Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Mother Nature is not a happy soul here in Ashland.  Tonight the loud rumbles of thunder and the giant flashes of lightning are also frightening!  We even had hail to enhance the experience.  Many storms are plaguing the South and they've left tragic destruction with loss of lives due to tornados. A tornado warning was issued in the last hour for Mansfield..a town about 15 miles from here.  I grew up in the Midwest and this is nothing new for this time of year.  You learn to keep a look out for funnel clouds.  You make sure there's a place to run when the warning siren goes off. When we lived in town it was easy to hear.  Out here in the country it's still loud enough to hear, but the windows are closed and the sound of the wind and rain can drown it out.  When these things happen at night it's really a challenge....no way to see the sky and sleep can make you miss the warnings.  Tonight Jack had a meeting in Canton. I'll feel better when he finally gets home.  I'm sure he will too.  I'm betting it's a steering wheel gripping night for driving in the heavy rain and strong winds.  So even though this weather is expected this time of year, it's still enough to have you say "Whoa....I'm heading for the basement!"  Thankfully the power is still on. Obviously, since my computer is working....and I'm thinking I probably shouldn't be on the computer during a thunderstorm....Yaya, signing off!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Just A Whisper

In March Spring arrived on the calendar.  The days were lighter later and now the mornings are again lighter.  Snow still fell silently reminding us to not get too antsy in the pantsies when it comes to welcoming warmer weather.  The last few weeks have found us in a rollercoaster of April weather changes.  A few days in the 60's and many  nights in the 30's.  Easter found us sunny and mid 70's.  Today rainy and 40's.  But through it all the little signs of Spring have moved in.  Almost as quiet as a whisper, the changes are happening here at the Pines. 
The Dogwood may appear bare.  Upon closer look small little round buds are appearing:
Soon this tree will have limbs full of white and pink blossoms.  Last Fall we planted a couple of apple trees and I worried this harsh Winter would do them in.  I was pleased to see they made it.
Green growth and perhaps some flowering will appear soon.  It will be a few years before crops will yield an apple pie...but it will be worth the wait!
The ever brave lilac isn't afraid of cold weather.  There have been years where late snows and freezing have killed these buds. I'm hoping for a lovely lilac season.  If the bushes we have are any proof of that, we're in for a treat.
Hostas show their little heads.  They are welcomed every year like a visiting favorite Auntie.
The chives are here! In celebration they'll have large purple flowers.  I planted some near my roses. I heard Japanese Beetles don't care for chives.  Didn't have any beetles on them last year so let's hope it's stays that way this season!
As I trudged into the Creepy Woods I listened to the birds singing and saw some deer taking off in the distance. I looked around and it still seemed pretty bare.  But looking closer the "whisper" became a bit louder. Can you see the green?
Tiny little flowers in yellow, white and lavender were almost hidden amongst the dead leaves.
This was found sprouting in there too! I gathered a few before heading back.
The magnolia wants to shout: "I'm bursting out in pink glory!"  However, for today, it's still just a whisper...a promise...a hope for a glorious Spring.
Last, but not least, yesterday Jack gave me this lovely arrangement and little notepad and pretty pen.  I guess it was National Executive Assistant something or other..Day.  I help him out on Tuesday nights in the office when needed. Warrants this beauty I guess! I'll take it since I love fresh flowers and I love surprise gifts!  He also threw in a Chinese lunch date!
Thanks Babe! (I won't even whisper it...I'll shout it out!)

Sunday, April 20, 2014


If ever there was a day that I would love to gather and savor the memories...put them in my pocket to take out for a smile when I need it...that would be today.  The weather was perfect from beginning to end.  Jack and I were up early to go to church in Akron. It was our Stake Conference weekend and the music and talks were really good and the drive was smooth and easy.  After arriving home we put the finishing touches on our Easter meal that would bring the kiddos and Grandkiddos over.  I had prepared most of it yesterday and felt ready for the fun to begin. Our temps reached 75 and we decided to eat outdoors on the deck.  We don't have the top of the gazebo on yet, but the deck shaded by the time we were set to eat.  It couldn't have been nicer.
There were 14 of us all together.  Phil had brought outdoor toys that were enjoyed by the young and old!
He was enjoying them!
Can't have Easter without bubbles....can you? Cameron didn't think so!
Summer and her PawPaw!
Food is always in abundance at the Pines. I laughed at my lamb cake...somebody was messing with his nose! I make one of these every Easter.  It was..and still is...tradition in my Mom's house.  I was lucky to get an antique cast iron lamb cake mold from my brother...the same as my Mom's.  She got hers when she married in the 40's.  I found one for my Daughter-In-Law, Amy and it's been a tradition in their home too.  After dinner all the little ones were ready for the annual egg hunt.
Cameron was looking perplexed...
Addy was leaving no twig unhunted!
Eddy was just happy to be outdoors, running and playing and hoping for a fallen piece of Easter ham! Yep, perfection was the name of the day today.  Happy Easter!  Wait! I just received some pics from my son and his family in Oregon (Portland!) These make the day a total perfect Easter!
Sophie and Taylor coloring eggs!
Katie, Taylor and Sophie going to church.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Time Of Reflection

I did something a bit out of my "box".   A friend of mine belongs to the Presbyterian Church in our little town.  They were doing something they had never done before and she invited me to go with her to experience it.  They put a labyrinth in the middle of their Sanctuary and after reading an article  about it's meaning and how to navigate it, we walked the labyrinth together.  It was interesting and certainly a time for meditation and reflection...along with prayer.  The newspaper did a little paragraph about it:   "The procedure of  labyrinth walking is divided into three phases: the journey inward,  a pause for prayer or meditation at the center and the return journey" We went in and read some instructions on how this was to be done and some history about labyrinth walking.  The church was lovely and the music was very angelic.  (Although my friend didn't enjoy the music as much as I did!)  I liked the music because it kept me focused on prayer and meditating.  My mind wanders so much when I try to meditate in a quiet place! (I think I probably have some alphabetic disorder.. ADDHXYZ...or something) So the music helped!  We walked quietly and reverently.  I'm betting this experience meant more to some than others.  I think many people are looking for "something" in this world.  Whether it's a spiritual experience or answers to prayers or help in life, people will seek out these opportunities in many different ways.  I can't say I had any huge awakening to my soul, (I'm very happy in my own religion of choice...The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints)  but taking time to ponder and pray is always time well spent....especially this week before Easter.  I have a strong faith and love what my Savior, Jesus Christ has done for me.  I love the Easter season.  I grew up Catholic and also celebrated "Greek (orthodox) Easter with my Mom's family.  It was a special time of traditions, fasting, prayer, and then the big feast.  No matter how or what you may believe, or if you even take this time to celebrate Easter, I wish you peace, happiness and love.  Here's a photo of  the labyrinth.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Today we woke up to this:

The last 3 days were in the 70's...Today my car thermometer said 31de when I was driving home. There were so many titles for this post I would have loved to used, but my Mom would have washed my mouth out with soap...nuff said.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Whistle While You Work

The weather is amazing this weekend! I have waited a long time to say that! It's been a week since I've blogged so I really want to put this up today to prove that it's not all gloom and snow here at the Pines.  (Well, snow is coming on Tuesday but I'm trying to block that out!) It's been in the mid 70's and yesterday I finally got to the yard work that needed to get started.
Flowerbeds needed to be cleaned out,
Sticks and limbs needed gathered to later be put in the fire pit for our first official fire of Spring!
As you can see, the trees are still bare.
But a walk in the woods later in the day had me rejoicing over this little clump of daffodils sitting in the middle of nowhere.  They come up every year in this crazy spot and I'm glad to see they decided to come back! I even have some coming up all over the Pines.  I'll have to pick them soon because the weather is going to get cold on Tuesday and I'm sure they'll not enjoy that!
Eddy was loving the sun in the morning.
As we were walking in the Creepy Woods, we came across a tree that came down in the wind we had last week.
Jack's not perplexed on how to get over it...he's just dreaming about getting his chain saw out and starting on firewood for Winter...oohhhh, it's that (W) word!
Eddy had no problem clearing the tree to head back for the fire pit.
The sticks and big branches were put to good use.  We sat around the fire in the evening thinking about all we accomplished.  I think I was working about 4hrs just raking and clearing out the old so the new growth will have a happy spot to sprout! I even have a bit of sunburn to prove it!
The fire pit wasn't the only thing burning brightly...the sun set on 2 very tired but satisfied folks...and one sleepy dog!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Wanderings

We actually didn't really wander at all this weekend.  It was more a weekend of "pondering" I guess.  It was General Conference weekend and we stayed home Saturday afternoon to listen to the talks from church leaders out in Salt Lake.  The messages were all good and I felt many directed at me! (I mean, it's all about me isn't it?...That's an inside joke!)  Saturday morning was all about getting chores done and errands run so we could sit and ponder the messages in the afternoon.  Sunday was more of the same.  Jack usually has early morning meetings at church on Sunday so he was able to sleep in for once.  We took a nice leisurely walk in the Creepy Woods with Eddy and then put the finishing touches for our dinner that afternoon.  Our oldest son Jack was coming over with his kiddos and his girlfriend, Evelyn. We had only met her once before and we had a lovely time getting to know her better.  She's a sweetie and I know we'll have many more times to get better acquainted. Again, the messages were spot on and the music from the Tabernacle Choir was awesome.  It was a quiet, but lovely weekend.
Jack and Evelyn.  She wanted to know what a blog is all about so I had the fun of showing her my blog books and our blog.  Looking at the books she said they were like a journal.  To that I had to agree and I said it was the reason I blog.  I hope someday my books will be of interest to my family. 
My Granddaughter Summer and her Dad looking over the books and laughing at some of the entries.   Yep, blogging has made keeping a journal easier for me.  Lately I've been pondering the idea of quitting the blog or taking a "blog break".  It takes time and effort and sometimes I really wonder if it matters to anyone but me.  Having them enjoy the books has made me rethink that for now.
My other Granddaughter, Driana, had come the day before to cut my hair and we had a really great talk.  She's such a cool kiddo and a hard worker.  She wants to do social work and is almost done with her first year of college. Amazing...again, time does fly! I happened to have today, Monday, off from work and went to my first water aerobics class.  My knee has made doing exercise difficult but today was a blast. It was fun to jog, doing jumping jacks and a ton of other stuff with no stress to my joints.  I'll be doing the classes mostly at night since I don't always have days off during the week. I forgot to take some pics so I'll have to do better at that next time! So, although we stayed close to the Pines, it was a lovely, quiet, family filled weekend.  Just the pondering ticket I needed to get this week on the right track!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I can remember turning 30.  For some reason I struggled with that milestone.  I know I've mentioned it on my blog before.  I got over it and moved on. I even went so far as to have a baby the next year.  Which brings me to today.  30 years ago today I had my youngest son, Jordan.  He is at the milestone that took my breath away and somehow I just have to shake my head to realize how fast time flies and how it stands still for nobody.  Jordan was my buddy when he was little. He held the "baby of the family" status.   He and I spent a lot of time in the car together...in the store together...in the house together...in life in general together!  He's a good guy.  He's the one who gets the "Hey, I'm moving, can you come and help?" call...and he always comes and helps.  We got him a tee-shirt that says "Big Ape Moving Company".  He's hard working, loves animals (more than people!),  has a very quick wit and has his own opinions and views on life that suit him just fine.  He doesn't ever want to marry or have kiddos....of course that can change with time and the right woman to trap him...I mean change his ideas on that subject!  He's done some stand up comedy.  He wanted to challenge himself to get out of his element.  I was surprised because he's really a quiet guy..sort of.  He enjoyed it a lot and I think he would love to make that his life's work.  Someday perhaps...right now he'll keep his day job!  He's been living with us for the last couple of years. I guess he fits the term I heard the other day..."boomerang kids".  He's saved his pennies and paid off all debts and is looking to buy a house for himself and his dog, Eddy the Boxer.  We'll miss him and Eddy but I'll be happy he's not the sterotype of a 30yr old living in his parents basement...even if he does pay rent for the privilege!  So a big Happy Birthday to  you Jord.  Glad you weren't  born on April 1st...your Dad wouldn't allow it!  You had the last laugh weighing in at 10lbs, 8oz and making me have a C-section for the 4th and last kiddo!  Here's a few of my fav pics of him:
My giant 4 month old!  He's still a tall drink of water!
He didn't seem to mind his Mom with an attitude....his first Halloween.
He loved his first dog Ferris.  When he was 3 we went to the dog pound and he picked him out. 15yrs later he and I and Jack stood and cried together when Ferris had to be put down. 
He and his other favorite dog! Yep, time goes so fast.  We've had the good, the bad, and ugly times too, but all's good today!  You'll always be my baby anyway! Happy 30th!