Sunday, April 26, 2009

Baby's First Birthday

Yesterday, we went to my niece's house to celebrate her baby boy's first birthday. This is the birthday boy, with his dad. They are sitting at the table, ready to blow out the candle.

This is his big sister, helping to blow out the candle.

Did anyone say "gifts"?

"I have to read the card first":

"Ooohh... paper!"

"What's this?"

"Mmm... I think I will play with the box!"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just Floating...

Yesterday was one of those rare Spring days... perfect. Mid-seventies, clear blue sky, no humidity. I think this is the kind of weather in which we were meant to live. It makes you feel as if you are floating effortlessly, becoming one with the atmosphere around you. These are the kind of days for which I live... but they don't happen often enough. Perfect days.

(stock photo by Ellen Isaacs)

I also feel like this when I am floating in warm water. I want to live there so I can feel like this every day.

Friday, April 24, 2009

California Dreamin' or Nightmare on Elm Street?

We are headed to California on vacation next week. In the meantime, I have heard on the news:

1. There has been a cluster of earthquakes in the area, near the Salton Sea.
2. They have been in a heatwave.
3. There has been an outbreak of the swine flu.
4. They have found contaminated water in the area.

At this point, I am kind of looking forward to coming home. My father was a well-known "worry wart".
Do you think maybe I inherited that gene?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some Things I Just Don't Get...

How many times a day do you want to say "what were they thinking?" How often do you just shake your head and think "how in the world does that make sense?"

Happens to me all the time. Here are a few examples:

1. Why does every house hunter on HGTV insist on "granite countertops and stainless steel appliances"? It's almost as if they have all been brainwashed! Do they teach this stuff in primary schools now? In my head, I see a picture like an old Michael Jackson music video... a bunch of zombies trudging forward with arms outstretched, chanting: "granite countertops and stainless steel appliances... granite countertops and stainless steel appliances".

2. And what about pedestal sinks? Where do you put all the stuff you use when you are standing in front of the sink? Seems totally impractical to me. Give me an old-fashioned vanity (I know... eeek!).

That's just the small stuff... what really gets to me is celebrities. Are these people for real?

3. Why do young female celebrities keep wearing fedoras? Don't they know how stupid this looks?

Especially this one. I think she may have started it all. Why would anyone want to copy her?

4. Why doesn't Elisabeth Hasselbeck ever shut up? Why does Barbara keep her on "The View"? She is so shrill, I can't stand to listen to her. What did she ever do to deserve so much media exposure? Oh yeah, she was on "Survivor". I guess that makes her an expert in all things political. She's the female version of Joe the Plumber.

5. Another one I wonder about every time I see her "special reports" on celebrity "news". How in the world did Courtney Hazlett get her job? I could see her on something like "Entertainment Tonight" but why does she appear on otherwise serious news programs?

6. I think this is my favorite one though... big ol' fish lips!

Am I being especially snarky today? Or just showing my age?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Taking a Vacation in the Desert... Instant Summer

I need a vacation! It's been a cool, rainy spring here. Sixty degrees one day, then back down to forty the next. I need some blue skies and sunshine. I need an aqua blue pool to float in under that blue sky. I need palm trees and umbrella drinks.

Well, next monday we are going on vacation! I haven't had much time recently to think about it. I've been too busy being sick.
Now I have to hurry up and pack. Thank goodness I took care of shopping for some vacation clothing a couple of weeks ago. There is a big difference between what you wear every day in a cool Kentucky spring and what you wear on holiday in Southern California. I'm going get a pedicure and have my legs waxed. No more jeans and knee socks for a week!

My husband's birthday is in April. His daughter's birthday is in April. So, we decided to celebrate by all of us going on a vacation together in April. Grandpa (they call him Poppy), stepmom and step-grandmother me (I'm Grandma Judy), daughter, son-in-law and four-year old granddaughter. They like to play golf, so they decided on Palm Springs. Ideally, I would like to have an ocean nearby, but I'm sure there will be plenty of warm sunshine and pools to splash and float in. And some umbrella drinks would be nice. And maybe a massage or two.


Monday, April 20, 2009


This was me this weekend. Boring, I know. It was for me, too.

Friday night, I thought I had a kidney stone. It turned into aches and pains all over. Finally, a migraine. Now it feels like a sinus infection. I have no idea what it is. All I do know is that I slept all the time... about 22 hours a day. I must be getting better; so far this morning I have slept only eight hours out of twelve.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I think I might have a kidney stone. It's going to be an interesting night around here.

I hope I'm wrong, but I had one before and this is what it felt like.

Ice Cream and Tennis

Last night we had dinner at my sister's house. I took some photos of my nieces; I thought I would share them here:

This is Aubrey, eating ice cream.

She can't decide whether to leave it as is and eat it with a spoon, or make soup out of it and drink it through a straw.

Either way, I think she likes it!

This is Molly, practicing her tennis moves. Sammy is by her side, ready to help!

"Stay there Sammy... I've got it!"

Get a load of Sammy's body language... she's got her eye on the ball!

Aha! Sammy's going to get this one!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pictures from This Morning... Easter Aftermath

While I was putting the Easter things away this morning, I had a few minutes to pay attention to the small things around me. This is the Easter wreath on my front door. It's so pretty I hate to take it down. (Okay, I won't!)

A parade of bunnies on my table, grouped together to be put away until next year:

Here is the basket of flowers on my back porch. I got them about two weeks ago, and for a while had to bring them inside every night to protect them from freezing. Now it's finally warm enough to leave them out all the time. Wish I lived in California! Or Hawaii!

Here is Katie, trying to smell the flowers through the screen door:

Tinkerbell? What are YOU looking at?

Maybe she's watching Tiger. He's chasing a little toy mouse behind the curtain! The kitties love those tiny stuffed mice. Tiger walks around the house with one in his mouth... meowing loudly. I guess he is bragging: "look what I got!".

At the moment, he is very busy guarding the golf umbrella!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Day at the Dentist... and Beyond

Yesterday, I had to sit in the dentist chair for two hours straight. They asked me if I wanted to take a break, but I mostly just wanted to get it over with.

While he is working, he talks and talks and talks. He talks to me... he talks to the assistant across from him... he talks to the person waiting in the next chair on the other side of the curtain. He reminds me a little of Jay Leno. He makes funny little comments. Not jokes, just jokey little blurbs. If no one laughs, he tries another one. Other dentists I've been to have a t.v. that you can watch. This dentist doesn't need a t.v.... he talks.

In the afternoon, I picked up my nieces at school. They were all in a good mood yesterday. Not one fight or argument. Whew! The eleven-year old, Sarah, is now on a competitive gymnastics team, so she has a three hour long practice on Tuesday and Thursday. We dropped her off at 4:15, and the rest of us went home. We played with the puppy. They had all their Easter candy in the kitchen, but didn't eat one piece. I think they have had their fill for a while. I didn't know that would ever happen!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I was exhausted on Monday, after all the Easter fun. I rested up, because today is Tuesday, and this afternoon I have three nieces to pick up and take through their homework and gymnastics paces. Also, this morning I have an early appointment with the dentist that is scheduled to take two hours... maybe I can ask the dentist to put me to sleep so I can rest some more!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Photos

We had a lot of fun on Easter at my house. Six children were here, ranging in age from one year to eleven years. They had an Easter egg hunt. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of that because I was busy in the kitchen. Here are the Easter baskets, before the children arrived, all lined up and ready:

Decorations on my hall table:

The dining room table:

The table in the hearth room (here in Kentucky, that's the name for a room next to the kitchen where a fireplace is located... I had never heard of a hearth room before we moved here, but it's a nice place to have).

We had four little girls, all dressed in their Easter dresses. A baby boy who has his first birthday next week, and found out that he loves beef brisket. And an almost three-year old little boy who loved the wind-him-up-and-he-hops bunny he found in his basket.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Eve

The day before Easter... tomorrow I expect at least eighteen people to come through that door. We will have an Easter egg hunt and Easter baskets for the children, then we will all sit down to dinner.

The photo shows the state of my preparedness. I have gathered all my chairs together, to decide which ones to use at which table. The hall table on the left has Easter decorations on it. It's covered up by a tablecloth so my cats can't jump up on the table and play with it (or leave hairballs on it).

I have six Easter baskets filled for six little children. The Easter bunny came and hid eggs all over the downstairs area. Tomorrow morning I will have all the chairs in place and all the decorations uncovered. I will try to take some photos before it gets too crazy.

In the meantime... Happy Easter and Chag Sameach!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Still Life With Cats

I have a little stone cat that likes to lounge in the groundcover:

This is Tiger posing next to his stunt double:

And this is Tinkerbell, on the lookout. Her stunt double is there in the background:

I am busy getting ready to host Easter dinner and an Easter egg hunt at my house, so I will let my kitties speak for me today.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


i love these pale, pale pink roses. They are New Dawn roses.

After we moved into our old house, I planted a New Dawn climbing rose by the side door. I gave it a little trellis to climb on. It outgrew that little trellis in one season. I gave it a much bigger trellis. A few seasons later, it had even outgrown the big trellis. That's what I love about these roses. They climb enthusiastically and bloom generously. I had a beautiful cloud of green leaves and pink blossoms growing up and over my side door.

I love how this rose looks climbing up on this tree.

When we moved to Kentucky, our new house already had roses in our front yard and by our back porch. They are called "Knock Out Roses". I had never heard of these before we moved here. They are bright red and look pretty all spring and summer.

Yesterday I spent two hours trimming these rose bushes so they would be ready to blossom again this season. That's what made me think about roses today. I have to get some better gloves, though. I was stuck many times by thorns, and I had to pull two out of my hands with tweezers. Ouch! They look pretty but they can be dangerous!