Thursday, December 22, 2011

FEELING the true meaning of Christmas ~ for the first time!

I'm sitting on the screen porch and I hear the nearby church bells playing "I wish you a Merry Christmas".  It's so beautiful!  So strange (and sad) that I've lived here for 12 years and never noticed the bells playing Christmas music.  That is the second time today that I've heard them.  This is the first year of my 41 years on this Earth that I TRULY appreciate the real meaning of Christmas.  I think we all know what it's supposed to be about but we get so wrapped up in the stress of it all.  I've been guilty of that my entire life.  I saw a post on someone's FB page earlier asking what everyone is grateful for this year.  Naturally, I'm grateful for my family.  I'm one lucky girl!!!  I get to stay home and pursue my dreams with total support from my sweet son and totally devoted husband.  We are all healthy and have everything we need.  I'm always thankful for those things.  But, this year, I'm especially grateful for the spiritual awakening that has happened within me since my father's passing.  The only way I know how to describe it is it was like looking through hazy glasses and then suddenly they are clean and everything looks so much clearer and more pure.  My senses are so acute now.  I hear and see things I never would have noticed before.  When I hear those bells playing, "I wish you a Merry Christmas", somehow I KNOW that's my daddy telling me he's still here with me and that he's okay and he loves me and as he always told me, "It'll be okay".  I know that sounds hokey but it's a "feeling" I get.  I don't know how to explain it.  I can just be going about my business and something stops me in my tracks.  Almost like someone grabs me by the collar and says, "STOP!".  (if you don't believe that, as I was typing this post I saw my cell phone light up and it said "receiving message".  Took a while but a text came through from April.....  a girl I met through FB who lives in Maine.  I've never met her in person but she has become a good friend via telephone conversations.  Her text was simply this: .  A song titled "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry.  That was TOTALLY random and to say that it sent shivers down my spine and tears to my eyes doesn't even begin to describe my reaction to it.  I've never heard this song before but in the lyrics at the end of the song it says "funny how when you're dead people start listening".  WOW is all I can say right now!)  The greatest gift my father ever gave me was his death.  As strange as that sounds, the dying process is much like a birth.  As painful as it was to watch, now that I know he's made his journey and he's at peace in a place more beautiful than you or I could ever imagine, I can look back on it now and realize how blessed I was to witness his crossing over to be with our Father.  I wouldn't take ANYTHING for the days and nights I sat by his bedside as he was making his way to Heaven. NOW, I get the true meaning of Christmas and I am forever changed for the better.  Thank you Daddy!  May you have the most beautiful Christmas at the table with Jesus in God's house!  May you sing and dance with angels and enjoy your hard earned peace and comfort in the company of family and friends who went before you.  "I wish you a Merry Christmas" too Daddy and I hear you loudly and clearly!  As always, you are making sure I'm okay and I truly am okay now.  I will NEVER stop missing you but I'm much better than you left me.  You are taking care of me now just as you always did.  Making sure my heart is taken care of.  You are a remarkable man and your gentle and kind heart lives on.  I feel it with me every day!  So, you see, through this past year and all I've experienced I not only know that Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ......  now I FEEL it.  It feels pretty awesome!!!!! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chest of Drawers ~ Before & After

Hello friends!  It's been a while, I know.  Things have been hectic lately (well, in my mind any way).  I seem to be having trouble keeping things straight in my brain.  There's been lots of "static" in my brain waves!  Not to worry, I'm not hearing voices!  LOL! 

I recently finished a chest of drawers for a client.  I went over to take a look at her existing furniture so I could coordinate this piece. 

Here is the chest before:

This girl has seen A LOT of use!  But, she's all solid wood with no veneer.  Those are the ones I REALLY love! 

Here she is after her make-up was applied:

New mahogany stain and hand rubbed poly on the top. 

Original knobs stripped and stained to match the top.

Sweet little scalloped detail on the bottom really popped after she was painted an antique white.  Honestly, when I purchased this piece, I never even noticed the detail.  It wasn't until after the primer went on that I saw how lovely it was. 

Much better, don't you think? 

Amazing what a little make-up can do for a girl!  ;-)  Okay, once again, I have spent too much time on the computer this morning.  The thing has super natural powers.  I try to stay away from it but every time I walk past it, it sucks me back in!  Geez!  There is no telling how much furniture I could churn out if I could stay off of this BEAST! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Seashell Christmas

I'm sure everyone knows by now that I have a serious passion for the coast and all things coastal.  While I don't live on the coast (not because I can't tear myself away from the sleepy little town of Gilbert but because I'm po), I pretend that I do when I decorate for Christmas.  My family's fondest memories are of times we've spent together while on or near salt water. 

I was always a very traditional kinda girl in my Christmas decorating.  A live tree decked out with red and white!  A few years ago, after a spectacular summer of many off-shore fishing weekends with my two guys and gathering so many priceless photos from those trips, I decided to purchase a white artificial tree and decorate it with the shells we found on a deserted island that we had so much fun combing and also with the photos we had taken.  I dubbed it the "family beach tree".  That year, I still had the traditional tree and put the beach tree in the kitchen.  My son fell in love with it and has only wanted it since.

Here she is!  She's a little on the small side.  Think I need to bite the bullet and hit a day after Christmas sale to see if I can score a larger white tree.  Oh, the thought of that just made my stomach do flip flops!!!  I loathe crowded stores!!!!!  Guess that's why I feel so at home in the thrift stores. 

Anyhoo, for the last few years, I have been expounding on the coastal theme and last year made this seashell wreath for our front door. 

Glitter and seashells!  Does it get any better??????  Tanya, over at "Make the Best of What's Around" is doing a blog post of Christmas wreaths so I threw this one into the ring!  If you have a hand made wreath you should go over and post it on her Facebook page or link a blog post!  I can't wait to see all the submissions she gets!!!!! 

Hope you are having fun decorating and celebrating with your own family traditions!  While our tiny beach tree is anything but traditional, it holds a lot of meaning for us and is very personal.  So is this simple wreath.  Every shell was picked up by us on a beautiful beach as we walked it alone....  just the three of us! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Back Out!

Yep....  that's right..... my back is OUT!!!  I scored some fabulous stuff on Friday but got a little cocky in thinking that I was still 20 years old and could move all this furniture around by myself.  It's a pride issue!  I could have just left it all in the back of the truck and waited till hubby got home.  BUT, there's this "thing" i possess within me that says, "ha!  I don't need help...  I can do it myself....  watch me!"  Well, I did it myself
alright!  Did it up real good! 

First, I unloaded this very heavy solid wood piece!  

Then a sewing machine table with the sewing machine still inside!~ HEAVY

The second sewing maching table with sewing machine still intact! 

And two cute chairs.  Okay, these weren't heavy and I'm sure they didn't contribute to my back injury but I didn't want to leave them out! 

There was also a milk glass chandelier that I just remembered is in the front seat of the truck.  In my pain, I forgot about it.  Just tried to talk Pig Pen into going out and getting it and he said, "NO!  It's scary out there in the dark!"  (sigh) 

So, as I've spent the weekend walking like a wounded duck and my son laughing his butt off at me (love you too baby) I could only work on upholstery yesterday and that was a challenge.  One second, everything is fine but then I make the slightest move and it feels like I've been stabbed in the back with a knife.  I move (very slowly), make a wrong move, the stabbing pain hits and I scream.  Then Pig Pen yells, "Mom, are you okay!!?"  Yes. son, I'll make it and then he's doubled over in laughter as he watches me try to walk all hunched over like a 100 year old person.  He even asked if he and Dad should go to the store and get me a walker or a wheel chair.  Ya' gotta love the children!!!! 

And then, today, I really had to swallow my pride and ask hubby if he could go pick up two pieces from a client and get them unloaded by himself.  I guess all those hours he spends at the gym pumping iron finally came in handy.  So, my pride has come back to bite, ONCE AGAIN! 

Please pray with me that my back will recover quickly as there is SO much to be done and also so I can be relieved of the humiliation of walking like a duck with a stick up it's &#% !

Fun times at Sissy's Salvation right now! 

Hope your weekend has been better than mine.  ;-)