Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ship's In

I'm living on an island called Little Harbor Cay, but to the cruise world it is known as Coco Cay. We are the only private house on the island which is otherwise inhabited by Royal Carribbean Cruises. If you take a cruise to the eastern Carribbean, likely you will visit this isle. Perhaps some of you have already been here. Weather permitting the ship anchors just offshore, then shuttles interested passengers in for fun on the beaches. Frequently we join them for lunch. We've met some very nice people and had some interesting conversations at the picnic tables.


When the seas are too choppy, the ships have to bypass us. Some times we enjoy having the island to ourselves (along with about 70 Royal employees), but then supplies don't come in either. We are quickly finding out how the weather governs our lives. The month of November has seen many windy days. Old hands here say it is a little early for this but that is what we can expect in Dec and Jan. We are learning to stock up when possible for we never know what tomorrow will bring. And after several days of no ship, we welcome the early morning cry of "Ship's In."
PS. Good sign, #2 day with internet. Early days but all my fingers and toes are crossed.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Life on an Island

This is an experiment. As some of you are already aware, my new life on a tiny Carribbean island has had its challenges with communication. Today my friend and IT specialist, TD, is trying something new to connect me to the web. So I'm trying every system I used to use to keep friends and family updated on my life and my business - email, facebook and blog. Who knows this may be a permanent fix, or as with several tries in the last month, a temporary glitch - not understood or repeatable.

I'm taking this opportunity to say hi to all of you with a few pics to show you that I really am in paradise. If this experiment works (the internet connection not the island adventure), you will be hearing from me more regularly. I have a backlog of possible blog titles I might bore you with - such as "when going astray be sure to take your IT person," "chicken run," "ship's in," and "talking to myself."

Here's the first dress I've created on the island. Annarella Girl is going to take a new form, but I'm not sure what or how yet. This is all part of the adventure.

Warm, sunny thoughts going out to all. I hope to sign on again soon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


For the last 2 weeks my house has been full - 5 extra people, 1 extra dog and lots of stuff. Three generations together! My oldest son and his family have had a 3 week gap between moving out of their old house and moving into their new house. So they are camping out with me.

As a social experiment this intergenerational living isn't bad. I've gotten to enjoy the unscripted moments with the grandchildren over the breakfast table; the whoops of delight when a video game goes well; the boundless energetic sword fights; a quiet conversation on the porch over popsicles.

There have been moments of frustration, consternation and anger, on all sides; but isn't that part of life? Messy at its best.

My son and daughter-in-law have made it their mission to make my life easy. They have climbed up to high cabinets to empty and clean, cooked some awesome meals, and arranged for a cleaning lady to keep the dust and dirt at an acceptable level. I feel loved and appreciated.

We have 4 more days before the big move out. They are ready for their own space, but they have been good housemates, and I will miss them even if it is only a 7 mile drive.

I plan to enjoy our last few days of extreme togetherness. Hooray for family!!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Meant to Do My Work Today

Poet - John LeGallienne

I MEANT to do my work to-day -
But a brown bird sang in the apple-tree
And a butterfly flitted across  the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand -
So what could I do but laugh and go?

Here's hoping everyone has a day when they can enjoy the pleasures of nature! Thanks for the inspiration of the pics, Allyson and Tyson.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Another Sleepless Night

Okay, enough is enough. I need my sleep.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to get rid of stuff? If it were you, what steps would you take? Your thoughts will be listened to and appreciated.

J is helping me with pictures of furniture this week.

This is the master bed, or should I say BED! I found this in a barn in Pennsyvania in 1970's. Love it. But we have no idea of age. Looks like it is handmade. Much of it is pegged. Through the many family moves it has some splits in the frame, but it is still sturdy.

I'm finding that craig's list is a limited tool. Most responses are spam! "Send us your private email because we like your 'posted' so much." That is one example of the responses to my listings. A little aside, I have met 2 amazing crocheters who between me have given great homes to my yarn stash!) Now we (J and I) are thinking about trying Etsy. We'll see if that is a better audience.

AND, what am I going to do with Annarella Girl? Any ideas? I've never been wildly successful but steady orders and a few shows have been good to me. I've kept busy while exercising my creative muscles. At the end of a year I usually break even or a smidge on the plus side. I can't see quitting - I need a reason to get up in the morning. But what form will my business take? One idea that niggles at my dreams is to do 3-4 shows a year. Keep participating in Red Poppy Festival, Georgetown, and Wilmington Flower Market, Delaware. I'd love to find a late summer and fall show - maybe near Chattanooga or Jacksonville.  Now all I need to do is sucker, oops mean entice, someone into helping me. I'll be toying around with this dream for a while, so you have plenty of time to give me input. (If you think the time has come for me to stop making dresses, I'd like to hear from you, just be gentle!)

Oh, my, I see more sleepless nights heading my way.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Anxiety Reigns

Or maybe that is anxiety rains. I've just been cruising along. Sorting out closets, cleaning drawers, searching into the darkest reaches of cabinets. I'm not breaking any speed records but just trying to keep moving forward in the great "GET RID OF IT ALL" project.

Screech!!! That's the sound of brakes locking up. Wide awake at night wondering - who's gonna buy or take all this stuff?, how can I get all this sorted?, what do I do about Annarella Girl?, why did I think changing my life so drastically was a good idea?. (Even as I write this I can feel my heart pounding.) In short, what were we thinking??????

So welcome to my anxiety week. You might want to tune out at this point unless you enjoy a good whine!

I'm frightened by the sheer volume of the stuff we own. Furniture - antiques, vintage, and modern; art - oils, prints, pastels, contemporary and varied; china - fine, everyday and in-between; pottery - vases, plates, cups; silver - serving pieces, bud vases, sterling, silverplate, cutlery; linens - tablecloths, runners, towels good for rags; kitchen wares - small appliances, utensils, baking tools, casseroles, bowls, knives; tools - lawn and garden stuff, hand tools, screwdrivers, assorted nails and screws; glasses - some crystal, water, wine and cordial; and more craft supplies, books, cds, lamps, miscellaneous office tools. And all this is just a sampling of what we have. How am I going to find homes for all? 

There is some good stuff which should not be thrown out. My dream is that someone will enjoy and treasure the art as we have. Some of the furniture is worthy of a good home where it will be treated with care. Some of the furniture will be good for a student apartment or house. I live in a small community which probably doesn't have enough homes for everything. That is the reality. So some things will probably wind up at a Goodwill or even a dump.

Today I concentrate on putting one foot in front of another in hopes that baby steps forward will eventually leave anxiety far behind and the end goal in clear sight. My heart says that change is good even when scary. On pinterest I'm collecting pictures of beaches and oceans to remind me of what I can anticipate.

Heart racing, palms sweating, hot flashing, teeth grinding I leave you and go tackle another cabinet.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Travels with Dunbar Furniture

So how does it go? I'm moving along here. I have sorted through my dining room. Lots of STUFF!! But now it is organized and priced for the BIG SALE (sometime in October). I've posted the dining room furniture on Craig's List just to see if there is any interest.

mid century modern Dunbar table

What memories form around this dining room set. We purchased it second-hand in Syracuse, NY in early 70's for our very first house. It hosted our first dinner parties. We were part of a dining club where each couple would take turns planning and cooking a themed meal. I remember doing a French menu. With a newly purchased copy of Julia Child's "The French Chef Cookbook," and we were into some delicious food. (I still have that cookbook complete with food stains. Imagine it is 40+ years old.)

mid century modern upholstered side chair by Dunbar
Two kids, station wagon and all our worldly goods next traveled to Illinois, Naperville to be specific. Brr, didn't like the winters. Once a visitor's car actually froze to the driveway. But we endured 5 years. Our dining furniture hosted many spirited discussions as we made some lifelong friends. The table still bears faint fork marks from a wild cajun making his point. Yes, here we are years later still friends.

mid century modern upholstered end chair by Dunbar

Onto Wilmington, Delaware into a unique house in a unique community, Arden. Known as an artist's community we overlooked the green where dogs and kids romped. A too short sojourn close to family. and off to Houston.

mid century modern Dunbar credenza

For 5 years these chairs held friends and neighbors for large, frollicking holiday meals. Did I ever tell you about the time we forgot to turn on the oven to cook the turkey?  That happened to be the first year of the butterball hot line. Did you ever wonder who actually calls that? We did and their advice was wonderful!!

On to Geneva, Switzerland, to Atlanta, and finally the final spot here in Georgetown, Texas. This furniture has seen a lot, held some excellent food, and the wine, ooh-la-la. As I sift through my memories I see many special people. Strangers who have become family in all these places, who have shared our joys, who have supported us during troubles. I am reminded of the rich, vibrant life I have led.

I hope that the next family that owns this furniture has as much fun as we have had. On our island we will continue in the tradition of good food and visitors but without these beloved pieces.