in spite of stay home & stay safe

I still managed to be productive! Slashing through my accounting duties and lowering the pile of paperwork. But accounting is not enough to sustain, so, periodically, I sneak away from my desk and actually do other things!

Like build a long planter and plant a tombstone rose (Home Depot delivers supplies and I bought the rose plant on Etsy!). And build a corner planter in the backyard and plant another Tombstone Rose. Still have to fill it in and paint it. Thanks, Etsy!!

Talk a walk and trim up the hubby’s memorial tree.

Always a good feeling when your clothes closet is in good order. A bit of re-arranging and a floor rack on rollers from Amazon to hold 19 pairs of sandals and shoes does the trick. Yep – all of my blouses on the top rack are in order of color – light to dark

Gave out the “not this year” Easter party eggs originally for the egg hunt, to 6 different families to share or hunt or just open! And then I got a surprise gift! Thank you LeAna! If I ever get to go anywhere again, I have the perfect outfit to wear it with. Love it, but more importantly, the sentiment and thoughtfulness.

Tried on my new mask custom made by sister, Robyn. Attempted a bacon wrapped meatloaf (it will be better the next time – I think I have perfected it now!). Changed my blog design and still have some work to do on that! And scored big time with the world’s skinniest laundry hamper at just over 7 inches for the tiny laundry room in the tiny home. Easter decorations went back into storage bins. Reluctantly.

Participated in the Family Zoom meeting that Jeffry set up as a regular weekly event!

Almost finished a custom ordered lamp shade for lady’s black and white butterfly themed office/craft room.

And to top it all off, a surprise package from Isabel, Alexander & Victoria filled with Russell Stover DARK chocolate eggs and three hand-crafted cards. Pure Heaven!

Not a bad couple of weeks. Not bad at all.

it’s that time again!

Back to School. This Grammie, Grandma, Mimi, Nana and GG has a thing about buying school supplies. I started when Tristan began kindergarten. And now she is 27; so it has been a bit since I began this tradition.

Supplies are winging their way as I write, to Alexander and Victoria. Marluce should be getting some packages as well. Mateo does not have his school supply list yet. I am still shopping for Connor & waiting for information for AJ!

Max and Abby attend the Khalsa Montessori school and the school shops for and purchases all of the school supplies so every one has identical supplies. Since I cannot buy school supplies for them, I will settle for school shoe shopping. After Abby and I picked up Maxwell from his coding camp, we hit the Hungry Fox for a real lunch that had no resemblance to a box lunch with a toy.

Okay, sooooo, Nana may or may not have, picked up some sandals as well as a new purse. Thanks, DSW!

A fairly successful afternoon of shopping, I think!

remembering July(s) from the past

an all grown up granddaughter comes to Leesburg to say good-bye before we move back to Tucson

weekend visit with a granddaughter

Old Glory

Wedding day for Lori & Jim

Tristan gets a little surprise from Uno Blast

Kerri’s Birthday

Maxwell visits Leesburg

Family get-together

Walking the town center in Leesburg Village

I have no idea what he is doing, but it must have been important!

Look at those little kiddos.

Parade in downtown Leesburg

Parade in downtown Leesburg

Parade in downtown Leesburg

He loved the Inner Harbour in Victoria

Bicycling thru Tucson

Family BBQ in Canada

Happy Fourth of July, everyone.

 

camp nana – over the rainbow

Connor was our special visitor for our first day of camp 2017.  Off to a busy start creating beautiful rainbows from bits of tissue paper and lots of glue.  Max handled his own gluing and dutifully assisted Abby & Connor with dots of glue where needed. 20170601_123857-1.jpg

Max decided on a miss-mash of colors in the shape of a rainbow, taking creative license.  20170602_144732Connor took a more abstract approach to his canvas (paper) of work. 18871631_10209221513085627_783146094_n

Ginny went minimalist while Abby was precise and exact.  20170602_14475520170602_144809All in all, a succesful gallery of color, giggles and glue.  And keeping with our theme, our quiet reading time was HOW THE CRAYONS SAVED THE RAINBOWS.20170531_141210

Since Ginny attended camp after her nap time, she missed story time.  When she arrived, Maxwell picked up the book and got her a pillow and read her the entire book.  At one point,Abby and Ginny were giggling, and I overheard Max … “do you want me to keep reading the story or do you want me to put the book up and you can keep talking”.  They chose the book.

What should little campers snack on during a rainbow of a day?  Well, a rainbow of fruit, of course (with a couple of other food groups as well)  Strawberries, cheese, pineapple, cucumber slices, crunch berries, black berries and marshmallow clouds.  It was quite the success!20170601_114713

Have you ever painted with spaghetti?  Well, we did.  And the results were nothing short of spectacular.  After cooking and cooling the spaghetti, I placed it on a dish in the middle of the kids table.  I then got busy setting up 4 plates with 2 colors of paint each, and when I returned to the table with the paint plates, there sat a tiny Ginny with a single spaghetti noodle hanging out of the corner of her mouth.  But once she saw the idea, she was ready to go.  Just in case, I did give her a little plate of noodles so that if she was inclined to grab another bite, she had un-painted pasta at the ready.

 

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The rest of the first camp day, was filled with music, legos and a short walk to find items in the neighborhood to make up the colors of the rainbow.  20170601_123814

After camp, loaded up my new pink Nana chair and headed off to watch Maxwell compete with his Indian Ridge Swim Team, where he took 3rd in the backstroke and the butterfly.  He literally has never done the butterfly before, so his coach had him go underwater and watch another swimmer and that was his training.  Off he went and was quite impressive for the first time.  Looking forward to many more swim meets.

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photo stolen from  courtesy of Megan Mundle.

Gilmore Girls Revival

makes its debut on November 25, with all four 90-minute episodes available for my binge-watching pleasure over Thanksgiving weekend.  I will not be answering the phone or email messages or the doorbell.  You can try to bother me, but unless you are my oldest granddaughter (Gilmore Girls fan(atic), you will not succeed.  She is the only person I know who understands the need for all things Gilmore.

Twenty days – less than three weeks – Hey, I’ve changed my mind. I want to be a ballerina.

I will park myself on the sofa surrounded with fluffy pillows – I will take a leap of faith that Amy Sherman Palladino will not let me down.

You jump – I jump, Jack. In Omnia Paratus.

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Connor brings his Mommy to Tucson

Such a treat to spend the day with my great grandson and my grand-daughter visiting all the way from southern Virginia.  Reviewing these photo pages are guaranteed to bring a little smile to your heart.  Enjoy.page 1 page 2 page 3 page 4 page 5 page 6 page 7 page 8 page 9 page 10 page 11 page 12

Mission POSSIBLE

I met my husband 48 years ago.  We were only 15.  We are getting ready to celebrate our 44th Wedding Anniversary this coming Easter Sunday.  But there is a dark cloud looming.  Bob needs a kidney.  He is in end stage renal failure – stage 5.

He has struggled over the past decade with numerous ambulance rides and multiple stays at hospitals, and several near death episodes.  He is determined, but in order to be placed back on the UNOS transplant list (United Network for Organ Sharing) at the University of Arizona Medical Center, we must pay the $12000. deductible as well as about $1000 in funds transfer fees.  Our son, Jeffry, has set up a gofundme page, and in only thirteen days, friends, family and strangers have donated just over $11k.  Such remarkable people in this world.  We need you to spread the word.  If you can share this post and send a prayer, it would mean more than we could ever say.  Here is the link to the fund:  http://www.gofundme.com/bobneedsakidney

Six of our grand children say it better than we ever could.

January – June 2012 Photo album pages completed …Finally!

yeah yeah.  I am a bit behind in my photo albums.  Now, on to the last half of 2012.  Stay Tuned!


01 02 2012 Ashburn 01 02 2012 Max Paints 01 04 2012 Mateo 01 07 2012 Max

01 29 2012 Max 1 01 29 2012 Max 2 01 29 2012 Max 3 01 29 2012 Max 4 01 29 2012 Max 5 01 29 2012 Max 6.02 11 2012 Mateo 102 11 2012 Mateo 202 11 2012 Mateo 2a 2b02 11 2012 Mateo 302 11 2012 Mateo 402 11 2012 Mateo 502 14 2012 Alina02 20 2012 Quinn02 21 2012 Marluce02 23 2012 Chase and Quinn02 26 2012 Alina double spread03 01 2012 Max03 11 2012 Max B-day03 15 2012 Easter Invites03 16 2012 Max 03 29 2012 03 30 2012 Marluce 03 30 2012 Max 04 04 2012 04 06 2012 Marluce 04 06 2012 Mateo 04 07 2012 Marluce04 12 2012 Max and Poppa04 14 2012 Marluce04 16 201204 18 201204 19 201204 25 201205 03 201205 10 2012 105 10 2012 205 10 2012 305 10 2012 405 10 2012 505 10 2012 605 11 2012 105 11 2012 205 22 201206 04 2012 106 04 2012 206 04 2012 306 05 2012 a06 05 2012 Ashburn06 05 2012 b06 05 2012 c06 05 2012 d2012 06 20 Mateo & Marluce2012 06 21 Max at Lunch2012 06 27 Abigail Ultrasound

 

not my cup of tea

I suppose that anyone who has known me for over ten minutes, most likely is knowledgeable of the fact that Halloween is not my “thing”.  Even as a little girl, I did not like costumes.  I did not like having my face made up and calling attention to myself.  Luckily, I began dance lessons at the tender age of two, so I always had a tutu around to dress up like a ballerina.  And my little black cowgirl outfit with the white fringe from “Ragtime Cowboy Joe“.  Or, my blue costume from “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue”, so I could dress up in my big blue bonnet and be a Dresden Doll for the holiday.  I was a small child and it seemed like I always got swallowed up in a sea of huge witches capes and black hats and yards of billowy white ghosts.  I did not like to look funny or scary.  I had zero confidence for that type of shenanigans!  I enjoyed seeing everyone else’s costumes and admired their guts to have dark paint smeared on their faces or teeth blacked out.  Not for me.  Imagine how mortified I was each year when my Mom dressed up for her bowling team party.  She would smear honey – gooey sticky honey, on her cheeks and chin and then rub COFFEE GROUNDS into the honey so it looked like a scraggly beard.  To make matters worse, she would find an old stained shirt of Daddy’s that she had used with furniture polish and wear that ugly, dirty looking, wrinkled thing over some torn pants.  And then, much to my horror, she would mess up her thick black hair and then Aqua Net it to hold the entire mess in place.  She would get in the car, windows rolled down, and wave to anyone who looked her way.  She always came home with some sort of prize for her winning look.  Apparently I was the only one who did not appreciate her “costume”.

So, when I had children of my own, I was always in a panic.  I didn’t want them to be a plain Jane and not be up to par with their classmates and friends.  I experimented with different looks, but always came back to a clown.  I just had zero talent for any other look.   We always had something around the house to make their shoes look like clown shoes or an over-sized tie and shirt.  Red lipstick on the cheeks and mouth and some eyeliner tear drops and eyebrows completed the transformation.  Clowns.  I tried something new every year, but I admit it – they always looked like a clown.

I never decorated the house save for the pumpkins that the boys and their Dad carved – front on center on the porch of wherever we lived.  Mom and Dad would turn most of their house into a haunted house with dark lighting and cold spaghetti “brains” and jello “guts” and peeled grape “eyeballs”.  They took great delight in scaring the living hell out of me while working on the house for several days.  They had stuff in every one of the five bedrooms and, needless to say, I had many sleepless nights until Halloween was over.  I did not like scaring people and I did not like being scared.  I had enough of that on a daily basis while little brothers, Mark and Larry, would hide in my closet or in the bathroom, waiting for me so they could jump out or yell and watch me have a panic attack.  Yeah, those were sure fun days.  My brother-in-law had great fun digging out some dirt in the front yard of his Tucson home and, laying as flat as he could, and would raise up in the dark of the night and scare the bejesus out of the neighbors.  How sad it was one Halloween evening, watching little kids walk a huge arc around the front of Dan’s and Robin’s house out of fear of the crazy guy in the dark.  Robin always had lots of good candy left over!

So, here it is, October, and I will be damned if Halloween is once again upon me.  Now I have grandkids and have enjoyed entertaining them on Halloween from Tristan and Chase to Mateo and Marluce and now Max and Abby.  I have never had the chance to spend a Halloween with Quinn, but perhaps one day.  So, Max comes to spend the day last week and flatly states, Nana, you need to decorate for Halloween”.  Well, I did decorate (or at least I thought I had) by displaying a cute little pumpkin from Safeway where someone had artfully drawn a cute face with red lips and long eyelashes.  And, if that was not enough, voila, look at my cute Halloween owl in the front garden!

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Max gave me a patronizing smile and a soft “oh”, but I could tell he was not very impressed.  Then he said, “you should see our house Nana!  We have skeletons and pumpkins and decorations inside the house and outside of the house.”  I assumed from that statement, that the kids house had more than an “indoor” pumpkin and a tin owl stuck in the dirt.  “Come on, Nana!  We need to decorate!”  Looking into those clear blue eyes, I had no choice but to get in the car and high-tail it to the store before Max came back the next day.

I was NOT going to spend a ton of money on a holiday that I do not even really consider a holiday.  Afterall, November 1 begins “my” holiday season of Thanksgiving-Christmas-Epiphany.  THAT is my kind of holiday and I have always said that Halloween is just in the way.  But, little kids and big kid enjoy the dark holiday, so who am I to quibble?  I decided to make some melting witches.  Some black pointy hats, black gauze, black and green and purple ribbons and hang them from the courtyard lights and presto! we have melted witches.  A couple long pairs of Halloween socks filled with some squished up plastic bags made for the stylish footwear left from the melting witches.  Max and Poppa found some orange and green lights in our Christmas light stash and I replaced some clear ones with the colorful ones to add a little flair!  I got 5 little battery lit pumpkins which max has had a great time arranging them and rearranging them!  Add two Sassy Witches to the front door, and we have  the final product.  Not going to win any prize, but seeing my grandson’s eyes light up and the smile on his face is my blue ribbon.

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Happy Halloween, everyone.   I am going to start getting my Thanksgiving-Christmas-Epiphany decorations ready.  November 1 will be here before you know it!

Happy 21st Birthday to my Beautiful Granddaughter, TRISTAN

Hard to believe that this tiny mite who bounced into my life at the age of two, is now a 21-year-old, married, self-sufficient young adult.  And, oh, the adventures we have shared.

1998

Here she is in 1998 taking inventory of all of her Halloween bounty!  Tristan first Trick or Treated in her neighborhood, and then Trick or Treated around our neighborhood; and Gramps drove her to some surrounding neighborhoods, so it could be assured that her treats were a-plenty!

1999An unforgettable Performance by a 6-year-old Sand Dollar first grade spring concert in 1999.

2003

The Summer of 2001, after one of our annual School Supply Shopping excursions.  Many years ago when Tristan, was just a little girl, I began a new tradition of school supply shopping.  Since we lived in the same city, I would pick Tristan up and off we headed to Target to find just the perfect school supplies.  We would pick some items from the list send home by the school, and we added some other things just for fun.  Everyone needs paper and pencils and erasers and such.  But it is much more fun to have pink pencils with silly erasers and fun characters on homework folders.  Works just the same, but puts a smile on your face when you are working on a math problem!

2002

Tristan commandeers Gramps computer to play games in 2002.  He never lets anyone else do that!

2004

A 2004 portrait with two of the most important ladies who have shaped my life.

2005

I enjoyed an after Christmas dinner with Tristan in 2005 at yet another fun-filled Granddaughter weekend.

2006

Just one of our special 2006 weekends with a Butterflied Granddaughter,  Our special weekends were always filled with dining out, game night and spoiling!  Oh yeah, shopping.  Lots of shopping.

2007

a 2007 trip to Costco during one of our Granddaughter Weekends where Gramps and Tristan grazed their way thru all the food samples!

2011

In the summer of 2011, a very grown-up Granddaughter drove to Leesburg Virginia to bid farewell to Grandparents making their way back to Arizona.

2013

And the little girl has blossomed into a young married lady.  Happy Birthday, Sassy Marie.  I love you more than words can say.  Be Happy!

on this day in 2007 …

Tristan came to visit us all the way from Tennessee.  Since we had an earlier invitation to attend Samantha Sherman’s Bat Mitzvah, Jay & Jackie graciously added her to the guest list.  Of course, NO visit from my granddaughter is complete without the traditional let’s shop for something new for you to wear spilling from my mouth.  Tristan picked out the perfect little brown and white cotton dress to wear to the festivities.  Our day began at the breathtaking historic Stone Avenue Temple in Tucson.  This was my first time visit to this temple, and I was in for a real treat.  As soon as we entered, I could feel the history coursing through my veins.  I was truly in awe.  The service was inspiring and Sammy’s tender voice did not waver as she recited the words from the Torah.   After the service, Gramps, Tristan and I retreated to our local breakfast place and had a late breakfast/early lunch.  Conversations with this fourteen year old teenager were always interesting as she shuffled between being a little girl to an old soul.  The same evening, Tristan changed from her dress to a new skirt and blouse, pulled her hair back and got ready for the night of dinner and dancing and celebration at the Hawaiian themed party.

I love this photo of her.  Tristan and her Grandpa Bob (and later on, Gramps) have always had a special relationship.  They know how to make each other laugh.  And isn’t that so important in life?

June 2 2007

Virginia Day FOUR

Hard to believe, my first Granddaughter got married today.  She was happy and nervous and beautiful and gracious.   A cute little country church was the background for this young couple to begin their new life.

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This is the part where the preacher asked for the rings – no response.  The preacher then asked if Tristan knew where the rings were and she replied affirmatively.  As he queried again, the response from the Bride was “in my car!”  A light chuckle from all involved made the ceremony all of what Tristan is.  Very cute and the preacher was still sharing some laughs over that moment during the reception.  The rings were retrieved from the aforementioned vehicle and the rest of the ceremony went off without so much of a hiccup.

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And, as a bonus, I got to reconnect with my grandson, Chase (now 16) and granddaughter, Quinn (now 6 soon to be 7).  Both were charming and Chase and Ricky carried on conversations like they had never been apart.  Chase is clever and smart and has a way with writing that would have made my Dad so proud.  He has a quick wit and shows his sisters a lot of love.  I cannot describe the feeling when I saw Chase’s face and immediately knew that was my first grandson – until he spoke.  The high-pitched little boy voice was an almost adult deeper voice.  It shocked me since I had not seen or heard his voice since 2008.  I am quite proud to call him Grandson.  These are bonds that never deserved to be broken.  I only hope they can be mended now.

I could listen to Chase for hours.  His interests in comedy and computers and music and more was better received by Ricky, since he is a guy!  But I so enjoyed listening to their exchanges and made me beam when Ricky stated simply that he had a great time talking with Chase and that Chase seemed like a really good kid.  I don’t think Ricky has seen Chase or spent time with him since Chase was a toddler.  This was a positive experience for all of us.

Such a thrill to hear Quinn call after me “Grandma” spotted with little conversations about her school and she is a cheerleader and she has an All American doll and then the heartbreaker:  “Grandma, can you come back in July for my birthday?”  I tried to explain to her that I probably could not – and that tore at my heart.  I just wanted to put her in my pocket and bring her home!

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2012 in retrospect …

in January I received a video of my beautiful granddaughter, Marluce in her ballerina glory.
and my handsome grandson, Mateo,  on keyboard!
My hubby survived another back surgery – not without some scary issues during his hospital stay, causing Jeffry and I to panic a bit and making unscheduled trips to TMC.  We even brought home a small plastic container of now unnecessary hardware and bolts and screws and rods which still reside in one of his tool boxes as a souvenir, I guess.  5 weeks later, Bob was admitted to UMC to remove one of his kidneys for cancer.  We were lucky as the cancer was completely enclosed inside the failed kidney and there was no need for any further treatment.  Once again, there were breathing and heart rate complications which had Jeffry and I running back and forth again.  I cannot describe how that feels to be summoned by the hospital while a nurse matter of factly states “I think you should come here now”.  Scared is way too mild of a word.
Bob and I retrieved the old 1969 Rahleigh Robin Hood side by side tandem bike and put it back together.  Our plans are to restore  refurbish these and paint one black and paint one white for engagement/wedding/anniversary photo shoots.  Of course, here it is, December 31st and we haven’t even started.  But, we still have plans!

 

In February, I was able to steal a couple of photos of my Grandson, Cristopher Chase and Granddaughter, Quinn Ariana from my ex daughter in law’s facebook site.  Then she blocked me, but not before I stole a few more.  I would love to spend time with them and include them in family events, but that is not to be, so I take what I can steal er, get!  Chase is 15 in this photo and Quinn is 5.  Chase looks like his dad and Quinn looks so much like Tristan did at that same age.
Marluce recreated Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman” as she pumps gas in the car in Virginia.
 Hey, is that even legal??

 

 

 

 

Mateo’s 8th Birthday Adventure!  Mateo has a passion for all things weather and absolutely loves watching the weather channel and learning about tornadoes and hurricanes and anything else to do with the weather.  So, we thought this would be an ideal birthday adventure for him.

 

In March, Maxwell turned 2 and his mommy and daddy threw a huge birthday bash with lots of guests and food and a bazillion balloons.  Safe to say that all of us had a wonderful time, but none more than the Birthday Boy himself.

Marluce and Mateo always enjoy getting packages in the mail – and Grandma here always enjoys sending them.  Happy Easter with lots of Love!

 

 

 

 

Marluce turned 6 years old on March 30th, and her birthday adventure was customized just for her!

On April 5th, we quietly celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary.  We didn’t need a big hoopla.  Just each other.  (an excerpt from my life story)

If memory serves, September 5, 1967 was the first day of high school and the first time we met. You were a tough looking street kid with a smart-assed attitude. I am not sure just why I was drawn to you at the time, but I was. I was modest and not at all street-wise and obviously reared in an entirely different environment than you experienced. You clearly showed an interest in me with your playful glances and funny comments. My older brother, Jay, put it this way: “here you were, Miss Polly Pure Heart and along came this James Dean wanna be with cigarettes rolled up in his t-shirt sleeve and a beer in hand. Of course you were going to fall for him.”
To say you did not always attend first hour geometry class would be an understatement of immense proportion. To put it in plain speak, you rarely attended most classes. I found myself distracted when you were not in Geometry class. It was the only class we ever had together and even though geometry was a difficult subject for me to grasp (and still is), I felt more confident and at ease when you actually did show up for class. I guess even then, barely knowing each other, you somehow made me feel comfortable and protected. I tried not to let you see that side of me, but I think you had it all figured out. And, yes, I did know that you stared at my legs most of the class time.
I often wondered why you never finished your sophomore year. I know you did not experience the support of a family at home. Looking back, I think you were lost and possibly felt you had nothing to offer high school and high school had nothing to offer your life. You worked. You drank way too much. You dated the wrong girls (well, of course I would say that) and you wandered. I never even realized in my naiveté, there was even a choice on attending school. It was a given in my life and I never thought of it any other way. You, like geometry, were a foreign concept. I am not sure that I have ever figured you out completely.   (more)    gdovin girl

 

 

 

 

 

 Easter was such a fun day as we entertained family and friends.  Guests were on the back patio and in the house and on the front yard swing – eating, laughing and playing with the little ones.

 

Mother’s Day was celebrated at the Doubletree Sunday Buffet with the Mundle Family and the lil Gardners.  After the scrumptious buffet, Maxwell and I took a walk on the beautiful green grounds to work off a few calories.

My first grandchild, Tristan Lee became engaged to Drake Shumaker in Farmville Virginia.  So happy for them both and looking forward to meeting a new grandson in law.  This little girl (yes, she is still a little girl to me) deserves all of the love and happiness that comes her way.  I love you so much, Sassy Marie!

In June, Max got to show off his computer savvy while Poppa was not around!

 

Max receives July mail in his very own mailbox!  And he shows off  his bounty!

 

 

 

 

 

I wish I could have attended Marluce’s first official Yard Sale in August in the backyard of her home in Ashburn Virginia.  I am sure I would have found something that I needed to purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katia and Kiddies –  smiles and hugs.
And the be all and end all of the month of August …

Max continues his culinary career with his signature dish of milk, crackers, cereal grapes and strawberries.  I think we all see, the Next Iron Chef.

 

Early September, Bob and I worked on laying a laminate maple flooring in the kitchen/dining area of the little house.  Max decided to assist us placing the planks the way he thought they should go.  After a hard days work, he relaxed in a livingroom tent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid September was a great getaway to Oceanside California for the beach wedding of Kyle Harvey & Megan Mundle.  Lots of fun activities, a beautiful wedding and a surprise baby shower for Kerri filled the entire week and I enjoyed every moment of the time.  We shared a condo with the lil Gardners which was a little piece of  heaven compared to staying in a hotel room.  And the additional time playing with Max was just an added bonus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We spent a day in October at the Agua Linda Farm.  Went thru the pumpkin patch and climbed on the hay bales.  We had a picnic and watched Max ride a horse for the very first time.  We walked thru the petting zoo and made friends with the billy goats.  A perfect way to kick off the fall season.

November brought the most amazing reason to give thanks … she is petite and opinionated and loved and her name is Abigail Anne; Abby to us.  The sweetest little bundle ever.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving in Virginia has Marluce slaving away in the kitchen making her first pumpkin pie.

 

While my retro Flair oven contributed to Thanksgiving dinner at the Mundle home.

Family and Friends enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at Chris & Maggie’s with beautiful Tucson weather in their gorgeous and inviting backyard.

 

 

 

 

After returning to Tucson, we finally resumed our annual Holiday Open House hosting around 26-30 guests during an early evening.  Food was aplenty and catching up with people we love and rarely get the time to see.  Got caught up so much in our guests, totally forgot to take any photos.  Now THAT is a first for us.  We so enjoyed all of the company and conversation and funny stories. Next year – lots of photos!
I won’t repost my recent Christmas Eve events since I just posted, but suffice it to say it goes down in my holiday history as one of the best ever.  I am still smiling.   Christmas Day was a relaxing day of early morning visits with the kids and Mundles and Max and Abby while Maggie served scrumptious french toast and Max opened gifts.  Max, taking some time to show his gifts to his audience, enjoyed each and every moment.   Received a really nice phone call from Ricky which is always a treat.  Later on, a yummy honey baked ham dinner at Chris and Maggie’s with Matt and the kids and grandbabies topped off a wonderful Christmas 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 And now, as 2013 is almost upon us, we hope for a healthier New Year for Bob and friends and family needing hope.  We wish to be able to reconnect with family members in the summer in Colorado.  And most of all, we wish for a gentler world this coming year.  It could happen.

trick or TREAT

Oct 2003 Kerri & Connie at a Halloween Concert in Tucson
We picked up a couple of Wizards after the concert.
Really never was much of a big Halloween fan.  Oh, when I was a child I was a huge fan just because I had a ton of dance costumes to choose from recitals – so what to wear was never a problem.  And since it was back in the 50’s and 60’s, we could roam for hours by ourselves collecting candy from strangers with no worries.  We knew which houses to hit first as they always gave out real size candy bars!  One Halloween, Mom made all of the fixings for popcorn balls of all colors.  Kids could come right inside the kitchen (front door wide open) and plunk down their bags and take off their coats and dig in to the warm gooey popcorn concoction and make their own treat adding bits of candy or nuts or even fresh coconut.  When they were done, Mom would hand them a flat sheet of waxed paper (Saran wrap back then – never heard of it) and they could roll it around to cover their own home made treat and shove it in their bag.  it was okay to grab a handful of the popcorn all warm and gooey and pop it in your mouth to tide you over during your long night of making the rounds.
Another year, Dad decided that we would all make homemade pulled taffy.  We would make our way walking backwards across the kitchen with warm taffy strung from our hands to Mom or Dad’s hands.  It was a constant motion of pulling the taffy one direction and then the other with buttery hands until it reached the perfect consistency.  Mom would cut the taffy rope into pieces with scissors and we would wrap the little pieces in torn wax paper.  If they were so inclined, kids and adults alike had an open invitation to join in the fun to make their own.  And lots did.
Oct 1998 a 6 year old Tristan sans costume sorts out her bounty at our dining table.
Many other Halloweens followed with carmeled apple make your own treat night.  Our home was turned into a haunted house by my parents and Al & Dorothy LaCount, complete with scary music and cold spaghetti brains and peeled grape eyeballs and jello-y guts.  Even though Janet and I had watched the entire thing come together, we still got creeped out when actually going thru the dark house.  When I got home from trick or treating and was tired and ready for bed, that proved impossible as the adults had turned all 4 bedrooms, the family room, dining and living room and kitchen – all into scary little dark rooms.  So, I made my way to my bedroom and dug my pillow from the closet where it had been stashed in order to make the scary guts and blood room – made my way to one of the bathrooms and sat in the dry tub, pillow propped up on the edge and tried to get some sleep in between the screams of terrorized neighbors!
October 2004 baby Mateo visits his first ever Pumpkin Patch and tries a taste of straw!

 

October 2007 Katia and little princess Marluce
When I had kids of my own, I was horrible at making costumes.  Did not have a sewing talent to my name and no imagination whatsoever.  So the poor kids were relegated to being clowns or hobos or Fonzie.  When Jeffry was in Taekwondo and would be testing for his black belt at the tender age of 8, he firmly reminded me that his Taekwondo gi was NOT to be used as a Halloween costume.  Orders from Master Rex Veeder!  Hmmm.  Apparently Master Veeder was aware of my past costume endeavors.
Jeffry inherited his mother’s talent for costumes. 
 I have had other memorable and enjoyable Halloweens as well.  Halloween dinners on the driveway at the Dunham house …
October 2003 at the Dunham halloween Spooktacular Dinner
Enjoying the Tucson Zoo Halloween night with Tristan and Chase … Tristan had my phone headset and was a Rock ‘n Roller and Chase was skull to toe bones dressed as a skeleton.  We toured the Zoo, watched dancers, got lots of candy and treats and were exhausted by the time we got back to Grandma’s to spend the night.
And we just had a visit from Thomas Train.  Nana (me!) decorated the little front yard just for him as we had ZERO trick or treaters.  Sign of the times, I guess.
Yeah – still not so much of a halloween fan – but with Grandkids and friends and family in the picture – well, what could be better than that?

all that really belongs to us is TIME

Remember watching old black and white shows and the pages of the calendar would go wooshing by to show time passing quickly?  Well, another calendar page just wooshed by today and I feel as though I am back in a black and white movie bobbing and weaving to miss those flying pages!  September – already.  So we have been back in Tucson for over a year now and even that doesn’t seem possible.  My eldest grandchild turned 20 today.  She is no longer a child, but a young lady engaged to be married in the Spring.  Maxwell already communicates like a 5 year old most of the time and watching Mateo and Marluce on skype or in photos makes me think my life is in fast forward.

We have so much happening in the next few months:  Kerri’s sister, Megan is getting married in California in two weeks and we are honored to be invited.  We plan on spending a week out there just RELAXING.  In November, baby girl Gardner will greet us just before the Thanksgiving holiday – which reminds me that the Christmas holiday will not be far behind.  Granddaughter #1, Tristan, will be getting married on St Patricks Day which will mean another short vacation for us and hopefully a visit with Mateo and Marluce as well.

I want to take my time and make these wonderful events last for a bit.

S-L-O-W down time!  You move too fast.

I want to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.
Hello lamppost,
What cha knowing?
I’ve come to watch your flowers growing.
Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo,
Feelin’ groovy.

Got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you,
All is groovy.

I wanna be Groovy!

Another week passes me by …

The kitchen island top re-do is almost done.  Not perfect – but what an improvement!  Granite tile and many times of removing some tiles and re-installing some of the trim – we have some touch ups, one corner, and caulking between the wood trim and the tiles – but it is still really nice.

So looking forward to hosting an Easter dinner for friends and family!

Max spent Thursday and Friday with us again this week.  Today, he helped Nana shop for Easter dinner – even brought his own cart!

Celebrated our 41st anniversary on the 5th with a letter to the hubs!
41 years ago at 7 pm, two teenagers stood in the Church of God in Grand Junction.  Pastor Todd officiated a short ceremony in front of a few friends scattered in the pews.  I do not even remember what he was saying – I guess I was too concerned with the child inside of me and what was next in our lives together.
Since then, we have lost babies and family and friends.  We have lost books and love letters and a piano and photos and perspective and even sometimes our way and so much more.  Since then we have built careers and houses and backyard decks and friendships and gardens.  We have gained knowledge and daughters and sons and a deeper relationship and love of others and even a little respect.  We have seen Victoria BC and Puerto Vallarta Mexico and Nassau Bahamas and lots of stage plays and young sons in school productions and our youngest sporting the gold ropes at high school graduation and our oldest granddaughter lip syncing to “oops I’ve done it again”.  We laughed at Cristopher imitating the walk of Charlie Callas and at Ricky jumping up on the table at Dairy Queen to sing like Rosie singing like Elvis and at Jeffry performing Cuban Pete boom chicky boom, boom chicky boom, boom chicky boom.  We were blessed to hear Tristan attempting a kindergarten singing career and seeing Chase just a few moments old and watching preemies Mateo and Marluce blossom into healthy and happy kids, and listening over the phone to hear the first cries of Quinn and getting text messages from Megan updating us on the birth of Maxwell and hearing his little cries.  We have loved each other and our children and grandchildren and each other even more and dear friends and going on dates and seeing new places and each other even more.  We have felt the pain of loss and the fear of the future and the sadness that comes with family crisis and the realization that some things will just never be.  But we have felt the pride in our family and the joy of new babies and the unimaginable appreciation of a prospective kidney donor and the peace that comes with security in love and the dreams of what lie ahead.  All of this has been ours.  Together.  I cannot imagine it any other way.
Hard to believe those two teenagers with a baby on the way, pledging their love in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others until death us do part, beat the odds.  I dream of more travel and future babies to cuddle and being with family and watching sunsets and all of this,  Together.
  Happy Anniversary honey.  I love you oodles.