Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Oh my what a wonderful time I had, with my family, at my daughter's new house, for our family Christmas celebration on Sunday afternoon. It was like turning the clock back to a time when my children were much younger.
First let me say what a wonderful package of Hickory Farms Holiday goodness I won from: From Captain's Daughter to Army Mom's blog. Thank you so much Janet and Hickory Farms for making out get together such a wonderful occasion with this great variety of yummy goodness. It was the highlight of our finger food meal.
After some visiting by adults and playing in the back fenced in yard for the children we ate...and we ate such a delicious medley of finger foods. My oldest daughter surprised us with the most amazing punch we've ever tasted. The fruit bowl my middle daughter made was exquisite and tasted scrumptious. She also made other goodies that my tummy is wearing but I've forgotten what they were called.  My youngest daughter made several yummy dishes my hips are currently wearing. At the last minute, the night before, I decided to make a cake mix and cream cheese cookie recipe. Then I decorated them with a simple icing and a medley of Christmas sprinkles. Of course there was too much food and we all took some home with us.
After eating came the gift opening. This is where time went back for me. My son who will be 40 in about a week was reserved with his gift opening. Yet he loved the mini album I made a video of on You Tube under the name of "thegmaw". My oldest daughter wanted to wait and open hers on Christmas morning. My two youngest daughters were like children themselves when they were opening my gifts to them. I made dangle charms that I learned to make from my Skype sisterhood. Thanks Virginia and Rosanne. I made bracelets....yes both a new craft for me... and they turned out beautifully. I also had made things during the year and put away for the big event. I received so many hugs from my grandchildren for what I gave them that I thought I must have done something extraordinary other than giving a few presents to them.
When it was time for everyone to go home two grandchildren wanted to stay the night and come home the next day. Of course Gmaw spent the night so they could. And it was worth every minute of what I got to see. The 4 older grandchildren got to put on swimsuits and get in the big bathtub with the water jets etc. (I can't remember the name of it). They had the best time and looked like drowned rats when they finally got out. Of course my daughter tried numerous times to encourage their getting out and drying off to no avail. Finally she had to let the water out to get them out. lol  They were all dried off and put pajamas on and got ready for bed. Of course they didn't want to go to bed yet so they were playing around and having a good time. Gmaw wanted her little critter hoppers to go to bed and so did my daughter. We were going to watch a movie and have a treat. Of the excitement of the day and evening had them wound up tighter than a spring. Finally they wound down and went to sleep. By this time the old Gmaw was about to go to sleep herself but managed the treat and some conversation with her daughter. But when she realized I was sleeping instead of watching the movie, she took the computer to her bedroom and laid on the bed in comfort to watch it. Ha Ha something about laying down to watch a movie that puts us to sleep.
The next day I was awakened very early by the baby and went to his room and got him out of bed, changed his diaper and put him in the high chair to feed him. I wanted my daughter to get some extra sleep if she could so I was trying to take care of things myself. The other children awoke and came in for breakfast also. Thank goodness for cereal and milk.
My daughter awoke and thanked me for letting her catch up on some sleep. They had just moved into their new house the week before and she had got everything put away and decorated for our get together. I had spent 8 days with her keeping an eye on the children so she could move light stuff while her husband worked. At night he would move the big stuff. Anyways she was  tired and I knew it so I just did what a Mother does for her child to help out.
When it came time to head home I got a phone call from my daughter whose children I had with me. She told me to take them home with me so she could pick them up and take them to the other grandparents house so her husband could get the trampoline put together. They pulled it off very well I thought. When I saw the trampoline on Christmas Day I understood better. Those things have come a long way from the one I had gotten for my children. A safety net encircling the whole thing, double springs for easier movement without them popping off the frame, and even a shoe net to keep track of their shoes. and the list goes on. No wonder it took her husband all day to put that thing together. I got to see them on it playing and having a good time. The 5 year old granddaughter was able to make the basket several times. Yes it came with a basketball hoop attached to the frame. Oh what fun they had when the 10 month old twin girls were allowed on for a bit. They crawled around and played with the balls and laughed while having the greatest time playing with their Daddy,sister, and brother. Mama took pictures and Gmaw/GG watched it all.
On Christmas Eve my Skype group did the reading of "The Night Before Christmas" If you'd like to watch it on You Tube, feel free to go to my channel"thegmaw" and click on the beginning one on the description section. This is where it starts and you can go through each one's presentation. There are two that didn't get the link right so I had to go back and do it from mine. Hope you'll watch and enjoy it. We enjoyed making the video.
Next is New Years Eve for the world and until then I leave you with Just This... Alice

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas is on the way

Hello to all,
Hope your Christmas Holiday is filled with much love and many blessings this year.
It's been a rough few months for me but when I get over this latest episode of stomach contents aspiration in my lungs and sinus cavities, I'll be OK once more.
I am looking forward to Christmas with anticipation this year unlike last year after the death of family members. Five family members and a friend within two years was a little hard on me last year. OK enough of that and on to something else.
 I've made gifts as I usually do for my children and grandchildren. But this year it's taken a different direction for some of them. I have been such a lucky person to find jewelry items on eBay to bid then win for .99 cents with free shipping. Awaiting the arrival of the ladies and girls  pieces is hard as I am anxious to see if I did the right thing by buying them.
Being under the weather so to speak has dampened my decorating the outside of my apartment for the contest this year. The judging will be on the 20th so I still have some time.  After winning first place the first year and second place last year, I'm not sure if I will win any place this year. I'm not  the kind of person to want it all and would like to see someone else win. But I'd like to see them put forth the effort to do so. I think we all know it takes a lot of planning and hard work to decorate the outside of our homes for the holidays. I'm hoping I can get a family member to take pictures this year for me. They are all so busy with their own families that it's hard to plan a right time to photograph the results of stringing lights and decorating. If I do I'll share the results with you all.
I sincerely hope we all take time to reflect on the reason we celebrate this time of year. May we ever be mindful of all the blessings we've been given in this country that others in far lands are unable to have. Pray for our military persons serving and away from their families this holiday. The sacrifice they make for our country and keeping us a free nation deserves much more than they're given in return.

Now for a little back then reflection.
When I was growing up on the farm we didn't have Christmas because we were a large family. There was no finances to support having one as my father farmed to make a living and it barely supported us. The first time I saw what Christmas was all about was beyond my young minds comprehension. A man named Santa Claus brought good boys and girls toys and stockings filled to the brim with goodies. Homes were decorated with trees and lights and such things I'd never seen. This all happened when I went to school at 6 years old. There was no kindergarten back then. Riding the bus to school, I saw yard after yard full of  the most beautiful sights I'd ever seen. We got on the bus early and it was still dark enough for the lights to stand out and people awoke early back in those days, turned them on and went about their morning routines then turned them off before leaving for work. I thought it was the most beautiful sight I'd ever seen but didn't understand why we didn't have the same in our yard. It was explained as we aren't made of money and all that does is make the light bill go up. Like I'd understand that concept at 5 years old. I was learning abc's, numbers, and words, not finances. Well it was a big disappointment that we never had the experience of all that Christmas represents in a worldly sense. But I sure had an education about the real reason for having Christmas. We would sit around the fireplace shelling pecans or peanuts and would hear all about it. There was no story of The Night Before Christmas read to us. We had the Bible version of Christmas.
 Now I realize that my parents were doing the best they could with having 7 children and living in a 1 bedroom house built by my father. Having 4 children of my own and ending up as a single mother was an eye opener for me about struggling to make ends meet with no outside help. Yet I made it through those years with 2 of my children graduating with honors and the other 2 graduating. Even though statistics were against my parents and myself for raising a family, we all turned out to be some pretty good people if I must say myself. So with an understanding of what it takes to raise a family, I began to understand how difficult and heartbreaking it must have been for my parents to not have the means to give us Christmas as everyone else around us had. And I came out well in spite of never having Christmas while growing up/
I am in a skype group that crafts while skyping. We were talking about Christmas and I was reluctant to join the conversation because of my lack of Christmas as a child. When the subject of stockings came up and everyone was talking about what they got in theirs, I simply said I didn't get a stocking at Christmas. No one said anything nut.. when my swap package came from one of the ladies, I pulled out a very big stocking and tears came to my eyes. I didn't want to burst out sobbing so I played it up as such a big stocking it went to my armpit as I put my hand in it. I knew what the box full of goodies was all about and the items to craft with also. I tried so hard to remain composed during the taping of my video but when I finished it and turned the camera off. I broke down and sobbed my heart out for all those years as a small child without Christmas and a sweet generous lady who cared enough sent me Christmas in a box along with our swap assignments.
I am so fortunate to have these women in  my life and as my friends. I am blessed to know them all and be able to talk with them as scattered all over the world that we are. We make videos of things to share with others on You Tube and if you'd like a glimpse into that part of me, I am thegmaw on You Tune and have a few videos of stuff I've done. I still have to make a video of the rest of our swap and I'm waiting on one last package to do that one. So have a look at them if you would like and until next time I leave you with just this....Alice

Monday, September 24, 2012

With the coming month of October we think of Halloween. Now Halloween or should I say the scare factor of Halloween could be found around my home on any given day and just not on Halloween. My oldest brother was the biggest prankster I've ever known and he could scare the screech out of me anytime day or night. He loved to scare me to get my funny sounding scream and dance out of me. Whether it was in the fields or around the house or outbuildings. He could sneak up on me with the agility and quiet of an Indian scout. Perhaps the Indian in us came out in him that way. He could hide behind the smokehouse, tobacco barn, pack house, corn crib, or outhouse and when I would come around the corner he would jump out and throw his hands up and make a scarey sound and I would go into action with that funny sounding scream and dance. My feet would be moving 90 mph but I covered no ground. It was as if I was glued to the spot with feet having the action of jumping beans and a track star all rolled into one.
He could scare the daylights out of me when it was getting dark and I was washing dishes. How I kept from breaking dishes I'll never know. Well we didn't have much glass dishware as we ate out of tin plates and tin cups. The serving bowls were made of glass or heavy plastic. We did have a few glass glasses and plates for company and we weren't allowed to use them. Any way back to scary stuff. My brother would know just the right moment to strike with his next scare. I would be standing there washing dishes and looking out the window hoping I didn't drop anything into the dishpan and make Mama come in and whip me for breaking anything, when he would come around the corner of the house with a mop turned upside down and a bonnet on top of the mop strings. Sometimes he would sneak Pa's hat and use it for his scare of the day deed. He would let out a ghostly sound and say I'm coming to get you hahahaha. I would, with the grace of a new born colt, start my dance and song for his listening pleasure. Yes it was a pleasure for him I'm sure as he never failed to give me my daily dose of excitement. When I would come to my senses, no matter how many times he did it I would still react the same, he would be doubled over with laughter and I would get mad as a wet setting hen and throw some dishwater out the window at him. No, I never got him, I always missed with an accuracy unseen before. There were times when it seemed that wasn't enough and he would hide behind the kitchen door and wait for me to come to the eating table and reach up to pull the string to turn the light bulb on. When I went back to pull the string overhead to the bulb dangling over the work table, he would reach up and pull the string over the eating table. I would move and I mean move those two little feet of mine faster than any track star of the day. It was a race to get through the kitchen door to the safety of the living room. One time he almost didn't make it in time getting to safety and I slammed into the door and nearly broke his nose. He had the audacity to complain and whine about his nose. I quietly told him if he ever did that to me again he would get worse than that for his trouble. He must have believed me as he never did it after that time. But he put all his thinking into how to scare the daylights out of me in other ways.
Buddy I think of you always but will especially be thinking of you on the first anniversary of your death soon. In spite of all your night frights and schemes to scare me I still love you and would let you scare me a hundred times a day just to have you here again. I know You're in a much better place than I am and one day I will be arriving to see you, Joyce, Mama, and Daddy. On Halloween, if there is a little jokester running around here. I'll know it's you giving me a fright just for ole times sakes.
Until next time I leave you with just this....Alice

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Trying to make changes to my blog

I'm not sure if I'm doing this right or not to make changes to my blog. Guess I'll know soon enough.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Easter Egg Hunt

Many many years ago we had an Easter egg hunt at a church member's house. As we all searched for the golden egg(it had been left in the yellow dye for a very long time to turn it golden), many passed it by with their haphazard searching. One girl lifted a pipe and looked in it but quickly put it back down. During the course of the search she did this several times. Everyone was vieing for the golden egg as it was a five dollar prize egg. I got the bright idea of lifting the pipe to move it out of the way and lo and behold that golden egg rolled right out the end of the pipe right at my feet. Oh I was so excited to see it. For a pore ole country girl that five dollars was like five thousand would be today. I put the egg in my bag and kept searching awaiting the call for the end of the hunt. As we gathered around and awaited our rewards, I was thrilled to know I was going to get five dollars momentarily. When I aproached the leader I showed him the golden egg and told him I had found the prize egg. I stood in silence waiting for him to hand me the prize. He reached in his pocket and pulled out some change and handed me a fifty cent piece and told me that was my prize. I know that the other girl would have gotten the five dollars if she had been the one to get the egg but because it was me and not her it was a different amount than what was to be awarded.I politely said Thank You to the man and walked away with a saddened spirit. This was not my first encounter with unfairness. It seems that no matter our belief in the same God there is always those that will be judged on their lack of financial prosperity among other things.
Another trip down the unfairness lane of life brought me to tears when I won the talent contest at church for my comedy presentation. Everyone laughed at my antics and the applause I received at the end was a boost to my spirit. I was looking forward to the next level of competition and was given some bad news a couple of weeks later. The girl that won second place in the talent competition was going on to compete instead of me. I was devestated to know that the soot on my face was not going to be allowed due to the equal rights movement. Needless to say I did not take this news as positive critiquing but as another way to hurt one already hurt. Though life has had many of these moments, as I sit and reflect on them, it shows me that God knew I would need those times to build my strength in character as well as spirit. The saying of "In a hundred years nobody will know the difference" is so true. Every thing that happens to us and how we react to it brings us to the places we are now. I am happy with where I am. I still don't have a big financial bank account or anything of much worldly worth but I have a richness that so many do not have in this lifetime that are considered rich. God has blessed me abundantly with many blessings. He didn't give me beautiful hands but he gave me hands to make beautiful things for others. He didn't give me the best situation in life to be raised up in but he raised me up to be compassionate and empathetis toward others. He didn't take my life when my daughter and were in a wreck, he gave me life though it is altered with having to use a rolling walker to get around so I could share my life with my grandchildren. We didn't have the privelege of having grandparents around when I was growing up. I prayed for the blessing of being here for my grandxchildren and was given my request.
I thank God for all those times of unfairness that taught me to be fair. I thank God for all those trials that made me stronger. I thank God for all that was taken away so I would know how to give. I thank God for never hearing I love you growing up so I could tell my children that I loved them often and without measure. I thank God for not having much so that when I do get something I can show appreciation for it. I thank God for all the kids that made fun of me when I was growing up so that I wouldn't make fun of others. I thank God for all that I have and don't have because he is the one who knows my needs and supplies me with them. I have had many challenges in my life and am at a place where I knopw the bigger picture of my journey through this world and know without a doubt that God is real and answers our prayers to suit our needs and not our wants. I know my Heavenly Father loves me without a doubt and I keep my faith in him and not man for the blessings I receive.
So if the Easter egg hunt doesn't give a big prize for it, look at it this way, at least you can eat it as long as it is a real chicken egg and not a plastic one. Thank You to the chicken who laid that egg of long ago.
Until next time I leave you with just this...Alice

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gmaw's twin granddaughters

These two little angels are my twin granddaughters born to my youngest daughter and her husband. There was some difficulty when they were first born and now they seem fine. God heard all the prayers that went up on their behalf and I am so thankful for this blessing in our lives. We have so much stuff and my daughter wanted to use some of it in the photos and thankfully the photographer allowed it. She was awesome to work with and gave us a tease with this photo which I wanted to share some sweetness with you all. Now that I have seven grandchildren,I can get all the baby sugars I want. I do love my grandchildren and enjoy every minute spent playing with them. Plus it gives me another chance to be a little girl again and have bunches of fun.
I think back on the time when their mother and her sister were little and we played in the playhouse with their tea set. I made sandwiches and cut them into fourths so their little hands could hold them with ease while eating. The tea cups would have to constantly be refilled with kool aid though. Oh the memories of those days fill me with a longing to do it all over again and I think I will get to do that very thing with my granddaughters. I so want them to have much better memories of their childhood than I have of mine. The gift of sweet memories, is my reward for the time taken from a busy Mom's schedule to give them delightful days of play, fill my cup to overflowing.
You see my childhood was filled with mostly work on a farm with little to no playtime. That was just the way it was back then. I know it's hard to think of the 1950's-1960 being so difficult for families when the world was changing and all kinds of convenences were arriving to take advantage of. Having a father that was born in 1901 and didn't marry til 1945 was a given that we would be raised as he was. As the oldest son he shouldered most of the field work when he was big enough to do so. His education ended at the eith grade so that he could work at home and to help with the younger children. There were thirteen children in his family and things certainly got better for the younger children than they were for him. Being uneducated he taught what he learned "An honest days work for an honest day's pay" My father was old enough to be my grandfather when I was born. Perhaps this is why we called him Pa instead of Daddy as most children called their father. He did tell us to gain all the knowledge we could and stressed completing high school. Four of his children graduated. I am proud to be one of them. I did learn that while I went to school that didn't prepare me for the world and all that was in it. When I would ask my Pa a question and he would skirt around the answer little did I know that the reason was he didn't know himself. That taught me to make sure I always explained things to my children and tell them if they didn't know something to ask me and if I didn't know the answer I would find someone who did and let them know. I also learned from getting my mouth popped with a backhand that I shouldn't repeat what I heard at school around other children. I taught my children if they didn't know what a word meant to not repeat it til they asked me what it meant. I would let them know if it was a good one or a bad one that shouldn't be repeated by anyone.
I may have had it hard growing up and perhaps it seemed as if I were in another time but it made me the person I am today and I like that person.
I know I had said the next post would be about the Easter egg hunt and it is forthcomming. I was trying on my own to do the picture thing again and it seemed to work so I went with it. Til next time when I give the egg hunt story, I leave you with Just this...Alice

Monday, February 27, 2012

Strawberry picking

There came a time when we all loaded up and traveled some distance to a place that had fields of strawberries as far as a child's eye could see. As our parents spoke with the owners of those lucious fruits we kids were told where to stand and wait til they were through talking. The nice lady told us to not eat too many as we picked them but our Mama told us you better not eat even one of them or we would get a whipping. After having the fear of God put in us, we all went to our assigned row with the buckets in hand and began picking. There was no fooling around allowed either as we knew better without being told that little tidbit of info. We picked strawberries a very long time it seemed and it had begun to get hot. My oldest brother was sent for the water bucket and dipper. He was told to fill it with water form the spigot. We were each allowed one dipper full of water to drink. That way no one would be asking to go pee. We picked four tubs of strawberries and went home with two. These would be #3 tubs which is the old big wash tubs. The nice lady asked us if we liked the taste of her strawberries and we all looked at her with big eyes and I told her that we weren't allowed to eat any of them yet as they hadn't been paid for yet. I didn't know at that time that we had picked the berries for her so we didn't have to pay for ours. I learned about bartering that day. We traveled home with our share of the strawberries without much to say as we were a tired group of children. Upon our arrival home we were told that rest time was over now and it was time to get to work. The strawberries had to be gently washed and hulled then put in bags for the freezer. That was a lot of hard work and we finally finished about dark thirty. The next day being Sunday, we went to church and back home to have dinner. Company came over that afternoon and the ice cream churns were filled, iced, and rock salted down. The older children were given the task of turning the handles to make the ice cream. It seemed to take forever to freeze and we all anxiously awaited our bowl of home made ice cream. Of course the company was served first and wer were given ours afterward. I had a little taste of heaven with that treat and didn't seem to mind all the hard work involved with what it took to get it. I ate and ate til my tummy said it was too full. After finding out that one of the churns was ours we would bring it out and the icecream makings and make our own. Mama made all different kinds of ice cream. Any fruit can be made into ice cream and we all discovered we each had our own favorite flavor. I liked the peach ice cream the best. This was one of the good times I remember from my childhood when everyone seemed to be happy and enjoy life. There were other times that were happy and next time I'll tell you about the Easter Egg hunt. Until then I leave you with Just This...Alice

Monday, January 2, 2012

Y'all Line Up and Get Your Medicine

Y'all line up and get your medicine...Oh dear, that was the one phrase I had such an adversion to hearing in my youth. When we children heard that, it meant the older five ending with myself. Getting our medicine didn't mean the kind you take, swallow, or any other means of being administered. It meant the form of a whipping administration. The sister just a year older than I was always wanted to be last and I could never figure out why. Until one day I ended up at the end of the line by mistake. Pa had whipped the four ahead of me and it didn't seem as bad as when I was first in line. There weren't just a few strikes but many, in the range of twenty to thirty at a time. I always thought it was better to be the first and get it over with quickly so I could go behind the smoke house and cry my tears in private. I was not always successful in containing my post whipping emotions inward and there were times I sobbed my heart out as I knew I did not deserve that whipping I had just received. There seemed to be a problem in my family of one or the other taking something we were told to leave alone. It was law in our household that if it wasn't yours you better not touch it. I feared the whippings I knew would find us when the law had been broken at our house. Candy, gum, cookies were not something found in abundance at our house, if they did show up they were put in a brown crock cookie jar. It even had the word cookies on it so it could sit up on the top of the safe in its tempting spot. We older children had strict orders to leave it alone as it was for Mama and the youngest child only. No one said life was fair and I learned that at a very early age. My first time attending school by the local grocery store near the school. I was given the task of taking a dime to school and buying two candy bars. One for Mama and one for the youngest child. Somehow that just didn't seem fair. I had to guard those things with my life. My older sister wanted a candy bar too and told me how to get her one and she even told me to get myself one too. Well I finally got up my nerve to do the bad deed and as I was slipping the first candy bar into my purse I heard a soft voice saying I wouldn't do that if I were you. I dropped that candy bar back in the bin and chose the two I had the dime to pay for and checked out as quickly as possible. Back then receipts weren't always given out for such small purchases. I went on to class and was glad I hadn't stole the candy after all. Well the kicker is I was asked by a classmate to see my purse as she thought it was pretty. I willingly handed it over and she promptly opened it and looked inside. Yes she saw two candy bars. No she didn't know I paid for them. No she didn't know I had the stealing bug scared right out of me to never return. It wasn't long before I heard comments as I was walking to change classes. That's the girl that stole that candy from the store with a finger pointing at me. Whether it was in the hallway or going up or down the stairs, I often heard it. It was like a phrase that caught on and spread like wild fire. I was branded a thief and it hurt me to my core knowing I had almost broke one of God's commandments. None of the people that were pointing fingers ever found out that it was not true what they had spread around school about me. As I was raising my children it seemed to be the custom for mothers to allow their children to open a package and eat from it while they were shopping. I taught my children that we must pay for it first they we may eat it. It was my duty to my children to make sure they had their nutritional and hydrational needs met before I walked through the door to the store. Anywhoo, as a child growing up we were taught that if we think it we were just as guilty as if we did it. In my heart I was guilty and so I never attempted to straighten the stolen candy bars misinformation with any of my accusers. They wouldn't have believed me anyway. We were so Poor that all the stigma that goes with being so poor that you're pore was always considered to be the truth even when it wasn't. We were told to accept what was given and never ask for anything. Well sir I never asked for all those whippings but that didn't mean I was going to be lucky enough to get out of getting one. Perhaps next time I will write about the strawberry trips in spring time. Until then I leave you with Just This...Alice