Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lucky me!

I'm so glad I've been making an effort to live into Georgia O'Keefe's words of late:

"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do."

That's not to say I've been terrified, but just more aware of how often I let fear hold me back. So I'm trying harder than ever to say "yes" to what life brings me.  One great opportunity was an invite to a craft event last Friday. I've been wanting to attend one, so I put some feelers out there for a friend to join me, with no luck (or so I thought).

Friday came and rather than listen to all the reasons I shouldn't venture out on my own, I jumped in the car and off I went.

Boy am I glad I did.  The event was held in a hidden jewel of a spot in Denver: industrial warehouses transformed into art studios and neat little cafes surrounded by well planned landscape.  "This looks promising I thought."  After winding our way (it wasn't long until I found 2 other intrepid explorers) through the maze of hallways full of colorful art and plants we found ourselves in the Craftsy production studio and were greeted by the most enthusiastic Craftsy peeps.

The event was such a treat.  Rooms full of large tables full of enthusiastic crafters (shout out to Sinath, Eileen, Sarah, Amy and all the lovely ladies at my table!) , supplies, AND food and beverages.  The staff was incredible.  So polite, kind, helpful, upbeat.  They really treated all us crafters like royalty.  Imagine that?!  

The culmination of the evening was the grab bag giveaway.  I've never been one to win at these things, but I guess it was my lucky night!  I won the quilters bag, and I am so excited.  Lately I've been thinking it's time to start one, especially because my daughter really wants one as part of her high school graduation gift.  Luckily, Craftsy offers monthly block parties, so I should be able to get it done!

Thank you Craftsy for the great evening.  I floated home on a cloud of bliss :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Mother's Wish

Back to school has me thinking about my hopes for my children.  Funny that they are not connected with medals, scores, rank advancements, speed trial times, or any other means to single out our children.  It's not that I'm opposed to those things.  I want my children to stretch and surprise themselves, work as a team, and learn how to manage failure.  It's just that I value certain other characteristics as well.  Characteristics that may not be as easily recognized or acknowledged:

Be Kind - please don't buy into the name calling and labeling that happens amongst your peers.

Stand up for Justice - intervene instead of walking away or, worse, participating in unjust behavior.

Lend a Hand - take the time to make a difference in someone's day, even if it's a small gesture.  One day you'll figure out the small things are the BIG things.

Do for Others - you can always brighten someone's day, even if it's just a smile or a friendly hello.  As your great-grandma Evelyn would say, "Why not say 'hello'?, it doesn't cost anything!"

For me, living a successful life can't necessarily be measured.  My wish is that they find what lends purpose to their lives and fills them with happiness. Whatever path they choose, the random (and NOT so random) acts of kindness and service they exhibit along the way will have positive effects that ripple out far and wide and for a very long time.

I remain faithful that both my children will continue to show evidence of this unquantifiable quality (call it the X factor), through their dealings with neighbors (I've heard many times this summer how enjoyable they are); their time spent together (I've overheard many a late night guffaw from the down the hall this summer); and their time with me. 

THANK YOU  Rachel and Max for the TLC you showed me during the loss of my flock earlier this month.

These acts of kindness earn you the best kind of gold star!

Friday, August 10, 2012

News From the Hen House

Some of you may be wondering why the hens were omitted from my favorite things in my last posting?  Well, suffice it to say, I have absolutely loved my hens.  For the past  4 years they have defined when I wake up and start my day, added colorful commentary throughout, and closed my days with a trip to the hen house in the twilight.  Until now.

This summer has been the absolute pits when it comes to predator attacks.  We were visited every month from May through the present.  The flock has been marauded by fox, raccoon, and even snake.  Slowly they have been picked off one by one, but this last hit was B A D.  We came home to a massacre.  All but 2 of our ladies were taken down, including our rooster, "Jr. Ranger."

Jr. Ranger, Oreo, Ruby, and little Blacky

It was a very shocking scene and God bless my husband, Brad, for shouldering it with me.  I've shed many a tear over my girls, and have thanked them for all they have given me.  The next morning a friend and neighbor stopped by our garage sale and we discussed a trip to the Boulder County Fair.  "You know, Melissa, you could end up making some 4Hers day."  Even though I was still in shock, the idea of visiting the Poultry exhibit and looking at the hens was intriguing.

Brad ever so thoughtfully shepherded me there while our kids held down the fort.  We perused the Poultry hall, but none of the hens were "speaking to me."  I went down an aisle and saw the breed of my favorite hen Oreo (she was a HUGE Brahma) and got weepy and turned to leave.  Just then I felt a tap, tap, tap on my shoulder.  I turned around to be greeted by the most angelic face on a young boy, Quinn.  "Excuse me Mam, are you looking to buy a chicken today?"  "Well heck," I thought, "from you probably."  He brought me over to his hens, and wouldn't you know it, they were my favorite breed, the Araucana.  I still wasn't sure, and we went to consult with his mother about whether he could sell his award winner.  She said yes, and when we returned, his prize hen was squatting.

"Quinn, what do you suppose she's doing?  Do you think she's going to lay an egg?"  Sure enough, plop, out came a beautiful, blue-green egg.

She had me at hello.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Sew Far

Boy oh boy, where is the summer going?  I drafted this post in JULY to capture some of the season's highlights and post a picture of the Amy Butler Cabo Halter I made for our San Diego trip.  Finally, here it is!

I just adore this pattern, and for awhile it was discontinued, so if you're thinking of trying it, JUMP IN!  "You've got to do a thing to learn it." ~ Mark Twain

More things that I adore:

My son, Max, now 14 and fearless:

My daughter, Rachel, 16 and stunning (especially now that she bit the bullet and got her ears pierced at the mall):

We're so proud of her working her first job as a lifeguard!

My husband and best friend, Brad, of 20 years:

My family:

Orange County, CA

Coors Field - Go Rockies!


Good times and good eats (some NOT so good for you):

Great scenery!:

Flatirons of Boulder's Chautauqua Park

Weekly Hot Air Balloon launches in the hood!

My animals:


What a back log of photos, thanks for wading through with me!

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