Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Peanut, Peanut Butter - Jelly!....(and ham too)

Here are some sandwich assemblages... *L* Today was the Free Zoo Trip outreach our Church sponsored. We rented a school bus and advertised a free trip to the Madison Zoo with a free sack lunch thrown in too. Each participant chose either a peanut butter & jelly or a ham & lettuce sandwich... so this morning I put together 34 sandwiches and 34 lunch bags of goodies.

It was a very good day, a little warm, but not so bad... a nice breezy ride there and back on the bus, and fun times. Here's most of the group who attended. I also took two of the grandsons, who were very good, and had fun too!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Unfinished Assemblages - Works in Progress

It seems as if the last month I've not done much art at all - at least by reading my blog you’d think that… BUT, I have been putting ideas together, searching my stash of treasures in my basement and dining room, as well of course visiting the local Good Will store regularly.

So, I thought I’d post some pictures of some of the possible assemblages in progress… some of these will probably change before I call them finished… but here are some things on my workbench.

Nice pair eh? *L* A Pair of Pears, or Pears Under Glass - this needs something more, but for some reason these golden pears were something I couldn't pass up, and then the double domed stand showed up, so I put them together… my sister in law, Queen Lisa, would probably like this since she loves pears a lot.

I don’t know what to call this one.. It’s weird and strange, an antique oil lamp with a dolls head, and a beaded tree coming out the top, a bead necklace around the neck matches the tree beads… this needs more… or maybe needs something else? Anyway, I have it sitting on a table next to my sofa and am always looking at it wondering what the heck am I thinking putting it together like THAT? *L*

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore … or Indifferent Love? This isn't really something I think I’ll put together in a finished piece.. The flowers are glass, the vases are cool blown glass, the red heart is glass, and the male and female busts are ceramic, all finds from Good Will. I am thinking of doing something else with the busts in a kind of statement of indifference, perhaps indifference to the homeless or the poor, or to war, etc….we’ll see, still thinking on that.

Wine Tasting, this piece is huge… the frame is over 3 1/2 feet tall by 3 feet wide and 6 inches deep. I am still not sure if what is inside it now will stay there. It’s hard to read the top center between the two angels, it says Long Life. .I do love the brass Last Supper 3 dimensional piece with the sign that says Wine Tasting below it - is this sacrilegious?, or just a sacrament in action? *S*

Friends Gather - this sign kind of fits, to me, with the Last Supper scene too. I want to stain over the Last Supper to get it to look more aged like the sign. Also perhaps stick it in a frame and add other things to it too… I have tons of things I could add, but just going thru my collected treasures takes time… I really need to organize my stash of things better.

March of the Singing Penguins? *L* Not sure what I'll call this.. Some of the things I may add to it are in the front of it… a couple of white porcelain doorknobs, a brass music staff, the other brass thing may go behind the figurines. I am still looking for another black and white penguin figurine to use too. The brass plate at the top says “White Clad”, I thought it kinda fit. I sanded down the white frame and want to stain over it with dark black stain, then wipe it off so that the black will soak into the sanded places, yet the white will stand out still too...I wish I could find some piano keys, black and white ones… then maybe I could title this “Ebony & Ivory”, eh? *L*

So, these are some things I’m working on… along with a dresser I’ve barely started, I’m going to paint it a cherry red, then sand it in places, and stain over the whole thing with a dark walnut stain...a birthday present for the daughter, which I have only about 3 1/2 weeks to finish. …. All these things, and I should be working on the newsletter… arrghhhh...Sure wish I had 30 hours in a day at times.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Birthday Party Weekend

Busy weekend here... not only did I babysit all 4 grandchildren at some time during Friday, Saturday and today, but we also went to my sister in law, "Queen" Lisa's surprise birthday party... we couldn't get there until after she arrived, but everyone, including Lisa, said she was totally surprised. Lisa has the nickname of The QUEEN, so I found some things to assemble into a royal scepter and gave it to her as a gift.

Following Lisa's party, we met our son John and his wife, Janel and the grandsons, along with daughter Kasey at Chili's to celebrate Janel's coming birthday. . It was a fun time, and Janel was surprised when the waitresses came out singing Happy Birthday with some birthday ice cream after dinner.

Happy Birthday Queen Lisa and Janel - and many more!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Granddaughter Jorden's Overnight Visit....

Baby Jorden spent the night Friday and was such a good baby! She slept from 10:30 p.m. until 7 a.m. and woke up smiley and cooing... what a sweetheart! Here she is just after eating and changing... the bassinet I have for her is almost too small already... but she seemed to be comfortable and liked it.
More pictures added later... after her morning nap we're going shopping for frilly foo-foo, girly things... can't wait!! *S*
Jorden says, "Enough pictures already Gramma!"

Aunt Kasey & Jorden.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Grandson Friday - super hero, lizard man and cutie cow

Today was a busy, fun day with Jake (Spiderman), Josh (Lizardman, and Jeff (Cutie Cow)... *L* After spending 3 hours outside playing in the hose and sandbox while I pulled weeds, the kids wanted to dress up in the costumes I had for them to play with... a fun and funny time with the grandsons.

Spidey Jake is getting pretty good at climbing walls using his special spidey powers..*L*

Sooo, now that it's almost time for the boys to go home, the granddaughter will be arriving soon... maybe I should get in a nap FAST.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

One Year Anniversary....

Hard to believe that a whole year has gone by since John's accident... We were reminded by several people of this "milestone"... our son, John, who works with his Dad came in on the afternoon of the "anniversary", after working, said a few things to me, then told me he was going out to the garage to have a beer with his Dad, to insure he won't be climbing any ladders after work on THIS day.. *L*

For those who don't know the story, last year on July 23rd, after John and son John finished work, they were talking about having a beer down at the garage before heading home, etc. Instead John-John said he had things he should do at home, so he was heading out, and John said he wanted to trim some branches that were sitting on the roof, so after John left, he went and got the ladder, trimmed some, and in the process, as he was coming down the ladder, he fell 14 feet and broke his back and pelvis. (See the archived posts from last July - December for many posts about all this.)
So you see, if they had ONLY had that beer a year ago, none of this would have happened?! - well, maybe not?

Our brother in law, Bill also called and told us he was coming to pick up his canoe from our canoe trailer, that we had hauled along on the family vacation. Bill said on a voice message on the phone that he didn't want John doing anything stupid just because he was coming to get his canoe, like last year, when he came and John decided to take a helicopter ride to the Milwaukee hospital!.. *L* John laughed at that message!

Thank God he CAN laugh... had things been just a hair different, he could have been paralyzed from that accident. While John isn't back to where he was before the accident (the surgeon told him he could take two years or more for some things to get back, and some things would never be the same), John did say that if he has to live like this for the rest of his life, he could cope and manage... so thank you God for where John is now, and I still pray for much improvement for him...in Jesus Name. Amen!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Night "Support Group" .... fun, friends, stories, and of course LOBSTER.. yum!

John and I have a group of friends who gather together, on most Tuesday nights, and we all call ourselves "The Support Group". Sometimes there are as many as 8 - 10 of us, and sometimes just 4 of us who get together at one another's homes around 5:30 or so - sometimes earlier if we've had a difficult day.
After enjoying some entertaining discussions with each other about our day, or weekends, we head out to Tubby's, a small little hole in the wall bar with small dining area... Tuesdays are lobster and steak, or shrimp and steak specials.. YUM!!
For about $18 per person you get two small lobster tails and a small steak with salad and potato...can't beat that deal!! Needless to say, you have to get there fairly early or they sell out all the lobster... that happened to us once...we now go earlier to ensure our lobster cravings are well nourished..*L*

The place is always packed ..... and we often see people there we haven't seen in years. We meet new people too, like tonite, a man who slid over to give my friend Sue and I two seats together at the bar, while we waited for a table. He was a friendly fellow, telling all 4 of us interesting stories about his life, his sister who lived in Maine, his former job, & more - a fun guy!... seems our Support Group is a magnet for others too? *L*

Tonite, as are all Support Group Nights, was another fun time.... with Sue and Randy, and of course the lobster!! I wasn't so hungry tonite, but made sure to save one of my lobster tails and part of my steak... mmmm, mmmm, GOOD!! Can't wait till breakfast time!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig... FINALLY!!

We started out early...well, earlier (9:30 a.m.), after sleeping in, packing up, gassing up at the newly lowered gas prices in Hayward ($3.85 a gallon), we set out for home.... hoping to beat the traffic and get there by 3:00 p.m. or sooner.

But, alas, it was NOT to be... along the way my sister Chellie called on the cell phone and said their van suddenly lost power and they were parked along the interstate about 20 miles north of Eau Claire, luckily we were only about 20 minutes from them, so we stopped to see what John could do... another man also stopped at the same time we did, he hopped out, and suddenly struck up conversations with us all, telling us all kinds of various stories, and offering to help in what ever way he could. It was a nice offer, but my nephew, my sister's son, wouldn't allow his mom to go with this man to get a new battery, which is what we hoped was the problem. So off Joey went with this stranger (we made sure to copy down the license plate number and make of car, forgetting to get the guys name)....
as we sat behind their van and camper with our flashers going to divert the traffic to the other lane, we prayed for his safe return, and thanked God for this man, hoping he was just an over friendly guy and not some whacko. My sister however, who was in the van with Joey's wife and two kids and her daughter, was kinda freaking out after 45 minutes went by and they hadn't yet returned... the guy said the local WalMart was "just down the road"...so Chellie was thinking he'd been kidnapped, or worse...luckily that was NOT the case... the man pulled up finally after about 50 minutes, on the opposite side of the Interstate, and dropped Joey and the new battery off.

John and Joey got things put back together, (with the help of all the rest of us observing and taking pictures...*L*) and the van started again. Here's a few pictures of this part of our vacation..*L* It seems that a local roadkill was a van magnet as their van rolled to a stop right next to this yukky, dead carcas, that didn't exactly make the air smell so good there either! Avert your eyes if this picture makes you squeamish... I'm surprised Chellie wasn't gagging the whole time since stuff like this usually makes her do so..*L*

The new battery seemed to do the trick, the van started. but they also decided to stop at the WalMart and get the alternator tested, just incase there were other problems.

In the meantime, since it was going to be awhile before they could test it, John, Kasey and I headed to a nearby Good Will store to waste some time. While there (and getting NO good deals..shucks!), Chellie called and said the guy at WalMart didn't know what he was doing, so they went to Farm and Fleet, had the guy do the test, found the alternator WAS bad, and they would be another hour before it was fixed... since Kasey had to go back to IL that night too, we decided to not wait and head home.... sooo, after fighting more traffic, we finally arrived home around 6 p.m.... ugh.. unpacked the truck, some of the trailer, put stuff away, did 4 loads of laundry, checked mail, returned phone calls and we're back to NOT being on vacation anymore... *sigh*
I've decided I sure could get used to being retired once that happens... unfortunately, it probably won't be for another 10 - 15 years, so until then, I guess I have to wait for the next vacation time to roll around.....
Thank you Lord for our fun times, safe return home for us all, and times of refreshing and relaxing with family.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fun Day - Vacations ROCK!

We had a great day at Lake Superior, although we didn't use the kayaks, it was a bit windy and the lake was not as calm as we'd hoped. And John's back wasn't feeling so good, so he didn't want to go kayaking anyway...so we just hung out at the beach, took in some sun, had a picnic lunch, some of us walked the beach, although the beach was a whole lot smaller than what we'd seen the past two years... water levels were definitely higher, and there was tons of logs and driftwood all over.

Here's a pic of us old folks that Kasey took at the top of the bluff where we had lunch. After the hour and a half trip back, we stopped in town, it was our turn to do dinner for the group, and since we no longer have a camper, (we rented a small one room cabin at the KOA that has just a queen bed and set of bunk beds in it), we didn't have kitchen facilities, so we ordered chicken to go from the local grocery and had fresh veggies, and chicken and taters...it went over well. *S*
After dinner our older son, John brought out sparklers for all the kids to do...some adults also got into the act...fun night for all!

Time for sleep... tomorrow is SHOPPING DAY for the girls and fishing for the guys.

Whooo Hooo Lake Superior day.....

Vacation time upnorth.... ahhhh, this is the life!! Camping, kayaking, swimming, sunning, eating, enjoying family (well, only PART of my family could come this year - 27 of us...if they all could have come it would be over 58 of us).

So, we are about to set off for the Mouth of the Brule State Park on Lake Superior to kayak the shore and enjoy the scenery.

Maybe we'll (Kasey and I) will get some good pics to share later....

Lord, You created the beautiful world for us to take care of. You created trees to shade us, and help us breathe. You created the waters to cool and relax us on those hot, stressful days. You created the flowers and rocks, so that our landscaping may be beautiful. For all your wonderful creations Lord, we thank and praise you. Amen.

*poofs to enjoy a great day*

Monday, July 14, 2008

My cutest, most darling granddaughter.. *S*

Kaine and Erin and Jorden came to visit and have dinner tonite... YAY!!! It was great to see them all and see how much baby Jorden has grown in the past month.. she's just over 10 pounds now, and smiling and cooing and so much fun!! *S*
Here's some gramma bragging pictures of Mommy Erin, Daddy Kaine and Granddaughter Jorden.. *S*.. such a doll!! It was GREAT seeing them all!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Art as Prayer - Interactive Prayer Stations Workshop

I've been contemplating how to explain an upcoming workshop I'll be leading/teaching/sharing on August 22 & 23rd at a Province V/Diocese of Chicago Christian Formation/Education conference, "Whose Church Is It Anyway" in Mundelein, IL. I'll be using 10 -15 of my assemblages to create an experience for participants as well as handing out info, answering questions, giving suggestions on how they could do something similar in their own churches. Here's what I've sent in as my blip about what the workshop would be:

The basic premise of this workshop is simply to pray and to call people to prayer through reflections of sight, sound & action using creative collections of mixed media. It will allow the participants, as well as the creators, to experience God's presence & speak to God about our own needs and the needs of the world.

Participants will experience an example of prayer stations using art, as well as ideas to start one in your own Church using the gifts and talents of your youth and/or adults in sharing their creative expressions & reflections of God and the world we live in.

This is a really wonderful conference, and I look forward to attending some workshops while I am there too. So if anyone is in that area and wants to check it out here is more info from the people in charge of organizing it...

This two day conference offers a wide range of workshops (from presenters from the Diocese of Chicago and from other dioceses of Province V) dealing with ways to assist people in their own formation and is for any and all adults who are interested in, charged with responsibility for, or even just happy-to-be-with-other-folks whose passion is Christian Formation.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

+ learn some new as well as tried-and-true processes for pepping up adults.
+ receive helpful hints and creative strategies for facilitating youth in their encounters with Christ and the Church.
+ be given practical and fanciful ways to continue to nurture our children.
+ view demonstrations of a variety of curricula.

A brochure with registration information is at the website. Please make copies and distribute to others in your congregation and encourage them to join us for this opportunity to experience, discover, recharge and share with each other. Stay tuned for a full listing and details of workshops (to be sent to registrants and also available online at www.episcopalchicago.org soon).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A New Daughter-in-Law to be...yay!!

We've been gone for a very nice, relaxing, long holiday weekend...it was a wonderful time away, great fun and with great friends!

Our son, Kaine had told us (before we left) he was going to "pop the question" this weekend during the 4th of July fireworks, and indeed he did!! Kaine and Erin are engaged! We are happy for them both and excited to be getting a new daughter-in-law in the family. No wedding date has been set yet, but we are looking forward to their marriage and hold them in our prayers.
Congratulations Kaine & Erin!!

Guess this means I am the dreaded mother in law to be eh? eek!! *L*