Sunday, December 28, 2008

God Bless You Nana

It has been a very bittersweet year for us. While we are still struggling with my Daisy girl - who has her good days and her bad days, we had a major loss in our family the week before Christmas. My grandmother passed away just a month after her 99th birthday.

It was quick - she was in the hospital about a week after falling and catching pneumonia. It happened so fast it's like time stood still.

She was the matriarch of our family. I've never known anyone like her. She was the definition of the word life and she lived it to the fullest and always on her own terms. And she has left a hole in our lives that can never be filled. I know I'm lucky to have had her in my life all these years, yet for some reason I never expected her not to be here. It was a tough loss for all of us and frankly I took it harder than I ever expected to. I was lucky to know her not just as a grandmother but as something more thanks to recent years I lived with her.

I'll never forget how she loved to see my family, spend time with my nephew and how she'd get all dressed up and look forward to my annual Christmas parties (she insisted when I moved there that I continue my tradition). I thank all of my friends who have shared their memories of her with all the times they spent with her. It helps me smile through all this.

Those of you who knew her know how much she loved champagne and how every family gathering began with a glass or two. I have always thought of her every time we have some when she's not with us. Now even more so. Thanks to the many of you who remembered sharing a toast with her and enjoying her stories and love of life. You were blessed to have known her.

I gave the eulogy at her funeral a week ago yesterday. I wanted to do it, then thought I couldn't do it but with some courage instilled in me from my mother I know I did her the justice she deserved and she would have been proud. The sad part was knowing that when I was done, Nana wouldn't be sitting in the pew next to me as she often was at family member's services, asking me if she could have a copy of what I wrote. At one point during the services, my two-and-a-half year old nephew (who is wise beyond his years) tapped me on the shoulder, handed me his blanket and said "here Auntie Liz, take my blanket, it will make you feel better." His sweetness and empathy beyond his years was something I'll never forget.

Christmas was her favorite time of year, which made it more bittersweet. It was a tough one to say the least, but I have so many memories of Nana and the wonderful holidays she hosted the majority of my life that she will live on with all the traditions for as long as I am here on this earth.

God Bless you Nana. You will be sorely missed. I love you.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Prayer for My Daisy Girl

Fourteen years ago I brought you home as a Christmas gift for the entire family, at the time we had no idea you would become the best gift any family could ever wish for. (Although we’ve dubbed you the gift that keeps on giving many times). You have brought more joy into our lives than anyone or anything I have ever known. Your love to cuddle, give kisses and just to be with us at all times is something I can’t imagine being without. Daisy you are the definition of unconditional love. A love I can’t imagine not having for the rest of my life.

Over the years you never failed to welcome us home, give a whimper when we had to run out or be there to jump in our laps and make us feel better when we've had a bad day or cuddle up next to us at night with the warmth of your body at our side. Now that your hearing isn't what it used to be, we don't get the amazing greetings we used to, but once you realize we're home it's like time stopped - you may be growing older but you are still the lovable puppy you were when we first met you.

You have had the best life of any dog I have ever known. You never lacked for love, affection, food, medical attention, walks, treats, toys … the list goes on and on. I’ve always joked that in my next life I would come back as you, Daisy, and it still stands to do. You’ve lived a very charmed life and you deserved all of it.

For weeks since you’ve been sick a day, a moment an hour doesn’t go by when my eyes don’t well up with tears imagining that someday you’re going to have to leave us all behind. Years ago we thought we lost you – but your tenacity and strength pulled you through it and you surprised us all, including Dr. Kaye. We were blessed with additional years we never expected, but that doesn’t make you growing older any less difficult for us all.

At 14, despite the chronic cough you’ve been battling the past few weeks, you still have the sprite of a young puppy and that beautiful little face that hasn’t changed since I brought you home when you were only four months old.

Today Daisy’s spending the day at the vet in the hopes they can help her. The antibiotics she’s been taking for the past 11 days have not helped, nor have the efforts of my parents who many times daily have taken her in the bathroom to sit in the steam to help clear up the congestion.

We should know sometime this afternoon what the prognosis is, and I’m hoping with all my might we may all have one last Christmas with our holiday angel.

I love you so much my beautiful baby girl and I hope and pray you can be helped.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shoes - A Girl's Best Friend

As much as I love the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes, one thing I enjoy even more is the ability to be able to wear those shoes for as long as I want.

For years I’ve been a fan of the cobbler. There aren’t many left and when I recently moved farther north from Boston, finding a new one was a challenge. It’s a dying business. I remember as a child and into my teens the local cobbler was in my town center and my mom would bring her shoes there as needed. I was on a mission, I had to find one.

Lucky for me he did. He’s Russian, an older gentleman and my new best friend!

I stopped by his shop one Saturday afternoon with my bag of shoes – seven pairs to be exact. Heels that needed new heels, soles that needed replacing, snaps that had fallen off, straps that needed sewing. He didn’t blink – it was his business, his craft and I was lucky to find him, although I wouldn’t know until much later how lucky I was.

I pulled out my last pair for him knowing deep in my heart that as much as I’d like to have them fixed, my favorite pair of black Joan and David’s were well beyond their last legs and there would be nothing he could do for them. I was wrong. He picked them up, admiring them as only a shoe aficionado could. “Ah, these are original Joan and David’s,” he said. “Now they only make them in China, but these, these are original. You must have paid over $150 for them.” I did – it was more like $180 and that was nearly 10 years ago. “Can they be saved?” I asked. Fully expecting to hear an apology. Of course they can. And so I handed them off to him with soles that not only were split but were worn through and a hole in the side which was quite embarrassing. “No problem,” he said with a smile. “It’s what I do. Come back Thursday.”

Last Thursday I picked them up. They were like new. A new, sturdier sole, and no hint of where that hole once was. I also had six other pairs of newly fixed and shined shoes. At a total of $70 ($10 per shoe) you can’t beat it. I have what appear to be seven new pairs of shoes for the price of one – and the best part is they are my favorites and are ready to live yet another day – or 10 years – assuming my cobbler friend stays in business.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We Are Furnished!

Today was like Christmas morning in October - our furniture finally came! Here are the before and after photos of the living room and dining room. I'm in love with all of it!

Living Room When We First Moved In:

Living Room With A Little Paint:

Furnished Living Room:

Dining Room When We First Moved In:

Dining Room With A Little Paint:

Furnished Dining Room:

And of course a picture of Miss Molly checking it all out:

I'm so happy with the results - everything worked out just as I planned. Just need to add my artwork and some curtains (and a TV in the living room) and we'll be all set. Now I'm going to finish up some work and looking forward to a night of catching up on some long overdue reading on my new couch!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Got word today - our furniture is coming a week from tomorrow. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am. I literally fell to the ground on my knees when C texted me this afternoon with the news. No more watching TV in bed, now I can look forward to lazy weekend days on my couch. No more digging through boxes stacked in the guest room looking for my favorite books, now I can have them all where they belong - dispalyed on bookcases lining my walls. No more being told by friends on the phone that I'm echoing. Of course I'm echoing - I'm normally calling from the empty dining room or living room :-)

In one week this house is finally going to feel like home and I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I know I’ve been slacking on the blogger front for a while now, and while it was my intention to blog more, the days just got away from me again, but now that I’ve decided to settle in a bit and get working on a book I’ve been plugging away at for a while now, I’m going to be much better at blogging to get my writing skills back in check.

In any case, here’s what’s kept me busy the past month:

On Sunday I spent the afternoon with my mom’s family as we gathered together to spread my grandmother’s ashes. It was the most beautiful afternoon for this and I am so glad I was there for it.

My other grandmother (Nana) turns 99 years old this week. God bless her! So I’m gearing up for her birthday dinner late tomorrow afternoon and picked her up some gifts at lunch today.

On the homefront we've made some serious progress. The dining room is finally finished (I'm completely in love with the color - Benjamin Moore's Saybrook Sage) and the hardware is now on the kitchen cabinets (and I’m grateful because I could never figure out which way to open the cabinets without looking for the hinges). That means all that’s left to be painted is the kitchen and the upstairs bathroom. I’ll post photos soon – as soon as I can find a second to download them off my camera.

Still waiting of for our furniture to come in. Every piece is waiting for us with the exception of the secretary/bookcase combination. It’s still on a boat somewhere and we’ve decided to have everything delivered at once. Just keep your fingers crossed it’s all in and delivered before Thanksgiving. I need a table and a couch!!!

I’ve started taking dance class again two days a week and I’m so happy I did. I used to dance four to five times a week until about seven years ago and missed it dearly. I forgot how good it can be for me both physically and emotionally. Nothing like an hour and a half ballet class to clear the mind (because really, when you’re doing ballet you can’t think about anything else)

I'm almost 75 percent done with the main front flower bed by the front door. One more row of bushes to plant and I'll be done (as soon as I buy them). I also spent the weekend planting tons of bulbs (85 to be exact) red and yellow tulips, daffodils and crocuses. I can't wait to see how it all comes up in the spring.

Aside from that I won’t bore you with the details about being busy at work, etc…

I also have a few things brewing, but will tell you about that in another post.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

We Have A Winner ...

Six months later, every piece of furniture for our living room and dining room have been ordered and with the exception of the secretary and a special-ordered rug, every piece is in stock and ready for delivery.

I went to the store last night with every intention of pulling the trigger on the table with the black accents from my previous post. Some discussion later and concern that the table might be too long and take up too much precious space, I brought myself back to my original want - an over sized round dining room table. There, just four feet away from the set I was looking at was just this. Unlike the others I had chosen in the past, this table does not have a piece that would extend it for more than 6 or 8 people, but it's the perfect shape and style for my room. I took Tracey's advice to heart and got what I wanted and figured when we have a holiday if there are more than 8 of us, I can pull in another table for the overflow. So Tracey thank you - your words stuck with me and I couldn't be happier with my decision.

Here's the table (it looks smaller in the picture but it's 5 ft in diameter):

And because the accent pieces that went with it were monstrous in size, I opted instead for a low profile console. You can see it in this picture, just the bottom piece, not the hutch:

I decided to go with a black accent - since I still believe it will nicely tie both rooms together. They are both French provincial in style and compliment each other very well.

Let me know what you think (unless of course you think I made a grave mistake - if that's the case, don't let me know)