Tag Archives: memories

Dancing With the Sister.

JH - Anna Lake Hefner

Anna:  Johnry, will you please dance with me?

John Henry:  No, Anna.

Me:  Come on, John Henry.  That’s a sweet big brother thing to do.

John Henry:  No video, okay?

Me:  No video. 

John Henry:  Okay.  Only for a little bit.

So, they commenced to dancing. 

And, it’s a memory that can only live in my heart. 

I mean, as if I would have videoed my children for the sole purpose of blog material. 



Filed under Kid Stuff, Motherhood

Nostalgia And Smells.

Smells - Anna-Mom

I tucked her into bed.  I went to kiss her. 

“Mom, I love the way you smell.”

Be still my beating heart.  Be still.

When I posted this sweet little happening on the Twitter, my friend, @kristenfountain2 said she “loved the way (her) mom smelled when (she) was little.” 

“I can still imagine it,” she recalled.

It’s amazing how smells bring back memories of people or places.  The smell of Oil of Olay makes me think of my mom.  Ivory soap?  Big Mama.  I can’t smell car grease without thinking of my Grandfather. 

Oh, and a brand new box of Crayola Crayons?  First day of school.  Any first day in elementary school.

These familiar smells can unleash a flood of memories.

What smells bring back memories for you?


Filed under life, Relationships

Time Travels So Fast.

Last night, I sat on the bed with Anna.  I demonstrated how tiny her feet used to be.  I showed her how I’d kiss them, and she’d giggle.  She loves hearing stories of things she did when she was a baby.  I love remembering them.

Kids 2006

Sometimes, I pause and marvel.

Where did the time go?


Filed under Motherhood

More On Bigmama & Aunt Kate

I don’t have a picture….Let me re-phrase.  I don’t have a DIGITAL picture of my Great Aunt Kate and Bigmama together.  But, just to show how much these two favor, I’m posting their photos side by side.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Exhibit A.


Ya know.  The more I look at these two photos, the less resemblance I see than I used to.  All save their still beautifully dark hair with gray on the sides only, which they do not dye thankyousokindly.

Well, scratch Exhibit A, and I have no B.  But seriously.  Don’t these two look fabulous to be just a few years from reaching a CENTURY old?  Okay, Bigmama, I know  you’ve got another ten to go.  Simmer down.

Bigmama and Aunt Kate are the two remaining siblings out of NINE.  And, oh the stories they can tell.  They experienced everything from the Crash of ’29 to looking down wells on nights with a full moon to see the reflection of the man they were supposed to marry.  They believed those legends. 

Their dad died of a farm accident before Bigmama was even born.  And, their momma died of “the” typhoid fever a few years later.  I emphasize the “the”, because Bigmama prefaces all diseases and ailments with “the.”  As in, the SARS, the diabetes, the Cold.  And, let’s not forget that all stores end with an “s.”  As in, Walmarts and Krogers. 

Their two oldest siblings, Woodson and Mattie, raised the younger seven.  As a matter of fact, when social services showed up at their door, Woodson stepped out onto the porch with a shotgun and demanded they leave.

They did.

I spent the greater part of my childhood with these to ladies.  If I wasn’t crocheting at Bigmama’s, I was across the street at Aunt Kate’s dipping snuff.  Oh, it was just pretend.  Aunt Kate would help me stuff tissue {pronounced “tisha”} down my training bra and spit in a red Dixie cup while I snapped peas from the garden.  Good times.

Bigmama and Aunt Kate still have their sibling spats.  But, the last phone call they make before they go to sleep is with each other just to say “Goodnight.” 

I have wonderful memories with these gals. 

What are some of your special childhood memories?



Filed under Randomness, Relationships

Favorites Party Tuesday!


Every Tuesday ‘til Christmas, I’ll be joining my gal pal, Kim, in her 2008 End of the Year FAVORITES Party.  She assigns the FAVORITE topic each Tuesday.  It is her party, after all.  Join the fun.  And, hop over to Kim and give her a shout.  You will Lu-HUV that girl.  I love her for many reasons.  But, mostly because she laughs at me.  And, I like that in a person. 

Today’s FAVORITE assignment is Thanksgiving.  Huh.  Good call, Kim! 

Most of my Thanksgivings have been spent in Georgia.  I’ve spent two of my 33 Turkey Days in Oklahoma and will spend my third one here this Thursday.  One tradition that I maintain no matter if I am southeast or smack dab in the middle of America is my grandmother’s dressing.  As soon as I learned to drive {or never learned according to a few}, I began driving to Callie Mae’s house to help her make the dressing – or manna from heaven.  I have acquired her mad dressing makin’ skills.  Oh, yes I have. 

Side note:  Callie Mae is my Grandmother who is also Big Mama to many. 

This Thanksgiving Day will not go without Callie Mae’s dressing.  I thought I’d share her recipe with you.  It’s Southern.  It’s mad.  It’s go-o-od.

Callie Mae’s Dressing
You need:

8 eggs
salt & pepper
1 can cream of chicken
1 stick of butter (melted)
3 or 4 onions (chopped)
12 saltines (crumbled)
5 pieces of loaf bread
small chicken (cooked)
broth from chicken
turkey juice

Make 1 large pan of cornbread.  Mix 3 handfuls {gotta love Big Mama] of cornmeal, 1 egg, salt & pepper, and 2 spoons of oil.  {Teaspoon? Tablespoon? Nope. Just a regular old spoon.}  Add buttermilk and equal parts of water.  Add just enough to “make juicy,” Callie Mae says.  Pour mixture into large iron skillet. Make sure you cover skillet with 3 SPOONS of vegetable oil.  Cook on 450° until brown.

Cut cornbread up into large bowl.  Take juice from turkey and mix with cornbread.  Add cream of chicken, butter, onions, saltines, bread, broth, chicken, salt & pepper.  Whew.  I’m tired already.  Oh, and let that broth cool before pouring or Callie Mae will go pick a hickory stick.  Add remaining eggs, and “make it juicy!” 

Mix it all together and throw it into a large, deep glass bowl.  Begin baking at 350°.  When you start to see some bubblin’ on top, turn up the temp a little at a time until it hits 450°.  Cook approximately 1 hour until done.

Hmmm.  I hope I didn’t leave anything out.  Oh well.

Voila!  It’s not for the faint of heart.  But, I cannot imagine a Thanksgiving meal without it. 

Now, Kim said we could share a favorite Thanksgiving memory, tradition, game, or food.  And, I chose tradition.  When I told Kris I thought about sharing how Bryan, husband #1…..Wait.  Not insinuating that Bryan was like #1 as in Woo-Hoo, you win the prize.  Just that he was my first husband.  Well, ex-husband.  Follow?  Back to my story.  I thought about sharing how Bryan proposed to me on Thanksgiving Day and how sweet it was.  Kris was all like, “Why don’t we stick to the past 5 years.”  And, I was all like, “Okay, but it was such a sweet memory.”  And, I just dug deeper and deeper.  So here ya go.  Callie Mae’s Dressing. 

What’s one of your favorite Thanksgiving memories, traditions, games or foods? 


Filed under Favorite Things, gratitude, Randomness

Wanna make a memory?

It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Georgia, and I hear Miss Anna yelling down the hallway, “Ga-Ga!”  “Ga-Ga!”  “Ga-Ga!”  “It’s time to get up!”  (Ga-Ga is my children’s name of choice for my dad.)  Dad was already up and moving.  After all, it is Sunday, and it probably wouldn’t go over well if he slept in…since he is the pastor.  For real.

Hearing her call for Ga-Ga to wake up made my mind instantly rewind back to being a little girl anxiously waiting for the “okay” from my Grandmother to go wake up my Granddaddy for the morning grub.  I love that memory.

I just love remembering.  Don’t you?  Sometimes we do things with our children with the sole purpose of “making a memory.”  But, I have found that it is the small, unintentional events that really leave a mark.  Like Paw-Paw’s cornbread.  Paw-Paw is John Henry’s grandfather (Bryan’s dad).  And by default, Anna calls him Paw-Paw, too.  As a matter of fact, she refers to Bryan as “Daddy Bryan.”  Remember, this is our normal.  And, we like our normal. 

Kris, the kids and I ate lunch with Bryan’s family yesterday.  I enjoyed Paw-Paw’s cornbread while Anna enjoyed his super cool chair that with a simple push of a button can send her up to the sky.  She was making a memory while I enjoyed reliving one with my cornbread.

It’s my belief that the events in themselves don’t make for a good memory.  It’s the love behind it.  Paw-Paw loved Anna enough to let her go for joy rides in his chair.  And, Bryan’s family loves me enough to still want to share some mighty fine cornbread. 

How do you spell memory?  L-O-V-E.  I know, corny.  I’m allowed from time to time – or from blog to blog.

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.  Philippians 1:3


Filed under Motherhood, parenting, Randomness, Relationships

The Case of the Untouchables

Most people just put their finest china in their china cabinet.  Not the Takle family.  For us, it represents those things we hold dear….and we dare our children to open its sacred doors.  The Case of the Untouchables became such after I placed this book inside:

What makes this book so untouchable?  This:

It was signed by the king of music himself, Gordon Sumner.  Yes, you know him as Sting.  I know him as my friend. (Sometimes, I step into Annaville myself.)

The other untouchables belong to Kris.  This ridiculous object of affection was won at one of his flight schools.  Its value is in the fact he has never won anything except this little lovely:

Then, there is the Gulfstream his mom gave him.  The real jets burn a little more in fuel, so we’ll settle for this one:      

 And, here is where my story and the Case of the Untouchables begin to crumble.  My five year old loves legos. He loves building airplanes, trucks, and helicopters from their tiny little pieces that come in the nicely wrapped and numbered plastic bags.  This is usually where my OCD kicks in, and I become engaged in these projects that can fill up an entire afternoon.  I became so obsessed with my helicopter creation, that I added it to the case.  Days, even months, went by, and my son continued to ask if he could play with my, sorry, his helicopter.  Again and again, I said no. I know what you’re thinking….how could I?  I just could.  And, I did.  However, one enlightened day, I had an epiphany, and I removed the helicopter from the Case of the Untouchables.  And, this is what remains:


I’ve even let him take these once precious legos and place them on top of the wing of another airplane.  Unbelievable, I know.  But, this was my epiphany:  I have one great son, less than five-thousand days until he turns 18, and almost that many legos.  So, we are gonna play, and we are gonna play hard.  We are gonna put propellers on the front of cars.  We’re gonna build, build, build for hours then take it apart.  Why?  Because, we can.  This is our new case:



The rest of the legos are under the bed, on top of our table, in the toy box, in our backyard….and probably in Brew’s belly.  We like our new Case of Touchables.

What untouchables are keeping you from enjoying your children, your spouse, your life?  Maybe its pride, your time, or your need for order like me.  Get ‘em out and mess ‘em up.  It feels good.  And, just think of the memories you’ll make!








Filed under Motherhood