Category Archives: memories

Charles Schultz Philosopy


The   following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip.
You don’t have to actually answer the questions.

Just ponder on them. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you’ll get the point.

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
    2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
    3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
    4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
    5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
    6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies.
Awards tarnish …
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?
The   lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money … or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.

Pass this on to those people whom you keep close in your heart.
“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia!”

“Be Yourself.  Everyone Else Is Taken!”

  • Sent to me by a dear friend.

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Filed under Blog Repost - Wonderful Posts, caring, Family, Food for Thought, Friendship, love, making a difference, memories

Happy Sunday 4-17-2022

Petr Vaclavek – Dubanci, cz

Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Sunday!

I wish you a happy day, a happy celebration, a quiet, calm day.

ACEGIF.com

Yet another rainy day here in Arkansas. After today, we’re supposed to have something appear in the sky that lights everything up and warms the air. I’m interested to see what that is. Maybe we can find and plant some tomato plants either Monday or Tuesday!

Pinterest

I have Easter memories swirling.

Fuzzy SOFT pink angora sweater that made me feel very feminine for the first time a hundred years ago. Sweet rabbits my parents got for the family as pets – we named them “Welsh” and “Peter” Rabbit. Dyeing Easter eggs. Hunting for Easter eggs with a big basket. Eating Easter eggs. Then, many years later, Dyeing and Hiding Easter eggs for our son, plus for my students at school where I taught. Beautiful services. Soul-filling songs.

I am hoping for a quiet, calm day today. :0)

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Filed under .gifs I Love, acorn art, holidays, memories, Petr Vaclavek - Dubanci.cz

Blast from the Past

This was an ad my dad ran in the newspaper years ago. Our son found it and sent it to me this morning. Our son had asked me the day before what the “TE” in the phone number stood for. In those days, there was a word associated with a group of phone numbers. This one was “Temple,” so if people asked for your phone number, you said, “Temple 5-1075,” or “TE 5-1075.” This was our personal/business phone number in Tulsa from the time we moved there when I was 5 until all phone numbers across the nation were changed.

Our son also wanted to know who my dad thought was the WORST radio voice was. There was a woman who ran a flower shop in Tulsa when my dad was doing the radio ads. I THINK her name was “Christina” and I THINK her business name was “Christina’s Flowers.” She had a low, gravelly voice. My dad thought it was wonderful because everyone else on the radio (except she and him) had voices with round, mello, smooth tones. So he billed himself the Second World’s Worst Radio voice. Wow. how MUCH I miss him.

It’s funny that our son sent these this morning, April 3rd. It would have been my parents’ 80th wedding anniversary. I had been thinking of them yesterday, missing them, so it’s amazing our son sent this.

He also sent me an image from Google Maps showing our home in Tulsa as it appears today. The people did a lot of work to the house and put a fence around the perimeter of the property. I wish I could share it with you, but I can’t get the URL to embed here. I’ll add it here – just in case you are able to make it work.

https://goo.gl/maps/ZgapVPyJxv8iWjLt6

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Filed under Family, memories

Remembering

A. A. Milne – Winnie the Pooh – Illustration by E. H. Shepard

One of the many ‘perks ‘ of getting older is trouble remembering things.

Just this morning I was reading an email from a dear friend who talked about what she was going to cook for dinner. THAT reminded me that I had neglected to take our dinner out of the freezer. I finished answering her email and then found some painted bottles online that were absolutely STUNNING.

I remembered again that I needed to go to the pantry to get our dinner out of the freezer. I got up, stopped in the bathroom, poured water in Amber’s dog bowl and then came back to the computer. I saw that I had forgotten to refill my coffee cup, so I got up and started to go to the kitchen. I stopped, grabbed my wallet and the record of our blood pressure and blood sugar we used this morning to take back to the kitchen. I put them away in the dining area and then came back to the office.

I again saw my coffee cup. I picked it up this time and went to the kitchen, refilled it, and brought it back. Then remembered I was supposed to go get our dinner out of the freezer…

My husband came in and wanted some help. I helped him and then sat back down at the computer. THEN remembered I was supposed to go to the pantry.

I got to the kitchen and couldn’t remember why I went in there. Had to come back to the office and sit down. THEN I remembered.

I actually got our dinners out of the freezer this time. Please shoot me.

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Job Humor

The Balance Careers

For about eight years I did medical transcription and bookkeeping for a group of 8 very busy general surgeons. When I got the job, I had no experience and had to learn as fast as possible. It was a pretty stressful, demanding job, but I loved the people I worked with and was glad to do my share on making sure we took good care of patients.

I had to ‘teach’ my doctors to realize that my job took a bit of skill. At one point, they were flirting with the idea that they would use special equipment where they could simply dictate their notes and the equipment would provide a copy for the patients’ charts.

They told me that ‘all I had to do was type what they said.‘ So I did that for two full days so that I could do transcription for all of them. I provided two copies – one for THEM to review and a second that went into the chart. At the end of the two days, they were begging me to NOT type what they said, realizing that they made mistakes when they were tired and distracted and needed someone with a head to ‘translate’ their words, rather than simply type them. A couple of them actually tried one of the new gadgets – quickly giving it up as the gadget typed gibberish, not understanding much of what they said. :0)

Sometimes what the docs said made me laugh out loud. I began to keep a document just for me to enjoy, recording their ‘bloopers.’ When I left after 8 years, I gave each of them the printed out document. I could hear them laughing all the way down the hall. Here is a sample:

  • “It was recommended that she get manual anagrams…”
  • “It hurts every time she has a bowel movement in her lower abdomen.”
  • “Enclosed is a copy of the path report showing the lesion on Mr. ___’s buttock that I removed on 10/23/95 in the office was benign.”
  • “On digital examination, there is no perianal region.”
  • “She can place her head on her sternum without pain.”
  • “These are office fixations — fictations — from…”
  • “Following that, we can to annual, every other year mammograms.”
  • “She is certainly not just a typical internal hemorrhoid.”
  • “Send him a copy of ‘this blue thing’ that’s the first two pages under the diagnostic testing ‘stuff’ that has the most recent report.”
  • “Both breasts are inverted.”

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Snowy Thoughts

allposters.com

I have to admit that winter is not my favorite season. That said, there are many things I LOVE about it –

I’ve always loved sweaters and layers and boots, shawls, mufflers, crocheted hats with snowballs on top, gloves, snuggling under throws, sitting by the fireplace.

istockphoto

Snow people and critters have a special place in my heart. I’ve rarely been in enough snow to actually make them, but really enjoy the creativity shown by people, and wonderful photos like the one with the fox and the snowman above. That one made me laugh out loud when I found it. :0)

Essence of Lursa on Twitter

When my husband and I started dating a hundred years or so ago (he was 17 and I was 14), we had a rare, really good snow in Arkansas. We celebrated by building two snow people in the front yard of my parents’ home. I built a traditional snowman. My husband built an extremely well-endowed female snow person. They met with a sad ‘accident’ pretty quickly – I think due to my mom instructing my dad to ‘modify’ them before she got complaints from the neighbors…

Gifer

My parents had a gorgeous, open design fireplace. Somehow, it was designed to be open at one corner of the bricks so you could see it ‘around the corner’ – in the foyer and also in the living room. I’m still amazed at the design. My parents had a gas insert because they wanted to be able to turn the fire on and off when they wanted and didn’t have to store or haul firewood. I have many memories of sitting in a sling chair beside it, or sitting on the hearth in front of it, warming my back.

We have a fireplace insert in our home now. You can’t see the fire well unless you keep the doors open on the insert. It’s made for efficiency and a heat source in case our regular heat isn’t working. We have firewood stored and always have a fire laid, ready for the strike of a match to start it. When we don’t have anywhere we need to be and the weather is really cold, we light it for the COMFORT and good feelings it brings, rather than the need. A definite, wonderful luxury.

Comfort food is wonderful. My mom made big cast iron skillets of spaghetti sauce and garlic bread, and a lovely bean soup. I like to get a beef stew going in the crock pot, serving that with a crust of bread. I also love grilled cheese sandwich and soup dinners.

My favorite snow is one with huge, beautiful flakes like in a snow globe. It coats the ground in pristine, glorious white, looking beautiful. If there are children around, enough for a snowball fight, snow angels, or maybe a snowman. Then, the sun comes out right away, the temperature warms, and the snow is melted on our driveway and the roads, leaving it on the ground otherwise. Fantasies are made to be enjoyed. :0)

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Filed under memories, Seasons

Memories at Christmas

Alphacoders.com

I’ve always dreamed of white Christmases. I was born in Chicago, but we moved almost immediately to Brooklyn, and then to Long Island. We moved to Oklahoma before I was 5, and I’ve lived in Arkansas for over 30 years now. I don’t remember much about my very early life in the Northeast, and it was almost unheard of to have a white Christmas in “tornado alley.” That didn’t diminish my love of everything Christmas.

I remember a Christmas when my brother and I both received 3-speed English bicycles. Neither of us even dreamed of such a present. My parents were amazing to keep the secret. This was a gift that kept on giving for many, many years of bicycling around our neighborhood.

The first time I ever MADE a Christmas present for anyone I was about 11 or 12. My mom was VERY good at making clothes and knitting. She altered all of my dad’s shirts, sweaters and sports coats because he had damaged his left arm falling off a horse when he was three. Back then, they didn’t know as much as they do now, and they were only able to save his arm and hand, leaving it shorter than his right and his hand was almost completely useless. I didn’t realize as a child

  • that my dad was considered ‘disabled’ my many who didn’t know him well,
  • how special my mother was to alter all his shirts, and knit cardigan sweaters for him. I think she could have knitted a bus, she was so talented.
  • how much patience it would take to try to teach her daughter to sew and knit.

I knitted a scarf/muffler for my grandmother that Christmas. It was really terrible, with lots of missed stitches and places where I got too tense and jammed all the stitches together. Other places, the stitches were really large, warping the whole thing out of shape. My grandmother’s favorite color was red, and so I knit her a red muffler to keep her warm when she walked the ugliest dog in the world, a pug named, “Unkie.” That Christmas we had traveled to Nevada, Missouri, to spend the holiday with her and my grandfather. He was bedridden with Multiple Sclerosis. I don’t remember him ever standing, but I have pictures of the two of them, looking amazing, all dressed up in the latest style of the day. (Sorry for a bit of rambling – the memories are swamping me.) My grandmother unwrapped the muffler. She sat, holding it in her hands. Then she cried. I’m tearing up as I type this. She GOT the love I sent with the muffler. She GOT it.

Sometimes I find things, particularly online, during the year that I think people I care about might really enjoy and I send them. Sometimes I wait for Christmas. Sometimes I can’t. Most Christmases I still try to make things for people. I hope they GET the love that is sent with them.

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Filed under Family, Friendship, holidays, memories

Favor

sent to me by a friend

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Never Forget 9-11-2001

Viator

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Long Legged Birds Make Me Smile

Blackwinged Stilt-Riccardo Trevisani – 500PX
Imgur.com
snowy egret-reddit.com
cheezburger.com

I love birds. I love pretty birds AND ‘ugly’ birds. I love water birds. I love water birds with long legs. I’ve been to the ocean once that I remember, when my husband and I went to California. We drove down Highway 101 and I made my husband stop many times so that I could get out and walk on the sand a bit. When I saw the sandpipers skitter across the sand on their long, long legs, it made me laugh out loud. I loved it.

One of life’s many pleasures – to be remembered – not to be missed.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, memories

Remembering

verdieping.nl – www,ShannonRSmith.com

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Filed under Childlike Fun, Encouragement, memories

My Collection

A.A. Milne – E.H. Shepard – Winnie the Pooh – DreamsQuote

This is always a good thing to remember, particularly when the world is challenging.

I am maintaining my sanity (I THINK :0) ) by spending a bit of time each day fully relaxing. Part of the time is spent doing yoga stretching poses, where I concentrate only on relaxing and breathing INTO each part of my body as I change positions.

Then, when I’m simply lying on the mat after my practice, or even for awhile in my recliner, I stretch out under my throw, close my eyes, and go to another place. This time is MINE. I can bring up favorite memories of people I love, see and hug people I can no longer see everyday – but who are in my heart forever, re-visit places I’ve gone, re-live experiences, entertain wishes, and more.

When the world “is too much with us” (William Wordsworth) – we can ease into a world of our own making, giving us a bit of respite. As long as we are breathing, we have a place to ‘go’ that brings us joy. And remember that each day is an opportunity to make NEW memories.

I hope you carry yours with you, too.

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Filed under collections, Encouragement, Favorite Quotes, memories, Poohisms

Merry Christmas 2020

UploadStars

Merry Christmas! I hope you’re enjoying a safe and love-filled day.

My Christmas memories are filling me up and spilling out today.

Favorite childhood Christmases include the one where I received the most gorgeous, soft, pink, furry, FEMININE sweater I’ve ever had. Another was when my brother and I received 3-speed bicycles called English racers. One of the most cherished memories is the Christmas caroling that started at our house each year. We gathered neighbors at each house, singing and laughing, freezing our parts off, ending with hot chocolate and cookies at home when we were finished.

My husband’s and my first Christmas together was in 1969. Our very best Christmas present was our son, born in December of 1978. The next was December of 1980 when our daughter was born. Today we are celebrating our 51st Christmas together. It’s just the two of us this year, but we are very grateful to be together. We talked to our son in Thailand on our chat program this morning.

This has been a challenging year for us all. I hope that you are staying safe and well, surrounded by love however you can manage it.

greetings-day.com

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Oil Paintings I Love 2

Google.com
M M Oosthuizen-www.pinterest.ph
Nicholas Beall-Pet Portrait Artist

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A Memory of My Dad

Creative Arts at Haywood Community College

When I was looking for images of artists who make wood come alive, I found the picture above. I was suddenly swamped with memories of my dad and the dogs HE carved. They are two of my most cherished possessions.

Dogs Carved by my dad – Jim Wheaton

My dad is gone now, but he is alive in my heart and always will be. My dad was talented in a lot of different ways – but one was determination.

I say that as a ‘talent’ though it was a character trait, as well. My dad fell off a horse when he was 3 years old, shattering his left arm. Many surgeries were done, but back then they didn’t know what they do now. They saved his arm, but he lost the use of his left hand. His left arm was much shorter than his right, as well.

This could – and did – ruin other people’s lives. I remember us walking on a sidewalk somewhere – seeing a man sitting on the sidewalk, asking for money, holding up an arm remarkably like my dad’s. My dad stopped, held up his left arm, and said quietly, “Get a job!”

He carved the two sweet dogs above, holding the wood in his left hand and carving patiently with his right. I don’t remember him actually carving them, but it amazes me that he lived his life so that we actually FORGOT for much of the time that he might have an extra challenge with something.

I feel my dad looking at me from time to time. Sometimes he is challenging me to get off my duff and quit procrastinating – just because I am intimidated when trying something new. Sometimes he tells me to lighten up, see the humor in a situation, or look at it as another of life’s character-building exercises. Sometimes I’m just swamped with love, missing him, but feeling so lucky he was ‘mine’ for a while.

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Filed under Family, memories, When Wood Comes Alive

Fall is a Wonderful Season

Scott Webb – Unsplash

My energy level increases when the summer finally breathes its last and the cooler temperatures begin. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m ‘mature,’ or because I am carrying more weight than I would like, but the hot temperature and humidity of summer do me in sometimes before I’ve done much more than begun. I really don’t like being forced to hurry from one source of air conditioning to the next in order to feel halfway comfortable.

We are feeling definite relief here in Arkansas now. In fact, we have a cold front due overnight which is to bring significantly lower temperatures! :0)

I have always liked cool weather clothes. I love layering, including vests, hoodies, scarves, hats, sweaters, jackets, coats, boots and more. It doesn’t matter that when I pull on a cute hat with a pom pom on the top, I look like I’ve been swallowed. I love it anyway! I am forcing myself to go through my collection, though, because I have WAAAY more than any one person can really use. I will share my wealth of silly hats and great scarves with the people who shop at the Disabled Vets Thrift Town in Ft. Smith. I’m trying to arrange a donation once every other month this year, and my winter stuff is a good place to start.

I love things like hot chocolate, main meal soups, stews, chili. Big hunks of bread (though I will put even the IDEA of this one off until maybe NEXT year – when MAYBE I will have reached my goal weight); walking outside, enjoying the changing colors of the leaves, a fire in the fireplace, sitting under a throw in my recliner with a good book and a cup of coffee…

What is YOUR favorite season?

 

 

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Remembering 9-11

Wall Street Journal

Never forget.

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So How Was YOUR Day? – 4

forwarded email

This one brings back memories from my childhood.

For some strange reason, my mother decided to plant some paddle cactus in the bed that went around the house.

One day, our cat wouldn’t come in when it was time for dinner. My mom told me to find her and bring her in. I found her in the bed under the cactus. I tried coaxing her out, but nothing was working. I finally crawled into the bed trying to reach the cat to pull her out. I inched forward, finally getting a hand on her leg. I stood up, pulling, then lost my balance and SAT on the cactus.

To say the whole neighborhood heard my screams is an understatement. My mom spent much of that evening with me in the bathroom, trying to pull out all the sharp spines of the cactus that were firmly lodged in my bottom. Needless to say, this is an indelible memory!

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Wonderful Seals

Good Morning America

My husband and I used to go to the zoo in Tulsa in our dating days. I loved it. We would buy treats to feed the animals, and my husband always snuck in some ‘extras’ that weren’t technically approved. We walked casually around, loving to see the animals.  By the time we saw two or three animals, it would look like we were at the head of a parade. People would see the animals responding to my husband’s efforts to make them do tricks and follow us in order to see more.

 

Seal-Bearded – Flickr_Foilist Peter-Center for Biological Diversity

 

I don’t know how he did it, but the bears would sit up and wave at us. The monkeys would make rude gestures, making my husband double over, laughing.

Longman Dictionary

The seals were about halfway around the circle we would make. Seals are one of my favorite animals. I love their grace, agility, and speed, and their faces make my heart melt. Usually, there were several in their ‘pond.’ They would end up following my husband as he walked the perimeter of their area, feeding them and talking to them.  It was like fish schooling. Then, he would make them nuts by hurrying from one side to the other, or one end to the other. He would finally stop and they would gather, noses all pointing to him.

 

Seal Pup, Norfolk, England, Newsweek

I have wonderful memories of trips to the zoo with him. We haven’t been to the Tulsa Zoo in many, many years now, but in my head, it was like yesterday.  Our pets follow him around the house, too. They know he is the source of all good things.

 

Norfolk Beach – Bored Panda

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“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…”

Wallpaperhi

“Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I’ve been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again
The only girl I care about has gone away
Looking for a brand new start
But little does she know that when she left that day
Along with her she took my heart
Rain please tell me now does that seem fair
For her to steal my heart away when she don’t care?
I can’t love another when my hearts somewhere far away
The only girl I care about has gone away
Looking for a brand new start
But little does she know that when she left that day
Along with her she took my heart
Rain won’t you tell her that I love her so
Please ask the sun to set her heart aglow
Rain in her heart and let the love we knew start to grow
Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I’ve been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again
Oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter
Oh, oh, oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter”
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John C. Gummoe
Sung by The Cascades

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Filed under memories, Mother Nature, music

Thoughts on a Saturday 7-4-2020

Reddit

We are having a quite dark, rainy Independence Day so far. I don’t know how long it has been raining, but the ground was really saturated when I took Molly out for her morning walk. I sank down into some mud at one point walking around the back of the well house. We live on top of a ridge line, so it takes quite a bit of rain to make our ground soggy. It’s a quiet rain,  rather than a severe storm, so we have the doors open, enjoying a nice breeze, as well as the lovely sound of the rain.

I do hope that it stops by evening, though. We have become quite spoiled here because a couple of neighbors down in the valley behind our home put on quite a fireworks show most years. One of my favorite things in the world is fireworks. I especially love the big orange streaky ones that seem to cover the whole sky. I love ALL of them that sparkle!

 

D’source

 

I love snakes and sparklers, too.

 

GIPHY

A memory that will always fill my heart and make me tear up is a year before my husband and I were married. We were celebrating at my parents’ house. Their house sat on an acre and a quarter of land in a neighborhood of two mile-long streets, 24th Street and 25th Place, that each had the same amount of land between Sheridan Avenue and Memorial Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  My dad had bad cataracts and the medical community was JUST to the point where removal of them wasn’t such a huge issue. My dad was living with his, even though he had had to give up a lot of things, not being able to see well enough to enjoy them. The 4th of July was his favorite holiday. He LOVED fireworks. My husband-to-be bought a bunch and brought them with him when he came to share dinner. When night fell, we were all sitting on the patio. My husband brought out the bag of fireworks, a complete surprise for my dad, and proceeded to give my dad the best of all Independence Day celebrations. HE COULD SEE THE FIREWORKS and was like a little kid, joy on his face at each one. It was a hot night and my husband practically worked himself to death to give my dad his personal fireworks display. (I am teared up remembering this. I just went across the room to give my husband a big hug, kiss the top of his head, and tell him again how MUCH that gift meant to my whole family.)

I am hoping that we can cook out tonight. We bought some steak and baking potatoes – a total splurge for us.  If not tonight, my fingers will be crossed we can do it tomorrow night.

I hope you are having a happy day, too.

 

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Filed under Family, holidays, memories

I am a Quilt

Brooke Hampton via Chrissie Anderson Peters

I am particularly aware of this while mostly staying at home due to the pandemic.

Music has always been a big part of my life. It transports me – taking me back to junior high school patio parties where I danced with boys who made my young heart throb; to places I have never been, but would like to go; expressing feelings I hold deep inside. I have so many artists I love and never enough time to listen all I would like to. Lately, I’ve been creating mini-concerts for myself while I work at the computer – listening to song after song that lift my spirits as I write posts, balance my checkbook, or…. When I finish, my heart is filled with wonderful thoughts, memories, and happiness. It’s a wonderful escape.

Another thing I’m doing is re-reading favorite books and authors, revisiting favorite characters and stories.  While my husband watches yet another “Cowboy Be-Bop” or equivalent movie as HIS escape, I can immerse myself in my book while keeping him company in a fashion.  I’m lucky in that I have books all over the house, so I have a wonderful supply of wonderful worlds to dive into.

My art room is an endless source of possibilities. I actually have to set an alarm so I don’t totally lose myself in the joy of experimenting with colors, textures, techniques, and ideas.  Sometimes I have an idea rattling around in my brain. Other times I go in there to ‘clean,’ and end up starting a project.  I go in there, start one of my CDs, and suddenly the alarm goes off…

I love watching demonstrations on YouTube. You can almost pick a subject and find lots of great information and step by step demos on how to do things. I think YouTube is a treasure.

When it’s not raining —— I can play in my flowers and my veggie garden. I truly love seeing flowers bloom around the yard, and I’m like a kid at Christmas watching my veggies grow.

I will love it when the world gets back to normal. But, in the meantime, I’m a happy lady.

 

 

 

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Happy Easter 2020

Michael Schneidhofer Via Penny Yaffe Krakow

Happy Easter!

I love Easter services. Children always have a special part in the service. I participated as a child and my heart has melted ever since when that part of the service occurs. They look so NICE in their Sunday best. I love the glorious music, the whole celebration.

I loved dying Easter eggs as a child. We didn’t do anything fancy, but it was so much fun. My mom didn’t like things that got the kitchen messy, and we sure did a GREAT job of messing it up, with dye all over the table, the floor, our clothes – but she got into the spirit. My dad brought white crayons he had stashed, and we wrote short messages on our eggs – then dying them, so the words showed up in white.

Sometime during the night the Easter Bunny came and did his thing, leaving us chocolate eggs and chocolate Easter bunnies in a green plastic basket with faux green grass, and our eggs had been hidden in our yard. We got a LOT of exercise each Easter because our house sat on an acre and a quarter, and the eggs were hidden EVERYWHERE.

One of my favorite parts of Easter was getting a new outfit to wear to church. One year I especially remember I got a GORGEOUS pink extremely fuzzy sweater with a coordinating skirt and shiny black patent leather shoes with pink socks. I have never seen another sweater like it before or since. I felt really special wearing that outfit, walking down the aisle between the pews at church with the other children. I felt like I was wearing a pink cloud. :0)

Even though celebrating this Easter is more challenging than other years, we can celebrate it in our hearts, contacting those we love and feeling the joy.

 

 

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Childhood Memories

My friend Marsha sent this to me this morning. It brought back memories of car trips my family took, where there was little to keep young minds active. I always tried to get truck drivers to blow their horns for me. I was a happy child because most of them smiled and complied. We kept track of states shown on license plates. We played a kind of “I Spy” with a list of things to watch for on the road. We sang songs. We read books. Another other wonderful thing was the Burma Shave signs –

Amazon.com

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Debbye

This is just one of the groups of happy daffodils in our yard right now. They have exploded in bloom over the last couple of weeks – freezes or not. This is my favorite group, though. It looks kind of like a ‘daffodil bouquet’ on the edge of our yard before a group of rocks marks the edge of the ‘civilized’ part of our front yard.

 

This is “Debbye” – my good friend who got me into trying to paint, to create things as I have always wanted to do.

She died of breast cancer many years ago. She was sitting on her bed painting a watercolor of a hummingbird (now on the wall of our stairway) when I went to visit one day. I hugged her, then silently watched her paint for a few minutes. Finally, I said, “I WISH I could do that!”

She got angry with me – for the first and the last time in our friendship. She said, “What the Hell are you waiting for? YOU have the time. What do you care if your work never makes it off your own refrigerator door? JUST DO IT!!!!!”  She changed my life that day.

At her funeral there were two large barrels on either side of the entry to the church. We were asked to grab a double handful of daffodil bulbs as we left and plant them as a reminder of Debbye. I planted mine in a clump by the rocks where they would be at least a little bit protected. Before each spring starts, the greenery shoots up, full of life and energy, and then Debbye blooms once again.

We would all have our memories of Debbye and her indomitable spirit without the bulbs, but I loved the idea at her funeral and have never heard of it being done before or since.  A lovely way to remember a smart, creative, and lovely lady.

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Filed under Friendship, memories, Seasons

Music

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Happy First Day of Winter 2018!

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Since we have a 650 foot STEEP driveway and I’m a chicken when it comes to driving in snow and ice, winter is not my favorite season. I LOVE the inventiveness and creativity of the snow people I find online, plus the wonderful Christmas-card-perfect photos of beautiful, snow-covered homes welcoming you home with lights shining from within.

I would rather SEE and APPRECIATE from afar, though I do enjoy making a snowman if we’re lucky enough to get enough – and good packing – snow. One year I put our son on a sled and we rode down the driveway together. We didn’t stop until we were down the driveway, across the road that goes in front of our house, and into the ditch beyond. Happily, no one was killed or injured, but it too us a good half hour to trudge back up to the house. On the way down, my jeans PACKED with snow, so “I” looked like a snowman!

When we were dating, my husband decided to build a snow person in my parent’s front yard in Tulsa. Imagine their faces when they went out to get the newspaper the next morning to find an extremely FEMININE snow person greeting all comers! A couple of parts were quickly removed before they went back in. :0)

I was born in Chicago, but we moved to Brooklyn and then to Long Island soon after. When I was 5 we moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and when I married, we moved to Greenwood, Arkansas, so I have rarely been in a place – when I was old enough to enjoy it – where winter was done well. We usually get sleet and ice and THEN some snow on top.

I’ll content myself, on this first day of winter, to oohing and ahhing at pretty PICTURES of homes and wonderfully creative snow people.

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Filed under memories, Seasons, snow people

Immortal

My husband has, once again, made something immortal, fixing the light by my chair that had gone wonky. I would turn it on and then it would go off by itself. Sometimes it would come ON again, making us feel as if the gremlins were in charge. We decided it had to be the lamp part that the light bulb goes in, and so went to Yeager’s this morning and bought a replacement part. After my husband did his thing, it’s working fine.

We built these two lamps in 1969 when we married. We couldn’t afford ones we liked, so we went to an aircraft junk yard and bought two parts of a helicopter. (Yeah, we were weird back then, too. )

 

We sandblasted each of these and wired them, installed lamp parts, and then a holder for the shade. They weigh about 50 lbs each, so I get a bit of exercise moving them back and forth on the tables to dust them – and under them.

We’ve loved them because they are unique. No one else in the world would probably HAVE them if they were offered, but WE like them and they aren’t like everybody else’s. We put a spark plug in each of them, just as an accent. :0)

We’ve laboriously moved them with us to each new place. So far, they’ve been with us for 49 years. With the fix my husband did on the one by my chair today, they’ll outlive us!

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Filed under Bright Ideas, Decorating Ideas, Favorite Things, Housekeeping - Maintenance, memories

The Best Things in Life

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August 1, 2018 · 11:45 am

Happy Independence Day – 2018

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!

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Filed under holidays, memories

Memories

In 1969 two wonderful things happened: my husband and I got married and I started teaching.

(My son provided a chat program so that we can “talk” any time we would like to, even though he’s across the world from us. This morning he had left me a question about my teaching many years ago. The chat program is having a hiccup, so I’m not able to answer him yet, but the question brought a flood of wonderful memories.)

My students were all black and I fell in love with them the first day. I taught first grade and we were in a self-contained classroom. This meant that I was responsible for trying to teach them everything. I was so excited about the opportunity it didn’t dawn on me that maybe I should be scared of all the responsibility, being a brand new teacher. We all learned a lot that first year.

I learned that our daily lives were much different from each others’, but we could sure love. I was trying to teach them phonics, and it was difficult to get or keep them excited about ‘sounds’ of letters. I made up a really silly song about the sounds, brought my guitar to school and taught my kids the song. They loved it! I would play and they would dance and we would sing, absorbing the sounds the letters made, and gradually putting them together to make words. Words became phrases and phrases became sentences and reading began. I checked out books from the school library and brought some from home to read to them so that I could share my love of reading.

I was supposed to have three reading groups, but I had six. I found that my kids learned in different ways and that, in order to make things stick and come alive, I needed to use different approaches for each group. I had the fast learners work with the kids who were having trouble, and that helped, too. I encouraged my kids to do well by giving them paper certificates on Friday afternoons for good work – one child would get one for sitting still for his reading lesson. Another got one for a good score in spelling, and son on. I gave out the certificates under the one tree on the playground, weather permitting.

My kids had trouble relating to the stories in the Weekly Reader, but we were required to go through it every week. My kids’ favorite use of it came when I rolled them up, climbed up on top of the waist-high heat register beside the windows and used it to swat a wasp that was threatening us and ruining our concentration.

I loved teaching. When the light of understanding came on – I called it the ‘light bulb moment’ – my day was made. I had made something understandable to a child. Their eyes would light up, a smile lit their face, and they could then take the ball and run with it. There is absolutely nothing more thrilling in teaching than when a child gets excited about learning.

Unfortunately, the public school system and I didn’t see eye to eye. I got into trouble – getting called to the principal’s office like an unruly child – called on the carpet for

  • playing the guitar (“Ms. Lewis, this is NOT a music class!”)
  • having too many reading groups
  • not having all the kids on the same page at the same time
  • letting kids tackling the learning in their own style
  • giving out certificates under a tree on the playground
  • attempting to contact parents when a child was having problems
  • standing up in a PTA meeting and asking for help on getting the supplies we needed (we weren’t supposed to admit we didn’t have supplies)
  • and the biggie – using the Weekly Reader to swat a wasp (the superintendent happened to walk in while I was on the register. The kids all cheered when I swatted the wasp and killed it. I put the nail in my coffin when I said, “This is the best use of the Weekly Reader I’ve seen yet.”

I had a wonderful eight years in the Tulsa Public Schools. During that time I earned a Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist. I then started and ran my own reading clinic for another three years – my partner an intern teacher who taught with me.) We changed a lot of lives. We helped people – kindergarten through adult) fill in the gaps in their learning that had kept them from making sense of the printed page. We unlocked doors, brought smiles and confidence. The only thing we didn’t do was make enough money to continue. It was with great regret that I closed the clinic and went back to the regular world to get a job that helped pay the bills.

How lucky I was to have an opportunity I’ll never forget!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, doing what you love, making a difference, memories

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