Tuesday, November 26, 2013

4 Generations of Women

My mom is going to be 70 on her next birthday, which she shares with her great-granddaughter, Sora, who will turn 2.  Sora was my first grandchild, and mom's first great-grandchild.  She and her mama, my middle daughter, Livia, live with me, as does mom.  So, there are four generations of women in our family, living together, raising this beautiful little girl together, and it's an incredible journey.

Sure, it's very trying at times, but mostly it's love, laughter, and joy.  The laughs are frequent and hearty.  That little girl knows exactly how to make people light up, and she gets the biggest kick out of it too.  She especially seems to like making her 'Mamaw' laugh.  The way those two play and carry on is crazy, crazy good.  The memories being made are sure to be treasured for a life time to come.

Back in October of this year at a local produce farm

Nap time, they wore one another out!

She piles up the huge toys, then climbs up & snuggles in.

Yes, my nearly 70 year old mom still gets down in the floor to play like this...gotta love 'em!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

I love them!  A lot actually.  I got one this morning and it made me smile.  It also made me sing the song from The Sound Of Music.  Love that too!  I took a photo; I tend to take photos of anything that makes me smile, so I go back later when I need one.  It's a good thing, give it a try.  I also got a package with frankincense & myrhh incense sticks, which I just love so much.  They stuck in a smaller pack of mixed sticks for free.  Free stuff really makes me smile!

I haven't blogged in quite some time, though I do read daily the blogs I follow.  I like seeing what everyone is crafting, designing, has to say, etc. and so on.  But, for some reason, I have slacked heavily on being a good, and dedicated blogger.  I'm not sure why either, and I have two.  This one and one all about our farm, though I'm fairly certain I'm going to delete that one all together, mostly so I can try to get better about posting here.

That pretty Ragdoll kitty is Gemma.  She was a gift from my husband for Christmas 2011. She was barely 4 months old when one of the dogs killed her while I was out.  I'll never forget the heartbreak when I walked in and found her that day.  She was a very, very special baby, and I will always treasure the short time we had together!

My now 21 month old granddaughter, Sora Riley.  I love her more than almost anything in the world!  There aren't words enough to describe how much she means to me, to our whole family.  She is a true treasure!

The wreaths are all made by me.  The top one was a gift to my mother-inlaw, the middle for my mom, and the bottom one for my eldest daughter. Making others happy makes me really smile big!

I'm pretty sure and certain that banana bread is a comfort food!  This is a loaf that I made with the help of my middle daughter & grandbaby yesterday.  We made two, one with pecans, and one without.  I love it warm from the oven with real dairy butter melting slowly over a thick slice...mmm, so good!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Birthday Stuff

My middle daughter gave this painting to me for my birthday last week.  This photo does not at all do true justice to the actual colors in this, not even close.  It is just beautiful & I love it very much.  She is friends with the artist, and she said, "Can you do a painting for my mom for her birthday?"  There was no exchange of my fave colors, etc. and so on, yet she came up with this, which is nearly a summary of me from the way I view it.  I love purple, I adore pink, orange, aqua, and have this crazy fondness for midnight blue.  I am a water baby & love nature and particularly flowers & trees.  When I look at this I see water with a weeping willow sending fronds downward towards the flowers that some lovely bugs are drifting around.  So incredibly me.  Wow.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sparkles of A Dream

Sparkles of A Dream
I made this collage out of 33 pieces found on Polyvore.  I had so much fun doing this & realized just how very much I miss doing art!  Crazy that I haven't worked on anything in over 20 years, not really.  I've written here & there, but stopped painting so long ago that it's a hazy memory at best.  I want to smell paints, have splatters on my clothes, and a place I can set up my easel & supplies & not be in anyone's way or have them move it on me.

I made this on Polyvore as well, also this morning, and this one is made up of over 20 some pieces I liked.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

More Bathroom Reno & Some Updates

So, last night I put my foot down about getting that bathroom finished up.  I've only been after him since, um, January y'all.  A gal can only put up with so much getting  put off & then she's had it.  Yup.  True story.  Ha, I'm a sucker & I know it.  I'm working on it.  Really.

Anyhow, I found Rust-Oleum's new paint & primer in one, and that it comes in my fave color for, well, almost everything, oil-rubbed bronze.  I grabbed a can of that, and that new can design rocks, thanks Rust-Oleum!  Then this morning I painted the 70's era light fixture bar, the old 70's era switch plates, and voila, nice, shiny, and looking good.  Can't wait to get them hung back up now!

Then I found a beadboard style towel hook on the clearance rack, and it was 70% off, so I bought that last night too.  It's white, and I'm going to tape off the beadboard with Frog Tape, remove the hooks, tape off the ball ends, and the frame & hooks are getting treated to my new paint as well.  After that it's going up to hold our towels.  I've decided with us having to move in a couple years, that I am not willing to risk my amazing aqua birdhooks that I scored from Luckett's Store.  I absolutely adore those hooks, so I'm saving them up for our next home.

In other news, I've decided that the Lumber Liquidators did me a huge personal favor by putting that store in locally.  I just found hand-scraped, dark colored vinyl wood plank flooring for $.79 per square foot, which boils down to just under $145 to do the entire kitchen & dining area.  Woo hoo baby, oh yeah!  It has a 50 yr. warranty too, which, okay, won't really benefit me, but since my youngest sister-inlaw is moving in here after we move out (long, long, dramatic tale for another time), I figured it is a good bargain that can be done for me, and should suit her as well.  It really looks like wood, and if you want to bend over & touch it, it's textured too.  Yippee!

Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic Oil-Rubbed Bronze

Old, ugly as sin switch plates

Switch plates post spray painting

Light bar after painting.  The before was hideous, seriously.
Fake oak center with a faux brass frame.  Ugh.  Hideous!

In other news, this gorgeous baby girl has turned 1 year old!  My precious & amazing
granddaughter, Sora Riley.  Adore & love do not even begin to cover it!

Her birthday cupcake, which she promptly enjoyed!

Loving the same tire swing her mama played on long ago. 

Sora & her cousin (she's 8 weeks younger than Sora) sharing their 1st secrets!

Most beautiful smile I've ever seen!

And now a photo storm of the various flowers, etc. I've been working on the past 2 years:

Clematis w/ White Nancy ivy as ground cover

Red Scotch Broom


Sunrise Scotch Broom

And my girl Roza, my registered American Quarter Horse mare

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Traditions & Memories

I'm in the kitchen making potato salad today, and I smile to myself as I chop, stir, and taste because my little granddaughter loves it so much she shoves it in her mouth with both hands if we set her in the highchair and give her some to feed herself.  Then I remember how my mom would be making this, or my Nan, who is really one of my great-aunties (Grandma passed before I was ever born), and they'd have me help stir things for them.  One of the few things I am able to make that is a very old family recipe, and only because Nan always said, "When you're older I'll write them all down and give them to you."  Sadly she passed before this ever happened.

Now my family's traditional meals are lost to history because unfortunately there is only one surviving great-aunt, and she never learned any of them.  Being the baby, she says, she was usually sent out to play whilst her sisters would help their mother prepare meals.  And the few of my aunties that knew them never thought to write them down for any of us.  Then there is the fact that of my many cousins, apparently not many of them like to cook as I do, or I can't find them.  Sadly they've scattered across the nation, and also very sadly, not been very good about keeping in touch with one another, which makes me want to just curl up and cry, but that's another post for another day.

I can close my eyes and remember the taste of Nan's goulash, her potato soup, her cherry berry pie, and that incredibly tasty, flaky pie crust it was baked in.  My mouth is watering as I type because I truly can recall both smell and taste of these foods.  So very many more tasty and amazing comfort foods lost to time.  One crazy part of all this, after Gran passed away, my 5 youngest aunts went to live with Nan, and she lived in a very small house.  As in 2 bedrooms, a little kitchen, cozy living room, and the bathroom contained the commode, a single stall shower, the hot water tank in one corner and that was it.  If you needed to wash your hands or face, brush your teeth, etc., you went to the kitchen sink and hoped it wasn't being used.

At times in my childhood, mom and I lived there with them all.  That's right, 2 adults, 5 teens of varying ages, and a little girl shared that 2 bedroom tiny house.  It still stands, or at least it did as of late summer 2011.  We flew home to visit the few aunts, uncle, and cousins that live in my hometown, and I had my husband drive by it.  I knew exactly how to get there too, even after not having been there in 26 years.  There it sat, the original, weathered, dark brown paint, the crooked carport still attached, and the faded brick chimney now slightly crumbling.  All that appeared different to my eye was the removal of the chain link fence that had surrounded the yard.  It is on a corner lot, and larger than most lots in the neighborhood.  The family living there was in the front yard, and so I declined to take any photos, though I wish I had just asked to do.

It is a seriously small house.  My contractor husband estimated it to be about 850-900 square feet.  Eight of us living there at times, sometimes for a long, long while too.  With all of that said, I only remember happiness and joy there.  Uncles, aunts, cousins, family friends, all would drop by for a chat and a cup of coffee.  I was very loved, and I loved them all in turn.  I was never too cold, or hot, or hungry, or went without.  I know now that my hard-working mom didn't have much in the way of money, and for that matter, neither did Nan, but us kids had no idea.  There was such mutual love, constantly given in the form of hugs, kisses, praise, it made us bloom.  Not to say our backsides didn't heat up were we to fail to behave properly.  Respect our elders, mind our manners, don't lie, don't cheat, never take what isn't yours, and always treat everyone as you want to be treated.  No better way to grow up.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Day of Love & Joy

Today is a day of love & celebration.  My mom is 69 today & my granddaughter is 1. Mom's first great-grandchild shares her day of birth.  It's a beautiful thing, and the way those two love each other is breathtaking to behold.  Truly.  My mom also finds out the results of her biopsy today; does she, or does she not have breast cancer.  It is a day that is also bittersweet with anticipation and worry.

I'm choosing to hold onto the love, celebration, and joy part as tightly as I can.  The next hour is going to creep by as I await her news.  So, I plan on filling it with as much of Sora as I can get.  Giggles, hugs, snuggles, kisses, and that laughter that surely gives birth to masses of fairies every single time it is heard.
Day 1 of Sora's journey

Recent shopping trip...she is a huge Minnie fan & so def my girl!

First snuggle & cuddle with my Boo Riley!

My baby, Livia, with her baby.  I love this shot!

My mom & me when I was 5 & she was 28.  It was 1972.

Can't celebrate my Boo's birthday without Minnie Mouse!

Monday, January 28, 2013

You're Killing Me Smalls!

I just put out ads on my 4 yr. old Oldenburg x TB gelding.  It hurts, but is necessary at this point in my life.  His life too actually.  I carefully chose his dam & sire, spent hours mulling over pedigrees, show accomplishments back to great-grandsires & dams, etc.  He is my baby.  I was the first human to ever lay a hand on him, he would leave his dam and come cantering to the fence if he saw me starting at a few weeks of age.  He will still leave food and the herd he pastures with to come see me and get loved on.  If a few things were different I wouldn't be talking about this, it wouldn't be an issue.

However, those things exist, and so does this circumstance accordingly.  It breaks my heart in ways I cannot begin to describe, and I sit here typing with tears brimming over, my stomach turning acidy with the thoughts running through my mind. He is truly a fantastic prospect for dressage, which I dearly love, or show jumping, hunters, possibly field hunter as well.  He is a grandget of Peron, the winningest Olympic dressage horse in American Olympic history, and has other famous grandsires who jumped their hearts out, here and in Germany.

Unfortunately, due to all the car accidents and ATV accident, the past two years, I am not going to be able to ride a horse with his big stride, soft as it may be.  I look up at him and think of climbing up and onto his back, and feel both fear and longing.  I want to so badly be the first person who ever sits this horse, feel his muscles bunching under me.  Then I think about all the doctor's comments about never getting a serious concussion or back injury ever again, and I close my eyes and hold back tears.  Regret is a bitter thing.

I also posted my dressage saddle, bridles, and the custom browband I had made just for him.  It hurt as well, though not nearly as much as posting him does.  I'm sure I'll be friendly and polite to all who inquire about him, but I can imagine that I will also be hard with the questions and when I ultimately agree to hand him over, my heart will break into a million broken bits, sharp with loss.  My beautiful boy, I will do my level best to place you into the hands of someone who will love you as I have!

Two weeks old

Four months at his AWS inspection, earned Blue Preferred 

Nearly grown up & gorgeous as always!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Underway

We delivered our two Quarter Horse mares to the University of Findlay over in far northwestern Ohio on the 5th, I've heard from both of the student trainers assigned to each of them, and look forward to continued updates as they progress.  It was a 7 hour drive each way, and boy is my back paying for it.  Whew.  Seriously, I hurt y'all.  It is manageable though, which is good.  Great really.

Then our middle daughter and the baby are still living with us, and she is growing like the proverbial weed.  So chatty and walking up a storm too.  She's already trying to run, and that is a real hoot.  HA!  She'll be 11 months old this coming Sunday.  Can you belive it?  Yeah, me neither.

We joined the new Planet Fitness that opens up soon, just built, and now they're getting it all set up in there with the equipment, hiring staff, and so forth.  I can't wait to start working out again.  That last car accident back last August seriously set me back, and I won't talk about the ATV accident in June on my birthday, other than to say, yikes!  That fall has set me on my backside as far as weight loss, memory issues, severe and persistent headaches, and so on.  Bull puckey!

Anyhow, I am psyched to begin a brand new year of my life, and new stage in the journey it's taking me on.  I love that I am alive, have this amazing granddaughter, fabulous kids who have grown into the most awesome adults, a mom who I am finding new things about constantly, a husband who grows and tries so hard to be a good partner, who loves me no matter what.  These are the things I hold nearest and dearest to my heart at all times, no matter what life and the universe throws at me.  I just duck and keep on walking.