Friday, February 26, 2016

Antique Stores . . .

This past Sunday my kids and I took a ride to one of our favorite antique malls. It takes about a little over an hour to get there depending on traffic, and when you travel on main roads that go to Washington, DC, you can expect a lot of traffic.  As we traveled we talked about what we wanted to look at.

Charlie loves old paper and in the mall is the best antiquarian paper dealer Whiting’s Old Paper. Charlie has been collecting ship memorabilia, especially about the great ocean liners. His collection of books, menus, post cards, etc. is mind-bogging. As soon as we entered the mall, off he went in search of more.

Tif and I meandered from glass case to glass cabinet filled with antiques and collectibles galore. Such as these old toys. Some we recognized as either knowing someone who had the same thing or sadly, that someone in our family had one just like it, but it is gone. This leads me to feeling melancholy at the same time annoyed to see what people have discarded. I am sure they had their reasons: the item was no longer useful, it was unwanted, tossed out. And so many of these things are absolutely beautiful, charming, and in my opinion, still useful. The things that really get me upset are items of historical importance, especially military possessions, vestiges of remainders from past wars and battles proudly fought and sacrificed made.

For example, why wouldn’t a family want to keep these swords, guns, helmets, badges of honor, even diaries telling the soldier’s story? Still yet there were photographs, autographed Yearbooks from military academies, medals, ribbons of distinction, and uniforms.
Moving on after we had enough grief, we find looking at old furniture very enjoyable. We marvel at the construction and materials used, imagine the house and room where the grand dining set proudly waiting for holidays meals and special occasions. Tif loves old Hoosier cabinets with their commodious compartments.
I enjoy looking at fashion items; fancy purses, jewelry and hats. Again, we ask each other why didn’t someone want that leather purse, rhinestone pin and stylish hat. You see many of these items in antique clothing stores and so much more online.
Oh well, as they say, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

Yet there is one very good attribute that comes out of these emporiums of memories, and that is they may have what you may be looking for. Something to replace the one that was lost, given away or trashed. You can find just about everything and when you do you can place it in your family museum to either tell or enhance your story. And another feature these antique merchants give are lessons in how to display. Study the cabinets, the shelving, and the lighting. The careful placement and eye-catching presentations. Have fun going down memory lane, even though you may feel a bit melancholy. That feeling can make you actually feel grateful for the things you did save. So go on. Visit an antique store or mall, talk with the dealers. Appreciate the service they provide and then go home and fill your family museum with memories.       

Monday, February 15, 2016

Past, Present & Future . . .

Though Valentine’s Day has passed, I hope yours was filled with flowers, candy & cards. This day is not only for couples expressing their feelings, it is about family and letting each one know how much they are thought of and to let them know that they are appreciated. And if the day passed without you expressing your feelings, it is never too late to do so. And I bet you will find flowers and candy on sale.  And don’t forget to keep those tokens of love in your Family Museum so you can visit them again.

Today is President’s Day and a time to ponder on our country’s honorable and gallant Commander-in-Chief’s that have led our country through good and bad times. The United States of America is a great nation. We all need to be respectful of it; the land, the people, the buildings.  One unsettling aspect of this day is the fact that many people do not know much about our President’s. American history is no longer in the forefront of educational instruction, so here is a list of our Presidents from Wikipedia:
Take heed and be mindful of this day. As George H.W.Bush said in this State of the Union Address in 1990: “You are our living link to the past. Tell your (children) and grandchildren the story of the struggles waged, at home and abroad. Of sacrifices made for freedom’s sake. And tell them your own story as well because (everybody) has a story to tell.”

And for the future – there are many other days this month that call attention to unusual subjects. Some are really strange; others would be fun to learn about. Here is an informative website for you to pursue.                  
Did you know the Violet is for February. Though spring will not be here for a while, always stop to smell the flowers, where ever they are. And keep on creating your Family Museum. The days will soon be getting longer and warmer, so before you get wrapped up in all the activities spring offers, keep going through those boxes and save, protect and display.

"Keep all special thoughts and memories for lifetimes to come. Share these keepsakes with other to inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge to the future."     Mattie Stepanek

Thursday, February 11, 2016

This is dedicated to the one I Love . . .

This post is dedicated to the one I love . . . . my hubby Keith on his birthday. On this birthday and for all of the ones before, let’s go on a little journey through his years with the pictures, cards and things saved in our Family Museum

Birthday cards have a way of adding up. You save the best ones, you throw the superfluous out. Among those saved are some really loving greetings from the past. 
Since he was born on Lincoln’s Birthday, his mom made him cakes topped with a china log cabin & log with an ax.
Many birthday presents are saved in our museum, like these six-shooters, truck and cars. The baseball mitt was one of his favorites.

My hubby admires Ronald Reagan. Among the books, films, and photographs, he has the gimmicky Talking Action Figure President Ronald Reagan Doll. It is unique and having Ronald Reagan’s voice recorded is priceless.

There were many times we could not celebrate his birthday together because of his military duties. When we were separated during his boot camp, many letters and cards were exchanged and saved. This song by the Shirelles reminded me of our times apart, so I dedicated this song to him:
Life can never be exactly like we want it to be
I can be satisfied just knowing that you love me
There's one thing I want you to do especially for me
And it's something that everybody needs. 

Each night before you go to bed my baby  
Whisper a little prayer for me my baby 
And tell all the stars above
This is dedicated to the one I love

 So as birthdays come and go, be sure to save the cards and all those funny little gifts that didn’t fill a purpose; new socks, ties, etc., and display them in your family museum. Keith loves to visit his things, recalling the fond memories.

So here’s to you, my sweet dear husband.               
Happy Birthday and wishing you many more!                  Love Lizzie

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Mardi Gras 2016

Have you ever been to a Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans? I have visit New Orleans but not during that time. It certainly is a city that knows how to have a good time. As they say in French, “Laissez les bons roulez” which translated means, “Let the good times roll.”

 And why should the good times roll? Because today is also known as Fat Tuesday, the last hurrah where revelers feast on rich foods before the fasting of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Fat Tuesday is also called Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday and of course, Mardi Gras. Parades takes place all week long in the French Quarter and are walking parades, not the traditional large float parades. Strings of gold, red and purple beads are thrown into the crowds.
My family enjoys this festive holiday with creole or Cajun cuisine. Beans and rice with sausage is a very tasty meal. Dessert can be a King Cake, a sweet ring-shaped confection meant to honor the three kings who visited the Christ child on Epiphany. It has a cream cheese filling and a simple glaze and topped off with bright colored strings of beads. A tiny plastic baby is placed into the bread and whoever finds the baby in their piece of cake must buy the next King Cake.
Or deep-fried sweet Beignets, a traditional French treat, great with strong coffee.

One year we purchased a King Cake. It was superbly wrapped and the cake came with a miniature face mask made of porcelain, three strings of beads and the plastic baby. I carefully made a mini-museum for these things, placing them in a white shadow box. It hangs next to the pantry door and is always so festive looking. When you have many small items that are precious, you need to give them their fair due and showcase them the best way you can. That is why I like shadow boxes. I call them mini-museums and they can be placed throughout your home when space is limited. So enjoy this Mardi Gras holiday and don’t forget to
“Let the good times roll.”
As I was searching for Mardi Gras images
I came across this ingenious way of
displaying strings of beads.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Chinese New Year 2016

Chinese New Year 2016 – The Year of the Red Fire Monkey
Legend says Buddha called all the animals of the world to him before he left the earth. The only ones that listened were these 12 animals, so Buddha named a year after each of them in the order that they arrived.

Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon,                                                       Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey,                                                           Rooster, Dog, Boar

In my family, we have a menagerie of animals: Hubby Keith is an Ox, me, I am a tiger, daughter Tiffeni is a dog, and son Charlie is a rabbit. If you could picture these four animals in one room: the ox stands steadfast as the tiger skulks, the dog barks as the rabbit hops around. We are truly an entertaining group. After you have determined the animals in your house, have fun with it. And here’s a thought to ponder on: The animal ruling the year in which you were born exercises a profound influence on your life. As the Chinese say,                                                                             “This is the animal that hides in your heart.”

This cheeky animal bursts with exuberance, bringing a lightning fast pace and fantastical motivation. The Monkey increases communication, humor and wit, helping us get through stressful times with grace and ease. Business flourishes and risks tend to pan out. The Monkey’s gift is the ability to find unconventional solutions to old problems. Daring to be different can lead to success.

These last two sentences definitely establish
what this blog is all about . . . . Doing something different and offering a new way to solve quandaries about how to preserve and display your family history. So has you travel through this extraordinary year, put your energy to good use and create your Family Museum. Visit past posts to find out all the ways and means to help you design, construct, and organize your heirlooms to preserve, protect, display and share.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Ground Hog Day

One of the first holidays in February is this day that honors the humble groundhog with his mighty ability to predict the weather, after which he crawls back into his burrow and takes a nap.
According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will persist for six more weeks.

What a life!
So what does Ground Hog Day have to do with creating a Family Museum? Lots! You see, Punxsutawney Phil lives in a burrow at the town library that is attached to the community’s police station. There are displays of memorabilia on Phil. There is also a gift shop located in the Chamber of Commerce building down the hall from Phil where you can find souvenirs, all of which can be saved and displayed in your Family Museum.
And don’t forget to watch the only movie made about this day starring Bill Murray. It is one of my husband’s favorite movies and somehow, we all can somehow connect with that feeling of de já vu, something you experience when you look at the wonderful things you saved in your museum.

Hope Spring comes early for you, but if not, take the rest of the winter days
to start your Family Museum. Any day and everyday is a good time to start.

Happy Groundhog Day!