Tuesday, December 27, 2011


My secret santa gift was handmade by Bon Jean Creations.

As you can see, Bonnie, did an amazing job and sent me exactly what I love.

My Little Miss Revlon Doll is dressed up in her Christmas outfit now.  I do have to get her a pair of shoes to match.

The beautiful oven mitt is personalized and we already used it on Christmas day and now, everyday.

Thank you so much Bonnie!

This has been so much fun.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


My earliest Christmas memory is when I was about 5 years old.  My brother and I shared a bedroom with single beds on opposite walls.  Our stockings were "hung" on top of our chest of drawers as well as Santa's cookies and milk.  I was so excited I could barely sleep so when I heard the jingle bells from the stockings, I so wanted to peek but I kept my eyes tightly shut.  I don't remember if I jumped up to look after the "movement" silenced but I don't think so.  I knew I had to wait for the morning.

A couple of years later, I woke up one night and found my mom in the kitchen, sewing doll pajamas.  It did not dawn on me until I got those pj's for my Suzy Walker on Christmas morning, that Santa was really my mom and dad. "Big Sigh"  I told my brother and he answered me by punching me.  How dare I say that there was no Santa!!
We were always very fortunate as children on Christmas because we received presents from many relatives and we always got what we wanted.  Dolls, bikes, toys.  
My dad was a Tool & Die Engineer and handsomely paid.
What I did not get was the REAL reason for Christmas.  Jesus Christ♥  That was a true loss for us.

One Christmas when I was a teen, there were many family problems so it seemed no merriment, no tree.  My best friend, Bobby and I went out and purchased a tree on Christmas Eve for $3.  This was in 1961.  I was 15.  We set it up, put some ornaments on it.  The next morning, the tree was standing there and all of the needles had fallen off and were on the floor.  We got a dead tree!!  Appropriate for that year, I guess.
Christmas got a whole lot better when my girls were young.  Jenifer and Jodi would run into the living room, jumping up and down and clapping with glee.
At that point, I was religiously confused but knew that God was there for me.
It thrills me to hear when someone shares that their young children know all about Jesus' love.  My grandsons know this also.
I am grateful to know the "reason for the season" is our Lord.  At this time in my life it comforts me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The story behind the photos

There are so many people who post photographs but yet most don't tell the story behind the photograph.  When did you take it?  Where were you?  Who were you with?
I have posted two new photo ACEO's and each one has a special meaning.


When Cole was born 18 years ago I purchased this angel for his very first Christmas.  We have always called her Cole's Angel. When I opened an account on Ebay way back in 2001 I called myself NoahsarkColesangel.  I hope to give this to Cole when he has his own children.


This photo was not taken by me.  Back in 1996 I met a young man named Alan.  He was an art student at William Paterson College and my adopted daughter Kerry was also an art student and she met him there.  I had the opportunity to have a conversation with him when he told me that he was looking for his biological mother.  He gave me a little information and after some phone calls I was able to find her since she lived in this area.  They met and became friends. It was miraculous because he said that he had a memory of being torn away from her and that was what happened.  His adopted family were very warm and loving people also. 
He gave me this photo in an 8x10 size which was actually a school project.
When he graduated his parents gave him a new car as a gift.  A sports car.  He took full advantage of that car for its speed and he was killed in a very tragic accident.  He was a beautiful person and I am posting this in his honor.  He had a very bright future that was cut short because of that love for speed.  I will always remember our talks.

So those are the stories behind these photographs and I would love to know if knowing the stories would make them more meaningful or if posting them as is with no background is the way to go.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Bronx-You can't go home again-Part Two-The corner candy store

Image taken from google images.

Back in the 40's and 50's we had "corner candy stores".  There was one on almost every corner.  The one that we went to was owned by a man named Philly Lapin and he and his family lived in the same building where his store was located, much like the photo above. 

When you walked into the door, the soda fountain was to the right.  It was very small with maybe 6 stools.  That is where Mr. Lapin stood whenever I saw him.  He always wore a white full apron that looked pretty worn for wear.  He wore wire rim glasses and otherwise, pretty non-descript.  He made the best chocolate malteds and chocolate egg creams.

You don't know what an egg cream is?  It did not contain eggs or cream either.  Chocolate syrup, milk and soda water.  It is imitated today but it just doesn't taste the same.

He had a few turning racks with clear plastic bags filled with plastic toys from the time.  My favorite was to collect the little foreign dolls and I had a ton of them. I have seen some on ebay for tons of money.  Of course, back then, I got the girl toys and my brother got the soldiers and cowboys.

He had one large card rack for those special occasions.



There was one table with a few chairs and that is where my mom and grandma would sit and chat while my brother and I drank our chocolate malteds with our pretzel rod.  The malted was so thick you could scoop it up with the pretzel and there is just something so yummy about that sweet and salty.

The store was not anything like the soda fountains we see today.  It was really kind of dark with neon lighting.  We got ice cream cones in the real sugar cones of yesterday.

Chocolate candies filled with raspberry jelly, a treat called Halva which is truly an acquired taste and memories for a lifetime.

Most of the time we would go to the candy store every day after school.  This was the 1950's, we ate a lot of chocolate!  It is a very sweet memory.  If I think about it hard enough, I can almost walk through that door and smell the goodies.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


How to Give a Cat a Pill
1.  Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby.

Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand.  As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth.

Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa.

Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process. 

Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

    Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand.

Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger.  Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

 Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe.


Call spouse in from the garden. 

 Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws.

Ignore low growls emitted by cat.  Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth.  Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

 Retrieve cat from curtain rail.

Get another pill from foil wrap.  Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains.  Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit.

Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

 Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans and drink one beer to take taste away.  Apply band-aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

 Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed.

Get another pill.  Open another beer.  Place cat in cupboard, and close door onto neck, to leave head showing.  Force mouth open with dessert spoon.  Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges.  Drink beer.  Fetch bottle of scotch.  Pour shot, drink.

Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot.  Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect.  Toss back another shot.  Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

  Call fire department to retrieve the darned cat from the top of the tree across the road.  Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat.

Take last pill from foil wrap.

Using heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed, tie the little bugger's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table.  Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet steak.  Be rough about it.  Hold head vertically and pour two pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

  Consume remainder of scotch.  Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room.  Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye.  Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

Order more pills from Vet.

How To Give A Dog A Pill

1.  Wrap it in bacon.

2.  Toss it in the air.


Monday, September 19, 2011

The Bronx-You can't go home again-Part One

The Bronx, one of the burroughs of New York City.  I was born there in 1946 and lived there until 1956 when we moved to New Jersey because my father got a really good job there.

The picture above is 264 East 211th Street where my grandparents lived for as long as I could remember.  They did live in another apartment building right down the block but this was built new and was a real step up for them.  The only difference that I can see in this picture, much more recent, is that the trees are much more mature and there is a chain link fence across the front courtyard. Perhaps the sidewalks have been redone in the past 55 years but they are sidewalks that I walked on almost every day of my young life.  
There are so many good memories, some not so good, I still dream about being in their apartment and can describe every room in detail.

Technology today can bring you right into your old neighborhood with Googlemap.  Taking a virtual walk up East 211th Street is a strange experience.  

Right across the street facing their building is The famous Woodlawn Cemetary.  There is a wrought iron fence stretching from one end to the other separating us from the graves.  My mom, my brother and I used to take walks in there.  It was green and lush and, of course, peaceful.  I don't think I ever thought about it being a cemetary - just fun to walk around in.  

There was a park nearby also called the Oval.  Picture below.

It has changed a lot.  There used to be forsynthia bushes surrounding the park making a huge circle of yellow in the Spring that used to awe me.  We went there many days after school.  My mom, my brother, my mom's friends and their kids.  We were fast friends until I had to move away.
Try as I might, I can't seem to grasp that fun feeling anymore.

Picture of Grandma with me in my Brownie uniform and my brother, Peffie (Stefan).  1954.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Memories of Ismael Rodriguez

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

 About 2 months ago I found out that a young woman named Yasmin Rodriguez had a baby boy.  The Rodriguez family is a strong part of my past but because of so many negative factors I have not been in contact with them, except for Orlando, who escaped Paterson,NJ for a cleaner and better life in New Mexico.  He has been there for almost 2 years now and doing well; taking care of the dogs and horses, planting a garden in that dry desert, watering it every day and taking pride at the results.
His world came crashing down when he was notified that his nephew, Ismael, his brother's son, was shot and killed this past weekend.  Just two months ago, welcoming a new baby into the family, they have lost Ismael.

The matriarch of the family-Orlando's mother, Ruth, has lost 2 children to HIV/virus back in the 1980's. Her son, Nelson and her daughter, Maritza. Her life, since she left Puerto Rico back in 1962, has been a long and hard road.  I know she never lost her Faith in the Lord when she could have so easily because of all the heartache.
Her heart must be breaking from losing Ismael, but she is taking comfort in the fact that he is saved.
You need a tremendous amount of emotional strength to leave that environment and not allow it to darken you.  It took Ismael at the beginning of a more spiritual life. 
May our Lord wrap you in His arms and give you peace.

 “Does disaster come to a city unless the Lord has planned it?” (Amos 3:6). And I feel it again today and I breathe: A good God plans everything. Everything

Isaiah 14:24, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand” (NASB). As God plans … so it stands.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wouldn't You Love to Win These??????

You can!!
Visit Christie Cottage and enter to win!

This set is a one of a kind!

They are filled with Apple Cinnamon Soy Wax
and as always I use hemp wicks.

You can save 20% on your order this week 
when you use the coupon code:
at checkout.

Thanks for stopping by....
hope YOU win!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The stages of an ACEO

I have been working on a couple of ACEO's for the past couple of weeks.  Every time I photograph it I see flaws that need improving.  When is enough enough?  I am so worried that I will not do a good job and people will criticize.  With all my "talk" to encourage others, here I am-worried!




Did I mention that my camera is taking the colors differently every time?  The second draft is closer to the colors.  What to do?

I guess the good thing is, I am being creative, which is the goal.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Talents of Elizzy

Elisabeth Walsh is a talented young artisan from Atlanta, GA.
I now have the privilege of owning one of her beautiful illustrations that I want to show off in this blog post.  Among her many talents are illustration, sewing, design and quilling.  She is also a cook extraordinaire, a spiritual woman with a heart of gold.
Her shop is http://www.etsy.com/shop/AronaWalsh?ref=ss_profile

Here is the beautiful piece that I was able to win in an auction by Elizzy.

Here are some examples of her quilling talents

And last but certainly not least, 2 items from her shop.

We can all see how talented she is and wish her great success.