Making my first Christmas Gift”



Learning to Make Something

On Mondays, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm, instead of going back to  classes at school, we assembled at the tables in the playroom,  this was for the “Girls” only! Each girl had an assigned seat,  and  on each Monday, you were sitting ready to receive  your  bundle of  “Handiwork”  to  work on. Each of us  girls  were  taught by the  “Nun in charge, Sister M. Colombo.”  You would learn to do embroidery work, and also learn to crochet, and she would  soon find out what was best for each girl to do – without wasting time and materials!

Since, I had not done any of this fancy stitching, had to start with a plain white cloth with  a lot of  “xxx’s”  on it, and  was told  and shown, how  to pull the threaded needle up and down across the area . Then told to turn the hoop and start where I had left off,  and make an “X” a completed  “Cross-stitch.” – “WOW was this ever exciting – as I was only “eight” years old!”

Now that I think about it – I did make quite a few squares of material with  Cross-stitch. Whatever the design, I did not really take notice, ( I was only eight years old) but.  I’m sure, with enough squares completed, if they are joined together,  you could easily have a small quilt?

My eyes  were surveying  what the  older Girls were making, and how fast their fingers and hands were going –  those fingers were moving, like they had a mind of their own!

Now that I think about it – this is a very good age to start teaching your young girls how to use a needle and start to stitch a few squares to make something – if only for the little girl’s doll house – or even for a girl friend’s  little doll  house. The reason for saying this is – that at this time of the year – we all do not have enough money to buy all kinds of  gifts – for friends and family –  some things that,  they do not  even want – and may never ever use – but,  my idea is for a gift that will last forever –  and that would be something amazing,  because your hand-made gift,   it was made especially – just for them.

Which reminds me, since I was learning to do these “Cross-stitches” – I thought that I would make something just for my “MOM” –  a small “Hand-Towel”  that had  been stamped on the one end, with  a design of something  – that was just filled with  these little “XXX’s”  – and since that is what I knew how to do – that is what I did,  with just the right colors of thread to make it look beautiful.

All of  the free “PLAY” time that I had – I would be sitting there and making my little stitches just as I was taught. It was in September that we were taught this part of needle-work,   and now,  when I started my project,  it was November and December – as I knew that,  my brothers,  Denny and Tommy and I would be going to our own HOME for a couple of weeks to celebrate   “CHRISTMAS”  with our parents – and I just had to have something for a nice gift,   something that I had made – and something that they would like –  just knowing all  of   that,  I had taken my free time to think of them all the while,  that I  was making this “Hand-Towel” gift.

It is highly possible that, if I were to  take  the time to search,  through some old stuff that did belong to my “MOTHER”  – it is possible that,  that little hand towel would be found  –   as I  do remember seeing it around for years when my MOTHER was alive – she liked it  – and I liked the memory of my MOTHER  keeping the little “treasure” for all those  many years –  just as if –   it were worth a MILLION!

Posted in Childhood and tagged with no comments yet.

“Sing OUR SONG, Over the RIVER to Grandmother’s House”

This is LEX – and, I just heard my favorite song of  all time – “Over the RIVER and through the WOODS to GRANDMA’s House we go” and from what I heard this has been the # 1 traveling song  – at this time of the year –  as we travel for the great “Thanksgiving Feast of a Dinner” for all of the FAMILY!


As you can see – I am in my finest  “Tux Outfit” and all ready to travel through the woods to “GRANDMA’s HOUSE”  just like that  song  – that we will  all  be singing  in our  “Auto”  –  and our  “Automatic DRIVE” will be set – as the song said  that the “HORSE” knows the way to “Grandma’s HOUSE” – so with a whole lot of loud singing and laughing all the way – we will be planning on having lots of FUN and GAMES with  our A #1   FUN  Grandma!





“Grandma just said,  that she likes this PHOTO of  me, “LEX”  singing our favorite song “Over the River” because, I know just how to open my mouth  wide so that all of the words can be heard for miles around – Grandma thinks,  that I am the best of any singer that she has heard – and I LOVE singing loud just for her, too!

So, just in case you see a vehicle, sailing down the highway – and everyone in the vehicle is singing nice and loud,  and laughing and having too much FUN – you will know that,  that is us – and we are all  on our way to our “FUN GRANDMA’s house – for  more “TURKEY and PUMPKIN PIE –   and she was telling me about an old song, that  her “Aunt Irene Brady Riley” taught to her and her brothers, Denny and Tommy – in the late 1940’s – and that it is a real silly kind of song just for kids.

Just in case you can not wait,  till I tell you exactly what it is –  “Grandma” does have it posted – back  some time ago – just hunt back through some of her old  pages – and you will find it! One hint…  I will give to you…”It sounds ‘funny’  to your ears!”

Posted in Grand-Children, Grandma and tagged with no comments yet.

“Happy Thanksgiving to all”

 For as long as I can remember – when traveling in the car with the Grand-children – as soon as we were starting to go  over a “BRIDGE” any where at all – I would begin to sing, “Over the River and through the Woods”  and just as soon as the end of the “Bridge” came into view – I would stop singing – and sometimes not even finishing  a  word!”  Just that fast, and we all began to laugh – that we would always do that  – it just seem to be our special way to cross over BRIDGES – and always be remembering that  “Grandma and the Grand-children”  were always having FUN together – and everywhere we would go – it was FUN – just to be together!





So, this one year – around the HOLIDAYS – where I was working – our section had a group meeting all around some tables together – to meet and have a little Fun – while enjoying some food – and each of us – were to stand and introduce ourselves to the others and give a short story or something that the others would have an idea of who we were, and what we were like.

This is when, I was one of the types that would like for everyone to have FUN – as I would do with my “Grand-Children” – so when I stood and introduced my self –  I was telling everyone of my singing with the GRAND-children in the car – my favorite song, “Over the River” and with my arms and hands in the air – just as if on stage –  and sang to a point and STOPPED – on a word – and everyone died laughing – and that was the best “Ice Breaker” for that group meeting – as some sitting around were so stiff -neck  – but my acting so silly – sure did loads to waking up some “old tired bones”  – that so many people have around this time of the year!

So – start singing with the GRAND-children – let them know that singing is so good – putting so much fresh air into those lungs – and afterwards – all of the laughing together – is the best of medicine – I know the FAMILY all LOVES those good times,  that we all shared and hopefully will continue – sharing good times and memories for ever –  – if only we remember to give credit  and a big THANKS to the “Almighty”  for all of our silly talents, that we  LOVE to share  and give  to  the children!       D.V.

Posted in Today and tagged with no comments yet.

“Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet”

Just a little HELP for eating  healthy – since so many of us are on DIETS –  but,  with all of that extra  special     FOOD – made just for us to enjoy a most wonderful day with all of the FAMILY –  just have to keep an ‘EYE’  on   that  “Sweet Sixteen Figure”  that,  we used to have so many long years ago!






The few pounds that I lost somewhere – will find me,  this week,  and just do what they like to do best – grab a hold of me – – and just hang on for ever –  – it just seems to be the  “PITS”  – for me to lose – that which I do not want!

Posted in Today and tagged with no comments yet.


To have Fun at the DINNER TABLE – COPY the List below – so that you and everyone will have more FUN – while enjoying that nice “TURKEY DINNER!”

Try these story starters for your holiday table

Share something new with your family at your next gathering. Here are some conversation starters

PhotosBy Betsy Towner, 

Gather around the holiday table and pass these conversation starters, too.

Bring this article with you to your holiday gathering. Instead of offering expressions of gratitude, ask each other questions, share something new and, perhaps, bridge a generation gap. We suggest 50 topics to get you started, but no rules apply. Just have fun asking others to fill in the blanks and offering up your own answers. Who knows? Your revelations may become the spiciest dish at the feast.


My baby book

1. I was named after ___ because ___

2. My parents told me I was a ___ baby

3. I remember my grandparents as being ___

4. I remember my parents as being ___

5. I remember my siblings as being ___

Earliest Memories

6. My first pet was ___

7. My chores growing up were ___

8. My favorite toy was ___

9. My best surprise ever was ___

10. I wanted to grow up to be a ___

When I Was a Kid

11. Something I wish was still sold in stores is ___

12. The historical moment I remember best is ___

13. A famous person who made the biggest impression was ___

14. My first music player was a ___ and I liked to listen to ___ on it

15. The first president I remember was ___

Teen talk

16. My favorite activities at school were ___

17. My first job was ___

18. My first car was ___ and it cost ___

19. My favorite musical group was ___

20. My first home away from my parents was ___

I’m not blushing!21. My first crush was on ___

22. My first date was with ___ at ___

23. My first kiss was ___

24. I met my mate when ___

25. My favorite wedding memory is ___

Next: More topics to discuss at the dinner table. >>

Modern Times

26. I am happiest when ___

27. I am most at peace when ___

28. I often crave ___

29. My favorite book is ___

30. My favorite movie is ___

Believe It or Not

31. My religion is ___ because ___

32. Politically, I consider myself a ___

33. My beliefs once changed when ___

34. My biggest hope is that ___

35. I am superstitious about ___

Juicy Secrets

36. If I could marry a celebrity, it would be ___

37. Once, I was really embarrassed when ___

38. I think my best feature is my ___

39. A secret I wish I hadn’t kept is ___

40. I am secretly proud that I can ___

Talkin’ turkey

41. The troublemaker of the family was ___

42. One time I got in hot water when ___

43. But I didn’t get caught when ___

44. One time I got scared when ___

45. I’ll always regret ___

Bragging a Little

46. Our family claim to fame is ___

47. Once I won a contest when ___

48. My proudest moment was ___

49. My favorite thing about someone at this table is ___

50. Something I hope you like about me is ___

Posted in Today and tagged with no comments yet.

“The GIFT of Thanksgiving with Wonderful Memories”

“Marie Brady” when she was a little girl


      “Giving THANKS… Comfort and Joy…”

When we get to this time of the year… NOVEMBER and DECEMBER, and  a big “IF” –  in the right kind of FAMILY…where the parents want to give to their children, the world with a ring  around it –  well then you may have an idea of what I’m talking about?

In 1900 – and the years that followed, my MOTHER was only a little girl, and also she was the thirteenth and the last.  Some of the older brothers were already married and  others not even living at home, and hardly even knew that there was a new little sister, little  MARIE  –  added to the BRADY FAMILY. In fact, Mrs. Thomas F. Brady, was way pass the years that  –   you would even think of her bearing another child?  Some FAMILY  and FRIENDS, almost thought –   that little MARIE, was the new little,  “baby girl” born to the eldest of the BRADY boys,  “JIM BRADY?”

At Christmas Time, one year, I just  had to ask my MOTHER about how she was treated as a child,  and what did she ever ask for, and what did she receive?  “WOW – what a  BIG  disappointment”  – I knew that her FAMILY had money and could give  to her anything and  everything,  and that they surely celebrated in a big way, since they were IRISH!

During the first and very young  years of  Marie’s Life, the FAMILY celebrated with  a big FAMILY get  together – mainly eating and lots of music and  singing afterwards –  with all the FAMILY together –  and no real exchange of gifts,  as she remember. But, when she was in the lower grades of school, she did receive a “DOLL.”  She never asked for a “DOLL” and she said,  she never really ever,  asked for anything, since everything was provided.

In hearing my MOTHER, tell me how it was –  when she was   a little  girl  –  sure got me to thinking, about how different we do things –   TODAY!  We just go off the charts –  with spending and purchasing items today for people – by putting ourselves  in such a “big debt” –  that afterwards  –  which  ever HOLIDAY –  that we are  celebrating, we feel a real sick feeling in the gut –   what did we do? –  AND whatever for –  WHY??

Some of  the stories that I hear, leaves me to thinking, WHY not continue in the more “FAMILY”  orientated way of old, just  all getting together, celebrating with FOOD – MUSIC –  and SONG, just  all of us together making “MERRY” –  being   comfortable,   in our celebration  – and seeing that  JOY  which each member of the FAMILY is having – and all  of our  many  FRIENDS  that we LOVE are  now  – also enjoying being included in the making of the “Best of Memories” for a LIFE-TIME!

Making new and wonderful MEMORIES each NEW YEAR   get together – are the best of GIFTS to be giving to our children – showing that as a FAMILY – we enjoyed LIFE and the LOVE in sharing LIFE with FAMIY and FRIENDS,  forever!

Thank you,   Almighty Yahweh –  for the GIFT  of LIFE to share more LOVE with our FAMILY and FRIENDS – the GIFT,  that will last now and for all Eternity!  D.V.

Posted in Today and tagged with no comments yet.