Fandango’s Flashback Friday: April 2

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: April 2

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year. How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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This post was published April 2, 2019 as an entry for the Photo a Day Challenge. Flashing back to happy times remembered in this post (when birthday parties were…normal) appealed to me more than flashing back to a 2020 pandemic post. This blog began as the keeper of memories….and today I revisit some funny ones.

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Funny Faces

This post inspired by April photo a day challenge

Today’s prompt: Funny

When my kids were growing up, they had a birthday party every year they wanted one.

Several actually. One with family. One with friends. Sometimes a celebration at pre-school as well.

Why not? Another year. Another milestone or two.
Time for cake. Presents. Games.
Fun with friends.

One tradition…a group photo.
Squirmy party guests lined up on the couch.

The first take: Smile Say Cheese!

The second: Make A Funny Face! Make A Silly Face!

Always the favorite.

Little children making funny faces never disappoint.

birthday-6yr-funny-faces.jpg
Six year old fun
Five year old fun

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: November 27

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: November 27

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year. How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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This post was published on November 27, 2018 as an entry for the Ragtag Daily Prompt challenge.

I still say…a walk in the woods…always worth taking.

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Walk

This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Walk

It was an adjustment, to say the least, when our youngest child left home for college. For him as well as for us.

He chose a college where it was warm…and far away from our New England town. I understood that, as I had also wanted to establish myself in a college town far from my home.

Colleges have an annual “Parents’ Weekend” in the fall. So parents can check in. And check out their kids. And kids can touch base with their parents. Our freshman son was on his own for the first time and we were grateful for the opportunity to visit.

Although not a big fan of endless parent questions…how are you?how are your classes?your roommate?is the food good?where is the library?…are you okay?, he was happy to show us around campus. He led the way. The grounds of his university were lush with greenery of all kinds. With a bridge. And a pond. In a very warm spot in Virginia. We attended these Parents’ Weekends every year, but the first one…well, that was extra special.

Conversation always flowed a bit more freely with a walk in the woods.

father and son 2006

Thanksgiving Revisited

Thanksgiving 2020 Centerpiece – a gift from my daughter and her family

Today is Thanksgiving Day, a traditional American holiday, but – as one friend texted in response to my Happy Thanksgiving text…Hopefully last one like this....

My husband and I are celebrating on our own this year, as many others are. A smaller version of the feast we used to make years ago…(cooking less is a silver lining here)…we are still as thankful as ever. That part hasn’t changed.

And, no matter what, there will be pie. But just one. Pumpkin.

Do we miss sharing this day with friends like we did last year? Most definitely. And the special times with friends and family from many years back? Absolutely.

But I know we are not alone and my heart goes out to the thousands who don’t have a job or a home or enough food to feed their families…much less a Thanksgiving meal. The pandemic’s ongoing toll.

So my focus today is on gratitude for what I am blessed with…and also for looking back on memories made in years past.

Below is a post I published on November 22, 2018 – the 4th Thursday of November – and, in the United States, celebrated as Thanksgiving.

🥧 🥧 🥧 🥧 🥧 🥧

Thanksgiving

A day – if you’re fortunate – set aside for family.
For gratitude. For sharing a meal.

Usually a massive meal – in our house it was based around turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, some kind of vegetable. Rolls or banana bread. Every year the “fixins” changed somewhat.

The most important part: many pies. The dinner was basically a stop on the way to pumpkin…apple…cherry pies.

And my personal favorite…playing cards while eating dessert: aka pie.

Dinner was also all about the conversation and stories we shared. So much time and opportunity for prolonged discussion when you are passing endless bowls of food around. Pouring wine. Pouring water. Carving more turkey. I just never knew what subjects would come up; but many became classics.

Such as…

In 1990, my husband and I hosted our first Thanksgiving.
I had never cooked a whole turkey before. An overwhelming task. I had heard horror stories about overcooked turkeys and dried out white meat. That would never happen to me…I’ll cover it! That should do it.

My parents and my in-laws were coming – to join me, my husband and our 2 kids.

I dusted off the big blue covered roaster pan my mother had passed down to me. Coated the fresh turkey with spices and some oil. Tied the legs together.

I put the cover on. It went into the oven. I set the timer. And let it cook. And cook. Many hours later – when, according to the recipe it would be done, I removed it from the oven. Look it’s ready! With great fanfare, I lifted the lid…Oh No!

It looked like a turkey snow angel! All the turkey meat had slid off the bones. We had turkey stew! There was nothing to carve. Legs askew. Wings fallen off. My mother was horrified. I laughed. And laughed.

It still tasted great…and…the white meat was NOT dry!

♥  ♣  ♠  ♦

The following year:

Twelve family members gathered at the dining room table to enjoy our Thanksgiving feast – including my parents, my husband’s parents, my grandmother, my sister and her family.

1991
1991

Upon noticing someone struggling to remove the meat from a turkey leg, my father-in-law shared a memory…a story that has become part of family lore.

He began describing his job at the First National grocery store in the 1930’s. When he helped get the turkeys ready to be sold for Thanksgiving. The turkey carcasses were brought to the store and his job was to pull the tendons out of the legs. Apparently, this made the turkey legs easier to eat. He went into graphic detail. Right in front of everyone. Who put their forks down and stared at him…as he explained this was probably not done anymore. Those pesky tendons still attached.

GROSS! we protested.

Shocked faces…especially those with turkey legs eaten or half eaten on their plates. There may have been some gagging. My big city brother-in-law’s face turned white. He got up and left the room…

♥  ♣  ♠  ♦

Empty nest Thanksgivings…

 left more time for documenting…

IMG_1302

But traditions remained the same.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lens-Artists Challenge: What a Treat

Lens-Artists Challenge #120: What a Treat

We’d love for you to share something that was a treat for you – a visit from your grandchildren, a special event, a recipe you really loved, maybe even a Halloween surprise ….it’s up to you.

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My choice for this week’s challenge may seem kind of odd, but a recent package in the mail turned out to be quite a treat. And fitting for this election time of year. These days most everything is…well…odd.

I was recently in touch with my one and only cousin for the first time in several years. Her mother was my father’s much older sister and as a result we shared a set of grandparents.

She lived nearby our grandparents for most of her life (I did not) and knows more about them than I do. I wanted to learn about our grandmother’s history, as my father had only researched his father’s ancestry – and not his mother’s. For some reason, the maternal lineage is not as interesting? I think not. That’s usually where all the stories are.

I emailed my cousin, asking if she had any information about Grammy’s ancestors. She promptly called me on the phone, shared some hilarious memories and said she’d see what she could find regarding a family tree and “anything else.” The box of “anything else” arrived within the week.

What a treat.

Apparently Grammy’s father – J. J. Green – was involved in local politics in the tiny town of Graysville, Tennessee where she grew up. My cousin had an old photocopy of one of J. J.’s campaign “posters” – a musty yellowed 8″ x 11″ sheet of paper with Grammy’s notes penciled in around the border. 

What a fascinating peek into small town political history. I had to smile at the line: “the best moral comes through the influence of women.” A bigger smile for Grammy’s comment…”he always won everything he run for….”

I know nothing else about my great grandfather, but I sure am curious!

My cousin also sent a few photographs, several crocheted handkerchieves and a stack of written out memories from various family members.

Among the photographs…an undated black & white image of J. J. labeled “in the living room.”

I’d vote for this guy!

Two of a Kind

BeckyB’s October Squares: Kind
One Word Sunday: Two

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This pair of three year old feet were two of a silly kind during a memorable FaceTime moment last year.

Dinner Time Shenanigans

First…one bare foot appeared and propped itself up on the table…then disappeared at Mama’s gentle request…

Seconds later, it returned when mama looked away.

Disappeared again.

Then back in a flash.

Grandma (me) started giggling.

Then foot number 2 joined the fun.

Mama gave up.

And…as we all know…laughter is contagious.

Up Close and Personal…looking back

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: Up Close and Personal

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF CLOSE UPS (HUMAN OR NOT).

SixWordSaturday

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How could I NOT post photos for this challenge! Up close and personal – whether it be human or not – is my passion in photography.

I searched through my archives for these two shots. By archives I mean an extensive collection of photo albums (with negatives!) – which take up an entire bookshelf in the living room.

As I mentioned in my last post, I took pictures of my children “at every milestone”…however, I also tried to capture their “ordinary” days. Playing outside and taking a break for a drink or snack on the deck…as was the case for my 1½ year old son below. Or watching daddy play guitar and sing at a local apple harvest festival at the age of 4½…as my daughter was in the second photo below.

Catching my kids in a quiet moment was always a challenge, as they loved to grin or pose or make silly faces when I pulled out my camera. Often waiting patiently while I focused – no autofocus back then. As they got older, they would hold up 2 fingers in a peace sign pose to give me something to easily focus on…quicker.

I really love these two photographs because I can see a glimpse of who they are now. And it makes me smile. The eyes. The expressions. Children are so beautiful in their transparency.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback: September 4

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: September 4

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year…How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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This post was originally published on September 4, 2018

Last Friday’s flashback had also been an entry for Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge. Still wondering if/when he’ll be back. Hoping he will be!

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Tuesday Photo Challenge – Backyard

Here is my entry for this week’s challenge hosted by “Dutch goes the Photo”

https://dutchgoesthephoto.net/2018/09/04/tuesday-photo-challenge-backyard/

The theme this week is “Backyard”

Backyards are often places where families gather. Children run, jump, play, swim and learn about their outdoor world. For many, a backyard is where bare feet first touch blades of grass – or – where a squirrel is first spotted racing up a tree…

And in these vintage 35mm photos…

A backyard is for reading library books in a hammock with daddy.

backyard003

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And a backyard is where little brother and big sister cool off and share a sprinkler on a hot summer day.

backyard001

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Playing Perspectives

BeckyB July Squares: Perspectives

Today is the last day of Becky B’s fantastic month long challenge. Every photo has to be square – and in some way portray this month’s theme: perspectives.

It goes without saying that life around the world has changed in the last few months – and our perspectives along with it. I can only speak for myself as to specifics – but along with the isolation, restrictions and fear…there has been at least one silver lining in my family life.

My husband teaches guitar for a living – has been doing so for over 40 years. Both of our children have guitars and have benefitted from his influence and guidance over the years.

Our son’s interest in the guitar began during his senior year in college and he made do with my old acoustic from childhood. He started his post-college life in the Washington DC area and during a 2014 visit, Dad was able to give him a few lessons.

While I obviously snuck around taking photos…as usual…

March 2014 guitar lesson
March 2014

We gave our son a new guitar for his birthday shortly thereafter.

However, as a busy young finance professional, he hadn’t had much time to really dive into it. Until COVID-19 hit and changed everything.

Quarantined at home in Washington, DC, he picked up the guitar again this past March. He has been connecting with Dad on a weekly basis for lessons and conversation ever since.

Guitar lessons and connections during a pandemic…a new perspective.

guitar lesson
June 2020

 

Silly Business

One Word Sunday: Nosy

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Life with a 2 year old provides a perfect opportunity for Supreme Silliness. One of the many benefits of parenthood.

This image from 36 (!) years ago popped into my mind when I saw the topic for this week’s challenge. It took a while to locate…and the print quality isn’t the greatest…but it’s proof positive that Groucho nose glasses never made anybody grouchy in our house!

1984 nose glasses
July 1984

Happy Sunday Everyone!