Friday, February 27, 2009

I am Honored

Imagine my surprise when I checked my blog today. I was nominated for the Blogging with a Purpose award by 4 bloggers of whom I have the utmost respect: Willoughby from This Stop Willoughby, Rauly's Girl from Who has the Thyme, Gracey from Dash of Life and Tats from Tattoos and Teething Rings. In accepting this award I must follow the rules which are as follows:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude.
3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received the award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received this award.

And so I will. I nominate the following 10 blogs, in no particular order. I always find them either fun, inspiring, thought provoking and/or motivating (Drumroll please):

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Deck Update

The staining has begun!

The ceiling fans have been installed!

The tile will be installed next month.

As I was taking photos I began to have the eerie feeling of being watched.

Oh, hello friend.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Beauty of Home Schooling

Oh the beauty of home schooling.

You can get up at 8:00am.

Stay in your jammies all morning.

Work on the subject of your choice.

And what if your hiney happens to get too cold?

Well, a kid's gotta do what a kid's gotta do!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Something strange is going on. I've been "winning" alot lately.

It all started back in October. I won a monthly contest in a local women's magazine. That month's prize was basket full of skin care products. How exciting! I now have enough cleanser, eye cream, firming serum and hand lotion to last me a good long while. We all know how expensive these items can be.

In November, I bought raffle tickets at our church's Christmas Bazaar. I gave them to my son. He put all the tickets into one prize package and won! What was the prize? A weekend get-away at Ocean Isle Beach! How exciting is that? We plan on taking advantage of this prize next month, when the weather is a little nicer.

I was too busy in December to enter any contests.

January found me entering Looking Beyond Food's give-away. I was the lucky recipient of a beautiful, hand-made, designer apron.

This month, my luck passed over to my husband. He answered a trivia question correctly and received an additional year's membership to Home Owner's Club of America.

The good fortune doesn't end there. I was just informed that I have been selected as the hospital's "Spotlight Employee of the Month" for March. Now that's quite an honor (even though one is selected by random drawing).

Hmmmm. Maybe it's time to purchase a lottery ticket.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Artist Within

My profile states that I am an artist "wannabe". Ever since I can remember I was always drawing or creating but I never considered myself to be very good at it. I also have 3 older sisters who are phenomenal artists in their own right and I always felt whatever I created paled by comparison. I have decided to share with you some of the art I have produced which is in my home.

A few years after my husband and I were married I decided to take some pottery classes. I really enjoyed these classes. In fact, I ended up renting studio space for the summer and produced the following works:

The "infamous" fertility pot. Shortly after making this I became pregnant for the 1st time! In fact, I became pregnant on 5 separate occasions. Sadly, only 2 came to fruition. I miscarried the other 3. I like to say I now have 3 saints in heaven praying for us.

I went from there to a study of the "female form" and this is what I came up with.

After which, I went totally abstract. This work I call "Metamorphosis". It is suppose to be a representation of the new, emerging woman I was becoming: Child of God, wife and mother. A whole new chapter of my life was beginning. My conversion to the Catholic faith occurred during this time.

And here is a collection of serving bowls that I made and still use to this day.

A detail of my "Rooster Bowl" (upper right in above photo).

One of my favorites. I use this as a decorative way to store my tea bags.

After having kids, it became difficult to continue with pottery as it required a big block of time to be able to produce any type of work. Clean up was also a lengthy process. At this time I ventured into "fabric art". I began making 1st Communion banners for the kids at church and dabbled into some abstract fabric pieces to display in my home. This piece is called "The 'Wining' Women of Willingdon". It is based on myself and 2 friends who would get together a few times per month (at alternating homes) with our kids. We would drink wine and "whine". We would also create wonderful food. We, along with the kids, always had a great time. I sure miss them. One, who was on the same level as me spiritually, moved away due to her husband's job transfer. She is represented on the far left. And, yes, she really wore lots of animal print. The other thought I became "too Catholic" when I started homeschooling. So sad. She's the one in the middle. That leaves li'l ol' petite me on the right.

Well since I'm "too Catholic" I'll just have to go ahead and show you a sketch I did of Jesus, based upon the image on the Shroud of Turin.

And Heaven forbid if the kids ever went trick or treating on Halloween without a homemade, designed from scratch, costume!

(That's an emu, on the right, by the way)

Finally, a few years back I decided to take an oil painting class from a neighbor and friend. This is a detail of the very 1st painting I have ever done. It is based on a photo of my kids in the Kansas prairie behind my sister's country home.

I went from there to produce an "Ode to Cezanne". Heck, I was pleased that I painted anything resembling trees, walls and homes!

Then there's my daughter's favorite. I painted this, for her, to commemorate the passing of our beloved feline, Phoebe. It really looks just like her and I was very pleased with the outcome.

Unfortunately, oil painting is also a long, drawn out process. It takes a very long time to "cure" and clean up is, unfortunately, messy, toxic and time consuming. I think I might try acrylics next.

I enjoyed sharing these with all of you. I do realize these works are amateurish, but they come from the heart and from the soul. I firmly believe we all have God given talents. I pray that you will all be able to tap into "artist within".

Monday, February 16, 2009

To Tile? Two Tiles.

After 2 hours of shopping, these are the 2 tile samples I brought home with me (for the flooring of our screened porch). The one on above is called Mediterranean Noce. It is neutral and comes in 20x20 inch square. The tile below is Romeo Sienna. It is a bit richer in color with green and red undertones. It comes as an 18x18 square. Both photos were taken outside with the tiles place in the middle of the porch. The colors of both "washed out" in the outdoor light. I had been leaning towards the neutral pattern but now am thinking the richer color would be best. I'm going to see how they look at night, under our lighting before I make a final decision.

By the way, nice butt! I can say that because that is my dear hubby saving money by staining the deck himself.

Friday, February 13, 2009

St. Valentine - A Brief Lesson

St. Valentine lived during the reign of the Roman emperor, Claudius II, also known as Claudius the Cruel. Claudius was especially fond of persecuting Christians. It was these Christian martyrs whom Valentine, in his ministry, cared for and assisted in their time of suffering and sorrow.
Claudius II, as one would guess, had his empire involved in many unpopular wars and bloody campaigns. He, naturally, had great difficulty recruiting men to fill the ranks of the Roman military. Claudius thought that this was due to the men not wanting to leave their loved ones. So what does he do? He outlaws marriage! St. Valentine, in spite this ruling, performed marriages in secret. He is believed to have been the first priest to perform a marriage between a pagan man and a Christian woman. Unfortunately, Valentine was discovered and jailed. To be freed, all Valentine had to do was to renounce his Christian faith. Valentine refused and, for that, was sentenced to execution by clubbing and stoning.

While in jail awaiting for his sentence to be carried out, St. Valentine corresponded with his parishioners by sending letters and notes of love. Legend has it that he fell in love with one of his frequent visitors: Julia, the blind daughter of Asterius, his jailer. God enabled Valentine to miraculously restore Julia’s site and converted her heart, and that of her father, to the Christian faith.

As with any good love story, there is bound to be a tragic end. Tradition holds that as Valentine was being led to his execution he wrote one last farewell note of love, to his beloved Julia. His closing words are immortalized to this day: “From your Valentine”. The execution sentence was carried out. Strangely, Valentine survived the clubbing and stoning only to be eventually beheaded on February 14, 269 or 270 AD!

The pagan origin of St. Valentine’s Day is somewhat sordid in nature. In ancient Rome, on February 15, the people celebrated the Festival of Lupercalia, dedicated to the Roman god Lupercus. On this day, young men would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery. He would then keep this woman as his sexual companion for the year. After Christianity took hold in the region, Pope Gelasius I was able to change tradition by taking this lottery and having both men and women draw the names of saints whom they would then emulate for the year (much to the disappointment of some Roman men, I am sure!) The patron of this feast became Valentine and the date of his martyrdom became the date for this celebration. For Roman men, unable to let go of the past, this day continued to be an occasion to seek the affections of women. It became a tradition to give out handwritten messages of admiration that included Valentine’s name.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm Back!

Well, sort of. I'm still not quite up to snuff but am 100% better than I was this time last week. Today will be a test of sorts. I need to take DS to Speech, then exchange a ceiling fan. After that, it's a field trip into Charlotte for an "education" concert performed by the Charlotte Symphony. Then we'll grab a quick lunch prior to DD's acting class at the Children's Theater. We should make it back home by 4:00pm only to turn around and head back in to Charlotte for DD's Choir rehearsal by 6:00pm. Whew! I'm exhausted thinking about it! I may just have to sneak a cat nap in here and there.

Oh, by the way, the apron arrived! It is really quite lovely and very well made. I'm impressed! (Don't look too close at my pasty complexion and wonky hair...the flu does that to you!) Want an apron to call your own? Visit Deb Syke's website Looking Beyond Food for details.

P.S. I want to thank everyone for their kind words and best wishes while I was down. Your comments meant the world to me and I am grateful for each and every one of you!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


The 5th Sister wil be taking a short hiatus. I have an actual diagnosed case of the flu with a raging sinus/ear infection to boot! Needless to say, I am feeling quite poorly and I will be spending the next several days catching up on rest and trying to stay hydrated. Rest assured, I will return stronger than ever and thank everyone in advance, for your prayers, if you're so inclined. 'Til then.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Snow Day!

The schools are closed. Businesses aren't operating. Grocery stores are depleted of their supplies of milk, bread and toilet paper. What calamity has created this mayhem? Our 1st snow accumulation of the season...all 1 inch of it!

Why is It? Part Deux

Why is it the one morning that I can sleep in is the one morning I can't sleep? Hmmmmm.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why is it?

Why is it that when I leave for the day, or for the evening, with the kitchen looking like this:

It ends up looking like this when I return home?

Well, at least they washed the dishes that were in the sink. Oh, no wait, that was me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I won!

Earlier last month I had entered a contest for an apron give away. I was so very excited to receive the announcement, this morning, that I had won! This is a very lovely apron and am looking forward to putting it to good use.

La Gitana (aka Deb Sykes) is taking orders for those that would like to purchase a one of a kind apron for themselves. Please visit her blog, Looking Beyond Food, for further details.


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