Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Face Time (book page project)

Don't watch the clock;
do what it does.
Keep going.
~Sam Levenson


23-inch clock


Clearance, $10 (Home "The 'Po'" Depot)

I tore up an old Guam map.

I   b a r e l y  had enough snippets for the mapoupage
of this Guam apartment clock.

Tango hands speak
from the kitchenette wall.

Surely you don't expect me
to leave these $5 laundry room and CR clocks alone,
do you?!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Deductions I'd Like to Take

I'm proud to pay taxes in the United States;
the only thing is,
I could be just as proud for half the money.
~Arthur Godfrey

The other day I was going through some old magazine articles I'd saved and found this one from the "Family Answer Book Humor" in Family Circle's April 22, 1997 issue. Surely you noticed the ten starred "Tax Deductions I'd Like to Take"?

1. "All money spent on chocolate (which acts as an antidepressant and should be a deductible medical expense)." Gluten-free should have an additional "Because it's Gluten-free" deduction, says I.

2. "$10 for every cookbook you own beyond the three you really use. Alas, I "merged" all my cookbooks into three-ring notebooks. Hmmm. All the hours that required should provide additional deductions, says I.

3. "$100 for all worthless items purchased at a garage sale, which you then have to unload at your own sale." Wow. On this one, all the thrift-shoppers are cheated. After losing forty pounds at Weight Watchers, I remember the suit I bought at the Salvation Army in 1997 to wear during my videotaping for class leader training.

I wish I still owned that suit.

I wish I could still wear that suit.

4. "The portion of your phone bill incurred by a teenager (multiple deductions for multiple teenagers)." When I put that star by this one in 1997, DD1 was barely thirteen and DD2 was ten. In those days, kids didn't have mobile phones. Wouldn't that be giddy? To have this today as a tax deduction?!

5. {I wrote "I LOVE THIS ONE" here.} "$100 every time your mother calls, and instead of rushing her, you make her laugh ('you turned out pretty well' deduction)." Ha. Now that same then-thirteen DD1 and then-ten-year-old DD2 should... oh, never mind.

6. {I also wrote "Yes!" next to this one.} "One semester's tuition for your child, at a top university, for every hour of intense labor while giving birth. DD1 still would've had to pay her own way (she did!), but DD2 would've had a lot more help paying her way. (Good job, girls! When you graduated, you were probably the only two students on campus who walked away not owing a dime!  You deserve a tax deduction for that!)

7. "$100 for every time you're in the car and you recommend that your husband, who's driving, ask for directions and he actually does it ('one small step for mankind' deduction)." This was also deemed, "Yes!"

I think I ought to add


For every time you're in the car
and he's driving
and you're lost
and you sit there
and keep your mouth shut
and let him handle it:
$100 $500 deduction.

8. "$1 for every plastic bag you have painstakingly saved in another bag ('good intentions to recycle' deduction)." Like #4, you can tell this one was written in the '90s.

9. "$50 for every 'A' on any report card that comes through your door ('behind every good student is a mother who sat up until 3 A.M. coloring a map of Africa' deduction)." Oh, boy. In 1997 I was a homeschool mom of several years already, so I probably starred this one for the 3-A.M.-Africa-map-coloring-mom.

I'm inserting this one for my granddogs Audrey and Chanel's mommy and daddy: "$3,000 puppy exemption, for housebreaking of any canine (includes reimbursement for chewed-up shoes and furniture)." Not Boo-Boo. No Cha-Cha.  She wouldn't chew up shoes... or furniture, wood she, I mean, would she?

10. "All costs for bubble bath, weekend retreats, fancy dinners and massage. (Call it the 'preservation of sanity' deduction.)" My notation says it all:


As seen in Family Circle, April 22, 1997, "Tax Deductions I'd Like to Take" by Joni Hilton

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ima Changed Her Clothes at Refashion Co-Op

It only takes one thing
to change everything.
~Kelley Dibble

Ima Sewing Machine's at it again. Check out her Paul Smith knock-off here.

A too-long jean skirt was shortened and frayed here. Easy!

Olive the results of this sundress + T-shirt refashion here.

Go change your clothes.

Friday, April 11, 2014

This Week in My Guam Home

Home wasn't a set house,
or a single town on a map.
It was wherever
the people who loved you were,
whenever you were together.
Not a place, but a moment,
and then another,
building on each other like bricks
to create a solid shelter
that you take with you your entire life,
wherever you may go.
~Sarah Dessen

It's been a busy week on Guam, one of my beloved island homes, though this first full week of April began in the state of Koror, Republic of Palau.  As I reflect, the sun is setting on my Friday while it's rising where you are. Incredible to fellowship {or fillyship, whatever the case may be} via the written word.

Here's what happened this week in my home.

1. Sunday was one busy day in the Palau state of Koror. I have to share some sightseeing shots with the Rabors whose kiddos were just getting over the chicken pox.

Mommy Deanna had covered little Elly's legs in sweats because the chicken pox coupled with eczema had done some kind o' number on them. Reminded me of our girls who got the chicken pox exactly three weeks apart like big brother Ziv and Elly Rabor had. You'd never know this cute little guy's face had ever been covered with chicken pox!

Thank God!

Here's "Ziv's starfish."

I love to watch the movement of amazing starfish.

Here we are Sunday with Pastor Sharp left who is Palauan and the adoptive mother of a three-year-old, and the Rabors who are Filipino. These folks could teach every church leadership a thing or three about unity.

After Sunday morning's service and lunchtime, we all reconvened for teaching sessions, 1 until 4 p.m. My husband and I were invited to speak on topics of our choosing. He taught "Guard the Gate," meaning the eye gate, the ear gate and the mouth gate. Superb material indeed! (I encouraged him to develop this lesson into a series, to go deeper into each gate's study for the upcoming Solomon Island general conference in the fall where he will be the daytime teacher.) Truths every culture should hide in their hearts!

Note the creative carpet-fragment embellishment
on the platform.

In Koror, it's customary to remove your shoes when entering the church. I brought the complimentary slippers from our hotel room as I had done the last time we were in Koror in December 2011. Of course, I noticed only later that neither Pastor Rabor nor my Dave had removed their shoes! *wink*

You can see my husband's shoe!

My lesson covered five characteristics of loving families-- shall I say "creatively" addressing marriage and parenting issues as the majority of the congregation there are overseas contract workers whose homes and families are in the Philippines. We were informed that adultery is a huge problem on Palau, so I had my work cut out for me. And because the teenage crime rate in Palau has skyrocketed, the subjects my husband and I both covered fit the bill. The more we're afforded opportunities to teach, we must remind ourselves that our responsibility is to teach Truth; listeners' response is their responsibility.

Later in the evening when we met for dinner, the pastors told us, "Our folks just now left the church! We've been reflecting on the lessons you both taught today. It's been rich, and we hope you can return to Palau soon. Soon!"

2. We arrived home on Guam early Monday morning. Following a nap, we got right to work on the apartment. They're growing accustomed to our faces at The 'Po' (Home Depot) as we leave more and more money there. *wink*

One afternoon Dave had dashed out to The 'Po', and I stepped outside to photograph the BEFORE of this apartment's front door.

B E F O R E 

But when I tried to go back inside, aww, man! Locked out. So, I walked around the church grounds, looking around and taking some pictures.

Well, maybe I didn't walk around that much.

3. We have a doggy.

His name is Minion.

He's so buff for the puppy that he is, but what a sweetiepie. Shepherding is in his blood, so he shepherds. He shepherds the car's tires as it's driving away. He shepherds and guards and protects his sheeps peeps. He is just a good, good boy. We bring him rib bones and leftovers and goodies. Our doggy loves us, and I just love this picture of our doggy.

 4. I walked this week, didn't run-- teetering in dehydration/UTI limbo is too painful for running. I find as I age that dehydration is a constant struggle. I know better, I know better, I know better than to go without drinking water. Besides orange juice on Wednesday's fast day, and Sunday's treat of a cup of coffee, all I drink is water. Water, water, water. I must encourage myself to do what I gotta do to hydrate this body properly each and every day.

5. My new Skecher mule sneakers were putting a near blister on my right foot. Every several steps I was having to stamp-shove my foot down into the toe of the shoe to keep my heel away from rear rim. Then one day I was tidying the basket where I keep my cotton footies and found the Skecher brand cotton footies that are delightfully tissue thin. Oh! I forgot I'd bought these a year ago when I got the new Skecher mules! That particular right shoe fits so much better now and no more near blister.

6. I haven't taken any photos yet of the yo-yo progress I mentioned last week-- refashioning a skirt into a yo-yo scarf. Yo-yos are incredibly easier than hexies ever thought of being. No idle hands in the car or on the plane when I have yo-yos.

7. I haven't yet shared some apartment sewing projects. First, I had planned to make a sewing machine cover with this thrifted skirt, but that plan changed.

Plastic store-bag holder

Before I left Manila, I made some file folder pressing templates to keep here in the apartment. Boy! Are they a huge help, too.

{And you guessed what I'm making with the rest of the skirt:
yo-yos for a quilt throw I'll make
for the foot of the bed in this Guam apartment.}

Aqua and coral-orange are apartment accent colors
I'll incorporate in the yo-yo quilt throw.

For the CR I made a couple of things. One of them solved half of two dilemmas in there, too. First, I wanted to place the shower curtain tension rod on the tops of the ceramic tile so I could use the pole to air-dry laundry on clothes hangers. I knew I'd have to lengthen the shower curtain, so several months back the one hanging in the Hilton Resort ~ Guam inspired me.


To revamp mine, I marked four inches from the top,

and cut.

With complimentary sheer fabric and French seams, I sewed a panel to lengthen the shower curtain by 14 inches. The cost? About $6. The panel nicely allows light in, too, which we love.

Then we had a TP holder issue. We installed a new and an a bit wider vanity... which then limited the throne room, ahem. So, for two months I had strung the toilet paper up with some string on the never-used-for-towels rod directly across the throne. Then I figured, why not? 

I made a fabric tube that would adequately accommodate a length of quarter-inch hollow-braid poly rope. I inserted the poly rope and finished the clasp I cut from a thrifted purse. 

Works like a champ... and plenty of throne room. When we're drying off from our shower, honestly, the TP doesn't get wet, but I still think of a KOA campground when I see it. *wink*

The other dilemma was the narrow space between the vanity cabinet and the throne. I searched high and low for a teensy waste basket to slide into that space, until Eureka! I test-squished the dollar store wire waste basket we already had and presto!

It doesn't look oval, but it is now on the top!

8. I taught somebody how to take screen shots on an iPad this week!  I'm certain I was more impressed than she! "I've had this iPad since 2012 and didn't even know that!" Here's how to do it: Press your iPhone's or iPad's power button at the same time you press the home button. If your sound is turned on, you should hear it make the "camera" sound.

9. I'm going through Laine's letters and saving them as PDFs. No edits can be made to them in this format. Then I organize the letters by year. Oh, how enjoyable it is to reread and be inspired by them. Excellent advice from a godly, aged, Titus 2 lady "in" my life via the World Wide Web.

10. Dave's been painting the front and back of doors in the apartment, caulking, finishing the vinyl cove bases, and even made me a stand for the microwave. The new little microwave stand gets the unit off the counter and gives us room to organize other things underneath, like the toaster oven, the napkins, the coffee condiment containers, etc. We must continually remind ourselves that this apartment that a church has so graciously lent us free of charge is a hotel, is a hotel, is a hotel. So we have a microwave, a toaster oven, a coffee pot and a ref. {One-syllabled ref is what we call a five-syllabled refrigerator in this part of the Pacific.} We also brought from home four complete place settings of dishes, glassware and silverware that had been sitting in a storage box.

11. I just realized I didn't photograph each of this week's thrifty finds, like the great basket for our Reminisce magazines and Reader's Digests: $1, and a pair of plastic baskets for organizing under sinks and inside cabinets, etc., and the neat cup to keep on my desk/nightstand here to hold scissors, writing utensils, etc.

And then there's this 50-cent beauty!


After spray painting the two nightstand/student desks taupe
I will use these perfect pages
to bookoupage the tops of each of them.

And of course the hardbound marvel of a book cover
will make a great pocket"book" purse!


12. In Thursday's Bible study, the teacher said, "I've never had an angel knock on my door and hand me a bill. 'Here's what you owe for the oxygen you breathed today.'" I remembered a quote I heard some years back: "What if I only had today that for which I thanked God yesterday? What if I only had tomorrow that for which I thanked God today?" I am not as grateful as I ought to be. Lord, forgive me.

13. I was with the mother of two little girls and an infant son today, selecting fabrics for their "poodle" circle skirts for next month's Mother-Daughter event. As young mommy, RayAnne, is like me and has no mother on-island, I adopted her for this event. Her husband Jeff had fixed a plumbing mess-of-pipes for us in this Guam apartment kitchen, so as a way of returning the blessing, she and her girls' will be my special banquet guests.

Firstborn Chloe, eight, chose a soft purple. She wants a white felt poodle to coordinate with her white top, she said. Middle child Bailey, 5, wants a dark gray felt poodle like Zoe... who is apparently a dark gray poodle. RayAnne chose a pink gingham that had a pink and purple floral print all over it, to go with her girls' skirts. I hope they have fun wearing these. I'm loaning to RayAnne a fluffy slip to wear under her 50s skirt.

Baby Wyatt is so sweet! I could sink my teeth into his porky thighs. Chloe asked, "Can you bring him down here so I can kiss him?" Being with RayAnne and the children, oh, the reminder that life's fleeting moments are but a vapor.

14. Can't I ever leave things alone? 'Fraid not. Here's the BEFORE and AFTER of my Bose Noise-Cancelling earbuds case.

B E F O R E 

blah. blah. blah.


yeah. yeah. yeah.

15. This is last week's old news combined with this week's. We had the air cons cleaned Thursday before we flew out Friday. When the guys pulled the nest down...

~ one lone egg ~

Then this week, I thought as I swept the floor,
Is that a piece of candy?

A lizard's egg.

16. The quote Dave found earlier this week has been steeping in my heart.

"Manila is among the world's least resilient cities
due to its poor environmental
and social adaptive capacity and
high vulnerability, according to a British research firm.

"In a study conducted by the Grosvenor Group
and released on Tuesday,
Manila is found in the bottom five
of 50 of the world's major metropolitan areas
ranked according to their resilience.

"The research team defined resilience
as the city's adaptive capacity
'to bounce back from an adverse event'
and low vulnerability in thriving centers
of human habitation, production
and cultural development
despite environmental challenges and globalization."
~The Philippine Star newspaper

re sil ience

ability to recoil or spring back into shape
after bending, stretching, or being compressed;
ability to withstand or recover quickly
from difficult conditions

vul ner a bil i ty

susceptibility to physical or emotional attack or harm;

This quote made me very sad for the nation of our beloved Philippines.

Tomorrow there's a spray painting marathon here! I'm painting the microwave stand, the two nightstand/desks, a little robe hook unit that goes on the back of the CR door, an apples of gold in a picture of silver project, two wire waste baskets, some art frames that have yellowed, and a closet pole.

May your weekend be grand! Sunday's Palm Sunday... HOSANNA! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Part 4 of 4: Our Family's First Wedding Day

Two very special people,
one special day.
On this beautiful occasion,
we wish you showers of blessings and love.

Happy Third
Wedding Anniversary!
... There are four dozen images in this post. ...

Getting ready.
*Unless otherwise noted, all images courtesy of Southern Reflections Studio

~ purity ribbon ~
Carried in his wallet since he was a teen

Getting hitched.

Three decades earlier, my own dad "gave me away."


Priceless-- three generations of a women's looks

 Getting started.

Listening to the maid of honor's tearful toast

Getting outta here.