Monday, December 15, 2014

With Gratitude


I have come to the realization how much I love the people in the blogging world. I look forward to your blog posts. I subscribe via email to your blogs, because I don't want to miss a post. Sometimes I catch it on Facebook first and only take a preview, because I still want to wait until it is in my in-box. A beautiful gift in my in-box that makes my heart leap with joy. Thank you!

I have not blogged since August. The other day I thought, "What if someone's heart skips a beat when they see my blog post in their in-box?" I have not been giving. I have just been taking. I apologize. You all give me so much joy. I want to return it. I am fully re-entering the blogging world with the intention of blessing all of you in gratitude for the abundant blessings you all give to me. 

With sincere gratitude,

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Newport, RI

My Inspiration
wedding clipart free

My husband Gary and I are celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary on July 18. Our home, filled with love and laughter, is a very busy place. Our 25 year old quadruplets live at home. So, Gary and I decided to escape for a few days and go to Newport, RI. We had never been there before. Everyone we told we were going said, "Oh, you must see The Breakers and take the Cliff Walk!" We did that and more. 

Newport was not exactly what we expected. We expected peace, quiet, tranquility. No! Newport, as nice as it is, is a tourist trap with shopping and restaurants and shopping and mansions and shopping and ice cream. I was surprised at the amount of shops. 

The Mansions
We toured a few of the mansions. 

This one is called The Breakers. This is a picture of the back of it. You are not permitted to take pictures inside any of the mansions. This mansion was the Vanderbilt's summer cottage. Yep, I said "cottage." 

This photo is provided on The Breakers website. If you click on the image above it will take you to the website. Can you imagine this as your "beach house?"

As we drove by this mansion these camels caught my eye. 

This is Rough Point. It was the home of Doris Duke. We loved this home. Doris Duke lived here until her death in 1991. Although this is a mansion there was a homey feel about it. 

By the way, the camels are not real. They are topiaries. However, at one time, Doris did have real camels on the property.

Reluctantly at first, but then joyfully, we did take The Cliff Walk. Newport's Cliff Walk takes you around the back of the mansions. I am afraid of heights, but I felt safe on this path. Be sure to wear good walking shoes if you take the Cliff Walk.

My husband is a pipefitter, and this antique pipe fascinated him. I took this photo for him.

This tree is on the Doris Duke estate. I was amazed by the massive roots of this tree. This tree said, "I may be old, but I am still strong," to me. 

I loved this planter! The geraniums are staked making it look like a geranium tree. I do not have a green thumb, but I think I may be able to handle this. 

These roses are growing into forming an arbor. I could visualize a bride walking with her father through this harbor on her wedding day. (Yes, I am dreaming about a wedding. No one is engaged yet, but I can dream.)

Cocktail hour --- our view. 

Cocktail hour --- my Watermelon Martini.

This is how they do burgers in Newport! There is a burger underneath that huge pile of buttered lobster! Yum!

This is how they do pizza in Newport! A white pie with scallops, shrimp, and crab meat!

I fell in love with the Watermelon Martinis. I will definitely recreate this drink!

Ice Cream!!!! The best ice cream ever! 

On our way home we stopped at The Mohegan Sun. It was very pretty. However, be warned, they allow smoking. Gary and I stopped for a cocktail at this bar and there were ashtrays on the bar. I haven't seen that in 30 years!

A gorgeous glass sculpture in The Mohegan Sun. 

After three nights and four days we returned home. Back to the world of laundry and grass mowing. It is really nice to get away, and it is really nice to come home. 


Friday, July 11, 2014

The Lemonade Toy Project - Calling Knitters, Crocheters, Sewers

The Lemonade Toy Project
Formerly known as The Lemonade Blanket Project

My Inspiration
click on the image above to go to

Have you heard about Alexandra "Alex" Scott? She was a 4 year old girl determined to find a cure for childhood cancers. 

Alex was a little girl with cancer. She decided that she was going to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to make better medicine to help all children. Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand  is a picture book written by Alex's parents telling her story. 

click on the above image to go to 

I am an elementary school teacher and an avid knitter. In the winter of 2012, inspired by Alex's story, my fifth grade students held a fundraiser for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation called "Collect Coins for Cancer." My students raised $4,865.00 for the foundation. During the time of our fundraiser I asked my contact person if anyone was knitting blankets for the children who were impacted by childhood cancer. The answer I received was, "No." That is when I decided to begin "The Lemonade Blanket Project." The Lemonade Blanket Project collected handmade blankets for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation to be distributed to children who have been impacted by childhood cancer. More than 75 blankets were provided through the kindness, love, and generosity of knitters, crocheters, sewers, and quilters. Joyfully, the foundation has informed me that all of the children they serve have received a blanket, and they have extras for any future child who may need one.

Every year, in December, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation holds a Heroes' Dinner for the children. I thought that this year we could provide a hand knitted, crocheted or sewn stuffed toy for each child. 

If you are interested in helping please knit, crochet or sew a stuffed toy for a child. Any color is fine. Please no buttons or other materials that could be a choking hazard. Kindly use hypoallergenic polyfill, and please make the toy huggable, not huge.

Completed stuffed toys can be sent to:
The Lemonade Blanket Project
133 Kiel Ave.
Kinnelon, NJ 0740

Thank you!
clipart flowers free

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hats Off!

March 2014 was the months of hats - - - in a variety of ways.

An 80 year old woman was attacked by a pit bull. She has been through a lot. The medication she is on is making her hair fall. She is embarrassed to go to church. Her daughter asked me if I would make her a hat. I was honored. She said she wanted a plain white hat, no embellishments, no rolling the hat rim. 
She is going to church now. 

God has blessed all of us with gifts and talents. I am grateful for mine. I am grateful that I can bless and serve others with my talents.

The students in the district I teach in enter a creative competition every year - Destination Imagination. Check it out here.
What the kids do at this event blows my mind! Every single one of them is amazing!
I have the honor of being a volunteer.
In an effort to make the kids a little less nervous, all of the appraisers wear silly hats. 
This year the challenge I was an appraiser for was titled Laugh Art Loud.
I had a blast creating my hat, but I had a bigger blast volunteering at this event!
Hats off to every single participant!

Terrible selfie, but I want you to see the hat on my head.

Okay, this one isn't a hat, but it means a lot to me. Knitters don't often have others knit for them. However, my sister Ann knit this beautiful cowl for me. Every time I wear it I feel her love. Thank you, Ann! I hope those I knit for feel as loved as I do.
Wait. Yes, it could be a hat. A cowl can always be pulled up to cover one's head. :)

I take my hat off with abundant pride to my beautiful daughter Shannon.

From the nominations
her professors said they chose "the best of the best." 

Shannon was inducted into Kappa Omicron Nu.

Shannon is "the best of the best." 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Looking Back

I really want to blog weekly.
It just does not seem possible.

I work full time
Live in a home filled with five other adults (husband and four adult children)
I love to knit and crochet
Eat and sleep.


Instead of feeling bad because I don't blog every week

I have decided that
I can blog once a month.
I can spend a few minutes here and there each month editing photos and planning my post.
I can prepare a blog post that I will publish each month.
I can do that!


Before I post for March
I need to catch up on February.

I did blog in February
And here.
And even here!

Maybe I shouldn't be beating myself up.
I was blogging fairly steadily.

In February.

But definitely not in March.

And I know why
Snow Days!
Lots of them in February.
None of them in March.


Since I am
begging God
NO MORE snow days!

I think monthly blogging
is still a good plan.

I will return
at the end of March
and fill you in about March.

Oh, I wish I took more photos.

That is part of my plan too.
To take photos!

I did take photos here.

One more bit about February.

On Wednesday, February 19
my daughters and I went to see

I love Michael Bolton!

I leave you with my favorite song.
I apologize that he is sideways.
If you know how I can fix that please let me know.

He started singing, and we couldn't find him.
Suddenly the lights went on him and he was about five feet away from us!
It was wonderful!!!

Right-side up or sideways
The song sounds amazing!


Monday, February 17, 2014

A Knitter's Winter

Most people head to the grocery store when they hear that a snow storm is coming.

Not me. I head to the yarn shop.

When I hear a storm is coming my first thoughts are, "Do I have enough yarn?"

Winter 2013-2014 has been a knitter's winter.

There's nothing cozier than knitting in front of a fire.

This winter has blessed me with the time to finish up some projects, and, of course, begin some.

I was able to finish this prayer blanket for a special little baby boy who is having surgery. This blanket was so much fun to crochet. I loved watching the angel appear. I do believe this is going to be my go to baby blanket pattern. It took me about a month to crochet this blanket while working full time with a snow day or two. You can find the pattern here.

I started this cowl last year. While grafting it together I made a huge mistake and the whole thing started to unravel. I quickly put a life line in it and tossed it in a basket knowing that I needed to return to it when my patience was at its highest level. I pulled it out of the basket last Friday, finished grafting it Saturday, and wore it Saturday night out to dinner. You can find the pattern here

I know. I know. Most people are losing their patience this winter. I am becoming more relaxed with each storm. 

Last night I started knitting a teddy bear for the Mother Bear Project. The Mother Bear Project provides hand knitted teddy bears to children in emerging nations. Thousands of Mother Bear teddy bears have gone to children in Africa. So many children in Africa are affected by HIV/AIDS. Millions of these children are orphaned by this disease. These teddy bears are meant to bring these children just a little bit of comfort and hope. These teddy bears are one simple way to let these children know that someone cares. 

I was privileged to meet Amy Berman, the founder of the Mother Bear Project at Vogue Knitting Live NY a couple of years ago. The minute I stepped into Amy's booth I could feel the energy of love, kindness and abundant caring. Please take a few minutes and read about Amy here.

If you are interested in knitting or crocheting one of these easy-to-make bears just send $5.00 to: 
P.O. Box 62188
Minneapolis, MN 55426
Let them know if you  would like the knit pattern or the crochet pattern and they will send it to you. Please visit their website Mother Bear Project for more information. 

The snow will end. The crocuses will push their way up through the snow reaching for the sunlight. The daffodils will appear. SPRING will come. However, for now, grab a cup of hot coffee or tea, light a fire in the fireplace, put your feet up and watch the snow come down. There is peace to be found in snow falling upon snow. 


Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Thinker

So many bloggers have interesting names/titles for their husbands. 

Ree Drummond at The Pioneer Woman calls her husband "Marlboro Man." 

Vicki at Bags Full calls her husband "The Gardner." 

So, I gave some thought to what I would call my husband and I decided that it must be

The Thinker

My husband is always thinking. 

He refuses to make split second decisions. 

I warn you, never go to one of those big warehouse stores like BJ's or Costco with him unless you have at least three hours. 


Being married to The Thinker is a good thing --- a very good thing. 

So, from here on I will refer to my husband as "The Thinker."

And about that body ... he's mine girls ... all mine. And that is a very good thing too.