Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Lovely Day

Since camp ended we've had nothing but gorgeous days....sunny, warm...perfect. Go Figure! Not that I'm complaining about nice weather, but a few more days of sunnyness during camp season would have been nice. Anyway, today was another of those gorgeous days. Hubby and I didn't do much of anything on Saturday so we decided we needed to get out today. There was a Folk Festival in Nashua, right up the road, so we decided to go. We called daughter Jamie to tell her we'd be right down the street from her - would she like to come with us to the folk festival? Not her cup of tea, but she said call her after and maybe we could go visit. So we went to Greeley Park in Nashua. It was a really nice venue. A grassy hill facing a big stage that looked like it was designed for concerts. The place was huge with lots of ball fields, etc. We found a spot on the grass and sat back to listen to the "folk music". The first band was named the Rockin' Road Dogs. hmmmmm...not exactly folk music. They were more blues/rock than I liked. We listened for a while then took a walk around the park, then called Jamie and took her to Panera Bread for an early supper. Hubby offered ice cream but we were too full. We went back to her place and had a nice visit. At 6pm, we went back to Greeley Park because there was an artist we wanted to hear....or actually to see. His name was Brian Bergeron, and it just so happens there's a guy in our building named Brian Bergeron and he's a musician. We were extremely curious to know if this Brian was the same Brian. Turns out it wasn't. We spent some more time exploring the park, then went back to hear the last musician. I thought he was the best of the bunch, but we left about halfway through his set. On the ride home I got a text message from Jamie. "Is it time for ice cream yet?" We were about halfway home but Hubby did an instant U-turn when he heard the word ice cream and went back and picked Jamie up to go to DQ. We sat at the picnic table outside and shivered while we ate and had a grand time telling stories about our respective camps. We're home now at 9:30pm. A long day but so wonderful to be outside, hear some music, visit with my daughter and eat both a yummy supper and some delicious ice cream. Hubby wants about a month of these days.......and so do I.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

This is IT!......or so we thought

Last night we got the call. I hear Hubby answer and say "oh, your car broke?"......"OH, your WATER broke!" He was talking to his daughter Wendy, who's due date is September 15. She explained that she'd called the doctor and he said to wait for contractions and then come in. Hubby got off the phone and we started talking about how Noah Frank's birthday would be August 30, he'd be a Virgo. He'd be the same birth month as our grand-daughter Emily so my "Grandma Ring" would have two stones of the same color. How convenient was this going to be.....we'd have the long weekend to go visit at the hospital and probably be there when Noah Frank came home. At 10pm Hubby called and Wendy said they had just arrived at the hospital. She thought she might be having contractions but wasn't sure. Somehow, Hubby and I slept. When his phone beeped at 8 this morning with a text message, we were both so excited we couldn't read what it said. The first words.....false alarm! Apparently Noah kicked her bladder........... She was sent home around 2am. I guess it's good practice for her to stay up all night....she's going to have to get used to that. Another week or two of waiting I guess. sighhhhhh

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quiet Days

The past three days have been pretty quiet. I guess you could say it's been an extension of my vacation. School started today in Salem, but of course I knew that wouldn't mean I'd be working right away. No one is going to take a day off on the first day of school! I figure it'll be at least next week before I work. This year they started a new sub-calling system. In the past it's been one woman who takes in all the calls from teachers and then calls in all the subs. A massive undertaking. This year they are using a company that puts a lot of the responsibility onto the subs. The teachers go onto the website and put in their absence, then the subs go on the web site to see which assignments are available.....first come first serve. It's going to be great for the subs because we can be pro-active.....but I don't see how it's really going to work for the teachers because I'm sure there will be some teachers and programs that will never get a sub. It'll be interesting to see how it goes as the school year progresses. Monday was a beach day. We had planned it ahead so naturally when we got up the weather was pretty iffy and the weather report said possible thundershowers. But that didn't stop us! We had two, my mom, my sister, her two daughters and her son and his friend. We got to the beach and had no sooner paid the parking fee and grabbed all our stuff and started walking than it started to rain! It rained for exactly three minutes and that was it for the whole day! The sun came out in the afternoon and we had a wonderful time. Tuesday I babysat all day. It was a teacher day for my DIL, so I got there 7am and stayed until about 2:30. Of course my grand-daughter was wonderful. We had such fun playing with her toys, then after her nap I took her outside. We both loved it. Today daughter Jamie came over and we walked across the street to Shaw's and got their yummy salad bar. We just sat and chatted and enjoyed catching up on stuff. It's probably going to be like this for the rest of the week. You'd think I'd be enjoying the time off, but I get restless. I want to DO something. I just don't know what!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Building an Armoire

I finished building my Hubby's new armoire. We bought it at Wally-world and it came in a very, very heavy box. I put it together myself just because my Hubby didn't think I could do it!! Hubby was resistent about getting a new armoire because he thought it was okay that his bureau looked like this:

Yes, that is an old bureau and all the drawer fronts broke off. Hubby took the drawer fronts and made them into shelves. Nice....for a guy. Personally......not so nice. The instructions were all in pictures.....I guess for idiots.....but I thought it would have been more helpful if there were a few words giving some directions.

Let me assure wasn't as much fun as this picture makes it look: The finished product:It looks much nicer now:AND ....BONUS!! I got Hubby to throw a few things away!!

It took me 3 hours and 20 minutes to put it together. I looked on the directions to see if it would say how long it was supposed to take but it didn't say. I'm thinking a little over 3 hours ain't that bad!

A Day of Rest

Yes, I actually wrote on our calendar - "Day of Rest" - for today. Our three day vacation was fun but very busy, and the beginning of our weekend was just the same, so we need our day of rest now. 10:30 and Hubby is still sleeping, despite my attempts to get him up, so I figured I could catch up on computer stuff. Friday night we went to brother John's house for a cookout and a visit. Always a fun time. John is the best cook ever....his chicken and steak tips off the grill were five-star restaurant quality. Usually we watch a movie or a football game or something together, but this time we mostly sat and talked, watched one episode of a TV show they wanted us to see, and some Olympics. It was a very enjoyable time. Saturday was a two-fer. We were invited to the house of a guy Hubby works with - Don - to have a meal and for Tag to play guitar so Don could sing. They ended out inviting half their family as well, so it was a little weird but we ate and had some songs and everyone seemed happy. Saturday night we had planned to go dancing with our favorite group, The Classmates. They play 60's and 70s music. We had a great time dancing and singing. So today is a rest day. I bought Hubby a new armoire from Wally-world. He chuckled when I said I could assemble it myself, so now I will prove to him I can do it. (If he ever gets out of bed.) Besides that it'll be reading the paper, puttering....maybe some cross-stitch....and watching the closing of the Olympics tonight. Question: We watched the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night, right? Which means it was their Saturday morning. So I understand we were watching it on tape. However, it was night-time there during the ceremony, which means they must have done the ceremony in Bejing on Thursday night. So was it still 8-8-08 for THEM? huh??? Help!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

York's Wild Kingdom

Phew! Yesterday was our last day of vacation and we had a blast. We drove up to York's "Wild Kingdom" in York, Maine. I haven't been there in about 15 years, Hubby's not sure if he's ever been there. They have two parts of the park - the zoo and the rides. Luckily, you can pay for just one or the other so we opted for just the zoo. We got there about 12:30 and had to park - no exaggeration - a mile from the entrance. We were stunned at how many people were there and couldn't believe they'd make us park so far away. Once we got inside we were fine - it didnt' seem overly crowded.
The zoo was nice - they had a lot of animals, although I was surprised they didn't have any of the big animals like giraffes, hippos or rhinos. The only elephant they had was the one you could ride. They did have a really nice pond where you could ride paddle boats. The pond was filled with ducks of all kinds. They had a nice petting zoo. My favorite was the baby goats. I wanted to stick this one in Hubby's backpack and take him home.

Part of the zoo was a new Butterfly exhibit. You could walk inside and the butterflies were flying around you. Hubby took some pretty nice photos.

We had a good time at the zoo and left there around 5:30. We drove a short ways to York beach and walked all up and down the beach. It was low tide, but we didn't find any shells! We took off our shoes and walked in the surf, but the water was mighty cold!

After our walk we went to find some good seafood. DIL Kara just happened to call on my cell phone, and her family vacations a lot in that area, so I asked her for a recommendation. She said her aunt and uncle's favorite place is Billy's Clam House. It took us a bit to find it, but once we did, we were very thankful because it was delicious! We shared a bowl of clam chowder (chowdah) and a plate of haddock and scallops. mmmmmmmm!!

When we came outside, the sun was setting.

We got home about 10pm. Now we have to rest to recover from our vacation! But it was a wonderful three days and we had a good time together. I love spending time with my Hubby!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


We spent the second day of our "staycation" in Boston. One of the things we've been wanting to do this summer is visit the Museum of Science because their special exhibit right now is all about baseball.
We left the house at 9:30 am. I convinced Hubby to drive right into the city instead of taking the train. The train would have cost us $30 round trip. The parking garage that is attached to the Museum is $17.50. It was an easy drive in, and the museum is right off the highway. Our library has Museum passes, so we paid $5 apiece to get in instead of $19 each.
The baseball exhibit was amazing. It took us almost two hours to go through it. They had everything .... old equipment, programs, all kinds of memorabilia, photos, etc. They also had the scientific explanations for why the equipment has changed over the years and how the athletes have worked to become so much better. They had fun stuff like putting your face in a catcher's mask to see how the catcher sees a pitch coming and throwing a ball at a pitching machine to see how fast your fastball is. (Mine isn't fast at all!)
After the baseball exhibit we went through most of the rest of the museum. The place is so huge, and gives you so much information you could stay there for days. And that doesn't even count the fact that they have the Omni theater and the Planetarium for additional fees.
The whole place reminds me of Boston itself. The strange thing about Boston is that the old and new are side by side. There'll be a modern skyscraper a few feet away from a building built in the 1700's.
The museum is the same. There are exhibits there that are the same since I brought my kids there 20 years ago. And of course they have lots of new stuff. My favorite thing besides the baseball exhibit is the whole section showing how a baby grows inside its mother. This exhibit has been there forever and is exactly the same. But I love it.
After the Museum we took the T to Quincy Marketplace. We ended out having dinner at a place called the Purple Shamrock. I had a fisherman's platter and Hubby had a salad with steak tips. Both were delicious.
We walked over to the waterfront near the Aquarium where they now have Christopher Columbus Park and we happened to stumble upon a concert being given. We stayed to listen for a bit.
It might be hard to see that there is an orchestra in the middle of that mess, and the boats in the background are on Boston Harbor.
Then we walked back through Quincy Marketplace, down to the Boston Common and into the Public Garden. Everthing was so pretty.

Walking through the Common we went past the famous Frog Pond.

You can see why it's named that:

In the summer the kids can go wading in it and in the winter it's used as a skating rink.

We took the T back to the museum to get our car and got home around 8pm. We're tired but we had a great time.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Shaker Village

Today was the first day of our "mini-vacation" or our "stay-cation" as the media is calling it. Supposedly people are staying close to home this year because of gas prices so they've come up with this idiotic name for it. Somehow our "staycation" cost us a half tank of gas already! Anyway, we went up to Enfield, NH to the Shaker Village. It's something Hubby has been wanting to do for a while. The drive was about 1 1/2 hours - straight highway. The weather was absolutely gorgeous (for once!). The "village" was only a couple of houses for us to look at....not at all like Sturbridge Village. The main building was this enormous house the Shakers had built that housed a lot of people. They were kind of like a commune....all lived and worked together and produced everything for the benefit of the whole community. The most bizarre thing I found out about them was that they were completely celibate! They believed everything they did should not be "of the world" but only for God. They kept the community going by taking in converts and also by adopting orphans! Needless to say, they've died out now.....last we heard there were only two old ladies left somewhere in NH. Right beside the Shaker building was a beautiful church built by the Nuns of the Order of LaSallette, who bought the property after the Shakers died out. Pretty weird to see the two buildings side by side.....and connected to each other in the back! Inside the chapel were some gorgeous mosaics. This one is of the Last Supper. I'd like to do a mosaic on our coffee table someday.After seeing the village, Hubby really wanted to take us canoeing, but we could not find a place that rented canoes. The lake the Shaker Village was on was would have thought there'd be a place to rent them. We did stop at a campground that had on their website that they let the campers use the canoes, but they couldn't seem to find the guy who could open the office to let us rent a canoe, so we left. We stopped at another place that advertised Maple Syrup, just to ask if the person knew where we could rent. He was very much the old-fashioned New Englander who stopped his work to chat with us and was all ready to offer us his nephew's canoe. We ended out leaving and going to a State Park so we could at least have a swim. We went to Wadleigh State Park. It was very pretty, Kezor Lake nestled into the mountains. We stayed there and swam, read and ate our picnic lunch. On the way home we stopped at Winslow State Park just to see what it was like. You drove halfway up the side of Mount Kearsage. It was very pretty up there....they had picnic tables and fireplaces for a picnic. It'd be a great place for our family outing! We could have hiked all the way to the top and climbed the fire tower.....but we didn't. The view from the top was spectacular.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Last Day of Camp/Thwaites/Babysitting

Yesterday was the last day of camp. Unbelievable. It was a fast eight weeks, as it always is. This year wasn't as great as it's been in the past, mostly due to the weather. But the last day is always the hardest. It's a long day of packing up. The Art Room was packed in about two dozen milk crates - and two or three huge garbage bags full of stuff for the dumpster. Then all the milk crates have to be transported over to the boat room for winter storage. If they stay in the Art room, we get visits by little critters who chew everything up. The floor needs to be swept one last time and the wooden covers put over the windows. After the kids left, the rest of the staff got together to pull in the docks. They are huge, metal and weigh about a ton apiece. There are about 10 or 12 sections, plus the two wooden floating docks. I can't help with the docks.....they are just too heavy. (I'm not referred to as "old lady vennard" at camp for nothing.) So I went into the office and helped the assistant director pack up all her stuff. Then everyone, including myself, carried in the 20 or so picnic tables and put them in the recreation building. The picnic tables did me in. My back is killing me. But the long, lovely back rub I got from Hubby last night made it all worthwhile. Today we went to a place in Lawrence called "Got a Book". All the books are donated, sold to the public for a $1, and half the proceeds go to charity. Books for a Buck? We couldn't resist. The place was pretty big. There were tables of children's books, some shelves for books for kids 8-14 years old, and the rest of the books were totally unorganized! So there were paperback novels, how-to books, fiction, non-fiction, even textbooks all up on the shelves in willy-nilly order. It could take you days to peruse all the shelves. There were also record albums (remember those?) which are Hubby's downfall, so we bought 6 of those and three books. From there we went to Thwaite's Market. This is a very unassuming little corner convenience store that's been there for years. Their claim to fame is their meat market. They have the most scrumptious meat pies and - something that I've been unable to get at the grocery store for many years - tomato sausage. Tonight for dinner we'll have tomato sausage, home fries and applesauce....mmmmmmm. This is one of the places I've been promising to take Hubby since he moved up here. This afternoon we babysat. We hadnt' seen Emily in two weeks because they were on vacation so it was a pleasure to have her for the afternoon. Doug suggested we take her to Griffin Park, which is up the street in Windham. We took her out and had a blast. She loved playing in the grass, although every time we put her down, she headed for the pavement! There's a little pond where she chatted with the very friendly duck. She thought it was so much fun to play in the bark mulch surrounding the trees. We took her inside the little playground where she went down the slide, sat on a bouncy animal, and went on the swing. We went over to watch the kids on the skateboard park but she thought it was more fun to play in the rocks. Then it started to thunder (surprise! have we had a day with no thunderstorms this summer???) so we got her in the car and took her to the ice cream shop in town. Thank goodness it has an indoors because by that time it was pouring out. Emily loved the raspberry sherbert Hubby was feeding her.....although she made a goofy face every time! When she'd take a bite of my cone, she'd lean her face in for a few seconds as if testing the level of coldness before she took a big bite! She started squirming in her high chair so we put her down and she walked and chattered and charmed every one in the place. They all knew her name when we left! Now it's time to relax, anticipate my tomato sausages, and watch the Olympics.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rocket Launch

It was the second day in a row of sunshine for us at camp......hooray! A perfect day for launching rockets. I started this tradition at camp when I began working there four years ago as a way to have the older kids enjoy Arts and Crafts a bit more. I order kits from a website and the children who are 7-8 grade build the rockets. They're fairly simple, taking them about 2 hours to build. They decorated them this year with glitter. I banned feathers after the incident last year where one of the rockets covered in feathers caught fire. We had 100% success. The rest of the camp sits on the beach and cheers as we launch the rockets off the docks. It's a good time and the kids really enjoy it.....and so do I!

Salem Witch Museum

Yesterday was a busy day for me. I got to go on a field trip with a group of kids from camp. We took 13 kids to the Salem Witch Museum. For those of you who don't know, Salem, MA is famous for being the spot of the of Witch Trials where several young girls claimed to be possessed by witches and when they named names......those women were thrown in jail then hung for their transgressions. The museum was okay....not scary as we thought it might be. Then we went to a park beside the water and had lunch, played frisbee and went down to the beach onto the rocks and found some crabs, etc. The kids liked that part of the day the best. It was the first gorgeous, sunny day we've had in about a hundred years, so it felt just glorious to be outside. After work I went out with my girlfriends. There were only four of us this time but we had a great visit. We went to Salvatore's in Lawrence. The man who owns this restaurant is the same one who has Sal's pizza. He took an old mill building and made it into a beautiful restaurant. It's right on the river so we sat outside on the deck. It was a perfect night....just the right temperature and no rain!! It was so relaxing to sit back and chat and eat some delicious food. Only two more days of camp! Unbelievable. Today we'll be launching the model rockets I made with the older group of kids. We launch them off the dock into the lake and some of the staff use kayaks to go pick them up. Some of the launches turn out to be pretty funny. Last year one of the rockets caught on fire as it went up! We'll see what happens this year.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Staff Night

It was our Staff Night last night for camp. Usually we have it on the last night after we've closed down the camp but there were circumstances that prevented that this year. The camp is Jewish, and Friday night is Shabbat.....their time of prayer. Most of the people at camp are not strict with themselves as far as following the Jewish customs outside of camp so it's never been a real problem finishing off our year on the last day. This year however, one of the staff has really gotten into his Judaism and become much more conservative. This person is a central character at the camp - he's been there for 10 years or so and is the music director. He's the one who plays guitar at the campfire. On a Friday night now, he wouldn't be able to play the guitar - and he wouldn't be able to drive home or ride in a car with someone else either. The understanding I have is that on Shabbat you have to give yourself over to God and not let anything of the "world" interfere with your prayers. So - no one wanted to leave him out. It would have been the height of irony to exclude him because of his devotion to his religion when we're a Jewish camp! So the decision was made to move our Staff Night to last night. I have to say it wasn't the same. There wasn't the melancholy feeling of seeing each other for the last time before the long winter. On top of it not being our last night together, it was rainy (of course!) so we didn't actually have a campfire - we all sat inside the rec hall in a circle to sing our songs. About a quarter of the staff couldn't make it because they hadn't put aside that night and they had other plans. We did have a nice meal together.....and the younger staff had a fierce game of handball on the beach before dinner. A couple of us "older" staff slipped out quietly for an adult beverage before dinner. Today - for the first time in what seems like months - the sun is out! AND they weather people say it's going to stay out ALL DAY! Amazing! I'm going on a field trip with some of the kids to the Witch Museum in Salem, MA. I plan to spend some of the day at least out in the sun while it's still around.....cause I'm sure it'll be raining tomorrow!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Pajama Game

For Mom's birthday, I gave her tickets to a stage play of "The Pajama Game". I let her invite a guest and - typically - she invited my Dad. The play was in Portsmouth at a theater called Seacoast Repertory Theater. As usual, we had a great time with my parents. They're such good company. We chatted away on the ride up.....actually....Hubby, Mom and I chatted....Dad snoozed. The play was a musical and funny. The actors and actresses do a tremendous job considering it's community theater. On the way home, Dad suggested ice cream. It didn't take us long to say yes. Hubby won the battle of who would pay for the ice cream since it was actually my Mom's birthday gift. It's the last week of camp and sadly, for this year, I'm saying I'm glad it's almost over. I have three words to describe the summer - Rain, Rain, Rain. I'm pretty sure there have been more rain days than not. We've had camp through torrential downpours, thunder, lightening and hail. The weather report for tomorrow....heavy rain. 'nuff said.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Day Off

Finally we get a day off. We've been going non-stop for the past couple of weeks and we're tired. Last night we stayed home and watched the opening of the Olympics. Hubby and I both fell asleep during the Parade of Nations but thankfully woke up just in time to see the Olympic Flag go up and the Torch get lit. I love the Olympics, and hope I get a chance to see some of the events. Today we have nothing planned! We like to have a day to veg every now and then. We got up and Hubby made me a big breakfast and we're just puttering around. Later on we'll go to the library and maybe finally get to visit my Aunt Izy. Sometime today we hope to get up to Hudson Old Home Days. A friend of ours and her husband have started a German Fries business and are selling them at various fairs around the area. We wanted to go and support them so we'll stop in and eat some fries and maybe see some crafts or whatever. It'll be a lazy day....just what we need.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mama Mia!!

Hubby took me out on a date last night. We went to the movies (which we rarely do.....too expensive) and we saw Mama Mia!! Hubby was a little know, a chick flick and a musical besides. He likes musicals, but I think he likes more of the traditional, Rogers and Hammerstein type of musicals. But we both liked it very much. Meryl Streep was awesome...totally out of her usual comfort zone. She sang, she danced, she was very funny. Her singing was passable...not outstanding but we didn't cringe either. Her counterpart was Pierce Brosnan, whom I've always loved. He's still looking good, although they let his beard be all scraggly for the last scene and that kind of made him look old. His singing was okay too......nothing to write home about but okay. Thanks to my sweet Hubby for letting me drag him out to this movie. I might have to see Chimps In Space in return.....but I guess it was worth it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Pottery is Finally Here!

This is the whole collection. Some of it came out nicer than I thought it would.....some not so much!The mug hubby waited for!! I used letter punches to make his name all over the mug. Then I dipped in brown glaze and dipped just the rim in white glaze.My favorite piece. I used a piece of chain to make the design. I like the "blue jean" color of the glaze, and the brown rim is just a result of how the glaze fired in the kiln.The same glaze was used on this piece. I don't know if you can see the same brown edges. This is a votive candle holder (in case you weren't sure what it was!) This wasn't done on the wheel. It was done with flat pieces of clay that I rolled out on a big table with a roller and then cut. I used the extra heart-shaped cutouts from the candle holder to decorate this bowl. This was my favorite color glaze....raspberry.
I just wanted to show the detail on this bowl. We actually went outside and got leaves, stuck them on the bowl and used one color glaze and let it dry. Then we took the leaves off and used a different color glaze to make a contrast. Mine didn't come out very contrast-y....I wish I'd used something more dramatic so it would have shown up better.And this poor piece is the black sheep of the bunch. It's the first piece I decided to keep and even though I often tried to get rid of it later, the teacher kept telling me I'd love it once it was glazed! The colors on the inside are bits of glass that actually melt during the firing. Unfortunately the bowl was so crooked all the colors just oozed to one side. I guess I love it like only a mother can love her ugly child!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Attack of the Killer Squirrel

Hubby and I were sitting quietly in our living room on Sunday morning - reading the paper. I heard a rustling sound coming from our second bedroom (aka Hubby's studio). I was a little scared there might be a mouse or something in there - even though we live on the second floor - so I said, "Hubby - I heard a sound coming from the other room." Hubby bravely went to check it out and came face-to-face with a squirrel sitting on the window sill.....on the INSIDE of the room! Hubby screamed like a girl and quickly exited the room, pulling the door closed behind him. I came over to see what was going on, and Hubby carefully opened the door again and the squirrel was gone. Upon investigation, we noted a cantaloupe-sized hole in the screen where the squirrel (and probably his friends) had gnawed through . There is a tree right outside the window that has branches that reach right over like a bridge for the squirrels to reach the window. Hubby went right outside and cut the branches back so the little devils can't reach the window, and the window is closed until he fixes the screen. Needless to say, squirrels are NOT Hubby's favorite animals.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Today we went up to the campground where my parents stay. It was sunny when we left the house. I asked Hubby if we could stop at the dollar store to get me some new sunglasses. I buy them there 3 or 4 pair at a time since I lose them faster than I buy them sometimes. Ironically, by the time we got to the dollar store (about a mile away) it was pouring! The day turned out to be iffy weather-wise. We had to go sit inside the camper for a while when it really downpoured, then it stopped long enough for us to go sit outside, cook our supper and eat it at the picnic table. The picnic table is under the overhang, so even if it was sprinkling, we didn't mind. We managed to get an hour or so around the campfire until it started raining again and it was time for us to go home. My mom surprised me with a little box. When I asked what it was, she said it was "just something for me". I opened it and it was a beautiful charm bracelet. She had gotten one for me and one for my sister to thank us for spending so much time with them while they were sick! It brought tears to my eyes - I spent the time with them out of pure love, and I know she gave me the bracelet out of the pure love she has for me as well. I tried to take some photos but my camera would not cooperate. The bracelet is gold and platinum with a little saying or charm on each link. The sayings say: My Daughter When You're Sad I wish you Joy When You're Lonely I wish you Love, When You're Discouraged I wish you Hope, When You're Spirit is Low I wish you Beauty, When You're Troubled I wish you Peace. In between each saying is a charm - A star, And Angel, a Butterfly, a heart, a dove and a flower. It's beautiful and I'll treasure it always - not as a reminder of how sick my parents were and how worried I was about them, but as a celebration of their recovery and good health.....and of course my mother's love for me.

Hubby's Family Reunion

We went to Hubby's family reunion yesterday. The whole family is very musical, so after everyone has had a chance to visit for a while, and has eaten the first round of food, the "band" gets up to play. The band had a list, but requests were honored. Sometimes the band changes over the afternoon as different people get up and play, but this time it stayed pretty much the same. On the left playing bass is Tag's cousin's son Danny. In the back playing drums is one of Tag's favorite cousins, Ricky. In front playing lead guitar is his brother Doug. Both Ricky and Doug are part of a band called D-Tor that has evolved from other bands over the years. And playing keyboard is my own sweet musician, Tag.

It's fun to see the love Tag has for his cousins. Like a lot of us, there were several around the same age who grew up together, slept over each other's houses, created "rock bands" together and generally had fun.

These two little guys are Ricky's grandsons. They are cousins - Zack and Patrick. They had a blast racing around on a big wheels. Hopefully they are making memories that only cousins can share.
I couldn't resist this photo of Patrick trying to eat his hotdog. It started out in a bun but he couldn't quite get his mouth around it and, after it fell on the floor twice, he just decided it would be easier to eat it without the bun!

As the day turned into evening the band started playing some fan favorites and everyone got up to dance on the garage floor. A good time was had by all, including Tag's cousin Cindy.

All this makes me excited about my family's reunion, which is coming up on September 7. We started the reunion about 15 years ago - oddly enough, as the result of a funeral. When my Uncle Joe passed away, I met up with cousins I hadn't seen in years. We sat there and lamented the fact that we only saw each other at funerals. My cousin Francine and I decided something should be done about that, and we started our family reunions. At the time, I was working at the town beach, which closes on Labor Day. They let me have it for free on the first Sunday afterwards, and it has been at that same date and place ever since. I'm looking forward to it as usual -although even more so this year because cousins will be coming from Ohio whom I haven't seen since I was a kid. I'll be sure to post lots of pictures!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Thank God Friday is Over!

Friday was a crazy busy day for me. Obviously, I had a busy day at camp. It was "Purim" at my Jewish camp, so a lot of kids came dressed in costumes. I participated in the Arts and Crafts room by having the kids make masks. I found some great animal mask stencils a couple of years ago and the kids love them. They had their choice and traced, cut, colored - then I hole-punched, cut out eyes and attached strings so they could wear them. A very hands-on day for me. Sometimes the kids do projects that don't require me to do much, but this wasn't one of them! After camp I high-tailed it down to Hubby's work to join in on his outing. They have a BBQ in the backyard of the place. There is whiffleball, horseshoes and that new ladder game to keep everyone amused. Hubby was in the middle of a fierce wiffle ball game when I arrived. Then we feasted on hotdogs, burgers, sausage, chicken, salmon, ribs and all the fixings. There was ice cream and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Everyone pretty much left after the food was eaten - which was fine with us because we needed to move on to the next event. Friends were singing at a coffeehouse called the Java Room. There are three of them - John, Betsi and John. They each take turns choosing a song and singing while the other two will often accompany them on guitar or add some harmony. It's a very relaxing night - almost too relaxing! I could have nodded off after my long day! We were home by 10:30 and in bed shortly thereafter. We have to get ready for our next adventure today.....Hubby's family reunion!