Monday, November 30, 2020

Heart Full

My heart is full, full to bursting with absolute love for my girls, their families and the darling granddaughters.
How can you NOT love this tiny elf...
Her uncle who just adores her.
Cousins, a love that is endless...
More love for the new families made...
Happy Thanksgiving...Happy Holidays
We are complete in love for our girls and their girls.'s almost like holding my baby girls again.
Years gone by...

Time was spent preparing food and eating it...YUM  We took time to hand pat out rolls from the recipe my mother made for many years.  It's tradition and this kiddo has it down pat.  Generational memories.

Her first Thanksgiving here and to actually EAT the food.  She's a champion eater that is for sure.


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving...
-Thanksgiving nap many years ago-

Bring on the tryptophan turkey nap.  Actually when I checked the spelling of that word the science says no, turkey does not induce sleep.  What does make us so sleepy after eating turkey dinner is probably the AMOUNT of food we eat.   

The table is set for our small gathering.  Usually I have about 30 at my house and a 20 pound turkey in the oven.  The only part of that statement that has changed is the amount of people gathering, but the 20 pounder is still in the oven.  Old habits are hard to quit and hopefully next year it will be full on EVERYONE here to celebrate family.  These are such terrifying times in this year of Covid but we know that time will pass quickly and we will be back on the path to familiar and tradition.  Being as it is a small gathering with my girls and their families we decided to have genuine sit down.  But if they don't feel comfortable at the table they are more than welcome to fill the plates and head outside on the patio where the heater will be on full and a fire in the firepit will be roaring.  It's just fun to set a proper table and I haven't done that in many years.  I have so many things to do that with and I don't get to do it.  I'm hoping after we are back to being with friends and family on a normal basis I want to start having dinner parties, actual dinner parties and USE the stuff from my Granny and Momma.  There is no sense in letting it just sit in a cabinet.  In fact, I'm going to make an announcement that even if a plate or glass is broken it is quite alright, better broken and loved than hiding in a cupboard!

I am so very sad that we won't be able to be with those in our family that are truly isolated by this damn virus, my sweet 93 year old mother-in-law and my brother-in-law.  They are both by themselves and that is just not right.  I am also sad that my sweet Daddy who would usually show up 2-3 hours EARLY will never be at our Thanksgiving table again.  Life marches on even though we sometimes would like to stop it.

to one an all my friends. 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Memory Lane

Yes, I am still going down memory lane.  We have several computers, two at home, one at the office and one at my studio and it seems that on each computer there are different sets of photos I keep running across.  We've scanned many, MANY photos over the years and I think it is time to get them in a cohesive place.  Part of the reason I post these old photos and add story content is because at the end of the year I upload all to Blog2Print and print a hardbound book for my girls to have with what I can remember.  I want them to know the history, the small stories that usually get lost over time.  Now that Daddy is gone there is no one else to depend on to remember or even to ask about the stories. 

Rattlesnake Hollow - Jay, Oklahoma, my great-grandparents home.

Granddaddy - Momma's father

Great-Granddaddy Grady

OH MY GOODNESS...I love this.  My little bro and me by the old chicken house in Jay.  I don't even remember them ever EVER having chickens.  We used to play there all the time.

Hmmm, I know this is the house on Main that we just sold.  I didn't know they had dogs, my Granny and Granddaddy.

Awww, Greatgranny and Greatgrandaddy.

Okay this photo is what prompted me to start looking at all the old photos in the first place.  This is Granddaddy's brother, Bob or Robert and his wife, Aunt Rose.  I don't remember meeting any of the other siblings at all, barely remember meeting their mother, my great-grandmother.  Uncle Bob and Aunt Rose had no children, no idea why.  They were so sweet and Aunt Rose was funny funny and how she had to deal with their health issues I commend her.  My mother got SO mad at Aunt Rose when Granddaddy died, thought she was interfering and just a busy-body.  I don't really know what transpired but Momma was in a bad way when Granddaddy died.  She was an only child and her father was her hero, her confidant, her champion and he was gone leaving her with her tyrannical, a bit crazy mother to deal with.  My memory of Bob and Rose was mostly at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  They would come to Granny and Granddaddy's for the holiday dinner, especially since they had no other family around.  Uncle Bob was a pharmacist.  He loved to grow roses and had an award winning yard full of them.  He also was a beekeeper (hm...that just flashed back into my memory.)  Granny always said that the chemicals he used on the rose garden caused his health issues.  Uncle Bob had Parkinsons.  I was very young when I learned about that horrible disease.  I honestly don't remember Uncle Bob ever being normal like in this photo.  He shook, he shook all the time and he couldn't really have a conversation with you.  It even got to the point that he drooled.  Aunt Rose would bring him to the family dinners shuffling in the door.  He would sit in a chair and if he had to walk anywhere she would help him stand and then kind of give him a small push to get him moving forward.  He had a forward momentum and just kept going once that soft push happened.  Aunt Rose would put a bib on him and feed him like a baby.  I loved Uncle Bob and just remember that this was normal.  

Greatgranny (Maggie) & Greatgranddaddy (Grady) and Dan or as I knew him "Big Dan"

Oh, and remember the story about milking Pet the cow and the walk, well, here is the faithful Sandy.  He would walk next to you and when on the bridge he would hug your side to keep you from the edge and end up stepping on your feet.  It was amazing how heavy that dog was.  This is my little Bro.

More house pictures.  Momma and Daddy.


We had two couches in that house and where I was sitting was a huge metal office desk.  Behind me was a nice blue couch.  I was teaching myself how to type from Momma's typing book.  See the Indian head there, that now sits on Momma's red secretary at my house.  It's a bank but the stopper has been long gone.  In the back left corner is Daddy's gun cabinet he made.  We did toss it (1) because it stunk like gun oil, (2) the glass in the doors were so fragile that if it broke there would be splinters and shards.  It was not made that well.  I have the rose painting in the background that Momma found in the attic of the house we lived in when we were in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.  She loved that painting as did I.  

Thursday, November 19, 2020

 It is nearly turkey time and I think I'm prepared or should I say the grocery store deliveries/pickups are done.  The gigantic turkey is chilling in my deep freeze ready to start the big thaw this weekend.  I know it's just for The Hubby and me but I can't resist on cooking a huge one so we can have sandwiches.  We are having one of the girls and her crew, hopefully, but they're vegan, and if the oldest and her family come they're mostly vegetarian.  So MORE for us for sure.  

This past weekend I had Snicklefritz spend the weekend and she was so helpful in getting Christmas out and up all over the house.  We had such a great time.  For a 8 year old she is incredibly helpful with everything around here and we have such a great time.  She has started in person school again and that means that we may not see each other for a long while.  That makes me so very sad but until we get a vaccine it is what it is. 
I hope I'm a fun granny!!!

OH, and one of my Christmas presents arrived.  I purchased this from a fellow artist, Jeff Legg when he posted it on Facebook.  I already own one of his paintings.  This one is a tiny 5x7, my other one is an 11x14.  If you check out his website, I'm LUCKY to even own any of his works because DANG, they are so expensive.  I was just kind of lucky, right place, right time, right price!  So Merry Christmas to me.  Snicklefritz is showing it off for me.  Love this little girl so very much...

And this little girl too.  We've been apart from her for over a month because their little family, unfortunately caught Covid and were pretty sick but are all better now.  This damn virus is so devastating to so many people and their loved ones.  We've been lucky and I'm going to knock on a lot of wood to keep it that way.  They will be sharing the holiday with us and hopefully we all will be together for Christmas, even if we have to open presents outside.
Little Clayton is so patient with these babies.  When Snicklefritz was little he would lay on her blanket with her like he was keeping watch.  Yesterday when Min would sit on her blanket he was right by her side.  She pats and kisses him and he just loves her to death.  It's too bad he's so old now because he is a great kid dog.  When we're at the cabin if he sees children he runs right up to them for love.  Such a special little guy.

I've been painting at the house again because I was trying to (1) be in quarantine for a bit because we were exposed and I was keeping my studio partner safe, (2) it's just not fun at the studio right now by myself.  I'll probably keep supplies at the house for now because with winter coming I won't venture out if the roads are bad.  Even my partner hasn't been in the studio either because of her health (blood clot) and her parents incredible health issues.  Her parents live in Louisiana and she is constantly having to drive there to deal with them.  They unfortunately BOTH have Alzheimer's, as does/did her in-laws.  That disease is just horrible and turns your loved ones into absolute aliens.  They can get violent as did her father and father-in-law and just plain crazy.  The struggles that she has faced trying to get them into facilities has been mind boggling.  I don't think I could have handled it all and she is barely.  Then when they finally found a safe place and the turmoil was settling down a bit her father fell and broke his hip and they had to rush down there for his surgery.  Can you imagine dealing with that during this year of Covid and it being an Alzheimer's patient that can barely remember how to swallow.  Trust me she is GOING to need some therapy after all this.  Hope she can get back to painting that is such good therapy.  

Painted this little jewel on Tuesday and posted it on Facebook.  Woke up Wednesday morning to have someone wanting to buy it.  SOLD!  It will fly off to California next week.  

I almost forgot to update on Daddy's house.  We met on Saturday and had 8 offers on the house and if we didn't have a cut-off there were more that wanted to offer but we did have a deadline.  Several offers wanted to "LIVE" in the house but they were not even close to what we started at and frankly the house was not habitable.  The majority were cash offers!  Amazing in these times.  One of them, the highest was interesting but he wanted inspections, appraisals and we knew that would not fly, it would not pass.  What we chose was a cash offer and they will be tearing down the house.  We knew that was probably going to happen, I knew it 10 years ago.  My grandfather who purchased the house in 1953 and was in real estate would be so happy with what we are doing.  He was a businessman and very wise.  I hope we were channeling him when we made this decision.  That house is 67 years old!  My brother is friends with the couple who are purchasing and they are extremely successful in their business and have loads of money to build a stellar home on the huge lot there.  I mean even if I had wanted to keep the place that is what I would have done too.  I had visions many times of building on the lot, tearing down that house over the years.  So before we close on the house we three are going to meet and have our picture taken one last time in front of the house.  Life goes on, as we must.  

Friday, November 13, 2020

House Memories

Tomorrow Brother, Sister and I will be tasked with looking at all the offers that have come in for the purchase of my Daddy's home.  Sad as this may be we are okay with it.
Seeing these photos lets us know that we still have wonderful memories but that it is time to let the physical property go and the physical body as he is no longer with us.
Looking through old photos I am taken to so many memories that will be with me forever in the house.  But the house just was not able to withstand time and deterioration, the wear and tear of living.
We said goodbye to Daddy and now we say goodbye to the house, the house where all these memories were made but they are not in the house they are in our hearts and mind.
Many Christmas's, birthdays, Thanksgivings...just family gatherings.
Lots of grandkiddos passed through the door and were much loved.
My brother, sister and I are at peace with this process we must go through and that is what counts.

This house is not the first one we've had to leave behind, give over to someone else to make memories...

Grandma's house that we drive by often has gone through many transitions.  It's been an Italian restaurant, a tea room and now it's a hospice, but we have our memories of the house.  Memories of playing with my aunt's Barbie's when she allowed me to touch them (LOL.)  Memories of running up the stairs, running around the house, laughter, memories of Grandma's organ and on the wall above a map of Vietnam, where my uncle was deployed.  Memories of me sitting in my favorite uncle's lap, Uncle George, and watching his cigar smoke curl around his head and up in the air.  Those sweet memories are what holds us together to carry on and move forward with life.
Memories of falling off that step and not breathing after the hard hit and Grandma breathing life back into me, as the story goes.
Memories of my Greatgranny's house in Jay.  Another house that is no longer there or at least most of it is gone, but the memories, oh the memories of that house are mighty.  Sleeping in my Greatgranny's featherbed and getting up at dawn to go with her in our nightgown to the barn to milk her cow, Pet, and the collie Sandy walking alongside us along the wooden bridge over the creek that never had water in it.  The smells of the barn come wafting to the surface of my memories of that house and it makes me smile.  Not necessarily memory smell of manure, but memories of the grain, the hay, the cow.  Greatgranny's cat Fatso, sitting on his hind haunches while Greatgranny squirted milk fresh from the cow's teet into his mouth.  Now those are powerful memories.
Houses have a hard time withstanding the wear and tear of time, but memories are forever.
Our very first home, the apartment...we renewed our vows here at 25 years (now coming up on 45!)
Our first home we purchased.  We still drive by it often and remember.  Do we want to own it or live there again, ABSOLUTELY NOT!  But we drive by and remember that we spent 10 years there, our babies were born while living in that house.  Our first pet, sweet Bilbo Baggins shared his life with us in that home.  We're still friends with the neighbors from next door.  We started our business in that house.  

Momma cooking with friends in the kitchen where she cooked so many meals for us, our children, where her mother cooked.  Memories, memories, memories...

Backyard shenanigans...

Yes there are lots and lots of memories there and now we leave the house to someone else to make memories or more than likely another house will take it's place.  Like I said, we are okay with this process and what we must do.  We can't hold onto it for a shrine, Daddy would not want that at all I can guarantee that.  We make a shrine in our hearts and let the tangible go.