Pumpkin Cottage

Pumpkin Cottage
sit and visit a spell

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Crafting with Amy Power's Big Picture Class

This assignment was intended to reflect my style. 
The scotty dog comes from my mother's button collection.
The repeated four represents my four children.
Tulips, Mr. Lee's dutch heritage.
There is a bit of edgy and conservative.
Handmade and vintage. 

Amy Powers' new Inspired Ideas online magazine is

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Soldier

Holidays and birthdays are always hard.
I haven't  seen or talked to my second son,
Nicholas since he was 14.  I send
unanswered notes and cards.
Nicholas, turns
23 today, he is serving in the
US Army.
As I prepared to write this post
I prayed.  My shameful disclosure is
shared here to possibly help
another estranged parent.

There is help and we are not
alone, today I found Daily Strength Groups
Parents of Estranged Adult 
Children.  My own estrangement was
collateral damage of an ugly divorce.
The legal
system is just that, a legal system,
not a justice system.
The one with the most money wins.

One son chose to live with us and the
other with his father.  The child we
raised has a relationship with his father
and extended family.  We encouraged him
to maintain relationships and remind him
of birthdays, father's day and other
important dates.  These simple acts
of kindness are not

We have missed out on a child
growing into a man and all
the details of his life.

I stood at his high school graduation
uninvited. No invitation, no graduation
pictures.  Nothing.
It's the pay back forever.
Daily prayer is sent his way.
Soften his heart, Lord.
Whisper forgiveness and peace.
Open his eyes, Sweet Jesus.

Happy Birthday, my precious child.
May you stay safe.
Live your dreams.
Be blessed, Mom.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Grace at Thanksgiving

Ephesians 1 15:23
Romans 12:2

Grace is what we receive but don't deserve.

My oldest sister, Mericia, was deeply faithful.
She was 18 years older and very old
fashioned. Today,  she would
probably be the poster child for traditional

Not me, in 5th grade I became a feminist.
Accepting of all people and unconventional.
Commencing my magnetism for
wounded souls.
Hippie spirited.

At home, we were raised traditionally,
at celebrations,
men would eat first, then the women and then
the women would clear and wash up.

Boys were given enough rope to hang
themselves and girls were watched closely.

Yeah, whatever, this is America and I was not
going to conform. 

With two small children, my beautiful
36 six year old sister was diagnosed
with cancer.  A death sentence of 6 months.
Her physician sent her home
to get her affairs in order.

She kept journals and recorded a
message for each of  her children.

She prayed daily for a little more
time with her children. She was
faithful and didn't complain.
In a twist of cruelty, from the
radiation, she lost the ability to tear.
She could cry but the relief from tears
did not come.

My witness of her suffering,
her unwavering faith, and
commitment helped plant the
seed of compassion.
She held a deep belief,
no matter what
suffering was sustained
here on earth, her
reward would be in heaven.
She believed this with absolute conviction.

I am a better person for having
loved her. By witnessing grace,
my spirit grew.

Mericia lived on
for 7 years beyond her diagnosis.
She'd say, "We never know."

Be grateful in all things.
Not only the good, but
what develops our spirit,
what expands our servant
attitude, and in all things
prepare for His

For these things and so much more
I am truly blessed. 
Happy Thanksgiving my beloved. 

            Mr. Lee's siblings.  Top: Patrick, Ginny, Mr. Lee 
                       Spouses Bottom:  Denise, John, me                   

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A New Dinosaur Found in Utah

Ready, set, go  Natural History Museum of Utah

Lythromax argestes: King of gore from the Southwest          

The mural depicts Utah in the age of the dinosaur

Forward facing eyes

From a distance, Holly thought this spider

Walked as fast as my little gimpy legs could take me


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Road Tripping in Utah

Utah is a wonderful place to travel as a family.
Salt Lake provided plenty of interest for all
of us.

Clark Planetarium

Walk on Mars

Planetarium Show

Walk on the Moon

Kids don't want to ride in the huge elevator.

Okay Okay...we'll go with you next time.
The Big Blue Marble is very small.  That's Jupiter in the middle.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Adventures in Salt Lake City

Peery Hotel 
Lovely accommodations.  The Peery Hotel is the
only hotel in Utah on the National Register of Historic
places.  Its downtown Temple Square location is perfect
for first time visitors. 

Historic places have tiny bathrooms...not a good fit for
Mr. Lee.  Manageable for our one night stay.

 Breakfast.  Bruges Waffles and Frites

Flemish Stew - Super Tasty

Freakandel - a Belgium and Dutch specialty

Happy lad.

Apparently Belgians enjoy the dippy sauces as much as the Dutch  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Salt Lake City, Oh my

This morning as I check itinerary for the day,
I said, "Oh my, there is so much to see and do."
Holly replies, "There is more to see and do in Vegas."
Maybe baby girl, but I have been called here.

For years, without reason, SLC has called me
and now we are here.  The drive up Interstate 15
was breathtaking with a dusting of snow.
The temperatures dipped to 29 degrees.

My ankylosing spondylitis is on red alert with back
spasms.  No matter, I love the
winter, I love the cold, and
the romance of it all.  This
is life with chronic pain,
you either choose to keep
going or give up.  For me, there
isn't a middle ground.  Increase
the pain meds and cope.

First leg of the trip, Las Vegas baby.
Mr. Lee and I don't gamble but
like a moth to the flame the
draw of bright lights....

The Orleans has it all.  Movie theaters,  a bowling alley,
buzznbrushes (painting studio), buffet, and more.

All the comforts of home

Mama still gets served at the buffet

Happy Fall

Sad commentary

Pooporuri -

Full tummies

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Words of Encouragement

Deuteronomy 28:7

New International Version (NIV)
The Lord will grant that the enemies 
who rise up against you will be defeated before you. 
They will come at you from 
one direction but flee from you in seven.

Fill your heart with courage.  
Make crafts.
Make memories.
Collect something. 


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Words of Encouragement

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
 Psalm 119:105 NIV

He is the reason for the season.

In this fast paced world, the holiday season
affords an opportunity to slow down
and reflect on the what is really important.

Family, friends and HOME. 

The bright colors

Patience Brewster

California Dreaming

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Crafty Crafty Crafty

It's been a family affair taking a class
over at Big Picture Classes.

This is our second go with Amy Powers
as the instructor.  She is just

This was the end result of our
first assignment.

Today, I finished another craft from
the class.  Just a wire hanger covered
in a vintage sheet.

Olá! means Hello in Portuguese

Crystal knobs and gem colored doors

Advent tree

Friday, November 15, 2013

Apple Farm, San Luis Obispo

Just a quick turn around trip but so so wonderful.

First stop the Apple Farm.


Christmas store

Sugar Plum Dreams

Our lovely family size room

Holly sets up her bed like home