation--not just mere decoration!

Voila! I took these curtains (also from Wal-Mart for $15/pair)and am adding decorative stitching to the sides.Hopefully, I can get over to Ruston in the next couple of weeks to help them hang them on the windows!

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