Friday, October 31, 2008

Traditions

For the third year now, our pumpkin-carving skills have been put to the test while our little family celebrates one of our favorite traditions. It's AUTUMN, when we all get into the mood of college football (the big schools are MICHIGAN, GEORGIA and USC!), carving pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds and eating Amy's delicacies. All in that order!



It all starts in Amy's garage. Well, it actually starts with all of us buying our own pumpkins to carve and then congregating in her garage to begin the annual tradition.
(And oh, see the boombox in the way-way back? An old Peter, Paul and Mary soundtrack entertained us, as it did when Amy and Mark were Nicholas' age!)





Donica and Nicholas always get paired up together, for some reason, and because they were done first with his pumpkin, they decided to carve Donica's as well...which she had bought mainly for the seeds.





Even G'ma carved a pumpkin this year AND took the pictures, too
(except for this one, of course!).



From left to right: Nicholas/Donica, Mark, G'ma, Amy, Nicholas/Donica.
BOO.





We're not sure which we like most...the carving or roasting (read that as EATING) the seeds. Do we have to pick?



This year Amy tried this corn chowder recipe that we all LOVED!
You have to understand that she LOVES to cook and enjoys using us as guinea pigs whenever possible. Need I say that we enjoy it just as much, if not more!

I've been thinking about how there comes a point in time...as parents get old enough!...when the kids start taking over the traditions on which we hang our years. Amy says this may be her most favorite of them all, next to Thanksgiving. Well, it's HER tradition, so I can understand why it's so important to her...just as it's becoming important to us.

It's not a big album but here are the rest of the photos, to commemorate a wonderful memory for Autumn 2008! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Kid in Us

October is not only Major League Baseball month (playoffs and the World Series) but THE FAIR! Can you believe that this October was the 7th year in a row that we took 8-year-old Nicholas to our local fair! It's true.



A week ago this past Sunday was a spectacularly beautiful, fall day. Actually, it ended up being so sunny that it was downright too hot...more like a summer day!
But that didn't keep us from enjoying every minute of it.



I learned this year that the Seattle Wheel ferris wheel is one of a kind in the world because of it's wishbone spokes. It was part of the World's Fair in Seattle, WA, in 1962.



See the difference? This Gondola Wheel (ferris wheel) has the straight spokes. We rode both of them. The Seattle wheel is taller; the Gondola Wheel is faster.



Because Nicholas is older and taller, he gets to ride faster rides that Donica and I can't always ride with him. But this was one Donica could stomach, and did.



And of course, there's always the fairway that gobbles up Donica's money, always with a smile on her face, while I take the pictures and document it all...year after year.



Don't get me wrong, G'ma DOES sometimes let Donica take the pictures!



You really can't have a Fair without some animals and 4-H goodies. After Uncle Don's quail at the farm on Farm Day (August), Nicholas was a pro at putting this peeper to sleep.





This was the first year we visited the Cherokee Indian Village.



But NOT the first year Nicholas and G'ma shared a turkey leg! It's one of our favorite things about the Fair. Just ask Nicholas!



There are still some rides Nicholas knows he does NOT want to ride yet...and not only because he's not the prerequisite 52" tall. But I wonder what year he WILL want to!



His last ride of the day SHOULD have been one of those...which he didn't know till after he got off it. Last year he rode it with Uncle Mark and was lying down the entire time. Okay, so he was brave enough to try it this year of his own free volition.
Will he try it again next year, I wonder??



What is it about Fairs! It somehow reaches to the Kid in all of us and gives us a chance to let it all hang out, I guess.

Thank God for that.

OH! And here's the photo album! I almost forgot.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Queen for a Day

HA! If he can't take a joke, shame on him!

Here's Bob, our friend from Rainbow Class days at church years ago...one who has stayed in touch with us all these years! I met with him this past weekend and caught up on everything under the sun, like we always do: camera equipment, relationship issues, the stock market, health, yada yada yada.

And Bob said, "I would love to be honored on your blog, Ginnie!" So, here's to you, Bob, and all the success we both need in today's world.





Here's to friendship and what makes the world go 'round!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cleaning Up the Mess

You know how they say that if you're living in a messy space your life also is probably messy! Well, it's true.

So we decided to do something about it. Nicholas was over for a sleep-over on Saturday night, and when he woke up in the morning, we decided to get at it. All of us!



I started in on the dining room (again), where stuff from Mom's house (after her death in February!) was still just sitting there.



Mom had lived in Germany for 5 years and had collected her own soulful stuff (beer steins!), which needed to replace part of Donica's Boyd's collection. See that rooster on top of the cabinet? Mom's animal guide was the rooster and we had purchased this kiln-glazed one for her on a trip to New Hampshire years ago.
It needed a prominent spot.



In the meantime, Donica and Nicholas tackled thinning out the Boyd's collections all over the house. Nicholas called it "seek and find." Donica gave him the collector's box, he stared at the picture of the resin, and then set off to find it...in one of 7 different places on 3 different floors!



Sometimes he found it in the basement at the foot of the stairs.



And once found, two happy campers matched box with resin and carefully wrapped up the piece...for a rainy day's eBay sale, maybe.

All of that in our pajamas! Once we were done for the morning, we got dressed so that Nicholas and I could go do what we had intended to do all along....



....go play in the woods before Dennis and Amy picked him up!

Donica went back to Europe today...after a trip home over her long weekend to, YES, CLOSE ON MOM'S HOUSE! It took 45 minutes to get there, only 30 minutes to close, 15 minutes to say Good-Bye to the buyer, and then another 45 minutes to get back home. It's done. It's over. The house is no longer on our back!

You wanna know of another mess that got cleaned up? After all of that (my last post on the Starbucks' Bearista), and finding out the cost of my health insurance through Donica's work was NOT as expensive as we had thought, I tendered my resignation, effective at the end of October. By December or January, I'll be back to traveling with Donica to Amsterdam.

But not until some more messes are cleaned up! We're on a roll to get the house better organized so that our lives, too, will feel less cluttered. You know what I mean?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bearista

Okay! So you haven't seen me around here since longer than forever! I know, I know! Too much is going on....

...part of which is that I am now a barista at a nearby Starbucks, trying to get the hang of making coffee the real way.

It's a long story but part of it is that Starbucks happens to be one of the only companies that offers health insurance after 90 days to part-timers. What I will end up paying will be way under $100/month, as opposed to the around $900/month through Donica's company. It's a no-brainer.

For now, hold your breath with me that after 3 1/2 years of retirement, I'll actually remember how to work again...and not forget the days of the week! Today is Tuesday, I think. I got up at 3:30a to be at work by the 4:45a opening for which I was scheduled. Tomorrow I get to sleep in, getting to work at 6:30. :)

Sigh! Such is life.