Monday, May 31, 2010

And the Beat Goes On

Memorial Day is today and I hope everyone took time out before the picnics and party time that happens on this weekend to think about our soldiers from all wars who have died to keep our country a free and great place to be. Jack and I went downtown for the annual parade. I always enjoy seeing the Civil War reenacters. I then walked to the cemetery for the ceremony that's held every year. It was a cloudy and breezy morning. It's been a hot weekend so it felt nice. This is a long post because I included Sat. events as well. Sorry about that! But when all these fun and moving events happen and you're a blogger it can't be helped! Hope your weekend was as nice.
There is a new memorial for all those from Ashland county who have lost their lives while serving our country. Today 3 more names were added and then Amazing Grace was played on the bagpipes. Canon fire and then a 21 gun salute followed by taps ended a very moving ceremony.
The Ashland cemetery is a beautiful place to enjoy a quiet walk. All the flags were on the graves of men and women who have served our country. How grateful I am for their service and those who serve us today to keep our freedoms and make this a wonderful place to live.I want to send a big thank you out to all our friends and family who have served in the military.

Sunday afternoon Phil and Amanda had a birthday party for Alexis who turned 4 in the beginning of May. They wanted to have a cowgirl party complete with a pony so they asked if they could have it here at the Pines. Sure thing! They had a friend who lent them a pony for the afternoon. It was a lot of fun and it turned out great. All the kiddos seemed to have a blast with the pony, water fun, food and pinata. The adults enjoyed sitting in the shade of the big tree in front and eating, talking and watching all the kids play. Happy Birthday Lexi!
The tables were done in pink and white. The balloons looked so cute with the white and black "cow" ones!
The cousins showed up along with Alexis' friends and other family. Here's Driana, Summer, Anthony and Cameron.
Aggie the pony was a big hit with the birthday girl and all the little tykes that were there. She's a sweet tempered pony and it was a big surprise for Alexis.
A birthday party isn't complete without some gifts. She got some very cute outfits and some fun outdoor water toys.
The party ended with a few whacks of the pinata and candy galore for everyone. They were sent home all sugared up!
Amanda's friend made this really cute cake. It tasted as yummy and it looks.. A fun day was had by all the kiddos, young and old!

Thursday Fun!

Last week Donna treated me to a wonderful day with her and her friends Cindy and Judy on a home tour in Bath, Ohio. We've gone on quite a few together and they are always fun and interesting and beautiful. The homes are mostly crazy expensive with a few that are on a smaller scale usually because they are historic. This year there was a farmhouse built before the civil war.It's fun to tour and get ideas and see how the "other half" lives! There is a nice luncheon with a fashion show and artisans selling jewelry, flowers and more. Here are just a few examples of what we that looked like this: (this one is for sale for only 1,400,000.)
Gardens that looked like this:
And This:
Thanks Donna for the nicest birthday, Christmas, Easter and whatever day present! You're the best!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quiet Morning

Saturday morning I tried to catch the sun as it climbed over the trees in the Creepy Woods...It was a really pretty morning and very quiet out except for the birds of course! So beautiful and my photos really don't give justice. God sure knows how to paint a pretty picture!

Ahhh, I feel peaceful now!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bad Omen

If you get up at the (butt)crack of dawn and this is lying (laying?) on your livingroom (white carpet no less) floor, do you:
B...stand there in your robe saying "Oh my heck!"
D...make a really stupid looking face at your husband who made sure to get your sorry butt out of bed so not miss this...this "thing"
E...wonder where, when, how, and just plain crazy how again did the cat actually capture, kill and leave this there? and pet the happy kitty and give her a treat and say "Wow, you are the best kitty in the world!"
G...all of the above: except for F

P.S..yes that is real blood..on a white carpet..that's what stain remover is came out and the bat went out..thank goodness it was garbage, do I have to worry about rabies???

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gurgle, Gurgle

I'm starting to work on the gardens around the Pines..I've finished the one by the deck that gets the fountain. It sounds so soothing! It also signals summer is almost here. We've decided that we will put up our pool this year. It's one of those intex pools that you can take down and put up each year. We opted out of it last summer because it was so cold and rainy. So far it's looking like we might have a warmer and sunnier season. I sure hope so because it's alot of work getting everything ready to put it up. Thankfully Jack and Jordan take on the task of putting it all together..first it has to get dragged out of storage! Then the water man comes and fills it and I get to keep it clean! Atleast this post doesn't have birthday candles, cake or wishes involved! I'll post more garden pics as I get them done. The weeding is a pain, but the results are worth it!

Friday, May 21, 2010

100 pieces of pastry & 12 candles

At Summer's middle school today they held the annual international day. The kids pick a country and learn all about it and set up displays, write a paper, and make some kind of food from that country to share with the other classes. Summer chose Greece. I wonder why? Well, she called to see if I would help her make some food and perhaps loan her some items if I had any from Greece. No problem kiddo!We needed to make 100 servings! She came over last night and we made my fav Greek pastry. (no not baklava) It's called galatoboureko and it turned out super good. She stayed over night and I took her to school this morning. I went in a little late for work!
I helped get Summer's area set up. She had written a paper on Greece and then set out all the "artifacts" I gave her. The red blanket was made by my Grandmother back in Greece when she was about Summer's age..(it's well over 100yrs old),we had Greek cookbooks, some plates Mom brought back from one of her trips to Greece, worry beads, evil eye charms and of course the Greek pastry that Summer and I made the night before..all 100 pieces to share! The kicker was that today is also Summer's 12th birthday! I told you this month was chock full of we were invited over for dinner along with her other Grandparents and a bunch of her friends.
Summer wanted tacos so everyone made their own tacos or,as in my case and Jack's, taco salad. Pretty tasty!
Time to make a wish and blow out the candles...after the icecream cake all the kiddos headed outside for a campfire, smores, games and good fun. After that I heard that they were going to make t-shirts to take home. And of course the best time is the sleep over! Never having had girls, however I am a girl so I do remember my sleep over parties..I forgot how noisy they/we/were/ are!Did that make any sense at all??
Summer,we hope your day was a happy one! It's not that PawPaw and I don't want to spend more quality time with you and a ton of giggly girls and your wild little brothers, but this week has been a crazy busy one and my fat pants are calling me home to some peace, quiet and my new book..all I have to say is: TGIF!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The Month of May is chock full of birthdays around here..As I posted before, Phil's is May 9th..but to surprise him for his 30th Amanda had a surprise party last Saturday at the Fireman's cabin. She blindfolded him and took him for a ride..destination unknown to him. (I wonder if anyone saw him sitting in the passenger side and wondered what the heck was going on?)She had rented the Fireman's cabin for the night. It's a very rustic cabin out in the middle of the woods near Ashland. There was a bonfire set up outside and also a place for a game of corn hole. Inside was all decorated and music was playing. Very nice set up! His friends and family arrived and waited for the big surprise moment..He was very surprised indeed. I'm sure he remembers the cabin from his Boy Scout still has the same Fireman curtains on the windows!

Jack found a nice restful spot on the front porch of the Fireman's cabin. The Boys Scouts have used this cabin every February for a fun overnight retreat..this is the first time Jack has actually seen it with leaves on the trees!
Amanda had the cabin all decorated and the food all ready to go...the food was really good by the way!
SURPRISE!!!(notice the blindfold in his hand?)
Such a cute couple... Good job on surprising your hubby Amanda!
These crazy characters are actually related...3 out of my 4 boys and their they even look like they are in the same family??? But hey, they are stinkin' cute, lots of fun, good sports when I'm stalking them with the camera. Smile guys, you're blog worthy and it's a party after all!
Now here's two party animals...
Last but not least, on Sunday Phil and Amanda stopped by with some delish leftovers from the party and these two smartie pants! Fun way to finish off a lovely weekend!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom, this 200th blog post is dedicated to you...Happy 84th birthday! I wanted to let you know how much you are loved by Jack and I and the kids. I think you are fun to be with, smart as anyone I've ever met, and are the rock of the family. Congrats on getting your license renewed so you can drive,not only to church, stores, and doctor appointments, but also making Midge a bit crazy wondering where in the world is Mary Arends today?? I have you to thank for my got me the interview at 18yrs old for a summer job in surgery as a nurses aide and lo and behold I stayed on, went back to school and here I am today still handing the scapel to the surgeons! Thanks for the push!
You picked the best man to marry and be our Dad. It set the standard high for us in choosing our spouses! To have to lose him at such an early age had to be the hardest thing in the world. But you took on that challenge as you have with many others in your life..with tons of hope, prayer and action. I think you invented the phrase: "Just Do It" before Nike ever did! Atleast I heard it from you first!
It's always fun when you and Midge come visiting, or we come out there. You're a good sport even when I take you on rainy excursions to all kinds of places here in Ohio.
You are a wonderful Grandmother, and now you are excelling at being a super Great Grandmother! Taking intrest in so many is hard, but you try your best to see everyone.
You're always excited to welcome in the new great grandkiddos! And you even take on the task and challenge of babysitting them! Whew, that's a job at any age!
This is just a part of what you and Dad created! All the kids, grandkids, great grandkids, cousins, nieces, nephews...all the assorted family members that make up our posterity, our heritage, our lives.
Mom you are one beautiful, classy lady. You're my inspiration and my hero. I hope that if I get to be 84 I can look as great as you. Jack, the kids and I wish you the happiest birthday ever!
I know your birthday is May 17th...but I wanted to post this tonight so you could get this first thing tomorrow! So if you know my Mom, or even if you don't, wish her a happy day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Jack was kidding me about the cat blog...yes I know it was a slow day in blog land but I'm getting close to the 200 blog entry status and I'm hoping that I can find a really fun, interesting, slam bang, noteworthy event to make my 200th blog entry. Well today isn't that day...this is my 199th entry and anything after this will seem more exciting! We have had a wet spring so far. That's because my roof is leaking. I truly believe the weather is directly related to my roof problem. We've had it looked at, worked on, reworked on, and Jack is giving it his best efforts to put off the inevitable...a new roof. We are getting close.It seems to have slowed down in it's leaking process. Plus twice now the tornado siren has gone off. I was hoping that maybe it could dangle it's tail just a bit over our roof...not tons of damage, just enough to let the insurance company pay for the new roof. I'm a baaaad girl aren't I??? I feel safe in stating that because I know Greg our insurance agent doesn't read my blog. Greg if you are reading this..first: I'm only kidding..second: leave a comment. Well, it didn't happen, the tornado thing. (thankfully...I guess) But what has happened is our world looks sooooo green. It's how I picture England or Ireland to look. Yesterday was very drippy, misty and then thunderstormy, tornado creating weather. When I came home from work the yard looked green, green, green. I just had to take a pic and I understand it's better to take a shot in overcast light anyway. The red chairs looked even more red and the rain washed away the bird poop on the red chairs so that makes this 199 blog entry really worth the effort. Plus I have a day off today. That's really note worthy! So on to finding something really wonderful to blog about. It may be awhile before I'm back.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Squeakquel

I post about Eddy the boxer alot, but not much about our cat Squeak. First, Jack will be quick to point out the term "our cat" should really be "my" (as in me)cat. I found her one rainy, cold November night after a church meeting, bumming french fries off of the ladies leaving the meeting. She was a scrawny, sickly kitten and I'm a sucker, so I brought her home. That was 9yrs ago and she hasn't taken off yet! I took her into the vet to be taken care of and of course fixed so no babies would be surfacing..after they put her to sleep and shaved her they realized she had already been fixed! Yikes, I stole someone house pet! Well, she was in bad shape and who ever had her either dumped her or she ran away. Either way I figure I saved her stinkin' life and she should be grateful! She never has been a jump in your lap and let me pet you kind of cat. Atleast that's what I thought.My oldest son informed me she jumps up in his lap all the youngest son said the same thing. "Your kidding I said" "She just must realize you don't really love her Mom" Oh ya, and you do??? Well anyway she's been the resident mouser, house/outdoor cat and now also the Eddy hater. So here's a glimps into a Squeak's life. Oh yes,we call her Squeak because she doesn't meow like a normal cat...just little squeak noises.
She likes to perch on the deck railing and keep a bird's eye view for mice, chipmunks, or birds..I'm not crazy about her killing birds and I realized by keeping a bird feeder under the dogwood tree right by the deck was not a good idea! It was like a kitty cafeteria.
Squeak will sit quietly under chairs, behind curtains or under the stools in the kitchen. Content just to sit and not bother anyone.
A fav place for squeak to hang out is the corner of the deck on the deck box. Everyone needs a "me" place!
Is this the face only a Mother could love? Or perhaps Squeak is trying out for the new Twilight movie.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Phil!

What could be a better Mother's Day gift than bringing home a beautiful, bouncing baby boy on that day? I had that pleasure 30yrs ago. I can't believe he's really that old because as I've stated in the past...I'M NOT THAT STINKIN' OLD PEOPLE!!! Phil was such a crazy fun kiddo growing up. He was smart and cute and could argue his way out of any situation. We really thought he would become a lawyer! He's a wonderful Dad to his two cute girls, Alexis and Addy and a good husband to beautiful Amanda. Being the 3rd child is hard..I guess that's the middle child syndrome. But I'll always remember what our pediatrician said to me on our first visit. "It's such a pleasure to see a 3rd baby so welcomed and loved as this little guy is.." He was right then and it's true today. Happy Birthday Phil!


The church held our annual womens conference this morning. The theme this year focused on our "treasures" in life. The talks were really inspiring,the music lovely, and we could pick 2 classes out of 6 to attend. I chose a photography class and a class on how to become more creative. See a personal theme here? The day was rainy and cold so indoor activity was a good choice. Sometimes I think I'm too busy to spend time just for me. I'm never sorry that I go and the housework and other busyness that seem so important manage to get done or left for another day. One of the suggestions from the creative class was to write something called "morning papers". You get up in the morning and just write whatever comes out, without thinking about it...just write and unload all your "junk"! Do this for 12 weeks straight and don't read any of it until your done..these are notes meant just for you and I'll be interested at what flows out of this brain! We should take time everyday to pursue what creative outlet we would like:, now all I need is just a few more hours in my day! I know God gave me's my job to find them out and then use them for goodness sake!Oh yes, I almost forgot. The food was good too! I usually take a pic of whatever I'm eating(don't ask me why I do's a sickness!)but I forgot.

These treasured friends didn't mind making my "blog worthy" moment..thanks Dee, Connie and Gayle! It was a fun morning!
The instructor for the photography class said taking pics from different angles is good and taking pics from above a subject is flattering..makes the face look thinner..oh ya baby, I will jump on anything that speaks to my thinner side. So I experimented with a self above the head portrait..I think more classes are needed! Yucko!I look like I need a puke bucket don't I?
To finish off a fun day, Phil and Amanda dropped the girls off for an overnighter so he and Amanda could celebrate Phil's 30th birthday (which is tomorrow). Out come the paint, paper and also markers.They didn't need a class on creativity..Alexis has the key to being creative: just going with the flow and loving everything you make because it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. It's a masterpiece!
Addy's creative side takes a backseat to learning how to recap the markers!
A treasured moment that makes me smile and hopefully one that Alexis will remember. Her PawPaw reading her a story.
This final pic of a real treasure:Addy Rae reading to Eddy the boxer!