Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Have a safe, fun, & Happy Halloween!



        Remember that not everyone celebrates this holiday. The smallest kids, and esp alot of FurryKids, don't like to be frightened. I will confess to 'corning', 'soaping', and window-knocking as a youngster. I will also confess to sweeping up all that corn, washing the windows, and getting my butt kicked by my Dad when he found out what I was up to. He especially didn't like to be frightened. Neither do old ladies who do NOT like changing our pants throughout the evening Trick or Treat hours. :/  I'm probably warning just my own ChiefHubby, here. Spiders are NOT fun. Nor funny. Just a little REMINDER, Lambykins! *gasp!*
        Don't forget paybacks, Dear. Paybacks.... ;)

        I've been happily busy getting ink all over in the studio this week! Will share soon! And then some.
                                                         Happy Treating, and Blogging!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Birthdays Are Just Another....GIFT!!!! You THOUGHT I was gonna say "day", huh?!

OCTOBER 18, 1965
    If there's one thing I have successfully learned over the years, it's the fact that everything that is important to one person is just NOT to any other person. This fact keeps me from being let down after sharing things with others and expecting a huge response from anyone else. I've learned to simply ENJOY whatever things that come my way and make ME happy. It's true: it's the little things that make Life BIG!
     When I was younger...from very young on up...I can remember that birthdays were no big deal when it came to my own. The person who made the 'biggest deal' over my birthday had to be the person whom I was named after- my Grandma Raymer. We both shared the middle name Louise. And after she passed in January of 2003, my Grandpa Raymer found a wonderful, true friend in Grandma's friend whose first name happened to be Louise! She was certainly the one person who made my Grandpa's last years HAPPY, and as he told me- worth living. Since they both went on to be with JESUS now, I miss them both. But each time my birthday rolls around, I am reminded how they loved all their kids, grands, great, and great-great grands and tried their best to make each one of us feel special. So my mind always looks back to the pile of new clothes, undies, socks, and coloring book, with a fresh box of crayons on top of the pile sitting on top of the washer of the house where I lived my first years. From then on, my memories of birthday gifts from them consisted of $2 in a card every year, and time spent with them. I don't recall many cakes, but the three I remember having were all keepers; marching Mickey Mouse shared with all my friends at a former school I'd just moved away from but got my birthday to go back and visit with them all day at school. *Nyeh-nyeh!!* I was a Teacher's Pet all through elem and Jr High. :p  A monkey face cake shared with a Bestie and one older brother closest to me in age. And a Tigger cake shared with another Bestie and same brother- but that cake I decorated myself after my mother baked it. So really, birthdays were not a big deal until I met the ChiefHubby and his family. His Mom usually went way out of her way for each of her kids' birthdays, and that first one I had with them, David took me to another city to roller skate and after we got back to his house, it was sprung on me as a surprise: a Smurf cake his Mom had worked on all that time David had me away from the house! I was 17 that year. And it was the last year I got a special gift from Gr&Gr Raymer: a set of Opal celebrate my last 'childhood' birthday. That was the same year David had given me a Promise Ring with his promise to make me his wife. He'd given it to me on HIS birthday for MY birthday which came almost exactly one month after his. After that, the last gift I ever got from my Grandpa was after Grandma died and he'd come out to give me a Mickey Mouse umbrella on my special day. I cherish that thing still alongside the more expensive gifts I've ever gotten- each is equally important to me because of who it came from.
      so after our own boys were born, I chose to follow up on their birthdays every year, making a HUGE deal out of them to let them know THEIR birthdays were two of the BEST days of MY life as well as the start and continuation of their own lives. Some years we had big parties and in more recent years- it's been just our own little family, expanded to include celebrations and cakes for their beautiful girls they have brought home to be our 2 daughters- Holli and Ashley. I hope they continue celebrating birthdays as they grow their own families, however they choose. And that they will also continue to help others as we have, celebrating birthdays of those we care about, as much as is possible. It always makes me feel good to do something for someone else that will cause them to smile. I hope my kids saw me do that enough to realize that doing so even when it was rough for me at the time...the effort was worth it all. My photo work was involved in alot of that. 
        Last year, I took a couple of hours to go off during a camping trip and do some selfie photos just for the fun of it. Most of the photos I have kept over the years don't have ME in them. I am always BEHIND the scenes. (oh. my. gosh. Do NOT open the closet and the drawers with them....there are prob seriously well over 1 joke. Thank GOD for digital or we would have floor-to-ceiling paper photos and albums.) Selfies while I grew up were UNHEARD of. Those were actually ACCIDENTS and you were guilty of stealing attention. But no more! Now, selfies are WAY COOL. Thank goodness, or I'd never be seen in ANYTHING and my One-Day grandkids will look at the pics and say "So. Who is our Grandma and what's she LOOK LIKE??" lol
        This year is my 49th. And for some strange reason, I THOT I was gonna be 48. So when ChiefHubby said "Oh no-you're gonna be forty-NINE !" I kinda felt CHEATED out of a WHOLE YEAR!! :/  But, I am ever THANKFUL to The LORD for giving me more years than I actually thought- as a teenager with a heart problem- I'd ever have. And I FEEL in my heart and mind a kind of peace with the thought that HE also gave me the time I asked for: to finish raising my kids and see them get out on their own. Now? Well, now I feel RELAXED. Like I can actually ENJOY myself and not expect anything. Not even expect to be let down when it comes to Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, special dates, or even just a plain old day of any week of any year. I really DO think that comes with AGE. And while I am gonna GET OLD just like ALL of us.....I am NOT gonna get CRABBY!! That's my goal. To not fight so much when GOD wants changes to happen. And to be brave enough to get out and see the rest of what HE has created of the world, but yet keep that Heavenly HOME in my sight at ALL times as my REAL GOAL.
              Yeah, 49 is pretty far. hehe!
THANKS for stopping in, and allowing me to share....yet again.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

OCTOBER TAG- The 12 Tags of 2014

Happy Fall, ya'all! I do love the fall months, but I hate what comes with it: The LEAF WAR (as of right now, the Battle Count is 1 win for the Leaves and 1 win for me. I conceded that first Battle only because of the slip&fall I took while putting the mower away during the rain. I didn't THINK I hit my head, but don't really know. I did find a huge 'goose egg' on the back of my crainium and I suppose I am kinda lucky I only ended up with four full days of awful hammering inside my head. No hospital for this gurl unless I am DYING. I see enough Drs and take enough meds, thankyouverymuch.

                                                                 Oh,but October has to be my FAVIE MONTH- because I was born on Sweetest Day in October of 1965. :) So yep, I'mma full-fledged PUMPKIN GURL! That doesn't mean I like scary stuff. I guess you could say I am not too 'Halloweeny' of a person. But I am really big on the fall colors, pumpkins, parties, and fun! So Tim's tag for this month didn't make me exactly do flips. And while I DO have the Alterations Candlelight Fright die (with the candlebra and spider on a webstring), you won't see me using the spider. YUK.
              Instead, I came up with an idea to use my Sizzix TeaCup ScoreBoards die #656549 and the TH Movers&Shapers Mini Branch &Leaf set #657208 for my main shapes. Since I was again making two more tags as gifts for 2 of my Besties who also share a Pumpkin Month Birthday, I wanted to keep it simple enough they could leave it out for a bit. So I used some real items in there: pieces of cinnamon stick and 'smelly' cards for apple pie tucked inside the cup. It gives that Fall Festival feeling of having a cup of hot apple cider in your hand. Yes- it REALLY adds something for the NOSE as well as the EYE! While I didn't have any of Tim's new Distress Stain Sprays (and hope to find a couple of them at least), I fell back into the idea of misting some of my Distress Inks and other Distress Stains I do have on hand. While it didn't all come together on the paper as nicely as Tim's did; it satisfied me for now and looks pretty cute. 

   Again, I am not a color-happy person and like to use muted tones and lots of tans take the forefront. So it was a chance for the leaves to be the 'star' of the tag as well as the cup itself. I wanted the embossed wording to be "chit-chat" that often goes on whenever we all share a hot cuppa anything. So I let it spread a tiny bit to allow it to look more like 'steam' coming up. The green leaf is actually still "on the tree" so to speak, and that is why it is the one hanging still. The one main difference I chose to part from Tim's directions is using Glossy Accents on top of my leaves. Instead, I used Distress Crackle Paint in Clear Rock Candy on top of the ink/water pen technique of coloring my leaves. Leaves in Indiana are definitely CRACKLED! And, they are definitely on my mind...
and all over the acreage...and in the gutters, and... *sigh*
   And they WILL BE...for a few more weeks yet to come. For some AWESOME pics I share on my WLYLA FRIDAY HITS on Twitter and Facebook- you will be able to see the leaves as they change week by week on our private lake here. I call these "LEAF BREAK" photos since I share them in the middle of my song choices. It was neat to share with other Twitter-users because one person said "You in Indiana have such a BEAUTIFUL STATE!!" and here I was thinking the same thing about THEIR STATE. It gave me an entirely new perspective on where I live and how TRULY BLESSED we are to live here in the USA.
   Thanks for checking in! I'll be posting a single mish-mash of all the things I made over the summer, but didn't make seperate postings on each. I thought I didn't have that much craft time over the summer months and was surprised to see how much ended up in my pics files! Plus, the photographs of trips still to come- awesome photography I LOVE doing!!! 
        Here's to the months of gift-making yet to come, and Happy Blogging! 
THIS is what Fall means to our family: FOOOOOTBAAAAALL!!! And for 11 years of our kids' lives...Band - all year 'round and for both Marching and Sports. Drums for the OlderSon, Trombone for the YgrSon, and Clarinet for YgrSon's Wife. Brian's NavyGurl is the only one who wasn't in Band, but HEY....she is NAVY. 'Nuff said! GO NAVY!!

Sing The Changes....Sir Paul McCartney makes it look soooo easy to do!!

Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you that my family is my LIFE. I try always to put The LORD first, where HE belongs in all of our lives, then my family, and then those closest to me outside our own home, and lastly myself. Oh, nooooooo...I did NOT forget the FurryKids. They're right up there in that word 'family', and frankly; if you have any FurryKids yourself, you know the facts: 1)YOU do not own THEM- they own you, and 2)they take up as much time out of your life -if not more than- the rest of your family put together! *sigh* And that's partly what this post is about.

At the start of the summer, both Sons put in for Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) where their Dad is currently celebrating employment of 25 years as of November 1st. He is being honored -like all those starting out with the company 25 yrs ago- with a dinner which I have also been invited to attend on Oct. 20th. :D   YoungerPurdueNuclearEngineeringSon, Brett, got hired first. And then after Summer Shutdown was over, OlderFFCaptSon, Brian, started training also. While Brett's was really just summer job employment, Brian is probably going to make his more permanent, unless a paid Firefighting position opens up in or near Lafayette that he is interested in. Meanwhile, he has moved from his first home- the dreaded of all Moms' ongoing nightmares- bachelor pad "The Brown House" as it was always called. A total of (I THINK!) 7 young adult men have lived there in that house at one point or another with only room for 3 at any one time as it is a tiny 3-bedroom house. But that means that as each guy moved in and then out again; they ultimately would leave behind some amount of 'belongings'. whether it was clothing tossed around or furniture....well, let's just say that cleaning the entire place out meant that the OlderFFCaptSon did alooooot of burning stuff that was basically just trash. (You can join me barfing here.) Ashley transfered her classes to the Ivy Tech down here and she is definitely a study-gurl!! After being on her own for 3 yrs in Japan while serving in the Navy...she's got Brian hopping much to this Momma's delight! They have officially moved into a new REAL HOME of their own in beautifully kept old town of Delphi, Indiana...right on the way to SIA from our house. So it has been a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the ChiefHubby to be able to car-pool with BOTH SONS all this summer! The sad part for this Firefighter's Mom is that since Brian moved out of the area, he turned in his Georgetown Vol.FD gear and will no longer be on the GVFD. As happy as I am to see him get goin in life, I am happy and yet sad at the same time to see some changes have to happen. One of those is both his pup, Moose, and his kitty, Shax, are not allowed to live in the home he and Ashley are leasing for one year. Of course, Shax was a given: come live with him's MeeMaw and Papaw. He was used to coming here on holidays and other visits. But almost 2 yrs old...still a HUGE handfull of PURE PUPPY.....*sigh*
Of course, Papaw and Meemaw (Dang us BOTH!!) just hafta end up crying because it really HURTS to see our SON cry over having to give up his hearstring-tugger of a pup. guessed it...Moose is also a semi-permanent FurryKid along with Shax. I will admit that those first few weeks Moose joined us I was reaaaaaaaaaaally wondering if I'd lost my marbles, paddles, and anything else along with my mind by saying "Yes," to the ChiefHubby when he came to me with his own puppy-dog-sad-eyes over keeping Moose. Well, shoot, he did ok Shax coming and since HE is the one who pays all the bills......dang it all. Well, fact is: you'd do anything you can to help make it easier on your kids, and Grands. But, I tell ys, while I have PuppySat both Grandpups, and even one daughter's Mom's pup, too, and KittySat Shax....I never thought I'd end up RAISING MY GRANDS. *smirk*  :/  We ARE having alot of FUN with them and believe it or not; they all four DO get along pretty good. Esp the pairs of same together, and they absolutely have a BALL in this house. I, however, get completely WORN OUT. :/
        Earlier this summer, our YgrPurdueNukeEngSon graduated from his 4yr program which began in the fall of 2010 with his entering into the top 200 students of Purdue Engineering Honors. This elite group of kids were from all over the world, and it struck home with me when we looked at the map to see our own kid included in with this group that the HS hi-jinks of small hometown doings were a joke, a nasty thing of the past, and his future really IS bright!! I trusted GOD to help us make the right choices for both our sons, and while it was a struggle concerning small towns, HE is always FAITHFUL and wins out in the end of it all. So, at this very moment, while I type this...our YgrPNEson and his wife- along with some of her family- are on their way to MINNESOTA!!!! Red Wing, to be specific; yes, the home of Red Wing Shoes- the very same of which the ChiefHubby has been wearing at work all these 25 yrs (more to come on that subject, too). For the next two months, Brett will be living up there on his own while doing his training with an older Mentor as a NEWLY HIRED EMPLOYEE OF Prairie Island Nuclear Facility!!! (*Can you tell how much shouting this deaf gurl is doing?!?!?) Then, after her own PURDUE Honors English Major Graduation on Dec 22nd, Holli will be joining her Hubby as permanent residents of MINNESOTA!! Incidentally, her own Mom and maternal family are from that area, so it's nothing new to them and was one of their top picks of hopeful jobsites. Yes, they are excited and very happy! But they also have a separation to get through the next couple of months that will be difficult while she continues with her Student Teaching position at Lewis Cass HS here in Cass County. That is her last thing to do before Graduation. The ChiefHubby and I will be taking her up there for Thanksgiving and spend the Holiday there with them in Red Wing. They are getting alot of help in moving and it will be a VERY different experience for Brett while Holli has already dealt with moving back and forth from UMBC (U of Maryland at Baltimore Commons) where she attended her first 2 yrs on Scholarship, before transfering back to her other choice (PURDUE) just to be nearer to Brett again. :) I am VERY HAPPY that BOTH girls have been able to see alot more of the world than their family before them.
  But I am surely getting in all MY time NOW! And loving every minute of it all!!!

Thanks for checking back in and letting me share all the GREAT news with you all !! Happy Blogging!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

The F.A.Q.: Wwhat in the WWorld is WLYLA??

          I'm often asked the question "What the heck is WLYLA?" as well as what the 'deal' is behind the WLYLA FRIDAY HITS, so I'll try to give you an explanation of how it came to be and what it's about. So here goes...
     I guess it must have started for me the same way most folks of the 1900s: the radio. In my case,  that would specifically be the hand-held transistor radio. If you're reading this and you were born after 1980, you'd be better off Googling the term 'transistor radio'. Be sure to ask for images in your search, because you are more than likely to get more than My ChiefHubby still has one of the twisty ones - and LORD have mercy!- it's white. Mine, which I also still have, is dated a bit later in the 70's; was in the shape of a Mickey Mouse head/face. I remember laying outside listening to WLS out of Chicago with all the best of the 50s, 60s & early 70s coming out along with the static we rarely hear anymore. Music back then was mostly out of radio stations that were pretty close by compared to nowadays. My fave-and by MOHO- was WLS out of Chicago, 4 hrs away in current driving time. Radio by hand-held or in the car was it- unless you were fortunate enough to have a record player and later, a 'stereo' -which I did by the time I was 14- along with my own small collection of albums. Uh-huh...yeah, those 'vinyls' or '33s' and lots more '45s' that played on the 33 stick with a cute little yellow tri-shaped S in the hole of the 45.....still have a few of those in there, too. MY collection was (& still is) mostly BEATLES, which are THE best musicians in the world. EVER. Of course. And my ChiefHubby's is lately mostly newer CHRISTian Rock, and he still has all his old collection, too; the lesser-but-loved Beach Boys, and alot of great good old RockNRoll bands of the 60s & 70s. Let's face it, folks; if you were alive anytime after 1950.... you lived during the BEST music creation era. EVER. 
      Ok, having rehashed all that....I really think my love of music began well before I had that transistor radio, or a stereo. I think it actually began partly with my maternal Grandparents. My Grandpa Raymer could always be humming some kind of tune, and he played the guitar (and, in the evenings on the farm where I mostly lived my first 5 yrs, a banjo). My Grandma Raymer played the piano, and had at least two accordians that I knew of. She could really ROCK those things when she got them out to play just for me! She later had two great organs that I was only allowed to touch when she was sitting with me as they were pretty costly. But she would turn on different beats and really get it going! I CHERISH those times! They would sing to alot of hymns, but Grandpa could belt out some great Gene Autry, and other country songs, if he was in the mood. Personally, my favorite memory was his rendition of "Animal Fair". They played in church together before I was born, but what I most remember is the live concerts they attended and took me along with them.
      The other influence was TELEVISION. By 1970, almost every household own one TV. Most of those were still black and white, too. My kids can remember the huge backsides of TVs, but they never knew "console TV/stereo" like we had. My earliest memories of music on TV (aside from The BEATLES) were: Glen Campbell on his own show (my crush), Tom Jones, Mac Davis (swoooooon!!), Sonny & Cher, and lots of variety shows as well as one that I'm sure will bring many funny thoughts to mind for my readers: "Laugh In" with it's groovy 'Sock it to me, baby!', bikini-clad-dancing Goldy Hawn, and Ruth Buzzy- still makes me wanna sit in any HUGE rocking chair I find (and I HAVE). But THE moment that sticks out in my mind the MOST: the evening I was watching the news while my mother was ironing her latest sewing project in the middle of the living room while watching the news. That night, there was a top story from England....The BEATLES were 'formally dissolved' easily worded by the news anchor; broken up.....I understood THAT. My heart was broken, too. I was all of 4&1/2 years old. I really fell hard in love with The BEATLES. And still am in love with them. I don't agree with all they each did in their private or public lives, but I still loved them and their music. 
           My heart's been broken twice since: the shock of John Lennon's death in the early morning hours while getting up for school....that was one of the last things  I remember being able to HEAR clearly over the radio. Sometime before that...around 1976....I came down with a case of the Flu. But I stayed sick longer than just the usual Flu- it got worse and I remember having a very high fever.  It turned out to be Scarlet Fever which developed into Rheumatic Fever. Not much was known back then about it except that RFever affects the heart. I began having problems doing things I loved- running, basketball, playing hard wrestling, etc. I lived the life of a 'tomboy'. Several trips to the hospital and lots of tests later (back then they were called EKGs) would show an abnormal heartbeat that skipped beats,or beat too slow, or too fast. But what I remember is what I still live with daily: the pain. Since then, I am always aware of my heartbeat because I am always FEELING it, no matter what I am doing. Only those with similar pain can understand. I was 11 yrs old during all those tests. By the time I was a Freshman in HS at 15, other Teachers seemed to be noticing that I was not hearing them in class. Then came the dreaded words HEARING AID. They were smaller but still noticable on my ear. I began with one just before I met my ChiefHubby. My hearing, and health along with it, kinda went downhill slowly from there. By the time I had both our boys in 1989 and 1992, I had nothing left at all and 2 hearing aids still didn't allow me to understand speech any better. In 2004, I experienced a sudden chest pain that nearly knocked me entirely off my treadmill. It all led to some other major surgery in the middle of 2005 and again at the end of that year. Then came on the Fybromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis. TRUST ME: you NEVER, EVER wish those on ANYONE. ANY. ONE. They make giving birth sound like a nice tropical, happy, LOVELY, TOTALLY painless time that never ends! I currently take about 20some Rx meds/supplements to help deal with the progression and esp the PAIN.
     Flash-forward to about 2009, when my ChiefHubby came up to me in the kitchen (Yes- it's a keeper memory!) with YgrPurdueNukeEngSon's iPod and 'earbuds' saying "Try this, honey! I really think you could maybe hear this a bit!" and since I had totally stopped any kind of hearing aids by then (they do cramp yer pool lifestyle) and the Cochlear Implant was not a good viable solution- which was a very last resort anyway... I took the buds with the usual 'ok, I'll TRY it just because YOU guys WANT me to'. And he was mouthing the words that he could waaay hear at that volume (so could the Son across the room)....and....OH...MY....GOD.....!!!!!!
             (REALLY thanking HIM here, not swearing!)
    I could feel it and hear it a little bit!
    Sorry for shouting there, but you have to imagine how EXCITED I was!! One thing led to another and in the years following, ChiefHubby got me a really GOOD set of earbuds (they go almost all into the ear canal like hearing aid molds do) as well as the iPad, an Android tablet, and recently- a new phone...all which I can get onto YouTube for music that I can understand like I used to. If I forgot the words, there are channels that print lyrics, or like "DeafSubtitles" putting Closed Caption onto the songs for the deaf. Not only that, but it has opened an entirely NEW WORLD to this deaf gurl as far as FB and Twitter. Maybe I cannot hear all that goes on, but I can now BE AWARE OF IT ALL!! I live in a rural area that is incorporated with the rest of our county in tornado drills/severe weather watch. Closed Caption on the TV flashes are great- until the electricity or cable fails. We have a set of the largest sirens right on our own road (8 speakers) that everyone in the township should be able to hear...but I can't. So you SEE how much more this all helps me?! And it made me come up with the idea of WLYLA. I used to dream of being a DJ or on  stage, doing Narator or do the 'DJ talk' as a joke to everyone when they were telling me what song was playing that they all were listening to. But now; I CAN SHARE, TOO !!! Why wait for a dream to happen and just get busy doing it myself?!
     Like everyone else, I have a Bucket List...more yrs of happily married to my ChiefHubby; see my kids finish marrying and growing their own families; see some of the West Coast with my ChiefHubby, and maybe even meet a couple of my fave famous ppl (hehe...he won't liiiike thaaaaat....if it's Randy Mantooth & Kevin Tighe!!), but I no longer feel like I'm totally alone in a hearing world. SOMETIMES....I still feel cut off and 'wish' for this not to be like it is. But, with all the tech that has come so far, I'm alot more willing to just have faith that I will be among the first to actually HEAR JESUS COMING BACK. I can live with that!   

   That's what my 'craft' every Friday is: WLYLA FRIDAY HITS,
and I'll be more than happy for more Followers on Twitter
( @LylaLarimore ), or on my FB page ( Lyla Larimore ) to celebrate each gift of another weekend as it comes. Thanks for checking in and reading this, and .....HAPPY BLOGGING!!!!