Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Beauty of Friendship and a Winner!


Three Things to Share Today:


Loving Friendship     Amazing Pic Blogger   Giveaway Winner


First thing, thank you all so very much (and you know who you are)
who took time out of your extremely busy lives
to kindly send me SO MUCH love and support when I recently shared
our losing sweet Romeo Kitty.

I just want you to know how much it means to me.

I will be posting a bit more about this
in the very near future.


*******************************************************



I've been  wanting to share about an amazing blogger
who takes absolutely STUNNING pictures of the outdoors...
birds, squirrels, trees - her pictures amaze me!

Her name is Karen from the Blog Pixel Posts.

If you aren't familiar with Karen's amazing talent-
 be sure to visit her blog soon. Click here to take you there. 


Can you even believe this awesome goldfinch picture?!?

I may now need to use this pic for a 
possible new blog header!!!





[source]  - used with permission





**** Thank you all who entered my little giveaway! ****
















I would love to win the teacup ornament!
I've just recently started collecting small teacups for a tree."


As always, thank you for stopping by!

Hugs!

 ♥

~Michele












Tuesday, May 12, 2015

RIP, Sweet Romeo


I lost my best friend today.

He had 4 furry paws with mittens on them.

He was my sweet Romeo Kitty.

This is my very favorite picture of him.








I'm not going to say I am ok.
I am soooo not ok.

My heart has been broken
 and it will never be the same.


I am going to miss him so much.











Showing fluffy guts:












Or being curious to discover why we named
our house Finch Rest -
 oh, how he loved watching those birds!












Yes, he was my true Prince.

(I married the King )










This is the earliest pic of him I could find today.

When he stretched we called him Tube Cat.

He's so tiny here! Hardly any fluffiness at all yet.












He was ALWAYS finding the highest spot to be....





















This kitty stole our hearts when he was sleeping.

My office chair was his absolute favorite!












Remember he was always my Lumbar Support Kitty!?

He looks like he is in pain but he was there 24/7!










He was the best office assistant!

He always kept me company.....



















Even when sometimes I didn't want him to do so!

He just had to be close by at all times.










He always knew when I had a migraine -
he'd be close by, keeping a watchful eye when I napped it off.

He was my Comforter Blankie.

(Hubs says it looks more like I was captured here, heh.)


I was captured all right - my whole heart and soul!













Or the time during a bad summer storm
when we didn't have electricity for a long while....

He was right there with me the whole time-
keeping me company, whilst I read.













Just how am I going to be able to stand 
losing my favorite little shadow?













It's not easy letting go.
He was so easy to love - and to NEED.

I have to believe in the Rainbow Bridge.

I cannot imagine not being reunited with my Romeo again.

Be at peace, little furry britches.

I shall never EVER forget you or stop loving you.

Our home just won't be the same without you!










Goodbye, my dear friend, Romeo.

Parting is indeed such sweet sorrow.

"Turn him into stars and form a constellation in his image.
 His face will make the heavens so beautiful that the world 
will fall in love with the night and forget about the garish sun."

                                                     William ShakespeareRomeo and Juliet







Monday, May 11, 2015

Teacup Ornament Giveaway

I am so sorry I have been away so long.


With showers and weddings and proms
 and all kinds of assorted things going on
I have had very little time to blog!

Because I have been so negligent I thought
 a little tea-themed giveaway
would be just the thing to brighten up my day, and hopefully yours.







No rules. Open to anyone who leaves a comment.
Except if you keep a "tea tree" up year 'round you get entered twice.
If you can PROVE it with a pic, you get entered three times!
Just let me know.

Giveaway ends Tuesday 19th.

Keep in mind this little teacup is a large dolly size,
 not a dollhouse miniature size.

(Also it has a thin chip on the plate in back!)


~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~



Most of you now know my sweet Romeo kitty has been sick. 
Then he got better, but he's back sick again.

He had to go to the vet again yesterday.
I think this is the 9th time in just a few weeks.

Not sure how this is all going to pan out,
but please if you would, say a little prayer for him.
You know how much I love this little fur baby of mine.

Here is an older pic with him sitting on my tummy.
He wouldn't look at me because he KNEW I was taking a pic!

Sorry about my foot in the pic, haha.








I have a million things to share with you all soon.
(Once things calm down, but will they?!?)

Going to another baby shower Saturday.
Hosting a huge tea party for 16 on Sunday.
Having daughter's bridal shower in a few weeks.

Still have to share my sister in law's precious little baby
 and also her amazing baby shower, too.

I just wish there were more hours in a day!


~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~


Don't forget to leave a comment letting me know
you want to win the little teacup ornament!

Thanks for coming by!
HUGS!

~Michele

Sharing with Tea Time Tuesday

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Legend of the Bleeding Heart



My huge Bleeding Heart plant has bloomed
just in time for Pink Saturday!






The Legend of the Bleeding Heart
Written by A. F. Johnson

In days of old, when all things in the Wood had speech, there lived within its depths a lone Flax-spinner. She was a bent old creature, and ill to look upon, but all the tongues of all the forest leaves were ever kept a-wagging with the story of her kindly deeds. And even to this day they sometimes whisper low among themselves (because they fain would hold in mind so sweet a tale) the story of her kindness to the little orphan, Olga.

'Twas no slight task the old Flax-spinner took upon herself, the day she brought the helpless child to share the shelter of her thatch. The Oak outside her door held up his arms in solemn protest.
"Thou dost but waste thyself," he said. "Thy benefits will be forgot, thy labours unrequited. For Youth is ever but another title for Ingratitude."
"Nay, friend," the old Flax-spinner said. "My little Olga will not be ungrateful and forgetful."
All hedged about with loving care, the orphan grew to gracious maidenhood, and felt no lack of father, mother, brother or sister. In every way the old Flax-spinner took their places. But many were the sacrifices that she made to keep her fed and warmly clad, and every time she went without herself that Olga might receive a greater share, Wiseacre Oak looked down and frowned and shook his head.
Then would the old dame hasten to her inner room, and there she pricked herself with her spindle, until a great red drop of her heart's blood fell into her trembling hand. With witchery of words she blew upon it, and rolled it in her palm, and muttering, turned and turned and turned it. And as the spell was laid upon it, it shriveled into a tiny round ball like a seed, and she strung it on a thread where were many others like it, saying, "By this she will remember. She will not be ungrateful and forgetful."
So years went by, and Olga grew in goodness and in beauty, and helped the old Flax-spinner in her tasks as blithely and as willingly as if she were indeed her daughter. Every morning she brought water from the spring, gathered the wild fruits of the woods, and spread the linen on the grass to bleach. At such times would the bent old foster-mother hold herself erect, and call up to the Oak, "Dost see? Thou'rt wrong! Youth is not another title for Ingratitude."
"Thou hast not lived as long as I," would be the only answer.
One day as Olga was wandering by the spring, searching for watercress, the young Prince of the castle rode by on his prancing charger. A snow-white plume waved in his hat, and a shining silver bugle hung from his shoulder, for he had been following the chase.
He was thirsty and tired, and asked for a drink, but there was no cup with which to dip the water from the spring. But Olga caught the drops as they bubbled out from the spring, holding them in the hollow of her beautiful white hands, and reaching up to where he sat, offered him the sparkling water. So gracefully was it done, that the Prince was charmed by her modest manner as well as her lovely face, and baring his head when he had slaked his thirst, he touched the white hands with his lips.
Before he rode away he asked her name and where she lived. The next day a courier in scarlet and gold stopped at the door of the cottage and invited Olga to the castle. Princesses and royal ladies from all over the realm were to be entertained there, seven days and seven nights. Every night a grand ball was to be given, and Olga was summoned to each of the balls. It was because of her pleasing manner and her great beauty that she had been bidden.
The old Flax-spinner courtesied low to the courier and promised that Olga should be at the castle without fail.
"But, good dame," cried Olga, when the courier had gone, "prithee tell me why thou didst make such a promise, knowing full well this gown of tow is all I own. Wouldst have me stand before the Prince in beggar's garb? Better to bide at home for aye than be put to shame before such guests."
"Have done, my child!" the old dame said. "Thou shalt wear a court robe of the finest. Years have I toiled to have it ready, but that is naught. I loved thee as my own."
Then once more the old Flax-spinner went into her inner room, and pricked herself with her spindle till another great red drop of her heart's blood fell into her trembling hand. With witchery of words she blew upon it, and rolled it in her palm, and muttering, turned and turned and turned it. And as the spell was laid upon it, it shrivelled into a tiny round ball like a seed, and she strung it on to a thread, where were many others like it. Seventy times seven was the number of beads on this strange rosary.
When the night of the first ball rolled around, Olga combed her long golden hair and twined it with a wreath of snowy water-lilies, and then she stood before the old dame in her dress of tow. To her wonderment and grief she saw there was no silken robe in waiting, only a string of beads to clasp around her white throat. Each bead in the necklace was like a little shrivelled seed, and Olga's eyes filled with tears of disappointment.
"Obey me and all will be well," said the old woman.
"When thou reachest the castle gate clasp one bead in thy fingers and say:
"'For love's sweet sake, in my hour of need, Blossom and deck me, little seed.'
Straightway right royally shalt thou be clad. But remember carefully the charm. Only to the magic words, 'For love's sweet sake' will the necklace give up its treasures. If thou shouldst forget, then thou must be doomed always to wear thy gown of tow."
So Olga sped on her moon-lighted way through the forest until she came to the castle gate. There she paused, and grasping a bead of the strange necklace between her fingers, repeated the old dame's charm:
"For love's sweet sake, in my hour of need, Blossom and deck me, little seed."
Immediately the bead burst with a little puff as if a seed pod had snapped asunder. A faint perfume surrounded her, rare and subtle as if it had been blown across from some flower of Eden. Olga looked down and found herself enveloped in a robe of such delicate texture, that it seemed soft as a rose-leaf and as airy as pink clouds that sometimes float across the sunset. The water-lilies in her hair had become a coronal of opals.









When she entered the great ball-room, the Prince of the castle started up from his throne in amazement. Never before had he seen such a vision of loveliness. "Surely," said he, "some rose of Paradise hath found a soul and drifted earthward to blossom here." And all that night he had eyes for none but her.
The next night Olga started again to the castle in her dress of tow, and at the gate she grasped the second bead in her fingers, repeating the charm. This time the pale yellow of the daffodils seemed to have woven itself into a cloth of gold for her adorning. It was like a shimmer of moon-beams, and her hair held the diamond flashings of a hundred tiny stars.
That night the Prince paid her so many compliments and singled her out so often to bestow his favours, that Olga's head was turned. She tossed it proudly, and quite scorned the thought of the humble cottage which had given her shelter so long. The next day when she had returned to her gown of tow and was no longer a haughty court lady, but only Olga, the Flax-spinner's maiden, she repined at her lot. Frowning, she carried the water from the spring. Frowning, she gathered the cresses and plucked the woodland fruit. And then she sat all day by the spring, refusing to spread the linen on the grass to bleach.
She was discontented with the old life of toil, and pouted crossly because duties called her when she wanted to do nothing but sit idly dreaming of the gay court scenes in which she had taken a bright brief part. The old Flax-spinner's fingers trembled as she spun, when she saw the frowns, for she had given of her heart's blood to buy happiness for this maiden she loved, and well she knew there can be no happiness where frowns abide. She felt that her years of sacrifice had been in vain, but when the Oak wagged his head she called back waveringly, "My little Olga will not be ungrateful and forgetful!"
That night outside the castle gate, Olga paused. She had forgotten the charm. The day's discontent had darkened her memory as storm-clouds darken the sky. But she grasped her necklace imperiously.
"Deck me at once!" she cried in a haughty tone. "Clothe me more beautifully than mortal maid was ever clad before, so that I may find favour in the Prince's sight and become the bride of the castle! I would that I were done for ever with the spindle and the distaff!"
But the moon went under a cloud and the wind began to moan around the turrets. The black night hawks in the forest flapped their wings warningly, and the black bats flitted low around her head.
"Obey me at once!" she cried angrily, stamping her foot and jerking at the necklace. But the string broke, and the beads went rolling away in the darkness in every direction and were lost--all but one, which she held clasped in her hand.
Then Olga wept at the castle gate; wept outside in the night and the darkness, in her peasant's garb of tow. But after awhile through her sobbing, stole the answering sob of the night wind.
"Hush-sh!" it seemed to say. "Sh-sh! Never a heart can come to harm, if the lips but speak the old dame's charm."
The voice of the night wind sounded so much like the voice of the old Flax-spinner, that Olga was startled and looked around wonderingly. Then suddenly she seemed to see the thatched cottage and the bent form of the lonely old woman at the wheel. All the years in which the good dame had befriended her seemed to rise up in a row, and out of each one called a thousand kindnesses as with one voice: "How canst thou forget us, Olga? We were done for love's sweet sake, and that alone!"
Then was Olga sorry and ashamed that she had been so proud and forgetful, and she wept again. The tears seemed to clear her vision, for now she saw plainly that through no power of her own could she wrest strange favours from fortune. Only the power of the old charm could make them hers. She remembered it then, and holding fast the one bead in her hand, she repeated humbly:
"For love's sweet sake, in my hour of need, Blossom and deck me, little seed."







Lo, as the words left her lips, the moon shone out from behind the clouds above the dark forest. There was a fragrance of lilies all about, and a gossamer gown floated around her, whiter than the whiteness of the fairest lily. It was fine like the finest lace the frost-elves weave, and softer than the softest ermine of the snow. On her long golden hair gleamed a coronet of pearls.
So beautiful, so dazzling was she as she entered the castle door, that the Prince came down to meet her, and kneeling, kissed her hand and claimed her as his bride. Then came the bishop in his mitre, and led her to the throne, and before them all the Flax-spinner's maiden was married to the Prince, and made the Princess Olga.
Then until the seven days and seven nights were done, the revels lasted in the castle. And in the merriment the old Flax-spinner was again forgotten. Her kindness of the past, her loneliness in the present had no part in the thoughts of the Princess Olga.
All night the old Oak, tapping on the thatch, called down, "Thou'rt forgotten! Thou'rt forgotten!"
But the beads that had rolled away in the darkness, buried themselves in the earth, and took root, and sprang up, as the old woman knew they would do. There at the castle gate they bloomed, a strange, strange flower, for on every stem hung a row of little bleeding hearts.
One day the Princess Olga, seeing them from her window, went down to them in wonderment.
"What do you here?" she cried, for in her forest life she'd learned all speech of bird and beast and plant.
"We bloom for love's sweet sake," they answered. "We have sprung from the old Flax-spinner's gift--the necklace thou didst break and scatter. From her heart's best blood she gave it, and her heart still bleeds to think she is forgotten."
Then they began to tell the story of the old dame's sacrifices, all the seventy times seven that she had made for the sake of the maiden, and Olga grieved as she listened, that she could have been so ungrateful. Then she brought the Prince to hear the story of the strange, strange flowers, and when he had heard, together they went to the lowly cottage and fetched the old Flax-spinner to the castle, there to live out all her days in ease and contentment.
"See now," she whispered to the Oak at parting, but sturdily he held his ground, persisting, "Thou wouldst have been forgotten, save for that miracle of bloom."

And still the flower we call BLEEDING-HEART blooms on by cottage walls and castle gardens, to waken all the world to grateful memories. And ever it doth bring to mind the lonely hearts that bleed because they are forgotten, and all they sacrificed for love's sweet sake, to give us happiness.
This was written in the year 1900.






Our Bleeding Heart plant was given to my youngest daughter 
years ago - just before he father passed away,
 for her to remember him.

We transplanted it into our garden here
 when she moved away to San Diego.

She lived there 7 years and moved back a while ago.
She is the one who is getting  married this August!

So when they buy their first house perhaps it would be time
to transplant it again....or at least buy her a new one
 to carry on her father's intent in its stead. 


~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~


As always, thank you for stopping by.


~Michele


Linking:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Beautiful Early Spring Blooms


Oh, isn't it wonderful to have spring "sprung" at long last!

We've had a nice weather combination recently that has given us
 sunny warmer days followed by rain -
the perfect combination
 to bring life back to our once sleeping earth!

The below photo isn't color enhanced whatsoever -
everything is that intense!

Our grass is so lush and green that
 it's had to be mowed three times already! 

You will note that I didn't say I mowed it, though, right?
Heh. I'm dependable like that.









My hubs surprised me on Easter
 with these amazingly colorful healthy pansies!



















It's such a blessing to see the world come alive again.












Everything smells so fresh and fragrant......












And to find little garden statuary regaling us once again............












I wish the blooms could stay just a little bit  longer, but they never do.


Some are already waning and others are just getting ready to open.
























And the garden stores are chock full of vibrant color -
 what an absolute delight to one's senses!

(I am so so glad I don't suffer from allergies!)










I always feel so close to God when I take special notice of all his gifts.

Beautiful flowers are certainly that!

I especially give thanks to mericiful Him
 for the miracle of our kitty's recovery.

Seriously, we had fairly much said goodbye to our furry friend
only just a few days ago.

And now - after so many prayers
 from so many caring friends and family- he is OK!

He is going to be fine! 
At least for now, and joy to my heart!

Praise be to God in the Highest, indeed!


So I am so sorry I've been missing in action. 
Had a very sick kitty who had my attentions!

I have missed you and have SO much to share soon!









Linking: