Friday, May 30, 2008

(Dave and Owen in Chicago)

Good-bye Chicago....Hello Florida!

As I go through some of my Chicago pictures from last weekend....these are two of my favorites.

Owen was captivated looking down at the street from my hotel window.

So, here it is, Friday...and as I recall the happy times with Owen and family in Chicago....I am also packing up (again) as I head down to Florida first thing tomorrow morning.

My sisters and I are helping my mom make a move from the condo that she shared with my an Independent Living facility nearby.

Her new condo is much smaller than the old one, but will, hopefully offer her the freedom and independence that she will need.

Since she no longer drives, this facility will provide rides...and that is so important.

The "community" life there should also afford her an extended social life...and, hopefully open up some new worlds for her.

While we know and understand that this move is probably very overwhelming right now, we anticipate that this situation will give her many positive experiences now and in the future. I am sure that she is feeling a mixture of excitement and anxiety all at the same time.

For me, it will be heading down home for the first time since Dad died a couple of months ago. I am not sure how that will feel...I know that it will be very difficult....but, I also know that I will need to try and stay strong for Mom. She is my focus for right now.

Packing up her things...also means going back through so many memories. I can't even begin to imagine how this has been for her. I am sure that she looked for my Dad's help these last few months....only to find him not there.

Thankfully, two of my sisters who live there have been so supportive and helpful to Mom....and for the two of us who live out of town...we are so grateful for all that they have done. I know that it is always more difficult for the family who live there and become the caretakers....but, as I told one of my sisters this morning...there is also great sadness in being the one living out of town. I know that I am missing out on so much...and, many times find myself wishing that I could be there with them.

But, for now, I need to do what I can...and, spending the week there helping is what I can do.

I will try and make this transition a little easier on everyone.

I hope that I can accomplish that at the very least....

....with lots of hard work, love, hugs....

...and, even a little laughter thrown into the mix..... : )

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Aging "woes"

I had to laugh as I read the above cartoon today.

It really hit close to home as I began to get ready to go on my morning exercise walk today.

The first thing that I did was wrap my ankle as it has been feeling weak and a bit achy lately.

I then put my Velcro knee wraps that are supposedly holding my meniscus tight and giving it support.

As I slipped my feet into my running shoes, I double-checked the foot support that I had especially made for my arch.

And, finally, as I headed out the door, I took two Advil to help all of my other aches and pains.

Fit as a fiddle....(HA!!)...wrapped and "medicated" : O.....I was finally off for my morning walk!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Owen and the balloons.....

"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million."
Walt Streightiff
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"Children are the true connoisseurs. What's precious to them has no price---only value." Bel Kaufman

At the rehearsal dinner this weekend, we sat and watched Owen play with the yellow balloons for, what seemed like, hours.

Such unbridled joy from this precious grandchild of mine!

Aaaah, the simple pleasures....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Some of the sites in Chicago were lovely....we were especially impressed with the gorgeous planters that were on every block and every street island. Each one was filled with a variety of breathtaking flowers and greenery! One was made to feel as though they were in beautiful gardens instead of a huge downtown area of concrete and glass.
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But, none of the sites compared to this precious one.....

(Owen wearing Dave's Steeler's cap!)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Owen heads home, too.

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Back from Chicago....

Smiling from time spent with family.....and full of memories.....we are home from the wedding weekend in Chicago.

While taking Owen down to the Navy Pier, Dave pointed out the reflection of the flag in the building's window. Ever ready with my camera....I snapped these photos and thought that they would be an appropriate post for today's Memorial Day blog.

Take time today to remember those brave soldiers who gave their lives to protect our country's freedoms... and join me in praying for a future filled with PEACE.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

What do bulls, bears, cubs and blackhawks have in common with me this weekend?

We'll all be in Chicago!!!

Dave and I head out first thing in the morning (plane leaves at 6:45 a.m. **yawn**) for the Windy City.

I will have pictures and stories upon my return...

Oh, and did I mention that OWEN will be there, too?!?!?!?!?!!!!

: )

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My boy won!


I'm not going to gloat.

But, I was thrilled to see that David C. pulled it off last night as he was crowned the new American Idol.

Maybe my three votes helped.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

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"Get Ready to Rumble"????


What were they thinking last night on American Idol?

I thought that the cheesy beginning of the show took away from its the usual good quality entertainment that it is known for. Comparing it the finals to a boxing match and having the two David's come out wearing satin boxing robes was a little silly.

But, then, maybe I am frustrated and just a little concerned about my favorite's (David Cook) performances last night.

Don't get me wrong...he was good. He belted out his three songs as only David C. can.

BUT....I must admit that little David A. came out swinging! He sang his heart out on all three songs and really carried the evening when all was said and done. He was an absolute star.

Simon called David A.'s performance a "knockout"...going along with the fatuous fighting theme...making a complete reversal from statements that he made on the Jay Leno Show as well as on Ellen yesterday. He was with David Cook's winning all the way...oh well....that's Simon for you.

Anyway, in trying to base my vote on who I truly think would make the best Idol and who has performed best all season long...I did try to get through on the phone last night for David C. I was successful three times out of many, many more tries.

In all honesty, they are both winners...and will both have lucrative contracts waiting for them when the lights go down tonight.

It really is time for me to put my energies into some other important things going on in the, the upcoming election...

Get ready to rumble.... Obama, Hillary and John...American Idol is almost over and Grammie's back into the 'real world'.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hair today....gone tomorrow?

"Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like." ~(Author Unknown but, I am sure it must have been a woman who said it!)

"The hair is the richest ornament of women." ~Martin Luther

"How can I control my life when I can't control my hair?" ~Author Unknown

"Hair brings one's self-image into focus; it is vanity's proving ground. Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices." ~Shana Alexander

"What do you think of my new hairstyle?" I ask Dave.

Puzzled, he responds..."Nice, but it doesn't look any different to me."

This same conversation occurs every time that he sees me after a trip to the beauty parlor for a color, highlite and cut....or three hour "beautifying" treatment as I like to call it.

I part with every hair on my head very even when a snippet of hair is cut, or a color is tweaked is a new and very different hairstyle to me.

In my 59 years I still find change difficult...especially when it comes to my hair. I don't know why this is because the one good thing about changing your hairstyle is that it WILL eventually grow out and can be changed back to its original state!

I know that I must make my hairdresser crrrrazy each time that I come for my 6 week redo.

When I went yesterday I brought an old picture of a haircut/color that I especially liked so that we could try it again. She looked at the picture with that "knowing" smile and said "ok, no problem".

After styling my hair for the past 10 years, she knows me well enough to hear what I have to say and then do what she thinks will look best! (and she is always right!)

I guess that bringing in a picture of myself is better than bringing in a gorgeous movie star's picture and asking for that hairstyle while saying "This is what I would like to look like"!

The reality is that we know only too well that we don't have that movie star's face to go with the haircut/color we want and no matter what is done to us....we will never look like that! Even the best hairstylist in the world (like mine!) can't perform miracles, ya know.

But, a girl can dream, can't she?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hey Owen.....

Guess who's going to see you in Chicago in just a mere FOUR days???????

Get those arms ready for a big hug!!

Grammie's coming!

I can't wait...


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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Confessions of a Reality Show Addict

I can't help it.

I love them all.

From Survivor to American Idol to The Bachelor to Top Chef to America's Next Top Model to The Millionaire Matchmaker to Dancing With The Stars to Project Runway to Workout and, yes, even Hell's Kitchen...even though I can't stand to hear Chef Ramsey scream profanities at the contestants.

But, even that doesn't stop me from tuning in.

What can I say? I'm addicted.

I do sometimes wonder how much of these programs is real...and, how much is staged. Some of the people seem to be quite "out there" and/or looking for their ten minutes of fame.

That's the strange part to all of these shows...the actors? people really do become celebrities of a sort. It is crazy when you think about it.

I am sure that much of the show is "scripted" and tweaked to make it seem more dramatic. Little disagreements become bigger than everyone likes to watch a good fight I guess.

For me, it is just 30-60 minutes of pure trite, non-thinking time.

....kind of an escape of sorts from my own realities!?

I guess that as far as addictions is a pretty safe one. It's legal, it's non-fattening, it won't raise my cholesterol numbers, I can drive immediately after watching one...and, I haven't heard of Reality Show Rehab yet, have you?

: )

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I hope that they have birthday cakes in Heaven...

Today my Dad would have been 90 years old.

I wish that I could be celebrating with him.

I miss and love you, Dad.

Happy Birthday.

**Have a couple of scoops of ice cream on me... : )

"To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.... A time to weep, and a time to laugh, A time to mourn, and a time to dance. "

Eccl. 3:1,4

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Cactus Cuties sing The National Anthem

I couldn't resist posting this today.

It gives me chills every time that I listen to it.....

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

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David vs. opinion-- for what it's worth

Well, the newspaper said it all this morning: "It's official: David is sure to be the next 'Idol'."

With over 56 million (56 million!!) votes in last night, it looks like David A. and David C. will go head to head next Tuesday...and, one of them will be the new American Idol.

And, I have my concerns if it turns out to be David A.

Watching him last night trying to handle all of the fanfare in his hometown, I saw him struggling. Overcome with more emotion than this 17 year old seemed able to handle, I worried about how he would deal with actually being out there as the American Idol?

Talent aside (and there isn't any doubt that he is incredibly talented!), David A. seems so unsure of himself. When people gush over him, the word "gosh" seems to be all that he can emote along with that youthful sheepish grin that makes his eyes seem more like slits above that huge smile. He always seems surprised by the adulation...almost as if he just can't believe it.

The other David seems ready for the fame and fortune that inevitably comes along with the title.

Also, extremely talented, David C. has seven more years under his belt--and that has allowed him to reach the necessary maturity to handle all of what is to come.

I don't know....

...maybe it is just the "mother" in me that wants to protect David A.'s fragility until he can handle it..

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

American Idol belated update

We are almost at the end of the show and I realized that I have been remiss in posting my thoughts on American Idol this season.

It has been interesting to watch each journey that the contestants have taken in their quest to win the title, "American Idol"!

My original two favorites were Brooke and Jason. Sugary sweet Brooke never really peaked, but remained a crowd favorite for quite a while. The "star" potential just didn't seem to be there with her...even though her smooth voice was lovely to listen to.

And, Jason...oh, Jason...what can I say about you? I believe that he said it all when he remarked that his "inexperience" began to show as he outwardly lacked enthusiasm while forgetting lyrics. At times he almost seemed to be "mocking" the show as he always had that mischevious grin on his adorable face..I believe that Jason will find his niche out there...his soft, and beautiful voice is easy on the ears. I have often remarked that I would be one of the first to purchase a CD if he made one in the future.

So, we are down to Syesha and the two David's.

I am amazed at Syesha's metamorphosis these last few weeks. She has gone from a seemingly unpolished singer with a bit of stage fright to a wonderfully confident and beautiful singer. I can see her on Broadway some day belting out songs...she would be amazing in that venue.

Now, the two David's.

David Archuleta has been dealing with a lot of controversy with his over-bearing father. I can't help but wonder if that is why he always seems to have this "deer caught in headlights" look about him. Too much pressure on this sensitive 17 year old? I think, maybe. His voice doesn't fit his look. I sometimes look away from the tv when he sings....and really get an appreciation for this incredible gift that he has. But, I think that he needs to get some maturity under his belt before he falls into the "star whirlwind".

So, that leaves David Cook. They dubbed him "The Rocker"...but, to me he has proven time and time again that he has a tremendous voice that can sing ballads as well as funky rock tunes. He is the real thing in my opinion. He sings with great emotion and passion...and, I do believe that he is ready for the crazy world of being the next "American Idol".

I guess that we will just have to wait and see what America thinks...

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

as seen in a yard recently....

"We seek a world free of war and the threat of war...

We seek a society with equity and justice for all

We seek a community where every person's potential may be fulfilled

We seek an earth restored"

Friends Committee on National Legislation sentiments exactly....

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Chef Dave's" Delicious Dinner

As the doors to the kitchen were closing, I was told not to enter until dinner was ready.

Dave was going to be busily preparing a special Mother's Day dinner for me since my family all live out of town.

As time went by I could hear him scurrying around as he began to create this special meal. The smells that were emanating from the kitchen were a wonderful tease as my curiosity was now quite piqued.

Finally, the moment of truth arrived...and I was summoned to the kitchen.

There my personal chef (!!) had put together a lovely (and delicious!) meal for the two of us. Here is what was on the menu: Mediterranean Scallops, Artichoke-Mushroom Pasta, steamed asparagus sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, and hot rolls fresh from the oven.

White wine was served with the meal as every bite was totally enjoyed and savored!

Topping off this fabulous meal, Dave brought out a bowl of fresh strawberries for dessert.


I am a lucky woman...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

"Bringing a child into the world is the greatest act of hope there is."

Louise Hart

I received the most wonderful Mother's Day gift this morning as I opened my email...

There was this beautiful picture of Janet showing her little baby bump and looking pretty in pink!

With her due date still several months away (September), she is starting to find the need to wear loose clothing such as this cute maternity top!

I have been asking annoying them for some pictures of Janet for several weeks now...but she and Jeffrey have had a lot on their plates as they just moved into their first home...Janet has had to commute to her job that was relocated from D.C. to Baltimore...and Jeffrey continues to work hard at his job.

So, it was very special to get to see these wonderful pictures of Janet carrying (what will be by then) grandbaby #3 in the family! I can't tell you how excited we all are to welcome this new baby into the world!

And, earlier this morning I got to do the webcam with Owen as I sang to him, blew bubbles to him, "talked" to him...and just enjoyed every moment of this special time with my family...even though they are all far away.

I guess that is what Mother's Day is really all about... : )

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY and LOVE TO ALL OF YOU who are blessed to be moms today...especially my MOM !!

Baby on Board... : )

Janet--- at around 20 weeks along.... : )

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Men are from Mars....

In Dave's little "black and white" world one of his favorite sayings is: "It is what it is".

So, I couldn't resist scanning this cartoon from today's paper and posting it on my blog today. In case you can't read the print it has the gentleman saying to his wife: "Wow...really gives you something to not think about, doesn't it?" as the other man is carrying a sign espousing: "Hey, it is what it is..."

Men seem to be able to compartmentalize things and move past them without the necessity of a long discussion....while we women (!) tend to take those same things and analyze, scrutinize and discuss them ad nauseum until we are satisfied... which may take a while.

I guess that is what keeps things interesting...

...but I do wish that Dave and I could discuss it further.

: )

Friday, May 09, 2008

Menopausal women may understand this true story...

The older I get, the less clothing I sleep in.

No, it's not global warming...nor an attempt to "Bring Sexy Back" (Justin Timberlake song)..... it's merely hot flashes!

So, the other morning, I arose wearing hardly anything pajamas that were more like a sheer negligee thin tank top and shorts.

(Hang in there with me, there's a reason that I am telling you all of this!).

Down in my sunroom off of the kitchen, I was about to open up the wooden blinds to allow the morning sunshine in when I suddenly heard something "fluttering" around my windows outside.

It was the strangest noise...sort of like a distressed bird was flying around very close to the windows?!

I couldn't imagine what was occurring...but, it began to concern me.

I could see a slight shadow of something moving up, down, and all around in a frenetic way on the 7 long windows that frame the sunroom.

Slowly and cautiously I began to open the wooden blinds to try and see this "phantom ghost" that was rattling my windows.

I wasn't sure if I really wanted to catch this predator in the "act"...but I persevered.

One by one, the blinds were cracked open-- exposing the beautiful day outside...but the fluttering continued...and my fear level continued to go up.

Finally, upon opening one of the blinds I was greeted by the surprised stare of two shocked eyes.

As I was standing there in full view in my almost naked "half-dressed" state I came face to face with my pest control man, Demetrius! He was out there with a special long-handled broom and was sweeping away any signs of spider webs that were outside in an attempt to keep my house bug free.

I just grinned sheepishly, waved at him, and turned away quite humiliated embarrassed and stunned.

I believe that I heard him hysterically laughing quietly chuckling as he rode away from my house...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

What was I thinking?

In my previous post I said that I would see my darling Owen again in June....however....I forgot that I will actually be seeing him again in Chicago on May 23rd for his Uncle Brett's wedding!!!!!

17 days and counting!

Of course, the bigger question will be if his Mommy will be able to share her brother's special day in Chicago with the rest of the family. It will be up to her doctor to make that decision in that she will be just weeks away from delivering baby girl "Moe" on June 17th.

We are so hopeful that she can make the flight to Chicago and join us....but, it is cutting it awfully close!

More on that later........stay tuned!