Monday, July 28, 2008

Family Fun Time

I can hardly believe that it has been so long since I've posted here. I've had a wonderfully busy time since my last post. After our wonderful evening at the ballgame, we spent a busy Saturday.

We attended the last of the graduation parties for a member of the class of 2008. this was a special one as Tori had moved away and graduated from a school in a nearby town. We have managed to keep in touch with her and it was cool that she invited us to her party.

After church on Sunday we travelled to Pennsylvania once again. It's unusual for us to go down twice in such a short time {about 10 days}. We did want to see Jim's mom again, but another incentive was that our great nieces from Tennessee were visiting their grandparents.

First about Mom. I think I posted that she had broken her hip. She had surgery, was in a nursing home for rehab and was quite discouraged. When we last saw her, I left with a very heavy heart. I thought she would spend a long time {if forever} in the nursing home. Well, guess who was wrong? She is back in her residence, doing really well.

Would you believe she is 93 and just recovering from hip surgery? She is an amazing woman. She is one of my heroes.

After visiting with her, it was on to Jim's brother's home to see the greats. To our utmost delight, all seven of the grandchildren were there. Talk about mayhem!! It was such fun.

First of all, I was surrounded with little girls full of hugs and kisses for their old great aunt. Secondly, to my great delight, I got to hold the newest member of the family, Wyatt William Wolfanger. I call him Talk about a cutie!

Ask me if I was having a good time? Wyatt is six months old and this is the first time I've seen him in person.

And then, a picture with the whole gang. Andrew didn't want to be in the picture, but his mom held him and he consented.

I wish I could see more of them. They are delightful children. I guess to be fair, I need to post a picture of the children with their grandmother since she so generously shares them with me.

Andrew happily participated in this picture after his mother whispered in his ear. I asked her what she said and she told me she promised him a cookie.

Before we knew it, the time had flown and it was time to start back home. We reluctantly kissed everyone goodbye and drove away. I couldn't stay sad for long because we were bringing my Aunt Bets home with us for a short visit.

Bets is my dad's baby sister. She and my Aunt Mary are all that are left of the eleven siblings in my dad's family. She is 79 years young, has macular degeneration and is a barrel of fun. We always have the best times together.

Several years ago, we went to Las Vegas together for a week. We're still laughing about that trip the highlight of which was that she won $500 on a nickel slot machine.

She stayed with us from Monday until Thursday and we had a great time. We visited her granddaughter and her new husband, had lunch and dinner out. Oh yes, breakfast too. She had a pedicure which she doesn't get to do in the small town where she lives. It was a great week for all of us.

Aunt Bets with Abbey and Jim.

We have such fun together.

I've basically been resting up since Thursday. Now I have to catch up and get ready for our vacation in the mountains. I am so excited. I love the mountains and we have such a relaxing and fun time with our friends Bruce and Shelly.

I'm hoping to post some past mountain photos before we take off on Wednesday. Until then, thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Oh what a night!!! Isn't that the title of a Four Seasons' Song? Well, we had such a great night on Friday.

Some time ago, I had read in the Rochester paper that there was an upcoming Redwings' game where the philharmonic orchestra would be playing and fireworks would be featured. My passing thought was, "That would be a lot of fun!" Then, I threw the paper in the recycling and promptly forgot about it.

UNTIL Jim came home from coffee one Wednesday morning and said that his friend George was organizing a group from his church to go to this game where the orchestra would play and fireworks would be featured. LIGHTBULB.

We contacted some friends, ordered tickets from George and were off to the ballgame Friday evening.

It was great. It was a really warm and humid evening but there was a nice breeze blowing and it was really comfortable.

I'm sure you know the story of people who go to the ball stadium, get a hotdog and a beer and are perfectly happy. Let me tell you that's not me. Frontier Field has many food kiosks and I eat from the best; the Red Osier Prime Rib Pit. We had the best prime rib sandwich and baked potato with cheese and broccolie. YUMMY!! With a full tummy, I could settle in and {talk to my girlfriends} through the whole nine innings.

Sienna came to her first ball game.

Good company at the ball park.

The game was really fun even if our team lost by six runs. It was a good game with lots of runs and we all enjoyed the game and the ambiance of the ballpark.

By the time the 7th inning stretch came along, we gals had to have some coffee. So off we went to look for Starbucks. Look what we found.

This horse is made totally from old ball gloves. It is really amazing. I told my friends to stand by the horse and just as I was ready to snap the picture someone lifted their little girl onto the horse. I decided it added to the authenticity of the horse.

The game over, the Philharmonic played for 45 minutes. It was truly wonderful and I would have been in heaven had the people behind me not talked out loud through the entire concert. I don't know what it is about an outdoor concert that leads people to think they don't have to display any etiquette.

I took several shots of the orchestra which didn't come out very well. This one was shot displayed on the big screen.

The fireworks were some of the best we have seen in years. The most unbelievable part of this whole evening was that it cost us $8.50 per person {not including the roast beef and Starbucks}. How's that for a perfect evening?

"If the fans don't come out to the ballpark, you can't stop them."
Yogi Berra

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here and There

My blogging friend {and high school class mate} Nancy recently did a post consisting of bits and pieces of her life currently. I really enjoyed reading that - so here goes:

A Weekend Visit

This past weekend was Jim's family reunion. Being overwhelmed with graduation parties {all of which we were delighted to be invited to} we reluctantly had to opt out of the reunion. Also, in all honesty, we don't know many of Jim's cousins and their children and grandchildren. Anyway, in spite of that, Jim's cousin Gary came in from Indiana and spent Friday night with us. Now, as some of you may know, Jim and I grew up on the same street. My sister-in-law Bonnie also grew up on our street. Weird, isn't it? It's not quite as bad as marrying your cousin, but runs a close second. But I digress. Gary and his brother Tom, along with their parents, Uncle Henry and Aunt Geraldine came to Austin to visit for a week every summer. Thus, I knew Tom and Gary too. Sadly, Tom passed away, as have Uncle Henry and just this spring, Aunt Geraldine. We had spent some time with Gary and Aunt Geraldine a couple of years back on our way to Vegas.

Aunt Geraldine at age 87

The four of us

We had a perfectly delightful time with Gary. He is a vegetarian -which we definitely are not. Jim grilled two beautiful portobella mushrooms for him and a steak for us to split {Yay Weight Watchers}. We sat on the porch until late in the evening enjoying libations {Oh Cheryl, I LOVE that word}. He didn't leave until about 11 on Saturday morning giving us even more time to reminisce.

The cousins


I think I mentioned previously that we were having adult VBS at our church this week. What a blessing it was. The guest teacher, a professor at a local seminary, taught on "The sermon on the mount". I have heard the beatitudes explained, I memorized them in Sunday School and have read them hundreds of times in my own devotions. Never before have I had such an understanding of them as this week. It was great. We met Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. We prayed, sang, studied and ate. Who could ask for anything more?

Here's Judy creating a ruckus!

Doug Teaching

Enjoying food and fellowship

It was a wonderful few days of learning and fellowshipping. BTW, Judy NEVER creates a ruckus. She is one of the dearest sisters in Christ one could ask for.


This morning after coffee with my dear Loser Housewives, it was off to our monthly stamping workshop. What fun that is. For one thing, I learn new methods of stamping. For another, I get the urge to come home and stamp up a storm. Here is what we did today.

A double pocket card

Slider cards intimidate me I still have to figure out a way to cover up my goof on this one.

I really like this one

Now I need to buy chalk

I came home from stamping raring to go out and do something so Jim took me to lunch at one of our favorite little restaurants, The Corner. We had great salads and then went to Wal-Mart to buy a curtain rod and a curtain for our front door. More about that to follow.

I ended my afternoon by walking 2-1/2 miles and taking some pictures of my garden. I will leave you with these images.

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations
I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them, and try to follow where they lead"
Louisa May Alcott

Monday, July 14, 2008

Moment of Truth

In a recent post I said that I almost never cry. I think the truth might be that I almost never let myself cry. Tonight has been an exception to that. I just finished reading Kristin Hannah's Firefly Lane and there was no way I was going to stop the tide of tears.

The problem is that once they start flowing, the tears take on a life of their own. No longer am I crying for the characters in the book, rather I am crying for the pain and hurts of this life.

One minute I'm standing by the hospital bed of my dear sister-in-law Bonnie kissing her goodnight for the last time. Remembering all the crazy and zany things we did as teenagers, or reliving one of our great vacation trips.

Then there are tears for my precious brother who I loved with all my heart. I can see his face and hear his voice, and I cry for all the time we will never have. I cry for my sister who is gone; whose life was never quite what she wanted it to be. There are tears for my parents; my friend Nadine who died so very young.

Then the broken dreams and disappointments hidden so deep in my heart they rarely see the light. Not until that unguarded moment, sitting alone on the porch reading a novel that breaks the dam of self-control and lets all the hurt and loss tumble forth.

In retrospect, isn't it healthy once in awhile to let one's guard down, to cry a few cleansing tears? I guess I'll have to be more careful about my choice of books in the future. Or maybe not.

Hippo Hugs

Thursday, July 10, 2008

~Where Oh Where Do I Begin?~

It's been a week, and what a week, since I've posted. My wrist is getting stronger every day. I have been so busy that I haven't yet scheduled my physical therapy, but even so, I am doing better.

So, I'll start with the wedding weekend. Bright and early Thursday morning, Jim and I started out for the Adirondacks. It rained all the way there and continued to pour when we arrived at Bruce and Shelly's cabin. We made a brief stop there to drop off some breakfast goodies we had prepared for their house guests.

From there, we were off to the Big Moose Inn to check in. It was past lunch time and we were slightly ravenous, so after we checked in, we drove a few miles up the road to "Big Moose Station", a restaurant housed in an old railroad station. It is a restaurant we have always enjoyed and this trip was no exception.

Because it was raining, we decided to have dinner in the dining room of the inn. We spent the afternoon reading, enjoyed a quiet dinner and were off to bed early. It was soothing to fall asleep to the sounds of the loons on the lake and the croaking of the resident bull frog.

Friday was a gorgeous day. We spent the morning reading on the deck and enjoying the scenery.

Big Moose Lake

We decided to do a little shopping in Old Forge after lunch. It is always fun to browse through the Old Forge Hardware. Jim bought an egg poacher. I found some unique decorations for the seasonal tree on the porch. (Pics to follow). We had an early dinner in Old Forge and then went to Bruce & Shellly's to watch fireworks on Fourth Lake. The fireworks were a bust, but the company was great.

Shelly and her parents, Don and Louise Jim and I want to adopt them.

The future bride and groom.

Saturday found us at odds until early afternoon when we were expected to report for servant duty at the cabin. We bid goodbye to the Big Moose Inn.

With time on our hands, we decided o take a trip to the outer limits for lunch. Stillwater Reservoir is as remote as I want to get. It is truly out in the middle of nowhere. And, I love it. We had a wonderful lunch and watched the hummingbirds. These birds will actually land on your arms if you are patient enough.

The restaurant at Stillwater is a favorite stopping place for snowmobilers in the winter. Marion, the owner, told us they serve as many as 1500-2000 people in a weekend. Hard to believe, isn't it?

Here is a shot of a yearly tradition by seniors in the local high school. they toss their sneakers over an electric wire across the road.

The wedding rehearsal went off without a hitch.

Father of the Bride

The Bride and Groom

Krazy Firemen This band that Shelly and Bruce are members of, play at the weddings of all the band members' children. Since Kara and Jeremy are both music teachers, music was an integral and wonderful part of the wedding.

And finally, The Worker Bees

This is a picture of Bruce's sister, Pat and her husband Jim along with Jim and me. We helped serve the rehearsal dinner as well as some other little projects along the way.

I'm going to leave this fantasy weekend at this point. I am still reliving and trying to digest all that transpired. Due to the busyness of the wedding day, I have no pictures of my own. My friend, Phyllis, will send me some when she arrives back home. I'll post them with my musings on the wedding itself then.

Thanks for your patience with this lengthy post.

I'll close with a line from the toast of the bride's sister, Tracy.

"As you look back on your life together, I hope you will find that
today was the day you loved each other the least."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Independance Day!!

I hope all of you have a fun-filled 4th of July. Jim and I are off to the Adirondack Mountains for a weekend of relaxation and fun topped off by a beautiful mountain wedding.

I'll beback next week with tons of pics.

BTW, this is how I'll go to the wedding.

It hurts more, but is much less restrictive. I celebrated with a manicure and pedicure.

See you all next week.

~hippo hugs~

"To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides."
David Viscott

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Am...

Some time ago, Cheryl had this post and challenged us to post the "I am's" about ourselves. So, here goes...

I am: really ready for this splint to be removed. I have tried my best to maintain a positive attitude, and for the most part I think I have succeeded, but I will be really happy tomorrow at 1:30 PM. I expect to be in some apparatus for several more weeks, but just a half hour reprieve will be welcome.

I miss: My sister-in-law, Bonnie. She has been gone three years and I miss her every day.

I shop: Sporadically, but when I so, I most always find something I "just can't live without".

I hear: The chirping of the birds outside my sun porch.

I crave: My friends would all say attention, which is true. But right now I also crave a Wegman's chocolate brownie. Yummy!

I love: Jim and our daughters, my son-in-law Brian, and my extended family and friends.

I wonder: What my son would be like had he grown to manhood.

I celebrate: Everything I can.

I always: Love to take a nap.

I sing: Poorly. I sing very loudly when I'm alone in the car.

I cry: Much less than I used to. I think the sadness and hardships of life have taught me not to cry over small things.

I don't always: Finish projects I start. Knitting is a perfect example.

I pray: A lot but even still, I often neglect my quiet time. I'm working on that.

I write: Because I love to.

I lose: Everything but weight.

I need: People.

I surf: Not

I dread: Becoming a crotchety old lady. Nah! That won't happen.

I anticipate: The joy I'll feel when this splint is removed.

I laugh: As much as I possibly can.

Today has been a perfectly gorgeous day. Jim helped me with my summer program at a local library. We had 39 children and 20 adults. It was fantastic.

"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our
dispositions, not on our circumstances."

Martha Washington