TWT: Behind the wheel

Time Warp Tuesday is the brainchild of Jenn who juggles TWT along with the rest of her life. Click here to see the other participants and their photos.

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Behind the wheel (MusicMan at 14mo)

Behind the wheel (MusicMan at 14mo)

When I was 29 months 7 months pregnant with our second child, we had an uncharacteristic heat wave that made staying home unbearable. Sitting around in our underwear helped but we didn’t want to scare our kid, the neighbors or the mailman. Luckily, it was the start of a weekend-in-the-middle-of-the-week (hospital employees often don’t have normal weekends) and SuperDad whisked us away to the coast. Three hours in the car made a huge difference as we watched the degrees plummet on our digital thermometer. The Washington coast on the Olympic peninsula was much cooler.  In fact, it was a little bit cold there — we had to put a sweatshirt on MM, who had a great time playing on the beach and in the car. The respite from the heat was such a big treat that I still have fond memories of the trip even with the small matter of the skunk that tried to sleep with us that night.

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Less than 18 years later, my happy-go-lucky boy was a little too confident with his own driving on a dark and rainy night. In what I see as miraculous each time I look at the photos (go here if you really want to see them) , he walked away with only scratches after totaling a car.

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Not everyone is that lucky. I got a call on Sunday morning, letting me know that the MIL and FIL of one of my closest friends had been in a fatal car accident.  My dear friend ~P~ has been through some terrible experiences in her life; losing her dear parents-in-law ranks up there among the worst of those experiences. I am under a heavy cloud of sadness. I can’t begin to understand why some people go through admittedly unfair amounts of suffering. Since I know there are no answers to that question, I won’t beat my head against the wall in trying to understand.

So here I sit, nearly 3,000 miles away, helpless to do anything. And remembering that life is precious.

Hot and Tired Thankful Thursday

Count your blessings, name them one by one…

I’m using Thursday posts to focus on thankfulness — and instead of counting blessings, I’m challenging myself to come up with them alphabetically.  (You can find the rest of the posts in this series here.)

DSCN1726 summertime, resized for web sharing

Sorry, folks… it’s too hot to think. It’s nearly midnight and 81 degrees inside my house. I was gone for 12 hours today.  I work tomorrow.  And I can’t come up with a single J word right now because my brain is too fried from the heat.

J week will be here next week (same bat time, same bat channel) — I promise!

[Well, unless something catastrophic happens in my life.]

In the meantime, let’s skip the alphabetization for a week and just be thankful for something… anything! — so right now, I’m thankful for:

  • a job where I can go in on my “off” day and work in semi-comfort with a window A/C unit! (That’s where I spent my afternoon and early evening when it was 98 degrees outside.)
  • leftovers in the fridge so I don’t have to cook dinner and it’s ready when I come home late
  • a plethora of portable fans to place in windows so I can blow the (hopefully soon-to-be) night air into my house
  • friends who are comfortable with impromptu and casual get-togethers
  • graduating from physical therapy! I had my final appointment this morning.
  • a church family. I looked back over my posts from late-winter/early-spring 2012, at a point when I was so frustrated over not yet finding a place for us to call “home” (example here ) — and now, I not only have that exactly kind of place but I also have a job working there! How fantastic is that?!?
  • the weather forecast that promises it will cool down this weekend! After 98 degrees today and tomorrow, a high temperature of 84 F sounds heavenly…

487, cropped pink wild rose

What are you thankful for today?

A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum…

As promised last week, I have a few more photos to share with you from our Italy trip back in 1996.

When in Rome…

At the Colosseum in Rome

At the Colosseum in Rome

We had to get up early to catch the express train from Pisa to Rome. As I recall, it was a 3-hour trip, but perhaps that was if we didn’t make the express — at any rate, it made for a couple of very long days! I would love to be able to return to Europe again and tour with a digital camera. There were so many photographs that I didn’t take because I was nursing a baby at the time conserving film. 

At the time, I was the only crazy American nursing a baby in a historical site.

At the time, I was the only crazy American nursing a baby in a historical site.

Prior to being discovered/uncovered, this entire area was filled in with dirt and used as a cow pasture! They were still excavating when we were there 16 years ago.

When we walked around the Temple of the Vestal Virgins, SuperDad noticed an empty pedestal (missing its statue) and suggested that I stand on it for a photo. I acted confused and asked him to show me what he was requesting, so he climbed up and posed… and I quickly snapped a photo. 🙂     I’d love to share that picture but it’s such a tiny image that it didn’t work well when I attempted to upload it, so you’ll just have to imagine the humor of the scene: a dad with a baby in a backpack acting like a statue in the Temple of the Vestal Virgins.  (Maybe this is one of those “guess you had to be there” situations?)

I wish I had photos to share with you from St. Peter’s Basilica. I began my love affair with jasper while staring at an incredible carved statue in that church — the flowing robe of stone almost seemed alive! And Michelangelo’s Pieta inside the Basilica made me cry — it was that realistically carved. Those are things that you simply have to see in person to get the full effect. The other famous sights from the Vatican — the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, for example — are better seen in a high-quality photograph printed on a postcard. 

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Time Warp Tuesday is brought to you by Jenn at Juggling Life. Visit here to see the other participants and their photos.

Bead Hoarders’ Blog Hop

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I’ve had this cross pendant for a long time, possibly a dozen years. It also has a pin backing, which is the only way I have worn it, but it seemed to me that it ought to be a pendant. I have plenty of blue beads to choose from and yet none of them seemed to work. The finish on the light colored portion is more iridescent than silver, but these tiny (11/0) silver-lined Vintage Venetian seed beads seemed to do the trick. I added a few accent beads in blue and clear/silver foil as well.

unfinished

unfinished

Confession time:  I did not get this necklace finished. What you see above is how far I’ve actually gotten — minus the beading and un-beading that I’ve done in trying to get a combination with which I’m satisfied.  Plenty of other people have perfectly lovely completed projects to see — go here to find the links to each of them.

This is a necklace and earrings set that I made 7 months ago. I had purchased the pendant with my SIL in mind and then hung onto it for more than a few years while I considered how to use it. I finally made a decision, made this set and gave it to her for Christmas last year.

This is a necklace and earrings set that I made 7 months ago. I had purchased the pendant with my SIL in mind and then hung onto it for more than a few years while I considered how to use it. I finally made a decision, created this set and gave it to her for Christmas last year.

When I signed up for the blog hop I wasn’t planning on a such a busy couple of weeks. We had 2 memorial services this week, which meant (work-wise) 2 more services needing bulletins besides the usual Sunday service — plus I attended both of those memorial services.  Today I came home from the church, gathered up the rest of the family, and headed out to the Garland Street Fair. We had benefit tickets to see “Oz, the Great and Powerful” (hello, James Franco!) and then we strolled down the yellow brick road before the shops closed up.

Also, I’ve been making these earrings which will soon be [edited] are now in my Etsy shop:

Inspired by a frog named Kermit: the rainbow connection

The Rainbow Connection

Inspired by a frog named Kermit (above and below)

It's not easy being green

It’s not easy being green

Red-dy for Peace and Love

Red-dy for Peace and Love

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I’m going to publish this and hope to get around to visit each of you before the end of the weekend.

Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

I is for…

Count your blessings, name them one by one…

Welcome to week!

I’m using Thursday posts to focus on thankfulness — and instead of counting blessings, I’m challenging myself to come up with them alphabetically.  (You can find the rest of the posts in this series here.)

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Lately, I’ve been incredibly thankful for Iced Coffee and Ice Cream…   It’s been hot here.

Huckleberry Ice Cream

Huckleberry Ice Cream

I took this photo [above] last year while “researching” for a My Town Monday post. This weekend is the 11th Annual Garland Street Fair. We’ll be returning to the Emerald City of Oz and following the yellow brick road on Saturday. I’m told that the doggy costume contest this year is all about flying monkeys… after all, how many dogs truly look like Toto? 😉

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What are you thankful for today?

Do you think your pet could win a flying monkey look-alike contest?

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TWT: More Than Just Memories of Italian Mice

Brightside Susan mentioned that I ought to have other, happier memories from Italy — and yes, I do have some! In fact, I recently scrapbooked these (re-scrapbooked them, since the old photo albums with magnetic pages were deteriorating and putting my precious photo memories in danger) so I will share them here.

click on pic to embiggen

click on pic to embiggen

I loved the Tuscan town of Lucca with its many tall towers and red roofs. We paid to climb the steps in this particular tower — Torre Guinigi —  because it not only had a lovely rooftop garden but it also had a lovely view over the town and countryside.

Lucca

SuperDad schlepped baby H-J up all of those steps to the top of the tower.

Yes, those are really mature trees growing on top of the tower! They provided some much appreciated shade on the top of the roof.

Now THAT is a hay barn!

Now THAT is a hay barn! I had this photo enlarged and framed for my husband’s grandparents who were farmers.

I have a few more fun pictures to share from our whirlwind trip that fall, but I’m saving those for next week. 🙂

Hopefully I’ll have time to get it done. It’s a really busy week for me at work (meetings, memorial services, and more) but I am taking time out for fun on Tuesday evening and going to see/hear Zuill Bailey again.  My blogging time will just have to take a back seat to such pressing engagements.

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Time Warp Tuesday is brought to you by Jenn at Juggling Life. Visit here to see the other participants and their photos.

H is for…

Count your blessings, name them one by one…

Welcome to week!

I’m using Thursday posts to focus on thankfulness — and instead of counting blessings, I’m challenging myself to come up with them alphabetically.  (You can find the rest of the posts in this series here.)

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H is for Home, Health, Happiness, Hope

… and Humor

She was two drinks away from proving his mother right

H is for Hat!

click to embiggen

click to embiggen for full cuteness factor

Is there anything cuter than a baby in a hat? 

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What are you thankful for this week?

TWT: A Tale of Two Mice

Once upon a time [nearly 17 years ago] a daddy, a mommy, and a baby traveled to Italy for the week. They left 2 big brothers with another family because, well, it was easier. The baby had to come along because he was breastfed. This wee family unit stayed in an equally wee military motel room in Pisa, and they took day trips to interesting places like Lucca and Florence and Rome. While they were off having fun, an Italian mouse took up residence in one of their suitcases. The mommy discovered tiny bits of chewed up plastic from the cup of cheerios she had brought for the baby, which she promptly dropped in her haste to get away from the probable rodent. (The plastic cup, people — she dropped the no-longer-sealed cup of cheerios; she kept a good grip on the baby!)  She then locked herself and the baby in the wee bathroom until the daddy deposited the live Italian mouse back outside into the Italian countryside where it belonged.

The daddy may have mocked her fear by pointing out that a) mice can’t use doorknobs so locking the bathroom door was unnecessary, and b) there was plenty of space under the door for the mouse to enter. The mommy refused the logic of his first point and shrieked loudly at his second point.  This event continues to be brought up in discussion in the form of the phrase Italian suitcase. 

Mommy and baby -- picture taken mere minutes before discovering the Italian mouse in their suitcase

Mommy and baby — picture taken mere minutes before discovering the Italian mouse in their suitcase

Not so very long ago [about 10 days ago] the household cat and the youngest boy, age 13, were playing in the rec room behind the garage when they spotted a mouse. The boy and the cat were equally excited. The mouse skeedattled. At bedtime, the cat was deposited into the rec room and left to take care of business; in the morning she was sleeping on a bed with the older teen [baby in above photo] and the mouse’s head was discovered on the rec room floor.  We can only assume that the rest of the mouse has been properly digested and dealt with… I know for a fact that SuperDad dealt with the remains.

Sorry if that skeeves you out, too — but fact is fact!

Unfortunately, the story does not end there.
On July 4th, I suddenly realized it was a holiday fer-cryin’-out-loud! and went to the garage to get a few decorations so I didn’t look like a unpatriotic Scrooge.* I opened the drawer stuffed full of Red, White, and Blue decor and grabbed a handful of… stuffing. What is this shredded stuff?!?  Oh, crap. Literally. Mouse turds and mouse pee.

The sound of my shrieks and the immediate presence of my person in the main part of the house was enough to get the attention of the rest of the family. SuperDad to the rescue again, as he cleaned out the drawer. He assures me that there is no longer any mice — that the mouse was an independent sort of creature. Why don’t I believe him?

This is one thing that will never change:

I. Hate. Mice.

We did put up a few decorations on the afternoon of July 4th.  They might just stay up for a while now. I’m still freaked out about entering that part of the garage.

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*Hey, I was working on Tuesday and Wednesday and I can barely even think after work.

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Time Warp Tuesday is brought to you by Jenn at Juggling Life. Visit here to see the other participants and their photos.

My Town Monday: Water Recreation

The great thing about living where I do is the close proximity of recreational water activities.

kayaking

Kayaking with my husband, Oct. 2012

The main river runs right through town and there are parks alongside it in various places.

In The Good Ol' Summertime

In The Good Ol’ Summertime

Yesterday afternoon we were out at the lake house of some friends, enjoying paddle-boating, tubing, and general water play. Confession: aside from 30 minutes of paddle-boating, I stuck to sitting in the shade and enjoying the view… which was fabulous but I did not bring my camera with me.

Lake Coeur d’Alene

Luckily, I did bring my camera with me on Saturday when I drove out to the to the Boy Scout camp where EB is working this summer. Without 300 people running around, it was very peaceful.

"war canoes"

“war canoes”

And with the heat wave gone, our temperatures are back into the mid-80’s (around 30 C) with a pleasant breeze — in other words, pure perfection.

Lake Coeur d'Alene

Lake Coeur d’Alene

I love living here!