Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Food

Cooking is not one of my strong points.  Well, my cooking is ok, I just don't do it.  I really like to cook - if someone else will please plan the meal, go to the grocery, and clean up the kitchen.  I am all in for the cooking.

However, since I don't cook often, when I do have to bring something to a potluck or family dinner, then I have to find something that is simple, fool-proof, and yet make everyone think I spent hours in the kitchen.  An easy solution to that is my new, favorite websites...The Pioneer Woman and her Tasty Kitchen ( site.

On the Pioneer Woman ( site, Ree blogs about life on the farm (really, big farm), photography, home, homeschooling and food.  Her recipes have the best step by step directions and photos of each step, which makes it so easy to see if I can do this - and if I'm doing it right!  Right now - Hurry!- she is giving away a wonder HP printer, so you can print the recipes and the step by steps.  Just follow this link to see how to enter.

The Tasty Kitchen site is interactive.  You can post your recipes there too.  This means that because someone put their name on it and put in on the internet, it must be a good recipe.  So I go there frequently to find something new and unusual.  You can also comment on the recipes so sometimes you can find alternatives to the method in the original recipe.  There is a way to save recipes in your "box" so you have them when you want to come back.

Check out these sites - there are several (like 3) giveaways going on right now.  I'm entering one just by posting this on my blog, but I really, really think you would like these sites.  So, go check them out!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7

Sixty-nine years ago today, a sleeping giant was ripped from a peace-time slumber amid bombs, fire, and death.  Much has been written about "...a date which will live in infamy..."   About how it started World War II, how the governments responded, how many ships were destroyed, and about the changes it made to military strategy. It may important for historians to look at the military impact, but I think about another side.  

I think about the lost opportunities.  There were 1,511 men aboard the USS Arizona and 1,177 were killed.  Only 107 were positively identified. That leaves 1,070 men who were never found or were impossible to identify. The average age of the men aboard the USS Arizona was 19.  Boys who never had a chance to be men. Never had a chance to raise a family - never have wives and children of their own.  Careers that would never happen.  Memories that ended way too soon.  Men who would never have a chance to live their life.   

Elmo Howard (right)
I think about the mothers.  My grandmother had two sons at Pearl Harbor.  One she knew was on the USS Arizona. She also knew the other was trying to be transferred to that ship.  Can you imagine the hell that was her life for the next few weeks?  Had she lost one?  Both?  By some miracle had they both survived?   There were no cell phones; there wasn't even a telephone at all in her rural county home.  There was no Internet that she could turn to for the latest information and no television reporter embedded with the latest video reports.  All she had was general radio and newspaper reports.  Until she saw the telegraph man riding his bicycle toward her house.  In what had to be the longest wait ever, she watched him pedal down the road, around the curve, and up the driveway.  She knew he was coming to her house long before he got there and she knew that it wasn't good news he was bringing.  As a mother myself I don't know how she held it together. I don't know how she was able to send her last four sons off to the military in the following years.  

I think about the brothers.  The USS Arizona alone had 38 sets of brothers (4 sets were 3 brothers; the rest were 2 brothers) and one father/son pair aboard. Twenty-three sets of these brothers lost at least one brother.  The father and son pair were both killed.  One mother lost both sons.  One set of brothers were twins; one of these survived, the other did not.  One got to go home; the other never will.  I can't imagine the heart grabbing pain of looking at a burning hulk of metal knowing that part of your family was there.  The undying hope that your brother was one of the survivors.  The guilt that you weren't there beside him to help.  The guilt that you survived when so many others didn't.  The eternal hope of looking everywhere, hoping there had really been some sort of horrible mistake. (My surviving uncle spent the rest of the war looking for his brother at every naval hospital he was near.)

Today we need to remember the sacrifices of the men and also the women, the families, and the friends of those who were there.  We need to remember the survivors, but we most of all we need to remember the ones who didn't survive.  The ones who never had children to remember them.  The ones whose only mark on history is that day.  We need to remember the pain of their families. We need to remember the total surprise at the violence that ripped the peace of that Sunday morning.  The anguish of the following four years. And the emptiness left by those who never came home.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

5 Things I'm Grateful For

Jessi from "Notes From a Scattered Mind" posted today about un-ordinary things that she is grateful for.  So besides my husband, children, health, etc.  here is my list:
1.  Cell phones.  I have gone from not seeing why I would ever need one to never being without one.  Without them I would be lost when I have a sudden need to talk to my son in the middle of the day.  I wouldn't be able to call my daughter who just left my house and ask if the fire truck/ambulance/police are that is headed in her direction is coming for her.  I wouldn't be able to just let my husband know that I love him when he's knee-deep in some messy, dirty job that's he's doing because he has to.

2.  DVR's.  At last I can watch my craft shows, my HGTV, and my guilty pleasures when I want to.  That may happen at 3 am or at any other time of the day that I am lucky enough to be home alone and can wrap myself up in their goodness.

3.  My grandchildren.  I love both of my children, but let me tell you about my grandchildren....They are such a wonderment of life.  They will keep my young (unless I have to chase them very far or for very long) and I can't wait until their next visit (which, thankfully, is almost every day).

4.  The internet.  I love to sew, I love to paint, and I love most crafts.  What I hate is that no one in my local shopping area seems to share those interests.  While buying fabric on the internet is not my favorite way to shop, it's good to know that I still can.  I can also find items that my grandmother taught me to use but are no longer made because someone out there thinks, "I can sell this on e-bay!"  Thank you!

5.Daylight Savings Time.  It's gone now.  I miss it very much.  It gets very dark, very early.  I need some more sunlight.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


"Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they've stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments." - Kevin Costner

In 1775 some ordinary men stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and opened the door for thousands of other heroes who would follow them. They all did it so that a better way of life, our freedoms, would be won and protected. Today we need to remember all of these heroes. Not the ones who fell in battle, but all who stayed true to their beliefs and gave us the right to celebrate today.

"A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom." - Bob Dylan

My Heroes:

Revolutionary War – John Bradford

Samuel Arnold
Joshua Arnold

US Civil War - William Batterton

WWI - Orem Redding Lancaster (Millersburg Military Institute, Millersburg, KY)

WWII Elmo Howard – US Navy - USS Arizona

Richard Dale Howard – US Army - Pacific Theatre – Okinawa

John Allen Howard – US Navy - USS Ward
Charles Dana Howard - US Navy
James Breckenridge Howard – US Army

Korean War Joseph Curtis Howard – US Navy – USS Rochester

Vietnam War Jerry Wayne Giles – US Army

Teddy Eugene Giles – US Army Danny Lee Giles - US Army

Today, especially, thank a veteran. Thank someone who risked it all to stand up for what they believed in. A true hero, who stood for us all.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jukebox Friday - disco edition

Disco Queens

Gloria Gaynor

Donna Summer

Sister Sledge

Alicia Bridges

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jukebox Friday

Harry Chapin

Don Mclean

John Denver - an old boyfriend gave me this 45 and he scratched out Annie and wrote Cathie. I still have it. Annie's (Cathie's) Song

The BeeGee's

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Life Lists

I really want to start blogging again, but I just don't have anything to say. So, I stealing this idea from my daughter and posting my own Life List (which sounds so much better than a bucket list!).

1. Go to Pearl Harbor and visit the USS Arizona Memorial and the punchbowl. I can come home after that a happy woman, but if I could see a little more of Hawaii I would be happy too.

2. Learn to tat. I have tried to teach myself, but there is a disconnect somewhere. I can tie a knot, but I can't make it slide. So, I need a teacher. Did I mention that tatting is a dying art form? There are no teachers in my world. I've even had to explain tatting to a few people.

3. Own - and drive - a 1971 Doge Charger. I think my son will eventually fix one up for me, but he'd better hurry! I may not be able to get out of a car like that much longer.

4. Be able to stay at home with my grandchildren all day - every day. I want to teach them to sew, to do decorative painting, crochet, hang drywall, change the oil in their car, and all the other cool stuff I can do.

5. Finish my family tree. This may be impossible. Just this week I took one line back to the 1300's (and found out I was a 2nd cousin 9x removed of George Washington). There always seems to be another branch to follow.

6. Finish my house. Before I die. I'd like to live there before I die too.

7. Create a stained glass window. To go in my house would be nice. But not necessary. I just want to create a window.

8. Drive a semi and a wrecker. Not far - just so I can say I did.

9. Build a pulling truck and a show truck (or car). Just so I can say I did.

10. Make quilts for all my children and grandchildren that they can hand down to their children and grandchildren along with a little family history. I also hope that one of them is interested in family history and the "treasures" we have.

So there, Jessi. Did any of these surprise you?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Jukebox Friday

Terry Jacks

J. Frank Wilson

Bo Donaldson


Willie Nelson and Ray Charles

Jukebox Friday - Faith

I guess this was the beginning of Christian Rock.

Even nun's got in the spot light...

A very powerful song. Words and music by Johnny Cash.

My favorite of Johnny's gospel songs.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Jukebox Friday - Cher

No need to say anything else. She has been my favorite since day 1!

Not from the 70's, but oh, so Cher!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Jukebox Friday - Ride, Ride, Ride

Ever hear of Sailcat? Judging from the lack of videos of this song, not many people have.

The reason my son will never drive a van....

Ride, Ride, Ride....

Rock on....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Top 10 Summer Loves

I'm stealing this from my friend Tessa. Here are my favorite things about summer - in no particular order.

1. No snow! I really love waking up to a white covered world, but by the time I'm ready to leave the house I want it gone, gone, gone!

2. My pond. I love to get out of the car and be greeted by the sound of babbling water. I love to look into the water and see the different designs and shapes resting on the bottom of my little pool (this is assuming that the water is clear enough to see the bottom). I love the plants around the edge and the way that some of them dip into the water. I love the fact that we have "accidentally" purchased another small pump, so that I can now create a waterfall or maybe another fountain.

3. Daylight. It's so depressing to get home from work and have to turn the light on in the house. Summertime is when I can really save on my electric bill by not turning on lights until it's almost time for bed. Oh, wait! The electric bill is not smaller because it's also time for....

4. Air Conditioning! Let me just say that personally summer should not be allowed to start without air conditioning being in place. I love, love, love my air conditioning!!!

5. Flowers. It's so nice to see color in the yards and along the road. Someday I will be able to grow my own flower gardens, but for now I just enjoy looking at everyone else's. (Who are we kidding?!?!? My green thumb never grew up and I will never be able to keep a plant alive, let alone make it flourish. I am doomed to have only weeds and mint (which no one can kill as it slowly takes over).

6. Cookouts. First of all it means that someone else (Jerry) does the cooking. There is also very little clean-up. I'm all about the cookout - of course it would be even better if there was air conditioning outside.

7. No school. This used to mean that I didn't have to get up to make sure my children got to school. Now it means the grandchildren can stay all night whenever they want to.

8. Holidays. Maybe it's just my imagination, but there seems to be more holidays in the summer. Days I don't have to go to work and can sleep in, spend the day doing what I want-when I want.

9. Lightening bugs. Nothing makes me feel as safe and happy as lightening bugs. They are a part of my childhood summers, my teen age pranks, and my children's summers. Now I can show my grandchildren the "magic" bugs. They are also the only 'bug' I will touch!

10. Ice cream. Yes, I know we can have ice cream in the winter, but nothing is as good as ice cream on a hot summer day.

Enjoy your summer!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Jukebox Friday - My Hippie Songs

One Toke Over the Line - I didn't understand what this meant until I after I had worn out the record.

Sweet Mary - For some reason I always think of this song when I hear One Toke Over the Line....

Popcorn, by Hot Butter - something you just have to experience

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jukebox Friday - For Dale

If you know Dale, you know this song!

Cover of the Rolling Stone - Dr. Hook

And of course

Swamp Witch - Jim Stafford

This song was very much Dale. It's also one of my son's favorites too.
Hot Rod Lincoln - Commander Cody

This was NOT one his favorites, but it was in his truck's tape player for months and he took a lot of ribbing about it. However, he kept it there for his daughter.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jukebox Friday - Obscure Songs of My Life

Does anyone remember these? (or have ever heard of these?)

Ok, to understand this video you have to see the movie "Billy Jack", but this is the only video I could find with the band Coven and this song.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Juke Box Friday - Be Still My Heart

Ah young love....Major crushes....Tiger Beat Magazine posters....Those were the years.

Donnie Osmond - the cutest boy EVER

The DeFranco Family - more family cuteness

And of course, the one and only made for TV family - No, Hannah Montanna is not original!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jukebox Friday

Wow! What a short week!!

This was my very first 45. Enjoy....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I'm not ignoring this blog - there is just too much on my heart and mind to write about any one thing clearly. After losing Diesel last week, I didn't think anything worse could happen. But life always has a way of showing you just how wrong you can be. So, while I deal with grieving for a child gone too early and other things happening to my family, please say a prayer for us.

God really needs to show me that green line to follow NOW!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Juke Box Friday - For Diesel

It's Friday - the end of a long hard week.

Today's song isn't old. It really isn't popular. He's not in it, but he would have wanted to be there. It's for Diesel.

No music - but this is our Diesel and his beloved truck.

My son and Diesel - doing what they did best....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Yesterday I told you about my friend, Diesel. Today I want to tell you about Diesel's friends. I am totally amazed and blown away by these kids. For the most part Diesel hung out with 18-21 year olds. Kids who have never had to experience anything like this before. I heard someone say yesterday that these children don't know how to grieve so that's why they are doing "strange" things. I say, adults needs to step back and learn from what these "children" are doing.

Car window paint is the rage of the day. Messages to Diesel adorn every window. They tell the world they are proud to be Diesel's friend, they love him and they miss him. The colors are loud - they are shouting their loss to the world - but the paint is temporary, and so is their pain. They know that as the rain washes the paint away, their pain will diminish also.

They also are getting stickers made - In Loving Memory - that will be more permanent; a lasting tribute to their friend, Diesel. Because he will always be in their hearts and minds. The pall bearers and friends will wear t-shirts to the funeral with a photo of Diesel's truck and messages on the back. "Throttle Jockey" was one of Diesel's stickers on his truck and now it adorns several t-shirts. "One Shot, One Kill!...Git U Sum" was another Diesel trademark. They wear these shirts to proudly proclaim their love for their friend.

There is also a little vengeance on their minds. The tree that Diesel hit is now logs headed for a bonfire that will be held to say goodbye this weekend. While it may seem a loss of a good tree, these kids were amazed and the amount of nails, old crosses, and ribbons they found while cutting the tree. Yes, it has been stopping cars and lives since I was a child. Now, at least a car will have a clear shot to an open field if they miss this curve.

Some have learned that words spoken in anger or spite sometimes can't be taken back. Petty disputes can last forever and aren't really worth it. A true friend loves you to the moon and back.

They are planning to give a memorial tree to Diesel's grandparents. They are organizing food for after the service. They are investigating options for Diesel's truck. They really want to repair it and then give it back to the grandparents so they can keep it or sell it. However, if it is beyond repair, then they know the value of the parts and will help the family make sure they get what it is worth. They have already stopped some of the parts from disappearing and others that were gone have been returned.

Yes, these kids are grieving and hurting. But they are wearing that grief proudly and openly. Time will ease their pain and their lives will go on. Each one with a touch of Diesel.

PS. Being kids, they have been forbidden from 'hanging out' at the majority of places in our town. However, the local Steak and Shake has been very hospitable, giving them a place to park their trucks, rev their engines (within reason), and bond together. Managers and waitresses were at the hospital and are watching over these kids as they work through their grief. I want to thank them and let them how much I appreciate their kindness.

Monday, May 10, 2010


One Saturday morning, I walked into my living room to find a large boy in a white, wife beater shirt asleep on my floor and my son asleep on the couch. I fixed breakfast for them – a rarity in my house – and Dustin carried his plate to the sink and offered to help clean up the kitchen – another rarity in my house.

Dustin, or Diesel, as he is better known has been in and out of my house ever since. Last winter, during a big snow storm, Diesel brought the hood from one of his old trucks, which was then hooked to a 4-wheeler and became the Super Sled (don’t try this at home! Only trained stunt men or bored teenage boys should attempt this feat!!) When my son’s truck was stuck in the snow, it was Diesel who came to the rescue. On the Saturday mornings when I would find myself alone, I would curl up on the couch in my pj’s with a coke and watch all the Saturday morning tv that I never get to watch when anyone else is home. I could almost guarantee that about mid-morning, Diesel would be knocking on my door, wanting to show his newest toy.

Diesel had a talent for bargains. He bought cars for $400 that everyone else had to pay thousands for. He traded a $400 car for a motorcycle about the same time my son bought one that cost every cent he had made working that summer. Of course, I was the only one home when Diesel came by. I told him how nice his bike was, but he said my son’s was nicer and looked better. I still disagree with that, but that was the kind of kid Diesel was. He never bragged about what he had and he always appreciated yours.

Was. On Mother’s Day, while the sun was shining, a dark cloud formed over our lives. Diesel was in a terrible wreck and was killed. His diesel truck that he loved so much was destroyed and the laughter was taken out of our lives. Diesel was always laughing. He was always smiling. He would go out of his way to speak to you. He never forgot a face. Or a friend. Diesel was known for his white, wife beater shirts, but he was always kind and easy going. He was one of the best kids I have known.

Yesterday, as news of his death spread, his friends gathered at the hospital. They stood in groups, crying, talking softly, or standing silent vigil. They spoke of the good times and how much they loved this soft spoken, bear of a man/child. Diesel was 20 years old. Yesterday I saw 18-25 year olds age before my eyes. They met death, stared him in the face, and they stood strong for their friend. They planned memorials and they remembered good times. They stayed as long as Diesel did. When the funeral home left with their friend, they moved to where they hang out every night, hoping this was a dream and that big, red diesel Ford, would coming roaring in - Power Smokin' everyone in sight. It didn’t.

Diesel, we miss you and whenever we see that black smoke roll from a big, chrome diesel stack we will know that you are up there - watching and laughing.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What's On My Jukebox?

I have always wanted a Jukebox. I have enough 45's to fill one, but I don't have the room, the money, or the type of house to really get one. So...I'm going to build a virtual Jukebox here, on-line. Stay tuned. I will even teach you what a 45 is, although I really, really hope you know.

My first attempt to "own" music didn't work out so well. I was in grade school - either 5th or 6th grade and Bobby Goldsboro had a great song out. "Honey". I really, really loved that song and I wanted it so bad. After enough hints my mother finally gave in. She had quite a had quite a nice collection of records herself and that was where the problems began.

Her records were from the 1940's and were known as 78's - meaning they played on a record player that rotated them at 78 RPM's/ Evidentially in the 1940's an artist would record songs and then another artist would record the same songs on their record and you could buy the artist that you preferred. However, I didn't know that, so when she kept asking whose album I wanted that song on, I kept saying I just wanted the song.

So I got the song. On a "new" album that was 33 1/3. (which means that it played at 33.33 rpm's ya' know). However, it was not a Bobby Goldsboro album. It was Kate Smith. Now, if you are at all familiar with the Billy Graham crusade's of the 1960's and 70's you will know who Kate Smith is; otherwise click here. Now I'm sure that my mother had the best of intentions and that if Kate Smith was good enough for Billy Graham, then she certainly should have been good enough for me. And I love Kate on some songs - no one can sing How Great Thou Art like Kate Smith (except George Beverly Shea, but that's for another time), but "Honey" just wasn't the same.

My dad sang one song over and over again all through our childhood, we all knew the words. When we got older we discovered that it was really three different songs that he just rolled all together. With this great musical background, Dad decided to come to my rescue. He bought me another album. (Listen - it's not what you think it is. This is on the album and was written by an inmate at Folsom Prison.)
Just what every pre-teen desperately wanting to fit in needs. It was almost enough to make me quit, but instead it was just the start of a classic collection. (Of course there was never and will never be a juke box that plays this size record.) However, it did open my world to country music and I now have quite an extensive collection of Johnny Cash albums. This is a reminder to keep an open mind and what you hated at one point in your life, you may love at another point.

After the Johnny Cash Album, I was able to convince both of my parents that at 45 was a "cooler" option for me and at only 79 cents it was a bargain too. First 45's in my collection? Tune in next week.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


This isn't really a blog post, but more of a cry for help.

We have lost the remote. The satellite remote. The one my son and I share because his father thought it would be a good idea to hook "my" bedroom TV up to the same box as my 18 year old son. Our routine is usually he uses it at night, I slip into his room sometime between 3 am and 8 am and take it to "my" room, because I watch it when I can't sleep and to catch the morning news as I wake up.

So, I took it and now it's gone. I have looked everywhere. My son has looked everywhere. His father has looked under the pillows - he doesn't mind because he really doesn't like me watching TV at 3 am.

I went on-line to get another - $36 and a week to get here. Excuse me?!??!

Please! Does anyone know if a regular satellite remote will work with Dish's new one box system? We have one box - in the living room - that really has 2 channels on it. We can record one channel and watch the other from the living room. The second channel is also controlled by the (lost) remote from either "my" bedroom or my son's. I miss my TV!!!

Water Gardens - Take 2

You may remember about my fledgling water garden last year. Well, it made it through the summer and fall. During the winter it froze and for some reason the fish did not go to the bottom or move behind one of the rocks, so they also froze solid – just under the surface of the ice. During a thaw all the ice melted, but the fish did not revive (so much for cryonics!)

So when the weather warmed and we foolishly thought winter was over, we drained the pond, cleaned out all the decaying leaves that had accumulated over the fall and winter. We re-filled it, installed the pump, and started the fountain. It was very pretty for about 15 minutes or so. I went inside but my 5-year old granddaughter came and told us the pond was pouring water over the sidewalk and was almost empty. My husband caught it just in time to keep from burning out the pump. I re-filled it, reset the fountain, and turned it on again. Fifteen minutes later it’s once again watering the sidewalk. So I gave up. For the time being.

A few days later, on a whim, I bought a water lily (also because the same 5-year old granddaughter thinks I should have one). I sat it in the water, just below the surface and the green leaves have been reaching for air ever since. It was looking good.

Yes, was. We received twelve inches of rain this weekend. You would think that with a water garden that wouldn’t matter. But it does. I think. My water lily is gone, I think it drowned. I’m sure the torrential amount of rain has knocked it off the shelf it was sitting on, but I can’t seem to find it in the bottom of the pond. I was skimming with the net, but I couldn’t find it. Now that rain has stopped I will drain the pond again – just turn on the fountain, because the rain also knocked it over too – and hopefully find a soggy, but semi-happy water lily just waiting to be rescued. And we will start once again.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Music Memories

Lately there have been a lot of reminders about my favorite era of music and the memories from that time. First, a new radio station has come to town. HANK, 96.1 plays country legends from the 1960's, '70's and '80's. Ahh,,,,back when I was cool! I can sing along on almost every single song - and, yes, I do still remember the lyrics!

Secondly, For Crying in the Mud posted about musical memories and what they mean to her. Then today The Pioneer Woman posted a giveaway on her blog asking for your prom memories and what music you danced to. Wow! What memories that brought back.

That was back in 1977 and prom was a mix of soft rock and the beginnings of disco. We danced to the Bee Gee's, ELO, Jennifer Warnes, the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac.

"Looks Like We Made It" by Barry Manilow was more or less the unofficial theme of our graduation. Another hot group was KC and the Sunshine Band. "That's the Way I Like It". The day after graduation we (my girl scout troop) headed for Daytona Beach on our annual trip (yes, we were a very cool troop!). That song was on every single radio station over and over again. We were about to the TN-GA state line and our leader turned the radio off and said, "no more!" So of course we sang it - over and over again. All week.

That fall I started college and Peter Frampton was very hot. Margaritaville was also a top song that year and very popular with the college crowd. That's all I have to say about that, but needless to say it was sung long and loud on several occasion on campus!

Of course, I was always a little more country, so I was happy listening to Rita Coolidge, Mary MacGregor, and Kenny Rogers. However, the very cute guy that I was dating took me to see Kansas, and AC/DC. Tickets were like $15 each and I remember complaining about having to spend $18 to see KISS. I later paid $21 to see them a second time in Lexington.

1977 was also the year John Travolta graduated from Vinnie Barbarino to Saturday Night Fever, Elvis died, Apple was incorporated, Lynyrd Skynyrd looses three members in a plane crash, and the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, KY burns, killing 165 people. It was also the year I graduated high school, watched Star Wars six times in four months, and fell in love for the first time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cars and Kids

In my younger days, I was accused (more than once) of being a red neck. I guess I was. I knew what my engine looked like and what most of the parts did. I could change a flat tire and change my oil. I had a very cool car - a 1976 Oldsmobile Starfire that I maintained mostly by myself (well, sometimes Jessi helped).

In the 1980's I purchased a 1950 GMC truck. It was my dream to restore the body, put it on big tires, and a 6" lift. Yes, I would need to use the running boards to actually get in the cab, but it would be so cool...I sold it to take my daughter to Disney World. Still in the same condition I got it in. So much for dreams. Well, sort of....

Flash forward to 2010. My son buys a 1984 Chevrolet that he promised to sell before he leaves for college. The first thing he does is put in a 4" lift kit so the 33" swamper tires clear the body. I need a ladder to get in it. This is what you call living your dreams through your children.....When he goes to college, I'm driving it! (can't you see me at the grocery in this??)

(That's a hook hanging off the bumper - off a crane - but that's a blog for another day. )

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Daddy's Hands

I love hands. Hands are always the first thing I notice about people.

I remember my grandfather's hands. They were always tanned from working outside and usually had a cut or two on them. He had long, thin fingers that could do any job. My grandfather was a very hard worker who used his hands to help many people - mostly people who just needed a hand up. And they always had time to hug a grandchild.

My Dad's hands are thick with stubby fingers. They have worked on farms for many years. Even his "regular" jobs involved farmers. He spent 8 years in Brazil teaching them to grow burley tobacco. When he got back to Kentucky he sold insurance mostly to farmers and he worked our farm between sales. I remember Daddy's trembling hands when my grandfather died. I remember Daddy's trembling hands holding my daughter for the first time.

My husband's hands are slim and strong with more than one callus. They've been mashed, cut, and bruised over the years, but they were always ready to reach out to his children. They're very soft as they hold his grandchildren and always ready to pick a flower or build a playhouse.

A friend of mine lost her father this week. It was a sudden and tragic accident that makes the loss that much quicker and painful. There was no time for good-bye. Right now there is hurt and loss, but there is still the memory how much love was in daddy's hands.