Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jeni & Tom’s Wedding Party in PA

I wrote this blog about the wedding and lost it when I spilled a cup of hot coffee onto my motherboard. Hate when that happens.  They (Geek Squad) are trying to retrieve my writings from my fried computer, but I know I can’t count on it. I’ll try to recapture the feelings, sights, tastes, and sounds of our time in Erie which is Tom’s home town. 

Kay, Tom’s Mom, and Alan, her husband, picked us up at the airport.  They live very close to the airport and every amenity, yet they were in a beautiful neighborhood that was so quiet and beautiful.  All the lawns were so well manicured. The grass was more like golf course grass than the type grass we have in Florida.  The house is large and I was surprised to find it was the same size as ours in FL.  I think it is the way it’s designed that makes it look larger.  The feeling was warm,homey and inviting.  The smells coming from the ovens helped with that, too. 

The first night there we had dinner at Kay and Alan’s with just the family invited.  What a dinner it was.  Kay is a wonderful cook and so are ALL her sisters.  160; We had met Chris and George and Lynn and Dave on the cruise we took with them.  We were able to meet Mary Jane and her husband, Joe, this time as well. 
Back to food.  Kay made beef stew on this  very cold day but she cooked it in pumpkins.  She cut the tops off, cleaned the seeds out, rubbed the outside with olive oil that would give the pumpkins  brown/gold sheen that looked as good as it smelled and tasted. Yum!   I look forward to trying it myself.  There were also homemade pies and desserts made by the family. 

Dale and Barb are long time family friends who are more like family.
Dale grew a huge pumpkin that weighed about two hundred pounds.  What an amazing thing to see.  The guys brought it in on a sling and we were so afraid they would drop it. 

Bill and I stayed with Chris (Kay’s sister) and George.  They recently moved about three or four houses down from Kay and Alan and their house and grounds were just as stunning.  Their backyard backs up to a creek and there are two bridges that cross it.  It’s like a painting with all the beautiful flowers and trees.  Chris is a wonderful cook too, so we had plenty to eat there as well. 

It was wonderful getting to know everyone better and getting to be more a part of this incredible family.  I feel like I’ve always known them. 

Now to the reason for our trip there…a celebration of Jeni and Tom’s marriage.  I am so thankful for Tom and for his whole family in our lives.  We are so blessed.  Thanks Jeni for making our lives more.  We love seeing Tom and Jeni together. They are such a loving and handsome couple.  Being with them makes me feel so happy for them and for us as well.We are always happy when our children are, I know. 

The next day, Saturday, Kay and Alan had brunch at their home after we had coffee at Chris and George’s.They had an egg casserole and a coffee cake to die for.  Fresh fruit, juice, coffee, and homemade sausage casserole and cinnamon buns. Yum.  I was in heaven, pure and simple.  I wish I had taken photos of their grounds. The settings were beautiful and we even saw a deer outside. They back up to a wild life preserve and it’s a dream. 

Pam, Tom’s sister, took Jeni and I shopping and also for a tour of the place they grew up and their schools and the college they all graduated from, Mercyhurst.  The college campus was breathtaking.  I’m so glad we got to see where they grew up and places that we hear them talk about.  The shopping was really good, too. Pam and I got a make up application at Macy’s so we were ready for the party before we even got back home.:) It was fun getting to know Pam better, too.  I knew she was a great wife and mother but now I know how much fun she can be one on one as well. 

The party was held at a beautiful place on the grounds of Mercyhurst (I think) called Sunset Inn. I ‘ll find out from Jeni to make sure. I was kind of in a fog through the whole thing. The night after dinner, Alan and Kay taught us some dance steps for dances that we could all do at the party.  They were line dance type like the Electric Slide only there was a bit of the Cha Cha Cha and other dances.  I have never been to a party when so many were dancing.  Alan and Kay dance like they are floating on air.  I don’t even pretend to know how to dance but  dance I did. LOL  LOL 

The food was great with lots of choices and the cake was white on white traditional. The flowers were white roses and everything was simply beautiful. 

I don’t know the song Jeni and Tom danced their first dance to (I’ll find out), or what the song was when the groom danced with his mother. That’s always such a touching thing for me to see.  I do know that Jeni chose “Daddy’s Hands” for her dance with her dad and then the DJ announced that Tom would dance to “It’s a Wonderful World”.  What a perfect song to sing to. I’ll never forget dancing with my handsome son in law and being so proud of him and my daughter and the life they have together. 

We met so  many of Tom’s family, coaches, and old friends from as far back as elementary school, college roommates, and friends of the family.  What a joy to meet each of them and to be at this family celebration. 

Bill and I enjoyed every minute and still hum the songs and do a few dance steps (just a few slides), and we still bask in the beauty of that time in Erie that went by way to fast.  I can’t wait to get back there and explore some more. They aren’t that far from Niagara Falls!  Bill went touring with Alan and George and they went to see the trout swimming upstream. I thought it was only salmon that did that. There were just rows of fishermen there. 

I’m so glad to be a part of this family and I feel very much a part of them and their lives. They make everyone feel that way. They are sure opening up our lives to places and people we would never have been to or met. We are blessed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Bill and I went to Tennessee on Wednesday to spend some time with Angie and Alyssa and get the house squared away. Bill had not seen it yet. He really liked it and thought it was well built. He worked on a few things that needed done while we got the bathroom decorated for the most part and got ready for the Happy, Happy party on Friday night.
We called it Happy, Happy because there was so much to celebrate. Angie, Alyssa, and I got the house in Mt. Juliet and got the furniture and everything that we needed right away. Bill and I even got our bedroom suite for our bedroom picked out and ready to deliver. The whole house is in shades of blue and browns. Hmm I guess that's not so. The walls are shades of olive green to gray in the bedrooms. I guess you'd have to see it to get a picture of that. It's artistically done so it all goes together. The couch is a light brown with blue and green pillows and rugs. The dining table is tall and we all really like that. I just love the way it looks and the feel of it. Angie and Alyssa said it already felt like home.
Angie and Alyssa had everything moved in and livable in a week. We were in shock. We thought there would be so much to do.

It was so nice seeing Teddi (aka Harley) again. He is the toy poodle that is Lexi’s brother. Lexi wore herself out as usual when she is with him. I think she’s still sleeping from her days spent there with her puppy brother. He is so sweet and still looks like a little teddibear.
It was so nice spending the time with my daughter and granddaughter there at the house, bonding with them in their new place and with the house itself.
Alyssa gave up her very comfortable bed since we didn’t have one there yet. We were so appreciative of that since we weren’t up to sleeping on the floor again like we all did before any furniture was there. They live in such a nice neighborhood. I am so excited and happy for all of us. The possibilities are endless. Getting to know and spend time with Angie, my granddaughters, and our great grandsons is beyond my dreams.

Valerie came over each day we were there and we had so much fun being with her. She is so beautiful and one of our celebrations was celebrating her and her boyfriend’s new home that they will be closing on soon. We already got to see it and it is such a nice and large home in a very nice neighborhood and we are thrilled for them.
We met Jon and Bill met Ira for the first time. That is Valerie and Alyssa’s boyfriends. Bill was as impressed with them as I was. They are both full of motivation and great plans for their future.
We were sad that Brittanie wasn’t able to come and bring the grandsons for the party. She has started a new job that is demanding but very hopeful for her career choice. I am so glad she loves her job. That is a real blessing for anyone.
The other celebrations were Alyssa and Jon’s birthdays that were coming up. We had such a wonderful time being with everyone and found out that Ira and Jon both enjoy BBQ’ing so that is a load off our shoulders because neither Bill nor I enjoy that. LOL

Every time I see this photo of Alyssa I laugh. She is not only gorgeous but she has such a great personality and just loves life.
I loved the theme for our party so much. Happy, Happy. I thought that should be my life’s theme really. It sure makes me smile just thinking about it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mark Menendez

We had a nice birthday celebration for Mark at the Craft Collection in Waynesville where we take classes. We purchased a peanut butter cake from Whitman's and it turned out to be wonderful. The icing was peanut butter tasting with fudgey iceing on top BUT it wasn't so rich as it sounds. Just right. :) Mark is a wonderful instructor and we wanted to celebrate him on his special day. He's so easy going and patient and has become a good friend to all of us. He even had Bill drawing his motorcycle and painting but he hasn't made it back to class to finish it. Then my daughter, Angie, went to a class and it changed her whole mind on her ability to draw and paint. I had a group of women from my half century group that went to a class with me and we learned to use colored pencils and we all made very presentable little chickadees. :) Oh, and Rebecca my niece took a class there with me on Acrylics and we had so much fun. So, he's getting to know my whole family and my good friends as well. :) He turned fifty-three on the 6th. Happy Birthday Mark!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Brother, Wayne

Yamelis and Wayne
My brother, Wayne, was diagnosed with lung cancer. He had surgery in September and had 1/3 of his lung removed. Three weeks later he was back in the hospital going through another surgery. He had an staph infection that evidently began with the first surgery. They had to remove more of his lung and they left his whole side open so they could make sure the infection was abating. They found another pocket of infection in his shoulder and had to cut that open and put a tube into drain. He was in ICU for many days and now is in a room. He's had a few set backs but everything is looking good right now. He had to be given blood because they couldn't get his count up and that is fine now so they are doing surgery today to close the side up. They will take skin from his abdomen and use that to cover the opening.
It's been such a rough way for him to go and he's not a happy camper because he can't work and can't golf and bowl and do the things that he loves. He's a very busy person and this relaxation doesn't seem to suit him well at all. He says, "everyone says how lucky I am. If I were lucky, I wouldn't have cancer and I wouldn't have had the surgery at all." He IS so fortunate and blessed and I'm sure he knows that. People in the McBroom side of the family are lucky to reach 60. They get lung cancer and die in their 50's. It's a fluke that this cancer was found in time. Always in the past, by the time they have symptoms, it's too late. They found the growth and removed it. Then he got the very serious infection and couldn't even eat for three weeks. He didn't die from that and they finally found it and found an antibiotic to work against the infection.
I'm so thankful that my brother is alive and will be well again soon. We lost our oldest brother, Bob, to this same lung cancer when he was 59. He wanted to be 60 but it wasn't in the cards. My Dad would have given anything to live out his retirement fishing and boating but he died at 57.
I could make this about smoking because this is about smoking but it would not be well received by Wayne or my other brothers, three of whom smoke. I'll give up the lectures. I am 62 and thought I would prove that not smoking could help you see 60. There are always other reasons besides smoking to the smoker though...things like you didn't get it because you are a girl! Where have I heard that. LOL Or you don't have cancer because you have more of Mom's blood in you than Dad's. Well, I won't argue the case with anyone. I do wish my brothers were not smokers but I love them just like they are and Lord, I want them to live. The older I get the more important they are to me. I don't want to loose any more. Wayne has a good chance now and after surgery he can heal and live to receive his social security. I don't know if he will smoke again. I only know I love him and I want to enjoy each day with him and my other brothers and my mother (who is also a smoker) in good health.
I'm so thankful that things are going on a good path for Wayne right now. I think he's very lucky and so am I.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fly Away Home

My short story,"Fly Away Home", has been accepted for publication in the book, Imagining Heaven that comes out in May of next year. I just can't believe it. I am so happy about this.
I have thought of myself as a poet but now I will expand that to just writer, or as my friend, Jean mentioned, author. :)
I am walking on sunshine. Oh, yeah!
Another great piece of news is that the proceeds from the book will be going to hospice. I know that organization is a wonderful one and I'm so proud to be a part of it in this way.
The story is about Brian so it means so much to me and I couldn't be prouder that it will be published in this book. I just feel so honored and absolutely thrilled right now.
I have been SO fortunate lately. First my poem being accepted in the anthology Echoes Across the Blue Ridge and now this. I don't know if I can handle the joy of it all...yes, I can! lol

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall falls on Maggie

I love this time of year. I imagine most do. I would hate for anyone to miss out on this feeling I have as the leaves begin to turn and the air is crisp and clear (when it's not raining!). What a beautiful place. What a beautiful life. That's what fall does to me.
Yesterday after church I went back home and picked Lexi up. I dressed her in her candy corn blouse (yes, I dress my dog.LOL)and took her to Sylva for Bark in the Park. I entered her in the kissing contest because when we are home she's a kisser. Naturally, she made a fool of me in that field. She was the only dog that didn't even look at me, much less pucker up. I should have known because when Angie, my daughter, and I took Lexi and her dog, Teddi, to a similar event, Lexi would not perform for anything. Now I finally get it. LOL
It was good enough just having her so gorgeous dressed up like the sweetness she is. She met a lot of other dogs and was beside herself with the joy of it all. Of course it could have been just because she loves fall as much as I do and this was a beautiful fall day.
Here's a photo after she was so exhausted from holding court all day at the park. LOL