Monday, August 24, 2009

41 and 250

Today Jim and I are celebrating our 41st wedding anniversary. We both find it hard to believe that we have been married 41 years. We agree they are the best 41 years of our lives, bumps and all. I don't know if I've said this here before, but I am so certain that Jim is the person God chose for me to spend my life with, and am so grateful I was paying attention. So, Jim, I love you and look forward to the years ahead.

So that' the 41 of my title. The 250 is that this is my 250th post. I had intended to do something special for my 200th post, but somehow that just slipped by without my noticing. So, instead I will be having a giveaway for this post. I have purchased a lovely hand sewn journal from my very talented blogger friend, Dagmar.

The journal I'll be giving away is similar to this one. It has 95 8x5 pages with a sewn cover.

My plan is to leave this post up for a week while Jim and I sneak off to the mountains for our last hoorah of the summer. Anyone who leaves a comment on my blog in that time will be eligible for the drawing. I'll have Jim draw a name when we return from the mountains and I'll let you know here who the winner is. I'm really excited about this giveaway. I've been reading Dagmar's blog for several years and am so enchanted with her crafts and her photographs. She has some other delightful things for sale on her Etsy site. Drop in and check them out.

This being my last post for August, I thought I'd spend a few minutes going back over our crazy, hazy, lazy summer. I have been playing with some new photo softwear I purchased and had hoped to publish a collage of some of our fun summer photos. Alas, much to my chagrin, there seems to be a hitch somewhere in this new program. So instead of a collage of lots of photos, I'll just leave you with this, my favorite photo of Jim and I this summer.

Here we are, 41 years later, enjoying life, love and each other.

~Hippo Hugs~

Grow old with me.

The best is yet to be.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Random Thoughts on Wednesday

It's odd that Cheryl posted her Random Tuesday question today. If you aren't a follower of Cheryl's blog drop by and read how her five year old daughter said she had a random mother. Having been reading Cheryl's blog for some time now, I agree that she is, indeed, a random gal. Given Sydney's definition of a random mother, I have decided I'm a random person too.

Anyway, Cheryl suggested we write about some random thoughts that have been kicking around in our heads this week.

  • It being the end of summer here in the Northeast, I've been thinking of the Augusts when the girls were in elementary school and it was time to get them ready for back-to-school. In those days I was a stay at home mom. Although Jim always worked during the summer, usually painting houses with some other teachers, by the end of August we were balancing on the edge of poverty. We always managed to get the necessary new shoes, clothes and school supplies but then we held our breath until the first paycheck. I remember one year in particular. I had begun to work ten hours a week in the library but even at that we didn't have much extra cash by the time school started. My friend, Cher, was teaching school and her hubby was in youth ministry (you know how well paid those guys are). Their daughter was in the same class as our Gretchen and the first week of school the teacher assigned a project where they were to make up a recipe and then make it and bring it to school. I remember so clearly that Cher came into the library and we cried together because we didn't know if we could afford the ingredients. Of course, it all worked out. Looking back, I see how in the midst of what seemed our need, God was so good to us. Those were wonderful times of growing and depending on the Lord.

  • Jim's hand is getting better all the time. The doctor is really pleased with his progress. Even so, he still isn't allowed to use the push mower because of the vibration. I'm just so grateful that we have been able to do our own lawn work this summer. Jim rides the tractor and I trim with the push mower. We were so unhappy with the lawn care company that did the lawn last year. They killed my little Eastern Redbud tree. It's been a joy to do our own work this year. We also have worked together and planted and cultivated our garden. We are reaping the harvest of beans, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes now.

  • This morning I thought of Gretchen's kindergarten year in school. She made friends with a little Laotian refugee who had moved to our community. Those two little girls were best friends. They wanted to do everything together. It made us so happy to see Gretchen make a good friend. The two of them were together in kindergarten and first grade and then they were separated for second grade. The next year the family moved to the city and we lost track of them. I wonder where Bousavank is now.

  • Cheryl wrote that it's hard getting old. I remember 40 and thinking that I was getting old(er). At 64, I do struggle sometimes. I especially have a hard time with looking old. Although I don't have much grey hair, age is rearing it's ugly head in almost all the other areas of my body. Like Delia Ephron, I do feel bad about my neck. In winter, I can hide my neck in turtlenecks, but summer it harder. This year I have developed vericose veins. I was pretty vain about my legs, but no more. Then there is the flabby upper arms, the drooping jowls...I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. Inside, I'm still that thin young chick of yesteryear, but outwardly, well. My niece, Kacy, did make me feel better this past week when she said, "You're only old when you forget how to have fun." In that case, youth springs eternal for me.

  • I guess my last random thought is that I am so enjoying these days at home. I've been stamping, reading and just plain enjoying my house, especially my screen porch. I think I'll just randomly keep hanging around here until we leave for the mountains next week.

~Hippo Hugs~

Never lose an opportunity to see anything that is beautiful.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, August 17, 2009

How Good it Is

I'm on day three of a twelve day streak at home. I think this is the longest stretch of time I've been at home all summer. Just ask me if I'm lovin' it. Oh yeah! baby.

Jim left early yesterday morning to visit his brother and mother in Pennsylvania. There I was with two days all to myself. What to do, what to do? Never fear, I had a plan.

First, of course, I went to church where the sermon was terrific. I did the Children's Sermon and that wasn't too bad either. LOL. Hey, if you don't believe in yourself, who will? Right? Anyway, after church I went to brunch with my friend Nicole. Nicole is a teacher in the local Christian school. She attends our church and is the same is my daughter, Paige. I'd like to adopt her, but she has parents, so I'm just going to borrow her from time to time. We had a great time visiting and eating.
Home again, I read the entire afternoon, except for the 1-1/2 hour where I napped. I managed to consume some leftovers about 6:30 while watching Tiger lose the PGA. I was sad, but hey, you can't win them all. Or so they say. I must admit, I'd like to see him win them all.
I tried to watch 60 Minutes with Michael Vick.

I have the utmost respect for Tony Dunghy and wanted to hear what they all had to say, but they started to show pictures of the mistreated dogs along with giving details of what happened to them and I just couldn't watch or listen. I don't know what I think about whether he should play again or not. I know God can change people's hearts so I guess we'll just have to wait and see. All this to say I turned off the TV and read until bedtime. I managed to read an entire book yesterday. It felt sooo good.

I guess here is the place where I need to admit that my house could use a little TLC...and admit that it didn't get much today. The day started with a fun breakfast with my Wednesday coffee group on Monday (say that five times fast) where our dear friend Jodie joined us. Jodie is Linda's oldest daughter, a college professor in Pennsylvania. It was so good to see her. She is just like a niece to us.

The morning was beautiful. A perfect morning to walk, but alas, the soccer team was practicing on the track and soccer field. Now, I could have gone to a number of other locations to walk, but instead I sat on the sun porch to read the paper and took a two hour morning nap. Talk about a life of ease.

And now for the best part. I stamped all afternoon. I spent the whole afternoon in my workroom, talking to myself and stamping my heart out. What a wonderful way to spend a hot August afternoon. And I don't feel one bit guilty. I have, however, promised my house a little attention come about Wednesday. Until then....well, who knows?

~Hippo Hugs~

What comes from the heart,

goes to the heart.

~Samuel Coleridge

Thursday, August 13, 2009

An "Amusing" Day

At last post, I was on my way to Pennsylvania to see my MIL, spend the night with my SIL and niece, Kacy and bring Kacy back to spend a few days with me. And, that I did. I had a great trip to PA, music blaring on my radio, windows down and the wind blowing through my hair (what there is of it).

It was really fun to see my MIL. We took a long ride, had ice cream and dinner out. I enjoyed it tremendously and think she did also. I was then on to Deb and Kacy's house for an overnight. It's always fun to share a glass of wine and some good conversation with Deb. Kacy worked on Tuesday, so we didn't leave for home until early afternoon. Uneventful, if rainy, trip back to Upstate NY.

Today my dear friend, Linda, Kacy and I went to Darien Lake Theme Park for a day of amusement and riding. I DO NOT ride anything that goes up in the air, around in circles or loop the loops. However, Linda loves to ride. She and Kacy rode all the roller coasters. I do, however, do water rides. The following is proof.

The ride is called Grizzly Run and we really got dumped on. After this, I didn't think twice about going into the Wave Pool. Oh, did I mention that I didn't bring my bathing suit and went into the pool fully clothed? The things I do for that young lady, Kacy,

who manages to look gorgeous in spite of having water splashed all over her.

It was a great day and we all came home happy, if a little wet.

Kacy is out for a run now while I'm dragging my tired body out to the screen porch to play Yahtzee when she gets home. Tomorrow is crafting and shopping, I think. Until then,

~Hippo Hugs~

You're not old until you don't know how to have fun anymore.

~Kacy Huston

Monday, August 10, 2009

On the road again...

Before I take off again tomorrow, I thought I would post again. I've really enjoyed being home these past five days. I've accomplished a lot. I finally had a chance to unpack everything from Las Vegas and camp. I have finished all my laundry, done my ironing, mowed the lawn, shopped, celebrated Florence's birthday, attended Deb's wedding and had my hair cut way, way short. That's quite a bit, don't you think?

Here are a few pictures from the past few days.

The gardens and flowers are really looking great this summer. I guess they like the cool weather and rain.

And here is the hairdo. I really was sober and in my right mind when I asked Kathy to cut it this short. All I can say is "It will grow."

The wedding was wonderful. After they were pronounced man and wife and had their kiss, they left the front of the church to a wonderful rendition of "Froggy went a Courtin'." It was such fun.
Here we are at the reception.

All this time and I still haven't finished posting our vacation and camp pictures. So, here are a few.

The many faces of a dance/musical director. Gretchen adapted a children's story for a reading, singing, dancing program. The girls performed it the last of day camp for their parents and friends.

It was a beastly hot day, but it didn't deter these talented young women.

Dances Alone (our dear friend Barry) preparing the girls to sing.

The newlyweds. Karin and Jeremiah met last summer at camp and were married this June. Gretchen and the camp staff all felt like Cupids.

Praising the Lord at the Wednesday evening concert.

New friends were made.
These cabin assistants work so very hard, but do manage to find time for fun too.

Some of the wonderful art projects done by the girls.
If you have stayed with me this long, I salute you. Thanks so much for tuning in. Tomorrow, I'm off to Pennsylvania to spend the day with my mother-in-law. I plan to take her out for a drive and then to dinner. Then I'll spend the night with my sister-in-law and niece. Wednesday, my niece will come home with me for a few days. I'm really looking forward to all of this. Hope to have pictures and stories soon. In the meantime,
~Hippo Hugs~
Most people put a period where
God puts a comma.
~Pat DePoint
Does anyone have any idea if there is a book called "Blogging for Dummies"? 'Cuz blogger has put the comments way, way down the page again.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Where Do I Begin

My last post was July 21. Oh, so much has happened before and since then. I have pictures and tales of Boston and Martha's Vineyard. Then I was in Las Vegas on Mount Potosi for my wonderful camp experience. One day home and we were off to Lake George and three delightful days with Laverne and Cathy. So, where do I begin? I think for tonight, I'll just post a some pictures of each place with a comment or two.

I'm afraid I would scare everyone off if I elaborated on the last several weeks of my life. Suffice it to say, it has been a wonderful whirlwind. So, now join me for a little travelogue of my life.

The trip to Boston was smooth and uneventful. We arrived early in the afternoon and were eager to get into the city to begin exploring.

We explored Quincy Market, a place we just had to visit as we read Robert Parker's "Spenser" novels and he talks about Quincy Market a lot. It was fun. We were starving and decided to have a bite at the "Cheers" restaurant. It was the worst and most expensive meal of the trip.

On Wednesday, we walked The Freedom Trail. It was such a thrill to visit so many landmarks of our history. We think we walked about eight miles that day, but it was so exciting we never felt tired.
We even managed to fit in a cruise around Boston Harbor. It was beautiful and informative.
In spite of our best efforts, we never managed to do any touring in Boston with Paige, et al. But we did take her advice and visited Plimouth Plantation. It was a step back into history and we truly enjoyed it. The ship is the Mayflower II, an exact replica of the original.

Martha's Vineyard

The trip out to the Vineyard on the ferry was a delight. I love the water; being near it and on it is pure joy to me. Add to that a chance to spend time with our number one daughter and well, who could ask for more?
The island is rife with these sweet little gingerbread houses, decorated in all different colors. Each one is more charming than the one before it. We had a wonderful time walking among them. These little streets don't accommodate cars or motor vehicles of any kind and they have signs asking people to please walk their bicycles.
Here is Paige with her favorite boy (Liam) and her favorite beer (Guinness). We had a wonderful lunch in this restaurant. I had a yummy lobster roll.

This is a really beautiful spot for some picture taking.

I always order lobster tail, not a whole lobster. Thankfully, the waitress was willing to give eating instructions.
Okay, I've reached a decision. I will not go on any longer with this travelogue tonight. I'll end here and do a separate post about camp and Lake George. Once again, thanks for bearing with me. It sure has been fun for me to go back over this trip. Hope you enjoyed it too.
~Hippo Hugs~
Don't compromise yourself;
you are all you've got.
~Janis Joplin
P.S. If you care to comment, you'll have to page down a little. Sometimes Blogger just hates me!