Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Embracing A Tree That Isn't 'Normal'...

I wasn't sure she'd be embracing a Tree that isn't 'Normal' since she ran so much opposition to it the other day and went completely Mental about it.  But she Surprised me by voluntarily assisting me to Create the Burlap and Dyed Seam Binding Garland, threading Seam binding Ribbon thru all of the Architectural Salvage Ornamentation and thoroughly Enjoying the Partnership of Decorating a Tree that clearly wouldn't be 'Normal'!  *Smiles*

With the Curiosity of a Cat, Miss Priss Supervised from her Windowsill ledge and eventually came indoors to join us, since she simply had to engage in whatever her Humans were up to in here!?  *LOL*  She's never bothered any Tree we've had but she is Curious about The Process of putting it up and Decorating it, then she totally Ignores it as if it isn't even there anymore.   Much like the Guys do! *Smiles*

Yes, The Young Prince and The Man came by with brief "Whatcha Doing?" Curiosity as well, then wandered off because they're just not that Into it.  Which is Fine because Princess T and I can get it all done much faster without the Guys running interference and getting in our way.   This year it was all about getting it all up within a couple hours, which included the time delegated to Creating the Burlap Garland and the Seam Binding Ribbon Ties on the Architectural Salvage Hardware.

With Mom passing so close to the Holidays I just wasn't up to unpacking Seasonal Decor and hunting for anything.   We utilized whatever Vintage Bohemian Beauty Images and Vintage Family Photos we could locate easily.  Princess T thoroughly Enjoyed sorting thru the boxes of Old Photos with me to choose which would go on the Tree this year.

We mostly used Vintage Art Deco Period Doorplates, many made of Copper and Circa 1920-1930's Eras.  They are very Ornate and each pair are of a different Design.   I added some small Pulleys and Spigot Knobs, Vintage Religious Cards and European Religious Icons, Mini Cigar Box and Religious Scroll Holder... whatever happened to be on hand.

I found Old Photos I didn't even realize I'd Inherited, such as the one of my Welsh Nanna standing on the steps of the Airstream Trailer we lived in when I was a Child.   Yes, my Nanna is wearing Hotpants... she had spent years on Stage in the Theater as a Singer, Actress and Dancer, so even as a Grandmother she could totally Rock any Ensemble and go Glam.  She even Won a Glamorous Grandmother Award when I was little!  

Our Treetop Star is Created from a Vintage collapsible Ruler... if the Christmas Tree had been any taller I wouldn't have been able to get it up there!  *Smiles*  As it was, standing upon the small Step Stool of Death, which only has two steps and is probably only eighteen inches off the ground, I was almost having a Panic Attack and having Princess T hold tightly to my legs to make me Feel Safer and Steadier!   *Bwahahahaha!*

Yes, she was laughing hysterically as she stabilized me so I wouldn't fall and break a hip or something.  *LOL*   I wasn't even on the second step, I was still on the first step you see, so I think mebbe I was only six inches or so off the ground, but that still gives me major Anxiety and Panic.  But we can't send The Man up Ladders anymore, after the Accident and TBI he lost all Balance.   And The Young Prince hasn't been Feeling well, as we continue to wean him off his Psyche Meds... so he had slept most of the day after coming Home from School.

Most of the Old Photos I'd located of my Dad were taken during his numerous Deployments during his long Military Career.   He used to be Deployed a lot during the Holidays and would send pixs Home to us in Holiday Cards, so these are particularly Poignant Memories.   In the above Image he was deployed to Murphy Dome, Alaska in the Sixties.  Tours at the Radar Surveillance Station were limited to one year because of the psychological strain and physical hardships.  It was finally Closed in the Eighties.

In this Old Family Photo Dad had just come back from his Deployment and one year Tour to Vietnam during the War.   I remember it being a very stressful Christmas that year because TV News was just then beginning to show Live Coverage of the War and you Prayed you didn't see your Loved One in the Casualties and Carnage being broadcast!   I remember making my Dear Mom all the more distraught by cutting all of my knee length hair off and Selling it to a Wig Maker that year... she'd never cut my hair.

Princess T and I decided to mostly use the Black and White or Sepia Tint Old Photos rather than Color to give everything a more Vintage Vibe.   She really began diggin' the Styling of this year's Christmas Tree as it came together and agreed that perhaps we could have a 'Normal' one some other year... Yes, she was Embracing it wholeheartedly now.

We found Images of my Paternal Grandparents with some of their Horses and Mules.   I never met my Paternal Grandfather since I think he passed before I was even born and my Dad barely knew him, but I understood that he used to breed Racehorses.   Since so few Images of my Dad's Father exist I Cherish the only three that Dad had and gave to me.

Since Thanksgiving is soon approaching there is much to be Thankful for and I'm particularly Mindful of that right now.  We'll be having The Son and his Family over for the Thanksgiving Meal at our house again this year.  So we wanted to get the Christmas Tree up and start the Decorating for Christmas, while still retaining some of the Autumn Vibe until after Thanksgiving is over.  So right now the Seasonal Decor is in Transition and bit of both Seasons.

I will continue with the Finale' Post of the Sweet Salvage Event later... so this is just a brief interruption in Topic and Subject matter.   I had such Nostalgia digging thru those Photo Boxes and finding the Old Photos of extended Family, my Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins, Parents and Brother... from many years ago.   So many Memories to relive and to Share with my Grandchildren when they asked who everyone was in the pixs, where and when it was taken?

Since we lived such a Nomadic Life until I was a Middle Aged Adult, often we kept in touch with Family and Friends thru Letters and Shared Photos because actual visits were rarely an option.   Back in those days even long distance calls were not always possible or affordable and there was no Internet.  Moving constantly and not having put down roots anywhere in particular made it hard to cultivate relationships in person, so you did it in other ways to stay in touch and keep caught up with everyone's lives.

I remember that when people asked where we were 'From' we would simply reply 'Which Year?'  *Smiles*   Because that was all that was relevant to us... as to where we'd just COME 'From' and not being 'From' any place in particular that was 'Home'.    Home was where ever we all happened to be at that point in time.   Often we were separated because of Dad's Military Commitments and unaccompanied Tours of Duty during the Twenty-Seven Years he Served his Country.

And then we did the same when I Married The Man, since he was a Career Military Man as well, with Thirty-Nine years of Military and Dept. Of Defense Service to Country.   I wouldn't trade those Rich Experiences and Travels that Lifestyle afforded us though and I'm extremely Proud of our extended Family's many Veterans.  

We still have many extended Family that don't live close... spread across the United States and Internationally.   So we've never actually had very many Holidays where we could all be together to Celebrate or have a reunion.  But we'll still be Thinking fondly about all of them from across the Miles this Holiday Season.

I remember that for my Mom the Holiday of Thanksgiving was a Foreign one to her Culture so it was something she Embraced when she moved to America and made this her Home.   She rarely cooked a Thanksgiving Meal, that was always Dad's Wheelhouse since he was a Master Chef and often made the Meal for everybody and Invited many to his Home for Thanksgiving.   And after Dad passed I'd always either invite her to join us or bring over the Thanksgiving Meal to her house and we'd all visit later that day.

We've deviated from some of the Traditions and Rituals of Thanksgiving over the years.   Sometimes we all get together and eat out... sometimes we take turns preparing the Meal or going to each other's Homes for the Meal.  Dad actually was actively dying right around Thanksgiving the year that he passed. So that was the very first year we ate out for Thanksgiving Dinner out of necessity to be close to the Hospice and On Call.  He passed shortly after Thanksgiving and his Birthday, he had actually been born on a Thanksgiving Day.

I do think about which Traditions and Rituals we're passing down and our Grandchildren might keep?   Or which new ones they might add to their own Holiday Celebrations and adopt?   And speaking of Adoption, Yesterday the 21st, was the First Anniversary of me Adopting The G-Kid Force!  Wow how Time flies, it still seems so recent!  I had wanted to Celebrate it, they did not, so I respected that Wish to downplay it since it is a bittersweet milestone and decision we were forced into as a Family.

I do Believe it has made Life easier Post-Adoption than being a Kinship Placement and having them be Wards Of The Court.  With all of that mandatory bureaucracy that was so stressful and made life difficult and felt so insecure and created many hardships.  So I Celebrate that now being Legally their Parent, I have more Rights to make all of the important decisions on their behalf now without Strangers overriding everything and Controlling their Destinies.

I remember how Supportive my Parents always were about the Custodial arrangement we decided upon as a Family when The Man and I began raising another Generation.   My Dad had helped to raise younger Siblings and support them when his Mom was Widowed.  He had also stepped in, with Mom, to help me raise my Children when I was a Single Parent.   To us Family is everything and if it takes a Group Effort to get the job done of raising the Children, so be it.   My Maternal Grandfather was actually co-raised by a Chinese Family when his Mother became a WWI Widow.  And it is my understanding that my Paternal Grandfather was a Foundling.

The Family Unit can take many forms and ours has done so over numerous Generations.   This is also why I Celebrate any Family Unit and offer Sincere Support in however they structure their Families, no matter how Non-Traditional it may be.   After all, Public Opinion does not make a Family.   And if some refuse to recognize or accept your Family Unit, that is their Issue.

I Enjoyed seeing some of the Old Photos of the Cars and Homes our various Family Members had over the years.   I remember riding in some of those Vehicles... and living in or visiting some of those Homes.   There are times I'd like to go back and see if some of those Historic Homes are still standing?  But just in case they're not, perhaps it's best that I just Imagine they are.

Have you ever been able to go back?   I have not... not to any place I used to live Overseas or in various other States I once lived in the Past.   But I have used Google Earth to Virtually Visit some of the areas just to see what it all looks like now and how much I can still recognize or what has changed.  Technology is a Wonderful Thing that way... making once Impossible things Possible at least Virtually.

It's actually Interesting to see some things from an Adult perspective all these years later, if that location is only from the Memory of me as a Child.   What you saw thru Childlike Eyes can be different than how you see it as an Adult, especially many, many years later.   I didn't remember any place we lived as being Poor... but in reality some of it actually was, looking back... we just didn't know it so we always Felt Rich.  *Smiles*

I Believe our Parents helped to Convey that sense of being Rich even if there was lack.   Being very Creative Souls they always made our Homes quite Unique and Welcoming.   They always made the very best with what they had and they always placed Value and a Message upon the Important aspects of Life... primarily the People in their Lives, especially Loved Ones.   People first, then money, then things.

Love, Integrity, Generosity and Good Stewardship were their Foundation and that is a mighty sturdy one to Build upon.   It is a Foundation that will Last and stand the test of Time.   It is Important to Assess one's Foundation of Life and see what you're Building upon?

Yes, this Thanksgiving I am Truly Thankful for the Family I have... the Friends I have... the Faith I have... and the Foundation I have Built our Lives upon, the Cornerstone of which those who came before us laid.   I am Missing those who aren't Present this Holiday Season, but they are always in my Heart, my Memories, my Thoughts and my Prayers.

And I'm looking forward to spending Quality Time with those who can be Present with us this Holiday Season so that we can Celebrate Together as a Family.    And I Sincerely Hope your Holiday will be equally Memorable and that you have much to be Thankful for as well my Friends?

And now after a long Afternoon of Decorating we're turning in for the Night, having Accomplished a lot in half of a Late Afternoon!   Princess T and Miss Priss are actually Camped Out right beside the Christmas Tree with the Fairie Lights Twinkling upon them as they now slumber.  It's a sight that Warms my Heart and is the Essence of the Holiday Magic, Enchantment and Spirit of the Season.

And may your days also be Merry and Bright my Friends and the Love of Christ be with you always.


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your tribe. You had me at Frida. I love your tree, all the memories and vintage goodness combined. Hallelujah..Princess T had a great day with her guiding light.

    1. I know, Frida was so ahead of her time wasn't she? Thank you for the Sweet words and may you also have a Wonderful Thanksgiving with much to be Thankful for... Dawn... The Bohemian

  2. Your tree is beautiful! and your stories that you share of your family are so special. . .I really enjoy your blog because you are such a REAL person. I think you know what I mean. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Dawn!

    1. Glad you Enjoy the Stories of Mi Via Loca *Winks* and yes, I try to keep it 100% Real around here. I think we can make deeper connections when we relate to the Human Experience with candor and commonalities of dealing with Life without pretense. I do Hope you too have a Wonderful Thanksgiving and I Appreciate the Sincere Compliment... Dawn... The Bohemian

  3. Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Anniversary of Adopting the Kid-Force. OMG, I am SO in love with that tree.

    1. Thank You, yes I had my quiet little internal Celebration of the Adoption Anniversary... I knew for the Children it's bittersweet tho' even if nothing has really changed and they have access to their Parents and know it was really a Legal Formality to protect them and give me more rights since I am raising them. I'm kinda in Love with our Tree this year too... smiles... Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving... Dawn... The Bohemian

  4. Your tree is really beautiful and magical. BTW, normal is boring and says little.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Dawn, with your family.

    1. I agree that Normal is so boring and I'd rather be called Crazy than Boring any day. *winks* As it turned out she realized that doing things outside of the box can be way more Creative and Fun with Interesting results that most Appreciate way more than the Expected. Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving too and Thank You for the kind words... Dawn... The Bohemian

  5. Replies
    1. Yes it was and it was so easy peasy that it was not the least bit stressful, which is my Goal this Holiday Season, to keep it Simple and Stress Free. Thanks for coming by my Friend and may you have a Wonderful Thanksgiving with much to be Thankful for... Dawn... The Bohemian

  6. OH DAWN< this is my favorite. What a beautiful memory tree. Of all the scrapbookers out there, why has someone not done this. I think this is just superb, personal and thoughtful.
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and I'm thankful for you my friend and your sharing/creativity!

    1. I am such a Sentimental and Nostalgic Soul that Memory Trees are always my Favorite... and also added Salvage Elements that have a significant meaning as well. All of these Old Hardware pieces have a Historic significance and some were overstock of Old Hardware left in outbuildings at the Old Property so hold an even more significant personal meaning to us. You too are a Special Blog Friend and I also Wish you a Wonderfully Memorable Thanksgiving... Dawn... The Bohemian


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl