Safe, sound and happy!
A celebration of my grandmother’s life will be held Saturday, January 4, 2013 @ 1:00 pm at Southern Utah Mortuary (190 N 300 W) in Cedar City, Utah. A viewing will be held one hour prior to the services, also at the mortuary under the direction of Southern Utah Mortuary. On-line condolences can be made at http://www.sumortuary.com.
My maternal grandmother, Vivian Lorraine Love Parks, passed away at 4:45 a.m. on Christmas Day, 2013, at age 90.
She was born on January 5, 1923 in Belvedere, CA to Charles Wainwright Love and Ethel Blassman Love, the first of five children. She lived and attended school in Glendale, CA until age 10 when the family moved to Covina, CA. She graduated from Covina Union High School in June 1939. She married Dennis Leonard Parks on August 26, 1939; they were married 52 years and 4 months until his death on December 15, 1991.
Dennis worked for North American Aviation and Consolidated Airways during World War II, being moved to Fairfield, CA by Consairway to assist with Pacific Island flights. After the war, they established a chicken ranch in Azusa, CA. Vivian retired from the US Forest Service in January 1985.
Vivian loved sports, played catcher on a girl’s softball team, and played tennis and field hockey in High School. In later life, she took up bowling, usually bowling in leagues twice a week until she suffered a stroke in December 2001. She also loved fishing, and her good friend, Bill James, whom she met in 1996, introduced her to ice fishing; they fished twice a week. They also made two trips to Alaska; Bill caught salmon and she didn’t, but they both caught halibut and cod. After digging for clams, she required liniment to her back and shoulder.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Charlie, sister Donna Maeseele, daughters Carol Beverly Parks and Patricia Lorraine Parks, grandson John Johnston II, and her husband. She leaves behind children Lavonne Parks and Randall Parks, sisters Barbara Brown and Evelyn Masters, grandchildren Gary Grewer, Kathryn Cranston, Richard Cranston, Denise Eyre and Shelley Sullivan, great grandchildren Natalie Cranston, Lauren Cranston, Joseph Johnston, John Johnston III, Jason Johnston, Steven Grewer and Stephanie Ann Grewer Foster, and great great grandchildren Jessica Johnston, James Johnston, Joshua Johnston and Aiden Johnston.
Loved by all who knew her for her generosity, determination, perseverance, ingenuity, simplicity, humor and feistiness, she will be sorely missed but never forgotten.
She loved the Jazz and the color pink.
A bucket hat is also known as a cloche, a fitted, bell-shaped hat for women that was invented in 1908 and became popular in the 1920′s until about 1933. Cloche hats were usually made of felt so that they conformed to the head, and were typically designed to be worn low on the forehead, with the wearer’s eyes only slightly below the brim. The dazzling Clara Bow is an iconic example of a woman wearing this classy headgear.
On Tuesday, December 3rd, Grandma and I had tickets to see The Oak Ridge Boy’s Christmas concert here in Cedar. And, of course, Old Man Winter chose that day to grace us with a small blizzard.
It took about 45 minutes to make the 10 minute drive, and we were very blessed to have people help us not only get the wheelchair out of the trunk and Grandma into it, a group of ladies took her into the lobby while another lady helped me find a parking space in the driving snow.
We really enjoyed the concert (except for the last 4 songs, which were just weird –an odd mix of gospel, Christmas and unusual lyrics that left us rather puzzled) and got back to the car with a little effort. There was 8″ of snow to be cleared off the car, and while I had a very good snow brush, before I finished one half of the car, the other half needed to be done again! And neither Grandma nor I had gloves, scarves or hats (making the -9° temperature just that much worse!) and my thin flannel coat that doesn’t zip or button provided scant warmth.
So the next day I purchased gloves for me, mittens for Grandma, and a black cloche. It’s really cute and covers the ears without having to wear a knitted “sock” on your head. Last night I asked Grandma if she would like me to get her one, too, and she wanted to try mine on before deciding. Her she is wearing the bucket hat and showing off her new teddy bear arm warmers (to keep the nails on her paralyzed hand from cutting up her other arm, a problem we’ve had lately):
How I love my American Rebel Grandma!
My Grandmother has a hard time grasping objects because her left hand is paralyzed and the fingers of her right hand are numb with very little sensation.
After she dropped her glass of orange juice and I finished cleaning up the glass, I started the search for something that wouldn’t break. What I found was flexible, shatterproof, recyclable stemless wine glasses by Govino. The skinniest version would work best, we thought, and bought 4 stemless champagne flutes.
They have a handy indent for her thumb. Here she is, enjoying a glass of ice tea.
This one’s for you, Stephanie! Mwah!
Meet Aloysius (al-ə-WISH-əs)!
Aloysius is an Aloe Vera (A. Vera), a member of the Asphodeloideae family of leaf succulents. He is a very short-stemmed succulent that can grow up to 39″ tall; currently, he is a mere 28″. His leaves are thick and fleshy with a grey-green color. The outer edge of each leaf is serrated and has small white teeth; he has a vicious bite and that’s how he got his name, “The Vicious”!
Potted Aloe Veras produce “pups” that grow from the sides of the “mother plant” (in our case, the “father plant”; after all, he’s named after the 16th-century Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, not because we or our plant are religious, but because it rhymes with “vicious”). The pups can be divided and potted to produce a new generation of Aloe Vera, but since Aloysius was just recently repotted and there is lots of room for the pups, we won’t be dividing them until after the winter is over.
Aloe Vera doesn’t grow in the wild; it’s a cultivar. There are some aloes (that are not veras) that grow in the wild, but they are very distant relatives. Aloe Vera has been widely grown as an ornamental plant and is considered by many to be a medicinal plant. While there’s not been any scientific evidence that Aloysius and the gel you can squeeze from his fleshy leaves contain healing properties, I have used fresh aloe vera gel to soothe sunburn and, just the other day, I slit open a small piece and placed it inside my Grandmother’s cheek where she’d bitten her lip several times (and the bite site is healed nicely).
Aloysius is about 3 years old and had a very pampered life until my Grandmother had a heart attack. While she was gone, a friend kindly watered Aloysius, but never rotated him so he got sun on all sides. This caused him to grown slant-wise, and I’m in the process of getting him “straightened” out!
Usually flowers are produced in summer, but Aloysius grew his flower spike during the month of November, soon after being repotted. These spikes can grow up 35″ tall; his is a whopping 40″.
None of my Aloe Veras have ever bloomed, so when Aloysius sent up his flower stalk, I was amazed. My Grandmother said he’d done this once before, but no flowers ever appeared. At first I was curious why a plant would put up a flower stalk with no flowers, but today when I was fussing over him, I saw that the “bud”, which had opened up into separate “pods”, had stamens showing at the tips! Ah ha! Flowers! Very small and hard to see, but macro photography gives us an up-close and personal view.
Mother Nature is amazing!
I have the dubious honor of being the one who will cook dinner for Thanksgiving this year. My new casserole cooking skills, along with renewed ability to make grilled cheese sandwiches, have probably not prepared me for this task. My gourmet cook step-mother, Annette, usually has the honor and, I must confess, I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself that she won’t be cooking this year.
So I’m on a quest to prepare a turkey, traditional stuffing, Annette’s French Canadian meat stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, my Grandmother’s fruit salad, and a pumpkin dump cake. I’ll have to think about how to sneak some green veggies in there!
In honor of this exciting milestone in my life, and since I’ve only had commissions and no on-line sales since I moved my butt to Utah and moved my inventory to Storenvy, I’m offering a coupon for 25% off your total order (excluding shipping) that’s good through the end of November. When you buy anything from The Dream Faire, enter coupon code THANKSKAT25 and be thankful you’ll not be eating Thanksgiving dinner at my house this year!