Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011



Thursday, December 29, 2011

"I'm not really sad.  This is my normal look.  It's pretty great because it melts Audrey's heart and she spoils me all the time."

If Jake could talk, I'm sure he might say those words.  He has grown a little, but is still just as cute as ever.  I have to admit he has stolen our hearts forever.
He was the perfect Christmas gift for us to give each other.  Although, the timing wasn't all that good.  The entire month of December has been pretty hectic.  Mom began Physical Therapy this month for her spinal stenosis which has been giving her unbelievable pain.  So, I have to leave to take her several times a week. Jake does not like to be alone and I don't know for sure if it is harder on him or me when I leave.
In the wee hours of Christmas morning, I woke not feeling well.  By mid morning, it was obvious I had the flu.  Having spent the entire day and night in bed sicker than I can remember being for a long time, dear Terry tended to Jake the entire time and sweet Mom (in spite of her pain) managed to put food on the table for she and Terry.  The Christmas dinner I had planned was not to be.
Tuesday night, Mom became ill with the flu. I was up most of the night with her, so I may have set myself back a little.  I am feeling better, but still dragging some and I don't have much of an appetite.  Mom is feeling better today.  Terry has been fighting it, as well, but thankfully he didn't get it as bad as I did.  So, poor little Jake would have been up a creek if we had both been bed bound.
Since December was such a busy and crazy month, I didn't get my Christmas cards done this year. I felt very bad about that because it is the one contact I have with some people.  I decided that I would do New Year's cards instead. Well, the flu pretty much squashed that plan. 
So, December is going out with a bang and a New Year will be upon us shortly.  I look forward to a new and better year in which I hope to make more creative time and write more Blog posts.  2011 was not the best year ~ many challenges and losses ~ but as long as I have my health, my family, and my friends, I am grateful to be alive and that is a beautiful thing.  I've met more wonderful friends this year through facebook and blogging ~ I hope to get to know them better in 2012 and share much artistic happiness.
I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions.  They usually go by the wayside with most people.  I only have one goal for the new year ~ MAKE MORE TIME FOR ART!!!  That's the plan.  If it works, you'll see more posts with finished art work instead of so many works in progress that just don't seem to get finished.  I hope to open my etsy shop in the new year, as well.
Well, if nothing else, this "not feeling so good" gave me time to sit down and write this post.  Jake is squeaking ~ I must go see what he needs.  (:
♥ audrey

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

~Compliments of Pam Aries

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How beautiful it is to be alive!
~Henry S. Sutton
~Photo by Audrey, December 2010

Monday, December 26, 2011

Finding no room at the Inn, Jesus was born in a manger.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come: let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Joseph and Mary nearing Bethlehem hoping to find room at an Inn.

Friday, December 23, 2011

We three kings of Orient are 
Bearing gifts we traverse afar. 
Field and fountain, moor and mountain, 
Following yonder star. 

O star of wonder, star of night, 
Star with royal beauty bright, 
Westward leading, still proceeding, 
Guide us to thy perfect Light. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another Surprise

Another surprise in the mail today!  How blessed am I to have such sweet and caring friends?  Thank you, Pam. ♥ You  helped make my Christmas special this year. This print is such a happy scene ~ something I needed at this particular time.
Visit Pam's Blog, Yoborobo at
Pam is Queen Skelly Maker and a talented writer.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Beautiful Gift

Last December, I posted this photo of our First Snow here in the Roanoke Valley. Ces was inspired by it and yesterday I received this beautiful matted Art Card that she created in black and white.  It is lovely and I will frame it and hang it on my gallery wall of artwork created by friends.  Thank you, Ces.  What a  beautiful, unexpected gift.
If you've never visited Ces's Blog, please do so.  She is an extremely talented artist who paints large oil paintings and she creates magical, intricate drawings in pen and ink. Be sure to click on the photos to get a closer look at the detail.
I apologize for the white scratchy lines on the black mat in the photo.  My scanner has scratches on it and they love showing up in photos. ):

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Thursday, December 15, 2011

I wish we were going to Don Pablos tonight ~ we'll have to celebrate during my next Ohio visit.  Have a great day and know that I sincerely wish you a year filled with good things.

Monday, December 12, 2011


During this busy time of Christmas preparation, take some time to stop, light a candle, take a deep breath, and reflect on what Christmas is really all about.  Enjoy a few moments of relaxation.  Let some memories of Christmases past come to mind.  Go back to your childhood and those happy memories of days filled with anticipation and then the excitement of Christmas Day.  Remember those loved ones who are no longer with you and think about the Christmases that you shared with them.  Look through your old albums at Christmas photographs. I guarantee at least one smile on your face and in your heart.  One more thing.  Say a little prayer that man will come to his senses and bring Christ back into Christmas.  I hope this will be a merry and blessed Christmas season for all of you.
♥ audrey

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Birthday wishes are sent to you ~ a beautiful, strong, fun, and loving lady. My thoughts are with you today as you celebrate your special day. You are expecting this year to be one like no other ~ fighting for your health with your body and mind!!  On your next Birthday, Anne, we will celebrate the end of the fight and your complete healing. ♥

Friday, December 9, 2011

And now there is "Jake"


Hello my friends!!
It has been a while since I posted at any length.  Several weeks ago I cut my finger at the knuckle ~ it had a splint on it for 10 days making it difficult to type.  That healed and then a week ago Tuesday I was outside decorating the tree.  Just about to finish when the leg sank deeply into the wet mulch.  The ladder went one way ~ I went the other.  Ouch!!  I am still healing from that fall.  Badly bruised, scraped, and sore, but fortunately I didn't break anything. 
There is good news, though.


Terry and I had no plans of owning a dog anytime soon.  Last Sunday, Jake came into our lives.  We first saw him Friday night, held him, fell in love with him, and bought him on Sunday.
Jake is a 12-week-old miniature dachshund and as you can see above, has a face that made us want to take him home.
Jake has changed our lives in 5 short days. We are on new schedules, shopping in pet stores, making many trips outdoors, and basically learning how to live life with a dog in the house.
I LOVE this little dog. I love his face... his little body... his personality... the smell of him... the feel of his soft coat of short hair... the little wrinkles on his forehead... the way he cocks his little eyebrows... the way he squeaks when he wants held and loved... his little paws... the wagging tail.  I love how well he's doing with housetraining.  I feared this might be a nightmare process, but he is doing really well in that department.
I realize we have a long way to go with a lot of training ahead of us, but I'm thinking Jake is going to bring a lot of joy into our lives.
I wasn't sure how Mom was going to feel about Jake.  The only pet we ever had growing up was Chippy ~ a chipmunk.  Patrick caught Chippy on a golf course, brought him home, and he lived in a cage in the garage until the day he died.
Well... Mom is smitten with Jake.  I love the photo of Mom's beautiful, loving, 94-year-old hands holding Jake on her lap. 
So... this is my rather lengthy explanation for being absent from my Blog.  Sometimes life just has other things in mind for us.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Friday, December 2, 2011

Compliments of Gail Haslett Ragsdale and Yiva Karlsson

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shirley & Marcy

Shirley & Marcy

A mother was concerned about her
kindergarten son, Timmy, walking to school.
He didn't want his mother to walk with him.
She wanted to give him the feeling that he
had some independence but yet know that
he was safe.
So she had an idea of how to handle it.
She asked a neighbor if she would please
follow him to school in the mornings,
staying at a distance, so he probably
wouldn't notice her.
The neighbor said that since she was up
early with her toddler anyway, it would be a
good way for them to get some exercise as
well, so she agreed.
The next school day, the neighbor and her
little girl set out following behind Timmy as
he walked to school with another neighbor
girl he knew.
She did this for the whole week.
As the two walked and chatted, kicking
stones and twigs, Timmy's little friend
noticed the same lady was following them
as she seemed to do every day all week.
Finally she said to Timmy,
'Have you noticed that lady following us to
school all week? Do you know her?'
Timmy nonchalantly replied, 'Yeah, I know
who she is.'
The little girl said, 'Well, who is she?'
'That's just Shirley Goodnest,' Timmy
replied, 'and her daughter Marcy.'
'Shirley Goodnest? Who is she and why is
she following us?'
'Well,' Timmy explained, 'every night my
Mum makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my
prayers, 'cuz she worries about me so
And in the Psalm, it says, 'Shirley Goodnest
(surely goodness) and Marcy (mercy) shall
follow me all the days of my life', so I guess
I'll just have to get used to it!'


May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you
today and always!

I received this cute email this morning and had to share it.
Thanks, John.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Compliments of The Brave Girls Club.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011


Not only do I now have a special friend in Maryland, I also have "skellies" hanging on my walls. Thank you, Pam, for the introduction to your wonderful world of "skellies".

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Day ~ 2011

This year I am so very thankful for my blessings. As I reflect on them, I realize they are abundant: My family * friends * health * and home * That I will spend Thanksgiving Day with my son and his wife * That my Blog returned to the internet and with no loss of information * my new computer * my cold is gone * the colors, textures, and smells of Fall * that God has allowed my sweet Mother to remain with us for 94 years and counting * I am thankful for the friendships I've developed through Blogging * I'm thankful for my talents and my interests. These are just a few things I am thankful for ~ there are so many. But, this year, the one thing I am truly thankful for is that I was blessed with the most wonderful brother. I will always miss him, but now I can reflect on our years together and what a special relationship we shared, without being overcome with sadness. I know how much he loved me and I remember how we were there for each other through the good and the bad. Nothing can take those memories away. I feel he is still looking out for me and I am thankful for that.
When I was young, Thanksgiving Day pretty much meant a day off work and a big feast of turkey with all the trimmings. As the years have passed, I have come to know the true meaning. I must say it is a joyful feeling to take time to reflect on all the good things in my life.

I wish all of you ~ friends and family ~ a BEAUTIFUL THANKSGIVING DAY!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Photograph Storage

Well, friends, I've had a lousy cold for almost 2 weeks and it is finally on its way out. You all know that miserable state of not being able to breath through your nose and coughing, coughing, coughing. Thank goodness, I didn't feel too bad other than those inconveniences, but I'm so happy it's almost gone. I slept through the night with little coughing last night so I feel better than I have for quite a while.

A while back, I mentioned I was having computer problems. That issue is resolved as I got a new computer about 3 weeks ago. I went with a laptop this time and I'm very happy with it. I had Vista before and Windows 7 is a little different. I've already adjusted to those changes, but my email system is quite different and it is taking some getting used to. But, everything in the tech world changes on a daily basis so I'm sure just about the time I get used to this system, there will be a newer and better one. Unfortunately, I am finding the more they change things, the more complicated they become. So, now that I have a computer that works properly and this cold is almost gone, I can post more than just a photo and a few words.

I would like to share a problem with you. I am at a loss of what to do about my photographs. The photos on my old computer have been transferred to my new one ~ ALL 27,200 OF THEM!!!! I need to do something with them. I had an external hard drive that I was backing them up on, but it wasn't working properly so I lived in fear of losing those photos. I feel a little more secure having a new computer, but that really is no guarantee. Plus, I keep adding photos.

I toyed with using Carbonite, but I really want to remove most of the photos from my computer and have them elsewhere. I was going to put them on CDs, but I've been told that CDs don't always last. I'm just not sure what direction to go. I would be so unhappy if I were to lose these photos. There are many family photos and other photos that I want to enlarge, frame, and possibly sell. Unless I come up with some kind of storage system for my photographs, my computer is going to get bogged down with them. It's ok right now, but I keep taking photos and I see no end in sight.

I feel certain someone else out there has been faced with this dilemma and has found a solution. I welcome and would be grateful for any suggestions. ♥

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

~Photo by Audrey



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Peace and Beauty

Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leave you speechless, remain that way. Say nothing, and listen as heaven whispers, "Do you like it? I did it just for you."

~Max Lucado

~Photo by Audrey

This stream is only about a 10 minute ride from where I live. I love to go there now and then just to see and hear the water. This photo was taken in the Summer. I love the sense of peace I feel when I look at this photograph. Imagine how it feels to stand there and see all this beauty that God gave us. No matter where we live, we all have a place like this that makes us feel at peace and helps the stress to melt a little bit. It may be a flower garden, a field, a pond, or the park. No matter. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, go to that place, sit for a few minutes and soak in the peacefulness and beauty. It might surprise you how much better you will feel. It may help you see things in a different light. You may have an important decision to make, or perhaps you just need some inspiration. Try it. It works. Do you realize how much negativity is thrown at us each day? We have to get rid of it ~ cast it aside ~ look at positive things ~ have positive thoughts.

I wish you peace and beauty today.

Monday, November 14, 2011

~Photo by Audrey

~Sydney Smith

Friday, November 11, 2011


I just HAD to type today's date before midnight. I'll never see those numbers used for the date ever again. I had no fear of something happening today, no reason to try to figure out the meaning of these particular numbers, nor did I read any of the articles I'm sure were written to try to scare us half to death. I simply like the way it looks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Our Friend

This is a continuation from my earlier post asking all sisterfriends for prayers. I have been visiting blogs tonight and I see that the word is out that it is our dear Anne that is in need of our love and prayers. We all know what a trouper she is ~ a fighter ~ a survivor!! She will fight hard and we will fight with her. We, as a community of bloggers and sisterfriends, have united as one to pray for Anne. She has been there for all of us, it seems. I've read comments this evening that I could have written myself about how she reaches out, listens, understands, and makes us laugh. She is talented in many ways beyond her artistic abilities and God has to be pleased with all the majestic stoles and banners she has made over the years. There is no one else quite like her. She is truly our friend. We all want to see her well, happy, and creating in the studio she loves. God is good. He will listen to our unified prayers.
We love you, Anne. Be well.

♥ audrey

A Call to all Sisterfriends for Prayers

~Photo by Audrey
Early this morning I received news that one of our sisterfriends is in need of our prayers. I don't feel it is my place to name her. She will post the details on her blog when she is ready. We started blogging at the same time, became blog friends, and I have come to know and love her.

Please pray for her. She is going to need strength, our prayers, our love, and our support.

♥ audrey

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Simple Beauty

~Photo by Audrey
There is such beauty in the simple things if only we take a moment to look. This lone cockscomb is in a pot in front of a restaurant. I nearly missed it, but took another glance back before getting in my car. One simple flower.... so much texture and so much beauty.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Fun Visit with Ohio Family

My niece, Maria, and I, unwinding late at night after chasing her boys around the top of Mill Mountain. We did some serious laughing.

We took the boys to see the Roanoke Star on Mill Mountain. They had a ball running around in the woods and climbing on rocks up there.

We could barely get them to stand still long enough to take a photo in front of the star sign.

Jonathan (6) and Samuel (4) were smitten with Terry and his workshop. Terry put them to work and they had the best time. Samuel was quite serious about his cleaning duties.

These ear protectors were just a little too big for Samuel, but he would not give up on wearing them.

Jonathan was very intent on his sawing job. He never quit until he sawed through the little piece of wood Terry set up for him.

Workshop pals forever.

Terry promised they could help him weed and pick up stones. They found something fun to do while waiting for his instructions. I think Samuel got the better end of the deal.

They actually enjoyed working on that steep hill in the back. Terry isn't normally overjoyed when he works back there. I think because he had helpers, it made for a more pleasant work experience this time.

It was a fun weekend and great to spend some time with relatives we don't get to see often enough.