Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Today is the big shopping day for those who consider shopping to be a BIG ADVENTURE! In spite of being invited on a couple of those outings, I've declined :) To those who were out in the wee hours of the morning, was it worth it? Any great deals? Stories?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

These are a few of our favorite things....

Earlier this week, I emailed my mom and my sisters with a list of some favorite memories for which I am thankful. Throughout the week, they have added their own favorites. Here are the highlights of our lists... for these things, and for each other, we are truly blessed and thankful.

  • top of the list is... each other
  • the squirrel tree
  • playing in the little woods
  • riding our bicycles through Blackwoods campground
  • sewing fabulous Barbie rain gear out of old shower curtain liners
  • getting lost in St. John
  • riding the ferry over to PEI like it was another world
  • dad singing "Good morning to you" at the breakfast table on weekends
  • having to suppress hiccups at the dinner table
  • going to Ethel Davis' for junior choir practice
  • selling rocks to Mary Moulton
  • riding our bicycles to the store for penny candy
  • playing pick with the new Sears catalogue
  • being in "big trouble" for something
  • jumping off the shed roof into the snow
  • having to do the library summer reading program (argh)
  • the summer we lived in a tent at Canton Lake
  • riding bicycles to Farmington on a Saturday so we could eat at McDonald's
  • sitting in a circle, fixing each other's hair
  • taking turns giving each other backrubs
  • making Lego houses
  • making lawnchair tent houses in the back yard (Slumville per dad)
  • cucumber sandwiches in the summer
  • riding bikes 'round and 'round that little driveway
  • getting dressed up fancy for church on Easter and Christmas
  • playing Ice Cream shop with our bicycles turned upside down
  • blind folding each other to guess what was put in our mouths
  • making stick houses behind the chicken house
  • walking our sheep up and down the road
  • digging worms for Uncle Johnny
  • cooking mud pies in the chimney clean-out
  • jumping off the back porch trying to break a leg (we thought it would be fun to use crutches)
  • having to look up 'bad' words in the dictionary at the dinner table
  • eating mounds of corn-on-the-cob for dinner
  • going hunting with daddy and making too much noise
  • having 2 wonderful parents who cared and nourished all of us into the awesome people we are today!
  • Barbie doll houses made with chairs from tuna cans
  • tracing the outlines of houses in the dirt and playing house
  • trying to build rafts to float ourselves in the little culvert pond
  • ice skating around all of the grasses in the little pond above the house
  • running all the way to Grammie and Grampa's house to watch the color tv
  • playing hid and seek in Grammie's lilac bushes
  • watching Pammiedisect a bird for her science project
  • feeling special to get a purple "banana seat," a cool pogo stick and a gerbil
  • overnights in the camper with the flashlight, putting hands on top to make scary shadows
  • watching stars fall from outside of our lawn chair houses
  • eating the special small boxed cereal the next morning, in our lawn chair houses
  • Popham Beach- the best
  • having so much love from daddy that he let us put barettes in his hair
  • seeing mom's eyes sparkle when she watched the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon to watch "Yaz"
  • night skiing at Spruce Mt.
  • listening to Pam sing "I've Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates"
  • playing with the organ after Sunday School
  • "trying" to play mom's auto harp
  • church fairs... church suppers with baked beans and jello salad
  • opening the chest of hand-me-downs... that was exciting each year
  • the twin beds with the white puffy headboards... they felt like princess beds :)
  • crawling out the upstairs bedroom window, and sitting atop the roof
  • driving our kitties down the sand hill... ooops...
  • watching Deb leave for college in her VW
  • being proud of Kathy at ski events, beating one of the Mitchell girls
  • knowing that the striped pants, made by mom, were the coolest thing ever in 4th grade
  • waiting for the last little snowcap to melt in the Spring time- then school was almost done for the year
  • jumping over the "pucker brushes" in the Cumming's pasture
  • playing "spy" with Joline through the Cumming's corn rows
  • trying to out race the Cummings' crazy dog after getting off the school bus
  • playing basketball in the driveway with mom
  • the day Mom bought us all a chess set at the greem stamp store in Lewiston
  • piano lessons... some of us did better than others
  • Wendy and Joline swimming at the Hammond's pool
  • listening to the little white hand transistor radio
  • picking wild strawberries on the little road for our cereal the next morning
  • watching mom and dad make us homemade ice cream
  • having Dad shovel horse poo for me, even though he knew it was our chore
  • weeding the garden
  • shoveling dirt for .25 a bucket
  • playing "other girls"
  • laying on the cupboard on Sunday night so mom could wash our hair in the kitchen sink
  • water skiing in the summer with David, Randy, Kathy, Jo, Wendy
  • mom and dad going to ALL our sports to watch us
  • daddy's spaghetti sauce
  • 4-H fairs
  • "blink, blink, blink" for a Dairy Queen stop after Popham Beach
  • playing at the frog pond
  • playing in the "shed" building at the top of the hill behind the house
  • getting the so-much-wanted train set for Christmas
  • Grammie Davis' spaghetti sauce (dad's was delicious but Grammie's was the BOMB)
  • going to Augusta to McDonald's after church
  • talking on Grampa's CB radio (Little Peach was Joline's name)
  • making white milk vases with Doris Wight
  • getting ice hockey sticks before Christmas so we could play hockey on the pond at Potters
  • making sail boats to flow through the culvert
  • playing Cowboys and Indians
  • shucking peas on the front door step
  • watching Captain Kangaroo before going to school
  • watching Romper Room waiting for our names to be called (did anyone get their name called?)
  • selling our sheep at the fair
  • the crazy days at the Norland's fair carding wool and spinning
  • cooking potatoes on top of grammie and grampa's stove
  • marveling over grampa's rock collection
  • watching grampa feed chipmunks out of his hand
  • ice skating on Brettuns Pond
  • singing duets with Pam- Jeremiah was a Bullfrog and New Pair of Roller Skates
  • going horn pout fishing at night with daddy
  • riding bikes to grammie and gramp's or up to the corner and thinking some people are not as lucky as us
  • thinking Grange was the coolest thing to be involved in
  • Yum va
  • the trip to DC- "Pay before you pump"
  • Batman "Polly-Wolly"
  • paper doll families
  • Wishniks
  • eating the "skin" off the top of homemade chocolate pudding
  • getting chicken pox just about the time our new sister Joline came home
  • eating Thanksgiving dinner on tv trays at Grammie Randall's while the adults all ate at the table in the kitchen
  • mongloid hair cuts
  • sewing our own clothes in high school
  • home perms
  • putting Bugles on our fingers
  • camping with the Wights
  • roller skating on Saturday mornings
  • the porch of the little house in the summer
  • graduations and commencement exercises
  • mom's favorite birthday cake, chocolate with peanut butter frosting
  • mom and dad waltzing in the kitchen of the little house to Unchained Melody
  • pink fishnet stockings held up with a garter belt
  • finding out that Mrs. Poland, Miss Lufkin, and Miss Boyce all had mom and dad for students
  • Macy's parades
  • playing Hi-Q at grammie randall's
  • Grammie Randall and the aunts speaking French in the kitchen as they cooked
  • the big old Atlantic cook stove
  • looking at Grampa Randall's rock collection
  • the silver tree at Grammie Davis' that changed color as the wheel turned
  • the santa on skis at Grammie Davis' house
  • driving to Wyoming with dad to bring Kathie, Ryan, and Kevin back to Maine
  • looking at the raspberry crosses in the garden
  • helping each other pick up the pieces of our lives as we'd start over again
  • Wendy's quilt-in-a-day
  • crabbing in Maryland with smelly chicken on a strong
  • rationing meat from the one little crab so everyone could have a taste
  • hangovers (glad those days are over)
  • driving down the VA Beach boardwalk listening to Christmas music
  • having Tasha and Tyler spend a little bit of time living with Pam when they were little
  • Pam, Kathie, and Riff sharing a house and a life
  • winter sports with Kathie & David, waiting for the cabana boy to arrive
  • everyone writing their names on Pam's Fayette house's typar
  • getting Mousetrap and Operation from Nana and Johnny & Bea
  • the Browns (Laurette, Corbette, Matthew, Lisette, Nicolette)
  • the little church
  • dogs, cats, bunnies, chickens, cows, pigs (Rosie & Posie), ducks...
  • listening to tapes made of Grampa Randall
  • Deb's whoopie pies
  • seeing who could make it from ME to DC in the shortest amount of time
  • hiding Kathie under maps so dad wouldn't see her
  • the weird man on Virginia Beach who kept burying himself in the sand
  • bonfires at Deb & Arnie's
  • skating in West Farmington
  • picking fiddleheads on the Sandy River
  • hiking up Monument Hill
  • getting Useless in Eustis
  • seeing mom and dad settle back into the East Livermore area
  • pictures of mom, Uncle Bill, and Uncle Tom hanging on the wall in the living room
  • our long formica topped table in our kitchen
  • knowing that our linoleum matched Grammie Randall's
  • knowing we'd be getting our Christmas tree soon
  • having five whole days off from school for Thanksgiving
  • favorite Thanksgiving foods
  • gravy, gravy, gravy... moist turkey (with gravy)... mashed potatoes (with gravy)... squash (no gravy)... peas, onions, fruit salad, boiled onions saturated with butter & cream... Grammie Randall's yeast rolls (dipped in gravy)... pie, pie, pie

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another Nice Combination

The name of a dance, rather than a fiddle tune, comes to mind when I see this photograph taken recently on a walk in our neighborhood. We started out on a simple walk down the road, and ended up exploring some camp roads- one of which brought us to the back side of Pickerel Pond and this lovely scene. All the deciduous leaves are now on the ground, leaving only the evergreens. Judging from the lack of bright foliage, there is probably not much change from this view from a couple of weeks ago. This photo seems to have a nice combination of earth, sky and water elements- a nice balance.

Thought I'd share a piece of our world with you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Richard

To my best friend, my partner, my love... happy birthday :)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss

Seems like flying around is what we all do these days- life is so busy! Generally speaking, most of us fill our days with worthwhile activities, and that makes it difficult to decide what to NOT do- so we end up trying to do it all. Sometimes we manage to drop something that we think we can live without for a little while in an effort to manage our time better, and to put more quality attention into the "A" list. This tactic has worked pretty well for me; I've put a few activities on the back burner, and a few more have just gotten stored away indefinitely. Playing the fiddle, while an "A" interest, has assumed a "B" list role simply for lack of available time for regular practice. The best I can manage is to play it for a few minutes now and then.
Last night Kathie and I played tunes at a barn dance that Richard called. I'd been apprehensive about it, managed a little bit of practice but not as much as I would have liked (studying for tests this week won my time and attention) but all those hours of practice in the past paid off! We played from our list of "standard" tunes- the ones we know without music- and we had so much fun! I mean, all of us had so much fun! The parents and children who were dancing, Richard who was calling, and Kathie and I. It was one of those evenings that flew by and before we knew it, we were done.
It's nice to know that this piece of my life- music and contradance- has become so ingrained that it still threads through the rest of my activities. Listening to contra tunes while I practice calling during my commute keeps the music in my head and the beat in my heart, enough so that when I pick up my fiddle, that energy can revive my fingers and the music can flow through the strings and the bow.
In the back of my mind, I've thought it would be possible to call and play at dances on weekend evenings while packing my week days full of work and classes, my week evenings with studying and time with Richard, and weekends filling in with chores, visiting the kids & grandkids, and more studying. Possible to do it all, but not sure I could really pull it off. Some weeks I'm not sure I've managed well, but last night was an indicator that it is possible!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Virtual Cake!

Happy Birthday Dad!

Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting- my mom's favorite cake? Hmmmm. Here's the rest of the story (including the beginning)
Years ago, when planning for my mom's birthday, I consulted dad as to what kind of cake should be made. More specifically, what was Mom's favorite cake? Dad quickly answered, "chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting." I wasn't aware of this being her favorite, but of course, I didn't really know what she liked best, hence my asking of the question in the first place. So, chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting it was.
When the cake was brought out, mom was happy enough with it, but without the ecstatic shrieks of glee I had anticipated. I prompted, "Hey, it's your favorite kind of cake!" so she'd know that I really wanted to give her something special. Her reply, "Well, that's your DAD'S favorite kind of cake!" brought a smirk of joy and amusement to dad's face! Aha! I'd been tricked!
Anyway, whether or not I actually get to bake a chocolate cake and cover it with peanut butter frosting today, I want to wish my dad (the BEST DAD IN THE WHOLE WORLD) a very special, happy birthday! I love you!