January 29, 2017

Kansas Day 2017

So, in all those boxes I've been going through that we had stored in Daughter-in-law A's attic, today I came across a folder appropriate for today – Kansas Day pages made by my Youngest Son J when he was in elementary school... I'm guessing about third grade in the early 1990s.

When I saw the center page in this next photo, I had to chuckle. Have you ever seen such a malnourished buffalo, what with all the prairie grasses we have here? Haha!

Our cottonwood trees really do grow quite huge, as in the next photo. And the wheat?

*clears throat*

Well... umm...

And those folks who cheer for KU (I root for K-State) will get a kick out of this last page. In my son's words and printing, it reads: "The Jayhawk has a red haed. His bill feet are yellow. His wings are blue. He wears orang socks."

If you're wondering about this mythical Jayhawk bird, here's the definition from Legend of the Jayhawk: "Its origin is rooted in the historic struggles of Kansas settlers. The term "Jayhawk" was probably coined about 1848. Accounts of its use appeared from Illinois to Texas. The name combines two birds – the blue jay, a noisy, quarrelsome thing known to rob nests, and the sparrow hawk, a stealthy hunter."

Happy 156th Birthday Kansas!

I'm still happy to be living here. I will always be a Kansas girl! 🌻

January 26, 2017

Throwback Thursday {my first quilt}

Daughter-in-law A has been bringing some of my boxes down from her attic where we'd stored them when Jerry and I moved back here from Newton in 2013. At the time of our move, I hadn't been sure of what I could cram into this tiny apartment. So, for three years and a half years, while other things have had my constant attention, I'd nearly forgotten what was still packed away... like the very first quilt I'd ever made! The heat of summer and cold of winter probably haven't been the best things for it to endure in the attic all this time, but it seems none the worse for it.

When I had finished it and showed it to my Step-grandmother Henson, she had said, "Wow, you sure chose a hard design to use for your first one!" Hmm, I hadn't thought so... all I knew was that it was fun! Haha!

Jerry and I sure have enjoyed that quilt over the years. It – and a couple other quilts I'd made after that one – even kept us comfy-cozy-warm in January 2004 when a Kansas ice storm knocked out power for nine days!

Well, back to checking out other boxes...

January 22, 2017

60th birthday

Today... is my birthday!

Today... I am 60!

I've been alive for 21,915 days. Oh my, that is six decades I have lived.

Six decades of not only what I've lived through in my own life, but all that has happened in the world during that time.

My dad told me it was snowing that Tuesday when I was born. Indeed, it was. And the temperature in the middle of that day was only 16.3°F and the winds were blowing around 34mph. (Today's weather is supposed to be a high of 54°F and sunny with gusty winds of 10-25mph.)

My Grandma Dessenberger told me that my parents were beginning to lose hope that they'd ever have children. My mama was 28 and my dad was 31 when they had me. (And two years later there was my brother.)

I came across several interesting 1957 facts (interesting to me, anyway)...

• Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story opened on Broadway.
Loving You and Jailhouse Rock were released in the U.S. starring Elvis Presley; the former of the two was his first starring role. This was also the year that he bought Graceland, his famous estate in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Bridge on the River Kwai premiered in the United Kingdom. The film would go on to win Best Picture at the 30th Academy Awards in 1958.
• Paul McCartney and John Lennon met for the first time in Liverpool, England; the meeting occurred three years before The Beatles were formed.
One of my still-favorite television shows (as reruns, of course) made its debut on CBS - Leave It To Beaver.
The United States President was Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President was Richard M. Nixon.
Good golly, postage stamps were ... a gallon of gas was 24¢... a loaf of bread was 19¢... the average annual income was $4,494.
Some events and other memories in later decades that I recollect from my lifetime so far...
I remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. The teacher from the classroom next to the one I was in came in crying, carrying the transistor radio she'd been listening to; she spoke briefly to our teacher, and then broke the news to our class that "the President has been assassinated." Being so young (ages 5 and 6), most of us didn't understand what that meant at the time.
The year of 1965 is etched into my mind because of all the news surrounding the beginning of the Vietnam War.
I can recall my Grandma Dessenberger discussing with my mama the start of a new national health insurance program called Medicare (began July 1, 1966). And now I'm getting ever closer to signing up for it myself (Jerry has been on it for a while due to all of his disabilities).
Clearly, one event that is a big memory for me and millions of others was the moon landing on July 20, 1969. The Apollo 11 Mission was a national goal that had been set by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961 for the crew to perform a lunar landing and then return to earth.
I can still see the images in my mind from the news on television in May 1970 that was rife with reports about the four students at Kent State University in Ohio slain by National Guardsmen at a demonstration protesting the incursion into Cambodia on May 4.
M.A.S.H. started its run on television in 1972. My dad and I would sit and watch that show together for many years to come. To this day, Jerry and I watch episodes over and over and over.
In 1972-1973, I was a sophomore in high school. The only reason I can remember January 1972 is because I had so many friends in high school who were openly crying at school the day after the ceasefire was signed in Paris ending the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. So many had lost family members and friends.
Everyone thought it was pretty fantastic when VCRs were being developed.
I was mesmerized watching Gone With The Wind and Roots for the first time on television.
I specifically remember the deaths of Elvis Presley (1977), Princess Grace (1982), Jackie Kennedy Onassis (1994), Frank Sinatra (1998), and Charles Schulz (2000).
The first space shuttle Enterprise in a test glide.
All my friends just had to have a Sony Walkman when they came out on the market.
The first president I voted for was Ronald Reagan.
What a devastating feeling it was when John Lennon (The Beatles) was shot.
I wasn't too sure about the first CDs.
The tragic explosion of the space shuttle Challenger and then several years later the re-entry break-up of space shuttle Columbia.
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" ...from a speech given by President Ronald Reagan in Berlin, Germany.
I was excited when I was introduced to desktop publishing which would eventually lead the way into my self-taught home-based career of web development and graphics design.
The Chernobyl nuclear accident had more than a few people in the world sitting on edge with worry.
My dad bought our first color television set when I was in junior high school.
The bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was our region's first real introduction to terrorism.
Astronaut John Glenn going back into space at age 77 showed us all that you can still do important things later in life.
The 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S. was like a punch in the stomach. I remember how utterly quiet the world became in those first moments and hours when everyone realized what this might represent for the future.
The broad-daylight art robbery of the Zurich Museum was both fascinating and incredible in the way those fellows pulled it off.
Victims of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti (2010), Chile (2010), and Japan (2011) will be dealing with the effects for decades to come.
I watched – on whatever computer I had at the time – the rescue of 33 trapped Chilean miners after spending 68 days trapped in a mine half a mile underground.
I've enjoyed the televised Royal Family weddings, even though only for admiring the fashions.
The Joplin, Missouri and Oklahoma City area tornadoes were so frightening because we have family in all those places that were hit – thankfully all alive but a couple of my cousins' families lost everything.
The tragic deaths of 20 children and 6 staff members in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut broke every heart in the country. Summed up in my son's words on Facebook that day: "I just want to go home and hug my children and never let them go."
The meteor debris that killed 1,000 and injured 1,500 in Siberia, Russia.
And good grief, these past couple years of everything political.
A lot of things can happen in sixty years. Some good, some bad. But the best memory that has ever happened was when I turned my life over to Christ.

P.S. I want to say Happy Birthday! to one of my blog readers – Mary Ann – who shares this birth date of January 22nd with me!

January 18, 2017

I am a "sewcialist"

Hello, my name is Diana and I'm addicted to sewing!

You can just call me a "sewcialist."

Haha! But really... I do love to sew. My mama taught me how when I was eight years old. She had a 1951 Singer Sewing Machine including cabinet exactly like this one.

I've used several more modern machines over the years, but nothing ran as smooth as my mama's Singer!

My first sewing projects were clothes for the Barbie my parents had gotten me for Christmas a couple years earlier. I spent many a happy day sitting at that machine totally engrossed in whatever project had my attention at the time. My Grandma Dessenberger still had a treadle sewing machine that she even let me try a couple times.

I taught oldest Granddaughter M how to sew a couple years ago. We haven't had a whole lot of time to spend on sewing, mostly because of the busy-ness of life that gets in the way. A couple weekends ago was her turn for a stayover and we spent the time doing several spur-of-the-moment craft and sewing projects. We Modge Podge-d a new cover on her school art notebook, sewed a zipper cosmetic case, a fabric iphone charger station, a pillowcase, and made two tie blankets. The other things weren't done yet when I took this photo of the blankets and pillowcase she made.

We had a ice storm this past weekend which kept many of us in the region stuck inside, so I dug around on Pinterest for some ideas of something to do. I worked on a couple projects simultaneously (I do that a lot, haha). One I'm still working on because it involves Modge Podge and lengthy drying times. The other was a sewing craft...

I'm not sure if it's a catmonster or a monstercat. Ha!

After finishing him up today, I can sure feel it in my aging, aching fingers. ­čśŤ But it was lots of fun. I may have to do another!

January 10, 2017

10 random things about me

I've been stuck offline because my modem/router finally bit the dust. It'll be a few days until I can replace it, but in the meantime, I thought I'd do a quick post via my iphone (which I do not like to do) so ya'll would know I'm still around. The only thing I could think of is a list of 10 random things about me. So, here goes...

1. I do not like chocolate. I don't like chocolate anything (candy, fudge, muffins, cereal, cake, etc.). I don't like the smell, I don't like the texture, I don't like the flavor. Yes, I've always been this way.

2. I am allergic to nearly 99% of the antibiotics that are out there. There are only two that can be used for me that are approved for surgery. If I get sick, I tough it out.

3. I do not know how to swim. I like water. I get in the pool with the grandkids. But I cannot get this body to float to save my life.

4. I don't own a tv. And I do not care.

5. I've an extremely low tolerance to smells. For instance, I start choking and hacking away when I'm near anyone wearing perfume or cologne, or when there are scented candles burning, and goodness gracious don't get me started on the store smells around Christmas. The biggest thing is I can't be around people who smoke. I used to smoke... I quit back in 2006 and that's when my intolerance for all smells began. Go figure.

6. I never wear makeup. Ya'll can keep it, but I hate it. (I take that back... I wore a light coating for our 2006 family portraits, but that's it.)

7. I can speak and read German ... or more precisely, Plattd├╝├╝tsch/Plattdeutsch (Low German). My Grandma Buller spoke it, and so I learned from her and in German class in high school.

8. I have one sibling, a brother two years younger. He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic in 1987. Because of how that affects the patient's mind – having delusions (false beliefs) that a person or some individuals are plotting against them – I've not seen or heard from him in all these years.

9. What sets my nerves on edge are those ticking clocks while waiting for the doctor to come into the room. Because I live with daily migraines (life-long), the noise they make is amplified to the extreme in my head.

10. I'm happiest just sitting outdoors, listening to the quiet sounds of nature and savoring what God has made for me to enjoy in that environment.

Maybe I'll use a couple of those as post topics in the future. 'Til later, my friends!