Monday, December 27, 2010

Family and Friends

Christmas at my house was wonderful!!  My youngest daughter and granddaughter gave me a very thoughtful gift that will bring pleasure for years to come, my oldest daughter gave me a sorbet/icecream maker that I had been searching for, my husband was also very thoughtful and generous.  It is amazing to me that some people can find just the right gift that says,"I love you and want to make you happy"!    And then, after a wonderful Christmas day at home with my family, my young friend, Janeen accompanied me to see one of the great movies about the south.  I had never sat through all 4 hours of Gone With The Wind and to see it on the big screen was a special treat.  The music was great from the surround sound of the theater and the scenery of the burning of Atlanta and the countryside was breathtaking on the big screen!!  Young Clark Gable wasn't too bad, either!! She topped the day off with a hand-made scrapbooked calendar that will make the year special.  I feel especially blessed this year, everyone is growing and thriving, doing so well in school and work.  2011 will also bring another great granddaughter!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


 Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday!!  I love everything about it!  In addition to the 'reason for the season', the colors, the smells, the fellowship with a little extra thoughtfulness and general good cheer.  Finding the perfect gift for all my children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren, watching the joy shine in their faces Christmas morning--wonderful.  My son-in-law cooks Christmas dinner so I am completely free to enjoy!!

Thanksgiving is a close runner-up.  After the cleaning, cooking, eating and shopping, comes the first of the Christmas specials.  The family sitting around together, the little ones oohing and ahing, with an occasional "I want that"!  Friday we were watching a holiday show with Andrea Bocelli (wonderful) and the Muppets, I remembered the first time I heard of the Muppets.  My granddaughter, living in Oregon, would tell me over the phone about "Bertnernie".  For the longest time, I didn't know it was not one word!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Aren't kids wonderful?  And amazing?  We, as a family, have paid SO much attention the the 5 year old and what she is learning and doing, maybe we have neglected to take proper note of what the 2 year old is up to.  For instance, the very same day Gramma scolded Daddy about a slip of the tongue in the children's presence, Adrian demonstrated his keen sense of mimicry.  He had broken a part off of a small truck Daddy had given him the night before.  Not a very expensive or sturdy toy.  When Adrian tried to put the part back on and couldn't, Gramma heard very clearly "Oh Sh--"!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mean and Ugly

I greeted a young man recently with "Hi, Mean and Ugly!"  His response, needless to say, was not nice!!  I had been saying this to people I love for so long that I had forgotten that not everyone understood.  I though "Oh My Gosh!  I need to explain where this came from!!"  So I sat down, thought and thought and guess what!! I don't remember the very first time I heard this phrase!!   I remember a time when Donna brought "Oregon" down for a visit and they came to the school where I was working.  They found me in the faculty room, having lunch.  I turned to introduce them to my friends and to let my friends know just how proud I was of my beautiful granddaughters, and hopefully not embarras them toooo much, introduced them as "my granddaughters, Mean and Ugly!  This one's mean and that one's ugly!!"  Brought the house down and broke the ice for everyone to enjoy being together.  For many years when we had been apart for some time, when we could be together, I called them Mean and Ugly--never the same one each time.  If you want to see just how Ugly these young women are, go back about to April posting, you'll see!!  Love you Girls!!  Love you Don!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Candy Fairy

A vetran kindergarten teacher told me of a wonderful custom that allows children to have the fun of candy but not the cavities!  Kids go trick or treating (prefer to attend a harvest party at a local church) mom allows them a piece or two of their loot, but then--while they are sleeping the Candy Fairy comes and takes most of the candy and leaves a small gift instead!! What a great idea!!  Only I think she should be called the Sugar Fairy and come on the day after Easter, too!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Boating Safety

In the '70s and '80s, we had a small, 16 foot ski boat.  A major part of our recreation time was spent on the rivers and lakes near by.  Late in the summer one year, we took our four children and a friend out for a weekend of camping and skiing. We camped on a spit of land across the river where it splits into the San Joaquin and the Sacramento.  Overnight a big windstorm came up and blew hard.  In the morning, we discovered that the boat battery was floating in the boat's transom.  We were not overly distressed, there were many boats on the water all  around us and we expected someone to come to our assistance.  After lunch we began to worry that we would be overcome by darkness and would be stranded another night on the island  So--Ray and I decided that we'd row the boat around to Sandy Beach where our car was parked, run into town, buy a new battery, return to pick up the kids.  We had no oars, so we used skis.  Since Ray was so much stronger than I, we went in circles--frustrating!!  The wind was still strong, so we got out a tablecloth and held it up between us and the wind filled it, and away we went!!  Scudding across the slough, right into Sandy Beach!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Evelyn Herndon Abbott--born 1904

My grandmother was born and raised in the country on a small farm in rural Georgia.  When she was around 12, she met a gorgeous young man (think a young Glenn Ford) named Ellis Abner Abbott.  He was eighteen and about to move some miles away to homestead his own patch of grass (and tobacco, corn and cotton).   "Would she go with him?" She did and had her first child, a boy, at thirteen.  In this time, and this place this was only a little unusual. 
My mother, Sara Maud Abbott, was born on July 7, 1921 on her father's farm outside of Hazelhurst, Georgia.  She was the middle child and only girl.  She was considered the local beauty.  In those days a trip of twenty miles was a long day's journey with an overnight stay before the return trip. 
My grandfather went to school all the way to the 8th grade at the typical little red schoolhouse, and my grandmother only made it to the 3rd grade before having to stop and help out at home.  The thinking was what did a farmer need to know other than to read the weather and crop prices?  What did a housewife/farmer's wife need to know other than to help her husband and take care of her children?   When my older brother graduated from high school in 1957, he was the first of my family to do so!!  My grandparents read, but only the newspaper.  I learned to read at an early age by sitting on my grandfather's lap reading the Sunday Funnies.  Lil' Abner, Archie Andrews, The Katzinjammer Kids, etc.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Anaila and Adrian in Fourth of July Parade in Clayton.

Friday, July 2, 2010


When Matthew was little, he was the cutest little boy, big, wide brown eyes,  light brown hair, constantly running.  A typical boy, into everything, why and how questions to drive a mom nuts!!  Some, I didn't know and had to go find out!  He was never satisfied with a put off answer, he'd just ask another why? or how?  He loved to put a dish towel around his neck like cape and pretend to be Batman.  At his grandmother's place in Oakley, he would put the picnic bench against the table forming a slide, slide down, arms out, singing the Batman Cry--"Na na na na na, Batman!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Lyra Ann Byrd was born in New Jersey while her parents worked in New York.  Mother, Donna. came home when she awas 4 days old!  They stayed with us for awhile and then moved to Reno with Dad, Richard, and his parents.  I didn't see her very often, and next thing we knew she had a baby sister, Gienah.  I went to Reno to visit when Gienah was around 5-6 months old.  Lyra did NOT like me, she screamed whenever she saw me looking at her, no way could I touch her, pick her up!  Knowing a little about babies and toddlers, I didn't let it upset me--she didn't know me and I was picking up her new baby sister!  Mom and Dad moved the family to Oregon .  I next saw Lyra when she was around three.  She ran to me and hugged and kissed.  The following several years we wrote, sent photos and the two kids made cards for me.
One day Donna called me with a Lyra story--Lyra came to her crying, a small, almost invisible boo-boo.  Donna couldn't see anything  "What do you want me to do?" Lyra, "I want a bandaid!"  Mom, "I don't have any bandaids".  "Gramma has one!"  So from then on, for years, every card, letter, birthday present contained a box of bandaids. 

Sunday, June 6, 2010


If anyone has doubts about the effect off Disney-- When Sierra was about 3, she LOVED stories about Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and  Cinderella.  We watched the movies repeatedly!  Then we would act the stories out, whichever was her favorite at the moment.  She would lie on the couch or coffee table with a small bouquet of flowers in her hands crossed over her chest, pretending to be asleep.  Along comes Prince Charming (me) and see her! run to her! kiss her with "True Love's first kiss"!!  She would pop open her eyes, look at me, hug me, and I would lift her to my trusty steed (a rocking horse) and ride away to my castle with her.  And then we'd do it again!! We would spend many hours doing this. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

memories of Nick

Have you ever noticed that some times you make a very naive statement, and then had it come back and bite you?  For example, when I was 18 and newly married, a neighbor of my husband's family had had a "whoops" baby.  She was the same age as my youngest sister-in-law, and was very spoiled and self-centered.  I said, "if we ever go more than 5 years between babies, we'll not have any more"!!  From my mouth to God's ear--we had 4 kids in less than 6 years span!!
My oldest, Shari, waited for one reason or another to have her first (and only) child until she was 36 years old. All the years of watching and observing her nieces, nephew, and friends' children, etc., she had very definite ideas of what was proper child rearing.  She made an effort to see that we spent time with the baby boy at least twice a year, usually Easter time or so and then in November close his birthday.  The year he was about 3, maybe 4 they came out from Texas for the week of Thanksgiving.  We arranged to have a birthday celebration for Nick, invited the aunties and uncles and cousins over for ice cream and birthday cake.  The cake came in and resided on the kitchen table while we all had dinner.  A short time later, someone asked "aren't you concerned that the kids will get  into the cake?"  Shari says"No, MY baby wouldn't put his fingers in the cake!" Meanwile I had snuck around the corner to witness Nick--not putting his fingers in the cake, but his tongue!! 

Sunday, May 23, 2010


My "God son", Donnie stopped by tonight and chastised me that I wasn't blogging often enough for him.  Just for that, a Donnie story.  Don had wanted only two things when he was nine or ten, to play college football and be a policeman.  His mother, my best friend, was scared for him,  the way we're scared, but so proud of our sons and grandsons for their willingness to put themselves in danger as a cop or as a marine, but truly hope they will always be safe. His mother hoped he would grow out of it.  The day he was accepted into the Concord police training program, he came by my house to show off his new uniform.  My youngest daughter's boyfriend was staying with us to jobhunt in the bay area (he lived in Oregon).  Doorbell rings, boyfriend opens door and there stands 6 foot 3, 250 pounds of black wool, leather gun belt and mirror shades!  Don's instincts took over and inquired, "who are you and why are you answering Ann's door?"  The boyfriend was 5 foot 8. 140 pounds.  I love the mental picture because I never did like the guy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Getting old--er

One of the many benefits of getting old--er is that you have many kids of several generations to compare!  I have two granddaughters that did not grow up close by, so we had to work hard to keep a relationship going.  When they would visit, we would do several things that had meaning to us and them.  One of their favorite things when they were about 8, maybe 9 was to take orders for dinner.  One of them especially,  Gienah, would be very serious.  She would put on an apron, get a tea towel draped over her arm, and with a pen and tablet would circle the room taking "orders" for dinner.  Even from me and I was the cook!!  What makes it cute? funny? was that 15 years or so later, a new granddaughter Sierra raised in my house!!  enjoyed doing the same thing!! And---4+ year old great granddaughter, also in my house in her turn, does the same thing!!  None of the girls knew each other--Gienah was 13 and lived in Florida when Sierra was born and Sierra was 6 and out of my house when Anaila was born!!  Does this mean that girls instinctively cater to the wants and tastes of the members of their family?  Did I forget to mention that these girls had different mothers and did not grow up together?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Great Grand daughter

I have the most wonderful great granddaughter!  She is four and a half  going on fifteen!  I need to follow her around with a video camera!  The other day she got upset with her friend who stays with us a couple afternoons a week.  They are completely different personalities, with the friend being much more competitive than my Anaila.  Anaila comes marching in, hands on hips, stops in front of me,      " This friendship is at an end"!! Walks over to the couch and flops down. Where she heard this I don't know.  I have a very hard time exerting ANY discipline on her, I'm laughing too hard!!  Well now, not to be left out, her two year old brother has  started to show his own personality.  He comes in, stops by Papa's chair, looks right in his eyes and says,"Iwannaing"!  The translation: "I want to swing".  He cannot get into his seat alone.  He would keep someone, anyone, constantly standing behind him, pushing!  Problem is--if he is any at all sleepy, off he goes!!  He cannot resist rocking or swinging when he's sleepy!!  Good to know, hunh?  Naptime!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Do you see that sun?  No matter the temperature, I love the sun.  After all these years though. it doesn't love me!  I have learned the hard le3sson of SUNSCREEN!! After cleaning my face, I use a sunscreen, my facial moisturizer has it, my foundation has it, and the creme I put on my body has it!!  I also wear a hat, and generally stay out of the sun.  But from my view inside the house, I love it.  The kids go out and do their whoopin' n hollerin' outside!!

Mark is home!  He came up to visit from Miramar where he is based.  Next stop is North Carolina again.  The Navy is scrapping the helicopter he knows so he will go back to school to learn all the ins and outs of the new helicopter that will replace it..  At least no one will be shooting at him or setting roadside bombs for him to walk through.  I pray that by the time he is through with schooling and training, this mess will be over!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It's raining on my spring!! I thought having a wet, gloomy Easter weekend was enough!  The kids can't go outside, Ray can't work on his wall, and we all seem to spend the day reading, watching TV and eating!  Comfort foods, soup, stew and blueberry muffins!  Wash dishes, cook and wash more dishes!  I look forward to sunny, dry days.  Not too hot, but mild. I absolutely love late spring and early fall,  Warm days and cool evenings.  I always look for Daylight Savings Time--more sunlight!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More beautiful granddaughters!!

Mark is home!!  At least he's in the US.  He will have a leave soon so he can come home.  The copter he repairs is being decommisioned and he has to learn another, newer model.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010


I guess it had to happen, I can't deny it, I will have to admit it--I'm getting old!  I have several aches and pains that never go away, I have an old woman's skin, sometimes I creak when I rise.  Despite all this, I have refused to give in--not me--not yet!?!  I still take care of 2 great grandchildren 4 days a week, 10 hours a day.  That will keep you young!!  What has made me decide that I'm finally getting old is a quote that I read and instantly related to!!  I remembered every word!  If you're under 40, you may not know what a feat that is!
The quote is: What we do for ourselves, dies with us, what we do for others is immortal. Albert Pine
I don't know who Albert Pine is, but I know what he is.  Either a convicted Christian, a loving parent, or an adoring grandparent--or all three.  If you don't believe in God and Eternal Life, please believe you will live forever--in the memories you have made with your children and grandchildren. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Sellars' Tenth Annual Eggstravaganza!!

  • One of my favorite holidays is Easter!  Beyond the spiritual meaning of the day, it is finally Spring!!  I don't  do cold! or gray and gloomy!  So, a great way to share my joy is to have all my friends and family come join us on this wonderful day and enjoy an egg hunt for the kids  and a BBQ for all in this humongeous back yard.  Sometimes when it's a little later in the year and therefore warmer, we have a water slide , other times we have had a jump house for the kids. This year, because of the rain and some families committment to others in the family, we had no waterslide and no jumphouse!!  We had a fun day inside!!  The kids were few, but we had a great time catching up on gossip and events of the year so far. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Fun Fiftieth!!

A few weeks ago, February 27th, our children and grandchildren got together and organized a cocktail party to celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary.  It was fantastic!! Our granddaughter, Vickie di the food, her hubby, Mike acted as bartender, Donna and Shari took some terrific photos and all of them worked to make it a very special evening!  Old friends came to celebrate with us, and all my kids and grandkids here, together!!  Two were missing and missed; Logan who lives in Texas and couldn't get away from school and Mark who was and is somewhere near Afghanistan with his Marine unit  Mark will be home on leave very soon.  I missed both boys!  It seems to be very difficult to get them all together in one place where  there is also a camera!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My very first post

Janeen is spending all her Sunday afternoon coaching me how to do this.  She eats cookies and scones and drinks tea by the gallon!!  

This blog is dedicated to these people!!