Sunday, October 9, 2011

our 9/11 memorial trip

seth turned the big 30 in sept. and had been talking about going to new york city to see ground zero - especially since this is the 10th year commemoration of the 9/11 tragedy.  i decided that a trip to n.y. would be the perfect birthday present for him, so we set a date- right before my annual trip with shannon, and we obtained passes for a certain day and time.  we drove to shannon's and stayed overnight and then took the train into n. y. the next morning.  some of the flooding  from the hurricane that they experienced earlier was evident as the train neared the city.  the subway was braved 4 times that day and also  a taxi ride (hold on to your hats!!!) to the empire state building.  we went to china town to get a knockoff watch that seth was obsessing about. (i used my sales skills to talk the guy down- something they more than expect!) and bought slices of n.y. pizza (oh my), and sat on a stoop to eat .

         china town- where we began our quest for a knockoff watch...

the elevator in the empire state building- there were still 6 more floors to go on a different elevator. yow!                           

it rained a bit so visability wasn't perfect from atop the empire state bld. (as we were ascending in the elevator, my ears were popping.)   we were able to see the new building at the 9/11 site. i believe that event changed that city. flags and signs were very visable everywhere.


the top of the empire state bld. taken from the observation deck.

                                             central park behind the buildings

we arrived at the site of 9/11 early, so we sat across the street on some steps and watched the building of the newest addition. 

this was a display that the workers had put up. .. "we will never forget"

this photo was taken of the new trade center from inside the park. there was a huge flag hanging from it. it will be the tallest building when completed. notice the trees - they are all the same height and we were told that they were taken from the site in pa. where the plane went down.

another view of the trade center- an amazing structure. there are some interesting programs on tv about this building and those who are working on it- well worth watching.

this is the "survivor tree"- the only one that survived 9/11. seth and i both felt that we were on sacred ground in this special place. i have videos of the pools that were built in the footprints of the towers that were destroyed but can't seem to get them on this blog- we'll keep trying. 

a truly amazing trip and a birthday that seth and i won't soon forget.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

conference time again

once again , it's time for our semi- annual conference. what a great weekend ! after being a member of the church for 43 years, how can there be so much to learn? as usual, i came to conference with concerns and issues that i knew would be addressed and i was not disappointed. i appreciate the inspiration that the speakers are given for all the many topics that are covered.  the music was outstanding and is always an important part of conference.  katie,josie and anderson were with me for the first session and seth came over for the sunday sessions. it's always wonderful to share thoughts with family.  shannon and i talked today and reviewed some of the talks that we both listened to yesterday. 
 to sit at the master's feet through the general authorities talks is such a privilege.
 here are my conference potholders for these sessions. i kept my hands busy (katie made 2 of them- the tradition goes on!)

i have been refreshed and refuled for another 6 months and am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of these wonderful meetings.

Friday, June 3, 2011

28 and counting!!!!

june 4th - a wonderful day for our family 28 years ago- jojo," the president of mexico" ," jo jo salero", ( and many other akas, as the girls will probably add) was born.  i was in the grocery store with paul and my labor started, so we went home and loaded up the suitcase and paul's lamaze stuff and off we were to the hospital. i could tell that things were progressing quickly, so i was anxious to get there. after being checked, the nurse informed me that i was ready to go into the delivery room!  opps, one problem, though. another woman was just finishing up and they couldn't take me for a short while- yow! my bearing down pains had already started , so the nurse told me to start panting and not to  give in to the bearing down urges- oh yes, easy for her to say- here it is 28 years later and i still remember!  anyhow, paul was whining that he couldn't even use his lamaze skills, but at that point, i didn't feel sorry for him.  FINALLY, the room was available and in i went. feet in the stirrups, 3 pushes and out came our little pumpkin seed girl.
  we had already decided on a name  for a girl when we went out for dinner one night.  the pianist at the restaurant was playing " when joanna loves me" - that did it for us. i can't remember what we had chosen for a boy's name, but it didn't matter at that point.
   joanna was a good baby- "substantial" i would call her. she fit in her carrier very snuggly and loved to eat. shannon had the responsibility of feeding her sometimes and just remembers huge bowls of food and constantly scraping her chin with the spoon.  we all have many memories of baby jojo- the "corn in the nose" incident, short,short haircuts,  interesting experiences in her crib during naptime, her love of peaches,(right from the bushel basket), aaahhhhh ( her" just about ready to go to sleep" sound- does she still do that today, stephan?)
   i remember a wonderful time i had with jojo. we were able to drive to southern virginia college to look the school over and stay over night. we had a great time but  both of us remember the kind of scary ride thru west va. at night . (what's with that place, anyway???) i also have tender memories of my trip to utah to help her fix up her apt. "jo-jo"style and then going back to sell everything and clean it. those are the times that draw families together, and i remember feeling very close to her in her time of need.
  so, my dear joanna, have a wonderful day and we will have a little party when you get here in july. hope our card wasn't late, but you probably are still on your mini birthday trip, anyway. we love you!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

mother's day

mother's day is here again- thanks to all my kids; shannon, katie, seth, jojo, nella and ryan for letting me know in their own special ways, that they appreciate me . i'm visiting with shannon and family this week and so we were treated to an early am (before church) breakfast by brian and the kids. we even had menus delivered to our bedrooms to give us something to look forward to and we each got a beautiful bouquet of roses and a bag of candy. shannon gave me a book that she brought back from women's conference and on sat. we received a fruit bouquet from katie,nate and josie.  my brother, doug sent flowers to the house  (enjoy them, back there!) and phone calls from all the kids rounded out the day.
  i have loved being a mom and am grateful for the blessings that have been mine because of this.  happy mother's day to all of you!

Monday, April 4, 2011

conference time!!!

once again, it's time for general conference and the creation of more "conference potholders". i love to sit and make these simple things while i watch our semi-annual conference from salt lake city. (i actually made one more after this picture was taken). i think of my kids who will receive these and hope they will think of the importance of conference when they use them.... "always a mother!"( this year it was harder to weave them as i had a finger injury from moving furniture. yow!!)
 i went into this conference with the topic of personal revelation on my mind, and how to better be able to receive it. there were many talks and hymns that were directed to that  subject. ... love conference weekend!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

64 and counting!

 wow! a surprise birthday party ....  for me!  nella and katie arranged with my friend, pam, to celebrate my 64th birthday at her home- complete with a gourmet luncheon and 2 cakes- one by pam and one by katie.

spinach, strawberry, hearts of palm and walnuts greeted us along with many other delicacies.

this was a sausage,cheese,apple quiche- omg!

ham with a few vegs. in a thickened broth which we ladeled into tiny pastry cups...omg

endive stuffed with veg. cream cheese... omg

table set with wedgewood plates, silver etc...omg

fresh rolls and beets with vinegar and grapefruit and grapes stuffed with goat cheese and pistacios....omg, omg!

3 layer cake with bits of peaches in the frosting...omg

                    katie's boston cream cake (my favorite cake)... omg
i look loopy after all that food. have i said omgosh enough???!!!  it was nice to have katie and nella there.
pat, me, holly and pam
the traditional" blowing out the candles " picture...
thanks for a great day ps. i got my hair cut after that ---yow!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

more of the same...

nella and i went to the new" shop jr." yesterday and she snapped this shot-   whoo ooo! we then drove home in a snow storm... good times.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

red squirrel jr.

hey!!! i have taken the leap and rented a small  area in kensington court- a cute antique boutique in new kensington, pa. this is pretty exciting for me because it's another creative outlet AND i will actually get paid for the things i sell!  i am official on march 1st.
  this is what greeted me last week when i went to start setting up.! as sally fields said... "they like me, they like me!"

 wish me luck (and check out the place if you're nearby). my original red squirrel shop will be reopening in april.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

40 years and counting...

 the dreaded traditional "blowing out the candles" picture. this particular cake had 40 candles and put out quite a bit of heat.  think it may have singed her hair! (that's ellie in the background- she was a little excited...)

after cutting her cake, shannon discovered that it  wasn't any ordinary cake- it was  a smith island  cake, from smith island, md. these cakes were  made by the women of the island with multi-layers  and sent along with their fishermen husbands when they went out to  fish at sea. the thin layers separated by frosting kept the cakes moist for extended time periods as opposed to regular cakes. we were able to taste these cakes when we were traveling this summer down the east coast on our yearly trip.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

40 years and counting!

my first daughter turned 40 today!  where have all those years gone?  i think it was just yesterday when we lived in alaska  and were making that short trip to the airforce base hospital . what a  cold feb. day that was.  i remember getting into the elevator and having a contraction and wondering what was in store for me! we didn't know if our baby was a boy or girl, but i was excited to be able to hold her in my arms. the girls at my work place had given me gifts- a beautiful pink blanket and diaper service. (yes, we used real, cloth diapers back then!).  i was in a ward with 8 other ladies and we were separated by curtains. only one woman was breastfeeding ( that wasn't in vogue then).  we all thought she was a hippy because of that.
 i so remember the moment i bonded with my little baby girl. we were awakened every 4 hours to walk down to the nursery for feedings. i was sleeping and had a dream that my baby was crying out for me and needed me. i woke with a start and couldn't wait to get to the nursery room. i could see her little head from a distance as she had a full head of dark hair that stood up all over the place. she was the only one like that and the other women had all commented on her hair. i rushed over to her and felt a flood of love, protection  and relief to see that she was all right. i was truly a mother in that instant.
 when we returned home with our little bundle, we settled her down in the crib and my husband left for work. i needed to take a shower and that task took FOREVER, as i turned the water off every few minutes to listen for her.  it's amazing that all parties concerned survive their first born!
 well, 40 years have come and gone and shannon and i have experienced more than i could have ever imagined together. we started out as best friends and have ended up as best friends-- some rocky times in between, but i have a lifetime of wonderful memories with her.
 she has become a mother herself to 3 neat, interesting children and is doing her best to raise them as healthy, productive , sensitive individuals.  she is accomplished in whatever she takes on and always makes time to call me and be interested in my life.
 we look forward each year to a special trip and continue to make memories and enjoy spending time with each other.
 happy 40th birthday, shannon - life is good!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

red squirrel christmas open house

our annual christmas open house was held in november for 2 days this year. we had lots of fun- lots of buying and over-all good cheer. the food was great and the shop looked so festive.  enjoy pictures of the shop....


                                                                      blue section...
             "new" cupboard that i filled up with apple-pie filling, candy, jam,  and other homemade  goodies.
we fixed the dining room up in the house as part of the shop. these are the items that katie made and also sells on etsy.
                                              our" pillow and girly" corner in the dining room.
                                                          more in the dining room...

                                                  most of these things sold in the first hour!
                         i had a few items displayed on the porch before coming into the dining room.  the reason i only had 11 cups is because one was found on the porch floor- broken. some "visitor" had come in the middle of the night and disrupted things- was it an elf or pixy? -                                                                                                                                                     

NO.... i was able to actually see the culprit early in the morning of my open house. a large, brown RAT!, yes, rat, was crawling along the curtain rod on the porch. i left the door open all day- hoping he wouldn't pop out right in front of anyone at the open house. he must have gotten out, as we haven't had any more incidences on the porch.  (the exterminator came and found rat prints outside in the snow and set some traps- whew!) this is the trap we put on the porch - it was alot larger than it looks here.
a lot of work, but worth it!

Monday, January 3, 2011

christmas traditions...

    throughout the years we have had many traditions- some have lasted and some have been broken sometimes "just because".  here are several that have stuck and some have even spanned a generation now.. my mom started this one-  we bake sugar cookies and decorate them - one for each person who will be sharing christmas dinner with us. each person finds their cookie with their initials or name on it. these are custom made to suit the person's situation or personality. (several of us like cats. one loves red hots ). well, you get the idea.

this is a wreath that i made when i was pregnant with joanna- 27 years ago. each little ornament is hand embroidered and stuffed and is attached to the wreath - one each day in december. the problem this year is that i found most of the ornaments on the floor when i came home one evening.  the felines had discovered new toys and it was a free-for-all!  i was able to retrieve all but one and am still hoping that one will show up.

cookie trays for the neighbors have always been a fun tradition- especially for the elderly ones who no longer bake.
cracking up candy canes for vanilla icecream- always a favorite- even though one can now buy the real thing.
decorating the tree  - even though it's alot smaller than those of yesterday. this one was purchased  at a thrift store and has vintage-type ornaments on it. (more detail a little later).

we always try to have festive tables during the holidays. we also hang our stockings in the dining room and have an additional tree there. nella is demonstrating how we sit at the table!  just kidding.
this shows more detail of the living room tree. jojo sent this cute danish pixy- it's the only colorful thing on the tree and reminds us of her . she can tell us the real name for this sweet little one..".hagen das"??? :o)

these are just a few of our traditions- the ones i happened to capture on film.  mostly we just enjoy the christmas season with each other and the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

sweet revenge

christmas time and i thought a cute decoration would be a  santa hat tacked on our maple tree- the one with  the face. .one week after i did this, this is what remained of my clever idea!  my former tenants of my shop (red squirrel)  found the perfect revenge...ergo the shredded cap... they've been waiting for 6 years for the perfect opportunity.  nice going, guys.