Category: Americana


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“I already know what you’re thinking. Who would want a used up, scratched compact with a miniature powdering puff so small. It would take days to apply my cover up! And what do the letters VF on the cover even mean?”

“Well my friends let me recount a little of my history to you and the secrets lying within me, then maybe you’ll come to see that I am in no way ordinary, but in fact extraordinary! That my scratches   are part of my charm, and why my cover bears the letters VF upon it.”

“I belonged to a woman named Vera Falvo, those are her initials engraved on my cover.  She wasn’t one for fancy, frivolous items which wasted money.  For some reason, she was drawn to me upon seeing me in the shop.  Back then, my paint was lustrous and the sunlight bounced off my gleaming mirror sending rainbows of color cascading off the surrounding walls.  I was quite a stunning sight to behold.  The intricate design created on my cover, coupled with the fresh miniature powder puff to apply the powder once contained within were an immediate draw.  The additional pocket found on my powder puff was designed for a finger to be slipped inside to apply powder effortlessly! I was quite revolutionary in design for that pre-Depression era.”

“Vera fell in love with me instantly, but being the type of woman who didn’t approve of spending money on herself, she left me at the store, heading home to care for her young children and husband.  Money was tight, I was a luxury she could certainly get by without.  That night as her family sat around the dinner table, she must have mentioned seeing me in the shop, and her husband must have picked up on the longing in her voice, because the next day I found myself lifted from the display case, carried to the counter by the shop owner, to be shown to a gruff sounding male with blue eyes as bright as the sky.  (I knew they matched the sky because I’d seen hints of it from my perch in the shop through the glass storefront window).  Then I heard the shopkeeper say,

“Sir if you’d like I could engrave your wife’s initials on the compact’s cover.”

“Why not, she deserves to have something pretty” the blue eyed man responded.

“The next thing I felt was something sharp tearing into my lovely painted cover, but when it stopped I caught a glimpse of myself in the store’s mirror on the countertop and saw I now had the letters VF inscribed on me in beautiful cursive script.  Then everything went dark as I was carefully wrapped and packaged.”

“Suddenly my darkness was brightened by the packaging being excitedly torn away and I was staring at the face of the woman who had lovingly held me in her hands, admiring me only a day prior.  She gasped with delight at the sight of me, running her fingertips over the newly engraved VF, her initials.  Then flung her arms happily around the blue eyed man sitting next to her, watching with pleasure as she unwrapped me.”

“Every day Vera took me out of the box I came in and after inspecting my intricacies, slowly, methodically applied her powder using the specially designed puff.  She even put her favorite pink hued lipstick in the lipstick holder that was attached to me and had also been engraved with her initials. Unfortunately, one day all my powder was used up as well as the lipstick.  Did Vera discard me like some useless object?  No, she kept me out to decorate the surface of her vanity.  One day I felt myself lifted up, and carried off to another part of the house. I thought this was it for me, she was going to shove me in a drawer somewhere since I had outlived my purpose.  Suddenly, I felt my little powder puff removed as I was laid on a table.  Then Vera placed something in the finger pocket of the powder puff, replaced the puff, closed me up, and returned me to my original place on the vanity.  What she placed in the pocket of my powder puff let me know she would always treasure me as special to her.  I breathed a sigh of relief, and set about watching the decades pass from my perch on the vanity. What was it she placed in my pocket you want to know? Look below in the final picture to see.”

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A photo of herself was in the pocket!

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We all are familiar with these whispy dandelion seeds.  I am betting that as a child you picked one of the bulbous flowers, squeezed your eyes tight, as your mind formulated a wish that contained your heart’s desire, then lightly blew the transparent seeds, sending them scattering on the wind’s currents.  Sound familiar?  Sure it does!  There is just something enticing about these starry shaped seeds that seems to exude magic!

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These dandelion seeds wished upon carried our childhood hopes and dreams entwined within their silky fibers.  Their presence today, even as adults, still holds a whimsical wonderment reminding us of the joyful moments spent believing in the magic found in nature.  This magic has not deserted us.  It lies deep within us waiting to be rediscovered.  Nature provides magnificent moments for us.  It is up to you to allow the magic found in nature, permission to become part of your world again.  As children we had no problem noticing the most minute details that encircled our environment.   We could haphazardly wish upon dandelion seed flowers, sending our wishes off into the atmosphere, secure in the knowledge that our wishes would be heard and materialize somehow in our lives.  Life was simple then.  Although we may have grown into adults, magic never ages,  waiting patiently for us to uncover it.  Delight in special aspects of nature, enhancing the magic moments found in something as simple as making a wish upon a dandelion seed flower! Allow the Earth’s wonder to rekindle the flame of childhood memories once more!

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Photography taken by the writer and may not be reused, copied, or altered in any manner without written consent from the writer. Thank you! 🙂

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All words when broken apart are a bunch of individual letters that when separated don’t deliver any type of impact, but when strung together, create excerpts that can resonate with the reader long after they have read a particular piece of writing! That is the magic within letters. They can unite to create a poignant piece of poetry, or a riveting edge of your seat thriller of a story. Letters combined into words can elicit immense emotional responses from an individual coupled with the tone and the manner in which one delivers them. These tiny insignificant letters are not insignificant at all! When presented in sentences such as, “Will you marry me?” They cause a euphoric reaction within an individual. They can cause intense pain when presented in sentences such as “You are fired!” Letters are powerful when united into words. Be sure to use yours wisely!

As a previous kindergarten teacher, I had the pleasure of introducing children to the magic created when combining letters to form words. This initial introduction for children to the concept of taking individual letters to create words, and from there form sentences, paragraphs, stories, and so on, is essential. Teachers are entrusted with the task of educating tomorrow’s leaders. The elementary process of connecting letter sounds together to formulate words may be something many people have long since forgotten about because it is practically innate in us. These new learners however must be enlightened to the secrets behind creating words using 26 letters. Their journey to incorporating letters into words has just commenced!

If you ever enter a kindergarten classroom you will see the alphabet prominently displayed for these eager new minds. Additional posters on how to correctly print these letters, along with cute eye-catching pictures depicting characters whose names begin with each letter of the alphabet to help students make the letter-sound connection, are seen gracing the walls of the classroom. Last year, courtesy of Pinterest, my colleagues and I took the letter craze one step further. We built crate seats for the work centers and found fabric depicting the letters of the alphabet to cover the seats with. This is what you see pictured above. The students now had another additional reminder of letters whenever they went to work centers! Letters may seem small and unimportant when encountered individually, but together their importance and strength comprises endless possibilities! Letters are small but mighty!

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Ever have one of those days when you are so sad, it seems to make your whole body droop?  Even doing the simplest routine things seem like a challenge.  You just feel down in the dumps and can’t seem to shake them.  Is there a way to find reprieve from your gloomy countenance? Most definitely!  The first thing you need to do is think of something you enjoy doing, it could be a  hobby such as singing, dancing, painting, drawing, or baking.  Sometimes even going for a short walk to clear your mind and get fresh air can be enough to chase those blues away!  Whatever you choose to do to escape the blues, make sure it is something that brings you great joy.  That’s the only way to successfully rid yourself of sadness propelling you back to a life of enjoyment, a life of happiness.

What do I do to chase away the blues you might wonder? I take photographs in nature.  Something about being outside,  standing under an immense sapphire sky, surrounded by nature’s beauty, just makes my problems see insignificant in the great scheme of things.  The fresh air fills my lungs rejuvenating my body and mind.  I walk through the wooded path behind my house which opens up into a vast field.  As I walk I photograph the brilliant sun poking its way through densely populated trees. I observe and capture through my camera lens birds flying in a V-formation high overhead, see a hawk soaring majestically against the blue sky, appreciate the unique way trees grow in every direction, majestically reaching so high they appear to touch the sky!  I notice reflections in the pools of water created from all the melted snow, photograph random groupings of leaves, which are remnants from fall which survived the winter, and most of all I am constantly amazed by the different cloud formations which become drenched with color due to the brilliant sun streaming through them.  If lucky I may even see a lightly hued rainbow or a rainbow shimmer which encompasses those seven magnificent colors in a compact mini form within the clouds. 

Yes, photography is my way of chasing the blues away.  How can one possibly be sad when they are surrounded by so much natural beauty?  Seeing the world through my photography lens gives me a “natural high”, allowing me to move forward with my life, and face whatever comes my way with a strong, positive outlook!

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*Photos in this posting are a combination from walks this past week.  They display some of the interesting photos in nature I uncovered! Enjoy! Also please do not copy, reproduce, distribute, or alter these photos in any manner as they are the sole property of the original photographer

Daily Post Prompt Beating the Blues

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You know you’ve all done it! You see a fountain resplendent with light illuminated by the sun and it lures you over.  Glancing along the bottom of this fabulous source of water, you see glinting pennies lining the bottom, representing wishes of those that had lingered beside this same fountain.  Here they stood eyes squeezed shut, heart filled with hope, and tossed their penny or two gleefully into the fountain hoping that their wish would be heard, causing their secret desires to become reality. 

As a smile plays across my lips I reach into my pocket, producing two shiny pennies. Much like those before me I squeeze my eyes shut, pause, taking a moment to languish in the hope of  wishes coming true, then open my eyes and send my two pennies sailing through the air.  They land in the fountain with a satisfying plunk, immersing themselves in the watery depths, co-mingling with all the other hopes and wishes.  I turn, walking away with a light heart.  What was it that I wished for you may be wondering?  That wish is between me and those two pennies! 🙂

Daily Post Daily Prompt

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My first memories I have of my first home conjure up images of well-worn hardwood floors, a cushioned chair in the shade of goldish-yellow with sturdy arm rests made of wood, a small tv set in a deep brown colored tv stand that also held books an either side, and long filmy curtains in the windows.  I was two and we lived in an apartment on the second floor of a two story home.  The building was owned by my grandfather.        
My first home was full of life.  There was me, a noisy two year old running around in shoes that echoed off of the hardwood floors, followed closely by my constant companion, our German Shepherd named Columbo, whose nails clicked and clacked on the hardwood.  I couldn’t say his name correct, being only two so I settled for calling him “Bumbo” instead.  There were cousins, family members, and friends coming and going in that little apartment.  My dad would come home from work to crawl all over the hardwood floors with me riding proudly upon his back.  Meanwhile my mom would be cooking or baking something delicious that would waft enticingly from the kitchen. 

I remember the metal radiators, snake like in their coils, how they emitted such warmth throughout the little apartment.  It was always nice and cozy there!  I also remember the smell of the wood vanish used to clean the hardwood floors.  How it seemed to take forever for it to dry, keeping me and “Bumbo” off the floors and interrupting our games of imagination. 

That apartment is still around and still owned by my family.  A testament to time standing still somewhat.  

Daily Post Prompt Home

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Legacy of a Lifetime
     My dears, days of sunrises draw to an end,
before breath fails me, there’s a message I must send.
     On these precious pages, exist tales you need to know,
stories recounting accomplishments, highs and lows.
     Lessons learned, mistakes made,
please listen closely, time will too soon fade.
     Read this retelling, take what it says to heart,
grant this final request, before our lives must part.
     Share the words imparted, with both young and old,
they must remember who I was, my story needs to be told!
    Dreams, hopes, wishes, discovered upon these pages,
my greatest writing masterpiece, shared repeatedly throughout the ages!
     When from this Earth I become, a mere memory,
this book will remain behind, as my lifetime legacy!

*The Daily Post prompt was to share what you would leave as your legacy.  I feel the reason I became a writer was so my legacy to future generations would be a lifetime of learning to love literature and to hopefully inspire many others to become writers and find a love for the written word as well.  This prompt really makes one think.  What would your legacy to future generations be?
Daily Post Prompt Legacy

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Ah, the sky! Both mysterious and wonderous in its ability to create natural beauty.  It has been said that if you take in the calming blue hues seen above, your mood improves.  I feel this is definitely possible.  But when the sun starts to set, creating a kaleidoscope affect of color, that’s when I feel the sky truly comes alive!! As a photographer, we are trained to look for those moments of beauty in nature, ones that are so magnificent, you’re left awestruck.  The extraordinary ability of the sky to create displays of color, unique cloud formations, and the manner in which the sun shoots trajectories of light down to Earth make it one of my favorite natural phenomenon to photograph.  Enjoy the inspiration resulting from the brillance of the sky!!

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#skyphotography #kaleidoscopeofcolors #sunsetphotography #landscapephotography #inspirationalimages #naturephotography

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The first flakes of snow always bring to mind a sense of hope, happiness, and anticipation for what’s to come.  Will those crystallized flakes amount to anything?  Will they be the sole members of a requited blanket of white,  making not enough of an impact to affect your daily routine? Or maybe they are the beginning of what will be a magnificent winterscape! Below details the rapid accumulation of snowflakes experienced today in my neck of the woods.

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A few sparse flakes are visible.

A few sparse flakes float through the sky.

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The amount of snowflakes greatly increases within seconds!

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The ground starts to become blanketed with a light dusting.

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Continuous snowfall quickly accumulates, covering the ground with several inches.

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Several inches of snow have gathered blanketing the ground in white beauty!

Do you have a wonderful photograph of today’s snowstorm? Please share it with our community of followers! Send a link to your post to this site to share beautiful winter wonderland photography and be sure to stay warm and cozy today! 🙂

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She’s always been there for you since the moment you were born.  Growing up she was the one who kissed all your boo boos, placed special inspirational notes in your lunchbox, and made you feel like you were the world to her.  She attended special events throughout your life, was your biggest fan and source of encouragement as a child,  yet allowed you to experience all of  life’s offerings, and to learn from your mistakes.  She was there to inspire you to dream, to achieve,  to reach for that brass ring in life!  She offered comfort to your wounded young soul, when the world didn’t realize how unique and special you were.  Growing up, you wanted to be just like her, trying on her high heels, and acting grown up.  She was your idol at five years old.

In your teenage years your mom’s role became that of an advisor for your young, careless mind.  She gave advice on situations ranging from false friends, to mending broken hearts.  She had been there before and imparted her wisdom gained from experience to you.  She became a confidante, for a blossoming teenager, struggling to make sense of the world.  She supported your choices, allowing you to find your own path in life, celebrating your accomplishments, and offering you a shoulder to lean on when life took an unexpected turn.  She was front and center,  supporting your various interests, and usually driving you to lessons and practice since you didn’t drive until you were seventeen! 🙂  Her faith in you was unwavering, glowing with pride at the woman you were becoming.

Upon entering adulthood your mom took on yet another role, that of friend.  When something occurred in your life, good or bad, she was the first person you called.  Every joy, every setback, she took in never judging, only offering a kind ear to listen to your triumphs and troubles.  My mom, my friend, is still my hero as a grown woman because she has the ability to still make a grey sky seem blue.  She is able to right my world, when things seem bleakest, by uttering only a few worlds of encouragement.  While we are separated by miles now, when I pick up the phone to talk to her, I am transported back beside her again.  Distance doesn’t  dull the connection we have, nor does time apart change how I feel about our relationship!  No matter what happens in my life, I know I can always count on her support, love, and guidance to see me through whatever life throws at me!    Looking back on my life, I see how much my mother influenced the person I have become today.  Because of her quiet caring, and ability to let me become the person I was meant to be,  my life has been my own.  The ultimate act of love between a mother and her child is to teach them enough so that they may fly off one day on their own, caring with them the love and lessons imparted to them by their mom.  My mom has taught me a lot about life, people, and the world, someday I hope to impart her teachings to future generations!  Until then I know she will be here for me when needed, which is why my mom is still my hero today!

Thank you for all your guidance and love mom!:)

 

http://pensivewriter2013/2014/01/11/wp.me/p23sd-hiS/my-mom-friend-advisor-idol-hero/

 

 

 

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