Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A Lot of Cards...One Even by Me!

I made a little time to stamp last weekend, and came up with this card, which is a little busy for me, but I like it anyway.

The sentiment is an old Stampa Rosa wood-mounted rubber stamp that's closing in on 20 years old. The holly comes from a Hero Arts clear set. The burgundy and shadow gray are such a dramatic, contrasting pair!

And now, a huge thank you to Lisa, Eddie, Kelle, and Jackie who all donated beautiful cards to Karen's Card Shop in the past couple of months. Special thanks to Kelle who included Christmas cards in her package because she knew I hadn't made enough of my own this year. What a treat to have some of her beautiful cards to send to my friends and family who are used to getting handmade "specials"!

Here the card shop donations are...all bagged, sorted, and ready to take to church. I'll be putting some of them out in the shop tomorrow.

And here are cards that people have sent to me in the past six months or so. Today, my cork board got updated. It felt so good, and I can't thank those of you who have sent cards enough. 

Stampers are awesome people!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Saturday, October 12, 2019

So Much Gratitude

People are good.

I know. Some aren't. Of course. But in the past two weeks, I've encountered a lot of good people. Kathy's family has encountered a lot of good people.

Kathy's funeral service was astounding. Her church, her friends, her family turned out for standing room only in a very large church. The receiving line for the visitation lasted three hours. The eulogies were given by her pastors and one pastor's wife. The choir, which must have had 70 people in it, sang some of her favorite songs. There was laughter. There were tears. She will be missed. So very much.

Because Kathy's youngest daughter had a third of her head shaved (a consequence of surgery to relieve pressure on her brain the day after the accident), her older sister asked everyone to wear hats to the funeral. In memory of Kathy, in honor of my uncle, and for one day only, this Duke University graduate wore one of George's caps.

I am grateful that Kathy's daughter is recovering so well from her pelvic fractures and brain bleed.

And now, the long adjustment. Kathy and I were very close--physically and emotionally--growing up, but in our adult lives, we've seen each other only occasionally.

Front: Aunt Linda, Kathy, Jenny (her sister)
Back: My mom (hiding), Grandma, me, my crazy fabulous sister

Her parents, her husband, and her daughters, however, now have to adjust to life as amputees. A big, vital part of their lives disappeared in an instant. They keep looking down, expecting to see her. They could use your prayers, good wishes, positive energy...whatever goodness you can send out into the universe.

I'm grateful for my department and their support as I went to NC for the funeral and had to cancel a class. I'm grateful for my students, who took the change in schedule in stride. I've never cancelled a class for personal reasons in all my years as an adjunct.

I'm so grateful for the cards I've received.

I'm grateful to the baristas at Starbucks. I walked up to the counter at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning after sitting in my car texting Kathy's husband and crying. I looked like hell. The first barista didn't even say hello. She just said, in the kindest, most sincere voice imaginable, "What's wrong?" "I just got back in town last night from a funeral," I blurted. "I'm so sorry." And then they called my name when my drink was ready. I walked up to this cup and started crying again.

I think I might spend a little too much time at Starbucks.

I'm grateful for all the kind comments and emails on my last post. Stampers are the best sort of people.

I'm grateful for some time today to stamp. I'm not exactly in form since my stamping time has been cut so dramatically, and it's a good thing I have a stash of store-bought Christmas cards. But it was fun to get inky and make a few cards and some pretty trash.

On the school teaching is so very satisfying! I was asked to participate in a study this semester, and it's going very well. Also, the English Department is promoting me to Lecturer II status. It's taken over a year, but I do feel like I'm getting my feet under me again. It's wonderful.

My thanks to those of you who are holding on to my blog and most especially those who continue to send cards to Karen's Card Shop. You're keeping it going! (Two of the cards I received were purchased there!) I miss stamping so much, I miss being able to sit down and produce something blog-worthy in a half-hour or so. I miss being able to play.

There's a time to every purpose under heaven. Now's the time for grieving, working, and seeking balance. But as Paul says, in all things give thanks. Thank you, Lord, for all things, but most especially so many good people.

If you feel like sharing, I'd love to hear what you're grateful for. There's so much goodness in the world, and we should celebrate it. Kathy would appreciate that!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Thursday, October 3, 2019


Well, life is in many ways great. Five of you have sent cards to Karen's Card Shop, for which I am so very grateful. Thank you. School is going extremely well, for which I am so very grateful. I had time to stamp about a month ago and am now am making time to post one of the pictures, for which I am grateful.

Stamps by Hero Arts

The full-card picture looks rather washed out because the colors are so light and my photo skills are limited, but in real life, those pearls are pearly and the colors are soft and frosty looking, as in the close-up. Oh, how I long for cooler temperatures in this unseasonably warm autumn!

I'm grateful for so many things but also feel rather washed out and grieving. My cousin Kathy died last weekend as a result of a car accident. Her younger daughter was in the car with her and just got out of the hospital today. She will, thankfully, recover, but because she had surgery to relieve some pressure from a brain bleed, she'll be wearing a hat at the funeral. Her older sister has asked everyone to wear hats to the funeral so her little sister won't feel weird.

Kathy, her sister Jenny, my sister Lisa, and I grew up together. Kathy was funny, bright, and crafty. She taught elementary school, loved Jesus and babies, volunteered in her church, went on mission trips, led youth groups, played the guitar, loved horses, took amazing photographs, and was a huge University of North Carolina Tar Heels fan, just like her daddy. I've never held that against them, though they did rib me about going to Duke.

One memory of Kathy from our childhood keeps playing in my mind. I walked into Grandma and Papa's house and found the living room door closed, which was unusual. (Papa eventually removed that door because it was mostly just in the way.) So I knocked on the door and heard a muffled "come in." Grandma and Kathy were sitting on the sofa with their arms around each other. Both were sobbing. "What's wrong?" I exclaimed. Neither could speak through the sobs, but they both pointed to the television. It was the episode of Little House on the Prairie when Laura's dog died. I sat down and cried with them. We three were weepers. I still am. Grandma and Kathy aren't weeping anymore, and it's a small comfort to think of them together again, giggling.

Her husband, two daughters, mom, dad, sister, and so many extended family and friends are devastated right now. A bright light as gone from our lives, and we miss her so much.

Sunday, I'm wearing a Tar Heels baseball cap to the funeral. It'll make her dad smile. But y'all, my heart is breaking.