Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Slice of Life: Easter with the Utah Grands!

I'm not a scrapbooker, but I do like tracking my latest adventures here. Please indulge me while I share the fun we had and more than a few pics from our latest trip. We were greeted at the airport by a jubilant Teddy and a son who had wrenched his back just that morning.

We spent time in the backyard, swinging, running, playing in the playhouse, climbing on top of the playhouse and in and out of the windows, harvesting dandelions, drawing with chalk, and blowing bubbles. We read books and played Break the Ice and enjoyed several neighborhood walks.

Teddy had a T-ball game on Saturday and hit his first coach-pitched ball. Since he was last man at bat, he got to run all the bases. He ran so fast that he got ahead of some of the other players and had to wait a bit on 3rd base so his teammates could get into home before he finished his run.

We loved attending church with Blake and his family. He sang in the choir as part of a lovely Easter program.
Lily and Ruthie amazed us with their ability to sit still in church. After church we discovered the Easter bunny had mysteriously stopped by. Grandma and Grandpa even got an Easter basket with Grandma Siddoway's favorite chocolates. Stefi sure knows how to spoil us. 

Lily plays contentedly surrounded by her toys and charms all of us with her happy smiles. Ruthie has started calling Grandpa, Papa. She and I enjoyed cuddling, reading books, and singing before naps and bedtime. Ruthie and Papa spent time playing chase (in the house) and practicing their lion roars.







Teddy joined us at the 'vacation house' for a sleepover on Sunday evening. He and Grandpa enjoyed reading Nate the Great and a new dinosaur book (Teddy helps Grandpa pronounce the names correctly,). Monday morning I awakened to Grandpa and Teddy giggling uncontrollably as they read the tongue twister "the tutor who taught two tooters to toot" and enjoyed a new round of knock knock jokes from Grandpa's joke book. We tried to play a new game, but decided we really needed Aunt Sara there to explain the rules. We'll play it when we all get together this summer.

It would have been a perfect visit, if only Blake hadn't hurt his back. But we were glad to be there and help out while he was out of commission for a bit (with continuing daily improvement). And now we count down to our August visit when Ruthie will have celebrated her second birthday, Teddy will have celebrated his sixth birthday, and Lily will have celebrated her first birthday! Where does the time go?

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Sharing Our Stories: " ... the fine mingling of letting go and holding on"

As soon as I read the quote that Ruth shared with this week's prompt, I knew I would write about books. We've arrived at that age where we know that downsizing is in our future. For some time, I've been weeding my books. But it's a long process. 

First, I worked with my educational books. I've prided myself that I had moved from four shelves of professional books to one shelf. But that's not really true, for I've scattered my poetry books onto two other shelves where they gladly mingle with my memoir writing books. 

Then I worked with the books that I haven't read. I created one shelf of them sometime ago, but I made myself drag out the box of books in my closet and add them to the shelves. And now I have two shelves of books I want to read someday and that was after I donated more than a few to the library book sale. I made trips to the donation bin at our library almost every day this past week.

And for my middle of the night meanderings, I emptied my nightstand which has a shelf full of visible books and a door which conceals (you guessed it!) more stacks of books. Many of my books have come from library book sales or were given to me as gifts. I've tried really hard not to purchase new books, but it's a slippery slope. Just yesterday, I phoned my favorite indie bookstore and ordered a book that I need to own since I plan to read and highlight and discuss it with a friend. 

What on earth prompted me to empty the nightstand in the middle of the night? I was in search of a certain book that I borrowed from my brother and will return to his daughter when I travel to Texas at the end of the month. And I found it - Pat Conroy's My Reading Life! My brother and I share a mutual affection for books. I loved opening the book to his embossed book stamp, running my fingers over the KES stamped inside, and knowing that he had lovingly placed it there. Our love of books has been a constant through all the years we shared together.

Here are the results from Saturday's early morning book harvest. If you look very closely, you'll see that the stack on the left (keepers) is just barely lower than the stack on the right (books to donate). I welcome tips from fellow bibliophiles on how to let go. Because for now, holding on and letting go are in a neck-to-neck race.

To savor the magic of story, join our open group of writers
and link your post at Sharing Our Stories.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Slice of Life: Meet, Ella, April's Featured Ancestor!

I am participating in a challenge from Megan at Modern Genealogy to focus and learn more about one ancestor each month. 

Happy 121st birthday (April 12, 1901) to my grandmother, Ella Martin Duff and her twin brother, Elvis Martin. They were born to William Martin and Mary Ann Wilson in Talihina, Oklahoma. They joined three siblings - Leonard (9), Rebecca (6), and Madeleine (4). Three more siblings - Melvin, Palmyra, and Woodrow later joined the family. Two other siblings died in infancy, Carl and Catherine, and one sibling was stillborn. 

Ella married William Orson Duff on March 2, 1918 just before she turned 17 years of age. Granny’s twin, Elvis, died of the flu on December 25, 1918. Ella and William Orson ‘Bud’ Duff were the parents of 5 children: Raymond, Lillian (my mom), Natalie, Ruby Dee, and Edna. They farmed and raised their children in McNally Flat, Pittsburg, Oklahoma. Bud died in 1960 at 58 years of age. Ella left the farm & moved to McAlester in 1964 where she resided until her death in 1983 at 82 years of age. My middle name is Ella, after my grandmother. I’m in two of the photos. Hint: Granny is holding me in each photo! #ancestorofthemonth #moderngenealogy

Here's a link to one of my #52stories about how Granny passed her love of puttering and genealogy to me.

One of my favorite pics of my granny, Ella Martin Duff.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

SJT and Poetry Friday: Words of Hymns to Guide My Way

It's Spiritual Journey Thursday, an open gathering 
for bloggers who write on the first Thursday
of each month about spiritual topics. 
 Karen is our host for this month and provided 
this prompt: "I bind unto myself today..."

The words of a favorite hymn, (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing) arrive, unbidden, to help me write this post.

Carol's tanka provides the form.

Ken Nesbitt explains it to me. (Did you know tanka means short song?)

"Inspired by a hymn"

Stymied by a prompt

"Bind unto myself today"

 Words from a hymn come

Oh, let thy goodness, Lord, bind

 my wandering heart to thee


There's nothing quite so delightful as being inspired by other bloggers. Thanks, Carol, for inspiring my very first tanka. And thanks to years of singing hymns so that their lyrics are written in my heart.

I bind unto myself today

the words of hymns to guide my way.

Sometimes, I participate in Poetry Friday. Our host for this week is 
Janice who blogs at Salt City Verse. Thanks for hosting, Janice.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

SOS and SOL: Sharing Morning Joys

 I awake at 5:45 with joy in my heart. I slept through the night! It's the fist time this has happened since I screwed up my sleep cycle mid-March by commenting and blogging in the middle of the night.

I reach for my cozy black "O State Cowboys" fleece to ward off early morning shivers. 

I listen to the swish swish of tires on wet pavement as early risers head to work.

I reach for my computer to meander and wander willy-nilly through a few blog posts. (I still can't bring myself to use blogs as a noun to refer to a single post.)

I discover that Carol is posting poems for NPM.  

I sorrow as my alarm sounds and I realize that my meandering time is done. I have a doctor's appointment that forces me to leave my cozy morning joys.

I write this post of seven joys (okay there was one sorrow amidst the joy) in fourteen minutes. I couldn't write without a nod to my obsession with numbers.