Pumpkin Cottage

Pumpkin Cottage
sit and visit a spell

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bike Ride

That's my bike with the basket.  I haven't
gone for a bike ride for 10 years or more.
It wasn't easy..but with a stool..I was able
to get on and ride.  Just happy, even for the few

It felt liberating. Like the feeling I get in
my dreams when I fly. Yep, I soar in my
dreams.  Just glide through the sky.
A breeze in my hair.  
Definitely, going
to try again tomorrow. 

My right pelvic area is fused to my spine.
It's not the easiest thing to get on my bike.
Once I am there though.
No matter, it is really important to get moving and  fun.

See the little paper Santa?  Joe brought a vintage pack
still in its original wrap.  Isn't he cute? And there are
five others.

First year with our upside down tree. 

Happy feet. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Lee

Happy Birthday
to the man the Lord hand picked for me.
And I finally listened.

Available at Country Roads.  He is crafty.

It was his staff who first called him
Mr. Lee.  The motley crew of misfits
ex-cons, honorable men that had served
on the Vietnam side, educated individuals
from all over the world working in low
paying retail jobs.  They wanted to
respect him but couldn't say his last
name so he became Mr. Lee.

Country Roads. We feel like Royalty.

On his name badge, the name Rodj, the
name I called him for the first year we
knew of each other.  He had taken
the management staff literally.  "Put
whatever name you want on your badge."

Country Roads.  He is handy with tools. This is a shelf made from a shutter.

For the past 10 years,
Mr. Lee has done God's work.
Working with and for our retired
military officers.  Honoring their
dignity in life and death.  Supporting
families and serving in delivering
last wishes.

Girl has become quite a photograph.  She took this one.

Mr. Lee doesn't believe he is special
but he allows all of us to be ourselves.
In his shadow, he is bigger than the rest
of us, we bloom.  In his shelter, we are
free and safe.

Pray beads plants. He makes my roses bloom

This morning, like most days, I will
tell him, you have made all my dreams
come true.  He won't believe me.

Happy Birthday my precious beloved
husband.   We love you MORE.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Season's Blessings
Merry Christmas

Country Roads...a magical place

Monday, December 24, 2012


It must be over 20 years now.
It may have been a conversation overheard,
A particularly poignant sermon,
or words of wisdom.

Breakfast at Zov's in Tustin

The definition of grace.
Grace is want we don't
deserve and get anyway.

The day started with a lovely breakfast.

In 1998, a colleague said,
"You aren't lucky you are

Messing Around

Indeed. Blessed.  I am
Blessed.  Blessed from
the Holy Spirit, who gives
me courage, who fills me with
boldness, if not for myself for
the ones I love.

Colors of the Season

True, I will never be the Woman
of the Year, accomplish any heroic deed
but yet, I am Blessed.

Roger's Garden

Blessed in love, Blessed with
a sibling who understands,
Blessed with children
Blessed with a treasure chest of
friends. Jewels more precious
than gold or diamonds.

Yes, Grace is intimately spoken

Friday, December 21, 2012

Crafty Revolution

Mad dash.

Time to get crafting.
Can't wait to show
you what I have up my sleeve.

Happy Friday.  


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Count Down

Matthew 24:36

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, 
not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father.

The anticipation of the Christmas.
My brother coming. 
Makes be giddy.
Butterflies of the heart and soul.

We celebrate and remember our precious loved ones.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Final Grade

Yesterday, I anxiously awaited my final grade from
Masters Public Administration.
Quiet celebration.
My heart is full of gratitude.

With no homework responsiblity
looming over my head.

Thank you Jessica and Todd
for sweating out our last homework
night.  I say, our, because no one
achieves anything meaningful

Goodwill Industries goodness. 
Joe and I have decided
we really don't want to support the Walmarts
of the world.  We still visit for some
We do very little shopping there
We want cheap and good.  Made in the USA
is preferred and we seek quality. 
We avoid China.

Granny crafts are still our favorites.

Mr. Lee may receive a new camera for his
birthday.  So my bloggy readers don't have to
suffer substandard photos.

Vintage is better than new.

These flowers would look great on the wreath I am making for
my friend Laura.  She lives in New York and traveled to
Times Square to fetch 2013 novelty glasses for my family.

Christmasy inspiration and handicrafts from
here to New Years Eve.  Some lovely day
trips thrown in for good measure.

Thank you for stopping by.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Counting My Blessings

My oldest son called me in the late afternoon yesterday.
He had heard of the horrific incident.
An incident beyond human comprehension.

"Mom, those kids were Holly's age."
and then "Mom, I am so sorry this had to happen
on your birthday."  He wanted to talk about
it and I am going to have to allow him, but
at that moment, I could not allow the depth
of anguish to enter my soul.

We have raised such a compassionate and 
caring young man.  I don't have the capacity
to understand what happens to a tiny baby
to allow the development of a monster.
What mental illness or trauma most

I fully understand suicide...the pain
and suffering that must be unbearable.
I can't understand taking the life of
others in such a senseless hateful

A young man with the capacity to destroy
the lives of so many families.

Let us pray.

Precious loving Jesus.
May you the Lord of light
be with our country as
we mourn the loss of
of your precious servants.

Lord, you have taught us
that children are closest to you.
In your infinite mercy, be with
the families of those taken
too soon.  Be with the
first responders and their
families as they struggle
with the aftermath.

Heavenly Father, please
give us courage to reach out
to those suffering around us.
Help us to be generous by
supporting organization who
will best serve the mentally ill,
the grieving, and the family of the

In Jesus' holy name we pray.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rest in Peace

Over eight years ago, I met and immediately co
connected with a colleague.
She was working on her Masters in Public Administration.
She was from the island of Madeira and Portuguese just like me.

So much in common.
She battled breast cancer like a warrior. 
I asked her to continue fighting until her
precious son graduated from high school.

It was not to be.  She grew tired.
She was weary. 
Ready to be called home.

I will miss her.
Until we meet, again.
Rest in peace my dear sweet friend.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sneaking Over Here

Just a sneak peek at the wedding.
I have two more evenings of finishing
my paper.  Ready or not my final paper
will be submitted on Thursday evening. 

Wedded Bliss 

Mr. Lee and Reverend Genie
Weddings always remind us of
the blessing of our own marriage. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Answering the Call

Have you ever felt an overwhelming
sensation about being in the right place?
Doing what you were born to do?
Being in complete communion with God.

Answering a call so deep and so LOUD.
A thumping of the heart.
A yearning of the SOUL.

That feeling washed over me last night.
Goosebumps.  Chills.
Like falling in love.
Being in love.

Rehearsal night, 22 young adults.
Young, beautiful and chatty with jitters.

Full of hope and promise.
Sweetness of a Groom and his beautiful Bride.

Driving home, the overwhelming joy brought
me to tears.
Thank you, Lord, for calling me.
Thank you for allowing me the privilege
of honoring you and celebrating your glory.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Treasures from Goodwill

This tiny tin...maybe 6 inches across was
$2.99.  Seriously, three bucks for what.

Opened it up. Surprise.

Wooden stripey spools of thread.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Courage from illness

There is nothing more courageous or painful then 
letting go of children.  Releasing their grasp,
because there is no amicable way to share
their rearing without further damage.

Sweet Magnolias Farm at the Vintage Marketplace, The Oaks
When there is no possibility
of reconciliation, when the letting go of
stuff is not enough, 
when emotions run high and compassion runs low.

Escape, escape, escape.

To this day, I can travel to a moment
outside the courthouse. 
The piercing of our hearts.
Choosing the path of less harm.  
Grave decisions.  
Quiet resolve.
My boys thought I had given up.
It is what they were told them.
Oh, no dear hearts I had toiled in a marriage
that caused me physical harm.
A marriage where my emotional pain
internalized itself as disease.
Landed me in the hospital. 

The peace washes over me now as 
I recall my mother's comfort.
She come and cared for all of us
while I recouped in the hospital.
My two young boys:
Mark (5) and Nicholas (18 month) at the time.

Zapped by a bolt of lightening.
My illness, shook me awake.
It would take me another five years to prepare
for my escape. Escape.

A dark shadow would be cast on my life.
My second son would shut
me out of his life.

All days, but especially as we move
to the period of peace and light, my
heart aches.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Two Weeks to the Big Finish

My gentle readers,

Have you ever lost your ability to focus?
Senioritis ..like spring fever...but this time
not only am I a senior in a graduate program
but a senior in age, too.

Santa at the local diner.  A movie star sighting for us. 

What I should be doing and will be working
on the rest of the day is my final academic paper.
At least, for my current program.

What I want to be doing this first Sunday of
Advent..is preparing for Christmas.
Last night, I attended a women's fellowship.
We sang Christmas carols, shared a meal, and
crafted Christmas cards for our soldiers.  My
friend, Jodi, has been my host for this event for

This is the dress Holly would have me wear.  Bless her generous heart.

My heart is right, but my hands are itching to
craft, to bake, and to watch old movie goodness.

Girl is super shy...that's why you don't see a photo of her
with Santa.  We love cute stoves. Though.

May you be blessed during this precious holiday

Little e.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Tomorrow is my second son's birthday.

Twenty-two years ago, my water breaks
while I load the dishwasher.
Dancing to Chuck Barry's Twist Again.

A baby arriving a full month too early.