Sunday, April 25, 2010

Magnolia Madness

Since I was about 17, I have loved Magnolia Trees and Bushes. I saw one in a friend's yard for the first time then. It is such an exotic flower, you wait all year for it, and it is worth the wait.

I have always wanted to have one, and a few years ago, SHusband asked me what I wanted for my Birthday, and this was my choice.
It bloomed from the very first year, with only one disappointing year when all the buds formed, started to open, but then we had a very cold spell one night and all the flowers were killed off before they could open. This year, we have a bumper crop of beautiful shades of pink flowers, with only a few areas of brown damage from the cold (in the 30's) weather we have been having on and off.

Here is a close-up, see how nicely they contrast with the piece of marble we have on own front lawn?

She anything in this view?

SGrandson was riding his bike here while visiting this weekend, and I timed the picture so that he was going past.

Sneaky me.

Boo Boo Marie Kitty

Just popping in to say meow. I'm lovin' my new life, 3 squares, and a nice place to lay my head, birdies to watch-outside on the feeders and inside in the cage. How does that cage open anyhow?

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Today at SGrandson's church service, they had a little black visitor-a sheep/lamb. When do lambs become sheep? Even SHusband did not know the answer to that. That is SGS in lower right corner-wearing his grampa's shirt, and sporting his newest haircut-last week he got an "almost" haircut, barely above his eyes, looked pretty nasty, but since he loves bribes, his Mom and I banded together to make it worth his while for a "decent" haircut.
Anyway, this was a sermon about The Shepherd and The Sheep, one in the same. His SPastor is someone whom I really admire, she has a big gift for her ministry and shares it freely. She was there the night SGS was born, and has been there for him every step of the way. He makes his First Holy Communion next Sunday, and the reason I was at his church today was because today he had a "Milestone" in his religious life-he was one of 2 other boys his age who led the congregation in the "Apostles Creed" prayer. SDaughter asked me to attend with her, so I did. She is a bit strung out right now, end of college, son making his First Communion, is she ever going to get a teaching job now that the state budget is cutting a large portion of aid to schools and major layoffs in all districts are planned, student loans need to be paid back starting in six months. I think I would be strung out also.
I am glad I was there this week because the readings this week were about Jesus being both the sheep and the Shepherd, and this live lamb was a great visual to make an impression for the children's liturgy.
The kids attending seemed to be really interested, and since the pastor asked questions throughout, it kept them really into the message.
I told her afterwards that I thought that she was brave, and that I knew the kids would always remember the sheep in church. I know I will.
"My sheep hear my voice"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I am surprised!

You know, I am surprised. When I started this blog I really thought that I would be sharing all those things that float around up there in me, but lately I am unable to let the head and heart connect to the keyboard.
I have some pretty great things going on right now because my SDaughter will be graduating from college in less than 4 weeks, my SGrandson will be making his First Holy Communion in 2 weeks, my SSon is lovin' the hometown hockey team in the playoffs, my SHusband has good health. But. The thing that is causing me the most stress is so overwhelming and hurtful that it has just taken over. Tomorrow I am buying a new outfit for the graduation, and since when I am stressed I eat, the outfit will be a bigger size than 3 months ago. So, I let the stress cause more damage. How much power can this one thing have? Apparently a lot, 61 years worth.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Happy Easter all.

This is our front lawn-after the big wind storm last night-but only about 30 or so flew away-considering we have about 500 there. We put eggs out on Good Friday or one day sooner for kids on the school buses to see on their last day of school. And we take down in the week following Easter. I buy more after Easter for big discounts.

This year, the egg hunt that SGS does here in the house will be when they stop over during the week. We hide the number of eggs that he has years this year-meaning even though we are a month before his birthday, he gets that bonus egg to find. We put in small candy or small fun things and now, mostly money-he loves money. The first year I did the eggs outside, he was about 5, and I did not tell him so he could be surprised when he saw it, but he got really upset-he thought he had to find HIS eggs in the mix! As he gets older, the currency changes too, no more shiny pennies for him. One year, we put all the eggs out, it snowed, no eggs visible, so I went and bought a few packs more, and threw them on top of the snow. Sometimes, the squirrels take the eggs away, and hoard in a group, and try to cover them up. How sad, here they think they have scored the food supply of a lifetime, and whoops-just plastic.

We had a Wonderful Brunch with family-we went to SSon's Dad and SStepMom's along with SGrandson, SDaughter and her SSigother. A nice group, she made some really beautiful quiches, even one with asparagus.

SD and SSM had ice cream and birthday cake for SHusband-tomorrow is his official birthday. He was actually born on Easter, and his birthday will be on Easter again in 2015. SH explained how Easter date is chosen: It is the FIRST Sunday after the FIRST full moon after Vernal Equinox. If you look it up on the 'net, there is a mention of ecclesiastical and astronomical full moons changing the formula for areas near the international date line, but for you and me, this probably is not a factor.

I have been fighting with bronchitis which of course messed up my asthma for the past two weeks, so my usual Easter baking was not done, first year without making Platzek-a buttermilk coffee cake. It has become "My thing" to make and give away about 20 each year, so I really missed that. I bought the ingredients, so I will hopefully be making some in the next week as I feel better.
Hope your Easter was Blessed.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Big Bird Extrodinaire

The header for this month is a bird, it is Spring after all. This bird is really huge, made of brass, larger than the average bear. It is near a thruway/expressway on the outskirts of Florence. I don't know why this big bird was made, but it is cute right?

All of Italy is an expressway! The traffic in Florence, as in all of Italy is brutal, as we were leaving Florence, we even had a motorcycle accident happen right in front of us. We were all concerned, but were told that the driver was OK.

The motorcycle, scooters and bikes all squeeze between the cars when the cars stop at lights, filling up all the spaces, then when the light changes, the 2-wheelers squeal off, ahead of the pack of cars.

They use their 2-wheelers in Italy a lot more efficiently then we do in America. We once saw a person holding a child in front of them-no helmets for either. Did I say more efficiently, or should I have said more dangerously? The mirror of the bus obscures her head, but notice the shoes? The women always dressed nicely in Italy!

The quick drivers get from A to B, sometimes even zooming around D and E if needed. I can not imagine driving a car there, we were even challenged to walk across the street!


Every year, SHusband does a display for the annual Buffalo Geological Society's Rock, Gem and Mineral show. There is a theme for the show, and sometimes he follows the theme, but for the past 4 or 5 years, he has made up his own theme. Over the years: Specimens of Sicily, Indian Trap Rocks, Romania Rocks, Testing of Minerals with simple chemical tests to determine their consistency, and this year, and easier one to manage: "Vintage Rock and Minerals Sets".

This display consisted of three different very old collections of sample rocks/minerals with their identifying labels/information.

All were from the 1940's, and one special one was a very limited collection made specifically for Boy Scouts. Since this is the 100th Anniversary of Boy Scouting in America, this was a very timely addition to the display.

He didn't win any prizes this year, but to me is my own special "Rocky".