Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Busy week

I haven't had a blog entry for a long time.  I have been on the road a LOT and just haven't had the time to  pass on my travels.  I am trying to get back into a routine again.  
One of Bud's aunts died a week or so ago and there was a memorial service this past Sunday.  Bud really wanted to go to this service but since it was in Washington D.C. I was surprised that he decided to make it happen.  I was away with Leo and talking about the possibility of this trip and Leo encouraged me to just go along.  I took his advice and was up and on the road with him Saturday morning at 6:00 in the morning.  We drove all day and were in D.C. by bedtime. The weather cooperated and we made good time.  Bud's brother also drove up from N. Carolina so we stayed at the same hotel. We met briefly that evening and again for breakfast in the morning.  We spent some very nice time talking with David and catching up with his family and their activities. 
The service was at 2:00 and a very nice memorial.  I had only met her once but she was well loved by her children and grandchildren.  After the service we went over to his Uncle Tom's house for a while before heading home again.  
 This is a picture of David (Bud's brother) Bud, and Warren (another Warren in the family) his cousin and Warren's grandchild.
 David, Uncle Tom and Bud.  Uncle Tom is the youngest of the aunts and uncles in the family and IS a rocket scientist, retired from NASA.
 He loves cars and airplanes.  This is his newest sports car, it has a Corvett frame and engine but a Cadillac body, or at least that is what I remember.  I'm not much of a car person so I didn't pay a lot of attention.

We drove a couple of hours north of D.C. on Sunday night and then spent the night.  Monday morning we were on the road again and had a very easy drive home with great weather.  
We stopped briefly in Clare to see Leo.  He has a new SHORT haircut which is only about a week old so it really doesn't look a lot like him.  They cut it quite short on the sides this time. I think it is a new barber.  Anyway, we stopped to see him and were home in time to have dinner and sleep in our own beds.

SO, 760 miles one way to D.C. was quite a trip for just a weekend but family connections and honoring the memories of others is important so we did it.  The weather cooperated which was just lucky for the winter but we were thankful for that bonus.  Now I will try to get back into my routine again.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A wonderful weekend for a wedding

Jessica and Doug were married this past weekend.  It was a beautiful weekend.  The ceremony was Friday night and attended by a few family members.  It took place in the church where Eva works, in the Thompson Room.  We enjoyed the intimate group that assembled to witness their vows.  Sara was there via 'facetime' but we lost the connection to Erik so he was unable to watch with us from somewhere in Africa.  

Saturday night was the big family and friends reception at a wonderful place downtown Grand Rapids.  It was so perfectly 'Jessica and Doug' in a very charming old warehouse building that was so nicely decorated. The food was fantastic, the dancing was energetic and everyone had a wonderful time.  
I feel blessed to be a part of this past weekend and am thankful for such a wonderful niece that found just the right man for her. 

Blessings to all that attended and to all that have played a part in the lives of these two wonderful people.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

SO...It's Sunday and Here I am

The weekend has been a little strange here.  It kind of started out on Friday when we had yet another snow day here in N. Michigan.  We didn't get as much snow as the Grand  Rapids area but we did get quite a lot.  SO, school was cancelled.  I don't think they have had a full week without snow days since coming back from Christmas break.  AND they seem to come on a Monday or Friday, my new days of volunteering this year.  Anyway, I was left with a full free day to myself, something I haven't had much of lately.  I kind of knocked around the house a while and then called my friend Maryanne.  She was home and invited me to come out in the afternoon.  She and her daughter have a new enterprise/art business of dying silk scarves.  They had plans for doing them that afternoon and I was interested in seeing the process so I went out to check it out.  
 They buy the silk scarves already hemmed on the edges and all they have to do is dye them and process the dye. On this afternoon they were dying the scarves and they would process the dye on a later date.  The process for dying is very similar to doing tie dye and it goes quite quickly.  The one above is an example of Elizabeth's work on that day.
 You can kind of see Maryanne painting the dye on the folded up silk scarf here.
 She put rubber bands around the scarf after she accordion folded it and then painted the dye on the scarf, making sure to get down into the folds with the dye.
This is how that scarf turned out.  It is very pretty, especially with the red added to the blue colors.  It is a very interesting process.  I don't know what else they have to do to make the dye permanent.  On this day they were just dying and hanging them in the garage to dry.

After the quick dying session, Maryanne and I had some time to just relax and chat.  Her house overlooks a beautiful lake that was covered with snow.  The sun was shining and it was nice to sit and talk while looking out over the lake and the fresh snow of the day.  It was just the right thing for me that afternoon and helped me recharge my batteries.

I finished my photo albums projects so I am caught up with the last 2 years.  I will bring them to the wedding next weekend. It was great to get them done.  It is a time consuming project but once you get going it isn't too bad and sometimes it is fun to look over pictures and remember those moments.  I had a great time with the book that had my Paris pictures in it.  I was smiling and smiling as I put together those pages.  I will try not to get so far behind from now on.  It is my job to do the houseboat picture books from the last 3 years but that will wait until after the wedding.

WEDDING!!  Yes, it is next weekend.  I am excited to see Jessica in her dress.  She has done a good job keeping it a secret from all of us except Eva.  I have speculated if it will be white or maybe gray???   Anyway, I will know soon.

The rest of my weekend was a bit more quiet although Sue and Walt invited us over for dinner last night so it was nice to catch up with their activities and enjoy the evening with them.  There has been a bit of sad news in Bud's family this weekend.  His aunt that lives in the DC area died this past week and the ex-husband of his step-sister also died.  So today we had lunch with Megan (his niece) Patty (his step sister) Sonja and Sue.  It is hard for any young lady to lose her father and we feel especially sad for Megan.  It was a sudden death, he was found in bed Friday morning.

The rest of today we just 'chilled out' here at home, a fire in the fireplace, a nap on the sofa and quiet music playing.  It is raining out side tonight, strange weather, maybe freezing rain?? I am planning to go to the school tomorrow so who knows???

I just want to say a special thanks for such a wonderful family.  I truly appreciate all of you and your special caring ways these past few weeks.  I love you all.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


We have sunshine today
White and cold but it is sunshine
The trees are dusted with white
The snow sparkles in the light
It crunches under your feet
The air smells cold
But we have sunshine today

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl Sunday

I thought I would type out a post while waiting for Super Bowl Sunday party time to begin since it has almost been a week between postings.

Weather Report: (remember that I always start with the weather if I can't think of anything)  It has been snowing here EVERY day.  The world is white outside my window with a little gray for color.  Fortunately that isn't my mood.  Also fortunately it isn't as cold as Glen said it was in N. Dakota.  I think he said that it was -16 degrees there and that is the reason that N. Dakota is sparely populated except for all those oil field workers.  Those people that live in N. Dakota are a special breed of people.  If we ever need to learn survival tactics, we can ask Glen and Penny to give us help but I won't want to move there to get that help.

Movie review: Last night we went to see Django Unchained.  It is up for an Academy  Award and we try to see as many of the nominated movies as possible.  It was a good movie and very well acted but a little too much 'on screen' killing for me. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that has trouble watching violence on the screen.  I did have to look away one time when they had these dogs kill and eat this man while he was alive so that was the worst scene but of course it is a movie about the violence of SLAVERY and that practice has never been a kind and caring part of any society, let alone our own recent past OR if you really want to think about it, still part of everyday life for people all over the world and even for some people here in our blessed country.

Projects: I just finished 2 photo books from the last two years.  I am now caught up with my own personal photo books but of course I have many more books that I could make.  I have the last 3 houseboat picture books to make so after the wedding I will get the pictures from Jessica and start on them.  It is a tedious process but I am back in the groove and that is part of the process.  The 'relearning' curve is a little high if you wait too long.

Quilting: NOW I am free to get back in my sewing room and start some more projects.  I have some baby projects waiting for me so that will probably be next.  My sewing machine has been neglected while working on those photo books.

School/volunteering:  I am back into the routine of going to Kingsley twice a week to volunteer in the 3rd grade classrooms.  It is always good to see them and catch up on their family and school activities but I NEVER regret that move to retire.  The challenges of teaching have become harder and harder just within the last 4 years as class sizes have increased and wages have gone down due to more money being taken from paychecks for health care and retirement.  I always hear from the teachers that I retired at the right time.

Well, well, well, I guess I did have something to say (when did you ever know me to not have something to say anyway)   The Super Bowl party is starting soon.  I hope you have a good upcoming week.  And in the words of SOME actor  "I'll be back"

SO, just a Monday morning postscript.  I was listening to NPR this morning and they were talking about the 'blackout' at the game last night.  I didn't even know it happened.  The girls were playing Mexican Train right in the same room and didn't even know there was a 34 minute blackout in the game.  It really did surprise me but we did have fun playing Mexican Train.