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Posts Tagged ‘Ohio’

If you missed the beginning of this list you can find it here.

I’m realizing that this list could go on for days, so we’ll see what happens. I hope you enjoy learning about what a wonderful mother and person my mom was.

 J Perkins 90th Birthday

11. Saturday was usually Mom’s shopping day. She didn’t learn to drive until she was in her 50’s, so when we were young she depended on Dad to take her to the A & P grocery store on the weekends. Can you imagine only being able to go to the store once a week with 8 hungry mouths to feed? She did a great job of stocking up to make things last for the week, but I remember drinking powdered milk at times either because she couldn’t afford to buy more or she couldn’t get to the grocery store. I’m guessing her weekly trips were also a time of solitude that she looked forward to, but sometimes she’d allow one of us to go with her. Those were precious times when she let us help her choose food for the week and maybe even get a treat.

12. Mom would sometimes bring home delicious fresh rye bread, deli meats and cheeses on shopping day. They never lasted much more than a day because they were favorites for the whole family. That’s where I discovered my love for a good deli meal. We had Munster, Colby, Cheddar, Longhorn, Swiss and American cheese with fresh sliced Ham, Turkey, Roast beef, Braunschweiger and more. In the summer sometimes we’d add giant slices of Beefsteak Tomatoes and fresh lettuce from my grandmother’s garden. Mmmm!

13. As the family grew, Mom and Dad gave up their bedroom so that all of us kids could have one. They converted the living room to a sleeping area at night and added a sliding door for privacy. They kept their clothes in my oldest sister’s room. I imagine that was quite a sacrifice since they had no place to get away until we were all asleep in bed.

14. She often planned a once a year summer day trip as the sole adult with all of us kids to the northern Ohio amusement park, Cedar Point. We’d get up early in the morning and walk a block or so to the highway to catch the bus heading for Sandusky, then ride a ferry boat from Sandusky across the bay to the park. We spent the whole magical day riding thrill rides, seeing musical variety shows, and traversing the skies on the overhead sky ride. She always packed a substantial lunch for us, then later in the day she’d buy those famous Momma Berardi’s homemade French Fries and salt water taffy to hold us over. We’d stay as long as possible to squeeze out every drop of fun until either my dad came after work to pick us up or we caught the last bus for home.Vintage Cedar Point

15. Mom let us choose what kind of cake we wanted for our birthday and I often requested freshly baked Angel Food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. I can taste it now!

Angel Food cake with strawberries

photo by Lacy DeVeney

16. In August of each year she took each of us separately on a school clothes shopping trip – I recall riding that morning bus in the other direction this time – to the Midway Mall in Elyria – just Mom and I, eating lunch at the restaurant in the mall and buying new shoes and clothes for the upcoming school year. This was probably my favorite day of the year.  Not because I was shopping, but because I got to have my mom all to myself for an entire day!Midway Mall in Elyria Ohio circa 1970's

17. A limited budget and endless creativity brought forth unique homemade Halloween costumes for us each year. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those unimaginative store-bought ones.

18. Halloween parties at the Vermilion-on-the-Lake (VOL) Clubhouse were organized by her. She dressed as a witch and made witches’ brew using dry ice. I remember dunking for apples, fishing for prizes with a clothes pin on a string, costume contests and so much more.Vermilion-on-the-Lake Clubhouse

19. There was a Christmas play one year, written by my sister, Sharon and produced by Mom at the VOL Clubhouse with the neighborhood kids. The stage background was painted by Wayne Crozier, complete with his signature mouse hiding in the scene.

20. Each year she creatively decorated our 5 foot silver aluminum Christmas tree with matching colored glass balls. Since there would inevitably be breakage in the process of unpacking and packing the delicate glass, the following year she’d buy a set of a different color, then the 3rd year she’d use a combination of the previous years. The tree was often perched on top of a table up and out of the way of little hands and active pets. You can see a sliver of the tree in the background below. I remember spending what seemed like hours sitting in the living room gazing at the ever changing tree with the colored light wheel casting shadows on the walls and ceiling. It was mesmerizing!Jaye at Christmas

Looking over these memories I can see so many things that I learned from my mother. How to use my creativity in decorating, sewing, having fun. How to shop wisely, how to plan ahead for special activities, the importance of saving where needed, but splurging once in a while…so many lessons that I still use today. I’m so thankful for her giving and teaching spirit.  What a gift it was!

There’s a bit more to come, so stay tuned.  Thanks for reading!

Does this bring to mind some things that you’re most thankful for about your mother?

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Less than a month ago, my precious mother passed away. She had a long, healthy and independent life, having celebrated her 91st birthday in January. Of course, that doesn’t take away any of the sadness of having her gone. Even though our personalities were quite different, we had many things in common…talents, interests, love of travel, etc. In honor of her on Mother’s Day, I thought I’d take some time to remember some of the things that I cherish most about our 50 plus years together. She was an amazing woman and a true friend and encourager to me, while still being my mom.

Janice Perkins and Grumpy at Disneyland

Even Grumpy couldn’t stay that way for long with Mom around.

Let me start by saying that Mom’s primary love language was gift giving.  Even though she was constantly on a limited budget, her favorite thing to do was find reasons to buy us special treats and take us special places.

  1. She was always quick to offer a cool washcloth on my forehead when I had a fever
  2. Hot tea with lemon to drink when I had a sore throat
  3. Campbell’s Cream of Tomato soup with oyster crackers always hit the spot when I had a cold
  4. I always loved staying home from school and watching TV, reading books and coloring in my cozy spot on the coach when I was ill. Partially because it gave me a chance to have 1-on-1 time with Mom when all the other siblings were at school, but also because she always made me feel so loved and cared for.
  5. For many years, Mom made it a point to buy each of us an entirely new outfit for Easter Sunday. For the girls it wasn’t just a new dress, but matching socks, shoes, purse, gloves and even a hat! This special day of getting all decked out to attend church and then attend big family potlucks and Easter egg hunts was so much fun! It was even more special because we only got new clothes a few times a year.
  6. 1965 All Dressed up for Easter Easter morning was also filled with sweets and treats of all kinds. Another chance for Mom to show us how much she loved us and how she wanted to spoil us.  I’m sure her sparse childhood during the Great Depression motivated her to try to make up for it in our young lives.1965.04 Easter Perkins kitchen table
  7. She was also our biggest helper with school projects. Mostly she would brainstorm with me about supplies and ideas, then was my cheerleader rather than hands-on helper, so I could work through it and have success on my own merits. I’m so thankful that she didn’t feel the need to do most of it herself. What’s the point in that?
  8. The aroma of big pots of spaghetti, slumgullion or one of my favorites, Pot roast on Sundays wafting through the house welcomed us home!  I learned to cook from her without using recipes.  Now I’m not intimidated if I don’t have all the exact ingredients for a new dish.  I just see what’s in the cupboards and improvise something similar. Thanks Mom.
  9. Occasionally Mom made Liver and onions, which I hated. She always made me eat a few tiny bites, which I reluctantly gagged down with huge gulps of milk. She said it was good for me, but it always tasted like I was eating a vitamin pill for dinner. Ugh!  Guess what dish she taught me how to make first?  Maybe she thought if I cooked it I’d eat it more. Oh well.
  10. A little thing like Mom’s button tin brings back so many memories too.  Take a look at more about that here.Mom's Button Tin

And this is just the beginning of my list.  If you want to read more, visit Part 2 here.

Stop by again to see the rest in the coming days.

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While on a recent trip to Vermilion, Ohio I stumbled upon a quaint little shop that stole my heart.  Something about the warm wooden furniture and the subtle colors of the plaid woolens at The Chairmaker and Friends made me feel right at home.

The Chairmaker and Friends Store Vermilion Ohio
The owner, Garrett Aston creates amazing hand crafted Windsor chairs, tables and other finely detailed furniture and accessories.  The kind of pieces that stop  you in your tracks and make you want to run your fingers across their glass-like surfaces.  The quality and beauty of his works of art make my heart ache with appreciation.

Antique Table at Chairmaker

Wouldn’t you just love to have this cubby cabinet?  I can think of a million things that I could use it for.

Cabinet with cubbies

Katie Allman also offers a variety of reasonably priced rug hooking classes at the store.  They keep a stock of gorgeous woolens that can be purchased for the classes or other uses.

Woolens at Chairmaker and Friends

Rug hooking room

On the way back through the store I spotted these adorable patchwork cats.  Since we recently said goodbye to our favorite cat, I decided I could “adopt” one of these for our home.  The navy one now greets us when we walk in the family room.

Patchwork Cat Pillows

Take a look at this wood working shop.  A carpenter’s dream, I’d say.  I love the smell of sawdust in a place like this.  It reminds me that furniture is being lovingly created one unique piece at a time.  Garrett also mentions that he holds wood-working classes. How cool would that be!  He also offers refinishing and various types of furniture repair and restoration for your cherished heirlooms.  Chair building workshopI only wish I lived closer to this shop.  It’s 2000 miles away from my home, so I won’t be able to get there very often.  If you live in northern Ohio I hope you take advantage of your proximity to this wonderful shop and maybe take a class or two.  It’s a gem!

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Hey there friends,  I have been staring at the last post for much too long and I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, so here’s a little sumthin’ for your summer inspiration.

I know, it’s way past time to bring out the summer decorations.  It will be Independence Day next week, after all!  Can I confess that I still have my Easter decorations on my branch in the living room?  Yowzah!  Hopefully, I can switch them out for summer decor this weekend.

Things have been quite buzy around here with a bunch of changes happening, as well as more on the horizon.  Sadly, my time to concentrate on the transitions are limiting my time to post.  No worries though, there will be more news and posting to come.

In the meantime, here are a few photos of my Summer Centerpiece.  I happen to use mine in the guest bath.  Yes, a centerpiece in the bathroom!  As you know I try to trick myself into believing that I live near the water, especially in these hot summer months when our temperatures are consistently in triple digits (this week it was up around 113 degrees F)!

I keep this simple centerpiece in the bathroom where I get ready every morning.  It fills my mind with memories of sandy beaches, coastal breezes and the sound of waves lapping on the shore.  Which reminds me…I may have a chance to visit my little hometown on Lake Erie in September and I can’t wait to walk on the beach and hear the sounds of the waves as I drift off to sleep!  I never realized what a blessing it was to live just steps from the shore until recently.

For this fun candle arrangement, just find a rustic container, fill it with sand, shells, a candle (or 3) and things that remind you of summer.  Try one yourself and post a link here so we can all see it?

More ideas for your summer inspiration:

Patriotic Slipcover Transformation

4th of July Beverage Ideas

4th of July – Summer Recipes

4th of July – Patriotic Decor

Let me know your plans for the summer and have an awesome holiday!

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This year I’m participating once again in the “Journal Your Christmas” project for 2010 at www.shimelle.com.   I signed up for it last year and the cool thing about it is once you pay for the class, then you can participate for free every year afterward.

This is a class geared toward those who enjoy scrap booking, journaling and/or blogging.  “Shimelle” provides inspirational ideas for each day of the month and you may choose how you want to express yourself with the idea.  As you can see, since it’s December 2nd and this is my first post, I’m not firm about having to do the posts every day because I know how busy the month is.  My goal is to do more of these posts than last year and  I only did one or two in 2009, so the bar is pretty low.

The prompt for today was about taking pictures of the snow and since I live in Phoenix, Arizona and we may only get a light dusting of snow every decade or so, that’s not exactly possible right now.  What I will do is share a picture that I took in January when my husband and I traveled about 2 hours north to Flagstaff after a big snowstorm.  It was just gorgeous!

Thick Snow on a wooden fence

I am familiar with snow.  You see, I lived in Ohio for my first 16 years and I really love the glittery crystals.  It brings back so many memories of winters growing up.  I never had to drive in it so I’ve got a somewhat romantic view of snow.  Some of my most fond memories are…

  • Waking up on Christmas morning to a snow-covered world.  It was somehow more magical when it happened overnight at Christmas.
  • Learning about snow at school and going out to collect snowflakes with the class so we could look at them under a microscope.  Did you know that every snowflake really is different?  They are amazing works of art.
  • Waking up on a school day to lots of snow and listening to the radio to find out if the schools were going to be closed for the day.
  • When we learned that we had the day off it wasn’t long before we were out playing in it.  Building forts, making snowmen, snow angels, igloos and so much more.
  • Substituting socks for the lost mittens that should have been on our hands…sometimes adding a plastic bag over the sock to try to keep our hands dry.
  • Coming back into the house cold to the bone, stripping off all our clothes and switching them out for dry and warm ones.
  • Standing by the heater vent trying to warm up my cold red hands and feet.
  • Sitting inside the house enjoying the quiet of a snowy day.  It’s like having an extra layer of insulation all around the world.  Everything is just quieter somehow.
  • Walking down to the neighborhood outdoor ice rink where we’d skate all day.
  • Sledding on “Cardboard Hill” a few blocks from home.
  • Walking way out onto a frozen Lake Erie.

Oh how I wish I had pictures of some of those early escapades!  I really do love all the various seasons of the year and I appreciate them so much more now that I live in an area that has very little change.

How do you feel about snow?  Do you love it, hate it, or have never experienced it?

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Lake Erie Sunset by Scott Dommin

Isn’t this just an amazing sunset photo?  It was taken by Scott Dommin.  He grew up in Vermilion, Ohio my little hometown.  I don’t know Scott, but I love his work.  So many of his photos take me immediately back to my childhood.

He just brings out the simple beauty and tranquility of that place.  Of course for little kids, sometimes it seemed a little too slow-paced.  Now as an adult I can see why our parents wanted to settle there.  I’m hoping I can go back and visit again in the next year or so.

Side note:  I’m trying this template that is supposed to choose a background color based on the colors in my photos.  I’m not sure I’ll like it, but wanted to give it a try.  Keep an eye on it and let me know what you think.

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My Hometown:

Look at this amazing photo that was taken by a new connection from Vermilion, Ohio, my hometown. Scott Dommin has started posting photos on a Facebook page about Vermilion. and I’ve been enjoying a tour of the local sights.

The lighthouse isn’t functional, but is a replica of an 1877 one that stood in the Vermilion Harbor long ago. It sits right next to the little Inland Seas Maritime Museum. Immediately to the right, just past the bushes is the sometimes sandy and sometimes rocky shore of Lake Erie.

This picture reminds me of the awesome summer storms that I could see from my 2nd story bedroom window. They would roll in off Lake Erie filling the skies with this spectacular lightening show. It was mostly exciting, but sometimes a bit frightening when the thunder and lightening got a little too close for comfort.

We used to swim in the lake until the last possible moment before the storm came in, then we’d go swimming again after the storms. We would always be guaranteed great waves at those times, which made things quite interesting. I remember one time being convinced that I would never make it back to the pier because the waves kept washing me farther and farther away. But God was watching over me and I did make it back safe and sound.

Just another reminder of God’s constant protective hand on us. What an awesome God we serve! He’s big enough to create the storms, but personally involved enough to carry us thru them!

Thanks Scott, for sharing this picture.

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