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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beary Treasures

Well, let's see......  In my last post,  I wrote about the wonderful time we had celebrating my 84 yr. old father-in-laws birthday.    Today, since most of you will never be able to come to my home...I will continue to take you on a virtual tour so I can share with you my treasures.  How many of you are collectors of something?  OK...exclude the dust bunnies that we ALL collect!!  There is nothing unique about them except that they are free of charge and increase faster than most other collections....LOL

I would LOVE to know what you like to surround yourself with...what brings an extra measure of happy to you.    Please....DO SHARE!!

TEDDIES.....I absolutely  ADORE stuffed bears!!!  Not just any has to have personality or a special "squishiness" to it!!   It has to grab at my heart. 

A few years ago, I had a pretty large collection of them.  Then I got to thinking ( oh how I wish I would not think so much!! ) that I was too old to be having such a childish array of "stuffies".  So I began to give them away....mostly to teenage girls.  My little darling 1950's "Build - A - Bear" in her pink poodle skirt, white blouse, pink sweater with white pearl buttons, complete with a pink scarf tied around her neck.  OH!!  and her saddle shoes and socks!!    I miss her and just might see if I can "build" another one like her.  The idea is sounding pretty good to me.....hmmmmm

I did keep a few that have sentimental meaning to me and I have started to add to this favorite collection again.    AGE!!  Pfffftttt.....I no longer care.  LOL   They are precious to me with their sweetness and I will admit that in moments of deep despair I have been known to cuddle with one of them......and was much comforted.  TMI ~ (too much information)?????    I hope not.  I love this girly, feminine side of me....just sayin'.......

4 1/2 years ago, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. During that time, my sweetheart of a husband went to "Build - A - Bear"...can you tell I love that place??... LOL...and bought this bear for my birthday.   At first, I thought it was a weird gift from him, but then I saw the thoughtfulness of what he had to represent breast cancer and to comfort me through my ordeal.  Needless to say, this one is precious to my heart and will be with me forever.

I am the "extremely proud" Nana to 10 wonderful grandchildren.  Well, my first grandchild, Morgan, will be 18 next month so I may need to consider not thinking of her as a child anymore!!!  LOL   But, she was a precious 10 year old when she gave this sweet little man to me as a Christmas gift.  She was so proud of herself.....#1 ~ because she had gotten me a gift that she knew I would love and  #2 ~ because she had found it at a garage sale....for $1.00!!!   When I opened the gift, she gave me all the particulars about how she obtained it.  She was immediately "sshhh'd" by parents....but I loved it!!!  She was proud of herself and I let her know what a good shopper I thought she was.  Her smiles and her happiness of giving this gift to her Nana, who she adored!!,  will never leave my mind....and the bear will never leave me.  :)

What a sweet story goes with this little one!!!  I began my computer journey in 2000...knowing absolutely nothing about how to use one.  As I began to learn to use it, I knew that what I wanted more than anything was to find good people who I could have conversations with....laugh together and just share our day to day lives with one another.  I was very lonely at that time and I figured a few "cyber pals" would be great.  I started out by going to "pen pal" sites...but OH MY!!!....there were 1000's of names on the lists!!  How in the world was I going to be able to find that special someone that I was looking for??  Well, God hears even the smallest of prayers  :)   I sat at the computer one day and I prayed.  I told the Lord what I was wanting, a friend who would share with me, laugh with me and have alot of the same interests as myself.  And then I began looking at names again.  There she was!!!  I just knew...there she was!!!  So, our of all those names, I picked one and I sent her a small email asking her if she would be interested in seeing if we would enjoy becoming "cyber friends".  She wrote back saying that she would like that......and 12 years later we are the best of friends!!!  But here is the best part.....

6 months or so after we began writing to each other, we just knew that we wanted to meet each other in real life.  BUT.....I live in Texas....she lives in Pennsylvania.  So so far from each other.  We finally came up with the idea of meeting half-way.  That half-way place was in Shelbyville, Tennessee.  Just to be on the safe side, we had our husbands come with us.  We stayed for a weekend at the Cinnamon Ridge Bed and Breakfast in Shelbyville.

Whew!!  I have digressed and gotten away from my beary treasures.....but I just had to share with you the wonderfulness of meeting Vee Ann Claar...who I call Doodie.  We had a wonderful weekend together...but it did not end there!!!  For my 50th birthday, I flew to Pennsylvania and spent a week with her!!  She took me all over PA, letting me see the Amish, the Mennonites....the beautiful countryside.  It was just a fabulous experience.  And then, she was able to come to Texas and spend a week with me!!  It was dreams come true for both of us...because I had never been to PA...she had never been to Texas.  

Soooooo, back to the yellow bear....LOL   When I went to visit her, we spent alot of time shopping.  She bought this bright, sunny bear as my birthday little Pennsylvania cuddler, a "keeper" for sure!!

Now, is there anything so cute as teddies in clothes!!  These young ladies are adorable and I especially love the face on the smaller one....and check out that headband!!  Tooooo cute!!

I have enjoyed sharing my beary sweet treasures with you and hope that you enjoyed them too.   As time goes on, I will surely find other dear teddies to add and will bring them here as well.  I would love for you to share something you love to collect with me. your comments below, where it says "comments" instead of on FB.  That way I can always see what you have to say here.  If you cannot figure out how to post below, then just go ahead and leave your comments on FB and I will transfer them to this blog so we can all stay together.  Also, you are more than welcome to click on "follow".  

         ~ Till the next blog....wishing you a *beary* wonderful day ~ 


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Storing Memories

Naomi...........................Gary's sister
Tim...............................Naomi's husband
Jackson.........................Tim and Naomi's son
Denise...........................our daughter
Lloyd.............................Denise's husband

I am starting this off with a "cast of characters" so that you will know who I am talking about.

My father-in-laws 84th birthday was this week, Feb. 9th.   Jack is such an amazing man.  Gary and I will be married 42 yrs. this Monday, Feb. 13th.  I have been so blessed to be able to have Jack for my father.  Recently, I told him how much I appreciated him for being such a wonderful christian example to our family.   I told him that I appreciated him for welcoming me into his family.....for putting up with me while I was still "growing up".  He actually gained another child because I was only 18 years old!!! I let him know how much I loved him.  

In September of 2011 ( I think this is correct ), Jack was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma.  He has gone through chemo....his last treatment will be on March 2nd.  On that day, he gets to "ring the bell".  That will be his way of saying  "I have made it!!....I am done!!....I am out of here!!"

He shows no signs of cancer right now.  We are so thankful to God and to the medical team that has taken care of thankful that we still have him with us.  Certainly this has been a great trial for him, but he has done well.  Having had cancer myself and knowing what it is like to go through chemo treatments, I am able to appreciate what he has suffered and for what lies ahead for him.

He has lost alot of weight....he is frail and unsteady.  Hopefully, he will soon begin to get a better appetite and put some weight on his body.  I know that the strength does not return fast.  I am 4 1/2 years cancer free and am still struggling with the tiredness and low energy levels.  But I can also see a great improvement from how I was feeling these past 4 1/2 years.  I pray that God will be merciful to Jack due to his age and bless him with renewed strength before long so that he will be able to enjoy what time he has left.

As a birthday gift to himself, Jack wanted to be able to come to Tyler, which is about 3 to 3 1/2 hours from where they live, to see his 8 great-grandchildren......and hopefully, the rest of us......LOL   We (Lloyd, Denise, their 8 children, Gary and I) live on 11 acres in the piney woods of East Texas.  Gary and I live across the driveway from our daughters family.  Lucky us!!!  We love being able to watch our grandchildren growing up.  For that matter, we even like watching Denise and Lloyd growing up!!  :)  Living here with them is such a blessing and we appreciate so much that they asked us to move here on their land with them.

So today Tim, Naomi, their son Jackson, Jack and Dottie came to Tyler for a fish fry.  This was planned during the week when the weather was cool..not cold...but just nice.  Wouldn't you know that a cold front blew in and it was miserably cold today!!!  Low 30's, with a breeze that made the chill factor in the 20's....brrrr.   We ladies were very thankful that it was the men standing outside frying that fish!!!  If it had been left to us, it would have been done on the stove instead of in the deep fryer...LOL

Tim, Gary and Adam braving the cold!!

Gary and Jackson

1st Batch in....

We finally were able to sit down to a wonderful meal of fried fish, hush puppies, hashbrown casserole, deviled eggs and a delicious succotash.

Is there anything more special than spending time with those you love???

Our oldest granddaughter, Morgan, is an awesome cook and baker.  She served us a divine Hershey Candy Bar Cake....OH MY WORD!!!!   That cake was so wonderful we were all talking about it....lots of  "mmm..." sounds being uttered.

2 year old Anna loved it so much that she even licked her plate!!!  LOL  She wanted to make certain that she got every last bit of that wonderfulness!!

Ella Grace was so happy that she finally got her piece of cake  :)

Heather, our "almost" 16 yr. old granddaughter, blessed us with her piano playing.  Watching and listening to her play made my heart feel like it was filled with tears of joy......I am just so proud of her talents and the way that shes uses them.

Heather blessing us with her music

Morgan, Heather  &  Me
These 2 darlings are my pride and joy!!!

The day ended with us sitting around playing the "do you remember" game....telling about some of our "devilish moments" when we were younger and just laughing and laughing.

Mother and Son sharing a special moment

Jack was able to go home a happy man.  He was weak....but he was content to sit and listen to the stories and the laughter of those he loves.  I think for many of us the specialness of this day will remain with and forever.

"FAMILY ~ where Life begins and Love never ends"

Thursday, January 26, 2012


WOW!!  Do you remember, when you were growing up, how you so looked forward to certain birthdays....because they were really special ones?  Turning 13.....16....18....21.  And it seemed that these special bdays would NEVER get here!!!  Ohhh, how I wanted time to pass so much swifter than it did.  After all, once I turned 13 I was no longer a CHILD.....but a TEENAGER!!!   And turning 16 just brought about all sorts of wonderfulness with it.  There was dating...and more privileges.  How special was that!!!  Time just seemed to drag ever so slowly.

But now....NOW!!!  Ohhhh time.....will you please slow down!!

We are now into the year 2012.  I am thankful that I have come this far but wish that time would take on the slow-paced feeling of yesteryear.  I have so much to still much I want to enjoy.  And it seems like time is running on and leaving me behind.....LOL    *SIGH*

Anyway.....WELCOME TO 2012 EVERYONE!!!   May you be blessed more than you ever have been before.

In my last posting, I talked of how I love to collect things and how sentimental I am about my collections.  My family thinks I am quite weird about the sentimentality I have towards "stuff".   My thinking is that they are so wrong.  They just do not understand what is behind most things that touch me so, for each item usually has a story behind it or a special memory connected to it.

In the next several postings, I want to share with you things that are precious to me or just collections that I love.  I hope you will enjoy seeing them  :)

I love the lamp.  I bought a pair of them at an auction.  They are hand-painted and are actually called desk lamps but really, they are too big for a desk.  When I spotted them, I just had to have them.  I was having to bid against antique dealers and the bidding got pretty fierce.  But I knew a secret!!  I had worked in many shops myself and knew how markups were I planned in my mind that I could overbid them and win the prized lamps because they would not be able to sell them if they paid too much.  There were some unhappy bidders when I won....but I was not one of them!!!  *snicker*   I could afford to bid higher because I was not going to be reselling the price was reasonable for me, but not for them.  That was many years ago and I still love them very much.

The candy dish....oh what a treasure that is to me!!!   Throughout my childhood, I always saw that dish sitting in my grandma's house.  It is a part of her and gives me wonderful memories of her and her home. I am so pleased that it is now sitting in my home.

The wonderful clock is very old.  It belonged to my husband's great-grandfather.  Gary says he remembers seeing his great-grandfather one time when he was very young.  The clock was passed down to Gary's grandfather and forever was on their mantel.  Then, when Papa Schultz passed away, the clock passed down to Gary's mother.  His parents are still living but a year ago they went through life changes and are now living with my husbands sister and her husband.  So many, many of their things were sold and some of the more precious things were passed down to her children and grandchildren.  We only had (1) special request..and that was to be able to have this beautiful clock.

There is a specialness with this clock, not only because of the passing down, but how it was used.  The great-grandfather was blind.  So, he would open the front of the clock and run his fingers around it to "see" what time it was.  The face of the clock is rubbed smooth from his fingers....a sweet reminder of loved ones who are no longer with us.

You will see me post alot about my grandmother for awhile.  She was such a wonderful fun, a wonderful storyteller, an excellent cook.  And she treated me like I was "all that and a bag of chips"...LOL  I am thankful that Mom has given me several things that were once my grandmothers...and were in the home that I mostly grew up in.  It is hard to explain what a comfort these "things" give me but they just have a way of reaching way down inside of me and filling a very special place in my heart.  The little bunny was made by me about 25 years or so ago.

Forever it seems, I had asked mom over and over to let me have the Redwing Pottery cookie jar.  I cannot fault her for hanging on to it, but ohhhhhh, I wanted it so bad.  Mom surprised me with it on our 25th wedding anniversary.  I just cried.......I adore it and can still see it in my mind, sitting on the bureau in grandmas dining room.  Just makes me smile......

The (2) pigs belonged to my mother.  Now I know it seems strange that I might want them, but there is a story....and remember, I am extremely sentimental...LOL   The pig on the right was carved out of cork by mom when she was a little girl.  The other piggy was the first thing that she ever bought with her own money.  See??? sweet.   They are not just pigs to me but a part of my mom, complete with the stories behind them that allow me to be able to look into her past.

OK....sit back a sec 'cause there are lots of memories attached to this photo.  First of all, the doll.  She belonged to my mother.  Mom has a twin sister and they were gifted these dolls when they were 10 years old.  ...the "girls" are fixing to be 82 years old in March.  That makes this doll very special.  The sweater set was a baby gift given to my mom....for me!!!  The dress was handmade out of parachute material and embroidered by my dear Aunt Syble as a baby gift for me!!  The crocheted shoes on the doll were a baby gift given to me when I had my 1st child.  You probably cannot tell real well, unless you enlarge the photo, that there is a pair of socks and a pair of sandals on the side of the doll.  Those were mine when I was a little one.   Memories...such sweet, sweet memories.  OK...of course I do not remember all those items being mine as a baby, but I DO remember hearing the stories  :)

I hope you have enjoyed seeing and hearing about some of my treasures.  By and by, I will be sharing more with you.  I will not put them all in one posting....couldn't do it anyway.  I seem to be blessed with alot of wonderful memory makers.  :)

Till next time....wishing you blessings and giving you *HUGS*

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Collect ~ O ~ Mania

I LOVE TO COLLECT....THINGS!!  Most especially things that remind me of  the good things of the past....when life was so simple, so unhurried, so friendly.  My favorite things to collect are what I call antiques, but are really just old stuff  :)  But I also collect things of real beauty.

I used to work in a lovely shop called Collect ~ O ~ Mania.   It was here that I learned to "bump" up the quality of the things that I collected.  Several times a year, the shop would have the artists of some of the pieces we sold come and have a "signing" event.  Disney....Hummell...etc.  I was so taken  by the beauty of craftsmanship....the talent. Of course, I HAD to have some of the pieces as my own!!!  LOL  I could very well be referred to as a "collecto-maniac"!!!  LOL    

I am a grandmother of 10...and I still have my dollhouse and its furniture from when I was a young girl....and books that I was given when I was a baby.   I have always been a greeting card collector; I cannot bring myself to throw away any cards that are given to me.  It is a connection between me and another person....and I do not want to lose that connection.  Does that make sense??  So...I have boxes of cards from years and years....and every so often I love to sit down with a box and look at those cards.  Pleasant memories  :)

The other day I was thinking about collections and wondered what makes us do it.  I know for me it has to do with surrounding myself with things that remind me of the past. A grandmothers apron....a special handkerchief...a grandfathers hat.

 My grandmother was such an important part of my life.  She lived in a lovely, old 2 story house where I spent a huge part of my childhood.  It was a wonderful place that I shall never forget.  Her yard was full of flowers.  I most especially loved the tiny tea roses that climbed up the side of the house.  This is a picture of the house today.....very different looking but still I can look at it and remember how it used to look and the special times I had there.  Oh how I loved sitting on that front porch, swinging in the porch swing, talking and laughing with her!!

My home has many, many things that were once in her home.  These items always make me feel close to her....a way of staying connected even though she has been gone for over 40 years.  

She ran a boarding house for men when I was growing up.  That was the way she was able to make money.  She provided them a bed, bath, breakfast and dinner.  They paid extra if they wanted her to pack them a lunch. I loved the long dining room but I most especially loved the dishes that I would set out on the table before I went to bed....making it ready for breakfast the next morning.  And for that reason.....I began to collect the same pattern of dishware that she had. 

Grandma was unable to leave her home because of health issues.  But she did not do without.  The vegetable truck would come by her home 1 or 2 times a week.  What fun it was to go to the truck and pick out those awesome veggies!!!!  And the milkman delivered to the house......the best bottled chocolate milk I have ever tasted!!  She ordered groceries over the phone....and they were delivered to the house by a boy on a bicycle!!  The eggs came by way of the egg man...not in cartons, but in large stacks of egg flats.   What wonderful times those were!!!  WOW...this makes ME sound ancient...LOL   However, I am ONLY 60 years old....LOL  Times have changed so fast over the years.

Anyway, I was going to tell you about me and my collecting of the same dishes as she had.  Those were bought from the Jewel Tea truck that came by the house.  If you are too young to know anything about the Jewel Tea Company you can blog it and find out about it.  Most everything she had was bought through them.   She had the Autumn Leaf Pattern of dinnerware.   Now...I own her hutch...and it is filled with the same dishes that she had!!!  I just could not bare to have put anything else in that hutch. looks just like it did when I was growing up.  Wonderful!!!!

My daughters are not interested in the dishes and say they will not want them once I am gone.  That just makes me sad  :(   Hopefully, through the years, they will gain an appreciation for things that were part of the past in our family.  

I hope you have enjoyed this post.  I will be sharing more memories...and more collections with you as time goes on.    I would love for you to share with me as well.  :)