Monday, July 30, 2018

The Gift of a Day.....

This day has felt like a lovely gift.
I woke up to the sounds and smell of rain.
This was something special. And it was not 100 degrees today.
No, a cold front came in and it topped off at 90!

I flung open the French doors and our bedroom door to the patio.
Then I decided to do something truly special - I turned the attic fan on and the cool fresh air swept through the entire house!
I enjoyed that so much! It wasn't but a couple of hours and then I closed the house back up and turned the AC on. Still - what a blessing.

I spent the afternoon cleaning and organizing the guest room.
I cleaned all these dresser drawers out - as in taking the contents and relocating them to the drawers in the staircase to the bunk beds. I did keep two drawers - one for the grands color books and one for some of my things. The other seven drawers belong to Louis Dean and I filled them up for him!
He had been keeping his t-shirts, socks and pajama pants in the bathroom cupboards - and in various tubs in his music room. ??
Now everything is all neat and tidy and organized.

I found some notes from the last Quad Day in one of the stair drawers.
These are from Kailey to Harrison.
I saved them for her.

As I lit the candle pronouncing this a Clean Room, I noticed the painting there.

Benjamin painted this in 1995.
He was seven.
We home schooled and were studying Monet.
As we studied the different artists, we would all paint our version of one of their works.

Benjamin loved using the palette knife and he mixed the oils himself.
Cadmium yellow medium and burnt umber for the green.

It's still a beautiful painting and I am so happy I am a 'Keeper of Nearly Everything.'

I moved on the clean the bedroom, hall and both bathrooms before settling down to my sewing.
I have a lot to do.
Three crib quilts and two regular ones for wedding gifts.
All made using denim squares.

This first one is for my Cousin Joe's new baby girl.
Her name is Charleigh. Isn't that a beautiful name?

Tomorrow I must decide on the backing and whether to put right sides together and stitch around and pull it inside out or make a sandwich and fold the backing to the front to form a border all around.
I am not a true quilter. I'm just a crafter who whacks the denim up and sews it together. I purposely don't even try to match the seams. I think true quilters are mathematical geniuses. Like my Cousin Pam or our dear Ruth Ann. They do works of art. I do crafts.

It's been a treasure of a day. 
I stayed in my gown until an hour ago when I took a shower and put on a fresh one.
I took lots of little breaks throughout the day.

Most of them I spent in San Francisco.
That's the setting for the book Virgina gave me and I am loving it.
I am going to go gently through these next three weeks.
I plan to sew. And clean. And get the yard in shape.
And be. 
I am going to do my dead level best not run around like my hair is on fire.

And now, I am going to go back to San Francisco for an hour or so before bed.
I'm already looking forward to where I will go after this book.

From my Friend Dawn's Facebook Page.
She's the most avid reader I know!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Meet the Family and Join the Party!! We had a lot of fun!

We had our Summer Family Gathering on Saturday and it was an extra special time!

Summer, Sabrina and Rayne are back in Texas!
Not to stay but we grabbed this opportunity for a party to celebrate them being here!
Sabrina and Rayne will be going back home to Puerto Rico in just a few short weeks so we booked this day in advance so we could all see them and spend some time together.

I took a lot of pictures!

The house was full of happy people and I loved every single minute of it!

From the dining room to the kitchen to the living room and den - and even out into the gazebo - we mixed and mingled and had a great afternoon.

Sister Deanie and Charlie!!

Sister Nita and Mike......
They are so excited about their very first great grandchild born yesterday on Mike's birthday!
We are all going out to Arizona in October to meet her and attend Nita's first grandchild's wedding!
It will be a Sibling Trip to remember!

Mother is the oldest living relative of the Whitfield family.
Meet Joyce and Anthony - Mother's niece and nephew.

Kevin and Toni - Anthony's daughter and SIL.

Pam and Nick - Joyce's daughter and SIL.

Patrick and Leah - Nita's daughter and SIL.

Isn't she beautiful? Leah and Patrick are going on an Alaskan cruise the same time we are - but on a different ship.

My sons!
Benjamin and Jesse.

Amber and Mike......

Gay and Anthony......
It was their first time to meet Mike - or Amber or Benjamin and they had not seen Jesse in years and years!

There were lots and lots of hugs and smiles!

It was a perfectly wonderful day!!!

My oldest grandchildren......
Sam, Faith and Levi.

Trystan and Logan didn't let Faith get too far away from them.

It was such a joy to have all four of my children and all eight of my grandchildren together!

And this is Ricky!
He is Pam's grandson and such a delight!

Kids are phone and tech savvy these days.
I took his picture and he immediately looked at it and enlarged it with his fingers so he could better see his truck - so I thought we would show it to you!

Such cute kids and so good!
They all played and got along so well.
No fussing of any kind!

They had fun! We all did!

It was a Pot Luck and we had an abundance of food!!!!

This was probably the most talked about dish!
Nita makes this and is famous for it!

We visited in groups here and there and then drifted into another room and joined a group in there.
There was so much going on all over the house!

I think that was my most favorite thing about this party......hearing all the different conversations and knowing we are all family being with family.

Come listen in with me.......

Sabrina was the Star Guest!
It has been a long time since I had seen her.
I miss those Tuesday night art classes we had together for a number of years!

She has continued to grow in her art and passed me up a long time ago.
It's an honor that I was her teacher......

I love hearing all the laughter.
We laughed a lot!!!

Pam and Deanie had us in stitches!!!

"Kiss me, Cornelius!!!"

Deanie has been doing this since she saw the movie back in 1968!
All her grand kids love it when she does this and so do we!
Kailey tried her best to do it......using the smallest grape she could find.
She will need to practice more!

And then there was Amber doing her Chubby Cheeks routine - by popular demand!!!

She's been doing this so long she can't even remember how it came to be!

And then there was Summer telling her funny story!
She had many of them but I was only in there for this one.

I do remember this!!

The hours flew by!

All my children!

They are such fun people!

Can you  tell???

I am a proud Mom!!

I had such a good time and I think we all did!

We were missing our Brother Lonnie and Michele and Jesse's wife.
It's hard for everyone to be there at the same time!
We made a lot of good memories.......

I love my family!

Pam gave me this cute cute pair of socks......

No difficult relatives in my life!!!

I hope you enjoyed the party!!!
We will be getting together again in October for the Whitfield Family Reunion.
When we started going to that, we decided once a year was just not often enough to get together.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Visiting Mother and Reaoma, Aldi and Lighting Candles....

Thursday was a rough day for me and I knew it would be.
I was prepared.
As soon as I got out of bed and poured that first cup of coffee, I took my prayer journal and went out to sit in the glider on the side deck. It was nice out there before the day started heating up.
Last Thursday, Summer and Rayne joined us when we visited Mother and Lillian and it was a wonderful day all around. I have learned that you can't expect a good visit every time you visit.

I must say that I am getting to know the staff and really appreciate all they do.
It must be a calling of sorts to work in a nursing home.
Next week I am baking a cake for them!
I did make them laugh this visit. The staff, I mean.
When I went down to the nurses station to ask them to give Mother something to calm her down,
they could see I was stressed and began to tell me how people act differently when they are in Mother's condition. I couldn't seem to help myself - I said, "I know everyone thinks all these are sweet little old ladies and some of them are. But our mother was never sweet!" I know, Deanie!!
You are probably rolling your eyes as you read this....
Anyway, they all laughed and so did I.
And one of them said, "Thank you for that. My mother wasn't sweet either."
Then she shared a little of her story with me and I felt like we were all seeing each other with more open eyes than we had before.
And don't worry, Sisters. I didn't share anything else with them!

I went back down to Mother's room and then had a nice visit with Lillian.
Normally when I leave, I just walk past the nurses station and on out the door.
This time, every single one of the staff said a few words to me as I left.
Like I said, I will not be showing up without a cake, muffins or cookies from now on.

Back to Irving to see Reaoma.
She was still in the dining room when I arrived.
It's tough to see a dear friend suffer.
I felt empty and the best I could do was hold her hand, brush her hair and tell her I love her.

While we were still in the dining room, the staff was telling everyone about the social gathering in the lobby. I didn't think anything of it at the time but when I went to the lobby to check out, they invited me to have a glass of wine and sit and chat.....have a snack and relax.

I needed this so very much.
I had been on the verge of tears all day and some of them had spilled out.
They poured a glass of Chardonnay for me and I mixed and mingled for a good little while. 
I met Marsha - who is a new resident - and her friend, Karen. I met some of the staff and others.
I don't know why but I thanked one of the staff and started to tear up.
They all know Reaoma and understand that she can't be a part of this kind of group anymore.
But I was able to tell them stories about my friendship with her and what an amazing life she had had with her Doug.

I think the affair was catered. There was a very smart looking lady in her chef's apron and hat going around and making sure everything was stocked.
Those cookies were seriously delicious!

I met Joseph Marlow, the Sales Manager of Brookdale, and he was such a delight.
Everyone was so kind and I noticed the residents all enjoyed this social hour.
I left with a lighter heart and found out I had missed Pam by a few short minutes!
I will be in town until we leave for our cruise so I will be visiting Reaoma more often.
They have this Social on the fourth Thursday of every month.
I am planning right now on being there in August!

This is a nice place to live.

I had stopped at Aldi's on my way to pick up the cheeses and crackers and such for the Cousins/Family Gathering on Saturday.

I came home and put up the groceries and then Louis Dean and I went out to water.
We just sat and talked between moving the water hoses and then came in and went to bed.
We were both tired.

Today (Friday) I have been cleaning house and lighting candles.

I started in the den and worked my way through.

From the foyer to the living room......

It just gives me such a sense of satisfaction to light a candle.
I chose 5 CD's to play for the party tomorrow....
Yanni, Classical Strings, Floyd Cramer, the London Symphony Orchestra performing Franz Schubert and Tracey Ann Collins Praise music.
Nothing too loud and boisterous - just soft background music.

I made up a huge batch of chicken salad tonight.
Louis Dean had cooked and boned the chicken yesterday and I used it all.

All I have left is the watermelon salad.....
I cube up watermelon and toss it with feta cheese and minced mint leaves.
In the morning I will cut up the cheeses and make my platter of cheese, crackers and olives and make the tea. We drink a lot of tea!

I'm looking forward to seeing our cousins and my siblings and my children will all be here as well.
I set my alarm for 7:16 AM. I wanted to set it at 8:00 but it was easier to leave the minutes where they were. That will give me a little stupor time.
Everyone will be coming about 1:00.
My siblings and cousins are all always on time.
My children - not so much.
They are more like me.....
a day late and a dollar short!

Before I close this journal entry, I would like to thank you all for your friendship and the many kind words and prayers. You help me every day when I read the comments and I listen to the words of wisdom you share and take those words to heart.
We are all in this life together.
We may not be in the same stage of life and with the same set of circumstances.....
but we are all doing the very best we can and I think the encouragement we share with each other makes us all a little bit stronger. And I thank you for that.