Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chasing the Blues {and a Giveaway!}

I used to treasure the 
 conversations that I
had with my Gigi.

Like many grandmas,
she was an excellent listener,
cheerleader of my life's
activities and best of
all, she loved to laugh.

I miss that.

Despite some significant
losses in her lifetime, Gigi
was always able to focus
on the positive things 
that made up her days.

I remarked on this one
time and she explained:

Some mornings, when
I wake up alone in
my little bed and I 
think of all the people
that I loved, who are
no longer here, I make
a list of all the good
things that I do have....

My family
My friends
My church
My health
My apartment
My garden
My car 

And then I usually
feel much better.  

But, if I am particularly
blue, I know it is best
that I not be alone.
So I get dressed and
head to the shopping
mall.  The lights, the
pretty merchandise and
being around other people
always helps to get me
out of my funk.

Most times, she 
never bought 
a thing.

But if she did, it was
likely to be one of her
favorite items, next to
clothes:  accessories.
No one could wear
them like Gigi!

And even now, as she
sails away from us with
Dementia at age 94, she
is still accessorizing ~
her true essence shining

How I miss you.
Which brings me to my
giveaway, from an
amazing on-line company,  
{Very few things fill me
with as much joy as
gift-giving, especially
when it benefits others!}

NOVICA is one of the leading
fair trade artisan websites,
working with the National
Geographic Society to give
talented artisans around the
globe a place to express
their talents and access
to the world marketplace.

Sacred Blue Lotus

NOVICA also makes 0% interest,
micro-credit loans to artisans, which
not only helps them to succeed,
but also supports the preservation
of ancient craft techniques for
future generations.

The Jimenez Family, from Central America,
makes jade and sterling jewelry.
In addition to their fair-trade
corporate gifts and home decor
items, NOVICA also sells amazing
such as.... 

....just to name a few of their
beautiful, unique and very
reasonably-priced offerings.

Accessories made from
the heart.

I know Gigi would approve : )

Azure Bliss....Even the names are lovely.

To win one of two $50 gift
certificates for,
simply leave me a comment
about one of your own
favorite accessories, or
what you do to chase
away the blues.

To learn more about
NOVICA, click here.

The giveaway will run 
through midnight on
Thursday, May 3rd

Maybe the best any of us
can do is not quit, play
the hand we've been dealt,
 and accessorize what 
we've got.

~ Sex and the City



Kathysue said...

Suzanne I love your Gigi and her approach to life. What a beautiful tribute and I love the picture of her! When I get blue I might cry a bit and then I pretty much do like Gigi start being grateful and it is impossible to be blue with as many blessings as I have in my life. xo Kathysue
PS pearls are and will always be my favorite accessory.

Jemsmom said...

Your grandmother is beautiful! I miss my own so much. Like you said, she was my biggest cheerleader. I also miss my mom so badly sometimes that I ache. I know she is with me though and I hope I make her proud.

When I am blue, I dig my toes in the sand and look at the ocean. I read in a book somewhere that everything is o.k. when your toes are in the sand, and I firmly believe that! I am going to have to trade it to sandy beaches at a lake! I do love the ocean. It is my zen calm place. The magnitude of it just makes me realize how great our God is! Oh how I love my ocean!!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Your lovely Gigi touches my heart. And she STILL looks so great. What wonderful memories she has planted in your heart.



Susan T said...

Now I know where your magic non ageing genes come from, your grandmother's skin is wonderful, she looks in her 70's not 90's.

To chase away the doldrums I carefully do my hair, put some makeup on, and pop to our local store to buy a lovely bunch of flowers. It never fails to give me a lift.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Gigi my dear, is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING. You resemble her a great deal and I do believe that you will also be as FABULOUS as she is as you grow into that age. WOW what a stunner! She was the dancer, non?

May I enter this fabulous giveaway? Anita

Lisa Scibilia said...

I love your Gigi's attitude - to look towards the positive, especially as she got older.
What a pretty lady she is by the way! Her genuine inner beauty shines through and you remind me of her.
What to do to power through the blues? Put on some happy music and power clean the house. Or better yet, meet a friend for a walk and have a laugh!

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

I love your final quote. One of my best ways to chase away the blues is to watch an episode of Sex & the City--I always find something new even though I've probably seen every episode, several times over. Those ladies would have totally appreciated your Gigi and her belief in accessorizing.

Farmgirl Paints said...

She's beautiful. I can tell she holds herself with grace just like you. Great advice Gigi. I'm always having to chase the blues away for some reason. I need to keep a journal reminding me of what helps me snap out of it. Usually face time with a friend is the ticket...and a walk on a sunny day;) Love you girlie.

SuzyMcQ said...

Good Morning sweet friend!

I think we all deal with a little rain on our parades on occasion, and a truly wise person just grabs an umbrella, perhaps after a bit of reflection, and heads out to the festivities.

Me, I hightail it to the garden, grab one of the dogs for a hug and a dance, or buy some fabric!

I too have been touched with the long goodbye of dementia. My dad. Miss him more every day.

Continue to accessorize, sweet Gigi,

andrea said...

Beautiful post - thank you! Love the quote from Sex and the City. They say the best accessory is a smile - love that! I love to crochet to chase the blues away. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway and for bringing attention to this incredible organization.

Anonymous said...

I love your Gigi's look on life. I have found that volunteering at our grade school helps keep me from feeling blue (it also keeps me very busy). Seeing all of the small children's smiling faces & enthusiasm for life really can get me out of a funky mood.

Diane J./Ohio

Debby said...

Your GiGi is beautiful. It is so hard to see them fading. I hope my grandkids have wonderful memories of our time together.
Sunshine always helps chase the blues away, meet a friend for lunch or coffee,take a ride in the dar with the windows down, go get a big hug from one of my grandchildren.
((((((HUGS))))) to you.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

OH Suzanne...I am sending my biggest hug your way. How blessed you are to have had such a close relationship with your grandmother...but it must make it even harder now. I love her attitude on life and the quote at the end is PERFECT! When I am blue, I get out of the house and do something I love and a ride in the country soothes my spirit every time! Thanks for hosting the giveaway...Novica is a wonderful company! A BIG XO to you, my friend!

Leslie said...


What a beautiful woman your Grandma is! This story is so touching and brings tears to me eyes. I've just returned from a trip to visit my father (81 yrs old) who is beginning the later stages of Dementia. He is still able to recognize his family but having difficulty remembering what happened earlier in the day. It's just so tragic.. unless you've seen a loved one go through this, you can't possibly understand the sadness and hurt that family members feel.

Take care and live in the moment appreciating every second with your family.


NanaDiana said...

Suzanne, I am not signing up for your giveaway because I have already won several this year...but I wanted to tell you what a touching post this is. It is so hard to see someone slip away from us into a world we can't see or understand. That happened to my own mother and it is just gut wrenching and tears at your heart. Blessings to you- In her deepest recesses your Gigi still loves you just as she always did~ xo Diana

Palomasea said...

Dear friend,
Wow...another post that has left me misty-eyed!
What a stunning, lovely woman, your darling Gigi...
Dementia is indeed, heartbreaking, we have gone through this.
Your grandmother is such a wise woman. I certainly miss both of mine, and my dear mom, who always had something positive to say to everyone she met.
You are blessed with a lifetime of memories with this precious lady...

NOVICA is fantastic, I would love to enter, Suzanne...thank you!
My favorite accessories...rings, for sure. I love silver with natural stones like turquoise, quartz, etc.
AND...I enabled my e-mail...going to give that a try!! Thank you so much for explaining things to me...I really was not aware of the details.
Have a beautiful, sunny day, sweet friend!
- Irina

Biz said...

One of my favorite accessories is an octopus cuff that my hubby randomly picked up for me at a shop in Austin.
It's so fun and quirky and it hardly cost a thing, but the simple fact that he saw it and thought of me makes it more special than so many other items!
If I'm in a funk it normally helps me to get out and get some fresh air. I nice walk and some hawaiian music playing on iHeartRadio from my phone puts life back in perspective!


P.S. Your Gigi is beautiful.

The enchanted home said...

Beautiful story about a woman who clearly still has her zest for life, and thats a beautiful thing indeed! It is so difficult however as they get older and fall prey to various ailments, we are deaing with that with my own quite remarkable, still driving, playing bridge daily, goes to the gym 3 days a week, queen of the ball 95 YEAR OLD GRANDMOTHER!!!!!!!! She is nothing short of amazing. But this year for the first time after 95 years of truly perfect health, she is dealing with different things that have her in a tailspin, its difficult for all of us but mostly her.
All we can do is just enjoy the moment and the days that we have with them, do our best to keep them laughing and cheerful (which in turn makes us feel this way) and to surround them wtih love......Great giveaway, such a wonderful company and love their mission.

Mary said...

Suzanne, what a touching tribute to your Gigi. And what a beautiful woman she is! I see that she is still giving you the gift of her smile.

When I am feeling down, I know I can count on prayer, gratitude and talking with my two sweet sisters to bring me back to my self. I am learning, however, that it is OK to feel the feeling, let it come in and let go of it. The more I learn from Eckhart Tolle's writings about being present and the more I successfully am present in the moment, the fewer "down" moments I have.

Mary Timmers said...

Suzanne-- Aren't you glad you have Gigi? And someday, you will be a Gigi!

When I'm feeling blue, if it's summer, I'll go work in my garden. Just being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, DOING SOMETHING, lifts my spirits. If it's not summer, I'll call a CLOSE friend or my daughter, and have a cup of coffee and a chat. Getting "outside of myself" helps me see what a blessed life I have!

Alaine88 said...

yay! what a great giveaway! :)
I chase away the blues by having date nights with my husband and journaling all of my thoughts/frusrations!
family74014 at gmail dot com

Polly S said...

Suzanne -- I finally followed your "Communication" steps to get my account & profile set-up (thanks for the details). As I have said in person, I love your blog, your writing, your photos and your loving thoughts about so many creative topics precious to me also. I look forward each of your blog posts. Love that you shared about Novica at book club and how it tied into our King Peggy book discussion!
P.S. -- Way to pass 100,000 hits!!

Shelly W. said...

Your Gigi sounds like a gem (and a very wise woman). I have tears just thinking about her sweet words. When I have the blues I usually like to hang out with my family. After 27 years, my husband finally knows how to just listen and not try to fix everything, and that really helps.

Stuff and Nonsense said...

your gigi
sounds like a remarkable woman

which makes me
slightly envious
as i never knew
either of my grandmothers

as to accessories
i have some vintage pieces
from my gigi in law
that i love to wear

one is a double strand
chunky pearl necklace

and the other
is an extremely gaudy
rhinestone brooch



Stitchfork said...

Gigi has it right - beauty, brains and good accessories! A beautiful lady in all ways.
Great giveaway for a good cause.
xo Cathy

Mystica said...

I generally am too busy in the mornings to dig out matching earrings but if ever I feel low, a pair of dangly ear rings in matching shades to whatever clothes I am wearing helps to brighten me up. I honestly believe it also lightens up my whole appearance.

Thank you for the opportunity of winning a voucher from NOVICA.

lisaroyhandbags said...

Seems like Gigi and I share the same technique for chasing away the blues! Going to the mall always gets me out of a funk and a little accessory treat is just enough to make me smile. What a wonderful giveaway. xo

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Suzanne, I'm not commenting to be included in the giveaway. I already won your beautiful photo cards which I send notes on all the time. But I did want to leave a comment to say how beautiful your Gigi is and how difficult it is to see someone slip away in that fashion. As you've said,they still deserve our love, respect and kindness and within her heart your Gigi still loves you very much. My prayers go out to Gigi and to your family because dementia is difficult for everyone.
I also want to mention that Novica is a wonderful and creative company. A friend once gave me a gift that came from Novica and I love it.

Gina M Maddox said...

I would love to get this scarf-

Thanks for the chance to win!
gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

michele said...

to chase away the blues? clean the house. focus on other people. send cards to lonely folks.

what a generous, lovely giveaway, suzanne. she would be proud.


Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh I adore your Gigi!

I would say that a smile in my opinion is always the best accessory. Followed by a scarf. :)

Thank you for your kind comments. You are such a blessing to me.

I will be having a Mother's Day giveaway this next Friday with glimpses of whats up for grabs all this week. :)

Julie said...

awww..Your thoughts of your cherished relationship with Gigi just touch my heart. My brother and I were just FB'ing about our grandmother and how very special she was and all her "sayings" we still remember and use in our lives. Impact....making lasting impressions...."pressed" into our very beings and minds. oh yes. She was like your Gigi. Loved life. (simple things) Loved loved to accessorize. *loved hats and jewelry and shoes and purse to match... :-)
I have so much of her costume / rhinestone jewelry displayed just so that I can view it and remember. I don't wear too much but I always wear my earrings....always. and here lately because Justin is deployed...I always wear his previous deployment dog tags every day when he is gone. the jingling of them as I walk and move keeps me ever mindful of his "being out there". I love your Gigi's advice about chasing the blues...yes, good stuff. "count your blessings"~ an attitude of gratitude....trumps a low spirit and dismal outlook ANY day. Hugs to you Suzanne. I missed this post earlier. Glad I caught up. It was a good reminder to me today. BIG HUG to you today. Chasing the blues ! xoxo Have a wonderful day girl.

savvycityfarmer said...

she is truly a woman of grace and stature!!
and you are following right in her shoes!( slippers)

how are you my long lost friend

whising you could shop the shed
may 12

Kathleen said...

I love when you write about Gigi. She reminds me so much of my own grandmother, Grambee, who also continued to dress up and accessorize until she died at almost 94. ... For weeks, I'm been feeling the blues, so I have enjoyed reading what Gigi does (or did) to feel better. I most like to get together with a good friend over coffee and a scone and think about other things than what's bothering me. It gets me out of the house and with a purpose. I also like to walk Zoe and Oreo and take in the different garden beds of the homes we pass. You can't get any better than God's creation to help lift your spirits!

Beatnheart said...

As I just lost my mother in Sept, this post is especially poignant to me... Heartbreaking time for sure and I sting from the pain of it all. just cherish all of your loving family as I know you do... My mom was a huge lover of fashion and especially accessories... I myself love shawls... The tonal one posted is Ab fab.

Anash said...

this was touching! Thanks for a super giveaway!
i would have Bamboo chenille shoulder bag,
eMy email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Sandra said...

Grandparents...what a wonderful gift in our lives! My someone special was my Grandpa, he was a character! He had 3 lawnmowers, so that when he started to mow, all his friends would come over and help him. Then they celebrated with a beer! Funny stories to keep in my heart forever.
When I am sad, I usually take a nap with my dog, Reagan. Her soft fur and gentle demeanor make everything better!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...


I have been behind this last week, I am so sorry to have missed this beautiful post.

Oh, there is NOTHING like the love and special memories of a grandmother. I have tears in my eyes as I type that...I miss my grandmother and I can only image how much my mother misses her. She was such an important and integral part of my life...oh the momories of the special times, and simple moments.

Thank you for sharing your Gigi she seems like a wonderful and very speial lady.

xxo Elizabeth

Teacup Moments said...

Your Gigi is so poised and lovely, and those pearls just glow with her entire countenance. Thank you for sharing this image of a beautiful beautiful woman.