The “S” Word

Nope, hasn’t snowed yet. I’m sure it will do that, soon. But for now – no snow.

It’s in the forecast for Saturday night. That can change, you know. Really.

We probably need to mow the yard one more time.

The geraniums and impatiens and petunias have been removed from the deck and are waiting to be pitched or cut back and put in the garage. (They’re probably going in the trash. I did the “save the geranium” thing last year and – – – it didn’t work.)

Almost all of the deck/porch furniture is put away and ready for winter.

The church’s annual Christmas Fair is in just over a week. I am so not ready to hear Christmas music.

We had COUSINS visit last night! Just wish their visit could have been a longer one. Meg & her daughter, Anna – along with Meg’s old college roommate Stephanie and her mom, Theresa were here. We had a great, fun, laughter filled visit. I don’t think Moffett’s ever had dinner with five lovely women!

A fun story – I spoke with one of our parishioners this week – who reminded me that he grew up on the same street with Dad – in Boston. He doesn’t remember dad – but he definitely remembered the cute younger sister of the Desmond clan on Woodlawn St. in Jamaica Plain. That little sister was Peg, Meg’s (pink t-shirt) (who was here last night) mom.

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We will cheer for the Royals tonight. “Let’s go Royals! clap, clap, clap-clap-clap!”

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We went to Ireland!

We did it. We really did it! We went to Ireland!

It was a great trip. We saw lots! And lots!

It did NOT rain!

We met some really nice people and appreciated the talents of a knowledgeable bus driver/tour guide, even though he couldn’t spell Colleen!

And now – sit down – breathe ——– We have 900+ photos between the two of us. I have to be honest. 600 of them are mine. And being honest, neither one of us has perfected the taking of photos with an iPhone. Sometimes one photo quickly becomes twenty with barely a touch. (It’s amazing and annoying!)

The 900+ photos are not up for viewing by our fans, yet. I’m going to try very hard to knock them down to about 100. To my cousin, Mike Guyot – yes, there are a whole lot of food photos. There are also cows and sheep (a whole lot of sheep!) and churches and beer and pubs and green, green grass.

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The Wedding Dress

wp-weddingphotoSo, it’s been 40 years since the dress was worn. I think I put it on once in the 80’s but never took a photo.

I threw out the HUGE dry cleaners box last year but – just couldn’t throw out the dress.

2014-08-10 001Thought about putting it in a local thrift store but really, who would want it? It’s old. It’s long sleeved. It comes up to the neck.

I loved wearing it but, it’s time for it to go. No daughters to wear it and even if there were, I don’t think they’d want to wear it.

So – I found this awesome, incredible organization that uses donated wedding dresses to make burial gowns for new born infants, who have died before going home.

Angel Gowns

Take the time to go read about them and their mission. It’s really quite nice.

For those who didn’t know us 37 years ago, our first born started in NICU. It wasn’t fun. He just turned 37 in June and he’s okay. The NICU can be an amazing place and a very sad place. Reading how parents whose infant died, looking through a box of donated baby clothes, so their child would be clothed before a burial – – – well, this organization makes a terrible situation just a little bit more bearable.

2014-08-10 002The dress is packed. It will go on Monday.

If your dress is still taking up space and you want to donate it, here’s the website.

Angel Gowns
http://www.nicuhelpinghands.org/angel-gowns/

Take the time to watch one or more of the news videos while you’re there.

And yes, the Angel Gowns are sent at no cost to any family who requests one.

 

 

 

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40 Years of Memories

A friend commented on the last post, “Ah yes. Memories. Probably just as well that some of them have slipped away!! “

At least one hasn’t. As we drove back from Canada, following our wedding trip, it rained. Which normally wouldn’t be a big deal but, our windshield was terrible. We could barely see through the water.

When we arrived at my parents’ house in New Hampshire, I said that we needed to get new wiper blades as something was drastically wrong with the ones on the car.

And…

My brother said, “Oh, that’s probably the car wax that Chuck put on the windows!”

We scrubbed the windows with comet or something annoying and – no further problems.

We got back to Richmond and Chuck vehemently DENIED putting car wax on the windows.

Then our wedding photos arrived – with a nice photo of Chuck, standing next to the car, with a can of car wax in his hands.

Last Post Updates:
My brother informed me the Maverick was a stick shift – and a real pain to drive on the road up to the lake house.
Moffett’s uncle reminded me that Bolling AFB is in DC, not Maryland.

I still have my wedding dress. Should I try it on? Will it fit?

It would have fit last year but – I quit smoking – I don’t think it’ll fit anymore. (September 27 – almost a year ago. Yay, me! I know, it was time.)

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August 1974 – August 2014

So – on the 10th, we will be married 40 whole years. To be honest, we’re not surprised. Staying married was, and still is, a priority.

Many friends know how we met – and how we really had absolutely zero interest in each other when we met. (We met in the late 60’s, at college – through a mutual friend…)

That part still makes us chuckle.

Our first date was November, 1973 -

americangrafAnd the only reason I went??? I didn’t have the money that week to go to the movies.

In 1974, there was a lack of gasoline (you could only buy gas every other day depending on your license plate), my parents lived in the Panama Canal Zone, his mom lived in Canada. We lived in Richmond. The wedding was in Alexandria with the reception at Bolling AFB in Maryland DC.

My dad retired after 30 years in the US Army and they arrived in the US on Memorial Day with 3 kids (two of them teenagers) and 17 pieces of luggage (and a guitar). We picked them up at the Richmond Airport with my light blue Plymouth Duster and Moffett’s dark blue Ford Maverick. Moffett had just had gum surgery and had a mouthful of aluminum foil – but a couple of martinis at the airport helped him forget that he looked funny.

My dad had us buy a car for them so they’d have one when they got here. It was (at his request) a brown Ford Maverick with absolutely no bells, no whistles. (He wanted a Ford Pinto and I had to talk him out of that.) (Dad was very frugal.) He didn’t want to pay for an automatic and was surprised to find out that getting a clutch would cost him more. He got an automatic. It was purchased at Bradshaw Ford in Burkeville, VA.

We were living in sin at the time but he moved to his aunt’s house while my family was here because, that the way it was back then. I don’t think I fooled my mother… But, she didn’t say anything, at the time…

So – this is far too long and fun of a story for one post -

There will be more!

And – you know there will be photos!

 

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On the road, again…

We headed south last week as sometimes you just have to get away from the cold.

Although, the official “Ice Out” was declared just before we left.
2014-04-20 006 (640x480)It didn’t work but we still had fun. All that rain in the southeast? We were there. (But – it didn’t snow…)

Spent a great weekend with the Bradshaws and the Cobbs. Lots of food and fun and conversations! (and, ahem…, no chopped liver) 2014-04-26 003 (800x600)The guys played golf and Betsy Bradshaw and I stayed at her friend’s beach house. It’s one of the oldies but goodies right on the beach. Huge porches, huge house, huge view. It was fun!
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2014-04-27 009 (800x600)I have to give credit to Facebook (and a new smart phone) for two fun and unexpected meet-ups.

While in Nags Head, NC, I posted that we were there. A college friend, that I haven’t seen since the early 70’s, wrote that she was in Nags Head, too. So we met for lunch and had a wonderful time chatting and eating and chatting at the Rundown Café in Kitty Hawk.
2014-04-28 005 (800x600)Then, a cousin (Meg Traber Corpolongo – a Desmond) who lives in Burlington, WA, posted a comment on FB that she and her husband were in Virginia for a wedding on Saturday. We haven’t seen them for awhile. One problem, since getting our new phones, I didn’t have her cell number on the new phone and she wasn’t checking FB while touring a museum in Fredericksburg. No problem, messaged her daughter on FB and she sent us the number, We called, we met at the Virginia Barbeque in Fredericksburg, VA.
2014-04-30 018 (800x600) 2014-04-30 003 (800x600) 2014-04-30 001 (800x600)This was our first trip with our new iPhones. I loved it. I don’t know that Moffett even cares but – too bad.

Posting photos while on the road – fun!
Sending messages and photos to sons and future daughter-in-law – fun!
Finding friends/cousins while bopping around – fun!
Finding Edwards Country Ham in Surry, VA with the help of Google maps – fun!
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I didn’t even bring my camera.
Don’t get excited, there are still photos, lots and lots of photos…

Just used the iPhone camera. And it was great.

So – we’re home. The daffodils are blooming. The one forsythia left after the reconstruction is blooming. And, if we’re lucky, it’ll get warmer – soon.
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The Gardener in Me…

Most of the snow is gone – there are still patches and the local parking lots still have short mountains of dirty snow.

Dad was the gardener in our family. Out in the yard every evening, pulling weeds and encouraging the flowers to grow.

The summer after Mom died, dad came out to Overland Park, KS to spend some time with us. We’d just had some major landscaping done and it was time to fill in with some annuals. Dad and I hit K-Mart or whatever and bought a flat of Alyssum to put out front. We’ve all bought those six-packs of annuals. Take out the plant and plug it into the ground. Right? Not when you’re planting with dad… My frugal dad (some might have called him cheap but for this – he was frugal) showed me how to take out that 1/6 of a package and then pull it apart to get 4 or more spindly little plants. Which you then put in the ground using a pencil or something like it to make the hole.

Today, we bought some Alyssum. Today, I pulled each little plant apart and planted my little spindly plants. Today, I thought about dad as I sat outside and worked in the yard. It was nice.

Oh – Alyssum smells wonderful.

And yes, it might be too soon but you know, I had to try. If it snows again, I’ll go out and cover them.

2014-04-08 015 (800x600)Earlier this week – still some snow but it’s melting! That’s the culvert under our driveway.

2014-04-07 006 (800x600)Sunrise the other morning. It was pretty.

2014-04-11 008 (800x600)We apparently have a fungal thing in the yard, called Snow Mold. (Thanks to our friends on FB who figured it out for us.) We also spent several hours raking up acorns.

2014-04-07 009 (600x800)This is my office window view… Yes, taken this week.

2014-04-12 006 (800x600)Lots of Allysum

2014-04-12 005 (800x600)Planting the Alyssum – one by one by one…

2014-04-12 004 (800x600)Yippee! A crocus is ready to bloom!

This – made me smile yesterday!
googleb-day

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The smart phones

So, we did it. We both now have our own smart phones. And I have to say that I don’t feel any smarter. If anything, I feel a whole lot dumber.

I can finally text! I don’t know who I’ll text, but I can do it.

I can use the maps! It’s not like I need to find anything in our small town with a map but, I can do it.

I can listen to music! That’s assuming I can move that music from my computer to the phone.

A couple of years ago, we were driving through Virginia, talking with a friend, who wanted us to try a restaurant near the highway we were on. He told us just to look it up on our phone – and then said, “Oh right, you have a dumb phone.”

I know we’re going to like these new phones. I’m already enjoying texting the sons, who for the most part, even respond.

I’ll keep you posted on how we’re doing.

Happy Soon To Be Spring!!

Hope the white stuff melts very, very soon as I am patiently waiting for my daffodils to show up.

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February

February seems never-ending.

One bright spot – met our future daughter-in-law!

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Support

Still loving the renovations and especially that heated toilet seat during these brrrrrr months.

The photos below show why we became very grateful that we decided to do the renovation. When the side boards were removed under our computer porch (that’s what we call it – it’s actually my tv room), we saw that we had been extremely lucky that the whole thing had stayed up as long as it did.

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Look at the posts! We were a little astounded. Our contractor just shook his head.

And now, they look a lot safer (and supportive)!

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When the house was built in 1984, our computer porch was actually a screened porch. They converted it – we don’t know when, but didn’t make any structural changes, I guess.

And… We have a spacious storage area under the computer porch and the screened porch. It’s great.

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Good thing we didn’t have any dance parties out there!

And just for fun – some links to enjoy.

SPCA Video – Be careful. You could end up adopting a new friend…
http://blog.petflow.com/if-this-doesnt-make-you-hug-your-dog-or-cat-i-dont-know-what-will/

And another – a man who was buried with his motorcycle… (comment from Moffett, “So, this guy went whole hog.”)
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/01/31/buried-on-motorcycle.html

And, speaking of support… – my cousin’s son’s wife – good grief, I have no idea how to define this cousin stuff but… Her name is Lisa Jackson, she’s married to Tom who is the grandson of my dad’s sister, Mae Jackson.

Their friends, the Richard Family, lost their son Martin, at the Boston Marathon last year. Lisa will be running this year in honor of Martin.
martinrichard“On April 21st I will be running the Boston Marathon in honor of our good friend Martin Richard who died last year in the Boston Marathon bombings.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Martin Richard, his beautiful smile, and mischievous personality.  My son Joe and he were great friends and teammates and, needless to say, this has been a very difficult year.  I have the privilege of running and raising money for the newly established TEAM MR8.  Below is the mission of the Foundation – one that I am proud to embrace and support.  While I thought my marathon days were long behind me, I have been given this opportunity to run this year and I hope you will consider supporting me and TEAM MR8.”

From Martin’s Family – – -We established The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation to honor our son Martin’s message of peace, a message that went global in the days after he was tragically taken from us while we were all cheering on runners at last year’s race.  While the pain of that day will forever be with us, our hope is that this special event becomes a source of strength for our family and a means to make a difference in the world.  The mission of our foundation is “to honor Martin’s message of ‘No more hurting people – peace’ by investing in education, athletics and community.”

You can donate to Lisa’s run at:
http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/lisa-jackson-12/team-mr8-boston-marathon-2014

She’s a nice young woman, who cares. Read more about TEAM MR8: http://www.dotnews.com/2014/dot-runners-form-nucleus-team-mr8

web lisa jackson 5-13Lisa’s on the left.       “I think about Martin all the time when I go running,” Lisa said. “I just want the kids to know you can go on. I just can’t believe how strong they are: Bill and Denise and Henry and Jane. If I can do this one little race for them and raise some money to keep Martin’s memory alive and his mission – “No more hurting people –“ peace”– it’s one small thing that I can do.”And thanks!

Bring on February!

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