Friday, July 31, 2009

Reunion time - and I will be posting random photos here and at the Terrill Connection - changing daily - you won't want to miss it!!

Okay, so this is the 60's folks, in all its glory!!

My Aunt Anne - Grandma Connie was her mom - and were we ever glad they joined the Clayton Clan!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gotta love that girl!

Eve called me tonight:

Eve: Grandma, you want to come to Cherry on Top with us?

Me: We haven't had dinner yet and Grandpa is not home.

Eve: Well, just put his dinner on the counter and leave him a note that says to warm up his dinner and just come with us.

Me: Well, I really should wait until he gets home and I have to make dinner still.

Eve: Oh, just open some soup.

Me: Well, it's my job to take care of Grandpa, so I should really be here with his dinner ready.

Eve: You take care of Grandpa? Isn't he older than you? He looks older than you.

I do love Eve's ability to "cut to the chase!!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's new in the neigborhood??

So, after 26 years, we have finally planted a tree in the front yard!! It's a California Sycamore.

And I thought I'd show you how different the side yard looks now that the neighbors to the north have cleared away about 30 years of overgrowth.

Don't drive on by because you don't recognize the place!!

This brings me joy!! Thank you Lawnbird!! (that would be our good friend Paul!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A fun Sunday

Started the day out saying goodbye to Sean, Keli and girls - what fun to have them here, however briefly!!

Found out it was Patrice's birthday today - so we had her over for a birthday dinner!!

With birthday pie - thanks Dawn!!

Harry the Son of Harry and Barbara had to work, but we enjoyed having the rest of the crew.

Eve regaled Patrice with a number of her wonderful stories.

Harry (the Dad of Bonny, Harry, Phoebe, Eliza, Hannah and Noah), and Greg played with their phones!!

Porter tries to avoid getting photographed. (But he always wants to see the picture afterwards!)

And Baby Harry likes the big chair, as opposed to a high chair - go figure!

We also enjoyed g-chatting with Hannah and Robbie and hearing about the Tour de France - check her blog for photos.

Can it be the end of July already??

Friday, July 24, 2009

I had a conversation with Bruce the other night - about trees - and the lack thereof in our front yard. He suggested a Sycamore tree.

So I did a little research - and contacted my tree guy - and we are getting one planted next week.

I know you are all amazed that after 26 years of saying, "If we'd planted a tree when we moved here, the tree would now be ______years old!"

Never say never! It ain't over til it's over! It ain't over til the fat lady sings!

I will of course post photos when the action takes place!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tiny Treasures

The deer eat most of my roses - a continual frustration - but sometimes they miss a few.

And so I enjoy a little spot of cheer in the house from "Grandma's Garden."

I enjoy my "tiny treasures!!"

All Things Sendak!!

Dad, Noah and I went to see Harry Potter - we enjoyed it - but I really need to watch all of them and get some details straight!! The key players have indeed improved as actors.

While there, we of course saw "Previews of Coming Attractions" and lo and behold, they are making a full-length movie out of Where the Wild Things Are. And it looks like it might be pretty entertaining.

This is of course the perfect segue into the following: I was browsing in the Friends of the Monrovia Library Bookstore today - I dearly love our new library and want to support it in every way - and I buy copies of books that I have always owned - or at least have owned for some time - and then offer them up to any takers in the family. It's a good system - I can't remember who has what - so they just tell me which ones they want. (These books go for 25 cents each!!)

Hannah commented that she had to tell Robbie all about Outside Over There and the connection to our own dear Miss Ida.

So it seemed like a good excuse for a post!!

For the uninitiated, the young lady with the "wonder horn" is Ida. The baby in the cradle is her unnamed little sister.

And those creatures in the window are goblins - come to snatch Baby Sister. (And replace her with an "ice baby!!")

I don't want to spoil the ending - you'll have to read it yourself.

Maybe next year we can do the Caldecott Winners for our Summer Read!!

(Parenthetically, the very first children's book we ever owned was Kenny's Window by Maurice Sendak - it's not a well-known work of his - except in certain Terrill circles - but it's a unique, compelling, somewhat confusing but charming story - lots of dream sequences. It was a baby shower gift. And that got us started on Sendak. Just a little history for you!!)

Have I ever posted about Crows of Pearblossom??

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 18, 1970

I was trying to get this to post - it's a long story - but Donna, Mom and Mary were cleaning out the cupboard under the stairs and came across this photo - and the date on the back said, "Saturday, July 18, 1970."

And since it was Saturday July 18th on Saturday when she called, I thought it would be fun to post!! But when she emailed it, it was postage-stamp sized. Took me until tonight, with Dad's help, to get it big enough to see.

Obviously I was pregnant with Bonny - and had long hair - we were admiring Bonny's long hair - but don't worry, I'm not growing mine out that long.

Although I did enjoy wearing ponytails!

And it was taken on the U of U campus - and I made that top myself - one of my first sewing efforts.

Just a little trivia and minutiae for you folks!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Clayton Reunion

Be sure to keep August 8th open for the Clayton Family Reunion at Huntington State Beach. It's never a very fancy affair, and we are never quite sure who is coming, but it's always fun.

This is me with all my sisters - I don't even know the year - but it's not often we are all together - so I like to celebrate the times we are.

Watching Bonny's girls, I was reminded how much I love having sisters - I love my brothers too, but there is just something about a sisterhood!!

If you are fortunate enough to have a sister or two, be sure to let them know how much you love them!

(You can let your brothers know too - but I'm focusing on sisters today!!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jury Duty

I was walking in to the courthouse for jury duty, and ran into my friend and colleague Jan Marlia - who is next to me in the photo - and she had jury duty too!!

Jan had never been called - so this was a first for her - and the "officer of the court" painted a grim picture - about how the cases could go a week or longer - and if we wanted to postpone, we'd better postpone now.

She took roll, showed us a video, had us take a break, took roll again, sent us on an hour and a half lunch break, took roll again - and dismissed us at 1:45!

It works out like this for me all the time - my luck won't hold forever, but I'm glad to have it off the list for a year or two. (They say you are good for 12 months, but they tend to call me every 2 or 3 years.)

And spending the day with a friend - and going to lunch in Downtown El Monte - is not a bad way to spend the day!

(We weren't sure what they would do when they discovered we were friends - are friends allowed to serve together on juries??)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just a year ago -

It seems impossible, but we were in South America - Chile to be exact - a year ago at this time!!

Why do I always reflect on the passage of time? Maybe because it really seems to be flying by.

I have had a lazy lovely week - I was feeling like I'd really been doing nothing - but then thought about how I'd gone swimming every day, doing physical therapy for my knees. And I've made 3 aprons and cut out 4 more. And I had a planned meal for dinner every night this week (that might not be impressive to you, but take my word for it, it is!!), and I finished one Newbery novel - but instead of starting another one, I got distracted and read an adolescent novel that was on the "New Reads" shelf at the library - where I had gone to get more Newbery books. (I finished the distraction - it was quite good - Flight by Elizabeth Ellison - about a boy who can't read.) But I've started Criss Cross. And I started writing the talk I have to give in Stake Conference on August 22nd. And of course, I've blogged and emailed and played a little Solitaire! And I visit taught one of my sisters.

So I haven't been such a slouch - but there has been a lot of time that could have been productive.

And "finish anniversary posts" has been on my "ToDo" list for almost 2 years now - and I haven't even begun to tackle it - but I don't want to give up!! Yikes!

And "Sort photos" has been on my list. And "finish the little dress for Ida" is on there too.

And now I have jury duty tomorrow - so I won't be getting many items on my "ToDo" list done - and what if I get put on a trial?

At least I'm all rested up!

Monday, July 13, 2009

On heat and other conditions of summer!!

We do not have whole house a/c - we never have. I used to think that someday we would - but it's expensive to put in, we actually need to re-pitch our roof in back to make a whole-house system efficient, and frankly I'm usually not miserable, so I don't think about it much.

I certainly didn't grow up with a/c - we thought a fan was a luxury! Stores didn't have it - nor did the church buildings - or schools. (I might object if my classroom wasn't air-conditioned!!)

Like little Harry as a toddler, we ran around in abbreviated clothing when I was a little kid. Everyone did. I think that made it much more bearable - everyone kind of slowed down their pace to accommodate the heat.

The summers when I was pregnant - and there were 4 of them - seemed pretty miserable - and I complained a lot and suggested we get a/c. My pleas fell on pretty deaf ears. We can keep our house very pleasant with window units, fans and our whole house fan at night. But it doesn't stay pleasant if little kids are running in and out. Dawn spent a pregnant summer here - and she can vouch for it!

When we moved here, we used Grandma's pool a lot!! I started wishing for a swimming pool. Grandma T. never had a/c - she'd dive in the pool at night before going to bed, swim a few laps and get her body temp down. Then she'd go to bed with a fan going - and sleep beautifully through the night. I think she's always tolerated heat well. My dad did too.

Of course, the beach is a great option for beating the heat. I don't think we went all that often when I was a kid - but when we did go, it was a major treat. After we moved here, we would go to Santa Monica Beach every Thursday - often Damond came with us. We'd take a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jam, a loaf of bread and a jug of water. We were fine.

I've been swimming in the mornings this summer - either at Seeley's or at Karan Davies. It's for my knees. And then I pretty much stay in the house. Lying on the couch with ice on my knees is very pleasant. I sit in my laundry/computer/sewing room with an oscillating fan and I'm good to go.

Just thinking about how life goes around in circles.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Addendum to Grandma Post

I need to fly Eliza out here for a week just to help me get organized in the computer realm - I came across this - my all time Grandma Photo Op - and hadn't found it when I was doing my grandma post!

It's not the clearest photo - or the best composed - in fact, it's a Polaroid taken by my Uncle Paul - but I treasure it!!

Be sure there's a grandma shot at the wedding - if there's a grandma there!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On being a Grandma

Agnes is named for, among others, a grandmother I never knew - Agnes Busath Clayton. My dad always talked about her - and in such a way that I felt that I knew her. I look forward to knowing her someday.

I had 3 grandmothers that I knew - and they played a large role in my early years. And my Grandma Connie - who lived into her 90's - was an integral part of my adult years - and I love that my older kids have memories of her too.

I'm not sure if my relationships with them were traditional or not, but they are part of the fabric of my life.

We often visited my Grandma Stevens on Sundays - drove out to the Inglewood Cemetery to visit my Grandma Clayton's grave, and then drove on to Grandma Stevens' house.

I always enjoyed the visits there. She had a drawer in the hall - we could play with the stuff in that drawer. I'm sure it wasn't brand new or expensive, but just because it was different, it held quite a fascination for us. And she taught me to play cards and drink 7-Up out of a shot glass!! (That seemed like such wicked fun!!)

Sometimes we stayed there when my mom had a baby. She wasn't always pleased that my mom was having another baby - but she loved us all anyway!

When my Grandpa Clayton married Connie, she came with a daughter from a previous marriage - and she was just between Alice and me in age - what a nice set up that was!! For several years, we spent a week or two each summer at their house - in Lakewood - and felt like we'd spent a month at the Ritz! I guess it doesn't take much to make some folks happy.

We'd sleep in, eat T.V. dinners, walk downtown to the movies, and when they owned the Hollywood School of Drama, we went to the plays the students put on - not sure we understood them, but it felt pretty glamorous!

There's no such thing as a photo of all of my mother and father's grandchildren!! And this is the closest I could find of all Grandma Terrill's grandkids - Phoebe and Eliza are missing - but we included them in spirit - and paper plate!

Eliza was here this week and right at the top of her agenda was visiting with both of her grandmas. I'm pleased that our children love and appreciate their grandmothers.

And I love being a grandmother!!

Even in my sleep!

And I treasure this photo - although Ida is missing because she had not yet been born - and look forward to the occasion that will prompt a photo of all the grandkids, including Miss Ida!!

Melanie Wilkes said "It's always a happy day when babies are born." I would amend that to say that "It's always a happy day when grandbabies are born!"

I hope my grandkids have good memories of their experiences with me - I'm trying to structure those good experiences, but would love any input on the great memories you have of your grandmas!!

Note: The third grandma was my Grandpa Clayton's 2nd wife - Helen - and I have no photos of her. My memories of her are dim - Alice and I stayed with her when Mary was born. It's a long, complicated story, but she became involved with an apostate group and left my grandpa. Her two children are my Aunt Jane and my Uncle Peter - called Gil or Gilbert also or Pete - and they are the best part of that brief marriage! I remember that she was quiet, soft-spoken and kind.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Pinnies from Heaven - an apron by Granny Babs

You've heard of bag ladies? Well, I'm thinking I'm an apron lady.

I have been making aprons for a few years now - I think maybe 5 or so. But I have not kept track of who I have made them for. I actually make plans to make them for certain people - but don't get around to it - and then can't remember which ones did get done! So sometimes I make someone an apron - and I had already made them one!

My friend Sue did a visiting teaching seminar talk on "Hearts Knit Together" and she talked about knitting. It was a great talk - lots of knitting principles apply to Visiting Teaching. But what caught my attention was the story about her mother and how she has knitted many Christmas stockings for family and friends - and still does - in fact, she has 75 put away for future great-grandchildren! But she has kept track! (Sue says I need to keep track!)

I'm feeling the need to start keeping track. So, if I've made you an apron, would you post a comment telling me so. Or email me. And if you'd like an apron from Granny Babs, you can comment or email me on that! (I'm not the least bit offended if you don't really want an apron!) And I'm not saying you'll get one next week, but you'll be in the queue if that's where you want to be!)

And if you want to choose your own fabric, you can send me 1 1/4 yards of fabric and 2 packages of single fold bias tape - has to be single fold - and no extra wide - should say 1/2 inch wide on the package. Bias tape is hard to find around here and expensive online, so if you find a good source, let me know!

I love having my own labels. I switch them up often - if I'd kept track of how many I'd ordered, I'd know how many I've made. But if I'd kept track of how many I'd ordered, I'd probably have kept track of who I sent them to!!

I get a lot of joy out of making these particular aprons. I've made so many that I can practically do it in my sleep, so there is no stress. And they don't take a lot of time. And I love prowling through the aisles in fabric stores looking for future aprons.

I do make some other styles - and actually have quite a collection of apron patterns - but that kind of sewing isn't mindless, relaxing sewing - it's more work. Worthwhile work, but work nonetheless!

The pinnies get made while I sit at my machine and watch movies on my great little portable DVD player Bonny gave me. It's either GWTW, FOTB or LW. Sometimes PB. The kind of movies that you don't have to pay complete attention too - one time I did aprons to Finding Neverland but it was too distracting - I didn't get much sewing done - if you are going to watch a movie that carefully, you might as well watch it on the big screen.

One of the shots above is of the aprons I made during this last visit to Phoebe's - she buys the fabric and bias tape and I do the sewing. Another batch I made for Leslie's book club - I did one of them upside down - that's what you get for going with an amateur like me! The patterns were old to start with and are very fragile now - next project is to get them on some sturdier kind of surface.

I first made one over 30 years ago - you can see it in the shot with my dad - I should have saved it. But I think I wore it out.

I'm just saying.