My daughter Erin's words..."we are all putting one foot in front of the other" as so many are...
This is "Sir Roman"..my newest little grandson. I'm kidding. His name is Roman and will soon be romin' all over the place. Already trying to talk at just 5 months, soon to be six months. (takes after his great grandma maybe??)
My daughter,Erin, with her first grandchild!
Great Uncle Danny will make it all better...not to worry his tiny head! Things will be better...you'll see.
Dan is my youngest son. The fourth of my seven chldren.
My granddaughter Rachel and her son.
....if things are sad in your life right now, let the joy of the season get through and warm your heart... if just a little...and put one foot in front of the other..
Remember my precious Granddaughter, Wrenna Dawn that went off to parts unknown, much to my distress??
Well, here she is all safe and sound in the jungles of Costa Rica. A note from her says she does wish she were here and is getting a bit homesick what with all the Christmas celebrating, warm sweaters and goodies.
I plain flat miss her! I want her home, safe, sleeping in the room I have here for her and her mother when they visit. I would stomp my foot and throw a good old fashioned tantrum if I thought it would help..but, it wouldn't. I know this.
So I will wait. Surely she will be home for Easter. Surely!
Would you believe she has my exact coloring? So does her mother. Yep, even has my freckles..but even in my very best days I was never, ever as pretty as her and her mother! LOVE that baby girl of ours!!
About my parents and our days during World War II.
They struggled on...and finally both of them were fortunate enought to get jobs with the ship yards in Oregon, rented a darling little home on a street lined with Maple trees. We had Delicioius apples, giant Golden Delicious, gooseberries, Hazel nut trees, crabapple trees, Boisenberrys, blackberries growing all over the property. In the white picket fenced front yard stood a HUGE Fir tree that spread over half the yard.
Through a tall hedge on left side of us were the sweetest neighbors ever. Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland. They raised rabbits. I loved them. Mrs. Cleveland had an adorable little secretary desk in her tiny front room with glass doors and a little fold down front to write on. I would love to have one of those and am always on the lookout for one. But it has to be..one just like that one. :)
Children lived on both sides of the street..giving me lots and lots of playmates. Barbara and her little sisters, Paulma Jean, Billy, Danny, Margaret and her sisters Doodle Bugg and Judy. There was her little brother but I don't remember his name. He was a baby. There was HUGE cherry tree's in their yard and we would climb up and lay on the branches and eat the cherries.
They had a cow..and a barn with hay to jump into. It had a loft with a large door that opened so that we could (if we were brave enough) sit in and watch the chickens and other barn yard animals. I remember I ALWAYS had trouble getting down that ladder. I hate heights.
The street behind us was lined with Chestnut trees.
I think of that street when I hear the Christmas song.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a ..choir
And..folks dressed up like Eskimo's ...
...and so I'm offering a simple prayer...etc. etc.
I lived a Fairy Tale life. Snow in the winter..so much it had to be shoveled off the roof so it wouldn't cave in on us. Hard to get the front door open..OR the back. Ice cycles a foot long. In summer lilac's grew over our front porch. I can still smell them..and the tulips that grew along the side of the house. Our garden my father planted with my help. We even had a cellar door to play on.
Milk frozen in the bottles with the lid raised by the frozen cream..
Hot cereal in the morning before school with cream floating around and me whining that I hated the cream!..Mom's ironing my pretty ribbons on the stove pipe.
The radio playing on top of our little refrigerator.
And then tradgedy struck and at two and a half years old we lost my baby brother. I have written of it in my achives. I cannot recount it here.
I am seventy six years old and it still hurts terribly to remember it.
For a time my mother stopped singing. She kept me home from school a lot. They didn't laugh any more...they became sober serious adults over night.
I missed my fun loving parents. They were never the same. Ever...
..and then Mom became pregnant once again and another baby boy was born. They let me name him.
After very little thought, I named him "Jerry". I was reading "Alice and Jerry" in school by that time and I loved the name of Jerry for some reason. I don't really remember where I got the name of Lee, but that was his name. Jerry Lee.
My parents went on to have two more children. Another brother named after my father, Raymond.
My second name is Lilliann (they added an extra "n" for some reason..
Brother Ray ended up with a nickname and we all call him Buzzy. :)
After Jerry was born my parent packed up and left Portland Oregon and returned to California.
I finished growing up here, got married and had all seven of my children here.
My mother was a fantastic Grandma! I don't think there has ever been a better one and my children adored my parents.
My brother, Jerry and his wife, came to California to visit this past summer. They live in New Hampshire. I heard my daughter, Sandy tell my brother on Skype, with all of us standing around the computer, how much she missed my mother..and that she had been her best friend. They were very, very close and talked on the phone a lot. It was a very touching conversation..for all of us. We all cried.
Families should be together in this sometimes difficult world. They should not quarrel and if they do, they should forgive. Reach out. Don't waste time. Be close. Over look each others shortcomings.
No idea where I got this but it seems it must have been in some antique place. I remember buying it but not where or when. It looks like Santa was painted on it..no a decal. It's one of my favorite things in my kitchen for Christmas. It reminds me of my childhood.
I was a child at the end of WWII. I think the war ended when I was about six years old. The depression was a terrible time. We even slept on hay once. My father had to leave my mother and I picking hops while he went where he heard there was work. We slept on the floor of a barracks with other families. We had to climb up a ladder to get into it. It was dry at least.
A cart pulled by a mule used to drive through the rows of hops. I remember a terrible day when the cart drove over a little baby that the mother had put under the vines to sleep killing it. That haunted me for years. I was so young..just a tiny little girl.
I remember how hard it was. The stamps we used for everything, for shoes, tires, so many things were rationed....but mostly I remember wearing those little wooden dutch shoes when I started school. The tops were leather and the bottoms were made of wood. I was so happy to get them. We wore them with bobby socks. I loved them because I could walk on my toes. The only problem was they made my socks pull down inside my shoes..and I had to constantly pull them up. Socks are something I am particular about to this day.
I think one of the hardest Christmas' we had was the one we spent in a motel my parents were finally able to get for us.. It was Christmas and my mother was expecting my baby brother. My mother put a pine branch in a coffee can. Until the day they died neither of my parents would eat rice. That's all they had to eat for a long time. If they were able to get any food other than rice, I was the one that got it. I honestly don't know how they did it. Cardboard in the bottom of my father's shoes that he had worn clear through looking for work.
The people who ran the motel were kind folks. They offered to take me to their childrens school Christmas program. My mother agreed..and off we went.
It was in the school auditorium...and I remember the seats were like seats in a theatre. The children sang..and there was a Christmas play..and then Santa came on stage. Everyone cheered..the curtains parted and a lovely big Christmas tree was there all piled with presents. Santa sat in a big chair and began calling out names of children.
The pile of gifts got smaller and smaller...and then the program was over. When I got home..I was crying and told of everyone getting a present but me. Santa had forgotten me. I was only four and didn't understand. Seems the parents had brought the gifts to the school to be handed out to their children. My mother didn't know this was going to happen.. my parents looked so sad. I remember how bad the people who had taken me to the program felt.
That Christmas morning I awoke to a little suitcase sitting on the table near the tree in the coffee can. Santa had remembered me after all! I got a little Betsy Wetsy in her own suitcase. Where they got it I never knew. They would only say Santa brought it. Even when I grew up they would never tell me.
The magic and wonder of Christmas.
My tiny brother was born and brought to that motel room. I remember my mattress on my little bed had a hole in it and one night I fell through it to the floor. The springs were chain link. It must have been broken too..all I remember was my bottom hitting the floor..
But we were healthy and had love. I had such wonderful parents. My mother sang to me all the time.
Of course I had wonderful memories of picking fruit and traveling..my parent did not!
I sometimes wonder if my love of dolls comes from not having any for so long..
and my shoe fettish..I LOVE shoes, does it come from wishing for them so much? Dreams so real I actually thought when I woke, they were under the bed and peeked to see.
What a time it all was!
Old folks have total recall ya know.. :):)
Sending wishes for all things wonderful. Keep your eye on that star..
We had company this evening and were visiting in the family room. I've told you the story of my Christmas Bear..he is in my header with his little knit hat on with my name on it. He's mine, you see.
He has been sitting silently in my chair for days now, not a peep.
We are chatting and as always I pick him up to move him so I could sit in the chair, and suddenly Silent Night begins playing, his little red heart beating away..I almost jumped a foot! He hasn't played in a couple of years now. I nearly cried. My friend that happened to be visiting lost her husband just ten days before mine. Pat died on December 15th and her husband died on December 5th. We met at a "Grief Closure" seminar my daughter made me attend.
When the song finished playing..we were both silent but she knew how special the moment was.
I sat him on the sofa and we went on chatting. PH came into the room and I told him what had just happened. He knows the story.
About a half hour passed while we visited. Suddenly, Mona's Christmas Bear began playing again. Just sitting on the sofa..not being touched. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear began to play sweetly and we all just sat staring at him. I said "See?"
Now I know it has to be some glitch..and PH being savy about things like that said...it has to be a lose wire. He said with electronics thing like this can happen. I know he is right...or is he?
I will always believe I am being reminded.
I take it as a sign. I always will.
Every year my daughters and I get together and make egg ornaments for our trees.
We save our Christmas cards and cut out tiny scenes to glue to the eggs. We save and collect old jewelry to decorate the eggs with and I buy German crushed glass to add sparkle.
Fuzzy pictures, but you get the idea.
These are getting pretty old. Made back in the 1970's.
This particular egg has Christmas scenes all the way around. Mom trimming the tree.
Bringing home gifts..
The family gathered around the piano.
An old woman taught me years ago..and she had her eggs shown all over the world.
Mine are a little rough compared to what hers were like.
Blowing out the eggs is the hard part!
If we get two or three really nice ones made, we feel lucky.
One of my first.
They are here and there all over the tree. I lose one or two each year to my daughters. :)
Yes, so I tweeked the doggone tree again. So what! I'm retired and it keeps my mind occupied.
Heavens if one has an idle mind! So I added candy canes...
All over ....from top to bottom
I LOVE those Old World ornaments and when we visited the BIG library last year (or was it the year before?) I added to my collection and the pocket watch was one of my favorites.
Another lovely blurry photo that makes my head ache..not to mention other places!!!
L'il rocking horse..
I mean it and tomorrow I am going to do my visiting in the morning with my coffee (with lots of vanilla creamer of course) and toast, being careful not to get the crumbs in my keyboard.
I think I am going to leave mine up this year until New Years Eve if the tree is doing ok. So far it feels lovely..only four days to go. Hope, hope, hope it lasts....
You all are doing alright out there? Please be doing ok. Life can be a stressful this time of year for so many reasons. It's not always the happiest time of year for many. We each have our burdens, some worse than others.
Not to worry...it's not a very good picture and it took about 20 tries and there is only ONE of them. Lucky you!
It's really very pretty in person..and Joyce @ OCTOBER FARM gave me a lesson is putting lights on a tree without all the hassle that I usually go through. Thanks, Joyce!!
It really is prettier in person.. looks a bit messy in the picture...
Would you believe I had my very first visit to Home Goods on Monday?? Yep..BFF and I went..and had a nice afternoon of brousing. Wow! Could I ever get into trouble in that store. Best that it's not right near me.
The online shopping is bad enough.
The week drags on with sadness. I found myself confused about "silence" and the "prayer circles" etc. I wrote when I was supposed to be quiet.. and was quiet when I was supposed to write.
Not too unusual for me. I felt bad though because I wanted to do things right. So if I wrote a comment when I wasn't supposed to..I'm sorry.
My sweet little Mele sitting on my piano bench. To know her is to love her. She brings me joy.
We must get joy out of the little things in life they say...and she is little. :)
*The news is so sad and it's hard to watch, I know, but to think what the parents are going through. It is overwhelming...
This is the occassional table next to my chair which is next to the fireplace.
This is where I sit in the evening and watch my Kindle Fire or a little TV.
It takes strength to sit here. Not hard to figure out why I put on a couple of pounds already!
See the big basket of huge pinecones there in the corner?
They are from our tree out front! I don't think there is another pine tree in Riverside that produces such beautiful and perfect pinecones. They are hard and shine up beautifully!
A security door. Well, I wish we didn't think we needed it..because a if a screen door was necessary I would choose a cute wooden one. Made by a craftsman. However....I DO dream a lot and PH wanted a good strong door. So...you know... :)
I fell in love with this door mat at Home Goods last year. WHAT is it about plaid that makes me crazy. Once, some years ago when I lived in Jacksonville Florida, there was a beautiful furniture store we visited. Not to buy, you understand, but to look. They had a thick catalog that featured Colonial furniture. There was a dining room that had plaid walls and ceiling...and since then..I've been in love with plaid and dreamed of having a dining room like that. It won't happen..but I kept that catalog for years and years. I wonder what ever happened to it.
The patio table. Left over tree cuttings for the centerpiece. If warm enough I have a plaid tablecloth that will cover that matches the furniture that will go on for Christmas Day. LOTS of people calls for lots of seating. We have an outside firepit....that might be nice. (Those are old afghans covering the furniture to protect it. You KNOW how I always plan for photo's!!) Oh well.
I watched our Presidents talk last night..and New Town coming together with all the faiths..and I cried.
Take care of one another out there...
I am joining our lovely hostess Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life. If you are looking to be inspired..this is the place!
Have you noticed my new Header? Any of you that know me, know by now that I am completely computer illiterate and "depend on the kindness of strangers" to get me through the blogging process.
I have decided that the problem is that I don't know the terminology. That's right. For this reason is it nearly impossible to follow the directions given to me. I know. Awful, huh?
Now...there is this lovely young woman (at least young to me) that for the past few years has been there for me. Oh, there are others..for that matter, I don't think there is a single soul on there that isn't willing to give help in any way they can.
Di, at The Blue Ridge Gal is always there. Oh, she can be strict with me..and she is not one to mince words and if I get to clingy..like a good guardian she just sprays me with a bit of water...I'm kidding, I'm kidding!! :)
Well, I whined to her (knowing full well that she loves doing Headers etc.) and asked her to please, please straighten out the mess I had made of my blog. And...of course she did. This is a busy time of year and I was afraid and embarrassed by the mess my attempts to change my blog had done.
Bless her heart. In no time flat she had me straightened out and had me back on track.
So..if you need a new Header..or whatever..she is your woman. I was doing pretty good on the old blogger but now I can find nothing. I know it takes time..but it is just so frustrating so it's good to have a "Blue Ridge Gal" in your life. Her blog and button are on my sidebar. Tell her Mona sent you. :) I just wanted to give Diane a GRATEFUL shout out. I LOVE my new Header..if you are reading this..thanks again, Di! You are my blogging angel!
My loving daughter's old wagon that I am babysitting for her (though she says I can keep it) until she gets her new home. But in the meantime..I have so much fun with it.
Right now it is a cozy home for my little Snowman..(love 'em) The little wagon changes with the seasons. The ..little Snowman..doesn't. :)
Don't let that little split in the wood bother you. It's been like that for ages..we just keep fixing it. Some good wood glue and a clamp...all set.
See? You are welcome to our porch, so come on over and sit a spell.
Ohhhh..we Californians can talk like that too if we try. Don't you even doubt it! :)
P.S. The day passed. I kept busy and I was with my best male friend on earth. :) PH is always there for me. I am blessed.
And..I sent Patrick to help the angels. :) You know what I mean? I know he is good at that. He was always wonderful in a crisis.
I love our front porch and even when it's cold outside I still enjoy morning coffee out here and watching the birds at the feeders and watching them drink fresh water from the running fountain.
PH faithfully fills it every single morning when he gets his newspaper.
I removed my usual container, found a pretty red Christmas bucket, filled it with water and fresh bows from trimmed Christmas tree's. The lot where I bought my tree is happy to have me haul the greenery away. I overloaded it and I love the look. (saved some more in the back fountain to do a refill if these start to fade.)
*The brown frame on our windows and garage are going to be painted red..SOON!
Not to much, just a touch. I added fresh greenery to my baskets. They will stay watered along with my plants.
Ok..just a touch more..
The front window where Mele loves to lay and watch the birdies! (I must catch a picture of her there.)
The birdies watering hole.
No, really! Go ahead, have a seat! It's nice!
Sometimes when it's so hot in the summer, people will take a little break when delivering flyers...I don't mind.
Oh..and a neighborhood cat..well, she likes to nap here. ..no, I don't mind. Honest. But it drives Mele nuts!!
One day when my family is all united again for Christmas, I have promised myself these tree's will be lit up. It's why I wanted them planted in the first place and they are growing so fast. Our poor lawn was just fed and reseeded..looks sad, doesn't it. Sandy wants to come out in Spring. I want her to see them...
4:31 a.m. Today is the day I lost Patrick exactly 15 years ago. Sometimes it seems like yesterday.
I haven't been to bed, just too much on my mind. I haven't done this for awhile. Just one of those nights when my mind refuses to let go of what's happening. There are no answers sometimes.
The fireplace is finally, finally done. NOT fooling with it anymore. :) Still have to decorate the tree..but I'm willing to bet you've seen a lot of those already. The only thing that has changed about my tree since the 1950's is that I no long use tinsel.
Also, IF...you are wondering why I am showing you the fireplace again..it's because it's FINALLY DONE!!! I have procrastinated as long as I can. I HAVE to wrap it up..and soon. Christmas decorating I mean. I need desperately to be more methodical. Did I spell that right? I'll look it up later.
Also...I love Prims. Not doing the rustic Country style but some of the Prims are just too darned cute! I found the old wood wagon at a garage sale last year..the Santa on Ebay last year also.
Here I am at this ripe old age and still have no clue as to what my style is...
..and also....This is probably one of the few idea's I had that I didn't see anywhere else..but now I see it every now and then on someone's blog. I love it, and since I have a couple of cake plates..an extra I can use for desserts..I can keep plates here and change with the seasons.
Also, I am really hooked on "spooners"..I love the look and the convenience. Is it...because I'm always ready to eat??
Never mind that....
Silverware is courtesy of garage sales! Now collecting that is something I haven't given up. I always have my eye out for old silverware.
It poured rain all day long today so no garage sales this Friday or Saturday. Cold and wet outside.
Are you sending cards out this year?
I'm sending a few. I've got to hustle on that one too.
And..I also have to finish a tablescape...yep...soon...but..PH eats and reads his paper at this table every morning when it's cold out.
I cover the end with another every day tablecloth..put his little lamp on it...and he's all set. *smile* A problem moving all the dishes and silver tray etc. ?? Heaven's NO!
The maple dining room set was Howard's. Mine? It's still in the garage. This one is very retro and I love it. Well..but then so is mine. What to do..what to do??
Also I want to add that I dearly LOVE snowmen! I always start collecting things..and then give it up and move on to something else..not so with snowmen.
Do you know how many lamps I have in our family room...hmmmmm? Nine!! I know! I know!
It's a lot, but I DO love lamp light. (I know..nothing at all to do with anything!)
Diane of The Blue Ridge Gal asked on her blog if we had caught the concert at Madison Square Garden last night. (the night before last..it's after midnight here) Yes. Yes I did. And...did we donate..and yes, yes I did.
Do I appreciate what I have? You bet I do! I realize that everything I have, everything I have collected over the past 50 years could be gone in nothing flat! I live in Southern California RIGHT ON THE SAN ANDREAS FAULT LINE! One day we here in California might need help...it could happen to any of us.
Bedspreads are something I seem to keep and keep for years and every time I make the bed I swear I'm going to buy a new one. YES! And soon..but I don't. When I finally say..that's it, I'm getting a new one and go on the hunt for one, I can't find what I want.
For one thing, at my ripe old age I still haven't a clue who I am! (I have GOT to stop saying that because when I'm 80 I'll look back and think how young I was. I never, ever learn!)
So..as I was saying, it's hard to find what I want.
I finally chose this one...
I finally chose this one..I found it on Amazon. I have a California King bed so it's always a challenge finding a quilt to fit and though this one was not a California King, after I read the comments on it, I gambled and it worked perfectly!
I found the afghan (pure white and just beautiful) on ebay and got it for $10! I love it. I found it about five years ago, it washes beautifully. All hand crocheted. I felt sort of guilty when I won it.
The roses I found at a thrift store and they are old. They are made of some sort of neat woody like material.
I could have done a better job making that bed..heavens!
I found this old trunk in my best friends attic when she bought her house. That was in the late 1960's. She wasn't into an old rotting trunk at the time..and I was. Took it home, aired it out in the sun for a few days and wall papered it witha scrap of paper someone gave me.
It got pretty banged up after my last move and I need to touch it up. I probably won't..but I should.
The quilt was very inexpensive and the blocks are no just a print..they are actual quilt blocks.
The quilting is done in a pretty pattern. Very generously sized too.
Ok...that's enough thrills for you! :) Can you tell how well I prepare for picture taking? Ah well...
...but it's busy, busy, BUSY!
I'm getting there..slowly. It didn't use to be this difficult to get the house ready for Christmas. It isn't that I don't enjoy it, I do, it's just seems to be endless..not the decorating part, but the getting stuff out.
I still have cartons..and I think I will just stop.
I dig, I fix, I change...change again and I start all over. :)
Now I think I know why my Mom got less and less stuff out each year.
A Cup Of Christmas Tea is one of my favorite Christmas stories.
My copy is ...SIGNED..yep! Right place at the right time! :)
Have you read this little book? If you have you will know why it is special to me.
I am beginning to identify with it more every year!
I think I am stuffing candy canes or greenery into every little pitcher or teacup that ...
ok..into everything. Tip..when in doubt...stuff it! :)
My piano is my favorite thing to decorate for the Holidays. Different every year..at least I think so. My memory is...um..fading.
I decorate with toys because...when you have seven children and are broke...that's just what you do!
Over the years I found I loved digging out the toy and finally most just stay out all year just in the living room.
Dollies, gotta have those dollies. Found my tiny ice skates right off this year. I usually have to hunt for them...
I collect old children's books, but I guess I collect a lot of stuff. The little pink village doesn't show up very well because I had to use the flash.. It was painted by a dear friend I met years ago on ebay, Bea @ Relic's and Roses.
So..I'm making progress. I love this time of year. It's work, but happy work!
The kids love it and that means a lot to me.
The tree? Well, it's bought, trimmed and in a bucket of water out back along with all the greenery.
Staying fresh until it's all in place. Lots and lots of fresh greenery!
The house ...well..it's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!