Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My sweet mother

Today is my mother's birthday. She would be 96 years old if she had lived, but she died in 1993 following open heart surgery.

Last year I wrote about her here. I almost forgot about her birthday until my sister, mrsgreenthumb, reminded me this afternoon. I have written about my mother on several occasions here, here, and here.

This picture was taken in 1989, the year my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Pictured above is my Aunt Betty who traveled from California for the celebration, daughter Allison (alipurr) who had just graduated from high school and was about to enter the university, and my precious mother Sara. She was 79 years old at the time.

I wish I could tell my mother happy birthday, make her a cake, and give her a kiss. I think about her every day and would love to spend just an hour with her again so I could tell her how much I love her and miss her. I wish my grandchildren could have known this special lady. I will just have to teach them her songs and her recipes so they can get to know how precious my mother was.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My famous singing duo

Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn

These two baby kitties, about eight weeks old, were given to us several weeks ago by daughter alipurr. They are blue-eyed Dolly Parton and green-eyed Loretta Lynn*.

*The sister kitties are so-named because while bringing them home in our cat carrier, they howled and sang to us for the entire 70 miles we were in the car.

When I came into the kitchen a little while ago, I found them hugging, as only sisters can, in this small basket while getting ready to take a mid-morning snooze. Aren't they cute?

In case you are wondering who they resemble, and for those not familiar with these two famous Country and Western singers, here are their namesakes, the real Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn:

Dolly Parton

Loretta Lynn

Thank you, alipurr, for letting us adopt these babies from your latest litter of kittens (two down and several more to go). We have derived a great deal of pleasure from Dolly and Loretta and love to watch their antics as they fight and play around the house. Our other cats are finally getting used to having the newcomers here and have mostly stopped hissing at them.

As my sister, mrsgreenthumb, always says, are we absolutely nuts for having so many animals? I really needed these two extra kitties like two extra holes in my head. But, we really couldn't resist taking them and we are glad we did.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy birthday, son

Son and daughter-in-law, 2004

Tomorrow, November 28, is a very special day for my son, my firstborn. He will celebrate his 37th birthday. We are sad that we won't be able to celebrate together this year, but we send him our love and best wishes anyway. We've already sent him his presents (thank you United States Postal Service for the terrific service) and we hope he enjoys what we sent.

I can remember every detail of my labor and delivery back in 1969 as if it all happened yesterday. I was in the hospital during Thanksgiving and I suppose that's why this holiday has always been so important to me. We were very thankful that year.

Isn't it amazing? I think a mother never forgets the details of her pregnancies and childbirths as long as she lives. She may forget the pain, but all the other details remain burned into her soul and memory.

The moment our son was born, I felt awed, relieved, suddenly and overwhelmingly in love, and happy beyond belief that husband and I had produced such a perfect child. I was glad that our son had all his fingers and toes, and he was alert and healthy. The mysteries of life were revealed to us that day. The wheel of life also advanced one notch when I became a mother.

Our son was loved from the day he was born and he still is. We are very proud of him because he is such a nice person, he's intelligent, he's kind, he's generous, and he's friendly. He has served his country as a submariner in the Navy and we are proud that he served with distinction. He also met and married a beautiful and charming woman we are proud to call daughter. They are both special (because they love cats and dogs as much as we do).

Son, even though we can't be together tomorrow on your special day, we will be with you in spirit. We send our love to you across the continent. May your day be filled with blessings and good wishes from those who care about you. Happy birthday, son.

Love, Mother and Daddy

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving, a day for giving thanks

Last year, as Thanksgiving approached, I posted this. This year, although I am still thankful for these same sentiments, I am also grateful that we are all still here to be able to say we are thankful.

We look forward to spending Thursday with family and enjoying the fellowship and the food. Husband and I will be joining SIL's family for the Thanksgiving meal. We will not be alone as so many will be.

On Saturday, we will be having another Thanksgiving at our house. In addition to family, joining us this year will be two of our dearest friends. We are very thankful they will be with us.

We are also thankful for the new baby who will be here in May 2007. We are counting the days until we learn whether to purchase pink or blue things.

We are sad that son and DIL will be unable to be home for Thanksgiving and for son's birthday on the 28th. We do wish him a very happy birthday even if we can't celebrate together.

We are thankful that I have a new knee and can finally walk through Wal-Mart without pain.

I am thankful I still have my sense of humor. I'm just happy that Maxine is no relative of mine and I don't have to eat at her house.

This is how Maxine cooks her turkey for Thanksgiving.

"How To Cook A Turkey"

Step 1: Go buy a turkey
Step 2: Take a drink of whiskey
Step 3: Put turkey in the oven
Step 4: Take another 2 drinks of whiskey
Step 5: Set the degree at 375 ovens
Step 6: Take 3 more whiskeys of drink
Step 7: Turk the bastey
Step 8: Whiskey another bottle of get
Step 9: Ponder the meat thermometer
Step 10: Glass yourself a pour of whiskey
Step 11: Bake the whiskey for 4 hours
Step 12: Take the oven out of the turkey
Step 13: Floor the turkey up off of the pick
Step 14: Turk the carvey
Step 15: Get yourself another scottle of botch
Step 16: Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey
Step 17: Bless the dinner and pass out

Thank you Maxine.

Finally, I am so thankful for all my dear blogfriends. You have made my life joyful, serene, and interesting. Without you, I probably would have lost my mind in my retirement. There is only so much "togetherness" that husband and I can stand. (That's why my computer is in one room and his is in another.)

So, dear friends, enjoy your Thanksgiving this Thursday and don't eat too much. Pace yourselves as there are at least six weeks to go before the new year and you don't want to ruin your diets on the first go-round. What you put on now will haunt you later. You might be sorry you ate that second piece of pumpkin pie with the whipped cream.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Two kids and their pets

Son and Ghengis Khan

Daughter and Patches

We've always had pets in our house. Our children had numerous puppies, kitties, hamsters, and fishies. We even had two ducks once -- Hari and Kari -- who stayed until they flew away one fine fall day. The kids even wanted birdies in a cage but we didn't think they would last long in a household full of kitties. It was a regular zoo at our house over the years.

Guess who mostly took care of these lovely animals? Right. It was mom. Mom bought the food, took the sick ones to the vet, delivered countless kittens, and had the animals neutered and spayed. I was even asked to take care of a dove with a broken wing once. This bird resided in our garage until it was healthy and released back into the wild. We buried those that went to animal heaven in our back yard, under the big Hackberry tree. It's a regular pet cemetery and many a service was held there.

The children loved those pets and the pets adored the children. In fact, all the children in the neighborhood loved coming over to play because of all the animals.

Over the years, however, mom and dad got tired of the mess and expense, and we all were upset when one of the animals died on the road. After the kids left home, we gradually pared the pets down to a more manageable number. No more dogs because we don't have a fenced-in yard. Our cats are smart enough to avoid getting run over these days and mostly stay in the house (to eat and sleep). The fishies don't do much but swim back and forth in their large tank.

We are now down to five cats, two kittens, and five fishies. The five cats have been spayed and the kittens will be spayed when they are old enough. That's enough animals for me to take care of.

The kids' lifelong love of animals has followed them into their adulthood and they each have cats living in their homes. Thankfully they married spouses who also love animals. The granddaughters love their kitties too. I have tried to instill in the kids the need to neuter and spay their animals and they have been good about doing this. Somehow, however, we all manage to have more animals than we need residing in our houses. Oh, well.

My philosophy is that we are all calmer and more sensitive because of these wonderful pets. My kids turned out to be loving, caring individuals and that's all a mother could ask for.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ride 'em cowgirl

Alipurr riding Pokey Dennis, 1977

Susan of Patchwork Reflections had an interesting post here about nostalgic toys. I had mentioned that darling daughter had a pony her dad made for her when she was in the first grade (back in 1977) and she named it Pokey Dennis (in honor of her dad). This pony still resides in our closet waiting for the granddaughters to come claim him. He doesn't eat much and doesn't make too much of a mess, so we have let him stay here.

This photograph was printed in our local paper and almost made it big time in the Louisville, KY, newspaper. But, because it had already been printed for publication, they refused to reprint it. Oh, well.

Isn't it amazing what will amuse a child? You take an old broom handle, an old work sock and draw a face on it, stuff it, add some hair, give it a name, and it comes alive.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

We are so blessed

Over the river and through the woods
To Grandmother's house we go
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow

Over the river and through the woods
Oh how the wind does blow
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go

Over the river and through the woods
To have a full day of play
Oh, hear the bells ringing ting a ling ling
For it is Thanksgiving Day

Over the river and through the woods
Trot fast my dapple gray
Spring o'er the ground just like a hound
For this is Thanksgiving Day

Over the river and through the woods
And straight through the barn yard gate
It seems that we go so dreadfully slow
It is so hard to wait

Over the river and through the woods
Now Grandma's cap I spy
Hurrah for fun the pudding's done
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie

We are getting excited about the upcoming holidays. There is so much to do and husband has "suggested" that I start cleaning the house for company. (I started to say that he "ordered" me to clean the house, but that wouldn't be true.) The menu is planned in my mind and all I have to do is start writing out my grocery list. My turkey has been ordered and I will pick it up on the 17th.

In a way it really doesn't seem like almost Thanksgiving. It was actually 75 degrees here today and we were running around in our shirt sleeves. By the weekend, however, we can expect cooler, wetter weather. When the holiday actually rolls around, the frost will really be on the pumpkin. It will be a great time to eat, drink, and be merry. It will also be good football watching for the guys. The girls will probably play games.

Daughter and the granddaughters are planning to come over a day early so we can make pies and start the cooking. The girls always look forward to cooking and baking with their grandmother and their grandmother likes nothing better than to get all our hands involved in preparing something good to eat. I know that as these girls grow up, they will always remember coming to grandmother's house and cooking or baking something.

This year I'm especially thankful for so many things. We are expecting a new grandbaby in May, I have recovered from my knee replacement surgery, husband and I are both in relatively good health, all our other relatives are doing well, nobody is out of work, we are not starving, we have two relatively new working vehicles, and we are happy with our lives. What more could you ask for?

I am also thankful for so many wonderful blogging friends. You have all kept me sane and happy during this past year or so. For this I thank you.

So, dear lord, thank you for all the blessings we have in our lives. May everyone we know be as blessed and full of love as we are.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The sounds of silence

Sometimes the bleating of the world bears heavy on my heart and I just have to be silent for a while.

Don't you sometimes wish you could curl up in a cozy nook, with perhaps a book and a nice cup of something pleasant to drink, and just listen to nothing?

We have been inundated with political blatherings for such a long time that I just can't stand to listen to the television or read the newspaper anymore until after the election.

It has been difficult to think of other things, nice things, so I have been silent.

I don't want to hear about Saddam Hussein being sentenced to die by hanging.

I don't want to listen to a bunch of self-serving politicos spouting hatred and half-truths.

I don't want to read about a pastor who was fired for sexual misconduct, lies, a hidden lifestyle, and hurting the members of his huge church.

I don't want to listen to anything but the sounds of birds, the purring of my kittens, the laughter of little babies, the sounds of love, and the burbling of a brook.

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

-- Simon and Garfunkel