Friday, September 27, 2013

Resting in Him

A gentle reminder from the doctor.
A short sit in the waiting room of the Betty Ford Breast Care Center
leaning against my concerned husband.

They call my name and I follow ~ 
with a husband's worried kiss on my lips.

Pulling off my shirt.
Tying on the short cotton robe.
Sitting in a cozy room with a stone fireplace
in the company of women sharing the same attire.

Heart beating quickly.
Palms hot.
Soft laughter around me about the AC being turned on too cold.
Name called.

Standing by the TOMO machine.
Leaning forward. Clutching the handle, white-knuckled.
Feeling the squeeze.
I grimace. Clutch. Relax.
Grimace. Clutch. Relax.
Four times.
Then two more for good measure.

The waiting room is now filled with different women in the same attire.
I wait.
Name called once again.
I follow the nurse to a consultation room
where my world crashes to floor like shattered glass.

My heart races.
My hands clasp tightly in instant inward prayer.

My mind numb.
My heart races faster, faster.
I see the doctor's mouth moving.
Words are too fast, too confusing.
Too comforting.
Is he talking about my breast?

I follow the nurse to a room where the "procedure" will be done.
I nod numbly, dumbly.
Hands shaking.
Mind repeating, 
"Not me, Lord. Please not me."

I dress and walk back out to my husband's waiting arms.
Tears close.
I clutch his strong hand now.

I want to nest.
I want to keep silent.
If I open my mouth, I will cry.

This was a dream, wasn't it?

I want to forget.

Five days later...

My shaking hands hold a letter.
My eyes refuse to see what I read there.
My mind unwilling to accept.

"Biopsy needed"

No history in my family.
No surgeries in my own history.

I am petrified.
Fear swallows me whole.

Where is my God?
Didn't he hear my silent pleas and see my hands clutched in prayer?

Anger surfaces.
Spits me out from fear.
Carries me through days of hissing at God.

John 14:27

A Facebook post.
My eyes travel over each word slowly.
A feeble attempt to embrace.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. 
I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Facebook image

I allow calm to touch my heart.
I sink into it.
Just for a moment.
Gratitude trickles.

Dark thoughts immediately push back.
Calm vanishes.
Fear engulfs.

Fear is my constant companion for two full weeks.
Appetite disappears.
Knots fill my stomach.
I learn to live in denial and mock complacency.

If you say, "The LORD is my refuge," and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."
~ Psalm 91: 9-12

Procedure morning brings bigger knots.
Bigger fears.
Heart pounding.
The ride is long and quiet in the early morning light.
"The Lord is my refuge and strength...I shall not fear..." 
I repeat it in my mind.

Recovery Bay #3.
They prep me.
My husband watches with love in his eyes and concern on his face.
The familiar short gown.
The familiar wait.
A warmed blanket is wrapped around my shivering shoulders.
"The Lord is my shepherd...."

The doctor's eyes search mine for a level of fear.
His words are repetitive, like he's said them many times before.
I don't believe him.
I want to bolt from the room.

Instead, I crawl onto the table with the hole in the center.
Laying face down, I wait.
Purple and orange flowers cascade across a large picture on the wall.
I close my eyes and whisper,
"The Lord is my refuge...."
The nurse rubs my back and speaks quietly to me.
My heart pounds.
Can they hear it?

"Hold your breath, please."
X-ray after x-ray are taken to locate the correct area.

My shoulder hurts from the position I'm in.
My arm is going to sleep.
But there is no pain.
A bee sting from the Lidocaine injection
and an uncomfortableness from my awkward position on the table is all.

Forty-five minutes creep by and I climb off the table.
Warm blanket around my aching shoulders.
Surgical tape and gauze pressed to my flesh.

A smile from my love as I return to Recovery Bay #3.
A kiss of relief.
A tender, gentle hug.

Instructions to lay low for two days.
Results in four days.
Another long wait
The familiar gut-wrenching knot returns.

"Thy rod and thy staff...they comfort me...
You are with me..."

Psalms 23: 1-6

The LORD is my Shepherd. I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.  

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear not evil. For You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil.  My cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. 
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
~ Psalms 23: 1-6

I rest beside the still waters...

~  Blessings ~

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Tri-fold Triumph

My tri-fold doors have been FINALLY transformed.

These babies were giving me fits for the past several months.
I've been having a love-hate relationship with them.
Lately, it's been a more hate than love-fest over here.

I didn't know what I wanted to do with them.
Repaint them?
Move them to a different room?
Store them?
Sell them?
They seemed to be sucking the air out of this small room for some reason.
Having a small living room with limited space is very challenging,
which is typical in old farmhouses.
All of a sudden these 8 foot monsters seemed to be looming over me
and taking up precious space in here.

But I thought I'd give them one more chance in this shabby old house.

Remember how what they looked like when I brought these home from the antique market
a few years ago?

Very French cottage.

door.2.jpg (1200×1600)

Needless to say, the fabric panels were immediately tossed.
The doors were then painted a clean, creamy white
and I stapled chicken wire onto the back.

Much better. 

Until I got tired of looking at the chicken wire.

So I draped a vintage throw over it hoping to cover a bit of it up.

That worked....for a while.

Until I got tired of that, too.
So I draped more fabric over them.

Then I got REALLY sick of them.
I was ready to pitch them out the front door.

Well, after purchasing some vintage-looking wallpaper ~
(intending to paper a wall somewhere in this old farmhouse),
and after seeing that roll of wallpaper taunt me from the basket it was plunked in for months on end,
I decided to call its bluff and try something that had been rolling around in my head.

I asked my husband to cut three pieces of wood from our stash in the barn,
and I wallpapered them.
I happily wish-washed those wallpaper pieces in water and stroked them onto the wood.
I was doing the happy dance.

A day later.....they peeled off like a wet band-aid.
I stopped dancing and started frowning.


After a couple of days of frustrated frowns, I had an "aha" moment.
I pulled out my Mod Podge and glued the wallpaper back onto the wood.

Another day was good to go.

I started dancing again.

Leaping on top of the little planked table like the gymnast I am not,
 wielding my little hammer and a couple of brads,
I tapped those wood panels into place.
After securing them with the brads,
I gracefully pirouetted from the table,
stood back....

and sighed.

I finally loved them again.

They finally felt like they were part of the room instead of overtaking the room.

Why I didn't think of this before....I have no clue.


door.2.jpg (1200×1600)

But then.....


I had ANOTHER magical "aha" moment.
(It's really nice when those moments outnumber the senior ones.)

I had been wondering which wall in this old house was going to be graced with these beautiful vintage rose prints.

You know where I'm going with this, don't you?
I knew the perfect place.


It almost gives the room the cozy, creative feel of an art studio.

Or maybe resembles a vintage tapestry if you squint your eyes and use a little imagination.

Once again,
layering is the secret.
It adds color, depth, and interest to that bland little corner.

And of course, a shabby chic girl can never have too many roses in the house.

I'm still sighing...
and dancing.

There's a definite love-fest going on here at Heaven's Walk now.

~  Blessings  ~

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Dancing with Autumn

Sweet Autumn is knocking on the door of this old farmhouse ~
announcing her gentle presence with bronzing oaks and golden maples.
Whispering of the gown of  rich colors she'll be dancing in.
Singing of cool, crisp days with deep turquoise skies,
and even cooler nights with glimmering stars close enough to touch with your fingertips.

I welcome her.

The change of seasons can bring a change of heart, too.
A need to change up the rooms in our home.
A need to tuck away airy lightness for a while and embrace comforting warmth.
A need to layer colors like we layer our cool weather clothes.
We put away the pastels and replace them with deeper, richer colors
that warm our souls on cold, dark evenings.

Heaven's Walk is dancing with Sweet Autumn and singing her song.

A beautiful Florentine tray,
a gift from a beloved friend,
now sits on the old green board on the bathtub.

The rich gilding brings even more depth to the room
and is the perfect place for a bar of rose scented soap in a vintage gilt-edged dish.

A favorite RASCC patterned chair slip, 'Somerset',
was tied on to the French dining chair at the desk in my sun-filled studio.

I love its purple tinted denim color.

A lavender scarf with tatting and tassels is draped across the back and falls onto the seat...

and dusky lavender roses grace an elegant shabby chic vase nearby.

A turquoise blue needlepoint piece is tossed on to a wooden serving tray next to soft pink roses and mini carnations, adding another level of rich boho color. 

I've been physically dabbling in color, too.
A RH linen pillow slip purchased on eBay a while ago for a great price
(because the initial on it was a little wonky and a bit off center)
was originally a drab shade of dark oatmeal.

I wasn't currently using it because,
although it was once perfect for my French-Nordic decor a couple years ago,
it's neutral color didn't jibe with my shabby prairie bohemian style now.

 I dyed it with a touch of purple and a bit of denim blue.
Due to it's original color, I didn't add in any tan or taupe to the dye recipe like I usually do when wanting a dusky shade.
It turned a beautiful faded smokey shade of what I call "Prairie Plum".

It picks up the plum shades in the roses in my overdyed 'Somerset' pillow slips.

A Florentine tissue box was added to my planked side table to create a vignette of lavender, mauve, and turquoise.
The lavender prayer candles were a thoughtful gift from sweet Rachel.

And yes....I'm still working on reworking that tri-fold door....  :)

Fresh cut roses, carnations, delphiniums,
and a charming little purple flower plunked into a rustic, galvanized pail
bring deeper shabby chic autumn colors to my chippy pink planked table in the corner.

And all the while autumnal colors are blooming inside this old farmhouse,
my little girl waits patiently for her papa to come home in the fading light
on an early autumn day.

~  Blessings ~

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Stolen Moments

It's been a very busy couple of weeks here at Heaven's Walk.

~ I had very successful sale at my booth over Labor Day weekend.

~ My husband and I finished up tomato season with the last session of canning our "world famous" salsa
(over 300 jars total).

~ One corner of my basement was reorganized by demolishing an old, dilapidated cupboard 
and replacing it with some new shelving units.

~ And I filled dream catcher and wooden oversize faux rosary orders for some of my new customers.

I had the opportunity to create a new style dream catcher for Peggy who wanted a pink one with roses.
They added such a sweet, feminine touch.

My sweet "prairie sister", Julie, requested a dream catcher with a vintage,
tea-stained look.
I dyed some fabric, and as I wrapped and tied it on,
mixing it with natural wood beads and shells,
visions of endless, windswept sand dunes in the first whispers of autumn came to mind.
"Windswept" was born.

After all the selling, demolishing, canning, and creating...
I needed to kick back and chill for a while.

So, I spent a couple hours playing in my studio,
just appreciating the space where I create.

I haven't decided which room this charming little vintage lamp will end up in.
Maybe the guest room.
It found it's way home with me from the antique market last month.
After a little rewiring, it works like a charm.

I also played around with making a miniature faux rosary
with wood and glass beads after a request from a good friend.

I found a few stolen moments to sink into the pages of my new Rachel Ashwell's
Couture Prairie & Flea Market Treasures.
The entire book is amazing.
Big, bold, beautiful photographs fill each page.
It's so inspiring that I want to recreate each and every room in this old farmhouse.

It will certainly be a huge source of reference for me while continuing with the
shabby prairie boho chic look Heaven's Walk has embraced.

I feel the sudden need to wallpaper a room....

I'll just add it to my never ending "to-do" list.

~  Blessings  ~

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