Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Five Sweet Hearts

It's Thanksgiving Day once again!  Another year of roasted turkey,

pumpkin pie for some and an apple pie for another.. their aromas

wafting throughout the house.  Another year of dinner being planned

around the annual Detroit Lions football game... they just might

have a chance this year!  That means happy faces around the table!

Another year of three brothers being around one another remembering

the good ol' days.  The antics they played on each other... the 

teasing.  It always seems to lead to the "baby" of the family, who

now is taller than the other two, proving he can take down his

eldest brother.  The words I said then ... "That's enough, boys!! Don't

break anything!!" still get repeated once more!  And another year of my trying 

to create a Hallmark moment around the table by asking them to

each say what they are thankful for.  The eyes roll, "not again, mom!"

I ignore that and once more say ... "what are you thankful for?" 

The eldest usually goes first with "I'm thankful for my family and 

being together".  Well, it seems to start a roll as the other two boys and

husband repeat the same thing.  Where is the waxing poetically?  Where

are the examples of situations that made them thankful?  Where is

my Hallmark moment with cameras rolling and we're all dressed in classic

americana, Ralph Lauren attire?  It's not to be seen ... it's not to be 

expected .... it's not real.  Not for us.  For what I have finally realized

is that what we have in our family is truer than that.  I have been

blessed in so many ways with an incredible family and I am thankful 

each and every day!  It's another Thanksgiving day, once again, and there

are five sweet hearts sitting around the table all very thankful for the 

family that we are.  And I am grateful to be a part of that!  Happy 

Thanksgiving, everyone! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Ok... I know!  Who wants to look at someone's feet, right?  But

just give me a moment to explain.  And I have to backtrack to

get there so just bear with me. I basically was raised by my grandmother.

Yes, mom was there but as she had to work to pay the bills I basically was 

raised by a very proper woman.  She clung to the rules of what was

expected from a lady and tried her best to pass it on down to another 

generation... me!!  Gesh!  THAT was a tough one to swallow!  Girls did

not play sports, were quiet in public places, polite, courteous, and dressed

like a lady.  And heaven knows... only racy women would wear black.  I

kid you not!  I was raised to not wear black!  Let me clarify that... not 

wear a black dressy dress.  Phew!  For a minute there, I almost had you 

believing that I would not wear my black turtleneck with my yellow plaid, kilt

skirt with black tights.  Loved that outfit!  Copied it out of Seventeen 

Magazine!  I digress... sorry!

Next scene to present to you was when I was a young, married woman about

27 years of age.  Did I dare???  Yes, I did!  I bought a dressy black dress for

a business dinner.  I was feeling a bit naughty.  And I couldn't wait to show

my best girlfriend.  I led her into the bedroom, straight to the closet.  Open

the door to present my "mature, coming-of-age" black dress.  You should 

have seen the expression in her eyes.  And now that I think back it causes

me to shake my head and just laugh.  It was long-sleeved, buttoned up 

to the neck and down to the knees.  Oh, yeah!  Get out the handcuffs and

arrest me now for indecent exposure!!  That was my first foray into black.

And nail polish.  I've always been a "Kennebunkport" (by OPI) kinda 

girl.  Classic blue-red polish.  For a long time that was what I wore. Would a

New England girl choose anything else?  YES!!!!  I DID!!  Just last weekend!!!

I am now sporting "Howl" in the Wilde Collection.  Don't you just love that

name?  For a lot of you, this is just amateur stuff.  Wading in the kiddie

pool.  But my life is all about baby steps and I've just taken one more.  Or

let's say I've added to it.  I also sport a rockin' leather cuff with metal 

buckle and a ring that my middle son called "being one with Ozzie Osborne".

Yea, man, I'm rockin' it and age has nothing to do with it.

Peace out!!! 

(Now back to our regular programming as I head out to Lord&Taylor's to

search for a sensible pair of dress shoes that won't kill my feet!!!)


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Making a Silk Purse From a Sow's Ear

I'm all about a sale! All about a deal!  But where I can go wrong...

regrettably wrong... is letting the price override my true love for

something.  This has happened quite a few times, resulting in my parting

ways with things at Goodwill. You know the adage, what is one person's

trash is  another person's treasure! So I say "goodbye" with a twinge of

guilt over wasting my money.  And that is where this story begins....

I knew as Annie (the only other female, besides myself, in a house filled

with men.. doesn't matter if she has four legs instead of two!) aged, she

would feel better eating and drinking from bowls that were elevated off

the floor.  My princess is not a diva therefore nothing she-she or frou-

frou would do. And heaven knows, I wasn't about to drop a bundle on

it!  After pouring through catalogues, shopping at pet stores, looking at

places like TJ Maxx, I finally found something that might work and it  

was....ON SALE! Done deal!  Brought it home, placed an uncoordinated

placement underneath it, and instantly knew something was amiss.

It didn't settle with me.  It was "mahogany"  wood.  Not me.

It looked like it fit in a traditional home.  So not me.  Annie was happy...

I wasn't.  Driven by the "deal" and not the look, I was right back where 

I have been before.  Dissatisfied.  I had been feeling like for some time.

Until this past weekend.  

                                         Annie's new dining area

This is the result of a surge of creative inspiration.  A distressed,

glazed piece coated with 3 layers of wax to protect it.  And the 

"unfortunate placement" was replaced by a heavy feedsack cut

to size.  No need to "age" it as it already had unfortunate looking

mishaps that marked the fabric.  I bound the edges to keep its

shape.  Cute, huh?

                                            patched letter "A"

I even replicated a "patch" using a letter "A" that was stamped on the

feed sack.  How lucky was I to have the right letter!  The tension is

now gone whenever I look in that direction.  It fits in with my style

and I'm a happy woman!  And Annie?????

                                  "For me???  A present for me???"

                       She's forever my grateful, loyal companion!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm Wrong??? Say it isn't so!!

Let me set up the scene for you.  We're driving home after spending a 

fall afternoon at the flea market.  The weather, initially sunny and warm

requiring only a light jacket, had turned overcast, grey and cold.  The  

wind had picked up and would sporadically whip the autumn leaves into    

a frenzy. After spending time just gazing out the passenger window I said..

ME:  "Days like this are so melancholy."

HUSBAND (an agreeable sort.. never one to correct or judge, speaks):


ME: (whipping my head around looking towards this being who had,

       morphed from my husband's body):  "Yes.... Melancholy!",

       spoken in a tone of "Oh, no he di'nt!!")

HUSBAND (now resorting to chortling):  "MELANCHOLY!!  How is this


At this point, it's incredulous that this conversation is happening. I

wouldn't even acknowledge that an answer was required of me. After

all, I AM right in using that word to describe the day! 


You see.. this time of year always makes my past come to life.  I see my

 hometown that was nothing more than houses, large

yards, lots and lots of mature trees, and stone walls still standing since

the early 1800's.  I see myself in grade school, with all my friends,

wearing 100% wool, crew neck sweaters.. the "uniform" of a typical New 

England girl.  I see my family, that through divorce, had become a 

tight knit group of people consisting of my mother, brother, grandmother,

aunt and uncle.  With just that very brief description of my childhood,

a fast paced slide show of memories runs through my mind. The same can

be said of my college days.  Older, but just a kid.  A kid still needing the

comforts of homey memories to wrap around me when things got too

stressful or unknown.  And it's always at this time of year that I get this

way.  I think the answer lies in the fact that even though fall is so filled

with the miracles of nature's coloring, it is the last hurrah before

everything is stripped bare for the duration of winter. Therefore, I have  

been choosing the word, "melancholy" to encompass my feelings.

Not one to want to admit being wrong, I decided to enlist the

help of Mr. Webster and I looked up the official definition.  WHAT??!!  

Couldn't be!  "Depression of spirits, sadness, dejection."  I don't

feel any of those!  Time to ask Mr. Roget.  He wanted me to add

words like, "mope, gloom, etc."  No... NO.... NO!  Say it isn't so....

I have been using the wrong word to describe this autumnal vibe!

I still don't know what word would be the perfect fit, but I sure found

out that not only is the word, melancholy, wrong but so am I.  Yes,

dear, I will say it.... "I was wrong."  Gosh, darn... and I was so close

to being perfect!!!!!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blink 'em.. Blink 'em ... Blink 'em..

I discovered a passion for auctions while living in a suburb of Des

Moines, Iowa.  Had not a clue that that even interested me.. never

had that gnaw at me at any point in my life.  Until then.  This book

is filled with every purchase I made along with a running commentary 

about where I was that day, what the item looked like, excitement over 

being the highest bidder (gee... that doesn't sound right, does it??!!)

and even comments about "dumb" purchases as a result of being 

overzealous.  The auctions were usually held Thursday through Sunday

and I couldn't wait to get in my red, Chevy Tahoe and head out 

into the country.  Oh!.... let me just tell you, I thought I'd died and 

gone to heaven! Imagine driving up to a farmer's field... sun beating

down on you... fresh air filling your lungs.. to see straight ahead at 

least two or more flatbeds piled with "smalls" and larger pieces placed

around the perimeter.  Standing in the middle of all of that is the 

auctioneer.  The cadence of his voice could put you in a trance as he

asks for bids.  If he sensed hesitancy in the crowd, this particular

auctioneer would say.. "blink 'em, blink 'em, blink 'em" while staring

at those showing promise- hoping to get them to raise their hand

one more time.  Don't ask me why he chose those words, it was just

his particular nuance.  And one I will never forget!

Fast forward to the present.  I now peruse the classifieds for estate

sales... preferring the older homes.  I know family have picked items

that meant the most to them, leaving the rest for strangers to 

rummage through. I get a little wistful thinking

about who lived there and that I am taking a part of their life.  

For instance, this is a dress that a woman had sewed for a special 

occasion.  A short, capped-sleeved tunic with a sleeveless shift

underneath.  Can't you just imagine the story behind it??  The fabric is

 something I haven't seen before........

Just gorgeous!  And it's now mine.  And I'm grateful.  It got me to

thinking about all the things I have collected over the years.  Will my

sons and future daughter-in-laws want them?  You know, it won't

bother me if they don't.  As I have this philosophy.. that the things I 

bought gave ME pleasure and come with no strings attached to be

handed down.  And I wonder if that is how this woman, who's dress

I now own, feels.  That somewhere up in heaven she remembers that

gay party filled with laughter, good friends and food, and dancing

into the wee hours of the morning!  And having a smile on her face 

knowing she sewed the prettiest dress in the room!