Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hail Elisabeth

So maybe she isn't the sovereign ruler of jolly old England but she is the Queen of Hearts of this family. Elisabeth is a delightful mix of sweet and salty, or so I find her! Always a kind heart and a listening ear but quick with the witty retort. In perusing pictures for this birthday posting I found one from a long ago double family 'day trip' to Washington, D. C.. I think maybe this trip was the nascent liberal development of Queen Elisabeth. I fear mine were too grounded by their parents moderate tendencies to have developed full liberal qualities. 
      (I'm still proud of the photo op and the Peace not War philosophy we were sharing)

I love watching Elisabeth interact with her family. She can keep them grounded without them even realizing she's doing so. 
Happy Birthday my beautiful niece...I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!


Friday, April 29, 2011

An English Rose

Oh well not really an English Rose, but in honor of the Wedding of Kate and Wills I found the title fitting. I must say Knockout Roses are the greatest rose in my garden. Monday, Steve and I visited the Farmers Market here in town to peruse the plant selection. It was a plethora of flowers, ferns and all things beautiful! We/I fell in love with this double knockout pink rose and brought it home. But sadly it looked so alone. Not wanting to have a lonely, lonely rose feel like a 'wall flower'...(she says tongue in cheek) as soon as time and weather permitted I went back and purchased two new 'friends'!
Trey was my companion for that trip and he picked out some plants of his own. I love nurturing 'growing things' in my children and now grandchildren. His first choice was a cactus, but as he has a younger brother and no parents were around for permission to be granted on anything prickly he moved on to a different but lovely selection. He chose a creeping Jenny for himself and then a six pack of yellow snapdragons for his Mom and other Grandmother. He was leaving later that afternoon for a journey to his Gramma Kate's place at the beach and wanted to bring her a thank you gift for letting him stay there. How can anyone resist such a sweet and thoughtful request? Not I! So the two new roses kept company with the yellow snaps and a creeping jenny for the ride home. Later that afternoon Peter and Dad and Mom arrived, gathering Trey and the snaps and creeps and headed out to the beach!
I do think I forgot to mention Steve and I on our excursion to the Farmer's Market had purchased several creeping jennies to add to our planters and two hanging baskets of wandering jew. All in all a very happy start to the growing season! The pink knockouts are planted on the sunny side of the house in a new bed Steve made last summer. They will balance out nicely the red knockout roses on the other side of the house. I love Spring and all the feeling of possibility it evokes!

Happy Spring...may you find your own version of an English Rose to make you smile! Here's mine...
'cept she answers to Lily!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Birthdays...The Day Isn't Over!

Happy Easter/Birthday to my two favorite twins! That you just happen to be my niece and nephew are strictly circumstances of my favoritism! I can't believe you are now fifteen years old! was only yesterday I was changing your Daddy's your diapers! How did that time go by so quickly? Wasn't it yesterday we were at the beach and Will was reading about the stars with GrandDad?
And I know it was just yesterday Emily was twirling on the dance floor with her cousin Daniel...
So kick up your heels in whatever fashion you now choose...but most importantly....
                                      Have the happiest of Birthdays....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Apple Ranch

Well this is just a quick little gift to my foodies! I made an oil free salad dressing last night for our apple/bok choy salad. It was easy, quick and delicious. Here's how it goes:

1 small container plain Greek yogurt
2-3 tblsp Apple Juice (depends on quantity of yogurt used so it isn't too runny)
1-2 tsp Apple Cider vinegar  (ditto above)
dash salt, white pepper


I grated apples into my bok choy chiffonade; tossed in some toasted almond slices. Delicious and  oh so healthy! I have added fresh chopped parsley to this salad in the past for a really fresh taste but it wasn't in the pantry last night. Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Funny Bunnies

I love Easter and all the decorations involved! I like to change things up, as to what I use where and sort of 're-purpose' as the latest term goes. Hope you enjoy my Easter/Spring ta-daas and Happy Easter to one and all!

I have been asked by more than one child...old and young if these guys are edible:
                                                                            Nary a One...
Just 'cause I like the wee little things...
And by now the secret is out...I LOVE decorating the new mantel and built-ins!

And I can't wait for these chickees to meet...
These chickees: coming?
Oh! I see you got the memo...I'll be waiting...!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Tax Man Cometh...

I don't eveeeeennnn wanna know! Suffice it to say my sister has a braver heart than I...

Buh bye April 15....You Stinker!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bragging Rights

Oh I know, I KNOW, okay? It is rude, boring and just dweeb-ish to be bragging on your own kids. Too bad, so sad. Yes, very mature and your point? This is mine...

Yesterday, my daughter Elise finally arrived to a destination she has had her heart set on for nearly a year. Having graduated college and entered the work force she is now a proud and independent lessee. Mommy and Daddy are not aiding and abetting this endeavor. Elise is footing this bill on her own. To achieve this goal required a lot of help. Not financial but PHYSICAL. As in moving belongings and possessions accrued over many years from point A (parents home) to point B (Elise's townhouse). Solution to said problem? It's a solution Elise has found helpful ALL of her life. It goes like this:

OH BOYS! Yes, I just love it. When Elise was verrrrrrryyyyy little she would stand at the top of the stairs to the family room and call down to her brothers for assistance in negotiating the stairs. Her sweet little voice would call out, her arms stretched wide and in dulcet tones everyone would hear...OH BOYS! And the lovely point of this story is they would all respond and come to her rescue, climbing up the stairs and whisking her into loving arms that carried her downstairs.
What does a sister all grown up and in need of strong able bodied movers do? Of course...text, call and otherwise revert to the tried and true: OH BOYS? And this is where I brag. Those not otherwise engaged, ok Dan, we do understand when you have wedding commitments, arrived on my doorstep to help their sister move. Scott and Erin travelled from the D. C. area; Tim donated his time even though he had been away from his wife and child on business for several days; Steve Jr, came after running a 10 mile race. A whole lot of shoving, lifting, carrying from point A to point B was done on Elise's behalf and with humor and love. 

The response was not limited to brothers. Her sisters by marriage, Erin who did yeoman's job of moving right along with the 'Boys' and Lisa, who along with Tim and Lily brought over a well loved pass along patio set for Elise. Always her hero, Elise's Dad carried, lifted and was moving and shaking with the youngsters of the family.

Bragging rights...we always told them they are the best of the best. You can read another post that reiterates this point here...*! If I bored you with this! I am thrilled to my very old bones to know that no matter how old they grow and how far they travel, my children will respond to one another's needs. Elise has done her share of lifting, moving and responding to her brothers calls for family assistance.

Thank you boys, I love you always and forever!
Elise...happy homemaking, you're off to a great beginning!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Kimberly...April's beauty

One of the things I regret about living here in N Cackalacky is we are far far far from most of our relatives. That would be sisters/brothers/nieces/nephews and the greats that come with them...This said, I grew up with one set of grandparents living out of state along with my aunts/uncles/cousins. It didn't alter my immediate affinity I felt when we would finally get to see each other or my ongoing love and interest for them. It doesn't alter my affinity for the generations after me...!
I have had the pleasure and joy of watching Kimberly grow from a sweet and happy little girl, through stolen moments when we would be able to get holiday, summer or reunion visits in, and through photographs and stories sent to us by her parents and grandparents. What always has shown through in her presence and in her pictures is how loving and sincere and fun she is! Lately, I've been able to visit with this wonderful niece at family weddings. Sadly, at some funerals, too. Whatever the occasion, once again her loving personality and her sheer beauty are front and center. Kimberly is always one to ask if anyone needs any help and to simply be a warm, comforting companion for everyone!

Kimberly is now a young professional. After completing her Masters she is beginning her career  and bringing to the work force all the strengths and characteristics we all appreciate and love. I haven't been blessed with enough face time with my lovely niece. I don't think I would ever be satisfied unless we were living in the same city. I am however so much in awe of how beautiful and talented she is and so happy to be able to witness, if even from afar what the next chapters of Kimberly's life bring to us all!
Happy Birthday sweet niece...I love you, I miss you...come see us soon!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gene-O Father and Son

I am going to give YOU, my dear readers, another Two-fer! Hold on to your eyeballs this one is a Father and Son posting. I knew it was my nephew's birthday in March, that is Gene IV, but as it seems to so often happen of late, it slipped what is my sad excuse these days of a mind busy fact-filled brain. Then this past weekend I was preparing a birthday posting for my lovable brother-in-law...Gene III and it all came crashing back into my sad excuse of a brain  busy fact-filled brain, YOU MISSED THE POSTING FOR LITTLE GENE...that would be Gene, IV. To make this an even sadder tale, I then closed the computer thinking I would dash into my photo library and scan some more pictures to use in a Father/Son birthday posting. 

I feel it necessary at this point to explain some titles our family bandies about with great ease if and with probably great confusion for people outside the extended family unit. We have generations of family names in use. My brother-in-law is Gene, III; for years, even though his Dad was Gene, Jr., Gene III was called Junior. Don't ask...! His son, Gene IV was referred to and still in most of our minds and hearts is, as 'little Gene'. His son, Gene V is referred to as 'baby Gene'. Not to confuse the issue we have Steve Jr., who for years, was called 'little Steve'  and his son Stephen, III or Trey, and we have Sam III, and Sam IV or baby Sam. Yep...can get confusing to the outsider when roll call is issued! But on with the show...

Sadly, I admit to you, my dear photo library consists of several drawers in a dresser and several boxes of more photos...none categorized or identified, placed randomly around my home. Oh, I do have several albums. The only ones that have any order and organization would be wedding albums. So like the Scarlett O'Hara that I am, I delayed writing this post. I delayed searching for photos. Until tonight. I decided you all NEEDED to have this posting delivered...wait for it: post haste, and I NEEDED to just use the photos available. So forgive the fact that my photos of Gene IV are a few decades ancient. I do have some fairly recent photos of his Dad, my brother-in-law. No matter the age of my photographs, they are really two wonderful men, who capture a large portion of my heart!

This first photo is of the wonder duo when Gene IV was a wunderkind and his Dad, Gene III was a budding Doctor!
Next photo my sweet nephew taking aim at me posing for a Mardi Gras snapshot! Gene would have been all of four or not quite four, depending on when Mardi Gras was that year!
Funny, but I think he had this same expression on his face the last time I gave him a kiss hello!
Now bubba Gene was thoughtful enough to give us the honor of serving as our son Tim's godfather. 
Gene is one of our family member that takes his role as older brother very seriously. He has come to every one of our son's weddings. From the first wedding...
to the last...
So Happy Birthday to our two Eugenes...and while this birthday posting is belated it is very sincere and heartfelt... 

Now, if you will excuse me for a while...I'll be rummaging through my scattered photos organized collection of photographs for recent pictures of my two Eugenes!