Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Getting Ready for the Holiday Season...

I love to craft, but never quite know how to do it in small bits.  This year I decided to learn to make mittens from recycled sweaters. It has been a party at my house and we are buried in felted wool. I've made about 35 pair so far and my daughters and a few assorted friends have jumped on the bandwagon with me to make more.  We love the hunt for the sweaters and surprise of how they turn out when they are felted. -- We've accosted people at church to "compliment" them on their sweaters and add, "Is it wool????"  It is now impossible to look at a wool sweater without wondering just what it would look like felted.

The mittens are fun, but some sweaters don't quite felt right for mittens. Perhaps they are too thick or too thin. Well, they make WONDERFUL handbags! The part I like best about making purses is that you never really know what style the bag will be until the purse is done. It's kind of like the wool "speaks" and poof the purse jumps out. Now I know that sounds really strange, but it seems true as it happens.

For this holiday season felted wool is my fabric of choice.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 30, 2009


If you go here:

You could win a free quilt. Try it, you might just win!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Abundance..."Overflowing Fullness"

On this fine day, my birthday, it seems appropriate to speak of abundance. I am grateful for so many wonderful things and people in my life....and today I think I will name 50 of them. I will leave it to you to decide how I chose that number :)

1) A dear husband who always seems to love me no matter what.
2) My Jared. #1 son who whistles when  he wants me, married a perfect woman, and has always been a good example for his mom (and everyone else who knows him.)
3) Emily, the daughter who sticks to what she wants to do and sees a goal through to the end ... even if the going gets tough. Go Em!!!
4) Anna, the daughter who sees the bright side of all things at all times. She is the sunshine of our lives.
5) Clark, our Superman. Wise beyond his years and dedicated 1000% to what he believes.
6) Michael, Gracie and ? -- The best grandbabies any Grammy could wish for!
7) My lovely home: The White Silk Purse.
8) My brothers. Four fine men. (And their families, of course.)
9) A job I love. There is something to smile about every day.
10) Lucy, my sweet Yorkie. Hard to believe she'll be 5 years old this spring:)
11) My car. It takes me anywhere I want to go.
12) Heat.  There is snow on the ground and heat in my house.
13) Health...
14) Computers. I do remember life without, but I don't want to try it now.
15) Friends who share their talents:
16) Dottie who grows my garden.
17) Shirley who sews my clothes and knows me as well as I know me.
18) Deb who makes me cards and plays the piano for me.
19) Jackie who keeps me in cookies and plays the piano for me.
20) Kit who demonstrates the fine art of empathy.
21) Rosie who is all a good friend should be and more.
22) Mudd, my daughter shared with another mom -- my friend.
23) Books -- life would be such a bore without books.
24) My sewing machine.
25) My book club -- the conversations, the laughter, the friendship, the fun. (Em, Marie, Zanette, Christy, Felice, Shirley, Lucile, and me.)
26) Family doctors who KNOW our family. (And believe the mom.)
27) My pantry and the food therein.
28) Mousetraps and a son who empties them.
29) My iPhone.
30) Of course, the Church and every thing associated with it.
31) Great room mothers for my class.
32) Aunts and Uncles -- I want to grow up to be just like them!
33) The four seasons. I love living where the seasons change.
34) My internet "friends." I like the information and ideas gleaned and shared in cyberspace.
35) Sweaters, especially wool ones.
36) Electric blankets.
37) Spare time.
38) Meeting new people and building relationships.
39) Lists. I am such a list maker I couldn't function in life without my lists.
40) A mom who taught me how to label things. Labels keep order in my home :)
41) Paper towels -- they ought to be Brawny.
42) Abbie: Woman of patience and love. The MOST Christian person I have ever known.
43) TV, but only for the old channels and Public Television. (Perry Mason, Dick VanDyke, I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, Antiques Roadshow, etc.)
44) Primary Songs -- and children to sing them.
45) The country I live in, the USA. I get to say the pledge every day. What a blessing!
46) Safety: I can walk my dog day or night and feel safe in my neighborhood.
47) The theater: I love live theater. I especially love opera and am fortunate to live near an Opera Company, Utah Festival Opera.
48) The garbage man who hauls away the trash every week.
49) Choices and the freedom to make them.
50) However many more birthdays come my way... I'm not even middle aged yet if you count from the life of my Grammy who lived to 104. Sweet!

As you can plainly see, I enjoy abundance in every area of my life. I am truly blessed. It's hard to stop once you get going with this kind of a list. I'll save more for another day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

10 Influential People

The challenge for Wordfull Wednesday this week is:

"Think about those who have had a significant influence in your life.

Besides the Savior, Heavenly Father, and your family, list ten of the most important and influential people in your life. Write the reasons why they are and have been so important to you. Some of these will be people you have known, but some might be people you have only heard of or read about." (Mary Ellen Edmunds, Peculiar in a Good Way, pg.23)

This seems a good month to think of those who have had impact on my life....I'm sure there are far more than 10 people who deserve a mention on this list. Eliminating family is hard, but please know that  they are not forgotten, just on the FAMILY LIST.

Here is my list, in no particular order.

1) Mr. Wilson, my 7th grade English and History teacher helped our class make a book.  Not just a leaflet, but a real book. It was a joke book and we all had great fun finding contributions. My mom was a good parent and good sport who typed much of the book. (This was in the days BEFORE computers were available.) -- He taught us that we could accomplish great things, that we could make plans, set goals and create a product.The book had more than 100 pages.

2) Dr. Hobbs, a professor of Elementary Education at Utah State University. When I returned to college, an "older" student with many obligations, she challenged me to do more than the run of the mill student. I loved her classes, her poise, her southern accent, and the high standards she held for all students. She taught how to strive to surpass yourself at all times. She was always prepared and held herself to the same high standards. She is a marvelous example.

3) Abbie is my next-door neighbor and a dear friend. She is the best example in the world of charity, kindness, caring and love. For many years  Abbie managed a program at USU called "Upward Bound" that assisted struggling HS students and enabled them to gain admission to a university and then supported them as they met the challenges of getting and education. She retired when her granddaughter was born and she decided to stay home and be the caregiver so her daughter in law could return to the workplace. -- When I began teaching school the granddaughter was in my first class of first  grade students (I taught 2nd before 1st). Abbie volunteered in my classroom daily. She has done so every year since. Her granddaughter will graduate from high school this year. Abbie is 85 years old. 

4) Kit sees miracles in everyday life, believes completely, and has the gift of sensing the unspoken feelings of others. She knows if you are hungry, thirsty, tired, happy, well, ill, etc. She meets the need she senses and truly loves unconditionally.

5) Carolyn Keene, author of  Nancy Drew.  Now, I know that Carolyn Keene is fictitious, but the hours spent reading about Nancy, Bess, George and their friends certainly had influence in my life. I spent hours reading of their adventures and going to marvelous places while solving mysteries in my own head.  Childhood wouldn't have been nearly as fun with out Nancy Drew.

6) Sister Stecker. Oh, how I wanted to be old enough to be in Sister Stecker's primary class!  It was in the olden days when Primary was on Wednesday afternoons after school. Sister Stecker's class got to make a Jerusalem Village with salt clay dough and chenille sticks. There were houses and stables, people and animals, and after it was made and dried, you could paint it! What patience this lady must have had! I think she taught that same class FOREVER. (When I was 12 and went to my first dance, Sister Stecker's son, Leonard, asked me to dance! The song was Neil Diamond's "Song Sung Blue.") -- I hope I'm half the primary teacher Sister Stecker was.

7) Judy: Judy was my mom's best friend in the town where we lived. She was always available if mom or any of mom's children needed anything! We all knew Judy's phone number as well as our own. Interestingly, I don't really remember Mom and Judy doing very many things together, but I do know that they needed each other. They are still good friends.

8) Mr. Kennington was the principal at my school for a couple of years. He was (and is) really a people person. He meets someone once and is fast friends with them. He knew the name of every child in the school within the first month of school. As marvelous as that is, he wins a spot on this list because he invited me to write an important document. The result was many thousands of dollars to support an endeavor that our city desperately needed. Prior to this I liked to write, but the experience taught me that I really liked technical writing and that I am really good at writing boring material. I appreciate his insight in helping me find a hidden talent.

9) Spencer W. Kimball, the prophet of my teen years. The beliefs we have are so directly related to what we commit to and decide to do during our teen years. Many of my strongly held beliefs are directly related to the teachings of President Kimball. I am who I am because of this man's dedication to serve.

10) Steve and Brenda are my son's in-laws. They have been great examples of grand-parenting to us as we blunder through the process. They love our son, they share their daughter, and they share our sweet grandson with us. I found out, quite by accident, that they let their sweet daughter know that it would be especially important to allow us lots of time with Michael since he was our first grandchild. I know they have made great sacrifices of time to allow us to enjoy Michael time. I continue to love them more and more each day. (They count as one because they are one -- one in purpose and one in deed.)

There you have it. 10 of the most influential people in my life. It seems that the majority of influence comes when we are young, but that we have great power to influence others when we are older. What a huge responsibility.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Best Kids In Town

'Tis the season for Parent/Teacher Conferences and I LOVE them. It is such a pleasure to brag about the kids to their parents and see the delight in their eyes -- the kids and the parents!

Now, everyone who has ever attended school, even for one day, would know it was a big fib if I said everything at school was perfect every day, but most days are. :) -- It is wonderful to meet with parents and visit about the strengths of each child and the ways to best meet the needs of those with challenges. It is also heartening to see the concern and care parents take when they leave busy schedules to come to school and support our classroom.

I'm sure that I have the BEST KIDS IN TOWN all in my classroom!

Happy Fall,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Who am I??

What an interesting question to pose ... Who am I? And the assignment to include a photo of oneself. Hmmm. What do I want friends and strangers to know about me?

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, daughter and friend. I am a school teacher at a wonderful public school (first grade), and I think everyone ought to have the chance to view life through the eyes of a six-year old!

Last weekend I attended a workshop about keeping kids fit. One of the breakout sessions was all about hula hooping. I loved to hula hoop as a kid and found that I still love it! The woman teaching the class indicated that 10 minutes of hula hooping is the equivalent of a 2 1/2 mile run. She claims the loss of two dress sizes in two months of regular hoop use. -- Hope that proves true for me too! If it does I'll be the next famous fitness guru. Can you imagine a better way to keep fit than playing? ( I also wonder if I can market my marvelous hoops on etsy. Kind of a quirky item for a handmade gadget!)

Back to the "who I am" portion of this blog. I like to read, write, sew, cook, can, and compute. I don't like to clean, wash, run, or talk on the phone. I love to send snail mail, make charms, surprise family and friends, walk my Lucy-dog, and yard sale. I hate to sit on the floor, put away shoes, or eat peas.

I love being a mom and double love being a grandma. I love having the best friends in the world and I love my book club -- the books and the women!

Speaking of the book club, it is my favorite monthly activity. The members include 2 twenty somethings, 2 thirty somethings, 1 forty something, 2 fifty-ish, and 2 seventy plus, members. We take turns selecting the reading material. The discussions are always lively and we rarely all agree. Except, we all agree that we wouldn't trade the club for anything else.

If this post is somewhat disjointed it's because I'm a little sleep-deprived. Some weeks are just that way!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Transformations ... Enjoy the Ride

It's interesting that nothing ever stays the same for long. Change is inevitable from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, year to year. Some changes come quickly and others take time. I am truly a creature of habit and have only learned to embrace change in the fairly recent past. I like routine and predictability. Life, however, is unpredictable.

I live high in the mountains of Northern Utah. Our weather is drifting from summer to fall and as the days shorten the first signs of the next season appear bit by bit. I saw a red leaf today, the lawn needs less water, the dahlias aren't blooming quite a prolifically, and children are speaking of Halloween...already? I saw a Christmas display in the mall last week too.

Some transformations are inevitable...they happen whether or not we want them to and whether or not we take any action. Others, though, we create ourselves.

The transformations I am working on, at present, are attitude changes. I want the ability to take life gently, to adapt more easily to the changes and bumps in the road we call life. I want to stop more often to enjoy the world through the eyes of the children in my life.

I remember riding in the car to the hospital, more than 28 years ago, to have our first child. I recall saying to my husband, "It will never be the same, never be just us again. Isn't it exciting!"

The changes of that day remain dear to my heart. I loved seeing the world through the eyes of the cute little red-head that joined our family on that day. He was, and is, an optimist. I love to think of the hot summer day when he was 3 and I was great with child awaiting his soon-to-be sister and our car broke down many miles from home. I was worried and shed a few tears. He said, "Don't cry mom, we'll take the city bus!" We did. It was an adventure, and all was well.

It is wonderful to watch a child grow, learn, explore, and transform into a parent himself. Now he and his dear wife have a 3 year old who imparts words of wisdom, and they are awaiting a brother or sister to add to their family. Life circles.

Take time to enjoy the ride no matter where the ride is taking you. It will always be an adventure.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Getting to Know You

Do you like to meet new people? -- One of the best things about a new school year is watching the new friendships form between children. It is completely delightful to watch them learn to love and care for each other. It is wonderful, for me too, to learn to love each of the children in my class as I learn about their individual strengths and just what I need to do to support them in learning new things.

My favorite kinds of learning are very rarely the lessons I plan, but more often the lessons the children bring up. I love the opportunities that fall into place unexpectedly.

Yesterday a smart little boy that I'll call Sam asked if pennies could float. In typical teacher fashion I asked him what he thought would happen if he tried to float a penny. He wasn't sure and thought we ought to try. The timing was off at the moment, but I told him if he'd remind me we'd do it tomorrow. Well, today was tomorrow and remind me he did!

We got out the bucket and 22 scientists sought out items to try. We filled a big plastic tub with water and took turns trying out many items. FYI: erasers of all kinds sink, playing cards float for a while and then sink later, pencils float, scissors sink, apples float and so do double dice, baby clothes pins kind of dance in the water neither sinking or floating, popsicle sticks and tongue depressors float even if you push them down first. -- This wonderful impromptu activity was fun, but the end result fantastic when my most difficult student, Mr. T, announced, "This was the best day ever! I'm going to tell my mom I love school."

Well, I love school too. Isn't it nice that I get to go every day? -- My wish for you, reader, is that you get to do what you love most each day too.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books....

Well, day 3 of a brand new school year is complete and I am a happy teacher! Every year I get the most wonderful first grade students on the planet, and this year it seems especially true. There are many things to smile about each day,... One of the first things I do each year is make sure we can all say the pledge appropriately and respectfully. Following the pledge we sing, "You're a Grand Old Flag." As I watched the children singing I noticed that the words, according to one young man, were "...every heart BEEPS true." :)

This time of the year is also BIRTHDAY SEASON at the White Silk Purse. We had the summer bash yesterday and celebrated 7 Happy Birthdays all at once. Many happy returns to Jared (28), Monica (32), Clark (20), Michael (3), Chris (52), Emily (25), and Jackie (17)! We had burgers, dogs, chips, baked beans, potato salad, lemonade and mint brownies with candles for the birthday folks. Yum.

Have I mentioned that I love canning season too? I've been busy with jams, jellies, pie fillings, berries and salsa. I always feel so "settled in" when I have full bottles on the shelf. Not to mention that it just looks cool! My mother in law likes to have them out where everyone can see them. Maybe a good idea! Beauty in a bottle.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Settled In for Sunday Evening

It seems that Sunday evening is my catch up time. It is the time I read the blogs of the week, listen to my children visit, and wind down as the new week prepares to wind up.

This week I've learned (or begun to learn) the ancient art of caring for a linoleum tile floor. You know, the old checkerboard kind that your grandmothers (or perhaps great-grandmothers) had in their kitchens. It involves square-by-square scrubbing multiple times with ammonia and a special floor cleaning product. When at last the floor is so clean you can no longer get a speck of dirt on your sponge or rag, it is time to apply the wax. It must go on in a very thin and even coat, dry for 8 hours, and be followed by another thin and even coat. Following this time consuming task, 8 hours later, the floor must be buffed and polished. I found a "brand new" (very old) electric floor polisher for this step. Apparently the previous owner of this magnificent device didn't ever get the hang of it. Hope I do! -- According to what I've read, the floor ought to maintain it's new high-gloss shine for quite some time with regular mopping. The multi-step hands and knees scrubbing ought to be only a once annual event. We'll see!!!

This coming week ought to be filled with the rest of the end of summer household cleaning chores. The following week its back to school chores and ready or not, the new school year will begin.

I love the smell of new crayons and freshly sharpened pencils. I can hardly wait...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bits of Peace

Little by little I am learning how to blog. I love my new background from hotbiggityblog. There are several nifty choices.

All Sunday afternoons should be as lazy as the one I've just spent. Visiting, reading, walking puppies, listening to lovely piano music, and eating chocolate cake (warm) with gooey cream cheese frosting.

I ought to have some great insights, but not tonight. Just gratitude for peace.

Peace to all.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

With thanks to a wonderful tutorial (Chocolate on my Cranium), I now have a snazzy signature. I may get the hang of blogging yet!

Friday, July 17, 2009


I follow a few blogs here and there. One of my very favorites is Chocolate on my Cranium. Cocoa's insights are always wise and wonderful. I know I'd like this lady in person!

This week she posted an "offer" of sorts and challenged others to do the same. I think it's a good idea so I'll do it too. I know I'm not followed much and I don't know quite what you might get. Since I really like to cook, it may be something to eat. Every now and then I'm hit by a burst of craftiness so it may be home decor. I guess you'll just have to take your chances if you want to find out. 

The "rules" of this game are to commit to do the same. Post it to your blog and see what happens;) Good Luck! --

 For the first five bloggers to leave a comment on this post and commit to do the same pay-it-forward on their blogs I will do the following and if you are one of the five this is what you will paste in your pay-it-forward post too :

I am willing to post overseas (I am in the U.S.), but remember you must commit on your blog to do the same for others.

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I send you. But you may be pleasantly surprised. It will definitely be made by me.
2. What I send will be made just for you, with love, by my own hands. You'd be surprised how much of our personalities does come through online.
3. I will complete all 5 gifts this year - 2009. (So I guess the offer expires at the end of this year.)
4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world, that you can touch,taste,  or feel, and not something cyber.
5. I reserve the right to do something strange. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. If you find it truly horrendous, just let me know. Perhaps you'll send it forward to someone who will absolutely love it.
6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post (one for each).
7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you to confirm.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Break Fun

A short two day trip to SLC with just the two of us! We plan to peruse the Apple Store and meet with a genius at the iPod bar. What a life!
R & R is the real goal of the weekend. Maybe a museum or a movie. Whatever strikes our fancy. It is supposed to pour down rain, but we like rain so all will be well.
Happy Spring!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I love dandelions. They are hardy survivors that create tiny spots of sunshine wherever they bloom.
Once I went to Ireland. Just outside a tiny grocer in a tiny town in County Wicklow there sat this marvelous display of potatoes. 

February 14

After perusing some delightful blogs I decided to create my own spot in space. We'll see how it goes!