yeah yeah. I am a bit behind in my photo albums. Now, on to the last half of 2012. Stay Tuned!
yeah yeah. I am a bit behind in my photo albums. Now, on to the last half of 2012. Stay Tuned!
I suppose that anyone who has known me for over ten minutes, most likely is knowledgeable of the fact that Halloween is not my “thing”. Even as a little girl, I did not like costumes. I did not like having my face made up and calling attention to myself. Luckily, I began dance lessons at the tender age of two, so I always had a tutu around to dress up like a ballerina. And my little black cowgirl outfit with the white fringe from “Ragtime Cowboy Joe“. Or, my blue costume from “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue”, so I could dress up in my big blue bonnet and be a Dresden Doll for the holiday. I was a small child and it seemed like I always got swallowed up in a sea of huge witches capes and black hats and yards of billowy white ghosts. I did not like to look funny or scary. I had zero confidence for that type of shenanigans! I enjoyed seeing everyone else’s costumes and admired their guts to have dark paint smeared on their faces or teeth blacked out. Not for me. Imagine how mortified I was each year when my Mom dressed up for her bowling team party. She would smear honey – gooey sticky honey, on her cheeks and chin and then rub COFFEE GROUNDS into the honey so it looked like a scraggly beard. To make matters worse, she would find an old stained shirt of Daddy’s that she had used with furniture polish and wear that ugly, dirty looking, wrinkled thing over some torn pants. And then, much to my horror, she would mess up her thick black hair and then Aqua Net it to hold the entire mess in place. She would get in the car, windows rolled down, and wave to anyone who looked her way. She always came home with some sort of prize for her winning look. Apparently I was the only one who did not appreciate her “costume”.
So, when I had children of my own, I was always in a panic. I didn’t want them to be a plain Jane and not be up to par with their classmates and friends. I experimented with different looks, but always came back to a clown. I just had zero talent for any other look. We always had something around the house to make their shoes look like clown shoes or an over-sized tie and shirt. Red lipstick on the cheeks and mouth and some eyeliner tear drops and eyebrows completed the transformation. Clowns. I tried something new every year, but I admit it – they always looked like a clown.
I never decorated the house save for the pumpkins that the boys and their Dad carved – front on center on the porch of wherever we lived. Mom and Dad would turn most of their house into a haunted house with dark lighting and cold spaghetti “brains” and jello “guts” and peeled grape “eyeballs”. They took great delight in scaring the living hell out of me while working on the house for several days. They had stuff in every one of the five bedrooms and, needless to say, I had many sleepless nights until Halloween was over. I did not like scaring people and I did not like being scared. I had enough of that on a daily basis while little brothers, Mark and Larry, would hide in my closet or in the bathroom, waiting for me so they could jump out or yell and watch me have a panic attack. Yeah, those were sure fun days. My brother-in-law had great fun digging out some dirt in the front yard of his Tucson home and, laying as flat as he could, and would raise up in the dark of the night and scare the bejesus out of the neighbors. How sad it was one Halloween evening, watching little kids walk a huge arc around the front of Dan’s and Robin’s house out of fear of the crazy guy in the dark. Robin always had lots of good candy left over!
So, here it is, October, and I will be damned if Halloween is once again upon me. Now I have grandkids and have enjoyed entertaining them on Halloween from Tristan and Chase to Mateo and Marluce and now Max and Abby. I have never had the chance to spend a Halloween with Quinn, but perhaps one day. So, Max comes to spend the day last week and flatly states, Nana, you need to decorate for Halloween”. Well, I did decorate (or at least I thought I had) by displaying a cute little pumpkin from Safeway where someone had artfully drawn a cute face with red lips and long eyelashes. And, if that was not enough, voila, look at my cute Halloween owl in the front garden!
Max gave me a patronizing smile and a soft “oh”, but I could tell he was not very impressed. Then he said, “you should see our house Nana! We have skeletons and pumpkins and decorations inside the house and outside of the house.” I assumed from that statement, that the kids house had more than an “indoor” pumpkin and a tin owl stuck in the dirt. “Come on, Nana! We need to decorate!” Looking into those clear blue eyes, I had no choice but to get in the car and high-tail it to the store before Max came back the next day.
I was NOT going to spend a ton of money on a holiday that I do not even really consider a holiday. Afterall, November 1 begins “my” holiday season of Thanksgiving-Christmas-Epiphany. THAT is my kind of holiday and I have always said that Halloween is just in the way. But, little kids and big kid enjoy the dark holiday, so who am I to quibble? I decided to make some melting witches. Some black pointy hats, black gauze, black and green and purple ribbons and hang them from the courtyard lights and presto! we have melted witches. A couple long pairs of Halloween socks filled with some squished up plastic bags made for the stylish footwear left from the melting witches. Max and Poppa found some orange and green lights in our Christmas light stash and I replaced some clear ones with the colorful ones to add a little flair! I got 5 little battery lit pumpkins which max has had a great time arranging them and rearranging them! Add two Sassy Witches to the front door, and we have the final product. Not going to win any prize, but seeing my grandson’s eyes light up and the smile on his face is my blue ribbon.
Happy Halloween, everyone. I am going to start getting my Thanksgiving-Christmas-Epiphany decorations ready. November 1 will be here before you know it!
Hard to believe that this tiny mite who bounced into my life at the age of two, is now a 21-year-old, married, self-sufficient young adult. And, oh, the adventures we have shared.
Here she is in 1998 taking inventory of all of her Halloween bounty! Tristan first Trick or Treated in her neighborhood, and then Trick or Treated around our neighborhood; and Gramps drove her to some surrounding neighborhoods, so it could be assured that her treats were a-plenty!
The Summer of 2001, after one of our annual School Supply Shopping excursions. Many years ago when Tristan, was just a little girl, I began a new tradition of school supply shopping. Since we lived in the same city, I would pick Tristan up and off we headed to Target to find just the perfect school supplies. We would pick some items from the list send home by the school, and we added some other things just for fun. Everyone needs paper and pencils and erasers and such. But it is much more fun to have pink pencils with silly erasers and fun characters on homework folders. Works just the same, but puts a smile on your face when you are working on a math problem!
Tristan commandeers Gramps computer to play games in 2002. He never lets anyone else do that!
A 2004 portrait with two of the most important ladies who have shaped my life.
I enjoyed an after Christmas dinner with Tristan in 2005 at yet another fun-filled Granddaughter weekend.
Just one of our special 2006 weekends with a Butterflied Granddaughter, Our special weekends were always filled with dining out, game night and spoiling! Oh yeah, shopping. Lots of shopping.
a 2007 trip to Costco during one of our Granddaughter Weekends where Gramps and Tristan grazed their way thru all the food samples!
In the summer of 2011, a very grown-up Granddaughter drove to Leesburg Virginia to bid farewell to Grandparents making their way back to Arizona.
And the little girl has blossomed into a young married lady. Happy Birthday, Sassy Marie. I love you more than words can say. Be Happy!
Hard to believe, my first Granddaughter got married today. She was happy and nervous and beautiful and gracious. A cute little country church was the background for this young couple to begin their new life.
This is the part where the preacher asked for the rings – no response. The preacher then asked if Tristan knew where the rings were and she replied affirmatively. As he queried again, the response from the Bride was “in my car!” A light chuckle from all involved made the ceremony all of what Tristan is. Very cute and the preacher was still sharing some laughs over that moment during the reception. The rings were retrieved from the aforementioned vehicle and the rest of the ceremony went off without so much of a hiccup.
And, as a bonus, I got to reconnect with my grandson, Chase (now 16) and granddaughter, Quinn (now 6 soon to be 7). Both were charming and Chase and Ricky carried on conversations like they had never been apart. Chase is clever and smart and has a way with writing that would have made my Dad so proud. He has a quick wit and shows his sisters a lot of love. I cannot describe the feeling when I saw Chase’s face and immediately knew that was my first grandson – until he spoke. The high-pitched little boy voice was an almost adult deeper voice. It shocked me since I had not seen or heard his voice since 2008. I am quite proud to call him Grandson. These are bonds that never deserved to be broken. I only hope they can be mended now.
I could listen to Chase for hours. His interests in comedy and computers and music and more was better received by Ricky, since he is a guy! But I so enjoyed listening to their exchanges and made me beam when Ricky stated simply that he had a great time talking with Chase and that Chase seemed like a really good kid. I don’t think Ricky has seen Chase or spent time with him since Chase was a toddler. This was a positive experience for all of us.
Such a thrill to hear Quinn call after me “Grandma” spotted with little conversations about her school and she is a cheerleader and she has an All American doll and then the heartbreaker: “Grandma, can you come back in July for my birthday?” I tried to explain to her that I probably could not – and that tore at my heart. I just wanted to put her in my pocket and bring her home!
Mateo’s 8th Birthday Adventure! Mateo has a passion for all things weather and absolutely loves watching the weather channel and learning about tornadoes and hurricanes and anything else to do with the weather. So, we thought this would be an ideal birthday adventure for him.
In March, Maxwell turned 2 and his mommy and daddy threw a huge birthday bash with lots of guests and food and a bazillion balloons. Safe to say that all of us had a wonderful time, but none more than the Birthday Boy himself.
Marluce and Mateo always enjoy getting packages in the mail – and Grandma here always enjoys sending them. Happy Easter with lots of Love!
Marluce turned 6 years old on March 30th, and her birthday adventure was customized just for her!
On April 5th, we quietly celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary. We didn’t need a big hoopla. Just each other. (an excerpt from my life story)
Mother’s Day was celebrated at the Doubletree Sunday Buffet with the Mundle Family and the lil Gardners. After the scrumptious buffet, Maxwell and I took a walk on the beautiful green grounds to work off a few calories.
In June, Max got to show off his computer savvy while Poppa was not around!
Max receives July mail in his very own mailbox! And he shows off his bounty!
Max continues his culinary career with his signature dish of milk, crackers, cereal grapes and strawberries. I think we all see, the Next Iron Chef.
Early September, Bob and I worked on laying a laminate maple flooring in the kitchen/dining area of the little house. Max decided to assist us placing the planks the way he thought they should go. After a hard days work, he relaxed in a livingroom tent.
Mid September was a great getaway to Oceanside California for the beach wedding of Kyle Harvey & Megan Mundle. Lots of fun activities, a beautiful wedding and a surprise baby shower for Kerri filled the entire week and I enjoyed every moment of the time. We shared a condo with the lil Gardners which was a little piece of heaven compared to staying in a hotel room. And the additional time playing with Max was just an added bonus.
We spent a day in October at the Agua Linda Farm. Went thru the pumpkin patch and climbed on the hay bales. We had a picnic and watched Max ride a horse for the very first time. We walked thru the petting zoo and made friends with the billy goats. A perfect way to kick off the fall season.
November brought the most amazing reason to give thanks … she is petite and opinionated and loved and her name is Abigail Anne; Abby to us. The sweetest little bundle ever.
Thanksgiving in Virginia has Marluce slaving away in the kitchen making her first pumpkin pie.
Family and Friends enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at Chris & Maggie’s with beautiful Tucson weather in their gorgeous and inviting backyard.
|Oct 2003 Kerri & Connie at a Halloween Concert in Tucson|
|We picked up a couple of Wizards after the concert.|
|Oct 1998 a 6 year old Tristan sans costume sorts out her bounty at our dining table.|
|October 2004 baby Mateo visits his first ever Pumpkin Patch and tries a taste of straw!
|October 2007 Katia and little princess Marluce|
|Jeffry inherited his mother’s talent for costumes.|
|October 2003 at the Dunham halloween Spooktacular Dinner|
The kitchen island top re-do is almost done. Not perfect – but what an improvement! Granite tile and many times of removing some tiles and re-installing some of the trim – we have some touch ups, one corner, and caulking between the wood trim and the tiles – but it is still really nice.
So looking forward to hosting an Easter dinner for friends and family!
Max spent Thursday and Friday with us again this week. Today, he helped Nana shop for Easter dinner – even brought his own cart!