Back in my day…

I am a product of the 50’s and 60’s, being born in 1951 and graduating high school in 1969. Although we had sex, drugs and rock & roll back then too, life was much simpler. A step up in our technology would have been to get a COLOR TV!! TV’s were HUGE back then – no flat screens for sure! In fact most of us had what was referred to as a “Console TV” – it was typically once nice looking piece of furniture!! Console TV We had one very similar to this one when I was growing up.

I remember watching Ed Sullivan on that TV. I loved the Lennon Sisters…The-Lennon-Sisters-rocknroll-remembered-2553866-640-480 Third from the left, Janet was my favorite. I think she was the youngest of the four girls.

I also remember watching Mr. ED (1961-1966), My Favorite Martian (1963-1966), Father Knows Best (1954-1960), Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963) and so forth. All great, wholesome shows and shows you just don’t see any likeness of …anymore. We sat down to the supper table as a family every night without fail. I think it’s very sad that many families today don’t sit down to a table and share a meal much anymore (unless they are in a restaurant..and even then they are so busy looking down at their phones that they aren’t talking or connecting!)

My entire teen years were spent roller skating at the indoor roller rink in town every Friday and Saturday evening. I loved to roller skate and even competed in a few competitions and went on road trips with the roller skating club when I got a little older. The worst part of this activity was that it was also the local hangout for GI’s from the nearby Air Force base and I was an impressionable young lady at the time. Needless to say, it was subsequently where I met my first husband and then became pregnant with my first child at 18. You sure don’t see many indoor roller rinks anymore. There may be a few (there is one in this town where I live now), but the crowd is mostly made up of very young children and rarely do you see families skating together. Teens nowadays, for the most part, find roller skating boring. You will also see them donning roller blades, rather than the roller skates of my day..roller skates

I used all sorts of contraptions on my hair to make it curly …all sizes and shapes of curlers, orange juice cans (for a more relaxed look) and “ratting”, “teasing” or “backcombing” your hair was an absolute must, if you wanted “big hair”!! I curled my hair wet, and didn’t have anyway to dry it but by just letting it dry naturally…so it was not uncommon to go out during the day with curlers in my hair and a chiffon scarf tied around my head to conceal the curlers somewhat!girl w curlers

You rarely saw women back in my day with short hair. Long hair and dresses were quite common. Ribbons in the hair weren’t cheesy! I had a wide assortment. I believe it wasn’t until my senior year in 1968-1969 that they changed the dress code at my high school. Up until then, girls had to wear dresses or skirts (no pants or jeans). Can you believe it? We always wore hose with our dresses…no bare legs like you see now. In fact, if you wait long enough all the styles of the day do come back and repeat themselves. You know how you see all those crazy nylons, tights etc; nowadays? Well, here’s a pic of the “window pane” hose that I owned and wore often. They were one of my favorites…window pane hose

Democrat, Harry Truman was president when I was born. I really loved Elvis Presley in the 50’s and early 60’s, but he was quickly replaced by Jan & Dean and The Beach Boys. Jan and Dean

Beach-Boys-1 Can you believe it? Look at those well groomed, clean cut, young, good looking men? They don’t look anything like our music stars of today!! Or do they? Maybe so…maybe my narrow mindedness is showing. Life just seemed so much more wholesome back then. Maybe I’m just getting old and melancholy.

Oh, and speaking of Ed Sullivan (earlier in this post…just in case you won’t paying attention)…he introduced the Beatles to us in 1963 and teenage girls were going crazy all over the US! I liked them…but wouldn’t say I was “crazy” for them. I thought Paul McCartney was the best looking one and therefore my favorite. I thought Ringo was UGLY with a capital “U”!!Beatles

The Beach Party films of the mid 60’s were my favorite!! They featured Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon and I think there were six of them. Every time a new one came out…I couldn’t wait to see it. I know, CORNY!!..maybe it was because I lived in the “frozen North” that I enjoyed these beach party films so much. There may not have been much novelty to them, had I lived in Florida or California…but for North Dakota living, beach party movies were NIRVANA!!

Last but not least was WOODSTOCK! The year of my high school graduation was also the year of Woodstock! The Hippie movement…and “free love” was in full swing! woodstock_csg022 I was already married and pregnant with my first child…so my priorities shifted (temporarily)…but it was pretty cool that 3 months prior to Woodstock my home state had their own version of Woodstock…called “Zip to Zap”…located in the very small community of Zap, North Dakota!

So, at the close of 1969…after the birth of my son…I proceeded to “sow some of the oats” I missed out on sowing with my graduating class. My first apartment had beads in the doorway, inflatable furniture and a poster of a pregnant girl scout on the wall! Helen Gurley Brown and Cosmopolitan magazine were my “MO”!! As a single mom in the early 70’s I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that first male centerfold of Burt Reynolds!! I’d come a long way baby!!

I close by saying…I’m not that young innocent of the 50’s and early 60’s (I kinda wish I was). But, I’m also not the wild, young poncho & moccasin wearing hippie of the late 60’s and early 70’s either. (I’m glad I’m not). This was just a trip down memory lane. Today, I’m thankful for redemption and the blood bought life. I live for a higher calling and the greater good. But, everything I’ve done and experienced has made me who I am today….and for that I am TRULY THANKFUL.

My first born turns 45!!

Well, I was going to write this post one week ago today when my son actually turned 45, but I was out of town tending to my grand kitty and so my draft of my his 45th birthday remained in limbo. Sort of like our relationship lately…but I digress.

Wow! Where has the time gone? My ONLY son turned 45 Oct. 12th!! I was 18 when I gave birth to Troy in 1969. Here he is playing ball in 1975…Little ball player

I was wondering who else might have been born in 1969…so I did a little research: hmmmm

Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lopez, Donnie Wahlberg, Jack Black

Jennifer Aniston, Tyler Perry, Marilyn Manson, Chaz Bono

Catherine Zeta Jones, Renee’ Zellweger, JUST TO NAME A FEW…

Troy’s dad and I were married but were not together. My mom was by my side the day Troy was born for 13 hrs. of hard labor and subsequent C-section. I was a child having a child!! I was scared to death and miserable!! Even though the “shotgun wedding” was well intentioned, the marriage was doomed before it began! I discovered I was pregnant in Jan of my senior year. I married in Feb. Due to major morning sickness I was forced to drop out right before graduation. I never considered adoption or abortion and my son was born the following Oct. Maybe my son would have had a better life I I had considered adoption? I don’t know. I just know that I loved him from the moment of conception and couldn’t consider any other way. My mom agreed to help me and be a support.

So, six days after Troy was born we went home to my parent’s house. That was not what I had envisioned. Going home to my parental home with a new born son when all my friends were going to football games etc; was not part of my life plan! Hmmmmm…

My mom had given birth to my little sister just two years earlier, so Troy’s #1 playmate those first few years was his Aunt Tammy…Christmas pals

I loved my boy, but he had to compete for the affection of his grandparents, since they had a little girl that was born late in their lives. It was so unfair, but a fact of his little life.

Troy’s dad went to Viet Nam and eventually served me with divorce papers so he could remarry. I worked, I dated and sometimes dated men that weren’t good father figures for Troy. But then, when Troy was 5 years old things turned around for us when I met up with an old school friend (the brother of one of my closet girlfriends)and we married. We were now a trio. Troy’s step-dad and I agreed that he should adopt Troy so that when he began first grade he wouldn’t have to be questioned about the change in his last name. Troy’s step-dad and I met and got re-acquainted when we met in a bar after a night of drinking. That should have been my first red flag. But, as we often do when we are young and stupid we ignore all the warning signs.

We were together 10 years. Troy was a teenager by the time his step-dad and I split up and the damage had already been done. The bright side in those ten years was that Troy had two little sisters that were born!! 1977 - 26 yrs. old (2)

Theresa was born in 1977 when Troy was 7 1/2 yrs old. Tanya came next when he was fixing to turn 10 in 1979. He loved his little sisters and was a great babysitter! I heard much later in life when they were all grown that he used to put on rock concerts in the living room with his buddies when we were out and he was in charge! LOL His little sisters were told to sit on the sofa and not move while he and his buddies entertained them. I’m surprised that we never got a call from neighbors.

Anyway, there’s much more history and much more I could say, but suffice it to say I miss my boy! You see, Troy hasn’t spoken to me in almost a year now. I sent him a beautiful birthday card that spoke from my heart in secret hopes that it might open a door. Maybe it will – it hasn’t so far. He knows how to reach me. In fact, maybe he’ll read this post. He knows about my blog. In fact, the last time he got mad at me…it was because of this blog. The time previous to that it was because of Facebook.

Maybe you understand a little bit more why I don’t really like all this Social Media crap. Your thoughts?

Our lil’ ginger punkin’s naps are getting shorter!!

In an effort to give poor little Jackson a longer nap, I spent a lot of time singing to him and rocking him this week!  Rock a Bye Baby, Jesus Loves Me, & You are My Sunshine are his favorites.

A sleeping Jackson

A sleeping Jackson

The poor little tyke does not like taking naps in the daytime!  He is an excellent sleeper at nighttime.  In fact mommy and daddy have a hard time keeping him up until 8 pm most nights…cause he’s ready for bed!  He usually sleeps until 5:30 or 6 am…sometimes longer!  But he is sure breaking Maw Maw & Paw Paw in during the day!  I think he’s afraid he’s gonna miss something!

Curious JacksonHe’s very CURIOUS….

An exploring Jackson 2

and he loves exploring the house and seeing what he can get into.  He’s learned to pull on the knobs of the entertainment center and open the doors and drawers.  He’s also discovered that if he closes it on those same little fingers that it hurts!!  🙂  When he gets a hold of the bottom drawer and pulls it open (it’s heavy because it’s full of CD’s) he starts pulling himself up so he can peer in it to see what’s inside!  Paw Paw and I spend a lot of time throughout the day grabbing him by the ankles and pulling him back away from the entertainment center to try and divert his attention to all the toys.  LOL

Jackson exploring 2He’s learned that loud sounds comes from that big black box, and that if no one sees him right away, he can crawl back in that corner next to the sofa and make that pretty lamp that sits on a pedestal end table WIGGLE and almost fall down!! “I’m not doing nothing, Maw Maw…I’m just looking around.”

014062695115327He’s such a happy, smiley boy and loves to go for rides in the stroller.  Maw Maw definately gets  her exercise when Jackson’s around.  I go for an early morning 3.5 mile walk with friends before he arrives, and then we usually go for another 2 mile walk with the stroller at some point during the day.  I’m thankful for the cooler temperatures.  (Now it’s only 80 during the day instead of 100).

2014072295135712Jackson loves his puppy…

IMG_20140724_133655388

Loves going to the park and swinging (if those darn mosquitos would leave him alone!)

Jackson floor play 3

Loves playing on the floor and reaching up at things.  He’s not trying to pull himself up yet, but he is trying to crawl.

Jackson learning to crawl

He gets around real good by scooting, but when he tries to crawl he gets up on all four and rocks back and forth.  He’s also discovered that if he crawls into the entry way where there is NO CARPET, that if he rolls over he will bonk his little head! OUCH!

Jackson sippy cup 2

At 8 months old he’s eating three meals a day now, in addition to his bottles, but he also loves his little sippy cup!  He’s a good eater and Maw Maw loves feeding her little man!  Now, if he would just take a nap!  He is the exact opposite of his cousin, Kash.  3 yr. old Kash takes a good 2-3 hr. nap in the afternoon.  It used to be a nice break for me, when I wasn’t taking care of Jackson.  I’m afraid the days of Maw Maw getting a nap are long gone!  When Jackson first returned to us in late August he would take 30 min nap twice a day.  Now he’s down to about 10 min. 2-3 times a day.  By the time mommy arrives to pick him up at 4:30 he’s exhausted!

Needless to say we are looking forward to our little trip we will be taking to Wichita Falls, TX this next week.  We leave on Wed for some Grandkitty sitting and will return the following Tuesday.  Instead of tending to two grandsons we will be tending to one female feline named Samantha while her mommy and daddy get a little downtime in the New Mexico mountains.

Samantha 2014 2

 

 

 

 

I am NOT my mother – or at least (in my dreams) I’m NOT!

My mother could be quite abusive when I was growing up.  She was physically, verbally and psychologically abusive from time to time – but I never thought of her that way until very much later in life.  She is still alive and 90 years old.  I haven’t seen her in person for the last five years, but here’s a pic of her today: ImageMy brother sent me this picture.  I was terribly shocked when I saw it!! My mom always kept herself up!  Her hair was always done, makeup just right, nails always polished etc;  Mom lives in North Dakota. (I live in Texas).

Don’t get me wrong – I love my  mother.  I’ve always loved her, even after I became an adult, addressed some of the “abuse issues” and recognized her shortcomings.  She did the best she could with what she had to work with.  Her upbringing wasn’t so great either.  I’m not excusing her negative behavior – just recognizing it for what it is.  

For as long as I can remember, I did not want to be like my mother. Primarily because of her “negative personality traits”. I really feel awful when those traits manifest themselves in me!! But it most cases – I really and truly – AM NOT MY MOTHER!

1) My mother has never sold a thing in her life. (I love to sell and have made a decent living selling everything from toys, home decor, furniture to insurance). Mom was a waitress almost her entire life. I think she was in her 70’s before she quit waiting tables.
2) My mother never dieted her entire life. Although she was never what I would consider overweight until she was over 40 – she has been ever since. No matter – she was happy just the way she was. You never heard the word “diet” leave her lips and she ate what she wanted always. (Not this girl! I started having weight issues when I started having children – and it’s been a daily battle ever since.)
3) My mother wasn’t “crafty” and hated sewing! She always worked outside the home, and when she was home you would find her tending to the needs of her family or watching TV. (I, on the other hand, have always loved crafts, sewing, gardening, decorating etc;) In fact, I recall at Christmas time mom wouldn’t decorate the house – so I would get whatever junk I could find in the house to decorate with so our home had a more “festive” flair during the holidays.
4) My mother doesn’t read. (I love to read and read every day! I read fiction and non-fiction alike and always have at least one book I’m reading). The only thing I ever witnessed my mother reading was the newspaper! I don’t think I ever saw her read a Women’s magazine – and I know I never witnessed her reading an actual book.
5) My mother wasn’t a “social butterfly” as I have so often been accused of being. Mom was a “workhorse” with a strong work ethic but beyond work and her home she didn’t do much. She definately didn’t “get together with the girls” ever, that I recall. She didn’t have a lot of close friends and everything she did outside of work and home she did with her husband.
6) My mom never baked cookies – or anything else for that matter! She was a good cook but my birthday cake was always from the bakery when I was growing up! (I love to bake and bake often. In fact, you will find me baking every day in December to make up goodie trays for friends. I baked with my kids when they were little and I now bake with the grandkids.)
7) My mom was not a church going woman. The only time I saw her darken the doorway of a church was when I was (as a child) singing in the choir. (She and dad would leave right after I was done singing). I went to church with playmates that had invited me and that early experience planted a hunger in me for the things of God and for church! (I’ve been more “in” than “out” of church for the past 30 years now – and am in church 3 times a week currently.)

For brevity’s sake I won’t go on about all the ways my mother and I aren’t alike…but would like to expound more on all the ways WE ARE ALIKE.

1) My mom & I are both very affectionate! If she knows you and likes you == get ready – cause a big wet sloppy “smooch” (as she would call it) is coming your way! We love to kiss and hug and hold the ones we love. It’s really kinda weird cause neither of my grown daughters are the “kissy, feely” type even though they got plenty of affection as children.
2) My mom & I both love to “nurture” with food. It’s the way we show our love for our family and friends. I get a great deal of comfort from knowing my pantry and frig are full and that I can whip something up if we get company. Mom always had a snack cupboard for the grandkids when they came over and was always cooking for her family.
3) My mom can be harsh, short-spoken, judgemental & snarky! I don’t like the adjectives, but this is the one I have battled all my life. I know I’ve offended friends and family by being too short-spoken or blunt at times! I hate that!! I’ve credited it to being brutally honest – which makes it more of a thing of pride. Well, I’m here to say, honest or not – it’s still not nice. I’ve worked very hard on this character trait that I inherited from my mom and I know it’s improved. It’s probably played a crucial role in why I am a believer now and try to stay “prayed up”. I recognize my inability to change the inner man without God’s help.
4) My mom instilled in me good grooming. She advised me to keep myself “fixed up” for my hubby – not laying around the house in sweats and always making sure my hair was done, and my clothes were pressed.
5) Mom and I both have a very solid work ethic! She was always a hard worker and extremely responsible about not calling in sick unless absolutely necessary. I emulate her in this regard.
6) My mom was a mother at 17. I was a mother at 18. Alcoholism and the abuse that comes along with it have played a big role in the women we are today.
7) Last but definately not least – I pray that I have my mother’s health history and have 30 more years to live – so that I can rectify some of the wrongs I’m done (see #3). Here’s what mom and I looked like 10 years ago when we traveled up North to celebrate her 80th birthday:
Mom & Linda 2004

Sorry for the “scrapbook” image – My hubby Jerry and I are pictured with mom on the left. My baby sister and I are pictured with her on the right.

Suffice it to say, I miss mom. But after seeing the pic that my brother Jim sent – I’m not sure I want to see her in the condition she is currently in. I would much rather remember her with her hair done, makeup on, smiling at the camera. What do you think?

Milestones of a “Ginger”

Do young mothers still keep baby books?  The three baby books I kept for my three children went to year 7 and then quit.  I was devoted to keeping them up to date, complete with pictures…noting every milestone from when they cut their first tooth to when they had their first haircut.  Is it my imagination or is this an almost entirely lost endeavor?  Once I became a scrapbooker, I transferred the information and destroyed the old yellowed pages of those baby books to make scrapbooks for each of my grown children all the way into adulthood, including jobs, spouses, their children etc;

Now, I am enjoying the milestones of grandchildren – up close and personal.  Our youngest and 15th grandchild (I have 10, my husband has 5)..is Jackson, our little “ginger”.

ImageHe is just over 3 months old and has begun to hold his head up in bed and check us out! How about that for a cute shot!!  So, low and behold I wasn’t at all surprised when I came into the bedroom to get him from his crib the other day to discover he had rolled over from his tummy to his back!!  I didn’t see it, but we always put him on his tummy for sleep (I know all the controversy and debate), but when he awoke he was on his back!!  LOL 

Jackson’s parents are first time parents, needless to say he is spoiled!  I think mommy and daddy think that if he lets out a peep he must be picked up!  It’s made it a bit more challenging for Maw Maw and Paw Paw because we get very little “down time” when he’s awake!!  He’s not real good at entertaining himself yet.  ImageHere he is being talked to.  He loves it when you talk to him.  His sweet personality is really beginning to show.  Just as equally his red-headed temperament is also often present!  LOL  Oh, how we love this little toot!!  He is such a joy to have around.

 

He has such a cute, high pitched wail…and when he decides he’s mad – there’s nothing a person can do but let him wail. He just decides – “I’m done being entertained!” Usually that means he’s either very tired, needs to be fed or needs to be changed. Sometimes tho, it just means “change my position”!! In other words…”walk around the house with me, so I can look around, or go outside and sit on the patio with me for awhile, or take me for a stroll in my stroller.”

Our big boy

Our big boy

Needless to say, we are enjoying taking care of “little” Jackson and will miss him when mommy is done teaching school in 2 weeks. He will return to us in the fall half grown I’m sure. It’s not that we won’t see him this summer…(of course, we will), but it won’t be the same as enjoying and appreciating all those milestones on a daily basis like we have.Jackson 4 This last shot is Jackson flirting with our Pastor’s wife at church. Love it!

Aside

How quickly time passes!

I really begin to feel my age when I realize that my 2nd born child turned 37 today!  OMG, do I feel old!!  Theresa was a C-section and my first daughter.  Here she is all grown up:  ImageShe has always been a beauty, even when she was little.  I have such fond memories of her birth, unlike my other two.  All three of my children were C-section, but Theresa’s birth was planned two weeks prior to my due date.  Before the delivery I was asked if I minded if nursing students watched the delivery from the observation window overhead.  I was also going to be numb, but fully conscious for the delivery.  Since, I barely remember the first week of my son’s life (from over sedation etc) I was very excited to see & hear my daughter come into the world and share it with the observing student nurses.  I wanted a girl so bad and didn’t know ahead of time what I was having (like they do nowadays). Theresa was my biggest baby, weighing in at a mere 7 lbs. 4 oz.  Watching the doctor pull her out of my body, and the loud sound of suction is as vivid today as it was 37 years ago.  Hearing her cry for the first time was amazing!  I was and still am so blessed to have this beautiful lady in my life!!

Theresa is the daughter that has blessed me with 5 grandchildren.  Her oldest, Christian (and one of four sons) will be graduating from high school in a few short weeks.  You have heard me speak of Ethan and Kash on this blog quite a bit.  That’s because I’ve had the opportunity to take care of them both while Theresa worked.  ImageThey love to play in the sink.  Theresa is their mother.  Ethan is now in school, so I don’t get to see him as often, but Kash and I are still best buds!  ImageHe’s smiling because the other day he discovered that he could reach the pedals on Ethan’s old bike.  Our goal this next week will be to teach him how to pedal it.  With 5 children, Theresa has got mothering/parenting down to a science!!  When I took her out to lunch today for her birthday she shared with me how she just doesn’t relate to young mothers who have one child and are always stressed! LOL  Having babies has been a breeze for her!  She was always more of a dare devil then her younger sister.  She gave me plenty of worrisome days!  One of her favorite sayings when she was little if there wasn’t enough going on was “Mom, I’m bored”.  OMG!! If I heard that once from her I’d heard it a thousand times!  I’ve often referred to her as my “material girl” because material gifts is her love language.  Since I’ve never been rich by no stretch of the imagination – showing her love that way was often a challenge.  ImageThat’s my girl, tho!  I love her to the moon and back!  She is so uniquely her own person in more ways than I can count!  She has added more than her share of gray hairs to this old head of mine, but it doesn’t change the love I have for her.  This picture was just taken a couple weeks ago at her sister’s house.  She finally had a chance to get away and see her sister’s new home and spend some much needed time away from work and children.  Her other two have given me much joy as well.  When they get older and get involved in school activities, unfortunately, I don’t get to see them as often, but Hannah, 16 and Preston 13 are still awesome kids!

ImageOn this day, Hannah and I had gone shopping and had pedicures.  It was just a little quality girl time.

ImagePreston, on the other hand, really likes hanging out at the water park and playing board games with Maw Maw.  He’s my game playing boy!

As much as I love my daughter and the grandchildren she has blessed me with she knows that I don’t want her to have anymore. When she comes by the house and holds my other grandson, Jackson, I fear she’s gonna get “baby fever”. But, it’s not for me to say and not in my control.  Regardless…I’m so happy to call her mine and so proud of how far she’s come in her 37 years.  One thing I can say for sure – as long as my Theresa is around there will never be a dull moment!!

Happy Birthday, Theresa! “We’ve come along way, baby!” Mom loves you!

Honest, but also exhausting & stressful week!!

I always enter every new endeavor I take on with a great deal of optimism, knowing I can tackle pretty much anything I set my mind to. That being said…entering into an agreement with my step-son, Josh that I would take care of his new little one full-time has proven to be a bigger challenge than I expected!  (That’s the HONEST part LOL!!)

Phew! I can’t say when the last time was that I was so happy to see Friday come!  Once again I have a greater appreciation for young mommies and all that they do when they have small children.  Although there is much controversy surrounding the debate for “stay at home” mommies versus those that work outside the home – I will leave that discussion for another blog.

What about stay at home GRAND mommies?  Since I began taking care of grandsons two years ago (first Ethan, who’s now in Kindergarten & baby brother, Kash who was 7 months old when I began)..the only “interruption” was having to tend to my bedfast MIL’s needs every 3 hours.  We had a pretty good system and the boys were very understanding.  Since last September though Kash has had me all to himself!  (Granny passed away, Ethan started kindergarten).  Kash and I are very close and have had lots of fun times!!

Now, after this first week of taking care of newest grandson, Jackson…Image Kash is asking, “who is this new little boy that has kidnapped my Maw Maw?”  They are cousins (is that right?) purely by marriage …Kash being my grandson by my oldest daughter, and Jackson being my grandson by my youngest step-son and they are both so precious!  But, OMG! what a week it has been!!

It’s all about them, but this blog is all about ME! I had no idea how exhausted or stressed I would be!  I was quite shocked at my stress level.  I don’t “do” stress anymore.  I handle stress in most cases quite well.  I was thankful this week for a semi-retired Paw Paw!!

ImageIsn’t that the cutest shot you have ever seen?  Paw Paw was a redhead (he says “Strawberry Blonde”) growing up.  Jackson is carrying that gene forward!  I would also add that Paw Paw didn’t want me to take this picture, but I couldn’t resist.  

Demands on my time cause me stress!  I had two little ones wanting all my time this week.  Kash just didn’t understand why Jackson couldn’t go play in the backyard with us!!  He was introduced to “Baby Jackson” (as he calls him) just this week!!  I know we as a “little family” will get acclimated and things will be come less stressful and more routine.  It is just going to take some time.  But, I am struggling with a lot of guilt when I can’t take Kash to the playground at the park, because Paw Paw isn’t home to help me with Jackson.  (We might (weather permitting) get the double stroller out next week.)  Ever true to form, Kash still wants to be my helper, by holding Jackson, feeding him, loving on him etc;

ImageSo yesterday I began to engage my brain.  I had to put the numbers to it! I was trying to figure out why I was so stressed!!?? Then, I remembered feeling very overwhelmed and stressed when I brought my youngest daughter home from the hospital (my third child).  She and her sister were almost exactly the same age apart as Kash and Jackson.  Their older brother (my first born) was 10.  I was feeling the same way.  I was feeling like I was neglecting one for the needs of the other.  And I was feeling like I just didn’t have enough energy to give 100% to both!  I was 28 yrs. old back then – and now I’m 63!! Well, no wonder!!  Now I know why we have our children when we are young!

Kash and I still managed to make it to the park one day this week…ImageHe’s such a big boy! But, we drove rather than walk to the playground while Paw Paw stayed home with Jackson to try and beat the rain that was threatening us.  We’ve also noticed maybe a little bit of regression in Kash since Jackson’s arrival.  He had a few “accidents” this week and he preferred a diaper over “big boy” panties.  That was a bit frustrating to say the least.  

Long story – short, some of you may remember that last June I began a “Saturday social” once a month where some of my sisters and I get together here at my home to quilt etc;  Well, today was supposed to be that day.  Unfortunately, I had to cancel for the very first time.  I was just too wore out!  We also had a death in the family and therefore in addition to Easter Choir practice today, we have a viewing of a cousin to go to.  

If you read my last blog –  you will recall me telling you a little about little “business”.  Well, I also put the numbers to what I told you previously – I’ve sold 6 baby quilts since the first of the year and 82 cord covers.ImageIf you need some, just let me know.  12 ft cotton cord covers sell for just $6.50 plus $3.00 shipping.  You choose color.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Since Granny’s passing….

I apologize.  I know I haven’t been around much lately.  I’ve been reading. I just haven’t been writing.  Writing as well as talking seems to get me in too much trouble – but we won’t go there for the sake of boring you to tears!!  I’m going to try to do better.  I know there are people reading this blog, they just don’t choose to comment.  I am going to try and post a blog at least once a week. That will be my goal for now.  Your comments will encourage me to keep at it.  So, you ask,,  What have I been up to, right?

Well, since Granny’s passing last September I’ve been seeking God’s will for my life.  For awhile I felt like a fish out of water.  A bit aimless to say the least.  I really thought I would be going to work outside the home after the first of the year. NADA.  Just didn’t feel any type of “release” and since we are down to one reliable vehicle, it would be a challenge (not impossible) to work outside the home.  

I’m still taking care of Kash and like to pat myself on the back for he is now FULLY potty trained and quite proud of himself!! Image

He’s a mess!! Love that baby boy!! We talk all day about all sorts of cool stuff.  He’s so smart and wants to “help” me with everything!  There are no child labor laws in Maw Maw’s house.  He wants to vaccum, dust, windex the windows, bake cookies, go for walks, go shopping…you name it! Our days are full.  His daddy works for the railroad, so he gets to be home with Kash every other week.  That has cut my daycare responsibilities down to 1/2 the month instead of the entire month.  I sure do miss him when he’s gone, but it does give me a nice break to sew, have lunch with girlfriends etc;  Not for much longer though…

Enter Jackson…Image

Our little “ginger” was born early Feb. and mommy goes back to work teaching school this coming Monday.  I will get the honor of taking care of Jackson for the next two months until school is out for the summer.  He’s a red head and is beginning to look like his daddy (my youngest step-son, Josh) more and more each day.  He weighed in at 9 lb. 1 oz and is now almost 14 pounds, 6 weeks later!!  His daddy is a big boy too, weighing in at over 300 lbs, so doesn’t surprise me that he likes to eat!

There’s nothing better to shake you from your grieving over the loss of a loved one – than NEW life and NEW famly!!  We so wish Granny could have seen our little Jackson.  Kash still talks about her and asks..”Granny in heaven with Jesus?”  Image

RIP..Bertha Mae Stevens, we look forward to seeing you dancing on Pearly shores.

Since I didn’t feel released to go to work and was having a blast sewing, come the first of the year I decided to try incorporating some of my hobby into a business from my home.  It was purely on a fluke, but would allow me to still take care of grandbabies also.  My daughter, Tanya (the realtor in Wichita Falls) wanted me to make her some cord covers.  I said, “what?”  She said, “cord covers, Mom”.  They are very hot and trendy and I see them in a lot of homes I go into, but they are quite expensive at places like Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Well, it didn’t sound very creative and also sounded quite boring to make, but I experimented with some of my leftover quilt fabric.  She was quite happy with hers.  That’s when the lightbulb went on.  I was already on E-bay and Etsy but with mediocre results selling other stuff..so I began taking pictures of my cord covers and selling them on both sites.  The results have been quite shocking!  It’s been a great way to supplement my SSI and so far my reviews/feedback has been awesome too!Image

This is a cream eyelet one.  I sell them in different lengths, colors and fabrics.  Been quite fun and rewarding.  Can’t say the same about my quilts.  I love making quilts and decided while I was at it to make some baby quilts to sell online as well.  Although I’ve sold a couple, I’ve discovered that people aren’t willing to pay for a handmade quilt that is a ONE OF A KIND original – at least not what it’s worth (for the amount of time and labor that went into it).  The following are still FOR SALE:  Please give me your feedback on if you think my prices are too high…Image

Pillow Quilts (a type of rag quilt) approx. 35″ X 42″ (5 blocks across, 6 blocks down) $19.95 plus shippingImage

Blue & White gingham with embroidered butterflies; make them in pink, peach, lavendar etc;

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This crazy quilt for baby sells for $24.95 plus shipping.  This has decorative top stitching, a scrappy binding, appliqued hearts, and yellow sashing. I take custom orders for these and am making a larger one for a young girl in purples, pinks, blues, whites currently.  Here’s a close up of one of the blocks:  Image

 

Those are my smaller, less expensive ones.  I’ve also made some larger flannel baby quilts but have had no luck selling them online.  Please give me your honest feedback on what you think and what I might be doing wrong:  Here they are:

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ImageThis one is called “Cuddle Bug” and is currently selling for $55.00 (free shipping).

ImageImageThis one is called “Lil Hoo” and is also listed at $55.00 + free shipping.  I love the little owl flannel print.  You will see by the closeups that I’m not a professional quilter – I’m still a novice and they are far from perfect but I think they are worth what I’m asking.  This has really left me in a quandry.  When I was in Cracker Barrel for lunch yesterday I saw BEAUTIFUL, FACTORY CREATED quilts for 129.00 for KING SIZE! $99.00 for QUEEN!  That told me that people just don’t value or appreciate the work that goes into one made at home and there’s no way a home craftsman can compete with assembly line quilts by charging such low rates.  Is my thinking way off base or am I right on the money? (Pardon the pun).

On to bigger and better things….at Thanksgiving my hubby and I were able to get away for a few days of rest and relaxation. We were still suffering the loss of Granny and just wanted to “chill”.  We went to my daughter, Tanya’s in Wichita Falls.  We had not seen there new home yet, so it was also a lot of fun seeing how God had blessed them, and how a lot of hard work had paid off for them!ImageTanya’s husband, Rob works for the Wichita Police force and is my “favorite” (only LOL) son-in-law.  I love him so much and he is so good to my baby girl.  He loves it when I bake for him, so I bribe him with baked goods often.  We celebrated Christmas while we were there and so I gave Rob the crazy quilt I had made for him, too.

ImageIt is folded over so you can see both front and back.  Rob is tall, so the first thing he did when he opened it was lay down on the floor and cover up with it to be sure it covered him totally up!  Cracked me up!  It’s very heavy and warm.  He and Tanya have a cabin in New Mexico and like to mountain climb, so I envisioned him using it when sleeping outdoors in the cold, but I don’t think the weight of it is practical for keeping in a backpack!! Ha!

Image We also helped Tanya and Rob decorate the tree while we were there. I had made some handmade cloth ornaments for everyone this year, so it was fun seeing them adorn their trees as well.

While there Tanya had a light bulb moment. She was looking for a tax write off for her business and asked if I would embroider kitchen towels for her to give as closing gifts to her clients if she purchased an embroldery machine for me. DUH!  Of course!

ImageThat’s also why I was able to embroider butterflies on my pillow quilts as well.  I’m still learning how to use my new machine but am having so much fun with it.

Lot more going on…but my fingers are tiring – In closing I would let you know that Jan. 1st “Custom Creations” was born.Image  I’m not getting rich off it, but am having a lot of fun sewing in my spare time.  While hubby Jerry enjoys his favorite pass time of watching the “boob tube” I am allowing my creative juices to flow.

As I said in the beginning- I will try to be more present and accounted for and post something at least once a week.  I really need to know you are reading to stay motivated though.  Even a “like” will let me know you are there!

 

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