Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas 2010

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day With My Dad

I had this past Monday off from work and I spent the day with my Dad. We had a really great day together! My Dad is an extremely talented and gifted furniture refinisher, who for as long as I can remember, has also been an antique dealer. He has recently started selling his antiques through a new shop Antiques on the Farmington in Collinsville, CT. This past Monday was the first chance I've had to see his booth and as usual he work is incredible and looks great set up in his booth. I am so proud of him - I hope he sells all his treasures!

We took the time to wander the floors and check out all the other antiques and of course I found a treasure and had to buy it! A sweet miniature replica of a three draw bureau - I new I had to have it the minute I set eyes on it. So I paid for it and out in my car it went!! We left the shop and walked up the street and ordered yummy sandwiches, sat outside to eat them and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Then it was off another store called The Junk Shop and we poked around inside at all the stuff. We then headed home for the day - back to my parents house where my Dad refinished my newly found treasure. (I'm kicking myself that I didn't take a before-and-after picture of it - I thought about that too late) It was covered in a yucky maroon stain- type finish that he stripped off - he sanded the drawer fronts - waxed it all over and then added these great wooden knobs. It is beautiful! I am so grateful to have such a great dad with such a talent! I'm so excited about this piece, not only is it a very neat unique antique treasure but it now will always be a reminder of the great day I spent with my dad! Thanks Dad I love you!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A New Home

This past November Ralph and I became first-time home owners!

It has been a very exciting and bittersweet time. Much has happened over the past three months that has really challenged & changed me. Days after getting the keys to our new home Ralph's mother, Jean's, battle with cancer intensified and she passed away a few weeks later. She was a great lady and a very special part of our lives. I am very sad for Ralph that he will never be able to share his new home with his mom. I believe she knew that we had closed on it and she had seen real estate pictures of it from back in June when we were interested in purchasing it - but sadly she was never physically able to be here.  The holidays were tough and we have been bumping along on our way back to normal - settling into our new digs - every once in a while it hits you - "I'm a home owner!"

This morning was special. The house was quiet, Ralph was out working, Joel still sleeping and our crazy cats were off entertaining themselves with a nap. So I decided to take advantage of the piece and quiet and tackled a stack of boxes that I have not had time to unpack. Much to my surprise the not-so-fun-dreaded task of unpacking turned into a pretty great journey. In my new living room I have a tall white Ikea bookcase with glass doors that I keep my special pieces in and I had not yet unpacked them. Some people would view these things that I keep in here as trinkets or dust collectors but to me they are treasured memories. 

 I lifted the lid off the first box marked fragile and started taking out the carefully wrapped items inside. The first memory unwrapped was a boy with a duck figurine that Ralph's mother had given him not to long ago - she had been holding onto it for him - as a small child she said that he would spend hours playing with it at his grandmother's home. I placed it on a shelf along with some other memories: A ceramic snowman painted by Jeanie, a glass pitcher she would serve sauce from when I went to her house for dinner (a very funny long running joke), a Hummel figurine she gave me from her collection, a very old brass miners head lamp that belonged to my father's father, a dainty flower painted porcelain vase along with a cute box that has an elf sitting on its lid belonging to my grandmother, and a silver crab that belonged to my great-aunt - I remember sitting on my parents lap playing with it on my great-aunt's table. The top shell of the crab is a lid and they would keep aspirin or some type of medication in it and whenever I played with it it was quickly removed from my hands.

The next box I unpacked contained my son Joel's vintage monkey collection - I'll keep them in the bookcase for safe keeping and pack them up for Joel when he finally has a place of his own and can display them - also in this box -  all the artwork that he made during his four years in prep school. I carefully unwrapped each piece and gave it a special place on the shelf. Once they were all unpacked I stood back and looked at all these pieces and was in awe of his talent, I will always cherish them.

I finished unpacking the boxes, clearing the hallway in our bedroom, happy to say that everything now has its very own special place in the bookcase in our living room. I stood there and looked at all the interesting pieces in the bookcase and was feeling like I was seeing them for the first time and was wondering why - and it occurred to me. Even though Jeanie, my Grandmother & Grandfather, and my great Aunt will never physically enter our new home their memories live on through these pieces and will help to make our house a home.