Tag Archives: love

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

Doll Project

Doll pattern and fabric.

Doll pattern and fabric.


One thing I love to do is make doll patterns and dolls. It suddenly dawned on me that fox girl had not received her doll. I know she is more an animal person than a doll person and she has dozens of dolls, whole collections of Bratz, Barbies, Monster High, Disney Princes, all in multiple sizes plus lots of Polly Pockets, and miniature dolls that go with bugs and animals of all sizes. The one thing she didn’t need was yet another doll. But on the other hand she couldn’t be the only one of my girls not to have a soft, handmade doll. After the panic to get the fox dress done, nothing would do but I would burn the midnight oil to made a doll for her.

Since she had spent hours sitting in my lap “helping” and watching while I did all the drawings for my book, I thought it was time Lexi came to life. It was a huge gamble that she wouldn’t care, but for me I love to make dolls and this was a great excuse to make another one.

So I dug out my pattern, the fabric and I was off and running. Sweet Hubs was just shaking his head in disbelief that I would take on such a project with so little time available and I only had ten days to do it. That is ten days that were all fill to overflowing with work, housework, decorating, cookie making parties, dinners, guests, etc. Oh and let’s not forget a daily photo blog commitment plus and occasional post here and wanting to keep up with all of your blogs.

Parts growing.

Parts growing.

Unfortunately, I didn’t even think about taking many progress photos. So you will see in the next photo that I did get the parts cut, sewn, stuffed and mostly together.

A doll in progress.

The headless doll is nearly ready for her head.

And she needed a bit more stuffing before the head was attached.

Doll has her head attached.

Head attached.

The next three steps are to add her face and give her a haircut and make underwear before the next photo.

The doll has a face and underwear.

Meet Lexi. I hope you recognize her from my blog icon.

Here is Lexi waiting for her new clothes.

The doll is named Lexi and she is finished.

Lexi is finished.

Now to make a dress and shoes for her. If only I had been able to take Monday off work, but I couldn’t and I realized that Lexi would likely not have shoes.

The doll has a dress that matches the young girl's dress.

Lexi in her Fox dress.

No shoes but a dress just like the girl’s dress. And in case you are wondering, while managing to applique a fox on a child’s dress was time-consuming and tedious, the smaller the applique the harder they are to do. To say this doll dress took hours would be accurate.

Wish I could tell you that my granddaughter loved it all, but that would be stretching the truth. Oh, she was sweet and gracious and would never hurt my feelings intentionally. She did not like the denim because it was shiny with silver threads, she doesn’t like dolls nearly as much a foxes. She knows it’s special, but I could tell it’s not really her thing, now. I had a ton of fun making it. Maybe she’ll let me borrow it.

Little girl with doll.

My sweet granddaughter with Lexi on New Year’s eve.

Little Granddaughter’s pajamas just happened to coordinate with Lexi’s new dress. The new black boots were too small.

My Christmas present was a NEW SEWING & EMBROIDERY machine!!! So some new clothes for Lexi was a great way to try it out. It’s my first computerized sewing machine and it takes a bit of a learning curve, but I LOVE it!! No excuses now not to get some projects finished up.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. Thank you dear friends for sharing yourselves with me through this past year. It is wonderful to have friends all over the world.

Cheers to new friendships,






Filed under Children, Crafts, Do It Yourself, Holiday, Random, Sewing

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.



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.


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

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

Valentine Card

Hi, what better time than today to send some wishes your way. I have always separated my love of graphics from my photography. But ever since I took this photo I have thought it should be a Valentine. So I let my creative side free. I hope the results bring a smile to your face.

Blowing Wishes Your Way

Happy Valentine Day.



Filed under Crafts, Family, Holiday, Photography, The Great Outdoors

Wishes for a Happy Valentine Day

This image is not a February photo, but none the less it has always reminded me of Valentine Day. I think it is the red and pink vest and the sweetheart blowing wishes.

Wishes for a wonderful Valentine Day!

It works for me, I hope it works for you. 😀




Filed under Family, Holiday, Photography, Random, Uncategorized

Day 19 A New Morning

This morning I was in tears, again. After so many hours in hospitals holding mom’s hand I was denied the right to be there holding her hand when she died. I live 6 minutes from my mom. Everyone in every hospice, hospital, nursing home, assisted living, and care center had me on speed dial because they knew how strong the bond between my mother was.

That does not mean we always agreed. We didn’t. But our discussions were rarely heated and few. I loved her, she loved me in her own way. We accepted each other. The last many years she has relied on my husband and I to be there for her. We never let her down.

As her needs grew, so did the time we gave, and so did our love for her. No place she had stayed during this ordeal we faced together had ever worried about calling anytime, any hour and since they always have people on night shift they never worry about calling at midnight or 2am or 4am, if mom needed me I was always available. Her red cell phone around her neck was her security blanket and she used it to call.

When I left her at 7:45pm on Monday night, her care giver and I talked. Neither of us believed she would last through the night. But I would not last through the night either if I did not get some food. A skimpy breakfast 12 hours earlier had long ago worn thin. My sweet and patient husband had gone home to get the last of the “it’s almost winter” yard, patio, and deck things packed up and stowed before the winter rains begin. He also would be running on an empty fuel level himself.

Before I left Monday night I was not only surprised to see my sister but so glad she had been able to come again so soon. I knew with her there, mom would have a family member there until I could get back. I left knowing I would get the phone call from either my sister if mom’s condition deteriorated early or mom’s care giver as the night grew long. Her care giver promised to call if anything took a turn for the worse.

I had felt badly for my sister that due to circumstances out of her control she had been unable to visit mom more than once a week. She works 9-10 hour days, lives an hour drive away and suffered some permanent vision damage from a stroke this spring and is not allowed to drive. It has made it difficult for her to always have transportation.

I went home to a very restless night with little sleep ever coming. I was expecting the call. My clothes were folded and on the counter in the bathroom so I could dress in two minutes and get to mom.

At 9pm my mother had a seizure just as my sister was ready to leave. She decided to spend the night and sent her husband back home. But she didn’t call me. As I tossed and turned and waited for the phone call that never came, I did not know my sister was with mom. Apparently as it grew closer to morning it became evident that mom’s death was imminent mom became a little agitated and my sister sang to her, talked to her, held her, hugged her, and soothed her. All things my mother needed. But she did not phone me…

…until 4:50am. I was confused, I was expecting mom’s care giver’s voice, why was my sister calling? Was she okay? Was her husband? Was there an emergency with her family? What had happened that she would call at 4:50am?

Mom had died ten minutes ago.

I did not say anything. I was devastated and hurt. I had failed to keep my promise to mom. The promise I had made many years ago when mom had admitted to me that she feared being alone and she feared death. I promised her I would not let her die alone, I would be there. Everyone who ever knew me realized the importance of this pact to both of us.

Burying my feelings is something I am a master at. This time my mastery has failed me. Every time I think about mom dying and me being only minutes away I cry again and again.

The overwhelming despair engulfs me. I needed to be with her as much for me as for her. That was no secret either. Everyone knew it was important to me. But in the end, only minutes away, I was denied my last goodbye to my mom. WHY oh why??

In the gloom of the morning I got a text from my grandson. He’s 11. He’s an Asperger kid. They are not supposed to be able to process human emotions. But this is what he sent to my phone:

BEAUTIFUL sunrise at our house this morning

Him: How are you feeling about granny today?

Me: Still sad. But Better. The picture this morning made me feel better. How are you feeling about Granny?

Him: I feel very bad. Are you gonna send a random picture of granny to me in memory?

Me: I’m going to post your morning picture to my blog tonight.

Me: I’ll look for a picture right now.

Him: Cool

(Please remember that as we text back and forth Q &  A are not always one after the other do to time lags as we both are typing. We texters do get used to that.)

Mom and Me

I sent him several from my phone and felt better.

Great-Grandson and his Granny

Looking at this picture I know this very special young boy has the ability to make me see the beauty, feel his love and care, and know life goes on.

An 84 year age difference, two very wonderful girls.

Adorable Little Sister was a brave girl to face a roomful of sick, very elderly people. She bravely sat on Great-Granny’s lap and showered her with hugs and kisses. What a sweet child.

Tomorrow is a new day. The sun will come up, I’ll have a good day, the sun will set. My wounds will heal. I will not stomp around and hurt others. My undying belief is that everyone is doing the best they can with the tools God gave them. None of us are perfect. Pouring out my heart in this blog helps me feel better.

But mostly my grandchildren are the best mood enhances ever. Yesterday Grandson and Grandson’s Little Sister came in to work with their mommy and brought me a beautiful bouquet, and best of all hugs and kisses.

My Desk Today, with thanks to my family. Oct 26, 2011

Wishing you all beauty and hugs.

G’ Nite



Filed under Family, Life's Contradictions