Tuesday, August 31, 2010


As I prepare for my grandkids arrival I found this most current video of Owen and Audrey....and, it made me smile....

Actually, it made me giggle. : )

4 more days.....

...and I will get to see this adorable "Celia" face in person!!!!!

 Can't wait to hold all three of them in my arms!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Because, I had a coupon..." was my response....

...when Dave said, "Why on earth would you buy MORE paper towels?!?!?!
I had just returned from a Costco shopping excursion and thought that I'd use the $2/off coupon, save money, and stock up on this much-needed item...12 mega rolls of paper towels!

I thought that I was being a pretty savvy shopper....but, when I looked into my pantry....I realized that
he was right.

Don't you just hate when that happens?!
: O

Friday, August 27, 2010

Up in the attic again....

I am on a (continual) quest to clear out my "full-of-junk" attic...so,I headed up there this morning with good intentions...and an armful of garbage bags. 

Of course, this always ends up being a time of emotional reflection and reminiscing...and, this morning was no different....but, I was determined to begin the clean up process...

Making my way through boxes filled with books and papers from my boy's school days....I had to stop and smile at some of these precious items.  How could I ever throw out the glitter-coated popsicle stick ornament with a photo of Jeffrey hanging from a hand-made paper cut-out baseball? Or, his report on Alexander Graham Bell with photos of  the so-called modern telephones?

And, what about the report cards with glowing notes from their teachers?  These must be saved to show to their own children especially when the grandkids are teenagers and begin to find fault with their parents....and, I promise you guys, it will happen. It is actually a rite of passage that all kids go through.

Oh, there are so many letters that were written throughout the years. Some were from the Army days right after I was married. But,  I found an especially sweet one from my oldest son, Adam, written when he was in Jr. High school.  His brother and dad were away on a school trip and he was letting them know that he was "bored" and needed Jeffrey to get home soon to help him play "Metroid" (?).  Misspellings and all, it was such fun to read.

I remembered all of the different stages that my boys went through by looking through some of their "treasures".....baseball, basketball, soccer, Rick Springfield, The Who, Darryl Strawberry, World Wide Wrestling, Michael Jackson, girls (!), music, music, music, etc. etc.

Among the many collections up there, I found a stamp album as well as a penny saver filled with only a very few pennies...but, it did include one from my year of birth!  The baseball card collections won't be touched until the boys can cash them in for lots of mula. I hope that really does happen...

Art work, old photos, yellowed newspaper articles, trophies, certificates, top value stamps books....and even the top of my wedding cake were found among the clutter. 

The morning got by me as I made my way down memory lane rummaging through the many boxes and bags that fill my small attic space. When did time get by me in life, too?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As I headed back down the attic staircase, I realized that my garbage bag was only half full and most of that was just scraps of paper or crumbled boxes.

How can I possibly throw out all of those wonderful memories that have been stored up there for years and years....?

I can't...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I saved a little chipmunk's life today.....

As I glanced out my bedroom window this morning at the pool below, I noticed a "critter" frantically "swimming" near the edge of the pool.  I ran outside as quickly as I could so that I could get him to safety on dry ground.

Once outside I quickly scanned the pool surface but the chipmunk was nowhere to be seen. How could that be?  I had just seen it moments earlier.

I opened up one of the skimmers where the water is pulled in to go through the filter...and, there was this little head looking up at me as if to say, "Phew, finally...what took you so long?!".

I coaxed him out of the skimmer basket.....he jumped up onto the concrete....shook the water off.....and, quickly scurried out into the backyard.

I bet that he had a good story to tell when he got "home".... : )

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I am on the treadmill......and, I am eating M & M's!!

What is wrong with this picture?!?!?

I admittedly only had a handful ("melts in your mouth, not in your hand!)...but, I do believe that I was defeating the whole purpose of the treadmill.

I can't help it...I'm definitely addicted.

And, then, to make matters worse.... last night, at a Mah Jongg event, I found myself filling up a little plastic plate with more M & M's to munch on during the game. Unfortunately, I later found out that one of the Girlies that I was playing with was trying to stop eating sugar....and had successfully made it to day two! My apologies to my girlie friend... : (

(Great hand towel gift that Judy just gave me during her visit last week!)
I was telling a friend today that my favorite part of the movie, Eat, Pray, Love was the "eating" part.  I guess that tells you something about me.....!
I normally start reading a book in hopes that it will "catch" me right away and keep me interested until the very end. Lately, however, I have begun a stack of half-read books that just didn't hold my interest.

That was until I was up in Skaneateles and I picked up a book of my sister's called: "The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan.

I cannot put this book down....and I only have a few more pages to go before the end.

It is a true story of this young woman, Kelly, and her journey with cancer....her love of family....her humorous take on life...and, then, watching her dad's fight with his own cancer.

I highly recommend it.
I read today that the bacteria that was put in the Gulf to "eat" up the oil has actually been quite successful.
That news is alternating between wonderful and SCARY.

Oil eating bacteria....?

Wasn't there a movie about that some year's ago? : O
So, what to do when the family gets to Birmingham next week?

Precious Owen has his 4th birthday on September 1, adorable Celia turns 2 on September 9, my sister, Marsha, hits the ripe old (sorry, Marsh!) age of 65 on September 15, and, yours truly turns 29 (just making sure that you are paying attention) on September 13.

I wanted to have a September birthday celebration while all were here....but, Jenny told me that Owen was into pirates....and, how could I do a joint party with Celia et al with a pirate theme? I had heard that Celia was into dressing up....so, I thought...aha! A "Pirate and Princess" party would work out just right.

At the bottom of the invitation I put, "costumes encouraged".

Knowing my family, it could get quite interesting.  I will keep my camera handy.
Stay tuned! : )

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to "life as usual"?

We had such a nice, relaxing time with the "in-laws"....coming right after my wonderfully relaxing trip with my sisters and Mom....and now I am trying to get myself back into life as usual...whatever that means.

...paying bills, returning phone calls, meeting with the bug guy, yard guy, cleaning the pool, playing Mah Jongg, making appointments, going to appointments, grocery shopping, working on my pottery, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. when I'd really rather be back in the pool enjoying a lazy Saturday with Dave and the in-laws....

But, before I get too carried away......I do have something spectacular to look forward to.


Well, a week from this Friday, my entire family will be heading to Grammie's house for Labor Day!!! That includes: Mom, two sisters, my nephew, my two sons, their wives, and 3 adorable grandkids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woo hoo... : )

Friday, August 20, 2010

This is what happens when you visit me in Birmingham...

....You go home with an Alabama T-shirt!!!
: )

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The In-laws are coming! The In-laws are coming!

...on my way to the airport to pick up the other half of the "Screaming Greemies" (She's Mimi and I'm Grammie...so, when you put them together.....)!

Her hubby will join us on Friday.....

The chocolate is purchased....the wine is chilling.

Let the weekend begin!
: )

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back home with my thoughts.....good-bye Skaneateles : (

As I scanned through my (many) photos taken during our "sister/Mom" visit together, I loved the ones of all five of us together (some of which I will post below).  I look at my family's beautiful faces and recognize the deep love that we have for each other....and the importance that these women have in my life.  Each of us brings something so special and so different to the mix...and that is what makes the experience so rich.

Our roles that we had as children continue as we are now grown ups.  Funny how that happens...I guess that our birth order traits stay with us all our lives whether we want them to or not.

During our visit together we spent a lot of time comparing our wrinkles, body shapes, hair styles, clothing styles, etc. even making up some songs about these characteristics....and, of course, blaming Mom's genes for the ones that we wish we could change. : )

Each of us has the gift of creativity within us....and, that came out as we played in Karen's clay studio....and hand-painted individual plates that we all signed as a memento of our time together.

We laughed at each other's differing traits and ways of handling things and, of course, teased each other mercilessly.... I think that I share the title of "craziest" (in a fun-loving way, of course!!) with my baby sister, Karen. We would burst into song (and dance) at any given moment and then go into fits of hysterical laughter together.  Sometimes, my mom even joined in our revelry. We were probably getting on everyone else's nerves...but, they politely never let on....

As our hostess with the most-ess, my baby sister Karen, puts that special touch on everything that she does.  Her home in Skaneateles is warm and inviting and filled with wonderful works of art, including some of her own fabulous pieces. She makes every day an adventure for all who are lucky enough to stay there. While there, I went to antique garage sales, a fabulous vineyard, a movie, shopping, a concert in the park, took a relaxing boat ride, went to a golf tournament, played Mah Jongg until the wee hours of the night, picked fresh veggies and herbs from her garden and cooked them, received adorable goodie bags filled with fun items (all of the sisters bring all sorts of goodies for everyone....kind of a tradition when we get together!), did a wine tasting at a spa....and on and on and on...such fun!  She makes everything that she does look so easy and effortless as we all stand by and watch in wonder and amazement.

Marsha, the oldest, is (amongst other things) our shopping pro....and, loves to take Mom out to look for great bargains.  She is able to sort through a line of sale clothes and pick out great things in an instant. We even had a "fashion show" of sorts one night after a trip to the Mall. Mom looked beautiful in her new outfits! That is such a special gift that she gives to Mom as she shares her incredible talent in finding great buys and takes care of Mom in so many ways. When I made ceramic pins for everyone, Marsha's said: "The oldest.  I don't look it." and that is so true as she is an amazingly beautiful soon-to-be 65 year old...as well as the head of personnel at a large law firm.  I'm so very proud of her achievements!

My sister, Sherri and I share the middle spot in the group. Her pin said, "The middle child. Follows her own path." Sherri is one of those women who does her own thing....and, always has. She also totally oozes with talent.  From her graphic design art work....to her photography....to her writing....she is wonderful at all of these and more.  For her ceramic plate design, she made an incredibly detailed sunflower in the middle of the plate--- as these are indigenous to the area.....and she painstakingly hand-painted each letter around the flower....fabulous! I am always in awe of her abilities.

Then, there is my mom.  She is such a special person who I admire so very much.  Even though her eyesight is failing, she doesn't miss a beat....and, kept up with the four of us at everything....including our late night Mah Jongg games. She has an easy laugh that can fill a room.  On our last night there, Karen and I had a "crab cake showdown"....and, when Karen came out wearing a hair covering and gloves to prove that her crabcakes came from a sanitary kitchen, Mom was laughing so hard that she had tears in her eyes.  What a wonderful sight.

By the way, my pin said:  "I'm the middle child....always grounded."....  for all the time during my childhood that I got into trouble which was quite often...and, the pin that I made for my mom said: "I'm the Mom--you're grounded!" They all got a kick out of that truism of years ago.

While the beautiful surroundings of our stay in Skaneateles will be forever etched in my memory, the joy and appreciation of my four sisters and my mom will remain forever in my heart.

I am so grateful for the blessings of my family.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

(a "mom sandwich"!)

My last night here.....

...and I am too filled with emotion to write tonight.

....more when I get home.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

A simpler time....

It was a beautiful evening last night in Skaneateles as we headed to a park nestled near a lake to listen to the sounds of the local orchestra playing on the gazebo.

Chairs were scattered about as the music began to play....children danced on the open area right beneath the gazebo....and boats pulled up to the dock so that they could listen to the delightful music coming from the park.

I was sitting right next to Mom as the concert began. I couldn't help but notice her foot tapping to the music as she hummed along...occasionally singing the words of some of the familiar songs. She would pause now and then and relate a story to me of something that she and my dad had done in the past....and, then she would sit back in her chair, sigh,  and just take it all in...immersed in her own private memories of a time long ago.

The whole setting was so wonderful to me as I cherished being a part of this cozy small town event. It brought me back to a simpler time....and I loved every minute of it. So uncomplicated and easy....just a gathering of people....sitting outside in this little park.... enjoying the night and each other.

The night before we had all gone to see a local musical, Meet Me In St. Louis. It, too, told the story of a simpler time....a time when a long distance phone call was an event...and cell phones were non-existent.....a time when it was imperative for the family to sit down to enjoy their dinner together....a time when standing around the piano and singing was the best entertainment.... as there weren't any televisions around yet.....a time when parents were respected and sassiness just wasn't allowed.

While I so appreciate all of our modern day conveniences....there was something so comforting about looking back at those simpler times....and, enjoying being a part of them...even if it was just for one evening at the park....or a few hours at the theater. 

I think that I might have enjoyed living back then...

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Sitting by the butterfly bush this morning.....

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....just being lazy.

...and wondering who was wearing these little girl socks with her shoes....

..it was the "Queen Bee" having a relaxing morning in Skaneateles.

....but, what's with the shoes, Mom????

And, so, another beautiful day begins....It is hard to put into words how very wonderful this girl's family getaway has been....for now I am just taking it all in......and, smiling.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moon Pie for breakfast?!?!

For all of the people who know what a health nut I am...they will be shocked to hear that I actually microwaved a moon pie** for my breakfast yesterday...and, it was delicious!!

**For any of you who don't know what a moon pie is---imagine two large cookies with marshmellow in the middle and then the entire thing is dipped in chocolate.

I wonder how much weight I have put on during this little family trip?!?

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Quilt

July, 2007....and the whole family gathered in Skaneateles to celebrate Mom and Dad's 65th anniversary...

It was a wonderful few days together as we honored our parent's milestone event. We did songs and skits that had been prepared in advance..... and laughed and cried through the reminiscing.

Before we headed back home we were each given a small square of fabric to decorate as we saw fit.  We used permanent paint markers and created our own individual messages for Mom and Dad .  Everyone created a unique square to be bound together into a quilt. This would serve as a keepsake or our warm and loving family time together.

Unfortunately, years passed and the patches sat in a box as my sister tried to find someone to finish our project.

As luck would have it, my daughter-in-law's mother Judy, is an incredibly talented quilter and she agreed to assemble and finish this soon- to- be family heirloom!!!  She mailed it to us last week so that we could present it to Mom.... as we were all going to be together for the week ahead.

I cannot even describe the emotions that we all felt upon seeing this beautiful work of art.  We are forever indebted to Judy and her amazing ability to weave our memories into an amazing quilt.

Last night, as the five of us gathered for a lovely dinner outside on the deck, we presented this gift to Mom.

She was so thrilled to finally see this piece that represented such joy and loving thoughts.  We stood around her as my oldest sister read each square to her one at a time. 

I felt a deep sense of sadness that Dad passed away before the quilt was finished...but, I am hopeful that he is seeing it from wherever he is now....and, smiling down at his four daughters and his beloved wife celebrating life together.

It was one of those moments that will stay permanently etched in our hearts.....

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010


This is the path where I take my morning walks here in Skaneateles....Breathing deeply is the best part of it. Ahhhhhhhh.....
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Monday, August 09, 2010

PGA Tour with the guys...

Karen, Marty, Dave and I were able to get tickets on Friday to a PGA Tour that was taking place at a beautiful golf course nearby. Never having been to a golf tournament, I wasn't sure what to expect...but, it ended up being a great day that was lots of fun.

Other than it being an extremely windy day, the weather was perfect...pleasantly cool and comfortable.
There were a few of the bigger names playing....but,not in the same league as a  Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods.

The funniest part of the day was when we all got ready to go to the event and we saw that Marty and Dave were wearing the same exact outfits....light blue shirts, khaki shorts, sneakers and an off-white  baseball hat!! They were going to change....but, we thought that it was hysterical and great fodder for teasing them....

...which we did incessantly all throughout the day!

(see photo below for the "blue twins")