Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Love is a battlefield - Just Breathe...

Thank you all very much for entering my handmade statement pillow blog anniversary giveaway. The first name drawn was Victoria from Trois Petites Filles who will get first choice from the selection of 6 hand painted silk velvet pillows. Second name drawn was Jane from Blondies Journal who will choose from the remaining 5. Please click here to pick your pillow, truly made from my heart. Please email me your choice, along with your mailing address. Congratulations on your win.

Love is not who you see yourself in, it is who you simply can't imagine yourself without.

With Valentine's Day a little more than two weeks away, my thoughts turn to love. Years ago when we had our greeting card business I designed cards for Valentine's Day. It was a huge card purchase holiday. Ours were Die cut with art in full color inside and out with a whimsical message. Valentine's Day indeed means cash registers are busy and shelves full of merchandise are emptied. But what about our family and friends that do not have a love of their own? This gave me pause, reflection and inspired my post.

When I first heard the lyrics to Pat Benatar's song "Love is a Battlefield" it was as if she was singing to me. With over a million selling records of her Gold smash 1983 hit it seems it resonated with millions of people with the below words.

"We are young, Heart-ache to heart-ache we stand, no promises, no demands, Love is a battlefield. We are strong, no one can tell us we're wrong, searching our hearts for so long. Both of us knowing love is a battlefield. You're begging me to go, then making me stay, why do you hurt me so bad. It would help me to know, do I stand in your way or am I the best thing you've had. Believe me, believe I can't tell you why, but I'm trapped by your love and I'm chained to your side."

This is a second marriage for both John and I. We truly understand how love can be a battlefield, thankfully we were lucky to discover love again. In December we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. We are fortunate to love and to continually fall deeper in love with each other over and over again. But during our 35 years we have been deeply and emotionally touched by friends and family going through breakups in their relationship. Be it through divorce or loss of a spouse or life partner because of death. It is because of those experiences my poetry of "Just Breathe ..." became very important words for me to poetically voice to anyone who has experienced love's battlefield.

With Valentine's Day approaching I wanted to express my feelings to simply say I empathize and care. Especially because for so many facing Valentines Day alone it is a difficult holiday. I get it, this past Mother's Day was very emotional for me dealing with the loss of my son.  I also thought it would be an opportunity to weave in and share a story that occurred one Valentine's evening. To let you know that although I try my best to sound graceful in my writing and poetry, in real life, I oftentimes, am a utter klutz. 

source Google

One Valentine's Day, many years ago I became John's bloody Valentine much to both our surprise. On Christmas my parents gave me a bread knife as one of my presents. A Mighty Oak bread knife, a brand I was not familiar with. Mom accentuated with much emphasis on the word mighty, I thought it strange, both in choice of gift and pronunciation. But she seemed excited with her gifting.

So on Valentine's Day after creating a Tuscan inspired culinary feast I reached into the utensil drawer and pulled out the Mighty Oak to use for the first time. Slicing into our loaf of crusty Italian bread and slicing right into the middle finger on my left hand. All I can say is thankfully the nail kept the finger tip attached. John watched as I did it as his eyes opened wider than I've ever seen flying up stairs to the bathroom and within seconds returned with Neosporin, a box of band aides and a white hand towel. Grabbing my left hand he said "we've got to wash this out".  Well... After running it under tap water needless to say he quickly drove me to the emergency room with the hand towel tightly wrapped around and me crying. Who knew Valentine's Day in the Emergency room would be such a busy place - seriously, like take a number busy. I sat down shaking as John dealt with the insurance paperwork speaking loudly and with much urgency about my klutzy injury. All I can say is when the nurse approached me I was dripping blood all over the floor and when she asked what color the towel was she declared "come with me NOW"!

The doctor examining me asked how I managed to cut myself - to which John quickly answered (in my Mothers accentuating pronunciation "with a mighty Oak" which made me start giggling as the attending doctor called the Plastic surgeon on staff to stitch me up. 18 stitches, 3 hours later, we were home eating our warmed up but yummy meal without the crusty loaf of bread. 

The following day we went knife shopping and I purchased a set of Global knives. Precision Japanese made, sharp thin blades, perfectly balanced in my hand. Plus Global is an aesthetically elegant design and I highly recommend their knives.
Oh the Mighty Oak? Never used it again!

I leave you with my poem Just Breath... see you in two weeks with a Valentine's post with cute snapshots captured in our row-home and a little Valentine's poem. 
You are a kind soulful earthbound entity trying to heal heartbroken tattered gossamer wings,
Attempting to soar fearlessly in hope of finding love again and the restorative promise it brings.

Without expectations reality exists in an unwelcome place, alone in dark murky shades of blue.
Destiny inevitably controls our future, sometimes with heartbreaking events, tragic but true.

With loss there is a break in our minds reality and our acceptance of what once was forever.
Reflection offers a fresh perspective into understanding how we are all mystically linked together.

You start to move forward, longing to recapture the feeling of a magical relationship from your past.
In healing you may make a wrong connection, a union your heart knows has no chance to last.

Just breathe...

Ultimately our most powerful and meaningful memories occur in brief measured moment's of time.
Along the way life affirming lessons are learned on the path of your souls endless journey and climb.

Despite all these obstacles and setbacks our heart will discover strength to persevere.
Belief and determination helps us move forward to find happiness without any fear.

I wonder if you even recognize the amazing beauty that dwells in your heart and longs to rid the sorrow.

Bravely you must embark in a search for love that will reward you in the future... maybe even tomorrow.

© Vera

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It all begins with a stroke that marks an interval in time...

source Google
During my first year of blogging it became a self expression from deep down inside, sharing an adventure in honestly and choosing nowhere to hide. 
Mourning a loss that rocked me to my core, postings of substance that invited conversation, bringing new friendships and rewarding me with pride.

Year two begins with a giveaway and another year of willing commitments (sans resolutions) just wait and you will see....
Row-homes and Cobblestones blog promise's writing from my heart and thought provoking posts, just read and believe in me.

I have a message, a purpose, a desire to inspire, hopefully you'll enjoy the journey as I weave my stories in throughout 2015.
Leaving you looking forward to every two weeks with a photo essay, storyline and poetry about subjects that are not foreseen.

source Google
As celebration of a new year spread throughout the world at the stroke of midnight and marked an interval of time ... people raised their glass of cheer, gave a New Year's kiss, banging on a pot or pan, perhaps blowing a New Year's party horn and celebrated with a wishful/hopeful/perhaps a drunken toast. Most making a resolution that from the bottom of their hearts they intend to keep. 

New Year's Eve found John and I home watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin as has been our choice for the past several years. Why? We find them hilarious!!! Somehow I was able to put together a meal of pan seared Scallops with a Lemon Butter herb sauce, French fingerling's, Haricot's Verts and champagne. My attire? Leopard pajamas, battling flu, tissue box in hand. Then 4 days later the flu turned into Bronchitis and my thoughts on posting on my first anniversary date of Jan. 5th quickly faded away with fever, rib and back pain from coughing ... Frustrated and too weak to accomplish my intended plans. 

source Google
I don't make New Years resolutions anymore ... but instead I make promises- commitments I have yet to break. Annually I pick a charity to support and share of myself through education, service and donations and a country throughout our globe to commit to. To seek out and purchase from in my singular effort of support and appreciation. Perhaps not to travel to, but to learn of its history.

2015 it is Alzheimers and purchasing from America. Much thought and consideration weighs into my choices. But this year it was easy with the Alzheimers choice. My Dad passed in stage 4 on Memorial Day and it truly was a long 4 year goodbye. Funding needs to support discovering more successful drugs and hopefully a cure for Alzheimers. 5 million Americans age 65 and older may have Alzheimers. In case you're wondering last year I supported and donated to Autism and my country choice was India.

Now the double 1st anniversary giveaway details. Hand painted and made by me.
Statement pillows in English, Italian and French. John will draw two names out of my favorite winter hat and first name drawn will have first choice. This giveaway is open worldwide and winners will be announced on January 28, 2015.

Silk velvet, trims, vintage and new, I will give full descriptions of each. Please remember they are free hand painted with nuances and are one of a kind, not to be created again. To enter all that is required is leaving in your comment count me in, that's it. Made with love, perfectly and totally imperfect as I kick off my second year of blogging.

I've chosen sayings for these statement pillows in English, French and Italian. I find French and Italian very romantic languages. John grew up in an Italian family, you might think he would of learned a few romantic words to flow across his lips ... But no, although he picked up all the curse words, quite fluently I might add!

I am giving a choice of 6 to choose 2 from. Each made from silk velvet that has been slightly distressed for the look and feel of vintage. Descriptions of each below, each measuring 8x14 without trim. Stuffed with hypo-allergic faux down like fiberfill, freehand painted on the front, matching velvet on the back and hand stitched closed. As I stated perfectly imperfect and made from my heart.

à la belle étoile

1.  à la belle étoile - French meaning under a beautiful star: in the open air at night. Steel grey, shimmering silver paint with numerous applications. over the i I have attached a vintage flower like star with pink stones. Vintage, never used pale grayish white bullion trim.

2.  Ti amo tesoro mio - Italian meaning I love you my darling. Vanilla cream silk velvet with many layers of charcoal grey paint with a top coat of iridescent bright silver to add dimension. French vintage never used Chenille trim from the 40's, vanilla/taupe. 

Toss them anywhere you want...

3. Once upon a time...

Numerous applications of Titanium white paint to resemble chalk on a blackboard. I sewed a vintage rhinestone button on dotting the i. White/light silvered vintage bullion trim.

Closeup photo

4. La vita è un Sogno - Italian meaning : Life is but a dream
Vanilla/cream silk velvet with numerous applications of charcoal grey paint with a top layer of iridescent bright silver. Vintage chenille cream/taupe trim.

5. il était une fois... French for Once upon a time...
Shimmering silver paint, numerous coats painted on silk velvet Steel Gray. This velvet has a silver shimmer to
it. Vintage rabbit fur Pom Poms on each corner.

Closeup of rabbit Pom Pom.

6. déjà vu = French meaning already seen. Numerous coats of Venetian Gold with a faux glaze on top letters to appear old. Silk black velvet with Gold tassels. Tassels are new.

source Google
For me it truly all begins with a stroke that marks an interval in time...

In 2014 I had an increase in dèjá vu moments. Èmile Boiric a French researcher and philosopher coined the term dèjá vu. A French word meaning "already seen". Over two thirds of adults claim to have experienced dèjá vu moments. A feeling you've already experienced the present moment. 

There are many explanations offered for dèjá vu moments such as psychic abilities, prophecy, past life experiences and a result of God revealing things to us before the event occurs. 

I believe déjà comes from the spirit. Jesus to Buddha has discussed a mind and soul connection to dèjá vu. In recent years it's been studied in psychological and neuropsychological research. My brother Kevin is a Neuropsychologist and we discussed the subject as I was planning this post. Yes, I share all my posts with family and friends. Anyway Kevin said it is being studied as a possible neurological phenomenon as seen in temporal lobe epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.

Well ... be it fact, occurrence or circumstance observed, I personally believe mine are sent by God with glimpses into my past lives. As I write about in my below poetry of Old Soul. In 2015 I hope to invite more dialog in my comments and emails so please feel free to express your beliefs. Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
(altered Google image by us)

I know I'm an old soul and have had many past lives before.
To reach complete spiritual enlightenment I need to have more.

My past lives merge into glimpses of dèjá vu memories in this one.
Reincarnations of good karma signal rebirth's of my soul are nearly done.

In this life I'm married to a man that I've lived with in another time.
Intuition and unspoken understandings tell us we have more of a climb.

Ascending into enlightenment and blissfully living in our present state of being.
Karma isn't fate but power and influence, controlling the universe is what I'm seeing.

Meditation and prayers to hopefully guide me to a higher evolved state.
Rare and odd moments of déjà vu show me I still have more of a wait.

© Vera