Monday, December 22, 2014

Confessions of a Grieving Widow

I haven't written about the death of my sweet husband.  My heart has been heavy in that area since 9:00 am on December 23, 2008.
The 22nd had been a busy time. Children coming in and out of the house to visit with their dad because we all knew that time for him was getting shorter by the day.
I had cleansed his wounds, and tucked him in, then I had lain down on the sofa next to him to rest.  I apparently fell fast asleep, because I was awakened by my son and his wife as they prepared breakfast in the kitchen.  I sat up and immediately noticed that Ned wasn't breathing right.  I ran over to the side of the bed, and saw his oxygen had slipped off.  I quickly put it back on, but he wasn't responsive to my touch or to my calling his name.  I could tell he was in a Cheyne-Stokes breathing pattern.  I called to my children and then reached for my phone to call the Hospice team that he was dying.  While I was on the phone, he took his last breath with my son holding his hand and trying to coax him back to us.  I was not by his side.  These events have bothered me so much.  I fell asleep and didn't catch his oxygen mask had come off... I was calling the nurses and wasn't by his side when he passed to the other side.  From there, every thing then moved on without me.  I hope he knows that my heart was heavy and so sad, because I really didn't want him to go, and I was so sorry I was not holding his hand when he left this world.  I pray that he does know.  I look forward to seeing him again some day.  He is a special part of me and will be forever.
My forever sweetheart

Now I have let this piece of my guilt at having let him down out, I hope you all understand.   

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Past er Photos Blue Raspberry Sunday prompt

Aine urged us to go through our photos for the last 10 years and create a post using the photos for the past 10 years.
I am in a world of hurt.  When my children left home, I sent the bulk of pictures of them with them.  After that along came digital cameras (love them) BUT I had saved all my pictures, organized beautifully, on my external hard drive so I would not lose any... Guess what, computer is fine... external is in the shop, with prayers.
Since my picture capacity is low, I (this is with a wink) decided to have a historical reenactment of Christmas's past.  Last year (repeat "last year") I purchased some awesome Christmas fabric with the goal in mind to make pillow cases for all my grandchildren for the following Christmas. Do you think I actually followed through with that?  You are right... I did not.  So on Thursday (3 days ago) I got my fabric out, and began my marathon to finish my pillowcases in time to mail them with in 3 days. I have finish 5 of 25.  When my children were little it was always the last 3 days before Christmas and half the time I worked all night to finish what I was working on. The dad was always putting something together.
This is part of my project still in progress.
The boys' fabric for their pillow cut and ready to sew.

This is the finished project ready for California

There are five. There are 4 girls and one on the way.
I am thinking of telling the mom, I am going to join the red hat society and the one who chooses the Red one I will add with me. ;-)
The pillow cases folded out.
I have blogged about Christmas on both this blog and my genealogy blog.  Here are the links if you would like to see the pictures and read about the fun and memories with pictures.

The most memorable Christmas was when my daughter and son in law played Santa at a time her dad and I were in financial straights and were very depressed.
We went to bed having done the best we could and were very surprised when we woke up the next morning to a Santa visit that was not known.  They had snuck in the back door, we never locked it, and had put presents under the tree that delighted the younger siblings.  Years later my son in law played Santa again to our family.  He drove through snow storms, sleet, and winds to deliver my daughter and 7 wonderful grandchildren to a hard hit family on December 23rd 2008, just hours after her father died.  He had tried to wait for his present, the Lord was in a hurry for him.  

I miss my Santa baby... He was so much fun at Christmas.  Of course, when he made everyone wait to open presents until he had read the Christmas Story from St. Luke, he wasn't held in high regard by the little ones.  He loved everything about Christmas, it was his favorite time of the year. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

God Given Talent

Aine at Blue Raspberry Sunday  gave the prompt writing about a talent that you or an ancestor had. 
Since I am trying to write my stories for my family about me, it will be a talent I have. 
A talent I have been blessed with would be called God given.  I did nothing to develop it, it is just me.
I was blessed with the talent of looking outward and caring for others.  Looking back one incident that stands out to me, probably not the first time I had done, but a memorable experience; was when my mother caught the hillside on fire.
We live halfway up a sizable hill, not a mountain, but definitely could wind you if you walked up it.  (Side note:  Rocky Mountain states say Oklahoma mountains are hills. J)  In the 1950s, people burned their trash in the country.  My dad, to be safe, had a 50 gallon barrel with a mesh wire top to keep the fire contained.  This day, my mom had lifted the lid to add some paper to what she was already burning and the wind caught something loose in the barrel and blew it out onto the dry grass.  She was horrified as the small spark on the grass exploded into a line of fire that quickly began to spread, she used the towel to try and smother the flames, but it was spreading too fast. We did not have a phone, but our neighbor about a mile or so down the hill did.  The only solution to her was to run down and call the fire department.  She told me to stay at the house and she would be right back.  Well, now you will see what my talent was not… obedience. Just after she was out of site, I saw the fire headed toward the barn… Our cows, chickens, and pig were in that barn, so without one single hesitation, I ran to the barn with my dog, and opened all the pens so the animals would get burned.  I was not scared for myself, although many years later, my mom told me her regret was she had not taken me with her because the fire was near our butane tank.  Of course she might not have gotten help in time had she not done what she had.
Me and my trusty dog in front of the house.

After letting the animals loose, I went to the end of the driveway, waited and cried.  A kind black man, never knew his name, pulled up and knelt down and comforted me saying my daddy would be there soon. He was right; my daddy did come soon, with a whole lot of other men with burlap feed bags, hoes, and shovels. 
 After they took off down the pasture to help the firemen to stop the flames.  I went into action.  I got my red wagon, and started the job of carrying water down to the men.  I always worried about my daddy since he had lost his leg, and I became his feet while he was healing.  Soon, the flames were stopped before any homes were burned, and all the men were okay in spite of the heat and hard work. I am sure I slept soundly that night tucked in by my thankful parents.

This trait of thinking of others first has always just been a part of me, so I guess it was meant for me to help those that I can.

Share or write your own talent story… Leave me a link about it. I would love to read your story. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Raspberry Sundays ~ Be the Bridge

When I first began my genealogy blog Branching Out Through The Years, my purpose was to preserve the memories of my husband known on the blog as "The Hero"for our grandchildren.  He really wanted to know them and wanted them to know him.  His choice was taken from him by cancer.
The Hero and I with oldest daughter's first son.

After that, I decided to write the stories of my associations with my relatives, aunts, uncles, grandparents for my children and grandchildren because for the most part they never met or really knew any of them.  This grew to posts about ancestors I wanted to know about and sharing findings with those who were also interested.

When I started on my mother-in-law's family, it was very exciting for her.  She shared her personal stories.  Many times I sat on the floor at her feet and wrote down as she told me.  My sister-in-law also had her write down her personal history so now we have it in her writing.  There is something special about seeing their handwriting as opposed to transcribed.

Every time I find a book, story, document about an ancestor, I will connect it to the FamilySearch Family Tree , which is a collaborative effort, as a source for others and myself to go back and read to learn more about that ancestor. Their stories make them real, not just a name.

I am using this blog and meme to start writing some of my stories that I have not written down, If you don't tell the stories, they are lost. I can't tell you how many times I look at at family name and wish I knew something of their story.  I have envy that I have to fuss at myself about, when others talk about their family journals.  My dad's family was closed mouth, and now I am recreating their stories.
At least they weren't horse thieves. :D

There has been research and studies done that shows how sharing your family history and stories shores up your family members when they have challenges, or even national trauma. It is called The Stories That Bind Us
 I ask you to join in saving the stories for future generations, Be the catalyst in your extended families for sharing and caring.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blue Raspberry Sundays: The Biggest Mistake

Not only is this a hard prompt, it is being addressed late. Oh, my.
Without a doubt, my biggest mistake in life was in a sequence.
I never took to time to learn to organize my household.  I let circumstances rule me, not the other way around. Don't get me wrong, I love organization. When I was a work, everything was in its place and there was a place for everything.  Of course, I kept things simple.

At home, oh my, a totally different story.  I did have things kind of organized, if you call a place for cloth in boxes, and crates for piles of papers (yes, if you are a genealogy friend, I am a pile organizer).
There were book shelves, and when the books were on the shelves they were organized to subjects. The big problem was I spent more time going out and helping people, spending time doing things with my children, and helping my husband, as well as working, than I did on keeping a clean organized house.  This was a big mistake. My husband would have been much happier had I been organized.

It translated into I did not teach my 6 children how to keep their homes and lives organized. For this I feel very bad.  Although, I will say, most have been much better than I am to the point of perfectionism.  Maybe it was because I drove them crazy and they didn't want that kind of life themselves.  I don't know.  The oldest daughter was a light for me when she taught provident living classes, and among that was how to organize yourself.  My other daughters remind me to keep calenders, and my sons, just look at me and shake their heads.
Thank goodness I know God loves me and accepts me, BUT I also know he wants me to stretch and grow and become better.  I had a wonderful friend who once (also a professed pile organizer) said that she was afraid to achieve an organized life because she figured she would be translated then and she had a lot to do for her kids.  I guess we all have our excuses.  This is in truth my biggest mistake. Some day, I hope to over come. J

Monday, October 6, 2014

My Halloween Ghost, True Story.

My Halloween Ghost, True Story. J
Once there was a ghost who lived in a house in Edmond, Oklahoma.   The little girl there saw him in her closet. A dark headed man who just hung around her room.
At night she was careful to cover her head so just her nose stuck out.  He couldn’t touch her then.  This was because one night, she woke up and something was holding her hand.  Weird.  She knew he meant her no harm so she just kept an eye out for him. 
               She knew when he was around because she felt ...
someone watching her.

When she had grown up and went away to college, her parents found her portrait off the wall, sitting on the floor facing the wall.  She was missed, or he was ticked she had left.
The house is gone, a big warehouse sits there now, wonder where the ghost went, if he found peace. The legend was,  he was a man found who had hung himself in the chicken house when the area was a farm.

The End J

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blue Raspberry Sunday "Texas Homecoming Traditions"

Looks like joining the meme  Blue Raspberry Sundays is getting me back blogging. Would love to have you join in.
Today prompt is Homecoming memories and or other Fall Traditions.
This one is again, a personal story.  My daughter and her sweet boyfriend were going to her homecoming.  She was a twirler so it was important to go. He lived about 30 miles away and drove and old green Valiant (that has some funny stories in itself).  I knew the long distant challenges, and that he was preparing to go on a church mission, so I took pity on them and said I would make the mum corsage.  Before coming to Texas, I had never seen this tradition, but had worked as a school nurse at the High School for 8 years, thus I was prepared.
I went down to the local Michael's and stocked up on the materials I needed.  It took 2 weeks to get it all assembled and just to her liking.  I think it turned out great.
 She kept it for a long time, but many moves made it impractical to keep.
We thought this was large, but you could pin it on.  A far cry from what the mums of today are.  They are so huge that the girls have to have a strap that goes around their neck to hold it up.

The following is a picture of the Hero's nephew's mums for his date just this weekend. 

This is one a friend shared on the internet.

This is a Texas tradition.  I giggle at that thought which brings up another... In Texas things are always bigger... The story of the Texas mums has made it to the internet.  Check it out here  So, if you live in Texas you might have a mum tradition.  ;)  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Favorite Candy...

My daughter has started back blogging and has new meme to get us to share our stories with family and friends.  The old meme was Sharing a Slice of Life. This meme is Blue Raspberry Sundays follow along and even better join in.
Now, to the subject matter. My favorite candy is,  chocolate covered cherries, especially Dark Chocolate covered cherries.  

I am not sure my children remember the depth of my Hero's love for me regarding chocolate covered cherries.
When I was expecting my first child, I was a transplanted Okie.  In Oklahoma, I had grown up getting the candy at any store.  It was the most wonderful candy bar imaginable. It was called "Cherry Humps".  I loved the taste, texture, and mmmm the cherry in the middle.
  I would let it slowly dissolve in my mouth and slide down the esophagus.  Yeah... I really loved that candy bar.  Here I was expecting, and most desirous of having a Cherry Hump candy bar.

  I was told it was too hot in Texas, so they only carried it in the winter. It was June!  I was going to die without the candy my heart was set on.  The Hero solved the dilemma by driving up to visit my parents. He was so sweet. He stocked up on the candy bar and even took me to get my other favorite a fresh squeezed Cherry Limeade from Braum's Ice Cream store.  You can imagine how happy the Hero was when I found out that downtown Houston Walgreen's had the candy bar and made fresh squeezed Cherry Limeades.

It became a tradition that every Christmas, my dad bought a box of chocolate covered cherries for the family.  I bought some for my mom last year. I don't eat candy very much any more, but if I find a box of chocolate covered cherries, it will probably find its way into my home. 
This post was fun... Had forgotten I had not posted about this for a Hero story.  Brought back some great memories.  This candy bar is no longer produced.  The last time I went to Oklahoma, I looked for something similar like the cello chocolate covered cherry but all they had was Cherry Mash, which I am not fond of.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Patriotism for our Country.

As we move toward Independence day I thought this was an apt quote...
 “Patriotism,” said Theodore Roosevelt, “means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. … “Every man,” said President Roosevelt, “who parrots the cry of ‘stand by the President’ without adding the proviso ‘so far as he serves the Republic’ takes an attitude as essentially unmanly as that of any Stuart royalist who championed the doctrine that the King could do no wrong. No self-respecting and intelligent free man could take such an attitude.” (Theodore Roosevelt, Works, vol. 21, pp. 316, 321.) And yet we should pray for our civic leaders and encourage them in righteousness

Depicts the first battle of two of my ancestors and
 a quote of Lemuel Roberts who wrote his Revolutionary War memoirs

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Christmas Memory and More

A little fun for you, my grandson and granddaughter chose a gift for their uncle that gave them a giggle.  Hope you get a giggle out of it too.

Of course after walking through the store with the 2 year old pushing the button ever time it stopped, her teenage brother was ready to squash the toy, sister, and grandma.
Big brother in Cap.  Littler sister in arms

I hope to finish some important projects from last year. I need to learn when to stop adding and just get the job done.  Sigh.

Saying this very quietly, I am hoping to have spring time at home this year.  My daughter keeps talking about me moving into town, but I have to say, I love the country and how there isn't anyone dictating how I should live.  I know not so good for the property values, but then who is to say the people who live down the street in a trailer and own their land, isn't as good as the person living in a half a million dollar home in town and still owes most of their mortgage.  Okay, I need to stop there.  The door to moving is not closed.

The following are a few pictures from Christmas.  Wishing you all a Happy and Blessed New Year! Thanks for coming by.
My daughter making me laugh because she had to show off her pregnancy #6

Gave my daughter-in-law a sewing machine. She has started to sew for her children. My first gift when I was married was a sewing machine from my parents. Her old sewing machine was a student one, pretty worn. :)

Son with his three children at a Christmas Ward  party was supposed to be like Bethlehem. 
My grandson's in t-shirts I bought for them.

My Kewpie Doll granddaughter.  She has always reminded me of this doll, so when I found one this year... it became hers.  She played with it a long time.

Granddaughter was blessed the 29th. My son was able to meet them in Utah and participate in the blessing.  The Hero  is missed, he never missed a blessing or baptism of a grandchild.