Sunday, July 25, 2021

Time keeps On Slipping...

Time is slipping into the future as this month and Summer keep slipping by.  I've been busy with physical therapy for my hand and working on little projects around the yard and house. Somehow I keep busy trying to get as much done as I can.  It's frustrating when the energy level is still not where I would like it.  Oh well, enough whining for today! The weather this past week was dry and gave the area time to recover from all the rain and flooding. Plus is was so nice and cool and even into the 50's at night so windows could be open and fresh air flowing in!  However, the fires out west had some impact on our skies.  I saw this weird and amazing sunset and didn't realize until the next day that the haziness and blood red sun were from those fires so many miles away.  I grabbed my camera and snapped pics of the sun.  It wouldn't show the blood red I was seeing with my naked eye but still made for some interesting shots.

 I kept on snapping pics as the sun went down.

The closer it got to the horizon and into the trees the red finally bloomed.  I thought it was pretty cool. But I sure wish we could have sent all the rain we had out to those areas in California and Oregon and any other areas that needed it.  This past week my BFF, Donna, celebrated another birthday and I stopped over to give her one of her favorite things I make...
Baklava!  We don't get into big, fancy gifts and such but I love being able to make her smile with some things made from the heart.  Happy birthday Donna!  Finally I again looked to the skies the other evening and saw this little dot...

Can you see it?  A UFO??  Oh, no!  Let's zoom in shall we.
Yes, a hot air balloon. We're  used to seeing these fly over during balloon fest here in Ashland in June but we never saw any our way this year.  
A little blurry shot but it was fun to watch it as it glided on it's way.  This week marks the last one of July and as August slips in there will be final vacation trips for some and school readiness for others. It also represents a full year that I've been retired.  I can't say it's been a wonderful time thanks to Covid last Fall and then other events that came our way but I have enjoyed the time to slow down and appreciate the gardens and reading a ton of books and even getting a few little projects completed.  I'll hope for a better second year but I'm knocking on wood here! Have a good week everyone!

Friday, July 16, 2021


 Jack made a comment last night about the fact I hadn't blogged lately.  I was thinking the same thing yesterday as I realized July is half over and I've only posted once.  I guess I was thinking that not much has been blog worthy.  We've been working on the yard and I do have a list of projects I want to accomplish but I've been lacking in enthusiasm to get it all done!  I can't keep blaming everything on recouping from surgery!  I've been going to PT for my hand and tapping on the computer keys is a good way to keep them moving.  So I guess I'll just show some pics and say a big YAWN!!!  Tomorrow we have a BBQ  and maybe the Farmer's market depending on the weather.  So I hope some more pics and stories are to come.  We've had our fair share of rain and I wish I could ship some of it out West to help put out the fires and cool the temps.  With 2 of my boys now living out there...Oregon and's a worry for sure!  

You can see that the front yard is nice and green from all the rain.  The bushes on the left of the house are going to be coming out.  Maybe not until next Spring when we can replant some smaller ones.  These were here when we bought the house but have grown way too big.  We already had one big plant removed earlier this season.

Can you see our newest addition?  We had the crabapple tree taken out (it was not in good shape!) and replaced it with a flowering pear.  Across the lawn is our other new tree that replaced the Ash tree that died like so many have in Ohio.  This one is an American Elm. I don't know if we'll be here to see it nice and big but it will eventually be a wonderful shade tree.
You might have to look close to see this but with all the rain a rainbow was a sweet sight.  

A friend of mine gave me this wind chime after Mom passed away. It hangs from the trellis and over my garden angel.  It has a nice saying on it about memories.  I do think of Mom each time I hear it's melody when the wind blows.  I also think of my nice friend, Carla, who was so thoughtful to gift it to me. 

I have a lot of orange daylilies but I treasure these pretty ones that brighten up a garden area on the side of the house.  I didn't notice the little critter on the yellow one enjoying dinner when I snapped the pic!
The grass isn't the only thing that's nice and green.  I think our poor rock needs a good cleaning!
 Well, the gardens are blooming and producing.  Soon tomatoes will be ready for eating and canning and although it's been a crazy year since I retired I am enjoying having the Summer time to keep up on things outdoors and enjoy the season.  I do hope that next year we will do some traveling.  Covid is still a problem here and there and frankly I don't feel quite up to a big trip.  But every day is better and I will just enjoy this time of rest. 
Usually my sunset pics are orange and reds but I thought this setting sun was just as pretty in it's muted colors.  Have a good weekend!

Monday, July 5, 2021

Let Freedom Ring!

 Happy July 4th on the 5th!  I hope everyone had a safe and fun weekend.  We went to Chicago as planned and spent the time with my sister and my niece's and nephew's families.  My sister lives in the house we grew up in. Mom and Dad built it in 1951 so it's 70 years old this year and still hosts family and friends and good times.  We sure miss my sweet Mom this year.  Last year there was no celebrating because of Covid and the year before Mom was the Queen of the parade.  Enjoy every moment because you never know what the future holds. We had a wonderful time and the weather was good.  Hot of course, but that's the nature of Summer, right?  Of course I have lots of pics so here goes!

We always had parades in our little suburb when I was growing up.  They were simple affairs..just kiddos who decorated their bikes or themselves and walked the block and then enjoyed homemade cookies and kool-aide at the end.  Not the huge parade they had yesterday.
I've posted this pic before.  It's my sister and me in 1959 dressed for the parade in our hoola outfits. It's the year Hawaii became a state. We joked about reenacting this but it might have shut down the parade! Ha! I do love my sister's not so happy face though! 

My high school's marching band. It's my 50th class reunion this year. Doesn't seem possible!
The parade went right past the house so we grabbed comfy chairs from the deck and enjoyed! Here's Midge with her pup, Hope, and of course my cutie hubby, Jack!  Hope wasn't bothered by the parade noise or the fireworks later that night. She's a really good dog!
These kiddos are representing the "blooms" of Oakbrook Terrace.  I guess that makes my siblings and myself the original blooms! Time does go by so fast.  I think we've lost a bit of our "bloom"!

My dear niece, Katie, the wonderful police officer in the family, driving her patrol car and their mascot. I don't know the mascot's official name but the person in the dog suit is Katie's daughter, Brooke! (My sister's Granddaughter and my Great Niece!

Besides the marching band there were the Bagpipes and those poor guys marched in the 90de heat for the 3 mile route! Some had to drop out because of the heat and 2 of the high school kiddos dropped out and we made them sit on our lawn while we got them water and cooled off.  Thankfully everyone was good after a bit! 
Hope sat calmly and enjoyed the parade and wasn't bothered at all by the noise. She also didn't mind the fireworks that night.  She's really a good pup!

The parade was a big hit and my niece, Amy, was the person in charge.  She did a fantastic job of putting it all together.  Last night my sister, Jack and I sat in her driveway and could see the fireworks coming from the park.  I had many memories of past July 4ths spent in that neighborhood and our home.  They are good ones that we enjoyed with Mom and Dad and my siblings and my good friends from the "hood"!  Many of them whipped through my brain like the soft breezes of this weekend.  I know my folks would be so happy to see our house still stands strong and welcoming.  It's evolved over the years and sits so beautifully as the "white house on the corner".  I'm so glad we took the time to go out there.  I hope everyone had a safe and fun time celebrating our freedoms to gather, have fun, and show love to our fabulous country...God Bless America!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

What The Heck Blogger?

 I went to make some changes to my blog background and header and viola'...everything is screwed up and I can't make my blog look like it  used to. I hate blogger when they make changes and make it so difficult to get back to normal. Maybe I'll figure it out or maybe I'll find another way to blog.  Whatever. For today I'll just do a post and see what happens.  The truth is not much has happened at all...thankfully.  Ashland had it's annual Balloon Fest over the weekend and the weather was only good for one flyover but the rain did stay away at times so the festival on Freer Field could go on with lots of food trucks, games, and activities for families and kiddos.  We stayed away but I was glad for a successful event for the city.  After having to cancel last year tons of folks just want to go back to normal stuff.  In our little corner of the world  the gardens are growing and we're getting the Pines back into it's usual Summer mode.

Blueberries are getting ripe. We won't have tons this year but a few for a tastey snack is good.

Next to the peas I planted only one zucchini plant and it's getting ginourmous!  
The tomatoes have grown even bigger than this pic that I snapped last week.  I look forward to those delish fresh tomatoes right out of the garden...nothing better!
Our peppers are being guarded by Miss Scarecrow.  I'm not sure she really keeps the critters out but she is cute!

Beans are finally making an appearance. We had to replant and now they are sprouting next to the carrots.  That's about all for produce that will eventually be canned. I know it's easier to go to the store or the farmer's market and get fruits and veggies but there's something satisfying about doing it yourself. At least for now.  One day I'll probably give it up..except perhaps for the tomatoes?  Time will tell!
I did take the time to make some raspberry jam.   Actually it's a combo of raspberry and strawberry. I was shy one cup of raspberries for the recipe and I happened to have just enough strawberries to crush and add to the mixture.  It turned out pretty yummy! 
I brought out the icecream maker and whipped up a batch of chocolate.  So good. Some Hershey's syrup, and maybe some of that jam...double yum.  That's about all from the Pines. I hope everyone has a good July 4th. We're heading see my Sister and family and spend the weekend celebrating with them. I do hope the weather cooperates.  I took a quick pic of  the sky over Ashland this afternoon on my way home from Jack's office:
I'll call this "Angry Skies".  We had rain and some thunder but that's it.  It's been hot and humid the past few days and this kind of weather can happen at any time. Let's hope it's not happening for the 4th. Cooler temps are moving in and that makes me happy! 
Night all!

Friday, June 18, 2021

Moving On

 This week has been an emotional one.  We traveled to Kentucky for my brother's funeral and met with family and friends to say a final goodbye.  We cried, laughed, shared stories and food as is usually the case at times like this.  The funeral service was very moving and a wonderful tribute to a great guy.  His daughter's eulogy brought everyone to tears and even some laughter as she shared her love for her Dad. The Marine Military honors were so touching.  I can't even put into words how special it was.  So now we move on as a family as everyone goes back to their home and their lives with our memories and special moments spent this week.  Jack and I are slowly getting our yard back into order and I'm finally able to be of a help.  I still can't lift heavy objects and I do get tired more often than I'm used to.  But it's getting better day by day.  I can drive and even mow the yard!  So I'll end this with some pics and a wish that everyone gives their family members a hug or an "I love you"  while you can.  It's a shame we need reminding to do that and I hope it's something you all do naturally.

Our front walk is starting to bloom out and Jack and I planted a new tree to replace the one that died.

Back deck coming together.  I still have patriotic decor for this spot and will be finishing it up this weekend.  My little herb garden is coming on nicely.
My owls used to be out front but I moved them to help brighten up the ugly heat pump! Jack calls them my "baked potatoes"...well, they do kind of look like potatoes I guess.
My spinning balloon wind catcher is in honor of Ashland's Balloon Fest coming up at the end of the next weekend! Hopefully the weather will cooperate so the big balloons can fly.  Everyone is looking forward to this festival as it was cancelled last year like so many events were. 
I was happy to be able to get out and mow.  My boys have been doing it and weren't really happy I did it but my Doctor gave the OK as long as it was a smooth ride and I wore my collar.  Well, smooth ride might be stretching it a bit but I went very slowly over any bumps and all is good.  Have a good weekend and Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there! 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Finally There Is Joy

 This week has been one filled with the ups and downs of life.  Isn't life always made up of the happy and the sad? The up and down? The hellos and goodbyes.? Friday night we had reason to celebrate one of the joys of life as our Granddaughter, Driana married her a lovely ceremony and a fun reception with family and friends.  Driana is our first Grandchild.  She's the reason we became YaYa and PawPaw! She has brought so much happiness over the years and we have celebrated her journey threw her almost 26 years of life.  She found her vocation as a registered nurse helping hospice patients and their families.  She works hard and loves what she does and she loves her family.  We wish her and Jonathan all the happiness in the world.  Time has flown by and the little girl we babysat, shared  birthdays, watched cheerleading, basketball, and graduations has grown into a beautiful wife and maybe someday....a mother.  Best Wishes Driana and Jonathan!

Our son Jack walking her down the aisle.
The rings. I sure hope the real photographer did better than I did!
Jonathan wanted Kip to be there as the "Best Dog"! He was very well behaved and made everyone smile!

First dance.
The event center was very lovely and the food was good and I'm sure everyone had a great time. We did leave around 9pm as I was ready to call it a day.  Here's some final pics..
The Starkey men...minus Jordan who couldn't make it out from California but Craig...(blue shirt on the end!) came out from Portland, Oregon.  Unfortunately my Daughter-in-law and his kiddos couldn't make it because school is still in progress until  next week.
Our table.
I was happy to spend the evening with my guys. We laughed and had a great time together.  It's this part of  life that helps make the rest all worth it.  Best wishes Driana and Jonathan. Enjoy the journey because it's a very fast ride.  We love you!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Another Farewell

 Sitting down to write this post I keep thinking of what words I could pen that would say all that is in my heart tonight. Last night I received a call about my older brother, Greg. He was taken by squad to the hospital near his home in Louisville. After phone calls back and forth and hours of waiting I received the call nobody wants at midnight.  He passed away.  It has sent shock waves through our family and we struggle with trying to come to terms with yet another tragedy.  Another gathering.  Another funeral.  If you looked up the word success in the dictionary you should Greg's photo there. That is if success is a kind person.  If success is a generous man. If success is a loving husband, father, grandfather.  If success is a wonderful brother who did all he could to be there for the family. If anyone needed help he was there.  If success was being a hero that would be him.  A brave marine who fought in Vietnam.  If success was running a company he built up himself and then made sure to employ any family member who needed a job and wanted a trade, he would fit that definition.  Greg loved life. He hosted many of our family Christmas parties and summer cookouts.  All were welcome in his home.  A smile, a laugh, a hug.  I have so many memories of a big brother looking out for me.  Letting me drive his car when I was 12! (secretly of course!) Giving me advice. Going off to war when I was 14 and thankfully coming home. He proved you don't always need a college education to be smart. He had class and grace and I know I sound like he was perfect.  We all know nobody is but in our family he was lovingly called St. Gregory.  So I'm betting he is with Mom and Dad and my nephew Jono.  What a party we're all missing. We will be here to honor his life and gather as siblings to say a final goodbye on Monday.  A time to reflect on a life well lived but gone too soon.  A brother we will all miss and another empty chair at the table.  RIP Greg...we all love you.

Time keeps On Slipping...

Time is slipping into the future as this month and Summer keep slipping by.  I've been busy with physical therapy for my hand and workin...