Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Visit To Erwin D. Mented DDS.

Aaaaaah! Visiting the dentist is always such a thrilling experience isn't it? I had the unfortunate displeasure of visiting the dentist this afternoon to have some prep work done for a crown that I need to have done. Now don't get me wrong. I do know how important keeping up on your dental work is and that is why I force myself to go but why is it always just so much of a hassle?

Today the dental office was swarming with overactive and bored children in the waiting room. I could almost feel the buzz of hyperactivity when I opened the door. I felt badly for them as they waited there for who knows how long to have who knows what done. When I got to the back there were even more kids running around! This time they were the very small children of the dental assistant who was working on my teeth. At one point her precocious little 5 year old stuck her head out from a booth and proceeded to inform me that "my daddy doesn't lie but my mommy does!" I almost swallowed the drill bit from laughing so hard!

At one point during the work my dentist was actually trying to watch the t.v. on the wall in front of us and I was just about to have a hissy fit when she realized that I saw what was going on. Then as she was rinsing my tooth with that little squirty thing someone called to her and she turned just enough to squirt my entire face with a running stream of water! By that point I was ready to slap everyone!

The only consolation that I received was the fact that the head dentist was such a "hottie"! Only then was I willing to put up with just a little bit more of the shenanigans going on around me if it meant that I could "Ogle" him from across the room. What! wasn't was the laughing gas ;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Greetings.

Don't you just love it when someone takes the time to send you a greeting through the mail? In this day and age with emails, text messages, and Instant messaging it is so easy to lose sight of the thrill of a good old fashioned greeting happily delivered by your neighborhood postman. I get such a thrill (second only to the thrill of the squeal of the UPS truck!) when beneath the stack of bills, advertisements and junk mail, I find a greeting card size envelope lovingly addressed and decorated especially for me. It just makes you feel special when you know that someone took the time to make a handmade card perfectly tailored just for you and your particular situation.

Oddly enough it means even more to me when I know that the sender has braved the perils of their local Walmart or other store to find the perfect card just to send to little 'ol' me. You know what a feat it is to try and find a good card at any of these stores. You mosey up and down the aisles, flipping through cards and going something like this: "No, not that one. Nope, that one neither. Oh, that's cute..oh its for a boy. What about this one? Ha! that's funny but she might be offended. Hmmm....which one?" So there you go again up and down the aisle and around the corner like a race car circling the track yet again.

Whatever way you choose to send a greeting to a friend, family member, teacher or neighbor make it special by handwriting a quick thought or sentiment and personalizing the envelope as little or as much as you like. You never know, by doing so you might just be the one bright spot that made a difference in your recipient's day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Comforting and Heartfelt Gift.

As many of you may know Pam over at Planet Gift Baskets has become a great friend not only to me but also to the followers of The Vintage Vignette. She has graciously donated prizes to some of our challenges in the past and has also offered our readers a never expiring 10% discount on all their products. (To take advantage of this discount see the Planet Gift Baskets badge in the sidebar).

I was very touched when after reading about the loss of my dear sweet kitty Shayla, I received the most beautiful and touching "Pet Loss" gift basket from her. It was unbelievably comforting to know that someone took the time to design a gift for those grieving the loss of a pet. I was so touched. I had never seen anything like a pet loss basket at any of the other sites I have visited when searching for a condolence gift basket.

This beautiful ensemble came with soothing tea, angle figurine, and a wonderful little teapot to enjoy the comforting drink in. I think what touched me the most was that this gift came with a wonderful companion greeting card celebrating the life of my pet as well as a sweet little keepsake locket to wear around my neck or on a key chain. And if that wasn't enough, the locket opened up and had the tiniest little scroll inside that said "Shayla will be truly missed". I couldn't believe how thoughtfully sincere this gift was.

When I talked with Pam later in the day to thank her for such a personalized condolence gift, she expressed to me that there is a wonderful selection of condolence gifts at Planet Gift Baskets that celebrate not only the lives of our loved ones but also of our beloved pets. There are also many books, plaques and keepsake boxes that she offers for individual purchase. I cannot express how incredibly comforted I was to receive this gift and to Pam I say, thank you. I am truly touched.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stages Of Sadness.

I haven't been able to do very much these last few days since my precious Kitty passed away. I have found myself not only devastated and sad but angry and withdrawn as well. I know that she was just a cat but she meant so much more to me than that. As I am sure many couples without children will tell you that our pets ARE our children and she was certainly just that for me for many years.

I managed to really make things worse however, when in my grief I proceeded to attack my husband verbally for his carelessness in exiting the garage and taking her away from me. It was childish I know but the anger welling within me finally escaped my lips no matter how hard I had tried to keep it together. We have since worked things out through talking and tears and I am glad to say that we are on the mend.

I have poured myself into journaling in my written journal. I will reserve my art journal for a future time when looking at photos of my kitty is a little less painful. In the meantime making entries in my written journal has been very helpful. I write in the mornings, at night and all through the day sometimes making four or five entries at a time. It makes me appreciate what a blessing it truly is to be a woman and to be able to freely express myself in this way. I doubt there are many men out there who would allow themselves such freedom of expression during trying times so that they might envelop themselves in the comfort of their own written words.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Terribly Tragic Day.

Today was a terrible and tragic day for me. My beloved cat Shayla passed away. Shayla was with me for the past 13 years of my life. She was my constant companion when I was single and struggling to make ends meet living in a one bedroom apartment and just barely scraping by. She was the smiling face that greeted me at the door when I returned from work to an empty apartment. She was 13 years old and quite the spunky old lady. As a matter of fact I used to call her "My old lady Kitty". She would meow loudly in delight every time I touched her or rubbed her with my foot. That' right, she loved a good massage with my foot and she'd come running as soon as I motioned my foot her way.

This afternoon my husband accidentally backed over her with my car as he was exiting the garage to wash my car. She liked to hang out in the garage and lay out on the concrete floor. It wasn't unusual to find her stretched out and relaxing in the afternoons. My husband had no idea that she had decided to sit under the car this afternoon and so he was unaware of what happened until he got out of the car to wash it. He came and got me and I immediately burst into tears and hurriedly tried to pick her up to get her to the vet when I realized that it would be no use. I sat down next to her and stroked her fur and told her I loved her until she eventually took her last breath. I have cried inconsolably for the better part of the day and I am sure I will continue to cry for some time.

I decided to take her into the vet's office to have her cremated so that I can keep a part of her with me always. She was so special and she meant so much to me so if you can, give your doggy or kitty and extra hug and kiss for me tonight in remembrance of my dear, sweet, little Shayla Mae.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just A Quick Post.

This is just a quick post to share with you a photo of my maternal grandparents that I just found in a stack of pictures that my mother gave to me. My grandmother (my mom's mother) is the beautiful gal first on the left...Just look at that smile! She is holding my grandfather's hand in the photo. My grandfather was a hilarious man that always kept me in stitches. We wrote letters back and forth to each other until the very week that he passed away just last December at the age of 85. He lived in another state but we kept in touch as cherished pen pals. My grandmother passed away when I was a pre-teen but I still remember everything about her and what a wonderful woman she truly was. The elderly woman seated at the end of the table is my great grandmother or "Granny" as we used to call her. The other three pretty gals are my great aunts Rosie, Helen, and Bessie, my grandmothers sisters.

I consider this such a wonderful photo not just because it represents so much of my family's history but also because it highlights a slice of what everyday life was like back in the 1940's. Look in the background and you will see working waitresses and families dining together (even if just the tops of their heads). This photo is such a beautiful and simple reminder of how fast life passes us by and that we should take the time to gather with our loved ones regularly and enjoy them to the full before we arrive at a time in life where we are no longer able to do so.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Welcome Blog Party Ladies and Gents!

Welcome Feathered Friends Blog Party Gals! I have posted 3 times in a row about these sweet hummingbirds so if you are a regular reader of The Vintage Vignette please bare with me as I discuss them once again (for the last time, I promise!) for the Feathered Friends blog party! Please stop over at The Shabby Chic Cottage as well to see what other birdie treasures the ladies are posting.

It all started when I hung up 7 new feeders in my backyard. Within hours my backyard was swarming with hummingbirds! I'm talking about 15 to 20 at a time! As I sat out there with them each day in the mornings and evenings they had gotten quite used to me. One day I decided to take one of the feeders in my hands and sit in the chair to see what they would do. They began flying over to me, landing right in my hand and feeding! I have been doing it twice a day ever since. They have become so accustomed to me that I can stand right next to them like I did to take these pictures. Quite an amazing experience indeed.

Monday, August 10, 2009

So Sorry But I Can't Help It!

So OK! I know, I know! Enough with the garden and the hummingbirds already! But the truth be told, I just can't help myself. I have been enjoying the garden and the hummingbirds every day. The First thing I do in the morning now is stumble down the stairs and make a pot of coffee and then head out to the garden to watch the hummingbirds.

The coolness of the early morning and the stillness of the air all combine to soothe my soul. As soon as I sit in my rocking chair the birds begin to gather in anticipation of nectar for the hummers and peanut butter and raisins for the various goldfinches, orioles and sparrows that are eagerly waiting in the wings *pardon the pun*.

My roses are also in full bloom and I can't get them cut fast enough. I give thanks each morning for David Austin of David Austin English roses for creating such beautiful hybrids that cannot be rivaled by any other breeder.

My garden isn't like those you might find in a magazine nor does it have any particular design but is pleases me greatly simply because it is mine and the creation of my hard work and hands. Please enjoy yet another garden tour.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Scrapbook Or Art Journal?

Scrapbook or Art Journal? Which one to choose for your precious photos? That would most likely depend on what it is that you are trying to accomplish by documenting your life and experiences. Traditionally, the family scrapbook has held precious family memories of important dates and events that people would like to remember in the years to come. These can be of importance when it comes down to sharing familial information with future generations of your family. For the most part, scrapbooks are a one shot stop. You design a layout that pleases you, add photos, a little journaling and you are done. Scrapbooks can be made for a special events or to chronicle a lifetime of experiences. If you find that you are looking to document your family's life history or just wanting to leave a piece of who you are as a person for future enjoyment without getting overly personal, then choosing a scrapbook would probably be the best fit.

Art journals on the other hand tend to be a little more involved. An art journal is usually an expression of creative thoughts, ideas and musings about any number of subjects. Art journals tend to consist of many, many layers of thoughts and ideas, illustrated in a variety of ways. In the typical art journal you will find a variety of mediums at play such as paints, markers, glitters and glues, tapes and the list goes on and on.

Although art journaling can include photos, they tend to be a little more private in nature. Those who choose to art journal are usually looking to document life's triumphs, struggles, and emotions that affect them from a more personal and intimate standpoint. Journaling plays a much larger role in art journaling than a typical scrapbook might contain. The downside to this might be that you may find that you are a bit apprehensive about sharing the contents of your art journal with future generations and others. Your documented thoughts and feelings are bound to be more personal, sensitive and sometimes hurtful to those that might inadvertently read it. When keeping an art journal of this nature you would want to treat it as a diary whose privacy should be respected. I always let others know that if they knowingly make the decision to read my art journal without permission then they should consider the possibility of getting their feelings hurt at their own risk!

With these points in mind you will want to consider what you are trying to accomplish by keeping a scrapbook or an art journal. If you are looking to document your life and experiences for the enjoyment of your future generations and others then choosing to keep a scrapbook is probably best. On the other hand, if you are looking to document your inner most thoughts and feelings, goals and upsets, in a more private fashion with the addition of photos then choosing and art journal is definitely the way to go. Either way, creative documentation is a wonderful way to make your mark in celebration of the extraordinary lives that we all lead and cherish.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Today was my hubby's day off so we decided to spend the afternoon antiquing at our city's downtown historic district. There is a HUGE antique store there that is so large that is has three stories! Everything in it is sold on consignment and each of the sellers does a fantastic job of presenting shoppers with gorgeous vignettes of their item for sale.

As soon as we entered the store my husband took off in one direction in search of antique railroad lanterns that he collects. He works for Union Pacific Railroad and he just loves to find these lanterns. He was so excited because the last time we were in this store he found a lantern for sale that only cost $60.00 and when we went to pay he was acting very strangely. As soon as we got out of the store he told me that the owner of that particular booth must not have done his homework because he happened to know for a fact that this particular lantern was worth well over $200.00! Later we went online and sure enough it was appraised at that price.

This time he didn't find any lanterns but I came across this beautiful set of Italian salt and pepper shakers. I knew they were authentic as they were engraved "Made In Italy" on the bottom with the makers official seal. I loved the fact that the pepper shaker was not just a shaker but a peppercorn grinder. Freshly ground pepper just tastes so much better. I plan to go to get a lead test kit at the home improvement store to test them for lead before I actually use them to hold salt and pepper. If they come back positive for lead they will just be a beautiful decoration.

When we went to pay for our items the consignment director just happened to be the one ringing up our purchases. When he saw the shakers he said with a smile, "Hey, I saw those and was going to buy them myself!" I replied "Then I wouldn't be able to buy them", with a smile. I hated to disappoint the man but they were all mine!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

More Hummingbird Fun.

I have still been enjoying my early mornings sitting out in the garden and hand feeding the hummingbirds! I tried to get video of it but they seem to be scared of the camera so I used my mini Flip camera and although they would not land for me to hand feed them, they did buzz all around me. There are 3 feeders visible to the camera in the foreground and four more in the background with hummers swarming all around. Also, I can't figure out for the life of me why my video says February 2007 after loading it up to Youtube today! Does anyone know why this does this. I uploaded it twice trying to fix it but it still says It! Strange indeed.

*As always, be sure to pause the Vintage Vignette Radio button all the way below before playing the video.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Best Day Ever!

Today was the best day ever! What made it so special? Well, today I was able to talk my husband into taking the day off from work and believe me that doesn't happen very often. He goes to work NO matter what! That is a quality that I admire greatly about him but sometimes a gal just wants to see her man act a bit spontaneously.

We worked out in the garden together for a bit and then I enjoyed an afternoon nap while he cleaned up the kitchen...dishes and all! What a guy huh? Next we went back outside and did the most amazing thing! This week I had placed 7 new hummingbird feeders in the garden and when we went outside there were close to 20 hummingbirds buzzing all around the yard! In fact I almost received a haircut as one buzzed right over the top of my head causing me to have to duck.

Now for the amazing part. I decided to take a chair out into the grass and sit right next to the feeders while holding one of them in my hand. I could not believe it when the hummingbirds began to land in my hand one by one to drink the nectar! They were not afraid of me in the slightest. One by one they landed and continued to drink occasionally chasing each other away. My husband was so amazed that he gave it a try as well and had many land on his hand to drink as well! It was such an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. I was so pleased to be able to share the experience together with my hubby.

Later on we barbecued and popped the tops on some cold ones together and just sat and talked and talked for hours. We caught up on each others goings on and really connected all because he spontaneously took the day off. As the evening ended we relaxed and had some more fun together...wink, wink ;) All and all it was a lovely, amazing and fun filled day. One that I will remember forever. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Please Exscuse My Technology Rant!

What has technology done to us! I am so annoyed this evening by anything and everything technology! I am tired of trying to watch television shows that are continually interrupted by cell phone commercials touting the next and newest whatever! They shove constant messages and innuendos down my throat telling me that I need this phone or that phone with this operating system or that APP! You would think that the endless barrage of commercials would end once everyone bought the dang thing but NO now you have to get the newest version so that you can Twitter and Facebook all while being connected to Wifi and blah..blah...blah.

And another thing! If I see one more teenager walking down the street with and Ipod shoved in his ear and a cell phone glued to his hands, emitting sparks from his hyper-texting fingers I AM GOING TO SCREAM! What are we doing to our kids! Our children and especially our boys are seriously deficient in verbal communication skills due to all of this techno-stuff that they have become accustomed...rather, addicted to! When was the last time you tried to talk to a teenager that was not attached to some kind of electronic device be it a cell phone, Ipod, video game or television?

I wonder how our young people will ever learn to communicate and connect with others in the future. Will they be able to actually hold a person to person conversation or is text messaging the only way they know how to interact with one another? I hurt for this generation of young ones who have been robbed of the interpersonal relationships that develop only by face to face communication and interaction. And all in the name of progress...but is it really?