Sunday, November 25, 2012

~ Let the games begin ~

We have barely cleared away the dishes from the Thanksgiving table when 
the Christmas fun begins.

 the dining room table becomes the staging area
as items are moved about the house. 

Down from the attic come boxes

and boxes and boxes

This is where Mr. Wonderful (also known as  Mr. Pack Mule)
 really earns his keep.

Hey you're no help!!

And here......

A little behind the scenes craziness here, 

but trust me somewhere in the midst of all this chaos
is a Christmas House

Stay tuned. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

~Thankful ~

It's that time again, for us to put aside our petty differences
 and join hands across the table. 

All kidding aside
it's all about gathering your family together and eating as much as you can hold.....
what's not to love?

And of course we eat first with our eyes, so I enjoy setting a welcoming table.
This is the time, to pull out all the best stuff.

Polish the silver

Iron the linens

Grab that fancy dish in the back of the cupboard and USE it.

To take the extra time needed to dress a lovely table
to think of the small details that will bring a smile....
these little things tell your family, how much they mean to you. 

Little pilgrim hat place cards for the Grandkids

But we all know this day is not about the beautiful table or even the food.
This is the moment to recognize those things for which we are thankful.
So with head humbly bowed; 
I'm thankful for little hands folded in prayer 
as a bountiful feast is blessed. 

though my Thanksgiving table starts out with all good intentions

when all is said and done it usually ends up
 looking something like this

Does this look familiar?

And another happy ,satisfying 
Good Old Fashioned Thanksgiving 
was had by all. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

~ Soldier Boy ~

'Soldier Boy
Oh, my little soldier boy
I'll be true to you'

I was just  6 years old when that song was a hit. But I remember playing it over and over again and singing along.  It struck a chord with me
Who knew I'd one day be married to my own
Soldier Boy?
Being married to a career military man was not easy.  
Needless to say, it's not a life for everyone. 
So here's a big Salute to all the those who have served and a special thank you to their families too. 

Our family like so many others has pictures lining the walls of family members through the generations who have proudly served our country in the Armed Forces. 
We honor them 
One family member in particular stands out, 
My husband's Uncle Bus

He was destined to live the life less ordinary right from the start. 
After surviving a tragic childhood accident wherein he was burned over 90% of his body
he spent years recovering.
But he grew straight and  strong and was even a Golden Gloves Boxer
He was a champion swimmer & diver
who swam with Johnny Weismueller ( the original Tarzan).  The two of them would challenge one another as they swam between the piers in Lake Michigan.
He was the Indiana Jones of the family. 
Traveled everywhere, took daring adventures,

and came home with fantastic stories 
He was a living legend, whom everyone wanted to be near. 
As it seems with so many of those who grab life and live it to the fullest,
He died all too soon.
 After fighting in both WWII and Korea,  his ship hit a mine and was sunk in Viet Nam.
All that are left now, are the stories we tell . 
And the souvenirs, lovingly carried home from far flung places around the world. 
Like these beautifully carved figurines.
This Happy fellow

And his scary faced counterpart.
The teeth are carved from ivory and fit inside the mouth like a pair of dentures. !!

This pair of beautiful wooden bowls

And this sweet little seashell holy water font

Today we honor our heroes. 
Many from foreign wars long ago
and all the brave souls still fighting today. 
Though there are some larger than life characters, who seem to garner most of the attention
let us not forget
they are all heroes.

And a special thank you to my own hero.

Mr. Wonderful is front row first from the left
My own sweet soldier boy.
to whom I still sing ( off key)

"I'll be true to you. "

Sunday, November 4, 2012

~ Give me sequestered nooks~

'Give me sequestered nooks and the sweet serenity of books'

Books, much like my dishes, have a way of overflowing. But I love the look
 of books spilling about.
Books piled up by my reading chair.

Books stacked by my bed.
Books in my tote bag.

"My Library is Dukedom enough. "

'The Bookworm. '
by Carl Spitzweg
which hangs in my library
I love the play of light and shadows in this piece.

Of course you can see why I love him. He's a man after my own heart.
The smell of a vintage book can  immediately bring back fond memories of
visiting old book stores in San Francisco with my Grandparents.
Spending hours perusing  aisles lined with books that whispered to me
.....are you ready for an adventure?
Yes, Amelia Earhart
and Florence Nightingale
 and so many others
beckoned me to sit quietly and let them tell me their story.
I loved these trips to our favorite book stores, with their creaky wooden floors and  their tall ladders reaching to the ceiling. One of my favorites spots had so many book
 they spilled out everywhere. Two stories tall.
Stacks on top of stacks.
 Books in boxes on the floor.
 And books on top of boxes.

Oh to be surrounded by books.
and I pledged that one day I would have a library

Well, not quite

 (no, not exactly)

( Hmm, not this one either)

  ( ahh yes, just right)

Be it ever so humble, my little library nook is a beautiful world to me
And yes, I'm surrounded by books.

as well as some of my favorite items.

I am happy here in this little corner.
A book, a chair, a good light for reading....and I'm off.

These books aren't just items on a shelf
They are my friends. When I look at these shelves, I see  far flung places I've visited from my armchair, things I've learned, laughs and heartaches I've shared with these characters.
And to use a little literary license from one of my favorite characters; 
Ebenezer Scrooge
"Robinson Crusoe, not real? Elizabeth Bennett, Scarlett O'Hara not real ?"
Of course they're real, I say.  Their lives are lived on these worn pages,
and I am free to visit them over and over again.

So I pick up a book, sink into my comfy chair 

 and say to myself
" where shall I go today?"