Sunday, December 26, 2010


It didn't have to be Christmas for Chris to have fun with friends. When this picture was taken at the start of the holiday season, he called it "Festive". Chris and Jess, Sarah and Brian join Greg at his house every weekend to hang out and often meet during the week. They are good kids, supporting each other at an age when they're still teenagers entering an adult world.


The picture was taken with a cell phone camera. To enhance it, I edited it in Photoshop by duplicating a layer in black and white, then erasing the shirts to reveal the reds.

Digital Frame (Cottage Arts: Scrapedges 8)

Monday, December 20, 2010

The 00 Decade: "The boys grow up. Honoring our parents"

In 2003, I made layouts for each of the decades we've lived in beginning with the 1950s. (Yes, I'm that old!) I used excerpts from the book "Generations at Work" for the Seminal Events and Cultural Memorabilia to place on the layouts along with our recollections of the time.

And now we're about to close another decade! This decade began with the Y2K panic. On 9-11-2001 the World Trade Center & the Pentagon were jet-bombed by terrorists. The US and Allies overthrew and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. The dot-com stock markets crashed and the "Harry Potter" books were published.

I have so many memories from this decade and pictures to help me remember. The journaling is placed behind the photo of Bob and I. Here are a few highlights: "We began the new century as a family of 4. Every Saturday Bob takes the boys to Pokemon League at the local comic store. Chris still joins me for reading at bedtime (a tradition started with Greg). Bob starts his job at the Dominion Post. Chris decorates his room all Sponge Bob. The boys & I visit Maxine bringing her lots of presents. Greg brings Michelle into our lives. Mom is honored in a Rosie the riveter ceremony and interview. Maxine passes away at age 85. Greg graduates high school with many honors. Dad is honored with many medals from the US Marines for his world War II service. Chris joins a search party when his friend Mikah's autistic brother is lost in the wilderness for days. Greg becomes a gaming journalist. My nephew Cale is born & nephew Brian is married. Chris is elected to state offices in TSA. Michelle graduates WVU with a double major & joins Cummins Diesel. I speak at an International Conference for the Whole Grains Council.

Bob and I work, work, work but so enjoy our time as a couple when we travel and take pictures. I think he appreciates my recording of memories".

December 2010

the 90s: "Raising kids who love to learn. Work we enjoy"

In the later 90s, our careers take a creative turn when Bob goes back into the newspaper business, taking a photography job at the Fairmont Times. I move back to the Health Sciences Center, managing the cafeterias in the old hospital. Our lives were full and good.

In 1992, Gregory enters Kindergarten at the Presbyterian Church,one of many good schools in his young life. Bob & begin dating again, taking mini vacations with Greg or overnights where Greg stays at Grandma Junes'. On February 8, 1993, Christopher Jordan Gay arrives into the world, one month before my 40th birthday. Chris' mind absorbs much through great preschools, observing his older brother and having parents who read to him.

Seminal events include: Operation Desert Storm, the Oklahoma City bombing and the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. Memorabilia include: Barney, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dark Wing Duck, Miami Vice, Pogs & Beanie Babies.

the 80s: "Building a home & starting a family. Bob, Cindy & Greg"

We brought in the 80s in Charleston, WV, where Bob was an award winning news photographer and I worked as a consultant in school lunch and long term care. We moved back to Morgantown in 1982. Bob taught visual communications at Waynesburg College and I was the dietitian in WVU Dining Services. In 1984, we built our house on Mountain Meadow Drive. Gregory James Gay was born on February 23, 1987. While our careers were important to us, nothing was more meaningful than being home as a family.

Seminal Events include: 1980--John Lennon shot and killed. 1980--Ronald Reagan inaugurated. 1986--Challenger disaster. 1989--Fall of Berlin wall. Cultural memorabilia include "The Simpsons", ET, and Cabbage Patch dolls.

the 70s "College & falling in love. Bob & Cindy"

Bob and I met in 1973 while students at WVU. Bob was a teaching assistant in J120, the photography class I took as a junior. It was love at first sight. We spent our free time together, with cameras in hand. After graduation and my Dietetic Internship in Richmond, we married in 1976. Our careers took us from Morgantown to Huntington, where Bob worked at the newspaper and I worked at St. Mary's Hospital.

Seminal events include the Watergate scandal and massive layoffs in US corporations. "The Brady Bunch" was a popular TV show and platform shoes were introduced.

If you look closely at the photos in the "negative strip" you'll see Bob's famous Streaker photo. Hundreds of students gathered in front of the Mountainlair student union to witness this epic event and Bob captured it on film.

the 60s: "Learning & having fun. Family & Friends"

In 1962 John Glen circled the earth. President Kennedy was assassinated in 1968 and in 1969 we watched the first man walk on the moon. Hula Hoops were in and "Laugh-in" was on TV.

In school, I made a lot of friends. I was active in Scouts and church youth groups. As a teenager, I was lucky to have a local "Teen Town" where I danced to live bands on Saturdays and DJs on Fridays. I most enjoyed summers. As a family, we went on picnics and to fairs and horse shows. When I was thirteen, we got a pool and my friends would come and swim.

Bob first became interested in photography at age 12. His neighbor, Bill Mucklow, had a darkroom in his house, lent Bob a camera and paid him to develop some of his film. Bob and his friend, Jim Wolfe, took pictures of the Oak Ridge Boys and sold them some of their shots. Bob was an Audiovisual Assistant in high school and took pictures for the newspaper. He even got some jobs shooting weddings.

The newspaper clipping was from the Charleston Daily Mail when Bob was "Cornered by the Camera" by staff photographer Chet Hawes who later became Bob's coworker.

the 50s "Pretend & Play. Home & Mom"

Those of us born in the 1950s remember Ed Sullivan, TV dinners & the polio vaccine. I was to young to remember Rosa Parks and even the Civil Right Act.

Here's some of what I remember from my early childhood:
"We lived in a house near my father's garage. My sister, Terry, was five years older. When she was in school, I sang to records, played on the swing set and played cowboys with the neighbor boy. Going to school at age six was tough for me being separated from my mother for the first time."

Bob remembers:
"I played with toy guns and soldiers, matchbox cars and tanks. I had many neighborhood friends in St. Albans. Steve Woodard was my best friend. In the picture where I'm looking out the window, I was vacationing in Florida and got the mumps. The group shot is my Kindergarten class at St. Andrew's Methodist Church."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


"On the cliff top of Harper's Ferry we see 3 states and 2 rivers. It's a good place to stop and take a picture, reflecting on the season and new year we're about to enter."

This is the place John Denver refers to in the song "Almost Heaven, West Virginia". This is the only spot the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah River meet.

Bob hung his camera in a tree to get the self portrait.

"Portals" Inspiration

The inspiration for the layout started with a sign on a store front in Berkley Springs, West Virginia. We were on our way to Harper's Ferry for an overnight stay. "Portals" means "entrance" and I thought this fit with the beautiful scenery in the first picture taken at Harper's Ferry. I saw the quote on a plaque in a gift shop while there too. "Live by the sun, love by the moon" was easy to remember and fitting.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Olde Tyme Christmas

"In a special Yuletide of 1864, Harpers Ferry soldiers attempted to create their own version of Christmas at the front while recalling happier ones at home.

In our trip here in 2010, I learned that Santa Claus, as we know him, came about because of the American Civil War. I am certain that this Santa was one of the best I've ever seen."

The 'Soldiers Free Writing-Table' sign says: "Papers and envelopes free. Come in and send word home; they want to hear from you. Sit down and send a few words home. If you have no postage stamps, leave your letter in the box; we will stamp and mail it."

Digital Element (Basic Grey Texture "Dasher")

Thursday, December 2, 2010

All About First Graders

My sister Terry Michael retired this year after teaching first grade for 40 years. After student teaching in Morgantown, "Mrs.Michael" accepted her first teaching position at Easton school. When her husband Nelson graduated law school, she taught 37 first grade classes at Fountain primary school in Mineral County (WV). When asked about her years of teaching, Mrs. Michael said "Time goes by so fast when you're having fun".

"This is what I would tell a beginning first-grade teacher" (copyright: Terry Michael)

"On the first day of school, assure children that it's ok to be nervous--the teacher is too! Things always look better by the middle of September. Smile a lot, but be firm. Pay attention--try NOT to miss the signs of problems. Never leave the children alone-too much can happen. Teaching 1st grade is never boring! No two classes are the same. No two students are the same. No two teachers are the same. ALL kids need love and somebody to listen to them. Know when a child really NEEDS your attention, not just WANTS attention. Roll with the punches. Be prepared-plan for twice as much as you think you'll need. Make sure you have everything you need before you teach a lesson. Have LOTS of Band-Aids and tissues. Take LOTS of pictures. Eat lunch with the other teachers. Share your problems and successes! Always have good things to say about the children-we all need praise! Prayer helps!! RELAX and ENJOY and SMILE."

Photos c1977 and 2010

Scrapbook layout modeled after Stacy Cohen's "The Big Yellow Bus" in Creating Keepsakes Magazine, September 2010.

I can't accept credit for the journaling either. Terry's colleague's made a wonderful program about her for the retirement party. I borrowed this from my Mother to make this page.

Digital Elements (Erica Hernandez "Alphabet Border") (2 Peas in a Bucket Jen Allyson "Study Hall-Blank Cards')

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Stylish" Blogger Award

I received this award today from Debbie.
Debbie, a school bus driver, has fantastic layouts of her dogs and a "Frugal Friday" column. Thank you Debbie.

I was asked to list 8 things about myself:
1) I call myself a busy body, though I hate gossip. . . I simply stay busy. 2) I'm a summer gal. 3) My husband's my best friend and the source of my inspiration. 4) I'm a middle "child" and adore my siblings. 5) I couldn't have done it without my Mom and Dad. 6) I am so proud of our boys. 7) I'm a very healthy eater. 8) I love to scrapbook.

And now to pass this on to 8 of my crafty friends:
1) Gloria
2) Alia
3) Tia
4) Peggy
5) Debbie
6) Char
7) Solveig
8) Denise