Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On the Road Again!

Well, Bill and i are moved out of our home and moved into the local Holiday Inn Express again! This time for 13 days or so...We are finally at the end of the rehab work in the house here, and the last to be done is the Master Bedroom and Bath. Since my husband needs his accessible bathroom, and it currently looks like this...
(ugh...) we had no choice but to move out to our local home away from home.... This is the third time we have had to move out and stay there in the course of the three year rehab project. Hopefully it will be the last time as the rest of the work after this is just cosmetic. Here are some of the other reasons we had to move out the first time...
Torn out old kitchen....

Master bedroom with kitchen cabinet boxes. If you look closely, the queen sized bed is squished underneath the big horizontal box in the forefront....

Entrance...errrr, lack of entrance to living room....

Boxes piled high in the old office before rehab. You can't keep two computer addicts away from their computer for very long....

more boxes in the torn out kitchen...but at least this one belonged in the kitchen!

The small bath..... The second time we had to move out was because all the carpets were torn up, and the hardwood floors were patched in and refinished. We had to cover everything and get out for the major sanding job and the poly took days to put down and dry... As you can see, we've been thru a lot and got a ton of work done. But it took us three long years to get this far, and i am so DONE! I must have at least a pound of plaster dust laying in the bottom of my lungs! Anyway, we are just out of the house this time for the night time hours and early mornings so that we can actually sleep in a bed and use the facilities...I'll be checking in on all my favorite blogs for a visit!

Monday, July 28, 2008

More Beauty in the Gardens

As i said in the last garden post, we have had our fair share of rain, and also plenty of sunny, warm days, so the gardens are pretty happy...In some cases, as in the morning glories, TOO happy!

Most of the day lilies are in the front garden. We finally got our new walkway put in and the grass is just growing back around the edges....

These daylilies are so bright and vibrant in color. And the scent is lovely!...

A closer look....

We also have the Asiatic lilies growing back this year.

This day lily grows right on the fence line so i was very surprised it was still with us! This one has a beautiful scent...

We have the hosta in the back shade garden. I had transplanted these after the back yard was graded. After the initial shock, they all came back very well, and some of them are blooming!

More hosta in bloom

This is the same yard where the sunflowers are growing. Here are the heirloom morning glories. My Mother's Grandfather had these growing in his yard many, many years ago. Well, i don't know why i was worried these might not come back this year. They are threatening to take over the whole yard! To the left of the photo, you can see my large wheelbarrow. The fence full of vines dwarfs it!

Here is my old friend Mosie, walking thru his yard. The boys and Zinnia have little pathways worn in the ground. But i am afraid if they stand still long enough i might never find them!

Mozie and Gipetto out for a little stroll.... So as you can see, everything is growing almost too well! (Maybe it's all that fertilizer the dogs leave behind...???)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Best Friends

I was listenting to the Summer night sounds last night as i got into bed, and had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for all the love i have had in my life. I am so lucky to have a very large, loving family. My Mom and Dad are still with us, and both enjoying life. I have much loved sisters and a brother, and their families too. I have a loving husband, and two beautiful daughters that we are very proud of and love very much. And now they have families, and we have beautiful grandchildren. While i was thinking about all this and welling up with emotion, i felt a little nudge at my hand , and wrapped my arms around my constant dogs. (Yep...they sleep with me) I have had dogs all my life. But in the last 15 years, i have had my strongest bonds with the dogs i live with now.
Here i am with my puppies, about 13 years ago. We were all much younger then!
And here are "The Boys" my original three, all grown up
Amos Moses (Mozie) on the left, Gipetto (Geeps) in the middle, and Zebedee on the right (Zebbie)

Please don't tell the boys, but Zeb was my favorite. He was the oldest of the three and was so young when we got him that we carried him around with us a lot. (His mother rejected his litter at about 5 weeks) I don't think Zeb ever really believed he was a dog. He was more like a human. We lost Zebbie at the age of 13, two years ago this August, to cancer. This is my favortite picture of him, and whenever i think of him (which is every single day) i see him this way. Young and happy. I miss you Zeb....

Gipetto came next. He is the lover boy of the dog world. Whenever anyone comes in the door he cuddles up to them and begs for a tummy rub. And as soon as they sit down he hurls himself into their lap, even at the ripe old age of 14. Geeps still acts like a puppy for the most part, tho arthritis and a bad back bother him...

This is our Mozie at the age of 13, the youngest of the three original boys. Even tho he is the youngest of the group, he was the one who lived the "hardest" and so he now seems like the oldest one. He was always the top dog around here, and let everybody know it too. He can't see very well now, and doesn't hear so well anymore either, but he still loves his naps and his food! Moz sleeps most of the day away now. I'm sure he is dreaming of his younger days when he was the king of the house.
When Zeb passed i had a real hard time saying goodbye. But after the first weeks of grief, i felt the best way to honor Zeb's memory was to go out and rescue another little dog. So that is when we found Zinnia. And boy, is she a firecracker! Don't let this sweet little face fool you! She is a hand full! I think she is the most intelligent, most hyper dog i have ever had in my life. But she is going to be two years old soon and she is calming down quite a bit. She never, ever leaves my side. So as i type this, all three of my dogs are laying in the dog beds at my feet. With friends like this, i am truly blessed.....

Saturday, July 26, 2008

More Jewelry and Crafts

I've been super busy getting some more jewelry and onesies ready for my daughter's shop, The Paper Sparrow. The first onesie i made was my own design of a bumblebee, and here are the next two. I draw all my own designs and then stencil the main parts on the onesie, and embellish with paint pens. This is so much fun. I don't take enough time to paint, so this gets my crafting and painting urges out all at once!

Here is a closeup of the Ladybug. Next, i have a request for an "aquatic" theme....

I finished another mala and now need to give my fingers time to rest, working so intensely with the wire. This one is made of clear quartz crystal beads and rudruksha beads. The center bead is a clear quartz crystal nugget.

This is a little baby's rosary i made of small moonstone beads. I thought it would be nice as a birth or christening gift... This one is just a prototype, but i like the way it turned out and will go ahead and make some more...

The rosary on the left is made on flexible wire. I also make rosaries (on the right) using the hand made chain too. The rosary on the left is made with chrysocholla and agate. The one on the right is made of turquoise.

And because we got a lot of compliments on the aquamarine mala, i made this strand of aquamarine beads with matching earrings to be worn as jewelry. Now it is time to put the paint brushes down and put the metal smith tools away and clean my house!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunflower Magic

No, this is not a sunflower field in the south of France or in the hills of Italy....

It's in my backyard in Upstate New York! And really, to be very honest with you, i didn't even PLANT these sunflowers...the birds did!
Stray sunflower seeds must have dropped out of the bird feeders and filtered down thru the tiger lily bed below. And because of all the rain we have been getting, we had an explosion of sunflower magic!

Here is a closeup of how big these flower heads get! That is one of the last of the tiger lily flowers below... Already a few of the sunflower heads have gone to seed and the birds and squirrels are having a feast cleaning the seeds out. Never a dull moment around here!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Six things you never knew...

About me, that is....I got tagged by my wonderful, most talented blogger friend CM, from City Mouse, Country House If you get a chance, go on over and visit his blog! He resides and works in NYC but has a new residence in the making in the Adirondack Mountains. AND he has an ETSY shop called ADKknits . Do yourself a favor and check him out!

Ok, six new things about me you might not (want to ) goes...

#1- I am a Reiki Master, and have lived and worked with this energetic Healing technique daily for almost 20 years. I am also a certified Crystal Therapeutics practitioner, Electromagnetic Healer, Magnified Healing practitioner, etc... I teach Reiki, Crystal classes(i would have to dust off the manual for this one, as it's been a while) and offer Reiki treatments when ever they are requested or needed. I can work directly on the body, or long distance either thru a name, a photo or energetic connection... I've worked with the Damien Center, treating folks and their families who have AIDS/HIV, and also with Hospice. I also used to go to the local animal shelter unofficially, and treat the dogs and cats (especially the dogs on "death row") with Reiki...That was the hardest job of all. Thankfully this shelter is now a no kill shelter...

#2- I used to be horrendously shy as a child. I remember reading books constantly so that i would not have to talk or interact with people. Now, you cannot shut me up! My kids used to tell me not to talk to strangers! :) Now, i don't believe there is any such thing as a stranger..just people i haven't met yet.

#3- I still talk to my Grandmother, even tho she has been dead for over 30 years. I especially check in with her when i am deciding on which plant to buy..and i definitely get an answer!

#4- I have always had a very strong connection to trees....

#5- I used to do energy work at local Metaphysical bookstore called the Blue White Rainbow... We used to get calls for me to do animal communication work, and sometimes i would be asked to help locate a lost animal. If i connected with the person requesting help or with the situation, then i could sometimes "see" where the animal was hiding or waiting at the time and had a pretty good success rate!

#6- I used to teach at a local day care center, and absolutely loved that job. I adore children, and prefer the company of children and animals to most anything or anybody else. I also have an addiction to children's books, art work and dolls, stuffed animals, etc...

So there you go... for better or worse, you know a little bit more about me! Now instead of "tagging" anyone in particular, i would like to invite anyone who reads this to voluntarily share some things about themselves that will help us all get to know each other a little bit better! So start sharing!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Malas

A green Jade mala
I managed to bring my little travel case with my wire, beads and tools to Boston with me and while there i managed to make a few new malas . For those who don't already know, a mala is a string of prayer beads worn or carried by the owner, used to count the repetition of prayers, much like a rosary. As i would complete a new mala i would place it around my neck, and wear it for a bit to check to make sure there were no problems with the piece. I was approached a few times by people who wanted to buy them from me right off my neck there at the conference center!
Aquamarine mala with Quartz crystal center bead

Soft pink Rose Quartz mala

This is my own personal mala i wear all the time. I could have sold this one a few times! It is made of Amethyst tumbled beads with a Lemon Quartz center bead. I have always had a fascination with malas and rosaries and love to make them too. I thought i would share the new bead projects with you...

A Thank You Note to Amma

Dear Amma,
Thank you so much for taking the time to come and visit us all in Boston again this year. As always, i have learned so much from you in the few days you have been here. Your message is so simple and so profound. This year you have asked us to stop thinking and start doing...To stop thinking about making the world a better place thru selfless service, and to just do it. To stop thinking about improving our Spiritual practice and to just do it. And as always, but now more than ever, you have asked us to pray for Mother Nature and the health and Peace of the Earth. To plant trees and to care for the animals and plants and insects and each other. And so we have our assignment for the year. Thank you dear Amma. The minute after i say goodbye to you, i find myself anxiously awaiting your return... Love, mare

Friday, July 18, 2008

Amma in Boston

I am on my way back to Boston today to see Amma and say goodbye for another year. My husband, Mother, brother and friend traveled with me on Tuesday to take part in the Public Program, and to receive darshan. Today i drive back with a few good friends to participate in Devi Bhava celebrations (Celebration of the Divine Mother) Amma begins the program at 7pm, and she continues to hug and bless her visitors until she has hugged everyone. Last year she went without food, water or a break, until 1:30pm the next day. By the time we drove home, weary without sleep, Amma was up and helping to clean up after the celebrations before she left for her next stop in Montreal. Truly an amazing person... Here are a few new photos taken of Amma during this 2008 tour of North America...

So Proud!

From The Best of the Capital Region 2008, in
Metroland Magazine:

Best Hand-Crafted Gifts
The Paper Sparrow
288 River St., Troy
A newcomer to the downtown Troy boutique scene, the Paper Sparrow has already carved a distinct niche for itself, and become a huge hit with Trojan shoppers. The bright shop is stocked with a wide array of handcrafted items: jewelry, handbags, baby clothes, soaps, artwork, toys, home décor, even local honey. Meticulously selected from the works of local and national artisans by proprietor Kate Eggleston (whose handiwork makes up much of the stock), the merchandise is contemporary, artistic and distinctive. Eggleston presents monthly exhibits by local artists in the shop’s back-room gallery, and even offers classes for those inspired to explore their own creative streak. If you’re on the hunt for a one-of-a-kind gift for that hard-to-buy-for someone, or just a special treasure for yourself—this is the place to find it.

That's my Daughter!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Very Productive Weekend!

Saturday morning Bill and i got up and out early to visit the Farmer's Market in downtown Troy. We love this market...It is well established and oh so full of wonderful things to try, taste and buy! I promise next time we go to remember to take my camera! Anyway, after we packed up the van with our loot, we strolled over to The Paper Sparrow to visit Kate so she could give me a quick lesson on how to use freezer paper to make stencils on fabric. I have been wanting to learn how to do this so i could use my own designs and drawings on Tee shirts and onesies for Seth and Lola...and maybe, if they came out alright, to sell some in the shop! So Saturday was practice day! I started out on an old stained onesie of Lola's, and tried different techniques and ideas out using the fabric paint and pens. Here is the test/practice onesie....

i will reuse that basic pattern and try to get it right on a new onesie

Here is my bumblebee design. I tried to keep it looking a bit like a child's drawing in some respects. I am not sure if it is finished..i think i need to add some veining in the wings, and then heat set the design on the fabric.

While i waited for the paint to dry i got going on a few Lollidollies for the shop. Katie has sold all of them but one and the little basket they were displayed in looks very empty. These little dolls are made out of baby socks. I got the basic idea from this book... Still to come...more Lollidollies, more sock dolls (2 bunny sock dolls sold last week) and more little boy baby hats...all in the works! Then more jewelry to be made...It is good to be busy doing the things you love to do!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fresh from the Garden!

We have some new stars in the garden this week!
Thank Goodness i didn't loose all of my bright yellow daylilies! This one has a very strong, beautiful lily scent....

And the wildflowers i transplanted last year came back full force! I am not sure what these little spikes of bell-shaped flowers are called, but i remember them growing in the shady side yard and along the sidewalks when i was a little girl. They bring back such good memories...I'm glad they decided to stay in the garden.

More phlox!

And here come the purple coneflower! They are as prolific as the tigerlilies planted here. In the next few weeks they will explode with color.

And a surprise guest! This modest sunflower was actually planted by the birds! Some of the sunflower seeds that fall from the bird feeders in the dog's yard, trickle down thru the tigerlily bed and have begun to bloom! Such a nice surprise!

And this morning i woke up to the first few morning glory blooms. I have been working very hard to transplant the old vines from the old torn down fence area to the new fence and it is working!
In a few weeks the whole fence should be covered with dark green heart shaped leaves and heirloom morning glory blooms. The hummingbirds and bees just love them! Thanks for visiting my garden this morning!