Tag Archive | wonderful memories

Being 5

Cadence n quilt

Remember being 5?

My great-niece does. Her 5th birthday was last Easter. We had a family party to celebrate. A double celebration. She shares her birthday with her Daddy. Best birthday gift ever.

When she turned 5, she got a new dress, new roller blades and all the protective gear. Was great fun to watch her try out her new gear…after she changed out of her beautiful dress. She was a good sport as she skated and fell. Fell again, as the skates rolled out from under her as she tried to get up. She kept focused and managed to master the skate thing to her 5-year old ability. She now has a new bike, just her size and WITHOUT those training wheels. She asked her Daddy to take them off. —- Tenacity runs in our family. Her Grandpa, my brother is battling stage 4 thyroid cancer, our Mom battled leukemia. — This 5-year-old will conquer those roller blades as she’s already conquered her bike. May conquering FUN obstacles be the some of the hardest things she has to tackle.

She also got a brightly colored quilt, especially made for her. To celebrate her 5th birthday. Yes, that’s her and the quilt I made with her brilliant, young personality in mind.

OH, to be 5 again.

She’s started kindergarten. She’s made new friends. She’s even had a few ‘boyfriends’ much to her parents’ concern. She got to experience her first Christmas break. “I am on vacation for 14 days,” she said as I faced going back to work. I was happy that her birthday was on a Monday this year. She could have her first school birthday. Well, not yet. Her school is on Spring Break now. But, how cool to be on Spring Break on your birthday.

I have a few decades between me and me being 5. I do have some memories of being 5 though. Right now, I mostly remember looking forward to being 6.

Do you remember being 5? My great-niece does…. but, Today, she is 6.

Happy Birthday, young lady. Don’t grow up too fast. Enjoy being a little girl. Enjoy being 6, as much as you enjoyed being 5. I love you. ❤

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Eleven

Mom, my post about eleven and the calendar made me think of things over the past eleven years since you passed away.

I wrote down the years and noted some personal and family events that have happened since January 26, 2003.

2003

  • Dad and I kept each other moving forward, one step at a time. Days blurred together, but when you’re going through Hell, you keep going.
  • One of my best friends, Gary, passed away in June. At his graveside service tears were streaming down my cheeks, a gentle breeze came to oh so softly dry them. Thanks Mom. I knew that was you.

2004

  • In honor of your 70th birthday, I donated blood for the first time. Thanks to your great example, I had the courage to go through the process and do my part to try to give back.
  • Dad bought a candy apple red Toyota double-cab pick up. You would have enjoyed it too.
  • Your granddaughter, Kylie, graduated from high school.
  • Your granddaughter, Ashley, and Nathan were married in July. A beautiful ceremony.
  • For the Light the Night Walk annual event, in Portland, to raise awareness and money to fight blood cancers, I single-handedly raised close to $1,500.

2005

  • This year must have been a blur or simply uneventful, as I can’t remember much of anything really important.

2006

  • Your granddaughter, Natalie, graduated from high school.

2007

  • I spent my 50th birthday at the Oregon Coast (I know that ‘surprises’ you ;)…. ) with a great friend, who’s name just happens to be Helen. 🙂
  • Your granddaughter, Ashley, graduated from Eastern Washington University.

2008

  • Your grandson, Grant, graduated from high school.
  • Dad got a great report from his doctor. Cancer free for five years. What a relief. You would be pleased.
  • Your great granddaughter, Cadence Anne, was born at Fort Lewis.
  • You brought Jeff and I together. I know you picked him out for me. Thanks. 😉

2009

  • Jeff and I along with Kylie and Natalie saw the musical Wicked in Portland at the Keller Auditorium. The same place we saw Cats, twice.
  • Ashley’s husband, Nathan, was deployed to Afghanistan. Ashley did a great job holding things together, especially considering her daughter Cadence had such a hard time with her Daddy being gone.

2010

  • The Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. I remember how you loved to watch the Olympics and how you were so supportive of my opportunity to move to Vancouver for work and encouraged me to make that step.
  • Jeff and I became engaged during the time of the Winter Olympics.
  • Ashley and Nathan had their second daughter, Piper Joy. Another great granddaughter for you.

2011

  • Dad battled chronic kidney disease. On the brink of needing dialysis, he did what the doctors said and turned the disease around. He still is mindful of it, but doing much better.
  • On 9.10.11, Jeff and I were married in Athena, Oregon and in spirit Mom, you were right there with us. We had an awesome day.
  • Jeff and I spent our honeymoon in British Columbia – Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, Nanaimo.

2012

  • Natalie and Scott got married in May. Kylie and Eric got married in September – a week after Jeff’s and my first anniversary. With Kylie marrying Eric you gained another granddaughter. You’d love Mila. And Scott and Eric.
  • Your granddaughter, Candice graduated from high school.
  • Stuart was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer. Surgery and treatments followed.

2013

  • I was able to purchase a new sewing machine for my quilting and sewing projects. Mom, you would love it and like see what it can do.
  • Stuart was sent to the Mayo Clinic for more testing/evaluation. Surgery was set up at a hospital in Seattle. Then things changed. The cancer had become more aggressive and surgery was not the best course of treatment, no longer an option.
  • Another great granddaughter was born, Harper Lee.
  • Stuart endured 8 weeks of radiation treatments five days a week and chemotherapy one day of that week. The treatments took their toll, yet, following your example, he battled back.
  • Cadence started kindergarten. I can see you encouraging her in school. I know you would dearly love the little girls.

2014

  • Good so far – the best news is that Stuart is feeling stronger, recovering from the radiation treatments.
  • Dad’s health is much better. Encouraging reports from each doctor visit.
  • Mom, your Seattle Seahawks won their division, won their conference, and next week they will play in the Super Bowl. I know you would have been so excited to see their playoff games and the ‘big game’ certainly. I know you’ll have the best seat in the house for the ‘big game.’

Tastes Like More

Cinnamon and Sugar.

Apples.

Vanilla Ice Cream.

Oh, what to make of this.

Apple Crisp.

All it takes are some apples, cored and sliced. A pinch of salt, some flour, sugar and some butter. And, time to bake. Simple.

One of the first desserts I made when I was a kid. One my Mom encouraged me to try making.

Now, it is one of my husband, Jeff’s favorite – especially if there is vanilla ice cream in the freezer or he can make a quick trip to the grocery store to get some.

Me… I like the simplicity. The smell of cinnamon as it bakes. The steam coming up from a serving spooned into a bowl and the melting of that delicious vanilla ice cream as it hugs the apples while it melts.

And, Oh, the taste…. as my Mom would say, “Tastes like more.” Jeff agrees.

Apple Crisp, fresh out of the oven.

Apple Crisp, fresh out of the oven.

Warm Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

Warm Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

Happy 80th Birthday, Mom.

Happy birthday to a wonderful woman. Mom.
A grand day to celebrate, today would have been your 80th birthday.

Today, I choose to think of the joyful life events in our family over the last eleven years that you would have been so happy to see and take part in.

Your grandchildren all graduating and going off to college, graduations from college, the weddings of three granddaughters (getting to know the wonderful men they married).

The birth of three great-granddaughters and the addition of another – playing with them, teaching them silly songs, cuddling and hugging them and enjoying their energy and personalities.

Also meeting Jeff in person – you  would had fun helping us plan and prep for our wedding. I know would have loved celebrating our wedding and being a part of our relationship.

I can see you reveling in our family gatherings and having a good time seeing family and friends. You and Dad would have shared retirement and been happy to travel to see both familiar places and discover new ones.

You would have liked being on Facebook and Pinterest.

BTW… the Oregon State Beavers baseball team won two national championships. I know you would have cheered them on. OH…. and I must mention that during those eleven years, your Seattle Seahawks went to the Superbowl and now have a chance to go again. I remember that you LOVED football at all levels – I think your favorite was Touchet High School Football and then any college football. And you truly loved the Seattle Seahawks from the beginning. I did not understand the attraction until I was older, now I get it. Just ask Jeff, I get it. And, oh Yes, I am a big DUCKS football fan….. but, you really do know all this, that I am sure of. 😉

You are with us, guiding us everyday. I miss you physically being here, but thankfully, I don’t have to miss your spirit.

I love you Mom. And, based on all the comments on my Facebook page today, many others do to. 🙂

I am still oh so proud and happy to be your daughter. HUGS.

These Dreams

WOW!!!! Another vivid dream.

This one was in the category of “fantastic, yet coulda happened,” you know the kind.

This dream seemed so real that when I woke up I was going to ask my husband, Jeff, if he had gotten a program at the wedding we had attended. I was so hoping that he had brought one home with us. I remembered that I unfortunately left mine in the beautiful red folder that we were handed. I’ve never seen such an elegant folder at a wedding. It was a hardback cover holding the wedding program and a detailed map of how to get to the reception, etc.

The important thing was the wedding party, the list of attendants and honored guests. Of course, first on the list were the two terrific people we came to see get married. Next up, well to me anyway, were the names of the performers at the wedding reception. None other than Ann and Nancy Wilson and, their friend, Sue Ennis. Keep in mind, I did say this was a “fantastic, yet coulda happened” dream.

Earlier in the day, we had stopped at a gas station. Jeff got out to fill up the car. I sat quietly. I heard some singing, yet this was not ordinary singing. I heard voices I knew…. ones I knew from recordings and concerts…. yet, these voices were live. In person. Not too far away. Could my ears be wrong? Could my mind be wandering so much as to be playing a trick on me. No…. these voices were from the car ahead of me. Acapella. Clear. Strong. Musical. Harmonious. Wonderful. Yes, I knew these voices. Ann, Nancy and Sue. And they were in the car just ahead of us. Suddenly, Ann got out of the passenger seat and went inside. I was so stunned all I could do was to scream, “WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” My cover was blown. Then, I saw Nancy and Sue turn around and heard Nancy say, “OH, sounds like we have another fan!”

I could not believe my own eyes. A sighting. A real, up close sighting. I so wanted to hop out and meet them, yet, I don’t know why I did not. I seemed to have been frozen to the car seat. May be that I had figured that screaming had accosted them enough. Besides, at this point I’d be lucky to say anything intelligent. I would have told them that they were my idols and I was one of their biggest fans…. someone who had followed their musical career since 1974. Someone who had listened to and lived their music for all this time. Someone who even fashioned a coat for herself that was similar to one that Ann wore onstage. Someone who had found Mushroom Records while on a vacation to Vancouver, B.C., just because Heart had been there.

Then, to my amazement, these women with the magical voices and beautiful music were going to perform at the wedding reception.

Upon awakening, I don’t really remember much of the wedding, except that it was beautiful with love all around. Nor do I remember the wedding reception and seeing and hearing the much-anticipated performance of Ann, Nancy and Sue. You’d think my dream would have allowed that. After all, I did SEE and HEAR them at the gas station!!!!

Dreams like this appear to me every so often. This one reminds me of how much I’ve enjoyed their music over the years and how much Mom knew I enjoyed their music. She knew of all the performers I enjoyed. She was such a good mom that she’d tape concerts and appearances from the television and give them to me to watch as often as I wanted. She’d listened to their music with me. These dreams keep Mom close to me. Her influence in my life is so vivid much like the dreams she appears in and the ones she conjures up for me.

These dreams…………

Fruitcake, how could I forget?

Yes, how could I forget fruitcake? Believe me, I’ve tried!!!!

I don’t like fruitcake. Yet, I’ve made it once. Only once. That was only because Mom was battling leukemia and could not make it herself. She had made it for years, her mom’s recipe. Mom made fruitcake for Dad and my brothers, then later, my young niece. How this beautiful little tomboy could like fruitcake, I will never know. Maybe it was time spent with her “Grammy” to make the fruitcake.

Amazingly, all these family members actually LIKE fruitcake! Amazing. How could they?

Yes, even though I don’t like fruitcake, at all, I made it. Just that one time!

I made the fruitcake that year with my young niece…. out of love. Love for my Mom. Love for my niece. Love for my Dad and brothers. But, I mostly made it for Mom…. she would have made it herself if she were able. She was simply too weak at the time and, with her illness, should not be working in the kitchen regardless.

Mom’s fruitcake, using Grandma Booth’s recipe, uses a LOT of ingredients. And, it takes a LOT of time. Well, a LOT of time for a first-time fruitcake maker and her young seasoned apprentice. Even though Mom was sitting at the dining room table watching the ordeal and giving us instructions and encouragement, Natalie and I struggled to make the fruitcake (a double batch, all at once). It seemed like it took us forever.

After quite a time of adding ingredients and stirring, again and again, I exclaimed, “Making fruitcake takes a long time. This is EXCRUCIATING!”

Mom quietly said, “Think how it looks from my viewpoint.”
“I could have done this in far less than half the time.”

Thankfully, Mom was a patient teacher and we all laughed.

I will never forget that time making Mom’s fruitcake with my niece for our family. And, while I still don’t like fruitcake, at all, I LOVE that fruitcake-making memory.

Christmas Cookies – traditions old and new

I remember Mom LOVED Christmas time.

Her family would gather. She could once again treat them to traditional holiday enjoyment.

Besides the Christmas decorations, a holiday dinner on Christmas Eve, a family drive to look at Christmas lights before returning home to exchange gifts, Mom would make sure her family had some traditional Christmas treats.

Among the treats, Cookies. Christmas Cookies!!!

Mom taught me how to make sugar cookies.

Green Christmas Tree Sugar Cookie

Green Christmas Tree Sugar Cookie

Christmas Trees like Mom used to make.

Christmas Trees like Mom used to make.

Sugar cookies are a favorite Christmas cookie tradition. So are my Grandma Booth’s Swedish Jelly Cookies. I did not have the recipe handy, but I did locate one online. Ahhh, technology. 🙂

Grandma Booth's Swedish Jelly Cookies

Grandma Booth’s Swedish Jelly Cookies

While using my laptop, looking for the Swedish Jelly Cookie recipe, I also spied what just may become a tradition of mine to add to the mix. Cocoa Coffee Crinkles. Okay, they had me at “Cocoa”, so I thought they’d be worth a try and I was oh-so-right. YUM….Decadence! Dark chocolate, coffee and cinnamon in an easy to make cookie. This recipe called for some instant coffee, not having any I used some fresh finely ground coffee instead. Perfect.

Cocoa Coffee Crinkles

Cocoa Coffee Crinkles, a possible added tradition

 

Recipes I found online.

Sugar Cookies
I added a bit more Vanilla Extract (1/2 tsp) and a teaspoon of Almond Extract.
Also, I did not level the teaspoons of Baking Powder, but they weren’t super heaping either. … so actually just a bit more Baking Powder. And I added Green Food Coloring until the dough was the green I thought it should be. Be sure to refrigerate the dough. When you roll out the dough to cut the shapes, be sure to work with a small amount of dough, placing the rest of the dough back in the refrigerator. Roll out and Repeat. Bake for 6 minutes at the temperature given, Cool, Frost and EAT.

Swedish Jelly Cookies

Cocoa Coffee Crinkles