Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I am not a shooter of bunnies !

My first grade students gathered around me for story time. They all got comfortable on the rug as I made myself comfortable in the old, dilapidated chair which held the honor of being known as our reader's chair. I waited until everyone had settled down and then began reading. All eyes were on the pictures as I read with expression and a variety of voices. You could have heard a pin drop as all eyes and ears followed the story. And then out of nowhere a little voice spoke up and said, "Mrs. Kelley, what do you say?!"

I looked at the owner of the voice, six year old little Emily. Sweet, precocious Emily with her matching hair ribbons and frilly pouffy dresses sitting in front of me, staring right through me with her huge eyes.

"What do I say about what, Emily?"

"You know. You just shot a bunny."

I was totally confused at this point. The picture book had no bunnies featured in it. I wasn't wearing a bunny or gun jewelry. What in the world was Emily talking about? I looked over at the paraprofessional in my class who was doubled over in laughter. What the heck ?!

"Emily, I am confused. I don't know what you are talking about. I didn't shoot any bunnies."

"Yes, you did. You did so shoot a bunny." She glared at me.

The other students watched the exchange. Being thoroughly confused I didn't know which way to turn. Maybe Emily had bumped her head out at recess? I asked her to come up to see me, hoping to clear up my confusion.

"Emily, I didn't shoot any bunnies. I would never shoot a bunny. I like bunnies.'

Emily shook her little head. She then whispered in my ear, "Mrs. Kelley, shooting bunnies means you farted."

"WHAT!! Emily, I absolutely did not shoot any bunnies !"

"Yes, you did. I heard you."

The paraprofessional leaves the room, tears streaming down her face.

"Emily, it was the chair squeaking. I did not shoot any bunnies. Now let's finish the story."

Emily folded her arms and continued to stare at me with a 'yes, you did' look.

I tried to regain my composure. I tried to get everyone focused on the story again. But the words bunny shooter just kept running through my head. Hopefully the other students were oblivious to the exchange between Emily and myself. I certainly didn't want to be labeled as a bunny shooter.

The day continued and soon we were all involved with making cheerio necklaces to celebrate the 100th day of school. Stringing 100 cheerios requires one to focus so the bunny shooting episode soon was forgotten.

Parent/teacher conferences were that evening. Conferences can be stressful because you never know what to expect. The first parents walked in, sat down at the round table with me and smiled as they asked, "Shoot any bunnies lately?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My name is Debbie and I am a hooker.

In my spare time...I hook rugs. Traditional rug hooking. I started hooking almost four years ago and I am totally hooked. This hobby began innocently enough ~ I wanted to spend more time with my oldest daughter so the two of us took a rug hooking class at a local high school as part of their adult education courses. One thing quickly led to another. I love the colors of the wool. At times hooking can be relaxing, at other times frustrating. I love figuring out what colors to use in my rug, I enjoy the friendships I have made, I love being creative. My brain unwinds as I hook. The picture above is of my second rug which was designed by my instructor. The two pictures below are of wool being dyed for my current project.

These are the piles of wool at the studio where I take classes. Sometimes I forget to hook and just get lost in all of the colors, dreaming about future hooking projects.

Books, books and more books in the studio to help inspire us or guide us. I rely on these books lots as I work on my latest rug.

On a recent Saturday I went to a hooking workshop which was like hooking heaven. Just sit and hook and talk with people who have a common hobby as you ~ the perfect way to spend a Saturday. The photo below shows a work in progress. I love the colors and the paisley print the artist chose.

This zebra almost looks like an oil painting. My goal is to someday be able to hook like this!

Another work in progress by one of my hooking friends~ I just want to touch this sheep. His coat looks so realistic.

The next three photos are of a huge wall hanging of our Solar System. The pictures do not do it justice. This piece truly is a work of art and is just one of many rugs created by a hooking artist.

I LOVE this sunflower rug. The artist has only been hooking for a short amount of time but her talent shines through !! This is blue ribbon work !

This rug is titled Mini-Fantasy ~ and the artist chose the perfect colors. Perfect hooking!

And here is my current project ~ Queen of the Sea. I really need to finish her since I have ideas for my next ten projects. So when I am not blogging or caring for grandbabies or working or gardening or reading or exercising this is where you will find me ~ playing with wool and colors and letting my creative side be nourished !

Friday, March 12, 2010

I’m not bowling alone.


I hate it when I suffer from a blogging block. For the past week I have been looking for some raw, clever, creative blogging material. Nothing too exciting happening in my corner of the world though. And I am feeling the pressure. My daughter, April, has hit the blogging jackpot this week…she has had over 25,000 visitors to her blog, Eclectic Effervescence, THIS week alone. Granted, she is one talented writer and she has taken on the mega-giant known as Facebook but her cause is valid and important on so many levels ~ freedom of speech, women’s rights, and right of babies to be nourished without having to suffocate under a blanket while eating. I am more than a little proud of April and her writing success but now…I have hit the writing wall…hard. I did consider the fact that April’s success came in part because she is writing about breasts and our societies’ confusion over the true purpose of breasts. So for a nano second I considered writing about vaginas. Maybe if I wrote about the saga of a menopausal vagina I would become an overnight blogging success but there were a couple of problems with that idea. One…my husband and children would be mortified and probably disown me. Two…what would I actually write about my menopausal vagina? I don’t think anyone really wants those type of details. So back to the blogging think tank I go.

I am fortunate that today is a Friday which means I can once again participate in ‘Only the Good Friday’, a meme created by my blogging friend who lives at This Eclectic Life . Maybe given a little structure and organization I would be able to focus. So I reflected on the week to try and determine my best thing. And after a couple of cups of my Yogi Egyptian Licorice tea which always calms me I had that ‘AHA’ moment. That moment when the Universe lines everything up perfectly. A feel good, let’s get writing moment.

I just finished reading ‘The Geography of Bliss’ by Eric Weiner. A definite worthwhile read about Eric’s travels to find the happiest place on earth. He states that 70% of our happiness comes from our relationships with other people. I knew that being around my family and friends always usually makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. He mentions the book ‘Bowling Alone’ by Robert Putnam which states that our sense of connection is fraying. We lead fragmented lives and spend less time socializing in person. Social networking on the Internet cannot replace the ‘up close and personal’ interaction between humans. When I am with my family and friends I can physically feel my soul being nourished. Sappy, I know, but it is the truth and the story behind my blog title.

So as I was considering what my best thing for this week was, Weiner’s words were buzzing around inside my head. I then realized what an incredibly full week I had lived surrounded by my family, friends, delicious food, bowling, rug hooking, laughter, shopping, romancing…lots of bliss. So many good things.

And as I organized my pictures of the past week to see if there were any which would tie in with this post, the little hairs on the back of my neck stood on end when I found this shot. My husband and I went to the beach on Sunday to enjoy the warm air which had moved into our area. This sign was in a gift shop window.


It IS in the shelter of each other that the People live…and may you never bowl alone.

Friday, March 5, 2010

What's your best thing ?

There are many things I miss about having my children grown and gone. I miss the sounds of their voices and the laughter. I don't miss the dirty laundry mountain. I miss the hikes through the woods as we sang 'The ants go marching one by one...' I miss their hugs and kisses. I don't miss the 'clean your bedroom' routine. I miss the fact that I can't blame my messy house on them. I miss the creativity and energy that was contagious. I don't miss the waiting up until they returned home ~ safe and sound. I miss the conversations. I don't miss the squabbling. One tradition that I miss is 'What's your best thing'? At dinner time in order to keep everyone focused and positive we would each have to say the best thing that happened to us that day. Sometimes the answer might be 'I woke up' but that was okay. No one could pass - you had to say something. It actually was a wonderful conversation starter plus it allowed me to have insight into their lives that might have been missed.

So the other day I was out wandering through Blogland when I came across a new place to visit ~ This Eclectic Life. I felt very comfortable, sat right down and read for awhile. One of the features of this blog is 'Only the Good Friday' and it caught my attention. It is a meme and I don't usually participate in memes because I don't like any blogging restrictions. I like to blog when I want to blog or when I have the time to blog BUT I totally feel the need to focus on the positive in my life which is the intent of 'Only the Good Friday'. You just have to focus on something good that has happened in your life recently. No negativity allowed. It is simple ~ it can be a picture, a recipe, a thought ~ just keep it positive. So I signed on to help spread the good news because we certainly need it.

So what is my best thing? The obvious would be the fact that after three days without electricity we regained our power. I got to take a hot shower. Life was wicked good then. Plus three of my four kids were home for part of the outage adventure so we played Scrabble and other games during the outage which was fun. No television was heavenly. All good but not my best thing.

After the power came back I went with my husband to get our generator serviced. I thought this was a quick mission. Nope. I sat in the truck waiting, waiting and finally stomped into the generator garage to remind my husband that I was alive. He was talking to the technician. Surprise. I was standing, tapping my toes loudly when I noticed a jar on the counter FULL of Fireballs ~ one of my favorite candies which I have not had the pleasure of sucking on in a long time! I walked right over to the counter, stuck my hand in and pulled one out. I wanted to pop it in my mouth right then but what if it was one of the wicked hot ones and I couldn't hold it in my mouth until the hotness dissolved? I didn't want this technician to see me as a wimp. So I shoved it in my coat pocket for later. Minutes go by, generator talk still droning on so to the counter I go and grab another Fireball, giggling as I pull my hand out. I looked for a sign that said 'one per customer' but none was anywhere to be seen so now two Fireballs sat in my pocket. I walked around the generator showroom trying to figure out what in the world two grown men could find so interesting about this piece of metal when the urge came over me to grab just one more Fireball. Now I am feeling a little bit naughty at this point. I know I shouldn't grab the third Fireball but I did. It was done rather sneakily but I did notice the technician watching me. Oops. Time for me to go sit in the truck. So off I went ... three brilliant red Fireballs in my pocket... which I am saving for the perfect moment when I can just sit back, eyes closed, enjoying each molecule of hotness. That was a good day.

What's your best thing?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's in your gutter?

I first noticed this house while driving through a nearby city. I found myself driving by on a regular basis just so I could see if the grass was still growing out of the gutters. Finally, just had to take a picture. I think the grass gives the house a little more personality and for whatever odd reason, it always makes me smile. Hope the homeowner feels the same.

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