Category Archives: memories
What an incredible view I was able to share with my hubby and youngest! It was our first time at the Grand Canyon and I have to admit I was in awe! Pictures don’t do it justice! “Isn’t That Grand!?” Every nook and cranny was a revolving door of shadow and light. The flow of the clouds danced along the peaks and layers providing photographers multiple chances to catch the perfect shot. “If I may state for the record…There is no way a person can take a bad picture of the Grand Canyon.”
It is important to share with you that you may need to have a designated non-photographer in your group. This way you can move around and not worry about running into others taking the same picture. Small groups of visitors moved around in the same familiar state…Phones and tripods with multiple lenses all focused on the amazing sight. Selfies and groups with an ever changing backdrop scattered along the rocky and uneven edge of the South Rim. There were a few photo enthusiasts who dared to attempt the best phot on the edge. I spoke with them…the title of their picture was “Giving Birth to the World!” I won’t tell you what the pose was…you have already let your mind run with the thought. “You should probably stop before you embarrass me as well as yourself.”
The weather on this beautiful day was chilly-windy-glad-I-had-my-thermal-shirt-and-sweatshirt day. The wind was sustained winds between 25-30 mph with temperatures in the lower to mid 50’s. “BURR!!!”
I had seen documentaries about the Grand Canyon and knew about the clouds flowing over the edge. I have a few others with the varied depth of flow. But, I knew there was a chance of wintry mix and with the cloudy overcast skies moving in we decided to leave this overwhelming and heart fluttering place. I am, as you know, a weather watcher and a prepared mama…just wait!
As we were strolling along the path, toward the car, a wonder sentiment burst in my direction …”War Eagle!” I smiled and replied “War Eagle” and kept moving. My hubby asked how he knew I was an Auburn fan…I just laughed and said “Honey I do have my Auburn strap on my glasses and a perfect shade of orange sweatshirt. We recognize each other!” He simply shook his head. Auburn fans are everywhere!
I have more to share but don’t want to overload you with my unedited pictures. I will do my best to give you a beautiful insight into our vacation! Till then…
Coffee is my _______! Fill it in!
One Of My Favorite Things…is sitting at the table just off my kitchen with the window blinds wide open watching the falling snow! It has been falling for just a short time. The fluffy flakes are quietly filling in the rain soaked area on the ground as a slushy mix is replaced by a pillowy white covering.
best is yet to come! The weather personalities in our area have forecasted an ice storm tonight and tomorrow. “Can you say goody?” ( please repeat the previous question using a sarcastic tone!!!)
I have had many experiences with “ice storms” and by the time I was married knew how to survive one. The longest and most memorable was in Washington State…I saw the pattern and prepared! Others were not as lucky! By the time is was dark I had my hubby home from work, 4 hours early, and food on the stove with the fire going. Hubby was thrilled to walk in to a cozy fire especially when he realized the power was out. “It stayed out for almost 45 hours!” Ahh…memories!!!
Once this event is over I will share more pics with you! “I know my friends will post some great pictures on Facebook.” (Hint…Hint…) For now I will sit back and sip on my “Oh So Wonderful Cup of
Coffee Espresso” and enjoy this quiet and serene snowfall.
That didn’t last long…the youngest is up! LOL!
“May your cup runneth over with joy, love and laughter oh, and really fabulous coffee!”
Well it finally happened…
The boxes from the great decoration abyss appeared and, in their excitement, burst…splashing red and green to every corner of my house!
A Work in Progress…Christmas Decorating!
The overshadowing and overwhelming spirit that has been with me since Thanksgiving is still here…
It just slid over allowing me to put on my Interior Design Hat and usher in the Christmas Season to this little corner of the world. It was a slow paced procedure and the participants were my 20 year old and myself. We set the tree up and preceded to decorate the almost 7 foot needle dropper. I took extra joy in this special time…this may be the last time I have my son here to decorate for a while! A wave of bittersweet emotional was evident in the silent tears that welled up in my eyes. My 20 year old stood back and looked at the tree then said…”This year we should keep it simple…you know what I mean?” We picked through the treasure trough of ornaments finding the perfect memories to fill the tree. (Note: I, in recent years, have let the boys decorate the tree together…but with two no longer living here and the youngest in school this year was an exception.) I would like to view this as my 20 year old wanting to share this time with me…alone! “It’s a MOM thing!”
Once the tree was completed I spattered the pillows, figurines, garland and stockings throughout the house. My 20 year old headed outside to set up the lights and yard decorations.
There are a few more things to do but like I said it is a Work in Progress! I will possible rearrange a few things as I tweak the decorations but all in all my son seemed pleased with the simple touches. I think he is trying to make this a Christmas to remember. He volunteered to help me pick out presents for the youngest…Of course he said he would do this so I would not pick out un-cool clothes for 13 year old Jr. High student. “I did not do a shabby job when I was shopping for the other boys!” I had to chuckle on the inside at this offer! This will make for some great memories for me as well. I plan on spending as much time with my 20 year old as I possible can while balancing the independent spirit of my son perched to take flight. (About 45 more days left before his departure…but who’s counting?) HEHE! I can think of a few people who are counting the days!
My coffee is almost gone and I think I will make a refill! I have a lot to do today starting with calling the vet and ending with making an early dinner. Have you decorated yet?
“May your cup runneth over with joy, love and laughter oh, and really fabulous coffee!”
The welcoming hugs and sincere compliments come from a dynamic group of Seniors at my church. They are, by far, the most personality filled group I have ever known! My Minister of Music has several of us to lend a vocal hand to this group when they sing and today my “Mutual Cat Loving Friend” and I will be that vocal hand. The Seniors are taking a short trip to a local Nursing Home to usher in a bit of Holiday Cheer!
Helping Seniors…In More Ways Than One!
I am not a stranger to being in a nursing home…much less singing in them. I, as a small child, would visit my great-grandparents and sing for them. When my grandmothers were placed in nursing homes I went to visit and became aware of the overwhelming sadness surrounding this type of living. “Maybe this is why I now sing with my “Mutual Cat Loving Friend” every third Sunday at a facility of semi-shut-ins. The expressions tell the many stories…the bright and twinkling eyes….the shaky out reaching hands…the low hanging head…the attending nurse standing quietly next to a special case… “My heart-strings are tugged!”
The Seniors at my church have a tight-knit group…and support each other daily. What an incredible example they give to us as they minister to those in the nursing homes. My parents taught us to respect and love these valuable members of the church. My parents would always tell us “You will never understand what a simple touch or word can do until you are older…” I love to give hugs and take time to speak to them…even more so today! There is one sweet spirit that, though she is three years older than my dad, seems fragile and weak! She has a spunky personality and lights up a room when she walks in. She has the most beautiful and clear soprano voice and was asked to sing a solo last year at one of the nursing homes. The timid voice began to shake and I moved behind her and rested my hand on her shoulder. When she finished I leaned up and told her how beautiful her song was…she just grabbed me and said “I thought an angel was standing behind me to give me strength…it was you!” Needless to say we have a special connection!
Oh the many life lessons they have already taught me and there are many things I still have to learn. I have tried to instill this same respect and love, for this special group, in my own children and have been thrilled to see the results. My 3 sons all appreciate and help Seniors…we are still working with the youngest. He is learning from a professional though…my 20 year old has taken him under his wing and shown him how to relate and respect this valuable resource called Seniors. (Don’t tell him I have seen him do this…it would ruin his coolness!)
It is almost time for me to start getting ready to leave. Would you do me a favor today? If you see a Senior…speak to them! Offer a hand or just a moment to listen! They will love it and you will not forget it!
“May your cup runneth over with joy, love and laughter oh, and really fabulous coffee!”
I have some good news and some bad news…
The good news:
Tomorrow is a new day and a New Year!
The bad news:
Today is Monday “OMG it’s Monday!” Could someone please stop this ever-spinning-hamster-wheel and let me do the things I need to do first. I need to finish my oversized cup of espresso, move the laundry, clean out the dishwasher, prepare and inhale another cup of coffee (espresso), and take my 19 year old to the dentist. “Sadly…these are just the items on my To-Do List before 8:30 this morning. You should see my continuous-stream-of-activities left on the handy-dandy-iPhone-yellow-pad. There is to much to be completed in the short 24 hour day! Wait…I am not ready to face what lies ahead. “Wait! I’m Not Ready For A New Year!
Time ticks very quickly by…as the excited yet annoying crowd counts down. The only problem is the fact that it is still early. I sit here trying to stuff these numerous thoughts into a sensical pattern while keeping my eye on the clock. Movement upstairs is a good sign but warns me that I need to get ready too. Today is starting out in the typical Monday blur which somehow feels comforting. Unusual stresses have attacked the sane front this week…death of a friends child, hospitalization of sweet member of the church, car accident last night of a dear couple in the church as they were going home from the child’s funeral visitation…
These tolls of life weigh heavy on many. These things mixed with the world events multiply the tension and stress in normal everyday life.
One thing at a time…breathe…sip…breathe…sip!
Time for me to face the next item on my list…I need to get ready to leave. I promise I will continue this espresso-driven-event-filled day. Until then…start working on your resolutions…
Resolutions…I need to do that!
Once I return home and settle in with another cup of coffee…espresso…I will delve into this topic…using as much humor as I can.
“resolutions…really?” I will deal with that tomorrow!
What is this? My 22 year old is taking my 19 year old to the dentist and the garbage is already out…call me giddy! I have some extra time….TIME!… ( Excuse me…I am doing the dance of joy!)
Moving a few things around and changing of the To-Do List is one of my specialities. My Shoot-from-the-hip-ADHD-mentality is a definite plus and one that I enjoy using. “Keep ’em guessing or as I like to call it…Amazing my hubby with my incredible abilities!”
I can leisurely finish my duties this morning and head out to buy the last needed items for the celebration tonight and the important re-supplying of the coffee pods for hubby. I can then return home and begin the mixing, rolling, stirring, baking and storing of the individual snacks for tonight and tomorrow.
Thought…Everything returns to normal on Wednesday…including choir practice and praise team practice which we have not had since November! I am so ready for that. Sorry! My ADHD is working overtime with lack of schedule.
The shortened check list is putting a smile on my face, for a split second, as my 12 year old begins to clean out the dishwasher. ( This is one of his chores which he has NOT done in many days…and he only started to clean it out after I, reading/proofing this post out loud, read the part about the dishwasher.) “I may have to re-think his chore list…but that can wait for another day!”
I will relax once these tasks are completed and the table of goodies is set out. Our little family celebration will include a movie and the traditional Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve. We will enjoy each other as we usher in this New Year of 2013 all while hoping for a better year. I hope you have a wonderful time tonight with your family and friends! Make a good and lasting memory! We will!
With love and hope in my heart…Happy New Year and Have a great day!
The children are all snug in their beds…wait…rewind…wrong holiday. But, the family are still sleeping away upstairs as I take a moment while the traditional orange cinnamon rolls bake. “It’s Here…Happy Thanksgiving!”
Traditions start for many reasons…our traditional cinnamon rolls originated with my mother. No huge breakfast…no time to cook it or room in the kitchen for anything else. My mother would cook everything but the pies on Thanksgiving morning so unless you were called to duty you avoided the kitchen. She would bake the cinnamon rolls while preparing the turkey for the oven early in the morning. “My turkey will be in the oven in about 15 minutes.” According to the time charts I will have approximately 4-41/2 hours till the turkey is ready. Dinner should be on the table about 1PM at the latest.
I must go and prepare the turkey for the oven…Have a wonderful day! And for those of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving…Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
If I am going to be in the car…I am going to sing along with the radio! “Who doesn’t?”
The fun thing about this is disturbing the children. The different styles of music available on Sirius XM is enough to blow their mind…BUT…when parents start singing along to Rock n Roll our boys take to picking up their proverbial-picket-signs.
The newest statement came from our youngest. (He is adopted and has only been with us 5 years now!). He is still learning about us and well…we do have fun showing him how diverse we really are.
Sooo…let me set up the scenario for you. It was just the two of us in the car and I was not in the mood for my regular channels sooo…I flipped over to Margaritaville and Sinatra. Two channels that incorporate beachy music and good old standards. “I love the standards…and Michael Buble’ and Frank Sinatra are just two of my favorites.” I switched between the two not liking the artist on the beachy channel and landed on “Moon River” and started singing along. All of the sudden this voice, clear as a bell, chimed in from the backseat! “You Know Those Words Too!”
I peeked back and shock and surprise filled his face and I kept singing. After the song finished I told him about the time spent with my grandparents and how I would watch my grandmother’s sister and her husband dance to songs like this. The concept was foreign to him…I thought for a moment and said…”They would do the same type dances you see on “Dancing with the Stars” and that is called Ballroom dancing!” He threw his hands in the air and said…”Oh great, you have dancers in your family too!” I explained that a true love of music includes many, many different types of music and a respect or appreciation for the differences. “But how do you remember all the words and the names and information of the people singing?” I smiled and told him that as you get older your brain just makes room for the important things. He laughed and said “Well that makes since because you are so old.”
“Don’t worry…I set him straight about that statement very quickly…besides I am not old!”
And because I am not old I will not say anything further about this subject matter!
He was quiet the rest of the ride. Ahhh…peace and quiet! Works every time! Hehe!
What type of music do you flip between? Do you sing along for pure enjoyment or to mess with those in the car with you? Both…I would say!
Well a basketball game is calling so I must close…Have a great day!
The packing of the family car…”Boy does that hold memories.” There were 6 of us and we were taught the “Art of Packing” for that extended beach vacation. We packed linens and groceries…clothes and grill…we were not packing for a vacation but moving. Those were the good old days before there was a chain grocery store and a grill that stayed at our home away from home. Those methods of placing and stacking have come in handy before and will come in handy today. It’s Finally Here!.
There are only a couple of things on my list of things to do today…
Pack mine and hubby’s clothes and toiletries
Buy a case of bottled water
Oh and Pack the car!
I am fortunate to have two strong backs today for this important task…I think I zigged when I should have zagged last night.
#Pack the pain meds
I packed a few grocery items…pop tarts, popcorn, instant oatmeal, snack cakes and paper plates, paper bowls, plastic spoons and forks…”You expect me to wash dishes or run a dishwasher while I am on vacation!” I also packed some laundry detergent and softener sheets…yeah I know! You can quit laughing! I will wash a load or two so we will not have to take as many clothes.
#Pack some garbage bags for the paper products and snack wrappers…
Wow…it is a little after 8 AM and in less than 9 hours we will be on the road. “No! It is not going to take that long to pack…my hubby had to work today but is getting off a little early.” I will use my time wisely today and rest this wicked twinge in my get-along. [Translation: Pain in my lower hip.] Don’t forget to tell me about your vacation with family and friends… And don’t forget to check out my pics! This time tomorrow I will be waking up in the mountains over looking a river. It’s Finally Here…and I can hardly wait! Have a great day!
My Facebook has been taken over with beach themed pictures and children clad in the glistening-sunscreen-and-sand-armor. The pails pictured in solitary state, as if posing for it’s close up, waits with it’s brightly colored accomplices…you know the shovel and rake…the occasional flip-flops. I know there are many more scenes of summer to come in the next 40-45 days.
[insert the background music from the movie Psycho or Jaws…]
Sadly the song running through the heads of most moms and dads is a Christmas song…It is a well known and loved song…“It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” It is not because the temperatures are unbearably high and no relief can be found…it has been relatively mild here!
It is because of the infamous line in the song…“And Mom and Dad Can Hardly Wait For School To Start Again!”
With school ending in May, those of us in this neck of the woods of Georgia, have already escaped for their Summer destinations. Some of my friends…you know who you are…are presently enjoying the Oceanside breezes mixed with that memory making salty spray. I may get the chance in July…(Crossing my fingers as I close my eyes tight!)…to visit my beach house. Our main destination is different this year as we will head north into the mountains.
No white sandy beaches…lots of trees.
No waves crashing…unless you count the waves made at the end of an amusement park ride.
No salty-wind-blown hair styles…wind blown hair styles after riding a new roller coaster.
You may think I am a little premature in my writing of this end-of-summer topic but, a sweet-spunky-spirit mentioned it during our chat time this morning. All I did was ask her what her schedule was like today…she ended her reply with wanting her children to go back to school! “She is the mother of three and the oldest is going into 5th grade.” I will probably feel the same way when I get back from my family vacation. “Let the countdown commence!” When we get home there will be about 20 days left before the meeting of teachers begins and the back to school shopping craze infiltrates every moment of the day…and then some. [The first day of school is August 1st 2012]
No, no, no, no, no! I am not looking forward to school yet! I am enjoying the solitude of my coffee time. No interruptions of panic-driven hustle-and-bustle looking for paperwork and shoes but, give me another 2-3 weeks and ask me again. I am a woman and we were created to change our minds quickly. My son has been enrolled in TKD and it will carry through into the school year. I take him, in his ninja t-shirt, every day.
I have vacations pics coming my way and I will share…just in case you are in the same boat I have been in for the past several years. Then again…no one wants to be reminded of places they cannot go. It does get easier as the kids get older. “I can leave the house and disappear and they can fin-4.” (fin for yourself) I do take the youngest with me now that the older boys are working.
What will your summer hold? Have you made plans or are you already contemplating the return to school? Let me know! Have a great day!
Almost 20 years ago my grandmother…Mema…came to visit me in Washington State. I was always excited to see her. “She is a light to my sometimes gray and dingy world.” While sitting at dinner one night she told me she was beginning to mark Items in her house to give members of the family when she passed away. I loved the idea of having my name on certain items…my little claim to those precious memories of my Mema. She asked me what items I would like and why. A smiled filled my heart as I reached into my memories of her house. “There are a few things I would love to have to remind me of you…I would love to have my “Mema’s Chairs”!”
Her expression covered a small range of emotion as I began to describe the chairs.
I would love to have the White chair that sits at the writing desk in the living room…I have a fond memory of you Mema…sitting at the desk taking care of your daily bills and your correspondence. You instilled in each of us the importance of writing a letter or short note to those who were important to us. You would lay your heart upon the page as you kept those dear to you current with the aspects of your life. “People need to know they are loved and a short note can brighten anyone’s day!”.
The Princess Chair that sits in your bedroom in front of the window. I remember watching you as you sat in that chair to put on your shoes. This was also the chair I sat in while you put on your make-up. I would sit there…with my ankles crossed like a little lady. I felt like such a grown up because it sat low to the ground and my feet could actually touch the ground. My grandmother had a puzzled look in her face…”Princess Chair?” “Yes ma’am…the little pinkish chair…that looks like a small throne.” “I always felt like a princess when I sat in that chair.”
She smiled and said she knew exactly which chair I was talking about.
There is another chair…well 2…they sit in the dinning room in front of the window. The extra captains chairs that you recently had recovered. (The one in the picture above!) They are so elegant and embody your grace and style. I would love to have them so I could have you with me at dinner time. Manners and conversation, each taught while sharing the simplest meal or full family dinner. Those memories should be passed down to my children and having these chairs would preserve your influences in my life daily.
A graceful chuckle escaped as she reached out to give me a hug. “Thank you for being able to share those wonderful memories with me…What a lovely explanation of why you wanted these items.”. She asked if there was anything else and I quickly shared with her about two sets of dishes and the biscuit tin and a glass set that sat on top of her refrigerator as we completed our meal. That was the last of that discussion and we never talked about this topic again.
My mother told me a couple of years later how much my explanation had meant to her. She had been surprised a bit by the items I had asked for. She related the stories and told my mother that she could see, after my explanation, why I must receive these particular items.
Within the past few years my Mema could no longer live in her wonderful home without assistance. Her health had become an issue and she was being moved to an assisted living complex. Needless to say…she needed to begin the division of her property. “I went over to help with the move!” My aunt and uncle, as well as my parents, told me to make sure I packed up the items I wanted and take them home with me. Sticky notes had been put on certain items by others in the family and anything not marked was far game. “What a lovely thought!…She was still sitting in her long time home and people were sweeping in and taking her belongings right in front of her.”
I went up to her bedroom, where she and my sisters were going through her clothes. She immediately motioned for me. “I want you to take that chair with you today…I will be taking the other chairs with me to the apartment.” Mema was pointing to the Princess Chair still sitting next to the window in her room. “I would not let anyone take it…it is for you!” We both fought back the tears. I did not like seeing her like this…
She told me of a few other items she had put aside for me as we went through her clothes. “I will share those items with you another time!”
Mema was not in her apartment for long due to her health growing increasingly worse. She has since been moved two other times. My presence was again called for and I drove from my home in Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama. It was at this time I was given the other chairs. The set from the dinning room were used in the apartment’s living room. One had been clawed and torn beyond repair by her always invisible cat. Finicky does not describe this well loved member of the family who remained hidden away from visitors. “He did not like large groups!” I retrieved the chair left unmarked by the cat and took it to my car…I went back in and began the sorting of items for storage and those being moved to her new home. In the corner of the small room which held her desk was sitting the White Chair covered in books and photos needing to be boxed. My aunt walked into the room as I was running my hand along the back of the chair…
Long story short…these 3 chairs are all in my home now. The Captain’s Chair, with the elegant blue and white pattern, sits in the corner of my living room giving me the feeling that Mema is with me. The White Chair sits next to my desk in my office/sitting room and has inspired me in my writings on many occasions. The little pink pillow was in the chair when I picked it up and still accents the bright white chair. The Princess Chair came home with me that first visit and is in my bedroom…by the window sitting next to a slender chest she wanted me to have. My Mema has touched my heart and now fills my home with loving memories. It gives a comfortable, at home, feeling to extended family when they visit my home. To have these pieces brings a familiar tug to the heart and anyone who loves my Mema are drawn to “Mema’s Chairs!”
Do you have things that belonged to your parents or grandparents that have been passed down? Do they hold a special place in your heart and home? “They do in mine…I love my Mema and I hold on to those memories everyday when I see “Mema’s Chairs”!“. Have a great day!