Runs with Scissors
Oh, I am happy to be here, finally. I just got back from shopping for a new washing machine. It is my own fault. After our “troubles with liquids” all spring and having to replace so many appliances, including the air conditioner/heat pump (ouch!) I actually said out loud to Mr. RWS, “Well, all that’s left to replace is the washer and dryer.” Why did I think calling attention to the aging washer was a good idea?
I saw some dampness in the laundry closet last night and “just to be sure” it wasn’t an issue, I turned on the washer to “quick rinse” this morning and immediately the dampness changed to a puddle. Mr. RWS was very hopeful that it was just a loose or split hose, but no such luck. Water was coming out of the bottom as fast as it poured into the tub.
I am grateful to be here at the Penny Black happy place. I, the Laundry Queen, am without a washer for four more days leaving me with extra time to play.
No spiders this week! Just a black cat and bats from the Spooky Fun transparent set and a leafless tree from the Nature’s Silhouettes set. I heat embossed the black images for extra shine and deeper black. I don’t even miss the spiders.
I was a little sneaky using the Bird Amidst Holly die for a fall themed card. I blended fall colors of Luxe inks on my cardstock and cut out the bird and branches. I love being able to use my stamps and dies in non-traditional ways. I am never packing away that little bird. He may show up all year long.
The Manger die is on my favorites list for the Magic of the Season release. This time I added a bow made with the Bow Set die. I trimmed the tails so they didn’t cover up the nativity figures. This card would lend itself to making multiples by spending some time just die cutting and then sitting at your work space assembling. I think I am enjoying the gold and turquoise color scheme lately.
I love weddings. First of all I love weddings because they are a sign of hope and optimism and faith in the future. They involve young starry eyed couples who are so certain their marriage will be like no other. And while they vow “for better or for worse” I’m not sure they give full consideration to what “worse” might look like.
When I sit next to Mr. RWS at a wedding, I find my hand reaching for his, remembering our simple Friday evening wedding, walking to the church, parade style, with family and a few friends. We, too, assured each other we would not let our marriage grow stale, we would not take each other for granted, we would discuss rather than argue and we would enjoy growing old together. Ahh, we were not immune to being starry-eyed.
I wouldn’t label our marriage stale; perhaps predictable is a better word. And we have discovered that one of the blessings of a long marriage is the ability to take each other for granted. We have learned from experience that we can rely on each other, no matter what.
I must admit some of our “discussions” might qualify as arguments, but Mr. RWS usually comes to his senses and acknowledges the error of his ways. We have a sign in our home that says, “I would like to agree with you but then we would both be wrong.” (I bought the sign). I am not sure we are “enjoying” growing old together, but we are laughing about it when we can, fighting against it together, and filling in the blanks for each other’s memory lapses.
This is my grand nephew, Michael in his uniform as a Corporal in the U.S. Marines. Being a Marine was a long time desire of his. Michael and his friend Tony enlisted together right out of high school. In an unexplainable twist of fate, in 2011, Tony became a double amputee in Afghanistan just two months before Michael also lost both legs in Afghanistan due to an IED.
Michael and his family qualify as Poster Family for every family of a wounded warrior. His Mom and Dad and sister spent months with Michael while he healed and underwent rehab at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. His sister gave up her job and spent the next year living with Michael in a small apartment near the hospital so Michael could be fitted with prosthetics and become proficient at walking.
Tony and Michael retired from the Marines and began a nonprofit organization together to provide outdoor activities for fellow amputees. Having both been outdoor and hunting enthusiasts, they wanted not only to continue that lifestyle, but to share it with other amputees. There is no charge to the young men who take part in the program. Everything is donated: lodging, meals, special wheel chairs and all equipment. Two young men who could have become bitter, angry, or depressed rejected the negative and vowed to live positive lives.
Tony was married with a young son when he was injured and built a home for his family in a small Georgia town a couple of hours away from his hometown.
Michael built his home next door to Tony’s and has lived there with his two dogs for the past few years. Both men operate their hunting adventures and provide not only practical information about functioning as an amputee, but also inspiration as others see that the only limits they have are the ones they set for themselves.
I love weddings, but I also love happy endings. In one week Mr. RWS and I will be privileged to attend Michael’s wedding to Kaley which will not only bestow upon him the title of “husband”, but he will become “daddy” to Kaley’s two year old daughter.
In the small town where Michael grew up, he and his family are well known to everyone. Michael, his mom and dad and sister were supported by everyone during the long recovery. I am expecting there will be a large crowd to witness Michael marrying Kaley at the Twin Oaks Farm.
Now, it is known in my family how I dread driving through or near Atlanta. Traffic of such epic proportions terrifies me. Unless someone relocates Atlanta I will have to deal with it on our way to the wedding. But how do I whine about heavy traffic to a young man who bravely overcame so many obstacles in order to stand at the altar watching his beautiful bride walk down the aisle to him.
We will be there. We will have goosebumps. One of us will shed tears. And we will remember our own wedding, our own vows, our own plans for the future. We have no doubt this starry-eyed couple will overcome whatever difficulties life may present.
From their perspective, they have conquered “for worse” already.
I can write the end to their story right now: “And they lived happily ever after.”
This card was inspired by the jar of gold embossing powder that was sitting on my desk. The Christmas in the Round image is stamped with VersaMark and then heat embossed with gold. I filled in the “Merry Christmas” using a red pen as I had more control and could stay within the lines. I added some glitter to the birds’ wings and stars in the design just to have some sparkle. This would be an easily mass produced card for those among us who have a long Christmas card list.
This Holy Family image is from an older stamp, Sweet Nativity. I trimmed away the background and cute little animals so that my image would fit on the card with the O Holy Night diecut. I was in the mood for coloring when I made this card. Hmmm, maybe this is my favorite Christmas card. I have so many favorites with this release.
And here is Snowy number six! I love his sporty plaid scarf with matching cap and buttons. He has the pleasure of standing among trees made with the Conifer die. This is the sixth Snowy; now only twelve more to go until Christmas. I am still loving him as much as I did six cards ago.
Cooper witnessed the full tragedy of the death of the washing machine. He saw the water pouring out of the bottom, onto the kitchen rug. He saw the panicked humans tipping the washer back and examining the bottom. He is worried that the washing machine is now sitting in the garage, hoses hanging. Every now and then he goes over to the laundry closet and looks at me as if to say, “OK, now put it back.”
Once again, it’s time for me to stow the scissors, clean up the mess, and leave things neat and tidy for all that will be happening next week on the blog. I love being here on Saturdays when it’s just me and no phones are ringing, there are no interruptions, and I don’t have to share with anyone.
Before I leave, I will share this bit of wisdom that might be helpful for when your mojo goes into hiding. I wrote it a few years ago and rediscovered it when looking for the photo of Michael. “If your mojo has disappeared, just sit at your desk with the happiest stamps you have, turn on great background music, pet the dog (cat) a bit and start stamping.”
Speaking of sharing, see you at the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery.
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies
- Card No. 1: 30-371 Spooky Fun, 30-380 Nature’s Silhouettes, 51-003 Chat Bubbles, 51-245 Halloween Creatures, 51-074 Encircled
- Card No. 2: 40-470 Script, 51-249 Winter Garland, 51-071 Words of Gratitude, 51-260 Bird Amidst Holly
- Card No. 3: 51-254 Manger, 51-194 Believe II, 51-212 Bow Set
- Card No. 4: 40-487 Christmas in the Round, 51-266 Frosty/Snow Match
- Card No. 5: 40-001 Sweet Nativity, 51-259 O Holy Night
- Card No. 6: 51-248 Merry Christmas, 51-264 Conifer, 51-136 Stitched Edges, 51-266 Frosty/Snow Match