Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Au Revoir Le Petit Chateau

Today the movers came to pack up our sweet little house in Garden Oaks. T'was not an easy decision to sell it, but the time has come. In no particular order, here are just a few of our memories. I've decided not to add any friends or family in the photos, as I just don't know where I'd begin. I want to share memories in words.
This is the Barn that BJ (Charlie's oldest son) built. He did it without any plans..just did it all in his head and all by himself. I would love to have moved that with us, but U-Haul didn't have a barn-busting dolly big enough. We would have loved to have taken the trampoline too, since we've had it since Kelsey was 6, but after 47,976 kids have jumped on it, it has put down little trampy roots. The grandsons have been on it from the minute their moms could stomach it (and even before that when they weren't looking.) It has been through serious shrieks, wild wrestling, big thrills, little spills, bum-flops and back-flips, and, "It's MY turn!s", but it's seen only one bloody nose, one slight adult misstep, and a gajillion great laughs. Even the youngest grandson got to get his first and last jump in before ..... (Hey! Can we get a girl in here somewhere?) Here's where the best dogs ever, Shugy and Mochy, used to try to dig to China, and where we picked up the 47,976 sticks and branches left by Raging Rita. When Irate Ike roared through, it knocked down a 90' tree from Joe's yard into ours, missing our car and house by mere inches. Perhaps it was the prayer Joe had said minutes before that had something to do with that close call?

Kels' room ..hmmm...don't think that desk saw any studying at all, but the crammed bookshelves had everything on it from Where the Wild Things Are to Webster's New World Dictionary. Boxloads of books were given to a friend's happy Harry Potter reader and his equally thrilled, "I can read too" sister. The bunk beds are having a new life at our daughter's house since there is a new grandson and the older ones have had lots of experience fighting over who gets the top bunk.
Well, NOT going to go into any detail about this room but it was consecrated ..(um..is that the word?) in July of 2001.
The key feature of this room and one that is securely packed in a crate (we hope) is a portrait of one Mom, Mimi, Grammy, Bomba aka Jeane Wilson (Kelso) at age 7 painted by a then-famous artist in 1932 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It has traveled from there to West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, South Carolina, and 4 homes in Houston, Texas. God Bless her and the new chapter in our lives.
Now THIS is a photo that could be filled with many, many faces. Site of our wedding reception; fabulous 4th of July parties; grandkids playing in the toy cabinet; advent candle and Christmas tree lighting, girl gossip, and a 51% women's group party prompting a certain 13-year old's famous line - "There's too much estrogen in this house tonight!", and where I watched the World Trade towers fall.
The kitchen: Site of all things family. Enough said. Except, that I'll miss the folks big and little sitting on the bar stools - the big ones sometimes drinking beer-ritas, the little ones coloring, cutting out things, blowing out birthday candles.... "Can I have the fish plate, GrandJane?"
This is the pot-rack bought at an antique store in the Heights for Charlie, but staying behind. It can be seen from the dining room, because once again, the pass-through is BJ-built. What a difference it made but do NOT ask him how hard it was to get through the shiplap and various forms of what really shouldn't have been called drywall. Labor of love.
The dining room table which started its life at our house as a sorta-beat-up hand-me-down from my niece, Kristine, who, once she saw it refinished said, "Can I have it back?" Nope! It's not so much that the cherry finish is divine, as that we've had half a dozen Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and maybe a few mac-n-cheese spills on the seat that won't come out.
Kels' old hobby horse; a Brittany Spaniel in honor of my first dogs; real dog hair in the carpet; a glass vase wedding present from Connie and Steve; two photos from when my brother, Alan, took me on a snowy adventure into Oak Creek Canyon; pine cones collected from my parent's house in NC; a clock given to Charlie for years of service; and a brass toy trunk from my grandmother's house - all in about 10' of space. Au revoir, sweet home. We are grateful for the many blessings we've had within your walls. May the new owners have much joy and love there too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Famous Five

Some dear girlfriends and I celebrated 80 years of Canadian women being declared "'persons" at a high tea honoring five courageous women, Emily, Nellie, Louise, Irene, and Henrietta.
Best remembered for their work as suffragists, legislators, champions of the rights and welfare of women and children, and for their successful appeal of the ‘Persons' Case in 1929 [in Canada] which changed the world for all women in the British Empire. Dressed in our Sunday best,

we were ever so lady-like as we sipped our tea and nibbled on those delightful, tiny finger sandwiches and fought over, (i mean bid on) spectacular artist-made hats --www.aboundphotography.com/Non-Profit/Famous-5-Foundation/


all to support the Famous 5 foundation that carries on the leadership work begun by these hard-as-nails early feminists.
Carry on, girls! "We are equal to high and splendid braveries."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oldie but Goodie

Sorry for this big ol' pile of photos. It's a desperate attempt to rescue my wheezing laptop from photo overload. Does anyone have the phone # to Hoarders Anonymous?

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Hawaii 2007-2009
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sadness for Shugy

Our sweet girl, Shugar, came to us 12 years ago...when Kelsey was in 3rd grade. We had been at the pet shop getting food for Kels' turtle, when we saw a sign, "Sweet Border Collie Mix Needs a New Home." Her owners met us on a wintry day in a Home Depot parking lot and Kelsey, afraid that he wouldn't be allowed to have her, kept his coat hood up, shielding his face, until they said we could have her. He quickly whipped off the hood, got a huge smile on his face, and grabbed the leash. Shugy had already been sitting right on my feet and when we got home; she spent all of her time in those early days sitting on our laps. If we left her in the backyard , she'd somehow get out - even with rebar! But, there she'd be, sitting on the front porch when we got home.
Shugy was the first dog I had on my own and Kelsey's first too. When Charlie came along, he tried to take her for walks, but she'd put on the brakes if he tried to go more than a block from the house. She was a loyal one-woman dog.
Everyday, Shugar lived up to her name. The groomers would say "She's just the sweetest," even though we had to carry her in there. After a few times of hauling that 50lb+ girl in there, I decided to buy professional dog clippers and do it myself. It was not a pretty. Shugy was a real trooper though, and thankfully she didn't have a mirror to see my "expertise."
Strangers thought her bark was ferocious - perfect for me as a single mom - but she really just wanted you to endlessly pet her tummy.
Unfortunately, when we relocated to Canada, we couldn't take her with us. After much agonizing and searching, we found an angelic caretaker who gave her a home on her farm - bought her special vitamins and lavished her with TLC, even though Shugy's eyesight and hearing were already failing. As the grande dame, she presided over the menagerie of animals, hung out with her new best friends, a golden retriever named Lori and a husky mix, Elle, and even tolerated the horses.
She died peacefully in her sleep the other day, just a few days after Lori. Shugy - we were so blessed to have you in our lives and we will miss you forever.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Falling into Fall

We've had a spectacularly gorgeous summer here in the Canadian Rockies.

Perhaps we'll get a few days of a last hurrah and but Fall is fast approaching. To everything there is a season.

Lately, I've been exploring a contemplative spiritual side, spurred on by a friend's labyrinth experience. http://www.everydaylabyrinth.wordpress.com/ On Monday, we went to walk a labyrinth here in town- an ancient spiritual diagram designed to bring the participant in communion with the sacred. The experience - a new one for me - is very peaceful, centering, calming, unique. Here we were standing right in the middle of a city of a million people and although we could hear the sounds of city life, we were wonderfully removed. As I trailed behind S on the path, I thought. Isn't this what friends are for? Sometimes to be your guide..sometimes to follow your path... not necessarily to always be on the same 'road', but to share your journey, your ups and downs....sometimes just to BE there.

And that brought me into being in gratitude for all the friends and family with whom we were lucky enought to shared time with over the summer. Pondering at La Pensione Pentland.

Hobnobbing with the Higgins Team.

Lounging with Lindbergs and Lenons at a Pizza Party..(see the Vanishing Vinyls post.)

Delta Gamma Dames.

Fun with Foxy Katie Fox.

Meeting in Marietta. (yes... a meeting - obligatory....)

A gaggle of Garrisons. (My cousins who root religiously for Roger Federer.)

Sassy lasses Stampeding.

Muskingum Mavens aka River Rat Residers.

Ta Ta to Tibet Travelers.

Kelso Klan ...oops Clan... at Whetten Wedding.

Lunching with Large Lady (not Carmela - the statue!)

Half a Dozen on Don's Deck.

Munching at Mercato. Fellow Forty-Somethings. (mostly.)

Hugging Hillary Higgins at Hillhurst.

E's eye's on it!
Hanging with the Holdrens.

Get-together with the Goodricks.

Say? Is that Sam y Senora Smith?

Look! It's the Lucky Lebenslust-ers.

Four Females before the Floor was Finished. (see Don's Deck photo)

Jazzercisers at Jacqui's.

Nine Neighbors noshing...(Notice not that it is actually eight.)

Preparing for the Pirate Party on the Plank. ..Arrrr.
Can more fun be had in Canmore? (ok..that's super silly, eh?)

And....Boyz behaving.
Missed seeing mis tres nietos. See ya soon!
Hope to catch up with more family and friends in the Fall. Come on up, y'all!