Tag Archives: living

Creating: The Tote Project Part 1

It all started because of two things. One a little article I had read about using felt markers and alcohol to paint on tee shirts and two, I needed a new knitting bag. Well in reality,  I didn’t think I needed a new one. The pink, blue, yellow, white and lime green striped one I found at the dollar store, the one with the blue handles was working fine. It was hubs who didn’t like it. Not because it was getting dirty but he just didn’t like it.

So I decided to make a new knitting bag. This one would even have a pocket on the front with a zipper for all the little stuff knitters like and a top that also zipped just so there would be fewer accidental spilling of contents on the car floor or wherever I might be knitting.

But first I decided to take a little detour to decorate a tee-shirt. Had trouble with the tiny ribs of the fabric creating hazards for my pen work so decided that I’d give it a try on some plain cotton. I ventured forth into the most creative fun I had in years. Decided that it would be the perfect thing for the zipper pocket on the front of my knitting bag. And experimenting away I ended up with eight pockets and a Christmas gift project to make for my three daughters, my daughter-in-law, two granddaughters, my sister and best friend.

  • I began with loose sketches.
Chicadees

chickadees

Fox

Fox

20150215_144028

Giant Red Mushroom

Giant Red Mushroom

Poppies

Poppies

Elm Leaves

Elm Leaves

Geraniam

Geranium

Number eight was from a photograph of mine of a Hydrangea my daughter gave me. As I mentioned, my sketches are very informal, they are little more than little guide to what I hope to create.

Then I fearlessly jumped into paint with markers directly onto my fabrics. The actual work is of course done, but showing your the progress and results begins in my next post.

Until then keep creating, or reading, or listening to music, or painting. Just enjoy what you do,

Cheers,

Shez

 

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Filed under Art, Crafts, Creating, Learning, Painting, Random

Living with Celiac Disease

w20130909GFCupcakes
Gluten Free Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Butter Cream. *see end of post
Four years ago I had figured out I was gluten intolerant and had tried to avoid gluten. A recent routine endoscopy showed damaged celia and the biopsies confirmed I am a Celiac.  The doctors were perplexed, the tissue samples confirmed Celiac, but my blood work was perfect. Four years of Gluten Free eating resulted in perfect blood work.
I had an appointment with a dietician. It was there I learned the dangers of being Celiac. She gave me a full folder of facts, details and information.
Celiac Disease is life-long. The celia never grow back but they do heal to the point they begin to processes nutrients. My tolerance is zero, so even cross contamination such as double dipping a knife in the peanut butter or jam to spread onto regular bread does cause me to react if I use a clean knife in the same peanut butter or jam jar to spread on a slice of GF bread. Each exposure takes a several days or weeks for the injures to the celia to heal enough to begin processing nutrients. During those days, I am freezing cold and exhausted.
w20130620BerrriesAndCream
Fresh Berries from the garden with real freshly whipped cream.*
One of the things in the folder of stuff is a list of all the names of foods that contain gluten. Many are simply different styles and types of wheat and different processes that end up  gluten of a different name.
NOT ALLOWED IN ANY FORMWheat (einkorn, durum or duram, faro, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt, freekeh, bulgur), Barley, Rye, Triticale, Malt, malt flavoring, malt vinegar (are made from barley). Barley contains the highest percentage of gluten of all the grains.
Beer is out, wine and distilled spirits even wheat based whiskeys are fine. The gluten molecules are too big to make it through the distillation process.
Wheat Free is not safe, Certified Gluten Free is. If in doubt do NOT eat it.
w20130830BrightGFBananaCake
Butter Cream Frosted GF Banana Cake*
It goes on to say labels must be read every time foods are purchased. Manufacturers can change ingredients at any time. There is a huge list of additives that may or may not be GF. That list includes: modified food starch, starch, dextrin. If it does not say certified Gluten Free do not eat without calling the manufacturer to inquire about the root source of the starch. ie: Tapioca Starch and Corn Starch are safe, of course.
Eating Gluten Free as a way of losing weight, may be trendy. It won’t hurt you but it is not a disease and you can eat it anytime it is inconvenient to go hungry.
These two websites have tons of information. www.gluten.net which is a Gluten Intolerance organization in Auburn WA. Also www.celiac.org. Be wary of simple internet searches without verifying the source. The mayo clinic has info. Canada has a really good web site with lots of really good information.
w20130616MerangueStack
Chocolate Studded Merengue Stacked with Whipped Cream*
Celiacs are supposed to carry a card in their wallet and even a health bracelet identifying Celiac. An emergency hospital stay, from a car accident for instance, complete with typical hospital fare of crackers and pudding could be the last nail in the coffin… fun, huh?
Gluten Free is healthy because it focuses on fresh fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils, fish and some lean meat. It is no more healthy than any other diet that includes sweets, cakes, pastas, sodas and other rich foods. I focus on healthy with great taste, but sometimes a special occasion calls for a special treat. Four of those are shown above.
* Learning to cook GF has been an adventure. Instead of trying to mimic the taste of  “normal” food, we have learned to appreciate a new world of food we had not known. The bottom line is it has to taste great. It needs to be something guests will enjoy as well. Slowly I am developing special occasion recipes. Sometimes a great desert can be as simple as fresh berries topped with freshly whipped cream and a sprig of mint. Sometimes the occasion calls for something spectacular, even a multi layer cake. The deserts in the photos are my GF recipes and were served for special occasions. The merengue is naturally GF and without the chocolate and the whipped cream it is not too unhealthy.
Cheers to healthy eating,
Shez

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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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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 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

Run. It’s Another Grandmother Brag

It’s no secret I’m nutty over my grandkids. It is written into the rules and code book for grandmothers and I’m just doing my job.

Some of you know Sweet Hubs and I and our daughter flew to Denver to spend the weekend with our granddaughter and her mother. It was her final home game and the last day of games for Colorado College’s Gym. A new athletic center is under construction and the gym was scheduled to be gutted on Monday.

Three Seniors Honored

I thrust my camera into the hand of one of the Team Dad’s. With a 2 minute lesson in using the camera he bravely took on the task of filming the ceremony and snapping a few pictures. The team members are wearing pink tee shirts for breast cancer awareness. The senior women took their’s off for the ceremony. In the front row flanked by team mates is Jordy Stephensen #25 with her mother and father, Jenny Knapp #11 with her mom and dad. Next is Sweet Hubs, me, Becky Luetjen #2 with her mom (our daughter Lee). It was sweet of Becky to bend way down so she wouldn’t tower over her elders. 😉

Colorado College Women won their game. Becky came to sit with us afterward and didn’t really want me to take a photo, after all she was hot, sweaty, and devoid of any makeup. It was a coincidence that she and her mom were both wearing the same color.

Becky and Lee

After this a group of future basketball players came over to the CC team and asked to have their shirts signed. The ladies sweetly obliged.

Here's a pen, Becky.

Many signatures

Two very happy future players

These two sweeties just couldn’t stop smiling after their shirts were signed. They were very happy to pose for a photo.

We had a fabulous weekend to celebrate Becky’s 13 year commitment to basketball. We came back with some great photos and memories. Becky is the hardest working person I know and deserves any and honors that come her way.

Now to validate my claim that she is awesome, I submit proof right here:

http://www.scacsports.com/awardsHonors/character_community/2011_2012/athletes_of_the_week/week19_female_b

Honest, there were no bribes, I do not even know any of the people who made this decision.

Cheers.

Shez

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The Bond Grandparent + Grandchildren

It truly seems grandchildren are more awesome even than our kids were. It’s also true that they do not give we grandparents much “flack.” We are accused of spoiling them, but the parents a doing a good job of the “spoiling them rotten” detail. After all the original little ones arrived we did not know how to be parents. We used them as our lab rats and they were our experimental practice. We learned from our own kids how we could do a better job. They survived. We survived. They turned into wonderful adults and somewhere along the line we became acutely aware that no matter what kind of parents any of the kids we knew had, by the time they graduated from high school, there were no “binkies”, not one still clung to a “blanky,” sucked their thumb, or ran when they had to ceremoniously walk . They could dress themselves, fix or find something to eat, go to bed without nagging or threats. They had discovered that other people did indeed notice good hygiene.

In no particular order and without identifying any of them, here are some photos of my children and grandchildren. There are no photos prior to 2003 and the ones from 2003 are very poor quality digital. But if you ever come to my house I have photo books by year that follows them and their friends from birth to digital age.

Here’s the big secret with grandchildren: time goes by so much quicker now, that they grow up, spread their wings, and head off into a new adult life, before we can blink twice. They are much more patient with us than their parents were.

Our job with the grandkids is to love them just the way they are. We know they will turn out just fine. Let their parents worry all night about some tedious thing they are or aren’t doing that mom and dad think they should. They all make it to adulthood. Whether they had everything or very little if they had people who love, encourage and believe in them,  it seems they become good people.

We were really lucky, Sweet Hubs and I, all four of our children grew into smart, wonderful, caring, responsible people. Did I mention we love them to pieces and are so lucky they all live within a half hour drive? We cherish the fact that we do get to see them often. Our best times have always been gathering in the living room, shoes off, fire in the fireplace chatting and laughing, sharing new ideas or remembering old ones, and now instead of sharing mugs of hot cocoa we often share a glass of wine together.

Also I just stumbled upon a simple thing. Click on any one of the photos and it enlarges and you can click the arrows to view each photo. Unfortunately it does not include the clever captions I spent time creating. Oh well, maybe they were clever enough and you are all being spared!

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