Category Archives: picnic

Lighthouses and Sailing Away: July, 2015

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I arrived up on Lake Erie last Friday. It has been a marvelous week with my

“Mamacita,” who is such a dear one and a blessing.

I enjoyed the anticipation, the way I looked more closely at the scenery

and have enjoyed relaxing and being lazy, once I got here. We went

grocery shopping shortly upon my arrival.

We always have plenty to eat with my Mom insisting on buying cookies,

chips, dip, wine (Sangria) and ice cream in at least 3 flavors.

We have plans today to visit my niece and her husband, living in my

parents’ retirement home. They were married Summer of 2014, with a

tent on the side yard and all the family present.

The family picnic (Saturday, July 3rd) will include newly arrived guests,

Skyler, Micah and my oldest daughter, Carrie. They drove up last night

and we had fun visiting and hearing about their week, since Mommy was

on vacation..

Other ‘picnickers’ will be both brothers, Mom, niece, her husband, baby

Jackson, older junior high daughter, Vaya, and my sister in law.

Mom’s and my  ‘food assignment’ was being in charge of bringing dessert.

After carefully looking over the bakery, rows of frozen desserts while

debating which ones would like our choices, we bought our offerings-

frosted red, white and blue cookies, (an instant hit with the children),

strawberries we cut up last night and added sugar to make a syrup

overnight, can of real whipped cream, angel food cake and a package

of “short cakes” which each person can choose their cake base, take

a scoop of strawberries, add vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream.

My brother is bringing corn, watermelon and sister in law made a potato

salad. My niece and her husband are making hamburgers and hot dogs.

My other brother bought free range chickens to barbecue on the grill.

We have our bag of sunscreen, sunglasses, Mom’s special necessities,

two towels, my bathing suit and sundries packed and ready to go.

Tonight, there will be fireworks all along the lake. We will see the boats

go towards the East, then will see them head back West.

The Lake makes me think of the 12 lighthouses, bordering the Northern

edge of Ohio.

Here is a list, not in any particular order of their locations along the coast,

of a dozen scattered lighthouses along Lake Erie. . . some with memories

attached:

1. Vermilion Lighthouse.

This town is where my parents chose to live from the late 80’s until 2011,

when my Mom moved into her Senior Living Apartments. Now my niece

and her husband live on an appropriately named, “Edgewater Drive.”

2. Fairport Harbor West Lighthouse.

I have been to Fairport Harbor Beach, as a child swimming with my family.

3. Port Clinton Lighthouse.

I have toured and seen this beautiful memorial and museum on the island.

4. Huron Harbor Lighthouse.

We used to go to a little Episcopalian Church there, while growing up in

Sandusky.

The church was along the waterfront, across from the lake side of the

street.

5. Toledo Harbor Lighthouse.

While I attended Bowling Green State University, in B.G., Ohio, I visited the

Toledo Zoo and was invited to eat in a restaurant along the Toledo Harbor.

On another occasion, I enjoyed a second  harbor visit. A boyfriend and I first

spent time wandering around the art collections and gardens at the Toledo Art

Museum.

Then, having completed this fantastic day, escape from studying and  school

projects, we spent a luxurious dining experience in a waterfront restaurant.

Memories of such beautiful sea- or lake- side evenings, wherever you may

have visited, include so many senses touched or ignited. Anytime when you

can look out upon the vast, dark sky, while spying distant ships, stars and a

shining beacon of light, blinking off and on, rotating to protect the harbor, you

will be moved.

I hope sometime in your life you have been to a lake, an ocean or spent an

evening on an island.

I hope the beauty and majesty of lighthouses is part of your memories. . .

6. Ashtabula Lighthouse.

7. Marblehead Lighthouse.

Another childhood memory, where I was with my parents and my father’s

coworkers.

It has a funny sense of my mother’s annoyance and slight jealousy of one

of his secretaries. I have written this in a post about jealousy ‘at any age.’

8. Old Fairport Harbor Lighthouse.

9. Cleveland Harbor Lighthouse.

It is strange, but I know I have seen this lighthouse many times, but there is

no ‘imprint’ upon my memory bank. I have seen fireworks from a park nearby

here.

The ships are large, looming in this busy harbor, there are more restaurants

along the “Flats” than on Cleveland’s downtown lake’s edge.

10. Conneaut Lighthouse.

11. South Bass Island Lighthouse.

This is one of several islands, from Sandusky Bay to Kelley’s Island,

South Bass, Port Clinton and others… A wonderful and worthy scenic trip,

reasonably priced.

12. Lorain Harbor Lighthouse.

This one is a large lighthouse that has been one where we have sat along

the beach to watch at night. The area is well kept, has a refreshment stand

where Mom and I bought ice cream and heard first a reggae band, then a

Hispanic group sang and played. My Mom and I danced to the Spanish

music, while she tried to sing the lyrics.

On Maine Historical Society Website, I found a book by Henry Wadsworth

Longfellow. It has a collection of poems,”The Seaside and the Fireside.”

This anthology includes 8 poems about the Sea with 12 about sitting and

dreaming by the Fire.

One of Longfellow’s famous and beloved poems,

with just three passages shared in this post,

the opening, middle and closing one, below:

“The Lighthouse

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1850)

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,

And on its outer point, some miles away

The Lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,

A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.”

. . .

“And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,

Through the deep purple of the twilight air,

Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,

With strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!”

. . .

(After the middle, there is a sea bird that crashes into

the glare of the lighthouse, dying and the dramatic

poet, H.W.L., mentions Prometheus chained to a rock.)

. . .

“Sail on!” it says,

Sail on, ye stately ships!

And with your floating bridge the ocean span.

Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse,

Be yours to bring man nearer unto man!”

The End.

(You may view this, in its entirety, but I chose the most

beautiful passages, in my mind’s eye.)

Last year’s music news of 2014, spoke of a ‘comeback album,’ for one of

my all-time summer favorites: Christopher Cross.  It is hard to believe his

album, titled,” Sailing,” has been out and sailing along into the sunset,

since 1979.

Did anyone listen to this album, since this post originally was published

in 2014? I have missed any of the singles on this, while listening to the

radio, daily and on longer trips to Mom’s.

I am quite content with his older one, which features lovely lyrics.

In “Sailing,” there are poetic words of paradise, tranquility, miracles

along with innocence, with canvas dreams.

“And if the wind is right, you can sail away to find serenity.”

Another passage near the end…

“Dream and wind carry me and soon I will be free.”

The Arthur movie, with the song, “The Best that You Can Be,” won Chris

Cross, an Oscar in 1981, he has been often in Germany performing, along

with on stage with country groups, like with “Alabama.” A couple years’ back,

“Lemon’s Theme” was written for the discontinued comedy television show,

“30 Rock.”

I am excited by the 2014, “The Secret Ladder,” album but have not heard

any newer songs attached to this. On Wikipedia, it lists a 2013 album by

Christopher Cross.

All I wish to express here is a combination of expectant excitement and

pleasant feeling of being swept away, if not on a sailboat, possibly an inner

tube, down a cool and easy river.

Christopher Cross singing his upbeat songs, using his fantastic, smooth

voice will be something  I still have to look forward to, someday getting to

hear the newer songs.

If only in my dreams…

I hope this spurred on memories of sandy beaches, water experiences by

a body of water; stream, river, lake or ocean.

If not, a pool is a nice cooling off place to suggest. . .

Did you ever have an emotional experience, almost magical or spiritual,

while you were by some form of water?

If you would like to list something you did or plan to do to celebrate the

holiday, please know I may not respond until July 5th or 6th, once I get

back home. . .

If you have already liked this post, written last year and then edited to

include new baby boy, Jackson, my grandsons Micah and Skyler, their

Mommy having a 2015 vacation all week, then don’t feel bad not pushing

“Like” button once again. I am thankful for this re-blogging, since some

of the details remained intact. Others, I updated. . .

Have a fantastic Fourth of July, if you are in the U.S.

If not, hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


Critter Lovers

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My Mom and Betty White adore animals of every species and support their

lives with their extra money. My Mom has always been part of the ones who

would donate to any and all causes for animal preservation, prevention to

cruelty and local humane societies. They both use their humor and their

love of animals to ‘keep on going.’ Betty White is often on talk shows, in

movies and recently Hallmark featured her in a movie about a woman who

was waiting for her husband to come back from WWII. It is called, “The

Lost Valentine.”

 

Both women, although far apart in their professions, my Mom and Betty,

were widows and kept on their toes, with causes and interests. Betty has said,

she would have retired long ago, except that she wanted to continue to be able

to donate for animals’ rights. Both of these over 80 year old women, Mom and

Betty, live purposeful and meaningful lives.

 

Oh, and if you didn’t know this; both women ‘love’ Cleveland! You may see

Betty White performing and cracking her audiences up in, “Hot in Cleveland,”

on TV Land on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. (Ch. 38- Central Ohio time)

 

If you were to live in Cleveland area, here are some extraordinary animal

supportive entertainment projects being carried on, forwarded from last

Sunday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer, via Mom.

Everything from hummingbirds’ research and studies, which you may be

willing to observe and participate to “cat karaoke night,” are included in

this list of 10 upcoming events or fundraising projects!

 

1.  On Friday, September 262014: The group named,  “tails from the city,”

will hold “Karaoke for Cats,” at Paddy Rock Superpub.  This is located at

16700 A. Lorain Road. The group will take questions or donations at:

http://tailsfromthecitycleveland.org

 

2. The Northeast Ohio Circus Boycott Committee can be found on Facebook.

This organization promotes animals living in their natural environments.

They believe that animals should not be made to perform, should be able to

utilize their natural instinctive behaviors and not trained behaviors. Forcing

animals to perform is considered, “mistreatment.” There also is a phone

number for this organization: (440)-213-6342.

 

3. There is a New APP for smartphones that will inform the public of how to

help orphaned or injured wild animals. Free guidance can be found for the

group, Animal Help Now or

http://ahnow.org

 

4.  Do you want to show your appreciation for animals with a variety of

t-shirts with slogans?

The two organizations support animals:

http://sunfrogshirts.com

http://SmolasRescueRailroad/rescue

 

5.  This is so cool! Did you know humane societies and animal shelters collect

package weight circles from Purina Pet Food bags and products? Apparently,

Purina is like the Campbell Soup labels for education program and will reimburse

different non-profit shelters by their receiving labels for dogs, cats, bunnies, and

other domestic animals.

 

6. The National Audubon Society is asking for information about the hummingbirds

in your area. They are offering a free APP for people to contribute to their study of

hummingbirds:

http://hummingbirdsathome.org

 

7.  The Volunteer Vets and Valley Save-A-Pet organizations in Cleveland, Ohio are

working together by offering free spaying and neutering surgeries for dogs and cats

of low income owners. This outstanding joined forces group helped to perform more

than 1200 surgeries last year. Their program is titled, “Have A Heart.” They request

the participants fill out income guidelines and the animals be younger than two

years old and at least 35 pounds. If you wish to participate or donate:  Please Call:

(440)-232-CATS (2287)

 

8. September 21st the Annual Rainbow Bridge Walk and Run will begin at 1 p.m.

to honor and remember pets who have passed on into heaven. This is located in the

North Park, 3595 Grafton Road, Brunswick, Ohio.

Details for the Rainbow Walk can be found at:

http://rainbowbridgewalk.com

 

9. The Medina Pet Pantry is accepting pet food donations, leftovers from animals who

have died or newly purchased at: 6335 Wedgewood Road, Medina, Ohio.

 

10. Going along with the #s 8 and 9, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio

will be holding their Pet Blessings service in remembrance of beloved pets who are living

and also, ones that have passed on, October 5, 2014 between 1-3 p.m.  More details at:

http://stpatrick4u.net

 

If you are an animal lover, you may already know about the fantastic veterinarian and

author, James Herriot. I loved his longer, autobiographical adventures for anyone from

middle school and older. They are rich in English countryside, customs and anecdotes.

Here is his beautiful list of books, which I have treasured for years:

1. All Creatures Great and Small

2. All Things Bright and Beautiful

3. All Things Wise and Wonderful

4. The Lord God Made Them All

There are several more, including The Best of James Herriot but I am not sure, unless

you are a parent whose children adored animals and you were in the juvenile books area,

that some of you are aware of these special and meaningful story books. Each is illustrated

beautifully and my own children chose one of these to focus on in their growing up years:

1. Moses the Kitten (1984).

This was our first James Herriot book we invited into our home.

2. Oscar, Cat About Town.

3. Only One Woof.

4. The Christmas Baby Kitten.

This is kept in our Christmas book collection huge basket.

5. Bonny’s Big Day.

Horse lovers, this is about a special horse!

6. Blossom Comes Home.

People who have affection towards those doe-eyed cows, should

check out this sweet story.

7. The Market Square Dog.

 

There may be more books, your own personal animal stories you may wish to share

in our comments and responses. We all like animals, it is a true fact, babies and pets

are sometimes what bring smiles from even the ‘grouchiest’ people!

 

I will be shortly walking out of the library to see one of the biggest horse parades in

the United States. (Delaware, Ohio at 3 p.m. on September 7th.) I will be running into

a number of my friends, church members and neighbors. I will be sitting on a curb

soon, enjoying the community sense of fellowship and high expectation. In the past,

there have been diverse costumes, including Native American, (some represent the

history of this area, as descendants of the Mingo tribe), KISS band member look-alikes,

old-fashioned period costumes, Servicemen and women, Amish men and women with

their bonnets on, guiding their wagons and Clydesdales.

I will keep my eyes peeled, my camera ready to capture the horses with my coworker

and friend Amy, her ex-mother in law and daughter, riding together as a Trio entry in the

parade. The parade committee and guest judges will be choosing Best of Show, Most

Unique and other categories of winners for varied entries in this annual parade.

I have written about Amy’s horses, Spirit, Lokie and Sapphire. I have not been sure of

which ones they will be riding, one in all turquoise, another in all golden colors and the

third one, still up in the air, as of Friday. This means the headdress and blanket under the

saddle are of a chosen color, all in the ‘regalia’ of horse finery!

 

I am wearing this cowgirl on a horse, fall colors shirt, you can see in my avatar photo. No pants

today, since it is quite sunny and pleasant. Will be sitting on West Winter Street, with some

members of the family waving at the cowboys, cowgirls and children who are in this

All Horse Parade.

Supposedly, it is still considered, “The Biggest All Horse Parade East of the Mississippi!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire House Gazebo

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I am looking forward to later today, Sunday, August 10, ’14, to listening

in the grass to two local musicians, Morgan Treni and Andrew Shaw.

I invited my family, grandchildren and some of my coworkers to ‘pull up

a blanket’ and sit and share the good times.

Every Sunday, all summer long, there have been featured local artists

singing, (acapella, in groups, with bands….) and entertaining the local

people who bring their lawn chairs or blankets to sit on; around the

back of the Delaware fire station. The Bicentennial Park has this lovely,

old-fashioned gazebo. One that reminds me of the television show,

“Gilmore Girls.”

A lot of small towns across America, probably in other countries, too,

have something in the center of town. In Bucyrus, Ohio, they have a

fountain and two grand, large murals, one on the west side of the main

street, one on the east side. In Mt. Gilead, they have a circle in the middle

of town, with a statue with War Memorials on it.

In Lancaster, Worthington and Westerville they have Town Square gazebos,

also taking advantage of the summer weather to hold musical performances,

bringing people together.

Can you picture this in your head?

(One of the reasons I don’t feature photographs is so that readers may form

a unique picture, inserting their own visions of what my experience tonight

may be.)

Do you have such a gazebo in your town, being put to use in this same

way?

I am bringing snacks to share, along with bottled waters. I am not

sure what my son, James and Trista will bring. He will be getting off

from work only an hour before, cooking up hamburgers the size of

plates at Son of Thurman’s. I know my oldest daughter, Carrie is

bringing Micah. She is our famous ‘dessert queen.’ I imagine some

kind of good oatmeal, coconut, chocolate chips and dried cranberry

cookies…. (Or I hope they are on the ‘menu!’ Smiles!)

Micah’s brother, Skyler, will be at his Daddy’s house in Ashley, Ohio.

My youngest daughter will not be able to join our gang’ of ‘groupies,’

this time. I do know Judy will be there. She is a really supportive

friend who believes in Morgan. Judy is about ten years younger than

I, who travels to all the places that Morgan sings or visits. They went

camping last time I ran into them, at Delaware State Park. I saw the

two of them at my Chase Bank. Judy is a 1988 graduate of BGSU, so

we can become quite reminiscent when we run into each other about

how changes to our alma mater have come about, over the years.

I was listening to Morgan’s CD and blown away by the songs all over

again. Morgan has an amazing and unique deeper, more throaty voice

and has written her ‘essays’ into songs. I like, “Across the Chess Board”

and her West Virginia song, too. Of course, I am particularly fond of

her song about her four years at Ohio Wesleyan University, her ‘home

away from home.’ It is an homage to Delaware.

I have known Andrew Shaw since he was a little boy, attending First

Presbyterian Church in Delaware. He is a Delaware High School graduate,

but I am not sure where he went off to college. I run into his parents,

occasionally now, busy lives that we all seem to have. Steve, his dad,

served on the Education Committee and often taught one of the Sunday

School classes. We were on other committees, during my child-rearing

years along with serving on an Ecumenical project called, “Peace Camp.”

I look forward to gathering in the grass, gazing up at the white painted

home town, Fire Station Gazebo tonight at 7:00 p.m. But, don’t plan on

coming that late, you need to get you blanket down by 6:00 so I will be

also grabbing a sandwich, along with those snacks to enjoy the musical

Sunday evening.

 

 

**Update on the Concert**

Andrew Shaw played admirably on his keyboard, to accompany Morgan’s

beautiful singing. The crowd was an older one, so Morgan sang three original

songs, then some popular ones. The audience appreciated the familiar tunes,

joining in by clapping for Andrew’s solos, also when they could carry a beat.

 

The original songs were “Delaware,” “Open Roads,” and “West Virginia.”

Some of the songs Morgan sang that were familiar to me, were “Somewhere

Over the Rainbow,” “I Get a Kick from Champagne,” and from the musical,

“Porgy and Bess,” the song, “Summertime.” Then Andrew played “Misty” and

“Georgia on My Mind.” He played another solo song, as a break for Morgan,

but I did not recognize it nor did I hear the title announced.

(8/11/14)

My grandson liked the picnic atmosphere, but did decide to wander over to a

tree, picking uppine cones and little ‘baby’ acorns, too. He found a stick and

pulled its leaves off it, then he came back and laid on his mother’s back while

she was lying on her stomach. It made a cute picture, with his looking up at

the soon darkening sky. The sun set, later, as we were walking home. We did

not see the moon, but later in the evening, I opened my blinds and saw the

gorgeous full moon!

 

 

 

Strawberry Full Moon

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In my monthly June post, I let you know that the name for the Full Moon

this week is called, Strawberry Full Moon. On Wednesday, as I walked

my youngest daughter out to her car, since we had spent awhile having

dinner, along with watching a movie it was getting late. It was dark, but

there was a brightness in the sky. I let out an excited, “Look at the moon!”

Together we gazed at it, she giving it more than a passing glance, knowing

that the sky holds a little extra meaning to our family.

We hugged each other tightly, arms wrapped around each other.

We noted it was looking bright and lovely in the cool night air. There has

been a neat way that the clouds seem to spread, dissipating into wisps,

around the moon.

The warm daytime temperatures and the cooler night air has created great

‘cloud cover.’ Last night, the moon was showing its shiny, gray-pocketed

face for all to see.

I found several strawberry messages to share with you. I do so love the

sweet and a little tart taste of strawberries! Do you love them, too?

In the following “Camp Song,” we used to sing at Girl Scout camp, there

is a reference repeated about strawberries. I remember this song, like

the ‘back of my hand.’ I have sung it to my own three children at their

bedtime, more recently to my grandchildren. This is one of a few that

have strawberries in their lyrics!

The New Christy Minstrels used to sing this and my parents had it on

one of their albums. I did not initiate singing this song while away at

camp. This song, “Today,” must have been popular enough for a camp

counselor to have memorized and shared with us. It is sweet with a

guitarist, sitting with it on his or her knees, strumming along to the

melody.

Sitting around a campfire, from ages 11 until age 18, I used to sing it.

I enjoyed ed’ camping trips with the local Bay Village Boy Scouts,

taking down the tents that were canvas off the platforms at Camp Hilaka.

This would be in the Fall, in Richfield, Ohio.

When you read the lyrics, you may not think that Juliette Gordon Low,

the founder of Girl Guides, later known as Girl Scouts, would have

approved! There is the repeated verse with ‘wine’ included!

” Today”

 

“Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,

I’ll taste your strawberries,

I’ll drink your sweet wine.

A million tomorrows shall all pass away,

‘Ere I forget all the joy that is mine. . .

Today.

Oh, I’ll be a dandy or I’ll be a rover,

You’ll know who I am, by the song that I sing.

I’ll feast at your table,

I’ll sleep in your clover.

Who cares what tomorrow may bring?

I can’t be contented with yesterday’s glory,

I can’t live on promises Winter to Spring.

Today is my moment and now is my story,

I’ll laugh and I’ll cry and I’ll sing.

(Repeating…)

Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,”

Of course, another very popular song that includes, the word,

“strawberry” in it is: “Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles.

Here is a fun list of different references to Strawberries:

1. Grandmother’s homemade strawberry jam

2. Aunt Amy’s freezer strawberry jam

3. McDonald’s strawberry and crème pies (2 for $1.59)

4. Strawberries and cream

5. Strawberry shortcake

6. Strawberry Shortcake and her Friends. (dolls)

7. Strawberry Cool Whip

8. Strawberry shakes

9. Strawberry malts

10. Neopolitan has chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream

also, what we call ice cream cookies.

11. Strawberry Skittles, the red ones are my favorites!

12. Strawberry Twizzlers

13. Strawberry pie, with fresh strawberries and a glaze over it.

(Served with big dollops of whipped cream!)

14. Boone’s Farm Strawberry Wine

(Don’t drink too much, sickeningly sweet, not fun coming up!)

15. Suave brand shampoo, Strawberry Shampoo and Conditioner

16. Strawberry lip gloss

(I used to put this on my lips, during high school. I got some

compliments for this habit. Also, used it to kiss the envelopes

to my college boyfriend, future first husband, signing off with

“Sealed with a Kiss.”)

Instead of focusing on the Friday the 13th, I hope you enjoyed this!

I am sure there are many more songs, memories and fun things

you may have thought of, hope if this triggered any interesting

stories, you will share them with us!

 

 

Making Father’s Day Plans

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At work, yesterday, we were talking about fathers. We really don’t know

what kind of pressure they had, in the past. We feel men and women

have a combined amount of stress, due to financial difficulties, low

wages, high cost of living, and raising families is not a ‘easy job.’

The song that came to mind, was the “Under Pressure” one with

both David Bowie and Queen singing it. Can you believe that came

out in 1981? And we were calling it a ‘newer song!’ Later, in 1982,

the group Queen performed this solo, on their album called, “Hot

Space.”

Also, someone volunteered the ‘older’ Dolly Parton song, “9 to 5.” We

all liked that movie, which is more of a support of women but the guys

said it was the only one they could think of, agreeing with Tammy, that

we are ‘behind the times!’

Guess what? We found out this is a 1980 song, so only one year before

the other song we came up with, representing marriage and parenthood

stress. We may need a newer song to suggest you listen to, to help you

feel that we have understood the way life has become even more hectic

than when we were growing up!

They felt the lyrics expressed how we all have to pack a lot into

our days, especially those who have families. Juggling many tasks,

meetings after work, sporting and other activities that children

need parental guidance and support can all lead to crazy moments.

My good friend, Bill, calls those days when people are raising kids,

as the “hunter/gatherer” stage. I know somewhere along the way,

one of my commenters disagreed with this terminology, not sure

what alternative, they did suggest a better way to describe the

way life is in the fast zone!

Lastly, we were discussing how we didn’t understand our parents

until we got older, had children and even, sometimes wish we had

had more time to just relax and enjoy them. Knowing time is so

precious, not able to stand still and really listen and pay attention

to what their important pieces of advice are. I remember thinking

that “I knew it all,” especially since I had graduated in elementary

school education, so I already ‘knew’ what children needed and

all.

Boy, did I get a huge splash of freezing cold water, a big dose of

reality!

There are NO manuals or instructions that explain how it is to

be a parent!

This post is in honor of fathers, along with mothers, who work as

a team to raise their children, doing the best they can, as much as

possible!

I have a good friend, who shall remain nameless, who still wished

she had more time to talk to her mother. I still wish I could ask my

Dad’s advice on more things. I would like to just listen to him again.

He could go on and on, rambling, if he liked. I would relate to the

desire to have someone to pay attention to, much more now. Now

that I am alone.

When asked, “What are you doing for Father’s Day?” I received an

interesting summary of choices. I hope you will add some present

and if you wish, some past ways you celebrated Father’s Day.

Charlene hangs with us, watching, “The Bold and the Beautiful”

from 1:45 until 2:00 pm. She is on her lunch break, so during the

commercial breaks we ask her, “What did we miss during the first

fifteen minutes of this half hour soap opera, we have become rather

attached or ‘addicted to.’

She said she plans to take her four year old son, Ian, to a big box

retail store, where he usually insists on buying his Daddy a card

and a gift. I wanted her to trace his hand and make a homemade

card, she says he won’t do that! Ian is a ‘force to reckon with!’

Charlene’s husband, Chris, works here, so we like to ask about

what he will be rewarded with for ‘His Day.’ She added that she

will cook one of his favorite meals, lasagna, garlic bread and a

dinner salad. It takes a lot of time to prepare it, having learned

the ‘hard way, ‘ from Christopher’s mother, the ‘true Italian way

to prepare this dish.’

Keith, whose daughter, Ashley, spent this past year in a haphazard

thrown together home-schooling adventure turned 13 this past week.

She is staying home, making a Cool Whip ‘concoction’ with crushed

Oreo cookies for Keith’s Father’s Day. He also had been happy to

hear that she was going to clean up the kitchen, dust and vacuum.

She may take off for the swimming pool, but this work was promised

to be completed by the time he came home today (Friday). By the

way, she failed seventh grade and will be taking it over again. Many

of my ‘regular’ commenters, will remember how I worried a lot about

the way Keith was handling it, how I had to step away and basically,

wash my hands of it. (Background information available on Keith

and Ashley post. )

Tammy’s father, who has had heart surgery, knee surgery and also,

still takes a lot of medications is 83 years old. His wife is in much better

shape, Tammy’s mother is ‘on the ball.’ For Mother’s Day, Tammy and

Mike (“Fencepost Buddies” love story post) had her parents, her sisters,

brothers, nieces and nephews over for a huge potluck/picnic. It had

ended up inside, but they are crossing their fingers to have it outside.

They purchased bags of mulch and will be putting this around her

mother and father’s flower beds, plants and trees. That will be their

gift, plus hosting their large, extended family on her side.

Melvin was ready to tell us all about the great barbecue that he and

his handicapped girlfriend helped to prepare dishes and a skinless pig

roast for a paid graduation party. Their catering “earned them more

that two weeks at Advance Auto, all in nice, crisp 100 dollar bills cash!”

Melvin’s used to being a cook in the Army, also for his large family.

The family is mainly out East, which he and his girlfriend are heading

that direction so, other than cards, there may only be the “trip out East,”

as his Father’s Day gift. They will be taking from June 20th until June 28th

to travel there and back, driving. He hopes to connect to some of his old

Army buddies, but nothing like their huge reunion last year, in MA.

We were trying to persuade him to open up a restaurant or catering

business, but Melvin thinks it would be too stressful on his girlfriend.

Trevinal and his wife, who I wrote about his taking nursing classes,

to get ahead in their life together. His father used to work at Advance

Auto D.C. #23, too. He is retired and when he did, he passed on the

advice to his son, to try and find a better job. Trevinal sits at our table,

laughs at our ‘old age’ jokes and is in his thirties. (I wrote about his

being designated “Special Education” while growing up, how he is

going to Columbus State and now has a 3.5 average every semester!)

Their love story is ongoing, first a good career, children next…

They are celebrating with his mother and father by taking them to

Ryan’s Steakhouse, which is a buffet style restaurant. They have some

plans to help trim trees, mow the lawn and  his wife plans to bake a cake,

too.

My friend, Mark, whose mother lives with him, told me today that he

plans to take her to his father’s gravesite, they will plant live flowers and

also, take home the Memorial Day wreath, they had left a couple of weeks

ago. He is the one who I gave my telephone number at Thanksgiving and

we have stalled out in the dating area of our friendship. Sort of ‘back to

square one.’ I like him a lot and will hope someday it may mean more to

him, too. Meanwhile, fun to have a man to flirt with, once in awhile!

One who has a home, computer and is not homeless, like I meet at the

library! Ha ha!

I have offered tonight and tomorrow night to watch grandchildren and

have plans to give cards to my son and my oldest daughter’s man for

their special day. I have decided that “Nana sitting” is enough, so won’t

be enclosing money this year for Father’s Day!

Work equity sounded like a great way for people to help their Dad’s out,

along with saving money. It is a trend across all income levels, giving

time is always an excellent way to show you love someone!

I will be posting about the Poll I took that was on the subject of which

television show featured your favorite Dad, father figure or male role

model, tomorrow!

I was surprised at the results at break, lunch and after work, with my

coworkers choices. It may or may not amuse you! It brought back a

few good nostalgic memories.

Let me know, “What are you doing for Father’s Day?”

 

 

 

Peace, hope and safe travels

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I had just got off the phone from talking to my good and oldest

friend, Patrice, (that I still stay in touch with), who was preparing

for her annual trip to Charlevoix, Michigan. We both say sometimes

we should just call it, “Camelot.” Bill and I traveled up there once, to

see her sister’s renovated Castle Farms. The town is beautiful, with

Lake Charlevoix and the special houses that look like mushrooms are

there, too. The Castle is so breathtakingly Princess-like I complained

when we had to leave!

We did venture North ward to the Upper Peninsula, the locks, great

waterfalls, the towering evergreens, and Lake Michigan, too. I did

stop complaining, I think I was just missing my Patrice, who is

a source of comfort and joy. We saw all kinds of other fantastic

sights!

Pat had packed up her bags, shipped her papers and medications

up to Charlevoix, had completed a few different doctors’ visits,

and was relaxing. Pat’s sister, Linda, would be coming to take

them to the airport and she patiently listened to my nervous

energy and anxiousness about my Mom. She gave me comfort that

she had put my Mom on their church’s Prayer Chain, earlier in

the week.

We sang a little bit of “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” to cheer us both up.

She’s ready to leave soon. My car is packed, ready to go. Stopping

to call her before I go post this story about Mom and plans made.

Ever since Hurricane Katrina, this has become Pat’s yearly routine.

She has only once come back to Long Beach to find roof damage, no

serious side effects that could be compared to the year the hurricane

disaster hit the gulf coast.

since she hates and fears the potential

She has always, ever since I met her freshman year in college,

imparted heavenly peaceful feelings to me. She is my ‘Zen.’

Patrice was my first and only “Maid of Honor.” We’ve shared

a lot and has known my Mom since 1978. Both her parents died,

while she went to live down there, taking care of her Mom first,

then her Dad. Living in their retirement home, now.

She gave me a lot of reassurances and reminders of how ‘spunky’

and ‘strong-willed’ my mother is. I am prepared to see her in a few

short hours.

Mom had been a little strange, had hurt her leg, twisting it a

little as she got out of the “Whistle Stop” restaurant booth.

My brother and I had decided to see what the place that had taken

over the old Cahoon Winery would look like, what their food would

be like and found the atmosphere and the prime rib dinners very

satisfying. Mom did not recognize it, due to its internal changes

but the outside, she had exclaimed,

“Dad painted this in acrylics, didn’t he?”

It was one of the many paintings my Dad had decorated the house

with, before my brother started to paint ‘real art.’

My brothers had said the twist that had produced pain and a

slight limp, would be ‘just fine,’ only a muscle strain and

not even a bruise on Easter, when I was with her in the

bathroom, looking at Mom’s leg.

I had sent cards, reminding her to use a heating pad. I had

added another suggestion to alternate with a bag of frozen peas,

and ‘Make sure you elevate it!’

When I had to leave on Easter, she had reassured me that she would

be okay and I hugged and kissed her. I always am torn between seeing

my grandchildren and children, and the possibility that Mom may be

not as well the next time I go up there.

As I was leaving, she told me she was not used to putting her feet up

to relax on her sofa. There is a nice, soft ottoman that is part of

her living room set.

Then, recently, I was filled with some trepidation, when my brother

called during a work day. He had left a message saying he had called

an ambulance, met my Mom at the hospital.

She ended up staying the three days, that allows to have her Medicaid

‘kick in,’ along with having a battery of tests. Not many medications,

not really any results.

They did not understand why she was ‘lethargic’ and rather

‘non-responsive’ but once the I.V’s kicked in, she had ‘rallied,’

was renewed and ‘herself’ again.

I should be grateful for small mercies, knowing that she could have

had something more seriously wrong. There is a knot by her knee,

that is healing. She will have ten days of therapy, visiting in

her senior living apartment.

I talked to Mom for an hour this week, she shared with me a sort of

funny explanation. She knew my brother was coming to get her for

dinner, she had fallen asleep taking a nap. She was wearing a t-shirt

and underwear. When the knock at the door came, she had called out,

“Who’s there?”

My brother had answered, so she thought the quickest way to get to the

door was to ‘crawl.’ This is her explanation of what she did.

Yup, Mom crawled to the door to greet my brother, on her knees.

That ‘set off alarms, in my mind,’ too!

My brother said,

“It’s locked, Mom!”

She replied,

“I’m on my way, just a minute!”

She stretched and unlocked the door, remaining on all fours.

He looked at her, then looked at her dog, Nicki, who was sitting

beside her.

I am sure this was quite a shock to his system!

Nicki usually is nervous when people come in, ‘whimpering.’ Even

familiar people and family members. Mom moved to a chair, climbing

on it to sit down.

Anyway, with much reassurances that she was fine, he called

downstairs and found that my very polite mother had received

three days in a row, calls from the front desk, asking if

she was ‘all right.’

Each time, my Mom had said “I’m fine, thank you,” hanging up.

They did not ask why she didn’t go to the dining room nor did

they offer to send her up a dinner. This will be discussed in

the later part of June, when my brother can be there, along

with staff and the social worker. The ‘protocol’ was told to

us, that if someone did not come to the dining room, (without

cancelling their dinner, as sometimes people do to eat out with

their family) they would send someone up to check on them.

This is why my brother my Mom had appeared lethargic, almost

comatose and delusional! She probably had eaten a tablespoon of

peanut butter and endless cups of coffee. She is not one to

convince easily to use the microwaveable meals and other food

items that we put in her refrigerator.

By the way, Mom’s little dog is staying with her ‘sister’ who

is a half dachshund and half beagle, nine years younger, her big

brother, Hamlet, who is a golden retriever and her huge sister,

Fiona, who is a Newfoundland, at my brother and sister in law’s

house, across the street.

My brother and sister in law, are heading this weekend to Bethany

Beach, Maryland. They will be taking the big dogs, Hamlet and Fiona,

leaving the little ones, Nicki (my Mom’s shih tzu) and her other

one, she had to give up to move into the senior apt., Bella for

my brother to watch, take care of and feed. I look forward to his

coming over after he works, plays volleyball or tennis, along with

his other activities. I picked up a few movies, older ones for Mom

and I to watch and action ones where the three of us will watch.

I am filled with less trepidation, just sadness, because I am

not sure how Mom will “be” over the weekend. I had sent a couple

of “Get Well” cards this week. Unless she made it to the mail box

she knows from my big letters on her white board on the kitchen

wall and her calendar over the sink, “Robin will be here for

Memorial Day weekend, on May 23- May 26.”

I saved the rather amusing “Mom’s version of what happened before

she got taken in the ambulance” for you to possibly chuckle at!

In her recounting of the crazy, cuckoo, some would say, “Did you

lose some of your marbles?” moments, I gathered that she was not,

in the least, embarrassed about her state of undress, when greeting

my brother.

By showing a fine sense of humor, she had told me, ‘right off

the bat:’

“Hello, Robin! I am fine, I was in the hospital and got a few

meals along with tests. I hate to tell you this, but I would

not have passed the ‘dining room dress code’ the other day,

when your brother came to get me to take me out to dinner! I

had no pants on!”

Last summer, the signs to enter the dining room had first said,

“No shorts allowed in the Dining Room.”

I had inquired of the seating hostess, “Why did this happen? Surely,

no one would wear ‘short shorts’ in the dining room.”

I had ‘capri shorts’ on which ‘passed inspection’ for dining that

summer evening.

She had leaned over and whispered to me,

“A few gentlemen came to the dining room wearing boxer shorts!”

She had added in a rather horrified tone,

“And one’s overlapped fly, didn’t exactly overlap!”

Later last summer, 2013, apparently someone had come in their

bathrobe to dinner!

A new sign had been posted upon my next monthly visit:

“Proper Attire Required in the Dining Room.

NO shorts.

No pajamas, robes, boxer shorts or otherwise

bed clothes allowed.

Men and women must wear pants.”

I laughed (back then) when it had become such a wild and long

list, almost like the silly Jean Kerr’s “Please Don’t Eat the

Daisies” book where she had forgotten to tell the children in

the New York apartment that request.

I had stopped worrying about my Mom’s mental state when she made

that joke about proper dining room apparel. But, when she said

she wanted to ‘do all the things we usually do, like go to the

grocery store and eat out, at least twice!’ I had become rather

concerned. Hopefully, she and her walker will be just fine and

we will have a grand old time up in Cleveland, ‘tooling around

like we usually do!’

Hope you all have a happy Memorial Day!

Hope there are lots of good times with family or friends.

A few moments of meditation and memories for loved ones, too.

Enjoy your three-day weekend!

May it be safe and peaceful.

A Flower Cart Vendor and a Queen

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Today, May 20, 2014, we honor a character from a musical play and a

Queen of England! (Okay, maybe a day late for her!) Yesterday, May 19,

2014 was a federal statutory holiday called, “Victoria Day,” in Canada.

On my home calendar, they accidentally had it on the 20th! This extra

special day first came about for the celebration of Queen Victoria’s 35th

birthday.

That historic day had begun at midnight, with a ‘gun salute.’ I wonder

now if it was to wake everyone or maybe the party goers cavorted all

night and were already awake?

Annual celebrations included ‘pre-dawn serenades,’ athletic contests

or competitions, ‘torch-light processions,’ picnics and all-out 19th

Century revelry. This Canadian Patriotic Holiday makes it sound like

the United States’ Fourth of July celebrations!

There were two names listed, both French for Quebec’s celebration of

“Victoria Day:”

“Fete de Dollard” which lasted from the period of the “Quiet Revolution”

until 2003 and “Fete de la Reine,” (party for the Queen) which continues

to this day.

Also, there is another fascinating woman who really is ‘featured’ today:

“Eliza Doolittle Day!”

Both these notable women could be considered ‘heroines,’ of sorts.

One who was the creation in the imagination, originally, of George

Bernard Shaw in his play, “Pygmalion.” In 1938, a film adaptation of

the original stage play was produced.

When it was revised to become a musical, in 1956, Lerner and Lowe

had collaborated on the lyrics and plot line. It became a very well-

respected and beloved Broadway musical. It still circulates among

high schools, colleges and independent acting theaters.

When in 1964, Lerner and Loew’s musical was transferred into movie

form, it “shone” with the star, Audrey Hepburn. I think that I may

have written in a former post, awhile back, that Julie Andrews was

dismayed not to have been asked to be in either “My Fair Lady” or

“Camelot’s” film versions. Both had directors who chose ‘non-singing’

female leads in Vanessa Redgrave and Audrey Hepburn.

Just for your information, Marni Nixon was the young woman who voiced

all of Eliza’s songs, in the 1964 film adaptation, “My Fair Lady.”

I love how she delivers the song, “Just You Wait (Henry Higgins).”

Audrey Hepburn, as an innocent waif, did an excellent and well-received

portrayal of the character simply described as ‘the flower girl.’ Her

name was Eliza Doolittle.

So, this is the character for whom we celebrate today!

The male lead, playing the character of Professor Henry Higgins, is Rex

Harrison.

The part of Colonel Hugh Pickering, was played by Wilfrid Hyde-White.

Another fine actor and singer was Stanley Holloway portraying Eliza’s

father. He belts out the song, “I’m Getting Married in the Morning”

in his full blown version of a ‘cockney’ accent.

The songs are lovely memories for me, hopefully for some of you.

The whole concept of the transformation of Eliza, ‘the flower girl,’

into a fine lady of ‘high society’ in Edwardian London came from a bet

or a ‘wager’ between the two men, Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering.

They happen to be ‘phoneticists’ or linguistics. They study phonics and

dialects.

Higgins is the one who thinks he can change Eliza by using phonetics

and recordings to eliminate her ‘cockney’ accent. She is able to complete

this transformation into a refined and formal lady by a set time, to

attend a Ball. She falters as a stilted, yet genteel, lady at the Ascot

Racecourse.

I remember, at age 9, going to see this “breath-taking” movie at the

theater with my family. It really enchanted me with the way the whole

story went, along with the costumes that were lovely. Not only for the

Ball, but the race track, too. My brothers and father did not complain,

it is funny, thinking back to that time. Sometimes, I think about the

many action movies we would go to where I would not say that I didn’t

really want to go. As a sign of the times, there were less choices

and one did what their parents ‘told them to do!’

Another amusing thought is that if “Eliza Doolittle” met the Queen

Victoria, what those two minds would have come up with! Especially

with one who was considered one of the longest reigning Monarch’s

of the British colonies and a simple ‘street urchin’ who had spunk

and a feisty nature indeed. I imagine there may have been some mutual

admiration for their strengths of character.

Now go on!

Celebrate with birthday cake and British tea or have a glass of wine to

cheer these women on!