Wednesday, May 30, 2007

In Distress!

I saw this post
over at Beachblogger's on Mother's Day and had to have one for myself. Guess what arrived in my mailbox yesterday?





Now we can protest 24/7. Thanks Peter for hooking me up w/Dorrine. If you would like a shirt too, go HERE. Dorrine's email is on that page too I believe if you have any questions.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day

I would like to direct your attention to a post I read this morning concerning Memorial Day.
You can read it here.
Honor the veterans. Remember what the holiday is really about.

Condiment Set

So, my men went away for a 3 day weekend to Baltimore to watch the NCAA lacrosse tournament. Love 'em. I really do. But I was so looking forward to this alone time. Lisa is here but she is so quiet when she is home it's cool.

I got up early and did some gardening and then later I visited Shop of the Four Sisters. I picked up this condiment set and I have a question for you.







I know oil and vinegar go in the bottles but what would you put in the 2 little lidded pots? There is no cut out in the lids for a spoon and they seem way too big for salt and pepper. Ideas?

When I got home the rain began. I decided to run out and rent a movie. My plan was to make myself some eggplant (which the boys wouldn't touch) and enjoy a movie and some blissful alone time. A few miles from home it began to rain buckets. I thought about going home but just kept going. This torrential downpour continued on. Remember this is a tourist town. Everyone is at the beach and when it rains they are in their cars. I saw 2 accidents. When I got home it was still going and this is almost 90 minutes later. I pull in to the barn and stepped out of the car into a flooded barn floor. First I notice the electric is off. Second I had neglected to shut a few windows and have huge puddles to clean up.

After the rain had stopped I saw my couches-in-the-front-yard neighbors and asked if their electric was off. Nope. Then another neighbor called to see if I had cable and I said Cable! I don't have ELECTRIC. Problem. Everyone else has it and I don't. To make a long story short my electric didn't come on until about 10. No eggplant. No movie. Not the evening I envisioned. Boo hoo. I'll try again tonight.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Taylor's Graduation

With Michael in Iraq all my emotions seem to be right under the surface. Similar to being pregnant and crying at all the Hallmark commercials, I did some crying at the graduation. Luckily I had left my glasses in the car. I need them for distance and all I had in my purse were my prescription sunglasses so this hid my tears a little though my son asked disgustedily if I was crying to which I replied, "Allergies."

It was long. We were sitting in bleachers wearing our best clothes which made the bleachers extremely uncomfortable. I was never good at sitting still in confined places. Movie theatre, broadway shows ( I do love a show though and if its good enough I am distracted from my torture), church. It's always torturous for me. This was NOT entertaining though. Sorry.

An archbishop gave the commencement address and seriously, I thought I was gonna have to off him. Please, please, please stop talking. I NEEDED to put him in a dress and heals and seat him up in the bleachers behind a large man leaving no where to put his legs and let him sit until his one leg fell asleep. Once he paused and we all started clapping, hopeful that this was the end. Not a chance. It only encouraged him and he went on and on and on.

Johnny expresses how we all felt in this picture.



Finally they began to call names. First the Bachelor of Science then the Bachelor of Arts. Taylor was a Bachelor of Arts and with a last name begining with S she was in the second to last row. Another interminably long wait. Finally our moment of glory. She had asked us to make some noise, something we are very capable of, and we did. Later I asked her if she heard us.

"No," she said. "I was so nervous all I heard was the President say, Congratulations Taylor. Let's get a picture together."

I am very proud of my beautiful and smart first child. All I ever wanted for my children was for them to get an education and find happiness. That's it.



(Our parting shot illustrates how "DONE" we were. Lisa can't walk in her heels any longer and Johnny, her normally unhelpful brother is so anxious to get to the car and get some food that he carries her through the parking lot. Meanwhile John is a few steps ahead and already has his tie off and is working on the shirt. We are a class act.)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Outside Magazine, Tuna, Coffee and Couches


Go get a copy of the May issue of Outside Magazine. Besides the cute brothers on the cover and their wonderful jobs there are 37 dream jobs to inspire you to go after your own dream job. Life is too short to be working at something you hate. I loved this issue.

Speaking of dream jobs, I just sent out another care package to Michael. Since his extension he requested tuna, tuna, tuna, and Ritz to eat it on and oddly, plastic forks. I love that they sell those envelopes of tuna now and I bought a whole lot of them. I got some individual packets of mayo from Arby's to complete the meal. Lovely. He has finished watching all the seasons of Seinfeld so I threw in 5 seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm. That should hold him for a while.

I quit coffee and it's been a couple weeks now. I can't tell you how much better I am sleeping. It's not like I drank it all day. Just a couple cups in the morning. And I wake up so quickly in the morning. No more groggy, shh, mommy hasn't had coffee yet time. Hm. Turns out I didn't need it to wake me up unless I was drinking it.

Can I just say without sounding snobby that my newest neighbors have 2 couches in the FRONT yard. The other day they were mowing the lawn. They mowed around them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Another Wedding

My oldest daughter came home this past weekend with her boyfriend. We had another wedding to attend. One of her friends was getting married. We were all looking forward to seeing friends. And for me, it's always a treat having Taylor and Sheldon come visit.



My man looked sharp and I had to keep the ladies at bay.



But while I was hanging out with the girls...



someone had been watching too much "Dancing w/the Stars"...



Here's the beautiful bride, her sister and Taylor and Sheldon. Lots of fun.



Sort of a WOW moment when you can remember all these kids when they were little and you realize that one of your friends children is getting married. Life goes on. Time flies. I try to enjoy every moment I have with family and friends.

On Mothers Day my children were all home (except for Michael) and the took me out for breakfast. It was lovely. Michael had called before we left. He also called on Saturday! Lucky me. He FINALLY got the word that his tour was extended to October. Of course. He would have been home in June. I am sad that he will miss the surfing. I don't think he's been here in the summer for 3 years. Speaking of time flying I hope this does.

This coming weekend I will be attending my daughters college graduation. I am very proud of her. This has been one busy ass month!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sanibel

I haven't been a very good blogger lately but that's okay. May is a busy month always for me. I add graduations, weddings, gardening to an already very busy day. I still want to relate a little of my Sanibel trip though it is hard to slow down and think about it. Let me try.

After the South Carolina beach wedding and the too short stay in Savannah we headed over to Sanibel Island. This is the one place that I just find so peaceful that I am totally able to relax. We hit the beach immediately. It was all soaking up the sun, shelling and swimming. A few days anyway...




This is pretty much all I saw of John and Johnny after they bought snorkel masks. The hunt for shells is addicting. We rarely get any on the beach here.



We like to rent bikes in Sanibel and ride around in the morning to see what we can see. They have a motor home park there and we alway stop in because they have some extra wildlife there. This particular morning we got lucky. The birds caretaker was there and Johnny got to have this beauty on his shoulder. They really took to each other.


Our ride continued but I still didn't even catch a glimpse of one of these dammit.



Our time was way too short on Sanibel but I'll take what I can get. We had gotten ourselves a long way off from home and had to start back. We left very early in the morning and encountered alot of traffic in Florida. I thought we were never gonna get out of that state. When we finally hit the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel I finally felt like we were getting somewhere. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is the largest bridge-tunnel complex in the world. It is one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World. It measures 17.6 miles from shore to shore. More importantly the toll is 12 dollars both ways!



Anyway I've been home for a week now and busier than ever playing catch up. It didn't help that while I was away a cat had kittens in my barn. Most of my week was spent rounding them up and getting them and their mother out of there. They were cute , sure. But I have a cat. A barn cat. A fixed barn cat. She catches mice and the like. She was terrorized by the mother cat as we all were. Mother cat wasn't letting any of us in that barn. We've reclaimed our barn and kitties are safe w/their ferocious mother and will be adopted out. It's all good.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Savannah

The morning after the wedding we headed about 2 more hours south and we were in Savannah. Mmmmmmmm. I fell in love with that city.



I am a prepared traveler which means (besides over packing) I always read my guide book and know what I want to see. John would prefer to hop on a tour bus, get a feel for the city and then go back to the places you want to see. As I had been out until 2 AM at the wedding the night before I did it his way. I hated sitting still in the bus for so long but I did get a better overview of the city.

The historic district with its trees dripping in Spanish Moss (which is neither Spanish nor moss but a type of air fern as we learned on the tour),



the lush and quiet squares throughout,



Magnolia trees everywhere! and the beautiful homes.





While we were in Savannah I was really hoping to eat at Paula Dean's restaurant Lady and Sons. The minute we got our room I called and it seemed you had to stop by and put your name on a list. It was about 2 and because it was Sunday they closed at 5. I didn't feel hopeful but we went over anyway. As soon as we walked up they yelled out to the crowd of people standing around, "Does anyone want to eat right now?" We do! And we walked right in. Lucky. Turns out Sunday is only Southern buffet. This worked out fine for me because I was able to try a lot of food I might not have tasted otherwise. And let me tell you there was not a thing I didn't like. OMG! Fried chicken, collard greens, barbecue, macaroni and cheese, green beans, cheese biscuits, hoe cakes. I went for it. I would never eat this kind of food. In fact lots of it was foreign to me but I was there and I was going to experience all the South had to offer. I loved it! Then came dessert. Gooey butter cake, banana pudding, peach cobbler....(I got on the scale the minute I got home and I am happy to report no weight gain.)

There we are in Paula Dean's, stuffed to the gills but quite happy.



So a little more touring of the city brought us to this cemetery called Colonial Park Cemetery.
During the civil war Union troops were stationed there. They vandalized many of the graves. As a result there were gravestones lying about and no one knew where exactly they went. Many are so old and worn that you can't read them. The solution was to line them up on the back wall of the cemetery.






It was really a beautiful old city with so much to offer. As we were walking around this cemetery I heard a woman say to her husband that this city was really not for her. I couldn't imagine not enjoying it.

Check out this tree...






By this point the children had abandoned us preferring the hotel room to more walking. John and I on the other hand try to squeeze as much in to the day as we could. We finally settled in at a table on the street of the Six Pence Pub and had a drink before retiring.



Next morning we had an appointment to tour Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). This was an awesome tour. The school was everything I ever dreamed of. The buildings are spread throughout the city. The students ride bikes and hop on SCAD buses. Every building and department was mind blowing. As we were walking through the fine arts building John mentioned that this would have been the perfect school for me. Glad you feel that way John. See I'm leaving home and running off to Savannah. I've picked my double major and quite a few minors and I think I will live happily ever after. Anyway my daughter did love the school too.

After the tour we squeezed in a little shopping (and there's lots of charming shops here) at Shop SCAD which is a gallery store featuring the artwork of students, staff and alumni. I could have bought everything in there. Lisa bought a dress and a small piece of artwork. Nice way to end our Savannah experience.

Now on to Sanibel Island.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Wedding

Warning: This post is long and MAY only be suitable for family.

The wedding was on the beach. It was beautiful. The bride was gorgeous and emotional and groom was very handsome and didn't seem nervous at all. It was the perfect amount of friends and family. A little windy but fine.







Did we just catch Carla not posing? offguard? NOT ready for a shot?!



Oh wait, she's back. Thank goodness.



Okay so off to the luge!

First off, the guy serving up the shots was the best. Super funny. He really made the whole event. Don't know his name. I call him "Ich, Nee, San, Chi" because thats what he would say before he let a shot go. (It's been a long time since I've had to count in Japanese so those spellings could be wrong.)He got more and more into character as we went on eventually tying a white band around his head (well a paper towel but how creative!). Unfortunately my camera ran out of memory at this point because he later added glasses. I had 3 cameras at the wedding but different people were manning them. He looks serious in these pictures but nothing could be further from the truth.





Everyone did the luge...









Then my mother came downstairs...
(well more like the elevator. No stairs for mum these days.)




and Carla suddenly reverted to childhood and was all like, "Mommy, Mommy, watch what Mary and I can do!" So I had to go another round.



Oh mother was proud indeed...

Now to the non-participaters I say, WHY? Why wouldn't you want to strike such a graceful pose and join in the fun? Your loss.


On to the tossing of the bouquet...




The garter...

Hey what are John and Scott doing down there?



The sexy bit...




Cake bit...




My nephew toasts the bride and groom...



Now there is nothing left to do but party! And so we did. No pictures from this part as we were just too busy having fun. Of course one of these days some pictures will surface of Carla and I doing the running man or something like that. I finally hung up my dancing shoes at 2AM. Great day. AND I was The-last-Aunt-Standing. Oh yeah!

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