Monday, July 28, 2008

My Inheritance

Last week, I was chatting with someone I had never met before while standing in line at the grocery store. I immediately thought of my Grandma W. I've written before about Grandma W. and her ability to chat with and make friends anywhere. Anywhere you left her for more than a few minutes, actually. It's clear that I inherited this from her.

That got me thinking. ("Oh Lord!" I hear you saying, "She THINKING again!")

I was thinking of what other traits I've inherited.

From my mother, my sense of compassion and empathy. Also her sense of humor.

From my dad, my love of jazz; specifically, Dixieland jazz. And my sense of fiscal responsibility.

From both parents, my sense of responsibility.

From my Grandma W. (me mum's mum) - my ability to talk to strangers. Maybe just my ability to talk! Chatty, you might call us.

From Grandpa W., my sense of loyalty; and a love of gadgets.

From Grandma H., (me da's mum), the love of piano and piano music. I have memories of her standing over me while I played, and her commenting on my playing. (In a good way.) Also, the love of jazz music (which is where her son, my dad, inherited it).

From Grandpa H., love and nurturing, which I learned from the example he set in his relationship with Grandma.

I'd like to think that Darling Daughter is going to inherit some of these traits. I guess time will only tell.

What do you believe you've inherited?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's A Party!

Today is a special occasion. We need to have a party!

First, let's put on our Party Glasses....

Then we'll need something to drink...

And something to eat....the numbers are wrong but the name is there...

And we'll need some of these...

And we need HATS too...

Wait a minute, what am I thinking? We need TIARAS!

Now for a gift... how about a laptop?

Maybe I could buy you a new car...

Yikes, that's pretty expensive! Maybe this is more appropriate ...

Hmm. Maybe that's still too's this...

Naw, that's just being cheap. How about this?

No, that's right, you don't go camping...
how about this for fun?

Maybe I should just settle for sending birthday wishes your way.

Happy Birthday Mom! I love you!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Elevator Etiquette

I think we all know the proper Elevator Etiquette. You enter the elevator, push your floor button, and immediately turn to face the front. Simple. Effective. Understandable in any language.

Doesn't the same thing apply when standing in line?
If it doesn't, I think it should.

Today I went to Starbucks, to begin my day with a little Nectar of the Gods. [Grande Soy Latte....mmmmmm]

Of course there was a line. But hey, I'm on vaca, right? I'm in no hurry. I'm relaxed. I'm calm. I'm mellow. I'm in THE ZONE, dudes and dudettes. The Vacation Zone.

BUT ... the creep gentleman in line in front of me stood with his back to the counter, facing me, the entire time he was in line.

What is UP with that? Now, it probably sounds like no big deal. But my personal space was invaded! It's one thing to be this close to the back of a stranger's shirt...but when they are turned around, and your head is under their chin and your nose is practically on their tie, it's WEIRD.

I'm not sure what was up with his reverse position thing. Maybe he was trying to keep an eye on his Mercedes in the parking lot...I don't know. We never made eye contact.

But I felt like he should have bought me dinner first.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I've got a cold! A full-on head cold. I went to work today and felt miserable, like I was moving in jello. Couldn't concentrate. I'm supposed to have tomorrow off and start vacation, although have to do laundry and pack first. But the dang server was down and has thrown me off. Now I will have to go to work tomorrow, with my cold, feeling crummy, and THEN come home and do laundry and pack. And I don't feel like doing ANY of them!

I feel a major pity party coming on.

Fond Memories

We always take a photo on the porch before we leave our little cottage. This was taken in 2000, so Darling Daughter was five, a week away from starting Kindergarten.

I was younger, with longer hair, and had it back in a pony tail. The day we leave is always a lot of work, cleaning it all out and trying to pack everything back in the cars to go home!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: One of my favorite photos

Daddy and Daughter building a sand castle. Taken in 2000, when daughter was five.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Three More Days!

You may have noticed my little sail boat off to the right ---> is only three days away from when we leave for the Cape! Even though I have nothing packed and am not prepared in the slightest, I am doing the dance of joy!

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where you didn't go to the BEACH, you went to the COAST; parkas were quite often the beachwear of choice. The Pacific is a very cold ocean and the winds that blew onshore were mighty chilly.

I'd made trips to the beaches of Hawaii and Mexico, so I knew what a warm ocean felt like. I always thought you had to travel long distances to experience it. Then I moved to New England.

The Atlantic off the Cape in mid to late summer is a wonderful thing. Warm ocean currents, warm breezes - oh, it's lovely! We've spent a mininum of two weeks at the cape every year that I've lived here. The memories of the warm sand between my toes, body surfing in a warm, salty sea, sunbathing and people-watching on the beach...this is what gets me through the very LONG, very COLD, and very SNOWY winters.

After Darling Daughter was born, our vacation time was mostly watching over her as she played on the beach or the shallow waves. Now that she's older, and more independent, we all tend to do our own "thing." The Hubs always takes the kayaks and spends afternoons paddling along the little inlets and ponds. Darling Daughter has summer friends that she sees each year. It's been fun to watch the kids all grow up together.

I always take a totebag full of books and manage to read most of them before coming home. I also spend my time (when not driving Darling Daughter and friends to mini-golf, jump on trampolines, or ride the go-carts) browsing the shops (both classy and tacky!)

The last couple of years we have taken two vehicles, so that The Hubs can take off and kayak and I can do my thing. Even though we have a big 4-wheel drive pick-up, he ties the kayaks to the top of his little commuter car. It always makes me laugh - it reminds me of the Flintstones:

Last year he bought a small sailboat, and has already informed me that this year he will drive the pickup pulling the sailboat, but the kayaks are going to have to go on MY car. MY CAR? My cutie-patootie car? The cutest car EVER? My new little car that doesn't even have a scratch on it yet? I'm none too thrilled about that idea. I've driven his little car with the kayaks still on it and it's a bit disconcerting, having that big yellow thing sticking out over your head as you drive.

HOWEVER - I always found the car in a parking lot! Two yellow kayaks works a lot better than my little (pink) Mickey Mouse ears on the antenna!

The next couple of days I thought I'd post a few of my favorite photos from years past. Just to get me in the mood for the trip. (Like I need any help!!!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Green" as a Fashion Statement?

I admit I'm grumpy. (No Snow White cracks, please). It's wicked hot (91 degrees) and humidity is awful (I can hear Tee in Georgia snickering, "You yankees don't know what real humidity is!" No doubt she's right).

I just got back from a Target run. Now, Target is my thang. I worship in the land of the big red circle. I get a kick out of seeing what the latest trends are, at least with youth. It keeps me ahead of the game. Target is pretty smart with their marketing strategy; they're on top of what's hot, they keep the merchandise on the shelves six weeks, then they yank it for the next hot trend. (Really - I read it in the Wall Street Journal).

Now, I told you that to tell you this.

When I walked in to Target today, the first thing I saw was their handbag/purse section, and on the end cap, all these tote bags with saying about "I'm Green" and ... well let me show you:

And it offended me. That's right, my delicate sensibilites were highly offended.

Doesn't it go against all that "being green" is about? Reusing, Reducing, Recycling - not, more conspicuous consumption turning "being green" into a fashion statement. It just seemed wrong to me. But like I said, I'm cranky from the heat.

On the other hand, this one made me laugh:

Mouse vs. Touchpad

I'm not sure what annoys me more...using the dang touchpad on my laptop....

Or waiting for my quality Microsoft wireless optical mouse to catch up with me.


Plus I think it compliments my mousepad nicely.

Too bad it doesn't work as well as I'd hoped.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hot, Humid Summer Nights

We're in the middle of a heat wave -not that I'm complaining! It rained most all of June and the first half of July. Around here heat comes with humidity, and the air has been pretty thick. But now that I work in an air-conditioned office, and drive an air conditioned car, and have a.c. at home, it's not as brutal for me. (Hot Flash Mama that I am.)

EXCEPT. Last night - wicked hot and humid - and then a huge thunder and lightning storm. Power flickered a few times, then resumed. I thought we were going to make it. But our relief was short lived. Lightning either hit a transformer or knocked over a tree somewhere in the region, because power went out completely at 9:30pm. No air conditioner. No fans. No breeze through the hot, sticky air outside. And may I just say - "dark" in the country is REALLY DARK.

We keep oil lamps handy for these occasions. We lose power just often enough - lightning storms in summer, and winter storms, when the snow load is so heavy some big old tree or branch falls on lines somewhere. And, having lived in earthquake country for a number of years, I'm usually well prepared as far as batteries for radios and flashlights, etc.

But with all the construction going on, somebody moved my box of batteries. And we have stuff piled everywhere, that came out of the spaces under construction. Did we stumble around and stub toes and do a lot of cussing? Yes we did! (I protected my poor broken-on-the-cat toe).

Eventually we found the oil lamps and lit them, and stationed them strategically around the house. Then, because I couldn't find my "emergency boom box", we just sat around and sweat and complained about how miserably humid it was.

Eventually we stepped outside - risking West Nile disease from the hordes of mosquitoes. We have so many maple trees surrounding the house, when they're fully leafed out it's more of a challenge to find the night sky, but we did. And it was beautiful. With absolutely no man-made lights of any kind to interfere, it was breathtaking.

Here's something else we enjoyed... (photos found on internet because I couldn't find my ding dang camera in the dark)
(daytime photo)

You might recognize them better at night...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Views From My Office

Perhaps it's because I come from Oregon. There's a lot of great history in Oregon, but it wasn't until moving to New England that I really realized how ... new? recent? ... Oregon history actually is. I mean, it only became a state in 1859. The pilgrims first landed in Provincetown, Massachusetts on November 21, 1620. (Yes, P-town first, then on to Plymouth Rock)

The first time I came to visit The Hubs during our courtship, I was flabbergasted. I got so excited just driving down the freeway reading the signs. "Look! Walden Pond!" "Oh my gosh, Concord! Where the first shots of the revolutionary war were fired!" "Orchard House, Louisa May Alcott's home!" I drove the future Hubs nuts. He actually said to me, "What's the big deal? It's just a bunch of old stuff." Argh! That still pains me! I love history, and to see these places I read about in elementary school was thrilling.

I think all the old churches are beautiful. I've taken scads of photos of my own church. Now that I work in yet another beautiful old church, I'm falling in love all over again. I can't help but want to share it with you, dear readers reader.

This beautiful building is where I get to go to work Monday through Friday.

Oops, I'm dilly-dallying taking pictures - I'm supposed to be in the office at 9:00!

I park directly in front of the building, and I use the middle door. After opening the door I immediately go down three huge granite steps. This is where all the offices are. I have an office with four big old windows, with lots of morning sunshine.

Standing in front of the church door, this is the view...

And a little to the right...

And these are our neighbors out the back door...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Posting From Work...A Lesson Learned!

First, let me say that I'm in the office alone today. And I decided to eat my sandwich at my desk and just work through.

I just discovered that even though I usually have to push the phone line (we have three lines) button to connect to an incoming call, occasionally you are connected simply by picking up the receiver.

I learned this today as I let out a huge belch as I lifted the receiver - I hadn't pushed the line button yet, but the line was live! As I let out a burp that would have made Norm from "Cheers" proud! How flippin' embarrassing!

Fortunately it wasn't a parishoner - it was one of the Ministers.

On the other hand - it was a Minister!!!

My lesson learned today:

Construction has begun

On Monday construction started on Phase Two of THE BIG REMODEL. We're living in sawdust and plastic sheeting, and there isn't such a thing as bathroom privacy anymore, but it's all worth it to see the progress being made.

We have one more week of work, then my family as well as our remodeler go on vacation for a couple of weeks.

My big news today, is that I am happily going to lose something that has been taking up space for a LONG time (no, not The Hubs!) ... THE DUMPSTER!!!

Between my big attic clear-out in April, then trying to get The Hubs to turn loose of his old crap valuables, then the demolition and construction to get The Hubs dialysis room ready, there's been a dumpster in my driveway more often than not this spring.

It will be back in mid-August as we continue the remodel (after all our vacations).

Just to give you an ideao of what I've been living with:

And, here's how we roll inside...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tie Dye T-Shirts

Because we are a big church, with a lot of space, AND we are right in the middle of town, community groups often use our buildings. This summer there is an organization coming in twice a week, with a dozen or so 13 year old girls.

Today they tie-dyed t-shirts. It was 90+ today, so they draped them over the wrought-iron fencing to dry. I thought it was a photo opportunity waiting to happen. Unfortunately I keep forgetting to charge the battery on my digital camera, so once again I've used my crappy high-tech cell phone camera.

I was going to take some photos from directly in front, but for some reason most of the shirts facing front were mostly muddy looking. Not real attractive. (Not that I would tell them that!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This Old House

I live in an old farm house. (An old, SMALL farm house!) Actually, our house is not old by New England standards - ours is the newest house in the neighborhood. We live a block away from the center of town, and the other houses are mostly mid-1800's; some are older.

The house I live in was built in 1917 by Mr. Cole, shortly after his marriage to Miss Barter. It sits on the corner of the property, which consists of 8.5 acres. Mr. and Mrs. Cole lost their first child, a daughter, who died around the age of 18 months. I don't know for sure, but I've wondered if the flu epidemic of 1917-1919 might have taken her.

Time passed, and the couple had another child. A healthy little girl, who grew up happily playing in the fields and woods of the property.

Fast forward many years. When Mr. and Mrs. Cole were in their 80's, with a move to a nursing home in their immediate future, they sold this house that they had built themselves and lived in for so long. The year was 1978; my husband, not long out of college, bought it from them.

Fast forward again. In October of 1993 I moved here to marry The Hubs. I found a job in another town soon after arriving. A coworker, who lived much closer to Boston, invited me to her house for a home party to sell hand-made jewelry. The woman who made the jewelry gave her presentation, we made our choices, and then spent time visiting. Guess who the jewelry-maker was? The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cole, who built our house! What a surprise. She told me how happy she was growing up here, and filled me in as to when the house was remodeled to accomodate electricity and indoor plumbing. (The outhouse imploded many years ago, but the remains can still be found on the property, covered in vines and brambles)

Fast forward to 2008. I recently started a new job in a big church in a much larger town; it's about a 20 minute commute. Everyone is very nice, and they've made me feel welcome.

Are you wondering where I'm going with this? Ready for the next coincidence?

The life partner of the very talented Music Director at my new place of employment, is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Cole!

I find it interesting that in 91 years, only two families have lived in this house; and each family consisted of a mother, a father, and an "only child," a daughter.

I can't help but wonder at the way the Cole family and mine have a history of reconnecting. We seem to bump up against each other's lives every few years. I look forward to the next chapter of This Old House.

Share The Love

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that The Hubs in on dialysis. I don't know if I mentioned that he is on a transplant list, and has been for several years. Until he started dialysis, he was pretty low on the list, but now that he has started, he's moved up. Now it's a waiting game.

I was "blurfing" (I think Melisa or Jules created that term to describe blog surfing?) and was spending some time at Portia Speaks. You can follow the link to get the details, but this Award was created to show your fellow bloggers that you love their blog, at the same time as raising awareness of the importance of organ donation.

I ask that you all copy this award, post it prominently on your blog, and pass it along to those bloggers you love!

Monday, July 14, 2008

"This one time, at Band Camp..."

There were no hi-jinx at Darling Daughter's Band Camp last week. It was taught by the high school band teacher. It was held at our old Town Hall, which was built in 1870.

What I didn't realize was that at the end of Band Camp week, there would be an evening concert, upstairs at the old town hall. It's very historical ,and a pretty interesting building, but of course it was about 900 degrees up there. Here's a few photos taken with my crappy high tech cell phone camera:

Let me point out the finer details....

And look who I was lucky enough to sit next to:

Darling Daughter has been in band since 4th grade. She's had four years of band and let me tell you, the difference between Beginning Band and four years later is HUGE. It actually sounds like music after this many years!

However, this 'camp' was open to band students from 4th through 8th grade. There were five 8th graders (including Darling Daughter) and about eleventy-seven beginning band students. You could tell which songs the kids really liked, because those were the ones they obviously practiced at home, and you could recognize the songs. The one they played the best was the theme song to Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I tried to upload to You Tube, but the sound came through really weird and obnoxious. (Are you are thinking, how could I tell the difference?)

Daughter plays clarinet pretty well, she's come a long way and I'm proud of her. This summer, her teacher wanted her to take on playing the bass clarinet, which is a mighty big, heavy instrument. It's so big it sits on the floor. Here's another crappy fine shot with my cell phone camera:

It looks like this:

But it always makes me think of this:

And since I always think of the above instrument, of course I have to make this sound...

Which totally ticks off Darling Daughter. But that's part of the fun.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Am I the only one old enough to remember this?

I was a mere child, of course... srsly, I looked it up! It came out in 1965. I was 7!!!

And the guy fishing at the very end - I know he was a silent film actor, but can't remember who. Is it Buster Keaton?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My 'Hood

I've been catching up on reading my favorite blogs. I have my basic dozen or so on my list that I try to read every day. On weekends I have more time, and there are a dozen or so that I read several posts at once and try to stay current.

Even though we live a distance away from each other (except for Queen Mommy and I!) and have never met, I feel very close to my blogging circle. We share details of our lives, each other's joys and sorrows. We're a 'virtual neighborhood'.

Last night I followed a chain of links to unfamiliar blogs. Then I started to think about this online neighborhood concept.

I tend to hang out in a Mommy Blog 'hood. There are other Mommy Blog 'hoods that I occasionally venture into. It's pretty safe territory. I picture us wearing matching pink satin jackets like the Pink Ladies in "Grease". OF COURSE I picture us in pink...what did you expect from KathyLikesPink??? (and tiaras...right Melisa?)

But just like any city, there are other, rougher neighborhoods. I've followed comment links that led me to a blogging group of college kids, posting about sexual expoits, massive alcohol consumption, foolish pranks. I read a little, laughing here and there, but mostly praying Darling Daughter doesn't fall victim to this sort of behavior when she heads off to college.

I've inadvertently ended up in a "neighborhood" of men, hunters and fishermen. The language is rougher; the photos unappealing to me. Generally it's of no interest to me, but I read a bit, much like you would stare at an accident you pass on the freeway.

Then there's the 'hood of venting employees. Angry waiters, pharmacists, grocery cashiers. I learn what really makes them mad and swear to never do that!

There are other neighborhoods that I haven't ventured into and doubt that I will. The 'hoods that flash a warning of ADULT CONTENT. I back out of those.

There you have it. My deep thoughts on the Blogging World.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to take my pink satin jacket to the drycleaners.