Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday

William  *  Audrey  *  Larry
Carefree Happy Days ~ Summer, 1951.  Spending time with the Kopka cousins was routine back then.  These are a couple of Mom's brother Andy's boys.  If I remember correctly, I didn't wear shoes unless I HAD to.  Larry was smart ~ no scrapes or bee stings for him.  Great car!! 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Afternoon Delight

 These three beauties just walked out of the woods, across my yard, and onto the cul-de-sac.  I love my studio window!!!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blue Monday

Casey and Amanda went back to South Carolina yesterday after a four day visit that we packed full with eating, drinking, laughing, and visiting.  Missing them SO much already.
 We traveled to Lynchburg for the reopening of Buffalo Wild Wings ~ total new look and an addition.  It looked great and the food was very good!
 Had a really good time at Jack Brown's in downtown Roanoke.  Very good burgers and deep fried oreo cookies.  (I will have to work hard to get that cookie out of my system).  Love the old car grill being used for their beer taps
 Casey, Amanda, and I LOVE Indian food.  We ate at Nawab in downtown Roanoke.  SO good!!!
 We spent most of Saturday downtown doing some fun things.  We visited the Flower Gardens and the Butterfly Garden on the top floors of the Center in the Square.  Such fun walking among them and seeing the beauty of the butterflies and the flowers.

 Made a special stop at Appalachia Press to see one of my favorite people and to wish him a Happy Birthday!!
 VERY large Coy in the pond.  A soothing place to watch the fish and relax high above the bustle of the city.

 A wonderful view of the Taubman Museum of Art.  Easier to see the beauty of the building from above.  The views from the top of the Center in the Square were wonderful.  I only took a couple of photos.  (You don't believe that, do you?)
 Jellyfish!!  Fascinating to watch!!  There are two tanks filled with them on the main floor of the Center.
A walk past the Taubman showed us monsters on the windows.  These are monsters by Japanese artist Motomichi Nakamura who presently has a show in the museum. 
Some of the things we crammed into their four day visit.  We'll cover more territory next time they are in town.  In the meantime, I hope to plan a trip down South to visit them this Fall.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

You do not look 50, my friend!!  The years have been very good to you.  Your dedication and love for the work you do, and that sincere welcoming smile, will keep you on a path of smooth sailing.  I wish you tons of happiness!!

Friday, July 25, 2014


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday

July, 1954 ~ 6 Years Old.  I wonder where I was going all dressed up, hat and all. 
This was in the corner of the back yard of the little pink bungalow where I grew up.  I loved that house.  Still drive by it when I visit Ohio.  It isn't pink anymore, but still opens the floodgate of memories every visit.
I must have got my love of flowers from Mom.  In every photo taken in our yard or around the house, there are flowers ~ big beautiful flowers.  She definitely had a green thumb!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Many years have passed since we left KSU, but the memories will stay forever.  I'm glad we are in touch.  I hope you have a blessed day and get to spend some of it with your beautiful family.
This guy stopped in my studio window long enough for me to take a picture in spite of the empty feeder.  Sad little face.  Out I go to make sure he finds a good lunch when he returns.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bluebird Babies

It's a rainy cloudy day, but that doesn't stop Momma from bringing goodies to our 2nd Bluebird brood this year.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Turtle Painting

This is the 8" x 8" turtle that I asked Kelly Cameron to paint for me. Isn't it wonderful?  I love the colors she uses when she paints these turtles.  Thank you, Kelly.  Money well spent!  It will look great on my wall.
Photo by Audrey

"Surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday

June, 1956 ~ Doesn't every little girl dream of becoming a Ballerina?  For a few years, Mom made sure I was able to take ballet lessons.  During that time, I was in a production of Swan Lake at the Palace Theater in Canton.  For an 8 year old, that was a dream come true.  Thank you, Mom.  I still have those feathers that I wore in my hair on that stage.
Swan Lake, June, 1956, Palace Theater, Canton, Ohio
I am the last swan on the far right.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

May this day be filled with blessings and joy.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Smell of Rain

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing.  She was still groggy from surgery.  Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.

That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24 weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Caesarean to deliver the couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature.

Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs.  'I don't think she's going to make it,' he said, as kindly as he could.  'There's only a 10 percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one.'

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.  She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

'No! No!' was all Diana coud say.  She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four.  Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw', the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love.  All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.  But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time.  And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life, she showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment.  Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more.  But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting on her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing.

As always, Dana was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby, when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, 'Do you smell that?'  Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, 'Yes, it smells like rain.'

Dana closed her eyes and again asked, 'Do you smell that?'  Once again, her mother replied, 'Yes, I think we're about to get wet.  It smells like rain.'  Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, 'No, it smells like Him.'  It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest.'

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children.

Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along.  During those long days and nights of her first two months of life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

I love this story.  Even though I've read it before, when I received it this morning in an email from my friend, Holly, I cried again and decided to share it with you.  God is so very good and loving.  How exciting to think that one day we will be able to smell His scent.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

SUPERMOON Tonight !!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday

June 11, 1951 ~ A typical summer day playing outdoors with cousin Violet.  Blessings to Mom, sister Patty, and anyone else who might have put a date on the back of most of these vintage photos.  I've noticed that I'm smiling in most of my childhood photos ~ I remember a lot from those days and they were happy happy days in my life.  Notice the out of control "fine" hair.  Still dealing with that to this day.  Aunt Beulah had the right idea ~ Violet's hair is short and adorable.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


After 3 very normal EKGs yesterday, the doctor signed off for my carpal tunnel surgery.  She thinks maybe the EKG they did at pretesting was a fluke because all 3 yesterday were in the perfect range.  After my appointment, I went straight to church to thank God because I spent the last week being very concerned.  So now I can breath a little easier and wait for the carpal tunnel surgery to be rescheduled.  I know that some of you were concerned as well.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, July 7, 2014

♥  ♥  ♥

Sunday, July 6, 2014

May there be sunshine in your life today!!

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July

Happy 4th of July!!

This year, as we celebrate our adoption of the Declaration of Independence, lets vow to show our patriotism every day and not forget it once the celebrations are over.