My Wedding Dress

30th Wedding Anniversary

I married in 1982, one year after Princess Diana.  Many of the dresses of that period look dated but my lucky bargain dress stayed stylish and beautiful.  This photo (set) was a gift to Teddy on our 30th wedding anniversary – 6 years ago.  My wedding dress had not been cleaned in all those years and had traveled across continents.  It was in a plastic bag in our attic in Texas and after I lost weight, I decided to try it on.  It looked amazing so I took it my local dry cleaner who made it like new for less than $10.  It is ivory satin with tulle and Belgian cotton lace on the bottom.  I was struggling to find a wedding dress in Scotland because my skin is really more sallow than it looks.  All the bright white dresses washed me out.  Finally, my mum and I went to Fraser’s department store in Glasgow and found this dusty ballgown (not a wedding dress) reduced from 100 to 15 GBP.  Even then that was a steal.

As soon as the photographs were taken, I took the dress to my local thrift store so that some other lucky bride could enjoy it.  I felt somewhat guilty for having ignored it for the previous 30 years… Below is the dress on the original day, 19 July 1982.

Teddy and Bunny, with our Mums at our side in 1982

So this is the original color of my hair and also Teddy’s glorious blonde hair.  My hair is naturally curly and covered in confetti.  My mum had sewn up the low cut neckline for modesty but the stitches burst open as soon as I stepped (elegantly) out of the taxi.  At least Teddy and his grand-dad looked really happy at the view!  I was 21 but looked like a teenager – nervous about marrying a virtual stranger and living in a new country.

The anniversary photographer had a make-up artist so I posed for a variety of shots.  Teddy proudly displays them in his office and delights in visitors saying “Is that your wife??”  Yes, she is. ❤

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Fall Fashion

Blue dress, lace nude tights, brown suede boots

I went shopping to our local mall a few weeks ago and got some bargains for fall.  This cute little blue dress was $13 in Dillard’s.  I bought it thinking it would work with my navy over knee boots and tights but it looked good with the brown accents, too.

Black lace skinny jeans with Old Navy blouse

These are lace up jeans, $13, from J C Penney with last season’s coral blouse from Old Navy. Paired with this year’s black ankle strap sandals from BOC – incredibly comfortable.

Full length black lace up skinnies

Since these photos were taken, I couldn’t resist trying out a new fall hair color.  Initially it was ‘golden light brown’ but when Teddy gasped at the ginger color, I immediately remedied it with ash blonde.  It is now the color of a new Penny – curiously my eyes now look really grey.

New penny?

Perfect peace on the site of a battleground

Following on from my last post of Blakeley, Alabama, the site was serenely quiet and tranquil.  In 1865 the Civil War battle of Blakeley commenced.  Ultimately 261 people died, hundreds were injured and over 3000 Confederate soldiers were captured by the Union.  You can tour the battlefield, seeing the Confederate fortifications and other details.  Prior to this sadness, Blakely had been occupied by the Apalachee who had fled their home in Florida after a British led Creek battle.  Then it was chartered as the town of Blakeley by an early settler, Josiah Blakeley in 1814.

In the early days it was a thriving community but as I previously mentioned yellow fever and malaria killed so many people that the place was abandoned, to all intents and purposes.  No one really knew what the cause of the illness was and it was referred to as “Bad Air”.  Anyone who lives in the tropical south knows how oppressive a hot humid day can be but by comparison to Houston, the air seemed as fresh as a daisy.

Calahaba Lily

There is a Calahaba Lily River Association – it is an aquatic plant found only in the south-east.

Wild or Louisiana Iris

The state symbol of Louisiana is the fleur-de-lis based on the real Iris above.

The residents seem peaceful these days…

Lady Blue Dasher with black lace wings

Mr Lizard

Battlegrounds often have a pervasive feeling of gloom but the wildlife has taken over most of the area leaving a sense of ‘life goes on’.

Blakeley, Alabama

The lumberjack fairy

This is a lumberjack fairy in a fantastic tree root of a live oak in Blakeley, Alabama.  Perhaps this fairy retreat provoked my recent addiction to fairy stories?  Blakeley is located to the east of Mobile, Alabama and back in the day it had the best deep water access for the many ships coming to Alabama.  It is now a historic state park and a ghost town.  Both Mobile and Blakeley are in swampy delta areas – five rivers connect at the estuary.  Yellow Fever was common in this area in the 1800s and when it first decimated the population at Blakeley, the remaining residents decided to move to Mobile or other areas.  Unfortunately, there was yellow fever there too and there is a very sad cemetery in Mobile with tiny little graves.  The survivors made it through and we have eradicated yellow fever in America although it is common in other tropical areas.  It is a virus spread by mosquitoes.  Next time you worry about a snake or a cougar, just think how many deaths the mosquito is responsible for.

No fairies but now you know a full grown lumberjack fairy can fit inside it

Where there is death there is life

Elder live oak

What a magnificent old gentleman, his branches graying with Spanish Moss.  Live Oaks live for hundreds of years which worries me because we have one in our front garden that has grown from a 3 ft sapling to 50 ft in 14 years.  Despite that, I love her and stroke her bark when I pass her.  It gives me such pleasure to see the acorns in the leaf litter feeding all the critters.  Click here for a fascinating story about her – One Sleep until Halloween

The River Fairy

Ria was anxiously excited about her first year at the Texas Fairy School in Austin.  She wondered what language they would speak.  There is an ancient Færie language but it is only used for ceremonial events; weddings, births and contracts.  Fairy lawyers have to be fluent in Færie (lawyers aren’t liked in the fairy world either…)   Most fairies speak the same language that their human neighbors speak.  In Ria’s case, it was Spanish as she came from the Texas border town of Brownsville.  She could speak English, also, but loved the way Spanish rolled from her tongue.  “Mi amor” she whispered, blushing at the idea of future fairy liaisons.   Ria was twelve years old and a River Fairy.

Brownsville sits on the Rio Grande River which divides Mexico from Texas along the border.  The town is at the river’s estuary into the Gulf of Mexico.   Its river water is silty with brown sediment from hundreds of miles of river weaving through desert, mountains and plains.   Ria was presently a brown fairy, with hair and eyes the color of expresso, but knew that she could metamorphose into shades of blue, grey or brown or a tranquil combination of all three.

River fairies have to blend into their surroundings like all other fairies.   Ria was surrounded by bright blue skies, the blue grey of the Gulf and the soft brown of the Rio Grande.  Then there were dolphins, herons and catfish – all hues of grey.  Her Mother had sultry smoke grey eyes with platinum long wavy tresses.  Her wings were cerulean blue with taupe and charcoal accents.   Ria longed to look like her Mother when she was older but she could be just like her Father.  He was a most handsome, Latino fairy!  His deep mahogany eyes sparkled with humor and kindness.  His hair was chestnut, tipped with silver, as were his metallic wings dappled with chocolate and lilac.

“Mija, are you ready for big school?”   Ria’s Father broke into her reverie.   “Papi, I am a little scared about fitting in at Fairy School.  Will some of them speak Spanish?”   “Of course, Mija, the Texas School of Fairies in the most prestigious in the Occident.  There will Amazonian fairies that are brown just like you.  Then there will be all the Caribbean Azures.  Everyone has a special place in our world.  You will even meet some Red River Fairies from North Texas.”

“What color are they, Papi?”  Ria excitedly interrupted.  “They are a deep red to match their river, which meanders through red rocks and soil.  When I was at Fairy School I met a beautiful Red River Fairy with russet curls – her name was Roxanne.”  His warm brown eyes twinkled as Ria exclaimed, “Papi!  Does Mama know?” “Let’s keep this our little secret, Mija.”  Both giggled secretly when Ria’s Mother came into the room.  “What are you two up to?” said Mom. “There are bags to pack and a new school uniform to buy for our little girl.”

Ria clapped her hands with joy, her little chestnut colored wings vibrating with pleasure.  All the girl fairies attending school had to wear the same pinafore style but it could match their fairy hue.  Mother and Ria held hands while they flew to their fairy seamstress.  Her workshop was on the opposite side of the Rio Grande in Mexico.  Fairies don’t care about borders – their role is to bring happiness to all species wherever they may be.  Selina, the seamstress fairy, greeted Ria and her Mom like the old friends they were, chattering in Spanish and offering yellow Hibiscus tea.

Ria’s round eyes gleamed looking at the array of beautiful fairy fabrics spun from spider silk and cotton.  Every hue of their landscape hung gauzily in the workroom.  Silvery silk, ocean blue muslin and slate gossamer thread.  Endless shades of cream, fawn and cinnamon fabric for the many brown fairies.  She gently touched the reams of fabric that were as soft as thistledown they were weaved from.  Brownsville is at the very tip of Texas with a hot, tropical climate so all species feel the heat.  Austin is hot in the summer but can be cool with frost in the winter when the school session started.

“Honey, come try your uniform on,” her mother entreated holding up a chocolate brown velvet pinafore with an ivory thistledown blouse. “Ooh, it is so beautiful, Mama”.   Ria’s eyes filled with tears as she looked at herself in herself in the copper mirror.  Her mom and Selina choked back tears of their own looking at a beautiful little girl fairy growing up before their eyes.  All too soon Ria would blossom into an adult fairy with new colors and a chosen name.  Her Mom hugged her and held her tight, thinking how far it was to Austin.  She could see the anticipation in Ria’s eyes and kept her sadness to herself knowing all little creatures have to flee the nest.  One day she would return and live a River Fairy’s life.

The End

How not to use your new camera…


Well, this is me with my new camera. Even a Zeiss lens can’t help you take good photographs if you are incompetent. 😁
The camera is a SONY DSC-RX100 and apologize for making it look bad!

I am wearing my new skinny jeans reduced to $13 from $54 in JC Penney with an ivory waffle top from Chico’s that I found in a thrift store in Brenham, TX for $5 with the $70 price ticket still on it. My pink sandals were from JC Penney’s a decade ago in a sale. The emerald ring set in silver is from Abu Dhabi.  Bruise on my arm from washing the windows…

So…back to my cell phone. I am sitting out in the humid heat of the sub-tropics and have had my makeup on for 4 hours.

I am wearing Glamglow Glowstarter illuminating moisturizer in Nude Glow (no foundation) and Makeup Forever Aqua XL eye paint in a silvery grey (it really stays on).  Revlon lipstick, mascara and blush.  Newly cut hair in whatever blond color was in the cupboard.  Life is too short to pay $100 for hair color!

 

Sam Houston Dellinger — Stories of My Family

As most of you know, I am obsessed with finding new family members. For the most part, they are long since deceased but within the last few weeks a new, and very much alive, cousin has come into my life. Sarah’s great grandmother was my paternal grandfather’s sister (Nelle and Raymond Dellinger) so we are Dellinger 2nd cousins, one generation between us. We have been excitedly sharing information and photographs to help build a picture of our most interesting family. Sarah had never seen a photo of Raymond, or I of Nelle, so that was very exciting. If you look at Sarah’s gravatar image you will see a resemblance in our smiles. To my astonishment, Sarah thought that I look like a Dellinger. As an only child with little connection to my paternal side, this is all manna from Heaven. Curiously, we both have WordPress Blogs and write similarly. Now we are pondering whether the writing gene comes from the Dellinger side…and why do we have so much Swedish DNA???
Please enjoy this beautifully researched genealogy post below on Sam Houston Dellinger (my great-grandfather) and have a look at Sarah’s blogs – Stories of my Family and A blog dedicated to my love for books

The Dellinger side of the family is full of of fantastic stories. Samuel Houston Dellinger and his wife, Lillie (née Dillingham) were quite the characters and it is not surprising that their independent, pioneer spirit rubbed off on their children (though it manifested quite differently in some of them).

via Sam Houston Dellinger — Stories of My Family