Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Forward and Still Looking Up...

In the past week I have heard so many say how they are glad 2012 is over and hopefully 2013 will be better.

Like the New Year's resolutions we make this time of year, I think we all say something like that every year too, don't we?

With so much sadness in our own circle of family and friends and the nation's sorrow over the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings and the two fireman who lost their lives in the ambush in Webster, New York, it is the hope in each of us that helps us look forward to a new beginning in a new year.

I have my hope in the Lord and so I can look forward to a new year and all that HE has for me. If I keep my eyes looking up toward heaven (striving to live a holy, obedient life) I know that I am on the right path.

Sadly, today I am closing The Button Lady Shop on Etsy, that was opened in October 2010. I am unable to do the crafting and sewing anymore to make my vintage button items. If you own one of my items, it is now a one of a kind collectors piece!

NaNa's Things on Etsy just celebrated a one year anniversary in October and is still going and growing into 2013.
I am working my way back up to 300 items and so I have been thrifting and hunting for great stuff to list. I love all kinds of vintage things so there will be a nice variety, from wicker doll chairs to jewelry to kitchen items, home decor and baskets. You can also find some of my vintage button items there.

I am thankful for the past year, with all it's triumphs and woes and look forward to what is in store for 2013.

Hey, at least 2012 ended with a white Christmas and lots of snow in Upstate New York.... finally!!

That's my light up snowman buried in the snow!


AnnMarie :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Good Life

This is my daughters' Grandpa (my former father-in-law), Itch, or Grandpa Itch as his many grand and great-grandchildren call him. He lived to the grand old age of 89 and passed from this world Sunday night December 16th, just 6 months short of his 90th birthday.

The nickname Itch actually came from a dog he had named Itch...not sure how that all played out but it stuck and that is how I have known him for the past 35 years.
His lovely wife Peg and I share the same birthday and I have always loved that special bond we have.  

He lived a good life. He touched many people with his constant smile and way of making you feel welcome. When the cancer was found he chose not to have chemotherapy and to go into hospice at home. With seven sons and one daughter, almost all with a spouse and a couple kids, his family is huge and he was the center of it. They were all drawn back home to be with him at this time in his life and they all wanted to be there.

My daughters Candice and Jena have had a wonderful example of a Grandpa in their lives and I am so thankful for that. Although their children, Cassidy, 7 and Chloe, 16 months, may not remember Great-Grandpa Itch, he was always at their birthday parties, having traveled almost 2 hours to be there.

His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren traveled from Kentucky and Macedon and Palmyra and other towns in NY to be there with him and their Mom/Grandma these past couple weeks. The house was full all the time. They cooked and there was lots of food dropped off by family and friends. They kept busy installing a new shower in the bathroom to make it easier for him to get in and out of. They stayed as long as needed and now they will stay a little longer to say their goodbyes.

He was a tough old bird. His last rites were read to him almost two weeks ago in the hospital and he held on, not ready to leave yet, as he would say, some thinking he wanted to see as much of his family again before he left this earth.

I think he got his wish.

Rest in peace, Itch. We will miss you.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Show Your Love NOW!

A local radio station that I have been listening too lately (because they play non-stop oldies Christmas songs!), has added a nice new twist to their announcements in between songs.

Through well written and softly spoken 10 second spots they suggest that we all show our love for one another more than ever. After the year this country has had and the trials so many have faced, we all could use an extra hug, a genuine smile from a stranger, encouraging words.

A devotion that I read daily, The Word for You Today, also expressed this need and used scripture to back it up.
" Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning" 2 John 1:6 NLT

There are so many ways to love one another. The days I remember to ask the Lord to put His light in my eyes and His words in my mouth and throw out all the yuck and nasty words and thoughts as far as the east is from the west, it is amazing the kind of day I have. Store clerks are friendlier, people smile at you, favor is shown in so many different ways throughout the day. I also tend to be more loving and show more grace to strangers and drivers and people with their carts in my way!

As Christians we are COMMANDED to love one another. You don't have to necessarily know someone or even like them but you are to love them as Christ loves you. That's hard!!
The devotion puts is so well that I want to share it with you .....
"Each morning pray:
 "Lord, whether or not I get anything else done,
 help me to spend this day loving You and loving others,
 because that's what Your Word says life is all about."
If you do that, you'll treat those around you more graciously -
and people will notice it.
You'll start winning in areas where you've lost.
The more time you give to someone, the more you reveal their importance to you.
It's not enough to tell them they're important, you must prove it by investing in them.
The best way to spell love is T-I-M-E.
Love is not what you think or feel about others; no, it's how much you give of yourself
to them. Love concentrates so intently on another that it forgets itself.
This kind of attention says,
"I value you enough to give you my most precious asset - my time."
Why is now the best time to express your love?
Because you don't know how long you'll have the opportunity to do so.
Circumstances change, people die, children grow up.
The truth is, you've no guarantee of tomorrow.
If you want to express your love you'd better do it now.
So, who do you need to start spending time with?
 What do you need to cut out of your schedule to make that possible?
The best use of life is love,
the best expression of love is time,
and the best time to love is now."
I've got alot of work to do!!! Do you?
AnnMarie :)


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Nostalgic Christmas

It was crazy warm in the northeast today....70 degrees! I was driving around with my window down listening to Christmas music on the radio. We had just put our tree up. I was out buying the last of the Christmas gifts. What is wrong with this picture? I know to those of you that live in the south there is nothing wrong with this picture. But in the northeast the cold and wind and snow just add to the ambiance and "feeling" of Christmas in the air. It better get cold again soon!

I have gotten nostalgic as Christmas nears this year. Maybe it is all the fabulous vintage holiday stuff I have been finding to sell in my NaNa's Things shop on Etsy. Whatever the reason, I wanted a Christmas with things to remind me of my past Christmas'.

These two light up blow mold Santas are from the late 1960's  - early 1970's
A few years ago I gave in and we bought a pre-lit faux tree. My husband was never one to go out in the woods and saw one down, so after many years of doing that I found a really nice fake tree all pre-lit and perfect size for in front of our pocket doors in the living room.

I am so sick of that tree!

It is a pretty tree.....I am posting it so you can see what we had to what we have now!
It looks the same EVERY YEAR!

This year I was not at all into decorating for the holidays with the same old tree and the same old wreaths and the same old, same old. I have ALOT of Christmas decorations because I tend to use them forever and then get sick of them and then NOT get rid of them.

I wanted something different and nostalgic and vintage and reminding me of my childhood.

I really, really wanted a live tree again.  After saying no way for years my husband agreed to go look at pre-cut ones....he drew the line at cutting one down. We have many tree farms near where we live so we decided to just go driving by and see what they had for pre-cuts. The first place we stopped at had the most fabulous tree I have seen. It was 9 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide at the bottom. I brought my tape measure because we do have restrictions on size for our small living room. No way was 5 feet wide on the bottom going to fit anywhere. But I had to have it so we got it and we made a way by moving furniture out and around....

That is a handpainted wooden Santa crouching behind the tree with his bag of toys.

From skinny tree to fat tree. It is a Turkish Fir. I love it! See that shimmer on it? That is tinsel! Something I have not used since childhood and I thought I would try it again. It makes the tree sparkle. Now I've got to find my angel for the top and the tree is done! Just my vintage ornaments some lights and some tinsel.

I wanted something homey and inviting for my front door. So when I saw the natural pine roping garland for sale at Wegmans (a grocery store no less) I grabbed it. It reminded me of how that is all I used to buy and decorate with in my farmhouse in Williamson. I had been wanting to put garland around the front door for years and never did...this was the year.

I found a really pretty plaque at JoAnn Fabrics that I had to have, not knowing what I would do with it. When I saw the huge natural fir wreath at the tree farm, I knew what I would do. I would have an all natural woodsy front door!

I have a lot more decorating to do as it usually takes me 2 weeks to do it all. Although I am scaling down this year and trying to keep things simple with a nostalgic feeling throughout the house. I even found a yule log at a local church bazaar handmade by the youth group. Adds just the right old tyme feeling...
Have you started decorating yet?
AnnMarie :)