Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I resolve...

Tick Tock     Tick Tock     Tick Tock
The final days of 2010 are here.
In our minds, we create our "best of" and "worst of" lists for this year.
We resolve to have more "best ofs" in 2011.
Tick Tock     Tick Tock     Tick Tock

Tick Tock
My very first job out of college was teaching Nursery School  in Madison.

I learned many lessons from working with young children: 
patience, joy and that my right knee on my pants always wore thru (from getting down to the child's level)!
I learned many lessons from working with my co-teacher:
Nancy taught me about organization, intentional planning and that you should always set your bar high.

It was also at Tenney Nursery & Parent Center that I learned the essential rules for life;
Take care of yourself.
Take care of each other.
Take care of our world.

I can resolve to do better at this --even a little better counts.

How about you?  What lessons do you take into this new year?
What wishes are you making?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A final gift...

The quiet reflection of the day after Christmas is always a gift...and on this day, there was also another gift waiting.  Bare feet into boots, robe rather than coat -- I ventured outside to receive it.

hoar·frost (hôr frôst). n. Frozen dew that forms a white coating on a surface. Also called white frost.

Magical & Beautiful
A final Christmas Gift.

Has your cup runneth over?

Monday, December 20, 2010

fragile...please handle with care

Hold out your hands...and accept this...
It is fragile, please handle with care.

What could it be - this fragile gift?

My first thought is the little blue eggs - shell fragments I find in the yard each summer - new babies in a nest so high.  I think of those little ones  - surviving wind, rain, crows & jays.   And they make it -- and then journey so far to return each spring and begin again.

Fragile begets Strength.

I think of the ornaments - German made I unwrap each December.  They traveled to Wisconsin, some with my great grandparents.  I find these at antique shops, at thrift sales -- and gather them.  Somehow they have survived, to be honored each year.

Fragile begets Dignity.

I think of the people I have met -- those that have traveled through hard times.  Those that do not define themselves as a cup half empty --- but rather always at least half full.  Those that accept food from a line, coats - second hand but warm.  Those that would take your hand if you offered it.

Fragile begets Resilience.

I think of the animals that toil thru the cold, that dig for grass in the snow...that know warmth only when in season.  That don't complain, but accept the grace of a stranger, seed from a feeder, corn left to find, apples fallen from a tree and left for them.

Fragile begets Perseverance.

When burdens seem too heavy, when suffering seems too large -- when all feels fragile -- I reach out my hands and ask for Wisdom from the past, from the woods, from the least likely place....and tonight, in a humble barn, a stable of sorts, it found me. 

Fragile begets hope. 

May the promise of Christmas find you.  Hold out your hands, but please handle with care.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On the fourth day of Christmas...

On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me
Four Calling Birds.

My gift...birdseed in the feeder in the apple orchard.

*The challenge - the twelve days of Christmas from items in my home
a Gift based upon my interpretation.

Screech...that is the sound of my brakes as I attempt to STOP.
Last night my son was in a car accident - he is fine.
I am not so much.
I have been pondering a lot in my heart lately --
and now feel the need to stop, step away for a bit.

I will be back.

I didn't realize when I started this post this morning that the four calling birds would call to me...
I need to follow.

I wish you only the best of what this holiday season can be.
We each need to find out what that is.
See you soon,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the third day of Christmas...

The challenge -- to photograph my version of the 12 days of Christmas
from vignettes already found in my home.

My true love gave to me -
three French Hens.

The gift -- pay it forward somehow based upon my interpretation of each day.

Today I will attempt to not "ruffle any feathers" --
and be thoughtful,
remembering that this is indeed the season of good will.

I might also take my son out for chicken fajitas (sorry french hens) ---
and attempt to try out a few French words thru the day (not really a gift to anyone).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On the second day of Christmas...

The challenge: Represent the twelve days of Christmas from items already present in my home.

The gift:  Offer out a gift based upon each day.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Two turtle doves.

Today, my gift will be kindness. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

On the first day of Christmas...

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

Snow bound Kari created a final test for the year.
Could I recreate the twelve days of Christmas with just what was already out in my home?

And rather than wait until the true twelve days --
Christmas thru Epiphany...
I gift these to you each day thru Christmas Eve.

I will also add a twist -- a gift I give to my Kari-world based on this: 
Today I will take in fruit to share at my office.

What would you have in your home to represent this first day?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shall we say - SNOW!

Somehow I had missed it...all the warnings leading up to today.
Certainly, Friday -- word began to register.
Get. Ready.
A. Blizzard. Is. Coming.

So, like any good Wisconsinite -- I went to the grocery store.
Beef stew, cocoa, more cocoa....

And, it is here.
Snow - and plenty of it.
Winds arriving next.
Then cold, cold, cold.

Living in the country - you just have to wait it out.
If winds are coming, no need to get too excited about shoveling...
the gusts will come across the fields and move it all around anyway.
Wait it out.

So, I climbed thru drifts out to the barn this morning.
Making sure every kitten was accounted for --
they would be in way over their little heads in this snow fall.

Milk, cat food, hay for the goats --
and today a space heater in a little "warm me up" spot
for the cats.  Come on, I do have a heart.

It is here -- we hunker down, and wait.
Will it make the record books?
Could be.

Are you hunkered down too?

Shall we say - BLIZZARD.
It was!
Here is Dave hidden behind mounds of snow cleaning up.
My job was to dig a path out of the barn for the animals.
SNOW - and lots of it!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Be Nice...

"You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout,
I'm telling you why...
Santa Claus is coming to town."

As a child, my family celebrated Christmas in a pretty traditional way.
(the little santa above is from my childhood)
I can still remember going thru the list above to make sure I was following all the rules...
Most important to be good, be nice.
After all, I had Santa watching.
And then we would add the nativity set --- so that sweet little baby in the manger was
likely keeping an eye on me too.
Really better be good.

Don't you just wish, don't you just want at the top of all of our
wish lists for that rule to apply all year.
Be Nice...
Better be good.

Oh my, if we could just offer compassion, understanding, empathy --
if we could just give a little more when there feels like nothing is left,
what a great place we would live in.

And so I resurrected a past post: "On doves & peace & kindness"
as a reminder.  This has been on my mind, weighing heavy on my heart for some time.

There is enough blame & judgement & anger in this world, let's offer
a truce --- an olive branch.

Be Nice...thanks!

I want a bumper sticker, a shirt, a tattoo, a yard sign, a pin that says that.

Maybe I just need to start me a movement...

Be Nice, pass it on....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Sweet Shop

A pinch of this...
tuck away a vintage card just so.

A little of that...
bottle brush trees, vintage ribbon, charming candles.

A dash of seasoning...
sparkle in the form of vintage garland.

A cup of sugar...
Celluloid deer overflowing.

Stir it all together -
May you enjoy the sweet moments of this holiday season.

Hugs, Kari

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Winter gathering...

Winter arrived Saturday.

Played in the snow with the animals
Made cocoa & chili
Brought out more Christmas decorations
Gathered at one antique store and at auction...

Here is some of what I gathered:

Section of ceiling tin for a back splash

Vintage painted ornament

Box of books at auction

The weekend was paced by snow...
a needed reprieve from such busy days.


Saturday, December 4, 2010


And so it shall be!

My living room theme this year for the holidays.

A little silver.
A bit of gold.
A dash of rusty patina.
Off white.
Stir it all together.

There is that jar of my favorite number tacks - twinkling just so.

If you peak out the window...
nature added some white to the theme this morning.

What inspires your decorating this holiday season?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hardworking Cupboard - Vintage with a Purpose #5

So, who made up the rule that the best kitchens
have granite counters and cabinets* that cost the same as your kid's education?  

Must have been the same folks that said a run-on sentence is poor grammar, and don't use "..." too much.

Rules --- whatever.

As I said to my son last week in a little talk about his work towards a Business Degree...
learn all the rules,
then proceed to push the envelope where & when you can.
'Cause who says so?
If it is not law and if it doesn't make sense to you -- then don't.
Be courageous & creative.  Make your own way.

So, that being said....my kitchen, my home was built when home rules were in their infancy.
A kitchen needed a fire to cook on & water somewhere near by. 
Period.  No run-on sentence needed...

And, I love the pureness of what we have.

So -- no granite counters, no cabinets that cost a small fortune...instead --
one of my essentials is this hardworking cupboard.

It is a beauty -- purchased years ago in Paoli, Wisconsin.
In my last home it lived in our upstairs hallway - holding my clothes.
In this home, it resides in the kitchen, friend of the 4 little cabinets that were there.

The inside was painted with milk paint --- from around 1850 --
similar in age to our house.
Pure of style and now pure of purpose:
Hold my stuff.

And zinc topped Ball jars -- oh my gosh!
I officially make a rule: 
Every home needs at least one of these --

*Footnote -- if you have granite counters or fabulous cabinets
--- please do not be offended.
Each home and each person calls for their own identity & needs...rules don't.

So --- here is your chance -
"make" or break a rule here.....
come on, you know you want to!
Add your comment...
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