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My Blog

April 2013

April 30

Good morning to everyone.  I am about to put things together this morning to go to Salvation Army.  I am giving a lecture on Tea and it's stories and history.  I love to do Tea Time.  When I think back on the reasons I love tea is due to an Aunt.  When I think about it...her name was Aunt Honey...sort of funny in the sense that you can use honey in your tea.  Growing up, I don't recall having had tea at home, unless we were sick.  We would get tea,honey, lemon and some Rock and Rye.  It may not have cured the cold, but it sure tasted good.  My Aunt Honey marries a man from Oklahoma, a southern state of course...and my Uncle Bob loved sweet tea.  My Aunt Honey always had a pitcher of that delightful drink in the house.  I became a huge fan of iced tea from the first drink.  As time went by, my grandmother had the most beautiful teapot that she displayed on a corner shelf just beyond where she would sit in the kitchen on her rocking chair.  Somehow, that teapot and my Grandmother became synonymous with each other.  I had always told her someday, the one thing I would love to have of hers was tat teapot with the pink roses on it.  The day my Grandma passed away, my mother handed me that teapot and said that Grandma wanted her o make sure that I got it.  That was my treasure and I would display it where I could always look at it...it made me feel like Grandma was still there with me. Well, from that teapot grew a collection.  I now have well over 160 different teapots.  I love them each for their distinct personalities.  I have floral ones, holiday ones, vintage ones, funny ones and character ones. I display them all to probably the chagrin of my husband.  And they are not JUST on display.  I use them as well.  Grandma's is still my favorite, and each time I walk into my dining room and see that teapot, it makes e smile and think of Grandma rocking in her chair.  From that point on I also started to learn about tea, tea parties and medicinal teas.  Grandma taught me so many things in life...even when she wasn't even trying.  thanks Grandma...I hope that I will be able to do justice with those I share my stories with, my cups of tea with and especially my tea pot collection....whichb y the way, is still growing.  Hope you have a "tea"riffic Day.  

April 29

Good day to all my logging friends in caber world. I have to share how wonderful today feels.  I have spent 4 days with an amazing younger friend.  She wanted to learn all he crafts that I have through the years managed to do....from sewing to crocheting, to theater and even soap making.  She wanted to learn all the crafty, homespun things that I do so that she will be able to make and share.  Was a little funny when she came to realize that the art of making can sometimes be costly.  She was taken back a bit on how much the fabrics and warm and natural filler cost to make a throw.  She learned well at the sewing machine.  Was frightened...perhaps more intimidated at first...but did a fine job.  Was amazed at the tools I had that make the measuring and  cutting so much easier.  I went through the steps of what each of the function of her machine would do and how it does it.  We cut fabrics, pinned it together.  Laughed, listened to bird music and drums and flutes and drank tea.  We shared stories, laughter and some tears.  She is making a rag quit.  She told me that at one point, she would like to collaborate on a project with me so that we would both be in the project.  What an honor to be loved like that!   Although, all that we do together already has us both in it!  We sat in the sun over the weekend, crocheted while our feet were up on another chair,listened to the birds chirping away in the yard...perhaps they may have been asking us to leave their haven where I feed them, or perhaps thanking me because I feed them.  Which ever the case, as the sun caressed our faces we carried on in conversations about years gone by and experiences shared.  It reminded me of being on the front porch with my Grandmother.  Perhaps she never realized how wonderful those moments were...at least to me and the treasures that are hidden in my heart that I am able to share from time to time.  We watched my saved copies of The Bible that was recently aired on TV and shared a bit of in depth observations with each other.  We talked about whether like is as it is meant to be..and why.  We met because of a mutual person who no longer is in my life, and yet my young friend and I have stayed forever friends.  We are the kindred spirits that live many miles apart....but remain always in each others hearts.  She was a blessing to me at a time in my life when I lost someone very dear.  A gift from God.  I am so grateful to have her in my life.  She will never replace who I lost, but filled the emptiness that was left and I am so blessed.  I am blessed to know that what my hands and mind can share...she is open and ready to absorb like a sponge. The nicest thing about that is that she will carry it and pay it forward.  As I feel I pay it forward and carry on the lesson and crafts from my grandmother and mother...so will she.  To whoever she will me.  What better testimony can one have in life.  No matter how rocky the road is that we travel, we must learn that the trip may be rouh...but the ending place is so unbelievable grand!  Each day that I have to spend on this earth, I cherish all the people in my life, I miss all the ones who have move on.  For each has taught me a great lesson in one way or another.  I am so rich in knowing that I have been so blessed.  Those rocky roads have taught we to wear heavier shoes...to walk at a different pace and to keep my eye on the end result.  I hope that you take the opportunities given each day as a blessing.  whether they are hard or easy....they re all there for a reason...not just by chance.  Embrace life, embrace your loved ones, embrace who is given to you and love they neighbor as you love thyself.      

April 27

What a beautiful day!  How nice to open your eyes in the morning and see the sun shining and hear the birds chirping.   Looking forward to having a fun day.  Going to shop for yarns ad fabrics and spend some time crocheting on the patio. 
Last night I took the Red Hat ladies to see an American Italian Reconciliation at Harper college in Palatine.  What a funny production. The cast did a great job.  It touched the heart.  If you live in the area...would be a nice show to see.
Really about how you cannot more with love when you heart has not had the strings cut from a previous  relationship.  How true that is with any relationship.  Resolution...that is the key. If you don't let go of the past, you never really can have a future.  It the past is placed in a resting place, then and only then can you begin again.  I believe this applies to all aspects of all relationships...sometimes we need to look closely at the things we hold on to.  It speaks volumes about what is going on in our life.  The windows and door need to open before we can truly clear out the house...same goes for our souls. 

April 26th

Well, today is bright and sunny and not too cold.  Fine day for being out doors.  I washed out all of my lawn furniture pillows with some homemade laundry soap.  That stuff is amazing.  When I was a child, My grandmother used to make it and use it all the time.  I have no idea why I stopped using it long ago...but fear not, I am back.  I made the detergent with Fels Naphta (my Grandma used to call it Dog soap...Think because she used it to bathe the dogs as well..) Washing soda and borax...added Hot water whipped and done.  I used it in hot water in a bucket and scrubbed...then hung them out to dry on the laundry line.  Bet that is not a statement too many hear these days. Most of the new generation probably don't know hat a laundry line is.  I have to laugh.  I have a pole in the ground tat I insert the laundry line...it opens up like an upside down umbrella.  I use the same one on a traveling pole for when I do my Hankie program for storytelling.  It will hold a minimum of 110 handkerchiefs...sometimes more...depending on the size of the hankies I take to talk about.  Hankies....remember those?  No one would even think of leaving home without one.  In fact, in my day we carried two, one for show and one for blow.  I love  this time of the year...my hankie program is pretty popular for mothers day and teas...although I have plenty of hankies and stories that would interest men as well...lots from the war times. 
Speaking of War time...if any of my readers out there are interested in helping an old girl like me.  I would love to get some interviews from some of you soldiers.  Any stories you feel you could share.  That means men or women soldiers from any of the wars.  I am putting together a Memorial Day program and would love to be able to cover all the wars past and present.  If you don't want to post it openly, but care to share your story, please email me at thestoryspinners@att.net  I will promise to keep it anonymous if you like forgive you credit if that is alright as well.  It's just around the corner and it would be useful for the 4th of July as well.  Memorial Day s a way to thank the millions who have fought for the precious freedom and for our flag: Please consider sharing. 
Well, the last thing I am sharing is today is my granddaughter's 17th Birthday....Happy birthday my sweet girl.  Having you in my life and sharing special moments with you.  I hope your day is as precious and wonderful as you are.

Ark Time

It seems that Global warning is giving us a MAJOR warning these days.  As I sit and watch the devastation going on with the down pouring of rain here in the Chicago area...I cannot believe how much needed rain can cause such devastation.  Where is all this water going to go?  I have seen a huge sink hole that took in 3 cars on the south side of Chicago, people are stuck in their cars for 6 hours on the expressways, and one area near me on the expressway has reported water over 7 ft. high.  I am very fortunate to only have some seepage.  Thank God.  I live right of the Chicago River, but on the high end.  I am sure others on the low side are in major trouble and flooding.   With Earth day around the corner it must bring to mind how much of global warning is to blame.    All I can think is that as much horror as this has brought..that it isn't snow.  Funny how people would stay home is this was snow, but ventured out in this mess.  The reservoirs are filled with billions of gallons of water and where is this all to go?  Maybe we are getting a message to build an ark?   They closed Brookfield zoo..maybe Noah is loading his passengers as I type. There is  109 miles of our deep tunnel and it is full of water to its capacity.   Amazing amounts of water.  Boats are being rowed down the streets in a suburb called Elmhurst.  We are nearing 7 inches of rain.  This coming after the devastation in Boston.  One disaster after another.  We go to bed, say a prayer, wait for the morning sun to rise to a new day.  But the most recent days have been in gloom and despair for many.  All I can say today is I pray for safety for all those who are affected and that we all take to heart how what we do on a daily basis affects what happens tomorrow.   


Well, good morning to all my friends.  I must begin today off with continued blessings on all those who have been affected by the terrible bomb incidents in Boston.  My heart goes out to all of those who have been affected by this disaster whether they were present there or not.  What a horrible thing do have happened. I am sorry for all those who are suffering and all of those who have lost someone. 
Hard to even know where to begin after that, but I wanted to address storytelling today.  I have been storytelling for quite some time and am amazed continuously how many are unaware of the diversity of the art.  Most of the public view it as something you do just for children.  It is both my pleasure to tell to children as well as to adults.  I often will look into the audience when it is a performance for children and see the ADULTS hooked on every word.  I think that the world sometimes is so caught up in the RUSH of life that they forget to sit down, sit back, listen, and enjoy.  In today's world, so many are on the run!They have their kids on the run!  Everyone is either in an organized activity or in front of some type of machinery.  Ex: tv, computer, Nintendo, Wii, etc.  I have seen people in restaurants....each with phones in their hands talking away and hardly any words are exchanged across the table from each other??  It is no wonder I was so opposed to my children getting pages or cell phones when they were young.   There is so much to life that is being missed by having to be on call....so to speak....24 hours a day.  I like the idea of taking a walk in solitude.  I like the idea of an uninterrupted lunch with a friend.  Sharing and caring.  Stories are the same.  hey engage you into a world of it's own.  It will teach messages of strength, endurance, sorrow, loss, fun, joy....LIFE.  There is laughter...for all ages.  I tell many stories for adults that each person in the audience can identify with.  We ALL tell stories every day of our lives.  It seems to me though, that  todays sharing is dwindling.  We need to educate ourselves better an try to remember and pass things along. 
I was just telling some of the Alzheimer patients that I teach art to about my story of the CATALPA tree.  The story happened on my front porch during a summers day.  We would have dinner, do the dishes and go to sit on the front porch.  Sometimes my Grandmother and I would stitch or crochet...mostly on pillowcases and my Grandfather would rock and smoke his White Owl Cigar.  One day, I asked him why he didn't have any hair....this was long before having your hair shaved off as a style became popular.  He began to tell me about th Owl that lived in the Big old Catalpa tree in front of the house. This is where he shares his story of loosing his hair.  I won't continue the story here because it is just an example of telling.  You'll have to come out and listen or wait for it to be published.   The point of this is that telling and sharing brought out so many memories for those lovely ladies.  They began to share stories of a catalpa tree or other trees. It made for a lovely afternoon. 
Think back,share your stories.  Share your parents, grandparents aunt an or uncle stories.  Camping days, days at the beach.  But most of all....continue to make new stories for you children and grandchildren to tell.  Take the time to sit and talk.  Build a fire, sit around, relax and share a ghost story or two.  I find   that almost all ages love ghost stories and there are so many to tell.  I love telling the silly ones that start off scary for the kids and end up with them laughing.  Great for young audiences....but I Love telling stories that have you by the seat of your pants.  I loved it once when I told ghost stories for adults that later, on a separate event, one woman came up and told me she was so nervous after the stories she kept an eye on the space behind her walking to her car.  There are even ghost stories that actually can bring tears to ones eyes. 
So my challenge for you today is to go and tell a story...any story to someone....anyone.  See how that feels.  Share a past, make a present.  And feel free to share it here.   Tell me a story.

Eath Day Approaching

Good Morning.  Funny how when I was growing up there was no such thing as Earth Day....at least to my knowledge.  Now we celebrate a day honoring the Earth.  Hmmm....I of course think this is a good thing.  Although to make this a holiday, you would think that somehow there would be more mandates on how to keep the Earth safe.  What most don't or won't realize is the ways that we as individuals are messing up the earth with our inconsequential acts.  When I look back in time...we never had some of things that we have today.  For instance...al the fast food places.  How many times a day have you used a cup from a coffee house, including it's cover?  How many straws and paper coverings over a straw have you used?  How many wrappers and styrafoam take home containers?  This alone is mind boggling.   And then there are all the products we use. They are not only damaging the earth, but us as well. We seem to be such an educated generation with all our degrees, yet we are so unaware of what we surround ourselves with.  I am highly allergic to chemical scents...thank God.  Because when I see what the chemicals that are in items do to you, I am grateful!  All those aresoles that freshen up the air in the home..contain chemicals that can damage your nervous systems, are full of carcinagens,reduces pulmonary function, etc. Boy, that really freshens things up not doesn't it.  There may have been things that our grandparenets may have used or done...that may have caused a problem to the earth, but by a much smaller margin...and they didn't have the education or the technology that we do.  Time to wake up.  The GMO's in our food are destroying us...and we don't even know they are there.  That is a sad state  for such an educated generation.  When you walk past a forest...have you taken time to notice how many trees are down.  I don't remember this growing up.  You had an occasional tree down from lightening...so what's happened? Are you aware that you are not supposed to throw batteries in the garbage?  So where do they go?  Do yo know?  Do you know what happened to all the batteries in all the years that got thrown in the garbage did for the earth and us?  It leached into our earth and then into our water system and so now...we drink water that contains lead, mercury, arsenic.  Doesn't that make for a tasty drink? The medical field is putting more and more drugs on he market...and they are giving us the side effects with them...reallly?? I think this way when it kills us they can have a clear conscience.  Because then they can say, well we warned you!  Drugs kill...one way or another.  The build up of these chemicals in our system are toxic.  We need to cleanse and re cleanse.  And all the productions of plastics.  Anyone know how toxic those fumes are?  And yet we drink out of them continuously.  Remember mom and or dad using any of that?  Remember going on a road trip and mom fixing a picnic basket with fruit, cuts of cheese and  themous' of coffee or juice.  Maybe even a hard boiled egg or two.  I remember going to the lakes when we were young.  Bacon and eggs on the grill, hamburgers...fried chicken homemade potato salad, coleslaw in heavy, take home containers that had to be washed.  There were no paper plates, nor were there styrafoam or solo cups.  There were the traveling dinnerware that all went home to be washed.  Not even disposable silver.  Was it more work???Sure it was!!  Were we better off then...Sure we were!!  Did we have as much fun?  Well I guess you can answer that for yourself.  i remember going to the lakes...."Phil's Beach"  in wauconda.  It had a great target in the middle of the lake that you swam out to and then climbed the ladder and dropped down on the target and held on for dear life and people below spun the target.  Eventually yo slid off into the water...there was also a barrel that you climbed up a ladder and got on and started to walk while the barrel spun...eventually you would loose control and fall into the water...oh the hours of fun...and then the world became SUE crazy and that all eventually came to an end.  I remember the old days with fond memories.  When families enjoyed the simple things in life.  Times have changed for sure.  I remember my Grandma using coffee grounds, tea leaves, egg shells, potato skins for gardening not for trash.  We threw away all our natural resources. We use countless plastic bags for shopping and then think we are being smart when we reuse with another purpose and then throw them away.  Really?
Well, anyway, here is my final statement...take a look and what life is for you today.  What can YOU do to make things better?  What can you teach you friends or children about what to do to make our earth healthier?  I an performing for Earth Day in the upcoming days and try to remember....one tings leads to another....when e get rid of one resource...the trickle down theory takes effect and we rid ourselves of much more than meets the eye.  Take a moment and look at your part.  Our Earth was a GIFT....let's keep it in the PRESENT

April 6th

Well, I haven't been blogging for many reasons...far too many t get into on a blog, but found it necessary to return.  I had hoped that the word a day would pose to be of more interest and would get feed backs.  Unfortunately, not as many as I had hoped, but the ones I did receive were wonderful and thank you to those who did. 
As life moves a forges forward, so do I.  I have become more and more involved in researching stories with some very interesting challenges by those that hire me.  I am the type of storyteller that takes on all challenges...and I must say some have been challenging...to say the least.  I have finished putting together a program called "Puttin on the Ritz" and it was most interesting.  I am amazed at the facts around the Ritz.  The audience loved it and hope that this will be a program that will be well received by more.  I also just did the Space Race and covered the Cold War and the Fallout Shelters.  Indeed, if you only knew how many hours went into this program.  I found myself overwhelmed at first and then, once I found my fall out shelter pamplet...I went crazy from there.  I couldn't imagine the space needed just for the provisions.  Great program and so glad to be able to add this to my list.  I am working of curs with Earth Day and this is one that I love to do..  Paradise?  and then they put up a parking lot!  So much of that happens every single day.  So glad to be able to put this program to use.  Are you throwing any type of battery in the garbage?  If you are, then you are also drinking it and eating it as well.  How's tat for a currant day dinner special?   I try to use visuals to help people understand the magnitude of destruction.  Elephants are one that I use for an example.  You might not understand the "tons" of something...but when I tell you to imagine 20 elephants as a comparable amount...that seems to make the info sink in  bit more.
Mothers Day is around the corner and stories about mother and daughters, tea programs, hanky programs, I am keeping myself busy.  There has been a Civil War slipped in there and am now putting together a program called "Traveling Vaudeville Circus".  I am also working on Annie Oakley.  I cannot wait to be able to do this program.  Life is challenging me and I am happy to take on the challenges. 
Yesterday I went to the Burpee Museum in Rockford Illinois and was enthralled with all the exhibits.  One interesting part was in the Native American section where they had a sign about STORYTELLING.  I took a picture and will post it later.  How important that was for their culture.  It is so important to all cultures.  They never wrote anything down...it is all passed down through their stories.  Stories told over and over again.  Remember being a child and wanting to hear your parents or grandparents tell you the same story over and over..just because you loved it so much!!  Time to not only refresh and reuse and recycle the earth, but also they ways of life.  Storytelling, recycles, reuses, and for Pete's sake....it is refreshing!   have a great day.
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