Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Beautiful Days

I spoke to Michael bright and early this morning. He is expecting to leave soon but still no date. I say good, he says can't wait. I don't get it. Why the rush to get to Iraq? Why not be happy to be in Germany? Anyway it was good to hear his voice.

Enjoyed perfect weather this weekend although I did not join Lisa at her beach stand or Johnny and friends at the beach. Instead John and I worked in the yard. We mulched my vegetable/herb garden and set up the little fountain. Got it looking all spiffy.



John and I seriously could not believe how perfect the weather was. As I was cleaning up at the end of the day I could hear an owl hooting off in the distance. Just as I was going in a mist started rolling in. It was beautiful with the sun setting and all.



I cut some more peonies. I got them coming out of my ears! Not complaining.



I even got several good pictures of my cat Blue. She does not like to be photographed. She is THE best cat in the world but things MUST go her way and her way only. She will request to be scratched but fulfilling this request is not for the timid. She will settle in on your lap and purr away as you do the job and when she has had enough, with no warning she will bite you. Nothing serious but she could just get up and leave. I love her dearly though. She is 8 years old. A barn cat. She won't stay in the house. When I first moved here there were quite a lot of mice and some field rats. I was not used to that having grown up in the suburbs. I was more then freaked out. She has it all under control. Nothing gets by her.



Yesterday I finally got some inspiration for a certain someone's "deck treat". I had been working on a couple ideas but I just wasn't feeling them. My mother gave me an idea that sent me in a completely different direction and that wasn't working either. Sometimes inspiration just isn't there. I was determined to get it yesterday though and searched and searched and by the end of the day I had some drawings I loved and ordered a few things. So soon "deck treat" recipient, soon.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Today I am going to refer you to two blogs that say things way better than I ever could...
The Future Was Yesterday
Heart Melody

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Quickie Reunion

Saturday I made a quick run to Towson State University to watch my nephew play lacrosse and have a quick visit with 2 of my sisters. Lisa had to start her job so her and John could not attend. Lisa got a job renting umbrellas and chairs on the beach. Johnny and I were on our own. I hate driving. BUT this is how much I LOVE my nephew. After all, I am his favorite aunt. I find if you start when they are infants asking them, "Who is your favorite aunt?" they quickly learn to say "Aunt Mary". Very effective program. I never miss an opportunity to ask him this question. His sister was also included in the program. She is a little more work as she is a female and not as easily controlled. I like that.

Steven and Johnny are about a year apart and don't get to see each other enough so Johnny was stoked. Steven is a swimmer and competes. He is very good at it. Look for my favorite nephew to be in the Olympics one day where upon accepting his medal he will thank who else...his favorite aunt Mary. Here is Steven uh, complaining because the aunts were taking his picture in rapid-fire succession...



Here is Johnny sitting with the girls. My sisters Rita (in the back), Carla and Stevens girlfriend Emily.



Anna (my niece) and Johnny displaying there joy at seeing each other...



After Stevens game we watched a little of a pro game with the Baltimore Bayhawks vs. the Chicago Machine. By now it was after 8:00 PM and I had a long ride home (but my nephew is worth it) so we decided to skip out of the game and get something to eat. Some college kids recommended a place so we went and had some crappy college kid type food. Johnny ordered a huge plate of ribs....



It was a nice day and always good catching up with my sisters and laughing. I wish they lived closer to me. I suggest they both get some property around here before it's too late. I made it home by 12:30. I know, don't worry about me...it was a grueling drive but my NEPHEW is worth it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Margaret!


I almost forgot, as I am prone to do. In fact it's my best sport, forgetting. Today is my oldest sister, Margaret's birthday. That's her on the far right. Her and my sister Anne on the far left look like they are so over the rest of us. Who can blame them?

Pure Beauty

It's my favorite flowers time of year again. Joy. I love peonies because they are to me so obscenely lush. They also remind me of those flowers you could make out of tissue papers. As a kid we would sometimes use a whole box of Kleenex making them which would really piss-off my mother.



I also came across this rose yesterday. As it was not in one of John's designated rose gardens and my brother had planted it I plucked it for myself. Nature is so giving.



And to top it all off I woke up this morning to a long stemmed red rose from John's garden left by my bed. The day is starting off right anyway.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

NYC

Great weekend. Beautiful weather mostly. When we arrived in NYC we headed straight to Central Park. We had never explored this part of the city and decided since the kids were with us to do it. I'd make suggestions of places in Central Park and ask the kids where they would like to go. Mostly I'd get an "I don't care..." so I'd just have to be cruise director and drag them around. John is game for anything. Johnny, oddly enough wanted to check out the zoo so off we went. It was pretty small but we got there just in time for the sea lion feeding and the polar bears where out romping around. Very big guys.



We tried to check out Strawberry Fields but kind of got turned around on a Ramble or two and missed it. Next stop was Bethesda Terrace.



We then looked for and found (miraculously) Belvedere Castle which gave us a great view of the park and city skyline....



as well as a view of Turtle Pond which is literally teeming with turtles.



Then my favorite part of the day... The Metropolitan Museum of Art! Finally. I have always wanted to go. Now at this point we had walked quite a distance. We started at the far South end which is like 59th St. and the Metropolitan is on 85th. There was many a Ramble in between so the "teens" are no longer w/me. Lisa is slightly interested in the art but over the walking. In other words they are like a ball and chain around John's and my ankle. John is very much an appreciater of art too. But it's okay. I was so overjoyed to see some of my favorite artists works right in front of my face. Manet, Monet,van Gogh,



Cezanne....



Gauguin....I had never seen this one even in a book. It's called IA ORANA MARIA (HAIL MARY). Love it.



Rousseau, Vermeer, Picasso,Matisse. I was truly in awe. I had just turned to John and said now if they just have a Gorky I will die...and I turned the corner and there it was. I haven't been that happy since I don't know when. Water of the Flowery Mill 1944 Arshille Gorky...



So I floated out of the Metropolitan and to our room on the Hudson River. Great views...



The next day we shopped in Soho and the Village which was more Johnny and Lisa's style.



And found some art that interested them more. They had me take a picture.



We shopped and ATE our way right up to the museum of Modern Art. Imagine. Well since we are here. It will only take me a minute, I promise. Oh if looks could kill. But Hopper, Rivera, Klee, Picasso. More of everyone including Gorky. And actually alot more reaction from Johnny. Spray-painted tools hung on a board had them laughing. A big stuffed piece of cake. A huge canvas that was painted blue. How was this art? They could do that. Lively discussions. It was fun.

On Monday we spent more time rambling around the city and ended our visit the way we started. Central Park. This time the Conservatory Garden all the way at the North end. Very glad we went.



Friday, May 19, 2006

Heading Out

What do you do when you live 5 minutes from the beach on a beautifully manicured oasis in the middle of quiet farmland? Head to NYC! We're off! Later....

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Weekend Update

I watched a great lacrosse game this Saturday w/Johnny's Beach team. They started out 4-0 w/the other team leading and ended 6-4 Beach. It was a very good game. Earlier that day Johnny had played a game w/Beach in Lewes DE. When he saw me arrive at the afternoon game he came running up to me and SURPRISE! he had cut off all his curls! He had called me earlier saying he wanted a buzz cut and I said sure. I didn't know he was stopping between games.






He looks more like his brother now. Always handsome, curls or no.


Taylor arrived home. Glorious. Love having her home again.


We had a nice dinner and she made me the BEST cosmopolitans EVER.



Yes my friends, we sent Taylor to college and she came home with some real skills. Cosmopolitan-making skills. Can I ask for more?

Sunday was quiet with John and Johnny away at ANOTHER lax game in B'more. I filled way too many pots with flowers in various locals around the place. I did always want to live in a flower garden and between John and I it is pretty much happening.



Taylor's friend from High School, Kevin came by on Monday night. He went to culinary school in RI. We had a really great dinner with a few very good tips from Kev. He works at a local restaurant and always hooks us up with awesome food when we see him so I tried.





Judging from those spotless plates I didn't do too bad. Oh yeah. We had more cosmos. Gotta use those skills while I can....


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Happy Birthday Richard!



And many more for you too.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Landscape-mania

John is at it again. Landscape-mania. I think he discovered gardening as a hobby maybe 4 years ago and quickly created an impressive rose garden. I personally am not allowed to cut HIS roses but if I am lucky he will cut some for me.





Here he is working away. The little ivy covered building was a run down out-building on the property. I was trying to grow ivy to cover it for years but it was slow catching on. Then John attended to it and tries to pass the whole thing off as his idea.



He comes home every night and works somewhere around the yard. He has started on the back field. It's like a mini manicured oasis in the middle of farmland. We stick out like a sore thumb but in a good way...I think.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Rita!



and many, many more.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Case Search

Taylor called me the other day and said a friend had given her the web address of a site where you put in a persons last name and all the court cases regarding them come up. Naturally she plugged in the names of John and I hoping to get some dirt on her parents. She was calling to find out when I had committed theft under $300. I assured her I never had. When I finally got the address and looked at it I was listed as the PLAINTIFF. Meaning complaining party Taylor. I had forgotten all about that. I had my T.V. stolen by a roommate long ago. John only had traffic violations. She was disappointed. Always fun to have some dirt on your parents.

P.S.- Mom, your clean. I checked.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Concert

The month of May is going to kill me. Just too much going on. I know you are sick of hearing it. We did have a little comic relief last night. Johnny had a school band concert. He plays drums. Lately he plays the timpani drums specifically. They are the big kettle drums. He is very good if I do say so myself. They have a band teacher who loves to lecture. He lectured the parents before the concert began on good concert etiquette. Tedious. Very large fellow w/a serious wedgie that we, the audience are forced to look at throughout the concert. About midway through the concert, between songs, he took a step up on a riser which emitted a loud farting noise. This caused the 7th grade band to dissolve into fits of laughter that they were unable to control. I was a little nervous for them. Luckily even the teacher found it amusing so they all got it out of their system and moved on to the next number. Fun.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Running is hazardous to my health....

Every morning when I set out on my run down country roads and past farms I run on the wrong side of the road. My thinking is that I am in control. I can move when I see a car. There are lots of bends and blind spots and I don't want someone coming around some blind curve and WHAMO, hitting me from behind. Sometimes it's tight. The grass is very long and I don't want to jump in it (but I do) and then lately I've been seeing lots of snakes. Nothing dangerous. For instance, yesterday I am running along and I see this big old black snake one second before I am about to slam my foot on him. I am at one of those blind curves so I am already in the grass. I jumped onto the road and missed him BUT what if a car had been coming. Dilema.
Anyway, as a driver where do you want me?

I have gotten this pedometer. I find it very motivating in a obsessive compulsive kind of way. You plug it into your computer at the end of the day and if you've reached your goal (which they say is 10,000 steps) it says PERFECT! You get a little graph that shows how fast (or in my case, how slow) you went, how far. I always try to go over the goal. See how that works for me? Now because I have problems with my feet and my old knees can't take it, and every other day some problem w/my back starts I try to take a day off. What I have learned is when I run I easily make or exceed the goal (well, it isn't easy...it's always a chore) but when I don't there aren't near enough steps. I highly recommend walking 30 minutes a day. I don't think we are getting enough movement if we don't. And that is my fitness bit for you...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Another Weekend

I haven't posted since Wednesday. Just a busy time of year. I think I've said Johnny is playing lacrosse for 2 teams this year. ( Oh and those reports in the news that lacrosse is for the affluent...not true. Yes alot of kids who play are from the local private school but here everyone plays. Our high school has a lax team. And we are not affluent.) I told him next year, just one team please. He also plays drums in school and between band practice, lax practice and 2 games a week the kid has no down time. He was complaining about his legs hurting! Duh... Here's a picture. He does love it when he makes the blog.



Iwas supposed to go to a fashion show that one of Taylor's friends was having. She is a fashion major and this was her final year and I was really interested to see it. Taylor bailed. Work. BUT the good news is she SAYS she will be home next weekend and thats MOTHERS DAY! It will be a perfect day if that happens and Michael calls. I haven't heard from him in a while. I have to quickly break him of that habit before he leaves.

Sometimes I feel so pathetic pining away for my children.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ipod?

I love my ipod. My family gave it to me for Christmas. I don't know how many hundreds of songs it holds. I have been using it every morning for my walks and runs. I used to be a kind of running purist before the ipod. I would enjoy nature as I ran. Clear my head. Now though I need motivation and each song gets me a little farther. The beat drives me faster and gets me into it. This morning as Jimi Hendrix Ezy Ryder was coming to an end the ipod died. I was three miles out people! How would I get home? Dammit. Why hadn't I checked the battery? Nothing to do but run home and listen to.....nature? How would I have heard the birds chatter if I had instead been listening to Cold Play's "Dont Panic" or Blind Faith's "Cant find My Way Home"? How would I have heard the words of encouragement?, warning? the old man in the field yelled out to me. The truth is, while it wasn't bad, I would have rather been listening to Tommy Lees "Good Times" and Rare Earth could have taken me down the home stretch with the driving beat of "Get Ready". And what did the old man say? I couldn't understand. So excuse me while I go charge my ipod.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lilacs

Had a great run this morning and finally remembered to cut some lilacs and bring them in. I've been saying it ever since they started blooming. Now my whole house is filled with the scent of them. Heaven...
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