This is what happens when grandparents babysit right before the holidays!
An unsuspecting daughter and son-in-law dropped off their eight month old son so Grandpa and Nammer could watch him.
The old couple conspired to have a little fun….they stripped the little guy down to his diapers, drew circles on his tummy while he rolled and giggled. Added a little red circle on his nose. (All with washable markers) Found a black top hat, retrieved a red scarf, grabbed the camera and had their own photo shoot…
And then…Nammer shared the pictures on this blog and on Facebook…
May your Christmas be merry and bright and may you be blessed….
I am the mother of a first grader who bounded down the steps of the school bus on the first day of December and within minutes was killed in a hit and run. The murderers were never found.
This was over thirty years ago…but NOT a day goes by that my heart and arms don’t ache to hold him once again.
Listening to reports of the recent school shooting tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut my heart feels as if it’s being shoved through a paper shredder over and over. I go about the day misty eyed…
…knowing and feeling the gut wrenching, inexplicable physical pain of losing a child.
…knowing the journey of grief is long, grueling and never really over.
…knowing grief is a very personal journey…there is no right or wrong way to ride this rollercoaster…(unless a coping mechanism becomes unhealthy and inflicts suffering on another).
…knowing emotions are unpredictable…the anger, the despair, the fear, the tears for hours on end.
And, yet, “my heart in its sorrow rejoices,” recalling the kindnesses, the gentleness and the support of so many…family, friends and strangers reaching out with their reassurance of love and understanding.
The world is full of caring, loving people who want very much to help but are often unsure about the best way to show their concern.
I remember a few precepts that were and still are especially meaningful and offer them as a guide to those reaching out to grieving parents:
1. Please don’t ignore my painful loss. Saying nothing hurts worse than saying the “wrong thing” with sincerity. Some helpful phrases: “I’m sorry.” “I don’t know what to say, but I really care.”
2. Let me talk about my beloved, if I want to. Let me talk about how he died. Don’t be afraid to say his name. Share a memory if you want to.
3. Sit with me in silence. Sometimes words are absolutely useless. Squeeze my hand, hold my hand, pat my shoulder…give me a hug…cry with me. Look me in the eye…please don’t be afraid of my sorrow, of my tears.
4. Please don’t tell me you know how I feel! No, you don’t! We can never know how another feels…but ask me how I feel. And don’t tell me it’s part of God’s plan or that he’s in a better place.
5. Certain times of the year will always be hard for me….like all holidays! Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. And most every family milestone tugs at my heart…births, children’s birthday parties, graduations, and weddings.
It’s true…. love never dies…memories of my child are alive and well in my mind and the hole in my heart will only be completely mended the day I am reunited with my beloved child.
But I have been encouraged and sustained by your friendship, your care, your support and help. May you be blessed!
Wonderful song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqwomT5YSiw
The baby chicks are now at the feed stores …..they are adorable !
When we lived on the ranch, we ordered chicks from the midwest. We bought some at the feed store too, but you could find more exotic chickens from a catalog. Our local Post Office would call us to come pick up our box of babies (chicks).
We kept them in the house by our heater for a few days with a heat lamp. Our daughters adored this arrangement. They would bound out of bed in the mornings and hold baby chicks before having to get ready to catch the school bus.
Depending on the outside temperatures, we eventually moved them to the nice little secure pen with a heat lamp in the chicken house. By the time they were hens, they were quite tame.
Our children have backyard chickens and our granddaughter loves to hold them.
She has two that she is especially fond of….this is Dora….
I’ve been contemplating, once again, about having a few Backyard Chickens….but then I also think about turning my front yard into a vegetable garden and my pool into a cement pond with catfish. I’m not sure I was meant to be a neighborhood resident. All those darn CC&R’s !
I don’t remember the first time I tasted it. It must have been in the South someplace. My Grandmother didn’t make it, and not one of my Aunties made it.My Mom didn’t either. One day, somewhere, at some time, I tasted it and fell in love. And I have held Sweet Potato Pie in high regard ever since !
I adapted this recipe from a storybook full of recipes: Sweety Pies by Patty Pinner. She says, “What a woman cooks is a window into her womanly personality—what she thinks, how she behaves, how she feels about herself and the people she cooks for.” I’m still mediating on this little quote, wondering what the full implications could be ? If she means, what a woman cooks, when she cooks, well then, that might open a window into my “womanly personality”.
Frankly, sometimes, I don’t cook. I eat cottage cheese and yogurt or a bolonga sandwich with mayo. I use whole wheat bread though. I think this means I’m flexible, healthy and maybe not in the mood to clean up a cooking mess ! I am blessed though….. I have a Sweet Husband who is an excellent cook and he enjoys it.
When I do cook, I love to bake this Sweet Potato Pie. My family and friends keep coming back for seconds. If there is any left, we have pie for breakfast ! I’m sure your family will want second helpings too.
Sweet Potato Pie
9″ Pie crust
3 medium sweet potatoes
2 large eggs
It seemed like the perfect evening for a pot pie. Rainy and chilly .
Our guys are at the ranch, braving the cold, taking care of cows, and fixing an old yellow truck and two chain saws. They are killing mice and stalking one sneaky raccoon that has taken up residence in our fruit shed.
My daughter and I decided to make a chicken pot pie and watch chick flicks !
Pot pies usually describe a method, rather than a recipe. Generally, a pot pie is a crusted pie made with poultry or meat and chopped vegetables in some kind of sauce. A little trivia note: the first frozen pot pie was made by Swanson in 1951.
This recipe is delicious and perfect for leftover turkey.
We just put the chicken and vegetables in the crust, now it’s ready for the oven.
Ready for serving.
Tender flaky crust, yummy chicken and vegetables….oh so good !
Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie
A delicious moment in time is when I can sit with a good cup of tea and a good book. (Unless you have your own stash of great tea, a good book will be much easier to come by than a good cup of tea).
I was raised by a father and mother who revere books. My father reads strictly for information. His books center around whatever subject he happens to be pursuing at the moment: auto mechanics, horse racing, stock market, health products or internet sales. His office resembles the “How To” section of a bookstore.
My mother reads for pleasure. She reads best sellers, historical fiction and a few self-help authors. It is hard for me to suggest a “good read” for her, because, usually, she has already read the book and one or two others by the same author! Several months ago I thought I had a genuine “find”. I wanted to introduce her toBig Stone Gap, by Adriana Trigiani. I called to share my excitement and discovered she had read that book, and several others by this author. Recently I had been thinking about purchasing Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. My mother and I were discussing Thanksgiving plans and she mentioned she had two books she wanted to loan me. Oh yes, that’s right, Half Broke Horses ! And of course, the other book by Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle. I’m telling you, when it comes to books, it’s hard to keep up with her.
Her office is like an overstocked library. Her desk is surrounded by bookcases on each wall. Books are shelved, stacked and in various states of cascading disorder. And she has read them all. She is a book lover and a book giver. She is of the opinion that a book is one of the finest gifts to give or receive.
The other day I had the privilege of thumbing through the worn red notebook she takes when shopping for a book gift. A page is designated for each family member where she has listed what book she purchased and for what occasion. This wouldn’t seem unusual, except over the years, her family has continued to expand and now, counting the youngest great-grandchild, there are thirty-three family members and another one on the way !
A personalized bookplate adorns the inside of each grandchild and great grandchild’s book. Each bookplate is chosen according to the child’s interest. I have to check with her before I can buy a book for my own grandchildren !
I tell myself this explains why I am a little fanatical about books. I tend to purchase for future reading, not necessarily for the moment. I’m not sure I know what to do with myself, if I don’t have something to read !
At the Author’s Fair in the Shasta Mall I scored these treasures.
A stop at Barnes & Noble to gather a few joke books…our grandson is memorizing jokes, and of course, making them up. He’s also crazy about baseball and learning to read….
and our granddaughter loves dogs, horses and rhyming.
On Tuesday, Cindy Martinusen Coloma was at Barnes & Noble for a book signing. I anticipate curling up with one of these lovely books and a nice cup of tea.
There are few pleasures as enchanting as a good book and a good cup of tea…both carry me into other realms.
Happy Reading and Happy Infusions,
Good News is happening on Oregon Street !!
After months of patiently working to obtain a building permit….
the Oregon Street Antique Mall ……
is in full swing ( that’s with a hammer and crow bar) in creating a new stair case…
which will open up the entire second story. Several dealers are arranging their wares in anticipation of the completed project. I know there is a grand opening planned and we’ll keep everyone up to date !!
And right next door at Tapas Downtown there is more construction activity….
come take a peek…..
Yes, the walls have been knocked down and the gallery area is being expanded !!
This new room will accommodatelarge groups…so book your Christmas party now !!
We are blessed and thankful to be multiplying and growing on Oregon Street !!
All this work just makes me want to have a cuppa tea !
A big thank you to all our family and friends who attended the Tea Tasting Party at the Antique Cottage and Garden Friday night. I miss all of you and it was absolutely divine to connect again with so many of you !!
Thank you also to Lynni Miller, the owner of Antique Cottage and Garden, and Kelly and Mark, who all pitched in to help us get ready ! Lynni, the goodies were perfect with the teas….thanks !
Congratulations to the winners of the door prizes !!
My Sweet Husband is the best ! He patiently loaded and unloaded teas, teapots, hats and all kinds of other necessary “stuff” !
We couldn’t bring the entire tea room inventory……
so we brought some old favorites ….. and some new ones to try…..
Of course, we had to brew a pot of our most requested tea at the tea room…French Creme Brulee…
and what’s a tea party without a green tea ? We tasted our lovely Japanese Bancha !
Aunt Ressie May, a strawberry-kiwi fruit infusion (no Camellia sinensis– no real tea–) has been a delicious choice since we first introduced it as our signature “Drink Pink” tea several years ago.
A blooming tea contributed to the ambiance of the evening…
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect and the garden was delightful…….
Thank you again everyone for making this enjoyable, and successful and we look forward to the next Tea Tasting Party !
Our family made our annual trek to McCloud for our Pumpkin Train trip this last weekend !
Riding in the open air car on the top deck, through the piney woods, our view was spectacular….
though a bit windy.
We delighted in being together on a train full of friendly, happy families….
We joyfully discussed how to find the exact, perfect pumpkin.
And we were transported by the magical sound of the train whistle….
Departing the train for the pumpkin patch, we left our faithful “guardian of stuff”….
and began the search for The Right Pumpkin…..
Studying the pumpkin possibilities is one approach….
another approach is checking to see how tough it is.
At last a selection is made…our rule is you have to be able to carry the pumpkin you choose !
And everyone agreed, it was worth the price of admission !!
Happy Pumpkin Days….have some tea and enjoy !
My “Honky Tonk Man” sang, ” Momma, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” at the Maritime Restaurant & Bar on California Street in Redding. www.maritimeredding.com . Roger & Casey, friends from the Oregon Street Antique Mall (anewscafe.com/placeolder/oregon-street-antique-mall-2/), were guest bartenders at Maritime Friday night. We stopped by for a drink, and to say hi. Uni, owner of Maritime, ask Phil if he would sing. How did she know he could sing ? Maybe she randomly ask people if they would like to sing? I don’t know. She is very sweet and wants everyone to have a good time at her establishment.
I said, “He knows lots of country western tunes”.
Phil and Jimmy Bryant, the talented, and very accommodating musician who was playing that evening, decided on a Waylon Jennings tune. Phil is a gifted singer, but his audience is usually a church congregation, and he usually brings his guitar.
Phil has been singing since I’ve known him. And that’s a long time now. He’s always played a guitar or banjo and he’s always written songs. Whether he is working, driving, or plowing a field, he’s usually mulling over a “tune”.
He had lots of practice. He sang to our children every night at bedtime. Now, in their mid-twenties and early thirties, they have fond memories of his version of various Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, or Tim Harden tunes.
Jimmy asked Phil to send him some cowboy music so he’d be ready the next time we stopped by. I told you, he was accommodating ! Well, we just might hunt up some of those old “honky tonk” tunes…it was sure fun !
“Happy Trails To You”, and may all your infusions be fun,