Saturday, December 23, 2017

Debbie Duckworth

Polaroids fade and memories do too, but I'll always have memories of summers at home.  Debbie Duckworth was my neighbor friend in our second house.  She was the only girl in a family of 7 or so boys. . . and there wasn't anything she couldn't do.  I remember walking the tracks and riding bikes.  My sister Terry, Debbie & I would ride her horse Queenie.  Queenie was a huge work horse and we all 3 would fit on her at the same time.  Queenie was such a good horse that looked like a buffalo.  We played board games and swam in the pool.  I once cut Debbie's hair when she was a varsity cheerleader.  She had straight, thick, pretty hair.  I thought I did a good job, but boy was her Mother mad!  

-Memories from the 1960s.

Friday, December 15, 2017

November Cards

Our daughter-in-law Michelle celebrated birthday #33 this month.  This card is for this lovely talented lady!
"Only a perfect birthday will do
For a daughter-in-law
Who's as lovely as you.
So here is a wish
For a super day
Hope its the happiest 
To come through your way"

 My colleague Brooke and her husband Michael welcomed their second son.

"Congratulations to you both on your wonderful news,
A baby son to fill your lives with love and happiness too.
You'll watch him grow with so much pride into adulthood.
But for now you'll nurture him through his young life
With everything you know.!

My mentor Evelyn lost her brother Rudy this month.  He was a prominent Charleston attorney, and when I listened to a tribute on the radio I had to smile as he reminded me of her.

"Memories last forever
In those years you shared.
May you find peace and love and
Comfort from all those who care."

Two more thank you cards, one for dietetic intern Stephanie, who helped us with our last Farmers Market demo, and one for vendor Patty, a sweet baker who treated us at the market.

My retired colleague from many years ago-Patty-always sends cards and for the last few years has given me a subscription to a magazine called "Angels".  This thank you is for Patty, the real angel.

"This card is sent especially to say a big thank you,
And to let you know you're appreciated for everything you do."

Two of my lovely friends from water aerobics celebrated birthdays on the same day!  Betty was 90.  Mary also had a birthday, but made sure we knew about Betty's milestone and not hers!

Daughter-in-law Michelle successfully defended her dissertation the day before Thanksgiving.  Michelle has worked throughout the years leading up to the masters and PhD in electrical engineering.  She knows her stuff!

"Well done, dear daughter-in-law
You're special through and through.
You've had such wonderful success
And we're very proud of you
You had such strong determination
To always see you through." 

All verses from craftsuprint

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Childhood Neighborhood

On a drive through Bobs' childhood neighborhood, he describes happy memories-who lived where, games they played, the person who taught him darkroom work, the man who helped him get his first job.  It's good to visit and hear the stories.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Meals Like Mama

At the Food and Nutrition Centennial, several presentations covered links to healthy eating patterns then and now.  I really enjoyed John Coupland's presentations where he discussed social and technological causes on changes in our diet. I'm fortunate to interview my Mother, now in her 10th decade, about her meals as a child. As a young child, Mom's Dad had a dairy, where milk was homogenized and bottled.  When she only 3, he opened a grocery store. There was no school lunch, so the kids walked home to eat the mid-day meal, then walked back to school.  Many times she ate lunch at her Grandmother's house, which was closer to school. Breakfast was oatmeal with milk. Lunch was often a soup with vegetables or potato soup, prepared by Grandad Mullan.  There were always Saltine crackers. Grandad Mullan had a big garden and canned many vegetables and fruit.  After his death, when they sold the house, there was a whole cellar full of these home canned treasures.  Mom enjoyed the pickled beets and canned pears. Mom's mother cooked a full meal with meat and vegetables.  The store had 2 ice boxes.  Ice was delivered twice a week to keep the meat fresh.  McIntyres Bakery was just across the street.  The bread was at first purchased as whole unsliced loaves until the innovation of a machine that sliced the bread.  Every Sunday, Grandma served chicken with 3 kinds of potatoes-sweet, white and potato salad. As the Depression ended, Grandma sold the store.  They never went hungry and never let anyone else go hungry.  The neighbors needed help with food and they were there.  In later years, the family found carbide cans of bills that were owed by people that could never pay. The lunch and dinner traditions continued when I was a child.  Though we ate school lunch during the week, we were served mostly vegetable meals with perhaps a little meat on off days.  I recall big pots of cabbage and potatoes, with a can of corned beef on top.  We ate beans and ham, homemade chicken noodle soup, and vegetable soup.  In summers, we ate fried squash and tomatoes. Mom always served a full dinner, The table was set and we enjoyed a meat, often grilled, and accompanying vegetables.   Sunday meals were shared with my Grandparents, who lived next store.  My Grandfather had a big garden and a root cellar with potatoes. Grandma taught me how to make potato salad, with a cooked dressing. Grandma had an addition built onto their house with a kitchen for canning. For my Girl Scout cooking badge, Mom taught me how to make meatloaf.  These days my brother makes my Mom a full plate of homemade foods. When we stayed at the lake during the summer, my sister and I fished, catching small perch and sunfish that Grandma and Mom cleaned and fed us several a day.  Breakfast at the lake was fresh caught fried fish.  I had a special green plate that was all mine Even though I sometimes ate too many packaged cookies between meals, I always ate a good My Plate kind of meal.  I loved the melons and tomatoes that were available in the summer.  We are real people who eat real food.  I'm fortunate, like my Grandmother, to have farm friends who raise and process the fresh meat I eat today. I buy sustainable frozen seafood at the grocery store.  I also purchase many vegetables from the farmers market. My link to a healthy meal pattern also influenced my career and hobbies.  I'm fortunate to have this exposure.  

A prayer said at the dinner table when Mom was a child:

"A little head, a little heart, bowed down in simple prayer
Thank the Lord for food and drink and loving daily care."

Friday, November 10, 2017

Chicago 100th FNCE

The Food and Nutrition Expo celebrating 100 years was the biggest ever (13,000 attendees). I wouldn't have wanted to navigate without Bob.The schedule was full with a wide choice of educational sessions,culinary demos and the expo. Bob gets a guest pass and gathers an assortment of goodies for me too. We were invited to 2 receptions where there was an assortment of Chicago foods. We ventured to 2 of the recommended eateries (loved Eataly) and a Paper Source (Chicago is where they make the rubber stamps). Ubers, taxis, shuttles and plenty of walking. . . Loved the history comparing 1917 to 2017.


This layout modeled after one by Heather J. Landry.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Cards

My former colleague John celebrated a birthday this month.  John's wife Betty loves owls, so I included one here.  It was so nice to get a card from Betty after he got the card!  They retired just after I did, and sounded real good!

"To help you celebrate
This card is sent to say,
May good luck and good fortune,
Always with you stay.
May you find much joy and happiness,
In everything you do
And in this card is all our love
Sent especially to you!"

My former colleague Virginia also celebrated a birthday.  She loves animals, so I thought the black cat was appropriate.

"I hold some wishes in my hand,
And they are just for you,
I wish for joy and happiness,
Today and all year through,
I wish that you find sunshine,
In every single day,
For you deserved good things in life,
To always come your way!"

A high school classmate is in the hospital in my town.  Kathy and I had not seen each other since graduation (46 years ago!).  I included a picture of she and I from our homeroom days.
"Wishing you gentle showers of sunshine and flowers
and rainbows to color your day.
Thinking of you"

A former colleague Diana celebrated a birthday.  Diana, a baker and grandmother, is cheerful, talented and dedicated.

"Laughter, joy and happiness,
That lasts the whole day through,
Sharing your day with family
Is what I wish for you.
Birthday cards and treats
From your friends who wish to share,
Your birthday celebrations-and-
Show how much they care!"

 A former colleague Mike had a birthday.  Mike loves dogs.  I always enjoyed talking with Mike, as did our customers!  He called and asked Bob to thank me for the card.

"Today is very exciting,
It's a day that's just for you,
It's a day when you're made a fuss of,
For you deserve it-that is true,
You do so much for others,
So relax, have fun, unwind,
It's your turn to take the spotlight,
Because you're special-you're one of a kind." 

 Former colleague Marylene celebrates her birthday.  She's a lovely and caring person.

"Someone special, someone kind,
It is you that comes to mind,
Birthday wishes, Birthday treats,
A wonderful day that's hard to beat,
Friends to party, friends to care,
It's a day all want to shre,
Enjoy the time and what it brings,
Hopefully joy and beautiful things."

Our last outdoor Farmers Market of the season is this Saturday.  I do Farm Fresh Sampling once a month for my farm friends.  These thank cards are for the families and farmers who donate meat, produce and cheese for our demonstrations. 

"This card is sent especially to say a big thank you,
And to let you know you're appreciated for everything you do." 


Monday, October 16, 2017


It's been nice spending more time with our son Chris.  We've grilled at his place, gone on trips and rides together-and he's come over more.  We love that!

Photos from Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley, 2017.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Lad n' Lassie

Mom took us to Lad n' Lassie store in Piedmont for clothes.  We'd dress up and pose for photos taken by Dad.  I could not keep my socks up!


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

September Cards

My colleague from HSC Cafe-Susan-celebrated a birthday.  A young Mom-now a Grandmother-Susan works very hard.  She is now a lead in the hospital cafeteria.  The pretty lady in the card reminds me of her.

"Such a special person deserves a day that's bright
And filled with many memories from morning until night.

So have a special day, my friend this is my wish for you
May happiness surround you and all good wishes too."

 Bob and I were married on Labor Day 44 years ago.  This is my anniversary card for him.

"The first time you smiled at me made my heart miss a beat
And as the years went by you made my life complete.

You mean a lot to me simple words cannot explain
I love you and thank you over the years, again and again."

My lifelong friend Vicki celebrated a birthday this month.  She's still "gorgeous" at 63. 

"I wish you joy.  I wish you flowers,
I wish you many happy hours that having a special birthday can bring.
A wonderful day that makes the heart sing,
So enjoy every moment, My very dear friend,
May your day be memorable from start to end." 

Two of my retired colleagues are ill.  Both were mentors to many dietitians in the state.  Annabelle is the original historian for the WV Dietetic Association and trusted me to preserve more memories as the recent historian.  These cards are for Annabelle and Lillian.

Three friends lost parents this month.  These cards are for Linda, Mindy and Penny in memory of Ray, Corrine and Charles. 

"Memories last forever in those years you shared
May you find peace and love and comfort from all those who care." 

My niece Kaity celebrates a birthday this week.  Kaity has lovely red hair and the colors of the season remind me of her.

"Greetings on your birthday for a wonderful day
And a year that brings the very best
Of everything your way!"

 I first met Bob about this time of year some 47 years ago.  Bob was 63 on September 27.  The card on the left is from son Chris.  The card on the right is from son Greg and his wife Michelle.  My card is in the center.  In his retirement job, Bob drives an escort card for wide-load vehicles-many of which haul heavy equipment like the dump trucks on the card.  I especially love the orange cone!

"I couldn't miss this special day,
To wish you all the best,
For you my darling husband,
Are a cut above the rest,
You're honest, true and faithful,
I love you with all my heart,
So I'm hoping that your birthday
Will be perfect right from the start."

Verses from

Monday, September 25, 2017


Mom had a mild heart attack 6 weeks before her 92nd birthday.  She was happy to return to the senior center on her birthday to enjoy is with friends.  She even "led" the Happy Birthday song.

Monday, September 18, 2017


My first house was on McCoole Road above Reeves Motor Company.  The house had hardwood floors and 6 rooms.  My sister Terry was 5 years older and in school.  I played a lot alone in our big yard.  I especially loved to swing.  When I was 2 we got our dog Toby who was with us for over 13 years and guarded 4 kids.  Our yard had a rock wall in the back where we'd often see snakes.  I sang to songs on the record player.

My neighbor friend was Fred Downey.  He and I played cowboys.  He and I would get down on the ground behind rocks and shoot at each other with toy guns.  My brother Jim was born when I was 5.

The card on the lower right was from Freddy.  His mother apparently signed it!

Monday, September 11, 2017


We rescued Dallas from the Mon County Dog pound just after we were married in 1976.  He was our "first and only child" for 9 years.  Our landlord was not happy, so my Mom kept him until we found a new house.  While at Moms' he was shot and we brought him home to Morgantown where he spent a week in an animal hospital to recouperate.  In our new location, he befriended Tiki, the neighbor dog and she had puppies.  Dallas followed us to Huntington, Charleston and back to Morgantown, living in all 8 of our homes.  In each place, he made friends.  He was such a good dog, never walking on a lead and sticking with us to the end.  Some 40 years later, Bob found this picture taken in 1984 of Dallas walking at the new WVU stadium and titled it "Dallas enters heaven".  Like all our dogs, we know that's where he is.

We've been cleaning out our basement.  Most of the pictures above were taken out of a worn frame and mat stained with dirt and cob webs.  I was happy to rescue them and preserve the memories on this page. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

August Cards

My Mom's 92nd Birthday was August 31.  I brought a carrot sheet cake and we went to the tri-towns senior center where she enjoyed celebrating with friends.  She always dressed fashionably and looked great so I thought the ladies from the cut-out paper looked like her when I was growing up! 

"You taught me how to cook,
Taught me how to be true to myself,
How to be a Mother myself.
All these things come rushing back on special days like this one.
Have a wonderful birthday and many more!"

For a water aerobics friends' 50th wedding anniversary.  

"50 years of married life doesn't mean your old,
It merely means that silver now has turned to gold.
It's quite an achievement,
So I'd like to say
Hope that you had a nice golden anniversary day."

 Another couple from the tri-towns senior center celebrated 57 years of marriage.  Paul and Judy will celebrate many more anniversaries!

"As you look back over the years
Of fun and laughter, heartache and tears
Of fun and laughter, heartache and tears
Remember the day you said 'I do",
Was the day you found wishes do come true!"

My high school friend Denise was 64 on September 3rd.  Denise is a talented retired French-Spanish teacher who was quite the actress and dancer.  

"You've given so much pleasure
To all who pass your way
Given them fond memories
Each and everday
So celebrate, enjoy and remember
That I'm sending wishes to you
And with them comes all our love
For today and throughout the year"  

Verse from craftsuprint. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Way to Go Mother Nature

Someone yelled "Way to go Mother Nature!" after the total eclipse in Columbia.  Thanks to our kids, Greg and Michelle, for inviting us to visit at their home during this memorable event.  (My primary reason to visit was to see them!).  We enjoyed a Southern picnic on the lawn of a city park awaiting the time.  When the eclipse was at about 3/4, the crescent shadows multiplied and reflected between the tree branches.  During the darkness of totality, the street lights came on.  All was quiet.  When the sun came back out, the cicadas trumpeted loudly for about 30 seconds.  A much needed rain began.  Greg yelled "Encore, encore!".  


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Toy Story

After years of filling the basement with treasures, we decided it was time to clean house.  We made a lot of kids happy at the Dominion Post Flea Market.  24 buckets of small toys reduced to 2 buckets after 2 hours.

August 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

July Cards

An anniversary card for my sister Terry and her husband Nelson.  Terry loves sunflowers.

"These anniversary wishes
Comes with love today,
To wish you all the very best
On this your special day."

A birthday card for my former colleague Lorrie, who books for catering events. 

"It's that special day again,
How quickly does time fly.
But couldn't let your birthday pass,
Without a cheerful "Hi",
So hope your day just sparkles
With happiness all day through
For you deserve a brilliant day,
That's especially made for you!"

My brother-in-law Scott was 51 this month.  He and his family have 4 celebrations this month.   

"To help you celebrate,
This card is sent to say,
May good luck and good fortune,
Always with you stay.
May you find much joy and happiness,
In everything you do,
And in this card is all our love,
Sent especially for you!""

Scott sent me a nice thank you for the handmade card!

 This birthday card is for my nephew Jake who is 22 this July.

"I hope this little card,
Brightens up your day,
I'm popping it in the post box
To send it on its way.
Within it are good wishes
For a day that's just for you,
As you deserve the very best
In life to come to you!"

My sister Amy was 51 this month.  She is my youngest sister.

"It means so much throughout the year
to have a sister just like you,
You're thoughtful, warm and caring
and understanding too.
That's why this birthday message comes with thanks and special love,
To wish you all the happiness
you're so deserving of."

 I spent the day with my young colleague Mallory, the dietitian at Camp Kno Koma, West Virginia's camp for children with diabetes.  Mallory, who first attended as a camper, spends the week plus with the 125 children and other medical staff feeding and counseling the children.  All of her work is volunteer.  This card was a thank you allowing me to witness the good work that they do.  The picture is of Mallory at camp.

"You really have a heart of gold,
It's one that can't be bought or sold." 

My aunt Bernice is 96 this month.  She is still sharp as a wit!  I called her the morning of her special day.  She still lives at home-by herself!

"N is for nice
I is for irresistible
N is for naughty
E is for everyone's friend
T is for terrific
Y is for you.

S is for super
I is for icon
X is for extra special."

 Amy and Scott (in addition to birthdays) celebrated 29 years of marriage this month.

"It's a day that's stuck in my memory.
It's the day you said, "I Do".
It's the day you shared together
A day that was made for two.
The years they've come.
The years they've gone,
But one thing that has stayed true,
is the love you've had for each other.
Since the day you said, "I Do".

This card is for my water aerobics friend, Betty, who has not been able to attend due to an angle injury out of class.  Betty is also in her 90s and is so much fun to be around.  She has very white hair and dresses like she's going to church when she comes to class.  I miss her.The background paper has flamingos-we do flamingo leg movements in class.

"I hope you'll soon be on the mend
Broken bones are a pain to bear
So I thought this little card I'd send
Just to show you I do care."