The Upside-down Burning Chair

Yes, this is a photo of a burning chair, and kind of sad, but I’m thankful for it. Being an antique dealer and lover of all things old, I have a deep respect and honor for old, inanimate objects like pieces of furniture, trinkets, jewelry, photos and crystal. What do I mean by honor? Well, a long long time ago, in a land called, “antique” furniture and other items were made by hand. Carvings were just that, literally carved by hand, not manufactured. China tea cups were painted with the greatest care. It is a fascinating world of beauty and craftsmanship.

I have foundmyself sitting at marked up old kitchen tables with obvious wear marks and wondered, as my fingers ran across the surface, who sat here? Did they drink coffee in the morning? Beer or wine with dinner? Did they tell family stories and argue about who was washing the dishes and play poker?


Antique mirrors intrigue me too. As I gaze at my own reflection I wonder who else has looked into this beautiful mirror and checked themselves out? Does this fit? Is this a good color? Am I pretty? Will he like it? Did she have self doubt of great confidence?


Check out my blog, The Brow Bag Letter to see my appreciation for antique photos, they slay me. Most photos are anonymous that are still here with us today. Names unknown, people forgotten. So yes, I honor inanimate objects without apology.

Imagine me, the one that loves and honors antiques burning a 100 year old chair in my fire pit. I do try and re-purpose or refinish what I can, but this one was without hope. The caning was ripped and it had some breaks in the wood. Truly not savable, so yes, I burned it. As I placed it in the fire and felt the warmth of the embers, I wondered, who sat in this chair? I sat and relaxed with a glass of wine and contemplated the possibilities, which of course reminded me of special memories.

Sometimes memories seemed burned up or long forgotten, like the people in antique photos, then something triggers a memory, and you are THERE. again, in your mind as if it is just happening.

This chair remind me of:

Coffee with Mom on a Saturday morning and sitting at the table while she ironed Dad’s shirts. There were many great conversations about family, love, boyfriends and girly silliness and giggles.

The day a man from Church that stopped by the house and I invited him in for a cup of coffee. As we sat there in the kitchen talking, my incredibly friendly German Shepherd was growling every time he lifted his cup. Evidently Corey didn’t think he was trustworthy and was very protective. Grrrrrrrrr

My hubby and I met at a local park, and we sat on a bench getting to know each other, I think it was around five hours later that we finally got up!

When your memories are triggered, I hope they are wonderful! Learn from the bad & hurtful ones, and don’t let it happen again! Be empowered to make change happen. Appreciate the ones you are reminded of all the time. Enjoy those that sneak up on you. Relive the moment and think, how can I create memories that are this special for someone else? Who could I share my life with that would be blessed if 40 years later they are “there again” via memory?

I appreciate the burning upside down chair. I’m thankful for those who sat in it for many years. (Considering the shape it was in, it must have been well-loved). I could ask what triggers your special memories, but I think I’ll be more specific . . . in honor of the burning chair. What special memories do you have that involve a chair?

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

Please visit my other blog: The Brown Bag Letter


You KNOW It’s Love . . . WHEN

Oh did hubby get points yesterday, his display of love brought tears to my eyes.

We have a huge yard and I honestly LOVE taking care of it. I call my lawn-mower “Therapy” (because it is!) and I really don’t mind all the trimming & burning & trimming & cutting & trimming. Did I say trimming? This isn’t a manicured suburban yard.

I’d like to introduce you to “Therapy”

We are in the country and all the care is just basic survival tactics, or that green grass could become a jungle. You have to trim trees, bushes and stickers so they don’t slap you up-side the head when you mow and the yard doesn’t become a thistle farm either. Not only does the Thistle need to be controlled, but there are also Stinging Nettle plants that would like to take over the grass and free me from Therapy. But I need Therapy! By the way, stinging Nettle tea is really good for you, but touch it raw and your fingers, legs, whatever body part, will burn for hours afterwards. Hubby has taught me how to pull these nasty buggers from the roots without much drama and pain.

However, there is one evil demonic plant that I am terrified of because I am so FREAKING ALLERGIC to it. When I come across this pretty-looking, nasty ass plant I end up miserable for weeks. The itching is so bad that you will literally bleed and then you wish you could use a wire brush on top of that, you know, the kind that removes resistant oil paint off of metal. You beg your husband for a stainless steel scratch pad, rake and heavy duty sand-paper from the garage. But he is smart, he doesn’t get it for you, he knows your desperate and although you hold three degrees when it comes to poison ivy you will do any stupid thing you think will work, including hazardous corrosive chemicals if you think it will give relief.

poison ivy NJ

I grew up in New Jersey and we had poison ivy there that grew in the ditch near the peach orchard and it looked like this, it had distinctive red and green leaves. You really couldn’t miss it.

poison ivy PA

Here in Pennsylvania it (did I call it a nasty ass plant yet? Yes, I did, and I meant it too!) looks like any other green plant, no red leaves, it’s kinda pretty, but bitchy women can be pretty too. Looks can be deceiving. . . you know that! So, for quite a few years, I would wonder, “How the Hell did I get poison ivy?” I didn’t see any red leaves anywhere! Well bless my freaking soul, it looks so “regular” here. It’s just green, blends in and it’s a sneaky bastard, AND IT HATES ME. (Yes, I return the sentiment!)

Are you asking at this point why I titled this blog, “You know your LOVED . . .When”? OK, let’s get to that. Hubby and I spent some time this afternoon weeding and trimming (There’s that word again!) around our black raspberry plants so we can pick those wonderful treasures of Black Gold easier. When I brought Therapy over with our trailer for the trimmings, do you know what I saw? POISON IVY CLIMBING UP THE WALNUT TREE! Yes, I said shit. I may have said it twice, or three times, I don’t remember. I can’t be responsible for my language when it comes to pure evil. So, I mention to my husband, be careful around that tree there is a poison ivy vine climbing.

What does my Prince Charming do? Yes, he is from England, he always sounds like a prince, but today? HE IS PRINCE CHARMING FOR SURE! He started pulling the vine off the tree. I’m freaking out, NO! Please be careful, I don’t want you to get it! It took him three trips to the fire pit, and the ivy is gone, roots and all. (He was careful and he’s not allergic to it, at least for the first 67 years of his life. I hope that holds true at 68.)

Sometimes he tells me he loves me. Other times he shows it. What possesses a man to show love like this? Who wants flowers? Who wants chocolate, or jewelry? Well, OK, they are nice too, but he literally sacrificed his life and sanity for me!

Enjoying the Adventure (Darn it, this display of love will be hard to top)

Dr. Dink


Please visit my other Blog: Brown Bag Letter

–a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!


The lovely photos of the evil plant are from the following pages:

Penn Live

New Jersey Poison Ivy

Water and Words


I just read a wonderful blog about the power of water, entitled, “Water Water Everywhere, Not a Drop to Drink“. The writer, Pradnya, is from the area we all know by many visual news stories from Christmas Tsunami in 2004. What an excellent read! In this story, she talks of the necessity of water, it’s power and, of course, the ability to cause destruction.

This blog inspired me to think about a phrase I’ve said many times over the years, “We have the power to heal as well as the power to destroy.” In context, this phrase was used in teaching about the use or misuse of words. Words are powerful, no one can argue that. They give us inspiration, direction, encouragement, and curses. One word used in a caring, thoughtful way can change someone’s life for the better in an instant.

However, misuse of words can leave scars that last a lifetime. Inner bruises that no one can see but the receiver. Pain that healing salve finds difficult, sometimes impossible to reach. I remember a childhood saying, “Sticks & stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Did I teach my children this lie? Please forgive me if I did. Words can destroy.

There is a prevalence of nasty, negative words used everyday. I hardly watch the news anymore, as there are times the news isn’t news at all. It is nasty propaganda. Many shows are the same. Social media has become a boxing match of vocabulary for many. This choice to hurt leaders, teachers, community service workers and on and on and on HAS GOT TO STOP! What are we teaching our children about:





Second Chances


Giving of Oneself

Respect for elders, leaders, teachers?

(You can add to this list in comments!)

Just as water is needed daily for the body’s health and wellness, for crops and the sustenance of all living things. I believe words are as powerful. I believe that this movement of nasty negativity began as a trickle, a leak and it has become a raging, deadly flood. I also believe that this can change.

Will you become the leak of positivity?

Will you begin the day of grace in your corner of the world?

What would happen if kindness goes ‘viral?’

I believe it can. It begins with me. It begins with you . . .

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink


Water Water Everywhere, Not a Drop to Drink is found at: Peppered With Stories

Sunset Photo compliments of: Pam Martin

Please visit my other Blog: Brown Bag Letter –a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

Like Follow Share


Blue Butterfly

I went outside and on the rail of the back porch sat this beautiful butterfly. I feel special anytime I see a butterfly, but this one was SO BLUE! It just sat there, so I approached him slowly, and put my finger before him, much like you would for a parakeet to perch on your finger.

blue and black butterfly on green leaves

Blue was tempted as he moved closer and touched the edge of my finger before he leisurely flew away. My, my, my . . .

I hope that anyone who happens across this blog will be fortunate enough to have such a wonderful surprise!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink


Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter –a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

Like Follow Share

Virtual Library

Photo by JÉSHOOTS on


OK, there positivity girl . . . and to think you were going to write about that beauty of a blue butterfly today!.

“SHIT IF I MUST SAY”, was a saying that we used to tease my mother-in-law about every time “something” went wrong. One day, many years ago, she had lost her keys. You know how it is when a “lost” item is somewhere and so you check the same place the 10th time, even though the nine times before it failed to be there. You know it’s not lost, stop saying that, “I just don’t know where it is”. Evidently they were found when getting ready to cook dinner. She absentmindedly left her keys in the freezer of all places. “Shit if I must say!” came out of the mouth of the organist and soprano, church choir member. Scandalous! Just scandalous!

What you heard out of my mouth

yesterday afternoon

was not attached to

“if I must say”.

The weather app gave us the “your clear”. No rain for 5 days. Honey! Drop everything, we have until TUESDAY! So we did exactly that, we literally turned off the rest of the world and started stripping the roof off the flip house. Knowing we only had five days, we have worked hard and fast. I think the only time we stopped was for food and sleep. Yesterday MORNING the Weather app changed course and gave us yet another day, no rain until WEDNESDAY!  Phew! Maybe we can breathe!

Yes, that speck is me on top!

Yesterday with the demolition over we were finally screwing in the plywood underlayment! Yay! However, it was so hot and humid and I started to feel sick from the heat, and went home to cool down. I was worried about my husband, so, a couple of hours later I returned to fetch him. I literally had to duct-tape my husband, drag him away to the car to make him come home for a few hours to cool off and rest. (You know that look a wife can give, it’s as strong as invisible duct-tape which will put the fear of God in any man). So, we had a few hours to rest and would return after five when the sun wasn’t quite as hot. The roof was about 1/3 covered. We had gotten a lot done and could finish in cooler temps.

Maybe the friendly vultures on peak were an OMEN?


Remember the “clear skies until Wednesday?” When I woke up from “resting my eyes.” The sky seemed a bit dark. I looked on the same Weather app and see a yellow bar with a severe thunderstorm warning. So I checked the radar to see that the storms were far north. However, No, No, No, the storms that showed far north evidently had something else in mind. I think the skies were like a woman on a trip who waited too long for the rest stop. When the rain started, it came in buckets. The storm lasted only five minutes, however, it was five minutes of buckets, cats and dogs, wind, rain and yes, puddles, literally puddles inside the house!!!

Hubby gets points for contracting knowledge, “You never finish anything until the roof is done”. Fortunately, all we had done on the house is strip walls and floors. The damage caused is minimal because there is little left inside to destroy. There will be some insulation to replace and one ceiling that I thought I could patch, rather than pull out will now be pulled. Actually, we are quite fortunate.

HOWEVER, I’m not feeling exactly positive this morning! Thus my point. The worse thing you can do in trying to maintain a positive lifestyle is to be in denial that nothing wrong, bad, annoying, disturbing, disastrous, or that will rain on your parade are not going to happen. They will. As I said words, without “if I must say” attached to them last night and was on the brink of crying . . . don’t say to me, where’s the positivity?  It is not here in this situation right now, however, I know it will return.

Actually, after cleaning up buckets of puddles inside, when the second set of storms came, we were on the roof, in a thunderstorm, trying desperately to get the tarps set, I was reminded of my childhood when my Dad would set out tarps for a slip & slide, gosh, that was fun, but this wasn’t!!! It was terrifying.

Where is the positive in this? 

  • We are alive.
  • No one got hurt, except my hubby’s toe and that plaster ceiling.
  • Today, we are taking a day off.
  • I got to remember my Dad & childhood fun slip & sliding . . .
  • We will have a great story to tell about replacing the roof . . . eventually

The best and probably quite passive aggressive thing I did out of all this? I uninstalled the Weather App!!!!

Well, “Shit if I must say!”

And, Yes! I must say!

(Still) Enjoying the Adventure! (I can write about the blue butterfly another day!)

Dr. Dink