Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yeah - Crocus

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These crocus are at the Drafthouse in Dewitt. We drove to Lansing for a stop at Romas and decided to stop at the Drafthouse to see the opening of the Tigers vs Yankees. It is only 41 degrees in New York - they all must be freezing after being in Florida!

So far they are doing great. Actually I can see Martinez shirts on quite a few people. Okay, so the Tiger's lost. Maybe Leyland realizes that we should have kept Granderson! Paybacks are awful!

Mrs. Torongo's Rhythm Class at the YWCA

I was 3 1/2 years old - I just remember that Kathy took ballet lessons and I really wanted to take lessons, too. I don't remember any of the classes but I do remember that I loved my teacher, Mrs. Torongo - this is the little red skirt my Mom made and that I was wearing in the picture. It's fun to look at the program and see that my friend, Peggy and my cousin Eddy were in the band. Aren't old memories fun?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gambling, Soup and Prayer, Morning Glory and Bazaar

So we had a typical Pat and Mary Ellen day - well not really - we actually walked out of the casino with money! Then we stopped to see our friends Bill and Amy. Then on to the soup supper at church and Evening Prayer after.

When we got home we watched Morning Glory on Demand. It was a cute show with Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton. Both Pat and I liked the show.

I got my Bazaar magazine today and I was flipping pages when I came across a designer dress by Marqeusa that looked so much like Sheala's prom dress. Of course I had to take a picture and send it to Sheala to let her know how stylin she is!

Pat just said this was a great day - it sure was!

More Church Signs

You know I love the twitterness of church signs - today is a bonus:

Beat the Easter rush - come to church this Sunday


Too cold to change the sign, come in for message

It doesn't take much to make me smile!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Kathy called to say this was probably recorded at the Folly's in 1947! I have a copy of the picture from that show but I'll wait to see if I can find the original!

I have recorded and published my Dad's recording of Rosalie. He sang this at an Elk's Club show which I think was in the late 50's and a record was made at that show and in the 70's we had it put onto a cassette tape. Today I recorded that cassette playing and posted it to the AndRecorder site. Click on the link below and enjoy!

Charles F. Shea Singing Rosalie

An AndRecorder recording by MESClifford - AndRecorder
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I found the words - I have been looking for years - tonight I Googled Rosalie my darling instead of Rosalie and there they wete! It was a Sammy Kaye song:

Rosalie, my darling
Rosalie, my dream
Since one night when stars danced above
I'm oh, oh, so much in love
So, Rosalie have mercy
Rosalie don't decline
Won't you make my life thrilling
And tell me you're willing
To be mine
Rosalie, mine

Monday, March 28, 2011

Really Old Saginaw Newspapers

We went out with Joanna and Robin and the kids the other night. I told Robbie and Sheala about the old Saginaw Newspapers I found in the boxes from the attic the other day. I want them to come over and go through them with me.

When I say they are old you will understand when I tell you the daily was 2¢ and Sunday was 3¢.

There were such great ads and wonderful articles. There was so much social news - who went to what parties and what they wore. Everyone could be part of the fashion scene even if it was to read about it.

Many articles about how to save money during the wars. Stories about the King and Queen of Romania, Presidents and their wives, Mayors of Saginaw.

The ads are priceless - dentures and glasses and electricity for your homes. Kitchen tables and chairs, hats and movie theaters galore.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Eight Hours Later, Not Again!

That is NOT as in I did NOT go to Oscoda.

Instead Pat changed the fan in the bathroom. He put all the boxes stored in front of the attic access on the cedar chest in my office and when I turned around I almost threw up there were so many. So I spent all day sorting into piles of save, shred, recycle and trash.

I only got sidetracked twice which if you read my blogs you know is pretty good for me! I couldn't throw away some old newspapers until Sheala and Robbie see them. I have two boxes that I saved the rest are out of here. Good work for a Saturday.

And Pat replaced the fan.


So - I didn't win the jackpot - but I had fun spending it!

There is a canoe race in Oscoda this weekend - the sun is shining - I wonder if we'll wander that way for a little ride?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mega Millions

I just bought the winning ticket for tonight's drawing! Can you imagine what fun I will have?

Let's Go Camping!

Pat and I just left Jay's in Clare. We haven't really bought anything new for camping in a few years - and in the past two days we took care of that! Yesterday Walgreens had a two pot coil burner that we can plug in to boil our water for dishes - it was on sale for $8 so that was a deal.

Today - no sales. But still fun. I got a pizza stone - I love making pizza on the fire. The first time it was fabulous. The camper next to us asked what we had for dinner because it smelled so delicious. The next several times I burned the bottom of the crust. So today when I was debating whether to buy it or not Pat told me it was just dumb luck it turned out the first time! So that went into the basket.

We actually went in to buy a new grill for the fire. The one we have is starting to wear thin from so many years of use. We love it because it sits on a pole and you can swivel it and move it up and down. This really helps cooking while camping because it isn't that easy to adjust the fire. So that went in the basket.

Then we saw some heavy duty gloves for Pat to take food off the fire. This was a no brainer - those went in the basket!

Last but not least were two of those whirly jigs on a stick for any little sweeties that might go on a camping trip with us! Now if Michigan weather would act like spring we could go camping!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Michigan March

Say what you want about the snow - I still love the beauty of a thick snowfall sticking to each limb and the bright sunshine the next day making it all glisten against the sky blue backdrop.
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External Drive

I remember someone saying they had an external drive for 3.5 disks. I would like to borrow it. Please let me know - thanks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Michael Shea's secretary desk
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So the cleaning continues. . . .

I decided to clean out the beautiful desk that was my Grandfathers. So many memories and of course I got sidetracked.

First I found letters and cards sent to my Mom just before she died. Friends sent her the most wonderful sentiments of how much she meant to them. Of course I had to read through all of them.

Then I found the diary I kept when I was pregnant with Joanna. It was filled wth friends coming to visit and family gatherings. So many times I had Sarah over to play while Steve and Terry went on errands. The long, long wait for Joanna to be born (the doctor said any day in the beginning of July and she decided it would be August 8th.)

It was a very, very hot summer - over the years my friend Robyn who had her daughter the same week I had Joanna and I talked many times about that hot summer!

Pat worked in the thumb so he would drop me off at my Mom's on Monday, pick me up on Wednesday then he would go back to work on Thursday morning and come home on Friday. I so missed him and was so thankful for the Monday and Tuesdays I stayed at Mom's with her and Jim and Jane.

I finally finished the desk and enjoyed the walk down memory lane.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Why Saying Goodbye is so Good

We went to the memorial service for my brother-in-laws mother. We got the chance to see two of our nieces and Chris and his sisters and Jane and a friend say goodbye to "Mimi" and another niece Skyped in from Mexico.

It was a good prayer service and a super sharing time. Everyone had a chance to say such loving stories about her. I knew how great it was when I wished I had had a chance to know her.

She will be very missed by all of her family and friends. And I missed a chance to know a loving warm peaceful person.

It was also a wonderful chance to catch up with Chris and Theresa and Jane and Elizabeth.


I've been thinking about how siblings are so different from each other. Yesterday Mary was saying that the girls are opposites and I was thinking of Joanna and Caroline and how different they were growing up. God made this on purpose I am sure.

Can you imagine if everyone thought the same? If everyone was Democrat or everyone Republican? Or if everyone hated to do math, or biology, or working with chidren or working in hospitals or working with plumbing!

Thank goodness there are so many different kinds of people with so many different points of view and talents - thank you God!

Nice Vist

We had a nice visit with Lillie and Anna and their parents. The ultimate goal has been achieved by Lillie - she is taller than Nana (of course that is not soooo tall - but they all love that milestone!) Anna isn't very far behind.

We heard all about playing the trumpet in band, martial arts and swimming from Lillie and choir, martial arts and swimming from Anna.

It was such a nice afternoon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Worst Drawer is Done

I spent three and a half - yes 3 1/2 - hours sorting my jewelry drawer. Do I have anything worth anything - well not money-wise but in memories they are priceless. I have such fun memories in that drawer. Many nights I would come home and empty out my pockets into that drawer. My favorite was a note that I had to wear at Dave Sharma's 40th birthday. His wife, my friend, Barb, made lots of funny sayings to choose from - mine says - I'd rather be 40 than pregnant!

One time I told my Great Aunt Adeline Zito that I liked a pin she was wearing and she took it off and handed it to me. My Grandma Florence Shea always had BIG pieces of paste jewelry that she wore - I found a few of those. My Mom, Elinor Shea's wedding ring minus the diamonds because Caroline wanted that ring for her wedding but the band was too thin to size so she took the diamonds and had them put into a setting similar to her Grandma's. My Aunt Bernice Brandi always had fun jewelry we could play with when we went to spend the night at the house on Clinton Street. When I found beads and bracelets that I have been saving for fun I put them in the toy cupboard (which by the way is on the list to clean, too) for Ayva and Javier to find.

I filled the wastebasket, put notes with some of the pieces so someday when Joanna and Caroline have to go through my drawers they will know why I kept all this "worthless" junk!

I sure had fun.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

So many good memories. Parties on Hoyt Street. My Dad a great Irish Tenor singing with Ma in the kitchen at the Novak/Foley/Looby Home. Joanna and Caroline wearing t-shirts to Blessed Sacrament school saying on the front "I Love Being Irish" and on the back "Because my Mom says so!" Then it seemed in only the blink of an eye our little baby granddaughter Sheala was born on this day 17 years ago.

Our lives seem to be flying by - each year making lovely memories. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ah Spring Has Sprung

We are on our way to Lansing and we have seen both Red Wing Blackbirds and Robins - yeah Spring.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Custom Drapes

I was with friends today and I asked if they remembered the drapery store on Genesee - they did - it was AJ Meyer. My Mom bought these drapes and curtains at that store the year she moved into the Amadore Apartments.

That makes them about 33 years old! They are still in great condition. I am still thankful to have such well made drapes.
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l'm really glad you are here.

Such an ordinary sentence - however - one that meant so much to me. When Jean came over to talk about art and environment before church on Sunday she mentioned how glad she was that Pat and I are working with their commitee.

Many times over the last few days those words have come back to my mind and each time it warms my heart. How blessed we are that they have taken us in.

16 hours of sleep!

I went to the dentist yesterday - l was sedated for some extensive work. I fell asleep, came home and slept some more, woke up to eat, went back to sleep, woke up to take the dentist's call to say I was feeling okay, went back to sleep until 4:30 am. No pain at all. Now that is the way to go to the dentist!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dinner at Fandangles

Jim and Cindy, Kathy, Mary Lynn, Pat and I went to Fandangles in Flushing for dinner. Pat had flank steak, Jim had crab cakes, Mary Lynn had salmon, Cindy had pork tenderloins, Kathy had chicken marsala and I had sea bass - each of us thought we had the best meal!

Everything was fabulous - the food, the atmosphere, the wait staff - everything was great. We all want to go back again.

Thank you Tom and Steve!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Latest Painting by Paul Clifford

Pat's Dad may be turning 90 this coming August but his painting doesn't show any signs of slowing down. In fact he spends more time painting.

I love that he gets to spend so much time doing what he loves to do.
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Airline Tickets

Joanna saved oodles of money on their tickets to Hawaii. Their whole family is going to see her best friend's famiky.Sheala remembers living on base and that birds used to land on her little hand. Robbie was too little to remember. All of them are so excited about going.

If you need an airline ticket now might be the time to get one!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

As we begin the Lenten Season I want to reflect on positive changes in our lives. Focus on lightening the load that Christ carried to the cross for us.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Getting Our House In Order

We are still working on the main floors (I will do anything to NOT go in that basement!) So yesterday we started cleaning out drawers in the kitchen. You never know what kind of treasures you might find in those. I found a Clifford the Big Red Dog matching game that I can't wait to play with Javier and Ayva. And I found more serving pieces (they are in every nook and cranny and I think they multiply like rabbits).

I also had my yearly physical (Hey Robyn when is yours?) Of course I had to confess to eating and drinking our way to and through Florida and back. Good thing Lent is here, it really needs to be a time of saying NO to myself.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

David Haas Concert

My cousin, Mary Lynn called to ask us to go to ths David Haas concert in Bridgeport. When we got there our friend, Olympia was there with her daughter, Ellen, so we all sat together. I let Olympia take the "Letters from Aunt Bernice" book because she knew all the Brandi family. Then she asked if her children could read it. So it was fun when Ellen asked if this was "THE" Mary Lynn.

The concert was great - of course I thought about singing in choir at St. Mary Cathedral with our choir director Kevin. I only teared up for a couple songs so I did okay. The rest of the woman had a few tears, too. We talked after about how tears really do heal.

Anyway, then Mary Lynn went out to dinner with Pat and me. We got a chance to talk and it was a very nice day.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hoyt Street House

Oh my goodness, we drove past 918 and the house has beautiful siding! It looks so nice I had to post a picture. This was the best neighborhood to grow up in - the Novak, Slaggert, Shea, Shaltry, Kochan families - friends for life.
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Mmmmm. . . Hot Sun Tomato Wine Inspired Dinner

Remember when I blogged about going to the Panama City Beach Winery with Pat and our friend Noreen? Well we had our friends over for dinner and every part of the main courses had Hot Sun Tomato wine in it.

Tostados made with ground beef cooked in wine and refried beans cooked in wine.
Empanadas made with roast beef cooked in wine and some made with chicken cooked in wine.
Tomatoes cooked in wine.
Enchiladas made with a tomato sauce cooked with wine and chicken cooked in wine.

It was all delicious. And spending time with friends - what a nice evening.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Camping with Babies

Danielle, Caroline's best friend from high school (and also considered another daughter) called to say that they had just purchased a pop up camper and they were so excited. We used to take Danielle camping with us when the kids were growing up. She wondered if I had any tips about camping with toddlers and babies. Gosh do I ever remember those days - it was so much fun. I do remember a few tips:

Make sure you have all kinds of clothes - you will probably start out the day with jackets and sweaters go to bathing suits in the middle of the day and end up with long pants and maybe even a heavy coat in the evening. Take double what you think you need. Wet pants and socks need to be changed a lot.

We also start saving small branches early in the spring. We just put them in a wastebasket. These are our fire base along with the firestarter we buy at our thriftshop (they make wood chips and wax in a paper cup). We always made sure there was no heat left in the firepit when we packed up for home and set up a fire for the next campers - as well as making sure the campsite is clean and ready for the next campers.

Take a playpen or one of those circular fence type gadgets that you can put the kids in and quit worrying for five minutes! Until a child is about three years old they really don't understand your rules. Even though it is quite a bit of work when they are so young it is worth every minute of joy when they realize they get to sleep in the camper and eat outside. Taking turns being the one in charge of watching the kids gives each of you a bit of time to yourself for cooking or reading or just closing your eyes for a bit.

A dishpan of water by the camper works wonders for coming from the sandy beach. Just have the kids step into it and pick them up to go into the camper to change clothes. We also took a little blow up pool and we set it in the sun with a small amount of water to give the kids a "bath" before bed - much easier than the showers at a campground. Oh and a portable potty chair will save you tons of trips to the bathroom.(Warning - some people think it is cute to teach their little boys to pee outside by a tree while camping - it is not easy to explain to them when you get home that they can't do that in your front yard or at the church picnic!)

It is never too young to teach your children to look for traffic. Our rule was if you see a car coming you move off the street and stop until there is no more traffic. Also fire safety is a must.

No toys with little pieces. Shovels, pails, chalk, large bouncing balls, water toys and dump trucks. A few games to play in the camper if it rains. Story books, crayons, paper, things for quiet play. Don't forget to take the kids bikes, wagon, stroller, and for babies a back carrier.

My favorite tip was from a workshop I went to - they said to take a twin sized sheet (I take 2 or 3) to use as tablecloths on the picnic tables - the fitted ends make it so they don't blow away. These work unless you get a handicap table - those are extra long tables and the sheets don't fit.

Take lots of water for drinking especially if it is hot. Make sure you give the kids drinks every hour during the hot day. Take foods the kids like. Even if you are having something different a hot dog on a stick is a great dinner while camping.

Don't forget necessities - first aid kit, suntan lotion, bug spray, flashlights, umbrella, lots of towels, paper plates and cups (I am NOT a very good green camper!) I use lots of foil pans for cooking on the fire.

Don't worry about dirty kids and clothes - relax and remember you are camping and have a wonderful time.

Jack's Visit

We had a surprise visit from our friend Jack. We sat at the kitchen table talking unions, politics, Detroit Tigers, Spring training, church league baseball, church, our favorite stops in Florida and family.

He got a call from Kelly saying she would be late coming home from work - so as the empty beer bottles were put by the sink I decided we all better eat something substantial if Jack was going to drive home. Luckily I had chicken in the slow cooker so I made a large tray of chicken nachos. Yum!

We talked about going to a Tiger ballgame soon. We sure missed Kelly but we had a great afternoon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Well, we are changing the office back into an office - all dishes in the basement - all beads and silverware in the front closet. We'll see if that helps the blasted clutter! I usually wrap in the living room so having the knives and beads in that closet makes sense. When we are close to a show the whole first floor is used - so I hope this works well.

I truly believe it will ne months before we are even close to being done. If I would quit telling Pat that we need to go for a ride in the sunshine it would go a lot faster.