What makes this thing go?

June 29, 2011

I looked out the window when DD and the girls were here over the weekend and saw this.

The boat was against the bank in such a way that the paddle was out of the water, and besides the boat was tied to a grommet in the ground, so we weren’t worried about them going anywhere.  But Mimi and her little friend Lego Man, were trying to make it go.  One would push the pedals and the other would peer over the back to see just what was the problem that they weren’t getting anywhere.

It reminded me of a Norman Rockwell painting.

zippy at sixty-five …

June 28, 2011

Do you know what a zip line is?  I certainly didn’t before this weekend.  But now I not only know what one is but I have ridden one!

After answering alot of questions about your health and mental capacity, signing a waiver and hearing lots of instructions, they suit you up like this. The picture confirms that I looked just as cute in that get-up as I thought I did.

Next, they put you on a platform that raises you up maybe 20-25 feet?  High.

And finally after they hook you up to the line (with lots of assurances about how many different things would have to fail [4] in order for you to fall) and give you instructions regarding what to do if something should happen that you stop before you get all the way to the other side, they just give you a little push and off you go!  (with Hubby and DD standing on the bridge near-by to take pictures.)

When I got done and put my visor back on, my dear family had a good laugh at my expense before they told me that I had my visor turned up instead of down.

The ride was fun, but not nearly as much fun as it was to surprise my family that I would do it!  It really wasn’t very scary, but I’m not going to tell them that because I want them to believe I’m fearless!!

colorful just makes food taste better, doesn’t it?

June 27, 2011

Sunday supper was leftover chicken from Saturday night, salad that I forgot to even put out Saturday night, and fruit salad that I made “just in case” because Jen and her girls were here and I might end up making breakfast on Sunday.

I thought this plate of leftovers and back-ups was surprisingly pretty … and it tasted good too.


Best Advice of the Week: Hole-y Water

June 25, 2011

If you know you’re going to be in a situation where it’s inconvenient to keep taking the cap off of your water bottle, you can use one of the little corn cob holders to poke several holes in the cap, so that you can drink out of the bottle without removing the cap.

Eighty degrees and sunny here today.  The kind of weather when this kind of tip might come in handy.

Happy Saturday!

a drive on the wild side …

June 21, 2011

Recently we were at a reunion on the grounds of the hospital where I had my bi-lateral knee replacement in November.  Naturally, because orthopedic surgery is generally done on older people, most of the attendees were our age and older.  Having never been to this yearly event before, we really didn’t know what to expect, but the invitation made it sound like it would be a fun evening, so we were a little disappointed when as soon as we had had dinner the organizers began that favorite past-time of many seniors, Bingo. So we decided to call it an evening.  There were probably close to 1,000 people there (it was kind of impressive to realize how many knee, hip and back surgeries that huge throng of people represented), so it wasn’t like we would be missed.

We went outside the tent anticipating that there would be a shuttle bus to take us back to the far-away parking lot on the other side of the hospital’s campus, like the one that had brought us from there in the first place.

But as soon as we walked out, a little old guy on a golf cart zipped up in front of us and asked if we needed a lift.  We had seen golf carts being used in the adjacent parking lots, so we explained that we needed to go wayyy to the other side of the campus, expecting that that would tell him that we should wait for a road-worthy bus.

But he said, “Naaa, you don’t need a bus, I can take you.”  Okay, he seemed confident, so I got into the seat beside him and Hubby stood on the step on the back that was equipped with handrails.  And off we went.  Fast.  I didn’t notice, but Hubby may have had bugs in his teeth because his head was above the roof of the cart.  But it was definitely a quick trip, so he didn’t have to worry about that for too long … in fact he may have been so distracted by Old Guy’s driving that he didn’t even notice.

We drove all the way to the other side of the campus on the left side of the four lane paved road!  And either Old Guy couldn’t see well enough to know that the light at the intersection in the middle of the campus was red, or he just didn’t think it applied to golf carts, because we breezed right through it without even slowing down.  Probably much to the surprise of the driver of the car that was approaching on the road that had a green light!  I don’t think I screamed, in fact, Hubby and I didn’t say anything.  I guess we were in shock.

When we got to our car, Old Guy smiled, told us to enjoy the rest of our evening, and sped off into the evening, I’m sure looking for his next victims.

The food was good and we sat at a table of very nice people, but the ride back to our car was definitely the most memorable part of the evening!

My Fathers’ Day

June 19, 2011

My dad has been gone for over 20 years, but I still have great memories of him.  When I was very little I can remember him standing in a doorway and bracing his arm against one side of the door sill so that I could swing on his arm.  I remember his arm felt like wood, it was so solid.  I remember us walking uptown for malts. And I remember being awed when he and I would lay in the hammock and look at the stars with him pointing out the different ones to me — they looked so close!  I didn’t know about good dads or bad dads he was just my dad.  But now I know how fortunate I was that I had a dad who loved his family and worked hard to give us the very best life possible.  I look forward to seeing him in Heaven so that I can thank him for being such a good dad.

Hubby is celebrating two holidays today — Father’s Day and our anniversary.  So it gives me a chance to thank him for being a great husband for 46 years, but also a great father to our children.  Thank you love of my life, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my life or raise my children with anyone else.

My Heavenly Father needs to be especially praised on Father’s Day too.  He gave fathers an example of good parenting — love them unconditionally but let them suffer the consequences of their actions.  I am so thankful that, as much as we love each other here on Earth, He loves each of us even more.

On this Father’s Day I am thankful for the three fathers who have blessed my life.

Best Advice of the Week: A Gift for the Giver

June 14, 2011

Cash and gift certificates are such popular gifts these days.  They are certainly my default if I don’t know something specific the person wants.  I always kid that money is always the right size and right color!

When we, and Hubby’s siblings, were all young marrieds who had to watch our pennies, Hubby’s parents began giving each couple a check for Christmas.  They still gave our children gifts.

What a God-send those checks were.  They allowed us to make purchases that just didn’t fit into our budgets.  Which brings me to the point of this post.

When Hubby’s father died unexpectedly in January, 1985, laying on his kitchen table was the thank you note I had written him for the Christmas check and telling him that we had used it to buy a new mattress and springs.  I cannot tell you how pleased I was that he had known before he died, that we had not only appreciated the money but how we had used it.

When Gunny was a young Marine and DD was a college student, neither of them had alot of money.  So, on my birthday one year they pooled their resources and gave me a gift certificate to my favorite department store.  When I went to use it, lo and behold there was a jewelry sale!  So I bought a pair of gold earrings that at normal price would have been way more than I would have spent, but because of the sale, my gift certificate covered them.  I told them both what I had used the gift certificate for and they were pleased (and I think a little surprised) that I had been able to get something very nice with their gift.  When I wear those earrings I always remember this story.

I received a phone call last week from our oldest granddaughter, Sam.  We had sent her a card and a check for her birthday.  She not only said thanks for the money but said that she had used it to buy mulch for the flower beds she has planted in front of her house.  Later when I saw pictures of her really lovely flower beds on her Facebook page, it felt so good to know that the finishing touch, the mulch, had been our birthday gift to her.

So my experience has been that when you receive a gift of money, besides your thanks, you can give the giver a gift in return — the pleasure of knowing how their gift was used.

June Sunrise

June 13, 2011

I tell myself, “No more sky photos.”  Then I see one I really love and I tell myself, “Just one more!”  (“We”  disagree like that occasionally.)

Happy Monday!

What does sacrifice look like?

June 10, 2011

Our oldest granddaughter saying good-bye to her husband who was leaving on his third tour of duty overseas.

I am so thankful for the members of the military who put their lives here on hold to fight for us.  And I’m also sincerely thankful for the families, like our granddaughter who has two very small children, who keep the home fires burning while their loved one is away.

My thankfulness isn’t new, but when I saw this picture it brought tears to my eyes, because it made the sacrifice so personal.

Thank you Sam and Sarge.  You are two very special people and definitely two of my personal heroes.

More than one Psycho Mom

June 9, 2011

Writing last week about DD as “Psycho Mom” reminded me of a memory from when I was a young, excitable mother with small children.

We lived in an old house in a small town.  One of the houses behind us had recently been sold and I had seen the mother out in the backyard with her children for the first time earlier that day.

When Hubby got home from work, I earnestly told him that I was worried about what kind of people had moved into our neighborhood because I had heard the mother out in the yard screaming at her children!

Hubby was still too young to have learned the benefit of keeping a poker face, no matter what your wife says.  So he looked at me incredulously and then started laughing.  Then, just to drive home his point, he said, “So you don’t think you ever scream at your children?”

You might think that I would have been offended, but it hit me like a ton of bricks that he was right!  Gosh, did I sound like that woman sometimes?  I guess I did.  That was a real “ah ha” moment in my life.  I won’t say I never screamed at my children again, but I certainly was more aware that I was doing it and, I think, saved it for the most “heinous” of their “crimes”.

One thing did make me feel better.  The next time we were at Hubby’s parent’s house, I told his mom this story and how bad it make me feel to realize that I sometimes screamed at my children.  And then that lovely, sweet lady said something that really made me feel better.  She said, “Oh, I screamed at my kids sometimes when they were little too.  Don’t feel too bad about that.”  I was shocked to imagine her doing something like that and, in truth, maybe she didn’t do it but just said she did to make me feel better.  But, whichever was the case, it did help.

I had the best mother-in-law in the world, who may have told  her very excitable daughter-in-law a little white lie in order to make her feel better, but may have actually yelled at her children too!

So, if DD yells at her children, maybe she can blame the genetic predisposition she got from both sides of our family.