Wednesday, December 30, 2009

~New Year 2010~

~Happy New Year to all my Blogger Friends~

Saturday, December 26, 2009

~Merry Christmas from Our House to Yours~

Thursday, December 17, 2009

~It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas~

It's finally beginning to look like Christmas here in Ohio because it snowed. I LOVE snow. I mean, I really love it. Okay....not driving in it when it's icy. But snow, I love. Since I was a kid. has finally snowed here. Finally. And it looks like Christmas~

I decided to count all my packing slips to figure out how many orders I had filled. I knew it was a lot. But I was stunned: I sent out 264 packages since Thanksgiving Weekend. Considering that I make each item or items IN those packages....that's a LOT. The orders are still trickling in....but hopefully, the end is near. I have to laugh at the emails I get, with questions of: "When will I get this?" (they don't bother to tell me WHERE they live!!) Even with shipping within 24 hours, they still insist I tell them exactly when the good ol' USPS will deliver their treasures to their mailboxes. (if I could predict that....I wouldn't be making dolls and jewelry!)

At least t
hat explains my fatigue, and the reason I'm mainlining caffeine in any shape or form: coffee, lattes, chocolate, Excedrin, Diet Coke, more chocolate.....

I've finished baking cookies: Snowballs, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Italian Iced Cookies, Thumbprints, Date Squares, Coconut Bars, Hello Dollies, Spritz Cookies, Rum Balls and Decorated Sugar Cookies. Phew! Over 40 dozen cookies. Jim asked last nite why I bake so much every Christmas. Why? My mother did. Always. For the three of us kids. So when I became a mother....I did, too. Always. And now as a grandma...I still do. And always will~

I'm off to see Mom. I'm bringing Christmas cookies. Made from her recipes. Just like she made. Always.

Happy Thursday~

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dear Mom......

Thanksgiving has come and gone. You couldn't join us this year. You said it was "too hard". We missed you. I know this is all so hard for you. It breaks my heart. You can't walk anymore. Your legs are too weak to hold you up. But your brain doesn't remember that, so you keep trying. And keep falling.

The kids were here all weekend. I'm so glad they all came to see you. Ella's eyes light up when she sees you. You got to see Jackie's pregnant belly....and looked at Amy's sparkly engagement ring again. I know it was all overwhelming for you, but I'm happy we were all there with you. I will remember it for a long time.

You have no short-term memory now. Only very long-term. And only sometimes. I am so thankful you still know who I am. And I believe you know Ella and Jackson, too. At least I think you do.

My shows are finally done for the year.
I'll have lots more time to visit now. Remember how you used to help me with them, Mom? Remember that cold Ohio Mart that we wore long-underwear and mittens it was so bitter out? Long-ago memories.

Hospice has come in to help now, Mom. I know you don't understand exactly what is happening. I'm not sure I do, either. I just know that they are angels. All of them. They give you lots of extra attention; bought you a new, padded wheelchair, and a new, lower-to-the-ground hospital bed. They brought special padding to put next to it so that when you fall, it's not as hard.

I know you can't understand any of this. It's just not fair.

Just know that you have a family who loves you dearly, Mom. And we are here for you. Always.

With Love,


Related posts: Black Abyss
My Mother's Smile

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I'm pooped! Seven shows down and four to go. Thanksgiving next week. Then Christmas. I've decided I'm sleeping the entire month of January. And it can't come soon enough~

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Things have been crazy-busy at RoseCreekCottage. We celebrated Jackson's 2nd birthday here, and found out from our sweet Ella that her "Mommy has a baby in her tummy". We will be blessed with this new precious granchild in the spring.

The leaves on the trees outside my studio are just beautiful. It's not difficult to see the Fingerprints of God in all the lush fall colors.

In between the studio and show happenings, I'm looking very forward to an upcoming quality R&R at a Girl's GetAway Weekend with eight dear friends from all over the country. We chose an exciting city to meet for some great food, laughter, hugs, and lots and lots of shopping~

My Etsy shop is picking up momentum as customers begin their Christmas Shopping in plenty of time to avoid the USPS mail delays that will come once December hits. Stop by and take a peak. I'll be adding more things as the weeks go on.

Cheeky Monkeys are hangin' around the studio, waiting to be packed for the next show. I've been working on some new charm bracelet designs and will have some fun new displays for the upcoming shows......the Christmas Hares as well as Christmas Dolls and Santas are ready to strut their stuff. My friends and family know that they won't find me these days on the computer....but in my studio finishing up all the odds and ends for the remainder of my Holiday shows. I have 8 down and 8 to go! For a complete me at I'll be happy to send it to you~

Monday, September 28, 2009

~The Road Back to Stan Hywet's Ohio Mart 2009~

With Yankee Peddler's three weekends behind us, we are over-joyed at our sales, the old customers who are still out there, and the many new faces we are getting to know. We had great neighbors who became fast friends.....and we packed up everything last nite very tired, but very happy. Now, once again, I'm out of Vintage Rabbits, Cheeky Monkeys and too too much jewelry to mention. I'm working non-stop as set up for Stan Hywet's Ohio Mart is Wednesday. It begins on Thursday, Oct. 1st, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 4th. Read about my first year back there after an 8-year-hiatus here.

So....I'm in the studio today and tomorrow working on Rabbits, etc. I'm anxious to see my old and new customers there once again.

If you're anywhere near Akron, Ohio this coming week, stop by and say, "hello". It's a truly beautiful show~

Monday, September 14, 2009

~Yankee Peddler 1st Weekend Ramblings~ once again soak in the ambience from a weekend at Yankee Peddler was sheer heaven! The sites, sounds, aromas.....all very indicative of an age-gone-by. Jim and I wallowed in it for two beautiful, sunny indian summer days.

It is hard to say what I like most about YP.....but I'd have to say that one of the hilights, at least for me, is the comraderie between the artisans. As an artist, you just can't get enough of that. It's fun to hear how each of them schedule their days in-and-out of the studio during these fall shows. I learn so much from each of them. You have to really love what you do to live this kind of lifestyle...and sharing that 'electricity' that comes when creative souls meet is just invigorating. A true blessing.

We had the pleasure of reuniting with "The Michigan Girls", as we've so fondly called them over the years. And there they were, exclaiming, "Oh my God, they're back!!" which of course, makes all the hours of work worth it! It was SO SO good to see you again....minus one, who I hope will make it out to YP on next year's trek!!

We had visits from lots of sweet little ladies who delighted in picking out their own special Ragamuffin to take home and love. Here are just a few of them!

I'm totally out of Witchy Women, lambs and puppies, certain charm bracelets, truffles, and Cheeky Monkeys. So....I'd better pour another cup of coffee and head to the studio. May your week be as beautiful as our indian summer here in Ohio is right now....and may you be blessed enough to find that one special thing here on this earth that 'electrifies' YOUR soul~ Carol

Thursday, September 10, 2009

~Anticipation: Yankee Peddler 2009~

Activity in the woods at Yankee Peddler is in full-swing. Lots of pounding, sweating, and yup.....some swearing, too, as artisans complete the last-minute touches on their booths in anticipation of beautiful weather and record-breaking crowds this coming weekend....the first of three at Yankee Peddler Festival in Canal Fulton, Ohio. If you click on this link, you'll find a video that beautifully portrays the 'feel' of this great festival. Spread over 80 acres, people come from all over the United States to partake in not only the wonderful arts and crafts, but in the education, (everyone is demonstrating their craft) the delicious food, and the entertainment. It's a 'way of life' that Jim and I have missed these last years. Tommy grew up there, as we participated in YPF from the time he was in kindergarten. ( KNOW you're going to miss wearing those colonial costumes and the fresh strawberry shakes!) And we will miss him, too. (take a peak at Tommy in colonial garb when he was a little tyke at a long-ago Yankee Peddler HERE.

I've spent 12-13 hour days in my studio the past months preparing for this particular show. The amount of inventory needed for these crowds is daunting. There is always the 'Good News/Bad News' part of it: Good News if you run out of items....Bad News if you run out of items!! I've learned over 20+ years, that you need to have a great supply of 'pieces/parts' ready and waiting in the studio. At the end of each weekend, we inventory what we've sold....and get ready to work on finishing up the necessary dolls and jewelry for the next weekend. As you can imagine, we're pretty pooped at the end of this show.....but we'll be on to the next one as soon as we can catch our breath~

So.....if you're anywhere in the Ohio-PA-MI-VA areas in the next three weekends, and have never experienced Yankee Peddler Festival.....please stop by. You'll be SO glad you did! Oh....we're in The Glen....Booth 228. I'm looking forward to seeing my 'old' customers....and meeting many new ones.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

~Beautiful Ella~

What can I say? She was just born. Just yesterday. And now, she's 5. Five. I cannot believe it. She started kindergarten. The grade her grandma was in when she knew she wanted to be a teacher. She's beautiful. Sweet. Innocent. Smart. Did I say 'Sweet'? And I love her with all my heart.

My dear sweet grand-daughter. May you always be as happy, safe, secure, and loved as you are right now. Always and forever. Your loving Gramma xoxoxoxoxox

I'm so so behind in my life (!) right now. We did get down to see the kids and grandkids this week. They bought a new house...5 bedrooms/4 baths with an acre of land....a gorgeous pool...lighted and carpeted treehouse for the kids. And plenty of space for all of our family and Jackie's to come and stay all at the same time! Talk about blessings~

Jeff is finishing up the research for his dissertation. Dr. Jackie gave both Jim and I complete eye exams. Her office is beautiful. It was so fun to see her in action. She's so so good at what she does. She's keeping a close eye on Jim's macular degeneration.

Production for Yankee Peddler Festival is in full-swing. See my blogpost here:
Yankee Peddler Here We Come!

We drove out to see our booth this week. It needed a few final 'tweeks'. We're in a great spot...back in The Glen where we used to be. It feels SO like home to us to be back there again. We're thankful they were able to build a booth for us. It's perfect. We'll be starting to 'fill' it this week....and then let the party begin next weekend....the first of three.

I'll post more about it after this holiday weekend. Check out their site for more info: Yankee Peddler Festival.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend....wherever you are~

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

~Shaker Woods Festival 2009~Part II~

We had our second beautiful weekend at Shaker Woods Festival in Columbiana, OH this past weekend. The crowds were never-ending, in spite of the heat.

I saw many of my 'old' customers who bought my Ragamuffin dolls for their children eons ago. As one sweet customer put it, "I'm continuing the tradition by buying them for my grandbabies". Since it's been 8 long years since I did the show circuit....this really warms my heart. I wondered if my customers were still out there. They are!!

One of the most rewarding parts of doing shows is the comraderie between artists. Although I do have some very close artist friends I see on a regular basis, I've really missed this. It's a sharing of ideas, joys, woes, etc. that you really can't get anywhere else. It's invigorating, and leaves you going home energized and ready to hit the studio and continue producing for the shows ahead. At the present time...I have 8 of which is the three-weekend Yankee Peddler Festival, which is 3 weekends in September....and really counts as 3 shows-rolled-into-one. So, I have 11 more!!

My Cheeky Monkeys and Vintage Rabbits were big sellers. I sold that is what I'm working on this week.

That said.....I best stop typing and get back to work in the studio. If you're anywhere in the Ohio or PA area this coming weekend.....plan on stopping by. You won't be sorry~

Thursday, August 6, 2009

~Shaker Woods Festival 2009~

Please join us at Shaker Woods Festival in Columbiana, Ohio, Aug. 8-9th, 15-16th and 22-23rd from 10-5 pm. We will be joining over 200 other fine arts and craftspeople from all over the country, demonstrating and selling their wares.

We spent the week putting finishing touches on our little cottage there. These photos were taken before we were finished stocking the cottage, and don't reflect even HALF the amount of inventory we have tucked in every nook-and-cranny we could find~

For directions and more information go to Shaker Woods Festival's website. Paths wind through acres of lush woods. There will be mouth-watering food cooked over open fires, along with lots of musical entertainment. It's a show not to be missed!

I'll be posting photos after each of the weekends, so you can witness some of the 'flavor' of this beautiful show.

See you there~

Monday, July 27, 2009

~Creativity Is God's Gift To Us~

Julia Cameron is an artist's dream. She embraces creativity, intertwining it with spiritualism, citing it as an authentic spiritual path. Her books include, The Artist's Way, Vein of Gold, Walking in this World, and Right to Write, among others. I can tell you that I own all of them, and would be hard-pressed to choose a favorite. They are worth the price a hundred times over!

My favorite of her quotes is: "Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God". This speaks straight to my soul. Creativity is literally seeping out of every pore of my being....and our house. It's crept out of my studio and into every crevice of our home.....even into Jim....who helped me trace, cut, paint, and frame all weekend! It tickles me to see him lost in whatever task he's working on. So out of 'his' element, and into 'mine'!

My next show is Shaker Woods Festival, Aug 8-9, 15-16, and 22-23 from 10-5 pm. For directions and further information, check Shaker Woods Festival. We own a darling little cottage there that we've been fixing up and stocking with lots of RoseCreekCottage and Ragamuffins goodies. We'll be joining 200 artists and craftsmen from around the country, demonstrating and selling our wares.

You can imagine with 6 days of show, and tens of thousands of people, the amount of inventory needed to stock a little cottage! (pictures at a later date!) My sewing machine has been running almost continuously, the studio is humming with lots of hustle-bustle. There are pumpkin heads drying outside on the deck, my original poems being framed (by Jim!) on the farmhouse table in the kitchen, and me? Well...I'm running between all the different 'stations', doing a bazillion different things at any given moment. Multi-tasking at its finest!

In the midst of all this, add in two puppies that never let me out of their site, a phone that rings incessantly, two grandchildren, friends stopping by to see what's going on and you get a bird's-eye view of life here at RoseCreekCottage in July!

We ended up selling so much at St. John's Art Festival, that it is taking longer than anticipated to 'restock' the items we sold. Summer shows don't usually deplete my inventory so much, and in this economy, we were pleasantly surprised, albeit now pretty a very 'good' kind of way.

Needless to say, the computer, blogging, emails, and posting are way down on my list of priorities, as much as I dearly miss them. There are only so many hours in a day.....even very lengthy 13 hour ones!!

So...on that note....I'm headed back to the studio to continue my much-earlier-started day. The aroma of the second pot of coffee brewing in the kitchen is calling my name! Have a wonderfully creative week, wherever you are in the world~

Friday, July 10, 2009

~Adventures Of A ShowGirl~

We are all set-up and ready for the beautiful St. John's Festival of the Arts, in Westlake, Ohio. If you're anywhere in the area tonite or this weekend, please stop by to booth #167 and say hello! I've enjoyed meeting lots of Etsy sellers and customers at my recent shows.

St. John's is a fine juried show set in the lovely grounds of St. John's hospital. It winds through the trees and walking paths surrounding the pond. The food is delicious....and the arts and crafts breathtaking. It's a show that's well-worth the trip!

RoseCreekCottage Studio has been humming away into the wee hours of the morning to prepare for the many shows scheduled for the upcoming fall and winter months. I've been working on my Ragamuffin dolls, rabbits, santas, and my whimsical jewelry line. I have lots of new designs in the works, and have some things to finish up before tonite's show begins at 6 I'd best get off this computer and get to my studio! See you next week!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

~Balancing Act, Part II~

There's no simple formula for balancing work-life. It's a matter of trial-and-error. I've found that the following works for me:

Pray - Really. Very important. I begin and end my day with it. It's the single-most-important thing to keeping balance. Always make time for it.

Get Organized - I can't function in chaos. If my studio/workspace is in order, I accomplish more in a shorter span of time. Though I hate spending time doing's worth it!

Focus - When I'm in my studio, I focus on work. When I step back into my home, I focus on home and family. This part is a curse for those who work at home. You have to know when it's time to step back into that work-world, without procrastinating! After all....there's no 'boss' standing there next to a time clock!
And there's no paycheck at the end of the month, either, unless you produce!!

Make Lists - I make a list each nite for the next day. I cross things off as I finish each task. This not only makes me see that I am indeed accomplishing things, but keeps me organized as well. Things that do not get finished go on the next day's list.

Prioritize - The most important things to be done for the day are listed first, etc.

Set Boundaries and Learn to Say 'No' - This is a hard one. People think that since you're 'at home', you can do their 'favors' and meet their demands. You cannot. (unless you have found those elves I've been waiting for!) There is no paycheck unless you produce. This includes learning not to be a slave to emails and phone calls. (and blogs!) Work comes first.

Take Time For Yourself - This is a hard one for many people....including yours truly. I have a tendency to be a workaholic. It's good for my business, but not for me. I fit in exercise when I can, and try to remember to take mini-breaks. These can simply be walking out into the woods with my puppies and an iced coffee...or returning a phone call to a friend. The secret is to keep the breaks short. I also try to fit in lunch with friends....which doesn't happen very often during show season!!

Ditch the Guilt - It's a useless emotion. You just can't do it all. Really. I have a hard time convincing myself of this one.

Be flexible - Change is imminent. And good. Those who accept and embrace change and work willingly within the new parameters are more productive and better-adjusted. And less frustrated!!

All that said....I struggle with some of these. Balancing it all just isn't easy. Seeing my Mom is a priority. I fit it into my week with the help of my Uncle Joe....who goes to see Mom when I can't. We touch base each morning and discuss who will visit that day.

I also struggle with not working too many hours. I start my days early, and finish late. Sometimes way too late. It's just the way it is right now, and although I was used to working this way when my business started 20 years ago, I struggle with my lack of physical stamina now. If I could just 'clone' myself. Or find those elves!! Fortunately, Jim will often drag me out of the studio. I don't go willingly. There's usually kicking and screaming involved. But he's always right!

I'm off to the studio with lists, puppies and coffee. Have a glorious Wednesday wherever you are in the world~

Monday, June 29, 2009

~Balancing Act, Part I~

Anyone who has their own business knows how difficult it is to balance work and home life. Add that to having your office/studio at home....and the balancing act becomes even more challenging. The 'drive' and discipline needed for the business to become successful is daunting. THEN add in an 89-year-old mother with alzheimer's and you have a balancing act that just simply doesn't 'balance' at all. In falls with loud thuds on a daily basis, although I continously struggle to keep everything in its place. It has me in tears and/or laughter most everyday. It's the only way I can keep any sort of sanity.

Mom's declining in the WORST possible way: she's rapidly losing her mind. There. I've said it. It's horrific to watch. I cannot imagine the terror of what it must be to like living in her body right now, and no matter how I try to understand what it is like there in her brain....looking out on a world that no longer makes any sense to her....I cannot imagine it.

She started a whole new phase in June: leaving. Yes...complete with her 'necessities' of life all tied up in a pillow case....neatly tied at the top with a sock. I can imagine that to her, this was her only way 'out' of the hell she is in. And so....the staff found her several yards from the assisted living facility, almost to the woods at the edge of the property having fallen on her knees. This poor, frail, pain-ridden woman who can hardly walk. Escaped. Frightening. When asked where she was going, her only reply was, "I don't know".

And so, the assisted living facility required that we provide paid, evening 'sitters' keep her safe. job to make sure the hours were covered. And when there was no one to 'hire' is me and/or my husband. Another 'job' to add to the already way-too-long list. Another emotionally draining task. Another step with mom as her disease worsens.

This week we will move her to a room in the alzheimer's area of the facility. A 'locked' area for people, like mom, that are 'flight risks'. Relieving....but sad and scary for mom, who I am sure will become panicked and angry at yet another part of her life she will be unable to understand. Another 'terror' for her to endure. Although we will set up her room (an exact replica, space-wise) as her present one, can you imagine the nightmare of wheeling yourself out of your room, as you've always known it, into a totally 'different' hallway? It brings me to tears whenever I think about it.

I thank God every day that we found Mom such a wonderful facility as this one. We tried caring for her here for a long time. It was a nightmare-beyond-belief. And so, for now, this is the only way to try to balance this part of my life.

Part II, Wednesday.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

~Prayer Over Folded Laundry~

Dear God, How many loads of laundry did I do over the course of my marriage, complaining to you that it just never seemed to end? How many stacks did I fold (sometimes muttering to myself) that the boys wore WAY too many pairs of socks and underwear in one week?

Tom and Jim just left to golf, and having walked into the house with his laundry in tow, Tom threw the loads into the washer and dryer and headed (per usual!) out the door. And here I am, folding my boy-man's laundry once again, and wondering if it will be the last time I will ever have the pleasure ( heard me correctly, Lord) of doing it again?

Next year, he'll be married, and will have a new 'woman' to help him with it. Not me. I will no longer look at the stacks of 'not-too-white' whites, wondering why in tarnation he didn't throw bleach in with the load I'm folding! As his mom, it's no longer my responsibility. Another job taken away from me. Another job I was initially relieved to be rid of, only to find myself mourning its loss in the end. How foolish I was.

And so Lord, I once again thank you for giving me this child, this son you blessed us with. This Child of God who has blossomed into a beautiful adult in his own rite. And thank you, Lord, for lending him to me for the short while I had him under my wing. I have a feeling you approve of the job his father and I have done. He's grown into a fine young man.



P.S. I promise never to complain about doing laundry again. But about that ironing.....

Friday, June 12, 2009

~FingerPrints Friday~

Fingerprints Of God
Psalm 139:14-15; Phil 1:6

There's a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that goes:

I can see the fingerprints of God

When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it's true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God.

God's fingerprints are everywhere! I see them so so clearly when I look at my sons and grandchildren. When Jeff and Ella took off walking into the ocean on our recent vacation, it just took my breath away. Truly God's fingerprints right there in front of my eyes!

Don't miss the fingerprints all around you as you travel through your day. Stop and take a peek at Beki's blog to read about more fingerprints.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

~We're Back!~

Hi! It's me again....Ella. We're back from the island! We had so much fun! We swam in the ocean in the mornings, and in the pool in the afternoons. Jackson was scared of the water til the last day. Not me, though. Gramma says I swim like a fish! I helped Gramma cook a lot. I'm a good 'mixer-upper' for her.
We made donuts one morning outta biscuits. You squish them flat, then you cut little holes in the middle with a tiny cutter. Then fry them. Then roll them in sugar and nutmeg. Hmmmmmm.

I had a chance to play with all the kids at the ocean. We dug holes that filled up with sea water, and we made sandcastles. Uncle Tom and I found an island he called a sand bar, and we found a sand dollar. We threw it back in the ocean so it wouldn't die. That would be sad. Then we saw a rainbow over the ocean. Gramma said it was my "Magical Day".

We watched the sun set one last time the nite before we left. I will miss the island, the sea, and the big boats.

Gramma is back in her studio makin' lots of new dollies and lots of new jewelry for her shows. She's a very busy Gramma. She says to say 'hi' to all of you. Til next time....Ella

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

~Pssst......It's Me, Ella~

Psssssst...... it's me.....Ella. Gramma an' Grampa are taking me an' my brother an' my mommy an' my daddy an' my Uncle Tom to the island. It's so fun there. I have my own room. Amy is workin' on finishin' up somethin' called her 'masters'. I wish she could come too. She's fun. Gramma said next time. sigh.

We're gonna make banana pancakes an' donuts an' ronies an' cheese an' swim in the ocean an' make sandcastles an' eat icees an' play games.

Gramma says she'll be back writin' on her blog an' makin' more dollies in June. Pssssst......don't tell 'er I told you but maybe I can cavince her to stay til the fireworks shoot in July. I'm a pretty good cavincer when it comes to Gramma. (don't tell her I told you, 'kay?)

Gotta go change outta my tutu an' go pack my suitcase with my bathin' suit an' flip-flops an' my dollies now. I will cavince Gramma to let me write a post when I come back. With pictures. It will be good. Promise. Bye-bye.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

~Back to Business As Usual~

I haven't been around much this month, so thought I'd do a 'catch-up' post. May is flying by, and starting with Tom and Amy's Engagement last month....our family has rolled from one excitement to the next...filled with high school proms, college graduations, their parties, estate sales and antiquing, and of course....lots of time in the studio!

This past weekend, my niece, Katie, (not to be confused with my little Amish friend, Katie) went to the senior prom on Friday nite. Over 30 couples met at one of the girl's houses for pictures. Katie looked just elegant. Her date, though 'just a friend' we were told, was just dear. A perfect gentlemen. He will be off to the U of Toledo to study Pharmacy in the fall. Katie is finishing her sophomore year at of high school in our little town. (She's the one in the pale yellow dress) It was great fun to see all the guys and gals all dressed up. I know quite definitely why God gave me boys: I would NEVER have allowed a daughter of mine to wear some of those way-too-revealing dresses! What were their mothers thinking????

On Saturday, we were invited by Katie's sister, Maggie, to accompany her to the Baccalaureate Mass at John Carroll University. We went back to her Mom's house afterward for a BBQ, where we had the pleasure of being joined by Alison's (Maggie's good friend and fellow-JCU-graduate) family. They flew in from all over the country.

Sunday was a beautiful day for the graduation, which was held on the picturesque grounds of John Carroll. Maggie graduated Magna Cum Laude, and will continue on to law school come September. She's a beautiful, talented young lady that we are all so very proud of. She's worked hard at her accomplishments.

So....Monday it was "Back to Business As Usual", as Katie (yes, the amish Katie!) came. We talked, laughed, talked, sewed, cooked, talked....til late into the nite. When she left this morning, we both agreed we each had joyful spirits that should last us til our next visit!

This photo shows some of the Halloween Witch Angels we started on. As you can see, I have my work cut out for me. The poor dears need their heads!!

Antique shops and estate sales in the area have been terrific. I've picked up lots of goodies, including lots of old cutter quilts to use for my vintage rabbits and santas. Now if those elves would truly stop by this year.....

I'm off to fill orders and begin packing for our upcoming vacation. So until then, it's 'Business As Usual' here at RoseCreekCottage Studios!

~I hope you each continue journeying through May with joyful spirits and full hearts~

Friday, May 8, 2009

~Mother's Day 2009~

Dearest Mom,

When I was little, I never imagined you’d grow old. Ever. After all…you were my mom: fearless, beautiful, smart. Sparkling and smiling. Strong.

You made me feel safe. And loved. Even when you were mad at me. I’m trying so hard to make you feel that way now.

It’s frightening to step into your room, not knowing ‘who’ I’ll find. Will it be the woman whose eyes twinkle when she sees me standing there….or the one who is scared and confused and begging me to tell her where she is and how she got there? Will I find the woman who has forgotten that her own mother passed away over 30 years ago, and asks why my father hasn’t been there to see her lately or the one who inquires about how the doll-making is coming along?

You were always so patient with me. And I’m trying so hard to be patient with you….when you can’t walk very quickly, or when you call and tell me you’ve been “waiting by the door for hours” for me, when we really had no plans to go anywhere. You get mad…and tell me, “We did SO. You just forgot, young lady”. It breaks my heart.

I try so hard to put myself in your shoes. To know the fear in your heart when you can’t remember where your home is....or the belief that you are “stuck at work and everyone’s left” and you have no way home. I can’t imagine the terror. I see it in your eyes whenever I try to reassure you that you are not at work…that you’ve been retired for over 30 years and that you ARE home. Safe. And loved. I can tell you feel anything but.

And now…shingles. Oh, Mom…..I am SO sorry this is happening to you. I have to admit that I’m mad at God right now. REALLY mad. I know I shouldn’t be…..but I am. Why God…WHY?

And so….this Mother’s Day…I can’t even send this to you, because I don’t want you to read this and see how bad things really are, and that you are suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Reading that would make the horror worse for you than it already is.

Just know that I love you with all my heart. And that I am here. Whenever you need me. Always. Just like you were for me.


Your Daughter Carol

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

~They're Engaged!~

Once again, our family is growing. Not with a new baby this time, but with a soon-to-be daughter-in-law! With two sons, it took quite a while to add girls to our family. The first one was our dear Jackie. Then Ella. And now....Amy! We welcome her with open arms and full hearts.

Tom sprung the question to her on Friday, her 23rd birthday. After she opened several gifts, he handed her an envelope and told her it was a puzzle. As she put the 8 1/2 by 11 black-and-white photo pieces together, she realized it was a giant picture of her and Tom with the Easter Bunny, taken at her aunt's home Easter weekend. But.....there were 3 pieces missing. Telling her they were probably still in the envelope....she completed the puzzle, and saw the words: "Will You Marry Me?"

After much screaming of disbelief, she has a beautiful ring on her finger, and dreams in her heart. They are both giddy with happiness. Needless to are her 'future' in-laws. The wedding will be sometime next year!

Monday, April 13, 2009

~Until Next Time.......~

Proclamations of "I'll come back again real soon, Grandma. Promise" made by the Little Princess from chocolate-edged lips that give kisses like no other little girl on the face of this earth. She gets prettier each time I see her.

Sweet tender kisses 'right on the lips' given freely by the Little Prince as he waves 'blankie' clutched in one little fist....juice in the other. He's looking more and more like his Daddy each day.

The Easter baskets stand empty. Waiting to be packed away until next time.

The house is so still.

There is something missing. Something more than the bunny cake's behind: they've taken with them a very large piece of my heart.

But I'll wait patiently. Until next time.

This post was honored with a Post Of the Day Award over at authorblog. Thank you, David!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

~Easter Baking With Mom~

Each year when we were growing up, my mom made us her traditional Easter Bunny Cake : white cake, gooey seven-minute frosting, coconut..... Every year. So once I had my sons, I followed her lead, and made an Easter Bunny Cake just like my Mom's. Every year.

Last year, I decided to make 3 Bunny Cakes: a Mama, and two Babies.... one for Ella and one for Jackson. When I proudly set them on the table, Ella asked me who the bunnies were. I told her there was a Mama Bunny, an Ella Bunny and a Jackson Bunny. She looked up at me with her big green eyes and said, "Grandma.....that is VERY sad." I looked over the three cakes. They LOOKED okay. They each had jelly bean eyes and nose. And pink paper ears. Just like MY Mom used to make us. I was puzzled until she explained: "There's NO Papa Bunny, Grandma". Okay. I admit it. I felt awful. I had left out the Papa Bunny (my son!) . Bad Grandma. I learned my lesson. So this year, I baked the complete family: A Papa Bunny, A Mama Bunny, and two Babies.

And guess who spent this Holy Saturday with me? The original Bunny Baker herself: my Mom! She is out of the hospital and back at her assisted living home. She's on two new alzheimer's medications that are helping with her memory and delusions. She still gets confused at times, and talks about 'going home to her parents'. No....she doesn't mean heaven....she means back to the farm house in Uniontown, Pa, where she grew up once they came over from Italy. She forgets she's all-grown-up now at almost 89 years of age....and she gets confused. But when we picked her up this morning so she could come and help make the Bunny Cakes and pies....there was NO confusion on her face. She was a happy, determined mother-with-a-purpose: helping her daughter bake for Easter!

We had lunch and she laid down on the sofa with the puppies and snoozed while I made the seven-minute frosting for the cakes I had baked last nite. When she woke up, we iced the bunnies together. She giggled like a school girl and licked her fingers when they got too gooey....then headed for the sink to wash them and begin again. We had coconut everywhere!

I don't often stop to remember long-ago memories like watching my mother ice the Bunny Cake when I was seven...or eight....or nine. They came flooding back to me: my beautiful mom with her dark curls and big brown eyes standing in the kitchen, old-fashioned apron tied in a big bow behind her back. Determinedly icing that cake. I can see her like it was yesterday.

It was a beautiful Holy Saturday. One I will always remember. I pray that God let's us have her for a few more Easters. After all....there are still a whole lot of Bunny Cakes that will need to be baked!