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Runs with Scissors

September 24, 2016

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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.

1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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.”

5

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.

6

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.

7

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.

8

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.

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44 Comments leave one →
  1. Roxanne permalink
    September 24, 2016 2:59 am

    Judy, what a beautiful story about your nephew. So inspirational and heartwarming, it brought tears to my eyes.

  2. Mary Lehett permalink
    September 24, 2016 3:53 am

    Dear Judy, thank you for sharing your nephew and his friends story! Two amazing men who are true American heroes.
    I love reading your stories and of course your cards!

  3. September 24, 2016 4:38 am

    Hello Judy! I love your stories about life on Saturday’s and Cooper is my favorite! Thank you for sharing a slice of your life each week.

  4. Fran Gumprecht permalink
    September 24, 2016 4:53 am

    Thanks for sharing your talent and your stories each week! Blessings for Michael on his up coming wedding! What a special young man! You will be driving near to Senoia, Ga,! Wave when you go by! Hugs, Fran

  5. Sharon permalink
    September 24, 2016 5:53 am

    What an inspiring story! Blessings to both men and we thank them for their service and wish Michael every happiness on his upcoming wedding. Thank you for sharing. My grandson, Michael, is also becoming a Marine, so this story touched us in a special way.

  6. knurse22 permalink
    September 24, 2016 6:15 am

    Hah—I can’t even pick a fave from today’s cards…I love every one of them! Wonderful colors and contrasts, great depth for cards that will fit in a normal envelope. I would be thrilled to receive any one of them, Judy!
    Thank you for sharing that truly amazing story about Michael and Tony. Because of them, and so many others like them, we can go to sleep at night in peace, never fearing if war will surround us. I will be saying a special prayer for Michael and Kaley as they start their new life together.
    Good luck with your new washer! Living in a brand new house, we have already had plumbing issues. Water where it is not supposed to be is a curse. Hope your washer gets there quickly, so Cooper can have a new toy!
    Happy fall, y’all!

  7. Linda Page permalink
    September 24, 2016 6:19 am

    Please add my Congratulations and Best Wishes to your grand nephew, Michael and his bride, Kaley. I wish for them a long, happy and blessed union. I love the cards. Snowy is so versatile!

  8. Cynthia Daugherty permalink
    September 24, 2016 6:24 am

    thanks for sharing a good story with us about overcoming difficulties

  9. September 24, 2016 6:41 am

    You are so lucky to have such a great and brave grand nephew!!
    A beautiful story, he has overcome so many difficult things in his young life, but he’s also a great example for all those men and women out there who have suffered things like him and his best friend.
    I wish him and his wife and child to be a great wedding day and a life filled with happiness and love. He has shown his true courage!
    And yes I shed some tears while reading his story, thanks for sharing!
    I have a brother in law who is married to my youngest sister, he’s an officer in the United States Airforce and every time he’s send off on a mission, we all pray for his safety.
    It’s difficult for my little sister, she lives in State Washington while all of her family lives in the Netherlands, but prayers can travel for miles!
    And for you, good luck driving in Atlanta! 🙂
    you can do it!!

    Bye,

    Marjolein

  10. September 24, 2016 7:11 am

    Beautiful cards, inspiring story about Michael and his friend, and a SUPER ending thought about MOJO! We all share life’s difficulties and the Lord, family, and friends definitely come to our rescue. ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will be glad and rejoice in it”…..a perfect recipe for happiness!
    Paper Hugs,
    Jan

    • Judy Jung permalink
      September 24, 2016 7:25 am

      Well said, Jan! Thanks for your sweet comments.

  11. Donna Whitten permalink
    September 24, 2016 7:27 am

    Wonderful post, thanks for sharing!

  12. Sandra Andersen permalink
    September 24, 2016 7:50 am

    A beautiful, exceptionally special post. All your posts are special and I look forward to them each week. Thank you!

  13. September 24, 2016 8:28 am

    Even though I have not had the honor of meeting Tony, Micheal or Kaley, I am typing this with tears in my eyes. The tears are of sadness that they have had to go through such hardship but more than that there is a overwhelming feeling of pride that there are young men and women like that who make up the fabric of this land. I also have no small measure of gratitude to them and happiness for them. Happy that they found each other. May, God, bless and watch over them.
    Thank you for sharing their story and your cards. I am loving the Snowy cards.

    • Judy Jung permalink
      September 24, 2016 8:58 am

      Thank you, LaVon.

  14. DebbieP permalink
    September 24, 2016 9:16 am

    Like others here, I am teary-eyed after reading today’s post. My husband and I both served in the Air Force, but thankfully during peace time. We are always thankful that succeeding generations have answered our nation’s call to serve, especially knowing they will see war. Please thank Michael and Tony for their service, their sacrifice, as well as that of their families. I love that you have already written the Happy Ending to his story! And all of your cards today are beautiful. I think today’s snowman is the best so far. Of course, I have thought so with each week’s blog. Thanks for sharing your art, in all it’s forms, with us each week. Hugs to Cooper…

  15. Julie permalink
    September 24, 2016 9:25 am

    Wiping a tear as I type this. I’ve had a few challenges the past couple years, but nothing like Michael and Tony endured. Staying positive and optimistic is difficult, but then I count my many blessings and know we’ll get through this.
    Thanks for shating their story.

  16. mjmarmo permalink
    September 24, 2016 9:46 am

    Congratulations to your nephew. I appreciate what they have done for our country.

    Gorgeous cards!

  17. barbara lassiter permalink
    September 24, 2016 9:50 am

    Thank you to Michael and Tony for their service and sacrifice for all of us. Their amazing spirit and resiliency is an inspiration as well. When we have such as these, we cannot help but be a great nation. We are blessed and blessings on them.
    Love all the cards and especially, Snowy. Did you say only 12 more different Snowy cards? It’s a fun idea and good luck! 🙂

  18. conil permalink
    September 24, 2016 10:07 am

    Love the way you look at the world and am doubly impressed with your family connections. Michael and Tony’s friendship plus the support of their families have truly been a blessing for them. The courage to face the kind of horrendous events they’ve both suffered and come out on the other end wishing to help others with their troubles is so beyond inspiring. I just don’t have the words except to say God bless them.

  19. KellyRae permalink
    September 24, 2016 12:04 pm

    Every week it’s a joy to see what marvels you’ve created for us and to read your little snippets and peeks into your life – the family stories are wonderful and your posts show how creativity is as much a part of living as is joy and heartache. Today’s post punched me in the gut. When you’re mingling with the guests at Michael and Kaley’s wedding, please pass along my sincere thanks for Michael and Tony’s service and sacrifice for our country.
    Okay (wiping tears away), let’s talk about your cards 🙂 I like the stark contrast of your black and kraft Halloween card (and that there are no spiders is a bonus…too many little leggies). Your Christmas cards are fabulous – LOVE the Snowy series -he’s such a versatile image.

    P.S. Would love to know the name of Michael and Tony’s organization.

  20. Verna Angerhofer permalink
    September 24, 2016 12:47 pm

    Such wonderful cards you have created because the washing machine broke down. I love how you put the “down time” to good use and you always inspire me. I just got an order from Penny Black and hope to work with some of it later this weekend or next week. And, congratulations to your nephew and bride-to-be on their upcoming wedding. Weddings are always such fun I think too! And tell your nephew “Thanks for his service.” I appreciate all who are in the military and serving their country.

  21. September 24, 2016 1:59 pm

    I do love your cards and musings Judy, have fun at the wedding! Ger x

  22. Virginia L. permalink
    September 24, 2016 2:46 pm

    Your cards are absolutely awesome, Judy! Heroes like Tony and Michael are REAL and continue to inspire! Your stories and humor have touched all of us here. Thank you! Congrats to Michael and Kaley’s marriage! Coopers smile is simply too cute.

  23. bmoan1 permalink
    September 24, 2016 3:06 pm

    Judy…

    I loved your post today. Just time your run through Atlanta in the middle of the night.no problem!B!

    Sent from my iPad

  24. Marisela Delgado permalink
    September 24, 2016 3:23 pm

    I always look forward to seeing Cooper. He is too cute. No offense, but that’s the best part of your blog posts….Cooper. =)

  25. September 24, 2016 3:47 pm

    What a wonderful uplifting story of your grand nephew and his friend, Tony. What great young men they are. I wish Michael the very best in his upcoming marriage. The cards are so cute. I love the Halloween card.

  26. September 24, 2016 6:14 pm

    Well, you did it again. Another wonderful story with a happy ending. I’m from a military family. My Dad was a pilot in the Air Force, my husband served in the Army, and both my brother and brother-in-law served in the Army with one serving during Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and one with two tours in Viet Nam. To learn what these two best friends did with their lives and for other people after their horrible injuries and without bitterness or anger is heart warming. They will be in my prayers and I wish love and happiness for all of them.

  27. Kathy B permalink
    September 24, 2016 6:32 pm

    Tears and goosebumps. Amazing men. Safe travels to you and Mr. RWS. Love Cooper, wanting everything in its place. Dogs, gotta love ’em! Love your cards, I’d keep that bird out too, it’s darling!

  28. Marilyn S permalink
    September 24, 2016 8:52 pm

    You are my lifeline on Sat. I can’t wait to go upstairs to the computer and read your blog. Today even more special. Enjoying all your cards specially Snowy.

    I also enjoy the stories and pictures of Cooper.

    Thanks for sharing your stories!

  29. cmt permalink
    September 24, 2016 9:58 pm

    True heroes times two twice over. I have so much respect for them both, and wish Michael and Kaley the best. Such a moving story.
    Hope your wet troubles are behind you. Particularly love the little bird and do hope to see it again. Great snowman. Hey–snowmen don’t have legs either, but always a smile.

  30. jlingraham permalink
    September 24, 2016 10:00 pm

    My goodness you are productive with all the drama going on around your home. You did a wonderful job!

  31. Debra permalink
    September 24, 2016 10:18 pm

    While I truly enjoy your cards, it is your story that has absorbed me this week, and I’m sure everyone who reads your post this week will agree. Your grand nephew has triumphed over so much already! I hope he has an incredible life ahead of him filled with lots of love and happiness. I did enjoy seeing Snowy again though!

  32. September 24, 2016 10:47 pm

    What a heart-warming story regarding your grand-nephew.

  33. Dianne Crowe permalink
    September 25, 2016 3:50 am

    You always make a lot of lovely cards to share with us when you visit the Penny Black studio. I missed them yesterday but have time this morning to take a peek. What a lovely ending to your grand nephew’s story and thanks again for the picture of cute little Cooper.

  34. Lynn D permalink
    September 25, 2016 10:27 am

    I look forward to your stories and cards every week. Funny, inspirational, and so real. Thanks for sharing your life and Cooper. Thanks for the tip on finding my mojo – it often gets lost in all the ‘stuff’ on my desk and it is amazing how I always find it when I shuffle around and find the happy stuff.

  35. September 25, 2016 6:30 pm

    You have touched my heart this week with your story about Michael and Tony. They are such inspiring Americans. I also loved you tip about getting my mojo back. Nothing is better that being with your dog unless it is you and your husband with the 2 dogs. I love all your cards as always. I may have to get the snowman stamp as I am falling in love with it. Thanks for making my Saturday.

  36. September 25, 2016 8:00 pm

    Oh my–how to get perspective on life! Thank you for sharing, Judy–maybe they’ll let you share one of the wedding pictures with us. Do they have a foundation that accepts donations? We’re always looking for organizations that actually use the money for the people who need it. Cooper is adorable–just love that face! Love all your cards today including the first one even though I don’t do much for Halloween!

  37. September 26, 2016 3:11 am

    Fabulous and inspiring story. Thanks for sharing it with all of us. Blessings to you and your family, Kristina

  38. September 26, 2016 6:23 am

    I just got back from my niece’s wedding and had the same feelings about my own wedding. Your description of the great gift of marriage, for better or for worse are marvelous and touching. Your nephew and his friend are truly an inspiration for the miracle of positive attitudes. I am so grateful and proud to have such brave young people who give us hope in times of horrific trials. Thank you and please know that my prayers are with you as you struggle through the Atlanta traffic…yes, a small price to pay for one who has already paid so dearly for us to have our taken-for-granted peaceful lives. The healing power of love is God’s greatest gift to us after the gift of His Son and our Savior!

  39. Lee Perkins permalink
    September 26, 2016 6:54 am

    This was perfect timing for me to read. My daughter was married this weekend; however, her story was not one filled with struggles. I love your perspective in taking one another for granted. I had no idea you were in Georgia. Me too! Do you do workshops anywhere and is there a store you get your Penny Black items from ?

    • Judy Jung permalink
      September 27, 2016 8:14 am

      Lee, we live in northern Alabama and are driving to Georgia for the wedding. Penny Black has a “store” option at the top of the blog; everything is available there. Thank you for commenting..

  40. Patricia Gasko permalink
    September 26, 2016 8:36 am

    I know I’ve said it before but I Love Your stories as much as I Love your cards and they are so beautiful. I’m waiting to hear the finish of your Insurance fiasco! Hope I didn’t miss it. I love Snowy and all you do with him, I haven’t ordered mine yet so I must do so very soon. Your story today touched my heart as doing so with everyone who reads it. It’s so wonderful to know they will have a happy ending. I think it’s a sure thing since they have weathered it so well. God has blessed them in many ways both Michael and Tony have passed on those blessings to many needy people. How wonderful.

  41. alexandra s.m. permalink
    September 27, 2016 11:14 am

    Gorgeous cards my Friend and thank you for sharing this wonderful inspiring story with us!

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