Saturday, August 15, 2009

I am a Rock..I am an Island......

Ok, where is the title of my blog from??? Of course, Simon and Garfunkle! Well, I'm shaped more like a brick than a rock, but hey, don't you like my island? Jack finished it today and I love it.. I love him too! I also painted the other side of the kitchen a bit lighter than it was. Now it flows much better. Only a few little finishing touches, such as trim around the bottom of the cabinets and some curtains. Whew, it took me longer than I thought it would and Jack has canceled all the HGTV so I don't get anymore crazy ideas. (shhh...I already have some more crazy ideas!)
Yes, I know this pic is blurred. It's a pic of crab apple jelly. See the pretty tree below? It's my brother Greg's tree. It sits in his front yard and it has the biggest crab apples I've ever seen! Jack and I and my little great-nephew Ethan picked a peck or more and I promised I'd make jelly. It came out great. We tried some on toast this morning and I'm going to give some to any family that shows up at the Christmas party. I can do that because I made 24 jars of this stuff! That should be more than a year's supply don't you think??? I'm thinking of calling it "E's Crabby Jelly" after Ethan who's not crabby at all, just cute as a button.

Greg, you can brag that you have some super duper crabs here! I mean crab apples!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Reunion Thoughts

What are reunions for? I think they are an important part of summer tradition....our family doesn't get to do them every year and this summer we had a "mini" one because some of our cousins from California made a trek out east and stopped to visit for a bit with us. Reunion moments are usually captured in pictures...small snipets of life that remind us how much we enjoy the links that make our chain of life....maybe it's taking a small shopping trip to the beautiful outdoor mall...
Or a quick nap on a riverboat ride...
Enjoying the beautiful weather on a pontoon boat..
Being thankful for those (Phil and Greg) who took the time to share a lovely afternoon on their boats and all the work that goes with preparing for that...
A fun dinner in a park like setting in Phil's backyard...just talking and eating wonderful food and catching up with all the family news...
Cooking up a load of yummy burgers, hotdogs, and sausages at Greg's on a hot and steamy Saturday...Gathering up all the kiddos and old folks and getting everyone to smile for the traditional large group pic.... Or a small group getting ready to leave for the airport at the end of the visit..... Maybe it's "old" cousins catching up and reminicing about days gone past..... Or new cousins meeing for the very first time...babies don't wait for the end of reunions to be born and Katie and Blake welcomed little Mason James on Thursday, Aug. 6th...Mom and baby are doing great and he's a real cutie for sure! I'm grateful for the moments we spent last week catching up and meeting and greeting relatives old and new. We wish everyone could have been there, but distances, work schedules, and family obligations make that impossible at times. Hopefully we won't let too many years go by before we meet again. Life can change in an instant, and us old folks won't be here will be up to the young ones to keep the "forever family" traditions going. Thanks for the fun times everyone in Chicago and for sharing your homes, food and putting together the DVD of everyone's pics of their families and for updating the Andrianakis book...we have the updated version for all our families!

Monday, August 10, 2009

My kind of Town!

On Wednesday of last week we headed to Chicago for a mini family cousins from California were coming in so we all met up at Mom's for the week. Right after we pulled in everyone was deciding to head to downtown for some touring. Jack wasn't interested after driving for 6hrs, but the Driana and Summer and I decided to go. I was happy they came with us and this would be the first time they would get to see downtown Chicago. Usually they came out with their family for Christmas and didn't get the time to tour much. This was their first train ride, and I think they enjoyed it. Then we headed to the Sears Tower, renamed Willis Tower (it will always be Sears to me!) Stepping out of the train station to peer up at the tall skyscrapers and see all the hustle and bustle of rush hour (it was about 5:00pm) was a bit overwhelming at first! (even for me!) Time for a photo moment, first us then all my cousins....
From left to right...Collette, her Dad Charlie, her Mom Nancy (my cousin), my other cousin Chrisie (Nancy's sis) and Charlie and Nancy's son Tyler.
The view as always was breath taking! We had such a great, clear afternoon. You just gotta love this city!
The girls braved the plexi glass cube...when you step in it, you feel like you're floating over the city. I just felt terror. I tried, I really did! I took about 2 steps in and just jumped back out. They had a good laugh at the old YaYa and then had to show me up by standing, sitting, leaning against the glass. I couldn't even watch them any more! What a wimp I am! After the frightening adventure of the tower, we headed back down and caught a water taxi to Navy Pier. It was very nice to sit and float down the Chicago river and enjoy the pretty buildings from the back side! I'll post more pics tomorrow of this fun weekend. Don't want to bore you to death yet!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Farmer's Market

Saturday is Farmer's Market day in Ashland. From July to Oct. it's the place to spend a fun morning! You get to see all your friends...Hi Mike, Donna and little Bailey!
The Amish are out is force, selling veggies, pies, breads and even homemade baskets. The horses just wait patiently and love to pose for crazy bloggers.
Yep, just pull up your buggy and start selling.
The booths go on forever!
It's not all farmers out here...some people sell homemade soap, crafts, and there are some really cute Chinese gals selling the best tasting crab ragoon ever! (and egg rolls, and spring rolls too)
But the stars are the fruits and veggies for sure. We picked up some sweet corn, delish tomatos, and sweet onions...oh and some homemade wheat bread and fresh cut flowers. Yep, something for everyone! After all the fun of shopping, we headed home and back to painting...almost done, just have the island and my pantry door to finish. Whew, I know Jack will be glad when we're done. He's tired of hanging doors! We're both tired of sanding and painting too. But so far I really like the fresh, open new look of my kitchen. The final product will have to wait until we get back from Chicago next weekend. Atleast I can put my house back together now! I need to give a big thank you shout out to my son Phil for getting the glass in my corner cupboard in so quickly...thanks Phil, I really love it!