Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Shelving of A Book

Driving home today from my uncle's funeral, several things crossed my mind. The most stand out thought was the book on that side of the family is finished. Each chapter one by one came to a conclusion as we lost each and every family member over the past years. The people and stories which spun the web of fibers around my life have one by one left this world. It was a moment I knew regretfully would one day come, yet I never really pictured this day in my mind. How do you visualize a day like today when it is unimaginable to comprehend the fact that the family on my dad's side have all left, and you are still here? It is unsettling.

For the people who are close to me, they know I avoid funerals at all cost. I don't handle them well, I am a blubbering mess. I don't even have to have known the person well, for me to have a hard time with the funeral. It is something that I can't control and can not help. When it is family.....well, it is the most difficult thing to try and handle and control oneself that I know of. Today was different. Today was like none other. Since I can not vocalize the why of that, I am going to record it here.

My uncle passed away Thursday at 3:18pm. I know he was ready, and I know he had suffered many years without my aunt. My heart was heavy and I have carried a huge weight in my heart through the years over something he had shared with me about the moments before my aunt's passing. These are things I have a hard time letting go of. These types of things stay with me and don't seem to leave and I carry them with me.

Thursday night I had a dream. I have only had one other dream like it in my life and it was when I was eleven years old. It was real. As real as the breath I take and it is hard to explain just how different this was from what you would call a normal dream. The place in this dream was like none other I have ever seen. It was a normal scene that you might imagine seeing in the back roads of rural America, but yet I think you could search forever and never find a place like it.

There was no beginning or end of this dream.....more like a screen shot with darkened edges, as if looking through a lenses of a camera from on top of a hill. It was like I was there, but removed from it at the same time.  It could have lasted a spit second, or a few minutes, I don't know. 

The scene was of a golden field which was all you could see across the horizon up to the sky. Everything had a light yellowish tint and the breeze was blowing the tassels of the crops in this forever field. In the distance was a tractor. It was so far away that it was just a speck in the field. 

There also was a split rail fence closest to me. It was as if my eyes scanned the scene and at that fence was where my eyes rested. I saw my Aunt and Uncle standing together with their backs to me. Their arms around each other gazing out unto the field. For an instant, and only an instant I felt that breeze, which was unlike anything I can describe. It was unlike any breeze I have ever felt before. At that moment, a peace washed over me and just that quick, it was over. When I woke up the next morning, I remembered every detail about it and the great sorrow was replaced with knowing my aunt and uncle are together again on the other side. It was a feeling that all was right and as it was supposed to me.  It was a gift. One I will treasure all the rest of my days.

Today, even if I could not share with anyone what had happened, I carried the knowledge in my heart that all was right again and as it should be for my family members. I was able to hold on to that dream and knew without a shadow of a doubt my uncle was far removed from the shell that lay in the casket. He was with the love of his life and had started the forever journey they were destined for all the days of their lives. I was sad for my loss, but was able to cope far better than I could have imagined.

As we drove home and I looked out the window at the landscape that was a big part of my childhood memories, I saw. I visually saw the binders of the book which formed the story of my life snap shut. It was finished. And as the dust settled from the warn pages I knew it was shelved in the walls of my heart, never to be read again.

(1) The photo was found online, it represents the field in my dreams, but is in no way as magnificent as what I saw. Everything I experienced was much grander.
(2) I am sure some will read this and think I am nuts. I am sure some family will read it and say to themselves I have lost it. But the fact is, that is farthest from the truth. I was given a gift. That, I believe. And I am thankful I am receptive enough to allow such gifts to happen in my life.
(3) Sometimes you have to believe in something that goes against all logic.
(4) I wanted to record this in a place where if I need to, I can reread what I felt and experienced. Maybe these words will mean something to someone one day other than myself.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

In The Bag Ugly Fabric Quilt Challenge

The last day of this challenge is October 1st. Time has flown by!! I was able to finish the quilt top from one set of fabrics. No finished quilt. Second challenge for myself never happened, never even cut the fabrics......I ran out of time.

Click HERE to see the reminder post about this challenge and a peek at some of the prizes up for grabs!!

Watch in the coming days for your chance to cast your vote for the Viewers Choice quilt from all the quilts submitted. Stop by the other blog and look at all the great quilts that came from this challenge!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vintage Thingie Thursday: Vintage China Pieces

Welcome everyone to Vintage Thingies Thursday. If you have a love for vintage things, have come to the right place. We have a really good time each and every week!!!
If you are new to this party, please take the time to
read and follow the instructions for participating in Vintage Thingies Thursday, click HERE. I try and keep things fairly simple, so please make sure you follow the instructions. Please only ONE link per week. Lastly, if you link in, LINK back to my blog, so everyone can see all of the vintage goodies on display that day. If you don't link back here, they won't know who to visit......thanks so much.

Did I mention the fact I am working on downsizing things at my house? Truly, I am. I have been working on that for a while and even though I am making progress, it is still impossible not to bring vintage finds home with me on occasion. I really have cut my treasure hunting down to very, very little. Funny thing is, once I made the decision to do that, I have not missed it all that much.

The local school had a sale and I found a couple of great vintage china pieces that I really fell in love with and could not leave them on the table. I love the pink roses in this small platter.

Here is the logo, I believe this is Taylor Smith & Taylor. I have never seen this logo before and tried to poke around on the internet and could not find any thing on it. I will have to keep looking.

I also found a great plate with beautiful roses. Too bad there was only one of these plates, but it came home with me none the less. Back is stamped Saxon China. I love the colors. Love them.

I always find lots of pink roses on china patterns, but rarely find any with rich colors like this plate has!! I love it!!

Have a great Vintage Thingie Thursday!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

How Many Days Till The Christmas Season??

I know it sounds crazy, but I had to stop yesterday and figure out how long we have had Sammie living with us. It has only been five months, and that is hard to believe. To me, it seems he has been with us as long as the other three.....he just fits so well with our family!! He is loved beyond his wildest me!

And during this short time that he has been with us, he has become quiet fond of toys. Only one small problem, he does not just like any dog toys...he is obsessed with Santa Dog toys.

We have a bucket FULL and OVERFLOWING with dog toys. Sophie, Dora and Bailey really don't care about them too much, but they are always there in case they decide to play with them. Sammie discovered the bucket of toys and fished out all the Christmas Toys and claimed them for his own.

He is rather protective of his Santa boo-boo. He has to have it when it is time for bed, nap time or when he gets over excited he goes looking for his Santa. Poor Sophie, Dora and Bailey learned rather quickly it was not worth the effort to try and take that toy back.

My only concern with this is that this will be the first Christmas Sammie will be with us. I am already worried about what might await me when I get home from work once the tree goes up and the ornaments go on the tree. Suddenly in the eyes of a very young, little dog, Santa invades the house and he is in Santa Heaven and ready to rumble.

I am counting the days till the holiday season....not in anticipation of all the decorating that goes with the season but in the thought of maybe regretfully deciding against a tree this year.

Never the will be interesting I am sure!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vintage Thingie Thursday: Precious Memories

Welcome everyone to Vintage Thingies Thursday. If you have a love for vintage things, have come to the right place. We have a really good time each and every week!!!
If you are new to this party, please take the time to
read and follow the instructions for participating in Vintage Thingies Thursday, click HERE. I try and keep things fairly simple, so please make sure you follow the instructions. Please only ONE link per week. Lastly, if you link in, LINK back to my blog, so everyone can see all of the vintage goodies on display that day. If you don't link back here, they won't know who to visit......thanks so much.

This is a old snapshot photograph of a house in the country, which was a place where memories upon memories were made.

This photo must have been taken shortly after my aunt and uncle purchased it and moved it to their property. I was a little girl, most likely under eight years old when they purchased this house, so it must have been in the mid 1960's. I can remember in the back of my mind walking through this house when it was not even a home yet. I remember that front porch, as it had some soft slats on the floor of the porch and my mom telling me to stay off those boards. I remember hardwood floors that were in need of lots of work and I remember large cracks on the walls. I remember a wasp nest in the corner of one of the bedrooms that housed wasps. And as a very young girl, that was scary. I remember my mom telling my aunt that they had lost their minds with this house. Funny, what your mind will recall when you let it drift back in time.

However, that shell of a house over the years became a home. I remember they worked on it and remember seeing it in stages of being complete. I remember they added a large living room off the back and when it was under construction, it reminded me of a garage. I remember that very house as I grew older became an idea in my mind of how romantic (reminder of just an idea here) of how living on a farm or ranch would be when I grew up and got married. It always seemed like an ideal to me, a romantic sort of life, so different from the life I lived in the city.

But I know now, it really was not the house at all, but the two individuals that made it a home and who loved each other in the most romantic way. They always sorta seemed so mismatched to me, as my aunt was so girly and so pretty and you just had a hard time visioning her working on a cattle ranch or help with planting crops or baling hay. My uncle, was the picture of a rugged cowboy and a hard worker. He was the first REAL cowboy I ever knew. I remember how he would walk in the door and his very presence and size filled up the door frame. He'd be dirty and sweaty from working and most likely tired as all get out, but he always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. Always. Their relationship was magical. Special. They were a team and they made it work during good times and bad.

We lost my Auntie in 2003 and my Uncle Dee, who was already suffering from Parkinson's disease struggled with the loss of his wife and friend. The laughter that used to be present in that house was put to rest and the laughs and smiles were few and far between. The last few years have been hard for him. But the toll that disease took on his body and spirit never could shadow the person he always has been in my eyes. Strong. Present. Faithful. Rugged. Authentic.

He was the one of the ones who were there with my beloved grandmother when she left this world. He was with my Aunt as well, holding her hand. When my father passed, and my aunt was too sick to come to the service, my uncle came. Not out of any loyalty to my father, but because it was the right thing to do. A real example of what it really means to be a man. That is what I think of when I think of my Uncle Dee.

This week my rugged, cowboy uncle was put on Hospice and he is on his journey to forever green pastures as I type this out. I know my aunt will be waiting for him when the time is right. It is hard to say goodbye. But it is a little easier knowing he will be free of this horrible disease and will be holding my aunt in his arms again.

I am thankful that I had such wonderful examples in my life that fairytale endings that really do come true. Two people who were really different as night and day who had the most loving marriage of any I can remember from my youth. I am sure it was not perfect and I am sure there were lots of struggles, as that is how life is. 

However, for a young girl looking in from the outside, it was as perfect as I could imagine. I treasure the great memories of love, laughter, oh the laughter, I can still hear it today, and family that worked with and for each other. Some people live their whole lives and only read about this kind of marriages in novels or books. I am lucky to have lived in a family where I got to experience it first hand and have the memories to cherish of special people and special times.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dove Conditioner Review! 100% Success for Frizzy Hair

There are some things that are just too wonderful not to share! I have had the pleasure to be a part of the review team for Dove Conditioner and this could not have come at a better time. I tried the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Conditioner.

When I read about this conditioner that claims to revives dry, rough and frizzy hair, I was excited. Here is what Dove says about the product:

A unique blend with non-greasy natural almond and mineral oils that are so fine, they are rapidly absorbed to deeply nourish and replenish essential nutrients. It’s next generation nourishment for beautifully smooth, soft, shiny hair.

They use a patented technology to repair & nourish dry hair. They describe the following -

Fiber Active technology penetrates deep inside the hair strand, helping rebind damaged proteins (Intensive Repair and Color Repair only)
Patented Micromoisture Serum targets damage, repairing the surface of hair by sealing lifted cuticles. 

I don't know if you experience having bad hair days every now and again like I do. I myself, have found that my own hair is frizzy, dry and brittle and not very manageable over the last few months. Some of that may have to do with hormonal change and my age, but no matter what the reason behind all of the unruly hair, it is still no laughing matter.

I have tried several products to try and tame these wild tresses, but would you believe many of the products I have tried are still in the cabinet with just a little out of each bottle. I have had a hard time finding things that not only leave my hair soft and easy to manage but does not feel weighted down with product at the same time.

After trying Dove conditioner for just a couple of days, I can already see and feel a difference in the way my hair looks and feels. It is soft and most of the frizz has disappeared. My hair feels and looks like it did about 10 years ago, and I can not be more pleased.

I give this conditioner 5 out of 5 stars and it is definitely something I will continue to use.

What hair care products have you tried that you are  loving? I really enjoy hearing what has worked for others.  Be sure to head over to BlogHer to enter to win a Spafinder gift certificate. Details below...

Enter to win a $1,000 Spafinder gift certificate!



You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

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c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 9/4/2012 - 9/30/2012

Be sure to visit Dove® to get a coupon for $1.50 off Dove Hair Therapy products.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Vintage Thingie Thursday: Vintage Feed Sacks

Welcome everyone to Vintage Thingies Thursday. If you have a love for vintage things, have come to the right place. We have a really good time each and every week!!!

If you are new to this party, please take the time to
read and follow the instructions for participating in Vintage Thingies Thursday, click HERE. I try and keep things fairly simple, so please make sure you follow the instructions. Please only ONE link per week. Lastly, if you link in, LINK back to my blog, so everyone can see all of the vintage goodies on display that day. If you don't link back here, they won't know who to visit......thanks so much.

This week I want to show you a couple of feedsacks I found some time back. The thing about these two feedsacks were the fact they still had the original labels attached. I love the fact that the paper labels were still there. These were not one of my thrift-ed bargains....but sometimes the items warrant a little more spending than normal.

I love the yellow with the blue bachelor button flowers. Both sacks are so cheery and I was surprised by the overall size of these when I first found them. Oh, how I wish I would have seen the day when grains, rice, flour and sugars were sold in pretty fabric bags....I think they should bring that practice back to present day!!

I found this poem on line and thought it fitting to add to this post..and no, I don't recall ever wearing feed sack underpants....and isn't that so have missed that error in time by a few short years.

The Flour Sack - A Poem

When I was just a maiden fair,
Mama made our underwear;
With many kids and Dad's poor pay,
We had no fancy lingerie.
Monograms and fancy stitches
Did not adorn our Sunday britches;
Pantywaists that stood the test
Had 'Gold Medal' on my breast.
No lace or ruffles to enhance
Just 'Pride of Bloomington' on my pants.
One pair of panties beat them all,
For it had a scene I still recall-
Harvesters were gleaning wheat
Right across my little seat.
Rougher than a grizzly bear
Was my flour sack underwear.
Plain, not fancy and two feet wide
And tougher than a hippo's hide.
All through Depression each Jill and Jack
Wore the sturdy garb of sack.
Waste not, want not, we soon learned
That a penny saved is a penny earned.
There were curtains and tea towels too,
And that is just to name a few,
But the best beyond compare
Was my flour sack underwear.
~author unknown

I found this information on line about feedsacks and thought it was interesting so I thought I'd include it in this post.

.....The thrifty farm wife quickly discovered that this cotton bag was a great source of utilitarian fabric to be used for dish cloths, diapers, nightgowns and other household uses. Manufacturers decided to take advantage of this and started offering sacks in various prints and solid colors as a marketing ploy to create loyalty. It would take three identical sacks to make a dress, for example, and the farmer just might be induced to buy more that way.
It was not hard for the farmer to purchase his goods in feedsacks. The flour industry consumed the largest share of the feedsack market with more than 42 percent. Sugar was next with 17 percent followed by feed, seeds, rice, and fertilizer. These feedsacks came in different sizes, and the quality of the cloth varied with the item it carried. Sugar sacks, for example, were much finer in weave. By 1914, sacks came in 10, 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1 pound sizes, although these sizes varied by manufacturer. President Roosevelt standardized sizes in 1937. A 50 pound feedsack measured 34 x 38 inches. A 100 pound sack measured 39 x 46.

I have been to several flea markets where the vender claims the swatches are actual feedsacks. The paper labels were easily removed from a feedsack and even with older ones the label has often been removed. So how do you know for sure you are buying an authentic feedsack. The weave of the fabric is not a good indicator as fabric like this could also be bought off the bolt as well back then.

The best indicator is a line of holes from the chain stitching that once held the sack together. And if you look at this one, it is not straight at fact, both of these sacks had the most crooked stitching I had ever seen at the top of the sack.

This shows a sample of the chain stitching....

I don't know what I am going to do with these, I really don't see myself cutting them up....we'll have to see. One thing I did notice is the quality and weave of the fabrics used in these sacks. I can say this much, there is no comparison to the high quality $10.00 to $15.00 a yard fabric we find today in the quilt shops. Far from it. And imagine, this free with purchase sack made of fabric made wonderful quilts that are so treasured today by many. All the worries of fading, rotting, not holding up for generations to enjoy don't seem to apply to these feed sacks used by quilters from yesterday....and they were free. I can not help by wonder about the hype around fabrics sold at quilt shops...sorry....but true! If we could purchase our things in feedsacks now a days, I'd never step foot in a quilt shop for fabrics again...I'd shop my local market or feed store.....just sayin'.

Happy Vintage Thingies Thursday everyone!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead filled with love and laughter.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vintage Thingie Thursday: Very Old Cat

Welcome everyone to Vintage Thingies Thursday. If you have a love for vintage things, have come to the right place. We have a really good time each and every week!!!
If you are new to this party, please take the time to
read and follow the instructions for participating in Vintage Thingies Thursday, click HERE. I try and keep things fairly simple, so please make sure you follow the instructions. Please only ONE link per week. Lastly, if you link in, LINK back to my blog, so everyone can see all of the vintage goodies on display that day. If you don't link back here, they won't know who to visit......thanks so much.

This little kitty was in a bag of vintage figurines I found at Goodwill one day. I am the first to admit, I really am not a cat person but this was really a sweet cat. It has no markings on it, but you can tell it is very old. 

It must have had a mishap once long ago because you can see on the back by its tail where it was repaired! No looks cute on the shelf with all the puppies!!

Halloween is right around the corner, and this just might make it with some of the Halloween decor! I had not ever seen a cat like this? What about you? Have you seen any type of cat similar?

Happy Vintage Thingie Thursday!!

The Unhappy Dachshund

Sammy is not a happy fellow today!! You can see from the picture below he looks to be pouting or sulking in the corner with his head sticking out of the doggie door. his NOT a happy camper at the moment. The truth of the  matter is, he is not sulking - well, maybe just a little, but in truth he is actually standing guard.....

....because of this!!! His beloved Santa dog had a bath and is drying in the sun on the clothesline.

It just so happens he glanced up and saw him, but his little legs are just too short to reach his beloved friend. Don't think for one minute he is not watching for any sign of something with the idea they want his favorite toy. Nope...just not gonna happen!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Design Wall Monday: Jubilee Quilt Blocks To Date

On my design wall today is my last six blocks in the Barrister Sow-a-long. I seem to be always running behind, but am all caught up until Wednesday...when the new blocks are released! Oh. Well. It feels good for a couple of days anyway to be all ready for the new ones! I am making the same quilt in two different versions for my Jubilee quilt.....the year I turned 50.....ahem...anyway!

My two Jubilee quilts are growing with each new block.

Here are the six blocks in everyday fabrics.

And here are the blocks in the Christmas fabrics! I love the block in the top right corner. But after making TWO of those blocks, I can safely say, I don't want to have to tackle that block again!! The smaller  pieces sure set for pretty blocks, but they are a headache to sew!

Here are all the Christmas  blocks to date before adding the last six!!

I am sure I will sash both of these quilts and use corner stones! At least that is what I am thinking at this point. I am not sure how many total blocks we will be making, but that idea could change as it progresses!!

Visit more great design wall links over at Judy's Blog!! Have a great day!! Sew something fantastic!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Voice Of Your Comments

Blog Comments.....we all love them, we love getting them. For many, even in the hustle and bustle, we read a post and comment, or maybe we don't comment at all. That comment could take the form of a pat on the back, or a high five at a great find or a word of encouragement.

What happens when a comment you left for someone takes on a voice in that persons ear that is totally not the voice you had in your heart? It happens, and it happened to me and I have to say, I was left feeling pretty bad about the whole thing, still do.

Worse yet, being totally unaware that anything I had said would have been offensive, I found out about it via a blog post. My name was not mentioned, but my words jumped off the page at ME as I read the post about the situation. First thing I thought was.."Oh, my gosh...what did I say???" and discovered when I went to reread my words that yes, I did use those certain words, but they were interpreted and taken totally out of content from the way I meant them.

What was worse, I quickly discovered because that is what we do, (go read who the nasty person is that would say such a thing) that my comment was the only one that contained those certain "Outed for all of BLOG LAND to read".......I was crushed. Truly. Not so much as to the "outing" but more so of the fact that my words seemed to carry a voice in someones ear,  that does not match my heart and they were deemed offensive to another person.

In visiting blogs and commenting, I don't know about you, but I read the post and sometimes I just fire off a comment without much thought to how my words will read. I know in my heart and head what I mean by them, but what happens when someone else does not hear it in the same tone or get what you are saying?

It is a lesson for me that I need to be more careful how I say things because the farthermost thing from my heart is to offend someone who I take the time to leave a comment for. I know there are folks out there that do enjoy leaving comments that are not so nice, but I don't fall under that category, that is not who I am.

Likewise, I have often read comments left for others and when I read them, thought to myself..that was rude....but maybe the person who the comment was left for never felt that way. It is all in the way we read something I guess that determines the interpretation. Everyone walks a different path and maybe we pull feelings from words we read from past experiences or hurts in our own lives. What someone says to one person may be fully understood but saying the very same thing to another, well it becomes judgmental and offensive.

My response to all of this was to immediately email the person and tell them that I did not mean what I said the way they read it, and apologize. Honestly, that was probably not the best thing to do either.....but I felt it was right to do.

All I know is I need to be more mindful of how my words will read to someone else because the very last thing I want to do moving forward is to have to apologize for offending anyone and trying to explain that the voice they heard was not the voice of my heart.

Life lesson today: Choose your words very carefully.

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