Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adam and Eve Samplers

One of the favorite themes in antique samplers is Adam and Eve. I thought I'd put up a few of the photos I've collected of these samplers and hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


My sister and I have been discussing rainbows for the past year and a half. We live in Arizona, not exactly the rainbow capitol of the world, yet have seen more rainbows in the past 18 months than we have ever seen previously.

Rainbows have always been a big deal to me, they are just so magical, a little gift from God saying hello. So believe me when I say, I might see a rainbow once a year here in the land where we get maybe 10 inches of rain per year, but never once a month which has been happening since Thanksgiving 2008. The last rainbow I saw is in the above photo, taken last month in Nevada.

And now that my sister and I are attuned to seeing rainbows, we are seeing them everywhere. Last month I was talking to her on the phone with the TV on in the background. We were talking rainbows (again) and a commercial appeared where a leprechaun carried a pot of gold over to a cardboard rainbow and set it underneath. I don't even remember what the commercial was advertising. I was just so stunned to see it while talking with her.

My daughter's dance recital this year was "The Wizard of Oz" and my sister was with me. Again we were talking rainbows and like idiots weren't even thinking that the ultimate rainbow song is "Over the Rainbow" until the whole cast came on stage in multi-colored costumes and danced to the song. We looked at each other with wide eyes and OMG mouths. One of our mother's favorite songs was Judy Garland singing "Over the Rainbow". So one connection made, these rainbows have to do with Mom.

I have been re-reading the Bible this year, my only new year's resolution, and turned to Noah's story to see what is said about rainbows. This is Genesis Chapter 9 verse 11:
11And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

12And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

14And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

15And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

17And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

So another puzzle solved. My Dad's birthday was Sept 11th. Chapter 9 verse 11...

My feelings are my Dad is showing my sister and I that he is with our mother. He is saying his covenant with her has not broken since his death and neither has his covenant with his children. She has dementia and except for a few devoted friends and her children, her life is extremely limited. To know he is with her while she lives out the last bit of her life is extremely comforting. I think the rainbows will stop when she does. In the meantime, thanks Dad, we have needed to see these and we have always known you are still with us and your love for Mom is endless.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Long Overdue Update!

Christmas came and went, children came and went, I went and came back and stitched a little in between. The last 6 weeks have been a storm of emotions, happiness and sadness, full house and empty nest. Today is quiet and I have time to update here.

I had a wonderful experience a couple days ago on the 2nd anniversary of a good friend's death. One birthday, she had given me a small pitcher from England and I began finding them when I traveled and shopped. One from Mexico, another from Poland, you get the idea. Then I stopped finding them even though I purposely would search for them. The 2nd anniversary date, I was in Nevada with a friend and we came upon a clearance rack at a store and the small white pitcher pictured above was on sale for $1. When I looked at it closer, what I thought were little stars on the belly of the pitcher turned out to be X's, as in cross stitch X's and important in my mind since needlework is a love we shared. It wasn't until I bought the pitcher that I realized it was the 2nd anniversary of her death. I've changed and learned through the years and something I would have considered a coincidence years ago, is no longer a coincidence in my mind. Rest in Peace Anne, I miss you.

I received this Engish Cottage Sampler by Chessie and Me for my birthday last year and immediately started working on it. I was so tired of only stitching my own designs and made relatively good progress until Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday seasons began. I just pulled it out again today and think I'll continue stitching it ASAP, the colors are gorgeous.

As mentioned above, I was visiting a good friend near Lake Tahoe and what was supposed to be a week long trip turned into a month due to various factors including a snowstorm. She taught me how to force bulbs so yesterday I planted four Paperwhite bulbs and can't wait for the roots to start growing around the marbles in the bowl.

It turned out to be an excellent idea to stay a month as I feel much better emotionally and physically than I did after Christmas when it got quiet around here again, my kids went back to college and I was sick with pneumonia. Now I feel ready to tackle new projects and get my life back on track. My intuitive daughter told me the other day that we are going through the same problem at the moment. How is that? She said she has had to find a new identity at college as her old identity from high school is gone. She is no longer the Japanese speaking, viola playing, black belt girl. Well, yes, the Japanese is still there as that is her major but she is one of many now and the viola is stored in our hall closet and her black belt is languishing until she finds a group that she feels comfortable working out with. As for me, I've devoted over 20 years of my life to raising kids and suddenly they are gone so I'm rummaging around in my mind, shuffling through ideas and trying to forge a new identity beyond motherhood. I'm still a work in progress.

And now to the good part, this is Nick on Christmas Eve. We were so happy to have him home from Thanksgiving until right after the New Year. He's funny, gentle and artistic and we couldn't ask for a more unique, creative son.

My daughter, Maggie, brought home her boyfriend Noel from college. He stayed with us a week until we put him back on the plane to Seattle Christmas afternoon. Maggie stayed on another week until she too had to return to college. We loved finally meeting Noel, he was all we imagined and hope to get to know him even better in the future and maybe stay in one place for a bit. We hit all the local attractions plus spent 2 nights in Mexico, not to mention Christmas. It was a whirlwind but a fun ride nonetheless. BTW, that's our oldest cat Snowflake in the photo, looking appropriately catlike and cranky.

I'm stitching an ornament for the 2010 JCS Christmas issue plus one for their preview Christmas issue. I'll get back to work now.

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