We’re older now. We are both married. We both have little ones. She has another sweetie on the way. We aren’t chasing boys or swimming at the lake these days, but still we can find things to talk about. Isn’t it just lovely when that happens?
Just a couple of weeks ago, I was also able to meet up with a different high school friend Lori. Here’s a photo of us from long ago. I’m the one with the enormous bangs (geesh, what was I thinking?). Lori is standing in front of her New Kids on the Block poster. How cool were we?
Lori and I had lost touch after high school graduation, but have reconnected recently thanks to Facebook. We discovered we lived quite close to one another these days, and agreed we should meet. I’m so glad we did. Though our lives have certainly changed since high school, our personalities still gelled nicely; and we’ve made tentative plans to meet up (along with our hubbies) for a couples night of board games or some other fun thing.
Sometimes attempting to reconnect with someone from long ago can be a real challenge. Too much time has passed. Too many things have changed. Conversations don’t flow. Awkward pauses stretch for far too long.
I’m happy to report that this was not at all the case when I spent time with these old friends.
"The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart."
Saturday morning, we three went to some Garage Sales. It was a very successful morning. Among our many treasures of the day, we came home with a stack of vintage children’s books for my collection. My favorite being a mint copy of “Good Little Bad Little Girl” for a quarter. I collect Little Golden books illustrated by Eloise Wilkin, and was super excited by this find.
We also found several gently used pieces of clothing for our little man (mostly in the size he’ll be wearing next year). I even found a couple of dresses for myself. I don’t wear dresses often except for church, but always like having new ones to choose from. There were several other goodies too, but these are the highlights.
Sunday morning started off with Willie getting sick at the breakfast table. Poor little guy has really had some bad luck with stomach viruses this year. He was sick off and on all Sunday and Monday. I stayed home with him yesterday, and Dan took today off to be with him. He’s doing much better, thankfully and will be back to daycare tomorrow.
Hopefully I'll have something new to post by then as well. Hoping you all had a lovely weekend.
Had she not passed away in 1989, today would have been my Grandma H’s 99th birthday. She was a sweetheart of a lady, and even though all these years have slipped by – I still think of her often, and fondly.
The photo on the left is of Grandma and I in the summer of 1975.
Once when I was very little (maybe four) we went for a walk. She and I wandered through her yard picking dandelions. We put our "flowers" in a little plastic cup of water, and sat them on the kitchen counter. We then went on to do other things (probably to sing songs or play "Cootie" or maybe examine her pencil collection). Later, when we came back to the dandelions, they had closed up tight.
I won’t eat any kind of melon
I’m wildly allergic to Erythromycin
I’m a bit horrified that stone washed jeans and neon high-tops are back in fashion
My parents are two of my best friends
I wear my sunglasses more often as a hair accessory than as eye protection
I’ve never particularly liked Elvis or the Beatles (I’m sorry, but it’s true)
I have a birthmark shaped like South America
I’m nominating everyone on my blogroll…and all the blogs I follow. If you have a minute…go check one (or all) of them out.
Three years filled to overflowing with love and friendship and faith and hope and laughter and dreams and surprise and joy and of course, the arrival of our adorable little William….
Three years ago today, I thought life couldn't possibly get any better. I was so very wrong...
Our wedding day wasn't the end of anything.
It was just the beginning... of EVERYTHING.
Happy Anniversary Dan. You are my world! I love you more each day. Three beautiful, amazing years are behind us. The future holds promise of many, many more happy years to come.
Lately I’ve been savoring every moment spent with my precious little boy. He is in turns a tiny tornado and a cuddly teddy bear. He amazes me daily…
They are driving me crazy.
They are ferns…
Ferns (maybe the "bracken" variety?) which showed up last year unannounced and uninvited. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have the time to deal with them at the time (Will had no regular schedule till he was well over a year old and last year’s yard-work was often limited to a quick grass cutting). So left unattended, they multiplied…and then like bunnies – multiplied some more.
“But ferns are so lovely.” you might say.
Sadly, you would be wrong. (note that this is only my opinion - many folks do love the fern)
If you love ferns or wish you had some in your yard; I wish you’d been at our place earlier this evening. I would have merrily given you as many as you would have been willing to take.
I know that I should appreciate all of God’s creation….and I do. But some of it, I appreciate LESS when it is poking up between my Hostas.
I’d honestly forgotten about the ferns, until I was weeding over the weekend and came across some dried fronds from last year. Once the dried out bits were cleared, the little bulb-y thing that sits atop the soil was revealed. I yanked on that one, and quickly found that the root system was fairly massive. Yuck. When I had pulled up quite a bit of that first one’s roots…I soon discovered it was connected to the next one etc. It’s like they have their own evil-fern subway system.
I gave up for that day. I needed to regroup and figure out a better plan of attack.
Tonight I returned with a shovel and a wheel barrow. I dug out as many as I could. With each bulb-y thing (no idea what the technical term is) lumps of soil and long tendrils of root came with it. I pulled and yanked on those till I couldn’t find any more. My wheel barrow was over half full when I finished.
I might have missed a few, but I can be patient. I can be vigilant. I will overcome!
I’ll go back tomorrow night to see if I can find any survivors. Mark my words - they won’t survive for long if I have anything to say about it.
Tonight I'm going to hang the birdhouse that my Dad made for me. It's similar (though not identical) to the photo below:
As my Aunt was enduring her own painful recovery from injuries sustained in the same accident that took her husband’s life; she talked of some of her regrets. One of them that always stood out to my Mother was that the newly weds had never once used their wedding china. It had been carefully packed away. They had planned to wait for just the right special occasion to unveil those lovely dishes. I’m sure they were excited, as those in love tend to be, about the special occasion that would someday be worthy.
But tragedy struck before that special occasion came.
My Aunt lamented after the death of her husband that every day with him had been an occasion worthy of fancy dishes and celebration. She wished that she’d realized no honored guest existed who could have been more deserving than her spouse.
This really made an impact on my Mom. When my parents got married, she vowed that they would use their wedding china daily… and they did.
By the time their first anniversary rolled around, a few of the pieces had broken, but they had memories of meatloaf and biscuits and gravy and silly conversations over every day meals.
By the time I was entering grade school, most of the dinner plates and cups were gone. But we all could recall the glistening turkey served on that big platter...and I still had my Malt o Meal in a china bowl each morning for breakfast.
By the time I was a teenager, the original collection was down to one cup, a creamer and a sugar bowl with no lid. Those three lone pieces were finally retired, but lovingly displayed for all to see.
When it came time for Dan and I to pick out our own wedding china a few years ago, I asked my Mom if she regretted it… Did she ever wish she’s saved those dishes for formal meals with company?
She just laughed, and said “Absolutely Not”. Her family had enjoyed them, literally to pieces. That china was long gone, but the memories of meals served on, and stories told over them would never fade. She had witnessed her sister’s grief, and learned a valuable lesson. Every day with those you love is a special occasion. Every moment that we are blessed to have our family and friends surround us is a day worthy of the grandest of celebrations.
My own wedding anniversary is swiftly approaching (I’ll tell you more about that next week); and thinking about it brought this story to mind. Our china does spend more time in our display cabinet than on our table, but sometimes we do get it out and use it “just because”.
I think this is going to be one of those days. I’m going to pull out some of our wedding dishes and use them tonight….just because it’s Tuesday….just because I love my husband more than ever…just because my family deserves to know how very special they are – any (and every) day of the week.
Note: The china photos above are from Bing! Images…but they are the right patterns for this story… at least mostly. I don’t know what pattern my Aunt & Uncle had. However, my folks had the Johnson Brothers Friendly Village pattern. Dan suggested we choose the Johnson Brothers English Castles set since I’d enjoyed my parents’ china so much (and because he knows how much I love pink). Ours is similar to theirs without being too “matchy”.
Spring has sprung & the first wave of Garage Sale season is upon us! I’m so excited! I just love hunting for treasures at garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales… whatever you want to call them. This weekend I'm kicking off the season with a big annual church sale that will be 100% children's clothes, toys, books etc. It will be fun!
When Dan and I first started dating (years ago), he was skeptical of my Saturday morning adventures. I don’t think it was till much later after we were married that he came to fully appreciated my thrifting efforts. I would point to some cute outfit at the mall, and say “Oh, I got one of those for $1.” After looking at a few of the price tags in the stores, he was convinced it was a good thing. Now, on occasion, he and Willie even go with me and we make an outing of it.
Here’s Will (you can see him if you look closely, I promise) sitting amid the bargains from just one morning’s effort last summer. Almost everything was name brand. It was all just like new, and I spent less than $20 for the lot.
So are you excited now too?
If this is going to be your first year trolling the streets for bargains, you might enjoy some advice from an old pro such as myself. If you are also an old pro when it comes to tag sales and the like, maybe you will be able to add some good tips of your own.
My Personal Rules for Garage-Sale Shopping:
- Know where to go. (ads from the paper may help guide you, or maybe you know of a specific neighborhood you like)
- Set a budget & stick to it.
- Know what things are worth TO YOU. It doesn’t matter what the seller might have paid for it last year. What do YOU consider a fair price?
- Inspect items carefully - there is no return policy
- Only buy what you have room for. (Don’t be like those scary folks on Hoarders. If you don’t have room to store it, and can’t use it now… don’t buy it. It’s that simple.)
- Be very careful of baby equiptment that looks rickety or dated. There could be a recall.
My Personal Rules for having my own Garage-Sale
- Pick a good location
- Price everything clearly (I just hate it when nothing is priced, and they say to "make an offer". I'm not much for bartering, so I usually just leave empty handed.)
- Price everything reasonably (So you paid $40 for that Nike running suit? Sorry, but nobody shopping at your sale cares. If you want more than a couple bucks for it now, sell it at a consignment shop.)
- Put an ad in the paper or post on Craigs List or similar on-line posting site. Be specific
- Put up signs (for those who don’t read the paper and don't go on-line)
- If you are selling anything that requires batteries or electricity... make some available so your customers can test items like radios or mechanical toys
Most importantly, whether you are selling or buying... remember to have fun, be polite and don't give up if you have one bad outing. Next week might just offer you the mother lode!
Wendy (friend and co-worker) and I had discussed learning to crochet on several occasions. She mentioned recently that she’d bit the bullet and had signed up for a crochet class that would meet every Monday for eight weeks. It sounded like fun to me, (and honestly teaching myself was getting me nowhere!) so I signed up.
We meet in an English Lit class room at a local high school. We sit in those plastic chairs that have desks attached. In addition to Wendy and I, there are maybe five other ladies of various ages that attend. Our teacher (a fun gal who pulls no punches) rolls around on a wheeled office chair – coming to each of our desks in turn to review and critique our work so far.
Tonight was our third class.
In our first class we learned how to “Single Crochet”.
I have no idea what my first real project will be yet. So many options. Maybe a little blanket for Willie? That lap afghan I want to make for my Grandma? A scarf? Your thoughts? What would be the perfect first full size introductory project (using the new “skills” referenced above)?
Note: I’m using the term “skills” very loosely! And obviously, these are not pictures of my actual work. I will show you photos when I have some that are worthy of sharing. For now, you get images from Bing! Search.
My Mom is pretty awesome. She's always set a good example... even though I haven't always followed it. She always loves me... even when I probably don''t really deserve it. She's always kind... even in the face of unkindness. She is a woman of Faith, and Charity and Love. She is the one I go to when I need advice, support or a big hug.
She's the kind of Mom who (when we were kids) would sneak little notes in our bookbags or under our pillows... notes that said "You are Loved" or "You are Special". She still takes the time to make sure we know we are important to her... even though both my brother and I are all grown up, and she's no longer making our beds or our lunches.
That's just the kind of Mom I'm lucky enough to have. She's always there for me no matter what it is I need. This week she is the one with a need. She is facing some challenges and uncertainties and needs a little encouragement herself. If I were at her house today, I'd give her a big hug, tell her how much I love her and make her some tea. Maybe I'd tuck a little note under her tea cup that said "You are Loved".
I'm not there to give her the hug or the tea right now. What I can do is send her my love via snail mail and phone calls and even this blog. And I am praying too. Praying for guidance. Praying for strenth. Praying that my Mom will always know just how loved and appreciated she is. Just Praying....
Maybe, if you are also someone who prays, and are so inclined... you wouldn't mind saying one for her today too? Her name is Jenny. God knows all the other details.
When You Thought I Wasn't Looking
- Author Unknown
When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed there is a God I could always talk to.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked...
and wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.
I love you Mom!!!
By accepting this award, I am required to tell you 7 things about myself. After some pondering, I’ve come up with the below list…
1. I’m terrified of geese. A couple of those psychotic birds have chosen the entry way to the office where I work as their nest. If you walk too close, the male will hiss & charge with wings flapping! Horrible beasts!
2. I am a complete homebody. I love spending time with my fellas at home or visiting with my folks. I love to curl up on the sofa and craft or read. If I didn’t have an office job to go to, I might not leave the house for days…
3. I love, love, LOVE talk radio – my guiltiest pleasure is anything political! I’m a politics and news junkie (though this blog will remain a politics-free zone, I promise!)
4. I’m currently enrolled in a crochet beginner’s class! It’s put on by the local public school system. Two classes down so far (six to go). Loving it so far. Hoping to be “skilled” enough to finish an afghan by Christmas for my sweet Grandma B… assuming I can put aside all my other little projects long enough to do it, that is.
5. The Ultimate Comfort Food, for me, is a tall creamy milk shake and a giant order of hot greasy French fries.... mmmmmm
6. My first car was a 1979 Chevy Monza – I named her “Mona”. All of my cars have had names… after Mona, there was Myrtle (best car ever!) and then Lucy (horrible girl), followed by Isabella (lovely lady) and now I drive the strong and faithful Ethel.
7. When it was time for our sweet Willie to be born - he was in quite a hurry! The time that passed between my first contraction and my holding him in my arms was a whopping four hours and 15 minutes!
So enough about me.... Now it is my duty to pass this little award on to 7 very deserving bloggers...
I’ve chosen the following ladies (and their blogs) because they each write beautiful and uplifting posts about their lives, their families and their passions. They have wonderful stories, projects and photos to share with you, so if you have a few minutes… give them a visit.
These are truly "Beautiful Bloggers"...
The Ramblings of an Everyday Mummy
Coffee Tea, Books and Me
Plain Ol Vanilla
A Vision Splendid
For the record… it was so very HARD to pick only seven! Check out my blogroll or the list of blogs I follow for even more wonderful blogtastic reading!