Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Final Verdict - Cont'd

About ten days ago I posted about the disposition of my folks' photos. Today I completed that project! Rest assured that I contacted my siblings a couple of times to make sure that they knew well ahead that this was going to happen and gave them every opportunity to ask for a stay of execution. I have also set aside some things that may be of interest to the Historical Society (my mom was a member for decades) and boxed up some photos for others. At the end I kept the most photos because there were so many that I just couldn't destroy. Did you expect any less from the one who takes fifteen to twenty thousand photos a year?

The photos that were in albums had the subject and date written on the back for the most part. Once they were removed from the album, they simply had to be placed in the appropriate pile. Then, the project really slowed down when I got to these...

This tub was packed with photos in the envelopes they came in from the photo lab and in the folders that WalMart gave out with each roll of film developed at one time. Because these only had a general date written on the package, I had to write on each photo that was being saved which was extremely time-consuming. I kidded Mom about getting lazy with her photos the last twenty years or so...she just laughed!

After all those hours and all that deliberation and all that sorting, these will be destroyed.

This pile of photos weighs 33.4 pounds; weighing a few samples I determined that there are about 15 photos per ounce. Fifteen photos per ounce times 534.4 ounces would result in approximately 8,000 photos piled on my sofa. Remember, these are just the ones that I am not keeping or giving away. These are not digital photos: film was purchased, flash bulbs were purchased for indoor shots years ago; the film was sent out for developing; and albums were purchased for storage. There was considerable cost incurred and time spent taking, printing, and storing photos until just a few years ago.

Even though this looks like a lot of photos, and it is, please give considerable thought to your own photos. We all take so many now because it is so cheap and easy. But who is going to sit and scroll through the thousands taken each year? Are you? Will your kids? Have you thought about why you take photos? What do you hope they'll provide and to whom? How will any of you know who, what, where, when your photos were taken? Are your digital photo folders named in a meaningful and consistent manner? Do you copy just a few of the best, the most meaningful, the most special occasions to separate folders for convenient access? Are your files backed up regularly? yada, yada

You get the point, which is why I have chosen to share so much of this very personal project with you. Hopefully you will give some thought to making sure that your photos will provide the pleasant memories and family history for which you probably intend them.

Speaking of family history, wait until you see what I found while going through all these mementos.

Lovin' Life ~~ And Family History in Photos

Monday, May 28, 2012

To Remember and Honor

On this Memorial Day I am again posting these photos of the Army men in my family...

To remember my dad, a World War II veteran, and express my gratitude for him and all others who have served our great country on foreign soil. Several years after his war time service, Dad returned to the U.S. Army. He joined the Illinois Army National Guard and continued to serve our country as a member and full-time employee of "the Guard", until his retirement in 1976.

Everett T. Pogue
October 22, 1916 - March 7, 2002

To honor my brothers for continuing our family's proud tradition of service in the U. S. Army.

To honor my husband, also a veteran of the U.S. Army.

If you want, you can click here to read my post two years ago on Memorial Day. I was missing a photo in that post which was found and posted on June 20, 2010.

On that Memorial Day 2010, I closed with this, "I have always been so proud of the Army men in my life and so acutely aware of the fact that freedom is not many have paid so much for the freedoms we all too often take for granted." and feel that ever more deeply as the years pass.

Lovin' Life ~~ With Remembrance and Honor
I'm still reviewing and determining the disposition of my folks' photos and remembered seeing his retirement photos so I scanned these two this evening. The first one was taken outside my childhood home and was likely the last time he donned his dress greens since it was taken around the time of his retirement from "the Guard" October 31, 1976. There were several good poses taken at this time but I especially love his shadow in this one.

His formal retirement ceremony and dinner was held on the evening of November 12, 1976 with more than 125 people attending. Mom and he are listening to his Captain's presentation in this photo.

Typical of their generation, both of my parents were so very proud of his Army service and for the opportunities afforded to all in our country.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy 40th Birthday, Sandee!

Our daughter, my firstborn, was born on May 24, 1972. I had such a great pregnancy and was so happy to be a mom; having a daughter was a special bonus since everyone predicted a boy. Back in the day, we didn't know the gender until the baby was born...can you imagine?

Today my baby girl celebrates her 40th Birthday! I wish we could be there, but we did send some pretty cool the personalized M&Ms that we had her open early.

1972 ~ My Baby Girl & Me

I don't have to tell any of you how fast time seems to get away from us after having children; then it accelerates to warp speed when the grands come along. I could have posted a photo of her taken each year of her life but the point of this post is to celebrate, not to be tedious.

1977 ~ Five Years Old

1987 ~ Fifteen Years Old

She graduated from high school in 1990 and it seemed like about ten minutes later it was 1994 and she was graduating with honors from California State University in Northridge.

1994 ~ 22 Years Old
1990 ~ 18 Years Old

By the time she was twenty-five she had completed her graduate degree at the University of Alabama; she and Shawn had married; and they had moved back to California where she began a successful career in her field.
1997 ~ Twenty Five Years Old

By the time she was thirty-five, she and Shawn had given us our three cherished grands and moved their family to Arizona for better educational and lifestyle opportunities.

2007 ~ Thirty Five Years Old

A special joy of retirement was getting to spend this past winter living near her and her family. We all got to spend so much treasured time together. This final photo was taken at our RV Park pool a couple of days before we left. This photo of that southwest hot weather lovin' girl of mine watching her precious children swim, with a palm tree in the near background is a favorite of mine. It captures so much of her personality and beauty.

March 26, 2012 ~ Almost Forty!

My immediate family has always brought me great joy, immense pride, and so much love
...led by this first child of mine.

Lovin' Life ~~ Lovin' Her!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Their Mementos ~ The Final Verdict & Sentence

This is my courtroom and since I serve as Judge, Jury, and Executioner I am seated in the chair placed at the center of the evidence. This is not a joke. It is an awesome responsibility. These tubs and boxes contain albums and packets filled with photographs plus a few other mementos of auspicious occasions such as funeral and anniversary guestbooks. They represent the lives of my parents. My parents and Mom's mother were meticulous in their care of photos; they wrote names, places, and the date on most. Without a doubt that is where my attention to those details came from on my own photos. So where many, if not most, families would look at this collection as trash because they could not place the photos into any context, it's not that easy for me. I knew the subjects and, with the information written on the back of them, can even place them in time and location. They're not trash to me; they're my life too.

This next view of the court shows that I had to pull two chairs next to mine and also use the side table for areas to stack photos that I'm keeping for myself and a couple of family members. Our youngest sibling, Tom, went through these a couple of years ago selecting important family photos which he scanned and provided copies of for all of us. We are all so grateful for that. However, no one volunteered to actually throw all of the albums and packets of photos away so I have had them here ever since. It's been five years since Mom moved out of her house so it's time for me to take action.

I am removing every photo from its album or packet and deciding whether or not to keep it. It's a labor intensive task but I couldn't bear to just put them all out for the trash pickup like I will do with the empty albums. Perhaps we will burn them at my brother and SIL's...maybe with a bit of ceremony. This review and deliberation procedure is continuing for days, days filled with memories and emotion. As the oldest child, I was present for most of the times captured in these photos ~~ when my much younger sister and brother were born to the birth and childhoods of my children, my niece, and my two nephews ~~ from my great grandparents and my grandparents to my own precious grandchildren ~~ aunts and uncles and cousins and family friends ~~ they are all with me on these days.

I was most curious about something heavy that was inside a large, white, tied plastic bag. It is a box of letters from the 1940s. The letters that Dad wrote to Mom soon after they met and while he served in the Army during World War II are in there. I read one that was lying on top; he was a good writer. There are also letters from other local boys serving in WWII and many letters from her girlfriends plus a few from her own parents. I plan to read them all someday. I'll have to put them away for now though.

Mom sounded good when I talked to her yesterday so when she asked what I was doing, I gently explained all of this to her. I summed it up by saying, “So I guess you could say that I’m spending my days going back and reliving your life.!” She loved hearing that!

My break's over, I'd better get back to my courtroom. Tomorrow is trash day and I have most of the albums emptied of their contents to take out to the curb.

Lovin' Life ~ My Folks' Too!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Microwave Corn-on-the-Cob

Just in time for summer sweet corn, our friends across the street have been sharing this tip for cooking roastin' ears (that's what we called them where I grew up) in the microwave. I was more than a little bit skeptical but considered the source to be reliable...giggle!

Do not remove the husks; do not remove the silks; do not soak them in water; nope. This is the easiest method you will ever see. Place the entire ear of corn in the microwave and nuke it on high for about four minutes (seven minutes for two ears). After taking them out of the microwave, let them sit a spell because they will continue to steam in the husks. Take a sharp knife and cut off the stem end, make sure to cut it on the last row of kernels. simply pick it up on the tassel end (it's HOT so use kitchen gloves or towel or something), give it a good shake or two, maybe three, and the ear of cooked corn will slide right out of the husk. There will not be even one piece of silk remaining. Your corn will be perfectly clean and thoroughly cooked.

Thinking that you might be a bit skeptical too, after we enjoyed our yummy corn yesterday I took this photo of the empty husk and the end I had cut off allowing the ear of corn to drop right out.

I think everyone in our neighborhood is now using this technique and we'll all be eating a LOT of roastin' ears this summer! If any of my close friends and family knew about this and didn't tell me...harrumph!

Lovin' Life ~ With Fresh Summer Produce

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Scrabble King

Rich suggested that it would be fun to change things up and play a game of Scrabble this evening. I eagerly agreed. Since he beat me by 96 points, even though we used every last one of those stinking little tiles, this will be our first and last game of Scrabble. I'm a really good sport that way, seriously not. Do you think he's gloating in this photo?

I love words and use thousands of them a day, or so I'm told...teehee! How could I possibly fail this miserably at a word game?

Lovin' Life ~~ Even Though I'm Such a Loser

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thirteen! Already? Yikes!!!

We became grandparents thirteen years ago today! Jackson and his siblings have brought more joy to our lives than I could ever describe. But...a teenager?!?!? How did this happen so quickly? Here he is, year by year, our first grandchild.














We love you bunches & bunches!

Happy 13th Birthday, Jackson!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Simple Splendors of Home

Early (by our standards...teehee) this morning, I stepped onto the deck to photograph the sun sparkling and dancing through the top branches of our neighbor's River Birch tree. Failure! I could not capture what I was seeing. But then, I glanced down and gasped at the tiny roses blooming on our two Double Knockout Rose Bushes. We have a pink one and a red one. It has taken me days to remember the name of these roses...geesh! Aren't they sweet? See how the sun is gently kissing the buds in the second photo?

This gazing ball sits on the corner of our deck rail. Rich bought this one recently because of the unusual color. Doesn't it appear to have texture, like a large waffle? It is a perfectly smooth glass ball though. I love seeing our house reflected in it!

The girls seemed to be enjoying the cool sunny morning out there too but when I uploaded this photo, their squinty eyes made me laugh.

This next, only somewhat better, photo of them was taken a couple of hours later. This time they appeared to be all wide-open and bright eyed when I took this...what is happening to my, admittedly minimal, photography skills today? Must be my subjects...giggle!

But this, this is the rose in bloom...the tiny bud that Rich brought inside and set next to my computer on Mother's Day morning...splendid!

Lovin' Life ~~ Enjoying the Simple Splendors of Home Too!  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day ~ Part II

Wayne and Mary sent this photo of Mom with the flowers she got for Mother's Day. She told me earlier about getting several cards too!

Thanks for being there with her today and for sending out this photo. It means a lot to all of us. Hope you had a  Happy Mother's Day too, Mary!

Lovin' Life ~~ On Such Special Days  

Happy Mother's Day!

I am celebrating this Mother's Day doing what I do most days which is working on photo and other computer projects. After planting all the flowers we bought the other day, Rich just brought me this tiny rose bud from our bush out back. Here it is, sitting among all the mess that permanently resides next to my computer.

The kids called and I got to talk to them for a long time; when I called my mom, she was in great spirits; Marianne is coming out; and Greg and Jenny called to say they'll be out late this afternoon. What a wonderful day!

Lovin' Life ~~ And All the Moms  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spring Flowers; Strolling Geese

Yesterday we drove about 30 miles south to Vilt's Greenhouse just off the I-55 in Wilmington. This has become our favorite place to buy annual flowers. It's well worth the drive because their plants are fresh and healthy and beautiful.

Every time we walk into this place the explosion of colors and textures make me wish I was a gardener; alas, I am not willing to put in the work it takes to maintain a beautiful garden.

Have you ever seen brilliant red petunias before? I had not. They had a flag assortment of petunias, these plus blue ones and white ones...wouldn't that make an impact in the right bed?

Even though I don't participate in any meaningful way, Rich always plants flowers on Mother's Day weekend. Here, he just scored some marigolds fresh off the truck. He also plants Wave Petunias in the planter that runs across the front of our house and Vilt's is where we can always count on being able to buy the color we prefer.

We also picked up one of these orangey/red Dahlias for the pot in the front planter.

When we had a house with a big yard we quickly discovered that there was nothing about yard work that we enjoyed. So, even though we now have a very small yard, that is mowed by our association, with small planting areas...this is the right size for us!

Besides, who needs a big yard to maintain when we have a golf course fairway, the driving range, and another fairway behind our home which gives us the feel of having a big yard? Last evening when I looked out back to see what Bella was barking at, there were several geese taking a stroll at the far side of the fairway. It's been a while since I posted photos of these four trees that I love for their shape and placement.

Lovin' Life ~~ And a Perfectly Big/Small Yard