MamaT: April 2009 Archives

This week's Spot o' Pretty

Pretty 4/30

Purple tulips! I think tulips are freaky, because they move during the day. They're never the same when you look at them. And trust me, I had to work to get a semi-cleared-off-space to get the photo in. Bills to pay and bank statements to reconcile are everywhere!

And here's an earworm for today, if you remember it!

Tiptoe through the window
By the window, that is where I'll be
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me

Oh, tiptoe from the garden
By the garden of the willow tree
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

Knee deep in flowers we'll stray
We'll keep the showers away
And if I kiss you in the garden, in the moonlight
Will you pardon me?
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

Must watch


So the thing is.....

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.....I've got a cold, and on top of that I spent all day yesterday bagging up clothes and shoes at my parents' house getting it all ready to be picked up and hauled away.

My mother loved clothes. She didn't like getting rid of clothes, even when they no longer fit her or her lifestyle. So I had four huge walk in closets full of clothes to sort through, fold and bag up.

And this is after several folks have come in and taken what they wanted to have of her stuff. She was much tinier than me, so none of it fits me. Too bad.

Last night at 9:30 p.m. PapaC and I tied up the last bag. Folks, there are 67 bags of clothes sitting in my parents house. We estimate that people have already carted away at least 20 bags of clothing. It's crazy. The thrift shops and Goodwill will love us, I think. It's all pretty nice stuff, though some of it is a little dated. My sisterfriend says not to worry about that--drama groups are always looking for stuff like that for costuming.

It was not as hard as I had thought it might be. I had a mini-breakdown when I got to my mom's patio dress things (that's what she wore for most of the past 5 years). And when I folded up my dad's pressed shirts. Then one more when I walked back into virtually empty closets. But all in all, not as bad as I anticipated.

It waits to be seen how I feel when the bags get hauled out tomorrow. That may be harder than I think. But maybe not, since I can't see in them anymore. It gives me a certain level of detachment.

And detachment is the lesson I'm having pounded into my head with every decision I have to make.

We have so many things that are treasures to us. (Or at least most of us do.) But we need to remember that the instant we die, those "treasures" turn, for the most part, into "stuff." Poof. Just like that.

Yes, there are things of my parents that I will keep, and enjoy, and ,yes, treasure. But most of those closets, every shelf, every nook, every cranny, the whole two car garage and a giant attic of boxes, is now filled with mostly STUFF. And stuff that it's my job to sort through, sell, give away, trash, deal with.

So keep what you love. Use it. Look at it. Enjoy it. But be realistic. Don't put it in boxes and save it in the attic. Don't shove it into a closet. If you're done, be done. Let it bless someone else. Don't leave it for others to look at and wonder what to do with it.

It's hard.

Pretty Pattern Tuesday


This pattern is, alas, not free. But you just have to see it. I am considering making it for myself, out of the EXPENSIVE yarn that it would take. I just think this is glorious. It's called the Infinity Wrap, and it's by a fabulous designer named Kristin Omdahl. Take a gander:


And you can buy the pattern here, on Interweave Crochet. Which, by the way, is an absolutely fantastic crochet magazine, with some really beautiful patterns.

I'm really thinking about this one, but my queue of work "to be done" is way too long already.......


OK, the visual has to be a 12 or 13 year old MamaT dancing in the living room with her friends, 'cause we all wanted to be the BEST!

Seven Quick Takes

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Jen, over at Conversion Diary hosts this every Friday. It might be fun. If I can think of 7 things. That remains to be seen.


Grief sucks. Enough said.


Why is it that when other people are stressed they "can't eat a bite", but when I am stressed I want to eat everything that is not nailed down? This is one of those "There are two kinds of people in the world......" things, isn't it?


McKid has decided her future career path.

McKid: Mama, I've decided what I want to be when I grow up. A spy!

Me: Oh, really. Do you know how you become one?

McKid: No. But I'm gonna go practice on the dogs.

At least she hasn't decided to be a vet and practice on the dogs.


I love Peter Kreeft. I am reading his book You Can Understand the Bible and thoroughly enjoying it. How can he see so clearly and write so clearly about everything? While I just muddle around.

Maybe because he doesn't have a 6 year old spy watching his every move.


You should really think about it before you decide to change your crochet-along project in midstream. I am a member of Ravelry, and one of the groups is a 12 inch crochet "block a month" crochet along. I started it in January, but decided this month that I hated the squares I had done. So I picked a different colorway, and have been trying to catch up by redoing all the squares from prior months. I'm loving the new squares, but wow! What a lot of work to redo them.

Sigh. It better be worth it.


I have not cooked a whole meal for my family in weeks. That has to stop. The budget is strained. Plus I'm losing ground (not a lot, just a little) in Weight Watchers. I don't expect to lose much weight in the next couple of months (see #2 above), but I'd like to stay where I am.

Cooking meals is what has to happen.


Off to one of my favorite places. My weekly hour of adoration. If you ever have a prayer request you'd like me to take and lay in front of Jesus for you, just let me know. I go every single Friday morning from 11-12.

There. Seven. Who'da thunk?

Casting about for inspiration this morning for Fine Art Friday, I was sitting at the computer eating an apple - my favorite fruit. So, I decided to do a subject themed FAF. Enjoy the apples!

First the iconic apple picture of our day. I don't get it. I don't even particularly like it, but it is compelling.


The Son of Man

Rene Magritte

Next we have one that reminds me of Magritte, a little anyway.


Reappearance of Affinity

Rafal Olbinski

I guess that every single one of my FAF must have something by Warhol in it. I'm being converted against my will. I am quite drawn to his images.



Andy Warhol

Here's something I like very much. I love the colors (I know art shouldn't "match your house", but this one does!). I love the simplicity. I love the almost "childlikeness" for want of a better word.


Still Life With Green Apples

Norman Wyatt, Jr.

Next, the calmest picture of the bunch. Don't you think of calm when you look at this artist's works?


Wolf Rivers

Andrew Wyeth

I had never seen this before (like that's a surprise - we could have huge books of things I've never seen before!). I like it.


Apple Tree

Gustav Klimt

And finally, my favorite. Cezanne painted a boatload of paintings with apples in them. I could have done a FAF entry just on Cezanne and apples. My kind of guy.


Apples and Oranges

Paul Cezanne

Happy Friday, yall!

This week's Spot o' Pretty

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I don't know what kind of lily these are, but aren't they a scrumptious color? Two open, many, many more blooms to go. Will they bend over or will they stay upright like this? Time will tell. Best $4.99 of the week!

Life is a bit crummy at the moment. I'll spill more later.

Happy Thursday, ya'll!

Pretty Pattern Tuesday

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This is a fabulous pattern for beginning crocheters (that looks really funny typed out like that, doesn't it?). It's the one that's on the label of the Lion Brand Pound of Love yarn. One big ol' skein of yarn (costing $10 or less) and a crochet hook, plus a little time, and you too can make a homemade baby gift. I promise you can. This one's super simple.

If you don't have a baby to crochet for, you might consider donating to your local Project Linus group, if there is one in your area. They do good work!


And here's the link to the pattern: Hooded baby blanket.

Try it. You'll like it!

Happy Tuesday, ya'll!

From my reading last night


I'm in the midst of Peter Kreeft's book You Can Understand the Bible: A Practical and Illuminating Guide to Each Book in the Bible. As with all of Kreeft's books, this one comes with a big ol' MamaT Thumbs Up. Way, way up.

Here's what hit me last night:

Many modern readers dislike Matthew's Gospel because of its hard sayings, its warnings against riches and worldliness, its announcement of divine justice and judgement, and its demand for good works. If we dislike this book, then this is precisely the book we need most. For we need to know the whole Gospel. It is precisely those aspects of it that we still find repellent and try to avoid that we need most--not those we already understand and love.
Perhaps the most challenging passage in the whole Bible for the Christian is one of Jesus' last sayings before His trial and death, taken from the parable of the Last Judgment (25:31-46). It ends with these thought-provoking words: "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (v. 40). If a thousand Christians really believed that and lived accordingly, the next century would be shaped by a thousand saints.

And the money question is: Do I want to be a saint?

Yes or No.

It's that simple.

Not easy, but simple.

MamaT's Monday Music


Folkish stuff from me, as well. I think this is the most beautiful version of this song ever.

And then this little gem:

Happy Monday, ya'll!

If you've read us for any length of time, you know that I love vintage illustration. I have a special fondness for vintage and kitschy postcards. So, when I started looking around for FAF stuff, I thought I'd do vintage Easter postcards. There were so many pretty ones--with flowers and lambs and chickies and bunnies and eggs of all sorts. But then there were some that were just..................odd. When I see these images, it makes me wonder just what people were thinking.

First, there is the parachuting easter chick card:


Then there is the lovely "Easter clown and Easter elephant" card. You did know there was an Easter elephant, didn't you? He brings the really big eggs!


Next up, the alien egg-people card. If these guys showed up at my house on Easter, I think I'd run.


Then there is the "hubba-hubba" Easter card:


Then there is the card that is PROOF that the Cadbury bunny can lay eggs, 'cause here he is hatching out of an egg. (Bunnies in eggs? What?)


And finally, here is the Summa Mama Easter bonnet card. 'Cause Smock, LaMa and I are all looking for a bunny hat like this on to wear to church. Puts a little different spin on that Easter bonnet song, doesn't it? In your Easter bonnet, with long, white ears upon it......


Happy Easter (still!), ya'll! And may God's Divine Mercy wash all over you!

I need to remember this

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It is not for the flock of sheep to know the pasture the Shepherd has in mind. It is for them simply to follow Him. If they knew that his plans included a valley of deep shadow, they would panic. Keeping close to the one they have learned to trust is all that is necessary. He will faithfully provide rest, refreshment, correction, and protection as the needs arise. His accompanying presence is guaranteed, all the way--even through the darkest shadows--to the house of the Lord.

-------------------------------Elisabeth Elliot

Here's this week's entry into the MamaT "One Spot O' Pretty" quest:

A little bit o' pretty

One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.

-----------------Elisabeth Elliott

MamaT's Monday Music

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And a little taste of music from our Easter mass, though certainly NOT on guitar. (I must admit I'm crazy about it on guitar, and wish I could play it, just like this guy does!) I'm giving you the youtube video of the music, and a bonus of the words! Lucky ya'll.

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love Whom we had slain,
Thinking that He'd never wake to life again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Up He sprang at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Up from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

When our hearts are saddened, grieving or in pain,
By Your touch You call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

You know how you always secretly plan your funeral, and think, "Yeah, that's one of my funeral hymns!" (What, you don't do that? Yes you do. You know you do.) Well, this is one of mine.


Please pray for me and mine

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Yesterday morning my sweet Dad, Frank Olsen Cox, died unexpectedly.

He had not been sick, we had eaten dinner with him on Thursday night and watched a basketball game. He and PapaC played dominoes. Just a regular night. I smooched him good night at 10:15 and told him I'd see him on Friday for Stations of the Cross.

Only I didn't.

He had a "medical event" (don't you love that terminology?) in the shower after walking on his treadmill Friday morning. We will know more when the medical examiner releases his body, probably today.

I am on the way to the funeral home to make arrangements for his funeral.

We are devastated.

My dad was one of a kind. One of the last of a generation of independent oil men, at 76 he still drove more than 65,000 miles a year, working on deals, drilling wells, looking for new stuff.

He took care of my mother with a selfless love that touched every one who knew the two of them. My mother struggled long and hard with her illness--a struggle that lasted for years. And a struggle that my dad helped her with, uncomplainingly and lovingly. We should all be lucky enough to find someone who loves us like that.

People call Frank my stepdad--he married my mom when I was 17. But after 36 years, he's simply my dad. And I can barely stand his passing. He was PapaC's dearest friend in the world. The Zman worshiped and adored his grandfather, and the feeling was mutual. And me? I was the luckiest girl in the world. No one was ever prouder of my accomplishments than he was. No one thought I was more perfect.

This might be harder than my mother's death. We knew how sick she was and we knew we were fighting a losing battle. The surprise part of this--while it might be good for HIM, is simply tearing us to shreds. But I know, I KNOW, that my mother was there to meet him. And that he went the way he would have wanted to go--no trouble to us in the end, no "taking care of Pappaw."

But Pappaw, who will take care of us?

Needless to say, with this on tap and Holy Week coming up as well, the blog will be on hiatus until after Easter. I may get a chance to post a little thought here or there, or a picture or two. But don't hold me to it.

Please, as part of your Easter, say a little prayer for the Southards and for their sweet Pappaw--Frank.



Dense to Denser
Wolf Kahn

You can read about Mr. Kahn here, and see more of his works, as well.

I think this is lovely. And I hope this is a lovely Friday for all of you!



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