Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I thought I would count my blessings for the past year and - I can't - there were too many. Family - how important it is to us and how much we love spending time with the Jacklins and the Martinez Family - Blessing from a wonderful wedding to old and new grandchildren and great grandchildren and grand nephews - the St. Mary Cathedral All Class Reunion - where we had a chance to see so many old friends (no that's not the way to say it - where we had a chance to see so many friends from the past!) to Pat's parents 65th wedding anniversary - can you imagine 65 years? That will be 2037 for us - WOW and I think counting down to retirement is hard!

Family - so many people coming together for Caroline and Jesse's wedding - lots of cousins - spending time with Jim and Cindy - going to dinners - sitting in front of the fireplace on Christmas Eve Day - reading the Noble blogs - loving every minute of it.

Going to St. Peter and Paul Church - no we haven't joined yet - Pat has in his own way he volunteers for things like choir and delivering gifts - but he is very patient with me not ready to join - I'm still sitting in the pew wondering why I still have a problem with this but at least I'm content at the moment.

Traveling all over the place with Patrick - we have done so much this year - several trips to Traverse City, Grand Haven, Tawas, Grand Marais, Manistique, with lots of camping trips too. Then the best - off to Boston to see Elise and Roger and Rhode Island for the Chihully Exhibit and then to New Jersey to see Kim and Fred and the girls - what fun we have had.

We've been to hundreds of antique stores and garage sales and Goodwills and St. Vincent de Pauls and Salvation Armies - we love traveling to new places and finding treasures to resell. Finding a good way to sell the knives with the dishes for a combination of First and Second Serving - Pat making beautiful backdrop displays for the shows for me.

And most important of all - Friends - so many good friends in our lives - a party reuniting many of us at Olympia and Vince's - Friends who stepped in and made the wedding a wonderful time - camping trips with friends, dinner with friends, spending time in great conversations and lots of laughs and even some tears - we are certainly blessed with good, good friends. These people we choose to have in our lives and we appreciate all that they do for us and with us.

Happy New Year everyone!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

65th Wedding Anniversary



Pat's parents are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary today - it is an amazing number of years! When I think about the commitment and love it takes to stay together through thick and thin - I say all the time that Patrick is my true love - he certainly grew up in a home where there was an abundance of love and a wonderful role model marriage to learn from and bring to our marriage. I am so thankful to his parents for the love that Pat shows me every day.

We are so blessed to be able to celebrate this day with them. We'll be seeing many people that we haven't seen in years - including Pat's brother Bernie and his wife Bonnie. What a good day this will be.

I also think about Caroline and Joanna who have married wonderful men that remind me of Grandpa. He and Pat certainly helped form what kind of man they would choose to marry - our family is filled with many blessings.

Friday, December 19, 2008

ANNOUNCING - FIRST SERVING NOW AVAILABLE AT THE PATISSERIE

When I was at the Horizon Keepsake Show - someone we know from St. Mary's and Mt. Carmel days came over to the table and said that he really liked the dishes and knives and thought that maybe they could sell them at his business. But that he would want to discuss it with his business partner, his sister before making the decision.

OH MY GOODNESS - Click the link:

THE PATISSERIE - the most exclusive wonderful bakery in the whole area. You just walk into Heaven when you walk in the Patisserie. Not only does the aroma surround you but your mouth begins to water just thinking of their fabulous cakes and cookies.

So Saturday Pat and I went shopping, shopping, shopping and bought large plates and large knives and I started wrapping. I made a nice presentation in a metal basket of six plates - set a price no one can refuse - $12 - and called the bakery. I made an appointment for Wednesday - AND - I am so pleased so say they will be selling the First Serving dishes and knives to customers that are purchasing cakes.

I am so happy to add them to the list of great places that carry First and Second Serving:

The Patisserie in Saginaw
Northwood Gallery in Downtown Midland
Andersen Enrichment Center in Saginaw
Fabulous Finds in Tawas
Earthly Possessions in Grand Haven

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good Season

We sold lots of hostess gifts at the shows. I already signed up for more shows next fall and winter season. I'll probably do nine shows next year. Of course we may need to postpone Christmas because we don't even have a tree yet - but oh well....

Jim and Cindy were so thoughtfull - they saw a Chihully special and ordered the DVD for me. It is about a week in Tacoma where many of the people that have worked on his teams came together and worked on the projects they made in the past 20 years. Over 10,000 people saw them worke together - so - guess what I'm starting to look for - a chance to see a Chihully Team!

I don't have much time tonight - I promise to really update in a few days.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We're Ready for Today!

Today is the Keepsake Show at Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw from 9am - 3pm. My daughter Joanna is going to help me sell today - that should be fun.

I have so many plates and knives both Christmas and every day and very special plates. These make great hostess gifts for the holidays - just add a cheeseball and leave it with your hostess as a gift. $10 OR 2/$15 - so many to choose from you will have fun looking through the hundreds of plates at my display.

Pat even made two backdrops for me to display 24 plates - I am so thankful he helps me so much.

AND we have lots of big items - cake plates and servers - a turkey platter with a great carving set - a quiche/pie plate with dessert plates and forks and a server - Four Christmas plates with a serving platter and place settings - a plate and serving set and a journal to keep track when someone is a "Star" for a day in your family - A large platter and 8 plates with seafood forks and a large serving fork for serving shrimp - just lots and lots and lots.

Hope you can make it there today - I'll be watching for you!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

IT'S HERE!!!

I set up at the Grandy Farm last night - I packed so much in my little corner no one will be able to get anything out of it! It all starts tomorrow morning - and the farmhouse is waiting and ready for all of you. Anyway - I am really looking forward to being there on Saturday. Many of my friends have said they are going to see me there.

I'm getting a little worried about the Horizon Show - so I bought more knives today and I'm going to wrap all next week! Pat is working on some cool backdrops that will hold a few dozen plates to have at the Horizon Show.

Busy, Busy, Busy - that's all I can say about the next two weeks.

Monday, December 1, 2008

From Sunshine to Winter Storm Warnings

On Saturday it was so beautiful we decided to take off for Up North. We stopped at several stores and really bought lots in Oscoda where the woman who owns the store was making deals with me that I couldn't refuse. The dishes are so beautiful - little black ones with white flowers that are just right for a little salmon dip that I serve - I don't know if I can sell those! Beautiful dishes that are Cornflower Blue with little flowers on them. Some pretty little milk glass white dishes with a Teal design around the edges. And I am always a sucker for those wheat dishes - so I got some of those too. I can't wait to go through my beads to see what I have to go with them. We stopped for lunch at the Ausable Inn - and our favorite waitress was there - we only go there about once a month and she knows what we want to eat and what we drink. As you watch her she knows all the customers - she is amazing.

We stopped at Barb and Dave's on the way home - such a nice visit with them - Kirsten and her friend were their and Tom made his way over, too. It is always such fun to catch up with them. Their house was a decorated for Christmas and it really got me in a holiday spirit.

Then yesterday, we drove with Pat's parents to his sister's home in Lansing for our Thanksgiving dinner. There was a weather storm warning for 4:00 - but we thought we could get home before it - WRONG - it was treacherous. Instead of one and a half hours it took three and a half. 127 was awful - we thought about going all the way to 20 but when traffic kept stopping and ice on the road was forming we pulled off and took the back way home the rest of the way - it was a bit better - but not much. I have never seen so many cars in the ditches and of course the crazy drivers all around us thinking they could go faster than everyone else. I think I heard Grandma with her rosary in the back seat - that is probably what got us home.

We did have a nice visit with everyone though. We celebrated Mary's birthday with a cake and a song and enjoyed a nice visit.

Well - the long weekend is done - December is here - the shows are the next two weekends - so I'll be wrapping, wrapping, wrapping the next few days. Hope to see you at The Grandy Home this weekend.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving

We had such a nice Thanksgiving. We first went to Meijers on Gratiot at 5:30 - six people too late to buy what we wanted - thankfully - they counted off and we left to stand at KMart which didn't open until 7:00. So Joanna went to Meijers on Tittabawassee and she and Sheala bought what I wanted there and Pat and I held her spot at KMart until 6:30. Then they came and got in line at KMart.

Then we went to church where Pat has joined the choir. Then we came home to meet three of the Days A cops to warm their dinner in our oven. You should have seen the neighbors staring out their windows when the cop cars were parked in the street and driveway! Anyway - it was nice to see them to wish them Happy Thanksgiving and warm their food for them and carve their turkey. An hour and a half later they picked up their dinner and took it back to the department for lunch.

Then we got ready to go to Jim and Cindy's. What a great day. Nieces and nephews with friends to meet the family for the first time, great nieces and nephews, some of Cindy's family, some of our family, including the precious princess and her big brother. Lots of people and tons of food.

I cannot tell you how much we have used their home for the holidays - we invade - we make a mess - but at least we do the dishes - and MIRACLE OF MIRACLES - Cindy had paper plates this year! YEAH says the dishwasher! I couldn't believe she didn't buy the plastic kind we have to wash anyway - she did say she thought long and hard about it. She said to me while we were doing dishes, "Do you know what we're going to do next year?" I answered, "Go out to eat?" She said, "No, buy more aluminum trays to throw away." Jim mentioned that they were talking about condo's and he said, "How could we have these gatherings?" My point exactly - I would imagine after this kind of gathering that Cindy picks up all the real estate books and dreams of a nice SMALL condo. Thank you Jim and Cindy for always hosting such a wonderful day.

And it WAS a day of miracles - Robin got a deer! We are so happy for him - it has been a long, long time. Robbie was with him (too young to hunt but old enough to go to the woods and be part of the experience.) Sheala is old enough to hunt but she went hunting the previous week with her Dad. Congratulations Robin!

I was listening to the radio the other day and someone was telling about an article by Norman Vincent Peale about ways to understand what it means to be grateful. Try to imagine all the things you love about your life - the people that make you happy - the things you do everyday that you don't think about when you are doing them - the freedom we have to do what we want when we want to in our lives. Now close your eyes and picture your life without these things - one by one - take them away from your life and envision how your life would be. I have to say - I didn't close my eyes because I was driving but I did have a few tears on my face thinking of a life without Patrick. And we do take so much in our lives every day for granted. The toothpaste and toilet paper, the heater in my car, the way my coffee smells and tastes each morning, my incredible friends...

Thanksgiving is more than a holiday - it is being thankful.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Night to Remember

We had such a wonderful evening. Olympia and Vince hosted a great party. Our good friends Honora and Dinah were in Saginaw for a visit and everyone wanted to see them. So Olympia and Vince had over 40 people over this evening. The rooms were filled with people I love - I have never been to such a big gathering where every single person in the room was a very good friend and someone I love being with and sharing my life with.

There was laughter and love and tears and stories and everyone catching up with each other. There was exactly enough time to sit and talk with each person to find out how families are doing and how life is wherever they are living and going to church. We so miss these people being in our lives on a daily basis. But for this one evening - it was as if we see each other all the time.

We can go for years without seeing these people and then put them all in one place and everyone feels right at home with each other. We all were members of the same church - where we worshipped together during an extraordinary time. We used to talk about how lucky we were and we knew it wouldn't last forever - but we knew it was great when it was great.

But we were wrong. It can last forever. Church can happen anywhere - put all of us together - and indeed we had church last evening - and it was a good and wonderful as it was in the past. A few people missing - but they were there in our hearts, too.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Beautiful Little Princess



OK OK OK - I usually don't put pictures of the kids on the blog - but I really think Ayva needs to be posted. She is such a doll - I went over for a little bit this week and got to hold her. She is so prescious. What fun - I've missed having a baby in the family.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mega Party

I'm going to a Mega Party tonight to sell First and Second Serving dishes and silverware. I can't wait. A woman at work is having the party and has invited about 75 friends - whew - I can't imagine that many people in a house party - but she is having several different vendors there. Dove Chocolate (I didn't even know they did home parties), Tastefully Simple, someone that does purses, Tupperware, etc.

As you know from former blogs - I have been wrapping, wrapping and wrapping getting ready for the two holiday shows I am in - after I see how these go it will depend on how many I try to get in for next year. At the moment I don't have a clue as to how many pieces will sell at the Horizon Center the second weekend in December. I pretty much know how the Holidays at the Grandy Farm did last year - but I'm thinking I may sell more this year, so I made more.

I'll blog tomorrow about it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Visit to the beach and with Kim and Fred and Karina and Karalee




Oh yeah, and Luke!

We called Kim to tell her we could stop at their house if they were available on Tuesday. It turned out that Tuesday was a good day! On our way there we wanted to see the ocean - so I stopped at the front desk at the hotel and asked where to drive to see the ocean - the clerk looked at me and said "What Ocean?" - to be fair she probably wanted to know which beach we wanted to go to so I told her the closest one! Well anyway - those directions were to vague - turn left at the light, turn left again, then right, blah, blah, blah.

So we decided to drive around - we got glimpses of the ocean but couldn't get close to it where we were driving. So we went to the art exhibit and then when we were driving to Kim and Fred's Pat saw a sign for Misquamicut State Beach so we pulled off and started following road signs. We probably drove 20 miles off the expressway - but it was worth it. Because it was off season we didn't have to pay to get in - out of state vehicles were $16 so that was lucky. We walked past a playground filled with kids playing on the equipment, Mom's sitting around talking and the weather was absolutely fabulous. It was about 55 with the sun shining on our heads. We walked down to the ocean and immediately a wave came in and soaked my shoes. It really wasn't very cold which surprised me. It was a nice refreshing walk down to the beach and I told Pat he had to skip stones - it's always fun to watch him to see how many skips he can get. It was pretty wavy and windy - not many this time!

Then it was back in the car and on our way to Kim and Fred's. We arrived there about 4:30. We walked to the door and Luke was barking and jumping and generally so excited to see us - Kim was yelling at him to stop it - Karina was standing there quietly watching the whole thing. Finally - the door opened and Luke was sent to his dog cage until he could calm down. We got hugs and kisses and welcomed into the house. This was their bazillionth move for work and each house just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Kim has such a knack for making big spaces look and feel warm and homey. The decorating was absolutely beautiful.

We had a tour of the home then sat down and talked to Karina and Kim while Karina finished up her vocabulary homework. Then Fred and Karalee came home from cheerleading and we got more hugs and kisses. It was so much fun catching up and hearing stories about school and work.

They were such gracious hosts - we ate a wonderful dinner with stew and bread and a delicious tart. Yum - Yum. After dinner we talked while the girls cleaned up and did dishes then we watched a little of the History channel for homework - all day there were Veteran stories.

We went to bed and OH YEAH - I FORGOT TO TELL KIM SOMETHING - I put her clock in the armoir - it was TICKING TOO LOUD! I remember when Kelly and Caroline spent the night at Grandma's they put her clock in a drawer and she had to call to ask where it was!

Then in the morning we sat with everyone drinking coffee - eating yummy oatmeal and muffins and when the girls left for their bus - we packed up, too. Fred had changed his schedule around so we got to talk a bit about his work and what he has been up to - It was a short visit - but so wonderful to see everyone.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Visiting Elise and Roger

When I was little, each summer my cousins from Owosso would come to visit Saginaw and then I got a chance to go to Owosso to stay with them. It was always such a good part of the summer. Elise and I were best friends - separated by 40 miles all the rest of the year. We wrote letters back and forth - we couldn't wait to visit each other. Every once in awhile a family gathering would bring us together at a different time of year.

In Owosso we grew up watching the original "Parent Trap" with Haley Mills - listened to a DJ named Barney on WCFL I think from Chicago - played in the Wheat Fields down the block - had a pretend modeling school for a whole week - played with the greatest set of wooden blocks anywhere - sang and danced to Aunt Grace's Rosemary Clooney records - ate Hershey's Chocolate bars with peanut butter smeared on them - had picnics under the pine trees - walked to downtown Owosso to see Uncle Jerry at the shoe store - climbed out of the bedroom window and ripped our shorts - absolutely, positively, had the best time ever in Owosso.

In Saginaw we went swimming at Andersen Pool - went to Mooney's Ice Cream with our jammies on - played "Mass" where we made hosts out of smushed up bread and pretended it was okay for girls to be priests - played baseball in the park across the street, having to throw the ball past the sign that said "NO PLAYING BALL" - went to A & W for a rootbeer - played with the dolls with the fabulous clothes my Mom made for them - ran down the long hallway when Rick and Larry called us, slipping and falling on the jacks and marbles hidden under the carpeting - absolutely, positively, had the best time ever in Saginaw.

Elise and I reminisced that it is best to share memories with someone who has those memories, too. And that is what we did during our visit. It was fun talking with Roger and Elise about their lives in the Boston area - the plans to redo their kitchen and their jobs. We had wonderful food - fresh sea scallops wrapped in bacon, yummy lobster, broccoli dipped in the leftover butter and a most amazing apple pie. Elise followed Roger's Mom's recipe and used the cortland apples from their backyard. Really - the best apple pie I've ever tasted!

They live in an amazing home - built in the 1700's and filled with period furniture. You actually feel the history oozing out of their home.

Elise took us on a small tour of Boston - my favorite stop - Harvard - where we walked around Harvard Square - listened in on a class from the hallway - and soaked up ambiance and history.

We had such a good time - it was a wonderful visit.

CHIHULY at RISD






I don't even know where to begin - this will be the first of several blogs about our trip East. It all started with a PBS special years and years ago about Dale Chihuly and his team putting up glass sculptures all over Venice. The art was so beautiful and so different.

Then a few weeks ago there was an article in the Saginaw News that he was going to have an exhibit to open the new "CHACE" center at the Rhode Island School of Design. Chihuly was a teacher at RISD for many years and the exhibit would also include several pieces by his former students. I mentioned to Pat how much I would love to go there and he said "Let's go."

We always take trips for our birthdays and he suggested we take my birthday trip early. With Veteran's Day on Tuesday I had already decided to take Monday off and this would require taking Wednesday off, too.

We started to map out the trip and realized we could visit my cousin Elise and her husband Roger in Rowley, MA - just a few hours away. So a quick email to them and sure enough they had time to visit with us. (That will be the next blog - about what gracious hosts and good friends they are! And what fun we had on our trip to Harvard and Lexington) We also realized while we were on the road to Canada to see the Niagra Falls that we could go home through New Jersey and see my neice, Kim and her husband Fred and their girls. So we called them and sure enough we could stop there on the way home. The only thing we would have done if he had more time was stop to see Sarah Beara for lunch on the way back home - but it was already a 12 hour trip the last day and we couldn't add on to that day.

We got to the exhibit and we were the first people to arrive for the day. They have only been open five weeks and everything was so beautiful. We had the whole place to ourselves for the first half hour.

I cannot tell you how overwhelmed I was walking through the exhibit. The art was so stunning. At one point I had tears streaming down my face - I just couldn't believe I was there. The picture above with the birch trees and purple glass was the piece that I love the most. It was Lent. I even called my friend, Bill, after the show to tell him he was lucky we don't work on our Art and Environment anymore because he would have to come to Rhode Island to see our next project!!!!

There was one section in the exhibit that we walked under that when you looked up the glass pieces were all layed out with lights above. They looked like seashells and sea urchins. The colors were so vivid and the light shining through was spectacular.

I am the luckiest person in the world - to be able to pick up on a moments notice and take off with my best friend in the world to go see such amazing work. I will blog lots more in the coming days.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ayva is Here

Jesse's daughter Crystal had baby Ayva early this morning - Grandma Caroline called at 2:18 this morning to tell us how cute she is. YEAH! Crystal was sooooo ready to have that baby! I can't wait to cuddle.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's been almost 15 years



Can you believe it - they are giving Mom one more chance to buy Aplets and Cotlets! Her favorite Christmas present to mail to someone. Last year Readers Digest sent her a mailing that said on the front "Elinor Shea We Miss You!" Awe - I miss her too.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Answer: Over 700




Question: How many miles did we travel Wednesday - Saturday!

We had a beautiful color tour in Northern and Upper Michigan. We stayed in Manistique at our favorite hotel - it used to be the Holiday Inn Express but the owner opted out of the chain and it is now the Peninsula Inn. It is so nice - the rooms are big and very nicely decorated - the whole place is impeccably clean and Pat's favorite is the fresh popped popcorn in the lobby each evening. Not to mention the fresh baked cookies you smell as you check in. The cost was $70/night which included the breakfast buffet and $10 tokens for the casino for each of us.

I wrapped knives all the way up and back so I think I have enough now for both shows - Christmas on the Grandy Farm December 5,6, and 7 and the following weekend at Horizon Conference Center.
We drove to Grand Marais (Mr. Lepeak was out on a Coast Guard training so we missed seeing him) Escanaba (Where the absolute best Goodwill I have ever seen - and I've seen dozens - is located), Munising (Where we saw waterfalls and bought a dozen pasties from Muldoons to bring home for winter dinners) Palms Brook State Park where you can take a raft out over the Kitch-iti-kipi, The Big Spring. At this time of year you are virtually guaranteed of being able to take it out all by yourself and have no one show up the whole time you are out over the springs. It's really a beautiful spot. We stopped at every St. Vincent de Paul, Goodwill and Salvation Army from Saginaw to Escanaba! It was a fun trip.

Then when we got home we went to church where Jack celebrated Mass and gave a beautiful homily, Bill sang, Karen played the piano and Jean Marie the flute - all in all - the most wonderful celebration to end such a beautiful weekend. It brought tears to my eyes and comfort to my soul.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our Travels Continue

Well - it is Michigan and it is Fall AND gas prices came down dramatically so................ of course we went traveling again. On Friday, I got out of work early and off we went to Mackinaw City. On our way we stopped in Tawas at Fabulous Finds and dropped off some hostess plates and knives. Even though Julie said sales have slowed down I expected that with the tourists down. I expect this coming weekend might be busy - and then Christmas shopping will start.

We spent the night at the Best Western in Mackinaw City - ate perch at the Keyhole Bar and Grill and then walked through all the stores in with everything 50 - 75% off (I'm very proud - I resisted buying) then we got up early to go traveling a bit in the UP.

The colors were not at peak but they were still spectacular - lots of yellows and golds. We drove through St. Ignace and took the detour with the Cut River Bridge being out - so we had lots of twists and turns. Actually we followed a big semi with a carnival ride on it - I sure wouldn't want to drive it on those tight curves. At one point it came around a curve at the same time a semi was coming the other way - YIKES.

We wanted to buy some Pasties at Suzy's but they don't open until 11 - so we stopped at the casino and for the first time I walked out with more than I went in with - a whole $4 more! I'll take walking out with $24 over losing my usual $20.

We came home on Saturday for church and a dinner with friends after and then on Sunday it was so beautiful we took off again. This time to the west - over to Big Rapids and Cadillac areas.

I couldn't really afford the time off from the beads - so - I took them with me and wrapped and wrapped for hours. Now hopefully when I get home this afternoon I will find that each knife matches a plate in the closet!

We so enjoyed our weekend. I do love Michigan.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall

I just love Michigan - and fall is such a beautiful season. Pat is going up North this morning to walk in the woods - he really enjoys spending time in the woods. We are thinking of taking a day trip sometime this week. Our tree in our backyard is empty - and all raked up and picked up last Thursday! The last couple of years our tree has changed first and emptied first. I think the poor tree is sick but since Pat and I don't know a thing about them - it looks as if it might never get better!

On Sunday we went to Lansing and stopped at Goodwills and Thrift Shops - I found beautiful ruby red plates, I can't wait to start wrapping knives to match. My wire has been out of stock for the past week - I need some NOW. I'm hoping today or tomorrow the supply will be in. Before we came home we called Pat's brother and his wife and we met them for dinner and cards at the Draft House - Paula and I love playing cards there because we win!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Weekend at the Antique Festival in Midland

Well, the weekend started out bad. Paula had an accident on her way to the festival and even though she is okay, it meant that I had the booth by myself. Pat stayed with me most of the weekend so I had help.

I sold quite a bit of the hostess gifts. The people selling antiques were not very happy with their sales. I think that people are just not spending money on extras. The hostess gifts were affordable - $10 for one or 2 for $15 for a pretty plate and wrapped knife to match, and everyone is still going to give Christmas gifts so it was a good deal.

I sent an email to people that put on the SVSU show but I haven't heard back. It would be nice to get into one more show. I looked into Arthur Hill but it is the same day as the Grandy Farm where I will be again this year on the first weekend in December.

I sent a note to Paula - she is doing fine - that is what was most important from the weekend.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Beads, Beads and More Beads

I think I've named a post this before - but if I don't quit dropping whole containers of beads on the floor I'm going to quit!

I have 120 knives to finish for the show this weekend, the Midland Antique Festival at the Midland Fairgrounds and for the Grandy Farm in November. I have been buying Christmas plates for the past month so I will have lots of hostess gifts to sell. However, I am having trouble finding red and green beads - so I'm going shopping today after work again.

I should probably do at least one more Christmas show - does anyone have a favorite that I should try to get into? Let me know.

Okay - that's all - I have to go get ready for work.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Most Beautiful Wedding in This Decade!



We had such a wonderful day yesterday! The wedding was beautiful - the rain started a little bit before the wedding and then stopped completely for the ceremony (thank you St. Anthony). It was held at the Andersen Enrichment Center in the Rose Garden - we had an employee, Duncan, who helped us iron out any wrinkle in the plans - and who suggested many ideas on how to make the wedding ceremony run smoothly.

Caroline and Jesse made the perfect couple - the wedding party was made up of family and friends - Bill and Julie were fabulous ministers - Kevin and Bill played and sang that made the ceremony all come together - Jane and Jim, Caroline's Godparents, read from Corinthians 13 the reading that Grandpa Clifford told us that he says he has followed the advice in that reading his whole life. Bill's homily was so great - it was all about faith, hope and love - and how it all works in marriage. It meant so much to all of us that Bill and Julie married Caroline and Jesse. Jesse's two year old granson ran all around the couple - taking pictures, telling his Grandpa to look at the pictures he took, going to his Mom - one of the bridesmaids - and the beauty of it all - because Bill and Julie have two sweet children - it didn't bother them at all - they just continued with the ceremony. It was beautiful.

The reception was so fun - seeing all our cousins, aunts, uncles and friends - we were so happy to have it at the Freeland Convention/Banquet Center. The food was wonderful - the staff was so helpful, especially Derek, and all the tables were set so pretty.

The flowers from Gaertners were better than we ever imagined they would be - remember I wrote about Jackie at Gaertners before about how helpful she was ordering the flowers - well - she outdid herself in putting the flowers together.

So many people made the trip to come to the wedding, even though they couldn't stay for the reception - that made Caroline so happy. Mary Lynn, my cousin, was in charge of an Fiber Art Show. Ellie, Caroline's cousin with one of her premie twins came even though the other baby just came home this week. Brandon, another of Caroline's cousins that had a client with his first big show that evening in Detroit but still came to the wedding on a tight deadline. John, who brought his sound system to use and Laurie who lent us her digital piano and last but not least - our Kevin who came all the way from Milwaukee to play the music at the wedding but had to be back that evening. We talked all night about cousins - our generation and our children's generation - how much they all mean to us and how they make our family so rich. Our friends - the people we CHOOSE to be family - how much they have enriched our lives.

Caroline's daughter and her family came to the wedding and the reception - the first chance in twelve years that our family and friends had the chance to meet them. Even though Caroline and her Dad and I see them a couple times a year this was a big night. It was an overwhelming and wonderful experience. Her Mother and I talked about how blessed we all are. Family that came from out of State, Carey from Illinois, Theresa from California and Kelly from Texas - my sister and brother-in-law from Oklahoma.

Jesse and Caroline and their family will travel to Mexico this winter for a visit with his family when they can spend time with them without all the hoopla of a wedding. I remember when we used to bring Joanna and Robin and the kids home from Hawaii instead of visiting them there - same reason - more time to see them. We weren't going to travel and vacation - we wanted to hug grandchildren. So they will all get a chance to get to know one another in Mexico.

We are so thankful for such a wonderful day. And if you are wondering about the title of this blog - our other daughter had the most beautiful wedding LAST decade!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

2008 Honeymoon Weekend



We had such a relaxing weekend. Every year we go to The Huron House in Oscoda, Michigan. We have been going there for 36 years. When I started writing this blog I had to go back to see if I wrote this story before because I feel as if I have been blogging much more than since last October - but I haven't so get ready - here is our story about our September honeymoon in 1972.

Our family friends, Patsy and Leo, gave us their cottage on a small lake in Northern Michigan for our honeymoon. They didn't tell anyone in their family because they didn't want us to be disturbed. So - the first day we were in bed and we see through the long line of windows in the bedroom several little heads going past the bedroom outside.

I jump out of bed, put on a robe, go to the door and see Patsy's brother, Patrick with all his little kids wondering who is at the cabin! He says he didn't recognize the car and just wanted to make sure everything was all right. I laughingly tell Patrick - hey - get out of here - you were at our wedding last night - we are on our honeymoon.

So later that evening we go out to dinner, come home and go to bed. Around 1 am I hear the door open. I call out - who's there? One of the cousins (I won't say which one - but you know who you are!) came in with her boyfriend and she said - what are you doing here? I said we are on our honeymoon. She said - we're just staying the weekend, we won't bother you and proceeded to go to another room for the night! So the next morning we packed up and went into Oscoda to find a hotel. We stayed at the El Dorado, a nice little hotel for about $35 for the week.

Over the years we returned to the hotel for a nice stay on our honeymoon weekend. One time we even took the kids and we stayed in a small little cabin out back after touring through Michigan on a fall color tour. They had such a good time playing in the falling leaves, digging in the sand and it was 1984 and we watched the Tigers win the world series that weekend.

Then the owners sold the hotel to Denny and Marty. The first year Pat and I stayed in the small cabin that was brightened up - a bottle of wine and some homemade cookies were in the room when we checked in.

Then they began renovating and they tore down the cabins and built the most beautiful rooms for their bed and breakfast. Although we were saddened to lose our little yellow cabin - we were pleasantly surprised when we stayed in the Sunrise Room. It has a beautiful little private porch - just about where our cabin was - that is just for the occupants of the sunrise room. We can sit on that porch and take the most beautiful pictures of the sunrise each morning. They bring us a pot of coffee on a tray to watch the sunrise then an hour later they bring us a fabulous breakfast. This year for breakfast we had a flan, fresh fruit, coffee and juice one morning and the next morning we had a croissant with a sweet butterscotch sauce and crushed walnuts with the fresh fruit, juice and coffee. YUM.

Of course the room now costs $200 a night - but - it is worth every single penny. From a beautiful room with the million dollar view of Lake Huron out our windows, the beautiful garden filled with flowers, hummingbirds and butterflies, the eagle that flew past while we were drinking coffee on Sunday morning, to the hot tub we sit in looking over the lake we absolutely love the special quiet weekend. Before we leave we always reserve the next trip - we look forward to going there all year long.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Finally - Got to speak to a person!


When we started looking for favors for the wedding, everything looked too expensive and actually many things looked very cheap. We thought we should spend our money in a better way - then the person we talked with at the banquet hall said more than half of all favors are left at the tables - that was the deciding factor for us - we thought it would be so cool to give money to a group instead.

Now Caroline and Jesse just had to come up with what organization to donate to - Caroline called all excited after watching a Tiger game on TV where they advertised "Gloves for Kids" where you could take your gently used or new balls, bats and gloves so kids who couldn't afford to have sports equipment could have the opportunity to own their own equipment. Since Jesse and Caroline are going to Chicago to see a Tiger game for their honeymoon they both thought this was a perfect fit.

I've been trying since Monday to give a donation to "Gloves for Kids" a program that the Detroit Tiger Foundation sponsors. First I sent an email - then on Wednesday I got a call from someone at the foundation and she gave me a number to call - so when I got home from work I tried and tried to call. I kept playing phone tag with the president of the foundation. And they wanted to contact me by this morning because they are doing a press release regarding the donations of gloves and bats and balls and money from this program.

So today, they called while I was at a funeral, so I called back while in the funeral procession (I know that sounds tacky - so don't even call me on it!) Well, the switchboard put me through to someone else who put me through to a voice mail - finally I called back and said PLEASE do not transfer me. So finally - I talked with the person in charge and we are on track - good thing too - I already made the little announcements for the tables!!!!

Wow - it is getting closer and closer! This is going to be fun!

Long Weekend

I took today and tomorrow off from work - lots to do. I couldn't sleep last night so I started working on my receipts for Second Serving - YIKES - I hadn't done it in a long time. So I entered and entered and entered information - thank goodness for Mapquest - When I saw a receipt for out of town I went into mapquest to figure out the mileage. I am now up-to-date.

Then went downstairs hoping to hear a replay of Sarah Palin's address to the Republican Convention. It was very good. I got tears in my eyes watching the cameras scan the audience - you could just see the awestruck looks in the young women who sat in the audience. Maybe they thought they would see this in their lifetime - I didn't. And especially not from the Republican Party. The baby was passed around - Cindy McCain, Todd Palin, both sisters, it was also such a joy to watch her second youngest lick her hand to pat down the baby's hair - so cute. I'm glad I got up to watch it.

Well - I told you I had to clean the bead room - DONE - YEAH. Now I have a few things to do downstairs and the house will be clean for Amy.

It's good to be off work - this weekend will be a welcome respite before the wedding.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to work

Both at home and at work - it's back to work week. We begged Amy to come back and clean before the wedding - she is coming on Friday - YIKES - I have to clean for the cleaning lady! I came up here - moved around a lot of beads and dishes and then sat down to work on the blog - this house is not going to get clean on its own - thank goodness I have a few more evenings!

We did go to the Amish Flea Market - it was so hot - too many people - couldn't get very close to the tables at all. We did buy a new set of binoculars and a set of 600 count sheets (those were a steal at $20). I found a few silver plated knives and then we came home. We didn't even see an eighth of the flea market.

We stopped to see Heather and Jon and the girls on Sunday. I kept bribing her with a new home gift - and she finally relented and said we could come even though they haven't finished putting everything away yet. The girls were so much fun - from Olivia taking me around to show me the bedrooms to going through the closets saying "Oh look, this coat is adorable!" I can't tell you what my favorite part of the house is - the beautiful cabinets in the kitchen - the blue bathroom with the ducky shower curtain or the built ins - in EVERY closet. Livy kept running around screaming - having a great time - the twins were trying on different shoes and scuffling around and around the house. WHEW - we sure are happy to be parents of 30 somethings!

The wedding is getting closer and closer - and we keep thinking of little things we forgot to do! Such as tell our hair stylist that the wedding is at 4 instead of 6 and we need to go to the salon from 10-2 instead of 12-4! Thank Goodness - Caroline called today and fixed that little oversight! Well we can see the end of the tunnel - which is good - because the checkbook is getting to the end, too. This has been fun - but we will have to get back in SAVING mode after the wedding.

Jesse and Caroline applied for their wedding license today a sure sign it is getting closer and closer. Caroline is so happy every time I talk to her.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Less than two weeks until the wedding - everything is coming together - the plans are made - excitement is high! We can't wait for the big event.

Pat messed up his back again - I told him NO MORE WORK until the wedding - he WILL dance with his daughter at the wedding! He is slowly but surely getting better.

It will be a quiet weekend - lots of rest and relaxation - maybe a flea market we can walk around (walking seems to help both his back and my knee!)

I've been updating the smcreunion.blogspot.com so when I do that - I ignore this one - the fun things I added this week were memory slideshows of the 50's and 60's and when you click on the Cathedral picture it takes you on a memory tour of the east side of Saginaw - lots of great old houses and churches.

We had a nice dinner with Jim and Cindy last night. Then back to their house to sit and talk. So enjoyable spending time together. Their family will be together this weekend - but the short visit won't be enough time for all of us to get together - so we send our love - lots of it - for them to have a wonderful time this weekend.

Friday, August 22, 2008

First Day Pain Free

This morning was the first day I could walk upstairs without my knee hurting - YEAH! This is very good news. I'm hoping I will be pain free for the wedding.

Jesse and Caroline stopped by last night - we are getting closer and closer to the big day. Joanna and Robin stopped by for a minute - then we went out for an ice cream cone - my first Moose Tracks Ice Cream in 5 years. Eating fat free ice cream is crazy when you only have one ice cream cone all summer!

There's an estate sale today - I hope it is one of those crazy big mansions in Bay City - we'll go after I get out of work and then if I find something we'll go back early tomorrow and hope it is still there for half off.

Couldn't sleep at all last night - I think I finally dropped off about 3:00 - YIKES - when I get to work I hope my eyes are open!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A beautiful day in the bead room!

I'm spending the day in the bead room. Of course I am all done with the fun part - wrapping beads - and now have to price and inventory everything - so - I'm writing in my blog instead!!

I received another order from Fabulous Finds in Tawas - so I'm taking a day off this week and Pat and I are going North for the day. The best part of wrapping beads IS wrapping beads - the next best thing is delivering them! We are going to leave very early and drive to Tuttle Marsh - we love this drive through a protected area where we see lots of birds.

Wedding plans continue - we drove to Roma's in Lansing and just made it before they closed at 5 yesterday. We upped the order for cannoli's for the wedding and dropped off a swatch of the girls dresses for the flowers on the wedding cake.

I'm guessing we have to rent chairs - I think it will only hold 100 chairs so the rest of the garden will be SRO. Caroline calls daily to tell me how many days until the wedding. I went with Caroline, Danielle, Crystal and Melissa for their dress fittings - what fun. I have to say - when Crystal said "Goodbye, Mummy" I laughed out loud. It is so cute - and I can see Caroline's heart being filled with love for this family. I asked Jesse the other day if he still was going to marry my daughter - and he said "Yea, Why?" I said, "Just checking!" They seem so well matched - we are really blessed.

We spent a lot of time with Joanna's family this week - Robin's Dad died. I was so moved by Robin and Joanna and Sheala and Robbie. All of them were so precious and so helpful at the wake and funeral. When your family comes through a tough situation and they are kind and loving through the whole process it makes you so proud and it fills your heart so much.

Okay - Okay - quit yelling at me - I'll go price the spoons.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

An Irish Blessing from Fran




This is so beautiful. My friend, Fran, sent it to me this week - just when I needed to see it. Click on the link below.

Irish Blessing - an E-Water.net Flash

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Reunion

The reunion was fabulous. What fun to see so many people from all different classes. We had a chance to catch up with friends, meet several people that we know that we didn't know went to St. Mary's years after I graduated, and just generally had a wonderful time.

My sister couldn't attend, but I saw some of her classmates and had fun talking with them. Rachel and Lena gave me a couple of pictures for her.

We had 856 people registered and the place was packed. I didn't even see some of the people that I knew were there. Can't wait for the next one!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The reunion is here!

Tonight is the big - St. Mary Cathedral High School All Class Reunion. I can't wait to see so many friends at once. The first one was 5 years ago and it was so much fun. My brother, Jim, is co-chair of the event this year so I got to see first hand all the work that went into it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The wedding plans continue - we are getting closer and closer. We had Joanna, Robin, Robbie, Sheala, Jesse, Caroline, Crystal, Melissa, Chad and Javier over or dinner this week to celebrate Joanna's birthday on 8/8/08! We are so blessed to have our family growing by leaps and bounds. Javier loves Robbie - he calls him Bee. Robbie made a rubber band shooter and he was teaching Javier how to shoot the rubber bands into the tree. What fun.

I went shopping last night and found a cute outfit to wear to the reunion tonight - I have to say - it reminds me of clothes I wore in high school - lime green, black and white. How fashion keeps going round and round is very interesting.

Fabulous Finds in Tawas called to order more serving pieces - YEAH - so we will go sometime in the next couple of weeks - I need to wrap, wrap, wrap till then.

That's all - I'll report about the reunion tomorrow - ME

Friday, August 1, 2008

Back to Work on Monday!

I just had my back to work physical - YUCK - that means Monday morning - back to work. It feels as if I have only been off a couple of weeks instead of a month. I am so ready to be retired. I really appreciate Robyn and Mary covering payroll while I was gone. But I am sure they will be happy to have me back.

I've been printing out Trivia questions to put on the tables for the St. Mary Cathedral all class reunion next week. I thouht I would pull information from the blog smcreunion.blogspot.com There are some good questions.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fran found this in Patsy's picture box



I thought that Patsy and Mom met on Hoyt Street - but Fran found the invitation in one of Patsy's picture boxes. How did this happen? I don't know - but - with Caroline and Jesse's wedding just around the corner - this is toooo coool!

I didn't know that Mom and Dad were married on a Tuesday morning!

Robbie Snapping Pictures of an Eagle at Breakfast





When we were camping in Tawas, Robbie quietly moved closer and closer to an eagle having breakfast on Tawas Bay. Every few feet Robbie would take a picture, then when he was very close to the eagle he hid in the weeds and snapped these fabulous pictures.

Road Trip

Well we started out for THE bridge - but - it was too hot and too far to go. So we went to Houghton Lake, Prudenville, West Branch, Tawas, and Oscoda. We stopped at all the St. Vincent de Paul's and Arnies. Lot's of little treasures.

When I told Jane it was too hot and humid to move she said that when it is 90 in Tulsa they go out and sit on the porch to catch a breeze! YIKES! I was happy to get home and sit on the couch with the air on - I felt like a wilted lettuce leaf!

AND HOW COULD THEY????? They traded PUDGE! to NEW YORK! AAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Let's say I'm done - okay?

All right - I had minor surgery on my nose today - and while I am still recouping from my knee surgery - let's just say I'M DONE with the sick stuff for awhile... I had an oil gland gone crazy on my nose - and since I was off work for the knee I thought it would be a good idea to go to the doctor and get this off now. However, when my doctor referred me to her husband the surgeon to have it taken off at his office - I went to see the good doctor he said he couldn't do it in the office it would have to be an outpatient surgery at the hospital!

So they put me to sleep and took the thing off - it looks a little nasty - but - it also looks as if it will heal well. He said about six weeks - which is good because the wedding is seven weeks away!

That's all for now (and I think it is ENOUGH already about recovering from anything at all for awhile!)

V E R Y S L O W Sunday

Wooo - There was a very small crowd on Sunday - all the vendors complained. However, as it was my first time - I thought I did great. I was surprised that only one serving piece sold - but my favorite standby - the hostess gift plate and knife sold like hotcakes. So that was fun.

It sure was nice spending time with Dave and Paula - and getting to meet the vendors. I'm looking forward to the last weekend in September for the next one.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Michigan Antique Festival - Midland



I am selling Second Serving pieces at the Michigan Antique Festival in Midland. We set up Friday (read that Pat set up). I sat most of the day on Saturday and I plan to sit today. I met some realy nice vendors and it has been so enjoyable talking with my Sister-in-law, Paula. She was nice enough to let me set up a table with her this weekend. I have been having fun just sitting there talking people into buying my wares - people are very hesitant to buy themselves something - but more than willing to buy a gift for someone else!

The link to the Michigan Antique Festival says that they give away $100 every hour on Sunday - so come on over today and have fun shopping and stop to see me at booth 860.

Friday, July 18, 2008

WICKED



We went to see Wicked at Wharton Center yesterday - we have had tickets for over a year - it was GREAT! I loved reading the book and couldn't wait to see the play. I would go again. The set is fabulous and the actors were superb.

On the way there we stopped at a garage sale - my first since knee surgery - and I bought a purse for $2 then it didn't match my top so we stopped at Goodwill and found a top for $3 AND a Nordic Track for $4.99. (with the directions and the video tape and it looks as if it was used once!) Can't wait for Pat to get that put together.

The drive was a bit much for the knee however - I'm paying for it today!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kiddos

We have the kiddos for a couple weeks for a visit - that's Sheala and Robbie - We are having fun. Sheala and Robbie and Joanna and Robin lived with us a few years back (see previous post October 30, 2007) - yesterday when Sheala and Robbie were wrestling on the floor I realized how much fun it is to have them here and remembering the good times we had when they lived here.

Pat took them to a Loon's Game with their friend Cameron last night. They had so much fun - Robbie got a ball - that is the second Loon's Game ball that he got. So he went over after the game and got a couple of signatures on it and gave it to Cameron. Then Pat dropped them all off at Cameron's house so Sheala could babysit for the evening. Cameron's Mom went out to celebrate Caroline's birthday with her!

So - I am going to venture out to church this morning. Yesterday I walked around the block and by 9 pm I had to take a pain pill - I think that may have been pushing it because my knee is very stiff this morning. I want to walk a little more each day - we'll see after today if I can keep it up.

SARAH BEARA - this is a special note to YOU. OF COURSE WE CALLED YOUR MOTHER ON HER BIRTHDAY YOU GOOSE - SHE DOESN'T LISTEN TO HER VOICE MAILS!!!!!!!!!!! Uncle Jim and Aunt Cindy came over with a picnic to eat in my bedroom - it was the day after my knee surgery - we called and sang Happy Birthday!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm Back!



So - I've been gone a bit - I had arthoscopy knee surgery on July 3rd. I'm feeling much better - still some pain - but I started walking yesterday - just down to the school and back - but I think I'll make it! I can't say thank you enough to my friends and family that have been so kind - cards, food, company.... You are great!

I can't do to much sitting here - so I'll just attach a GREAT You Tube that my sister-in-law, Paula sent me - I couldn't stop smiling. Click on the link below:

Where the Hell is Matt?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A nice weekend

We were supposed to have friends over for dinner on Friday evening - but - a couple of them were sick so we did not get together. One of the friends who was not sick, Jean Marie, asked us to come over for dinner. We had a very nice time. I got to see her new home and it is quite lovely. She has a fabulous backyard and beautiful flowers, too. She made a terrific chicken stew - yum.

On Saturday I cooked food for the freezer and I had so many potatoes I decided to make potato salad. And while I was cooking anyway some bean soup. Then we went over to Jim and Cindy's so Pat could do a small job for Cindy and I could make labels for a flyer that will be going out to people who said they were interested in coming to the All Class Reunion but did not send in their reservation. I can't believe some of my friends aren't coming - it's surprising to me. This will be a great reunion - over 600 people are coming already. I can't wait to see everyone.

Later on in the evening Pat and I went to Wickes Park and sat where the Cass and the Tittabawassee Rivers combine to make the Saginaw River. It was so quiet and beautiful. We had a very nice evening.

Joanna, Robin, Sheala and Robbie and Caroline and Jesse came over for lunch. My friend, Fran, left Jesse and Caroline's VERY FIRST WEDDING GIFT here on Friday so they got to open it today. It is a beautiful Gallway glass vase. Caroline knew it would be something Irish from Fran and she was so happy!

I actually stayed home all day - so unusual for M.E. A storm is going through Saginaw - it awakened me right after I fell asleep - that means I'll be up for a couple of hours which will make for a difficult Monday at work.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Camping in Atlanta




That's Atlanta Michigan, of course. We had a wonderful time. My friend from work camped with us Wednesday through Saturday and then we stayed until Sunday night, returning home around 9 pm. We heard there was going to be another storm that night and I HATE packing up a wet site. So we had a campfire around 5:00 and then when that died down we packed up and came home.

The picture above is a Scarlet Tanager - I used our IDENTIFLYER to call it to the area. I had seen Scarlet Tanagers at the Sink Holes across from Shoepac Lake. Just after purchasing the Identiflyer I called in seven Scarlet Tanagers to these trees. This week when Diane and Pat went walking down by the Sink Holes I stayed by the lake and played the Identiflyer. Sure enough - in came a Tanager. Then I called in a Kirtland Warbler. It sure was fun. We've only seen a couple Kirtland Warblers because they are so small. Back at the campsite we called in the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks to our campite and listened to them singing away for us.

We saw Elk and Deer and Pat even saw a fox. The beautiful birds we saw were the Ruffed Grouse, Baltimore Orioles, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, Kirtland Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, Eagles, Loons and best of all I finally heard a Whip-Poor-Will. It was so much fun.

We did hike up to Inspiration Point in the Pigeon River Forest (paid for that the next day with my knee!) Diane and I tried to fly kites but the wind was whirling around and it was difficult. The tree ate one of them!

We had some big campfires and GREAT thunderstorms. I have heard the expression "Rolling Thunder" but this time we heard it - it was AWESOME. One thunder clap just kept going and going and going - it sounded as if it went all around the lake and back. Diane sat up that next morning and said "I'm glad I forgot my tent!" I love thunderstorms when we are camping!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Microsoft Worldwide Telescope



This is a picture of the Sun and Venus from Microsoft's Worldwide Telescope. A couple of people at work saw a demonstration on the Wolrdwide Telescope while they were at a training. This is SO cool. You can see all the stars and planets in the sky - you can scroll in and look close or scroll out and see where they are in the solar system. You can right click on any of them and get information on them - with a click you are whisked to Wikipedia to find out more information about what you are looking at in the sky! This is so cool. It really makes me pause and think about how little we are in comparison to all of God's world.

Click on the site below to download it!

Microsoft Worldwide Telescope

Monday, June 2, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Miracle

Joanna wrote an article for the Fusion at Delta College when she attended there - I finally found the link - JO - I googled Joanna Jacklin and I found it!

Anyway - her perspective of Grandma Shea as a great grandmother and really as a GREAT grandmother is very sweet.

If you want to read her story - go to this link!

St. Patrick's Day Miracle by Joanna Jacklin

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday by ourselves

On Thursday Jan and Jim went home and on Friday morning in the rain Bill and Amy left. We were supposed to stay until Saturday - but - after the rain the mosquitos came out in full force and we decided to come home and left the campsite at 8:00 pm.

We had a great day on Friday even though it rained the whole morning. We went to Tawas see how the spoons were doing at Fabulous Finds - and I picked up a nice check there - YEAH. We went to a couple other stops and then we stopped by to see our friend, Noreen.

Noreen and I went from Kindergarten to Delta College together and even shared a SMALL apartment together for a bit back in the 70's. We had so much to talk about. We caught up on family and friends and just had a nice afternoon together. She said that she and her sisters have a YaYa weekend every year - they sit on the deck overlooking the river and throw necklaces to the necklace worthy canoers - they laugh and talk and this year they all got a tattoo - an 8 (for the 8 sisters). OOOHHH - I think we should have one of those - Cindy, Jane, Kathy, Mary Lynn - hey Elise want to join us? Maybe we could meet out in New Jersey and see Kim!

Noreen and Tom bought a home and proceeded to make it a beautiful haven - the whole front of the house is windows overlooking the Rifle River. As we looked out the windows we saw several birds at their bird feeders. I couldn't believe my eyes - there was a Pileated Woodpecker hanging upside down eating from the bird feeder. Then just this week I was asking Amy about the Indigo Bunting and right out the windows - there were several Indigo Buntings. Goldfinches, Cardinals, Housefinches, Chickadees. And then - a fly fisherman came walking by in full gear waving his fishing pole over the water. It was such a relaxing afternoon.

Noreen mentioned she had the picture I want to put on the St. Mary Reunion Blog - one showing her family in front of the school - I know Noreen reads this blog -DON'T FORGET TO SEND ME THE PICTURE!!!!!!! And thanks for such a nice afternoon.

We then decided to go back to Tawas and eat dinner at Pier 23 - our favorite place to eat dinner - usually we sit on the deck and even though the sun was out it was still a little too cool to sit on the deck. So we sat inside at our favorite table overlooking Lake Huron and had a nice dinner.

Then on the way home we decided to pack up and come home. I have to say - a nice hot shower and my own bed were a welcome way to end the week!

1st Camping Trip

We got home at 10:00 pm last night from our first camping trip of the year. We had such a nice time. Bill and Amy, Jim and Jan and Pat and I went to the Rifle River State Campground just outside of Rose City on Monday evening. I picked the wrong sites in January! YIKES! But we quickly corrected that and got our regular sites overlooking the lake. We always set up with Bill and Amy on the left - Pat and I in the middle and Jim and Jan on the right. Then we use the middle campsite for cooking, eating and sitting at the campfire. That way if anyone else shows up we are pretty insulated in that middle spot. But usually we have most of the campground area to ourselves. After setting up the trailers and putting up the screened in tent around a picnic table for an eating area the guys gather wood for our fires. We have great fires!

We always share the cooking which is so wonderful because that means you have two whole days of someone else doing the work. This year I had the "split day" which is dinner on Monday night and Breakfast and lunch on the last night we are all together which is Thursday. We had such good food.

Monday Snack - cheese and crackers and salami
Monday Dinner - Salmon,couscous with mango salsa (thank you David Noble for teaching your Aunt ME how to make this wonderful dinner!) and salad
Late Night - chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

Tuesday Morning - boiled eggs, Mrs. Merk's Coffee Cake - YUM - fruit and yogurt.
Tuesday Lunch - Goat cheese quiche with a hash brown crust that was to die for.
Tuesday Snack - Crostini, chips and salsa
Tuesday Dinner - Lasagna and salad
Late Night - Peanut butter cookies with chocolate filling and oatmeal raisin bars.

Wednesday Morning - Pumpkin Bread and yogurt.
Wednesday Brunch - Egg souffle that was so light and fluffy and yummy.
Wednesday Snack - chips and salsa and taquitos and little pocket snacks.
Wednesday Dinner - Chicken stew and coleslaw
Late Night - Chocolate Chocolate chip cookies that were reminiscent of the kettle cookies we used to make in Bluebirds with Mrs. Lepeak - YUMMO

Thursday Breakfast - Bacon, sausage, dill and cheese scrambled eggs and potatoes.
Thursday Lunch - Chili and garlic bread and leftover cookies.
Thursday Snack - leftover cheeses and crackers.
Thursday Dinner - leftover chicken stew that was so yummy again.

On Friday I dumped all the leftovers I had in the refrigerator and made a quiche frittata. Three different kinds of cheese, Sausage, bacon, potatoes, couscous, pinenuts, onions, garlic bread croutons on top. It was yummy.

So - we do eat well! But if that isn't enough - we have a GREAT time too. There are long walks (runs if you are Jan and Jim with their puppy Hannah!), Bike rides, long rides through the park to see the eagles nest at the tower, crossword puzzles we work on together, reading by the campfire and lots of long talks with great friends.

I love this camping trip every year!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Surprise!

I had just awakened and gone into the kitchen to start the coffee at 5:00 am. I looked out the window and saw a car pull into the driveway and turn off the lights. I went upstairs to look out the bathroom window and saw Jim and Cindy (my brother and sister-in-law) coming up the porch.

I called to Pat and went down to let them in. They had just dropped Michael off at the airport and they thought - let's go visit Pat and Mary Ellen!

Well - let me tell you - that is actually the best time to come visit me! So I turned on the coffee, we talked a bit and I made French Toast for breakfast.

I love surprises.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Working on the other blog

St. Mary All Class Reunion blog is taking over my life! I have been very busy looking through boxes of my Mom's. They have been in the basement since she died (14 years ago!) and I haven't looked at them since. Now however, I'm trying to find more information on St. Mary's. It as proven to be a treasure box in that regard.

I found lots of information on the PTA - Room Mothers - Letters about tuition - All Sports Banquet booklets, and best of all CLASS LISTS. I think I will make a notebook with all the class lists and take it to the reunion - that should be fun.

I do wish that people would look to see if they have any of the yearbooks we need. I found one on EBAY and wrote to that person asking if we could borrow it - but I haven't heard back.

So - if it seems that I'm ignoring this blog - go see the St. Mary All Class Reunion Blog

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekend w/o Pat

Anyone who knows us knows that we are always together. Except when I have to go to work - I STILL WANT A WINDOW THAT WILL LET ME RETIRE TOMORROW!

This weekend Pat went with two of his brothers to a cabin in Northern Michigan. One of our favorite areas - by the Pigeon River Forest. It's been a long weekend and it is only Sunday Morning. He should be home in a few hours.

On Friday afternoon I went to an estate sale - this company is the best one in Saginaw - Foerster - reasonable prices even on the first day - but I didn't find anything. That night I went to Birch Run and bought a few things at the Oneida store. Then came home and made chili. I ate dinner and read all evening.

On Saturday I went to a gazillion garage sales. I found lots of treasures. One in particular was the BEST buy of the century. A dress for me. It is fabulous. I can't wait to wear it. They wanted $25 - I paid $15 and it fits perfect! I would have paid the $25 - the dress is very fancy and it would have cost close to $200.

Last night I stopped at Pompeii in Bridgeport for dinner - Caroline and Jesse were working. It was nice to see them. Jesse even made fried pickles for me - YUM. Then I ordered a salad and Caroline saved half for her dinner later. Then home to watch the Tigers - YEAH they won.

This morning - my Honey is coming home - I missed him lots - it's so much more fun doing things with him each weekend! This afternoon we get to go to a party for my best friend, Janet's, son Patrick. He has his law degree! We are so proud of him. We'll be saying prayers he finds a great job soon.

Jim and Cindy should be home - they went to Michael's graduation - a Masters Degree - we have so many blessings. I am so sorry I couldn't go to his graduation - Pat and I were going to go but my knee is not doing very well and I'm not even sure when I can have the surgery. So - we couldn't go. But he knows how proud we are of him and we sent our love with hugs and kisses with Jim and Cindy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

First Picnic of the Year

We had Joanna, Robin and Robbie (Missed our Sheala - she is in Washington D.C. on a class trip), Caroline, Jesse, Crystal, Chad and Javier, Jim and Cindy over for dinner on Tuesday. It was such a beautiful evening - a little windy but warm.

We cooked out turkey brats and hot dogs - I made potato salad and broccoli slaw and baked beans and of course, watermelon.

We had fun watching Robbie and Javier painting with chalk paint in the driveway. I found a large Clifford the Big Red Dog at a garage sale and so Javier kept picking it up and dragging it around - it's about the same size as he is.

Cindy had to go to a meeting first so we waited until she got here to have dinner.

I love picnic dinners out on the lawn with everyone having a good time.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lots of stuff




The Tiger game was awesome - even though they lost that game (but not last night)being at the park was great. The seats were in section 123 in the 6th row. It felt as though we were right on the field. I had so much fun yelling - knowing they could actually hear me - we had a blast - THANK YOU KELLY and JACK!

My knee surgery that was supposed to happen on Friday has been cancelled - need one more consult before I can reschedule - hopefully I can still get it done before the wedding this fall.

Went out to Goodwill and Bethesda yesterday - Cindy needed a chain for a sewing project - found a purse with a chain she can use - yeah. I found some really cute dishes - one that looks like a lettuce leaf - an avon Happy Birthday plate and another golden wheat soup bowl to continue on the collection that my sister, Jane started me on a few years back. They are just like the ones we had when I was little - they came in Surf detergent boxes.

Get to go to Sheala's track meet and Robbie's soccer game - can't wait.

Monday, May 5, 2008

PUDGE of COURSE



Our friends, Jack and Kelly, called to ask if we want to see a TIGERS game tonight! Do we???? Of course. So we are leaving in a few minutes to see PUDGE!!!!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When things don't go the way we think they should

When life threw us a challenge and my kids would say, “That isn’t fair!” I always told them, “Life isn’t fair!” It never seemed to help. Children have an absolute positive belief that life should be fair and that their way is the “right” way. It is one of the most difficult concepts for a child to grasp – and even some adults have a hard time with it, too.

When we make decisions in life we are never sure about the outcome – that is why the decision may be so difficult. So when we make decisions it is with a limited knowledge of how that decision will affect everyone around us. I have been wrong several times in my life. When things don’t turn out how I expected them to it sometimes amazes me.

It is very easy to look at someone else and say, “He/She should have made a different decision.” But we should not look at someone else’s life and think that we know everything about it. Each person brings their own experiences, their beliefs, their relationship with God, even their gut feelings to the table when making a decision. They are making the best decision they can make at the moment. Instead of looking down on that decision I try to think of it this way: “I will support your right to make this decision, I may not agree with you, but I love you and will stand beside you.”

I am not saying I have always been able to do this – trust me – I’ve been miserable about someone making a decision different than I would in several different situations. But I hope with aging comes maturity and with the grace of God that is a gift to all of us when we open our hearts to accept it, I will be able to keep an open mind when faced with difficult situations.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Wedding Gifts

I'm really excited - my friend and her daughter are coming over after work to look at some of the inventory I have at home. I love the idea of people coming over to buy wedding gifts!

I was at a shower this weekend and I think I have another idea to expand my business. If someone gives me the name of the bride or groom - and - where they are registered - and - how much they want to spend for a gift (or combination of gifts for both a shower and the wedding that could go together but be given separately), then I could do the shopping, wrap beads on the silverware part of the gift and deliver it to the person to give as a gift. YEAH - that would be VERY fun. I love shopping with someone else's money!!!

That's all for now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lessons in Life

I learned so much from my Mom; I want to pass these lessons on to my children and grandchildren to continue the legacy of my Mom for generations to come.

When I was twelve, my father died of cancer of the esophagus; it was a long and difficult illness. During my Dad’s illness, I saw firsthand the importance of having compassion while caring for a dying loved one and that a mother could go on after losing a spouse, work outside of the home and raise a family alone. After his death, Mom carried on as a strong, faith-filled woman, way ahead of her time. This was the 1960’s, a time when women stayed home to raise children, yet with two children away at college, one in high school and two in elementary school, financially she had to work outside of the home.

Bankers usually dealt with the man in the family when I was growing up. On a very limited income my Mom sold our house and bought her dream home, the bankers never knew what hit them! Mom worked for a small parochial school and her pension was going to be next to nothing, however when Dad died she invested the insurance money wisely. Banks would post the rates of certificate of deposits for the next business day and on one occasion Mom took out a $10,000 loan for one day to buy her certificates before the rates plunged. She taught me the importance of planning ahead financially.
Mom always had friends around her and many of them were years younger. Many Friday evenings the teachers from her school would gather around our kitchen to relax after a long difficult week. Mom had a timeless quality about her – she made you laugh, you always knew she cared about you and she was genuinely interested in your life. She taught me the importance of being a good friend and gathering your friends around you in life.

In her later years, Mom talked her sisters and brothers into buying condominiums together, all in the same building on the same floor. Two brothers who had lost their wives lived in one, two sisters who had lived together their whole lives were in another and Mom had her own across the hall. They had ten years of dinners together, Saturday night poker games, companionship and love. That extended family made all the difference to me when I was caring for Mom while she was dying. They came over daily to see if everything was okay and I always knew that help was just across the hall. Mom taught me to appreciate how much family means to me.

In October of 1995, Mom was diagnosed with colon cancer. After surgery we found out the cancer had already spread to her lungs and liver and she decided not to have treatments. That Christmas we talked about her friends and she had a difficult time trying to decide what we should buy for them. I told her they would be deeply touched if she gave them something that was precious to her; something they could remember her by for years to come. We spent a long time going over her treasured cut glass pieces deciding who should get what for Christmas. Mom was letting go of possessions and nurturing friends.

After the holidays it was time to turn to Hospice for help. They assigned a kind and compassionate nurse who helped us tremendously for the rest of Mom’s life. Mom and I talked for a very long time after the nurse’s first visit about how she wanted to live the rest of her life. She told me she did not want to go to the hospital and she did not want extraordinary measures taken to keep her alive. When she could no longer be left alone Hospice sent a caregiver to be with her daily. I began taking Family Medical Leave from work each day; this allowed me to arrive at her home by 1:00 before the caregiver had to leave. I stayed until 7:00 and then my sister-in-law came to stay until 9:00 when the night caregiver we hired arrived. I don't know what I would have done without my sister-in-law!

The hardest part of caring for her was managing her pain. Even though we had a pharmacist who could make medicines in liquid or pill in any flavor it was still difficult. Mom didn’t complain but when she didn’t want to do something she just said, “No.” She hated losing control little by little over so much of her life and I tried to make sure if she didn’t want to do something that I didn’t force the issue. Mom was teaching me how to care for her in this final stage of her life.

On St. Patrick’s Day, my daughter gave birth to a baby girl. Mom was a great grandma and that made her rally a bit. The baby was premature so she had to stay in the hospital, but the day she came for her first visit was very emotional. She spent hours sleeping on her great grandma’s chest and it was the first time in a long time that I saw Mom with such a contented and peaceful smile on her face. Mom decided she was going to the baptism, she hadn’t been out of the house in a month and that had been to go to the doctor’s office. Everyone at church was so pleased to see Mom and sensed it would be the last time she would be there. They applauded at the end of the liturgy to show their love and support for her and she was overwhelmed. Mom taught me the importance of our church and what our parish family means to me.

Mom loved to watch Oprah with me in the afternoons. It was amazing how many times we would watch a show that would bring about the best conversations. One time she wondered if when she got to heaven if my Dad would look younger than she would because he died in his 40’s and here she was an “old lady” in her 70’s. We laughed and decided it wouldn’t be heaven if that mattered! She wondered if she had been “good enough” to get into heaven and we laughed when I told her she must already be in heaven with me rubbing her feet all afternoon! Some of her medications were making her confused and angry and she thought she was in the hospital. I explained to her that we were in her living room and she would angrily tell me I was lying to her. I would laugh and say “Mom I never lie to you, oh well, maybe in high school I lied to you but never now!” She would laugh and snap out of it and realize she was home. Mom taught me the importance of laughter during a very difficult time.

Mom wanted to plan her funeral and help me write her obituary. One of the pastoral team and his wife came to her home and helped us plan her last celebration. It was a day filled with laughter and love and actually was one of her very last good days. Mom told the pastoral associate she couldn’t decide which music to choose and he told her he would make a tape for her to listen to. Well she never did decide because she loved to hear him sing every single one of the songs on the tape but we enjoyed listening to that tape every day from then on. We wrote her obituary but she was beginning to fail and was having a hard time talking. I knew she wasn’t satisfied about one section and she pointed to her files, after searching for a bit I found a couple of paragraphs she had written months before and I inserted them and then she was happy with it. She taught me that planning for your death is an important part of planning your life.

All during her illness my brothers and sisters came home for visits with Mom. It was very difficult for them to be so far away during this time and often they would ask me if it was time for them to come home, if she was dying. I didn’t know, I knew she was doing poorly but I just couldn’t tell if this was the end. I finally told them that they had been here when it mattered, while she was still able to talk with them and that I didn’t think we would be able to tell when her final moments were going to be and they just were going to have to be peaceful about not knowing when her death would happen. However, the day before she died it was quite evident that this was the end of her life. Her breaths became shallow and far apart and she wasn’t talking at all or even opening her eyes. My sister and brother made plans to come home and I called a few of Mom’s best friends and asked them to come over to be with us.

Two members of the pastoral team came over to pray and bless Mom. These women were so loving and supportive; they told her it was time to go home, that she had lived a tremendous and wonderful life and she was ready to be with God. After they left Mom squeezed my hand and I knew she was ready.

My daughter and granddaughter came over and I called five of Mom’s friends to be with us. We crowded into her bedroom and they told stories that all began, “Elinor, remember when…………” Mom would raise her eyebrows and smile and we knew she remembered very well indeed. It was an amazing afternoon filled with friendship and love. These women were strong, faith-filled women who made significant contributions in their schools, communities, families and the world around us and they were partly that way because my Mom was their friend. She helped shape everyone in that room and she was teaching us to say goodbye.

We prayed for miracles during her illness, not for her to be cured just any miracles God felt like sending our way and we received many. We had a few critical moments during her care but I was never alone when they occurred – that was a miracle. Our caregivers were wonderful and they loved Mom, she kept making friends right up until the end – that was a miracle. Her great granddaughter was born healthy and beautiful and early – that was a miracle. Her family was with her when she died, she didn’t want to die alone – that was a miracle. She was my Mom and my best friend in the world – that was a miracle, too.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Consequences

If you remember from an earlier post, Millie and Tillie stories were my Mom’s way of teaching us the consequences of our actions. In her stories, Millie was very, very good and Tillie was awful. We had stories for every occasion and on our way to an event we were always told a story so we knew what would happen if we misbehaved and acted like Tillie.

I used Millie and Tillie with my children and now I continue the tradition with my grandchildren. There have been stories for going to the dentist, the first day of school, and as they got older, fighting a traffic ticket and even one for being in labor. You are never too old to hear what the consequences of your actions will be in life!

Another way to teach consequences is to let someone guess what the punishment will be for someone else. I always used another child’s behavior as a teaching experience when my child was being good. When we were at a restaurant and a child was acting unruly I would whisper to mine and ask what she thought would happen to the one that was misbehaving. It was interesting that my child knew what the consequences were and she would shake her head in woe for the other child. Of course when it was mine misbehaving no amount of whispering helped!

At about three years old a child learns to listen and obey and they are usually able to play with the understanding that they cannot run into the street. They begin to understand some of the logic of life. This doesn’t mean they like it or that they will always be mindful, it just means they are beginning to be able to figure things out. Actually, it is a time of great joy for a parent. It is fun to watch our children gain independence and start making decisions.

One of the joys of being a grandparent is not having to say no very often. Rules are relaxed and we have all the time in the world to lavish attention on our grandchildren when they are with us. However, we have learned that all children test the limits every once in awhile and even grandparents need to set standards and rules. We used to take our grandkids to McDonalds about once a week and we let them play for a very long time after dinner. I remember one time when our first grandchild was almost three when we didn’t go to McDonalds for a month. Every time she asked to go we said we couldn’t go there because she wouldn’t leave when we said it was time to go home the last time we were there. I reminded her that we had to carry her out the door screaming and kicking with people wondering if I was kidnapping her.

A month later I asked if she was ready to act like a big girl and go back to McDonalds for dinner and fun in the playland. She said she would be very good when it was time to leave and she was. Since that time we have never had a problem when it was time to go home. We have watched many parents struggle with their kids when it is time to leave and our grandkids always run up and tell us that those kids won’t be back for a very long time!

Learning the consequences of our actions is not an easy lesson to learn. Teaching this can be frustrating and may seem like a never-ending job. These lessons are important to teach and they are the basis for instilling values and ethics in our children, the satisfaction of having your children become responsible adults is the reward.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Earthly Possessions in Grand Haven, Michigan



I am so pleased with the display of my serving pieces at Earthly Possessions in Grand Haven, Michigan. Leah and Hank, the owners, have really made the display so beautiful. They have been really selling well - and the tourist season isn't even here! YEAH!

We were so excited about the display that we decided to keep the First Serving and the Second Serving at Grand Haven and left the extra pieces with them. So we did not go to Saugatuck. Maybe later this spring into early summer we will stop there.