Funny Family Fotos

People often reminisce about  the “good old days”……and I’ve done it also, however….some of these photos make me appreciate the “here and now” for sure!

All of these photos came from my grandmothers photo albums, which I acquired a few years ago, because my dad knew I’d take good care of them. These photos are his family and ancestors, and most had no information written on the back. I’ve had to post these on Facebook so my assorted cousins across the US could help me identify them. There were but a few that we had no clue at all, they are a mystery.

Let’s have a picnic…deep in the woods….let’s take the kids…..grab your coats, axes and washtubs!

We were all “stumped” about this one for a while!

The subjects in the photo above were eventually identified as my grandmother (tall woman holding baby) my dad (in hat) at her left elbow, my two aunts Bea and Geraldine, and some neighbors. We narrowed down the year to 1938…..

“ROAD TRIP”! (apparently my ancestors loved to leave home for adventures?)

This is my dad, age 3 months 17 days, according to my granny’s handwriting on the back.

Oh, just put the babies down anywhere, they’ll be fine!

I know the baby on the left must be my dad, because it looks just like ME……

“Hi, I’m Larry, this is my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl”

My great-grandfather and his sons who never married and never left home.

I think this little boy may be my dad, or his cousin Sonny-boy…..they looked about the same in every picture I’ve found.

Once again…..”let’s sit the baby out in the road or middle of no where and take his picture”!

They must have been trying to “capture the light”……..

My daddy….
This is the little suit my dad was wearing in the photo above….
This is the suit and hat along with the original tiny photo; I have put them into a memory keepsake box, hanging on the wall in my bedroom. So sweet….

Retail therapy????

The first yard sale ever?

Playing “let’s pretend”……

“Let’s pretend like we’re not really poor”……

on the back “to Beatrice Wilson, this is Mildred and her little friend in their play house” …. printed on the back “Finished by Nichols Studio Jacksonville, Texas”

Forget taking the kid to the woodshed……

CPS…..where are you? After very close scrutinizing, we have determined this to be one of my dad’s cousins, and there is someone behind her, holding her up on the woodpile!

“Life on the farm….PETA would love this, right?”

I guess they couldn’t afford to have a dog for a pet….???

Anyone up for some fried catfish???

We have studied this one and can only hazard a guess that *maybe* this was a scene on the Red River long before the Denison Dam was built to create Lake Texoma. I don’t think I’d want to eat the fish that came out of that water, though!

And last, but not least…….no wonder they were so destitute, the “lucky” horseshoe was upside down…all the luck was running out!

This one is my favorite! We believe this is my great-grandfather Charlie Wilson and one of his sisters, or daughters….

Now, I know all these photos are in black and white and are very old, but I sense there wasn’t much green grass around at the time. It looks very desolate….no wonder my grandmother loved plants and flowers so much, she needed color in her life!

Thanks for the memories, Granny K….

Dreamin’ Jeannie

The story of Dreamin’ Jeannie is a simple one. It’s my life. My middle name is Jeanne, easy enough to turn that into Jeannie….then use the play on words from the old Stephen Foster song “I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair”….Because, it seemed I was always day-dreaming about things that I could never have, or could never be…I dreamed of being a musician, not necessarily being famous, but of being known for my music. I was a *stay-at-home-mom* long before that became a popular catch-phrase; what it really meant was, I had never worked, had no education or job skills, and a controlling husband. My (ex) husband didn’t like it when I would get lost in music, probably because he wasn’t musical, and he just didn’t understand. He did buy me a lovely piano once, but didn’t like for me to play when he was in the house; only if we had company would he say “play something”…..most of all he was jealous of my love of music because it took me away from him. It was my escape. I escaped a lot.

I wrote this song in 1979…I was sure that it could have been a big hit if the right artist would record it…..(I’m still dreamin’ about that)…..I had all of my original songs from that era copyrighted in the early 1980s thinking I would someday do something with them. So far, all I’ve done is sing them over and over to myself, and record a few for my satisfaction.

Below is the video slide show I set to the song a few years ago……filled with photos of the house we lived in once, my kids, and my days in the clubs….and the last frame is my daughter Kelly and me, performing together on a local talent show.

Dreamin’ Jeannie

Breakfast dishes sittin’ on the table till noon,

dirty clothes piled up in the hall so soon,

the kids are outside playin’, she knows her mama’s prayin’,

that someday she’ll grow up and stop dreamin’ all the time;

Her husband’s workin’ hard and extra hours these days,

to try to pay the bills and get ahead some way,

he loves her all he can, but he just don’t understand,

only hopes that someday she’ll stop dreamin’ all the time.

But Jeannie can’t stop dreamin’ when the music’s in her head,

cause if the music ever stops, she might as well be dead;

Well, someday they’ll remember how they teased her years ago,

when they hear her music playin’, on the radio…………………

She’s livin’ in a fantasy, well that’s what they all think,

just cause she’s not worried ‘bout dishes in the sink,

the telephone is ringin’, but Jeannie keeps on singin’,

and hopes she won’t ever stop dreamin’ all the time;

She knows the house is dusty, and the beds have not been made,

and the ironing’s where she left it, sometime yesterday,

so she gives a little smile, when he says he’ll be gone awhile,

and he knows she’ll never stop dreamin’ all the time..

chorus

second chorus:

They’ll say “Jeannie keep on dreamin’ makin’ music all day long”

someday the world will recognize, Dreamin’ Jeannie’s songs,

and her friends will say “oh yes, I knew Jeannie way back when,

wonder if she thinks about us every now and then”?

I can say that I have accomplished one goal, because most people who have known me for more than a short time, know my love for music; they know I love to sing, to play piano, to record, and to write songs. New people I meet are always surprised, no, shocked to learn that I once played in a country band, in bars and honky-tonks. I sure don’t look the part now. I just laugh and tell them “I wasn’t always this old”!

Copies of my labor of love, my very first hand printed lead sheet for Dreamin’ Jeannie…I’m still impressed that I was able to do that without knowing “how”…..

I’m still waiting for someone to discover my music ……..the dream has never died.

Jeannie is still dreamin’…..

Techno-geek-wannabe…..update

The nice young man informed me today that my beloved laptop is terminal. I am in mourning now, and not ready to shop for a replacement.

Three years does not sound like a long lifespan for a computer. Unless computer years are like dog years….

Goodbye little laptop you have served me well and I will miss you sniff sniff…..

Techno-geek-wannabe…that’s ME!

Until 1998, my hubby and I did not own a computer at all. We entered into the technology world very hesitantly. When we bought our first PC, we didn’t even know what to ask for or look for, we just bought one that had a printer and a scanner, and it was almost $2,000.00. Now we are on our third desktop model and third laptop…..in 13 years. Prices have gone down considerably, but they are still not cheap. The current desktop is acting strange lately and I’m afraid it’s going to crash completely; I mean I am truly afraid! This is the computer we use to record music with, burn and print CDs and even though I now have an external hard drive for (hopefully) safekeeping of important documents, I’m clueless about how to retrieve anything from said hard drive. Everything I have learned in 13 years, I have learned by trial and error. Lots of errors!

Our very first computer....and the monstrous desk we thought we needed! Every home office/recording studio should also have a saddle.....
Much smaller desk, much larger monitor, and yes, more recording equipment! Lots of clutter, too.....one of my many faults!

Last week, my faithful laptop crashed and I’ve been lost without it. I dropped it off today at the local techno-repair place, entrusting it to the care of a nice young man who’s probably younger in age than most of my shoes. He assured me that he could even retrieve all my music, photos and documents from my last laptop that crashed 3 years ago, that is sitting forlornly in my closet. My husband, Mike tried to give that one away and I fairly screamed……NO!!!!!……all my stuff is in there! I know it’s still in there. I watch C.S.I.  I know that nothing is ever really “gone” from a hard drive!

Mike has a smaller laptop which he has tried to get me to “borrow” from him while mine is out of service, but I declined. It’s like driving a strange car, you know? I’ll just do without my laptop until the nice young man calls. I know I shouldn’t be so lost without my laptop, I have an iPhone, a Kindle Fire and my desktop; it’s just like a security blanket to me. Even while we are watching TV, I am constantly looking up facts and trivia on sites like IMDB, one of my favorites, so I can impress Mike with all the information.

I confess I have a love/hate relationship with technology, I love how easy it is to make music digitally, but I hate it when things don’t work like they should. I’m forever saying “but that should WORK, I know it should”! Just this morning, I was trying to print a label on a CD, like I have done hundreds of times, and the printer kept spitting the tray out and telling me it was not in place correctly. I beg your pardon, Mr. Epson Stylus, but it WAS in place correctly. You are not doing your job! You’re fired!

So, how did I function before computers came into my life? My phone was wired into the wall, my pictures were printed and kept in an album (or shoebox), my music was on cassettes or CDs, I played a lovely Yamaha acoustic piano and I sang without a microphone.

My gorgeous Yamaha......such a beautiful sounding instrument.
Band-in-a-box.....really cool software!
Cakewalk Music Creator recording software.....

But, now, I can record semi-professional sounding tracks, make videos with the songs and post them on youtube, or my blog; I can email them to my parents, I can burn and print music CDs to mail to my parents (see a theme here?) … or I can just keep them on my computer forever.

Until I die.

Or until my computer crashes.

Whichever comes first……

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here’s a song that my daughter Kelly is singing….she asked me to make the piano track for her so she could sing this Gretchen Wilson tune…..

“I’d Love to Be Your Last”

……..and THIS is why I love technology…….

Valentine’s Day Memories

I remember the excitement in grade school, when the teacher announced that we needed to bring a shoe box to school, to decorate for the BIG Valentine’s Day party. Red construction paper, white heart-shaped doilies, glue, glitter, ribbons galore……it was our chance to use our creativity and design the most beautiful box in the class. It was also our chance to get a special Valentine card from one special classmate, one that said more than “be mine”…..something personal. I recall counting my cards when I got home from school to make sure I got one from every classmate. Of course, I did…..we all did. The teachers always made sure to send the list of names home to our parents in advance, to make sure that no child got left Valentine-less.

Those who know me personally, may find it unthinkable, but I do not have any of my childhood Valentine cards to share. It’s amazing, since I am known in my family as a hoarder collector of all things sentimental. Imagine my surprise a few months ago when my mother handed me a manilla envelope full of treasures. This has happened on a regular basis this past year, and I love seeing a manilla envelope lying on her desk when I visit. I know there’s something very important inside that she is entrusting to my care.

Inside the envelope were greeting cards; including baby shower, Christmas, Anniversary, Mother’s Day cards, and the best of all, Valentine cards that dated back to the early 1930s when my dad was just a little boy. Awwww…..so, I’m sharing these today, because they are just the sweetest things ever!

 

 

Just imagine my 88 year old dad, as an adorable little boy receiving this mushy Valentine 🙂

 

 

 

 

“made in the USA” doubly sweet!

 

 

This one is from my dad to my mom……

Dad always chose the most beautiful cards for my mom!

Happy St. Valentine’s Day…..I hope your Valentine gave YOU a card as sweet as one of these!

 

 

 

 

Life’s a Beach

If I have any faults, and I’m pretty sure I have a ton, it would be that I love to decorate. I get carried away, just a bit. Give me a theme and I am off and running…to Hobby Lobby or Garden Ridge, two of my favorite places. When we moved into our house, all the walls and carpet were white, a big blank white canvas just waiting for me to make a splash. And I have made several splashes. Several do-overs along the way, too.

The guest room began with a day bed and a huge assortment of Barbie dolls; then we gave the day bed away, packed up the dolls, and put a full size bed into the room. A full size bed simply isn’t big enough these days for two people, so after we replaced the master bedroom furniture, the guest room acquired a nice queen size bed. Much better.

The room still had no theme, until my father in-law died, and we inherited a lot of his things. He lived in Florida, and loved all things from the beach and ocean. Voila…..my theme became Nautical!

I saw several ideas on HGTV, one of which was small wooden oars, criss-crossed over a window with fabric draped over. I gave my hubby my idea and he asked one of his guys at work make me some oars. When Mike came home with the new oars…..I was shocked……they were about FIVE feet long! I had to re-think my plan…..lol…..So, I painted the oars with a crackle finish, and hung them on the wall above the bed. They are FIRMLY attached to the wall with metal brackets; then I draped some fish netting over/around and filled in with some assorted sea shells. Perfect!

I made the duvet cover and pillows....

Next came the window treatment, since I didn’t have the *small* oars I wanted, I just used a regular café rod, some sheer fabric, tie backs, rope cord trim and a navy blue napkin!

I hung some small wooden shelves above the bed, and decorated with small items and sea shells…..lots of photos of lighthouses fill the walls.

Antique transistor radio....
Sea shells, vintage blue/white doily...

We found this interesting poster in my father in-laws things…..it has something to do with sailors and crossing the equator for the first time, it’s dated October 26, 1943. Very interesting and pretty, too!

Mike took me to Alabama and Mississippi in 1994 to see where he grew up, and to see the HUGE lighthouse at Biloxi. He was so disappointed when we got there, because the lighthouse was so *small*…..he insisted “it was way bigger, it was huge!”…..I just laughed and said, honey…..you were much smaller then, so it WAS huge to you!

The HUGE lighthouse at Biloxi....
Small chair that belonged to my grandmother, the quilt she helped me make as a child, and our Pelican, the Phabulous Phred!

And of course, last but not least…..the beach Christmas tree that has remained in place for 3 years now. Just never seemed like I should remove it, it’s so cute! It’s not like we have guests checking in and out on a regular schedule and no one has ever commented negatively about the tree!

Beach Tree

I decorated this room on a very slim budget….some paint, fabric, fish netting, shells, most of these items came from Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s and were most likely 50% off. I do love a bargain!

This room makes me feel happy……so, kick off your flip-flops, dig your toes into the sand…..life’s a beach!