to your mother


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Reader Beware!  This gets kinda dirty.

The Becks are dear friends of our family.  Teresa, Keith and James live behind the house in which I grew up in Woodbine.  They moved in soon after I left for college, so my memories of them are from visits home over a holiday or long weekend.  I heard many stories about the Beck's dogs visiting Mom and Dad's back door to receive treats, James learning how to walk and promptly following the dogs to Mom and Dad's backdoor for a visit, Teresa calling Mom for a teaspoon of ginger or a can of evaporated milk.  Many visits and everyday items were passed between the two houses; Mom and Teresa were fast friends.

One of the items passed along were hosta plants.  Mom had many plants scattered around the house and would try to divide them each spring to keep them in check.  Teresa was fortunate enough one year to be the recipient of some of Mom's hostas, so I was not surprised this past spring when Teresa called asking "Do you want any of your Mom's hostas?"  Of course I would.

We have now filled our beds here in our neck of Woodbine with Mom's hostas.  That's something special to me...and the monkeys who helped me plant and water them.

Thanks Teresa, thanks Mom, for your giving hearts and thoughtful ways.

 making a worm home

 gently watering

wait for it, wait for it...


Sunday, May 20, 2012

This One Goes Out To Mary

Mary and I are dear friends, connected spiritually, we talk every Wednesday morning.  We lob life-strife's back and forth, a fight against time because who knows when my darling monkeys will break out in Kick-My-Sibling's-Bottom 2012.  In the recent past, Mary and I have had much in which to converse; seriously, serious stuff on both sides.  How refreshing, then, that two weeks ago after our usual greeting, I said "I got nothin', you?"  Laughter, "Me neither," was Mary's reply.  So I dove right into my peril of the dry sink.

 Mom and Dad bought this dry sink back in the day.  I remember it in Mom and Dad's family room in Woodbine, big slab of hardwood across the top with a big T.V. perched on top.  Sometime before they moved to Chambersburg, Mom and Dad purchased another cabinet on which to place the T.V., so the dry sink got shuffled to someplace else in the house.  At some point I was bequeathed this piece...I loved it...except for the ORANGE BURLAP fabric that covered the openings in the doors.  I ripped out the fabric and boom.  The dry sink looked the same way for I don't know how long.

Finally getting off my duff, I covered cardboard with this subtle fabric,

used shipping tape to affix the cardboard to the doors,

and called it done.

We have used it as a sideboard, changing table, and toy cupboard.  The kids have banged, slammed and climbed it.  (Last time Dad saw it he replied "I don't remember it looking THAT primitive."  Yikes.)

Fast forward to a Wednesday-morning-Mary-conversation two weeks ago...I described the piece to her and asked her what she thought I should use to cover the openings.  We bounced some ideas back and forth, finally deciding on a natural, subtle fabric with some texture to it.  For two weeks I have been reluctant to go to JoAnn Fabrics...just cause.  Last week I had the ah-ha moment...thrift store.  The first one I went to, I found a pair of Montgomery Wards insulated curtains in 1970's light brown.  $4.00, thank you.

It was a perfect fabric choice.  This morning while the kids were running around, I quick cut the panel, hot glued it to the cardboard (couldn't wait for particle board to be bought and cut, sorry Mary) and placed it in the opening.


Okay, these pics are for junk and this After pic actually looks like the Before pic...but in true life it's glorious, 



Thank you, Mary, for your insight, talent, truthfulness, Wednesday mornings, tolerance, encouragement, faith and laughter.

Friday, May 18, 2012

T-Shirt Dress

Back in the day, anytime Mom would be seeing Rachel Jean, she would to love to wear the t-shirt with the larger-than-life silk screen of Big Bird on it.  Mom would pull the shirt over her head so then she would look like the big bird himself.  Rachel would squeal with laughter and Mom would repeat...again and again.  Recently Mom has been cleaning out.  I arrived for a visit and she gifted me with a shopping bag filled with her old t-shirt, now too big and worn for her to wear.  I couldn't think of taking the bag to the thrift store, this was THE Big Bird shirt.

I took the bag home and stored it away in my sewing room.  Lo and behold, the idea came.  Big Bird will live on, at least for a couple more seasons.

(Julie did her own poses.)

Love you Mom, more than words or repurposed t-shirts can say.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


When taking pictures for Mother's Day cards, it is difficult for This Mama to get a good shot.  What a blessing digital technology is. 

I can remember posing with Patrick and Paul for Christmas Card pictures back in the day...shot after shot after shot...countless rolls of film.  The film would then be sent away to be developed.  Low and behold, three weeks later, we would return to the photo hut in the grocery store parking to lug home one hundred and some-odd pictures, all looking faintly similar but in THIS one so-and-so is looking down or in THIS one so-and-so is being too goofy or in THIS one so-and-so is picking her eye.  Mom and Dad would scour through the mountainous stack of pics and finally find one that maaay be okay, then order multiple (ten trillion) copies.  Using red construction paper decorated with a dove of peace (cut out of leftover green fabric from a summer robe Mom made) to create the card, Mom would use rubber cement to affix one of the tra-zillion pictures to create a home-grown Christmas card to send to friends and family.

I know the actual number of rolls of Christmas card picture outtakes and the number of extra multiple copies of the chosen one because there is still a box hanging out somewhere up there in Chambersburg chock full of these treasures previously listed that simply CAN'T be thrown away, but I digress.

Looking at the outtakes from this Mama's photo shoot for Mother's Day cards brings me back to those days...except these monkeys seem a lot happier than I remember being during picture-taking-time...maybe cause I wasn't so stressed cause I could look down at the little screen on my camera and say hey or nay and be done with, a blessing for This Mama...and the monkeys.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Spring Is Here

We have been mulching, mowing, making memories...

and blinding our children for photo opportunities.  We never said we were perfect.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

To all the moms and mother figures,

this day is to celebrate us...

regardless of the faces that are made...we are loved.