Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

It was a very pretty day today...perfect to remember those who served and protected us.  We attended the Memorial Service at a little Memorial Garden just around the corner from our home.  We turned around and noticed that our neighbor Keith, all military, had arrived also.  Niko enjoyed the walk and the people but NOT the gun salute.  I had told Robert this wasn't a good idea to bring him but Robert thought he'd be fine.  It was a quiet dog the rest of the day...I think he was deaf for a few hours (well, not really but...)

The Boy Scouts were present and the men from the VFW and Amvets put up a new flag and lowered it to half staff.  Mark Cizl played the horn for Taps.  This type of event always makes me a bit sad and then I miss my father more, and since I never got to really know him it's worse.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Quayd Corbridge

Quayd received his mission call and we are so excited for him as well as for his mom, Sophia!  Here's a post from her blog:

We were both thrilled to have one big need arrive in the mail form my dear friend, Susan, in Ohio. She sent Quayd this wonderful satchel because missionaries no longer use back packs. He loves!  I love it!  We both appreciate it!  Susan had bought the same one for her own grandson who is serving and she knows that it's proven to be a great one!

Then yesterday I was looking at the pictures Sophia had taken of Quayd for his graduation as well as his mission announcement and saw this picture right off. Do you see what I see?

I texted Sophia and asked who that was in the reflection behind Quayd.  She said she didn't see anything and what was I talking about.  When she called she was driving and Doug was working at bringing up the picture.  I related the picture I saw...of a woman, wearing what reminded me of an American Indian outfit...white blouse with a sort of black placket down the front of it. Then a sort of reddish skirt.  She replied, "Oh my word!  That sounds like my Grandmother."  With that statement I got goosebumps on my legs and arms and my neck prickled mightily.  When she was finally able to pull over (remember, I have just been rear ended this week and told her to pull over...not to look and drive at the same time) she gasped...and again said this did look like her grandmother.

She said that in this tunnel where she was posing her son, she was very particular about where he stood so that whatever was on the walls would not be in the photo. But she never saw that image and felt she needed to go back and check it out.

I think it is her grandmother and the grandmother will be Quayd's guardian angel.  Do I believe in such a thing..oh you bet I do. I think that we are so close to the next life (or as the Twilight Zone would say, the other dimension) but we seldom realize it, nor think about it. But it's true. And those who love us and love those we love are often just that close to us.

President Brigham Young taught that when individuals die they ‘all pass through the veil from this state and go into the world of spirits; and there they dwell waiting for their final destiny’ (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 376). This world of spirits, as taught by President Young, is very close: 

“‘It is not beyond the sun, but is on this earth that was organized for the people that have lived and that do and will live upon it. . . . 

“‘Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes, they do. Do they both inhabit one kingdom? Yes, they do. Do they go to the sun? No. Do they go beyond the boundaries of the organized earth? No, they do not.’ (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 376; 

Sophia and I both love the fact that it appears like her arm is right by his head/shoulders as if to guide him along the path he's chosen...a very good path.

I don't know Quayd but I love him. I love how he loves his parents and honors his Lord by agreeing to tithe on his life so far in service to Him.  I hear he has a wonderful laugh, is silly, and just plain good.  Can a mom/dad ask for anything more.

And was Sophia who picked up Jordan at the SLC airport and got him installed in the MTC. She was such a blessing for me at a time she thought she'd never have a son on a mission...and look at things now!  Perfect!  Best part for me, I get another missionary to write to each week.  That brings my total to 4 missionaries.  Life is good.

Mary Poppins

Isn't so practically perfect right at this moment...and I'm sad...and still a bit achy.

Monday, 23 May,  I was driving down Lake Road, through Avon Lake in the afternoon when I spied ahead of me these 3 darling  fuzzy ducklings all marching behind their mom in a straight line, right across the street.  I knew I had to stop or I'd be killing them all.  I checked the rear view mirror and saw no one behind me for quite some distance and figured I was safe.  I put on my flashers and sat enjoying the view when WHAM!  I was propelled forward, the car seat throwing me forward and then backwards.

Rear Ended!  Drats.  I was able to pull the car to the side of the road, attempted to bring the seat back upright but it wouldn't budge.  I gathered my wits, called the police and talked to them, tried to reach Robert and finally looked back. The car that hit me had all the airbags inflated but I saw a woman get out of the car and she was fine.  I walked back to her and as I passed Poppins I realized my car's damage was minimal compared to hers.  Very minimal.

She was the kindest and nicest woman, Natalya Renaudin...came from the Ukraine 10 years ago.  She had no idea what happened, said she didn't see me and was upset and in wonderment of how this happened.  The worse part of her story is that she was afraid to call her husband. She was driving a brand new Toyota Camry and said he would kill her.  I assured her he would be happy to know she was not hurt.  She replied, "You do not know him."  She couldn't even call him. There was a construction crew at a home there where we stopped and this man came over to check on us.  She asked him to call her husband which he did.

She was so worried about the husband that I took a minute to tell the officer of her concern and to be ready when he got there. The construction guy said the man was horrible when he called, with such a foul mouth. Another officer arrived and when the man came charging to the car, swearing and being nasty to his wife, he said something which really bothered the officers, who told him in unison to step back.

We exchanged all the necessary info, made a police report and that bully of a husband didn't even talk to either of us, nor Robert, nor the officers after the initial contact with them.  I was able to drive Mary Poppins home but obviously her car was probably totaled.  I had a minute to be with her and the one officer and I told her that if he tried to hurt her she needed to call the police IMMEDIATELY. She's from SL and actually lives on Harris across from the PD.  I gave her the police number and the officer agreed with me and encouraged her to call the SLPD if he got violent.  Natalia said she would try some psychology on him.  I told her that a fist is a lot stronger than psychology and she needed to be wise and safe.  She said if she could get a job she'd be as free as a bird.  So I think she would love to leave this creep.  I sure hope she does and she will.

Avon Lake PD had the report ready within minutes and Robert picked it up.  I got the info about her insurance carrier and have contacted them already.  All things are in motion and Poppins will be fixed quickly.  PLUS...we get a rental car...all at no charge to us.  That's the best thing for being NOT AT FAULT.  Our insurance company sent out their claims adjuster came out yesterday.  I know Poppins will be repaired but I am sad for her.  Again, I attach too many human emotions, not to mention names, to inanimate objects.  It makes things so much worse.

But it's Mary Poppins!

Me?  It's just the usual whiplash story.  I doubt I need to see a doctor.  I've treated it and am now rotating it every hour.  Ibuprofen works pretty well.  And it's getting better.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Happy Birthday wonderful. Robert

Today is Robert's 67th birthday.  For years and years and years he has always said he wanted a 50style beaded cowboy belt.  For periodically for those same years I would check out stores for such an item.  Suddenly a few months back, I smacked my forehead and said..."Internet"  People can get things of all kinds by looking on the internet.  Me, who is always looking for something never thought about looking for the belt.  And within a few minutes I found one, ordered it.  It arrived and I loved it, hid it and couldn't wait for today.

As Robert was dressing for Seminary, I stopped him at the old belt and said...NOW!  Open your tray present.  He did and it fit and he loved it.

Here is how we always start each morning...and for Robert, it's several times each day for personal study as well as Seminary.
 And he insisted on completing out morning studies before he opened his other gifts...after breakfast...not waiting for dinner which we always made our kids wait for.
 Jocelyn and family sent this adorable tree 'face'. . .all the way from England, no less.
 Dawn and family sent his this great plexiglass bird feeder which means we can attach it to the window and be able to see the birds up close.
 And Cara and her family sent Robert a super gnome/fairy set up for the garden which includes a campfire...perfect for the weekend of the Aaronic Priesthood commemoration.

We currently have a senior missionary couple serving in our ward and Robert really likes Br. Owens and so Robert decided that for his birthday he wanted to take this couple out for dinner.  That frees me up from cooking and baking some dessert.  It feels strange but it is his birthday.  When he was a young boy about 16, his next oldest sister, Barbara then 21, surprised the whole family by giving them gifts on her birthday because she felt so grateful for their love.  This moment has stuck with him and I think it's why so often he wants to do things for others on his birthday.

But all his life with me he has always served everyone.  He would cut the lawns for more neighbors than I can count because they were old, ill, or vacant.  Abandoned houses that were in our area needed to be tended him..because he would say, "This is my neighborhood."  Sidewalks were shoveled or snow plowed after storms.  When our kids were young and mom lived up the street, Robert would shovel all the up to their house, get Bonpapa's snow blower (cuz of course we never owned one ourselves) and take care of their driveway and sidewalk, then snow blow down the whole of Warwick one way and then back up the other side, returning the snow blower and gas.  Back then we had neighborhood schools so at least one street was clear for the walkers. I'd like to say this was the only street he did but that would not be true.  I always worried he would have a heart attack in the heart or while shoveling so much.  But no amount of complaining would change his mind...until last year when I think even he realized the time to slow up had arrived.

I am grateful he is mine.  And I hope he lives many more years with and for me.  But as he always is quoting from Hombre...."We all gotta die, it's just a matter of when."

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Today was a very special day in an odd sort of way.  Patsy called me last week and said she was ready to give away her treasures but needed help.  We set today for this activity.  So after taking her to the doctors, picking up her medicine and out to lunch, we set about to do as she asked.

All her life, Patsy never had a lot of money, never owned her own home, always living in apartments.  She married Johnny when she was about 19.  She had Jeffrey who was born with hydrocephalus and spinal bifida and altho the nursing/medical staff all wanted her to leave the infant at the hospital to die.  But this was her son and she cared for him for 40 years, til he died...about 30 years longer than anyone had expected.

Everyone knows how she and Johnny cared for me as my godparents so everyone knows how I feel about her.  Her life was hard and she often was a bit harsh or snide.  But time and circumstances alter all of us as it did her.

Patsy spent years being a cleaner for a variety of apartment houses.  And she learned to save all the money she could (and I am happy to say that she is able to continue to live on her own financially and will be able to until death...or she will live with us) and she appreciated the fine things in life.  She had a friend who collected Royal Doulton figurines and Patsy remarked to Johnny that she wished she had some. So Johnny began to help her purchase the ones she liked.  From there she went on Limoges, Waterford Crystal, and any named fine china.  For Christmas 1992 Johnny bought her this curio cabinet to store some of the most special.

And now it is ours!  And once we reassembled it, it provided the nice spirit to this corner.

As time wore on she would put a name of a family member at the bottom of them so when she died, I could be sure to give the correct item to the correct family.

Mine was always at the top.  And she was lovely.  And I felt honored that she would early on wanted me to have her, Victoria.

Now too long before Johnny died, he got up and handed me this musical box called Ebony and Ivory.

He had asked me if I was still 'tickling the ivories' and said he wanted me to have it.  I thought I saw on Patsy face a bit of surprise and reluctance so I said I couldn't take it out of the china closet but I would get it in the future.  He seemed OK with it but today Patsy said it was time I took her home.

Yesterday, we gently wrapped many of these special treasures in bubble wrap , tagged with the person's name and then boxed.  I kept asking Patsy if she was sure she wanted to do this or if she had done enough and wanted to stop.  Each time she said, No.  But then sadly, she often added, "I won't last forever."  I fear that perhaps unconsciously she feels something...something...well, something else.

And yes, I know we all have to die...and she's in so much pain and illness that passing onto the next life will be a blessing physically for her but it will also allow her to rejoin Johnny and Jeffrey.  But to lose her...well, it's going to leave a huge hole. Different from losing my mom but a hole anyway.

We wrapped up all the figurines and some of the plates and various items that she had already planned to give away. She was very tired by the time we finished altho we still have more to do but all the most expensive and most dear are taken care of.  This was to have been my responsibility after she died and I dreaded it since she has so many people who care for her and love her.  I didn't want to leave anyone out.  I mentioned to her once or twice that this is what I wanted my mom to do, give to the people she loved the things she loved but she refused.  And in the end it made it difficult and I wished she could have experienced the joy of seeing the recipients embrace her treasures.  I had told Patsy this story and maybe it's what prompted her to do this now....and I know she will be thrilled to see the joy in her friends and family members when she does.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016


Sunday Lois Hudsucker came to church and we walked through the parking lot together.  She asked me what kind of bird I had in the front window.  I told her a Peach-face Lovebird.  Then I looked at her and asked, "would you want him?"  And she said yes.  I asked if she was serious and she was.  She used to always have birds until she had a bazillion foster kids.  Now she just has her adopted daughter's 2 daughters.  Her granddaughter died, then one of her dogs died 2 weeks later, and finally her husband died 2 weeks after that.  I think she is interested in a squawky bird, which Absinthe is not...but he's lively...altho he's old.

Aunt Carol had called me about 14 years ago.  A friend of hers had called to see if Carol knew of someone who might want the bird that her daughter had dumped on her...and Carol replied, Of course I crazy niece.

I agreed because by this time my mom had been diagnosed with cancer and knowing she loved birds thought something colorful would be entertaining. Mom was delighted but within a few weeks she was just too ill to handle the bird so the bird came back to live with us.  Marissa is the one who named the bird.

I have to say that I struggled over this decision to give away this bird. It's not that I wanted the bird.  I never did. But I don't dispose of any pets.  .  .EVER.  But I know Lois would take good care.  So this morning I called her to be sure she was serious and she was.  So I cleaned out the cage, bagged up all the supplies and put Absinthe into a small box for the short drive to Lois.  Today was an inservice day for the elementary grades so Rebecca and Elizabeth were at home and were so excited to have a bird.

I think Absinthe is in good hands and will be happy to be in a room with a lot of activity.  I did tell Lois that if something changed and she didn't want the bird anymore she had to return him to me.  She agreed.  So now I am trying to figure out how to stop feeling guilty about this, stop worrying about whether or not Absinthe is mad at me, will hate me for taking him some place else.

Oh well..what's done is now done.  But thanks Absinthe for all these years bringing color to my life, hanging upside down, putting your head in the bell chandelier, and making Marissa, Hillary, Drew, and James all snuffly when they have been here.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

May Day now and then


c 1985-Jordan Robert

Saturday, April 30, 2016

May Day

Tomorrow is May 1...imagine that!  It took me back to realize that next Sunday will be the 2nd Sunday in May, hence Mother's  Day.  How fast this year has gone by.

This morning I went to Pettiti's Garden Center and put together 2 'tea' cups. One with an African Violet, and one with a tea rose which actually has already been planted outside and in its place is some violas.  But as party of this Make-It Take-It craft were two fairies.

I could select my own fairies and as soon as I saw this little girl I knew I had to have her...she had the appearance as well as the countenance of my own Autumn.  Robert named the boy  Reuben.  They are lovely, very delicate and sweet.

And then I got a bigger surprise from Pam.  Pam called to say she bought me a present and what a present it was....a fairy boot house.

And it is already in the garden spot but I haven't planted some things to come out the toe and from the top area.  When the weather warms I will return the fairies, Giddis and Henry, to their rightful place in the fairy garden but now they have wonderful home to live in as well as a yard to play in safely.

How I love my fairies...and my friend Pam who knows it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

#19 Grandchild, Val Oaks Christensen

Val joined his siblings and parents on April 6, 11:24 pm.....9 lb 7 oz, 20" long  Jocelyn had that as her due date and we were sure the child would come on that special day but as it dawned, doubts began to surface.  Then Jocelyn went into labor and Dawn and I just knew come hell or high water, this child was going be born on that day.  And he was.  His sex was a surprise til the birth but we are so glad for Guy that he gets a brother finally.

He is such an amazing big brother to his sisters that he can't help but be the same to wee Val.  The best part is that Val looks just like Guy and to be honest, like his sisters as well.  Cannot miss the fact he's a Christensen.

Robert and I left Sunday after Fast and Testimony meeting and drove to PA to help the family.  Not sure what we are helping to do but we are here.

After we arrived, Jocelyn informed us that this little guy had failed his hearing test and that's a concern. Steve's brother was born deaf and his sister deaf in one ear.  I think we all did a lot of praying that this was an incorrect reading OR that he was just so rushed to get here that he just was too pooped to listen to the test.  A few of my friends were told and they all immediately joined in prayers.

Not that Jocelyn wouldn't have been able to handle this.  She would have made this child even more successful and wonderful than his uncle.  But it's a daunting situation.

Here we are, having just arrived in Lewisburg, meeting our new grandson.

 Not sure what noise he made but it surprised me.

Yesterday I was holding and singing to him and Jocelyn snagged this picture of his smiling.  Nope, not because at my nonsinging voice.  Maybe he's laughing at me.  I sang his some Garth Brooks and played him some Home Free even tho I'm not really a goat-roper.  Jocelyn says if he grows up to become one, it's going to be all my fault.

Just after this picture was taken, Jocelyn went to the doctor for herself and a repeat for Val's hearing test, and Hallelujah, his passed the test with flying colors.  We are all so grateful...and I am grateful for friends who would rally around my family with prayers.

When it was learned that Steve's parents would not be coming out for the blessing, they decided to bless Val this week, while we were here.  But alas, the 1898 christening gown was back at home. I could kick myself because I had several thoughts to just stick the gown in the suitcase so it would be here in case we could not come.  I HATE MAILING THIS TREASURE ANYWHERE, even tho I am thrilled to share it.  I always hold my breath til it comes back into my hands.  I texted Pam Barlow and asked her how much she loved me? And if it was enough, would she be willing to go get the gown and overnight it to us.  

Pam is my good friend who will always do anything for me but she's the most respectful person of boundaries. She was a bit nervous to go upstairs, through my drawer and get the gown.  But she did. She walked in, called me on the phone to say she was at the top of the stairs and then we 'walked' though the hall together, to the red room, into the dresser drawer, found the pillowcase the held the christening gown.  She took it immediately to the postoffice, calling me 3x to ask questions about mailing as she stood with the postman.  She is adorable.   She worried crazily...worse than me if that's possible. She had trouble sleeping fearing there might be 2 pillow cases in that drawer holding things and she had sent the wrong one. I knew there was only one so it was all good.  And it was all good and it arrived the next day. Of course I alerted her so she could stop worrying and get some sleep.

This afternoon the bishop arrived to help assist and record the blessing.  It was very sweet and very special to bless a child in his own home.  Steve gave his son a lovely blessing and then we took lots of pictures afterwards

BUT when I went to get them for this blog post, my camera announced that the memory card was damaged and there were no pictures.  I was so spazzin out .  There were NO pictures on the card, nothing showed up in the camera nor on my computer.  But after 4 tries, suddenly the pictures reappeared. I guess it's been a week of blessings of all sorts.

 Honor is experiencing the typical moment with the advent of a new sibling.  Here she is between her dad and their bishop, Curtis Nicholls and the bishop is reading to her to calm her down before the blessing begins.
 Guy....reading while he waits.
 Scarlett and Autumn

 I love the moment that the babe is dressed in my grandfather's christening gown.  It is a connection that I have with no other ancestor.

 I had not knitted the customary Baby Mary Janes that I knit for every baby (since I was 8 years old) but had brought along the baby yarn and needles. Good I just started knitting and finished the sweet shoes yesterday.  Autumn was the perfect little mom, putting them onto her baby brother.

Robert, Steve with  Val, and Bishop Nicholls.

A family grouping.  We certainly missed Steve and Christy.  We weren't able to reach them by phone but we did Skype with Dawn.

Happy and Good parents

And sadly we finally had to say goodbye....

email updates

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner