Saturday, April 28, 2012

Green Trees and Ann

 Hello from the top of the maple tree that stands by the house of the pointed eaves!  Our maple tree is flourishing, popping out her stunning leaves! 

 We've had some smoky clouds floating around the sky.  Oh, the weather is remarkable!

 My book came!  Aren't Ann and Andy beautiful?  I see you smiling.
 I realized that my big Ann book has been in my possession for (gulp!) over twenty years.  I'd forgotten that my sweet mama sent it to me.  Don't you love my mother's fine handwriting?

 I bought this little book of wisdom for myself (shocker!) and it holds the very dearest words of GREAT truth.  Quotable, right?

 Since I was messing about downstairs near the ironing basket and the mish-mash of Pom Pom junk, I took some Ann portraits. 
 When the kids were very young, I would occasionally take myself on little outings (thanks to Bill who would come home between appointments) to antique stores near Seattle.  I searched for handmade Annies.  I found quite a few for reasonable prices and I used my pocket money to buy dolls.  Isn't that funny?  Here I was busy with my real babies and I bought myself raggedy dolls.  Hmmm.
 This shy Ann has a lovely dress.
 The Ann on the left was handmade by me.  She isn't finished and is practically bald in back.  The crazy haired one is really an Andy, but at the moment he is wearing a dress.
 They all have the special Ann seal:  I love you!
 Yes, I have Ann on my brain, but I also have the Willows on my mind.  Betty the Wood Fairy has been entertaining the small brood.  She sent me a postcard (actually Ratty, Mole, and Mr. Toad did!) The Willows' hostesses (a stellar group of NICE people) are doing it up big.  My, my, oh my!  Don't you wish you were traveling with the boys?  The Grand Tour is proving to be the trip of a lifetime!
 I have felt a small amount of guilt because my beloved Badger did not get to go.  He is a homebody, and probably would not have wanted to hustle around the globe in a box, but he is such a fine guy.  I might make a Badger to welcome the boys home many months from now.

I was reading the end of the story a while ago.  I had to copy the illustration of Mole and Ratty in their nightclothes.  I was feeling sleepy and yearning for bed (and peace) at the time.
Do visit Betty and check on the boys, won't you?
I'm off to dance with the ladies this morning.  Oh, it is sweaty business and the weight work/mat work is so hard for this granny.
When I get home I'll put on my new gardening gloves and pull weeds.  I may plant some pansies.  
I have five weeks left of school and I am bent on giving all the encouragement I can to my first set of sixth graders.  I am thinking of writing them each a card (starting now) with all the virtues they possess, written out one by one.  I had a former student pop by yesterday and she said, "I still have the Christmas card you gave me."  I said, "Did I write something nice on your card?"  She replied, "You told me to do a little writing over the holiday break!" Ha ha!  Well, I'll try not to be so bossy this go around.
Kindness is a very sweet word, isn't it?
That's why I like Raggedy Ann. She is SO NICE!  Her voice is nice, her actions are benevolent, and her attitude is humble.
If you don't have an Ann, I hope one comes your way.  
Thank you for reading and thank you for stopping in.  You're nice.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Toadstool Crash

Hello!  Have a seat right here and I'll make you a cup of tea.  This toadstool is supposed to be a bird feeder.  Squirrel feeder is more like it.  The kitchen toadstool bird house crashed to the floor the other day.  One toadstool in, one toadstool out.  After the crash, the toadstool roof remained intact so I put it in the dirt by the day lilies.  It'll give the fairies some shelter.
 Have you been eating strawberries?  They are so red inside just now.  Delicious! 
 My sweet daughter-in-law knit a cozy for my iPad.  Isn't it sweet?  The colors are scrumptious!
 I got up way too early and now it's time to scoot off to school.  I may fall asleep in my soup at lunch time.  The week is flying by.  
Thank you for your great comments about encouraging others.  You guys are so nice!  Today I think I'll encourage others by letting them do the talking.  I'll just listen.  Of course I will have to do the talking during each class period, but other than that, I think I can manage some kicked back listening.  If I could do whatever I wanted today I would sit on the sofa and read.  I am looking forward to a few days this summer when I can do just that. 
I ordered a Raggedy Ann book and it should come in the mail soon.  Don't you love her sweet face?  I may have an Ann theme for Granny Camp this year.  Any ideas for activities?  I have so many Ann dolls and we could have some adventures with kids and dolls and tea parties.  I think Finnegan has the stamina for a tea party or two.  I have a few Andy dolls.  I hope you have a few Ann girls in your life.  They are the sweet ones who smile at you with their whole face and hold you dear.   Happy spring day (or autumn day to my friends down under!)

Sunday, April 22, 2012


 Hello!  I've been reading about Barnabas the encourager.  Encouragement means to give courage and I fear there are not enough people who feel called to encourage.  Let's add to the ranks, do you want to?
 Do you have favorite ways of encouraging others?  I like pats.  Pats on the shoulder, pats on the head, and pats on the back.  I'm trying to think of new ways because quite honestly, I forget to tell people stuff.  I want to get better at this. 
Compliments must be considered and checked for sincerity. 

 Encouragements should be pleasing, soft, inspiring.
 They can be light in the disheartening darkness.
 They can be fresh like a walk beside your favorite river.  Ratty is encouraged by his own river.
 Encouragement itself can be a party!  Our sweet son-in-law was very encouraged by his surprise birthday party last night.
 It can be a birthday gift wrapped in your favorite color.  I gave Jeff some kitchen stuff for his future house.  He loved.
It can also be a sweet sight, like these bunny slipper clad baby feet.  I find my own bunny slippers quite encouraging.  
I'm going to try harder.  I will let you know how it goes.  I'd love to hear your favorite ways of encouraging the people in your life.  Please share.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ironing Game

 So, I was standing in my ironing room/sewing room/book room/play room, basking in its muddled happiness when I decided to do a little ironing.  First I had to mend a pair of favorite pants.  They had a little tear near the belt loop (I do not own any belts, by the way).  I found the perfect patch.  Hoot!  After that, I decided to play a little game with my pile of ironing.  I sought out all the colorful pieces and ironed my way to a nice little mix of hues.  What do you think?  Pretty, huh?  
When I was young, my mother would offer to spend an evening sewing for me but I had to iron while she sewed.  I ironed pillowslips and hankies while the sewing machine whirred.  When I was a young mama, I ironed for pocket money.  I put an ad in the newspaper and many nurses (I guess nurses got behind on their ironing) called me and I began ironing all their pretty clothes.  It was fun (and a tiny bit difficult) and I did it until we moved away from that city.  Do you think my lot of ironing is the reason I love Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle?  I think so!

 I really should use the Pom Pom room for a guest room instead of a "my stuff room" but I like having a place to put pretty things.  This Susan Branch flag is so cute, isn't it?
 A bright basket of yarn!
 A brown sheep
 Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle's little brother
 an Ann leg and a few pretty and peaceful books
It's pretty much a mumble jumble, but I'm so thankful.  
So, now I'm off to school.  What kind of ironing games do you play?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Toadstool Bird House

 The Year of the Toadstool is coming along. (Honestly, I've never  named a year BEFORE, but this year I am enjoying my toadstool theme.)  I am seeing toadstools everywhere.  Well, I am seeing toadstools at the only place I shop on a regular basis: the grocery store.  They now have a toadstool bird perch (want!) and another little toadstool house with a door that opens.  The bird house I bought was only eleven dollars, so I splurged and now it is hanging in the kitchen.  It'll stay there because what self respecting bird wants to lay claim to a silly resin house?  I like looking at it, hanging up on my curtainless curtain rod.  It'll get me going, making red and white polka dot curtains.  The curtains I had in the kitchen hit everyone in the forehead, so they are moving to the living room.

 We had a welcome home dinner for Bill.  He's back from Cambodia.  I think this shrimp cabbage salad is delicious.  It's composed of cabbage, onion, celery, canned shrimp, and a dressing of a scoop of mayonnaise, a tablespoon of white vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar.  It's crisp and tasty.  It makes one feel like a good rabbit.
 I reached over the fence and picked one of my neighbor's lilacs.  She doesn't mind.  Isn't it pretty?  You should smell it!
Now, let me inform you of the blog event that is going around the world!  The pink edition of The Wind in the Willows (I bought it at that messy and wonderful used book store a few years ago) is traveling around the world.  The three characters that I drew and stuffed are traveling with the book.  They had a ball in Canada and the USA and then they had HUGE adventures with Mags in Ireland.  Now they are at Betty's in England.  She said the book is looking AMAZING, because everyone that receives the package writes and draws in the book.  They also stamp the "passport" in their own special way.  Everyone that has hosted the package so far, has blogged about it and you can find all the links on my blog.  They even went to Disneyland with Kim from For Heaven's Sake.  They've driven cars, they've holed up in beautiful doll houses, they've been held hostage for potted cheese . . . I could go on and on.  They'll go to Angela at Tracing Rainbows next and then they go to France. From there, they'll fly down to Australia (The Provincial Housewife who is expecting a baby soon!) and finally to my sweet friend Katie in New Zealand.  When they return to me, I will show you all the embellished pages of the book.  Who knew that Mags love for the Willows and my love for them, too, would bring about such a Grand Tour?
When they finally arrive in Denver, Mags and I will have to think of another Wind in the Willows event.
It's chilly today, but Kelli and Bryan are going to the Rockies game, so I am going over to make cookies with the girls.  
My students are testing for a few days, so I don't have as much planning to do before tomorrow.
So, have you seen any toadstools lately?
Thank you for buzzing by!  (HUG!)