Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday Musings

Even though I haven't posted for several days, I'm really having a hard time coming up with something interesting to talk about. We've been busy, and have accomplished much, but most of it's rather boring.

Friday was a perfectly lovely day here. The temperature was around 73 degrees, sunny, blue skies. A perfect day to do spring projects. Jim really got busy early in the morning.

Being the prince that he is, and knowing that I would want to sit on my summer porch sometime during the day, he cleared all the Christmas wreaths, trees and winter junk out. Then he vacuumed and put the rugs and furniture back where it belonged. This is the site that greeted me when I came downstairs on Friday morning:

Not being a shirker, he then went straight to work on his garage. I wish I had taken a picture of it before he started. It was just ugly, full of winter salt, mud, stones, etc. Once it dried out he, of course, had to move all the things back in. It really looks nice.

In the meantime, I decided to clean out a section of the desk in my office/work room. Maybe you can guess what that led to...

I'm still in the middle of a BIG MESS but I have decided this was a necessity. I have piles of things that I am determined will not go back in this room. I am really trying to be ruthless in culling out the mess. Jim is very proud of me. I know I'll be happy when it's done, but for now, it seems like an endless task, especially when I'd rather be stamping or scrapping or making aprons.

Speaking of aprons, here is some really fun summer fabric I found the other day. All on sale at JoAnne's. I'm hoping to make aprons soon. I keep telling everyone I'm not a seamstress, but an apron is the first thing we sewed in 7th grade Home Ec. Let's see if I remember what my dear Mrs. Streeter taught me. (Nancy, I think it was really Mrs. Painter who taught us to make aprons. I just didn't love her like I did Ma).
Saturday was an even warmer day than Friday and with that, I think Spring really sprung in our little corner of the world.

The forsythia is just beautiful this year. Jim and I went out to lunch today and we couldn't believe how everything has blossomed forth over the weekend. The Magnolia trees are just gorgeous. Here's my little peach tree that just sprouted blooms this weekend.

And now, even though my office still looks like the Merry Ned, I'm going to take this and sit on my porch and read for a few minutes.

~Hippo Hugs~

"The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get

kind that comes from within: strength, courage, dignity.

Ruby Dee

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday's Random Countdown on Thursday

Cheryl had a fun Random Countdown on her Tuesday post. I decided to change it a little bit to suit myself and post it here today. So, here goes:

Five women I wouldn't mind being: You know I can't do a whole post without pictures.

1. Lesley Stahl - I think she is one of the classiest ladies on TV. I love her hair style, her jewelry, her whole demeanor. I have always thought I would make a good TV news person.

2. Condoleeza Rice - Another classy, smart and savvy lady. I would have voted for her for president in a New York heartbeat.

3. Fannie Flagg - I love her style of writing and am totally smitten with her characters. I think she is a really talented lady.

4. Helen Mirren - Again, a classy lady and superb actress.

5. Myself - God has blessed me with in so many ways, patiently teaching and nurturing me to become the woman I am today. How could I not want to be what He has produced?

Four things I'm looking forward to. (This is where I changed what Cheryl had posted)

1. My visit to Paige in May. Four whole days to spend with her. I rarely get time alone with my girls so this is a real treat.

2. Our visit to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania with our friends Jeff and Jan.

3. VBS at our church. I have volunteered to be the VBS director this year. I am really excited about this opportunity.

4. Going back to Las Vegas and Camp Potosi to help Gretchen and Karen with camp in July.

Three things I'm liking right now.

1. Wegman's whole wheat muffins. We are trying to diet and these muffins are delicious and healthy.

2. Sandals. It's sandal season and I'm planning to buy some more.

3. Cute (inexpensive) summer sundresses. Target, Wal-Mart, others all have these sweet little dresses.

Two movies I've seen recently.

1. If you have read my posts this week, you know we saw State of Play. Great flick.

2. Another movie we saw quite recently was The International. This movie with Clive Owen, was another sit on the edge of your seat thriller. We really liked and recommend it.

One lesson I'm learning.

I guess this is a lifetime lesson, one I do better at some times than others. This past season of Lent, I was really convicted of how important it is to treat other people with compassion. I am really trying to see people through the eyes of God. I would really like to be kinder, gentler and more compassionate. I am trying to complain less about other people's driving, smile more at people in the grocery stores, just generally enjoy people more. I'll keep you posted on how that's working out.

In the meantime,

~Hippo Hugs~

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's Tuesday and may I recommend...

After a doctor's appointment this morning, Jim and I decided to play. We have been awaiting the release of this movie for what seems to us like an eternity. Today being $1 popcorn day at theRegal Cinemas, we decided we should avail ourselves of that bargain and see this movie we have been dying to see.
Let me tell you it was all that we could have hoped it would be. The actors, all of whom I like and respect, were fantastic. Well, let me backtrack a moment. I don't like or respect Russell Crowe as a person, but as an actor he is top-notch. Then there was Rachel McAdams (a delightful young actress), Helen Mirren (her usual regal self), Robin Wight-Penn (nothing like Princess Buttercup this time), Ben Affleck (what can I say about him but hunky), and Jeff Daniels (as I would expect him to be).
This movie had more twists and turns than a roller coaster, and kept me on the edge of my seat for over two hours. Both Jim and I think it is the best movie we have seen in a very long time. One aspect of retirement, for us, is the opportunity to enjoy movies, and we really did enjoy this one.
Now I'll backtrack to the doctor's appointment. As we suspected, Jim's carpal tunnel surgery has resulted in the accumulation of scar tissue at the surgery site. He is scheduled for surgery, again, on May 20th. I guess that means another year of Jim's summer activities put on the back burner. We have decided if I can stay healthy, we can probably manage to do the yard work and have a garden this summer, but I'm afraid the fun stuff like golf will go by the wayside for another season.
On top of all that, we managed to get our walk in this afternoon...just before the rain came.
So, all-in-all, it was a pretty productive day. Hope yours was the same.
~Hippo Hugs~

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Fragments

It's a beautiful day here in Upstate NY. Although the temperature is only in the mid sixties, the sun is shining and there isn't a cloud in the sky. It really does feel good to be home. It sure was nice to sleep in our own bed last night. I think we both had the best night's sleep we've had in a week.

I was a little worried when I went to bed last night. Earlier in the evening I tripped, going up the stairs. I landed on my right shin and it swelled up like an orange. Honestly, I had never seen a bruise swell like that. I put some ice on it throughout the evening, but when I went up to bed it was throbbing and I could hardly walk. I took some Advil PM and surprise, surprise, I slept like a baby. The swelling has gone down considerably today, and I'm walking well. Thank heavens. I'd really like to not break any bones this year.

Today being Friday Fragments, I thought I'd share some of my Easter pictures that, in the midst of travelling, I had forgotten I'd even taken.

Brian bought and arranged these beautiful flowers for the Easter table.

The table was set with Brian and Gretchen's new dishes. They purchased these patterns from the Worthington Gallery in Utah when we visited Zion National Park. I just love this pottery gallery. I purchased some pretty awesome mugs for gifts while I was there. If you are interested in pottery, go here.

They had so many mugs to choose from, it was difficult. I hope the Losers like them.

The last few days in the desert, we spent some relaxing time with Brian and Gretchen. I really like this pic of Gretch. I took it while we were walking in the little park near our condo.

She wanted me to take a picture of the bush, but I thought it would be even more lovely with her in it. I was right, wasn't I?

After we were a wee bit settled yesterday, we took off for the library and the grocery store. The cupboards were truly bare. This is what we arrived home to.

The next door neighbor elves had noticed we were home and were hard at work. We are so blessed to have these girls as our neighbors. They make our life even more enjoyable.

Today has been a day of catching up. We left right after breakfast to see Florence at the nursing home. She is much the same. My heart is always heavy when we leave her. She held my hand and said she thought I had left her. I was surprised, as sometimes she doesn't even seem to know me.

Then it was on to the lab for Jim's blood work and more food shopping. Will we ever fill the larder? Of course, since we were out, we stopped off at one of our favorite little restaurants for soup and a sandwich. Home again, we are still settling things.

That's the fragments of my Friday. I hope yours is wonderful, and your weekend as well.

~Hippo Hugs~

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We're Home; Let's Play!

This is only part of the load we took out of the car this afternoon. We have managed to get a lot of it put away, but my house still looks like a tornado just tore through it. We need to go out for groceries. I cannot bear the thought of eating in a restaurant another night, so I think the rest of the mess will wait until tomorrow morning to get straightened around. It's really not too bad, considering we were away for nearly ten weeks.

Now that we're home, I'm ready to play. Yesterday, Cheryl posted four fun random questions. I'm going to answer them today, and invite all of you who wish, to play along with me. If you choose, you can either answer these questions in my comments or post them on your own blog. If you post on your blog, just let us know so we can go there and see what you're thinking.

  1. Have you ever played on an organized sport team? I was a cheerleader all through high school. I know there are many who don't consider that a sport, but hey, I earned a letter for it, so it must have been a sport in my school. I have also been a member of bowling teams several times. I must admit that there is nothing to kill the love of bowling, for me, like joining a team. Just didn't like it.
  2. What TV show are you loving right now? I must admit to several, number one being The Big Bang Theory. That is the funniest show I think I've ever watched. I am madly in love with Leonard. (Jim completely understands) I also watch NCIS, Cold Case and Without a Trace. I understand that Cold Case and Without a Trace are on the bubble, which means they might be cancelled. In the past, I loved Murder One which was, of course, cancelled. In my youth, it was Howdy Doody, and my teens was American Bandstand. How's that for oldies?
  3. What's is your favorite Beatles' song? Oh my! Having just seen Beatles, Love in Vegas, I find it hard to pick. They were such a wonderfully talented group. I love Lucy in the Sky right now because of the beauty of that number in the show. And, second part of this question, "What am I loving right now?" I must admit, I'm not really much into pop music. I am really loving all the Four Seasons' tunes since I just saw Jersey Boys.
  4. And, last but not least, where would you fly away to, if you could go anywhere? That is easy for me. First, I'd go to Ireland for two weeks, and when I got home, I'd fly to Costa Rica for another two weeks. Do I have to limit it to two? I have a whole long list of places I want to go.

Okay now, who's going to play with me?

~Hippo Hugs~

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One more day

One more day and we'll be home. It will be so good to get up in the morning and not have to get into the car and ride all day. We are so blessed that we enjoy each other's company. We are a good travelling pair. We listened to some cd's of our Pastor's sermon series on Grace, listened to lots of music cd's, I did several crossword puzzles and before we knew it, we were here.

The weather has been just beautiful for travelling.

Hope everyone out there is having a happy tax day.

~hippo hugs~

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Omaha, Nebraska

We're safe and sound in our hotel in Omaha. Surprisingly, it's the same place we stayed two years ago when we drove. I didn't even realize it until we drove in and Jim recognized it. It's lovely, and best of all, has a restaurant so we didn't have to go out to eat. We are so tired after 11 hours of driving.

The scenery through the Rockies is just fantastic. It was one beautiful surprise after another as we drove the curvy roads through Colorado. Not so much when we got into Nebraska. Here it is just one cow pasture and cornfield after another. And flat...OMIGOSH.

Tomorrow will be exciting Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. But, joy of joys, we'll then be just six hours from home.

Have a good night's sleep.

~Hippo Hugs~

Monday, April 13, 2009

On the road again!

Easter was a wonderful day spent with Gretchen and Brian. We attended their church. It was nice to see their friends once before we left Nevada. It warms my heart to know they are surrounded by this group of dear people. Gretchen sings with the Praise Band at church and it was nice for us to hear her sing.

After a really nice brunch prepared by B&G, we relaxed and went for a long walk. It was a gorgeous day. We took a picture of Paige's birthday cupcakes, emailed it to her, and then called to sing happy birthday to her. She definitely appreciated the call, not too sure about our eating cupcakes in honor of her BD.

We grilled some cheddarwurst and ate on the patio later in the evening. It was, all in all, a very fun day, but bittersweet as at bedtime, we had to kiss the kiddos goodbye for another year. Well, a year for Jim. I'll be going back in July for ten days for camp. It is so very hard to leave our kids when we see so little of them.

We were on the road by 6 A.M., stopping at Dunkin DoNuts for a goodie and coffee. Although I slept for the first couple of hours on the road, I was awake for the most beautiful of the scenery. We have decided that no matter how many times we drive this route through Utah and Colorado, we will never cease to be amazed by its beauty.

I didn't take any pictures on this trip, but this is similar to the vistas we viewed today.

We drove about 630 miles today and plan to drive a little more than that tomorrow, ending up in Omaha, Nebraska. That said, I'll say good-night. Hope everyone has had a good Monday.

~Hippo Hugs~

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Paige

a fringe of red

around a precious head...

I thought you were an angel.

a perfect nose

a rosebud mouth...

you surely were an angel.

ten toes, ten fingers

I held you in my arms....

how dear to me, my angel.

years go by

you grow and change...

and still, you are my angel.

through time and tide

and differing ideals...

you'll always be my angel.

Happy Birthday, Paige.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Resurrection Day

What a wonderful day. Love and Hippo Hugs to all my blogging friends this day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Fragments

Not only is it Friday, but it's Good Friday, the day commemorating the death of Jesus. I have always wondered why such an infamous day could be called good. I still don't have an explanation of that. Of course, it is good for us who are saved from our sins by the death of Jesus. But it certainly wasn't good for Jesus.

As Christians, we gladly accept the sacrifice of the cross, but we don't like to think of the reality of that sacrifice. Jesus didn't just die, he died a horrible, painful, humiliating death. I know, it's hard to think of the details of that death, but doing so should make us appreciate our salvation all the more.

When I was younger, Good Friday was really observed nationwide. Churches were open between the hours of 1 and 3, stores closed for that time, people who were working left work to attend church. That isn't the case any more. Now, people are out shopping, eating in restaurants, taking their kids to the zoo, etc., many churches don't have services. That shouldn't keep us from taking some time today to remember what the day means to anyone who seeks to know the truth of Christ.

Thanks for reading, and have a really Good Friday.

~Hippo Hugs~

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Musings

So far, in the month of April, I have:
Really wimped out on my walking. My original excuse was the wind. I think I had mentioned that the wind was causing me to have fits with my allergies. So, I decided that I wouldn't walk in the wind. Makes sense, right? But what about all the other days with sun and no wind? I've just turned into a slug, I'm afraid.

Finished a mini scrapbook of our trip to Joshua Tree. So you see, I didn't just waste time while Jim was out walking. I forgot to take any pictures of the mini, but I am really pleased with it. Maybe I'll post a couple of pictures in my next post.
Bought two new pairs of shoes. The only think I hate more than shopping for a purse, is shopping for shoes. I have been needing new cross trainer walking shoes since we arrived here in February. Every week, Jim puts the ads for shoes out on my computer, and every week I look at them and put them in the recycling. Saturday, while I was at Staples buying some rings for my mini scrapbook, I stopped into shoe store. They were having a terrific sale. Buy one pair of shoes, get another 1/2 price. What a deal, but I just couldn't bring myself to try on shoes. We did, however, stop on our way home from church yesterday and I bought my cross trainers, plus a cool pair of sandals. YIPPEE!! Not only that, but I also bought two scarves in Target. Jim wants me to mention that he didn't get anything.

Watched the Big East get ousted from the Big Dance. Oh my, not only did Louisville not even make it to the Final Four, then both the Big East teams that did make it, got bounced on Saturday. Now I'm left with no one to root for. Oh well, I guess I'll just root for Michigan. No special reason.
Attended a most meaningful Palm Sunday Service. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. The children had a wonderful palm procession around the sanctuary to begin the service yesterday. This followed by a inspiring sermon and communion, was the perfect start to this most precious week in the church calendar. We also said, "Goodbye", to our church family here in Henderson. We will miss this wonderful congregation, but will be happy to be reunited with our church back home.

Spent a delightful evening watching the Fountains of Bellagio.

This is our all time favorite pass time in Las Vegas. We left home about 6 P.M., drove to the Bellagio and parked. After getting a cup of coffee to go, we walked to our spot (where we get the best view) and watched for the next 2-1/2 hours. It was a beautiful, balmy evening and we truly enjoyed ourselves.

Today, we are planning to take a trip out to Potosi Pines camp. PP's is where Gretchen volunteers at camp each summer. I came out to help with camp two years ago and plan to return to help this summer. Jim has never been to the camp, so we are really looking forward to our day.

The temperature is supposed to get up to 80 so we should have a lovely afternoon. Of course, we need to be back in time for the

The Big Dance.

I think I'll be happy when this is over and we can get on to another sport. Oh yes, that would be golf. Next weekend is

The Masters.

And Tiger is back.

Okay, I'm off. Have a great day.

~Hippo Hugs~

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's April - No Foolin'

What a beautiful day it is this April 1, 2009. Although nobody has tried to fool me today, I did wonder for a minute or two at 6 A.M. Jim was poking me, saying, "Get up, Pam. The phone is ringing." Maybe he even said, "your phone is ringing." Just like babies crying in the middle of the night, then they were mine. Anyway, I ran into the living room, answered the phone.

Me - Hello!
Caller - Hello!
Me - Hello!
Caller - Hello!
Me - Who is this?
Caller - I'm looking for Frank.
Me - You have the wrong number - CLICK

Honestly, I am usually quite gracious about wrong numbers, but at 6 A.M., my nice genes just weren't working. As I crawled back into bed, I wondered if maybe that was my crazy brother in law, but either it wasn't or he is no longer speaking to me.

It has been a really fun couple of days. I don't know if I mentioned it or not that we were going to spend the day with Brian and Gretchen yesterday. These kids are so good to us. They get to spend so little time together because of their differing work schedules, nevertheless, they manage to spend at least one of their days off with us while we are here.

They are always taking us places and showing us new things, so Jim was thrilled yesterday to be able to take them someplace they haven't been yet. We drove out to the Colorado River and a little spot called Eldorado Canyon Trading Company. We had gone there with Linda and Jason while they were here. It was a great day and both B&G loved the spot. They are planning escapes there already.

Everyone tried skipping some stones, but Jim was the champion with six skips. Pretty good for an old guy, huh?

Our Blue Lagoon. What a delightful spot.

Brian and Gretchen are already planning a canoe trip/picnic.

We had lunch at a little outdoor cafe/wine cellar in Boulder City. I love that restaurant (and their yummy wine). I was really hoping we'd get back out there one more time this trip. YIPPEE!! After lunch, Gretchen thought we should have ice cream so we stopped at a DQ. I think everyone was astonished when I told them that I had never before been to a DQ. In our area, we had Tastee Freeze and not DQ's. Let me tell you, that was one of the best sundaes I've ever had. Yum!

The down side to the day was the wind. It was very windy, blowing a lot of pine and ash pollen around. Apparently, I am highly allergic to those two pollens as I was a real mess last night. I told Jim that I am no longer walking with him on windy days. Come On, Wind!!

Today was my last day at Women of Spirit. We finished our study book last week and today we did our mission project. Each quarter of the year, these gals take on a different project. This time, they chose a group called Lullaby Connection who provide newborn layettes to homeless and other needy babies. Each layette contains a new outfit, hat, booties, receiving blanket and two diapers. What a wonderful ministry this is. Well, you can just imagine how much fun we ladies had shopping for this shower.

This is just one of the three tables which were laden with gifts from the W.O.S. Added to the goodies was a whole cart of brand new baby clothes brought in by the pre school and Kindergarten sponsored by the church. The speaker, who is the director of the charity, was just overwhelmed, notice the box of tissues on the table.

The story behind this group is just beautiful. This totally volunteer organization was started because the director, while doing volunteer work in a local hospital, watched a young mother wrap her baby in her sweater to take it home from the hospital. VOILA! Lullaby Connection was begun.

I am so moved by this. My head has been spinning with ideas where we can help in some capacity such as this in our own little corner of the world. Sunday, Pastor finished his sermon series on grace. He said that grace should make us generous. I sure hope that's true in my life. If you haven't read Cheryl's post today, please do.

~Hippo Hugs~