I have been watching my dvd box set of The Dick Van Dyke Show for the past three weeks.  I had received it as a gift on my birthday in November and had recently started watching an episode or two every night before bed.
 It was my comfort tv show growing up.  This was the way I remember my parents and families at a time when all was simple and sweet and innocent.  Or at least it was to me.
It was a time when there were  only three channels to watch.  When kids played outside.
When moms were home when you came from school and loved to bake and surprise their kids with goodies.  My mom was like this.
Sexy and beautiful but kind and caring and funny and always had time for me.

I think the reason this show was so wonderful to me was because it was during an era that was so great.  I enjoyed my childhood and loved shows like this that taught good family values.

Today we lost Mary Tyler Moore.  An icon, a talented actress, dancer, and a role model.

Yesterday was my mom's two year anniversary of her passing and three days ago my uncle passed.

Last night I watched Mary dance in her living room, so gracious and beautiful and funny and I fell asleep with the dvd still on.  I woke to find the music of the show looping over and over.  Turning off my television I went back to bed and dreamt of the show.  Obviously because I had been watching it.

Early today I made a trip to the mall to find a dress suitable for my uncle's wake tomorrow.  As I checked my phone I had a news alert about Mary's passing.  I know that I never met her, nor did she know I even exsisted, but I can't tell you how her passing has touched me.

I am so thankful to have the shows she made and be able to watch them again and again.  To know that she is no longer with us pained me in a strange way as if she had been family.  When we grow up watching someone and identify with them, even if we didn't actually know them it is still felt as a loss.
I pray she is dancing in heaven.  Sad week.


Pressed Botanicals

There is a story behind this:
My friend KC gave me this most beautiful gift for Christmas.  A lovely framed pressed fern she made herself.

This means alot to me and I'll explain why.

My friend KC's daughter just moved into her new home.  KC , being the creative artist that she is, created these beautiful pressed botanicals on these lovely frames her daughter had gotten on line.  She sent me a photo one night of one of them and I was in awe.  It looked like the pressed botanicals that go for hundreds of dollars in all the major stores and websites.  When I called her to compliment her, she told me the fern had come from her own pressed flowers and leaves.  I began to tell her about my mom and how she was always pressing flowers and leaves.  When I was a child my mom had a book that was filled with photos of various trees and flowers and their names were below in Latin and in English.  Anytime we would go on an outing we'd take the book and we'd search for different and peculiar kinds of flowers and trees and then we would take a sample, sit somewhere, find it in the book and she would immediately press it inside.  This happened for years until I became a bratty teenager and no longer wanted to go around and be a botanist nerd with her.  (sigh)
The book became fatter and harder to close and the spine broke in a few places.  But she remedied that with a really large rubberband.
It was something that looked like it was right out of Indiana Jones.
She would scribble on it, add photographs we might have taken on one of our trips and always samples of the varieties she would find.
My mother never went to college or high school.  She graduated from 8th grade and went straight to help her mother.  But her mother and my great grandfather would give my mother books to read about everything and anything.  I always said my mom new so much for someone who never finished school.
Anyway. . . back to my point.
That night after I ended my converstation with KC about how it used to make me angry that my mother was spoiling all my good cookbooks by putting leaves and weeds in them, I began to cry over my cookie dough and cookie filled counter.  I remember speaking to my mother in the quiet kitchen at night telling her what I would give to have one of her pressed flowers or leaves to create something beautiful like KC had made for her daughter.
I felt ashamed of complaining about my moms obsession with pressing and realized how artistic she was and creative and how lucky I was to have a mother who had such a broad sense of knowledge and love for poetry, art, and always was looking for a project to invest in.
I remembered my mom taking the tiny little flowers off of my hydrangeas and pressing them and thought how pretty they would look if I had them.
It wasn't even two minutes after I finished speaking out loud in my silent kitchen when I felt a need to look through this one cookbook that I had.  I remember distinctly years ago making my mom take out all the leaves because they were leaving moist rings around my pages.  I remember making sure they were all gone.  They had been taken out long before my mother became ill.

I bent down and pulled the fattest book out.  I placed it on my counter and could feel my heart racing.
It was as if my mom was right there smiling at me in the flower petals and ferns and leaves.  Page after page they fell unto my countertop.  The white quartz showcasing each color that had been carefully preserved by the pages in my book.  I had red, yellow, green, blue.  My tears fell down my face as I counted, maybe 13 to 15 different ones all on my counter.  I immediately took photos with my iphone and text them to KC.  (Unfortunately those first photos were not saved because the iphone 6S doesn't let you save them if you send them through the text camera.  It makes no sense to me and I didn't know that.  If I had just clicked on the camera icon and taken the photos and then text from my library I would still have them.

Well below are photos that I took of the ones I made with all my mom's pressed flowers.  The first one did not come out like I had wished.  I should have used a lighter background paper.  But I don't want to try to fix it because the hydrangea leaves are too fragile to pull out and re do.
 Do you see the difference with the one below that has the lighter paper?  So much better.

 Below is what remains.  I need to get a few more frames.  You can buy the frames here: https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/hinged-hanging-picture-frame2?category=SEARCHRESULTS&color=028
Even now as I was writing this post I was looking through a little book my mom put photos in of my sons.  I found this in the last page.  She glued these in.
My friend KC text me a little while to tell me that she still had the original photos I sent her via text.
Here they are.  Thank you KC.
These were taken moments after I found them.


Holiday House Tour

Good Tidings my friends, I have been wanting to post about my house tour and have been a bit overwhelmed, but in a good way.  With Thanksgiving, decorating my house, working at the store, having a black friday weekend at the store, preparing for my son's arrival from college, a house tour, and a holiday party at my home and baking cookies, needless to say I was passing out by 11pm with my computer on my lap sitting in my bed.  
So please forgive my tardiness.  With much joy I post now, my house tour.  Hope you like it.  I hope you get a cozy throw on this almost winter's night, (feels like the deep of Winter) maybe a cup of tea or coffee and get situated in a comfy spot.  This is going to be long.  

Here it goes . . . 

What is it with me and this ribbon that transports me to England in the early 1900's.  I can see myself in my petticoat and long skirt  scurrying through the "Dickens- like" cobblestone streets wishing every passersby a Happy Christmas!

 Isn't it a dream?

 My favorite ornaments are in the style of the German Kugels.  (spell check on Kugels)

Mary Carol has written that she loves every inch of her house and that she would not wish to overlook any of them without giving each one proper thought.  I have made that my mantra when it comes to decorating my home.  Every inch should have detail and be pretty.

We put our tree by the opening towards the foyer for ventilation.  My family room is very small and because we have one of those monster tv's (which I do not love- too big) I can't put my tree to close to him.

Below a mirror in my half bath.  It is stunning.  It belonged to my friend Susan.  She had a moving sale and I snatched it immediately.  I have always loved it in her home and thought it would look perfect in my bathroom.
Just a bit of greens and some Kugels to decorate the mirror.
 This is a view from my kitchen.  I placed a tree outside decorated only in lights.
 Below the view from my sunroom into the dinning room.

 I decorated my french tiered pastry shelf with fresh greens.  Love the look.

 I love dressing up even the statues.

Below view from the formal living room into the study.

The candles on my tree are from my store.  They are battery operated and work with a remote.  They are cordless and they swivel and clip on to the branches.  Genious design.  They give any tree a "Dickens Christmas" feel.

Below is my upstairs hall.
 The statue of mother and daughter was given to my mom by my uncle when I was a child.  I treasure it since I have very few things left from my mom.  It meant so much to her and now to me.

My friend Susan, the designer who owned my beautiful mirror, she was a firm believer of adorning even a little chair.  This chair was actually hers, and so was the velvet pillow on it.

 My hall bathroom I just adorned with a few wreaths.
 Guess room.  I decided to layer the mirrors and adorn with kugels and greens.
 Below, I had to put a boxwood on the bed.  Why shouldn't everything have a bit of festive feel.

 Second guest room.  This was my oldest son's room.  He's married now and a new daddy.

 I love adding just a few things to the bedrooms.  Like a pillow, or a small garland or wreath.
 Above and below, the master bedroom.
 I found this hand made toile quilt from my favorite antique place.  I have bought four quilts from this woman.  Beautifully done and double sided.

 Lastly, the master bath.
Well folks, that's it. I hope you enjoyed it, got inspired and are excited to decorate your home.  Feel free to share ideas, leave comments and ask any questions.  I'll be happy to help.
And most of all . . .

"Happy Christmas To All."

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