Monday, April 30, 2012

Sharing Memories

Mom lost a dear cousin last week. These beautiful flowers came home with her after the memorial service. So much beauty in nature. 

Even in sorrow, there's beauty.


Mom shared a lot of childhood memories at dinner that night. She told us about the boy that lived across the street from her cousin and that she had a crush on him when she was about ten or eleven.

She got to chat with him and his wife at the memorial service. She was so happy to talk with someone who knew her aunt and uncle. And someone who shared the same memories she had.

There's comfort to be found in shared memories.


She told us how she found out that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had died.

She picked up the phone to make a call and heard two neighbors talking about his death. She quickly hung up and turned on the radio to hear more news.

We had to explain to J and K what a "party line" was and how it worked. While I don't remember party lines, I do remember only needing to dial 5 digits when I called my grandmother's house from my aunt's house in the big city.

Now I need to dial ten or eleven digits to make that call. Oy vey.

K turned eighteen. 

The Man has been teasing her mercilessly about being "over the hill". She's been calling him "old coot" for the past few years and it makes him crazy.

So he started calling her "old coot" this week, telling her it's all downhill from here. He brought out a cane for her to try. And offered his reading glasses.

She. Is. Not. Amused.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Trade Secrets

The Gurley candles.

Such good condition. I can't wait for Sissy to give them to CC Sissy.

They remind me of my grandmother's house at Christmas. Lots of good memories - a warm, cozy house with tons of snow piled up outside, Christmas lights spread out on all the shrubs and the only light pole on the walkway, steamy windows and blinking Christmas bells, presents piled up under the tree, and food. 

Lots and lots of food. Apple pie, squash pie, mince pie. Turkey. Stuffing. Chocolates. Fudge. Peanut butter stuffed dates. Banana bread. Ham and beans. Ribbon candy. Cookies. 

For a kid, that was a fantastic culinary line up. Looking at it now? Gulp.

But it's the stuff memories are made of.


Had dinner with a couple friends a few nights ago and my cheeks are still sore from laughing. Our kids are all about the same age so we speak the same language.

And we traded war stories for part of the night.

My friend D told us a story about her older son. One night she was sitting in the living room and her son comes downstairs about 10 p.m. and tells her he's taking the dog for a long walk and don't wait up.

10 p.m.?

Taking the dog for a long walk?

Don't wait up?

Where's he going? Out of state?

So he leaves the house with the dog.  She jumps up, throws her sneakers on and tells her husband she's going to follow him on her bike. Her husband doesn't get it and asks, Why?

Why? D says. Because three red flags just went up. One, it's 10 p.m. and he's never walked the dog that late; two, a long walk? to where?; and three, DON'T WAIT UP????

Off she goes and finds him sneaking off to meet some girl. He's astonished that she's there. How did you know? he asks.

She said nothing. 

No sense giving away trade secrets, right?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cinderella Strikes Again

Went thrifting with Sissy today. I didn't take a photo of the treasures we found but they are very cute.

Maybe tomorrow you can see them.

We found some {very} old wax Christmas candles.

Gurley Christmas choir candles. They are not easy to find. Especially ones that haven't been lit and are not dusty.

Really, such treasure.

Spoiler alert! CC Sissy, stop reading!

And we found three pairs. One for me, one for Sissy, and one for CC Sissy. But, shhhh! We want to surprise her.

Okay, CC Sissy, you can continue reading now.
Wandering around with my macro lens. 

Look at all those starbursts in that dandy-lion head.

I love finding patterns in nature. 
I changed the focus a little bit and got an even closer look at the detail inside the dandy-lion puff.

Is each one of these brown things a seed? A seed that will make more {not so}dandy-lions appear in our grass?
I don't need a macro lens to see what's in her eyes.

Enough with the camera, Mom.

She was giving the Man his birthday present. And seems to be disgusted that I want to document this event.
She did such a nice job making his present oh-so-pretty.

And found the perfect card for him.
Many years ago, I had a Cinderella mug from Walt Disney World that I loved. It was a midnight blue mug with a picture of Cinderella and the Prince at the ball, dancing outside under the stars. Cinderella's gown had some sort of glittery iridescent pieces that made the mug just sparkle. Very girly and very princess-y.

K loved getting the Man a cup of coffee after dinner and serving it in that mug. It drove him batty.

He refused to use a Cinderella mug. A princess mug.

He would take that mug, go into the kitchen and pour the coffee in a manly mug.

And K would giggle.

This dance lasted for years.


Fast forward to present day. The mug has been packed away. I'm saving it for K, for when she gets older. I think she'll like having that mug someday. I hope it brings back good memories for her.

In the meantime, she found a Cinderella card for him.

And when he opened it, he laughed long and loud.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Beach Scene, revisited

More vignettes from our beach week{end}.

Have to have a trip to Ben & Jerry's. Everyone has their favorite flavor. 

Mine is the berry berry extraordinary sorbet. 

Try it. You'll like it.
Stopped in at the local general store for a snack or two. Full porch along the front of the store with large glass windows, wooden floors, benches, stone steps and black railings.

Throw in the American flag and barrel full of dill pickles and you've got a Norman Rockwell picture perfect small town scene.


I love their faces as they eat the pickles.

Dilly delicious is what these pickles were.
I got a few bites of this pickle. Only after she had eaten her fill.

She was much more giving with the sea glass than the pickle.
CC Sissy playing with the girls on the beach. 

We just about had the beach to ourselves that day. 
Kite flying.
I love how silly they are.
Can you read the Man's mind?

Just take the picture already, will ya?
Pretty jerseys all in a row.
I loved seeing this older couple sitting together, watching a most glorious sunset. 

That's what I picture the Man and I doing.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Beach Scene

We took some time off this week to visit the beach. 

And oh, what a week it was. The weather was beautiful. 

It felt like July. 

We were able to walk in the water and collect seashells. Sit on the beach and just think. Play miniature golf. Hike outside and climb

It was just like summer. Only it's April.

This is not as dangerous as J and my bil P make it look.

See how casually K is standing? She's not clinging to the rock. Or lunging off the face of the boulder.

We spent hours climbing this rock. J got to practice some of his newly acquired rock climbing skills and the Man got to show the boy he could still climb with the best of them. P was right in the thick of it, climbing up and down with the girls and practicing some vertical climbs on the rear of the boulder.

Even I climbed the rock.

After a lot of goading and gauntlet throwing.

It wasn't as hard as I thought. Maybe I should learn something from that.
We hung out at a National Park museum for a little while before starting a trail around one of the large ponds and along the shore at the park.

D had some fun looking for things on the big map.
I want to sing "Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work we go..." when I see this photo.

We walk in single file a lot. 

When we're not racing each other to be the leader. I beat everyone that day by reaching the car first. I put out a last minute spurt of energy to race D to the car and barely beat her by a hair.

Of course no one else knew it was a race until after I had won. Then I told them we had been in a race.

And I was the winner.
We found lots of sea glass on this morning hike.

All different colors. Brown, green, and clear. 

I'm horrible at finding sea glass so I was very excited to have my little pile at the end of the walk - with lots of thanks to K. She found a few pieces and gave them to me.

She's the best.
We went out to dinner one night and K and MR posed pretty for me.

I love the little blue streak in MR's hair. And her wavy curls.

She and K get those curls from my mom. A nice legacy, I think.
Some photos punch me right in the heart.

She looks like she's got the weight of the world on her tiny shoulders.
All the girls played miniature golf one afternoon. 

Except MR. She took photos for me. 

Didn't she do a great job with this shot of Sissy golfing?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Bits and pieces from the egg hunt on Sunday.

They were moving so fast that was all I could get.

Sitting with the loot.


Trying a new project. It involves cotton yarn, fabric yarn, and crochet.  

So far, so good.

I'll post some pics when I have a few more inches on the hook.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

House of Cards

CC Sissy.

Sissy came up with this name on her blog, What Happens Matters.

It fits her. It makes me think of the song, "C.C. Rider" and all the time we spent in our basement listening to music while we were in high school.

Hours. And hours. We must have listened to the same songs thousands of times.

She's a wild one, CC Sissy. And fun.
CC Sissy and her daughter, MR visited with Nana this past winter and Nan showed her how to crochet these adorable berets.
D looks so natural in this style hat.

And so French.
E's sweet little smile. 

She's so good to pose for her auntie.

These two have had a rough week. They found out about the Easter Bunny not being real. And then the whole house of cards collapsed right before Sissy's eyes.

Santa Claus? Nope, not real.

But we saw Rudolph one year with Auntie! Nope, not real.

Tooth fairy? Nope, not real. What did you do with all our teeth? they wanted to know.

And what about the picture Auntie gave us? The one with the fairy in it? they asked Sissy.

I bet Auntie photoshopped it, says D. She's a smart one, that D.

Poor Sissy. It's not easy closing chapters in your children's lives, is it?
My niece, MR. 

She's good to auntie, too.

We took a break from coloring eggs to snap a few photos in the light through Sissy's gorgeous windows.
I think this is my favorite picture of the day.

I love her expression.
Tie-dye Easter eggs.

Blech. Messy. And the eggs turned gray.

Of course, that could have something to do with TOO.MUCH.COLOR. being applied.

But we won't mention that.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19:30

Jumpin' Johnnys

Slow day around the house.

Then I noticed these little guys popping up all over the patio area near the barn.

We have these tiny sweeties blooming all spring and all summer and all fall and we've even had them bloom into December, if it's warm enough.

I take them for granted since they are around so much.

So I decided to do a little research and see what their story is.
Johnny jump ups, also known as heartsease, originated in the mountains of Spain and France. Sometimes they are called wild pansy. I was trying to figure out how they got to North America, then I remembered how quickly they spread around our yard. I'm sure they hitchhiked on the bottom of someone's shoe.

The name heartsease has nothing to do with cardiac abilities. In flower language, the pansy (from the French "pensée" - thought) sent a message indicating that the recipient was in the sender's thoughts. 

It has lots of medicinal properties, being used to treat epilepsy, asthma, eczema and bronchitis. It has also been used to treat whooping cough, rheumatism, and cystitis.

That is a pretty powerful little flower.

And you can eat it, too. It contains antioxidants.

Bet you didn't know you were going to get a horticulture lesson today, did you?


We went to a "Christ in the Passover" celebration at church tonight. It is something we've been doing for the past few years on Maundy Thursday. 

I like it. It walks us through the Passover meal, telling what the traditions mean, and helps explain the Bible passages about the Last Supper.

At one part of the Passover meal, you have to eat horseradish. It symbolizes the bitterness of the slavery the Jews experienced in Egypt.

I should have taken a small taste. But no, Paster said to eat the whole amount. About a teaspoonful. Which doesn't sound like much. 

Until you eat it. And then, it's....




Nasal burning, eyes watering, and things almost go black. Just when you think you can't stand it anymore, the sensations subside and you slowly return to normal.

Whew. I'm glad we only had to eat that once.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

To Market, To Market

Last photos from down South.

We ate lunch one day at Main's Market. Just what you picture when you think of an eating establishment in a quiet, sleepy southern town. Screen doors slapping, flies scattering, hot air blowing from the ceiling fan - and yummy smells wafting from the hot trays of food.

The Mains were delightful, letting me snap whatever photos I wanted. They explained what the options were, You can get meat and threes or meat and fours. Um, meat and three side dishes or meat and four side dishes.

C and B got fried shrimp and a couple of sides. M and I decided to skip the meat and just get four sides.  I had okra gumbo, red rice and black eyed peas, tomato pie and corn pie. 

Oh me, oh my. How I loved corn pie. 

None of us did much talking. We just kept humming to ourselves, mmmmmhmmmm. 
After a little bit, Miss Etta came out from behind the food trays to sit and make some signs. C went over and started a conversation. I asked Miss Etta if she was one who did the cooking.

And then I asked her if she would come North and live with me. I knew the Man would love her cooking.

Miss Etta laughed and said she'd had many offers before. 

She's a great cook and you should eat at Main's.

Next time you're in the area.

On our last day, we decided to go to Savannah.

Along the way, C pulled off onto a side road and brought us to these church ruins.

Gorgeous brick columns, rusting gates and fences, flowering trees.

Simply beautiful in all it's ruinous glory.
Our first stop was Bonaventure Cemetery. 

If you've read the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt, you'll know what we were looking for.

The Bird Girl.

She's gone now. Moved to a museum.

While we didn't get to see her, we did see other statues. Not as famous, just as nice.
I became a wee bit obsessed with the wrought iron in this area of the country.

Honest to Pete, you'd think I work as a wrought iron photographer.

The whitewash on this fence was stunning with the pink azaleas that were blooming all around.
C and M and I were sitting outside an antiques store waiting for B and this classic car pulled up in front of us.

Three men and two women came tumbling out, opening cans of beer and pouring them into cups. One of the guys walked by us, pointed at M and I with beer in hand saying, "You two are sistahs. I can just tell."

We looked at each and burst out laughing. 

We look nothing alike. Except we both had on scarves and sunglasses.

Not the most observant fellow. But I liked his sweet car.
Meandering through the streets of Savannah.

I think we walked about eighty miles.

It was probably about two.
This last photo has nothing to do with Savannah.

And everything to do with my new French market tote.

I love it so.

I took it with me today and used it in place of plastic bags.

Just doing my part to use less paper and plastic.


I had several people comment on my bag and want to know where I got it from, including Sissy.

I'm going to have to keep an eye on her. You know how she likes to take my stuff. 

The lady at Anthropologie wanted to know because they have lots of customers ask where to buy their market bags (they don't sell them.) These would be the bags they have at the front of the store for people to use while shopping that look a lot like mine. I once stalked a woman, trying to find out what display she got the market bag from that she was carrying around. When I finally asked her, she gave me a funny look and said, The front of the store?!

I didn't know they weren't for purchase.

The lady at Home Goods tried to ring it up, until I convinced her it was my bag and not for sale by Home Goods.

Hmm. This save the planet stuff could be harder than I thought.