Category Archives: daddy

Memories Made Here

There you go bumping through life, and all the sudden, you realize a big ‘ole memory is being made.

My Caitlyn and her friend started a Rainbow Loom bracelet business.  They have business cards, keep tally of what the sell to whom and split their money 50/50.

I love watching her learn, find projects, tackle them and make amazing progress.

She found out earlier this week that another homeschool co-op has a rainbow loom class.  She is in love.  She wants me to teach a class so badly–particularly rainbow loom now–that she pulled out her tooth fairy and rainbow loom business money to see if she could buy me a loom so I could learn and teach.

We’ll see how that pans out.

In the meantime, Daddy was watching her get started on a bracelet he ordered, and began asking questions. She came alive as she started teaching him how to make a fishtail bracelet and explaining the difference between and c and an s clamp (FYI, c clamps are preferred in our household).

Instant memory.

And I got pictures.

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She made the headband.
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Watching my big girl teach her daddy how to do something she loves, and knowing he really cares? SWOON

Love and Memories

This morning I donned an apron made by my Great Grandma H to make my Great Grandma Ks’ molasses cookie recipe that I remember my Grandma D making.

The cookies were in a jar in Grandma Ds’ kitchen on the long counter to the right of the door as you came in.  Hers were big and round.  I chose to make mine into Gingerbread men.

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Grandma Ds’ kitchen was always warm and open to anyone.  I loved going there.  I miss going there.

This time of year always finds me wandering among my memories.  We said Good Bye to Grandma a year ago this month and my dad, her son, would have turned 62 this year, tomorrow.

So amongst all the gaiety and fun of the season, I spend time, as many do, with memories of those we no longer hold close with our arms.

I remember Grandma H and the many Christmases we went there for brunch before heading to Grandma Ms for more Christmas.  I remember the couple of years they convinced my dad to dress up as Santa Claus and come to my Grandma Hs’.  I have no idea how they talked him into that, or how they got all that white make up out of his beard in time to get to Grandma Ms.  I also remember wondering why every year there seemed to be a reason he had to run home to tend our wood stove fires and miss the visit from Santa.


I remember gathering at Grandma Ds for family Christmas a few days after the actual holiday.  They had a finished basement with a family room in it.  There were so many people, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins.  How I loved the years we got money to pick our own gifts.  Talk about feeling grown up!  Or the year I got the DELUXE Wheel of Fortune Game I had been desiring.  That was Christmas JACKPOT.

Christmas at home was a little complicated.  We didn’t have much money.   My mom did a great job of yard saling (still does) for gifts, so I never felt want, but my dad felt bad he couldn’t buy us a bunch.  It put him in a rather unpleasant mood.  I wish he had understood it didn’t matter how much I was given, anything mattered.

Like the year he got me a Crystal Barbie, what girl didn’t swoon for her sparkly dress and purple eye shadow?  Or the amazing year he forgave my debt for my car engine.  Now that was a gift a girl can never forget.  To him, it was a failure because he didn’t shop for me, to me, it was the weight of the world off my shoulders.  And then there was one of the last gifts he ever bought me, a beautiful lamp.  He had gotten me one years before that I cherished, but it got broken in my move to college.  I was elated the day I unwrapped the new one.  It sits, to this day, next to my bed.  The WHOLE family knows not to touch that baby.  I don’t need it in order to keep my dad close, but I dread anything happening to it.

These are just a few of the memories I live among during the holidays.  I hold them close.  I hold my loved ones closer, and pray those in eternity are watching down on us and sharing memories too.

Happy Birthday Daddy.  Merry Christmas Grandmas and Grandpas.

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The Pumpkins are Sat Around the Porch With Care In Hopes Candy Would Soon Be There

I am returning to a link up I have not done in a while, the phone photos.  I used to have to search for photos to use for these link ups, but since I got my iPhone, I’ll freely admit, I never use the point and shoot.  My phone does a better job.
Last night was pumpkin carving night.  This year, all of the girls were old enough to work on theirs.  Daddy was definitely there and helped, but each did some solo.
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I might have seen this pin on Pinterest so hubby, and girls, made it happen.
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The girls were heavily supervised even where you don’t see it.
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We had a lot of fun with pumpkin carving this year.  Though I forgot to read them the Pumpkin Carving Gospel.  We might have to do one more pumpkin tonight as part of our devotions.
How are your Halloween or Harvest time preparations coming?  Are you tackling it tonight or has it been done for a while?  I’d love to hear about it.

Early Mornings All Around

We’ve been up since 5:30 this morning. Sue woke up sick. And thus ended our night. Daddy got up to help me, but I couldn’t settle back to sleep.

We were early risers today, but my daddy was always an early riser. Most of my growing up years he owned and operated a sawmill. He always said the best part of being your own boss was you could choose which 12 hours of the day you wanted to work. Most days he chose 12+ hours.

But every night he came in to watch the eleven o’clock news. He wanted to see the weather. Every night he would fall asleep at the commercial break just before the weather and wake up as soon as the report finished. Every.Night.

My daddy was a walking miracle. He really was.

He worked as a welder before he started the sawmill. One day at work, when I was five or six, he was run over by a hi-lo at work. It narrowly missed his head. Very narrowly. He had to have back surgery and as part of it they fused two discs together. He could not bend his back for a year following the surgery. And he followed the rules. He got very good at squatting down to do things. I remember so clearly his squatting down to pick strawberries in the patch we had along the fence. Seriously people, I can see it in my mind’s eye like it was yesterday.

I took my girls strawberry picking this year for the first time. We had a great time going out on a train ride, picking strawberries, having cider and donuts and playing on these huge wooden play structures. I wish my daddy could have seen it.



There is no end to the things I wish he could see. But most of all, I wish I could let go of the regret and guilt I have over the years I lost with my daddy. There were so many times I went up north to visit my mom and didn’t go to his place. There were so many holidays I should have called, but I didn’t know exactly what to say. I would give anything to do those lost years over.

But I can’t. So please forgive me as a few times a year I pour out my memories and regrets here, please forgive my attempts to salve my guilty conscience. I loved him so much, but I lost a few years. And now he’s gone. Nine years gone.



Boxes in Your Hands


It’s a nice sunny day. I spent some time working on school studies with the girls and then we got invited to the park.  We had a lot of fun.

The olders are now at a friends’ house playing while Patrice and I hang at home.

I heard the door open a few minutes ago and thought they had come home.  But instead, Patrice came running in with a box.  Apparently she is now accepting packages on my behalf.  Turns out there were two boxes.



In it I found items from my grandparents.  My dads’ parents.  My dad died almost 9 years ago, his dad died almost 3 years ago and my grandma passed away this last Christmas.

And here was the last of the things I would receive from them.  There were pictures dating back to when I was in second grade, my moms’ first Bible that she was given in 1971, news clippings about my parents and a myriad of lovely Christmas ornaments.

I am thrilled to have every bit of it.  Can’t wait to show the contents to my hubby, but again, these are the last items I will receive connected to them or my dad.  My grandparents won’t be in the house right around the corner from my dads’ grave.  They’ll be lovingly buried next to him.

And for this I mourn.

Not only am I sad my grandparents are gone, but somehow their deaths make my dad feel even more gone.

He wasn’t at my wedding, but they were.

He didn’t meet Caitlyn, but they did.

He never held Cana, but they did.

He never had pictures of Patrice, but grandma did.

They are gone.  My daddy is gone.  My heart is weighed down.

Memorial Day

A friend posted a very poignant reminder that this weekend is not about barbecues, and may I add, mattress sales, rather it is about remembering those who are no longer with us.

It is about remembering soldiers, and public safety workers who protect us.

It is about remembering family who is no longer here.

This long weekend, Tuesday actually, they will hold my grandma’s memorial service.  Her soul went to heaven months ago, but now her body joins that of her husband of decades and her only born son, my dad.

All my love to those who will be there for the service and to grandma, grandpa and daddy.

grandma and dad grandpa dussel

Too Much, Just Too Much

The last week and a half has been full of too much death.

On a national level, Annette Funicello, Margaret Thatcher, those attacked by cowards at the Boston Marathon, George Beverly Shea, and on a personal level, a long-time bus driver from my growing up years and a long-time coworker from my previous job.

And this stirs up feelings of loss from my dad’s death almost 9 years ago.  My sister posted a picture on facebook of our dad with her kids.  It came up in my timeline today.  I saw his amazing eyes amidst all his bushy hair and my heart stopped.  And honestly, it doesn’t feel like it has restarted.

I see you in my dreams daddy

I see you in my dreams daddy

My dad died just after I got engaged to my husband.  He didn’t see my wedding, he hasn’t met any of my girls.  I have talked about him some.  He’s known as my dead dad.  Every time we make a chocolate cake, my dad’s favorite, Sue asks if it’s for my dead dad.  I tell her no, except on a few special days, but I think from now on, the answer will be yes.

Here’s our latest creation daddy.


My aunt, my dad’s sister, once reminded me, the best tribute to my dad, and what he would want me to do, would be to live my life, and I have, but today, I pause, for him and for the many who have died recently and for those who loved them.  May your memories bring you peace and healing.

8 years

I mentioned in my therapy appointment yesterday that today marked 8 years since my dad died. The doctor asked what I was going to do to mark the anniversary. I have to admit, I wasn’t prepared to answer that question. Typically, I’m sad and then mad at my husband because he doesn’t read my mind and comfort me.

Some years I have driven to the grave, but that is impossible this year. The doctor then asked who I could talk to who would share similar memories, so later I will be calling my older sister. We started sharing memories yesterday via facebook and I am looking forward to hearing some of her thoughts on dad. I have more memories from growing up, but she has more of the last years of his life. He walked her down the aisle at her wedding and met all three of her kids. He died 4 months before I got married and never met any of my girls.

But one big way I am marking today? I found a cake recipe on pinterest that is similar to what I used to bake for him, complete with a frosting recipe identical to the one I used.

A Cake in Memory of my Daddy

Happy Anniversary in Heaven Daddy.  We miss you!

*The cake isn’t pretty, I almost didn’t post it, but hey Patrice left her mark on it and my daddy wouldn’t have cared he would have dug in.  I rarely make cakes,  but I think I am going to make this a tradition.


Enjoying daddy’s cake with my family

Tip Junkie handmade projects

60, A Number Not Reached

My dad would have been 60 today.  But I lost him a little over 7 years ago in a single car crash. 

My dad was a hardworking, friendly, outgoing, chocolate cake loving, twizzlers licorice addict.

He was an exacting disciplinarian with high expectations, but you knew what they were.  There was no guessing on what would make him happy, what would disappoint him.

I remember as a kid if I wanted to go play at someone’s house, or go do something, that his first question would be, “are your chores done?”  It was incredibly rare for him to say I couldn’t do something fun if I could say “yes, all my chores are done.”

And if I paid attention, I could learn to expect other things from him.  When I was 13 I bought a horse.  My dad expected the horse to be ridden every day, and the stall cleaned each day…It was hard to find time to do both every day, but I quickly learned, if I got up on Sunday’s before church to go ride, my dad would clean the stall out while I rode. 

When I got older and started driving, I paid for my own gas.  I hated it when my dad would ask to borrow my car, until I figured out that if I said yes, he always returned it full of gas no matter how empty it was when he borrowed it.  I started hoping he would borrow my car!  And that was when gas was just over a $1 a gallon. If you were still with us daddy, I would let you borrow my car all the time! 

I wish he were here for lots of reasons.  He would love my girls.  I think, while he would think my running was silly, he would also be proud of how far I have come in my journey with Multiple Sclerosis.

I think he always believed in me, even when I thought it meant he didn’t understand what I was going through.  I think maybe he could just envision more than I could, past the current challenges, to a stronger future.

And though right now I often feel weak and beaten, it is a stronger future than I often imagined as a child.  I have an amazing husband and three incredible girls.  The future I always wanted.

Thank you daddy for loving me, for believing in me.

Happy Birthday!

Not Much To Say Tonight…Maybe You’ll Enjoy This

Been thinking about my dad today.  He loved Hee Haw and this song.

And on a totally unrelated note, Sunday is my 7th anniversary.  Any gift ideas for the hubby?  I have no idea what to give him.