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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Happy Birthday Dad.... May 25, 1907



my dad




Today, is my dad's birthday.  He was born May 25, 1907 in London, England. He was 7 years old when WW1 started (1914) and 11 when it ended (1918). He used to tell me he remembered seeing bombed out houses... houses with the walls blown out. I never thought to ask where they lived during the bombing... and as a kid, he may not have remembered. 

But in 1918 Grandpa took Grandma, Dad and his 2 younger siblings to America via Ellis Island. They actually sailed across 3 times... 1918,1919, and 1920. Then stayed in 1920 and settled in Jacksonville, Fla. I've often wondered why they moved from England, but I can only guess it was to get away from the ravages of the war. Some family members said that Grandpa needed to get away from the damp climate... but it's just a guess, we'll never really know. 

When dad was 17 he got a job at an Architectural plant in New Orleans and moved the whole family there.  That's where he met mom... and that's where I grew up.

I used to go with him sometimes when he was driving around the the little towns and bayous of Louisiana checking out the stoneware on the churches, etc. We'd sing "Onward Christian Soldiers" in the car.

Dad and his brother (and I think Uncle Gil) built a boat and a fishing camp on Grand Isle. The men and boys would go there to fish. I didn't get to go often as it was a one room camp shared by several bunk beds, a small kitchen area, no bathroom... just a pier over the water. Dad took my brother who didn't really like to fish. I loved to fish, but could only go if no one else was going to be there. It made me mad as a child... really didn't understand why being a girl made a difference. 

Anyway, these are some of my memories of my father... also the aroma of a cigar or pipe tobacco. Dad was a quiet gentle man, a good man. He died at 75 with Cancer... but not from cancer, but from a stroke during his cancer treatment in the hospital. I still miss him. 


Hugs (virtual),

Rian

 


 
 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

a redo...


This past Mother's Day we were in the Hill country for oldest granddaughter's graduation... but I was wondering this morning what I wrote last Mother's Day. Found it and re-posted it... as the picture and the poem always makes me feel good. 




My mother passed away in 2008, but I wish her 

a Happy Mother's Day today still...  

She was a wonderful mother. We didn't have the same personalities, nor the same likes and dislikes when it came to personal choices, but we loved and respected each other. Mom lived with us for the last 14 years of her life. 

When Alzheimer's became a problem (and I was still working), she went into an Assisted Living facility for a short time, then to a Memory Care Unit. I now regret that I didn't stop working and just take her home - but at the time it didn't seem right for many reasons. Mom passed away due to complications of Alzheimer's within that year. Mom was 94.

And now I want to share with you a poem that I came across a while back that to me embodies motherhood. It's how I felt (and still feel) about becoming a mother for the first time. 




and





Happy Mother's Day!



Oldest son (one who made me a mother for the first time is now 56 years old... hard to believe But I still feel the same... age doesn't change anything when it comes to your kids.


Closing this on the note that I'm now using Google's Gemini - their AI Chat. It's definitely interesting. I know many of you may be using it too. I'm a little late to the game, but would love to know your thoughts on it's use (or ChatGPT).


Hugs (virtual),

Rian



Wednesday, May 15, 2024

a few days in the Hill Country...

We left for Texas A&M in College Station, TX Thursday for our oldest granddaughter's graduation. After the graduation and pictures, we headed over to her friend's apartment for a champagne celebration. Then my daughter, SIL, DH, and myself headed back to our airbnb to rest. I'm sure the girls continued to celebrate through the night.

The next morning we headed back to their place in the Hill Country... (about a 3 hour drive).  Friday we stayed there and had a quiet day just talking, drinking coffee,  and enjoying their Great Dane (Moose), the horses (Hemi and Tootsie), the cats (Gizmo and Penney), turtles, bunnies, and chickens. They also have 3 ponds on their land with huge Koi… 


Moose on porch

Hemi by stall

chicken coup

pond in front yard

I'm posting pics of their front porch because when you sit out there any time of day, there's always a wonderful breeze. I love sitting out there and watching the horses roam.


right side of porch

left side of porch


Saturday morning we went to Beorne, TX - small town about 30 mins away and shopped, ate lunch, and then headed back to the house for coffee and pie. That evening we out to a wonderful restaurant (Oak Vinyard) where we took this selfie and then had our celebratory Mother's Day meal. I had pecan encrusted salmon with fried spinach over Poblano cheese grits (all gluten free and delicious!). I forgot to take pictures of the food... sorry.




And that was our graduation/mother's day get-together!

Coming home Sunday afternoon we hit pouring rain, but arrived safely and  then were surprised to find 2 Swallows inside our house. Grandson was able to catch them and released them outside... but not sure how they got in? We did lose the cap off our chimney a few months ago during a storm... but the fireplace had a glass screen - so not sure how... if that was their entry??

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend! 

Hugs (virtual),
Rian

Saturday, May 4, 2024

what a difference a day makes...

First of all, I'm not complaining (even though it sounds like it). The last few days have been weird. I woke up with an ocular migraine Friday. These little buggers mess up your eyes with bright light and jagged lines. They don't last too long... and are usually gone in about 10-15 minutes (although sometimes they come back). And they are generally accompanied by a dull headache... nothing like the real migraines I had when younger. I guess this could be considered one of the advantages of old age (the progression from full blown to ocular). 

Anyway, the dull headache came and went all day... so we didn't do the errands we'd planned. After a second Tylenol in the afternoon, the headache went away and by evening I slept for several hours on the sofa... and later in bed. But unfortunately this morning I'm still feeling 'unwell'... no headache, just 'off'... something isn't right.  But at 78 (to be 79 in 2 months), I guess it's not unusual to feel 'off' some days. I mean I'm still kickin' and am in general good health... as far as I know (and want to know). 

You know my daughter asked me a question on the phone the other day that made me pause. She asked me if I had something terminal would I want to know? Her doctor was telling her there was a blood test she could take these days that would tell you if you had cancer or some diseases. I said that at her age (54), I might want to know... at mine (78) I don't know... maybe, maybe not.

Anyway, that's been my week. Hope yours has been a little better. 

Also, our oldest granddaughter graduates from A&M this month. She graduated from high school in 2020... that year the graduations were only videoed due to the pandemic. I'm hoping this graduation will go off well. We're so proud of her.


And good news! We have kittens! One of our long time feral mamas brought her 4 kittens to eat and play on the back porch this past week. They were so cute... about 6 weeks old, one black, one white, and 2 Siamese-looking. Here's a pic of one of the Siamese:


kitten on cat tree


This little fellow climbed up on the cat tree... (we have 2 on the back porch). I took this from the inside window. 

And this next video I also took from inside the kitchen's French door as 2 of the kittens were eating:



(Remember to click on the square to enlarge pic... and then 'escape' to get out of video)

This feral cat is such a good mama. She watches those kittens like a hawk. It took her 4 times to get the smallest scariest little one to come on the porch. She kept going back to get him to follow her.  

I know you are thinking we need to catch them and bring them to the Adoption room at the shelter. We used to do this, but not anymore. First of all they're too fast. Second, we're too old and slow. And third, I've seen what it does to the mamas. They walk around for weeks looking for their babies and crying. Can't do it. It breaks my heart.

Anyway, that's my news for today. Life goes on... a bit different for each of us, but perhaps that's good. It keeps things interesting. Enjoy this wonderful spring weather... and all the green! Before we know it summer will be here...  and with it triple digits. 


Hugs (virtual),

Rian




Wednesday, May 1, 2024

May 1, 2024... Rabbit! Rabbit! White Rabbit!




Rabbit! Rabbit! White Rabbit!

 Hi Guys! It's May 1, 2024 ... another white rabbit day!
(and yes, I'm a bit slow posting it today)

Trying to think of something to add here, but I've got nothing.
 All I can think of is that when I was growing up in Catholic school, this is when we would crown the statue of the Blessed Mother with flowers and sing, 
"Oh Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today
Queen of the angels, Queen of the May"



Hugs (virtual),
Rian








Sunday, April 28, 2024

Reminiscing... another symptom of old age



me in Fort Collins, Co

I came across this pic the other day of me the summer of my Junior year taking Chemistry classes at Colorado State in Fort Collins. Laura and I had taken an upstairs apartment off campus for the semester. We basically lived on peanut butter (see the jar in my hand) and Tareyton cigarettes. It was the only time in my life that I 'smoked' and didn't do it much as I didn't like it, but it did take away my appetite.  

I remember this summer as the first time I'd ever gone off by myself anywhere. It was a great summer.

The next time I went off on my own was to an Audubon Bird Camp on Hog Island, Maine. At the time I was the editor of the Audubon newsletter for our area and there was a writing contest. The winner would win a week on Hog Island... and I won. It was a fantastic week and I loved it! Fell in love with Damariscotta, Maine and Seawall beach.

Both those excursions are firmly fixed in my memory. 

The first was 1965 at the tender age of 20 and Colorado was somewhere I'd always dreamed of going. Luckily my parents were good enough to indulge me here as I could have taken the same classes at home at LSUBR. 

And the second was in the year 2000 - a strange year that lives forever in my memory for all the things that happened that year. 

First our daughter's wedding was in March and it couldn't have been more beautiful.  Then in June I flew to Maine for the workshop... and it was a great experience! In July both my brother and I were diagnosed with the big C. I flew to New Orleans to help him into a hospital and then back here for my own surgery. Bill died 2 days after my surgery. Later that year both my mother's sisters passed away... 

definitely a year that will live forever in my memory.

I hope this post isn't too sad.  I didn't mean it to be. This one picture brought back memories and it kind of escalated from there. 

Looking back through the years so much has happened between 1945 (my birth year) and today 2024. Things happened that will be forever embedded in all our memories - and we will also always remember where we were when these events occurred (Ex: I was in the ladies room on campus my freshman year when Kennedy was assassinated... and at home watching TV the day the Terrorists took down the Twin Towers.)  And as mind boggling as these events were (and they were!), it is still the personal memories that come back though pictures (or some other source) that I find comforting.

Yes, reminiscing is another symptom of old age (if we're lucky and our memory still works). I read that memories aren't always accurate. They change as time goes by. Maybe this is good?

Do you reminisce much?


Hugs (virtual),

Rian


Tuesday, April 23, 2024

bear with me...

Yes, I'm still playing around with my new art supplies. I know... boring. But I just need to share. You can choose not to continue. It's fine. 

Here is my attempt to use soft pastels:






I love sky pics... the sky is a wonderful watercolor subject. This is my first attempt to try to do sky scenes with 'soft pastels'. It isn't great, but I think it's a good start. 

It's also a messy medium. Gets all over your hands, table, floor, etc. I have to wash everything down after - as I use our living room table for my art. Reminds me a little of 'finger painting'... as you use your fingers to 'blend'.


Here's another...

still working on this one... 


OK, thanks for putting up with that. Apparently you can also use water on soft pastels (with a brush). Haven't tried that yet.

Now for some of my favorite memes. If I've shown them before... sorry. My memory isn't the greatest.









thank you


And I do thank you for getting this far into my post! This week has been interesting. Got my B-12 injection yesterday and have a little more 'get up and go' today and a little less 'sit down and read' (actually asleep after the first few pages).




Hugs (virtual),
Rian