Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Totally Awesome!

 Hey, did you hear there was an eclipse happening on Monday?  The eclipse craze yesterday had everyone worrying about crowds that would result in no gasoline, food, toilet paper (of course) and places to stay. The weather had everyone on edge too.  What if it rained or was too cloudy to see anything?  Well, God gave us perfection here in Ashland, Ohio were we were excited to be in the path of totality with sunny skies.  Over the weekend there were activities going on in our downtown that I'm sure had store keepers and restaurant owners excited about sales.  Heck, even the Oscar Myer wiener mobile was here!  I didn't see it but it was here according to Facebook.  On Sunday I took Annabelle on a quick walk at the cemetery and on the way home I drove down main street. Shops and restaurants that are usually closed on Sundays were open and cars lined the street and parking lots.  Other than that I noticed no other crazy, crowed activity or problems.  Schools were closed Monday.  I found out they closed for really only one reason.  If schools were open and kids went outside during the eclipse and didn't wear protective eyewear than the schools could get in trouble or perhaps sued.  So keeping the littles at home put that problem to the family to deal with.  Jack closed  his office at noon and Jordan's company also closed early.  The hospital stayed open of course but surgeries were done by noon and I know employees were heading to the helicopter landing on the roof to observe the eclipse.  My sweet next door neighbor had sent out invites to the whole street to come to their place to watch and she provided sandwiches and drinks for everyone.  We all brought stuff to share too.  Nothing like a party on a Monday afternoon! When you see my pics to follow you'll understand why their yard was a good place to be.   At 2pm we trudged up their driveway and set up our chairs and gathered our special glasses.

It's hard to tell from the photos but they have a nice hill and view of Ashland and the horizon.
The crowd was gathering and anxiously waiting.
Jack in his fancy eclipse glasses.  Not like our paper ones!
This little guy was ready!  Soon the air had a definite change as the sun was slowly changing.  The temps were  in the 70's but soon it was at least 10de cooler.
Slowly getting darker.
As the sky got darker, our neighbor's horse and alpacas slowly started going toward the barn as if it were dusk soon to be night.
Darkness comes in the day.  I had never seen an eclipse and this was just so cool to watch the darkness descend, the air cool down, people's solar lights going on and the lights in town turn on.
See the lights in the distance?
Pitch black.  
My photos don't due this spectacular event justice.  I was in awe the whole time.  I wish I could really capture the total awesomeness of this.  I didn't think to take a video..silly me! I was just too caught up in what was happening around me.  Everyone there was just blown away by the whole thing.  The main phrase? This was so cool!  The same reaction from everyone I talked to at work today that saw it...it was so cool! 
Slowly the sun started to reappear.  The temps rose back up and the animals came out of the barn.  I know everyone that was with us on that hill felt the magic of the few minutes this lasted.  With all the technology of our time and how smart we think we are, it just takes a 3-4min act of God and nature and the heavens to make us believe in something much bigger and more wonderful than ourselves.  Maybe that's a bit over hyped but I'm so glad I was able to watch this.  I may never see another.  I guess we're suppose to have another in 20yrs.  I'll be 91 and perhaps will view it from a heavenly seat with no need for special glasses...no matter how fancy they may be! 

Sunday, April 7, 2024

A Milestone

 I guess I should have posted this a few days ago but this momentous occasion happened right after I posted for Easter so I thought I would wait.  Sometimes life speeds by so fast that it gives you whiplash. I know posting this and going through all the pics for the post sure gave me a "back to the future" vibe.  As a Mom of 4 boys this occasion has happened 3 times before.  It's that magic moment when a child turns an age that makes you say: "Where has the time gone?"  Then you look at the photo albums and computer pics and realize time has gone where it always goes...on and on if you're lucky.   My youngest kiddo, Jordan, turned 40 on April 2nd.  Now all the boys are in their 40's. Whoa!  I clearly remember and even think that my 40th birthday wasn't that long ago! Ha!  How about 31yrs ago! Jordan was the last of the clan and has given us plenty of memories to look back on and also probably most of my gray hair when he was a teen!  Oh well, all's good now and here's just a few pics for my blog/journal.  Jordan doesn't read it so I probably can say anything I want and he wouldn't be the wiser!  Nah, just the good stuff here!  So here goes:

This is one of my favorite pics of Jordan and me because it shows how big this kiddo was!  He's only 4 months old here!  He weighed 10lbs, 8oz when he was born so it's no wonder he was that big.  Funny how he's the skinniest one in the family today.
Hanging with Dad...or maybe napping with Dad?
Oh those curls.  He keeps it short now so no curls...so sad.
He didn't mind my Halloween face..his was cuter!
He enjoyed Halloween too.
A boy and his dog...Ferris the Wonder dog!  Jordan and I picked Ferris out from the local shelter when Ferris was a 3mo old pup and Jordan was 3yrs old.  (Jordan isn't 3 in this pic!)  Ferris lived to be 15 and it was a super sad day for all of us when he went to the rainbow bridge, but especially Jordan.  The only other dog Jordan had after Ferris was Eddy the boxer.  I blogged a lot about Eddy over the years.  Jordan is a dog lover and I know one day he'll get another one. 
There's that day when all of a sudden the boy starts to be as tall as the parent!
Here's typical Jordan..he always can make us laugh! He has a very dry sense of humor and a quick wit. 
Again, typical Jordan! 
One of Jordan's senior pics.  They go from little to suddenly all grown up.
From here with  his brothers..
To here with his brothers.   It's been a wild and crazy 40yrs with this boy/man.  No matter the age, the youngest will always be the baby of the family.  Happy 40th Jordan!  

Monday, April 1, 2024

Don't Be Fooled!

 Good morning April!  Happy Easter Monday.  I'm not sure if that's a real name for today but I like it better than April Fool's Day.  I was going to post yesterday after all our Easter festivities were over but I was one tired puppy afterwards.   So I'll get to it today.  Just don't be fooled that it was different that the past ones.  We went to Church in the morning and then came home and started putting all final touches on the food prep.  I did a lot of it on Saturday so it was mostly warming things up.  Sounds easy.  Don't be fooled!  I managed to dump a pan full of cheesy potatoes in the oven.  I know some folks call those funeral potatoes and let me tell you, I was ready to kill them!  I had quite the mess to quickly clean up but with Jack's patient help while cleaning and calming (me down) we got it done.  Thankfully I had made 2 pans of those dang taters so all was not lost.  Everyone was coming at 2 and we had a couple of members not being able to make it do to illness and work issues.  I wish I had taken more pics of all the family but I did manage a few.  Our good friend Bryn joined us also.  Her hubby passed away in February and we were super happy to share the day with her.  Here are some of the star players:

I had never made a 7 layer salad before and it looked very pretty in the glass bowl and it was very tasty in our mouths!  Of course deviled eggs are always enjoyed.
I made 2 hams and they turned out really yummy also.  I like to make extra food because everyone always takes home a doggy bag! (in the following pic I had to smile at Jack's look.  Maybe he was hungry?)
Pasta salad, fruit salad, the darn taters, spanikopita (a nod to my Greek roots) and Evelyn's green fluff round out the menu.  Nobody went home hungry!  Desserts were divided up and sent home since they were still full from dinner.  Chocolate silk pie, coconut cream pie and of course the lamb cake that I make every year:
That lamb cake had me fooled for sure.  This was my third attempt at that baby.  The first 2 landed in the garbage. One just didn't turn out right and the other stuck to the mold.  I was ready to chuck it all but the 3rd time was the charm.  As my son said: "It just wouldn't be Easter without the lamb cake".  Not sure if he was fooling me or was serious.  No matter. Done and done!  After dinner we headed outside for the Easter egg hunt.  We only had one little kiddo (Aria) to hunt in the traditional way.
She had fun on her hunt.  But then I had the adults do a hunt also.  No fooling!  They were good sports about it.  They only had to find 6 eggs a piece and each egg was worth a lottery ticket. Plus candy inside the egg! 
Phil and Addy Rae
Our Lexi that will graduate this year...time has flown!
The rest of the adults with their little baskets hunting made me laugh. 
Cameron finding some up high!  He was the first one to find all 6 of his eggs.  We had 2 teams and Evelyn came in first in her group.  They got first pics of the lottery tickets.  I wish I could say someone or everyone won big but I think $5 was the most anyone got.  Oh well, the fun is in the hunt! We had beautiful weather.  It was almost 60de and sunny.  So perfect!  We had a lovely day with the family and then all was quiet as the gang trooped home.  As I mentioned I was a bit tired but even with some pitfalls and spills, it was a good Easter.  I'll close with a pic that I don't think was taken on Easter since the trees are in full leaf but it reminds me of an Easter Sunday shot!  My youngest brother, Rick, isn't in the pic because I don't think he was born yet. I love that Midge has her arm around Jim..so sweet.  I hope everyone has a wonderful start of April and no pranks were too harsh today!  Mother Nature is pulling some pranks with Spring snowfalls.  We're in for rain and then one day with some snow chances...No fooling!

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Home Sweet Home

This past week found me on the road to Chicago on Monday.  The trip went surprising well with traffic not a huge problem and no car issues.   My sister was happy to see me and we had a good time just hanging out and celebrating her birthday.  She's just starting home dialysis instead of going to a dialysis unit 3 times a week.  Now she can do it at home but it's a process that requires training, room to store all the MANY supplies required as well as the space for the unit.   The young lady who came to train her was very nice but not the best instructor.  You're suppose to have a buddy there with you to help incase of emergency and Midge is trying to get her helpers lined up.  Sometimes I think it would be easier to just go the the dialysis unit instead but I'm not the one driving 3 mornings a week at 4:45am in all kinds of weather.  So she's been rearranging her bedroom into a dialysis room and still has a few things to change. She's so spunky and won't let this get her down.  She's an inspiration to me.  So what did we do last week? Well, we managed to make it to our favorite thrift/antique store.  We always find something there we just can't live without.  I only grabbed 2 items that fit that bill:

This little cake plate will find good use with some Easter goodies on it next weekend! 
I thought this bunny was cute but Midge thought it was kind of creepy.  Ha!  I put him in the bathroom for a decoration!  (I still think he's cute!!) 
I found this  mad hatter hat there but didn't buy it...just put it on and we had a good laugh over it!
 We did shop at real stores too and I bought some new shirts at Kohl's.  I hardly ever shop there but did get some good buys.   On Wednesday we went with Midge's daughters, Amy and Katie, to get facials.  I've never had one before so it was a new experience.  I was told my skin was pretty good with no sun damage.  That's amazing since I'm always in the sun in the summer and tanned like roast chicken when I was young,,,baby oil anyone?  It was pretty relaxing and my skin felt like a baby's butt afterward.   So we all laughed as we compared our experiences.  Not sure if I'll do it again but it was fun.  Then the four of us went to a new Greek restaurant for lunch. We laughed a ton here too.  Those cute nieces of mine are a stitch!  A nurse and a cop...and the stories they can tell!  
Here we are post lunch and no makeup.  Left to right...Katie the cop, me their favorite Aunt, Midge, and Amy the nurse.  Love these girls and my sister is the best.  Happy Birthday Midge! May we celebrate a million more together!
If you know anyone from Chicago or have been there you know how famous Portillo's is.  Midge loves their hotdogs so we stopped here one day for lunch.  Yum!
No trip to visit my sis is complete without snapping a pic of her pups.  Miss Hope and Midge's  new puppy, Flynn.  Too cute and really good dogs although Flynn still has lots of puppy in him.  He's only 7mo old after all!  All too soon it was time to say our goodbyes with hugs and tears.  I left Friday morning and made it home safe and sound.  It was good to be back with Jack and Annabelle and saying,  Ahh..Home Sweet Home.  Love you Midge and we'll get back together soon!  My cheeks still hurt from all our laughing!   

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Luck Of The Irish!

 Well, I can't say I have the luck of the Irish since no Irish blood flows in my veins but I think it's grand that this day is celebrated with gusto!  I did win $2 on a lottery scratch off.  Does that count?  I also made some corned beef and cabbage today but forgot to take a pic..oh well I still have some pics to share.  Spring is on Tuesday which just happens to be my sister's birthday and I'll be heading out tomorrow for a visit.  I know I'll have some photos to share when I get home.  Speaking of Spring, my yard looks like someone came and put bouquets of daffodils all over!

A few crocus thrown in for variety!  I picked a few today while it was snowing!  I know they don't last long after being cut but I'll enjoy them for the short term.  The other day I was walking Annabelle and our neighbor's alpaca were enjoying the nice day.  The baby, little Beano, and Annabelle had a moment:
When they actually touched noses they scared each other and jumped up a mile!  It was pretty cute to see. Well, not much else going on as I'm packing up and heading out to Chicago tomorrow.  Hopefully the weather will be good.  Annabelle is staying home with Jack because my sister's new pup, Flynn, is a bit too playful for her.  So wish me the luck of the Irish for safe travels and a good week with Midge.
Heading into the sunset!

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Let's March!

 I looked back at my March posts from last year and my title for this month was March madness.  I didn't want the same title but I realized it was posted on the same date as today's..March 7th.  So let's March on and get to the question of the hour:  How's your colon doing?  What? Well, it's national colorectal month and time to celebrate getting those pipes cleaned out and checked.  Colon cancer has gone up in younger folks and now the recommendation is to have a colonoscopy starting at age 45.  That's especially important if you have a family history of colon cancer.  I've been working at our endoscopy lab for the past 2 years and have learned a lot and also have seen a lot of young people with tumors that turn out to be cancer.  If you're a smoker or have been one in the past you have a higher risk for polyps.  Men more than women.  I know getting this done isn't on anyone's fun list but the dreaded prep drink is much easier now and not a whole gallon jug to swallow.  You can also go the little box method if you don't have a family history or had previous polyps.  Done at home and sent off it's a good check and pretty accurate.  That's my soap box for now so let's go on to life here in my neck of the woods.  The weather, like all over the country has been up and down.  We had 72 de on Monday and now snow will hit on Sunday along with the "Spring forward" clock mess.  Now that's March madness!  In a month from tomorrow a solar eclipse is heading our way.  Ohio is in a perfect location and Ashland is one of the towns to see it.  That is if the weather is clear.  A gamble around here!  In anticipation the town is expecting a ton of folks and schools will be closed along with many businesses.  I got a call from my primary Doc's office and they cancelled my appointment for that day too.  It's a Monday and I don't usually work Mondays so I guess I better buy a pair of those special glasses and have a peek!  I could even rent out my yard that day! I'm sure the field across the street will be filled with gawkers so maybe I should set up a lemonade stand and cookies too!  Hmm...interesting.  Well, on to some pics of our weekend.  The kids came over for lunch on Sunday and the weather was amazing! I made some spicy tortellini soup:

It's a recipe Jack found and we all really like it.  I also made some sliders.  I never made any before but it was super simple and simply delish:
I was able to capture the last 2!  We also had Asian salad (no pics..all gone!), some chips and then pie for dessert.  No pic of the pie but it was store bought and not blog worthy.   My oldest son, Jack, came and brought their pupper, Kip:
He's a big boy but such a sweetie! He and Annabelle get along fine and he just loves to run his heart out around the pines.  I bet he slept great Sunday night!  In other news,  I know that my blog friend Cathy from Acorn Hollow is a user of King Arthur flour.  It's made in her neck of the woods but we do have it here.  I decided to see if it made a difference in my cooking and tried in my chocolate chip cookies.
These are the last of the batch.  I took some to work yesterday and they were gone in no time and everyone raved about them.  I must say they were yummy!  Was it the flour? The chocolate? My secret recipe? Was everyone just extra hungry?  I guess I will have to make more and find out! Ha!  Speaking of work, I'll be going there tomorrow and it's a meeting day so we start at 6:30a.  Yikes!  I chose to work 3 days this week and will be happy when I'm done for the week.  In a couple of weeks I'll be heading out to Chicago to visit Midge for her birthday.  I'll have a nice span of time off!  This weekend looks to be a rainy/snowy one so I hope to take a little time out to start the book my daughter-in-law sent me for my birthday:
I'll let you know how I like it.  Well, March is marching on quickly and so am I:
Annabelle has the right idea! Night all!