Friday, September 14, 2012

Mee Maw's Doll House

When I was about 6 or 7 years old my Mee Maw, my mother's mom, made me one of my most treasured childhood toys.  She built me a doll house from scratch and not one detail was left out.  The doll house stayed at her home in Ocala and I always looked forward to going to visit and play with it. 

I just made a recent visit to their house and slept in the guest bedroom .  As I lay in bed, I looked at the dollhouse sitting in the corner of the room. I slid out of bed and snuck over to the doll house and decided to snoop around, as often did after everyone was asleep when I was young.  Even in middle school I would still check on the doll house and make sure everything was in its place... We have Christmas decorations for it so occasionally I would still decorate it. 

 I think for every girl who loved to play with dolls, one of the most difficult things to do is to no longer play with dolls.  It is a hard day to pack them up and put them away.  For me it was a long process.  First my mom and I packed away my Barbies, at the beginning of the 5th grade and Mee Maw took them to her house and she kept them in the hall closet.  Then the other dolls like my cabbage patches and what not got put away.  But for years I still went to Mee Maw's and puled out those Barbies and played with that doll house. She never teased me and often sat with me and brushed their hair and changed their clothes.  If you loved dolls like I did you totally get what I am talking about here!

Now that I am older and an avid crafter I marveled at all the work and craftsmanship that went into making me this special toy.  It had carpet, wallpaper, curtains a wrap around porch, windows, even a box of oreos and milk (our favorite late night snack with Pa Pa) you name it.  Mee Maw decorated it similar to her own meticulous home.  I spent hours playing with this house, rearranging the furniture and trying to keep my brother from touching the house.  On more than one occasion, the ninja turtles and batman had trashed the house.

Here are some pics

White Victorian with blue trim, astro turf grass, quartz stone walkway, Palm trees, mailbox, bike, rocking chairs and even a wreath on the window... the last kid to play with it left the butcher block in the patio but it also has a mini knife set!

3 stories, the kids room, bathroom and laundry room in the top floor, office and master bedroom on the 2nd floor, and family room, kitchen and dining room on the main floor.  Pistachio green, mauve and county blue color scheme.

kids room complete with naked kids!

laundry room behind the carriage

mini bathroom complete with tissue box, scale and towel rack

Study with sewing machine, and mini candle sticks even a sconce and door to the upstairs porch.

Master Bedroom with desk and a mini bible that has the first three books of the new testament in microscopic type. And Mom doll taking a nap!

Even pics of my brother and I hanging in the frames on the wall!  How about the detailed wallpaper with border and all!

Family room with tv, knitting basket (just like Mee Maws and she even started a piece with yarn and toothpicks as the knitting needles), fireplace set and the oreos and milk on the coffee table.

Kitchen and dining room, I love the little mouse trap, and there is a box of corn flakes by the sink, oatmeal on the stove and coffee and cake on the table.  There is even a spoon display on the wall.

I loved the tea set sitting on the display.  I often had tea set up in the doll house:)

I can't wait to pass this treasure onto my own children one day!  Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse from my past.  You can see where I inherited my attention for detail!  

Thank you Mee Maw for spending countless hours on making me this house and thank you for always letting me play with my dolls:)

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Measure of a Year

A huge storm hit home this week.  Not only did Tropical Storm Debby reek havoc on our city, a storm of a different nature has also been blowing, wildly through my heart.

This week we received news that close pastor friends of ours from Guanito, Cuba, Pastor Alexei and Pastora Iliancie, brought into the world, their first child.  Much like the waters from the storm surged in to flood our streets, emotions of a year since my trip to Cuba have surged and seized my heart.  

I remember the day we met the Pastors, it was the beginning of our trip and they had just arrived from a long and difficult journey to arrive to Havana to meet my Mother and our group.  They had breakfast with us and we had brought some peanut butter with us and Iliancie ate some for the first time. It was love at first bite with her and that jar of peanut butter!  We spent the entire morning with them as they came with us while we ran our errands around Old Havana, exchanging currency and picking up some supplies for our week ahead.  They were such a vibrant couple singing out in joy and thanking God for the blessing of our team.  
Enjoying their first Peanut Butter and Jelly

While we were riding in the bus, Iliancie complimented my sunglasses.  They were my oldest pair, and I brought them just in case they got lost or broke. As I looked at her glasses they were practically falling apart and the tortoise shell coating was flaking off.  The lenses were terribly scratched and it's the only pair she had.  My heart sunk thinking about the 10 pairs of sunglasses I had at home.  I had regrets for not bringing them all.  I took off my sunglasses and I told her to have mine.  At first she refused saying she didn't want to leave me without glasses and I said ok, then let's trade.  Her face lit up and she put my sunglasses on and started doing a series of model poses.  She hugged me and showered me with kisses, and again she sang out thanking God through song.

The Hyde Park UMC Team with Pastor Alexi

Within a few minutes she had burst into tears along with the rest of us.  They received many gifts that day and the promise of more to come.  We brought money for them to take back to our sister church, sashes and runners for their pulpit and altar, medicine, clothing and a laptop.  My mother would be returning that Fall, so I asked the Pastora to make a list of all the things they need that my mother can bring them.  She asked for fabric and sewing materials so that they could make dresses for their liturgical dancers and that they had a lady in the church who could sew them all by hand.  (When my mom returned that Fall, among many things, including peanut butter, she brought them a sewing machine.  With great joy they all celebrated for this wonderful gift, and they are now able to sew many things for the church and the community.)

That day started  a lifelong relationship between our family and theirs.  My mom sent the Pastora maternity clothes, baby clothes and a multitude of things throughout the year.  They write each other, and although I haven't gotten to see them in a year, sometimes I hear Iliancie's songs.  There are days, without reason, that I can feel my Cuban brothers and sisters fill my heart with prayers. For as much as I pray for them, many more of them continue to pray for me.

So how do I measure this year?  My emotions can be measured by the degrees of a storm. Fierce winds that rattle and shake me or a soft breeze that carries the songs and cries of my brothers and sisters in Cuba.
Surely I could measure it in tears, those of happiness and of sorrow and longing for my brothers and sisters. I could measure it in laughter.  I think I will measure it in eggs.  I still think of Cuba every time I buy eggs, see them or eat them, and I am reminded that I can have as many as I want, at any given time.  I guess that here I can use eggs as a metaphor for blessings.  For as many eggs as I have, I am even more abundant in blessings.

An egg ration Market in Old Havana
Each person gets 5 eggs a month

PastorAlexei and Pastora Iliancie hatched a big egg and had a baby girl this week.  With great honor and overflowing love, they named her, Drema, after my mother.  Out of curiosity I looked up the definition of Drema, and it means "joyus music."  For this child I cannot think of a better name.  It was with Joyous Music that we met the Pastor and Pastora.  It was with Joyous Music that the Pastora sang out in love and thanks for her blessings.  And most of all, there will be Joyous Music when we return this winter to reunite with our family in Cuba.  With Joyous Music I will sing out to my new baby sister and  I wish "Dremita" (little Drema) a life filled with Joyous Music as her generation will be the face of change and hope in her country.

I wish I was in Cuba right now, sweating, wearing ugly clothes that don't fit, and sorting rice at the Methodist Center. Until then, I will long for the day that I see my Cuban family and every day I will raise my eggs in a toast to Dremita with the promise of a future life filled with an infinite amount of eggs and Joyous Music:)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Salty Sisters goes on Vacay in the Salty South!

Just got back from a great Vacation in the keys last week, and although we were soaked by a tropical depression that morphed into our dear friend Debbie, we had LOTS of laughs and a TON of inspiration!

Chris Fishing


getting ready for some really rocky night fishing

So windy we could only fish off a bridge and this one happened to be in the middle of nowhere and we had LOTS of fun

Something about wearing boys clothes that make us look so feminine

1 am cookies!

 Father's Day

Checkin out some local sites

Blue Heaven is really heaven for your mouth!

Car load of Gasparilla Goodies

Adult night out

 A night out in Key West is not complete without a drag show!
 I wanted those letters
yup! We are havin Fun!
 Not so much fun...
 Tried to make the best of it!

And this is what I like to call baby Debbie... and she followed us all they way back to Tampa and stayed for awhile!  As I type this, Tropical Storm Debbie is still waging a wind war you can't barely go outside!

It was fun and I am looking forward to the rain stopping so my wood can dry and I can make all the goodies inspired by this trip!!