Monday, October 30, 2006

A Mishmash Kind of Day

Here are a couple of things I've thrown together lately...Playing around with potholders for Forget-me-not, whose kitchen has a cherries theme:
A plain-ol' bag I made to carry needlework. I had been using a plain canvas one for a couple of years. I figured that someone who is somewhat crafty should do better than that:
THIS is my wonderful, gorgeous Tiffany-style lamp that my dear Charming bought me for our anniversary!
Blackeyed Susan was messing around. I can't do this anymore:
She is just a show-off...
But eventually, her antics did her in:
So much for what dancing can do for you. Don't you think Flexibility is overrated, though?

Other than that, we had a good schoolday, finishing science experiments with Susan, and finishing "rules for capitalization" with Alvin Fernald. He tried to stump Mom and Dad with some spelling words at the end of Spelling Power. I told him that *that* (level K) is where he should be at the end of eighth grade. I shouldn't have said anything--he had been pretty impressed with our Spelling Prowess.

Forget-me-not and Blueberry came over for coffee and Scrabble. 'Berry got his first bump-on-the-noggin over the weekend--just the beginning for almost-nine-months old, right? I played two games with Forget-me-not, and then two more with Joe Hardy. Love, love, love the Game.

Tomorrow I have to go to the license branch. I misplaced my checkbook with driver's license inside about a week ago. Time to get a replacement. Goody-goody--I *always* love getting my picture taken by that dem*n camera! Problem is, the photo on the one I lost was pretty good, considering....

I do love Ordinary Days! They used to be "ordinary," now they are "few and far between."


Monday, October 23, 2006

Thank you, Dr. Szegedy

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. I never knew much about it, so I looked it up.

My personal touchstone with the revolution was my first-year Chemistry teacher in high school. His name was Dr. Laszlo Szegedy. He was already in his 50's at the time. (interesting, to me at least, is the fact that at my high school, at the time I attended from 1969-1973, there were only two Ph.D.s teaching. One was a refugee from Hungary, the other a refugee from Cuba.)

I had trouble in chemistry when I got to college. There was only one Chem. class in my high school, so it wasn't an "honors" class--we had our share of goof-offs. Whenever the class-clown types didn't want to work, (or maybe they just wanted to mock the prof) one of them would raise his hand and ask Dr. Szegedy about his experience in escaping from Hungary. He would lay down his pointer, and tell us of his experiences. ( this happened often, thus my sketchy accumulation of chemistry knowledge.)I'm afraid I didn't appreciate his experience like I probably would now. I have no concept of how it was to live under Communism, and to feel that it was worth any risk for the chance at freedom. What awesome, awesome courage and faith it had to have taken.

So, maybe I didn't appreciate Dr. Szegedy (and Dr. Gladys Ruiz--Algebra I, from Cuba) enough. Or, not much at all. So I will honor him (and her) now. God's blessings to you both, if you are still alive, and to your memories, if you are not.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Look at Me Sparkle!

Your Dream Engagement Ring Has a Round Diamond!

A round diamond is classic and timeless, just like your style
Your diamond will always look with the times - and goes with everything
Of all diamonds, round diamonds show the most sparkle
They are often chosen by sweet, dependable women who make marriage their #1 priority.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

How to Pull Off a $200 Wedding

[I sure don't know what happened to yesterday! It was our 31st wedding anniversary. Charming had to work, so I did school and laundry and errands and watched Blueberry so his Mommy could take his Daddy out to dinner for his birthday. I did everything "normally," except to blog!]

How To Have A $200 Wedding

1. make a muslin wedding dress. After all, it *is* 1975 and you *are* "long-haired hippie types." Wear baby's breath in your hair.
2. make your groom a muslin shirt and a suit made of muslin-colored twill a la James Taylor on the front of hisGorilla album.
3. don't forget to stay up until 1am the night before the wedding to finish the bow tie. This will assure your falling asleep at 8:15 on your wedding night.
4. carry a single red rose. Have your groom wear a single red rosebud in his lapel.
5. make your maid of honor's gown out of flowered muslin.
6. have the best man wear the blue velvet blazer that he already owns, and the black velvet bowtie that everybody already owned.
7. repeat #4 with pink roses for the attendants.
8. have a friend take photos for free, buying the film for you for a gift.
9. have your hippie friend play guitar and sing for the wedding--barefoot.

Now to the reception:
1. use a banquet room donated by a family friend who manages a hotel.
2. let the groom's mother buy the cake.
3. let the bride's mother get the napkins and nuts and mints and punch.
4. be sure to use your mother's silver candlesticks she received as a gift for her 25th wedding anniversary. Save them to use at your daughter's wedding.
5. cover the pool table in the banquet room with a paper tablecloth, and use it for the gift table.
6. get the bluegrass band the groom plays with to play at the reception. Be sure to trip over your dress and fall down during the "first dance." It makes a real impression on the guests.

Taking these steps will assure comments about "the most unusual wedding we've ever been to!" by your aunts and great-aunts. Tho' I'm still not sure if they meant that they liked it...

Now, I'm not implying that you could pull off a $200 wedding in this day and age. When our daughter got married two years ago, she had a "princess" theme. And the cost was way, way closer to $10,000. But at least I didn't have to buy silver candlesticks!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy Birthday, Rocky Balboa!

Actually, tomorrow (the 18th) is Rocky's birthday, but it is also our wedding anniversary. I didn't know if I would get a proper tribute made to my dear son-in-love, so I am doing it today.

Rocky is a wonderful man, husband, and father. It has been so fun to see him grow into fatherhood with Blueberry. He works hard so that Forget-me-not can stay home. He plays drums, guitar, and bass, one or the other every week at the Young Adult ministry at our church.
He is a licensed pastor, though at the moment he is working in the lay world at a wireless telephone company. He gets me the very best deals on my cellphone!!

If I had to choose one word to describe Rocky, it would be Passionate. (even tho' I think that word is over-used in Christian circles) He loves the Lord with all his heart, desiring to serve Him...passionately. He loves his wife and son...passionately. He has...passionate...opinions. You always know where you stand with him, which, as Martha says, is a "good thing." Most of all, Rocky desires to cut out the things in his life that are displeasing to the Father, and grow in the things that please Him. We love Rocky as one of our own.

Even though his mommy-in-love has never seen ANY of the Rocky movies, which, though he is too polite to say so, our Rocky thinks is disgraceful. Good thing he loves me!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, MacGuyver!

Tomorrow is my son MacGuyver's 23rd birthday. I am supposed to be going out of town to a wedding, so I will post today.

MacGuyver moved away to New York City this summer. Here is Alvin Fernald, trying not-too-successfully to convince Mac that he should stay here:
Here is MacGuyver with his brothers, the night before he moved away:
(from left: Don Quixote, MacGuyver, Johnny Tremain, Joe Hardy, with Alvin in front)

I blogged about MacGuyver's home birth on my other blog this morning. It was a beautiful and God-filled experience.

MacGuyver was my baby for about ten years, until Blackeyed Susan came into our lives. There were the usual complaints about Mac getting extra privileges and such. I deny that, of course. But there is "something" about your "baby..."

Happy, happy birthday, my dear. You are loved very much.

Snow-time like the present

Yesterday, as in other parts of the country, we had a five-minute snowfall:
This is quite early for us--November 1st is a closer estimate for when our snow-time begins. There was just enough (if you scraped the snow off the cars) for Joe Hardy, Blackeyed Susan, and Alvin Fernald to have a snowball fight:
Note the golf-ball sized snowballs.

What you don't see is the shivering. It was 36 degrees outside at this point. The children made me make them hot chocolate afterwards. After all, it *is* a tradition after a snowball fight!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Kilroy Was Here

Last week, I shared this picture with you of Alvin Fernald, painting hills in his room. He is working with a WWII theme. These hills are possibly in France, England, or one of the Japanese-held islands in the South Pacific. The time is 1943 or 1944:
Here they are, green and lush. There is no need to worry for Alvin's safety, because wherever the enemy is,
Kilroy has been there first!
If you are old enough, you learned about Kilroy in school:
If not, I'll be glad to share with you. Grab your "cuppa," and get comfy. Here is your History lesson for today:
Find the full story here.
This excerpt is from that website:
"The Legends of "Kilroy Was Here"

There was one person who led or participated in every combat, training or occupation operation during WWII and the Korean War. This person could always be depended on. GI's began to consider him the "super GI." He was one who always got there first or who was always there when they left. I am, of course, referring to Kilroy Was Here. Somehow, this simple graffiti captured the imagination of GI's everywhere they went. The scribbled cartoon face and words showed up everywhere - worldwide. Stories (some even true) abound.

Legend #1: This Legend of how "Kilroy was here" starts is with James J. Kilroy, a shipyard inspector during WWII. He chalked the words on bulkheads to show that he had been there and inspected the riveting in the newly constructed ship. To the troops in those ships, however, it was a complete mystery — all they knew for sure was that he had "been there first." As a joke, they began placing the graffiti wherever they (the US forces) landed or went, claiming it was already there when they arrived.

Kilroy became the US super-GI who always got there first — wherever GI's went. It became a challenge to place the logo in the most unlikely places. It was said to be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty, the underside of the Arch de Triumphe, and scrawled in the dust on the moon. An outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Truman, Stalin, and Churchill who were there for the Potsdam conference. The first person to use it was Stalin. He emerged and asked his aide (in Russian), "Who is Kilroy?" "

Here is another website that adds this detail:

"Near the end of WWII, Adolf Hitler was paranoid as sin about one particular insurgent that seemed to get into everything secure in Nazi germany, he had his best men actively searching for this spy, and had ordered all his troops to shoot the menace. The "spy" Hitler was looking for was none other than kilroy. GI's in occupied territory and spies in the german army were vandalizing nazi bases and equipment with the little kilroy drawing, along with the words, "Killroy was here..." It wasn't meant as anything more than a prank, but by the last year of hitler's command, there was so much graffitti that he thought kilroy was able to get into any secure area, and feared for his life, thinking, "Kilroy is going to get me!" It's nice to think that a little bit of vandalism helped end World War II."

Our enemies have always complained about "Yankee ingenuity." My personal belief is that what we call "Yankee ingenuity" is a byproduct of freedom, the freedom given to us by God. Creativity thrives in freedom. Who had the idea to use Navajos as code-talkers to confuse the Nazis? So many, many examples could be given. The G.I.'s were heroes all over the world.

Alvin's grandfather (my Daddy) is a WWII vet. We will be putting his pilot picture on the wall, as well as a photo of my great-uncle in his WWI uniform, standing near some kind of torpedo-shaped weapon (sorry, my WWI knowledge is a tad thin). It will be fun to see Alvin add his own soldiers. He likes to put his full-sized G.I. Joes on the tops of the window woodwork. He also has about forty-eleven thousand of the little soldiers. Don't know what he will do with them....

This story is not over. A new generation of "Yankee ingenuity" has yet to "show their stuff."

God bless America!

Bits and Pieces

I finished the quilt tops for Laura Carrot and Sweet Pea last night:
(I only show one because, well, they are the same. I'm calling them "The Princess and the (Sweet) Pea."

One more: I know I brag on my grandbabies a lot, and you see more of Blueberry, because I see him almost every day. Here he is, discovering grass. Not too appalled, as some of mine were:

He actually enjoyed it, I think. In the background is the first quilt I ever "quilted," my Civil War four-patch.

Well, we are finally finishing Blackeyed Susan's room today--off the job for several days. Tomorrow I hope to post pics of hers and Alvin's room.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Rest in Peace, Mama Reese

This past week, one of my sons' high school friend's mother passed away. She was only 56, which is sort of alarming to me in itself. She was the birth mother to 13 children, and everybody else's "mother," too.

Her children respected her and cared for her. I knew one of her boys, Walter, and a few of her other children by reputation. My son Joe Hardy and Walter used to talk about "government cheese," those five-pound blocks of American that came in a box that was the perfect size for a Barbie bed or refrigerator. If you have ever had "government cheese," I need say no more.

Being a "black mama," (I use that term with the utmost, UTMOST respect) she had influence in a greater community than I could ever have. On Joe Hardy's MySpace, there is a tribute going around with dozens, Dozens, DOZENS of names. Thirteen children will get you a passle of high-school kids who love you.

Charming works with Mrs. Reese's cousin. I understand the church was over-filled for the funeral--main floor, balcony, basement. Only heaven will tell of the real influence of Mrs. Janet Reese.

The verse in Proverbs 31 comes to mind: "her children rise up and call her blessed."

Only there are a lot more of us than just her children making that statement today.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Our Busy Weekend

Here is Alvin Fernald, working on his new look for his room. At first, he couldn't decide between an "army" theme, and keeping the blue he had, which he loved. So he designed a compromise scenario. He is keeping the blue for "sky," (as well as the cloud-fabric curtains), and painting green hills. The time is 1943 or 1944. The question is, are these hills in England, France, or some Japanese-held island in the South Pacific?
Blackeyed Susan's room was not so complicated. Here you see yellow primer (the room formerly known as "green:" The doors are from Alvin's room and closet.
I also worked on the Princess quilts. Here are some "plain" squares:
They will alternate with hourglass squares:
I made ten yellow squares with yo-yo flowers to be scattered among the others:
And how can you have a "princess" quilt without some frogs to kiss?
I know this is sideways, but couldn't get it right-side up. While we were painting, Blueberry came over with his mom, dressed in his Notre Dame outfit, and "football" shoes. They watched the game, and cheered on our team until we got cleaned up:

It's always too bad when you can't finish a project on Saturday. (tho' we didn't begin it until the afternoon, anyway) We are trying to get back to it today (Monday). Maybe more pictures tomorrow?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Just a Quickie

We have been busy this weekend, painting Alvin Fernald and Blackeyed Susan's rooms. I'm trying to remember to get photos "in process" to show you. Hopefully, I can post them tomorrow.

I am also beginning to put together Princess Quilts for Laura Carrot and Sweet Pea. Laura has a new shirt her Daddy bought her in Chicago a couple of weeks ago at some ESPN-themed store: You Can't Spell Princess Without ESPN. Gotta love the Dad/daughter/princess/sports thing...

Notre Dame beat Purdue yesterday. Last week I was gloating to some Purdue People friends of mine, about the fourth quarter rally of my Irish. They made fun of me. Dangerous thing to do, when the initials of *their* university are P.U. Yesterday's score:

ND 35
PU 21

Wake up the echoes, cheering her name.