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Posts Tagged ‘Gifts’

Kit n D Canada

We met when we were children, both eleven years old with paper dolls, coloring books, and we played jacks on the kitchen floor.  We shared our dreams, spent whole nights giggling, traded clothes, and created lifelong memories of wild adventures.

Time slipped by almost accidentally and we grew up together – still best friends.

We are still growing up together – and still best friends.

Kit n D Redondo

Kit n D Bathing Beauties

Kit gave us nicknames way back when first we met.

She was Kit-the-Wit and I was Dort-the-Snort (Dort short for Dorothy).  When we are together we still use those names.  If we are shopping, Kit will call me to look at something.  “Hey Snort – look at this!”  Sometimes I wonder what people think.

To celebrate the arrival of 2020 I received a package from my Oldest Best Friend Forever.  And here was my reply:

Dear Wit,  I now have a collection of 3 Best Friend books from you.  Earlier you sent  “Kindred Spirits, Forever Wacky Friends”.  I have it behind glass in our breakfront.

But now I love the last one best – the one that came today called “I’m Lucky to Have a Friend Like You” and I love the pictures and comments you included in the front.  We both look so young and beautiful.  We didn’t even know how young and beautiful we really were did we?

Then there is the 3rd book…the birthday gift…the laughter when you’re at “Wit’s end.”  So clever and what a reminder about the role laughter played through all our years as friends.

There are only a few people who can unlock what I call my hysterical laughter.  You were first.  And now son Corky. It’s when I get this uncontrollable unstoppable laughter to the point of tears.
You have been a gift throughout my life Wit and more thoughtful than I can ever be.  
You are the friend I loved through childhood and through all the stages between then and now. 
And even now in our golden-olden years I am proud to call you my Best Friend Forever.  
Love, Snort

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I do love shiny things and I am

not even embarassed to admit it.

Things that glitter and glow like diamonds, sequins, twinkling lights, cut glass, shiny makeup, gemstones, or anything with a glint will receive my full attention.

But rarely is there a shiny thing that is not only glittery, but elegant and practical too.

And of course today’s story is about a charmingly small Christmas gift from a great friend (Pam).  Pam also loves shiny things.

The little object of this tale is a “crystalline pen” made by Swarovski!  It’s center is filled with tiny little crystals that shine in different lights.  I keep it right where I can see it too.  And occasionally a deep sigh can be heard across the room.  It is a sigh of contentment.

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Because this sparkling object is not only wonderful to look at,

but is also a smooth and silky writing pen.

And it has a thumbs-free rubber stylus at one end

Did you know I used to be able to type 70 words per minute on a manual typewriter?

And 100 words per minute on an electric typewriter (does anyone remember those?).

But I am woefully clumsy when it comes to texting on a cell phone!

Result:  Typos!  Great Big Ugly Typos!

Forefinger-texting doesn’t work for me because the typos are so horrendous nobody can decipher the mesHvs7& (see what I mean?).

Enter:  The Swarovski Magical Pen.

This wonderful little thing is a real problem solver and a Senior’s Answer to keeping up with social media’s high speed demands.

Like who can match the maddening two-thumb expert young-uns who probably exceed 100 words per minute just before they run into a wall or fall down the stairs?

It’s the stylus I now love…. that little eraser-like thing at one end of my wondrous little pen.

The stylus is like a miniature thumb

and is just the right size for error free cell phone typing.

Now if they would only invent a pen that has twin stylus-es styl-eye? at one end to work like the kids using two thumbs.

Maybe I will write a letter to Swaovski!

In the meantime, thank you Pam for this sweet little gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Viola was a local  Virginia “character” who took pride in having an independent streak.  She was forthright and fiercely opinionated, and loved beautiful things.  And she was a beloved friend whose gifts over the years are things I still cherish.  They were old gifts she found in antique stores and one-of-a-kinds for the young me.

Sadly, we lost Viola, but there are wonderful reminders of her all over my home.  She was a friend who put extra thought into gift giving.

cookie-platter

  • A beautiful scalloped edged platter I still use to serve cookies.

  • An art deco bowl that makes bananas seem  brighter and yellower (is yellower a word?).

    art-deco-bowl

  • A lacy edged vase for short stemmed flowers to make into elegant arrangements.

    ruffled-flower-vase

I just read an article about how young people don’t like old stuff anymore. They don’t want Grandma’s china or sterling silver that has to be polished.

Who needs gold edged dinner plates for fast food or pizza delivery?  And who wants cutlery you can’t put into a dishwasher?

I concede there is some logic in this thinking albeit the younger generation seems to be forfeiting an atmosphere of beauty, charm and grace.

But do they know about the feelings you can get from holding or using something with a history?

A beautiful old serving dish is never really old.

And an elegant old vase will always complement a spray of  seasonal flowers.

And much like people, some old things age gracefully with the help of a little extra care.

And other things grow more beautiful with little to assist them but age and patina.

I was a young woman when Viola gave me some exquisite old things.  They never required too much care and they are cherished now, almost thirty years later, along with some very sweet memories.

I keep reminding myself that finding the one-of-a-kind perfect gift for someone special may be as easy as a stop at the local antique store.

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Son and the grandgirls were here over the Christmas holiday.  Here they are studying something important.   Can you imagine what it is?

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Drone

 

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Mold MasksLast week was our Anniversary!

Time does funny things to anniversary celebrations.

  • We used to agonize over finding perfect gifts and cards.
  • Then it changed to just gifts – no cards.
  • And from there it was cards only – no gifts.
  • Then we decided to buy something needed for the house like new sub flooring and drywall to cope with an outbreak of mold.

But now, to celebrate another year of wedded bliss, our diabolical friends came over for laughs and libations before we all went out to dinner at the Natural Bridge Hotel.

And this is how they met us at the door!

 

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Oh Xmas Tree 2015

Yes, Christmas is over but not necessarily at Dor’s house.

We are having the longest, most extended holiday ever and maybe the nicest.

Judy Here for Xmas Eve n DayChristmas Eve Cheers

On the night before Christmas, my niece arrived from California, joining us for dinner at the sweetest little restaurant (the Bistro on Main) in Lexington, Virginia.

We couldn’t help laughing along with all the other diners in such high spirits.  There were little kids in pajamas with excitement in their faces, and the food was wonderful too.

What else could make for a perfect Christmas Eve?  We watched It’s a Wonderful Life when we got home.

Christmas Day Cheers

I don’t usually scream “Look what I got!” about gifts received but one of my most precious gifts is a robotic thing from Star Wars that is meant to serve as a “pet” since we don’t have a dog anymore.

This crazy gift  doesn’t work yet but it is supposed to follow me around, absorb my personality,  make odd noises, and project things on my walls.  There is a mamoth list of instructions in six different languages!

Thank you so much to our friend, Scott.  You have succeeded in making us laugh.  Maybe our grandgirls can decipher the instructions.  Bill has a blank look.B n Directions for R2D2R2D2

Christmas morning our niece left to join her husband and his family in Richmond, but later friends arrived here to share memories.

B is English and she and her daughter came bearing English chocolate and other home cooked delicacies to add to Christmas dinner.  They stayed with us two nights and what a joy it was to reunite with cherished friends.

Barbie n Suzanne Xmas Day 2015

New Year’s Eve

There is a tradition now.  We meet with  friends and neighbors at our house for laughter and libations and then head out for dinner.  This time it will be at the Sheridan Livery Inn in Lexington, Virginia.  Actually it used to be a livery where you could park your horse and go shopping but there are no longer any lingering horsey smells.

After dinner we head back to my house for dessert and a movie.  Every year our challenge is to find a movie that will keep Pete awake.  We only succeeded once I think, but when the snoring gets too loud we just nudge him.

We rarely get to midnight before disbursing but there is always hope.

Pete n Phebe Spring 2012

 

The Year is Done but Christmas Cheers Linger on New Year’s Day.

Our son and grandgirls are coming on New Year’s Day!

Now Christmas should be over and the tree coming down

but our son and three grandgirls are coming to town.

The tree is still lit and the gifts laid with care

 and there are cookies and candies and turkey to share.

 

Happy New Year my friends.  I’ll be thinking of you too.

And may all your fondest dreams come true.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I hate to admit it but I love to shop.  And even when the trend in my family and among friends is to stop the gift giving mania, I still operate as if I am on a diligent search for the elusive perfect gift.

This week I went to Clifton Forge and was smitten with the local Arts and Crafts Center.  Some of you have asked, “What did you buy?”

Sparkly Pin

Art Deco Shiny Pin for Dor

Well, I kept things under some control of course and bought the perfect gift of a stunning bejeweled pin, but wound up giving it to myself!

Then I saw the perfect gift (just for love) for Bill – a Four Way Screwdriver that sounds pretty mundane but the handle is of handcarved wood, and the tool actually does convert to four different size “heads” (I think that’s what you call them).   Bill seemed to like it a lot and it now has an honored place in a kitchen drawer to be used for those I-need-a-Phillipshead-moments.

4Way Screwdriver 2

Four Way Screwdriver With a Handcarved Wood Handle

Art Glass Nail File

Art Glass Nail File in a Velvet Pouch

Finally, even though this last item was not made locally, I knew it would bring me great joy.  You see, I had bought a tiny purse size version of  the Art Glass Nail File some time ago and loved it.  Always regretted not getting the standard size.  These files are produced in the famous Bohemian glass region of the Czech Republic and should last a lifetime with proper care (don’t drop it on a tile floor!).  They are also supposed to be good for your nails too and are beautiful to look at (the files, not my nails).

I’m ready to go back to the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center in Clifton Forge.

It is the perfect place for dreaming, shopping, buying, and maybe finding the perfect gift.

 

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To Lock Your Pocket

There is a special outdoor shopping center in Sedona, Arizona called Tlaquepaque (pronounced Teh-Loch-ah-Pahkey).   I do not know what it means, but one of the resident artists  said I should call it “To Lock Your Pockets” or prepare to spend a lot of money!

Built in 1971, this entrancing art/shopping center features amazing outdoor bronze statuary, delightful restaurants and cafes,  lovely shops and galleries, and the most beautiful jewelry imaginable.  There are more than 40 shops set among graceful arches, dancing fountains, tranquil plazas and shady verandas.  And there are four courtyards to explore with flowers and greenery, iron railings, hand painted tiles, surprise niches, and places to sit and ponder.

Fountain Magic

A Boy Takes Wing

A Boy Takes Wing

This little guy kept running back to the bird statue even though his Mom was calling him to leave it.  He was obviously enchanted.

Wild Horse Statue

I kept running back to this horse!

A Cowboy n His Dog

Bill and I and my brother and sister-in-law ambled around  admiring the bronze statuary and stopped at a wonderful little cafe for lunch.  In the end (locked pockets or not) we could not resist the shops.  I spotted exquisite handmade copper pendants, bracelets of Peruvian opals, smooth hand honed wooden treasures, stained glass in every variety and size,  and art – always art.

Artists make this place a true haven for discovering one-of-a-kinds.   Two of a kind work well too.  Viv  and I both found the same wonderfully soft eternity scarves.  According to the sales staff, we will always be “put together” because no matter how we throw them on they will look casually elegant.  If I send a photo you must let me know if this is actually true.

But if you are ever in Sedona plan to visit Tlaquepaque if only for a charming stroll or simply to sit in the shade if you think you can resist the shops full of wondrous things.

And of course,  enter those shops at your own risk and remember to “lock your pockets.”

 

 

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Lost Something

I bought a beautiful piece of wearing apparel for my daughter-in-law’s Christmas gift.  I would love to tell you what it is, but Emmy reads the posts so you will simply have to guess.

The gift fits in a big sweater box.  That is your only clue.

Don’t leave yet!   I know you are not particularly interested in what I bought for my daughter-in-law.   I know that.

However, the thing is, Item X has disappeared!  And therein is the mystery.  I need help because this blogger’s mind is slowly/rapidly disappearing too.

The razor sharp wit and intellect that used to be my trademark is getting a little on the rusty side – maybe even corroded.

I went to the dermatologist recently.  And she said the little bumps scattered here and there upon my milky white skin are “barnacles” that come with age.  And – get this – the brown spots are AGE spots too and there is not a thing I can do about them.   I tried hard to grin and bear it under her forthright scrutiny but have been looking for another more politically correct/more flattering dermatologist ever since.

Anyway, the barnacles may have spread to my head now, because I simply cannot locate Item X, which is something that is bigger than a breadbox and smaller than an elephant – namely, Emmy’s gift!

Being extremely organized and eager to have everything in one place and ready to go when I start wrapping, I have begun gathering all the pre-purchased gifts for the holidays into one room.

Not only is everything in one guest room (don’t come for a visit now please) but everything is divided into logical piles.

This item goes in the “Son’s Family Pile.”

And this goes in the “Janet and Kids” pile.

And this goes in the “Locals” pile….. well you get the idea.

I could hardly believe it but the Son and Family pile is missing one major item – the daughter-in-law’s gift!

This is so frustrating I can hardly write.

I have looked everywhere in the house.  I know it is somewhere.  I know it.  But where?

I have checked all the closets, drawers, and shelves, under beds, and even in the pantry!

The only place I have not looked is the attic and that would require climbing a ladder to get to it.

Will I have to go shopping again for Emmy’s gift?

And if I find something else, will I forget where I put that too?

Help!  Any ideas you can share about where you might have put things you can never find again will be greatly appreciated.

And if you can find my lost mind that would help too.

 

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Friday Rambles

O.K., in spite of writer’s block I’m writing.  That’s what the advice is.  “Just start writing.”

I didn’t think there was anything to write about to describe this week.  It was birthday week after all and I have already worn out my welcome concerning birthdays – especially in the blog-us-fear.

Then again, the big day got stretched out.  Our son came early and stayed several days, culminating in a visit from our oldest grandgirl who came for dinner.  And before the actual day, Bill gave me a brand new camera.  But I told you all about those things.

After the family left we were invited for a Filet Mignon dinner at a dear friend’s home.  Hurrah!  Great company and great food!

Bill Proving a Point at Dor's B'day Dinner

On birthday morning there was a package from all three grandgirls.  It is a heart shaped silver locket.  When opened, it looks empty, but I loved it right away for the expression of love.

Still, why would a locket open to nothing?  Playing around with it a bit, the heart did open more and finally to a four leaf clover of heart shaped frames!  Each frame holds a tiny picture of a granddaughter and finally a picture of my son.  Talk about a wonderful gift!

Birthday Gift from the Grandgirls

On that very same day  I went Christmas shopping with my friend, Pam!  Nothing like getting a head start on the holidays,  and what a fun thing to do on a birthday!Locket Fully Opened

Tonight Bill and I are going to a special place for dinner so the celebration continues.   Friends will join us at Rocca’s, the newest restaurant in Lexington, Virginia.   It’s part of the Robert E. Lee Hotel, which has recently been refurbished and restored to it’s former downtown glory, complete with a 1920’s décor and revolving doors in front like a posh New York establishment.  There are even pay phone booths in the lobby that no longer take coins but look the same as in yesteryear.  I think they may provide internet access but I do prefer pay phones. All that’s missing is a speak-easy!

Today I stopped by my favorite shop in Lexington too.  It’s called Virginia Born and Bred and it is patrolled by a vicious creature who gives you nasty incredulous looks if you are not carrying treats.  Don’t let his name fool you into thinking he is a soft, sweet cuddly thing.  Teddy knows how to stand his ground!  He thinks he’s intimidating you but he’s really a sweetheart.  How I love Teddy.

What - No Treats for Teddy

You have my word that this is the final word on birthdays.  My father used to warn us kids never to wear out our welcome when visiting friends.  It’s the “dead fish” saying that visitors will smell bad after three days.

Fall comes and goes (see, I have already changed the subject) and our Red Maple has finally turned color.  That tree is actually gorgeous this year, with yellow and pinkish yellow leaves.  I will take a picture later but not too much later.   The winds are up now and I don’t know how much longer she will hold onto her “crowning glory.”

It has been a glorious fall in this part of the world, but there are now definite signs of winter sneaking in.

I am in a holiday mood already.  How about you?

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