Tuesday, December 1, 2009

november wrapped

November, for me, represented family this year as it does most every year, but this November brought forth many changes - both good and not so good. This month has been tried and true. Relationships torn and scorned. Others brought anew and one passed to another paradise (RIP Grandma Nichols). The boys and I went with my parents to Arkansas to spend Thanksgiving with my grandparents and Uncle Jimmy. It also happened to be my grandmother’s 84th birthday.

Our Thanksgiving was extra special and oh so sweet. Other than the normal ups and downs that children bring with their age(s) and the usual traveling hiccups, our Thanksgiving was memorable and savory. We even brought my parent’s/brother’s dog, Jasmine. Underneath it all, I/we enjoyed our time together. (Thanks to everyone who wished us safe and well travels!)

My parent’s vehicle was packed. There was food and luggage in every crevasse. We added the third seat for Jose and Jasmine, the dog, to sit in (they had the most room). Cameron and I had the second row seat and we were without extra space. Mom and Dad had the captain’s position obviously and they were jammed in. I must admit though, it wasn’t all too bad. I pretty much stitched the entire way.

Grandpa is always by Grandma’s side, helping her in every way. They are both so tired but he has taken the role of aid and nurse. There is loving care there for sure. He’s in pretty good shape for being able to take care of her and him at this phase of life. I admire his perseverance (or is it a lack of asking for help?) or maybe because he just has to. At some point, we all will have to care for the ones we love.

Who doesn’t love cornbread? Who loves it when it’s in muffin-style? I do! I do! I probably ate four of these. My mom had the food prepared by Cracker Barrel and I would recommend this for Thanksgiving, or any meal for that matter...anytime. It was absolutely D-LISH!!! I’m not sure how the carrots were cooked but yum is the word. That’s my plate. Less turkey, more starch – right up my alley. Cameron enjoyed his plate of food but I think he enjoyed sitting standing kneeling in a real chair more. He was content. I love this picture of him and my dad. They were so smitten.

My Dad says that when you’re at grandma and grandpa’s house your metabolism slows - LOL. I think he’s correct. Every time we’re there we want to fall asleep. As my grandma calls them, they’re a bunch of lazy bones ;-) Even Jasmine the dog got trapped in that stereotype. Grandpa loves to play Dominos. Grandma and Uncle Jimmy like to play Rook. Cameron had to get in on the action of Dominos of course and naturally Cameron lost one of Grandpa’s pieces so while out on Black Friday (OMG!) we picked up a new set for him. This photo is just too cute. These grown men in wife-beater tanks (just a term) with a little two-year old child. LOL

Mom, myself and the boys stayed at a nearby hotel bc there wasn’t enough room at the house. Cameron looked so “royal” having breakfast in bed while cozy in his flannel collared Christmas jammies in a white fluffy bed. So regal! Cameron being mechanically and technically savvy was the first person to correctly operate our hotel room thermostat controls. In fact, we couldn’t get him to leave the damn thing alone. Hot. Cold. Full blast. Auto. On. Off. On. Hot. Hot. Hotter. Hotter. Freezing cold. I couldn’t tell if I was dying from hypothermia or just melting away.

The days following Thanksgiving were memorable. Cameron made a real friend in Uncle Jimmy, but then that doesn’t surprise me. Uncle Jimmy was always good with the kids. Cameron took his nap in Jimmy’s arms and Uncle Jimmy didn’t mind one bit. More lazy bones on the couch including the dog. Mom and I stitching together. She’s stitching on a LHN project and I was sorting threads for her on an upcoming project. Jose and his Papa - they always have a good time together.

Target-filled bag of dirty cotton. Must clean cotton.

Arkansas’s main cash crop is cotton. My grandparents live in a very small town called Lake City right outside Jonesboro. They are surrounded by never-ending cotton fields. The side of the roads are sprinkled with puffs of cotton and I thought to myself “hey, that would make excellent fiber fill!” Friday afternoon, Jose and I went out and picked cotton. Okay, not exactly picked cotton. More like picked up cotton. The cotton fields had already been picked for the season so we were getting the leftovers…and whatever else blew off the trucks – LOL. Doesn’t matter. I got real, homegrown cotton for my projects and I know where to get more. Lots more! ;-)

I managed to start a piece the day we left (Wednesday) and I finished stitching it Thanksgiving Day. Can’t say what it is yet or show it clearly. I still need to get ribbon to finish it up, but it is cute, simple and sweet. I can’t wait to tackle the finishing bc I’m trying something new (to me anyway).

November is all wrapped up for 2009. The only word I can come up with, even with life’s trials and tribulations, is

Thankful (finishing unfinished)
32 ct. linen hand-dyed by me
WDW Copper & GAST Chocolate
Finishing into pinkeep/ornament

I am THANKFUL after all...with a side of turkey - heehee.

December already? There are a few birthdays arriving shortly. My birthday. Mom’s birthday. Just to name a couple. Mother Winter blows herself into town – not cool. Christmas is around the corner of course. And now it’s time to put away the fall decorations in exchange for all the Christmas trimmings; however, it will take quite the flurry of whatever-it’s-going-to-take (for lack of a better term) to get myself in gear for that time of year. Honestly, I am not heavily excited about this year-end, but I am going to take one day at a time and do the very best I can with what I have. (Guess this means a blog face lift is in order to coincide with the season, ugh?) Here’s wishing Dear December will be gentle and kind. Talk soon…


Anonymous said...

I don't think Cameron ever takes a bad picture - he is so cute. What are you and your mom stitching on in that picture? You are both very intent. Sally

mainely stitching said...

What a great post, Julie! Something about the onset of winter that just makes us cozy-up to our family and loved ones, isn't there? Wonderful photos, especially the very touching one of your grandfather helping your grandmother.

If you love cornbread, we've got to get together. I do, too, and wow can I make some excellent cornbread (bread or muffins) and flapjacks!! :D (Not blowing my own horn here - before I made great ones, I made awful ones. Practice makes perfect. LOL!)

Siobhan said...

It sounds like a lovely time, Julie. I'm sorry about your husband's grandmother.

pturner507 said...

This is probably one of your best posts about our family. I know you always speak from your heart, and your heart is filled with love.
Your family feels the same way about you.
I love you.

Julie said...

Thanks, Siobhan! I appreciate that and so will my husband.

Julie said...

Ah, thanks Mom! I love you!

Meadows08 said...

Looks like you had a wonderful holiday! I hope your Christmas is lovely too!

Tanya said...

I love cornbread ... only the sweet kind, though. Muffins, bread - whatever way it's there on the plate. LOL

Looks like lovely family pics.