Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day
Dear Blogger Buddies!

When I was a little girl, Memorial Day was one of my favorite holidays. The anticipation and excitement of the end of school, the start of Summer and the opening of pools and parks was almost more than a young child could stand! No matter how excited we were to start the festivities, we always knew that more important matters would take priority. 

   My Daddy was one of the most patriotic people I have ever known and instilled in us the importance of honoring those who served our country. Every year we participated in the memorial day parade. As very young children we marched, carrying a bouquet of flowers from my mom's garden in one hand and a United States flag in the other. As we got older, we decorated our bikes in red, white and blue crepe paper streamers, still carrying the flowers and flag as we rode.  

   The parade would wind it's way through downtown, past the Five and Dime stores, past the diners, past the banks and offices, all decorated with flags and buntings. The streets would be lined with people waving flags to the patriotic tunes played by the marching bands. Our final destination, the cemetery where the graves of every veteran were decorated with a star. Upon entering the cemetery, the children would all make a mad dash to find a grave marked with a star and once finding such a grave, would insert the little flag they had so carefully carried throughout the parade, into to the star and then lay the flowers on the grave. This ritual would then be followed by speeches by dignitaries and veterans. As children we found this part extremely boring and couldn't wait to get home and change into our swimming suits but my Daddy, being the true Patriot, would make us wait till the very end. In hindsight; I'm glad he did even though I don't remember a single word from one of those speeches but I'm glad he did because I will never forget how important it is to take the time to remember and thank those who sacrificed so much for our freedom. How sad that most of the children today will never get to experience a Memorial Day parade or even know how very important this day is. If there is a Veteran in your family, please thank them for me!
   I thought a would share a few pictures of some of the men in my family who have so bravely served this great country through the years.

This is a picture of my Great Grandfather Frank during the Spanish American War, taken in 1898!


And this is a picture of my Great Uncle Tommy home from furlough in 1943.

And this is my Great Uncle Tony. This is an amazing picture because he served directly under General Bradley (the other man in the picture) during World War II. I believe this was taken in 1947.


And this, well... this is my own dear Daddy! How sad, I don't have a picture of him in Uniform! He was in the Navy during World War II. He never talked about the war so I know very little about his service. This picture was taken in 1953.

So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU, to all the Veterans both living and passed on to greater glory!

Friday, May 27, 2011

So where have I been? A work in progress!

Happy THIRD Birthday Pink Saturday!!!!
Congratulations Beverly on THREE years of PINK inspiration! 

If you are a regular reader to my blog, you know I've been a little AWOL for the last couple of weeks. So where have I been? I've fallen prey to that nasty slump bug that gets most of us sooner or later. I've been on the internet but I couldn't tell you what I've been reading because it certainly hasn't been any of your wonderful blogs. And Lord knows I've neglected my own blog, I even missed my own 
FIRST blog-a-versary! I have had zippo motivation to do anything except watch the season finales of my favorite TV shows, oh, and work in my yard.

But two weeks ago I stumbled on a wonderful blog. This blog made my heart sing. This blog reached deep into my soul and pulled out a flood of childhood memories. Memories of holding my first real art materials in my little hands and the power to CREATE that I felt at such a young age! And for the first time in almost 6 months, I picked up my sketch pad and pencil and started sketching away and I have my first WIP (work in progress).
I will share my WIP with you in a second but first I wanted to introduce you to the blogger who has caused all this inspiration! 
Please say hello to Joni at  
I think I identified with Joni so much because my first creations were big eyed children and animals made with chalk pastels. If you visit Joni's site you will find lots of lots of color, including PINK

 Copyright Pop Art Minis

And now my own WIP, granted, the only PINK is the oil pastel and pencil laying near the sketch pad! Please be gentle as I know she has a loooong way to go and I don't usually have enough courage to show something as unfinished as this! I hope I can show the finished drawing next week!

Have a wonderful, safe Memorial Day weekend everyone! xxoo Nan

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Scripture in Pictures Sunday

 You may click on the picture to bring up a larger, sharper image,
then right click and save!
Please stop by Spiritual Sundays for more inspiring posts. Thank you Charlotte and Ginger  for hosting each week!

Friday, May 13, 2011

A PINK Bunny and some little books!

Happy PINK Saturday everyone! 

I'm so excited to show you this Bunny ornament I received from Cyndi at Holiday Sparkle
Can you believe she makes these?! The pictures don't do them justice because they are even cuter in person. 
Just look at the detail on the sweet PINK crape paper ruffled collar. If you have never visited Cyndi's blog, you are in for a treat! Thank you Cyndi, I will treasure him forever! 

The Catholic Church is having their annual $1.00 used book sale this weekend, so I decided to stop in an see what they had. I found these sweet little Golden Books, filled with lots of PINK
The A to Z book is illustrated by Vivienne Blake and the prayer book is illustrated by Rachel Taft Dixon.
Both books are so cute but the Prayer book is definitely my favorite.
The illustrations have such a tender innocence about them. I hope I will be able to scan a few of them in the near future. 
Please stop by How Sweet the Sound and say hi to Beverly our host each week for PINK Saturday!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Alphabe Thursday: D is for Swimming with Dolphins!

 Two years ago Mr Bubble (giggle) and I celebrated our twenty fifth anniversary by taking a week long cruise to the Western Caribbean. We made a list of "must do" excursions and made arrangements for them in advance of the cruise. Our list included snorkeling, swimming with Sting Rays and swimming with Dolphins. Hubby also wanted to play a round of golf and I wanted to ride horses in the Ocean. If you ever take a cruise, I highly recommend setting up your excursions before you leave home. Once you are on board, the lines to sign up for excursions become quite long and fill up fast. We had an amazing cruise and swimming with the Dolphins was definitely one of the highlights! Since our assignment this week is the letter "D", I want to share this incredible experience with you.
   When you arrive at the Dolphin Encounter, they divide you into groups of about ten, give you a life vest and send you off to the showers and then a short wait for your group to be called. Once your group is called, you are assigned an instructor who is highly skilled and trained in working with Dolphins. What a fun job! Our instructor had us enter the large pool and sit on a wall where she gave us a few basic instructions and then brought in two Dolphins, introduced them to us and had them do a few tricks. At this point she had us slide into the water and form a large circle. She brought the Dolphins into the circle and had them swim slowly around the perimeter right in front of us. We were able to reach out and pet the dolphins as they passed by. Next she told us the dolphins would flip over on their backs and swim past us again. She cautioned us that we could pat their bellies as they passed by but be careful not to touch their genitals because the dolphins would become quite agitated if you did. Um, yeah, I'm glad she cleared that up because touching a dolphins private parts was definitely something I thought about doing, lol! 
 (two of the sweet Dolphins at Dolphin Encounter)
   After this initial meet and greet it was time to have a little one on one time with the dolphins, unless of course you didn't pay attention to the last bit of advice and are now being whisked away in an ambulance, minus the roving hand, ha ha! One at a time we were invited out into the center of the circle, asked to cross our arms over our chest and one of the dolphins would approach us and give us a little peck on the cheek. 
 (me, getting a little kiss)
Next, we were able to hold the dolphins front fins and dance with her. I'm still amazed at how gentle and friendly these animals were, not once did I feel I was in any danger. 
 (here I am cutting a rug, or maybe I should say the water, with my dolphin partner)
Finally, we would get to experience the ride of a lifetime! One at a time, we were asked to swim to the far side of the pool, turn around and face the side we had just left. A dolphin would then swim up behind us and as it passed by our side, we were to grab on to its fins and let her take us for a ride, all the way to the other side. 
 (Mr. Bubble going for a ride)
I can't begin to tell you how exhilarating this was. Even though we have all seen how fast they move through the water, to actually feel the power and speed is unbelievable. The only bad thing about the whole experience... there is no getting around the amount of water that goes down your nose during the ride. If you are ever given the opportunity to swim with the Dolphins, do NOT pass on the experience, it is a memory you will never forget! 
I'm joining Jenny at Jenny Matlocks for Alphabe Thursday and the letter D.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Alphabe Thursday: C is for Chipper

Note: Timing is a funny thing. Last Thursday our assignment was  the letter "B" and I had intended to discuss Border Collies. But early that morning, I had to have my beloved Chipper put to sleep. I didn't feel like talking about anything, much less Border Collies. How perfect that this week we would have the letter "C", which gives me the perfect opportunity to write about Chipper. I realize this is a very long post and you might not read all the way to the end, and that's OK, I'm writing this because I know it will be good therapy for me.
Chipper Dec.6,1994 -April 28, 2011

Which words would you use to describe your dog?
Chipper was all these things and more! Our Vet would often remark that he couldn't look Chipper in the eyes because he was smarter than half the people that came into his office. We were so lucky to have Chipper for sixteen wonderful years, not bad for a pup that was never supposed to live. I can't tell Chipper's story without telling about his very cruel and sad beginnings.
Chipper's story begins one rainy, winter night in 1995. My boss' wife was heading home on what was then a fairly rural road. Her headlights caught something moving in the road up ahead. She slowed and came to a complete stop. There, in the middle of the road was a box that had puppies crawling out of it and dangling from the sides. She put her flashers on and walked over to the box. As she was putting the puppies in the box another car approached from the opposite direction. The car came to a stop and a woman exited the car and came over to help collect the puppies. Just as they had all the puppies rounded up, a third car approached but this time a very angry women came over to the duo and said "I'll take those puppies". She snatched up the box and sped off in her car. My boss' wife and the other women were left looking at each other and wondering what had just happened. They were convinced the third women must have known who dumped the puppies. I have wondered many times what fate awaited those poor puppies. As they said their goodbyes and headed off to their cars, they spotted something moving at the side of the road.  Much to their amazement, two puppies had managed to escape.  My boss' wife went after and caught one of the puppies but the other gal was not able to catch the other pup before he slipped off into the woods.
   I worked in the basement of my boss' home and the next day when I arrived at work, his wife met me at the door. She said "I have something to show you". I opened the door and immediately noticed a shoe box sitting in the middle of my desk. I put my purse down and walked over and peered into the box. There in the box was a tiny black and white ball of fur. The little pup was not moving and was barely breathing. His eyes were completely matted shut and there were patches of fur missing. My boss' wife looked at me bewildered and said "what am I going to do with it?". I told her I would take him to my vet and they would just take care of it. So off I headed to my vet with the shoe box holding the tiny pup. When I arrived at my Vet, I retold the little pup's story. They said they would check him out and take care of what needed to be done. I left, assuming they would euthanize him and that would be the end of the story. 
   The next morning I arrived at work and got busy working on a project. I hadn't been at work long when the phone rang, it was my Vet's office calling. The voice on the other end said "you can come get your puppy!" I didn't know what to say at first, then I blurted out "MY puppy, I wasn't going to keep him!". There was dead silence on the other end and finally the girl at the Vets said, "well, I guess we could do something with him". I thought for a second and told her I would come get him, my sister had been thinking about getting a new dog and this little guy would be perfect. When I arrived at the vet, they told me there was really nothing wrong with him. He was a little malnourished, weighing only 2 pounds and 4 oz.. They treated him for an eye infection and worms and he was actually in pretty good shape considering what he had been through. They also told me they thought he definitely had Border Collie in him, if not 100% pretty close to it. 
   Of course when I brought him home my girls fell in love with him. He was so tiny, they would put him in their Barbie car and push him around the house.  But hubby said NO MORE DOGS! 

I called my sister that evening and she said she would "think" about taking him. She finally decided about a week later that she was not ready to get a new dog, that meant we would now have to start looking for a new home for him. In the meantime, he was starting to put on some weight and his eyes were starting to clear up. Several weeks passed and we still didn't have a home for him and by this time we were getting totally attached to him. We had been calling him "Puppy" when one day Hubby was eating some potato chips and "Puppy" kept begging.  Hubby looked down at him and said "Your name should be Chip because you are always begging for chips! And so it stuck and once he had a name, how could we possibly find him a new home?! Well this post has gone far longer than I thought so in my next post I will share some of Chippers antics and some of the amazing things he did. But I'll leave you with one last picture, Chipper sleeping with one of his new Christmas presents.

Please stop by Jenny Matlocks for Alphabe Thursday! for the Letter C!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Scripture in Pictures Sunday, All Dogs go to Heaven

As I work through my grief over the loss of my beloved Chipper 
(see last Thursday's post), I have found peace in the Scriptures. Many of my friends, devout Christians, reaffirmed my faith, that ALL of God's creatures will be in heaven. Many Christians and Jews alike say NO, they don't have a soul but I found numerous passages to the contrary. Here is one of those passages.
 You may click on the picture to bring up a larger, sharper image,
then right click and save if you like.
Please visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays for more inspiring posts.
Peace and blessings for a wonderful new week! Nan