Saturday, February 28, 2009

My birthday 100...Random thoughts

1. I love spending time with my family

2. I love being a mother

3. I am grateful for the gospel.

4. I would cross oceans for Boston Cream Pie

5. I love being at home

6. I find myself smiling when I am gardening

7. Certain T.V. programs inspire me--"Clean House" & "What Not To Wear"

8. Arranging flowers especially for church draws me close to Heavenly Father

9. I am grateful for the sister missionaries who found me in Alaska and taught me the gospel

10. I recently got a new "big girl bed"--I love it!

11. I love to travel in the car by myself

12. Books on tape are a must for me in the car

13. Ah!...peppermint tea

14. It's always fun to do projects with my grandkids

15. I enjoy making murals with Jake

16. The most important lessons and best tips have been learned from my girls

17. I never leave the house without applying lipstick

18. I love reading a good book in my big girl bed--ahhhh!

19. I love, love, love American Idol! (check out my post on that one)

20. I don't like ice in my drinks unless there's a straw

21. Thrift stores and yard sales give me a rush

22. I wore braces--the kind with rubber bands that flew from my mouth when I opened too wide.

23. I hate-hate-hate mushrooms

24. I can watch Christmas & pioneer movies (also Hallmark) anytime of the year

25. Working in my shop--red squirrel--provides such a creative outlet for me

26. Popcorn at the movies is a must

27. I love to set a pretty table

28. I love lilacs and lavender

29. I like to learn interesting facts about nature

30. I use a special pillow when I sleep
31. I started a special club with 4 other girls--"The GAFMB club"--when I was in highschool. We did service for others

32. I didn't like my dad

33. I was afraid of the water until I went to camp in the woods when I was 8 years old

34. I took and passed a water safety course in college so I could teach swimming

35. I was once a lifeguard

36. I have a soft spot for my Aunt Evelyn

37. I love doing puzzles

38. I still have my early childhood doll--"Sally"

39. I've been married twice

40. I remember having my tonsils out when I was 4 years old

41. I made friends with a bird who would fly to me when I whistled

42. I make friends easily

43. I used to collect bird nests

44. I was a cub scout leader for 4 years

45. I masterminded and organized a cub scout day camp when I lived in Bryan, Tx

46. I didn't learn to drive until after I was married and when I did, it was in a Datsun pickup, standard shift in Anchorage, Alaska

47. I got frost bite on my cheek when I lived in Alaska

48. I love Thanksgiving

49. I make the best sugar cookies

50. I wrote the words to my class song in high school to the tune of "An Affair To Remember"

51. I love to organize other people's homes

52. I sing alto in the choir

53. I hate going to the dentist

54. I sleep with the window open and a fan going

55. I floss every night!

56. Showering in the morning starts my day (sorry Shannon!)

57. Sherry is my name, CANDY is my game (jelly beans, good & plenty to name a few)

58. I wanted one more child

59. Watching my kids get along and laugh together is so satisfying

60. I always wear an apron and used to embarrass my kids when I picked them up at school wearing one.

61. Unless I'm driving, I get motion sickness

62. Dramamine is my partner when flying
63. I used to sew all of Shannon's clothes when she was little

64. I won a blue ribbon at the farm show for my apple pie (check out post on that one)

65. I hate to play the piano in front of people

66. No one would guess that I'm not really outgoing

67. I love spending time with my best friend (Hi, Val)

68. I have written several songs and words for songs

69. Autumn!--I love the smells and the feel in the air

70. I love ice water--especially in the sports-top bottles

71. I love to be near the ocean...the sights and smell at the beach...ahhhh!

72. My cats are my loyal friends --they know where their food comes from:(

73. I turn on the Today show each morning for news and weather

74. I spend too much money on magazines with articles on how to get organized and lose weight

75. I spend too much money!
76. Watching Sunday movies on the couch after church...Lovely!

77. I've always had a soft spot for a stray

78. I love to fold clean laundry (at anyone's house)

79. I love my brothers

80. I read the Book of Mormon every morning

81. I taught early morning seminary for 7 years

82. I drove into NYC by myself many times to visit Shannon

83. I once had to have my van towed from Erie to Butler ($200) with all the kids sitting in the front of the tow truck (the driver was chewing tobacco)

84. My kids always laugh at me when I refer to S E X as "relations"

85. I love peanut butter and miracle whip sandwiches

86. I moved to Alaska with a girlfriend when I was 20 years old

87. I worked as a long distance telephone operator in Alaska

88. I love to "warble" whistle (much to the agony of others!)

89. Sometimes I like to cook

90. I'm known for my meatballs (sorry, Nate!)

91. I spend a lot of time watching over my mom and mother in law and father in law

92. I love my jeep

93. I enjoy making special breakfasts for my grandkids

94. "It's a Mexican Dinner" is fun with Jake, Ellie & Reilly

95. Birthdays are a big deal and turn into birthday weeks

96. I don't like phone calls on my birthday

97. I love to go grocery shopping

98. I don't like putting groceries away

99. I always made up silly songs for each of my kids
100. "In my garden" was my signature song sung with a "special voice"

101. I don't know how to type

102. I don't--don't--don't like parties

103. I like Rascal Flats

104. I become stiff when I walk on ice

105. When I was younger I had a parakeet for 13 years--his name was "Pogo"--I taught him how to talk

Friday, February 27, 2009

new list- ok, i'll try...

this is my first time with a list- so here goes..
1. sitting at the computer, the zombies attack- what is your plan? if they saw me tonight, they would be long gone! i'm getting my hair done tomorrow. enough said.
2. what is your favorite scar and how did you get it? i have a small scar on my lower lip. when i was 4 years old i had a neat tricycle. i remember thinking that i should be able to go down the porch steps - it just made sense- Hello- not quite! i remember seeing my mom through the window on the phone as i quickly descended the steps. yow!
3. what is your deepest fear? that not all my kids will be active members in the church.
4. have you done anything illegal? yes, i did do a bit of underage drinking- my friends were all older than me. oh, here's one- i don't always charge sales tax... gulp! there, i've said it.
5. birthmark? nope- unless it's in the middle of my back and no one has told me about it!
6. during your childhood what did you do that your mother would have killed you for had she found out? the usual college stuff- first time away from home- luckily, i survived . i can't think of anything- "sherry aikin was a good girl" (i used to write that in my books!)
7. what is your favorite sense? hmmm-all pretty important- i do love to listen to music and outdoor sounds, but sight wins, i think
8. what do other people do that drive you insane? eat the last of something and then put the container back in the frige or cupboard.. gggrrr...
9. most embarrassing moment? we were at dinner in texas. i didn't know anyone- kind of a hippy group- really- hippies(!) we were all sitting at the table -eating and visiting- i was trying to blend in and not be noticed as i was not the hippy type. i noticed a candy can on the table and took it and opened it- it was one of those booby-trapped gags- a long spring came shooting out - everyone howled- they were just waiting to see who would bite!!
10. what is the coolest thing you ever created? besides my children- a huge mural at the elementary school during desert storm. it was a whale with small fish all around- the students put their names on the fish. i love making murals.
11. when you were a kid, what did you just not understand until you were older? my mother said we would get polio if we didn't take a nap- it wasn't until much later that she said she had just wanted us to take naps!
12. if you could take a trip, where would it be? why? france and scotland- to search my roots.
13. what is your current addiction? tv movies-- help!!
14. what do you think everyone should experience at least once? being made fun of. you become aware of the power of the tongue and hurtful words.
15. what is your ultimate breakfast? waffles, waffles, and more waffles.
16. if you could recommend any website due to its high humor content, what would you recommend? my girls are pretty darn funny.
17. you are walking down the street and yow(!) there's those darned zombies again- what to do? well hopefully i still won't have my hair done yet- so bye, bye.
18. favorite tv show as a kid- several- micky mouse club, twilight zone, american bandstand, the ed sullivan show... wow! am i showing those soon to be 62 years!
19. please elaborate on your theory as to why the tv. remote control has too many unused buttons. maybe it's all set for the future- when the time comes, the existing control will serve us without buying a new revised one.
20. what is the longest you have ever stayed awake? why? i guess when i was in labor with seth- couldn't sleep in between contractions because i was so nauseated- all evening, night and then for awhile after he was born- almost 24 hrs, i guess.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

spring clean-up

the snow melted over-night- what a nice surprise! now, i'd like to know where all this debris came from. i don't recall this stuff lying around in the fall: broken birdfeeders, deflated soccer balls, dead potted plants, sheets of crumpled newspaper, stems of artificial flowers, lots of cracked pots, swing pillows with knawed holes (thanks, squirrels) hundreds of branches and twigs, pieces of boxes, broken fence pieces, a heap of shop christmas decorations, tomato cages, whew! i've missed listing others, but you get the idea- a complete mess. maybe i miss the snow... it's like a big blouse- it covers the imperfections. now that i'm feeling better, i'm anxious to get out there with several (10?) black bags and go to work. i'm not complaining, i love yard work and seeing the results of time spent there. as i get older, a smaller yard would be best, but i'll take what i have and be grateful. .. wait...., is that a snowflake?... heh,heh

Friday, February 20, 2009

february- yay!

what do you all mean- you don't like february??? it's totally my favorite month- it's short- great holidays- valentines day, pres. day(always had a thing for abraham lincoln), and nat'l pancake day(24th).. what more could you ask??!! oh yes- shannon's birthday AND my birthday! WOW!!!!! it's also the month before spring hits with new spring flowers and clear roads for taking power walks. did you all forget those things? if i knew how to put pictures on this #*&(%$ thing you'd get more the feel of this wonderful little month- so quit complaining and ENJOY!!!! i love you .

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

re-visited--skinny pants or a sister's love

speaking of that ken doll with the tight elvis costume - i promised a "re-visited" story... so here goes- this one's for you steve!
one day, back in the early 60's, my brother,steve, came to me with a dilemma. he had gotten a pair of pants from my parents that were not the "in" style of the day. tight pants were definately in and because he had unusually thin legs his pants were even more out of style. he begged me to help him fix his pants so that he would blend in with all the other "cool" guys. i loved my little brother and also loved my trusty sewing machine- so when you put the two together- voila! i sewed a seam down each leg of the infamous pants. when he started to try them on, they were too tight so i CUT the extra material on the seam. he struggled into them and was thrilled with the result. our parents had been out during all the tailoring. when they returned and saw steve walk into the room with those tight pants on, my mother was horrified.(obviously not a fan of the latest teen style!) i took full responsibility of the ruined pants . i don't remember what happened to either of us because of that incident, but i do remember that we bonded with that activity and remembered it to this day. ..oh the things you do for the ones you love!

barbies- to bridge the gap

i woke up this morning with the thought of" barbies" on my mind. this past christmas, i gave my oldest grandaughter, reilly, a huge box full of barbies , and related items. i had been collecting "barbie stuff" for several years- waiting for her to be old enough to understand and appreciate the whole "barbie scene". i wish i could have given her my personal collection, but it seems that my mom took care of that years ago- probably at the huge yard sale they had in fredonia, n.y. when they sold their home and everything in it including all of my keepsakes (i wasn't notified of this sale -i lived in texas). but on to my original thoughts-( man! i get sidetracked easily!).

i found quite a few barbie dolls and even a few ken dolls- one had an elvis costume on - i tried to take the pants off to wash and they were so tight -they wouldn't come off!!!! :o) (that reminds me of a "re-visited" story i will write shortly). i hit the jackpot at an estate sale before thanksgiving- lots of barbie clothes and a few more dolls. the woman was a big-time smoker, so i had to wash all those little things and lay them out on my dining room table- i found several little wardrobes (enough for each of my grandaughters) and chose the one that i thought suited reilly. some of the neat pieces that went into the box were- a car, kitchen set, a grocery store set, an outdoor patio set, complete with an umbrella and fold up chairs ( found that one in a south carolina resale shop 2 years ago), lots of clothes- some brand new, and other odds and ends.

i wasn't there when she opened the box on christmas morning, but i know she was happy with her treasure. i remember when i was a young girl- between 7 and 11 years old. i would play "barbies" 'til the cows came home. i would always seem to be in the middle of a neat story with them when my mom would call me for a meal . gggrrrr.... i loved making gowns for my dolls- they always looked great in the front, but had knots tied and pins in the back. -my barbies never turned around!! i had one friend in particular that came to play after we moved from dunkirk to fredonia-barbara farnham. she had a great imagination also and we would come up with wonderful "plays" with our barbies. my floor in my bedroom would be covered with" rooms" that we would create and our dolls would have all sorts of adventures.

sometimes the years between our generations cause a gap that keeps us apart. it's important to realize the many bridges to that gap. it seems like it was just yesterday that i was 6 or 7 and excited about the same things my grandaughters are excited about. maybe i can make one more creative outfit for barbie on my next visit with reilly. we can sit on her floor and have "barbie -time".

Sunday, February 15, 2009

sunday thoughts

after reading all of your thoughts on this sabbath day- i was inspired to write- mainly for my own benefit. it seems like we're all on different pages today.
this was a tough day from the start- every day that passes, seems to bring the reality closer that virginia isn't here. today was the 1st sunday that i didn't visit her- (actually, i went to her apartment to meet the guy who was buying her furniture- sabbath busting agreement!!) i have spent the past week over there trying to get everything finished by today. looking through all the pictures and reading just a handful of EVERY note and card that she received in the past 4 years and then another box full of the same that she brought up with her from past years (we had run out of time when we moved her from florida so we just brought a few boxes - sight unseen up with her) was like going back in time and reliving all of that again. it has been a very emotional and lonely week for me.
i was glad for the opportunity to help teach in primary today- the new teacher is a new member and so-- new in the gospel- i will teach for the next 2 weeks and then she'll be on her own. this is such a great calling for a new member as she can learn basics right along with the children. my first calling was teaching the 4 year olds - not overwhelming as a new member and one i loved. also, playing the piano for the jr. primary today helped me feel the sweet spirit of those songs. those little ones are so pure.
watching gram's furniture going out the door and on to the truck was difficult to watch. i remember going shopping with my sister-in-law to pick out everything- we decided on a beautiful white bedroom set- it looked like one fit for a princess- oval mirror, bedside table, dresser and pretty matching headboard. i found a pretty bedspread on sale and curtains at goodwill for the whole apartment. she loved roses, so i brought rose plates over from my shop and hung them on the wall. i think we were more thrilled with how nice everything looked than she was- but then i have to remember that this was a huge move for her at 85 years old, and as long as she was comfortable, that's what was important to her.
i scheduled 2 days of pressure canning classes this week and also have to go wed. to get my taxes done- maybe the activity will draw me out of this down feeling. i so wish virginia had been interested in religion- i can't imagine not having faith in my life. and so i guess i will just go through the motions tomorrow and know that this will become easier once i get through this - as time goes on.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

comings and goings

the past few days (actually weeks) have been trying ones to say the least. since thanksgiving i have watched my mother-in -law literally fade away. i don't know if she consciously decided that she was through with this life, or if depression and discouragement caused her to spiral down . i need to write about this to help me figure it out.
i have tried to place myself in her situation . all control was lost when she fell- she was completely unable to navigate -even in a wheelchair. simple things like using the remote, reaching the kleenex, finding her glasses, sitting in a comfortable chair, and going to the bathroom became activities she could no longer accomplish without help. i think she decided that physical therapy was too hard and something she didn't want to do. the only control she had was what she ate and so that became the main issue. when i realized that was the issue, i knew that she would not be going back to her apartment. who knows what goes on in the mind when it receives no nurishment. her appearance changed from week to week until she was not the neat, tidy virginia that we all knew.
i have never watched a person die before. it is a hard process to witness- one that leaves you feeling helpless. the last 2 days were the most difficult - for others, but probably not for her. she had pretty much shut down and felt no suffering. as i watched her the last 10 minutes of her life here on earth, i imagined her birth- her spirit entering into her body- and now it was preparing to leave that same body- now deteriorated and wasted. i saw her last breath- something i will never forget. i am forever greatful for that experience- to know that she would not have to suffer with the frailities of her body again. the comings and goings of our spirits is truly an amazing thing. ............'til we meet again...

Friday, February 6, 2009

january vacation (or as shannon has titled it-My time in the slammer...)

i know you're all waiting anxiously to hear about my week and a half at shannon and gang's. well, as you know, i left a day early to avoid the snow storm that came with a vengence- both at home and here. the kids had a snowday, so i was able to spend lots of time with them. i always bring lots of "stuff" (shannon calls it junk, but the kids and i think it's treasures). one day into my "vacation" i was notified of a power surge back home due to a fallen branch. we lost many key electrical doo-dads . i'm not sure what went on after that- there have been many conflicting reports and gnashing of teeth- enough said about that- you all know the same old story.

anywho (sorry kelly) this is a picture of me the day i got here- i decided to just dive in and start a project- the first one that i saw- the plates and kitchen wall. that was fun, as you can see by the smile on my face. i love to do projects that my girls don't have time to do- my mom used to do that for me and i sooo appreciated it- as i know they do.

the next thing i worked on was reilly's birthday cake. that was one of the main reasons for braving the winter months - driving across the state.

the cake turned out ok- lots of pretty frosting and 6 pink candles helped make the big day special. happy birthday, reilly!

on the way here i stopped at one of my thrift store haunts and picked up a few useful things. this little cottage was part of a kit that i purchased for $1.99. i sure had fun putting the wooden pieces together, trimming and painting it. it will be perfect for the kid's christmas village.

now this one is kind of a joke- i was helping shannon with dinner- my job was roasting the almonds and as usual- i got side-tracked (no!) and they got more than brown. i thought they would be just fine, but shannon wasn't so sure. we actually had this dish 2 days in a row!(juniour league salad- recipe on an early holiday post of shannon's) .(this is a hideous picture of me -- serves me right for burning the dog-gone things).

i don't even want to talk about this one- to be brief- i was on the phone to certain parties at home more than i wished to be because of the surge caper. enough said about that...(where did that smile go?) oh yes... this is a great picture of me micro- managing things at home from afar.

we were getting hard up for projects and there needed to be a mural in the makings, so reilly and i worked up a collection of "round things". i know there are more than 35 round things in the world ( some of these aren't really round), but for the life of me we couldn't think of any more.

i'm in charge of the valentine dinner/dance at church next sat. so i decided to make a few inexpensive decorations. another trip to the dollar store-- yippee! shannon helped me make a garbage bag full of these beauties while we were watching american idol.

shannon's birthday was the next big event. we used grandma aikin's fostoria dishes and some simple decorations- wow! it looked pretty....

but not so pretty as the pot roast meatloaf that we had for dinner (the birthday girl's favorite!)

all of the girls spent the afternoon making valentines. ellie and reilly signed all of their cards for their classes. good idea, shannon. i also baked 2 kinds of valentine cookies and froze them.

a friend of shannon's is moving out of the country and is trying to sell her house. she asked
shannon to stage it for the sale. we had fun and our creative juices were flowing as we purchased items and worked together to make it extra special. i decided to make her friend 2 dinners - so that she could spend more time on packing . chicken and biscuits , fruit salad and goulash, (2 more for shannon's freezer),green beans and fruit. i love to help in this way- and remember when extra meals were soooo loved .

last but not least, how could i forget the traditional "mexican dinner"??!!! i always fix a special dinner when i babysit for the kids. we feast on burritos and rice-- icecream, for dessert, of course.

all in all we had lots of fun, some tears (won't mention the sunday lunch situation-yikes) and newly made memories. next trip is scheduled for march 21st- at least i won't have to deal with snow! until then.....

Monday, February 2, 2009

one way to do it.....

who doesn't want a nice shiny, new refrigerator? actually, me!! (not this way, anyway). it all started (ended) with a branch falling on electrical lines going to our house, causing a huge power surge which in turn wiped out pretty much all the electrical do-dads inside. NOT the way one would wish to be able to get new appliances- especially when one is 6 hours away visiting grandkids, and is mainly getting conflicting reports from the 2 parties within that home. so far, the count is--the furnace transformer, both tv's, all clocks , microwave, both phones, the window unit ac,the dvd and video player, sound on the computer,and the latest -- the refrigerator. oh yes- supposedly, 3 fire trucks and a couple of fire chief vehicles showed up on the dreaded night and a half dozen firemen (full garb) were roaming the basement in the dark looking for the origin of the smell of smoke. several parts of the ceiling were taken down and it was finally determined that it was the furnace transformer that had blown and ergo the smell. needless to say, i can hardly wait to go back home - but, what the heck, i'll take a new refrigerator anyway i can get it!!!!