the Pepper Mill

You remember this guy don’t you? 

My little boy. . .”Stevie Wonder”

It seems like it’s been so long since I posted last – I thought you might have forgotten. 

We all know this son of mine is my doer. 

His hands are always moving, always creating.   

But recently,  he has let some of the things he loves go . . . like woodworking.  Here once again, I see myself in him.  I have let blogging and my photography go.  It’s not that Stephen and I don’t really enjoy these things. We love them. But, you know how it is. Sometimes life just gets in the way and the things you really enjoy slip away. Before you know it. . .  a lot time has gone by.  

Last week I mentioned to my son that I haven’t seen him working on anything lately.  I asked him what was going on. He just shrugged and said, “Hmm, I don’t know?

and then yesterday 

I heard the lathe running and I grabbed my camera. 

Without missing a beat Stephen stayed focused on his work.  He was making the pepper mill he told me he was going to make at Christmas time.  


I took his picture and then posted it on my blog. 



"Hey! Occupy Wall Street guys!

If this blog is anything, it is NOT a political blog. I have never once mentioned my point of  view  here.  Today, I have to tell you. . . This morning I was listening to NPR. They were doing a story about Occupy Wall Street . The spokes man on the news talked about this great Occupy cause. I listened with empathy and interest.  While I listened,  I thought Yes! Yes! Yes! Insurance companies and Banks are taking over the world. It’s about time someone spoke up and did something.  

When it comes to politics, I have become one of the cynical ones. I feel, the reason gas is so high is the oil companies have some Washington big wig in his or her pocket. It seems to me everyone involved is making a lot money. So way lower the prices?  We’ll pay. My cynicism has gotten so bad, I rarely listen to the news anymore. 

As I listened today, for the first time in awhile, the Occupy Wall Street spokes guy came on and told his story in a rally cry. As he spoke his words the crowd repeated word for word after their beloved spokesman of the day.  

~ The chants went like this ~ 

“I’m unemployed.” The crowd chants “I’m unemployed” “I can’t find a job” again the crowd chants “I can’t find a job” in my mind I think “Yeah! Yeah! You tell’em! It’s tough out here! I know so many people looking for work, people without insurance, fighting to keep their home! You Go Guy!”  The guy goes on to say “I live with my parents.” the crowd cries “I live with my parents.” and in my mind I think ~ “Wow! that’s tough…” and I wait for the rest… the guy goes on to say “and I’m 25” I think huuuu??? the crowd chants… “and I’m 25!”. The chant ended there. . . in my mind I hear the scratching of an old record player coming to a halt and I think ~ 

THAT’S IT???  

 . . .THAT’S IT??? 



??? WHAT??? 

Why don’t they have the uninsured construction worker guy who’s wife is sick with cancer chanting that rally cry? Why don’t they have the single waitress mom who’s trying to raise her children alone speak for america? How about the man with two part time jobs, with a chronic illness, struggling to keep his family together and keep the family home?

Oh! Yeah! those guys have real problems and need to keep going so they don’t fall over from exhaustion. They can’t take time to occupy wall street. 

and I think . . . GEEEEEE! 

THAT WAS THE BEST GUY THEY COULD GET??? a guy that’s 25 who lives with his parents? 

“Hey! Occupy Wall Street guys! I’m sure you have a great cause and all but, I don’t get it. I know I told you I don’t follow the news. . . but I have to say What’s your cause ???  Maybe you should get a leader for crying out loud! Then get someone to speak for you with a real hardship story. Get someone that has been through something. Not a 25 year old who lives with his parents. Get someone with kids to do those chants! Find someone that has really been through it. Maybe someone that has to worry about how they are going to feed their family, keep their home or just take care of simple medical needs.” You won’t even have to look hard. We are out here.  

I also want to tell that guy that lives with his parents. Go home! Clean your room! Do the dishes in the sink while your at it. Stay off facebook and find someone you can help!.” Stop wasting tax payer money on your silly issues.  Your mother would appreciate it. 

and My Spirit Thrives

On this Fabulous Friday I am redefining the finer things in life while I embrace every moment in the Studio of my Life. . . As I embrace the beautiful gift I received in the mail a few weeks ago. 

It is a painting by one of my dear blogging friends,   Robin,  from Well of Creations. It’s an original ~ Signed and everything!  The inscription on the painting says,   

“With God, My Spirit Thrives. ” Psalm 31:5

 Robin sent me this painting because. . . well. . .  I really, really liked it. She read between the lines and just knew I needed a little lift. . .and you know what?  This did the trick! This adorable painting lifts my spirit and I can feel it thrive more then I can tell you.  I smile every time I see the painting and read the words written on it. This gift is just perfect for me.   With all my heart I thank you Robin. ~ Your the best!  


Favorite Photo Friday

 In the Studio

A Photo Prop & a Fifth Birthday

The photo challenge over at I Heart Faces this week is using props in your photos. With this I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to catch up a little bit on all things blogging and I thought I could use this picture of Liz and her giant sized teddy bear. 

 Honestly, since I came home from Massachusetts and my uncles funeral last week it has been nothing but go, go, go.  I will be telling you all about our trip soon. The real reason I came to talk to you today is ~ hold on to your hat now:                

I have a confession to make.  

Her Birthday was July 7th. 

11 DAYS ago and I haven’t posted about it yet. Can you believe that?  What a bad blogging mommy I am. Honestly, I have been so swamped with things going on around here since I came home, I just haven’t had a chance to put a birthday post up. I left Mark with four kids, a business to run and lots and lots of laundry to do. While I was gone one of the things that happened last week was Stevie Wonder bought himself a new toy. You know how he loves to build and tinker. This time he bought  a dremel. With this new toy, he  cut his finger badly again this summer.  It really does take two of us to keep an eye on things  and so when one of us is gone and then we come back home the punishment is. . .more work to do. 

Blogging had to be the last thing on the list. 

Even though her 5th birthday was July, 7th. . .11 days ago. . . I just couldn’t get to a post about it.  

I will have you know, according to her, the birthday went off just grand and The Best Nana ever bought the best present ever.      AND  now, she’s 5 and 11 days.  and I think. . .

Blogging and posting is not the most important thing. 


Uhhh??? Hello??? 


I also figured, What the heck! I would play along with the ladies from Communal Global  and Sweet Shot Tuesday

Civic Duty, Confirmation & a Few Confessions

Last night, Kathryn received the Sacrament of Confirmation.  The ceremony was beautiful. 

As we waited for Mass to begin I tried to adjust the settings on my camera.

And I tried. 

And I tried. 

Not getting the lighting thing down, I thought: “Oh, Well.  I’ll just put all my photos in black and white and post Wednesday on Lisa’s Long Road to China and Back; Black and White Wednesday.

Then I  realized, the red in Bishop Gulielmone’s vestments were too brilliant to put in black and white.  

But, what a minute! There is another problem! Stephen has his eyes closed. Drats! Stupid Stephen!         I had one shot at this last night and we blew it. 

Because these photographs are so important to me,  I did what any good mother would do.

 I cropped Stephen and Liz out of the picture, put a cool frame around it and hope no one will notice Liz’s arm sticking out on the right side of this photo.  

Whatever you do, just don’t look there.  Okay???

I took what I thought was a decent photo of my mom, Mark and the kids. But, there is Stephen again with “the”eyes.   

Then of course, I took this one of Deacon Matt slugging my son in the face.  AND I thought. . .Can I use any of these photos for a post about the wonderful thing that happened last night? 

When I learned from Communal Global Photo Bucket is holding our pictures hostage, I felt is was a civic duty to post and link up to them

So here I am:  helping out my fellow blogging Sistas at Communal Global, confessing all my photograph sorrows,  and posting about the wonders of the evening.

Black and White Happiness 101

This week Weeks ago Almost a month ago I received an award from my friend Cleo at Wemmicks-in-training. It was truly so very nice of her to think of me and really she shouldn’t have. With that said thank you Ms. Cleo….
But, like most things having this award comes with rules. The recipient is to list 10 things that truly make them happy. I thought I would do this for Black and White Wednesday…Maybe this is what took me so long. But, I never said which Black and White Wednesday it would be.

First of all I would have to start with this guy.
My husband…((as of June 15)) for 19 years. He still takes my breath away and makes me very happy.  

Then of course, I am very happy to have this guy in my life…My son Matthew…
He’s a joy and a research bug. If it is in front of him he will read it and then find out more about it.
Then of course there is Stephen…..Stephen would give you the shirt right off his back…He is the kindest, most gentle young man I know…I am proud to say I am his mother. May he never change.

This girl makes my heart sing with pride…My daughter, Kathryn Grace with the beautiful face. And let’s not forget about the brains and personality to go with that beautiful face. She has it all.

and last but never least…There is Mary Elizabeth…Sassy Mai…She takes my breath away and keeps me smiling. This one little girl brings so much joy to everyone around her.

There is always good food…covered in Chocolate to share with my dear sister.
Having a fine drink from a beautiful glass that sings is always a joy to be hold.

Special Occasions and being surrounded by family.
Being near water makes me feel so alive.
AND then there are the Memories.
Knowing I am part of something bigger then I am, brings me more then happiness. It simply brings me joy. 
Thanks MelissaCleo
The second part of having this award requires me to pass it on…. I will do so with pleasure.
To all I have passed this along……Enjoy!
the long road

Playing with Pictures

I have always loved this picture but really have not had a reason to post it.

That was until this morning.

I clicked on to one of my favorite blogs and saw a photograph taken by Amy.

I am still not sure how to get a signature on the photo but, I really like most of the things Amy does and often try to use her suggestions. Even after a year of blogging and picture taking I still think of myself as a REAL Novice to all this computer stuff. I have found the only way through this blogging journey is to try MOST suggestions given…

At one point Amy suggested boarders…….I have played with this idea a few times but never did anything with it.

I really think the boarder is cute in this photo but it cuts off Liz’s hand. So I am not sure if a boarder is right for this picture.

Today Amy suggested going over to Lisa’s blog……Not me…another Lisa…. A REAL Photographer. Her photographs are just gorgeous!

Check it!

My Favorite Days with my Grandpa

I have discovered the beauty of the Blog:

When I first started this blog I really did it for my mother. She was after me for years to start one. I “yessed” her about it for a very long time until last year ~ Finally, I just did it. She was delighted! and so was my father. They loved the pictures and stories and I figured it was nice enough they both seemed to be happy with the whole thing. So, I have tried to keep it up.

You see ~ I have never been the writer in the family. I have never kept a diary. For that matter, I have never even kept a shopping list. I have always been to worried about my terrible spelling, not hearing the difference in the sounds of “W” and “Wh” and ‘wh’ere to use them, not knowing really where the coma should go and let’s not mention my difficulties with the computer……All this held me back. It has kept me from being a writer, blogger or even organized enough to keep a list. To tell the truth my sister is the one who I always thought to be the writer and list keeper, and really knows her way around the computer.

Over the past weeks……The weeks after losing my father….our Father….I found the beauty in looking back at an organized “book” of our life. I have discovered this blogging “thing” is wonderful. My family and I can go back and see the beautiful times we have had together. We can see the laughs we have had, the birthdays, births , all our celebrations and how do we forget the tears we have shed….This blog has evolved for me…..It was just something I did for my mother and now it is a simple story about a family in Good times and in Bad.

Looking back I can see “It” has brought me so much joy, driven me to tears and is always a comfort. I love the fact that friends I know and friends I have never meet are generally sorry about “Our” terrible lose, rejoice in our joys and love to see pictures of our family.

What a comfort this is.

But……..The thing is……..My mother was right when she asked me to do this “thing”….My only wish is…….. I obliged sooner.

Shhhhhhh……….Let this be our little secret….Don’t tell her I said so……She will never let me forget it.

With this said, I am delighted to see that my son Stephen has been writing too:

I want to keep this little paragraph he has written forever……What safer place then here:

My Favorite Days with my Grandpa

One of my first memories of working with my grandpa is when I just learned to drive
the lawnmower. I think I was 8 years old. I was not heavy enough to keep the lawnmower running. The machine would not run unless there was a certain amount of weight holding the seat down. To hold the seat down …Grandpa hooked bungee cords to the seat to keep it down that day. We cleared the yard of limbs. He would cut the limbs and I would take them away with the lawnmower and put them in a pile to Burn. When I would drive away I would turn around in attention to solute him and he would solute back to me. One of the times I turned to solute I hit a trailer that was parked in the middle of the field. The next day I learned how to fix a lawnmower bumper. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

By: Stephen

Because of home-school there have been so many wonderful days like these for all my children. …Days of joy and learning they ((We)) could have lost if they went to school. …….An irreplaceable relationship grew between my father, my mother and my children these past years. These are the lessons of life, gifts of relationships and love they could never learn in school.