Since I worked so hard on this project yesterday, and I am SOOOO relieved to have this one little mess cleaned up . . . . . I just have to post the rest of the pictures. Lots of our books are almost ancient - really - as I have some school books from great-grandparents, as well as an exercise book from the late 1800s. They are fascinating! I keep them safe, away from the kids, but they have been passed on from previous generations, and then moved around a bit, they are getting pretty raggedy. Which reminds me, one of my MOST favorite books of all time is "Hitty: Her First Hundred Years," which is a story told in the voice of a doll that has been passed on from one generation to the next, and she is also pretty raggedy ;o)
I have a treasured old glass-top table that I've had for many, many years. And I like to display some of my older books inside so we can see them but not touch them. Another book that has been well-loved and well-worn over the years in our family is "Good Night Moon" which I read to all of my older children, and now to our girls. They love it and have it memorized! I also came across another old children's book that I read with my older kids, "The Moffats," with is great fun to read and learn about how some families lived in an earlier generation. We also have "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" in a beautiful, illustrated version; and old "Mother Goose" book with watercolor illustrations; and a newer book that we have acquired since traveling to China to bring our girls home, "I Love You Like Crazy-Cakes." A sweet story of a mama traveling to China to bring her baby home. We love books at our house! Gracie has been reading the Junie B. Jones series, and Annie loves the "Little Bear" books. So many books, and only one lifetime to cherish them! Have a great Wednesday, and don't forget to read with your kids!
We have lots of space for all our books, which is a very good thing ;o)
MOVING!!!! I hope I never have to go through this again!!! So, although we are "mostly" settled into our cozy little house in the woods, there are still so many boxes to finish sorting. I actually just found my camera charger a couple of days ago, and had been working off of the same charge for a couple of weeks. But now I'm back in business and I can take pictures all day long, if I want to ;o) But, first, I had to put away all of these books. And my inspiration? The great gals over at 5 Minutes for Mom and their Tackle It Tuesday meme!
They all ended up on the dining room table because I was looking for a specific book . . . . of course, in all those boxes of books, the ONE I needed was in the 10th or 12th box I had to go through. But I found what I was looking for - only all the books that I didn't need right that minute, ended up stacked on the table and on every other flat surface I could find (well, a flat surface that didn't already have a bunch of other stuff on it that I needed to sort!).
In addition to the books, there were a few stray school papers and notebooks, a couple of cups and other knick-knacks, and lots of pictures. I love to have family pictures in our house, so there I was, facing this mess that was making me crazy! Today was the day, and fortunately we have lots of cupboard space that we don't need for dishes (because they all fit in the kitchen cupboards), so I had a place to put all of our books.
Well, you can see that there was also a wardrobe steamer sitting in the middle of the dining room . . . . my sweet hubby worked on the wrinkles in my winter coat, compliments of having been shoved into a packing box all summer, and now it is just about time for the snow to fly. He got it looking brand-new (even though it was one of my favorite thrift shop finds, it looks GREAT!) - but there sat the steamer. And what do YOU do with all those wonderful kids' projects that you want to save for their scrapbooks? I've got another pile! I'll get to THAT pile sometime soon.
Once I got all of the books sorted, kind of, into categories, they went quietly onto the shelves and into the cupboards. The kids' books have a section all of their own, because the girls love to rummage around through the books every night before bedtime. Then we read together. Now they have a bunch of "new" books to read! I put the old McGuffey Readers together on a shelf where the girls can reach them, but not all mixed up with the other kids' books.
So, at least now we can use the dining room table if we want to. We have another small table in the kitchen, where we usually have our meals, but just in case we have company or something special . . .. . I can find the table!
I'm finally finished with this ONE project, but there are so many more . . . . I guess I'll be posting lots of my Tackle It Tuesday projects for the next several weeks! I think I will even post a few more pictures of my beautiful dining room tomorrow, I'm so proud of my accomplishment today ;o)
As for the next few weeks of Tackle It Tuesday projects, the kitchen needs to be painted, my sewing room needs to be organized, the girls' room need lots of attention - but this afternoon I have to take the girls to the dentist, so this is it for today. Having this connection with other women who are trying to keep their heads above the piles of STUFF is a great inspiration! Keep up the good work, girls, and I'll be back next Tuesday with another organizing project ;o)
Here are the girls' books - well, some of them, since they have a basket full of books in their bedroom, too. Now they have lots and lots of books to choose from! Some of these books, however, have been around a long time, and are pretty much well-worn and loved, and pretty raggedy around the edges. Kind of like the Skin Horse in one of our favorite stories, "The Velveteen Rabbit." Off to the dentist!
Be sure to visit all the other tacklers out there who are taking control of the clutter in their lives! Visit 5 Minutes for Mom and be inspired!
I will never forget my friend, Fern. I first met Fern at a little neighborhood cafe, where she was playing Honky Tonk piano. She was 74 at the time. Fern was a beautiful lady . . . . about 4' 11" tall and weighing less than 100 pounds. She had perfectly styled blonde hair, her make-up was absolutely gorgeous, and she was dressed elegantly. Her sweater and her slacks were the same warm shade of peachy pink, with matching shoes, and her lipstick and nail polish added the finishing touches to the overall picture of this lovely lady.
As she played her Honky Tonk piano rendition of "Happy Days Are Here Again," she smiled brightly at all of the patrons of the little cafe. Everyone loved Fern! She played piano for a couple of hours, every Thursday night, at the HomeTown Cafe. For years . . . . until she couldn't quite manage to get out in the evenings, and her hands were just too weary to play those piano keys. And we missed the joy that she brought to our town, every Thursday night for so many years. But here's the rest of the story of my sweet friend, Fern . . . .
She couldn't read a note of music, but simply played that piano for all it was worth, after teaching herself how to figure out chords and keys by ear. Fern was a woman of joy, of love, of generosity, and a soul filled with music that she shared with anyone and everyone who came into her life. And so, I wanted to get to know Fern. I invited her to play her Honky Tonk piano at a community event that we were planning, and she gladly joined in, bringing her music and her beauty. And over the next few years, until Fern was in her early 80s, she shared her music with our community.
One day, I asked Fern if we could go out for coffee, just to talk. Well, of course, she agreed. She loved to meet new people, and spend time with her friends. So, we sat down over a cup of coffee and she shared her story with me. She had married her sweetheart when they were both just out of their teens, and they had been married for nearly 60 years when he passed away. She missed him, of course, but she carried on, treasuring the years they had together and always seeking ways to reach out in love to those around her. She had five children . . . . but one little boy had been very sick and had passed away as a toddler. And she never forgot.
She told me about her husband, Gerald, and about her grown-up children, and her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren. But she really wanted to tell me about her little boy who had died so many years ago. By that time, it had been almost 60 years since she lost him, and she still wanted to talk about him. Her radiant beauty shone through the tears, and I knew that this was a heartbreak that she would carry to her own grave. And she did. Her suffering as a mother, as a woman, as a human being, gave her the gift of beauty. In her own pain and brokenness, she had decided to reach out to others in love. Because she still had so much love in her heart, she just had to share it!
Fern passed away almost four years ago. I miss her, and I remember her, everyday when I think about the hard things that have happened in my life and in the lives of those I love. And I pray that, should I live so long, God would allow me to be as beautiful as Fern. We must never go through suffering without accepting the growth and the development of beauty in our hearts. We will all go through dark days and brokenness . . . . . let's not waste those moments on bitterness. We might as well make the most of the messiness of life - it would be sad to think that we could go through the valley and never reach the sunshine of His love and the beauty that suffering can bring into our life. Besides, if I haven't died of a broken heart yet, that's never going to happen! Have a blessed Tuesday, and remember to be stunningly beautiful.
I am going to try to put up Mr. Linky here soon, so be sure to leave your name and link so we can all come visit you. Thanks to Loni at Writing Canvas for organizing Tuesdays In Other Words.
Although October is over, I know that the determination to discover a cure for breast cancer is not over. As a tribute to the millions of brave breast cancer survivors, I have created a couple of pieces of art entitled "Pink Inspiration." This beautiful treasure box is actually made from a tissue box that has been stabilized, reconstructed, painted, embellished, and filled with inspirational cards. A simple yet elegant project to make for yourself or for someone special! Whatever inspiration and encouragement you want to share, you can include it in this treasure box. It could be used for a birthday present, or a gift for Valentine's Day or a birthday, Mother's Day or Christmas. Or Just Because I Love You.
And if you want to include something else PINK, here's a little brooch that I made from a painted button, pink and silver fabric petals, and a flocked pink flower with a rhinestone button center. This pin would be elegant on a coat this winter or on a ribbon necklace. Of course, these projects could be made in any color you would like, but as a tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness month, I started with pink. Perhaps I'll make a few for the holidays in shades of gold and silver, red and green, royal blue and purple. There are just too many ideas and way too few hours to create them all!