Knotty Musings

Ideas, philosophies, and evil plots to take over the world through love hatched here.

I Am Enough

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson

Remove the Nots

Remove the Nots

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Treasures and No Camera!!

Good afternoon friends,

I hope the day's dawning finds you well rested and ready to face the day.

It has been a bit busy for us today. We went to the architectural salvage company here in town and looked for stained glass, some shutters for my dining and living room windows, and a storm window for the porch. I didn't find what I was looking for but was able to price the things I want. Tomorrow we'll head over to the Habitat for Humanity store and see what they have.

We picked up a large batch of lava rock from Freecycle so I'm heading outside later today to spread those around the tree.

I had a very productive thrift store run yesterday-20 outfits for work, including a pantsuit and red formal suit, a gorgeous planter, a framed piece of hardanger embroidery, and a HUGE pueblo indian platter that came from Mexico that has a blue bird and flowers painted and glazed into it.

Unfortunately, you'll have to wait for pictures of the new things because my camera is in the repair shop. The battery door broke!!

Tomorrow, I will start putting the collector's plates, etc back up so the dining room will be mostly done.

What are the rest of you up to????

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dining Room Unveiled

As planned, we painted our dining room this past Saturday and have started getting it put back together. The curio and all of my collector plates still need to be put back and I will put up a border later once I decide on one I can't live without.

So without further adeiu, here it is. The first picture is a college that my mother-in-law's best friend and David's babysitter made us for a wedding gift. Isn't that gorgeous??

I found the teapot shelf in a thrift store for $4 and loved it. The spoon in the picture is a Welsh love spoon, traditionally given by one or the other of the betrothed the night before the wedding.

The horse in the frame on the buffet was drawn by a good friend of mine who passed away a few years ago.

The peacock is a piece I made about 15 years ago; the color is off in that pic. The walls are closer to the color in the rest of the pictures.

The fan is another piece I found at the Goodwill; I fell in love with it.

The last 2 pictures are before pictures of the dining room. Quite a difference, don't you think???

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Whew!!! Painting Is (Mostly) Done!!!

Good morning friend,

We masked and painted yesterday and just put the furniture back into its respective places this morning. We love, love, love the lavender color! I've been putting knick knacks and pictures back up on the walls this morning but some things are getting switched around and other things will get Freecycled. The room was starting to look cluttered. The collector plates need to be hung back up but I want to wash them first. The curio also needs to be put back together but I want to wash the glass and the knick knacks that go in it so I'll do a little at a time. I'll be weeding out a few of the things in there as well.

We are lunching with my cousin and then going to see "Night at the Museum II". Today will be pretty low-key which is good because we're both pretty sore today!

I'll take some pics and upload them later so you can all see how nice it looks.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Love and the Joy of Hurting

I know that many of you will visit the graves of your loved ones this weekend. For some of you, that loss of a loved one is fresh and for still others, that loss is a scar of memory upon your heart. Whichever situation is true for you, the truth is that pain=love. To further illustrate the point I'm attempting (not so eloquently) to make, please read on:

"Love and the joy of hurting"
By Bob Perks

"Do you like what you do?" she asked me.

"I write about happy things," I said.

"Wait a minute. I've read your work. You made me cry sometimes," she said.
"That makes me happy," I replied.
"Well, that's sick," she said smiling.
"I don't make people cry by hurting them. They often cry from the hurt they have already.
When I first started writing, people would reply telling me that they cried. I wrote back every
time to apologize until I one day realized what a privilege it was."

She still looked at me oddly.

"You see, something I was inspired to write touched someone in such a way as to draw from
them an emotion. They, the reader, actually permitted me, trusted me to enter into their very
being that day and release the pain or joy associated with my story."

"So, I let you in?"

"No, God did. He used that moment to connect us. There was something you needed to feel and
something He wanted me to say."

"Then why do we hurt so much?"


How much we hurt is often in relationship to how much we love. The same can be said about
happiness. How much happiness there is in our lives depends on how much love we have not
only for those around us, but for life itself.

Like the death of a loved one.

Such loss is a pain we all endure many times in our lives. Why? Because we love.

But the great thing about love is, it never ceases, even after the final goodbye.
Love continues. It does not cease to exist because someone has died. I believe it is not
the memory of someone gone, but the love of someone that sustains us. Love is more than

Love is first a decision of the mind and then a commitment of the heart.

A few years ago, someone wrote to me asking "When will I stop hurting?"
At that time there seemed to be a number of people who were struggling with loss.
I have recently become aware that some of my "friends I've never met," are hurting.
Permit me to share that story with you again:

When will I stop hurting?
By Bob Perks

"I lost a loved one nearly a year ago. When will I stop hurting?"

The question was simple but difficult to answer. She was challenging me.

I wanted to help her, but I knew that only she could answer that question.

Whenever someone writes to tell me about a death, I always talk about
the difficult months ahead. I refer to it as a "Year of Firsts." The first holiday,
birthday, anniversary, summer picnic or other personal event without that loved one.

Then there are those little things you never really paid attention to before, but now
find a gaping hole right in the middle of your day. Like the time they woke up each
morning, how they had their coffee, the sound the door made around dinner time
when they arrived home and the way they said "hello."

But there was something about this message today that made me stop and really
think about what I needed to say. Oddly, I decided that the pain she was feeling
was a good thing, but I wasn't sure she wanted to know that.

Here is exactly what I wrote to her:

When will you stop hurting? That is a measure of the love you shared and how does one measure love?

By remembering them long after they are gone. "Memories" are
the shadows of a life well lived that remain long after the light of their being has gone out.

May you never forget. "Pain" is the echo of remembering those special moments when all the world belonged to the both of you.

The day will come when the pain of remembering turns into understanding
the privilege of ever having them in your life at all.

Remembering will be a joy. Although the pain is great at times, you are reminded still, how very much you loved and were loved.

May the rest of your life be a reflection of that love and when your time comes, may your passing cast long shadows for all who loved you, too.

Bob Perks

My final thought...
When I die...
Bury me not in a cold dark grave. Bury me deep within your heart. I will live forever there.

Bob Perks
P.O. Box 1702
Shavertown, Pa. 18708
Contact Bob

I encourage you to share my stories but
I do ask that you keep my name and contact
information with my work.

If you would like to receive Bob's Inspirational
stories, please visit

and submit your email address.

"I Wish You enough!"
© 2001 Bob Perks

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear
much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thoughts on Memorial Day

As we begin a long holiday weekend filled with family, barbecues, and fun it is appropriate to take a little time and remember the other purposes of Memorial Day.

While some of us still use the day to visit the graves of loved ones, Memorial Day's original intent is largely lost.

Whether we agree with the reasons our country is at war or not, the fact still remains that we have people fighting for our right to play Monday morning quarterback over it all. Those who would say that our soldiers are stupid and that's why they're in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world they're needed are naive.

The soldier who serves our country is not evil, self-serving, or looking for glory. Some were given a choice: the military or jail. Others were drafted, still others joined voluntarily after some heinous act jeopardized the safety of our country and its citizens.

These men and women have seen things in the performance of their duties that most of us haven't even dreamed of in our worst nightmares. Decades after their service, what they did because their country asked them to or because their own life was threatened during combat, still haunt their minds and hearts. Many have never forgiven themselves and believe they can never atone enough for the lives taken, damage caused, and peace of mind taken, even though those lives were of the "enemy". They weep for the loss of humanity.

Even those who did not die, lose limbs, or see comrades die lost something. The years and months away from family, freedoms, and easy going spirits were lost. Innocence was lost. Simply because the pain cannot be readily observed does not negate its existence.
José Narosky has said "In war, there are no unwounded soldiers."

It takes people with courage to stand up for the weak, less fortunate, and humanity to allow us our freedoms. The right to raise our families and sleep safely in our beds each night rests on their weary shoulders. Hold them up, thank them, and most of all, honor them.

In keeping with this cause, I have set up a fund upon my death that will provide post-traumatic stress counseling for any veteran of any age and any war.

Below is some background regarding the origins of Memorial Day.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.
There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Thank you Iris for my first award. It is so special because it is my first and bestowed upon me by my dear friend.

If you haven't seen Iris' blog, stop by for a visit. The beauty will put a smile on your face.

I will be passing this award on to 15 other blogs,

The rules for accepting this wonderful award are

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted
the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you have newly discovered.

Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know that they have been chosen for this wonderful award.

Here are the 15 blogs I have chosen to receive this award.

Please visit the listed blogs to see what makes them funny, beautiful, and awe-inspiring

A Little Holiday Weekend Fun

A lot of us will be gathered around the BBQ grills and fire pits this weekend so here's a new twist on S'mores:

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup S'mores

A little quick & easy recipe for those summer nights around the fire pits. Take 2 graham cracker squares and set them aside on a plate/napkin. Take a regular sized (not miniature, not large) Reese's Peanut Butter cup, peel open and place on one of the graham crackers. Heat up a marshmallow on a stick over the fire (only w/careful adult supervision), and once it is heated like you like it, place the marshmallow on top of the peanut butter cup, press the 2nd cracker on top, squash down and pull out the marshmallow stick. If you can't wait until a real fire, you can place the marshmallow on top of one cracker in the microwave. It only take a few seconds on high for it to puff up, then place peanut butter cup on top of the marshmallow, then the other cracker and squash.

SOURCE: Make A List Newsletter

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Growing Love

Hello friends,

I have not fallen off the face of the earth, I promise. I've merely been busy with finals prep, the house, and the gardens. I wish I could say crochet as well but the hooks will be coming out this weekend!!!!!

I planted and transplanted hostas and ferns, trimmed the bushes in the front a bit and will be more ruthless this weekend when I have more time, moved some irises, cleared an area by the curb and put some of the seed balls and zinnia seeds down there.

Last year the neighborhood kids cut all of the irises the same day they bloomed. This year, I'm planting something that they can cut and take to lol!!! I remember all too well wanting to pick a flower in my grandmother's gardens and her getting bent out of shape. I don't care if they pick one or two of the irises, but leave me a few to enjoy!!! So I'll be moving those closer to the house.

I still have the striped grass to plant and cannas to get into the ground but I'll save the cannas for this weekend since the area they go into requires a bit of amending the soil.

I got an 83% on the chapter final today which makes me pretty proud given how much I've struggled.

My next big crochet project is to try to replicate the center of this casino rug in the form of a wall hanging. I think it could be done by using a round ripple pattern (which I've never done before) and making heart motifs to attach in each corner and then devising a border. I'm going to attempt anyway. If any of you crocheters out there have suggestions for me, I'd love to hear them! In the meantime, I have a baby blanket, scarf, and afghan to finish.

We'll be painting the dining room this weekend, working in the gardens, grilling out, enjoying friends, and just hanging out. I'll post pics here once the painting is done. I want to put borders up but haven't yet found what I want - I'm looking for something that will give a tea room feel, even something with teacups in the design. I thought Mary Engelbreit had a wallpaper line, but all I can find are the wallies and not many of those. I'm open for suggestions if you know any good wallpaper vendors.

That's what I've been up to. What about you??

Friday, May 15, 2009

Video Tip For Retrieving Something You Dropped Down the Sink

This is one of those tips you wish you had known about before you took the sink apart or called the plumber!!!!!

It is a great tip and it saves much better can it get?!
WWW.familyhack. Com/2007/ 08/29/drain- tip

The site looks pretty interesting too.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Is Anyone Listening

I think sometimes in our hurried worried we forget to listen both to the things being said and the things left unsaid. Perhaps we should learn to listen with our hearts as well as our ears.

"Is Anyone Listening?"
By Bob Perks

"How are you today?"
"I'm fine, how are you?"
"I'm not so good today."


Most of the time we take conversations like this
as simple chit-chat. Nice words spoken as a
courtesy without real concern or obligation.

"How are you today?" he asks the next person.
"I'm doing great! How are you?"
"I've been better," he replied.

He rings up the sale, hands her the bag and
she leaves.

The next person moves up, "How are you today?"
"I'm doing fine," she said. But she never asked
him. I could see this empty look on his face.

I was in a local discount dollar store. I
was looking for wrapping paper which was
located near the front register.

Over and over I heard the same conversation
as customers were leaving the store.
No one took the next step. No one asked the
clerk why he was having such a bad day.

In my presentations I often speak about the
fact that in general we go through these
niceties but we really don't want to know
how someone is doing. Most times we don't
really tell the truth anyway because we
figure it's none of their business or
no one really cares about our troubles.

So, when I checked out I took it a step
further. I always do.

"How are you today?" he asked me.
"Wonderful, thanks. How are you?"
"Not doing well today," he replied.
"Work getting to you?"
"No, well, I don't want to be here."
"The day's almost over. I hope it gets better,"
I told him.
"This won't get any better."
"I'll say a prayer for you."
"That won't help. I have someone who is dying."

I set the bag on the counter, leaned in and
said, "I'm so very sorry. Is it a family member?"
"My grandfather. He's filling up with fluid.
His body is swollen and they say he only has
a few days."

I went on to tell him that my Gramps was my
favorite. "I really loved that man."
"He's my last grandparent," he added.

We talked a little more and looking at his
name tag, I reached my hand out and said,
"Clark, I am so very sorry. I promise to
remember you and your grandfather in my

We shook hands and I left.
I wondered how many other people didn't ask.
How many times have you heard someone express
sadness, frustration or disappointment and
you didn't respond.

Sure, the line might be long. Step aside and continue
the conversation.

Sure, you might be in a hurry. This will only take
a few minutes.

Sure, in essence you might not really care. You'll
need someone to care one day, too.

But when someone is honest enough to tell you
things aren't so good today, they are hoping
that someone cares enough to ask why.
"Is anyone listening?"
Bob Perks
I encourage you to share my stories but
I do ask that you keep my name and contact
information with my work.

If you would like to receive Bob's Inspirational
stories, please visit

and submit your email address.
"I Wish You enough!"
© 2001 Bob Perks
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear
much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Thoughts

Ok gang,

Today is the day that we honor mothers of all types - foster moms, stepmoms, good old moms, mothers-in-law, grandmothers, and those who stepped in and acted as mom when we needed ours and she wasn't around.

I've been considering what really makes a person a mother, biological or otherwise. There is only one word - love. The worry, caring, nurturing, taxi services, counseling, and understanding, and sacrifice can only be described with that word.

My own relationship with my mother was difficult and she was mostly absent from my life but I truly believe that when she had my grandparents raise me, it was a decision born of love.
When I think of my mom now that I'm older and can better understand some of the choices made, I'm grateful that she didn't raise me because I don't believe that I would have been the admirable person you know now. My mom was a bit mentally challenged and an alcoholic; she could barely handle herself, much less a child. When my brothers came along, she was in a different place - no longer a single mother, older, presumably wiser. I realize that she was closer to my brothers because it's easier to be closer to those you have custody of. I was remote in her mind. It remained that way until she died. I always wanted a close relationship with a mother figure but eventually came to realize that I could want her to be MOM all I wanted, but she was not capable of that so I just had to settle for being acquaintances.

My grandmother, while not a touchy feely kind of grandma showed love in a myriad of ways: Teaching me to crochet, cook, garden, fostering a love for music and singing in me that carry me to this day.
My grandmother was always there: caring, nurturing as best she knew having come from a dysfunctional family herself. She taught me manners, cooking, how to excel and reach goals, a love for beauty, music, flowers, and how to create a sense of home. She WAS home. The thing I needed most, though, she couldn't give: She couldn't tell me that she was proud of me. I so need to hear that the person I am today would have made her proud and there's no one to tell me that. That's the thing that's really getting to me today.

While I'm not a mother myself, I do try to offer guidance and love to underprivileged kids because if I don't, who will? Children need to know they matter and while it is best that their parents let them know, that isn't always possible. So hug a child today and if mom is around, give her a hug too.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Parading Around

Good morning friends,

Well today is the day! David and I are walking in the Florence Days parade. Throughout the summer, many of the historic neighborhood have a festival and some also have parades. We have gone to the parade many, many times but this is our first time walking in it. It should be fun!!!

Here's a picture of the float; the white things at either side are supposed to be hands (yes I had to ask!!!). It was a ball and the parade lasted 2 hours so I'm a little weary now. . .

That may very well count for my exercise today; I do have a couple of hostas to get into the ground but that will depend on how much energy I have when I get back.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cleaning the BBQ Grill

Yes I know this isn't a cooking tip or a weight loss tip per se, but since grilling is a healthy way to prepare food I thought I'd pass along this tip for an easy way to clean the BBQ grill:

Cleaning the Barbecue Grill

Use a large heavy-duty plastic garbage bag.
Put in the grill's grate with 1/4 cup of ammonia
and tie it shut.

Let sit overnight and the crud
will have been softened.

Crumple up aluminum foil
and rub off the debris.

Wash grate in soapy dish water, rinse, and you're ready to go!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stock Up For Illnesses

In light of the various different flus, noroviruses, and the occasional bouts of eating something that doesn't agree with us, I thought this tip from the Make A List newsletter was worth passing along:

We're taking time out from a regular recipe this week, to make some suggestions for things you should have around the house at all times, in case of illness. Because, let's face it, if you're at home alone, there may not be anyone to run to the store for you if you get sick, and you may not feel like doing it. Or if you are caring for someone who is ill, you may not want to leave them to run to the store. So make sure someone has a key to your home in case of emergencies, but also keep those favorites on hand that you like to have when you are sick. Here are some possible ideas to get you started...soup (esp. chicken soups and preferably in the ready to heat/eat cans), pudding (esp. fat free), crackers (or if you are watching your calories try fat free pretzels), bread for toast (can be stored in the freezer for longer storage), applesauce, raisins, prunes, heat & eat rice, ginger ale (canned), your favorite immune system boosting herbs (some people like to take extra C, Echinacea, or Elderberry), hard candies or better yet the vitamin C lozenges, Cold Eeze lozenges, Cough-Gels, Tylenol, tissues, popsicles, jello (ready to eat), pineapple juice (for sore throats), salt for salt water throat gargle.

Many illnesses strike without warning, and you may not have time to go later. If you start feeling sick and can get to the store before it hits you full force, you might want to get bananas, grapes, and lettuce too. POST IT...on your shopping list, and on the inside of your medicine cabinet.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I hope the morning light finds you well-rested and in good spirits.

Well the "hill to kill" is slowly getting tamed. The unfamiliar should know a few things about the "hill to kill". The hill is 30 feet long, 2 -1/2 feet wide and a 6 ft. drop onto the neighbor's driveway if you lose your footing. So we decided a couple of years to fill that side in with ground covers, etc and naturalize it so we don't have to mow it (eventually). So following that plan, last weekend's purchases are mostly for that hill.

We got all of the flowers I bought last weekend planted and the hill to kill is shaping up. I put the pansies and petunias along the steps that go down the hill and the lisianthus, alstilbe, sage, etc around it. The lilies I planted last year are really taking off which is awesome!!! The violets are really taking off on the hill and are looking soooooooo pretty-see!!!!

I saw the ferns and hostas peeking up a bit. The columbine went in the back yard around the tree and the hen and chicks and moss roses went into the rock garden in the back. Landscaping is slowwwwllllly shaping up. The balloon flowers are kind of hanging out and hopefully will take off well; I bought some bluish/lavender ones.

I want to get more hostas, columbine, and lilies of the valley for the back yard along the fence line. My peonies I got last year from my friends are budding!!! I can hardly wait!!!!

I want to try my hand at container gardening and plant some calla lilies. They are soooooooooo pretty.

The tutoring candidate comes by today at 5 and we'll see how it goes. I hope we communicate fairly well because I'd like to understand the remaining concepts this quarter and have continuity of tutoring set up for next quarter.

Tomorrow after church I'm heading to the garden center again and picking up some potting soil, spray weed and feed, grub and snail kill, and hopefully, an electric hedge trimmer. I want to rent a tiller so I can tear up the area out by the curb and plant flower seeds in it without doing the back breaking digging. My knee is quite cranky today!!!!