Tag Archives: cousin ashley

Knowing Your Roots: A Grandfather’s Gift

27 Jun

So, my blog is not like everyone else’s blog. Yes, I like to talk about fashion, recipes, home renovations, my puppy dogs and more. But I also like to talk about my roots, my values, my love and my heart. And this posting is very dear to my heart because it is years in the making.

When I was a little girl, I used to spend at least a weekend every month at my grandparents’ home. It would be a long drive down an old, stinky country road, followed by hours spent with my cousins playing games and climbing trees. At night, we would gather in the living room to watch “Golden Girls” and “Empty Nest” while we patiently waited for my grandpa’s famous homemade chocolate milkshakes to be ready.

My grandparents used to take us all camping quite a bit during the summer, and we all loved it. My cousin Ashley and I even competed in a dance recital at Twin Mills one year, and I’m sure my grandparents still have a video of that somewhere. I spent so many warm summer nights on my old bicycle, riding around the campground having so much fun with my sister, brother and cousins.

Enter Grandpa into the story. My grandfather is a strong, quiet man. A veteran of the Korean war, my grandfather is not the type that will talk your ear off. You’ll only hear his gentle voice when he has something important to say or if he wants to get your attention. My grandfather has always showed he loved me by with a simple gesture … an arm around my shoulder, a kiss on my forehead, a high five and a delicious homemade milkshake.

Fast forward several years later … PoppaNut and I told my grandparents that we were about to purchase a home, and they mentioned that old bicycle again. It wasn’t in the best condition and it had been painted green, but I could have it if I wanted. Me being in love with all things vintage, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that bike.

But with any home closing, your mind is so overwhelmed with the insurance estimates, closing fees, realtor drama and more that you forget all about what you’ll fill your house with and instead, focus on the list of things you must do today to actually get the house. So the bike discussion completely flew out of my mind, and I focused on the closing.

Just two months after the closing, I received a text from my grandpa with a photo. No words, but just one picture of a vintage yellow bike that looked a whole lot like that one I had as a child. And it turns out, it was. My grandfather had completely taken apart my bike, restoring each piece and renovating it to its former glory. And in that one text, I was 10 years old again with my grandfather handing me my homemade shake. I didn’t need the words to know what he was saying. To anyone else, you would have just seen a yellow bike. But to me, that text said “I love you and I’m proud of you” in the same way my grandpa would convey his love when he made me one of those famous milkshakes.

I’m so honored that my grandfather spent time restoring my old bike. And I’m be thrilled to have it at my home as a reminder of the kind of childhood I had, the value of my Indiana upbringing and the importance of beautiful gestures my grandfather has always shown me.


A Unique Present: Handmade Yankees Quilt

17 Feb

Quilts are part of my family’s DNA. My Grandma Tam made the most beautiful quilts in the whole world, and I have two that I get to call my own. When my grandma passed away, she left behind several unfinished quilts, and I can’t wait to have them finished so I have more to enjoy.

My Grandma Densmore also makes amazing quilts, and I use several of the ones she made me every week. I have one made of my cheerleading T-shirts from Penn High School and other that represents my time at Indiana University. I also have a flowery quilt, a design that both myself and my cousin Ashley have.

There is just nothing like snuggling with a quilt on the couch. So, when I was on Pinterest a few month back and ran across this profile, I was immediate struck by the Yankees quilt. I commented on the image of the quilt and Jill Motsinger at jillmots@live.com wrote me right back. She makes custom sports-themed quilts for people, and she was happy to make one for me.

Well, instantly I thought this would be a great idea for PoppaNut. First of all, he is obsessed with the Yankees, and this would let him have a quilt just for him. It could be something I give him that would be with us the rest of our lives. I immediately wrote back to Jill, and she got to work.

The amazing thing about Jill is that she emailed me photos and communicated with me about the quilt all along the way. She sent updates after she got the fabric and as she put the blocks together. It only took her about a month and a half to complete everything.


When the completed quilt arrived at the house, I was bursting with excitement. I placed it inside PoppaNut’s Valentine’s gift bag and waiting for the big surprise. When he opened it up, he was shocked. He absolutely loved it, and wanted to use it right away. He even said that it will be something we keep in our family for the rest of our lives. Jill, thank you for making something so special for our family.

And that’s life in a nutshell … finding the perfect gift can be as easy as looking around Pinterest!


On the Hunt: Finding One Vintage Milk Bottle

12 Jan

I’m always game for a good hunt. Give me a challenge, and I’m all over it. It’s a gene that runs through the Densmore family for sure. My mom can walk into Dillard’s and find the most amazing items on the sales racks. She will pull out one gem after another, when most people only find junk.

And my Aunt Debbie takes hunting to a whole new level. I can literally give her two words, like “blue vase,” and she can run down a list of places that have the perfect item for my home. I’m constantly amazed at Debbie’s unique finds (and don’t get me started on her art of return … which is another post for sure!).

Now, those are just two examples, but my Aunt Sherry, cousin Ashley and sister Stephanie also have this hunting gene. Us gals can find just about anything you are looking for. And that’s why I’m having such a hard time admitting our first hunting flop, and it starts with a vintage milk bottle.

During the holidays, my mom mentioned that my grandmother was looking for a vintage milk bottle from Greenville Diary from Greenville, IL. It seems that my great grandfather worked at the dairy, and my grandma has been searching for a bottle for years. Her and her sister have even ventured back to Greenville, IL to look for a bottle at antique shops with no luck.

This is my grandma who on the hunt for the bottle!

So, with that conversation, I put the wheels in motion. I signed up for alerts on eBay for “Greenville Dairy.” I started searching the web looking for anything about Greenville, but you would not believe how many cities there are named “Greenville.” There is one in Ohio, one in the Carolinas, another in Maine and so on. Well, I’m looking just for the one from Illinois, so the search continued.

Some of the bottles I found on eBay, but none from IL.

I started calling antique shops, and I thought I may have tracked one down. Unfortunately, a dairy farmer I was referred to has been looking for the same bottle for years, too! Dang it … another dead end! So, the search continues and now I’m taking it to the blogosphere.

Who can help me find this bottle?? Please forward this post on to anyone and everyone you think might be able to help me track it down. I’ll offer a $50 reward for anyone who gets me to the bottle I’m looking for.

And that’s life in a nutshell … I’m on the hunt and I need my awesome blog followers to help me discover this bottle. Happy Hunting!


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