I’ve mentioned before that my mom and I had a complicated relationship. As an adult, I grew to understand that there were two major contributers to our often uneasy and sometimes brief truces. Her mother, my grandmother was a real piece of work and never passed up an opportunity to run anyone into the ground, especially Mom. The other thing I didn’t learn about until a few months before she died. She suffered from severe, chronic depression….
Needless to say, my life growing up was ‘interesting,’ but I survived. When I was 18, I moved out on my own, and we grew to be friends. Good friends. And I will always be thankful for that.
There are several things in my life for which I have to give Mom credit. My passion for reading. My love of Christmas. My creativity. My passion for learning. And my endurance. One of the biggest things she instilled in me was the habit of giving.
Mom always told us that whenever we had the opportunity to give, we should do it. She reminded us that at some point, we may need to receive….
So, I give. I contribute. I assist. And it gives me joy. Real joy. For the record, I have had to be on the receiving end a few times. It’s a difficult place to be, but, it’s also providing someone else the opportunity to be a giver. Yeah, it’s still not a fun place to be, but I am extremely thankful that someone took the time and resources to give…to me.
Recently, I reached and exceeded 100 followers. Something I never even dreamed of! In February, my blog will turn 1 year old – on my husband’s birthday.
In honor of Mom’s birthday, my Honey’s upcoming birthday, the first anniversary of my blog, and reaching 100+ followers, I’m having a little giveaway. I wanted to do it at Christmas, but I thought of how hard it is for some people at this time of year. So many get the blues….and I wanted to offer some cheer.
I also wanted to showcase a few fellow bloggers who are are also artists in some form or other. Take a few moments to check them out as you read through the rest of this.
I suppose I could call this giveaway A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS…..
Here, in no particular order, are the sets up for grabs (I’m not the best photographer and I really didn’t have anywhere to set up, so these aren’t the best pics, sorry):
This set includes: the calendar, a votive holder from Yankee Candle (and a tealight), a mini-bookmark from Charlene, a mini stapler, mini post-its (because I’m not writing on my calendar-it’s too pretty!), pens, mini-clips, a bookmark from Barnes & Noble, and an OPI mini lotion.
***BTW, the stands are not included with the calendars. I needed them to hold the calenders up to photograph***
Old followers will have their name counted twice; new followers will have their name counted once…..
>I have a teeny weeny confession to make. I’m one of those people who can get up to some weird stuff when they’re bored.
For the past couple days, I’ve been fighting off a terrible cold. Today, I needed to run some errands but didn’t because of a sinus headache. Thankfully, it’s nearly gone now, but that’s not the point here.
Do any of you remember these commercials? Don’t raise your hands! If you can, like me, you’re probably old enough to lie about your age and I don’t want to out you…..
Anyway, not in the mood to clean or read, but feeling a little munchy, I decided to experiment. Since we have some rare Hershey Kisses in the house (not rare as in worth some money, but rare as in we never buy them), I thought I’d see what they would taste like dipped in some Jif.
Know what? It’s not too bad. Still, I much prefer Reese’s Cups. That’s my mischief for the day.
Now for an announcement.
January 3 is my mom’s birthday. She would be 68 this coming Monday. If baking is allowed in Heaven, I’m sure everyone will be clamoring for her secret recipe red velvet cake…..
Anyway, what I wanted to tell you all is this: in honor of her birthday, on the 3rd, I will be making an announcement. And you won’t want to miss it.
I know it’s gonna be a Monday and some of us will be getting back into the swing of things and might miss it. That’s why I wanted to give everyone a head’s-up. And now I have.
So be sure to tune in……
My mom absolutely adored Christmas. She had a knack for it. Whether it was picking out exactly the right gift or decorating our little tree, she nailed it like no one else I know. No small feat considering our poverty.
We grew every kind of food imaginable, except citrus fruits. My grandpa and uncles grew cattle, pigs, and chickens. Summers were for canning and freezing and working in the garden. We always had plenty of food.
People Mom worked with, as well as an older cousin, were always giving us hand-me-downs, so we had clothes, too. We loved the hand-me-downs….it was like Christmas all over again!
She was also quite the seamstress. Mom created dresses and jumpers and pant-suits for us till I was in the 5th grade….
I had no idea we were poor until the 7th grade when a friend asked why I didn’t wear Levi’s. What were Levi’s, I wondered?
Our tree should have looked like this little tree. Not just in scrawniness, but with the same lack of presents.
In fact, all the way up to Christmas Eve, there would be no presents when we were little. (At that time, it was just Sister and me.)
The magic would happen while we were asleep.
We shared a bed, Sister and I, and we’d whisper far into the night about staying awake to see Santa and wonder about what he would bring.
More times than I could count, we’d hear Mom call down the hallway and tell us to be quiet and go to sleep or Santa would skip right over us. Of course, we’d just go off into fits of giggles then…..
One of my favorite memories, one that held so very much magic for me, was the morning we woke and found a child sized table with two chairs….just for Sister and me! Sitting in the chairs were two dolls and the table was laid out with a tea set. That was the first time I truly believed Santa had been in our home and that he’d set up that table for us. Just for us!
Our stockings had been stuffed full of candy and gum and crayons and coloring books…..
I can close my eyes and remember the magic of that morning.
My mom was pretty amazing at Christmas time. She was magical that way….
Now, knowing that she’s the one who took such care to make things special for us, that she had to sacrifice to do it, the memories I have of those Christmases are all the more precious to me.
We may have been poor, but we always felt like we had an abundance…..