Category Archives: Friendship
Thinking of you today, John.
(And you, Sweet Murray – ((((HUGS))))) )
You can’t choose your family, but if we could, we would have chosen John Dennis in a minute. John was my husband’s cousin, but he was much, much more than that. He was our good FRIEND. He and my husband exchanged letters – yes – real letters that came in the mailbox. We would see his return address on an envelope, drop everything, sit down, and I would read it aloud, always laughing at some point, if not more. My husband would then sit down at the computer and compose a letter in reply. He asked me to check it for grammar, paragraphs and spelling, because John was a history professor and my husband didn’t want to make any more mistakes than necessary. We would print the letter and send it off, already anticipating when we would hear from him again.
He was smart in other ways, too, marrying his wife, Murray – our cousin-in-law (I think), but again, much more importantly, our dear FRIEND. When we could arrange it for our house sitter to take care of our house and animals, we would drive to Thibodaux, Louisiana, 9-1/2 hours one way, to visit. We wanted to stay there forever. The Dennises make you feel SO special, SO welcome. We just loved to go talk to them. We didn’t want to be ‘entertained,’ we just wanted to be able to catch up on all the little things that were happening, and be able to hug their necks. John was quite a cook and would feed us as if we were royalty, yet seemingly without effort. I never understood how he did that. And Murray topped off MY visits there by making cheese grits. I’ve never liked grits. My husband has told me for years that I didn’t add all the things to them that made them wonderful. Each time I tried, adding bacon and whatever else I could think of, they still tasted awful. When I tasted Murray’s cheese grits, I immediately LOVED them, eating like a pig. (If we DID live there, I wouldn’t be able to get through the door now from stuffing my face.)
John and Murray have been such a part of Thibodaux that I imagine it will be hard for everyone to pay respects. Both John and Murray volunteer their time and effort to countless community events, charities, sitting on boards to help make Thibodaux an even better town. They have had small gatherings when we’ve been there, put together again seemingly without effort, but missing no detail. Their ‘small gathering’ included more people than my husband and I KNOW! And the friendship and laughter flowed around the room, people visiting and then moving around to visit with someone else. A truly beautiful experience.
I wish I could have sat in one of John’s history classes, kind of like a fly on the wall. You could tell from his general conversation that history was alive for him, and that he would radiate that to his students, making THEM see history in a different, interesting light. He and my husband shared an interest in genealogy – a more personal history.
He had a beautiful attitude even at the end, saying, “I’m ready for the next adventure.”
We are so lucky to have known John. Our lives have been richer for sharing a small bit of his.
Lunch Bunch this morning was its usual good time – and I realized halfway through it that that’s what makes it so special.
Kay made today’s lunch special because it is Good Friday by bringing Linda and me some miniature roses in sweet little bunny ceramic pots. Linda’s rose were red and mine were pink/coral. We shared what had been happening, what we had been doing, what we were planning, etc., as we usually do. Kay finally said she hadn’t been able to talk for 3 days this past week. THAT brought on a discussion about responses to “How have you been doing?” inquiries. We agreed that it could either be a simple alternative social phrase for “Hi,” where one should always answer, “Good, fine,” or something equivalent. That your answer depended on who was asking. And that your friends really wanted to KNOW how you’ve been, how you’ve been feeling, and more.
I’m lucky to have two long-time, dear friends to share the week’s ups and down with. Two ladies to shares big laughs with. Or tears. Or fears.
My good friends allow my husband to share the lunch, are happy whether he says anything or not. They even accept him enough to threaten him when he’s rude – and that’s true acceptance.
I hope that you have someone you can be real with, too.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes yesterday. I had SUCH a nice day. You made me feel special and I’m truly grateful. I had lunch with my long time good friends and my husband, we finished getting the veggie planters ready, I planted onions, I ate some mashed potatoes with my dinner (YES! I DID! And I enjoyed every mouthful! :0) ) The only thing I didn’t do was get up to play in my art room. With any luck, I can make that happen today. THANK YOU for my special day!
We just got back from our Friday Lunch Bunch and errands. Linda and Kay helped me celebrate my birthday. I told them that I really appreciated the gifts, but that the REAL gift was their friendship. Linda asked me, “What are you doing special for your birthday?” I thought a minute, then smiled, saying, “Absolutely nothing. My whole life is a celebration.”
We got the mushroom compost that the good co-op people had ordered for me and some onion sets. We’ve just come in from mixing a while bunch of Mel’s Mix and we topped off the two brick tomato planters on the east side of our house.
I’m hot (even though it’s a really beautiful day), breathing a bit hard, and gulping some iced tea as I type. I’m going to rest awhile, and then go out and plant my onions.
When I come back in I’ll play in my art room awhile, working on a new theme for thank you notes, stationery, and note cards.
My friends and relatives have made me feel special today. How could one ask for a more special day than this?
My friends and relatives are making me feel very special today – feisty and sassy – though I’m definitely getting long-in-the-tooth. The day has only begin and already I’ve been showered with cards in the mailbox and e-cards, songs and gifts. The very best gifts, though, are the people BEHIND all the attention I’m getting today. What a lucky, lucky lady I am!
I’m lucky enough to be a part of what I call, “Lunch Bunch.” These are friends who meet every Friday for what they call, “lunch” and I call, “brunch.” We meet at the Pizza Barn in Greenwood to catch up with each other. Life happens quickly, and it’s amazing what can happen between one Friday and the next. We’ve done this for years. “Lunch Bunch is mainly three – Linda, Kay and me. My husband has been inducted in the group as long as his behavior warrants. :0)
We’ve shared it all on these Fridays over a period of years. The main group remains the same, although we have others who join us from time to time. I look forward to finding out what the others are doing, celebrating the good, supporting and weathering through the bad.
I hope that you have people in your life who make you feel rich in friends.
We had a really productive day! We
- took 8 large leaf bags of donations to the Veterans Thrift Store
- exchanged an empty bottle of Argon for a full one (for my husband’s TIG welding)
- got cash at the bank
- got parts for the welding lathe at the hardware store
- found coconut flour at the grocery store for the low carb blueberry scones recipe I’m planning to try
- found a new welding supply place that is closer to us AND a bit cheaper when we signed up for an account
- I got the guest room bathroom clean and reorganized (this finishes the guest room reorganization project)
- I gathered trash – managing to fill an extra bag for the week – according to my plan for the year.
- I put our bowling balls in the back of the truck for tonight, gathered bottles of drinking water for the women
- put the bags of trash in the back of the truck so we can put them out on the way to bowling tonight
- cleaned up the rear seat of the truck, whisk brooming/vacuuming/using a lint roller/and finally a damp cloth to get Amber’s hair off the seats and floor. I also washed the inside of the windows because Amber tends to slobber while enjoying the ride in the car.
- I made us a late lunch (we don’t eat dinner on bowling night because we want to enjoy some Braum’s ice cream after we play)
Tonight we’re bowling with good friends, catching up with what’s been happening since last week, and enjoying ice cream.
A great day!
A friendship born like this is rare and is magical. I’m amazed when you can be introduced and soon you feel you’ve known each other for years. This kind of friendship endures, not depending on how long it has been since you’ve seen or talked to this person. There is a kinship and caring that lasts longer than either of you. If you’re lucky enough to experience this, treasure these wonderful people.
Our friend Nora came for dinner Christmas Eve evening. We exchanged gifts, ate, caught up, and shared lots of love and hugs. It was a really nice evening.
One of the gifts she gave me was called an Intarsia Puzzle Box.
It is handcrafted by ‘Carver Dan,’ Daniel Terrico. I would have loved this if it didn’t ‘do’ anything at all. It is made from 100% exotic hardwoods with NO paint or stains! Their color comes from the natural wood and hand-rubbed finish. Isn’t it wonderful?
Each puzzle contains a removable locking pin. You check around the outside of the puzzle box, locate the pin and remove it.
On the bottom right side of the box, you can see where I’ve removed the pin. Then you slide the ‘face’ off its dovetail style cut to remove it.
You then pick up the ‘lid’ showing the storage area below.
Nice, felt-lined storage area.
The workmanship is first-rate. The pieces fit beautifully and slide apart with no effort. This is such a treasure!
My husband sent me a small puzzle box a hundred or so years ago when I was 14 and he was in the Marines. We wrote every day. The mailman – ignoring rules – put the red flag up on the mailbox at the road when there was a letter to me from my husband. I would watch from the front window in the house, bursting out the door and running down the driveway to get the mail. :0)
One day the box arrived. It was supposed to take 6 or 7 movements in order for you to be able to open the box. No instructions, just the wooden box. I don’t know how long it took me to get the box open, but I finally did – to find a sweet, sparkly rooster pin inside!
THIS beautifully made box brought back wonderful memories of the past, as well as providing great fun on a Christmas Eve with a well-loved friend. TWO gifts in one!
I’m getting ready for our evening’s festivities as my husband naps in his recliner.
The house is clean, ready for guests, and the table is set for tonight. I didn’t do much for Christmas this year, but I have a wonderful infuser light decoration on the table. You put in essential oils for a wonderful aroma, and it changes colors! I also have a resin ‘chain’ of snowmen and women decoration behind the infuser. I have a string of LED lights going across the top of the window.
This is the diffuser that smells good and turns different colors.
Why is it that LED lights don’t show up well in pictures? They lend a festive note to the room.
Here are the snow people who will share our table tonight.
I’m going to fix something we’ll have tonight, take a break, then go fix something else until all is ready. A lovely way to spend the day and evening!
I hope that you are having a delightful day, too.
The Lunch Bunch group isn’t quite as old as these sweet women, but the feeling is the same.
We’ve been meeting for lunch on Friday at ‘The Barn” for about 30 years now. Each week we share what we’ve been doing, our plans, our dreams, and sometimes our heartbreaks. My husband has been officially inducted in the group, occasionally referring to us, as he sits at the head of the table, as his ‘harem.” He’s allowed to speak if he doesn’t get obnoxious… :0)
Today we’re celebrating Christmas together, exchanging gifts. My husband and I will wear our Santa hats to give everyone a giggle.
The group has changed over the years, It grows and then decreases on the number, but the core group has remained the same. It’s hard to believe how much of our lives we’ve shared. We’ve helped each other over the hard things and helped celebrate the good. We’ve laughed and hugged a lot. Friendships like these are amazing to me. I’m very lucky.
I hope that you have a good day today, too.
This is very, very important, and yet difficult to do – at least for me. When someone talks to me, I relate to what they’re saying because of something that has happened to me. I feel the need to share it with them. In face, I’m SO eager to share it with them, I have sometimes interrupted them!
When I realized what I was doing, I was mortified. I was giving my friends and family the idea that I felt what “I” was saying was more important. The fact that I don’t feel this way at ALL, really makes no difference. It’s not your INTENT – it’s what you DO that counts.
I first realized this tendency when I listened to my mom visiting with friends, or when she would come home from visiting. She would tell me about her visit, but all she talked about was what SHE said – how SHE felt. I would ask her questions about what the person was doing and she glossed over it. She didn’t know. It’s EASY to see this in others. I was really upset when I saw it in MYSELF.
In an effort to be a better listener, I now go with the idea that I want to be able to tell myself or someone else what the person I’m visiting with has been doing. I concentrate on asking questions about what they are telling me, rather than telling them something about myself. I want to know how they’re feeling. If they’re not feeling well, I want to know why. I want to know what they’re doing about it, and if there is any way I can help them. It’s what I’ve always wanted to know, but I was so busy blabbing that it got glossed over. :0(
I want to SHOW my family and friends that I’m interested in THEM. I want to know much more about how and what they’re doing than I did before I visited with them. I already know what “I’M” doing. If they would like to know what’s happening with me, they’ll ASK. :0)
Family and friends are the richness of life. Make it a point to listen to UNDERSTAND.
In about 45 minutes my husband and I will go to Lunch Bunch – our long time, every-possible-Friday lunch with good friends. We’ve been doing this for years and I really miss it if we don’t go for some reason.
It’s 21 degrees F out there right now. I’m not even sure if I should just leave my lettuce covered up with a sheet until it gets above freezing or not. The high is supposed to be 42, I think. This may be a moot point, since my sweet lettuce plants may have croaked last night – sheet or not sheet. When it gets this cold, it’s beyond the frost or light freeze stage. If it’s gone, I’ll be a bit sad, but we’ve had a really nice crop this year and I shouldn’t be over-greedy. I’m looking forward to the spring when – hopefully – I’ll have some robust, healthy plants grown in my greenhouse ready to go into the garden.
I’ll see what the temperature is when we get back from lunch and errands and then make the decision whether to uncover the plants today or not. I’m looking forward to seeing what mischief I can get into the rest of the day.
Stay warm and dry!
We had a great Thanksgiving and hope that you did, too.
We managed to have an almost completely low-carb dinner, with roasted turkey breast, cauliflower “mashed potatoes,” gravy, a big salad, and deviled eggs. The only ‘carb’ stuff was wine and cranberry sauce.
Amber was her usual puppy self when our friend Nora first arrived, but then settled down and was good the rest of the evening. It made Nora laugh when Amber just walked right up my husband’s front to sit in his lap.
We had lots of good conversation, catching up on what’s been happening since we saw each other last. One piece of entertainment for the evening was when my husband put drops and goo into my injured eye.
When we were getting ready for bed, my husband thanked me for making the deviled eggs – one of his favorite things, and said everything tasted good, particularly the mashed potatoes and gravy. I then told him the mashed potatoes were pureed cauliflower with butter, garlic , salt, and parmesan cheese! He was amazed, admitted he wouldn’t even have tried it if he had known, but admitted he thought it was delicious. I can now feel free to serve it from time to time – with gravy, of course. :0)
Tonight we’ll have one of MY very favorite things – turkey sandwiches! Another thing for which to be thankful.
I’m a lucky woman. I’ve never had a LOT of friends, but I’ve always had GOOD – REAL friends.
I have friends I talk to every day via email, social pages, my website, my blog – some of whom I’ve never met face-to-face, but are close friends, nonetheless. Some of my relatives are cherished friends, as well. Some of my close friends I don’t talk to every day, but we reach out every once in a while, knowing we are special to each other.
My life is rich and full because I can reach out to these wonderful people when I’d like – or need to – and I hope they feel the same way. Other than the love of close family, nothing is as important as friends.
I’m glad we’re friends.
Friday Lunch Bunch is a longstanding, cherished tradition. We meet at the Pizza Barn in Greenwood. The place opens at 11:00, but somehow, my friend Kay gets them to open at 10:30. (She gets up at 5am and is ready to eat the wall by 10:00.) My husband and I refuse to get there that early, feeling that we’re pressuring the people there to accommodate us, so we start from home at 10:30, arriving at about 10:45, splitting the difference.
The core group is Linda, Kay and me. My husband is an honorary inclusion, as is Kay’s husband, when he’s not working. Then the weekly group varies all over the place. We used to have Ann, a delightful lady who moved back to Texas and remarried. We’re happy for her, but we miss her like crazy. A new member of Lunch Bunch is Dee, a very nice lady I like more each time I see her. Today Alice joined us. She lives out of town and only comes when she has other business. (Today it was picking up her husband’s boat which was in for repair.) Whatever the reason, we love it when she comes. She’s full of life, has wonderful stories to tell, and it’s fun talking with her.
We did errands before Lunch Bunch and errands after Lunch Bunch, and are home again. I came in the house smiling. When I realized it, it again occurred to me how lucky I am to know these people. Over the years we’ve shared a lot of things, helped each other through some rough patches, and cheered together at the victories. A group like this is priceless – and I’m grateful to be a part of it.
I told you yesterday that our thank you to the Taylors for coming and helping us pour all the concrete for the ham radio tower pad was that my husband replaced the rickety arms of the cart the concrete mixer was on with some metal, painted ones that will probably outlive all of us. I also took a bag of our tomatoes.
We didn’t expect that WE would get gifts from the Taylors!
Laufrain is a master with plants of all kinds. I’ve told you about the Taj Mahal of greenhouses that Dave built for Laufrain. I can’t think of anyone who deserves something fabulous like this more. Her whole yard, right on Shadow Lake, is a wonderland of stone paths, garden areas, natural areas, beautiful lush grass, and more.
The picture above shows an elephant ear plant she gave me. Isn’t it wonderful?
If Laufrain told me what the name of this nice plant is, I’ve forgotten it. Not only does it have this beautiful purple and green foliage, it blooms with purple flowers! I can’t wait!!
I went out last evening with the idea of quickly planting these two plants, and ended up calling on my husband for help. We have a wisteria on one end of this planter, and it had big gnarly roots growing all the way to the opposite end of the planter! We used two kinds of shovels, a pick axe and a lopper to finally get holes deep enough to plant.
Laufrain also gave me an avocado plant! It’s on my window sill right now because I want to read up on how to try to take care of it.
We are lucky to have such wonderful friends.
Our man-for-all-next-to-impossible-chores, Foy Brown, spent most of the afternoon here yesterday, brush hogging. He has a really nice looking Kubota tractor with a front end loader on the front and an 8 foot wide brush hog attachment on the back.
We needed to have the easement cleared where my greenhouse is – and the ham radio tower WILL be. The grass, blackberry briars, and other assorted weeds were my chest high, and sometimes higher. We need to be able to lay the pieces of the tower down on the ground in order, run two kinds of cables through it, test the system, and then put it together and haul it up.
After Foy finished brush hogging to the east side of the house, you can clearly see the greenhouse! If you’ll strain your eyes a bit, you can see the wooden edge of the form for the base of the ham radio tower to the right of the greenhouse.
This is the view to the north of the greenhouse.
He then went across the edge of the civilized part of our back yard, where I’ve been trying to lop down and throw weed trees. He did a wonderful job. We still have weed trees, but they’re growing in extremely rocky ground, between rocks just shoved down the side of the hill when our house was built 30 years ago. You can’t tackle this area with any kind of riding equipment. I’ll lop what I can of the remaining trees.
You can see where I’ll need to do a bit of clean up, and then a LOT of spraying with the nice weed killer that is on its way to us.
We showed Foy where he could go down past the pile up of rocks and get to the area we would like to have cleared to renew our fire break. He did a lot of work yesterday, but then a part of the hydraulic line broke. He’ll need to get a new part to repair the tractor – now in the back off the edge of our world, ready for him to climb down and repair it. He said he’ll be back before Saturday to finish up what he can do back there.
Between the help drilling the hole we needed for the radio tower and the brush hogging, Foy is worth his weight in gold.
The next step on the ham radio tower is getting 16 bags of sac-crete. Our friend Dave has a concrete mixer! He’s going to bring it and help us mix and pour the concrete, we think tomorrow. Hooray!
I love this picture. This isn’t Kay, Linda, and me, but it MIGHT be. And the picture should show my husband, an honorary member of “Lunch Bunch.”
The three of us – with others coming and going – have been sharing lunch every Friday possible for some 30 years now. We’ve shared our lives,with their ups and downs, triumphs and pain.
Today is one of the happy times. It’s Linda’s birthday. (Actually, her birthday was yesterday, but we’re celebrating her today.) We’ll eat, have the pleasure of watching Linda open presents, share what’s been happening the past week, discuss possibilities for the future, share laughs and hugs.
I’m happy to know these ladies. May we have many more happy times together.
I’ve already told you I’m a slob. I’m on a mission – albeit off and on, depending on my energy – to get rid of a bunch of STUFF in our house.
I’m tired of “piles” of things, and we have them everywhere. Now that we have a new puppy whom we are trying to get used to our home more and more, it’s really important that she not run into PILES of things that will get HER in trouble and make ME crazy.
We also have a good friend coming over this evening for a cookout. I’ll at LEAST need to get rid of the piles of stuff around my chair. It would be NICE of me to arrange that she can put a glass down beside her on the couch, plus HAVE a clear place to sit down, as well, wouldn’t it!
We have the food prep done for our evening. I’ve taken Amber out twice this morning, so I’ll use the lull in needing to meet her needs and clean up the living room, bathrooms, kitchen and dining area.
I can see that my home would be in much better shape if we had more new puppies and more guests! The good thing about going through the piles is discovering things I had misplaced or thought lost. It’s like a treasure hunt! The bad thing is that I tend to get distracted by the things I find, wanting to do something with them…
We dodged the severe weather from yesterday, and the cloudy skies seem to be clearing up for a nice evening. I really enjoyed sitting on the deck this morning after Amber and I had a long walk, enjoying the cool morning.
I hope that you are enjoying the nice long Memorial Day weekend with friends, good food, and fun. If you get bored, you can think about me uncovering something wonderful in my living room!
Cathy Ruggiero and I have never met face-to-face. She allowed me to show of her artwork on Creative Artworks and we became friends.
Now we’re on Facebook together and we share stuff all the time. We share so many of the same values and react the same way to a given thing. I look forward to her posts because – after sheer enjoyment or appreciation, or both – I save a LOT of them to share with you.
Sometime, before this life is over, I hope we can meet. If not, we’ve shared a friendship and meeting of the souls.