Just back from the doctor... Mitch is released to go back to school on Friday if he's feeling up to it! Praise God!! Thank you all for your prayers. He's starting a new antibiotic this afternoon so please continue to pray that there won't be any allergic reactions. We've been warned that if something changes, he'll have to go in the hospital under the care of the infectious disease specialist. But things look good right now. The "blister" is diminishing and his lungs are clearing. He's still having trouble with hives but we're hopeful that they'll be gone soon too. On the up-side, since it's Halloween the leprosy-looking spots don't make him stand out like a freak.

History Channel - how Halloween began. God's view on those things: here and here. I know it's not the popular view but... we aren't running a popularity contest. See this and this. I'm tempted, believe me. Good witch/bad witch - is there a difference to Him? Is it really that big of deal anymore? I don't know. I'm choosing to err on the side of His opinion matters more than my ability to argue the harmlessness of Halloween.
I have to admit though that I kinda like striped stockings.

So I worked on striping up some hangers because striped stockings do NOT enhance one of my better features! (side note: Nor do overalls. Can someone tell me why men think that we'll look "sexy" in overalls? What version of HeeHaw were they watching??)

Though I usually enjoy handing out candy and little Bibles on Halloween, tonight we're turning the front light off and relaxing by a cozy fire. If I'm going to pretend to be anyone tonight it will be Scarlet O'Hara

Medicines begin with a capital letter but illnesses do not...

It's true. The medical profession somewhere down the line determined that it would be more positive to put the emphasis on the cure. =) I'm resting my weary self for a few minutes so I thought I'd give a quick update... We had to stop the antibiotics a couple hours ago because Mitch is covered in hives, despite the benadryl and prednisone. Thankfully we live just 2-3 minutes from the doctor's office (and the hospital) so we've been able to stay home today and just touch base with the doctor on and off. He thinks there's another antibiotic that we can try before having to admit Mitch to the hospital. The doctor wants to see us again in the morning so I'll know more then.

Mitch, aside from the hives, thinks he's feeling better and the "blister" is (to quote the doctor) walled off and contained with some improvement. We don't want it to open because the risk of it spreading will be much greater and the tracks from his previous wound run so deep that there's a greater chance of getting a pocket of infection somewhere. So... overall, we're okay. Thank you for all your prayers and kind words. I haven't had the opportunity to get back to everyone (or even to read all the comments) yet but we hope to back to normal around here soon. God has been good.

As he slept this morning, I sat on the kitchen floor and sorted through THE box. Remember, the one that my mom had in her basement with all the old Victoria Magazines in it?! Well, she dropped it off for me! YAY!! At least I've had something to look at while we've been at all these doctor appointments. =)

Bittersweet Punkin tagged me to post a photo of myself (past, present or future) so before I forget, I thought I'd show you this one (enlarge it 'cause the pacifier thing is just crazy-wierd). That's me on the left and my daughter on the right. I'm supposed to tag 3 others to post a photo and tell the story behind it. Since I don't have many brain cells left tonight, let's just say that the last 3 people to leave a comment on this post (by midnight tonight) will be the 3 that get tagged. I'll notify them tomorrow. How's that for getting myself off the hook?!

A prayer request

I haven't been very forthright this last week. I've gone about my business as if it were business as usual but behind the computer monitor, things have not as they seem. The cold/flu season has blown in and we've had a houseful of sick people. However, as it does time and again, it blew in and blew away for most of us. The entire first floor of our house is now showing the wreckage left from this storm, but everyone seemed to be getting well again by Friday. Just as I was about to settle into a weekend of greatly needed cleaning, sorting, folding and generally picking up... Staph peeked in the window!

For those of you who have not read my entire blog beginning to end (because I'm just full of enough of myself to think that you would), my oldest son was in a very bad accident a few years ago (you can read about it here - if you're up for another my sob stories). He has a very large scar area from the wound and another from the surgery. We are careful to go right to the doctor if there is any (and I do mean ANY) signs of infection, etc. in that area. Well... he's had the cold/flu thing that everyone here has had but he just wasn't getting over it so last week it was declared that he had pneumonia and was put on an antibiotic. On Friday, he came to me asking me to look at a "bump" that had shown up on the top of his scar. Saturday he was throwing up. Yesterday we were in the immediate care with the words MRSA and Staph looming over us. Because of his accident 3 years ago we're now aware that he has severe allergies to many medications. Because of his inability to take many of the antibiotics to treat Staph... oh, what a worried mommy I was last night!! This morning, he was covered in hives and still throwing up.

Well, he's taking "gut busting" (medical term) doses of antibiotics to treat the pneumonia and the possible staph. And to counter his allergic reaction to the antibiotics, he's taking steriods and benadryl. If there's no improvement by tomorrow morning, he'll be admitted to the hospital to have IV antibiotics where he can be more closely monitored and the "blister" will be lanced and cleaned (because it's on top of a previous non-healing wound area, the concern is that the infection will follow one of the "tracks" or scar tissue and create a pocket of infection somewhere).

Although it's tempting to play the "feel sorry for me" song, please know that we're in good hands and we've been through much worse. Somedays I would really like for the need to worry about his health to end, but I know that the reality is that he is always at risk for infection in that area and it's a serious risk because he can't take most antibiotics. (The doctor, whom I absolutely love, joked with us today, "he's allergic to the planet so we have to try to stay ahead of things". Being pro-active is exhausting but it's better than the alternative =) Please pray with us tonight. Of course, being the 16 year old that he is, he doesn't think any of it is a big deal and would probably be very angry that I've even shared this with all of you.

Below are some pictures to give you an idea of what we're dealing with. Please be aware that they're graphic..
This 1st photo is from the day after his initial accident..

The second photo is of the wound as it was not healing and had to be drained (it was about a year after the accident before the wound finally closed)

The last photo is of the "blister" as of yesterday. Doesn't seem like much after the other two photos, but it could easily become an open, non-healing wound.

I may not be blogging for the next couple of days but know that I'll wish I was =)

He Loved Me First

I read this Saturday and it seemed like a fitting closing to our paperie...
When I was in the sixth grade, I looked over at a little girl named Joyce Louise Gentry and I wrote her a love note. Then, I walked past her desk and dropped it at her desk. She's now Joyce Louise Rogers. She's my bride and my beloved.
That little note made such an impression on her that she still has it in a little scrapbook. It must have been good! But you know, from that time on she began to take an interest in me. Do you know why she loves me? I first loved her.
Do you know what the Bible is? It is God's love letter to you. It is God saying to you, I have set my eye upon you. I love you!

P.S. Just a quick note... If you didn't get the email this morning about the papercraft sale that JoAnn's is having today, go here.


You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book (Ps 56:8)

So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name (Mal 3:16)

Prayer Journal (click to enlarge)... This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.' (Jer 30:1-3)

He's a parent. He's a record keeper. He's the lover of our soul. Unlike our other treasured loved letters, His should be getting worn from use, tattered from tears, ear-marked from putting to memory. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Ps 119:105).

Wrapping Up

And the winner is....

Michelle at Back Through Time! You are winner of the Thanksgiving paper set . Michelle, I think I still have your address from the very best curtains that I purchased from you. I'll get these items mailed out tomorrow. (trophy photo: she also has a fab blog: jenbowles)

I found some great old cards and tags when I was shopping with mom the other day. I think I'm going to add a few to the inspiration box. The educational cards have really neat old pictures.

I also found a tattered quilt for $1.39 but since it's not paper, I'll have to show you later =) Here's a few interesting paperie items to tempt you...

Check out this paper dress from Paper Source! (photo: I wonder how it holds up in the rain?

Amy Butler has some free downloads this week for paper crafts!

I received an email yesterday that Country Living (Hearst) and Esquire even have a Mr. Beloved book! According to Gear Patrol (a guy's site for cool stuff ...but there is a girly link, ugh!), this is a gentleman's book on everything from travel, clothing, lifestyle, etc. Available for $9.95.

I've slowly been adding to our library... I just received Foof-A-life and it's looking like a jewel! So far my favorite decor book is... (sorry, you'll have to find out at the library).

I'm off to work on listing some sweet ol' vintage finds from earlier in the week. Happy Friday!

The BrocanteHome Puttery Treats Challenge

Oh for gracious sakes she's done it again! Alison at Brocante Home just has one lovely idea after another. Have you seen it? Do you know what deliciousness I'm referring to? And here it fits so perfectly into our Festival of Papers week! The Brocante Home Puttery Treats Challenge dares us to pick a favorite Puttery Treat.

I've been reading her blog for a long time now and I'll admit that I was a "lurker" for many months. It was actually her blog that inspired me to begin my own blog (but let's not tell her because that would appear as trying to win brownie points for the challenge). I was so nervous stepping into this sometimes personal and always public world of journaling online for everyone to see (remember why? see #9). I'm still shakey some days but this is, afterall, a Season of Change .

So my favorite puttery treat probably stems from my innate desire to write. Just words. But after years of stifling blank pages... oh, how I'm loving written words! As you know, I've been looking over mom's "Sister's Book" this week. I'm finding myself teary-eyed often - not because the notes are so precious (and they are indeed precious to me) but because I'm overcome with having this in common with my mom and her mom before her. I commented to my mom today about my surprise at feeling this way. She said, "No, I always knew you had to write... for your heart. When you were little, you used to hide behind the sofa with a notepad for hours, quiet as can be. Then later I'd find an elaborate story laying on my pillow". This Sister's Book has taken me for such a loop! I didn't expect that I'd find myself in her adventures and I'm a little stunned that I didn't know all this was for my heart. Because it so, obviously, is! Not the stories involved in the blog. Not the pictures. Not even the words. Just in doing it.

Write yourself a to-do list on the back of a vintage postcard and slip it into your handbag. This is the week to do away with all those niggly little tasks currently driving you round the twist...
-Quote from Brocante Home Chronicles
I've been putting this puttery treat on thin strips of paper and using it as a band to secure stacks of notecards given as gifts. (a little surprise to include with a sold auction item, etc.) They encourage spontaneous writing. Even the slightest of lists can be beautiful. (and how can you not smile at a phrase like "those niggly little tasks currently driving you round the twist?!)
...with you... right in front of everyone!!
90) Written Words
91) Captured Moments
92) Captured Fear

Moment by Moment

One of the sisters recalls a visit into the city to see relatives... When we found her house what a reception we were given. We were all served some cold drinks (sodas and malted milks) and Aunt Lida announced that Mother was being named "Queen for the Day" and was presented with a golden crown. She then asked all of us to address Mother as "Your Magesty" for the rest of the day.

And tomorrow my 9 year old son is taking a 4 day trip with his grandparents for the weekend... off to create his childhood memories!

Today my 6 year old daughter is on a museum field trip with her aunt and cousins... (I finally got her winter curtains up!)
My youngest son and I will spend the day shopping with my mom.
Priceless pieces of our lives... just everyday moments. Teachable moments. Moments that add up to who they will be. Oh, write about them now, before the moment is gone. Someday your children will ask...

The House That History Built

Mom writes: March Winds blew Sandy and Kay to several interesting places on March 1st. We began the morning by going to Chris' Antiques - located in the former "Bills Grocery Store". Wow! This was almost a living memory of our childhood as we roamed through Phyllis's bedroom (mom's best friend when she was a little girl), Aunt Audrey's kitchen & Bill's store. Memories of days gone by permeated the air. The shop is displayed in a wonderful way and we not only felt like we were visiting Bill's grocery and Phyllis' playroom, we almost could picture Aunt Audrey playing solitare at the dinning room table...

Free 45's (records) with the weekly purchase of a Kellogs product at Bill's Grocery. Mom's account of her day with my Aunt Sandy isn't dated but after lunch that day they went to the Ben Franklin to buy material.

I'm sorting by season as I go through all the kazillion magazines.

Look what I found in the midst of it all! "Good Housekeepings" Victoria - Premier Issue! Be still my heart. I can't wait to absorb every single page!

A little peek at what I'm adding to ebay tonight - in celebration of our festival of paper this week

How about a paper giveaway? I love the elegant leaf pattern on these plates and napkins. Kinda looks anthropologie-ish, don't you think? But, no, it's Wal-mart =) ...just add a comment on today's post and I'll let the random number picker select someone on Friday.

p.s. Is anyone else excited about Tuesdays just because House is on?! Hey lookitthat, he has a book =) Finally...a way to work Hugh Laurie into my victorian shab plot!!


I have a bizarre affinity for paper. All forms of paper. (Ok, not toilet paper... well, I guess I'd be hard pressed to say that I can do without it so yes, toilet paper too.) I've always loved old papers, new papers, sleek papers, colorful papers and so on. I used to pretend to be an author when I was little. Conveniently, I was also a magazine editor, a teacher, a student, an artist, a love letter writer... I don't know if it's the paper or the words or the pictures but I'm hooked!

We were having our weekly Sunday lunch at my parent's house yesterday and we were discussing this very topic. I mentioned my "inspiration boxes" and my mom said, "Oh, don't you remember all those magazines and clippings I have in the basement?" I have to admit that I've secretly wanted to get my hands on some of those old magazines but I recalled the mess in my dinning room right now from my escapade of exploring my own stash the other day. I dared not ask mom for a peek at them or she might point her finger toward her attic and tell me to get up there directly and drag down all my high school journals, yearbooks and "oh, I can't throw that out" items!

I knew to keep myself quiet or the afternoon could go south =) and my plans to visit the 6000 square foot mansion open house sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 would surely be foiled! As I was pondering those thoughts I realized she had still been talking (oops). "When Aunt Lou and Aunt Sandy and Gram and I get together once a month, we take turns reading a little story that we've written". HUH?? Now, I know about the once a month gatherings. I've been trying to get into this secret society for years!! Mom and her sisters (and gram) find the most quaint places to have lunch and they always bring home unique finds from their shopping soirees. But these stories? "Why don't you go grab some of those old Victoria magazines downstairs and I'll get my Sister's Book." There was even a name for it! How did I not know about this?

What she brought out touched my heart so! Pocket folders full of stories, some typed and some handwritten by my grandmother and her three offspring. And photo albums bulging with snapshots of mom's childhood and that wonderful orchard! (That's gram and gramps in the picture.) And... - now we know from where my problem stems -... tons of old magazine clippings!

So as I browse this week through the festival of papers mom has lent to me, I will be sharing some of her stories, my stories, and all sorts of puffery! And since this seems the perfect week to gather together sweet little things into inspiration boxes, I'd like to invite you to take an excursion into your own stash of bits-n-bobs; retrieve the lovliness that you cleave to... and really cleave to it. What of sending a handmade Christmas card to your sis using some of those precious pretty articles? Or creating a garland of eye candy calling cards? Or... a simple afternoon sifting...remembering...dreaming.

And to make the puttery even more inviting, there is someone who will hand bind a book (or several in my case) for all our beloved paper secrets. Made By One Girl has a book of every size. She even has accordian file folders that slip neatly into the bookcase. Her site is in our Lovely Award spot this week.
Go download her catalog, bind it with ribbon, grab a cup of soup and take your lunch while flipping the pages. You'll love her little handwritten notes. I'll bet they resemble some chicken scratch in your inspiration stash.
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