Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Bunny Spoon

It is just a cheap little spoon that I got years ago from saving up "proof of purchase" tags from Nestle Quik. In fact, I have two of the little spoons so we must have drank lots & lots of chocolate milk many long years ago! I know it has been a long time because I remember Karen & Jeff using those spoons at our other house in Pleasant View addition. So the spoons are probably about 30 years old!

Now my grandchildren have discovered them & they insist that I stir their "chocky" milk with the bunny spoons! They go digging in my silverware drawer to find it & are highly disappointed if the spoons happen to still be in the dishwasher. So far we haven't had any major arguments over there only being two spoons...and I haven't found any others like them on eBay, so we are going to just have to share. :)

No telling how many glasses of chocolate milk have been stirred with those spoons. I know it used to be a ritual to set out the Nestle Quik on our breakfast table--both chocolate & strawberry! Parker thinks he prefers the Hershey syrup...but when he wasn't looking the other day, I used Nestle's--& he didn't notice the difference! So, just for old times sake, I think I'll keep some of it around.

I thought about giving Karen & Jeff each a spoon to take home & use at for their children. But then I decided that the grand kids would be awfully disappointed when they dug around in Grandma's silverware drawer & there was no bunny spoon to be found. I think I'll keep them for now. We still have lots more milk stirring to do around here!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bouquets of Roses...

If I could be there, I would place bouquets of roses on Mom & Dad's marker. But it is over 500 miles away and I won't be there, so I'll have to send bouquets in my mind. Mom probably would have preferred them to be pink. But Dad would definitely want red.

The arrangement Dad let us get for Mom!

Mom slipped away from us in May & her viewing was on Memorial Day of that year. She was surrounded with beautiful bouquets that she would have thought were way too extravagant for her. Dad was a very frugal man. But when it came to picking out the arrangement for her casket, he told us to get whatever we thought Mom would like! So we splurged with his money!

Carol & baby Parker saying goodbye to Mom

Little did we know that Dad would also slip away from us just 16 months later. As we made plans for his service, we all agreed that we wanted military rites at the graveside. The American Legion came & were so reverent & dignified. The trumpeter began to play "Taps" and then we were all surprised as another Veteran began reciting the words to the song. I'm not sure anyone there had ever
heard them before or
even knew there were such words.

Time takes some of the sharp edge of grief away, yet there is always something that will trigger a memory of the life we shared with them. I'm so thankful they are safely in the arms of their Saviour!

We were celebrating Carol's 40th birthday & decided to go have a little "visit with Mom"...not knowing that we would be returning in less than 3 weeks to let Dad lay beside her

The American Legion Veterans & the 21 gun salute


Day is done,
gone the sun,
from the lakes
from the hills
from the sky,
all is well,
safely, rest,
God is near.

Fading light,
Dims the night,
And a star gems the sky
Gleaming bright,
From afar,
Drawing near,
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
Neath the sun
Neath the stars
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is near.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday means laundry

Laundry day is not my favorite day of the week. But I have no set day to do my laundry...I just know it's time to fire up my Whirlpool when the hamper is overflowing!

Monday was laundry day for Mom. And it was quite a chore for her, an all day event!

She got married in 1946 & sometime after that purchased a wringer washing machine and used it until my baby sister was born in 1964 or until we moved to Kansas in 1966. (My memory fails me here so maybe "Baby Sis" can remember better than me!)

Laundry day meant that the dirty clothes would have to be toted down the basement steps, there to be sorted, and then washed in the wringer washer. Which of course did not have a rinse cycle. Which meant that the clean clothes had to be churned around in the rinse water & then wrung out again. Then the clean laundry needed to be carried up the basement steps, carried outside & hung up on the clothes line to be dried.
I remember helping Mom do laundry. And the baskets of wet clothes were very heavy to carry up the seemingly very long stairway. Sometimes my job would be to wipe down the clothes line before we hung up the clothes. (You never knew how many birds had used the lines for a perch that week!)

I used to love the smell of freshly air dried bedsheets. We had never heard of fabric softeners then and didn't mind the outdoor scents on our clothing or the roughness of our wind dried bath towels. Now I much prefer the scent & feel of my Downy dried laundry.

Rainy days & freezing weather meant the clothes had to be hung up on lines strung in our basement. But I can remember bringing in clothes that were stiff as boards after being freeze dried on the lines!

Tuesdays were ironing days. Mom's iron was not a steam iron so most things had to be sprinkled down. She would sprinkle the clothes, roll them up tightly, put them in the basket & let them set a while. And some things had to be starched! Late in the morning, Mom would set up her wooden ironing board (the only one she ever owned) and her steamy work would begin. When I was old enough she let me learn to iron by ironing her hanky's, and then later her pillowcases. I can still remember the smell of freshly iron shirts...
I was 15 years old when Mom found out that I was going to become a big sister one more time! Dad in his goodness decided it was time to update her laundry room. I'm thinking that he first bought her a clothes dryer and she still used the wringer washer. Then, when we moved away from Hallsville to our new home in Kansas, he bought her a washer to go along with the dryer. We still had a clothes line in our back yard, but little by little, Mom used it less, & finally Dad took it down.

We call them the "good day's", but they were hard days, even for the housewife of the 50's. It makes me ever so thankful that I can toss a small to large load of laundry in the washer, then when I hear the familiar "ding", know it is time to put them in the dryer. And in one morning my laundry can be done, and it smells & feels so nice. If I hurry when the dryer plays it's little "I'm finished" tune, I can hang up a few shirts and some of them may be ready to wear.

And then there is my ironing closet that I wouldn't want any of you to see. That is one of my drudgery's that never seems to be finished.

Monday we can start all over again! Or maybe tomorrow if my hamper is overflowing.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Carter's Concerns

Jeff & April are building a new home!

This was moving weekend for Jeff & April. They decided this winter that they were ready for a home with more room so put their house on the market. It sold surprisingly fast...before the first clod of dirt was dug on their new lot...and they are now in an apartment for a few months.

I loved their little home. It wasn't that little, about 1,400 square feet, but they quickly outgrew it. It was on a corner lot in the back of the addition, was close to a park and was just a good place for little children to be. But the boys had to share a room & they quickly ran out of closet space! Kerrigan's room wasn't as large as her brothers but was perfect for her.

With Daddy coming home driving a big U-Haul truck, Carter wasn't sure what was going on. He had spent most of the day with Aunt Karen on Friday so missed some of the process of his things being packed away. He loved the big truck but wasn't real crazy with the idea of all of his things being put on it.

Kerrigan is 8 years old and understands that this temporary move to an apartment means she will soon be getting a new home and much bigger room. Brycen is 2 years old and doesn't care where his bed is, just so Mommy & Daddy are close by. But Carter will soon be 4 years old and the move is disturbing him. He hasn't quite grasped the concept that bigger & better things are coming his way in the months ahead.

The basement walls have been poured, along with the basement floor and construction will soon begin. Maybe Carter will understand a little better when he can see the walls & rooms forming for his new place to play. Hopefully the construction part will go quickly and summer weather will help pass the time for the little Thompson's!

And then Carter will get to see a big truck back up to their apartment and start loading their things all over again! I'm whispering a few extra little prayers that Carter's concerns will fade away and he will be happy in his temporary home and will understand that someday soon he will get back all of those things that have been put away in storage. Some things we adults take for granted can be very disturbing to our little ones!

The new lot before construction began...

Breakaway Trails

Saturday, May 17, 2008

and a few more birthday candles...

Good grief! Are all of our family birthdays in the spring? Maybe it is just that we have a HUGE family!

Anyway...a very happy birthday to our nephew, Jason and Bob's youngest brother, Kevin.

Jason Bland...our nephew

Are you celebrating a landmark this year? I've lost track!!!

Jason is a plant manager for a business in Franklin (I never remember the name of the place!) and keeps very busy with his career. I understand he is a huge help to his mother in her gardening projects. I may have to hire him! And he is the proud owner of 2 (or is it 3?) dogs that demand quite a bit of his attention!

Happy Birthday Jason!!!

And a whole bunch of candles for Kevin's cake!!! :)

Kevin Leroy at 6 months
and with big brother Bob

Kevin is a successful building contractor here in our home town and loves his work. He especially likes doing anything pertaining to heavy equipment! (I remember when he was little, he wanted to be a "trash man" so he could ride on the back of the trash truck.) I bet he is glad he chose a different career!

Happy Birthday, Kevin!!!

Kevin & his family...
Amelia Ann, Rebekah & Kevin Meredith

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Glimpses of good times...

A few nights ago I went out to be with my mother-in-law for a couple of hours so her daughter could go have a late supper. We were both helping out while Dad was out of town. Earlier in the day Vickie had called and said it wasn't a very good day for her Mom so maybe I shouldn't come. But Vickie needed a break-& some supper-so I willing went out for a while.

When I got there, Vickie said things had changed with her mother late in the afternoon and she was no longer quite so confused.

I sat at the table with Bonnie while she ate her supper. Just before eating, she bowed her head, and much to my surprise, said the sweetest little prayer, asking that Jesus be with her and her family. Needless to say, tears filled my eyes. You see...sometimes Mother Thompson cannot even express her feelings in a full sentence, which frustrates her so much and leaves us feeling helpless, often not knowing what she is wanting to say. Memory loss is heart wrenching not only to the one suffering from it, but to all of the family and friends it touches also.

We talked of unimportant things, things that I thought would not bring stress to her mind. She kept telling me how delicious the food was...left overs from our Mother's Day meal. She tried to talk of my grandchildren, and I tried to help her complete sentences that would stop unfinished.

She missed her husband and kept asking where he was. Slowly she ate, every once in a while looking at me and saying "mmmmm...this is good". She must have been hungry. I knew to let her take her time, and she ate every bite on her plate.

Would she like to go for a walk around the yard to see how her flowers are doing? She finally decided she would. Slowly we walked. She would stop to pull a weed, to flick a dried up leaf off of her shrubbery, to admire her beautiful trees. I could see so much that needed to be done and knew that it probably would never happen. In my heart I wanted to put aside time to go out & clean out her flower beds, but also knew that my life was already so busy it was hard to get my own work done. Most of her flowers had been taken over by weeds, but she saw them as they used to be, and it really didn't bother her. We talked about the times she used to spend working in the yard with dear old Sister Dobbs, an old maid from our church that was always bringing a start from her plants to share with Mother Thompson. Sometimes she remembered, sometimes she didn't.

Is soon got dark & chilly & was time to go indoors. She forgot about our little walk & talked of other things. But I remembered.

I remembered the times that my mother-in-law taught me about flower gardening. And the times we went to pick strawberries at the local patches, early in the mornings when the patch would still be wet with dew. There were the times we went to the local farmers produce patches to pick green beans. Then later she brought her huge pressure cooker to teach me how to preserve them. We had also purchased huge heads of cabbage and made sauerkraut, grating up the cabbage on her antique grater. We shared bushels of corn, helped shuck the ears, and both cut off and froze many bags of delicious fresh corn for our families. She shared buckets of tomatoes with me when she had more than she could do herself. Through the years we have preserved many fruits and vegetables...and now it is time to preserve the good memories.

Of course there are the memories that weren't always so good. After all...she is my mother-in-law, and I am her first son's wife! But anymore, those times & memories don't matter. I've always loved her, but now I'm learning to love her all over again, down a pathway we didn't want to have to take. Life brings changes, sometimes making a better person out of us.

Life...please be gentle to Bonnie. Give her good days. Let her remember the good times. Erase the bad ones and let her know we will always love her.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

more birthday candles...

Jennifer Ann

Wishing our niece, Jennifer, a beautiful birthday!

She has recently moved to Cincinnati with a new job and is living out on her own. And from what I have heard, she is loving it! Congratulations Jenny on your new job & apartment!

Have a wonderful day. (I won't tell how many candles are on your cake...)

May all of your dreams & wishes come true!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My favorite Mommies!

This is to wish a Happy Mother's Day to some of the important Mommies in my life.

Our daughter, Karen & her 3
Parker-age 5
Peyton & Paige-twins-age 2

April, our daugher-in-law & her 3
Carter-almost 4

 baby sister!...& her 3
Kelcie-age 18 Jacob-age 12 Kylie-age 16

Bob, Kevin, Vickie & Mother
Mother's Day '07

In Loving Memory of our Mom who went to be with Jesus--May 23, 2003
The above Moms each hold a different & special place in my life & heart. I love them all!
Happy's Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Queen Dorothy!

Let me introduce you to my beautiful "Queen Dorothy".

Dorothy came to me several years ago as a passalong plant from Mary Ann, my gardening friend. Dorothy was my first Iris!

For some reason I had never really fallen in love with the Iris'. It seemed they sprang up, bloomed quickly & then faded away. I plopped my Queen in the courtyard off of my patio & left her to herself, not giving her any special attention and actually wondering what in the world to do with her. (My apologies, Mary Ann!). But it wasn't long until Dorothy was surprising me with beautiful blooms that I loved. She bloomed for several weeks and then sat there like a lady through the summer. And once again, in late summer, she surprised me by blooming again. I had a double bloomer!

A few summers later we had an irrigation system installed & I had to dig up my Queen Dorothy. I put her in a bushel basket in my shade garden & sort of neglected her that summer. I was so excited when the next spring I saw new growth sprouting in my bushel basket that had sat through the winter, exposed to the harsh elements, thanks to me! As I separated the rhizomes I decided to share some with my sweet neighbor lady. And I still had several to replant in my own garden.

Queen Dorothy has been blooming this week, even during the heavy rains of today. I ventured out among the raindrops to get some snapshots of her beautiful blooms so I could share them with my blogger friends. And once again say "thank you" to Mary Ann for the Passalong Plant.

It probably won't be but another seaon or two until Dorothy will need to be divided again. I'm sure I'll spread her around through my gardens and will also share her with someone special, just so they to can find the joy of having a Queen Dorothy of their own!
View out my kitchen window