Friday, August 31, 2007

Remember Diana

I couldn't let this day pass without a tribute to "my" princess. Today. So many years ago. In case you want to re-read my birthday tribute to her, it's here. You know, ten years have passed in a heart beat for us. Frozen in time, locked in our minds and hearts as a young, beautiful woman, Diana will forever be one of my very favorite women. Although some of these photos show the car, I still liked the way they moved through her life, her reign, and the waves and waves, the oceans of floral tributes there ten years ago. Thankfully, Diana's goodness and her charm and spirit aren't sad. She is always there to cheer us on with that slight tilt of the head, those dark-lashed eyes, that invitation to keep trying, keep the faith, and do the kindest things you can imagine.

Summer's End Soup Simmer

One of my favorite things to make is soup. I just adore all the chopping, the simmering, and the flavoring of it. On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I grabbed a few hours of sleep/down time in my own house (I've been staying with my Mom), and I decided to make her soup. For Daddy's birthday the past four years I enrolled him in the "goody of the month" club and baked some kind of yummy, scrumptious usually chocolate morsel every 11th... So for Mom this year I enrolled her in the "soup of the month" on the 29th of June. July's soup was a little fresh zucchini ratatoullie thing, but August cried out for

End of the Garden soup. Here's the recipe: sauteed onion (1) and sauteed celery ribs(3) in olive oil until tender, two large cans crushed tomatoes, one can mushrooms, sliced carrots (3), chunked potatoes (4-5 medium), 1-2 T. thyme dried or more if fresh, 2 T. chicken or beef soup base (I used chicken-- it's a lot like boullion if that's what you have), 1 pound crumbled mild breakfast sausage (well-drained), 1 can mixed vegetables, 1/4 c. sugar, 2 c. water, and salt & pepper to taste (I didn't use any this time because the soup base is pretty salty). Simmer in crockpot or a large stockpot for at least one hour. (gets better as you re-heat it).

My little mother has an old, old soup pot that was my grandmother's. It even has a bail to hang over an open fire pit. Just the ticket for her to carry from the fridge to the stove with her walker. I'm amazed at my mom's resourcefulness and determination with that thing. She's used one for about five years now due to osteoporosis. Up until now she's always been cheerful and happy just to be herself and doing for us. Yep. That, my friends, is exactly why I let her do the dishes tonight!

Take care all. Have a good Labor Day weekend. 26 years ago I had a REAL Labor Day weekend. My son was born!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Impossible Dream

You know, Don Quixote had the right idea.... Be nearsighted, fight anything that moves! No, not really. Another day at school... I have wonderful kids.... a few challenging ones, and a few too many of those at the same time, in the same room, during the last hour of the day... Kind of feels like they have already mentally "got on the bus." But it's only day seven. I have learned to think positively about all kinds of new attempts I make to get things to "g" with them. If it is a successful attempt, I'm pleased, determine to try it again (but not very soon for it won't work always and often). If it isn't too successful, I'm kind of glad to know that, and I mentally file it in "Things not to do again for a while." Today we listened to "Ironic" by Alanis Morrisette to study the irony in "The Sniper" (A sad Irish tale where the sniper ends up shooting his own brother by mistake.) You'd be surprised how many kids said, "This song has that many words? I've never heard them before..." Now, isn't that ironic, Alanis? The premise was good, the laptops were a bit stubborn about going online and Youtube was slaggy.... But it was solid. I'm going to enjoy this evening. Two dear friends are bringing pizza down to my mom and me. This is two weeks since our lives changed forever. It is so kind of people to try to do things to help friends get through it. And I got a new laptop today to use while I'm teaching at this school (one or maybe two years). How cool is that? My ironic story was about Daddy's wedding ring. He had worn it for nearly 57 years when he got so ill and skinny this summer. He lost it and was simply devastated. He searched, retraced his steps, tried everything, called.. no ring. Of course, we had to clean out his car to wash it and get ready for the funeral procession. My son found the ring. It seemed to hard to take, but I am sure he was pleased we found it, and he would have been pleased to know it wasn't lost for good. Irony is sometimes funny, but often just a bit of a stab in the heart... Well, off to make an Italian salad for my friends.... Have a fun night.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Thank you Feathered Nest Manuela

Thank you Manuela! I was lucky enough to receive this wonderful book in a giveaway from Manuela from The Feathered Nest. It is a fabulous book with all kinds of lovely photos and a very interesting narrative about living the Southern Life. It seems to be a beautiful oasis of Southern Charm and Hospitality, some lovely ideas for foods and decor! Thank you to Manuela for thinking of me and for offering such a delightful giveaway! Go see her beautiful blog here.

The Journey

Life is like a journey, taken on a train
With a pair of travelers at each window pane.
I may sit beside you all the journey through,
Or I may sit elsewhere, never knowing you.
But if fate should have it we sit side by side,
Let's be pleasant travelers. It's so short a ride.

This is a little poem I found on a home made celluloid frame hanging on my dad's mother's wall. Ma, we called her. We had it read at Daddy's service. She lived it to the core, and so did my dad, and so do I try to.... (but failing often). I made labels with this poem and this photo on them for the backs of the thank you's I've written. Do you know it was nearly 200 hand written notes for thank you's? I wanted to say something personal to everyone. I don't want to be done with this task, but I nearly am. I don't really want to be EVER finished with doing things for my dad, you know? I hope each of us has a pleasant journey with pleasant travelers today! Take care.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I need another 24 hours in my Saturday!

Oh, my gosh... This is the first Saturday after school started. And of course, this is the first real Saturday for me to help my mother. I stayed all night with her again last night and have been writing hundreds of thank you notes to our wonderful friends and family for all the sweet floral arrangements, food, visits, gifts, prayers, and help. Errands, laundry at both houses, dishes at both houses, cleaned the bathrooms... you all know the drills... times two! Plus to be honest with just you "few" lovely friends in blogland, I'd love to just curl up with my cat, Sally, and a book, the tv on the food channel or HGTV and probably snooze for hours!!! Anyway, I can't even find a video on Youtube I like. I found an adorable one with funny cats, but a bunch of it was cussing... and I don't think cats cuss... I may say a blue phrase or two when I think I'm alone... but kitties do not cuss, do you think? I loved this picture, and I don't know who gets credit for it because it's everywhere. I think its origin may be on Photobucket, but I don't know. It is truly me.... How often have I felt like this when my son asks me, "Where are those chips we bought?" Yep. Have a nice weekend, dear ones. I baked you a cookie, but I eated it. Hugs to all.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wee folk .... summer's goodbye

My Mantel Faeries
On my mantel we will usually find something seasonal. I am working to start the tradition that my son (even though he's 25) and I put out seasonal things to celebrate our beautiful world. After the bunnies go away in April or May, we set out the faeries! He has given me so many of these that it seems to be his favorite! Here you see a few. The center rock is really a magical candle with little trinkets embedded. The tiara was given to me when I "retired" as a celebration. The theme was "Queen of Quite a Lot" so the tiara was lovely. I received many fairies as gifts then, and the art teacher made me a set of gossamer wings and a wand.
Most of these little girls are from my son. I notice he goes for the cute, kinda sexy fairies. That's okay. I love them all.

Presiding over the fairy folk is my lady of the sea, looking for her sailor. She never fails to make me smile and feel so sympathetic with her life... We spend a lot of time "looking" for things, for people, for events, for successes. I wonder what she sees when she finally turns away from her search and heads back home. I hope it is a sweet cottage with loved ones to cherish and a cozy fireplace crackling--- and the place aglow with candles, the tiny kitchen nurturing a warm, buttered, bread loaf in her oven.
And on the end, my wreath with my tattered wand lying in the heart of the circle. I'm sure people wonder at this old, cardboard thing, stapled, frayed, more than old.... feeble perhaps, but.... there's a story behind it, for my heart and my mom and dad's.This is a magical wand. I owned it from the days of grade school, the only remnant of a fairy dime store costume I wore at Halloween for possibly my fourth grade year. The mask, the blue stencil star apron--- gone to the burn barrel, but NOT MY WAND!!!! I was fierce about that, I recall. This wand was my pass to what I wished to imagine. I slept with it, flitted about the house and yard and creekbed with it, read with it as a bookmark, crushing the handle flat between the pages of my Gene Stratton Porter books. It was occassionally abandoned in the cluttery darkness of my toybox (thus the tatters increased.) I noticed the sparkling foil curling around the star, so I hauled out my mom's trusty stapler and fixed it up. Finally, just like Jackie Paper and his magic Puff, I decided I was too smart, too old, too "with it" for this old thing. I think much of life had lost its magic as my heart turned to stupid boys and the lack thereof in my life. Anyway, I decided to toss it into the kitchen trash. Out went my sweet daddy to burn it, and my heart skipped a beat when I saw the empty trashbin. What had I done? You don't know how many other little wands I've purchased through the years. Some for little cousins and neices, others for myself, always lamenting my REAL one burned so long ago. About five Halloweens ago, my daddy and mom picked me up to go have supper in the car at Sonic. I was sitting there in the back seat of their Buick munching on those heavenly onion rings when my dad turned to Mom and said, "Did you tell her about her Star Stick?" My what? They laughed and said he had found it in the garage, tucked behind a stack of things, long ago salvaged by a dad who didn't want his little girl to be THAT grown up. He said he remembered shaking his head at my "sacrifice" of my personal treasure and saving it until I'd grown up a bit. It had to be thirty years, but I was sooo thrilled to take this back and tuck it in my fairy collection. I should have known it would be my dad to save the magic for me. He always has, and he always will.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Oh, so co-ordinated!

Once upon a time I saw a photo on Alison's Brocante Home blog with color coordinated books. Then later she showed a picture of her own. Well, despite the amount of clutter here and there and the smudges of dust and dirt in my closets and corners, I HAD to do that to some of my books. It was over a year ago when I first dumped my shelves and coded (a little). As you can see, I didn't gradient color the shelves. I get too many new books and read them at random WAY too much for that. My books have been my friends for years and years. I remember waking up in the night when I was first married and living away from home. I called my mom and dad and asked if it was okay to come down to their house at midnight and get a few boxes of my books... Just couldn't sleep well without their soft bindings surrounding me. Each little square inch of book spine represents a whole world... each book is a person, a place ---- Mitford, Avonlea, Narnia, Jo, Laura and Almanzo, or Vianne... If I could give my kids at school even a breath of this love for books, I know their worlds would illuminate, explode with color.... (but would they color code their lockers? Hmmm... Does the word compulsive come to mind?) Got to FLY.... Time for a short shower and school.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Year Number 48 . . .and counting

Okay.... so for the past 48 YEARS I have gone back to school in the fall. I actually remember my very first year, roses cut for the teacher carefully wrapped in a wet paper towel and then tinfoil, white turned down socks and white sandals and a little blue gingham dress embroidered by my mother's college roommate and dearest friend. Do I remember? or is it the photo I recall? I only know I have really loved every back to school morning and usually can't sleep the night before.
My grandfather always bought me a huge box of colors WITH the sharpener. I was always flaunting that in front of my friends with 48 colors!

This is me.... silly little over achiever. I hope my classes are interesting and good for my kids. They don't know me... But after tomorrow.... we'll all be acquainted.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Much, much love and thanks to everyone who has helped us realize the power of love and the impact of one gentle soul on others. I cannot express how much the hugs and words and other beautiful gifts of care and concern mean to us as a family. My daddy would have been so pleased to know how many honored his life. I believe he knows. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sad Days

My sweet daddy passed away yesterday afternoon about 2 o'clock. He was home with my mother, and they had a wonderful morning and we'd had a good summer. Life is so fragile. Hug your loved ones all the time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

This is how I feel

Hey... Anybody else in the Midwest feel like this guy?
I mean, ugh. I feel
VERY b-wordy,
hateful, sick. I know. I know.
Cooler weather will come (if I live). But tomorrow the "wind chill" (I've started to say
that instead of heat index) will be 110 degrees, and Tuesday... 114 degrees. As I sit tonight and survey my beautiful city of Paris (In my dreams, of course).... It's time for a break from blogging and from anything remotely affected by my terrible attitude. I am remembering a trip I took with a group of school teachers about ten years ago. It was during the heat of July, and our task was to get off a bus alongside a roadside blasted through a hill, gather rock, and try to identify the types of rock and classify them... They gave us little vinyl bags for that. I decided to fill my vinyl bags with crushed ice, and then I put them in my bra, down my neck, and under my arms. It seemed to catch on. Soon everyone except this absolutely stunning Southern beauty of an art teacher named Mary (who didn't seem even remotely hot, of course but was way too sweet and gracious to hate for it)... we all put those ice packs all over our bodies... The elderly man in charge WAS NOT PROUD. But we enjoyed the day much more... and as the ice melted, we jiggled in the bus and believed ourselves all to be "budding" Dolly Partons... It was fabulous. I kid you not.. Oh, okay...I promise to get a grip. I don't believe in fussing about the weather in the winter OR summer because it's my philosophy that I'm really complaining about God on the truest level as He is the author of weather, I think.... So except for this little smatter of grinch... I'm going to be quiet until I feel better. Hope to see everyone soon.... and to need a sweater! Take care.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Thank you!

It is a pleasure to receive this lovely award called "Nice Matters." It comes as a tag from Cynthia of Springmont Cottage, and I truly appreciate being nominated. As I look through the blogs that daily inspire me with their love of living, spirit for beauty, and hearts for home, I see many of them have received this award. And they so deserve it. For this reason, I will post this award with happy gratitude and offer it to any who read this and would love the chance to nominate a few other great blogs, seven I think. I can't begin to choose seven from all the lovely daily places I stop to chat and catch my breath. Thank you. Blessings to all.

Einstein... Back to School!

Have a super weekend.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Gramma... My Sweet Gramma

August 11th would be my Gramma's 108th Birthday. Although I would have told you I couldn't live one minute without her, I find that I've lived nearly 23 years. I think it's universal. We love our grammas or a dear aunt, or someone who just seems to light up when we walk into the room. August's flower is the poppy, and my grandmother had a lovely bed of these hot orange favorites of hers. She gave me the chocolate pot, and I bought the plates on Ebay. These are called Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. Beautiful, with words and phrases sprinkled on the rims. My friend has them, and they set a beautiful table. I have four plates and some cups and saucers. The little poppy red, raspberry cup is actually a brush mug I bought at that big auction a couple of weeks ago.

The photo is one of my gramma and of me on my wedding day. She made both wedding dresses for me, my white, first wedding's dream dress with lacy overlay, long tiers of ruffles in back, and a headress with hand sewn lace... and this one of blue lace, for my second wedding to the father of my child, my heart throb, THE ONE.... I hoped and believed. And somehow I know she could have helped me through the heartbreak and lingering devastation of losing that "married" soul of my life which seemed to have changed me to the very core. Gramma's maxims live within my spirit: "Little bit do good; whole lot do better." "If you're hurt, paint something pink; if you're mad, do red." "They be silly; you be silly." "Never say die; say damn and keep on trying." "Stick your head in the air. You're better than that." and the last words she ever said to my mother: "I love you more than tongue can tell." I said that to my three year old son after her death SO many times that once he looked at me squarely and said, "Momma? Just who is this Tunkatell?" What a hoot. Gramma was no doubt sparkling and howling with laughter on that one. Quilts, clothes, my eye and heart for china, a passion for old things and for family--- many gifts she gave me, and many traits. Sometimes I feel her rise up inside me and I become my gramma. It's always spectacular. Other times I dream of her, and it is a little visit. Only five foot, one inch... less as she aged, but full of feist and spunk. She saw me at my worst, told me off, and hugged me hard... In her I felt and met that unconditional love we all desperately need. There was never any performance based acceptance with Gramma. I was "in" and I was the only granddaughter, so I was always going to be "in." So, in honor of your birthday, I set my August table with these poppy china dishes, hug my family close, and whisper to all I care about: "I love you more than Tunkatell." Happy Birthday, Gramma. I've been painting with pink.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Appreciation Art (Techno/Vintage- Style)

I have been reading about the "Nice Matters" Award, and I think that is such a super idea. It kick started me to do a little project I'd been wanting to do for several weeks. Brenda is the hair dresser in my little town. She is kind of that "good hearted woman" hairdresser character you see in movies. Brenda is about 40 years old, really very cute, fixy with all kinds of great eye makeup and glitzy shoes or jewelry. She has a smile for everyone all the time, ALL THE TIME. She flies around town and picks up the little elderly ladies in town who can't drive or get out. I can see Brenda's shop from my gift shop window, and I see her helping them in if it's a bit slick, and helping them into the cars, no matter what the weather. She always has a sympathetic ear and her constant murmur is, "God love her... or him... or you," whichever is appropriate. I just love her, so I wrote her a little note to tell her so and created this banner for Halloween, (early, I know, but we both ADORE it!). I had a lot better luck with the smaller letters and holes punched instead of slit, and wired ribbon. I am participating (a little) in Andrea's Velvet Strawberries Artful Blogging attempt, a little in Tracey's Notes from a Cottage Industry award, and in Amy's Four Sisters in a Cottage award. I just did it offline. Have a nice weekend. If you have a cool breeze to spare, please please send it to Missouri. We're melting!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A final salute to summer

Awaiting my red and blue tote (someone stole it and put my son's clothes in it... Hmmm...) Time to pack.
I am collecting all my summer patriotic items to pack away in a tote. Another summer seems sliding by. By the time Homecoming is here, school starts, and soon days will slip into locust called splendor, and it will be fall. I sometimes keep up the red, white, and blue until 9-11, but usually I put it away before I go back to full day schedule. I hope I don't discover a little Uncle Sam hiding in a corner cabinet in the middle of February. I usually miss somebody. I have a sweet ceramic angel ornament on my kitchen counter. She hopes to hang in there (literally) until the holidays. Take care. I love my red, white, and blue, but I think I love fall stuff even more.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Let the Carnival Begin!

In our little town, the town where I once taught for 27 years, retired, went away, and now return for another year at least... we have an annual summer festival. We call it Homecoming. Created in 1924, the purpose was to establish a weekend for festivities to coordinate the homecoming visits of the residents who moved away to follow the coal fields. We have a one hour or longer parade, queen contest, rides, funnel cakes, the best hamburgers in the world (so say the locals), and many more wonderful events. Today was the annual Homecoming Brunch, and I made little bookmark, scrapbook favors to give to everyone there... little print shop numbers with this year's theme and date. I just do not sleep at night... so at four o'clock, I decided to make these... Well received at our Brunch... We had several women there today who were either married or engaged during Homecoming many years ago... One lady made her husband bring her home from her honeymoon because they were missing it. My friend said when she took a group of students to Europe one summer, they were sitting in Paris, able to see the Eiffel Tower, the Cathedral of Notre Dame, and all the city of lights... The kids were simply crying that they were missing Homecoming... I have lovely memories of flippin' burgers (thousands, honestly.... thousands per day/night, of decorating floats, coordinating with others to create props for concerts, queens, even a show to beat all shows when my husband's family joined others who had immigrated to the area.. We took our babies on the stage and danced in German costumes in front of a huge ship with the theme, "Coming to America" (Neil Diamond style)... Babies on our hips, little cousins in leiderhosen.... Always a big Nashville act or two, a local baton twirler, and the proverbial square dancer... It's kind of a bittersweet time for me any more... It seems all tied up with my ex, my son's childhood, and my past. But I still love some of it.
Since sleep evaded me, I also made a banner for a couple who've been married 50 years (another of the Homecoming weddings). They are having a party and dinner in the Town Lodge on Sunday... I should have asked some of you who have made banners how to do this.. It was a little difficult to space the letters, to get them on in the right order and not backwards (I'm a teensy bit dyslexic, so I really struggle with stringing them on backwards.)... I think sixteen letters was too many for one string... But it's done, and it's delivered, and it's their problem on hanging it! My camera seems to change colors at whim... I need a lesson if photo retrieval, I think. Have a fun week. I hope it's cooler where you are than here. Although we did get a little rain tonight... So needed.

Update on the blowout!

Yes, I did finally get everything put back into the kitchen cupboards. This is a shot of my tea and beverages cupboard. I have too much tea! I think they could reach the East by sailing West into my kitchen and Vasco Da Gama would be my new paramour. What do you think? Whew! I am amazed I made it, and I might not have if I hadn't wanted to take a picture of it! Blogging as a form of self discipline, huh? I just thought I'd share these shots. My NEXT project (way into the future, I hope) is to paint at least the insides of these cabinets. My friend, (the Baked Alaska diva) got brave one day a few years ago and painted hers a glistening beautiful shade of white. They are amazing! I love, love, love them. I'm definitely waiting until Tracey gets hers done! If the maestro of painting isn't finished yet, who am I to start????

My plate cupboard. I will get these down and show what they are some time soon. The sugar bowl in front was my gramma's and it's full of change. Kinda chippy and cracked, but I so remember hooping big spoons of sugar into cups of tea. Our personal favorite was Sassafras, and we swore it made us feel better... I later think they quit selling Sassafras due to its blood thinning effects. Well, maybe our blood needed thinning? I think they sell it now, but it tastes different, maybe due to something about the tea, maybe due to the fact I am not sitting in the most adorable pink and green kithen in the whole wide world with my precious Gramma.

Oh, baby. Do I ever have serving bowls? And more than this. I'm addicted to china, bowls, pitchers, chocolate, Hell's Kitchen. Who will win, do you think? I think I'm rooting for the Nanny, but I don't really know.

I have a passion for folk art and crows.... then vintage pinks and softs... That causes stress. I haven't used the big beverage server yet, but I cannot wait to try it out. Mom bought it for me for my birthday from She seems to think it will leak and drip. Always, the optimist, that's my mother!

Cups and florals.... ready for tea... or butter pecan torte Gevalia!!! I'd give anything if all of you could come over and have one with me! Enjoy the week and try to keep cool. It's supposed to be 109 degrees heat index tomorrow and the next day. That's bad.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I do it My Way..... and it's AWFUL!!!!

Welcome to my version of cleaning the kitchen. Since childhood, I have had a ridiculous and terrible habit. When I truly want to clean, I dump. My mother used to banish me to my room to "neat" it up, as she would say. I disappeared for hours, and she finally came in to check on me only to scream in horror. I had dumped every drawer, every shelf in my deep, marvelous closet, every Barbie suitcase, every item of clothing... dumped.... Then I began the process of organizing, putting them all back in to some kind of order. Fast forward to my years as a bride in my first little home: Yep... only this time I dumped THE ENTIRE HOUSE.... Gargantuan task of yuckiness. I kind of like it (evidently), but it's perfectionism to the max and it kills me now that I have less time, less energy, less "umph." But today I did indeed dump my kitchen cabinets. I finally took the time to put all the "like" glassware together, all the plates, kind of in an organized manner as to how I might like to use everything. My son helped with the tall stuff, but he just hates this process... So, here is a fraction of my floor.... Why were all these items in the same cabinet??? Who knows.
Even though I have lived here for thirty years, the cabinets are just blah inside. No lacy border a la Tracey on Notes from a Cottage Industry. No faux finish inside... just blah. But the goblet cabinet is neat and tidy... More shots tomorrow of my plates, my what nots... Who knows? I might just keep things this way this time . Hey, a girl dreams what she wants.
During the event Sal decided to take up residence in a stray wreath. She snoozed in it, too and just decided it was "her." I think she felt beautiful. The guy that lives with us came in and called her "centerpiece cat." She announced she loved that name and began to strut around the kitchen. Then, her awful mistress HUNG up the wreath.... Booo! I think she will recover. She's browsing in the Walmart sack of fall foliage I bought this week for the shop. I do believe she's turning in to a faux outdoors cat... Who knows.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Where I'm From Poetry Project

Wow... I just found this wonderful post on an old page of a blog from Rose Cottage by the Sea.

It is really a beautiful blog with many ideas, dreams, and sweet stories. Plus the sweetest, saddest little music plays while you view it. I saw that poem, thought of a project for upcoming school, of course, but decided to start by doing it myself. I loved the results of my own, so I called my mother and filled out a little questionnaire over the phone. I loved hers and had to smile at the way our answers were so similar. She raised me a good deal as she was raised herself. Now, for the kicker. I plan to ask my son. There, I fear, the continuity will not carry through because I know some things were sadly different. We shall see. Well, I did the "mad libs" type of questions for my son, and it was kind of cute, a little bit whimsical, and just a teensy bit cynical. We've been through quite a bit in his lifetime, so I was glad to see some fun and good memories coming out of his heart and mind. (Whew! in other words!......)

I plan to ask some friends, my dad, and maybe keep a little scrapbook of these poems. I can't wait for the decision I'll make on which students to "grace" with this idea. I'd love to see any you make for yourselves if you want to try it and email me the results.

Template for asking the right questions: Here. I added a bit and just tinkered with it until I was happy with what I answered and the way it read on the page.

I am from line-dried cotton sheets, from Double Cola and Nutmeg Windmill cookies.
I am from the Midwestern farm home, scrubbed, loved, and filled with the smell of roast beef and Gramma’s yeast rolls.

I am from the tomato vine, zinnia, and rabbit‘s nest.
The green-tasseled corn, hollyhock, and maple tree hollow.
I am from stockings hung by the fire, cooking for comfort, from Norma and Gerald, Gramma and Paw-paw, Grandad and Ma.

I am from the urge to decorate and the desire for security.
From “Get to bed before the midnight train comes.” and “Pretty is as pretty does.”

I am from a one room church with pink and blue stained glass windows, macaroni art projects, and
Kool-aid blessed, Bible School afternoons.

I am a collector of china, memories, and moonbeams.
I'm from Missouri and Indiana sod,
snicker doodle cookies,
and angel food cake laced with strawberries.

I am from the day when Mom told her mother she had to have a red, dotted dress with ruffles, the times my dad drove a tractor through knee-deep mud to carry mail, and the long ago nights when my gramma lay shivering in an Indiana bed
listening to the panther’s scream.

I am from photographs stored in deep cedar drawers
filled with albums, clippings, and lace.

I am from cedar chests laden with old coins, graduation tassels and layered with hand sewn quilts.
My Son
I am from little red boots, from Transformers
and from Nintendo.

I am from the house with blue carpet, my room strewn with toys,
extremely comfy and happy.

I am from the grass to be mown, the hyacinth in the spring, and the praying mantis; from the pine trees with paper cones, the red geraniums, and Koga, my big, black cat.

I am from arguments on holidays,
and always going to
Granny and Paw-paw’s and staying all night on Christmas Eve.
I am from eating too much and being “big-boned."
from Mom and Dad, Granny and Paw-paw.

I am from the habit of never hearing my Paw-paw say, “I don’t know,”
and from Dad flipping out with no warning.

From “Children are meant to be seen and not heard” from Dad,
and “If you fidget, people will think you
have a problem“ from Granny.

I am from listening to KLTE religious radio
and worrying about Granny and Paw-paw, who never talked about it.

I'm from the same farm for three generations,
a few notches back on the same “chunk of rock,"
from Midwestern roots and German tradition.

I am from Broccoli Salad,
Cottage Cheese Ranch Dip, and Taco Salad.

From the story of “Goog Reilly, the Indiana State Police Trooper,“
told by a cousin Ned,
and the one about Paw-paw getting a whipping for getting the tractor stuck,
even though his father knew he would.

I am from photos and scrapbooks probably strewn about the house, hidden in the attic, and on the list to find tomorrow.

I am the chubby little boy who felt oblivious most of the time, but happy nevertheless.

Double Feature

Oh, how I loved this man!

A favorite Actor, A favorite line, A favorite rabbit! Saturday at the Movies

I am so thrilled to find this little clip. I have loved Jimmy Stewart all my life with all my heart. This is one of the most important quotes I have ever heard in my life, delivered with the style only Jimmy could have. The good lord knows I need to tatoo this one on my heart and on my soul now that I'm starting back to school in less than two weeks. I so agree with this... and you may quote me! Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tag! High school ???????

I found this on Cindy's and Julie's blogs: Consider yourself tagged if you want to do this. It's kind of fun! The picture is from 1942, but it looked pretty much the same when I went there. Many changes today!!!!
High School Questionnaire:

1. Who was your best friend? I had more than one! I still love them all today! In alphabetical order, they were Glenda, Janis, Joanie, Julie, Karla, Peggy, (all in my class), and Pat (a freshman when I was a senior)

2. Did you play any sports? No, I wasn't all that coordinated.

3. What kind of car did you drive? None. Sometimes, very rarely, my parents let me borrow their car, a blue oldsmobile.

4. It’s Friday night. Probably at the Drive-in with Roy, who I later married. We then were divorced. We might be with his brother and a friend, too. During the school year I would be at a football game in the fall playing in the band for a half time show, and after halftime with the jazz band/pep band. During the winter and spring, I'd be at a home basketball game, but my parents didn't allow me to ride with anyone to an away game. I also would be at the movies... hurrying home to watch Star Trek on late night tv because it was Roy's favorite show. hmmm.. might have to amend my answer to question number 8??? do ya think?

5. Were you a party animal? Absolutely..... NOT! haha.. Anyone who knows me would laugh about this one!

6. Were you considered a flirt? I don't think so.

7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir? I was a proud member of the band, played an alto and a baritone saxophone, member of the jazz band, and a member of choir my senior year. Also a member of a youth choir that traveled and wore outfits alike and did musicals at my church.

8. Were you a nerd? I didn't think so at the time.

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled? Once I was sort of suspended when I walked out with a group of students to protest some administrator being fired. Isn't it funny, I don't remember who was fired? Could that tell you that I was kind of a lemming on that one? I remember my mom called the school and I was let back in. She wasn't happy with me. I was also kicked out of Orville's history class for NOTHING!! haha... and sent to the principal for goofing off big time with a piano moving dolly and a chair during study hall...

10. Can you sing the fight song? Every single word!!!

11. Who was your favorite teacher? Again, I had several. I loved my teachers: Mr. Sandbothe (band), Mrs. Kirby (English), Mr. Rice (Music and Church), Mr. Defiore (History), Mr. Beltramo(Spanish), Mrs. Dunham (English), Mrs. Robnett (History), Mr. Cerva(English), and Mrs. Bradshaw(English) were probably my very favorites.

12. What was your school mascot? Tigers

13. Did you go to the Prom? Yes, with Roy both junior and senior years

14. If you could go back, would you? I don't know

15. What do you remember most about graduation? It was outdoors. I was crying. Someone fell down the podium stairs (not me, thank goodness!), I got my pre-engagement ring afterwards.

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day? Don't think we had one.

17. Did you have a job your senior year? Nope

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? Ate lunch at a close by Dairy Queen. Loved those Mr. Misty push ups. Also took lunch and ate in the gym a lot.

19. Have you gained weight since then? Unfortunately, and I thought I was fat then... ar 115 pounds. Oh, my, what I wouldn't give for those numbers!

20. What did you do after graduation? I don't remember anything except getting that ring and my dad crying because I was valedictorian. I think my mom (precognitive that she is) cried about the ring. haha
21. What year did you graduate? 1972

22. Who was your Senior Prom Date? Roy, who was my first husband.

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion? I think I went. I have gone to two or three. I dunno. I'm not a big fan of reunions, but I love my classmates. ????

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Just a couple of shots of collections I have started==== and so many wonderful friends and family members have helped me continue. The first two are shots of a small part of the Diana collection I mentioned during her concert. This doesn't include the Queen Elizabeth II portion or the plates and cups and jewelry!!! Am I compulsive or what? I have this in an armoire, almost always closed, so it's something between Diana and me, I guess... and now you!
The last photo is of a shelf of a Mary Engelbreit collection, but, of course, I have more cookbooks, the magazines, the cherry plates!!! Oh, my... When I see Clean Sweep or some of those shows on tv, I get kinda sick.... What if somebody swept into my house and demanded I simplify? I suppose I could, but I wouldn't want to today. Sometimes I do ache for simplicity, for the zen look of peace and maybe a single rose in a sleek vase... But I usually take a tylenol, munch a brownie, and snooze for a little nap, and then I'm back to myself. More little corners of my house (stuffed with lemony goodness) coming soon! Hugs to all!