Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Nanny Bug

Today would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday.

Annie Ruth was born December 30, 1908 in Atlanta , GA. She was the 15th of her father's 17 children, and the 10th of 12 that her mother had had with him. While it would seem easy to get lost in a crowd that size, my grandmother nevertheless managed to stand out.

Like when she modeled in the catalogues for the local ladies clothing store J.P. Allen's while still in her teens.
She married my grandfather Reid in 1929, and my Dad followed a year later. According to the back of this photo, this is my dad, but I think it looks more like my aunt Nancy. Although, I can still see a lot of Dad in that face as well. So who really knows.

While her first name was Annie, she went by her middle name Ruth. She was not fond of her first name, and when a state employee mistyped it as Anna on her driver's license one year, she did not correct them. I think Anna gave her the air of sophistication she desired. Of course, a few years after this photo, she became a grandmother and thanks to my brother, the first grandchild, she was dubbed Nanny Bug and it stuck. By the time I came along - the youngest of all of the grandchildren - I didn't even realize that she had a real name other than Nanny Bug. After we lost her in 1990, the grand kids all chipped in and had Nanny Bug added to her tombstone. (Forgive us - We are all kind of crazy that way.)

Nanny Bug and my other grandmother Cleo were as different as night and day - Nanny Bug was a city girl, while Cleo was from the country. Nanny Bug never left her room without full make-up, high heels and hair spray, and Cleo could not have cared less about that stuff. But in spite of their differences, they were each other's biggest fans. Here they are together at a family event.

I'm so thankful to have had both of my grandmothers as long as I did, but part of me wishes that they were still here today to celebrate this milestone. Nanny Bug would been perfectly coiffed, as usual, and would obviously have had on a pair of expensive high heels, even if she needed a walker to get around in them.

Love you Nanny Bug. Have a Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joni & Santa: A Retrospective

For nine years, my Mom dutifully dressed me in my finest Christmas wear and took me to see Santa at the Rich's at Greenbriar Mall.

1963 - So, this is where it all began. My first visit as a 3 month old in 1963. I'm clearly making noise and irritating Santa, while my brother Steve is a picture perfect boy scout. This picture pretty much sums up my family dynamic.

1964 - Still making noise and being irritating....

1965 - although, admit it - you'd cry too if Santa was letting everyone see your underpants.

1966 - I can haz a Christmas Tree Candy???

1967 - Dude! He gave me candy again, and I wasn't even good this year!

1968 - Hey, if my brother can dress up like a boy scout, I can be an angelic little choir girl. (The only departure from the Greenbriar tradition - this one was taken at the Downtown Rich's.)

1969 - I think that I'm slowly starting to notice that the beard is a fake.

1970 - Now this Santa sort of creeps me out. I think he's sort of sketchy looking, don't you? But, on a happier note, my aunt Charlsie made that top/dress for me. It was one of my favorites.

1971 - And this Santa just isn't even trying - I mean, his mustache is below his top lip and his belly is pushed up above his belt like man boobs. Come on dude, this isn't a tough gig - just sit in the chair and make sure your fake hair and stomach stays in place.

Just after this one, my stupid, mean classmate Ronnie Powell ruined Christmas forever when he told us all the truth about Santa. I hated that kid.

I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane with Santa, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 12 of 12

As you can probably tell from my complete lack of blogging since last month's 12 of 12, I've been a little bit indisposed as of late. Between putting in several 12 hour days at work, trying to learn all the new aspects of my job that I inherited after the last round of retirements, praying that I don't get cut from my job in the merger fallout, being a bit out of whack due to having a bit of the flu over Thanksgiving, still dealing with the unexplained stroke-like symptoms (and yet more medical tests), and being introduced to the crack that is Facebook - well, not a lot of time for blogging.

I was prepared to at least get in my monthly 12 of 12, but then I forgot my camera as I left for work at 7:00 am and then I didn't get home until after midnight on the 13th. So therefore, no photographic evidence of my December 12th exists, unless some satellite got a shot of me as I got out of the car going into or out of work. But still, I hate to completely bail on the exercise, so I figured I could just try to recreate my 12th for your viewing pleasure with the assist of some old photos. Just pretend you are watching one of those shows on a basic cable channel that reenacts some lady snapping and killing her husband or somesuch.

7:30 a.m. ish - heading the two blocks to work. Just imagine this shot with fewer green leaves on the trees.

7:32 a.m. - The place where I spent most of the day.

7:37 a.m. - yeah - my desk still looks like it did last month - just that all these papers are now covered with 30 additional days worth of papers.

7:50 a.m. - My Outlook task manager telling me that I'm about 5 days overdue on everything except for the one project we have spent the last week completely devoted to non-stop.

8:00 a.m. - Checking the flights for the trip I'm taking with my niece on week after next. While I owe the poor kid a Christmas trip to London (her brother went two years back, her trip last year was postponed due to my knee surgery) it is just too unaffordable right now for me to take her this Christmas. So, instead, we are going to Vegas. Mom is joining us, as she gets comped rooms and food at the Flamingo (hey - I can afford free), and I'm taking Liana to see the Cirque du Soleil show Love at the Mirage. Beatles is as close to London as we are getting this year, but she is thrilled nonetheless.

9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. - spent the day with these two again, except that none of us were really smiling about it.

8:00 p.m. - Finally left work. Not completely finished, but will head back on Sunday to finalize the rest of it so we will be ready first thing Monday.

8:10 p.m. - Neighbor Katie's evil cat Gracie hanging out in the alleyway, probably wondering if she can sharpen her claws on my leg again.

8:15 p.m. - Out with Katie for a belated birthday drink and dessert. I didn't look half this put together, but then I rarely do.

12:00 a.m. - Pulling into the garage after a long evening.

12:01 a.m. - Thank goodness the timer on the light is still off track, because otherwise I would have been walking into a pitch dark house.
12:02 a.m. - Christmas presents I showed you last month, still sitting in the exact same location and still not wrapped. Need to get on that soon.

That is about as close I as can get for this month. Promise to be back in regular form in January.
And on a final note - Chad, the guy who came up with the 12 of 12 concept and always graciously hosts the links for all that participate, found out this past week that he has testicular cancer. He is an Atlanta guy living in LA, in his 30s and always seemed to be in the greatest physical condition - long distance biking, running, hell - he even posed nude (strategically placed leg covering his guy parts) in Advocate magazine a few months back for a story on body image. I ask you all to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.