Friday, April 16, 2021

N is for Guess Who

We've crossed the halfway point in the A-Z Blog Challenge, and today have landed on letter N...

N is for Nana

When you know you're going to be a grandparent there many things to consider, but one of the first things is settling on what name you'd like to be called. Or maybe your children decide for you? I know quite a few grandparents who let the grandchild come up with a name, but that can be risky teehee

Growing up we called both sets of my own grandparents Grandma and Grandpa. We'd often add their surname so everyone was clear on which grandmother or grandfather we were referencing. When my niece was born she called my mom Mema and my Dad Poppie, so when my daughters were born this is how they were introduced. 

My sister had a son some sixteen years after my youngest was born and he likes to call my mom Mimi. I think she prefers this name, but my girls have a lot to say about it-ha! He's the only grandson though, so I think it's okay. 

My girls called hubs parents Grandma and Grandpa so there was never any confusion over which side of the family we were discussing. One of my grandmothers lived to spend many years knowing my girls, her great granddaughters, and she went from being called Grandma to the new name GiGi, for great-grandma. 

Also, she was so special and I miss her. 

When my turn rolled around my daughter asked both sets of grandparents what they would like to be called and we all weighed in. Her mother-in-law chose a nickname she used to call a favorite aunt who was very dear to her and her father-in-law wanted to be called by his first name. They put the kibosh on that though, so he added Papa in front of his first name and that's what he's called. 

Hubs wanted to go by the same name as his own grandpa so he's Pawpaw. I'm here to tell you it sounds super precious when spoken aloud by little boys. 

So what about me? When we lived in the UK the girl who cut our hair would come to our house, and we became friends. She was about the age my daughters are now and we looked forward to her visits. Quite often she would talk about her grandparents, specifically her Nan. It was so completely endearing that I decided way back then I would someday be Nana. 

And now I am. 

For a while it was NeNe which was also the mancub's word for banana, and since nothing gets by him I imagine his brain was working hard trying to piece together how the two were connected. He's got it now. 

There is nothing quite so sweet as hearing your name on the lips of tiny humans who you love more than you can say. 

Are you a grandparent? What are you called by the ones you love? What did you call your own grands?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

A Love Like No Other

Continuing with the April A-Z Blog Challenge and the letter of the day-

 M is for Marvelous Magical Momma

Hey little's Nana...and I want to talk about something sweet with you on this sunny Thursday morning. 

Your momma is something special. I mean all mommas are special but yours is completely extra. And do you know what? She has been since the day she was born. 

She has always had a gentle quiet spirit. 

She is funny, creative, musical.

She is beautiful and that shines from within. 

She is small but mighty. Even though you'll likely tower over her in the not too distant future, don't  ever underestimate her might. 

She is tender-hearted and compassionate. Even when she was a little girl she always had a sense about people and how they were feeling, what they need, how to respond. She has it still. 

She is smart and she loves words. You might have to ask your Dr. Dad to help you with math, but if it's words you need to know-find-understand then she's your girl. 

She has a spirit of adventure. Which seems kind of funny to us now because when she was a tiny tot she was a bit fraidy scared of change or anything new and unfamiliar. 

She got over it though and discovered there's a great big world out there waiting to be explored. She loves new languages, new peoples, new customs, and new places and she will make you love them too. 

She is patient. I absolutely marvel at the way she responds to your endless questions, your cries for attention, your needs both physical and emotional. 

Jesus loves her this she knows. And she is teaching you to know Him too. 

She is slow to anger and likes to give others the benefit of the doubt. She brings light and sunshine to a messy, tangled-up world. 

She loves your Daddy. 

And she sure loves you. 
That love will be with you solid and unfailing for always.

A gift even Nana can't put  into words. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A Hodgepodge Legacy

Welcome to another edition of the weekly Hodgepodge. For anyone visiting from the A-Z Blog Challenge today, I host a weekly random Q and A here every Wednesday. Feel free to play along, but please add Hodgepodge links only to this hop. Thanks! Scroll down to question six for my letter L entry. 

If you're here to Hodgepodge and you've answered today's questions, add your link at the bottom of my post. Then leave a comment for the blogger before you because that's what good neighbors do. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond   

1. What is something you currently find 'taxing'? 

I'd like to never mention this word on my blog again but! in a word Corona and all it's many tentacles...the way we don't have any idea what's true, what's exaggerated, what's real, and what's imagined. The mask shaming, vaccine shaming. All of it. Taxing is a good word. 

2. I've seen this question asked in various forms on several social media can only keep three-

coffee, jewelry, tacos, wine, books, dogs, chocolate, Netflix, make-up, leggings, cheese, cats

Which three do you keep and how easy or hard was it for you to decide? 

Hmmm...harder than it first appeared. The first is easy, because of all the things listed I for sure would miss my morning coffee the most. I'm allergic to cats so that one lands at the bottom of the list. In fact, besides cats I think the bottom half of my list would include jewelry, wine, Netflix, make-up, and leggings, not necessarily in that order. 

Dogs are living things while most of these other items are not, so dogs would have to make my list. And since I can't imagine a world without books I guess my top three are coffee, books and dogs. 

But I will really really miss my cheese and chocolate. 

3. Tell us something you know or have learned about forgiveness? 

It's hard to keep forgiving someone whose behavior doesn't really change. When I stop and think about it more deeply I realize God could say the same thing about me. But He doesn't. I'm forgiven and need to extend forgiveness to others. It's not always easy, but it is truly freeing. I love the Matthew West song called Forgiveness (linked here). The lyrics are wonderful and so true. 

4. What's something you'd recommend that is often overlooked and under appreciated?

The physical, mental, and emotional benefits of a walk in the woods, a nap, and a long hot soak in the tub. 

5. Give us a favorite word that starts with letter K and tell us why this is the one you chose. 

I don't know if it's a favorite but I seem to use the expression 'kit and caboodle' fairly often. Don't ask me why. I guess it's just the way my brain works, and it's often the right sort of phrase for the point I'm trying to make. Plus it's fun to say.

6. Insert your own random thought here-

Day 12 in the A-Z Blog Challenge...

L is for legacy

Do you ever think about what sort of legacy you're leaving for those who come after you? Are you intentional in living up to what you want that legacy to be? How we're remembered will mostly be based on how we lived. 

Not many people have the financial means to name a building or build a school or the like, but we all have people we hope our lives impact and perhaps continue to impact after we're gone. 

How do I want my children and grandchildren to remember me?

Not going to complicate it...

She loved well. 

She used her words for good.

She pointed to Jesus. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Rabbit Ears

This week's Hodgepodge questions linked here

In thinking about my theme for this year's A-Z Blog Challenge I decided it would be fun to describe some of what life looked like in my childhood, how those same things looked in my children's growing up years, and to see how that compares with life today in my grandchildren's childhood. 

I'm going to start with television because that's the first thing that came to mind. And since the line between TVs and computers has gone completely blurry I'll likely touch on that as well. 

K is for When I Was A Kid

When I was a child the television programs we enjoyed aired once a week or, in the case of holiday specials, once a year. You snooze you lose, something like that. 

My sister and I couldn't wait to get up on Saturday mornings and watch our favorite cartoons...Bugs, Foghorn Leghorn, The Road Runner, Johnny Quest. When the holidays rolled in we would count the days until Rudolph, The Grinch, and Frosty were mentioned in the TV guide. 

fyi-the TV guide was not something you scrolled through on your television screen because in 1960-something there was no scrolling. The TV guide was an actual magazine you held in your hand and looked through to find what programs were airing when. If you didn't subscribe to the TV guide you could also find program listings in the local paper. 

Our family did eventually have a color television set, but our first TV was black and white, and we owned just one. Uno. Singular. For the whole entire house. Where six people of varying ages and interests lived. In fact most families we knew owned just one and that was fine. We made it work. 

Once upon a time TV viewing was a family activity, and a favorite was everyone piling on the couch to watch The Wonderful World of Disney together on Sunday evenings. We got three basic channels, plus PBS. Later we added what was then called UHF which gave us I think two additional channels, and that was thrilling. For real. 

In order to change the channels you had to get up, walk over to the tv, and physically turn a knob. Sometimes we would argue over who was going to get up and change the channel. For the record if kids and parents were watching together it was never the parents-ha! 

The televisions of my childhood had antennas, or rabbit ears as they were known. When you changed the channel you would almost alway have to jiggle the antenna while someone watching from the couch would shout instructions...'a little more, no wait! back to the left!, hold it right there!, no wait!, okay that's good"

Everyday life before technology was king. 

I remember when my parents put in central air one of the 'perks' was the company they bought from gave a small TV as a thank you for your business. I mostly remember that little tiny TV living in my brother's bedroom, but I guess the only boy in a houseful of sisters needed his own TV. He would set it on a chair beside his bed to watch, and sometimes my sisters and I would all go into his tiny room and sit around that tiny TV. Good times! 

The local news aired once a day, around suppertime, followed by the national news. We read newspapers for more in-depth coverage of the day's happenings and everyone was less cranky-ha! There were some afternoon talk shows but they were mostly in the entertainment lane as opposed to politics and social commentary. 

No reality programming unless it was in the form of nature, no real housewives, Kardashians, or people spilling family secrets for all the world to see. There were daytime soaps which I suppose were the precursor to the real-life soaps we see today. Along came Phil and Oprah and later Jerry and everybody in everybody's business which seemed relatively harmless initially, but it's like we're on steroids now.  

As a teenager I babysat pretty regularly and late night weekends I would watch Don Kirschner's Rock Concert or Soul Train. Because those were the choices. For most of my childhood stations signed off the air at midnight. Yup. No TV. People slept or didn't sleep but they didn't watch TV at 3 a.m. or scroll their phone screens because phones were like televisions. One or two per family and plugged in to the wall.  In 1970-something screens were for windows, the glass kind not the computer kind. 

Language is complicated. 

In the early days of married life hubs and I had a console TV. These were a huge thing in the 1980's. Literally huge. As in a great big piece of furniture you decorated around. Still plugged in to the wall, but a bigger picture and better clarity than what we'd grown up with. Nothing like we have today but a big deal to poor newlyweds.  

We never put televisions in our children's bedrooms, but we did have more than one TV in the house. My kids grew up in the age of VHS tapes, Blockbuster rentals on Friday nights, and the excitement of purchasing a device that could rewind those videos faster than your VHS player because if you returned a VHS tape un-rewound you were fined. 

When we moved to the UK we owned one DVD. We brought our VHS player with us because we had no idea and also because in late 2003 technology hadn't sped up to supersonic speed. But speed up it did and now we watch television on devices we hold in our hands. 

Parents walk a daily tightrope in trying to limit the limitless, We know more, which is both good and awful, but we can't put the genie back in the bottle and most days don't really want to.  

We bought our first home computer when our girls were in elementary school. We didn't know what we had and they mostly painted and played games we purchased from actual stores. Oregon Trail and Math Blaster were two favorites. We might have owned four games? Life did not revolve around the computer and we had just one for the family, in a shared space so no secrets. They had computer lab in school each week and became adept at typing. 

I think it was a year or so after we arrived in England that my girls set up My Space accounts. They spent a lot of time choosing the music that would play when someone logged on and also ranking friends. Have mercy. When Facebook rolled in you needed a college email address to have an account, and then people found ways around that, and before you knew it the world discovered twelve year old children chatting with 40-year old men who were up to no good. Voila! Pandora's Box was open for all the world to see. 

The good news is that while the box is full of garbage it's also full of treasure. In the age of grandparenting I am so very thankful for how far we've come. My grands are many thousands of miles away, yet most evenings we talk and they show me things and I watch them play and read all from the comfort of my kitchen on the other side of the world. Facetime connects us and I appreciate that more than I can say. 

As I watch my daughter be a mother to her sons I see a thoughtful parent. One who is intentional in what she allows into her home via television, ipads, or the phone screen. I think her generation sees technology from a helpful vantage point. They appreciate the connection and support that can be found there, but they've also seen what too much has wrought, and they're trying to strike a balance. 

I feel certain one day I'll be chatting with my grandsons via a hologram. Or maybe some whiz kid will finally figure out how to 'beam me up Scotty'. 

Until then I write about my life here, send greeting cards and letters the old-fashioned way, and break into a smile every single time their little boy faces fill my screen. 

Hodgpodge Questions-Volume 415

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with the universe. 

For anyone dropping in from the A-Z Blog Challenge today,  I host a weekly random Q and A here every Wednesday. Feel free to play along, but Hodgepodge links only please and thanks! My post for letter K is also up today. 


1. What is something you currently find 'taxing'? 

2. I've seen this question asked in various forms on several social media can only keep three-

coffee, jewelry, tacos, wine, books, dogs, chocolate, Netflix, make-up, leggings, cheese, cats

Which three do you keep and how easy or hard was it for you to decide? 

3. Tell us something you know or have learned about forgiveness? 

4. What's something you'd recommend that is often overlooked and under appreciated? 

5. Give us a favorite word that starts with letter K and tell us why this is the one you chose. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

If I Only Had A Brain

New week, new batch of letters...blogging my way through the alphabet this month with the April A-Z Blog Challenge

 J is for Just Think

Sometimes when my kids would leave the house to go out with friends, to a party, to university, etc., I would shout behind them, 'Make good choices.' And they would laugh and roll their eyes, but still my words would ring in their ears which was kind of the point.

When my girls were college students home on break they thought it was funny to shout the words back to hubs and I as we headed out for an evening. It was funny. It also told me my words stuck and that's a good thing, a parenting win in my book.

Growing up my mom sometimes told me to 'use good judgement' when she felt I needed a gentle nudge, because that's what we moms do. We warn. Or maybe remind is a better word. We remind you of who you are and whose you are and sometimes children need reminding.

Sometimes adults do too. 

There have always been a hundred and ten ways for kids to get off track, but in 2021 with the internet at their fingertips and a phone in their hand, there are probably more like a million and ten. 

Use good judgement. 

While I might have cautioned my children about the words they would speak, parents today also need to caution their kids about the words they post. About the online sites they visit, the games they play there, and the hours they spend 'not interacting' with people face to face and it's exhausting. For everyone. 

Use good judgement. 

My grandsons are little but I write these posts thinking they'll read them some day. And I hope by the time they're old enough to read my blog the pendulum of this world will have swung back the other way a little bit. 

It often does you know. We are a nation of extremes and when we reach the pinnacle of one we find ourselves longing for what we left behind.  

More real life, less on-line life.

More restraint, less cancel culture based on a single photograph, tweet, or edited video clip. 

More patience, less impulsive regrettable decisions made for the sake of a like or a follow.

More courage of conviction, less hopping on bandwagons.

More kind words spoken, less cruel words shouted in ALL CAPS 

More good judgement, less chaos. 

 'If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God, who gives generously to all without reproach 
and it will be given him.' James 1:5 


Saturday, April 10, 2021

It's A List

Continuing my A-Z Saturday Blog Challenge tradition with a list of 20 seemingly small things I think are pretty grand. I like to make my lists more or less stream of consciousness, so there is no particular weight to the order in which things appear. The only rule is everything should somehow relate to the letter of the day. For the record, this week's letter was far more challenging than last.  

I is For Small Grand Things I Love

incredible sunrises
a big imagination
our immutable God
innocence in children
iced coffee on a summer day
a great idea
Indian curry
intriguing works of fiction
seemingly impossible chasms bridged
shimmery ink
Italian pottery
husbands who iron
a bed of purple iris in full bloom
impeccable service
daughters in the house
a cozy fire on an icy cold day
an indigo bunting in the back yard
island holidays
items on a to-do list marked done

If you make a list I'd love to know...happy weekend everyone! 

Friday, April 9, 2021

A Nana's Prayer

You may be glad to know I do have a plan for some of the letters coming up in the A-Z Blog Challenge, which doesn't help with today but!... Daughter2 to the rescue.  I threw out the letter and she volleyed back with hopes and dreams so that's where we're headed today. What do I hope for my grandsons?

H is for Hopes and Dreams

I hope they know Jesus. I don't mean acknowledge His existence but really know Him.

I hope they talk to Him regularly and daily seek His will. 

I hope they choose wives one day who do the same. 

I hope they stay close and connected at heart, even if geography lands them miles apart.

I hope they are slow to anger and quick to forgive.

I hope they honor their parents all the days of their lives. 

I hope they're grateful. 

I hope they do the right thing when no one is looking.

I hope they are ever curious. 

I hope they see the world. 

I hope they are daring, not reckless. 

I hope they find beauty in small things.

I hope they laugh a lot. 

I hope they live their lives seeing the glass half full.

photo credit : Sincerely-Shannon

And I hope they're still best friends when they are old and gray. 

These are my hopes, and also my prayer. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Gene Pool

I don't know what I was thinking scheduling so many appointments this week when we were out of town the week before. Getting today's A-Z Blog Challenge post in just under the wire. Whew! 

G is for Genetics

Anyone with more than one sibling or more than one child will tell you the gene pool, while endlessly studied, is still something of a mystery. The way the same two parents can produce two very different offspring in both appearance and personality is a marvel. 

I have three siblings. If you see us all together you know. Growing up my younger sister and I were regularly mistaken for twins, but we could never see it. Until I had daughters of my own that is. 

Daughter2 is her mother's daughter, but so often when I look at her I see my younger sister. The first time my sister met her face to face she exclaimed "Wow, she looks exactly like you.' while I exclaimed 'She reminds me of you." 

Whatever people saw in us as children finally made sense because Daughter2 has that same je ne sais quoi. 

Daughter1 has always physically favored hubs side of the family. When she was small it used to confuse her because people were always telling her she was the spitting image of her Daddy and she finally asked me how that could be since she's a girl and he's a boy. 

I always expected my children to look like me because on my dad's side of the family the genes run strong. My dad and his brothers looked so much alike, and our cousins on that side look like they could be our siblings. 

Somehow that gene pool mixes though, and my firstborn was all her Dad. 

Except sweet like me-ha! 

As our littles grow big and their personalities bloom and life happens, they change. Today when I look at my girls I see both hubs and myself in both girls, and which one of us I see varies from day to day, moment to moment. I see too, the traits and characteristics that make them uniquely their own people.

Science is amazing. 

When a grandbaby is on the way you wonder (and secretly hope) they will look something like the child you held in your arms not very long ago. It's a running conversation whenever we're with the in-laws about who these two boys favor, but mostly we all agree we see both parents in both boys. 

The mancub has grown to be tall and lanky like his dad and when I see them side by side I think he is his father's son. But then he gives me a look,  a smile where he tilts his head just so, and it's like I'm looking at his mama when she was almost four and I was 32. 

I think my son-in-law and my daughter were similar in temperament as small children, both agreeable, gentle, and sensitive to others moods and emotions. The mancub is all of those things too which could have come from either side or both.  

Max I think favors our side of the family. He reminds me so much of his mama, but also his mama's sister (daughter2). It might be the way he runs into a room leading with his head, or the way he backs up into his mother's lap because boy is a snuggler. 

It might be because he's loud and funny and loves his paci, or the way he adores his big brother but can also hold his own. 

The two brothers favor one another, and sometimes when a picture pops up in our Facebook memories or on Tiny Beans we have to stop for a minute to figure out if it's Max or his big brother at that same age.   

This last picture proves the gift of gab is hereditary...

In our family, that's one we all share. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Family Ties

I wish I'd planned ahead a little bit but instead I'm winging it this week with the A-Z Blog Challenge letters. C'est la vie. Also, story of my life when it comes to blogging. 

F is for Family Ties

Hubs and I both are one of four children in our respective birth families which means our girls have lots of aunts and uncles who have loved and encouraged them all their lives. They have special and unique relationships with each one and all the aunts claim to be the favorite. They are. 

Daughter1 has two darling boys of her own now, who are not only adored by their immediate grandparents and aunts and uncles, but also by all the many greats who loved their mama and daddy before them. 

Dear Grandboys, 

Your extended family is big and loud, full of many words and more than a few opinions. They think they're hilarious and they kind of are. They are spread across many cities and states and thanks to the US Army you're a million miles away from all of them right now. 

These people who think you hung the moon and would dare anyone to disagree, are different in very many ways, yet completely united in their love for you. In fact they might argue over who loves you most and every single one will say it doesn't matter what any of the others say, they love you best. 

For the record-Nana loves you best. Carry on. 

It is a beautiful thing to be loved well. To have a sense of belonging from the moment you're born. To know your successes will be celebrated and your moods understood or at least tolerated. To know there's a whole team of people rooting for you, praying for you, ready to hold your hand when your hand needs holding. 

When you are four and when you're forty four. 

We hate that you, our big little mancub, at three years of age has to wear a mask to preschool. We love the twinkle in your eyes behind the mask. 

We hate that baby 'Max' has gone from squishy newborn to a walking talking 18-month old little man in the blink of an eye. We love that he's healthy, all smiles, and will spontaneously hug his mom around the neck whenever he feels like it. 

We hate that we aren't there to rock you to sleep, stack all the blocks, and read all the books again and again and again. We are grateful every single day God gave you a mother and father who do all the things, and who share all the moments with us they can possibly share using all the technology we love to hate. 

We hate that we can't sit at the table and share a meal in person. We love that you love your noodles, your rice, and your Bibimbap, and that you like to say it too. 

We hate that you are 7000 miles away but we love to see pictures of you on the far side of the world. To know that even though you're very young you are learning so much. That these experiences are shaping your family in ways it needs to be shaped.  

That God has a distinct plan for your lives and this is part of His plan. 

We hate all the moments we have missed. We know too that you boys are burrowed so deeply into the hearts of all who love you that we're together even when we're apart. 

That's the miracle called family.

"What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family." 
Mother Teresa

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Easter Weekend With Our Peeps

It seems like I'm always a little behind here every year at the start of these A-Z challenges. So much going on and I hate feeling like I'm playing catch up but I'm playing catch up. 

E is for Easter

Hubs and I spent Easter weekend with the newlyweds. Who live many miles away. It's a long drive, definitely do-able in a single day but not as enjoyable as breaking it up a little. We had to drop the dog off at the trainer's house Wednesday so decided to go ahead and get on the road with an overnight stop close to halfway in the town of Staunton Virginia. 

We've traveled up and down I-81 in our married life more than the average person. More than most long haul truckers I bet, because my family lived north and hubs family lived south, then we lived north and our kids lived south, now we live south and one of our daughters lives north so you get the idea.

The Shenandoah Valley which lies along this corridor is one of the most beautiful places in America. Besides all the natural beauty an enormous amount of our nation's history occurred right along the interstate. 

Except of course there was no interstate when Stonewall, Ulysses, and Robert E. roamed this valley.  

We've lived in both Richmond and Annapolis so have seen quite a bit of the Maryland/DC/Virginia sights, but we'd never visited New Market Battlefield. Since it lies just north of Staunton we planned a visit there for Thursday morning. 

It was cold. 
I might utter that phrase a few more times before the weekend is over. 

The museum here is so well done and it's always remarkable to walk where soldiers walked. After the battlefield and museum visit we had lunch at a little spot in New Market called Southern Kitchen, and it was so good. We miss NJ diners, but this place definitely had that feel. 

We were back in the car mid-afternoon to finish our drive to the Keystone State. I have family in the southern end of this state, but we were headed further north. State College for you Penn State fans. 

We live in Clemson country and I was wishing I had my bright orange fleece with the tiger paw on it to wear around town because a) it would have been fun and b) it was cold. I say that, but my son-in-law pretty much went without a coat the whole weekend so it's all in what you're used to. Here's how I looked all day Friday-

A married lady but still her Daddy's girl-

We arrived just in time for dinner Thursday evening. Just to give you a heads up, it looks like all we did was eat and drink but I promise it was not. It does seem that's what I photographed though. 

Hubs and his son-in-law are kindred spirits when it comes to the grill, and my son-in-law grilled us some of his famous oysters to start. They were delish. Daughter2 made a lovely charcuterie board and we relaxed and caught up Thursday evening. 

Friday we did the touristy thing because hey, technically we're tourists. We got to see Daughter2's school (5 minutes from her house so whoohoo!) then we drove into downtown to see the campus the town is essentially built around. 


We did a bit of walking, masked because it's the town law here...


...and we stood next to the lion but you should know we were saying Go Tigers! the whole time. 


We had lunch at a well known eatery then made a stop at the Arboretum for a walk around the grounds. 

It's a lovely space and while many plants and shrubs are still sleeping it will be beautiful in another month. Still a great place for a walk and we really enjoyed that. I for sure was congratulating myself for remembering to pack a hat, scarf, and gloves amen. 


On Saturday we headed out to see the countryside with a couple of local wineries as scheduled breaks

But first, lunch at a brewery. The landscape here is gorgeous, lots of green grassy farmland, and not a lot of traffic unless you're down by the uni. 

We had booked a tasting at Mount Nittany Winery, nestled on a lovely piece of property with seating beside the pond. It was a beautiful sunny day, but when the wind blew brrr. 

Please note me in my winter jacket and son-in-law in his shirtsleeves. 

We ended the afternoon with one more tasting, a 'wine and peep' pairing at University Wine Company. Kudos to whoever came up with the idea because let's be honest...I was mostly here for the peeps. 


I recommend the hot tamale. 


We woke up to the cutest little Easter baskets on Sunday morning, courtesy of Daughter2. We did not attend church in person Easter morning because the church they've been going to is not in person currently. Interesting how different things are in different parts of the country. 


The night before Easter the men prepped and started a brisket on the smoker so while it was doing it's thing we took the dogs for a walk in a nearby park. 


The Pennsylvania Military Park in nearby Boalsburg PA, and did I mention it was an absolutely gorgeous day? I finally was down to just a fleece, but we saw a couple of people in shorts and t-shirts. I'm telling you your blood gets thinner when you leave the snowy north for the sunny southland. 


There's a military museum here but it was closed, so we just wandered the grounds on this most beautiful of Easters. 

Lunch/dinner was fabulous and the brisket a success-

The best part of my day-weekend-life was sitting beside my girl in the sunny sunshine of her own back yard, grateful for the wife she has become, feeling happy I taught her to cook-ha!...


...and soaking up every ounce of joy a grown up daughter brings.