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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Smokin' in the Garage

Sayre, of SayreSmiles, is the host today. Naturally she wants to know about the holiday that just passed. She wants touching and wonder, and crazy, stupid, and funny. I can't cover it all, but here's my contribution to the cause!
* * * * *

On the 12th of December I drove the 6 hours to watch 7 month old little Caboose while Karmyn and Dave enjoyed a Saturday afternoon stage production and dinner. (You had to twist my arm, really!)

I also planned to enjoy the Christmas program in which Buttercup and Jammin’ would be participating, bake a cake with Buttercup for her mama’s birthday, and then head home for a week and come back with Grandpa for Christmas.

Then it started snowing. The forecast was cold and white. School was cancelled, and thus the performances by the children.

Between storms, I drove home on compact snow and ice.

More extreme weather arrived, and I-84 through the Cascade Mountains was closed.We (grandma and grandpa) would definitely not be driving anywhere for Christmas. We considered Amtrak until we read about the horrible delays.

Kim and Mike, our good friends, were in the same situation. Except, it was their parents who were forced to cancel a trip from southern Oregon. It seemed natural for us to spend Christmas together: Kim had lots of food (turkey and ham) and we love to eat!

Having always celebrated the holidays with one or both sets of parents, Kim had not previously prepared a turkey by herself. To her credit, it was one of the best turkeys we’d ever eaten. She basted and roasted it to perfection. Yum!

But… yes, dear Kim had a BUT in her lovely dinner. She placed the turkey dressing in a corning casserole on the stove top …on a burner. While she was bustling around putting the last touches on the Christmas feast, that wonderful tasty dressing began to char.

Kim smelled it first and scrambled to save it. Too late! It was blackened.

The dish had to be relegated to the garage, where the container could cool down and the burnt offering could “smoke” a bit. (The alternative spot was the two feet of snow in the 4 degree front yard. The sudden cold would most likely have cracked the glassware.)

The rest of the dinner was met with great enthusiasm.

Our conversation that afternoon, however, inadvertently took us to topics that allowed jokes about “smoking in the garage.” The laughter was fun and not at all critical.

Kim was a good sport and joined the merriment, even though she was irked that the food had burned to a crisp.

The "snow storm of Christmas '08" will be something we talk about in years to come, and “smoking in the garage” will be a cherished memory shared with good friends.


Go check out the links at Sayre's blog - to read more holiday stories.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Stories From Auntie Fern - 2

On Christmas Eve we encouraged auntie Fern to remember and share some of her childhood celebrations. This one was probably somewhere around 1915 :

*******

Oh! When I was really small, we hung our Christmas stockings, and we got an apple and an orange and I don't know if there was more .


We were excited to get that.


So Paul and Roy, they hung theirs up again the next night.


And you know that Grace, she decided to find something else to put in them. I don't know what she put in - probably something silly.


And, then those boys hung them up again the next night. And Grace found something else to put in them.


(Aunt Fern begins to chuckle at this point. We love to hear her laugh.)


On that third morning Grace really surprised them.


She put dried horse manure in their stockings.


That ended it.


******

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas


Happy Holidays - whatever you celebrate.

Blessings -- may they fall and surround each of you with love and joy.

Pamela


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Where's My Blog Roll?

This morning my husband asked, "Hon! What happened to your list of blogging friends?"

Although he is not interested in blogging, I guess he checks out some of my favorite haunts when he has a few minutes. Who'd've thunk?

He is now aware that my blog roll is under "View My Complete Profile."

This may not be quite as convenient for readers, or for my husband.

But it is great for me. I love this feature recently added to Blogger. When I log into the dashboard , I am able to scroll through the new posts and edit my reading list with ease.

That "editing with ease" may be a problem, as I keep finding more and more blogs that I love to read.

I wish someone would pay me to read blogs. (Isn't that the fantasy? As long as I don't have to put an advertisement on my blog.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just Like The Ones We Used To Know

The old timers say this winter "is like the winter of..." Like when they were kids.

I would be one of them (old timers), but I grew up in the Seattle area.

However, I do admit to memories of the winter of 1969 when the Puget Sound area had one of those freak snow storms. Eighteen inches blanketed our small farm.

We have that much here tonight and more falls as I write.

I discussed the snowstorm with with my friend Glenda on the phone this evening and it went as follows:

Me: I can't believe it is still snowing, isn't it just beautiful?
Glenda: Yeah. At first it was pretty. Now it's just STUPID!

(She has to go to work in the morning, her husband is recovering from leg surgery, she doesn't have snow tires, she's out of sick leave because she used it all when she broke her leg during the last big snow, she was worn out from shoveling, and she was a little misty eyed from having just received a letter from her son in Iraq.)

Me: Oooops.


So, Glenda, this little digital camera moment is dedicated to you!



video



I agree it is STUPID to sing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" this year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thematic Photograph - Quiet

This weeks challenge by Carmi at Written Inc is Quiet.

We stored the patio umbrella, but somehow never got around to taking down the deck chairs by the pond. Now they are icy silhouettes beneath a foot of snow.

There is something about the snow that muffles the ordinary sounds of life going on beneath or around it.

The water continues to circulate in the fish pond without me detecting the usual hum. My husband assured me that the pump was working and pipes would not freeze.

The birds at the feeders across the lawn are chirping, but their chatter is swallowed by the stillness and consumed.

I think if I should speak aloud that the words would freeze and be buried by the the rush and hush of the falling snow.

Even the crunch of the snow under my (much too short) boots is interrupted by the sound of silence.

* * *
Take a few moments and see whats quiet in other bloggers photographs right here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ice The Cake


Don't worry. I really did use chocolate.
Happy Birthday Karmyn.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snowed In

On the road - and it is ICY!

Thank goodness I'm not really on the road, but safe and warm at Karmyn's house. They blame me for bringing the icy cold winter.

My road home includes all the icy pile ups on I-5, I-205, and I-84. The last highway can be an extremely treacherous journey on the Columbia River Gorge where it cuts through the Cascade Mountains. I don't have chains or studs - just walnut snow tires.

Last night I had trouble falling asleep as the wind knocked on the side of the house. It seemed that I just drifted into slumber when something woke me. At first I thought it was the cat jumping onto the bed. Then I revised my theory as the movement and sound surely was something larger, like a dog.

I sat up.

"Hi Grandma, " Buttercup said between chattering teeth. "Can I crawl in bed with you?"

I opened the covers and she snuggled in. Before long I had to send her back to her own bed - she is a wiggle worm.

The Caboose has been a snuggle bug and provided some awesome entertainment. (click here to see the sneak attack by Zoe, the black lab.)

Yesterday we had a Gingerbread House attack, too. This time by the other dog, Zeus.

Buttercup and Jammin' planned to decorate the gingerbread project as soon as Karmyn frosted the walls and roof into place. The frosting in the kit refused to hold the pieces in place.

Karmyn sent kids off to play while she considered the problem. When she walked back to the table, only three of the four walls remained.

"ZEUS!" she called. She knew it was his modem operandi.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the house, I noticed Zeus hiding between the couch and the piano.

Dave came home from work and decided that the house could be salvaged. He pulled out his favorite cook book, found a recipe for a gingerbread house, and baked another wall.

Karmyn made a batch of frosting this morning and the the kids completed their gingerbread house with all the trimmings.

Jammin' is a wise youngster. He set it up high where the dog can't reach it.

As well as enjoying grandchildren and pets, I am also keeping hummingbird feeders thawed and bird feeders cleared of snow. It is amazing to watch hummingbirds at my house in the summer, but it is seemingly implausible to see the Annas Hummingbirds in the icy blowing snow.


Female Annas hummingbird perching near the snowy ground beneath the feeder. The wind has blown the fluffy snow off the willowy branches.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Secret To Feeling Really Young

How to Feel Really Young:

Have lunch with Aunti Fern, age almost 100; Aunt Naomi, age 103; and Naomi's sister, age 97.

(No photo. My camera is in the shop.)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I won, I won, I won

I won two recent giveaways. My mailbox thought it was Christmas.

Nights in Rodanthe was one of the books of the several that have been featured at Another Chance Ranch and her From My Bookshelf To Yours series.

All read! Loved it. I'm going to give the book to my daughter and then let her pass it on.

Notice that Julie also provided her Another Chance Ranch Bookmark.

Thank you, Julie.

Lisa's Chaos is responsible for the ..uh...ahem.. the.. uh... SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS. The hubby asked me if I was going to use them. I'm sure it is because they are very petite, and my hubby really loves his salt and pepper. It would be a full time job just refilling them. Yes. I'm sure that is what is worrying him.

Look at them. Aren't they cute.


The shakers should become a hot potato giveaway. You know...one that keeps getting passed on to the next blogger. Like the Old Maid in the Old Maid Game, or the Bear in Pit.

Then one day Lisa will open her mailbox and they will have come full circle!

Lisa, thank you. For the giggle, too.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I love Christmas Music

Mamalang is today's Fun Monday hostess and is curious about our favorite Christmas Carols.

Do any of you know The Wexford Carol? It is one of my three favorites and I came upon it by accident when I was looking at You Tube selections. It is the first full song on the embedded video. The setting is the Julie Andrews 1987 Christmas Special. She would be my first choice to perform it for you, too!

Now I really hit the Jackpot when I found this. The next song is the late John Denver singing What Child is This (tune Greensleeves.) Another favorite song from another favorite singer.

This post is like one of the Ginsu Knife commercials, because, WAIT! There Is MORE!
For only a few minutes longer you get to hear Placido Domingo performing Ave Maria!

It doesn't get much better than this.

Had she asked for Christmas songs...well, I love White Christmas (Bing Crosby), Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire (Nat King Cole), and It's a Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives.) Oh, I know... I'm dating myself here.








She also requested a photo of our favorite Christmas thing.

Sorry, no photos. My decorations are still packed away and it was too late to unpack them when I decided to participate today.

I would have shown you the little ornaments that my children made when they were in school. Now my girls are saving their own children's hand made ornaments.

My husband has carefully wrapped and stored each year a little nativity set that he bought when he was a teenager. It is now so fragile that we get anxious when we set it out on display.

One year we bought hand blown glass icicles from a craftsman at a local Christmas bazaar. I love the way they sparkle on our tree, and that each one is unique - just like they grow on a cold winter's night.

Mr. Linky is up over at MamaLangs blog, so you can sing your way through the entries today, and enjoy their Christmas delights.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The "Bite Me" that Backfired.

Some of you know that I had a cracked tooth extracted and I am on track for an implant.

After wasting over a year dealing with the inept medical office of an oral surgeon, I asked my general dentist to send me elsewhere.

The referred specialist is a much better fit for me. His office functions like a synchronized swim team. He is confident and efficient.

The only thing that bothered me is his weird sense of humor. Every time my mouth was occupied with fingers and stainless steel instruments he would joke without mercy.

Just two weeks ago I was stretching my jaw as far as it would extend, when he started.

“Oh NO!” He gasped. “It’s not there! You've sucked it into your head!”

I rolled my eyes – which was a much more relaxed response then my first wide-eyed terror to one of his remarks.

My guess is that he is just a serial tease, so I always watched to see how the hygienist responded and then ignored him.

But I don’t forget. That’s why I decided to get him good at my last appointment.

I searched for and found my trusty old remote fart machine; a very entertaining and reliable practical joker.

I was well prepared when I arrived at the clinic last Wednesday - the final exam that would pronounce me ready for my dentist and the new tooth.

My plan was to place the speaker in the outside pocket of my purse and set it close to his stool. Then, when he bent over, I would press the control button. I even had a comment ready for the precise moment.

I checked in with the reception desk and waited patiently for the kill. My purse was loaded. The smile on my face was sly.

A woman and her daughter entered the building and immediately the Doctor met them and greeted them warmly at the hallway door. It was his family.

There was some kind of happy discussion ensuing when the best laid plans of mice and men went haywire. Something nearby must have matched my remote frequency.

“Phooooooooooot, baroooom, poot poot poot.”

The little electronic farter started rolling them out as fast as it could go and would not stop.

I thought I’d never get into my purse and find the off switch.

Picture me pulling my shoulders up sheepishly; accompanied by a half smile, half grimace.

“Uh… excuse me?”

Later, when I met him in the examining room he assured me that my implant looked great.

“Why don’t you come back once the tooth is in place so I can observe how the healed tissue reacts to the foreign material,” he said. “And, to see if you can get your little gadget working correctly.”

His grin widened, his eyes twinkled before he added, “Then I will bend over and say ‘This may cause some discomfort. Would you like a little gaaaaasssss?'

Oh Yes. He got the last laugh.

(He’s lucky his fingers weren’t in my mouth. I would have bitten him.)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Shadows

Carmi has chosen "Shadow" as the theme of this week's Thematic Photographic challenge. As always, he leaves the interpretation open to any of us who choose to play along.

My camera took this photo, but my lovely daughter Amanda was the artist behind the lens. She captured this moment on a late October afternoon at Whitman Mission National Historic Site.

I loved it.

Yes, the shadows along the Oregon Trail captivated my imagination. But, not the castings from the setting sun.

Instead, I was there beneath the shadows of men and horses. I heard the echoes of children racing after wagon wheels. And, I felt the cool breeze through the hair of a pioneer woman as she shook it loose from a sweat soaked bonnet.

... westward HO!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Kite Eating Tree



Can you spy the string and the holder.
Click on the photo for a closer look.

Fly on over to Wordless Wednesday headquarters for this weeks gallery of photographs.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Olive You Grandma


Olive you too, Buttercup!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Birds in Flight




Our state lottery commercial that doesn't make a lot of sense.

But, it appeals to my inner bird.









Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Survival Mode

The other day I was feeling as if I was just in a survival mode. I wasn't in the mood to be thankful for our cozy home, beautiful yard, lovely children and grandchildren, numerous friends, and plenty.

Nope! I wasn't thinking about those things at all.

I sat myself down to read the comments on my blog. When I see someone new has dusted me, I follow his/her link, because I'm nosy.

That's how I happened to visit MoziEsmé (an American toddler growing up in Mozambique. Her mommy and daddy are volunteers with Maranatha Volunteers International.)

I smiled at the cute pictures and stories (yes, grandmothers are suckers for little dimples and curls.)

But I quit smiling when I got to her post entitled Zimbabwe Again.

I think I've heard little bits and pieces about Zimbabwe in the news. But I had not paid attention long enough to actually understand the truth about what is happening there.

Please take a moment to read her post. She quotes an E-mail from Paula, a 72 year old woman managing an orphanage there - by herself. When I read it, I understood the true meaning of the term "survival mode."

Once you've finished reading there, link to an Australian website that has more information about Paula.

Daily news headlines from the country can be viewed at a website entitled The Zimbabwe Situation.

Horrible things are happening in places like Zimbabwe.

And then there are brave people -like Paula (and MoziEsmé and her parents) - that step up to the challenges that are presented.

As for the rest of us? Prayer support is always appropriate and I'm sure very much desired. There is also a link at the AU website for those who are able to provide financial support.

Certainly there are many more opportunities for us to provide encouragement for the suffering at this time of year and at any time of year.

Thank you MoziEsmé - for reminding me how blessed my life is.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ground, open up and eat me

Mariposa, author of Mariposa's Tales, is hosting Fun Monday today in celebration of her 3-year blogging anniversary.
Thanks lady, and CONGRATULATIONS!

The topic she chose is High Moments in Our Lives:
I
f you could share to us 3-5 high moments in your lives...this could be funny moments...the you can't believe you did it moments...the "I told you so" moments...or the times we asked the ground to go open and eat us moments! You need not write a book to explain them, the highlights will do.

I chose the humiliation event. If you dare.... Read on:

* * * * *

It was just an ordinary Saturday -- as ordinary Saturdays rolled those 15 years ago.

My youngest daughter, Mandy, invited a new classmate to join us at the region’s best shopping center. (60 miles away.)

We had an understanding at the mall. I kept track of them, but stayed my distance. (As any un-cool mother must do so as not to embarrass her 12 year old daughter.)

We had a fun shopping day and I had been the perfect host. ( She'd not once groaned “Oooohh mom” or rolled her eyes.)

It was an “Alls well that ends well” scenario as we headed for home.

That is, until I saw the brand new furniture store from the freeway. (Several signs advertised rock bottom sales.)

I had been browsing some stores closer to home looking for a new living room couch. I took the nearest exit with high hopes that I might find one that I liked - on sale.

After I parked the car, we headed into the brightly illuminated showroom. (The girls weren’t interested, but thought it would be less boring than waiting in the car. Boy howdy!)

A queasiness crept up on me as I looked at styles and compared prices. We were at the farthest end of the huge sales floor when the cramps hit me. (Like a hammer.)

“Oh No……….where’s the ladies room?” I whispered frantically, took one step towards the girls, and lost control.

Praise be! It was only gas! But, it was amazingly offensive. (Loud and long and disSTINKtly malodorous.)

“Oh mom, how could you, Oh! Oh! OH!” My daughter’s mortified expression made my stomach hurt more.

I’d done the unpardonable. (“Dear God, why didn’t you give me sons for a time like this?”)

My heart beat wildly and I could barely speak, “Girls, leave! Car, now!”

Each of my steps was accompanied by a syncopated release of methane. (The proverbial purple cloud formed as I hustled.)

When the situation reached the two girls noses they covered their faces and let their feet fly to the distance exit. (They waited but pretended they didn’t know me.)

I began to laugh. (Hysteria.) That door was miles away and I was going to melt into a puddle before I got anywhere near it.

Thank goodness some resolve formed and determination overruled. I scouted out the direct route and set my jets. (A surprisingly accurate description.)

The young male clerk at the opposite end of the store, however, had observed our odd behavior and was determined to offer his services.

My escape was in sight and I refused to make eye contact with anyone. (Eyes on the goal, you know) The toxic bloom increased with my speed.

Recognizing my intent, the clerk altered his zig zag route just in time to intercept me about 20 feet short of the door.

“Can…. I help you….. ladies …..find something,” he spoke with short breaths. (Induced by an open sprint and several long jumps over displays.)

I just wanted to get out of there. (I was aimed and fully loaded.) I had no patience nor any desire to share space with him and the asphyxiating cloud that would be arriving in short order.

Without slowing, I physically brushed him aside, mumbled some desperate apology about losing track of time, and vaulted for the exit. (That rude little push was nothing compared with the lethal assault coming for his nostrils.)

The automatic door couldn’t open fast enough, and I was in my car in a nano- second. (They didn’t have nano seconds back then, but I’d already borrowed into future years of embarrassment and I deserve that description.)

My shame was so complete and so deep that I don’t remember much else after that. Not the hour plus drive home. Not dropping the friend off at her home. Darn! I don’t even remember her name.

The poor flatulently abused child never graced our home with her presence again. (I doubt she forgot my name. Can’t you just picture her pointing me out to her parents at the next PTA meeting?)

It wasn’t very long after this incident (and my memory back in working order) that I found a suitable new couch in a different store. That leads me to the 2nd most humiliating day in my life. But, you’re not going to hear about it today.

Please link here to read something more inspirational and encouraging from the other Fun participants. (And then pretend that you don’t know me, either.)


Friday, November 21, 2008

Here goes...

I quit my job.

It wasn't something I planned.

A voice said "I quit." When I turned around to see who had spoken, there was no one to claim the decision except me.

If your own words and actions are unrecognizable, then it is time for search and rescue. (Before it becomes just a recovery operation.)

Tomorrow will be my first day unemployed.

Yes, it is very poor timing.

No, I don't have a solid grasp on my compass.

Maybe, it will all work out for the best for everyone.

Here goes...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rows

I have been tardy for every occasion the past few months. So it is with posting my first Thematic Photograph hosted by Carmi. He is one of my favorite Wordless Wednesday participants.

About last week's theme he said, " Basically, anything that lines up is fair game."

I blog in an agricultural valley, so it was easy to find photographs that I could use with "rows" that I had snapped over the past year.

It is my pleasure to present to you: Food for more than thought.

grapes





apples




wheat


Carmi at Written, Inc is an inspiring read. You really ought to click over to his blog and enjoy his creative vision.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Drivin' Truck - Dreams and Memories

I had a dream last week that I actually remembered the next day.
My Aunt Delores made an appearance in it.
Delores, who will be 88 this month, was married to my mother’s younger brother and is the last surviving member of that generation.
She still drives to the grocery store, to church, and to her volunteer shift at the local hospital gift shop. She also babysits her 2 year old great granddaughter every weekday morning.
She's a good cook and a great conversationalist. There is really nothing elderly about my aunt except her age.
In my dream, the hubby and I were on a trip to California. Our return trip included plans to pick up Delores, who was visiting her son in the Bay Area.
We were shocked when her son asked us also to drive one of his companies huge semi-trucks back to our town.
I probably was tossing and turning at this point in the dream. I just didn’t know how we were going to drive both vehicles safely. I knew that the hubby would have to drive the truck. I can drive a manual transmission, but I’m sure I couldn’t handle a big rig like that.
I asked Aunt Delores to ride in the truck with the hubby to keep him awake. I would drive the car alone - I’ve done that long road by myself several times.
When we approached the subject of putting a trailer hitch on the end of the semi truck to haul the car, the acid reflux must have started stewing.
I woke up and had to prop myself up. So, I don’t know if we got that semi-truck home or not.
The next day I called Aunt Delores and shared. She laughed heartily, of course.
I told her that as neither of us could drive that truck, the dream left me feeling a bit helpless.
“Hold on there a minute,” Aunt Delores huffed! “I can drive a semi.”
This was news to me and at first I thought she was jesting.
“No,” she answered. “When we lived in Cle Elum, Bill was driving long-haul and would get in very late at night. We didn’t have a car, so he taught me how to drive that semi.”
“Where did you drive it?” was my astonished response.
“Mostly just to church.”
She paused, then shared, “I’d get the kids up, dressed, and we’d all pile into the cab of that big truck and off we’d go. By the time we got home, he’d be awake and ready for lunch.”
Then she told me that Uncle Bill had insisted on teaching her to drive it with the trailers attached.
She was able to drive up the road and back to the house and park it.
I heard the sentiment in her tone when she added, “After the last lesson I turned to him and said 'There! Are you satisfied, now!'”
I had a great laugh with her.
Now I’m wondering if I should drum up that same dream tonight.
I can put Aunt Delores behind the wheel of that big old truck and we can head on down the road. It would be the perfect time to write down some of her stories.
Here they were - 70 years ago this month.
In love until the day he died, and she loves on.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Seeing Red


Are you REDy for Wordless Wednesday? Get your fix HERE.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Poster Boy


The Caboose , the youngest grandson, wearing his cozy little sweater knit by Karisma and mailed all the way from Australia.

He's a happy one - in spite of what you see in the picture above - and reminds me so much of the his mom at that age.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Camouflaged Sidewalk

Someone else had the same idea today as did I. A walk in the park. I doubt she left her house with the thought that her distant image would show up on a stranger's camera, much less a blog. Whoever she be, I appreciate her accidental posing for me with such grace. A few weeks ago I would have sworn that we would be knee-deep in snow by now. But, here it is, November 2, and the fall weather has been most appealing. We trudge through carpets of leaves and sparkling showers of much needed rain. I lift my thanks for the sunshine that sneaks between the clouds and smiles through all the colors.
I do love autumn.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Mangoes vs The Tangerines

Five year old Buttercup (center pink) defends the Banana Kick. Heh Heh.

Now make a forward pass on over to Wordless Wednesday headquarters for your GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Stories from Great Auntie Fern (chapter 1)

My name is Fern Alice *****. I was born in 1909. April the 3rd, 1909. And I was born on a wheat ranch that my father had homesteaded; about eight miles from the little town of *****, Washington. They moved out from Kansas by train in the 1800s. And while my father built a house on the land that he homesteaded, he put a big tent in ***** where the family stayed while he built a new house on the wheat ranch. Roy was born there.
The next year, Jennie was born there. So they lived in that tent at least two or three years 'til the house was built and they they moved out to the wheat ranch. Ethel, Grace, Blanche, and Floyd were born in Kansas and they moved out here by train. Paul and Roy and Jennie was born in ***** (in the tent there) and I was born on the wheat ranch.

I only lived on the wheat ranch a year until we moved to town because, by that time, the older ones were ready for high school.They had to move to town so the older ones could go to high school. So, I was a year old and Paul was two years old when we moved to town.

I was two years old, almost three when my mother had her last baby. It was a boy. And she (her mother) didn't make it.

She got Septicemia, which is blood poisoning and they didn't have antibiotics in those days so she couldn't be saved.

That's when I remember more because I was staying with the neighbors while she was sick. And the baby ‑‑ our friends Charlie ***** and his wife took the baby Lawrence, and was to keep him until the sisters and I could help take care of him. But he never returned because they got attached to him and they kept him all through his adult life and my father supported him.

But then my mother died in 1912, January 1912, and I was staying with the neighbors. And while I was there, I remember seeing the funeral procession going by.

Later in that day, I came down with Typhoid and pneumonia. My oldest sister carried me in a suitcase at least a half a mile up to the road at 11:00 at night to take me to the hospital. I was in the hospital three months.

The neighbors took turns taking me at night when I came home so I wouldn't suffocate. I've got a great big scar (pointed to her chest) where they took the puss out of my lungs. Nowadays they take it out of your back.

Here I am, 99 and still ticking.


Notes:

When Amanda comes to town she sits with Auntie Fern and records her memories.
Fern, who will be 100 on her next birthday, is the only surviving sibling of Amanda's Great Grandmother Jennie.


Fern was carried into the small town by her sister where they could catch the train which would transport them to the hospital, 16 miles away.

Jennie was born in 1902, so they may have lived in the tent longer than two or three years.

I chose to leave out last names and places to respect Auntie Fern's privacy. She does not have a clear understanding of blogs and the internet.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Put a Raisin in My Belly Button

Every local school is selling frozen cookie dough as a fund raiser.

I just can't say NO.

I bought a carton from every student who knocked.

I'm going to turn into a cookie.

Just preheat the oven to 350o and hand me a raisin.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Regular or Decaf

Last week.
The telephone conversation began:

Amanda: Curlymop! Grandma is on the phone. Come and tell her what you got today.

Curlymop gets on the phone: Hi Gwama.

Gwama smiles through the phone: Hi Curlymop! Do you have something to tell me?

Curlymop: I got this today. See?

Amanda in background: Tell her what it is.

Curlymop: One plus two is three.

Gwama: Oh! You're learning how to add numbers?

Amanda in background: Tell her what two and two is.

Curlymop: Four. And when I'm nine I can drink Coffee.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Autumn

Apples ready for harvest on Winesap Road / Saturday

The pungent and delightful smell of apples envelops my car on the 10 miles drive between my house and my brother's.

Jack Frost attacked both the flower and vegetable garden last night. As for the zucchini plant - we said F.I.N.A.L.L.Y.

The hanging begonia was secured in the garage for the night because I just couldn't part with it yet.

Last Thursday's rain in the valley left termination dust on the top of the mountains. That is a good place for it. Karmyn and I talked today about her experience as Tinker Bell covered in a snow suit one Halloween when she was small.

I prepared three batches of grape jelly this afternoon. I picked them, crushed them, cooked them, and then hubby helped me fill the jars. Unfortunately, the first batch may need to be used as "syrup." Pancakes, anyone?

The birds of summer have flown to destinations south. I've noted the return of Pine Siskins and Juncos.

The familiar feathered friends help with the transition, but I'm not ready for winter.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness

Please follow this LINK over to Anecdotes, Antidotes, & Anodes for information on October Breast Cancer Awareness.

Swampy is a breast cancer survivor and tells her story with humor and inspiration. She is keeping one of her posts open for reader contribution as well. If you have a story to tell, she wants to hear and share it with her readers.

She is also one of my very first blogging friends and I appreciate her humor, her zest for life, and her toothless grin.

(okay, she only photo-shopped the toothless grin)



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Comment Highlight from my last post:
Mercy's Maid said...

I am so sorry!

As an aside, Cass at Just Curious is donating $9 to breast cancer research for every comment she gets on this post.


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

If only...

A courageous battle ended yesterday. My Sister-in-Law took a final breath and her pain stopped.

Breast Cancer.

The words are bitter on my lips - and these tears will not dilute the taste.

We had many intimate talks over the past 1 1/2 years. Brenda was always full of hope, always positive. She was full of Grace.

She was also honest about the mistake she'd made when she dismissed the initial signs. She made me promise that I would take an aggressive mode if I ever noticed a pucker or suspected even the hint of a lump.

In this moment, when I haven't really registered the fact that she is gone, I keep thinking "if only..."

(Please take this moment to do a self-exam and to schedule your annual exam. Do it for me and in her memory.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

All Aboard


All Aboard from pamela on Vimeo.


(recorded with Canon Power Shot digital camera by Shaky Puddin')

Make tracks to other Wordless Wednesdays here!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I SEE DEAD PEOPLE's plastic.

Why do I refuse to throw away any Tupperware?

In addition to what I purchased over the years, my cupboard contains the collections that belonged to my late mother, my late mother-in-law, and my late gram.

There is more plastic in the back of these deep shelves that the camera fails to reveal. (There is also plenty of saved bake ware and cookware I rarely use.)


A good psychiatrist would immediately point to a personality disorder that compels me to save lids and containers for which I can never find the mate.


However, a good blogging buddy will just compliment me on a great post.
(No therapy needed~)

Crunchy Bits is the host and the instigator of this week's confession. Go join the FUN!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hole in the Wall Gang

Gattina wants to see where the Fun Monday participants blog!

Ta Da!!


Oh my goodness. My blogging space is a mess.
(Messy space = organized mind. I swear it is true!)

Join in the nosey fun at Writers Cramps.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fun Monday -

I can't believe it is already Monday and Mama Drama is (are?) the host of the day. They want to know What funny trivial fact do you remember that you probably should have forgotten a long time ago?


When I signed up last week I thought "no sweat, I'm the trivia Queen!" Then I just sat with my chin in hand, my eyes darted left and right, I made wistful sighs, and I realized I've forgotten everything I've ever learned.

Well, except for one thing:

I before E, except after C.


Yes! I learned that when I was knee high to a grasshopper and I never forgot it. Especially when I spell words like species, science, sufficient, seize, weird, sovereignty, vein - well you get the picture.

I really should forget that silly little mnemonic device and just learn how to spell.

Fortunately for me, my computer does spell-check when I type posts. Now I only need to right click on my mouse and my "i" and my "e" pop right into place.

To read the other trivial posts (snicker), please click Drama. Happy Monday!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Round Robin Photo Challenge - Art in the Park

When my memory chips are blinking I sometimes remember to play the Round Robin Photo Challenge. The inspiration today?
Public Art.

Every town across America has something artsy about it. Most cities have a public art program, although it may take a little bit of research to find where all the displays are located. My idea is to seek out the artsy side of the towns we live in or near, post the photo or photos and maybe write a short description of the art and the artist. If there is currently no display of Public Art in your area, then show us how your town decorates to invite visitors to your area. Banners, Welcome signs, etc

Now, our town has art every where you look. There is creativity on each corner in our beautiful little downtown.

This piece, however, happens to live in the park that is only a few blocks from my house.

"Large Covered Wagon" by Tom Otterness


There really is a cartoon quality to this sculpture that delights adults as well as children. Everyone loves to sit with the pipe smoking pioneer woman or ride on the back of the gigantic bull pulling the wagon.


This picture was taken two years ago when Curlymop was two. Her mommy (our daughter) was enjoying the moment too.

The artist must be pleased when his imagination enchants and educates the little ones. Hands on works like this teaches them that art can be fun.

Tour the Round Robin art show HERE.



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WW: Olympic Diving Gold Mudal

(Well, Future mudalist. In Grandpa's Garden, no less!)




Join the Wordless Wednesday gang h.e.r.e!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fun Monday, Favorite, Favorite, and Favorite

AOJ and The Lurchers hosts todays Fun. She's an avid photographer and is excited to see our favorite photographs.
Mine aren't favored because of their artistic merit.
Rather, because they are forever blurred by tears - shed through the years for any reason you can possibly think of. If I had time (and energy) I would post a photo with each of my 9 grandchildren, too.

Gooey




Juice





Cakers

Mothers always think their babies are the most beautiful picture in the world.


Click on The Lurchers right now and enjoy the photo gallerys of all my blogging friends.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Grasshopper, Take Two

I share glass partitions and the late afternoon sun with coworkers. They are good people.

Dan (featured here and here) was at his desk as 5 o’clock pm approached on Wednesday.

Doreen stopped to discuss some paperwork and he picked up his refillable water bottle. She had his undivided attention while he took a healthy swig.

Immediately his eyes grew wide in horror, his cheeks inflated, and his body jerked right then left.

Doreen let out a muffled cry of alarm, dropped her books and bag on his desk, and moved towards him in confusion.

(Freeze Action) Two weeks ago I photographed a grasshopper on the glass pane at work and later posted it for Wordless Wednesday. Dan, in particular, was amused by my fascination with the little three-legged creature. Several days after the bug posing session, he humorously called my attention to “your little 3-legged friend” that was now camping by the printer we share. I decided to capture it and throw it out the door, but it hopped away behind a credenza when I approached. I was too busy to chase after it and the little insect was soon out of my mind. (Back to the Story)

Doreen began to fear the worst.

“For the life of me,” she said later, “I was so confused. My mind started racing through the possibilities. Heart attack? Seizure? Choking?”

Fortunately Dan quickly regained mental control. Still making gurgling sounds, he jerked the garbage receptacle from beneath his desk and dispatched the contents of his mouth in revulsion.

“Uh! A grasshopper!” cried Doreen, her eyes bugged in astonishment as it emerged from Dan’s spittle before it even reached its destination.

When the drama ended, I laughed so hard I was afraid I might damage my post surgery sinuses.

Dan made some cryptic remark towards me again about “your little friend,”

“My friend?” I retorted, “You’ve had a much more intimate relationship with that bug than me!”

He snorted.

Then, as a sort of afterthought he replied, “If that’s its modus operandi, I’m surprised it’s not missing more legs.”

That kept me giggling out the door and most of the way home.

Today he admitted that once I departed the premises he made sure that it would never happen again.

Poor Grasshopper.

(I’ve noticed that Dan now secures the cap on his water bottle after each use.)


**He called it 3 legged because it was missing one leg. In actuality, it was 5-legged, as it was missing one of it's 6 legs.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Olympic Flame


(Yes, Squash is recognized as an Olympic Sport.)

Click here to visit WW headquarters.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fun Monday: Humuhumunukunukuapua'a


Do I have a favorite word? Probably millions. But this one came to mind - and was already waiting for you to listen. (I'd used it nine months ago when Fun Monday presented favorite T-shirts.)

I dare you to say it with me.


Pamela's old favorite from pamela on Vimeo.

Please visit Mothers of Brothers, the wordy ladies hosting today's "Favorite Words" Fun.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reflections of a Grasshopper




Enjoy more Wordless Wednesdays by clicking here!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pensieve's Poetic License


Robin (of Pensieve) invites one and all to join in July's Poetic License as she introduces her own style of poetry. Read about it here. The abbreviated version is: the style involves the five senses, reflection and some play on words.

I never follow the rules entirely - but my work is close enough to join the thousands (big smile) who will participate by linking to Robin's post on Friday.

Yesterday we had our first rain of the summer. These thoughts were lingering in my head long before her invitation arrived. So, it was easy for me to be pensieve about

SUMMER RAIN

Dawn's pitter-patter on the skylight and the echoing murmur in the downspout stirs me from my slumber.

The dampened breeze through the opened window feathers my cheek and teases my lashes until they open.

Countless aqua dribbles explore the dusty trailed pane while triumphant drops bounce through the screen to sparkle on the sill.

Earthy scents waft on the gentle zephyr, replacing the night's stale haze with a pungent invitation to breathe in deeply and reminisce.

Savored moments linger as the first summer rain quenches nature's parched spirit...and I am refreshed.

(ps. Robin will be linking all participants to the Poetic License on Friday!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

With just a little plastic surgery ??

MyHeritage: Celebrity Morph - Family history software - Family websites

I'm not really out of blog fodder, I'm just being lazy.
Also, wondering where I could buy that make up. Just saying.

Ernie

I saw the grin on his face when he walked through the door. At first I thought he was just a happy old fellow.
A short conversation later I realized that he was slightly lost and considerably reality challenged. I pointed him towards his correct destination on the opposite side of the parking lot.
He took two steps away then turned back.
“You’re sure a nice lady,” he approached. “My name is Ernie. What’s yours?”
“Pamela.” I told him as I shook his extended hand and attempted to smile; I hoped it did not reveal one of those “Oh dear, this is inevitable” grimaces.
His eyes brightened – and he slipped into the chair beside my desk.
“Oh, that’s a beautiful name,” he gushed.
Then he put his hand over his heart.
“Pamela is my soul-mate’s name,“ he said with a serious face and a deep sigh. “She’s in the Looney Bin. She shouldn’t be there, though. Someone was just jealous of her and that is why they put her there.”
He added a few more sorry facts, and then looked at me expectantly.
“I’m very sorry that happened,” was the best I could muster
His demeanor switched abruptly to the original wide grin and he leaned in closer.
“Have you seen Indiana Jones?” he asked in a conspiratorial undertone.
I was somewhat startled by the subject change but responded appropriately by shaking my head ‘No.” I also mentioned that my husband wanted to take me to see it and then I began to shuffle things on my desk.
He bent his head, arched his eyebrows, and darted his eyes back and forth in a secret agent impersonation.
Very loudly he whispered, “Well, I know that loose lips sink ships… but I just have to tell you … I’m in it!”
“The movie?” I kicked myself for even giving him another opening.
Excitement required him to draw a deep breath before he nodded his head in self-congratulations. Then he excitedly tapped his pointy fingers on his chest.
“I’m him… Indiana Jones.”
“Wow!” I recovered from a brief speechless moment and added, “Imagine that.”
There was more posturing before he eventually shook the hands of two of my younger co-workers, tipped his hat, and walked out the door.
When he was safely away, we all laughed – especially about Pamela in the Looney Bin.
--
A week later I was away from my desk when I saw him again walk through the door. .
“Hi Ernie,” I called from the opposite end of the room, “you’re on the wrong side of the parking lot again!”
A bewildered expression crossed his face and he was clearly puzzled.
“Have we met?” he queried.
“Yes…. You were here last week,” I clarified.
He seemed more at ease then, and promptly asked for my name. I couldn’t help being somewhat playful with him.
“Aha!” I giggled, “My name is the same as your lost soul-mate.”
Befuddled once more, he scrunched his eyebrows in concentration.
Then he broke my heart with his next revealing words.

“Julia?”