Monday, April 06, 2015

Two Down & Ten To Go

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Holidays... two down (our anniversary & his birthday)...

and ten more to go...all the rest of the year's celebrations to come, when my sweet husband will be so sadly missed.

I didn't feel much like celebrating Easter this year but decided for the sake of the grandkids, 
I needed to do something to make it special, as they miss their Poppi Ernie, too.  


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The cupcakes were made with Duncan Hines *Pink Velvet* cake mix (tastes like vanilla) 



and the frosting was marshmallow fluff buttercream.   
Recipe for frosting HERE  

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Malted milk ball eggs & some choco. bunnies, chicks & baby lambs added to the fun.

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I even found butter in the shape of a lamb!!!

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Pink Bunny Peeps in Twinkie race cars held the monogrammed pennants, which indicated where each person was to sit.

We even made one for my oldest grandson, who is away at college.  It felt strange to set the table for only 5 people instead of the usual 7.  *big sigh*


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I found it easiest to assemble the racers right ON the salad plates & to only do one side at a time. 

I used royal icing (powdered sugar & water) to attach the marshmallows, which were cut in half with scissors dipped into boiling hot water.

I found the M&M *hubcaps* stuck nicely to the cut side of the marshmallows.


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Colorful placemats & colored stemmed bubbles glasses added lots of spring like color to the table.

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I embroidered some sport & tea towels as gifts, too.
Designs are from Applique Corner.

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I liked Charlie's the best...



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he's been playing indoor baseball all winter long, so it was most appropriate!



twinkie racer place cards collage

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House & letting me share my family's Easter gathering.
I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for her Tablescape Thursday party.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

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I received this gorgeous floral bouquet last week
from a dear friend,
(Thank you, Judy!)
on the morning of my husband's funeral.
We held his Mass of the Christian burial last week on what would have been my sweethearts 89th birthday.
I delayed his interment so that his youngest son could have time to fly home from Australia &
it also would not interfere with the impending birth of his oldest son's first grandchild.

Ernie's Funeral Mass

























By blogging about the details of this day, I hope that my grandchildren (who were all there)
will remember & understand all the meaningful choices that went into making this day special.

His ashes were encased in this hand-painted wooden box with golf motif...a gift from my little sister.
Thanks Ruth E!  I heard lots of nice compliments on how cool & very unique it was.


Ernie's box

I chose the song "Christ Be Beside Me" for the entrance song & you can listen to it on youtube here:


My friend, Nicole, told me about it, as well as the reading about doctors from the Old Testament,
in the Book of Ecclesiasticus, Sirach 1-16. 
It was a perfect selection.  Thank you, Nicole!


I also included the song, Panis Angelicus,
(Bread of Angels) during Communion,
as it was a favorite of both he & his mother. 

They followed that with the Ave Maria, which was one of my father's beautiful solos.
He sang it at my daughter's wedding as well as at many funerals, after he retired. 
He had a gorgeous voice!

Each of these songs are so meaningful to our family, 
that they never fail to bring tears to my eyes.


navy insignia

My husband joined the Navy, right out of high school, during WW II.
His two older brothers were already serving in the Navy...both had thankfully survived the amphibious landing in Anzio beach, Italy.

When my husband's appendix ruptured,
while he was in the service,
he was one of the first persons to ever receive the new drug, Penicillin back in the '40s.
It literally saved his life!

Because of his service to his country, my husband was entitled to be buried in a National Veterans Cemetery.

I chose the one nearest to our home, which is Ohio Western Reserve in Rittman, OH.

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This is the bell tower that you see upon first entering the cemetery.

bell tower at cemetary

The row upon row of perfectly spaced headstones is an impressive site!   Such precision!

grave flags

burial vaults

My husband's ashes were sealed into one of these stone vaults, where there is room for me to join him
when my time comes.

 To go between our names & dates, I chose the inscription "In God's Hands".

half mast

The flag was lowered to half mast & a lone service member played taps...guaranteed to bring one to tears!

The service members are all volunteers from local area VFW posts, who take turns spending two days per week to help honor their fallen brothers.

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folded american-flag

They had an honor guard, standing at attention along the walkway to the pavilion, waiting for us to arrive along with two members of the Navy, who stood at attention & waited to carry in his cremains & his flag.

After taps, the two uniformed members of the Navy, wearing white gloves, performed the folding of the flag.
They make each of the traditional 13 folds with perfect precision as we looked on in tearful silence.

The flag folding ceremony along with the gun salute was one of the most powerfully moving & impressive displays of patriotism that I have ever witnessed!  It was a tremendously beautiful tribute.

His Navy representatives presented me with his folded flag, along with a little bag containing the casing shells from the gun salute.

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I have them sitting on his favorite chair at the moment but intend to soon purchase a wooden case to properly display them.

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A dozen white roses were beside his portrait & ashes on the church's alter & a friend brought them home for me to enjoy afterwards.

The single red rose was to represent my undying love for him.
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They still look beautiful on the dining room table beside our wedding photos & one that was taken on a cruise.

We look so happy & I have such wonderful memories of all the good times we shared.

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I just noticed the single red rose on the main table at our reception.  I didn't remember it until just now.

I carried an arm full of calla lilies & I was amazed at how many of the sympathy cards I received also had calla lilies on them.  Coincidence?  

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He will always be my hero, for the way he lived his life. 

 One of the readings at his Mass was from 1 Corinthians 13:4 because it described Ernie & his character so beautifully.  He was all of these things & more.  I can only hope to live the rest of my life, emulating his example.
 
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails."


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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ready for St. Patrick’s Day

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 Today is Cuisine Kathleen's 7th Annual St. Patrick's Day Blog Roll & I just couldn't miss it,
even though I don't feel much like celebrating this year. 

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 I've set a small table with my new Royal Tara tea set. 
I have service for 6 in this delicately thin bone china, made in Galway, Ireland.

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The flatware is new...a gift from my husband for our Valentine's Day anniversary.
He told me to pick out something I wanted & I've always wished I had some utensils with gold on them, to coordinate with all my gold banded dishes.

It is by Mikasa & is called "Cameo Gold". 
I give Mary, who blogs at "Home is Where the Boat Is", full credit for telling me about it in THIS POST.
Thanks Mary!

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My daughter found two of these pretty cross-cut vases for me. 

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The cream pitcher & sugar bowl are beautifully shaped.

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These pretty green water goblets were used on a different table for my family last weekend.
The tablescape wasn't anything special but I thought the glasses photographed beautifully.

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Gotta have some matching candy, too!

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I have this card from my sweet husband, sitting on the baker's rack.
He first signed it in 1988 & re-gifted it to me every year after that, dating it each time.
Such a cute gesture...my parents used to do the same thing.  

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 I treasure all the cards he gave to me over the years & I'm so glad I kept most of them.
They have brought smiles & laughter along with a few tears to my days & have help me to feel like he is still here with me in spirit.

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today & please go visit Cuisine Kathleen's party...always lots of fun to see all her GREEN.