Monday, April 30, 2012

Look Carefully Then Proceed with Caution

This could have very easily ended up in the dreaded "Embarrassing Moments" file, but, thankfully, I stopped myself in the nick of time.

Our Choral Union concert was Saturday night. I had to arrive earlier than Hubby, so I had given him instructions to sit near the back, then I could come and sit with him after the intermission, and until we sang our "grand finale". 

The theme for our concert was "love, love, love". Yes, three loves. We opened with "All You Need is Love" , then some selections from Cole Porter and Ira Gershwin (Embraceable You, You Do Something to Me, Let's Do It,) followed by some contemporary songs. The men sang, "Happy Together". It was extremely hard not to sing along with them!

All during the concert, I was scanning the small crowd, trying to find Hubby. With the lights on the stage, and the darkness of the auditorium, it was not easy. But, suddenly I spotted him. He has this little hat that he wears, and breaks the rules by not taking it off when he is inside. It looks similiar to this one, but it's all one color. Usually, it's his work hat, but sometimes he wears it when he's not working. And, tonight he was wearing it. Ah, good. It made it easier to find him.

After the men sang their selection, it was time for the ladies to sing their song, "Always". That song was sung at our wedding (33 years ago in May!) So, while I was singing, "I'll be loving you always..." I was looking right at him, and hoping he remembered that song.

When it was time for intermission, I made my way towards his direction, which means that I had to come up from behind him. But, as I got closer and closer, I started to doubt my eyes. Have I mentioned that I need to get my eyes checked? I stopped. I looked. Now, in my defense, the auditorium was still pretty dark. I saw the hat. But, it didn't really look like Hubby. I looked again. Nope. I'm now certain. It was not Hubby! 

Luckily, Hubby was sitting right where I stopped to reconsider. I quickly sat down beside him, laughing. "I almost sat down with that guy up there!" 

Hubby didn't understand. "That guy looks nothing like me."

"I know. But, I was looking at the hat."  

Poor Hubby. He just doesn't know what to make of me most of the time. He just shakes his head. 

Shortly after, another lady that sings with us, sat down by her husband, who was wearing the hat. I laughed. "Do you think I should tell her I almost sat with her husband?"

"Just keep your mouth shut." He said. And, so I did! But I really wanted to tell her!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Z is for Zephyr and Zinnia

Several years ago, I found this little book at our local used book book fair. The book fair is a week long event, and I assume that books can be got at a good price. However, I wait till the last day when books can be got at a great price, which is a grocery bag full of books for $5. This little book was just sitting in an unassuming pile, waiting for me to find it.

This book was printed in 1966, and this is what is printed on the inside flaps:
..."Father wanted to give Mother a present on their golden anniversary; instead of buying her a brooch or bracelet, he hit upon the happy plan of writing and illustrating a little book for her called "The Language of Flowers", which has now been resurrected from some forgotten drawer and published in this facsimile edition--perfectly irresistible to any flower lover.
   This unusual dictionary of the traditional meanings (as well as some dreamed up by the author) of over 700 flowers is reminiscent of a gentler era when people found time to express their affection in an individual way. A family heirloom for decades, it has been reproduced in England with the family's permission. Charmingly hand-scripted with delicate water-coloured flowers and plants bordering each page, the author's comprehensive list ranges from ahatina (fickleness) to zinnia (thoughts of absent friends), and embraces such unlikely plants as the potato (benevolence), rubarb (advice) and a branch of currants (you please all). His list of roses is most impressive--forty different kinds and colours, each with its own meaning. 
   Who Father is must remain a secret. All we know is that Mother and he celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on August 8, 1913 and that his initials were F.W.L."

A fun coincidence is that my parent's wedding anniversary is also on August 8, so that was another reason that I had to have this book.

This is what the inscription says: "To Mother, Wishing you many happy returns of the day - from Father  August 8th, 1913

    There is a language, "little known",
    Lovers claim it as their own.
    Its symbols smile upon the land,
    Wrought by Natures wonderous hand;
    And in their silent beauty speak,
    Of life and joy, to those who seek
    For Love Divine and sunny hours
    In the language of the flowers.

Page after page has hand written names and meanings of flowers, and beautiful water-colored illustrations. I wonder how much time it took to create such a beautiful and thoughtful gift. I can only imagine the joy it must have brought to Mother to be the recipient of such a thoughtful, time-consuming gift. Also, during this era, it was very important to know meanings of flowers, because they were used to "send messages". For example, if a man wanted to impress his true love, he would be in big trouble if he sent her a bouquet of yellow lilies (falsehood) and purple larkspur (haughtiness).

Here are some more names and meanings that are in this little book:
Ice plant - Your looks freeze me
Japan Rose - Beauty is your only attraction
Nemophila - I forgive you
Pansy - Thoughts
Peach - Your qualities like your charms are unequal
Peony - Shame bashfulness
Wisteria - I cling to thee

And, with today being the last day of the A-Z blogging challenge, (whew!) I'll end with the only two flowers that start with a "Z".

 Zephyr Flower - Expectation

Zinnia - Thoughts of absent friends


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Yipee Yipee Yahoo!

The Yipee Yipee part is because son #2 B.D. is here helping Hubby measure for my new countertop.  We're getting one step closer to having the kitchen all finished. Yesterday Hubby worked on getting the dishwasher and the icemaker  installed. Yipee! The dishwsher is running now, and now we can put away the paper plates.

Here is a little sampling of the nice work B.D. does. This is Amazing Daughter's Christmas present. She had to wait four months for it, but it was worth the wait.

The "Yahoo!" part is for only one  more day of the A-Z blogging challenge, and then I can breathe a sigh of relief!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

X-Factor Comes to Wooster

It's a good thing that I'm a terrible procrastinator, otherwise I would have blogged about this long ago, and then been stuck on what to do for "X".  

This past January, Amazing Daughter and I had the opportunity to attend the live show of X-Factor.

Josh Krajick, who came in second, is our hometown boy. We learned that a film crew would be coming to Wooster to broadcast from the high school he attended during the show. We thought it would be fun to be a part of the experience. We arrived at the high school soon after the doors were opened, which was at 5:30. As you might imagine, there were quite a lot of people there. And the excitement was running high.

But, some did not seem excited to be there, and they were the boys who were selling popcorn. There were three of them, walking one right after the other, with their trays full of boxes of popcorn. They walked solomnly and slowly up and down the row. The first boy said, "Popcorn", in the most uninterested way. Then the second boy said, "Popcorn", followed by the third boy. It was almost like, oh hum, popcorn. Up and down the row they went #1 - "popcorn"; #2 - "popcorn"; #3 - "popcorn".  It was unintentionally very comical.

When they finally let us all into the gym, the excitement level was raised to the ceiling. Then the girl in charge started talking. I promise you, she had a voice that sounded like she had been sucking heilium. It was her job to get everyone all pumped up, and she did her job. There was a dance contest, and the flinging of "I love Josh" shirts. The noise level was unbelievably loud. Naturally, the girls with the loudest and shrillest voices sat directly behind me. Oh, my poor ears! The screaming was continuous.

Heilum Voice told us that whenever Josh appeared on the screen, we were to go wild - screaming and yelling and jumping up and down, and go crazy. We were to keep that up for the entire time he was on screen. The bad part about that, was, we couldn't hear him sing, and we couldn't hear what the judges had to say. That part was a little disappointing.

But still, it was quite an experience. 
If you don't want to watch the whole thing, even though he did an amazing job, at about 6:40, it shows the wild and wacky people of Wooster, Ohio. I graduated from high school with the mayor. He looks so much older than I do, don't you think???

The answer to yesterday's question was answered correctly by my good bloggy friend All8. It is an old-fashioned laundry plunger. Aren't you glad we don't have to do laundry with that??

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Do You Call That?

One of the things I love about blogging is that I get to meet so many different people from different places. Places that I will probably never be able to visit. It's a way to peek into other cultures. To see how we are different, but mostly to see how much we are all alike.

Many years ago, my brother D.E., became friends with a girl from England, named Fiona. She came for a visit one year and spent Christmas with us. At some point, we started talking about the differences in the words we used to  name things. So, we started a "game". I must remind you that this occured probably 20 years (ack!!) ago, so it is quite possible that I might not have the right words. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Us: We call this a television, what do you call it?

Fiona: A telly

Us: We call the front of the car a hood, what do you call it?

Fiona: A bonnet

We would pause for a moment, talk about how interesting it was, then move on to name something else.  This went on and on until finally, we said, "We call this a table, what do you call it?"

She looked at us kind of strangely then said, " Uh,we call it a table, too."

Of course, the tables (haha, unintended!) were turned on us when we took her to the mall. Since this was in December in Ohio, and the weather was cold, we drove up and down the parking lot looking for a spot that was close to the door. After several minutes of searching and not finding a close enough parking spot, she said, "I don't understand you Americans. You spend all your time driving around trying to find a close spot, when you can just park, and walk in. Look at all these empty spaces where you could park."

We tried to justify that it was cold and windy, but she wasn't buying it! So, we sheepishly parked the car, far, far away, then hurried into the mall.

At one point, we thought we lost her. When we found her, she explained that she had heard some girls talking about wanting to "hang out". She didn't know what that meant, so she started following them to see what they would do. She was disappointed that she never got to see them hang out. We kind 
of laughed and told her that what she witnessed was "hanging out". 

"But, they didn't do anything! They just walked around."

"Well, yeah," we said, "that's pretty much what hanging out is."

I don't know what she was expecting to see, but we could tell she was pretty bummed out that it wasn't more exciting.

And, now, here is a little quiz for you.
Do you know what this is?

I'll tell you the answer tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Oh, how I wish I could re-create the last 30 minutes for you. What the heck. I'm going to give it a try. All I can do is fail miserably.

I just got home from chorus practice. Amazing Daughter had made some brownies, and I grabbed one, possibly two, maybe even three, a glass of milk and made my way to the computer. Man, were those brownies good. A little crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. I forced myself to stay in the chair, even though those brownies were screaming my name! (For the record, it's a brownie mix by Ghiradelli - TRIPLE chocolate - no less! The best brownies EV-ER!)

After a little while, Amazing Daughter came out of her room. She was wondering if I had come up with my "V" blog yet. 

I told her I was still trying to think of something. "I thought about "Voice" and writing about my concert. You know we're singing "Joyful Joyful" - the song from Sister Act 2. I'm kind of worried about it. Not sure we can pull it off."

She made a face at my idea, then said, "Oh yeah? Who's doing the rap?"

"No one. We don't have any rap."

"Well, then, it's not from Sister Act."

"Yes it is", I insisted, "just without the rap."

Just picture a bunch of gray hairs up there singing. You may understand my concern.

Anyway, we found ourselves wandering back over to the half-eaten  pan of brownies. We both agreed that we could easily eat the entire pan ourselves.

So, while we are scarfing down more brownies, she starts shouting out v-word possibilities.

"Vengence! Vicious! Vendetta!"

I'm laughing. "Opps. I varted."

"Vampires! VOCABULARY! Victor - from Dollhouse." 

We both pause for a moment. "Ah, Victor." Sigh.
By this time, I am very full from the brownies. "Is there a "v" word for gluttony?" I ask.

"Valentine! Vanilla! Velveeta! Oh, here's a good one - varicose veins!"

"Bleck." I say while holding my stomach. "I'm so full from those brownies...I feel like I could...Vomit!"

By this time we are both laughing so hard it's a wonder I didn't have to make an emergency run to the bathroom!

"Oh how I wish I could have been video-taping this. HA! Video!"

And on that note, Amazing Daughter retired to her room.

In case you are wondering. We did, indeed, finish off the entire pan of brownies ourselves. But, sshhhh, don't tell anybody. It's kind of embarrassing!

T - The Rest of the Story/ U - Uninspired

The blogger demons are at it again. I'm horrified to notice that the first part of my blog on "T is for Torture" is missing! Did you feel like you were thrown into the middle of a story? Because you were.

This is what was mysteriously deleted by the blogger demons:

Over the weekend, I met a true American hero. (I had heard about his story several months earlier because he works with BIL#8.) A large group of family and friends met together for supper before going to watch our nephew perform in a high school play of The Wizard of Oz. The group was so large that I didn't actually get to meet him and shake his hand, but rather just waved hello from a distance, as introductions were being made.

He served under three presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan. I don't know all the details, but this is what I was told. He served in the Air Force, and he and 20 others found themselves held captive by the enemy. (I'm trying to think back on what was going on during the 80's, but I was busy with three little babies, so that timefram is kind of a blur.) When the 20 were questioned, they answered the questions and were sent home. Not so for our hero. When they questioned him, he pretty much told them to go to you-know-where, and only gave his name, rank, and serial number. That didn't go over too well. He was tortured. He was waterboarded. They pulled out all of his teeth. No matter what they did to him, all he gave them was name, rank, and serial number. I don't know how or when he was released. But, when he was back home, he was specifically and personally called out by President Reagan, because the President wanted to shake his hand. Our hero felt very honored. (Part Two )


U is for Unexpected, Uninspired, Underwhelming

Fingers drumming on the desk. Loud sighs. Oh, look at the pretty birdies outside! Sipping coffee. Blank stares. U...u...u. This dictionary open to the "u" section, is filled with lots of "un-" words. 

Here's a word I've never heard used: unpregnant - it doesn't mean not pregnant - it means: inept.  

Her uninspired blog was not only underwhelming, but, unpregnant as well. Maybe someday she will learn how to unbosom herself. 

Yep, I threw in another word I've never heard used: unbosom - it means to give expression to; disclose, reveal. 

And, here is one more surprising (to me) entry:
"United States: a federation of states esp. when forming a nation in a usu.  specified territory "

OK. I was NOT expecting to see that! United States of Europe? I have never, ever heard that one. Have you, my European friends, ever heard of that? I know there is another name, which has been brain-farted right out of my head at the moment, so you will have to re-enlighten me. But there was not one mention of the United States of America. (That definition might really confuse some poor child in the public education system.) 

Here's another good one: utopian socialism. I could write an entire blog on this one, but, surprisingly, the definition sums it up quite nicely.

Utopian socialism: socialism based on the belief that social ownership of the means of production can be achieved by voluntary and peaceful surrender of their holdings by propertied groups

And that, my friends, is why utopian socialism will never work. Not to mention that human beings are flawed, and there is no possible way (in this life), that there will ever be a "place of ideal perfection esp. in laws, government, and social conditions".

For some reason, I have an urge to bake an upside-down cake. Unfortunately, my arms will be performing an up and down motion all day while painting.

Have an uproarisly unforgetable day. 

Until tomorrow!

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Torture

He was among the large group of family and friends that went together to see my nephew perform in "The Wizard of Oz". My nephew was the Tin Man, and he did a great job, by the way. Anyway, as I watched the Lion, who wanted courage, I couldn't help but think about this guy, sitting among us, who had real courage. And I wondered what his thoughts were. I also started thinking about all the men and women who have served this country, from its inception. The bravery and courage that it took, and most of us will never know.

And, that got me thinking (I know, it's a rarity), about people's stories. How many people have displayed courage in their lives, and then they just go on living their lives. How seeminly insignificant things (like watching a play about courage) might affect them.

Then I wonder how much courage I have. Would I have been one of the 20, or would I let them rip my teeth out? In my little pea-brained mind, living in my safe home, not being threatened, I am sure that I could sustain having my bowels ripped out without nary a whimper. But, when reality sets in, I'm afraid I would turn into a bowl of mush. A whimpy, cowardly, bowl of mush. Would I really be able to fight for freedom, if I had to, ready to die, if it came to that?
I always like to identify with the hero in a war story, and detest the sniveling little coward, curled up in a corner. Sadly, I'm pretty sure that I would be the sniveling little coward. But, I guess none of us really know what we are made of until we are faced with a life or death situation. 

I really don't know how to end this, except to say,"Thank you from the bottom of my heart", to all those who have served and sacrificed for this country. You are greatly appreciated.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


It's time for the letter "s". You are reading this on Saturday, but I'm writing this on Friday night, and I am sleepy. I almost slipped away from the desk. I suspect that today's blog will be full on silliness.

Hubby and I are traveling down to Cincinnati, a four hour drive, to see our nephew in "The Wizard of Oz". We thought he would have the part of the Scarecrow, but he is the Tin Man. I'm sure he will do a superb job.

I can't believe I'm going to tell you about this, because, it is something I detest more than anything else, but it starts with the letter sssss. And it hisses. And it slithers. And I am getting the shivers just thinking about it. And, I now have my legs wrapped around my neck just thinking about this s-thing. No. I am not going to type out the actual word. When I was young, if I saw a picture of one in a book, I would not touch the page!

I've had quite a few experiences with this s-thing, but my legs are starting to cramp up, so I'll just tell one story. shiver shiver

My grandparents lived out in the country, and almost every time we would go to visit, I would see several of these skinny, slimy, slithery, s-things. My brother chased me with one, but that's another story. This one particular day, my sister and I were walking around outside. I had found a big stick to use for walking. (I guess we liked to pretend we were Moses. We were always looking for good walking sticks.) I told her that I would help her find a good stick. We walked around their large yard, when I spotted a great looking stick. It was nice and straight.Perfect. I started to reach for it, but then at the last minute decided to touch it with my stick. 

When I put my stick on it, it slithered away! I stood there frozen in fear for a few moments, then dropped my stick and ran to the house. Shiver, shiver, shiver.

Now, if you will please help me unwrap my legs from around my neck, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm not as flexible as I used to be!

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Redbud Trees

Redbud trees are one of the reasons I look forward to Spring. For the record, I don't know why they are called redbuds when they have purple flowers. Really and truly, it is hard to pick a favorite spring tree, but the redbud starts with an "r".

It has always been a personal goal to have a redbud tree in my yard, but, in all the places we've lived, there has never been a place to plant one. Imagine my delight when spring arrived, and I discovered that there was not one, not two, but THREE redbuds in my yard. Happy dance!

Ahh, so pretty, so lovely. Redbuds!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Questions and Quotes

"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear." 
  --  Thomas Jefferson 

The following quote comes from the book "America's God and Country" by William J. Federer:

"In 1781, Thomas Jefferson made this statement in Query XVIII of his Notes on the state of Virginia. Exerpts of these statements are engraved on the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC:
   'God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated abut with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.'"

Here are a couple of quotes from John Quincy Adams, made on July 4, 1821:
   "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this' it connected in one dissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."

    "From the day of the Declaration...they (the American people) were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of The Gospel, which they newrly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct."

Here are a few questions that have entered my mind:

- Can people really affect the climate of the earth?

- Why are those who preach tolerance the least tolerant?

- Why do atheists feel so threatend by Christianity when they don't even believe it is true?

- Why is it seemingly impossible to find an authentic birth certificate for the President of the United States?

- Why can't American companies drill for oil, but Obama has promised Brazil that we will be their best customer when they drill for oil? 

- Should we be concerned about Obama's relationship with people like Saul Alinsky and George Soros?

- How many executive orders has the President signed that have taken away more and more of our freedoms?

- Do polls really tell us what people are thinking, or do they tell us what they want us to think?

- D

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Progress

Yes, weare making progress, but as I look around at what needs to be done, it still feels overwhelming. Ah, now why didn't I think of "overwhelming" for yesterday. Oh well.

As promised, here are some photographic peeks showing the progress of our projects. Here is what our little gem looked like when we moved in. The boarded window in the garage has been replaced, so it doesn't look quite so forlorn.

Sorry for the blurry picture. The camera person must have been drinking...

On its way to being finished

Still having storage issues, but making progress
Original kitchen

Original upper cupboards, new lower cupboards that
traveled from North Carolina with us. The plan is to have the
upper cupboards refinished to match the lower ones...someday!

My new farmstyle sink - which I LOVE! - complete
with new faucet and running water!!
 I don't take running water for granted. We still can't drink the water, however. Our water was tested and is off the charts high in manganese. Normal levels are something like .050; our levels 1.10! High levels of manganese are said to cause memory loss. Heaven knows I have enough problems with my memory, without help from my water intake. Hubby said he would go to extreme measures to help prevent any more memory loss. He will be working on the plumbing again today, trying to get the water purifier hooked up. This will be his third attempt. Please, I beg of you, say a prayer for him! We want no leaks when he is finished. (I hope I won't have to pee in a bucket today, but it wouldn't be the first time!)

This is our gutted-out bathroom, with new can lights.

That big box contains our new bathtub!

The garden in the front is shaping up

Azeala bush
 The back area has lots of work to do. I've started planting around the gazebo.
 I have a long way to go to be finished!

Another garden area in the back

Another area in the front
Hubby wanted me to show you our high tech water purifier system. Most systems don't need that big tall one. That one is for the manganese!

We still have a long way to go, but we have come a long way from when we started!
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