Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What a Difference a Year Makes

May 14, 2012 - one year ago today.  It seems impossible that an entire year has passed since our sweet Daddy left to join our mom and other family members who've gone on before us.

This past Sunday would have been my parents' 74th wedding anniversary - May 12, 1939. My dad even used the date for their special license plate on their car -- 05-12-39.  They were only 17 when they married, became parents at 19, and grandparents at 42!  They lived through a lot of ups and downs, trials and heartaches, but also love and happiness with their family of four, which then grew to 21 before mother's death in 1996.  Daddy lived to see our family expand to nearly 30 before his death.  He would have adored his new great granddaughter who we can't wait to meet in August.

Edith Olene Pinkerton Baker

Harold "Tip" Baker

In Hawaii after Dad's retirement, mid 1980's

50th Wedding Anniversary, 1989

A lot has happened in this past year with our family and with some of our closest friends...deaths, births, new jobs, new relationships, new churches, moves to new homes and even new towns.  That's the way life is and we just have to trust in God to carry us through it all.  He will see us through it if we'll just put our faith in Him.

Carl's mother also passed away in January - making us orphans indeed...no precious parents left to bless our lives on this earth.  We just look forward to the reunion to come in the hereafter!  We have been working hard these last few months cleaning out her house and preparing it for sell (see it here:  http://www.era.com/property/75878744-101022418/3803-dalraida-place-montgomery-al-36109/ )

Looking ahead to new challenges and new adventures in the coming year...as my daddy always said, "How sweet it is."

Madam President

Well, who'd of thought it over 20 years ago?  Me, President! 

No, no...not of the United States - Heaven forbid - they wouldn't want me in there - I'd clean house and start things over Reagan/Bush style! LOL!

But, for the Florida Jurisdiction of Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, that's what actually happened on Sunday morning, May 5th!  I was installed as the Jurisdiction President (yep, for the whole state of Florida) for 2013-2015.  This will be an exciting two years and I am looking forward to the challenge and pray God will help me be a really good President.

Starting out about 23 years ago simply by purchasing Woodmen insurance, I was automatically a member of local Lodge 2.  A couple of years or so later, Carl became a member when we purchased him life insurance...then our two sons.  We attended the business meetings and socials and gained some really good friends in the process.  We learned much more of this fantastic fraternal and patriotic organization that does so much in the community.  And, not only do we have various life insurance products, we now have Woodmen Financial Services, with annuities and other financial planning products with excellent interest rates.  We've been around since 1890, so we know our stuff -- I won't apologize for promoting this wonderful organization - we'd love to have anyone who reads this join us the first Tuesday of each month, or if you live in another location, there is certainly a Lodge near you, who would also be happy to have you visit them! 

We're nation-wide and are the largest provider of US flags, second only to the US government itself!  All the flags in the classrooms of Leon County Schools - yep, we provided those...the flagpole in the middle of Lake Ella, in front of the Senior Center on Monroe Street, on the ball field at Rickards High School, Hilaman Golf Course, Trousdell Aquatic Center, Timberlane Church of Christ, Ronald McDonald House, Myers Park, Tom Brown Park, and soon to be completed Leon County Schools' Veterans Memorial for those Leon County students who have died in the Middle East (dedication on May 23, noon, 727 S. Calhoun St. in front of the old "Caroline Brevard Grammar School)...and so many more flags, poles, American History Awards, American History Handbooks, help the needy, help schools, volunteer fire departments, non-profit organizations, established Red Basket nation-wide to help those in need from health, financial, and natural disaster situations(see redbasket.org).  We participate in the Veteran's Day Parade, Flag Day, Join Hands Day, and so many more activities.

Okay, I'll move on now with a few pictures from the Jurisdictional Convention held this year in St. Petersburg!

These aren't in chronological order, but enjoy them just the same - makes it a little interesting to try to keep up! 

Hugs to everyone who has supported me and will "have my back" over these next two years!

Newly elected Officers for 2013-2015

You may recognize a couple of these folks - Flowers from Lodge 2

National President Larry King, Past Jurisdictional President Libby Starling,
Jurisdictional President Melissa Vinson, National Executive Vice President/Fraternal Pat Dees

Heading Home after a wonderful weekend!

New Jurisdictional President with National Bosses

At the Banquet Saturday Night

Sound Man & Memorial DVD Provider - my hubby, Carl

Two Presidents

Lodge 2 Delegates at the USF St. Pete Flag Pole Dedication

Friday Night, as the Vice President, Presenting the Fraternal Welcome

Newly Elected President, pinned by husband Carl

Flag Pole dedication and Flag Raising,
University of South Florida, St. Pete Campus

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another Birthday, and other fun facts

Happy Birthday to my sweet husband!  We won't share the exact age, though many know it.  Let's just suffice to say that he also went into the State of Florida's DROP program as of April 1st.  I do wish him a wonderful day and lots of wishes from family and friends!

This past weekend we returned to Montgomery (and sadly, took NO pictures).  We were able to hire some men from a local moving company, and along with Mike, Carl and our nephew and my sister, and our former minister-now-in-Montgomery, Daryl Greer, we loaded up most everything and came back to Tallahassee.  Here, we had about 17 people at the storage unit and/or house to help us unload, and several who called to see if we still needed help (and some who came after we had left - so sorry guys).  We are most grateful for all our friends and family who have so willingly given of themselves on our behalf.

We will make our last trip this coming weekend and finish up moving the 40 years of memories.  We will get some painting & repairs done, the house & carpets cleaned, some outside freshening up, and a sign out front.  Please join us in praying that this house will sell quickly so the financial burden of keeping up two houses now won't completely overtake us.

Have a wonderful week and enjoy this beautiful weather!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DIY is finished - or, I won't be painting again any time soon

It is finished.  Not to copy the last words of our Lord, but it does fit this situation.

There were too many long stretches of time lapse during this project, but now, I can say the foyer is complete and I'm happy with the results.  It's certainly not a perfect job, but I can say I did every bit of it by myself - so no one else is to blame for the imperfections. 

I did learn some things that will help with any possible future wallpaper removal and painting projects down the road.  So I guess as long as I learned some things, and am happy with the current results, that's what is important for now. [For other novice painters, I did learn that the color can be different from regular paint and when using the paint and primer in one.]

We no longer have to turn on the foyer light when someone comes to the door - it is light and cheerful and the sunlight through the window in the door bounces off the new wall color (Sherwin Williams "Pale Artichoke").  Before, the dark wine color absorbed the light and make it almost cave-like.  Welcome light!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Forward

Spring is finally approaching!  The weather this weekend was glorious and the azaleas, dogwoods and other beautiful blossoms in nature are blooming!  The time moved forward so daylight will last a bit longer -- just loving these mild temperatures too.

Along with Spring, we are anticipating the arrival of our first grandchild -- a granddaughter, Lady V.  We learned last week that our children will become parents to a baby girl and we couldn't be happier.  Her name will be revealed at her birth, to those outside the immediate family, but we are currently referring to her, as above, as our "Lady V" -- Charlie started that precious name, but it will probably stick as a term of endearment in her future.

Looking forward to the Spring and Summer - the difficult (putting Carl's family home on the market to sell, taxes, finalizing the past), and then enjoying watching our grandbaby grow in her mommy's tummy.  The rest is just logistics and necessary details that will be dealt with.  God is good and has provided for us throughout it all.

Have a blessed week!

P.S.  My DIY project is still in flux, but hopefully will be completed this coming weekend; our church's Ladies Retreat this past weekend was a wonderful experience with Cindy Colley of Huntsville, Alabama; Carl re-connected with some old buddies this past weekend; we are blessed with lots of good family and friends...life is good.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cleaning Out & DIY

Going through and throwing away things in the past can be difficult, especially when it is an enormous tast and nearly 40 years of memories in one house are involved.  But the job is over 3/4 complete now and we can almost begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Sorting, pricing, estate sale, carpet and house cleaning left, then we're on the market.  Pray for a fast, uncomplicated sale...

20-yard dumpster; we're getting one of these at our Tallahassee house in the near future!

Starting a DIY project on a rainy weekend, thinking you're going to "surprise" the hubby with your mad skills - well, let's just say, didn't quite work out as I had so well planned for the last several weeks.  Carl went on a men's retreat and I just knew I would have a full day and a half to remove border and paint our little foyer.  It is, of course, not a large area, and should not be a difficult project!  Wrong!  Unless I am totally out of touch when it comes to border/wall paper removal, or unless the previous home owner used the world's most secure wall glue, this was a chore!  And I failed in the first rule of DIY projects -- take before pictures -- so, I don't have the original "look" of our foyer. 

I just knew I could take down the border on Friday night and be ready to paint on my [expensive] primer/paint in one (and "should only take one coat, even on a wine-colored wall") and have everything back on the walls, ready to go "ta da" when Carl came home!  RIGHT! 

Oh, well - it is what it is, but as of last night I finally had the border down (thanks to equal parts of white vinegar and hot water sprayed on scored border, let sit before scrapping) and the "goo" scrubbed off (sprayed again with vinegar solution, then scrubbed off with nylon scrubbie pad with solution of Dawn in dishpan of hot water - one foot-at-a-time sections).  Now, I'll get to go back and (per instructions from our oldest son, helping his mother via text): step 1, spackel, step 2, sand smooth, step 3, spray "orange peel", step 4, paint. 

Did I say I took off some sheet rock with the border?

At last, smooth walls, post-goo -- on to spackel!
Carl offered to help me last night, but I told him this was my surprise project, and I really wanted to try to do it all myself.  It's definitely going to be a longer process than I anticipated, but hopefully, we'll have a nice foyer when I'm finally finished!  [the poor secretary is totally yellow - not green & yellow as shown]    AND, I made the executive decision this weekend, should we finally get to the point of re-doing our kitchen, we are painting or tiling over the extensive wall paper!  [Sadly won't be the case in our master bath - peeling at all the seams, will have to come down.] 

Folks, don't wall paper unless you just love to be tortured or enjoy working like a fiend!

Hugs to all - now on with the adventure!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Year, New Lives

The year ended with some special time after Christmas with a visit to my oldest brother's home in Wetumpka, Alabama and visiting with two wonderful nieces and their families, as well as my brother and our oldest son.  A house full, to say the least, and a really special time visiting with our great nephew, the Marine (Theo), home from California for a couple of weeks!  Laughter til your sides hurt, too much food to ever be good for you, and memories shared, new ones created.

We followed Charlie back to Pensacola for a day visit with our sweet "daughter", Nichole, and her dear parents!  After a delicious brunch all together, it was back to the house.  We gave the "kids" their Christmas presents and thus, enjoyed the hilarious antics of our grand-cats playing IN the gift bags and chasing each other. 

At that point in the morning, we were asked if we wanted our Christmas present.  Having told them to not get us anything, we were thrilled beyond measure when we were then told that they were expecting our first grandchild!  What a wonderful surprise and a beautiful way to end the year!  Carl and I couldn't be happier and are anticipating learning the gender of our grandchild in about a week and a half - if Baby V cooperates! [That's the endearing reference to the little one until we know if they are having a "he" or a "she"....of course, we don't care at all - just a healthy momma and baby is what we are continually praying for!]

Then 2013 arrived on the scene and our lives haven't slowed down since.  We enjoyed time with Carl's mother in the first days of the new year and had begun thinking how we would celebrate her 95th birthday in August.  However, from January 7th until January 22nd, she went from being a pretty healthy 94 year old, to having bronchitis, being hospitalized four days, in rehab for seven days with no improvement, transferred back to her apartment for three days, then to Hospice House, where we felt we still would have at least a week with her.  The kind nurse there encouraged us to go home to rest, since we had not left her side for three solid days, and that they would take good care of her - it was after 9pm then.  We had decided to do that, and to be back early Tuesday morning...it was not to be.  The dreaded call came at 1:06 a.m. Tuesday morning, January 22nd.

Since that time, we cleared out her apartment and made final arrangements beyond what she had carefully pre-planned years before, had a small, but meaningful service in Montgomery, and have started our lives post-MawMaw.  Any extra time is now being spent preparing the Alabama house for sale and moving into the next chapter of our lives...as orphans indeed.  After losing my father in May 2012 and now Carl's mom in January 2013, we no longer have precious parents in our daily lives...we do have the hope of eternity to look forward to and seeing them all again!  We appreciate our dear friends and family who have showered us with cards, calls, emails, hugs, food, donations to deserving organizations, and support beyond measure. 

So now, we look ahead with anticipation to lives as grandparents and by the grace of God, possibly being able to retire in a few years. 

Yes, 2013 will hold grand new adventures if God sees fit to have us enjoy it:  May 2013 I am to be installed as the President of the Florida Jurisdiction of Woodmen of the World, in August 2013, we will become grandparents, and we'll just become obnoxious picture-sharers and tales of how wonderful our baby is. 

And, finally, borrowed from our nephew's post this morning..."Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

Encouraging to me!