Friday, December 10, 2010

birthday girl!

  a sweet  little christmas baby-. i wasn't a young mom at that point,  but this was a special one because she would be the last. there's something special about each of your children and she was the baby- forever. in the early years, she was a shadow to me. our daily trips to the school to fill the duties of pto president, were sweet- i always had a little buddy. her little red shoes and funny hats were her trademark, and the teachers and principal all knew her. she has been my friend for these many years- watching movies, cooking, shopping, decorating and giving me beauty and fashion tips. (what would we do  without our children?)
  dec. 11th  marks the quarter- century birthday of my baby!  yes, 25 years ago, we decided to get to the hospital in kittanning before the snowstorm hit. i didn't think i was quite ready to leave home, but didn't want to get snow-bound at home with 3 little kids and another on its way out. (i never found out what any of our kids were, so it was like christmas morning when the dr. would say---"it's a healthy girl/boy!" ). when i got to the hospital, i thought i would just sit in the lobby until i had to go to the labor area, but after checking me- that wasn't going to fly.  i was further along than i supposed.  our baby girl was born shortly afterwards . we didn't name her right away- in fact it took several days. the dreaded snowstorm finally hit and no one could get through to visit me so i spent several days in the hospital instead of going right home.
  and now my baby,"nella",  has a baby- a little girl- "lucy" who greatly resembles her mom at this age. this great circle of life goes on and is such a gift. i am grateful for all of my children and especially nella at this wonderful time of the year. happy birthday, dearie! you have been a true blessing to me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

it's coming!

i have pictures, stories and whatnot to share with all of you- be patient with me- i just returned from thanksgiving with shannon and family and my kitchen is cluttered with bags, cooler, packages, etc. i've noticed a few broken ornaments here and there and an odd smell coming from the of the downsides of going away. i'll have to wait for my computer-smart daughter to get over her cold and then help me put my pictures on a blog. ooohhh someday i'll figure this thing out! see ya soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day...Yeah!

soooo- this has truly been a labor day for me. the first half of the day was spent at the chandlery, cleaning and getting it in order for this week and the upcoming arts festival next weekend (sept 11th). a trip to the grocery store and then home to begin baking for the farmers' market tomorrow. i decided to make my english muffin bread and breakfast cakes this time. in no time at all this was my kitchen. yow! is all of this worth the potential $40  and some odd  that i will make?

             this was the end result of an afternoon of baking. i'll also sell jam and cold drinks... farm market, here i come!

took a break to make hamburgers for tonight- katie, josie and seth are coming over for dinner and one last bonfire.

it seems like it always takes a special day to really get things done around here--- my bed will look great to me tonight!

Monday, July 12, 2010

good day

every so often you have one of those "good days" and today was one of those. i woke up at 6:30 and went for my daily walk then came back and began working in the gardens. weeds were flying, plants were planted and everything started looking like the master plan. as i swept the walking stones and surveyed the final results, i almost forgot the many meltdowns earlier in the season when i "couldn't see the trees through the forest." (think that's backwards!!)
came in at 12:30,ate half a cantelope, showered, had a good hair day, and "de-catted " the house for the arrival of my sister- in law, who is allergic to cats. lynne arrived and brought a gift- oh my gosh- chocolate covered cashews! we then went to ding bats where we had great conversation and a wonderful steak dinner- dessert at dairy queen and then a quick trip to the chandlery shoppe in town where she picked out a pair of silver forest earrings. we visited some more and then she headed to bed where i am headed too. it may sound dull to some of you, but my life gets kind of hectic and this was just one of those layed back, do what i want, good days. see girls ? there is a light at the end of that tunnel!!! hang in there.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

mother love

many years ago as a young teenager who had many lofty ideas about my future, i said these words to my mother: "i don't want to be JUST a mother". i realize now that these words hurt my mother ( i guess i realized it as soon as they left my mouth). they attacked her very being, but they were misunderstood by her. my definition of motherhood was molded by her example.

my mom was a good person. she enjoyed life to the fullest, was an excellent cook, a dedicated wife to my father, and had tons of friends, but memories of her as a loving mother are not mine. i remember her many activities; card clubs, golf, bowling, morning coffee get togethers, etc, but she was not a confidant, a tender ear or an understanding heart that i so needed as a young, ugly duckling girl.

my mother reminded me of those words several times after i became a mother, but i couldn't tell her what i really meant, even then.

being a mother isn't just keeping a house, cooking, and taking care of the everyday tasks that are never ending. those are the things that i didn't want to "just" be. i wanted to have children and raise them to be righteous, excellent people in this world. i wanted to be aware of their struggles and experience the wonder of their differences. i don't know if i have accomplished these goals, but i have felt moments of gratification.

to me, Mother love is many things:

the desire to be a mother
unconditional love (but not always like)
the ability to see ALL and yet to appear not to notice at times
to be able to let wierd outfits be worn- that hideous shirt, or beloved pants- even in public
to feel pain and regret after carrying out a punishment
to hurt when that child hurts
to find or make time for those special moments with each child
to show wonder and appreciation for the beautiful creations of the world
to look for service opportunities to instill this principle in the lives of my children
to be humorous
to let my children see my individuality and its importance
to be willing to be flexible but always stand for the principles and love of our Eternal Father and His Son

these are only of some of what defines mother love. even though my children are grown, there are still so many opportunities to express my love to each of them. i continue to find success and experience failure and disapointment, but i continue to try and because of this have had many blessings come my way.

to shannon, katie, nella, and joanna (in the future); i have loved being a mother and i pray that the years that lie ahead for each of you will allow you to feel the blessings of this great mother love.

my final comments are to my child that i was not able to raise. due to choices i made many years ago, i gave up the opportunity to be with him. i am grateful for his persistant search and his unconditional love for me.

this is a bittersweet time, as my mom is no longer with us. i sometimes wish i could have explained what i meant to her, but her world was different from mine and she was happy in
hers. i'm hoping that now she understands my words to her so long ago .


Sunday, April 4, 2010

easter, again

no jelly beans, no chocolate bunnies, no easter hay on the floor, baskets scattered around the house or yard, or the smell of colored easter eggs. even the sound of the family laughing and comparing goodies from their baskets aren't here this year.

today is easter sunday

all the past preparations even in many years gone by- the little white gloves , new flowered purse, and simple pastel easter dress that i would be dressed in as a young girl, and the easter baskets that would always be stocked with the traditional candy and a new jump rope for me- those are sweet memories that i cherish- thank you ,mom. but they are the past, not now.

today is easter sunday

His friends are saddened, confused, left alone, afraid. He has been betrayed, tortured, killed and buried quickly. but a woman goes to the grave and finds the miracle of the empty tomb. empty, but full of the promise of the Atonement- resurrection and eternal life. so even though this day is different in those traditional ways,

today is easter !!!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

a new day...

it's been so long since i have written, but so much has gone on - i need to journal it.
i have been super busy in the shop in town- doing the windows and fixing the place up in general. i still don't have red squirrel ready to open yet- but will in a few days.
i spent 5 days with shannon- painting her dining room, hallway, and old living room. it was a true marathon. shannon had flown here (delayed birthday gift) and spent fri and sat with me. we went to a fish fry, movie, visited friends, and worked in my shop. after sacrament mtg. on sun. we took off for her place and then spent the next 4 days painting, reconnecting with the kids, figuring out a"camera mystery" and beginning the southbeach diet together. (3 more days on the first phase!!! yay!!!)
when i returned home- nella reported that the dr. was going to induce labor on april 1st. also katie and nate and josie were getting ready for their trips in opposite directions. i watched josie for a day while katie made preparations.
i was also getting excited for conference which would be this weekend. i need that twice/year filling up of my tank!
nella called me many times on the first- keeping me updated on the labor progress- thanks so much!! i couldn't be there to be a part of it- so it meant so much to hear lucy's first cries. what a miracle that is- i will never get over the amazement- regardless of how many children and grandchildren i have.
i went to katie's this am to give josie one more hug before they left- she was having an umbrella frenzy and was just a bit wired up. i had given her a little tin suitcase, but the hinge was too complicated, so it had to be left behind- but she does have gum and a magic dollar to spend at her other grandma's.
took katie to the airport at 3:00 and got home right as 2nd session was ending- well, i can read it in the ensign. i did watch the am session and made the traditional conference potholder( this one for jojo). i love doing that as i listen to the speakers and also think about the one i'm making the holder for.
tomorrow - 2 more sessions and i may stuff some leaves into a bag between sessions- the yard is SO out of control- i don't enjoy using up my energy doing the yards anymore- guess that happens as you get older. life is good and we, as a family have been blessed!

Monday, March 1, 2010

more of my "day".....

everyone just left after enjoying a pizza dinner for my (yes, again) birthday. we put this off for a day because of weather and health reasons. so now- i was officially sung to and had a candle in an amazing cream puff- homemade by katie! nate brought me a huge container of deluxe bird seed (i was almost out and my feathered friends knew it). paul gave me a gift certificate for my hair, and josie "wrapped" 2 boxes of wafer cookies. nate and katie also took me to a japanese restaurant last week and we had a delicious AND entertaining dinner. it won't be josie's choice for her birthday- that's for sure. i think she thought the chef was out to get her, but daddy came to her rescue and took her out before the grill in front of us lit up. ( katie has pictures of this event). that evening was topped off with a bag of licorace jelly beans, which josie and i enjoyed in the back seat while driving home.
thanks to my family - i just wish you all could have been there. ( shannon, our day will come! :O) )

Saturday, February 27, 2010

my day...

sunday is my birthday.
i've had a neat week building up to this day- katie has "mini-celebrated " it each day last week and some friends gave me cards and gifts and a BOSTON CREAM PIE!!! my younger brother, steve, sent me his usual custom made cd (this is the 6th one) and also an 18 minute dvd about my childhood, taken from old movies that my dad made years ago- in fact some were 63 years ago- what an awesome gift. as i watched it, i realized how utterly fast those years have gone by. it's amazing to watch myself as a baby , toddler, young child , and teenager (yow!) and to know what the future held . it was truly a touching moment for me.
i've been blessed with 63 years of living. my greatest blessings have been my family, and the fact that i found the gospel and the great knowledge and comfort it brings me. i have 6 wonderful children - they have kept me on my toes and helped me to attempt to be a good parent. i have learned patience, compassion, humor, humility, and love (to name a few) from them.
when i watched that tiny baby on film today i couldn't help but shed some tears for the great plan that my Father had in store for her.
savor the moments you have girls- they slip through your fingers so quickly. on that note, thanks for being the loyal children you have been. i'm looking forward to many more memories with all of you.
yay! for birthdays!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

the great snow of 2010 (aka the snow of the century)

aaahhh, february... my favorite month of the year. that's not only because it involves my birthday, valentine's day, or presidents' day , but USUALLY a huge snow storm can be expected. this year was no exception... we had a duzy of a storm, starting yesterday afternoon and ending at noon today... 22" of the most wonderful fluffy stuff you can imagine.
here is very pregnant nella showing us the path that was shoveled from the house to the office.

the back porch was transformed.

this table was our measuring guage.

our car....i think.

my little front garden.

conehead garden..

michael (neighbor ) digging us out.

what will happen when all this melts???

Friday, January 8, 2010

winter wonderland

this christmas was a bit different from the ones of the past. our family dynamics have changed and so our celebration was more low-keyed than usual. as we begin to bring down the empty boxes and bins to once again store the decorations, i have been reminiscing past christmases.

i guess they all started here in this house in dunkirk, n.y. i lived in this apartment house until i was 9 years old. my dad owned it and we lived in the downstairs apartment. my bedroom was in the front on the left side of the house.

on christmas eve, i would sleep in my brother, doug's room- it was in the back of the house- away from the living room- where santa would be busy arranging presents for the next morning. i remember lying awake and whispering with doug about what we would find under the tree. i always heard jingle bells (and to this day i still do on christmas eve!). one year doug found our gifts in a deep closet and showed me my gifts. that was the year i received a ginny doll with braids and a green pineapple dress. i felt so guilty looking at our presents early and i never again tried to find out what i would get.

many christmases would pass and we moved to a new home. i remember doug and i looking through the sears catalogue for that perfect gift for mom and dad. we found a brass fireplace lighter for the living room. we ordered it and then when the call came that it was in- doug took the bus down to dunkirk and picked it up. we waited until my parents had gone to bed on christmas eve and then crept out and put it under the tree- being very careful not to look at santa's gifts for us- they were amazed that we had done that by ourselves.

one year i got a big stuffed dog and a red plastic transistor radio. (i've written about that before). that was one of my best christmases ever! i went to bed on my top bunk and listened to my radio for hours that night- all was well with the world!!

there are many other memories that are dear to me- those when i became an adult and had my family. watching each one react in their own way to christmas eve and christmas morning. maybe they will all write a memory that can be added to these.- but for now, christmas is being put away in those special boxes. the quiet of winter is here and is a welcome relief to the holiday festivities. it's now a time for reflection and contemplation. .. enjoy this moment.