Sunday, September 27, 2009

T-Minus One and Counting

( Wow, we were so young. I was only 21 years old. I can't even imagine my daughters married yet and one of them is almost 4 years older than I was then. Oh, and I thought I was fat then too. Body image...blech)

Today I have been married for 29 years. Yes, all to the same man. It's hard to believe that it's been that long. Although when I think back on all we have been through together it's hard to believe we shoved it all into 29 years. Not that we are world travelers or anything like that but we did raise three kids and survived baseball, softball, girl scouts, boy scouts, violin lessons, orchestra concerts, band practices, band competitions, band drama and Friday night football. Not to mention three economic downturns, one firing, a couple of layoffs and two broken ankles (they were both mine at the same time and that's when you find out how much someone really loves you.) Last year I put my children on notice that they had two years to plan a big 30th Anniversary bash....don't know if they remember or not, guess we'll see. So....T-minus one and counting ;-)

Seems like just yesterday we were walking down the aisle, bringing our first born home, taking our son to his first little league game, watching our baby go to kindergarten. Where does the time fly? I love my husband more than any one human can love another. At least that's what it feels like to me. I'm so lucky that I get to spend the rest of my life with this wonderful man. In honor of our anniversary, I give you......



How I married my best friends brother

The year was 1972. The Viet Nam war was raging, Watergate became a household word, tragedy happened at the Munich Olympics, Carol King was singing, "It's Too Late" and I was just beginning high school. I also met the man that would someday be my husband.

I became friends with a girl named Debbie. She was interesting and funny, and it didn't hurt that her brother was a senior and played baseball. I would have liked her regardless of the brother thing, but it was a perk, you know? So, all freshman year I smiled at the brother, said hi and went to baseball games to cheer him on. He didn't know I existed. The year went quickly and Debbie and I settled into an easy friendship that we were sure would last a lifetime. Summer came and went and soon we were sophomores. I would call Debbie's house, knowing she was not there, just so I could hear the brothers' voice. Yes, I was a nerd. We were happy in our relationship, Debbie, the brother and I. She and I had great times together and he still did not know I was a living breathing being. Oh, well. I held out hope. At the end of the year both our lives were turned upside down. My father accepted a job 200 miles away and Debbie's mom got married and moved to the other side of town. We got together before the big moves to sign each other's yearbooks for the last time. I wrote in her yearbook that someday I would marry her brother. I was joking. Soon, our only communication was letters (remember when you used to write letters?) and an occasional long distance call. But, we remained the best of friends. I had a boyfriend in my new town and thoughts of the brother were all but non-existent.

In 1976, we graduated and started our lives. Still living miles from each other we kept the friendship alive. Then, in January 1977, I accepted a job back in my hometown. I had no place to stay so Debbie's mom invited me to live with them. The brother was still living at home, working and going to school and fresh out of a relationship. I decided it was now or never. I flirted, talked baseball, flirted some more and finally, he knew I was alive. We started dating on January 22, 1977. For me, it was love right away. I knew within the first few months that this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It took Dan just a bit longer. It took almost 4 years, me having to move away, and his mom threatening to just adopt me into the family before he finally decided that we were meant to be (we don't call him the King of Procrastination for nothing!).

On September 27, 1980 I married the man of my dreams. My best friend was my maid of honor and my sister-in-law. The yearbook prediction came true.

Now, 29 years later, I still can't believe how lucky I am. He makes me laugh every day and I still get butterflies in my stomach when I see him. I feel honored just knowing I get to spend the rest of my life with this man. Our life is not perfect and we've had our rough spots but we've loved each other enough to work through it. I thank God everyday for bringing us together and helping us to keep it together. I've been so blessed these last 29 years, I can't wait to see what the next 29 bring.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Finished Product

As promised, here are pics of my latest creations. This first one is a scrap afghan called "Confetti Stars". I finished it at midnight last night. I have worked on it between projects for about two years. There are 391 two inch squares in this afghan, which means to finish it off I had to tie in 1646 ends. Thanks goodness I did it as I went along. I love the finished look and I think I may put this at the end of the bed in my spare room. I also included a close up of the border which was so incredibly boring that I thought I would never get done. I forced myself to stay up last night to finish because I was at the point that if I didn't finish it then, I might have put it away for another two years. Glad I didn't, because the finished product is great and the pictures don't really do it justice.

This afghan is "Americana Granny". I love it and plan on putting it on the back of my couch. It's got that old fashioned look to it which I love. The close up square is my favorite color combo, probably because the first 5 rows remind me of Christmas. It actually gave me the inspiration for one of my next projects which will be a Christmas afghan made from these very colors. I'm going to try and design it myself, so we'll see how that goes.

I decided to include this next afghan because it resides on the rocker I was using to take the pictures of the others and I thought, why not? It is another scrap afghan which I made a couple of years ago. Scrap afghans are great because when you look at them, it reminds you of all the projects you worked so hard on, right in one creation. (So it wasn't until I came back to the blog to see if I had comments that I noticed that the next picture is upside down. Normally I would be a little OCD about stuff like that and fix it, but today I am too tired. This is what happens when you stay up till midnight and then try to do a blog at 7 in the morning....)

So that's it for now. I am currently projectless, which always bothers me. I always like to have something to work on, which is why I am going today to buy the yarn for the Crochet-Along. I'm going to do a baby afghan for my nephew who's baby is due in December.
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Crochet Crazyness

So, I realize that I have been woefully abscent from the blogosphere, but I do have a good excuse. I've been furiously trying to finish two afghans. I did finish one, the other is a scrap afghan that I have been working on between projects for about 2 years. I was hoping to finish it this weekend and post pictures of my new creations, but alas, the border is more time consuming than I anticipated. Which really means that it's boring me to death and I have to keep putting it down because it causes me to fall asleep. That's what happens when you get old. Anyway, as soon as I finish I promise pictures.

Then in a fit of insanity I signed up to do what they call a CAL or Chrochet-Along. I'm trying to venture outside my comfort zone, although why I'm doing this I have no idea. You follow along on a blog, everyone crochets the same thing, and you share your progress. The pattern is the picture above. I have never done shapes that have anything but four sides since the time I tried to do a triangle afghan and it came out all sorts of misshapen. But I figure I have time now to concentrate on it and I'm in need of a baby afghan so I thought this might be the perfect time to try something new. Wish me luck...I'm going to need it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget

Today will never be a normal day for me, ever again. The images, sights and sounds of that day will live with me for the rest of my life. I was not there, I did not know anyone who perished on that day, and yet it affected me like nothing else has. I will always remember the heros of that day and mourn their loss. I will forever remember what some did in the name of religion; and I will condemn that to my dying day. I will be vigilant and I will NEVER FORGET.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905US (Spanish-born) philosopher (1863 - 1952)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Love the Stars!

Omega Centauri
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped this panoramic view of a colorful assortment of 100,000 stars residing in the crowded core of a giant star cluster. This is one of the first images taken by the new Wide Field Camera 3 that was installed aboard Hubble in May 2009 during Servicing Mission 4, which can snap sharp images over a broad range of wavelengths.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Summer Vacation, Part III

Day four in DC started out at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It was one of my two favorite places that we visited. I have decided to do a separate post for this museum as it’s not exactly a “feel good” place and it just didn’t seem appropriate to talk about this and then go on to more light hearted subjects. Also, I want to be able to do it justice and be able to convey the feel of the place which will take more time than what I have right now. Suffice to say, once you visit this place I don’t believe you will ever be the same, nor should you.
A nice shot of the Capitol looking down the National Mall on our way to the Museum of American History

Our second stop of the day was The Smithsonian’s Museum of American History. This museum just recently re-opened after being closed for renovation for quite some time. While it was closed the exhibits went on tour around the country. Some of them have not made it back to the museum yet so there were limited things to see. We saw the first lady’s dresses and while the guys didn’t really get into that the girls and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The pop culture exhibit was the reason we really went there and it was a little disappointing that there was not much to see. Dan was especially disappointed that he did not get to see Fonzi’s jacket. But we did see an elephant seat from the Dumbo ride at Disneyland, and much to Sarah’s delight it was a purple one; Archie and Edith’s chairs; Kermit the Frog and Oscar the Grouch; and of course, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers. In another room they had some very old musical instruments which included Stradivarius violins dating from the 17th or 18th century. Beautiful instruments that Sarah coveted. I think one of her dreams is to own a Stradivarius violin, I wish her luck with that one.

We weren’t really up for seeing much more there so we headed on to lunch and then to my favorite place of all…….

The National Air and Space Museum. I could spend all day in this place. I can’t tell you how much I love it. I don’t even really care about the airplane part of it, I’m just in love with all the space stuff. I can’t get enough. It’s all there from the test rockets to the spaceships of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. There is a small piece of a moon rock which is so smooth that it feels like a piece of polished steel. I don’t know if it’s that way naturally or just from the millions of people who have run their fingers across the surface just so they can say they touched a moon rock. Of course, I especially love the displays of Apollo 11 and the lunar lander. Dan and Beth really had a good time wondering around the place and I think Dan had a good time teaching her about all the airplanes. She really got into it and I think she took a picture of every plane in the place. I will spare you all of those but I will share a few of my favorites:Mural as you enter the museum
The beginning of flight. Do you think the Wright Brothers ever thought in their wildest dreams that what they started would end up taking us to the moon?

The rockets

Apollo 11 Command Module

The Lunar Lander

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
In July 1975 two manned spacecraft were launched into Earth orbit - one from Kazakstan, the other from Florida. their rendezvous in orbit fulfilled a 1972 agreement between the Soviet Union and United States to participate in a joint venture in space.

Obviously I love this place and imagine my delight when as we were leaving we saw a mock up of the new addition. They will have an actual space shuttle there when the addition opens. Be still my heart. I can’t wait!

Until next time……

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Summer Vacation, Part II

So here I am one month post vacation and I still have not finished these posts. As always, my life gets in the way of the fun stuff. Oh goes: (please excuse spelling, grammar and punctuation.....I just don't have the energy to edit too much!)

Our third day in DC just happend to be one of the hottest and most humid days on record. Of course this was the day we had planned to spend most of the day outside. Figures. I will say that while I hated the humidity, it still wasn't as bad as the 115 degrees we were having back home and I could have never done this type of sightseeing in that weather, so was gross but managable.

Arlington National Cemetary entrance: The house on the hill is the Robert E. Lee house. The cemetary was originally the plantation of General Robert E. Lee. His property was given up when he surrendured to Grant and the land was eventually turned into the cemetary.

We started out at Arlington National Cemetary where we bought tickets for the Tourmobile. For one fee you get a whole days worth of riding from monuments to memorials and everything in between. I highly recommend this because it's a great foot saver, especially if you're fifty and fat like me. But the best part is you get a whole lot of history while you're riding, and for me, that was worth the price of the ticket. There is a person on the tram that gives you a lot of interesting little tid bits of information as you ride to each destination. You are able to get off the tram at each stop and spend as much time as you want at each destination, then pick up the next tram when you're ready to move on. It's great. We boarded the tram in Arlington National Cemetary and it took us to all the important places. We stopped at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watched the changing of the guard. A very impressive and moving tribute.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Weapon Inspection

Changing of the Guard

We also stopped at the graves of JFK and RFK. I have been here before but it always gets to me and there were a few tears shed. The contrast between the two grave sites is remarkable.

The Eternal Flame

JFK and Jackie's headstones

RFK gravesite

There were many small memorials to different groups around the cemetary. The following were a few that I found interesting:

Memorial to the crew of Challenger

Memorial to the crew of Columbia

Memorial to the sevicemen who lost their lives trying to resuce the Iran hostages in 1980

After our time in the cemetary we hopped on the tram and visited several of the monuments and memorials around DC. Two were new since I was in DC last: WWII and the Korean. I have to say the WWII Memorial was very impressive and really well thought out. There are so many elements and everything has a meaning. I highly recommend seeing this one. The Korean Memorial is reminiscent of the Viet Nam Memorial in that it has a granite wall but in the wall are etched pictures of soldiers. There is also a wall there with on of my favorite quotes; "Freedom is not Free". Both these memorials incorporate water and for very different but impressive results. I have to say I enjoyed both very much. We also saw the Lincoln, Washington, and Viet Nam which are always impressive and moving.

The Atlantic entrance to the memorial. On the opposite side there is a Pacific entrance. They signify the two theaters of engagement in the war

The Rainbow pool in the center of the memorial The Freedom Wall’s 4,048 Gold Stars represent the 405,399 Americans who paid the ultimate price for that ultimate victory

The Clem Kids in front of the Arizona column. The memorial columns are arranged in the order of State admission into the Union, alternating back and forth (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, etc.) around the Rainbow Pool. After listing the 48 States, the six territories that comprised the nation at the time of the war are included. The Washington Monument from the WWII Memorial

View of the White House walking from the WWII Memorial to the Washington Monument.

Korean War Memorial :

There are 19 statues which represent a squad on patrol. Drawn from each branch of the armed forces, they are dressed in full combat gear and when reflected in the pool, there appears to be 38 soldiers, representing the 38th parallel.

This says it all!

Mom, Dad and the DC daughter 24 years after our first DC trip! Oh yeah, and that's the Lincoln Memorial in the backround.

The Washington Monument looking across the reflecting pool from the Lincoln Memorial. You can see part of the Capitol peeking out from behind the monument.

So there you have the memorial/monument day of our trip. It was hot, sweaty, tiring and totally worth the blisters on my feet. I was going to do the next day in the post also but this got to be pretty lengthly so I'll save that for tomorrow. I promise. Tomorrow I'll finally get to two places we visted that were my personal favorites.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Labor Day!