Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Blessings!

Annie asked me to share our little Easter tree with you. We haven't put this tree up for a couple of years, so it's been fun getting reacquainted with all the bunnies and chicks...a flashback to the 90's!


Momma bunny and her baby girl bunny.

My girl is getting such a kick out of this tree lit up at night!

Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


If you are a history junkie...a Revolutionary War enthusiast...or simply love all things Colonial America, you have to watch TURN on AMC. It premiered on Sunday night, but can be viewed On Demand if your cable company provides you with the AMC Channel.

It is wonderful!!! The true story of spying during the Revolution, it tells the tale of the patriots who risked all for their country. The authenticity of the sets, the clothing, the buildings...it is a very well done endeavor! I spied lots of Windsor chairs, tin chandeliers, and the glow of beeswax candles! 

Looking forward to getting to know this cast of characters each week.

Can't wait for Sunday!

Check it out! It's filmed in my home state of Virginia!

Enjoy the day,

I took these pics right off the t.v....hope I didn't break any laws! Google TURN for more info.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

...easy like a Sunday morning

I know where I'll be this lovely Sunday morning...

... spring cleaning my patio...surrounded by lovely red!

Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Kitchen Window 2014

My kitchen window for the month of April is very simply decorated. A bunny and his cart...and flowers...daisies for now. 

I took down the valance for a more airy, open look. It lets in more natural light and gives the whole room a lighter look.   

I'll change the flowers every week. Fresh flowers from the market are my weekly indulgence...tulips, hydrangeas, daisies...I love picking something different each week. 

The daisies above are in a sweet little cream pitcher that belonged to my grandmother.
It is etched with lilies of the valleys...I remember this tiny treasure from my childhood.

It has the most endearing mends on the handle...

...silver strips that have been soldered for strength...by my grandfather, who was an engineer. His knowledge served him well...the mends have extended the life of this little vessel for over fifty years. It is a reminder of a time when things were treasured and repaired, rather than tossed for their imperfections...I like that. 

This diminutive egg watercolor was gifted to me by the talented Steve Shelton. A mere inch and a half, by an inch and three quarters, the detail is wonderful. A speckled egg...the perfect symbol of spring!

The portrait by Anne Childs and the photo of my two loves are back after a month off. These two items are so much a part of my window, I miss them when they are not there to greet me every morning. Like the lantern on the small tiger maple stool, and the trammel candle holder, the painting and the photo are my window "regulars".

Hope warmer weather is finding you all. We've had a lot of rain and lower than normal temperatures and that's fine with me. It seems something is amiss...lots of rain in March has brought us April flowers! My red geraniums have dozens of hearty blooms! I'll take flowers any day...any month!

Enjoy the day,

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Yesterday, we drove up to Palm Coast. It is a pretty coastal town somewhere south of St. Augustine. It was cold here yesterday...in the fifties...that's cold for this time of year in the Sunshine State. It's Spring Break time. When Annie and I go to the market, or Home Goods, or Target...we play spot the tourist. We are wearing turtlenecks...they're wearing flip flops and shorts. It happens every year right around this time when the weather turns a bit nippy!

Anyway, we checked in and were pleasantly surprised when they upgraded us from a one bedroom to a three bedroom suite. It's crazy...and bigger than our house! Three bathrooms...four t.v.'s...crazy!

Annie picked her room...we bunk together because we read and color after Mr.MW goes to sleep.

...a nice king bed with an ocean view.

Mr.MW checked out the kitchen.

Me? I go right for the balcony...every time...to check out the view. It will do nicely.

Too cool for the pool...but, there is also an indoor version.

We put Daddy in here...Annie checked on him a few times before she finally went to sleep.

But...we still have room for more...this room is still available. Come on down!

They even brought us cheese and crackers to welcome us! Did I tell you how much I love cheese?
Love it!


Thank you for the lovely comments many of you left on my last post. Your kind words touched my heart. I tried to respond to each comment, but a few got by me. To all of you, I send a sincere and heartfelt...thank you.

Enjoy the day,

Friday, March 21, 2014

Trisomy 21 a.k.a. Down Syndrome

This is my favorite photo of our family. It was taken a few years ago in front of The Orchard House. This was the home of Louisa May Alcott. It is located in Concord, Massachusetts and it is where she wrote Little Women.

This was a wonderful day, but the reason it is my favorite is because it is a true picture of our Annie...smiling, loving life, wringing pure joy from the moment. That's my girl!

Today, March 21st, is the day the Down Syndrome community picked to celebrate, inform and advocate for D.S. Why? Because Trisomy 21 means an extra chromosome...three rather than two on the 21st gene...3/21. They do not know why that extra, perfectly normal chromosome causes all the trouble that it does. It happens at conception.

We are so fortunate that Annie is healthy. She was diagnosed with two heart defects when she was four months old. They resolved on their own and, though she still has a heart murmur, she did not require surgery...for which we are most grateful. 

(Those are real chickens in that basket!)

We have made decisions along this journey that were difficult, but we hope were the best for Annie. Annie has a tooth that is behind the others. We chose not to put braces on her because they would have had to stretch her pallet. We worried that that change to the roof of her mouth would alter her clear speech. Not to mention the pain (I wore braces, lots of pain!) and the fact that when Annie felt her first loose tooth she tried to remove it herself...with a spoon. She came to me bleeding, with her tooth perpendicular to her gum saying,"Take it out!". After this I imagined what she might do to all the hardware involved with braces. 

We have known people who have had their children's tongues reduced, eyes altered, cheek pads slimmed down, given them growth hormone injections, removed tonsils and adenoids...for reasons we cannot comprehend. Annie did have eye surgery when she was four for strabismus..."lazy eye". We tried glasses and when they did not strengthen her eye, we opted for surgery. Without it, she could have lost the use of that eye. It was a day surgery, and she went to ballet class a day later.  We moved when Annie was two and while packing I found a couple of tiny pairs of glasses hidden in outrageous places..my girl was an expert, at the age of two, at hiding and destroying glasses! We went through many, many pairs!

It is a life altering experience, having a child with special needs. It has changed our lives in ways too numerous to list here. There are difficulties and there are blessings. We have had dark days, shed many tears and, most assuredly, asked why. But...we have also laughed till our sides hurt at what we call Annie-isms, shed tears of joy and delighted in the smallest accomplishments. The stereotypical image of the happy, sweet child with Down Syndrome is inaccurate. People with D.S. are as diverse as the rest of use. We are fortunate that Annie is extremely happy and sweet, but she can also be stubborn and unrelenting...just like the rest of us. 

This post is getting way too lengthy, but I hope you will read the narrative essay below written by Emily Perl Kingsley. We met Emily and her late husband, Charles, and their son Jason, who has D.S., many years ago. Emily is an Emmy Award winning writer for Sesame Street, but those of us within the D.S. community know her for these words...

Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.


I have visited eleven countries in my life...one of them was Holland. I have never been to Italy. 

Enjoy the day,