Monday, February 29, 2016

Gracie's Jewels Find a New Home

Gracie was my precious mother-in-law.
She's been gone now for nearly fifteen years.
Gracie in her younger days, long before I knew her.
Wasn't she adorable?
She was a tiny, spunky little thing who never met a stranger.
You rarely saw her when she wasn't wearing her jewelry...
...always a necklace and/or a pin or brooch,
 large (sometimes dangley) earrings, bangles or bracelets, a watch, etc., etc.
She even had a pair of bejeweled dancing shoes that she wore occasionally.
They were covered completely with multi-colored rhinestones...absolutely glorious!
Gracie had a lot of jewelry and I was blessed to inherit quite a few pieces, which I cherish.
It is mostly costume jewelry and I have no idea if any of it has much value.
Jim's father did a lot of traveling and some of the pieces came from Germany and Italy.
A while back, I shared this post about decorating a small Christmas tree with her jewelry.
Sometimes I just get it out to look at and other times I just like to photograph it in different settings.
Depending on the occasion, I have even started to wear some of it.
A couple of weeks ago, I came across this cute tapestry box at Goodwill.
I knew right away that I wanted it for Gracie's jewelry...

...but when I opened it up in the store, I was so disappointed.

 I have no idea what the spots first I thought it was mildew but decided it wasn't.
There was absolutely no odor and the stains were brown, not black like mildew.
Anyway, the wheels started turning and I decided to purchase it, regardless... was worth the $2.99 I paid for it, I thought to myself.
You see, I had a plan for some of that velvet I'd been collecting to make pumpkins :)

No real tutorial here, but I think you get the idea... was nothing that a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun couldn't handle :)

And in about an hour and a couple of burned fingers later...

VoilĂ !!
So while I had it all out, I had to have a little fun, right?

I could just look at all day.
Below is Gracie's charm bracelet that she wore nearly every day.
I made sense of everything on it except for what looks like a donkey.
Maybe I'm missing something.

Remember when the mustard seed jewelry was all the rage? 

You may have also seen this blue pendant before somewhere on my blog. 
I have no clue about it but I've never seen such intricate detail in anything that is made today.
Doing some googling, it looks like it may have come from Germany.

I've never worn it but that's not saying I never will.
A girl needs just the right event for something like this...
... Renaissance Ball maybe?

Can you tell I'm having fun yet?

And this would most definitely fall into the category of "Things that make me go AHH!" 
I have actually worn this but needed to add an extension for my fat neck.
There were matching earrings but I'm thinking she may have been buried in them.

The amber/topaz brooch I think is quite old, as well as the filigree flower in the middle.
The amethyst and blue I believe are both Sarah Coventry...remember her??

This cameo set is about as delicate as they come as the metal is quite soft.
Jim tells me he thinks his father bought this in Germany for her.

I love to photograph it...

 ...and I think you probably can tell.
And the bracelet below is something that I do wear frequently.
It's not that old...I found the inscription not too long ago...Sarah Coventry :)
I do love the "Old World" design.

This is your basic rhinestone costume jewelry that was so popular in the 40's and 50's.
Ladies must have had really skinny necks and wrists back then :) 

And last but not least, here is something that I found out just might have some real value to it.
These came from Italy and ebay tells me that the set below is
Depending on quality and authenticity, the prices range anywhere from $30 to $$$.
Click on the link and see that I found...and the price!
Hmm...I wonder....

I have worn these too and with the right outfit, they are quite stunning! 

So...Gracie's "jewels" are all tucked away in their new home.

I just adore this sweet little box... 

...and as I was putting together this post,
an old hymn was brought to mind and for days I couldn't get it out...
...not that I really wanted to.
How many of you remember this sweet hymn?


No, Gracie's jewels probably don't have much earthly value to them.
But just having them close by to remind me of her...well...
...that makes them priceless!

On that day the LORD will save them, as the flock of his people;
for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land.
Zephaniah 9:16

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Monday, February 22, 2016

100 Days (and counting)

One. Hundred. Days.

When you compare it to a lifetime, it really isn't long at all.
Just a little over three months is a relatively short period of time for most of us, I'd say.

When you consider it is only 2400 hours, 144000 minutes and the seconds as they tick away...'s actually just a minute increment of time in the grand scheme of things.

However, when the 100 days (and counting) are relating to one's sobriety,
well...that's a different story entirely.

This past weekend we were reminded of that by our first born.
You should have heard how proud he was to be able to say those words!
One hundred days of sober living is quite an accomplishment,
especially when you can't remember how long it's been since you could make that statement.
He is at the half-way point in his program and learning so many good things.

He's learning how to love and forgive himself.

He's learning how to give and receive God's mercy and grace.

He's learning how to draw strength from Jesus to get him day at a time.

He's learning how to do life a whole new way.

God is doing His thing and Aaron is doing his.
Thank you for your prayers, my friends.


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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Thinking Spring and Wednesday Hodgepodge

Today I am thinking SPRING!
The "snow" that we received a couple of days ago was a disappointing, ugly mess... I'm done!
I'm setting my sites on spring!

Just for fun, I'm throwing in some shots from a few springs ago to decorate...
...these first few photos were on my very first blog post.

These little beauties grow along the roadsides everywhere you look in the springtime.
Are you allergic to clover?

Today I'm also linking up with Joyce at
If you want to play too, go to her blog, copy and paste her questions,
 and answer them on your blog!
1. February 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. It lands on the calendar one day after National Do Something for a Grouch Day (February 16) which somehow feels related. Perhaps the 16th inspired the 17th?
Tell about a time you performed a random act of kindness or were the recipient of one. Will you make an effort to perform a random act of kindness on the 17th? Share details if you're so inclined, and if you have something specific in mind.

I wonder who sits and thinks up these National...Whatever Days. I do like the idea of both of these days though, particularly the "grouch" one. It would definitely be harder to do something kind for a grouch—but oh what the outcome just might be! Not an easy thing to do for most of us me but I do remember a time when I was in a store at the check out counter and the clerk was very short with me and on the verge of being rude. It was my first impulse to ask her what her problem was but I didn't. Instead I just smiled and told her to have a blessed day. She evidently was not used to someone speaking kindly to her, as she looked at me in a somewhat puzzled expression. Not only did I feel sorry for her but also thankful that I did not "act" on my first instincts. I realized that maybe those were the only kind words she might hear that day. I will do my best to seek out an opportunity to bless someone today...and who knows, it might even be a "grouch" from yesterday. {smile}

2. What's the most uplifting or encouraging thing you see happening in the world right now? You may have to dig deep for this one.
Wow, that is a tough one...right now? Right this very minute? I just don't know...but in a world that seems so full of angry, hateful and just plain mean spirited people, it does my heart good to see people from every walk of life pull together and come to the aid of others during various disasters when they happen...and it seems they happen all the time. It is too bad that too often it takes devastation to bring it about.

3. Black olives, black currants, black grapes, black beans, blackberries, Oreos...your favorite food the color of night? Your least favorite on the list?

Least favorite would be black grapes, unless they were seedless. Favorite would be blackberries, hands down. The others fall somewhere in between although I can't say I've ever tasted black currants (I think they might be pretty close to the blackberries... OR maybe not!)
4. A while back I read (here) a list of twelve things you should do before you turn 50. They were - travel when you have the chance, take care of your skin, learn a foreign language, make exercise a habit, leave a toxic situation, stop caring what others think about you, stop worrying, volunteer, spend time with your grandparents, pledge to work less, learn to cook an amazing dish, and seize an opportunity as it arises
What do you think of the list? What would you add or remove and why? If you're over 50, have you done all 12? If you're not yet 50, have you done any at all? What's on the list that you haven't done, but would like to do?
Being well over 50, I guess have accomplished several of these things and have considered others. I love to travel anywhere and any time I can but in all reality, will probably never get to Ireland...that's where I want to go. I do take care of my skin, I have no desire to learn a foreign tongue, I NEED to make exercise a habit, the Lord is taking care of that toxic (literally) situation, praise His Name! I don't think it's possible for me to stop caring what others think of me...that's just who I am and I don't think it's possible for me to stop worrying completely, although I am doing SO much better (thank you, Jesus). Whenever I volunteer at the homeless shelter serving meals it is always more of a blessing to me than maybe it is to them...and I would like to have time to do more. I have no memories of my grandparents, sorry to say. I do pledge to work less when I retire in who knows how many years that will be but I never have to worry about that...I am NOT an over achiever. I do like to cook and it depends on what you call amazing :) And last but not least, sometimes, I do and sometimes I don' depends on what the opportunity is! I guess whether or not I was supposed to list the things I've/not done I did anyway! If I had to leave something off the list, it would the importance of learning another language. I realize it can be very important to some.

5. Besides the classic Christmas flicks, what's your favorite film where winter plays a part in the setting?  

For someone who isn't a real movie buff, this is not so easy to answer. My first thought was "The Shining".......there, I said it. Not really a favorite but the only one I could think of :)
6.When did you last feel helpless, and what did you do about it?
This one is easy...last summer when I locked myself out of the house...alone, except for Oscar in the house, it was already dark and getting ready to storm. I used a hammer from the detached garage on my door latch because all of the windows were locked too....and literally cried out to God to help me. You can read about it here.

7. Share a favorite proverb.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

8. Insert your own random thought here:

This was my first time posting to Wednesday Hodgepodge and it was not as easy as I thought! You really have to do some thinking... but it was fun! Great questions, Joyce.




Saturday, February 13, 2016

♥Happy Valentine's Day♥ (courtesy of Walmart)

I rushed out on Friday to get bread and milk before it's all gone!
Around here, you'd better get it while you can...
...before that 1/4 inch of snow or whatever that we're expecting hits the pavement!
(actually, I didn't even buy milk or bread)


So while I was out at Wally World getting what I needed,
I was bombarded by lovely Valentine's gifts the moment I walked through the doors.
I don't necessarily even need to receive anything to enjoy it...I just like looking!

Trusty little camera in hand, I took these photos just for you, my friends!

Can you believe that as I was lurking around all of these lovely items with my camera,
the employees were already moving the V-Day stuff into the clearance section?

It was all I could do to act as though I was shopping...they were in my way!
Do you know how hard it is to be inconspicuously taking photos with all that going on??

It wasn't easy.

I did see a few people looking at me out of the corner of their eye...
...and then they'd suddenly look down when I caught them....tee-hee...
"Why is that weirdo lady taking pictures of candy and flowers?"

Let me tell you, they had some bee-yoo-tee-full flowers!

And I wouldn't have minded if one of my sweet grandsons would have gotten me this...

or this.

I just wonder what they do with all of the leftovers.

There's no doubt there has to be tons of them!
And I have never seen so many ways to package so much candy...

...but here's my favorite...

Cute, huh??
Oh, and we can't forget about these...

there were plenty of these as well :)


But you know, all kidding aside...

Valentine's Day is about so much more than hearts, flowers and candy, isn't it?
I was reminded about that this week by a sweet young woman that many of us know and love.
Kelly-Anne who blogs at Beautiful Girlhood wrote this post which truly touched my heart.
As I read it with tears in my eyes, I realized that even at my age, 
I still have such a long way to go on my daily love walk. 
If you haven't read her post, it is quite powerful...and the girl is only 18 years old!
 I printed out Kelly-Anne's post and stuck it in my Bible.


 So with that being said, let me take this opportunity to ask you all to...

and to have a very...

♥♥♥ Much love to all!! ♥♥♥

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