Tag Archives: death

Snapshot Saurday – Grave Marker

June is an incredibly hard month for me this year.  This week, especially, because June 13th marks the one year anniversary of my father’s death.  I can’t believe he’s been gone for an entire year.  There are days when I feel like I spoke to him less than 24 hours ago, and others when I feel like he’s been missing from my life for an eternity.  I’m continuing to use this month’s Snapshot Saturday Posts to pay tribute to him.  I couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute to honor this painful anniversary than a simple photo taken of his head stone.  I know you are always looking down on me and I can’t thank you enough for everything you did for me!  I love and miss you more than you could know.

Daddy's Headstone

Daddy's view

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Quest to Read Them All – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The next book on my Quest to Read Them All is the final book in another personal mini-quest.  I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books multiple times, watch the movies when they show up on ABC family, own multiple copies of each book, and can now say that I’ve read the British versions of all of the novels as well as the American ones!  In case you haven’t guessed, this week’s book is the 7th book in J.K. Rowling’s fabulous series: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I love this book!  Heck I love the whole series, but this is one of my favorites.  It wraps everything up so nicely.  I would say that even without the inclusion of the epilogue.  You get all the pieces to the puzzle handed to you in neatly crafted little packages throughout the story.  I really enjoy how J.K. Rowling managed to make the story about so much more than just Harry’s ultimate confrontation with Voldemort.

As an adult I can see the parallels to major cultural issues throughout the book (there have been many correlations to the Nazi persecution of the Jews).  As a reader I love the story for the remarkable adventure that it takes me on every time I open one of the books.  However, as a teacher I love that I can use the story to approach many difficult topics (stereotyping, bullying, prejudice and discrimination) with my students.

I also admire the inclusion of strong female characters throughout the series, but one of my all time favorite lines is in this book.  It is such a great maternal moment to see Molly Weasley step up to take on Bellatrix shouting, “Not my daughter, you bitch!”  I always secretly wished for a mom that had my back in that way, but that’s what great characters are for, right?  They fill in the blanks in our real lives.

I could spend days writing about the symbolism, characterization, personification, and epic qualities of this book.  In fact, I actually have – gotta love independent study courses!  However, what I love most about these books is that despite the infinite amounts of dissection and evaluation that I devoted to these books, they will always be great stories at heart!

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Bringing our Tree to Life

This week’s craft projects came from Pinterest, as usual…  I know, I know, it doesn’t seem like I have an original idea ever, but with so much inspiration available what am I supposed to do?  I’m working on a holiday crafting theme, and when we put up our tree I noticed that there were a couple of things missing from it – something to honor the loss of my dad, something to commemorate our new home, and something to honor the newest members of our family.  This week I set about finding a way to remedy that situation…  I found these pins:

They both seemed like things I could do myself & that we had the supplies to make, so I decided I would try.  First I made the “Someone in Heaven” Ornament.

I found a clear glass ball, a paint marker and some ribbon.

someone in heaven supplies

Then I pulled up the exact wording:  “Because someone we love is in Heaven, there’s a little bit of Heaven in our home.”   Next I started writing with the paint pen on the glass ball.  (I made sure the surface of the glass was clean and dry before I did this, so the paint would go on nicely.)

writing on glass

I liked how the words came out, but don’t love it…  I’ll probably redo this one at some point when I have more time, because I want it to be perfect, but it works for now.

photo 3

When it was dry (about 5 minutes later). I tied a ribbon to the top metal loop.

photo 4

And hung it on the tree…

photo 5

Then I went back to the crafting table (in this case the coffee table in the living room), to start on my next homemade ornament – the one to honor our first house together.  Now, this isn’t our 1st home, apartment, property purchase or anything like that, but it is the 1st house we bought together and one of the things my dad wanted most for us.  So, even though I swore up and down for what seems like forever that I wasn’t ever going to own a house, I buckled and made the leap to honor his wishes.  (I can honestly say, that it was worth it most of the time.)

For this project I also gathered my supplies: some silver Sculpey III clay, my house key, a nail, Sculpey glaze, a paint brush, a parchment lined cookie sheet, and some ribbon.

1st house supplies

I started by preheating the oven to 275 degrees, then I opened the clay, broke off two strips and started kneading it to make it pliable.

kneading the clay

Once it was malleable, I made it into a pancake shaped disc about 1/4 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter.

sculpey pancake

Then I took the key and pressed it into the left side of the circle to make an impression.

key in clay

Once I was sure you could tell it was a key, I pulled it off the mold and was left with this:

key impression

I took a small nail and made a hole at the top of the disc to attach a ribbon to for hanging.  I also used the nail to write the words “Our 1st House” next to the impression of the key and the year underneath the words.

oven ready ornament

Then it was off to the oven for 15 minutes of baking.  I also let it cool over night, so that the glaze would set without any issues.  The next morning, I glazed both sides of the ornament (letting each side dry for 30 minutes).

drying glazed ornament

When it was dry I threaded a piece of ribbon through the hole in the top of the ornament and knotted it against the clay, leaving enough slack to create a loop and bow further down to use to hang it from.

1st house with ribbon

Then it was off to the tree with this one…

1st house ornament on the tree

What other ornaments should we make, get or put on our tree?  Do you have any that are really special to you?

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Filed under check-it-off-the-list, Christmas Gifts, family drama, hunting for a new home, projecty type stuff

Quest to Read Them All – Pollyanna

Ok, so you all know that I am on a quest to read every book I own, but as I mentioned last month, I’m also trying to reread one book from my childhood a month.  Last month, I read Bridge to Terabithia.  This month’s selection was Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter.

I don’t know why I keep picking children’s books that center around death and loss.  OK, that’s a stretch, because I’m pretty sure I do know why I picked them.  In my quest to read them all, I’m reading the books in a predetermined order, the way they were placed on the bookshelf prior to packing everything away in storage, with consideration of series order.  The children’s books, on the other hand, I am choosing on an individual basis.  So I have chosen these two books with purpose.  I didn’t admit to or recognize that purpose when I selected them, but I am a firm believer in fate and subconscious (or unconscious) leanings.  My dad passed away in mid June and these stories must have connected with me on a deeper level than I even remembered.

Pollyanna is about an orphaned 11 year old girl who comes to live with her spinster Aunt.  The story centers around this young girl’s transformation of the people around her.  She helps them find the silver lining in any situation.  At this point in time, I definitely needed a refresher on this lesson.  I loved the story and am now going to have to track down a copy of the movie…

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Quest to Read Them All – Bridge to Terabithia

This week’s installment should probably have been posted on Thursday, because it is totally a throwback to my childhood.  As you probably know, I’m on a personal quest to read every book I own, and this week’s book also happens to cross over into another one of my personal challenges.  Starting this month, I’m trying to reread one book from my childhood a month for a year.  I chose to start this smaller quest with Katherine Patterson’s Bridge to Terabithia.

The first time I remember reading this book I was in 2nd grade.  My grandfather had just passed away and I was familiar with the concept of death, so my parents didn’t think the content was too far over my head.  I remember connecting with both Jess and Leslie at different points in the book, but also wanting to have the relationship Leslie had with Bill and Judith, too.  This book evoked  complex emotions for a 7 year old, let me tell you…  It still does, almost 30 years later.  This time when I went back to read the book, I was surprised by the depth of the characters and the emotional connection that they stirred in me.  Now, I know I’m still grieving over my dad, and that will always have an impact on how I view death and dieing, but Ms. Patterson handled the issue like no other in my opinion.  She gives a juvenile audience a touching way to identify with the diverse emotions and myriad of questions that surround the loss of someone very close to you.  I loved the way that the book touched on the uncertainty and the eventual overcoming of the trauma associated with an unexpected loss.  Jess grew in so many ways throughout the book, and that showed how much Leslie had touched him.  This type of connection and the growth that comes from it is the most touching part of the book, for me, because I strive to see those changes within myself each day since I lost my father.

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Snapshot Saturday – Looking Up

050 - Copy (2)

This week I went with something metaphorical, to symbolize the way my life has been heading in the last month or so.  It was really rocky right after my father passed away in June, but since then it has only shown real signs of looking up.  I’m happy, healthy, surrounded by people I love and who love me, and making strides in the right direction!  My dad is looking down on me and mine and I am happy to show him how his blessings have given me the strength to get myself back on track and looking up!

This is a photo of the Dale Chihuly glass ceiling at the Bellagio is Las Vegas, NV.

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