For once, the weatherman was right. Damn. It snowed off and on all day today, and is supposed to do the same tomorrow.
I have messages from STP: she wore shorts to work today; er, um, chains and studs are illegal here even on gators; watch that BVD thing -- it can backfire -- and then you'll wonder if they're all thinking of you in your BVDs. She also said that if you speak with 1/4 of the wit, humor, charm, and grace with which you write, you'll be a star.
Fall has begun here. The Kudzu is dying back; everyone is sleeping *in* the house (thus returning the Blue Moon Porch back into its normal state).
Sorry I've been out of pocket. My sister Gina got married yesterday, a truly joyous occasion. I'll give a full report soon. But here's a tidbit: several people at the reception told me they'd never been to a sweeter wedding. Even the photographer was misty-eyed!
Congratulations to Gina and new Hubs! Best wishes to them.
We had a bit of a cause for celebration this weekend too - though nothing as exciting or grand as a wedding. The Tigers won the American League Championship and are on their way to the World Series! Last time that happened was twenty-two years ago - the week I got back from spending two years living in Germany.
Hubs and I caught the last ten minutes or so of the game on the radio Saturday. It brought back nostalgic memories of my Dad - always a big Tiger fan even when the Tigers deserved to have no fans, (which is most of the time). I bet he's smiling in his grave now.
On Saturdays, Dad listened to the games on the radio, relaxing in his hammock; it was the only time he used the hammock; the only time he drank a beer. My brother and I would pile on top of him, and ask for a sip of his Budweiser. He'd let us - probably just to quiet us down so he could hear the announcers. It tickled our noses and made us burp, which of course, led to burping contests between my brother and I, and we'd run off burping trying to burp in the other's ear. Kids are gross.
He'd often take us to the games too, at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. Hat day, and Bat day were biggies. Oh, those kid-sized wooden bats!!! You just had to slam it on the concrete driveway when you got home, knowing your hands would burn with stinging pain, shooting all the way up your arms, and into your teeth, seeing who could refrain from wincing. Kids are weird.
I still have my 1984 Tigers World Series Champion sweatshirt - not for nostalgic purposes, but because it's perfectly worn and comfy, and I can't give it up. Just like old memories.
I can do this, <breathe>; I've done it many times, <breathe>, and have always survived more or less. And yes, I do tend-to-start-off-talking-fast-and-get-faster-andfasteruntilitallturnsintoablurandmytonguegetstiedinknots. <breathe, breathe, breathe> I will remember to write "slow down" in the margins of my notes. I will probably re-read your post ten times right up to the point I go "on stage". <deep breath>
Gams, it will be fine. You need to give yourself the room a spacious woman needs: being spacious is a good thing. A long time ago you wrote your fingers just drifted over the keyboard and then you had a post. That is spaciousness.
MAKE YOUR COMMAS ETC STAND OUT -- THEY ARE SPEED LIMIT SIGNS.
Oh yeah, pee right before you're at the lectern. And stop and sip, not chug, a beverage. You'll be too tense to notice your body's request to pee, so pee afterwords too.
You aren't grading these people, they want to be there.
BTW, what are you going to be talking about?
<pant, pant, pant> Uhm...how long 'til the hemi is in the mule...how long do I have to imagine the oh-so-hot guy in the Bvds? Lemme know when he can take them off.....err, we can take off to the races.
The race is on. Here drink this -- it's cold water. If that doesn't help, go from BVDs to Tidy Whites. That should slow things down, eh?
<scribbles down more tips from Maeve on how to be prepared>
I've got a bit of a trial-run getting up in front of a crowd here in a few minutes. Young, brash and oh-so-critical - fifty of them in all - and it should be good practice.
No BVD images here...it's easier to still remember them in diapers. I'm reading stories to the kindergartden and first grade classes at BP's school. Not nervous, but I'll be sure and remember the pee thing.
All righty, Gams, and all interested parties - here are the details (such as I am capable, not being a very descriptive writer) of my sister's wedding. She and Jess married at an old lodge in my hometown's public park. It's a very rustic old stone building, probably 60 - 70 years old. There's a large room at one end, a kitchen and restrooms in the middle, and a smaller room with a fireplace at the other end. They had the ceremony in the room with the fireplace, and the reception at the other end. We decorated the lodge with silk flowers in fall colors, a great match for the rustic building. Jess' family arrived en masse just before the ceremony with hot trays and roasters full of smoked brisket, spanish rice, pinto beans, and chicken mole, which is chicken with a peanut butter/chili powder/cumin/garlic/tomato sauce gravy - a special dish served only on special occasions. Apparently, his mom and sisters were up all night cooking.
The ceremony was really lovely. I'm not sentimental when it comes to weddings. But they said their vows so sweetly and sincerely, looking into each other's eyes, even the photographer and I were teary! Gina was radiant; I've never seen her happier. One of the songs she chose was by John Denver, "For You". And as John, her all-time favorite vocalist, sang the last chorus, Gina softly sang it to Jess, who teared up and kissed her hands.
Just to look in your eyes again Just to lay in your arms Just to be the first one always there for you Just to live in your laughter Just to sing in your heart Just to be every one of your dreams, come true
Just to sit by your window Just to touch in the night Just to offer a prayer each day for you Just to long for your kisses Just to dream of your sighs Just to know that I'd give my life for you.
For you, all the rest of my life For you, all the best of my life For you alone, only for you.
Just to wake up each morning Just to you by my side Just to know that you're never really far away Just a reason for living Just to say I adore Just to know that you're here in my heart to stay.
For you, all the rest of my life For you, all the best of my life For you alone, only for you.
Just the words of a love song Just the beat of my heart Just the pledge of my life, my love, for you.
I sang a Karen Staley song, "Where Have You Been All My Life", which takes on special meaning when you consider that my sis married for the first time at age 44.
Where have you been all of my life Baby what took you so long to find me Again and again I prayed each night For someone to put the tears behind me
I swear you're too good to be true But something tells me to believe in you It just feels right Where have you been all of my life
Where have you been all of my life What winding road did you take to get here I wondered when my angel might Fly down to earth, suddenly just appear
When you're near I feel at peace All my doubts and worries cease All the world is right Where have you been all of my life
I had almost given up My poor heart had had enough Though I'd looked under every single stone But there must have been one I missed 'Cause from the moment that we kissed I knew I'd never be alone
So tell me, where have you been all of my life Baby what took you so long to find me Again and again I prayed each night For someone to put the fears behind me
I swear you're too good to be true But something tells me to believe in you It just feels right Where have you been Angel, where have you been all of my life
It's about time, it's about time, it's about time That you found me
It's about time, it's about time, it's about time Where have you been
After the ceremony and the pictures, Jess' family served that wonderful food, and the party began. I played dj with party discs a friend had mixed for me. He really did a super job, mixing dance tunes, love songs, and old favorites. Jess and Gina had their first dance to Terri Clark's "Now That I Found You", just a perfect choice. And then Jess' family insisted that we do a groom/his mom, bride/her father dance. My dad does NOT dance. But he did for Gina, resting his forehead against hers. She started to cry, and the rest of us did, too, two of her friends fleeing in tears, not to be seen again. Then Jess' family suggested we do a "dollar dance" in which you must pay for the privilege of dancing with the bride and groom, giving your fee to the best man and matron of honor. More than $300 was gathered, a nice addition to the honeymoon fund.
This morning Gina called from their honeymoon spot, a cabin by a river in Estes Park, Colorado. She said they had 5 inches of fresh snow, and that the whole place looked like a Christmas card. She said Jess had somehow hidden some flowers to give to her once they arrived, and that there was a bottle of sparkling cider, 2 glasses, and a card reading, "Congratulations!". She sounded on top of the world. I am so happy for them both. Gina has been through some very painful times, seeing her affections wasted on unworthy people. She has been used and cast aside more than once by people she assisted in getting their lives together. I'm glad that sometimes what goes around DOES come around, and that she got the love she deserves.
such as I am capable, not being a very descriptive writer
Pfft, Siren. Your post was descriptive enough that it brought a tear to my eye - and not just because I missed the feasting; I am one of those wedding-cryers. Lovely choice of songs - I would have loved to hear you sing. It sounded beautiful - the entire thing; I'm so glad for your Sis and Jess.
Maeve, kids read all sorts of things - some of the books are quite entertaining, even for an adult like me. Ok - that doesn't say much, does it?
One of the books I read yesterday was picked out by the teacher; it fit in with the lessons they were learning about integrity. I remember the book well from when I was Library Mom in LX's elementary. "Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon" is a book about a little girl, too small, too big buck teeth, too screechy a voice, too clumsy. Through it all her Grandmother tells her to stand tall, smile big, sing loud, and parade her talents. She does, then moves to a new school, and has to do it all over again. But by doing so, she gains the respect of her new classmates and the bully who teases her because she's a too small, buck toothed, loud, clumsy, silly girl.
The other two were Halloween books I brought from the library. A ghoulish counting book; those are always fun and the kids counted along with me.
No problem at all doing this - laughing and acting silly in front of a bunch of kids, but practicing my class stuff in front of Hubs and LX this evening, I about fainted. LMAO. I am hopeless. Really, I am.
It's supposed to rain Saturday; I'm praying for it.
"I remember the book well from when I was Library Mom in LX's elementary. "Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon" is a book about a little girl, too small, too big buck teeth, too screechy a voice, too clumsy. Through it all her Grandmother tells her to stand tall, smile big, sing loud, and parade her talents. She does, then moves to a new school, and has to do it all over again. But by doing so, she gains the respect of her new classmates and the bully who teases her because she's a too small, buck toothed, loud, clumsy, silly girl."
I'd like to read that, Gams. Thanks for the recommendation.
The weather here - pfft - cold and wintery. Oh, how I wish for just one more week or so of Indian Summer. But I can't say it hasn't been a beautiful fall here; with all the colors how could it not be. I was just thinking yesterday how pretty the leaves looked strewn all over the lawn. I like them there, and it's not just because they're a pain to rake - they just look nice. Actually, I like raking - and the rewards you get from it....piles of crunchiness to jump into.
The pretty covering of yellow and red maple leaves, though, overnight turned into a thick blanket as the winter-like wind kicked up again. The leaf sucker machines were out bright and early this morning, and drat!...now I wished I would have at least got some of the leaves out to the curb.
Has anyone ever seen these things? I should take a picture - have the leaf sucker machine guy smile for the camera - and post it here. A big truck, (though they've a new smaller model in the town's fleet of leaf sucker machines this year), with an flexable arm-like hose that the leaf sucker guy moves along the curbs where everyone rakes their leaves into great piles that sometimes stand as tall as me. The leaves magically disappear.
It's not that I aspire to be a leaf sucker machine driver, but I've always wanted to give it a try. Just to get my hands in control of that big hose and see how fast I can suck something up.
That didn't sound quite right.
Anyway, I have my work cut out for me - as much as I like a covering of leaves on the grass, and piles to play in, they will eventually have to go. Half the leaves on the five huge maples are down; the other half not giving up yet, still firmly grasping their branches to wait until we've got the yard completely raked and their buddies are out on the street waiting to be sucked up - and only then will they decide to let go. I can hear them snickering their little leaf laugh now.
No patchwork quilt of warm fall colors on the ground this morning; no leave sucker machines vacuuming the curbs of their piled high leaves. It is a more than an inch-thick blanket of heavy, wet, slushy snow covering the ground now, and salt trucks working the streets.
Hubs was right; he said we'd have snow before Halloween. I vehemently denied it, refusing to give in to the possibly. I hate it when he's right and I'm wrong.
I will, Siren, (of course, only if my Hostess Cupcake, Scrappy, will host the picture for me?). And of course, only if I get around to raking my leaves, so I can stake-out leaf sucker guy in front of my own yard. To chase him around town, with camera in hand, is just weird. Don't want to scare the guy. He's got that big hose - big enough to suck up a small adult, and I'm not quite sure what happens to the leaves once they disappear.
I watched an out-of-place robin eating the fruit from a snow-covered crabapple tree this morning.
I've still no idea what a "sooner" is - can you explain where the name came from?
The first white men in the United States (aka, the pioneers) used large, covered wagons with really wide wheels and sported an arched canvas tops. It was said they looked like schooners crossing a sea of grass (cf Conestoga).
Schooner was soon shortened to sooners. Someone else can explain prairie oysters...
And yes, Divining Maeve; your sense of water is right on again. Mt. Baldy does indeed, lead down to Oval Beach. I don't think it moves though; the stairs would have fallen long ago, don't you think?
You're the tree expert. How strong are tap roots? One of my line oaks can survive almost anything. Locust trees crumble if you make any noise. Taproot of what? Taproots can handle bad soil better cause they have more efficient food production. Now, that's just a guess.
As you know (perhaps too well?) sand moves pretty easily: it can choke roots near the surface. Can sand erode a taproot?
One more event of the season is over: The World Series. The Cardinals won. A minor league sniff over the game; I'm not much of a baseball fan - though it would have been nice to see our home team win. Watched the game with a friend - no beer and hotdogs though. We had coffee, and shared a big bowl of mint chocolate-chip icecream with gobs of gooey hot fudge. It made the Tigers loss entirely palatable.
More later, Maeve, on the taproot thing. Off to work now. Today is the pumpkin carving contest, and I am the judge.
Roller-skiing this morning. Brrrrrr. The leaves on the trail were still covered in frost.
But it warmed up nicely - the nicest day we've had in quite awhile; up in the sixties. Carved the pumpkins with the girls; one scary, one happy, and one surprized. Hubs' - the biggest one of the bunch - we didn't carve. Pooped out after three, and since the guts of the last one were all rottony black and runny, I was over it by that time.
Rid the yard of leaves....by mulching them. A fairly big yard - just about an acre - and it took two mowings to mulch them fairly well. It now looks like tiny pieces of confetti covering the lawn....and it only took about a quarter of the time it would have for us to rake.
Hubs removed the trees from the gutter. I wish the squirrels would keep their nuts somewhere else.
The residents in our town are big on Halloween; it's not unusual for my Xena Sis, who lives three blocks over, to get over five hundred trick-or-treaters. There's a lot of rural area nearby so parents cart them in by the van-loads - and the adults trick-or-treat too!
But on my street - specifically my end of the street, there are few houses that participate; only three of us give out candy, and I usually end up with about 300 or so kids coming to the house.
Hubs - who does not share my enthusiasm for Halloween - says I go overboard. And this is why: I enjoy it - I really have too much fun, and this year was no exception. The house was in full haunting; graveyard, full size mannequin witches - three of them, skeletons, bones, mister - complete with eerie blue light, strobe lights, and of course, music blaring. I get the biggest kick out of hearing both kids and parents say it's the best, and scariest house in town. People go out of their way just to come here. Parents asked me to pose for pictures with their kids in the cemetery. Even Hubs, the Halloween curmudgeon, proudly told me that while taking our girls out, he heard numerous groups of kids talking - even blocks away - "You gotta go to the house on Green. It's the best!"
The music. Some Dad: "Rob Zombie - appropriately Halloween - good choice." He and I danced to "American Witch" in the strobe lights, and got a round of applause. Too funny.
The weather was fine Halloween night; cold, but at least dry, (last year it poured).
Yesterday - the aftermath. I'm glad I had the day off - glad it takes a fraction of the time to take the stuff down as it does to put it up.....cuz then I had time to play. Went roller-skiing, and then to a friend's house who lives across the street from the Lake for big mugs of hot coffee and cider doughnuts before we walked the beach. Brrrrrr. It's cold down there; the bitter wind bites right to the bone.
Great post, Gams. My new brother-in-law loves Halloween as you do. His display is much more modest - a little graveyard in the front yard, giant spiderwebs draped around, and of course, a scary costume for Jess - but he loves it. Anticipates it for weeks beforehand. Our town has seen a big drop-off in at-home trick-or-treaters. I think they go to the malls and church celebrations. Jess was disappointed by his small turnout. But I think he's already planning next year.
Tell him to hang in there, Siren. Word gets out and if he keeps decorating - kids love that stuff - soon his small turn-out will grow and he'll wonder if 20 bags of candy will last the night.
Ah - Saturday at work; one of my last this year. I dislike working Saturdays this time of year; I am the only one there. Most of the staff has been laid off for the season already, and it's just me, the boss, and the designer left in retail. Sigh. Being on forty acres all by yourself on a dark, gloomy, rainy day with few customers is not only kinda boring, (although I got all my spring perennial orders done today. Yay! I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the boss's money - always a fun thing), it gets kinda eerie at times. Legend has it the original owner - who started the nursery over fifty years ago - haunts the place....in a friendly manner. Lots of weird noises for sure.
Tomorrow I absolutely have to do some fall clean-up, and start putting the gardens to bed for winter. Sheesh, I still have pots of stuff left to plant. Most likely in the rush to get things done, they'll end up heeled in Hub's vegie garden until spring when he threatens to till them under if they don't get moved. Slowly, the vegie garden is beginning to look like a perennial bed.
Then there is that strip of pine needles on the ravine hill. White pine needles - long, soft and oh-so-slippery. I bring them home to use as mulch in the gardens, but let the girls use them first for a sled run. They work nearly as well as snow. I can remember as a kid, camping and doing the same in the woods - sliding down hills on a bed of pine needles in cardboard boxes.
And if I don't make it to cleaning up the gardens tomorrow....it's because I'm trying out LX's snow-board. Gotta get in practice, you know, for that yearly sled-run in the tavern.
Wow! What a gorgeous day it was here today. Sun and sixty. Sixty!!!! What a gorgeous word; let me say it again. Sixty...in November.
Cuz this was it; I'm sure. A brief respite from a cold, rainy fall, and quickly approaching winter. I went roller-skiing this morning and afterward we got a ton of stuff done outside in the yard - still so much to do, though. But at least the bulk of it is done. Relief. Hubs sprayed my evergreens with anti-dessicant - it helps keep the moisture in the leaves that tend to dry and shrivel in the wind here - and that was the main concern I had. It can't be sprayed below forty, and I was worried it wouldn't get done in time. Hated to come inside, but dang, it gets dark so early now.
But oh! Did anyone see the moon! Bright, and it might as well be full. It makes tonight as gorgeous as the sun made the day.
Hi Gams! I'm loving your posts, though I've not replied to them lately. Sorry for that. Thank you for the time you put into them.
We had an 83 degree day this week. Can you believe that??? Totally weird for November. But today it was in the 30s this morning, and was still comfortably cool this afternoon. I mowed my lawn for hopefully the last time this season, and will transport my porch plants to my mom's garden room next time I visit. I don't want them to get nipped by Jack Frost.
We wrapped up our 3-day Children's Miracle Network radiothon yesterday, broadcasting from our children's hospital. It was an amazing three days, talking with patients and their families. One boy literally had an IV of chemotherapy drugs dripping into his abdomen while we talked. Others stopped by during a hospital visit to see their doctors. We also had some very gratifying success stories from kids who are now perfectly healty, one who's a college freshman now. OU football coach Bob Stoops coordinated his weekly hospital visit to be part of the radiothon, and said something memorable: "When people talk about 'oh, Stoops must really be feeling the pressure now', or 'the Sooners are under pressure this week', it makes me laugh. If you want to see folks dealing with pressure, visit the patients here, and their families, and the doctors and nurses taking care of them. We know our role, and that our job is to win. But what we do is just a game. What goes on here is really important."
The last family we interviewed was a mom and dad, both deaf, and their 3-year old, who hears and speaks, but who has a kidney disease. We interviewed them, and I held a mic on their interpreter as she gave them our questions and related their answers. Their faces were so expressive as they told us of their fear, as their baby swelled grotesquely, his body filled with fluid, and their frustration, dealing with his illness in a hearing world. But the hospital quickly brought in a translator for them, and it was much easier from there. The parents both teared up as they told us how much better he is now, and that his condition has stablized. He's no longer swollen, except for his fat little cheeks. On the air, one of my co-workers showed the boy his photo in the new CMN calendar, which he had apparently not seen yet. His little face lit up, and he said, "That's me!", then quickly turned to his daddy and gently patted his chest to get his attention, then signed to him and said, "That's me." There wasn't a dry eye in the room.
Our final total was over $118,400 - a new high. All the money stays here in Oklahoma, and goes 100% to children's medical research.
I don't feel like we're great people for doing the radiothon. I feel like it's my way of giving back a bit for all the good things I have, including a healthy family. I am truly thankful I get to do it.
Great news, Siren, that so much money was raised for such a good cause. It sounds like truly a wonderful thing to be a part of: not only helping raise the money, but getting to meet some of the children and their families; touching memories that I'm sure stay with for a very long time.
Our weather this past week has been unseasonably warm too for November, reaching into the sixties. It's been nice - a string of days much nicer than all of the nice weather days of this October combined.
It took a turn though, Friday night. We were having dinner at a friend's; she lives on a farm "out in the country". It started to rain - sleets of it - and the lightning display that came along with was spectacular; I can't remember if I've ever seen a storm quite like this. It lit up the entire house with an eerie blueish glow. Lightning out on flat land - farmland with few trees or other buildings to block it - is much different than in town. Here the trees and houses mute the flashes somehow. I never realized how much, until experiencing the storm Friday night at my friends.
The kids - ours and hers, (older than mine) - ran to the barn to check on the animals. All was calm; the horse and cows did not seem the least bit bothered by the commotion outside - but what an adventure the girls had. At home, the cats were freaking....or at least getting into things they were not supposed to be getting into. There went the Halloween candy.
Thanks, Gams. Yes, over the course of the radiothons we've done, we've made many indelible memories. One little boy this year was talking about how he felt when he learned that he had cancer, and said something along the lines of, "Well, I got really mad at first. But then, I figured out that's just life. And you just live with it. And it really doesn't change me much, having tumors." For me, it's certainly a major reality check about the important things in life, and of just how easy and uncomplicated my life is.
A thunderstorm like that unsettles me, for sure. Especially bad if you're trying to sleep. Funny that the animals took it in stride. And yes, indeed, quite an adventure for the kids!
Glad you've had some pretty days to get out and enjoy. I'm sure you've taken full advantage with your rollerskis.
I agree - things like that are always a reality check about what is important, and what is not. It makes you enjoy what you have a whole lot more.
I've been out on my roller-skis; I went this morning. But darn it, it just gets too dark too fast to go in the evenings. One thing I don't really care for this time of year: it's dark before I get home from work. I'm still not used to the time change, I don't think. I feel like getting into my jammies and crawling into bed at about 8 o'clock.
And no - the cats didn't actually eat the candy - though the one does have a sweet-tooth; he stole my granola bar off the counter the other day. I went into the other room for just a second, and saw a flash of gray charge up the stairs....a trail of crumbs following. He eats on the run. The candy, they just tear into and leave their teeth marks in everything.