Puzzling to two and sometimes to three too!

March 1, 2013

My sister ML came for a visit recently.  She was here just two full days, but we made the most of our time … doing “important” things.  Of course we ate, a favorite activity in our family, but for entertainment we alternated from playing our family’s favorite dice game, Yahtzee, to working a jigsaw puzzle.

ML works lots of jigsaw puzzles, so she is much more organized about it than amateurs like me.

She suggested we sort the pieces by similar colors plus a pile for the edge pieces.

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When we were done sorting, I thought the pieces looked like a mosaic.  But when I suggested that since we had already achieved such a “work of art”, why spoil this look by actually assembling them!!, ML thought I was joking, so we started working the puzzle …

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You can see a man’s hand on the left.  That’s because even though Hubby swore off jigsaw puzzles after we had what turned into a jigsaw puzzle marathon a few years ago, he couldn’t resist putting a piece in occasionally as he would walk past.

As hard as ML and I worked for those two days and even for an hour or so the morning of the third day, before she left, we still didn’t get it finished.  When I went to bed that night I had decided to finish it the next day.

What a surprise when I got up in the morning and found this …

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Do you see the two little pieces, upper left?

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What a surprise that the puzzle was finished except for two little pieces.  I laughed to myself because I knew the only other person in the house had finished the puzzle … almost.  I “finished” the puzzle and looked forward to hearing why Hubby had avoided being the one to finish the puzzle.

When Hubby got up and looked at the puzzle, he said he was glad I had finished it and reminded me that he doesn’t really like doing jigsaws.

He may not like them, but I think Hubby would have to agree that jigsaw puzzles are like popcorn — it’s hard to eat (popcorn) or place (puzzle pieces) just one!

ML and I had a wonderful couple of days together.  Hubby pretty much stayed out of our way and did his own thing … until of course, it came to popcorn or jigsaws.  Those he has trouble resisting.


A week like no other …

October 7, 2012

My two sisters and my brother came for a visit a couple weeks ago.  For five days we visited, laughed, ate and played Yahtzee.

Betty is 82 and Martha is 79.  Maybe I’m biased, but I think they look wonderful for their age!

Hubby took a picture of the four of us right after Jimmy got off his plane  …

and a few days later, he took some at home …

but then he told us to look at each other so we would looked more “connected” — and looking at each other made us laugh.  So it did make for a good picture — smart Hubby!

We had a great time.  If you have siblings who are far flung, I definitely recommend a reunion like this.  It was a wonderful experience.

Betty, Jean, Me, Martha and Jimmy — Easter, 1948

The only thing that would have made it better is if our sister Jean, who passed away a few years ago, could have been there too. But she was there in our hearts and in many of our memories —  many of her were about her making us laugh.


Duncan’s Ledger: A Proposal

March 8, 2012

My grandfather’s ledger, begun when he was a cowboy in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, has many, many poems and song lyrics written in it.

Recently a person contacted me about a poem I had previously published from Duncan’s Ledger and asked if the ledger had any dates.  I looked through it and couldn’t find even one and responded to that person’s e-mail with that result.

But I have finally found one dated entry:

That doesn’t really tell me anything different than the information I already had, but it was interesting to see.

This search has re-kindled my interest in reading the ledger and sharing some entries.  Here’s a short one (those are rare!) that I thought was interesting:

(click on the image  to enlarge)

Proposal

If you are, like myself, of the opinion that

an unmarried person is like a half of a

pair of scissors, lacking the other half, I

have the honor to put myself at your complete

disposition, in order that we may cut out

the fabric of life together.

Not exactly a proposal you might hear today, but I find it very charming and elegant.  I wonder if it worked!


Take a Line for a Walk

January 17, 2012

My brother and Page (Call Me Nana tells about my memories of her) have a very talented granddaughter named Alex.  She is a wonderful photographer and artist and is a grade school art teacher.  Unfortunately she grew up on the other side of the country from us, so I haven’t seen her since she was a little girl.  And now she is married and has an adorable little boy, but still lives in the same area … so still far away.  But this is one of the nice things about Facebook — because of it, I’ve gotten to know Alex and her art and have become a fan.

Well, now Alex has started putting videos on her blog, Sabot Studio, which are geared to children, but I enjoy them too.  And I look forward to introducing DD’s daughters to her videos.  I’m sure they will enjoy them too.

Here is the first one of her videos I watched.  I was just totally charmed, so I wanted to share it with you.

I gave this a shot today and it’s no accident that I’m not showing you how my “walk with a line” turned out.  But even though mine didn’t turn out quite as well (ahem) as Alex’, I enjoyed it.  So I’ll try it again with the girls.

Hope you and any children in your life have fun with it too!  And if you go to her blog, you can see her others.


“Like trying to put ten pounds of sugar in a five pound bag! …

January 15, 2012

… that’s a saying my mother had for a tight squeeze.

And that’s what I think of when I look at this picture of Jay (17 years old and about 6′ tall) in the third row seat of Hubby’s new SUV.  When we were visiting them in Tulsa recently it was the first time anyone has ridden back there and it’s now obvious that it is a seat best suited for small children.  Jay didn’t mind riding back there for the short trip to and from a restaurant, but I’m sure much longer would have been uncomfortable.

If it isn’t obvious, his head is against the ceiling.

We really like the new SUV, but it’s good to recognize this limitation early on!


Jean and The Hand-Me-Down Suit

November 26, 2011

I had three older sisters to idolize, but they were significantly older (teenagers when I was born).  Because of that age difference I really never got to be one of the crowd — just the little sister they all babysat for and, well, babied.

Because of our age differences, I was always in a different phase of life than them.  So when I was a young stay-at-home mom with very small children, they were parents of almost adult children and back out in the working world.

My uniform during that time of my life was a sweatshirt and jeans with my hair pulled back in a ponytail (and no make-up).  Beautiful clothes were just not in the cards right then — things our children needed and groceries and household items took priority.

But one time when my second sister, Jean (who was a successful business woman) was visiting, she gave me a beautiful suit that she was tired of (or just saw the sparkle in my eyes when I looked at it).

That suit was probably one of the most impractical clothing items I have ever owned.  It looked great on Jean, but that was when it was accompanied by her great hair-do, perfect make-up and spike heels (suits and spikes were her work uniform).

Being a SAH mom, I didn’t really have a need for such a beautiful suit, in fact, I honestly don’t remember ever wearing the hand-me-down suit.  But I got much enjoyment out of it anyway, just seeing it hanging in the closet, next to my sweats.

The hand-me-down suit was an impractical, never-used, but oh so enjoyed gift from an older sister to her kid sister.

By the way, another gift from Jean comes to mind.  Also during my SAH Mom days, Hubby and I had moved into a little bigger, nicer house and were suffering the to-be-expected financial pains of a larger payment besides all the little unexpected extra costs that frequently come with a move.

Jean came to visit on my birthday and gave me a little box with a device in it that I had never seen before.  I thanked her because I was sure it was something to be thankful for — but then I had to ask her what the heck it was!  It was the control to a garage door opener.  Not exactly a typical birthday gift, but certainly one I enjoyed every time I came home and could push a button and raise the garage door without getting out of the car.


Bonnie

November 22, 2011

Hubby has lots of family in this area and Bonnie was the wife of one of his cousins.  They lived in a town about a half hour away so we didn’t run into them much, but we did always see them at family reunions and, of course, weddings and funerals.

I always liked Bonnie, but I really didn’t realize what a wonderful person she was until we went to her funeral last week.  We had just heard she had a brain tumor not too long ago, so were shocked when we heard she had died.  But this is an excellent reason to go to a funeral.  I now know Bonnie better than I ever did while she was alive, and she obviously inspired many in her life, and especially during her illness, but also many, like me, who heard about her courageous journey through her illness after the fact.

Bonnie kept a journal that the pastor read from during her funeral.  In one entry she talked about working at being thankful for today.  She said she wasn’t going to waste the things she could be thankful for today because she was concentrating instead of what might happen tomorrow.

One entry was about the technician who took the 31 staples out of the incision on her head.  She talked about how gentle and kind he was.

She talked about her husband and children and how blessed she was by them.  The pastor told a personal story of arriving in her room one Sunday afternoon shortly before she died and there was Bonnie and her family sitting around eating, watching football on TV and laughing!

One of the things I found out about Bonnie is that she loved singing in her church choir.  So, of course, they sung at the funeral.  If ever there was a reason we should all join the church choir now, it is that there is no more stirring music at a funeral than the heartfelt songs sung by a choir celebrating one of their own.

We had heard that the end was near for Bonnie and that she was in the hospital.  But the obituary said she died at home — so I had guessed that she had asked to go home to die.

The last entry in her journal was written in the margin of the last page as she was being taken home.  It said, “Almost home”.

Bonnie’s home now.  But I left her funeral knowing that even though she’s physically gone, she has left a wonderful example to all who knew her.

I look forward to getting to know her better when I see her again.