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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Celebrations

Yep, that is me, circa 1949.
My Mom has joked for years that she knew the Easter Bunny very well.  She was always up and still sewing on Easter outfits when the Bunny filled our baskets with candy eggs.  My childhood Easters meant a new outfit from head to toe.  Those were the days when every one wore hats including the men.

So many homemade dresses made by my Mom.  There were duster coats in the years when they were popular.  I seem to remember mine being a dark color with a light colored dress underneath.  Another year was a navy and white outfit with a bolero style jacket.  The hat was white with a wide bill.  I just knew it was the most beautiful thing in the world.  I do not remember my sisters outfits, unfortunately.  And no pictures were taken of those outfits.  But below is one of the Women's Sunday School class that includes my Mom, my Granny Chandler and Reba Jane's Mom, Lucille.  Many in the picture are my cousins.  I miss hats and the trip to Julia's Millinery Shop to pick out the hat.

That is my Mom's beautiful handwritting.
After Husband and I were married we were sponsors for the youth fellowship at church.  In order to earn funds for the group we began cooking breakfast following Sunrise Services.  That meant enlisting the parents to assist.  These were so successful that eventually we took the group on a week tour in spring of 1973.  I was seven months pregnant when we made the trip.  That was our last year to work with the youth as sponsors.  We still are in contact with some of them now 40 plus years later.
Mom holding my niece whose dress
 she made.  It wass Easter Sunday.

The traditions of new outfits continued for our family until our son left home.  Of course there were always boiled eggs to decorate.  We never rolled eggs.  We did hide them.  My younger sister was only 18 months older than our oldest nephew.  She hunted eggs with nieces and nephews.  About August one year a horrible odor was coming from her closet.  A hard boiled egg in the bottom of her Easter basket was the culprit!

Grandsons visited us in Missouri near Easter in 2008.  I had plastic eggs with treats and change inside.  The Bunny hid the eggs and the boys hunted them.  The boys emptied the contents and Grandpa was convinced the hid the eggs repeatedly for the boys to search out.  A few months later as I was working in the bushes I found a missed egg.  That brought back memories of fun with three boys!

Of course for a person of the Christian faith the week preceding Easter can be filled with activities.  Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Sunrise service and the main worship.  "Up From The Grave He Arose" rang through the small churches of my childhood and youth.  Our last church home was much larger and the music was accompanied by a full orchestra.  There would be a full choir singing the 'Hallelujah Chorus".  Very few folks would wear hats.  I still miss the hats.

This is a family outing one spring.  Granny in a duster and hat, most likely her Easter hat that year.

I have for years placed decorations around my home both inside and out.  Not this year.  Too much moving, packing and unpacking to want to take thing apart to put back in place a short time later.  I do have this one area devoted to spring which for me brings Easter.  May your Easter, Passover or Spring season be filled with a Love that passes all understanding.  For that is what my Savior showed to this world, love.

Praying New Life for you and yours.

Hop on over to Gretchen's or Ginny's to enjoy more spring holiday memories.  If you have a favorite story spin it up and join this week's The Spin Cycle.

Second Blooming

Monday, April 14, 2014

Memories of Missouri

We glimpse the 
friend's image instantly
filling us with Missouri memories.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Flat Rock

For almost 20 years whatever auto we were in would stop at the sight of flat rocks.  We hauled rocks from all over southwest Missouri into our back yard.  Those rocks stayed at 3871 having assumed different locations through the years.  They might serve as stepping stones or be laid in retaining walls.  You see, the yard was never really declared to be finished.  I was always coming up with some sort of improvement.  Or maybe the rock would tell me it was not happy where I had placed it.  That is all in my rear view mirror these days.

I still spot flat rocks.  In this area at the edge of Texas Hill Country there are lots of flat rocks.  We do not stop to pick them up these days.  There are no walls to build nor paths to pave.  There are 3 grandsons to watch play soccer and lacrosse.  Friday night in Round Rock we watched Oldest play lacrosse.  Saturday morning was a soccer game for him in Pflugerville.  That game ended and fifteen minutes and 16 miles away Youngest grandson had a game beginning.  Son was the coach so he left Oldest's game with instructions for us to take Oldest for food and meet at Youngest's game.

The mission of feeding and transporting was accomplished and there were 5 minutes left in the game when we arrived.  Youngest was splayed across the bench just goofing off the last few minutes of the game.  He has played all he would in the game.  Game over, equipment gathered and returned.  Out to autos to rejoin 31 miles away for a lacrosse makeup game.  There were two hours before we needed to be in place for the lacrosse game.  We arrived in plenty of time so decided to stop for a shake.  Sugared up we cheered Oldest to a loss.  Now it was time to go to the last game of the day.  This one was back 32 miles across town.  Middle grandson gave his all in the 0-3 defeat.  Had he not blocked 4 or 5 goal attempts the loss would have been greater.

We spent 10 hours on the road and on the sidelines supporting our son and grandsons.  We were tired when we arrived home at about 7:30 PM.  Son was in the airport awaiting his departure to Australia.  I do not know how the families keep up this pace of games for all the children and full time work.  We showered after a simple meal of fried egg sandwiches and settled into the familiar lounge chairs.

Yes, we were tired and not a single rock had been loaded.  No pictures of flower covered fields had been taken.  All we had done was loved our grandsons enough to drive almost 100 miles to watch them play games.  We wanted nothing more that to get up on Sunday and drive another 50 miles round trip to watch Middle play goalie in the  last game of this weekend.  The game was a tie and Middle did his signature flip at the end of the game.  Grandpa thinks it is like Ozzie of Cardinals fame.  Life is good.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dogs or Cats

Are you an animal person?  Dogs?  Cats?  Ferrets?  Gerbils?  Parakeets?  Fish?  I am a dog/cat or cat/dog person who also had outdoor fish and no longer has any sort of pet.  Does that make me an orphan?  It makes me not have to clean litter boxes.  It makes me not have to shop the animal food isles.  No more vet visits.  No expensive pet care facilities for long vacations. No more warm licks from a dog waking you up to go outside.  No more shaking beds when Sam, the golden retriever, is against the bed trembling in fear of the thunder.  No more kitty curling on my lap or shoulder or hip or whatever suited her or his fancy.  No dog greeting me at the door just happy to see me.  No more fish coming to be fed when the felt the vibration of my step on the little dock.
My fish.  Wonder how they are doing?

Yellow, Blackie, Mildred, Tippy, Priscilla, Sara, Snowy, Charlie, Chrissy, Yellow Lantern, Bert, Sam, Cinder and Cookie.  I may have missed a kitty or two that our animal loving son obtained from our animal whisperer friend.  That list is all the cats and dogs that have shared a home with me.  Priscilla and Sara moved from Texas to Missouri with us.  Priscilla wandered off and died when she was almost 19 years old.  Charlie and Sam moved from Aurora to Springfield. Cinder is buried in the back yard of 3871, Snowy was buried in the gully by Hubby's parents place on Lovers Lane in Aurora. Cookie had to be put down when we were moving my mom in 2006.

I want to share a story about our golden boy, Charlie.  A grayish gold striped male cat that became terrified of me one day.  But he got me back.  So this is the story.

It was Easter and I was to be the Bunny for the employees association at work.  My folks were visiting us.  I was trying on the bunny suit and modeling it for my family and next door neighbors.

Easter Bunny visiting neighbor's great grandson
I walked into our living room and immediately heard scratching sounds.  I looked through the 'eyes' of the suit and saw dear Charlie the cat in total terror.  He was using every bit of power in his legs to get out of the chair to get away from the monster of all rabbits.  Side note, Charlie loved to kill rabbits.  Anyway, Charlie gets out of the chair only to land on the hardwood floor.  Front legs obeyed as he turned to go down the basement stairs to escape.  Back legs, not so much.  They went every which way, swaying from one side of his body to the other.  Finally, traction!!!!!  Charlie was down and out of sight, hidden in the recesses of the basement.  Occasionally the cat would attempt to slink up the stairs only to be met by my Dad holding the costume head.

A few months later I kept trying to figure out what was causing the bad odor in our closet.  I found the reason when I put my foot into my 'yard shoes'.  Charlie had pooped and teed in my shoes.  Not to be out done, I banished Charlie from our house.  He would not get the best of me and I had stepped in teed/pooped shoes!!!!  A few weeks later I get into my car.  And. There. Is. The. Smell.  Yes, a window had been left down and Charlie had struck again.  I would banish him for the rest of his life!!!!!!

Not long after the car poop I was standing in the yard visiting with some friends.  We were enjoying discussing the flowers and gardening.  Charlie was trying to schmooze me and was rubbing against my legs.  Not going to work, Charlie.  Then I felt something warm on my leg.  The cat had peed on me. I finally decided he had won.  We decided he had figured out who was in the bunny suit and was simply getting even.

Years later I cried like a baby when the vet told us that our 15 year old Charlie had developed cancer and was in great pain.  We had to let Charlie go. No more being awakened by him preening my hair and cheeks.  No more warmth from him sleeping on my hip as I lay watching TV.  But every time I tell the Easter Bunny story we all have a good laugh.  And Charlie had the last purr on that one!

So are you and animal person?  Spin up your story and join Ginny and Gretchen over at The Spin Cycle.  Or just visit to see what the other Spinners are saying about pets.

Second Blooming

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Another Quiet Day In Hooterville

We live near a water tower.  It does not say Hooterville.  We do not live on a farm nor in a small farming community.  We live a mile from the main Dell campus.  As mentioned before we live close to about 10 or 15 restaurants, non of which are down home type.  The maintenance folks are bilingual. The lady of the house is not a beauty queen.  The man of the house in not a lawyer and does not want to be a farmer. Not the Hooterville of Green Acres.

Do not be led astray, we are still deep in the heart of Texas.  With plenty of folks that speak with that drawl I heard as a child. But this is an urban area.  A place where there are theater groups for all ages. Lacrosse for children. Soccer clubs for kids where the coaches are multilingual.  There are cotillions for the middle school age boys and girls.  The boys wear cowboy boots to the dances.  Nope, definitely not New York penthouse for the wife.  Maybe a little Hooterville.

It was still a quite day.  A day that began early for Hubby.  Son asked him to take Son's vehicle to get it serviced and cleaned. A spilled latte had left an unpleasant aroma.  And sitting the the Texas sun can Bake. The. Odor. In.  Hubby/Dad was very accommodating and performed said functions.  Or took the vehicle to a location where some nice folks did it.  Hubby returned home and announced he is feeling crummy, probably coming down with a cold.

Yesterday's excitement was two fold, watching Youngest grandson in a play and the arrival of the Roku.  The Roku was simple to install.  Choosing channels to have available took a little time because we are slow.  First channel to be installed and linked was MLB.TV.  Hubby was able to watch Cardinal baseball on the big screen.  We left before the end of the game.  When we returned from the play, he was able to go back to the game.  He could watch any of all of the game.  He was a happy fan.

Today after the auto detail run he sat down in his favorite easy chair.  He then turned on another of the channels we had discovered, Amateurlogic.  The theme of this podcast show is amateur radio, a hobby of Hubby's family.  He spent an hour enthralled with the toys and discussion presented by a couple of hams from Alabama.  A third ham lives in Australia and is more into the logic side or the program.

Arnold the Pig from Green Acres not ham in Alabama.
My excitement for the day was getting the pictures hung on the art hanging system.  I still need to get a couple of the pictures to have wire hangers to be able to use the system for display.  A third picture has to be professionally framed for preservation purposes.  A little laundry, meal prep and some computer time rounded out this quiet day in Hooterville.  Well, and another Cards game on the TV.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Somewhere in the middle of the muddle hangs my mind and soul.
No direction, no commitments, no desires, no ambition and no cares.
Just a body that spent several days walking into, around and out of stores.
Around car dealership parking lots searching for a new set of wheels.

Today rain filled clouds released their moisture onto a thirsty soil.
Creatures revel in rain and drizzle as drops fall onto parched fields and pastures.
The mourning dove sat with its tail resting in the water of the bird bath.
The mate sat patiently on the fence and both took flight as I pointed a lens.

Muddled days are good to recharge tired bodies, minds and souls.
To spread renewal in the brain drained from collecting data for decisions.
To read of other worlds in the creation and imagine life as an explorer.
To sit quietly as the simmering soup fills the room with aromas of promise.

Friday, April 4, 2014


This weeks prompt for The Spin Cycle is Staycation.  What would be a perfect one or one that you actually did.  I do not remember that we ever did a staycation.  We took a lot for Famcations.  I married a man whose family lived 400 miles away.  For six of the first eight years of marriage we took our vacation time to visit his parents.  The first summer we visited for our vacation was a real experience.  On the weekend we were taken to visit several of their friends.  It was deemed appropriate and necessary to pay respects to the dying and ill.  Monday Hubby's father presented him with scrapers and paint.  He was expecting the wooden fence surrounding the six acres to be scraped and painted.

It was July and steamy hot in southwest Missouri.  We are adult (22 and 28) children visiting parents (aged 52 and 54) who have assigned us duties of maintenance for their property.  Work to be completed during our vacation from our jobs 400 miles away.  By Wednesday I noted this was unacceptable.  I noted this very vehemently to my husband.  I noted that it was not his job to maintain his parents property.  His folks were in their early 50's and quite capable of the task.  Guess I was a spoiled, selfish kid but that was not my idea of vacation or even a visit.  You see the parents went off their own business to work each day that week.

After that first Famcation we made certain there were plans of a couple of day trips in the area while his folks worked.  Visits to Grandma and the Uncles and Aunt were enjoyable.  Learning more about my Hubby's family proved to be very enriching.  Some years we would get to spend time with cousins in from Kansas.  Those visits are fondly remembered tonight.  All the aunts and uncles are gone.  Hubby is almost the senior member of the clan.

After moving to Missouri, most of our vacations were spent visiting my family in Texas.  There was no fence to paint but there were still folks we "needed to go see".   Usually a visit meant my three sisters and their children would come to my folks home to be with us.  There was always So.Much. Food.  And So. Much  Fun.  Good times.

Now days we are a couple of retired people in a state of constant vacation.  We pretty much do what we want when we want.  Well, within the budget.  We have done the 28 day northeast trip, the 6 week North American Rocky trip into Canada and last year's Disney trip.  There were other trips, to Williamsburg;  the upper midwest;  Kentucky and Tennesee in 1987;  4 weeks across the southwestern and Pacific coast.  Just writing about the trips has made my traveling bones begin to itch.

For more takes on staycations visit Gretchen and Ginny to read all the takes at The Spin Cycle and staycations.

Second Blooming