Hello Wednesday -- Can You Guess Why?

To all of you Americans out there.........HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!  And may we never forget that the kind of freedom we enjoy does require fighting.  May we always appreciate those who've sacrificed and may we be willing to make the sacrifice again if necessary so that people can be free indeed!

I have a whole lot of washi, as you may know. But here is a batch that holds particular significance.  Can you guess why???

You'll have to wait, but you'll know very soon!

On the other hand, here is some news that I am able to share and am sooooo happy about.  You may have heard that Scrapbook Circle had a DT call recently.  Well, guess who got invited to join with their amazing team of designers!!!  Yep, it was Yours Truly!  Couldn't.  Be.  Happier.  They put together beautiful kits and are wonderful to work for.

You may remember that I had the opportunity to guest for them a few months back.  I thought I'd share one of those projects with you again today so you can be reminded of how beautiful their kits are.  Make sure you check out their website and see who all the other amazing team members are. I am anticipating a LOT of fun working with these kits.  My only regret is that I wasn't there in time for the July kits!

Here is the kit I worked with for my guest spot, Remember This.

And here is my favorite layout from that particular collection of goodies.  

And now, for a continuation of my story......

So it was decided that I would travel with my father and step-mother 'Out West' in their Chevy Truck and Airstream trailer.  Sounds like a great adventure doesn't it.

It was 1984 and we were going across the country.  I'd never been to the West before so the only notion I had of it had come from 'Bonanza' and 'Little House on the Prairie' (which it turns out wasn't really West at all).   

Not only that, but I was anticipating my first airplane trip when I returned home after Daddy and BJ got settled in to their new home.  

We planned our trek before the school year was even over, which was another bonus.  I was still attending the small private school, which was a self-paced program so it worked out perfectly.

The three of us rode together in the cab of the Chevy Silverado.  I don't honestly remember a lot of details, but I do recall that we would end our day of travel each night at a KOA campground.  Up to that point in my life, I had always stayed in nice campgrounds so this seemed about right from my 11 year old perspective.

The first memory I have of those campgrounds is how we made a game of paying attention to the signs for when one would come up.  For a kid, that helps pass the time and gave me a little boost when I could 'discover' one.  I'd pour over the map looking for the little KOA symbol which had been cleverly included.  I believe it was second or third night on the road when we stayed at one which had a very special visitor.

We'd pulled into camp and were all set up when we decided to take a walk around the grounds.  What do you think was staying in one of the sites near us?  

A baby bear.  

Seriously, I kid you not.

Somehow, this family owned a baby bear and they were traveling with it.  It was very small, perhaps weighing 20-30 lbs and it was super friendly.  I plopped myself down immediately to play with and love on that sweet little cub.  But it wasn't long before I realized that even a baby bear has formidable claws.  Even so, that may be one of my favorite memories ever.  I have such a love for mammals and bears are at the top of that list.  What a treasure that memory remains.

Perhaps that was a little gift God allowed me to hold me through the coming storm.

We'd been on the road a few days, and as I'm sure you know, tempers can get heated when people are in close proximity to one another day in and day out.  I'm almost certain that BJ wasn't a big fan of kids to begin with ,so I'm sure that didn't help matters.

Somehow, BJ decided that I was not to sit near my father or hug him more than once per day.  Of course, that was absolutely out of the norm for us. And I'm not sure that she ever told my Daddy about this rule.  What began to happen was that each time we'd stop for a restroom break, she'd begin to bawl me out in the bathroom for being to 'lovey dovey' with my father.  She told me that I was acting like a baby and that girls my age didn't hug and kiss their father's like I was doing.

The climax came when she progressed from yelling to slapping me at one of the stops.  She was so angry that I would dare to touch him and when I argued with her, she just hauled off and slapped me across the face several times for being such a disrespectful, disobedient girl.

By this time, we were almost all the way through Texas.  Thinking my father would put a stop to her ridiculous behavior, I immediately ran out to 'tell on her'.  This was the first time I would come to understand that my dad's beliefs would change according to the beliefs that his woman held.

He told me that I wasn't respecting BJ's wishes and so I'd have to go back home.  We continued to El Paso where my dad took me straight to the airport and put me on the next plane to Tampa.  I was being punished for wanting affection.

He'd been unable to raise my mother and so he'd called my friend Mandy's father, John Holmes and asked him to collect me from the airport and then bring me home to my mother.

I don't know if I can describe just how crushed I was.  It was devastating to be abused by my step-mother.  But to then be rejected by my beloved father.............. that was agony.  I had always believed that my daddy really did love me so much.  This caused me to question that love a great deal.  

Any joy I might have had in a plane ride home was completely lost.  How does an 11 year old girl reconcile that her father is okay with sending her away for loving him too much while he continues with a terrible, evil woman who manipulates him continually.  (there are more stories about that which I haven't taken the time to share.)  It was just too much for me to understand.

Seven hours later, at 11PM, I arrived in the Tampa airport, afraid of how I'd get where I needed to be.  Luckily, John was there to meet me so I didn't have to worry for long.  John was a quiet man and really didn't say much at all.  He had arranged for us to stay with a friend of his family's for the night.  We would drive back to Homosassa Springs in the morning.

We woke the next morning, downed some cold cereal and piled into his truck.  John and I said very little during the trip home.  Instead,we just sat quietly, each turning over our own thoughts.  John did share with me that he'd still been unable to reach my mother.  But that is where we were headed all the same.

When we finally pulled up in front of the house, there was mama's car, sitting in its usual spot.  All looked to be normal.  John never even pulled into the driveway, just hopped out of his truck in the middle of the road, hefted my suitcase over the side of the truck, handed it to me and then jumped into his truck and sped off.  I stood there in the road, looking back toward the house.

I couldn't imagine how mama would feel about me showing up unexpectedly.  I thought she'd be pretty happy about it since she hadn't been too keen on my leaving in the first place.

Wrong again.


  1. Congrats on the DT-spot! That is a lovely layout :)

  2. Your layout is fabulous. It's no surprise that you were chosen for their DT. Congrats!

  3. Congrats on being invited to the Scrapbook Circle DT! I've been a subbed for over 2 years, and am in love with their kits. Can't wait to see your work!

  4. Congrats on the DT spot. Their kits are great. Can't wait to see what you do with them! :)

  5. Congrats on the DT gig! Anxious to see what pretty things you'll create!

  6. Congratulations, Ursula!
    You did an amazing job with their kits that month!

  7. WOW - i so love the layout i have saved it to one of my favorte ... congrats....

  8. Great layout and CONGRATS! on your exciting news!

  9. Congrats on the DT spot! The layout is absolutely gorgeous... I can definitely see why you were invited! Can't wait to see what else you create for them!

  10. My dear baby Sis, I know the feeling about our father and "the other woman". He did the same with me, but luckily my mother was able to get me away from him to keep me from having to go through what you did. I am so sorry he did this to you, too. I had always hoped that you wouldn't have to go through what I did...needless to say, you went through far worse. <3


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