Friday, November 29, 2013

Purple Rain...


 This is Angie I am the oldest child of Marlene’s. I was getting ready for work the other day, which includes a wonderful warm shower, and then I go to my newly remodeled Boutique that use to be my daughter’s room. It includes a beautiful vanity and a zebra print high heel chair that I sit on to apply my makeup. I also turn on my Pandora radio, which by the way is amazing and then I chose the Prince station.  Of course it would be one of my choices, because if you know me, there is no doubt I ALWAYS have a Hollywood or singer obsession in my life at all times.

This led me to think about my childhood and my first obsession. It was Jimmy on H.R.  Pufnstuf. For those who do not know about this, he was a boy who had a magical flute and was taken to a island on a boat with Barney like creatures and also had a wicked Witchy Poo. He was a cute dark headed English accented boy that could sing so good, which I do believe lead me to my next huge obsession…DAVY JONES.

Davy Jones was totally “groovy” and to this day I am still so jealous of Marsha Brady because he was on her TV show “The Brady Bunch” at least 2 times that I can remember. I still, in my heart, want that poncho she wore into the recording studio to see Davy that day.  She was so beautiful and there are no words to describe how I felt seeing Davy sing.  I must also admit that I am the biggest fan of YouTube because anytime I have Davy withdrawals I can simple look him up and gasp, swoon and still giggle at how he made me feel when I was young.

Many obsessions came and went in my growing up years and the biggest one yet happened a few years ago. While watching American idol, I totally went crazy for Adam Lambert. I have always been an Elvis fan and something about Adam reminds me of Elvis in a modern way. So in trying to convince everyone I knew into liking Adam as much as I did, including my Mom and Dad, no one could deny me he was an amazing singer. 

So on my birthday a couple of years ago I received the best gift ever. It was a card my mom worked on for hours.  It had pictures of Adam all over it and leads to the idea it was from Adam himself wishing me a happy birthday. Then I opened it.  On the inside was a picture of my Mom and Dad with my mom having Adam Lamberts eyes. I loved this so much and felt my parents had embraced my obsession of Adam, but more importantly just loved me for who I am.

So back to my Boutique and me listening to Prince.  A little over a month ago I was able to experience a wonderful weekend with all of my sisters, my daughter, a niece, Nat and my Mother. We went to Salt Lake City on a girl’s only weekend or G.O.W.  Which my mother also wrote about in her blog here.  While we were there the topic of Prince and his music came up and I was saying how talented he is and to my surprise my Mom said,  “I really like his music and Purple Rain is one of the best songs ever.”



So as I sat on my fabulous chair in my Boutique with the music Purple Rain playing softly in the background, I couldn’t help but to smile and cry and feel my Mother close to me just because of a simple song that reminds me of her and how wonderful and loving she is. 

It is my wish and my prayer that you all have a song as “special” as Purple Rain and cherish those times with those you love.


I love you Mom! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Clean, Happy, & Full of Love


I am Marlene's son-in-law, though since we met exactly 10 years ago this month, she and Verl have felt like a second set of parents.  Since early Sunday morning when we received the news of Marlene's passing, I have been trying to make sense of it all.  With Mary, Marlene's youngest daughter and my wife, we have been asking all the questions like how, why, why now, etc.  When my father passed away about 3 years ago, I asked all the same questions, some of which still remain unanswered.  There is, however, many answers to be found in reflecting on the person we knew and loved.  That is why I wanted to add something to what has been and will be written/said about Marlene.  In reflecting on Marlene's life and my acquaintance with her,  I have realized again how privileged I was to know her.  She was an amazing person and she gave her all to her family.

As often happens in reflecting on the past, I have taken out the rose colored glasses and suddenly, even the few things that used to bug me are things I already miss. For instance, since the time I met Marlene, and from what Mary tells me, from the dawn of time, Marlene has been a cleaner.  She could not rest until her house was so clean and perfect that it put any Martha Stewart or Country Living magazine to shame.  I think she was one of the only people I know who had the carpet cleaners on speed dial.  Everything was in its place and beautiful all the time. Interestingly, though, her grandkids were always the exception.  They could spill, carry toys everywhere, and even, heaven forbid, eat a cook cook (Nana-ese for cookie) in the living room.

The cleaning part only really ever annoyed me when, while staying with them, she would begin vacuuming outside our room at 6:00am sharp!  The thing that was more challenging for me to get used to was that she insisted on everyone eating all of her food even if it meant rupturing internal organs to make room.  "There's still a lot of food over here, I don't want any of it left," she would say.  Then just when you thought you were done, out came the chocolate cake and ice cream, which was served directly to you in mountainous proportions. Now don't get me wrong, Marlene's cooking could not be beat and I loved it. But I spent the first year of my marriage thinking that if I didn't eat 3 months worth of food in one sitting, that I would offend her, and Mary would leave me... okay, not really, but still.


I have thought a lot about those two details and determined that they are a perfect microcosm for who Marlene was.  She lived a clean and organized life.  It was essential that she have all of her priorities in the right place.  The most important things were to be active in Church, live the teachings of Jesus Christ, love her family unconditionally and completely, and serve others with all of herself... oh and watch Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, X-Files, Close Encounters, and BSU football... even when they loose.

I remember being chastised on pretty much every occasion we visited. "No one cleans up here, I will do it, you sit down and enjoy yourself." This even occurred at her own birthday celebrations. If you tried to give her gas money for coming out to babysit or a gift card as a thank you, you could bet you or someone else it the family would be getting it back.  She lived to serve and found true joy in being constantly engaged in helping everyone in her family be clean, happy, and full of love. She let her grandkids get away with things, because of the third point: She wanted everyone to be full.  Full of food, full of God's Spirit, full of love, full of fun, and full of the rich blessings of life and family.

The interesting thing about those rose colored glasses is that in this instance, with Marlene, when I take them back off again, there isn't any difference.  She was one of the best women I have ever known (Right up there with Mary and my own Mom, just in case they read this) and loosing her is a terrible tragedy for all who knew her.  Although, it's more of a tragedy for those who never got to.  I know that she is smiling down on us now as she waits for her family to be reunited in Heaven.  Though she still might cringe a bit if one of us forgets to take our shoes off or leaves too many leftovers in the fridge on Thanksgiving.  So on this day of giving thanks, our thoughts will be turned to one person to whom all of us owe so much gratitude.

We Love You Mom!  --- Ben Hazlett.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My cup runneth over...

November... the month of gratitude and gearing up for the Christmas season.  Just fitting that my mother would pass in such a month that we all turn our hearts to one another and reflect on the wonderful blessing it is to be surrounded by love.

Throughout my years of growing up, I have tried desperately to repay my mother for all the things she has given me.  Like the time I wanted to clean the entire house before Mom got home from work and to much chagrin I arrived and the carpet cleaners were just finishing up and guess what?... you got it...the house was already perfect. There have been countless times that similar kind of situations occurred.

So, with continued determination to give Mom back some of the service she has given me, with the news of her passing I was inspired to be her transport from Meridian, Idaho to the burial site in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  As seen in Marlene's earlier blogs, she loved my red van.  Yes, I am the one that gave up the sporty black car for the more convenient (with extra storage) red van to take my husband, two darling children, and two thousand pounds of children stuff with us where ever we should need to go.



FINALLY,  driving my mother to Idaho Falls, I could give to her without her giving back to me... or so I thought.  Just when I thought that I was getting ahead; here is what transpired this last week...
 
  •    Gas prices dropped to a low that I have not seen in YEARS. (Marlene never never never wanted to put people out...especially when it comes to money.)
  •    A "SANTA" present that I ordered online for my 4-year old son, showed up on my door step the day after my son went with my mother-in-law for a sleepover, so I could help with funeral plans.  (Just a little info:  My son is worse than a dog with the mail and UPS delivering services...He just KNOWS when they are at the door!)
  •    The weather forecast for this last weekend said not just Sunny, but BRILLIANT sun!  (And it was... it was!)
  •   Our trip ran flawless with kids, family, and all!
  •   I got to hug, give thanks, cry, and reminisce with some of my mother's favorite people in life and learn even more about her.
  •   I have received emails from my mother's readers telling me how important she was in the lives and how much she will be missed. 
  •   My little 18 month old daughter has been walking around the house with my mom's picture kissing and hugging it and saying, "Nana" letting me know that my wonderful mother will be remembered by even the very youngest in the family.

Now that some of the quiet has returned,  I lay in bed thinking of all that has transpired and what a wonderful mother I had and all that I can say is "...my cup runneth over".


Thank you to all you who hugged, called, emailed, kissed, and prayed for me and the family.  Thank you Mom for showing me how to give.  And most importantly... Thank you God for a wonderful Mother!   LOVE..."Mares".

Please send me your stories and emails at nutshellstories@gmail.com .

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Excuse me Mom...

WE LOVE YOU MOM!

So I must admit something to my Mother’s wonderful readers out there. With the passing of my Mother this past week and getting caught up in the joy, the laughter and the tears of celebrating her life, I forgot to post her blog from yesterday also on her Facebook page.  See with a webpage like this you can "schedule" your blogs and they will automatically post for you. That was my Mom...Always organized and a step ahead of everyone.


I find it appropriate with my Mom’s wit and humor that somehow she knew her son would forget to post on Facebook because she knew my heart would miss her so much and entitled yesterday's blog “EXCUSE ME”.  So to those who enjoy my Mother’s blog and to my wonderful Mom, I will simply say, “Excuse me”. I LOVE YOU MOM…JIMBAY (my nickname that my Mom always called me)




****More posts to come starting again tomorrow so that we can have both her sites in sync with each other.  





♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

... Excuse me ...

Marlene Terry
I was inspired to write my blog today by the TV program called "Hoarders."

Have you seen that show?

Just to think about it makes my skin crawl.
It's where you can watch the goings on at the home of someone with "compulsive hoarding disorder." ... Or those who excessively acquire huge amounts of ... everything really, store it wherever it will fit and then lack the will to get rid of any of it ... ever!

Well. I don't think the boxes of items I've saved and taken with me over the years through one move after another, would ever qualify me as being a hoarder. But still. It's true I have no inclination to discard any of that stuff.  

Take my resolve the other day to go through and clean out just one of those receptacles. ... Not a box but a large antique camel back chest, that sits at the end of my bed.  You know the kind.

... Ever watch the movie "Little Women?"

Those March sisters, each had at least one chest. Most memorable were those kept in the attic area of the family home that contained memorabilia that meant the most to each of them.

... Don't think I'll ever forget the scene where Jo opened the chest that belonged to Beth, the young, sickly sister who'd just passed away.
Inside was her handwritten pages of a family newspaper that reported the happenings of the March family and especially the fun, unforgettable experiences of the girls themselves while they were growing up.

... Excuse me while I get a tissue.

... Of course, Jo would never have "gotten rid of" any of those things! ... And it's a similar kind of experience for me whenever I open My chest, determined to keep only those things that are most important, and instead spend the time just rearranging it all.

... The ribbons are all that's left of the corsage that I wore the day my daughter got married. The flowers soon faded and little by little crumbled away. But each time I hold that faded, deteriorating remembrance in my hand, I can see my girl ... and how happy, young and beautiful she looked.

There's also the cub scout shirt with all those badges, almost all still intact. Our cute little boy, lit up like a Christmas tree the year he won the Pinewood Derby.

That's why I'm sure, that after hours of trying to decide what WAS most important in that chest ... all those aforementioned items, plus a handmade doily, programs from various performances, one tiny baby shoe, a dance card with the pencil still attached from my first date with a college man, an old, and really big, Polaroid camera, with an extra bright, "blind you for hours," flashes that used to work, and a printed out personality report from one of those machines at the state fair ... the one I attended with my daughters, have been rearranged once again and are ALL back, safe and sound in their place in my chest.

... You understand. ... ... Excuse me while I get a tissue! ...


♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 




Friday, November 22, 2013

Things to complain about ...


Marlene Terry
No doubt about it, our lives are full of signs. And I'm not talking about the change of season signs, but what it is that prompts you to know when to stop nagging your hubby, and/or to question a child further about their explanation for why they were absent from school the previous day. I'm talking about those signs we see every day in our travels ... especially those that protect us from danger.

... The big red stop sign located way out in the countryside that I used to see every day when I drove to work, comes to mind.

Why it's there is a complete mystery to me. It's at an intersection placed at the joining of three large fields.

The idea?

That a vehicle traveling east to west or the other way around has the right of way to go through that intersection before you do. That is if you're the one stopped dead still on the road coming from the north.

... But I promise, not once during the NUMEROUS times that I waited in anticipation there, did any form of vehicle, man made or otherwise ever cross my path.  ... That is, nothing ever did until, just to see if I could entice a visitor, of course, I tried the "rolling stop" technique.

I could see down the intersecting roads for several miles both ways. And up until that day nothing except for the occasional wild rabbit, coyote or stray dog had ever been an issue.

I should have known from previous experience however, that the very minute I slowed down to make a turn and didn't come to a COMPLETE stop, a local law enforcement officer would suddenly appear from nowhere to pull me over and issue a citation.

... Can't remember much of our conversation, except that despite my objections regarding the validity of placing a stop sign in a place like that, the officer politely told me all I needed to know that a stop sign WAS there and I needed to obey the law.



... Which is the very reason why I've also stopped complaining about those traffic lights that although we're told they're smart ... they're NOT!
You know. Those that recognize how dense the flow of oncoming traffic is and adjust the signal so the majority of drivers are let through the intersection first and on a timely basis.

...  Right.

The record for me sitting still at the smart traffic light located near where I live, while no one ... and I do mean NO ONE ... traveled through the other way?

Five minutes 37 seconds.

... Long. But probably not as long as that officer sat waiting for me to "roll through" that stop sign.

♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 



Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Fruit Gobbler for Thanksgiving ...


Marlene Terry
Just wanted to share a few really wonderful (I think) ideas for this year's Thanksgiving feast.

I came on this idea for a Fruit Gobbler at spoonful.com and really love it.

Heaven knows I'm not one to put  a lot of time into making anything too different  for our Thanksgiving feast. But I'm pretty sure I'm going to try this one.

You know. It will be for the time before you actually sit down for dinner. This tricked-out turkey can be placed on a coffee table along with pie plates for snacking BEFORE dinner.

Not only is the gobbler cute and festive, all the snacking that occurs because it's there will be healthy too.
 ... Now how many things that happen on Thanksgiving can you say that about?

Here's the process.
Enjoy!

Fruit Gobbler

What you'll need

1 Bosc pear (head)
1 melon (body)
cheese cubes (beak and tail feathers)
2 red peppers (snood, feet and side feathers)
raisins (eyes)
grapes (tail feathers)
Bamboo skewers
toothpicks

How to make it
Stabilize the melon body by cutting a shallow slice off the rind to form a flat base. Using a section of bamboo skewer, attach a Bosc pear head to the melon.
Cut a cheese triangle beak and red pepper snood. Attach both, along with raisin eyes, to the head with sections of a toothpick.
Cut red pepper feet and set them in place. For tail feathers, skewer cheese cubes and red grapes, then insert the skewers as shown. Pin pepper feathers in place with toothpicks.

♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You never miss the water ...



Marlene Terry

Time to tell you about the pickled beets. ... You know, one of those favorite dishes that for one reason or another became a family tradition.

The recipe belonged to my mother. And for years and years, we (her three daughters) never had to worry about not having them readily available, because all we had to do was grab a bottle from off the shelf in the fruit room in the basement, and enjoy.

However, after we left home, married, and started our own families we began yearning for the old favorite.
It was then that the old saying Mom would always quote to us became truer than ever.
"You never miss the water 'til the well runs dry," she'd say in an effort to teach us something we for sure would learn later in life.

There was just something indescribably delicious about Mom's pickled beets. ... They were perfect and just right as far as taste, tartness and texture.
I especially loved them with the roasted turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving. They were a wonderful addition to the meal, but they always made me remember those times I spent in the kitchen with Mom, as she produced one miracle after another.
...  And when our Thanksgiving feast was without those beets ... well suffice it to say, the meal just wasn't the same.

For whatever reason we my sisters and I) all had trouble keeping that recipe. And so it became a yearly ritual that one of us would call Mom and ask her for it and then share it with the other two.

I honestly don't know how that happened, I'd write the recipe down every year, and even make copies which I'd then place somewhere they could be found easily.
But when the time for canning arrived the next year, the recipe was nowhere to be found!

Just a few years before Mom passed away she jokingly but firmly told us that she wouldn't be sharing that recipe with us again.
"You guys need to hang on to it," she told me, "because this is the last time I'm going to give it to you."

... True to her word, she never did.

That is she never did until the day that I finally got around to going through some of the things she'd specified were mine when she died.
Among those prize possessions was her filled to overflowing recipe box ... complete with her handwritten copy of the pickled beet recipe.

On it she'd added a sticky note:
"Put this recipe back in it's place when you're finished with it," she'd instructed. "That way you won't have to wonder where it is. ... Mom OX"

... Oh Mom. You were so right. ... "You really DO never miss the water 'til ... "

♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Breaking tradition ...


Marlene Terry
We're just a little over a week away from celebrating another Thanksgiving. And no matter how many of those holidays I've experienced, some of the same things come to mind. 


... Like sitting stuffed to the brim, by our fireplace after dinner; watching the snowflakes fall while other family members ... take a nap; football games; playing board games with those you love most; snacking on leftovers for the rest of the day, and most of all being very thankful for all of it.

Thanksgiving is the most traditional holiday I can think of. And for most of my life I just never thought it would be possible to do that day any other way.
... It just wouldn't be right, I thought. Somehow we (our family members) just had to be together at MY house for dinner, etc., etc.

That's why it was such a big surprise that when we, my hubby and I, finally let go of tradition one year, being treated to a Thanksgiving of a very different sort, that ended up being so fun and memorable.

First of all there was NO SNOW at all. ... Not in San Francisco where we flew to a few years ago. We were Thanksgiving weekend guests of a sweet, generous son.

Our feast that year was eaten outside, on a pier in Sausalito that overlooked the bay with the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the city in the background. The temperature was in the low 70ties and the water of the bay was like glass reflecting the surrounding environment perfectly as if it was a mirror. ...One of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen happened there that day. 

And instead of napping after, we strolled awestruck, down the streets and shops at Fisherman's Warf, heard and saw the legendary "bark" of the sea lions, listened to the carols playing in the background, watched ice skaters enjoy the sport dressed in shorts and tube tops (yes the ice was watery but still ice), marveled at the gorgeous holiday decorations throughout the city, and surprisingly, felt the joy of the holiday every bit as much as if we'd been sitting in front of the fireplace at home.

... And may I just say, Black Friday in San Francisco is everything you'd expect and more. It's true.  Just like almost every other place on that day, we entered the stores in herds and waited in lines forever to make our purchases. But when we stopped for a refreshment it would be an ice-cold fresh lime we asked for instead of hot chocolate.

We also rode cable cars ... really it seemed ... "half way to the stars," as the song says, and were amazed at flowers in full bloom, palm trees and noisy green parrots of-all-things, flying free and making their presence known as we passed by Lombard Street.

On Sunday we packed up, bid our son a tearful goodbye, boarded a plane and returned to the world we were most used to.

... Not a traditional holiday at all. But one that I remember as a favorite and will be thankful for the rest of my life.  

♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 





Monday, November 18, 2013

Things that go "thump" ...


Marlene Terry
Most people don shorts and other athletic wear and along with rackets in hand, proceed to a local tennis court where they hit one of those yellow balls you see pictured today, back and forth over a net.
That is, they hit a yellow one if they are in competition against an opponent. But if they're not in competition, the ball they use can be any color at all — blue, red, green  and I even saw one that was red, white and blue WITH STARS of all things.

That is for sure ONE use for a tennis ball. But I've seen others that for all intents and purposes have worked well too.

Take Carol for instance. She was a sweet coworker of mine who arrived to do her job every day with her walker in the back seat of her car.
It was admirable that she, in her 70s, was always prompt as well as thankful she had somewhere to go where people counted on her and things to do that as she said were "important."

All I have to do is close my eyes and I can still see her coming down those halls, her walker in front of her, all four legs fitted with a "slit in the top" yellow tennis ball.
"Keeps me from slipping," she'd say with a smile.

Tennis balls are hollow you know, rubbery and cheap. So it stands to reason they'd also become a popular dog toy.
Easy for a dog to chomp on to when they're thrown and hold on to them in order to return them to the owner. ... "Good boy."
... One dog owner also told me, yuck ... the covering of a tennis ball also absorbs his pet's slobber. So he can be assured that the toy can be chewed on for hours before it really needs a cleaning!
... As I said ... yuck!

OK. Here's one use for a tennis ball I've been putting off telling you about.
... And why? ... You'll see.

Years ago the large freezer that we kept in our garage sat at the far end against the wall in front of my parking bay.

One day it (the freezer) was just fine and the next?
For some inexplicable eason it suddenly had a large dent in the door.


It really wasn't that big of a deal. I mean the door was still workable and there was no discernable adverse conditions created inside the freezer. In other words it still froze everything very well.

But from that day on, even with several moves to other homes, my hubby has always insisted on hanging a yellow tennis ball from a wire in the garage ceiling.

"When you pull into the garage," he's told me more than once, "and you hear the thump when the tennis ball makes contact with your windshield, that means you need to STOP immediately!"

... Don't know why he laughed when he told me that. ... And I'm really certain I don't know why I laugh every time I drive into the garage and ... "thump" ... either!

♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 








Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mom...

There are some things in life that you can count on like...  the sun will come up tomorrow, the hours in the day go waaay too fast (sometimes), no matter how much you eat on Thanksgiving you will still be hungry the next day, and there will be surprises.  For me, and many others like me, a surprise or gift I was given was a wonderful mom.

I always thought that the word Mom was far too small of a word for a person that fulfills soooo much.    From the first day she held me in her arms she loved me, kissed my ouchies, changed my stinky pants, and cheered me on in all my endeavors.


Our sweet Marlene Terry passed quietly away last night to return to her Father in Heaven and to all those that loved her so dearly!  As one of Marlene's greatest fans and daughter,  I intend to keep her memories alive and continue her legacy of love by keeping this blog going.  For you see, Mom was never a procrastinator--- she already has at least half dozen or more stories scheduled to be posted.

If your life was touched by my mom, send me your stories at nutshellstories@gmail.com. I will post them here at her blog!

Thank you God for a wonderful gift in my life...