MV Obsession

My obsession with Martha's Vineyard.. phototography.. life in general and this and that…


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction…

This week, share a photo of something that brings you satisfaction.

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I thought about this for awhile and although there are quite a few things that bring me satisfaction on a regular basis I decided to post on something I did that brought me extreme satisfaction because I only did it once… and probably won’t do it again.  It wasn’t anything exciting or daring, like skydiving, no, it was simply baking a cake for my daughter’s birthday a few years ago FROM SCRATCH.  I’m not a baker even in the loosest sense of the word so this was to me a big accomplishment.   Just so I had proof that I did it I took pictures along the way and turned them into a blog post.

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I Can Bake ! …

November 7, 2014

It took me 51 years but I finally made a cake from scratch.  Why did it take this long?  I’m not sure… laziness, thought it was too hard or time consuming… I could think of a lot of excuses.. and did.

For my daughter Deb’s recent birthday and I wanted to surprise her with something she would not expect… and a homemade cake would definitely be that.

So, I gathered my stuff together and began my new experience.

This ‘new picture’ Betty Crocker Cook Book by the way isn’t all that new.  It was given to me by my dad 51 years ago.  You can tell by the loose binding that it has been used, even by me from time to time.

 

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I decided to make a pound cake in a bundt pan.

I mixed all ingredients, well, except for one which I couldn’t find in the pantry and figured it wasn’t all that important … how much of a difference could a tsp of baking powder make anyway.   Whirr, whirr, scrape, pour… it was actually looking pretty good… I felt encouraged.

 I even melted some chocolate to add to the pound cake…  thought it would give it some oomph and who doesn’t like at least of dash of chocolate in a cake.

Got the cake in the pan and polished off what was left of my coffee…by then I was exhausted.

My creation

I only peeked at the cake once during the hour it was in the oven.  It was rising and browning so I was encouraged.    Tah dah… it was done… now to see if it would come out of the cake pan in one piece !  Tah dah again… yay… it did.   Applause, applause.

Look at that, isn’t it beautiful…. see how happy and pleased I am with myself.

My creation

It was another hour or so until Debbie came home… it was hard for me to control my anxiety.  I knew she’d be surprised but would she like it ?  Time would tell.

She did look surprised.   A beautiful cake yet to be tasted but certainly making a good impression.  Looks like a birthday cake now that it had candles on it.   And finally, the taste test !  The consensus was that it was good… maybe could have been a little taller but I like to think of it as a petite pound cake.

My creationIt was a success and, don’t tell anyone, but I might even do it again.  I said might 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/satisfaction/

 

 

 

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Maude Louise …

My mother, Maude Louise Littlefield Freeman was born in Waterville, Maine on March 11, 1907.

(my mother and her mother Albra Mae Flewelling Littlefield Grant Baird)

The picture below is one of my most favorite pictures of all time…

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Raised on Martha’s Vineyard…

 

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my mother and grandmother at their house on Circuit Ave in Oak Bluffs, 1924

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After graduating from Oak Bluffs High School in 1926 she moved to Newark, NJ where she met, and married a Jersey boy… Joseph Albert Freeman

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and had a Jersey girl (me)…

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I have posted the above pictures etc several times here on my blog either on my mother’s birthday or on Mother’s Day so why am I doing it again this year ?   During the past several months my daughter Deb and I (90% Deb) have been digging into the ancestry of our family.  I posted back in October 2015 how my mother’s ancestors did indeed come on the first voyage of the Mayflower …. but since then Deb has discovered ancestors on mom’s side all over the place and going back many generations.  She’s also discovered facts about my grandparents on my dad’s side which has been amazing since we didn’t know anything about them at all.  But that’s a post for another time. Today it’s all about my mom, Maude Louise.

A friend asked me the other day to describe my mother…what was she like, what did she like to do.  I pondered this question and found it was sort of a hard one to answer.  To me my mother was funny and a little nutsy at times, a trait I’ve happily inherited by the way… she was kind and loving,  a hard worker, she adored my dad, and me. She liked to crochet, she made tablecloths and doilies,  and also made lace on handkerchiefs.  She made one for my best friend to carry on her wedding day… when I got married I carried it as my ‘something borrowed’.. as did my daughter Patty when she got married.

She had her problems as well though, she went through a period of over a year when I was around 11 when she wouldn’t leave the house… at all… ever.  She would wait for me to get home from school and then send me to the corner store for her cigarettes or milk or whatever.  We didn’t know what to do about this but then the solution presented itself one morning when my dad was home and he took advantage of it.   Mom was doing the wash in one of those machines that had wringers where you’d put the clothes through to get excess water off of them.  Somehow my mother’s arm went half way through the wringer…she screamed.. my dad went running to see what was wrong.  He quickly took the wringer apart and freed mom’s arm.  She claimed she was okay but my dad being a policeman who had worked in the emergency squad division thought otherwise.  And here’s where his genius solution to mom’s not wanting to leave the house came in.  He said he was taking her to the hospital, she started up the stairs to get dressed (she was in her robe) and he said no, there wasn’t time for that.  And then he took her to the worst, most crowded hospital in the city and left her there.  He left her because I was due home for lunch break and someone had to be there.  Of course when I got home I wondered why Mom wasn’t there and he said she’d gone shopping !  Shopping, really !  The woman hadn’t left the house in months and months and now she suddenly went downtown to go shopping.  I was skeptical.  When I came home from school later in the day there sat my mother all dressed up like she really had gone shopping.  I, of course asked if she’d bought me anything.. hey I was 11 and very self involved.

But what my dad did was just what was needed to snap her back to herself.  She had been so embarrassed sitting in the hospital in her night clothes with so many people around that I guess she vowed to take her life back and do something other than sitting and crocheting all the time.

And she did…. a week later she went to the personnel office in the bank she had worked for before I was born, applied for a job as a bookkeeper and was hired on the spot.

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But there was a lot more to my mother than that episode above… the fact that she had the spirit in her to get herself back on track, I find myself calling on that spirit at times too.

She was a kook in her younger years and I’ve got the photo album that proves it.

The first page says ‘taken during the year 1926’.. most of the photos are of mom and her friends on Martha’s Vineyard…there are a few from NJ as well.   I love how she wrote in white ink on the black pages…and wow, what typical 1926 sayings she wrote.  My mother it seems was turning into a flapper… I love it.

For instance, the picture on the lower left says ‘The Oak Bluffs Sheik “oh daddy” “He’s a hound with the ladies.”  I’m 80% sure I know who that hound was but I’m not telling 🙂

It would have been fun to have known my mother when she was that age, to have hung out with her and her friends on the Vineyard, to be in on their inside jokes and what really went on in with the sheik of Oak Bluffs ! Okay, maybe not. Does one really want to know THAT much about their parents, some things are better left unknown 🙂

pizap.com14576305662362Yes indeed, my mother was one of my favorite people to spend time with.  Some nights when my dad was working the night shift my mom and I would have our favorite supper and speak our ‘silly language’, which was to put ‘S’ in front of every word… not as easy as you think and certainly made for gales of laughter from both of us.

I feel that maybe I shouldn’t have spent so much time on the above story about her bout with, depression, and I was tempted to go back and delete it…but no, it goes to show that she was a strong woman, who lost herself for awhile and then found and reinvented herself…and I’m proud of her for that and like to think that I got some of that fortitude or spunk from her… I definitely got my quirkiness from her and I thank her for that.

Happy birthday mom… ❤


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Birthday …

In the 8 and 1/2 years of my blog I don’t recall ever talking about my birthday, that’s about to change.

I was born on Saturday, February 14… Valentine’s Day.  Family story has it that my mother refused to have me on Friday the 13th.  Whether true or not I don’t know but I have always liked being a Valentine.

pizap.com14551502726661I was born in Newark, NJ where my dad was a police officer.  From the age of 6 months I spent all my summers on Martha’s Vineyard where my mother grew up.  What a lucky kid I was.

Out and about for a walk with my Easter bunny in my new Easter outfit.

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I was an only child but never a lonely child.

Every year my mother would plan a party for my birthday and every year I’d be sick and it would have to be canceled.  At long last around the age of 9 or 10 I finally had my first birthday party.

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I believe that was the first and last birthday party I had until my 50th many, many years later…

pizap.com14551586433181 The group picture is my daughter Deb with dog Jilly, daughter Patty, granddaughter Tiffany and me… we recreated it for Patty’s 50th a few years ago with Deb holding dog Chappy this time.  We’ve definitely all changed a bit I’d say.

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And so that’s how birthdays go.  One year after another like clock work they roll around and  give us pause to think about the past ones and the ones still to come.

 DSC_0253 I can pretty much be summed up in this word search Patty made for me.

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In the words of Carly Simon…”one number older, another year younger, blow out the candles, happy birthday” 🙂

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