Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Ahead for Twenty-Fourteen and Fondly Saying Goodbye to Twenty-Thirteen


Saying goodbye to twenty-thirteen is kinda bittersweet. It was a year of first on a lot of levels, some good, others not so good. One thing it did provide was a new outlook on things in my life and a new found gratitude for the things I often take for granted.

Both my husband and I had minor issues with our health, but that being said, he was in ICU the beginning of the year and I had surgery in the summer, and if that wasn't enough, we finished December with another minor surgery for my husband. I learned a lot from all of these health experiences. The major ones were neither he or myself make a great patient and we are both about as chicken as chicken can be. If you could only imagine the sights of the two of us trying to take care of the other.....I like to rule with the iron fist when I am the nurse taking care of the patient and I like to rule with a iron fist when I am the patient, and not too sure the nurse is competent. Yes....it's all about lessons learned.

Above all the lessons learned this year, the one of taking care of your health is first and foremost. I took that lesson seriously, and decided to try and lose some weight this fall. I was able to drop 21 pounds, but then the hustle and bustle of the holidays rolled around, and I sorta just stopped obsessing about losing any more weight. I decided to hop on the scale the other day and was thrilled I had not gained any of that lost weight back, so I am confident to jump back on the band wagon and keep working towards my goal.

I learned that its ok to not be able to do all I think I should be doing, whether it be housework, cooking, cleaning, sewing or just surviving the day. I may need to work on not being so lenient with myself in 2014 as I am thinking my word for the new year will be "simplify." I seriously have come to a point where I am sure less is totally more....and this next year, I plan on trying to downsize and pass on some of the things I have told myself I have to keep for so many years. I know it will be a challenge, but I am up for it.

I also learned, that the most amazing experiences can turn into moments you will never forget. This fall, I casually mentioned to my brother of an event in Dallas coming up and I had thought about going. I never dreamed he would have taken that to heart, but he did. He purchased tickets for us to go. I could hardly believe it. I don't recall ever in my adult life spending an evening with my brother..just me and him. It truly, in all it could be, was the highlight of twenty-thirteen from start to finish.

He picked me up and we were off to Dallas to see Theresa from Long Island Medium. I could hardly contain myself as I expected that show to be the highlight of the evening. I expected a reading and to hear from a family member who is no longer here. Sadly, it was sort of a let down when that did not happen, but in all actuality, that was not the lasting memory of the evening.


True to Dallas fashion, the traffic was starting to back up as we made our way into Dallas, so my brother got off the freeway and took an alternate route, which happened to take us over the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, which of course I had never seen or been on......Dallas and myself are not often two words in the same sentence!  I expected the road across that bridge to be packed with cars, but the most amazing thing was, there was no cars AT ALL on that bridge but one. As we started across the bridge, we noticed a car stopped on the side of the road. There was a girl standing beside the car and a guy on one knee, and he obviously had just proposed to his girlfriend, and we saw the tail end of that event. My brother honked his horn and said they would always remember someone honking at them at that very moment, I have to agree, I believe they surly will.  It was sort of a magical moment to the start the evening.



We had plenty of time before we needed to be at SMU for the event, so my brother drove me to where Klyde Warren Park sets over a busy freeway in Dallas. I have heard about this park and always wanted to go, but had no idea where it was. My husband and I have talked about going there, but as things go, we just never had done it. The park was enchanting and I really enjoyed that part of Dallas and all the buildings surrounding that area. It was amazing seeing a part of Dallas I had no idea even existed, I loved it.


Once we made it to SMU and parked, we still had plenty of time and we walked across the road and ate tacos from a little taco place called Diggs Taco Shop. It was good and I enjoyed our meal....I enjoyed it so much I almost choked on my taco, but that is another story!

It was truly an enjoyable evening spent with my brother. I never would have thought it would have been marked as my most memorable moment from the year, but it was. I will always treasure that evening...even if I did not get the reading from Teresa that I was so sure I was going to get. The event was exactly what Teresa said it would be at the beginning, which was that it was entertainment, she was enchanting and funny just as you see her on television. Some of the things she talked about have stuck with me and I won't soon forget them. I appreciate the fact my brother wanted to take me to see her, as words can never really explain how much that has and does mean to me. I am so glad that it was in the other things we did that night that proved to be the front runner of the evening as far as memories go.  It was a enchanting night from start to finish.

Twenty-thirteen provided an opportunity to reconnect with family members whom I have not seen or heard from in all of my adult life. Once again, facebook provides a great outlet for that very thing. It has been heartwarming to reconnect with people I remember so fondly from my childhood and whom are still around to share bits of my life with and share bits of theirs. Family is family no matter how old we get or how long it has been since we looked at each other face to face. I am grateful for "finding" my relatives this year, they add a lot to my every day life and I am thankful for that.

I don't know what twenty-fourteen holds, but I am looking forward to whatever it may be. I plan on simplifying so many things this next year, I have a list of things I want to get done, and plan to check them off the list one by one.

Quilting will still be a front runner, and as this year starts, I am already staring behind the ball on several things that need to be finished or started. I try and not put so much pressure on myself, but it is a hard thing for me to do. I have set goals for my family, and intend to see them met. I pray I have the patience to deal with any adversity that may come in the process of meeting these said goals.

May we all find peace within ourselves, find joy in every day things, be optimistic about the future and get as much enjoyment as we can out of the new year. May we learn to appreciate the things we often take for granted and never forget we could lose it all in a blink of an eye.

Wishing us all peace and happiness for twenty-fourteen.

 Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.
- John Wayne

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Vintage Thingie Thursday: Vintage Treasures....of Various Sorts

Welcome everyone to Vintage Thingies Thursday

If you have a love for vintage things, well....you 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.

I found a cute little tea towel not long ago and I love the feel of a french market this one has! I really can't claim to know much about this type of vintage linens, but I do know enough to know I think it is really cute!



Here is a close up of the street market on the towel, and if you look closely, you will notice the first name of the maker.......yes.....Suzanne......another plus!!


This week was Veteran's Day, and I posted a picture of my favorite Veteran, my grandfather with my grandmother on facebook. My grandfather was in the army during WWII and this photo is a very young papaw and memaw.  

The most extraordinary thing happened after I posted this photo. One of my memaw's nieces, whom I am friends with on facebook, tagged herself in this photo. I got a message from a second cousin of mine, her grandmother was my grandmother's sister, and I remember her will from childhood, she had seen the photo. Come to find out, she lives right down the road, nearby from where I live and I am thinking a reunion of all of the relatives living in the area is a must. I have discovered there are some living less than 15 miles from me and most likely have been all along. The internet is really a wonderful tool....and finding lost connections is really amazing.

Happy Vintage Thingie Thursday everyone!! Hope your week is going great and all is well in your neck of the woods!!






Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer 2013 ~ Graduation Quilts Part One

Yes, I know the summer is almost over, and honestly any quilt that was a graduation gift for 2013 should have already been presented to its recipient. However, with my surgery this year, and other circumstances beyond my control, I am just now getting these to the special graduates. This post is part one of these quilts, I will have another post up this week.

This quilt was for my nephew. He graduated from my old High School, Burleson High School in Burleson, Texas. The school colors are red and black. (as always photos are click able for detail image)


I chose to make a string quilt using red, black, gray and white fabrics in the different colorways and shades. I have seen lots of string quilts without borders, but I decided to add borders to this one. I love the scrappiness of all the strings.


My long arm quilter, Joanne used a modern quilting pattern on this quilt, and I love it! It fits perfectly with the feel of the quilt. Joanne is wonderful about choosing the perfect quilting designs and does a fabulous job. It is so wonderful to send your quilt out to be quilted and know the person working on your quilt will not make mistakes with your work. It is a wonderful feeling.


This is a very modern backing, I liked the fabric well enough to use on the back and it really does bring it all together.


In the border, I off set the smaller string blocks on opposite edges, I really love how this one turned out. It is hard to find a design for a guy, and I think this one turned out really great for my nephew.


Here is my nephew, Keaton with his quilt. We went to dinner last night and I gave him his gift. He is off today to another state for the next chapter in his life. We wish him well in the months ahead. He is smart and so handsome and he will do well. We love you Keaton!


I have made a lot of quilts, and this is one of my very favorites. Maybe it reminds me of my old high school days a bit with all the red and black.....not sure.....but I love it and when you really fall in love with something you create it is a little hard to wrap it up and give it away! Luckily, it is going to a family member who I know will cherish it!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vintage Thingie Thursday: Vintage Darlings

Welcome everyone to Vintage Thingies Thursday

If you have a love for vintage things, well....you 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.

I don't know what could be better than a vintage sign other than a vintage sign with a dachshund on top!


How cute is this?!?!?! I love it!! Not only is it cute, but pizza is absolutely my four pups favorite table food of all time. In fact, there is always plenty of begging for a bite of cheese pizza around here. I think the sign is darling......

Do you  ever wonder about old chairs you might having sitting around? Well, vintage chairs make really neat and easy photo props.


My daughter Alisha, did not mind posing with a vintage chair! Of course, I think she looks darling posing with my old blue chair.

Have a great week everyone and Happy Vintage Thingie Thursday!







Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Confessions of a Cook in the Kitchen

Everyone has a secret or two, don't you agree? The problem may not be in the secret itself but in the fact you forgot you never confessed the secret until...oh....about twenty-eight years later.

Let me start off by giving you a little background to the truth: When my husband and I first started dating I wanted to impress him with my home cooking. Because we all know the way to a man's heart is through food.....yea, whatever. Oh, I could cook a few things at that time in my life, but I quickly ran out of ideas on cooking great dishes that were not repeats. Unfortunately for me, I did not grow up with the convenience of internet to search recipes online. No, I had to search my brain for friends who could cook great dishes and ask them how or would they make it. Yes, I so did that.


Now, my best friend's mother made some of my favorite dishes. One of my favorites was her lasagna. Oh, she made the best lasagna. So one day, I shamefully called her up and asked her if I purchased all the ingredients for her lasagna, would she make it for me. She quickly offered to give me the recipe (which she did and I still make it today) but I was afraid I'd mess it up since I had never made it before. I explained that to her and I remember she just laughed but agreed to make it. It was a huge relief. Seriously.

So the day my then boyfriend/now husband was coming over for dinner, I dropped all the ingredients off at my friend's house before I went to work, and picked it up on my way home. If I tell you that I flew like the wind to get home so I could pop that pan of lasagna in the oven (so it would appear I had cooked it) would you believe me?? Wait...don't answer that! The results however, were exactly what I wanted...he loved the lasagna, and I assume, he thought I was a magnificent cook with that meal and some of the other things I felt confident in cooking...he married me after all ;-)

I am sure you are wondering if I felt bad for that little indiscretion and letting him assume I had made that dinner. I really did not, no sire. I mean after all, I did learn to make that wonderful lasagna myself, and well, no harm was done.I had forgotten that little secret of mine from long ago until a one night this weekend.

My daughter wanted to do something nice for a boyfriend who lives out of town. She very cleverly got him to confess to her what his favorite cookies were and she made a plan to make some and send them to him in the mail as a surprise. They were well received and he loved them. He loved them so much that he told my daughter that they were much better than the cookies his very own mother made him.

He told her that his mothers cookies sometimes tended to by dry..and hers were perfect and wonderful. Now, that would be the conclusion to a happy ending, all except for one small little problem. He assumed my daughter had made those cookies from scratch and he thought they were better than his own mothers...and the fact of the matter was she purchased the cookie dough at the store. Ahem.


I am here to report that my daughter, just like her mother, did not say anything to her friend. She did not confess about the cookies.....but after about three weeks of him bringing the subject up, she decided enough was enough. She could not, with a clear conscience hear him say how great she was and how wonderful she was in making him those cookies, and how great they tasted one more time. She had stood all she could stand and one night she replied..."yea....about that"....and she came clean.

She told him that she had purchased the cookie dough from the store and they were not made from scratch...not really homemade. Luckily, he did not care about that and was more concerned with the sweet gesture made by my daughter. Her conscience bothered her in the fact he assumed she had made them from scratch....She is so unlike her mother!

Last week as my husband and I were talking over dinner, I had told him about her and the cookies. He laughed, but really did not pay me too much attention as he was in the middle of enjoying his grilled steak and potatoes. I continued on with my story and compared it to when I served him lasagna long ago before we were married and how I had not even made it.

There sat my husband, with his fork stabbed into a piece of steak suspended in mid air, just mere inches from his mouth and he stopped mid stream, tilted his head to the side and asked, "What did you say???" 

 I threw my head up from looking at my own plate and when I looked at him I knew right away this was clearly news to him. Likewise,what do you say when you have let the cat and the kittens out of the bag with your big mouth. I guess I thought I had told him that little story earlier in our marriage. Nope. Clearly it was a surprise.

He did not say it, but I know he secretly thanked his lucky stars that our daughter could not keep a secret like that for twenty-eight years. In fact, she could not keep it three weeks.

Moral of this story: Always raise your kids to be better than you consider yourself to be and if you have something to confess....just tell it and get it over with, because you will get to a point you won't remember if they know the truth or not and telling on yourself is not always how you want the story to end! Luckily, I learned to cook rather well even if I started out rather slow and a little dishonest!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Deserving Father's Day Wish For Him

I have found that when Father's Day comes around these days, I often find myself reflecting on the relationship or lack of I had with my own father. I don't allow myself to dwell on that too much as it was out of my control from the time I was a little girl. It was, what it was, and no wishing things differently will ever change that part of my life. I'd like to imagine he was all he could possibly be, even if it was not all I wanted him to be. Sometimes acceptance of things you can not change is all one can do.

That is when I find my thoughts drifting to my adult years. I think of the incredible man I was lucky enough to fall madly in love with at first glance, one fateful night long ago. I don't know if luck played a part in our meeting or not, but it certainly must have been under a blessed star. Ironically for every fault my own father had in the relationship he and I had, this man makes up for it 100 fold in the relationship he has with our own kids.


He is the one who is manly enough to walk the little dogs that rule our empty nest these days. He is the one who loves them as much as I do and puts up with a lot of loud yapping from the four we have. He is the one who drives me batty at times and then in a split second can melt my heart as he did all those days ago. He is a friend, partner and confidant. He is strong in character and instills wonderful values in all.


He is the one who is always there during the good times and the one you know will greet you with a hand out if you need one. He is the one who has instilled a secure sense of responsibility and living up to expectations in both of our kids. He is the one without a doubt who will always be there even if you think you can go it alone. He is the one who values right over the easy way each and every time. (well, most of the time)


He is the one who calls six to ten times a day to see what you are doing and check to see if you are OK. He is the one who asks about every single detail of your life and expects you to answer each and every question. He is the one who lets our kids know daily that we are here and we are always going to be here. He is the one who is quick to forgive when you disappoint, and the one to make you laugh or smile when you are having a bad day, even if you don't want to be cheered up. He is the one who won't let anyone stay mad long....even if it means making a fool out of himself to make you laugh. He is the one who has pet names for us all....no matter if they are nothing we would have chosen for ourselves, somehow, they seem to fit each of us perfectly.


He is the one who I know without a doubt was one of the best things that has ever come my way in this lifetime. He is everything and more, not only to our kids but to me as well. He fills each day with laughter or at least a lot of entertainment. I can not imagine life without him! Happy Father's Day to the most wonderful father and husband I could have imagined. It never goes unnoticed that you are all the things I wished I had in my own father when I was growing up. Thank you for being all you can be for all of us, but mostly for our kids.  I know we all are guilty of not telling you enough how special you are, but know there could be no one to ever take your place.

Monday, April 1, 2013

March Roared In Like a Lion......and not in a good way.


March roared in like a lion for me this year. With the coming of March, also unexpected things happened and the most eye opening lessons learned as well. I was happy to bid March goodbye as even up until the very last second of that month, the lion still roared. I still hear the loud lengthy roar in my head and am most weary from it all.

Short version of the month past is the first of the month my husband fell ill and was hospitalized in ICU. He is better now and is feeling better, but not where I want him to be. That might have been just enough of out of the ordinary to handle, but that ole lion had other plans for the rest of the month. He decided to make his presence known around every turn and keep his paw in more than what should have been allowed. It has been a draining time. I know just because the month ended that does not mean the shadow of that lion is not still around. I hope his presence weakens and hope I have the courage to face whatever the shadow cast on our walls.

With that being said, I certainly learned a lot from the month of March. Sometimes it takes a crises to open our eyes at what we choose not to see. It is easy to overlook what you really don't want to face and pretend things are not as they are. What the Month of March taught me are listed below, a reminder if I need to re-read them as I keep thinking of days ahead.

1. I learned that my thoughts on growing older have been easier to handle by totally ignoring any of the signs that presented themselves to me. It is easier to dismiss what you don't want to see or acknowledge, then it is to face it head on. I remember feeling utter shock as I sat in my husbands hospital room and wondered how and when we became "old". Seriously....how did that happen....the only way to describe that was shock. I learned that our hourglass has run out of sand and now it is time to face the music and do something about all the things we have ignored. Total wake up call.

2. I learned that the people who should be there for you in a crisis won't be. I also learned it is in those who you would never expect to fill those shoes do so and do it so willingly. I also learned that it does not matter how much you have done for individuals in the past, how much time you have invested in them, how much thought and love went into trying to enrich their lives and make their life easier when they needed it. You can never expect the same in return. It is better to expect nothing. Less hurt that way. (I also know it is not in the things that I have done that should make me deserving of anything. It is just when the people who you would expect to be there in some capacity, and when they are not...well.....you get the idea.)

3. I learned where I focus a lot of my time is time wasted. I learned that things that occupy my free time is not what is really important in the grand scheme of things. I am making adjustments.

4. I learned that my own fear is crippling. So much so it clouds good judgement. So much so, that no matter the fact, I know what I need to do, it is so hard to take that first step. I am a work in progress. I need to find the courage and find it quick.

5. I learned that everyone will not respect your story as your own. After much thought, I am not sure it is a lack of respect of the story, but of the people themselves. I find that folks want to know all the details of a crisis, not because it is any of their business, but simply they want to have something to go tell every person they can think of from the far regions. Funny thing is, these are the same people who demand respect for their particular stories and expect them not to be told. I have a dear friend who in passing told me she did not give out any details of what was going on...she told me it was not her story to tell. Respect and care for me was her concern. She really has no idea how this radiated with me. I know the value of this friend.

6. I learned that from now on, when I offer to help someone and ask if there is anything I can do, I know that question is just is not enough. I learned that when a person is going through something hard, they have no idea what they need. Seriously. I told caller after caller that I did not need anything but thanks anyway. Luckily, some folks decided they would take matters into their own hands. They provided exactly what I (we) needed even with strong protest from me in the process. I told myself that I would never ask again....I would put something into action. Big lesson learned here.

7. I learned to never take for granted the people who fill your heart with happiness....because it can all come crashing down in a blink of an eye.

8. I learned that life is so short and for years I have overlooked that fact and lived like I had all the time in the world. I am so fearful I won't have the time left to do all I had hoped to do. Make each day count...we are never ever guaranteed another day after this one.

9. I learned that there are things that happen that can not be explained where others understand them. It is not a part of their story and if they choose not to believe like you do that is ok. If I have learned one thing about myself it would be I am gifted many unusual things that occur in my life and it is because I am open to the unexplainable and I believe and see the meaning when they occur. It is a blessing.

10. I learned that no matter how heavy your heart is, no matter how tired you are, no matter how fearful you are of the truth, no matter how you feel you can't take another step towards the unknown - you can. You must. You will.


I am expecting that lion to decide to sleep again soon and things return to how I would prefer them to be. This photo sorta sums up how I feel about that....better keep a look out for that lion even if he decides to sleep....he might be peaking around the corner of his eye. 

Things very well may be different than what I had a month ago, but different is better than not at all. Here's hoping for a wonderful Spring as we welcome in April and hoping I don't hear that roar in my head for a while.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Christmas Gift That Was Two-Fold!

Sometimes a gift that is two-fold is the best gift of all!

That one sentence my friends, is an understatement if I have ever known one. I'd like to share this story with you all, and it may be longer than you care to read, but it is one I know some of my friends will want to hear. I hope it warms you heart as you read about something that certainly warmed mine.

Early in December, I posted this post, about a lady I read about on facebook who was selling her dachshund treasures in order to be able to provide a Christmas for her four children. She was selling her dachshund figurines on ebay and had two auctions up and running. I glanced at the auctions, and realized rather quickly that they were out of my budget and I knew without a doubt, that if I did in fact win one of those auctions, I 'd send her a note and tell her to keep the doggies and enjoy the money.  I know myself, and I know that is what I would have done.


When I soon realized I would not be winning one of the auctions, I felt like surely there was something I or we could do to help. I posed that very question on the Frankie Doodle facebook page that had mentioned one of their early customers were having to sell their dachshunds. Soon others started to ask how they could help, so another lady and myself emailed back and forth and was able to set up a "chip-in" to help this family during this holiday season. Several people were able to contribute a little something and we managed to give her a little extra and were very happy to do so. I believe we collected $295.00 for this family, and I'd like to thank each of you who were able to contribute in some way. That is wonderful!!

I do things like this when I can and most of the time, I don't tell my family, or even mention it to them. I have on many occasions given my lunch money for the day to someone on the street needing a hand up. I have crocheted a scarf and throw and gave it to a lady who lives in a park on the other side of town just this past December.  When your heart speaks, you need to listen and answer. I don't question what happens to things I have given or how the money is spent, that is not something I feel I need to question......most of my family however, sees things a little differently than I do most of the time, thus the reason for keeping some things to myself.


Shortly, after setting up the "chip-in" things got hectic for me during the holiday season. My daughter graduated with her Masters degree and we were busy with that and the holidays got here so quickly, there was just not enough time in the day to do all I needed to do. I kept meaning to check and see what the auctions on eBay finally went for, but I just never got around to doing so. It was easier to watch the "chip-in" from the link on my blog and I just never made it back to find the link to the actions again. However, this family stayed in my heart and I seldom went a day without thinking of them during this holiday season. Through Facebook, I was able to send a message the week before Christmas just making sure she received the money and wished them a Merry Christmas.

Christmas morning came, and one of the first thoughts I had was of this family. I silently wished for them a wonderful day filled with wonderful new memories......but rather quickly, it was time to start cooking as we were heading to my brothers house later in the day and I did not have a lot of time to dally. So when I thought about sending a Christmas greeting that morning, it never got sent, I just got busy and the thought slipped my mind.


...fast forward to the afternoon at my brothers house. Now we do things in a rather non traditional way in regards to gifts in my family these days. We do not exchange gifts between my brother and my families really, we do a gift exchange, but not individual gifts. My mom always buys individual gifts and when it came time to open gifts, honestly, I did not even read the tags as they are and should have all been from her. So in my ripping off paper from boxes...my brother tells me that the box I was holding was from him. "What do you mean, from you??", I asked...... I vaguely remember him telling me to just be careful opening it and it was from him..and quickly informed me I had not read the tag.

Carefully but suspiciously I opened the box. Suspiciously, because my brother is a practical joker and well, I could think of a few things he could put in a box to cause a good laugh when I opened it.....hope he does not get any bright ideas by this!

Inside the box was a lot of packaging wrap and two pieces of paper on the top. The first was a note from my brother......the first line was "Sometimes a gift that is two-fold is the best gift of all!"  I quickly knew once I skimmed that letter that if I finished that letter, I'd be a blubbering mess, I skimmed the note as if I had read it and quickly went on to the next piece of paper.

I could feel all eyes in the room were focused on me and was feeling a bit uncomfortable trying to "hold it together" The next piece of paper I did not get read either...I noticed first off "Frankie Doodles" and that was ALL I read. I did not read another word, but looked up at my brother and asked how in the world did he know about Frankie Doodles. I assumed that my brother was lurking on Facebook and saw when I had commented on that Facebook page.  I assumed  he had purchased a piece of Frankie Doodle Dachshund art work for me for Christmas.


This was the first dachshund I opened and of course I loved it. I thought that was what he had ordered for me, but somewhere in the back of my brain, I felt this was sorta familiar in a way. I told him I loved it and thank you.....then he said keep opening the box, but be careful. 

 The second one I opened was the dachshund in the first picture....and when I saw that dachshund....my mind raced....I knew.....I knew....but how could that be???  As tears stung my eyes, I looked at my brother and said without question..."These are that ladies dachshunds.....how????......how did you know???" Then all at once I realized my brother had somehow found out about this situation and had bid on the auction on eBay and then gave them to me as a gift. I am sure I had one of those real ugly face cries, because there was no way a pretty cry was coming from this....between tears, I slowly unwrapped each one, and honestly with each one I opened, I was so torn with the thoughts of sending them back to the lady who sold them and then feeling bad about having those thoughts as my brother got them for me special. I had a lot of emotions to sort out and never did read those two notes until I got home and could read them without an audience.


My brothers note was a gentle reminder that no matter how hurt I feel over things and people we have lost, he is still here and we both share in those memories. He is my brother and he loves me....it is shameful how we sometimes get so wrapped up inside our own hurts we forget the things that matter the most. I will try and not forget again. He knew I'd be confused but hoped this gift would be a great surprise and special.  The second note was to my brother from the lady who sold my brother the dachshund figurines. Again, I just did not read it and never realized it until that evening. Seems my brother swore her to keep a secret and not let me in on the surprise.

 I still shake my head at the fact my brother surprised me with this incredible gift for myself, but more importantly, his gift of the purchase of these figurines had a huge part in the assurance that this family had a good Christmas. I can not tell you how special this was for me and how it was the most incredible gift anyone could have ever given me.

.......now Christmas evening after we had returned home, I logged into Facebook and had a message from Karen, the lady who sold the dachshunds to my brother...she said that she heard I had a special gift this year.... yes indeed......I told her I was still trying to sort it all out and honestly, felt a little guilty for having the figurines.  Below is the message she sent me the night of Christmas, and I want to share it with you all. I hope it serves as a reminder to listen to your heart, you just don't know what little or small thing you do will make such a huge difference to someone else.

"Your brother emailed me when he won them and was very excited to give them to you! He insisted I keep it a secret. I loved the doxies while they were here but it is your turn now! I will collect others in the future! I feel like this was an extraordinary experience that we were all involved in and that is the joy of it all. I keep Joanne (Frankie Doodle artist) in the loop and I think she was blessed by the love of her sculptures and the community of friends that grew through all of this. I shared the story of your brother's gift with my kids and they are true believers of "things happen for a reason". I couldn't wait to see how surprised you were! You had no idea what you had a hand in! Thank you for your kindness and thought and prayers! We will live on, just differently, but these special stories and moments make it easier! Be Blessed"

.....the best gift of all is indeed one that is two-fold.....how true that is.  The very idea that my brother took the time to research what on earth I was making comments about on Facebook, then spending the money to make sure I was able to have the figurines is most special. Not to mention, his letter to me reminding me of what is so very important in the big scheme of things was an incredible gift and I can not deny that. But also the fact that he was able to bless this family by wanting to do something nice for me is also an amazing gift to my heart.

These four dachshunds are more than clay figurines you would sit on a shelf and admire. The are the gentle reminder of love and a caring spirit that we each should have towards those we know and love and those we may never meet. I will most certainly enjoy them and treasure them all the days of my life. They are a part of a two-fold gift...a gift of love....a gift of compassion....a gift of hope for better days. And certainly, those kinds of gifts are the best of all.


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.



Footnote:
(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.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vintage Thingie Thursday: Precious Memories

Welcome everyone to Vintage Thingies Thursday. If you have a love for vintage things, well....you 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.





Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vintage Thingie Thursday: A Happy Birthday and Some Vintage Treasures

Welcome everyone to Vintage Thingies Thursday. If you have a love for vintage things, well....you 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.

I should have done this post yesterday, but decided it would be for Vintage Thingie Thursday! Not that the sweet person it has to do with is vintage...yet....but these things are definitely considered vintage. (as always, clicking photos makes them bigger)


Tuesday, was my son's 30th Birthday.....hard for me to believe thirty years has past since he was born. Very hard to believe. Happy Birthday to the joy of my life!!! I have the best son ever and he has a heart as big as can be and golden too! 


This is the gift I received from my cousin when he was born. I love this and have kept it in the original frame. I had forgotten how adorable it is until after I got it out of the cedar chest.....it is and always has been one of my special keepsakes!!!


She also made one for my daughter, but I will have to save that for a different time!


This is the blanket and outfit Jeff came home from the hospital in. the blanket says "baby boy" and I just love the little sailor suit. I think this was such a cute outfit.


This is the only other outfit I saved from when he was little. It was my very favorite outfit and he wore it a lot. I wonder if the person who gave him this remembers it??? Believe me I know exactly who gave it to him!! It still looks great!!


I was twenty when my son was born, and I made him a blanket.....I did not know if he was a boy or a girl so I guess I had picked a gender neutral pattern.


I used to stitch back then, but never do it anymore.........but the thing that really got my attention was the fact that this was quilted by machine.......and I had done it!!!!


It was large squares quilted but none the less, I did it when I was twenty  years old.......should have been a sign I guess of what was to come. I think it is time to step out and find the courage to do a little quilting on my own quilts again....even if it starts with something as simple as this.


Here is another blanket I kept from when he was a baby.


...and an actual baby quilt. I did not make these, but they are some of the things I kept of his from when he was a baby.


It is hard to believe that this boy (man) was ever small enough to wrap in blankets and wear those baby clothes.....time has traveled way too fast!!


Just know son, you are so very special to my heart and no matter where the road may lead you in this life....the road home is never too far or too long to travel!!! Happy Birthday to my baby boy......yes, he will always be my baby boy, no matter how old he gets.


Have a great Vintage Thingie Thursday!!!


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