Life is good in the trailer hood!

Posts tagged ‘Family’

A Mother’s Love

paul and dot family 1960I wrote this several years ago, just before my mother passed away in 2007. Thought you might enjoy another glimpse in my gardens of life.

Sitting in the chair next to Mom, I watched and listened as she breathed softly. Her face is so thin now, not like when she was up and on her feet. Even after taking care of Dad for many years as he suffered with Parkinson’s disease, she remained healthy and active.

Mom was always going — to church; with family and friends; outside to work in her flowerbeds! God gave her life and she enjoyed a full one. Married for fifty-eight years, mother to eleven children, grandmother and great-grandmother to many more, she always had charity and showed hospitality to all. She taught us what love really is.

Tears stream down my face as I recall moments I’ve cherished with her, trying to focus on the joy of the life He gave us. It’s a hard task, because Mom hasn’t acknowledged my existence in over a month, and I choke back the tears, not feeling joy at all. I miss her laughter.

I remember the day my son Russell was born, she was there helping bring new life into this world. Her love shines throughout my life. When my daughter Mirandy arrived, nothing could keep her out of the newborn nursery, even the nurse on duty. She loved each grandchild and great-grandchild even before they were here!

When my daughter’s firstborn arrived, Mom was excited to make the trip, although a long one. We invited her sister, Nonie. Both were about eighty years old, neither got around easily. My friend Trish and I were ready, albeit a little nervous about their comfort. The journey would be worth it, just exhausting. After praying, we were on the way!

Grandma Dot was ready to meet Ashley and be with Mirandy. Across the Midwest we drove, laughing and playing road games while stuffed inside Mom’s little white car! At the motel after arriving at our destination, we giggled like school girls, playing with Ashley and her gifts! Four generations of females were blessed those days in that room we shared. Our love grew stronger for each other.

On the trip home, time at Precious Moments became another precious memory. Afterwards, a fast food picnic lunch at a city park, and we were on the way to see where Dad’s maternal grandparents were buried.

Mom misses her mother, too. She is ready to go Home! It’s hard to give her up, but I have wonderful memories. Soon she will be with her Heavenly Father.

I wipe my face with an unscented white tissue, the kind she has always used. I think of her life, plain and simple, a God-fearing woman. I cry because I miss her, even though she is next to me. I wish she would wake up, call my name — be aware of me.

On a side note, my sister and I look alike. Both Mom and Dad have called me Vicki most of my life!

I’m thinking, “Say hello! Fuss at me! Call me Vicki!”

I dry my tears. She’s awake.

Hope arises! She opens her eyes and says, “Vicki?” 

“It’s Evelyn, Mom!”

Wacky Wednesday

Wow, its Wednesday.  Hump day.

On a roll. Downhill slide.

Busy schedules and the rush of the holidays have you running short on time?

Kids want dessert?

Many moons ago, my mother was a cook at our school cafeteria, and they made this simple cake often.

Everyone loved Wacky Cake! Thankfully she taught me how to make it, too… ’cause I love chocolate and sometimes I don’t have eggs!

This is such an inexpensive dessert,  and the kids can even mix it up. (No mixer needed, just stir until the lumps are gone.)

Here it is, a delicious, easy to make dessert for this Wacky Wednesday.

Did I mention it’s chocolate?

Photo

I made these to give as gifts!

Wacky Cake

6 tablespoons cocoa
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift or mix all dry ingredients together in a big bowl (or even in the  9 x13 inch cake pan you are going to bake it in). Add liquids and stir until smooth.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Or… bake the batter in wide mouth pint jars filled about half full of batter. (Check after 35 minutes.)

Photo

Sterilize lids in water while baking cake.

When cakes are done (toothpick test), put lids and rings on jars, finger tighten, and wait for the ping.

Now you have gifts ready to tag! These makes wonderful troop gifts for care packages, or for when someone shows up unexpectedly. Makes nice individual mini loaf  size pans for inexpensive gifts for co workers, teachers, and friends.

Frosting

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons cocoa

1/3 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter

Mix together and boil for 2 minutes. Stir until cool, pour over cooled cake.

Or… sift powdered sugar over cooled cake… or don’t frosted… or make a powdered sugar glaze, pour over warm cake!

The following is my favorite icing for this Wacky cake, although most times I don’t even add icing.

Powdered Sugar Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
3  tablespoons  liquid (milk – water – fruit juice, etc.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional
Combine ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour over warm cake.
*Glaze is good on cookies, cakes and breads.
WACKY? Well, yeah!

Sorry for the double spacing on the one recipe. This computer is wacky, too!

The Flowers In God’s Gardens!

I grew up around flowers, am a grower of flowers, and totally a flower lover. As a youngster, when my mom and her mom walked around my grandma’s yard, I followed closely… probably driving them crazy wanting know the flowers names.

I don’t think there is more beautiful art than a flower. They are full of God’s glory. Each flower is an individual, you won’t find two exactly alike. Anyway, I have never. Each has its own unique petals, fragrance, and beauty. I named my daughter Mirandy after the rose in the above picture!

It’s like people! None of us are the same. Some think they are more normal than others, several are healthier, some are tall and skinny while others carry excess weight. While part of the population think they are smarter than everyone else, maybe some are while others have no self-esteem.

There are meek people, overly outspoken, beautiful, homely, etc. I could go on forever, but I won’t.

My point is it takes all kinds of people to make up this world. Some are beautiful roses, some are dandelions. I love dandelions. I also love sweet violets, red roses, yellow roses, daffodils, and zinnias.  (Okay, for real, I love all flowers.)

My hubby however thinks dandelions are weeds.

In a child’s eyes, a dandelion is as pretty as any flower in God’s great garden.

Today my friend sent me an email. As I read the story entitled The Blue Rose, I thought of all the differences in flowers and people. (Link to this email at the end of this story.)

This started me thinking again. I know… there she goes again!

Several years ago my mom, my sisters and I were in Connecticut. My younger sister Vicki was driving  us around, showing us her part of the country! We were admiring the peak season of the beautiful New England state, and talking about how vibrant the colors were.

One thing led to the another, and soon my older sister Pat asked this question, “If you were a flower, what would you be?”

Vicki said she would be a daffodil, Pat – a red rose, and me… well I have always loved friendship, so I always thought I would be a yellow rose.

When we asked our mother what she would be, she said very meekly and quietly, “Oh, a violet.”

I was thinking… a violet?

That is so small and common, and Mom, you have raised some of the most gorgeous flowers in the US… a violet?

Then she turned to us and grinned!

Breaking into  a beautiful song, she sang, “Sweet violets, sweeter than the roses!”

Oh the memories of sisterhood!  We always knew you were her favorite, Vicki! 🙂

Here’s the link to The Blue Rose. (author unknown)

So what kind of flower are you in God’s garden?

Socialization Rocks… Or What’s Your Story?

Third Grade, 9 years-old ~ What’s Your Story?

Friends, I would like you to tell me… what’s your story? Please comment at the end of the post. Share with me just what it is that you get from this social networking site we use online on our computers?

Playing scrabble with my friend Patty, from childhood, this morning transported me to pondering about life. As I was thinking about my friends, I wondered how different life would be if we didn’t have this tool.

For one thing, communication with so many of your family and friends would be next to impossible. With social networking sites, we are able to stay connected to many lives. In an instant you can pray for someone, rejoice with them, or congratulate a friend! You can send birthday greetings, hear sad news, see milestones happen, and so much more.

Here’s my the beginning of my story. I hope you will share yours.

Rewind: …to my preteens. Living in a rural area, neighbors are not a few feet away. Growing up, we didn’t have close neighbors.

As I recall, one day Dad went to our neighbor’s house for some reason. Don’t remember why. Some of us kids were with him, and when arrived he said we could get out and play.

This little blonde headed girl lived there, and we immediately became friends. Living in another school district, I had never met her. Long story, short! We were childhood friends, who through the years saw each only  occasionally. Through Facebook we have connected with each other and started right back where we stopped.

I love connecting with my family and friends playing scrabble and WWF on Facebook. With chat on the page, you can laugh with each other while you play. Kind of makes you feel like you are there!

Visiting with and getting to know my friend Barb better has been a blessing in my life. We love talking about our grandchildren and have a lot in common. She makes me laugh and sometimes makes me cry. I enjoy her friendship!

I admire her for her courage in the battle she has fought to survive cancer. It’s rejoicing to know that my grandchildren have wonderful grandparents to love and care for them.

I can go on and on about the connections I have made, but I would be here all day!

I think we should start a blog roll and share our stories on the blog.

Here’s some people who I connect with.

My children, sisters, sisters-in-laws, nieces, brothers, brothers-in-law,nephews, grandsons and granddaughters, cousins, aunts and uncles. This includes childhood friends from church and school, and people I have met in my life. There are students I have taught, teachers I worked with, my some of my scout troops from many years ago. Many of my friends through life are on here!

It doesn’t take long to scroll down through your news feed and stay in tune with your people’s lives.

This is time I give to my life and living it… me, time! We may not be able to comment on every post, or read every link, but only clicking the like button shows we are alive, well enough to be online, connected, and interested in what the other person is going through in their lives!

That’s the start of my story! What’s your story?

First Times… A New Chapter In Life

This is one of our first times... when my son started school!

The first time my daughter Mirandy started preschool is one tearful day I will never forget. Fast forward a generation.

When her daughter started kindergarten, I was with her, too. Mirandy was an emotional wreck all day. When my granddaughter graduated from kindergarten, my daughter shed tears. (But then so did I!)

Last year I spent the first morning of two of my grandchildren’s school year with them. My grandson was starting pre-k for the first time, and my daughter Mirandy couldn’t quit crying.

I am often telling her the nut doesn’t fall to far from the tree! Then I remembered her first day at preschool!

Oh, how she cried! She wanted her mommy, but her mommy had to work. Hanging on to my skirt tail dragging behind me, was one unhappy little girl! I cried all day while trying to sell clothing at the department store where I worked. She was fine within five minutes of me leaving.

Today, my niece Angie is starting a new chapter in her life with her first baby girl. She started preschool for the first time. I think it was worse on Grannie than it was Mommy! And I think my great-niece was pretty excited today! I told Angie she came about it honestly, and if she didn’t have those feelings she wouldn’t be who she is… a caring Mother!
My friend Jennie’s new chapter is her son’s last year of school, her daughter’s first year of high school, and her little one goes to head start. She doesn’t know which one makes her sadder!

Then there is Niki, my cousin who I have been close to since she was born! Her son started preschool, too, for the first time. He informed her the night before at the dinner table, “I am walking into school by myself!” She feels numb.

My friend KML was taking her infant grandson for a walk. As she watched the little ones board the bus, she felt emotional. Excited moms were snapping pictures, instructions given about which bus to ride home.

Her little one was sleeping in the stroller with not a care in the world. As she gazed on him, her thoughts went back to another day. It seemed like only yesterday she was one of those excited moms!

For my cousin Jannie it is “Moving Day!” Her son is off to college. She has mixed emotions. She is happy  for him on this new journey, but she is sad at the same time.

When my son started school for the first time, I was sad all day, but he was ready for school and loved it. It was hard to send my firstborn out in the world.

My feelings were exactly the same the day Russ started college out-of-state and a new chapter unfolded! I remember how sad I was that he was moving out-of-state, but happy for his good fortune. Today he has a son and daughter in high school and the youngest son in elementary.

It is all mixed blessings. With new chapters in your life, sometimes there is sadness, emotions, tears, and well, just living. We want to hang on to the babies that we have nurtured and loved. We don’t want them growing up and having to face the real world.

But one day we all come full circle and treasure each of those special moments! We all live it, we all have our book of life to fill! We’re all going to go through transitions and emotional roller coaster rides so… I say, embrace life, and do live like you are dying!

My latest chapter is “Great Grandparents, Again?” I am glad I am not still raising grands!

But on those sad occasions when you are having a bad day, just remember chocolate is a whole other food group! 🙂

How did you feel when the first time  your new chapter started?

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren!

Grandparents are raising grandkids by the millions!

In 2007 there were  6.2 million grandparents raising grandchildren up to age 18 in the US, alone. Now, that’s a staggering number, people!

Here is the first step in getting these facts for your state. Click the link. <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>
Source: 2007 American Community Survey

Being from Oklahoma and have participated in this very thing, I sympathise with all grandparents who have given of their own lives to help a child in need. That includes adoptive parents, who adopt in later years and are old enough to be a grandparent.

There are always good times, and bad times, and many times there are blessings for both, grandparents and grandchild.

In Oklahoma programs and services are available to these grandparents.

Many caretakers in this group do not have the resources or a computer to know how to find their way around the internet or know where to look once they are there.

Many are unaware of these services.

For my friends and family in Oklahoma, click the following link:

http://www.okdhs.org/programsandservices/aging/grand/

With the amount of baby boomers turning sixty and many more following soon, the Oklahoma State Plan on Aging is something we all have to think about sooner or later. Everyone knows someone who falls into this category and one day may need to use this plan.

It’s an interesting read. I learned a thing or two!

http://www.okdhs.org/NR/rdonlyres/806C77AB-6690-437E-BF4E-24B2CF8ACCD3/0/OkStatePlanAging20112014_asd_10192010.pdf

And back to grands raising grands, I have been there.

Done that!

Eight years of it, and let me tell you, it’s not easy!

It’s not important so much as to why the reason… this happens. All cases have diverse and various situations that come with the personal family. Every person has their own stories to tell.

Mine is just as different as everyone elses, although it all comes back to it… it’s a hard fact of life.

How do to deal with the problems that arise, when you  are dog tired, cried out, wrung out, and strung out to dry…

PRAY REALLY HARD!

One problem with me was with the feelings of the children. They were confused and sad for not having their parents around; all the unsettling emotions that affect these situations of separation.

How would you deal with this, if it were you?

Would you be up to taking on this overwhelming task?  (Although it does have its rewards!)  🙂

So many people are facing this today, right this minute, as I type and as you read this.

If you know someone, who can benefit from this information, please share this blog with them. If you are in this situation, check this information out. You probably will find the help you are looking for!

Pass it on, someone somewhere is looking for this help! It’s just the right thing to do. Helping others along the way, that’s what it’s all about!

There is a lot of support for grandparents raising grandchildren, and aging; help yourself to some.

Blessings Galore!

When you open your eyes the first thing in the morning, what are you thinking? Do you dread getting out of the bed, and going to a place of employment that you don’t like? Worrying about how much you have to do that day?

Or are you one of those people who jump up and greet the morning with thankfulness and praise?

I am a morning person. I love to lie in the bed for a little while, stretch the kinks out of my body, and reflect on my upcoming day, pray to my God, and feel good about the new day that He has blessed me with!

I am alive! I also can walk, talk, breath on my own, and hear without an aid. I have so many blessings bestowed on me. I live with a wonderful man (although he does have serious control issues)! 🙂

Okay, I do have to wear glasses to read, but I am thankful that I can find a pair to put on that isn’t broken! I can see, though!

I can smell a fragrant flower, and can still bend over to touch my toes. For all my years, I am in pretty good health.

Living in this great nation, even with the crazy politics, is a blessing. Free to come and go as I please, to attend the church of my choice, to believe as I wish, is another awesome blessing.

God has blessed me with wonderful loving children, thirteen healthy grandchildren, and a healthy great-grandson. Yesterday, I  learned  there is another blessing on the way… another great-grandchild!

Sunday night as I was getting ready to lay my tired body down, my bedroom door opened. Thinking it was my husband coming to bed, I was shocked to hear my friend telling me to get up and look at my new stove.

Wow, God is great!

My precious friend and her husband bought me a cookstove, complete with a self-cleaning oven!

We have been without a working cookstove for three years. Not that I haven’t cooked, people. I have cooked on a two burner portable countertop stove, my griddle, along with a portable roaster oven. So to me this was a major blessing!

I can bake cookies again! Yummy! And make jalapeño jelly! Yippee! And as my husband says, now go make me some cornbread!

Now I realize that to some this isn’t a big thing, but as my kids used to say when they were young, “I am a cooker!” I love to bake and concoct great meals. Taking food to others is a blessing to me, and I love to see people enjoy good food, and if I do say so myself, my parents taught me well. It might be just country cooking, but everyone enjoys it!

Blessings are all around us, we just have to open our eyes and take them in. Right now, I am going to use one of those blessings God has provided me with, and cook a great big supper. I don’t even care if it’s hot!

Count your blessings, name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done! (Love this song!)

Right now, one of my blessings is calling, he’s hungry!

Oh yes, just wanted to share this… from a friend of mine on Facebook!

Never pre-judge what the end of a matter may turn out to be, unless God shows you crystal clear. Oft times, we think we know, and then what comes to pass, we weren’t even close. If fact, we might have hampered many blessings to others and our self. Let go, and let God …. watch and pray … and wait.

God bless you, and have a great evening!

Are You Virtuous?

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines virtue as conformity to a standard of right; a particular moral excellence and more. To have virtue is to have a commendable quality or trait.
 
So I am wondering this morning just what we do to prove ourselves virtuous? Are we doing our best we can to behave in a way that is becoming to others around us? Is our daily conduct pure and full of good intention, putting others before ourselves? Or do we have the tendency to think about me before others? Do words come out of your mouth you wish you could take back?
 
From our partners in life, to our children, parents, siblings, family, and friends, do we behave according to the teachings of God? What about in the workplace, in traffic,  at the grocery?
 
Is patience a virtue? Yes.
 
Kindness? Yes.
 
Reflecting on my commendable qualities and traits, I realise I fall short in so many areas. My patience can get very thin when I hear negativity, and it tends to irritate me. I really need to work on this. But then, God’s still working on me! 🙂
 
Like I said in yesterday’s blog, we don’t always agree with what comes from someone else mouth or their minds.
 
In all honesty, I try to show kindness. Sometimes it is hard to do when people drive you crazy with the things they say and do. I want to mouth back and tell them to get a life. Well, they have one, and judging them is not a virtuous thing to do! It is putting me, right there, doing the same thing that disappoints me. I’m still working on this, too!
 
The spoken word is a powerful thing, and could have a blessed outcome, or can harbour ill feelings. Even a flippant remark can cause offense in an insecure person.
 
My grandmother had a saying that my Mom shared with me. I try to remember it when I get ready to run my mouth! “Taste your words before you spit them out!” Such wise words from two women that were as close to virtuous as most any I know.
 
Contentment…  with what you have, not what you want to have seems a virtuous trait, I would say. This is the one area I feel like I do okay with. I’m content with what I have. Okay, maybe I am not so content with the weather, but that is in God’s hands, not mine.
 
What does virtue mean to you? Is it striving to help your husband or parents as much as you can? Taking food to someone? Helping the needy, the sick, the downcast?
 
Here are a couple of things that aren’t virtuous… gossip and putting others down.
 
Would love your opinion. We can all use good advice to make us stronger, more chaste human beings. How can we strive as women to behave more virtuously?
Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31-10
 
Okay, my husband said I should put this in here. He really thought it was funny! While I was proofreading and editing this post, my computer froze up and wouldn’t let me edit a word. That patience imperfection rose up and I growled.
He questioned me, “Did I do something to upset you?”
I bit my tongue, and replied, “No!” A few minutes later, I shared with him what was happening that frustrated me. He cracked up!
I told you, “I am still working on that! God’s not finished with me yet!”
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