25 September, 2012

Yellow Headed Blackbird

I was surprised by this treat as I grabbed my camera to photograph the huge number of (slightly annoying) cowbirds at our fountain and feeders yesterday.
Oddly enough, I see him ever late summer/early fall. It makes me wonder if it is the same one. He doesn't stay long.

But you know that I am glad that I just happened to be at the door when he flew in this year!

He is so big.

Glad I didn't miss him.


17 September, 2012

Sir Walter Scott Novels Preserved

I've been working on this set for a very long time. I take that back...I have had this set to restore for a couple of years. When my Mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in late 2010, all work on this ceased for more than a year. Now that Mom has been enjoying a more normal year after cancer treatments, I was able to get re-focused on things in my own home and studio. I cannot tell you all how thrilled I am with how these turned out! I was not so sure there for a while, because the leather is so brittle on the spines. My deduction is that these were stored on a shelf by a sunny window, as the spines are much more faded than the rest of the parts of each book.

It's too bad that one of the books was already missing its spine when my client bought them. Since I don't have a nice, old letter press, complete with an interesting set of letters and shapes, I just had to leave it blank.

Onward and forward! I have more books to restore, and so little time...but I sure do love the work of my hands!



11 September, 2012

Last First Day of 'School'

(Our youngest, upon his first day of his Senior year)

We have had an eventful Summer as a family, transitioning yet again since the spring, really. Our grown kids, even a foster daughter, all came to visit from out of state, empty country fields are filling with homes, and hopefully new friends and walking partners. We sold older vehicles and replaced them with newer, more reliable ones. Gone is the navy blue, extended-cargo-space, Mom van!

It honestly was difficult to let her go when we first began talking about it last year. With just one son left in our homeschool, why keep the van around? Well, it is the most reliable van we'd ever had. It is large enough to carry wallboard, tiles, lots of dirt, and plants home from the home and garden store. It was great for transporting family and gear for many and many a hiking and camping trip from Colorado and New Mexico to New England and Maine.

But it was time. Tough transitions need to be marked by something victorious and happy. No, that is not why Hubby and I both got newer cars this year. That was already in the plan. But that it came during the summer of massive transition just seemed to punctuate our new chapter of life. We all put serious disappointments-deaths of relationships-behind us and are grateful and thrilled to have healthy kids (or siblings), both grown and those still at home. Not many things are more important than that. Loss stinks. But life, health, and boundaries are important. Making plans, encouraging and cherising one another, setting goals, and putting family, not self, first...fighting for and fighting alongside the one(s) you love, as if you were fighting for life against the minotaur itself, is important.

So here we are, our last first day...our last first week of homeschooling our last young man. Long has he been taller than I, but I have a little more time to teach and to pass on words of inspiration and wisdom, when he seeks them. I pray that I finish this job well, by the grace of God.

I'll post more on our last first week very soon! It has been pretty amazing!

My handful of readers, tell me about your first day or first week back to school!