Friday, August 31, 2012

A gift from my father...

Back in the 1960's, my dad started a small trucking company. The file cabinets in his home office are still packed with paperwork from the decades he built, and owned, that business.

It's been just over a year since my dad passed. I think I'm still coming to terms with him being gone because it's taken me this long to start sorting through some of his things. Last week I opened one of the file cabinet drawers and sitting atop a stack of papers was this small oval box wrapped in a rubber band.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I opened the box and found my dad's gold wedding band! You see, my dad hadn't worn his ring since the 1950's when he witnessed a coworker's wedding ring get caught while jumping down from a truck, resulting in a very bad injury. So finding this treasure was such a gift!

But there was also a mystery. In addition to his gold wedding band, there was an inexpensive, lightweight silver ring inside the box!

Had my dad given this inexpensive ring to my mom before buying her a diamond? I know they had no money whatsoever back in those days, so that certainly seems plausible. Or did my dad try wearing this inexpensive break-away ring after witnessing that workplace accident so long ago? With both mom and dad both gone, there's no way of knowing the sentiment behind this ring, but I know there is some significance for it to have been inside the same little tin box as his wedding ring.

So the silver ring was put back into the little tin box. It will be placed in a prominent spot in my office/studio so I'll never forget the magical moment I found it. And as for my dad's ring, I'm now wearing that next to my ring finger.

I had been wearing my mom's rings as well, but a jeweler confirmed what I suspected, that the diamond is very loose, so I won't be wearing it again until I have some extra money to get the ring/prongs repaired.

My dad's ring is inscribed with his and my mom's initials, the date they got married, and the word Love...

I still can't get over how easy it was to find something I wasn't even looking for... Truly a gift from my father.

I treasure both my mom's and dad's rings and I'm so happy to be able to share them with you today! They are most certainly a favorite thing!

Thank you, Claudia, for hosting A Favorite Thing Saturday" at Mockingbird Hill Cottage! Be sure to pop over and visit Claudia's blog and share your own favorite thing in her first party! "Favorite Thing Saturday" will be a weekly event and she will have the party link up post up and running this evening around 8 PM EST.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baby's window to the world...

It seems like it's been so long since we've enjoyed having our windows and doors open. The hot, humid weather has finally given way to more moderate temperatures.

There's someone else who's enjoying the cooler weather. Baby now has the added bonus of another door to look through. And unlike the slider at the back of the house (where Baby watches squirrels, chipmunks, and birds), the front door allows her to watch cars driving by, kids riding bikes, people walking their dogs, and the occasional neighbor's cat who wanders up the walkway.

I hope we have a long stretch of not too hot, not too cold "open window & door" weather because all too soon we'll be closing everything up and firing up the old furnace! After all, this is New England.

I'm linking up to Cindy's (My Romantic Home) Show & Tell Friday this week.


Friday, August 24, 2012

The uninvited...

So hubby and I were pulling down sections of stockade fence as we/he works our/his way around the yard.

Thank goodness we were paying attention and avoided what could have been a very painful encounter with some uninvited guests...

Because just before reaching our bare hands under this particular panel, we noticed some yellow jackets buzzing around us.

And sure enough, they were busy, busy, busy building a home underneath one of the panels.
(The white arrow in the first photo points to their very camouflaged nest. We really were VERY lucky to have found it before reaching our hands underneath).

 Anyhow, we let our little visitors know, in no uncertain terms, that they would need to relocate - pronto!
All is back on schedule now...

Happy weekend, everyone... Donna

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Out with the Old, In with the New

I love weathered wood. It appeals to me much more than the look of brand spanking new wood.

But we couldn't turn a blind eye to our poor old fence any longer. These pictures were actually taken 3 summers ago (see all the broken pickets above the chairs?). Well, the fence has only continued to deteriorate these past three years, so you can imagine what it looked like this summer.

There are pickets missing everywhere, not to mention broken posts....

There are huge, gaping holes in some sections. Please ignore the landscaping fabric. Bark mulch is being budgeted for next summer (hopefully).

Our poor mulberry tree has sections of fence roped around it to keep them upright as the posts have rotted.

And then there are those sections where gusty winds have completely taken down a panel or two.

So as much as I hated to admit it, the poor old fence that we put up in the late 80's when our girls were oh-so-young was beyond repairing...

So hubby has begun the back breaking task of replacing the fence, section by section.

And while I know that a new fence is in order...

 I can't wait until it takes on the old grey weathered coloring of our old fence.

Have a good week, everyone...


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Comfort food for the soul...

I seem to have a growing collection of little mid-century Catholic statues and figurines.

I grew up in a Catholic family and attended Catholic school. That was a long time ago, back in the 60's when it was mostly nuns who taught.

 So figurines of Mary, Jesus, and angels remind me of those years. In particular I seem to be drawn to statues that are old, worn, or broken...

Those statues whose gold trim has become worn and faded over the years...

...or whose painted bases have chipped...

... and even those who are missing hands.

None of that matters, as they all make me think of my Mom, my Dad, and my Grandparents. This small collection is part of a makeover my little home office/painting studio will be undergoing as I move into the bigger spare bedroom later this year. And from the looks of it, I think it's pretty safe to say that I'm leaning toward a Vintage Catholic decor.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Baby & Patience Getting Cozy

Baby was getting cozy with Patience the other morning, so I couldn't resist taking some pictures of them.

I was across the room, using the zoom on my inexpensive point and shoot, so the final results weren't so hot (just like my garden photos in my last post)... So again, I decided to have some fun with my filters - they make inferior photos look SO much better!

I like the colored pencil version much better!

Here they are in a sepia toned print

How about adding a chalk filter to the sepia tone?

Awww, Baby looks like my old Mr. Blackie in this negative version.

Lots of hue and saturation before adding the colored pencil filter...

Ditto on this one!

The watercolor filter was used on this one... and finally, Baby and Patience had a little fun in this last one...

Patience got a brighter lampshade hat and Baby got some crazy eyebrows and whiskers!

I'm joining Cindy for Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home this week. Have a great weekend, everyone!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Hummingbirds and Photo Fun

I finally had my camera handy when one of our little friends visited the hummingbird feeder.

 The perfect subject for playing around with my photo editing software.

Here's the colored pencil version...

...and the watercolor version.

Coming in for a landing in color...

...and in Antique mode.
It kind of looks like Dorothy landing back in Kansas after being in Oz!

Being shy, with her back to the camera.

She sure doesn't look shy in this psychedelic negative version.

Moving so fast she's literally a blur!

Playing around with hue & saturation...

... is kind of like eating chips. You can't do just one!

Sammy was just a few feet away, chowing down on a peanut...

I think he'd approve of this watercolor version.

I love my old cement garden statue of Mary, but this photo isn't so hot. Clearly my inexpensive point & shoot camera just doesn't cut it for far off subjects...

... but I rather like the chalk version!

Ditto for the flower box - not a very impressive photo on its own.

... but much more appealing in a colored pencil  format...

... or a watercolor format!

 I hope you all have a colorful week!