Each July 4th I remember one of the many reasons I decided I wanted to spend my life with my husband.
My dad’s health was failing fast. One of the things that bothered him the most was that he couldn’t see well enough to do the Cryptoquote in the daily newspaper, read, watch TV, etc. My mom would carefully print out the Cryptoquote clues on a large piece of paper in black magic marker so that he could see them. He was delighted with her for this and spent much of each day trying to solve it while my mom worked the NY Times crossword puzzle AND the cryptoquote.
My father’s favorite holiday was Independence Day. He loved getting a big, long string of ladyfinger firecrackers. They’re the little ones tied together in a long double string. You’re supposed to untie them and shoot them off one at a time. My dad would take the whole string, light it, throw it out in the yard and enjoy the seemingly endless explosions, laughing.
One of his last years he was very depressed. My then ‘boyfriend’ and I went out and bought fireworks for a back yard display. We of course got ladyfingers, TWO strings, sparklers, my favorite ‘snakes,’ and lots of inexpensive night time fireworks. My husband-to-be worked so hard that evening, setting off one firework at a time. It was so hot my poor guy was dripping. My dad’s grins split his face. He could SEE them! He thanked us over and over again, saying it was the best 4th of July he’d ever had. Our display teed off a neighbor on the next street, but we didn’t care. If I hadn’t already fallen in love with my husband, I would have that night. I will never forget his kindness to my dad.
Now my husband and I enjoy the friendly (I hope!) competition of some down-in-the-valley behind us neighbors, each trying to outdo the other in wonderful fireworks. We sit on the back deck, put our feet up on the railing, drink our cold drinks (water this year – we’re dieting) and enjoy the show. I’m not sure if our yellow lab, Amber, will be afraid of the fireworks or not. If she is, we’ll put her inside. Sweet elderly Molly is so hard of hearing now she might not even be able to hear them!
I hope you are with family and friends this celebration day.
Happy Independence Day!
“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.” — James Dent
“The perfect summer day is with friends & flip flops.” – unknown
“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” ~Sam Keen
“Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me,
who could ask for more?” – Bev Adams
My dad had a great sense of humor and shared it generously. The humor came in many forms: wonderful stories, jokes, looks, puns, and funny actions. He made us all laugh, even at times when we felt like crying. To him, making people laugh started out as a way to be accepted at school. This was a HUGE thing because one arm was shorter than the other, his left hand almost completely useless – an easy thing for unkind kids to use to bully and belittle him. The fact that he made everyone laugh and forget he might have had an extra challenge gained him acceptance.
He used his wonderful sense of humor to create a one-man advertising agency in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He and my mom celebrated when he finally gained enough clients that they were able to pay the bills more easily. He put my brother and me through college with his talent, finally winning a Silver Addy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Tulsa. The radio stations still play his commercials from time to time to honor his memory. (This happened the first time when my husband and I were visiting my mom and his parents, who lived on the next street. We were in Dillards Department store. All of a sudden I heard my dad’s voice! I dropped to my knees in the middle of the store. One of the clerks rushed over to help me. When I told her what was ‘wrong,’ she explained to me that the radio stations do that every year to honor my dad, since his commercials were so distinctive and funny. )
He taught me to stand back and look at situations as if I were looking at a movie. This allowed me to see the humor in many situations, allowing me to laugh, rather than get hurt or angry. I thank him often for teaching me this.
I miss him, of course, and get weepy at times, but I FEEL him looking down at me – usually when I’m trying something for the first time or sticking my neck out in some way. I can FEEL him smiling at me, urging me on. It lights me up from the inside, filling me and giving me strength.
On his last day, he scribbled on a piece of paper, “Remember me laughing.” And I DO. I cherish memories of him telling a story, laughing so hard at times – unable to go on for several seconds – being able to SEE the situation. The helpless laughter is what I remember most. I’ve forgotten a lot of the stories, but I’ll never forget his joy in telling them.
(One of his favorite stories was about going camping with his friends. If you knew them, this was already funny because neither my dad, nor any of his friends, were outdoor people. He described a laborious afternoon after they figured out where they would camp for the night. One guy decided to dig a hole in the ground because he slept on his back and wanted to be comfortable in his sleeping bag. He would dig a bit, ‘try-the-hole-for-fit’ and dig a bit more until it was perfect. The rest of the guys decided that seemed like a great idea, so they, too, dug holes for their butts. At dark, they got ready for bed. One of the guys was suddenly cursing. They turned on their flashlights to find out what the problem was. It turned out the guy was trying to brush his teeth – mistaking the “Unguentine” for toothpaste!
They got into their sleeping bags, still laughing, and suddenly the guy was cursing again. They turned on their flashlights to see him moving his sleeping bag to another spot. He angrily told them, “I sleep on my stomach!” )
I’m smiling now as I type this, easily picturing my dad trying to tell us this story, laughing his rear end off. I’m so lucky to have known and loved him.
I told you earlier that today is our 49th wedding anniversary. I’m having quite a luxurious day of celebration!
This morning I went for my monthly massage to my miracle worker, Lynn Moody. Sometimes she just makes me stop hurting. Sometimes she finds a sore spot and I tease her that I get relief when she stops. She is truly gifted as a massage therapist and my life is much better for it.
I’ve been having pain in the muscles that run from my neck to my shoulders. Last month the right side was worse. Lynn suggested that I use ice and then heat on the muscles, 15 minutes each, plus do an exercise with a weight to stretch out those muscles, and also get an over-the-door pulley system to strengthen my muscles.
I’ve been doing all of these things, and they’ve helped, but this month the left side was worse.
Today Lynn put a wedge under my neck and I was in instant Heaven. My pain was gone! (That didn’t mean she didn’t pummel and force oxygen into all my sore spots, but this was SO GOOD I asked her what it was and where I could get one.
She showed it to me on Amazon, and it was a better price there than other places. I ordered it as soon as I got home. I can’t wait to get it and add it to my Yoga Stretches and Relaxation Routine I’m trying to do every day.
My other luxurious activity for the day is a hair cut by another miracle worker, Michael Remillard. We were lucky to find him, and he makes both my husband and I look like someone cared and has a plan, rather than like we have normally looked. He listens to what we think we want. If he thinks it’s a good idea, he makes it happen as much as humanly possible. If he doesn’t think it’s a good idea, he tactfully tells us why and suggests something we like as a substitute. We trust him implicitly.
How lucky I am to have two such wonderful people in my life!
And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
All of my romaine lettuce plants are bolting in the heat. That means that the plants which used to be fat and lush, suddenly shoot up into the air, looking like miniature trees. I tasted some of the leaves on the ‘trees’ and they tasted fine, so I cut off all the bolting parts of the plants, harvested the leaves and brought them in.
I couldn’t know less about what I’m doing, but the rest of each plant still looked pretty good, so I’m hoping there are good leaves to harvest later. Time will tell.
I brought in a big basket of the best leaves, dumped them into the sink so I could get them clean, and then stored them in gallon bags and put them in the fridge. We’ll have some in our salad with dinner this evening.
The sun is so hot I was really shot when I brought the leaves in. I let them soak in the sink while I rested and gulped water. I cooled off and then washed and stored the leaves, then rested again!
I just came in from scrubbing and refilling Amber’s pool. I use my husband’s car washing broom. It works just fine to clean without hurting the plastic of the pool. I loosen everything, drain about half the water out, then use the broom again, then dump the rest of the water out. Then I spray the pool out and leave the hose in the pool, held down by two bricks, to fill it.
When it was about half full, Amber came bounding around the house, looked at me, and then jumped right into the pool. She walked around, drank some of the water, then laid down full length in the water. I could almost hear her say, “Ahhhh!” as she gave me a very satisfied look. She got out, shook water all over me, then started barking at the hose. When I laughed, she jumped into the pool again and luxuriated some more. I finally finished filling the pool and put everything away. Amber is snoring on her bed in the living room now.
At dusk, my husband and I will do our first pass at cutting back the greenery on the sides of the driveway. I’ll put our battery-powered weed eater in the back and my sunglasses that wrap around, and my gloves, so that when we get to the bottom, we can do some weed whacking and pruning. Then we’ll go slowly up the other side of the driveway, cutting things back as we go, and we’ll be finished for the day. Our driveway is long and steep – about 650 feet, so this will take several passes to get it the way it should be.
I hope that you’ve had a wonderful day, too.
“It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.” – Erma Bombeck
“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.” Meryl Streep
When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. Sophia Loren
The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh
Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What’s that suppose to mean? In my heart it don’t mean a thing. ~Toni Morrison
Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed. ~Linda Wooten
Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother. ~Oprah Winfrey
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
This post is especially for Dezzi, since we’re both bacon-o-holics….
“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining – they just shine.” ~ Dwight L. Moody
Joining in a birdsong,
Eying an early sunrise,
Smelling yellow daffodils,
Unbolting windows and doors,
Skipping through meadows,
Reviving spent life,
Inhaling fresh air,
Sprinkling seeds along furrows,
Tracking in the mud.
Easter is the soul’s first taste of spring.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich, Making Wishes
“Every ending will meet its own end, for every ending is destined to be swallowed up by a beginning.” ~ Craig D. Lounsbrough
Some Irish thoughts –
“I can resist everything except temptation.” ~ Oscar Wilde
“As you slide down the banister of life, May the splinters never point the wrong way.”
“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you’re going, and the insight to know when you’ve gone too far.”
“Everyone is wise until he speaks.”
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! May we all have the luck of the Irish today!
My husband and I were working in the office when our driveway detector went off. My husband said, “Could you get that?” I went out to see the UPS delivery person, something that happens often around here. I brought the box into the office and opened it. It was a vase with a dozen red roses!
My husband doesn’t like to celebrate ‘holidays,’ saying he thinks he should be good to me ALL the time, rather than just a few days each year where it’s EXPECTED that the guy get a present for his love. In fact, we’ve talked about the fact that the ads must make men like my husband – or someone who might be strapped for extra cash – feel awful for NOT spending lots of money to ‘show his love.’ We think love shouldn’t be a ‘have-to’ thing.
My husband was really good about sending me flowers for NO occasion when I was at work. It was his hope that I would feel special, and that the other women in my workplace would feel jealous that I got flowers and it wasn’t my birthday, or Valentine’s Day, or anything.
In June we’ll celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary. Since we have loved each other since I was 14 and he was 17, you can add another 9 years to the official married years. I guess I’m confessing to a kind of addiction…
I really wasn’t expecting this. The card says, “I never get enough of you!” (For two people who don’t even use the same SALT, you KNOW that isn’t true, but what a NICE thing for him to say! He’s definitely a keeper. :0)
One of a kind, hand-painted “Valentine Candy” basket.
“Valentine Candy” is a one-of-a-kind hand painted wooden basket by Linda Lewis. The oval basket is 11″ long x 9.5″ wide x 7 ” tall. (The basket is about 13.5″ tall with the handle extended straight up.) The dimensions of the inner basket at the base are approximately 8″ x 6″.
The “squares” created by the weaving are painted either a rich red or with a clear glitter paint. Then 3-dimensional glitter paint is used to draw either red or silver hearts in the squares. Sayings from the traditional heart candy treats are printed on the larger squares all around the basket. Glitter hearts decorate the handle of the basket as well.
Give this to the one you love as is, or fill it with goodies. Either way, she’ll remember your love long after Valentine’s Day is over!
$29.99 plus free shipping to the contiguous United States.
Please order right away to be sure it will be delivered before Valentine’s Day.
I’ve made many over the years, and I’ve actually kept a few.
This year I’m going to concentrate on ONE – to be the best person I can be. To be kind as much as humanly possible. To really listen. To love with all my heart and tell the people in my life how very much they mean to me.
Happy New Year!
We put up our “Happy New Year” mailbox decoration with Calvin & Hobbes today. I’ve still had to ‘think’ a bit when writing a check to get 2017 on it. NOW – another year has whizzed past my head, making my hair blow!
“My Wish for you in 2018:
May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires.
May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.
May the problems you had forget your home address! In simple words …….
May 2018 be the best year of your life!!!” ~ Source Unknown
Amber said, “WOOF!” quickly, then threw off the antler head band and tried to eat it.
We didn’t have a physically white Christmas here in Arkansas this year, but we avoided a possible ice storm this week, and that really adds to the spirit of Christmas around here. We had dinner last night with a long time good friend, ate well, exchanged gifts and good hugs, and laughed a lot. Amber was even more boisterous than usual when Nora came, but then thankfully settled down and was reasonable – until Nora stood up to leave…
I found some nice Christmas quotes I want to share with you today –
Norman Vincent Peale ~ “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
Charles Dickens ~ “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
Bing Crosby ~ “Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’.”
Dale Evans ~ “Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.”
Bob Hope ~ “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”
Edna Ferber ~ “Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.”
Calvin Coolidge ~ “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
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.
These two photos are so precious. Maybe “I” didn’t get the memo when I was a child. I had so much adrenaline flowing through my veins and erupting that I’m amazed my parents didn’t put me up for adoption or squash me like a bug. I was cranky, didn’t eat well, didn’t sleep well until I collapsed from exhaustion.
I do remember SO many times when Santa, my parents, or my other relatives got me just the right gift. I HOPE I showed them by expression, unabashed joy, and spending a lot of time enjoying, how happy they made me.
I don’t remember how old I was when I finally turned the corner, preferring to save, plot, and plan what I would give to friends and family. I’m grateful that we get to experience both ‘ends’ of the material side of Christmas in our lives. Each is so rich, so special.
I’m listening to classic Christmas carols as I type this -what a joy! I’m going to see if we can arrange to play these in the background as we celebrate tonight with our friend, Nora.
We have a CHANCE of snow flurries today! I won’t expect it, because we almost never have a white Christmas, but it sure would be a wonderful gift!
Amber would rather EAT the decorations than WEAR them, but we caught her quickly in a couple of pics for her first Christmas.
She appreciates the smell of roasting turkey, gravy, and more, but otherwise, seems unimpressed by any hoopla she sees around here.
She is getting more and more companionable lately. She wants to be where we are, no matter what we’re doing. One of her favorite things is going ANYWHERE in the “CAR!” (one of her recent words.) My husband is trying to get her to bark at the door when she wants to come in from being outside. So far, she hasn’t a clue what we’re trying to get her to do, although Molly does it when both of them are outside. We’re working with her every day, plus playing a sound byte on the computer of a dog barking. Her new words, if we’re successful, will be, “SAY IT!”
We’re having our good friend Nora to dinner tonight as our celebration. Amber will forget everything we’ve taught her, bounding around, clobbering all with her tail, trying to bowl everyone over for a bit. Then I’m HOPEFUL she’ll settle down and show Nora what a really sweet – if destructive – puppy she is.
Nora always sits on one end of the couch in the living room. For the past month or so, I sit there and then motion for her to come over, sit – THEN say, “OK” for her to come up and snuggle with me a bit. With my luck, the fact that Nora is sitting there will be all the “ok” she needs to get cuddly with Nora…. I’ll warn Nora and watch the sweet puppy, zapper in hand….
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!