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2014 — A Year of Accomplishment

January 5, 2015

I FINALLY graduated last May from the University of Oklahoma with my master’s degree. (Phew! and Woo Hoo!!) I say, “finally” because the entire process took 5 years to complete—working full-time and attending school part time.

Last week, I came across this Chinese proverb in my Facebook newsfeed :

The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.

And, boy is it true! You just have to keep moving forward. Any worthwhile goal will require blood, sweat, and tears (and I had a bunch of those—just ask my husband). I won’t lie, the desire to quit overpowered me more than once, but my wonderful husband was there every time to “talk me down from the ledge,” remind me of my goal, how far I had come, and, most importantly, that I wasn’t a quitter. What would I do without him?

So now that I have that shiny, new degree hanging on my wall, I’m ready to enjoy my hobbies and my home again.

In the past I’ve tried to pick a word of the year and I’ve pondered it for a few weeks now and I keep coming back to CREATIVE. So many things simply had to be pushed to the background while I worked on my degree—photography, travel, DIY projects—even this blog, and I’m ready to recapture my creative life. I’m looking forward to resuming my blogging and chronicling it all here. :-)

Happy 2015! Make it a glorious New Year!

My Word of the Year – 2013

January 24, 2013

Deciding on a single word to define a year can be difficult, and then sometimes one just pops in your head and instantly you know; that’s the one!

My word for 2013 is Go. Such a simple word; in fact, I tried to think of a more impressive word. One with more than one syllable even, but I always came right back to Go. So, Go it is!

Go – with focus.

Go – with determination.

Go – with character.

Go – forward with ideas.

Go – be open to challenges.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the word needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

My Mother

May 13, 2012

I consider myself very lucky to have this woman as my mother.

Mom and I ~ 1969-70

On my wedding day – April 20, 2002

Throughout my life she has been my protector, my mentor, my cheerleader, my confidant, and my advisor. She has wiped away my tears, fixed my bumps and bruises and soothed several broken hearts.

And, she is the strongest woman I know.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Earhart Luggage: A Surprising Discovery

April 15, 2012

Last February, Dick (my husband) and I came across this set of vintage luggage at the Vintage Tulsa show. We fell in love with the worn leather edging and the remains of an old Panama Lines decal on the exterior of the smaller case. It had clearly been used and used often.

After we brought it home, I lightly cleaned the surface and vacuumed out the interior of each. A few days ago, I decided it was time to clean the brass maker’s plaque on each case; it was tarnished and virtually unreadable. I was curious about the manufacturer. Imagine my surprise when I discovered we had purchased a set of vintage Amelia Earhart luggage.

I had seen the 2009 movie starring Hillary Swank, so I knew Amelia had endorsed a line of clothing and luggage which bore her name. In fact, she was the first to make her name a brand, and use it to fund her various endeavors. Amelia even appeared in a few of the earlier advertisements. The following photograph shows Amelia with several pieces from her luggage line. Although Amelia disappeared in 1939, her line of luggage was produced until the 1990s.


I also discovered this 1945 penny inside one of the interior pockets of of the larger case, and was happy that it had escaped the vacuum cleaner.

Amelia Earhart luggage

Since then I’ve done a little research on the web hoping to narrow down a manufacturing date. I’ve found several vintage magazine ads and compared the fonts used in them to the one on our case, and I believe our cases date from the period between 1930 – 1940. Unfortunately, luggage doesn’t have a serial number or something simliar, so it really is hard to narrow down an exact date.

By now my curiousity was on overload, so my next focus was the Panama Lines decal. The Panama Lines, I discovered, was comprised of three ultra modern cruise ships–the Panama, the Ancon, and the Cristobal, which, starting in 1939, offered weekly service between New York and the Canal Zone. However, during World War II, the cruise ships were put into duty, carrying combat troops to Europe, New Zealand and Australia, and served the US Navy until the end of the war in 1945. After the war, the ships returned to serving cruise passengers.

I can date the logo on our decal to 1940, when a 16-day cruise to Panama was $230 and up (cabin with a private bath and sea view). Please click here if you are interested in seeing an actual Panama Line’s brochure from May 1, 1940. It’s quite fun to read the copy and see the illustrations and photographs.

So, I was able to determine our set of vintage Amelia Earheart luggage took a cruise to Panama sometime before or after WWII. Unfortunately, I don’t have any clues as to who its original owner was, but after the research I’ve done, I believe they had an adventurous spirit and an amazing life. Why else would they have chosen this particular brand? I’ll bet this wonderful set of vintage luggage could tell some amazing stories.

I’m inspired by my vintage Amelia Earheart luggage. There are tons of things to see and do in this world, and I want to grow old with worn out luggage, too.

Linking up to:


Vintage Wanna Bee

Words of Wisdom = Art for the Soul

March 19, 2012

A few weeks ago, I replied to a Facebook post from LoveFeast Table. They were planning a Gathered Thoughts link party and were looking for hostesses. All of the participating bloggers will be linking their posts today, and I am very excited to be participating.

I chose the quote below by Robert Fulghum, author of All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

Writing Prompt

In today’s world there are so many things vying for our attention. Information is constantly bombarding us from several different directions, and it is easy to let your mind become distracted by the noise–Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, iPhones, iPads, texting, e-mail, laptops, television, radio, etc. Not to mention, the endless list of responsibilities–work, school, family, dinner, laundry–and that’s just the beginning. I’m guilty of this, as well. But you have to walk away from it and immerse yourself in something you enjoy and brings peace to your soul; if only for an hour.

  • My husband and I wake up an hour before we really need to, just so we can sit, read the morning paper and drink coffee together. It’s our favorite time of the day; we are doing something we both enjoy and we’re doing it together.
  • I blog because it’s an opportunity to chronicle my projects, stretch my creativity and, hopefully, to improve my writing. Writing doesn’t come easy to me. It never has.
  • I am finishing my master’s degree, so I treasure moments I can read for fun, but I truly enjoy learning. (By the way, additional opportunities to improve my writing.) Not only is learning is fun, it’s something you can do for the rest of your life.
  • My husband and I have been known to break out into song for no reason at all, other than to be silly. (At home, of course. Taylor Swift, I’m not.)

I am constantly amazed by the number of people who claim to NOT be creative. Somewhere along the way, we let growing up suck away our creativity and imagination. Many of us have to fight to get it back. I know, I did. But, once you do, fight to keep it.

Mr. Fulghum is a wise man.


I would like to thank Melanie at Only a Breath for participating in the link party. Be sure to visit her blog, as well as, LoveFeast Table, and read other’s quote-inspired posts. By the way, if you are interested, the LoveFeast has the 365 Gathered Thought Box available in their shop.

Weekend Celebrations

March 11, 2012

This weekend my husband, Dick, and I are celebrating two milestone events.

Today, I am turning 45, and this amazes me. Mainly, because I don’t feel a day over 25, and frankly, 25 doesn’t seem that long ago. It is amazing how fast time flies. I find a few more gray hairs every day. Thankfully, they are all in one area and easily hidden. And, I have a few more “laughing” lines around my eyes. I figure I’ve earned those–no point worry or obsessing about them. Now, I can’t guarantee that will be the case five years from now when I have my 5oth birthday.

Now, on to Dick’s milestone celebration…

Last year, the day before my birthday, Dick had an early morning appointment for an angiogram. During the angiogram, the doctors found a 99% blockage in the main artery of his heart. See where the artery seems to disappear on the image below–that’s the blockage.

He was immediately taken taken and admitted to the hospital to surgically insert a stent into the artery. Our day was destined to get longer. An emergency pushed his procedure back, and he wasn’t taken into the OR until around 6:30 p.m. Sometime later, a doctor came out to inform me that they were going to perform an emergency bypass surgery. The calcification in the artery was so hard that the stent could not be inserted. The stent actually ruptured his artery. At this point time started to fade away, but I think it was around 8:00 pm. It was well after 1:00 am before he was out of the OR and taken to CICU. He sailed right through surgery–no problems whatsoever. Now, that was the greatest birthday present ever. I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck.

Since, Dick was occupied last year on my birthday, he insisted on a make-up present. In January of this year, he treated me to a Bryan Adams concert in Springfield, Missouri. I was able to enjoy my favorite singer with a healthy, happy husband. Now, that was the second best birthday present–ever. :-)

Bryan Adams at the Gillioz Theater


Wishing you a day full of love and happiness…

February 14, 2012

Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. ~Franklin P. Jones

Copyright Ruby Loftin Fine Art Photography


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