December 18, 2010

A Winter Wonderland

Woke up to about 7" of beautiful snow this morning. The pictures are of my garden, that has frozen over and is hibernating for the winter, the view from my studio window where I watch as the birds feed and the little bird house that they haven't been visiting lately. We scatter the seed on the ground under the trees and leave water out on the deck for them. If they are lucky the birds will have their fill of seed before the deer come by and chase them away. Then we chase the deer away....although I DO feel sorry for them, but just have to get my mind around the whole nature thing. I could not stand outside in a pair of hooves and deer hide to save my life. It's so freezing cold out there! They are just built with wonderful insulation.
More snow is due the rest of this week. It's a good time to sip hot cocoa and eat all the Christmas goodies I have been making. I like being in my studio during this time also. I put on the iPod full of Christmas carols and I am in a little bit of heaven. I get melancholy and engulf myself in memories and like to taste my tears, (if I may quote my daughter Tiffany) during this wonderful time. I miss my friends and my family. BUT everyone is healthy and happy and I am enjoying the thoughts, tears, joy and love I feel, so what is there to complain about. Nothing. Did you notice the snow on the roof of the bird house?? Our driveway looks the same way.

Happy Birthday to Jim's mom, Adelka McElroy, who is 96 today and still as feisty as ever living in her home in Rhode Island.

December 14, 2010

The Joys of the Holidays

The holiday season can be a stressful one. There is shopping to do, parties to go to, the question of what to wear and will it fit, meals to plan, special traditional sweets to bake and more traffic to make one's nerves blow a fuse. We must settle down and realize that the preparation for the get together with friends and family that we cherish so much is what the holiday is about. Take a breath and say the word ENJOY and be THANKFUL. If possible, buy a toy for a tot, donate to a charity or volunteer to help someone shop who cannot get out for themselves. Realize that the excitement of the season lends itself to all this commotion, last minute touches to make those that we love feel special. A little handmade gift or something that reminds you of the special person will give the most joy.

What I love is feeling the winter where I live. The snow is slipping in sideways, gently pushing the tiny snowflakes that are resting on the trees and the ground. Some snowflakes move out of formation and stick on the windows. My cats are sitting on the window sill enjoying the view and the warmth from the fireplace. My family will not be joining us this year, so I will put up some decorations and of course the old nativity creche that my parents agave me when I was first married in 1970. I have re-thatched the roof several times with moss over the years. I love the message of Christmas and do like to sit and reflect what it means to me and how it makes me be a better person. I have a lot to be so thankful for. The many friends I have made over my lifetime who accept me unconditionally. My son and daughter who have brought me the most joy in my life. My husband who I trust, feel secure with and who is always here for me. I have wonderful memories of a childhood with a best friend and memories that have made me who I am, no matter how painful or wonderful they have been.

I am wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and Hanukkah, Peace of Mind, Love and Tolerance of each other in the new year. Be Happiness Itself.







December 3, 2010

November 23, 2010

What Happy Looks Like

Sedona is always smiling....unless she is deep in thought while observing Elmo on a video (which is limited in the household). I cannot believe that Sedona is already 16 months old and walking and signing and understands things you say to her. She is such a happy baby and finds humor in everyday things. She makes me think about how I start my day. I am definitely in a different place since she was born. She has been an inspiration for me and I find myself asking more questions which has lead me inward. It's amazing to me how much Sedona has grown, not only physically, but mentally in such a short time. If she is growing, what have I been doing? I'm growing too and have learned to find balance and truths in the things around me that I am involved in everyday. Forgiveness, love and accepting of myself and others. Going with the flow, appreciating what I have and looking forward to where I am going. Thankful for people who have come and gone in my life and all the blessings I can truly see today. All of this because of a sweet baby girl who loves to laugh and always has a smile for Grammy.

October 31, 2010

Celebrating Halloween






Sedona's first Halloween. She ventured out to the shopping center where she quickly got into the mood and started looking for her treats. I couldn't resist posting her experience.

Happy Halloween

Sedona put on her fairy costume for day care on Friday. She wasn't going for the wings and kept pulling them off. Guess that means she was a "grounded" fairy. She enjoyed seeing her friends in their costumes. Tonight mommy and papi will see if she likes to pass out candy.

October 24, 2010

October 17, 2010

Life Before Death


"Live so that you are at ease, in harmony with the world, and full of joy.
Day and night, share the springtime with all things...."
Confucius

If you knew you were going to die in a year, how would you live differently these next twelve months?
If you knew you were going to die in a month, how would you live differently these next 30 days?

Celebrate your life and accept all the seasons it brings.





October 4, 2010

Cary Weigand, my favorite


How to hen peck

I visited a small farm yesterday. Actually, it was a riding stable, but there was a large chicken coop there and all kinds of chickens strutting around. I couldn't help but notice this large white hen run up to something tiny and carry it away in it's beak. This little critter was dangling from the chicken's beak, arms and legs limp. This caused quite a stir in the chicken yard. All the inmates had to run along behind this chicken, that had scored a prize, to see what it was. Instantly, their curiosity got the better of them and they took on CAT NATURE. The white chicken made a bee line out of the area, running into the brush, trying to get away from the onlookers. They remained hot on her tail. She went full circle and came back to the yard, the helpless little critter dangling and dancing to a beat it did not want to dance. Miss White finally dropped the critter, which I think was a baby mouse and proceeded to peck it. She pecked it over and over....gave it a piece of her pecking mind. I'm sure he gave up the ghost at that point. The big brown chicken made his move and picked up the dead critter and ran with it. This is what is called: sports in the barnyard. Whoever had this little critter was the champion and envy of all the rest. SCORE! The dead dangle got pecked some more. So, there you have it. Hen pecking at it's worst.

August 18, 2010

Population explosion

We are watching as our yard becomes home to over twenty chip monks, jack rabbits, (too fast to count), cotton tail bunnies, (can't count them either) and Quail, mom's, pop's, teenagers and babies 8-18 hatch at a time. I think they are attracted to the wild flowers, finch bird seed and plain ole good energy. We had two chip monks last year and I counted one bunny. Never seen Jack rabbits like we have now. We have lots of grass to eat for the rabbits and worms in the grass for the birds. I think we have an over population problem. YIKES!! The teenage Quail are "doing it" because all of a sudden we have a lot more young looking parents walking around with 8-15 new babies. They are SO darn cute!! I think they have discovered the Promised Land and we are happy to oblige. However, I'm wondering if this could turn into a problem....but a friend told me that the eagles and bigger birds and other predators thin out the crowd, so not to worry. Our neighborhood cat, CeCe loves to come over and hunt through the wild flowers. Unfortunately, Susan says that he brings back a gift of a chip monk to her at times. Glad I don't witness that!

Rhode Island visit

We visit Jim's mom, who is 95 1/2 years old, every 3-4 months in Hope Valley, Rhode Island. It was very humid there this time, so we frequented the Lickity Splits ice cream stop almost every day. We love to people watch and were very delighted to see two people come up on their motorcycles. The man had his own and his wife, Connie, had a sidecar where Bonnie sat. She is a mix of Golden Retriever and Chow. She waited patiently in the car while her master bought her a small cup of vanilla ice cream. She lapped it right up. Bonnie is 14 years old and a very lucky doggie. I think her owners believe they are the lucky ones!

August 2, 2010

Fire Scare


I have never had to be evacuated from my home. Today it almost happened. I saw the smoke from the Rooster Rock fire this afternoon around 2:00. My neighbor called with the news and I looked out the window to find billows of smoke filling the sky. It looked very close to our neighborhood. My husband said that we would not have to be evacuated...we would be fine and started watering the lawn. The Sheriff drove up into the driveway around 7:15. I was just cleaning up the dinner dishes. There was a frantic knock at the door. I answered and I didn't feel like it was me answering....it was like I was watching the whole scene. He told me that it was not mandatory that we left, but that the fire was out of control and he was recommending it. I called Jim and he took over the conversation. He came into the house and said that he wasn't going anywhere. I was not going to sit back and wait until the fire showed up in our yard. I felt like I was in a Laurel and Hardy skit and was running around in circles, not knowing what to pack. It was surreal. I didn't think about taking pictures off the walls or loading up all of our suitcases. A friend offered to come with his truck and help us pack things, but I wasn't sure he would be able to get to our neighborhood. I got insurance papers, went through the files for other important papers and cleaned out the safe for birth certificates, passports and other documents. I grabbed our medical folder as well as my banking folder, my journals, two boxes of old photographs, checkbooks, jewelry box, two Trader Joe bags of bathroom drawer things, two pairs of shoes for each of us and a couple of armful's of clothes and one small suitcase of other clothing. The kitty girls were wondering what was going on and followed me everywhere. I had a bag of cat food, one litter box and four kitty carriers standing by. I went around taking pictures of every room and inside the drawers. My husband did the same upstairs. I took pictures of the insides of the closets and cupboards. He made an inventory list of everything in each room that was valuable. We stood by at the upstairs windows watching the smoke from the fire head south. We could see the orange light coming up from behind the trees in the forest over behind our development. We heard Mr. Cowen on the news, who lives at the opposite end of our development, say that he could see the flames. YIKES! All of a sudden, I stopped sweating and looked up at the sky and just said, "Okay, whatever happens I don't have any control over. It's just another adventure. We will get out, along with our pets and if we have to start over with the material things, we will. The most important thing is that we are safe." And I let go. So now, it's 11:20 and I am here at the computer, not really wanting to go to bed. I suppose the Sheriff would come back to make sure everyone was gone from the neighborhood if the wind kicks up and the fire starts heading our way. I keep checking the front to see if I can still see the orange sky. Jim is eating ice cream upstairs....guess he is not worried. I'm sleeping in my clothes tonight.

July 31, 2010

Tiffany and Lars

I just visited Tiffany and Lars' site and saw this new video they posted. It says that it is a video of Sedona playing with animals, but it is the video Lars put together for their wedding. It is wonderful and I want to share it. Enjoy!
http://web.me.com/lars_bode/Tiffany&Lars/Video_Feb_20,_2010.html

July 28, 2010



This is how I like my backyard to look. If I was in California, maybe it would look like this all year round. Even though it was a difficult Spring this year, THIS is so worth the anticipation and wait. I love going out there and listening to the bees that are working in the cat mint. We gave up on lavender because it just wasn't happy here. Cat mint looks a lot like lavender and it thrives in our yard. I don't like the prep work one has to do before you can work on a project. That goes for weeding to get the yard ready for planting or sanding to get ready for painting. We have been sorting out all the pieces for our greenhouse that we want to put up in the back and it is taking us FOREVER! I was so ready to move from here this year. We went down to California for Tiffany and Lars' wedding celebration and was quickly reminded why we left. I would love to be by my family, but this place we have up here is so peaceful. We are only 20 minutes to the downtown area and 10 minutes from Sisters. We have the animals, which we enjoy watching. We look out of our windows and see the mountains, forest and when we want to, our neighbors activity, which doesn't make us feel like we are out in the boonies. We are happy here and love our friends. Yes, give us the company of our furry kitty girls and their unending purrs, our yard to work in and that means home to us.

July 21, 2010

Garden is in bloom





My garden has finally come back and the butterflies, bees, bunnies and birds are loving it.

July 5, 2010

Happy Together


Jim and I went to Ashland for my niece Samantha's wedding to Jeffrey Prevatt. It was a happy occasion. I got to visit with Tom (Sam's dad) and Judy (his wife) and enjoyed Austin and Mason, Sam's adorable children. I love this picture because Jim is smiling and he doesn't like to have his picture taken, so this is a milestone. Had to post for posterity.


Our chipmonk

This little chipmonk is sitting on our back steps enjoying the cracked corn I put out for the Quail. He comes up to the screen and looks right at the cats, knowing that he is safe. The cats go crazy, but it is their entertainment. We had two chipmonks last year and now we have ten. Holy Chip and Dale batman! I think we are in trouble.

New babies
















A new covey has arrived and they are so cute.
This is the same shot, different angles. I think
there are 18 total, although some of them didn't make it into the shot. The previous group is getting bigger and now walking around without mama and papa.

June 16, 2010

Quail babies are here!



The Quail babies are here! I counted 16 in this group. Some are larger than others, and I am wondering why. I worry about the really tiny ones getting enough to eat. Who knows maybe the parents adopted the three little ones. I can't believe that this wind doesn't carry them away.
I can't help but put out food for the birds. I have two thistle feeders for the finches and a bird house for the wild birds. The excess seed drops down and that is where the Quail love to scratch and peck the welcome morsels. The parents are so protective. They chase away any birds that come by while their little ones are eating. I love this time of year when the tiny Quail arrive. I've seen a baby bunny....surprised that I have seen only one, because I have heard that rabbits multiply like crazy. A friend said he saw ten rabbits in our yard when he was last over here. Yikes! The chipmonks love this place too. We had two last year and now we have at least eight who are daily visitors. They are fun to watch as they run from the sage brush onto the lawn, jumping over the tall grass. I swear they are smiling, knowing that a full bounty awaits them. Then they fill up their cheeks and run back to unload their find. They make this repetitive trip all day long. I love nature and I am looking forward to going hiking and out on the pontoon boat again this summer with our dear friends. Life is good.


Father's Day


Some people say Father's Day, as well as Mother's Day is just another Hallmark holiday. We should honor our Father, Papi, Papa, Dad, whatever term of endearment we have chosen to call the heads of our families, everyday. I remember when my dad was alive, I would make him a card on Father's Day. I think he appreciated that gift from me when I was a little girl more than any gift I bought him when I got older. What do you get a person who has everything? I remember one time I drew a portrait of him. I think he resembled King Kong in my interpretation. He was his usual critical self, but it didn't matter because I had outgrown my need for his approval. It humored me when he said I didn't use the proper drawing utensil. He had macula degeneration, so I don't think he could really tell what kind of pencil I used. His critique never did too much for my self esteem growing up, although I can't put all that on him, after all I went to Catholic school and those nuns scared the BaJesus out of me. As I got older, I understood that criticism that he gave me was because of his frustration of never being the famous artist he wanted so much to be. The best part of what I received from my dad was unconditional love. He was the one I could always go to when I had problems. He was funny and people loved him and he WAS a great artist to his four children. One year he drew pictures of my friends at my birthday party....a wonderful party favor. He suffered a lot, self inflicted with his demons.

We must never underestimate our fathers and their strength. When we are little we idolize them and think they are the smartest people on earth. Then in our teen years we wonder how they just don't "get it". Then they are gone and you realize you have taken the good things about their parenting and made them your own. I am honoring the men in my life this day who are head of the family, male friends whose children are their precious pets, the father of my children, my son-in-law who is the wonderful Papi to our dear Sedona, and especially my husband who is a fantastic Dad to his grown up children and my grown up children as well.
Happy Father's Day! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

June 15, 2010

Windy here

Today was a very windy day. I'm talking bone chilling wind. Needless to say, I did not get outside at all. Do you know what the wind does to your face? On days like this I need to apply Vaseline to my face to protect it from the wind is I step outside at all. I will look like Phyllis Diller in no time, living up here in Bend. Does anyone get a facelift when they turn 68? I'm thinking I will be needing one by then, but then what would be the point at that age? My knees will be a dead give away. AHHH, to discover how to grow old gracefully. That makes me laugh. There is nothing graceful about it!
I'm giving you young gals a tip....none of those expensive creams work. Just look who is advertising them on TV?! I think the models are in their 20's. And look at what they present to us middle aged (okay, a little over middle aged) in the magazines! For women my age they show young women with air brushed faces. Who are they kidding?! But us more mature women fall for the advertising all the time. I have a drawer full of products that have promised a more youthful look. They just don't work. The only thing that works is a face lift or injectables. There are risks with those. SO, I say may as well just be happy with what you get. Everything in the physical world changes. May as well go with the flow. What you have inside is deeper than any change. I am at the age where my mantra has become this: "I accept myself in this physical appearance. I am more than the wrinkles and wear and tear on my body. It's living life in the present and not trying to hang onto the physical body of the past that is important. Change, accept, move forward." It really helps if you can have a sense of humor and laugh as much as possible. Hang out with positive people and don't let the turkeys get you down.

June 7, 2010

If this picture doesn't bring a smile to your face, nothing will! Happy Monday everyone. Sedona is into her 11th month now. Loves to laugh and is quite the character. Papi and Mommy are such great parents and there is a lot of love in their home.

May 17, 2010

The Family Bode. Lars, Tiffany and Sedona posing for a backyard picture over the weekend.
Wonderful to watch Sedona growing up and the happiness they all share in being a family.

May 10, 2010

Sedona and Grammy


Got to spend a week with Sedona and Tiffany while Lars was at a conference. Such a pretty baby!

Once a Mama, Always a Mama

In honor of Mother's Day

April 15, 2010

Re: thought for the day


Be positive in your life and cherish and be thankful for all things that come your way.
How many more sunsets do you have left to see with someone you love?

April 11, 2010

New addition

"Come on kid, leave me alone."
This is a picture of Portia and Lexi when we first adopted Lexi. Lexi finally figured out how to invade Portia's territory and Portia was not happy about it. Lexi just wanted to play, but sadly, Portia wasn't having any of it. She was an adult, after all.

SPRING IS CONFUSED HERE




My garden awaits. The flowers around our yard are in the state of shock. They start coming up and then we get a frost. The trees had buds, but since the frost last week, they are retreating. The birds have showed up, along with the chipmonks, bunnies, and we always have deer. The wind is back and it cuts you to the bone. To think I left California for this! We DO love the wide open spaces and the summers and falls here, but winter just hangs around for way too long, encroaching on Spring's time.

April 5, 2010

Happy Easter


Sedona all dressed up for Easter. She went with Mommy and Papi to their friends house for an Easter egg hunt. While they were at the party, they felt the earthquake that happened in Mexicali that registered 6.9. We were in Rhode Island cleaning up Jim's mom's cellar after the flood. I now am on my way to having buns of steel. HA. Seriously, I've never done lunges for 4 hours straight for two days! Thank goodness we didn't need to have snorkels! The water was 6" high! Rhode Island has never had rain fall like that before. They got 8 inches in 24 hours. Sedona had a lot more fun than Grammy and Papa Jim did. I miss making Easter baskets for all the grandchildren. I get to see Sedona, mommy and Papi on April 25! Yippeeee!!!

March 28, 2010

All About Hearts

A casual necklace that can be worn any day. An oxidized silver heart hangs from a leather cord. An engraved brass locket along with a wire wrapped black bead adds to this special piece. There is an "S" closure. Measures 19" from closure to tip of heart. This necklace will be for sale on my Etsy site.






Made of PMC, a heart and keyhole hang from two different chains.
Total length of necklace from closure to end of key charm is 21".
The heart is textured and can be moved slightly to the side when wearing to expose more of the keyhole. A very romantic necklace and is one of a kind. This necklace will be for sale on my Etsy site.









Ready for Spring

Here is little miss sunshine already for Spring. Don't think the Easter bunny will be visiting this year. She doesn't know what chocolate is yet, let alone a Peep.

March 23, 2010

Sedona in green


Sedona all dressed up for St. Patrick's Day. She is 8 months old and can clap and wave bye bye. Amazing that she started out the size of a blueberry. She brings a lot of joy into her space and smiles all the time. What a blessing!


March 21, 2010

My Tin Man


"Oz never did give
nothin to the tin man that he didn't already have". America

This quote inspired me to create my very own tin man. I made him out of an Altoid box and Sculpey clay.





March 18, 2010

What seems like a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of the journey. I have learned this by personal experience. It is very true.

Everyone has a role in life. No one else can or should tell you what yours is. Though it may be hard work, it needs to be discovered and identified. To reach beyond what you think are your limits and to become part of life on your own merits, by your own strength, and in your own time.

Me and My Lexi

Me and My Lexi

Pet the Kitty