Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Paper Boy/Dog

Several years ago we had a neighbor who taught his dog, Apache, to bring in the mail or paper for him.  He would take Apache out to go to the bathroom, walk over to the mailbox and get the mail. He would then reach down and give the dog the letters. He would say, "Take it home!" Apache would then carry the mail in his mouth across the road and up the driveway.  I always thought that was so cool.
When we got our new puppy, Dave, three years ago, I wanted him to be like Apache. As a young pup, I would take Dave with me to get the paper. Since he is a golden retriever, he loves to have things in his mouth. I would give him the paper to carry home. Most of the time he would just carry it a little ways and drop it because something else had caught his attention.
Over the years he got better and better. In fact, he gets upset if we don't give him something to carry home. He loves it so much, he brings home other papers from around the neighborhood. Usually, it is just papers that people don't want and have left in their driveway day after day. I figure he is helping to keep the neighborhood clean. Once in awhile though, he will bring home someone's  daily paper. When he does that, I have to make the run back to where he got the paper and drop it on their driveway. He is a dog, after all.
So, if you are in our area and see a large golden carrying a paper, you can be sure it is Dave, the new paper boy/dog!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day or Decoration Day

As a young girl, I remember going to my grandparents' house with family and getting ready for Memorial Day. It was a special day for my family. We would bring large cans that we had been saving and put tin foil around the outside. Then we would go to my grandmother's garden. We would cut peonies, iris, and lilacs and place them in the covered tin cans.
Then came the travel time. We would take the flowers to nearby graveyards where we had family buried. It was always a serious time. We would walk around the graves to see if there was anyone we knew. We checked on dates and other interesting facts.
Now I make the trip with my husband. We travel to three cemeteries. We no longer fill large cans with live flowers. Instead we buy artificial wreaths or individual flowers to make arrangements. Now I am putting flowers on those graves of the loved ones I used to make this trip with. I feel this is a tradition that I want to continue for as long as possible.
The graves with flags mean so much to me. They are the ones that belong to people who have served their country. I am proud to see the sign on the back of my father's grave and the flag beside his stone. Memorial Day is a day that is special to me!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Graduation From Gramma Preschool

After a school year of attending Gramma Preschool, Meron graduated! We had such a wonderful time celebrating her graduation. She planned it and set the rules for what would happen on her special day.  She decided that she only wanted girls to come to the graduation. That meant that her little brother could not attend. So Dad stayed home with him and had "Man Time", as Meron would say!
We had an agenda or program of how our day would go. Mom came with her and we showed her  how we would do calendar and the schedule. Then we did Reading, Math, Science and Writing. For reading she read a couple of her favorite books and worked on magnetic letters. Math time was counting to 100 on the counting sheet and also by 10's. We also played a thinking game of match. For science she showed her mom the Science Notebook she had made all year and then got to take it home. Last came writing. She wrote a thank you card for her mom, thanking her for coming to the graduation.
Then it was time for the graduation! She got her diploma, a card, flowers and a CD with all the music we had listened to this year. Yes, even Vivaldi for those rainy days!
Now it was time for the big luncheon at the café!  We went to the Busy Brush Café in town. The building is an old church with the attached part painted with bright colors. The inside had dining, but also lots of other things to look at and perhaps buy. Meron had told us this was a dress-up affair, so we had on our sun dresses, even though it was cool!
What a wonderful day of memories we had that day. Next year as Meron takes off for full day kindergarten she will remember all the things she learned at Gramma Preschool and be a star student!
Congratulations, Meron!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pokagon State Park + Friend = Enjoyment

Today was one of the those days in northern Indiana where the weather can't make up its mind.  It started out windy, but warm. Then it went to cloudy. It actually even got up to almost 80 degrees and the sun peeked out.  However, later in the afternoon it rained and rained hard! Still, today was the day I was scheduled to meet a friend at the lovely Indiana State Park: Pokagon.
Our thinking was that we could have lunch in the wonderful Potawatomi Inn's restaurant. We planned to eat a light lunch and then have more time to just wander the inn and find a cozy nook to sit and talk. 
We met at 11:00 and had the buffet of soup and salad. It was terrific! We then took off to explore the rest of the lodge. The views of the lake and quiet gardens just invited you to go outside and enjoy the scenes. We did not do this, but if the weather had been less windy, we probably would.
The view of Lake James was quiet and peaceful on this May day. The usual boat traffic of the summer had not started yet. Seeing the sailboat was just an example of how peaceful the lake really was.
We found the gift shop and spent some time looking over the Pokagon t-shirts and other souvenirs. I was tempted to buy a peach t-shirt, but I resisted. We then roamed the hotel lobby where there was a front desk to greet visitors. We also saw another greeter at the front door. This is one that kids would just love!
Eventually, we found a comfy place to settle down and talk. We shared stories and pictures. After about 43 years of friendship, we still have so much to talk about and share. These visits are just priceless to both of us. We are already planning our next adventure!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Club: What Are You Reading?

Last night I packed a book bag with several books and calendar and headed across town to my monthly book club meeting.  We meet once a month at the local Cebollas. We have our favorite booth and the staff even recognizes us now!

There were four of us at our meeting last night. We settled into the booth and ordered our favorite food...chicken burrito for me! Connie tried something new: the ceaser salad. It looked delicious! With drinks delivered, we got down to business.

The first thing we always do is catch up. Julia is getting ready to retire, so we had to see how she was doing with that big step in her life. Sandie had been busy all day with breakfast and lunch with various friends. Yes, retirement is hard work! Connie caught us up on the graduation her preschool class had last week. Besides being book club buddies, we are also very close friends!
The book we read this month was The Bone Garden by Tess Garritsen. This book is a real page turner! We all gave it a thumbs up! The main character, Julia Hamil, buys a house in the country and digs up a skull buried in the rocky soil she is turning into a garden. It is a human, female skull. Julia wants to solve the murder of long ago.  Now flip to Boston, 1830. Norris Marshall is studying to be a doctor, but works as a grave digger who vests bodies to sell on the black market. He then becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders. His fellow student, Oliver Wendell Holmes, tries to prove his innocence. This mystery reaches across centuries to the present day world of Julia Hamil!  Facinating!
We discussed, questioned, visualized and connected. We even went back into the text and referenced places we had questions about. Or we looked back to prove our point in the story. It was a great discussion!
Next came the time to pick a new book and date for our next meeting.  Fortunately, Connie had done some research and had a couple books for us to choose from.  Julia and Sandie got on their smart phones and read blurbs about each one. We finally decided on The Other Typist  by Suzanne Rindell. We picked a date between family vacations. We now have our first summer read!
Our book club is a highlight of the month for me. As we paid our bill, gathered our books and calendars, and made our way out of the restaurant, we said good bye to the wait staff and walked out to the parking lot. We told Julia to have a great last few days of school. We chatted with our last bits of conversation and took off with feelings of having a great evening with wonderful friends.
Did I say, I love my book club?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Today is the day set aside to honor our mothers. I am so blessed to have had a wonderful mother who taught me so much about life. She was always there to give advice and support me in whatever I did. Sometimes, I am sure, I gave her a hard time and didn't make being a mother an easy job. Still, I hope she always knew how much I loved her and appreciated everything she did for me. I love you, Mom!
I was also blessed to have had the best grandmother ever! She was a "kid's grandma". I remember her making taffy in the kitchen and letting all of the grandkids have a chance to pull it...even if it was the messiest job ever. I remember playing tricks on her like changing her the channel on t.v. when she went to the kitchen to check on dinner. I remember her stories about our parents and cousins. We would beg for those stories! Most of all, I remember how she always loved us and would spend so much time with us. I love you, Grandma!
I am also blessed to be a mother. I have the most wonderful son that any mother could ask for. He has become such a good dad and husband. I am so proud of him!  I cherish every minute I get to spend with him now that he is a busy, grown man. He is caring and loving. I especially love to watch him as he cares for his own children. I love you, Todd!
I am so blessed to have twelve wonderful grandchildren that call me Grandma Kathy. What a great bunch of kids!  They are so well mannered, kind and just fun to be around. Being a grandma is the best thing ever! I love you, Ty, Lane, Kiann, Shelby, Emma, Adrian, Meron, Audrey, Bam, Graham, Mallory and Kaelyn!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Philadelphia: A Lesser Know Fact

As we walked the city of Philadelphia and took rides through the neighborhoods, I kept seeing these huge pictures that were painted on the sides of buildings. I had taken pictures of a few of them just because they were so amazing. Later, as I was going over some Philadelphia information, I found out that these murals were part of the city lore. They were around all over in various neighborhoods. It would be so much fun to try to find as many as possible and drive all over the city hunting for them.

Guess that's a challenge for another trip! Here are a few pictures of the murals I saw:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Philadelphia: City of Brotherly Love!

We had the most amazing weekend in Philadelphia. We drove across Ohio and PA. to get to there. On the way we drove through Pittsburgh and stopped by the sight of the Flight 93 crash. Our hotel was in the middle of Old Town and close to all the great historical spots. The biggest problem was how to get to see everything in just two days!  We did it.  Over the next few days, I will be sharing some of our sights. Today's blog will just be some high spots and how I reacted to each sight.
Independence Hall
Our first stop was to get up early on Saturday morning and grab free tickets to see Independence Hall. We went into the court yard and then had a tour of the building with a wonderful tour guide. I learned so much and was reminded of things that I had forgotten, but most important it was awesome to be in the rooms that these great men walked.
Court Yard before we entered the tour
Right across the road is a building housing the Liberty Bell.  Again, we were able to stand in line and enter the building as we took our own tour. At the end of the tour was the bell. We could stand there and take pictures and read the information about its history.
With the Liberty Bell
The city was laid out by William Penn and he had designed five squares which are parks around the city. We made it to three of the parks. Our favorite was the LOVE park where the sign that has become Philadelphia's logo. We loved taking pictures there and then helping others by taking their picture for them, too.  It really is the city of brotherly love.
The U.S. Mint was in the block right next to our hotel. We went there early on Saturday morning, hoping we could take the tour of that building. However, it was not open on the weekend at this time of year. We still spent time taking pictures and reading the informational signs.
As you can tell, we had a wonderful time in the city. We got to spend time with Andy, even though he had to spend many of the time working. He took us on scenic drives throughout the city. We got to see his apartment, place of work and Melay's salon, too. We also had great food while we were there. We ate cheesesteak, crab cakes, bison tacos, and of course ice cream!
We loved the trip, even if it was very short. I would recommend spending many more days than just two, at this historical city. We walked and walked and walked. Oh, well, that way we could eat and not feel guilty!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Off Again To New Destinations

Today we are taking off for another fun weekend. This time we are headed to the city of brotherly love: Philadelphia. We have an added incentive for going to this beautiful city: visiting Andy, our youngest son.  He moved to Philly last summer and we have not gotten to visit there yet. No better time than in the spring.

Our bags are packed. The atlas is in the car. Molly is set to stay with Dave the Dog. We are excited. We have a day of traveling through beautiful Ohio and Pennsylvania then we hit Philly this evening. We have studied the travel book to find the best places to eat and shop. We are staying in Old Town, so we know we will have lots of walking to do.
We will also spend lots of time with Andy. He has even promised to fix us a meal while we are there. He is our chef son! Can't wait to explore this new territory with an expert who has lived there for a year!