RIP Mrs. Barbara Bush, Lover of Literacy

I am so saddened to learn about the passing of Barbara Bush. She has been a personal inspiration to me for two very specific reasons that I’d like to share here that were encapsulated in this one excerpt:

In 1980, George ran for president. There were endless receptions, luncheons, dinners and fundraisers. For the campaign, Barbara had to choose an official cause. She picked literacy, which became a lifelong passion. “I realized everything I worried about” – teen pregnancy, hunger, homelessness, drug use, crime – “would be better if more people could read, write and comprehend,” she later recalled. She was also pressured to change her image, with some family members urging her to “color my hair, change my style of dressing and, I suspect, get me to lose some weight,” she later recalled, driving her to tears. Jane Pauley of NBC opened a television interview by asking her: “People say your husband is a man of the ’80s and you are a woman of the ’40s. What do you say to that?” Barbara, though stung, declined to alter her matronly image, which instead helped her become one of her husband’s most powerful political assets. A critic, Andrew Sullivan of The New Republic magazine, called her “America’s queen mother” whose “mastery of frumpy do-goodery is, of course, modeled on the Windsors.”

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A Second Proposal

When Wayne asked me to marry him last summer he did not have a ring; he said he wanted me to pick one out. I was truly grateful because I definitely did not want a traditional solitaire this time around. A second wedding later in life is about doing it your way. Any wedding should be that way but we know how easy it is to get caught up in what’s expected or worry about what others will think. For example, there is a stigma against smaller sized diamonds; bigger is supposed to be better.

The next day we went ring shopping locally. A lot has changed over the past twenty years of rings! There were more options, but most everything  I saw was NOT ME. There was no dearth of multiple diamonds in garish settings as if marketing departments determined that’s all any bride-to-be would wear. I wanted something sparkly yet low-profile, elegant, understated and vintage inspired (of course). Continue reading “A Second Proposal”

Wishy Made A Surprise Visit!

Can you spot him on the “mountain” which is my forsythia covered with snow? I didn’t think I’d see him until the snow melted! He’s not as fortunate as Chippie whose burrow entrance is protected from the snow by my deck. (I also shovel a little path to her foyer entrance.) Even so, ain’t no mountain high enough to keep him down! Minutes later Wishy ran over to me and I took some of the more comical pics of him yet!

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Signs of Spring

Last Friday morning I looked through my kitchen window to see if the latest snowstorm had yet begun. I was completely shocked to see a chipmunk sitting on the deck! I didn’t think I would see our court jesters until April. My heart sang as I yelled out to Wayne that it appeared that Wishy was outside. He was last seen at the end of November. I put my coat over my pajamas and ran to the deck. He let me get close to him to take his pic but didn’t visit long before he ran across the yard. But was it really him? And if it was, did my other pal, dear little Chippie, survive the winter or would I soon come to realize she had passed away after her autumn attack?

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Goodnight, Chippies

Wishy last visited with us four days ago; it’s evident that he has gone underground for the winter. It’s bittersweet because I’m relieved for his well-being and know it’s best for him but sad for me! Winter is arriving tomorrow with our first snowfall. I miss Chippie and Wishy but it’s encouraging knowing that under the inevitable deep blankets of snow my little friends are curled up sleeping, awakening to eat food from their larder before drifting in and out of torpor to pass the winter.  I hope they will emerge well rested and healthy in the spring! God bless these little creatures that bring us joy. 

The Shiniest Star(s)

Some of you know that I have been selling vintage items online since the early 2000s. As I was photographing one of two identical copies of the 1950s book The Shiniest Star illustrated by Charlot Byj, Wayne stopped talking to me mid-sentence, came over and said: “Hey! I know that book! I remember reading that when I was little!” His face was completely lit up as he picked up the book and turned the pages. He remembered the gold foil star on the cover, too. I was charmed to see him transform from a man in his 60s to a wide-eyed six year old.

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Living in the Moment

This has been such a creepy and shocking news day! Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor…

Today was also an odd weather day, but semi-lovely. It was 59 degrees and sunny for a few hours before the clouds moved in quickly and it began to rain briefly. Once it cleared the winds picked up and the temperature dropped ten degrees in one hour.

Feeding Chipmunks Wishy the Chippie (11)

Wishy was sitting on the deck around 11:00 a.m. as was the squirrel who keeps hoping I’ll feed him, too. I always welcome the opportunity to step away from my desk, out of my thoughts and into the present moment–outdoors.

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