Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Patriotism at Home

Having gone from 2-16" of snow each week between April 1st until last week, it doesn't seem possible that it's nearing Memorial Day weekend.  The Patriotic Holidays as I like to call them are beginning!  Out come the red, white and blue vignettes which stay up for Flag Day through the 4th of July at our house.
My son enlisted in the Air Force after graduation, he was a Senior in High School when 9/11 happened.  The Greatest Generation book inspired him, he  had played in band at a Veteran's Day Memorial Service on the Battleship Missouri in Pearl Harbor during his Junior year.
When I buy flowers each spring I plant a Victory Garden as a way of remember my son's service each year. He's a Technical Sergeant now, in August we will recognize his first 11 years of military service, he plans to do 20.  Stationed far away now, we have to fly over the ocean to see him...yes, he's at Hickam in Pearl Harbor now!
Red, white and blue decorations and another summer without the ring of his voice on the patriotic holidays...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

T Minus One Day to 57 Chevy Day

The word for today is anticipation.  Tomorrow, after the longest winter in Minnesota history, I'll finally be able to get the '57 out of storage!  
 Sweet ride, Smooth Talker and his Sassy Gal...cruising season has arrived!
Next week, first car show of the season in St. Paul, not the 'big one', just a little Memorial Day show sponsored by the Studebaker Club.  Driving my Chevy, wearing my vintage frock...
Fun to follow... Tammy's in Love!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Job Description: Mommy

Once upon a time I was a happy wife with a happy husband and I wanted a  happy family and so I went to the airport and held out my arms and the volunteer placed a black haired, almond-eyed angel in my arms.  I took that baby girl home and knew she was mine and I would love her the rest of my life...
We said, "People love our little almond-eyed baby!  Let's get another one!"  We went to the airport, held out our arms and they gave us a little boy who grinned from ear to ear and cooed whenever we looked at him.  We went home and I knew I would love that baby boy for the rest of my life.
We wanted one more little hand to hold, but this round we had no time to work two jobs for a year to pay for another almond-eyed, black haired baby.  So we had a home-made baby and I worked like the dickens to get that baby to come and join our family.  She was inside carving her initials on the walls and the words, "I am the only one who will ever be here!"  I pushed for three hours and then had a C-section and I took that baby home and with the four year old and the two year old, I will love that baby girl for the rest of my life.

And now, there is a Bonus Round and I'm a Grama with a little boy and a little girl and one more on the way that I take to my home whenever I can and will love those babies for the rest of my life.  This is the best job description I have ever had and it pays off in hugs and kisses on a regular basis!  And I AM living happily ever after.
Tammy's in Love

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ride 'em Cowboy!

Phoenix boasts an amazing city park called Encanto Park. A historic neighborhood of 1920s homes, beautiful driving range turf, baseball diamonds, flowering shrubs, ahhh and a vintage carousel! Another trip, another photography expedition to take pictures of horses!
Before traveling I always check the National Carousel Association web page. Enchanted Island Carousel made my list of places to stop in Arizona; the Merry Go Round has been in the same park for 42 years and it's a beauty!

Arriving at the park I was disappointed, the amusement land was closed! Spying some college age park workers, I asked if I could go in and take pictures. I explained that I had studied the web page but missed the fact that it was closed on Tuesdays! The owner, who happened to be laying his own cement repair project and waved us in!
I didn't get to ride or hear the organ but I did manage to shoot the entire carousel without a single person in the way!
Riding into the sunset, two tiny ponies pulling the bench seat, beautiful colors, generous people who let me in to enjoy my very own carousel for five minutes!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More Kicks on Rt 66

The Mother Road in Arizona turned many dreams into reality. I started thinking about what I might see last year when I created tags of each state on Route 66.
The car I drove from Flagstaff to Willliams maneuvered easily through gusts of 45 to 60 mph and snow flurries!  Not the picture I had envisioned of this road trip but...alas, take it or leave it.  I took it!

Williams, Arizona is  the sweetest spot for sentimental 1950s kitch.  The town boasts plenty of road signs, car memorbilia and perfect places for photos.

Fill 'er up?  How many of you remember the slogan, "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star"?  The Big Bright Texaco Star!  I'm one of the few girls who wouldn't mind having a gas pump like this next to my driveway!
Peddle cars, real cars, I love em all!
Lots of happy memories on this fabulous highway, some of them are mine...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

ImagiMeri Field Trip

When I planned our vacation to Phoenix, it was first and foremost, to connect with this man:  my sixth grade teacher!  After retiring from years as an educator, he sold Real Estate and helped us buy and sell three homes.  He moved to the Valley of the Sun to retire.  Nine years ago I went to visit him and his wife of 57 years; a wonderful couple and the perfect example of life-long commitment.  When I learned last fall that his beloved had died, my Mr. Wonderful insisted that I go see my dear teacher this winter. Like the song, "Silver and Gold", I was able to combine both old friends and new on my trip.  My old friend and teacher, and my new friend, ImagiMeri on the same vacation!  Lucky me to have both of them in my life.
The day I stepped into ImagiMeri's Studio I was pretty sure I should have paid admission to be able to look around!  Craft area, sculpting area, tables for classes, vignettes and display galore!  Holy cuteness, I didn't know that her sculpts were that big!  Oh you girls who have a Meri original are so lucky!  They are fabulous!
Did you ever see a graphic brought to life?  The colors are to die for and to quote my adorable six year old grandson looking at my Grand Canyon pix, "I can't believe my eyes!"   
Even her storage boxes show ImagiMeri's classic style.  Why don't I tuck my garnishes into something this cute?!? 
If this guy were mine I think I'd park him next to my alarm clock!  Is that the most whimsical way to wake up or what?
This little display is full of fun, as were the tables of shadow boxes.  I came home with treasures galore and an ImagiMeri Snowman shadow box too!  I chose the snowman because winter where I live lasts from November to March.  Little did I know that we'd get 10" of snow in the week after I returned home in April!   
Visiting my new friend, "Live and in Color", I know that  Meri and I will have lots of time to continue to grow our friendship.  ImagiMeri, my Imaginary Friend is  real!  Two very good friends in one trip to the Southwest, one old, one new.
Make new friends, but keep the old,
One is silver and the other gold.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Destination: 521 Lake Street!

Sandy lived in Wisconsin and I'm pretty sure if that gal keeps researching my family genealogy she's going to find out that we are related!  My recent trip to Arizona included an absolutely delightful morning spent in Sandy's craft room.  It's a cheery, colorful explosion of ADORABLE!  Yellow and red pops of fun and supplies to make any one of us marvel!  Organized binders of graphics, cute little vignettes and in the middle of it all:  Sandy!
Rainbow displays abound and my eyes just couldn't take it all in; I had to look at one vignette, then (like a gorgeous vintage store) physically move and look at the next area.
Gifts and trades and ETSY shopping to delight the eye in every niche made me so jealous....um, I mean, made me aware of how fabulous our "Imaginary Friends" are in their generosity and creativity!  

The house in Arizona (that makes me think that I too, might just like to retire in that VALLEY OF THE SUN) is decorated with adorable vintage finds, shelves of sweet memories and best of all, it includes our FUN FRIEND, Miss Sandy.  There was much more but I'm pretty sure if you post a picture of someone's bathroom you need a photographic release...smile.  Thanks Sandy Dahling for letting me me see your play room and for all the goodies you filled my suitcase with. 

Did you ever have a vacation that felt more like visiting relatives (that you love) ?!?

Next stop:  ImagiMeri's Studio!!!  Stay tuned!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Mother Road

Sandy                 Tammy                      Meri
When I started blogging, I had already been reading (or 'stalking') blogs for 18 months.  There were three blogs I visited all the time:  521 Lake Street, Imagimeri and one other that I'm pretty sure you could guess without trying too hard.

At last, when I had my own blog, I felt that I could comment and comments led to emails and that led to friendship.  Sandy (a.k.a. 521 Lake Street) and I were matched in an Easter trade a year ago.  We are Midwestern girls and we had a bit more in common than our vintage love and paper craft love.  Last fall, Sandy visited her hometown in Wisconsin and drove to Minnesota to see me!  We were like old pals or at the very least, second cousins.  We just got along. 
When I began to plan a vacation for 2013, Arizona was on my list because I needed to go see a a very old friend, but my newer friend Sandy asked me to visit her too!  Sandy lives  near another blog idol, Meri of Imagimeri and the two of them decided we would all go browsing at an antiquer's paradise of shops when I arrived in Phoenix.  Mr. Wonderful joined us and we all had a 'girlfriend's day' and laughed, spent money, ate lunch at a great Mexican restaurant and had lots of fun!  Thanks gal pals!
I got my Kicks on Route 66 but sadly, it was not in my '57 Bel Air. I drove "The Mother Road" and visited Flagstaff and Williams, Arizona on the trip to the Grand Canyon.  Stops before the road trip included two other amazing attractions:  Sandy's craft room and Meri's studio, more on that in the next post.

    Back to life in Minnesota, I awoke to 4" of SNOW!  Yikes, what a welcome mat.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Counting Down to Easter

The eggs have been colored, the goodies (that I shouldn't be eating) are purchased and we are heading into Good Friday services.  I'll be serving tomorrow and over the three days of services at the church where I work we expect 6,000 worshippers.  There are Easter services all day Saturday and Sunday morning!
Spring refuses to come to the Upper Midwest this year so a cup of hot tea may be in order.  Granddaughter loves tea parties with me but prefers that I pour her hot cocoa.
To all of you who stopped by, I apologize for the pause since my last post.  I hope to be back in the swing my mid-April.  Happy Easter to you all!  He is Risen Indeed!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Grama & Boppa

It was a job description that I never knew I would love so much, grandmother.  The first one arrived in January six years ago, a boy.  I did his daycare two days a week and rocked him to sleep then just sat there, held him and looked at him.  Perfect love sometimes doesn't come until the first grandchild goes the proverb.  It's true!  That little boy is the sweetest thing.  I have heard people say, "When you have grandchildren you can spoil 'em and send them home when you're done."  Send them home???  I wanted to KEEP him!  I lovingly call him my "Dude".
When that little angel boy was 27 months old he got a little sister!  I changed jobs and so the daycare option was gone.  Baby girl is my "Honey Bun" and she likes to come on Tuesday afternoon, (three hours is better than none) when Mama goes to work.   We play and read books while Dude likes to draw or play T-Rex running around and roaring.  "Honey Bun" likes to take 'tubbies' at my house  and she is an adorable little thing wrapped around me like a little Koala bear.  Tea parties and reading stories we have a very special snuggle time...until Mama comes back.
On President's Day I got a call from Dude asking, "Can I tell you some-ping?"  He asks that whenever he talks to us, but this time...'SOMEPING' was "We're going to have a new baby!"  Because I thought two was all the grandchildren I was going to get, I'd say I'm near giddy over the announcement!  This is as exciting as the FIRST time I heard the news, a new baby!  In the fall another bundle of love will arrive.

Paper craft is my go to craft; I'm trying to expand my horizons, Elizabeth Creative Breathing keeps challenging us with different ornament ideas and someday I may have more than cutting and glue sticking to my repertoire.  For now, the Mary Engelbreit calendars provide perfect graphics for this banner.  My two girls are best friends, an almond eyed angel born for me in Korea, our homemade baby look like these two girls telling secrets.  Our son, well, the Young Airman is working for Uncle Sam far away but if I can find some image of a boy with black hair (Asian eyes would be good) I could add him to my HOME banner too.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013


For the last month I have been working on Easter related services and volunteer opportunities for the church where I work.  It's such a great opportunity for people to serve and enjoy this season of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.  Chicks and bunnies have nothing to do with it but this is a spring photo shoot.
 I got ready for to leave for work this morning, and then found a note from Mr. Wonderful that said, "Better not go, it's pretty deep."  So I looked out the window...
Then I decided to look out at the back yard and check the deck.  Umm, that's a lot of white out there!  I called work and found out that it's a SNOW DAY!  I barely remember them in grade school and have always had to go to work; when we have weather we compensate by leaving early for our offices.  Once my normal 40 minute commute became three hours when I worked downtown.  Now when I work one mile from my job, four minutes if I MISS the traffic lights, I get to stay home! 
Laundry, dishes, cleaning, putting away valentine decorations and now...let's pretend that Easter is coming and make something that looks more like spring than what is currently out my window!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hibernating in Winter

The temperature has been jumping up and down from 30s to single digits.  Time to hibernate at home after work.  My idea of cozy is a comfortable space, not too formal where the decorating is eclectic to say the least.  The tatted doily was saved from life in the Great Big Thrift store and cost a whopping 75c, the disheartening thing is knowing someone spent about 200 hours making it! 
After visiting the Bachmans Idea House where flea market style decorating ideas bloom I convinced Mr. Wonderful to get out the drill and make me some finials from the pine cones sent to me by  Jane at Aralia Janes  They are HUGE!
This petite valentine gift: I love more than 'a partridge in a pear tree'; it's a pink bird in a seed cup!  Made for me by Miss Shirley Zetta's Aprons.  It's so much fun when you connect in more than blogs visits and that's what Shirley and I have done, emails fly back and forth from our respective parts of the country.
This adorable shadow box came from Stephanie at Creative Indulgences and the little Miss looks like she can face any winter weather!  Stephanie has written me several times a week since we were matched in a swap last spring!  What fun to learn about life in the Northeast!  
Red is my favorite color and my valentine tree held this tag that came with several gifts from Kim the Musing Mama.  Kim too, writes regularly, we share the job description of mother to Asian born children, her doll came from China, my boy and girl were born for me in Korea. 

Hibernating I look around and enjoy the gifts of friendships, the gifts in the mail are lots of fun but knowing such wonderful women is the real treat!