Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Getting It Done

The "IT" in my title is a little deck project I've been thinking about for a few years.  I wanted some shade on the deck...I wanted some protection from mosquitoes when needed.  I didn't want to invest a ton of money on a permanent structure because I have many other "projects" that need attended to first.  My Mom and my brother and my son had these canvas gazebos on their decks that seemed to fit that bill nicely.  But I put it off to get other things done, the deck repainted, etc.  I did buy one last year but had to return it because my deck (built by the previous owners) is a weird size....only 91/2 feet wide.  Most of the gazebos are 10X10 or larger. I happened to stumble across an 8X8 one at Target on line.  I still held off another season and finally this year I bit the bullet and bought one.  I should mention we did buy an outdoor screened in structure after we moved here 12yrs. ago.  It lasted almost all summer..until a fateful night of wind and storms and it ended up in the creek! The only part left whole was the door! So I was a bit hesitant this time,  fearing the same fate.  This is bolted to the deck and the canvas can be removed if a bad storm is coming. We'll see how this goes, but for now I do like it.  Here are some pics of how we spent the last few days...OK, how Jack spent the last few days! (Hey, I did help when needed!)
Front view
Side view....
Well, you get the picture! I still need to repaint my one wicker chair. It has been sitting in a spare room for a few years...and I'm sure I will be "tweeking" the decor off and on until I'm happy....Is that even possible? Me happy? Sure!  Now, about that other project in my brain......

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mommo Update

My Mom is home from the hospital and doing really good. Thanks to everyone for your prayers..they do help! My sister Midge is wonderful. She made some changes to her home office so Mom could spend her recovery on the first floor. She is the main "go to" person for Mom and with both arms in splints she needs help doing basic things. But Mom isn't a quitter! She is moving her fingers as much as possible and doing everything she can to rehab her hands. I think of her as the amazing bouncing octogenarian! My brothers and nieces and nephews are also on hand for anything that might need done.  I feel so bad  I don't live close. Having an amazing family is such a blessing. Mom made me laugh when she told me about the "talk" she gave to one of the nurses.  Now, I've been on the receiving end of a "talk" from Mom when I was young and I don't think she's lost her touch. The nurse had some questions she needed to ask and started out treating Mom like she had only one brain cell.  Mom was offended by the tone that was used and suggested that the nurse needed a different delivery.  Everything turned out OK and the nurse survived....Welcome home Mommo!  On a different note, here are a few scenes from the Pines as Spring winds down and Summer tries to make an appearance. The temps have been very chilly these past days, but sunshine abounds and the frost and freeze warnings are gone for now.  Before they are all just a pleasant memory...here are the flowers:
I call this my "snowball" bush.  I know it's a white hydrangea, or atleast in the hydrangea family.
The blooms remind me of those white coconut cakes from hostess!
Miss Azalea....you are a stunner in bright red!
This little lady is called "Miss Kim"...it's a dwarf lilac that always blooms later than ordinary lilacs.  It is soooo fragrant! I planted a few of these in our old house under the bedroom windows and loved the smell.  I planted this cutie under the window of the guestroom....and made myself a guest a few times just to enjoy it!
Rhododendron.  Blooms so huge and lovely. Unfortunately, they don't last very long. So I enjoy them while I can.
My roses are coming along nicely. My new one has bloomed already and the others are just about there. I do love my owl rocks I brought back from Chicago. (A Costco buy!)  Jack, ever the observer of the backs of people (A Chiropractic habit), claims they look like giant baked potatoes from the back....Hey, stick to humans and leave my owl rocks alone!
Group shot reminds me again that after the blooms are gone, some serious pruning will be done. Hey, I need to see the front of the house!
These two monsters are not "blooming" in the Pines, but I stopped over yesterday and they decided a trip for some frozen yogurt would hit the spot..and they were right! Anthony had yogurt too...he was just a much faster eater than little brother Cameron!
I'm not forgetting for a moment that this weekend is Memorial Day weekend.  Tomorrow we will have a
 parade and a ceremony at the cemetery to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep us a free nation.  Thanks to all who serve and to all who have served in the past. I don't like to call this day a "holiday"....just an "honor day". 
I've had this guy for about 20yrs....he comes out every Memorial day and stays all summer.  As a final Pines happening, I'll show a sunset from the other night. I love taking pics of the sunset as you can tell because I've shown quite a few...they may all look similar, but I love them anyway!
The End!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Better Homes and Gardens

Before I begin my post for today, I wanted to give an update on Mom. She had surgery yesterday and they put plates and screws in each wrist and after 2-1/2hrs.  she was in recovery.  She's been very tired, but sounded good when I spoke with her today.  My sister has been wonderful with all the things that have to be done and I'm sending out a special thanks to her.  The hospital makes me a bit mad because  the care given today has been less than optimal. My sister brought breakfast and lunch in for Mom from home...the nurse came in sometime today and suggested that Mom should really be eating.  When my sister asked about getting hospital food, the nurse said that all Mom had to do was call dietary and they would send her anything she wanted.  My sister then said.."I don't want to sound like a smart a**...but have you noticed she has two arms in casts and can't reach a phone, hold a phone, or even feed herself?" Nurse: "Oh, yeah..sorry".  I wonder how many patients starve to death at this place because the only way to get food is order it yourself.  This is a big, brand new hospital in a suburb of Chicago...bigger isn't always better...either in newer.  Hopefully we'll be getting this taken care of or "Heads will roll!"... Now for my post...
Months ago Donna (Starkey Hollow) made reservations for her and I and 2 of her oldest and dearest friends to go on a home and garden tour.  Donna has been doing this for the past 23yrs...except for last year when she was having chemo.  This year we celebrated her better health with this lovely annual outing. Thank you Donna for inviting me and letting me share in this fun time!  We toured 5 homes and gardens and also was served a lovely lunch.  A great girls day out. Here are just some examples of what we saw.  I couldn't take any indoor pics...but outside was allowed.  The homes were beautiful..some were really huge...9000 square feet?? Who really needs that much room? Anyway, we had some good laughs and I enjoy getting fun ideas. Do I envy the owners of these homes or wish I lived there? Nope..I'm very content with my home.  It's filled with what really matters in life...love, family, friends, and Eddy!  Thanks again Donna..it was great!
This place had the prettiest hosta garden around.
This garden will be filled with veggies and flowers in a few months.
Some fun planters! We thought maybe the owner was a Podiatrist! (Nope, a gynecologist!)
Pretty fountains.
This home was a true "party house"...the grounds and inside were amazing!
I thought the garden gates at this home were so cute!
Speaking of cute...Donna you are a sweetie and I'm glad we could make it out this year.  Thanks!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oh No Moment

No pix today...just a big "Oh No!"....In my previous post I paid homage to my Mom's hands...and today she used those hands to clean up her deck after a storm blew through last night.  Then she fell and broke both her wrists!  Luckily nothing else was broken.  She's in the hospital tonight and tomorrow will have plates and screws put in to make it all better.  Only now she wonders how she will do her daily tasks with both arms in splints.  Well, she will have plenty of help. My sweet Sister lives with Mom and her daughter is a nurse and after reading my previous posts you see Mom has many who love her and will take good care of her.  So I'm sending out a request for some prayers for a speedy recovery.  Mom, this is for you..seriously, if you didn't want to do any yard work this summer all you had to do was tell us! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Party On!

 Friday fun slid into Saturday afternoon party mode! Family and friends gathered and enjoyed the lovely weather, delish food, great company, and many laughs! Party on Mom!
Speaking of food...here's Jack spearing the lamb...
Every good Greek gathering should have a few nice hunks of lamb roasting on the spit....basted with lemon, butter, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper...and the main ingredient??? Beer! I don't drink it, but I'll be glad to baste with it!
Two of my favorite men, Jack and my brother Phil.  ( I have 3 other brothers who are also in my "fav men" club!)...  When I was young he always told me he was going inspect my boyfriends and if they weren't up to par he was going to kick their butt.....Unfortunately for him he had to go to war in the 60's...fortunately for me he really didn't inspect my dates....hey, I'm no bone head, I had good examples of what I should look for in a man and I found that in Jack....and he and Phil get along wonderful.  It helps that Jack can also work on Phil's aches and pains and make him all better!
The party Princess receiving some awesome gifts...No matter the age, gifts are fun!
This is Fr. Damien...he and Mom have been friends for many years.  He's been there for our family in good times and bad and we have come to love him.  He's promised to come and visit one day soon. He wants to see and visit the Amish..that should be interesting! Now I'm going to just show some pics of the characters of this special day.  I sat and watched my nieces and nephews with their children and found it hard to believe how time has passed.  My siblings and I used to be the kiddos running crazy...we used to be the Moms and Dads chasing our own kids.  The torch has been passed and we are so blessed with good health, happiness, and close knit relatives that love to celebrate life:
Amy and Parker...(the newest kiddo on the block at 3mos old)
Her Daughter Ella..almost 2!
My Nephew's little girl Alexa...she's 1-1/2 and all cuteness with her curly locks!
Amy is a nurse and my brother Jim burned his hand doing a repair on his car on his drive up from Georgia....she took matters into her hands and fixed him up!  It was pretty bad and swelling..she did good! And she did it all with a cigar in her mouth! (Not hers....my brother's!)  There were many  more faces I could have shown here, but time and space make it impossible...but the final shots are of the lady of the hour.  My Mom...(her name is Mary)
Working side by side with her as we made some Greek food.
I'm going to close with a picture of her hands.  I always thought she had the most capable hands in the world. I remember going to the hospital where she worked (and where I later worked as an adult). Mom was the switchboard supervisor and I would sit at the switchboard with her and marvel as she plugged and unplugged those phone lines...that's how it was done in those days....I will always remember her working in the kitchen and teaching me how to cook....her hands trying to teach me to sew...not my talent at all, my Sister was the seamstress!  Her hands grabbing a tissue..adding a little spit and cleaning out ears in the car on the way to church! Her hands guiding me in life....holding my hand...letting it go when I married.  Holding my kiddos...clapping at our successes...holding tissues when the tears needed wiped....waving goodbye as we leave after each visit.  I get to help hold her hand every now and then....yes, the torch has been handed to us too.....So we will continue to celebrate each birthday, holiday and any time we can gather as a family in the way we were taught...with those capable, loving hands.  Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Happy 87th Birthday Mom!

We gathered in Chicago this weekend to honor and celebrate Mom's special day.  My family came from all over to be there....us from Ohio, Jim from Georgia, Rick from Wisconsin...Phil, Greg, and my sister Midge all live in the Chicago area so their commute was a bit quicker! It was a great time! We laughed and told all the family folklore and even a few new stories came out! On Friday there were just us adults....no grandkiddos or children...just time spent with Mom as her kids.
My hubby Jack and my Sister-in-laws, Jan and Deidra , joined us and had to put up with the stories, but joined us also in the laughter!
Mom and Midge had the yard looking fabulous for everyone to enjoy.
Tables were set up and made pretty.

My brother Jim brought this boat back from Georgia..my brother Greg's going to let his daughter and her family borrow it to go fishing.  What's so special about this boat? Well, it was my Dad's...I listened to the stories of how he came to buy it and the fishing antics that go along with it...it's age? Same as mine! 60! It has been around the country and I bet has a few stories of it's own to tell.  Maybe it will make an appearance in Ohio one day!   Jim said when he thought of Dad...who passed away in 1976...a certain butterfly would always appear...a yellow one.  Can you believe that we found this just after he told me that? Yep, in the back of the boat was this butterfly!  I kid you not!
I think Dad was here with us celebrating my awesome Mom.
These are my wonderful brothers...so special..so cool...so fun...sooooooo...why am I going on like this? Well, I  wrote a tribute to my Dad last year on his birthday and said that my sister and I always gave Dad a reason to smile and my brothers always gave him trouble...or something to that effect...For some reason they don't understand why I wrote that....well, there was a reason, and they know it....but really they  are the greatest and I promised to say that and mean it too!  You guys ROCK!
Well, Happy Birthday Mom! It was a great weekend and I have many more pics and stories that will need another post to get it all out....Hope you enjoyed your day!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Build It..They Will Come!

Tonight the Young Men, Young Women's youth group from Church came to the Pines for a fun night of games, food, campfire and just plain goofing around!  They were going to do this at the Church but they aren't allowed to have a campfire there.  Jack offered to host it here and he built a nice fire for roasting hotdogs and got the grill fired up for hamburgers.  It was a good turnout and even the youth group from the Wooster Ward came!
Much food!
Lots of talking and hanging around.  I was busy and forgot to get some pics of the games...they looked like fun too. The lady in the sweater and jeans, with her back to the camera, had a little story to tell me...I tell it in a minute.
Brother helping little sis roast a hotdog!

Who had the most fun tonight?  I'm thinking it was this little guy...Eddy the Boxer!
Nobody loves a group of people and kidlets running around the Pines more than this guy....plus, if they had some human food that accidentally hit the ground....well, it just doesn't get any better than that!  Now for the quick story of the lady in the sweater.  She and her children are new to our Church.  This was the first time she had been here at the Pines. When I came out to meet her she was teary eyed....It turns out that she grew up in our house..in fact, her parents built it.  Her parents have passed away and she hadn't been there since they sold it to the people who had it before us. She was hesitant to go inside, but I invited her in and she told me what was different, what used to be where and what rooms had been added or changed.  I enjoyed it, but I know it was hard for her.  I did smile when she said the kitchen used to be bigger...or atleast it used to look bigger when she was younger!  I think we always look back and think our apartments, or homes were bigger in our memory than in reality.  So all in all it was a great night. After everyone left Jack and I sat out by the fire for a bit enjoying the beautiful Spring evening and watching the fireflies come out for the first time this year...a little light show just for us!  I've been so busy these past weeks trying to get yard work done, working at the hospital, taking care of Grandkiddos, so I'm behind in commenting on my blog buddies posts. I'm going to get caught up before we leave to visit my Mom for her birthday this weekend.  It should be a blast and I'm looking forward time with family...not to mention "blog worthy" moments!

Sunday, May 12, 2013


This about says it all....I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day.  I talked to my Mom and she sounded great and had a houseful of my siblings and Grandkiddos to make it noisy and fun!  Throw in phone calls from my brothers who live out of state...Wisconsin and Georgia....and little 'ol me from Ohio and she was feeling the love!  My Mom is the greatest Mom  ever and I can't wait to see her next week for her birthday.  I had some visitors too.  Yesterday afternoon Jack and I took care of Lexi and Addy  overnight so Phil and his wife Amanda could go out for his birthday.  Those girls are a bundle of energy! They were running:
Enjoying a painting project idea that I stole from my blog buddy Jilda,(Transformation Information)
That turned into these flower pots for Amanda for Mother's Day.

We did ours a bit different and they raided my button box to find some cool buttons to glue on the opposite side of the pots. I think they turned out cute!
We put together some necklaces too!
I was on call for surgery this weekend and was very lucky that I didn't get called out until this morning just as my son was pulling into the driveway to pick them up! Good timing! He brought some fun gifts.  I got some really nice things....a cup and saucer decorated by the girls...tea, honey and candy.  I got a lovely cookbook from my son Craig and his family and my son Jack stopped by, after a 13hr hospital shift, with pretty flowers.  My sweet hubby gave me a tripod and a monopod for my camera that I'm excited to try out.  Even though I had to work a bit today, it was a great day.  I relaxed, had an apple fritter, (yum!) and phone calls and visits from all my kiddos.  Thanks everyone!
I also picked some of my lilacs.  It's pretty chilly here this weekend.  Frost in the forecast for tonight so I decided I better get some bouquets of lilacs before the freeze gets them. I love the dark purple ones. We had been having much warmer weather and that brought out all the leaves.  A few posts ago I showed Eddy in the Creepy Woods:
Well, today I took another pic in the same place just to show the  difference.  It really turns it into the "Creepy" Woods with all the foliage out!
It was a busy, busy weekend but fun too...I can't believe another week is starting....Oh well! Goodnight!