Where I come from. . .

Reflecting on where I come from. . .

  • from stock that left Oklahoma to come to California for a better life
  • from a family that didn’t understand in-laws/out-laws —   just family
  • from being the oldest of 5 children and the only girl
  • from 4 of us sleeping in one bedroom and pulling the baby in bed with me when he fussed
  • from Sunday dinners at Grandpa & Grandma Ripley’s, you could smell the oven baked chicken in the driveway
  • from the adults playing cards and being allowed to watch if you were silent and didn’t touch anything
  • from having to eat everything on my plate, even the stone cold sweet potatoes
  • from hours of playing Aggravation on the board Daddy made
  • from a week with a cousin at G & G Ripley’s,
    • picking out any cereal we wanted,
    • riding the cultivator with Grandpa,
    • catching the clothes as they came out of the wringer into the wash tub,
    • picking and stringing green beans for canning
    • putting on good clothes for a trip 15 miles into town for errands and lunch out. Grandma wore stockings (she put on wearing gloves to protect from snags) and shoes with low heels
    • sleeping in a room with a bee hive in the wall
    • using the outhouse when the indoor bathroom was busy
    • eating grapefruit that had sugar sprinkled on it the night before
    • knowing I was loved
  • from coming home from school on Tuesday’s and smelling starch from the ironing done that day
  • from learning to embroider at 6 years old
  • from going to Sunday School and learning ‘The Wise Man Built His House Upon A Rock’
  • from learning to make cornbread from scratch at about 9 years old
  •  (I still use the same recipe)
  • from the year the Easter dress wasn’t new, and my only shoes were tennies with a hole at the little toe. Mom washed them white and darned the hole  and we had Easter dinner at Grandma Ripley’s.
  • from changing schools in the 5th grade and not liking riding the bus or the new school
  • from making my first quilt at 11 years old
  • from a Dad who could see the possibilities
  • from walking to the Sanger library every week in the summer and buying a brown paper bag of sunflower seeds from the bulk bin at the 5 & 10 on the way home
  • from driving Clif’s Triumph Spitfire to school my senior year for two week s until he got his license
  • from a Dad who built a 4 seat merry-go-round with a center platform for all
  • from a Mom who before I was born made me a rag doll from  a pattern, embroidering the face, adding yellow yarn for braids, picking the cotton for stuffing, sewing the dress and panties. I still have the pieces of the doll, body,  arms and legs, hair is gone, dress is gone………the love has never changed.
  • from suppers ready exactly at 5:00pm
  • from meeting a young man at 17 years old
  • from getting engaged January, 1967
  • from walking out of my family’s front door on my father’s arm, down the grassy aisle, to a gladiola decorated arch to exchange vows with the man who would become the Farmer

In this blogging world sometimes we play ‘follow the leader’. Mary (oldest daughter) followed Ann, a friend and  I’m following Mary, whose next?

Published in: on March 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm  Comments (1)  

Five Minute Friday — Vivid Eyes

For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

Today’s Prompt  —  VIVID

Joining with http://thegypsymama.com/2012/01/five-minute-friday-vivid


As usual I read a few 5MF’s to see what others are writing about, a couple wrote about the vividness of the color of flowers and yes, I do appreciate that color.

My mind went another direction. I thought about the vividness of the memories of the first time I looked into my baby’s eyes.

#1  —  Baby girl   born 9 weeks early, tiny with deep blue eyes.

#2  —  Baby boy  born on his due day, looking like my brothers with blue          eyes.

#3  —  Baby girl born 15 days late, oh look, brown eyes like her father.

#4  —  Baby boy born 10 days late, again dark brown eyes.

#5  —  Baby girl born 10 days late, blue eyes shining and bright.

I can close my eyes and see their eyes waiting to. . .  LOOK !


I don’t have pictures available of baby eyes, so I’ll share this one of eyes all grown up and still looking.

back row  #2, #4,#1    front row  #5, #3

Published in: on January 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm  Comments (2)  

On My Mind — Zucchini Bread

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. To take part, post a photo on your own blog, write a short caption explaining it, and link it back to here from your blog by saying you’re part of “On my mind”.

I am thinking about this Zucchini bread I made last week. Two loaves went with me to my family’s early in December Christmas Dinner.  They liked it. One was eaten and the other stayed with the hostess. The third loaf is on its way to Idaho to join some dear ones who are like family in my heart. (She is the sister I never had.)

Published in: on December 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

One Thousand Gifts and a Scripture

Adding to my One Thousand gifts:

101.  This cat, Busterford Jones, who moved to Cozy Acres scared and untrusting, has adapted and become the #1 lap cat. I get this look if the computer is in his way.

102. Ideas from a quilt show.

103. I am very thankful for my mom. She is such an example of the Proverbs 31 woman. Thank you.

I am very thankful for my home.

104. This cozy spot where I write, knit, read, eat, doze, hold cats, rock babies, gaze out the door, pray and weep.

105. This is the cozy spot where I create .

106. This is my cozy kitchen most of the time it is neater than this but I love the way the light played in this picture.

107. Here is the Farmer’s cozy spot.

108. And COZY, though it may be, I am thankful for indoor plumbing. Please excuse the camera strap.

I thankful for memories, still, of cruise taken in 2009, with these dear-to-my-heart people.

109. On our way to dinner in New York City.

110. Checking out New York City.

111.  Quebec City

112. A carriage ride in Quebec City.

113. A real gift- to be able to cruise with the Farmer.

114. The trip of our life time ‘from sea to shining sea’ in 2007.

115. A favorite memento from ‘the trip’ – The Story Teller, purchased in New Mexico.

And a Scripture:
. . .   trust . . .  in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 1Timothy 6:17

linking with:  http://www.aholyexperience.com

Thanksgiving 2011, Redding CA

The Farmer’s family tradition is to meet together the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and stay there until Saturday morning. The location has rotated between the parent’s or siblings’ homes and of late at campgrounds. We have celebrated this reunion in Laton, CA,  Sunnyvale, CA, Medford, OR, Greeley, Co, Oxnard, CA, Redding, CA, Carmichael, CA, Portland, OR, Diamond Arrow Campground, Nevada City, CA and Del Oro Salvation Army Campground, Nevada Cit, CA.

We have stayed in family homes, friends homes, cabins, motels,  and RV’s.

This year we were at Redding, CA. Uncle W and Aunt S were the hosts. We used their church facilities for our gathering.

We usually have 30-50 for Thanksgiving dinner. When the dinner was held in homes, the hostess of the home was in charge of food and the organization and the preparation. As we have gone to the campgrounds, Aunt E and I have assumed that responsibility.

A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, Aunt E and I plan the menu. SHE does the shopping for food and paper products. We cook and pack and try to allow for the unexpected.  Everyone is to bring desserts. ( A basket is available to receive  contributions toward food costs.)

We all make a concerted effort to attend, mother, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, friends, friends of friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, out-laws and significant others.

Thanksgiving equals planning, laughter, work, fun, tears, laughter, quiet times, overwhelming times, much good food, enough desserts it takes three meals (at least) to try them all, co-operation,  family singing, laughter, story telling, expounding on important current or not so current events, knitting, laughter, quilting, embroidery, target shooting, cave exploring, boat riding, many hands sharing the load, shopping excursions, Disneyland, laughter,   catching up, watching kids grow, missing those who are gone, comparing electronics, laughter, snacks, jigsaw puzzles,  skip bo, uno, 5 crowns, may i, early to bed (for some) and early up for most, tie dying, and Grandma C’s lists of everyone who attended.

It this doesn’t sound like fun, you just don’t understand real fun.

I know what your question is  —  “How do I get an invitation?”

Published in: on November 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Friday Morning at a Quilt Show

One of the pleasures of being a quilter is going to a quilt show.

Being immersed in color and design and fabric makes a quilter’s heart go pitty-pat!


same design, different colors and border treatment

I have a method to viewing a quilt show. I start at one side of the quilt displays and go  down one side of the row  and then back up the same row trying to view only one side at a time.  That way I get to see everything and stay out of the way of most quilters trying to see everything.

Then after the quilts are ooooo’d and ahhhhhh’d over, I visit the venders starting at one end and working all the way around the vender area.

I come away with full eyes, sore feet, and ideas, intentions and thankfulness for the first person that realized two pieces of fabric stitched together was warmer than one all by itself–maybe that first quilter had read the Bible.

 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? Ecclesiastes  4:9-11

Margaret, Parker, Corbin and I attended the Pioneer Quilt Show Friday morning. We saw some beautiful quilts and came home with more ideas. Even though, we both brought cameras,  Margaret was the photographer. I’m sharing some of my favorites.

One of the high points of visiting this show was reconnecting with a friend from the past. A phone call is on my list of things to do this week.

I had a good time. I think the boys were a little bored, but that was kinda expected, and they handled the boredom well.

Published in: on November 5, 2011 at 11:25 am  Leave a Comment  

A to Z about Me

I have read several lists of ‘100 things about me’; this is the first A to Z I’ve seen. Filling this out was fun, and I learned a little and remembered more.

A- Age:  62 and I get my first social security check the third Wednesday in October, 2011
B- Bed size:  Full, remember we live in an eight ft wide trailer
C- Chore you hate: bathrooms, enuf said
D- Dog’s name: no dog now, I was real fond of Rosie the wandering basset
E- Essential food/item: catsup
F- Favorite color: I’m drawn to all shades of yellow in nature, but seldom wear it
G- Gold or silver: not into jewelry, my favorite watch had a woven gold and silver band
H- Height: 5′4 3/4
I- I am:  thankful
J- Job: learning to live in the now
K- Kids: 5 – 3 girls and 2 boys, all adults somewith families of their own. I have 12 grandchildren, 1 son-in-law, 2 daughters-in-law
L- Living arrangements: We live very contentedly in a 8×27 ft RV as assistant caretakers of the 7 acres on which the church we attend is located.  We share the grounds with the head caretaker and 27 chickens and three stray cats who think they belong here (coz they get fed, tender hearted head caretaker).
M-Mom’s name: Frances, she is absolutely MOM #1
N- Nickname: When I was young, Mom called me Lessie, the Farmer calls me Hon, the kids call me mom, the grands call me, grannie
O- Overnight hospital stay: 5 babies, twice for a ruptured bowel (one illness), multiple times for complicated gall bladder/pancreas episode
P- Pet peeve: Having a car hurry to pull out in front of me causing me to break for it when there is a mile of empty road behind me
Q- Quote from a movie: …my very favorite quote is the scripture in the Old Testament in  Malachi 3:6  ” For I am the LORD, I change not; . . .”
R- Right or left handed: I’m a right handed
S- Siblings: I am the oldest and only girl with 4 brothers
T- Time you wake up: no sooner than I have to
U- Unique thing about your car: it always has sunflower seed shells on the floor
V- Vegetable you hate: bok coy at least in the recipe I used
W- Ways you run late: I  always think it will take less time to get somewhere than it does, so I leave later than I should
X- X-rays you’ve had: teeth, knees, abdominal, neck, back, chest,
Y- Yummy food you make: no one has turned away from my Chicken and Rice and I make a killer meatloaf, both original recipes from my Mom
Z- Zoo favorite: giraffes, and I could spend a lot of time watching farmyard fowl, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys…and I have.

Published in: on September 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

GCrain’s Watering System and the Gardener

Join me as we tour a special place.

Located on Candy Cane Lane in Redding, CA

down a partially paved private road to this driveway

enter here and you will find a garden.

The soil  is very porous and rocky. Water puddles very little. The ground looks dry on the third day after watering. So this garden gets watered every other day. The watering system is a combination of plastic pipe, hoses, timers, sprinklers on the top of 5 foot poles, oscillating sprinklers, and a bubblier. Sprinklers attached to hoses are positioned on plastic grates:

1. stability   and  2. to remember where to put the sprinkler next.

The picture gallery is of the different spots in the garden,  I’ll include flowers as we walk around the yard.

One day this rose bush is covered with blooms, that night the deer have dessert!

Trumpet creeper uses this tree as a trellis.

If you don’t find GCrain here in the potting shed,

you might find her here making a flower arrangement,

but always look first right here.

After breakfast,  her first stop of the day is with the Word of  God.

If you ever have an ‘every other day’ free and would like to see this garden freshly watered.  GCrain and Aunt S would be glad to have you come and visit with them and water for them.

Published in: on September 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm  Comments (3)  

In the Grandma Crain’s Garden

In Redding, that arid looking place,  is a garden that gets watered every other day rain or shine! Or that’s the way it seems.  There are 28 stations to be watered marked by plastic crates or permanent sprinklers. Some of these stations have  “old man” timers as Dan would call them, others are changed because the timed ones ran out of time.

But you know, there is a peace in the garden. There is something special to walk in a fresh watered garden, something special about walking through the garden and have hummingbirds flying around, dragonflies and butterflies flitting from flower to flower, and something special about seeing the small changes from day to day. Perhaps one of the reasons God meet with his people in the cool of the evening in the garden.

I need to take pictures of the watering system and Ill add them to this post, next time I have internet access. 🙂

Published in: on September 11, 2011 at 10:15 am  Leave a Comment  

On My Mind – Working on a log cabin

It’s Friday and I’m linking up with Down to Earth sharing a picture of what’s been on my mind.

Last week I sent helping family recovering from surgery, I took my log cabin pieces with me and set up cabin raising. I was able to finish half the blocks I need and get started on the second half. This half will have blue chimney squares, I hoping to get a secondary pattern with using different colors. I’m sure the log cabin will be on my mind again.

Published in: on September 2, 2011 at 11:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

What Happens at Family Night gets posted!

Family night was a fun place to be! Everyone but two were able to come, Aunty A and Cousin C were very much missed.

The boy cousins 12 and under arrived in the afternoon with pool time with Uncle A and Uncle D.  Most got some SPR (swimming pool rash); ALL had a great time.

I see some SPR on this Guy…but he doesn’t see us!

Our menu included Grandpa T”s tri tip shish kabob with zucchini (from the Farmer’s garden, mushrooms, and onions, rice  a roni, rolls, salad with cucumbers and cherry and yellow pear tomatoes (from the Farmer’s garden, and three kindsa  pickles.  Chocolate cake, cinnabon cupcakes, mint chocolate chip, strawberry, and bo’nilla ice cream. YUM!

Aunty M and  Aunty E use their time to advantage.

Some serious thinking occurred.

And a little educational reading happened.

SEVEN birthdays ( we had missed June) and ONE anniversary were celebrated.

A rousing sing a long kept us laughing.

Uncle A read us the story of David and Goliath, several thought provoking comments were added by the listeners.  Pray was made for dear ones far away but close in our hearts, and for near ones with special needs, and for all Little I’s friends.

Ten people were able to be thankful, I wish I had written them down. The variety of blessings are beyond number, and always worth the telling.

The Old folks left (Uncle b and the Farmer), the younger battled it out on the Wii

A serious player

and a somewhat lopsided game of 5 Crowns was played in the dining room.

Some of the crew!

Thank you Uncle A and Aunty A for extending again your warm welcome to your home for our family’s night together.

(PS. The quilt in the back ground of some of the pictures was paper pieced and quilted by Aunty E.)

Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm  Comments (10)  

On My Mind — Family, July 29, 2011

On my mind:  Tonight is Family Night. Once a month all the children and grandchildren (that are able) get together for dinner, games,    birthday and anniversary celebrations, songs, thankfuls and devotions.

Thankfuls means everyone tells us three things they are thankful for, it must be something different from what has already been mentioned. Because of differences, one family wasn’t meeting with the rest for several years, when we united again, one grandson didn’t know how to express the word thankful.  He was told to tell of three things he liked or was happy about. Now you should see him, He can hardly contain himself for the happiness he shows when it is his turn to be thankful.

The Grands

The Children and my Mother and her Tilly and us (top row left).

We feel so blest. We all support each other. We all like each other. We are a family.

Published in: on July 29, 2011 at 11:11 am  Comments (5)