Friday, January 31, 2014

A *Vintage* Pull Toy

It just clicked for Rilla. She figured out what this little elephant is supposed to do. Now she can't get enough of watching it follow her around. This is a pull toy that my talented husband made for our girls years ago. {That makes it vintage, right?} Its wood segments have canvas between for hinging action, leather ears and pull string, and round, wood ball wheels. It really glides along nicely if its not jerked hard or pulled over a lump in the rug.

 Then we just looked out the window for a little bit. It was a good day for that.

Friday, January 24, 2014

13 Months

While still in January I want to update Rilla's monthly photos. (Officially requested by her Great Grandma)We are now in year 2. So let's see if I can keep this up. 
It was a cold breezy day but the sun (which has been hiding behind nasty fog and clouds a lot lately)was actually out on the 20th for which we were grateful. However from inside it always looks like its going to be warmer. This happened to be the first day of a new cold for Rilla so we didn't want to stay out too long. Having the bonus, though, of getting a few shots in with cousin Lola changed it up a bit and was fun.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Prioritize the best, let go of the rest.

Shannon and I and Rilla (who "helped" by keeping us all cheered while we worked)  were away for a few days to help in the momentous, life altering  move of my parents into a senior living establishment. It is a beautiful place into which they are moving. But to call it a downsizing would be to put it gently. They possess treasures collected while living on three continents, travelling to many countries, and also (abundantly ) supplying their last home. It wouldn't take a sleuth to analyze the life and times of my amazing parents. The evidence of Mom's hobbies, Dad's interests and both their globetrotting cling to and hide in every nook and cranny, lie on every shelf and table, fill every closet and drawer, and decorate every wall. Mom's stash of yarn (huge), gardening magazines (stacks), clipped recipes (piles), fancy dish-wear (collected and inherited), photos of family, especially grandchildren, (some framed, some computer printed), house plants and extensive garden and gardening supplies all paint a picture of life with endless possibilities and abundant energy.

Now because of  illness and age the energy is no longer there and the supplies, once treasured, become a burden which saps all too much of what's left. What to take and what to leave behind? What to store, what to give away, sell or toss? What are the things they still want to (or can) have about them? Everything moved or used to decorate or keep must have a history, meaning, or usefulness. Helping to sort through some of that and evaluate things is a big, somewhat overwhelming task. Everyone wants them to be surrounded with things that make them smile when they wake in the morning or return to their apartment after an outing or meal. Things should be practical as well as beautiful.

Shannon's and my role this trip was to help with decorating the wonderful, new apartment space they are moving into, mostly with what they have already used and collected in the past. (And evidently we brought Rilla along to entertain and cheer the troops. Us and them. Have you any idea what happens when a baby comes into a retirement center? It is absolutely priceless and heart-warming. And a little sad.) Anyway it turned out beautiful with Mom's Swedish Christmas plate collection hung around their windows, some family produced artwork and framed photos, Dad's WWII memory shadow boxes, an edited cabinet of souvenirs, new lampshades on lamps ( Aruba shell filled ). They kept their coffee table from Morocco ( Rilla initiated it by climbing on it and doing a little dance. But it's been through a lot. I was only a little older than Rilla when my folks got it in Morocco and has been their coffee table ever since). We helped with the new padded head board that John had envisioned. The color theme had to be Mom's Swedish blue. It all came together nicely.

Prioritize the best, let go of the rest. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Sometimes it just goes in a way you never expected and could not have foreseen.