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I once left my parents house in a huff because my mother wanted to get rid of my stuffed animals. There was one in particular that I did not want to part with, a giant no wait, enormous bear that my husband (then boyfriend) spent hours trying to win at Top Dog. It didn’t bother me that my room was cluttered with bears, bunnies, doggies and whatever else fits into a crane machine. I just loved having them around, letting them go was unimaginable. I looked at my room through the eyes of a teenager not the eyes of a mother.
Last week when I walked into my daughter’s bedroom I became overwhelmed at the amount of dolls, bears, bunnies and whatever else fits into a crane machine. I felt like I was looking in Gertie’s closet that E.T. hid so well in. I grabbed a bag and started packing away the stuffed animals I considered to be junk. I was envisioning how nice the room would look with less stuff when my thoughts got interrupted by the waling of my oldest daughter. “What are you doing?” Her giant green eyes glared at me filling with tears. “Sweetie, you have entirely too many in here, surely I can get rid of some,” I said. I was certain that I got her to see the room through my eyes and then my memory resurfaced and instead I saw the room through hers.
It’s what the stuffed animals’ represent that makes it so hard to part with them. They are reminders of good times in our lives. They represent the days that we were winners, days we received love and moments of sadness that brightened once we received them. Moments that you don’t want to throw away and forget about, moments you want to recall and reminisce about.
I took the animals out of the bag and helped her arrange them as neatly as possible and realized that being surrounded by them made her feel loved and I felt stuffed with humility.

Hello again, it’s time for another research question.

In the past few years, Vera Bradley purses and their knock-offs have been big sellers. I, myself had my fair share of these pretty bags. I know why I liked them but now I want to know why others do.
Please take the time to respond to a few questions I have.

What is it about Fabric purses that you like?

What type of Fabric catches your eye?

What colors do you like to see in Fabric prints?

Do you like prints or solid Fabrics?

Are you more of a classic shopper or do you like to be trendy and on the hunt for the new big thing?

What age group do you fall in? E.G. 20’s 30’s 40’s 50’s etc.

Please participate, your help is appreciated.

Thirteen Things about Maribeth

Have you ever met your guardian angel? I think I have and one day I will share that story. I have a collection of angels that I am very proud of. Each angel represents the person who gave it to me. I love receiving angels as a gift. My cabinet of angels symbolize the love I have received from many wonderful people throughout my life.

This week’s Thursday Thirteen will be about angels.

What do you collect?

1… Cassiel- according to my birthdate this is the name of my archangel. It’s assignation is creative power. I find that interesting because of the fact I love to write.

2… Michael- (His name represents He who is like God)The leader of all archangels. He was also the angel that defeated Lucifer. His symbol is the sword.

3… Angels can come in all shapes, sizes and forms. They usually take on an appearance that is most appealing to the individual requiring their help.

4…Anyone can call on an angel at anytime- All you have to do is ask.

5… Some signs that angels are near include- scents of flowers, distant or faint sounds of bells or chimes and light breezes.

6…Guardian angels are given to us at birth and follow us throughout life. They are our special angels.

7… Raphael is considered the Healer. It is said that if you see speckles of green light Raphael may be around. His season is Spring. He also helps with addiction and safety for traveling.

8…Angel Prayer –

Angel of God
My guardian Dear,
To Whom is love commits me here,
Ever this day (or night)
Be at my side
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.

9… The word angel comes from the Greek angelos and Latin angelas-both meaning messenger

10…Angels in art are often depicted wearing halos and wings

11…Today’s Angel is Angel of Harmony

12…Gabriel –Angel who announced the birth of Jesus to Mary- He advised Nothing is Impossible with God (I try to remember that phrase daily and at very low points)

13…Demons- are the fallen angels. Satan is the ruler of the fallen angels.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Thirteen Things about MaribethHalloween is approaching and I have costumes on the brain. I have always loved to think of costume idea’s, I usually start thinking the day after Halloween what the next years will be. I came from a family of seven and Halloweens most consisted of Hand-Me-Downs or homemade costumes. The homemade ones were always my favorite and my parents did a great job at creating interesting get-ups. Tonight I am writing thirteen costumes I could remember wearing.

1…Gypsy-Loved,Loved,Loved this costume (so much that my daughter is being a gypsy/fortune teller this year) My mother wrapped a scarf around my head, dressed me, in a long black printed skirt, wrapped a shawl around my shoulders and gave me a black mask that only covered my eyes. It was my all time favorite.

2…Wizard-Yes I know, I’m a girl but still I made a great Merlin. I think this was a purchased costume. But it was way before Harry Potter existed. Thought the beard was cool.

3…Old Woman-I wore an old dress of my mother’s with a babushka wrapped around my head and some grandma looking loafers. My younger sister was the Old Man. We definitely made a funny pair.

4…Bunny-I remember this costume Hung in a closet in my brother’s room. It was one piece and very comfortable. I used to play dress up with the bunny costume long after Halloween was over.

5…Geisha Girl-My father went to Korea on a business trip and brought us home Kimono’s. I tied my hair up with chopsticks and painted my face white. I’m not even sure if a traditional Geisha wears a white face, I think I just look for reasons to paint my face on Halloween

6…Country Bumpkin-Seniors were able to dress up on Halloween day in my High-School. A friend and I wore straw hats, flannels, boys’ jeans and painted freckles on our face with black eyeliner. Easy costume to put together but definitely sweet and cute.

7…Dorothy-It took me forever to get the shoes right. I carried a stuffed doggie in a basket-I rented this costume.

8…Clown. The classic clown suit with the rainbow colored hair and striped one piece suit. I always love to paint my face for Halloween so this was definitely up my alley

9…Fifty’s Chic-A girlfriend and I wore lettermen jackets and our hair in ponytails. We had one of our guy friends dress in a t-shirt, leather jacket and slicked back hair. We were cool :0

10…Joker-I borrowed this costume from my sister-in-law, I had the jester hat, big shoes and a painted on grin that couldn’t go unnoticed.

11…Skeleton-My sister is very artistic which has come in helpful when looking for a face or a costume to be painted. She took a black sweat suit and painted the bones on it. Head to toe, front to back. I had her paint my face to match and I was set to go.

12…Seventy’s Chic-My husband and I went as a couple from the Seventies. I wore bell bottoms, a really high fur hat, wedged heals and lots of psychedelic make-up. We rocked! :0

13…Hobo-Okay; I’m starting to ask myself why I didn’t dress in more girly like costumes. This was an easy one, I found an old beat up coat, fingerless gloves, a hat with earflaps. a brown bag(for my pretend alcohol)and I painted on a five o’clock shadow and some red cheeks to complete the look.
13…Okay I’m adding a second thirteen because this was the best costume my parents ever came up with and I think it should be mentioned.The costume was made for my younger sister. My father took an old box from a T.V. painted it white and drew black dots on it. She was the cutest dice ever. To complete the look she wore a black beret, black sweatpants and black gloves. Clever,Clever,Clever

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

     This time of year makes me look back to when I found Miranda. Miranda was an ugly looking broad hanging out on a bale of hay next to a cash register. Her posture was tilted, hair was frizzy and she had dried glue stuck to her back. I fell in love with her anyway. It was because of her that I found myself.

     I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. There were lots of occupations I thought I would be good at but none that I felt I was meant to be. As a young girl I thought I would like to teach the deaf after reading about Helen Keller in grade school. I took a sign language class after high-school. For a presentation speech I taught the class how to sing I’M DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS IN SIGN LANGUAGE. I enjoyed it but still I felt there was something else and this wasn’t it.

I went to college and majored in Computer Information Systems but I knew it was only because I thought it would be a high paying field. I worked for an insurance company and daydreamed about moving up the corporate ladder, but still, I knew it wasn’t for me. So, for a long time I walked around in a fog, searching for what it was I was meant to be. There was a nagging feeling inside my soul-I knew there was something. But what it was I didn’t know. I wondered how anyone ever really knew and what happened in their life to make them understand. I questioned whether I would ever find my calling. I married and had children and thought motherhood might be it. Maybe, I was simply just meant to be a mother. Still, the feeling wouldn’t subside. My eyes were opened the day I found Miranda.  I saw the light in the strangest of places because I looked at it right. (I always loved that similar lyric by the Grateful Dead)

     It was Autumn, my favorite season and I was going to buy some Mums, Pumpkins and a few decorations for the house. I gathered my purchases and headed to the cash register. As I was waiting for the woman to ring me up, I looked down and saw this very ugly witch with an eerie smile leaning against a pumpkin. Immediately I was drawn to her, she looked like I felt. On my bad days, I certainly can be a witch and if I could fly off on a broomstick I probably would. “How much for her?” I asked holding the witch up to the sales lady.  “You mean our Miranda?” Initially I had no idea who she was calling Miranda and thought maybe she was a bit loony. Sure enough she was talking about the witch. Apparently the workers fell in love with her too, despite the fact she wasn’t easy on the eyes and the stick she was glued to was broken off. “She’s broke, she replied. I didn’t care, if she was ugly, broke or missing an eye I just knew I wanted her.  

     After promising to take care of Miranda, I left and went across the street to the grocery store. While walking past the produce section it hit me. The first story I knew I had to write. It was about a little girl named …Miranda. By the time I left the grocery store, I had a beginning, middle and an end. Excitement flooded through me and I knew this was it. I was meant to… write. I went home, wrote my first draft, and found I wanted more. I finally understood what passion was. I always had it but never recognized it. I searched for many years hoping to find my essence, waiting for it to magically appear. And magically appear it did, thanks to Miranda. She inspired me. Because of the ugly witch I found beauty –From the moment I saw her I had a hunch she was meant to be in my life. For so many years I searched for the job that would pay well and thought that would bring me happiness. In the end I found something that I will continue to do even if I never receive a dime for doing it. If I judged Miranda on her appearance I might still be lost.

I hate yard sales. I don’t hate going to them I hate having them. Every time I have ever attempted to have a yard sale it has been a complete failure. I would go into it with high hopes. I’d count the money in my head long before the first quarter was made. Unfortunately I never made much more than a quarter. Albeit most of the stuff I was hoping to free myself from was clutter, to someone else I knew it could be a find. There was one time I stayed up the whole night organizing my rummage into neat little piles. I had fancy shoes, sporty shoes, hanging about shoes and even cute little comfy never before worn slippers. They were not cheap shoes. Most were bought on a whim to go with one outfit. I really took my time on deciding their prices. I knew if I was going to make a profit the shoes were my best chance. In my mind my prices were reasonable, maybe even a steal. I didn’t mark any of them for more than five bucks even though I paid much more myself. After hours of tagging my shoes, clothes and anything extra I found lying around the house I went to bed with a smile. I was proud of myself for taking the time to make everything presentable. I jumped out of bed in the morning with enthusiasm. The enthusiasm quickly faded when I looked out the window and saw it pouring out. I tried to remain optimistic. Instead of a yard sale I would have a porch sale. After all, my porch was big enough to fit everything I was selling. The second sign of doom was when my three year old nephew ran up onto the porch. He was frantically searching for something kid friendly. He bumped into my Hagar sculptures and broke the head off. It was the most expensive item I had out. I think a person would be a fool to spend fifteen dollars for a piece with a glued on head. The sun came out and I was beginning to get hopeful. Cars were starting to line up and down the street. This was going to be it. I smiled as the people entered through my gate. I politely waved as they exited empty handed. A few women gathered around the shoes but I knew immediately their small frames were more like a size six than my gigantic size nines. One woman seemed to be interested she tried on a few pair and walked around in a circle testing them out. She held up the box and asked, “How much for these.” They were a pair I purchased but never wore. “Five dollars,” I answered. When I saw the look of disgust sweep across her face I felt it necessary to explain they were never worn and still in the original box. I sold those shoes for… a quarter. Today my parents decided they were going to have their yearly yard sale. I had no plans on being a part of it and went over for a visit. It was chaos, visually and mentally. Between my brother and sisters we have seven children. All seven children were at the yard sale. They were shopping amongst the other patrons. That alone puts added stress to the day, try explaining to seven year olds and younger that the things lying across Noni and Nono’s yard are for others to buy not for them. Between hollers of “What will you take for this,” and shouts of “Mom I really want to buy this,” a sane person can easily lose their mind. Moods changed, bickering began and before I knew it there was a family feud. I was at the edge of insanity and then the most hysterical thing happened. A woman called out to my father and asked “How much for these shoes.” He yelled back “Five dollars,” explaining they had a steel toe. “There’s no steel toe”, she replied. He looked puzzled but continued to tell her he spent forty dollars on them and wanted at least five. She set the shoes down and went across to the other side of the yard. “Mar, I didn’t want to sell those shoes,” he whispered. Someone put his new shoes out amongst the sale items. “Do you want me to go get them?” I asked. “Wait until she leaves so it doesn’t look weird,” he replied. In the mean time I got distracted by my two-year old telling me she had to go potty. When I came back outside onto the porch I saw the lady paying my sister for the shoes my father didn’t want to sell. I looked over at him and watched as he watched her walk away with his brand new, pricey New Balance sneakers. He sold the shoes he didn’t want to sell for five dollars and at my yard sale I sold the shoes I had marked for five dollars for a quarter. Life has a funny way of putting a comical moment in at the right time to make the scene a bit lighter. Out of twenty pairs of nice looking shoes out on the lawn the only ones that sold were his.     

Thirteen Things about MARIBETH

I love symbolism. I like the idea of having a little extra help with good luck. I have a complete understanding that all things given to us are from God. I realize good luck doesn’t happen because of trinkets or symbols, still I have always been interested in the stories behind different objects. The number thirteen is taboo to a lot of people so I thought it would be fun to write about thirteen things that supposively bring good luck.
(This is for fun. If you really need a change of luck, praying is always your best bet)
Hope you Enjoy!

1…. Wish Bone (It is said that when a wish bone is broken between two people whoever gets the longer half is promised good luck. If it is broken evenly both parties will be granted their wish. In our family it was always a Thanksgiving tradition to break the wishbone from the turkey. Poor Tom, I made many wishes thanks to him)

2…Horseshoe-(Believed to be lucky and protective. It is said if a horseshoe is nailed upside down above your door it will destroy the devil if he gets too close.)

3…Four Leaf Clovers-(It is very rare to find a four leaf clover(my daughter did and it really looked like one to me) If found it is said to be an omen of good luck. Each leaf has meaning
One leaf represents Hope, the second Faith, the third Love and the fourth is Good Luck.

4…Lady Bugs-It is siad that Ladybugs represent the Virgin Mother and they are signs of good weather. If a ladybug lands on you there is a chant you can recite. Ladybird Ladybird fly away home. Your house is on fire and children all roam. If the ladybug flies away your wish will come true. I have always been told to count the spots. The amount of spots represent how many wishes you may make. I love ladybugs

5…Rabbits Foot-(This has been a symbol of fertility since before 600 BC. They also symbolize prosperity,good luck,good crops and many children.

6…Acorns-(Are said to capture the Oak Tree’s power-They are believed to bring good luck and insure a long life.)

7…Fleur De Leis (I love this symbol and have a great story to tell about it but will save it for another day-This is historically a symbol of the trinity(The flower has three pedals but is only one flower just as there is one God but in his divine nature there is 3 persons-The Father, The Son and The holy spirit) This symbol can be associated with royalty and has been used for sports teams and was used by King Louis of France and placed on knights shields.
Writers have described the petals as Faith, Wisdom and Chivalry. Other cultures have adopted it as a symbol of Love, Passion and Light

The next five will be animals and what they are said to represent as far as luck

8…The Frog-(symbol of abundance-the amount of eggs they lay may have something to do with this-They are a strong good luck symbol

9…Elephant (They symbolize wisdom,good luck,strength,power and of course intelligence-Many believe their trunks must be turned up for them to be good luck)

10…Pig (Prosperity in abundance. Has also been noted to symbolize fertility)

11…Hippo (Protection of young. I have read that hippos protect the women of the house especially if they are of childbearing age)

12…Owl (Wisdom-Soldiers have held this as a special bird because it stays awake at night. It supposively allows them to see and hear clearly even when it’s dark

13… Butterflies ( Symbol of Change, joy, love and metamorphosis. Can represent the soul. There is a Native American legend which states if you capture a butterfly and whisper your wish it will carry your wish to the Great Spirit) Powerful symbol of transformation

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Thirteen Things about Maribeth

There’s nothing like smelling a good perfume. I have purchased or received many great fragrances. Today’s thirteen is about perfumes I have owned, loved, or got sick of.

1… Coco Mademoiselle-Chanel (My all time favorite. It is a perfect fall/winter scent-it smells so delicious it is almost edible)

2… Adrienne Vittadini-(Great deep smell, after two bottles I began to think it had more of a masculine smell-but still loved it

3… AV-Adrienne Vittadini (Fresh and cool, loved this one-would definitely buy again-cool bottle(I’m a sucker for a pretty bottle)

4… Extravagance-Givenchy (Fruity and sugary smelling-just a dab of this perfume is more than enough-too much can be overpowering)

5… Black-Kenneth Cole (received as a birthday gift- Initially I thought it was a bit strong but after a while it grew on me and became one of my all time favorites. Hints of citrus-I have been asked what type of shampoo I used when wearing this.

6… Nature-BCBG Girls-(Another fresh smelling scent-I tend to like spicy or fresh. I have received many compliments on this perfume- Hints of tangerine)

7…Sexual Madness-Fragrant Oil (Bought this years ago at a Vendor in the middle of the mall-It was the best smelling oil ever. I kick myself for not stocking up on it and now I cannot find it.

8…Happy-Clinique-Light and Sweet -(liked smell but was disappointed how quickly it wore off)

9…Design-Paul Sebastian-(At one point I loved this perfume so much I would spray it on my robe so it was the first thing I smelled when I got out of the shower-Now it is way too sweet for me, I’m not sure I could wear it again-Maybe I used too much of it I made myself sick of it)

10… Provocative Woman-Elizabeth Arden-(Very Spicy -love the warmth of this smell-it’s definitely a head turning scent)

11…Curve Soul- Liz Claiborne-The bohemian in me loves this scent-Earthy but light-Makes you feel like you have depth

12…Burberry- Great! I got this as a handy-me-down from a friend who had an extra bottle. I was so sad when I used the last spritz

13…Poison…My hubby bought this for me one of our first christmas’s together. As long as you don’t over spray it’s a great winter smell. I would like to purchase this again to see if it brings flashbacks.

What’s your favorite perfume? Any suggestions, I am always up for a new scent. A girl can’t have enough.

1…. Start your list here!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Thirteen Things about YOUR NAME

1…. Start your list here!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

My girlfriend recently opened a Shoppe. It’s quaint, eclectic and most of all fabulous. It has always been her dream and now it is her reality. It’s the type of shop you go in, look around a hundred times and still discover new items. On my most recent trip I found my monkey. It was on a coffee table behind a vase. I think he was hiding. There was something about him that instantly caught my attention. He’s carved out of dark mahogany wood which happens to me my favorite; I love the richness in color. He’s in a sitting position but his back is hunched. There is a smooth pouch on his lap. It reminds me of a kangaroo’s pouch. One arm falls to his side and circles around the bottom, no hand is visible. The design of the piece is fluent so you don’t really miss the hand. The other arm curves into the pouch as if the monkey is reaching inside for something. His face is serene. Eyes are closed, mouth is relaxed and he appears as if he is meditating. “I love him,” I called out to my friend. I held him for a moment and thought about where I would put him, “I just don’t know where I would put him.” I proceeded to say.  My girlfriend’s mother was standing behind the counter and laughed when I said this. “If you really love something you will find a place to put it.” Her words stuck with me. Instead of setting the monkey down, I kept him with me as I browsed.  I ended up purchasing him and knew the mother was right. I would find him a perfect spot. On the drive home I chatted with my sister-in-law about my monkey. “I think monkeys symbolize something,” I said. We both racked our brains but couldn’t recall what, if anything, they represented.  It was when I got home and spoke to my older sister the light bulb came on. I was so excited to show her my monkey and see what she thought. She held him for a second and studied him a bit. She handed him back and asked “What, do you have a monkey on your back?”  It was in that moment I knew why I was drawn to him. I recently quit smoking, which was no easy feat. I have always considered it my demon. I have heard other’s refer to the addiction as having a monkey on your back.  Aha, I was taking the monkey off of my back and setting him on the table to act as my reminder. I found him a new spot. I was still curious to know what a monkey symbolized. I searched until I found. A monkey symbolizes benevolence or charity and can ward off evil spirits. How perfect, my monkey is no longer my demon but the very thing that scares the demon away. There will be days I want to give in to my craving but hopefully my monkey sitting upon my coffee table will remind me of the great deal of time I spent trying to get him off of my back. It would be silly to ask him to jump back on and besides now he gives my home some character.  

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