Baby don’t crack, at least not our system.

by admin
Baby Don't Crack

Baby Don’t Crack

 

I found this porcelain baby doll in a little side table that had moved with me in the last four moves in the last 2 years. It was my daughter’s and while I was sad it was broken, I mended it and knew it was still here for I’d forgotten details like this.

It wasn’t going away and it would stay with her, just as the porcelain dolls of my Great Grandmother had stayed within our family. And just possibly, it might stay with her daughter if she chose that path and had a girl child which is such a privilege. As my cousins said when Lacy was born, “we think you had the best kind.” [which is not to insult my son, Jack].

It made me feel happy that somehow I was connected with all the women in my own family, and in my former husband’s family, that we had contributed to the work of the world to hope to make it a better place for those after us. Or at least, to give something while we were here, whether we were Doctors, or mothers, or executives, or writers or architects, or spouses or co-owners or whatever made up “The team” to have a family of whatever sort.

So here’s a poem that came to mind when I saw the baby doll and wanted to cry, for it was happy drops….For the Future! Life rolls on…spin with it!

 

Baby Don’t Crack

Baby Don’t Cry

Mama be back

Daddy can fly!

We all have wings

We all have cages

Never quite lines up

Just happens in stages…

S’okay Sukie GG Coco

Jessie, Yogi, Amy, Popo

Annie, Kathy,

Lol & Wendy

Too far ahead

but never trendy.

God is Good…

God is great…

Let us thank him for our food.

See the point!

Don’t be late!

Life is SHORT

BUT we all are GREAT!

Mildred Lee Ward and Paul Roy Ward

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! 

Nov. 27, 2011. Memories from the 1st day of 29 years and counting of Paula Graves Adams’ Cowgirl Adventures…

by admin

Just a word of clarification…

I have to qualify the use of the term “Cowgirl.” I use it as a state of mind, not as any profession which could claim me as an associate.  I do ride a horse, can herd cattle without causing a rampage, and I have a hill on the XIT to where I would ride on a regular basis and look back at the river and the XIT Headquarters.

But cowgirls are really born.  They are born to fathers who are cowboys and cattleman who work in the trenches. Not all daughters of these men are cowgirls. Just the ones who worked alongside the other men.  Some rope and tie, others vaccinate and herd and brand. The three real cowgirls I know in the Adams family are Wanda Adams, Chelsea Adams, and Lacy Adams. But that’s another post.

So. Today is 29 years to the day of our wedding day. And I am celebrating another person who in so many ways made me who I am today, John Adams, just as I feel about my parents. I definitely pulled my weight and worked this gift of parents and husband as I have done with other God given gifts. I need to do a bit more of this for myself and cut them some slack from all the burdens that come along with this responsibility, but I am eternally grateful.

So I will try not to talk (too much), but here are some pictures of stuff leading up to the wedding, the big day, and of our honeymoon in Chicago for three days before heading west in a u-haul to begin the adventure.

Grier and Warwick Showers, Wedding Cookbook, Independent Engagement Pic, Ring showoff, Dean laughing at life's burden of "stuff."

Dean Graves is laughing at one of his own jokes in the lower left photo. Probably something witty sensing my fear of this new burden of “stuff.” I inherited this tendency to do big belly laughs at my own jokes.

I just mainly remember that John Adams would look at it all and say, “you are really getting great stuff.” This is translated as, “these things we both will cook and serve off of are yours so you will write the thank you notes” and extended on into wedding gifts. We had some perfectly nice “Paula & John” cards custom designed by the calligrapher for Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, Mary Lou Cook, but I don’t really remember John using these :). But, he had to pack it and haul it and unpack in a u-haul over bumpy roads, not breaking a dish. As he did two more times to Lawrence and Wichita over the course of our marriage, which is more moving of stuff and wife than most husbands would tolerate. So this really counts for much, much more.

Here is a brief concept and history page for my Paula Varsalona wedding dress. Sandra Kenney, former KU cheerleader, the most beautiful Pi Phi at KU in the 50s, former wife of Bob Kenney, was the buyer for The Jones Store at that time.

Beautiful Kenney women: Sandy, Karen, Kirsten.

She was a good friend of my mother, Kirsten my good friend, and the reason why The Jones Store got all the best designers at that time. And, the models to wear them…Terri Sue Walters and Kitty Bliss. Terry’s picture is underneath my head on the Independent Cover and Kitty’s beautiful picture was on the cover when our engagement picture appeared. So, I am honored to be pictured in a magazine with photos of such beautiful and photographed Kansas City women!

A cover, concept, lace mitts and shoes, and two Paulas at a dress fitting. Professional and hobby designing women.

My mother spotted another $1,000.00 shorter lace dress that was also very beautiful and classic with a plunging neckline. It would have been lovely, but I opted for this $325.00 more Victorian number which I styled with the lace mitts, shoes, and dropping the veil for a crown of baby’s breath with some tiny ribbon streamers. Both dresses seemed like a lot of money at that time, but nothing compared to the rest of the party. What our fathers do…

Here are some of the friends who were at the University Club on Nov. 27, 1982.

George Waugh, Mike Tutera, back of David Kerr's head.

Christie Reed Reniger, Ed Bolen, Kate Nettels Faerber

Julie Connally, Karen Majors Bogle, Alison DeGoler.

Dr. Dick Dreher, head of Children's Mercy Hospital, Marthe's date?, Marthe Dreher Tamblyn.

David Stubbs and my cousin, Wendy Ward.

Alison Weideman Ward, Eleanor Stolzer?

Molly Miller, Lynn Kindred, Susan Grier, Kathy Kindred.

Bridget O'Brien and Elaine Beeson.

Scott Ward and Liz Waugh.

Jamie and John Kane, Carney Nulton.

Mary Beth Simpson, John Simpson, Bradley Grover Simpson.

Mary Stauffer and Sam Brownback.Two Jack's and a Jane: Savings and Home, Dicus and Frost.

? Beta?, Elaine Scarborough, Greg Duvall, John's Patient Pledge Dad.

And here are some family pictures…

 

Raymond Adams and Sandra Dublin Frizzell Adams with her parents. So I am kind of related by (ex) marriage(s) to both McKinley Winter Feedyard, Cindy Brown, and Tripp Frizzell and Alison Miller Frizzell in a way.

David Adams, 12-step Guru across the High Plains. Judy Robert Adams, great-niece of Sally Chisum, a wife on the XI Ranch who never lived there and niece of John Chisum. William Robert, Judy's Grandfather was the former co-owner of the XI Ranch Landholdings before H.G. Adams partnered with him to fence and water, subsequently buying the holdings from Robert.

Ginny Graves, my mother and co-party planner who handled all the details. In a great mother-of-the-bride frock with Allison Ball in the background in a smash pink and black party dress.

And look! Heavy Hitter Jessie Adams and a dashingly handsome man (Bud Helm?) and heavy hitter and my bro Randy Knotts at left.

I’m assuming they all attended the nuptials at 4:00 at Second Presbyterian Church, but I didn’t look around. It was another stage performance where I was gripped with both fear and emotion.

In part, I hold Gina responsible (my maid of honor) as she was beside me crying when I said my vows at the altar at Second Presbyterian Church. This of course precipitated my crying while I said “I do.” John later expressed concern that others would think I was crying because we were getting married. We were both wearing our parents shoes. I actually was sad at the idea of my father giving me away. But as they say, “a son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life.”

At the University Club, someone took these candids in the room where all the food was. It was freezing rain that Thanksgiving Day. So, many of the older guests wanted to get in, wish me well, and get safely back home.

Where did the saying, “Rain is good luck on your wedding day” come from?

YAHOO! Answers.

It pops up through Shakespeare’s works and I imagine it would have to do with a pastoral society, where rain would symbolize fertility-hence it is good luck on a wedding day!

So after having a thoroughly wonderful beautiful month of Paris with rain every day and living on a very dry ranch in western Kansas and a wedding day of heavy rain, Paula the Pisces Water Child is always happy to see raindrops, curly hair and all.

But back to University Club, the point is that I’m putting in this picture at the lower right of this “media page” because it is in the library of the University Club. This was pretty much all I saw of my wedding reception until about 8:00 after which John and I did the bouquet (Beth Van Winkle Ewing, Theta now in Dallas) and and garter toss (Ed Bolen). Then we bolted, socially exhausted. One reason I now adore other people’s weddings!

The length of the writeup in the Beaver is only shadowed by the coverage in the Meade-Globe Press which is not included. They noted every detail of my outfit that I had so lovingly chosen. I was both embarrassed and tickled pink.

We spent the night at the Kansas City Club, arranged by John’s step-mom-at-that-time- Sandra (the Wichita Falls most beautiful party planner and gift wife). She had medium-rare filets with three sauces (a bernaise, hollandaise, and a horseradish cream) delivered to our room.  The next morning we lay around in bed all morning and watched Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman. Then, John had to go back to Lawrence to prepare for his finals and a project with some Brian guy from business school who had transferred from engineering school.

We had a few people to dinner at this apartment in Lawrence during finals. Pat Boppart I do remember, but I cannot remember the others who were still finishing up their college careers. I had chicken breasts stuffed with boursin because it was John’s turn to cook that week. John and Pat argued about how one person of these two felt it was not an even trade for one person to have t-bones and the other to serve spam, though Pat defended this staunchly. I tasted spam later in life, as I have also tasted dogfood, and it is really not all that bad.

Our first Christmas was in Lawrence at Hillcrest Apartments, but I will also do this in a later post in the advent countdown to Christ’s birth. I am more exhausted from this wedding post than I was from the actual wedding.

I will include pictures of our honeymoon in Chicago, a gift from Kevin Pistilli. He and Tina met us there for dinner at the Pump Room. This didn’t happen until later, but honeymoons are a part of the wedding picture so they are included here.

The Raphael, the Cape Cod Room at the Drake, Frank Lloyd Wright's first big residential project in Oak Park and tour of his home.

I am looking forward to the holidays and remembering some very early times with my husband and friends from pictures that I am sure my mother took.

Before a house,

before children,

before a place that would be my life for 29 years and always in my mind.

I hope the others that were married that day in Kansas City (there were four of us, Gibson Rymar and Sara Jury and….??) are also celebrating.

Of course, it is now the 28th as I didn’t get it done by day’s end. This is the day I always I incorrectly remembered as my wedding date. It was always just “the Saturday after Thanksgiving” in my mind…it didn’t matter much as we were usually always having fun with friends and family in the city and would forget to celebrate.

So now I will take the time to say, “Happy Anniversary John!” But this time it is a joke because I remembered yesterday to celebrate this day, the start of my big life adventures that still continue.

love, Paula.