Saturday, December 31, 2016

Why SusieQ?

I chose the name SusieQ for this blog as a tribute to my Aunt Sue. SusieQ is what family members, most are deceased now, called her years ago.

Aunt Sue is a remarkable woman. She is 92 years old, lives independently, and is in excellent health. One thing that amazes me is that her handwriting is beautiful. She told me that she went for her annual checkup recently. The only thing the doctor could find wrong with her was a buildup of ear wax.

Aunt Sue has devoted grandchildren, however her husband and both her children have passed on. Just a few years ago, her daughter died in her arms after a brief, heartbreaking battle with brain cancer. Despite these losses and the pain associated with them, Aunt Sue is happy. Having grandchildren who love her and keep her involved surely makes a difference. You can tell that she is happy. She gushes with enthusiasm when she talks to you and, when she becomes tickled over something, she giggles like a school girl. SusieQ is a fitting name for her even today.

If you were to ask my Aunt Sue why she is happy, I would expect her to tell you that it is because she trusts God and knows there is an afterlife where she will be with her husband and children again someday. She waits for this cheerfully.

Is it any wonder that I want to pay tribute to this woman?

(I wrote this piece in late 2005, but kept it as a draft for years.  Today I attended Aunt Sue's funeral.  She was 103 when she passed away.  I celebrate her departure from this earth, because I know she is with her husband, her children and a great-grandchild who went before her.  It is time to publish this tribute to her.)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Husband The Father

(This is a repost from a couple of years ago in which I honored my husband on Father's Day.)

Our children adore him and have utmost respect for him.
Hallmark card

Our younger daughter stopped by today with this card for her Daddy. She chose this card carefully. It represents memories she has of sitting on her Daddy's lap as a little girl in an orange chair we had at the time clutching her Teddy which after all these years still has its stuffing and is on display in her home. She had kind, loving words to say about her Daddy today...and about me. We thanked her. It felt good.

This is my husband with our first child Christina. See the warmth and pride he exudes as he looks at our daughter. Early in our relationship I recognized qualities in him that convinced me he would make a good father. I was not wrong.
This is my husband and daughter Christina again on graduation day...his graduation day from college. He worked hard to get his college degree. He obtained most of it while serving in the Air Force. After serving his time he had about a year left to go in order to finish his degree. But we had one child and another on the way. Still we decided it needed to be done. So, my husband took a job working the night shift at a local mental hospital so that he could attend college during the day.

A few weeks after our son was born, my husband graduated from college. Unfortunately I could not attend the graduation ceremony, because our son had serious health issues at the time and I could not leave him or take him with me. I was very proud of my husband though and shared in his joy and relief that it was over. A few years later our third child was born, a girl. She completed our family. Here we are all together, my husband, myself, our two daughters, Christina and Margaret, and our son Buddy.
My husband and our three children one Easter when leisure suits were the thing and most men were trying to grow beards in celebration of our country's bicentennial.
Our family portrait taken in 1983 when the children were all teenagers and in high school. Our son was all bulked up for football. As you can see, we are animal lovers with our two dogs and our cat. We couldn't get the fish to pose for the picture though. (snicker..)
This is a goof-off photo we took of our family the Christmas of 1985 with one of those cameras that has a timer and can sit on a tripod. I love this shot. I included it because it is an example of the kind of fun time we had together as a family when the kids were growing up. My husband and I did a lot of talking with our children about many things. He reminded me not too long ago about the summer nights all of us would spend outside on our patio talking and talking about everything under the sun...or maybe I should say under the stars.

Here we are together as a family in 1987 when my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. At that point our three children were in college. Not too many years later one by one our children started getting married and beginning families of their own.

It has been seventeen years since our first grandchild was born. We were privileged to be there to witness her birth. Now we have 14 grandchildren and my husband is the proud papa to all his grandchildren who love and adore him.

This is Papa (my husband) and our granddaughter Sarah. See the warmth and pride he exudes as he looks at our granddaughter.

This morning on the kitchen counter I had his oatmeal ready and waiting for him to come down to breakfast. I had his super-duper smoothie there which I make for both of us practically each morning. It is chock full of good things (apple, banana, blueberries, orange juice, protein powder,....yada, yada, yada) that I hope will keep us healthy and going for many more years. This Father's Day table-scape included the gift I gave him, which is one of those fancy fork thermometers he can use when he grills meat, and a Father's Day card.

The card I selected for him says it better than I could myself. It talks about how we watched as first steps became first days of school for our children. It talks about letting go and letting them grow, but with hearts that still hold them tight. It talks about how time flies and how here we are just the two of us. But what this card said that spoke to me the most is that he, my husband, is my home. So I signed the card "To a wonderful daddy and papa. You have always been the good father and you will always be my home. All my love..."

Happy Father's Day dear husband!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Remembering Mother - 2007

(This is a repost of a post I wrote in 2007 in memory of my mother.)

Mother's Day always brings back many memories for me of my own mother. The ones that stand out the most in my mind at present and almost beg me to write about them involve her humorous ways.

(Mother and Daddy taken during the 1950's)

No doubt you are all familiar with our nation's various domestic wars. The War on Drugs. The War on Crime. Mother had her own personal domestic war going on. It consisted of many battles on many fronts.


The battlefield was any motel room, hotel room, or vacation home where our family was going to be staying. The enemy was OTHER PEOPLE'S GERMS. Our germs were okay. We knew them. They were family. But other people's germs, well, that was a different story.

I do not recall our family ever taking a vacation for which Mother was not prepared with her arsenal of weapons: pail; mop; scrub brush; ammonia; bleach; soap; and rubber gloves. My sister and I were not allowed to step foot inside these places until Mother had thoroughly disinfected them from top to bottom. Once she got done the place was so clean and germ free that you could have drank out of the toilet bowl.

Mother's determination to do battle with OPG carried over to public restrooms as well. If she could not disinfect, she labored to create this protective paper barrier between the toilet seat and my little tush or my sister's which ever was the case. It was my mother who taught me how to dress the toilet seat in a public restroom with layers of toilet paper and how then to approach said toilet seat without disturbing this protective barrier. Much to my mother's dismay, the approach was a feat I never quite mastered.


Mother was good about keeping things for that proverbial rainy day. She had a cedar chest in her bedroom which she kept locked. Once when I was a little girl I decided to unlock it and see what was inside. I was surprised to find a treasure trove of beautiful linens neatly wrapped in paper. These were wedding gifts which Mother and Daddy had received. I asked Mother why we didn't use these things. Her reply was, "Oh, those are for a rainy day."

Well, that rainy day never arrived in our household while I was living there. It was one long drought instead. I remember well how our bath towels were so worn at times you could practically see through them while thick thirsty ones sat in Mother's cedar chest. Did that rainy day ever come for her? Did she ever get around to using all those beautiful towels and pillow cases that filled her cedar chest? If she did, then she waited till after I got married and had left the nest.


After Grandpa passed away and it was time for Grandma to sell the big house and move into something much smaller, my parents helped her prepare for the move. I will never forget the big deal Mother made over Grandma's gigantic collection of clothes hangers. It was excessive for sure. It looked as if Grandma had kept every clothes hanger that had ever made it into her life. But maybe Grandma thought clothes hangers would go up in value as time went by. Who knows. Who knows what in human beings causes them to keep things that come into the house on a regular basis when these things have no real value or have limited usefulness. I suppose we all possess this pack rat mentality to some extent.

Mother's thing was cottage cheese containers. My father loved cottage cheese. He ate it every day. It had its own place at the kitchen table right there along with the butter and the salt and pepper. Eventually cottage cheese came in plastic containers with nice snap on lids which made these containers perfect for storing leftovers and other food items. So, people started saving them. People, including my mother. The years went by and Daddy kept eating cottage cheese that came in plastic containers with nice snap on lids...and Mother saved these containers diligently. My guess is that she saved every one of them. Eventually she had a collection of cottage cheese containers that rivaled Grandma's collection of clothes hangers. She had cornered the market. Personally, I do paper bags and shoe boxes.

(Mother, a fine lady - age 69)

Mother passed away in January, 2001 twelve weeks to the day after the love of her life, my father, passed away. The following spring after their deaths, a particular pair of butterflies kept flitting around our yard and coming up onto our deck and landing on the railing which surrounds it. Butterflies are a sign from loved ones who have passed on...they say.


Mother had a reputation for being a lady. She took great pride in being a lady. It is with deep love that I wish this fine and fair lady a Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, April 02, 2010



(I have posted this Easter Greetings several times in the past. I like its simplicity.)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Sad Day For Mugsy!


I'm forlorn!

She remained in a stupor, that SusieQ,
Induced by yesterday's feast.
Sprawled out on the sofa, she snored away
Not one concern in the least.

It occurred to me "What an opportune time
To email a friend or two!"
So I scampered along to the den in haste
Without further ado.

I pounced on her chair in front of the screen
And began to paw at the mouse
When what should come up but Susie's blog
Where I learned I live with a LOUSE!

Yes, a LOUSE! I say! SusieQ's a LOUSE!
Not once has she mentioned her Mugs
Though she writes about everything else in the world.
So much for her kisses and hugs!

And rightfully so, I'd say.
Afterall I'm simply a FANTASTIC cat
That's PERFECT in every way.

In fact, I believe I deserve a blog
Devoted strictly to me
Where Susie would write post after post
About moi exclusively.

Fat chance for that. Her true colors she's shown.
That idea I can shelf.
Hey! I don't need her. I can get the word out.
I can start a blog myself!

Hm! How shall I fit this blogging thing in
With all that I have to do
Such as primping and purring and lounging in sinks
And eyeing that cockatoo?

I'll give it some thought, this blogging thing
For the world has a right to know
About the most wonderful cat on this earth
Though SUZE may not think it's so.

Wow! I'm tired of all this rhyming and stuff.
It's time to put it to bed.
So, I think I will go to my slumbering Suze
And recline on the LOUSE'S head!

Good Night All!