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A NEW YEAR, A TIME TO REFLECT

The picture is of me and my twins in 1980.  I was 35!  I had never seen this picture before. My sister posted the picture on facebook last week. She said I was leaving her house and she snapped the picture. 

Every year at this time I always start looking back, looking at old pictures, remembering old times. I went to the farm for Christmas and spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day with my daughters.  We made sausage balls, country ham and biscuits, eggnog, cookies, and then cooked dinner Christmas day.  We played cards half the night and listened to old songs and talked about old times.  We watched the horses with their blankets on, eating hay in the field on Christmas morning and the dogs playing.  We rearranged furniture in their house, rummaged through boxes of books that belonged to their grandparents and talked about days gone by.  It was a time we cherish together.

On Sunday, my son and his wife, brought Tater to my house to get his Christmas gifts.  He was so excited. Tater jumped out of the car and came up the sidewalk in a hurry to get his gifts from his Nana.  Tater told me a long time ago that he wanted a Criss Cross Crash for Christmas. I got it for him but waited till the last gift to give it to him.  He loved it and ran around the house showing us how excited he was with his new present. 

It has been 30 years since that first picture was taken of me with the girls.  So much has happened in all our lives. So many friends and family have passed on during this time that we look back and remember every year and miss so much.  We thank God for all our blessings and for our friends and family.  

I hope that you and your family have a wonderful New Year.

SNOW, SNOW AND MORE SNOW!

We have about 3 inches of snow and it is cold! I think winter has arrived in Kentucky. I have been baking cookies all week.  Here is a picture of our family Cookie Monster, the Tater Tot, devouring one of my gingerbread man cookies.  This was taken last year.  He will be here next weekend to spend the night and Nana will have lots of cookies for him.                                                               

I love this video of Bing Crosby singing White Christmas!

Here is another old favorite by Dean Martin!

Is everyone ready for Christmas???

GOBBLE TILL YA WOBBLE!

I hope each and everyone of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving with family!   Eat lots of good food and count your blessings!  That is what I intend to do.  I have got to get busy cooking today. I did all the cleaning on Monday. Took a day of rest yesterday and today I am getting serious about this cooking thing!

My menu:  Turkey, dressing with giblet gravy,  cranberry salad, brocolli casserole, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn pudding, homemade yeast rolls, iced tea, coffee, and dutch apple pies.

I love this —

Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

My wish for you: 

THANKSGIVING PRAYERS

Today, I am thinking about and praying for everyone that has lost a loved one during the holidays. I lost my father many years ago on Thanksgiving, my niece last year on Thanksgiving, my great niece a year ago today and a friend lost her husband this morning. I know there are many others out there.

This time last year was a very sad time for my family. I have not been able to write about it or talk about it on here before now.  I lost my niece and my great niece last year at this time.  My niece was in her 50s and had cancer.  Her sister, Faye, younger than her, died six months before her with cancer.  My older sister is 78 and lost 2 of her children within six months of each other.  My younger sister lost her 13 year old granddaughter to a brain tumor.   My niece was one of my very best friends and we spent a lot of time together.  I miss her so much but I know that both my sisters are going through a very hard time this holiday season and it has been a very hard year for them.  We know that they are all in heaven and are happy now and no longer in the pain that ravaged their lives but we all continue to miss them and think about them daily and when we sit down for Thanksgiving this year know that they will be with us in spirit.   

This morning I found out that Clara, my dear friend from Clara’s Corner lost her husband during the night last night.  I am praying for Clara and her family today and throughout the days that follow and all my love is with them at this time of sorrow.

A SOUTHERN MANSION REMEMBERED!

My son did a blog post on this old Southern mansion that sits right in the heart of Danville, Ky. and played a part in his childhood.   When he was about six weeks old I hired an elderly lady that had moved to Danville from Eastern Kentucky to babysit him.  Her husband had died with Black Lung disease and she was living in a senior housing area.  She had a daughter and son-in-law that lived near her.  The daughter, Helen, could not have children and immediately fell in love with Rob.  Helen would come to her mom’s everyday to play with Rob and take care of him.  Eventually, Helen became the babysitter and I was taking Rob to their place.  They moved in later years to an apartment in this old house. It was just a 3 room apartment but it was huge.  The rooms had such tall ceilings and were as big as 2 normal rooms today. This house was amazing in its heyday!  I am copying his post below about this mansion.

Today, Rob is a husband, father, photographer, artist, actor,  and works for the Kentucky Educational Television Station in Lexington, Kentucky.

You can visit his artwork here.   He also has an online journal here

Antebellum Trailer Park


In William Least Heat Moon’s classic travel book Blue Highways, the author writes at the beginning of Chapter 13 that the highway took him through Danville Ky. where he saw a pillared antebellum mansion with a trailer court on its front lawn. If there was ever a stronger visual metaphor for the glory of the Old South gone to seed I can’t think of what it would be… I read this book in the late nineties while living in Los Angeles and was stunned that the author was writing about a place where I had lived. My Godparents Helen and Jim Strevels rented a small one bedroom apartment in that old house on the hill that by the early seventies had been chopped up into four apartments, two upstairs and two down.

Growing up there I had no idea how strange such a place would seem to someone from another part of the country. It never really sunk in that I was playing and living in a place that once housed a single family that not only owned vast tracts of land, but also, owned human beings. My Godmother once took me down into the basement to see the hand hewn limestone rocks that made up the foundation. I’ll never forget how creepy it was down there. She wasn’t helping much by telling me stories about haints, for those of you not from the south, haint is a word synonymous with ghost. My Godmother claimed that the ghosts of slaves who had died on that plantation haunted that property, yes, she even claimed to have seen and heard them.

It’s so ironic to me now that such a place ultimately evolved into a trailer park. Most of the folks living there were either the working poor or they were on some kind of relief. Sometime around the early nineties the house became so run down that it was condemned and even the trailer park that surrounded it is now all but empty of its little rectangular homes. I went back there yesterday and took some photos of the place and walked around the great ruin that it’s become.





All the windows and doors were sealed and the window above had a vine that had grown between the storm window and the interior glass. Anyone interested in seeing this old place before its demolished can find it on 408 South 4th Street in Danville Ky.

HANSEL GETS THIRD!

The Tater Tot or Hansel won third place in the costume contest in Lexington on Halloween. Do you think him giving the judges a thumbs up might have helped him any?  He had such a good time at Halloween this year going trick or treating and eating candy.  I think he ate candy all day and it all came back up during the night!

Hansel had no fear of ghosts or goblins and took in all the local events.  Mom even dressed up as Gretel to accompany him.   Dad went along on the wagon train through the neighborhood! Click pictures to enlarge.

Tater is saying RICOLAAAAAAAAAAAA  in the last picture.

AS TIME GOES BY!

I cannot believe it is almost Thanksgiving!  Yesterday, was Halloween and I feel like today Thanksgiving is almost upon me.   It seems like the hurrider I go, the behinder I get!  I ask myself every day how did I ever get up each morning and go to work.  I guess it is my age.  The days, weeks, months, just seem to be flying by now.

November is always a time for me to stop and reflect.  In November, I toss away the negative and focus on the positive and all the things I am thankful for in my life.  I know that the year is drawing to an end and I like to look back at the good times.

I have already made out my menu for Thanksgiving dinner and will start preparing soon by picking up items at the grocery and thinking about having all my family here that day. 

Bob and I worked in the yard all day on Saturday.  We raked leaves, mulched them with the lawnmowers, put away the last of the yard stuff, and I pulled up the tomato vines that still had some green tomatoes!  Next year, I will not put out nearly as many tomato plants.

Do you have big plans for the Thanksgiving holidays?  Will you prepare a meal or spend it with family?  Sometimes, I think I could just as easily go out and eat but it would not be the same.  We may try that next year……..

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