Friday, November 8, 2013

Denise's Scrapbook for Extra Credit 9th grade, Mrs. Lloyd

We have a scrapbook Denise put together in 1987 for Mrs. Lloyd, her English teacher for extra credit

May 7, 1987
I Flew
I soared threw [sic] the air, wings and all.
It was great! The pushing up into the sky.
It took me 19 days to get there, but I made it.
It was rough and deserted.
I saw the glow of a different body.
Looked like I could go touch it.
I had my map that I got at the observatory.
I saw the other side, because I went to see it.
To me it looked just like the side that glowed.
But more peaceful.
It was time to go.
I floated back through space.
Then got back in our orbit.
Back home again.

April 28, 1987
I'm a girl, not a boy
In kindergarten, everyone that [sic) she was a boy. It didn't bother her much then.
The little boys all liked her and they were her only friends.
In 3rd grade she saw all the girls giggling about the boys
All the boys said yuk. And she said yuk about liking the boys.
In 7th grade she was tired of being like a boy.
She began to notice them as guys.
But she kenw all the girls would laugh if they knew.
All the girls had boyfriends.
When she was in high school, she met a boy that no one knew.
She began to dress up.
She knew one day though she would show them.
At the 10 year reunion of her class everyone was surprised.
All the girls she envied in grade school envy her now.
She was a very pretty model.
She was the tom-boy of her old school.
[Patti: I can see that some of this was actually Denise writing about herself. She was a tomboy but always wanted to be beautiful like some of her friends. She was beautiful but did not see herself that way.]

Denise "Ladybug"

42 years ago today I became a mother for the first time. I woke up that morning knowing I was going to give birth for the first time. I was told the previous Friday that if I had not delivered by Monday to show up at Balboa Naval Hospital OB Clinic and tell them I wanted to see my doctor - Dr. Miewald. I did not deliver and was terrified the night before.
I don't think I was as terrified of giving birth as I was the knowledge that I would be responsible for someone else. I would be responsible for seeing that another living, breathing human being was fed, was comfortable, and (most of all) was loved.
I was admitted and at 1:30 p.m. (13:30 as I was in a military hospital), labor began. It was not an easy labor in any uncertain terms. My pains began at two minutes apart, and no pain medication was administered. Finally, at 5:30 p.m. (forgot 17:30), I told them if they did not give me something I was going home. I finally got a little shot that helped for about thirty minutes. At 8:30 p.m. (20:30), I gave birth to a beautiful 9 pound, 7 ounce baby girl. (Back then you had no idea of the sex.) I was so very happy as I wanted a girl. Her name had been decided on one year earlier by my best friend Karen. She was given the female version of her daddy's name, and she was definitely a daddy's girl right from the start.
Denise and Dennis
He would come home from his Navy job, lie down on the couch with Neecey, and both would sleep for about an hour. I woke them up, he ate dinner, and he went to his second job at a service job not far away.
Denise was sleeping all night by the time she was two weeks old with only an occasional night when she woke up. In the mornings, she would sit in her playpen and watch Captain Kangaroo. She would watch that show and laugh and laugh. She was laughing out loud at a very early age.
We moved back "home" right before her first birthday. She was so happy to be around all her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. She was doted on by all of them. As she got a little older, she fished with her Grandpa D, watched her Granny D make pancakes and ate them up like there was no tomorrow, spit off the front porch at the old house on the farm with Poppy, and followed Meemaw around like a puppy dog.
Denise and Lauri
Denise always wanted to know how things were put together and took apart everything she could. Finally, I found a little plastic tool box (think it was made by Fisher Price) that you actually took apart and then put it back together. She played with that almost nonstop.
When she was two and a half, she became a big sister. She loved "lil lauri," as we called her. As they got older, Neecey decided it was her role in life to pester Lauri at every moment, and she did.
A huge "bad habit" of Neecey's was her desire to see the world. She would "run off" every chance she got. Her big wheel probably had more miles on it by the time she was five than some cars. If left alone for a moment, she was gone. (Back then, we were not as careful about watching our children every minute as parents have to be now.) I met my friend Ellen when discovering Neecey was gone when I had gone back in the house to check on sleeping Lauri. I finally found the big wheel at a house I did not recognize, went to the door, and asked if a little blonde-haired girl was there. Sure enough, she was. Ellen had no idea what to do with this little girl. (This scares the soup out of me but all went well.) Ellen told me later she still remembered that wild woman throwing a big wheel in the bag of a Corvette, spanking this little girl all the while. That was the only time she ever went into someone's house (fortunately). Our eyes had to stay on her every moment after that.
The day she got her certification
She made very good grades at school (as long as she was interested in the class) and it was apparent that she was very intelligent. All our lives turned upside down, however, when her daddy and my marriage went sour and we divorced. Denise (and Lauri) never got over this, and it changed Denise's life. (This was no one's fault - just the way life goes.)
Denise was a tomboy: she played basketball, pretty good in tennis, fair in golf and loved the idea of flying in the sky. Her stepdad, Dave, surprised her with flying lessons and she was as happy during that time as I ever knew her. She loved flying and entered HSU with an aviation degree in her sights. She obtained an aviation degree in only 3 1/2 years and then moved to London to be near her future husband, Peter.

She and Peter married the next year in Perth, Australia, at Peter's parents' home, and Libby was born 1 1/2 years later. Life became extremely hard for Denise as Libby had a brain bleed at birth which resulted in a neonatal stroke. They both persevered, and Libby attained heights that no one ever imagined.
Denise marrying in her red dress
(well, actually, her sister's red dress)
A couple of years later, Denise began flying for a commuter airline out of Florida and then was able to get a job where she could live back in Arkansas with another airline. She did this for about two years and found it extremely hard to fly and be a mother. She turned in her resignation September 10, 2001. She decided to begin nursing school and began then January 2002, and she and Peter divorced early that year.
In April 2002, she was offered a training position at Morgan-Stanley as a financial analyst and took that job. She was, apparently, very good at that position as she was made a full-time employee much earlier than ever expected.
By March 2003, Denise's depression had returned and came back with a vengeance. She was extremely depressed and could not shake it this time. On June 11, 2003, she left this earth and I think is now happy in Heaven smiling down on her sweet Libby.
Why Ladybug? My mother began calling her that when she was a baby. When you see a ladybug, please smile for Neecey or, better yet, laugh out loud!
Those of us who knew her do not remember those dark times but, rather, the good times and there were many. We remember the laugh that she had. It actually hurts my throat when I try to laugh like her. We remember the funny things that she did. We remember the nice things she did for others. We remember the things that got her in trouble (or the things she did that somehow she managed to not get in trouble for). We also remember how stubborn she was and that she could make us so mad that we could scream! But, most of all, I remember looking at that baby girl for the first time and feeling a love that I never felt again except after the birth of my second, Lauri.

Friday, January 4, 2013

This is me:
I am over 60
I am female
I am white
I am Christian
I am a Democrat
I am against assault rifles
I am against clips that carry over 10 shots
I don't always agree with unions
I believe in helping care for those who cannot care for themselves
I believe everyone has the right to health care (not just the healthy and wealthy)
I believe in a woman's right to choose (that does not mean that I am pro-abortion - it means it is none of my business what another woman decides)
I am for the after-morning pill for anyone who thinks she needs it
I am for men helping financially raise children they spawn (but I am against women who let a man think she is using birth control when she is not)
Rape is rape
I don't like people who scream from the mountaintops they are Christian but don't want to help their neighbor (or someone else's neighbor for that matter)
I believe in anyone being able to marry who they want to as long as the person is old enough and able to make decisions (not mentally challenged)

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Mother

I guess I was one of those typical teenage girls. I didn't like my mother. Well, maybe that is not the correct way to say it. We just did not see eye to eye. I look back and wonder why. My mother did everything for me. As I was growing up, we were not wealthy. We probably were not even middle class, but I certainly did not know it. If I needed something, I always got it. If I wanted something, I almost always got it.
Then there was the love. There was lots of it. I think my parents told me every single day that they loved me. If they didn't, I think they did. If it was not in words, it was in something else they did or said.
When I look back, my parents were not particularly strict except in some things. They had some strange ideas: nice girls did not wear bangs. I have no idea where that idea came from, but my parents did not want me to have my hair in my face. (Now that I am an adult, I wear bangs - probably because I could not back then.) Another one of my mother's odd rules: nice girls did not wear colored underwear. I had nothing but white cotton underpants - the brief kind.
My mother's specialty, however, was making memories. We had Christmases that I think of almost every day. It was not the presents; it was the presentation. One year I got a package of gum for Christmas. I looked at it and said, "Thank you." Then I knew: another presentation. I looked closely, really closely, as she had opened that package of gum so carefully that it was not apparent at first sight. After opening the package, I still had to look very closely to notice that every single piece was opened. I pulled out a piece of that gum and, wow, there was money. There was money in every single wrapper! I opened another package and instead of a gift there was a note: get up from the chair (oh, yeah, I forgot - she always told everyone where to sit), walk five steps straight ahead, turn left, and so on. I finally got to the place and there was a microwave hidden away in the utility room. I always liked those wonderful presents, but I loved the presentation.
When my children were young, their dad and I divorced. They were with me that first Christmas, so it was still a good holiday. The next Christmas, however, they were to spend with their dad. I knew it was going to be awful. I dreaded that day for months. Finally, the day arrived. The girls opened their gifts, and their dad came to get them. (We were already at Mother and Daddy's.) After we had our Christmas lunch, Mother said, "Get up, we're going to the store." My mother worked at one of the local shoe stores. She had gotten permission from the owner of the store to take me even though they were closed. We spent several hours in that store in Christmas afternoon with my trying on every single pair of shoes in my size, and she bought me several pairs. I cannot even remember how many. My mother, in her own way, made a Christmas day I had been dreading for months the most memorable one of my life. It still was not perfect: I did not get to spend it with my girls, but it was special as I got to spend it with the lady who gave me life and a joy for life.
Now, I am much older. My daddy passed away last year, and my mother is not the same as she was before. Her memory is fading, and it makes me so very sad. The person who gave me the best memories I have is losing hers.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Pancake is described on as "a thin, flat cake of batter fried on both sides on a griddle or in a frying pan; griddlecake or flapjack."

Those of us who enjoy pancakes think they are much more than that. Eating a pancake, imho, brings back some of the happiest memories of my childhood and adult life. We pancake lovers just see a pancake and think of those days when we were children and our mothers were kind enough to make us pancakes. They were not an everyday thing - we had pancakes on special occasions. Perhaps the occasion was Saturday or Sunday, a birthday, Christmas morning; but, one thing was for certain, that pancake made that day special.

I can remember my mother making us pancakes for dinner one evening (actually we had them at night as much as in the morning), and the pancakes were piled high on our plates with whipped cream (the real kind) and strawberries between each layer and then piled high with cream and berries. I cannot remember how old I was (probably between 12 and 15) but remember that meal as if it were yesterday.

Then, I remember the pancakes my former mother-in-law used to make. Charline's pancakes were fluffy and wonderful. They were always made with buttermilk. I can still see that large measuring cup that she made them in. My kids loved those pancakes as well, and I wish my grandkids could remember her pancakes. (Libby Lu does not remember eating her wonderful pancakes.)

Now we have Libby Lu, and she loves pancakes. At first, mine were not good at all. The first time I made them in an iron skillet, and they were black and tasted awful - had to throw them out. I then realized if I cooked them on an electric griddle they would be better, but they were still flat. I finally remembered (after Lauri's remark one day) that buttermilk was the answer. Now, our pancakes are great! Libby Lu's G. P. and Becky gave her a "pancake maker" (as they call it) for Christmas. The first time I used it I didn't read the directions correctly and made a huge mess. "Billy Dave" reminded me that I had the thing upside down. Now, Billy Dave shoots them out of the "pancake maker," and they are all uniform in size and taste wonderful!

Why am I discussing pancakes today? Yesterday morning Billy Dave and Libby Lu brought me pancakes in bed to celebrate Valentine's Day. I must say yesterday was the most wonderful Valentine's Day of my life, and I think that was because of pancakes. I can now add Valentine's Day 2010 in my pancake memory bank and will always have a smile in my heart (and my stomach) for that day - those pancakes - and for those that I love.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


The last time I sold things on E-bay I said I wouldn't do it again as it is so much of a hassle. Why did I forget? Now, I've got to get boxes (I didn't charge enough for postage to use the post office boxes), get the boxes labeled and take them to the post office. Did I even make enough money to make it worthwhile? Probably not...only got $1.50 for a pair of jeans that were too short for me and in really good condition.
It's still a great way to "go green." This way people can reuse items that we once used (or rather, bought and were too small).
Will I sell on E-bay again? Probably Libby tells me, "Your memory is not very good."

Monday, July 20, 2009


People that know me know that I am a great lover of genealogy - perhaps obsessed is a better description. It doesn't even have to be my own genealogy - anyone's genealogy is interesting to me. I think about hearing my Granny Vance talk to me about her growing up in Owensville - living on the farm, going to the nearby school, attending "singings," family get-togethers and wonder why I was not interested when she was alive.
I can remember her telling me about she and Grandpa Vance's wedding. I cannot remember exactly what she said, but I do remember that it was not just a wedding but a huge community outing. She said people came to her parents' home, some stayed overnight. I have never been able to figure out (since I did not ask her) where all these people stayed. The house was small - a dogtrot in the middle with a kitchen and living room on one side and a bedroom on the other. The house still stands and has been modernized some, but the front still looks the same. It still has a tin roof; the dogtrot has been closed it but you can still tell where it was. The chimney was falling down, and it was replaced with a french door and a small deck. I bet Grandpa Caldwell would have loved that deck. I do remember Granny telling me about his sitting on the front porch looking out over his pasture. I think she told me he had sheep as well as cattle. Oh, back to the wedding. She told me that everyone around came to the wedding.
I did not get interested in genealogy until just a few weeks after Granny Vance's death - after looking through some of her paperwork. She kept everything.
How I wish I had listened closer, written things down, maybe taped some of her talks with me. Nearly every time I said someone's name, she told me they were "kin." I laughed as I knew everyone could not be "kin." Well, I have found out that about everyone who lived in western Saline County is "kin" and some of them were even on my mother's "side."
If you happen to read this, talk to your parents, your grandparents and write information down. You may find it interesting someday even if it sounds boring today!