Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What to do when one gets behind?

I've been way, way way, behind on blogging.  I like blogging but I wasn't sure how to write some articles and then my computer was down and then I couldn't figure out how to get my pictures from phone to computer, got way behind and then just didn't know where to start.  Do I just go from here or go back and reconstruct some of our adventures?
 Also I've been toying with idea of going private with the family blog.
 I'm also thinking of setting up another with just family history stories that only my family (or not) would be interested in. 
What about one with my personal thoughts and goals? 
Just leave this one with all the wonderful places to see?  what to do, what to do?
  Any advice out there?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mass & Maine

Had to take a trip to Boston to see my grand babies, the birthday boy and the Blessed Kate♥, that amazing girl who has the honor of raising my grandchildren. :-) hahahah

Had a delightfully fun time hanging with the fam and friends and sight seeing. They took us to this amazing food place called Mr. Bartley's that has been in Cambridge forever, well my whole lifetime that is. I can't wait to go back. The menu was hilarious. The "Obama burger" One and done. Too funny and too bad I can't remember the other 29 items with funny titles like that. I loved the Cherry lime Rickey and The Elvis shake was so delish. That's really what I'm going back for. Chocolate, banana and Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. hmmmmmmmmm

Did some apple pickin at the Honey Pot Farm in Stow.

Pumpkin Pickin

or maybe just sittin

or how about a little kissin

Candlepin bowling - only in 3 northeastern states and Canada. Totally fun and I liked it a whole lot better than regular bowling.

Our scorekeeper

York,Maine - the hottest I've been all summer except for the week spent in AZ. Strange we were on the coast and I expected it to be cold like the bay area, but nooooooo. Actually beautiful weather. Couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.

Love finding quaint outside food places like this. "The Daily Grind"

Birthday Boy with his Ultimate t-shirt quilt. Kate is amazing!

Yep, Mass and Maine a great place to visit, especially when cute kids like this live there.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Anna, I haven't forgotten about You!

I seem to have a hard time blogging during the summer and now we're into fall.
Sad that my daughter wanted me to blog/brag about her during school last year and I just never got around to putting the pics and story together, so here goes.

We rescued a cat from the pound last year whom they named Cooper. I like the name so that's what I call him. Molly calls him Crookshanks after the Harry Potter crazy cat. My seminary kids called him Mufassa from Lion King. David calls him Roto, who knows why? Anna calls him all four names depending on her mood.

In the spring Anna auditioned for the jr. high play and was caste as the cook in "Alice in Wonderland" You're probably thinking, "I don't remember a cook" well apparently the original version had it, or maybe the jr. high just needed more characters.
She has good friends who came to support her and one artistic friend who worked behind the scenes and had a delightful time putting on Anna's makeup.

Towards the end of school,Anna decided to give her lovely red mane to Locks of Love

Attending a week long Christian Youth Theater (CYT) camp, she got a main role as Captain Hook - Exciting! Good thing she has short hair.

She was thrilled when a new friend, K moved into the ward and they could go together.

Even more thrilled that Molly would take time out of her busy schedule and come watch the performance.

AZ to visit Family

and catch lizards

and hike with cousins.

Back at the ranch.
She's has quite the eye for nature and takes good pics, so here's a few of hers for you to enjoy. These were all taken last week on a stroll in our neighborhood.(in between conference talks)

Yes we do live by a creek with the greatest walking/riding trails EVER!

She also has an ear for nature. She heard this woodpecker and tracked him down.

I'm telling you Fall is truly the best in the midwest!

Rumor has it she's starting her own blog since she's feels she's been forgotten this past year. Good thing.
Unbeknownst to me she took this shot off our deck the other night.
Pretty cool I must admit.
Night, night

Anna, how could I ever forget you? ♥

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Card Boat Regatta

Crystal Lake's Cardboat Regatta is one of my favorite things to do now. I love all the creative kids. Anna and her friend Shelby accompanied me to this fun event. Their favorite boat was "Angry Birds meets Smurfs"

My favorite entry was the Elvis elves.

Two Elvis boats racing and then sinking.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Paperback Shoe

The Paperbark ShoeThe Paperbark Shoe by Goldie Goldbloom

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of the most strangest books I've ever read but very well written for a first time author.
I debated between a 2 and a 3 star. Such a well researched and very different book from any other I've ever read and I loved her descriptions but the premise was very sad.
I found this book intriguing because of this article in the Trib.

I'm copying Tim Gepharts review because he sums up this book far more better than I can.

"Gin Boyle Toad and the book's other characters are prisoners, literally or metaphorically, and for reasons largely beyond their control. Born an albino, Gin's life has been one of indelicate stares at a freak. Her life is to some extent almost Dickensian. Although raised in a well-to-do family in Perth, Australia, educated in a private school and trained as a classical pianist, she is ultimately abandoned and institutionalized by her stepfather. She is rescued by Toad, a dwarfish, illiterate farmer who falls in love with her when he sees her playing the piano. They marry and Toad takes her to his homestead in remote, sparsely populated western Australia.

Gin's albinism and Toad's small stature and crude manners alone are enough to make them the talk of the country folk who also eke out a living battling the elements in this often hardscrabble region. Although they have two children — a third, an albino, died — this is a marriage based on needs other than love. Gin and Toad "didn't have anything in common besides the basic need for companionship and a joint wish for protection from the eyes and comments" of area residents. Yet the comments will turn to scandalous gossip in 1943 when two Italian prisoners of war, Antonio and John, are assigned to work on their farm. In fact, some 18,000 Italian POWs were sent to Australia between 1941 and 1947. To alleviate the labor shortage caused by the war, many were assigned to work on isolated farms and ranches.
The Paperbark Shoe is marked by at times exquisite writing and phrasing. Gin's description of Antonio, a shoemaker by trade, fitting her for shoes he is making for her family is as sensual as a real love scene. And as Toad performs at a talent show in the nearest town and inadvertently exposes himself, she describes how each movement "nails me to the bench, crowns me with barbed wire, [and] stabs me endlessly in the eyes with the bayonet of his exposure." Goldbloom, a native of western Australia who now lives in the U.S., uses her familiarity with the land, the climate, the culture, and native flora and fauna to create sense of place that becomes almost a character itself. Yet Goldbloom truly excels in Gin's descriptions of an internal landscape, one that unfolds as she ponders the emotions and ramifications of her past, present, and potential future.

Goldbloom's style helped the book win the 2008 Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Novel Award. That led to it being published in the U.S. last year in hardcover as Toads' Museum of Freaks and Wonders. This new paperback edition returns to the title of the original Australian publication in 2009 and is arriving in larger numbers than the prior U.S. hardcover.

Gin Toad may not end up in catalog of iconic literary characters. Regardless, she and The Paperbark Shoe are certainly deserving of much wider distribution and greater awareness and attention.

Gin's perspective, which she admits are slanted at times, describes the growing feelings and alienation that arise among the four as they get to know Antonio and John. In a number of ways, these include "thoughts that must be murdered before they are born." Various events increase the locals' perception of scandal, including Gin naming her and Toad's new son Anthony, even though she was already pregnant when Antonio and John arrive. Goldbloom does not rush the reader through these developments. Gin's voice patiently unveils not only these relationships but the story of her life before Toad. Throughout, we get a measure of the strengths, flaws, hopes, and dreams of each of the four and how the outside world defines and treats them based on their physical attributes or political status."

View all my reviews

Life List

Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing BirdsLife List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds by Olivia Gentile

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A lady from our book club met the author and recommended this well researched book about a housewife who discovers bird watching and becomes the first to see and record 8,000 birds. I personally had a hard time with Phoebe Snetsinger. What would you do if you were the mother of four children and were diagnosed with one year to live? Well Phoebe decides to see as many birds around the world as she possibly can and basically abandons her family. Turns out she lives almost two decades more. She endures quite the adventures of searching the world for the opportunity to see and record rare birds. I get the spiritual feeling of being out in nature. There is a peaceful, blissful feeling of just, walking, sitting, hearing and being in the outdoors that our creator has made for us. But to leave the most important people in our lives behind, just astounds me.

Phoebe may be the greatest pioneer female bird watcher, but she is probably one of the most selfish people I've ever read about. She skips her mother's funeral to take a bird watching trip as well as her daughters wedding. Something is just wrong with that, let alone leaving her husband for months at a time and when he asks for a divorce she is angry and refuses and basically lies to him saying, once she gets to a certain number of birds she'll quit. Well she just keeps going.

She was definitely her father's daughter, Leo Burnett, the great Chicago advertising giant who devoted his life to his work and neglected his family as well. (Funny side note) I was on a United flight to Phoenix when I started reading this book and came to the part how Leo Burnett came up with the advertising slogan "Fly the Friendly Skies of United" back in the 60's. I just thought that was fun, here I was flying the same airline.

Because of her successful father Phoebe was able to travel the world, which I thought was selfish. The good thing was when she died, her children donated the rest of her money to great causes in helping restore lands to keep some of these beautiful birds from going extinct.

This book made for a great book discussion. We all agreed had it not been for our friend meeting the author, none of us would have read Life List.

Side note - I'm obviously not an expert writer so I really have no authority in critiquing any one else, but it drove me crazy that Olivia Gentile wrote so many times "and in her memoir, she said" I get it, you read her journals and these were her words but jeeesh shouldn't the editor have caught that.

Here's the authors link, which I did think was kind of cute.


View all my reviews

Friday, May 6, 2011

Prom - Chicago Style or Hollywood

They do prom a bit different here in the burbs of Chicago, or at least my daughters high school does anyway.
School was out at 1 and Molly dashed home for a makeover and new hairstyle by Janelle her now personal assistant.

Had to take another pic of her P.A. where she was about the same height as Molly.
My favorite line of the day from Janelle "I want to go to prom again"
She had so much fun helping doll Miss Molly up.

Nick (perfect Chicago name don't you think?) picked her up promptly at 3:15. Sadly, she wasn't ready. What girl is?
They exchanged flowers.

We took a few pics and he escorted her to another friends for group pictures. (I didn't go, thus no group shots)

David and I then headed to the school at 4:30 to see the promenade begin at 5.

Parents, Friends and Family line up to watch the kids come in then, proceed out. Quite the spectacle. So fun to see all the beautiful dresses. I felt like the paparazzi.

Mary Cate



Leaving the gym they promptly walk the red carpet arm in arm to the awaiting buses where they were whisked away to some shmancy fancy place in Shaumburg for dinner and dancing.


Departing -- Bye bye Lolly

They will return by bus around midnight. So much safer to have them bused than teens driving here and there, leaving whenever. I like it Chicago Style with a flair of Hollywood!!