Showing posts with label jewelry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jewelry. Show all posts

Friday, April 10, 2015

Jenna's Birthday on April 3

             Before we had even packed, Roland and I stopped by the store for some gift ideas.  Jenna had recently told us that having footie pajama would be cool.  The first ones that I saw were bright pink with rubber ducks.  Jenna has always had a thing for rubber ducks but as I looked around, I saw something else that looked more like something that she would pick. We chose what she calls a “cheetah print” because she is somehow in love with animal print – first cheetah and then zebra.  

Jenna and Roland had gone to the pool while I had the opportunity of taking a hot bath.  (Roland is so good to me – knowing I have been wanting a bath in a large tub for some time – at that point neither one of us were aware of the hot tub located next to the pool)  Jenna was still in her wet swim suit when I got out of the tub.

I told her that she could open her first gift that first night.  I was thinking those would be the pajamas she would wear most of the vacation.  And so she stood in her wet bathing suit waiting for Roland (who had gone to get something to eat, unaware that Beth had invited us for dinner – even though we hadn’t really planned on showing up until the next day) to return before she opened her gift.

We had gotten a woman’s extra small because they looked like they ran big (pajamas almost always do) and they did fit – but not comfortably enough to sleep in.  And so we returned it to the bag to take home and exchange – hopefully.

Jenna turned eleven on Friday.  She was actually quite pleasant for someone who had absolutely no say in having to be in Oregon on her birthday.  And what we had planned was not all that exciting either as Beth had given us the names of a few surrounding towns that we might want to look at.

We enjoyed a continental breakfast.  Roland made waffles for Jenna, himself and me.  We drove to Forest Grove, Dayton, Lafayette and surrounding areas.  We did find a manufactured home for sale in Lafayette – a price we could afford.  But we learned it needs a new roof.  It is in a park verses its own land.  Roland would rather have our own land – but I’m okay with a structured community – at least I think I am.

We had stopped somewhere to get Jenna a drawing pad.  Roland also let her pick out a toy which she could have for her birthday.  She chose a stuffed frog marked “Hoppy Easter”.  She received texts from both Tony and her dentist to wish her happy birthday.

After four we went to meet Beth and Graham for dinner.  He made macaroni and cheese (Jenna’s favorite) asparagus (which she tried and ate one of) and chicken.  I forgot what fancy name he gave it.  It was good.  The whole meal was really wonderful – and filling.

Beth had made a cake earlier that day – a gluten free cake.  It was in a large stemmed bowl with eleven candles.  It was really good.  We lit the candles twice as I hadn’t taken my camera out until after she blew the candles out the first time.  I only got five pictures.

Jenna shared her wish as she was certain it wouldn’t come true.  She wished she had gotten a pool toy instead of her frog.  After she had excused herself from the table, Beth found a rubber duck that she could use.  So her wish came true after all.

Before we left, Beth taught us how to play Labyrinth – which may not be in production anymore.  I know I have never heard of it.  Jenna, Roland and I played with Beth.  Jenna ended up skunking everybody.  Beth offered to let us take the game for the night, but I knew Jenna would want to go swimming again.  I knew that I’d be too tired to do both.

The next morning Beth took us to a bead store so that we could make some jewelry in honor of Jenna’s birthday.  Both Jenna and Beth chose to make bracelets but I decided that I would rather have a necklace.  

necklace by LaTiesha, bracelet by Jenna

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Prettiest Necklace of All

          Sunny was helping Ellen and Nate with cleaning mom’s house.  She set aside a box of necklaces for Jenna to go through. 

          There’s a bunch of seashell leis.  I think Grandma Mary must have picked a couple up each time she went on a cruise.  Mom had purchased some as well, but I think the majority came from her mom.

          Jenna had once asked for a “necklace making kit” and mom had given her one for her birthday.  And Jenna chose a special rainbow lace full of beads to give to grandma in return.  And my mom wore them proudly – at least that one day.  It was in the box among the many pieces of jewelry that remained. 

          As Jenna was sorting through her latest “treasures” she asked which of all the necklaces my favorite was.

          “Well, this one, of course.” I said as I held up the rainbow shoelace full of beads.
          “Then you can have it,” Jenna beamed.

          Two days later it went missing from my dresser.  I found it dangling around Jenna’s neck.  I asked if she was borrowing my necklace.  She said that she decided she wanted to keep it and I could choose another.  I think we can share.  I like sharing her treasures because of her excitement.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Button Bracelets and Broken Earrings

          Ellen found my mom passed out.  (This was last month - when mom was still in her house and not in assisted living) Her jewelry holder was on top of her.  Not good memories for Ellen – who doesn’t wear jewelry anyway.  I don’t wear much (jewelry) – certainly not enough for the wonderful piece of furniture I remember mom purchasing many years ago.  I don’t think I would have even thought about it one way or the other, but it had been moved into the same room where most of the photographs were.  I made a request to have it.

          Roland brought it in the house and started to put it our room. 

          “I got that for Jenna,” I said.

          He’s ordered her to take really good care of it because it’s an heirloom.  That cracked me up.  I had never thought of it in that way before.  An heirloom is something that has been handed down for several generations.  And I suppose if Jenna takes care of it, it could become an heirloom – but I don’t think of it that way now.

          Of course the unit itself is probably a lot nicer than most of the jewelry it houses – if not all of it.  Jenna has always loved to make and wear jewelry.  We made button bracelets with the residents (well some) where my mom lives. Jenna made one for herself and I made one for mom.

          She did end up with maybe half to a quarter of jewelry that was left behind by either my mom or either grandmother.  Ellen brought another huge box into the room.  Fortunately Jenna didn’t notice or I’m certain we would have walked away with more.

          The jewelry reminds me of those worn by children when playing dress-ups.  Or something to be collected and ripped apart for making something else – which is maybe what they all were at one time. 

          Some of it is ugly.  I guess it could have been considered stylish for its time – what time?  Long before I existed, I would think.  Jenna feels so grown up with her dangling earrings – disappointed that the really cute ones are all twist-ons that pinch her ears.  But she can wear the clips.  She wore a pair to church and has taken a pair to school today.  Jenna’s enthusiasm makes it all worth it really. 

          I wish mom’s jewelry was worth something.  Most of the pieces seem to be plastic or falling apart.  Jenna broke one of the earrings yesterday – I’m certain it was due to years of decay more than on her part.  But there were tears in her eyes.

          “Oh, it’s okay, honey.  We can try and fix it.  Or we can break the other one and make barrettes out of them.”

          Tears dried up.  All the sudden the pair of earrings had become quite valuable.  
“We could make barrettes with just this part,” she said as she pointed to the fan part that clipped over the ear.  Pointing to the imitation pearl teardrop she continued, “And I can use this part to make a necklace!”


For me the jewelry does not represent mom.  The only pieces I truly remember came from one of my grandma’s.  I don’t recall mom ever wearing most of it.  Maybe two or three pieces out of – how many?  I might be able to ask Jenna.  She probably counted them when she initially had her eye on them.

rainbow clipart 7 490x357

If I can find any joy or peace of mind with all the devastation and turmoil that has been felt these past four months or so, this would be it.  Jenna’s joy and gratitude.  It means a lot to find that pot at the end of the rainbow . . . or even just the rainbow itself.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

That’s a Lot of Costume Jewelry!

          I don’t remember being in the ward when the name of Roland and his sons were read over the podium for new membership records. They must have been read the week that mom and I went out of town.

          It was September of 2000.  We had gone to San Francisco to clean out my grandma’s apartment.  A place that housed her possessions but she had not actually lived there for over a year – and yet the rent was still being paid.  How wasteful.

          Mom and I lined the halls with donations.  We had called Salvation Army, DVA, any thrift store or charity that would come.  Nobody would take it all, but every organization took a lot.  Hard to believe that apartment actually held all that much.  I never knew what a very Large apartment my grandmother lived in.

          We designated each room for different things.  We had a garbage room, a record room, a knickknack room, a poison room.  Mom hadn’t lived in San Francisco for years.  It’s not as though either one of us knew our way around – or even had the transportation to do so.  We didn’t know the proper method for disposing all of the pills we found, or the dozen or so ketchup bottles that had been on the shelf for the last 25 years and would have asphyxiated us if they had broken.

We could have probably made a few bucks had we had the means to transport the many items to pawn shops or antique stores.  But alas, we were there for only six days.  And six days was not enough to even to clean even just one room – though we did manage to find the closet with the hideaway bed. 

My grandma went through various stages of being extremely heavy and actually having lost the weight.  Complete wardrobes in various sizes – why would she hang on to all those clothes?  How in the world did she ever find anything?  Maybe she couldn’t – and that is why she continued to purchase.

We discovered actual rooms that had been used as closets.  Tons and tons of clothes.  Enough to clothe all the homeless people of San Francisco.

We would venture out only once a day.  Grab something to eat and dispose of items that the charities and another organizations wouldn’t take.  Or else we would go to the bank and make deposits.  We actually found the nation’s penny shortage in my grandma’s apartment.  Last day.  No time for the bank.

Mom put the many rolls of pennies into a backpack  to carry on the plane.  I laughed when the alarm went off.  After checking her bag, they let her through.  I’m thinking that she wouldn’t have been able to board the plane with all the securities that were added to (and continue to add) just one year later.

Grandma was a hoarder.  As soon as mom and I returned home, we were able to tackle our own basement.  We threw things away.  Many things.  For mom’s house was so much bigger than Grandma’s apartment, and what a nightmare that would be many years down the road when someone else (most likely her children) would have to come clean.  Neither of us believed it would be so soon.  Neither one of us ever imagined that we would have to put mom in a home.  Not my mom.  Not her mom. 

While growing up, I remember mom wearing a variety of jewelry.  I’m not certain when it stopped.  But there came a time she really didn’t wear jewelry all that much.  And yet she seemed to inherit a large portion of costume jewelry from each of my grandmas after they had passed.  She still has them.  I don’t know why.  I don’t recall ever having seen her wear any of it.

My mom has not passed, but we have gone through her possessions as though maybe she has.  Making use of what we can or selling whatever can be sold.  Kayla and Corey are both having a hard time with it as they are still her possessions and she is still alive.  But she’s got dementia.  And she doesn’t remember as much as she did just a few years ago.  And she doesn’t even remember her house anymore – let alone her possessions.

Just a few months ago, I can remember asking her about items that I knew were hers.  She didn’t claim them however.  In her mind, almost everything in the house belonged to Nate – my niece’s husband. They lived in mom’s basement – still do. But they do not own everything.  But mom’s reality is so much different from our own.

Jenna had a grand time sorting through all of the jewelry that mom had accumulated.  None of us wear jewelry.  Sunny does once in a while.  Ellen and I think they’re quite bothersome.  Jenna would take it all if she could.  But she doesn’t need it.  And yet she appreciates it more than each of us do.  It’s beautiful.  It’s feminine.  It has a different value to eight year old eyes than those of us who are over twenty.

Sunny would like the beads – not to wear but to tear apart and use for bracelets that will be created by her preschoolers.  Go for it, Sunny.  How exciting it will be for my grandmothers to see their jewels shared joyfully among so many – even if they are just three and four.  For theirs is a pure joy.  You don’t see that much excitement among as many adults.

Mom had closets full of clothes as well.  Mostly in three sizes.  A lot of clothes – but not enough to clothe all the homeless.  Not enough to fill as many bags as her mom had.  Not enough to line the stairs from her apartment on the third floor to the downstairs lobby.  Still more than one person needs.  But not nearly outrageous as her mom.

Actually there are not as many beads in the collection as there were tons of clothes in grandma’s apartment.  It actually makes it easier for me to toss things so my kids won’t have to.  I don’t wish to be a hoarder.  I may be hoarding memories.  I’ve saved a lot for Jenna.  We are 42 years apart.  I figure she will need something.  But I want her to want it.  I don’t want her to be the one cleaning up after me saying, “What the heck was mom thinking?  Nine staplers.  Who needs nine staplers?” 

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  Before inheriting my mom’s desk supplies, I only had two staplers.  I think I now have seven . . . I had expressed interest in using her unused notebooks and other desk supplies.  Ellen took it to mean that I wanted everything that had ever been in the desk. I think I got it all.

For the most part, most everything I took was practical and in no way had any sentimental value.  I asked for lidded containers and space makers and forks and plates.  They didn’t even have to be good ones. 

I had had my eye on mom’s knives ever since she bought them.  Ellen had wanted them too.  So I let her have them.  I know she will take better care of them than my household will. 

We’re getting things from Carrie’s grandmother as well.  It’s been five years since anyone has lived in the trailer that she and Randy will be moving to.  It’s actually not bad.  It’s a lot roomier than our current house.

Roland.  He’s a hoarder.  And so is our brother-in-law, Bill.  Kayla and I have both gotten rid of a lot.  And our husbands have managed to replace it within days.  So for those of you who read my blog, please pass this message onto my children: Mommy hoarded memories, but it was daddy who filled the space by hoarding more unnecessary stuff..