Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ooh La La

...also known as "Grammie does Paree!"

After months of talking about it....it is finally here: I'm leaving for Paris Thursday morning!

I am "semi" packed even though I keep taking things out and adding other things in.  I found out today that the weather is going to be a bit chilly....lows 18 degrees and highs in the low 20's-30's.  The keyword here is "layering"...and, that includes long underwear!

I will try and blog while there....so, hang on...it's going to be quite a ride!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Yesterday I watched my oldest grandson, Owen, do his homework....

...without leaving the comforts of my home.  Watching him fill in the spaces on his Kindergarten homework (!) was quite fun.  I marveled at how bright he was as he wrote his numbers on the sheet.

I also got to chat with my granddaughter, Audrey, as she ate her dinner....even getting a view of what was in her mouth as she moved in for a close-up! That was a little more than I bargained for....but, funny, nonetheless.  The day before she was showing me the "princess" dress that she had on and even did a couple of swirls around the kitchen to show it off. 

This is all thanks to Skype and Facetime.

I also love my chats with Celia as she sits in front of the computer and discusses her world with giggles and silliness interspersed.  She also loves to show me her outfits including her newest pair of shoes....the latest ones being her bright, red Maryjanes.

When he is awake, I get to smile at Dylan as he flirts right back with me.  He still isn't quite sure how Grammie gets into that little box on the screen....but, he seems to enjoy it. I imagine that he presumes that I live in there?!  And, while I wasn't there for the actual first time....I did get to see some of his very first steps online.

Of course nothing takes the place of being there in person....having the opportunity to hold them in my arms and cuddle with them....sharing up close and personal moments with them....but, I am so grateful to the brilliant minds who have made this technology available to grandparents all over the world who live far away from their grandchildren.

I remember seeing futuristic scenes years ago about actually getting to see the person that one was talking to and I can recall wondering if that would ever really occur in my lifetime. 
Now I wonder, can "smell-a-vision" be far behind? Or "hug-a-vision".....or.....
:  )

Saturday, January 14, 2012

5:00 a.m.?!?!

Several weeks ago, when Dave told me that he needed to be at the airport by 5:30 in the morning to catch a flight, I smugly smiled.

"Right!'" I said, laughing.

But, he was serious....so, off we went today  in the early morning darkness....as I drove him there so that he could fly home for the long weekend to check on his 90 yr. old mom.

There aren't a whole lot of cars out that time of the day.... and I must say that the lights of the city hide a lot of the not-so-pretty sites....so, it was actually a nice drive....bleary eyes and all.

When I returned home, I quickly put my pink polka dotted pj's (Dave calls me "Dottie" when I wear them!!) back on and proceeded to fall back asleep until 9:30!  I was shocked in that I rarely sleep that late....but, now I should be able to go through my day with a little more clarity.  : )
So, the Paris trip is now only 19 days away!  I am such a novice with this kind of travel so I am filled with a million questions.  Besides the changing into my pajamas one (!), I am wondering about important things like; "How does one say 'where is the nearest bathroom' in French?" and "May I have some more croissants, please?"

When the kids/grandkids were all here for Thanksgiving, my son, Adam, was sporting a (sort of) mustache that he was growing as part of the "Movember Men's Cancer Awareness" project.  All men are asked to grow some hair above their lip for the entire month of November.  This started in Australia where mustaches are known as "Mo's"...thus the name, "Movember".

Anyway, when my other son planned to have a photographer come to the house to take some family photos, Adam wasn't sure about having his photo taken while sporting this (sort of) mustache.....soooooo, one of my daughter-in-law's decided that we should all have a mustache and purchased several fake ones for the rest of the group.

This made for some interesting (and, hairy) family shots.

(Jeffrey, Celia, Janet, Dylan, Audrey, Adam, Owen, Jenny--
Dave, me,and, my sister, Marsha)

                                                             (Adam and his group)

                                                   (Are we finished with these photos yet?)

Friday, January 13, 2012

"Do we change into our pajamas on the flight to France?"

I asked, very seriously.

After all, I was told that we would be (trying) to fall asleep on our nine hour flight....so, I figured that we must be changing into pj's.

Not true....I quickly learned.

Well, it might have made for an interesting flight....don't ya think?
"I can see clearly now....."

Yep.  I had my windows cleaned inside and out the other day.  Other than the fact that the workers did not speak much English, they did a very good job.  I can't remember the last time that I had this done!
They had to remove the storm windows, clean them, and then put everything back in place.  It was hard work....but the results were well worth the expense.

"Roll Tide" seemed to be the phrase of the day this past week when Alabama played LSU for the football national title.

Now, I am not saying that I live in the "Football Capital" of the world....but, everywhere I went, the color red was being displayed...on clothing, on cars....etc. etc.

Everyone that you passed on the street or in stores was decked out in "Alabama attire"...and, of course, one did not walk by someone without muttering "Roll Tide!" followed by a fist pump.

Luckily, no one knew that I was actually a University of Florida alum.

(Go Gators?)

We are having a bit of a cold spell right now....and, I love it.  There is something so invigorating about the crisp air that comes with the cold fronts heading down from the north.

Unfortunately, my son and family in Minnesota are having temps in the single digits.

Not so invigorating for them. : O
Have a nice weekend, all.....and, stay warm.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Life 101

The older I get, the more that I am reminded that I must appreciate every single moment....because things can change at any time...and, lately they have been.

Without recounting all of the difficult and challenging things that have come to be, I will say that all of them involve health issues....not with me, but with people I love....including a "way too quick" loss of a friend. The latter has left a pall over much of my community....and, hardly a day goes by that her name is not mentioned and that her family is not thought of.

My unusually upbeat Mom has had to deal with loss at the home several times already....most recently, the sudden, and unexpected, passing of a dear friend who was one of the "group" that eat together every day....and, this stress and anxiety put her in the hospital for tests all day yesterday.  Thank God, she tested out fine and is back home and doing well today.

Dave's 90 year old mom is also going through her own challenges right now ....and dealing with it long distance has been extremely difficult on him.

So, the fact is that "Life Happens".  The question is, how do we get through these times and remain positive and joyous?  How do we not feel the weight of the sadness on us daily while we go about our usual routines? 

I guess that we must learn to compartmentalize....to take the things that concern us and make us sad and allow ourselves to grieve....but, to also find a way to heal and look at all of the wonderful things that come our way.  We can carry the memories that make us smile and reach for them when we are at our lowest.
None of this is easy, but a necessary part of moving on with our lives....

As we age, we find that our friendships become even more important than every before.  A quick call to a dear friend who listens to my deepest feelings and allows me to talk about it certainly helps to remind me that I am not alone on this journey.

Family, of course, is the antidote to so much of life's trials.  A quick Skype with my adorable grandchildren can bring me right back to gratefulness for what I have instead of what I have lost.

With that in mind, I think that I am going to end this very introspective (sorry) post with some recent joyous photos of my four loves....I hope that they put a smile on your face, too.


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Having my teeth brushed with cookie dough?

Not a typo....I promise.

I went for my 6 month dental cleaning appointment yesterday.  When the hygienist began to "polish" my teeth at the end....I couldn't believe the taste in my mouth from the toothpaste she was using on me.

"At  sss isss (what is this) ",I mumbled with a mouth full of this sweet tasting stuff that was pretty awful.

"Isn't it great? she answered enthusiastically, "it is our new cookie dough flavored toothpaste! I had to choose between this one and the chocolate chip cookie flavor."

You have got to be kidding me....I couldn't wait to get this taste out of my mouth.

What happened to good ole minty toothpaste?