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The Beauty of the Orchid

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My husband gave me this orchid as a gift several years ago. We were able to enjoy it for many weeks, but eventually the blossoms faded and fell off. For the next year or so I followed all of the instructions on how to care for an orchid and to get it to bloom again….all to no avail. I was just about to give up and throw it out, but decided to put it outside on my back deck this past summer and see if it survived. I didn’t really water it or give it any special attention. (actually forgot all about it) Much to my surprise, when I looked at it near the end of summer, it was shooting off several new stems that were loaded with buds. I was thrilled to see that my ‘neglect’ paid off.

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First bloom

 

As the nights got colder I brought it in the house and then closely watched the buds as they became swollen and then finally the first flower opened.  One big surprise was that it had been so long since it had bloomed that I had forgotten what color it was.  I was so excited when the first flower appeared and then realized that there were MANY more blossoms to come.  After that first bloom a new flower would open almost every day.  I counted 30+ blossoms total.

 

 

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What a joy to watch the blossoms as they opened

 

I saw the timing of this re-blooming as a gift from God.  My husband was away on a mission trip to Niger, Africa during January and February of this year.  (Don’s blog)  There were some lonely, dreary times in the house all by myself, but seeing the gorgeous blossoms on the table every morning was very uplifting.  Just looking at the orchid reminded me that spring would come again and that thought would put a smile on my face.

 

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Every single flower is stunning

 

Near the beginning of February it finally reached the point where all of the blossoms were open and it was stunning.  I began to wonder if it would still be blooming when my husband returned in early March.  Well, I didn’t need to worry….it’s now mid-March and only 2 of the blossoms have fallen and the rest are still as glorious as when they first opened.  Now my husand is able to enjoy it’s beauty as well.

 

 

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My ‘neglected’ orchid – yes, I did wait a little too long to stake the stems.

 

Shortly after his return home he surprised me with a new orchid.  I’m wondering if the same formula of ‘neglect’ will work on it next year as well?

 

 

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My new orchid.  (This could be the beginning of a collection/addiction. 😉 )

 

 

 

 

 

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I would have never thought that keys could disappear so quickly.  Warning – if you are squeamish this post might not be for you.  So, back to the story….I’ll bet you’ll never guess how/where they disappeared?   Yes, I flushed my keys down the WC.  Let me explain:

 

Years ago I learned the lesson of not placing valuables in the back pocket of my jeans as my phone took a dive in the potty ….and it never recovered.  I thought things were safe in the front pocket, but I was WRONG.  This particular day, I used the ‘facility’ and midway through the reassembly process I turned around to flush.  At the very instant that I pushed the lever, my keys fell out of the front pocket of my jeans into the swirling water.  In a flash (or should I say flush) they were gone.  Crap.

 

I began yelling, “MY KEYS, MY KEYS, MY KEYS” and my husband came running to see what was wrong – he just shook his head.  Soon he began to try to retrieve the lost keys.  No matter how much ‘snaking’ or ‘fishing’ we tried,  we could not locate the keys.  At that point I began to worry that they had traveled into the pipes and that would result in a huge plumbing repair.

 

We weren’t about to give up that easily.  We didn’t use that toilet or flush any more and the next day my son came over to give it one last try.  He pulled the toilet up from the floor and discovered a round metal object at the bottom of the seal…it was the aromatherapy ball that was attached to my keys! He was able to pull the entire set of keys out completely intact.

 

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The fact that we were actually able to find the keys was the first bit of good luck, but the news gets better.   The key to my car is one of the electronic variety that is very expensive to replace.  My husband took the key fob apart and laid it out in the sun to dry.  Well, we were ecstatic when we put it back together and it worked!

 

Of course the rest of the other keys were scrubbed clean and obviously I replaced the aromatherapy ball with a new one.  Miraculously I had my keys back after having flushed them down the toilet.  Yes, this was one of my more humbling moments in life, but maybe you will learn from my mistake.  Empty ALL of your jean pockets before using the restroom.

 

 

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Never Say “Never”

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I can’t even begin to count the times I’ve said I would NEVER do something only to wind up doing exactly what I said I’d “never” do.  

  • I said I’d never live in a white house–I now live in a house with white siding.  
  • I said I’d never ride a bike–I now LOVE riding bicycle.  
  • I said I’d never like eating wings because it was ‘barbaric’.  Well, I now thoroughly enjoy sitting down to a heaping plateful of messy wings and tearing into them like a ravenous dog.
  • plus MANY more……..

 

One thing I said I’d never do was to have any kind of vacation place.  My husband had been talking about it for years and I’ve always said that was something I’d never do.  Well………yep, you guessed it, we now own a cottage in a nearby state forest.  As my husband kept showing me picture after picture of cabins, cottages and homes in the woods I continued to adamantly tell him that it wasn’t something I wanted.  Then, one evening he showed me a picture of a cottage that had recently been listed.  To call it ‘love at first sight’ might be an overstatement, but for some reason my attitude changed and I could immediately see our family spending time at this little cottage in the woods.  Knowing how much our kids loved camping in this area when they were young, I knew they would want to spend time at this little place.  We went to see it with family members and it was unanimous—everyone loved it.  We became happy owners of a little cottage in the woods.

 

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“Fern Gully” (aka Adelaide)

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Even though I loved the place and expected to enjoy it, I had no idea how much I was going to NEED it.  Just the time we began to spend time there things began to happen within our family.  

  • My daughter delivered our granddaughter 4 weeks early after an extremely difficult pregnancy.
  • My father, who had been ill, passed away suddenly.
  • Other things happened within the family that brought sorrow.

 

As all of this was happening, I found that spending time at our peaceful, little cottage enabled me to process some of my emotions.  Many nights were spent sitting on the porch praying and crying while coming to terms with some of the grief and fear.  Sitting on that little porch in the woods, listening to the sounds of the forest as nightfall came filled me with a sense of calm.  My soul began to heal as I rocked, cried, prayed and yes, sipped wine

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The “Special” Porch

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This cottage has been something our entire family needed.  We have had several wonderful weekends at the cottage with the kids/grandkids enjoying many things as a family.  

  • sitting around the fire
  • enjoying dinner together
  • falling asleep under the same roof and then waking up together
  • seeing our first bear
  • working on projects together
  • hiking
  • canoeing
  • etc……

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Nothing beats sitting around a campfire.

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One of our hikes

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When I first looked at the pictures of the cottage, I knew it would be a fun place for our family, but I had no idea how healing it would be.  Even though I didn’t know all those things were about to happen-God did.  He gave me something I needed before the need was even there.   I can’t help but wonder how often God does this and we don’t even realize it.  I hope I can become more and more aware of all the ways I’m cared for by my loving God.  

 

I encourage you to never say ‘never’.  You might be saying no to a special gift that God wants to give to you.  It might be something you never wanted, but turn out being exactly what you need.

 

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A Gift from Above

 

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Forest

The Beauty of the Forest

Being in the woods is something I’ve always loved. I’ve done a good bit of hiking, backpacking and simply enjoying time in nature. Tonight I’m enjoying time in the forest from the comfort of a porch.

I sit on a covered porch surrounded by a white railing with glowing candles along the top. The sun is setting and the night sounds are beginning. It’s light enough that there are still birds chirping even as the night insects begin their chorus. The various insect sounds are particularly clear because there is no wind rustling the trees—it’s completely still. Hummingbirds are still coming to grab an evening snack from the feeders. There are many sounds, yet it is peaceful here.

I see various types of pine trees, a few deciduous trees, ferns and other plants that grow among the trees. The only colors backlit by the darkening sky are green and brown, yet is a beautiful sight. The trees are tall and graceful.

It’s a very simple setting, yet one that nourishes my soul. This is a place that I feel at peace and can allow healing to take place in my heart. There have been many worries and sorrows in my life lately, but time on this porch is one thing that touches my heart.

I’m feeling very thankful for the beautiful creation that God has given to me.

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“Road Work”

What do you picture when you hear the words ‘road work’? Workers in bright yellow vests, orange cones, traffic delays….? Well, for me it has an entirely different meaning.

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I design and make jewelry for a living. Anyone who knows me is aware that I not only do it as a job, but thoroughly enjoy it and am very passionate about it. I have a work bench at home where I make most of the jewelry, but I almost always have several trays ready with projects to take with me wherever I may go.

 

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My husband and I have taken many long trips in the car and for me, many of those hours in the car have been spent with a tray in my lap and tools in my hands. I have been able to make things I needed for upcoming shows as well as fill orders from my Etsy shop.  I’ve even come up with new designs during a few of the trips.

 

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( I often find time to work in the hotel rooms too. )

“Road work” is a win-win situation for me. Making jewelry makes the time pass more quickly, which REALLY helps on the extremely long rides. It also enables me to stay caught up on work that needs to get done while we travel. Luckily my car has a very smooth ride and I’m able to do many different things.

 

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I’m notorious for working in the car, no matter how short the trip may be. My son has actually joked that if get one of the cars that drives itself sometime in the future, I could even make jewelry when I’m the driver instead of the passenger.

So, I may not wear a bright yellow vest, but I do a LOT of “road work”.

PS—I’ve also done this quite often on airplanes. Hmmmm…..maybe I should start a jewelry-making ‘mile high club’.

 

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Music has always had a profound effect on me. Certain songs make me want to get up and dance, white other songs are sure to bring me to tears. Music seems to have the ability to reach inside of me and stir my deepest emotions. Depending on what I’m listening to it can be invigorating or calming, healing or even sometimes painful. I’ve often said that music is the “key to my soul”.

 

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In the past few years piano music is the one type of music that can touch me in especially profound ways. At times when I have found myself in a low place it has been the only kind of music that I could ‘feel’ in my soul. It has allowed me to tap into emotions that I had pushed down and tried to ignore. The music has given me an avenue to work through some of those feelings.  It has provided a real sense of peace and of healing at times I needed it the most.

 

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One song in particular can move me like no other—Crisofori’s Dream by David Lanz. The minute that song begins to play my heart comes alive. That song takes me through a myriad of emotions. It begins with a very sad feeling, but there are moments of joy as well. There are several ups and downs during the course of the song and my heart soars and falls along with those changes. One section always makes me feel optimistic and give me a sense that things will be ‘ok’. For me the song always ends with a feeling of peace. The last part of the song is the sad melody, but it somehow gives me a sense of acceptance and contentment.

 

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I’ve listened to that song countless times, but I am now able to feel it in a new way – playing it myself.  I played piano when I was younger, but had given away my piano some years ago. I recently made the decision to play again and bought a beautiful piano. Of course, the first song I learned to play was Cristofori’s Dream. The minute I began to play the opening notes I felt such a sense of ………. I don’t even know what word to use…contentment, peace, passion, healing, excitement, joy and even grief. I knew that I would be spending a great deal of time at my piano.

 

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As I worked on learning the entire song I didn’t really feel the usual emotions due to concentrating so hard on getting notes and inflections right, but as I conquered more and more of the music, I began to experience it in an emotional way. One evening I was playing and at one section I found myself beginning to weep.  Now as I play it, I am able to enjoy it and ‘feel’ the music.

 

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I’ve since learned several more beautiful and moving songs, but this one will always have a special place in my heart. When I just want to sit down and ‘feel’ the music this will most likely be the song I play.

If you want to ‘experience’ this song, here is a link to it being played by David Lanz. Cristofori’s Dream

 

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An evening at my piano with a glass of wine…….wonderful!

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Playing Cristofori’s Dream

***I was listening to Pandora as I wrote this and just as I was typing the last sentence, guess what song began to play………and yes, it still brings me to tears.  

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Make My Day

Home Show 2013

Home Show 2013

 

As a woman who designs and makes jewelry, I not only enjoy the actual process of creating the pieces, but LOVE hearing that women have enjoyed wearing it.  The message at the bottom of my receipt is “I hope that you enjoy wearing this jewelry as much as I enjoyed designing and making it”. I get great satisfaction when I receive positive feedback from women who buy my jewelry.

 

I've received many compliments on this design.

I’ve received many compliments on this design.

 

One way that I receive this kind of response is at shows. I have many repeat customers walk into my booth and tell me that they were hoping I would be there. They talk about pieces that they have bought in previous years and the compliments they get when wearing them.  They are always excited to see my new designs.

 

My booth at the Apple Harvest Festival

My booth at the Apple Harvest Festival

 

I also receive feedback from my online Etsy Shop customers . After making a purchase they are able to rate the product and write a comment. Reading the comments on my feedback page  always brings a smile to my face. I love hearing that my customers are pleased with the quality of the jewelry and that it brings them some enjoyment.

 

Holiday Home Show 2013

Holiday Home Show 2013

 

All artisans long to hear this kind of feedback from their customers, so when you buy something that is handcrafted, be sure to let the artist know how much you like it. It will make their day 🙂

To read some of my reviews, click HERE

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