Thursday, July 11, 2024

Hello July!

 I didn't get a blog out on the 4th of July but I did celebrate with family and a good friend of ours joined the group too.  She's the lady I told you about who lost her husband this year. We try to make sure she's not alone on holidays.  Anyway, guess who didn't take a single pic on that day...yep, me! I just got so busy making sure everyone was eating and enjoying the rainy day I didn't think about picking up the camera or using my phone.  Yes, the rains came but the fireworks still went off as planned. We stayed home but my daughter-in-law and her daughter and granddaughter went.  The only pics I got were:

The carved wooden eagle our son did for Jack a few years ago got a quick holiday outfit on.
I have a star shaped cake mold that makes 6 cakes and I usually whip up a few for this holiday. It's hard to tell what it is from this shot but they had cherry filling and did get eaten! We also did ribs and homemade icecream.  The rain didn't stop us from eating!  We really needed the rain so no complaining about it!  I happened to be off that week since one of the Docs who works 3 days a week at the endoscopy unit was on vacation and that's who I usually work with so I took advantage of the time.  Annabelle and I took a little walk at Freer Field where the Balloon festival had been held.  It was pretty quiet that morning and temps were nice and cool.
I enjoy the trail through the woods.

Coming out of the woods I could spy a couple just sitting on a bench on the hill enjoying the beautiful morning.   Speaking of enjoying a beautiful morning, I took a minute to sit out on the deck one of the mornings and have my tea and toast and just enjoy the pretty day.

So far the bugs haven't been bad but with the warm and humid days we've just been having I'm sure the mosquitoes will arrive and sitting outdoors without screens isn't going to happen much.

On another morning walk we had to stop by and say hi to our alpaca friends...little cute Beano!
Annabelle likes to get up and personal!
This scared me for a minute but this alpaca was just sleeping in the leaves! She soon popped her head up and got up and moved to a new spot.  Well, that's all I've got for now.  I hope the warm weather isn't hurting anyone too badly. We have temps in the 80's with humidity and I'm trying not to complain but enjoy this season.  However, I know soon it will be Fall and then I'll have my happy face on!   

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Slacker Blogger!

 It's been a few weeks..again...that I haven't posted. I don't know why I get behind but I was determined to get a quick post in tonight.  It's getting late but if I hurry it will still be Friday.  This weekend is Ashland's annual balloon festival. It started on Thursday.  The weather held up nicely but tomorrow rain is forecasted.  We usually do get rain during Balloon Fest but at least this year there were 2 days of balloon races.  Jack said he saw a bunch of balloons in the air this morning on his way to the office.  He leaves for work at 6:30am and this slacker girl was still asleep until 8:30! Yikes!  I told Jack I didn't know why I was so tired.  He said, "well, you worked 2 days in a row".  Wait, what?  I remember when I would work 14 days in a row and also be called out all night and still be going strong.  Oh yeah, that was a long time ago! I keep forgetting I'm not 35 or younger even if my brain thinks I am.  My body knows the truth!  There were balloon launches in the evening but they didn't fly over the Pines.  I was taking Annabelle for a walk at the cemetery and this was all I saw of the balloons.

Ha! Pathetic!  I don't go to Freer Field where all the action is because that's also where all the thousands of folks who travel here to enjoy the fun are located.  I've been to a few of the balloon festivities and frankly, if you've seen one balloon glow at night, you've seen them all!  I do enjoy watching them in the air  though.  I doubt there will be any tomorrow as strong storms are heading our way but maybe on Sunday morning the weather will cooperate for the final fly over.  Since I haven't posted in a bit I'll just show some pics from Father's Day and other things that I find on my phone. 
My oldest son, Jack, and his oldest, Anthony.
Pool time! Our weather was pretty hot for a few weeks.  Very usual for June here.  We had 6 straight days of 90 plus temps and that hasn't happened since the late 1800's.  Not sure it there was global warming in the late 1800's but I'm pretty sure they didn't have above ground pools to cool off in or central air either.  That's why I'm thankful to be born in this day and age.
A little cutie for you! This is Megan, my daughter-in-law Evenlyn's youngest. I remember when I was that thin...back in the "good old days" before I was just in the now old days! Ha! We had a really nice Father's Day cook out at Jack's and I enjoyed seeing the Grandkiddos and just having a nice relaxing day.  I can't believe that next week is July 4th already.  I did get some of my patriotic things up.
Kitchen fireplace decked out.
I found this cute vintage tablecloth when I was in Chicago.  Love it!
My sister gave me the patriotic table runner when I was visiting her.  Looks good in the dining room. Well, it's almost Saturday so to end this slacker blog post I'll finish with these random pics:
My hydrangea decided to bloom this year.  Love this flower.
Annabelle surveying her kingdom near sunset. The trees look almost Fall like in the setting sun.
Saw this little one on our cemetery walk the other evening.  I prefer to see them here than eating my apples off our trees!  
I spied this on my last physical therapy appointment the other day.  I can't believe they still have this stupid stuff from Covid but then it probably is stuck on pretty good after 4yrs!  I do kind of like staying 6ft away from folks in a health care facility!  Finally...
We had a couple of nice rainy days that were very needed after those long hot days.  This is how I spent one afternoon.  On the couch, book in hand, quiet music, the sound of the rain, and the view from the back of my eyelids!  It's what I call my meditation hour!  Well, I went past midnight so I guess I better head to bed for some real meditation time! Night all!

Saturday, June 15, 2024

2 Weeks On Speed Dial

 I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I posted last but more than that I can't believe how fast May and now June flew by.  Half way through June with the official start of summer this coming week gives me whiplash.  Jack and I have been working on projects in and out of the house.  The gardens are never ending with weeding and tending as well as grass cutting.  Last week I worked and also took a long weekend to go to Chicago and see Midge as well as attend my Great Niece's graduation from high school party.  

My Great Niece, Brooke, who will be attending Iowa St. in the Fall.  
My sister, Midge, Brooke, and her Mom, my Niece Katie.  Brooke is a sweet girl and I know she'll do well in college.  We're all proud of her! Plus, she's a beauty! 
The food was so good and we really enjoyed the afternoon even though it rained.  They have a huge house that's set up perfectly for large crowds. That's where we have our annual Christmas party.  In fact, this was the first time I've seen the house without a giant Christmas tree!  Here's a few pics of the cute decorations that were set up.

Nice job of celebrating a sweet young lady!  Of course the balloon arch in the first pics was a job we all pitched in to do.  I left Chicago on Monday heading for home and more things on my list to accomplish.  I enjoyed the time with Midge and family but felt bad that Midge woke up on Sunday feeling horrible.  She has a bad virus that she's just now getting over.  Thankfully, knock on wood, I haven't gotten it and she's feeling much better.  Once home I had a few days to prepare for our Relief Society (our Church's women's meeting) to be held here at the Pines.  I was worried about the weather but it turned out really nice.  Not even any mosquitoes to bug us! I didn't take any pics but we had a group gathered by the fire pit, lots of conversation and then an ice cream bar and fresh fruit salad.  It was a nice, relaxing time with a great group of women.  So all the mowing, weeding,  mulching, and food prep, mixed with working had me running on speed dial mode.  Thankfully Jack was there to help and I know I couldn't have finished it without him. Thanks Babe!  Oh yes, I also came back from Chicago with a nasty bug bite on my leg.  I've had that happen a couple of times before and I went to the clinic to have it checked out.  The NP thought could be phlebitis and ordered an ultra sound.  So the day of the gathering here I had a physical therapy session in the morning followed by the ultrasound, and then a doctor appointment in the afternoon.  (just a regular 6mo checkup)  The doc was running late and I didn't get home from a 3:20 app. until almost 5!  Then I had to get everything set up for the meeting.  I also worked yesterday.  Anyway, all was well and the ultrasound showed no blood clot.  The tech said, "No clot, looks like a bug bite".  Yep, I knew that all along.  Tomorrow is Father's Day and I know I'll blog about that later. Have a good weekend!

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Pomp And Circumstance

 The past 2 weekends have been filled with a graduation party and this past Saturday, graduation day for our Lexi.

Pomp and Circumstance means a ceremony of grandeur or a very formal occasion.  Of course we all know when we hear that music that Pomp and Circumstance is heralding in a graduation ceremony. I remember my Mother-in-Law saying that the song always brought tears to her eyes.  Realizing these kids aren't little anymore and time is marching on with them brings tears to my eyes.

The music plays that iconic song and the kids march as practiced to their assigned seats.  It was a beautiful morning for the ceremony.  I was surprised it was held at 10am on a Saturday as I remember our kids and other Grandkids having theirs in a late afternoon or evening.  At least it wasn't raining!  In fact a little sunburned even happened on poor Jack's arms.  He's delicate where I tan.  

We looked for Lexi in the hope of catching a pic of her walking in.  Thankfully she had on some heels so we could see her better but all I got was the back of her head and that cute shock of purple hair!  After the Pledge of Allegiance was recited and the National Anthem was sung beautifully by one of the graduates, everyone sat for the speeches.  Of course those speeches are meant to inspire, give hope, give instruction, give praise, give some laughs, and bring on some tears.  The tears coming mostly from the parents and grandparents as the students are just excited to be getting done.  I don't remember a thing said at my graduation but after hearing so many in the years of my kids I know they all ring true.  The first speaker got a little emotional toward the end of his speech and I'm sure it's because he realizes that after this day of pomp and circumstance these kids will move on and some will succeed in various ways and others will struggle in ways that they don't expect.  Life will bring challenges and opportunities and we are praying that Lexi will be able to stand up to whatever lies ahead and know that what ever does go down her life journey there are many who love her and will help in any way possible.  Well, the tassels were changed from one side to the other, the hats were tossed in the air, and cheers were heard from the graduates and the proud crowd of family and friends.  Pictures galore, hugs given, farewell to friends and well wishes from everyone.

Sweet moments from Dad.
I was doing fine until Rae broke down in tears as she hugged Lex.  I think she was overcome with the knowledge that she won't have her big sister in the high school with her in the fall and Lex won't be driving her to school or being there at home.  Lex is planning on going to Bowling Green University this fall.  These two are as close as sisters can be.
Hang in there Rae. In 2 years we'll be doing this with you and the tears will flow again and the well wishes and parties and all the pomp and circumstance in your honor. Good luck Lexi! We love you!

Friday, May 31, 2024

May Fly!

 My title might have you thinking I'm talking about bugs today.  Nope, just realizing how May flew by so quickly! For a long month of 31 days it sure went fast.   Tomorrow is June 1st and it really means summer fun, projects, cookouts, vacations and the end of the school year for most. (my Granddaughter in Oregon is still in school for a little longer).  Tomorrow our Lexi will graduate high school and of course I'll be there with camera in hand to capture this special moment in her life.  She stopped by for a second with Phil and was just beaming with excitement.  Do you remember your high school graduation? Were you excited to be moving into adulthood?  I remember it well and was a little nervous about finding a job that summer.  My high school classes were geared for work in the business world as a secretary, or as they are called now, administrative assistant.  However, the thought of sitting in at a desk all day and commuting to downtown Chicago just didn't feel right.  My Mom mentioned the hospital where she worked had a position as a nursing assistant in surgery.  I had been a candy striper volunteer there and knew the hospital well.  It was suppose to be a summer job and give me time to find what I wanted to do.  However, I enjoyed it and my position lasted past summer and eventually after 2yrs I went back to school to be a surgical technician. I'll celebrate 50yrs as a surgical tech this August.  Definitely not on my career path from high school.  Did you go on to do what you had in mind in high school or did your path take a few turns?  Most folks do take different paths in life and I'm hoping Lexi can find her passion in college.  She's looking to work in the health care field.  Only time will tell.  Well, I'll say bye to May and leave a few pics of this lovely month we've had.

I repainted the deck and made it look nice and clean and fresh. We got the furniture out over the weekend and now can sit and enjoy gathering there.
Roses blooming on the pergola.  The other side has pink ones and this year it's finally getting bigger and climbing.
Iris are done for now
Azaleas were beautiful this year and I was sad to say good-bye for this year.
Snowball bush as I call it was loaded with blooms and now I'll trim it way back.
Dogwoods have bloomed and now are all green again.  The seasons all have their beauty and I know June will bring lots of changes in landscape and hopefully some fun and adventures.  Bye May, you brought lots of beauty to the Pines this year. 

Monday, May 27, 2024

Lusty Month Of May

 I have seen the movie "Camelot" many times from it's beginning when it first came out in the theater to now as it's on TV here and there.  The song about May is cute but I just realized I had it wrong all these years.  For some reason I thought it said: "It's May, it's May, the "lovely" month of May".  However, it really says: "The "lusty" month of May".  Seriously?  How did I get that wrong all these years?  Probably because I'm such a sweet, innocent lady...HA!  Anyway, this "lusty" month of May is quickly drawing to a close with this weekend being the Memorial Day weekend and tomorrow the Memorial Day remembrance celebrations.  We will have the opportunity to honor all those who have given their lives for our freedoms that we enjoy today.  Thank you to all who have served, who do serve now, and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  I'm proud to be a daughter of a WWII veteran and a sister to my brothers who served during the Vietnam war.  Jack and I went to the cemetery to put the red, white, and blue flower arrangements on his parents and brother's grave site.

There were a lot of folks at the cemetery cleaning around their family's graves today.  The Boy Scouts usually are the ones who come and put American flags on all the veteran's graves.  All those flags were there this year but I'm not sure it was done by Boy Scout troops as we don't have as many troops in Ashland anymore.  That makes me sad.  The cemetery has also had problems with keeping the area mowed and trimmed.  They can't get workers and I believe there's only one person working there now.  It's a big area for one man.  There's been some complaints on Facebook about the condition of the cemetery but what can you do if there's no one who will work there?  Jack suggested that maybe a volunteer organization would be the answer.  I'm thinking we will need to just bring our own equipment and do our own area for now.  Anyway, the entrance does look nice in preparation for the annual Memorial Day program that is put on after the parade.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.  We've had many lovely days of sunshine until this afternoon when storms came in and we even had tornado warnings out.  Let's hope for a dry morning tomorrow!  If you have plans for the day I hope it's a nice one for not only honoring our soldiers but also for ushering in the beginning of the Summer season.  Go ahead and wear that white now!  In addition to getting ready for Memorial Day, many kiddos are graduating from high school or college this lusty month.  We're celebrating our Granddaughter Lexi who graduates this year.  Her graduation party was yesterday and it went very well.  The venue was one I had never heard of before here in Ashland.  
Yep, it was called "The Funky Junkyard"!  It's an eclectic, artistic kind of place downtown.  Here's a few pics of the venue:

There were 2 rooms that were decorated so crazy that it works!  I kept thinking it would make a perfect place for our family's annual Halloween bash!  I guess there are bands that come and play there and they do artistic gatherings too.  Like I said, it was very eclectic and also fun!
Lots of photos of our little Lexi Lou through the years.
All her favorite foods were there too.  Can you say sushi anyone?  Lex asked if I could make one of her favorites that I make...fruit pizza:
Yes I did! In fact I made two! Forgive the wonky angle here! It has a sugar cookie layer followed by a cream cheese and marshmellow fluff mixture layer, (trust me, it's good!) and then the fruit with a sprinkle of coconut and then a drizzle of white chocolate to finish it up.  There are  many versions out there but this works for us.

Our sweet Lexi! She's planning on attending Bowling Green University in the fall.  I know she'll do great!  Here's a couple of other players at this party:
Our son Phil, Lexi's dad, and her sister Addy (we call her Rae!)
Jack hanging out with Aria, Lexi's little sister.  Aria found a quiet corner to sit and color.  It was a lovely afternoon and a great way to celebrate Lexi and wish her well.  It's been a busy time for us as I'm sure it is for lots of folks this time of year.  Tomorrow, if the weather holds out, we'll be planting our garden and getting the deck ready for outdoor sitting.
I finished painting it and hopefully will get it all "decked" out for the summer into fall season.  There's still a week left May so make it as "lusty" or as "lovely" as you like!