Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Little Things

It's game night here in Kentucky and we take our Monopoly VERY seriously. Okay, maybe not THAT seriously, but I do have to say that I'm really enjoying seeing the kids put down all the electronics to enjoy a little old-fashioned, game night fun just like I did when I was a kid : ) 

Only when I was a kid I don't ever remember being distracted by hot air balloons skirting across the sky. We watched two of them float on past until they dipped down below the tree line and then we headed back inside to our game.   
I've gotten a head start on gardening this year. My pepper plant and strawberry patch are already taking off and summer in finally just around the corner! We have exactly six school days left before summer vacation officially starts : ) and yes, I'm counting down the days! This year has gone by so quickly that it seems like Clay and I have hardly had time to catch our breath. We're really looking forward to summer break and the kids being home, a little R & R, and definitely more game nights just like tonight. It truly is the little things that count... 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Where's The Cure?

It's a good question, isn't it?  amfAR is working hard to find the answer. May 11, 2010–amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, has announced a groundbreaking collaborative effort to pursue HIV eradication.  

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Secret...

                                              Tell people you're a writer, or an AIDS advocate and the response is always a good one. Tell them you make lampshades, and watch their eyes seriously roll to the back of their head. "Lampshades, huh? Oh, that's nice," and they quickly change the subject. I've learned that it's definitely not something to broadcast at cocktail parties, or *clears throat* my blog, for that matter, but today I just figured why not get it off my chest? So here's my confession, "My name is Suzan, and when I'm not writing... I like to make lampshades." *Big sigh* Hey! That felt pretty good. I've even posted a couple pictures of some favorite shades. The one above was made from a silk embroidered Japanese tablecloth I purchased for five bucks on Ebay.

My biggest claim to lampshade fame? A few years ago, I was thrilled to have one of my shades (a little Art-Deco number) place third in a contest and it was later displayed at the American Sewing and Art Expo. I'm especially drawn to period lighting from the twenties and thirties.  After my husband replaces the old wiring I go to work on creating the perfect lamp shade. Sometimes I use antique fabrics and appliques. Each fabric panel is sewn by hand, and just one of these little beauties takes about a month to complete. But the results are always worth it! 

A beautiful floor lamp from the twenties.
Here's the shade I made for it! One of my favorites...

                                    A lampshade in the making : )
The moral of the story? There isn't one...Have fun today and don't forget to give in to your creative passions no matter how quirky they may seem.  

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” — Albert Einstein

Sunday, May 9, 2010

One Lucky Mama ; )

Mother's Day is finally here and I'm one lucky Mama : )  
Last night, we were up late watching Avatar (If you've not seen it yet, you've got really great) well, as soon as midnight hit, the kids declared that it was officially Mother's Day, "Now let the hugs begin!!" Big bear hugs from my babes...that was just the start. This morning they gave me something I really wanted (and shamelessly hinted for), one of those hanging upside down tomato plant things. It's AWESOME. Too heavy to hang on the iron hook they got though, so we got a little creative. 
The ice-storm of 'o9 killed a very big cedar tree in our back yard. Well, we've procrastinated and not cut it down and as it turns out it is perfect for "hanging" things, like colorful bird houses and yes, my new hanging tomato planter. I think I'll add a few "hanging" pepper plants, too. It's still a work in progress, but is turning out to be pretty cool so I'll post pics when I'm all done. 
Now, we're off to do a little grocery shopping for a very sweet, and very special eighty-year-old mom.  She is getting a hanging tomato plant too, BTW.  

When we get back home, I've got a special movie night planned with three awesome kids and one hunky husband. We're going to snuggle on the couch in our PJ's, eat popcorn and watch old movies. I can't wait. Wishing all you mom's (and families) out there a wonderful day filled with lots of love and big bear hugs!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Today is World AIDS Orphans Day

This video is difficult for me to watch, but I think it's important for us to see what HIV anti-viral medicines can do for even the sickest children. I've seen this happen first hand, when my own children where literally brought back to me... I hope you take a moment to watch this miracle.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010


May 7th is World AIDS Orphans Day. It's hard to comprehend the numbers, but it's estimated that there are currently 15 million children worldwide orphaned by AIDS. Those numbers are expected to jump to a staggering 20 million by the year 2010. As daunting as this crisis is we are continuing to make strides in the right direction. There is no greater gift for these children than the gift of hope. There are a lot of great organizations out there, and they're working hard to help these children survive. The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is just one of them. It's a great place to start.  

My son, Yonas, was an orphan. That's his picture above. It was taken shortly before he came home to America. My son was fortunate in that after he lost his family to AIDS, he was taken in and well cared for by an orphanage for positive kids in Ethiopia called  AHOPE For Children .  Yonas now has a family who loves him dearly, and he has hope for his future. The great news is that many of these children, orphaned and living with HIV, are now being adopted. Hope–it's just a word–until you feel it, and then "hope" becomes a real and powerful thing! To learn more about adoption and what its really like to raise a child with HIV check out my story published in Adoption Today

Yonas on the "green"

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Derby Daze

Hey Ma! What's that up in the sky? Is it a it a plane? 
It's three very cool planes! Ever wonder what folks do in Kentucky for fun? Well, I can't speak for everyone, but I do know that for us Derby week is an absolute blast. Here are just a few highlights from our week that started out with an amazing airshow.
 These fighter jets from WWII were really something to see!
Can't forget the fire-works afterward...
And the balloon races are pretty unforgettable, as is the quest to find the perfect Derby hat... Or not.
And before you know it...
The fastest two-minutes in sports is over, but boy was it ever fun and I can't wait to do it again next year : )