Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Whale of a Tale... and other treasures at GoodWill today...

After work, Kasey and I decided we needed to SHOP! Since I still have gift certificates from my birthday gifts to GoodWill, I told her I'd "treat" her to a shopping spree..*L*

I found this great tin whale there for under $5 - I don't know what I will do with it, but for that price how can one pass up a whale of a deal?!

I also found some table legs I'll use in an upcoming assemblage piece, and a cool glass bubbled paper weight.

Kasey found some cute tops, and an old, vintage, weathered chair for a future photo shoot (probably using it this weekend). After we got home, she took a 12 pack of Pepsi down to the garage where John was working and after sweet talking him, he re-glued the chair for her (while she drank his beer *L*). After the glue dries, by tomorrow, the chair will be good to go and ready for photo shoots!

A good day of GoodWill hunting for us both!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

TOUCHDOWN!!! Yay Jake!!

Great game tonite, a playoff game and the Cougars WON!!

Grandson Jake had a good game as well. He stripped a ball from the opposing team, and ran it back for a touchdown!! Whooo hooo!

He had quite a few other good plays as well ... even on offense!

Proud Mom, Janel, congratulates Jake.. and Jake shows off some muscle (egged on by Aunt Kasey to do so), while proud Dad, John (also one of the coaches) looks on.
Gramma, Gramps & Aunt Kasey were proud of you too! x0x0x0

Keep it up Jake!! GO COUGARS...on to the next playoff game next week!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Remake - Cleaning Up

Here is a piece I did a few years ago. I didn't like the background I had used, and it sat in the basement, collecting dust. (no pun intended, since there is a dustpan in the piece..*L*)

I had inspiration from another assemblage artist who used a crucifix and dustpan, I really liked that piece, but I added more things to the one I did, and I didn't like it so much.

So, I decided to redo this one. I took off the checkerboard background, and stained/painted the cross to match the dustpan more, and I switched out the corpus of Jesus, and added a dove (Holy Spirit) descending above Jesus. I kept the pieces of a globe in the dustpan. I have also decided not to post any kind of explanation as to what I intend to convey here...but to have people decide what it is they see in it.

I like this much better now ... but I am thinking I may use this, not as a separate piece, but in some kind of installation ... yet to come... we'll see.

A Myriad of Handicap Devices...

Okay... so, it appears I have started a collection of items used by those who, for whatever reason, have some kind of disability, and use these items to help in their lives. I, on ocassion, have used a couple of these myself... crutches, wheelchair.. and my husband has also used them (more than I have), crutches, wheelchair, walkers, canes, braces and more.

The most recent item I've come across is a lower leg prosthesis. I didn't paint the "dripping blood" on this one, it came that way, someone evidently had a sense of humor.

I'm not sure what I'll do with this ... although I was considering using it in my war chest installation assemblage.. but now that I have realized I have many such items, I may do an assemblage tribute to disabilities? Not sure, but it's an interesting idea to gather ideas for.

Here are some of my other items... I have a wooden cane collection that hangs on a coat rack in my hallway.

I also have a few wooden crutches ... and a couple of years ago, I bought this old wheelchair at an auction for a couple of dollars ... I would really love to use it somehow.

Sooo, any ideas out there? I'd be glad to hear some..thanks!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Monk's Rosary Prayer Assemblage Remake - Take TWO...

A day ago I posted part of this... and I didn't really like how it turned out... so here is my second attempt at using some of the things I loved. Sometimes less is more I took off some of the rosaries, the candle, the base it sat on, and switched them out. I like this a lot more now, but it may not be finished yet... sitting, pondering, and thinking of other ways to showcase some of these things.

I appreciated the comments from Robin and Maureen on the former try at it ... hope to hear what they and others think too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Puffball Season - My Puffball Assemblage

A puffball is a member of any of a number of groups of fungus in the division Basidiomycota. The puffballs were previously treated as a taxonomic group called the Gasteromycetes or Gasteromycetidae, but they are now known to be a polyphyletic assemblage.
Edibility and identification
While most puffballs are not poisonous, some often look similar to young agarics, especially the deadly Amanitas, such as the Death Cap mushroom. It is for this reason that all puffballs gathered in mushroom hunting should be cut in half lengthwise. Young puffballs in the edible stage have undifferentiated white flesh within; whereas the gills of immature Amanita mushrooms can be seen if they are closely examined.

The giant puffball, Calvatia gigantea reaches a foot or more in diameter, and is difficult to mistake for any other fungus. If collected before spores have formed, while the flesh is still white, it may be cooked as slices fried in butter, with a strong earthy, mushroom flavor.

My Dad often collects puffballs each year, in September usually. Ever since I was a kid I've loved them, and Dad often shares some with us when he finds them..this year was no exception, and my Mom brought a half of a large one over for us.
So, tonite we had puffball for dinner.

There are several ways we've eaten it before. Here is the half of the large one we had before cooking.

The way I cook them is slice them, cut off the outside skin of the puffball, dip them in an egg & milk mixture, coat with flour, and fry in butter. Depending on whether we'll eat them with syrup or just salt and pepper, I season them while they are cooking. (Not so much salt or pepper if they are going to be eaten like french toast, which they do taste like with syrup.)

So, here are some photos of the puffball cooked... plain, and some with syrup... YUMMM!!

This half of a puffball MORE than fed our family tonight, and believe it or not, sometimes there are puffballs that my Dad finds that are more than twice this size!

Puffball season around here is only a couple of weeks ... I remember, as a kid, going out in the woods, and kicking the puffballs, when they are past the time for eating, and the insides were dry, usually there is a cloud of spores that fly out of them when you kick them, and float all over the place.... a real mess, but fun to do as a kid. *L*

A Monk's Rosary Prayer Assemblage

So, I found a bottle, in the shape of a monk's robed body, and I found a wine bottle stopper that is a candle holder. I had several rosaries, and religious necklaces that I draped on it, and added some arms to the sides of the candle holders, a candle in the center and stood back, took a few photos ... and I don't think I like it.

It may be the background (I didn't take out my usual background, just used an old tablecloth, which I don't like), and my flash might have been part of it too, since I didn't have the item in a kind of photo box, and the elements I used with it too I don't particularly like.

I'll be letting it sit here for a few days, and hope to find some other inspiration perhaps? So much for my Thursday inspiration ...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thank You Jesus ....

It's been a long day. I left at 5:40 a.m. to head over to our older son's home, to babysit our grandsons, get them up, fed, and on the bus ... while my son and daughter in law went to the local hospital for some needed same day knee surgery for son, John.

After playing with grandson, granddogs, washing up breakfast dishes, and almost missing the bus, along with the younger granddog almost jumping on the bus with the kids (LOL), I headed to the hospital to sit with our daughter-in-law, Janel, and wait for surgery to be completed.

It went well... around 9:45 the surgeon came out and told us he was happy with how it went, and there was no arthritis showing in the knee, and that the patient should be good to go home in about 2 hours. Thank you Lord!!

So, knowing the youngest grandson had to be picked up in an hour, I left Janel there and went back their house to wait for Jeff.

We then headed to the grocery store, to pick up items for lunch, dinner and snacks to help in the "recovery" of the patient and for all the family.

We made chicken noodle soup, purchased chicken legs and potatoe wedges for dinner (which the other grandsons had requested before they left for school), got things for grilled cheese sandwiches, which Jeff had requested for lunch, and headed back to their house to wait for the patient to get home.

They arrived about 12:30, and John was looking pretty tired, still doped up some, and after getting in the house with the newly acquired crutches, he went straight to bed. The patient certainly needed his sleep!

I went home for a few hours, then came back to babysit both son John, and two of our grandsons while Janel took the older grandson, Jake, to his football game, an hour away. John, who is one of the coaches for Jake's team was sorry to have to miss the last game of the season, but there was no way he could have gone. He rested off and on, did get up to eat some chicken and some ice cream, but then dozed off again.

The grandsons, Jeff and Josh were very good, as were Buck and Cooter, the granddogs..*G*

So, all went well... and great news was that Jake's team won their last game, 20 - 6, and Jake himself got an interception!! Hurrah Jake!! It made your Dad and Mom very, very happy!! ..and gramma and gramps here too!!

So, finally about 8 p.m. I got back home... a good day, and thankful for good results so far from the surgery... praying for a speedy recovery, and for all my "kids".... AMEN!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Amazing Auction Opportunity!! Beautiful Antique Organ at a steal...

Okay all you antique appreciaters, you KNOW you want this... so bid already!! *S*

Bidding Time Left: 1 days 10 hours +

HURRY!!! Only a short time left... has a beautiful piece for sale, but the catch is, you have to pick it up in Indiana.

$152 bid and it's all YOURS!! Check it out at

Saturday, September 18, 2010

John's Project - Make an Altar & Remake Lecterns

Some of these materials that were removed from the Church during the ongoing renovations were to be used to make other things. John has been hired for that project. The old lectern will be used to make a new altar for the Chapel, and other parts of the half wall will be used to make two new lecterns.

So John loaded up the material and has been working on cutting down, remaking some parts, and putting things back together.

I can't wait to see the finished projects... but here are some photos of the work in progress. The altar base will be a kind of round one, to go in the center of the Chapel, it may also have a stone top to it, but that hasn't yet been decided for sure.

John will be using the top from the original lectern, and the posts from the walls to make another smaller lectern, then making another top for the second one too.

Scarecrow Fest... another Creation Sundae (on Saturday) Outreach

Today our Church participated in the community Scarecrow Fest by offering free ice cream sundaes. Creation Sundaes - we did this in August and it was such a big hit (gave away over 270 then), and we had leftover things to use from then, so we decided to do it again.

Unfortunately at first, the weather didn't cooperate, it was rainy and there were no people out, but then it cleared up and we served over 100 free ice cream sundaes. It was a lot of fun, and the 3 hours sped by... we even stayed open about 20 minutes longer because the crowds were still around. There were lots of nice comments, tons of thanks, and both kids and adults LOVED them!!

Our Creation Day people did a great job, and the outside "hawkers/barkers" did a great job of getting people to come in too! Each business, or individuals also can enter, does a scarecrow outside of their place. We did an "Adam" scarecrow to advertise the Creation Sundae Giveaway... people can vote on the one they like the best, and the winner gets a prize (not sure what the prize is this year?), but the contest runs until the 27th of GO VOTE FOR US! *S* (Good job by the ladies who made our scarecrow this year!!)

Since our theme was Creation, I displayed my Adam(s) and Eve torsos, and used the refurbished altar rail for the first time went well with the theme and between serving ice cream and chocolate syrup as the Day One of Creation person, I overheard some nice comments on the torso assemblages, so that was pretty cool too!

We had counted on giving away more sundaes than we did, so I have two pans of blue jello left... anyone want some jello?? FREE!! *L*

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mon petit (no, GRAND) chou...

Mon petit chou is a term of endearment in french... literally translated, it means, my little cabbage, but some references say it refers to a french pastry, not a cabbage as we know it... either way ... my reference is to the LARGE, GRAND cabbage that our grandson, Jake, grew for a school project.

Last school year, all of the third graders @ Clinton Elementary school were sent home with a cabbage plant through the "Bonnies Cabbage Plant" program. Each school district chooses one child's cabbage photo to be submitted for a $1,000 college scholarship. Jake's photo was selected for their district. There is one winner for each state. Jake's mom, Janel, says she only saw one other entry for Wisconsin on the Bonnie's Cabbage Plant site.

Wish Jake luck! You can check out his photo on the Bonnie's Cabbage Plant site also!

Congrats Jake!! You and your Dad seem to have the knack at growing giant produce!! You are a winner in our book!! xoxox

Unique Plaque ... Reminder of Jesus' sacrifice, beautiful, yet at a cost.

I found this plaque, a decorative feature, which, in itself, is beautiful, but decided to add a corpus that I have had here for awhile... for me, it gives it a whole new meaning.

It's hanging at the entrance into our house ... Lord, let me always be reminded of the sacrifice You gave for me.

SchoolMarm RulersHand - Kindergarten Nightmares on 5th Street

school·marm: noun \-ˌmä(r)m\

1: a woman who is a schoolteacher especially in a rural or small-town school.
2: a person who exhibits characteristics attributed to schoolteachers (as strict adherence to arbitrary rules).

Okay, before my long time school friends start getting on my case about this assemblage installation ... I don't have real bad memories at all of my grade school days... oh, well, with the exception of being afraid to get off the school bus when it was a rainy morning because the boys would dash off first to grab all the worms that gathered on the cement sidewalks after a rain, and they'd delight in throwing them at the girls as they ran into the school ... where were the teachers back then? I really was deathly afraid to get off the bus when the boys did that to the girls!! (yes, I am still scarred from it..haha! *L*)

Anyway ... I found this schoolmarm-ish lady, and the old wooden blocks at GoodWill on the same day, the old chair is from the closet at our Church, an old relic that used to be used in the Sunday School rooms, I probably sat on it as a child myself.
I had some old rulers I added to the end of the arms as hands ... remember when the punishment for bad behavior was to be smacked on the knuckles with a ruler? .. this schoolmarm is kind of like an Edward Scissorshand kind of character, I suppose ... Schoolmarm Rulershand..*L*

I remember learning my ABC's in kindergarten, now days the kids should know that BEFORE they reach kindergarten! But I recall repeating, and repeating and repeating them, over and over and over.

Despite this assemblage and what I am sharing, I had a nice school experience, for the most part, although some kids didn't. We used to have "mats" we used for nap time, I remember our teacher not allowing kids to go to the bathroom during nap time, and often there were little puddles afterward as we gathered our mats and stuffed them into our cubbyholes.

When I was older, and worked at the bank full time during the time our older son was in gradeschool, I would take my lunch hour at the same time that he needed to be picked up from kindergarten. It was probably not a usual thing to have had the same kindergarten teacher that your child had ... but it was the same teacher I had as a child. When I'd come to pick up my son, I recall one young boy sitting at a table, with his head down, crying and crying.. and it wasn't just once or twice I'd see him that way. I felt so bad for him, and wondered what had happened that made him so sad as he waited for his bus or his mom to pick him up. He was, and still is a long time friend of our son, John... wonder if Ryan recalls the incidents as something devastating still, or if it was just a worried Mom here caring for another child?

At any rate... here is a rendition of what could be called a KINDERGARTEN NIGHMARE.

(I am in a bizzare state of mind lately I think? haha!)

Chicken Noodle Vegetable Soup with No Chicken?

I have some leftover roast chicken that my family says we have "picked clean". I had hoped to have extra from it to make some soup this week. So when I heard them say that, I thought maybe I'd just make the chicken soup stock with noodles and veggies and no chicken, it would still be good.

When I pulled out the chicken carcas, I realized there was a LOT of chicken left, if one would just work for it. And as you can see from the photo, there is still much left that I imagine many would wish they had for food. What a wasteful family we are, what wasteful person "I" am often, what a wasteful nation we are too... this little bit would be a feast in the eyes of many...

Lord, help me to be mindful of the needs of others, not that these leftovers would help, but my other resources would help, and I can give up much of what we have, if only I'd be mindful ... Lord, forgive me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ohh the things you can pick up at Good Will!!

I am so excited... because I found some unusual items at Good Will (actually the online shop Good Will site), ...but not just because I found them and won the bid on them... but because I told my priest, Fr. Bill, that if there were any he'd like to have, I would LOVE to gift them to him, but that it wouldn't hurt my feelings if he didn't want them at all, because I'd find some use for them in an assemblage sometime down the road.

But Fr. Bill LOVED them, he called me and was just as surprised as I was that items like this could be found at GoodWill. He said he would gratefully accept them with much thanks... to me, that is such a blessing, to be able to give to someone who loves things like this as much as I do, and I am so happy he will be able to use/wear them too! *S*

Can't wait to see the first Sunday or weekday service he wears one of them... Thank you Lord for blessings that come in surprising ways at surprising places!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The 28th Anniversary of my 29th Birthday

... you do the math... *L*

Yes, I am on the downhill slide of my 50's ... but in many ways I am feeling better than I did in my upper 40's! Go figure?

Thank you to friends for their birthday greetings (esp. on FB messages which were so wonderful!). I've been gifted through family and work friends, church friends and others with being able to support the Good Will mission a LOT!! (gift cards to Good Will!)..THANK YOU soooo much!!
Love to all...xoxoxo... with grateful thanks for you ALL in my life.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Warning - Graphic War Photos

I have been scanning my father-in-laws photos from his war photo albums. They show the grim reality of war, and in these photos, of the time he was in Iwo Jima as a Marine. Out of respect for the dead, I have covered the faces of some... these are very disturbing, a sad history of the battle showing the dead on both sides, the battles in progress, searching out hidden tunnels, a church service and more.

I have also been reading more of the battles at Iwo Jima; one in three Marines at the Battle of Iwo Jima were either killed or wounded. American casualties included 6,891 dead and 18,070 wounded.
The Japanese fared much worse. Of their approximately 22,000 soldiers — only 1,083 survived.

I'll use copies of the photos in the war trunk assemblage memorial I am hoping to make.... more on this to come later.

Even though it is well after the events, my prayers still go out to all who battled, and their families, on both sides. Lord, in Your mercy... hear my prayers.


Hurrah!! A Packer win makes this Sunday even better!! Love the start of football season! Although they gave us a bit of a scare, they managed to pull off a win for week one... way to go PACK!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yummmmm .... breakfast pancake!

I don't usually make breakfast ...when the kids were little I did, but when they got out of school, it was everyone for themselves as far as doing breakfast. Usually I just have a piece of toast, or a piece of leftover pizza, if we have any, or sometimes I'll even have a hotdog with mustard for breakfast! *L*

But today I made blueberry pancakes for John, Kasey and myself. I even added some yummy embellishments to mine! DEEEELICIOUS!

Yummm, Yummm in my tum!! (John HATES when I say that..heh heh)

As We Forgive ....

This is a piece I made a couple of years ago in remembrance ....

Forgiving doesn't mean we forget those who have been killed, hurt, changed forever from horrendous events and actions of others. But it does mean a healing of the heart in ways that are beyond understanding sometimes.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"The Yetti" Great Pumpkin

Contrary to what the photo looks like, John is NOT trying to "hatch" this pumpkin...heh heh...

Our older son, John, has been raising some GIANT pumpkins this summer. He and the grandsons have been pampering three pumpkins, trying to grow some huge ones. John had gotten some seeds from a friend who had grown a HUGE one last year, and decided to try growing some himself. (His friend entered his record 800 pound pumpkin at the Walworth County Fair this year!!).

This is one of the three, not the largest, but still mighty big!

The largest pumpkin is named "The Yetti"... the largest of the three. John noticed one of his pumpkins had rotted on the bottom, and inside too. So he decided he better cut the other two off the vines and move them so they wouldn't suffer the same fate.

He had (old) John, his dad, come over with the bobcat to help lift and move it to a trailer to be taken down to a local place to get an accurate weight on it. Here is a view of both the pumpkins they moved with the bobcat.

Lowering John's prized Yetti onto the scale, lots of help needed.... the Yetti weighed in just under 300 pounds!! WOW!! Not too bad for the first try in raising giant pumpkins! John's already making plans for a better place in the yard to grow even larger ones next year! A fun project that the whole family enjoyed!