Two weeks ago we took some of our kids and grandbabies to see Toy Story 4. Raising our family on the first three movies, enjoying them several times. Voices from the characters so familiar, songs that made you smile, endings that made you cry.
I love Forky
When the trailer for Toy Story 4 came out, I judged Forky unfairly. Having no desire to see the movie. Happy I changed my mind. It was not Forky’s appearance that I judged, but that he would fall apart and Bonnie would be sad. Bonnie being sad in the movie, with those big eyes and the music, I would cry. But, I went anyway and cried and fell in love with Forky. I am glad I went.
One night, late, our youngest daughter and her three little one’s, knocked on the door. Knowing my love for writing, they surprised me with this notebook. I told her I knew exactly how I was going to fill each page!
Two days before she arrived with this sweet gift, my husband gave me a surprise. He had me sit down at the computer and type in MasterClass. A year of online classes! Seeing them advertised on Facebook, I wanted so badly to go to school.
My teachers are on MasterClass.
Each morning I watch two classes and write on these pages. Two special gifts in a couple of days. Finishing high school, I got married at 19 and started a family. Never going to college, I have not had any writing classes. I am beyond thankful for the chance to be humble and learn.
Forky and I are homemade. Makes me smile. Made with love to be loved.
Good Morning to You! Good Morning to You! Good Morning Dear Friend! Good Morning to You 🙂 I used to sing this to my children when I was getting them up from their cribs. Must have heard it sang to me as a little girl at school, or on a morning television show. Instead of Dear Friend, I placed their precious name.
When I opened our curtains, our calico cat opened one eye to me. I know she would welcome the attention, but she had the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign out. Living up on the woods, she has plenty of stalking to do at night. She loves to walk with me. Taking a morning and afternoon walk, she has to be on the path. I do believe she was hoping I did not want to walk this early.
School Supplies and Autumn’s Glance Our Way
It is August and the grandkids went back to school on the first. Feeling the weather shift just a bit. Sweaters and jeans are calling out from storage. But, I don’t want them! I’m a shorts and tank top girl. So, I’m really missing the hustle and bustle (I still say hustle and bustle!) of buying their school clothes and supplies. Seeing what backpack they picked out, and the cart filling up quickly. With 4 children, it filled, so that we always had a 2nd cart.
Memories are fun! ‘Jennifer The Glue’
Today I will continue to work on my novel. My characters searching for memories of family still with them and those that have gone on. Digging through my own ancestors-births, marriages, deaths, and stories. Strange and complicated, I will still push my way through. Persistent. Glueing them all together!
Sassafras The Cat
The morning and afternoon walk will be with Sassy, the sweet calico. And, I will talk on the phone to my best friend, as he takes his afternoon walk in the cemetery. Lunch and an episode of Sneaky Pete, then I am off working on poetry or a short story.
A long time ago, my dad told me of a special recipe called Float that had been passed down from his grandma to his mom. I believe he drank it from a glass? She would only make this when my dad was sick to his stomach. He never knew what the ingredients were and he never asked. He just knew he loved the flavor.
Even today, if I ask him about it, you can see in his eyes he is back home with his sweet mom…..
I wish I would have know my grandparents but sadly, they died right before I was born. My dad was a young man in his late 20’s, married to my mom and they had my brother who was physically handicapped.
My grandma died of breast cancer and my dad and mom cared for her till her last day in her old bedroom of one of the family farm houses. My grandpa had passed away a month before from grieving, watching her suffer.
My dad was so devastated with the loss of his parents, that he wanted nothing to do with any material items from the farm houses, the barns, and he even gave back the farm truck he would drive around the farmwith the keys in it.
Thus, I have no hand written recipes from my grandma.
I have a lot of beautiful cut glass that the family brought over from Germany and Scotland, and my grandma had given to my mom and the memories of the food that was loving prepared and served in them.
I have stories of the farm table being so full with food to feed them as they worked hard each day and overflowing for Christmas and Thanksgiving.I have the memories that have been passed down.
I do not know any ingredient for Float and whenever I have an upset stomach, I wish I knew what she had made for my dad.
If you have any ideas or recipes, please please please share! 🙂 Jen
These are stories that my husband’s dad, mom, uncle,and grandpa recorded as they must have sat at a kitchen table somewhere in Kentucky. Thank you for family that takes the time traveling, searching for people, cemeteries, maps, books, money, patience, and hard work to preserve and record the life of our ancestors. Do not let their memories fade. Pass their stories along.
Thank you to Virginia (Jenny Rose) who sat with them and told her memories. She had such a love for a grandmother she only knew for 7 years. Brings tears down my cheeks to think of what a short but precious time they had together.
After my mother-in-law passed away, these typed pages were with some books. I thought they might be enjoyable to learn how people gather from the land for food and medicine and how they lived.
I am sharing them a bit at a time because just this short amount tells so much and made me ponder the sweetness of their relationship.
My grandmother, Martha Ann, probably wasn’t 5 feet tall, and married my grandfather who was approximately about 6′ and 4 inches tall. Whereby, I thought they looked like Mutt and Jeff together. (Mutt and Jeff was a long-running 1907-1983 and widely popular American newspaper comic strip).
She died when I was about 7 years old, but her death brings tears to my eye even to this day. She was an “Irish Example” of how they were taught to work hard and smile as if you were rich. Even on her dying bed she asked someone to get crackers for her grandchildren to eat.
I still can see her carrying a sack of greens to cook, and on our farm, going to the wood and gathering greens, tree roots, bark, mayapple and yellow roots for food, for medicine. Grandfather depended on her always to make the living, which she did by cleaning, baby sitting, making quilts, gardening for the more “elites” until a few weeks before her death. She had a daughternamed Frona, who was almost deaf, but she taught her how to survive in this world.
Grandmother always gave me a flower to take home when the flowers were blooming and taught me how to peel and dice fruits.
She gave me a “thimble” (maybe not thimbles as we know them today). She was making a comforter, therefore, all the grandchildren wishing to, could sit in on it with their thimbles. She helped them thread the needles and taught them how to insert the needle and thread and how to tie the knots. I doubt if I put the thread where she wanted them, but she was happy because it was difficult for her to accomplish. She had to do housekeeping work for people to support the family since my grandfather seldom work. (arthritis)
I only knew one grandmother and this is the only one I personally saw and knew. It is nice to have a memory of my grandmother that I cherish and could relate to. When Dr. Dollen told me that my Grandmother Martha Ann prepared medication for him for some of his patients that were sick. She gathered bark, roots, and herbs. She also cleaned his house and office and he gave her his shirts and this is how grandmother had the material to make quilts. She also made him a quilt.
When I stand near her grave, I see a great lady that never got a “Neon Light” on earth, but to me she is glowing. Every memorial day I put some flowers on her grave because she gave me a thimble, fruits, flowers and taught me how to tie knots when I was young. And she put her arms around me to comfort me once.
Last night, my husband and I, took my parents out…
This past week was full of tears and family and sweet memories. My mother-in-law passed away. Standing by her kitchen table, looking out to the screened-in patio and her yard, I thought of corn-on-the-cob. She loved when the corn was ready for eating. Indiana Sweet Corn.
I remember from as early as 4 years old, my parents coming home with bushels of corn. It was gorgeous and ready for shucking. They would sit outside in lawn chairs or card-table chairs and shuck. I helped, even if I only got 4 or 5 done, I tried my best. I loved to pull back the husk to see if a worm was fat and happy, chewing away.
The stove would have a big boiling pot of water. My mom would be lifting the cobs out with little metal tongs (I wish I had a pair) (Memories) laying the corn to cool. Then the electric knife would start up. I loved that sound and still do. It meant corn was falling off the cob, laying there beautifully. Then the corn was placed in bags and put in our huge freezer chest in the garage. But, that night we ate fresh corn-on-the-cob and big slices of tomatoes!
To the first sentence about us taking my parents out. We all needed to talk and laugh. We wanted to just love on them. Getting older is a given. It is not easy to adjust to changes, but it is easy to remember fond memories filled with love. We want to keep making sweet memories.
I thought it was fitting that this morning I opened up one of my mom’s old recipe books.
The Vegetables Cookbook A Southern Living Book 1975 and only one page had a piece of paper to hold its place:Page 112 with corn recipes!
We love our great big wonderful family full of love and memories! And I love having a special memory and then being reminded several times about it and in different ways.
In our home growing up, there was always fresh homemade recipes waiting to be tasted. Baked in the oven or cooked in a soup pot all day, in the fridge with plastic wrap, or frozen for a night when my parents had worked all day, getting us home in a snow storm from school and back then we did not race in the store every night and spend $60-$80 for a meal or pick up pizza on the way home.
My mom completely, firmly, believed in feeding her family home cooked meals every single meal, breakfast,lunch,and dinner.
Sometimes soup would just be made with a soup bone cooked slowly to provide a rich healthy broth and a handful of chopped veggies, fresh bread or corn bread.
This is my version of Homemade Beef Vegetable Soup if I could not ask my mom and I had to go on remembered taste.
Get our your big soup pot. Lets see where the heck is it lol
Place a 1 pound package of Boneless Beef Stew Meat in the bottom of your soup pot. Add in a little over a pound of Bone in Beef Short Ribs & Steak Combo. Cover with water, about an inch over the meat. Bring to a slow boil on medium to medium high.
Lower to a steady simmer. Add in about 2 tablespoons of finely diced white onion and 1 1/2 diced fresh garlic. Add in 1 teaspoon of pepper or more or less or none at all. Add in 2 very healthy pinches of Morton’s Kosher Salt.
Cover with your lid slightly askew. Simmer for about an hour,adding in a little bit of water to keep it at the same level.
Then open a large can of Campbell’s Vegetable or Tomato Juice and add to your meat broth.
I add in from Walmart two 28 ounce bags of Pictsweet Vegetables for Soup. They are found in the freezer section.
Bring to a slight boil, this takes a while if your veggies came straight from the freezer. Then lower to low or medium low to simmer. You are just letting the flavors start to mingle and get hot.
While this is happening, rinse about 5 or 6 medium to large potatoes. I do not peel them. I slice and dice in to healthy bite size pieces. Add to your soup and cook on medium low until potatoes are tender.
We served ours with hot fresh Pillsbury Crescent rolls, butter or sour cream, and shredded Parmesan Cheese.
Vintage. Soup. Warm Memories. Comforting.
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Almost a month has passed since National Teddy Bear Day. This is my teddy bear that I have had for 48 years. His little belly had a round ball that when you squeezed him, he would squeak. That wonderful little part of him quit working about seven years ago. I will admit I was a little upset. He stays on a shelf in my room so I can see him and I like to think, he can see me. We have been together so long and share a very precious memory. I remember first seeing him sitting on a braided rug beside a larger brown bear. The larger bear was for my older brother and I received the smaller one.
I walk in to the room. My mom is sitting on the floor,legs to the side,my brother beside her. He was not well and never would be. Never able to play or walk,enjoying the outside or to even hold his own bear. I remember picking my teddy bear up, touching his glass eyes, rubbing my fingers around his ears, folding his arms towards me and back again. Then the memory comes in. This little fellow had an unique smell or odor. I would put him down, pick him back up, smell him, still there. He would sit on my bed, my dresser, in my closet, and still keep the smell.
I grew up, got married, had children. My brother passed away when I was in my mid-20’s. I went and got my bear. I went through my greeting again. Touching the ears, the eyes, squeezing the belly, folding the arms. Then I held him close, pulling his arms around my neck. I bent my head down and in to him and I smelled him. I covered him in tears. He still had not just the strong smell, but the strength to comfort me, taking me back to a very treasured memory of Michael. That glorious wonderful smell that took me back all those years to my brother’s room. I am a grown woman, but I still hold my teddy bear. And he still smells!
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It has been seven years since my Dad passed away. He is in my thoughts quite often. Remembering times past together, and the wonderful things he did for our family. I try as often as we can to visit my Mom to spend time with her and to help out around the house. This house is the same home that she and my Dad shared. It is a beautiful home that she fills with pretty features and surrounds the outside with beautiful flowers and decorations. A very special gift for me each time I visit, I continue to find memories of him everywhere.
Front entry patio flowers and memorial bench.
I do not feel that we are ever really ready to say goodbye. My Dad passed away after an over five year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. A very tough progressive disorder of the nervous system that gradually removed from him the ability to move and function. As the end drew near, my prayers began to shift away from a total healing to more of a comforting and strengthening for him and my Mom, she being his primary caregiver. I knew with each visit the potential was that he may be taken away before we were able to get back to them. I began to prepare myself for the time when I would have to say goodbye.
How do you prepare? My life was certainly a blessed life. Not only was I able to experience two loving parents, but my I had wonderful times and memories with my Mom’s parents and my Dad’s father. My Dad’s mother passed when I was around three. This has provided me with sweet pictures of her holding me, but I am afraid not much recollection. Rich I was in a family not only fairly large on both sides with brothers, a sister, uncles, aunts and cousins, but with families that really enjoyed getting together and having fun. Blessed. At that point in my life, I had not lost someone as close as my Dad. To tell the truth what bothered me most was I was being selfish. I did not want to lose him. I wanted more time with him. I wanted to be able to speak to him and hear him talk. To go places with him and Mom and have more fun with my wife and kids. I wanted more.
With time, the Parkinson’s took more and more away from Dad. Towards the end it took away his ability to communicate through normal speech. This not only made it difficult for my Mom to care for him, but meant for all of us losing his conversations. At times speaking with one another can be unappreciated, especially when we are busy. Once gone though, conversations become very precious. To hear what they are thinking, to know how they are feeling. To share what is going on in each others’ lives. Part of my preparing was making certain every time spent with Dad, he knew that he was loved. For him to know he was appreciated. Whether he was able to respond back or not, Dad knew before I left for my home.
Seeds from the Mimosa tree planted nearly twenty years ago.
Being able to continue going places with Dad and Mom become more difficult as the disease progressed. Trying to go places with Dad, who began having difficulties managing getting in and out of a vehicle, climbing up and down steps, and eventually required wheelchair access everywhere, made me realize what the term “Accessible” means. In the small town where they lived, many of the places we wanted to travel were hard to manage, difficult to enter, or downright out of the realm of possibility to visit. I began to understand that in lieu of places and adventures with Mom and Dad, what I had now was Time. Time together watching his Chicago Cubs play baseball (oh how happy he would be right now!), or watching a western movie, or just sharing with him the ongoings of his grandkids. Time became very special and thank God it seemed to slow down and each visit had rich connections between the two of us. To say I was preparing for his passing would be a lie. No, if anything, I was developing a stronger appreciation of what he meant to me. A stronger understanding of all the wonderful things both Mom and he did even if at the time I didn’t understand or take time to say thank you.
The Mimosa tree as it stands today, I see Dad right next to it, I wish you could too!
Inside the house is a work bench and table in a little shop. My Mom has left the room basically the same, cleaned out, but with the same feel, colors and maps Dad appreciated on the wall. Whenever I enter the shop to get a tool or item to help whatever task we are working on, I can still see and hear Dad. Outside their house are many trees and shrubs they both planted when they relocated some years back. There is a Mimosa that we especially recall, since Dad planted it from a seed, and cared for it in the early years. Now everyone shares in the beauty during the Spring and Summer months. In the front entrance of the house there are beautiful annuals planted adjacent to a memorial bench given to my Mom after his passing. A beautiful reminder, cared for much in the same way she tenderly and lovingly cared for him. This place holds many memories near and dear to me.
Mimosa blooms in the Spring or Vernal Equinox.
You see, I was never really preparing myself for his passing. That is not something I was capable or willing. God was preparing for me over time to accept and move forward. Not to be ready to say goodbye, but to move to the next part of my life with my Mom, and how to keep Dad close in memory. He is in me and all of those who were blessed to know him. He is everywhere that I am whenever I recall him. So I appreciate what my Mom has done and continues to do, for at this house his memory is planted everywhere.
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