Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Marathon Man of the family!

Who'd have dreamed that I would be so closely aquainted with greatness!! :)

Arthur's son, my handsome stepson Matthew, recently competed in the Bayshore Marathon. He completed the 26 mile race in 3 hours, six minutes and 8 seconds! Translated, that means Matthew has qualified for the BOSTON MARATHON next April!!!

That gives me incentive to give up my couch-potato leanings! Matthew, you're my hero!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A small harvest, but big to me!

I planted these in my garden six years ago. This year, for the first time, there were enough to actually do something with! Go Me!!! :)

I might never be so lucky again, so now I have the photos for posterity.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day picnic photos

We all enjoyed a peaceful Memorial Day this year. The kids and I visited the cemetery loaded with the usual flags and decorations. Then our family went to Eldon Lyon Park for an early evening cookout. Pictured: Me, Arthur, Shelby, John, Shelby's boyfriend Alex, John's buddy Ross, and Kathy. Terry is on assignment with the National Guard this month, and missed out on some good food.

Don't worry, Terry, we missed you!

Shelby likes her marshmallows crispy!

For some reason, everything always tastes better when eaten outdoors!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Robin the Ghost on 27th Street

This post is a bit of a departure from my usual posts about my family, but I guess my own personal ghost story is part of the fabric of my life, right?

Annie is asking for ghost stories, and I thought that sounded like fun. So here it is!

When my ex-husband (YES ex, not late... I don't talk about Steve very often) moved into a vintage house back in 1980, I was very excited. I had always wanted to live in a house from around the turn of the century.

We had a friend staying with us who had helped us move.

It all began the very first night when we turned off the light and went to bed. Suddenly we heard some weird music for a few seconds, and it sounded like it was coming from somewhere in the house.

I sat up in bed and said, “Steve! Did you hear that???”

He said, “It’s nothing. Go to sleep.”

I was just beginning to drift off when suddenly the curtains blew straight out.

“Steve! The windows are closed! I think we have ghosts!”

He replied, “Are you crazy? I don’t believe in that garbage. There is probably a hole in the window somewhere. Go to sleep.”

We had barely settled back down when suddenly the overhead light turned on by itself.

Me: “Screeeeeam!”

Steve didn’t say a word at first, but sat bolt upright, reached over for a cigarette, and could barely light it because he was shaking so hard. As scared as I was, I couldn’t help falling out with laughter at Mr. “I Don’t Believe in Ghosts.”

Now, this was a standard light switch that had to be clicked down to turn it off, and up to turn it on. We both examined it, and could find no logical explanation of how it would have flipped up by itself.

Finally, whatever was going on settled down. We had no more strange episodes that night.

The next morning I was serving breakfast when our friend who was staying with us sat down at the table. He didn’t look like he had much sleep, either.

“Gary? How was your night?” I asked.

He moaned, “I couldn’t rest. The weirdest thing happened. I had my door opened to the hall and suddenly I saw this white thing floating in the air! It scared the heck out of me!”

Steve and Gary had to work that day, so I was left alone with my three-year-old Jimmy. He had heard all the talk at the breakfast table and was pretty scared himself. So I decided to get proactive with the situation. I told Jimmy that if there was a ghost, he was probably a friendly ghost. We named the ghost “Robin,” which would be appropriate for a boy or girl. Then we talked to the ghost and said that we were going to be living there with him (or her) and wanted to be friends.

Robin the Ghost was there with us for the two years we lived there. He would play pranks on us all the time like hide stuff that would later reappear, but never did anything really scary. We invited Robin to go with us when we moved. But he stayed behind, maybe because he had to. All the cute little pranks stopped after we went to the new house. We actually missed him.

You can call me nuts. But that’s how it really happened!!! :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's a twin thing!

Happy Birthday to Arthur and his twin brother Allen!

Those two crack me up. They both always forget each others’ birthday. It sounds like a corny joke, forgetting ones’ twin on his birthday! But they do it every year, except last year when Allen flew down to surprise Art. I secretly believe the only reason Allen remembered then was because we planned it so far in advance.

I reminded my husband to call Allen today.

He said, “Oh no! I forgot to send him a card!”

Arthur dialed up Allen and wished him a happy birthday.

Allen said, “Oh no! I forgot to send you a card!”

Yup, it’s a twin thing.

I have one thing to say. Twins are cute, and I love my brother-in-law Allen.

But there is only ONE Arthur!!!! I love you sweetie! :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

So tired of Weight Watching.

I am so tired right now.

I am tired of work.

I am tired of pets.

I'm tired of students.

I am tired of gasoline prices.

And, I'm tired of watching my weight.

I am sooo sick of thinking about every morsel that I decide to swallow! I used to count calories. Then I counted carbs. Now I count points.

Yes, I am a Weight Watchers member, and I must say the program is better than any other diet plan I have followed. I have been a member ever since my thyroid trouble reared it's ugly head, and I lost 30 lbs. The weight has stayed off, too... well, give or take a few pounds up, a few pounds down... etc...! (I could still use to lose about that much more, but that's another story.)

Dealing with the aggravating end of the school year days makes me want to go through
the fridge and pantry with abandon. Hmmm, let's see how many points can be consumed in a single sitting. I think I'll serve fried chicken. Along side, we can fry some potatoes, add bacon and melted cheese and serve them with ranch dressing!

"Hey Arthur! Let's go to Braums for desert tonight: a banana split with double fudge!!"

Sigh. I still need to keep everything in check. It's not about looking thin as much as I need to keep healthy. There are still a few more years of child rearing ahead, not to mention that I want to be a stereotypical retiree. We have big plans of seeing the country by RV, and playing croquet and horseshoes so that the grandkids can make fun of us.

But if those pounds creep back on, it will be good to remember the immortal words of Allan Sherman in his inspirational speech:

"Hail to thee, Fat Person!"

I would like to explain how it came to pass that I got fat.

Ladies and gentlemen, I got fat as a public service.

When I was a child, my mother said to me,

"Clean the plate, because children are starving in Europe."

And I might point out that that was years before the
Marshall Plan was ever heard of.

So I would clean the plate, four, five, six times a day.

Because somehow I felt that that would keep the children
from starving in Europe.

But I was wrong. The children in Europe kept starving.

And I got fat.

So I would like to say to every one of you who is either skinny
or in some other way normal--

When you walk out on the street, and you see a fat
person, Do not scoff at that fat person. Oh no!

Take off your hat. Hold it over your heart.

Lift your chin up high. And in a proud, happy voice say to him,

"Hail to thee, fat person! You kept us out of war!

On a more serious note, I learned during my search for this video that the comic genius Allan Sherman died suddenly at the age of 48, while he was sitting at the piano entertaining some friends. His weight had spiraled out of control and he had developed severe diabetes, although his official cause of death is listed as emphysema.

Maybe I really should keep on counting those points.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Brain Droppings" as George Carlin would say!

Shelby sent me a meme and since I am feeling lazy and uninspired today I am going to use it as my blog entry. I am not tagging anybody, but anybody may jump in and participate. I think to add interest I may post a bunch of random family photos at the end of this :)

Here is how this meme works. Place an X by all the things you've done, and remove the X from the ones you have not, and post it on your blog or email it to your friends if you’d like.

(X] Smoked a cigarette
(X) Drank so much you threw up
( ) Crashed a friend's car
( ) Stolen a car
(X) Hitchhiked
(X) Been in love
(X) Been dumped
(x) Dumped someone
(X) Been laid off/fired
( ) Quit your job because of medical reasons

(X) Been in a fist fight
(X) Had feelings for someone who didn't reciprocate them
( ) Gone on a blind date
(X) Skipped school
(X) Seen someone die
( ) Been to Mexico
( ) Been to Hawaii
(X) Been on a plane
(X) Been on a train
(X) Been lost in the woods
( ) Been to Walt Disney World
(X) Been on the opposite side of the country
(X) Gone to Washington, DC
( ) Swam in the ocean
( ) Felt like dying
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(X) Played cops and robbers
(X) Cowboys & Indians
(X) Recently colored with crayons/markers
(X) Sang Karaoke
(X) Paid for a meal with only coins
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(X) Climbed a tree
(X) Achieved a goal
(X) Laughed until beverage came out of your nose
( ) Laughed till you peed your pants
( ) Been in a burping contest
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(X) Danced in the rain
(X) Been camping
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X) Watched the sun rise with someone you love
(X) Blown bubbles
( ) Made a bonfire on the beach
( ) Crashed a party
(X) Gone roller-skating at least once
(X) Gone Ice-skating at least once
(X) Went to the bathroom outside in an outhouse

1. Any nicknames? Stella
2. Mother's Name? Margaret
3. What is your favorite drink? Diet Mt.Dew Code Red
4. Tattoos? No
5. Body piercing? ears
7. Favorite vacation spot? Great Lakes Beaches
8. Ever been to Africa? No
9. Ever steal any traffic signs? No
10. Ever been in a car accident? yes
12. Salad dressing? Vinegar and Olive Oil
13. Favorite pie? Cherry
14. Favorite number? 22
15. Favorite movie? Back to the Future
16. Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving
17. Favorite food? MEXICAN AND CHINESE
18. Favorite day of the week? SUNDAY
19. Favorite brand of body soap? Dove Body Wash
20. Favorite TV Show? Dancing With the Stars
21. Favorite smells? Vanilla and spices
22. What do you do to relax? Chat with a friend
23. Message to friends reading this? My love to everybody
24. How do you see yourself in 10 years? Being a cool granny
25. Furthest Place you will send this: Maine or to whoever
surfs in.

OK, I TOLD you these were going to be random! :)

Oh, guess what I'm doing tonight? I am being a coffee shop entertainer at Starbucks! The Starbucks near us has live entertainment on Saturday nights. I thought it would be a lot of fun to do because that is how I earned a living back in the 70's. They are going to get a dose of "the real thing!" I have a bunch of my "hippie" numbers polished and ready to go.. it should be a blast. :)