Monday, October 31, 2005

A History Program

Fanny Posted by Picasa
It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me. ~ Fanny Crosby
Nyssa had to write her first term paper in third grade. Mrs. Campbell taught the children to do the research, bibliography, note cards, outline and the final five page paper. Each student picked an historical figure as the subject. After the paper was finished, she had them write a short two minute summary of their paper. The class then gave the annual History program. Each child dressed as his/her historical figure and gave the short summary of their paper. These short speeches were interspersed with musical pieces also performed by members of the class who were piano students.

Nyssa picked Fanny Crosby, probably the best known and most prolific of all hymn writers. She was blind from the age of six months and yet wrote the words to over 8,000 hymns including: He Hideth My Soul, Tell Me the Story of Jesus, Blessed Assurance and my personal favorite, To God Be the Glory.
To God Be the Glory

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.
Nyssa made an A on her paper and in the process learned a lot about a wonderful woman, history in general and the process and steps to write a paper. She also learned to summarize and give a short speech. As Nyssa was the best piano student in her class (actually she won the best piano student award all six years in elementary) she was to play two piano pieces, one at the beginning of the program and a number to end the program. She was especially excited because her Uncle Stephen was going to come. He traveled with the Chicago Company of Phantom of the Opera and had never been able to get to Mississippi for a piano recital or any special program. This time was staying with us for eight weeks while recovering from back surgery, so he could come.

We got together her costume and added a cane, dark glasses and a white wig. The only problem we thought of was that Nyssa wears glasses and without them she is very, very near-sighted. She knew her speech from memory so she didn't need them then but she did need them for the piano numbers. So I made a little matching draw string purse. The plan was to play her first number, sit back down on the platform and switch her glasses for her dark sunglasses putting the real ones in her purse, deliver her speech, sit back down and SWITCH the sunglasses for her real ones to be ready for the piano piece at the end.

That's the thing about plans with a child. Don't count on it. Everything seemed to be going well. Stephen and I were in the balcony where I was videoing the program. Her first piece "Turkey in the Straw" went well and she switched her glasses out with plenty of time to spare. She delivered her speech flawlessly and returned to her seat. Then it fell apart. I kept saying to myself, "Get your glasses out of the purse. Change the sunglasses. Glasses. Glasses." Nyssa sat there. No move to even open the little purse. Soon it was time for the ending piece. I thought she would surely take the purse with her. No. She hopped up and walked over to the piano bench and sat down, the purse left in her seat on stage.

The dark glasses were still in place on her nose. She adjusted her book, adjusted the bench and placed her hands on the keys. Then I knew she was in trouble as she hunched over and squinted at the page, her eyes (with dark glasses) about four inches from the book moving her head back and forth and a bit from side to side. She couldn't see the notes. It might have helped a little if she would just take the sunglasses off, but this didn't cross her mind either.

Stephen also saw what was happening. He turned to me and said, "If she keeps on with the bobbing and swaying Stevie Wonder motion when she starts playing, I will fall out on the floor and start laughing out loud." Of course she would be playing "The Maple Leaf Rag".

She made it through, barely. Stephen only chuckled quietly. And me? I stared at the little purse with the forgotten glasses and breathed a sigh of relief.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

October 31, 1950

Loren & Lorane, October 31, 1950 (Click picture for larger view)Posted by Picasa
"Look how my ring encompasseth thy finger, Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart; Wear both of them, for both of them are thine." ~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616) from King Richard III, Act I
Fifty-five (55) years ago, October 31, 1950, my mom received her diamond engagement ring. Dad had visited her home in Roanoke,Virginia the previous Christmas and asked her to marry him beneath the star on top of Mill Mountain. He asked her father for her hand. But Dad was a poor farm boy and he had to work for his tuition at college and to save for a ring. He graduated from Asbury College in June of 1950 and then started seminary there that fall. Mom was in her senior year at Asbury. This picture was taken that October night. The back of the picture reads:
The night I got my diamond. October 31, 1950, 6:30 PM, at Lee and Evelyn Jamison's apartment. Wilmore, Kentucky.
It was definitely love; she remembered the time as well as the date!!! They were married the following June and this year celebrated their 54th anniversary.

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Deserted & Abandoned

Deserted insect nest, Macro (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"A vacant mind invites dangerous inmates, as a deserted mansion tempts wandering outcasts to enter and take up their abode in its desolate apartments." ~ George S. Hilliard
I don't know what species of insect built this yellow mud home on the dead stump. The nest is small, built for a solitary type; only room for one. A single opening with the hint of a silky web inside; could this be home to a spider or wasp? I don't have the answer, but as I gently tap on the dome there is no sound, no movement, no evidence of occupancy. A home built with care, now deserted,abandoned.

Submission for Moody Monday topic "deserted". (end of post)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Halloween BOO!!!

Happy Halloween (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
One More Boo

Again it's time for pumpkin faces,
Flying witches, scary places,
Ghosts and goblins howl at you!!
Halloween is de ja BOO!!!

~ Grandpa Tucker
Macro shot of a 1.75 inch Halloween pin. A picture of the entire pin is seen below. Submission for MacroDay topic "Halloween".

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Friday, October 28, 2005

1942: Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty Posted by Picasa
"Liberty is to the collective body what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty no happiness can be enjoyed by society." ~ Henry St. John Bolingbroke (1678-1751)
This was taken in 1942, just before my mom turned fourteen. I think it may have been for a 4th of July celebration. The US was at war with Germany, World War II. She remembers her father listening to the big radio that Sunday morning the previous December, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and feeling afraid. Mom tells of the air raid drills and black outs; how they pulled the thick curtains shut to keep in the light. How rationing of sugar, tires, gas and nylons was in place for the war effort. Both her parents worked at the local Visco plant making various types of nylon thread. When the ration books allowed he would go and buy my mom and grandmother one pair each; they treated those nylons like fine china. She said that when nylons were simply not available, the girls would draw a line down the back of their calves to simulate seamed stockings; just for dress up occasions. Otherwise, socks were the norm. She also tells of a cousin killed in the Pearl Harbor attack. No one took liberty lightly then.

Mom was tall and thin then. Over time she has lost a little height from wear and tear. Now she has a new hip and shoulder repair. Most recently, a knee replacement. She is home from the rehabilitation nursing center and has home physical therapy three times a week. She still has quite a bit of pain but the swelling is much better and she is walking better, though still with her walker. Her blood pressure is a bit of a problem right now but I've increased one of her medications for a little while until it is under control. The diabetes is doing well and since coming home she has lost at least ten pounds of fluid (that leg was really, really swollen). So all in all I think she is doing well; for the surgery she had and all the other medical problems she has. She's started putting on her wig again during the day; a sign that she is on the mend. Thanks again for all the prayers and good thoughts.

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Delicate Blooms

Delicate blooms the flower. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"I saw a delicate flower had grown up two feet high between the horses' feet and the wheel track. An inch more to the right or left had sealed its fate, or an inch higher. Yet it lived and flourished, and never knew the danger it incurred. It did not borrow trouble, nor invite an evil fate by apprehending it." ~ Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
A macro shot of a colorful and delicate flower growing along a well worn, gravel covered path at the Pungo Blueberry Farm. Many feet walked and trampled the grass that tried to grow up through the rocks as they made their way to and from the blueberries; yet, the small flowers go almost unnoticed and manage to survive.

Submission to Photo Friday for topic "delicate". (end of post)

The Eyes of a Ghost

Glowing eyes of the ghost cat. (Click pictures for larger view> Posted by Picasa
"The eyes of a cat will wax and wane with the phases of the moon." ~ W. B. Yeats
"The cat has always been associated with the Moon. Like the Moon it comes to life at night, escaping from humanity and wandering over housetops with its eyes beaming out through the darkness." ~ Patricia Dale-Green
Nicky doesn't walk, he slinks quietly from room to room. In a dimly lit room his eyes collect the light and reflect it back fourfold. Here in black and white, his soft fur seems to glow from within each strand. He is an alien from outer space or a ghost of cats long since gone. But of course, it's Halloween. If you want to see what he usually looks like go here.

Check out Friday's Ark this week and be sure to visit Carnival of the Cats on Sunday, this week hosted by Watermark. There are sure to be a lot of gorgeous cats and maybe a few will be dressed for Halloween.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Halloween Divas

Willow: I really AM royalty! (Click on any picture to see larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Cats, as a class, have never completely got over the snootiness caused by the fact that in ancient Egypt they were worshipped as gods. This makes them prone to set themselves up as critics and censors of the frail and erring human beings whose lot they share." ~ P.G. Wodehouse
Yes, Willow is ready for Halloween in her Queen's crown and hood. Part of her furry self loves the idea of being "Queen" but another part is simply annoyed that this thing is on her head and she is being held against her will. On top of that there is a flashing light with a lens stuck in her face. Oh the indignity of it all!!!

Willow: We are not amused!
"All I Ask Is That You Treat Me No Differently Than You Would The Queen" ~ Anonymous
Scarlett, has her own crown to bear.

Scarlett: This is so embarrassing!
"There is a particular disdain with which Siamese cats regard you. Anyone who has walked in on the Queen cleaning her teeth will be familiar with the feeling." ~ Douglas Adams (British comic Writer, 1952-2001)
Scarlett wiggles and squirms and backs up, in a circle; trying to get the crown off her head. Deep in her little cat heart burns the fire of her namesake; that Irish daughter of the South, Scarlett O'Hara. Her disdain goes far beyond the crown and the stupid human who put it on her head; it encompasses ALL the other feline members of the household.

Scarlett: As God is my witness, I AM Queen of the South!!
"A cat's got her own opinion of human beings. She don't say much, but you can tell enough to make you anxious not to hear the whole of it." ~ Jerome K. Jerome
Yes, after being forced to try on their costumes for the camera, Willow and Scarlett are none too pleased with their domestic human help. Such bothersome behavior is rewarded with hisses, snarling and a prolonged session of remedial grooming under the bed, far from the reach of human hand.

Hopefully, they will both be over their "drama queen" attitudes by Friday, so they can visit with their other animal friends at Friday's Ark. And on Sunday, the day before Halloween, catch them at Carnival of the Cats, this week hosted by Watermark.

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Super Baby's First Halloween

Nyssa's first Halloween, 6 mths old (1986) Posted by Picasa
"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" ~ Maya Angelou
October 1986, Nyssa's first Halloween, she donned this Supergirl sleeper and helped give out candy to the older princesses, pirates, dogs, hobos, ghosts and all the other creatures that arrived at our front door. She met each one with wide eyes, waving hands and drooly grins. She was and 19 years later, still is my "Supergirl". Happy Halloween, "Sweet Pea".

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Thursday Challenge: Food

Potica Bread (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts." ~ James Beard (1903-1985)
"Baking bread is one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells...there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread." ~ M. F. K. Fisher, The Art of Eating
I posted this picture last week in a recipe for Potica bread. This week "food" is the topic of Thursday Challenge and this is my favorite bread. You can see more pictures and get the step by step recipe here.

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Pumpkin variety "Fairytale" (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Know you what it is to be a child? It is to be something very different from the man of to-day. It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its own soul." ~ Francis Thompson (English Poet and Writer, 1859-1907)
Only five more days until Halloween and while I love to look at all the creative carved pumpkins that sit on front porches, in yards and in windows; my favorite pumpkins are in their natural state or better yet, in a pie.

This deeply grooved, slightly flattened pumpkin conjures visions of a glittering pumpkin shaped coach drawn by prancing white horses and a beautiful princess in a shimmering pale blue gown with dainty glass slippers on her feet. I always loved the Cinderella story. How appropriate then that this pumpkin variety is called "Fairytale".

Submission for PXITE topic "Halloween". (end of post)

Beautiful Blue

Blue Hydrangea (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
Beautiful Blue

Splash of fresh sea-breeze in my lover’s eyes
Cast upward on angel’s swimming pool
Laced with fluffy sky dunes
Which sadly cry to earth crayon tears
Berries, Hibiscus, Birds—all drenched
With bright color
Endless shades and tones
Of beautiful Blue

by Nyssa (2003)
Submission for LensDay topic "blue".
Poem reposted from September. (end of post)

The Small Town Airport With A Large Heart

GTR Airport Posted by Picasa
"Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren't bad people; they're just acquaintances." ~ Jay Leno
This is the Golden Triangle Regional Airport. Halfway between Columbus and Starkville, Mississippi, it's not what you would call a major airport, in fact when we moved there the terminal was in the process of being renovated and enlarged.

When Nyssa was seven we were to fly American Airlines Airlink to Nashville and then a connection to Chicago where my brother was performing in "Phantom of the Opera". This was one of the few times we had someone drive us to the airport. Our ride was late. On top of this, I was used to the Delta ASA schedule and our usual flight out was 20 minutes later than the American flight. I was nervous and as we drove up to the front of the terminal, I saw our plane leaving, starting to taxi. We ran in with the luggage and begged them to at least ask the pilot to wait. A few minutes later the ticket agent came back and said, "The pilot is bringing the plane back for you." As we got on the flight (only about ten seats) we profusely thanked the attendant and the pilot. Never in a million years would a plane at a larger airport come back for stupid passengers.

Service in a small airport is remarkable, because it is just that,small. The same ticket agent for Delta ASA worked there the entire fifteen years we lived in Columbus. The agents check the bags in, load the luggage on and off of the planes and act as the gate announcers as well. His name was David. Nyssa was three when we started flying with them. A few years later his little girl took ballet with the same teacher, so we saw each other at recitals. At the start of one trip, after checking in the luggage and as I parked the car in the lot out front, Dave ran out of the terminal to tell me our plane was going to be at least an hour late so if we needed to go back in to town we had time. He also knew this would make us miss our connecting flight. When I got back in to the terminal, he had already booked us on the next available connection to our destination and had the boarding passes printed. We called my folks with the new arrival time and missed all the angst of messed up flights. He took special care of Nyssa on her first flight by herself to Dallas, handing her off to the stewardess himself. My last flight out was in 2003 and Dave couldn't believe Nyssa was seventeen and visiting colleges. He still remembered her long curls, her teddy and her brightly colored carry on bag, just her size.

Of course there have been changes over the years. Only ASA and Northwest Airlink fly in there now. The schedule of flights between Atlanta and Columbus have been cut back and the turboprop planes replaced with small jets holding about 25 people. And 9/11 brought other changes; new search procedures for luggage and passengers. No longer would a plane be brought back to the terminal for a late passenger, in fact check-in is closed thirty minutes before a flight leaves.

Another change was the presence of security. After 9/11 army reservemen were assigned to patrol the airport terminal. Nyssa flew to Dallas that Thanksgiving to see her dad. It was a shock to see the armed military in camouflage uniforms, combat boots and berets, some with machine guns. We were sitting, waiting for her flight to be called when one of the military officers walked up to Nyssa and said, "Nyssa, where are you going young lady? Aren't you supposed to be in school tomorrow?" She snapped to attention, her mouth fell open and she had the most puzzled look on her face. "Uh, I had to leave a day do you know my name?" I didn't say anything but was thinking the same thing. Then I saw his name tag and smiled. He was her friend Brooke's father; she just didn't recognize him in uniform. He had a laugh and she relaxed. I'm not sure how the other passengers felt but I felt better. There was something comforting about knowing the people handling your luggage and patrolling the terminal.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Black and White

Dragonfly (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected." ~ Robert Frank
The dragonfly rests on a thin clothes line with delicate wings outspread. This shot in color was very muted but in black and white it was more intense, the dragonfly seeming like a shadow against the sky.

Submission for Photo Tuesday topic "black and white". (end of post)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Stoney's Story

Stoney, S., The statue Posted by Picasa
"The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men." ~ Emile Zola (French Novelist, Critic and Activist. 1840-1902)
The fall of 2003 was a time of real stress with uncertainty about work, Nyssa's college, upcoming surgery, selling a house and getting ready for a high school graduation and a move half-way across the country.

One Saturday I stopped to get gas in my van at the Creekstone Chevron station near my home in Mississippi. It's one of those modern stations with fourteen pumping stations and a convenience store that charges twice the amount you would pay at a Winn Dixie for soft drinks and bread. Inside you can also buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts, get chicken at the fast food counter and leave your dry cleaning for pick up. Of course they have a car wash, these days most do.

I had finished filling the tank and was pulling out of the station. I had to stop to let a pick-up truck go in front. He had just pulled out of the car wash and water was draining from the truck bed and bumper. Behind the truck was a tiny black and white "thing". I say "thing" because you couldn't tell what it was. It took me a few seconds to figure out that this was a small animal and it looked like it was running after the truck; running out of the car wash. Maybe the poor little thing fell out of the pick-up or maybe they dumped it in the car wash.

Did I stop? Of course I did. All I had in the van was my white lab coat. The poor thing was just sitting there in front of the exit, another car was already in the bay and the highway was certain death, so I scooped the small calico up. She was too scared and lost to run. I had her back in the van wrapped in my lab coat before I ever thought "What am I going to do with her?" We already had six spoiled cats and I had already planned to move them to Virginia in only a month. I couldn't keep another cat.

I decided to figure that out later. Right now I needed a towel to dry her off and the nearest person I knew was Michele. She lived in a subdivision behind the station. Now, Michele loves cats, but she's VERY allergic so I was just going to borrow a towel and take the calico home. But she invited us in and her little girl, Miss Priss immediately fell for the kitten. So did Buster, her old Boston terrier. Buster is not completely right in the head, but he is sweet and he was lonely for company during the day. Of course, the kitten purred and curled herself up on Michele's lap to dry, falling asleep. I didn't mean for her to keep her, just let us use a towel. Really, now, she is allergic. Michele had all sorts of plans on how to keep her allergies at bay and by the time the "Best Husband" got home, it was settled; three votes for and he just gave in for the fourth vote. Yes, Buster had a vote.

She had to be named "Stoney" because she survived the Creekstone car wash. She and Miss Priss have fun playing and she teases Buster and he is so happy to have a playmate that he doesn't mind her tactics; but in reality, Stoney belongs to Michele. She wants to sit on her lap, on the back of the sofa near her and she responds to her call. Stoney has a marvelous home; safe from the outside hazards and full of love.

A kitten who survives the suds and spray of a car wash deserves no less, right?

Stoney dressed for the holidays.

Check out Friday's Ark this week and on Sunday, be sure to visit the Carnival of the Cats; hosted this Halloween weekend by Watermark.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Riches of Life

Lori D. and Nyssa, age 5 (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy." ~ Unknown
This is one of my favorite photos of Nyssa and her friend Lori playing dress-up. This day they were princess sisters with their feather boas and tiara. Times like these cannot be bought with money, yet they fill our life with rich memories. Though jobless and unsure about the future, I have Nyssa, now almost grown and a lifetime of memories like this. I am rich beyond measure.

Submission for Moody Monday topic "rich". (end of post)

Carnival of the Recipes #62

I stumbled upon this last week and knowing how many out there love to actually cook and unlike myself, have more than one great recipe; I thought you might like to check it out.

This Carnival was hosted by Fish Town Chatter and is up now for viewing.

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Opal: The Fire Within

The opal, a "living" stone. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"There is in them a softer fire than the ruby, there is the brilliant purple of the amethyst, and the sea green of the emerald - all shining together in incredible union. Some by their splendor rival the colors of the painters, others the flame of burning sulphur or of fire quickened by oil." ~ Pliny, On Opals.
October's birthstone; the opal in its best quality form is more valuable than diamonds. It is said to be the a symbol of hope, happiness and truth. All I know is that I love to watch the dancing iridescent green, purple and gold flecks in the creamy white stone as I wear this ring on my hand.

Submission for MacroDay topic "stone". (end of post)

Pumpkin Art

Painted pumpkin in the pumpkin patch. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Art may imitate wild nature; less often does it dare to place itself in the midst of it, and when it does, it may come out second best." ~ John Hart
A painted pumpkin in the pumpkin patch surrounded by pumpkins of all shapes, sizes, colors and surface textures. Art in nature; perfect for the season.

Update: The warty pumpkin that looks as if it is sprouting peanuts is called Galeux d'Eysines and is referred to as a "squash" by some and "pumpkin" by others. This variety originated in France and the name means "embroidered with pebbles from Eysines". It is difficult to carve but has sweet flesh and is said to be excellent in soup, gratins, purées, preserves, tarts and pies. Seed is available at Everything French Gardening and other places. Just Google the name. French pumpkin recipes are also plentiful on the internet.

Submission for PXITE topic "art". (end of post)

New Friends

(L. to R.) Patrice, Nyssa & Margaret (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"The shortest distance between new friends is a smile." ~ Unknown
I used to make friends easily. Being preacher's kid will either make you become a true loner or foster one's ability to make new friends. It did the latter for me. The friends I made at college are still those I keep in touch with. And yet, over the years, with a marriage that went wrong, being a single mother, working full time in a stressful career; I changed. I tend to keep friendships more superficial with only a few true close friends. Right now, for me in my circumstance it is all right.

Nyssa, on the other hand, makes friends with ease. Even after a year at the "wrong" university, with only one or two true friends, surrounded by students with a superior stuck-up attitude and feeling miserable most of the time; she still has an open, honest and tender heart. She is still the little first grader who got out of the car at school one day, took the hand of a mildly autistic classmate aimlessly standing against the wall of the school,and walked him up the sidewalk into the building. She still has that helping heart.

Now, she is surrounded by down-to-earth students who, while serious about their studies; are friendly, open and right up her alley. These are two of her newest friends; Patrice, her roommate and Margaret #2. This Margaret is not her best friend who still lives in Mississippi, but who ever said she could only have "one" friend named Margaret? On this day we were all enjoying the college football game in Williamsburg; the home team won, we had great homemade lemonade, and it only rained once for a few minutes.

I admit I was worried about her making new friendships with the transfer and having to live in the off campus dorms. Well, that was a useless waste of energy. As usual, Nyssa doesn't seem to ever meet a person she doesn't like; alright, with ONE possible exception.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Patsy Joan: 1940

My mother's doll. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child's loss of a doll and a king's loss of a crown are events of the same size." ~ Mark Twain (1835-1910)
This Patsy Joan doll was popular in the 1940's with interchangeable outfits and her own newsletter. She belongs to my mom and was always her favorite doll. Her face has that shiny look of the early vinyl dolls.

I had a collection of Barbie dolls, probably six or seven. One of them was the original ponytailed, blonde originals with the dark blue eyeshadow, black and white stripe bathing suit and high heels. There were also the bubble haired dolls, one Ken, a couple of Skippers and a Pepper, the littlest sister. I didn't collect them, I played with them. While there were a few purchased outfits, most of the clothes were hand made by my grandmother. She bought some of the first Barbie patterns and literally hand stitched the dresses, suits, shirts and pants. My prized outfit was a white velvet bride's dress and a tulle netting veil. She made ken a matching black velveteen tuxedo and white shirt. In one of the "moves" after I had left home for college and marriage, the Barbie dolls and clothes were given away. It broke my heart even though I know the little girl who got them cherished them and needed them more than I did. Still, they were gone. Nyssa had to start her Barbie collection all over. Now, her dolls are safely packed away with love, waiting for her little girl. (Someday, a long, long time from now.)

Entry for Photo Friday topic "retro". (end of post)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

As Small As A Mustard Seed

Faith: As small as a mustard seed. (Click on any picture to see larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Jesus told them. "I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." ~ Matthew 17:20 (New Living Translation)
"My little dog---a heartbeat at my feet." - Edith Wharton
This is Faith. Her mom is Susan, a physical therapist at the nursing home rehabilitation center where my mom has been staying after her knee replacement. Susan and the other therapists worked my mom and all the other patients there very hard, trying to get them back on their feet and ready to go home. Therapy was twice a day with exercises to build the muscles around the knee and to work up the flexibility in that knee. Of course other muscles in the shoulders, arms and legs had to be worked as well. My mom has done well and we brought her home yesterday after 20 days in rehab. Now she will work with another therapist here and on her own. The biggest problem has been the swelling in the leg, but that takes time to resolve and she has to work through it.

About Faith. She is a Yorkie but likes to keep a shorter cut as she is a working girl. Three times a week she spends her day in the physical therapy room of the nursing home. She has her own little corner with a round comfy sleep bowl and she has a blanket to sleep under. She does more than sleep, however. As part of her job she sits next to patients as they do their exercises on the big platform mat. Sometimes she licks their hand for encouragement or snuggles next to their arm quietly. One day she climbed up on my mom's chest, lay down there,and watched her as if to say "Keep going, you can do it". The patients all love Faith; in fact, some of the residents only seem to react when Faith is in the therapy room. She is a good little therapy dog. She loves everyone, doesn't bark and never gets in the way. If there is a lump under the sheet on the exercise table, it is likely to be Faith. She is paid for her work with small 1.5 inch chew bones and tiny biscuit treats, as well as innumerable hugs.

Faith also loves to dress up for work. The day I took these pictures she was wearing a gold fashionable kimono with red embroidered dragons. She has a navy sailor suit (Norfolk is a navy town after all) and she has a new orange hoodie sweater for Halloween. My mom reports that she likes the sweater but not the hood so much. Faith's favorite character is Tweety Bird, thus her identification tag. Faith's mom has a little Tweety Bird tattoo on her ankle so they can match. She reminds me of a little dog we used to know in Mississippi named Divot. Both are very tiny little dogs with a big presence and huge hearts.

Hats off to Faith for her most excellent work!

Faith and my mom in the therapy room.

Faith and her "mom" Susan. OK, so you can see her mom's tag anyway.

Showing off her pretty kimono and Tweety tag.

Faith will visit the other animals at Friday's Ark this week will be talking to the other puppies over at Carnival of the Dogs hosted by Mickey's Musings.