Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Chapeau dilemma

As you can see, my love affair with hats started at a very early age.
I'm not even sure how old I was in this photo.
That's my dad holding onto me. I treasure this photo as I don't have many of the 2 of us. I wonder what he thought about my hat?

With the Kentucky Derby approaching, I thought this might be a timely post.
I love to watch the race just to see the hats. I close my eyes as the horses run. Just call me chicken.

I have some hats that I am thinking about parting with.
As a child, I loved sunhats, Easter bonnets, really any hat and wore them all the time.
As an adult I purchased hats for special occasions but usually had them on my head for a short period of time. They are pristine!

Frank Olive was an incredible Milliner. He designed for "the stars".
He passed away in 1995 at the very young age of 66.
Many of his hats were one of a kind.

This one is kind of a cloche hat. It fits very close to the head.
I'm channeling Chanel-hehe.

This blue and white baby is Fabulous!
The bow should be worn in the back but I prefer it in the front.

Last but not least is a straw Eric Javits.

This is great for shielding your face from the sun.

I love the look- very Audrey Hepburn.

So, do I part with them or hang on to them for dear life?
I really would appreciate your input.

Now, I need to rest my fingers. I have been working on some little projects and the fingers are beyond sore.
See you all later and thank you for helping me decide what to do.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blame it on the Dutch- Part 1

Many years ago, 38 to be exact, I had the opportunity to be an exchange student in the Netherlands. Right now I am screaming silently in my head- has it really been 38 years?
I have to tell you that this experience changed my life in many ways and that is why I blame it on the Dutch.
Don't worry, this is extremely positive.

When the opportunity came up, I JUMPED at it.
I had never been to Europe, didn't speak Dutch (took Spanish in high school), and had never lived away from home. I really wanted to have this experience and hoped I would be one of the lucky ones.

On the plane over to Amsterdam, I had second thoughts. What was I thinking? I don't speak Dutch. One member of the large family I would be living with spoke limited English.
This could be a nightmare.

Actually, it turned into a life changing experience and for many reasons.
It gave me confidence. I realized I could do something outside of my comfort zone and live through it- hehe.

I started to learn Dutch. Very shaky at first and very funny. The younger kids in the family taught me little songs, etc. In return, I taught them English phrases.
I still remember a bit. Ik hou van je- I love you (but that is a whole other story). Not sure if I spelled it correctly.

The picture above is the house I lived in. I thought it was just perfect.

This picture was taken in the garden. I had always loved plants and flowers and this love just grew. As a girl, I remember coming home from Church and changing my clothes so I could "help" a neighbor with his garden. As I look back, he had the patience of Job!

This shot was taken in the backyard. So peaceful. I knew when I grew up I had to surround myself with what made me happy.

Another shot of the garden. I learned to enjoy life, and savor every experience.
Beauty is everywhere, we just need to open our eyes. This experience opened my eyes.
We would ride our bikes through the woods.
I don't mean little rides but serious (even Lance at that age would be shaking his head) bike rides.

This picture was taken after a particularly long ride. I'm the one leaning on "my younger brother". I didn't think I would be able to ride back home. But I did.

I learned to really live in the moment but
I knew that I was destined to move to Europe.
And I did. Several years later, I moved to Switzerland (The original French Elements started at that time even though I didn't realize it).
The exchange experience opened my eyes and for that I am extremely grateful.

I grew up around flowers but I had never experienced anything like the flower fields in the Netherlands. This YouTube video will give you a little tour of some amazing flower fields.
Just watching this made me want to quickly pack, and jump on a flight.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Warm and fuzzy

This has been a CRAZY week around here.
I know you can relate.

My son is adjusting to his new surroundings. It sure beats the hospital.
I have been helping with little "issues" that have come up.
Not complaining though!

I have a few projects that I have been working on and also filling a few custom orders.

Thank God for blogger post options or the last 2 posts would not have existed.
I am hoping to get back on board sometime this weekend.

Last week, Ms Karen shared this video with me.
You might have seen it already but it is worth a second look.
It is absolutely FABULOUS.
You can't help but smile!
I'm warning you though, the song gets stuck in your head.
I love this song so that's o.k.

Enjoy and happy weekend.

P.S. I know the video is too large for the space (I chose the wrong size).
There is just more to love!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Dorothy!

Oh my, this is an old photo (Jayde will soon be 9).
My precious girl really does not like having her picture taken.

Dorothy, you have been part of my life for the past 11 years.
A fantastic part of my life.

You have touched us all with your love and spirit.
I have watched you become a wonderful wife to my son and a fabulous mother to my 3 granddaughters.

You are a treasured friend and the daughter I never had.
I am so blessed to have you in my life.

I know things are difficult right now but you are handling everything like a pro.
I am so proud of you!

I just want you to know how much I love you.


Monday, April 20, 2009

The Fairy Princess

Photo by Howell Conant

I intended to do this post yesterday but my computer was having issues.
The tech has been out 3 times. Hopefully, 3 times is a charm.

53 years ago yesterday, Grace Kelly became Princess Grace.
Actually the civil ceremony was April 18th so that was her official wedding day.

I was just a little one when she became a Princess but as I grew older, her story fascinated me. I think my fascination with crowns, Princesses, etc. must have come from Grace.
Looking back, I think she must have been quite lonely.

I have been blessed by having the opportunity to visit Monaco several times.
It is drop dead gorgeous, almost too perfect.

I thought I would share some pictures with you.
Hopefully this post will go through.

This is a photo of Saint Nicholas Cathedral where the wedding Mass took place.

These photos were taken inside the Cathedral.

The Palace

My son loved these canons.

O.K, I cried as I saw their resting places.
The first time I visited, Princess Grace rested alone.

A woman that works in the church, told me that Grace receives flowers daily.

She passed away so young. At 54, I am two years older than she was when she passed on.

I hope you enjoyed the little tour. If I don't come round, the "issues" aren't allowing me to.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grateful, grateful, grateful

We are doing the happy dance around here and thanking God.
My son will be going into the assisted living facility today and he is so excited to finally be released from the hospital. We are hoping that he will only be there for several months but ....... not up to us.
For those that have been keeping him (and us) in your thoughts and prayers, I can't thank you enough.
Sadly, I received a few comments telling me to stop whining. I didn't look at it as whining. I guess it is the difference between seeing the glass half full or empty.
Oh well, not gonna rain on my parade!

We had the opportunity to speak with Jeff briefly on Saturday. YAY!
God has him where he needs to be and mom is at Peace with it (just took a little while).

Another reason to celebrate, I won a fantastic giveaway.
Teresa Sheeley is kind, talented, and an amazing artist.
I entered her giveaway and WON.

I love her pillows and won all three.
Can you believe it?

These tea towels are to die for. I won them too!

Last but not least, this original piece of art by Teresa.
When you least expect it, blessings come your way.
Thank you my friend! I am still pinching myself.If you haven't visited her site, you are missing out on a treat!What a fabulous week this is!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Some big changes around here

The picture above is of Jeff (and D. Duck) when he was 14 months old.
This was his favorite thing to wear and it was difficult to pry him out of it.

This was a photo taken on Halloween in 1981 (check out the wires in the background).
Again, this became his favorite thing to wear.
Well, now he is wearing it for real and mom is kind of weepy.
I won't bore you with the entire story but here is the short version.
He has talked about going into the Army since he was a kid. He has always been very patriotic. When he and Dorothy got married,
it still came up occasionally. After 3 children, it still came up occasionally.
Last year he got laid off from a pretty terrific job. After months of looking and finding nothing, "the Army talk" came up again. He talked, I cried.
And cried and cried.
It was something that the kids had talked and prayed about and felt certain that this was the right time. Even my precious little ladies, believed that this was where God wanted him to be.
He enlisted. Last month he was to leave but it was delayed. There was another delay but yesterday was the day he left Phoenix for Fort Jackson, SC.
He will be there for Boot Camp. Can you tell I am a little weepy as I type this?
I am very proud of him for following his calling.
He is excited about the opportunity that lies ahead and the chance to serve his country.
His brother is having a difficult time with the decision.
All I can do is pray. He is watching over them.
I also wanted to wish everyone a blessed Passover and Easter.
We are so lucky to live in a country where we can celebrate our faith.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Have a blessed Palm Sunday ( and a little reminder)

Thank you for entering. The giveaway is closed.
The winner will be announced on Monday.
Have a wonderful evening.
Just a gentle reminder (or a shameless plug), Hehe.
Today is the last day to enter my little giveaway.
Comments will be closed sometime between 7-8 pm Az time.
The winner will be posted tomorrow.
Most importantly, today is Palm Sunday. Have a blessed one with those you hold dear.
See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Please don't be shy

Only 4 days left to my little giveway which ends on Sunday April 5th, 7pm Az time.
For those of you that have posted it on your blogs- God bless you!
Please don't be shy and swing by. I truly love to have giveways and the more the merrier. I guess cosmetics aren't as popular as my friends and I thought they would be. Note to self: cosmetic giveaways on line, not so good-hehe.
If you could hear the Cannes man, he is encouraging you to enter.
To coin a phrase, "you can't win if you don't play".
Have a wonderful Thursday.
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