Welcome to P.S. Annie!

This blog is titled in honor of my great-grandmother Annie Black Gunter. My name, Suzanne, was chosen because my daddy wanted to honor his grandmother and her sister Suzie. It is a tribute to all who have gone on before me.

It is titled P.S. because, after the good-byes are said and the leaving is done, there's always just one more thing that I meant to say. So, this blog is a depository for things left unsaid, much like the P.S. at the end of a letter.

PS Annie! is a blog about family and life. As I dig deeper still into my own family history, there will be more genealogy-themed posts. For fun, I also participate in various memes and linkies. I appreciate your feedback very much.

I hope that you enjoy your visit here!

Your sis in Christ,

PS! All comments will be responded to via the blog and, on occasion, via e-mail. I am a faulty human and may miss responding sometimes or be very late in responding. Please forgive me for that. I do appreciate each comment and visit very much!

18 November 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 18 November 2015

1. What's surprised you most about your life or about life in general?

I guess what surprised me the most is the fact that I ever got married. I figured it would never, ever happen for someone like me. Since I didn't think that anyone would ever marry me, I also didn't think that I would ever have babies. David and I have been married for thirty-one years now and I am thankful for all of my beautiful babies.

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesauce, beer o'clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable.

Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?

Hangry and skippable are alright by me, and I kind of like the idea of a cat café (assuming that the definition that I found is actually what it really means! http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/cat-cafe). I love cats. "Buttdial" has become a way of life around here as folks are always calling us that way. We've heard some very interesting conversations due to this. I think several of the other words sound either crude or downright rude.

3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which one on the list is your favorite?

I love gravy! I would be one guilty of having everything swimming in gravy. However, we buy the jarred or packet variety because I still have not mastered making home-made gravy. If you want gravy that you can slice, I have you covered!

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

I always have a plan, but there is always something in motion to show me that I shouldn't have bothered with a plan in the first place. Things very rarely actually come together as planned.

A prime example would be our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary. We saved all year to go out and splurge on that anniversary weekend…hotel, nice dinner, and the works. The day before our anniversary, David was admitted to the hospital, on death's door, and entered our anniversary with one less body part due to the amputation of one of his toes. He came out of surgery just before midnight, just in time for us to bring in our anniversary together. This started two months of stays in hospitals and a nursing home, not at all what we had planned for our anniversary.

5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?

I like to play Monopoly, but not necessarily for as long as it takes to play the game all the way through. In the past, we've had the original game, but now we have the My Little Ponyversion and we enjoy playing it with our children (now all adults) whenever they are home.
It is unlikely that we will play it on November 19 as none of our kids will be home then.

I have never been to Atlantic City. I have ridden the trains in various theme parks, if that counts. I have been in real train cars, but not while the trains were operating. If there is paid parking in this town anywhere, we haven't come across it. Everywhere that we park is free. Driving to Corpus Christi, I guess, would have to be the last thing I took a real chance on. I just knew I would have to drive across horrendously long bridges out to the island, but it wasn't scary at all.

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?

The Old Rugged Cross has been my favorite hymn since childhood. It very much speaks of thankfulness for the sacrifice made for our salvation, for the gift that Heavenly Father gave to us.

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude....what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?

At this point in my life, I can't think of anything that I take for granted. However, during my childhood, I would have to say that I took my grandparents being alive for granted. I never imagined life without them and thought they'd always be there. Obviously, no one lives forever and they were no exception. I am very thankful for the time that I had my grandparents in my life, for the lessons that they taught me, and most of all for the love that they freely gave to me.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

More of a question than a thought… Why does life have to be such a challenge for someone in my age group? I turned fifty this year and that in itself doesn't really bother me. What bothers me is being compared to 20-somethings and always falling short, regardless of my knowledge or experience or their lack thereof.

Also, am I the only one that gets indigestion from just drinking water? If I laced it with jalapenos, I would understand. But just drinking plain old Dasani or any other bottled water gives me indigestion. The tap water here causes an entirely different problem!

NOTE: The My Little Pony link above is an affiliate link. If you click the link and purchase the My Little Pony Monopoly game via that link, we will financially benefit from the transaction. Thank you for your support of PS Annie! Have a blessed weekend!

11 November 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 11 November 2015

1. In two or three sentences tell us what Veteran's Day means to you?

Okay, this is more than two or three sentences, but it is what I have. :)

David, Jr., saluting the Veteran's Memorial, Wharton, TX.
To me, Veteran's Day is a day for remembering those that have fought for our freedoms, some giving the ultimate - their lives- for that freedom. It also means seeking out veterans and thanking them for their service to this country. I think that this thanking needs to especially be done for the Vietnam veterans. They endured horrendous things in the field, only to come home to such hostilities on their own American soil. Not everyone is perfect and maybe some of them did bad things, but they had to do what they were ordered to do by their government. Who are we to scorn them and treat them worse than garbage? They should be thanked for their willingness to serve and not dodging the draft like many others did.

Veteran's Day hits home to me especially now as we have two sons in service. Our oldest son has been in the US Navy since 2004. Our youngest son left us for the US Marine Corps on 1 June 2014. Hopefully, they will always return safely from their duties…The "ultimate price" is not something that this mama would be able to endure.

2. What's your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline?

It depends on your definition of patriotism. I count it as loyalty to one's country. In that respect, my favorite patriotic-themed movies are: Gone with the Wind, Braveheart, and Rob Roy.

3. Flu shot-yes or no? If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot? If not, why not? Have you ever had the flu?

No, I have never had a flu shot nor do I intend to ever have one. Everyone that I know that has received a flu shot has ended up with the flu, so what was the point in getting the shot? I'd rather just take my chances. I don't think that I have ever had the flu. I have lost many past family members to the flu, many during the pandemic of 1918 and several since then. Still, I would rather take my chances than pretty much guaranteeing that I will get it by getting the shot.

4. I've seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated. Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween. Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor, and that has some people up in arms. What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November?

Personally, I think that Christmas has become far too commercialized and the season starts way too early these days. I understand why retail businesses have to order things for Christmas back in May. That just makes sense. But, to start the Christmas madhouse before Thanksgiving is ludicrous. The day after Thanksgiving is supposed to be the start of the Christmas season. Thanksgiving just gets totally by-passed in all the mad rush to get to Christmas.

I think that everyone just needs to slow down and remember what it is all about. We should be thankful for the Gift that Heavenly Father gave to us on that peaceful night all those years ago, a gift that doesn't run out; a gift that you don't have to camp out for and no one can snatch it out of your hands. It comes to you, no queue lines or credit cards involved, just your willingness to accept it.

5. What 'critter' are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly? Why that one?

Snake in our driveway. Broad-banded water snake.
This might sound odd coming from someone that photographs snakes and loves it, but the answer would be "snake" these days. Having one hop off of our dining room table and land at my feet unnerved me to no end. I don't know what kind it was, but I do know it wasn't a coral snake. At this point, they are all considered poisonous and will be dealt with accordingly unless it has a note saying otherwise!

6. Do you like building things? What's the last thing you 'built'?

Yes, I like making things. Or rather, I like assisting David as he makes things. I am scared of the drill and the saw. I would likely drill or saw something that wasn't supposed to be drilled or sawn - like my hand. I think the last two things that we built were a screen for our recording studio setup and a climbing/scratching toy for our precious Xerxes…may he rest in peace.

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude...what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?

I am grateful for my family, most especially our children. They are unique individuals and I can't imagine our lives without any of them. Laynie is our sensitive spirit and animal lover. Davey is our quiet, reserved, steady one. And Maggie, the youngest, is our wild child, our little hippy. They all have a sense of humor to varying degrees.

I am grateful for David and our 34 years together (31 as husband and wife). It has been an interesting rollercoaster of a life together. I can't imagine spending it with anyone else.

I am also grateful for the variety of flowers that grow around here and the extended growing season. There is almost always something pretty in nature to photograph around here. I just don't always have time or opportunity to photograph them.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Have you ever noticed that nothing fun is open on Monday? Yesterday, we tried to go again to Varner-Hogg to video the grounds. Closed. We had passed a museum that we hadn't noticed before, so decided to stop by there to see what they had. Closed. We came back to our town and went to the railroad depot museum. Same notes again - CLOSED. We don't have anything against little kids and families (we think they are cute!), but it would be nice for things to be open throughout the week so that us old people can go and be leisurely, not hold anybody up, and not get caught in the middle of a toddler (or parental) temper tantrum, or have to worry about tripping a little one with the cane or getting knocked down by a rambunctious youngster. AND actually get to hear what the tour guide is saying.

NOTICE: There are affiliate links in the post above, specifically, the links to the movies. If you click these links and purchase an item during your visit to Amazon.com, I will financially benefit. Thank you for your support of PS Annie!

Happy Veteran's Day!

Happy Veteran's Day to all of you out there. Have you thanked a veteran today? Find one, shake his or her hand, give them a hug...whatever you and they are comfortable with. Let them know how much you appreciate the sacrifices that they have made for the freedoms we often take for granted.

As I study my family's history and that of my husband, I find more and more men that have served this country in one capacity or another. I thought that I would share some of our family's military history with you here today.

Jared, US Navy. David, Jr., US Marine Corps
We do have two sons serving. Jared is in his 11th year with the US Navy in the silent service under the ocean somewhere. He is stationed in San Diego. Davey has been in the US Marine Corps for about 17 months now and will possibly be promoted to corporal in January, ahead of schedule...that's my boy. :) He is stationed in Okinawa and should be there until sometime in 2017. I don't know where he goes from there.

Both of my brothers were in service. Ray was in the Air Force and then the Navy. He was severely injured in Afghanistan earlier this year. Robert was in the US Army.

Uncle Bobby Joe Gunter
My daddy went to sign up. He was rejected due to a bad back caused by a motorcycle accident when he was 19. His big brother, my Uncle Bobby Joe, died in a streetcar accident in Germany in 1963. Uncle Bobby Joe was 24 years old when he died. His picture sat in a place of prominence in my Granny's living room for as long as I can remember. My papa kept a box with the letters that he received after Uncle Bobby Joe died along with the letters he had written to him.

My uncles, my mama's brothers, were in service. The oldest, Uncle Billy, was in the US Navy. Uncle Jerry was in the US Army in the 82nd Airborne. He got a medical discharge due to an injury he received jumping from a helicopter. I don't know how long Uncle Billy was in service, but he brought home husbands for all of his sisters. Aunt Carolyn got Uncle Earl Moore, who was a chief petty officer by the time he retired after 20 years of service. Aunt Brenda got Uncle Billy Moody (Navy) and I don't know a thing about him as they divorced when I was very little. The one that he brought home for my mama didn't work out. She was devastated. She met and married my daddy. Aunt Judy got Uncle Ken Bostain, also in the Navy. They had 5 boys, some of which also served.

To my knowledge, neither of my grandpas were in service. They were too young for WWI (less than 10 years old at the end of it). Grandpa Spence would have been 31 and Papa Gunter would have been 23 at the beginning of US involvement in WWII, but I have never heard any stories about them being in service. I have seen Papa's draft registration card, so I know he registered.

My great-grandpa William Perry Fowler, my Granny Gunter's daddy, was also in the US Navy. The ship that he served on, the USS Cincinatti, was born the same year that he was. His brother, Robert E. Fowler, was in service, too. Both served during WWI. Robert didn't survive the war. The flu pandemic of 1918 got him.

There are many others in my family that served, all the way back to Andrew Pickens, my sixth great-grandfather and a revolutionary war general.

My husband David was unable to serve due to diabetes. His brother was in the Army then in the Navy. His brother's son is now serving in the Navy.

Robert Bruce McClendon, Jr. (David's daddy) and his brother Carl E. McClendon, were in the US Air Force.

Robert Bruce McClendon, Sr.
Robert Bruce McClendon, Sr. (David's grandpa) served, but we do not know what branch. We have a picture of him in his uniform, but can't find anyone that can identify the uniform for us because the picture isn't crisp and clear. Aunt Gloria was only 9 years old when her daddy died and she doesn't know what branch he was in. Aunt Gloria's husband Franklin Mitchell joined the US Marine Corps, but did not make it through basic training due to a problem with his feet. His heart was there; his feet just didn't cooperate. David's maternal grandfather did not serve as far as we know. David believes his blood pressure kept him out.

I have located the draft registration cards for 7 of our great-grandfathers. The missing one is my Great-grandpa Andrew J. Gunter. I do not know if I just haven't located the registration card for him or if one does not exist. He had some significant health issues that took his life in 1927, but still I think he would have been required to register even if they didn't take him into the service. I do not know how long he was sick, so his health may not have been an issue at the time of World War I.

That's enough of our family for now. Thank you to all of you out there that have served and those that have donated your children to the service of this country. May Heavenly Father bless them and they all return home safely!
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