Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sing Like No One is Listening

This is a photo taken from my '58 high school annual - that's me in the middle row, right. I sang in the girl's chorus, the mixed chorus, this sextette, plus solos. There would be concerts staged at the school, we went to local and state contests and it was just another all round fun activity. I often find it unbelievable that I did a lot of the things that I did. Today, I can barely "carry a tune in a bucket" !!! I am reminded of a time when I believe I was singing along with a song in the car one day and you said "Please don't sing, Mommy". Today, I only sing in the car when I am alone and listening to my favorite radio station. AND, the windows are closed !!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Actress in Me

This is a photo of me taken out of my 1957 High School annual. I had the lead part in the Junior Class Play "Time Out for Ginger". I don't remember much about the plot of the play, other than Ginger was quite a tomboy throughout the first two acts and in the 3rd act, she shows how much of a "girlie" girl she really was after all !! I had parts in several plays throughout my high school years, most of them being the female lead part. Being in the plays was always so much fun for me -- I always had my lines memorized to a "T" and never missed a cue. In today's world, many times, I forget what I read 5 minutes ago !!

Monday, July 27, 2009


Call it fate, call it destiny, call it what you like !! The fact that Hilery and I have both come to call Las Vegas "home" was not something either of us would have ever foreseen !!. We had a conversation the other day about choosing a place to settle down. Las Vegas would probably NOT have been the city we would have chosen. As "fate" would have it, your Dad's job moved us here. As "destiny" would have it, I introduced Hilery to the love of her life when she came for a visit at age 19. Now, I have lived here longer than anywhere else I have ever settled in my lifetime. Hilery, playing a vintage slot machine, is about 4 years old in this photo taken in her other grandparent's "playroom".

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Seeing the Sights

Here we are at Ephesus in Turkey in 1980. I have been looking through a lot of old photos the last few days and I am thinking how great it was for us that our husbands worked for a company that gave us the chance to see a bit of the world !! Even though living conditions weren't always as convenient as we would have liked, I know that I would never have traveled to all of the places we traveled, otherwise !! These historic ancient city ruins were one of many of the sights we saw together. You know your Dad was never much for sight-seeing trips, so I am ever thankful that you were more adventurous. I wonder what is in that huge tote bag I'm carrying !!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Four Generations

This is another photo taken at that Heckel family reunion in South Dakota back in 1959. There you are at one year old, then me, and I'm not even 20 yet !!! Was I ever that young ?? Seems like a long time ago, yet, only yesterday !! Mom would have been in her mid -40's, and I suppose my Grandma Hanle was probably mid-60's. Mom once told me that my Grandma came up with my name, Virginia. Mom never said so, but, I think they were looking for a boy since I was the second child and probably didn't have a girl's name picked out. And then, I was bestowed with my grandma's name for a middle name, Katherine !! I have always liked my name, but was that ever a lot of letters for a little kid to learn to print !!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Baby Ringo

When you posted this photo on your blog and I asked you to send me a copy, your comment in your email about the day after Ringo came to live with us, you hated having to have to go to school and leave him behind. AND then all you could do was think about him ! It reminded me of how much we have loved our dogs and how much love they have given us. They live in the moment and teach us so much if only we are willing to listen !! He really was a cute little puppy -- it is still hard for me to believe your Dad just brought him home one day without there ever being a discussion about getting a dog !! Or, did you talk to him about it ??

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My "Bird Book"

Being the computer illiterate that I am, I haven't figured out how to space these photos of my book and write about each one individually. Click on the photos for a larger view. Using your book for inspiration, Hilery and I had a goal of using things we had and not to purchase anything new. WELL, I did buy a few "bird trade cards" on eBay and we did buy a carpenter's measuring tool. The covers are from an old high school literature book that I found stored in a box in the garage. The sticks in the binding came from the farm down by the river in Iowa. On a trip back there a couple of years ago, I had picked up bits and pieces from the wooded area and had put them in a box, thinking I would use them for something, sometime !! We did print out a few pictures of things from . I added a few personal items to make it "my own", such as the image of my dad as a young boy, numbers with meaning - the 4322 was the number on the first house we bought -- 1958 was the year of our marriage and the year of your birth. The old spoon came from a box of things my friend Willa had given me. She always loved my creations and was ever on the lookout for items of artistic interest for me. Hilery found the rusty nail in her yard. Creating this book was a huge step away from the norm for me. Hilery and I had five exciting Friday afternoons of creativity !! I am pleased with the end results and when I look at the book, I think "Did I really do all that ?? "

Thursday, July 16, 2009


This photo of Hilery and me, (Gramma), was taken at a park in Izmir, Turkey in 1981. You once made the statement that Hilery looked at me as a "big" playmate. I always had fun with her when I had the opportunity to be with her. Now, she is all grown up, lives close to me, and we still have fun "playing" together. Your "Bird Book" at on June 4, has been our inspiration for our "play sessions" the last few weeks. We should have our books finished soon and I can hardly wait to post photos for you to see. It is always amazing to me how each artist with the same inspiring theme will turn out a totally different look to their finished project.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In Bloom

When Sharon and I went to Sam's Town last week to see a movie (senior discount day on Tuesday's), we were walking through the atrium. Along one of the walkways. a hibiscus was in full bloom. It reminded me of this photo of Hilery and Ozzie dog taken in Okinawa. Where we lived, we not only had a gorgeous hedge row of hibiscus, but, also on one side of the house, a whole row of poinsettia "bushes". Hilery in her little hibiscus print muu-muu and flower in her hair, plus the back drop of hibiscus made for a pretty cute photo-op !! Ozzie was a neighbor dog that spent as much time at our house as he did his own home.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

With Stars of the Show

I received this photo in the mail yesterday from Kelly, a representative at Channel 10, our public service television broadcasters. The two beautiful gals are Chloe and Leslie Mills, the female vocalists at the Yanni concert I attended June 27th. These talented young artists, Ender Thomas and Nathan Pacheco, included, were so congenial and sweet at the "meet and greet" session before the concert. All four have written lyrics to their favored Yanni compositions and performed throughout the concert. Purchasing this ticket and attending Yanni's concert has been one of the best gifts I have ever given myself !! An unforgettable experience !!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Spoil the "Girls" Day

Thursday morning, my friend Sharon called and said our friend Lana, had a day off -- "Let's go get pedicures and have lunch together". She didn't have to twist my arm too hard !!! Lana had retired and moved to Florida, but, economic situations changed for her. She and her husband are back in Las Vegas and both have returned to work. We three "old gals" have a great time when we have the opportunity to get together.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shark on Fire

There are many gorgeous sunsets here in the Las Vegas area desert, but it is rare that I can walk out my front door and see this kind of sight. Last evening when I walked out to lock everything up for the night, I walked right back in and grabbed my camera. A "cloud image" was clear to me when I viewed the photos this morning.

"In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary." - Aaron Rose

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vintage Lace Pillow

I put these patchwork, vintage lace pillows together about 15 years ago or so -- Today, I would probably be using the lace in altered art projects !! I really don't recall exactly where the bag of lace came from, either a garage sale or antique mall. I had no idea at the time what I would ever do with it, I just thought the pieces were so beautiful !! Somewhere, I saw a new pillow made in this fashion and so three pillows were born, one for me, one for you and one for my friend Willa. This pillow is home on the daybed in my "multi-purpose" room, along with other treasured pillows and of course, some teddy bears !!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lady Luck

I suppose this could have been called "child endangerment" !! I often tell the story of the trip you and I made to Las Vegas in the fall of 1976 -- I always remember it as being a super fun time and hope you do, too. Seeing two shows a night -- all those great old entertainers, many of them no longer with us, was the best part. Your Dad would indulge me and see a show now and then, but, it wasn't his favorite thing to do !! Oddly though, he enjoyed them as much as I did, once I got him there !! The Lady Luck Casino/Hotel where this photo was taken has been closed for a couple of years, under renovation. Ironic that it was the first place I worked as a blackjack dealer nine years later !!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July

I purchased this silk boat flag when we were living in New Hampshire. The duplex we rented had a bracket to show a flag and I hung it out daily. When we moved into our townhouse, I purchased a bracket for the back patio. Your Dad was in charge of putting out the flag on patriotic holidays. Today is the first time I have put the flag out since he has been gone. It is a hot, humid 4th of July, but, there is a nice gentle breeze to give our flag a beautiful flight.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Nesting Chicken

A green depression glass replica nesting chicken was a Christmas gift from my mother and father-in-law sometime in the early 90's. I had been back to Iowa for a visit to the families as I did most every autumn. While there, your G'ma Ruth (my wonderful mother-in-law) and I went to lunch at a tearoom in Boone. We were near the restored birthplace home of Mamie Doud Eisenhower there in Boone and also did the tour there. Of course, there was a little gift shop area and we were looking at all the neat little things on display. I must have commented on this chicken as it appeared that next Christmas. It is at home in the kitchen cabinets, always ready to be used.