Friday, October 29, 2010

It was a dark and stormy night...

I'm linking up over at Mocha with Linda for today's Flashback Friday. The theme is Halloween memories...

Halloween was celebrated in our house when I was growing up but we didn't go overboard. We had parties and parades at school but it was really all about the candy for my sister and I. We did have a jack o lantern and I guess we helped with the creating but I sort of remember my dad doing that and us just watching. We probably helped scoop out the seeds but he enjoyed making a scary face and putting a lot of detail into the actual carving. My mom would attempt to get us to eat something nutritious for an early dinner and then we grabbed our big pillowcases and were off.

We usually bought a costume or came up with something from our dress up box which was extensive. I grew up in NJ and the weather was always a challenge. You had to consider that you might need a parka over your outfit or at the very least a rain jacket. One memory in the costume department really stands out...I think I was nine the year I dressed in a Japanese costume which I'm sure is very non-PC now but honestly it was a beautiful gold kimono with a sort of geisha type mask over my face. When I was a kid a costume was not complete unless it had one of those horrible plastic masks that covered your face and was held together with a piece of elastic that wrapped around your head so tightly that your hair hurt all the way down to the roots by nights end. The mask made your face sweat and sat so close to your skin it was hard to breathe and then had tiny slits for eye holes so you could barely see where you were walking. Safety back in 1970 wasn't quite what it is today folks.

Anyway, I had some shoes that were a velvety flip flop style on top with wooden soles that clip clopped when you walked. My dad brought them back from Japan so I was feeling very authentic. The problem was the kimono wrapped very tightly around my legs which meant I had to take very small steps when I walked. My sister was a year younger than me and my brother was five years older so he was the lucky one assigned trick or treat duty. He had a friend who lived on the next street over and we used to avoid walking in front of this particular house on regular days because the family had a great big German Shepherd that barked like there was no tomorrow. But my brother knew the boy so naturally he had us stop there for trick or treating. And do you know, as we were stepping down off of the porch that big giant German Shepherd came barreling out of the house right at me and I tried to run in my very tight around the ankle kimono while wearing wooden soled velvet flip flop style shoes and I did a face plant on the sidewalk. I also developed a fear of German Shepherds that stayed with me for a long long time. Until I was 26 years old in fact and we adopted a mutt that had been abandoned in our neighborhood. A mutt that looked suspiciously like a German Shepherd. I learned to love a German Shepherd.

With my own children the hubs was in charge of trick or treat duty and I stayed home and doled out the loot. When my girls were toddlers we lived in North Jersey. Our neighborhood was really dark and hilly so hubs got quite the workout pushing a double stroller up and down the mountain that was our street. We moved to Maryland during their elementary school years and lived in a neighborhood with cul de sacs and lots of kids. Halloween was a very social thing and the dads used to take the kids around in a big group and again, for my kids, it was all about the candy. There were parties and parades at their school and we carved pumpkins (usually outside with Dad in charge because that's best). And of course part of the Halloween fun was dumping all the candy out afterwards for inspection and to make trades and so hubs and I could see what we might want to eat once they'd gone to bed for the night. Sorry girls!

Last year I wrote a post detailing a very funny incident that occurred around Halloween one year. It involved daughter2 because she and crazy mishap know each other well. You can read that post here if you're so inclined.

In Linda's prompt she did ask two very important questions-

"Do you like candy corn?"
and "What is your favorite Halloween candy?"

I like candy corn as long as I don't overindulge. However I am lacking in self discipline so if a bowl filled with candy corn is sitting in front of me I generally end up eating a few too many. My new favorite way to eat candy corn is to mix it with a jar of peanuts. Tastes just like a Payday which, as it happens, is my favorite candy bar.

Have a safe and happy Halloween weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

True Colors

Is anyone tired of seeing pictures of the gorgeous fall colors?
I thought not.
Last weekend we rode out to
Waywayanda and I couldn't resist taking a few photos.
I wrote about Waywayanda in a post last winter and its absolutely beautiful in the fall too.

We had a picnic lunch sitting here which confirmed for me that sunlight hitting water is one of my favorite sights in all the world...

It was an unseasonably warm day and perfect for a walk through the woods...

being ever alert of course so as not to miss this...

or this...

or especially this...

The thing about fall color around here is that its everywhere.
The park was gorgeous but so is the color in my neighborhood...

and in my yard...

and from my family room couch...

'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.' Elizabeth Lawrence

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All Good Things...

For the past year I've been playing along with a meme every Wednesday called The Random Dozen. It's hosted by Lid over at 2nd Cup of Coffee and she is ready to wind it down with perhaps a Random now and then but not weekly. I was fairly new to blogging when I stumbled on the RD and I have really enjoyed getting to know lots of bloggers thru these sometimes silly, sometimes serious questions. Lid has decided to send us off on a serious note with just two questions-

1. What scares you the most?

A. Physically
B. Emotionally

How do you cope?

Hmmm, what scares me the most? You mean besides coming up with something to blog about on Wednesdays now that the RD is retired?

Its hard to separate the two types because fear of the physical hits me on an emotional level. I guess I'd say that I truly dislike small, tight, confined spaces and just the thought of being stuck in one makes me breathe hard. I am not a fan of small caves, extremely narrow tunnels, and tightly packed cable cars hanging high atop a valley.

These are typically things you can avoid unless you are part of my adventurous and fun loving family and you live abroad and spend weekends prowling around old cathedrals and estates that are filled with narrow tunnels and stairwells and you spend holidays in the mountains riding in tightly packed cable cars.

How do I cope? I pray because that's how I roll in life. I like to think I have come a long way in the process of plowing headlong into my fears with my family acting as cheerleaders. They encourage me to let go and live life and in doing so I have seen things, learned things, and loved things that I would not have experienced if I'd let fear overwhelm me.

Many lessons were learned in our years spent overseas and I think working thru some of my fears was one of them. Like most parents my biggest emotional fear is something happening to one of my children. But that is something that we have to let go of too. I'm not saying we don't take appropriate measures to keep our children safe but there is much in this world that is not within our realm of control. The older your children get the more you recognize the truth of that statement. And that brings me back to prayer. Which is a good place to be.

2. Robert Frost wrote-

Nature's first green is gold
her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
And nothing gold can stay

What comes to mind when you read the phrase, "Nothing gold can stay?"

Wow that's depressing.
Isn't it funny how words invoke emotion?
Even without analyzing this just reading it makes me feel gloomy.

I guess the theme I hear is that change is inevitable.

I mean even the weekly Random Dozen isn't permanent.
Oh I know he wasn't referring to an internet meme but it's such a downer I feel the need to inject some light here. How about a few lovely pictures taken while riding up the side of Mt. Blanc in a too tightly packed cable car?

Follow the line down and out.
Do you see the speck that is a cable car?

Some crazies, obviously without ANY fear...

In spite of a few ice crystals the mechanics worked and we did not plunge to the bottom of an ancient glacier in our too tightly packed cable car.

We're free!

and we're above the clouds...

Some of us find it thrilling...

and some of us say, "Talk to the hand!"

You know, I might have missed it.

Facing your fear can be a beautiful thing.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stuff that bugs and stuff that doesn't-Vol. 2

Welcome to Volume 2 of what may become a weekly entry here. Or it may not. But there is definitely a volume 2. If you missed Volume 1 you can find it here and you'll want to click over because let me tell you, it is riveting.

Okay 'stuff that bugs'-

1. Fog lamps. Why do so many people drive with their fog lamps on in the clear black of night??? You aren't one of them are you? Because if you are I'm not sure we can be friends. If it isn't foggy and you drive with your fog lamps on you 'dazzle' the oncoming driver.

Who besides me loves the word dazzle? I think it was used at least 10 times in my UK driving test. And in the UK its an offense to drive with your fog lamps on if visibility is greater than 100 metres.

Oh that pesky metric system.

And those pesky people who continue to drive with their fog lamps on when it's not foggy or snowing.

2. Do you talk on your mobile phone when you are in a department store restroom stall? Because twice in the last week I've heard conversations from the stall next door. And in the second instance the woman actually shrieked and I thought maybe something was wrong and I was just getting ready to ask thru the stall if everything was okay when I realized she was on her phone. I gotta think there is not enough hand sanitizer in the world to make this behaviour okay.

3. The girl on the treadmill beside me in the gym the other day was drinking a Starbucks while she was walking. On a treadmill. And it was a venti. I was simultaneously horrified and impressed. I was on an elliptical which requires arms and legs so I will not be attempting this plus I'm inclined to think one action has got to negate the other.

4. Speaking of calories...hubs and I went out for Mexican food on Friday evening and I happened to read something in a magazine earlier in the day that was distressing. The author of the article said you could consume about 700 calories before you ever get your meal if you eat the chips and salsa and have a margarita too. His suggestion was for you to choose one or the other.

Uh, no can do.

He also said the best entree options were a beef taco or a chicken enchilada. I went with the enchilada and only ate half of my meal so I'm sure it all evened out in the end.

5. My refrigerator door. Arrggh! I came downstairs one morning last week and pulled open the frig door to get cream for my coffee and a piece snapped right off. Thankfully we bought the extended warranty on this appliance because this is the second repair in a little over a year. Of course the repairman took one look and said he'd have to order the part and it will take approximately six days to get here. And of course hubs and I forget that its broken every time we go to open the door. Every.single.time. Allow me to demonstrate...

The Door from Jo Daley on Vimeo.

I know.
My videography leaves you speechless.

I'll move along.

I cannot leave you with a list of stuff that bugs without including a few things that don't. It's the Pollyanna in me. Here's a few things I'm looking forward to right now-

1. A destination wedding in a lovely city where I can put my toes in the sand and feel the sun on my face.

2. See #1.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Off to the Races

It wasn't a great weekend to be a fan of the sports teams from Philly.
Or the Volunteers from Tennessee.

It was, however, a great weekend for a day at the races.

Who else loves the weekends?
Especially gorgeous golden fall weekends?

Especially gorgeous golden fall weekends where your Saturday is spent at a horse race courtesy of some business blah blah blah connection where you find yourself sitting on a very pretty hillside having a lovely lunch while watching the 90th running of a steeplechase?
Oh and did I mention the weather?

There was a lot of tailgating.

Not sure if all the tailgaters actually watch the races but they do have a lot of fun.

Which is why there are also more than a few of these around.

Here we are at the entry to our space for the day...

Our hosts made it feel more festive with fall tablecloths and beautiful centerpieces....

Food and drinks were available all day beginning with a nice breakfast which was followed up by a nice lunch later in the afternoon.
We had a great view of the track and best of all?
Our own restrooms.
Just keepin' it real people.
I'm not a big fan of the porta potty scenario which entails approximately 50,000 people visiting throughout the day.

If you wanted to place bets on any of the races you could do so right in the tent.
It was all done in support of a local hospital so it was fun for a good cause.

I appear to be seriously studying the race guide.
Actually I had my own system which consisted of something along the lines of-

"This horse has a fun name"
"Oooh, pretty silk colors"

Highly scientific.
I'm pretty sure this is how its done at racetracks the world over.

From the hillside you couldn't help gawking but notice a beautiful mansion sitting across the way.

This is Natirar and was at one time the 500 acre estate of the King of Morocco.
It was sold to the local park commission and now a part of the land has been leased to Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group fame.
He has been developing the property into a hotel/restaurant/spa and they also have a cooking school on the premises.
We heard from others at the race that it was a pretty amazing place and we wanted to check it out on the way home.

Except it took us 90 minutes to exit the parking area.
Seriously ridiculous.

Hello Race Organizers?
We had a fabulous day at your event but next year I think we'll come by helicopter.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wedded Bliss

We've reached Day 3 of the Blog party hosted by Kimberly's Korner. Day 1 was how you met your significant other, Day 2 your proposal story and today, Day 3, she asks this question-

Is marriage all that you thought it was going to be and how long have you been married? What do you see for your future as a couple?

Ending the week with something light. Ha.

Let's start with the easy part. We have been married for 26 years, 4 months, and 6 days. "Wow", you say. "How can you be so accurate?" It's easy. I have an anniversary timeline on my blog. I added it in the months leading up to our 25th which we celebrated last year in grand style...sitting in our attorney's office signing the papers for our home purchase. We know how to live it up, don't we. I was going to take the timeline down after our 25th but decided I liked to see that number every day. I mean, let's face it, 26+ years is a bit of an accomplishment.

Is marriage all that I thought it would be?

Honestly, I was just shy of 24 when I got married and while I thought I knew everything a lot about what I was heading into, I didn't really know a lot. And in some ways I think that's a good thing. We were both young. We each had a car and a job but no money saved and no real furniture. We started from scratch. We built something together. And that feels good. Really really good.

I'm sure like many young girls I had an idealized picture in my head of what married life would be like. It would be like a fairy tale. The good parts of a fairy tale. And some days its exactly the way I pictured. Hubs coming in from a hard day at the office and me in my apron and pearls with a lovely meal on the table. Well, you know what I mean.

Commitment is sometimes an overused word but in marriage it is key. And not just in committing to each other but in committing to remain married come what may. Maybe married life is more like a fairy tale than it first appears. Don't our favorite fairy tales all contain some dark moments mixed with the bright... struggles of one kind or another?

'In sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse..." We say those vows on our wedding day but at age 24 we don't really think we'll be sick, poor or 'worse'. The reality of life is that we will have all of that and more. In looking back after many years of marriage I can see that its the very combination of the good and the bad, the rough and the smooth, the easy and the hard, that have made our lives together fuller and stronger and richer...its the ups and the downs we've shared that have united us as a couple. There is a depth to marriage after 20some years that is not there on Day 1. It has to be grown. And for something to grow it needs to be tended and cared for and lovingly looked after on a regular basis. This is true of many things in life but is especially true of a marriage.

What do I see in the future for us as a couple?

We're in a new stage of married life almost empty nest (hubs says its not officially empty until the tuition bills cease and he does have a point) and we're kind of figuring it out as we go along. In the future we hope to settle down south with a home on the water. We both like boating and traveling so there will definitely be some of that. And I hope we can do some good somewhere. And I hope there are grandchildren to play with and spoil. And I hope when I'm 80 and he's 81 that he can still make me laugh. I'm pretty sure the importance of keeping your sense of humor in marriage cannot be overstated.

You've Got a Friend in the Random Dozen

Lid has had one of those weeks so today's Random Dozen questions come to us courtesy of her lovely co-hostess, another Linda. That would be Mocha with Linda as opposed to 2nd cup of Coffee Linda. They're like the James Taylor/Carole King of random dozen question writing. And no, you do not need to be named Linda to play along. Just answer the questions on your own blog then link back to Lid's (2nd Cup) for show and tell.

1. Do you prefer to read the book or see the movie?

Read the book. Definitely read the book.

2. What is your favorite holiday and why?

Thanksgiving. It's all about family and food and feeling grateful. I love Christmas but the holiday itself comes with a certain amount of expectation and stress which sometimes makes it hard to focus 100% on the real meaning of the season.

3. Which do you like better-the mountains or the beach?

Hmmm, which do I like best? My left hand or my right? I love both but if you make me choose I'll have to say the beach.

4. If money were no consideration, what vehicle would you drive?

I love my current vehicle. For some reason it seems odd to write the make of my car on here (like my whole life isn't already an open book for the whole world to read) but I think I'll just leave it at 'my current vehicle'. A little mystery is always a good thing don'tcha think?

5. What is your favorite cold weather beverage?

A cup of tea. It warms me up and calms me down. It simultaneously soothes and inspires. It provides comfort after hard work and energizes me to carry on. A cup of tea is so much more than a drink.

6. How do you communicate most often with your friends: phone, email, text, face-to-face or Facebook?

e. all of the above

With my away friends its mostly by email and facebook with an occasional phone call thrown in for good measure. With local friends its a combination of all of those listed although I don't do a lot of texting with friends. Unless we're trying to meet up someplace and then we might text a simple message. I do a lot of texting with my family throughout the day. And when it comes to young adult children, sending a text has been proven to generate a more immediate response than any of the other methods. Just sayin'

7. How do you receive your mail-mailbox on the porch, at the end of the driveway, down the street or post office box?

In my inbox.
Oh you mean my 'mail' ?
Our mailbox is at the end of our driveway.

8. Of the four basic personality types-sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic and choleric-which is your strongest and which is your least evident? If you're not sure what the personality types mean you can find out here.

Least evident-choleric?

I see some of myself in all four types. I took a little online quiz and came up as a nurturer. Isn't that a much nicer word than phlegmatic? Who else thinks sinus infection when they hear that word?

9. What do you miss the most about being 20?

My abs.
I am not kidding.

10. How long, from the time you get up, does it take you to be ready to walk out the door in the morning?

Roughly an hour but I can be ready in less time if necessary.

11. Who handles the car maintenance and pays the bills in your family?

Hubs handles the car maintenance and the big picture money (retirement, investments, 401K stuff) and I manage the day to day cash flow and household bills.

12. For those in the US, how many states have you visited? For those outside the US how many countries/provinces have you visited.

I have lived in eight US states and visited 22. I've lived in one foreign country. According to my Trip Advisor map I've visited 155 cities in 15 countries. We do love us some travel.

'The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see."
G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Love Story

Today's post is part 2 of a three part blog party hosted by Kim. In case you missed it you can read part one here. In part 2 we are supposed to tell the story of our proposal and let me just say up front that contrary to what my hubs likes to tell people I did not ask him to marry me.

I'd love to read your story too so spill it then link up at Kimberly's Korner for all the world to see. Here's mine-

As you may recall, ahem, my birthday is in September. Hubs and I had been dating about four years off and on but the last couple of years we were just on, no off. We had talked about marriage so you can imagine my excitement when he handed me my birthday gift and it appeared to be a ring box. You can also imagine my surprise when I opened it only to discover it was not an engagement ring. At least I was pretty sure it wasn't (it wasn't). It was in fact a beautiful ring that I did not appreciate in that moment because hello, I was expecting a diamond. What I got instead was his grandmothers topaz that he'd had a jeweler set into a pretty band for me. Nice birthday present but oh the disappointment. Yes I was disappointed to get a beautiful topaz instead of a diamond engagement ring. And I'm pretty sure only a 23 year old girl would say that.

We were living two hours apart at this point because he had taken a job in Knoxville so we only saw each other on weekends for the last few months we dated. Christmas was approaching and I was going home to NJ for the holidays. Our plan was to have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants before I left. We walked into the restaurant and were seated and then he immediately excused himself to go to the men's room which I thought was kind of annoying since the drive from his apt. had taken literally five minutes. Whatever. He returned to our table and we proceeded to look at the menu. I noticed a waitress working her way down the aisle carrying a tray with two glasses of champagne and a beautifully wrapped box with a balloon tied to the ribbon. I commented on this and said, 'Oh look, someone must be having a birthday.' My skills of observation are impressive, yes? Even when she stopped at our table it did not compute. There stood the waitress with her tray and champagne and the pretty box and a big beaming smile. There sat the future hubs kinda smiling, kinda sweating, and I think kinda not believing he was going to need to spell this out for me. And all around us sat our fellow diners who had quickly put it all together and had quieted down and were waiting for me to have the appropriate reaction. And I finally look at the waitress and say, "Oh this is for me?"

Ding Ding Ding...bells rang in my head, lights flashed, suddenly it all made sense. I snatched up that box and tore it open. He popped the question, I said yes and the rest, as they say, is history.

Oh, wait, the ring. I didn't pick it out and I don't even remember having a lot of conversation about what style I preferred. Hubs has always had excellent taste in jewelry which is one of the reasons I married him. Kidding! But I'm serious about his good taste. The ring was perfect and I loved it. Still do. Several years ago the diamond came out of the setting and hubs had it reset into a nicer band that I loved even more than the original.

Flash forward to today and if you read here, well, you know where that ring sits now. Right beside my wedding band which is also not on my finger but rather is resting in pieces in a hospital issued envelope. Rest assured we're still married but I had a bit of a mishap recently and my rings had to be cut off and are still awaiting repair.

Sometimes I'm a lot of trouble.
Hubs would not disagree.

Monday, October 18, 2010

When Harry met Sally

Kim is having a fun little 3-part blog thing this week and I'm playing along but have adapted the timetable just a smidge. Smidge. Is that word still in use? I'm pretty sure my kids won't like it. Anyway, Monday was part 1 and Kim asked people to tell how they met their significant other. She also asked how you knew he/she was 'the one'. I missed that post so I'm telling our story today.

Hubs and I met many years ago. Feels like a lifetime. Well, half a lifetime anyway. We were students at the same university in a small Tennessee town. He was a preppy Southern boy and I was that Yankee girl. If you weren't watching Saturday Night Live back in the late 70s and early 80's you won't appreciate this but SNL used to have a skit back then where Joe Piscopo would say, "You're from Jersey? I'm from Jersey! What exit?" I wish I had a nickel for every time someone at uni asked me that question and then laughed hysterically at their clever self.

It was Exit 4 by the way. If you were from NJ of course you knew 'what exit'.

Back to me and the hubs. He loves to tell people that we had a history class together at the beginning of our sophomore year and his roommate was also in the class and they thought I was pretty and they also thought I was unfriendly. Except they didn't use that word. ahem. Here's the thing-my roommate was also in that class so she and I walked in together talking the whole time, sat together talking the whole time, and left together talking the whole time. I was not unfriendly.

I was in a sorority and hubs was in a fraternity so our paths crossed every so often at events and parties. Mostly everyone knew hubs because that's just how he has always rolled. I thought he was cute and a little bit mischievous and his sense of fun and the way he grabbed at life appealed to this rule follower. Alas, he had a girlfriend at the time so that was that. In the spring of our sophomore year one of my best friends was dating one of his best friends and they orchestrated an introduction after he and the girlfriend broke up. We went on our first date soon after. I guess I might mention here that hubs had a broken hand and a black eye when we went out the first time. You know that saying about 'wild oats'? Yeah. Let's just say he sowed a few and we'll move on along.

We dated and met the families and made lots of memories and had a lot of fun. We graduated and got jobs and lived in our own apartments in separate towns for about a year and still we stuck. He also likes to tell people about the night I asked him to marry me. Right. We're sharing proposal stories in part 2 so you'll have to tune in tomorrow to hear the real 411.

How did I know he was 'the one'...I'm not sure. The first year and a half we dated we were very much on again off again. I think 21 year old boys need space in their lives to grow up and work out some things before they settle down. And I gave him that space. I think we complimented one another in that he loosened me up and I calmed him down. And while in some ways our approach to life was opposite we held similar beliefs when it came to the really important matters of the heart and the future and family and life.

Oh, and did I mention he was fun?

Why not visit Kim and tell your story too?

Thanks Johnny Appleseed

As I've said before we live 'out in the country' and there are many farms and orchards nearby. Since daughter2 was home we decided to spend our Saturday apple picking at one that sits very near the NJ/NY state border.

It was cool and breezy when we left the house and the sky was full of the kind of clouds that let you know fall is in the air...

The sun broke thru midway into our day and it turned out to be a gorgeous Saturday.

Question for many of you would have brought your purse along on a trip to the orchard?
Because I brought my purse along and my hubs thought this was crazy.
I take my purse pretty much everywhere.
It would be like leaving an arm behind.
He doesn't get that.
I reluctantly locked it in the car which is something I never do because hey, I'm a city girl and I know that's just asking for trouble, but we were out in the middle of podunkville so I wasn't too worried.
A little worried because that's how I roll,
but not too worried.

We checked in and collected our bags and our grabber, and we're experts at watching for woodchuck holes so no worries there.

Remember, this guy?

Who lives in my rock wall?
With his family and friends?

Anyway, I'm not sure if there is an official name for the tool they gave us but if not it should definitely be called the grabber.
Hubs would not let me hold it on the ride out in the hay wagon for fear I would injure someone.
My skill in handling sharp instruments is well known I'm afraid.

This orchard has over fifty acres of apple trees of every type and variety.

The trees were loaded and we could pick to our hearts content.

We wondered about all that are on the ground and are guessing the wildlife around here have a field day once the farmers close up shop for the day.

The whole afternoon just made my heart happy.

The setting could not have been any prettier...

nor the company any sweeter...

Once we'd gathered our loot we headed for home and
Betty Crocker got right to work creating a delicious apple streusel pie for dinner.
She and I had such a nice time cooking side by side ...

sipping warm cider in some of our favorite mugs...

laughing and talking and just being together.

It's the memory of a breezy fall day spent in an apple orchard,
warm home baked pie,
and the chatter of a daughter,
that tell me the kitchen is truly the heart of the home.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Where the heart is

When one of my girls has been home for a visit I always have a hard time getting back in the groove.

Today has been no different.

I have a million things to say but the words, they just swirl.

My youngest daughter has been home for a few days of fall break and you know something I've realized about young adult children?

About five minutes after they're back in the house it feels like they never left.

I hear her turning on the shower and see her purse on the counter.
I watch her petting the dog and see her pouring a glass of juice from the frig.
I hear music floating from the piano and I register the familiar ringing of her cell phone.
I see her sitting across the table at dinner and lounging in her jammies on the couch at night.
And when I walk into her room in the morning and she is tucked in sweetly sleeping it does not feel the least bit odd.


That word packs a whole lotta punch doesn't it?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Show Time!

I 'borrowed' this from a friend's facebook page (Hi Mike!) and it sounded like a fun thing to do here on a Friday when Daughter2 is home for fall break and there are stores to be shopped and conversations to be had and minutes to enjoy. If you've stopped in today from Follow Friday then welcome to this side of the pond... have a look around and leave me a comment so I can visit you back.

Okay, here are the 'rules'- Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen movies you've seen that will stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. I'd love to see your list can post it on your blog or in the comments here or on facebook.

Here's mine-and you know that normally I'd feel compelled to write a note of explanation by each entry but did I mention Daughter2 is home for the weekend?

1. The Sound of Music
2. Love Actually
3. The Rookie (with Dennis Quaid)
4. The Parent Trap (oh Lindsey Lohan you make me sad)
5. Gone with the Wind
6. The Little Mermaid
7. North by Northwest
8. E.T.
9. The Bourne Trilogy (yeah, I know that's three)
10. Father of the Bride
11. Apollo 13
12. A Christmas Story
13. The Hiding Place
14. Hoosiers
15. The Breakfast Club

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Guess who's coming to dinner and a random eleven

Wow-have you been watching the Chilean miner rescue? Incredible!

Daughter2 is coming home this evening and I'm a teensy bit excited. I'm making her favorite dinner (chicken divan) and will try hard not to overwhelm her with me. She's in school in the South and is in for a real treat with the colors of fall around here. The East Coast is definitely the place to be this time of year.

And, since today is Wednesday its time to play along with the Random Dozen. Don't let the fact that there is no #4 this week keep you from playing too....just answer the questions on your own blog then click on the donuts to link back to the whole big gang.

1. Is there a word which you initially mispronounced? Were the circumstances in which you made the faux pas embarrassing?

I really can't think of one but I do know when I was a little girl I liked to use the word amn't which isn't really a word but was my own contracted form of am not. Pretty sure it drove my mom nuts. My oldest daughter used to say concreke in place of concrete. We thought it was oh so cute and never corrected her. Then one day she was in the car with a friend and used the word and the friend corrected her and they got into a heated debate about who was right and I had to fess up. She laughs about it now but on that day her ten year old self was not amused. I know. I waited a little long to correct but how many times do you actually use that word anyway?

2. How do you feel about the use of texting shortcuts and trends? (ex: " Ive got ur notes. Get them 2 u 2morrow.")

Some of its okay but I'm kind of a punctuation freak. It's hard for me to let go of the punctuation. I'm using more shortcuts all the time although I've been instructed by my kids to never use lol. In text or in real life conversation.

Of texting in general I'm a huge fan. Call your young adult daughter and get no answer? Why, just send a'll have an instant reply.

3. Tell me about your high school senior picture. Feel free to post.

Well, there really is not much to tell except to say that my hair was uncharacteristically short.

I always always had long hair, but in a fit of Dorothy Hamill wannabe- ness I cut it short my Junior year of high school. Coincidentally, it was right about the time our senior portraits were taken. I promptly grew it out again.

5. Share a high school or college homecoming memory.

When we first left uni we managed to get back for homecoming several times. Then life and distance happened. Last year my hubs fraternity was also celebrating an anniversary and we were bound and determined to get there. So many of our closest college friends made the effort too and I wrote about it here. Super fun!

6. Linda at Mocha with Linda wants to know: "Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?"

Almost too hard to choose-I love them both. I'm a morning person and often see the sunrise. I love the promise of a new the quiet and the beauty and the stillness of early morning.

That being said, a sunset on the water is probably one of my favorite things in this world. This was taken a few years ago on the back of our boat...the color of the sky looks absolutely painted. And I guess it was.

7. Lea at CiCi's corner asks, "What is something you have not done that you desire to do?"

Have something published.
Be a grandma.
Travel much more of this world.

8. Carol at Wanderings of the Elusive Mind ponders, 'If you could come back (in another life) as an animal, what would it be?"

This one's a no-brainer...a dog.
What a life!

9. Joyce (that's me) asks, "Where were you 10 years ago?" Please feel free to elaborate more than just your physical location.

Ten years ago I had just turned 40 and didn't know how good I had it when it came to-

natural hair color
a lot of things

We were living in Maryland (Annapolis area) and my girlies were in the fifth and seventh grades. I was working as the Director of a lovely little school and loved my job, our house, our boat, our neighborhood, our church and our life. I didn't think I needed shaking up or waking up but God in His infinite wisdom knows best and three years later we kissed that life goodbye and moved to England.

10. When you are proven to be correct in any contentious situation do you gloat?

I don't think so. I hope not.

11. What is your favorite food which includes the ingredient "caramel"?

I make an apple cake with a caramel glaze that is delicious.

12. From Lid's seventeen year old daughter (who is cute and clever), "If you could be part of any fictional family, which family would you choose and why?"

I mentioned here a few times that my favorite book ever is Anne of Green Gables. I'd like to be part of the Barry family...then Anne could be my best friend.