Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Flu

Two down, ?? to go. The youngest two in our household have been stricken with stomach flu. No fun, but a milestone is passed when they get sick in the night and tend to themselves without waking anyone. I noticed Boy14's trash can in the bathroom in the middle of the night and suspected illness but since it was dark, I couldn't see the contents, nor did it smell. What a wonderful thing not to have to get up, change the sheets, bathe the baby, etc.

Boy14 thought it was from the Banana Cream Pie but I explained it was a virus from his dear brother. Now he'll probably never eat banana cream pie again.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Favorite Version



One of my favorite Christmas songs and an original, beautiful rendition.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bitter

After the ice storm we have about 1 degree temperatures. Even some churches closed due to cold. It is still somewhat of a minefield driving around town with downed trees and power lines in the streets, with just an orange cone to give warning. It's an absolutely frozen tundra out there.

Nonetheless, I am deeply satisfied now that Boy20 is home safely and we are all together for the holiday. I'm over halfway done Christmas shopping, so that is good. Tonight we watched Batman: The Dark Knight this evening. Not really my type of movie, but okay. Boy15 hadn't seen it before and predicted Dent to be a bad guy based on his having a coin.



Terri and I take a break from shopping at Taste of Thai. I ordered 'hot' and it was absolutely painful-delightfully painful.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Free Day



Today my good fortune was someone else's misfortune. The Ice Storm to beat all storms finally came through last night and rained and froze all night. The sound of cracking trees pierced the night several times, but our home didn't lose power. Lucky for us, certain areas of town did lose power including Pat's and my work. Yea!! Snow day, ice day! Free Day. It felt like Saturday all day, but tomorrow is Saturday and my grocery shopping is done, a little Christmas shopping accomplished and just a nice relaxing day.

Here is a list of my objectives for this holiday break from school:

Write something about my cousin who recently committed suicide for the Family News _done.
Resume exercise_ in progress
Read a book, other than the children's book I've been reading since October_ in progress "An Unquiet Mind" memoir of a psychiatrist who battled Bipolar Disorder most of her life. I love reading books about mental illness. Very compelling. Amazing, brilliant woman.
Place order for group I belong to_ done

That's about it for now. Spaghetti sauce splattered on my white sweater and I am none to pleased about it. Gotta go take care of it now before it sets in (Stain stick is a life saver).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Career Change

I got something off my chest today and I feel great. Ever since Oct. 24 when I registered for Spring classes, I knew I would be leaving my job next summer to pursue my career in school social work. I got approval for my schedule change (I will be off Wednesdays to travel 2.5 hours each way and take 9 hours of classes at the University) shortly after that. This means I will be working later the other weekdays to make up my 32 hour schedule. Grueling.

Anyway, I wasn't sure when to break the news to my boss that I don't plan to continue in the field of mental health at my current place of employment (after 12 years of service). So, I decided today was the day. His reaction? "Oh, I thought you were graduating in May and would be looking for other employment anyway." Needless to say, there were no tears or pleas for my continued servitude. This is my 11th supervisor in 12 years, so no love lost apparently.

I feel better getting it out in the open, even if no one really cares.


"Aspiring Social Worker"

Angie and I can hardly wait to lunch at our new restaurant "Jimmie John's" sub shop tomorrow. Actually, I'm more caught up in her excitement- a cold sandwich and a big pickle doesn't thrill me that much. We've been talking about it all week.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Musings

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. Charles Dickens



My favorite Christmas songs are:
Little Drummer Boy
Carol of the Bells
O Holy Night

I got to hear Carol of the Bells today at the high school band concert. Very nicely done. They also played a very good piece by a Dutch composer that was inspired by Israeli folk songs/dances. Called Rikudim by Jan Van der Roost. Wonderful! I think you can find it on You Tube.





I'm afraid to put much ornaments on the tree. It is seriously tipping and ready for retirement. I found a new item yesterday at Walgreen's. Yes, do invest in Walgreen's it's the best store ever. It is little battery powered tea lights. Perfect for putting behind the Christmas stocking holders so as not to catch anything on fire.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cookies and Quotes

I got a craving for Russian Tea Cookies (Mexican Wedding Cakes),whatever you call them. Pat observed we only eat them at Christmas though I think there is a stale store version sold year round (Archway?). So I baked a batch, and proceeded to eat about a dozen of them. Had intended to share with my women's group this morning, but forgot to take them, so another dozen I have been devoured by me. Ugh. Good thing I only have them once a year. Something about the butter, little sugar and ground up nuts...

I did a little Christmas shopping today. Like my sister says, two for me, one for you...just kidding. I just go blank when someone asks what I want for christmas but often when I'm out I see attractive things. Our tree is down from the attic but not yet decorated. I'm throwing it out after the holiday. It's really old, really dirty and really ugly. Pat says the stand is too wobbly, also.

Ginnie, I, too, have been told I'm a good proof-reader. Just not of my own work. I know what I'm saying, so I think it's there even when it's not. Or if my mind says "per say" I won't notice I misspelled it. Did you ever have a phrase you thought you knew, but didn't? Like "For all intensive purposes?" I was shocked to learn in the swimming pool one morning during our chlorine klatch, it's actually "for all intents and purposes."

Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want and their kids pay for it. ~Richard Lamm

I can understand people simply fleeing the mountainous effort Christmas has become... but there are always a few saving graces and finally they make up for all the bother and distress. ~May Sarton

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finale, per se

After turning in my last paper, my mom called and told me she found one more typo (yes, I have my parents *one retired English professor* read my papers). Lest you think that cheating, it was recommended by more than one professor that you have at least one outside opinion. Keeps you writing and expressing yourself more clearly. At least in social science writing, there's a tendency to assume others know what you are talking about, and believe me, they don't. I also leave out of a lot small words if you haven't noticed here.

So, my mom tells me the last sentence of my paper contains the phrase, "per say" rather than "per se." There's no way to correct it now, without driving the teacher crazy with revision after revision to clutter up his computer (on-line class, submission process). So, it's done and not perfect like I wanted.

So, our governor is a joke. I thought it ironic Blago made national news the day before his arrest broke, standing with Illinois factory workers who lost their jobs and blasting the Bank of America. Well, only the fourth Illinois governor to go to prison...he could share a cell with Mr. George Ryan.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Finding Peace and Blessings

Finding peace and joy and blessings is sometimes hard for me, especially as winter sets in and things, even little things, don't go my way. I think I have been especially lucky and spoiled in having my way most of the time. Here is some nice things:
gas for $1.65
a job and a holiday bonus of $50
University of Buffalo winning the Mac- Turner Gill
watching the boys play basketball and trumpet
a heating pad on my bed
Boy20 met Iguodaula's cousin at school
putting on my pajamas

Friday, November 28, 2008

GRATE-FUL

Had a great-ful Thanksgiving. Started the day with a walk on the back nine at a local golf course. It was pretty hilly and strenuous. The old man went back with clubs later on in the day so we are having pretty good weather.

Then I did some strenuous eating. We had a nice meal with sister, BIL, nephew, parents, great uncle, and two Chinese friends at my house. We visited and watched Home Alone and it put most of us to sleep.

I have been trying to work on a paper when I have a few moments. Did not participate in the Black Friday chaos. Well, I did buy a couple of things to mail out of state.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Funny Story to be Told Later




Okay, so I'm in Denmark last March and I keep seeing signs on the highways for "Fart Control." I ask Thomas and Anette (shown above lounging on a bench in "Our Town, USA" last month) who are hosting Joanne and me for the day, 'What's with these fart control signs all over.' They chuckle and tell us that 'fart' is the Danish word for 'speed'. Okay, those are speed control checkpoints on the freeways, ah, makes sense, even if it looks quite funny to us.

So, Thomas proceeds to tell us how he is a marathon runner and helps out with his club organizing the Copenhagen Marathon. He is assigned to be a sort of pace setter, every so many miles a guy or girl runs with the group and at a certain speed so they can keep their pace going (I don't entirely understand this since I wouldn't be caught dead anywhere near a marathon). This person wears a brightly colored tank labeled "Fart Holder" so that the runners know who is holding the pace for them, and the English speaking people are just cracking up! So, I tell Thomas that's pretty cool, it would be a riot to have one of those to wear around in the U. S.

Fast forward to October 2008. Thomas and Anette are chaperoning their Danish students in "Our Town" and I invite them to dinner to thank them for the hospitality they showed me in DK. As we are finishing up dinner, I ask Thomas to tell my husband the story about the 'fart' I can't remember the exact details but I remember it's funny. Thomas says, "Funny you should ask" and goes into the hallway and brings back a bag with the above pictured yellow tank top for me. He actually wore it in one of the Copenhagen marathons and has brought it for me as a gift. I guess he was waiting patiently for me to bring it up, as I did see him a few times over the two weeks they were here.

So, that it is the story behind the picture. I wore it over to Joanne's house for a farewell dinner for the Danes and I thought her husband was going to steal it off my back. It was such a hilarious image for him. I haven't had the nerve to wear just out and about for all to see, but maybe when the weather gets warmer and I start training for that marathon...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Random Photo

Since I have nothing bloggable to blog about I am going to my picture file and post whatever my cursor lands on, after twirling it around for awhile. I will tell you what I can about the picture and hope it is interesting, or at least not embarrassing. So here goes:


This is Boy14 at the dining room table looking pathetic. I'm not sure why. He may have been 13. He sits with a paper, pencil and calculator nearby. He must be trying to write a story, having finished his math recently. He wears a Yankees t-shirt which he loved for a good long time. He has a toothpick hanging from his mouth. One habit I don't really like, but don't bother to complain about either. There's much worse. Jugs of Culligan water are behind him on chairs, as they usually are. A Farm King advertisement is lying on the table. That is a local department store, that for some reason the Danish folks love. They like to buy cowboy boots and leather jackets there. We don't do much with decorating around here. I was noticing that tonight as I watched "How Much Can I Get For My House" or some such show. Yeah, our house definitely doesn't belong on TV.

Well, since I have been battling a cold for a couple of days, have gotten next to nothing done, and am going nowhere fast with this post, I think I will retire for the evening. I have two large papers due Dec. 8 & 10 that are barely begun. That should be my activity for tomorrow. I don't plan to do much Thanksgiving weekend, except be thankful I have a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mon, Denmark: From Whence I Came




This is the Mon Klint, on the island of Mon (the o should have a slash through it but we don't have that key on our keyboards, and sounds like a soft 'moon'). This is kind of a popular vacation destination in Denmark in summertime, and a lot of boats pass by to view the cliff. My great grandfather grew up close to here, and so it is special to me that my host, Ann, brought me here last March. If you recall, Ann and her family live on a large sailboat full time and I'm sure they have since sold my little sailboat. At the top of the cliff there is a park, and about a thousand (million?) steps down to beach. We actually didn't make it to the bottom. I nearly died climbing back up so it's a good thing we shortened the trek.

The next group of Danish students have already come and left our town. This year 24 of our students and four chaperones are going over to DK in March. I have to say, I'm very relieved not to be accompanying that group. We had 14 students and that was plenty to keep track of! Soon there will be a Danish dinner in our town and silent auction to raise money for their trip over.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Madz, you're the best



I got this in the mail the other day and boy is it cute! Now I have to think of something fantastic to send Madz. Thank you, girl.

Has everyone else been inundated with those Japanese beetles (lady bugs) this fall? It seems to be worse again. My friend who works for DNR says the U.S. government released these to help the crops using a natural solution. Most people just think they are a pain in the a--. Are they helping the crops anyway??

Otherwise, we are having a beautiful fall in Illinois. Still time to get out and enjoy the colors and warm weather.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

My Political Two Cents



I was supposed to post the video of the Saturday Night Live parody of the McCain rally lady, but I couldn't find it. Oh well, everyone saw that, right?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Springfield Dejavu



I was looking for a different clip from Mr. Crosby and Nash but ended up with this one. I shared a concert with my two older boys last night in Springfield IL on the campus where Boy20 attends. About a 2000 seat beautiful auditorium. Boy15 and I got home about midnight, he helped me drive which was great. I noticed a couple of bouncers near the stage and Boy15 commented, "Do they think they are going to storm the stage, they're a bunch of old people?"

Always the social commentators, I do love this song, and they did play it last night with the full band they assembled. Very good musicians. And this clip shows them as they look now, older and very gray. Nash performed barefoot on a couple of oriental rugs. The two guys sounded good, but I did miss that third voice harmonizing.

I told the boys how my dad decided in the late 60's he would try to like rock music. He asked friends for some recommendations and he bought CSN&Y Dejavu and some Black Sabbath album. He pretty much hated them both, but they ended up in my brother's and my hands a few years later. That was my intro to this music. Interesting tidbit: Crosby claimed 17% of girls who lost their virginity between 1968 and 1972, did so to "Our House."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Missouri

My mom and I went on a little trip this last week to Missouri. My idea was to visit the last home of Laura Ingalls Wilder,one of my favorite childhood authors. On the way to Mansfield, MO we stopped in Columbia where I was born. We saw the hospital but Mom didn't remember it too well, and said it was a much larger complex than in 1963 and 1965 when my sister was born there. Then we went onto the campus of University of Missouri where we lived on campus. Those temporary housing units are gone now, and the VA hospital placed on there.



Here is Laura and Almanzo's home at Rocky Ridge. We were here sometime in the 1970's but nothing was at all familiar,except the Red Chief tablets Laura hand wrote her books on. Those are in a case in the museum area. Now there is a bookstore, too.



Next we have Mom exiting the farmhouse with our tour guide in the background. They had 4-5 employees working on this October day, which is kind of surprising for a small operation in the off-season.



Finally, the big surprise. Laura's daughter Rose built a house for her parents in 1928 aptly named "The Rock House" that they lived in for 8 years down the road from the farmhouse. The LIW association acquired the house in 1990 and had it restored and ready for tours in 1997. It really was beautiful and had all the modern conveniences, however as soon as Rose left the area in 1936, they moved back to their beloved farmhouse that Almanzo had built. Poor Rose.




There's something about this pioneer girl/woman that still fascinates me...
After my big vacation (a week off) I'm more tired than if I worked all week. Does anyone else feel like this?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Here Comes the Bride



And the other Bride:



This was the most traditional of the weddings this fall, since my sister in law. It was a wonderful ceremony peformed by Becky's boss, actually, and assisted by their minister. I was weeping uncontrollably. And no kleenex, of course. I think what got me was Jen's parents being "not present" but her brother was standing up with her, and it must have meant the world to her. Becky's parents are deceased, but her sister stood up with her and sang a song for them in leiu of the traditional toast monologue later in the evening.



I was trying out my new flip video and if a miracle happens I will post a clip of the "first dance." It was hysterical. It started with a slow dance to "Lady" and suddenly the music cracked and one those hip hop humping songs came on (my child tells me it's called "Soldier Boy" and it's like two years ago). Jen and Becky looked really pissed, and then broke into a coordinated dance with sunglasses. Back to Lady, another switch, dirty look and dance team effect.

And no, I did not wear "the dress" again. I picked a out a nice 12 year job with huge shoulderpads I didn't have time to cut out of the sleeves.

Wedding Number Three



That is wedding number three this fall for me, not Terri's wedding number three. Only #2 for her and for Jeff. They are pictured below. And yes, that is the same dress, again. I do get a lot of mileage out of a purchase, well actually a gift from my mom. She likes to shop, I don't. Better tell her I need another dress. I did not get any ceremony shots, because of course I was the best woman in it. The reception was very informal at lake with smoked meats and salads, German Chocolate cake, among others. I'm pretty much a cake connessuir now, and this was good. Okay, I don't know how to spell, but neither does spell check.



Okay, I had to add the picture below of a table decoration at Terri's bachelorette. It was a wild time!


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Wedding & Balloon Fest



This is the bride in wedding #2 and my bosses wife in the background. It was a church wedding, seven years after the couple was married in a less traditional ceremony. It was really nice and it meant a lot to her. I'm sorry I didn't get any photos of the bride and groom together.



Not 10 minutes ago I heard a familiar whooshing sound outside and took this picture from my porch. It's the annual balloon rally in our small town. I'm not sure all the technicalities but I think there are some contests and prizes for the balloonists, like landing closest to a target. The thing it is known for around here is called the Balloon Glow and all the balloons park in a large field and inflate their balloons after dark making different patterns. There is live music and concessions and a festive atmosphere. It so happens the university football team is playing across the parking lot, so it makes for a big traffic jam afterwards, as much as we can experience around here.

Fall Weather




The soccer season started and the boys are both playing on the JV team. They missed the opener last weekend when we were in OH but Tuesday evening was the first home game. Our team won both matches (varsity and JV). They are having a good time and getting exercise so I can't complain.

This week has felt like fall. I'm trying to come to grips with summer being over and enjoying the fall. It rained Wednesday and Thursday (Gussie made it up here) followed by a perfect cool down. I can count among my blessings, not having to use heat or a/c. Pat is plowing up the lawn again striving for the greens of Augusta, haha. I can hear the groans of frustration. I am going to a small wedding today for a co-worker. She's been married 7 years already, but this one is in the Catholic Church.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Icing on the Cake






We were having a backyard BBQ the day after the wedding in Dublin (Ohio) and realized that Obama was speaking at the Dublin Coffman High School about three miles away at 6:45 p.m. Niece E who is a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara (political science major) was the initiator. Her little sis, Niece C was game, Nephew S (17) and Niece M. This in a sea of conservative Republicans. I was happy to be the chauffeur as I've been dying to see Obama and feel part of the movement. But first, I had to take Pat and the boys back to the hotel and it was already 5:00. I had to drive twenty minutes each way to the hotel, and just got back to Dublin to pick up the gang and we knew parking/walking would be a factor.





As we got near the site, cars were pulled off over the curb and onto the grass in every available spot. We finally found a parking lot which of course had no legal slots, so we pulled off on the edge and started walking. By now it was past 6:00. We followed the crowds and the traffic barriers about 1.5 miles before seeing the school. We could hear speakers already by 6:30 and naturally the stands were full. Very nice high school stadium. It looked like they were still admitting people to stand on the field, so we walked around the football field and waited in line for security. The loud speakers were working fine so we heard the Ohio governor, John Glenn, and Joe Biden. At this point we were on the field trying to get closer to the stage. We were probably only about 20 people back from the stage, but due to being fairly short couldn't get a view. If I bobbed and weaved and stood on tip toe I could get a glimpse of Biden and Obama. The pictures are from Neice12 on top of Nephew17's shoulders! The speeches were pretty short and sweet and it was fun to take the next generation to see history. I do believe Obama will win the election and I think he is just what this country needs.

As it turned out, our timing was perfect. We could have gone 5 hours earlier and not done any better. We got out easy peasy because we parked far enough away. The crowd was orderly and jovial.

Wedding Day

Pretty Cake with Raspberry Filling:




Darby House was the site of Jeef and Jim's wedding at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Really nice wooded setting out in rural Columbus. There were a few one-liners cracked at the ceremony making it truly a Denecke affair. Lots of pictures were taken of Nel-viro and her 10 kids, Jeef being the youngest. She declared after lighting the unity candle, “She's all yours, Jim.”



Dinner was delicious and dancing was frenetic. I must say the younger generation knows how to cut a rug.

Nell and her ten children.



All the Grand Daughters!!





Travel Day

We left for Ohio after work and school Thursday. For me, who took the day off, it was after my pedicure/wax. We got outside of Indy and stopped at a Super 8, upon recommendation of my parents (I found a coupon while Pat was in there checking in, he would not tolerate me bringing that in). Well, this one was pretty bad. The bedsheet had a huge cigarette burn on it if that gives you any idea. The worst shower I've ever seen: set about four feet up the wall, a trickle of water, your choice of scalding or ice water. The Free Continental Breakfast consisted of Fruit Loops or Corn flakes and toast. Whole milk in the refrigerator next to some old hot dogs and a Banquet dinner the night staff had stored in there.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wed.

Cubs are red hot!

No more beat up Pontiac in the parking lot, dirty little rolled up socks and beverage containers strewn all over the house, no one just rolling out of bed at 3:00 when I get home from work. Do I miss him? Sure.

I missed the opening ceremonies of the Olympics as well as the Closing ceremonies. Oh well. I saw Usain Bolt run the 200m and Michael Phelps win the butterfly. That was pretty good. Our kids will always remember this Olympics because of Michael Phelps like we remember Mark Spitz in '72. It made a big impression even on a 9 year old. By the way, they still have that ribbon twirling event...called rhythmic gymnastics, go figure.

It has been a super busy week. In fact, I should ride to the bank right now (I love my bike).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Milestone


Boy20 went away to school after two years at community college and living at home. It was time, but bittersweet just the same. It was nice that he asked to have a last supper at Grandma's house and she cooked up everyone's favorite, corned beef. Lots of veggies, which was good for me as I am trying to eat healthy again, and ice cream for dessert. That was Friday night.

This morning we left around 9 to make the 1.5 hour drive. Just so happens Barack Obama was going to the same place. I sort of half expected to run into some traffic or something, even though we were on the edge of town and he was downtown. There wasn't any sign of congestion, lucky for us since we were barely making our check-in time. Needn't have worried. There was one girl checking in (and rudely blocking the one parking space in front of the housing office). We were off to the apartment area (on campus housing)and plenty of parking there. Mike, the RA led us to the four plex. Only the rude girl was there to check in. It was weird! There was nobody around. Mike "thought" maybe two of the guys in the apartment had checked in but was vague on that. Seems like he didn't have much to do and could at least keep track of the handful of students he was responsible for. I was starting to feel like the real bitchy parent who isn't getting the treatment to which they are entitled.

The place is really nice. See below. Rob, one of the guys left a note on the fridge for Boy20 to help himself to a beer or a Coke. There is lots of beer in there. Note: Boy is 20. I notice a rather fancy martini shaker on top the refrigerator. Oh boy, serenity now...







I'll try to skip the minutiea, and the things that didn't go right and suffice it to say we found the main dining area and we all had an Asian chicken with two sides for $4.25. Pretty reasonable, if overcooked. The one guy who was helpful was the food service manager who went out of his way to explain things and show us where to go and what to do.

I wasn't able to finish helping the boy fix up his room and put stuff away when both he and Pat wanted me out of there. When we come back, everything will be as is, the furniture still messed up, the phone on the chair unplugged, but with a deep layer of dirty clothes, Gatorade bottles and change on the floor and the accompanying stench...I'm sorry, I wasn't supposed to get negative. Maybe his roommates will provide a positive peer influence on his personal habits. I insisted on tacking up his posters and making the bed and then it was time to say good-bye. I consoled myself with a Grande Caramel Light Frappucino from Starbucks and it helped, somewhat.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Per Request




These are pages (the second one was done tonight)I made of the former family Talent Show we had back in July. My parents asked that it not be a competitive point scoring winner-take-all situation. So it was renamed Family Program and while there was a separate score sheet, the results mysteriously ended up in a four way tie amongst the kids. Believe me, they suspected foul play there.

I was inspired by Madz' cool pages, but this is not even close. I bought the paper today at the Dollar Tree (six sheets for $1). Remember you can click on it to enlarge.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A n t i c i p a t i o n




I am trying to enjoy the anticipation of sleeping in a new bed tonight. We freshened up the room with paint and cleaning supplies (it's been a long time, dustbunny). The matress is one of those memory foam types. We tried the pillow top and it got worn out in about 10 years. "They" say you should sleep on a good bed...

I love Michael Phelps. He's just phenomenal. Where is his dad? I love Shawn Johnson. She's an Iowa girl and that's close to my heart. I spent my college years in Des Moines. Love that small city. When did trampoline become an Olympic event? Do the women beach volleyballers in the white tighties get Depo shots or what??

Helen stopped by with her adorable kids today. Hence, I broke out the camera I'd nearly forgotten about. Helen and I were discussing my highlights and lowlights and Madyson asked, "Is your hair pink?" Well, yeah, pink or maroon depending on the lighting.

Looking forward to scrapbooking Friday night (I have lots of packets made up to crop into something) and the first of the weddings next week. Tomorrow I am going to start a broomstick afghan (a client is going to show me how) with off white wool that my grandmother had before she died around 1969. It's in remarkably good shape, my mother takes great care with such things. Finally, class starts next Monday (I seriously didn't think it was that soon) so the blogging may hit the skids again.

Note to Betsy: I think I've found the key to a good picture. Have it taken from ABOVE.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

For the benefit of ??

Since I can't figure out where the first and second picture divide, enjoy these photos taken July 4th at the lovely and delicious Pier restaurant, to once again celebrate my parents 50th. First is the Golden couple, looking quite stunning, I think. There was a little fuss over the wine selection, but they have since forgotten about that (but are now reminded once again). We are left with only the good memories.


All the kids minus Boy20 and Neice18 outside the restaurant.


A Very Nice picture of Betsy and Chris. Good color coordination, too. Triple by-pass does one good, Chris!



Please ignore the "Susan Lucci" neck. Megan and me on the pier.

Wind Speak

Okay, Boy15 and his band heard about an open mike night at a local coffee shop. He took it upon himself to call the cafe and find out the details. The owner said, "It's mostly older people, but sure you can come and play." So Wind Speak and 10 groupies showed up on Friday night with their electric guitars, etc.

The Blue Hair crowd was indeed there, Pat and I being the only slightly younger customers. An older gent was entertaining the crowd with "Blowin' in the Wind", "Time in a Bottle", that sort of thing while Boy15's group patiently waited in a room off the main dining area entertaining themselves. The singer obviously had the show to himself in the past, as he gave no signs of letting up after 45 minutes. Finally the owner approached and he made way for "Wind Speak", the current band name. The gent with the guitar was very helpful in hooking the boys up to the amps, moving microphones, sound check, etc.

They opened with "Don't Fear the Reaper"- way to make the old folks feel better and get their attention! Polite clapping when finished. Next Boy15 sang an original mumbo jumble of words, I think it was about "trees." At that point my mother walked in to pick me up for a theater performance and got mad at me for not telling her her grandson was PERFORMING. Well, I didn't think this really counted for anything, but since I told her to pick me up there, I should have expected as much. We had to leave before the band finished so as to be in our seats 30 minutes before curtain.

I heard later they finished with "Wish You Were Here" , "Jungle Fever" (original) and "Stairway" and the crowd was most appreciative. All in all, a good experience. The band has not been able to get enough practices in to go at it again, but if they do, I will be sure to tell let you all know!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wednesday's Wondering

I wish I was poetic. I wish I was prophetic. I wish I was a good philosopher, philanthropist or

I suppose I have some other talents like awkwardly peddling down the street with a metal lock banging against my shin. I got that cut off my bike yesterday after convincing the locksmith I didn't steal the bike; my friend whom I bought it from simply couldn't find the key. After all, if I stole it, it would have been most likely hooked to something necessitating me cutting it off myself. Why do I feel compelled to defend myself even when I'm not accused of anything? That is something I would really like to change- thinking everyone thinks I am guilty of some far-fetched delusion I created in my own head.

At this yard sale I have coming up I am going to sell my old but so lovable Olympus film camera. I never, ever thought I would give up film for digital. As much as I hate computers the day has finally come that I don't see ever using that camera again. I still have the box, owner's manual, etc. I have some 'antique' Shiny-Brite Christmas ornaments I bought as an investment (impulse) several years ago. I am hoping to break even at $5 a box. No one will pay that at a yard sale, huh?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Go




Cubbies. Tonight some hottie Neal Cotts almost blew the game. Cubs were up 2 to 5 and Cotts allowed a homerun on a full count to tie it in the 8th. Fortunately, some other hottie Reed Johnson hit a 2 run dinger followed by a Soriano homer and won it for the home team.

At dinner with my parents I could barely eat, I had so stuffed myself this afternoon with Zuccini Bread I baked. So I went for a bike ride tonight, a kind of new habit. So far, so good. I toodle all over town and out on some thin country roads. I don't wear a helmet, but carry a cell phone in case I am still conscious enough to call an ambulance, as needed. I enjoy riding brakeless down hills, though I do have a bit of restimulation to a bad accident I had as a child on my bike. I hit some rocks at the bottom of a hill going rather fast when I was about 10 and got pretty scratched up on my left side. Anyway, the worst I've had at 45 is being hit in the cheek with a rock thrown from a careless guy using a weed eater. It's nice to smell the barbeques of other's food and hear the lawn mowers, now that I am hunkered down inside with the air conditioner on like the rest of world most of the summer. It's about 87 degrees according to a bank sign, and though while humid doesn't feel bad at all.



Boy14 and 15 are playing soccer in the backyard through the peach tree while I blog on the deck nearby.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Four Weddings and I hope not a Funeral



Jen is getting hitched Oct. 11 to her partner Becky. Luckily it doesn't conflict with the three other weddings I'm invited to this fall. The first is my youngest sister-in-law August 29 in Columbus, OH. She is the youngest of 10 and luckily her mom (age 75) will see her married. I think she has been worried about this. She and Jim have been hooked up for several years and this will be the first time Pat's family has been all together since his father passed away in 2000. Pat says I am moving up in in-law 'seniority.' 3 spouses have divorced out of the family since 2000.

The second wedding I have been asked to 'stand up' with my friend Terri Sept. 20 when she weds Jeff in a nearby town. We have been through a lot together so this will be fun. This is second marriage for both so it should be low-key. The reception will be outside near a lake, and I think there is going to be fresh smoked meat (not sure what kind).

Yesterday a co-worker announced her plan to renew her wedding vows in the Catholic Church and her intent to invite everyone from work. I can't remember the date, but it wasn't one of the above.

Well, I don't think I've been to a wedding in years. It's about the time where I will more likely to be invited as part of the parents-of-the-bride/groom guests. That's kind of weird, to be one of the old-timers.

As you might can tell, I'm a tad excited for it all!!