We got Wii . . . Wheeee!

April 28, 2008

We just got a Wii game, which we had played when visiting our kids, so we knew we would really enjoy it.

We got it yesterday, so we bowled on it last night, and I’m sore this morning.  I’ve decided I’m going to have to start bowling half the time with my other hand, so BOTH arms get equal exercise. 

We also played golf (the animation is amazing) and I played tennis by myself after Hubby went to do other things. 

The tennis was kind of funny because the system creates two of you as a “team” on one side of the net, and two interesting-looking people on the other side of the net to play against you.  You know, those two on the other side of the net didn’t look like they were in the greatest shape, so I thought “we” (me and ME) could take them, but they “beat us like we stole somethin'” over and over and OVER again.  And, this game is so realistic I actually think I saw those “ringers” on the other side of the net smirking!  I’m going to enjoy wiping that smirk off their faces when me and ME get better! (Especially, ME.  Just between you and me, ME’s not really carrying her weight.  She steps aside most of the time and lets it come to me! I may look for a new partner — maybe MYSELF is available!)

I can see I’m going to have to set limits on this — I think it could become addictive!

Have to go now.  Need to go ice my bowling/golf/tennis elbow.

What Will Sell at an Auction?

April 25, 2008

The subject of auction items was one of the many areas that Hubby’s committee discussed alot at the beginning of planning the fundraiser for the school. 

They finally decided to ask for new gifts worth at least $75, and then just see what was donated.

They got lots of, I suppose, “typical” items like beautiful hand-made quilts and rugs, trips, gift certificates to restaurants, landscaping services, tickets to sporting events, hair and nail salon services and products, floral arrangements, rounds of golf, jewelry, etc. 

And, they got some very unique items too.  Like a Dallas Cowboy’s football helmet signed by Bill Parcells.  Original works of art by two local artists and one from Hubby’s cousin, Irene, who is an artist in Seattle.  Also, one member of our congregation is an interior designer and artist, who is capable of turning anythng she touches into a work of art.  She had hand-painted two sets of wine glasses that were absolutely stunning.  And one man had made a wonderful dollhouse, furnished with carefully handcrafted furniture.  It even had a music box built into its roof.

And then there were the items that show how “outside the box” creative people can be:

… One of the first grade teachers, auctioned off a “Day with Miss H.”  She is a wonderful caring person and a beloved teacher, so I’m sure some child was thrilled with this gift.

… A lawyer in the congregation donated estate planning.

… Our church organist is a wonderful musician who both composes and arranges music, as well as performing.  She donated organ or piano lessons, or performance at a wedding.

… One couple, who are gourmet cooks, offered a gourmet dinner for eight in their home and when that one sold for $1,200, they told the auctioneer they would sell another one — so he offered it to the second highest bidder for the same $1,200, and he accepted.  So, $2,400 was made in just a couple minutes.  What a generous couple — and what generous bidders!

… A wheelbarrel full of “Lutheran beverages” (that’s alcohol) brought lively bidding by about four different guys.  When it sold for a price wayyyyy more than what it was worth, the auctioneer yelled to his assistant, “Quick, go get more wheelbarrels to sell!”

… One family who have a pool at home, offered an afternoon pool party for six women, including massages by a professional masseuse.

… Both a Corvette and a Porsche were each auctioned off for a weekend.  One of my sisters-in-law bought the Corvette weekend for her hubby (my hubby’s brother) as a belated 60th birthday present.  They are going to take a weekend trip in it.  What a great gift!

… A local dentist donated teeth-whitening.  If you haven’t checked into how much that costs, you may be surprised to hear that that was valued at $600!

… Five hours of “whatever you need” work by the youth group from one of the churches.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone bought this and gave it to an elderly relative or neighbor, to help do some things around their house and/or yard?

… A whole hog — since I didn’t see him there (I think I would have noticed), I assume this was processed and not “on the hoof.”

… Twenty tons of crushed stone, delivered, from a local trucking company.  I’m not good at picturing quantities, but I think that is a heck of alot of stone!

… Two cases of canned beef.  I haven’t had canned beef in years, but I remember it was GREAT for beef and noodles.

… And, finally, an item that, when I saw it on the live auction list, I thought what in the heck is that, and why would anyone BUY it — a deer hunting site!  Let me just say there are lots of deer hunters in this part of the country, and apparently this was a prime hunting spot, that the buyer would have exclusive rights to for the season.  There were three guys who had a spirited bidding war on this, and it brought big bucks.  Go figure.

What a fun evening.

A Perfect Event: When Fun and A Good Cause Come Together!

April 21, 2008

The Gala that Hubby was co-chair of was held Saturday night and it was a huge success!  He and his brother were co-chairs, but they said all they really did was put together a terrific committee and then just got out of their way!

The purpose of the Gala was to make money to help support our Lutheran grade school — which is supported by ours and two other churches.  Gala dinner auctions have been used successfully by other private schools in our area for additional funding, so this was our first experiment with this type of “boost” for our school.

There were many unknowns and “best guesses” involved because we hadn’t done anything like this before, so it was a thrill for everyone involved that 230 people (full capacity) actually were willing to pay $100 a plate for a dinner and auction at a local country club.  The other unknown was — were the attendees then going to be willing to bid with their hearts in the live and silent auctions, not just to get a “good deal.”  Well, the answer was a resounding “yes.”

The facility was already very nice, but the committee’s hard work made the setting very elegant.  Attendees had taken the opportunity to dress to the “nines” so that added to the “atmosphere.”  The dinner was delicious and was presented beautifully — and the live auction was exciting!

The auctioneer was a local Lutheran boy “from the ‘hood” (I’m laughing because, in this case, “the ‘hood” is the rural farmlands on the eastern side of our county) who it seemed was related to or had grown up with or knew from business, most of the people there!  We have attended other benefit auctions, and I have to say he was absolutely the best auctioneer I have ever seen.  He was very entertaining and, of course, because he knew so many people, he would prod them into bidding by telling funny stories about them.  For example, the girl he shared his first kiss with was there, so he teased her by telling that story! 

There was a large additional room full of many, many silent auction items to be bid on.  Businesses and individuals had been very generous in donating items to be auctioned off — the number of items was amazing.

It was an exciting, fun evening, and while the final amount raised can’t be known until all the expenses have been paid, it looks like the goal will not only be reached but will have been significantly surpassed!

I do have to tell you about one item I purchased on the silent auction.  (Drum Roll)  Four hours of a computer expert’s services!!  I will definitely talk to him about posting pictures on my blog!

Thank you God for all those who demonstrated their heart for Christian education by participating in this wonderful, fun evening for the benefit of the school, and to Your glory.

Sleep . . .Wonderful Sleep

April 19, 2008


I have always been a sleeper.  And for most of my life, I’ve been able to sleep on command, no matter whether I was tired or not, or how much caffeine I had consumed.   But that’s one of the things that has changed with age.  So, I sometimes take Bayer PM if I think I’m going to have trouble sleeping.  And so does hubby.

Yesterday, during the day, Hubby and I did something unusual for retirees — we both worked at doing hard physical stuff, so we were both a little stiff by evening.  As we were getting ready to go out to dinner with friends, we had the following conversation:

Me:  “I’m feeling a little sore, so I’m going to take some aspirin before we go.”  I went to the kitchen, took some aspirin and returned to the bedroom where we were getting ready.

A few minutes later Hubby said: “You know, I’m a little stiff too.  I think I’ll take some aspirin too.”  He left the room.

A few minutes later he returned.

Hubby:  “Did you take your aspirin out of the bottle in the kitchen?

Me:  “Yes.  Why?”

Hubby:  “Because I think you may have taken Bayer PM.  It’s the bottle setting closest to the front of the cabinet.”

Me:  “Well, this could be an interesting dinner.  If you notice me missing, look under the table.”

Hubby:  “I’m most concerned with drowning.  Don’t order soup.”

Our dinner was fun and uneventful.  But I did sleep like a log last night!

Funerals Are For The Living

April 16, 2008

My cousin’s wife died last week and the funeral was Monday.  It was in Maryland and we weren’t able to attend, so I wired flowers.  But I wish we could have been there. 

Also last week, a friend’s brother died unexpectedly in Canada.  Again, too far to go, but we wish we could have been there. 

 We have come to understand the importance of being at funerals — but it wasn’t always that way. When we were young, we avoided funerals if at all possible — they made us uncomfortable and we never felt like we had the right words to say.

We have come to understand that the funeral truly is for the survivors — not the deceased.  They need to hear the nice things people have to say about their loved one.  I have learned to try to share a memory I have of the person, because I hope it helps the person to know that their loved one lives on in memories.  But, most importantly, I’ve come to realize that your presence is really what makes the difference, more than any words you say.

My cousin’s wife was in her 70’s and had had health problems, so her death wasn’t a total surprise, but our friend’s brother in Canada was 46 years old and dropped dead of a heart attack — that was very unexpected.

Life is short.  We should all live as if today is our last.  Funerals remind us of that.

You Can Always Use “A Little Help From Your Friends”

April 10, 2008

A few days ago I expressed my frustration level with my own inability to do two “simple” tasks — prepare our taxes and post some pictures of our first great-grandchild.

In regard to the taxes, I am blessed that Bill, a very busy accountant who did our taxes for years, didn’t even blink an eye when I called him in April in a semi-panic and asked him to do them this year too, because I realized I was in over my head.  They have already been electronically filed!  Thank you God for the very capable, pleasant, not-easily-ruffled, expert-at-taxes Bill for “pulling my bacon out of the fire” and doing our taxes at the last minute!

Now, let me just explain my priorities here.  While I love “my angel” Bill and certainly respect the government and their out-of-date, confusing tax system, the most important of my two concerns, BY FAR, was my inability to post the pictures of our first ever great-grandchild.  Not just because of his “first-ever” status, but because he is just pretty darn cute.

So then, in stepped my second angel — Barb at Half Past Kissin’ Time.  She offered to help me post the pictures.  I won’t bore you with all the details, but let’s just say Barb’s great ideas could only take us so far when put up against the wall of my legendary inabilities!  So, Barb offered to “guest post” them, which I had no clue how to do — but she did!  She put the pictures on HER blog, and then all I had to do was link them (here).  How cool is that? 

Thank you God for my blogging friend Barb and her how-can-I-help attitude and limitless patience that has finally allowed me to share these pictures of our darling newest addition to our family.

BTW, our sweet and funny daughter-in-law, Dilly  (this is her and Gunny’s first grandchild) has suggested that great-nana just doesn’t “flow” — so she’s going to call me Nana the Great.  Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

A Road Trip and Killer Clowns!

April 9, 2008

Nikki (14) and Jay (13) are here for their Spring Break this week.  Last Sunday we met their mom half-way to pick them up.  Five hours down just Hubby and me, lunch with DIL and kids, five hours home with the kids.

So, on the way home, after we had exhausted all our normal ways of killing time, i.e., sleeping and some of the road games I’ve told you about before, I suggested something new!

I suggested we do a “group story” like DD and I did (see subject “Pure Fiction” at right).  I gave the starting point as, “There were four people sitting in a diner in a small town, and one of them said, ‘Do you know what I heard?'”  Each of us then took turns adding to the story and ending our part with an “and then . . . ” or “but what they didn’t know was . . .” that the next person had to use to continue from.

To summarize the story we “built”:  It turns out what he heard was that there was something mysterious going on at the old, run-down amusement park outside of town.  They went there, where they met a nice clown who lead them into the house of mirrors, where they got lost and then were attacked by the “nice” clown and his “gang” of clowns with weapons. 

One of the four lost both arms, so they called him Stubby from then on.  They finally made their escape in little pedal cars that the clowns ride in the circus, but when the clowns gave chase, they decided they couldn’t outrun the “killer clowns” and were going to die anyway, so they turned around and charged the clowns.  They killed the killer clowns by running over them with the pedal cars.  (What’s a “little” chain saw when it’s up against a “powerful” pedal car, right?)  Hubby said the morale of the story was, “If you have to stop pedaling, at least kill a clown.”

Not John Grisham material, but we had a ball doing it.  I have given both the kids the challenge of coming up with scenarios that will start stories we can do when we drive them back on Friday!

Have I mentioned?  I LOVE grandkids!