Thursday, October 28, 2010

-Barbie and Ken


Today we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the union between Cara and Greg.

She was the tall, pretty Barbie-like bank teller--he the tall, handsome Ken.

He literally made her fall out of her chair.

She was head over heels, so was he.

They have made a wonderful marriage, depending on each other, each giving 100% to the relationship. He is patient. She is encouraging. He is strong. She is artistic. They work together to make it happen.

Together they are so different than they were as individuals 10 years ago. They were good then, today they are wonderful.

They have been blessed with 3 healthy, active and happy children.

My daughter is happy.

I am happy.

Happy Anniversary Cara and Greg--may you celebrate forever

Wednesday, October 27, 2010



Today we celebrate Brooke's birthday.

Brooke joined our family almost 3 years ago. Kevan brought her to the family as his beautiful bride. He looked and looked for just the right girl. I often reminded him that maybe she just had to grow up a little, and I was right. They met and started dating during her first year of college.

Brooke is a tall, beautiful and determined young woman--traits I thought Kevan would need and enjoy in a wife. Brooke is a self starter. When she puts her mind to something she will move heaven and earth to see it through. Kevan and Brooke have been remodeling their home and enjoying the experience--most days. Last week she had an adventure with a chipmunk that would send most women into a fit of the vapors. Not Brooke, she got busy and helped her husband capture that critter as he ran all over her house.

Brooke is an artist, she loves to draw, create, paint and design. She is a whiz with money and can stretch their budget while making it look like a fun game. Brooke is not afraid of trying something new or striking out on her own if her sweetheart has to work. Brooke has self assurance.

I am so glad that Kevan found someone special to love. Her name is Brooke, and we love her too.

Happy Birthday, Brookie

Tuesday, October 26, 2010



Happy Birthday, Kevan.

28 years ago the sweetest baby boy was born. We made it through the summer and past the bed rest. We made the family move and had the Halloween costumes ready for his siblings. To say I was past ready when he finally made his debut is to put it mildly. My last 3 babies had been early, so of course, in my mind this would be the same, right??? Not so much--two weeks late--it seemed a month in my little brain. But, I have learned it is worth waiting for a good thing.

Kevan has always been a bundle of kindness and sweet joy. His personality is his strong suit. He has a way of endearing himself to those around him with his wit and ready smile. When he was young he was a round little ball of softness, now he is a tall, lanky man with a gun at his side. He is the guy I love to look up to. He likes to make others happy, except when he comes across a drunk while on duty, then it is a quick ride to jail.

Kevan is married to Brooke and they live in a cute little house that they have been remodeling. Kevan has a way with tools, and Brooke with color, that makes their home so inviting. Kevan is comfortable at home, church and work. He fills each role with all he has to give.

Yes, a good thing is worth waiting for. Happy Birthday, Kevan. I love you

Monday, October 25, 2010



Happy Anniversary to Brian and Cheri. They were married two years ago today.

Like today, it was a beautiful autumn day. We were in Tennessee and enjoyed the drive across the state.

It had been a tough week for Brian and Cheri. They were all joy and excitement as they moved their bits of furniture and gifts into the cute apartment they rented, just across the street from Brian's work place. It was fun to watch them plan until.....well you know how it goes--the last one hired is the first to go during tough times. October of 2008 is when all financial woes exploded and it hit our family through Brian's new job.

After a heartfelt discussion with his future father in law and a deeper discussion with his bride to be, it was decided to go ahead and get married, let the apartment go and have faith that things would work out. Sometimes it is easier to face the hard things together.

While Brian and Cheri were on their honeymoon my mother and I worked hard to turn the guest house/shed/bachelor pad into a honeymoon cottage. That is where they have lived for two years now. Work prospects are still not glowing, but they have sufficient for their needs and I never hear complaints.

Brian and Cheri have turned into a very happy couple. They enjoy each others company and have fun together. We enjoy their company here at home as well.

We had a little reception for Brian and Cheri here in NC that was well attended after their wedding and reception in TN. They have many people in their lives that love them and wish them well. Brian is a much happier man now that he has Cheri in his life.

This last week they purchased bicycles and have been having fun exploring the byways of our area. They enjoy exercising on their wii fit and cooking together. They do their laundry together and keep the bathroom clean enough.

Now I ask, what more could a mother want for her youngest child?? Nothing--except maybe the opportunity for them to live in a cottage that also has plumbing!! Everything in due time.

Happy Anniversary, Brian and Cheri. May you continue to smile and enjoy your relationship as much as or more than you do now. We love you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

-little bugger


A mosquito just bit me

IN my house

He tried and I swatted the little bugger and MISSED

He tried again and I missed AGAIN

He tried a third time and....

...I got him

Now I itch, and itch and itch

The joys of living in the woods with a stream on the property.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Tonight while my sweetheart and I were enjoying a peaceful dinner at home I realized that it was quiet. No music, no TV, no kid noises or conversation, just simply quiet. A peaceful, quiet dinner at home.

It is not very quiet around here usually. For years it was the 6 kids running, jumping, laughing and shouting. Quite often now it is the grandchildren running, jumping, laughing and shouting.

I just spent almost two weeks in a hotel room. While my sweetheart went to work every day I was there by myself. Can I tell you, that hotel room was a noisy place to be. No, the TV was not on. Didn't hear a peep from the neighbors. It was all from my own head, a symphony of thoughts. Not a quiet moment in this head of mine.

For a few years now the children have been living in their own homes, yet there is still plenty of noise in my home--all self made.

Tonight my sweetheart and I enjoyed a peaceful dinner at home. The only noise was the clinking of our spoons against the bowls as we enjoyed our tortilla soup. We shared a comfortable, quiet, slow conversation.

No matter where it is,
it is always good to be home.

Tortilla Soup
3 frozen chicken breasts, semi thawed, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 cups water
2 chicken bullion cubes
2 beef bullion cubes
1 can tomatoes
1 cup corn kernels
1 can pinto or black beans (optional)
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Bring water with bullion and tomatoes to a boil. Add chicken and cook for 10 minutes. Add corn and beans then cook for another 10 minutes. Add taco seasoning and cilantro.

Serve with tortilla chips, grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream--enjoy

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Over the weekend my sweetheart took me to see the Winchester House. We visited before, many years ago. The place is so bizarre that it has stuck in my memory these past 30 years.

Sarah Winchester married into the Winchester rifle family. After the loss of her husband at an early age she relied heavily on soothsayers to plan her future. She left her home in the east and bought a track of land with a modest home in San Jose, California.

She believed that the spirits of those killed with the Winchester rifles were haunting her. She was also afraid of dying. A fortune teller convinced her that if she started an ongoing building project she would live forever, and so her remodeling project on the simple 8 room farmhouse became the 160 room oddity that we find today. Doors that open to nowhere, stair cases that lead to the ceiling. The Victorian that she built is both bizarre and beautiful.

She had the workmen busy 24 hours a day. I am sure that sometimes my sweetheart feels my projects are as never ending in our humble little log house on the hill. For almost a year and a half we have been working on our master bath. A year ago it was finally functional again after 6 months of work. For the last year it has been an ongoing adventure in trim work and caulk. I think we could be finished if we would stay at home occasionally without extra guests visiting, but right now, travel seems to be my middle name.

Tomorrow we head home from our visit in California. It has been a wonderful trip, pleasant weather, fun memories, quiet thinking time. Everyone needs some quiet thinking time occasionally. I can hardly wait to get home and see how the homestead is holding up in my absence. I have been thinking about some of the projects we have waiting for us there--the main bath and laundry room are both at the top of the list. We will have to flip a coin to see which project gets first priority--maybe the trim work on the master bath should get the final touch before we start tearing out again. Of course it would be nice to finish the wood floor in the dining room as well, not to mention the winter maintenance the yard stands in need of, and then there is always........

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Southern California

We were driving along and I realized we were at Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Weather neither hot or cold--just perfect.

We saw the filming of the new show, "Defenders" with Jim Belushi.

Crowded freeways. Fancy cars. Saw two Bentleys at the hotel!!

Odd looking models on a photo shoot, strange clothes, tall shoes and taller hair.

We went to the pier and saw a seal fishing and enjoying his catch.

Dinner at the fish market.

Plenty of museums to visit--this time we choose the La Brea Tar Pits.

Driving along Pacific Coast Highway.

Ice Cream from Thrifty's--waffle cones with 3 scoops for $2, yummmm

Pretty flowers and green grass.

Interesting Architecture.

Dinner at Leo's--an old family favorite.

Family and memories.

A good visit.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New and Old

I love to acquire a new old thing. Something with a bit of character. Something with some umph to it. An item that has a story to tell.

Yesterday my aunt and cousin took me to a favorite haunt in Southern California, an antique store that has booths FILLED with interesting items to look at, remember and purchase. I bought a well worn quilt last time I was here. This time I looked for something small that would fit in my overfilled suitcase (something about charging for luggage these days so I packed for a 12 day trip in a carry on!!).

My aunt collects colored glass, we had a few pieces to choose from that she liked. I found a few vintage tablecloths--that seems to be my current interest. My cousin enjoyed looking at the antique photographs.

Last week I took a chest of drawers to Indiana for my grandson that date from the 1930's--still sturdy and very usable--once I get them painted and the moth balls do their thing neutralizing the strong stale smell coming from the drawers.

One of my daughters has lately become interested in items from an era older than herself. Up until recently she was drawn to very new items with sleek lines and shiny surfaces, though I think she still likes the sleeker lines rather than the curly ques that I admire in furniture. Together she and I went to an antique store near her home a few weeks ago. It was fun to look at the sturdy furniture with her. Items made to last from real wood. Items with a scratch that has been repaired and a story to tell. Items that will stand the test of growing children.

As my aunt reminded me, it is all about the hunt. Finding that one perfect piece at the perfect price. Taking the item home and cleaning it, running your fingers over the lines to understand the story it tells of an era gone by. Remembering life in a simpler time. Putting the thing to a useful purpose again--breathing new life into the old.

Some things just have to be old enough to be new again. Maybe that is me--am I old enough to be new again?? My aunt is now 80, showing a little age, but yet still able to get around and enjoy a day picking at the flea market or antique store looking for the perfect bargain to add to her collection. What a great day we had enjoying the hunt together.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Memory Lane

This last weekend I got to take a walk down memory lane.

I spent two days with my aunt. She lives in the home she and her husband bought as newly weds in 1950. It is a beautiful little cottage in the middle of California mini mansions.

I went to church at the same building I attended 50 years ago. My dad, uncles and grandfather helped build that building. I saw and visited with people who have known me since I was a little girl.

I drove by our house. My mom and dad built an addition on that house. They bought it when I was little and brought my siblings there as babies.

My elementary school is gone and so is grandma and grandpa's house, but, as I drove by I could see it all so clearly in my mind's eye.

I was a lucky girl that grew up with my cousins as siblings and my aunts and uncles treated me the same as their own children. My grandparents lived 4 blocks from us, a block from school. I walked to school every day with my best friend, Vicki Witt.

For dessert after dinner yesterday, my aunt served her famous cherry pie. Flaky, sweet, delicious. Grandma baked delicious pies. I have not been able to replicate them, though I have figured out the rolls and bread.

It was a wonderful walk. Thank you sweetheart for taking me with you on this trip. I am having a great time.

Friday, October 8, 2010


It is past time to get organized.

I have been trying but....there is always something taking my time.

It is of importance that I take matters into my own hands and figure out my destiny with organization and I need to do it NOW!!

TOP PRIORITY--have a plan:

Step one--carve out some time

Step two--prioritize

Step three--get to it

Step four--keep going

It has been said that
personal achievement is bought
at the price of work and sacrifice

This will come together. I have a plan. I have the will and desire.

I'll get going on it---as soon as I return from California.

Maybe the first step should be to stay at home for awhile--but, where is the fun in that??

I am off again, the filing will wait.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Last year at this time my daughter and her family were here awaiting the birth of her fifth child and fourth daughter.

Isabella Rose was born on October 7th, at the hospital. Not at the U2 concert, or in the car. Her daddy was here, thank goodness. Shawna had been here for a month with the children by herself. She managed like a trooper and I was so proud of her. We were all happy when Sean arrived.

As Bella and I spent time together this summer I truly enjoyed her company. The two of us spent many hours walking--or rather I walked and she came along in her rolling throne, better known as a stroller.

I could get her attention by calling out "Beautiful Baby!!" and she would light up and smile from ear to ear. Then I would smile from ear to ear.

Bella is a lucky girl to have 3 sisters and a handsome brother. She is now living in Berlin, Germany--many hours away from here and I miss her greatly. I miss her smile. I miss the opportunity to walk with her every day.

In her short year of life Bella has lived in Azerbaijan, and Germany. She has had lengthy stays in NC and UT. She has been to Disney twice, once in California, once in Europe and to Busch Gardens in Virginia. She is definately a world traveler.

Bella looks just like her mommy did, a beautiful round faced Gerber baby. I look at her and the years melt away. I love you Beautiful Baby. I miss you Beautiful Baby. I am glad you are mine.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Cheerfulness is one of those things that adds so much to our interactions.
It costs nothing to give or receive.
Everyone can benefit from the wash of kindness
that cheerfulness leaves in it's wake.

So, today take notice of the little things in life that can add a bit of cheer
and pass it on with a smile and a kind word.
The day will be brighter and the mood lighter.
A bit of cheerfulness costs nothing, yet adds so much.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


A new baby is a gift from heaven.

There is a deep abiding joy that fills you up when you take a newborn baby in your arms.

There is an immediate overwhelming feeling of love that fills you up when you hold a newborn for the first time.

A new baby's skin is so soft.

A new baby smells so sweet.

A new baby is so amazing--you can just sit and watch them sleep.

A new baby is a joy to behold.

Soft, sweet, bundle of joy.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Today, I am finally reconciled to Fall.

We are driving along the highway, on our way to visit our sweet new baby, and I realize that there is a chill in the air and the leaves are beginning to have a tinge of color to them.

I can feel my body start to crave a warm bowl of soup.

Gotta get out the sweaters and wool socks.

Time for a change.

Excited to hold that new baby. Coleman Grant is his name. We will be there in just a few hours. Gonna enjoy the scenery as we drive along on this beautiful fall day.