Saturday, July 30, 2011

TUSAL- Post #8

Where has July gone??  

Not much action in the TUSAL department again this time around.

Oh well... there's always next month...


Friday, July 29, 2011

Daylilies (and some other favourites thrown in)

Gotta love daylilies... no matter what kind of weather- cool, rainy, dry hot, humid, sunny- they keep going strong and always "put on a show". That's why they are one of my all time favourite perennials.

I have to admit though- now that I have so many different types, I am finding it hard to keep track of all of their names.  A few years back, I know I made a list  and put it somewhere...

Here are some pictures I took about a week ago while I was out enjoying my gardens when we had a break from that awful humidity.

I will try to add the names where possible.  Any other daylily lovers out there, feel free to help me out if you see any that you recognize.

Christmas Carol (wish my camera would show the true red colour of this one!)

Hot Chocolate (one of my favourites!)

Pardon Me

Siloam Tee Tiny (I think)


Crimson Pirate (got this one when the Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out- LOVE Johnny Depp!)


An unknown purple variety that was a gift from Bonnie in 2010 (another favourite!)

Bama Music

Sammy Russell


I once read a tip that when your daylilies are done blooming and the leaves are starting to look ratty, just cut the leaves right back to the ground and you will get a nice, new fresh bunch of leaves come up (unfortunately no new flowers though).

Here are some other flowers I'm really liking right now...

What a pretty colour combo- the yellow rose in front of the purple clematis.

Smaller variety of pink hydrangea

I've never had much luck in the past with the tall varieties of  delphinium even though I love them.  Just bought this shorter type that gets only 2 feet tall.  We'll see how I make out with it...

Guardian Blue
How are your gardens doing this year?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Heirloom Scrapbook Volume 8

Those Damn Snoop Sisters!!

First, let’s start with how we got the name The Snoop Sisters.  By Snoop Sisters, I mean myself and my sisters Pat, Kathy, Deb and Chris.

Debbie’s late husband Garry was at the casino one day.  He was spotted by someone from Forest who worked with my other sister Kathy.   Kathy happened to mention to Deb that Lori saw Garry at the casino and she wondered if he had had any luck.  A few days later Deb said to Garry, “Did you win any money at the casino the other day?”  Well Garry just about fell off his chair because he had no idea how she knew he was at the casino.  Then a few months after that, my sister Chris was home for the weekend and decided to go into Sarnia to play the late night bingo.  At the same time – Garry’s friend was skinny dipping in his neighbour’s hot tub and he ran out of refreshments so he decided to run across the road to his place to get a few cold ones. Meanwhile, on her drive home at 3am, just as Chris rounded the corner her headlights came upon a naked dude running across the road and Chris was amused even more when she realized she knew this was one of Garry's friends.  She then mentioned to Deb the next day how she stumbled upon this naked man and then when Mikey showed up at Deb’s a few days later Deb said, “Mikey, what are you doing running across the road in the middle of the night naked?”  The look on Mikey’s face was priceless when he looked at Deb and then Garry and had no idea what to say and Garry exclaimed, “Those Damn Snoop Sisters – I tell you, they friggin' know everything!  You can’t get away with a thing!”

And that’s how we got the name The Snoop Sisters.  To take it a little bit further, each year we enter a team in the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life as The Snoop Sisters and Friends so I thought it fitting that we all had nun costumes and I proceeded to get out that sewing machine. There have been a few years where we were unable to enter a Relay team and people were like… what – where’s the Snoop Sisters??  One day soon, I’ll have to get a proper Snoop Sister scrapbook page made. 

Bonnie, Chris, Kathy, Pat, Deb
What we tease the Snoop Sisters about: 

Snoop Sister Pat: For years, Pat always carried around a huge and heavy purse and if you wanted something, chances are - Pat had it in her purse.  We used to call her Monty Hall. (see how many of you get that one).  Pat also likes to partake in yardsale adventures. Years ago I taught Aqua-Fit classes and all us sisters were in the change room one night and I said, “I was talking to Tanya today and she asked if anyone had any white Christmas lights if we would dig them out for her for at her wedding, so that gives us a few months to gather them up” – Pat walks over to her change bag and pulls out a string of Christmas lights. The look on all our faces was priceless; I mean, who carries around strings of Christmas lights in July. Well, we all got into the laughter and Pat was trying desperately to explain that she was at a yard sale this past week, saw the lights and thought they would come in handy and her Aqua-Fit bag just happened to be in the back seat of the car when she threw the lights into it.   Ya, right Pat. 

Snoop Sister Kathy: Kathy is the baker of the family.  She enters her goods in the Forest Fair and winds up being the Bake Queen for the entire town.  On the flip side, she seems to get in a lot of fender benders.  By the time she was 22 her nickname was Crash.   I can’t tell you how many unfortunate fender benders she has been in, but her Angels are with her every single time.  One such accident she wasn’t AS lucky, but she IS lucky to be alive.  She was involved in a chain reaction accident in a snow storm on the 402 and was rear ended by a very large truck right into a very large truck.  She could see it coming and could do nothing.  I won’t repeat the word she uses each time she’s in a fender bender.  This accident however, left her with cracked wrist bones because she was holding onto the steering wheel when she was hit.  (Note: let go of the steering wheel if you see you are going to be hit) This caused her to have to change careers because she could no longer be a hair dresser.   We’re careful if we use the nickname Crash now… so we have to find something else to tease her about.

Snoop Sister Deb:  Deb is not a baker.  Let’s not forget the blog posting about the &*$%@$*%%& Cookies !! One of the first times Deb tried to bake cupcakes she put the cupcake papers on a cookie sheet and filled them with batter and then put them in the oven.   We laugh about it to this day.  I don’t care that she was only 13 at the time, it was still funny.  When Deb got married I had fun making one of her shower gifts; I taped cupcake papers onto a cookie sheet and gave her a box of cake mix. 

Snoop Sister Chris:  Chris can’t stand cotton balls. She absolutely freaks at the feel of them.  When we go to visit, we have to take all the cotton out of all her new jars of pills for her.   I said, ‘what the hell do you do when there is no one around?’  she said, ‘I have to get tweezers and it takes me a long time to get up the nerve to pull it out’.   When we were little, I used to fill the foot of her bed with cotton balls at night before she got into the room. 

Snoop Sister Bonnie: Growing up, Bonnie was gullible.  Everyone could talk me into anything.  I was forever the one getting out of bed to get someone else water once we were all settled in. “I sure do wish someone would get me a glass of waaaaaaatttttterrrrrr”   Come to think of it, it was that bugger Deb getting her way again. Deb and I shared the same bed and we used to take turns scratching each others backs with a hairbrush.  Every single night, Deb would say, “Let’s scratch each other’s back: I’ll do you first!”  and I fell for it every single time.

Ok, so now – back to the scrapbook.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to spend an entire year of your life working on a surprise scrapbook with the Snoop Sisters around? Exactly !!  So each time we decided to pull everything out to work on it, we had to make sure all the doors were locked and the blinds were pulled.  The girls were taught how to be on emergency lookout and Holly and Paige knew that if I hollered they had to come running and scoop up all the scrapbook stuff quickly before before any Snoop Sisters got in the house!   We almost got caught a couple of times, but we were able to keep the scrapbook a secret right up until the end. The top photo on this page was taken at my niece's wedding in 1997. The bottom left photo was taken at one of my grandparents anniversary's in the 70's and the picture on the far right was taken in the early 90's. The picture in the middle (and the further below) was the group photo we had taken when we went for our 'glamour shots'.

At one point while scrapping along, I said to Holly one day – I feel like my pages are all looking the same, we need to do something different.  I had never scrapbooked before so I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew I needed some fresh ideas.  So Holly and I decided to go to a scrapbook class; it only cost $4 per person and you could use all the tools they had to create different designs.  Just what we needed.  Well then Kathy found out that we were going to a class and she decided she wanted to go too.  Frig !!!  So, this is what I did to prevent her from attending the classes.  I called the instructor and told her what I was up to and that I was coming to her classes so I could get these surprise books finished on time for Christmas.  I told her my sisters name and I said, “No matter what – do NOT let my sister come to these classes.  Tell her they are full and then I will PAY you for her session so you don’t lose your money, but you CANNOT let her come here!”   The instructor thought that was just the funniest thing. 

We all love to cook and years ago, we gathered all our recipes and made a Snoop Sisters cookbook.  When we had our glamour shots done, we got a group photo and we used it for the cover of the cookbook.  Chris made framed copies for us all for Christmas and she even gave my daughters a copy.  So Niki has her picture of her aunts displayed on her shelf at her place and one night when company was over, one of her friends said, ‘Why do you have a picture of the Golden Girls?”  
Kathy, Pat, Chris
Bonnie and Deb
So that concludes the scrapbook as it stand thus far.  The hope was, that I would give everyone this scrapbook with empty pages at the end.  I thought my sisters would be so excited to help me scrap some days and we could design more pages together and we could continue with the saga.  Hopefully, there will be more stories to share in the near future.  I hope you have enjoyed my treasured heirloom - and more importantly - has it inspired you to create one of your own? 


Monday, July 25, 2011

Heirloom Scrapbook Volume 7

The Monkey Years. 
How many people can say they had a monkey as a pet?  Not many these days, that’s for sure. My sister Pat always wanted a chimpanzee, but she knew she could never have one, but her mother-in-law found her the next best thing.  She literally ordered this monkey from an ad in a magazine and it came to a pet store and she picked it up.  It was a baby and it was wild!  Charlie Brown was a squirrel monkey (just like the ones in the Telus commericials).

Now Debbie spent a lot of time out at Pat’s house and one day the monkey got out of the cage and Pat’s husband threatened to get rid of the monkey.  Deb called mom and said, “I’m bringing the monkey home with me”.  Come to think of it… Deb had quite the way with mom and dad didn’t she???

So Charlie Brown came to live with us in 1966 and he was the source of entertainment for years. Oh yes… and everyone in school loved when it was my turn for 'show and tell'.

You will see in some of the photos that he used to wear diapers. Eventually, he learned how to take them off, but they served a purpose for quite some time. We had a rope strung across the kitchen from end to the other. We kept a piece of papertowel on the floor at the end of one rope and that's where he did his business. His rope provided many hours of entertainment. At bedtime, if mom and dad were not home when it was bedtime, he would sit on his rope and cry out until they returned.

If I was crying, Dad would put Charlie Brown up to my face to lick away my tears. He would dangle from my hair and lick the tears from one cheek to the next. It always made me stop crying. He would play outside and every once in awhile he would swing from tree to tree and end up down the street at the neighbours. When you think about it, we are so lucky a hawk didn't snatch him up!!

I LOVE the picture of the monkey lying in the cast iron pan on the stove. He looks so relaxed and happy. The pilot light from the gas stove always provided him a warm and comfy spot. He would also sit on top of the lamp shade for warmth, and if you ever heard a 'pop' - you knew he peed on the lightbulb. It happens...

Charlie Brown used to sit on the wall phone.... until it rang. It was always so funny, and the funniest part was – he never learned from it.  He still sat on it… until it rang.

When I was about 8 years old, we were making kleenix flowers for my brothers wedding.  The monkey liked the bride, but the bride was not too keen on the monkey.  After awhile, my dad could see how upset she was getting and he kept having to get up and get the monkey off Joan’s shoulder.  After awhile my dad lost his patience and started to get a little rougher with the monkey than I liked.  And that upset me.  I didn’t know what to do – so I did the first thing that came to my mind.  I grabbed the kleenix box and hit my dad on the head with it to make him leave the monkey alone.  The entire room went silent and you could hear a pin drop; and then the laughter started.

In 1980, the Sarnia Little Theatre was putting on a production and they wanted a monkey for one of the scenes in their upcoming play. Someone had heard of Charlie Brown and they asked if he could be a part of the play.  The picture of my dad with the monkey was taken for the newspaper to advertise the play.  Unfortunately, Charlie Brown passed away 1 week before his stage debut.  It was a very sad day for us. He brought many years of amusement to us all and I miss him and his antics.   He was an absolutely adorable pet and one day when Debbie was here, she had commented, “you know… your kids would have had a hay day with that monkey, but sometimes, I swear – this cat is the monkey reincarnated anyway”  Deb of course is talking about Sushi, my ever entertaining cat. 

Stay tuned for those damn Snoop Sisters... Volume 8 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Heirloom Scrapbook Volume 6

My dad. (aka Ricky Ricardo – at the right angle…)

When I saw this paper I had to get it because it reminded me of my dad so much.  My dad always had a hankie in his pocket. Always.  And as a little girl, my mom kept me busy at the ironing board.  My job was to iron dad’s hankies. She adjusted the ironing board to my height, set the iron on low and taught me how to iron and fold his hankies to fit nicely in his pocket.  As soon as I was finished, I would excitedly take him a fresh clean hankie and he always responded so appreciatively.  When I was little and if I did or said something silly (aka...blonde moment), my dad always - lovingly - called me 'dough-head.'

While shopping one day, I found little tiny tools in the scrapbook section that I could incorporate onto the page because dad was always tinkering or fixing something. He taught me the difference between a Robertson and a Philips screwdriver and he taught me how to use both a skill and jig saw.  I think my mom liked it most when I was tinkering with him, because we were both out of her hair. 

My mom and dad had very dear friends; Marion and Bill Riley.   We always referred to them as our aunt and uncle.  Uncle Bill could fix anything.  That man would tear a brand new appliance apart, just to see how it worked, then he would put it back together again.  When we were all grown and gone from home, mom would call us and say, ‘Uncle Bill is coming next week for a few days, gather up all your broken appliances’.  We used to refer to dad and Uncle Bill as Frick & Frack. They had a blast together and both mom and Aunt Marion loved it when they had a play date because they knew they would each have 2 or 3 days to themselves with no one to bother them.   

My dad had some of the craziest sayings and I'll have to create a page solely for that.  If he were fixing something and it was ticking him off, you were hear him mumble away, "rootin-tootin-brickin-brackin-frickin-frackin-pot-licker!" 

Or if you asked him where something was he would comment, "down cellar behind the axe".  If you asked him where somebody was, his answer was always, "went for a shit and the crows got 'em".  If you asked him what we were having for supper, it was always the same answer, "pigs ass and cabbage".  The entire time I was a little girl I never knew how old my dad was because every time I asked him the answer would be, "as old as my tongue and older than my teeth".  Now you know why I am so crazy.

Now mom was always baking, knitting or crocheting.  You rarely saw her sitting still and when you did, she was always doing something with her hands.  Our coffee tables were accented with crocheted doilies that she spent hours creating.  And many a newborn babies were adorned with crocheted sweater sets.   The bottom left picture was taken when my mom was about 15. I love these old pictures – and actually, I think the coat is quite fashionable for its time.  You can see in this picture again how the photos were doctored to add a bit of colour to them.  I certainly did not inherit my mom’s long legs. Damn! The photo on the right was taken when all my sisters and my daughters went to have our glamour shots taken and we talked mom into going with us.  She had about 8 different photos taken with various outfits on and at Christmas she just wrapped up pictures and handed one to everyone.  It was hilarious when my brother received the one of her with a feather boa around her shoulders and he exclaimed, ‘ok somebody trade with me, because a son should not have a picture of his mother in a feather boa !!’. 

I always knew when my mom was upset with me because I would be greeted by her as 'Lady Hucket' or 'Lady Jane'.

Home Sweet Home  -  Hanging on the picture wall at mom’s is a trio of pictures of how our home has changed over the years; so I wanted to be sure to incorporate it into the book.  The top picture of the house is when mom and dad first bought it for approximately $800 in the early 60’s. They raised all the kids in this house which had one bathroom, a kitchen, living room and two small bedrooms and no basement.  After a few years, dad and some of his friends raised the house and literally dug out a basement by hand.  There was not enough room for everyone to sleep and for awhile, some of my sisters would go across the road to sleep at the neighbours, and as a baby I slept with mom and dad. Then about 1970 they put an addition onto the house to include two more bedrooms and another living room and eventually a new bathroom; but the old bathroom was removed so the wall could be torn out to expand the adjoining bedroom.  Now… tell me how many people would live like that now a days.  The front steps of the house offered many hours of fun in the winter when we would fill them with snow and use them as our toboggan run.

The next page is a series of family pictures taken from about 1947 through to 1998.   As you can see it’s the energizer family – it keeps growing and growing.   I love the old pictures and the styles of clothes and the changing hairstyles are hilarious.  It’s so funny how we think we look good then….

The bottom row of pictures; the first one was taken at my mom and dad’s 50th wedding anniversary and the other two were taken at my dad’s 80th birthday surprise party.  One brother is missing from the photo.. just in case you were counting.

Stay tuned for Volume 7 - the monkey years...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Heirloom Scrapbook Volume 5

On to the rest of the siblings….

Next is Kathy.  I think Kathy looks most like mom when they were the same age growing up.  People who know us can’t get over how much we all look alike, and yet… I don’t always see it. I always thought I looked more like my sister Kathy and now I look more like my sister Chris.  And yet, when I was in my early 20’s, I was walking across the street one day and I ran into an my mom’s maid of honour.  She stopped me right there in the street and she said, ‘my goodness, I looked across the street and I saw your mother when we were teenagers – I can’t get over how much you look like your mother at that age’. 

After my first posting, Tracey had commented on my great grandmother’s picture and she said she could see the family resemblance and she could see each of my sisters in my great grandmother.  I have to go back and study that picture again… because I never really noticed it before.

The bottom left picture is of Debbie and Kathy.  Kathy is the floozy toward the back with no shirt on under her CooLots.   Well I guess if you look closely, Debbie is shirtless too, but she’s younger and she can get away with it.  

On this next page, the middle picture of Kathy is friggin’ hilarious.  I LOVE IT.  When I saw this picture, I copied it and made a handmade birthday card for Kathy with the caption, ‘After noticing the length of her sleeves, Kathy came to the conclusion that just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean you have to buy it’.

God I love old pictures !! 

Now on to Debbie.  By the way… each sibling page pretty much ends with an ‘e’ sound after everyone’s name because Clora always ended everyone’s name with an ‘e’ sound whether it had it or not.

I love the middle picture of Debbie.  I love the shape of her mouth, she just reminds me of a Gerber Baby. She could have been a baby model.  The picture to the right has Debbie with Uncle Art;  she was his ‘little girl’.  Uncle Art was married to Aunt Peg.  His name was also Hughes, so - luckily for Peggy - she never had to change the monograms on her luggage. Peggy and Art were only married for a few weeks when Art was called off to war.  He returned injured, was limited in his work due to his injuries,  then he as afflicted with  MS and he ended up in a veterans’ hospital for the last 16 years of his life.  He was a very big and tall, but gentle man.  There are no other pictures of kids with Uncle Art; only Debbie. 

Next we have my sister Chris.  There’s Ricky Ricardo again, balancing Chrissy in the air.  I can’t get over how much her features changed in each of these pictures.  When I was first collecting all the photos, I kept asking mom, are you sure this is Chris.   Sure enough, her name and year was written on the back of all the photos, but still… I can’t get over the change in appearance.  The dark hair to blonde, but the curls were consistent.     Don’t you love the Baby Doll.  They just don’t’ make dolls like that anymore and look how BIG it is.   I love the face on that doll.  I’m sure Chris wishes she still had that doll.  I know I would.  To the right… a very happy Chrissy.  Perhaps it’s because she thinks she will one day be driving that really cool car behind her….

I remember grampa’s car.  I don’t remember the make or model, but I remember sitting in the front seat with gramma and on the passenger side  on the dashboard there was a very very large round emblem.  And there was some sort of peddle on the passenger side, I don’t know if it was an extra emergency brake??  But anyway…I sure thought I was pretty cool driving grampa’s car, pretending I could reach that peddle and use that large round emblem as my steering wheel.  Such silly things I remember. 

This next page is of my brother Jack.  His name is Michael John and when he was born, Pat was bound and determined his name should be Jack.  And even though it wasn’t, she called him that anyway, ...all the time ...and that’s the name he ended up with.  Later on, he acquired the nickname Arby.  I don’t think I know anyone else with so many names.

Jacks’ boy Tyler… another twin.  I’ve got to get working on that twin page.  The bottom left picture is Kathy, Jack, Chris and Deb – sitting on the back step at gramma Hughes house.  Top left picture… I’m not sure if that bow tie is supposed to match the shirt???

Love the trike picture… the look on his face is almost like….’what do you mean stop for a picture…I don’t have time for this’.

The bottom right picture is Jack and I on a barrel we used to play on in the back yard.  Oh my god, the hours and hours we used to ‘run’ on that barrel from one end of the yard to the other.  Seriously – kids just don’t know how to have fun anymore.  These days, if anyone did this in their backyard, they would have to be fitted with a helmet, and knee & elbow pads I suppose; not to mention the liability issues or worry of someone calling CAS for letting your kids play on dangerous, rusty, and possibly toxic containers.

In hindsight… it really wasn’t so bad growing up with little money.  We were happy, healthy, clothed and fed and we had fun.  What else matters?

Now for the baby of the family – Me.  Again, not very many baby pictures and I appear to be the only one with a hospital baby photo. Don’t you just love the beaded necklace?  That same necklace is what I am wearing in the photo and in 1963, that was your baby's hospital identification.  Everyone teases me and says I look like a little Eskimo baby in that picture.  I wasn’t sure how everyone was going to get a piece of my necklace because I couldn’t bare to take it apart for their albums, so I tried scanning it – and it worked.  So everyone else has a photo of the necklace in their albums and I have the original necklace.  Gully Gully Gully is what I used to walk around saying all the time.  Of course I don’t remember, but none of my brothers or sisters every let me forget it.  

Stay tuned for volume 6 - more family memories...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Heirloom Scrapbook Volume 4

Volume 4 – Fred and Clarice.

Don’t ask me why, but for some reason the top left picture of my dad reminds me of Ricky Ricardo.  

This page depicts a timeline from my parents marriage up to 1973.  They were married on January 23, 1943 and with the wedding in Forest and the groom in London  - a harsh snowstorm that day left everyone wondering if the groom would make it on time.  Sure enough he did and nine kids later…..

In the early 60’s my dad was injured in a railway accident, leaving him unemployed for a few years and feeding 8 kids was no easy feat.  We ate a lot of potatoes.  Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, scalloped potatoes, french fried potatoes, potato salad, potato soup – we made scalloped potato sandwiches, and mashed potato and corn sandwiches.  You would think we would be sick of potatoes, but it is still one of everyone’s favourite foods.  When I was little it was my job to go to the basement and fill the pail full of potatoes and bring them upstairs to mom for supper.  While I didn't mind helping out around the house... I did mind getting the potatoes.  You see the basement was always a bit wet, so the potatoes sat on a skid on the floor so they would stay dry.  Under that skid lived the biggest damn toad I've ever seen in my life and he used to jump out and scare me Every Time!  I used to beg not to have to go and gather the potatoes and my dad would ca-faw and say, 'you scare him more than he scares you'.

Growing up, one of our favourite things to do was to get out the big old box of old photos.  We would all sit around the table and no matter how many times we went through them, and how many repeated stories we heard... it was still something we all gravitated to and enjoyed doing as a family.  This was one other reason why I wanted to create this album, so everyone would have a copy of the treasured family photos. 

In 1966 we adopted a squirrel monkey as our pet.  More about Charlie Brown later on… he gets his own pages.

Now this is one area in which I had not created a scrapbook page for, but hope to one day.  In 1973 my sister Debbie secured a full time job when she graduated from high school and she approached mom and dad one day and said, “I want to take out a loan and get a pool.  I don’t need a car, I can walk to work, I’d rather have a pool and I can make the payments on the loan myself if you will let me put a pool in the back yard”.  And that is exactly what she did.   Growing up with very little money, if we were able to make a trip to the lake one day – it was a matter of squishing 6 or 7 kids in the back seat of the car and by the time you got back home from the lake, you were hotter than before you left for the trip.   A pool to this family was a dream come true.  It was a 16x32’ above ground pool and we had it for over 20 years. My mother was kind and generous to all the neighbouring children and would allow them to come and swim almost anytime they wanted: at times, we would have to do a head count because we could have up to 27 kids in the pool at one time. My kids still talk about ‘the pool days’.  This pool brought many many years of enjoyment to our family.

Ok… back to Fred and Clarice’s wedding….

As I stated earlier, there was a huge snow storm on the day my mom and dad were married.  All trains and busses were cancelled and the wedding was set to go, but no groom.  If you click on this picture, you can read the exert from Debbie’s novelette describing the day.  The cake shown in the photo was baked and decorated by grampa Waterfield… afterall… he was the baker.

This next picture is of my mom and dad on the wedding day.  I incorporated the snowflakes to represent the snow storm.  The ‘knot’ represents an inside joke and as soon as I put it on the page, I knew the family would find this page comical.  My mom and dad taught boy scouts and my dad could tie any kind of knot there is.  And tie knots he did.  Each year we closed up the pool, Fred would go around the tarp that Deb and I had already secured and he would re-tie all the knots we made whether we thought they were secure or not… he had to make sure he retied them all.  Then each year we opened the pool, Deb and I would curse him and his knots because we had a dickens of a time trying to untie them all.  It happened every single year. 

Now we start with all the siblings.  First born is my brother Dick. (This page was entered in the Forest Fair and won first place).  The top left picture of the two kids in the wash tub is Dick and Pat.  Are there any readers out there who used to put there kids in the wash tub.  I actually have the wash tub in my garden now…with ground ivy growing around it.  Love the old car, but I don’t know what ever happened to it.  I’m sure it’s seen it’s days long ago – what with 8 kids using it.

Next is Patsy.  I wish this baby picture was in colour because she has the blue blue bluest eyes I’ve ever seen.  Put her daughters baby picture beside it, and again – we have twins.  One day – I’ll have to do a blog page showing all the ‘twins’.   This page was also entered in the Forest Fair and it got first place special.   The wagon in the top picture I actually had in my garden as well about 20 years ago, but it didn’t last long and it fell apart, but I still have the pieces of the wheels and handle etc in the garden – and it looks kind of neat in amongst the lush greens.  The middle picture on the right is Dick and Pat.  After Pat was born, Jimmy was born, but he passed away at 3 months old of crib death.  Unfortunately, we have no pictures of baby Jimmy.

On to my brother Bill, but there are not as many baby pictures for Bill.  I think by this time the novelty has worn off, or perhaps they could no longer afford so many baby pictures, but there just doesn’t seem to be very many baby pictures of him.   The picture taken on the framework was when they were building a new arena in Forest.  The old arena had burned down and they were in the process of rebuilding.  I guess mom and dad thought it would be an interesting shot – and it is. 

Stay tuned for Volume 5 - the rest of the siblings... 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heirloom Scrapbook Volume 3

Volume 3 of the Heirloom Scrapbook focuses on my mom’s side of the family.  I did not know these grandparents at all as they both passed away before I was born – so I cannot contribute with memories as I could with my other grandparents.   My sister Deb has a knack for the written word and as I said, she wrote a small novelette about my grandfather’s journey to Canada. So she decided to write a novelette entitled ‘The Red Velvet Pouch’ which told a semi fiction history of the lives of Gramma and Grampa Waterfield while living in England, their journey to Canada and their life experience after settling in Forest.

Both grandparents were born in England, married in April of 1916 and immigrated to Canada in September of 1923.  Unfortunately my mom’s sister Christine passed away at the early age of 15 after she became ill with Rheumatic Fever.  In 1947, my mom lost her second born son at the age of 3 months to crib death. Gramma Waterfield passed away in 1956 at the age of 66 and Grampa passed away in 1962; he was only 69.  This family saw far too much tragedy in such a short period of time. 

Grampa was the baker and the gardener of the family and Gramma was the musician. They lived in a house that sat up on the hill and grampa’s gardens could be seen from afar.  He was an avid gardener and known for his lush peonies. I often heard stories of how grampa would hook you around the neck with his cane and pull you towards you if he wanted your attention.  

February 18, 1924, my mom was born.  This is the earliest picture we could find of my mother and as depicted on my fathers page, I investigated the news headlines for that day along with the prices for the basic necessities during that time.  This picture of my mom is the spitting image of my sister Kathy… which you will see in the upcoming volumes. 

This page shows my grampa’s lush and full peonies and his garden of holly hocks.  The babies in the pictures are my oldest brother Dick and my oldest sister Pat. 

This picture is my mom and her brother and sisters.  The top left picture has Mary in the drivers seat with Keith on her lap and mom (Clarice) is sitting on the hood of the car.  Below that: mom, Mary and Keith.  To the far left, Keith, my mom and Mary below her. The pictures in the middle are both of Christine just  before she passed away.

Below is a picture of my grandparents that also inspired me to create this scrapbook for everyone.  This picture was taken many years ago and it was taken in black and white.  At that time photographers would ‘touch up’ photos to add a bit of colour to enhance it.  It has hung on the wall in the same place at my mom’s for as long as I can remember.  When I was little, I can remember the numerous times some of my siblings would argue, “I get that picture willed to me someday” – ‘why do you get it?’ – and this would go on and on.  Now I’m the one that has the sentimental longing to keep things, but this picture didn’t mean the same thing to me as it did to them because I did not know these grandparents and they did.  So after several years, my mom had heard enough of the bantering.  So she tried to have replica’s made, but they just did not turn out.   So I literally took the picture one day and scanned it and reproduced it myself and it came out exactly the same; so now everyone has a copy in their book.  

Stay tuned for Volume 4 – my parents wedding …

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heirloom Scrapbook Volume 2

Ok, so on to volume 2 of the Heirloom Scrapbook.  The previous posting told of my grandfather’s adventure to Canada as a very small boy.  Now, we have advanced a few years to my father’s page.  As you can see my dad was born on Armistice Day.  I love the picture of him standing on the porch in his little suit coat and hat.  He almost looks like he himself is ready for the army.  This was the earliest photo we could find of my dad.

As a bit of nostalgia, I decided to investigate what the news headlines were for that day and prices for the basic necessities of that time.  

Now here is the funny part.  If you knew my family, you would know we hang onto everything.  Some people would call us pack-rats; I prefer to call us ‘keepers of sentimental items’.   It is a known fact that people who grew up in the war, or grew up with no money, tend to ‘hang onto things’.  Ok, ok, so I have another disease that I have inherited, however to my defense… there are far worse diseases I could have… so I’m not worried about curing these ones just yet.  

Ok, so back to the story;  when my Aunt Peg (my dad’s sister) passed away, some of us had the ‘honour’ if you will of going through her belongings.  Now, keep in mind that I am a nostalgic person who also likes to hold onto sentimental treasures – so I had an absolute hay-day.  Peggy liked to hide things, so every day was a treasure hunt going through her closets and drawers.  We found a book with a little bit of cash in it, so we literally had to go through every single book before we got rid of any.  Low and behold, we came across an envelope that said “Fred’s Curls”, and inside was a cluster of hair from my dad’s first haircut.  I immediately tucked that away with my other newfound belongings to bring home and as you can see – I’ve incorporated it into the scrapbook. 

You may remember I intended that every brother and sister would all have the same embellishments on their pages – so it was only fitting that they got a lock of hair.  The really funny part was watching Holy and I separate the locks of hair into nine separate piles, and then we had to carefully tie them together.  In case you are wondering….Yes  … it was lots of fun.  Just ask Holly.  The scariest part was making sure the cat didn’t jump up onto the table of nine carefully separated and untied piles of hair.

This next page represents each of my dad’s siblings. At the time that I made the scrapbook, three siblings were living, all others had passed.  At present, only one sibling remains; Aunt Marion, whom we lovingly refer to as Clora.  ‘Clora’ is the nickname my daughter Niki gave to her one time while she was visiting.  (Pictured in bottom row – I love this picture) 

Aunti Marion lived in London and she would come to Forest and stay with gramma and grampa for days at a time.  She is a feisty ole sole and on one of her visits home, Niki wanted to go over to see Aunti Marion and great gramma and grampa.  Aunti Marion loves kids and it is amusing watching her interact with them.  Sitting around the table was myself, gramma, grampa, Aunti Marion and Niki.  Niki proclaimed that she wanted to play school and she would be the teacher!! -  “and that’s that!” – proclaimed Aunti Marion, which was one of her favourite sayings.

Aunti Marion turned out to be quite the class clown and antagonized the teacher as much as she could.  Niki tried to keep her patience with Aunti Marion’s constant interruptions of ‘teacher, is it recess yet?’  No.  ‘teacher, is it lunch time yet?’ No. ‘teacher, what is your name?’  Miss Rinker.  ‘teacher, what is my name?’  UGH… I don’t know… You can be Clora!   To which I replied, ‘is her last name Septic?’ 

Well we got into the laughter, but Niki was having trouble controlling this class at which point she snapped the ruler on the table.   Aunti Marion has been Clora ever since.  (one of my previous postings, I told the story of a Heaven & Earth design called Dear Santa;  I have since named this piece Clora because Clora gave me an unexpected cash gift and I used that money to buy this piece and all the floss – so I’ve decided it would be her namesake).

So now… onto my grampa.  One of the things I remember most about my grampa, besides his constant smile on his face was his pipes and pipe tobacco.   So I was so happy when I found a picture with him smoking one of his pipes.  He was always hooking rugs.  Every single child and grandchild of his has received one of his creations.  His picture was put in the paper to display a rug he made for a fundraising event for the local Kineto Theatre.   Grampa used to sweep the theatre clean after each and every show.  He got paid a total of 50 cents for the entire weekend full of shows.  Any little treasures he found while cleaning, he always kept aside for me.   So back to the rugs:  did you happen to notice the pieces of yarn.  Yes – we found them when we cleaned out Aunt Peggy’s closets.

I was so excited when I found scrapbook paper that depicted skeleton keys.  Grampa’s house had so many cabinets, doors and drawers with the funkiest locks and keys. I used to go over there and just play with the keys.  Great fun for a 4 year old.

The picture in the far top right is Grampa as a young boy and if I were to put a picture of Aunti Marion’s son Brian beside it, you would swear they were twins.  That’s one thing that I discovered making this scrapbook was the amazing family resemblances.  My goal is to make a page showing exactly that; all the resemblances that are close to being twins.

The bottom left corner is grampa trying to make ‘Clora’ laugh when she was a little girl.  She was upset about something and it didn’t take long for him to turn it around for her. 

Now Gramma was always quilting, so I wanted this page to represent that. At the time, I couldn’t find scrapbook paper with a quilt design, so I made my own (surprise) with scraps of paper – much like you would a quilt.  The hat pin, and sewing novelties came from a sewing tin that I acquired from… you guessed it… cleaning out one of Peggy’s closets.  I told you I had a hay-day.

I love the old vintage picture of gramma on the swing with her sister. Gramma is about 8 years old in the other picture.

Now my one regret with this page is that I cropped the bottom right picture of gramma.  I wanted a close up of her, but realistically – the picture would have been more fitting had I not cropped it because she was standing beside the fridge and they had to buy one of those fridges where the freezer door was lower so she could reach into it.  This picture made me burst right out laughing when I saw it because it reminded me of how much she ‘shrank’ in her years… and then that reminded me of all the stools carefully placed around the house for her.  It wasn’t funny that she shrank, but it was hilarious to see her little figure beside the fridge. 

I dug around to find the original photo of her standing beside the fridge.  It still makes me laugh….

This next page holds many memories and it’s funny when we drive past the house, we still refer to it as gramma and grampa’s even though it was sold well over 20 years ago.  The same goes for Aunti Peggy’s house as will most likely be the case with my own parents some day…

The trees in the bottom left picture bordered on their neighbours lawn and grampa always made sure they were meticulously trimmed.  I used to call them the umbrella trees and we would spend hours playing in their yard.  The two photos were a permanent fixture in the dining room and no matter what redecorating was ever done, those pictures were hung in the exact same place.

The cookie jar greeted you upon entering the house and it now resides with my sister and will inherited by Holly someday.  The old push peddle sewing machine resides with Clora and to the best of my knowledge, it still works. 

Now the teddy bear; this was Clora’s when she was a little girl, but for some reason it wanted to remain living with gramma and grampa.  In their spare bedroom there was one wall that was literally a closet.  The entire wall was shelves – hidden behind yards and yards of curtains.  When you were only 4 and you stood in front of this closet, it seemed absolutely HUGE.  And you were never sure just which curtain the bear would be hiding behind.  Simple fun.  Do you think children have as much fun these days creating memories as such?

One thing that is not in the picture, but was so amusing was the book shelf/cabinet that was also a permanent fixture in the dining room.  The top of the cabinet held old cigar boxes filled with pencils and this is what the great grandchildren used to play school. The amusing part about this cabinet was the pull down doors.  When you opened the left side to remove the cigar box and then closed it – the right side would pop down.  When you closed the right side the left side would pop down.  This would amuse (or frustrate) children for great lengths of time. 

These next two pictures are of Gramma and Grampa's Golden Anniversaries.  Each milestone, we always held a celebration.  The picture of gramma kissing grampa on their 65th Wedding Anniversary in my brothers convertible is one of my favourite pictures of all times. 

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016 was held at Jody's this year and we were lucky we had good weather for our travel eastbound.  If there is going to be a...