Autumn memories

Just before the death of flowers and before they are buried in snow, there comes a festival season when nature is aglow.
~Author Unknown

Well, I may have missed my opportunity for this post since it SNOWED a few days ago! Middle Missouri broke her previous record of .3 inches of snow on November 8th. We clocked in at a little more than an inch of the white stuff. It was magical….and gone from most of the trees by afternoon as the temps warmed to the upper 30sF.

I have shared some of our autumn color in weeks past, but haven’t shared my most fun day of the season. Every autumn I try and take the grandgirls to one of our city parks during the cooler weather. Of course, the camera comes along with us. This year we went to a nature area before going to the traditional park setting. While I love autumn color in the trees and flowers, it just can’t compete with these two!

At ten and four and a half, these two are growing up so fast. And, I believe their personalities are growing faster! Can’t you just see the sass in both of them? Peanut is now in fourth grade and Twix is having a blast in Pre-K.

I fully realize I tend to get a bit carried away when sharing pics of our grandgirls. I would apologize, but I’m really not that sorry!

Unfortunately the trees had not yet given up their leaves for a colorful carpet, so we had to rely on some different color for these last two shots.

Now, we’re hunkering down for winter, which evidently is coming early this year since our temps are now falling into the teens at night. I’m thankful we had the opportunity to take these when we did. They warm my heart.

I hope you’re having a wonderful autumn and sharing the warmth of the holiday season with everyone around you.

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Holiday Tradition!

The Halloween candy is far from finished but now we’re racing towards the holidays. My October 31st was a whirlwind of activity with grandbabykin school parties and trick or treating. Why do I subject myself to all this…for the second time around? Simply because they are only little once and I want to soak up all I can before I’m too old to be able to run this pace this anymore.

And, this year was a special year. Twix was finally old enough to be Snow White. That, in and of itself, doesn’t sound especially significant until you know the back story…….

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (circa 1989), there lived a four-year-old Snow White with her white, woodland bunny. These were costumes I made for my wee ones for Halloween fun. Little did I know at the time, Snow White would stand the test of time in more ways than one.

When 1991 rolled around, another four-year-old Snow White made her debut with sister princess, Rapunzel (another homemade costume). This one was expected. After all, it took me quite a while to make the Snow White costume, and I was determined to get more than one wearing out of it. I think they both wore it for a couple of Halloweens.

Fast forward to 2013. Five-year-old Peanut donned her Mama and godmother’s costume for another generation of Disney princess trick or treating. Why did I keep this costume in storage so many years? I suppose I simply couldn’t part with the memories.

And this year, at four years old, Twix followed in this tradition. And, a whole new set of memories have been made.

And, yes, the costume will go back into storage now. The Golfer has instructed me to keep it in case she should have a future princess to carry on the tradition.

Even though I missed Thankful Thursday at Brian’s Home, I’m thankful for the opportunities to make memories through photography for my family. I hope after I’m long gone, they will also stand the test of time.

Tender mercies

Happiness isn’t complicated. It is a humble state of gratitude for simple pleasures, tender mercies, recognized blessings, and inherent beauty.
~Richelle E. Goodrich

Last week I had to cover for an employee who went on a well-deserved vacay. A job at which he is exceptionally good, but I don’t particularly like doing as it involves a lot of left-brain activity and customer service stuff. So, I did what I normally do in this situation.

I stress.

And when I mean stress, I mean full-scale anxiety, headaches and dread. Silly, I know because I can do his job….I was the one who helped train him to do his job. I just don’t like his job.

So, this is what greeted me last Monday morning as I headed to the office. A prism from the rising sun reflecting on the morning clouds. And, its meaning was not lost on me. It lifted my spirits and gave me some joy in my heart.

Tender mercies.

My week was full of them. My LORD blessed me with tender mercies all week with easy days with no major issues to deal with. I experienced relative calm and peace every morning as I headed to see what unexpectedness awaited me for the day…because any time you deal with customer service responsibilities, it’s a crapshoot as to what may happen. Plus, being a mac-brain person, I had to switch gears and work on a Windows PC computer all. week. long. UGH.

My week in the office is finished; our guy is back safe and sound at his post; I survived the week and my shoulders and neck are none the worse for wear. I’m grateful it all went smoothly and know exactly who to thank for that.

Blog hopping today with Awwwww Monday over at Comedy Plus.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.
~Jenny Uglow

Thought is was about time I got re-aquainted with the manual settings on my digital camera. I used to have an all-manual SLR. College photography class taught me all the nuances of how film speed, shutter and aperture settings work together Digital cameras have really spoiled me nowadays.

While it’s easy to just put the camera on Auto and go, better shots are only a setting away. So, I’ve been trying to use Aperture-priority and (horrors) Manual whenever I have time to shoot and adjust the settings.

Blog hopping today with Sandee over at Comedy Plus for Wordless Wednesday.

Almost

July Photo Challenge: Staying Cool

I completely missed June’s photo challenge last month. Lately, life has this bad habit of derailing my plans; regardless of what they are. Peanut and Twix were gone to their dad’s house in Alabama all month, so Entrepreneur and I tended to vegetate whenever possible. Is vegetating even possible anymore? Doesn’t seem like it.

This month PJ’s theme is Staying Cool. Appropriate for the hot, summer month of July. Even though we didn’t do anything spectacular, I think I captured some contenders for this month’s photo challenge. So here goes……

Staying Cool #1
The Golfers from Jax Beach came to town the first of the month for a week and brought their Florida temps and humidity with them. During that time, we hosted an engagement party for them for the family and friends here in the Heartland. Thankfully, we have quite a bit of shade on our property, so no one suffered from heat stroke during the party. Here are my two very “cool” daughters!

Staying Cool #2
Who are these “cool kids”? These youngsters at heart would be four of the five grandparents who stayed to the bitter end of the engagement party! Hanging out in the shade with a cooler full of beverages made for a relaxing afternoon in the heat.

Staying Cool #3
Floridians know how to stay cool in the summer heat. Even though she was born and bred in Missouri, she’s a coastal soul…and will never be landlocked again.

Staying Cool #4
This is what you get when you combine the goofiness of a water-loving Golden Retriever and the playfulness of a Standard Poodle. A 50 pound, goofy, water dog. The hose and sprinklers are always a good way to cool off when you wear a fur coat 24/7.

Staying Cool #5
Ahhhhhh….everyone’s gone and Entrepreneur is napping. Time to float with Captain Morgan and a Pepsi 0. And shut off my brain for a while.

Staying Cool Bonus Shot
The end of July brought some relief from the oppressive, middle Missouri summer heat. Here’s a bonus shot on staying cool during the summer taken with my phone. Okay….it’s a screenshot….but I think it should still count! 🙂

Posting early this month because, come Monday morning, Peanut and Twix will return to our care during the day until school begins….and I’ll get even LESS done than I have these past six weeks! Blog hop over to PJ’s on July 31st to see how others stayed cool this month.

It’s my birth day!

Yep, today is the day my mom brought me into this world. And this year’s birthday is a big one. How big? Well, I’ll leave that to you to try and figure out, but I’ll leave you a few clues a little later.

First, I’ll share a four generation photo from waaaay back when with Great-Grandma Olive, Grandma Maida, Mom Thelma and…Me! Sadly, my GG passed in November of the year I was born so I never really knew her at all.

The year I was born was a busy year. Here’s just a few noteworthy events….besides my entrance. 🙂
* Super Glue was invented
* NASA….National Aeronautics and Space Administration was formed
* Explorer 1 was sent into space to measure radiation in earth’s orbit. It orbited earth more than 58,000 times before it re-entered the atmosphere in 1970
* The Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institute
* Bobby Fischer won the United States Chess Championship at only 14 years old
* Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army
* The Hula Hoop was invented

My first birthday

A few other tidbits of info:
* The average cost of new house was $12,750.00
The top song for January of that year was At The Hop by Danny & The Juniors
* A new, 8 cu ft RCA Whirlpool refrigerator cost $118.00
* A gallon of gas  cost 25 cents

It’s strange what I remember about my early years. I still remember the address of the house I lived in until 2nd grade….6202 E. 96th Street. One of my first memories is one of me and my cousins watching The Wizard of Oz on the TV; that would be the black and white version on a black and white set.

Have you figured it out yet? If so, you know it’s sorta a big one. One that I’m having a little bit of a hard time wrapping my head around!

Looking back at my life fills me with a lot of emotions. Are there things I regret doing or not doing? You bet. Were there aspirations that never materialized? Yes. Would I do things differently, given another chance. I’m not sure…maybe. What I am certain of is that my life has turned out pretty good so far even though it was not the road I saw myself traveling. Besides, I’ll drive myself crazy playing should of, world of, could of at this point in time.

So, I’ll now focus on trying to make the best of the next 365 days…knowing I’m not promised one more day, much less an entire year’s worth of days.

However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all.
~Ecclesiastes 11:8

I Believe In…..

Seeing is believing….but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.
~The Conductor on the Polar Express

It’s easy to believe in things I can see firsthand with my eyes. It’s harder to believe in things I cannot physically see. But does that mean they are any less real?

I can’t “see” gravity. What I can see is gravity’s effect.
I can’t “see” air. But, I know I cannot live without it.
I can’t “see” thoughts…even though I could look at the physical place where they originate.

I don’t believe any of us would dispute the “reality” of any of the above intangibles. Just because we cannot physically see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I can’t “see” love. What I can see is the results of love and how it can affect others. And those results often come in the form of feelings and emotions….more intangibles that cannot be actually seen. Generosity, compassion, forgiveness, grace, mercy, hope….all things that cannot be physically seen but stem from the reality of Love.

We’re so quick to say, “seeing is believing,” but the most real things of this life can only be seen when we open the eyes of our hearts…and feel those wonderful intangibles life has to offer.

This is my contribution to Annie’s blog hop called Sparks.
“I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. Together, we can light up the entire world!”

Also adding a bit of “awwwww” for Awww Monday over at Comedy Plus