Category Archives: Fun times

Anniversary!

 

David and I are celebrating our 49th wedding anniversary this weekend.   The last couple of days we have been traveling, but today is supposed to be a day of rest.  We told each other even though we were home, we would not do any work. Which is why I have already done two loads of clothes and taken care of the chickens.  Ha!   There is no such thing as no work when I am at home unless I am sick and even then I do things.   The rest of the weekend we are going to be on the road again.

Thursday we left on a rainy day to drive to Athens, Ohio.  Just for a drive and  Ohio University is there so we figured there would be some neat things to see and do there.  We drove through rain almost the entire way. The route we chose was rather boring, so we got off it and onto another highway that was much more scenic.   But wouldn’t you know, we saw only one antique store and didn’t stop along the way.  Now I wish we had, because our whole trip we saw no antique stores that looked the slightest bit interesting.  We did stop at a little fabric store.  A man was standing in the door with rain pouring out of a gutter right over the door. But I was determined to go in so we sloshed through the rain and under the gutter into the little shop.  When we got inside, it looked like a building site with unfinished walls and ladders standing around. “We are remodeling,” the man told us.  There were a few quilts on the wall, a room with a quilting machine with a quilt in progress on it and nothing much else.  In another room there were about four shelves of fabric.  Or partial full shelves.  But among all the rather old fabric I found some Pamkitty fabric.  Really pretty and the price was right so I bought five yards of it for backing for a quilt.   So it wasn’t a total waste.  The man was really nice, but I could tell he was out of his element cutting and folding yards of fabric.  When he was trying to fold the fabric, he was more or less wadding it up and I just jumped right in there and showed him how to fold the fabric neatly.   Having had a quilt shop at one time, I have folded thousands of yards of fabric for people.  He seemed kind of relieved I did it.  It is his wife’s store and she is an RN and was at work, so he was being put to work for her.

He apologized profusely about the leaking gutter and I hope that’s on his fix it list because it will deter some people less determined than myself to enter his store when it’s raining.

On we drove through pounding rain.  Sometimes visibility was almost nil.    It made us remember one time when we were in New York and I wanted to go to this quilt shop miles away from where we were staying and we drove through much the same kind of rain storm.   And that quilt shop was rather a disappointment when we got there!   David has driven through rain, storm, hail, tornado and snow to get me to a quilt shop.  That’s part of the reason our marriage has lasted so long.  He’s a great husband.

We got to Athens later than we thought we would.  We found a little restaurant the lady at the motel where we were staying recommended and we were not disappointed.  A few days ago I got a craving for fish and we could not think of a single place in our town that served good fish except Red Lobster and we aren’t enamored of Red Lobster so we didn’t get fish.  This restaurant had grilled tilapia on a bed of rice pilaf and it was delicious!   Flaky and not fishy tasting and just the best fish I have tasted for a long while.  There is a restaurant on the river in Chattanooga, Tennessee that serves the best catfish, but it is only open certain days and we have only managed to hit it at the right day a couple of times while on our travels.

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See, it was still raining.

Not wanting to go back to the motel and spend the rest of the evening, we decided to go to a movie and we saw where the new Spider-Man was showing at the local theater.  When we got there, the sign outside showing all the movies said that Spider-Man didn’t start until the next day.  We chose another movie, but when we went inside we found that they were showing Spider-Man!  Yay!    So we bought tickets and popcorn and drinks and went inside. The theater was lit hardly at all and I couldn’t see one step in front of the other and we always sit at the very tip-top seats, if we can,  and we slowly walked up the steps. I couldn’t even see the seats it was so dark.   Finally got seated and the theater slowly filled up until it was filled to capacity.  I will tell you, the movie did not disappoint and was very exciting.  I will never look at the Washington monument the same ever again and don’t know if I would ever take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty now!  Ha.   They showed a preview of the new Jumanji  movie coming out and it looked hilarious and is on our list of movies to see.

Athens is a pretty little college town with houses built on hills.  I love old houses and the town was full of them, but because it was raining so hard the entire time we were there, I got very few pictures.   We drove around and looked at the sights.  There is an old asylum in town that you can go through, but it was not opened and we didn’t have the time anyway so we didn’t tour it.   There are walking trails all over and I would have loved to have walked them, but again, rain.

So early the next morning we got up and went in search of donuts.  We hardly ever eat donuts at home, but when we vacation we always look for donuts.  I know. They are fattening, full of sugar and down right bad for you, but we still love them once in a while.  We were going to go into a Kroger to get some when David spotted a real donut shop.  We went inside and they had lots of yummy looking donuts, but I got my usual, Boston crème and David got his usual, jelly filled and with my cup of coffee, we sat down to eat.  I was just finishing a bite when this couple sat down beside us.  Suddenly the most horrible smell hit my nose. Now David does not have a good sense of smell, but even his nose wrinkled up.  I whispered, “Where is that smell coming from?”  It was unlike any smell we both had ever smelled.  The couple sitting next to us looked perfectly clean and nice, but, the smell was definitely coming from them.  I gagged down the bite in my mouth and said, “Let’s leave,” so we gathered the rest of our food and drink and went to the car.  “What was that?” I asked.  “I don’t know, but it was the worst smell I have ever smelled,” replied David.  Take skunk smell and triple its strength and that is what that smell seemed like.  I really would have liked to know what that couple came in contact with.

We drove down the highway and found a nice rest stop with picnic tables and finished our donuts.   It was more fun that way anyway.

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I love to picnic and would eat more of our meals outside if I could.

So on we drove toward home taking a different route again and this route was wonderful.

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For a great deal of the way we had the road almost to ourselves. Through little towns where American flags waved on lamp posts.   Past old houses built along the Ohio River almost a century or more ago.

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I love old houses. I like to think of the people who lived there in long ago days.  I hope people will continue to preserve them because most of the houses built today are nothing compared to these old timers.  Built solidly to last and they have.  I don’t think a lot of the houses being built today will be around in another hundred years.

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This town was very interesting and full of history.  This tells of some Welsh travelers along the Ohio River whose women folk may have cut the boats loose when they landed because they were travel weary and wanted to settle some place. I like to think that is what really happened and that the menfolk were disgruntled that they lost their boats, but knew they had to stay in one place.  Good for those women!  They found a great place to settle.

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A monument to all the local men who had died in wars around the world.

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I’m not much for getting my picture taken, but David wanted a selfie of us, so here we are!

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Impatiens planted in planters and hanging baskets all over the town. It was all so pretty.

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An old G.C. Murphy store. Haven’t seen one of those in a long time.  They were sort of the precursor to Wal-mart.

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Barges carrying loads down the Ohio River.   David and I both think it would be fun to have  a houseboat and travel the rivers of our country.

We drove through more rain but it stopped for a little while and we decided to visit Ulysses Grant’s home and former school.  Ulysses Grant was a general for the Union army during the Civil War and became president of the United States several years afterward.

We went inside the house and there was a man standing in another room and I said, “Hello,” and he said he would be with us in a minute.  It sounded like he was talking to someone.  I looked at the visitor book and according to it, David and I were only the fifth and sixth persons who had visited that day.  While we waited, I snapped pictures.

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There is a name for this type of picture, but I cannot think what it is. It is cut from paper.

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A door that appears to go to the upstairs.  It was quite a nice home.  Rather extravagant for the day I would say.

Anyway, we waited and waited and the man kept talking and finally we decided to leave.  We drove over to the school house site.

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We didn’t go in and as we were running late and wanted to get home before dark.

David asked me as we were leaving Grant’s home, “Did you see that sign that said, no pictures?”  No, I didn’t.  Whoops.  You are looking at contraband photos of Grant’s home.

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I wonder if Grant was groomed to be a soldier?  I haven’t read a lot of history about him, but maybe I will now.   Here he is as a fine looking young lad.

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And how I remember him from history books. He always looked a little unkempt  to me.

So on we drove through Cincinnati where the rain was once again coming down in sheets and I turned on the radio and the announcer was telling how there were high winds, damaging hail and rain going through Cincinnati.  Well, of course it was. We were driving through!  We have driven through two tornadoes, countless rain storms, snow, sleet and hail.  Nothing stops us.  But I must say, it was rather harrowing and I know there were times David was driving on a wish and a prayer.  But we made it through and got home safely.

Before I go, I will mention the Fourth of July.  We gathered with a few friends at our church parking lot where we have front row seats to the fireworks across the street.   We are a group who like to play with fire.  Someone brought lanterns and the menfolk were lighting them while the womenfolk held them.

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Up and away.  There were lanterns going up from several parts of the city.  I think it ought to be a city wide challenge next year to see how many lanterns we can set adrift.   I must say, it was better than the fireworks show for me.

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The radio station that provided the music chose the most perfectly awful music to play for the fireworks.  Hardly patriotic and some were inappropriate for children to hear.   It kind of spoiled the fireworks for me.   I am hoping next year, since it is on our church’s grounds, that we play gospel music and real patriotic music for those to hear around us.    After all, we are to be a light in the darkness.

So David and I have two more days of celebrating our anniversary.  Hoping to get into some antique shops and we are going to places where the show “Good Bones,” is shot to look at some of the houses that have been renovated.  Two women formed a company and are taking one house at a time to redo, to revitalize certain parts of Indianapolis and they got their own show on HGTV. It’s become one of our favorites.  If I get pictures, I will share them.

Here’s to long marriages, traveling in the rain and the 4th of July.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

A Trip With My Fairy Godmother

A week ago last Sunday my fairy godmother, also known as Shannon, asked me if I would like to go to the Trump rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Although I had several things I had planned for that weekend, everything went out the window when I got the chance to see my president.

So, a week ago Friday we set out to drive the nine hours to Harrisburg. Through Ohio, a tip of West Virginian and through the beautiful state of Pennsylvania, which is dotted all over with charming little towns and farms.   We talked the whole way.

The first night it was dark when we got to our motel and drove up the hill to it, but we could not find the entrance. We found a restaurant.  We drove around and around in what seemed like a maze, and finally found the entrance to the motel.  We got our room and got ready for bed. I think we were asleep almost before our heads hit the pillows.  We saw the sign the next morning that directed us to the motel entrance.  We had missed it last night in the dark.

Next morning we were up bright and early, ate breakfast and continued on our drive.  We arrived at our motel, checked in and went to find the coliseum in which the rally was to be held.  We were parked a way in the Netherlands, despite the fact there were parking spaces much closer to the front door of the coliseum.  We got into a line that wove around the parking lot and out into the street.  It looked like about a mile long or longer.

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At one time the sky looked ominous, but it never rained.

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We talked to the people around us and everyone seemed very happy to be there.

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Of course there were Trump signs everywhere.

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And Trump vans.

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This is my fairy godmother, Shannon. Thank you for making one of my dreams come true.  See the parking lot?  We are walking from the Netherlands.  Probably about a half mile just to get to the line.

There was a band playing and all kinds of things for sale.  I bought a red hat. Shannon bought a pink one.

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There was a Trump impersonator who was really rather good.

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This lady was in front of us and wanted a picture with the impersonator.  He was being interviewed by a news show and she got to be on the interview.  Lucky lady!

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From the back he looks exactly like Trump.

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I don’t know what this guy was selling, but his whole spiel was about the nice cardboard he was using.  He made us laugh.

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Finally, after an hour and a half, we got to the door. Secret servicemen and women were checking everyone’s bags. I panicked for a second when I remembered I had eyebrow tweezers in my purse.  One time while in a line to go up the Washington monument in D.C.,  my purse was checked and the lady who was checking found my eyebrow tweezers and told me they were not allowed up in the monument and she took them.   I told the man who was checking my purse I had tweezers inside and he said, “Well, take them out.”  I was so nervous, but I found them and he said I could keep them, but my friend had a tiny knife that was on her keychain taken away.  She had forgotten all about it.  We walked through a metal detector and we were finally inside!

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When we first sat down this is what we saw.  People gathering around the stage.

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Every seat was getting filled. Don’t ever allow the media to say few people show up for these rallies.  I have been there.  They are packed.

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Even up in the peanut gallery or the nosebleed seats as some like to call them

All Americans were represented.  Men, women, children, teen-agers, all races and happy to be there.  Little girls dressed in red, white and blue with sequined red shoes.  Red, white and blue everywhere.  Americana at its best.

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The media was all set up. To report the truth, I hope.

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Everyone who wanted one was given a sign.

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Signs were everywhere.

Then the dignitaries began to arrive.  Excitement rose.

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Kellyann Conway, President Trump’s spokeswoman was autographing signs.

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Flags abounded everywhere.

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We were not supposed to bring our own signs, but some people got them in anyway.

A prayer was said, the pledge of allegiance recited and the national anthem was sung.

Then there were several speeches.

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Men in blue subdued an over zealous man.  Ha.

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Vice President, Mike Pence gave a speech and introduced the president.

Then the man himself appeared and pandemonium broke out.  You would have thought a rock star had appeared.

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People crowded toward the dais.

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Then President Trump began to speak. Without notes. Without a teleprompter.  Everyone listened carefully.  Then at the end he read a poem called, “The Snake.”  It’s about a kind woman who took in a poor, sickly snake and nursed it to health and then to thank her, it turned around and bit her. It’s kind of an analogy of people who we allow into our country and then proceed to bomb us and  terrorize us.  It’s happening all over the world where people don’t appreciate the country that allows them in,  Sad, but true.  President Trump wants to protect us from those people.

I know some of you do not like President Trump.  There have been several presidents I was not happy with, the last one being the worst one we have ever had, in my opinion, but he is our president and should be respected at least for the office he holds.   We are blessed to live in a country where we can vote in our leaders, unlike those countries with dictators who never get a say.  I have voted in every election since I was able to vote and will continue until the day I die. It’s a great privilege we have.  It’s actually not a right put in the Constitution.   So never take it for granted.  Someone may come along one day and want to take that right away.

Then all too soon it was over.

President Trump left.

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It was one of the best times I have ever had.

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Then we all filed back out into the night.  It was a long day, but worth every second of it.  I would do it again.   I have seen two presidents now. The other one was president Reagan who I saw in a motorcade in New Orleans one Summer day when we were vacationing there.

I hope you get to see a president some day. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Celebration

We had a lovely Easter this year.  The weather wasn’t, but the rest of the day was.  It poured rain Sunday morning right before we went to church. Then while in church, the sun came out. Our choir sang an amazing cantata which touched me deeply.  There were a lot of people in church. There were two baptisms and one little girl went forward to make a profession of faith. She is the pastor’s granddaughter, so I know it was a special time for him.

After church we rushed home where some family were already there waiting for us as church ran a little long. We had a delicious meal of ham, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, homemade rolls, corn, salad, potato salad, strawberries and for dessert, chocolate pie, banana cream pie and lemon meringue pie.   I hadn’t made pies in a long time, but these were a success and today there is only one piece left.

We visited for a while, but the children were excited about hunting Easter eggs so finally we told them it was time. There were about 200 eggs hidden, some with pieces of paper with dollar signs on them to turn in for dollar bills and some with smiley faces on them to turn in for candy.

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We made them pose for pictures which was like herding a bunch of cats.

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Could not keep their hands off each other.

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Finally, a picture we liked.  Although they still all were not looking at the camera.DSCN5090

A picture of our beautiful daughter. I have never written this on my blog, but she has MS.  She is the bravest woman I know how she handles this horrible disease. She works almost every day and raises her two boys.  I don’t know how she does it, but she took them to the zoo the other day without help.   She does have a little scooter that she runs around on and that helps.  If you have MS or know someone who suffers from it, you know it’s a very unpredictable disease and people who have it are in pain a lot of the time.  Anyway, I am proud of her and I pray every day for a cure for this horrible disease that affects so many people.  I thank God she has a husband who is very supportive of her and loves her and tries to make her life easier if she will let him!

Anyway, we finally let the kids go and they were all over the yard like a mouse on cheese and soon they were bringing their eggs up to be counted.  Everyone got some money and lots of candy.

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David was the banker. This is our granddaughter.  She asked me  how long she got to hunt Easter eggs before she was too old. I told her eighteen when she is an adult.  She will be eighteen next year. It broke her heart that she was getting too old to hunt Easter eggs.  It broke my heart, too, because she was just a baby yesterday.

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She got her money this year, though and was happy about it.

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Her brother, who I always tell him he looks like my dad, and his winnings.

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David and I saved dollars all year for this day and it’s worth the smiles.

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Smiles?

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Our oldest grandson. He’s about six feet tall and weighs one hundred and eighty-five pounds and is a tremendous athlete, lacrosse being his favorite sport.   He’s fifteen.

After all the eggs were counted, there were still five left with dollar signs in them that hadn’t been found so out they all went again and scoured the yard until they found them all. I know there is still an egg or two out there in the yard somewhere. Just recently I found one from last year.

It was a fun day and the weather became just gorgeous in the afternoon. The garden was at its perfection.  After everyone left to go home, it poured down rain again.

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Oh, I wish you could smell these lilacs.  They perfume the entire front garden. We cut several bouquets for us and  some for the kids to take home with them.

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This has certainly been a beautiful Spring.  It lasts such a short time so I take lots of pictures I can look at in the dead of Winter to remind me the garden will come back again next year.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter.  Bye.

 

 

 

Despite

Despite it is only five days before Christmas and despite I haven’t finished shopping yet and despite I haven’t wrapped any of my presents(David has almost all his done) and despite I haven’t decided what I want to feed the mob coming Sunday and despite the house needs a good cleaning and despite the henhouse really needs a clean out and despite I really need to go to the grocery to get enough food for Sunday and despite I really need to get a new hairdo(which will not happen before Christmas, now)  and despite I feel this sense of urgency, this is what I am doing instead.

I get up lazily every morning. That’s what you can do after you are retired after decades of working and raising children.  It’s been really cold here and getting out of my warm heated bed is so hard to do. I make coffee and pour some peppermint creamer in it and light the cedar candle.   After Christmas, I just may plan one day to spend in bed and read and sleep.   Like that will really happen.

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I all of a sudden decided today I needed to go through all the magazines I have collected through the years. Don’t judge me.  I have magazines from the 1970’s and still love looking through them. Magazines were much better years ago. A lot more reading in them and less ads and pictures.  Now they are all ads(mostly drug ads) and pictures with very little reading to do.  I remember when Good Housekeeping had several stories in them every month.  I don’t know why I felt this was something I needed to do, but I found satisfaction in it.  I find magazines that set me off on my love of antiques.  The décor in our house seems to have evolved through the years depending on what the magazines had in them.

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I have been knitting patchwork socks using the leftover yarn from all the socks I have been knitting.   Yes, I need to get this done immediately!

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Binding a Christmas quilt that still won’t be finished this Christmas.

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My Christmas Chickens quilt.  I still have some quilting to do on it.

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Feeding the birds. They eat all this in one day.

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Loving seeing these pretty boys in the shrubs.

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Watching this silliness on the bird feeder and laughing.

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Watching Longmire on Netflix and taking naps.  I am under all these quilts and blankets.

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Playing with these two.  I have a gun that shoots tennis balls and they would play chase the ball all day as long as I have treats for them.  See how alert they are?  I have treats in my hand.

 

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Going around the house snapping pictures of things that look Christmasy to me.

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And last but not least. I found a new blog by a woman who creates wonderful things out of fabric, paper mache, and found objects.  I will write about her blog sometime.  Anyway, she made these really cute little trees and provided a pattern and directions for them, so, of course, I had to stop everything I was doing to try to make a few of them.  I will show you after they are finished. They don’t look like much now, but trust me, they will look cute, I hope.  Her name is Ann Wood if you would like to check out her blog.  She has a pattern for hens on nests that I plan to get and make.    All this makes me so happy.

Of course none of this is what I should be doing, but I feel free and easy and probably won’t really get to work finishing up everything until Friday.  Christmas will come whether I get it all done or not.   I want to enjoy every single day.

Hope you find things that are making you happy too.  Bye.

 

 

One Season Following the Other

 

 

We did have Thanksgiving.   We really did.  It just came so quickly after Halloween and was quickly overtaken by the Christmas season.  I just want to slow everything down. Take one day at a time. Savor each moment.  Remember why we celebrate.  Spend time in prayer.  Go out into nature. Play with the dogs.   Knit.  Sit quietly and just be for a time.

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I was lazy this year and used paper plates and plastic glasses. My excuse was that then we would have time to spend time with family, play games and not be in the kitchen all afternoon.  We had ten to eat and way too much food.  I am going to have to rethink my portions and how many leftovers I want to have. The dogs and chickens got some special treats after Thanksgiving.  We really could not eat all the leftovers and it’s hard to freeze salads.  I still cook for twenty or thirty and there are never that many around our table.

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The boys modeled their turkey hat.

We played “Say Anything,” which is really a fun game for everyone.

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Gobble. Gobble.

Then it was time to decorate for Christmas.

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Out came the Christmas quilts and pillows.

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“Light” the fire.

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Set up the tree.  Every year it is fun to find the ornaments we have put up year after year.  I bought a couple of new ones this year, but most are decades old.

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I love our tree.  I don’t always enjoy putting it up and decorating it, but it is always worth it when it’s in all its glory.

Our town has a Festival of Lights every year. This year there was a Christmas village with vendors and games for children and a magician.

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We took our two youngest grandboys.

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First we took them to the indoor playground. It was packed with children. This is a climbing thing that all the kids seem to love.  It looks scary to me, but the children were climbing on it like little monkeys.   It’s a long way up there.

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The magician performed and made a little girl this hat from balloons.   He also pulled a scarf from my grandson’s sleeve. I asked him if he knew it was up there and he said, “No!”

Then we went outside and waited for the parade to start.

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The Cheer Guild was giving away cups of hot chocolate.  My grandsons enjoyed that.

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Santa made an appearance.

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Then the parade began.

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A vintage Coca Cola truck all decked out in lights.

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So many pretty, lighted floats.

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And what do you know?  Santa appeared again.  The end of the parade.  There were fireworks, but we were all hungry so we decided to drive out of town and get something to eat.  It took so long to get out of the parking lot we got to see some of the fireworks.

It was a fun night.  Only nineteen days until Christmas. I plan to enjoy and embrace every day.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun With the Grandboys

We took three of our grandsons to the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis Friday.  We started early in the morning by taking them out to Steak and Shake to eat since the food in the museum is so expensive.  Then we drove clear to the top of the parking garage which was packed and parked our car.  It’s been a few years since we took one of our grandsons to the museum and it had changed a lot.

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Dinosaurs at the windows.  Oh, my.

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The Bat mobile was of special interest.  The boys kept saying they wish they could drive it.  Not sure that would be a good idea!

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There was an exhibit of replicas of Chinese statues that were found some years ago. The real statues were life size and so were the replicas. They also had some you could put together as a puzzle. The boys enjoyed this exhibit.  I could have stayed there a little longer and read more about them, but with three boys it’s go, go, go.

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Someone had placed sun glasses on this one.

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What I love about the museum is that it is truly kid friendly and children can climb on most of the exhibits.  As you can see, our grandson thought this was fun.

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Is there a resemblance here?

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There was a Hot Wheels exhibit and cars to climb in.

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Handsome lad.  “Grandma,” he asked me. “Do you think I am handsome because I have red hair?”   “I just think you are handsome,” I replied.  All my grandsons are handsome, but I am not at all prejudiced.  And I do love red hair.

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Dressing up was part of the fun.

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From race car driver to king in one day.

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There was merry-go-round riding.

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David got to be a kid again.  I was taking pictures and then a woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was in line for the ride. I looked behind me and there was a long line of people.  Oops.  “Just watching.”  I said.

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More race cars to climb in.

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There is a magnificent Chihuly chandelier hanging right in the middle of the museum.  The last time we were here they were just putting it together.

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Leftover pieces were put in the floor.

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Me standing on Chihuly!

On the floor below this there was a rotating couch people could sit on and look up and see the beautiful colors.

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Looking up at Chihuly.

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This is what you saw from below. I was entranced by this.

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An exhibit about Anne Frank where I would have liked to spend more time, but boys.  Go, go, go. This picture of Anne was made up of hundreds of photos of people.  Her story still saddens me.

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There was a maze where, really, I was afraid I would never get out of.  I kept the boys in my sight at all times.  They knew where they were going.

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There was an exhibit and show about the space capsule that Gus Grissom, the second man in space,  flew in..  The capsule was lost at sea for thirty-eight years.   Thankfully, they were able to save Mr. Grissom, but he later died in a fire in a space capsule.  It was very interesting, and the fact I  remember when this happened made it even more interesting to me. I was twelve years old at the time and space travel was new and exciting.

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There was a train exhibit.

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Pretending to buy and sell train tickets. David and I are going on a train trip this year. Can’t wait.

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Okay, I hate my picture being taken, but David stalked me and got one that doesn’t make me look too horrible.  I won’t delete this one, David. Ha. And who is that woman photo bombing me?  And why do I look so contemplative?

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So I took another picture of my sweetie.  So, is this sign describing the bear or David?  Hmmmmm.

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The boys got all excited about Spiderman and tried to point him out to me.  I could not see him and they kept saying, “There, Grandma!”  Finally saw him and took his picture.  There was so much more we saw and a lot we didn’t get to see.  I would go back again.

It was a fun day.  We stopped at the gift shop and let the boys buy some things and then the museum was closed and we left. When we got back to the car, there were very few cars in the parking garage and the upper deck was empty except for our car.

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It had been raining all day and the sun was coming out again.

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A perfect ending to a perfect day.  Hope the boys had as much fun as David and I did.

Here’s to Grandboys and museums. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halcyon Days and Sock Love

David and I celebrated our forty-eight wedding anniversary this past week.  We decided to take a whole week from weekend to weekend to celebrate.   It’s been a long week.  We wanted to go antiquing, but most of the antique stores we went to were either closed or more like junk sales than antiques.   We wanted to go to a Daylily farm and it rained cats and dogs on us.  In fact, it rained almost the entire week.  We did manage to get to Olive Garden for dinner which was very good.   But it was still all good.  When you have been married to the same man for almost your entire life, you don’t expect fireworks all the time, but we did do fireworks one night in our driveway with some old firecrackers and bottle rockets.  There were people shooting off fireworks all around us.  Some people don’t like this time of year because of all the fireworks, but I love it.  We have had a lot of fireworks in our marriage.  Some good.  Some bad.  As we looked back on our life together, we both feel it’s been a pretty good life.  When I said, “I do,”  I meant it and still do.

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We did get to Streamcliff Farm again and had lunch with our older son and his friend.  I managed not to buy any flowers this time, but I was tempted.  I don’t know what they feed their plants, but all the flowers are huge.

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We couldn’t get over how big these begonias were.

After lunch, we went back to the daylily farm, it wasn’t raining, and yes, I bought some daylilies.

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It’s called New Creation Day Lilies and do they ever have a lot of daylilies.  You picked the ones you wanted and they dug them for you right then.

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The first day we went there, it was raining, as I said. This lady was out in a garden picking off the dead blooms.  She had a bucket full.

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This handsome fellow strutted around crowing and keeping his hens in a row.

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There were several roosters and they were all crowing up a storm.  I love hearing roosters crow.  When we went to the Virgin Islands, chickens roamed all over and you could hear the roosters crowing.  It was such a pleasant sound to me.  It sounds like country.

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The day lilies were gorgeous.

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I brought one of these home with me.  Along with four others.

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We drove through storms during our drives.

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We laugh because we have driven through so many storms in our lives and made it out alive to tell about it.

What’s life without a few storms along the way?

It wasn’t all play however.  Our rhubarb just keeps on growing and we keep on picking it.  I have made two batches of strawberry rhubarb jam.

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The first batch was eaten up almost instantly.  We had company and there was a teen-age boy who really, really liked this.  We went through a couple of jars at that meal.

We have been trying to trap a groundhog that has made its home under our front porch.  This is what we have caught thus far.

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Several bunnies that we let loose back into the yard.

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And this.

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He/she was not a happy camper.  Don’t know whether it’s a male or female and I’m not going to check.

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His/her day was not going as planned. David took it over to the woods across the street from us. Hope it doesn’t find its way back.

Still haven’t caught a groundhog though.

But we do have a lot of these and this one is becoming a sort of pet.  Coming to eat under our bird feeders every evening.

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Peter Rabbit and Farmer MacGregor is no where to be seen.   You’re safe with us, Peter.

Remember when I went to see Susan Branch at a book signing in Cincinnati?  Her husband was handing out seeds from their wisteria vine that grows at their house.  I planted the seeds and now I have two of these.

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I am hoping they will grow and produce flowers one day.

Okay, I can’t get away without writing about socks.  My fingers have been flying and socks have been coming off the needles in record speeds!

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All different sizes. That little sock.  That’s my daughter’s size. She has very tiny feet.  In fact, her next pair I have to make a little bit smaller.  She wears children’s socks.  She certainly doesn’t take after me in that respect.

I peruse yarn webpages like I use to fabric pages. My quilting has been laid by the wayside for a time.   I cannot stop knitting socks.

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I keep buying yarn.

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I really, really like these yarns I got the other day.  All variegated and different shades of color.

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I have knit one sock from this and I absolutely love it.

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I’ve got me a lot of sock loving happening in my future.    Yippee!  I never thought I would ever get the hang of knitting socks, but now that I have, it’s really very simple.  Of course, anything is once you know how to do it!

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Speaking of gardens.  My garden is not doing too shabby.  These are some daylilies I have had for years and divided and planted all over the yard.   I got the first ones at a grocery store.

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I love my Summer garden.   Every year it surprises me.  When Winter gets here, I will think I will never see this again and then, it happens like a miracle every single year.

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I wish my mother could see my garden.  She loved her garden too.  Perhaps she can see it, but then, she’s in the most beautiful garden imaginable as I type.

I will leave you with a picture of what I call the “Screaming Tree.”  When the doctor’s house next door to us was torn down, they also took out deadwood out of an old tree and just left its carcass.

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Every time we pass it I think it looks like it’s screaming.  As if it cannot believe they tore down that beautiful, old house.

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What do you think?  Bye.

 

 

 

May Days, an Author, and a Lightning Strike

We are in the merry month of May.  One of my very favorite months of the year when the flowers are in full bloom and I can plant even more.  I just went to the grocery this morning and this particular grocery has had the best perennials I have ever purchased for sell again this year.   I came home with three new lilies and some Gerbera daisies.  Now to find a place to plant them.  My garden is quite full.  I asked David the other day if he thought I would ever have enough flowers and he said, “No.”  Simple as that.  He knows me too well to think I will ever stop adding flowers to my garden.  I did take some flower starts to my oldest son this weekend who is trying to cultivate a small garden by his front door for curb appeal.  I took lilies, lambs Ear, irises and Shasta Daisies.  Now, I hope he plants them and doesn’t let them die.

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  The crabapple has bloomed and gone.  It was so beautiful and now I have to wait a whole year to see it again. 

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Begonias and some sweet flowers on the front porch.

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Look!  Aren’t these the sweetest little flowers?  I don’t know what they are called, but I love them.

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Oh, I wish you could have smelled the Mock Orange this year.  It grows right by our driveway and just walking by them one can smell their lovely fragrance.  They are thick in the Tiny Woods and since we cut the big tree down, they seem to be expanding, which is fine with me.

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David’s grandmother’s snowball bush is so lush and lovely this year.  I just want to stand and stare at it.  We have a smaller one in the back yard and one I just planted in the front yard.  It’s such a beautiful bush.  Molly tried trimming it so we had to put wire around it for a time until she got over the urge to do so.

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My little garden in a cup that I plant every year.  Just some grass and little birds and a bird house I found at a bird store.

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Don’t ask me what this plant is.  It is ferny and in the Autumn it’s branches are a bright yellow. This is the first year I have seen flowers on it which makes me very happy.  I don’t even remember planting it, but I must have as it sure doesn’t look like a weed.

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I simply love Irises because of their simplicity.  They are the easiest flower to grow.  You almost can’t kill them(as if I would try.)  They can take over my whole garden if they want to.  One day when I am too old to go out and divide and weed and plant, these Irises will grow all over my front yard and I won’t care a bit. 

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This little girl loves my garden too.

Besides gardening, I have had a seven week Bible study at my house.  It was called “What Are You Afraid Of?” By David Jeremiah.  It used Biblical references to show us why in any circumstance God is with us and will not forsake us.   It dealt with the death of loved ones, loneliness, fear of financial collapse, fear of natural disasters and other things.  We all have certain fears in life and life deals out some pretty rotten things sometimes, but God is always there in the midst of it all to help us and give us peace though the worst times.  None of us gets out of this life without something horrible happening to us or our loved ones.  I can tell you some pretty sad stories, but I don’t like to dwell on the sadness in life.   I’ve had some knocks and bings and bangs, but I have always felt like God was right there with me through them.  I know you are probably asking why God would put any of us through bad times.  He doesn’t.  we live in a sinful world and God gives us free will.  Things don’t always go as planned.  People we love die.  People we love go through tough times.  We go through tough times, but remember this, If you put your trust in God, He will see you through the worst times of your life.  I can vouch for that.

At the last Bible study, we had a British tea.  Or at least our version of a British tea.  The ladies all pitched in and we had a feast.

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Actually, the table was fuller than this and another table besides and we had so much good food to choose from.  I had made cucumber sandwiches( which I am now addicted to) and egg salad sandwiches.  I baked a sponge cake and had strawberries and real whipped cream with scones.  I am now a fan of scones also.

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These are some of the ladies.  I didn’t show their faces as we all were eating and no one wants their faces on a blog with their mouths stuffed full!  It was a wonderful study and I love all these ladies who are my sisters in Christ.

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I am still knitting socks.  I love the process.  I still have to tear out once in a while, but I don’t get all upset about it.  Just look at it as more practice.  I have taught myself a new way to pick up the stitches down the heel and around and up the heel again using one double pointed needle and my little circular needles.  It has become quite simple for me now.  The only place I really get hung up is using the DP needles to decrease the toe, but it is coming easier as I continue to knit socks.   I have several skeins of sock yarn I am looking forward to making into socks.

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I have purchased three circular needles and these cute stitch markers.  Little sheep on the end of them.  I like them better than the plain rubber circles I was using.  Makes knitting more festive somehow.

This Mother’s Day weekend, David and I went on an adventure.  We took a road trip to Cincinnati to see some special people.

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We drove along a road in southern Indiana that follows the Ohio River.

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The Ohio River is so beautiful and mysterious.  The road we were on was not heavily traveled, so we enjoyed the drive.

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Indiana roads have so much beautiful scenery.  David and I like to get off the beaten path and discover new roads.  But finally, we got into the towns near Cincinnati, Vevay, Rising Sun and Aurora.  Aren’t those pretty names for towns?  Then into the bustling traffic of the big city.  Who were we going to see?

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If you have any of her cookbooks or her first two books in this trilogy, or read her blog, you know of whom I speak.

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The Joseph Beth bookstore in Cincinnati.  I got to see Susan Branch!!!     I love her books and could not wait to see her in person.  I have seen several authors in person and it’s always been fun.

We all waited with excitement for Susan to appear.

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Suddenly, there she was right in front of us.  She told us she was uncomfortable speaking in public, but she was wonderful.  She told how her books came to life and took questions with so much patience.  You know, when you meet a well-known person, you usually have expectations of them, rightly or wrongly, that they will be as you imagined them to be.  Susan Branch did not disappoint.  She is every bit as charming, sweet, kind, nice and interesting as I thought she would be.  She is a very pretty lady with a very sweet smile and she had us all laughing and it felt like we were her girlfriends.

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I loved the outfit she had on. Very classy.  A pretty linen blouse with a scarf.  Her hair was done up in a knot on her head and she just looked darling.

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Her husband Joe, of whom she writes, was there by her side.  Her partner in crime like David is with me.

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He and David took pictures of each other.  Give a man a camera……..

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I just want all of you who read Susan Branch’s books or blog to know, she is for real and not a fake.  She is just exactly as she appears on her blog.  A beautiful person.

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And then, I got to shake her hand and she signed my book and put David’s name in it too, because I asked her to.

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I’m not at all happy to be there!

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I think I was just looking at her with adoration here.

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Look how cute she is.   I could move to Martha’s Vineyard and become her friend in a second.  I’d even make her a quilt if she wanted one.  Am I starting to sound like a stalker?  I hope not.

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I had made a new purse to take to the book signing and on a whim, I asked her to sign it and she did!  Now wasn’t that nice?  Oh, and see that top I have on?  It was new and I wore the store tag on it the whole time and didn’t know it!  David told me after it was all over.  Wonderful.  Hope Susan didn’t see it.

I had so much fun at the book signing.  Met some nice people in the audience.  People who loved Susan as much as I.  Anyway, it was a wonderful time and I am so glad I got to go.

On Mother’s day, we went with our son and his friends to King’s Island for the day.  We hadn’t been to King’s Island for probably at least twenty years.  There are a lot more scary rides there which I would not go on.  I went on one they promised me was not scary and I was crying before it was over. I am not a fan of scary rides.   There’s enough scary stuff in the world without purposely putting yourself in danger!  Security was high that day for some reason.  They were searching all purses and bags and wanding all of us as we entered.

At the restaurant in which we ate, there was a live show where they sang songs from the movies.  It was so good and had me singing right along with them.  We got some really good fudge just before we left the park.    I didn’t get any pictures of the day because I didn’t want to carry my camera around all day.  It was fun and I enjoyed watching David go on all the scary rides with our son.  He’s got a stronger stomach than I do.  It was so nice to spend time with out son also.  He makes me laugh.  A lot.

I haven’t been here for a while because our house was struck by lightning a week ago Sunday.  David and I were in bed and suddenly there was the brightest flash of light and the loudest boom I have heard that I nearly fell out of bed.  It woke David, and I said, “That hit something.”  It surely did.  We lost two televisions, our microwave, the dryer, our Direct tv, our internet, a sewing machine(I was so thankful all the rest of my machines were unplugged at the time,)  our pool pump surge control, and the circuit breaker on our hot tub.  We got everything replaced except our internet, which we just got back today.  I couldn’t wait to write my blog.

Now that all is back to normal or what I consider normal I can write more often.  Or at least I will try.

Here’s to books, wonderful authors, sons and daughters and flowers.  May they all be blessed.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

Mary Poppins!

I first saw the movie, Mary Poppins, years ago at the drive-in theater.  I fell in love with it then, and I still love the movie.  This week I got to see it on stage.  Performed by almost professional people.  High school students.  I was amazed at the professionalism.  Of course, I am not at all prejudiced, seeing as we had a granddaughter performing in the musical.

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They had four performances and we went to the Saturday afternoon show.

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It was a packed, sold out crowd.

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The children were high school students.  Hard to believe that little girl is a freshman in high school.  I thought they had gotten a couple of children to play the Banks children, but no, it was students from the high school.   They were so good in their parts.  That young lady in the hat?  What a voice.  She blew us all away with her singing.

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Here is Mary Poppins with the Banks children and Bert, the chimney sweep.  See those statues behind them?   Three girls stood for long periods of time in one position.   I don’t know how they did it.

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Let’s go fly a kite…..

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Up to the highest height……

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Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring…….

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Though her words are simple and few, “Listen, listen”, she’s calling to you.  “Feed the birds, tuppence a bag.  Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.”

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Now as the ladder of life has been strung, you may think a sweep’s on the bottommost rung.

Though I spends me time in the ashes and smoke,

In this  ‘ole wide world there’s no happier bloke.

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Step in time.  Never need a reason……..So many on the stage and they didn’t run into each other!

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Bert does a flip in midair!  Wow.

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During one song, the audience participated by waving penlights in the air.  It was magical.

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See that young lady in the glasses?  That’s our granddaughter.  She is becoming quite comfortable on the stage.

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The young man sitting here who played George Banks that day was only a stand in and had not gone through the entire play.  The original Mr. Banks was having trouble with his throat.  This guy did an amazing job.  You would not have known he hadn’t been practicing for weeks.  Like I said, professionalism.

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The costumes were so pretty.

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The stage crew did an amazing job of changing the scenery.

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Taking a final bow.  The audience gave them a standing ovation and they deserved it.

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Our son proudly posing with our grandson and granddaughter.   Look, his son is as tall as his dad and he’s only an eighth grader. Our granddaughter’s “little brother.”

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Our younger grandson, who I am sure we will be seeing on stage in the future.  His dad was in several musicals when he was in school and in college.  It comes naturally.

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Such a wonderful day.  I cannot wait to see the next musical this school produces.  Nice to be with family too.

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Oh, I didn’t tell you Bert and my granddaughter are boyfriend and girlfriend.

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They are so cute together.  And the best thing about them is they are great young people with high ideals.  He’s a senior so this is his last musical.

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It was a delightful, fun, exciting, and heart warming musical and I am so glad I got to see it. Bye.

 

 

Galveston, Oh Galveston

It’s been a busy, fun few days.  We left San Antonio just before the big rains from Hurricane Patricia hit.  We drove through rain all day to Galveston.  Sometimes it was heavy and at other times just sprinkles.  The news kept saying the worst was yet to come.

I always wondered who were those nuts who drove or even got outside during a hurricane?  Well, we were some of the nuts out driving in it trying to get to our motel we had booked for three nights.  Said prayers all the way to Galveston.

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A little rain didn’t keep us from stopping at antique stores and a quilt shop.  We found this cute little shop in El Campo, Texas.

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Cedar Chest Quilt Shoppe. It was such a cute store and the ladies that worked there were so nice. We told them we waited until we knew a hurricane was coming before we came to Texas!  This shop had so many fabrics I liked.   I think I have bought enough fabric to keep me busy right through Christmas.   See the quilt blocks on the outside of the shop?

It was raining so hard when we got to Galveston with the waves crashing on the beach.  There were actually people surfing.  Crazy.   Hurricane Patricia is making a swath through southern Texas, Louisiana all the way up to Kentucky.   We found a restaurant for dinner and while we were there, the lights went out.  They didn’t know how to do the bill without the computers.  There were very few in the restaurant, but we felt safe and the lights did finally come back on.

The next morning we found a place called The Sunflower Café.

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If you are ever in Galveston, run, don’t walk to this café.  The best Belgian waffles with berries I have ever tasted.  With whipped topping and syrup, yum.   We actually were looking for another restaurant I had read about in the paper, but it was closed.  Serendipity.  We were meant to eat here.

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Who wants to ride a ferris wheel in a hurricane?  Me!

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We braved the wind and water to be by the beach.  Don’t I look like I’m having fun?!?

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Driving down palm tree lined streets to see the sights.

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Just like houses in Charleston, Savannah and Wilmington, I am in love with these houses. Look, this person is someone after my own heart.  Flamingos on the front porch.  A big oak tree spreads its limbs over the house.

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Lace at the windows.  Colorful houses.  No taupe houses allowed here.

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I could have spent the whole day just driving by these houses and taking pictures.  I like to think about the people who live in them. I hope they love them and are happy living in them.

 

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Ghosts would be happy to live in this house.  Such potential.  A real fixer upper.  It could be so beautiful.

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Driving toward the pier, it looked like a giant ship was sitting in the street.

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Several people in our motel were going on this ship.  We talked to a couple who had just gotten off it and they said it was quite a ride through hurricane winds.    Glad it made it safely to port.

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I have to tell you about a restaurant we ate in in San Antonio.  Once again, we got off the beaten path and drove out of the downtown to see what we could find to eat.  We weren’t even sure what we were hungry for.  Suddenly we saw lots and lots of cars parked all around this little restaurant.  Let’s go try it, we said to each other.  So, in we went and there was a fun atmosphere with people carrying large bags of food for take out, families sitting and eating and laughing.  A little older lady came up to us with a pad and pencil and asked what we wanted.  I ordered the fish, shrimp and oyster platter.  Huge orders of fish with bread and French fries.  Paper towels at the tables for napkins.  All very informal and the food was very good.  While sitting there, two policemen came in and seemed to know everyone and one of them started stacking the children’s booster chairs like he worked there. We were the only non-Latinos there and we loved it. This is what I love to do when on vacation.  Eat with the locals, not with the tourists and this was definitely a restaurant popular with the locals.

We went on a ferry ride today.  More about that later.  Adios, Amigos.