21 September 2018

Feline Friday: Power of The Paw!

In feline circles, "Power of The Paw" (POTP) is a phrase that is offered up when well wishes are needed. No worries here...Lily is just fine! 

But her little white paws are so incredibly cute that I want to take a moment to focus on them. And there's POWER in those paws!

Let's take a look, shall we?
Sometimes the paws hang down casually, like this.

 Yet she's not entirely relaxed because the toes are flexed.

Maybe's just getting ready for me to scratch between those toes. I never miss an opportunity! But she only allows me to scratch between the toes on one of her back feet. Of course, I can never remember which foot. :)

 Those paws are soft and sweet, but they're also STRONG. Lily can spin this basket around like a top! I need to capture this new trick on video. It's quite amazing!

Strong paws gripping and ears pinned back to say...
"I haz a FIERCE!" 

 Those paws can also be demure. Little ol' mee??

Lily's front paws are often in this I'M COMPLETELY INNOCENT position, and each time I just think it's the cutest thing ever. That's probably why I have 10,000 cat pictures on my phone. :)

  Then there's my all-time favorite paw pose (albeit a tiny bit blurry): THE FACE GRAB! The trick is catching a photo because a face grab usually only lasts a second or two!

 Here's to Power of the Paw!
 Happy Feline Friday!

19 September 2018

Santa's Workshop!

The past few weeks have been super busy around here getting ready for Christmas card classes -- kind of like Santa's Workshop, except I'm the only elf! LOL

This season I will have three card classes, each offered two or three times starting in October -- which is just around the corner. So the month of September started out as "Kit Central", as I needed to get started on kits for two of the classes. We have a big dining room table so if I work on kits at home, I usually spread them out there.

 When they were finished, I had some help boxing up my scraps!

 At the same time, I had another class in process in the kitchen. Somehow I forgot to take a picture of that activity,  except for the ribbon cards. I had to work fast while Lily slept. She loves when I wind ribbon -- and especially twine!

 I almost never work on kits in my craft room because I don't have a large enough table to spread everything out, but since the dining room and kitchen were already occupied, I had no choice but to creep into that area! Soon I'll be finishing up the die cutting so I can get these kits packed next week. 

This past week or so, I've also been doing our store's 8-page holiday newsletter. It's finally off at the printer now! I'm always excited to see it...but nervous, too!

 'Tis the season for crafty projects!😄


14 September 2018

Feline Friday with the Girls

It has been a very busy week for me around here, getting ready for holiday classes and creating our big newsletter which will go out soon. I have been hunkered down in my craft room and in front of the computer for days now!

When I'm having a busy week, I have to be sure to make time for Lily! That's easy enough to do, of course, when she is as sweet as can be. Here she is doing her best prairie dog pose as she reaches for a taste of ham!

And at the end of a busy day, there's nothing better than getting a text from our girls in Texas! Cousin Rory just couldn't be any cuter!

 Happy Feline Friday, everyone! 
Enjoy every minute with your furbabies!

07 September 2018

Feline Friday: Yoga with Lily

 Tinsel used to be my yoga buddy. While Tinsel was with us, Lily showed little interest in yoga but lately, as soon as I roll out the mat, here she comes! She must hear the SLAP! of the mat on the floor.

 Since Lily is just learning yoga, much of her time is spent in quiet observation. 😉

She's very brave to position herself underneath my pitiful downward dogs and tree poses. 

 Our yoga instructor always encourages us to take the "nutrients of yoga" off the mat and into life. Naturally, Lily perks up at the word NUTRIENTS. If food is involved, she's all in! Here she is practicing her sphinx pose as she waits for those nutrients!

 Occasionally we practice the staff pose, in which we sit up straight to strengthen our abdominal "muscles". Lily is still working on this one!

Lily thinks yoga is pretty fun, and it's much easier when she gets a free ride on mommie's tummy!
 Namaste, everybuddy!

04 September 2018

More Heritage Scrapbooking

I spent some time over the long weekend working on my heritage scrapbook albums. I have been slogging through a pile of unidentified photos from my dad's side of the family, trying to figure out who the people are. After studying them closely with a magnifying glass and comparing them to "known" photos, I ended up with fewer than 20 which are still a mystery, so I put them in an envelope and tucked them away for the time being. I know that as I learn more information, those pictures may be identifiable and important so I'm not getting rid of them.

In going through the photos, I found a few more to add to my scrapbooks. It was a great feeling to be able to fill in a few more pieces of the family tree puzzle!

I finally figured out the identity of the man in front of the tree below: My 2nd great grandfather on my dad's side of the family. My grandma (whose pictures I've been sorting through) had several copies (or photocopies) of photos and I stumbled upon one with a label on the back - yay! From that photo, I was able to identify several more - enough for a scrapbook page for this family! Since these photos include only my grandfather, I'm hoping I'll be able to find a picture of my 2nd great grandma through Ancestry. 

 I also found two photos of my other 2nd great grandparents on my dad's side of the family. Their families came from France and settled in Ohio, eventually moving on to Iowa. 

 In researching my great grandfather (their son), I learned that he raised chickens. At the time I discovered this, I made a page for the album using some old county biography information about him. 

 So when I ran across a picture of chickens in what I knew to be his front yard, I added it to the next page. If I hadn't read that biography, I wouldn't have known he raised chickens and that photo wouldn't have seemed significant to me! 

At the same time, I included two photos of keepsakes I have that belonged to these great grandparents. I will probably re-do these pages to put the chicken picture with the biography. I've had to do a fair amount of re-doing, which is the downside to discovering new information.

   I also stumbled upon another small school picture of my dad, so I added it to a page I'd already created. I will say that I probably should have done all of my photo sorting before making pages. But then I wouldn't have felt like I was accomplishing anything at all! LOL

 One of the best things I ran across in my sorting was this unmarked, torn picture. As soon as I saw it, I was pretty sure I recognized the shorts. Back when I was clearing out my parents' house after my dad passed away, I discovered a small pair of wool shorts in a plastic bag. I assumed they had belonged to Dad but they were not marked so I just packed them away -- something to figure out later. When I saw the photo, I knew that it must be my dad wearing those shorts. This was a very special find! It remains a mystery as to why the woman's head was torn off. It looks like the photo was intentionally torn.

In this stack of photos, there were very few with writing on the back, but one was written on by my grandma (whose genealogy books I have). I cut a small sleeve from a pocket page and adhered it to the background, then slipped the photo in from the side. Now it can be removed to read Grandma's notes on the back. Her handwriting was always beautiful and I'm told that in her younger days she won some penmanship contests! Her handwriting remained nearly perfect throughout her life.

So after making a few more pages this weekend, I think I've made good progress with this side of the family. Next I hope to create an overview page for each branch of the family with a family tree, country of origin and their path from the homeland to Iowa or wherever they ended up. I still have a lot more research to do before I'm ready to make those pages. Onward!


31 August 2018

Feline Friday

I've had a super-busy week as we prepare for the holiday season at the store where I teach. This year I'll be doing at least four Christmas classes. Two of those classes will be offered in October, so in order to put them in our October newsletter (which I also create!), I needed to finish designing the classes this week. 

 So I spent a LOT of time in the craft room these last few days, mainly working on a 20-card class for Christmas. (I am not at all a tidy crafter!)

Lucky for me, I had some help from my furry crafting friend, Lily! She's not quite as experienced in this area as sweet Tinsel was, but she's learning!

Like any good SNOOP-ervisor, she helpfully sat with me during important parts of the process...

...especially at lunch time, when she made SURE I stopped long enough to fill her food bowl! This look is known as The Stare. It is generally quite effective in producing tasty noms!

And when it came time to print, she performed the important role of Epson Quality Control. 

Yep, dis looks gud, Mommie! 

 Without Lily's help, who knows what would have happened? WHEW! It looks like Christmas will come after all! 😅
Good job, Lily!

Happy Feline Friday, everyone! 

24 August 2018

Feline Friday with Rory

If you return home to find all of your cabinet doors and drawers have been opened, you don't need to look very far to discover...

...the culprit! 😊

See that little brown area on her nose? Her fur is wet from drinking water. And if you're not watching, she'll drink right out of your glass!

Sweet baby girl makes us all smile every day!
Happy Feline Friday!

20 August 2018

Ancestral Cemetery Hop!


 This massive old tree lives in an old cemetery I recently visited. Just think of the storms it has weathered over the years, yet it still stands strong because its roots run deep. I imagine that this old tree has seen great sadness, yet each spring new growth appears to provide shelter to the many woodland creatures who live there.
As I've started working on my family tree, I've found visiting old cemeteries to be helpful and a tangible way to connect with ancestors I never met. Finding their graves makes them more "real" to me, and more than an entry on my family tree.

So far, I've visited four area cemeteries where my ancestors are buried, including the one I'll share in this post. If you plan to do this, I'd suggest that you look on Find A Grave and do a search for your relatives prior to your visit. If there are photos posted, you will at least know the shape of the headstone to look for. In larger cemeteries, you may even find an attendant who can point you in the right direction. Cemeteries can be quite large and without some information, you can easily find yourself wandering!

I stopped by this particular cemetery on a whim as I was passing through the area. Daylight was dwindling so I had little time to find the family plot. The cemetery was a lot larger than I remembered it! Older stones are sometimes in very poor condition and hard to read, and that was definitely the case here. I walked through several rows and almost gave up.

Then I found it! The surname on this headstone is at the bottom, making it easy to miss. This is the grave of my 3rd great grandparents, Nathan and Harriet Lesan Blood. I hope to someday locate a picture of Harriet and Nathan in life but for now, a headstone is all I have.

You can see both of their names on my family tree. Thanks to my grandma, this particular part of my tree is very well documented and goes back a number of generations.

 In that same area, I found a child's grave which is obviously part of our family. But his name is not on my tree, so I'll need to do a little more research to discover where Willie belongs.

  I have photos of and many stories about Nathan and Harriet's son Lewis Blood, who was my 2nd great grandfather. He was a creative soul who designed and built many items with his hands, including a rocking chair for each of his children -- using wood from trees he had grown. (Now that's planning ahead!) He also designed a farm implement and received a patent for it, but never had the money to have it produced.

One of Lewis' sons was Arthur, my great grandfather. He died just a few months before I was born so I never had the opportunity to meet him. But my great grandmother Ada Martin Blood lived a very long life just up the street from where I grew up. A few years ago, I shared a post about re-upholstering a simple but lovely old chair that belonged to her.

 It was my grandma, Ada and Arthur's daughter, who extensively researched our family history and passed all of her work down to me. The more I research, the more appreciation I have for the vast array of family information she kept tucked away in her head. I can't begin to remember the facts and relationships she could share by memory, even at 102 years of age.

  Visiting old cemeteries is just part of the process of carrying on her research. I'm doing my best to build on her solid foundation, and I know she would be pleased with what I've been able to accomplish so far.

If we know WHERE we came from, we may better know where to go. If we know WHO we came from, we may better understand who we are.
Author Unknown