Friday, July 7, 2017

...A Memory...

I have had this idea for a blog about 'stones' for a very long time.
I am a soon to be retired memorial stone carver. I wanted to share some of the work I have done and experiences I know to be true.
This blog however, will not be singularly about that type of stone.
I love rocks big and small, polished or not, in a garden, a cemetery on a mountain or by a stream. My window sills and gardens are full of stones that have followed me home.
I have been pondering for months now, I couldn't decide how to introduce it. Recently my dear daughter gave me a piece she had written for a school project. I feel it is lovely and appropriate. So, without further adieu' here it is by my own sweet Santanna:
I vaguely recall the time I used to spend in the cemeteries when I was younger. My mother engraved headstones. Not as a job, per say: It was really more of a hobby. She always brought me along, because I was old enough not to be a bother. Hours upon hours I spent, watching her work, wandering aimlessly around, looking at the other markers. Each marker seemed to cry along forgotten tale. Their piercing screams reverting across the bone yard. One of these memories stand out with a clarity I could never leave behind.
I must have been no older than four, by now completely at ease, I had been to the cemeteries many times before. My mother was setting a granite stone into place with concrete. The grave was freshly dug. It was made obvious by the tell-tale musky aroma of earth that was being emitted from it. It wasn't an unpleasant smell. I actually found it quite comforting, perhaps because it was familiar to me. The small hill was masked by a blanket of flowers embedded in the disturbed soil. The colors were so vivid, it held yellows, and creams and scarlets. The occasional orange and purple shades were protruding throughout the sea of color.
"Mommy," I spoke softly.
"Yes Sweetheart?" my mother replied in a slightly exasperated voice. "How come there are flowers all over? Isn't there supposed to be a person there?" I tilted my head in a questioning manner, my brunette ringlets in a tangled fluffy mess.
"Because this person was well loved. Her friends and family put them here, to keep her company when they have to go away."
As she said this, she took my hand in hers. Her skin was rough, but it was cool and comforting. Small cracks and lines had dispersed themselves, tracing paths over her olive skin. These were the hands of a person who had worked long and hard to create beautiful resting places for the deceased. I could hear the chickadees chirping merrily overhead, their unique cords echoing of the wind rustled trees. The weather worn branches twisted high toward the sky, creating an air of peace about this place.
"Mommy," I repeated. "When I die, do you think that I will have as many flowers as she does?"
My mother paused for a moment, and pondering my complicated question. She then replied with these words...
"Santanna, no one could tell you the answer to that. You are young and dying is a long ways away for you. But, I have a feeling you'll have this many flowers...AND more!"
She beamed and scooped me up in her arms. I let out a gleeful squeal of laughter and held on to her tightly.
We stood there for a moment, critiquing my mother's hand work. The granite stone was a dark color. If you were to examine it closely, you would see flecks of slate, ebony and even the occasional salmon or brown. It was as if someone had ground a cornucopia of rock and glued them all together in random order.
The sun glinted off the polished rock. Somehow, it seemed to stand out from all the neighbouring gravestones. Silver letters, were carved neatly into the surface. A picture of a rose, engraved in gold accented the writing.
Though I could not read the words upon the granite, I knew hours of time and planning had gone into it. I had watched my mother sand blast every line and curve, even helped her peel the protective rubber from the sections that were not to be engraved. She set me down, and packed her concrete bags back to the blue chrome truck that awaited our return. I picked up the foam knee board used to take the pressure off her knees as she was working.
"Santanna, come along."
The sound of her voice guided me towards the truck. I felt myself being lifted into my booster seat, My mother buckled me in, the straps fit snugly around my shoulders and stomach, constricting me, so that i had no choice but to lean back into the soft cushioning.
As we drove away, I looked back towards the graveyard, completely innocent. Not knowing that this would be a moment I would remember, for the rest of my life.

I remember this day also, she was so small, to have such a vivid memory. That question was a difficult one to answer on the fly. I love that the words she remembers are the words I have said to her.
Thank you Santanna for giving me permission to use your wonderful tale of remembrance. Who loves you best?

Thanks for stopping in to visit, please pop back again soon
and leave a comment so I know you were here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Looking for You Story Part one

Foreword: This is a story I have intended to post for a very long time. It was set to scrapbook pages in the beginning of my scrapbooking years. The story grew first in my imagination bit by bit, in response to the often asked question from the two youngest girls.
-"Why are we with You and
Dad where did we come from?".
 We traveled extensively with the youngest two girl's. Steve worked all across Canada, and we followed. This meant hours upon hours of driving with a toddler and a baby. Eventually a small child and a toddler. To keep them entertained, strapped securely in their car seats. I would reach my hands back and use finger animation to get their attention. I would say. 'Do you want to hear a story' -"yes, YES tell us a story"- then I would launch into the following story with fingers dancing behind my head as I narrated to my eager captive audience.
Steve {baby daddy} would drive
and listen intently as well.*
1.} Dream on My Sweet Darlings
2.} I knew I would find you some day....
I looked alone for years.....
3.} Then I met your dad...We fell in love...
When I looked into his eyes
and asked if he would help?
He agreed with me, that we needed to find you.
So, he helped me look too..
4.} We traveled to the ocean,
 we looked along the beaches of
 Mazatl├ín and Puerto Vallarta for you
We searched the deserts of Nevada 
6.} We found Santanna first
She was in the willow trees,
not very far from our old house.
 She was playing with the faeries.
 It was starting to get cold.
 The faeries knew we could give her a good loving home, so they let us take her. 
7.} We would name her
Santanna-Hebrew for Saint Ann
 Gabriel-Hebrew for Angel
 Aurora- Latin for Dawn
We loved her before we found her and more after.
We knew we would love her forever and ever.
8.} We were very  busy with Santanna for a couple of years. But, I was always searching
my heart and soul for you.
9.} I looked by the streams and along the edge of rivers. We searched the mountain tops.
10.} I studied the northern lights in  the winter sky's.
 We journeyed deep into the forest.
11.} I looked on rainy days, on sunny days and I looked especially hard on cold days. Because, I would never want you to be cold.
When I told this story, I also say, "I would be so sad, if you were ever lost, cold, hungry or alone. Little did I know that a day would come when this story would prove to be a premonition.
I knew we would find you, I knew you needed us to find you. When I went driving,
 I always kept a look out for you.
It was always here when Rhiannon would interrupt and say "But, what if you couldn't find me, what if you looked and looked and I was lost?"
I said, "I would look FOREVER,
I would NEVER give up or quit looking".
12.} One day a Faerie told me I didn't have long to look, and I would find you.
13.} When we found out, I was going to have you,
we loved you then.
 After I had you, we loved you even more. When we looked at you we knew your name was going to be Rhiannon-Welsh for Great Queen
 Martina-Roman for Mars
 Fallon-Irish for Leader
14.} Our quest is over. You are both beautiful and smart and everything to us.
You are both Loved Best
Mom and Dad
You have two lovely sisters....
But, that's another story.
I don’t remember the last time I entertained their little minds and hearts with this story.  I am thinking it was on the way  to Disney land, a three week long road trip. The last one we ever took with just the four of us. After much thought, and reflection, I know I need to put the words to paper and tell more of this story. Where to begin? I thought...
 Well, lets start at the beginning. 
 'Once Upon a Time',
 'there were two well loved little girls.' 
 It is a story of  love,
 of  desperation and of never giving up.
  It is from the depth of  this mothers aching heart. I am digging deep to tell a story that is still unfolding.
I am afraid, which is not a strong enough word.
Call me, I am here.
As long as it is in my power to come.

* Italicized lettering is added after, for clarification. The 'story' is what is journaled on the scrapbook pages. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Teetering on the edge of 2015

In summary, this year I / We have:
Replaced all the windows on the North side of the house, plus the kitchen window. We started in the rain as you can see. In the end we nailed it!!
 This guy is my hero, whatever I dream up, he makes it happen.
Waited for the roofers and sider's to finish the job from a year and a half ago. This was an insurance claim. Don't get me started about how insurance actually works. Or doesn't work as the case may be. They finally got the roof done. It is quite a shocking change from this
to this
The blue was my second pick for color, the original was a nice medium brown, bronze. But, I was told they could not source it so, BLUE IT IS!!
Still waiting on the siding, but  now we are in the thick of
Beautiful here, but not very likely to facilitate work on the house till the spring. They had a GLORIOUS....
 summer and....dry fall
 to getter done, but they didn' we wait..
Angella found this fantastic iron door for my fairy garden. I know you are thinking 'Fae Folk can not abide iron'. Not entirely true, there are an entire nation that thrive behind this iron portal. If you are quiet you may catch them at their play.
We are down to just these two little beasts of the field
Cocoa and Thunder
Marley and Puss of the house...this is for Joanne who understands about the kats.
Thank You Pip from Meet Me at Mikes for the monthly journal prompts. I managed to do almost 8 months I think ?. then I fizzled. Thanks to Tracie of Beets + Birch for the non stop laughs. Keeping it real.
I do not lead an exciting life. Same old around here, lots of projects on the go and lots of running for the bairns.
Speaking of the children, the little ones have grown so tall. I measure them on the playhouse door frame.
Taryn, the smallest

 Irelyn, the tallest
Gabe, you can almost see him grow daily
Dartanian, from boy to Young Man!!and Driving this year!!
Jasper, just lovely and Driving this year!!
Beautiful Rhiannon {flew the nest this year}
Happy Santanna
Nan 'Granddame' of All
Me and Candice LOL
This was early last spring, they have all grown even more since then.
This year we have laughed,
 we have cried,
 we have all made it through.
We have found love and lost love.
But, there is always learning in everything we gain,
and everything we loose.  
Here's to a new year with
love, laughter, and  happiness for everyone.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Taking Stock September

Making :
 ATC's - 'Artist Trading Cards to swap with Paper Traders
Cooking :Cinnamon Buns
Drinking : Coffee- black
Reading:8 Things I'm Too Old For Loved this article, the comments are as interesting to me as the list.
Looking: At the fall display in our yard
 The moon was really large and beautiful, however, that never translates in my photos...sigh
With the new house phone.....I am challenged by change.....
Quiet mornings
The size of the potatoes from the small bunch that I planted with the kids this spring. If the zombies come, we will be okay for a while.
Wondering: What this rainbow and cloud formation is called. I know about 'Sundogs' but this is different?
That I have started the new 'Studio'
Classes I might teach in that studio
Upcycle items for that room
'Fear the Walking Dead' of course!
A maid....I would so love her and treat her good!!
Kat farted....UUUGGG its the worst!
Wearing: work clothes
Deep Thoughts....
Sorting: mental clutter
Buying: just the basics
Disliking: That the famer who owns the field around our house has spread stinks and the fly's are almost unbearable...BTW Walking Dead fans....the flies would be horrendous if there were actual Zombies walking around!
Opening: ?
Feeling: Good overall
Snacking: hmmm gotta go shopping for some snack type stuff
Coveting:- same old same old....
Wishing: Winter didn't have to come
Helping: DD's
Hearing: Skid Row

Thank You Pip from Meet Me at Mikes for this journal prompt

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Taking Stock August 2015

August just flew by this year in a whirl wind of doing stuff.
Making :
 Plans in my head for the new Studio room
Cooking :
Crock pot meals
Drinking :
Black coffee
'Mortal Instruments' by Cassandra Clare
More time to Play
At a wood pecker on the back of our little pony....weird relationship
Not as much as I want
how best to spend the days....working lots
Looking out the new windows, they are crystal clear
For the rain to cease
Quiet mornings
If I will get the potatoes dug before it snows......
That I stayed up long enough to watch the
meteor shower. I made it to a count of 47
We live in the country so it wasn't too hard to find a viewing spot. Next year I am going to drag the trampoline out into the open and lay on that. My neck is still sore. LOL
What being 56 means.....editing this list,
 I don't always have something to say....
The possibility that I will get the house cleaned up before
....oh, lets say Christmas shall we?
'Fear The Walking Dead'
For a long Autumn season
At the meteor shower
More energy
A crisp in the air, that means summer is over
Pajamas and work clothes, not the kind you wear to the office either. The kind you can rip, tear, get paint and silicone on. 
The Blue Moon- Spectacular
That's not my photo, thank you Google search
I will never get a photo of the moon like that, no matter how many times I try.....
This is the best I can hope for and it is pixeled out!
The youngest DD for her dedication to being on her own and working hard!
The siding pieces I took off the house, they are destine for the DD's house, but, not till next spring
Building supplies to finish the window sill's
behinder by the minute
DIY sites
Waiting, I am a terribly impatient waiter, if you say you are going to be there at a specific time. BE THERE !
The fridge....A LOT- must go shopping more often for food
Sometimes, and when I do, I feel like it would only take just one more funny thing to tip me over to the hysterical laughing. Love the hysterical tears in my eyes, can't breath laughter
A little burnt
Costco cocoanut cake....probably a recipe for a heart attack...
Sleep......always the sleep.....
they would get the new roof and siding done already!!
The other Grandmother of our dear grandchildren at her catering gig
Dianne Gabaldon's voice as she did the readings at the fair, Joanne took me to. Thank you Joanne, for a fun, interesting day.


Thank You Pip from Meet Me at Mikes for this journal prompt

Friday, July 31, 2015

Taking Stock July 2015

Making :Journal page about 5 well 55 to be exact as I teeter
my way to 'not' being 55
Cooking : notta, nothing
Drinking : coffee, water and ice tea
Reading : legal land description papers
Wanting : to learn how to use a compass for real!
Looking: for the survey pegs on previously mentioned parcel of land,
 one down 6 to go.
Playing : Five for Fighting '100 Years'
Deciding : When to start tearing the Basement apart
Wishing : The windows would wash themselves
Enjoying : The quiet of a Sunday morning
Waiting : For my DD to grow out of this stage in life, you know what I mean, the one where you pick up all the broken boys and think you can fix them. With that comes all the what if she can't break away worries.
Liking : The new lawn mower
Wondering : If I should cut the grass today...
Loving : A good naturally aged patina
Pondering : Gazebo plans for the yard, using this door and some others from the Canadian Picking Excapades.....
This one was on the 'long shed' at my parents farm right up until it was dozed down a few years ago.
Considering : The fact that I am always busy is a type of OCD.....
Watching : This anniversary JibJab from Joanne...Hilarious

Hoping : When the water quit it is an electrical glitch...not the pump.
Marvelling : At the clouds of summer, storms or not.
Needing : Air conditioning
Smelling : Lavender anything
Wearing : Work clothes
Following : Leading
Noticing : How big the Grand's are getting
Knowing : Given enough time, all things fall into line just as they should
Thinking : A lot about exactly what I want to get accomplished
Admiring : All the doers
Sorting : Through the stacks of magazines
Buying : new windows for the back of the house
Getting : Ready to take on all the redo of windows on the north side of our house!
Bookmarking : Organizing sites
Disliking :Road construction
Opening : Boxes and getting ready for the yardsale of the decade!
Giggling :
At this little girl who could have been the youngest that just moved out.
right down to the brother she calls tanna {ours was a sister}
Feeling : At peaches for ripeness 
Snacking :M & M's Chocolate triple fudge cake
Coveting :

Wishing : Upon a Star
Helping :A at the Farmer's Market the second oldest daughter runs during the summer in Airdrie. I'm lined up in front of the Ice-cream tent...Best Ice-cream I have EVER had. Seriously ! Chocolate cookie with real mint center
Hearing :A new happiness in the oldest daughters voice as she too embarks on her new journey

Thank You Pip from Meet Me at Mikes for this journal prompt