Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Perseverance. . .

. . . would really be a lot easier if it didn't require so much effort.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Grab a Tissue. . .

. . . you're probably gonna need it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cat Scratch Fever

Celebrate 365 is hot off the presses and on its way to a mailbox near you! There's so much holiday inspiration in each issue of this wonderful magazine, and I'm honored to have a couple of my little papier mache guys included in the October edition. Celebrate365 is the perfect resource for the year-round ornament collector.

Click the logo below to find out how you can get your copy today.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Snails see the benefits, the beauty in every inch" ~The Format

[I am re-posting "Winking Sunflowers" (originally written in 2007) in honor of my "middlest" girl who is running her first race in over 3 years. This 5K, for her, is about so much more than the race. It's not about winning or being first, or even in being last. It's about finding value and joy in who we are. It's about survival, and perseverance in the face of difficulty, and it's about finding beauty in living. ~cn]


"Winking Sunflowers"

I've been thinking about our sad little garden again. It's just so brown, and it's time to get the plots ready for next year. The weeks of 100 degree temps were just too much. But the sunflower "patch" we had was very interesting and the plants did most of their blooming before the worst of the hot spell came.

I had tons of dried seeds from last year's beautiful bounty, so this past spring we just scattered hundreds of those leftovers in a clear part of our pasture. I think every seed germinated and sprouted, and I was so excited! My thumb is only green when I'm using green paint, so this was just a wondrous surprise.

Well, the plants just never quite looked "normal" but grew tall nonetheless. Some of the plants began to show signs of blooming, however, the buds were located in the oddest places on the plant. Finally some flowers began to emerge, but these were no ordinary blooms. Some were half-flowers, some had only a few petals, some had oval shapes with tons of petals, some looked as if they were giant eyes winking, and many were what my daughter deemed "conjoined twin" blooms.

Somehow these unique flowers didn't seem to know that they were odd or misshapen. They bloomed with such abandon and reached heavenward just as proudly as if they'd been prize-winning roses. Funny how the Lord used those little oddball flowers to teach one of my girls a wonderful lesson. She suffered a really serious injury to her foot last fall, and was on crutches almost 6 months. It sidelined her from her passion of running cross country until recently when she started training again. Needless to say, it has been, and continues to be a painfully slow process, and discouragement has settled in at times. We were reminded of the joy in reaching heavenward, in spite of circumstances, or even because of them. The Lord isn't really concerned with what the offering "looks" like, but in the fact that we're giving Him what we have.

Fast-forward to today:

I read this on my daughter's blog this morning:

“I was run-nin!” -Forrest Gump

This morning will be something of a milestone for me. For the first time in three years, I’m am attempting to run a 5k.

I remember the last race of my high school running career. I ran the two mile at an embarrassing crawl. My left foot which was “toast” (from what my lovely less-than-poetic doctor diagnosed) lit up with pain. Each step was like a sledgehammer smashing down on my broken nerves in the toes, ankle and up through my entire body. What’s worse, the sledgehammer smashed down harder and faster upon my pride and my resilience.

I had been a runner. I had been a good runner, too.

Today, I just want to finish a race without pain. Today, Time and I have decided to coexist and not bother one another. Today, I’m going to run, not for my coaches, not for my school; today I’m running 3.1 miles for my Best Friend. And for me.

I’m learning that Time, though I hate it, can sometimes be a good thing. Time is very often healing.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"H" is for Holiday!

Holiday with Matthew Mead is a new publication celebrating the Christmas holiday season. It's due out right before Halloween and I can't wait to get my copy in the mail!
Swing over to Matthew's blog to check it out.

Monday, September 20, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering

When FDR said,"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," I'm pretty sure he never saw the gi-normous spider I found in my basement the other day. Yikes.

Happy Monday, anyway.

By the way. . .

Cooper doesn't like spiders either, or cameras.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Snazz Attack




Okay, now I've seen everything. First blankets had sleeves, aka The Snuggie. Now blankets have pockets, snazzy sheep designs, and best of all, a handy-dandy oval breathing hole. An oval breathing hole!

My favorite part of the ad is that the people in the waiting room (as if waiting rooms weren't awkward enough) seem oblivious to the woman attaching the "comfortable and cool" Snazzy Napper to her face. HAHA, it's like privacy in a bag! Yeah, right. Privacy. I've seen a lot of odd things, but if a woman whipped out a giant mask with an oval breathing opening and attached it to her face in the middle of my doctor's waiting room, I'm pretty sure I would sneak at least one glance her way, no matter how snazzy, comfortable, or cool she looked.

Anyway, what will people think of next...blankets that come with built-in roller skates and that perform delicate neuro-surgery?? Sheeze. (In a semi-related side note: all these years I had no idea our dog Cooper was doing his own "market research" and basically developed his very own doggie version of the Snazzy Napper! Too bad we never thought to market the thing. Oh well. If you're curious, read about his fleece fetish here.)

[This video is brought to you thanks to my college-girl, who came across it, no doubt, while earnestly studying and probably doing very important research. Research. . . yes. . . important, school-related,
non-Facebook research. I think I know what she (and Cooper) are getting for Christmas.]

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bring on the Spooky and the Jingle-y

SpookyTimeJingles updated today:
a one-stop-shop for all things spooky and jingle-y.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Remembering. . .

Sometimes it seems like an eternity ago.
Sometimes it seems like only yesterday.
May we never forget.


"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations
of our biggest buildings,
but they cannot touch the foundation of America.
These acts can shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."
--President George W. Bush, September 11, 2001

"We will not waver, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.
Peace and freedom will prevail."
--President George W. Bush, 2001

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blanket Statement

As promised in this post, here are pics [finally!!] of Cooper in his Christmas Snuggie. He hasn't needed it much this summer, but whenever the temp dips below 65 degrees, Cooper will once again don his beloved blue Snuggie. And he'll wear it proudly.

Cooper has a history with fleece that dates back to the days when blankets were just blankets--the days when blankets didn't have sleeves, or annoying infomercials.

It all began the year that Santa brought Cooper to our family for Christmas -- even though Mrs. Claus really didn't think we needed a puppy....because Mrs. Claus already had her hands full taking care of 4 kids, washing mountains of laundry, and suffering under the dictatorial reign of an 18 pound stray cat named Friendly. However, Santa had already made up his mind, and Cooper came to live with the Nash-clan anyway.

Cooper was young, and needy, and so tiny. He shivered constantly and never seemed to get used to the cold temperatures inside our drafty old house; so Santa...er, I mean....my husband carried our new ward around for weeks, kangaroo-style, in his sweatshirt pocket. My youngest kid also thought it was cute to dress our new dog in her old clothes and she often lugged him around the house like a baby brother. (Sometimes Cooper even suffered the indignity of riding in a pink doll carriage, right along side Cheerleader Barbie and countless Beanie Babies.) Cooper became accustomed to constant human contact and to being doted on and swaddled like a newborn. Thus began our dog's fetish for fleece.

Since those early days, Cooper has always had at least one favorite blanket which he sleeps underneath, winter and summer. His first, and by far, his favorite blanket was a cast-off pink Barbie blanket/sleeping bag. [It's the same Barbie sleeping bag that appeared in this story.] Cooper loved that blanket. Like Peanuts' Linus and his infamous blue blanket, wherever Coop went, so did Barbie blankie. He dragged it all over the house, and I could often hear the tink, tink, tink of the metal zipper as Coop dragged the tattered sleeping bag along our wood floor and up and down our wood stairs. Cooper also enjoyed chewing on the blanket and regularly used it as a pacifier to soothe himself to sleep. He managed to chew hundreds of somehow perfectly round holes all over the thing and I had to patch it up from time to time.

Eventually Barbie blanket was beyond repair and I was forced to throw it out. After some serious withdrawal issues, Cooper eventually attached himself to other fleece items around the house. And he has done so with a vengeance. Perhaps as payback for my Spring cleaning and for callously (ha!) throwing out his favorite security blanket, Cooper still chews perfectly round holes in other things. Some of our bedsheets, a few old sweatshirts, and almost every blanket in the house now looks like large fuzzy Swiss cheese. It's a bit unsettling, and also it looks like we have a terrible infestation of moths.

So that's why last Christmas, Mrs. Claus thought a dog-sized Snuggie seemed like a good idea. Cooper could be warm, secure, and maybe he would lay off snacking on our blankets. And the best part, now Mrs. Claus can invest in some new (Cooper-free) bed linens.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Mean Reds*

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Paul Varjak: Sure.
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!

*Leave it to YouTube to disable the video clip I wanted to post. So, just click the pic of Audrey and it'll take you right there. For now, I'm off to Tiffany's. Or in my case, Etsy. ;)