Tales From The Heart

January 15, 2012


On Friday, I visited a local vintage store, Junk 'N' The Trunk (formerly known as Not So Shabby).  A small store with more personality and character than you can imagine.

As I walked around the store, absorbing the possibilities created by old and old-looking treasures I began to feel something stir inside.  My mind began to race around, new ideas forming and bouncing away. . . like someone rapidly scanning a touch screen.  My eyes darted from wall-to-wall - corner-to-corner - display to display . . . Each piece was perfectly displayed and highlighted!  For a vintage junky, like myself, it was a miniature Disneyland!

In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you this quaint li'l shop is owned by a very special friend & her husband, Gina & Jeff Gann.  I met Gina,three years ago, just a few days after opening my own bricks and mortar venture.  We became instant friends, sharing many smiles & tears, projects, ideas, and much more.  Alas, that is a story for a different day - Back to my visit at Junk 'N' The Trunk . . .

As I looked around, toured the showroom, storage room & work area, one thought repeated itself - No Fabric.  There was a fingertip towel, a few felt flowers, but no fabric to speak of . . . Abruptly I turned to Gina and said "There is no fabric".  At her hesitation and perplexed look, I realized the need to offer a further explanation, after all she isn't a mind reader.  So I tried again, "You know . . . Runners, Tablecloths, Napkins, Aprons, Throws - Stuff like that!"  Gina's lips formed a smile, her eyes glimmered and suddenly . . . .We were off and running, or should I say imagining . . . within minutes my sweet little PT Cruiser was Filled with Junk . . . Lampshade Frames, Pillows (in need of love aka embellishment), Inspirational/Idea Clippings, and Oh So Many Thoughts and Shared Brainstorms.

Upon my return to the Frat House (one of many nicknames for home) I began to move from closet to drawer, collecting things stored and stashed away.  Out came the sewing machine, ironing board, iron, scissors, rotary cutter & mat, etc., etc., etc.!  I took a short break to send a text to My Prince (aka Michael, World's Greatest Husband), something to the tune of, "I visited with Gina, the sewing machine has reappeared and I think I have re-claimed My Mojo!"  (Bless his heart, I am sure this struck fear in his heart as he considered the days to come)  For lack of a better set-up, I have commandeered the dining room as my work area but, my first table set is nearly complete! . . . An 80" Table Runner and 4 Mitered Corner Napkins!

It feels good to hold the fabric, see the scissors slide along the threads, watch the visions & pieces come to fruition.  It has been quite sometimes since I sat at a sewing but, It's Just Like Riding A Bike . . . You Never Forget How!

Blessings are Bouncing in TN, for sure!  I feel so alive, enthusiastic, and optimistic!  I have missed those emotions!

Only remaining problem is the ideas are coming faster than the hands can work!

Remember to Look Around . . . Blessings Are Bouncing Where You Are, Too!

January 1, 2012


I have spent most of the day in prayer.  I knew it would be a difficult day . . . the first anniversary of Mother's Passing has been inching closer like a fog.  The more I tried to steady myself for the impact the larger the dread became.

I must admit I cried most of the morning.  They were, of course, selfish tears,  tears that reflected my personal sadness, loss and pain.  Mother is in the presence and company of Our Lord & Savior . . . I am relatively certain she is rejoicing not crying or fretting, like myself.  Oh, but it is so difficult to rise above such a profound sense of loss.  I remind myself that the journey to our heavenly home is the ultimate reward for an earthly life lived according to His will and commandments.  However, like all of flesh & blood, I often fall short in my attempts to trust His Word completely and fall prey to my own inability to completely comprehend His promise of life everlasting.

I started my day by visiting Mom's grave site, taking with me a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses (which she would have said was a frivolous waste of hard-earned money).  I "talk" to Mother often from all sorts of places...while driving, showering, just about anywhere.  I don't go to the cemetery because I think she is there.  I go out of respect and tradition.  Maintaining the grave sites of previously deceased family members was something Mother did with great pride and devotion.  I now visit those sites, as well as her's, as a way to honor her life and her memory.  Maybe it's an old-fashioned thing, or a southern thing, or just a personal thing, whatever it is, it feels right and I am honored to do it.

After my visit, I had lunch with my beautiful daughter, followed by a stroll through the local JoAnn's Fabric & Craft Store.  As is not uncommon, she found the perfect balance of humor and compassion for the day.  We laughed, giggled, and maybe I misted up once or twice but, we had a great afternoon.  She turned a dreaded day into one that I can now say I enjoyed.  She "took the reins" and charted a new path for the afternoon.  For that I can never say Thank You enough.

Now that you know how I spent my day, you may wonder how I can say I spent the day in prayer.  It certainly wasn't that quiet, in the corner, eyes closed, meditative kinda prayer.  It started with that "Lord, I need ya to carry me today.  I don't think I know how to do this." desperate kinda prayer.  Followed by that "Oh Lord, I never thought I would make it a year without her but, here I am, still standing upright, all because of your love & mercy" kinda prayer.  Coming full circle to the "Lord, Thank You for this grown child of mine.  The one who sometimes makes me crazy, who is so obstinate and strong-willed I could sometimes scream, but always knows just the right moment to pull up and reach out with exactly what I need.  She is a beautiful young woman and surely a blessing straight from your heavens."

So yes, I have been in prayer all day . . . and I'm not through yet . . . after all, it's only 5:30pm!

Tomorrow I am praying for focus and motivation. . . I have lots on my plate for the upcoming year. . . I don't anticipate an easy 2012 . . . but with God on my team I know I will be victorious and successful!

Gotta Bounce!

December 29, 2011

2 days, 11 hours, 25 minutes, 38 seconds until 2012 arrives!

Christmas 2011 was a beautifully, chaotic event in our home... friends, family, children, grandchildren and more.  Wonderfully thoughtful gifts, good food (some better than others), love and lots & lots of noise!  It was certainly not Dicken's or Rockwell ... it was our own version that left my heart full of love and joy, knowing that there is nothing more fulfilling than family that loves and cares ... no matter what!

2011 brought some rough spots and tough times...beginning on New Years Day, 2011.  At 9:20am, just as the New Year Day was beginning, we lost mother, our beloved Nana was called home by her Heavenly Father.  To begin the New Year with such heart-wrenching pain seemed overwhelming.  We made it through ... leaning on one another, friends, family and the strength of our savior.

The first few months of the year were tough on us all ... just as we began to get a bit of balance, I suffered a heart attack, followed by stent placement, cardiac rehab and multiple lifestyle adjustments.

Dad, 84-years-old and alone for the first time in 63 years, found new activities to fill his days and help him cope with the loss, the kids began to relax a bit ... returning to normal activities and mind frames, smiling more and laughing again.  It was at this point, my Prince & I started a life re-evaluation process.  Nothing like a face-to-face meeting with mortality to snap you to attention.  We transferred ownership of our small retail store to a younger, healthier, more enthusiastic owner and shortly thereafter realized our warehouse business would be closing due to a lack of available work.  Whew....may not sound like much, but it is for us!  On the surface, it sounds like the removal of several stress points....and it is!  But, it is also the dropping of two out of three household income sources, nothing to be taken lightly.  In the meantime, I was scheduled for an additional surgery, on December 27th.  Surgery went well and I am recovering quite well.

Blessings Are Bouncing in TN!

As the New Year Roars towards us ... I feel what I can only describe as an undeserved optimism.  My mind is full of ideas, possibilities and creative thoughts!  I am having visions of beautiful fabrics, pretty paper, lamps, lights and sparkling baubles, rescued and re-purposed for a second chance at life and love!  I can't wait to put hands-to-thoughts and see the results!  I can see the big plan in my mind's eye ... the hurdle is to get it out of my mind and into action!

I hope you will tag-a-long with me as I practice the mantra I so often share with others ...
When you feel uncertain or the proper direction is unclear . . .
Go to What Ya Know, Back To Basics!
That is exactly where I am headed!

See Ya At The Creating Table!

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