Saturday, August 30, 2008

~Look Who's 40~

Once in awhile someone enters your life unexpectedly and you know immediately that you've made a new friend. That happened to me when I began to read Cheryl Wray's blog. Although I am old enough to be her mother, I feel we are kindred spirits. And so I want to wish my dear friend a Happy Birthday and accept her invitation to celebrate with her at her blog party.

I thought long and hard about what I should wear to this party. I looked through my wardrobe, tried on dresses, pants, gowns and finally came up with the perfect outfit to really celebrate in.

I figured that we could "clown around" and have a great time. This is one of my alter egos, "Fribble the Clown". Although I haven't been Fribble for many years, he still lives in my heart and mind.

I love almost all desserts, but chocolate is my all time favorite. I decided to bring my husband's favorite, German Chocolate Cake. Since I'll be making that for him on September 4, I thought I'd just make an extra one for you, Cheryl.

As to what I'll do to celebrate. Oh Cheryl, since we are kindred spirits, you know what I'll do.

Since you and I won't be together to drink this toast, I guess I'll have to sacrifice and drink both glasses.

As for a gift. My gift is the wish for joy and peace and laughter for at least another 40 years. Happy Birthday, friend.

~hippo hugs~

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy 40th to Us~

I had such good intentions about blogging every day approaching, today, our 40th wedding anniversary. Well, you all know what they say about good intentions. Friday and Saturday turned out to be a whirlwind of activity around here.

There was last minute shopping, putting up the tent for our party, the arrival of our house guests, eating, imbibing, more last minute shopping, etc. etc. There just wasn't any time for posting on my blog.

As it was, I can't imagine getting everything done without the help of Jim's brother and his dear friend. We are so grateful to them for coming and pitching in.

The party was wonderful. The caterer outdid herself with the excellent food. My dear friend, Sandi, designed beautiful flower bouquets and the weather cooperated. If only we could have sent the mosquitoes on vacation, all would have been perfect.

Tracy, my precious next door neighbor, took lots of pictures. Her are a few of her favorites. I'll post more when I receive them.

I had kept my wedding gown, all wrinkled up, in a bag in the attic. I took it to my friend, Claudia, and she steamed it and put it on her dress form. Isn't it lovely?

We served the cake and coffee in our dining area. The appetizers and drinks were under the tent and the main course was served buffet style on our enclosed porch. The logistics worked well. Again, a big thank you to Cathy for her help.

The Brothers Wolfanger had a great time making fun of "The Gown". The women, of course, thought it was a lovely idea. As an aside, Laverne was in Viet Nam when we were married and wasn't able to be at our wedding. Having him with us this weekend was a real blessing.

Once again, Jim proved himself as a gifted public speaker combining just the right amount of sentiment and humor to put everyone at ease. His prayer before dinner was touching and sincere. For once, I said nothing.

BUT, now it's my turn to pay tribute the wonderful man I married forty years ago as I finish the "40 Fab Things About Jim".

21. He cherishes me.

22. He doesn't complain about my messy office.

23. He encourages my intellectual and academic growth.

24. He listens to my dreams.

25. He tolerates my whims - but adds a touch of reality.

26. He grieves when I grieve and rejoices when I rejoice.

27. He dusts my hippos.

28. He watches "chick flicks" with me.

29. He gives me a back rub, just because.

30. He taught me to drive a five speed.

31. He stops for coffee whenever I want.

32. He prays with me.

33. He treated my mother with love and respect.

34. He encourages my hobbies.

35. He is a cool father-in-law.

36. He loves Jesus.

37. He tolerates my clothing and jewelry obsession.

38. He is just generally fun to be with.

39. He has excellent taste in women.

40. Aside from salvation, he is God's greatest gift to me.

It's been quite a ride these past 40 years. We are hoping for more. As the writing on our cake said, "Grow old with me...the best is yet to be." From our mouths to God's ears. Happy Anniversary, darling.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

~The Countdown Continues~

I don't think I mentioned in my earlier "Countdown" post that we are having a party on Saturday to celebrate our anniversary. We talked about it and decided that since our kids are so far away and busy with their lives, we should just go ahead and throw a party for ourselves. Forty years is a lot to celebrate and anyone who knows me knows I LOVE to celebrate.

In the midst of getting ready for a party and house guests, we are trying to make this week special. So, today after we did our two mile walk, we decided to celebrate with a lunch by the lake. It was a gorgeous day and who knows when it might rain again, so we celebrated the weather by going to lunch. It was perfect on the deck looking out on Sodus Bay. We took the long way to the restaurant, through orchard country. The apples are ripening and getting ready to be picked. We enjoyed the ride. I want to make a peach pie tomorrow but didn't see any fruit out by the road.

Okay, let's get back to the countdown. So, Jim and I started to date. He was still in college and I was working, but we managed to see each other many weekends that spring. By summer, it was just understood that I would come home every weekend and we would do something together. It was a really fun summer, one of the best of my life. When Jim went back to school in the fall, I was already hearing wedding bells.

It was a long winter. In February Jim asked me to come with him while he interviewed for a job here in the town where we now live. He signed a contract to teach here and that night I asked him if he was planning on marrying me. How's that for a romantic story? Oh yes, it was Leap Year. And he said he was.

I'll finish up this post with ten more "Fab Things About Jim".

11. He makes me laugh at least once every day.

12. He holds my hand when we walk down the street.

13. He scratches where it itches.

14. He made me a mom.

15. He buys me donuts.

16. He is proud of my accomplishments.

17. He writes to his mother every day.

18. He shares the housekeeping load. (Actually, he does more than I do)

19. He thinks my blogging is cool.

20. He loves to travel.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

~Countdown to 40~

On August 24, at 12 Noon, Jim and I will have been married 40 years. We are really excited about this milestone in our marriage. As a prelude to the "big day" I thought I'd spend this week writing about our marriage.

I met Jim when I was nine years old. My mom and I got married that summer. My biological father had never been involved in my life, so when my "Dad" got my mom, he got me too. We moved into the new home that my father was building across the street from Jim and his family. Although we were both pretty cute kids, the romance came years later.

He was the guy across the street and I was Bob's sister. We were friends, but he was a grade behind me and we just travelled in different worlds. I remember sitting on our front stoop one summer evening and signinga paper saying that when he was 16 and got a car of his own, I'd go on a date witih him. That didn't happen, at least not at 16. But one morning a few years later, for some reason I don't remember now, I called him. And from there, it's all history.

I know some people talk about fate bringing them together; they were in the right place at the right time, spotted each other across a crowded room, etc. I know that it was God that brought us together. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this the man God had chosen for me. Although I'm a believer in free will, I sure am happy that when God spoke to my heart about Jim, I listened and so did he.

I've put together a list of Forty Fab Things About Jim. There are way more than forty wonderful things about my husband, but I can't possibly list them all. Here are the first ten, listed in random order:

1. He always gives me the biggest piece when we share.

2. He is a completely honest man.

3. He tolerates my messiness. I can't say he likes it, but since he loves me, he tolerates it.

4. He never says, "Don't cry", rather he holds me til I stop.

5. He reminds me to take my pills.

6. He still holds the door for me.

7. Never complains about potty stops when we travel.

8. He is a super father to our daughters

9. He points me in the right direction (even when I resist).

10. He loves the theater as much as I do.

Needless to say, I think I'm a pretty lucky lady. Stay tuned for more.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

~Shopping With Kacy~

I had the great pleasure of a visit from my niece Kacy and her mother this weekend. Kacy is my deceased brother's only child and a real joy to me. She is the youngest of my mother's grandchildren and a surprise to all of us. She certainly does her part to keep us young.

My SIL, Deb, emailed me last week to say they were going to come to our area to shop and spend the night in a hotel as a treat for Kacy. I was a little disappointed that they were staying in a hotel, but remember how much fun that was for me at that age. The plan was for us to meet them for dinner, so I was appeased. BUT, to my great delight, Kacy decided she liked it better at my house and they came here on Thursday evening. Also to my delight, they decided to stay over on Friday night too, and asked me to go shopping with them on Friday.

We left my house about 10 A.M. bright eyed and bushy tailed. We stopped for breakfast at our local cafe. I love to show her off as much as I can. I'm amazed at how much she changes from time to time that I see her. I last saw her in October and she has grown taller and more lovely in that time.

We drove to a nearby mall and started our day with Kacy having highlights and a hair cut. That gave Deb and me time to shop a teensy bit for ourselves. We both knew that the day wasn't about us, but we did manage to purchase a couple of things.

Then the fun began. I received a total education in what's cool and what isn't. My vocabluary has increased a lot. Words like, Zumiez, PacSun, Delia's, Hot Topic, Urban Behavior, Hollister and Aerie have now begun to make sense to me. I thought of our friend Cheryl as I followed after this little ball of energy all afternoon while she traipsed from one store to another. I learned the difference between skinny jeans and super skinny jeans. I discovered the names of bands I had never heard of before. After an hour, my head was spinning. There was one moment when Deb and I felt cool as we danced to the music in Abercrombie and Fitch. The feeling was short lived with one whithering glance from Kacy who was clearly embarrassed by our behavior.

By 5 P.M., I was whipped, but determined to keep going as long as they could. By then I had taken to going into the mall and sitting on a bench, guarding packages while she tried on clothing. About 6:30, they came out of a store, both with glazed expressions on their faces saying, "We've had it." Hallelujah. I called Jim and told him to order a pizza and wings, we were on our way home.

Of course, we had to bring in the packages to share the bounty with Uncle Jim.

This is the VERY EXPENSIVE hairdo. I told Jim that when the hairdresser told Deb the amount, she very calmly paid for it and then turned around and picked me up from the floor. WOW!! I'm glad my girls pay for their own hairdo's these days. On the other hand, isn't she just the cutest?

Kacy and her "baggage".

A few less packages for Deb. The beer is a consolation prize.

"Thanks, Mom".

Both Jim and I really enjoyed our time with them. They are so easy to have around and we always laugh a lot. Kacy has taken to calling me Aunt Pamela. She says she likes the sound of it and, you know what? Me too.

We were all tired out from our day of shopping and went bed early. Kacy was still recovering this morning.

After a nourishing breakfast and a shower, she managed to revive enough to start for home. The house sure feels quiet and empty this afternoon. Love you, Kacy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

~Tales from the Camping House~

Words fail me when I try to describe the peace and quiet, the total sense of relaxation that envelops me when I arrive at the Camping House., as Sandi's youngest son named his grandparents rustic cabin many years ago. It is one of my favorite places on earth.

This haven is far from the sounds and cares of civilization. I think I've mentioned before that it lacks electricity and running water. At night it is totally dark with only the lights of heaven to infringe upon the darkness. The only sounds are those of nature. It is a nearly perfect getaway.

We arrived at Sue's home around 4 PM and spent some time visiting with her and enjoying the view from her log cabin home.

We loaded all our gear into Sue's John Deere Gator which Sandi and I call the JD and drove through the woods to the camping house. Sue and Sandi rode in the JD while I walked over with Sandi's dog Sara. It was pure joy for me to be able to walk through the woods, by the pond to the house all the while letting the quiet and wonder of this place wash over me.

After a lovely dinner which Sandi prepared (there is a propane stove in the cabin), we took a walk around the pond

where I took pictures of wild flowers.

We read awhile by oil lanterns, but gave up early and went to bed. Needless to say, I slept very well. It was quite chilly but I wrapped myself in a couple of blankets and slept with the windows wide open.

We awoke to fog and drizzle so, after a breakfast of bagels and home made jam, we spent the morning reading and chatting. Sandi is in the middle of a knitting project and divided her time between her book and a sweater for her latest granddaughter, Evelyn.

By noon it had cleared and Sandi and I ventured out once again. This time we walked an old roadway to a field where the view was fantastic.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this uprooted tree. I plan to do a scrapbook of wild flowers and nature someday soon.

Sandi and Sara at the edge of the field.

A view of Keuka (one of the Finger Lakes) Lake.

Lunch was my job. I made wraps, a vegetable salad and fruit. I guess it's the fresh air that makes us eat so heartily. Food sure does taste good. The afternoon brought more rain, which brought more reading time. I actually finished my book by the end of the day.

Speaking of the end of the day, it did arrive. About 5:30, we started to pack up and get ready to head home. We decided to stop at a lakeside restaurant not too far from the cabin for dinner. We persuaded Sue to join us, thus extending our visit with her for a bit.

Sue in the JD.

Sandi and I beside the pond.

The sun was setting over Keuka Lake as we ate our dinner.

We arrived home rested and relaxed and ready to take on the world.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

~Another Birthday~

Can you believe it? Another birthday party! This time we were invited to a Princess Picnic. The princess is our three year old friend, Sienna.

We had a lovely afternoon celebrating with friends of all ages. I think everyone was enjoying themselves, some more than others. This family came in "Kingdom Regalia".

Admittedly, a bit of the "foolish" part of the kingdom. It was fun seeing them getting into the theme though. Notice that Meg has on her tiara. Once a princess always a princess. I'm very sensitive as we have a princess in our family tool

Here our princess, used to the Nevada summers, freezes during a visit to her "winter castle". As she always says, "It's not easy being a princess, but someone has to do it".

Today's princess even had her own castle. She was a little frightened of it initially, but by the end of the day, she was saying "Come on Friends, let's go bounce".

I loved this picture of all the little princesses having a snack. I took the picture through the screen door.

Those of us who aren't grandparents really enjoyed our time with all these little ones. And, there were babies everywhere. Some of whom, I was able to hold---until they cried, then it was back to Mommy. Here is Lenora with her beautiful mommy.

I really had to post this today, as tomorrow Sienna's grandmother and I are off to the wilderness to spend a couple of days. Sandi's mother owns a really, really rustic camp where we like to go and "get away from it all". The camp has no electricity or running water. We really "rough it" when we go there. I can hardly wait. I'll have lots of pictures and, hopefully, good stories to post on Tuesday. Until then, "goodbye civilization".

Thursday, August 7, 2008

~Happy Birthday, Florence~

Today was Florence's 83rd birthday. This has been a tough year for my dear friend. Shortly after Jim and I returned from Nevada, she was hospitalized. There were days when I thought we would lose her. She has recovered somewhat but still isn't all the way back

Nevertheless, I think she really enjoyed her birthday. The Recreation Director for her floor is a delight. She ordered hamburgers and fried from a local restaurant for lunch for the whole floor. She said Florence really enjoyed the food and ate a whole hamburger. That's really unusual for her.

When we arrived with the cake (which her friend Bill had provided), they were all gathered around the lunch table waiting for us. They have a volunteer, Ron, who comes in and plays the guitar for them. We could hear him singing as we came down the hall. We arrived with our cake to cheers and applause. These folks are so much fun.


Cee-Cee, one of my favorite aids, helped us serve the cake and scoop the ice cream.

This dear lady really likes Jim. Everytime we come she asks "Who's that guy?" I told her today that I was sorry, but he was taken. She just laughed.

This is Florence's roommate who I adore. She is the dearest lady.

This gal is new to the floor. She is so pleasant and easygoing. She loved the cake. Actually, they all did. We had a really fun time.

And here is the birthday girl. She said she couln't remember when she had such good cake. She thanked us over and over for everything. What a dear friend she has been to me these many years. I hope this is a good year for her.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Catch Up Monday

I've just spent a lonnnnng time posting only to discover I did it all on my picture blog (which I haven't been posting on). If you are interested in all the wonderfully witty and profound things I've said in this post, just click on the link to my pictures. Sorry about that. DUH!!!