Monday, December 31, 2012

Busy, Busy Month!

As some of you are aware we moved our daughter, Stephenie, and her family to Oklahoma!  We moved about half a dozen loads like this from south Louisiana:

And of course in the midst of all of that was Christmas...  We raced home between one of the trips and decorated.   It was especially important to us since Punkin' would not have a 'home', leaving it behind and all the emotions that come with it - we figured she would need some Christmas spirit.  Thanks Steph for taking all these Christmas pictures!

See the cross?  We could not find one anywhere so Steve built it and I LOVE our cross!

This is what our fireplace and shelves looked like.  I think someone tossed a bunch of snowmen out there:

My Christmas village was set up for the first time in years:

I love the bonfire - it reminds me of all the Christmas Eve years we went to the Festival of the Bonfires

More snowmen...

And even more snowmen...

Someone might like snowmen...

Not sure about that, but I believe this house might like snowmen!

The kid settled in nicely - playing outside with the dogs every single day - most of the day. Even in the freezing cold weather, Punkin' and the dogs are running around our 20 acres!

Hmmm, the date might be wrong here... but see the chicken coop behind the kid and dogs? 

Yes, the chickens even made the trip.  Todd figured they would have severe PTSD when they arrived and would need counseling... 

But they settled into their new coop quite nicely:

So all is well  now in our world.  I had been sick for a month so posting was not on the top of my 'to do' list.  Even being sick, I still had to help with the move - but we made it happen!

Steph (our daughter) had surgery last Friday and her hubby, Todd, has surgery scheduled for the 2nd of January.  Maybe they will all be well starting the new  year.

Darn!  I have missed this. I have had eye trouble and could not see my computer.  More on that later... but for now, HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I hope this New Year is the best and blessed yet for you and your loved ones.

I will be back, better than ever - and blogging again.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Missin' Satumas!

It is that time of year again in Louisiana - but we are in Oklahoma!  No matter how much you love the place you are, there are sweet memories of places left behind.  I am sharing one of those Louisiana memories today.

Most people love going to the pumpkin patch when fall comes.  We love that too, but we also love going to the satsuma farm!  Satsumas are a small, very sweet, juicy orange that ripens after the first frost in Louisiana.  I am not sure what kind of orange they are, but they remind me of a mandarin orange only not as sweet. 

Every year, Steph, Raelee and I would pile in the vehicle and go satsuma picking.  We have gone with friends, met friends there, gone on a girls day out, taken Girl Scout troops.. it is a yearly tradition - one that I am missing dearly this year!  

Here are a few pics from the last time I went to the orange patch...


I am missin' those days - and the satsumas!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Flat Stanley Dives in Guam!

Hi Class!

Flat (Aedan) Stanley checking in from the little island country of Guam.  :-) 

After a day trip across the ocean, I arrived in Guam on October 27th just in the nick of time!  In fact, Ron and Jeff were on their way to dive and picked me up at the post office!  Thank goodness I made it before they went out for the day – the told me we were on the way to  Gab Gab Beach to Scuba Dive!

I had to read the diving manuals then the guys taught me everything they know about diving in Guam – which was a lot.  I tried hanging out in a Ziploc dive tube, but it made my view of the underground world blurry, so we ditched it in a hurry.  Don’t worry, Ron and Jeff took extra special care of me. They made sure I had everything I needed to survive my deep sea adventure.  We investigated all the nooks critters could hide and found a few treasures too!

WHOA!!  Are there some great salt water critters in the ocean!  I met Sponge, Octopus, Nemo, Starfish, Yellowfish, BIG Fish, Little Fish, Coral, Clams, and - well, just take a look at the pictures!  I had a terrific time!  The guys even kept those fish from swallowing me whole!  Some of them were HUGE!  They showed me how to sneak in some tiny places to see the eel in them, how to stand (gently) in the coral, and how to feed the fish hot dogs.  Did you know fish like hot dogs?  Did you see the pictures??  

Well, I have to fly – I am going to Singapore next!  It is another tiny island on the very southern tip of Malaysia – but it is not a part of Malaysia, it is a tiny country all on its own!  Aedan’s granny and papa used to live in Singapore and her friend, Miss Andrea, and her daughter, Anna, are going to show me around the island.  Granny has told me all about it.  She was sure to tell me not to take gum into Singapore because it is illegal to chew gum there!  It is supposed to be a very clean and beautiful place to visit.  Granny said loved living on that island!  She also told me it is very close to the equator and that 365 days a year it is very steamy and HOT!  Singapore has a tropical rain forest on it.  I cannot wait to see how beautiful it is!
Oh, and one more thing:  GUESS WHAT???  We have dinner reservations at The Red Piano in Siem Reap, Cambodia for a really non traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day!!  I can’t wait to see what that is all about!  Save me some turkey, please?
What an adventure I am having!  Thank you so much for sending on this world wide tour!!
Flat (Aedan) Stanley

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fall, Fall Colors!

Colors of fall - if you have never seen them, they take your breath away!  

Just a few fabulous Friday pics:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Flat Stanley Goes to the Rodeo!

Our grandson, Aedan, sent us a Flat Stanley to send around the world... we started right here in Oklahoma.  I am going to share his travels so Aedan and his family can keep up with him.  Hope you all don't mind!

A big “Howdy” to Aedan and to all his classmates!

I arrived safely in Oklahoma!  I am staying on a farm - far, far from any grocery stores.  Wal-Mart is even 30 miles away!  It is beautiful here, there are lots of rolling hills and a big pond.  We have 10 horses staying with us - they are the nayyyy-bors horses and they are BIG – HUGE in fact!  Granny told me I had to stay away from their hooves because they could step on me and squish me flat.  Get it?  Flat!  I am already Flat! 

When I arrived, I was so glad to be taken out of the envelope.  I was looking forward to stretching out for a day or two, but found out we had immediate plans to go to the Ozark Mule Races in Pea Ridge, Arkansas!  I could not believe it!  After being 'Flat' in an envelope, I was going to ride a MULE!  Not a horse, but a MULE!

Boy did we ride!  The young lady I was honored to ride with was named Chandler.  We ran around barrels, grabbed flags and moved them and jumped poles.  We rode every event there and won them all!  Yes, we won two first place blue ribbons and won 2 second place ribbons!  Then we won Youth High Point which is a very high honor, and we WON it!  It was crazy fast I tell ya, and we went round and round and over barrels and round again.  I was so dizzy that I could barely stand!  But then we collected $650!!!  That made me feel much better – of course, then I got dizzy with excitement!

Today I leave to go on a new adventure.  I am going to Scuba Dive!  I am a great swimmer, so that will be fun!  Does anyone have some scuba gear I can borrow?  I need flat gear -  really flat!  I hear that I have a lot of fun adventures ahead.  I will be busy the rest of the year.  Granny lived in Asia and she has lots of friends far and wide.  We are going to see how many places I can explore in the next few months.  Can you guess how many countries I might see?

I have to hop in the mailbox now.  I have my passport and am ready for a long ride across the ocean.  I will be looking for the island named Guam with a handsome Navy officer and is wife who is waiting just for me. 


Flat Aedan Stanley

Monday, October 29, 2012

Breathe Easy My Friend

In May of 2008, Steve and I found out we were going to Singapore for him to do a new project.  How was I going to cope with a flip-side move?  I did the only thing I knew to do; I hopped on a worldwide scrapbooking website forum and asked if anyone was in Singapore or knew someone in Singapore.  (Thank God for the technology to let me do this... how did people before the internet survive?)  

I immediately got this sweet note from a lady named Debbie that her best friend lived in Singapore and she would have her contact me.  A few days later, Pam contacted me and we were on an adventurous road of learning new things about the place we were moving.  Once I got to Singapore, Pam helped me get my feet wet, taught me how to shop, where to shop and when I had questions I could ask Pam. 

Thank God for Pam and the technology that brought her to me. 

But this post is not only about Pam; it is about her best friend, Debbie, too.  In order for you to understand their friendship, you must first know that Pam had a sister with Cystic Fibrosis.  Pam's sister, and Debbie had gotten to know each other because of the disease they had in common.  Sadly, Pam's sister, whose name was also Debby, passed away from Cystic Fibrosis.  Because their families had become so close due to the disease, Debbie and Pam became close friends - in fact, best friends.  Pam has rallied every single time Debbie had a setback from her CF.  They spoke for hours on end on Skype and Pam talked about Debbie every chance she had - her and Deb were very close.  In fact, Pam traveled from all ends of the earth to support Debbie when she was ill with encouragement, giggles and laughs. 

Louie, Debbie and Pam

Debbie took a turn for the worse earlier this year.  She was struggling to breath and her body was getting weaker.  She was put on a transplant list, and everyone was thrilled when she received her new lungs on July 28th of this year.  She rallied!  She did terrific!  Louie, Debbie's hubby and Pam kept us posted on what was going on in Deb's life, but she was doing great things with her new lungs; she was enjoying walking up steps, going shopping, getting a new hairdo, getting used to life without her nasal cannula and she was getting stronger every day! Debbie even got to post her milestones on her blog and we were elated with each one.

I kept up with Debbie through Pam as long as I was in Singapore, and through Deb's blog when I left - and even though we had never met, I felt like I knew her.  I know it sounds silly, but I did.  

2 weeks ago, Debbie started running fever.  The Drs could not find the source of the temperature, but they admitted her to the hospital and started running tests.  Prayers were sent out for her across the world.  Pam and Louie (her hubby) kept us posted.  Finally, the source was found - she had an abscess between her trach and esophagus.  Immediately, they scheduled surgery, but sadly there were complications during the operation.  The details are insignificant, but it was a drastic turn of events; Deb came out of surgery and went into ICU.  Pam kept updating us, but the updates were not promising and I knew she was preparing all of us - herself as well.  

Debbie passed away Friday morning.  I knew it had happened before we got word;  I woke Friday morning and *knew* the news would come - I had a dark, sick cloud hanging over me from the moment I woke and I had a very dismal feeling - I even posted of the black cloud on Facebook...  I just knew. 

I cannot express how great of a loss that I felt when I got word that Debbie had not made it.  I guess it is because Debbie really helped fill in a stressful time in my life (my move to Singapore) by sharing her bestie, and the fact that I continued to follow Deb's story, her milestones and pitfalls through her blog.  It could also be that Pam has been such a close friend to Debbie, almost like a sister, in fact, and I know in my heart the pain Pam is going through.  She lost her sister to Cystic Fibrosis and now she has lost her very best friend to the same disease.  What a horrendous, devastating loss.  My heart aches deeply for Pam.  Whatever the reason, it is with great sadness that I feel the need to tell her story.  

Can you see how close they were in this picture?  Pam is on the left and Debbie is on the right: 

I absolutely love the picture of them.  Both so carefree and happy.  You can see the deep friendship and closeness they share. 

Pam, I love you.  My prayers will be with you and Louie and everyone else who loves Debbie.

My dearest 'friend' Debbie; you touched many lives while you were with us here, you were an inspiration for us - and you have left a huge heartstring in those who knew you.  You were only in my life a few short years, but I got to know what a terrific person you were through all those who surrounded you with love and support.  You touched so many hearts, including mine.  God has another angel in his ranks in heaven; a precious one named Debbie, who is peacefully watching over those she loves.  I know you are taking deep easy breaths of everything sweet and wonderful with those healthy new lungs and I hope you are dancing to your favorite music - and for the first time ever, I bet it doesn't take your breath away.  Peace, Love, Lungs...  

We're sure gonna miss you, but I know the rose is blooming on the other side... 

Breathe easy my friend.

And thank God for the technology that brought you and Pam into my life. You are missed.

Love Always, your cyber friend 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Knife, Fork, Spoon, Quilt and Blocks

What does a knife, fork and spoon have to do with this post?  Well, a friend was over the other day and she said the persimmons this fall had lots of spoons and a few knives.  I asked her what the heck she was talking about, to which she immediately explained that the seeds predicted what kind of winter we have to look forward to.  Of course, when she drove off, I came in to look on the internet and here is what I found.  So you know me, I raced out the front door and fight with the deer to get my load of persimmons.  Ok, so the deer weren't there - but there are plenty of tracks to show the COULD be there... And how lucky is it that we have two persimmon trees on our drive?

Adventurous person that I am, I came in and tried to crack open a seed.  It should be easy right?  WRONG!  Those little suckers are (1) slippery, (2) hard as a rock and (3) very narrow.  You cannot get a grip on them to save your life!  I slipped and slid, I washed them and I tried again.  They slipped out of my fingers and shot across the room.  I grabbed them with a paper towel and promptly cut it trying to cut the seed - but the seed refused to budge.  I was going to cut my stinkin' finger off trying!

SO, I let them sit out overnight and tried again.  Ditto.  "Same same" as the Singaporeans would say.  I yelped at Steve (masculine man that he is) and he tried it too.  I was beginning to think he was going to cut off a finger trying, so I ran out and got a pair of pliers.  Once I gripped the seed with the pliers I nearly ruined 2 knives - but I finally got inside the seeds.

What did I find?

A few knives and a lot of spoons!   I tossed away some of the seeds, but here is what I kept.  So now I have decided I need to run out and get more persimmons; 10 to be precise because I want to be as accurate as I can.  Then I am going to crack open a seed from each one and see how that turns out.  Since I have now figured out how to open them, it should be a breeze.  Don't worry, the deer will thank me for leaving them some seedless fruit after I am finished predicting the weather.  I don't eat persimmons, but they sure do!

So are we supposed to have a lot of heavy wet snow cut by the icy winds like the persimmons predict?  Forecasters on the news say mild and less went winter than normal.  Persimmons say otherwise.  Who will be right?  We shall see.  What does your winter say?  Go grab a local persimmon and (hint) USE PLIERS!

Yesterday, I went and picked up my very bright Turning Twenty quilt from the quilter!  Oh.  My.  Gosh!  You cannot see it here because the picture does not do it justice, but it looks terrific!!  Yes, it is bright.  Yes, it is girly.  I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but I love it!  I just have to bind it now and it will be finished and waiting... for something.  Not sure what, but I will just admire it for a while before I decide what to do with it.

Wanda, the lady that does the quilting... well, actually, her hubby, Charles, does the quilting, but Wanda picks out the quilting pattern and tells him what to do and Charles, like any good husband, does what he is told to do.  Anyway, Wanda picked out what quilting pattern to use on my bright Turning Twenty and she chose a perfect one:

Isn't it wonderful?  Girly and hearts.  Gotta love it.  Well, at least *I* gotta love it - and thankfully I do!

On another note, I have finished a few more blocks of my Underground Railroad quilt:

I now have 10 finished - can you believe it?  I love doing the different patterns!  Let's see... the star in the upper right was the most difficult and then the bear claw (middle left) was next because the directions and measurements were not correct.  You would think the bear claw would have been a breeze for me after my Batik Quilt.  The log cabin (lower left) was one of the easiest to do - but I love doing them all!  A friend and I do a block or two a week together as this is a project we picked to do together.  I love sitting in my sewing/scrap room and quilting with a friend - and I love seeing those blocks come together.  Yes, I think I am a quilter.  

But I think I have to find a money tree.  

Too bad the persimmons don't turn into gold instead of predict the weather.

Quilting is an expensive hobby.

Scrapbooking is also expensive.

But I gotta have hobbies, right?

Singapore Memory Project