Sunday, April 29, 2007


recalling alp d'Huez

Last summer Liz, Sara, and I got to go to The Tour de France, following it throughout the country of France as well as a day in Luxembourg. Being obviously Americans with our flag, and later the umbrella to show support of Floyd Landis, we were interviewed by several reporters. About an hour ago, I was bored so I googled my own name. ha! Look what I came up with!

Since I'm showing off, here's a youtube video of when we were in Paris. I did NOT post this video but I really liked being in it. That is me with the American flag.

And since I'm at are photos of when we got autographs from George Hincapie. (I was holding the flag.)

The one to the left is from "GETTY IMAGES." And here is what we took.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Lion brand yard - big disappointment

I made the afghan here by using a Lion Brand pattern, and I spent 100s of dollars buying their own brand-name yard. I spent hours making it, and I gave it to my daughter and son-in-law for a wedding gift. I intended it to be a special keepsake, and it was also made to be used. When I gave it to her it was beautiful! I was so pleased with it.

By using the afghan, (spreading on the couch, covering with it, etc.) it soon began to have "extra" yarn that was stretching into long loops. I contacted Lion brand and asked for help. They told me it is "the nature of the chenille" and to "knit from the other end of the skein." What? After all my work, to find that it is EXPECTED? To find that it is the nature of the product? To find that I should have started from the other end, and this would have solved it? That is crazy, and after only a couple of years, the beautiful afghan is ruined. I'm throwing it away.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Arya visits Grandma's garden

Yesterday Arya came while Karen shot photos out of town. I let her play with my shells and rocks, which I keep in small wooden, blue-painted bowls with lids. She didn't quite understand shells versus rocks, but she did understand that they made cool sounds when she dropped them into the boxes.

We went outside in the stroller over to find Great-grandpa Joe, and had to keep looking until we found him in the barn. Then I let her walk and walk and walk until she was actually tired. She may have eaten some grape hyacinths while I ran inside to get the camera.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Landon - competing for Mr. Ball State

No kidding, I know this guy, Austin Dossey. He really does look like this. Even more, uh, frightening, is that I saw him - I went to the body-building contest where Landon was competing in the same event, although Landon was in a different category.

I have to say it was pretty fun and quite amazing to see these guys prance around in their skimpy Speedos, posing for the crowd, and looking like professionals, not the students of Ball State University. I met up with Sara, Amanda Boozier, Tony Bell, Karen and Rajeev, along with Arya. There was even a competition for Ms. Ball State, and the girls were amazing examples of fitness! Too bad that I never worked hard enough to look anything like any of those girls. Here's Austin's final routine where he posed with the eventual runner-up, in the "pose-off."

To think I'd BE at this event, well, I'll just say I wanted to attend in order to show support for Landon. Yes, it was bit of a stretch to be at a flesh competition, but I was truly proud of Landon for how dedicated he was to this contest. I wish him the best of luck when he goes on the today to his 2nd and final contest (so he says. I think he will do it again!) Here's a sample of Landon (4th from the right) and the other competitors.

And here's a video of Landon from youtube...

Thursday, April 19, 2007


proud of Liz

Being proud of your kids is nothing new, especially for me. I have four WONDERFUL kids: Karen, Phil, Liz, and Sara. This week I am telling everyone how proud I am of Liz, who works at Cornerstone Center for the Arts, in Muncie. Serving as the assistant for the Education Director, she launched an idea for an Art Show. She's been sharing with me all of her plans for a couple of months now, and last night it all came together.

The StarPress had an article, so I'll just link to that:

Then there is the list of the winners of the juried art show:

Plus, there is the photo gallery, posted by Liz, I think:

Needless to say, I enjoyed it totally, what with Liz doing the planning, raising funds, arranging, hosting, advertising, and ALL. I got to be there with her, which not all of the family could do, so I was grateful for that. Karen was a featured artist, and also led some workshops for high schoolers, and her work was displayed. Wow, what talented kids!

Well, now I have to switch gears. I am off to the "Mr. Ball State" contest, where Sara's fiance' is competing! Art and bodybuilding, yeah, that goes together! (Pic to follow!)

Monday, April 16, 2007

I bought a little device to be able to use my memory stick. Now this blog is subject to all my vast technical talent. whah-lah!

Here is Arya, on Sara's birthday, and Liz got her to laugh.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Opening the pool can't be far off

Spring means its time to open the pool. Because I have a lot of trees in my yard, there are bushels of leaves and all kinds of sticks in the water on the top of my pool cover. Our 12-year-old neighbor even told me today that there is a dead animal in there too. He said it was a rat; I'm guessing it is a squirrel. I hooked up a pump and hose, plugged it to an extension cord, and made sure the hose-water isn't washing out the side of the hill. So start the summer jobs of yardwork.

Not that I mind - I actually look forward to being outside more and doing physical work. It gets somewhat exciting that I am soon going to plant seeds, buy annuals, and spread a little mulch. Ray mulched for me last spring, and I am not going to re-do everywhere this year. I have bought a few seeds: carrot, basil, spinach, arugula. These are for my raised beds, but since we still had SNOW this morning, I don't think it is quite time. There are blooming dandelions, though, so it is getting close to time to spray Round-up. I think there is some comparison about lilac blooms and when to plant, but I have to see exactly what that time is supposed to mark.

A couple weeks ago there were daffodils opening, hyacinths, and I even saw a redbud turning, uh, purple. Then the freeze hit and temps fell to below freezing for several days. It looked like all the flowers were ruined! But, as April will, it got warmer, warm enough for later daffodils to still turn yellow, stand up and shout: It's SPRING! Now, even though we got snow today, and I don't know when we've had it this late, the day turned warmer and I even got to push Arya around in a stroller. Around 5:00 it wasn't a bad time to do that little job around the pool (but then I couldn't find the dead animal) and roll out the trash cans for my house and for Dad.

It's all enough to point to a wonderful change of seasons (sounds like a song!). Come Spring!

Monday, April 09, 2007


Another wedding to plan!

We have another upcoming wedding, and the planning is going forward. Three of our four kids will soon be married! People ask me if it is hard. Yes, but it is worth it!

With Karen and Rajeev's wedding (wedding #1 in Jan. 2004) I found that she was overwhelmed with work and making the plans without a lot of time. She had definite ideas and wanted to carry out everything herself. With work, living on her own, writing a new website for her dad, and working with in-laws who had other traditions, she had everything stacked up to make her life crazy. Every time she was stressed I stepped in and asked, "Do you need help?" And then I came out a hero.

Liz's and Ben's wedding (#2 - last November 11) was right at the time when her dad and I were emptying a warehouse and closing the offices of a business. That alone took about two months and I had little time for the final arrangements. Liz had a sick groom for the final month. As much as I wanted to do for her, she had her mind and heart set on making all the details work, and she did a masterful job at getting things accomplished.

Both of those were wonderful events for all of our family, and they were sweet, beautiful weddings.

Now it is time for Sara's long-awaited wedding. She is marrying her high-school sweetheart, Landon. They've dated since they were juniors in H.S., and I think she has wanted to marry him for most of that time. She's whizzed through college in only 3 years, and she's worked part-time in an office on campus, as well as other part-time jobs (Bath and Body Works, summer mowing). They've been engaged the longest of any of my girls (since last spring) and the planning has been more drawn-out. Still, there are decisions about music, decorating, timing of the last few days, showers, and working around everyone's schedule. We always intend it to capture the love that demands all this work, and we hope to have fun doing it.

Now we're in the last 10 weeks so the planning is getting intense. No more time for waiting 'til later, no more putting off of anything! Today we pick up her self-designed invitations, and they will go out very soon. This week we have accomplished a LOT since it was Sara's spring break. She has SIX weeks more until graduation, and time will go fast.

Friends ask if it helps to have done a wedding before, and YES, this does help. None of the weddings are the same, but each of my kids are great to work with, and we've had fun in all the planning. It's a great feeling when you get to the final few days and it is all your own hard work that has come together to have a fun party, gather with family and friends, and join two people who love one another. We look around and say, "We planned this." Ray and I are so happy to have all of our wonderful kids, their loving spouses, and many happy years to come.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Easter grass

Today I shopped for Easter grass. Granted, all my "kids" are over 21, and I have just one granddaughter, Arya, who is 1. She is too young to even know what grass is, much less the shredded plastic we call, "Easter grass." And I suppose there will come a time when I no longer fill baskets for everyone, but it's tradition and I'll continue to follow through with it. Today I had to find Easter grass.

So, yes, I said that Easter grass is shredded plastic, but it's not that simple any more. I've also seen crimped paper that's called Easter grass. You can use tissue paper, and I've been known to save the cellophane kind from year to year, but sometime in the past year I got bold and threw it all away, meaning today, at the last minute, I had to go buy new plastic Easter grass. It was nowhere - not in the cheap kind I wanted. Target had a BUNCH of Easter grass, and it was all WOOD! Granted no one was buying it, and the cheap stuff was nowhere to be found.

It reminded me of when I was a little girl, and my mom told us that they had Easter baskets, but they didn't use store-bought grass, but REAL, spring-green, growing GRASS! This had sounded like such a fun idea that my siblings and I went out and filled our traditional, kept-every-year kind of Easter baskets. Unfortunately, in the morning it melted all of our sugar eggs - I guess Mom only had boiled eggs that didn't melt in the natural grass!

This year, our Easter bunny will have to use what I could find, which was the crimped paper from the gift-wrap section.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


April 5, 2007

How does one go about making a new friend?

In the world prior to blogging, it would take personal introductions, then get-togethers, social gatherings, and spending time to become acquainted with a new friend. If I think back ten or fifteen years ago, say, early '90s, when my oldest was still in high school, when I didn't own a computer, how would I ever have known that through blogs and e-mail, that I would become acquainted with others that would actually change my outlook, my life?

Does that make sense? In the past two years, I've read stories and posts and profiles and blog entries, seen pictures, copied quotes and I've identified with people outside of my circle of friends. I have become acquainted with new people - and I love it! People who have put themselves out there for me to know, and yet, until now, I had never personally met one particular person whom I now consider a friend. Let me tell you how this came to be...

Yesterday all of my girls and I traveled about an hour away to Earlham College. We'd come to watch the one-man performance that portrayed personal experiences of living in an ex-gay ministry. This performance revealed many true-to-life happenings, some of which were humorous to laughing out loud funny, as well as the heartbreak felt by those who try and inevitably cannot, change through any means, their sexual identity/orientation. By taking on various characters, Peterson Toscano also shared the hope - the hope and the inspiration - to bring love and light to those around us. This includes our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender friends and family, so that they too can live and feel that God is love, extended to all of us, and that we all may share in that love.

It is for sharing this light with me that I sincerely thank my friend, Peterson. All this is pretty heavy revelation, and it all started with websites, links and a blog. Thanks, Peterson, for all you've done to share the Light.

Thanks too for the hug.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Sara - like she won the lottery, but different

You may remember that I have posted before about Sara and dentistry? (see Dec.7, 2006) It happens that I've already begun with a new dentist and I recently had a new crown, first the temp, and yesterday, the permanent. I needed my regular cleaning (I've always preached 6-month cleanings/check-ups) and there was an opening today. As I scheduled that, I asked about an unusual "thing" in Sara's mouth...

A while back Sara told me if felt like she was getting a new tooth. "No," I told her, "you've had your wisdom teeth out. That's all there are." But yesterday she insisted, "Mom, feel this! It feels like I have a new tooth - and it is through the gum." So, like feeling inside a baby's mouth, I stuck in my finger. "Sara, that is a tooth."

So, I asked the dental hygenist, "Can a person get another molar after the wisdom teeth are removed?" And she answered, "No." Then Dr. Tom stuck his head in the room, and he said it might be, "a part of a bone, or a fraction of the tooth that broke off." And they made room for Sara to come with me.

Upon x-ray, Dr. Tom had a new diagnosis: Sara has another upper molar - a "#4 molar." And not only that, she has one on each side. He said he has seen it, but it is rare. Kind of like winning the lottery. ha!

Google and wikipedia both have some information, but it's mostly case studies and case histories that are pretty boring to read. The condition is called supernumerary molars - with statistics that are around 1% of the population having some, and the fourth molars are the 2nd most frequently-occurring supernumerary teeth (so, around 1% have some type of extra teeth, and Sara's kind are more rare than say, other extra types). Not only does she have ONE, she has TWO! Aside from this, Dr. Tom said, "She really does have beautiful teeth."

Too bad she didn't win the lottery. I've already paid to have the wisdom teeth out, now there are two more!

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