Saturday, November 29, 2008


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.


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.