Saturday, February 27, 2010
This is a picture of the pack looking out the front window...a nice sunny place to watch the neighborhood and also take a little snooze in the sun if all is quiet.
Like all one year old puppies, Tinker is 'full speed ahead'! It is hard to sneak up on her and get a picture. This is the only one I was able to get. I wanted to be a 'before' picture before she goes to the groomer.
Welcome, Tinkerbelle - Tinker is on the left in this picutre. Judy made sure you have the very best of homes! Thank you, Judy!
Friday, February 26, 2010
And where is our Little Prince? Hiding from Mini!
And here is my work environment today. I always aspire to be neat and tidy. A place for everything and everything in it's place. Sadly, I don't think it is ever to be. I get everything organized, then a sort of residential implosion occurs, and everything jumps right back into chaos. I can hear my mother now.....'you're not going anywhere until you clean up your room, young lady.....'! Little brother, though, very organized, very neat, little neat handwriting - you can actually read his handwriting, looks like typing or something. Everything on his desk is all lined up neatly - I swear he uses a level to line up his notes. I just don't get it!
Friday, February 19, 2010
With any luck, Cecily will send me a picture of herself, wearing what she has created! (Hint, hint, Cecily!)
First.....you knot up a whole mess of pearl strands That is kind of like frying up a whole mess of mushrooms or catching a mess of fish. 'Mess' is a unit of measurement here in Southern Indiana!
Then you try to make it easy for someone to assemble several of these strands into a necklace. So the pre-made clasp and end tips are born:
You have had the foresight to use bead-tips that can be easily bent around the finding and you purchase little tiny chain nose pliers to go in the package. I can't imagine someone not having chain nose pliers but one never knows.
You put it all in a box and ship it off.....Cecily got her box today and we 'met' on Skype while she opened it and the assembly process was explained! Ta-Da!
Karen taught me to knot pearls as she does - using the simplest of tools:
Just a tweezers, pearl silk cord that has been stretched for 24 hours, and pearls. That's all there is to it. Unfortunately, if you make a mistake it can't be 'undone'. You have to cut the whole strand apart, stretch more silk, and start again. Knotting is very tedious but sure does require attention - it is almost like meditation.
There you have it - Cecily's birthday present is my poor attempt to mimic one of Karen's beautiful necklaces. My idea is that quantity might beat quality! If anyone can make it work, Cecily can.
In case you are interested, Karen is the 'real deal' artist. She does her own designing, cuts her own stones, and does her own gold work. If I can get her permission I can post some pictures of her booth and work some day!
Meanwhile, I can't wait to see what Cec comes up with!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Do you suppose he was scouting out a new home for his lady?
From the look on his face I would think that his lady has told him to go out and find a better nest than last year!
He ain't happy, as we would say in Southern Indiana. But he sure is a purty boy!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Is this a wonderful sight!?
For those of you who have worked with me - Ruth was my preceptor during my orientation to my new position. Yes, she was the poor soul that was inflicted with trying to teach me my new role and the many, many, many intricacies I needed to learn. And you know how 'wonderful' my memory is! (I just felt Peggy and Anthony cringe).
She has been so very kind during the last several months - I became ill almost immediately upon orientation and then had surgery only 6 weeks later, all the while my father was in and out of the hospital. Bless her heart, she did her best to pour information into my head so I would have a chance at success. She sent these flowers today as a kindness and rememberance of my father. How wonderful to receive a breath of fresh air in the middle of our difficult winter.
Most of you are thinking that Ruth really deserves a medal of honor, or perserverence...or a medal of patience! That's it - I know I use up a lot of patience and tolerance. Fortunately, Ruth kept me and I was able to pass orientation. I wanted to share her flowers with you - those of us in the North can sure use these pictures to help us remember that there will be warmer winds, smells of the earth thawing out and more flowers (and maybe a few tomatoes) growing soon.
Thank you, Ruth....from all of us!
Monday, February 15, 2010
So I went back inside, ate my oatmeal, drank my coffee, played on FaceBook, and went back out to find we had about 2 more inches and it was still snowing hard. About 7-12 inches of snow is predicted by the end of the day
But what is a little Chihuahua girl to do!!? Head right on out in the snow apparently. You would never know she is a Southern Belle - born and raised in Valdosta, GA! Our brave little Mini. Rocky has decided that 3 steps outside of the doggy door and turning around to go back in is about all he can take.
I guess we all do what we have to do but...this is COLD, ladies! Poor little Mini - I was trying to shovel off a place for her but she apparently couldn't wait. Bless her heart! She has a place all shoveled off now.
There is a lot of snow and the backyard looks very cold
A sad look at the air conditioner - see you later, my friend.
Around to the front of the house - oh boy, the home owner association has hired a snow plow for this one. Guess I will now have to shovel out the end of my driveway where the plow piled it up! Just a special kind of fun.
Ready to shovel! I've been complaining about not getting enough exercise.
Ta-Da! And, yes, I shoveled the street in front of my drive where the snow plow heaped up snow and ice. Special.
I am ready for Spring.....so very ready for Spring and so tired of snow! Not as ready as Mini is but still.....
Friday, February 5, 2010
To my friends and family. My father passed away on February 5, 2010, after a long illness. I wanted to do something for him, my mom, and my brother and sister-in-law so I decided to go through my pictures and post them here in an attempt to show who he was. It is just an attempt and not a very successful one but at least it is an attempt.
Mom found the text below and has saved it since 2002 and I also wanted to put it here.
To Remember Me -- by Robert N. Test
The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment, a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes my life has stopped.
When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life. And don't call this my death bed. Let it be called the Bed of Life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face or love in the eyes of a woman.
Give my blood to the teen-ager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play. Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist. Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and never in my body to make a crippled child walk.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all prejudice against my fellow man.
If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you.
If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.
Dad loved being outdoors - as you will see in these pictures. As a boy he would hunt, trap, and fish and was at his very best and happiest when he was outdoors in the woods. Had he been born 100 years earlier Daniel Boone would have been known as Don Graves. In fact, he was going to name my little brother Daniel Boone Graves. It was Dan's good fortune that, at 11 years old, I pleaded with dad not to do that! Little brother still owes me for that one. Dad made sure that Dan and I were also able to hunt, trap, fish and shoot. With Dad's help, Dan would make money for Christmas by trapping and selling his furs. Below is a picture of Mom and Dad on thier honeymoon. On the back of this picture was written 'September 7, 1951, honeymoon in a cabin on White River'.
No early pictures of the home they eventually bought in Indianapolis when I was 5, but we do have this picture of Dad with his version of bringing in the groceries. His brief case is against the garage wall. He used that in his 'other job' as vice president and sales manager of General Medical. He dressed quite differently for that job as well.
Years of tent camping in the woods whenever Dad could arrange it went by. Not 'campground' camping....Dad hauled us out in the woods near a lake and we set up camp. Eventually, when I was 9 years old, Mom and Dad were able to buy some land in southern Indiana with a 6 acre lake and established their own private domain on thier own private land. Dad's father helped them build a cabin in the next year or two and, best of all, as the years went by we got our very own flush toilet! Mom and I have never taken an indoor flush toilet for granted, that's for sure.
Why are my parents wondering around in the woods in the Spring? And why are they staring at the ground?
Ahhhh....there it is!! A Morel mushroom, nicely surrounded by poison ivy. Hard to see the little fellows but very tasty when Mom fries a mess of them up!
Meanwhile, we are graduating, my little brother and I, AKA Brother Ugly. Whatever he might tell you about the way I treated him as a little brother isn't true - I just want to make sure that is said up front!
Little brother graduates from high school
I graduate from nursing school, Dad requested his receipt on the money spent on my college education - I handed him my diploma. My cousin, Denise, is in this picture - there is a graduation night story about her but I won't tell it here. It doesn't have anything to do with that black eye she is sporting.
Fourth of July parties at the cabin with Greene County friends, that is me with the cigarette dangling from my mouth, playing Euchre across from my father. I believe we were crowned the Greene County Euchre champions that day and might hold the title to this very day.
Dad loved Christmas. Mom said that Christmas was a sad and angry time when he was a child so he made sure there were lots of presents for Dan and I.
Yes, this is me at 7 years old. I think I had plenty of toys....and a tiara?
A Christmas morning one year. I hope Dad got new socks for that Christmas!
A pool table made it's way into the house...Dad was very good at pool, maybe from the hours he and Uncle Dee spent 'practicing' in the saloons in Greene County?
A houseboat made it's way on to a 6 acre lake - Mom was the Captain.
I got married
Dan married my beautiful sister-in-law. What a wonderful day that was when she joined our little family.
Dad was obviously not quite as comfortable in his tux as he was in his jeans and flannel shirt
This was Dad's idea of a party - one of hundreds of hot dog and marshmellow roasts. Denise and I drug in enough wood over the years to make a lumberjack happy!
Dad and Uncle Dee talking.....they were raised on neighboring farms and had been friends since they were small boys. I often wondered what they were talking about when they got off to themselves. Dad used to tell the story that Uncle Dee would tie a sting to his toe at night and hang it out the window. Dad had always been an early riser and would pull on the string in the morning to wake Uncle Dee up. Then they would run their traps early, before they had to be at school. True? Well, Uncle Dee said it was. And, no - Uncle Dee wasn't really my Uncle.
Eventually they would move inside for more Euchre. Chances are that is not coffee in those coffee cups. If you have ever seen me sniff a cup before I drink out of it - this is how I developed that habit.
In the last couple of years Dad wasn't well enough to go down to the cabin very much. Little brother made sure the cabin and the grounds were kept exactly as Dad would have wanted them to be. Even before that, Dan would make sure there was enough wood cut so that Mom and Dad could be comfortable immediately when they came down and could fire up the wood stove right away. Dan worked hard to keep the beaver trapped out of the lake so that the trees and the dam weren't harmed. Dad became so ill he wasn't able to go down there at all. He was in and out of the hospital, evantually went on dialysis. He came home from the hospital this last Christmas but had to return several weeks ago and did not get the chance to go back home. Tammy took this picture of Dad and I on Christmas Day 2009.
I think I will end this post with a picture of Dad at his most comfortable and in his most favorite element. Rest in peace, Dad, we love you and will miss you.