Friday, June 30, 2017

Rainy Birthday!

Beautiful birthday with friends and family! Despite what we might call a downpour, we grilled hamburgers and hotdogs on the new grill my son got me!

Too much fun!

I missed getting a picture of my sister/cousin who fixed me up with wonderful gifts per day! So here she is at Christmas!

Have a wonderful Fourth!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Strength, Spirit, and Sense

Whimsy and Hugs!

My son and I took an amazing happy drive on Saturday. He freed up his day so we could celebrate my upcoming birthday and just enjoy each other's company and the beautiful, almost chilly weather. It might be Blackberry Winter, but I am not sure... We picked up some produce from the Amish and traveled some very familiar roads that reminded me of trips with Mom.

This is our birthday week. Everyone is doing so much to make it special, and I truly appreciate that. Born on my mother's 30th birthday, I have never celebrated one without her (unless you count a really rather distant one I spent living a summer in Chula Vista... where I recall being under the weather, eating tuna helper, and making several phone calls at the steamy corner  phone booth I had to use to call long distance.) However, things are what they are. Certainly 62 birthdays together are a major blessing. I know this year will be sweet.

My son fell in love with this tree. I am rather amazed at the stark contrast of strength conveyed by a dead organism...

Fab flowers from my dear cousin and her family in California. I am loving the berries and buds and bells in this beauty. 

As always equal mountains of cleaning, laundry, and spiffing await my morning. 

However, the week looks promising. My sister/cousin has treated me to a precious stack of "gift a days" for the week...  I snuck in at midnight and opened today's! What a great plan!!!

Thank you to all my readers and friends who have been so kind through the years. Life is all about strength and spirit... and the sense to make the changes when they arrive... with grace. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Tale of Two Kitties

I have two kitties... but one cat. By night she patrols the silent house...

Perhaps "patrols" is the wrong word... She surveys...  Seven foot cabinet...  No problemo....

Her identity is blurred so the FBI will not have to divulge the name of this spy.....

By day she hides in broad daylight... All. Day. Long!!!!

And right now Folks, she is doing more than I am!!!!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day! Enjoy your weekend with your family

Monday, June 5, 2017

And now..... Happy Ever After...

I have mentioned an upcoming special wedding in several posts, and the day finally arrived June 3rd! What a beautiful, beautiful day for my dear friend's daughter and her new groom. I cannot imagine the amount of care and details involved in the brilliant summer party that accompanied this most reverent mass and celebration of vows. First of all, isn't this cathedral simply amazing? It is the tiny Catholic Church in Bevier... from all interior angles, the architecture is glorious. This angle comes from a friend's camera. She sat in the balcony, along with a choir of local talent that simply mesmerized the attendance. We heard such beautiful music, including Ave Maria, The Prayer, and so many more. Featured soloists and choir and pianist...  all worthy of a concert in themselves.

My son joined me for the entire day, and without him... I would have been toast! Literally...  He helped me navigate the uneven terrain and slipped our car as close as possible to make it possible for me to attend. So... I allow him the privilege to photo bomb at least one picture...  He is such a tease!

Cousins of the bride lit the candelabra. Oh, so special to see many members of this family and their friends. And to top it off, of course, almost all were former students. Teaching for a lifetime has its advantages...  but sometimes seeing grandchildren of former students all grown up.....  I have to wonder how all this happened..... while I am pretty sure.... I am still in high school myself.  

The bride and her father entered the church. This beautiful dress was sewn by a magical seamstress who carefully took the bride's mother's dress (a wedding I also attended nearly 25 years ago) and fashioned an entirely different creation. This talented woman also made all the dresses for the bridesmaids and little girls. I have to tell a story I heard about this. During a particularly stormy spring night when tornado warnings came over the radio for our area, the seamstress took all the dresses for bride and brides maids with her when she retreated to the basement for safety. I had to say my heart melted that she was so dedicated to this special time over her own personal treasures. She told my friend, "If I got blown away with the dresses, there was nothing I could do about it, but I sure wasn't going to sit down here and let them disappear in the storm!"  That is what I call going the distance for your customer (and friend.)

After the wedding was over, guests drove to the farmhouse and barn where my friend also celebrated her reception. This year, the little barn was totally renovated and used as the central location for the beautiful party. New cement flooring, new electrical wiring, and yards and yards of gossamer and fairy lights made it a magical venue. A local band played all day, and a DJ came for the evening..  I am not sure of the exact time the wedding was over, but I did hear a bonfire was just beginning at midnight...  I, unfortunately, had ventured home a little before dusk.  The party included dancing and delicious food. Another good friend who runs a catering business cooked those 1500 tortelacci we made earlier in the spring... And there was Italian coleslaw, meatballs, a delicious pasta prepared by the bride's grandmother and family, a wedding cake carefully conveyed from Illinois, created by the father of the bride's sister...  I told you it was a family event. We had fried fish and smoked chicken... and of course, fantastic home-baked bread. My dear friend had baked 56 loaves for her daughter's marriage banquet...  Yep. 56...  

Tradition. It is the stuff our dreams weave through. This carriage ride takes place in a buggy owned by this family for generations. In a beautiful DejaVu I recalled the buggy with the bride's mother and her auntie, years ago...  This year, because the horse was procured from a local Amish family, the buggy had a new driver, the owner who felt he knew his animal best! However, I think... (not verified) the family driver and beloved cousin of yesteryear also rode along...  just for tradition.

All of us who helped were happy to recognize little touches we had offered as small tokens of how much fun we believed (rightfully so) this wedding would be. The barn held a chandelier of paper mache globes, wooden tables several had lent, and little canning jars filled with hydrangeas and bling... and sparkling tea lights... Sweet bird cages graced the tables...  I just loved it all...

Of course, there were hayrides for the kiddos, and a shuttle from a nearby field. That was a given! The humid 90 degree day didn't deter too many activities, but we did see quite a few swift changes from wedding finery to cooler clothes, and the welcomed relief of high heels worn by the bride and her mother, switched to sandals...  Ah....  they deserved the break!

One of my favorite moments was this one. The band began to sing, "We got married in a fever. Hotter than a pepper sprout..."  And boom! my dear friend, the mother of the bride, grabbed her once ago groom and basically schooled us all on how to put on a party like that and have energy to spare. I was not surprised, but I was IMPRESSED!

Later we heard a most tender and beautiful song written by the bride's brother as a surprise. A family member who can quite frankly sing the birds from the trees set it to music and performed it. Most of us cried. The bride was so emotional. Her brother is a absolute gift to us all with his ability to write just what we are all feeling at the moment. This surprise was simply perfect.

Here is the bride and groom, both young teachers at the school where I spent my career. Oh, I wish them so much love, luck, and happiness.

At home, my little kitty was pretty glad to see me motivate into her world again. She spends every evening and early morning dreaming about the birds flying and perching right outside this window. 

So now, you've been to the wedding with me. It was quite a day, and I am sooo happy I was able to attend..... and take you with me...

Whimsy and Hugs!