With Valentines day just around the corner I figured I would share some of this seasons Valentines Day ideas that I can't help but love!
Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
We do not remember days; we remember moments. ~Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand
Sifting through pictures this week almost seems like pushing back the hands of time. I can't help but stare down at the youthful pictures of my father and wonder at what he must have been like as a young man. The man I knew and grew up with throughout my childhood was almost always in pain- numerous accidents throughout his life had led him to become a stiff old man before his time. He managed well enough, and I can almost hear the distinct rap of his cane as he wobbled along in later years.
He brought a smile to almost every persons face he met, telling jokes and funny stories as he went. I can honestly say in there likely wasn't a day in his life that he didn't get at least one person to crack a smile for him. And as I'm sitting there sorting through the pictures I am entirely shocked at the multitude of pictures of just my father and I- some of the memories drift back slowly and sweetly and others sting with clarity.
My childhood was golden but as the years passed our relationship became strained, and only more so as his illnesses changed his personality. Gone was the carefree father I had come to love, replaced by a old man- someone I hardly recognized anymore. In the last year of his life, his smiles were less frequent, his laughter no longer ringing out. I would like to tell you I was a dutiful daughter, and that I visited as much as I could, but that would be a lie. It became almost a physical pain to see him in such disarray that I stopped coming for a long time.
And then one night my mother called me and asked that I come up to the hospital where he was. My sister stood beside me as I waited patiently for the nurse to clean him up on the other side of the curtain. She explained to me that he had internal bleeding and it didn't seem like there was anything they could do. I was so sure I could handle what ever waited on the other side of that curtain- but as they pulled it back I could feel the air leave my lungs.
I remember standing over his bed, and wondering why he looked so thin and frail. My father was every bit 6'2" and this man was so withered he was barely my height. I watched as he noticed my sister, his eyes never leaving hers as she walked to one side of the bed and I on the other. She pointed in my direction and slowly he turned his head toward me. The same rich blue eyes stared back at me and immediately I started crying. For a long moment we just stared at each other the tears rolling down our faces and though he wasn't able to talk everything was there in his eyes. "I love you, Daddy." I said and he kissed my forehead. It would be his last gift to me.
In the coming days I have been assailed with memories, both good and bad. I have felt guilt for my actions, remorse for my loss and joy that he is no longer in pain. So many family members and friends have come forth with stories of how he helped them in one way or another, and they have all comforted me greatly. I have been blessed to have had a father so entirely loving and caring that even in his final moments he found the strength to forgive me.
Today is his cremation service, before he will be put to rest in the Florida National Cemetery for Veterans.
I hope the end is joyous and I hope never to return.- Frida Kahlo
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
-Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
In memory of my Father. R.E.N (1944-2011)
Friday, January 21, 2011
I was recently browsing through some of my favorite inspiration blogs when I came across the latest and greatest over at Brooklyn Limestone. She is currently doing a feature on organizing, something that I can appreciate. As you all know I am constantly battling clutter in my big old house and well, lets face it Mr.Major isn't big on getting rid of things, so mainly its up to me to find creative ways to keep things organizined here.
Who wouldn't be in love with Mrs. Limestones painted drawer idea? Quite honestly it would make even the worst junk drawer offender tidy up just to see the pretty design at the bottom of the drawer!
Needless to say I was thoroughly inspired to do some overhauling myself and decided to let you all in on it. I have only four drawers like this in my house- and so I decided to tackle the worst two today.
On the outside, our kitchen island looks like any other peice of furniture...
But don't be fooled by its pretty exterior... inside is a jumbled nightmare. (Im cringing as I post these.)
Once everything was out I decided to stamp the inside of my drawer. I picked up this stamp at Michaels and just used some black craft paint I had on hand.
While it was drying I searched for ideas on organizing all of my little items. I loved the idea of using my chalkboard pots for drawer organizing so I hopped to it.
And now things are looking so pretty that I'm afraid I don't want to close my drawers! Go figure!
If you get a chance check out Brooklyn Limestone's beautiful blog. I would love to see your organizing jobs in progress!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I found these really cute tiny little pots at the Dollar Store and thought I had better try out an idea I had seen on line. What better time then now?
This project is super simple and only requires a handful of things to get started.
sponge / brush
First create a work space for yourself and begin by taping off the areas of your pot that you want to remain paint-less.
Using your sponge or paint brush apply the chalkboard paint. I found that if you apply a thick layer you don't have to apply a second coat. Plus these dry quick since the terracotta absorbs moisture! Set them aside for a few minutes to dry.
Once they are dry remove the painters tape and prep your chalkboard surface by rubbing chalk on them. Gently wipe clean and viola!
These make sweet little valentines day gifts where you can put a real potted plant in it or you can design your own seed packets and give them as a gift set like these from Martha Stewart...
Personally I liked these and so I did some of my own... :)
This latest addiction to chalkboard paint is bound to get me into trouble.