Scrapping Your Heart Out – Nov ’18

Design Team:  Scrappin Your Heart Out
Theme:  Book of Dreams
Designer:  The Rush Ranch

Gathering memories, gathering friends. In such intense pain, an eternity is born.  He lives on, carried within the strong and protective arms of angels to once again walk  whole and complete, in paradise. I am convinced of it. God’s perfect plan, to welcome the faithful into eternity.   Not just forever, but for EVER.

The funeral for my Brother-in-law was rather nice.   It was short and sweet, just how he would have wanted it.  The morning after we sat with our adult children at the hotel’s restaurant and tried to enjoy the last few moments with each other, before we had to leave for separate destinations.  North, south, east, west, we had all distant directions covered.  But for a moment in time, we were once again gathered around the kitchen table, timeless, as a precious family.   I love those kids so………

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The Scrapping Your Heart Out theme is “Book of Dreams”, and we were tasked with picking out a favorite book and designing with the book in mind – Well, I blew it.  I tried to pick the most favorite of all books (Besides the bible) and I think that I lost my mind trying to decide!  The Dr. Seuss books from childhood?  Treasure Island?  Little House on the Prairie books from my youth?  Jayne Eyre, Rebecca or Pride & Prejudice from my teens?  Or a few favorites from adulthood?  No.  I’m only human.  I can’t make decisions like that.  I would choose a title, and then the very next day wonder why I chose this book over that book.  So to be fair to all of my favorites, I don’t choose.  Therefore, my designs this month are rather general in nature.  In fact, my “patterned” papers aren’t really patterned at all, just some Bokeh splats of light across their width.  I apologize in advance for my weirdness.

Please visit the other designers via the blog roll at the end of this post.

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We Believe Blog Train – Nov ’18

Design Group:  We Believe Blog Train
Theme:  In All Circumstances
Designer:  The Rush Ranch

Many, many years ago:  A few weeks after my grandmother died, my mother and her sister stood in the middle of Grandmother’s home and tried to figure out what to do with all of her beloved fluff and furnishings.  You know, the cuckoo clock, the butter dish shaped like a chicken, the Americana lamps and her favorite mug.  Hundreds of things both precious and bold with thick memories of life and death, war and peace, depression and plenty.  Grandmother’s generation passed through some of the hardest times of our nation.

After the horrors of World War II, my grandfather had built her a paradise with his own hands – a lovely house in the valley, with more than three acres of flowering gardens. Maple trees lined the driveway.   He built lovely stone paths that wound throughout the gardens and trees.  He built stone bird baths that were in direct eyesight of where she sat in the kitchen window, with her coffee and milk every morning.  She was his precious treasure.

My Grandmother and I had been very close, more so than any of her other grandchildren.  I don’t say that as a brag.  After my grandfather passed away, I would visit often.  I think it was because I didn’t mind just sitting there in the quiet with her.  To just BE – To listen to the birds, to breath in the scent of flowers and freshly mowed lawns.  To appreciate the gifts of nature.  We both loved caring for the gardens, and after a day well spent, we would retire with books in hand and read until bedtime.  I didn’t need attention, and she didn’t need authority or ego.

After Grandmother passed, Mother called me and asked me what I wanted from the home.  I didn’t have to think about it, because the most precious times I had spent with her were when we were reading together in her study.  So I asked my mother for Grandmother’s set of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” books.  As a child, throughout the years I must have read the complete set more than a dozen times.  I didn’t want paintings or china.  I didn’t want the cameo brooch she wore to church every Sunday or lace doilies.  I didn’t want the superficial.  I wanted books full of memories.  Grandmother’s books.  Grandmother – with her flowered dresses and gingham aprons. With her long, dark hair wrapped up in a chignon at the top of her head, laughing about some memory.  Her scent of baby powder and violets in early morning sunbeams, as she dipped her toast into milky mugs of coffee – looking out upon those bird baths………

I kept those precious books until my granddaughters were old enough to appreciate them, and then started our own tradition of reading together.  I hope that they will love the books as much as I did – but more importantly, treasure the time we spend together.  Generational traditions – pass it on.  Thanks for listening.

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The We Believe Blog Train is here:

1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Please visit each designer in the blog role below, for more great stuff!
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Blog Role:

A-M Designs
Nellie Bell
Dreamn4ever Designs
Songbird Scraps Designs
Crystal’z Colorz
Lori Imel Designs
Moore Blessings Digital Designs
LEA Art Designs
The Preacher’s Gal

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Scrap Designer’s Blog Train

Design Team:  Scrap Designers
Theme:  Kindness
Designer:  The Rush Ranch
Location:  Eastern Oregon

November 2nd, he let go of everything – the needle sticks, the sound of beeping monitors,  the smells of antiseptic and the memory of Monday morning traffic.  And then he let of of gravity.

“Slowly, gradually, he detached himself, breathing less and less, fainter and fainter; then he was off and free, like a dry leaf from the tree, floating down and away.”   Author, Helen Nearing.

He is free, at last.  My husband’s brother passed away in the morning.  It was a sad passing as he lay in the ICU, strapped to a multitude of machines and IV drips.  The man we knew had moved on a long time ago, but this shell of a great man still remained, sustained by feeding tubes, blood transfusions, oxygen, and a multitude of meds. Bless the coming and going of him.

I think that grieving is one of the hardest processes to go through, simply because it is a conundrum.  On one hand you are sad to lose a loved one, and on the other hand you know, without a doubt, that they are in a better place.  The two emotions don’t necessarily meet in the middle. It doesn’t make logical sense to our human brain – how can something so painful to us, be a good thing?  Oil and water.  The emotions float back and forth in your heart and mind like the weather – one day stormy at the loss, the next peaceful at the thought of heaven and the end of pain.  So we must “weather the storms”, until there are more peaceful days than hard ones.

As we sat at the dinner table that evening with our youngest daughter, she remarked that some families don’t openly talk about end-of-life choices like we do.  But isn’t that a final act of love, to have everything understood by all, from a legal and personal standpoint?  As you graduate to heaven, your loved ones will be in great distress.  Therefore, it seems a loving gesture to ensure that they know exactly what needs to be done.  Get those end-of-life directives and wills done, people.

On to the Blog Train.  This is the Scrap Designers Blog Train, and the theme is my favorite!  Kindness!  So I made you some cards that you could post on your social media, or send to a friend, etc.  They are meant to be shared.  Download links at the bottom of the previews.  And thank you for stopping by!

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BLOG TRAIN:
Angelhaze
Lady DG Scrap
AnnieC Digitals
Joy’s Creations
Moore Blessings
KJD Designs
Songbird Scrap Designs
LEA Art Designs
Skinni’z Statz, Scrapz and Stuff
Promethean Concepts
DigiJen Scraps

Thank you for visiting my blog and being so kind with your comments!

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November ’18 Digital Downloads

Theme:  Family Traditions & I’ll Owl’ways Be Thankful
Design Team:  Pixelscrapper & Scraptwist
Designer:  The Rush Ranch
Location:  Eastern Oregon

This morning the fog from the valley below rolled up the mountainside like a fast-moving sandstorm, racing the wind to reach the summit first.  One moment I was enjoying the rain and how it made the fall colors seem so brilliant, and then the next moment I watched the fog roll over the ranch as if I was at sea.  When we fed the horses this morning we could hear their hooves thunder as they ran down toward us from the far corner of the ranch.  They had been visiting with the neighbor horses (They talk over the fence), but we couldn’t see them up there because of the fog.

Douglas, our adopted German-shorthair fella wants to sit on my lap this morning, all 80 lbs of him.  He is such a big cuddle bug.  He is actually a real good napping buddy.  If you need something to curl up to when taking a nap, Douglas is at your service in a flash. He will even bring along his own favorite blanket.

I’ve been doing a bible study with some girlfriends.  We are going through a study of Psalm 23, led by Jennifer Rothschild.  I have a string tied around my wrist to remind myself of one important thing –    That I am a lamb of the loving Shepherd.   When I feel anxious or worried, I just need to look at that string and remember who I am.

Still, still…..I’m in a hazy, muddled place right now.  Don’t really understand it.  Can’t focus.  Haven’t done any of my bible study homework this week, nor worked on building a new scrapbooking kit.  I haven’t worked on a crochet project, or read a book, etc.  I can’t seem to focus.  I *think* it is because I am feeling overwhelmed right now with what is happening at my church.  We’ve lost our pastor, so we need to form a selection committee and go through the process of finding a new pastor.  But none of us have ever done this before, and it is hard to know where to start.  I have searched the web for info regarding selection committee processes, and interview questions, etc. – Thank goodness for the resources available because I did find some great information.  I suppose that I am also feeling that we don’t have much to offer – our funding will be small because we are a very small church of approximately 30 people, the majority of them on Social Security.  We have a parsonage, but it is an old place that needs repairs.  But I also need to remember that I don’t have to worry about any of that – because the Lord will take care of it.  He will bring us a new Pastor that will fit right in.  I have a string around my wrist that reminds me, HE is the great Shepherd.  HE will send one of his teachers to our church.

My husband is in Portland right now, about six hours away.  His brother, who has been in the hospital for several months now, has asked that all medical interventions be stopped.  The brother wants to go home, he is tired now.  He has a disease that has made his major arteries and aorta frail and thin as paper, and he keeps bleeding internally.  His brain doesn’t get the blood it needs to operate, so he has had several strokes.  He can’t eat so he is on a feeding tube and dialysis.  His organs have been damaged beyond repair and some of them no longer work.  It’s time.   It’s hard on my husband to see his younger brother so frail and ill.  Harder to let him go, but see’s the wisdom of it.  My husband and I promise each other that we will not drag our own end-of-life medical care out like this.  Those of us left behind will miss our loved ones enormously, but the one that passes will be in the presence of a loving God.

By the way, you and I both know that the world is in a troubled place.  violence, politics, etc.  Each one of us, you and me both, need to be the change.  It starts with us.  So do something kind for someone today.  Buy them a coffee, let them go in line in front of you, pick up the trash in your neighborhood gutter, deliver a meal to an elderly person in your neighborhood…….please.  We can do this.  We can make our little space in this world a whole lot better with simple acts of kindness.

So I’ve rambled away here, enough already.  Thank you for listening.

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I made a “Birthday Board” that you can see in the second preview.  I don’t know how useful it will be.  At home I have one made out of wood, and I love it.  I hang tags under each month with the person’s name and day of their birthday.  A paper one won’t be of must use, but if you fortify it with a stronger cardboard background, it just may be ok.  Paperclips would work to hang the tags from the board, and each other.   Here is the link to the blog train on the Pixelscrapper website.

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For the Scraptwist Free4All Team, I made three different owls for you with my shape and warp tools.  You know that making animals is new to me and I have a lot to learn.  Some people can make some really cute critters, and I don’t know how they do it – perhaps a more sophisticated design program, or talent – so I stick to my shape and warp tools.  I’ll eventually find a way to do it better, but in the meantime, here is “Olivia”, to welcome you to the Blog Train.  She is wearing a fancy feather hat and her favorite button.   rr_nov18_owl_owl 5Be sure to visit the designers in the blog train list below my kits.

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BLOG TRAIN ROLE:
Marniejo’s House of Scraps
Songbird Scraps Designs
KJDdesigns
Nellie Bell
The Brown Owl
Moore Blessings Digital Designs
Lady DGscrap
LEA Art Designs
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Scrappin’ Your Heart Out – Oct’18

Design Team:  Scrapping Your Heart Out
Theme:  Shades of Fall
Designer:  The Rush Ranch

Another beautiful fall morning at the ranch.  Skies are blue, and the color changes across the valley are fantastic.  Fall is my favorite season.  Look at the photo of the valley floor, below:

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Grande Ronde Valley

I don’t know about you, but the news around the world today seems so harsh and scary. It’s hard to stay focused on the priorities of our lives, but we’ve got to do it.  We’ve got to guard our home gates first – taking care of ourselves and our loved ones. In my last post, I encouraged you to do something kind for yourself, to practice self-care.  I’ll bet the majority of you just breezed right over those words.  Women often feel like we don’t have the time to spend on ourselves, or  that we don’t “deserve” it.  Some of us don’t even know what “self-care” looks like!  But hey, it looks different for everyone.

Here is what it looks like for me:
Fall & Winter:  I love candles — especially spice–scented candles. Their glow and aroma seem to enhance a peaceful atmosphere for me. I love a cup of hot cocoa, or tea.  I love to wear warm, soft socks to pad around the house in. I like a more quiet atmosphere, with either soft music, or no music.  Baking bread, soup in the crockpot, or cookies in the oven.  I like to read with a blanket across my lap, or a crochet project on my hook.  A bubble bath in the evening is a wonderful way to relax.  And don’t forget nap time!!  I’m pretty much at the black belt level when it comes to self-care in cool seasons.  I guess that comes from living for 46 years in Alaska!

Spring & Summer:  I love to be outside on the deck, writing notes or letters to friends as I gaze out upon the valley below.  My hair is usually in a ponytail or hair clip, no makeup, and sneakers on my feet.  I also like to take a craft project outside to work on, such as beading, polymer clay, or Kumihimo braiding.  And napping.  I love to nap where the sun puddles across my bed. Cuddle cat is optional.

What do you like? What calms you? What kind of atmosphere is beneficial to you? Know those things about yourself and make them happen as often as possible. These are small but effective ways to take care of yourself.

Here it is, my preview of Shades of Fall.  As always, my mini kit is free and may be used for commercial use.  Please visit the other designers in the blog train below to pick up their kits, as well.

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BLOG ROLE:

Check out our Blog
and if you are a designer and would like to contribute to the train with us come and join ourFB Page (designers only and make sure sure to answer the questions please)

.

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We Believe Blog Train – Oct ’18

Design Team: We Believe
Theme: Rest – Psalm 62:1-2
Designer: The Rush Ranch

Things are a bit crazy at the ranch – in other words, pretty normal!  Getting things taken care of around the ranch, the church, the Parsonage……..Sometimes it’s hard to fit it the self-care that I need.  And I hope that you are remembering to add self-care to your weekly routine, as well.  We all need it.  We can’t take care of others, if we don’t first take care of ourselves.  We find that hard to do sometimes, because if you are like me, I feel like I need to take care of everything and everyone first, THEN use any spare time for myself……So this month, how about making YOURSELF your target for a Random Act of Kindness?  I vote for that.

This is the “We Believe” Blog Train, and this month we are focusing on Psalms 62:
“I am at rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I will never be shaken.”

Please visit the other designers in the blog train, I know that you will enjoy the other awesome designs.  And remember – I’m counting on you to perform a Random Act of Kindness at every opportunity!

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Blog Role:
Crystal’z Colorz

Amanda’s Digital Studio

Songbird Scraps Designs

A-M Designs

Nellie Bell

Moore Blessings Digital Designs

Living4Him2

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Scrap Designers Blog Train – October ’18

Design Team: Scrap Designers
Designer:  The Rush Ranch
Theme:  Popcorn & Movies

I received a phone call yesterday from one of our church members.  She was calling to start a prayer chain on behalf of another member.  Their beloved grandson had committed suicide.  Another young person, lost to the darkness.

I don’t know.  I don’t know why, but I know it’s a darkness that must cause great pain and suffering.  It is a darkness that sucks the life out of our young people, destroying all vestiges of hope and reason.  And I don’t know the solution.  Darkness pours into the cracks of their broken vessels, and shatters all that remains.

But I know two things – yesterday a young man LOST his life.  And yesterday at the hospital, I held the door open for an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair,  headed to chemotherapy as he tried everything imaginable – and unimaginable – to EXTEND his life.

So – let’s keep working at it, you and I.  Let’s keep trying to make a difference with a kind word, or a kind action toward others.  You never know if it is the one spark of light in their heavy world of darkness.  Ensure people around you feel valued and engaged.  LISTEN with your heart and see their needs with clear eyes.  Are you disengaged with siblings, parents or children?  Be the change.  Step up and reconnect.  Forgive.  Forget.  Be the light.  Start today.  Be Awesome!

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The theme for our monthly blog train is Movies and Popcorn.  I love movies.  I love going to the theatre, getting a bag of popcorn and a cherry coke, and holding hands with my hubby.  It’s our way to continue “dating”, and being sweethearts.

Here is the color palette:
Movie & Popcorn HEX

Please visit the blog train designers at the end of my previews!

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BLOG ROLE:

Songbird Scraps Designs

KJDdesigns

Joy’s Creations

DigiScrap Angelhaze

Skinni’s Scraps and Stuff

AnnieCDigitals

Nellie Bell

DigiJen Scraps

Promethean Concepts

Moore Blessings Digital Design

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