Saturday, May 27, 2017

travel photos

And Happy Memorial Day Weekend

I hope this finds you all doing well.
I am still away from home and am roaming in the gorgeous 
rolling hills of southeastern Ohio.

I'm visiting family and some friends.
And we've been working on the details
of readying our little cottage for winter living
so our youngest daughter and my niece can 
rent it from us.

We were planning to sell which was a very sad thought.
It's a gorgeous spot which affords us much beauty and
 a place to stay when I get a chance to visit family and friends
and journey down the lane of girlhood memories.

I moved away technically but a big piece 
of my heart has remained here for many reasons.

Here are some photos of our trip that began on
May 11th. On the first day, 45 miles out of town, 
we blew a tire. I was driving. 
We were thankful that we were safe.

The steel belts were showing but as 
I stopped, the tire was slowly
deflating as I got out of the van.
It's still a mystery how that happened...
 We see it as God's protection.

What a beautiful view of New Mexico skies!
 Driving through The Narrows of New Mexico.
 This is Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo.
We've driven by for 30 years
and decided it was time to stop!
If you venture by here on eastbound
I-40, bring a can of spray paint and you can 
add your artistic grafitti to the cars.
 Here are Jeff and I with our OK grand babies.
We had a sweet visit and very special to be there on
Mother's Day.
This unique bridge spans the Ohio River 
between Kentucky and Ohio.
 We saw kids in Oklahoma, Mo, Indiana
 and my brother who resides in the 
Ohio Veteran's Home near Cincinnati.  

I was so happy to see him. He used to be 
near our cottage but has now 
re-located to the Veteran's home which is
four hours from here.
 Wild Irises
 Raspberry Vanilla swirl, waffle cone with...

Very tasty :)
I love to find them everywhere.
 one of my favorite things...
I will be remembering our veterans this 
weekend and those who are
currently serving. 

I wish you the best as you gather with
family and friends this weekend to be together
and to remember those who have died and 
those who live still
to protect our country and
to help others.

Wishing you 
magical, harmonious days
 filled with blessings.

Thank you so much
 for coming by to say hello.
I will be back home on the 3rd of June and
  back in touch~


Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Mother's Day Wish and Everyday Rambles

 I'm just popping in to say hello and
share some of my life ramblings.

It's been a very chilly week here.
The wood stove has been brought
back to life with cozy fires.
That's life in the mountains!

Other than it being very hard on my plants,
I don't mind. This Ohio born girl loves 
a cloudy day or five ;)

We have been busy this week preparing for our annual
spring jaunt to our Sugartree place in Ohio. 
We may be selling but our youngest daughter
and niece may rent it if we can work it out.
We have mixed feelings about that.
She'd be 1800 miles away.

How fitting that we get to see our 
Oklahoma kids and grandbabies
on Mother's Day. And then we travel to MO to see
our daughter and her new baby.
We're so excited to see them all!

Here are some Mother's Day flowers for all of you.
They are from the last year's gardens.
I haven't written much about everyday life for awhile.
I've been working on some crafts.
I will post some when I get back which won't be until June.
Last week, we helped watch our daughter's five
children while she and her husband flew to Virginia
for his grandfather's funeral. We had
such a fun time with them!

We attended a Kentucky Derby celebration at 
one of the restaurants where we sing. 
The owner is from Caintuck. 
It was AMAZING! So well done.
Decorations, games and a lovely buffet of
southern foods.
We have been playing music every Wednesday evening at a
little restaurant in the mountains. Last night was
the last evening of the season there. It was sad to leave it.
There are such wonderful regulars 
who come to listen. And those who work there 
are very gracious and helpful.

The Derby party was the official opening of the season at
the Foxfire, so we will be gathering there to share
our music through early fall.
Music! always MUSIC!
 I must go now and work on watering and packing.
It's been so nice to drop in. I will be 
coming by to visit you while I'm traveling.

What a lovely time to remember our Mothers.
Mine has been gone for many years and how I wish 
I could see her once again to 
honor and love on her just one more time.

I hope you're all well and that you have the 
most wonderful Mother's Day, 
feeling honored and treasured.

Thank you so much for your visit!
Tamara xo

Monday, May 8, 2017

Just Add Color ~

What a wonderful day it is.
Everything is not perfect but that just adds color.
How would would I know what was good if I didn't 
have anything to compare it to?

I can be among the... 

happy people

 by changing my focus which
changes my perspective which in turn, 
changes my thinking.

Sometimes, it takes some creative doing but if it
changes the color of my world, it's worth it.

Oh, I love this!

Color in a picture is like enthusiasm in life.
Vincent Van Gogh
What a deep and mysterious language. 
The color of dreams~
Paul Guaguin
  Since the patina that occurs in our life is from our own
handprints, we wouldn't want to alter it.

But everyone needs a little splash of color now and then.
It sometimes comes through change. 
From external circumstances or something
of our own choosing.
It charges us and can re-fire our creativity.

It can be subtle or like a huge watercolor painting
that takes up a lot of room in your heart or home.
 I add color to my life every day by listening to
and playing music. Music is full of color!
Every color that you could possibly imagine.
People experiences and gratitude can add such rich
color to our lives. 
Color evokes emotions that move us and touch
in so many ways. It can inspire and encourage
or take our breath away with it's beauty.

Yesterday, we visited our daughter that lives 
in a group home. We had a lovely, long visit with her. 
When we left, the blues of missing her were splashed
over with the cheery colors of bright pinks, yellows, and
oranges with a mix of white!

Soon, I'll be leaving to see some of our 
children and grandchildren. Being with them
will brush vibrant, magical colors 
onto the mural of my life, adding yet 
another layer to my story!

The beautiful greens of the east will
take me back to my childhood days 
and will warm my heart with the memories
of my past.

What will you be doing to add color to your life?
I wish you joyous times filled 
with rich, colorful memories.

Thank you for coming by~
Please let me know that you were here and I'll
come by and say hello!


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Decision to Take Care of Ourselves And Then.... the Journey

Taking care of oneself may seem like a 
natural and easy thing to do for some. 
And having to make a conscious decision 
to do so may seem ridiculous.

(I'm talking about much more than 
just the basics of
 eating and sleeping and general care.)

But for others, including myself, 
it truly is a journey of
self-discovery and recovery. 
It's a learning process
that happens only if we are 
willing to peel off layers
of wrong thinking, work at
 getting to know ourselves
as well as making changes.
It would take a small book to share
with you the revelations that have come from 
seeking to take better care of  myself..
well-being and a healthier,
more balanced lifestyle.

I used to think that I was healthy.
Several years ago, I came to a place in my life
where I felt numb. I had died inside
and I knew that if I wanted my 
life to be different,
I was going to have to accept boundaries
and live more intentionally.
(I don't mean to sound snooty)
I needed to begin to stand up for myself
and stop making commitments that were
helpful to others but that left me feeling exhausted
and drained physically and mentally.

This was difficult because I love people and
helping them.  But I had to come to realize that
I could still love them but I didn't have to
push myself beyond healthy limits to show that love.
I was saying no to outside commitments at times and
that was good but I wasn't considering limiting
 social outings or time with family as part 
of my care. 

Two years ago, I realized what a 
true introvert was and that I am one and that
it's ok to be one! Haha..

And furthermore, it was ok to fashion my time and 
life in a way that allowed me the solitude that 
I needed to stay rested and to feel like 
my life was not out of control. 
I don't LIKE this about myself but I'm 
grateful to have the understanding.

It's so freeing to be able to make 
decisions based on my needs 
without (most of the time ;) feeling guilty.

Can anyone relate to what I'm saying?
I have learned that I'm not selfish but wise
when I say no to invitations to social events.
Not answering the phone is ok if I'm not up to talking
at that moment. Responding to social media in 
a time frame when I feel rested and can enjoy the
connection is the right way for me.
Learning to listen to our minds and bodies 
and to be able to respond to what we hear, is a gift. 
It requires focus at times and honesty
with ourselves and others.  
People don't always understand. 
My test run circumstance did not end well.
There were broken relationships
and a severing of ties.
It's very sad but I am healthier.

Be prepared and take care of yourself anyway.
If you don't, who will?

This is one of the 
toughest parts of our journey. We don't
want to offend or hurt others. There are always
going to be needs. We can't begin to meet them all.

I was raised to work.
And the harder I worked and the more I accomplished,
the more I was praised. I can tell you that this
set me up for a life time of pleasing others
and totally losing touch with who I was 
or what my needs (and wants) were.
I don't dread telling people no anymore. It
feels good to take care of myself. I enjoy life
soooo much more. The quality
of each experience has been heightened
to the pleasure that it should be because
I have learned to pace myself and reserve what I need
to really be present and enjoy that time. Not wishing that the time
were over so that I can go home and rest.

If you're in need, I hope this has helped 
and made sense to you.
Life is too short and our bodies and minds
have limitations. If we ignore this fact, 
we can do irreversible damage to our bodies
and lose out on the quality of 
life that awaits 
each of us.
There's so much more to it all. 
But too much to write in one post. 
At another time, I would like to write
about the things that we have and how they
demand of us.

(This is a huge one for me and I'm still working on it!

And then beyond our needs are our wants... 
which I would also like to write about another time.)

We have only one life to live.
One time around.
A limited existence with so much to experience.
May yours be blessed. 
Filled with richness and peace.

Thank you for your visit.
I would love to hear any words of advice or 
any stories of what you've learned.

Tamara xo

Friday, April 21, 2017

How to Decorate and Re-Purpose a Mason Jar... or any Jar

Hello and Happy Friday!

It's a good day for working outside so that's what I did this morning.

I am in watering gear. It's a little early this year by about two to three weeks.

Spring here in the mountains is not the loveliest place but one has much hope 

when you add water and wait on the sun to work it's magic.

 Soon you see green wonders popping up everywhere!

I want to go out every morning to check on them all.

Today I wanted to show you an easy project. If you have mason jars or any 

other kind of jar sitting around, you may not want to get rid of them.

They can easily be used to make a vase or they can be used in place of gift bags

to hold those special items that you want to give to someone!

They can also be used as desk top containers for 

paint brushes, markers, pens, or cooking utensils in the kitchen.

I'm sure you could come up with other uses as well.
Acrylic paint works really well!

Choose your color and then apply two coats as you follow

the directions on the container for drying time. 

If you like the distressed look, take a piece of sand paper and

gently go over the places you would like to distress.

Then comes the fun part of embellishing in any style 

or theme that you want!

You could use sea shells, paper crafting cutouts or paper flowers. 

The possibilities are endless. 

Just have fun being creative! The materials for this 

project are very inexpensive and it's a simple project.

What have you been doing?

Besides, working on cleaning up and de-cluttering, I made 

some whole wheat bread.

I will share my recipe sometime.
 We've had some very beautiful sunrises lately!
 This is over looking our little town in the early morning hours.

Jeff and I have been watching the crown. A very inspirational and interesting

series on Netflix. It's about the life of the current Queen Elizabeth. 

I highly recommend it if you enjoy history.

Thank you so much for coming by.

I appreciate you all so much.

 I wish you a very lovely weekend~

Tamara xo

Thursday, April 13, 2017

She Wanted to be a Forest Angel~

It's a beautiful day here at our mountain home.
It's time to water and think of all the good things that
 warm weather brings even though last week 
I was taking walks in the snow.
We are so very thankful for all of the wonderful moisture.
Our thirsty ground just soaks it up.

She first came to be in the thoughts of the 
keeper of the gypsy camp.
There was a fluttering of wings and a whisper
that said, "I love sweet flowers and the soft green mosses
that grow in the cool of the tall trees on the forest floor." 

And so the keeper of the Gypsy Camp began to 
envision her in her heart. 
Her mind took over and her hands began to 
gather all that she would
begin to use to bring this delicate,
 and magical angel to life.
She thought that a soft pink would suit 
for the season and the 
rich greens of spring in the 
forest would be perfect~
Soon her hands began to fly and after many hours 
of thought and work....
Flora the Forest Angel was
 ready to find her way 
into the world of the 
Keeper of the Gypsy Camp 
 and down the shady, forest path. 
Here she will meet many new friends and find 
many wonders as the 
magic and mysteries of 
her new life unfold.

She glitters and sparkles with happiness and
her wish is to spread her happiness all around.

Thank you so much for coming by and 
please come again for more adventures 
in the life of Flora!

Blessings to you and may you 
find that you have angels in your midst~
Tamara xo

Saturday, April 8, 2017

An Ordinary Matchbox Altered For Spring

Happy day everyone!
I hope that your week is going well.
I have been absent again! 
I'm not sure where the time goes but I am determined...

to figure this out!
And I'm actually praying about letting it go for awhile.

I love it but I'm not sure if I can make it fit with 
the other things that I've added this year.

I need to simplify my posts.
I joke with my husband (though it's very true!)
about how I am SO good at complicating things.

But I am learning to turn that around.


The magic and beauty of spring can be found 

all around. I have been walking about and finding lovely surprises 

all over the yard. The most wonderful have been the two peonies

that I marked off of my list of survivors from last year's plantings.

I am so happy and excited about seeing them come up and am anxiously

waiting for them to grow!

I want to share just a little project with you today.

It's an altered matchbox.

I love taking something ordinary and making it pretty.

Do you like to do that?

I apologize for the photos.

They aren't very creative or even good.
 I  covered it with some pretty, spring paper and gathered some embellishments.
Ferns are one of one of my favorite plants.
So I picked some to use.
 Boxes are so fun to decorate for gifts, craft storage or for decorations. 
And the possibilities for decorating are endless!
This one is pretty simple. I do love losing myself in creating with details though.


I have been so very busy with family outings.
This last week I had a spontaneous shopping trip
with my youngest daughter, a visit over breakfast with two of my daughters and
granddaughters. Thursday, we took five of our grandkids to 
see Beauty and the Beast.

Family outings are so special and celebrating
those relationship often and having fun
makes lasting memories that we'll always treasure.

This evening there's a girls night out eating dessert and going
to the movie to celebrate a daughter's birthday
and then.....
tomorrow dinner with our oldest daughter and SIL to
celebrate their anniversary..

HAHA! ;)

With a (very) large family, and packed schedules, 
it sometimes takes months to squeeze those special outings in!
 Having girl time with Liberty is something I try to do once a week. 
That probably sounds a little odd, but she's getting older and 
she is a good, kind dog. She deserves special 
attention and I love doting on her.
It's always a good time to work on adding a little color or 

something new to add some cheer to my home.

There's something warm and wonderful that happens to a room

when you add something new. I can imagine it smiling.

A bit like getting a new scarf or pair of earrings! 

This floral cheer came from a flea-market.

I loved the colors and it was only a dollar! I was so surprised....

I bought a pile of pieces to bring home and sew into pillows or something.

I have been reading the most wonderful book!

It is packed with inspiration and wisdom.

I will share it with you soon.

(I need to get busy on my posts!)

The excitement of what I'm learning in my personal life or

through my reading sometimes bubbles over and keeps me up late

journalling and drawing.

Do you ever have thoughts or ideas that you want to get onto
paper before you go to sleep at night because you know it will be vanish
while you sleep?

I loved this entry.. it came from the devotional:

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

I have to remind myself of this often and so it really spoke to me.

What speaks to you?

Well dear ones..

Here's wishing you a lovely new week!
Thank you for coming by. 
I hope you were able to take away something
with you that was encouraging or inspiring!

Blessings and hugs...