Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mrs. Morris' Neighborhood

Here are a few things that happened today:

Juneau and Jessie (mostly Juneau though) scared the beliefs right outta two Jehovah's Witnesses who came on our property. One lady wouldn't even leave the driveway. The other was braver and rang the doorbell. Jessie took her position right next to the door, barking her most ferocious I will protect this house with my life bark. Juneau hit the loveseat which sits in front of the bay window. On his hind legs, head thrown back and just bellowing his famous woo woo woo, intermixed with the occasional deep bark. It's 150 pounds of dogs. It's very loud. It's the ultimate security system.

I listed this tag on etsy, with an "adults only" graphic before it. Sorry Mom.

I may not have what it takes to impress etsy buyers. But I am going to make a few weird things, and see. It's good therapy no matter what, because I have weirdness leaking out of my brain, all over the place. May as well put it to good use.

Juneau went to the end of the driveway, then one foot farther - thus putting himself on the wrong side of the invisible fence line. He didn't have his collar on, but these fences work quite well (unless you are Miss Jessie and you figure out if you run really, REALLY fast, you can make it across without getting shocked). Without his collar he didn't receive any shock, but he was afraid to come back across. He stood there whimpering and whining, waiting for rescue. Calling his name, coaxing, coaxing with food - none of those things work. Dad had to walk down there and pick him and carry him across the threshold so to speak.

I should explain we are the second to last house at the end of a dead end street so there is no through traffic. Our back yard is teeny and tiny, but the front yard is quite spacious. Jessie is a very friendly dog, and Juneau, although loud and wolf-like and imposing, would not let a stranger get within 10 feet of him.

We had hot dogs for dinner - Hebrew National of course - they are zee best.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Question of the Day: Inside the Lines

So often what we set out to create is far different from what we end up creating. This ATC is called Inside the Lines. What is she saying to you?

Monday, July 21, 2008

New ATC's

I listed these two cards on eBay today. They can be found here.
Juneau is the most photogenic dog - I love using his photos in my art.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ice Cream

Tonight my hubby said "let's put the dogs in the car and go down to 31 Flavors for an ice cream cone." He has been doing some very cool spontaneous things lately (some of which aren't rated G if you get my drift). So I politely masked my horror at being in a car, and said "Sure."

We each ordered our cones, and THEN he asked for two child's size vanilla cones. I said "you are buying ice cream for the dogs?" and he said yes, he was. We drove over to a quiet area with a bit of grass and trees. The dogs ran towards the grass, all but ignoring the ice cream we were offering them. Apparently a zillion new smells and plenty of places to go potty rank right up there with ice cream. They had to be coaxed back over and over, and would only take a few licks each time.

It was a very nice surprise, from the best husband in the world.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Horsey Card

Today we attended a combination baby shower and BBQ at the home of our neighbors. Rather than buy or make a traditional card, I whipped up this 3D altered art card. The baby's name is Travis and his mother loves all things horse. I'm sure he will ride before he walks! We had a wonderful time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

26 Cents

For the heck of it I did a search on Amazon, for my mother's books. All three were there. All written about the horrors of child abuse, and the relationhip it has to pornography. Books about how to keep our children safe. Books about her own childhood - a childhood so tragic I cannot let myself dwell on it for very long. Yet she is the first one to point out the Lord has taken her sorrows and turned them into triumphs.

This song so epitomizes the love a mother has for her child. A love we do not fully comprehend of course, until we become mothers. My mother is an amazing woman. I live far away from her now. She visits once or twice a year, and we email back and forth. I always have at least one meltdown during each visit. Not because of anything she does (not on purpose anyway), but because I find myself feeling so small in the presence of a person of such faith. I know this is how the children of Billy Graham must have felt, or maybe still feel. To the world, this parent is so well known, so inspiring, such an angel of God. But to the child, this parent is a parent, plain and simple.

Things "came together" for my mother in her early 40's, when she read the Bible from cover to cover. She says her eyes were opened to many things. She was healed of years of hurts, and God began to use her as His ambassador. She is now 77 and shows no sign of slowing down, despite some health issues that would send a lot of people to bed, and keep them there.

In the past 20 years she has written three books. Her words have been translated into many languages and have reached the far corners of the world. She testified in front of the U.S. Senate, has appeared on Larry King Live, done countless radio shows, lectured to groups all over the country, and founded her own non-profit ministry which she named No Neutral Ground. She is extremely active in prison ministries and has spoken at both mens and womens facilities. She does a great deal of work at homeless shelters. These things are really just the tip of the iceberg.

Her stature is small but her presence is not. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart she would say. Motherhood is a serious thing. My sister and I did what we were told. I was 20 years old before I told my mother no, that I wouldn't do something. I don't know which one of us was more surprised. She has two grandsons and loves them both dearly. Yet they are not allowed to get away with anything. She told my son several years ago, "I love you, but stop trying to play me." It's a very down to earth, matter of fact, bite me and I will bite you back approach, and it works.

Several years ago we were on a family road trip with my then nine year old son. He was acting up big time - being quite the donkey. Nothing I tried worked and I was at the end of my rope. Thinking out loud, I remarked "I'm going call my mother and get some advice. She is older and has more experience in raising children." He gulped as the color drained from his face, and said "that won't be necessary, I'll be good." And he was.

She is a person of modest financial means, yet all her needs are met. A friend will call and say "the Lord has laid it on my heart to buy you new tires." She has the faith I aspire to have. She knows it's all about eternity, eveything else is only temporary.

Her trips here are planned around Mondays at Value Village. Seniors get 40% off. Mother has a shopping angel and never fails to find the most incredible bargains on the most beautiful things. She recently took a group of friends on their first thrift store adventure. She had a blast being their guide. I have learned to be frugal and think outside the box. I owe this to my mother.

My mother is a lady every day, all day. I can be a lady if need be, which to me is enough. I think Mom woud disagree. But it's too late now to change me and my warped little mind. I know she loves me, even when I belch and blame it on tree frogs (yes Mom, tree frogs really do exist).

I feel her love, across the miles, across time and space. I always will.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Coupon Shopping

I'm pretty good at ye old coupon shopping, even if I do say so myself. I amaze my husband and that's tough to do. Tonight Jacob's church youth group went to a water park, so Miss Jessie and I hit the grocery stores. She is a wonderful traveling companion and a reassuring presence when one is driving around at 11:00 pm. My original plan was to visit three stores, but I ran out of time after the second one.

At the first store (Albertson's) I spent $33.83 and got the following:

1 dozen eggs
1 bag tortilla chips
1 bag Cheetos
1 bottle fancy cherry water for my son
1 bottle canola oil
2 pounds butter
1 package of double roll toilet tissue
2 Kraft pasta salads
1 bottle Ranch salad dressing
1 bottle Italian salad dressing
1 bottle Bleu Cheese salad dressing
1 bottle Caesar salad dressing
1 pound monterey jack cheese
1 pkg beef mini hot dogs
6 onion bagels
6 cinnamon raisin bagels
1 pkg. Reese's peanut butter cup mini's

Then I went to Safeway and spent $21.48 on:

Bag of salad greens
Bunch of bananas
3 pounds peaches
1 loaf buttermilk bread
1/2 gallon lemonade
24 pack Pepsi
1/2 pound deli turkey
1 package flour tortillas

Not exactly a balanced diet, but we have chicken and beef in the freezer and are well stocked on most other staples. I am envious of those who live where stores double an unlimited amount of coupons. Safeway offers four in their weekly circular. I only shop at Safeway for whatever they have a good sale on, preferably when I can combine that with a coupon. Otherwise they are just too expensive. Albertson's does accept Safeway's doubles though....all four of them. So I have to be creative and often make a few trips throughout the week. Luckily we are within walking distance of the Big A.

It seems grocery prices are rising daily. Hubby planted a good sized garden so hopefully soon we will be getting our greens from there. I notice too that manufacturers are downsizing their products in the hope we won't notice (we do!). And there you have my little shopping trip for the day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Child of the King

I forget, at times, that I AM a child of the King. That I have a personal relationship with the Lord and He is my ultimate father. I can lose sight of Him in the crowd, but He never takes His eyes off me.

I began this card with no direction in mind. I just started to glue, and tissue, and cut and paste. I have had this old cross on my work table for quite some time - just waiting for the right place to use it.

I lightened up the background of my blog for my Mama, who was having trouble reading it. I hope this is better, and that she likes my card.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Nice Day

Hello Blog Land! Today was a nice day. My son returned from five days at camp. He had a little crash on a mountain bike and left some skin back at camp, but nothing broken thank goodness. I was not able to talk with him at all. That was a tough one for me. I needed to hear his voice. I needed to hear he was okay.

Hubby gave both doggies a bath! I would have taken pictures but I didn't want to open the bathroom door and have the dog try to jump out of the tub. Juneau went first. He had to be coaxed in, but at least he went. A bit of whining, but he survived.

Miss Jessie was next. She hates baths. She hates baths so much that if she even hears the water hitting the tub, she runs to the other end of the house. This photo was taken a couple years ago. Her expression was the same today.

Juneau watched his mentor be taken into the bathroom and you could tell he was concerned. Once the water began, he went and laid right in front of the door, listening to everything. It wasn't long before he started to whimper. I believe he really was worried about her.

I made a couple ATC's. My pain level was quite low. Yep, a good day.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Question of the Day: Baby Names

The Lord blessed me with one son (that I know of). It's always fun to add the "that I know of" and watch a person's facial expression. Even before conception, I had a girl's name picked out: Dorian Rose Louise. Dorian being my mother's first name, Rose being my former husband's mother's first name, and Louise being my middle name. Yet I hoped and prayed I would give birth to a son.

I know one shouldn't make special requests, but I am a weenie and knew that a boy would be easier. Especially if I had a daughter who was anything like me. Snakes and spiders and lizards and frogs are no big deal. But the thought of hormonal battles with another female scared the you know what out of me. I also prayed my child would inherit my nose and not his/her father's nose. Simply because his/her life would be easier that way.

We could not agree on a boy's name until well into the pregnancy. I had two ultrasounds, one at the usual time and one about an hour before an emergency C-Section. Both times my little guy was shy and wasn't going to reveal anything to the camera. So we did it the old fashioned way, back before ultrasounds and amnio. We were surprised by Jacob Thomas Heisner Salisbury. The Jacob and the Thomas being chosen by my mother, and Heisner being my maiden name. My father was quick to point out his grandson's initials JTHS were the same as his high school, Joliet Township High School. Is this post boring yet, or what?

I still believe Dorian Rose is a beautiful name. Did you have a baby name you didn't get to use?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So My Bud Is Coming Home

My friend Kay is on her way back from Utah. She left almost three weeks ago, in search of better things. It's a long story and really not my place to tell it. I am just happy she is coming home and I hope she believes us when we say we will always be here for her.

I have known Kay about 18 years. My son was born six months after her daughter. They fought like a brother and sister. We would put them in the backseat of the van and take off garage saling. But first we would stop and get a Pepsi and a bag of Cheetos.

We have been through a lot together - good times and bad, just like any friendship. I am not the easiest person to have as a friend. When I feel strongly about something, out it tumbles from my mouth before I have a chance to stop it. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I'm anything but shy. Or I could just say I am opinionated and stick my nose in when I shouldn't, and be done with it.

Glad you're almost home my friend - the Cheetos and Pepsi (and gas) are on me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Question of the Day: Deadliest Catch

Who is the hunkiest crab boat skipper? And which boat would you like to spend a week on? My vote for #1 hunk is Johnathan Hillstrand, followed a close second by his brother Andy. For my sea cruise, I would choose the Northwestern though. I love Sig's attitude and Edgar's sense of humor. Oh....and I'd eat crab for every meal!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Two Tags, One Card

Wow, three posts today and it's only 3:00 AM.

I made a couple things over the weekend. I find if I don't create something every few days, even a tiny something, I feel as if I'll go crazy. Once I expend some of that creative energy I am able to focus (as much as is possible for me) on work related things.

These are for sale on etsy.

Which Way Do I Go?

First let me say I am a bit embarrassed by the front door in this photo. Of course it's our door, and if you have dogs, you already know how hard they can be on wood surfaces. Tacky looking door aside, I really wanted to use this photo because it so perfectly illustrates the title of this post.

I am by no means a seasoned traveler in Blog Land. Yet I have noticed there seems to be two different kinds of blogs. One is geared toward the melancholy, the deep and often dark musings of life. The author occasionally adds a bit of sunshine or whimsy, but for the most part, the blog is a rather solemn place. The other is happy to the point of being totally unrealistic. A giggling, silly, someone please turn off the nitrous oxide kind of blog. The author could make a sigmoidoscopy sound like an all expense paid trip to Silver Bella.

I am constantly struggling with the question of which kind of blog is more meaningful to the people who stop by. Usually I attempt to strike a balance between Ernest Hemingway and Gidget on steroids. After all, a blog should be an inspiring, comforting, fun place to visit. No one really wants to read about cramps or rotator cuffs or the gases husbands pass in the night. I don't know though...maybe they do? Maybe reading about another woman's struggles helps remind us how similar we really are and how we need to be there for each other.

I have made some incredible friends in Blog Land. Women I'd love to meet, and just hang out with. They are a source of comfort when times are tough, and they rejoice with me when times are good.

So....I guess I go where life takes me, always striving to find the middle ground. Through good days and bad days and dog worn doors.....

The Lovely Lori's Jewelry Give-Away

Lori, or LL as I call her, is a wonderful lady who came into my life via the Enchanted Swap. She makes beautiful jewelry. I own one of her bracelets and can assure you, you will not be disappointed in the quality of LL's work.

Lori has recently opened an etsy store, and to celebrate she is offering two pairs of earrings to anyone who leaves a comment. Here is the link to her blog. I hope you'll hippity hop on over and take a peek!

Morning Glories and Moonflowers

I admire people who make jewelry. Lately I have been attempting to include some bits and pieces of jewelry in my ATC's. Usually working with tiny things is not a problem. But geez, I am all thumbs when it comes to dealing with jump rings and chain. Hopefully all I need is more practice.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

If Wishes Were Horses

"If wishes were horses, beggers would ride." I do not know the origin of that statement. I do know my mother used it on a regular basis. It was a staple in the "verbal arsenal" all good mothers have, and her response to such whinings as "I wish I could stay up later" or "I wish you would just spank me instead of lecturing me."

I have done a great deal of wishing these past two weeks. My bud Kay moved away on June 22. She and her daughter spent their last weekend in town at my house. Kay and Juneau really bonded. I took many mental pictures of the two of them, cuddling on my bed. I wished she could stay, but I knew why she had to leave.

I wish they would outlaw fireworks in my area. Yes I know, bah humbug and what a cranky woman to wish for something like that. The City of Vancouver is not known for many things, but it is IS known for putting on the largest fireworks show west of the Mississppi. You'd think that would be enough. Miss Jessie is terrified of fireworks. She pants, she paces, she trembles, she cries, she runs in circles. There is no comforting her (we have tried medication - it doesn't work) and for a solid week, she lives in this state of anxiety.

11 years ago today my father died of cancer. I wish he had lived to see his grandson growing up. He would have been so proud. I wish he could have met my husband and been able to see what a wonderful man I married. I wish he could have realized that even though I'm not skinny and didn't graduate from college, I am still a person worthy of his love.

I wish I were better at dealing with my pain, and my flashbacks of the accident. I wish I were better at concentrating on asking God for His help and His grace. All the king's doctors and all the king's counselors cannot put Humpty back together again. Only God can.

There you have it - my stable of wishes.