Monday, 28 April 2014

It Takes A Village

Yesterday was such an exciting day for me, when I attended the launch for the book my daughter coauthored with Lisa Highfield.  The Promise is the story of how a mom and a child care support worker came together and worked to make the adoption of my four grandchildren a success.  The authors wrote the book in the hope that their experiences would give parents and support workers some tools for working with traumatised, adopted children and help families heal and thrive.

The book is selling well on and social workers from many adoption agencies have it on their recommended reading list.  It was time for a celebration!

Of course my heart swelled with pride as Farm Girl read a passage from the book to a standing room only crowd.  ~

Farm Girl had herself convinced that she would be reading to an empty room and was overwhelmed by both attendance and that so many wanted a chance to talk to the authors.  A little miracle began to unfold and I was hard pressed not to burst into tears.

This lady said she had been a kindergarten teacher to two of my granddaughters before they came into our family.  She saw their situation go from bad to worse and said, "We (several teachers) cared about those kids and we thought they were lost".  She was crying tears of joy. ~

A couple came up and introduced themselves as former neighbours of the kids, during an aborted first adoption, and said how out of control they had been.  They were so happy that they were doing well in their new family.

This couple fostered the children before the first adoption and took them back in when it failed.  They were retired and the man had cancer, but they could not, would not let those kids down or see the kids separated again. ~

A social worker introduced herself to me as the one that placed the kids in my daughter's home.  I thank her for that gift.  Many social workers purchased multiple copies for clients. ~

As I looked at coauthor Lisa Highfield standing ready to read her piece, I thought of how different things might have been without her counselling and hands on support with the children.  Yes, she has a business that works with troubled families, but she does it because it is her passion. ~

It struck me that scattered around the room were people that shone like little lights of hope.  They had done a part, large or small, to save four little kids in need.  That led to a book that was helping other people help more kids in need.  One adoptive parent found the book so helpful she contacted my daughter and let her know she has started a group that lobbies government for more resources for parents who adopt older children that have special needs.

From proud aunties ~

to ever supportive and helpful great aunties ~

it took a village to get where we are today.

I hope you remember that the care you show for a troubled child today will bring tears to the eyes of a grateful Grandma like me some day.

You may never know how much you have meant to a family, but you can hold in your heart the knowledge that you were part of the village.  Let us all keep our lights of hope shining.

Thank you!

I'm sharing this with Wordless WednesdayShare Your Cup

Monday, 14 April 2014

First Bath Of 2014

Not me!  I take baths all year round.  Spring is here and the chickens get to take a dirt bath.

I let them out of the run while I was working on yard clean up and they made a beeline for the rose garden. They set right to, digging holes and using their wings to shoot the dirt up under all their feathers.  It's the chicken equivalent of a bubble bath.  Should I have brought them each a glass of wine and a good book?

Of course the bath has made them sleepy and they settle in for a nap in the sun. ~

Utah has found his napping spot on a pile of leaves right beside the wood pile.  Any mice that have overwintered there better take care because this old guy never misses his prey! ~

I do expect them to help me clean up all the fallen limbs this hard winter has left, so I roust them out and set them to work. ~

I guess I forgot these girls were in retirement.  Only one lays eggs.  At least they take care of any bug or grub problem in the grass.  Yum.

Kay did show an enormous amount of interest in my window cleaning.  I wonder if I could set her to doing housework.  She is named after an auntie that would have put Martha Stewart to shame with her housekeeping.  Hmmm.

It's been absolute heaven to be out in the yard and feel the sun on my face once again!  A bit of rummaging in the leaves and I find the first garden surprise.  Chives! ~

And, a little more rummaging and I find the sweetest and earliest of spring blooms.  This little clump of snowdrops never lets me down. ~

Yesterday, everything that resides here at Kellswater lived up to Margaret Atwood's admonition.

             "In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."
We did and you'll be happy to know we took our baths! 

Friday, 4 April 2014

Reworking Silver Pieces

If you come across some silverplate that is absolutely ruined, it still can work great in craft projects. Pieces that have intricate detailing or style can find a whole new life, even if the original finish is beyond saving.

This tray was a throw out except that I liked the fretwork and I spray painted it gold for a Christmas display a few years ago. It was time for a repaint. ~

It took all of 5 mins. to repaint it in Wild Orchid craft paint.  One coat covered nicely. ~

I added a couple of raffia Easter bunnies, some plastic grass, a candle and piled it high with plastic eggs. ~

What, you aren't seeing eggs piled up in there?  That's because The Barbarians swooped in on either side of me and grabbed them as fast as they could.  They ran  ... I chased.  They swooped again, ran again and I chased again.  Twenty rounds of this madness and I gave up.  I'm sure I'll find the eggs the next time I move furniture. sigh  I don't think they fully understand what blogging is all about.  Use your imagination or show up here next time I attempt something like this and stand guard for me!

I snapped a pic of this idea that I saw at an auction.  This serving dish must have lost it's liner and someone has cleverly turned it into pin cushion for hat pins.  I may keep my eye out for a baby christening cup to turn into a pin cushion.

Next time you come across a piece of silver that you think has outlived it's usefulness, take a good look at the lines and see if you can't give it just a little more life.

Just so you don't think too badly of my barbarian kitties, Clara Jane helped me with my photo shoot.

She's added her favourite pipe cleaner toy to the display. ~

How could I possibly stay mad at that sweetheart for long!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Fifth Season

When you live in the country, you get an extra season between winter and spring.  It's called Mud Season!

Chic fashion for this time of year is a stout pair of these. ~

From the side door of my house to the chicken coop it is so deep in mud right now that I'm afraid I'm in one of those early western TV shows, where it seemed everyone fell into quicksand at some point in time.  I wonder where all that quicksand went.  It seemed such a regular thing in the old westerns and I've never seen any in real life.

Add a few downed tree limbs and this is a pretty attractive view. ~

But, not even the sight of all that mess could stop my excitement when a neighbour called and told me to check out the river.

The ice was breaking up! ~

Whole trees and debris of every kind swirled in the raging water.  Several docks floated down from upriver. I've seen some very odd things go floating by on the ice flows at this time of year;  toilets, lawn chairs and even a dead sheep once.

Just before it hits my flights of metal stairs, the ice turns away and I'm left unscathed for another year.  Yay! 

Nature is awesome! ~

Even mud season won't dampen my spirits today, because I know spring is following close on it's heels!