Sunday, April 10, 2016

A new blog

Hi Friends! After much thought, I have started a new blog- Chasing The Next Chapter.. which is what we are doing.
My youngest son loved this blog and I will keep it. I visit when emotions allow. So many memories, so many years, If you would like to visit my new blog, you can find it here
I hope to see you. I actually hope to find my way back here. I am hoping that finding my way back to the dashboard is like riding a bike. It has to get easier!

Always big hugs,

Sunday, January 3, 2016

6 years ago today

I wrote a post dedicated to my son as it was his birthday.  A rather special birthday because the doctor's didn't think he would live to see that ripe old age. He had so many health problems and the complications from TYPE 1 DIABETES were gaining ground. Well, he made it for another 5 years and as you know, passed away 6 month's ago (New Year's day was the 6 month anniversary). 

Today is his 33rd birthday and I revisited the original post a few days ago. I decided to repost it as I think it contains some valuable lessons that need to be shared. If you are interested in reading the original post, you can find it HERE

Now, I am going to add...

I cannot begin to imagine what a birthday would be like in Heaven. It has to be truly amazing!
I (we) miss you like crazy down here but I know YOU know that.
You continue to inspire and teach me. I know you have certainly sent some pretty awesome "GOD WINKS". The wink on Christmas eve and Christmas day... unbelievable. 
Tom (the other God wink on Christmas eve) calls these synchronicities. You make your presence known. The stunning bouquet on New Year's eve...that "found me". Not a coincidence. I'm keeping my mind and heart open. Another lesson. 

Your sense of humor is still there. Perhaps you'll "God wink" a few other people....

I know for certain we will see you Heaven..when the time is right. I hope you will recognize me. I'll still be thin, probably much grayer, probably wearing boots! Ray...he can't get any grayer. You'll have to keep looking for the really "TALL DUDE" that is speaking french...or spanish. 



Monday, November 30, 2015

Still here

Well, tomorrow will be 5 months. Truly feels like it has been forever. I guess it will always feel that way to me.

Thanksgiving was the first big Holiday. Of course Christmas is right around the corner. New Year's day will be the 6 month anniversary and his 33rd birthday is 2 days after New Years. much. So many milestones.
I want to thank those who reached out even though I disabled comments. If there is a will, there is a way. It truly meant the world and will not be forgotten. XOXO.

Earlier in the year, we planned a trip to Spain. We have fallen in love with the country and decided to visit some areas that were on the bucket list. When my son died, I wanted to cancel. Then hubby got sick again and was hospitalized and I really wanted to cancel it. When he received the go ahead from the Dr and shared how important he felt it was for us to take this trip, I caved. We went earlier in the month for a few weeks. We had a marvelous time and it gave us precious TIME to really discuss the future. Coming home was difficult you can imagine.

The past couple days, we have been going through "things" that need a new home. While the photo below may look like we are hoarders (hehe), I can assure you, we are not. 

I cannot wait for the pickup tomorrow. Sad to say (one of my sons expressions), I had to call to arrange a pickup. The last time I put bags by the garage doors (not on the curb), someone swooped in and threw the bags in their truck. Karma....

This photo was taken from the garden looking toward the Royal residence of Aranjuez. So beautiful. The grounds and Palace are spectacular, the town is charming! Could be a new fav. hehe

 Enough rambling.
Older, grayer, but still kicking. God is good.

Thank you for stopping by and give someone a hug today. 

Always big hugs

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

8 weeks tomorrow..truly is a lifetime

Let me tell you, 8 weeks can feel like an entire lifetime. Another milestone I never wanted to cross.

This photo was taken 15 years ago. J.W. had just turned 17. He didn't like "devil horns" so he was holding up "feathers". Turkey feathers.  The pillow on the chair was a Christmas gift from him. He knew I liked pillows and teacups. I still treasure it.

The pillow above is one that I made for myself. J.W. loved the pillows embroidered with "there is no place like home unless it is...the stockings with "my other stocking is in... and the pillows with "my other chateau is in France".  I believe he is looking down and smiling at this pillow.  He was my biggest champion. 

8 weeks. I miss his smile, his sense of humor, the non stop texts and phone calls, the hugs.
I just miss.

I'm keeping comments disabled because when I start to read them, I cry. 
Thank you for indulging me.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

4 weeks tomorrow...

Tomorrow will be 4 weeks. It feels like it has been forever.

La Sagrada Familia- Barcelona

Going through the motions, thankful for the 32 years we had together. I know he is waiting for us and I know the reunion will be oh so sweet. That will be a time for happy dancing. Right now it is still a time for weeping. I am so thankful we have tears as a release. Thank you for your prayers and support. The last words he spoke to me as we were hanging up the phone- "I love you mama. See you later." God Bless you my son. You will see me later. I just didn't know the "later" would be in Heaven.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Thank you so much

You are not supposed to outlive your child (I think anyway) but God doesn't make mistakes. We were so blessed to have 4 additional years. There were good days and not so good days but each day was a gift. I realize how fortunate I was to be his mother for 32 years. J.W. had a huge heart and when I think of him, I remember how generous he truly was. I appreciate the comments left on my post from last week. I received emails asking why I switched to no comments allowed. Why? Not everyone is so nice and I went into that mode to kind of protect myself, I guess. I love all of you and thank you for your continued prayers.

much love and big hugs 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

this could be my last post

J.W. passed away today. I am heartbroken.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

On its way

Well, it will be in the triple digits here for months. With that being said, something special is on the way.

CHRISTMAS! 6 months from today. WHOO HOO!!

Any excuse to post one of my favorite pics from a prior life in Luzern.

Today I have been working on some embroidered Christmas stockings so I thought I would share.

European linen and burlap.

Sorry for the news flash but 6 will be here before we know it.
Ho Ho HO.

Please enjoy the rest of June.

Big hugs

Thursday, June 18, 2015

You know it's hot...the saga continues AND a very happy birthday to a first crush!

Back in 2008, 2009. and 2010, I did a post about YOU KNOW IT'S HOT WHEN.... Obviously, it was too hot for me to do this post in 2011, 2012, 2013, or 2014. But, I'M BACK AND IT IS STLL HOT!

SO, you know it is hot when..

The cactus is still dead.

The hot water heater is STILL in vacation mode but you have just scalded yourself with water from the cold water tap.

Your clothes are dry coming out of the washer.

You don't need to dry off getting out of the shower.

It is still 100 degrees at midnight.

The local news team is thinking about trying to bake a pizza on the sidewalk.

You truly question your sanity for purchasing a black car with black interior.

When you go out to water plants, the water evaporates before hitting the planter.

Yep, it is hot. I have lived here since 1988 and I am always shocked when summer comes around.
Today it is supposed to hit 115 or higher. I am very thankful that I can escape the heat in air conditioning. My heart goes out to those who are homeless and have no where to go to escape the killer heat.

We have a wildfire that started yesterday and is growing by leaps and bounds. With all the flooding and just horrible weather around the country, I wish I could send you some sunshine and heat.

On a lighter note, today my first crush turns 73.
Can you guess?

Sir Paul! No last name needed.

As a kid, I loved the fact that we shared the same birthday month. It kind of gave me hope that we would meet and he would propose. Yep..

Why is he not aging? Well, maybe a tiny bit but my first crush still has it going on.

So, Happy Birthday Sir Paul.
Rock On!

Big hugs,

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Good life

Can you look at these photo's and tell what they have in common

Robert Redford- gorgeous actor- photo by studio

Some favorite books-photo by Barb-avid reader

With this photo?

This is 6 Gateway Dr in Great Neck, New York and it can be yours for a cool
$3,888,888. I am a huge fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Zelda too)!
He and Zelda lived here from 1922-1924. He wrote 3 chapters of The Great Gatsby in this house.
Of course the first photo is Robert as Jay Gatsby. I know you know that!!

Between the two of them, they had so much talent and such tortured lives.
They lived life large and not in a great way.

The house was built in 1918 and of course has been remodeled many times.

Is this not gorgeous?

Spectacular kitchen. I would have loved to see the original one.

The stories those walls and floors could tell!

 Love the cow!

images from Zillow

What does 3,888,888 buy you? 7 bedrooms. 6.5 bathrooms  and so much history.
A modest 5,174 sq ft. Can you even imagine? 

I am on a hunt to find some original photo's. If there is a will, there is a way.

If you are a reader, try to pick up the books in the 2nd pic. They are worth your time.

Whoo hoo.... first post for June. On a roll.

Big hugs

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Never too late

I was hoping to post before Memorial Day, didn't happen but it is never too late. This photo made it to Instagram but that was it.
I have a love hate relationship with this photo.

My old blogging friends will remember when Jeff (AKA Army son) joined the Army.
I was proud and I was sick...cried like a baby when he told me. After boot camp he was sent to The Defense Language Institute. I thought that was great and he would be safe and out of harm's way. What an idiot I was. You need someone who speaks a language to go on missions that are dangerous. Duh!!  That could be why I received this pic a couple years ago in lieu of a call (easier to "talk" with mom when she is not hysterical). I happened to be with J.W. when I received this photo. I texted back and said it was beautiful and what are you doing in the photo? He texted back it was taken when he re-enlisted for 5 more years. Waterworks and more waterworks. I am so proud of him and all he has done to keep us safe. I call him the bionic man with the titanium brackets and screws along with ceramic discs in his neck. UGH! Getting shot.. another story which I found out by text as well.
After that...the cell is pretty much always on. hehe. 

I spent some time yesterday reading the letter in this pic. It was sent to my gram's gram in 1887. Her father was a prisoner of war at Andersonville Prison during the civil war. He was held for 244 days- from Oct 11, 1863 to June 10th , 1864 when he died. The payment due to her was $61. Our course it was never received. 

So many gave up so much and still do. God Bless our servicemen and women, their families and our country. 

Enjoy your week friends.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fine as it is

So, a friend asked if I was going to re-do my blog now that I was attempting to get back into blogging regularly. She thought I would want to remove some of the "clutter" (I love her dearly or we would have an issue-hehe), simplify it and tie it into my website. I thought about it for zero seconds. It is busy and that is fine with me. I l have loved my header from day one. Tiffany did an amazing job and it always makes me smile. My tag line has been my philosophy since I was a young teen. French is a state of mind and that is not a bad state to be in.

O.K. I finished the second Burberrys stocking. People, in 7 months it will be Christmas. Time rolls by quickly. I am kind of like a one woman Christmas stocking sweatshop. In a good way.

I think it turned out nicely. I may have difficulty parting with it. 

So, another post for May and it feels good!

Big hugs!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Just some rambling....

Three posts since May 7th. I think I am working on developing a new habit- regular blogging. They say it takes 30 days for a new habit to stick so we'll see. Hehe.

The photo's below have nothing to do with this post but they make me happy so I am sharing. I figure what makes me happy someone else may also enjoy.

The workmanship is exquisite!

Can you imagine waking up to this everyday? I could look out those windows everyday- no complaints. I would have a comfy chair and watch the world go by. I've always been a reader so I would need some good reads for those moments when I would NOT be looking out the windows. I used to share some of my favorite books right here. I think that tradition may continue.

What an odd collection!  Dearie- The remarkable life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz is a wonderful biography. The photo of Julia on the cover is what caught my eye. She was a lovely young woman. To think that when the photo was taken, she had no idea that her name would be known everywhere.

 Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger was a gift which I will jump into next. If you read The Devil Wears Prada or saw the movie (guilty on both counts), this picks up a few years down the road.
We'll see. 

I love magazines but have gotten pretty picky with what I purchase now. They all seem to be the same. When I picked up French Cottage - Victoria Classics. I knew it was a winner. Definitely worth looking for. 

Living in Italy by Alvino Fantini (love the sound of his name) is a book that I purchased in 2000. That was 3 years before hubby and I married. Every once in a while I pull it out and read Now, he reads through it. A kindred soul- hehe.

This last photo is a Christmas stocking I made from a Burberry item that no longer fit well.
As soon as I finish this post, I am off to begin work on another. The design will be different but they will work well together. 

I used the label, the ribbon from the garment. Repurposing at its best. Hehe. 
I only have enough fabric for the 2 stockings. Wish it would have been a dress or something larger. 

Well, I have rambled on enough. Hope to keep on rambling.

Big hugs!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Still in love with this place

My ONLY post in 2014 was about this incredible project. I am kind of in love with it. Let's just say if  I could just pick up and leave, I would be there. In a heartbeat.  Hubby, if you are reading this, only joking. 

Actually, I think he would join me. He has visited the website a few times. I would like to think he was looking into booking one of their workshops (embroidery?) for me. Dream on...hehe.

This breathtaking chateau was built in the mid 1700's. It is located in the village of Chateau Verdon. The family started renovations in 2013. Can you even imagine?

You really have to see all the progress they have made. The website is a favorite and whenever a pic pops up on instagram, I am in heaven.

Oh, and they have very cool video's on the site. Can you tell I am in love?
Someday, I will visit. Putting it out there...hubby can you hear me?

Thank you for stopping by and my dear friends that left comments on my first post for 2015,  I love you!

I do have a question.  Why do I have to prove to my blog that I am not a robot? Is it just blogger toying with me?

Big Hugs

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What happened to Blogger?!

The last time I did a post, it took quite a while as blogger had changed so much. Today...serious stress. He he. I haven't used my log in for blogger and could not remember my password. Then I thought I can just switch over to my Gmail address. I googled how to make that change. Evidently, if you try to do this, you lose all your old posts. Since I first started to blog in 2008, that was not an option. Too much history there that I don't want to lose. Now that I finally figured out how to log in again, the page looks very unfamiliar. Hoping I am in the right area. 

In case you have forgotten me... my name is Barb and I am hoping to begin blogging again.

This photo was taken overseas in November. Still the same, just a little bit grayer.
We have had some health issues...again. As I speak, hubby is cancer free as of the last 3 month checkup. He sees the dr again for the next 3 month check up next month. Lots of prayers going up for sure. J.W...good days, not so good days. At this point, he is having more "not so good" days. Staying positive and always sending up prayers. Please keep my guys in your prayers.

Keeping busy and that is a good thing. 

Busy hands keep one out of trouble. He he.

I wanted to share a hysterical link with you. This woman just makes me laugh until I cry. Plus, she is really crafty. This truly makes me want to find a piano I can work with. I hope you have a chance to read through her "piano adventure". You will not be disappointed.

Seriously, I am hoping to get back to blogging. It will not be like the good ole days because those days are gone. Life has become more hectic but that is o.k. I will post and visit when I am able. If this is my last post...I will blame it on the fact that I could not find my way back to my blogger log in.

Big hugs

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A gem of a project

Well, it has been a few months.....again..... My intentions are always so good but time is so scarce.
I know you can relate. I admire my fellow bloggers (can I even call myself that?) that blog daily, weekly, or even monthly. One of these days it will happen for me.
I just had to share something with you. You know of my fascination with transforming a "humble" chateau. Well, this is the real deal. If you have a chance, check it out. The journey is inspiring.

photo from

Here is the link. I promise you will love it.

Perhaps when WE (hehe) purchase our little fixer-upper in Spain (remember the Italian post that had Army son believing  we had purchased that little fixer-upper in San Remo?)  I will post about it. 
Seriously, hubby is having some new issues so we could use a little prayer. Thank you in advance.

Take care, I miss you.

Big hugs from Barb

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

We have made it over the mountain.

We are finally on the other side of the mountain. Whoo Hoo!!

Wow, it has been over 6 months since I last blogged. My intentions were so good earlier in the year. "Stuff" got in the way. The last half of 2013 has been quite the adventure. It has certainly kept us on our toes (and quite often on our knees)! As I sit here looking back, it seems like a really crazy movie. Not one I would pay to see however. Thank God we have crossed over to the really good side of the mountain.

Early this summer, my precious hubby was diagnosed with cancer. We were shocked to say the least. My blogging friends will remember that I have been the one with health issues. When we got married 10 years ago, he married a "pretty sick ole gal". Hehe. He was the strong, healthy one. After treatment, surgery, he was given A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH!
We are so thrilled. We realize how blessed we are. Thank you God!

Oh, lest I forget. Jeff was shot through the leg in September. Friendly fire (so to speak). He is doing o.k.
He is also remarried and I am now the grandma to 8 fabulous grans. I just doubled the amount of children to love. His wife is pretty amazing. She loves him and the job he holds. Being a military wife is difficult but she is up for the task.

J.W continues to amaze us. His health has not been great the past few months but he is a fighter. I guess we all are. 
I hope to be able to visit my blogging pals. If that doesn't happen as often as I would like, please know that I think of you often. Many of us started this journey together years ago. Some have dropped off but we stay connected on facebook. I hope that 2014 will allow me to blog a bit more. Time will tell.

Big hugs to each of you.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Unbelievable! Please check this out.

Photo- Getty/AFP

This link is worth a visit. The story is sad and moving. The treasures are beyond belief.
It truly is like stepping back in time. I shared this on facebook this morning but I know not everyone is a fan of facebook. If you have some time, check this out. You will not regret it.
Have a fantastic week.

Big hugs,


Friday, May 17, 2013 is finished!

So, I was chatting with a friend earlier and she asked me if I was finished. I really didn't know what she was talking about. She said she had visited my blog and evidently I was still doing laundry from our trip. Oh, all those good intentions flew right out the window. Hehe. One of these days it will all work out.

To bring you up to date a bit (if anyone is there), it has been busy. I have been working on some projects that I am excited about. Well, I am usually excited about something. We have had some health hiccups but hoping good news will be delivered next week.
Jayde is a teenager! Can you even believe that? When I started this blog in 2008, she was so young.
Now, a teenager.....big sigh!

If you haven't read Sonia's FABULOUS magazine
Creating Vintage Charm, you are missing out on a good thing.

It is a treat for the senses. I am so excited (happy dancing) to have an article
published in it. I know my facebook pals are very familiar with it.
It is definitely subscription worthy! Check it out!

Oh, one more thing. I have had a face lift. I needed a change. Well, not me exactly (I don't even color my hair anymore) but The French Elements.
I thought she needed a little makeover. I love how it turned out.

So, that is about it. Please say a little prayer for a good report from the Doc next week.

Big hugs,


Monday, February 25, 2013

Now that's Italian (with a lot of French)

We are home safe and sound. I love to travel but I am always HAPPY to arrive back home.
We had some pretty incredible adventures. We met so many warm, loving people both in France and Italy (even MODA)! This will be a short post with some pics. I still need to do the laundry that I started early this morning.

This was taken from a hilltop in San Remo, Italy. This city is gorgeous! And the food.....mama mia!

We had the opportunity to visit the fete du Citron in Menton. The theme was around the world in
80 days. Notice Jules Verne? The novel is 140 years old, the festival has been celebrated for 80 years.
I have to tell you that it was a highlight for me. Everything made from oranges and lemons. So imaginative!

This was taken in Antibes. It is one of my favorite pics. The gentleman looking out the window has the best view. Big sigh. Hehe.

We ate,

visited markets through the south,

and participated in Carnaval in Nice.

The best thing however, was spending time with the gentleman below....

my handsome hubby. I treasure our time together and the memories we made.

So, that is our trip in a nutshell. It is good to be back (home and blogging).

big hugs,

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