Sunday, June 29, 2008

All for the love of June

It's hard to believe June is nearly over. I'm really disappointed that this wonderful month is all but gone and I feel as if I haven't paid it the proper attention. I may have been aware of my love of this month somewhere in the back of my mind, but for some reason, maybe to do with my age, I have realized recently that June might just be my favorite month.

There is so much about June to enjoy.

First Going back to my youth, June was the month that school lets out for summer vacation. Beginning with the first week in June we could look forward to those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. As a wife and mom living in New York, I could look forward to those same lazy, hazy, crazy days only beginning at the end of June. Jim would go off to work as a house painter in the summers while the girls and I planned how we would fill the long lovely days ahead. The end of school meant sleeping later in the mornings, relaxed schedules, picnic lunches on a blanket in the back yard, fresh peas from the garden. You know, lazy, hazy, crazy days

Second June really is the beginning of summer. But even before the first day of summer, we get to celebrate Flag Day. I always dressed the girls in red, white and blue outfits {well, while I still had a say in how they dressed} and we made sure the flag was hung outside. Somehow that heralded summer to me.

Third The weather is usually so mild and pleasant in June. Some days are especially warm, but for the most part, the humidity hasn't arrived in full force. The hot, scorching sun hasn't begun to dry up the lawns and turn them brown. Flowers and shrubs are blossoming and blooming, filling the days with beauty.


I love to start my days having my coffee and reading the paper sitting on the sun porch. Living in the Northeast, the days of enjoying this room are limited.

Fourth June is the month of graduations and weddings. New beginnings for so many young people. This year to many dear to us. The class of 2008 was the last class Jim taught before his retirement making them special to us. Along with graduations come parties. We enjoyed two this weekend. It's always to see the graduates and their families, visit with friends and, of course, partake of all the yummy food. We paid little attention to the diet this weekend.

There is probably much to say about June, but I'll leave more for another June.

We've had a very good week. Jim saw his doctor on Thursday to have his bandage changed and his wound checked. The doctor and his NP were both pleased. He is doing well. His pain has diminished considerably and the feeling has begun to return to his fingers. The NP gave him a steroid injection in his left hand that should give him some relief for the time it takes his right hand to heal. Thank you all for your prayers. We are so grateful to God for the progress.

We were blessed with a visit from our friend {and third daughter} Heather who came out from Buffalo to spend a couple of days with us. She chipped in and took care of some household chores we haven't been able to get to. Also her visit was a great diversion for me. There are times when this splint nearly drives me over the edge. I tend to be somewhat claustrophobic and the splint seems tighter and tighter by the minute. Having Heather here helped keep my mind off my hand.

As busy as Laurie is getting ready for Sam's graduation party, we managed to get away to Starbucks for a couple of hours. We sat outside and enjoyed our coffee beverages. Another thing I like about June - outside dining.

The week ahead looks very busy, but I am determined to be more faithful to posting on my blog and keeping with the postings of my many friends in blogland.

I will leave you with this very deep thought:

What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's all about?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

~A Week In Review~

I feel as if I've been away from this site forever. I'm sure Nancy thought I'd never post again. I will admit that it's quite a long process to type with one hand. Today, I'm tackling capital letters for the first time since my accident. Speaking of my accident, it's just eight more days until we change this splint. I harbor no illusions that I will be castless {is that a word?}. My fondest hope is that whatever replaces this one will be less restrictive. At the very least, before I'm trussed up again, i will be able to wash my hand. OOOIE! YUCK!

So anyway, back to the week that was. Other than getting a MUCH NEEDED hair cut and venturing to Wal-Mart, nothing much happened last Wednesday. Then came Thursday!!!

Opening Day of the Rochester Wegman's LPGA

This was my first professional golf tournament ever. At this point, I think that I should mention that I don't play golf, but I love to follow professional golf. Now, maybe I began this for self preservation, being married to a man who loves all things golf. Whatever the reason, I'm hooked. I have my favorites, and my UNfavorites. That said, I had a mental list of which players I wanted to see, and I wasn't disappointed. We weren't allowed to take cameras onto the course, so the following aren't my actual photographs. Among a few, we saw:

LORENA OCHOA Lorena won this tournament last year, but didn't do well this time. She is a real crowd pleaser and very pleasant.

PAULA CREAMER Paula is cute and personable.

NATALIE GULBIS Natalie is the fashion plateof the tour.

MORGAN PRESSEL Morgan did very well in th early rounds, but faded as time went on.

We also saw Annika up close and personal, but I couldn't find a good picture of her.
As well as seeing all these players, we enjoyed mingling with the courteous and friendly crowd. Jim and I drew a lot of attention and comments about our bandaged arms. The course is beautiful.

What a way to pass a Thursday in June!! We were tired but happy when we arrived home.

Friday found Jim back at the tournament while I baked cookies {one handed} for a benefit for a family whose father is terminally with cancer. It would have been quite a sight had you been able to see me. My clothing and parts of my body were covered with batter.

We spent a very pleasant Friday evening with friends at the school's retirement party. It was good food {which we managed to cut ourselves}, good friends and good fun.


By Saturday, we were rested enough to journey out to Skaneatles for a shopping day with our friends Jason and Linda. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. We watched boats, had a delightful lunch and shopped.




Jim and I spent a quiet Sunday going to church and watching the final round of the LPGA. Yesterday we went to the bank and out to lunch.

Sorry this was such a long post. If you managed to stay with me 'til the end, you are a brave soul. Have a great rest of the week.

~Hippo Hugs~

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

~one step forward~

well, the surgery has been done. now the waiting begins. we arose before the crack of dawn on monday and arrived at the prescribed hour of 6 a.m. jim drove in and per my request parked the car in end spot so leaving would beeasier for me {driving one handed}. wouldn't you know that when i went out to leave the parking garage, someone had parked their suv, illegally, next to my car. fortunately, i could back out with no real problem, but that really ticks me off.

we were extremely impressed with the surgical staff at the university of rochester medical center. everyone was upbeat and helpful. every precaution was taken to make certain there were no mistakes in identity or procedure. we were already very taken with the neurosurgeon who we had seen in his office last week. he has quite a personal story which i plan to write about when i have two good hands to type with.

the surgery, itself, didn't take too long. we were back home before noon. dr.huang said there was a lot of scar tissue. he said it will take time but he thinks jim has "a reasonable expectation of success." he {jim} will have to undergo therapy with a hand specialist. he said for this summer jim would have to enjoy golf by watching tiger woods. poor jim, even that pleasure will be denied him. tiger has just announced that he will be out for the rest of the 2008 season for knee surgery.

speaking of tiger, did any of you watch the us open this past weekend? we were so nervous, we couldn't watch. we kept changing the channel back and forth. it was wonderful.

well, back to the invalid(s). we are managing quite well (if a little awkwardly). isn't this some contraption he has to keep his hand above his heart? he even sleeps with it. wonder how much our insurance will be billed for that.

when we are out in public we get a lot of double takes. i think we must have been quite a sight doing a self checkout at wal-mart today. we are determined to go into the rochester/wegman's lpga tournament tomorrow. friday night is the faculty retirement party. jim's worried about who will tie his shoes and cut his steak for him. i'll try to snap some pictures - tune in later for new developments in the continuing saga of "the old and the feeble".

hippo hugs.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

~the two handed couple~

if you have read my blog for long, you have probably discovered that jim and i think we're pretty cute. i guess that's why we get along like do; we laugh at each other's silliness and think we are amusing. hence, the above picture. jim has been doing a lot of the cooking since i broke my wrist, but his right hand is both numb and painful. is that an oxymoron, or what? anyway, one of the things he can't do is use the can opener. after cracking up the first time we "double teamed" it, we decided we should take a picture and blog about it. here's how it works - he puts the opener on the can and i turn the handle. okay, so maybe it loses something in the telling, but it amuses us - as you can see.

today is father's day. we talked about going out to dinner this evening, but decided not to brave the crowds. we did go out to breakfast after church. our little local restaurant, the bee skep, was really buzzing. lol all the tables were full so we decided to sit at the counter. we had to wait a long time for our food, but it was worth the wait.

my usual sunday fare is something called a spring morning sandwich consisting of an two poached eggs, fresh spinach and tomato on an english muffin. all topped with cheddar cheese, can't you just hear my arteries clogging. thankfully, i only indulge on sundays.

we have a tradition in our church of asking members of the congregation to pay tribute to mothers and fathers on their respective days. i've done this both on mother's day and father's day in the past. this year, pastor asked me to find a tribute from a well-known christian to their father. try as i might, i didn't find just what he wanted. i did find some cool quotes from men and women in all walks of life.

i began, because i felt the Lord leading me, to pay tribute to those men who helped to mold my life - uncles. there are many men who for whatever reason may not have children of their own who, nevertheless, have great influence in the lives of children. in my case, it was my uncle bill.

for the first nine years of my life there was no father in our home. all of my mother's brothers had opinions about my rearing; all loved and coddled me and i loved them all. but my uncle who was childless until i was fourteen, was the mainstay in my life. he is still a shining example to me of a man of integrity, honor, spiritual strength and loyalty, and i thank him.

before i leave this post i want to thank you for your prayers for jim. last thursday, we saw a neurosurgeon. to make a long story short, jim will be having hand/nerve surgery tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. please keep praying for a good result.

i'm off to help open cans. lol

the greatest gift i ever had came from God, and i call him dad

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

~the weekend and then some~

i can hardly believe it's june 10, already. where is the time going? whizzing by, that's where. meanwhile, we are managing to muddle along with our two hands. sometimes it gets a little complicated. we've had a lot of laughs.

we managed to have an enjoyable weekend. the weather was really unseasonably warm {hot}so we tried to stick to indoor activities. we took in a matinee on saturday. the theater was cool even if the movie was not. if i were of a mind to admit i even saw the movie, i would warn everyone against. let's just say, "prince caspian" it was not. once in awhile we make a mistake in movies. this one was a lulu.

sunday was hotter still. i expected the church to be really hot, but it was really quite comfortable. the praise band played for the last time until fall. they have really gotten good. we will be losing three of the guys as they all graduate in a couple of weeks. it was a good service. pastor preached about success. it really made me think about what success means to me. has my life been a success {so far}?
when i was 16 my goal was to make enough money to buy a leather coat and get a nose job. i don't know if i counted that as success, but i never did get that nose job. i think the success came in allowing god's grace to cover my insecurity about my poor old nose.

i'm still thinking about what i count as success in my life. i'll keep you posted.

as i posted on friday, i had first dibs on the new harlan coban book. i finished it about midnight sunday/monday. a mighty good read. jim will finish it tonight. i can hardly wait to have a good book discussion.

yesterday was a very low key day for both jim and i. i sorted and filed {and tossed} here in my work room. jim did wonderful salads for dinner.

they were yummy. perfect hot weather food.

despite two rather wild thunderstorms today, we managed to get a little work done outdoors. i did a teensy bit of one-handed weeding and fertilized my hanging baskets. jim pulled a few weeds and carried some branches away that our friend peter cut for him.

peter the mulch man

it looks so nice around here now that this job is done. i know despite my best efforts to relax, i would have fretted about this all summer. now i can just look out and smile. "thanks, peter".

and two final shots of my hubby who is the best sport i have ever known.

these boots were made for gardening!

after a little work, i had a delightful lunch with two dear "ladies who lunch". the food was scrumptious and the company even better. i came home with these.

aren't they beautiful? well, the rain has stopped and i think we're ready to start the grill. have a happy evening.

hippo hugs to all.

Friday, June 6, 2008

~friday distractions~

given the state of our physical bodies, we are working overtime to keep our spirits up and our minds distracted from our discomforts. and, you know what?, i think it's working. for my part, i sleep late every morning. i know if i stay in bed until 9 a.m. jim will come up with my coffee. so,that's just what i do.

we made some tough decisions earlier this week. we called a local lawn care company and made arrangements to have our lawn mowed for the next two months at least. we gave all of our vegetable plants to our friend sandi. along with the veggies, we also gave her some flowers i had intended to pot. we have a nice public market nearby and we love going there early on summer saturday mornings. and we tell ourselves "there's always next summer."

with all of these usual summer tasks taken care of, you can see how i dare sleep until 9. neither of us is really in a position for exercising right now either. we are disappointed as we had established a really good regimen. again, we are looking forward a few weeks when we can resume this exercise. we can, however walk along the "erie canal", just at a slower pace. you know, taking time to smell the roses as it were. all this to say we are trying to find reasons to leave the easy chairs and our books.

after jim wrapped my arm in a plastic garbage bag, i managed to take a shower and wash my hair. i needed a little help so he stood outside the shower handing me my soaped washcloth and squeezing the shampoo into my hand. all in all i think we did pretty well. okay, so my hairstyle isn't that great, but nobody ran screaming in the opposite direction as i approached them.

having accomplished that feat, we decided to venture into the outside world. our first stop was the nursing home to see florence. although florence was asleep and couldn't be awakened, the other ladies clapped and cheered (honestly, they really did) when we walked in. See, my hair couldn't have been that bad. actually, i think it was my beatles shirt.

although one of the ladies did ask "who's the guy?" he looked pretty snazzy too. whatever, i think we made their day a little brighter.

of course, we take any occasion to go out to lunch, so we went to uno's and had a really nice lunch. it was 90 degrees today and though i would normally opt to eat on the patio, today i chose the air conditioning. we had the cutest little waiter.

after lunch we did several errands, picked up a few groceries, stopped at the library to pick up the newest harlan coban book (which i'm reading first) and got home just about wine time.

laurie dropped by last evening with a casserole and a bottle of wine. jim made a great salad to finish off the meal.

speaking of laurie, i have a good pic of the two of us at the wedding that i didn't post.

so, jim has gone off to bed and i'm ready to curl up with harlan. a good end to a day full of distractions.

hippo hugs.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

~one handed posting~

i am determined to post today, but to make life easier i'm going to type everything lower case. please bear with me. you have all made me laugh with your ideas of how i broke my wrist. let me tell you, it wasn't glamorous. it was, in fact, just plain stupid.

i think i'll start at the beginning. we left home at six a.m on friday.

we stopped for breakfast in buffalo, and then had a long but uneventful trip to holland. we arrived around 4 pm. with some delays and snafus, we finally met up with our kids. we had a fun time sitting by the hotel pool and catching up with family and friends.


saturday morning found us at breakfast at bob evans

wake up brian

it's difficult to snap the entire table

our waitress was a good sport

the wedding was perfect in every way. meghan and casey were adorable. looking at them, you could see their love. it was so adorable and romantic. casey's dad is a pastor and performed the ceremony. he also played the bongos and sang with a guitarist and pianist during the lighting of the unity candle. his meditation was a perfect mix of humor and solemnity.

i thought sure i wouldn't cry, but the moment i saw laurie, i reached for my tissues - well actually, jim had the tissues.

we had some time to kill before the reception so we went to 8th st. and had coffee at my favorite coffee shop in holland.

all dressed up in our wedding duds

we were joined by jeff, lara and sienna

and, of course, i found flowers to photograph

on to the reception which was lovely. the food was yummy, the wine good, the cake delicious. most of all, the fellowship was fabulous.

laurie with bob's aunt and uncle and his mom

our former pastor, john niytray with his dear wife and daughter

the happy mothers

a proud grandfather

cutting the cake

this is the point when things went a little sour for me. the wedding couple had just started their dance. paige decided she should start home to chicago. we all got up to walk her out. true to form, i was totally engrossed in telling a story. foolishly, i turned to face my family, walking backwards and chattering away. there was a step in the patio that led to a lower walkway. OOPS!!!

i think i'll stop here and finish with the details later.

one last thing - jim has an appointment with a hand specialist next week. please continue to pray about his terrible pain.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


They say one picture is worth a thousand words. My wrist is really broken. Details to follow. And I didn,t even get to dance.