Monday, November 16, 2009

the latest

my latest project has been a time consuming one, but quite enjoyable. 3 of my friends and i decided to open a christmas shop in a recently closed boutique in saxonburg on main street. we had 1 week to put it together and had the grand opening that next week- one week after our week in south carolina for my mom's memorial. we seem to be a popular place in town- since there are only 2 other stores that sell gifts. we decided to carry decorations, wrap, gifts and some furniture. the shop was called "a couple doors down" so we tacked on " little bit of christmas"

whoever works on any given day, brings in "new" items- so it stays fresh and we have some customers who visit us each day to see the latest!

we change the window every 2 weeks- this one was a toy window- this one was one of my favorites. this is the back side of the window. the view from the outside is one of my first pictures- yow! will i ever get these things right? we seem to have a lot of window shoppers and we hear about our windows from them.

i decided to go out on a limb and order earrings from a company (silver forest) that i found while in so. car. these earrings are made in vermont and are really beautiful. they sent me the display (also made at their place)- for free- wish me luck on this one! (can't really see them, but trust me, they're exceptionally pretty).

this last picture shows the various angels i have found for shannon's relief society dinner. they are using an angel theme and will decorate each table with these angels. i was able to find them at 4 different places and paid less than $40.00 for all. the picture doesn't do them justice.

lot's of work, but fun too...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

a thankful thanksgiving

i fixed a pre- thanksgiving dinner for today ( did most of it yesterday) because i'm going to be at shannon's for the actual thanksgiving week.

as i was preparing some of the food yesterday, i was thinking about my family and a few of the things i wanted to say at this dinner, so i wrote some of my thoughts down. i read this after i served the pie tonight. here goes...

i want this dinner to be my thanksgiving gift to all of you.

i am thankful that i have my health so that i am able to do this and all the other activities i am involved in.

i am thankful for paul- that we were able to have all of you and that he has been able to support the family and provide for our needs. many times people who know him come up to me and tell me how much they appreciate his care for their pets. i also appreciate his willingness to help fix my broken projects.

i am thankful for shannon, my first daughter and dear friend, we have been through a lifetime together. brian and the kids always welcome me with open hearts and make me feel as an important part of their family. they see to my every need.

i am thankful for katie. i love her independant spirit even though i get on her case sometimes for it. i admire her creativity and spiritual strength. she is a wonderful mother and it shows in my best buddy, josie. she is a little light to me.

i am thankful for nathan. i can always count on him to help me with whatever hairbrain project "comes down the pike". he is a good father and devoted husband and a hardworker.

i am thankful for seth. he is a loyal son and friend. i appreciate his dedication to his job and even though i comment on his choice of friends, he is truly a loyal friend to them- deserving or not. he helps me with my shop setups and it's always nice to see his smiling face show up at these events.

i am thankful for joanna- for her ability to pick herself up and find happiness again. she is the middle child like me and a people pleaser. i am grateful that she is able to be in new and exciting areas of the world with stephan , who makes her laugh. i miss her tonight.

i am thankful for nella she has been my companion in various times of my life- first as an attachment to my leg when she was little- later on as my chief cook and movie watcher companion. she has her own distinct style. i appreciate her spiritual advice and her sometimes willingness to go along with my various schemes.

i am thankful for ryan- the son of my past. he has been accepting and loving to me in spite of his difficult beginning.

i am thankful to my Heavenly Father for all of the above and for showing great love towards me. by sacrificing his son, Jesus Christ, he demonstrated the ultimate love for each of us.

didn't take pictures of the dinner- must be slipping- that was always a must! but here is the centerpiece with an added treasure- at least josie thought so!

always a mess afterwards, but some of us can find fun in anything!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

balmat trip

i just read shannon's account of our trip to watertown and balmat this year. it brought back so many wonderful memories- i can't believe we actually went rafting! my first AND last time. i am not a thrill seeker, but have always wanted to try that. now i can use my mom's favorite expression- "been there, done that". these trips just reinforce the importance of family in my life. check out shannon's blog.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

it's nice to be loved!

this one is short but sweet- someone (or two) missed me when i was gone for almost 2 weeks. this is what greeted me when i opened my bedroom door yesterday- don't know where they found these but it put a smile on my face. ( for those who don't understand this- i have two cats- )

Saturday, August 8, 2009

blog fix, please...

i've been home for5 days from my fabulous trip to shannon's and then watertown,ny and balmat,ny. and i need a blog update from any one of you! i will write about our trip, a life highlight which included a wonderful 3 hours in a neat thrift store (WHAT?????), white water rafting experience- (yes, i did it!), a visit to the balmat ancestor cemetary, and 1 1/2 days and 2 meals with our newest cousins . that was probably the best part of the trip along with just doing what we wanted when we wanted. i love these yearly trips and hope some of the other girls can go next year. shannon has all the pictures so she will have to document our trip. (ahem) .
i'm getting ready to go to fredonia for my 45th class reunion- another life highlight and i will promise to take pictures, but are you really interested in a bunch of strangers who graduated in 1964? stay tuned for that one...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

it's over

that's about all i can say at this moment about the horse trader days in zelienople. a friend and i had a booth (tent) set up and worked it thurs. , fri., and sat. i didn't take my camera- sorry- there WERE some interesting people there. it cost each of us $40 and i made $260- so you can do the math...... my shop is looking better by the minute!
one of the best parts of the 3 day deal was the few minutes i was able to spend with josie and katie. the monkey tree will live on- now i have to think of some stories .

Saturday, July 11, 2009

wedding blues (greens, purples etc.)

today was the big day for a friend's daughter...her wedding day and also the day i had been dreading along with the photographer (daughter- katie) . this had "blossomed" into something more than we had planned, but it actually turned out to be a success. i am pretty tired right about now , but satisfied with the results... some interesting shots of the flower- making process:

this first one was taken after holly and i returned from the strip district in pittsburgh. we went to a wholesale flower place, thanks to a local flower shop. lots of money was saved by going through them. we spent $550 on all the flowers, ferns, and branches.

that was actually the cleanest my floor looked during that project! it took on a lovely green tint.

this was our work area. holly began by making the pew bunches- she had to do 10 of them- we decorated every other pew. they were really pretty, but i would have attached them differently to the pews- cascading down instead of sticking up. oh well, that was her area of responsibility.
( she also made 9 boutonnieres' and 3 little corsages)

this is hard to see- you may have to make it larger.

i put together the 2 large arrangements for the front of the church. i waited for holly to leave as i needed to have some creative time . the pale green roses made the arrangements pop.

a third smaller vase was made to put on the gift table. lana had told me to just throw some flowers into that one!! :o( thanks, lana! )

3 round bowls were filled with water and flowers and ferns. these were placed in front on the bride's table. i used ivy to wind around the bowl on inside.
these are the bouquets- 3 bridesmaids, one throwaway,2 mother's bouquets. katie made the fresh white rose bouquet. it looked like silk flowers- really beautiful.
many positive comments were made and i felt both relief and satisfaction. the flower shop is now CLOSED!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


ahhh... it's that time again. first things first, though- delilah is tuned in on the radio and it has to be later in the evening (don't know why that one is a must, but it is!). and now the jammin' begins.

i got a good deal on strawberries at nate's store yesterday- the local ones are close to $5.00/ qt.

i made 2 batches. the 2nd one is called "strawberry with a touch of blue" (i used a
few blueberries to fill in) - pretty tasty! guess all of you girls will be the judge of that !

this is what awaits me when i finish this post- oh yay!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

red squirrel update

the squirrel had our open house last sat. and it was considered a success. i didn't have time to take pictures, but took some afterwards that might be interesting to you girls.

this is our newest line- thanks to some of you for input on the name. "ode de squirrel" lost out --- (yuck) to "le squirrel". it's a wonderful lavender linen/room spray that i had a woman make for me. i had bought some years ago and saved the bottle. her name and address were on it so i called her and she agreed to make more just for the squirrel! i'm addicted. katie designed the label and tied each bottle with a ribbon.

i displayed the spray on a glass pedestal cake dish- it looks nicer in person! (notice the pass along cards under the display. i'm always trying)

the next few pictures are of a few areas in the shop... this one is what you see when you first walk in . the green dishes are copyrighted "1936". feel like i've had them that long! it's time to sell them.

this is the yellow area... next to the front window- the little orange sugar and creamer set was my mom's when she was a girl.

the purple area is behind the door and features some rabbit" stuff"....

these next 2 photos have nothing to do with the shop, but thought you'd like to see the flowers i took to church this am. there were lots of georgous flowers blooming in the yard- after an early am walk i decided to arrange some. there are sure some beautiful creations on this earth.

sorry for the duplicate--- i'm hopeless- don't know how to delete yet- this got doubled by mistake! :o)

this last photo is for shannon- she wanted to see the glass front cupboard of gram's .

didn't realize the plastic bowl was in there... :o(

nighty night, girls.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

jojo- the birthday girl...

today is jojo's 26th birthday. it seems like yesterday that i was in the grocery store in kittanning, pa. and realized that i was beginning labor. i stayed to get all the things on my list- probably too long, but i knew it would be awhile before i would be back there. by the time we went home, picked up my personal stuff, and drove to the hospital, i was nearing the end of my labor! the delivery room was "occupied" and i had bearing down pains. the nurse told me not to! i panted and puffed (lamaz) until they quickly wheeled me in. 3 pushes and out she came- just like a pumpkin seed-- no time for any medications for me -- yow! but little jojo was beautiful!!
she just filled her little carrier like a pea in a pod and was always smiling. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOJO - (aka) math craft, jojo solerio, president of mexico and many others!

Monday, June 1, 2009

my newest little friend...

this morning as i was weeding, i came across a little guy who had become independent before it was time. after talking to him for a few minutes, i was able to put him on my finger and then place him on a branch away from the outdoor cats.

we had a moment together! ( this was me in the early am before breakfast and a shower- and after an hour of weeding...)

everyone needs a friend...

hopefully he will survive- saw him later today on the ground again. his parents were flying around and he was flying "ground level". i shooed jack (neighbor's cat) away and am still hoping for the best.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

a weekend to remember

this was memorial day weekend and the weekend that we had planned to take virginia's ashes to buffalo to be dispersed on aunt eth's grave and her first husband's grave. we had beautiful weather which helped the trip to be even more memorable. i wish all of you girls could have been with us, but you were in all of our thoughts. we (ken, lynne and i) left butler on fri. afternoon and arrived at the buffalo airport where we had reserved 2 rooms . lee edel had also reserved a room as she was flying in from utah late that night to be a part of our weekend. after getting settled in our rooms (this was mine),

ken gave us a short tour of some familiar places of his and paul's childhood. we stopped to eat first at this neat place . we all had fish fries- can't get any better than a buffalo fish fry!

ken and lynne before we went in to the buffalo brewpub.

batter dipped haddock, macaroni salad, cole slaw french fries and, of course, rye bread! (we called ahead to make sure they had that).

this was my dessert- creme' brule- (sp?) anyway- it was heavenly ...

after totally enjoying that meal, we went for a ride and drove by paul and ken's old house. they lived in the far side of this house that their dad rented.

we also drove by aunt eth's house, which is in a neighborhood that we had no business being in -- that's the reason for the "drive-by-shooting" that i did with the camera! her old house is on the left(green color)- you can just see a corner of it. the garage is boarded up and the house on the other side has been torn down- what a shame that the the once beautiful, tree- lined street is now so run down and polluted with gangs.

this is the beautiful old steeple of the church of christ that their family attended and that virginia sang in.

we drove by many neighborhood fire houses. they all had their doors open and the firemen were sitting out in front- a quaint scene.

after a good night's sleep, we met lee in the breakfast room- a nice reunion after many years. we then started out for the first cemetary where ken and paul's father is buried along with their grandparents and brother and wife- harold and gertrude. we met seth and paul there and lynne bought a beautiful pot of flowers with a flag for the grave. we deposited some of virginia's ashes next to the stone with edward's name. we felt that they were together again.

i placed a white bleeding heart on the top of the stone- brought it from my garden.

this was on the other side of the stone... harold, apparently, changed the spelling of his last name- go figure!
we then went for lunch and had the traditional beef on weck- amazing! lynn had a bologna steak sandwich.. WHAT?????? also, those red things were buffalo wings... soooo good!

after moaning and groaning over all of that, we started off for the cemetary where aunt eth was buried. this is the place that we had the grave stone for virginia set. it was placed on the foot of eth's grave. lee had brought roses from her garden in utah and i had brought lilies of the valley from mine. it was actually past the time for those flowers, but i found some still blooming in the front garden- amazing!

this cemetary was really beautiful (as was the first one). there was a memorial service being held and it started after we arrived- a bagpiper was there and played some beautiful scottish music.( i took a video , but sorry, i can't get it to work on my blog-- gggrrrr. ) we thought the stone was very beautiful and a nice tribute to virginia.
we took pictures of the other family stones there and were surprised to find so many. that's lee next to the family stone.

we all said goodbye to each other after visiting dairy queen for a parting treat. ken and lynne were headed back to virginia. lee was on her way to ohio for a week , paul and seth to dunkirk to the conference grounds and i was headed to fredonia for the night- then to jamestown to see my aunt and uncle. i drove to my old grade school - wheelock elementary.

the old highschool used to be next door to wheelock, but most of it has been torn down- just a parking lot and grass now! we were the last class to graduate from that school.

sunday morning i went to church at the branch in fredonia and stopped at jane forster's for a brief visit before driving to jamestown. evelyn and bob are not doing well- this picture doesn't give the true situation, they have changed so much from the last time i saw them. - that's a whole separate story.

i drove back to dunkirk to visit an old school friend who is in the county home . she had a stroke years ago and is in a wheelchair now. i felt so badly for her and appreciate my good health. i promised her that we would visit her during our 45th class reunion this summer. she was very emotional and it was a difficult time for me too.

on the way home, i decided to drive on lake shore drive instead of the thruway. what a beautiful drive. i stopped at the white village in van buren where my parents had a cottage years ago, and bought a sabbath buster beef on weck. absolutely the best one i've ever had!!!

just look at that beauty!

the old drive-in movie was just across the road from this restaurant. my parents used to surprise us on fri. nights sometimes. they would take us for a drive and we would end up here! it was always so exciting. guess it was never torn down and still stands behind the fireside restaurant (which is closed now- yow!)

i also drove through" the point" where we would go swimming when i was young.

it looked the same and brought back many sweet memories with my family as a young girl. i wish you all could have been with me- it was a weekend that i will not soon forget. i once again realize how important family is .