deltamiss: (Photo Miss)
A dear LJ and FB friend nominated Melanie's blog for a Blogger's Choice Award. If you are so inclined, please vote for her. You have to register, but it's easy peasy. Thanks so much!!

http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/95654

Ooooooo!

Nov. 23rd, 2009 04:48 pm
deltamiss: (Acoustic Guitar)
Happy Birthday to the best brother in the world! :D
deltamiss: (Happy Giving)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Melanie!!!

Mama...

May. 17th, 2009 02:17 pm
deltamiss: (Happy Mother's Day)
Mama was always a force to be reckoned with. In her early years, I imagine - no, I know - she created a stir wherever she went. Taken to raise by an aunt and uncle with grown and nearly grown daughters of their own, Mama probably turned that house upside down every day. She must have.

I have letters written to her by her grandfather. The envelopes are simply addressed to "Sue Baby" followed by the name of the closest town. Everyone knew Sue Baby...even the postwoman.

Mama was not the easiest person to live with, but there was never a time that my brother and I didn't know she loved us. Perhaps the issues she and I had over the years resulted from dispositions that were almost identical...quick to anger, demanding and stubborn to the core. She mellowed as she aged so there's hope for me yet.

She was a fantastic cook, had a musical ear, and loved my daddy; but her life was the church. She was there every time the doors opened and sometimes when they weren't. She opened her heart to friends and never met a stranger. She took care of her mother for years, took care of Daddy's aging aunt and uncle, and made a point to visit each member of the family in the area at least once a month. She was a regular at the hospital, visiting sick and injured.

Mama and Daddy were Maureen's caretakers when, as a single mother, I couldn't take Mo for her four-day visits to St. Jude. They even spent each weekday at the rehab in Memphis for three months so I could work during the week and Melanie and I could go to Memphis on the weekends. We used to look for each other on Friday and Sunday evenings on the road and wave in passing. They spent four years hauling my daughter back and forth. I could never repay them for that in a million years.

It's been thirteen years today since Mama died, and still a day doesn't go by that I don't think about her. I miss watching Braves baseball with her. I miss hearing her alto harmony in church. I miss her phone calls to tell me it's snowing (a rare occurrence in the Mississippi Delta) or the red plum jelly is ready. I miss her laugh, her hugs. I just miss her.
deltamiss: (Acoustic Guitar)
My nephews and the rest of the band are here for a few days. I think they are interviewing a new bass guitar player.

They pulled into the drive just minutes before I left for work and were leaving just as I drove up this afternoon.

I offered to cook a hot meal while they are here; they accepted. Saturday evening...I'm thinking chicken and vegetables and cornbread...maybe some banana pudding. We'll see. There are FOUR of them. Whatever I cook, I better cook a LOT. :D
deltamiss: (Cuppa Joe)
They say it's the most important meal of the day.

My mother cooked breakfast every day of her married life - every day. Cooked it from scratch. Sunday morning: pancakes and sausage or bacon; Monday-Friday: oatmeal, toast, sausage or bacon; Saturday: biscuits, gravy, eggs, grits, sausage or bacon. Sometime she'd melt a little cheddar cheese on the side or add grits to the Sunday meal, but Monday-Friday was always the same.

Food was the last thing on my mind first thing in the morning all my life. I think it's because I'd always eaten my big meal at night, but the thought of food early in the morning was revolting. Mama made me eat something, though, and drink a glass of juice. When I moved from home, I swore off breakfast. For years I would consider it on weekends because I could eat later in the day, but never during the week. Never.

Worse yet, were the cold winter nights when Daddy would request breakfast for supper. UGH! When one could have a juicy hamburger or chicken and dumplings, WHY would one even suggest such a meal? Mama usually tried to make the meal at least a little enticing for my brother and me. She would make two little biscuits that snuggled into the center of the iron skillet, squish her thumb print indention in each and say, "One for you, and one for Dwayne." When you're hungry from a long, active day, you'll eat anything put before you. Those little biscuits were surprisingly good with Uncle C.D.'s honey drizzled over them or Miss Juanita's pear preserves piled high. ;) Once in a while, she would make another treat that has become my favorite.

When the girls came along, I realized they needed to eat breakfast, even if I didn't. I was a stay-at-home mom until Melanie was six, and their dad had a grueling job on a ranch. Everyone needed breakfast. I cooked just like Mama had. Eggs, biscuits or toast, grits, oatmeal, bacon or sausage, etc. But the girls liked cereal best. In fact, Melanie learned to read by stringing letters from Alpha-Bits together. ;) Eventually, they even eschewed the morning meal. I don't think Melanie eats breakfast to this day...maybe on weekends.

A year or so ago, I began taking a breakfast bar or a bagel to school with me, and would eat it around 6:00 or 6:30. Since I'd been up since 4:00, my mind and stomach didn't rebel against the thought. I'm in the habit now, and have successfully incorporated breakfast into my life - even on weekends. Of course, I've gained close to ten pounds in the last two years, too. ACK! But it's a habit I don't want to break. I feel more energetic longer on school days, and I need all the energy I can get Monday-Friday.

My all-time favorite breakfast is what Mama called Eggs in a Basket. A slice of bread with the center cut out toasted in a skillet with an egg dropped into the hole. I've begun adding a little cheddar cheese on top for some added flavor. The cut-out is slathered in some sort of jelly or jam. Include coffee, and I'm in hog heaven.

Saturday Morning Breakfast )
deltamiss: (Photo Miss)
WOOHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I made it! THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SIX PHOTOS...whew...I'm worn out. LOL!

So this is the last photo of the year. *sigh* Melanie and family came home last night, and tonight we're celebrating together. I decided I wanted all of us in one picture. Jeff figured out the timer, but it took multiple tries to get one we all liked. Perfectionists? Nah. Just having fun. :D

So from our family to yours, I wish you a happy, healthy, prosperous 2009! I can't tell you how much each of you means to me. :D

LAST Photo of the Day...'Happy New Year, Y'all!'

deltamiss: (Photo Miss)
Mama always bought hard Christmas candy for the holidays and kept it in a candy dish on the coffee table in the living room. Nothing says Christmas to me as much as a bowl of hard candies...pillow, ribbon, fruit.

Photo of the Day...'Christmas Past'...

deltamiss: (Happy Giving)
Thirty-six years ago today, Melanie was born. *sigh* That is so difficult to believe because it just seems like yesterday that she was a baby.

Melanie Alisse McCranie...lord how her middle name caused problems. I had chosen the name Melanie years beforehand and was determined to use it. Her father had the job of chosing the middle name. He must have gone through a dozen - some serious (Caryn), some silly (Rogerina). With a little help from me, he finally settled on Alisse just weeks before her birth.

I should have realized we had a smart cookie on our hands when she took her first steps at seven months and said her first entire sentence at nine months ("Who's that?"). She learned to read early and hasn't stopped since. She called her grandmother long distance at two without any help from anyone. (I found her on the phone chatting away. :/) She was potty trained at eighteen months and could quote John 3:16 AND the McDonald's jingle at two - 'two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun'! She hasn't stopped talking since then either. ;)

Now she has three children of her own and a thriving photography business! Gosh, I'm proud of her!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEL!

I wish you health; I wish you success; but most of all, I wish you LOVE.

Mama
deltamiss: (Photo Miss)
Project 366 called early today. ;)

Last week (or maybe week before last) Portraiture by Melanie earned the Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce Visual Improvement Award. What an honor! Granted, Melanie and Jeff had little to do with the outside renovations of the building, but still...

The historic building faces west, and the sun was just peeking over the tops of the tall buildings when I took this picture. I hate the reflection of the buildings across the street obscure the window display, but I forgot to recharge the battery in the camera and could only get two pictures before it went dead. :( You can at least see the difference in Melanie's studio and the ratty building next door. Basically, that's what Melanie's looked like until the redo...maybe worse.

Yep, I'm proud of Mel and Jeff. They have worked so diligently to build their business and the hard work has paid off. :D

Photo of the Day...'First Award'...I expect there'll be many more.

deltamiss: (Photo Miss)
Every Monday is Family Day around here. We started our outing with lunch at a local eatery called The Peach House and went around the world and back in nine hours. We went to two different Lowes stores, a Target, a Walmart, a Michael's, a Christian bookstore, Bed Bath and Beyond, and [livejournal.com profile] jsboyette's house. I'm pooped!

Melanie will probably kill me for this one, but it's too cute for words to me...even with Parker being a nut. ;)

Today's Photo of the Day...'Family Day'...

deltamiss: (Photo Miss)
My father's mother died when I was barely into my senior year of high school. Mamaw was a wonder. She worked until she was nearly seventy as the head of the alteration department at a local department store and made the best coconut cake in the world.

Miss Carrie, as everyone - including her husband - called her, was an anomaly of sorts in her family. She divorced my grandfather during a time when divorce was considered a mortal sin; she worked in cotton fields all day and sewed for others all night (my dad says that the last sound he heard every night before going to sleep was the whir of the old pedal sewing machine); she wore make up (gasp); she was addicted to fabric; she raised her own vegetables and tended an orchard; she cooked huge meals for the whole family every Sunday yet never missed Sunday school or church for years; she scared a would-be burglar away by quietly telling him she had a shotgun pointed at him.

Other than the aroma of roses, the one thing that evokes memories of Mamaw is the sweet smell of honeysuckle. Honeysuckle wound itself over and around an old shed in the orchard, draped itself over the fences and captured the frame of a wide swing in the front yard. My cousin and I (and later her brother and mine) would sit in the swing and drink nectar from the blooms.

Today memories fill my mind as the aroma of the honeysuckle outside floods my house.

Photo of the day...

deltamiss: (Photo Miss)
I have taken today off for several reasons, but the main one is because it is Maureen's thirty-third birthday...or would be.

Twenty years ago she was getting ready for her thirteenth birthday party after a week long chemo treatment.

Ten years ago Maureen was going to college majoring in fine art and photography in spite of the loss of a leg and a lung, congestive heart failure and a paralyzing stroke.

Five years ago she had just returned to her dad's home from a month-long visit with Daddy and friends. She ended up in the hospital fighting and losing her last battle with congestive heart failure.

Happy birthday, my daughter. How I wish I could take your picture today.

deltamiss: (Photo Miss)
Every Monday is Family Day at Melanie and Jeff's house with activities centering around fun things the family can do together. For the last few weeks, they've been Geo Caching, and they agreed to take me along today. What FUN!

In case you don't know what Geo Caching is: http://www.geocaching.com/. A hand-held GPS system is required, and coordinates are downloaded from the website to the device.

So today's Project 366 photo is hidden among the large number of pictures of the day behind the cut. Feel free to skip on by if you're sick of my overly zealous new found hobby - photography - but you'll miss a great shot of me if you do. ;)

It's an Easter Egg Hunt from a different planet... )
deltamiss: (Christmas Gift)
I received this in an email from a friend. I think it says just about everything.

A group of alumni, all highly established in their respective careers, got together for a visit with their old university professor. The conversation soon turned to complaints about the endless stress of work and life in general.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went into the kitchen and soon returned with a large pot of coffee and an eclectic assortment of cups: porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal - some plain, some expensive, some quite exquisite.

Quietly he told them to help themselves to some fresh coffee.

When each of his former students had a cup of coffee in hand, the old professor quietly cleared his throat and began to patiently address the small gathering.

"You may have noticed that all of the nicer looking cups were taken up first, leaving behind the plainer and cheaper ones. While it is only natural for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is actually the source of much of your stress-related problems."

He continued, "Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In fact, the cup merely disguises or dresses up what we drink. What each of you really wanted was coffee, not a cup, but you instinctively went for the best cups... Then you began eyeing each other's cups.

"Now consider this: Life is coffee. Jobs, money, and position in society are merely cups. They are just tools to shape and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not truly define nor change the quality of the Life we live. Often, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee that God has provided us. God brews the coffee, but he does not supply the cups. Enjoy your coffee!"

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have. So please remember: Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

And remember - the richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.


Sometimes, and not because anyone makes me feel this way, but sometimes I'm a little embarrassed to post pictures of my apartment because it IS old and run down and needs a lot of work that I can't afford right now. But, then I look at the pots where the grands and I planted all those herbs and flowers and remember the joy we found in them every day...or the house that Melanie and Jeff have made into a home...or the animals that own us...or the business that Melanie has built from nothing...or my chime tree...or the notes from Peyton and Mabry on the decrepit refrigerator (that needs defrosting again), and I remember how I got where I am, who I am and how happy I am to be me right now.

My 'coffee cup' literally 'runneth' over!

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