Last Glimpse of Autumn

Posted November 13th, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Garden, My Photography

IMG_0058

IMG_0042

IMG_0069

While snow falls in other parts of the country, we’ve enjoyed lovely, warm temperatures.  Yesterday, it was 77 degrees in Charlotte!   Many were out in shorts, walking their babies, running, walking their dogs.  I’m not ready for the 25 degrees expected tomorrow morning.  Obviously, I should have been taking advantage of our warm days instead of working inside.

The day is overcast, perfect for photography.  I’m headed out now, camera in hand, to capture a last glimpse of autumn.

Hope it’s warm where you are!

A Long Absence

Posted November 12th, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Family, My Work, Personal, Teaching, Travels

Windows, Side Light

When I began blogging in 2007,  I wrote almost daily.  I was excited to have a forum in which to share my life through thought and photography.  A lot has happened since then.  Not only am I busier than ever, I’m not at all the same person I was seven years ago.

Great joy has come to me, through the birth of two adorable grandchildren.  Leven and Ira, 3 and 2, are my heart, the center of everything I do.  Friends who were grandparents had said, “Just wait.  There is no way to tell you how wonderful it is.”   How very true were those words.  Blessings be!

I view things differenetly now, with an entirely new perspective.  Things which seemed important to me in the past now seem trivial.  My greatest  treasures are my family and friends.  They’ve all been lifelines.

“If I ‘d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself,”  attributed to Eubie Blake and others.  Aging brings wisdom, but also health issues.  I’ve now  outlived my father; my older sister has outlived both our parents as well as her late husband.  We all have the usual aches and pains.  I have a host of issues, most of which I don’t even think about.  The exception is macular degeneration, which threatens central vision.  But after almost three years of treatment, I can still see quite well.  I am so thankful for my wonderful retina specialist, Rick Weidman, and the researchers who developed the miracle drug Eylea.  I’m counting on being able to watch my grandbabies grow up!

I’m sewing once more, following a sabbatical in which I underwent three hand surgeries.  Finishing Ira’s quilt is my top priority.  After 33 years of travel teaching, I’ve decided to retire at the end of the year.  I want to work on my own projects now.  And of course spend a lot more time with the grandbabies.

Thanks to those who still check my blog occasionally for “something new” and not giving up when you see the page is unchanged.  Watch this space!

xo  Ellen.

Amish Art

Posted August 31st, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Birds, Family, Garden, My collections, Travels

Bird House, Det.

Bird House, Gourd

This beautiful, hand-painted gourd birdhouse was a gift from my baby sister, Patty Cramer.  It was purchased in Pennsylvania Amish Country (in the oddly named Intercourse, Blue Ball and Climax area).  We think it’s perfect in our new kitchen.  Patty has excellent taste, and has sent us several bluebird themed items over the years.  Don’t you just love the pretty  gourd shape with it’s jaunty stem and perky handle?

Thank you, Patty!

June!

Posted June 2nd, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Garden, My Photography

Amaryllis 6:14

Hardy Amaryllis – Click on image to view

One of my favorite yard flowers, the hardy amaryllis is just what its name implies.  It winters over beautifully.  I especially love the color and elegance of the plant.

Kitchen Renovation

Posted May 29th, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Family, Personal, Vintage

We’ve lived with a mostly 1926 kitchen for decades.  I suppose we could have continued that way (after all, it did have a lot of character) except for the grandchildren.  After all, what are another few years added to the 42 in which we’ve “made do.”  But we wanted the little ones to have a space that was new and sanitary.  So we took the plunge!

An amazing amount of work has been accomplished in just a day over two weeks.  Demo, new electrical, new plumbing, HVAC, floor removal down to the original oak hardwoods, and I-beam installation.  Insulation (there wasn’t even a dust bunny to keep out the cold) will probably happen tomorrow followed by drywall next week.  Things will move very quickly after that.

I’ll post before and after pictures once I’ve had a chance to breathe.  Here’s what the 18′ x 18′ space looked like this afternoon:

Kit 5:29Southwest corner of kitchen.  Breakfast room wall was removed – see floor.  A pantry was also eliminated.

Kit 5:29 2

 South wall.  Our sink will be placed  under the center window.

Watch this apace!