Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Granville Millinery

So, a week ago I went over to Columbus area to visit with a milliner (hat maker) for an article I was writing. It was so interesting! To check out the entire here.
The Milliner's name is Amy Hamilton, and this her hands making a hand painted silk flower.

Here's her work area with all of the pieces she needs to finish this hat.

These are some of the forms she uses for shaping. Most of them are vintage.

Here's a little corner of her studio with the forms in it.
I love my JOB!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quote of the day

This is actually an interchange, not just a quote.

Paul picked up Ashlyn by the feet tonight, and hung her upside down.

"Tell me you love me and I'll put you down."
Ashlyn's screaming, "I love you! I love you!"

I joked, "Is that your plan to get a girl to marry you? Just hold her upside down by her feet until she says yes?"

He laughed, "Yeah, pretty much."


So every once in awhile, Ashlyn grabs my phone and takes random pictures around the house. I have pictures of walls, pictures of the TV, pictures of faces and pictures of feet. This picture, I actually like. Its a picture of Maryn letting in some light.

Keeping with the random theme of this blog post, lets go over the last week. Maryn came home sick last Friday, the day after I couldn't sleep and went to bed at 4 in the morning. I had several meetings that day and didn't get to take a nap. By Friday night, I was wiped out. Saturday I went to Mom and Dad's because I needed some space and some quiet. My parents is the only place I can count on that happening. I basically dropped my kids off at my parents and went to the library to finish my writing...which I did. It worked well, except for this little old lady who kept talking and swearing and complaining about everything. Stayed the night at my parents and left early the next day to get to church by 10. I taught both Sunday School and Young Women's. Monday, I got a call to come and get Ashlyn, who had thrown up in class. Ended up not teaching last night because no one wanted to come share a home with the sicky. So we had popcorn and hot chocolate and watched a movie together. Ashlyn felt better this morning, after throwing up once more time in her sleep (a total of 10 times in 12 hours). But Paul felt crappy. So he stayed home from school. The best thing about having older kids, is that if they get sick, the whole world does not have to stop. I was still able to go teach my class and attend and afternoon meeting and he laid there on the couch with a cell phone if needed. I think he is feeling better. Now, I suppose, its Conner's turn.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Today I am thankful for angels. I don’t mean the kind that fly or make token appearances in nativity scenes. I don’t mean the kind you collect from curio shops or even the kind we read about in the scriptures that are sent with special messages from heaven itself. We talk about guardian and ministering angels, and those were the kind that were with me today. Except they were people…people here on this earth that the Lord put in my path at the right time to fulfill a purpose in my life. Since he cannot be everywhere at once, he uses the spirit to prompt us to do for others on his behalf. Today, I experienced that great and marvelous blessing not once, but twice.

I had made an appointment with some folks in Bucyrus, Ohio. They own a “factory” that produces hundreds upon hundreds of different kinds of handmade cookie cutters. I mean seriously, you can order 49 of the states (Hawaii just makes a weird cookie), the entire nativity, a ballerina…practically anything you can think of and lots of things you don’t ever think of (like buzzards and groundhogs or the Taj Mahal). I was excited to go.

So I set out, alone…to do this interview. For the past few days, my car had been misbehaving a little. It started rumbling and shaking whenever I hit anything over 50. I just kind of ignored it, prayed it wasn’t something serious, and hoped it would just go away. Once I hit Highway 30 going east, somewhere between I-75 and Upper Sandusky, it started rumbling really, REALLY badly. So I pulled off. I walked around the car, and saw nothing wrong immediately, until I got a closer look. My rear driver’s side tire was fraying at the edge of the tread on the inside wall. Great. I’m in my good clothes and heels (including a pink shirt) and I have never changed a tire alone before. I’ve watched others do it, but never alone. So I sighed a little, called the Highway Patrol (just in case…to let them know I was there), called my dad for some coaching and tips and started out. I was doing pretty well, remembering of course, that because my van is a stow and go, my spare is under the front two seats underneath the van. I had it out and had the car jacked up. But I had a terrible time moving the lug nuts. I’m not as strong as pneumatic drill I guess. Just as I was going to give up and wait for some nice strong highway patrolman to come along, another nice man came along. He was a little older and looked quite safe. He offered to help and I accepted. From there on out it went much faster. We finished up, I smiled and asked for a name. “John”, he said, shaking my hand. I thanked him heartily and he was on his way.

I was late for my appointment. Grrrr. But the wonderful lady I met, Mary Fox, knew what had happened, and had a clean towel waiting for me when I got there. How very kind and thoughtful.

I very much enjoyed taking a tour of the little “factory” and was extremely impressed with the assortment (hundreds and hundreds) of unique cookie cutter shapes they make by hand in their basement. You can have anything from a cardinal to a pair of scrub pants and crocs, or awareness ribbons, or one of 80 breed of dogs. Plus so much more. But after I spent a little time with Mary and her son Kevin Kohls, I found out we Mary and I had something in common. She had been widowed in her late 20’s and had 2 children. She remarried Ed Fox (who passed away the same time as Dave did), and they had 3 more children. We talked and talked about the grief and difficulty of being a young widow. “You know, “ she said, “God wants to take care of us. It’s what makes Him happy.” She went on to convey that she knew God had always provided for her. It was that faith that helped her, and that eventually led her to Ed in the most unlikely of places…a bowling league. This is especially odd since she doesn’t bowl. I told her how sometimes it was hard to believe that the Lord would provide me with another husband, and that having four children definitely made it hard. She told me she could tell that I was an amazing person, that she could tell how wonderful I was just by being around me for such a short time…and that some man would see that in me and all that I have to offer. Her words were exactly what I needed to hear.

The visit was indeed, a blessing for me. I needed to remember all of the things she said, and to hear it from someone who I’m not related to. I am extremely grateful for the intervention of our father in heaven in bringing her into my life for that moment. I surely needed it.

Quote of the day

So today's quote belongs to Maryn:

"Mom, do you have to go to college to become a vegetarian?"

I think she thought it was similar to a veterinarian...a vegetable doctor perhaps? I need carrot juice...stat!


So tonight, as we were getting ready for bed, Ashlyn came walking in the room and her mouth was completely black. I was shocked...and frankly so was she. Apparently she had been sucking on my camera strap, and the dye had ended up all over her mouth. Sweet. So I had her rinse and rinse, and then we brushed her tongue and rinsed some more. Pretty soon we had most of it out. But not all of it. I commented something about it being dye, and she starts to bawl, "I'm going to die?!?" I had explain the difference between the two words although they sound the same.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quotes of the Day

Kids say the funniest things! Here's a few from recently...

Ashlyn had brought home a decorated shoebox to hold her special little reading books they make and practice at school. Some of her decorations includes what I thought were random foam letters applied in perfect lines on different parts of the box. On the front, were these letters:


She brought me the box and asked me what the letters (above) spelled. I pronounced the sound of each letter and it came out sounding somethin like "ja-lewz-i-full-iz".

"Wow," she said, "I almost spelled Elizabeth!"

Ummmm....sure sweetie...

Ashlyn also has a habit of taking Paul and Maryn's iPod's. I have a habit of borrowing Maryn's iPod when I go running. Sometimes these two habits do not coincide. This morning, I was trying to find the iPod to pack my gym bag, and could not find it. I felt prettys ure Ashlyn would know what had happened to it. So I asked her. The conversation went something like this.

Ashlyn, do you know where the pink iPod is?

"Yes, I put it somewhere where I would remember where it was."

And where is that?

"I don't know."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Sunday night my brother Rob’s daughter called me. She had a very important question.

“Aunt Chiara? Will you sing at my baptism with Aunt Melanie and Grandma Thacker and my daddy?”

Thinking I was funny, I responded; “Ooo, I don’t know Miciah. I can’t sing with your daddy because he’s so stinky.”

It only took her a minute to reply “Well, Aunt Melanie and Grandma can stand in between you!”

I smiled, and with that assurance told her I could accept her offer on those terms. Does she never call her little brother stinky?

So I called Mel to tell her of this interaction with Miciah, and as we were speaking, my brother’s cell phone beeped in to Mel’s number. She flipped over, sure it was Miciah, and we agreed to just talk the next day.

A few minutes later, Mel calls me back. It had, indeed, been Miciah and she did, indeed, ask if Mel could sing.

Melanie responded that she would be honored to sing and would be happy to agree. Miciah then continues. “I have a questions to ask you Aunt Melanie…could you stand in between my daddy and Aunt Chiara?”

Melanie, playing dumb to the whole previous conversation, asks, “Well, why Miciah?”

“Because Aunt Chiara thinks my dad is stinky and she won’t stand by him.
By now, Mel is cracking up inside.

“Well, you could just ask him to shower.”

“Yeah, that’s what my mom said. I think he should. I don’t want him stinky at my baptism, because he’ll be touching me and then I’ll be stinky.”

Evidently, my brother has indeed, been occasionally stinky J

Monday, September 14, 2009

Let that be a lesson...

So, the other day I threw a Dr. Pepper into the freezer to cool off really quick. I remember goignt o grab one later and wondering where I put the first one, shrugged and grabbed another one.

When I opened the freezer later that evening, I found out where I put it. Evidently, if you leave a soda in the freezer for too explodes. All over.

Here is the evidence:

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Heritage Festivals

Labor day weekend, we took a chance to go to the Piqua Heritage festival. It was a lot of fun! Here are some of the highlights:

There was a family there that travels around with their covered wagons. One was authentic and the other was turn of the century...20th and 21st century that is. It was kind of interesting because we have pioneer heritage in our family. Just think, they took all that trouble to go out west, and we went through all that troubel to come back. Seems like a waste :)

Here's the kids in the pioneer covered wagon.
And the kids in the mini wagon they had for them to play in.

Here's the inside of the modern one: comfy bed, flat screen, radio and that's the way they should have traveled to the valley!

They also had some demonstrations. This fellow was making apple butter over an open fire. He said they cook it and stir it for 6 to 8 hours. He stand sthere all day and stirs and stirs. But he was very cheerful about it.

They also let the kids peel some apples with an old fashioned apple peeler. They had a fun time participating!

There was a petting zoo too. This is a teeny tiny goat the kids loved.

They also had a group of tents that were made a little market. Everyone was selling old fashioned stuff...hats, clothes, pottery and toys. This nice man had some wooden tops he taught the kids how to use. You wrapped a string around them and pulled fast. They would spin on and on.

I thought it was also time to introduce them to the good things in funnel cakes. We never really eat stuff like that, so we just got one and shared. One funnel cake a year is probably good:) We alos enjoyed some kettle corn, some maple candy, and lemon and strawberry shake-ups. Those were very refreshing on such a hot day.

Some other fun things we did that I didn't take pictures of was a rodeo and a group of scottish tribal drummers (with a bagpiper!) called Albannach. Look them up online. They were really great. You can actually listen to them on iTunes.

Overall, good day!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Candles for Paul

The 8th graders at our school go to Washington DC every year. Well, its Paul's year! Although the price is reasonable, its still more than I could handle. The school offered to help, but I felt strongly about him earning as much of it as possible. Our friends own Victory Candles and offered to let him have 50% of the sales towards the final cost. He will help make, package and deliver each candles personally.

I made a little page on our website and attached a sales brochure. Please feel free to look around at it! Just click here and you will automatically be taken there!

Thank you so much for you support and help!