Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A bushel & a peck...

"I love you a bushel & a peck
A bushel & a peck
And a hug around the neck!"
Every once in a while I run across this old snapshot and that little song runs through my mind. Evidently I loved my two cousins dearly as I had them in my clutches & was showing my love!
This picture was taken in Grandma's back yard, near the old well pump, and in front of the root cellar. You can see the block walls & the dirt mounded up to protect the cellar. I remember it being cold, dark & damp, lighted only with one small light bulb. I still remember the smell, the dampness and the odor of the dirt lined ceiling. We weren't allowed to climb that little hill as Grandma warned us that it could cave in!
Grandma preserved her summer garden harvest in mason jars, which were perfectly lined up on wooden shelves at the bottom of the cellar steps. Cellars were used for storing canned goods as it kept them cool, yet it was underground & wouldn't freeze in the winter time.
When the aunts, uncles & cousins all gathered in, Grandma would sometimes send one of us girls to the cellar to bring up jars of green beans, canned tomatoes, corn, or dill pickles. Grandma's sister had a cherry tree & I remember picking blackberries somewhere, so there no doubt were also jars of fruit! There were even bushel baskets that held potatoes that had been dug up from the mounds in the garden.
One of my favorite treats was a dish of canned tomatoes, sprinkled with sugar, topped with crushed saltines & served in one of Grandma's depression glass dishes. And one of my very first memories is being left with Grandma & Grandpa when Mom went to the hospital for my baby brother to be born. I distinctly remember standing on Grandma's porch, waving goodbye to my Mom & Dad, and Grandma taking me inside & giving me my special treat.
Just an old picture and the glimpse of that old cellar can bring back many Missouri memories....bushels & pecks of them!
Photograph: Me...hugging my cousins Cherie Ann & Luana Ruth
all three of us born in 1949!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A walk in the woods...

Yesterday was the day Mary Ann & I planned a garden center outing including lunch. It was gorgeous...a perfect spring time morning.

Mary Ann does something I'll never be able to do....she landscapes her wooded area! I have a woods, but my fear of slithery things keeps me far away from it. She has spent countless hours planting wildflowers, dividing & replanting, clearing leaves, sticks & weeds,. There is a watershed running through it and she even had truck loads of huge rocks hauled in and hand layed a creek bed. She & her husband have made pathways, lined with logs, so you can weave in & out of the wooded gardens.
We went for a morning walk. I left my camera in the car so didn't get as many pictures as I wanted. It is beautiful! Her hard work has paid off & she loves to share the area with her friends. I enjoyed our little walk in the woods so much! Just wish my woods wasn't so near the Interstate & that I wasn't terrified of the "you know whats". (I can't even stand to say that word!)

Her wooded hillside with the pergola in the background, hand built by her hubby!One of my very favorite springtime flowers...a carpet of Virginia Bluebells!
And daffodils!
Most of which had already bloomed.
She has planted hundreds of them!
We topped the day off with a late lunch at Twigs & Sprigs Tearoom, then made a sachet through the garden area. Both of us came out with our little red wagons loaded with perennials. It is amazing how we both seem to end up buying about the same kinds of plants. Now to find time to get them in the ground!
Another beautiful day in Indiana!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dad's Two Easter Births

Today would have been our Dad's 85th birthday.

He always told us that he was born on an Easter Sunday, down in Oklahoma, in a sawmill camp, where his parents had moved so his Daddy could get some work. After a while, they moved back near Warsaw, Missouri, then to New Franklin where he spent most of his childhood & younger years.

He also always told us that he had two births on Easter. His actual birth day was on an Easter Sunday. And then on that Easter Sunday morning in 1952, he went to church with my Mom, to the little Church of God (Holiness), and was saved that day. He always made a point on Easter Sunday to stand up and testify to his conversion, and to his two Easter births.
He was a family man. He loved his parents and his brothers & sisters and saw them as often as he could. His parents were poor people, along with his Dad not being in good health, & I remember spending lots of Saturday's going to Grandma & Grandpa Brown's. On those days, he & Mom would do grocery shopping, run errands, haul a tank of LP gas--in the trunk of our car!--mow their yard, or whatever needed to be done. Later, when Grandma was in a nursing home, we spent many Saturdays going to visit her, Dad making a point to read a few chapters out of the Bible to her while we were there.

He also loved his in-laws. We lived in the same little town as my maternal grandmother and he would do any kind of chore for her also. He often mowed, raked leaves, cleaned out the garden patch, or other necessary tasks. He loved his brothers-in-law, often going on fishing or hunting trips with them. And he loved to tease the sisters-in-law.
But most of all, he loved the lady of his life and his children, and in later years his grandchildren. He was a great Dad! He took us on fishing trips, took us camping, spent time with us, made certain we learned about his Heavenly Father, took us all over Boone County & neighboring areas to Revivals, Fellowship Meetings, Youth Groups, & Church Camp Meetings.
He could take a cheap piece of pork steak & grill it up to taste like a delicious cut of meat. He loved to barbecue! He would have Mom stir up a bucket of banana ice cream & then he would freeze it in his White Mountain freezer. Many times either Steve or I had to sit on top of that thing, cover with a gunny sack, while he cranked away. I was very thankful when he finally graduated to an electric freezer! After he retired & was home more often, he became quite the romantic and would sometimes surprise Mom with a bouquet of roses from the grocery store. He was quite the bargain hunter & sort of took over the grocery shopping chore once he retired. Mom never knew just what he would come home with and their pantry was stocked well with his bargain purchases.
He was just a poor farm boy who had to quit school after the 8th grade so he could work & help support his parents. He went on to work and retire from Panhandle Eastern Pipeline, where he was able to get his GED, and then went on and took some college classes.
Jeff & his Grandpa Brown
playing Hillbilly Golf at Gatlinburg, Tennessee

From that little tent down in Oklahoma to his modest home in Kansas, I'd say he did a great job of living. He lived modestly, yet was generous to those who needed help. Our Dad was a great man! We loved him dearly and still have a vacant spot in our lives that no one else will ever fill.

Grandpa Brown & Parker

He was pretty proud of his first great-grandson!

Grandpa Brown & Carter

Carter had colic & I remember Dad rocking him, singing "Oh My Darling Clementine", and soothing Carter to sleep

This was Dad's last trip to our house...he knew he would never be back. He told me so when I let him out at the airport & it about broke my heart.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Yucky" stuff

Paige came home with us after church today & spent the afternoon as her Mommy was at the hospital taking care of babies, Daddy was home with a sick Parker Man....& Peyton stays home from church whenever he can!

She was quite the entertainer today. While I was changing out of my church clothes into something more comfortable, she got in a drawer where I keep lip balm, some cover-up, & evidently an old stick of cover make up. I looked down & she was smearing the cover up in a tube all over her lips! She told me "Mommy do it"...so I let her smear. Then after a quick peak in the mirror I managed to wipe it off of her sweet little lips. No harm done...but I think that drawer needs cleaned out & most of it trashed.

Later, when I was re-dressing for the evening service Paige had to come along. She was playing near my dresser again when she said "Mommy doesn't have yucky stuff". I thought she was talking about the contents of my drawer. She proceeded to tell me "You have yucky stuff, Gwama". Oh really? Where, Paige? ...(don't ask unless you want to know) & she replied, "on your back".

Well...I guess I won't let her see Grandma's back again for a while. Maybe it's time for a trip to the dermatologist.......

Friday, April 17, 2009

Want to join me?

I follow a wonderful writer at www.antiquemommy.com.
She has made the following post about doing an online Bible Study & it seems to be something that I might be interested in. Want to join me?

I've ordered the book, plus a couple of extras, so if you live nearby & would like a book, let me know.

Following is the post about the upcoming Study. It begins on Monday, May 4th.

Posted on www.antiquemommy.com.

"In the first chapter of her book "What Happens When Women Say Yes To God", Lysa Terkeurst tells about the time she was on an airplane and felt God prompting her to give her personal and treasured Bible away to a complete stranger.And I thought, "That woman is crazy. I would never give away my Bible! To a complete stranger? Now, I might offer to buy that person a Bible or even send them one, but I would never...."I won't tell you how that chapter ends, but I will tell you that I was convicted up one side and down the other. And then I put the book down because I realized that I didn't want to travel this journey alone.

So I called my friend Jennifer and invited her to go along. And because she is adventurous in spirit and a seeker of truth, and can't resist my wily charms, she agreed.And that is what this blog is all about - Jennifer and AM working through Lysa's book, seeking to figure out if we can be women who listen for the call of God's voice, women who yield to the call of God's voice and women who respond without hesitation, "Yes God! Here I am!"We would love for you to join us if you dare to be or aspire to be a woman who says yes to God.

Our plan is to read one chapter a week (they are short and very manageable) and wrestle with it here. One week Jennifer will author the discussion and the next week I will. Your participation will be to read along and join the conversation!The discussion of the first chapter will begin on Monday, May 4th.Get a book and join us!"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Thermometer Mother"

by Frances Brown
My mother was a thermometer,
Tall and sure and fine,
With grades of sensitivity,
And mercury down her spine.
She'd hold her hand in our oven,
A trick both true and nifty,
How could she guess the heat just right
For her cake---three hundred fifty?
She deftly dipped her elbow in
My sister's bathing tub,
Then clicked her teeth and said "Okay",
Give her a read good scrub."
She'd hold her hand on brother's brow
Before he'd even sneeze.
How could she know his fever rose
To a hundred and two degrees?
When we'd get the iron skillet
We made our popcorn in,
She'd lift the lid and smell the heat,
"It's hot enough! Begin!"
My mother was a thermometer,
With mercury down her spine,
Her readings right to a degree,
That centigrade mother of mine!

I found this little poem in a box of things that belonged to my Grandma Brown.
But it reminded me more of my own Mother.
I remember her holding her hand over the skillet of grease to see if the temperature was ready for her chicken. It had to be just the right temperature...or else, she would say, we would have soggy chicken!
And fried chicken was one of my favorite meals.
She would hold her hand close to the iron...and then she would "fry a little spit" on it! (I even do that to this day.) Only then would her ironing chore begin.
She would wave her hand in the oven to make sure it was hot enough for her melt in your mouth yeast rolls.
And she too, could tell with the tender touch to the forehead, if you were really sick, or just maybe wanting to stay home from school that day. It was rare that we ever tricked her!

I find myself doing these same things.

Maybe this gift will be passed on to my daughter & daughter-in-law.

I think we all have a God given gift of knowing when all isn't well with our children.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Weekend...

Tomorrow starts a hectic weekend around our house. I've already made a couple of trips to the grocery store but will no doubt have to return for whatever I've forgotten!

Jeff & April are heading south with their little family to spend the Easter weekend with April's dad. Carter couldn't be happier as he wants to visit again with "Henry", Grandma Haley's new pug puppy! And Pepaw Doug has calves that are about 3 weeks old! The kids love going to see their Grandpa down in the hills, near Berea, Kentucky. On their way out of town they are supposed to make a stop by here for their Easter baskets from Grandma Sheila....and we hope the chocolate doesn't make them too hyper on the road trip!

Saturday morning, Jonathan & Karen will be coming out for our annual (4th time!) Easter brunch. We've found it is less stressful to do our basket exchange with the little ones on Saturday. Plus we have a lot more time for an Easter egg hunt. Not too settled on the menu yet...except Jonathan has requested Orange Julius. (Good thing he reminded me....)

And of course Sunday will find us in Church. This is my month to give a light breakfast snack to the children on the van, coming to Junior Church. Makes for a busy morning! Bob is preparing music for the Morning Worship service.

I'll take lots of pictures & hope to post them later. Mrs. Bunny needs to head to the nest before long.
May you all have a Blessed Easter!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pages from my scrapbook...

Today would have been our Mother's 84th birthday.
Sometimes it seems like just a little bit ago since she was here.
Other times it seems like an eternity has past.
It's already been almost 6 years
since she closed her eyes in Peace.
No one can take Mom's place...
I still find times when I want to go pick up the telephone
& call her
so I can share some special thing that has come
into my life.
I still dream of her...often.
Yet, I would never call her back to this old world,
even if I could
She is where it is "Forever Springtime"
Safely resting...cancer free!
Happy Birthday, sweet Mom of ours!
You are forever in our hearts...
Love...Your Firstborn

Friday, April 3, 2009

Attic Full of Memories

Tucked away, up a second flight of stairs, is my secret place where I keep all of treasures that I can't bare to pitch in the trash can or give away. Most things are old, of little or no meaning to anyone but me or our little family. And someday, someone is going to have to do the tossing out of these things for me.

Seldom do I let anyone go up that stairway. I rarely go there myself, other than when I have to do some necessary mending, drag out a suitcase, or hide something away. The ladybugs & dust bunnies are about to take over as I don't bother dragging the vacuum up that many steps more than absolutely necessary. So, count this as probably your only chance to get a glimpse of what is in my attic.The closet is full. Hanging there I found Karen's Junior & Senior Banquet dresses that I made for her, dated with their satin tucks & bows, trimmed in lace. There was a poodle skirt that Karen just had to have when we were at a car convention. And the white lace dresses we wore in Carol's wedding are on foam covered hangers, and when I touched the hangers the foam crumbled in my hands. There are bins of Jeff's things, pictures he has drawn, trophies he has won, & songs he has written--trinkets he has collected, and albums full of baseball cards that just might be worth a little profit if he wanted to sell them.

The white wicker bassinet that I wanted so badly for our babies now holds Pongo the dog, Puff the Magic Dragon, Micky & Minnie, along with an armful of stuffed animals. I wanted my grandbabies to use that bassinet but down through the years some little rascal had crawled into it & broken the bottom out of it. Later it was repaired, but probably not safe for my grandbabies to sleep in. Instead is still holds silly treasures.

There were the two chest of drawers that Mom & Dad had in their first home, ones that I later had in my bedroom, and ones Bob & I had in our first apartment. They have been painted white, lavender, gray, pink and no telling what other color. Years ago I stripped the many layers of paint off, sanded, stained & re varnished both chests. They aren't worth any money, but once again, I would never throw them away.I found cross stitch patterns, bobbins of floss, spools of thread, baskets of buttons, & dress patterns from years gone by. Stored there are most of my country decorating day treasures that were purchased when Vickie & I would make our trips to the Country Folk Art Shows. Longaberger baskets, Beanie Babies, children's books, my collection of the Love Comes Softly series, Christmas stories, and magazines with pictures of Princess Diana, Karen Carpenter, and other celebrities that I admired--but probably shouldn't, have fill the book shelves.

My sewing machine is upstairs, the one that Bob bought me, a Singer "Touchtronic 2001". He gave it to me in 1978, a computerized model that would make stitches with just a touch on the display screen. I was so proud of that machine and spent many hours making dresses for Karen, some even had embroidery work with just the touch of my finger.

One time I even made a little suit for Jeff, long before he was old enough to be embarrassed by wearing something his mother had sewn for him. I remember the jacket being a wool plaid with solid color pants and he was so proud that I made something especially for him! And then there are the toys. Poor Pitiful Pearl was my last doll that I got for Christmas. Years later Mom surprised me a porcelein Anne of Green Gables doll for my birthday. Karen's doll cradle is still upstairs, along with several dolls, including "Russell" & "Doria Di", her Cabbage Patch dolls.

My little waterfall replica dresser should be on display where others can see it. My Uncle Ranny hand crafted the little dresser when I was about 3 years old, definitely making it a rare antique! Little wind-up toys that I used to tuck in the kids stockings or Easter baskets have found there way into some of those dresser drawers.

I started up those steps early this afternoon to do some mending. The mending did get done but many memories came flashing back as I looked around that room. Seldom does anything make it back downstairs once it goes to Grandma Sheila's attic. Let's just call it may attic full of memories.