Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Unique marker

A few weeks ago, SHusband and I had 10 minutes to spare before visiting his SSister and SBrother in law. We usually try to arrive at 1:30, but since there was no weather factor, our drive took less time than usual. My SSIL usually finishes caring for her husband by 1:30 and we did not want to interfere by arriving early. So SH suggested that we drive through the local cemetery, and since he is a historian, he has taught me how beautiful some of the older grave markers are. We some some really unique, small and large ones, some from Civil War era even.
One family group that I was really struck by was this one:

The family name is Waterman, and the large marker is sculpted to resemble a tree trunk, with the bark texture carved in, and even a fern carved into the front bottom of the trunk. In front of the large marker were small pieces of the tree, with names and dates engraved, and the end of the individual pieces even had the grain of the wood represented.

I found this grouping very beautiful, and wish I could have met the people that requested these markers. They must have been very creative, maybe even whimsical and very accomplished since these were obviously custom pieces. Did their family have anything to do with the lumber business, or did the "we are all cut from the same tree" mindset appeal to them? The dates range from 1837-1898. I wonder if one spouse had to convince the other to choose this style?
May they rest in Peace.

Monday, March 22, 2010

That's my Girl!

Since we last got together part 2:

SDaughter finished up her first 8 week student teaching assignment-it was even more stressful due to the fact that it was about a one hour drive in "good weather" (this is a phrase that you use when you live in a snowy area-if you are talking driving times, you always use the caveat "in good weather" because everything can change in the blink of a cloud), in an old car, INTO SKI COUNTRY! I tell you there were fewer grey hairs on my bleached head than when she started that drive.

And, she passed her assignment! OF COURSE! She is a worry wart, but really, if you had so much invested in this career change, you would be too. It was a brave thing to attempt to go to school full time, raising the world's best SGrandson, and um, did I mention also working full time?

And today she starts her last placement, this one is just a hop, skip and a Thruway jump for her to be there. And, the day after she finishes that she GRADUATES FROM COLLEGE! I am so darn proud of her, she made the decision, and she did it-her last semester she had a 3.7 average-are you kidding me!

We have struggled many years in our relationship because I knew she was smart, but I could not convince her to use her gifts. Harangued is the term for what I probably did. Then she percolated all her thoughts, and convinced herself to change her life.

So that's why this is my favorite saying lately "That's my girl!". Emphasis on each word.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Hi SReaders, I have been very busy with life, enough so that I did not have time to record any moments for you.
Since we last got together part 1:

SSon and I went to see a much anticipated and twice rescheduled Sir Elton John and Billy Joel concert in town. I originally bought the tickets for SDaughter and SSon for the July 09 performance, then it was rescheduled for December 09, then again to March 12th, 2010, but by that time, SD was well into her much anticipated Student Teaching and could not spare the time away, so off Mom and Son went. While waiting in line for 90 minutes, let me say that again, while waiting in line for 90 minutes, did you get the impact of that? So anyway, while waiting in line for 90 minutes to go thru the turnstiles, we were speaking with some other fans. One father and 10 year old daughter bought their tickets online last week for $97. each-the same as our tickets-but they were sitting in the 200 section, very near the stage. Another couple paid the same at the same time we did the first few minutes it went on sale, and they were in the 100 section-as in ground floor. We on the other hand, were in the 300 TOP section, and to be exact, we were TWO ROWS FROM THE TOP!!!, Oh and, at the opposite end from the stage. See:

I was very, well let's say confused, but we all know what I really was! When we bought our tickets, SS and I were each on a phone, and I logged into the Internet ticket site. It took us 20 minutes to get in, and we were told that another set of tickets would not be offered, so we took what was offered. And so there we sat pretty sure there was going to be a show way down there because some lights were on and we could see them.

And then the sound system started playing some music, and guess what, it was a great sound system, so we knew we would be able to hear something too. We saw a couple of large screens above the stage, so there was hope that we would see a larger image on that too. Unfortunately, some large light systems were hanging right in front of them, so that option was out. We ate our hot dog-they do taste better there for some reason. The lights flashed, the music got reallllllllly loud-oh my old ears, and then the stage floor opened and two pianos came up, and the two stars walked onstage. I am telling you friends it was so wonderful, awesome, marvelous to be hearing them. My favorite was Elton John, SSon leaned a little more to Billy Joel, but both gave a great show, very long too, and they each apologized in their solo section for rescheduling, but the crowd just sent them back love, we are an area of big hearts up here in Western New York. They had some very high-end lights too (but let's remember, my last concert was Johnny Cash and the Highway Men, and before that it was Frank Sinatra-it has been some time, and the lights may have evolved a bit!) Here are some shots:

I texted SD that we were sitting so high up that I was afraid to stand and look down, I was sure I would just start to tumble and roll right down onto the floor of the arena, really, it was right there in my list of possible disasters. So, I didn't drink anything to avoid a trip to the loo, unfortunately, the two teenage girls sitting 4 seats down the row form us, who could have cared less about these performers must have the weakest bladders in existence, because they were back and forth way too many times. And each time, you needed to stand to let them pass, and I knew that if I was going to tumble forward, I was taking one of them with me-not for spite, just the way gravity and momentum works folks.
I was pleased that I was not the oldest attendee in the place, I even spotted some that looked older than me! SD texted me not to inhale that high up-you know in days past that was a possibility-and that was 2nd hand smoke with more than just physical risks! I texted back that the only thing I smell is BenGay.
I called home to record some of the songs on our answering machine, but when SHusband got home he was not aware of my plan, so he deleted all the messages-he thought it was a crank call! I called SD, but she also only heard garbled stuff, I called SCousin, but it did not come through for her either-well, like they say, "You had to be there."

So listen, if you can spare the cash, and they are coming to a venue near you, I highly recommend their show. Boys, you were worth the wait.
P.S. tickets $200., parking $15, 2 t-shirts $80., 1 Program $25., 2 hotdogs, 1 pop, 2 huge horrible pretzels, $12.00, the look on SSon's face-you got it-priceless:

Our sweet Acolyte

This is my SGrandson performing his Acolyte duties at his church today. He has been doing this service for about 4 months, but today was the first day the weather was great and all the planets aligned to make it possible for us to be there. An Acolyte lights the candles before the service and distinguishes them at the conclusion. SGS also helped his Pastor by holding the tray with the alternative-Communion apple juice offering. Apparently it is a learned skill to distinguish the flame without making that clicking sound as that snuffer covers the flame. He was very worried that it would make a noise, but that is how he is-always wants to do a great job. His father was an acolyte, and his SMom was the first female alter server in our Catholic Church, so it is in his genes apparently! He was very reverent and we were very proud. He arranged where we would sit near his paternal grandmother, so he could sit right in front of us and he periodically peeked at us or put his hand up on the back of the pew so I could pat it with affection, then he would quickly turn around and smile. Oh boy that guy has my heart.Knowing my penchant for pictures, he came out before hand to remind me that his Pastor said I could not take pictures during the service.

Good thing she reminded me! So these pictures are staged afterwards in this sweet little church with a gem of a SPastor that gives wonderfully inspiring homilies. Everyone there was so welcoming to us as always even though we are just guests, they even brought SHusband's walker up after the service without being asked. So that was the beginning of a busy day for us, but really could it have been nicer? I think not.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bird update

I love when this guy comes to visit:

He is a Red Bellied Woodpecker, but I double-dog-dare you to find the red on the belly! Maybe a hint of tan or yellow mostly, but if you look right near where the belly touches the suet cage-you will see a small spot of pink.

Isn't the red on the neck nice?

If the red comes up the nape of the neck and down onto the front of the head, near the beak, it is a male. If the red stops at back of head, it is a female. This one seems to be a male because you can see the red blotch just above it's beak. We have a different special suet cake with seed, nuts and fancy suet just for woodpeckers, but rarely see one on there. Well, at least the other birds are enjoying the feast.
And we are very happy that we have our regular beautiful visitors.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty:

No, not that Hello Kitty, that is the one we are donating to our club raffle this weekend, Say "Hello Kitty" to this one: Yes, she is new to us, her name is Boo Boo Marie (she came with Boo, but I need a few syllables to call a pet, Like Lassie, not Lass, how can you stretch out just plain one syllable names when you are calling a little pet?).
Isn't she cute? Her online picture from the SPCA site had her looking really blue,

she very rarely looks blue-a certain light, just a hint, but mostly not.

So listen, here is her story. I was in a pet store, buying bird seed for SMe and SMom, never looked in the off-site SPCA adoption pens, except that day, inside was this little animal, looking like all eyes, and so sad. I bought my supplies, and kept walking around back to her. When I got home, I told SHusband that I came this close [ ] to calling him about this cat that was up adoption, he immediately said that he wished I would have. We both must have been feeling the ache of no pet since we lost our Cheesie Marie. Didn't think we would ever get another one because it hurt so much to lose her, but I guess, we are what we are eh? I went online, showed him the picture, and that was it. Heart strings were pulled by us through to her on the screen and back. Next day, they reviewed our online lengthy (but really, that is necessary to help get a good placement) adoption application and got approved!! Off we went before the other couple that applied made their phone call to check on the status, and tried to get her before us-the legal new family! I didn't even pour my newly perked, excuse me, showing my age, newly "brewed-dripped out" coffee into a travel mug, just grabbed the ceramic mug with "I Love you MOM" stenciled in gold, gift from SDaughter and off I went. Side note: I had that mug for about 10 years, but did not want to use it because I did not want to break such a special mug-but heck, when I am dead, she will get it back anyway, so I don't want her to think her gift was not appreciated, so I use it daily now!
Back to the original post, thanks for being patient. Because the cat was 6 years old, the adoption fee was waived, but really, what a bargain, spayed, micro chipped, up to date on all shots, litter trained, and adorable. Of course, we needed to purchase the CAT STUFF, but that is what was needed. Poor Kitty meowed all the way home, I talked to her so she would become familiar with my voice, and I told her about everyone she would be living with now. I kinda broke the news that were were doggie-sitting for our SDoggie friend, and that he was a really nice guy, but a tad curious.

We lugged in all her stuff-I thought I would die carrying in that new-fangeled litter that is great for the environment, but bad for the human needing to carry the bag, esp one with an old, bad back! I paid for that all night, but it is what it is. I used SHusbands wheelchair lift instead of the stairs, so that worked out OK for part of the delivery.
So then, when all supplies were inside, I took SNewCat from the transport box and gently held her and introduced her to SVisitingDog, he came over to smell her, and she reared up like a Halloween Cat and made herself look twice her size and hissed! She soon figured out that she was a tad aggressive, he is only curious, so all is well-relatively well actually, until the first time we fed her "wet" food-it seems that is something that SDog thought for sure he should have too. He got really agitated, no doggie treat or toy helped, no soothing talk, no head rubbing, and we ended up putting him outside to calm down, good thing he loves the outdoors. So, now we learned how to go around this problem while he is still here, her feeding time is when he is out in the morning. No tempting him unfairly, she eats without him growling at her, No problems.
Well, no problem, except for the fact that she was missing for 5 hours yesterday! It was thought that she slipped out the front door, so we rode around, walked around, sent her picture via e-mail to neighbors, prayed, swore , etc, etc. Finally we gave up looking in every nook and cranny and just wondered what we should do next. SSon had walked around all the buildings on our property twice, he was really stressed with us. She had a reflective leash with her new name and address on a tag, and also a tag with her microchip number and contact number-all updated with our info-but that all needs someone to FIND HER FIRST. It was only 36 degrees here yesterday-in the sun I might add, so I was really worried about her, she had never been outside here, so had not been able to "lay a scent trail" back here, in case she ever snuck out, and oh by the way, we live in the country, woods all over, animals all over that could be a threat to her. I was really upset. We were all really upset. Then SGrandson, who was here for the weekend went onto our bed to watch some TV, and guess what, she was under the covers of our made bed! How the heck did she get there? We were so happy to see her, but really amazed at her hiding spot.

Today, I had some places to drive to in the morning, got home, happened to look at our bed, and what did I see?
Do you see?

How about now? That little lump above the green pillow?

Yep, after SH made the bed, she went undercover-in every aspect of that term. Now we know that yesterday's hiding was not a fluke, and this will be SOP for her rest time.
And here is a picture of where she sleeps when not prowling, from the first night onward:
And I wish you could hear her purr, at times, it is louder than the soft music that we have playing when we first go to bed.

So, all is content here, new and visiting members of the family. Oh wait, did I tell you she jumped onto the covered birdcage in the middle of the first night? Since they were all covered and sleeping, I think she was just exploring, rather than hunting, but try explaining that to 4 parakeets, lots of loud chirping for a bit. And then, after my heart stopped racing as it does when you jump out of bed expecting to see God only knows what, we all went back to sleep.

And now as we all get used to our new and changed environment, and sleeping happens, most times all night. Good night SReaders, thanks for stopping by our little animal kingdom.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fontana Di Trevi

You might have noticed that the picture in the header section of my blog is always one that I took in Italy. For my first year on the blog experience, I think I will continue to do that.
The new picture for my blog for March is the Trevi Fountain. This picture was taken by SMe in 2006.

There are many versions of the number of coins, and the shoulder you throw them over into the fountain for various results. We were told that if you threw coins over your LEFT shoulder, it meant that you were wishing for a return there. If you threw coins over your RIGHT shoulder, you were wishing for true LOVE. I am Blessed to have the latter, so I wished for the former-but, not for SM, but for SDaughter.

She had been there at age 18 as part of a touring Choral Group, but how much do you pay attention at that age? She was on a whirlwind tour, stopping at many places to perform, boys and girls touring together, cute Italian guides-what can I say?

Here is a link to the wikipedia story of the fountain, very interesting.

And look at this night picture from that site-lovely.

You might remember the fountain because of the Movie "Three Coins in the Fountain", and it has been used in every movie shot in Rome since then I think.

Well, lucky for me to have been there with SSister#1

and all these other tourists that day.

And, with your back to the fountain, walking down the center of the three main streets that converge at the fountain, you will see this. Many Embassies are located in that area.

So listen, the first post of the month usually has a little info about my trip, so if you are interested, you can check back through my archives. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you have a place as special as Fountana Di Trevi in your memory bank.