Sunday, September 26, 2010

Toliet Paper brides

I went to a Bridal shower today for a family member on SHusband's side. And, SSister-in-law who really does not go out much because she is a full time caretaker for her wonderful SHusband, was able to ride with me because her son was with his dad for 2 hours. So nice to spend time with her. It was a very efficient but yet nice shower-sometimes these two qualities do not go hand in hand, but they managed to pull it off.
They had a breakfast shower, so all the yummy breakfast foods were there and some very good decaf coffee. And for dessert, they had cheesecakes and homemade Italian cookies-just like the kind Matka used to make. Their favors were white chocolate suckers in a tiered wedding cake mold, or regular chocolate in double/connected heart mold. My Shusband got the favor and the Italian cookies when I got home-he lives for sweets.
And they had some fun quick games, the first were 10 wedding day scrambled words, and then a new one to me-Wedding Shower Gift Bingo. You are given a blank bingo card, and you fill in all the squares with the name of possible shower presents, then as the gifts are open, they call out the name of the gift, and you mark it off on your sheet if you have that gift listed. If you fill the entire card, you win. I guess I am way out of the loop for what brides are getting now. I picked the usual sheets, towels and the kitchen things which I have, but the things that she got were mandolin(slicer), pasta bowl dishes, porch awning (???), lotsa picture frames and wall hangings. I was no where near a full card. But it was fun. The gift opening went smoothly with 5 ladies including the bride handling the 70 plus gifts. One nice thing they did was to leave the wrapping on until it reached the head table. Sometimes, you go to all that trouble to wrap something nicely, and then a bridesmaid rips it off before the bride even sees it. Today, someone loosened the wrapping, and the brides mother pulled the card off and handed it to the bride who did the final opening etc, and then it got handed down the line where someone recorded it, packed the card, shipped it on to be completely boxed/bagged again and stacked. Loved it.

The cute game that the title of today's blog mentions is, each table had three rolls of toilet paper, 5 minutes to fashion a wedding dress for someone at your table. We were lucky enough to have an adorable 10 year old at her first ladies shower and she was happy to be the bride. Isn't she just too cute?

And here is the Toilet Paper Bride Group Picture. The winner caught a bouquet from the bride. The sweet lady on the far right was in her 80's-a great-Aunt of the bride-to-be. They made her a sheath dress, and then she needed to
walk to the front-which she did-with teeny-tiny little steps-do you see her train?

It was a nice time with family, and all in 2 hours.

I am sure that if Matka was at this shower, she would have volunteered to be the toilet paper bride-she was a fun lady.
Here she was as Bride with husband #2

And then with husband #3.
No pictures from husband #1. even though she was married to the same man in two different cities in probably less than a week, no pictures survived. The Irish side of the family/husband did not acknowledge the wedding in the Eyetalian Catholic Church, so they made the couple get married in the pure Irish Catholic Church-which was totally against all church policy-you can't get the sacrament of marriage vows twice to the same person-but what the Irish family wanted they got. At least that is the way it was explained to me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Raining, It's Pouring, and I'm Lovin' It!

So Listen, the reason I am loving the rain-and it is a hard- "I mean business " rain, is because we planted a Matka tree and I have been watering it to make sure it takes. But, what it really needed was a "Trash-moving and a Gulley-washer" rain. You know, the kind that washes your car so you don't have to. The kind that cleans the dirt off the driveway so you don't have too. The kind that messes up the window that you washed yesterday-well at least it was only one window.
The Matka tree is really called a Crimson King Norway Maple.
The leaves are kind of purplish, and since she loved purple, I thought it would be an appropriate tree.

I also was lucky to find some plants for sale called Colchicum or Autumn Crocus because they bloom in the fall only. See how pretty they are?

I renamed them the DuBois flower because about 12 years ago, Myself, SHusband, SMatka and SSister#1 took a road trip for SM's birthday back to her hometown in Western Pennsylvania. We were driving near her last homestead there and had to stop to take a picture of the street sign-well, you do remember that SH is the town Historian where we live-and that his mantra is "Document everything!" . So anyway, at that corner was a planting of these Colchicum that really interested us all. We took pictures of course, and have wondered about them, never seeing any for sale. Last week, I was driving SSon home and went down a street that I try to avoid-it has too many twists and turns, and I don't like how many times I have had to get out of someones way that crossed over to my side in the road. Have you picked up that I am always trying to be proactive to prevent accidents?
Do not say the anal word! It is what it is.
So, driving down this street, I suddenly see a front yard sale with these plants in pots! I turned down the first cross-street, doubled back and flew out of the car. OK, in my mind I was flying-work with me here.

I purchased three, and the nice lady gave me instructions about them, etc. Do not plant if you have dogs or cats in your yard or little kids that would be attracted to it-they are poisonous.

I immediately planted mine when I got home, saving one for SS#1. Mine are OK, but the bloom lifespan is short, so the blooms are now hugging the ground.
Can you see two little bursts of purple near the soil?

But I think they will do OK. So the purple-leaved tree now has purple flowers! Goal accomplished.

Can you tell I am doing better today? I still cry because I miss Matka, but I am trying to focus on how lucky I am to have had someone in my life that was so bigger than life-and that statement covers it all. Life could not contain Matka, so even after she is gone, she is alive in my heart and mind and it is great to have these bizillion memories.

I am not saying that I am la, la, la, happy, happy. Her birthday is coming in a few weeks, so that will be really hard, but, I am saying that I am trying to smile at the memories instead of feeling pain. Trying is a process, but I am going for it.

Thank you to all who have supported me in this life lesson. And especially you Matka. Here she is in her final residence-she said she was living like a Queen. Can you see how happy she is in this picture? I can..............

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ist Anniversary Blogging

Today, September 12th is the date that I composed and posted my first blog in 2009. It was Hello World and I did not even know enough to give the post a title.
So many moments have entered this thing I call my life these past 12 months. All have been important, even the painful ones. The painful ones teach you so much about yourself. I never thought I would experience such pain when my SMother died. I try to be very strong, efficient, helpful, and this has just been unbearable at times. I have been given so much support from family and friends, but really, I am not ready to give up the pain I guess because I have been unable to go one day without seeing or thinking about something that reminds me of her and the painful tears and tightness in your throat begins. When the gasping breathing begins, I have to just force myself to stop. People have suffered more than me when they lost a loved one, imagine losing a child or a parent who was young or a loved one at the hands of another person. How do they survive, how do they get out of bed?

OK, I am back now. I just needed to take a break, get back on track, but I will not delete what I just entered. It is too much a part of me.

The happy pieces are so wonderful-Imagine how blessed I am to have a SHusband whom I truly love and guess what? He loves me too and tells me multiple times each day. I am blessed to have a smart, kind SDaughter who realized her dream of getting her teaching degree this year. I am blessed that she also is in a loving relationship, just what parents want for their beloved children. I am oh so blessed to have SSon who makes me laugh, helps us out, and brings so much into our lives. Please Buffalo Sabres Hockey Team, would you win the Stanley Cup this year as a personal thank you to SS for being such a loyal fan? Please, Please. OK, thanks.

I am blessed to have a wonderful SFamily-my birth family and my family though marriage (both marriages!!). How do people survive without the help of those that love them?

And my SFriends? Well, you try making it through life without the give and take of support that only true friends can offer.

And, we have the luxury of no bills, no car payments, no mortgage, retired, so no job insecurity, and enough funds to share modestly with others.

So, yes I am blessed. And everyday I do not take this lightly, but focus on what I have.

As a gift to celebrate with my readers, first we have:

This is a plum or Italian plum or prune, whatever you know it as. SH and I are always on the lookout for heart-shaped things, and this one caught my eye, so I am giving it to you, well, actually I already presented it to him, so you just get to see it and not enjoy eating it. I tried to crop it in closer, but it changed from being heart-shaped to resembling a big coolou. Do you remember? That is a term we use in my SFamily to mean fanny? It is pronounced just as it looks, and is actually a fun word to say-try it a few times. Coolou, coolou, coolou.

Your next gift is a favorite recipe-including my little notes. It is easy, and when you defrost the tomatoes to put in sauce, soup, chili, goulosh, whateva the smell of the vinegar is really wonderful.

This is the Red Wine Vinegar that I use. It is low acid (7.5%), and the label calls it "Robust Flavor". I think those are important things to look for when you pick a red wine vinegar for this recipe. I use freezer containers and wrap in foil for extra frost protection.

I have been thinking of making them all week, not motivated, but today it hit me, so I went to a local farm store, bought the beautiful tomatoes, and when washing them in a better light than the farm store, they looked way too yellow. Yellow does not work well with this recipe. You need red, ripe, but not soft-mushy for them to break down well. So, after washing, I decided to put them out for a few more days of ripening. Not all of them fit onto my kitchen windowsill, but I thought they looked nice. I took a picture..............

then the incremental avalanche started. Now, I only have what will stay up there without jumping into the sink-the first to fall actually broke a few leaves off of my African violet plant-how dare they!

So, your next gift is my gratitude for being faithful, supportive and kind in your comments to me, written and verbal. I was afraid I was going to be blasted as I have seen on other blogs-with a harsh comment some faceless entity choose to make.

But you just keep coming back, as my counter shows, and I appreciate your faithful presence. May God Bless you, and continue to give me no more

than I can handle.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I hate Concrod grapes today.

I love concord grapes. They are only out a certain time in the fall, and not everywhere. They are grown north of where I live, and every year, the first one to find them buys some for the girls to share. The girls are Matka and her three daughters. We all love them, we usually don't find them until near Matka's Birthday on October 7th when middle sister is home for the birthday festivities.

Today, I bought some, and could not wait to bring some to Matka.

I hate concord grapes.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sweet Son's Summer Swim Swansong

This is how SSon loves to spend the summer-wet!
And this summer he has been able to go swimming quite often. The place he goes most often is Darien Lake State Park (the one that was closed all last year due to some "never-happened-before-we hope-to-fix-it-soon" 2009 mantra).

He gave me official notice last weekend that today, Labor Day would be the last day which they are open for the season. That is serious-that means summer is over.

I tried very hard to make his last week a swimming week-he went 4 times, but I honestly would have taken him more if we would not have had rain-this activity had an expiration date, so all efforts were towards swimming.

Then the weekend happened: Friday-rain, Saturday rain and COLD, Sunday (today), COLD.

All weather reports said that this was going to be THE BEST DAY OF THE WEEKEND! Warm, hot even, in the 80's.

At 7:30 this morning it was 53degrees, and the heat went on here in the house (after I asked SHusband to nudge the thermostat).

I had a plan: I told SS that if he wanted to, I would take him swimming for 5 minutes so he can say that he went swimming on the last day of the season. Now most people would laugh and say are you kidding? He however saw the beauty in this idea. He gobbled down his breakfast while I tried to look for a Plan "B" to do after swimming to lessen the disappointment. I remembered that a local church has a noon BINGO game-that's it. He loves BINGO, we almost never go-it has been maybe 8-9 years since I last took him (Can you tell I hate it?). So, as a remembrance of SMom, who loved BINGO, I thought we would go there after the min-dip. Just to be sure, since that is what I am all about-I called the Church, bothered the man who answered (probably the Reverend-yikes), apologized for bothering him, but just wanted to see if there was BINGO today-no luck, no BINGO. While SS was brushing his teeth, I went online to a site called and there is a list for all of the Western New York BINGO Parlors (isn't that a neat name, BINGO Parlor-like a formal place you would visit, like the front parlor in a fancy house). The only place that had a Monday afternoon BINGO Game in WNY was the place which I just called. DRAT.

While driving to the lake, we discussed other options, and another favorite activity of his is to GO TO THE MALL! I hate malls as much as he loves them.

So, that was the plan. THEN.... he remembered that he did not bring his fanny pack-one of those things that you wear to a sporting event for your wallet, etc.

Well, it is his security fanny pack, he wears it everywhere but swimming, didn't bring it today because he only brings his I.D. some cash and his cellphone for swimming, and I did not mention that I was working on a Plan B. H was sure we should turn around and go home to get it, but this was not my plan, A, B or C. Once I am out, I am out. I told him that he could either go home after swimming or put his things into the pocket of his shorts that he brought for after swimming-BUT, he brought those sporty shorts-pull-on, no pockets. Are you kidding me, who makes shorts without pockets????

When all seemed lost (notice I did not say I could just go home and get his fanny pack, which to some was an obvious solution to avoid a meltdown), I had another idea-I would just stop at a Dollar General Store and buy him some shorts with pockets-genius!
Dollar General had their fall line out-no shorts, none, nada, zilch. Are you kidding me again? So, I bought a cute top for SDaughter and some pants for SS.

We had the bad news, good news conversation in the car. From the look on his face, you would have thought I just told him that his favorite hometown hockey team was moving away. Oh no, pants, no, I can't wear pants in the summer, ......

Then it was time for tough-mama: you can either go to the mall wearing pants or go home, and if you choose to wear pants, you will not pout. Worked like a charm.

He went swimming, he went to change his clothes, and this is how he walked to the car:

I laughed so hard, I could hardly breath, what a fun guy he is. His Plan B was win-win for everyone-we had a lot more laughs today together.
Here is a picture of Matka in her swimsuit. Wasn't she adorable!