Monday, September 24, 2012

16 ounces of happiness

"Oh dear, how undignified!"

= 1 lb of joy

1: Sleeping in an hour this morning with my beloved. (Oh happy mistake!)
2: Eating leftover peach cobbler. (The dumplings were soggy... :happy sigh:)
3: Making pastry for apple, lemon meringue and banana cream pies. (Lydia is making and eating the last mentioned because Jesse and I :dances of joy: are adults and don't eat bananas.)
4: Cleaning up our room. (It really needs it.)
5: Sitting at the table, talking with my sister Lydia. (We've nearly covered every topic under the sun.)
6: Anticipating Cilla's visit on Thursday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7: Getting a $65 cheque from Homespun in the mail. (We never win anything and this Homespun found us winning twice: once in Jesse's name and once in mine.)
8: Helping someone print nearly a thousand wedding pictures this morning at Pharmasave. (Yes, I LOVE looking at wedding pictures.)
9: Getting ready for students and teaching and all things music. (Beginning of October, here we come.)
10: Listening to Liszt on the radio and daydreaming about someday...

11: Having running water and electricity in our house. (Makes my day every day.)
12: Kissing my husband goodbye (sad) and knowing we'll see each other again in 9 hours (happy).
13: Having a boss and coworkers who understand. (They are amazing... each and every one of them.)
14: Opening my kitchen cupboards and seeing the dishes my Grandma gave me for my hopechest. (I love you, Grandma.)
15: Buying ingredients for Lasagna. Enough said.
16: Thinking about one's life and realizing how wonderful it is. (Jesse, I love you.)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Things I Love About Being Married

They warn dourly that life doesn't end when you get married. Marriage isn't the end all, be all, they mutter. Just wait and see after a few months and years of marriage, then you'll understand. Wait until the first argument. Wait until you're tired of being married....

We love cynical peoples. Let's face it, we've got at least one in each of our share of relatives. And you know what makes them so hard to disprove? Every word they say has a little bit of truth to it. So, let me rephrase this:

Thank God life didn't end when we got married: I am enjoying myself too much. Thank God marriage isn't the end all, be all: I would shrivel up and die if I stopped being a growing, unique individual. Thank God that after a year of marriage, I can clearly see and rejoice that I did marry the man God prepared me for. Thank God that I realize marriage is not easy: who would have thought any part of life is all ease and grace? And about those arguments... well, read on.

Someone asked the other day, "What Do you Love Best About Being Married." There were many good answers and I decided it would make a good blog post. :-) This isn't me bragging about my wonderful life: I have problems too. But most of the days in my life, I can choose to look at the positive aspects of my existence. For us, this union has been mind blowing and we have never been happier. My goal for this blog post is to send a positive message about marriage into cyberspace.

For those currently unattached: It is possible to find an imperfect person who is perfect for you because you are an imperfect person who will be perfect for someone.Wait. Pray that you will know when the time comes. Until then, be whole as you are.  Be perfect for you, today. Love who you are. Revel in the good you can be in the world. Fling joy into the universe with the discovery of the possibilities of you.

For those Married, happily or not: As you know, there is no 1-2-3 step plan for happiness. Can you be happy? Yes. If you are happy, can you tell me why? If you're not happy, can you tell me why? What is the greatest lesson you have learned through marriage. Are you cynical? Or do you believe in true love? Why?

Things I Love About Being Married

Companionship: never feeling alone. Before I met Jesse, there never seemed to be anyone who "got" me. I have a strange sense of humor, interests and passions, needs and desires. When I met Jesse, I was astonished to find that someone actually laughed at my jokes. I didn't feel awkward around him. He understands. He accepts me and furthermore, he's my best friend.

Being Loved. When I lose my temper, cry, laugh, scold, praise, talk, fail, succeed or any other thing, I can do so without the fear of being judged. Before we met, I was not sure I wanted to enter a relationship. I had seen so many failed or unhappy marriages. I had seen so many people use, hurt or manipulate their spouse. My fear was that I would marry someone and be stuck forever in an unhappy relationship. I have never been loved unconditionally by a human. I knew God loved me unconditionally, but I didn't understand it until I felt Jesse's love. There are moments when I feel my heart burst in joy because this love is boundless, incomprehensible, faithful and everlasting.

I can be myself. This fits with the above category, but I wanted to explain more specifically: I never felt the freedom to be myself completely. It didn't matter that I had friends who appreciated me. The fact of the matter is: I wasn't comfortable in my own skin. Jesse is un-apologetically himself. When we were first friends, I remember a moment when I realized with certainty that it was ok to enjoy movies, books and stories as much as I do. In fact, it was perfectly fine to have a passion for things that I have a passion for. It was more than ok: I needed to embrace these things in myself because I am unique. Unique is the way God created me. Each day, I revel in this. It was a long time in coming.

Learning Every Day. It's ok to be wrong. It's fine to change your mind. It's a good thing to challenge your opinions and beliefs. We learn about each other; we learn about others; we learn about Eternity; we learn about Truth. We learn about sharing the bed, the shower, the kitchen... we learn about giving each other space, we learn about it being ok to go to the other person if we have an issue or simply need a shoulder to cry on. We learn to communicate and share freely. Even as well as we know each other, each day brings a new delight, a new joy. Oh yes, I married an imperfect man who lives his life gently, kindly, respectfully, lovingly. Each day brings new realizations of this. Learning and growth do not happen all at once; if it did, our human minds would expire. So, God allows us to learn as we live: one day at a time.

Understanding GodWhen I met Jesse, I caught a glimpse of God's love. The longer I know him, the more godliness I see in him. He loves me as the Bible says Christ loves the Church. Through this, I see Christ's love so clearly now. Jesse loves me unconditionally, freely, passionately. His heart is always towards me, even (especially?) when I do not "deserve it". There will be times when I am apologizing for some wrong I did him and he will simply hug me and whisper, "You make me so happy," while brushing away my regrets. He sees no reason for me to apologize or feel guilt. This love enables me to step out of my faults and seek truer paths. I have never felt a better understanding of my God, Eternity and Truth.
If only more husbands would love their wives as Christ loves his Bride. If only religion and self interest would not raise their ugly heads. If only people would step away from themselves and seek only better things for others...

When We Are Sick.  There were days when I used to get a cold and I banished myself to a room with a roll of toilet paper, a glass of water and a book... and closed the door. Now, there is Jesse with water, broth, food, hugs and kisses and holding my hand. I almost like being sick. Lol. The same goes for when he's the one under the weather. I hover over him, feed him, make sure he's warm...  It makes those "in sickness and in health" vows really come to life.

Cuddling. Yes, I have discovered that when it comes to us, cuddling is the greatest thing on earth. I never liked cuddling except if it involved a sibling and even then, I preferred having my space. But Jesse seems to have broken most of the rules in my rule book. :-) Now, I cuddle, share a glass, play footsie, flirt outrageously and only God knows what else...

Forgiveness. This could fall into almost any of the other categories, but forgiveness deserves one to itself. As individuals, both of us had to learn about forgiving others. People in both of our lives have hurt us in the past. By the time we had met, we were at a point where each of us realized the need to accept and love others. Yes, regardless of the pains and frustrations they cause us. :-) This love requires forgiveness. Jesse and I are far from perfection. We both have our moments. But even in these, we are able to stop and look at each other. Forgiveness is a proactive. I am thankful the many hard lessons learned before our paths converged. This was no accident.

Deciding What to Make for Supper. Yes, 'tis a difficult decision; not one to be taken lightly. We could have leftovers or I could make something new. We could have soup, burritos, roasted chicken, hamburgers, clam chowder, salmon, pizza... the list goes on. Should we have something sweet to drink or is water just fine? And what about salad and dessert? The amount of responsibility is rather amazing when it comes to meals. But oh-so-fun... How great is it to be able to look in my cupboards and decide what to make? So many endless possibilities! Jesse loves a good cake, so some days I will surprise him by having a cake on the table when he gets home from work.
Here's another thing that amazes me: Jesse loves working in the kitchen. So if I end up working Saturday and he is at home, he'll make food. Good food. His honey mustard salmon recipe is amazing. Oh dear... I'm drooling.

Watching T.V. Together. Nearly every night, we watch shows or movies. The creation of stories is a passion we share. Before we met, we pursued it on our own and now that we are together, the paths converge and we are enjoying ourselves a great deal. :-) A story that is well written can be about anything and we will find enjoyment in it. I was more a fantasy girl but Jesse has introduced me to science fiction... and we both love detective/crime shows. The list of shows and movies we watch is ever growing and ridiculous. Lol. Some of our favorites are: Grimm, Person of Interest, Big Bang Theory, Red, Touch, Once Upon A Time, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tintin, Sherlock, The New Normal, Star Trek, West Wing... I could be here all day.

Arguing. Finally, we get to it. No, it doesn't happen very often. The first time we had a disagreement, I felt horrible about it. I apologized for days. However, over the course of the past months, we have come to the realization that arguments and differences in opinion are actually good things. They keep our relationship interesting. We still don't like to argue but we are now able to step back and look at the argument and each other from a different perspective. Have you ever met a couple who didn't argue? I have. It usually means that one person in the relationship is very dominate. The dominate person will tell the other person what to do, what to think, what to wear, etc. Usually, it's much easier for the non-dominate person to not think as thinking can be painful. Healthy relationships are based on equality. Both parties must use their ability to think and make decisions. When Jesse and I disagree because we are both strong people with opinions. But what makes these arguments so good is that we're willing to let someone or something prove our opinions wrong. May we never get set in our ways! is our motto. Truth does not allow for minds that won't be changed.

Submission. I hated this word. In fact, there are moments when I still loathe it. People defile it, making it into something ugly and sinful. They demand it, manipulate it, revel in it. I was very leery of relationship for this reason. What I did not realize was how beautiful submission can be. Yes, it does mean giving up one's will. Yet, when submitting to someone you respect and cherish, submission also means retaining your will. I submit to Jesse because I want to. Jesse submits to me because he wants to. We are equals. We do not demand it of each other; we submit freely. We have learned that submission from both is necessary for any healthy relationship. Just as Christ submitted himself to us so that we might have a relationship with him, so must we submit ourselves to him. True, biblical submission involves purity of heart and soul.

Being Involved in Theatre TogetherTaking Walks Together. Holding Hands. Laughing Together. Talking to People Together. Encouraging Each Other. Hating Raisins Together.

Thanking God for Each Other.

This turned into a longer post than I had intended. :-) I am just purely grateful for Jesse and how healing he has been for me. I have grown and changed so much because of him. His heart is mine and mine is his. Our life together has been beyond my wildest dreams. I love who he is. I love who I am.

Take heart. Joy cometh in the morning.

Friday, September 14, 2012

An Experiment

she may or may not have been right
written by Naomi T. 
all rights reserved

The music books were from her great-grandmother. Approximately, 20 books and pieces of sheet music; some of it was falling to pieces but some of it was still sturdy and looked brand-new. She was the first cousin who had shown a passion for music, so her Grandmother offered her the books. She promised she would take care of them.

The sentimental value made all the books a priceless treasure to her. When she wasn't agonizing over math problems and delighting in grammar, she would sit at the organ and look at the music. When cleaning bathrooms or vacuuming floors beckoned to her, she would reluctantly drag herself away. But not before she would carefully put the books back in the bench and vigorously threaten caution her many younger siblings to never touch. Well, maybe when she was there to oversee the touching.

School was home, church was home and aside from a few outside the close circle, friends and enemies were siblings. The relatives lived 12 hours away so they only saw the grandparents once a year and the cousins almost never. Life was always busy, always full. They weren't supposed to feel lonely, but she was given to thought, always. Sometimes in her secret heart, the music books were a connection to family and to her past. When she touched them, she imagined that she was enveloped by a connection. A connection of what? She wasn't sure, but it was a good feeling.

Such excitement. Close friends were going to spend a day with them, over the weekend. The house and it's inhabitants were swept away in excitement and a whirlwind of activity. Her mother and father would have been so mortified if people saw their home in any other state but spotless. Pies and breads were baked all day, butter was churned and ice-cream was made. Since her father had no regular work, he could stay home all day and wash the outsides of the windows high on the house. Her mother complimented him as he spent hours make sure there were no streaks left.

The visit was fun. They didn't often get visitors and these were especially welcome. A few hours into it, she suddenly remembered her priceless treasure. She simply had to show one of the girls as she was certain this individual would appreciate the value of it. She selected one of her favorite pieces, which she could only play a little and asked the girl if she could play it. Her friend seemed to be taken aback: of course she would never play this type of music. It was not Christian or God honoring; it was bad music.

It was embarrassing. She felt her face get very red and her stomach started aching. Her mother had been listening in on the conversation as well and she could see her embarrassment as well. How could she have been so stupid? Of course, it was an old folk song. She forgot that no one was even sure if classical music was God honoring. She hurriedly put the sheet music away. The rest of the visit went well and as the minutes passed pleasantly, she forgot all about her stomach ache and her face went back to it's regular color.

The visitors left and the house seemed empty. The girl and her family were all laughing and talking in the afterglow. All was well until her mother looked at her in consternation. She had remembered the music incident. She recounted it to the entire family. The stomach ache came back and the girl left the room quietly. The storm would leave sometime but she had no desire to stay until it's conclusion. It was too embarrassing.

She brought one book upstairs with her, to look at. It was a small book of old cowboy songs and the lyrics interested her. She imagined her great-grandmother playing and singing the songs. She played an organ too. But did she sing? What did her voice sound like?

Hours later, she slipped downstairs to play the organ and comfort herself with more music. She opened the bench. And stopped. Only two pieces of sheet music and a book remained. Even as it did, her mind couldn't understand. She shut the bench, turned slowly away and went to the basement. There were three large garbage cans. She opened the first one. Her music. It was ripped and piled recklessly on the rest of the garbage.

She heard a noise. Her father was standing in the doorway.  Maybe he was trying not to smile, but he was. He had been waiting for her. He didn't say anything. Why? she asked. Because it's frivolous and not God honoring, he replied. His smile disappeared. She can't remember what else she said, but it was something about him not having any right. Or something. She remembers being shocked that he hadn't asked before throwing away her property. But I'm your father, he said. I don't have to ask. She remembers wondering if she could send it back to her Grandmother. But as ripped as it was, she hadn't kept her promise. She was so angry that he didn't let her keep her promise. She ran upstairs and upstairs and upstairs... She slammed the door.

Her body hit her bed with a soft thump and she curled into tight ball, ignoring her sisters. She was too mad to cry. For 20 minutes she stayed like this. Then she started thinking. Will I die from this? No. Should I have allowed my emotions to rule me? No. Will they tell Grandma about this? No. Will she ever know? Maybe when I'm older and I am brave enough to tell her. Does dad know best? No, I don't think so. I'm trying to see it but I can't. Will my opinion matter to him? No. Do I have other things I don't want him to throw away? Yes! There are three pieces left. And I have my books. He could make me do anything because he is stronger and he is my father. Thank goodness I brought the one book upstairs with me.

Still laying on the bed, she carefully hid it between the mattress and box spring. Her best course of action, she decided, was to forget her injured heart for the time being. She would go apologize, even though she was still really angry and didn't think he was right. She knew if she didn't, he would take away the rest of the music. So, she went. She was humble. She was quiet. She didn't look him in the eye because she was afraid he would see she wasn't sincere. She was also afraid she would start to cry. She wouldn't cry in front of him.

There were a few things she was truly sorry for. She wished she had more self control. She wished she had asked him calmly about the music and she wished he hadn't heard the door slam. And though thinking was her life, she rather wished she could accept his ruling and not think. Acceptance makes life so much easier. So does not thinking.

He accepted her apology with graciousness fit for a king. I'm glad you came around, he admitted. I was afraid I was going to have to throw away the rest of your books. She shook her head mutely. He patted her on the shoulder and walked away with a spring in his step.

She went to the organ bench, opened it and and took out the remainder of her music. Upstairs in her corner of the room, she sat on her bed and placed them on her bookshelf -- in broad sight. When everyone had forgotten the incident, she would hide it well. But first things first: she didn't want any attention directed towards the non-God honoring book hidden under her mattress. I'm too clever for my own good, she thought. Suddenly she wished that she didn't have to be.

She realized that just to be safe, she would have to be more careful with her things. She would try to not let people see when she liked something. She would pretend to not care about anything that her parents did not care about. She would insulate her feelings. It was safer not to trust anyone. She would fail sometimes. But she had to start somewhere.

 She felt that lonely feeling again.

Monday, September 10, 2012

1 Year

Jesse and Naomi Twietmeyer

September 10th, 2011

it's been a good year

Sunday, September 9, 2012

snAp sHoTs of my LIFE

This blog post belongs to the points in my life which have recently been happening and should be (?) shared with the public via blogger. I love today's social society.


Yesterday, Lydia called our mum to wish her a very happy birthday. After these were delivered and received, Mum mentioned that our newly married sister, Hannah Ives, was looking for a play pen to put the baby in while she was working the garden next Spring.
 "Oh," says Lydia. There was a brief silence. Then, "Are they... expecting?"
"You didn't know?" Mum asked.
 "No," replied Lydia.
"We thought you knew!" Mum said.
 "No, we did not," replied Lydia.
"Well, she's due in March sometime," Mum informed.
 I was at work at that point and Lydia wanted to text me but Jesse wouldn't let her because he wanted to see my reaction to the news. (He was also gloating in anticipation about referring to Lydia's and my 3 year old sister, "Aunty Sara.") So when I get home, Lydia waves a notebook in my face that had a big note written in it "Hannah is expecting sometime in March." I flipped, of course. Lydia and I have begun calling each other "Aunty Lydia" and "Aunty Naomi"... and we're wondering what on earth to give her that will be the greatest help. And we're wondering how visits are to be arranged and how to spoil Hannah and baby. Oh such a excitement!
I had wanted to wish Mum a happy birthday as well, so I phoned her and expressed my desire for her to have a lovely birthday. Then, I asked to speak to Marty.
"So," says my sister, "I'm... um... making a cake. Because... um... we all forgot it was Mum's birthday. Except maybe Dad. Anyways, Mum got off the phone with Lydia and said, 'That was Lydia wishing me a happy birthday' and we're all like, 'It's your birthday?!'"
It was a red letter day for communication among the Holter offspring.


Insomnia has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. So were night terrors. As I grew older, it seemed to get worse and better, depending on what was happening in my life at the time. When I left home, I slept better than I had in years. But when my husband and I began to share a bed at night, the first months were filled with me screaming frantically and trying to rid myself of whatever or whoever stalked my dreams.  I would wake up sweating and struggling in the blankets, but there was one thing that came to my consciousness very quickly: Jesse. He would hold me close, smooth my hair on my head, whisper in my ear... soon these instances diminished and now, I have them very rarely. It's because of him. I still struggle with sleeplessness. But when insomnia invades those dark hours, what used to be a curse is now a blessing. I lay awake, listening to my lover breathe. He sleeps so soundly, yet he would be awake in a moment if I needed him. I no longer fear the night. Precious are the moments of silence I share in the presence of my beloved.


This morning, we slept until past 10 and got up to make a brunch. Since the house was still cold from the night, we opened blinds and curtains to allow the sun's warmth inside. Jesse's cat, Snow, has a decidedly annoying habit of always wanting to be inside and outside, depending, of course, on what side of the door he is on. No sooner have we let him out, he wants back in and vice versa. Lydia seems to enjoy spoiling him by opening the door at his wish but we are not so kind. This morning, however, I opened the door wide, letting the sun into the kitchen while I made potato pancakes. The breeze mixed with the sunlight and the sound of the falling leaves made it a most delightful experience for us humans. Snow, on the other hand, was flabbergasted. Should he be in or out? Should he sit on the doorstep? Should he pace? Or should he sit? What would show his dignity best in this difficult situation? In the end, he sat on the rug just inside the door and glared at the openness until we shut the door.


There was a party the other night celebrating numerous birthdays. It was a pot luck affair and I decided we were going to make use of the remnants of the roasted chicken we'd had on Wednesday. At my request, Jesse went to the garden and dug potatoes, carrots and an onion. He was also supposed to find basil and garlic but he couldn't locate them. He even got out his phone and googled what they were supposed to look like. (I love this man.) I was just on my way home from work so when he called me to ask for my assistance, I met him in the garden 7.25 minutes later. There was no garlic; apparently, it had all been harvested. But the basil and oregano were both there and flourishing. There is something remarkable about growing and harvesting fresh herbs. They add such delicate, full bodied flavor to a dish. In this case, I tore the basil leaves up and stripped the oregano from it's stems before adding it to the chopped meat.
Soup is very satisfying on every count. I enjoy all soups, though chicken and turkey are favorites. To make chicken soup, you must have chicken, chicken broth, a variety of vegetables, herbs and creativity. I suppose that is my favorite thing about soup: you can use your imagination. Good soup is an art. When we were eating my soup later that evening, I held a potato aloft on my spoon and announced proudly, "This vegetable was in the ground 3 hours ago."
Lydia snorted, as wise sisters always do and asked me to refrain from bragging. "What?" she calmly said, "Like you weren't raised eating fresh vegetables." True, but it felt good knowing my abilities as a hard working farm girl are still lurking under the surface.


There have been some people wondering about my spiritual well being. I appreciate your concern. I need the prayers. My search for Truth goes on and on every moment of each day. I do not claim to be well versed in Truth and Love. In fact, my lack of knowledge both frightens and thrills. I am fearful because I understand only a little of the depths to which I can plunge. God help me. But I am elated by circumstance because I can grow and learn. This is not the end; I can go on. My latest epiphany is that before I can forgive others, I must forgive myself, as God forgives and loves me. Because, guess what?! I hold endless grudges against myself and my past or future actions. I cannot exist this way. Do you ever have trouble forgiving yourself? There is a moment in which we see ourselves through the eyes of Eternity.


My piano schedule has filled dramatically. In fact, I am teaching 4 days per week instead of the usual 3. So far, 17 students. Lydia is also teaching (in my kitchen!) so we will be able to compare notes and ideas. I am looking forward to another great year of students. As I've mentioned before, my students broaden my horizons; at times, it is their genius and it is their ignorance combined which allows me to understand music more fully. My free moments are spent studying, scheduling, practicing...


Politics: I was raised to ignore them. In actuality, both parties usually annoy me to no end, so I chose to follow the ignorance. But ignorance does not make our world any better. My husband and his family are heavily involved with politics so when I began falling in love with Jesse, I sought to understand what was so interesting about two parties saying, "We're better. They're lying. We'll do this. See what they've done to the economy? You should elect us." The fact of the matter is, politicians talk down to people because people want to be talked down to. There are some free thinking, strong individuals who actually see outside off the box. But many people will vote for THEIR party, regardless of policy (or, the lack thereof). They will quote bold statements which have no basis in Truth because their party's politician said it. They want someone to blame so they blame whoever is in power. There are times we are not worthy of freedom. The most frightening thing? Great evil can be put into power through ignorance. Goodbye, freedom.
In regards to the Obama/Romney election, we were watching "West Wing". In this particular episode, President Bartlett was talking to Josh Lyman about economy, power and broken promises. His words were very timely given present circumstances and I wanted to share them here:

"There was a man named Canute, one of the great Viking kings of the 11th century. He wanted his people to be aware of his limitations, so he led them down to the sea and he commanded the tide to roll out. It didn’t. 
"Who gave us the notion that Presidents can move the economy like a play-toy? That we can do more than talk it up or smooth over the rough spots? It’s a lie. What we really owe that union is the truth." -- (Jed Bartlett) West Wing, Season 5, Episode 19 "Talking Points"


September 10th, 2011, we stood in front of an audience and proclaimed our commitment to each other. We had already made an everlasting commitment to each other on November 5th, 2010 but there were many who needed to witness our union. It was the best wedding we have ever attended... not just because it was our own (my goodness, if I could have passed the stress off to someone else...) but because it was a party where all could feel comfortable with who they were. There was good company, good music, good food... and most of all, so much love.
They say the first year is the hardest. I say, if this is so, then I am looking forward to the years to come. We have had our rocky points (like, for instance, Jesse was ignoring me and I wanted attention... so I poured a cup of cold water over his head) and sometimes, one of us will get annoyed at the other. But our friendship has never wavered, nor our respect for the other. There is such freedom to be who we are as individuals, yet someone there to lean on. I never thought I would ever meet such a kindred spirit. Even from the first moment of conversation, we felt a deep connection. I fought it at first because I was frightened; but it only grew stronger and more insistent. I know that God had a hand in this union.


Regarding items of varying sizes and importance that float through my life: God, Jesse, Lydia, The Cat. Oh my... I'm going to be an aunt. :-D They have all been duly noted upon. Enjoy, dear readers. May the future be brightest and may Truth be an amazement.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Of Retro Styles & Pretty Things: Shabby Apple

I love vintage styles. I love grace, femininity and charm. Even as a little girl, looking at Sears catalogues, watching  figure skating or drooling over wedding magazines, my interest was always focused on anything that hinted "vintage". 
It was a great joy for me when "Retro" and vintage styles became featured in the pattern books and certain online stores. Imagine my surprise when I entered the local clothing shop this summer and discovered that they ran an entire line of vintage echoes! It was like heaven on earth. 
But not all vintage and retro styles catch my eye. Especially as I grow older, my tastes have become more defined. Actually, I have simply become pickier. Lol. There aren't many clothes that I can buy locally that suit my body or satisfy my eye. I crave simplicity... served with grace and a gentle feminine touch. 

Sometimes, I'm lucky.

Enter the world of Shabby Apple
Feel free to let your eyeballs bug a little and your mouth to drop open. 
The thing I love most about Shabby Apple is their wide variety of styles; you don't have to have one type of body to fit into their clothes. They serve the community of women. 
I also appreciate their simplistic styles and detailed fitting remarks.
Take a look at these dresses.

(If you would like to see more views, follow this link.)

(For more views, follow this link.)

Their shoes were also a delight: many flats. Heels and I tend to end up tangled on the floor.

(Follow this link.)

(Isn't this headband adorable?)

This skirt has a nice high waist, loose flow down the hips and hits around the knee. Pretty! 
For price and sizing: follow this link.

These are just a couple of items that caught my eye while browsing this site. Will I ever become the happy owner of these things? I really don't know because I have a hard time spending money on myself. Lol. :-P But, should the occasion arise and I find myself in possession of such riches, I will definitely let you know all the details about shipping, quality of products, etc.,etc. 

Meanwhile, I shall enjoy my browsing as my days permit and ask: what are your favorite websites for vintage and retro clothing?