Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mom and Dad's Wedding Anniversary

 Today (Oct 30) would've been Mom and Dad's 67th wedding anniversary.  Lots of couple celebrate that many years of marriage now.  I remember when Mom wanted to plan a 25th wedding anniversary party in 1970 because, "Dad might not live long enough to celebrate our 50th."  He did and there you have it.

Every once in awhile I read something that makes me wonder if the message is not some kind of divine intervention.  I try to read the scripture readings every day and then a reflection published in Living Faith - a booklet of Catholic devotions.  You can imagine my surprise to read this reflection on Mom and Dad's wedding anniversary....



'Learning to Love'

Husbands, love your wives... [Wives,] respect [your] husband.

- Ephesians 5:25, 33

Any married person knows that loving and respecting your spouse is not always easy. We don't always feel loving or loved, lovable or worthy of respect. Relationship is difficult because we ourselves are such a mix of beauty and goodness on the one hand, selfishness and sinfulness on the other.

Learning how to give and receive love and respect is one of the delights and challenges of marriage--and of human life in general. Married or not, it's our Christian duty and joy to become loving and loved. But we must work this out here on earth, amidst conflict and pain and temptation, falling and getting up again, asking and giving forgiveness along the way. It would be impossible if we were trying to create love. It's possible because Love created us. Throughout our lives, it woos and shapes us. As St. Paul tells us, loving this way means becoming like Christ.

Thank you, Lord, for trusting that we can learn to love as you do.

- Mary Marrocco

Mom and Dad must've had a typical German-style marriage - very little outward affection, lots of arguing, work above all else, but days beginning and ending with prayer.  I like everything Mary Marrocco said in her reflection.  The last time we sisters were together we talked about the ways Mom and Dad showed love to us and how that helped shape and form us.  I swore to myself that I would not yell at my husband and as a result, feared sharing most things that bothered me.  Well that's not good either.  I guess the real close moment, during my prayer time, was the realization that Mom and Dad really loved each other or they would not have brought ten children into the world, supported and encouraged us, cooked and cleaned for us and prayed every day for us.   And, they stood beside each other for  almost 58 years.  Maybe they were wise enough to know that they could not create love, because LOVE created them.

I pray for all my married friends often because I know how challenging that relationship can be.  And, today, I hope those that read this will gain some wisdom and strength from the ONE who created love for us all.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Family Birthday Gift - Yard cleanup

I consider it the best birthday gift ever - the time my family spends doing fall yard clean-up.  The kids have been doing it for six years.  Sometimes John would get on the roof and install my Christmas lights, but this year I had some electrical projects for him.  In two hours the leaves were raked, the ivy trimmed, the Virginia creeper pulled down, the tomatoes pulled out, and the impatiens and geraniums stuffed in garbage barrels.  Every kid had some pruners and/or a rake.

Bradleigh  and Karen attacking the Virginia Creeper
John and Karen organizing the vines for Yard Waste Pickup
Lots of raking going on
 My friend, Grace, got a new freezer so she gave this little one to me and John installed an outlet sometime while the rest of us were raking and pruning.  I'm so grateful to have a little freezer in the basement.  

The end result - 4 barrels and 8 bags of leaves ready for pick-up!!

 My kids gave me a new Cannon S100 for my birthday.  Look at the great pictures it takes!!  This one has 12 megapixels compared to the old one they gave me in 2007 with only 7.1 megapixels.  
The annual Scarecrow picture.  

The kids are getting so big they can't all fit on the bench anymore.

The whole family in 2010

Colin was busy climbing a ladder in 2008, this year he wanted to sit in the Dogwood Tree!

It was a great day and the best way to celebrate with my family!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Toss, Donate or Keep?

I'm cleaning and re-organizing my basement storage room, getting ready to add a small freezer, so I took several items of clothing out of a big wardrobe storage box.  Why did I save these lovely dresses?

This is Anne's wedding dress and she asked me if I wanted to keep it.  I said yes then, but now?
The dress on the left came from St. Vincent DePaul.  Bradleigh and I played lots of "wedding" after Paul and Maureen's wedding in 2000.  My sister Karen wants the dress to play dress-up with Kennedy.  Yea!!!

I'd get a basket of dried flower petals and be the flower girl.  She always wanted to be the bride.   I wore the veil for my First Communion in 1954. I'm keeping the veil.

I wore this Gunne Sax dress by Jessica to the World's Fair in Montreal in 1974.  I just "googled" the dress and found 22 pages on Etsy of vintage dresses - some worth $198.  Maybe I'll keep this one!

These are special dresses that Karen wore.  I made the dark blue dress, one for each of us for Christmas 1977.  The Pink dress she wore at Don & Melissa's wedding in June, 1978.  The red gingham was her Christmas dress in 1976.  

Karen and Zeke Johnson, Christmas, 1977

Lots of work, sewing these dressess and shirts, but no reason to keep them!

Karen and Frances Otto at Don and Melissa's wedding in 1978
Karen and "Baby Sweets" Christmas, 1976
These are Karen's high school prom dresses.  I made the blue one on the left - it's going.  I'd hoped Bradleigh might consider wearing the other two - but that't not cool now days so what will I do with them?  Advertise on ETSY?  Perhaps vintage clothing from 1980's sells for something.  
Wow - Karen is gorgeous, but her mom and that Afro hairstyle - what was I thinking?
Karen wore this dress for her Junior Miss program in 1987.  I love the dress and probably can't part with it.  Don't ask me why.....
Maybe because I like to remember how gorgeous she looked and how proud I was of her.  

66th Birthday Celebration

Some of my 4th Day Prayer Group friends accompanied me to the Churchyard Inn in Uniontown yesterday to celebrate my birthday.  Cheryl Waller, the Innkeeper, welcomed us for afternoon tea and told us lots of stories about her Aunt Bernice.  We marveled at her collection of tea pots and china tea cups.   Her lived by her aunt's advice over the years and ultimately fulfilled her dream of owning her own Inn.  Her aunt told her to dream big, right it down, notice the signs along the way, and then have the courage to fulfill your dream when you see it.   Cheryl and her husband have owned the Inn for seven years.

We learned that she used to work in the Aerospace Industry in California, but now uses her talents in various ways in a small town of Uniontown, WA.  
Cheryl recently developed a new business called Grandma Lela's Frozen Oatmeal, which uses a combination of rolled oats and two other kinds of oatmeal grown on the Palouse.

 We enjoyed homemade blackberry and orange-cranberry scones

And Devonshire Cream and Lemon Curd - look at the unique serving dishes for these goodies!
We were a little distracted at times watching the snow!  It seems way to early for snow tires!

While Cheryl prepared our desserts we walked over to St. Boniface Church, the oldest Catholic Church in the Spokane Diocese.  The parishioners lovingly maintain this old church - notice the stained glass and communion railing. Grace, Kathy, Jackie, and I gathered in a circle and prayed for our sisters who are ill, who are traveling, and who are taking care of grandkids today.  We missed them!

I love this statue of St. Theresa, the Little Flower, my patron saint.

Thank you, my wonderful friends for a day of gratitude for the gift of my life!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Love the Fall Season

Thirty years ago or so women were paying a professional to do a color analysis of their skin/hair etc to determine the best colors for them to wear.  I so wanted to be a winter because I loved the bright colors, but I turned out to be a fall!  How devastated I was!  This little color wheel told me what colors I should wear - or at least those that would look best on me.
But now, in my wisdom years, I know the fall season is my favorite.   I have a fall birthday, the fall colors look good on me, and I love the colors of fall in nature - the leaves, the pumpkins, the chyrsanthymums.  Those are all good reasons for loving the fall season.
The Virginia creeper turns bright orange and red

The Dogwood leaves are a deep red, almost burgundy color

I always like to use a pumpkin as a planter and fill it with ornamental cabbage and orange violas.

My Mom's scarecrow gets ready for the fall picture with the Grandkids.  I think he looks a little lonely sitting there all by himself.  

Sometimes the jack O'Lanterns look out of place next to the still blooming summer flowers!

The last rose of summer!  My roses get way too hot in the summer, but they are gorgeous in the fall.

The inside of my house takes on a fall transformation as well!

And another great thing about fall is our celebration of Thanksgiving and a a time to count our blessings.  Perhaps the shorter days with cooler weather give me a time for more reflection and opportunities to be grateful.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

School Auction Quilts

All Saints Catholic School's Auction happens tomorrow! I've been asked to sew a quilt for several years and this year I sewed the quilt for the First Grade Class.  Sandy Gossage designed it and when she told me I would have to applique palm trees and leaves on a big square of fabric I almost freaked out.  "Oh, this will be so easy," she said.

The pieces were large and simple!  I did the machine applique and took it back to her and she drew the vines and leaves and the children made handprints that turned into monkeys swinging from the branches!  The finished size is 57x57 so it's more of a wall hanging!

It's just a treat for me to work with the creative teachers and even though I tell them, "I only sew, and don't ask me to pick out fabric or design anything," last year I had to scrounge around for watermelon fabric in September.  Surprisingly a Google search for watermelon fabric made the 2011 quilt another Sandy Gossage success!

2011 Kindgergarten Krop

I sewed this Angel Quilt in 2005.  The children's handprints formed the wings of the angels.  

I spent a lot of time on the border for this quilt and even made a bias binding!  Back in those days every class quilt was big enough for a twin bed - there was no such thing as a wall hanging!

The Kool Kids Quilt of 2006 became a family project involving my daughter, Karen, and her mother in law, Delores.  We picked out the fabric in September and worked for months cutting out little pieces that eventually became the clothing for these Kool Kids.  My grandson, Jacob, won the drawing to be included in the big block with the teacher!  Karen obtained a computer file with all the kids fall school pictures and she printed each little head on fabric that could then be ironed onto the quilt!  Delores fussed about every shirt and skirt, making sure the fabric fit the personality of the child! It was a lot of work, but look at the end result that brought almost $2,000 to the school!

The auction moved from February to October in 2009 so Karen, Delores, and I agreed to make another quilt for Jacob's 3rd grade class.  We thought a Christmas theme might work and this one really was quite simple to sew, but Delores spent hours finding just the right ornaments to hang on the tree.  

The back of the quilt had the individual blocks that each child created, so as to make the quilt reversible.  It's actually a wall hanging and has been hanging in the O'Shaughnessy home at Christmastime ever since thanks to a generosity of the O'Shaughnessy Grandparents.