The Graves’ Girls Matching Christmas Outfits and Gowns Fashion Show.

by admin

Two little girls with two little curls in two little dresses making two little twirls…

I think it is universal that mothers with two girls dress their daughters alike when they are younger. It is just too fun to not do this. There is one Easter where all Graves girls, GG included, had beautiful matching Liberty-of-London looking print dresses, Gina and Paula with white hats and collars.

This works pretty well until the younger sister gets wise to the fact that she will have to wear this same outfit again in a few years and then it doesn’t seem so fun. I can’t imagine what it was like for people like Marthe Dreher who had four sisters in her family. Poor thing, she probably had to be pictured in the same dress for like a decade.

A whine about hand-me-downs.

There is a picture of me wearing a red kind of one-piece stretchy number that I DISTINCTLY  remember was a hand-me-down because there was a patch of several stars at the knee which covered a hole that I DID NOT MAKE. Double-insult!  I think I probably only really had to wear a “matching outfit deux fois” seulement un fois. But that has always been enough for me to complain loudly. So, I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s begin the fashion show.

Oh, one more thing about doing this in the Adams Family.

I didn’t ever dress Jack and Lacy alike. They tend to look kind of alike when they are working with boots, jeans, and their rain-wind gear always happens to be blue. I’ve never was organized to exert much control over the whole visual picture thing as witnessed in my engagement picture in the Independent. I am wearing a black, yellow, red abstract print and John Adams is wearing plaid madras. All I can say is Thank Goodness it wasn’t in color.

Lacy Adams had a brother and two boy cousins, so in her case, the dressing alike at Christmas was really only one Christmas. It was a three-sweater-some ensemble which my mother put together for a Christmas of the Graves, Lloyd, Adams in KC. I can’t put my hands on the picture right now, but I think they all said “Cowboy.” It’s okay, GG bought me one of the coolest sweaters I ever had (it was pictured on Torey Time with me and GG) at the boys department, at Jones I think.

Lace, Boy, Boy.

Oh, wait, I just saw one picture of the three Graves grandchildren in red longjohns at Christmas so I will put that in. The boys got a “boy” label, but I suppose Lace didn’t because no one has ever mistaken her yet for a boy, though she does look quite a bit like her father.

 And on the runway…

Scaary! It's a better effect when both baby and doll eyes are wide-open.

I have to put in a few of these of just me from the first Christmas when I was alive, mainly because they are probably universal family traditions. Well, maybe not this first one, but if it is with your mother’s sense-of-humor please post.  Which is, 1) to put the live baby by the plastic baby (preferably a vintage doll or least requisite to have those blinking eyes) and photograph them together.Often, it is difficult to differentiate one from the other. It has never really been discussed. But my mom kept the scrapbooks and thankfully continued to feed with the best pictures and has continued to add these of grandchildren and cousins. Don’t you think it’s jarring?  Probably PTSD from a nightmare about some doll baby that talked on Dark Shadows or an old pre-chucky flick.

2) The baby opening the package at First Christmas Picture. 

Everyone has one of these in their scrapbook.

3) The Mother Holding smiling baby in front of tree picture. 

New second time mother with bouncing baby on lap in front of Christmas tree.

I think I will just carry on with the tradition theme.

4) Being pictured with a Great-Grandmother and two girls in architectural Chair. The first part is pretty darned important and we all know why because we’re getting closer every day. The second part is because these funky chairs seem to follow around the child who most needs the extra furniture which was moi. This one has a name, but my dad or mom will have to post that. It’s like a big round ring and kind of woven, sits low to the ground, Danish Modern. I think it is still over at the bunkhouse at the East Ranch, I might want this back. I want to say Bertoia but that is a batwing chair that is in the master bedroom at the XIT Headquarters.


Paula with ball-a, Gina, Nano, Paula, Gina and Paula in chair.

 5) Pictures of evidence of someone baking and hints of future food issues. Later these become more evident as worn directly around the waistline. I am sure many people have these in their albums, and all I can say is that there is a bonus to identifying the problem early on.

a Picture documenting seasonal cookies and eating habits.

6) Picture documenting how girls go from baby dolls to hard stiff little dolls with great clothes and accessories. Personally if it were my choice, there would be a soft cuddly baby girl dolly with really great clothes. At least that would be my doll role model. 

Dollies gets dollies in sage green velvet with lace top and bows.

A Scottish Tradition.

7) Everyone has to have a Highland Christmas Fling. This was before I went to Highlands School, though. The Adams Family is actually Scotch-Irish but I’ve never really seen any of those Adams Cowboys or Sisters wear any kilts or even a plaid cummerbund. Anne Cornwell Gall had some Scottish Plaid boxers and a wool plaid fringed scarf which she would don in the Theta House lounge with just her bra when appearing as, “Tartan Girl.” Wish I had a picture.

Florence Eiseman

 8) In our Florence Eisemans. We had several, but I felt like this particular time period was really smash with the simplified appliqués and jumpers that tied on the sides. Very contemporary as it was 60s for what is usually a very traditional clothing line. I think store on Plaza was somewhere over by hmmm…changes so often…a chain rib place, Buca di Beppo, Steve’s,  one of those stores like Abercrombie that used to be really nice and kind of mass-marketed….Anyway, what was there in my day was a Bennet Schneider, a place to buy and get fitted for shoes where you stood on a platform and had feet squeezed, and Cricket West. Or so we can all get located with something that will always be there, across from that triangular block with the shoe repair.

Green velvet pantsuits.

9) The year we all had pantsuits Christmas.  These were beautiful and not too long after that my mother had a purple velvet pantsuits. She wore it to dinner at Putsch’s 210 and I think maybe she had to go home and change into a dress. Hadn’t come to KC yet, I guess.

A nod to the Germans.

 10) More ethnic Christmases…a nod to our German brethren and a slight strain I have to admit in my own. Sometimes comes out in rigidity and a leaning tendency towards Paternalistic Systems. 


Wow, 2 dirndls....Good work, GG!

I had to put in this other one I found when I was younger. It actually looks pretty authentic, so I am wondering if my parents or Grandparents had taken a trip. I think maybe Gina had one, too, but that pic’s in her scrapbook. Her’s was blue.

Handmade nightgowns!

11) Grandmother Handmade Gowns that were better than Lanz! My tiny talented Grandamartha Graves made us these beautiful handmade nightgowns, every year and more. She was amazing with colors and prints. They were softer than soft and big and cozy and never had scratchy places in the inside like Lanz gowns can have with the lace. I think they all had a ribbon at the neck.

Grandamartha also had the best embroidered hankie collection I’ve ever seen, was a master at découpage which I learned and used on a handpainted cowgirl dresser in Lace’s bedroom, and had these great little soaps all over that had some kind of little applique that she would put on them. I loved staying with Grandamartha as we always made stuff and I got to watch soap operas on TV while she ironed downstairs in the basement.

a picture counting down to Christmas on Christmas Day!

12) The Advent Calendar and Old Maid Coffeecake. Traditions. My mom made these Advent Calendars. They were appliqued and hers were very contemporary as they were a stylized tree (felt?) on a burlap background. Each little pocket below had a tiny ornament in it and she also found the neatest most special little things with meaning. From the first of December to Christmas Day, we would do this in the morning before school. We always ate ate breakfast together in the kitchen.  Gina and I would take turns taking out the little surprise in each pocket to tie on the tree. It definitely taught me a love for tiny things and also the rewards of anticipation and delayed gratification! 

The Old Maid Coffeecake is another tradition from my Grandmother and maybe her mother…?  It is basically flour, salt, butter, eggs, sugar, pecans, brown sugar, maybe some baking soda. Lots of good stuff in proportion to the batter so every bite is delish.

Well, that is it for the Fashion Show which turned into Graves Family  Christmas Traditions. Thank you mom, Ginny Graves, for all of the photographs taken and so well organized in our Webway albums. You are amazing!

Merry Christmas in Pictures! 

Lacy’s Rudogh and Jack’s Minimalistic Sleigh with Multi-legged Guide who will go down in His-Story.

by admin

Lacy read read read "fresh books" so she has these great phonetics!

Just love it! Like Santa because he has a triangle hat, a triangle moustache and a triangle beard. And Mrs. Claus has a Triangle body. Also can you see it is obvious this child has curly hair herself because of how she handles curlicues for both curlybeard and furry boottops.

Hi, I’m old Santa! Merry Chrismes. 

I’m and elf on rodogh.  (Lace has read so much, I think she’s 7 here, that she’s got the ph down for the “f” sound).

Hi! I’m Mrs. Claus. And I make cokieyes. (Again, she has the “y” consonant for “i” sound).

re: cookie baking and the Mrs.’s often making the holidays as much work as possible

  • So Lace, thanks for noticing that Mrs. Claus is in there baking all those cookies and usually solo I might add. Graves Family tradition was:
  • cookie press green almond butter wreaths with tedious cherry bows
  • nutty nougats (individually rolled in sugar with about 30% loss if done too quickly before cookies cooled)
  • iced sugar cookies (don’t even need to say a word about how much work for anyone who makes these not to add how my detailed decoration doubled the time)
  • and Adams addition of peanut butter balls (that Jack ate as fast as I could roll).
  • The point is, Jack and Lace soon realized it was an all-day ordeal and the value for going feeding with dad and cheerfully doing barn duty for a good part of those days!  I got some help from both, but Jack seemed to mysteriously disappear along about in Jr. High. So relieved I don’t have the cookie press with me this year.


And both of the kids (see Jack’s below) have at least one extra leg. I agree, when you look Rudolf and all the reindeer it gives the impression that there are a million sets of legs there carrying all those toys.

PUPPET??? (Lace will have to explain this).

I have no idea why the puppet is there except that there was an old puppet theatre in the basement that the kids would play with at mom’s. He has has a triangle hat. Actually, in looking at the strings and bar above, it might have been one of our old marionettes from those shows we did at the Nelson Gallery where we made our own puppets.


So here’s Jack’s..he is five.

Love the sleighs!

I am trying to get back to this level of simplification that I fear I never had in making everything so complicated. I do not know what the simple lines are at the left, but maybe he was perfecting the sleigh because they do usually have that roll in the front.

In the middle picture:

Santa has Rudolf sitting on the front of the sled which I think is great. Rudolf needs a break and frankly, if Santa’s sleigh isn’t self-powered then who’s really is? Love the circle, edited bag of toys.

On the top right picture:

Santa (in both) has some nice rosy cheeks and his bag is bigger as is sleigh.  Because the kids grew up on a ranch with deer munching our trees we tried to plant in the yard as well as eating all of our alfalfa, Jack has seen lots of antlers. Plus, when deer hunters get a deer, they often leave the antlers so they are often in a pile all jumbled up and interlocked (like those gateways to Square in Jackon). So I like the way he deals with their intricacy and just makes a big locked up mesh. He looks like a pretty big Buck!

And again, Rudolf has at least 3 spare legs which can always come in handy when you are traveling the miles that he covers.

Okay, that’s it! I love them. Again, they would not be here if it were not for my mother Ginny Graves saying, “draw me a picture!”  and “Tell me about your picture.” Good job Grandy GG.

Rudoph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh Saturday night!? 

Sampler: 29 years of Adams Custom Christmas Cards…

by admin

Well, I didn’t get a Christmas Card out this year. And I won’t be able to see those you have sent over the holidays. But I know they are all beautiful pictures sharing kind sentiments and interesting news from old friends and new to the Adams Family. Thank you! I’m sure they are in a big bowl in the living room with everyone watching over Dexter episodes.

My job was staging the picture, a thankless one that I now realize my mother has always had to bear. One year we had a professional photographer, Robert Love, Ivanhoe Love’s brother (the Liberal Mayor). I cannot find that card. We were all wearing white, very posed and a bit stiff with our hands placed upon each other. It was nice, but I thought we all looked pretty uptight.

I loved doing card design. As did Jack and Lacy. I was the coordinator, printer, and database.  Jack will remember the year we were both so challenged with the avery label print merge on my Dell that the final file was labeled Merry fre@k!ng Christmas labels (or some version of that). It was used for the next several years without computer corrections to the database because it was so hard to do.

Many years I would get help with stamps and labels, but as most mothers know, it is often easier to get them out yourself. The last Mexico card was ready the week of Thanksgiving and I still think it barely made it by New Year’s. Doesn’t matter, a couple of the years the Christmas Cards became Valentine’s Day cards. I always think it’s fine to skip a year if nothing inspirational comes to mind or if it might send one (me) over the precipice. You’ll notice we had very few the 8 years of getting Adams kids through high school in cities afar, working, and commuting to ranch.

So here are a few….

Map from Meade, Kansas to the East Ranch in Oklahoma on Cimarron River.

This was a map with landmarks along the dirt road that took people from 15 miles south of Meade to the ranch house on the East XIT Ranch in Knowles, Oklahoma.

I have to admit it that you are missing a card which was a classic that I am very embarrassed to have sent out. Fortunately I cannot find it in the scrapbooks. John and I are on a horse,  I have on a Laura Ashley dress with a white apron, and John is holding our male pug Winston. Winston, by the way, was later eaten by a coyote…”the dingo ate my baaaybeh”. This was a real eye-opener for me about (wo)man in nature and kill or be killed.

Christmas Card from 1987, the Christmas before Lacy was born.

Christmas 1988. A Blessed Child is here. I knitted the sweater and you can tell she was born a happy horsewoman.


Lacy and Mei Rose. Lacy had pony print pants and I painted her in these, so I'll stick that picture in, too. It was kind of a theme that year and Christmas.

Well, here's the painting and the pug.

And here's Lacy in the pony print pants with her red high top sandals.


We had lots of paper dolls, so this was the Cowboy Santa Paper Doll Card with Lacy's Dear Santa list on his legal pad.

John, Jack, Paula, Lacy Adams. Jack Adams looks like he is smiling but it was FREEZING and he was really crying. I guess that is why dad is laughing. Boys will be boys.

Now here Jack is really happy I think, but again, winter winds in SW Kansas are colder than a b!tch's wit.

 Here is one of those late Valentiner’s. I think it’s actually pretty nice because people actually have time to look at the card as it’s not amidst 500 others.

Love this one, green red blue. I think this was taken Christmas Day because Lacy has her kitten Midnight. Lace cut a picture of a tabby out of a magazine and John scoured southwest Kansas until he saw that exact kitty. Midnight was born a barn cat and stayed a barn cat and mouser. She lived in a tree and one time caught a rabbit and drug it up into the tree, very tough cookie.

Lacy and Jack Adams by carvings at rock outcrop. 1995

Seaside, Florida. 1997.

Lace's drawing of the newly restored Rock Island Depot in photo collage.

Lacy did this great perspective drawing with a light table of the Liberal Rock Island Depot. It was adjacent to the  Grier Eating House (like Harvey Houses but on Rock Island Line) that received ISTEA Grants from KDOT for Restoration-Renovation of the two buildings.

I worked in various areas: schematics, grants, historical significance, and did fundraising so it was a baby for me.  I am proud to have been associated with work of so many many others and there is a great Italian restaurant if you need a bite to eat when traveling on 54 west.  Jack and Lace spent some time there, but rollerblading not allowed on the quays of the tracks so the card is in defiance of city rules.

Oh, Home on the Range. Lace did this drawing and I added the boots. They are over at the guest (bunk) house in that kitchen. They are also pictured on the horses riding outside of the window.

Bob Bernquist skateboarding picture that Jack drew. Then he put into Adobe Photoshop and colored in the fields. Bob is flying on the hilltop over the Cimarron River where I would run everyday on the West Ranch. Get the Mood, Dude! Brilliant, Jack.

This should be Christmas of 2000 or 01 and Jack would have been 9. His pictures were always total action.  The complex twisted body poses always convey the exact movement. He still has this ability to see how people use their bodies to a T and dances and moves like a cat.

He sees it in his brain because he seems to memorize so easily upon seeing and imprints that snapshot in his brain without having to see a picture. Same way with math. Don’t know where he gets it. I wish I had this abililty to see and master foreshortening. Look at Bob’s hand curved back in the air!

For the caption on the back, Jack wrote, "Lacy, what do you think Dad is going to say?"

This card was the Christmas after a summer we went to Chicago. We walked Michigan Avenue with Randy & Heather Knotts and their family taking pictures and lounging along the way around the Cows on Parade.

So this is Cows on Parade on the uplands along the Cimarron River.

Lacy, Paula, John, Jack in New York City, Thanksgiving after 9-1-1. I think we are outside of one of Lidia's restaurants.

Here’s another that became delayed as I was at long last finishing my last tech. arch. studio in Lawrence while John and kids held down the fort at the ranch. Mostly what I remember is that the apartment at Meadowbrook had a pull-down bed and it had to be up most of the time for all the models and projects at my drafting table and it was very lonely for I missed my family, but worth it and necessary for later events to unfold for our family for high school. Believe it or not, the Adams family would come up to visit and we would all sleep in the room together.


I know we’re missing quite a few in here. But, these were the years when we got the Adams children a genufied citified high school edumacation. And it was grueling, and we survived, but personally only by the skin of my teeth. And maybe I’m going to have to be the one to say it to all of us, but… we got’er done! And well-done at that. Fait Accompli, the bulk of our work and work and driving and driving and driving and working and working was over. I’m sure all parents feel this way in some form or another, rural or urban. Of course, it was also the bulk of too much fun!

Jack, Lacy, John, Paula Adams. Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. sum 2010.

So, you may have seen this last card on Facebook the other day. This was a vacation we took in Puerta Vallarta the summer of 2010.  We really had only taken one beach trip like this in that decade to St. Croix the year that Lacy graduated from high school, so it was a real treat and it was a lovely trip. We waited until the last night, I ordered up jeans and black and it still hadn’t been taken after dinner and lots of wine. But what did God send but this beautiful orange stucco wall with tiered steps and I think it is really our best family Christmas Card.

Many happy memories!

Ode to Jack Lloyd Christmas.

by admin


The adjacent building to The Stanley Hotel in Estes. Jack, John, Lacy Adams on the steps.

by Peter Farrelly,
Bennett Yellin and
Bob Farrelly

We went to movies on Christmas Day at the Ranch.  One year, John and I went to Dumb and Dumber with his funniest brother and our funniest Uncle Charlie Adams. I think it was pre-kids, don’t know the year. Our abdominals ached for a week.

But this it is a favorite of our family, in part because they also went to Cheley Camp in Estes where parts of the movie were filmed. Before Jack went to camp and we visited Lacy, as well as after camp altogether we stayed at the Stanley, that is The Danbury.

Jim Carrey and cast at The Stanley (Danbury) steps. Is this Jack at the right?

CUT TO:  Hotel Danbury


Surfboards? I thought those were beginner’s skis.

This suddenly makes sense to Harry.

Lloyd opens a box and holds up a SCANTY NEGLIGEE.


Where’d this come from?



I bought it. 


What for?

(defensive)…I mean, you know, when a woman’s wearing it.

Lloyd inspects it more closely.


Harry, how many women do you know who wear a size XXL?


Look, leave me alone. I’m rich now. I’m supposed to have a few eccentricities.


Legends Ralph Lauren Store. Jack spies, mother cries

you have to get it!”


Sheraton Circle Drive, CCPlaza, pre-Thanksgiving. 

Mother blissful with Jack Lloyd Christmas and Sis.

Isn't it Great?! GG would be proud. You could be a rug in her home or maybe more of a bedspread.

So in memory of Jack Lloyd Christmas: 


I couldn’t help noticing the accent. You from Jersey?





Austria? You’re kidding.

(mock-Australian accent)

Well, g’day, mate. What do you say we get together and throw a few shrimp on the barbie.

The Young Woman turns her back to him and walks away.


(to self)

Guess I won’t be going Down Under tonight. 


Boy, I’ll tell you, this is one dangerous highway.

You wouldn’t believe all the road pizza –two dead dogs, a couple of rabbits, a snake and some big thing I couldn’t even recognize.


That’s awful. Did you see them get hit or were they already lying there?


I hit’ em.

Harry rubs his eyes and looks at the passing FLATLANDS.


Funny.  I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this.


I was thinking the same thing.

That John Denver’s some full of shit, huh?



Wait a second, I have an idea.

You go over and introduce yourself.

That way you can build me up so when I come along so I won’t have to brag about myself.  Tell her I’m good-looking and I’m rich and I have a rapist’s wit.


Time out. Where are you going dressed like that?


I, uh, thought while you were making your love connection I’d try my luck on the slopes.


You mean you’re gona go out in public dressed in tights?


These aren’t tights. They’re fashionable Euro-trash ski trousers.


But you can see the outline of your who-who.

Please take over with your favorite Lloyd Christmas lines. And post!

When Santa came to visit and I wasn’t wearing any underwear.

by admin

Look at my hands! I'm terrified!


I actually have quite a few very vivid memories of Santa in person. It seems like many of them are jarring, so I’ll just start with the one that always comes to mind first. Don’t get me wrong, I do love and believe in Santa Claus.

There is really no reason why I shouldn’t just adore to be with Santa in person and here are 10 to support that statement.

  1. He’s a man.
  2. He’s always so up.
  3. He wears my favorite color.
  4. I love black boots and wear them often.
  5. He’s got the perfect wife.
  6. He has always written me great thank you notes about the green wreaths and nutty nougats we left with our lists by the fireplace. That is, he has beautiful manners.
  7. I love his haircolor.
  8. I admire a man who can manage a factory such as he does and like that he favors little people as workers.
  9. I, too, wore stocking caps with pom poms on the end.
  10. Think he was very progressive with the faux fur.

So, that being said, here’s the story and I’ll make it kind of shorter at least:

We were in Hays at my Grandparents house down the street from Fort Hays University. It was picture perfect setting, 60s contemporary stone fireplace across one end of the living room with bar hidden within the paneling, a beautiful huge tree in their tall-ceiling living room library. And nightgowns hand-made by my other GrandaMartha in Kansas City.

I think the man who channeled Santa Claus’s name was Ed something. Maybe my mom or dad will post his name.  I remember the doorbell ringing. And in he walked. He looked probably the best I have ever seen him look. And I was excited in a good way. Until he came in and sat down on that chair. Then I knew something was making me uneasy.  You can see in this picture that I am wringing my hands.

I often have a hard time identifying my emotions until way after event, sometimes even years, fear in particular. So, we talked to Santa for a bit. I answered his questions and made it through my performance anxiety syndrome which flares up whenever I get put on the spot, practically anytime I am with people.

And then it was time for the picture. He was crouched in front of the tree and I was standing by his knee, closest to Santa.  Santa put his arm around me and placed it on my hip. And then I knew why I was so nervous. Being taught that it was more healthy to go to bed without panties, there was really only this thin flannel membrane between me and Santa’s hand. I think he had even taken off his glove.

I do know I made it through without losing my composure. And honestly, it’s only just now after having flashbacks of this for years that am understanding why and linking together these images and feelings. So I have no real conclusion to this story. But, I do think that I was ahead of my time in sensing when to be leery of men. I am my parents’ daughter and it has served me well on most occasions. I am not suggesting any inappropriate behavior by this Santa; this was in the early 60s and things were different then. Or not.

So while there is always a time for a mother to lecture, “Lacy, you CANNOT wear any underwear with that red dress,” there is also a time for mother’s words at Christmas.

advice: to girls, young and old,

on Christmas Eve and when visiting a shopping mall

where Santa might ask you to sit on his lap. 

Wear your big girl underpants. 

And, if Santa exhibits any inappropriate behavior,

tell him to keep his hands to himself.

Addenda, as that was a bit too harsh.

How about, “Santa, just keep it above the waist?”

-Mama Paula

Jack Adams Santa Claus drawing with Ginny Graves. age 4 1/2.

by admin

Red Christmas Tree, Santa, Green Christmas Tree.

Jack Adams drawing of Santa Claus. age 4 1/2.

Drawn on a trip to GrandaGG’s at 5328 W. 67th St. in Prairie Village. July, 1995.

My mother Ginny Graves was the Art Lady from the Nelson Gallery. She was also the creator and director of all of the Art Programs in the Johnson County Library System.

I got to help her with these things, making stuff, being with other kids, on tv, setting up and cleaning up for classes, even teaching an art Class at Cedar Roe Library when I was 12 one summer.

But, most of all I am most thankful because I got to MAKE STUFF. And it was all organized ahead because she got all the supplies and paints and yarn and whatever for whatever general area of project that was proposed. In my mom’s case unlike grade school art, this was very loosely defined so that the creator could let their mind wander on just a few ideas thrown out.

Plus, my mother gets the best art out of EVERYONE.

Anyway, these are two things my mom will say. It don’t know if she is just magical, or if it is just someone who knows the value in taking the time and the interest to say it to a child or an adult, to ask this question.

“Draw me a picture.”  -Ginny Graves.

“In creating, the only hard thing is to begin.”  -James Russell Lowell.

How flattering that someone feels enough about your ideas to help you start. That is what my mother was called upon to do at this time and throughout her life.

Then later, she will always say this.

“Tell me about your picture.” -Ginny Graves. 

This makes it an even more special picture because both people can then learn about the thoughts and processes of using our eyes and what is inside of our heads to form an idea, a plan, that progressively gets down onto the paper.

“Creation is only the projection into form of that which already exists.” -Shrimad Bhagavatam

When someone cares enough to be interested and feels that they can learn something by hearing what you were thinking when you did it, how you formulated an idea and made it come forth, it is a confidence builder. Feeling your creative is empowerment.

Creative expression in whatever means, sales, business, relationships, doodles, cooking, style, and even working our sometimes wacked out minds-emotions for both positive or not-always-so-positive means involves time and energy. I feel that figuring out how and when and why we are always creating in life, whether conscious or not, and how to harness it is one of life’s challenges. Then, to focus it, to rein it in and put it into positive directions that are better for ourselves and others. That is ultimately, maybe, what we all are striving to do?

I don’t want to get into too many quotes from my yogi book that told me about all the chakras but creativity is your second one (they go from bottom up).

Read below,

good to know“, and

wouldn’t you know?” in a nutshell.

(And then I do want to talk about Jack’s great drawing.) 


  • area of body:  sexual organs
  • human talent:  creativity
  • color: orange
  • shadow emotions:  passionate manipulation, guilt
  • element: water

Jack’s Santa. A mother’s thoughts.

I don’t know if he said this to mom and she told me or if I am just looking at this drawing to try to figure it out.  Probably the first as you know how it is with small kids, sometimes we don’t take the time and this is for what we have Grandmother’s. I like to draw, and did some art stuff with the kids, but I can be a real micro-manager which is counter-productive. I was a better manager-mother in general when I got busy having my own life.


I would think that the long legs are because Santa has to go down that long chimney.  We are a rather small family in stature, so that’s a pretty long jump from the top of our roof down into the living room at the XIT Headquarters. So, these long legs at least get Santa down through that circuitous shaft that runs from the top of the later second-story roof of the house, through the attic, and to about the ceiling of the living room. He can jump that last flight, that’s nothing with those legs.


I don’t know about all the editing on Santa’s head with just the eyes, the long, thick bare neck, or that shriner’s thing on top of Santa’s head and won’t conjecture.  He has Santa’s black belt.  But you can see, the legs to get down were the most important consideration.


I think the trees are wonderful.  Instead of thinking about the trunk, it seems like it is just getting the essence of the shape of the tree, very stylized. The tufts of green are both representing, to me, the tufts of needles on the trees but arranged almost like ornaments or lights so it is all in green. And the one tree is red.

Jack and Color. And conformity.

Jack, in another project, never seemed to be bothered that his wine bottle tissue paper reindeer body was red, not brown. When my mom asked him how he chose his color for the reindeer, Jack responded something to the effect of liking red, “of course, GG.” Rudolf did have a red nose, though.

This was also the case in Meade Grade School when the children would color in the line drawing of the Jack o’ Lantern which would then decorate the window of the Stockgrower’s State Bank. All of his classmates would color in perfect orange pumpkins with green stems, with the goal to “stay within the lines.” There would be 22, all lined up where they were displayed. I drove by one day to get money and saw that there was a purple one with some patchwork, color extending all over the paper and I knew that was my son’s. He did make the stem green, so it’s not as if he didn’t have some semblance of respect for context of fellow pumpkin artists.

So, mainly I was thinking about Christmas this year, about my parents, and had this drawing stuck away in a folder to share with everyone this season. So here’s the main point!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!