Friendly Scarecrow, Numbers 2 and 3

I have already posted Friendly Scarecrow No. 1 awhile back.  I am trying to do a series of 4 pictures because that is what the art licensing companies look for.  Now, I just have one more to go.  But for now, here is 2 and 3.  And yes, it has been kind of time-consuming, but worth it.  Hope you like these guys!






Watercolor Picture, Friendly Scarecrow

Well, I finally went back to doing watercolor.  I have been away from it for some time, and I love the way they look.  The colors are so bright and you can be rather spontaneous with them as well.  I love pastels and colored pencil, but this just seemed like a lot of fun for me. And it was like riding a bike, it all came back to me…and believe me I was scared!

Now I want to do a series of this little guy and see how they look.  Everyone around here that has seen this picture has loved it so far.  I hope you like this little guy, because I guarantee there will be more to follow. 🙂

Friendly Scarecrow



Another Trip to Pennsylvania

Amish Buggy

Amish Family

The freaky 111 door

Well, my family and I came back last Saturday from a week in Lancaster, Pa.  We stayed at the Bird-In-Hand Family Inn, like we have done may times before.  As many times as we have gone, we always see something new and still love the familiar things as well.  It’s like home away from home.

We’ve been coming to Pa. now since the kids were small, and my husband and I, even before that.  I guess in total, about 25 years.  We would skip some years in between, but this last time was the longest stretch yet.  We went last in 2005, so it was 5 years we hadn’t gone-and it killed me.  There was too much going on with school and such, and the kids had lost interest , as they were now in their teen years.  But just last year, the kids started saying they missed it and wanted to go back.  I put it together,  the kids got their work schedules figured out, and we all went together. It was great.

Just to see what has changed and what hasn’t, was interesting enough.  Also, the Amish family (Christ and Katie Stoltzfus) we had made friends with since our first visit there,  had lost their granddaughter in the Nickel Mines shooting in 2006, and I hadn’t seen them since that time.  When we went to their farm(I wrote Katie and her family that we were coming), I didn’t know what to expect.  She turned and saw me as I entered her quilt shop and gave me a hug, and she hadn’t changed a bit.  Her daughter, Kathryn, who became pen pals with my daughters, was now 20 years old. We knew her  since she was 12 or 13.  Over the years, we went to her school and were guests, gone to dinner with the family, and even had dinner in their home. It was so nice and they were very friendly.  I was hoping the shooting didn’t change things.  Katie seemed to study me a lot more when I talked, but she was the same.  She had put together a cookbook and had a memorial made in  the back of the book for the kids who died.  So sad.  It is a very nice cookbook.

Other than that, we took nightly rides around the farms and looked at the beautiful scenery. Enjoyed the beauty and the quiet of the landscape.  Went to Hershey’s Chocolate World and did the usual Chocolate Ride Tour, and of course our mouths watered for a piece of chocolate at the end of the tour. We went to the Hershey Museum this time and that was interesting-and you’re not going to believe this-but I wrote a post regarding seeing the number 111 everywhere.(Check out that post) Well, on the trip, we parked next to cars with license plate numbers that read 111, there was a license plate in an antique store there that read 111-all small random stuff.  But in that museum they had a door encased in a glass box that had the number 111 right on it. My daughter freaked and she dragged me over there.  That was so freaky.  It was supposed to be the original door to the building on that spot “111 Chocolate Avenue” or something.

Then it was eat and eat and eat-all that great food.  And then buy, buy,buy all the country stuff I could, because it all costs double back home. Then drive around and try to steal some pictures of the Amish without them seeing me.  I take the pics through my windshield, then fix them up in iphoto when I get home.  All in all , it was a great trip.  The kids enjoyed it as well.  Kelsey, my 15-year-old, is like me.  She enjoys the quiet and the friendliness-and lets not forget the animals, which are in abundance over there, too!

I’d do it again tomorrow if I could….but I just may have to wait  another year.  Maybe I’ll invest in a vacation home instead…..hmmmmmm.:)

Amish Couple

Remembrances of My Father

I would like to talk about what I remember most about my dad.  He died in September 1999 from complications from lung cancer, but I still believe it was part loneliness from missing my mom, who died in 1993.  He was devastated.

Anyway, in continuing my posts about people from my past who were “characters” in their own way, each having real unique qualities about them, I would like to honor my father with special remembrances of him.

My Dad

-I’ll always remember his big bulky sweaters and brightly, colored shirts. He always looked neat and sharp.

-His wavy dark hair that had a widow’s peak in the front and his great smelling after-shave cologne.

-Every Friday, he’d stop by my house from work in his Woodlawn Laundry truck.  Patrick, then about 7-8  years old, and Caitlin 5 – 6, thought this was the greatest.  Sometimes they would go out to the truck before he’d leave and let the kids up in the driver’s seat and look around the truck.

When he would come over, he would walk in his quick way and bound up the sidewalk and up to the front door.  The kids would be in the window waiting, watching from the couch.  They would knock to him from the window and he’d laugh.  I loved to see him laugh. “Hullo!” he’d say. When he came in, and after making a big deal about the kids, he would talk of “The Old Fart’s Club”(a group of older men he’d hang around with) and playing ping-pong amongst other small talk, all in about 1-2 hours.

-I loved his quick wit and sense of humor, and I’d like to think I’ve acquired this from him.  So has Caitlin.

-His thick furry “Russian hats” he’d wear in the winter time.

– Dad laying on the couch after work when I lived at home. Our pug dog would lay with him s he read his paper. His baby.

-The way he would bust up my mother at the supper table by asking her “where’s the butt?”(butter), while she was busy getting everything else. He’d give us a wink to know he was teasing her.

-as it got close to the 4th of July, my father would acquire  all kinds of fireworks, “from work” he’d tell us.  We were always excited to see them all and he would always get in trouble by the police after he set off a few.

-he’d come down every morning and let out a tired sigh, and keep it up until you could’nt stand it any longer and you said,”Will you shut-up!” He thought he was so funny!

-Narragansett beer

-Lucky Strike cigarettes

_the large wad of cash he’d have in his  pants pocket.  I grew up thinking I was rich. Turns out, it was just the laundry’s money he was carrying. Shoot!!!

-he loved morning glories and had them growing up the  front porch every spring.  They were beautiful.

-he had the best grass in town.  He loved taking care of his lawn, and it looked like a lush, green carpet.

– At Christmastime, helping him open up all his christmas bonuses from all of his Woodlawn customers

-his workbag on the floor

-the way he always hugged us and said he loved us

-his vast collection of toilet paper and paper towels.  He bought them weekly even if he didn’t need them

-his favorite-chicken salad on a roll

-how he changed after mom died.  I always told him I couldn’t picture him going first, because we wouldn’t have known him like we had.  We definitely got closer to him because of this, which I’ll never regret.

He was a very loving,sweet,sensitive and humorous man whom everyone loved to be with.

Love you and miss you Dad.<3


Mom and Dad together

The Amish

To know me is to know I love anything to do with the Amish.  For more than 10 years my family has traveled to Lancaster, Pa and stayed for 6 days at a time… never wanting to leave.  It is peaceful and serene. The countryside…breathtaking.  I always thought I wanted to move to the country when I got older.  But country in RI is to be in the middle of nowhere and placed in the middle of hills and tall pine trees.  You cannot see the horizon as you can in PA.  There are a couple of main roads with traffic and lights, but you can take a side road, and  suddenly you are in the middle of paradise.

Every time we go there, we take a side road and travel up a distance until we are in the middle of never-ending farms.  We shut off the car, and you hear nothing!  Look up ! There are no wires over your head.  It’s so quiet, you can hear the rustling of the grass and  towering cornstalks.  The many meadow butterflies flit close to the ground, and  in the fields,there are cows grazing at every turn.  It’s beautiful.

What adds to the already peaceful and serene setting are the Amish people who ride back and forth in their black and grey buggies. They are pulled by sleek, brown horses.  The sound of their trotting is like music to me, and I open a window as we pass just to listen. The Amish people are friendly, but quiet.  The women wear bright dresses and heart-shaped bonnets and often go barefoot on hot summer days.  The men seem to never sweat in their heavy, black pants and straw hats.  You have to experience this to completely understand the feeling you have when you are there, and somehow,  you will never want to leave. 

The experience always makes me feel refreshed, and lets me feel I can go on for the rest of the year, until I go back again. As long as I can go back!

Well, it’s been about 6 years since we have gone last, and now even the kids miss it.  We had made close friends with an Amish family there.  They have a quilt shop on their property.  They have  a daughter of Caitlin’s age, and we  have eaten at their home, and  once, they even came out to dinner with us. Kathryn, the amish girl, invited us one year to her school house to meet everyone.  We went (at first hesitated) and realized “we” were the one’s being stared at and whispered about.  But they gave us gifts and asked questions and were so friendly.  I’m so glad we went.  We will never forget the experience.

The amish family was sadly one of the families that were affected by that awful Nickel Mines shooting.  Their grandaughter was the 13 year old Marion Fisher, and all I could do was cry.  I have tried to contact them since then with cards and such, with no response.

We are going to try to go this summer as a family again, before everyone here goes their separate ways with work and college, etc. We want to remember the feeling again.  The calmness and just enjoying nature and each other’s company in a less stressed environment. To be childlike again…and  also, just maybe,  we will still find that Kathryn will still be there.  We can only hope!

Amish girl, Kathryn, with cousin maybe 9 years ago