Category Archives: Family

Bird Song and Frog Chorus

In the Dusk of Evening

In the Dusk of Evening

In the dusk of evening the music begins

With the twilight song of the birds

Most likely a robin with a beautiful song

Singing praises to the world for day well spent.

As the sun descends further the frogs join in

Each calling for a mate to come and join him.

Those are the sounds that lull us to sleep,

My sweetheart and I.

First Morning Light

First Morning Light

The peace of the world settles in at last

And waits for the sunrise to bring forth a new day.

The morning awakens us  with the song of a dove, a sparrow,

the chickadee too, and finches and towhees adding their tune

The robin once more praises a new day with her song on high,

Get up, wake up, there is much to do, come greet the morning

Be glad, for this grand new day is waiting for us,

My amazing guy, my best friend, my love and I.

SL Schildan

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Filed under Family, Nature, Words to Ponder

The Fox Girl’s Dress

My youngest granddaughter is in love with foxes. All kinds of foxes, fox books, fox photos, fox YouTube videos and fox toys. She lives and breathes foxes. In October my lovely daughter-in-law  sent me a message, “wouldn’t Greta love this dress? Could you make it for her for Christmas?” There was a photo attached of a little girl’s dress with a fox applique. My reply, “Absolutely! I’m on it.”

Finding the time was a challenge plus there were no patterns. So right after Thanksgiving I dashed to the store and bought fabric. Since my granddaughter loves blue, I decided on a blue sparkle denim for the dress, orange fleece with black velveteen for legs and white fur for the face, tummy and tip of the tail.

I sketched a rough drawing of a fox on my computer and printed it, jiggly lines and all. Shaped it up with felt pen, created pattern pieces and plunged in. Here are some of the photos of the process.

A sketch of a fox.

Jiggly rough sketch.

I told you it was rough, you probably didn’t think this rough, but this is where I started.

Pattern pieces were created from the sketch.

Fox smoothed out and pattern pieces for the three fabrics were created.

It’s quite amazing how smoothing the lines with felt pen and then making a pattern piece for each color shows there is promise in this fox.

Fabric pieces for the dress and the fox applique.

Here are the fabrics I chose to make this little dress.

You can see this fox will be fuzzy and soft and close to the right colors of a red fox.

wFoxDress-AppliquedThe fox appliqued onto the dress piece.

Blue denim dress with a red fox applique.

The blue denim dress with one fox appliqued onto it.

Since I couldn’t find a black or orange or white tee-shirt with 3/4 length or long sleeves in a size six and the only simple tee was in hot pink, I added bright pink facings, and appliqued pink flowers with orange centers by the foxes feet. On the bodice I added a bright pink butterfly with a fuzzy orange body. I also found a three pack of leggings any one of them would be adorable with the dress. I was set for Christmas.

I was sure she would love it. But then I knew she also needed a hand-made doll wearing the matching dress, something I had done for each of my daughters and my oldest granddaughter. It was one week before Christmas. It is year-end at work. The pressure was on. My priorities shifted, no Facebook, no blogging, just make the doll and dress, in the evenings, after dinner.

Once I knew I had to do it, I wouldn’t sleep if I didn’t get started. As it turned out, I didn’t sleep, much.

Cheers,

Shez

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Filed under Children, Crafts, Decorating, Do It Yourself, Family, Sewing

Has GOD Been Taken From Us?

The following is from Darrell Scott whose beautiful daughter was killed at Columbine. This truly are words to take to heart, from a man who is being rational. Please do take the time to read this and re-blog it everywhere.

I copied this from Facebook. I will attempt to attach the url at the bottom of the page, so you can read it and see the photo of his beautiful daughter from the original source.

Black and white photo of waterlillies.

In Memory

Word’s from a Father who lost his daughter in COLUMBINE 12 YEARS AGO!!

Guess our national leaders didn’t expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness.. The following is a portion of the transcript:

“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.”

“The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.”

“In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent.” 

“I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy, it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.”

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.”

“As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!”

– Darrell Scott

Do what the media did not – – let the nation hear this man’s speech. Please send this out to everyone you can!!!

Rachel Scott on Facebook

Thank you so much,

Shez

 

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Filed under Children, Family, Reblog, Words to Ponder

The Baker

On Wednesday my grandson wanted to come over and hang out in the evening. I told him he could, but he had to help me cook for Thanksgiving Dinner which was the following day. He thought about it and said he would help. This came as a shock to everyone, he never wants to help. But Wednesday evening when he got there, he was ready to work.

His job? Make bread sticks from scratch.

His experience? None.

So we began by a discussion of measuring, he got it. He scooped, he measure and the ingredients began to fill the mixing bowl. We heated milk and butter, he added it to the bowl. He cracked his first egg into an empty cup, we fished out some shell, he added it to the bowl. I showed him how to turn on the mixer. From there on he would stick his arms out to guard the bowl because, “I can do it.”

When it was ready to turn onto the board to knead is when I remembered to grab my camera to document this event.

Dusting the bread board.

Dusting the bread board, concentration on getting it just right is evident by his tongue.

Kneading the dough.

Kneading the dough, gently squash it down, turn and fold.

The dough was put in an oiled bowl, covered with a towel and placed in a slightly warm oven to rise. While we waited we moved on to peeling potatoes.

Peeling potatoes

A pan for scraps, a large bowl filled with ice water for the potatoes.

His enthusiasm for peeling waned fairly quickly but he hung in there working until the bread had risen to the top of the bowl and was ready for the next step.

Punching the dough down.

Turned out on the floured board, Hayden punches down the dough.

He was so surprised at how soft and tender the dough was. Again a lot of concentration as he flattened the dough.

Folding and turning the dough

Folding and turning.

Marking the sections into even amounts

Marking the sections into equal sizes for cutting and shaping.

The first half of the dough is cut, shaped and ready for the baking pan.

The first half of the dough is cut, shaped and ready for the baking pan.

A Ta Da moment for Hayden. He wanted a commemorative photo of the event.

Laying them on the pan.

Laying the bread stick dough onto the pan.

The second half of the dough has been measured, cut and shaped and is on the pan.

The second half of the dough has been measured, cut and shaped and is on the baking pan. Hayden is brushing melted butter on the top of each bread stick.

Adding a sprinkle of salt.

Adding a sprinkle of salt.

Into the oven they go.

Into the hot oven they go.

Our young baker had no confidence in pot holders keeping him safe.

Our young baker had no confidence in pot holders keeping him safe. At this point he set it on the door of the oven and told me to put them in.

Done!

Done!

Next time we will not do gluten-free. He will be experienced and not intimidated by getting them smooth. I was so proud of his enthusiasm and his “I CAN DO IT” attitude, I simply let him roll.

They are awesome!

Thanks, Hayden for your help.

Hugs,

Grams (Shez to the rest of you)

PS When he arrived the next day the first thing he wanted to know was had I posted the photoz to prove to everyone he had actually “made the bread sticks all by myself.” So here you go Hayden, proof you actually made them all by himself. You Rock, Buddy.

(No I do not call him Buddy, I call him Sweetheart, but at 12 and in middle school, it’s not cool to call him that in public.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Children, Do It Yourself, Family, Food, Holiday, Random

Where’s Waldo?

Halloween Costumes

Halloween Costumes

Okay I apologize, but I had to post this photo of my daughter-in-law the mama fox and my granddaughter the fox kit. They look so cute in their little costumes and the great face paint. But the big question here is this: Were you able to find Waldo?

A close up of Waldo, the mother fox and the fox kit.

A close up of Waldo, the mother fox and the fox kit.

I thought perhaps a close up would help you find my grandson aka Waldo.

We turned the page on the calendar and that means Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before we blink. What is it with time rushing by so fast?

We have much to be thankful for simply because of where we live. I do worry about everyone one on the east coast that was affected by Hurricane Sandy. Such devastation, where are the people whose homes and everything they own are gone, going to spend the night? Will they be warm? Will they be fed? Who is there to help them tonight? How can I help them?

Until we meet again, be thankful,

Shez

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Filed under Children, Decorating, Family, Holiday, Random

New Wheels!

After selling my car 12 years ago  (we used the money to keep the business afloat during the economic crisis of the dot com bust) we finally are a two car family again.  Yea!!

2000 Ford Ranger

2000 Ford Ranger Front view

Am I happy? You’re darn tootin’. I know we almost never need two vehicles, but there are times when he needs to go one direction and I would like to go another. So we both go both directions. I’m not complaining, mind you but it has been 12 years since I have gone shopping for clothes without him. If you have ever shopped with a guy, they are one track minded. They have a list of what they need. It looks like this: 1 pair jeans, package of underwear, and one grey and one blue tee-shirt.

When I go shopping I want to look at what is new, check things out, see what looks fun and will it coordinate with something in my closet? If not, I want to shop other stores to find the exact right item to go with it. Do any of you gals relate to that? You can imagine my frustration upon entering a store and he asks, “What’s on your list, I’ll help you find it.”

And the yarn and fabric store? Oh boy, he tries really hard to be patient and accommodating and does come up with some great ideas, but has not much patience when I am looking for a specific type of fabric for say a skirt.

2000 Ford Ranger 3/4 view

My new wheels in another view.

Now a lot of you might not be excited about getting a truck, but I’m a practical kind of girl and am used to driving big trucks and vehicles so finding this cute little one makes me very happy!!!

It had everything on it a person could wish for and is perfect inside and outside. Our mechanic confirmed it was perfect under the hood as well.  It was an amazing find and I think we were very lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

Our other vehicle we dubbed the Blackberry Bus due to its great color and the fact it seats seven. The grandkids named this one Wolf Train because it is the color of a grey wolf and if the other one is a bus, this must be a train. It seats two in the front and two small people aka grandchildren in the little rear seats.

Since the two vehicles serve different purposes we of course will trade-off depending on who needs to go where or get what. Most of the time we will carpool as we have done for a dozen years. Most of the time it works out perfectly. But trust me, Sweet Hubs is dancing a jig because he will not have to go shopping with me again or bring me home and drop me off if he needs to go somewhere after work. If either of us want to go someplace after work, we can take both vehicles. Plus he can get a load of bark-dust without having to pay to have it delivered!

I haven’t driven it yet. Das Boot has made getting in and out of anything awkward and I haven’t ventured anywhere solo since the body slam to the concrete. It’s all healing fine, but I will be very happy to wear real shoes again on both feet.

Cheers,

Shez

 

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Filed under Cars, Family, Life's Contradictions, Random

The Wake

It seems like there are days that life just throws a lot of curve balls and I can deal with that, it’s when they are grouped together and become weeks, overlapping weeks that it becomes a challenge. That’s when even finding time to write down the fun blog I want to post never arrives. A few other things pop up and by the time there is time, nothing fun or funny comes to mind. A family event is taking a bit more of my time than I seem to have but is something I want to share. First a little history is needed.

My mother and her sisters were very close. They chatted on the phone often and visited each other at least monthly.  After they all retired, they got together often for Mexican Train Dominoes. They mistakenly believed that none of their children (we cousins) ever got together and with our growing families; we admit we didn’t often have the chance, but we thought about it a lot. So to thwart their lazy children,  they (the sisters) decided that an annual family picnic was the way to force all of the cousins and all their children, baby and kid paraphernalia, diapers, food, bottles into our cars and drive to a designated spot to have lunch.

Of course the Annual Picnic was hatched well before they retired, and the rules were laid down when our little ones were babes in arms. As they got older the Annual Picnic took on new meaning and became a driving force for them.

The oldest member of the family at 89 is so happy to meet the youngest.

Mom always adored babies. What fun for her to meet the latest addition to our family.

They thought of nothing else, taking a whole year to plan. We had to eat precisely at Noon. Not a second later.  (That makes for a stressful Saturday morning for families because not only were we to be packed and there but we also had to bring food, dishes and silverware, drinks, etc.) Interestingly the sisters decided “pot luck” might produce a once yearly unbalanced meal so they assigned all the descendants of each sister to a food category. Main dishes, salads, deserts. These rotated by sister each year. Somewhere along the line the sisters decided it could not be a real picnic without Un-named to Protect the Guilty Large Grocery Deli’s fried chicken. Not to pick on said Un-named to Protect the Guilty Large Grocery Deli’s chicken, but even fresh at the deli, it is not that good. Several hours after pick up it is horrible.

Family Reunion Picnic 2011

Two Nieces, a Sister-in-Law and Great-great-Nephew Greet Granny

As the sisters got even older and there were only two left they decided to turn it over to the cousins to plan. Oh we were thrilled. Actually none of us objected to that what we did object to was the phone calls.  They were always the same: “Have you girls set the date and place for the reunion yet?”  They began the nagging in March. As they got older the phones calls got earlier. At some point we cousins actually started betting to see which of us would get the first phone call reminding us of the Annual Picnic and had we set the date and place? Trust me with a houseful of kids, animals, sports, school and holidays, were we even thinking of a picnic in February? Not on your life. We were trying to find snow boots for their feet.

I won that bet one year not because mom was the only one left, but because she knew my cousins and I were taking a weekend trip in October and she decided we must set the date while we were all together.  She called every day for six weeks to remind me. I found out she also called all the cousins at least once a week to remind them as well. Over dinner one night we cousins did set the date. First Saturday in August, just like it had been the previous dozen or so years, at the standard beach location. We decided on Pot Luck because what if everyone brought the same thing? As one very wise cousin put it, “So what is the down side of 20 different chocolate cakes?”

Family Reunion 2011

Pictures from last family reunion show the way our family is: All Smiles.

My mom was exceptional, she started calling about the picnic in late September.  Unfortunately, it did little to stem the trickle flood of phone calls. By that time in her life, mom was having trouble remembering dates. So once or twice a week she would call, “Did you set the date for the picnic yet?” And each time I would sweetly (Honest, I was always sweet with her or at the least very patient. Really!) remind her it was same place, same time and the same date. As always it was the first Saturday in August and she would be riding with us.

Three of cousin Sue's Granddaughters

This little princess was not too happy to look at the camera but her sister and cousin were more than happy to strike a pose and pop smiles.

With the exception of a few of her cousins Mom was the last of her generation. She died  last October of pancreatic cancer, just a few weeks after her last Annual Picnic. Her service was a small family affair at the grave site where we spread some of her ashes. It was the first Saturday of November. The rest of her ashes have been interned in their double plot beside dad. The date marker of 2011 has been installed.

Next weekend is first Saturday in August, in honor of our mothers, we are having the family reunion at our house. It is a pot luck at about 1, stay as late as anyone can. If they can’t arrive at one, we will be here fixing dinner later. So not a problem.

The event is a Wake, rather than a Celebration of Life, or a Memorial. The reason is simple, mom’s favorite movie was Waking Ed Devine. We may actually  watch that this week, just to make sure we cover all bases.

Two pretty girls help clean up and get to keep the giant and very colorful paper flowers

These two were so happy to be awarded the beautiful paper flowers when the party was over and things were being picked up. Left of the brunette you can see Mom, still holding her great-great nephew.

I’m sorry, but if you are not a friend or relative of my mother you aren’t invited. If you are a friend or relative please join us. Can you bring a chocolate cake? Oh, wait, dang I can’t eat gluten. Guess I better get busy whipping up a GF Chocolate cake, or at I can whip up a batch of awesome GF Chocolate Brownies for desert. Either works for me. Maybe I should experiment with both GF and vegan. Just for fun.

Here is where mom and dad will always be: In my heart. Their remains and the marker that tells others they walked this earth is on the hillside just below the marble relief of the last supper.

A marble carving of the Last Supper

Marble relief of The Last Supper is at the top of the hill in the portion of the cemetery where Mom is buried.

Next weekend I hope she’ll be looking down from above with her sisters and they’ll all be smiling and saying, “Can you imagine, they actually got it together without a single phone call???” Then perhaps they’ll laugh and realize they did a good pretty job, we all turned out to be great group of people, with fantastic children and extraordinary grandchildren and we are a happy bunch.

Hugs,

Shez

PS The fist five photos were taken last year at the Annual Picnic. Mom’s last big picnic. Because of a surprise significant birthday incorporated into the day, the picnic was held in late July. It was a very good thing it was early. Mom was able to be there and love every minute of the day. She never realized the date had been changed. The last picture taken last Friday.

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Filed under Children, Family, Food, Humor, Random, The Great Outdoors