Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Birthday Momma

I've been dreading this day; today Momma would have been 89 years old. The reality is starting to sink in and the tears have been falling much like the rain the last few days. It's strange when you remember someone, you think of the their life in bits and bytes. These are a few of the things that I think of when I remember Momma.

...fresh baked cookies after school, sitting at the sewing machine to make something wonderful to dress me in, turkey and dressing at Thanksgiving and Christmas, fresh coconut cake, going to see her mother every day, flowers from her garden, she bought and gave candy to every kid when they came in with their parents to pay their bill at Arkla, climbing next to her in bed when I was scared, shoes and purses to match every outfit she wore, ear bobs and beads, remembering every family member's birthday and anniversaries with cards, dancing (which she never did until her 50's), her beautiful handwriting, Christmas (oh how she loved Christmas), putting flowers on the graves at the cemetery, teaching me to be independent, music, yard sales, making my Daddy his favorite carrot cake then mailing it to him where ever he was working, yellow roses, loving family forever regardless, fishing, hugs, whistling, Tweed perfume, the color orange, dolls, worrying about her children and grandchildren until the very end...

This is a mini scrapbook I made for one of her birthdays.  She loved getting handmade gifts so it seems appropriate that I share this today!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


I feel that I have fallen into a place of nothingness.  It could be because of Momma's death on January 3rd (I'm not ready to blog on that yet) or maybe it is the season.  I have slept most of the last month and don't seem to have any energy! Brenda and I have taken on a 365 photographic challenge this year and that makes me take at least one photo a day, but so far I don't think my creativity is doing the challenge justice, hopefully I'll start stepping it up soon.  I've been fortunate to meet two wonderful ladies, Darla Young and Ginger English, though the Arkansas Women's Photography group on Facebook and have had some really fun outings and I am learning so much from them. Also met Karen Johnson.  We have been to a meeting together, but have yet to have an outing, but I know we will soon.  It's so fun to have people is this area that I can share a passion with and explore places together!  Retirement has it's perks, that is for sure.

This is going to be a busy month, so I have to start clawing my way out of this funk. Besides photography I need to start quilting again, it's been a couple of months now.  I've promised a quilt for my cousin's daughter.  It was so sweet, at Momma's funeral she brought me a quilt I had made her years ago that was in tatters; it had been loved and used so much!  She wanted to trade it in, which touched my heart! I need to get started on that one soon, I just haven't found the right fabric yet, but I will.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

2014 in Review

2014 held happy and sad changes for me and the family.  Here's the look back:

January - Trip to Fayetteville to photograph eagles; Two trips to Lake Magness to photograph the swans.

February - Bought Nikon D610; Went to Lanters at Wildwood with Arkansas Photography Group; went to Old Washington and Lonoke County to see what I could see; 42nd Wedding anniversary.
March - Judge Mixon died and attended funeral; Momma turned 88 years old; Went to ER with kidney stone; Susan and I to Wye Mountain
April - Ronny Elizabeth Scaife born; Butch's mother died; Brenda and I went to a Mike Martin lecture and then took photos at the Old Mill; Butch fell and went to the ER. 

May - Brittany moved to Gainesville, FL and started her new job with Wal-Mart; Courtroom was dedicated to Judge Mixon. 

June - Robert home from Germany!  Nolen's patent was published! 

July - Retirement lunch at Jean's; Turned 62 years old; Nolen's last day working for Wal-Mart; Nolen moved to Gainesville, FL; Brenda and I to Wildlife Park

August - Retired from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court; Robert and I attended the Photo Expo; Visit with Lynn Hasley; Robert to Atlanta

September - Robyn married Steven Murray; Attended Arkansas Genealogy Seminar; Attended Altanta Warbird Weekend Workshop with Robert
October - Received first social security check and first annuity check; Momma to hospital and rehab; Trip with Brenda to Dogwood Canyon

November - Thanksgiving at Momma's

December - Attended Prarie Grove Civil War Re-enactment with Brenda and Jean Prince; Mother back in hospital, then moved to Twin Rivers Nursing Home; to Nashville with Butch and Stinky to see Ronny, Cody and Statia; to Atlanta for Christmas with the boys and Nolen's Master's graduation from Georgia Tech; Christmas with Momma and Charles at Twin Rivers.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Month of Highs and Lows

What a month December turned out to be, a time of highs and lows.  Where do I start....I guess at the beginning.  I completed Ronny's I Spy quilt and then finshed up another baby quilt, just barely.  My Bernina started having issues that I couldn't resolve and so I had to relearn my Pfaff to finish it up, but it all worked out in the end. Then I moved on and made eight pillowcases for gifts and stocking stuffers.  I had plans to make more gifts, but life happened...maybe next year.
On the morning we were leaving for Christmas with the boys and Nolen's graduation I got the call that Momma was in bad shape and was on her way to the emergency room.  Talk about a HARD decision to make, do you go to your children or to your mother? I guess it was a compromise, we drove to Nashville and met little Ronny and stayed overnight, then drove to Atlanta the next day for a very hurried visit with the boys and attended Nolen's graduation at Georgia Tech were he received his Master's Degree, then headed back home to check on Momma.

It was touch and go for more than a week somehow though lots of family visits, prayers, and tears Momma pulled though.  I don't know how long she will be with us, but I was able to hug and be with her this Christmas, which was a blessing!

This was the strangest holiday ever, no decorations, no kids home, no chaos of wrapping paper and cooking, just waiting for the beginning of a new year.  Looking back though what a great ending...Robert found Alicia and has had many wonderful adventures and is happier than I can remember!  Nolen and Brittany moved to Florida, received his Master's and is on his way of full filling his dream of becoming Dr. No!  Stay tuned for more of the year in review!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Few More Miles...

I have to admit that I'm not posting as much as I had anticipated, but we all know that sometimes life gets in the way! That, of course, is not always a bad thing.  I have been busy and stressed out regarding my Mom's health issues.  It's not easy for me to cope with these situations. I am the one that always feels guilty and inadequate, I can't help it, can't stop it, but I hope I am learning to deal with it.  I do try to forgive myself, I have to in order to survive.  Enough of that, Momma is doing better and seems to be getting stronger, but I have to remind myself she is 88 and can only improve so much.

Now, the fun part was my weekend trip with my friend, Brenda, to Dogwood Canyon in Lampe, Missouri!  It was wonderful and I can't imagine owning such a beautiful place and have the funds and vision to improve on nature. It seems like all of life's problems just slips away the moment to enter! If you are ever in the Branson area, it's worth a visit.  Here's a link to the Dogwood Canyon.  Not only do they have 7 waterfalls, horseback riding, bike rentials, a wonderful wedding chapel, miles of hiking trails and much more, but they have deer, elk, bison and longhorn steer all within reach...literally!  The animals are contained, but you get the sense that they are free roaming and the fun fact is they are all on the Arkansas side of the Canyon.  I hope to be able to go again in the Spring when all the Dogwood trees are blooming!

The next day we went to The Butterfly Palace in Branson and had a great time.  The butterflys are so colorful and photogenic and there are also rain forest creatures to view as well.  I definately thought it was worth the price of admission, especially at the senior discount (LOL)!

On the way home we made a stop at Maplewood Cemetery in Harrison.  There are 700+ sugar maples planted, some had already peaked, some were at peak and some weren't there yet.  It was beautiful but a little surreal at the same time.  There were people, actually taking family portraits with tombstones in the background.  It was a little disturbing to me.  Granted the trees are beautiful, but how much of the leaves are you getting setting your baby in front on the ground.  Oh well, to each his own. Most of my photos are shot looking up, just beause I didn't want to get the stones.  It was a great weekend which I desperately needed!
My plane ticket has been bought for my HUGE adventure!!  April 3 - April 21st Hong Kong and Australia with Robert and Alicia!  I'm so excited!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Miles Behind Me

What a journey I've had the last couple of weeks!  I drove to Atlanta to take a photography class at the DeKalb County Airport and had a wonderful time.  The day didn't go quite as planned, but all's well that end's well.  I managed to get a few photos that I was happy with, but I tend to keep my questions to myself so I don't learn as much as I could.

From Atlanta I travelled to Gainesville, FL to see Nolen and Brittany. Their new house is wonderful and I felt right at home! We visited the Butterfly Rainforest which was wonderful and I would love to visit again.

The next day my cousin, Diane, and her husband, Ron, drove up from Ocala for lunch! It was so great to see them both!  I haven't seen them in years, but since we keep in regular contact, the years melt away!  I wish we had had more time, but was thankful for what we had.  She made me a darling little doll and sent one home for Momma!  So sweet, but she always has been!! After we parted I decided to go to Payne's Prarie and hoped to see the wild horses, but it was a rainy, dreary day.  I did see some deer and enjoyed the afternoon rain and all!

Then I travelled from Gainesville to Daytona Beach to see Ken and to meet his wife, Vickie! It was a fun day with lunch. time at the beach, and good conversation. The visit was short, but it was wonderful!  I felt like I had known Vickie forever and look forward to a lasting friendship!
On the way back from Florida to Atlanta I stopped at Andersonville, GA to tour the POW Museum located on the grounds of Andersonville Civil War Prison!  It was worth the stop, it's very moving. Then on to a little retail therapy at the Scarlet Thread quilt shop!  After an overnight stay with Robert I was homeward bound!!  I got home just in time to get the laundry done before Momma had a health crisis! It was a scary couple of days, but we were blessed that she is recovering! 

Robert came home to retrieve his car in Dallas.  We made a one day trip and amazingly his car was in perfect condition!  So happy that it's finally stateside, now to get his household goods delivered so that he can put that chapter behind him!  Sula and Max went to their new home in Atlanta, so our house is quite once again!  Wow, what a wild couple of weeks!  I spent 45 hours in the car driving and several stressful days with Momma!  You know, I think I need a vacation!

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Fear Factor

My fear factor is "how will I age"!  My dream for aging is to be fun, mentally sharp, and engaged in life! I'm fearful that I will age like my Mother.  Please don't misunderstand me, I LOVE my Mother, but I'm so afraid of how she's aged and that it will be my destiny.  I've been thinking about it alot since I've retired and more pressure is being placed on me to visit more and call more.  I am happy that I have my Mother (she's 88), and that I can talk to her, the thing that bothers me that these needs are delivered and clothed in guilt. I'm made to feel less than a good daughter and that I don't do enough, but I know that it will NEVER be enough. I've joked for years that my epitaph on my tombstone will be "She tried, but it was never enough!" I am NOT looking for sympathy, for I am very lucky in life, but I wan tto put my thoughts, today, in writing, so that I can read them back to myself and not forget! 

So to my boys here is want I want in my old age: 
  1. I do not want to DEPEND on my children for my social life.  I will use social media. activities, and clubs or goups to keep me connected with loved ones and friends and engaged in life. You have your own lives to live, independent of me.
  2. I do not want my children to be care givers for me.  Yes, put me in a facility, if necessary, but be an advocate for my care and well being (make sure they have Wi-Fi and I have a working device)! Don't worry if I don't like it, I probably won't, but deep in my heart I know you have a life to live; that's what I've wanted for you since the day you were born! 
  3. Call me when you want to connect, which I hope is because you love me and miss me or you are excited to share your life with me. Don't call out of a sense of duty or guilt.  Facetime or Skype is awesome and I promise I will call you also, and not just sit and wait on you to initiate contact. 
  4. I don't expect you to read my mind or just "know" what I need.  I know you are not physic, I will let you know what I need! It's MY responsibility, not yours.
  5. Know that some days will be dark, that's just life. Don't hold it against me or let it ruin your day.  I love you!