Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

I keep finding odds and end photos on my computer and I always say “I really need to get that blog post written and loaded”…..but I never get it done.  So I’ve decided to just post some pictures with some explanation.  They will be totally unrelated…but that’s OK with me!

Here goes…

Last year, during the whole cancer business, one of my 8th grade girls brought me a breast cancer awareness bracelet….

I thought it was incredibly kind.  She also bought herself one so that she could show her support.  Wow!  I have pretty amazing students!  Kylie moved to Las Vegas a few weeks after she gave me the bracelet but now every time I wear the bracelet I will think of her.  (yes, I am the pasty white arm on the left!  She was also about a foot taller than me too!)

In July, (I think), Mom, my sister and my niece got together to make jewelry.  We try to do this at least once a summer because we all love to do it!  So here’s our creations!

we always make such a mess!  LOLOL

Mr. Elroy makes me laugh….here are some of my favorite pictures of him.  Some were taken with my phone so they aren’t so good….

He often sleeps like this…and in the middle of whatever I’m working on…..and I have to check to see if he’s still breathing because he looks dead…..

2 different naps ….2 different days…..same old pose….

One night….while working at my computer desk, it got kinda hot….so I turned on the fan….and this is where he put himself….between me and the fan…and again, laid right on top of the paperwork I was working on…..crazy boy cat!

I LOVE cat paws…..these are Goldie’s….and they are HUGE!

I knitted this little sweater for Kaylore….It actually fits her perfectly and I think it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen….if I do say so myself!!!!

This summer I was invaded by tiny ants…..I planned an ant massacre…..and it worked!!!  You can find anything on the internet!!!

I helped JW with his back to school backpack by embroidering his name on it……

It came with a wallet and everything…..and I think he liked it just fine!

It’s hard to believe he’s in 1st grade already!  Wow!!!

Ok….I think I’m all caught up….Oh Wait!  I almost forgot to celebrate!

Last week I went in for my yearly mammogram (and the first one since my diagnosis and surgery) and I’m proud to announce that ALL IS GOOD!!!  No reason for extra pictures, or procedures!  I’m so very extremely thankful!

Until next time!


Read Full Post »

My friend Dawn and I have both decided to step off the edge start a new business….separately.  This past weekend we rented a booth at a craft fair in Stillwater, OK to show the world our talents and try to make a buck or two….

Here’s our booth…..

Dawn has become a self-published author of the most darling children’s books featuring Benjamin Boo.  Here’s her Author page….Dawn Cawthron Behren.

She takes her own photos and writes her own stories.  The books are available in full color soft-cover and Kindle e -books (and you can down load a free Kindle app for your iPhone, iPad or android phone).  They are adorable and kids LOVE them.  If you need some little kid gifts or just have a love of children’s books…you’ll want to purchase these for sure!

I have ventured into recycling thrift store sweaters….into designer pillows.  I’ve opened a 2nd Etsy store called Aunt J’s Knit Knacks.  I’ve also included some of my hand knit items.  I’ve saturated my gift market with hand knits…so I’ve decided to try and sell them!

Here are some of my favorites….

Elroy is always hanging around trying to help….but sometimes….it’s just exhausting….

or hot….(and yes….the fan is on…and he is blocking me from getting any of the cool air!)

Dawn has her books on consignment at a few stores in Stillwater and has sold a few.  I’ve sold a few pillows and hats in the Etsy store.  The craft show wasn’t as successful as we had hoped.  Discouraged?….midly…..heartbroken?….no way!

New adventures are good.  2011/2012 has been stressful and heartbreaking for both Dawn and I.  We have often commented that God never allows both of us to be in the depths of despair at the same time…..and we are thankful for that.  We are both happy for the solace that creativity brings us….and feeds our souls.

Read Full Post »



Today is my birthday.  The last 12 months has been a roller coaster ride that I don’t want to ride again.  I’m grateful that I’m still around to add another candle to the cake.  I see people every week that have lost their lives to the same disease.  I’m grateful for all the friends and family that helped make this past year bearable.  It’s not something I want to do alone.  I’m thankful for my friends who let me cry….while I heal emotionally.  I’m thankful to be here to teach another year and make up for what I couldn’t do last year.  I’m thankful for a loving God.  I’m thankful that I can exercise and grow physically stronger.  I’m thankful to be able to look forward….not just day to day.  I’m thankful….very thankful.

Read Full Post »

I DID IT!!!!!



Today, July 20, 2012, I completed my goal of walking/riding 500 miles!!!!!!  I really thought it would take me much longer!  I asked Steve, my trainer, what another reasonable goal would be to complete the year.  After some discussion, we decided my goal would be to keep doing 100 miles per month.  So….that’s what I’ll do.  Maybe I’ll have 1000 by the end of the year!



Read Full Post »

I almost forgot that I started this post.  You won’t see one for July because I haven’t done NEARLY as much as I did in June…..does baking count?  LOL


Each summer, I challenge myself to do at least one project around the house per day.  It doesn’t have to be big….just has to accomplish SOMETHING.  I’m also a list person but have discovered that if I make a list of the things that NEED to be done in the summer….I find myself resisting and actually do less.  Weird, I know, but that’s me!  So I have decided to make a list of the things I’ve accomplished AFTER I do them.  It’s much  more rewarding that way!  Here’s a running tally of my lists since I was out of school, May 25 to the last day of June.

1.  Painted Bedroom walls, ceiling and trim (still need to paint doors)

2.  Purchased new bedroom furniture, including mattress (this took a LOT of shopping)

3.  Purchased new linens for new bed

4.  cleaned, painted and purged bedroom closet

5.  cleaned and purged the dresser and chest in the guest room and moved into my new furniture.

6.  cleaned and purged bathroom cabinet in preparation for new counter top

7.  purged tv cabinet, music case and book case in the living room

8.  assembled new tv cabinet

9.  installed new area rug in living room

10.  Helped disassemble the old Mr. Elm and cleaned up the mess after he was carted away.

11.  Balanced check book (had not been done since December…..used cancer as excuse…)

12.  knitted 1 scarf, 3 hats and finished a pair of mittens

13.  started cleaning garage

14.  walked/rode stationary bike 423.5 miles

15.  took a road trip to Iowa

16.  Took Parents to Dr. Appt.

17.  4 dr. appts of my own

18.  laid sod on new sewer line in the back yard.

19.  Did a bit of gardening

20.  Blogged

21.  washed all the winter scarves and hats

22.  Attempted to de-flea the animals (many baths, treatments and brushing….sigh…)

23.  Kept up the Etsy store.

24.  took lots of naps…

25.  Read a book

26.  Helped interview one of my new bosses.

27.  Watched and cheered for Thunder Basketball

28.  played with Kaylore and Karver and J. W.

29.  Ironed a basket of shirts (at least a dozen)

30.  Hemmed a dozen fabric napkins

31.  Stupidly agreed to serve on another choral directors board….sigh…when will I ever learn?!?!?!?!

32.  Spent a little time in the garden.

33. carted many bags of crap to the thrift store (and didn’t even go in to shop!)

34.  made breakfast for the nephews

35.  cleaned and purged linen closet

36.  Shredded 10 years of tax records.

Read Full Post »

Remember this…..



Well…..It now looks like this….

Here’s all the things that happened in this room….

1.  Refinished 1958 wood floor (done by professionals)

2.  Painted walls, trim and ceiling (by me)

3.  New Furniture (Purchased after looking at every bedroom set in the city about 3 times)

4.  New Mattress, bedding and quilt (all purchased)

5.  New closet doors with mirrors (also installed by a professional)

6.  New Curtains and curtain rods (again…purchased)

7.  Purged LOTS of clothes and clutter (and it felt GREAT)

8.  Shoe Shelf (temporary fix….will be getting a bench that holds shoes to replace the shelf and chair)

9.  Created a new playground for the furry residents


Here are some things I need to finish….

1.  Paint doors….They are primed but the weather just go too hot to paint in the garage so when it finally cools down then I’ll finish that little job…

2.  Replace the shelf with the bench to hold shoes

3.  Replace the ceiling fan….It’s old and noisy….so I’ll be looking for a new one.

4.  Replace the door handles.  Some are original with the house some have been replaced but none match…It’s time for an update.


One day I needed some help so my friend Dawn came to help me position my furniture….That’s what BFFs do, right?



I LOVE my new cave!!  It’s more than just an updated room.  I think it represents the renewal and moving forward I needed after all the cancer crap.  The bulk of the work was done in 2 weeks (including the bathroom and couple of other minor projects).  I think I needed something new to prove to myself that everything was going to be alright again.  I am truly happy with my room and my life.  Thank you God!!!


Read Full Post »



I have a love/hate relationship with goals.  Most often I fail miserably and am then discouraged, but I keep setting them, hoping for a better outcome each time.

One goal I set each summer is that each day I have to complete a “project”.  I get to choose the project and it can be anything from cleaning the kitchen, purging clothes, assembling furniture, baking, or sometimes its just getting out of bed.  I’m happy to report that I have lived up to my goal of daily project competition!!

Back in January, in the midst of the cancer treatment, I was inspired by a blog I follow.  in 2011 she made the goal to walk 1000 miles in 1 year.  Now, she was a full time writer and had the luxury of spending 2-3 hours a day walking.  I however did not have that kind of time or energy so I cut it in half.  I talked to my trainer and told him I wanted to walk 500 miles in 2012 (this was already at the end of January) but also wanted to know how to convert stationary bike miles in to walking miles.  His response?….why convert them, just count them!!  I said OK!!!!  AT that time I was struggling to walk much more than a mile after my treatments everyday and I was riding my bike about 3-4 miles at a time.  I have NOT exercised everyday.  There are some weeks that I only get one workout done….I do have a life!!

I am SO happy to announce that at the end of June (halfway mark) I have completed 423.5 miles!!!!!  I am now working up to 3 miles of walking at a time and today I rode 11 miles on my bike (only stopping to take a drink of water).  Right now I’m nursing a bad blister on my heel so I’m having to ride my bike instead of walking.  So I’m thinking I might reach my 500 mile goal by the end of July!!!!  Not bad for an old, fat woman, recovering from breast cancer!  I wonder what my final mileage will be for the year?!?!?!

My trainer has been a wonderful encourager and helping me push a little harder and go a little further each time.  Thanks Steve!!!

I’m still working on my other goal of losing 10 lbs before school starts.  I think I need to stop snacking! 🙂  And we’re not going to talk about my goal of cleaning the garage…..

Read Full Post »

Ok…..so I’m a little late with this post….but Hey….It’s summertime…and the living is eaaaassssyyyyy…..

So…On Sunday, I attended church with Bonnie.  It’s her home church, the one she grew up attending…..and it was GREAT!

After church, we had lunch at “the farm” where Bonnie was raised.  Bonnie’s Mom is a GREAT cook!!!  Lamb roast, harvard beets (that were grown on the farm) , broccoli salad and Strawberries and cake!!  Delicious!!  It was too good to take pictures!!

Bonnie’s Farm….

After a bit of a nap, we then ventured out to see the tourist attractions of Manning, Iowa!

First was the church…


The short story is that this country Lutheran church is 125 years old and the congregation was old and dying away.  They didn’t want to see the church fall into ruins so it was moved into town and is now a museum but you can rent it for weddings, funerals, etc.  The whole moving experience was on the show “Mega Movers” and there’s a condensed version of it on YouTube called “How to Move a 100 Year Old Church”  It’s worth the time to watch it.  It’s beautiful inside and out!  The move was 11 miles and it took 4 hours to complete.

Here are some shot of the inside.

Everything but the statue of Jesus was left in place for the move and not one pane of stained glass was cracked or broken.  The steeple was left in place also.  They had to take down electric lines and trim some trees.


Next was the Hausbarn.  (Here’s the link for more info and pictures German Hausbarn) It’s an old German Barn that was selected from a sister village in Germany, disassembled and shipped to Manning, then reassembled.  It’s the type of barn that provided living space for humans, animals and the loft was for drying grain.  Bonnie’s Mom, Gladys, is a docent for all these buildings, and she knows a LOT about all these buildings!

Here’s the barn..

Some of the inside…

Some of the sample brickwork…

There was also a beautiful craftsman style house and matching carriage house that was just beautiful!  Sadly, I did not take any pictures of it.  It is air conditioned and is actually still livable.  Some of the craftsman who worked on the hausbarn stayed there.

Then, I found a cornfield…of really tall corn…

and this will get a bit taller still…it hasn’t tasselled out yet!


Then it was back to the farm for Manning’s famous taco pizza and fresh watermelon!  What a truly delightful day!!!

On the way home we found one of the barns that has the painted quilt block on it.


It seems that this is a growing trend in Iowa and I just LOVE it.  Each farm (probably the farmer’s wife) chooses a different quilt block.  It’s very colorful!

The next day, I had the long boring drive home.  It was super hot and super windy and I had already seen all the scenery so it was very boring.

I had a FABULOUS vacation and FABULOUS hostesses!!!  Thanks to Bonnie and Gladys for showing me around Iowa!!!


Read Full Post »

Last year, my friend Bonnie, retired from teaching and moved back home to Iowa.  Since I have not seen her for almost a year and since I’ve never been to Iowa….I decided to jump in my car and go!

It’s an 8 hour drive but it wasn’t bad because I was seeing new landscapes, getting out of the house….ON A ROAD TRIP! lolol

Day 1 was busy and FUN!!!

First stop was the Reiman Gardens on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa….

They feature different artistic displays each year and this year was garden items created with Legos!!!

Here’s a few of my favorites…. (*disclaimer…Bonnie and I shared photos so some of these were taken by her.  I won’t remember which were mine and which were hers)

The Gardener….

The hummingbird

The Lawnmower….actual sized….

And the rose…..It was really tall!!!

There were LOTS more and I have pictures of all of them on my Flickr page (look in the left margin at the top of this post…)  They are worth seeing!

They also had interesting garden art that is permanently installed…

A giant Gnome…

Here’s Bonnie and her Mom, Gladys..

You can visit their website and it will tell you all the details of the lego sculptures and how many legos each piece used…..It was WAY cool!!!

Reiman Gardens

They also had a display of bird houses built by people of Iowa….Here’s a couple of my favorites..

They also have a butterfly house….with BEAUTIFUL butterflies…

It was really hot so we cooled down while having lunch at Hickory Park BBQ….It was YUMMY!!  You have to visit the link….it’s a huge place and has some interesting history!!

Then we did some shopping….and I found a fun little yarn shop…..Rose Tree Fiber Shop .  It was a great yarn shop with great service….and I came home with a couple of gems…. 🙂

A little more shopping then…..wait for it…..DINNER ON A TRAIN…A REAL LIVE TRAIN!!!

It’s called Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad

It was very fancy, elegant and a real treat.  Now I can say I have ridden on a REAL train!  LOL  (I figure subways don’t count)

Here are some highlights…

The High Bridge

It was a wonderful and fabulous day!!!  Thanks Bonnie and Gladys for being such wonderful tour guides!!

The next day, Day 2, Bonnie and I spent close to home….shopping, eating and ended the day with a few hours of Wii…..which was why we were so SORE the next couple of days!!

Final Day of vacations coming up tomorrow!

Read Full Post »

I have several events to post but since today is Independence day….I’ll start here….

Each year, if I can, I go to the Independence day parade in my hometown.  It’s always a GREAT parade and the people of Kingfisher show of their patriotism in style!  There were politicians giving away everything from ink pens, to cups of ice cold lemonade, bottles of cold water, to flags.  The parade had horses, numerous fire trucks, cheerleaders, motorcycles, old cars, horse and buggy, old legionnaires, big tractors, big cars, little cars and bicycles.  There’s not a lot to say…so I’ll just give it to you in pictures!










I LOVE small town parades!!!

Happy July 4th to Everyone!!!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »