Skip to content

Archive for

Karen Cleary

Karen Cleary is an artist that lives in Buffalo, NY. She paints some of the most beautiful nature scenes (plaine aire paintings). She has painted some horse scenes for me, picnic, as well as butterfly and hummingbird.

This one is a detail of the painting with two hummingbirds. The hummingbird in the foreground has his tongue out and ready to take in the goodness of the nectar.The bright multitude of colors on the birds are just as iridescent in the painting as they are in real life. This could very well be a window to the garden from any kitchen.  The pink flowers on the tree look as though they are exploding with fragrance. Each branch looks so clear, you just know the sound the branch will make if it is snapped. The leaves on the tree have a such a soft texture to them. The sage green with a tinge of grey invites the viewer to rub the leaves.

Her work is magical!

Happy Saturday!

For your viewing pleasure…

Ancestors of Ours

No matter how often I read the wills, newspaper clippings, and journals of my ancestors the more I appreciate the ancestors of ALL the people that have lived the life they have. So many of our ancestors had it rough. Can you imagine going through life the way our ancestors did so long ago?

The reason I post on Friday about Family is because of all the remarkable lives of our forefathers. Not just my ancestors, but as a collective reflection. I appreciate all the hardships they had to endure. Some went through much more than any one person is suppose to go through. Because of all the sacrifice they had to make I am here today. I owe it not only to my paternal side, but also my maternal. I just don’t get people that only focus on one side ,it took both people to make each of us. 

There are some of my family that I find perplexing. Hazel, would have been my Great Aunt. She was playing with her friend that lived in the Hollow. The girls were playing with matches. Hazel was called to dinner. She put the wooden match that she did not get lit back into the box with all the wooden matches. As she ran up the hill to her little red house with her apron blowing in the wind the match caught fire. The match then caught all the other matches on fire, and shortly there after Hazel was on fire. She was knocked down and rolled in the dirt. Hazel was carried to the house, and put on a bed. Two of the other kids ran to go get the doctor. The doctor showed up and rubbed the little 4 year old body with oil. Which only exacerbates the burns. He did not know that he was causing more damage. Hazel lived 6 days. I can only imagine the kind of pain that she had to go through before her life ended. I am sure listening to your baby sister or your daughter must have felt so helpless.  The kids also lost their mother after the birth of my grandfather Asa.

Another Great, Great Great grandfather had to walk the trial of tears with his daughter. He was never considered a citizen, and less of a human being. If it was found out that the two were married they would lose custody of their children. Actually Sarah had to give her children to the state of Virginia more than once because the State suspected that she was harboring an Indian. Her brother would end up with the children, so she could see them. Since he had to leave the two of them thought it was best to take one of the girls with him since she looked TOO Indian to live among the WHITE people. The information I know about them is a beautiful story.

There are so many stories that I want to share with the world about my family. I would love to find out someday that some of the memory they once had is somehow passed on to us. A little bit of their lives are passed on to us.

Finding more about each of them really allows the core of my being become known to me. For me to share with the rest of the world. What is it that you would like to find out about your ancestors?

Planning Restoration

When I was planning our bathroom restoration I wanted to make a little reminder of what I liked, and where I could find said items. I made this on Printmaker software. This allowed me to have the vision and on the back I included the websites, product #’s, anything that helped me find the items again and fast.

You can do one yourself too. Here is what mine looked like in 08

Screen Saver

When I go to the grocery store I want to make the most of it. I always buy myself a beautiful bunch of fresh flowers. This flower I had to photograph. It is share worthy, and it is now my screensaver until I get bored with it.


Using just plain stationery, you know the BLAH emails you get. Well, I can’t stand them. When I got my first Apple I don’t know if there was any great stationery, but by the 2007 it was even on mail. Oh, I just love it. I really had to have more. I went to MACWORLD, I can’t even think about it without almost peeing my pants. It really is so exciting. If you love all things Mac, this is a place that is unforgettable! Imagine if you will…Disneyland for adult Mac Geeks.

Oops! I got a little sidetracked.

My favorite stationery is by a company called equinux Just a click and the background is changed from one color to many other colors. There are birthday cards to tv cards. Telling your friends your new iphone # just got a lot fancier and more sophisticated. If you get it on your Mac you also have to have it on your iPad, and iPhone. No more sorry, sloppy plain text. Get with it! Send something with style!

There are other stationery packets too. I also have Mail Stationery 1 and 2. These two are download are reload to the bar, but they are beautiful too. People with out a Mac do not seem to react as passionate about getting these messages, so I am not 100 percent that the stationery image goes through to some people. Or they are just super bland. I am not sure. I will get back with you and let you know the answer once I find out. 😉

So, check these out, and don’t write me anymore bland emails. Especially if you have a Mac or any Apple device. You have been warned! LOL!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Francesa Niccacci

I have several pieces from Francesa. Her work is in Museums and Churches around the world. Her work is like that of the Renaissance masters. She has studied the works of the masters, and made them her own.

The colors she uses are strong vivid colors. Decorative backgrounds, and lots of undulating lines. The eyes of the people are big and beautiful. Hair waves like water cresting ocean waves fall down, just as water drips. Some acanthus leaves are echoed from one area to another. They are used as decoration at the top, and then again hinted in her dress. Musical scroll patterns are whispered throughout the tile as well. 











The strong man has a very angular face. Sharp lines jetting out away from, just like his face was going to attack. His demeanor has almost a loving quality especially in his eye. He looks proud, but humble. The waves are around his collar. They have more of a white cap feeling. More dangerous feeling than the lady.

I just love her work.

What do you think?

Sunday, Sunday

Sundays, for me, they are so special. At various times in my life Sundays have had a different focus. Growing up…we did not have a “family religion”, but curiosity got the best of me. Finding out what all the hype was about for so many families was just a personal must. Since no one else was interested I had to go on my own research tour of sorts. Going on a bus to Sunday School, Pow Wow’s, and everything in between. Screaming “You are going to burn in Hell” did not equate with how I saw God.

I started visiting a Catholic Church near our house, and I really liked it. No one was screaming, and everyone held hands during “Our Father”. It seemed more compassionate, more accepting that I was human, and capable of making mistakes.  My dad was not crazy about me becoming Catholic. I didn’t know it, but our family fought to become Protestants. Our family were Huguenots. (More about that on a Family Friday).

Other times in my life I helped my younger sister deliver the Sunday paper in High School. I hated that so much!!! The part of helping her I did like was driving to the bakery after we were done. I hated the smell of the newspapers, stuffing the papers, and delivering them right to the door. UGH! What a pain! After the whole thing it was still dark outside, and we had the keys to the car. I would drive us to the bakery, and we would each get a donut and some chocolate milk. The fun part was just talking with my sister. We had just accomplished this huge task by ourselves, and this was OUR time. We would just talk for so long. I just loved that so much.

Into College I went back to Catholicism. I took religion classes, and many science classes. I guess there were times when I questioned if I really believed, but time and time again miracles happened in my life. Once I was in line for my coffee at McDonalds. My car broke down in the drive through. I coasted down the hill, and over to a parking space. I leaned my head against the steering wheel in disbelief. I had just got a job that I had to get to in a few minutes. Right when I thought all was lost for the job an old man appears out of no where. I can still see him today. He had on a long black coat, leather gloves, and a hat. He looked like he was about 80. He knocked on the window, and asked how he could help me. I told him my car just stopped working. He told me to pop the hood. I did it, and what ever it was he did in the 2 seconds that he was under the hood it worked. My car was running. I thanked him, and he told me “Don’t mention it my child”. I was on my way to work at substitute teaching at a Catholic school. Praying helps me get through. I have gone to church many years in the winter, left my gloves, in a hope that someone without gloves would take them home and use them.

So usually, I post my Sunday School curricula, but I felt like just sharing some insight about me. I hope you all enjoy your Sunday. I think one of the greatest things about any positive religion is community. Community, and sharing a little bit of your day in contemplation about something that is bigger than yourself is strengthening to your well-being. I don’t understand why people have to bash others for what they believe or don’t believe. Appreciation of our differences and understanding our differences is being a better person. We all have more in common than differences, so why not listen with an open heart. I don’t preach my religion to others, but I am willing and curious about the various beliefs of others. Next week I will be back to posting about Sunday School since there may be others that could use it, and have fun with it.

I wish you all a Happy Sunday.


Since I am super busy with my move. I thought I would at least share a cool image with you.

Herbert Gray/ Murder in West Virginia

We grew up listening to stories about our family history. At least what everyone thought was our family history.

The story went like this…My great Uncle walked down the street like it was a Wild West movie. I had an image in my mind of a tall handsome guy in cowboy boots. Every step he took the spurs on his cowboy boots made a ringing sound. Dust blew and swirled around and he walked toward her ever so slowly. She was beautiful, and desired by all the men of the town. She smelled like lilacs, and wore a dress with capped sleeves. Her hair was pinned up, with just a few pieces falling down on her face. He hid a stick of dynamite behind his back, and once he reached his wife he lit the stick of dynamite and pulled it to her body. She was killed from the explosion. He murdered her because she had been cheating on him. He lived though the explosion and was taken to jail.

The truth is much darker. I hit the trail of finding out information about Herbert. I wrote to the Prison, and they wrote me back. They wrote that I would have to write to another Prison to find the archives. I did just that, but they had limited information to share. Just the dates that he was there, and when he was paroled. Paroled? I couldn’t believe he was actually Pardoned by Roosevelt.

Herbert was born is 1886. He was the baby of the family of 10. His father was Osburn W. Gray, and Osburn worked as a day laborer. Eliza was the mother of Herbert, and the 3 marriage of Osburn.  Howard Asa (my great grandfather), Augustus all lived together and worked in the coal mines for a while together. Herbert was married to Alice first, and I could not find out what happened to her, or if the two of them had any children. Another lady of the same name came into his life, but Alice had children from someone else. Alice owned a boarding house.

Herbert and Alice had a huge fight early one day, and she made him leave. Later in the day he came back to the boarding house. He banged on the door and yelled her name. ALICE, ALICE…he was unrelenting. She finally gave in, and when she did he grabbed her and light two sticks of dynamite. The 8 year old daughter of Alice witnessed the whole thing. Alice died, and Herbert lost his arm. He was rushed to the hospital and it was reported that he may not make it. He did, and was put in prison. He only served 16 years, and was pardoned for Christmas by Roosevelt.

I have never seen any photos of him or her. If you have any additional information I would love to hear from you.