Saturday, September 21, 2013

Long Time Coming.....

It has been a long time since I have ventured into "blogland" and frankly it is not like riding a bike.  My fingers can still fly across the keyboard, but my mind....well, it is rusty and I can almost hear the rusty wheels churning and grinding along....slowly.

I guess I will begin in June.  Jim and I went to PA to see family as we have done each year since we have been married in 1979. Trip to PA 2011 - Foto Recap  Since our parents have been aging our trips have changed.  Jim and I stayed with his Dad several summers to give Jim's sis and brother in law much needed time away. Jim's father passed away  Good bye Grampa Rudy and so our trips to PA have changed again and an element of sadness and a longing for years passed has crept into the mix.  While there are still family get togethers and we enjoy time with friends, the changes brought by the mere passage of time temper our visits.

This summer we left Louisiana knowing we had a mission.  Our mission was to help my parents have a garage sale at the home they have lived in since their marriage in the summer of 1969.  Forty four years worth and we knew it was not going to be easy....mostly emotionally for me, my parents...and my siblings. But our first order of business was to take my parents and travel to NJ to niece Hannah's graduation party.  Hannah (below) and her brother, Paul, are in NJ and we were thankful to get time with them and their parents. It has been our tradition to attend graduation parties ....this being the third on in three years! 
Once back to my parents house we found that my sisters had already packed a good many things and so much had been done already that it was not as tough a job as we had anticipated.  Sister Julie knows how to "geter done" and there were boxes stacked in the basement labeled "St. Paul's" (the name of the facility selected for our parents residency). Jim was put in charge of getting the garage ready for the sale and that was no small feat. He must have made a thousand trips up and down the steps.  We don't have any steps at our home, so I was surprised it managed without too many aches and pains. The fact that it rained the whole first week we were preparing for the garage sale was a bit of a hindrance, but miraculously the rain held off during the hours (both Friday and Saturday) of the sale itself and then rained later in the day.  After living in air conditioning for all of my married life....well, feeling damp for three weeks was just not my cup of tea, but really was the least of my worries.  My parents' emotional status became Jim's and my biggest concern.  Taking cherished personal items to them for approval for sale was tough and reminding them their new digs were considerably smaller and we would have to take only a few favorite items and only what was needed prompted some heated discussions.  But I am happy to report that for the most part we chugged along and those exact conversations are long forgotten. Looking back I am amazed at what was accomplished.

Also, Julie and I attended the "70's Class Reunion" in our home town.  I graduated in 1973 and Julie in 1977.  I was wishing Lori, Class of 1981, and Marcia, Class of 1968 could have been there, too. Paul, Class of 1970 didn't come because he would be coming soon for the actual moving of our parents and couldn't be away from work for that length of time. I envied all four Foster siblings attending the same reunion. It was a great time and even some of our teachers attended as well.  My biggest complaint was there was not enough time to have good meaningful dialog with all these people I enjoyed during my growing up years. So many life stories and so little time to learn them all.  I must say our high school has sent some pretty amazing folks out into the world and I was proud to be a part of that decade.

Jim's family reunion was the very same day about five hours away and we decided he would have much more fun at his family reunion than watching me flit around chatting with my former classmates.  Lots of folks were there sans spouse for various reasons and as the 70's tunes blared I knew we made the right choice.  There was not one jazz tune in the mix ;). 

We also got to spend time with Jer and Jeannie and a couple of the grands and their adorable kiddos(our greats as we call them.).  Jer had been in an over by a truck. (No, he was not in a car or truck...but was literally had his legs run over by an F-350!) He was and is recouping and so we went to Bradford to try and cheer him up.  He and Jim always "jam" and it is the main reason we carry the electric keyboard the 1,350 miles.  They did play some even though each time they played (Jer on drums), Jer's foot would turn a pretty shade of deep purple.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Frazier Time

While Josh was in Chicago for a seminar I traveled west for a little visit with grandson Frazier and daughter-in-law, Randi. In those few days we ate very, very well (thanks Randi!!), we had several tea parties(yay Fraz!), read books, had bath time, watched The Gumby Movie, visited numerous awesome thrift shops, sampled treats in the area, played with a lot of fun toys and ate A LOT of watermelon. Swimming got nixed during my stay due to pool water that reportedly felt like a warm bath. (YUCK! Who can take that?) Instead we visited Pump it Up and crawled on our knees for long distances, squeezed through small (well, I suppose that is relative) openings, and climbed up inflatable stairways and slid down long slides. It really was a blast!

Those 3 1/2 days went by in a blur and by the time I got back to Ruston I was already missing that sweet family and looking forward to seeing them again. With school starting I know it will be a while. Josh and Randi both have their birthdays during August so I know we will be seeing them at least once more during this month.

Below are some pictures depicting what I have been talking about. Notice the delicious and healthy fare I was treated to. I even had fresh squeezed grapefruit juice! YUM! The free ranch beef in the meatloaf was just delicious and totally fat free. I envy the variety of health food stores. I guess I need to take some coolers and take a shopping trip to Longview.

Frazier loves to help in the kitchen. I know it is tough to believe a two year old can actually be helpful, but trust me he takes his assignments seriously and works at doing them well. I was impressed with his attention span.

I "carried" a watermelon to Longview and boy was I glad I did! It turned out to be sooo much better than the last one we purchased and boy was Frazier glad! We all love watermelon and sadly watermelon time is nearly over.

When I arrived I had to see Frazier's new Kid Craft kitchen and of course we had to sample some tea and toast with jam straight from his kitchen. After the drive over it sure hit the spot!

I don't know how old kids are suppose to be when the pretend, but Frazier has got it down and serves up all sorts of tasty treats from cupcakes to fried eggs.

After church on Sunday morning....and might I add I always look forward to going to Fellowship Baptist....Randi literally whipped up a delicious egg and sausage casserole and blueberry pancakes while Frazier and I played. It was YUMMY. Anytime, I have homemade pancakes made with sprouted grain with REAL maple syrup I am a happy camper. This is just a regular thing for Fraz, but I know he will someday realize and be thankful for the way his Mum looks after his well being.

I took my earrings out to clean them and left Ruston without putting them back in. It wasn't until the Marshall exit that I realized I didn't have any earrings. Well, I keep a spare pair in my desk at school just in case this happens because I just feel "neckid" without them. Randi pulled out a little dish with earrings from her closet and brought them out for me to select a pair to wear for the next few days. Frazier decided he needed some, too. The pair he chose matched his ensemble perfectly! hahaa. He left them on until they began hurting....they were clip-ons. I think Randi said they had been her grandmother Gleason's. Adorable. I think it is just easier to take fabulous pictures when wearing a great pair of earrings.

and did I mention we ate some watermelon? MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Pump it Up was a so much fun. I am seriously looking forward to going back!

Randi was the prettiest Mom there hands down.

At the top of this slide Frazier was on the verg of tears as it was the BIG slide and I assume it looked daunting to him from the top.... Mum just picked him up and sat him on her lap and went. Swoooosh! Then I took a picture assuming it was going to be sorta sad, but surprisingly I saw this HUGE smile when the flash went off! hahahaaa...the air from going down the steep slide blew his hair up weeeeeeee......he was having FUN! He got off the slide and headed right back up the steep inflatable steps and I didn't see a frown until we told him we had to go home.

Keeping up with Frazier was tough....for me.....he was so fast! Maybe Josh and Randi ought to rent out Frazier to those looking for a fun way to burn calories. That healthy eating is paying off.

This opening was not as easy for me as it was for Frazier and for Randi.....but thankfully I made it and I didn't have to dial 911! Relief!

This too was easier looking than it actually was.....hahahaa...notice there are no pics of me trying this....and I am THANKFUL!

Fraier didn't want to go through this openings, but though "going over the wall" was the appropriate way to get inside this particular area. I thought maybe he had been watching Prison Break. Yes, it was a great stay as always and I am praying some July/Aug. it will not be 103 when I go for my little visit.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Foto Recap

Our trip to PA has been jam packed as usual....but having Josh, Randi, and Frazier up for a week was such a bonus! Texas is a long way off and we are not sure when they will get back to this neck of the woods so every minute they were here their company was so very much enjoyed by all.

The pictures below are not in exact order of events....but they will give you an idea of what we have been up to these last few weeks. There will be more coming I am sure.

Today is raining so I am not getting the painting done I had planned to do....although this afternoon looks good for getting that done. Tonight we will eat a fish fry at the Moose and then head for Allegheny, NY to hear Jer's church group play at a coffee house. We have never heard them and are anxious to do so.