A Memorial Day Sunday Montage of images and thoughts

 A  Memorial Day Montage

While we visit sales and fire up the BBQ and attend parades or just veg in front of the electronic babysitter here are a few other images to consider on this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

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Memorial Day Severe Weather Threat…..If only that was the only threat to freedom…..and to the memory of those who paid a price.

 

 Something to remember…

the Price continues to be paid and the Cost to be counted

 

In the everyday pressure of battle…

Men give their lives less for freedom than for each other.  

In that lies the glory.

 

Some live only in memory and have no marker to remind us as they await the day of resurrection.

 

They were the candle that held freedom’s beacon in their lives and death…

we are now the mirror that reflects and holds the meaning of that light in trust.

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 Whatever our politics or our religion, we are united in being Americans blessed with freedom on this day of memory.  My grateful thanks to all who sacrificed to make it so.

Hugs and Blessings to you all – Jean

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So what size are your panties?????

Hi All,

Really Miss Jean…a title like that…on a Sunday!!??!

Hopefully I haven’t offended anyone with my title…it’s meant to elicit a smile…hopefully…after you read the following.   Oh and I really hope I didn’t just open myself up to a gazillion nasty spammers or other slimy types that infest the internet.  But hey…it was too good a title to pass up..know what I mean…read on and you will.

*****

Do you ever find yourself in situations, discussion, chats online where you can’t help standing back and thinking…guys…we’re talking about stamps, ink and paper for gosh sakes (or fill in some other general topic)…not the actual end of the world, massive poverty, nuclear reactors melting down and the thousand and one truly bad things happening or seemingly about to?    And oh by the way remember that when you’re only interaction is via the typed word there are no facial clues or voice cues to indicate intent or meaning…..

Yep, life online can get a bit odd at times.  Friends, rivals, perfect strangers –  talking at cross purposes, misunderstandings, etc…Oh wait it happens in real life too sometimes…committee meetings, city council meetings, parish council meetings…

Basically anytime a group of people, each with their own point of view and ears and hearts that could use a bit of opening perhaps, get together. 

On several of the online chat forums I participate in, when things get a bit heated there are often calls for the participants to put on their Big Girl Panties.  Loosely means  stop whining, sniping, flaming – you name it – and  grow up,  get some perspective and don’t take the discussion or yourself too seriously.  Or more simply…lets all be adult about this..okay?  Seems to be happening lately more and more.

Well…my inbox may have provided the solution…or at least a giggle or two.  Not a bad thing at all to come over the electronic transom.

The following pictures hit my inbox as part of these discussions with friends and I just had to share :D:

AND

Check out the teeny tiny blue thong that’s really hard to see at the far right!

So Big Girl Panties have been getting smaller and smaller.
 Explains a few things doesn’t it??  😀
 

What do you think?   Could we use these as icons, in a discussion?  No words required?    And from the second picture I can see where in the olden days there was a little more material to work with when it came to getting your “knickers” in a twist!

Perhaps…meanwhile… since change begins with one person… I think I’ll try to regularly check the state of my heart, the openness of my ears and of course…the size of my panties.

Hugs and Sunday Blessings my friends.  May your week ahead be filled with joy!   – Jean

P.S.  Wicket says hi too!  Her panties are just fine thank you very much!

Funny searches that found my blog

Hi Y’All,

As the post title says…the following are funny searches (Google presumably)  that led people to my blog.   I’m not sure if they found what they were expecting.  Whether it was helpful, satisfying or down right weird to them.  I know at least I had a good giggle seeing these searches and contemplating questions and comments that arose as a result.

Enjoy!

Stencils children – Hm…didn’t know they breed.  Though given my fondness for the critters I’m not complaining.  

Might be a great way to get that perfect little tree I’ve wanted to match my O Christmas Tree stencils I created with my die.  Daddy tree…Mama tree…and baby makes three (the magic number of design!)

And a follow up one…tempting stencils…really if they are having children I think the tempting part is already implied…don’t you?

Bridget Larsons crap – I’m fairly sure they left off the s since Briget Larsons scrap is a search I see fairly often…still it did give me pause for a second or two.   Why does Google think I have her “crap”… or a link to it?

Elegant border lines – now maybe that kind of searching would have ended the Cold War a decade or two sooner. 😀

funny cats – really?…Wicket will be mortified…though Sandy would have taken it in stride.

beautiful sample – gotta love the optimism and trust in Google implied with this one! 

stampin up love – oh I hope not…a little love in the world is a good thing….why stomp all over it!  Of course it could just be a new kind of kinky involving paper and ink 😀

snowflake tattoo designs  – not exactly hilarious but I have this image of a snowflake in one of those tattoo parlors on the strip getting a Hell’s Angels tattoo.  Wonder if the flames would melt its edges?  Conversely maybe the snowflake is the tattoo artist?  Or possibly the searcher was hoping for images of snowflakes so he/she could join the “flake” brigade?  

any updog?  – don’t they know I only have cats?  Besides aren’t most dogs a little too up already?  My friend Lucydog certainly is!  😀

grunge friends – oh my!  Cheryl and Linda are not going to appreciate that one!   Although if I knew Tim Holtz I’d be styling….Oh wait maybe they are looking for a grunge friend…hm…I might resemble that remark…Google apparently thinks so!

icicle texture – are there inspectors for that ?  Jack Frost maybe?  Are we talking taste (couldn’t pay me to lick a city bred icicle), smell (probably city bred again), or quality of ice?   And how did this get associated with me!  Was it my post on Lick a maid for scratch and sniff?

vintage lady with bird – Miss Wicket says…Yumm!    But the only bird I’ve ever shown is one a lady is not supposed to in public!  I will cop to the vintage however- over fifty probably qualifies – LOL!  On the other hand Vintage is my favorite look and I do love stamping and die cutting birds – paper ones that is!   

I suppose you could say, back when Wicket was a kitten (8 months old) I had a bird…for about 15 minutes.   Wicket caught herself a hawk, brought it in through the cat door and released it to fly around inside the house.  Eventually she caught it again and took it outside for a “take out” dinner.  Though not before I called a neighbor to help me rescue it.  The neighbor assumed I was high or had mixed up my meds though he did come and look.   He did eventually get a look at Wicket making off back through the door with the bird.  His reply….Damn…you really did have a hawk in the house!   oh really…are you sure Jim!   

Wicket hasn’t been allowed to have any pets of her own ever since…unless of course you count Sandycat!

And finally…Jean Fitch rogue….not quite sure how to take that one!  And notice the rogue is lower case.  I guess I’m not seriously roguish enough to be The Rogue or even A Rogue.  Probably a good thing – LOL!

Edited to add:

This just in….elegant cat ladies….Now that’s one Wicket and I will take in a heartbeat….Meow!

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I hope this post “found” you… well, happy and joyful today.

Sunday Blessings my friends and may the rest of your upcoming week be blessed as well.  – Jean

Silent night…Holy night….and then the cat started in.

Merry Christmas Aftermath my friends!

I hope your Christmas was filled with family, friends and fun…lots of fun.    Because now its the day after Christmas and the aftermath must be faced…will you leave the tree up until New Years or maybe Valentines?  All depends on your family traditions and grasp on the finer points of procrastination….LOL!     Will you join the shopping crazies in search of more and better deals….either for themselves or to get a jump on next years Christmas…yup I used to be one of those.  No sooner were the gifts unwrapped than I started planning for next year!  Crazy huh?    Are there dishes waiting for you?   Ornaments to clean up?    Wrapping paper to decide…add to the stash for crafting or toss or “shudder” burn (really bad for you, your chimney flue and the environment unless it’s all Stampin’ Up brown wrapping paper).   As I said the Aftermath….hmm…almost sounds like a nuclear attack doesn’t it?   If you have kids chances are there are degrees of similarity.

In case you’re wondering where cats enter into this…let me just say…while its possible that animals really do bow down and worship…I know that they definitely talk on Christmas Eve.   I haven’t heard any English mind you but what a cat can’t express with words they make up for in sounds, tail swishes and most of all yowls…especially of the Niaow…variety that sounds suspiciously like NOW, NOW, NOW!!  😀

I’m grinning now as I type this but let me tell you Christmas Eve at my house was anything but silent!  Not too sure about holy either as my nerves frayed and my language…well…it slipped…lets leave it at that.    Sigh…something else to remember next time I go to confession!  I wonder if I can take Wicket with me so the priest will understand the provocation.  

Little Miss decided she wanted something….Santa  or God and the angels alone only know what.    A quiet evening of listening to carols, surfing the net, chatting with friends on the phone with pauses for petting the cat became….Mommy….I want something…..every few minutes Miss Wicket would announce her presence with yowls of longing and emphatic posturing…nope not the call of nature…nope…not wanting toys and playtime….nope petting didn’t help…couldn’t actually get near her without twisting like a pretzel (those of you with cats and chairs will know what I mean by this)…getting up from said chair ready to obey whatever game was in progress only resulted in a cat diving under the bed.   Pause for me to sit down and the game would begin again….followed by another dive under the bed.   Predictably Momma soon lost it and added to the lack of silence and holiness.   Never did figure out what it was all about though Wicket did eventually get a time out outside in the wider world….which as it turns out…led to more Cats starting in…this time the neighbors…………

Also on the subject of Aftermath…

This year there were missing faces at our families Christmas tables that reflected this year as a year of loss in many ways.  Apart from the separations that come the way of many families, the face missing most was that of my Mother in law who died last January.  She was responsible for so many years in making our family Christmas and in keeping us all in touch with one another as we are now more scattered than ever before.   At my own hearth the missing face (besides my extended family who are mostly in California these days)  was my beloved Sandycat of the mechanical paw and loving heart.  Her ability to share love while maintaining her wild nature was amazing.  Add to that a torn rotator cuff and a small stroke of mine and as I said aftermath seems to have been a theme.   On the other hand the year has had its flashes of joy, periods of inspiration and creativity and additions to my kitchen table and cyber table of friends and fellow crafting comrades from here and  my various online communities.    Friendships that began over blog post comments more than a year ago have blossomed into phone calls, shared packages and letters and plans to meet at SU convention or on vacations that cross paths so we can get to know each other even more.    Grown into lots more hours on the computer too but that is yet again an aftermath…and one I’m happy to live with…though I’m betting it’s going to lead to even more Wicket fits that lead to fewer silent nights…and so the cycle will probably continue.    Loss, pain, joy, growth as the circle continues.    Check back next year to see if Silent and Holy made it back on the agenda…okay?

All of this brought to mind a quote about grace and holiness and growth from a favorite mystery book that I came across as I was hunting through my archives on my drive for something else.   Also put me in mind of a Christmas miracle from the past I shared on a friends blog last year that also, as so much of my life does, involved a cat.

See what you think….

On the subject of Grace:

No one is ever far from grace.  What we’re too often far from is willingness to open our self to grace.  From willingness to let grace come to us.  We keep our minds between it and our hearts.

As for our becoming holy…… I don’t think we have to become “holy” to succeed in our life here.  I’m not even certain what “holy” would be for us.  Dame Johane in response – “Dame Thomasine…” Dame Frevisse responds – Yes , but it seems more a gift given to her than something she became.  I haven’t been given it.  I know that.  My hope isn’t for holiness, only that I grow enough–can set my roots of faith and belief and love deep enough–that like a deep rooted plant growing taller than a shallow rooted one, I finally come as near God in my mind and soul and heart as I can, no matter how much in the world my body has to be. 

Dame Frevisse speaking to Dame Johane in Margaret Frazer’s “The Apostate’s Tale” pg 124-125  A medieval mystery tale in a Nun’s Convent at the time of Chaucer.

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My Christmas Miracle shared with Elaine

The first of many…I live my life by miracles or so it often seems.  Some large and indisputably Miraculous… when your husband is dying and you live in a small town wouldn’t you love to end up at the one hospital where the surgeon on duty just returned from a conference with the worlds leading specialists on that specific problem and can make a few phone calls that end up saving your DH’s life!  Add to that all the right techs being in the hospital on a weekend so all tests can be completed in 45 minutes or less (talk about a Golden Hour)!  And that’s the basic story of a big one.  Then again, some days finding a parking spot right in front of where you are going counts as a miracle in my book.

But…you asked for a Christmas Miracle…and those should be special and mysterious and perfect just like the first Christmas itself!

On the first Christmas Eve after my husband Steve and I were married in 1981… we were sad that our Abigail (Abbycat) cat had disappeared and not returned home for quite some time so no little kitty paws to go pitty pat through the house, looking for that stirring creature – a mouse.  Still, we looked forward to Midnight Mass and leading our parish community in worship and song (gotta love that hour of Carols in a darkened Church), so we tuned our guitars and crossed the street (yes we were lucky enough to rent a cottage across the street from our parish – another of those miracles – lol)…and sang out our Christmas Joy at Christ’s birth with our brothers and sisters. 

Halfway through the service I glanced out the open Church door and saw a sweet little cat swaying to the music but looking just a bit unsure of a welcome. She followed the whole service from that doorway hiding only when people started to leave.  As we left the Church, I stopped to pet the sweet little thing (who had popped out of hiding thinking everyone had gone) and wished her a Merry Christmas.  As we started for home, we heard the patter of little paws following us from a distance.  And, every time we stopped to listen the paws stopped too!  Once home, we discovered that we had a friend…so thinking perhaps she was a stray looking for room at the Inn we welcomed her with food and a bed (though she had to be coaxed and convinced it was safe).  So once again, God provided not only our needs but our wants as well and we had a Christmas kitty for life! 

As we found out later she needed us just as much as we needed her…She’d been abandoned on the steps of the rectory some time earlier and crept out to eat leavings from the Scout’s at the Church’s Christmas tree lot until the lot was struck Christmas Eve – with no home left God provided her need and our want.

We also found out later that she had suffered neurological damage (a bit like mine) from early trauma so had a few funny quirks (she couldn’t climb or walk a straight line for years).  She was ever after a Church cat.  We were the unofficial sextons for the Church and would lock up after every event and make sure that all was in order.  We always made that part of an evening walk before bed and our little cat, Juano, followed us everywhere as if she was a dog, even if we went for a mile or more around the block!  She loved to escape into the Church and play hide and seek in the pews kneelers.  We would come back from turning off the lights and find her gazing and swaying (praying?) in the candle light before the side altar or, sitting up straight and tall in the Presider’s chair for all the world as if she was about to begin a prayer service! She also spent every afternoon at the Church’s School during recess and in the library after school until closing.  So many lovely memories and even more miracles but that’s a story for another time.

God loves us enough to give us not only what we need but often what we want –  wrapped up with all the trimmings if we only take the time to look for the miracle.

Whether it’s for years or just for a minute…

May you always have, paw prints on your heart and soul (After all little one’s adore Him too!), and miracles every day of your life!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night – Jean

                             *****

Aftermath has so many meanings and consequences doesn’t it?
 Ah well maybe next year Silent Night will return to its traditional meaning and have a chance to become Holy! 

Do you think there were cats in Bethlehem on that first Christmas?  At least the Shepherds only had to deal with sheep and angels….just saying…….

One last thing I wanted to share that I came across in my surfing…a modern day’s take on that first Christmas if social networking had meant then what it does now.   Enjoy!

May your Sunday be blessed and your aftermath one of joy and growth with a little silence and holiness thrown in.

Hugs and blessings – Jean

Christmas is here…………

Gloria in Excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis
( “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” )
  
Christmas blessings my dear friends and may you find joy in your hearts, upon your hearth and in your families whatever holidays you celebrate this year. 
 
The stars are bright out, the air is clear and cold and the feeling of anticipation is building.    And to the hush of awe and expectation is added the joy building in the heart and soul.   I have to say that Advent, its readings, traditions, candles and celebrations are my favorite season of the Church Calendar.   So much wonderful music and so many joyous tidings waiting to be shared and that prepare our hearts so perfectly for Christmas Day.   And oddly enough to some…for me, Hanukkah is a precursor of so much of this as well.   Perhaps its the shared theme of light and the waiting and the miracles common to both – I’ve never known.  All I know is that my menorah is right at home sharing space with my nativity and always has been.  And tonight Christmas has arrived heralded by angels, carols and bright starlight and candle flames (the snow is holding off for now – lol!).   I hope whatever traditions you celebrate have prepared a sacred space in your heart as well to nourish you and bless you and to create a place from which your own creativity can draw strength.
 
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Here’s a few of my favorite Christmas songs this season to set the mood.  Evie Tornquist has been a favorite of mine for decades now and trolling through YouTube tonight I discovered a treasure trove of her music video’s from a show on Dutch TV.   And Kathy Mattea’s Mary did you Know has been in my heart and on my playlist for some time as well.
 
Enjoy!
 
 
 
 
 
 
*****
 

Hugs and Blessings – Jean

Stampin’ Up! Sunday Bits and Blog Hopping

Sunday Blessings to you all.

Did you enjoy your extra hour of blog surfing or sleep or whatever you did with the time change.  Are you enjoying the Royal Blog Tour (see the post pinned to the top for details)?    Time change seems to have confused Mother Nature here in my corner of Oregon.  One minute the wind is blowing like crazy, the next its balmy and barely a breeze.  One minute clouds cover everything and dampness reigns (not to mention mini downpours) the next the sun is out and shining.  Who knew time changes could have such a changeable effect. 
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I know we don’t really get an extra hour in the usual 24 but it sure seems like it so I’ve decided to enjoy it and spend the time surfing the Royal Blog Tour being amazed by the inspiring projects and angling for blog candy.  Seemed like a good time to get a jump on all the piled up laundry too.  After all why waste that extra hour when the machine could be chugging away – LoL! 
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Makes me feel so virtuous getting chores done while surfing the net!  I’m so thankful for Washing Machines that work while unattended – too bad they won’t load and set themselves too!  While there is a river nearby I’d surely hate to have to lug the clothes there and find a rock to wash them!   Don’t imagine the fish would appreciate breathing the soap either!   The things the pioneers did…amazing that some of them found time to craft or do other fun things.  No blogs either!  Lots and lots of letterwriting going on though.
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Okay Mom…enough surfing….when’s DINNER!!!
(note this is not even close to dinner time with or without the time change)
 
Wicket of course is finding the time change problematic.    She’s time ruled by her stomach and it will be a few weeks or months before she accepts the new clock settings as gospel.  So cruel to make her wait that extra hour for dinner isn’t it – hee,hee,hee.  I’ll make it up to her by giving her a bite of steak and some cheese.  Amazing the things I find in the bottom of my freezer!
Since you’re here and all I thought I’d also share a quick project Cheryl and I put together the other day.  Winter treat holder from Holiday Mini Halloween paper (talk about a trick when someone opens it and sees the inside of the paper)!!  Something about this little darling seems to me to have a very Edwardian feel to it.   Probably the deep red of the Riding Hood Red paired with the Black and Gray herringbone patterned paper with white accents – not to mention the vintage style stamp that was used.   Discovered  after it scanned that the Designer Paper scanned more gray than black.  And the Rhinestones aren’t showing the sparkle they have when sitting on my desk.    This is a somewhat simplified of CASE of a video project I found on Kimberly Van Diepen’s blog here.

Supplies List:

Stamps: Bells & Boughs (Holiday Mini)

Paper: Night Owl Designer Series Paper (Holiday Mini), Riding Hood Red & Whisper White Cardstock

Ink: Versamark

Other: Big Shot, Table Setting Die, Northern Frost Decorative Strip Die (Holiday Mini), Basic Jewels Rhinestones, Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon, Stapler (to fix the DSP to the die cut and hold it closed….and of course Chocolate!

I’m so impressed that Stampin’ Up gives us options with our Designer series paper.   Even though this is technically Halloween paper only one side of each design has a specifically Halloween image.  The other side as you see here can be used for other occasions throughout the year.   So much more versatile don’t you think!  And of course it coordinates perfectly with SU’s color groupings and embellishments  too!  Appeals to my frugality in a big way!

All right…now that the scan is made I can eat the Chocolate and really celebrate the time change!!

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DCP01048_edited

Still Patiently waiting….and looking cute too don’t you think?
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Guess I better go fill the food bowl!   Then back to the Royal Blog Tour for more inspiration.
Hugs and Blessings – Jean
 

Binary delight….10l10l10-10:10

 ETA: This post was supposed to go out this morning at 10:10 but whether it’s the computer or the blog service that can’t tell time it’s still sitting in the queue (appropriate I guess in some weird manner).  Luckily I can tell the date and caught it’s absence.  Fortunately its still 10/10/10 all the way up until midnight!   And adding to the hilarity and loss of hair (I really have to stop pulling it out!) and total computer likelihood when I went to fix and get this posted WordPress ate the post!!   Had to start over from scratch.   ARGHHH….knew I should have written it in binary!

Getting Comfortable With Binary

Hi All,

Just a quickie post to celebrate a fun day.

Something fun (possibly silly) this way comes…Today’s date reads 10/10/10 – now is that a computer programmers dream or what!  Those binary bits in that order won’t recur for another hundred years and even then it will only be the last 2 digits of the year that make that date. 

I had considered writing the post in binary but then realized only the computers of the net or a few programmers would be able to read it!  

Can’t quite decide on the appropriate greeting either, should it be Happy Digital Day or  Bright Binary Day or what…with only on/off, yes/no, 1/0 as the appropriate structure I’m having a hard time getting in the proper constrained spirit.   Yes I know programming has its creative sides but some days it feels as if dealing with computers is like dealing with a two year old!  It knows what it wants and really could care less what I want.  Not mind you that a two year old is known for order or discipline – LOL!

So Happy Digital Binary Day!

Or in binary:

0100100001100001011100000111000001111001001000000

100010001101001011001110110100101110100011000010110

11000010000001000010011010010110111001100001011100

100111100100100000010001000110000101111001

Too bad computers hadn’t been invented in 10/10/1010 (so we could have had the original celebration)  but then neither had indoor plumbing or much of anything else we consider a necessity today.  Funny thing too is that it falls on a Sunday!  Do you thing that means God is a programmer at heart?  Could be – LOL! 

I bet a computer could tell me what day of the week the original fell on if I could only find the right file.  Wouldn’t it be cool if that day was also a Sunday?  Probably depends on the calendar in use at the time. 

If I had the set this would be the perfect day to do a Lots of Bots card with the binary bits stamp image.  Perfect day to watch that Star Trek Next Generation episode about the Binars (culture and language built on binary) as well.  Hmm….now where are my DVD’s……

Whatever you choose to do today to celebrate I hope it’s a wonderful day.   

Hugs and blessings…now go do something digital or turn yourself on and off in true binary fashion! – Jean

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