Sunday, April 8, 2018

                                                          The Bell Tower Guest
                                               A short story by: Tami L. Stanton

                Everyone has heard of church mice.  But, what if I told you I was once the church squirrel?
Here is how it all happened....
                 Once upon a winter day in the year 1999 as the wind was howling and my nose was running, I knew I had to find a winter home because the cold north wind had arrived and my toes were turning numb.  I needed a tree to live in for the winter and fast!  But, there were no trees available.  All the trees in my neighborhood were being used by other families.  I had to act quickly because the days were getting shorter and colder!  It was late autumn, but felt more like mid winter!  I brushed aside some newly fallen leaves and continued looking for a winter home.

                 I couldn't even twitch my nose anymore because the frigid air had caused it to freeze into place!  I scurried to a small door and went inside to get warm while deciding what to do next.  It was dark and quiet.  I heard nothing except the wind through the door crack.  Somehow the quiet felt peaceful.  I think I was inside a church.  As my eyes adjusted to the new light, I noticed a curvy staircase.  It was so long I couldn't even see the end.  The stairs were very narrow.  If they were for humans to climb, I was sure their shoulders touched the walls as they climbed upward.

               I decided to wander up and explore.  Up and up and UP I went!  How high were those stairs and where would they take me, I wondered?

               Finally, panting hard I reached the top and saw an open trap door of sorts.  It led me into a larger room.  This area smelled dusty.  There were many windows, each with a glowing candle, piles of old books, (which would make a nice nest!), broken furniture, moth eaten tattered choir robes and an old keyboard type thing.  Even though the keyboard was old, parts of it were very shiny!  As I looked far above my head I saw many large bells way up high.  Hmm, I wasn't sure what they were used for, but I knew they were bells.  Where was I?  The high climb had made me weary.  I curled up on a window ledge and took a nap in the sunshine.

              A little while later a sound woke me.  It was a loud clanging above my head, but it was a pleasant clanging.  And, there was a happy looking lady hunched over the keyboard lifting wooden levers up and down with all her might.  She had very strong arms and they were moving really fast!  As she pumped, wonderful music chimed from the bells overhead and I noticed she had a big smile on her face!  I wondered why she was so happy.  She must have loved to make her music!

             Then, after many beautiful minutes, the music stopped and the smiling lady put her hand into her pocket.  She took out a cracker and laid it on the floor near the trap door.  Then she left.  I was sure I had seen this lady before in the church yard feeding tiny birds from her own hand!  Had she left the cracker for me?

               Well, I knew I had to get up and get going.  I had work to do because this is where I decided to stay for the winter!  I had to collect enough nuts to last me all winter long. I hoped I could collect them before the first snow fall!  Up and down the stairs I trudged, day in and day out.  I loaded my cheeks with nuts and hid them in my new home.  There were many places to hide them! I tucked some into choir robe pockets, behind broken chairs, on window ledges, in the pile of sheet music or on the candlesticks.  My legs grew very muscular from all the exercise!

              The snow started to fall and the smiling lady kept coming, still smiling and still playing beautiful music.  I loved my new home!  Every time my nameless friend left she placed a cracker on the floor for me always in the same spot.  This made me very happy.  The crackers were salty, sweet and VERY crunchy!

              The winter stretched longer than normal and soon I ran out of nuts!  What would I do now?  There was much too much snow on the ground to hunt for more.  Besides, it was way too cold out!  I'd have to live only on the crackers for the rest of the winter.  I would take tinier bites from now on to make them last.  I looked forward to seeing the tiny lady.  No matter what, she always had a smile and always left a cracker.  I thought she must really like animals.  I sure was thankful for her and wished I knew her name.  I felt like I knew her because today she looked me right in the eye and smiled that wonderful smile!

             I woke one morning many days later very, very hungry.  How many days had I slept?  It seemed like forever!  I hadn't heard the smiling lady's music in awhile either.  I grew weaker and weaker from lack of food. What would I do? Would the bell lady be back I wondered?  Had she forgotten about me?  I missed her smile and my crackers, but most of all I missed the beautiful music she created.

             The air coming into the window cracks seemed warmer the next day.  Spring had arrived!  But, somehow I didn't want to leave.  I knew I should.  There was no reason to stay in my winter home any longer.

              Then my thoughts were interrupted as I heard some men stomping up the narrow stairway.  I scooted behind a broken chair.  The men had a big piece of plastic and started covering up the old keyboard and levers, but why?

              "Hopefully someday we can get someone else to play music on this old thing.," one man said.
              " No one will play like Joyce did," answered the other man thoughtfully.
               "Nope, but I'm sure she's playing in Heaven for those lucky angels!"
                That day I moved out.  I never saw the bell lady again.  But, somehow I knew she was still  smiling and would still be playing beautiful music.

                                                                      The End

This fictional story was written as a writing assignment I had a few years ago.  It is dedicated to my late mother in law who loved the Lord, loved animals, and loved playing the bells at her church!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

January 13, 2018                                  REFLECTION

  Well, we have a snow filled weekend at the moment. As long as my loved ones are safe and the fridge is stocked I actually look forward to this type of day.  You are forced to slow down because you know you don't have to be anywhere!  I was looking thru photos today of this past year. Wow, quite a full year! I will highlight a few moments now.

    Last December our firstborn grandchild ( oldest out of 9) Jakob Tyler, had his third open heart surgery, also spending his 14th birthday in the hospital. It broke my heart to see him there. He has gone thru so much for such a young man. God is making him stronger thru it all, and we are thankful he leans on the Lord. He was able to bond with his brother Cody while there for visits. They are precious together! More about that in a minute.

     Christmas 2016 was my first without either of my parents. Strange to think that in a way I am an orphan now.  My 2 sisters and I needed to be together for that year's Christmas. It had only been 3 months since losing our mom and 3 years for Dad. So us northern sisters, and my husband, flew South to be with our southern sister and her husband for a week. It was greatly needed. Being with loved ones really helps heal. It was so fun and we created sweet memories, had many laughs, and tons of great food!

   After returning home another grandson, Cody, age 8 (who was mentioned above), was diagnosed with type one diabetes. Losing mom, then going thru Jakob's surgery, and now this news was devastating.  I tried to trust God knowing He is always in control, but I pretty much lost it and went into a mild depression. It was a time I never want to experience again. I know we are to go thru trials in this life, and leaning on the Lord and pouring myself into a Bible study on depression, along with the love of family, friends, and my precious grandkids somehow got me thru it. The saying "time heals" has some truth to it. Each trial in life enables us to grow stronger and helps us see we are nothing without the Lord.  Trials prevent us from becoming too prideful and self reliant. In addition, our trials can help others when they face their own heartaches- if we are willing to be used.

Cody is teaching us all so much. That boy is truly amazing! His visit with Jakob the month prior was a blessing in disguise as he was in the very same area of the hospital so it didn't seem so foreign to him. God is so good!  Trials, health scares and disappointing news help me appreciate the good times, a life well loved, and the truth that miracles do happen!

  My 2 adult daughters are amazing and very busy wives and mothers and I want to treat them to mother daughter outings when schedules permit. This last year we had a great time doing dinner and seeing the musical Wicked together!  We also took a painting class together and of course, dinner out! We each love to eat and also enjoy sharing ways to be healthy with our food choices and life choices. The right choices in life are very important. A wrong decision in any area can affect everyone around you. Be careful how you choose!

  We had a fun summer with grandkids and their folks swimming in our pool and hot tub. I tell my babies that the pool is theirs, it's just in our yard.  I love them so much! They are each so unique. It is fun to see their interests grow and watch them in sports, dance, cheerleading, singing and band. To hear their laughter is the best sound!  When they run around the back corner of the house to swim it is the highlight of my Summer days!
    We also gained a 2nd grand puppy to our family this year! Lexie Love is a delight. She and cousin puppy Libby bring us much joy!

  I scheduled another tea party this year with the local granddaughters. We do a sewing project along with it and I treasure these times because I know they are fleeting.  The girls dress up and wear headpieces and gloves and have a grand time eating dainties and sipping tea with maybe one or two extra sugar cubes, but, we won't tell!

  The youngest of us three sisters visited this summer. We had a great shopping and dining day and purchased matching shirts to wear at the picnic I had later that week. This made a fun photo shoot! But, I won't bore you with all of them :)

  Thrown into our busy summer was a kitchen project. New counters, backsplash and an apron front farm sink was installed! I painted the cupboards to save money. I'm happy with the results. You cannot beat Annie Sloan's chalk paint! 

 This summer I also attended my 40 year class reunion. Fun connecting with old friends! Speaking of reunions, my husband's side had a fabulous family reunion in North Carolina. His wonderful uncle and aunt hosted the 3 day event. AMAZING!

   I have to admit, my autumn was pretty spectacular! I took a best friends trip to San Antonio with my 2 close girl friends.  We took a day trip from there to Waco Tx to see The Magnolia Silos! So great! I highly recommend it! We enjoyed so many fun times on that trip including an evening horse and carriage ride thru San Antonio!

I continue to create for my Etsy shop as the inspiration hits! I'm working on romantic Valentine's and post cards at the moment!

    This last Christmas we had a house full of family for 4 days! My husband's dad and his siblings were here. It was cozy and fun and worth all the hard work. Christmas is a beautiful time to gather.  The lights and fireplace, the scents and music, the food, love and laughter. all lend to fine memories.   And that is what life is all about!

   HAPPY 2018!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Shop LOCAL for Tami Lyn Items!

I am now up and running in my Rochester area!

Come see many new items in my Tami Lyn Creations shop located at:
The Shops On West Ridge ( W. Ridge Road- Next to Lowes Plaza)

The Shops have many new changes besides their name. ( Used to be called The Antique Co-op).
There are many Paris themed, Shabby Chic shops. Wonderful Holiday decorations for sale, etc..
There are many MEN shops, furniture, tools, antiques, handmade wonders, jewelry, food, and more!

There is a new Café: Patty's Pantry! She makes all home made items and also sells cheeses, gourmet cheesecake slices, etc... in her cooler) Take a break and have something yummy with great coffee and then keep on shopping!
Tami Lyn's Creations is located underneath the Café. There is a hidden staircase behind the café dining room. Head down and turn left!

My personal shop will be having a 20% off SALE until January 5th! I have an array of different priced items and stocking stuffers, keepsake gifts and unique accessories and clothing for your wardrobe!

The Dicken's Festival officially kicks off the first wknd in November. The entire staff will be dressed up in their costumes until end of December.

I am still creating and selling for my online Etsy shops. It is a delight and a need of mine to design and create whatever pops into my head on any given day or week.

Have a Wonderful and Blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas season friends!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tami Lyn Creations: Up and RUNNING!

Well, yet another dream of mine has just little store front in our local area has opened for business! Many thanks to my husband and children for their support and donations of display pieces, use of their vans, trucks and muscle! I couldn't have done it without you all!

I had fun arranging my items the first set up day. I however soon discovered that my space was not large enough for all of my treasures. So I will need to rotate them now and then.

Autumn is just around the corner and it will be a treat to add a little Christmas tree to my shop, more white twinkle lights, handmade ornaments, garlands, stockings and fabric books and romantic garments to make your holiday special!

I'd love your input after visiting my area. I'm wondering if I should have a guest book for visitors to sign and write suggestions, custom requests, etc...?

I'm hoping to be an asset and blessing in my little corner at "The Shops On West Ridge".
I'm on the awesome lower level back near the restroom.

The little café above me has yummy home made treats and coffees to nourish you as you shop!
There is a staircase ( kind of hidden) adjacent to the café. If you take those stairs down, I am located under the café :)

Tami Lyn Creations WELCOMES You and your loved ones dear friends!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Lovin

When I was little, the one man who brought Sunshine to my life was my dad.
I never saw him mad. I never saw him sad. I never saw him mean. He was the rock of our family.
He is still with us, but he is not the same. He has an illness that keeps him from talking, or laughing. I see him smile at times, as best as he can. You can see it in his eyes mostly. He used to love to laugh.

One of the highlights of my Summer so far was seeing him on Father's Day.
It was great. He seemed to enjoy the outside events his Nursing Home had. There was live music which seemed to lift his spirits. Dad has always loved music. One day in Heaven he will sing again. He will laugh again. He will hug again. I believe arms were made for hugging. I miss his hugs. I've needed them, but am unable to receive them, at least for now. One day I will again. It will be a glorious day.

Another "Summer Lovin" I'm enjoying is the fact that I have a Mama duck setting on her eggs underneath one of my shrubs. This is a first for me. I talk to her. I've named her Dori. She is very shy and very protective, like all good mama's are. I'm anxiously waiting to hear soft chirps from under that shrub. It is taking forever! I sure hope I'll be home the day they emerge and head for the pond. I'll have my camera in hand, for sure!

I also enjoy flowers this time of year. There were GLORIOUS roses for sale at my Market today. I wanted them all, but settled for a great photograph instead. I have a yellow rose bush. I dry the petals to put into my romantic handmade tamilyn journals.

I've been creating extra items for my online shops as well as for my shop-to-be.
I plan on opening a shop within a shop by Labor Day weekend.
Our garage is getting a little crowded with all my Shabby Chic and stenciled display furniture.
It's coming along nicely...I even found a bargain chandelier and cannot wait to "set up shop!" Planning is half the fun! If you are local it will be at: The Shops On West Ridge.

Stop by my online shops sometime, until then I will attach some photos for you here.

 I now include sheer gift bags with all my Romantic Keepsake Fabric Journals!
Have a great Summer!

P.S. Look carefully at the 2nd from last photo and you will see Dori!!

XX Tami Lyn

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

There's a little Audrey in all of us.

There is a little Audrey in all of us gals!

Did you know Aprons weren't just for baking any more? No!
There is even a magazine devoted just to them! It is called Apronology by Stampington! You may have seen it at JoAnne Fabrics!

Aprons as well as being functional can be very romantic and feminine to wear!
The word Apron means: A protective OR decorative OR official garment worn over one's clothing. Feel like a Princess next time you serve tea to your gal pals!

Feel Official as you wear your Tamilyn vendor apron! She will custom make one just for you!

Feel romantic as you serve your Husband breakfast in bed!

Aprons can be functional and cute as you attend your favorite Farmer's Market or Flower Market!
Aprons make the PERFECT Bridal Shower gift! Mother's Day gift! Graduation gift! New business gift!

A pinafore apron adds a cute touch to your favorite dress or jeans! After all, there's a little "Audrey" in all of us! Use your own imagination!
Visit my shop for more cute aprons..Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

From The Heart~

Happy New Year! My New Year celebration seems to last longer than the norm each and every year for me! Why? because I have an early January birthday. Christmas cards seem to run right into "Happy New Year" greetings and then Happy Birthday wishes. The Birthday greetings, grandbaby kisses notes and artwork, cards from family and friends lengthens my holiday season and brings joy to my heart.  Lots of love was sent my way this year. I am very thankful for the blessings that I have. And, like I say with each birthday that rolls around, I refuse to get old!

Next up? VALENTINE'S DAY! The heart is a complicated organ. We are told to talk from the heart, feel with our heart, give from the heart and also to guard our hearts. According to the Bible, the center of a person is the heart. It is the wellspring of life. Our heart can fail us, and at times ache. But our heart can also bring great joy. Giving to others, random acts of kindness, surprise gifts or phone calls, sending a greeting card-remember them? These all bring joy to others but especially to the one on the giving end.

I've created some special Valentine Day items in my Etsy shops. Among those are fabric heart wall hangings, heart on a sleeve wool coat, Sachet pillows, and sweet Baby Gifts including- fabric love filled scrapbook/journals. I'm in the middle of creating 2 little girl themed fabric journals. One will sail to Australia for a new grandma, the other will fly to California for a new mom baby shower gift. I love to think about all the things mama's and grandmother's will place into these little handmade gifts from the heart. Treasures will fill the pockets, notes and photos will be added, a first lost tooth, a little curl, special occasion photos,etc..A keepsake for sure! I often add a little organza bag of special Tamilyn "Fairy Dust." After all, every girl should own some!