Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The lines are never blurry

What is the best part about being in your family? The lines are never blurry when it comes to knowing who your family is, and that they are there to support you no matter what.

Sounds like it could be rather dysfunctional. Maybe so. I'm so blessed with having a strong, supportive family. I realize not everyone has that opportunity.

I know who my people are, where they come from and are fortunate to know most of them. It's great knowing that you have family.

It's interesting to see your resemblance in old photos of long dead family members. I always want to know more about the people in the photos. What were they like, the circumstances of the photo, what they had to eat, where they were headed? Were they like me?

The mystery of the things we didn't know about the family in the photos reinforce my bonds and allegiance to my family.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Addendum to Lemon Cream Cheese Cake 1989

What was something you taught another person in your family?
I'd like to say that I was responsible for teaching my wonderful son how to love, laugh and be kind.
(By the way, he's 33 today.)
But I don't think it appropriate to take full credit for teaching him how to be the man that he is today.
There was a "village" involved in helping to raise him.
We celebrated his birthday today by going to dinner and then birthday cake at my parents.
"Birthday cake" for both my sons, never involved actual cake.
My son always prefers cheese cake for his dessert of choice on his birthday.
My mother offered to make the cake for tonight, and I suggested she use the recipe of hers, that I loved as a child.
It' s light and airy, not to rich, and not to heavy.
 Lemon Cream Cheese Cake, from my mother's 1989  school cook book.
Well, not exactly.
Mother called me earlier in the day to tell me that the recipe was not correct.
There was no mention of butter or sugar.
How could you cook a dessert without butter or sugar?
She was just stunned that she had committed such a mistake in the cookbook she had compiled.
And to top it off,  with a recipe she submitted and used faithfully.
We looked at the date on the cook book, 1989-1990.
We laughed. I then remembered that I too had had trouble with the recipe in the past.
Evidently, we had neither one of us, corrected the situation in our cookbooks.
I suggested that we write an addendum to the recipe and send it to everyone who purchased the cookbook in 1989. She thought that was rather funny also.
I think at that moment, in her shock and awe at the mistake, she realized that the mistake  just wasn't that important.
So, tonight we cut the cake. Without butter, the graham crackers were simply crumbs.
You had to chew carefully, and not inhale at the same time, or you would choke on the fine crumbs.
We all laughed hysterically.
Tonight was a most wonderful evening!

(Sorry for the picture, I wish it were better, you just can't appreciate the crumbs from here!)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Why a solid quarter?

2006 Quarter Proof.png

What is something you learned from someone else?

When I taught elementary school, I learned many things from my students.

One of my favorite quotes was "what they tell me at horse school, don't never stop running".

I also learned what a solid quarter was.  Of course you know too.

A solid quarter versus several coins equaling a quarter.

I could never quite convince one young man that two dimes and a nickle were just as valuable as a "solid" quarter.

Likewise, he was unable to explain to me, why he preferred one coin over several.

Maybe it is the size of the coin that was of importance to him.

Today, his request for a solid quarter rather than change, came to mind as we were discussing the weekend card game winnings of a friend.

So I polled a couple of people, and one suggested that maybe you had to have "solid" quarters to buy bus tokens.

Could that be the answer to the insistence on a solid quarter?

If you know of other reasons for a preference for solid quarters, please let me know.

Sometimes the most simple things escape me.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dixie loves her Kitty in pictures

Dixie Doo waiting for her Kitty.
Does this really count as blogging?
You know, I'm watching the Oscars tonight!

This is Kitty. Isn't she lovely?
What long eyelashes she has!
With the right hat, those whiskers will really standout.

Here we have Dixie giving the Kitty some love.
Dixie loves her Kitty, but it makes me nervous when she loves on the Kitty.
I'm afraid she'll be a little over zealous.
But the Kitty always manages to come out unscathed.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Theory of 50 at the Auction

 I had to reach up high to the top shelf to capture these old cans. I didn't have much time to take the photo nor get a picture of all the items that caught my eye. When working for my family's auction service, I come in contact with many fascinating artifacts and people.

This was my first auction since I've begun blogging. I thought about taking photos for the blog, and then I decided I could take pictures of everything I wanted to purchase, and if I didn't manage to "win" the prize, I would have the picture, and not have to lug the stuff home.

The auctioneer was moving swifting from one item to the next. The crowd was tuned in to his sing song rhythm and even, monotonous tone. A woman had found a stool to sit on in the crowded plumbing and electrical shop. On her lap, sat a small girl, fast asleep, with her head laid back on her mother's arm. The auctioneer and the crowd continued to move in a steady, determined direction to the end of each shelf.

At one point, I had the opportunity to speak with the widow of the business. Her husband had passed away a few years ago. You could tell that she still longed for him, and spoke as if he maybe were not gone forever, but had just stepped away for a bit. She expressed her reluctance in giving up the business and selling their mutual property. Holding on to the property as a way of keeping him or the hope that it was a bad dream and he would return one day.

I could tell she wasn't convinced that she was doing the right thing. Maybe others had convinced her it was time to let go and move on. I went on to share with her that I had lost my youngest son several years ago in the prime of his life. I too, knew how difficult it was to let go of some of the physical things that were a part of my son. I knew her pain of parting and loss.

Then it came back to me, what my mother said about getting older. I shared it with her, and then later, overheard her telling a friend that had come to sit with her during the auction.

The first fifty years of our lives are centered on gain. We strive to acquire material possessions and  seek to create personal relationships. The next fifty years, on loss, as our friends begin to pass away in undeniable numbers, and we must face our own mortality.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Time to Crochet

I'm just really stumped with the writing prompt tonight.
Maybe I should go and see how others are faring with the topic.
Who do I wish I was related to?
When I start to contemplate the options, I immediately come back to the thought that I'd no longer be who I am, and would no longer be related to the wonderful people that I love and call my family.
I saw this beautiful picture on a friend's Face book page tonight. It' s not the ocean, but it reminds me of the ocean. What a place to contemplate topics like who I wish I was related to.
If I could choose my relatives and change the outcome, what would I do? For me that's something best left alone. I think I'll curl up on the couch with the Bear, before the fire, and watch a little TV. Who am I kidding? We'll go to our respective couches. Separate, yet together. I need to finish a magazine, and work on my crotchet scarf. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Familiar problems

Talk about a problem that seemed big at the time, but now that it has resolved seems much smaller.

Problems with unfamiliar elements always create this effect in my mind.

Problems awaiting a solution are the same way.  I have many stories relating to this topic hidden away in my memory.

Looking at the beautiful evening sky, I raced to get my camera. My photo doesn't do the sky justice, though I still think it's a beautiful picture.

There was a time, during my first month of blogging in January, that I felt that looming feeling of a large problem when I wanted to load my photos onto my computer to use in my blog.

 I learned how to use the software and became familiar with the process. I practice the process several days a week.

Now the previous problem of loading the pictures, isn't the large problem it was before. Even though it's not my favorite thing to do, it's a small, familiar problem now.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Uncle Baz

If you had to live with one member of your extended family for a year, who would it be?

I didn't have to think about this question long. Of course I'd live with my uncle Baz, as he is referred to by his friends.

We'll be celebrating his 90th birthday this year in May.

Uncle Baz has led an amazing life. He's a decorated war veteran and has served his country many years.

He's also an engineer, and continues to manage his companies both here and in Germany. He most recently gave up snow skiing. Uncle Baz has a whole host of friends who love and admire him.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Agonies of love

Tell us something that you believe with all your heart is true.

When one person hurts, others hurts as well.

I believe this is true with all my heart.

Watching others make choices that harm them is painful.

I believe this is true with all my heart.

My grandson's nose was the only point of contact with the concrete when he fell.

 I believe that it really hurt alot more than he ever let on.

I believe this is true with all my heart.

Someone shared that these are called the agonies of love.

I learn new things everyday. I never heard this phrase before.

The agonies of love more accurately describes the pain of love.

This I belive with all my heart.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday's prompt

"All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

Here's what I think: happy families resemble one another because they share the same qualities of love and concern for the other members of their unit.

 Unhappy families still resemble one another, except they have a negative force that they can attribute their unhappiness too. And each unhappy family has it's own unique qualifier.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Goodnight weekend and did you see that commercial?

As the sun sets and the moon rises on another weekend, I pause to consider my perspective.

Should I be sad that I didn't accomplish all the things that I wanted to do this weekend? Since my general nature requires me to attempt to fit twice as many tasks into a time slot as is realistic, I'm often left feeling this way at the end of a weekend.

A combination of elements combine to create my present dilemna. Procrastination, attention deficit disorder of the adult variety, unrealistic time management skills, and thinking that I'm superwoman all lead to this feeling of not having acomplished what I intended for the weekend.

Staying true to my attention deficit disorder, I've grown bored with my whining, and would rather talk about the new Dortio commerical I just witnessed.

The grannie in the wheel chair is holding the young child, who is in what looks to be a "johnny jump up" with springs, and the older child in the tree house, is taunting the younger child with the bag of Doritos.

Grannie puts the wheel chiar in reverse, pulls the young boy back till the springs are taut, then sling shots him up into the tree house, where he snatches the Doritos from the older boy. Camera pans back to grannie and toddler eating the doritoes, and older boy stunned by the manuver.

Another jump to gratitude. Thankful today that I had a wonderful time with my grandchildren this weekend, and enjoyed church with my parents and then served dinner to the family. Wonderful day. Wonderful weekend. Goodnight weekend.

Thankful that the rice krispies turned out just fine, and everyone loved them!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Food Blogging, what not to do

Maybe I should focus my blog on what not to do when cooking. I've managed to raise two large boys, and keep my husband fed, and I'm certainly not missing any meals.

But I'm not a very good cook. I can make some very tasty and fulfilling dishes, but I'm not consistent, and would rather wash dishes than cook.

My husband, the Bear, has suggested that I take a cooking class at the local community college.

He's missing the point. I really like to eat, but would rather eat someone else's cooking.

He doesn't believe in the saying you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Part of my problem may be my attention span, and tendency to multi-task.

If I have to wait on something to cook very long, I lose interest or rather get interested in other tasks.

Then things go wrong from there, I may let something get burned, or my timing gets off, and meal coordination goes astray.

One of my largest character defects, and most exhausting is what my husband  refers to as "trying to fit 10 lbs. of poop in a 5 gallon bucket".

My task tonight was to make some simple marshmallow rice krispie treats for the grandchildren.

I just didn't choose a large enough bowl. I'm regretful that I didn't get pictures of my mess.

My bowl was overflowing with rice krispies covered in buttery melted marshmallows.

My hands were covered with the same mess, and I had to call for reinforcement from the Bear to locate a larger bowl before the whole mess became hardened.

He laughed mightily at me, as I ran to the sink to thrust both my hands into the dish water to get the sticky goo off.

The treats did make it to the dish and I'll be serving them to my grandchildren soon!

It worked, but not without some trauma and drama.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sons and daughters

"A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life."

This didn't make much sense to me for many years. But now it does. I understand.

Daughters will return to their parents for nurturing. Sons turn to their wives.

Raising boys is easier than rasing girls, I think. I had two sons, and no daughters.

But then he leaves you for his wife!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What a great cashier at the store today

"Treat your family like friends and your friends like family."

A proverb that I'm not familiar with. If everyone were to abide by this proverb, then we would truly be living the golden rule.

What an appropriate prompt for today, when I had already decided that I wanted to write about the cashier at the store today.

As I approached the checkout, she was has just sat down for a break when she saw me. As she got up to wait on me, she mentioned that she was tired and just needed to rest her feet for a spell. I love it when I get the opportunity to use the word "spell". My grandmother used it for numerous occasions and situations.

She rang up my purchases, sacked up my loot, and wished me a good day. As I headed to the door, I spotted the bathroom, and decided to stop in there before completing the 20 minute drive to my home.

Before I could leave the bathroom, she enters, calling "mam". I answer her and she asks if I forgot my picture frames. Evidently, I had. I was so appreciative to her for going out of her way to bring my lost items. She had to walk a good distance, and leave her cash register.

As I walked out of the store, I felt this deep sense of appreciation for opportunity to experience the good in people. Our constant diet of bad news  makes it easy to become so jaded, and we seldom hear about the good things that people do.

I was grateful to experience that warm feeling that there are still very nice people out there!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The passage of love

The Joyce Brothers said, "When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses." True or false?

True for me.

I can't look at my life without seeing family intertwined throughout.

My greatest childhood memories involve my parents and grandparents. I always felt loved.

Seeing family values passed down from one generation to the next is incomparable.

A little grandson, watching his big brother play football, connecting to his daddy, my son.

Warms my heart and soul.

I am thankful.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Heart My Bear

How appropriate to write about someone you love on Valentine's day!
I have to choose my husband, the Bear, to write about. Look at that smiling face!

There we are, on the ponies, I got chaps, he got a dog to sit on the back of his pony.

No, we've not been sweet hearts since we were six, it just appears that way.

Actually, these photos were taken several years and many states apart.

My Bear

My heart belongs to this man, that I call Bear.

I only call him the Bear because he growls sometimes, but he would never bite.

We both rode ponies with manes and tails so white.

Now we watch the grandchildren from the rocking chair.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Clearing to a New View

If you look past the fence you can see my new view. After a month of Saturdays, literally, clearing brush from the hillside, we are rewarded with this awesome view.  And oh, by the way, I didn't have to have a "snow resentment"  today. I got to stay home and watch it snow.  Doesn't the snow accentuate the pond nicely?
Just past this fence you see the deer family. Just a few minutes before they were all on the other side of the fence. The foraging for food was a little difficult today for them.
The writing prompt today is my thoughts on the phrase "blood is thicker than water". I've pondered this for a short time this evening. Literally, of course, we know that blood is thicker than water. My understanding of this phrase throughout my life was that family ties bound us closer than non-relational ties. I was raised to believe this. I'm unclear as to where the water comes in now, and will be anxious to see what others have to say about this. I would just like to listen tonight, thank you.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Future snow resentment possible

This is one of my favorite trees at Desha Ranch.

I love this tree all year long, but especially when there is snow.

Every day for 16 years, I awoke to see this tree overlooking the pond.

When I moved away for a bit, I took a large picture of this tree with me.

I kept it in my bedroom, so that is was the first thing I saw every morning, to remind me of the beauty of the tree.

The reason for my possible upcoming snow resentment has nothing to do with this tree.

Shopping for a picture of snow, I found this picture of the tree.

They are predicting that we may get snow in the morning, ice and freezing rain, sleet, etc.

Being a former school teacher, I am a huge fan of a snow day. Is this a sign of immaturity or what?

Rain, sleet and snow....he just said 6-8 inches somewhere north of Dallas.....I'm north of Dallas.

My husband, the Bear, changed the channel quickly. He hates it when I start anticipating snow days!

The disappointment is always severe, if the weather man is wrong.

Maybe that's why they call it a severe weather warning.

It could produce severe disappointment in those expecting a snow day at the least mention of snow in the forecast.

I'm still being optimistic though! We'll see in the morning!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mr. Wilson's Day Off

Today was Mr. Wilson's day off.

It was a good day for Mr. Wilson.

He didn't have to listen to the incessant questions from Dennis.

It was a pretty quiet day for Dennis also.

My husband, the Bear, and I usually spend the day working out in the wilderness clearing brush and hugh thorn trees together.

It was too cold today, and the Bear had a "paying" job in town.

So he has not referred to me as Dennis all day long. I always have lots of questions for him when we're working together.

He has interesting and powerful tools, and I have hand tools. I'm always intrigued by his skills.  

I'm almost as irritating to my husband at times, as I am to my neighbor son!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mind Your Own Dog

The writing prompt today is about living close to relatives.

Much to my son's dismay I'm sure, my husband and I relocated back to our farm.

My son lives there, and we live a short distance away.

I really try not to call him when I see him leaving, to ask him what he's doing, or where he's going.

He doesn't like it when I do that.

That's just one of the the things I do, that annoys my close relative.

One day, I took my mother to his house to see his dog's litter of puppies.

The puppies were SO cute! They were in a pen, and their mother was outside the pen.

Oh, and did the poor momma look like she needed to feed her puppies!

So my mother and I had the bright idea that we would let momma in the pen to feed the puppies.

This would really save my son some time when he came home from his job. Now he wouldn't have to feed the puppies!

We were about to drive off, when my son pulled up in the drive way. How happy I was to tell him that we had saved him some time that evening, by letting the mother dog into feed her puppies!

That's when he said that he was weaning the puppies, and I needed to go on back to my house and

"mind my own dog".

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


My family that is like a sister is my cousin. She and I were like, as Forrest Gump said "peas and carrots".

But not always. At one time I carried a plastic horse statue, and she a baby doll.

Then when she came to live with her daddy, we grew to have the same interests. Horses mainly.

We lived to ride and ride to live...just like the bikers!

Our horses were in such great shape you couldn't find any flab or fat on them.

We rode in the heat, so hot that we would find ponds and lakes to swim our horses.

We rode in the cold, when we would have to push our hands up under the saddle blanket for warmth, to get the feeling back in our fingers.

After many years, living in different states, seldom speaking in adulthood,  just a phone call can reconnect us like we were never apart.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


This is too hard to pick my favorite relative from my extended family!

I'm going to say George is my favorite relative, and he's from such an extended side you'd have to call it a stretch to be related!

I don't think I ever met George, or if I did, I don't remember him or have a visual to associate with him. 

He was married to my dad's cousin, and they lived in Vegas. They worked in the casinos.

I heard stories about how strange George was.

He was very particular about everything.

My favorite story was about how George pinned his socks together before they were laundered.

Or maybe he made his wife pin them together.
I've noticed that I've become rather particular about a few things, and have even consider clipping my Puma socks together.

Have I become as strange as we once thought George was?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Big Daddy

The prompt today is to write about a grandparent. I had four wonderful, unique individuals for grandparents that each deserve their own story

I chose this picture of my father (on the left),  and his cousin to illustrate my paternal grandfather, for lack of a picture at this time. 

My grandfather, forever after referred to as Big Daddy was a large, colorful figure in our lives.

It's been 41 years since I last saw him, but he remains a fixture in the life of our family.

Big Daddy lived just a block from a small, and I mean small, neighborhood grocery store. Mrs. Madison's store.

When I stayed with my grandparents, Big Daddy would always give me money to go to Mrs. Madison's store after lunch to buy candy.

He was always so generous. A nickel and a couple of pennies would buy me a sack of candy to last the rest of the afternoon, until my parents came to get me.

No one else ever gave me as much money to go to the store as my Big Daddy.

I used to drive him crazy by digging holes in the yard, under the only tree in the yard with a large spoon borrowed from the kitchen.

Maybe he sent me to Mrs. Madison's for candy to keep me from digging up his tree!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Primitive texting

I hope I don't get a ticket for this!

My husband was going to meet me in town to go grocery shopping at Sam's. So he's following me through the parking lot of the strip mall.

My 7 year old grandson, sees his Pappy following our car, and asks for a piece of paper and a pencil.

I manage to accommodate him, and then I notice that he's out of the seat belt and turned around in the seat holding the paper up to the window.

He's "texting" his Pappy in the truck behind us with the pen and paper.

Notice that I'm now on the parking lot, so though he's out of the seat belt, we're traveling at a low rate of speed now.

He's just giggling and I can tell he's up to something. He turns around and writes more on the paper, then raises back up to hold the paper to the window for Pappy to see.

By this time, I can't wait to park and see what he's writing to Pappy.

The note:  RASE  COOL DOOD.......TRY TO BEET ME.......I win........hehe......

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Keeping critters in your bedroom

It was actually a coke bottle, rather than a milk bottle.

The warm spring weather created an explosion of caterpillars that day.

I loved to catch them, and lay them on my arm and watch them crawl.

Kinda creepy, huh.

My cousin Joey would even let granddaddy long legs crawl all over her head, I couldn't do that!

I was so excited to find so many caterpillars! There were more than I could hold in my hand or keep on my arms.

So I grabbed a coke bottle, and began dropping them down into it, one by one.

There were so many of them, that it was beginning to get a little crowded. I was so thrilled to have found so many caterpillars!

I felt a little sorry for them, there were so many of them crammed into that small coca cola glass bottle.

My mother calls me into the house for supper.

I decided to add  something natural for them to crawl on, so I added a few blades of grass and a stick.

I rush into the house and hurry back to my room with the bottle of caterpillars. I place them on my dresser, close the door.

Later, after supper, my mother enters my room to find caterpillars crawling everywhere.

There on the dresser sat the empty coke bottle with a stick coming out the top.

This is the third attempt to write about my sibling, yesterday's post.

I seem to always want to start out like a "dear diary" entry.

My brother was quite the fun loving child.

 Whenever a photo was taken, he was making a face or squirming around.

You could never get a still photo of him.

It's funny now, that his son and one of my grandchildren, act in the same manner regrading being photographed.

Could it be genetic?

I blogged about our family fires recently, and gave credit to my father for setting our house on fire.

My mother corrected me, actually it was my brother.

He was trying to earn a cub scout badge, and was helping with chores.

He took the trash out to the "fire can" where we burned our trash.

Now that's another post in itself. Does anyone still burn their trash in a can in the back yard?

What a stink that was! I'm sure the EPA has laws against that, and imagine the chemicals we were all exposed to!

So he sets the trash on fire. It escapes the can and burns the yard, up to the house. We get it put out. No real harm done.

That night the house catches fire. Only burns the "tootsie room" or utility room, so named after his pronunciation. Now and forever after, my parents refer to their utility room as the "tootsie room" for my brother.

My mother awakes and the fire department is called. The house is saved!

The determined cause was the sticker brushes growing up between the siding of the house had gotten hot earlier in the day with the fire, and then caught back on in the night.

So my brother was credited with catching our house on fire.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The writing prompt today is to write about your father. 
I must tell of the wonderful gifts of my heavenly Father today. I chose this picture because it was all I could find to accompany or explain what I experienced today.

Then I wrote the writing prompt, and then I got the alignment messed up.

 And then I liked how the writing prompt coincided with the photo.

Back to what happened today.

A student slash employee I have been acquainted with since I was her fourth grade teacher, unfortunately lost a small fortune recently due to thefts in her neighborhood.

All co-workers were concerned and wanted to help, as the stolen money was grant and loan money she was dependent on to finish her undergrad degree.

We began collecting funds to assist her with the loss, knowing that we could never collect enough to replace the amount she had lost.

A generous amount of money was collected, but still a fraction of what she had lost.

Then a woman came forth that wanted to donate the difference between what we had collected and what was lost.

She and her husband had a sum of money designated to help someone. A sum, inherited by a son from his mother.

He made a very generous fatherly decision to bless this student with the gift from his mother.

Many tears of joy, appreciation and gratitude were shed from all involved. This was so apparently a gift from a more lofty father, that no one could deny.

Everyone was blessed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My mother's uke band
Day 1, Month 2. Tell us about your mother.

My mother is a saint. Really. She is the most spiritual, good hearted person I know.

She is the most spiritual, good hearted woman that most people know.

My mother is the one responsible for inspiring the creative drive that keeps me from sitting on the couch and watching TV every day.

She has such a love of creation that she alters all her clothes. We had the discussion just yesterday, that she had found a cute shirt, but she thought she would like it better without the collar. So she would take the collar off and alter the shirt. I admire her for her stamina and determination to tackle such intimate details.

My mother is responsble for encouraging me to seek artistic and creative outlets. She is the reason that I drag a piano around this world with me, along with my camera, books, sewing machines, and paints.

Because of her, I aspire to participate in all these artistic endeavors. Unfortunately, I want to use the phrase to describe my interests and abilities "jack of all trades, master of none".  But I could never choose one course of interest and give up all the others.

She's amazing. Really. She prays tirelessly for a whole list of people with specific and unnamed requests.

Tireless describes her well. She never gives up or tires of her duties and doing the right thing, then encouraging or inspiring others to do the right thing.

Someone told me today how they were thankful that their grandmother had always encouraged them to stand up straight. She said it bothered her when her grandmother did it, but now she was grateful that her grandmother had cared enough to risk irritating her to improve her posture.

My mother created much irritation in me, encouraging me to stand up straight, hold my shoulders back.

But I'm grateful now for all the encouragement she has patiently and lovingly bestowed upon me.

My mother is my greatest cheerleader. Isn't that the way it is supposed to be?