My name

Cousin Don, Mattie, Me, Cousin Cyndie, Uncle Gary, Mom, Aunt Joanne (Photo Dad)
That's Grandma Mattie in the front between my cousin Don and me

Did you know I want(ed) to be named Mattie Lisette and not Karen Lisette? Some of you who know me from “way back” may have thought I wanted to be named something other than the Lisette part and not the Karen part of my name, but that’s not correct.

My maternal grandmother who we, my parents and myself, lived with on and off during my life until she died in 1984 was named Mattie Lora McGraw Hailey. I went everywhere and did everything with her and she was my best friend. Sometime in the 70’s, in my teens, I told her I wished I was named for her and, since I wasn’t, I wanted to name one of my potential (12) children after her. It surprised me that this news upset her. She tried to get me to promise her right there and then that I wouldn’t name one of my kids for her – something I never actually promised. I kinda sorta did to keep peace. Turns out it didn’t matter because I never had kids – but if I had had children, I would’ve named one Mattie (& with a clear conscience).

What about you? What do you think of your name? Would you change it?

I know of a (dare I say? old!) high school acquaintance who changed her name legally the minute she reached the age of majority and, according to google, has gone on to write books and have a successful professional career with her “new” name. Would I have changed my name if I was in her shoes? I don’t know. I liked her birth name. Would I have changed it to what she did? Probably not. I liked her original name better. But that is probably because I liked her, SHE made her name nice.

My grandma Mattie was wonderful and even though she didn’t like her own name much apparently, SHE made her name nice too. Since I’m named Karen Lisette and not something else and since I haven’t changed it – I hope that I make my name nice as well.

(For those of you who don’t already know this; Lisette was my paternal grandmother and I am honored to be named for her. No one knows who Karen was…)


  • Carol Deiber

    Hi, We had no internet last night. Did you stop quilting when you started your herb farm business? I find it to be very relaxing,gratifying. It was a good day at “work”
    Where in California are you located? My cousin used to live in Lompoc. I have visited CA. many times. I LOVE living in Iowa! Our winters can be rather harsh, but people are very friendly here and the uncluttered countryside landscape is breathtaking in summer. Mile after mile of green. I grew up in northeast Ohio, and didn’t move away from there until I was 43. Bye for now, Carol

  • Carol Deiber

    Okay Karen, After a minimal amount of interaction with you on Susan Branch’s blog, I clicked on your name and was delighted to find you have a blog!
    about the name thing~ I was Carol Jean until Petty Coat Junction was a popular tv show, (maybe you’re too young to know about PCJ?) I promptly begged my family to call me Carol ! drop the Jean please!
    It’s wonderful that you have an herb farm. I’m married to a farmer ( corn and soy beans) but I myself am a terrible gardener! A few flowers are my limit!
    Nice to meet you! Carol Deiber

    • circlekengland

      Hi Carol! I am tickled pink to meet you! I will refrain from calling you CJ or Carol Jean now that I know your name story. Did your family comply with your wishes?

      I do remember PettyCoat Junction but what I really remember and LOVED was Green Acres. Didn’t these two shows share some characters and locales? I can sing the Green Acres theme complete with Eddie Albert & Eva Gabor singing imitations. Yes. I am very talented…

      Since your Hubby is a farmer I think it is just fine that you concentrate on things other than gardening. By the way, what does he do with the soy bean crop? Does it become oil like maybe the corn becomes? This is really interesting to me.

      I am so happy to know you. Cheers, Karen

      • Carol Deiber

        Good morning Karen! C.J. was my second name! I didn’t mind that though. It took a while to retrain my family and friends I’ve connected with from school still want to call me Carol Jean.
        Ron takes his soy beans and corn to the elevator (HUGE bins) in town. The train takes them from there. Ron sells to the Elevator, in this case is called AG Parteners, they sell to whoever for overseas shipment or maybe biodeisel here in the states. Our beans aren’t for human consumption.
        I’m on my way to work this A.M.~ Quilt Shop~ Did I say work? Only do this one day a week, It is fun! Bye for now, Carol

      • circlekengland

        Good evening Carol! Biodiesel is good thing – how interesting…Thanks for the explanation of where your crops go. How was work? I mean, How was fun? Someday I’ll get back to quilting. I miss it.
        Sleep well, Karen

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