Tea for Two

Katie invited me to Tea on Wednesday. She and Andrew were in Salt Lake City for Andrew’s sister’s college graduation on the weekend so they weren’t in town for Mother’s Day. We had a nice time at the Queen Mary Tea Room in Seattle very close to where Katie and Andrew live. We split a high tea tiered tray of goodies plus a breakfast scramble. It was a good combination and enough for both of us with a few leftovers. The tea room was not filled to the brim which was nice. When we were done with our tea time we took a nice stroll at a cemetery in close proximity to the tea room. I’ll share the photos from the cemetery soon.

It did not rain from sunrise on Wednesday which was a nice relief. The sun had a hard time shining through. Maybe on Thursday we’ll get some clear and bright sunshine for a few hours.

A Mother’s Hodgepodge

Here are the questions and the answers to Wednesday Hodgepodge this week!

1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother.

My mother was an immigrant from Russia who was learning how to be an American when she had me. Communication was difficult with her very limited English. Her love language was in her homemaking skills, sewing and cooking. I always had a new dress for Easter and Christmas and the first day of school. She cooked every meal for us and sent us to school with packed lunches. These memories are cherished memories.

If you’re a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother’s experience.

One of the huge differences between my mother and me is the fact that I could drive a car. Till the day my mom died in 2013 she never drove. She was a real “stay at home” mom! My father did the grocery shopping and anything else that demanded a car. When my father’s work took him out of town, we kids would walk to a grocery store a mile up the road from us to pay the public utilities bills with cash. As a mom I drove my kids everywhere for their extra curricular activities. I was at every sport game they played in. I was at every school function they performed in. Even as a teenager I would drive my little brothers to their baseball games. My stay at home experience was very different from my mom.

2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.

This photo has three teachers who I would say have the gift of teaching which I categorize as a higher expertise than just being a good teacher. I was an elementary school teacher before our first son was born but I don’t put myself in the gifted category. I got the job done and was good but not gifted. My sister Kathy with the red sweater standing next to me is a gifted teacher. She was trained to be an elementary school teacher and had her own classrooms and now in her late 60’s still substitute teaches. Her heart and mind are wrapped around her skill to inspire and teach. She turns everyday experiences into a learning experience for her grandchildren, too.  My mother-in-law, Verna, is another woman who had the gift of teaching. She’s on my left side in this photo. She taught in a one room schoolhouse in Kansas for her first teaching assignment in the 1940’s. Teaching came naturally to her and she was a lifelong learner. Our daughter Katie had the best one on one learning experiences with Verna in her early years while Verna lived with us and before Verna died in 1997. Katie was able to read at 3 years of age and read quite well at the age of 4. My sister-in-law Kelly on the left of Verna is another teacher extraordinaire. She home schooled her four sons and in that process started a home school academy in her community taking her students to national recognition several years in a row. Even when her four sons went off to college she continued the academy. She is now a nanny 3 days a week to her one granddaughter who is reaping the benefits of Kelly’s natural guidance with hands on everyday learning experiences.

3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad…which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?

A tuna melt, pretty please.

4. Do you have a desk?

We have more than one desk but this is the one where all the important stuff gets done. Dear was working from home for several months and he took it over for his work space.

Is it organized?

Yes, it is generally organized. This time of year it’s the most organized since we had to get things together for the tax man a few months ago.

If so, share your secret to keeping it that way.

I think the secret lies in the fact that the desk has space for everything. Smaller drawers for writing implements and all the office supplies you would need. A filing folder drawer where I have files for every monthly activity. A large pull out drawer with two large shelves to house current bills payable with check book, register, stamps, etc.  I even have a nice drawer for correspondence with room for cards, address book and stationary. It’s in a space where visitors rarely come to so if it’s a mess it really is no big deal.

We also have another small desk in a spare room where I used to sit to blog. Another large desk area in the basement where our old large desk computer sits with a fax machine/printer.

Where do you normally sit to blog?

These days I sit in our family room on the couch with my laptop in my lap to blog.

5. When I was nine years old….

I was nine years old in 1960.  In 1960 the major news stories include… US enters Vietnam War, the IRA starts it’s fight against the British, John F. Kennedy wins presidential Election , Chubby Checker and The Twist start a new dance craze, Soviet missile shoots down the US U2 spy plane, Aluminum Cans used for the first time, The US announces 3,500 American soldiers are going to be sent to Vietnam, Xerox introduces the first photocopier.

And speaking of Chubby Checker, I won the twist contest at my elementary school in the 6th grade…don’t tell my mom and dad and especially my Russian Baptist relatives. Dancing was a no-no!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m a little late to the party today but just wanted to add that the sun has been shining three mornings in a row here in the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you Joyce From This Side of the Pond for the questions to answer!

Weekend Work and Play!

We have had some nice dry and warm weather a few days in a row and what does that mean at this old house? It means it’s time to continue our projects. Dear spent much of Saturday taking the old vertical siding off the back of the house. This side of the house is the last side that needs horizontal siding. See that huge Rosemary bush behind Dear?

My job on Saturday morning was to trim it way back so Dear could work around it. The Rosemary scent was so strong we both felt a little woozy from it.

I did a few more chores out in the yard while Dear worked on the prep work for the new siding.

Our kids arranged a meal out for Mother’s Day on Saturday evening. I’ve mentioned before that I’m de-fluffing right now for our son’s wedding the end of June but for Mother’s Day I threw away the calorie counter. It was time to feast. I enjoyed a beet salad and Dear enjoyed a Bleu Cheese salad.

The six of us enjoyed steak, chicken, and halibut with some tasty sides.

Better than the food was the time we had together talking about the recent events in our lives. We missed our son and his fiance who live in the eastern part of our state across the Cascade mountains. We will celebrate with them in a couple of weeks when Dear and I head east to wrap up some details for the wedding.

On Sunday (Mother’s Day) we went to church and then we loaded up the truck bed with things we needed to take to the dump. We dumped about 1400 pounds of old siding, stone pavers, old wood, etc. It was my first time at the dump and it was an interesting experience. I cracked up about my Mother’s Day experience and Dear commented that he is always ready to give me a new experience in life.

Bad news…tomorrow I get to have another fun dental event (sarcasm intended). I’m going to have a tooth extracted that is causing gum infection problems. It’s the same tooth that they put a crown on in January. What a waste. Now I get to decide if I want to go through the trauma (for me) of having an implant. Feel free to share your experiences with similar issues and your advice!

Good news… going back to my de-fluffing plan is that I have dropped 10 pounds! This success keeps me motivated to stay on track and continue losing for the wedding.

If you are a mother I hope you enjoyed the weekend and that you were celebrated. Here’s a prayer for Mothers that I shared on the MGCC blog on Sunday.

 

Mother’s Prayers Have Followed Me ~ Hymn

Mother’s Prayers Have Followed Me

I grieved my Lord from day to day,
I scorned His love so full and free,
And though I wandered far away,
My mother’s prayers have followed me.

Refrain

I’m coming home, I’m coming home,
To live my wasted life anew,
For mother’s prayers have followed me,
Have followed me, the whole world thro’.

O’er desert wild, o’er mountain high
A wanderer I chose to be,
A wretched soul condemned to die,
Still mother’s prayers have followed me.

Refrain

He turned my darkness into light,
This blessèd Christ of Calvary,
I’ll praise His name both day and night,
That mother’s prayers have followed me.

Refrain

Words: Lizzie DeArmond, 1912.

My mother went to be with her Savior on September 13, 2013. I’m still thankful for her prayers, my father’s prayers to this day and my maternal grandmother’s prayers.

Mother’s Day ~ World War II

This is Dear’s grandfather, his father Rex, one of Rex’s sisters and Rex’s mom, Nettie. Rex honored his parents his whole life and left this great legacy to his two sons. Nettie died 2 months before Rex, who died of complications due to lung cancer in 1985.

This is a Mother’s Day card that Rex sent his mom in the 1940’s. His mom framed it.

On the back of the frame here is some history of what was happening with Rex during World War II and how Nettie felt. We called Nettie, Gommy. Our kids called Nettie, Gommy Gommy.

I’m so happy that she wrote this history on the back of the frame. This last photo is of Dear, Gommy, and Rex.

Pregnant Josh newborn

Hope a happy Mother’s Day weekend is in store for all of you. The weather is supposed to be summery here in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe we’ll even put our patio covers up. We will definitely do some outdoor activities!

Between B.C. and D.C.

We celebrated Mother’s Day with a brunch prepared for us by our Daughter In Love.

The roses are from Josh and Laura and they also gave me a book by an author I haven’t read before. The fruit bouquet is from our daughter Katie. The past 5 days have been packed full with a trip to B.C. (British Columbia), Mother’s Day, and now we are in D.C. (Washington D.C.).

On the way we saw this and now we’ll be seeing more things like this…

Tonight we are just settling in. We walked to dinner and on our way back we saw this pretty sight…

Tomorrow we’ll jump start our Historic site watch by visiting the Washington National Cathedral.

Hope all is well where you are…