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Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Greater Gift

Yesterday was the Greater Gift Market for 2010, a Fair Trade market offered at church. This year, I opted to take a bit of a "back seat" rather than be in charge of the whole thing. The booth I was in charge of was from SERRV, a non profit organization with a mission to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide.

Weeks ago, I selected merchandise to be sent to us on a consignment basis. Pam and Vickie were my helpers--thank goodness! (here's a pic of Pam and me).

Other organizations represented were 10,000 Villages and Bead For Life---all wonderful groups that represent artisans from around the world.

In addition, we offered alternative gift items in the form of vouchers to purchase farm animals from Heifer Project the Samaritan Counseling Center and our own Food Pantry.
My church has recently begun a community arts program, offering music and art lessons to children and adults for very reasonable prices (and scholarships for anyone unable to pay). We invited the artists to also set up booths and sell their creations.

Brenda Snider's pottery,

Katherine Usher (and another artist, Nan Dozier)

(these were made by Jamie Sanders, who taught the collage class I took last fall--he wouldn't be IN the picture)

The turnout was good--lots of people from the community and everyone seemed pleased with the items offered. After church today, it was time for take-down. Fortunately, we had some volunteers stay to help us clean up and inventory thins, but I'm pooped! After all the trick-or-treaters are gone,(which I've thoroughly enjoyed by the way), I'm hoping to sit in my comfy chair to count the money and balance the receipts!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Learning to Love Cooking!

About 12-13 years ago, my stove quit working---completely. Money was tight, so rather than purchasing a new range, I decided to have the old one repaired. It wasn't a cheap fix, but certainly less expensive than buying a new one. Besides, the repairman indicated that if I was lucky, I might be able to get 8-10 years more out of this one. So, when I remodeled the kitchen the following year, I chose to keep the old stove, despite its almond color (and the newly painted white cabinets surrounding it).

The stove has worked okay, but I knew its days were numbered. After all, I was already several years past the life expectancy of the repair---I think that it was actually about 24 years old. After a few months of research and contemplating the purchase, I splurged and got a really nice range. Today, the plumber delivered and installed it. I'm really glad he took the time to tuck that shirt tail in before he began---:-).

If fit perfectly and I love it!!!

It was a late work day today and then I went to exercise, but tonight I've been thoroughly reading the owner's manual so that I'll be prepared to use it tomorrow to make a yummy batch of granola!! My favorite part is the fact that I have a small top oven that I can use when it's just me (which is most of the time) and a large bottom oven when the whole family is here! Cooking is going to be a lot more fun!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Photo Fun

After getting the pumpkin patch pictures printed, I decided that I wanted to do something a little more special than just sending home the photos. Seeing Ali Edward's free Halloween digital download inspired me to make a mount for the photos. I also downloaded the free fall Photoshop brushes over at Brusheezy.
This is what I came up with:

I printed them out on white cardstock and used an exacto knife to cut partway around the pumpkins to make corners for the photos. (excuse the stacks of laundry on the couch)


Saturday, October 23, 2010


I'm ready! I made a trip to Michael's yesterday and picked up these fun new papers to use in my "Week In The Life" album. For some reason, having the papers picked out helps get me in the creating mood and reminds me to take pictures.

At the last Camp Crop-A-Lot, Catha gave me some great embellishments---the sparkly ones and the chipboard letters. I think they'll be perfect with the papers. (I got the flowers in the $1 bin at Michael's).

I've got file folders and envelopes ready to drop receipts, brochures, and other momentos into.

And you may remember this pretty journal I won from Rebecca Sower?

I think I'll use it to jot down each day's events.
Last night I made a few extra tags and journaling cards. If you like them, you can click here to download them for printing. It's not too late to join Valine, Jana and I and begin documenting a week in YOUR life! :-)

Round Robin - Bridges

The theme this time is for "Bridges --- All around the world there are bridges, in all shapes and sizes, ages and colors. Bridges connect two places, enabling something to pass safely over something else; but the details vary wildly. It can be a little wooden foot bridge over a three foot-wide babbling brook, a drawbridge, a railroad bridge, a stone bridge carved out by the forces of nature, or even that big Golden one over the Bay that our friend Carly loves to capture with her camera. Wherever you live, I can almost guarantee there's an interesting bridge somewhere nearby to photograph." Be sure to take a look at how the Robins interpreted the theme--you can find the linking list here.

This year, I saw a couple of really cool bridges on my vacations. This first one is the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston, MA. On 14 October 2002, elephants from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus crossed the new Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge to demonstrate the bridge's structural integrity. The 14 elephants proved that the bridge supports 112,000 pounds. The Boston elephant march resembled tests of the 1800s when bridge engineering was more questionable. It officially opened to traffic in 2003.

Also in Boston, is this smaller bridge near the site of the infamous Boston Tea Party.

This is a picture of the Ravenal Bridge, which spans the Copper River in Charleston, SC. It was completed in 2005 and is North America's longest cable stay span. The bridge was featured on the TV show Extreme Engineering and includes a shared bicycle-pedestrian path.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I saws this video over on Joy's Hope and wanted to share it, too. (be sure to silence my music player first ---at the bottom of my blog)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkins, Witches and Big Bird?

I joined one of my schools on their field trip to the Pumpkin Patch.

Most of these little guys had never been to a pumpkin patch before, so everything was a wonder to them.

It's always fun to watch their faces when they learn about something new.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Week In The Life Revisted

Back in the spring, I participated in Ali Edwards' "Week In The Life" project, along with Valine. It ended up being a really crazy week, and I didn't get to do nearly as much as I'd hoped. But in the end, as I put together my album, it all came together. Valine and I ended up with such different albums, although we documented the same exact week.

We had so much fun doing that back in the spring, but we decided it would be fun to document a week during another season as well. Therefore, we have declared next week (October 24-30) to be "Week In The Life--Fall". Next week, we will take photos of our everyday activities, jot notes on scraps of paper, save receipts and souvenirs in order to document a week in the fall of 2010. It's really simple---we'll just gather the items and our thoughts next week and try to put it all together into an album when we have a little more time.

Want to join us?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Feels like Monday?

It's definitely not a good sign when your Saturday morning begins like this:

Especially, if you discover your car won't start when you are heading out of town for the day. Fortunately, I have roadside assistance and a great warranty that should cover repairs. Unfortunately, they won't be able to even look at it until Monday.

After calling Dan to tell him I'd be a lot later than planned and then renting a car, I headed down to Cheneyville for the day. Dan was waiting on the front porch for me (just as I knew he would be). This time we went to the zoo. I'd never been to the Alexandria Zoo--the weather was great and we had fun wandering through the habitats and snapping pictures here and there.

We had fun watching the raccoons as they grabbed food and took it to the water for washing before eating it.

Turtles were everywhere!

These were some really hungry Koi!!

. . . Flamingos

. . . and Dan's imitation of the flamingos.

Of course, there was the obligatory stop at Wal-Mart to buy paper, pens (I have NO IDEA how he goes through so many pens), envelopes and a bag of candy corn and then we headed back to his group home. Dan and I put together small Halloween treat bags for all the residents and staff and he seemed to enjoy passing those out.
In contrast to the beginning of the day, my day ended with this really pretty sunset as I began my trek back home.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkins and Monsters

I found these in the $1 bins at Target last weekend and bought several pairs.

So, what do you do with orange and green stretch gloves?
Turn them into pumpkins and green monsters, of course!
I plan to give the Pumpkin gloves to some of Head Start teachers I work with, along with the poem "Five Little Jack-O-Lanterns".

The Green Monster gloves were a tad bit more labor intensive (that hair looks alot like mine when I wake up in the morning---only mine is mostly gray instead of purple), so I only did one pair---one glove is now winging its way to Valine, while I keep the other for myself. The book "Scary Green Monster" is always a favorite of the classes I work with. Unfortunately, I didn't know a poem about green monsters, so I just made one up---kind of silly, but the kids love it!


5 green monsters knocking at my door.
One ran away and then there were 4.

4 green monsters, scaring even me!
One ran away and then there were 3.

3 green monsters, all shouting "boo".
One ran away and then there were 2.

2 green monsters, ready for some fun,
One ran away and then there was 1.

1 green monster, that's not very many.
He went away and then there weren't ANY!

Monday, October 11, 2010


Yesterday afternoon after church, Emmi and I went on a walk.

Of course, when I take Emmi on a walk, the first half of the walk goes like this---with Emmi pulling and exploring (despite the fact that she actually went to obedience training a couple of years ago)

It was a beautiful day and I took my camera along. The signs of fall were unmistakable!

Don't hate me, but I can't stand these blow-up decorations. They seem to be everywhere and I'm sure the kids like them, but I don't.

Well, actually this one looks more like spring, but I snapped it anyway.

Our walk ended like this---with Penny chasing Emmi down the driveway and into the house!

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