Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Azaleas at the Biltmore House

My friend Sharon went to the Biltmore Estate over the weekend and doesn't mind if I share her glorious photos. Ahhhhh, Spring!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Apple blossoms!

We live in Henderson County, North Carolina, home of the well-known Apple Festival held every year during Labor Day weekend. Now that it's springtime, the apple orchards near our house are in bloom. What a magical sight and the fragrance is heavenly! Here's a small sampling of what we are blessed to see this time of year.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Azaleas in bloom

Spring is my favorite season, and I'm really happy this week because the hot pink azalea bushes in our yard have burst forth in all their glory.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A tribute to my aunt

My Aunt Dorothy, my mother's eldest sister, passed away a couple of weeks ago at the age of 93. It's amazing that she lived so long, and it's also remarkable that my uncle lived to the age of 90 (he died about 2 1/2 years ago). When she was in her 50s, her twin sister, Alice, died of cancer. Confronted with her own mortality, she wrote this and asked her daughter to keep it until after she died. Her daughter had it read at the funeral and has shared it with all the family. She was a very gifted pianist and graduated from a music conservatory in Chicago, quite an achievement for a woman of her era!

When I was growing up, we lived in Illinois and my aunt, uncle and their three children lived in California, so we visited back and forth during summer vacations. I have wonderful memories of her as a very vibrant, fun person. My favorite memory is when she demonstrated the Charleston for my cousins and me, and I remember staring in disbelief that someone that "old" could move so fast! (She was probably in her 40s which of course seemed old to me then.)

by Dorothy Goldsmith Penn

Don’t weep for me; I’ve had it all!
I’ve felt the wind blow through my hair,
Acceleration surge through my limbs.
Inhaled deeply and felt gladness sweep over me,
Deep, deep breaths and I’m glad I’m alive.

Don’t weep for me; I’ve watched a child.
Its soft, soft skin; its freshness so very new,
The tiny hands and dimpled arms; its blue, blue
eyes and suckling lips,
To cradle in your arms and watch in fascination.

Don’t weep for me; I’ve raced in the wind,
Played basketball, and tennis ‘til breathless and damp,
Loved every minute; sailed in a boat, cast a fishing line,
Swam until exhausted; soft water soothing my limbs.

Don’t weep for me; I’ve heard a kind word.
A compliment of praise that warms my heart,
Makes life glow and glisten; makes living worthwhile.
They say you’re clever and very wise,
And you want to really be that way.

Don’t weep for me; I’ve tasted achievement.
To paint a canvas and never know and suddenly it
begins to be what you want.
You stop and stare and are so delighted.
This effect, that effect, and now you are excited.
You know you should stop, but really don’t dare.
Aha! Voila! You can do no more!

Don’t weep for me; I’ve walked in a park mid
green, green trees.
The sun is shining; singing birds and bees.
The sky is blue, big fluffy clouds,
Mounds of cotton billowing in swirls ‘til your
eyes see rings and flecks and things.

Don’t weep for me; Each day is an adventure.
I’ve wiggled my toes in mushy wet sand,
Run on the beach, dewy wet spray hit my face.
The waves for miles as far as the eye can see
Rush in and gorge sand from under your feet.
And you marvel at the symmetry of the world,
Back and forth huge waves in rhythm,
White caps come tearing down to dissipate into
calm pools of water.
What power, what force, what danger, what beauty!

Don’t weep for me; I’ve heard the music.
First nursery rhymes, then children's songs, then
jazz and boogie, country and disco,
Then the delights of the classics, Beethoven and
Brahms, Chopin and Schumann, Haydn and Liszt,
Where tunes keep singing ‘round in your head.
Powerful orchestras that accelerate and clash.
You’re bursting with joy and when all subsides
The exquisiteness of quiet melodic tunes.
You’ve reached heaven and now compose yourself.
It’s over and you’re walking on earth again.

Don’t weep for me. Why would you cry?
I’ve been so happy and am a lucky guy.
Some walk the earth and see but dirt.
The walls have opened and out poured these gifts.
Take them, explore them, and experience their thrills.
How lucky we are to be given a chance.
Grab a star and soar the great heights,
For that is truly the gift of life.

Copyright © 2008 by the family of Dorothy Goldsmith Penn. May not be copied or reproduced in entirety or in part without permission.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Featured Etsy Artist - Beautiful Greetings

Looking for an extra-special greeting card? Take a look at this Etsy shop. There's something for every occasion and every taste. You'll find stamped designs, watercolored accents, 3-dimensions, and extra sparkle and flare! (Click on any photo to go to the listing for sale.)

The artist is a happily married mother of three beautiful children, living in Orting, Washington, and currently a student at the Western Governors University Teachers College, working on an Elementary Education degree. To see more of her card designs, visit her flickr gallery and her blog, Beautiful Greetings.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

My friend Carol sent this to me for my birthday which is tomorrow, April 12! This beautiful bracelet is made with Czech fire polish and Swarovski crystal beads with a handmade PMC (precious metal clay) clasp by Carol. I love it!

Visit her shop at Silver Beads and Clay on Etsy.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Look what I won!

Every Wednesday is giveaway day at Custom Creations By Sydnei's blog and I was the lucky winner last week! I like to send handmade cards to my elderly aunts and I know they will love these pretty notecards.

Visit Sydnei's etsy shop for a delightful selection of handmade cards and paper piecings for scrapbooking.

Here are a couple I especially like - monogram cards with initials of your choice and a cute bee.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Beary Cute!

A friend from blog catalog said her daughter wanted to work with clay and I recommended Here's a cute bear her daughter made.

Visit their blog for a post about it: It's my party blog

Free prizes to one lucky person!

Lake Michigan Stone Pendant

3 silly notecards

Found this give-away through the etsy forum! Persimmons Gal has reached 10,000 views on her blog and in celebration is giving away four cool prizes. Two are pictured here.

Visit her blog here to comment on the post and be eligible for the drawing:
Persimmons Gal Blog