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Archive for May, 2011

My grandpa was the milk man

May 31st, 2011 6 comments

My grandpa and my dad outside the milk truck

My grandpa was the milk man.

I know. That sounds like some bad “dirty joke” pun, but it’s true! My grandpa was the milk man. And if he were still alive, he’d have been 89 years old today.

I always took great pride in being my grandpa’s granddaughter. I remember introducing myself to people growing up, and they would get this thoughtful look on their face.

“Any relation to the old milk man we used to have here?” And I grin from ear-to-ear and confirm that, “Yup. That’s my grandpa! … What’s he up to today? Oh he’s a jack-of-all-trades handyman around town.”

“Ah… good… good. I remember the time…”

Everyone always had a story about grandpa. It wasn’t until after he died that I heard the story of him pulling a family out of a burning building while on his milk route. I think that one is my favorite one of them all. That and the fact that he raised seven kids with my grandma… yes, seven. They were married over 50 years before death did they part, when my grandma passed away.

Oh and did I mention he served in WWII? Yup. He was a cook! And man… those cooks on M*A*S*H? Yeah, they weren’t my grandpa. He made GREAT food. Best hamburgers ever.  EVER.  Whataburger? In-N-Out. Pffffft. They WISH they were as good as grandpa’s burgers. They WISH.

Grandpa and Grandma

By the way, you know how I’m an Aggie? Yeah, my grandpa worked as a cook at Sbisa mess hall back in the day. So, you see, my ties to Texas A&M go way back. (My Uncle Milton, Mom’s brother, worked at TAMU at one time as well!) The first time I ate dinner in Sibsa, I looked around and smiled, knowing Grandpa was smiling down on me as well.

I remember when I got accepted to Texas A&M, my grandpa was in a VA nursing home. I got him an “Aggie’s Grandpa” bumper sticker for his motorized wheelchair.  And, you know, he put it on it and rode around with it proudly displayed!

Grandpa always said I reminded him of my grandma when she was younger. And I think that’s why he got so upset the first time I colored my hair. I still remember feeling guilty when he gave me that look of disapproval of my choice to lighten my hair.

But, I think deep down, he knew I was me and I was going to do my own thing.  That or Grandma set him straight on that. haha!!! Who knows.

I just know that if anyone asks me about my grandparents, I smile and say, “My grandpa was the milk man.” and if anyone will listen long enough, I’ll tell them all about him.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa! Make sure you dance with Grandma in heaven today and celebrate your special day… just the way I know you two danced the day you joined her up there. You had a special love… and you’ve always been a role model for me and, I don’t doubt, all your kids and grandkids. I love you!

I was safe in Grandpa's arms.

Categories: family, memories Tags: , , ,

Remembering why we celebrate Memorial Day

May 30th, 2011 8 comments

Memorial Day weekend. The weekend that is considered the “kick off to summer.” Boats hit the lake. Floaties hit the pool. The grills are fired up. Everyone drags out their swim wear. And stores hold huge sales. It’s ALLLLLLLL good.

But. Why do we have Memorial Day? Its not so the girls can jump into string bikinis. It’s not so stores can sell more clothes. It’s not all about the hot dog.

No. We have Memorial Day for this:

Day 201: Nashville National Cemetery -- Memorial Day 2011To remember the men and women who have given all to keep us all free. To remember their sacrifice. To remember the sacrifice of their families. To say thank you to them… to all our military. All the rest of that stuff? We probably wouldn’t even HAVE that if not for our soldiers.

From http://www.usmemorialday.org:

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

In 1971, Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act, stating that Memorial Day would be celebrated the last Monday of May.

Nashville National Cemetery -- Memorial Day 2011Friday, I saw a report on the news about the flags being placed at Arlington National Cemetery, and I wondered where I could find something similar in Nashville. I asked my husband, and yesterday he took me to Nashville National Cemetery.

We were both deeply moved by what we found. All the flags, perfectly lined up beside the perfectly lined up headstones. The headstones seemed to stretch forever. We drove slowly, stopping periodically so I could snap photos. A few other people were doing the same. Some were there to put flowers on loved one’s graves. We were silenced. We were touched.

Nashville National Cemetery -- Memorial Day 2011Headstones ranged from the 1800s to today. The ones that said things like, “Loving wife and mother” brought tears to my eyes. (Especially realizing some were MY age.) These people gave the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.

As we drove through an area of particularly old headstones, I asked my husband if he, too, thought some of these soldiers would be saddened by our world today. My husband said he felt they probably would. It made me want to do better. It made me want to earn the life they gave their own life for me and everyone around me to have. These people who helped change the course of history.

After our trip to the cemetery, we did swing out by the lake for awhile for supper. But we both had a different vibe from earlier in the day. We were more thoughtful. More reverent of the day/weekend.

If wherever you are, you have a chance to visit a soldier’s grave… please do. Take a moment to remember why we have this three day weekend. It’s not about bikinis and new shoes. It’s not about barbecue and beer. It’s about our military… the men and women who gave so much for our freedom. Let’s not take it for granted.

Nashville National Cemetery -- Memorial Day 2011

On a personal note… my grandpa was a WWII veteran. Tuesday would have been his 89th birthday. I was always proud to be his granddaughter… He had so many stories he would never share, and now never can again. Miss him.

God bless our soldiers… and all their loved ones they’ve left behind.

Weekly Winners (May 22 – 28)

May 29th, 2011 24 comments

Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week. It is brought to you, me and everyone by the lovely Lotus, aka Sarcastic Mom. Visit her site and find all the participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!

Weekly Winners

Random group of photos from a very random week!

Hooters tree

Hooters tree

 

195: Fresh fruit

Fruit salad

 

196: Dog House

The Dog House

 

197: Living the dream

Living his dream

 

Nashville Dinner Theater

Red door

 

198: Belcourt Theatre

Silence, please

 

Honky Tonk Row

Honky Tonk Row

 

199: Little bubbles of goodness

Little bubbles of goodness

 

200: Hydrangea

Hydrangea

♥ ♥ ♥

Photos taken using a Nikon Coolpix L20 or my Droid Incredible or a Sony DSLR A230.

>>>>View all of my photos on my Flickr stream.<<<<

Wedding gifts

May 28th, 2011 4 comments

205: His & HersAs I’ve mentioned, I have a lot of weddings this year, and with weddings come wedding gifts.

Its funny the things I can tell you with complete clarity who gave us what as a wedding gift. Similarly, I have things I can tell you were a wedding gift, but darn if I can tell you who it was was from! I have gifts that stand out as favorites. I have gifts that are still in the box, four years later.

So as I am contemplating what to get for each wedding and/or shower, I find myself thinking back to my wedding registry and the gifts I received. There were registry items I am still bummed we didn’t get. There are non-registry items I use every day and am soooo grateful to have.

I want to give something useful and meaningful at the same time. So, I ask you, my dear readers, what were some of your favorite wedding gifts — either to receive or to give? Please! Give me some ideas!!

Categories: weddings Tags: , ,

I have a good excuse

May 27th, 2011 2 comments

I didn’t update yesterday, but I have a good excuse.

My husband and I went out on a date!

My favorite piece of advice to couples getting married is to, “never stop dating.” My husband and I go out on dates, just not as often as we would like. So last night, I said I wanted it to be date night… and it was.

What was so weird, as that we had no idea what to go and do. So we both got on our laptops, and we came up with EXACT SAME IDEA! Of all the things to go do in Nashville, how we both came up with the same idea still baffles us and gives us goosebumps.

After I got some projects done that I’d already been paid to do, I jumped in the shower and got dressed to go out.

Belcourt Bathroom SnapHubby said I should wear a new outfit, and I requested he cowboy up a little bit. (Wear his boots and Wranglers — my favorite!) We headed out to dinner first. We decided to just pick somewhere, and we ended up at Jackson’s Bar & Bistro.

I now have a new top-ten place to eat in Nashville. VERY cool vibe, and the food was incredible! Prices were spot-on, as well! (I had the Sonora Torrado and hubby had Beef Stroganoff). Practically had to roll us out of there!

We “rolled” ourselves across the street to the Belcourt Theatre. I’d only been there once before to see a documentary on Steinway Pianos, and I’d loved it then. Last night, we went to see a new Will Ferrell movie, Everything Must Go. Ironically, we picked it thinking it would be lighthearted and uplifting.

It wasn’t.

Oh don’t get me wrong! It was a good movie! Straight drama from start to finish. Changed my opinion of Will Ferrell, which was a HUGE plus. I was thoroughly impressed with him and his performance. However, we ended up leaving with heavy hearts and deep thoughts.

From there, we went and walked around downtown. Got our exercise!! We also ran into a lot of friends, too, which is ALWAYS nice. And we ended up in our favorite bar/home-away-from-home. LOL! It always happens, and there is comfort in that fact.

We came home and chilled on the couch until bedtime. It was WONDERFUL.

So, as you can see,I had a good excuse to not post yesterday. I was on a date with my husband… a date we needed to reconnect and recharge.

Yay!

[Booksneeze] — Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones

May 25th, 2011 2 comments

Lucy Wiltshire is a strong, independent woman who runs a non-profit organization helping young women who have graduated out of “the system” and who are basically left on the streets. Alex Sinclair is a former NFL superstar who is now running for Congress. When unlikely pair find themselves needing each other — Lucy needing funds to help keep her organization open, and Alex needs something to make him more appealing to voters — a plan is hatched. If Lucy will pose as Alex’s fiancee, he will give her the money she needs.

Save the Date follows this duo through their fake engagement and the ups and downs it brings with it, everything from matters of the heart, matters of family and matters of faith.

I officially have a new book in my top ten favorite books of all time. This book made me laugh out loud. It made me cry at times. It made me think. And it sucked me into Lucy and Alex’s world. Whenever I would get a chance to sit down and read, I would easily read multiple chapters in one sitting… and I’d have to force myself to put it down.

As I said, it made me laugh with witty banter between the characters. I cried along with the characters as heartaches occurred. However, its in matters of faith and God that made me think about my own life and how I handled various situations. At the end of the book is a “Group Reading Guide,” that asks multiple thought-provoking questions based on the story. Its worth going through those questions and reflecting on each one. It takes the book from just being an entertaining piece of fiction to a wonderfully inspiring piece of literature.

Without a doubt, I recommend this book to anyone and everyone… heck, I can’t wait to read it again myself!!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Categories: booksneeze, review Tags: ,