June 30, 2009

Green Lake, Wisconsin...

The year was 1981. This is a photograph of our boys and our two nephews. The four of them were happy to pose for Handsome's camera on our boat. It was a wonderful summer vacation spent together at the family cottage on Green Lake in Wisconsin. Their eyes still sparkle when they remember summers spent at their Grandma Ev and Grandpa Gurn's home on the lake.

Our nephews and their wives and kids now live on the East coast (New Jersey), while our boys still live in Wisconsin with their families.

This week, our elder nephew and his wife (along with their two daughters) have traveled to Wisconsin to share a week at a rental on Green Lake with our two sons, their wives and their children.

Unfortunately, months of planning couldn't find a free week that younger nephew and his wife (and two sons) could join the group. The original plan was to recreate this photo with all the boys - twenty eight years older. Our younger son is the owner of our boat now, so even though the mahogany is in storage, had our nephew been there, they would have been able to closely recreate the image. It would have been fun.

Instead, they are going to pose our grandson, surrounded by little girls, minus two cousins. It's the best they can do this time, but the dream to recapture that image with the original Fab Four will go on until it's accomplished. Perhaps next year.

We can't wait to hear their new stories of days and nights spent on Green Lake. Grandma Ev and Grandpa Gurn are, sadly, long gone, but they would love to know that the memories they helped create for our kids are coming to life again this week.

June 29, 2009

An Answered Prayer...

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in Heaven. For where two or more are gathered in My name, there am I among them.” - Matthew 18:19-20

God always listens to our prayers and then, in His time, His dove descends and showers us with His grace.
ithin the time span of two hours last night, many prayers were answered, burdens were lifted, and the healing was complete.

June 28, 2009

A Perfect Ride On A Perfect Day...

Saturday night, Handsome asked me if I'd like to ride with with him and some members of the Port Charlotte Harley Owners Group for breakfast. Well, of course! Then he told me we'd have to be at the dealership by 8:00 am. Well, aaaaallllright..(You need to know that I'm not an early bird.) But I got up early on Sunday because 1) I really wanted to go with Handsome on a group ride and 2) I like going out for breakfast!

We arrived at the dealership and there I met six new friends. Most of them are married, but I was told their wives don't like getting up early either, so I'd have to wait until another day to meet them.

We left Port Charlotte and drove the back roads to meet up with Highway 41 just before it crosses the Punta Gorda bridge. (That's where Hurricane Charlie made landfall in August of 2004.) We then continued south to Fort Myers and ate at a restaurant called The Farmer's Market. We really had a nice time learning about our new friends and their interests. Some of them are planning an upcoming ride to Sturgis, a well-known annual Harley rider's mecca.

The ride was officially over when we arrived at the restaurant, so we took photos for posterity, said our goodbyes, and then Handsome and I headed home. A three hour ride that covered nearly one hundred miles. We were home by 11:00 am and of course, cooled off by going for a swim.

What I wish for you, my friends, are days spent doing what you love - with a person or people that you love. In this whole wide world, it really can't get much better than that.
Another group shot. l-r: Bob, Jesse, me, Steve, Joe, John and Rand.
Handsome is taking this photograph.


June 27, 2009

Because The Shirt Matters...

So, I'm told by my "more mature" Linus friends that we eventually all go through a second childhood. Apparently, I've got a headstart on some of my girlfriends in my age group! (Now, that's a legacy, isn't it?)

This story starts about two months ago when my friends and I went to Naples on a knitting shop hop (click here to read about it). I had grabbed a go cup, filled it with some of Handsome's great brew (coffee) before leaving home, and then drove over to our meeting place to pick up The Girls. I didn't take a sip until we were all loaded and on our way. I had no idea the seal was broken on the cup.

Well, don't you just know...all dressed up for our day out and my go cup decides to leak all down the front of my Chico's top. Netta saw it happening in slow motion and was speechless. I couldn't believe it. My friend, Tammy grabbed her Tide stick and handed it forward to me. I used it right away to no avail.

When I got home, I spent the next three days trying to get the stain out. I tried everything from the usual cleaning potions to nearly beating it on a rock in a sacred stream. Nothing worked and the design on the front of the shirt made it impossible (at least for me) to modify. I threw it out.

In the following weeks, we all joked about the drippy cup - and my subsequent lip leakage events - until I threatened to make a bib. I said I'd embroider "Because The Shirt Matters" on the front of it - and I'm serious! You can plan to see them in my Etsy store in the future.

A couple of weeks ago, our friend, Helen (who had heard this story and the continuing "Donna With The Newest Dirty Shirt" stories) decided that it was time to take action. She made a bib for me in Linus fabric (because we knit together at Project Linus).

You should have been there to see my reaction when I opened her tissue-wrapped gift! We all had quite the laugh. Of course, I chose the most wrong shirt to wear the night I modeled the bib for my Books a Million friends. I really do match up my attire better than this, but I just had to share the photo that was taken by Tammy that evening. Now, everyone wants one! So, I guess I already know what I'll be making for The Girls Christmas and Hanukkah gifts this year...
Thanks again, Helen for my bib. I love it!
Thanks, Tammy for the photo. Please visit her blog
Are We There Yet -0r - Spinning My Wheels in Paradise. She posted this photo there first and gave me permission to use it here.

Fly Away...

Off and running for my usual Saturday morning breakfast with my friend, Netta. It's hot and steamy outside, but we'll be cool and comfy in the restaurant as we catch up on the events of the week.

My photo today is a gift from The Graphics Fairy. Karen always offers free clip art images to any and all who want them. I just changed the message and voila! A pretty bird for my post today! (Click on the title of this post and it will take you to her website, where you can see more of her beautiful clip art.)

So my message is short today. Enjoy your Saturday and have fun with friends and family. Gotta Fly!

June 25, 2009

Something New In The Studio...

You've been dying to see it, right? Wait no longer. Here's my new studio work table. It's from Ikea and it's called the Varde. It's a perfect height at nearly 36", and has a solid birch tabletop. Oh, and did I mention my favorite feature? Twelve - count 'em twelve - glass front drawers on no-slam runners. I also appreciate the overhang that makes it possible for me to mount my work lamp, magnifier (sigh) and my yarn swift. It's truly an all-purpose work table!

If you don't already know...Ikea is a huge store filled with really nice, quality furniture at great prices. One catch, though. Their prices are low because you put their pieces together yourself. We can put their Poang chair and ottoman together in twenty two minutes flat, but this piece took considerably longer.

In fact about five hours longer. I did most of the assembly myself, but there was no way I had the confidence to drill through the drawer fronts to attach the pulls, or the strength to drill and screw the birch butcher block to the base. I asked Handsome for his skill and expertise (and heavy duty drill) when I got to those parts!

So, it's finished now and I spent the day sorting through stash and filling drawers. I love it and can't wait to start my next project!

The Gift of Life...

I'm off to the blood bank first thing this morning. My blood type is O negative, the universal donor type. Anyone can use my blood. Local hospitals are desperate for donors this time of year, so I give blood every time I'm asked - and they call me as soon as I'm able to donate again (usually every eight weeks).

I'd planned to be working in the studio for a while and then spend the rest of the day listing up yarn and other needlework supplies on eBay, but my plans will be delayed in favor of helping out by giving a pint.

I've been donating blood since before we moved to Florida. One annual ritual is something I do every Christmas Eve Day. I'm usually out running my last-minute holiday errands so the last thing I do before heading home is to go to the blood bank and give one last gift to someone I'll never even meet...the person who will receive the donation I leave behind.

Last year when I was in Boston, I donated blood at Brigham and Women's Hospital where Handsome was a patient. I was told that they have a large neonatal area in their facility, and that my donation would be used to help up to ten - TEN! - premature babies. Now, you have to know how good that made me feel.

If you're not a blood donor yet, perhaps you'd like to consider giving the Gift of Life. It doesn't take any longer than filling out a bit of paperwork and the time it takes to fill a one pint bag. You may help a person who needs a transfusion due to a surgery or accident, or babies in need of a boost. Either way, you can feel good knowing that someone in medical need will benefit from your generosity.

June 24, 2009

Pineapples from Pineapples...

Living in subtropical southern Florida makes it possible to watch things grow that you never thought of before. You can practically toss a rock into the soil and it will root! No green thumb here, as you well know, but I even surprised myself with this one.

I had purchased a pineapple at the grocery store. It was one of those with a green, leafy top. I've loved pineapples since I was little, so they're real treats for me! Well, I cut the top off and, on a lark, stuck in in a bowl of water. (I was treating it like a potato that we got to root when I was a kid.) It didn't grow roots as I expected. It kind of rotted sitting in the water. (yuk!)

I didn't toss it, but I did try something different. I pulled all the rotten pulp off the leafy part, which was still green and viable, pressed the core into some root powder and placed the whole thing into some nice potting soil in a favorite pot. It worked! The core formed roots and the leafy part started to grow...and grow...and grow!

I finally planted it in the ground outside our front door. It actually got huge! I was so excited that my plant was growing that really, that was enough for me. Then, one day about two years later, I walked out the front door to find a tiny growth in the center. Weeks went by and I realized that my pineapple plant was actually growing a pineapple! The fruit only grew to be about eight inches tall, but when it became obvious that it wasn't going to get any larger, I cut the fruit away from the plant and cut it open to taste the sweetest little pineapple you could imagine. Two years later, it flowered and produced fruit again and then the plant died.

The photo above is one of our actual little pineapples. I'm thinking it's time to head to Publix and get another pineapple (or two) with the leaves attached. It would be fun to watch the tops grow into plants and then produce fruit again. I love that even a brown thumb can do this in Florida!

Have a great day wherever you are. Try something new this week. Your results may just produce something thoroughly unexpected.

June 22, 2009

The Cards Have Begun To Arrive...

Imagine my excitement when my first trading card arrived in the mail last week! I opened the envelope to find a lovely letter from the sender, Linda K.. Then, in addition to the artist trading card, she had also included two lovely gift tags and a bookmark with a verse from Psalms on it. Linda is a blogger too, and she has two sites: America The Beautiful which is beautiful and patriotic; and White Linen - Lavender Fields. Visiting WL-LF is like sitting on a porch swing on a lazy afternoon, sipping lemonade and waving hi to your neighbors. I love both sites and visit them often.

I've started an album (which you can link to through the photo button located in the left sidebar) to highlight each and every ATC I receive. You'll be able to read about the person who sent it, see what their card looks like, and what materials were used in its construction.

The second card I received last week was from my friend, Krisann. I wrote about her last week so you're already familiar with her. She needlepointed a Tumbling Blocks design for her ATC. Teeny, tiny stitches - just because she could! You can only guess how envious this ol' needleworker was to see her fine work. (What's that term you use, Krisann?)

Now, if you don't consider yourself an artist, don't be shy. Each card is special in its own way and this is not a competition. I'll mail your card from me as soon as yours arrives, so you can just imagine how busy I've been to get my cards finished, too! I can't wait to see the next one to arrive in my mailbox.

There's still time to join this swap, because the deadline was extended to July 1st. Just join my "followers" list and send me an email so I know you want to participate!

June 20, 2009

Happy Fathers Day, Dad...

I've loved this guy all my life. He always made me feel safe. He taught me much about life and love. He chased away boys when he thought I was still too young for their attention. He showed me the wonder of the outdoors and nature. He taught me there wasn't anything I couldn't do. He set the standard by which all the future men in my life would be measured.

Dad chose a career in education. A career which supported six children and a wife. But his career was something he was born to. Even during my childhood summers when many other teachers would enjoy their time off, he would teach outdoor science classes. Classes I loved to take every year. His eldest daughter, trekking waist-deep through mucky marshes in search of helgramites (which are the larvae of dobsonflies); sitting under oak trees eating our lunch together; and taking my first bite of the fruit of the otherwise poisonous mayflower plant (something to sustain you if lost in the forest, but not something to augment one's evening fare). There were many other students in those classes, but I remember those summers fondly, mainly because I spent them with my father.

He's been one of my biggest fans and greatest critics. He loves me and we can have fun together, but he can also be passionately angry with me (though thankfully, not often). As I've grown older, we share stories of motorcycle rides or our latest interests or adventures. Like his father before him, he can "spin a tale", and Handsome reminds me when my genetics take over and I get too far afield in recounting (read "embellishing") some past event.

The strong woman I have become is most certainly attributable in great part to the two men I have loved the longest...Handsome, of course (whom I have loved over half of my life), but first, my father, Lydell. The first man to cuddle me, tell me he loved me, pick me up when I fell, tell me that the young man who just made me cry wasn't good enough for me anyway, and teach me that I could accomplish anything in my life.

Today, Father's Day, I honor you Dad. I hope your day is filled with people you love and things that bring you happiness. I'll be thinking of you and wishing we could spend this day together.
Love always, Your First Child

June 19, 2009

Our Moonlight Tango...

Today, Handsome and I went to Ikea in Tampa. I'd been to an Ikea store in Minnesota with my sister a few years ago, and Handsome and I had ordered from their website when we first moved here, but we had yet to shop one of their stores together. Ikea recently opened the Tampa store and we knew that we were going to have to make a shopping date soon. Today was the day.

About twenty years ago, we were in an art gallery in Chicago and came upon the work of an artist named Marcus Pierson. We immediately fell in love with his work and purchased a piece called "Moonlight Tango". His art is whimsical and features, of all things, coyotes as his main theme. You may ask why I tell you this in conjunction with a story about shopping at Ikea today. Let me explain.

We had trekked through about three quarters of the Ikea store today when we entered the lighting department. We looked at hanging lamps, floor lamps and lamps of all shapes and sizes when right before me was the lamp! All I could think of was how perfect this lamp would be to illuminate "Moonlight Tango". I showed the "Stranne" lamp to Handsome, first to see his reaction to it in its own right, and then to see what he thought of my idea to light our sculpture.

He started to smile and agreed it would be perfect. Alright! Score a new lamp for our living room! Bonus that it would be used to accent a piece of art that has made us smile since we purchased it all those years ago.

I should also tell you that for years I resisted Modern Scandinavian design by simply saying that I thought it was cold and without character. My mind was cracked wide open about two years ago when we stopped into a Copenhagen Imports store in Sarasota. I fell in love with the natural, organic look and feel of teak and leather. I couldn't believe I had been so utterly wrong about what the Scandinavian artisans and designers had to offer - to say nothing of the comfort and clean appearance of the pieces.

We have refurnished our living room and dining room with this understated, elegant furniture and I look forward to the day when other rooms in our home will be converted to this design esthetic. In the meantime, we'll add a piece here and a piece there to that end. Perhaps there will even be another Pierson to add more of his whimsical, joyful touch to our dwelling!

June 17, 2009

I'm Not The Only One Playing In The Studio...

I love spending time in my studio - especially when I'm making surprises for my friends! The ATC Swap is giving me a wonderful reason to be there as I plan and create a new and different theme for each of my swap partners.

I've changed the deadline to sign up for the swap to July 1st, so if you've been thinking about joining in the fun, you still can. Here's the link to the original post, listing the guidelines and criteria to participate.

In case you're still not sure what an artist trading card is - or need more ideas - here is a link to explain Artist Trading Cards more fully. Really, the only limitation is your imagination!

Now, let me tell you about my friend, Krisann Bush...
Not only is she a talented fiber artist, but she sure knows how to make me laugh. I enjoy the time we spend together, and envy her level of concentration. Every time I see her, she's engrossed in a new project. Really!

I met Krisann when she decided to join our local Project Linus group. I haven't kept track, but I'll bet she's crocheted more than a dozen blankets for some very lucky youngsters since she first took up her hook for the cause (which wasn't that long ago!). She only started crocheting when she joined us at Linus, having spent more time knitting prior to that. Now, she's a regular crocheting machine, and she's fast, too!

In addition to her work with Project Linus, she also sponsors a sister-in-law who is a missionary to Ghana. Each year, Krisann creates at least four hundred (that's right 400!) crocheted bracelets, little caps, headbands and other little trinkets for the children who her relative visits on her mission. These are all beautiful pieces and the feedback she has received from her project is that the kids love her gifts. As though that's not enough, she's also a wife, and an involved mother to her sixteen (and a half!) year old son, Nathan.

I wanted to show you her latest creation...a beautiful little crocheted hemp basket I was lucky enough to snap up. She's opening her own Etsy store to sell her creations. Her store is called "awholenotherthing" - because Mrs. Tiggywinkles was taken! I hope you mosey over there to check out her creations. She's just getting started, so be sure to go over there from time to time to see her newest listings. I'm excited for her and know you'll love her offerings.
And before I go for today - I've added a new feature to my blog! Now you can Google key words to find related posts - but only in my blog. So, if you want to read all about The Great Hog Invasion, just type in "hog" and all the posts about this little chapter of our lives will all show up at the top of my page. You can then click on each post to read through the whole thing. When you're finished, there's an "x" in the upper right hand corner of the search results that you can click on to close the search window. Be sure to try it just for fun. Cool, isn't it?

June 15, 2009

Beautiful Images & Tiny Inspirations...

I spent yesterday looking through some of my collections and images and thought you might like to see and learn about one of my favorite sets. I have three complete collections of cigarette cards. No, I don't smoke, but I found and purchased these sets about ten years ago. I smile every time I look at them.

Cigarette cards were little card premiums (like baseball cards in the 50s) that were included in packs of cigarettes. They were collected, much like S & H Green Stamps, with the exception that they were not redeemed for other merchandise. They were the end goal. They were printed from the early to mid-1900s. Flowers were not the only theme. There were dog sets, golf sets and war sets just to name a few.

There are fifty cards in each of my sets, and each set is different. One set is represented here. This Wildflower set was issued by Gallaher Ltd. in the 1930s. Another set, Garden Flowers is also from Gallaher Ltd. and they are equally beautiful from the same time frame. My third set is Flower Culture in Pots from Wills' Cigarette Company. All of my sets are British, making them that much more special to me. (Have I told you that my mum and I were both born in England? Another story for another time.)

These cards measure approximately 1.5" x 3", so they are lovely, diminutive works of art. There is an image of the flower and its name on the front, and information about that specific plant is on the reverse of the card. Just looking at them is like walking through my own private garden. The best part is that there is no weeding involved. (I know I've told you that I am not the talented gardner that my mum is!) How many of us actually like weeding, anyway? It's not like I'm alone in this regard, so don't look at me that tone of voice!

So, now you've seen my beautiful garden. Don't be surprised if you see them again in a future post. After all, I do have a reason for bringing them out. You'll see soon enough...
P.S. Don't forget to join my "Followers" list and send me an email so you can participate in my ATC Swap! Be sure to read the guidelines on my ATC Swap Post. This is the link (just click on this sentence).

June 12, 2009

Another Peek and a Reminder...

Here is another peek at an element in our master bedroom redecorating project. This is part of a large wall clock that we first purchased when we moved to Florida.

It says "Cayman Islands Plantation Company" on the face, and features a beautiful big palm tree. After Handsome and I married in 1984, we honeymooned for two weeks on Grand Cayman (British West Indies) and we have been back another four or five times since. This clock reminds me of wonderful, lazy days spent on white, sandy beaches in the middle of the Caribbean.

Now that we live in Florida, there are places here that remind me of that fairytale place...Siesta Key (Sarasota) immediately comes to mind. Those same white, powder, sand beaches; palm trees swaying with the rhythm of the waves; a laid-back lifestyle. Instead of dreaming of warm weather while my toes are freezing in Northern snowy winters, we now live full-time in our own corner of Paradise. We are so blessed.


I'm looking forward to more people signing up for my Artist Trading Card swap...Please read my June 10th post and let me know if you'd like to participate. I've even shared a little inspiration for you in case you don't think you could do one. I'd love to make an ATC just for you!

June 10, 2009

I'm In The Mood For An ATC Swap...

How would you like to trade with me? I'm in the mood for an ATC swap. They're called Artist Trading Cards. They come in all different media, but they're all the size of a playing card and you can decorate them any way you'd like. Please remember to limit your size to that of a standard playing card.

A while ago, my creative daughter-in-law, Jess, was involved in an ATC trade and included me. I worked on my card, using my printer, sewing machine, batting, batik fabric, beads and a charm. Jess used her paint brush, artist paper and oil paints (she's much more creative with fewer "ingredients"!).

I made more than a few, and the one I decided to send to her had a photograph of her husband when he was a little guy, being held by Handsome, his father. The one in the photo here was another one I created and kept for myself. I sent off the one of my two guys (which she loved, by the way) and was thrilled beyond words to receive a miniature handpainted chair image (on the upper card shown in the photo) from her.

I had so much fun with that project, that I'd like to do it again on a grander scale. I'm offering to trade with my readers! Every card I create will be a one-of-a-kind, and you can choose any medium you'd like to make the one you send me. The sky's the limit!

Here are the rules (sorry, but we need to have some guidelines):
1. You need to be a "Follower" of my blog, which means you have to sign up and sign in, please.
2. Let me know under "Comments" that you wish to participate, and then send me an email (through the email postcard link - see, it's over there on the left) to tell me we'll be trading cards, along with your name and address so I'll know where I'll be mailing your trading card so it gets to you.
3. If you have a special subject that you love or collect, share that with me so that I can incorporate it into your personal card. If you don't list a favorite subject, that's ok. I'll still come up with something special for you.
4. Once I receive a message from you, I'll give you an address to send your completed card to me.
5. Upon receipt of your card, I will send yours to you via First Class Mail, so that you won't have to wait too long to receive it. (If you live outside the U.S., I'll send it the best way to get to you asap.)
6. I'll start an album of all ATCs I receive and credit you as the artist. If you don't want your real name and city/state posted with your card, please let me know how you'd like to be identified with your card so you get all the credit for your creation.
7. Deadline to contact me with your intent to participate is June 15th. SIGN-UP DATE CHANGED TO JULY 1ST!!! There's still time for you to sign up to participate.
8. Deadline to mail your card to me is July 15th. (You don't need to wait until July 15th to mail. I will send off your personal ATC card as soon as I receive yours!)

I'm really looking forward to our swap. I hope you are, too! (I know, aren't you sitting there thinking about what your card is going to look like already?)
This is from a partial response in my "Comments" page, to give you some inspiration:
...release your muse. It could be fun. Here are a few ideas:
• knit and hand felt the base for the ATC. Embellish and voila!
• quilt a little piece of fabric and hand or machine sew on surface. Add a few beads. Yup, voila! a finished card.
• take a photograph of something you love. Hand color it. There you go...a finished ATC
OK...one more
• watercolor paper. Give it a deckle edge. Stamp beautiful images and decorate as desired.
You can use buttons, keys, stickers, old jewelry...the sky's the limit.
Come on! You can do it!

June 9, 2009

A Little Peek...

The first of a series of little vignettes of our redecorating project. No progress since yesterday, and how could there be? I decided to spend the day in contemplation of my next move.

Being a photographer's wife, there are always pictures to punctuate our lives (even if we don't take them!). This one is one of my favorites. It reminds me of that sunny day spent on our motorcycles for a fundraiser for Kids By The Sea. It's a Harley Owners Group ride to benefit kids with childhood cancer. We raise lots of money, but we also all donate new teddy bears to give to the kids so they are a little less afraid during treatment. Nothing quite like a few-miles-long parade of Harleys with teddy bears strapped on the back of each one. What a sight!

There are other images of Handsome and me in our room, including a series of four that were the joyful result of a photo session for our annual Christmas card. I'll share those on another day.

I'm thinking about the design I'm going to settle on for our quilt, and I still haven't made up my mind. What to do...what to do...I'll have to decide soon so I can get started on it.

So, while I ponder, here's a new view of the colors you'll see in the finished room. Aren't they wonderful and relaxing? I can't believe how much this room makes me smile, and to think it's not even finished yet!

June 8, 2009

Patience Is A Virtue...

The weather turned dark and stormy yesterday. I didn't take my own Sunday suggestion to relax, but I did do something fun. I finished painting our bedroom. Whew! It looks fabulous.

We still have to re-install the drapery hardware and drapes, but we're in no rush to do that. We're lucky to live on a little acreage surrounded by woods, which means we don't need to put the drapes up right away to ensure our privacy. I won't be doing that today. I want to just enjoy the look of the room without them for a bit and make sure the paint is completely dry.

I hope you'll forgive me for making you wait..but remember, I said there won't be photographs of the whole room until the anniversary quilt is finished, and it's going to take a little time to do that. I will share vignettes of the room til then.

I just didn't want you to think I'd forgot about all of you and I know you're impatient to see the results. So for now, please enjoy the photo of the beautiful roses that grow outside the mansion I recently visited on Phillipi Creek in Sarasota. I'm going on break today, and will share those vignettes with you soon. I'll do my best with the quilt, too, so you don't have to wait too long to see the big picture.

Have a great day, my friends. Thanks again for stopping by.

June 7, 2009


"This is the day which the Lord hath made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalms 118:24

Enjoy your day, relax and do something fun!
This photo was taken by Handsome on the Intercoastal Waterway near Naples, FL. We don't know anyone in the photograph, but loved seeing the retrievers relaxing on the bow.

June 6, 2009

Na Na Na Na, Hey, Hey, Goodbye...

At 4:04 this morning, I was awakened by the sound of the trap door dropping closed, followed by loud thrashing. As there was none of the squealing I expected, I figured we had caught anything but the Lone Ranger. I was wrong.

Handsome and I grabbed our flashlights, went out the front door, and immediately knew that we finally had the beast that ruined our front yard.

We had to wait until 6:00 to contact Jason, but made the call as soon as we could. His cell phone was (as expected) turned off, but we received a call back around 6:30 to let us know that they were on their way. As fate would have it, just as they drove in the yard it started to pour down rain, so it got to be a mucky, muddy process.

By the time they got here, hog had already pushed the top loose from the rest of the trap, but thankfully hogs are not big jumpers so he was waiting for them when they arrived. From there, he was snared, hog tied, muzzled and dragged to the truck. It all seemed so unceremonious, but after all...what did he expect? He was mean-tempered, and as Jason told us from a message left by a previous trapper - a notched ear - this hog was not unfamiliar with a trap. That explains why it took a whole week to lure him into this one. We were lucky that he was duly tempted by the fermented corn and watermelon to take the bait.

After about 25 minutes, Jason was able to safely remove him from the trap. And to add insult to injury, the Lone Ranger was dragged through the mess he'd made in our yard...all 200 pounds or so of him. Jason was exhausted by the time he finally lifted the hog up into his truck for transport, but he didn't stop until he had used our hose to cool the hog down with water. He knew that the hog was hot and tired, too.

The hog left our property to live on a farm about 45 minutes north of us. He won't be back again, but the trap will stay here for another couple of weeks to make sure there isn't a Tonto waiting in the woods.

I never dreamt that this would be a major topic when I started my blog, but now you have a real peek into my life. It's not all girly lacy, frilly, yarny and crafty. Sometimes, it's just down and dirty. But, I'll tell you, my friends, this is also what makes my life with Handsome so joyful. The unexpected events we share and how we deal with them.
These words are a link to the last of the hog saga photos. I also have a link for you to a video of the hog capture. You can click on the title of this post to get to the video. Welcome to my world!

June 5, 2009

Time Sure Flies...

You may have noticed the picture of the good looking young man on my left sidebar. He's my nephew, Lydell III, son of my brother by the same name (except his name has a II after it!). Lydell is graduating from Centennial Sr. High School in the St. Paul, MN area this weekend.

Now, I want you to know that it seems like just yesterday that I took this photograph of him (second from the left) with his younger brother and two cousins. The whole family was gathered for his brother's birthday when I managed to get them all to pose for me on their slide. Aren't they the cutest collection of little boys ever?

Aunties are known for bringing out the family album at the slightest notice, and considering that I'm now a Grandma, too, the impulse to pluck a golden oldie out of the archives was impossible for me to resist.

So, Lydell, my nephew, you've grown up almost in the blink of my eye and you've become a fine young man. Congratulations on your graduation, and all our prayers and best wishes go with you as you embark on your next great adventure.
l-r: Westyn, Lydell, Cain and Logan (four of my six nephews)