Christmas Throwback

Last week I had a picture of me in a dress my Aunt Grace had made and I'm sure this is the same year.  Dad must be telling me about the Christmas tree and how festive it will be once decorated.

Dad and me Tree

I am laughing about the couch and chair in the photo. Oh my, do I remember them well. Think dark puse, course fabric (scratchy!), and ever-wearing. They were part of my life until I left home, although they were relegated to the basement rumpus room by the time I was in high school.


The following year I was 3 months shy of my 2 birthday and, once again, we were living in Dayton, where we lived months at a time while Dad was going to NCR school. That's a lot of stuff for one child, but I'm happy to see Dad made sure I had  the cars and a train to balance out the three colls. Look at the skunk slippers!

Back In Time


For my first Christmas, Aunt Grace, my father's youngest sister, made a beautiful new dress for me. I remember it, in later years, housed in my mother's cedar chest. It was made from pale blue fabric with little white flocked bits and had silk ribbons hand sewn around the yoke. 

Today my thoughts are for my father who isn't doing well today. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. 


Yes, that's me climbing again. The dress was red,a cute dress Mom bought for my first birthday celebration. Since the photo is dated March 1951 this climging event must have happened on, or shortly after, my birthday.


My suspicion is, if mom tried to keep something away from me I would do my level best to get to it. 

My Adventures in Climbing Continue

You may remember a recent Throwback of me climbing in the kitchen.


As you can see, I was caught in the act more than once. When I was a kid candy dishes were on every living room coffee table, bridge mix and hard candies of various sorts, filling the crystal bowls.  Mom loved her bridge mix and she tried to keep it away from 2yo fingers. HA! What two year old isn't resourceful enough to figure out a way to the candy bowl?!


Since Mom was able to snap a picture I have a feeling she set me up, knowing what I would do. She must have wanted proof to show my dad that I was a pill.

I can tell from the height and slant of the ceiling we were living in an attic apartment (we were in Dayton for a few months). The picture on the radio (in the furnished apartment) is of my dad's parents.

Witch Throwback

Once upon a time I visited the Land of Green Witches, and as it turns out, one of the Witches has held a flame for Smith ever since she saw him, all those years ago. Well, she saved up all her powers and cast every spell in her book her woo him away!  


I had to do everything I could to counteract her spells and save him (and me!) from the powers of the Hag. This meant a quest into the Land of Green Witches!


The first place I stopped was the WitchBar where several of the spell-casters hang out, but the piano player only laughed at me and the rest of the gang chased me off. I think the Hag bribed them.


As I walked around the Land of Green Witches I ran into a Witch who her sold her spells for chocolate, but much to my dismay I had no chocolate! She was not a kindly witch, as she enjoyed ignoring my pleas.


When I asked the HulaWitch to help she was so obsessed with her dancing I couldn't get her to talk to me. The Hag must have cast a spell over her, as the poor thing could do nothing but swing her hips and keep the hoop going.


I thought I might get some help at the Pumpkin House, but when I arrived, the HangingWitch was having so much fun swing from her knees, she wouldn't even talk to me!


Lucky for me, I found the Information Booth and the dear Green Witch inside thought she knew a special witch who could help me. I wished I found the booth at the beginning of my quest.


Finally, I found help when a kindly WitchMixologist gave me a bottle of Love Potion #9.  I mixed it into one of Smith's beers and he popped right out of his spell and told the Wicked Hag to leave! She flew away and we hope she never comes back!


Next year, I think I'll make sure I have plenty of chocolate with me when I enter the Land of Green Witches, and I'll make sure to take a special treat to the MixologistWitch, as she saved me and my man!

Happy Halloween!!!

It Was 1952

It was 1952 and we lived in Pocatello, but often visited grandparents who lived in Salt Lake City. Dad bought a new 1951 Ford, a car he kept until I was 13.

When it was time to head back home Grandma asked for just one more picture of our little family. I was being a "pill", as term my mother often used to describe my independent spirit. Mom and dad didn't want to pose and they started acting silly, mom fake compalining and dad frowning in a grumpy sort of way.

It's a little hard to read, but grandma wrote a quick line on the back to describe the situation. It's just one more of the cherished photos of my collection.

Kitchen Throwback


Can you believe it? You're looking back to September 1951, 63 years ago. Hard to believe I was ever 18 months old. Evidently, I had a bit of a reputation as a climber, at least as far as my mother was concerned. She told stories of how I'd pull out chairs and climb up on tables and tool every opportunity to climb up cupboards by pulling out the drawers. Mom told eveyone I was a handful, which I can believe, as was her first kid. 


Mom had beautiful handwriting, much better than mine, handwriting I wished I'd either inherited or, at the very least, learned from her. She wrote one sentence stories on the back of my easrly pictures, which I had scanned along with the front. Hard to believe mom has been gone 25 years and I still miss her. 

Why Sew

My mother hand embroidered and sewed together this little elephant while she was expecting me. She stuffed it with nylons, which I can see through a tiny tear on the top of its head.  The little white bear was made by my grandmother, who was a master seamstress. One Christmas she made little bears to give to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. I was in my 30s at the time and commented on how sweet the bears were. She told me to keep one and I'm so glad I did. I'm not sentimental, but these two little toys are very dear to my heart.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent much of my Saturday cutting up t-shirts, tracing the pattern, and sewing together the pieces to create the Alabama Chanin Bunny. The pattern is available to anyone in the resources section of the AC website. I learned more than I wanted to while stitching this project.  Sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours at a time caused pain in my hands and arms, not to mention my back. It took me a few days to recover and was a good reminder of why I gave up embroidery in the first place. It's hard on my back to be bent over the needle, as I don't pay good attention to my posture when absorbed in the process.

Over the past weekend I worked for a shorter period of time and paid careful attention to my posture and the position of my arms. I was able to finish sewing the bunny together and stuff it with beans (which may or may not be a good choice).


The reason I decided this bunny would be my first AC sewing project was the heritage of the other two toys. Why not make my own toy to keep company with the elephant and bear on my shelf? The three of them will make a great team.


Let's throwback to Tuesday and the April Fools post.

1. I once drove across country to visit my sister who lived for a time in Georgia. False- None of my sisters have ever lived in Georgia and the only time I've been to Callaway Gardens is in the winter.

2. In 1995 I was invited by the President to the White House.
True! Except I misspoke as it was the First Lady who invited me.

I was asked to needlepoint a stocking for the White House in 1995 and couldn't pass up the opportunity. We (there were over 100 of us) had two months to design and stitch a stocking 10" tall for the Blue Room Christmas Tree. (If you scroll down you'll see the 1995 tree.)


In actuality it takes 10,000s of people to create the ornaments used to decorate the White House at Christmas time. Everyone who participates is sent an invitation (along with 10,000 others) to the First Lady's tour of the mansion. A friend and I couldn't resist and bought tickets for our quick trip to DC. It was before everyone carried cameras, and while I didn't even own one, Judy's 16 yo son, who came along for the educational experience, loved taking pictures.


We found my stocking hanging on the tree and I have been ever grateful he was able to capture a good picture. Amidst the thousands of trees, displays, and ornaments scattered throughout the White House, we couldn't find Judy's stocking, but we decided it must be hanging in the Residence, as she had stitched a cat that looked like Socks.  We did not meet or see the President or the First Lady, but I did get a Christmas card from them that year. 

3.The only pet I had growing up was a cat named Midnight. She was a beautiful white cat who acted much like a dog.
False- In my 20s I did have a black cat name Chico. If I ever do have a white cat it will be named Midnight.

4.My family lived in a two bedroom apartment where 5 of us children slept in one room on two full beds pushed together.
True - My parents eventually moved to a house with enough room we only had to share a bedroom with one other sibling.

5.My first car was a Triumph Spitfire, Midnight Blue. It had a hard top, as well as, a rag top.
True- I loved that car and would have kept it forever if it had run worth a damn. It spent more time in the shop than on the road.

6. As a child I was hard on footwear and, to make matters worse, I had a narrow foot. Mom bought me a pair of saddle oxfords, which I hated.
True- I wanted cute T-strap shoes like the movie stars wore.

7.In the 70s I dyed my hair blonde and had a very difficult time growing it out.
False- I have never dyed my hair.

8.I have traveled all over the US, but only stuck a toe in Canada and Mexico.
True - Oh, well.

9.I took a 4-wheel drive to the desert and camped in the wilderness for several days.
True-partially. I have been in the desert with either Smith or a couple of girlfriends, never alone.

10. One of the foods I hate the most is bell pepper.
True - But, I did state my dislike more strongly than I really feel.