Destination:Virginia, And Not in a Covered Wagon

Seeing as how we didn’t do much in June, and August looks fairly empty, July has been a MADHOUSE!

To cap off the hectic month, Friday morning, the Michigan Capri’s (Deb and Patt and I)  are heading down to Virginia to visit the 4th Capri, Mrs. Schmenkman. Aka Capri Lis.  And this time, we are taking some daughters! Deb’s daughters, Steph and Jackie, and our Girls. Patt’s daughter could not work it out schedule wise. So no Erin 😦  

It will be a whirlwind weekend. But, a whirlwind chock full of all of the things that I love! Eating, shopping, talking and old friends!

I was thinking about all of the driving that I have been doing lately, and I have had a recurring thought.

Pa Ingalls would have been supremely envious of my van.

 It is a great vehicle to travel in. And we all know how he loved to travel.

Now, I know that it might surprise you that I think about Pa Ingalls. But I do. I also think about Ma, Laura, Almanzo, Mary and occasionally Carrie. But not Grace. Oddly, I never think about Grace. Or Rose.

I think about The Ingalls Family regularly.  I often wonder what they would think about this newfangled thing, or how that has fallen by the wayside. Mostly, I wonder what they would think about the life we now lead here in these United States, if they were plopped back here for the week. Wouldn’t that be an interesting conversation to overhear?

All that to say, wouldn’t it be funny to see The Ingalls’  driving across the prairie in my high top conversion van? With the comfy leather seats. Stopping at rest stops to pull out the old spider cooking thing to make up a batch of  jonnycake or corn pone? Crossing rivers using bridges, instead of taking their lives in their hands. Putting their little tin cups in the cupholders.  Watching “I Love Lucy” and “Laverne and Shirley” , “American Idol” and “STAR WARS”  on the DVD and VCR!!!!!!!  I have more thoughts about this. Perhaps I will save them for another  time. You’re welcome.

Thinking about it amuses me enormously!

We’ll be back next week. I’m sure there will be something to tell you all about.

Enjoy the dregs of July. August is coming full speed ahead.

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Way Back When-sday-Leamington, Ontario, Canada

On Sunday, the 19th of July, we headed over to Leamington, Ontario where Honey was raised. There was a very special occasion happening. Honey’s uncle and aunt, Don and Solange, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary!

We picked up his sister Rachel in Windsor and drove out. Honey couldn’t believe how much things had changed in the “Tomato Capital of Canada”!

Don and Solange are a lovely couple, who have always been so kind and thoughtful to Honey and I. Don is the brother of Honey’s father, Andrew, who passed away 14 years ago. Don is a retired police chief, and Solange is a retired teacher.

Here they are 50 years ago, on the actual occasion.

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As you can see, they still make a wonderful couple!

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The party was given by their 3 children. Who we enjoy very much!

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Debbie, Dean and Gisele. I see they were also believers of having the boy firmly contained within the 2 sisters! It works at our house as well.

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Gisele read a touching poem. She seemed a little mortified that someone was taking her picture.

But she recovered well!

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Debbie and her husband Tim hosted the party on their farm. Having just prepared for our own family gathering the day before, we could sympathise with the enormity of the task!  They had a lovely yard and everything was decorated so nice.  They even had Solange’s wedding dress hanging on display. They pulled it off in a grand fashion!

I was really hoping to get this picture. I had hoped everyone would be there, but you never know. I present you with ALL of Honey’s siblings!!!!! I don’t have one other picture of all 5 of them!

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Donna, Linda, Honey, Rachel and Danny. It was a fine moment!

It was a wonderful day and we were so happy to be able to celebrate with their family. We wish them good health, and many more years of love together!

 

Bargains of the Month-July

Last week, after our walk, Keelyody and I toured the yearly garage sales in her neighborhood. We had a bit of luck!

I found this for a quarter. That’s 25 American cents!  It matches our other front porch pots. As I looked at it, I realized that we spray painted the big ones a couple of years ago to try and extend their lives. Because, big pots? They are dang EXPENSIVE! Lucky for me, we still have some spray, so they will be like sisters soon.

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I plan to situate it up by the porch chair. That is looking quite lush and glorious.

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What is it about a cracked open door that brings out the felines? It can rouse them out of a dead sleep. Just to roll around on concrete and nibble blades of stuff.

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Now, on to the back porch. Honey is always telling me we should get some of these. I don’t really know what they are called, but they look like fancy scooters. They come in handy to move the heavy pots when we are hosing off the back porch.  When I look at the scooters in the store,  I always feel they are too much money. So I don’t purchase the scooters. But these were $2.oo each. I felt the need to purchase those scooters!!!

Once again, cat rolling commenced.

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Sunbathing.

So there you have my July bargains. Tell me about yours!

Sittin’

Everyone at our house will let the dog out. But we sometimes forget to let her back in.

Most of the time, she will give a friendly reminder bark, and we go get the door for her. Sometimes we fly to the door after who knows how long, hoping she is still out there and hasn’t decided to tour our side of the street, or worse yet, go to the backyard and check out the creek. There are undesirables back there. All bigger than her. Dogs, critters, bugs.

But sometimes, she is just sittin’ on the porch, takin’ in the air. She always does this sittin’ in this funny little way that she has. And always in the same spot on the porch.

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She is so cute. It is her saving grace.

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She is feeling so much better after her surgery. Downright frisky. Thank you for your prayers. They availeth-ed much.

Potent Quotable

While in South Haven, we checked out some of the cute little shops. They had a lot of wooden signs containing great words of wisdom in those cute little shops. I will now share some of the ones that particularly touched my heart. Of funny bone.

Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.

I no longer skinny dip, I chunky dunk.

Wine a little, you’ll feel better.

Friends bring out the beautiful things in each other that nobody else looks hard enough to find.

Laundry today, or naked tomorrow!

It is what it is.

Enjoy this moment, this moment is your life.

They say friends are hard to find. Luckily, I know where you live.

Thou shalt not whine.

By the sea, we forget to count the days.

and my personal favorite,

God doesn’t give us what we can handle, God helps us handle what we are given.

Say “Yes” To South Haven, Michigan.

Hi Guy’s! I’m back! Again!

Some of the Gals from CareGroup went over to a bed and breakfast on Lake Michigan for a little R&R. It was SO relaxing. Have I mentioned that there has not been much relaxing  going on around here lately? I know that I thoroughly enjoyed not having anything to do!

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Here we are for the requisite “before we leave” picture. From left to right; Philly’s Mom, The Oreo Mom, Three Good Kids, The “Mayor”, Capri Kel and The Peanuts Champ. Do you think I could have found a shorter group of ladies if I tried? Just call me Shaq.

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On our way across The Mitten, we stopped in Kalamazoo to pick up our friend, Ally, (front left) who is also short.  We spent a lot of time on the porch of the bed and breakfast. I think it’s name was The Sunset Inn.

We played games, shopped, went to the beach, ate, and generally talked nonstop for 3 whole days. It was fun!

We also celebrated The Peanuts Champ’s BIG birthday with a little blueberry pie. She is all about the blueberries.

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The Sunset Inn at sunset. Or dawn, I can’t remember. Over to the left of the picture, there was a Tiki Hut where you could get breakfast and beverages.  They played Frank Sinatra in the mornings. The whole place was run by a guy called Robert. Or Craig. We never did figure it out. He was from L.A. and was a laid back, free spirit of a fellow. I’m sure he would have posed for a picture, had I  thought to have taken one.

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We walked across the street to the beach to catch the sunset. We had front row seats! While I have them all lined up like convicts here, I will tell you something about them all. In order.

First is Ally. Of  “Sammon and Ally” fame. That’s what Honey calls her and her husband. Her family was a part of our CareGroup until they moved 4 years ago. We still miss them enormously, so it was especially good to see her! She is a middle school math teacher and her motto in the classroom is “No Blurting”, because it then leads to MORE blurting!! I was most impressed with her will power on this trip. She wins the title of Low Carb Queen, because she was SO good!

Next is The Oreo Mom. She  is a high school Home Ec ( I am sorry, I am aware that they have a different name now, but I am old, so humor me please!) and social studies/history teacher. I tell everyone that she works full time and STILL does more than most people I know when she is not working! By far, the busiest gal I know. She had to get home to prepare for the food pantry that our church hosts once a month. She heads up the kitchen where they serve soup to the recipients, if they want it. Hundreds served monthly!

Third is The “Mayor”. Now this tickled me. She said that is what her out of town sister calls her because she knows and introduces her to everyone in our town! When I thought about it, it’s true! She knows everybody! She works as a pre-school teacher’s helper. She has a lot of  her own kids and is an expert in going many directions at once.

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Fourth is The Peanuts Champ. We were celebrating her Big 5-0!!! She is also a teacher! A special education teacher, so that ought to tell you a little about her patience, and kindness level. She has been to this B&B before, so she made all of the arrangements for us! She and I were absolutely loving all of the beautiful flowers and gardens we saw over there! She has her own loverly garden right here at home!

Fifth is Three Good Kids. I always knew she entered contests and won prizes, but I had NO idea! She was telling us all about her “stuff” and it was amazing to me! She showed us all of these gift cards to stores and restaurants she had in her wallet. She won her pajama’s in a contest, and they were so cute! She has won an X-Box,  a wireless gaming chair, movie tickets, i-pod shuffle, and endless gift certificates. Since we have been home, she sent me a site to enter a HomeGoods sweep-stake contest! She thought I might like that one. She knows me well!

And last, but not in the picture, is Philly’s Mom. She is our friend still recovering from a stem cell transplant. We were so happy that she was able to join us! She is not a teacher, but works at a school as a social worker. She was quite the trooper, heading down to the beach, checking out the little stores, and playing games til all hours! We are so glad she is on the mend!

I thought it was SO sweet of that boat to glide by, right at the perfect moment! Thank you sailboat, for completing my Kodak moment!

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The Peanuts Champ commented on the way down that it was nice that we had 6 in the van and everyone was chatting away with their seat partner. While there, we gabbed and shared, and got to know each other even better. I thought perhaps the ride home would be quieter, that the conversation might be tapering off, that some might even nap. That’s how much I know!! The van was buzzing all across the state! We stopped at The Grand Traverse Pie Company, just outside of town, so that the talking and consumption of food could continue!

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It was a wonderful time, and special thanks to The Peanuts Champ for doing all of the planning! If I were the betting sort, I might predict that this will happen again!

Hopefully, I will be around a little more! Thanks for being patient! Love, Capri “Shaq”

The Family Reunion

 Hey Guy’s! Long time, no blog!!!

Oh my, that was a bit of the hectic. It was like that episode of “The Brady Bunch”, the one where Carol Brady decides she wants to redo her and Mike’s bedroom. And then they have to do the hallway, and down the stairs and of course, the family room looks shabby. Remember that? Yeah, me too.

Let me just say, our house is clean and tidy. Except for my craft/hair room. That  is a disaster. But, it is next on the list.

The reunion was fun! We had a couple of cancellations at the last minute, but we ended up having around 30 relatives there who share our family history! There were some I hadn’t seen in 20-30 years. I am so blessed to be a part of this group!

This branch was my paternal Grandfather’s family. He had 7 siblings, most of whom came from Marion, Kentucky to Detroit in search of work in the 1920’s. They were a tight knit bunch and quickly grew to be a huge clan. Even when I was a child, they were still gathering  for holidays. I am not quite sure how large the gatherings became before they stopped getting together. I’m sure space became an issue! I do remember that most of them had extra kitchens in the basement to handle those sort of crowds. There was always a ton of good food!

We had hoped to have all of the siblings represented by their loved ones, but that didn’t quite work out. Still, we were so happy that many made the trip, from out of state, or just across town!

Here is the whole bunch!

 

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And narrowed down by families. Here is our group, all from my Grandfather, Bob.

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This is Robin and Cindy. Their Grandfather was Wallace. They are very funny girls! Their mother, Norma, who passed away earlier this year was one of the funniest people I ever knew. She was like Erma Bombeck. The girls told me on Saturday that at the mobile home park where their parents lived, they even had a Norma day parade! She was much loved. They were excited to hear that we had a new Homegoods in our town. They left with the directions in their hands.

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This is the family of brother Bill. His wife is Adalene, seated. She is with her daughter Vickie and her husband Sam, and her other daughter Joyce with her son Joe, his wife Nicole, and their daughter Ella. Who was a precious little peanut! My Mother once asked Adalene why there were so many years between her daughters. She said “well, there was a war !”

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This is Jerry and Sheila. Jerry’s Dad was brother Charlie. Charlie was the brother who returned to Marion, Kentucky to live on the family farm. His other son Stan still lives there with his family.

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Here are Debby and Doug. Debby’s mom is the last remaining sibling, Isabel. Debby told a wonderful story about the mother of all of these siblings. She said that she had gone to visit her mother’s sister, Katherine, just before she passed away, and Katherine wanted her to know that her mother, Debby’s Grandmother, used to walk with her 8 children to a schoolhouse 3 miles away every Wednesday and Sunday for church services. She felt sure that that was why all of the children turned out to be so morally upright. Even today, the majority are still Christian servants of the Lord.

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The other siblings were sisters Mary and Bert. Mary and her husband Ivo had no children, and no one from Bert’s family was able to attend. Katherine, who was mentioned above, had one daughter Dorothy. We were all so disappointed that her family was not able to make it at the last minute due to work schedules.

Here are cousins Joyce, Kay and Lynn. Kay and Lynn did all the planning, contacting and favors. Because I told them I don’t do that sort of thing. We were strictly responsible for the  place and food. They did a wonderful job! Their Mom Ava was in on the whole thing as well. She is the ultimate party planner!

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Here is Aunt Ava with cousin Vickie. Looking at pictures. There was a LOT of that going on.

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Vickie is quite an artist. She painted this picture of the old homestead and presented it to Beeve and Goomba, as they are the last in the family line to bear the family name. Except for the males who actually live on the farm, and can go see it any time they want. I guess we had a lot of girls in the family!! This picture is to be passed down through the generations.

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Last, but most certainly not least, was the video that Kay’s daughter Carol made. When everyone received their invitation, back in February, Kay asked everyone to look through their pictures and send 5-10 pictures of their families, young, middle and present. Also if they had any special ones from family gatherings. Carol then put them all together with music and it is a treasure. It was a wonderful reminder of this family, so many now gone on, and the legacy they have left to continue on. I believe I was not the only one with tears in my eyes when it was over. Thank you Carol, it was my very favorite part! She gave everyone a copy as a gift. I can’t wait to watch it again.

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Watching the video. Here is Carol in the white shirt watching her work with her mom and dad, Kay and Stan. I was over there with The Boy, telling him who everyone was.

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It was a wonderful day and I would not be a bit surprised if it happens again in a few years!

The next day we headed over to Leamington, Ontario, Canada to celebrate Honey’s aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary. I have pictures to share from that special day as well!

I am going out of town for the next couple of days with some of the Gals from our CareGroup, so I will not be blogging again.  I hope you will not forget about me! I have so much to overshare!!

Be right back!

Busy, Busy, Dreadfully Busy…

The Veggie Tales song has been floating around in my head all week.

I thought I would get around to posting sometime, but it hasn’t worked out that way.

We are busy getting ready for our family reunion on Saturday. Honey and I have enlisted the help of the children as well.

There is a lot going on over here. Because we are nothing if we are not last minute.  I’ll be back next week. Unless I pop in for a minute to share something pertinent. You never know, it could happen.

Potent Quotable

We labor to make a house a home, then every time we’re expecting visitors, we rush to turn it back into a house.  ~Robert Brault

 

That’s what we are doing around here, and the fur is flying, literally.

She Speaks……About Decking

My voice, for the most part, has returned. It is not normal, but it can be heard.

My cough, however, is still alive and kicking. Honey offered me $100 last night if I would just stop with the coughing.  I did not get $100. I could have used the cash.

Do you know that my family is harassing me? They say it feels as if they are living in a nursing home with emphysema patients. Like they have any experience in that!

It’s getting embarrassing. It happens at the most inopportune moments. And really, when is the best moment to cough and choke and gag, while tears are running down your face, taking all of your eye makeup with it? Because that is exactly what happens if the hastily taken Halls cough drop doesn’t head the spasm off at the pass. I feel like some kind of an addict, hands shaking while I try to quickly unwrap the cough drop and get it in my mouth before the point of no return! I am a fairly competent woman, but I can’t seem to unwrap a cough drop in the throes of a coughing spasm.

My new constant  companions.

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I am not sure if the cough medicine is helping. I like to pretend that it is.

In other news, in between my spells, I have been trying to tidy up our house for the Family Reunion that we are having next Saturday.

We did quite a bit of yard work last weekend, so that is good. It needed to be done anyway.

I feel I need to update you all on the deck situation. There is no deck work going on.

To make a very long story as short as I can, while not leaving out all those pertinent details that I always feel the need to over share, I will resort to a list. Because I find it is a great way to get you the much needed facts.

1. We got the price for the decking materials.

2. It was a mere $900 less than the quote Honey received at the beginning of the season for someone else to actually DO the work. In 2 days!

3. When he called that company to see if they could still do the job, they said they no longer used Trex because of all the problems they were having with black mold. They would love to give Honey a new quote with the new stuff they were using, but the guy who gave quotes was off until Monday, due to the holiday weekend.

Let me just add here that black mold would not stand a chance on our decks, as there is not a SPECK of shade in our entire pool area. Just for the record.

4. Honey stopped in to see the Quote Guy on his way home from work on Monday. The Quote Guy said the price with the new product “wouldn’t be that much more”. The new price was THREE TIMES MORE. Did he think we wouldn’t notice that??? The Quote Guy is a jerk.

5. Having missed his window of opportunity to do the work himself, Honey has nixed doing the deck this year. Unfortunately, our deck is a hellacious looking beast at the moment, and something has to be done before the reunion. Because my People are from the South, and they are house proud. I do not want to be known as the Redneck of the family.

6. Honey has decided to just power wash the deck and re-stain it for the time being.

7. Guess what our family is doing this weekend?

I will be taking frequent breaks, to cough my fool head off.

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