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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Out With The Old

Outside, the streets around my neighborhood are closing down and crowds are gathering for the first Mardi Gras parade of the 2011 season. The weather is perfect---clear skies with lots of sunshine. It's sure to be a fun time for everyone involved. I won't be walking up there this year since the shingles are giving me a rough time (actually the medications have pretty annoying side effects). Instead I'll stay inside and watch the parade on TV, and perhaps do a little crafting.

First up, is replacing the old evergreen wreath with a new spring wreath for my kitchen door.
I got the idea after seeing the spring wreath that Layla, over at The Lettered Cottage, made. I began with a styrofoam wreath form and a ball of twine that I already had at home. (I wanted my wreath to be a bit bigger, so I used the kind that has squared-off edges) It was really easy to wrap the twine around, but gee it took FOR.E.VER!!!! I ran out of twine about 3/4 of the way around and had to buy another spool--annoying, but it gave me a chance to rest from all that wrapping!

Next, I found a small branch out in the backyard and wrapped it with some green fuzzy yarn I already had on hand. Naturally, I broke one of the branches as soon as I finished and had to hot-glue it back on.

The fun part was adding the embellishments. I whipped up a little bird using Spool's free pattern (I decided to sew it with the raw, pinked edges showing) and
I didn't want to go buy anything else, so I dug through things I already had: big, pink daisies left from some decorations at church,

buttons (I've got plenty of those), and a few yoyo's I made from fabric scraps.

It's definitely beginning to feel like spring inside now.

Friday, February 25, 2011

One Little Word - February

I used some of the time off from work today to arrange my pictures for the February prompt of the One Little Word class I am participating in. This particular prompt required a good bit of thought and even some soul searching. To find pictures that depict what "purpose" means to me is not quite as easy as snapping a picture of a flower or cutting out pictures from a magazine. I ended up with some photos showing where I find my purpose, and others that I hope will remind me of the purpose so I can stay fresh and committed.

1. The food pantry at church 2. My baptism on Easter Sunday in 1959 3. Purpose Charm
4. Emmi on a leisure walk 5. Reminder of fitness 6. Making a difference in a child's life
7. Callie, me and Jana--family 8. Purpose wordle 9. Mexico mission trip.

I'm not especially happy with how my handwriting looks on the photo above, but I do love the quote by E. Hubbard. It serves as a reminder to me of my purpose in general, and to keep my priorities straight.
"No matter what you've done for yourself or humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?"

I often have such a hard time just doing "nothing". This picture taken in my back yard last week and the quote by John Lubbock reminds me that even rest has a very valid purpose.
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."


I was afraid it was true, but then it was confirmed this morning when I went to the doctor. That weird "raw" feeling I'd been having around my mid-section is indeed "Shingles"! Ugh! I caught it early enough that I can begin the antiviral medications that sometimes help the duration and so far it's more of a uncomfortable feeling than true pain, but my routine is going to be totally shook up for the next 7-10 days. I can't be around anyone that hasn't had chicken pox, or pregnant women. That pretty much takes me out of work since I'm a preschool teacher. Unfortunately, that also means I can't make the trip down to Cheneyville to visit Dan for his birthday. What a bummer! Callie and Jordan have offered to go in my place---thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Since it looks like I'll be hanging out around the house for a while, I stopped by Barnes & Noble after the pharmacy to pick out some new reading material and inspiration.
From Mommy's Treasures

I can't wait to look through the pages and enjoy the creativity. Maybe being at home won't be too bad after all.



Saturday, February 19, 2011


I love summer----vacations with family, sundresses and shorts.
I love fall----the change of colors, the coolness in the air, the crunch of leaves under my feet.
I love winter, too----warm sweaters, fires in the fireplace, the anticipation of snow flurries.
But, in those final days of winter, when we get a glimpse of spring, I find myself anxious for the green grass, budding trees and birds building nests overhead.

The last few days have been like that. The temperatures have been mild and we've had some beautiful blue skies to go with them. Yesterday afternoon after work, I spent a couple of hours just sitting outside in the backyard with Emmi. She was in heaven watching the birds, chasing squirrels and lazing in the grass.

Birds were everywhere---blackbirds, sparrows, mourning doves and even robins.

I always have so many things on my "to do list", that I rarely take the time to do nothing. It makes me realize that I need more of this----time to sit still, relax and recharge---where my only purpose is to appreciate the wonders of this world.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Yesterday, after I read a book to one of the classes at a local daycare, I flipped back through the book as I asked various comprehension questions. "Why is he running?", "Where do you think he's going?", etc., etc. Daulton raised his hand and told me "It's a girl, Miss Linda---she has eyelashes." Knowing the story was about a boy, I explained to Daulton (and the rest of the class) that everyone has eyelashes, both boys AND girls. One thing led to another and soon I was explaining why we have eyelashes and everyone began looking at each other's eyelashes. After another child noticed that Braxton had brown eyelashes, just like his brown hair, I went on to explain that eyelashes are actually hair and are usually the same color as the hair on the person's head. "Bailey has blonde hair and blonde eyelashes, Yu Ting has black hair and black eyelashes."

Everyone seemed satisfied with the explanation and we moved on to another book.
After reading a few pages, Henry raised his hand. When I called on him he inquired, "Miss Linda, why do you have white hair and your eyelashes are black?"

Well, Henry an even better question might be, "Why does Miss Linda already have white hair?"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Watch Out Beyonce"

Yesterday morning, a little girl in one of the classes I visit presented me with this "card" she'd made. (sorry for the poor quality of photos)

She told me "I made this just for you. It has a song in it."

I opened the card to find this:

A little puzzled, I asked her to sing it to me. The words were mostly unintelligible, but even I recognized the tune! Just before time to go home, she performed it again for me, this time with a little help from a friend:

Watch out Beyonce'--you've got some competition! (If you want to check out Beyonce's version, click here)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Round Robin: True Colors

Color is the theme of this Round Robin challenge. The idea is a simple one: Show us something that's unusually colorful, exactly as your camera captures it. You can rotate, crop and/or sharpen your image, but don't adjust the tone or colors in any way.

The past two weeks have been very dark and dreary for the most part, so colorful pictures have been a bit hard to come by. This photo is of a small, mosaic sign I in my front flowerbed. I like the contrast between the spring theme and the snow on the ground in front (which is a rare occurrence for us here in the south). There's even a weed popping up through the snow by the sign!

These next pictures were taken in Juarez, Mexico this time last year. Despite the fact that we stay in the middle of a desert, and work with the poorest of poor in that city, color is everywhere--
From clothes drying on a line . . .

to paper flowers in the market . . .

to the bright paint colors used for fences and houses.

We just learned that our trip for 2011 (which was scheduled for next weekend) has been canceled due to security lessons. I will miss the vibrant colors there and the people who have become my friends over the years. I pray for their safety and for an end to the violence.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Why is it that just before a weigh-in, all the blog posts in my reader look like this?????

Source: Giver's Log
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pier One Knock-Off

Today we had another snow day----especially crazy since there's been absolutely no snow and very little sleet. They canceled school yesterday evening when the forecast looked pretty dismal, but as is often the case for Louisiana weather, the storm moved north of us and left us with rain and dropping temperatures. Not that I'm complaining! It's been great to have another day off.

This day off gave me the chance to complete a little project I started last weekend. Over on Knock-Off Decor I saw DIY Maven's knock-off of this photo frame from Pier One.

(source: Pier One)

After school one day last week, I stopped by Pier One to take a look at the frame in person. For $28, the price wasn't too bad, but the white or black color choices weren't exactly what I was looking for and I really needed it to be horizontal rather than vertical.

Instead I decided to make my own, just like DIY Maven did. She offered a great tutorial on her site and I used it as a guide, modifying it a bit to fit my needs. I spray-painted a shiny frame that I had on hand,, along with mini clothespins and small eye hooks.

After carefully measuring the space, I screwed small eye hooks into the edge of frame at equally spaced intervals. I ended up making a 6-space frame instead of 9.

Next I cut a piece of wire a couple of inches longer than the distance across and attached one end of the wire to an eye hook. I threaded clothespins onto the wire and attached the other end to the opposite eye hook, keeping it as taut as possible. Unfortunately, several of the hooks broke off as I put the wire through them and I had to re-do them with new hooks.

Here it is, completed and hanging in my living room with a few photos. I think it will be fun to change out the pictures from time to time and perhaps add other pieces of memorabilia such as tickets, etc.

Tree Trimming

The tree trimmers came yesterday to begin work on the big cypress in my backyard.

I'm sad to see it go.

Kevin came with two of his sons and they took turns climbing the tree and cutting through the ivy. It was back-breaking work, I think and very time-consuming. At lunch this is how the tree looked:

After my workout last night, I found a message on my phone from Kevin. Unfortunately, a large limb fell from the tree, crashing through my storage building. He was able to cover the hole with a tarp he found inside the building

and hopefully everything inside has stayed dry through the winter weather drizzle all day today. Looks like I'll be needing to build a new storage building a little sooner than I'd planned.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What is that?

On my way to church this morning, I stopped at the traffic light by the duck pond, just a few blocks from my house. As I waited for the light to turn, I caught sight of this very odd, large roundish ball near the road.

As I pulled up to get a closer look, it moved!

I guess this is a nutria----he was huge. . . . and hairy. . . . and kind of creepy.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

One More Day Of Snow

This morning I peeked outside to see if the snow was still there. I mean, the temps were down in the 20's, so I knew it hadn't melted, but for some reason I needed to see it once again. And now, with the morning sun shining, it glistened and sparkled like sugar crystals.

The snow was hard and really slick, but the footprints from yesterday's mail delivery were still there,

as was the snow in the bird feeder

on the tire swing

and in the bird bath.

By noon, the temperatures had reached above freezing and water dripped from every overhang. The roads once again became busy and the snow became dirty slush against the curbs.

There is still a bit of snow left in the shade,

but, by tomorrow afternoon, it is sure to be all gone.
Until next time . . . .

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