Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's been a while...

It's been a while since posting.  I was in a funk.  It takes allot out of some people when it comes around to that time of year and then to write more than a week's worth of blog posts about 9-11.  I don't know that I'll do it next year... but I will NEVER FORGET!

I also started taking a new medicine and am trying to quit smoking which both seem to be kicking my ass!  If it's not my stomach, I want a nap!  But I am doing what I can to stay busy, especially keep my hands busy.  I've taken to painting canvas boards.  It's a means to keep my hands busy, practice for my bedroom mural and there will be a Craft Fair here that I hope to sell these at.  I also want to do wooden painted pictures with sayings, so I'm hoping all goes well.

Here are the backgrounds I have worked on:

None of them are finished and some need more work done to them.  But what I am trying to do too is find "my" style.  I lean towards certain colors, to me seeming more tropical than coastal/nautical.  As much as I like the backgrounds alone, I am still working on palm trees (for my mural).  I do want to do some backgrounds alone for sayings on signs.  

And then I sanded and spray painted this chair.  It's in rough shape and was along side the dumpster.  I'm thinking some rope wrapped around the back and in the grooves of the legs, painting on the seat and saying... to make it into a desk chair.

Day 2: My journey ends at THE BEACH

And then there is this:

I don't know what I was thinking... I started with the palm tree, then in between adding the  sun, I realized I was painting backwards.  So I have to prime the door and start over:  background first!

So that's what I've been up to.... what about you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nothing like visual inspiration!

Wellington Tropical Bedroom
OK... I finally found my inspiration for my bedroom!!  This is it (almost) exactly it and the those are the colors.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Not all first respnders died on 9-11...

Yesterday was hard enough, but today as the dust settles, I'd like to pay tribute to those first responders that have since died and are dying.  My cousin and her husband where first responders on 9-11.  Al died December 23, 2011, after putting up a good fight.

In Memory of Al

(I signed, on December 26, 2011, the Guest Book of Al's Obituary.  I was unable to get to New York for his funeral.)
On December 23rd, I thought we lost a HERO, but realize that we didn't. Al will always be a HERO and always amongst us. He will live on in your hearts, in the boys' smile, in their voice and in their laughter. You will hear him in the stories of lives that he has touched and know that there are thousands of stories of thousands of people he touched that you may never hear of. Al is always a HERO to me, a great friend and cousin, and surely will be missed. Who else will throw me in the boat 'cause my legs are too short? Who will get me coffee just the way I like it? Who will laugh with me about craving carrots? Rest in Peace Al; I'll look for you at the beach. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. love ya 

 (Sometime after Al's death, I tried to write a letter to Al's boys.)
Al was one of those guys that was every one's friend. You couldn't meet him and not like him. Once you got to know him, you loved him. My cousin,  was a very lucky woman when she met Al. They both worked at jobs they may not have loved everyday at the New York Police Department, but they knew how to work hard and were good at their jobs. In turn, after working hard, they knew how to spend their down time and knew how to party like no other. There are people I know that work hard and party or have fun just as hard. I wonder if it has to do with the risks they take on their job and seeing the worst of the worst at times, that for survival and to shake it off, or not take it home, they do what they can to 'lighten up'. But I digress.

In a time when marriages dissolve around us, I am very proud, and somewhat jealous, that they stuck together during good and bad times. I admire them and hope when all is said and done the good times far out way the bad. During that time, two good friends had two beautiful boys that have grown into the great young men any parent would be absolutely proud to have.

I was unable to attend the celebration of Al's life with friends and family but was there in spirit. Times like this make it very hard to live so far away. Heroes don't die; they get their wings and become Guardian Angels. There are stories being told and so many more will be told over the next weeks and months... all of a sudden someone will say, "oh yeah, remember when Al...". I hope those stories begin to bring smiles instead of tears and warm that spot in your heart that aches right now. Of course, there will be those on the job, war stories that will be shared and just think of the thousands that will go unheard, for he touched so many lives.

Thank God, Al had a great and quick sense of humor. I got to share my last laughs with him a couple of weeks before he died. He was in Sloane waiting for his transplant and had gotten a relatively new treatment using rabbit hormones. Imagine?? "Yes", he said he was "craving carrots!" His ears were growing and getting floppy, and was hopping instead of walking. I hope the laughs broke the tension for him as much as it did me. I wished him luck with the operation, told him I loved him and would talk to him soon when he was feeling better. As you know, he wasn't feeling better for very long and I never got to speak to him again. I too will miss him. I will miss just knowing he has moved on.

Over the past 11 years, many first responders, volunteers, construction workers, citizens alike, have been fighting and  succumbing what is called environmental cancers.  The EPA said the air was OK to breathe, I beg to differ.  Although, the death count on 9-11 was nearly 3,000 people, the count continues to climb.

Please remember in your prayers ALL those who have passed and the friends and families they left behind.  Please pray for the support and medical attention...and a cure for those still fighting these cancers.


After 11 years, the 9-11 Cancer Link is finally to be recognized by the Federal Government.  See the story and video here.

I wrote about my relationship with my cousin before.  I don't know if she realizes how much I love her and think about her and her boys but I do.  You can read about some of our good and bad times here.

God Bless You All.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2001

On September 11th, I set off for work like any other day just like everyone else did that day.  On Long Island, New York, just as it was on the northeast coast, was a beautiful day.  There was a blue sky with hardly a white fluffy cloud to be seen.  As I drove west on Sunrise Highway, I had my window down and my radio volume up...singing and tapping away to the music.

Just as two lanes go into six (four main highway and 2 on the service road):


I looked around at the sky immediately...and without too much detail, I started talking to myself: What kinda idiot flies into the WTC!?  How the hell do you miss it??

The radio didn't have much information to give as I finished my drive to work.  As I went through the receiving department at work, I asked if they had heard anything about the plane hitting the Trade Center.. they said NO.  I went up front to start my day... shortly after, my phone rang.  It was the receiving manager who told me that another plane hit the other tower!  All I could say was: Some thing's not right!  He would be my outside connection for most of the day for "news".

Everyone seems to remember were they were at that moment they first heard.  Many people I talk to thought the same thing: the first plane had to be an accident because you can't miss the Towers, especially on such a clear day...but when the second hit, something was wrong, we just didn't know how wrong!  In hindsight, it was an understatement for sure.

Today I remember and will NEVER FORGET.  God Bless.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Please Light a Candle at 8pm Tonight

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.  Please support the day by lighting a candle in memory of my cousin, Laura, who will be forever 20 and is greatly missed daily by her family and friends.

In April, my best friend's daughter also took her life.  She left behind a beautiful daughter, family and friends too.

I ask that you become aware of the issue but most of all become aware of the people around you.  These days are not easy for anyone, and suicide has no age limits, and it doesn't matter what is going on around you.  

As a survivor, please assure any one and everyone you know going through a bad time that it does get better.  Nothing stays the same.  Tomorrow is a new day.  There is help out there.  Never blow off a threat.  If you must be the one to call for help than do it.  But on the other side, realize that you couldn't have stopped it at that moment.  The pain was so great, you could not take it away and the only way out, at that time, in their mind, was to end it.  You didn't know.

For more information:
Putting a Face on Suicide 

International Association for Suicide Prevention

Please stay strong.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It all started with...

It all started with, use what you have...

I had some paints... interior and exterior house paints, stains, spray paints, samples, primer and acrylics.  

First, it was the child size Adirondack chair that I use for decoration up front.  The green was all off!  If it was more of a minty green, I could have lived with it.  But some paint and it was transformed into something I really love!!

Next, I did this adult size chair.  I was looking for color and white was too boring.  Love the transformation! And I didn't have to paint the whole thing...just the back and the seat.

Now I'm really getting into my palm trees and tropical looks.  I have been playing with ideas for my bedroom and really want that to be my Tropical Paradise.  So one of the rooms painted by Paintin Place in a bed n breakfast,  Morning Dove Inn, started the wheels turning.  Rather than the wall of bamboo I thought of doing, why not do my own sunset mural above my bed!?

So...that got me thinking....and then I found out that the Park I live in will be having their own little Craft Fair.  So I pulled out an 8x10 canvas board and practiced Palm now I am thinking about doing some paintings on canvas board and some on wood for signs...for the Craft Fair!

The Christmas tree came out of something that wasn't working...

but I think I made it work!


I really had fun doing these and need to get some wood and boards to keep my hands busy while trying to quit smoking!!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend and your journey!

Friday, September 7, 2012


I know that most people remember where they were when they found out of the first plane hitting the Tower, as well as each plane after.  I was still living on Long Island, New York and I can only speak of what I know from being a transit train ride outside of Manhattan.

Volunteers are a rare breed under the best of times, but I believe to volunteer under a horrific time takes a little bit more guts.  When you volunteer, you are not being paid for your time.  Heck, you are lucky sometimes to get a "thank you".  For the most part it can be left up  to your own means to do whatever it is that is expected.  You do it because you care so much that you have to do something.

Almost immediately, volunteers made their way into the city; collections of supplies were brought into city; word spread over and over of what the workers on the pile needed, where a truck would leave from and when, so donations could get on the truck and into the city.

The streets were lined up with tables, tents and vending trucks; restaurants would stay open for the workers just to have a place to sit, eat and sometimes sleep.  We couldn't do enough....

So from the bottom of my heart, I thank all those people too, that looked after the well-being of those who came from near and far to hold up and help the people of New York City.

Thank You Tribute to the 9/11 Recovery Workers

Reflections on Recovery after 9/11 

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Definition of REUNITE

transitive verb
: to bring together again
intransitive verb
: to come together again : rejoin

In the days following September 11, there was a united wave that hit not just New York,  Washington, D.C., not even just in a small field in Pennsylvania.  There was a united wave that rolled out across our country, our continent and around the world.  I don't know that our country has been so united as it was since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but certainly the likes my generation had never seen.

We made a promise to NEVER FORGET.  Not only should we never forget the horrible acts of that day but we should never forget each other.  We should never forget that feeling, that want to help and look out for each other.  We should reunite and stand together, with all of our differences, as a UNITED PEOPLE.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


 This year, as we commemorate the 11th anniversary of 9/11, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum encourages you to help us uphold the solemn obligation we made never to forget the nearly 3,000 men, women, and children who perished as a
result of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Definition of REMEMBER

transitive verb
: to bring to mind or think of again <remembers the old days>
archaic a : bethink 1b b : remind
a : to keep in mind for attention or consideration <remembers friends at Christmas> b : reward <was remembered in the will>
: to retain in the memory <remember the facts until the test is over>
: to convey greetings from <remember me to her>

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


How will YOU Honor ... Who will you honor?

 I will honor the memory of that day quietly at home in Florida.  I know I will be flooded with memories of that day and the days...weeks and months, years, that followed.  On a beautiful September day 2,977 people died and thousands upon thousands of people's lives would never ever be the same. 

So much we took for granted would be tested, remembered and I think it is time to be reminded and reunited.

People, for no other reason, went to work and about their business as any other day, died.  I mean this with the utmost respect, these "people" are loved ones to someone.  They were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, partners, boyfriends and girlfriends, friends, all leaving that empty chair at the table.  I have prayed for them often.

The Firemen that answered that very first call to the towers ran in to a building on fire, as they were trained to do, as they were passing people running out.  I can't tell you how the deaths that day of 343 firemen changed my prospective of their job. I found a new appreciation for the job they do everyday for each one of us.  And those 343 men left behind many loved ones.  I pray for them and their families, as well as all active firemen.

I won't forget Father Judge either, who took off his helmet to pray over someone else and was killed.

Just for being at work that day too, Port Authority and New York Police Officers were killed that day too.  The very people that there to protect and serve, died in the line of duty.

184 people that went to work at the Pentagon died, as well as 40 people on Flight 93....

Just an ordinary day for 2,977 people and counting.


Definition of HONOR

a : good name or public esteem : reputation b : a showing of usually merited respect : recognition <pay honor to our founder>
: privilege <had the honor of joining the captain for dinner>
: a person of superior standing —now used especially as a title for a holder of high office <if Your Honor please>
: one whose worth brings respect or fame : credit <an honor to the profession>
: the center point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon
: an evidence or symbol of distinction: as a : an exalted title or rank b (1) : badge, decoration (2) : a ceremonial rite or observance <buried with full military honors> c : an award in a contest or field of competition d archaic : a gesture of deference : bow e plural (1) : an academic distinction conferred on a superior student (2) : a course of study for superior students supplementing or replacing a regular course
: chastity, purity <fought fiercely for her honor and her life — Barton Black>
a : a keen sense of ethical conduct : integrity <a man of honor> b : one's word given as a guarantee of performance <on my honor, I will be there>
plural : social courtesies or civilities extended by a host <asked her to do the honors>
a (1) : an ace, king, queen, jack, or ten especially of the trump suit in bridge (2) : the scoring value of honors held in bridge —usually used in plural b : the privilege of playing first from the tee in golf

Examples of HONOR

  1. These people deserve to be treated with honor.
  2. The team brought honor to the school.
  3. The building was named in honor of the city's founder.
  4. He was prepared to fight to defend his family's honor.
  5. She has a keen sense of honor.
  6. He would not do it as a matter of honor.
  7. He's a man of honor.
  8. It was an honor to be invited.
  9. Many of the Persians, despite belonging to the Barbarian Other, come off with honor and dignity in his pages, even during the final narrative of Xerxes' invasion. —Peter Green, New York Review of Books, 15 May 2008

Origin of HONOR

Middle English, from Anglo-French onur, honur, from Latin honos, honor
First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of HONOR

honor, homage, reverence, deference mean respect and esteem shown to another. honor may apply to the recognition of one's right to great respect or to any expression of such recognition <the nomination is an honor>. homage adds the implication of accompanying praise <paying homage to Shakespeare>. reverence implies profound respect mingled with love, devotion, or awe <great reverence for my father>. deference implies a yielding or submitting to another's judgment or preference out of respect or reverence <showed no deference to their elders>.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The day I decided to talk to a chair!

There are things that just hit me and lodge in my brain and an old man talking to an empty chair is one of them.  Before you say anything, I don't really care if he made sense to you.  To me, as he stammered, I was genuinely concerned for Clint Eastwood, and seriously wondered if he was OK.  But he was and in keeping my sense of humor, I'd like to tell you the story about "The day I decided to talk to a chair".

My chair, was a boring white Adirondack chair that sits on my patio.  I have been working on my patio since I moved in here and have been trying to add color as I go along.  I don't mean to hurt my chair's feelings but white just doesn't cut it!  I love the Margaritaville painted chairs but they are out of my league.

So over the Labor Day weekend, Sunday to be exact, I went outside with my coffee to have a talk with my chair!

I started by washing it off... and as I am bent over scrubbing, I hear this fluttering sound...I think I hear voices too... over head!  I'm talking to my chair and I hear voices... happy, excited voices!  Oh I losing it??

I look around and look up... 

 Oh thank God!!!  I love watching them slowly and almost aimlessly float around and head down below the trees... It's not something I would ever consider doing at this point but I so enjoy watching them.

Skydive Space Center

It was a perfect day for jumping and even perfect for watching!

So back to my chair... 
we were talking about how...Life is good.

and I thought... what a sunny day...

and beautiful clear blue skies....

just a wonderful glow of the sun.....

and wonderful sandy beaches....

and as we talked, my chair and I, we decided we needed a "little palm tree in our world"...

swaying in the tropical breeze....

and remembering that Life is good.

There are birds in "our" sky...

And my dog and I decided to take a walk along the beach, and of course she had to run around the waters edge!

As it was such a beautiful day, gentle waves rippled...

Happy Labor Day!!

So when I went out this morning, to check on my chair, and took a look... it needed a dune fence and some grass along the beach side.

and some grass along the arms...

As I looked....
I decided, it needed just one more thing....

But what??



The above picture and saying is borrowed from Paintin Place Decorative Art Studio, who, after the 2 chairs I've completed, has inspired me to do a mural in my bedroom!

  I shared this on the DIY Project Parade.