Flamingos Love Jewelry

Designed just with them in mind!

Seriously… they were begging! And have you ever seen a flamingo on her wings and knees? Almost crying for me to make some flamingo bracelets and necklaces for them.

It was really a sad sight to behold. So what choice did I have? After all, it’s not nice to disappoint the flamingos!

But I had to have the right beads or I couldn’t create the perfect collection. It had to be just right. Something fun, but casual. Bright colors to match their bright feathers. Lots of pink, of course, but I also needed touches of contrast, white and yellow were good, but I also tried a few other color variations. Some worked. Some…not so well.

The biggest problem, however, is how to make bracelets and necklaces that the flamingos can actually wear. Their wings don’t have wrists at the end, so bracelets are a bit of a logistical problem. Necklaces are a bit easier, though, as long as they have someone to fasten them around their necks.

I finally was able to make a couple necklaces, and of course they loved them! Now they’re fighting over who gets to wear them first since I’ve only made two so far. 

The problems of being a flamingo mom….they just don’t end.

But I have managed to make several bracelets for them. And actually by trimming the feathers on their beautiful wings just a tiny bit, they’ve managed to get them on. 

You should see them flouncing around and showing them off! But they refused to let me take pictures of them wearing their new jewelry because, well they didn’t want all the other flamingos to be jealous and squawking for me to make some for them as well!

But they would let me show them off on this beautiful jewelry stand our daughter gave me for Christmas. What do you think?

So now I’m busy sorting out beads and charms to use in their new Flamingo Jewelry Collection. They haven’t said yet if they’re going to let me sell any of them or not, but just in case, here’s one that’s already listed in my shop. But don’t tell them yet! 

However, if you want it, it’s your chance to be the first one to own a bracelet from this exclusive collection! 

And please don’t tell them about the flamingo styled farmhouse garland I made. I have them listed for sale as well, but if they find out they’ll not give me any peace until I either make some for them to use at their dinner parties or take them out of the store and give the garlands to them! Decisions, decisions….

All I can say is, “keep thinking pink!” Because there’s more pink coming!

Looking Perfect

Someone may look perfect on the outside, but underneath that perfected look, there’s damage no one else can see. 

You don’t see the deep hurt inflicted from a parent’s desertion

From a lover or spouse’s betrayal or abuse 

From a child’s cutting them out of their life

From false accusations that they’re unable to disprove.

Just because no one can see the pain doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Think before you judge someone. You don’t know what they’re fighting to hide.

A Gift from the Bridge

A few weeks ago we had the story of the welcoming party that each of our beloved pets experience when they cross over the Rainbow Bridge. How those cherished fur babies are welcomed into their waiting area by all of their friends who’ve crossed over before them, waiting not only for their other furry friends but for their beloved owners to come for them one day.

You see, the Rainbow Bridge is the entrance to a very special place where our pets go to wait for us to join them. An almost magical place of beauty and joy, where these beloved animals are not only free to play and enjoy a freedom they’ve never known before, but a place where they’re not only our furry companions, but where they’re also gifted with special abilities that they didn’t have on earth.

Abilities they had no idea were possible until they crossed the Bridge. 

Not only are they now able to speak to each other in ways never before possible, but they’re also able to help their beloved owners cope with losing them in ways no one would imagine. 

No, it’s not something magical, because magic really doesn’t exist. It’s something similar; something that can only be caused by a Creator who is so much more than any of us can begin to imagine. Our Creator loves every part of His creation, from those of us who are human, to those He created to love us in ways that only beloved pets can do.

We know our pets love us unconditionally. And we love them as well. But they leave us far too early. And even though they do, they don’t want us to be forever grieving for them. Because once they cross the Bridge they know for certain we’ll all be reunited again.

It’s those of us who loved them that are still here on earth that really can’t understand.

But Rusty and his best brother-friend Rudder know. And they also knew their owners needed a new friend, not only for them, but for Drake, their other doggy-brother who was now alone, except for his human family. They’d been a special threesome, and Rudder and Rusty knew there was only one thing to do.

And they didn’t want to wait.

They were told about a young pup, about 4 months old, who was in danger of having to leave his current home. He’d only been there about two months, and had just adjusted to being away from his brothers and sisters, but his new owners couldn’t keep him because he was going to be bigger than their apartment complex allowed.

This poor pup was facing being put in a shelter for who knew how long unless his owners found him a new home. And quickly.

This pup also happened to be a yellow lab-golden retriever mix. Rudder was a yellow lab and Rusty was a golden retriever. After the two dogs heard about this pup, there was no doubt in their minds. He had to be connected with their human family. 

And after a short talk with the Creator, the wheels were set in motion for this young pup to end up with Rusty and Rudder’s human family.

Just like it had been planned, Ashley and Chris saw an ad online about the pup. And they knew it was meant to be. The perfect combination of both of their beloved dogs.

They looked at pictures and videos of the pup. So much like the best of their lost fur babies. 

So a few days later, Tucker joined his new family. It was like he already knew them. When he met his new fur brother Drake, they immediately got along. Not one mean growl. They both knew it had been planned.

Rudder and Rusty watched from the Bridge, as the Creator normally allowed in times like this. They smiled, as only dogs can do. They were happy that they’d sent the right one, not to take their places, but to be a perfect new companion for not only their human family, but for their brother Drake.

They watched as the two dogs got acquainted, and their human family as well, and acknowledged the bond that immediately formed because of the gift from their heavenly brothers at the Rainbow Bridge. 

“We did good,” said Rudder and Rusty to each other. And they went off to play with their other friends, knowing they’d made everyone happy.

Welcome to the family, Tucker.

Why Do I Blog?

Some people have asked me why I write a blog if I’m not making any money on it. It’s very simple. I enjoy writing. I write from my heart. I write about what’s important to me. Sometimes it’s humorous; sometimes very serious. I write about my opinions, my thoughts. I share stories. And I have fun doing it.

If my writings make a difference in one person’s life then I have accomplished what I set out to do. If my writings make you upset or angry, then I’ve made you think. And that’s another accomplishment.

If you can identify with some of the stories I tell, or just laugh a bit with them, then I’ve added something to your day.

If you find yourself trying some of the recipes I occasionally post, then I hope you enjoy them. Some I’ve made, and some I have yet to try.

The new blogging category I am getting ready to introduce talks about my favorite books and authors, and I hope when I start introducing those blog posts you may be interested in reading some of them as well. And if you don’t, then that’s ok, too.

Sometimes my blogs are based on things that people I know are going through, or that situations they find themselves in. I usually tell that person I’ve done it, but sometimes not.

Blogging is fun, and it can be addictive. Sometimes I wake up in the night with an idea, grab my phone, and begin to write before I forget my idea. After I’m done, I go back to sleep.

Saturday blogs like this one are usually light hearted, just fun stories or ideas, or perhaps crafting or recipe ideas. After all, it’s the weekend. Don’t we deserve a little down time?

If you don’t like what I have to say, then don’t read it. No one is forcing you to. Or write your own blog. In fact, I encourage you to do so. I use WordPress and they have a number of free options to choose from, although my format choice isn’t free, nor is my domain name that I have hosted very economically by GoDaddy. WordPress is an easy platform to use, depending on what theme you select. And there are a lot of them.  And a really good thing about WordPress is the ability to schedule blogs in advance. I imagine other platforms have that ability as well, but this is the only one I’ve tried.

So…why do I blog? Because I enjoy it. It’s my way of talking to my friends as well as the world, It’s my chance to let my voice be heard,

What about you? Try it. You might enjoy it.

When They’re Ready…But We’re Not

There comes a time in many of our family members’ lives when enough is enough. There’ve been too many times of unrelenting pain; too many trips to the hospital; too many times that the doctors say, “someone needs to make some major decisions.”

Too many times our loved ones are put through painful and embarrassing procedures to keep them here with us for a while longer. When all they really want to do is rest. Forever.

Because they’re tired. They don’t want to live like they’re living any more. They want to eat and drink normally without fear of choking or vomiting. They want to be able to walk on their own. To have a normal conversation without gasping for air or coughing uncontrollably. They want to be able to breathe without having a machine doing it for them, They don’t want to be in constant pain which can only be dulled, never really going away.

They just don’t want to be here anymore. And who can really blame them? Would we want to live like that?

Before you start saying that what I’m writing is wrong, cruel, or even anti-Christian, try to put yourself in their situation. Because one day you may be there.

We are never ready to say goodbye to our loved ones, especially our parents. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be blessed with one or both parents who live long lives expect them to be around forever. We want them to be, because the pain of losing them is too hard to bear. We don’t know how we’ll make it without them.

That’s being selfish. Because we’re only thinking of how we’ll react, how we’ll feel. We don’t stop to think about their wishes.

They want to “go home”. And not to the home they’ve been living in for so many years. They want to go to their eternal home, and be free again, pain free, with a new body that works properly. They want to join their loved ones who are waiting for them, and they want to be with their Lord.

My mother went through that. She told me that, in no uncertain terms. But did I want to hear it? Absolutely not. Did I know she was serious? Absolutely.

Did that make it easier? Of course not.

Fortunately I was never faced with those difficult end of life decisions that some of my friends are now facing with their loved ones. Because my mother passed into eternity before those decisions were needed.

And I’m sure that’s the way she wanted it.

Like many of us, my mother had a living will, an advanced medical directive. She had named me her medical power of attorney years before she’d ever been sick. And if you or your loved ones don’t have such directives, I strongly urge you to get them.

Because you never know when you may need them.

Although we’re all living longer, and many of us enjoying fairly decent health into those later years, our bodies do not live forever. They were not designed to live forever. Eventually they wear out and just can’t be repaired any more.

We pray for healing, not realizing that many times in these situations healing takes on different meanings, and our loved ones go on to eternal health.

But before this happens, quite often end of life decisions must be made. And it’s not easy, no matter how strong our faith, no matter how much we know in our head that such decisions must be made. Our emotions, our hearts, don’t want to go there.

Sometimes it’s not or parents, but our spouse. That’s just as hard, and sometimes harder, because we really don’t expect our spouse to pass asway before we do. We need him or her with us. For better or worse. But that vow also added til we are parted by death. We tend to forget that part.

However, we have to accept the decisions our loved ones make. Whether we agree or not. And that is part of honoring our parents, our elderly relatives. Or a spouse with an incurable disease.

Palliative care and hospice care are two options most of us don’t want to hear about, nor consider. But it is a reality, and one that more and more people are having to face for either their loved ones, or themselves. It’s not a decision made easily, or in haste. But it sometimes must be made.

It’s not easy. It’s also not easy watching someone you love dearly suffer. And I daresay none of us would want to be the one who’s suffering so badly.

No matter how much we love them; how much we don’t want to let them go, there’s a point that our love has to love them enough to let them go. To let them be at peace.

Those of us who have faith know in our hearts we’ll see them again. But it doesn’t make it easier.

To all of you going through it, or who have gone through it, be assured you did the right thing. No matter how difficult it was.

Be comforted in that realization.

It’s Not About the Bunnies

For the last several weeks, all I’ve seen are these cute little bunnies, colored eggs, decorative Easter baskets, tiered tray designs with marshmallow peeps and chocolate eggs, and all kinds of other decorative items. All my favorite craft stores are full of bunnies and baby chicks, colored plastic eggs, garland and all manner of craft ideas. Then there are the grocery stores and candy stores with all the chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs and more marshmallow peeps, you know, that colorful nothing-but-sugar concoction that’s been around since we were kids! I didn’t like them, then, either.  But I do like those Cadbury eggs!

And you can even buy or make Easter ornaments and decorate your own Easter tree, sort of like a Christmas tree. As you may have seen, I decided to make styrofoam Easter trees this year with mini Ester eggs and decorative grass, They turned out great, and I even made two for our grandchildren.

Then there’s the Easter Bunny. Our granddaughters haven’t been real fond of having their pictures taken with him in the past, and this year hasn’t been any different. But we do like the memories with those not so wonderful pictures, and I’m sure they’ll get a laugh out of those pictures in the next few years. Or maybe not.

Yes, it’s almost Easter. And EVERYONE associates bunnies with Easter, right? Along with the colored Easter eggs, of course. And those previously mentioned marshmallow peeps. In all the colors. And now there are new flavors, I hear. Please, no.

But, as I like to remind us all every year at this time…it’s not about the bunnies. Or the colored eggs. Or the Easter egg hunts.

From what I’ve been able to determine, the legend of the Easter Bunny bringing eggs seems to have been brought to our country by settlers from southwestern Germany in the 1800’s. Since that time the Easter Bunny has gradually become the commercially recognized symbol of Easter.

Folklore tells us the Easter Bunny brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy, and sometimes even toys to children the night before Easter. Sometimes the baskets might be hidden, and the children have to go and find them. Most likely, that’s how the tradition of the Easter egg hunt began.

But it’s still not about the bunnies. And here’s where I take a few minutes to express my feelings

To those of us who are believers, Easter is about one thing. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. The very name of the holiday may have come from an ancient holiday depicting the rites of spring, or rebirth from the bleakness of winter, but to us, it represents much more than a rebirth of the world. Easter is a celebration of the eternal life we have waiting for us when we leave this earth. In fact, our belief in the resurrection is the very foundation of our faith.

John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

While Jesus was conducting his ministry on earth, He told His disciples what would happen to Him in order to fulfill the ancient scriptures, but of course, they really didn’t believe Him, and even tried to prevent it. Until they saw the truth for themselves.

We have read about the agony of the crucifixion. We have seen it depicted in countless movies and plays, sometimes in such a gruesome manner we have to look away. But the real crucifixion was much more gruesome than can be portrayed in a movie or a play. And our Lord suffered the most horrific pain, so we will be eternally with Him in heaven, along with all of our friends and family who also believe.

What a wonderful, unselfish, beautiful story. As wonderful as the Christmas story is, the Easter message is so much better. Because in this story, death is defeated for all time. The baby that was born at Christmas has grown up, became a man who is the son of God himself, and gave His very life to save ours, and has now defeated death itself.

Just imagine…the loved ones we have lost we will see again, and be reunited with them. We will know them, and they will know us, and we will be together. We will be eternal beings along with the Lord. And what a glorious day that will be! And just think of all the catching up there will be; and all the family members we will meet that we never knew before.

Many of us have lost family members and friends over the past couple of years, as well as many years ago. And I admit there are still times that I think about those loved ones, and how wonderful it will be to one day be with them again. To enjoy the serenity and peace of that heavenly home with those that I love the most. Because the Lord has said it, and I believe it.

You may choose to believe, or not. That is your choice, But I do believe, and I know in my heart there is so much more to come that we cannot imagine, because of what happened during this Easter season. No, it’s not about the bunnies. Yes, they’re cute and cuddly. But the true Easter story isn’t cute and cuddly. It’s real, and it’s not pretty. But it’s also the greatest love story that ever took place.

When the End Becomes the Beginning

Sometimes we go thru trials so hard it’s gut wrenching. Our knees get weak and we fall. We feel like we have no one to turn to.

Our priorities change because of the “ends” in our life.

But an ending always brings a beginning of something else.

A marriage may end, but maybe you and your spouse weren’t really happy together. Maybe he/she was cheating, living a life you knew nothing about. Hiding it so well no one saw it coming.

It may be the end of that marriage but it’s the beginning of a whole new adventure. No, it’s not always easy, but instead of feeling sorry for yourself and wondering how you’ll get through it, look at it as the beginning of your next adventure.

Which doesn’t necessarily mean you need to find a new partner right away. Find yourself first. Find out who you are and who you want to be. It may surprise you.

The end of a job isn’t easy either, especially if you didn’t see it coming. Especially if you’re not financially prepared. You’re most likely angry, embarrassed, scared, and/or wondering what your next step needs to be. And how you’re going to pick up the pieces and start again.

You could be depressed to the point of doing nothing. You could trash the company you no longer work for. You could do the old “I never liked it there anyway. They never appreciated me” routine.

Or you could take the high road. Get in touch with all your business contacts and start networking.  Re-do your resume, updating and highlighting your skills. Determine what you want to do and start contacting the companies that fit your goals. And set your own goals to make it happen.

You may suddenly become empty nesters, it may feel like the end of being a parent. Suddenly you don’t have the same responsibilities. Suddenly it’s just the two (or sometimes one) of you in a big sort-of-empty house. How do you adjust to that? What do you do? Do you downsize and start over or rearrange your new lifestyle?

Or maybe you’re retiring, ending a lifelong work career. Beginning a totally new lifestyle. Where do you even start? What are you going to do to keep busy?

There are so many more types of endings in our life. Some anticipated and some that are not. Endings with closed doors that cannot be opened ever again. Endings that are seemingly impossible to turn into beginnings.

But time can do that. Even a death in the family introduces a new beginning. albeit a painful one. Not one that was ever wanted, but one that almost all of us experience sometime in our lives.

Painful as it may be, endings always turn into beginnings.  It’s up to us to take advantage of those beginnings, and select the right one.

Endings are not the beginning of the end. They’re a beginning of a new beginning.

There are Many Different Ways to Love

In fact, there are as many different ways to love as there are people in the world. No two relationships can ever be the same. Love is as different as the people who feel it.

If every relationship were the same, there’d be no reason for love stories. And who doesn’t like a good love story?

A failure in one relationship doesn’t mean the next one will be the same way. Because each relationship is different. The next person you may end up in a relationship with isn’t the one you were with previously. You really aren’t the same person you were in that relationship because you change slightly as well with each relationship.

Never say “never again.’

You may think you know what “true love” is, but no one really does. Because it’s different for everyone. 

True love can also happen more than once. I know, we’ve all heard the stories about “he/she was the love of my life; my soulmate. I’ll never find anyone else like him/her.”

No, you won’t. That’s true. Re-read the first three paragraphs. That doesn’t mean you can’t find love again. If you let it happen. But that doesn’t mean you look for someone just the same as the person you lost. Because everyone is different; sure they may like the same things, the same foods, the same books, etc. They may even look similar, have similar goals in life. 

But they aren’t that same person. Looking for someone exactly like your “soulmate” can never turn out to be finding the same person as you had and lost. Because we’re all different in some ways, which makes each relationship unique.

Love isn’t always perfect. The happily ever after fairy tales we believed in as children are unfortunately just that. Fairy tales. Even true love has its ups and downs. No relationship and no one has a perfect day with no arguments, no bickering, and nothing going wrong.

Loving someone means accepting the good times, the fun times, as well as the bad times. Because in any relationship there will be bad times. 

That’s not saying we forgive everything that goes wrong, because there are certain things in a relationship that truly cannot be forgiven; a cheating spouse, for one. A lying spouse whose lies are so bad, so deeply hidden until accidentally discovered, that the relationship cannot continue.

But when you are truly with the right person, he/she would not do the unthinkable to ruin that relationship. And you are not the cause of their indiscretions.

But true love is always worth it. Don’t overtry to make it happen. It will happen when it happens, when it’s right, and it will be worth the wait. And yes, you’ll know when it’s right.

Sometimes

You don’t realize a relationship is wrong until you find one that’s right.

Sometimes it takes a while.

Sometimes the other person makes that decision first. And that hurts.

Sometimes you make that decision first which hurts the other person.

But true love can’t be found by settling for something safe and second best. Isn’t it better to be hurt for a short time than to be unhappy for a lifetime?