Saturday, June 24, 2006

We're goin' camping, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!

We're goin' downy ocean, hon! as Balmoreans would say. Cape Henlopen State Park, DE. We love it! I won't be posting for a while. Be back later! Happy Summer, everyone!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

SPC-Pop art-I'm going to pop you!

This is my first post with this challenge. I've saved it for a week, deciding whether to enter or not. I need to take some lessons on self portrait taking. Same old pose, same old look. This one is a bit different, so went with it. I took this one right before a kickbox class. I like this angle but needed some help with editing, thanks Audge. I'm a loud, obnoxious (according to one or both of my children, depending on the day) but friendly, kind person. Put me in a kickbox class and I am unleashed! I put power in my moves, I grunt, I yell, I am wild! I've been accused of having anger management problems, jokingly. Posted by Picasa


I love the lazy days of summer, even though they are not so lazy anymore. At one time, younger children, we accomplished all housework in the morning and were at the pool by the time they opened at noon. We stayed all day, sometimes until dark. We packed lunch, sometimes dinner, cards, sunscreen, books, sewing, lists, you name it. I even had a covered, conestoga type wagon that Audrey would take her nap in. Yup, she was trained well. She can still fall asleep amidst squealing children. I miss those days.

I have longed for a pool in my backyard, though I know many who have one and I have an open invitation. I really wanted to hang by a pool this week, but time did not allow. We have been busy but with a different attitude. A relaxed feel, I guess. This week has been taken up with 24 hour viruses, 2 children, 2 days apart. Audrey went on a short work trip to a local farm. They provide fresh fruits and vegetables to feed the hungry. These kids planted and picked for 3 days and also worked in a food pantry, cleaning and clearing. Emma has had to open bank accounts for college, dentist visit, college physical. Both girls need a little beautifieing before heading away for two weeks. That's just their schedules. I have been in charge of fitness at the Y this week, my boss is away. HMFIC, military talk. :-) Although, it really has not amounted to anything, just remembering to keep my cell phone around. I have taken on extra classes (8 at this point with 2 more tonight - gosh, I'm sore!) Tonight I'm meeting my GF, Tasha, for a couple beers! We need some bonding time!

I have made a little progress on my rug. I'm really liking it. I'm not a good hooker, but the more I hook, the more I get into the rhythym of it. I think I need to get another hooking project ready to keep the momentum. The only problem is, when I focus on one creative outlet, I miss the others. My fingers are itching to knit, quilt, and embroider, and that's nothing compared to the clothes I want to make! It's insane, it really is. This rug is definitely going to be a state fair entry.

Only a few more days and Cape Henlopen here we come!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006


This is Shelby when we first got her in January 2005. She was 8 years old and we got her through GRREAT. Well, things have not gone as planned. First few months were good, for the most part. I'm not sure whether we blamed things on Gus or just chalked the events up to getting used to our home, schedule and family. Anyway, Shelby will be leaving us shortly. She has suffered from anxieties that I have not been able to control. She has gone through every screen in the house, and in 90 degrees weather, no a/c, windows closed, we are already sweltering. She has gone through the screen doors more than once. Too many times to count. She has done more damage than I care to admit. Mostly, she has put me in the middle between my family and her. They don't like her - can you blame them? Unfortunately, they are not around a lot when she is happy, which is pretty much when I am around. I like her when I am home but now I suffer from anxieties every time I leave the house. It comes and goes. Just when I think she has gotten over them, she pulls a big one. It pains me to do this but I know that GRREAT will find her another home, better than this one. One where there is a calm center, a regular schedule, one she will fit in. This one was not it. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my Dad and My Handsome Prince.

This is a photograph of my Sister, my Dad, and me standing on the Academy Bridge in Venice. This was a trip of all trips. MHP was in Vicenza for a month so the three of us decided to go to Venizia and Firenze. MHP met up with us on the weekends, first in Venice then in Florence. My Dad, my sister and I had the best time! We ate the best food, had serious conversations, and true to form, found ourselves quite funny. We viewed incredible art, both modern and ancient. We walked for miles and miles, listened to the bells, drank wine, and truly enjoyed every moment with each other. "Girls, it's getting late."
Another graduation photo. This is probably the end of them. When I saw this photo, I remarked to MHP how gray he was. I think he found my statement offensive. Yet, I love it! I think he has aged beautifully, despite some scars. He is the best father. He loves his princesses and they love him. He is humorous and fun with them, mostly patient (mostly), very gentle, completely charmed by them, has the utmost faith and trust in them, and spoils them rotten. He is a good man. He is the father of my children and the keeper of my heart. LYLT. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finish What you started

Vicki, over at Turkey Feathers has started a finish what you started challenge. This is what I need more than use what you have. I'm sort of doing both. Anyway, I have a list a mile long of things to finish, but, I am going to do it one by one. So here is the start. This is a gravestone rug I started last summer, I believe. Not a very old project but a simple one to finish. I would like it to look good enough to be a state fair entry this year. This is a style found in Cape Cod from the 1800's. The sunset can mean death and the sunrise, ascension into heaven. I love the greens. This is what I've gotten done so far.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Class of 2006

I don't think Emma will like this photo much. I think it's cute. It caught her off guard. Well, it's officially over. My daughter has graduated high school. Whew! It is such a blur, too. So I thought I'd recapture it in a post.

The ceremonies started with a Farewell Assembly at school during the day. A letter went home with the students stating that the daytime awards assembly was for students only and another was being held in the evening for parents to attend. Don't believe that! Emma received ALL her awards during the day. She and her boyfriend were congratulated by another student on being the names most called up! Yup, I'm going to brag! She won awards for being on the honor roll all 16 marking periods of high school, for being in chorus 3 years, treble choir 4 years, chamber singers 3 years, and Ensemble 3 years, she won an award for best actress, and exemplary service. I think that's it, but there could have been more. I'm just sorry I did not attend especially since I was home cleaning. Ugh! We did attend the evening service in which all community awards were announced. Since E did not apply for any, she did not get any. It was a joy, though, to see these students, all grown up and the adults they have almost become, the things that have caught them, and the things they have achieved. Congratulations, class of 2006, you are awesome!

Saturday was Graduation. We had prime seats, 4th row, yes! It was short and sweet, approximately 1 1/2 hours. The speaches made by class president, NHS representative, and the guest speaker were good. The guest speaker turned out to be the drama teacher, who is quite a hoot anyway! She is a lovely and sincere person. She spoke of 5 life lessons:
1. Forgive
2. Don't lie
3. Marry once
4. Don't be afraid
5. Love your parents
Here examples were simple and sweet. I truly enjoyed it. And...I did not shed a tear. I don't know who reads this other than a few blog friends, I don't know what their family situations are, children, etc. so I don't know how they feel when something like this happens. I just was overjoyed at seeing 400 kids, caps and gowns, knowing and watching quite a few of them grow up. It's that being part of something bigger than you. Emma and I have talked about it, being part of something, achieving something as part of a group, as an individual, all of it. I think it is a meaningful experience and she does too.

Party time, afterwards! Who knows how many people were here! It was a bunch! Food, beautiful weather, drinks, kids from different walks of life having fun together, adults, too. I was very involved in being a hostess so did not socialize much or take many photos. I had to decide which to do, and I opted for hostess. I'm glad I did. The party was for the girls, as Audrey finished middle school too and is on to high school. They had a wonderful time! The last ones left at 8 in the morning. Three boys spent the night. I asked how did I end up with stinky boys?! I woke them in the morning, saying "Good Morning, Sunshines, it's time to get up and leave for church." The next thing I knew, they were gone.

Sundays church service involved the 8 Seniors who graduated. Five of the eight wore their cap and gown. They each had a leadership part in the service. The Nitty Gritty Church Band played, which is always my favorite music in church, especially when my Handsome Prince sings. They sang "Turn, turn, turn" and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken". Well, the youth sang that last one with them and that's when I lost it. It was just that moment, realizing the potential of the youth, the support of the church, the incredible faith journey already undertaken and about to be taken, and the circle, being unbroken. Wow! Our friend and minister said "Way to go, Dana! I held it all together till I saw you!" Glad I'm not the only one.

Then you already know about the dessert. I have to admit, I thought it was going to be a blubbery affair. It was wonderful! Everyone kept it together. Another being part of something larger than yourself, and knowing it. I was the one to say a few words and pretty much kept to my tribute. My Handsome Prince was amazed at my public speaking. I, quite frankly, was too. I guess it has to be something you truly feel strongly about.

That's it. Today it's back to coercing the girls to clean, teaching mega fitness classes, dealing with MHP absence for a while, helping my sister (I've missed it the past week or so!) and the usual daily grind. But right now, it's pretty grand.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Senior Tribute tonight

There will be a dessert at church on Sunday, June 11. One parent can say a few words. My Handsome Prince and I have not talked about who will be the one, so whether I am the one to speak or not, I can post a few words.

A chance to tell Emma how wonderful I think she is. I'm pretty sure she already knows. I have agonized over this and I know I'll leave out the Most Important Thing. That thing that has stayed with me for years and can't think of to save my life.

She leaves me breathless. There is a scene in "Billy Elliott" when Billy is an adult with The Royal Ballet in a production of Swan Lake. He leaps out onto the stage and the camera cuts to the father. At the sight of his son, he catches his breath. That is me, every time Emma performs. I am amazed, proud, terrified, and moved every time I hear her voice. She has never hesitated to share her gift with Christian Temple, Lansdowne, and, of course, North Carroll High School. She has decided to major in Music Therapy. I think that says it all, how she views her voice and her talent, as something that should be given to others.

Emma is my first born. She was my buddy as a young toddler. She would attend quilt shows with me, pointing out her favorites. We would walk to the post office every morning to get our mail. We would wait out on the stoop for Patrick to get home. She would shout "Daddy, where are you?"! We went to storytime together, visiting an older friend, camping with families with no children. She would ride on the back of my bike for many miles or sit by the side when I taught an aerobic class. Now the tables have turned. I am the tag-a-long. I am honored every time she asks me to attend a talent show with her or to accompany a trip or attend Graduation parties with her. Even shopping, which is not my favorite. How can I say no? I can't. She always seems pleased to see me at school and doesn't hesitate to link her arm with mine or offer a kiss in a crowded hallway.

My daughter is beautiful, inside and out. I am awed at the person she has become. She has a smile for everyone, a kind word. She is a peacemaker. She does not tolerate stupidity among her peers, speaks her mind, she is confident in her faith and will defend it. She is a loving and kind sister and does nothing but sing Audrey's praises to her friends. She told Audrey last week that she was going to call her everyday when she goes off to school. I believe her. She is self assured. She is graceful. She has poise. She is brave, though not afraid. She recognizes her fears and trys to get beyond them. She is impatient and has learned to count to ten before speaking (mostly), although she still changes the radio station constantly which drives me bananas. She has her morals and is not afraid to admit them to her peers even if it means not being invited to a party or gathering. She does what she feels she is supposed to do, sometimes at her own expense. Emma needs to remember to be kind to herself, too, for she leaves that for last.

When she was little, she told me she wanted to live with me forever. At that time, I thought "Oh please, no!" Now, I feel like the time to leave has come too soon.

She has taught me to be a parent, a friend, a sister, a Christian, but most of all to strive to be a better person. She is my biggest fan. She can always make me feel beautiful or confident. She is my inspiration at achieving my goals, whether they are physical, emotional, or spiritual.

She has taught me flexibility. She has taught me to find humor in difficult situations. Such as the time I was fed up with her smart mouth...She has taught me about pain and helplessness in witnessing her pain and helplessness. She has taught me about forgiveness. She is not one to hold a grudge. She has taught me about unconditional love. We had a fuss one time, and I was fuming when she left for school. When she got home, she was angry with me. She said "Don't you ever let me leave without telling me you love me!" She was only about 8. How right she was. No matter how upset she gets with us, she always manages to say she loves us and is there with a kiss. As a parent, I try to be an example, but just as often, she is the example to me. Just as I have provided too many photos and programs and report cards and more, I could provide you with stories about Emma and how she has taught me these things and more. So, if you are interested, ask. I never tire talking about my girls. I even ragg on them sometimes but more often praise them. A coworker remarked to another "Dana thinks her kids are all that!" I thought, yes I do!
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Friday, June 09, 2006

Catch up

I have not been posting this week. I've been cleaning, nagging, attending awards ceremonies, mulching, weeding, writing a Senior tribute, thinking about what project to finish this month, getting ready for a BIG party tomorrow, putting together a display of my daughter's life, and whatever else I can fit it. I promise good photos and good stuff coming soon.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Patchwork bag

This bag was so much fun to make! It only took a couple hours from start to finish. Very rarely do I get to work on something from start to finish but when I do, it is usually a pleasure. This is for Emma's choral director. Emma sang a solo one year. "It takes a whole village to raise our children. It takes a whole village to raise one child." This is a thank you for her being part of that village. Tonight is the last Ensemble concert. When Emma was in fourth or fifth grade, and the Ensemble came to her school, her eyes got big and she looked at me and said "I want to do that!" And she did. It has been such an essential part of her life, her growth. It has been such fun, parents and children alike. Each year brings new amazing experiences and kids. Emma has been blessed. I have been blessed. Holy crap, get the tissue. It's going to be a tough week. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Last night we went to Belvedere Square to hear Mambo Combo. The main reason we went was to meet up with my Mom and her best friends, two of which are from Illinios, and one local. The women from Illinois are the women my Mom met when we moved to Oak Park. They lived on our block. I really don't know how they met, but they became good friends. Their houses were just like being in my home. As kids, we were welcome in any of them. All of us kids pretty much grew up together, though not in touch now. We were probably friends because they were, or more likely, like siblings. One year they decided to boycott the Good Humor man. They bought popsicles and kept them in their freezers and we could go to any house and buy a popsicle for a nickle or dime. Much cheaper than keeping the GH man in business. I remember them helping my Mom stain her oak table. I remember our dreaded moving day and the tears shed. I remember jumping from a cabinet and breaking a light fixture in Juanita's house. My sister broke Dorothy's window. I remember Dorothy coming to the rescue when my sister fell down the cement stairs with a glass jar in her hand and blood everywhere. I remember something about Juanita and charcoal crystals and an experiment of her son. I remember running through yards in the heat of the summer playing team tag and the last game before we moved when the adults joined us. Mostly I remember being loved. These families, these women, were and are my family. I had not seen them for years yet they have not changed a bit. It was a good evening.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bag #2

My grommet tool finally arrived after over a month of waiting. I was able to finish putting in the grommets and put the string in for Audrey's stuff sack. It was supposed to be ready when she went to camp in April but the tool I had was not working. I won one on Ebay, waited, waited, waited, received shippping information, waited, waited, waited, contacted the company, waited and waited. Yesterday it came! Yippee! It's a stuff sack for Audrey so she does not have to take sleeping bag and can take sheets, blankets and pillows to camp in a big ol' sack. She's been very patient. It is huge!
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