Monday, May 30, 2011

Thanks To All Our Soldiers

My Dad served in World War Uncles did too. My brothers served in Vietnam as did friends of mine and Jack's. Many families and friends have sacrificed so much so we can have our freedoms in this great country. I was lucky that my Dad and brothers came home from those terrible wars. Many did not. I'm extremely grateful to those soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. On Sunday one of the speakers, who is a veteran, made this comment "On this Memorial Day weekend, before you stand in front of a grill, you should stand in front of a grave..before you lift a spatula, you should lift a flag." I attended the annual Memorial Day parade where we were able to do just that...wave our flags, applaud our troops, be uplifted by patriotic music and be reminded that we need to do all we can to support and improve our country, and live grateful lives to honor those who unselfishly gave theirs.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

House or Home?

Today Donna (Starkey Hollow), and I went on the annual Bath, Ohio home tour. The places you visit are really amazing and can take your breath away. Some, like this one, are very big..and inside it was so cute and we loved it the best. It just had the cutest curtains, and framed pictures, and furniture, and every nook and cranny had something fun to look at. We hated to leave! It felt like a home, not just a decorator's house on display. She was a dog lover and it was easy to tell by many of the items inside. I wish I could have taken pictures, but cameras weren't allowed. Only the outside could be shot. So you'll have to take my word for it and believe me when I say all the places were lovely, but some were ones you wanted to sit and enjoy, take your shoes off, grab a book and hide in a cozy corner! Some were just houses...some were truly homes...some made me think, "what a great idea!"..some made me a little ill. One of the houses had many levels and windows everywhere with views, that for reason, made me a little seasick feeling. Crazy, I know. When I got back to the Pines, I looked around and thought, "hmmm..not tour worthy, but hey, it's home!"
Some of the homes were down right HUGE! This is only a small portion of the house. It had 10,000sq. ft. on the upper level..and 3,500 on the lower level. It was unbelievable! We did notice it had a maid's quarters too. It would be necessary to have help with all that space.
A local pet rescue group had some puppies on display, ready for adoption, and these little guys were way cute! I did resist, but I bet they were adopted out by the end of the day. It was a nice thing for this family to do to help out this organization. (They also had a couple of kittens)...again, I resisted!
I like to show Jack some of the laundry rooms in these homes...(as he does the laundry here)..this one was the second laundry room as well as housing a second kitchen area.
The inside of the homes were beautiful, but the outside landscapes were just as awesome..many of them had outdoor fireplaces that would be fun to sit around in the fall..or even winter. The owner of this one told us that the pond on the property was great for iceskating in the winter and I would assume they use this fireplace for hot cocoa and roasting marshmellows afterwards...well, that's what I would do with it!
Peaceful ponds like these were so pretty and to be able to sit inside or out and listen to the soothing sound of the water would be so nice.
Thank you Donna, for the fun day!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I See Dead People

Anyone who knows me knows I love cemeteries and taking walks in them, reading head stones and such. Something I inherited from Mom! So this was right up my alley. I took the time to visit the Ashland cemetery today to see a program put on by the historical society. I learned some new things about the people who started this town, the history, the challenges and the triumphs. It's good to know about where you live. Plus it was free..always a draw for me! The costumes were great, but I felt sorry for the actors portraying the historical figures...they looked hot on this muggy day. It was not raining for once, but it was in the 80's. This lovely lady looked really happy to see us, to get the tours started and send us on our way to enjoy a walk through time. I went with Stacy and her family (Crawford Clan blog)..Jack was not interested in standing in the sun on a hot afternoon. Not his thing! I enjoyed it enough for both of us. I did have to wonder if you didn't know this was going on and were to stumble upon a person dressed in period clothing standing near a headstone if maybe a call out to Ghost Hunters would be needed?
Some of the stops were in the shade. If I come back from the dead, it will be in the shade too so Jack will not have any excuse to not visit with me!
Dr. Hill was an ornery cuss! Very political and it was also interesting to hear how a person with only a 4th grade education could continue on and obtain a medical degree and hold various offices in government, run a newspaper, be a civil war surgeon, and a town physician...I guess it proves the saying "The harder you work, the luckier you get".
The dresses worn by the ladies were lovely, but I liked this one the best. It was a hot muggy day and I think I wouldn't like wearing all that garb of her day. But she didn't even break a sweat!
I liked this lovely ladies outfit and her pride in her son who was a leading figure here in Ashland was evident in her enthusiastic address to us. I had heard of many of the people talked about today..the Myers, the Duffs, the Freers,..but I hadn't known about the Anderson family. Learned something new!
We talked to war heroes like General Slocum.
Ummm, General? You forgot your coat.
A little music helped the festivities...I think this band was called the "Grateful Dead"..(Go ahead, you can laugh, I know you want too)
These dearly departed souls had to be moved here from another cemetery. I don't know about you, but I hate moving and frankly if I have to move after I'm dead..well, I won't be too happy about it. Except atleast I won't have to do the packing!
This was in front of a monument toward the end of our escapee?
I thought this inscription was different..not sure what it means...but I'll be on the lookout..although you won't find me here in the night. As much as I enjoy cemetery walks, I'll keep it to day time excursions!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sunshine On My Shoulders

This winter all I complained about was the cold and snow..and the snow and cold. Now that it's Spring all I complain about is the rain and cold, and rain, and the rain. Our yard is soggy in a few spots..very soggy. I had the brilliant idea of mowing between rain drops the other day. Unfortunately I chose to mow down by the creek. What a goofy move that was. I ended up in a mud mess that took Jack and me 3hrs to get out of. It's a long and sad tale, but it has a happy ending. We were able to get the mower to dry ground, get all the nooks and crannies cleaned out, fixed up, and on it's way. It was a lovely sunny day today and I took advantage of every minute by mowing and trimming and getting the yard back to normal..almost. We still have a really wet, soggy area that needs some help. But here is a pic Jack thought was blog worthy of me under the mower doing a little help with the maintenance. He did most of it...notice all the mud on the mower? That was from me.
Rain or not, Spring is springing out all over the Pines. Most of my bushes and flowers are blooming despite the cooler temps. Days like today where it reached 73de. really helps to bring it all on. Here are just a few pics of our foliage. I call this my snowball bush. It's really a white hydrangea.
This is the only azalea that I have but it's a really pretty shade and I have just the spot for another one. They only bloom for a short while, but I do like them.
The fountain is bubbling away. I moved it to the front of the house and it's nice to sit and listen to it when you're in the dining room or the kitchen.
The Dogwoods are almost done blooming and as you can see, we did have sun for a bit...I say a bit because after today rain is coming yard is never going to dry out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

She's A Treasure!

Someone is having a birthday today...That would be my Mom! Happy 85th birthday! She's been the greatest Mom to us 6 kids and she still inspires me today. She fun to visit and many times I find myself calling her for advice about something. She has a strong faith that has been tested many times during her life. No matter what the circumstance, she always finds a way to keep her spirits up, and she's a fighter for sure. After Dad died in 1976, she's gone it alone but with grace and style and fortitude. She's traveled the world, she worked for over 30yrs in a hospital setting, and helps babysit 2 of her great-grandkiddos today. So Mom, here's a big wish for many more of these celebrations, for health, happiness, and fun times!
Here's Mom at 17...she was stylin' in her outfit here!
When we get together we usually end up being as silly as teenagers...or atleast as crazy as anyone can be!
And she's still the cutest lady I know! Love ya Mom!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Two's Company...Four's A Family

I'm a firm believer that every person has a story to tell. We may think our lives are boring, or simple, or just plain everyday..but if we look close it's there. Our Story...but then there are the folks that truly have an amazing tale to tell. Vicki and her hubby Tom have that story. I keep telling her she should do a blog...but she's happy just stalking other people's blogs! Hi Vicki, I know you're there! I won't tell her story, because truly, it's hers to tell. But I can say she's having twins in July..a boy and a girl. Miracles happen people. To help celebrate this miracle, we had a baby shower at Church last Thursday. It was fun and there were many people, and gifts, and cutesy stuff to fill a mini van..wait, they don't have a mini van..not yet anyway! So here is a pic of our sweet Vicki...she wanted one taken of her pregnant.
Yep, you'd better take some time for a quick snooze a few months napping will only be a fond memory.
So what makes a fun shower? Family:
Yummy food and so attractive too!
Centerpieces to make the tables pretty.
Elyse and Chelsea..two cute sistas!, the reason we gather! So much cute in one place should be against the law..but don't we all love it? Especially when it's someone else having to take it home...and have the kiddos!
Baby shower gift cakes are so fun..and Vicki got this pink one and a matching blue one.
As you can tell from the previous pics, these babies got a ton of fun stuff, but I loved these blankets. They were crocheted by Chelsea, one of the cute Sistas pictured soft and pretty!
What the heck are you doing Jo?
Yep, the old guess the candy in the diaper game. No baby shower would be complete without this one.
I think Ginger's face is self explanatory.
Congrats Vicki and Tom...may the force be with you! Now Vicki, if you don't do a blog, I think a book would be in order. Just sayin'

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend Dash

Friday after work, Jack and I drove up to Michigan to see this little monkey for her birthday! Happy Birthday Katie! The weather was rainy and cold, but the company was crazy and fun and my Mom and Sis even came up for the day on Saturday. Even though it was a quick trip for all of us, we had a great time with the kids and grandkiddos.
It was great that my Sister and my Mom could take the time to drive up from Chicago and visit with us for a bit. They had never been up to see Craig and Amy's new house and if the rain hadn't been so bad, it might have been a better drive.
Mom always finds the way to the kitchen..I think she feels the most comfortable hanging out there!
Craig had a few projects that Jack could help him with. Getting the gazebo top on was's good to have some help from someone around the same height!
As always, I had to take the usual food shot..and as always, the food was great. Nice grilling Craig and Amy!
Mom sat with Taylor and looked at all his books he did in school this year. It was very sweet to see him reading to her and showing all his hard work.
Midge and Mom had to head back to Chicago, but we had a great time just sitting and talking and enjoying the day. I'm so glad they braved the storms and drove up.
Sophie is ready to take a road trip with her scooter...I like the little backpack on the front of the scooter. Just like her, cute!
Katie the birthday girl, takes a minute to enjoy a yummy icecream cone..hey, it's your birthday, so you can do what ever you want!
Before we hit the road for home, Taylor had to show us his awesome karate moves that he's learning..he's a tough cookie!
Thanks Craig and Amy for a fun and very quick getaway!