Friday, November 6, 2009

Pumpkin Bars

I am not a fan of pastry crusts, much to the dismay of many around me. It doesn't seem to matter just how delicious it is, I would much rather scoop out the inside of the pie rather than eat the crust with it. I know, it's silly. But never once have I claimed to be normal.

A few years ago my mother found this delicious recipe (I don't know where from) that I now make every Autumn Season to celebrate the harvest, Thanksgiving, and even into Christmas. It's pretty much the only way I get my pumpkin pie without the pastry crust.

This recipe has a crust, a filling and a topping. All are easy to do, and fairly fool proof.

First of all, preheat your oven to 350 F.

1 Spice Cake Mix (reserve one cup)
1 Egg
1/3 cup melted butter

Mix crust with a fork, pat lightly into a slightly greased 9x13 cake pan.

1 30 oz can of seasoned Pumpkin Pie
2 Eggs
5 oz can of evaporated milk

Mix all three ingredients together and pour over the crust.

1 Cup of the reserved spice cake mix
2 Tablespoons butter (I put in whatever was left of the stick of butter used in the crust)

Cut in the butter (I just smoosh it all together by hand) until crumbly, and sprinkle over the filling.

Bake it for 1 hour. It can be served with whipping cream or a lovely scoop of ice cream.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Scarf Display for Boutique

I'm SO EXCITED with how my scarf display contraption turned out!!! I needed something that would hang my scarves up, as they seem to catch others' eyes when up in their faces, lol.
The idea crept up on me and ended up looking even better than I thought. It'll sit on the end of my table instead of on the wire stand. I was just so excited about it I had to put up some pictures! Let's start with just the display.
I might consider putting in one or two "trees" if it seems to work. I painted the sticks a metallic bronze, which I think turned out beautiful. But adding the fun wire and leaves was a stroke of inspiration. Lucky for me they were on sale.
Here it is with a few scarves on there.
And another look from the side.

The great thing is, when I'm done with the boutique, I can put it outside as a fun and pretty Autumn decoration!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bookmarks and Buttons

I have been crafting like CRAZY the last few weeks in anticipation of a few boutiques I'm so lucky to have been invited to join. I keep thinking - you need to post pictures!!!! But obviously that hasn't happened yet, lol. So today I want to show you a little sampling of at least two of my latest creations.

I've posted before about these ribbon bookmarks. Lately I've found some pretty new ribbons and fun buttons to put on the ends. What I've got here is just a small inkling of what's stashed away in my "Finished Bin." This first picture is simply a reminder of how these ribbon bookmarks work.

You have no idea how much I love how they wrap around the pages of the book. It's saved many a visit by a curious child.
My friend Debbie bought a couple for her girls, and has named them Book Belts. I so LOVE that name!!!

Not the clearest pictures, I know, but it gives you a good idea of what I'm offering. If you see anything you like, these bookmarks are selling for $4.50 a piece. For those of you who live close by, you're more than welcome to come look at everything in person.
With all the buttons and things I couldn't seem to find a ribbon that matched, well I had the idea to simply stick them to a magnet...and voila! Button Magnets!!!

I haven't put a price on these yet (we'll have to see if they even sell). But think they'll make any fridge or magnetic board a little happier!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Knitted Scarves

I'm not much of a knitter as I much prefer to crochet. Still, I found a super easy pattern and some "you can't tell I made a mistake" yarn in an effort to at least say, "I tried." They're awfully fun, especially for younger girls and tweens wanting a bit of flare (though I do have to say I love the red and blue ribbon-esque scarves in the last picture and will wear those myself!).

Doesn't this just SCREAM little girl dress up!?!?! I love these for my daughter and her friends. They seem to be perfect to keep in style while stilly being a little girl (I'm in such denial about her age).
This yarn is fun. It's not as feathery as the others and you can even see the knitted weave (except in this picture, which I admit is NOT my best). Yet it is so incredibly soft!!!

Who doesn't love STRIPES, seriously!!! Like the picture before, these aren't as feathery, but still on the flirty fun side!
And, of course, my two favorites. These are done with frayed ribbon yarn. SO pretty and fun.

There you go! The only knitted items in my house :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Crochet Bookmarks and Blanket

Hey all! It's been a while since I last posted on my creativity blog, and yet I've been so creative lately :D I thought I'd show you a little of what I've been working on. Some of you may remember the baby blanket I made for my brand new niece a few months ago. Well my mother asked if I could make one for someone who's also having a baby. Here's how it turned out.
Hmm. The pictures are a little dark. Sorry about that.
I had fun playing with the border on this one, and think it turned out WAY cute :)
My other project lately has been bookmarks. That's right BOOKMARKS! I roamed through the internet looking for free bookmark ideas, and there were two that popped out at me. Here's the first - I love the loops in them.

Pretty, don't you think? Here's the other one:

To finish these off I'll thread a ribbon through the middle. I'm excited with how delicate and feminine they're looking.

So there you go! My newest projects. Hope you enjoyed them ♥

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shades of Paradise Lost

First, just a note: this was a paper I wrote my senior year of high school for a Humanities class. I've kept it all these years because my teacher asked to keep a copy of it - something she rarely did. It was a retelling of one particular section of Milton's Paradise Lost. I hope you enjoy it.


An aura of death emanated from the motionless form. His body, trim and lithe, seemed to soar over the watery surface of the River Styks, barely creating a ripple. Though he faced downward his dark, handsome head looked up, cold eyes blazing as though ignited by the fires of his surroundings.

His thoughts remained focused on the plan, unwilling to accept defeat, unable to repress the dream of a dawn that will end his hell. Heaven had left him alone, and in this solitude he first conceived his dark plans. Plans that only added to his damnation by causing others to choose wickedness. Plans that mocked him for he knows infinite goodness, grace, and mercy to man will triumph in the end.

Yet now he stands upon the blackened river, renewed with anger and malice, doing that which some would call impossible. He spreads his monstrous wings and leans into the air, soaring majestically until he reaches dry land, a land which burns just as everything there smolders.

It is there he joins his legion of fallen angels.

Like sleeping guards on duty who’d been caught by the one they feared most, the fallen angels awaken and hastily arise at the unexpected arrival of their chief. He calls out to the pathetic creatures that come, eyes downcast and glimmering with a hint of joy at his arrival. Courage is raised and fears are quelled as their leader’s words caress their downtrodden countenance.

He barks orders as though readying for battle, and they must not disappoint. War is upon them. Resonant metal echoes the cry for action. An answering shout from the ranks tears at Hell’s vault.

Banners are raised, joined by spears and thronging helms and heavy rows of shields. Their leader glances over his army with an experienced eye, his heart swelling with pride. Never, since the creation of man, was there an army such as this. He looks upon his followers, the partners in his crime, all condemned forever. Faithful they stand in their withered glory.

Three times he tries to speak, his army pressing closer in anticipation of his words. Despite adamant resolve tears slip from his eyes. Only those who know him best, only those who looked closely enough, would know those tears were not shed because he loved them. It is only love for his purpose, his own being, his revenge that causes a crack in such unyielding demeanor.

Winged Heralds come forth to call forth the most worthy from each regiment. It is time for the great assembly. They swarm the gates and porches, hovering over the ground and in the air. In close recess and secret meeting sit a thousand demi-gods on golden seats with others of their kind. After a short silence and the summons read, the great council begins.

Satan relaxes for a moment on his golden throne, barely listening to the plotting and planning of those under his control. The slightest trace of a smile pulls at the corners of his beautiful mouth. If he can’t have the glory, he can at least take as many souls as possible.

On today’s agenda: the destruction of mankind.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pre-Flight Takeoff

At my hubby's recent work party, there were SO many seagulls around looking for a bite. I managed to capture a pic of this one just as he grabbed a nibble of bread.

Friday, June 5, 2009

How About a Few More Pictures

Are you thinking, "Hmm," with the first picture? :) I wouldn't blame you. I fell in love with it, though. It's the inside of one of my roses. Isn't the color fantastic?
Here's another one of my "favorite" roses while in full bloom.

I love LOVE LOVE my lilies, even if the color never looks as good in pictures as they do in person.

I caught a picture of this little guy on one of my rosebushes this morning.

A cluster of the Monet roses. Just beautiful!

I absolutely love the color of this rose!

What a way to end this presentation, right?

Friday, May 22, 2009

First Roses of Spring

It's Springtime, and in case you haven't figured it out before, I'm deeply in love with every brightly colored flower out there! Among my favorites are - as I've mentioned tons before - ROSES!!! I adore them. I have several planted in my yard, but hope to one day have even more.
I thought this morning I'd share with you the first few blooms to come out of my roses, followed by one that's not a rose, but still very pretty. I wanted to capture the last one before they all disappeared. These are only three of my roses, but you can hopefully see why they make me so very happy.
This was originally supposed to be a black rose, but I still love how rosy red it is. Out of all my rosebuses it always grows the biggest (which can make getting out of the car a little prickly, but we live with it!).

I received this one for mother's day a few years ago, and stands as my favorite. No matter how many pictures I take of these incredibly colorful blossoms, they never look as good as the real thing. From the time they first bloom until the last petal falls, the colors on this rose constantly change.

This is one of the first rosebushes I planted in our yard. Known as the Monet Rose, the blossoms are rarely big, but the soft color more than makes up for what it lacks in size.

This is my Bleeding Heart, one of the first things to bring color to my yard in the Spring. The pink is a little faded, but still such a beautiful sight to behold.

Friday, April 24, 2009

How to Catch a Leprechaun

For my first guest creative mind, I wanted to post this little ditty my son, J, did at school. Enjoy!


I am going to catch a leprechaun with coins.

I am going to tie sleeping powder on a rope.

Then I will put coins on the portch.

Then he steps on a lever.

I will take his gold.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Crocheted Baby Blanket

Okay so if your name is Melanie you probably shouldn't be looking at this until after I send it to you :) That being said, I recently finished crocheting a blanket for my new niece, who will be making an appearance in June (hooray!!!).

I got the pattern for these super easy blankets from Glenda, my step-mother-in-law, and absolutely love it! Babies love it as well. You can ask my other sister-in-law Emily, whose children refuse to let them go (sure makes a body feel good, lol).

I wanted to choose some different colors, and to be honest I'm still not so sure about them, but the blanket is done and I'll be shipping it off soon. While the design of the blanket stays the same, I like to try different borders.

Friday, April 17, 2009

From a Dream

I'm an avid dreamer, always have been. Every once in a while I'll have a dream that captures my imagination and won't let go until I get it down in print. This was one of those dreams.

The story is incomplete, and there are parts missing and needing to be fleshed out, but I wanted to share a story in it's beginning stages. I hope you enjoy it. Anything in capital letters or parantheses are in the works.


He was known to be a womanizer by the public, though she knew him as her employer and friend. She knew he went through women fast, but he wasn’t one to waste time on something he knew wasn’t going to last. He’d always had an instinct about things like that, which is what made him such a good businessman.

Something was changing, however. He was literally getting rid of everything in his rooms downstairs. She could hear the chatter of a woman, and tried not to acknowledge the pang of jealousy that automatically accompanied the thought of him with any other woman. When she heard what the woman was saying, and saw that every word was heard by him with no concern about his feelings, her jealousy turned to anger.

(Things about how he was getting rid of everything. “There must be something wrong. She was right there in his house. His stuff was so expensive.”)

The woman was just a mover, after all. She was surprised to see he was even getting rid of the pool table. He loved that pool table – had taught her the game at it’s side. She watched the look on his face as it was taken out, then saw him react to the moving lady’s words.

“I am not retiring!” he yelled, but without conviction. The thought of him retiring really was ridiculous. He was only 32 after all. He turned his brown eyes to her, shrugged and gave her that “What are ya gonna do?” half smile before turning back to the empty rooms.

As he looked around the practically empty rooms, she could see dismay and resignation fighting for place on his handsome features, and her heart ached for him. She walked into the connecting room to the left, which held a few sparse pieces of furniture. He plopped into the upright, dark brown chair, and watched as the movers took another piece of furniture away, the other woman still chattering on her cell phone.

She knew what he’d do even before he did it, and was there to push him back down into the chair, knowing he needed to chill. Though he wouldn’t show it, this was killing him. She walked around to the back and began to massage his shoulders. The muscles were so tight, though a part of it might have been from her abrupt and uncharacteristic move.

She learned early on touching him was a bad idea, as it usually led to butterflies in her stomach and tremors in her hands. Though he was normally a very touchy feely guy, he seemed to sense her reluctance and had always maintained a respectful distance. So her initiating such intimate contact might have created another level of tension to pile on top of his previous strain.

Her fingers gradually worked their magic, however, and he began to relax into the back of the chair. Not until the movers came back in and the other woman’s chattering stopped did she wonder how this might be misinterpreted. Looking up she saw the woman’s eyes popping out of her head at the sight they presented. Instead of allowing it to shame her, she rolled her eyes and turned her attention back to helping him handle this.

A few more minutes and the movers were finally done. As she pulled her fingers from his neck he didn’t make a move, his head hanging down toward his chest. She wondered if he’d fallen asleep when he took a deep breath, held it for several seconds, and slowly let it out. He looked up at her.

“Thank you,” he said, rolling his shoulders.

She stretched her fingers and rubbed each palm. “You’re welcome.”

He stood up and slowly walked around the chair. “Let’s see, you’ve been working for me for the last eighteen months and only now I discover your latest talent. What have I been paying a masseuse for if you had such skills?”

She grinned up at him. “You don’t pay me to be your masseuse. You pay me to be your assistant.”

His laughter, deep and rumbling in his chest, made her heart skip a beat. She took a few steps back and faced the now empty adjoining room to put a little distance between them. Before she could get herself back under control he stepped up right next to her and draped an arm across her shoulders, pulling her tight to his side. Perhaps her unexpected move invited his own.

“It’s an odd sight, you know?”

She nodded, not trusting her voice. He didn’t seem in any hurry to let her go, and if she didn’t get away from him, well, she didn’t know what might happen. She’d worked hard to rid herself of her impetuous nature, having dealt with too many consequences because of it. One touch from this man caused the careful wall she’d built to crumble.

“Well,” she croaked. Dumb voice. She cleared her throat and tried again. “It’s time I get back to work.”


“What am I going to do?” she cried. “People are on their way in here and I have no pants on!”

“Where are they?” he whispered. She could hear the laughter in his voice, and wanted to hit him for it, but didn’t dare let go of the blanket.

“In the drier. They should be done, but I don’t want to run out of here wrapped in a blanket, especially not when they all saw you walk in here.”

He scrunched his face at her, told her to stay put, and walked out the door. She crouched in the corner sending up fervent prayers that no one would want to come in, and hoped he knew she was kidding about the last comment. They’d joked for so many months now about needing to be careful. He hadn’t been dating anyone and people, well, were people.
“Here go you,” he said, handing over the warm jeans. “Hand me the blanket and I’ll hold it up just in case someone walks in.”

Knowing he wouldn’t look she handed the blanket over, making sure to keep herself covered, then frantically pulled on her jeans. Just as she buttoned the top the group came bustling in. Embarrassed to be caught in a dark room with him she dropped to the floor behind the chair, pulling the blanket out of his hands and over the top of her, becoming utterly still.

She heard the whump of him sitting down in the chair, and simply prayed it wouldn’t draw everyone’s attention her way.

“What are you doing?” he whispered.

“Shush, they’ll hear you,” she whispered back.

She waited in that painful position until the group left and he told her it was safe. She pulled the smothering blanket off, only to be confronted by his face perched on the back of the chair. He was so close she couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, could only marvel at how utterly gorgeous his eyes were even in semi-darkness. When he gave her his, “What’s up with you” raise of the corners of his lips she remembered moving slowly towards his face but didn’t realize what was happening until well into the kiss.

It was a nice kiss, she sensed that right away. Simple, sweet. It lasted longer than she thought it would. Only when she realized he wasn’t kissing her back did she figure out he was graciously waiting for her to pull away. So many thoughts ran through her head at that moment. He was just being nice. He didn’t want to embarrass her. And he obviously wasn’t enjoying this kiss as much as she was. All of this in a millisecond. She also understood this was it. Her time with him was done.

Knowing it would be her one and only chance, she lingered, memorizing the feel of his lips against hers.

Bracing her hands against the back of the chair she stood up. Without a glance, without a word, she walked around the chair and into the hallway, grateful the group had moved on. She ran up the stairway to her office, pulled out her purse and headed straight for the front door.

What had she hoped? That one kiss would bring him running to stop her, showing him in a single moment all he needed was right here? Stifling a laugh that could very well have been a sob, she walked out to her car, got in, and started it up. Only then did she dare look at the house. He wasn’t even at a window to watch her leave.

“Idiot,” she said under her breath.

She wasn’t referring to him.


It took longer to get her things together than she thought it would. Unfortunately every little item came tangled in memories of him, of them, memories she wallowed in. It was a good punishment for the mess she’d made.

He called. Of course he called. He even sent flowers and left messages and had once stopped by her apartment. She’d been home at the time, but knew he’d never make a scene when she wouldn’t answer. After he left she opened the door and saw a dozen white tulips on her doorstep. If this were a movie, she would have gone running after him for bestowing such a sweet and intimate gift. But this wasn’t a movie, and he knew they were her favorites. It was one of the first things he asked when she’d been hired.

“What are your favorite flowers?”

“White tulips, why?”

“If you’re going to get flowers from someone, they might as well be your favorites. And I love to send flowers.”

He sure did. She was on a first name basis with every employee at every flower shop in the county. And a few out of state as well.

“At least he never made you order your own flowers,” she said out loud. There was that.

She hadn’t dared go back to the house to pick up her things until she knew he’d be out of town. That way even if someone did let him know she was there, he couldn’t hurry back. Today he was out of town. She’d made all the arrangements, so there was no need to hurry. He wouldn’t be back until later that night.

(Employees come to say goodbye, ask where she’s going to work, she doesn’t know yet, but promises she has enough money to live on for a few months.)

She’d never had to worry about money working for him. He was beyond generous, and would have given her anything if she’d even hinted about needing something. But she never took advantage, not like the other women in his life. She never wanted to be lumped in that group. He deserved to have someone who treated him fair.

With a sigh she began pulling open drawers, trying to remember what was truly hers and what really belonged to him. Silly things like paper clips, a stapler, and pens shouldn’t have raised a lump in her throat, but he insisted on getting the paper clips in fun colors just because she liked them, buying her absolute favorite pens, and had even personally painted her name on the stapler when she complained one day someone kept stealing it. The stapler hadn’t disappeared since.

She closed the drawer without picking up a thing, and hurried through all the others before she became maudlin. In almost no time at all she’d filled her box, amazed at how little of her life she’d kept here for someone who spent most of her day in this one room. Although, if she’d had her way the entire room would have been boxed up and sent to her home.

With the box stored safely in the trunk of her car she reached for the door handle of when a voice called from the house.

“You forgot something.”

It was tempting, the idea of jumping into the car and driving away. It was so tempting the door was open when something appeared over her shoulder. With a reluctant hand she reached up and took the stapler.

“Somehow I don’t see anyone else wanting to use it.”

He sounded tired, his voice strained, but she couldn’t turn around. Couldn’t face him.

“You’re supposed to be in Denver,” she said, fingering the letters of her name.

“I cancelled,” he said.


He didn’t answer. He didn’t move. His lack of spirit unnerved her more than she wanted to admit. Never one to stick around and wallow in awkward situations, she muttered a quick thanks over her shoulder and got into her car. He didn’t stop her. He would simply let her go, because it’s what he thought she wanted.

Ashamed at her cowardice, she rolled down the window. “Thank you,” she said, not quite looking at him, “for everything. I appreciate the opportunity you gave me. It was an honor working for you.”

As she turned the key to start the car he finally spoke. “You’re my best friend.” The anguish in his voice stopped her like nothing else could possibly have done, paralyzing her hand mid turn. His hands suddenly gripped the side of her car. Out of the corner of her eye she could see his knuckles turn white with tension, but still could not make herself look at him.

“You’re my best friend,” he said again, gentler this time. “I thought – I thought…”

Frustration built up so high she couldn’t maintain this silence any longer. If she was going to leave, she would do so having laid all the cards on the table. “You thought what? That I’d be willing to stand idly by watching you pick woman after woman who wanted you only because of your position, your money, or your reputation? You thought I’d be here for years and years trying my best to keep you from knowing how I can’t even bear to have you touch me because it makes me feel things, think things….

“You thought I’d be okay eventually watching you get married and having children with someone that wasn’t me? I know we’re friends, NAME, but I can’t stand being friends any longer.” She thumped both fists on the steering wheel. “I’m tired of not being seen as anything but your sidekick. How can you not understand I’m in love with you!”

She flicked the key and started the car, putting it in reverse to back down the driveway, not caring if she dragged him along the way. Maybe then he’d understand her own pain. Only when she got to the road did she finally look his way. Never in their time together had she seen him look so ragged: unkempt hair, clothes so wrinkled he might have slept in them, and dark circles under his eyes. It was enough to make any woman forgive and forget if it would simply make him smile again.

He reached a hand out toward her, beckoning. He would immediately take her back, no questions, no reprimands. He was that sort of man. He was absolutely perfect.

With a sob she put the car in drive and left him behind.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Back when we were first given our digital camera, and the "newness" factor finally wore off, I actually read the instructions (shocking I know!) to see if I could figure out how to do cooler pictures.

My youngest was especially intrigued with the little screen on the back of the camera that showed all sorts of fun the wall...her feet. Wherever it happened to be pointed.

I had just discovered I could take pictures in Sepia and pointed the camera my daughter's way. She immediately started running at me to see what I was taking a picture of. I barely managed to take the picture. The end result was awesome! At least, I sure think so. You'll have to decide on that yourself.

Monday, March 9, 2009


My friend Cynthia and I were e-mailing bookmark ideas a few weeks ago, and I got so excited I had to see if some of those ideas would actually work. I think one or two might be too hard to pull tight without hurting the book (even if they did turn out pretty), but the others would be fun to continue to explore. What I love about these bookmarks is they wrap around the pages, making them much harder to accidentally pull off or lose. In any case, I hope you enjoy!

I really love these ribbon ideas. In fact, I use the pink with white polka dots in most of my books now.

Here I tried doing some with colored cord and beads. These could use some work, but still turned out really cute!

I loved using this satiny ribbon with just a simple button glued to the end to keep the ribbon from slipping out of the o-rings. This type of ribbon makes it easier to slide to the measurement of the books as well.

You can pick up the o-rings at any Michaels store, though you might have to hunt a little to find them. I found mine in the sewing section, close to buckles and hinges for purses. While the plactic o-rings are cheaper, I find the metal ones work better. Now I just have to find enough books for all my bookmarks! Shouldn't be too hard :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Box

Many have desired her
The High Priestess of Winter
The January Queen.
But alone she stands
By choice
Separate and aloof
Smiling tolerantly at the efforts
To win her heart
That had long ago frozen.

She springs from her Winter warmth
Delighted with every quest unsatisfied
The proclamations of love
The symphonies of devotion
Each as insincere as the next
Secret hopes of what can be gained
Does she ever sense.
Easily she dismisses one after the other
Forgotten once out of sight.
Idleness rules her days
Content she is to live this way
For it is the only life she remembers.

Until one day the stranger comes
And something unknown inside her stirs.
Deep within the ice a crack appears.
Her arms fold tightly around her waist
To keep herself strong
To stop the stirring.
She wants him to go away
Afraid of what might happen next-
For if merely standing before her now
Can cause the ice to crack
What would happen with a word?
With a smile?
With a touch?

The woman trembles at the thought
And speaks to make the thought fade
Asking what the stranger desires.
“To love you is all I ask,” is his answer.
She laughs
Her eyes remain cold
“That’s what every man wants,” is her response.
“Only there are always strings attached.
Do not play this game,” she warns
“You cannot win.
My heart is no longer here.
It is a thing of legend
Of what may have existed
So many years ago
Even I cannot claim to know
If the legend is true.
Do not play this game.
You cannot win.”

There is wistfulness in her voice
She does not recall being there before.
It is uncomfortable.
It is revealing.
And he has not spoken a word.
Instead he chooses to look
And in his look she is no longer
High Priestess of Winter.
Instead she is made woman.
She wonders if he is different
And turns him away
Frightened by his look
Intrigued by his look.
This time when the man leaves her sight
He is not easily forgotten.

The next day he returns
And in his hands is a gift
A box tightly wrapped in gold ribbon.
She laughs
And her eyes remain cold
Even as she rips the trimming off
And tosses it carelessly aside.
Then lifting up the lid
She cries out in anger
“A joke, a joke. You think me a fool.
Your box is empty, sir.
Leave my sight.”

He bows.
She sees a look in his eye-
How dare he feel that toward her?
She calls him back and demands to know
Why the box was empty.

He clears his throat.
“It is not empty, my Queen,
To eyes that will seek.”
He leaves.
She did not dismiss.
And the crack grows into fissure.

The next day he returns
And again he bears a gift.
This time she does not laugh,
Though her eyes remain cold.
With trembling hand
Which she cannot control
She removes the ribbon
And tosses it aside
Though not as carelessly this time.
And lifting up the lid
She cries out in frustration
“It is empty.”
And across his face-
And as he turns away he speaks
“The box is not empty
To those who will knock.”
And the fissure deepens
To become a crevice.

A third time he comes through the door
With a box more elaborate than the others
Offered as a gift.
She takes it carefully in her hand
And unties the ribbon
Placing it gently to her side.
Then opening the lid
She cries out in despair
“It is empty.”
She dares not see
How he looks at her now
Cannot bear the disappointment
Of not measuring up.
A hand lifts her face.
A tear drops from his eye
She stares but does not understand
The look on his face
When he says-
“The box is not empty
To those who will ask.”
Again he leaves.
And the crevice becomes a gulf.

The next day she waits
And the day after that
And her suitor does not come.
She tries to hide away from the pain
But the ice has cracked
The ice is melting
And now there is nothing to fill the void
Where once ice had kept her
And alone.
She lines up the boxes
And tries to see
What could possibly be inside
While deep in her head
She mulls and ponders
She contemplates and wonders
What the riddles the man had to offer
Could possibly mean to her.

For a week she stares
At mere boxes disguised as gifts.
All the while wondering
Where the man could have gone.
His claims of love
Becoming a wish
And a scar –
Something to be longed for
To regret not having
And at the thought of never seeing him again
A tear falls from her eye.

She is surprised
It has been so long since she last saw one
Escape from the well-hidden confines
She once called a heart.
She holds the tiny drop on her finger
And wonders what is happening
When another drop joins the first
Until at last she allows them to flow
And admits to being human.
Then the gulf becomes an abyss.

Another week passes by
And the January Queen
Wonders what must become of her
For she is unworthy
And perhaps undeserving
Of the gift of her suitor’s love.
She is grateful he is gone
Never to see what has become of her.
For what was in her
Precious or valuable?
Nothing, she knows to be true.
He offered her gifts
No strings attached.
But there was nothing for her to return
Nothing to give him back.
And the abyss grows into a dark, black void.

Until the day a hand reaches out
And lifts her face.
She cries out
“This box is empty.
Leave it alone
There is nothing in it to love.
There is nothing to
Give back to you.”
And she hides her head in shame
In regret
In despair.
He takes her hand
And as he speaks
Something stirs once more.

“The box need not be empty
For those who will seek,
For those who will knock,
For those who will ask.”

He lifts her up
He holds her close
And something happens
That has not happened
In a very long time.

She feels the beat of her heart.

And the January Queen
Cries out, “I seek.”
And warmth trickles in –
Not the winter’s warmth
She has always known
But the warmth of spring
Of renewed hope
Of rebirth
Of love.
The void begins to fill
Until it is only an abyss
And the abyss becomes a gulf

Again she cries out, “I knock.”
And her body is on fire
With the warmth that will always burn
Keeping her heart beating.
She rejoices in the rhythm so long forgotten.
The gulf is filled
Until it is only a crevice
And the crevice becomes a mere fissure.

At last she cries out, “I ask.”
Power surges through her
Helping her feel more alive
More aware
More content
Than she has ever been before.
And the fissure dwindles
Until it is only a crack
At last the crack is filled

She whispers, “I love.”

And the Savior holds her close
As she listens to the beat of her heart.

To those who will let Him in
The box is not empty.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sewing Curtains

By no stretch of the imagination can I claim to be a seamstress. My attempts to make friends with a sewing machine ended early on in my life. This stung a bit, especially since my mother is beautifully talented when it comes to sewing.

Thinking this might be an issue with age more than anything else, I've tried a few seemingly simple projects over the years. Surely my analytical mind and easy way of picking up the odd project would greatly aid in making something fantastic out of patterns and fabric, right? Not quite so.

Still, I didn't let that stop me when it came time to make curtains for the boys' room. They've had blinds covering the windows and have, over time, managed to destroy them! Our toddler's sudden anxiety about the lights coming in to the room only hastened our decision to do something about it. So we thought about picking up some panels (long curtains) over at JC Penny, but holy cow were those expensive! Instead I let the boys' each pick out a color they liked at Walmart.

At first, when they decided to pick out two different colors, I hesitated. Then when I brought them home and pulled out the panels, I was dismayed to see there was only one in each package (which was apparently clearly printed, but I was too blind to see!!!!). My idea of doing a simple hemming job went up in smoke. I seriously considered giving up, asking someone else to do it, or just going back and buying two more of each color. But my knowledge of our bank account status, my reluctance to ask anyone to do anything, and inability to just let things go won out. That and two sets of pleading blue eyes. In any case, here's my most recent creative attempt.

I should add the boys' got new mattresses and bedsheets as well. That's why there's a picture with them (and little sis, who thinks all new things are for her own enjoyment!).
Here's a better view of how we laid the curtains out. The blue denim on the outside, the red on the inside. The red curtains shrank a little in the wash, which really bugs me. But the boys' are happy with it, so I'll try to be as well.

In case you're wondering, this may be the first and only sewing project you see here on this blog :)

Monday, February 16, 2009