Thursday, March 22, 2018

It’s Spring 2018!

Wow! It’s been a while...
Let me try to catch you up.

In August, #1 proposed to Yellow Rose and she said, “Yes!”  That meant plans and flights and hotel reservations and excitement.

Captain America finished up his training in middle America and headed west. He is now settled in to a lovely home complete with roommates and a mish mash of furniture. We got to see him at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are hoping he can venture this way for Easter. LLB is playing trumpet and bells on Easter morning, so we will be worshipping with her - a treat for us! We aren’t sure where we will be eating Easter dinner, but we’ve got time to figure that out.

Gram was diagnosed with lung cancer in August. That started a series of never ending appointments, radiation treatments, and medications. She loved lobster, so this year we had lobster and corn on the cob for Christmas dinner. She ate every last bit of it. (This was a big deal because she lost her appetite in November.) She fought valiantly, but succumbed in February. My sweet sister was here and together we managed to give Gram what she needed and come out the other side with our sense of humor intact...

FYI: smoking is bad for you. If you smoke, please quit. Don’t make your family endure what we did.

LLB and I flew to TX in January for the shower. It was great to see the happy couple and I got a few hours of time with just #1, as the bachelorette party was that evening. LLB had a great time with the girls.  March brought the wedding in Texas! We danced and partied and had a great time. My sister and her husband were there along with Mr’s younger sister. LLB was in the wedding party and Captain America was able to come - a huge blessing as we weren’t sure if he would deploy.  We were a small but fun contingent and represented the groom quite well! The newlyweds are enjoying a well deserved honeymoon cruise.

Today, I’m sitting at the airport waiting on a flight to Florida to celebrate my oldest dearest friend’s 50th birthday with her family. It’s a surprise. She has no idea! I arrive in the late morning and she is due in later tonight. It’s been hard to keep the secret... only a few more hours. Here’s hoping she doesn’t call me! Hahahaha!

Friday, July 21, 2017

It's Friday!

Tomorrow is the DSF Wrap Up meeting and dinner here at The Crossing. It's supposed to be hot and very humid. Days like this make me really glad we have the pool. I got some new pool noodles today and I'm definitely looking forward to putting them to good use.
I made the pork, baked an angel old cake, defrosted the strawberries, purchased the cole slaw and the chips, and prepped the plates and utensils. Tomorrow, I'll get the wine out, make some lemonade, and deploy it all.
We checked the weather for tomorrow and have become a little worried about our party plans, as it is supposed to storm. The awning is good in the rain, but it's definitely not wind-proof. So... we may be eating indoors all over the house - which is ok, but I was kind of looking forward to setting up the pool deck and making it pretty.
I guess I'll dust and mop tonight just in case we have to have everyone inside. Of course, I know you all find it extremely unlikely that I'd ever have any dust or dirt of any kind in my house... LOL!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer 2017 Update

It has been a wild ride!
#1 deployed shortly after we saw him last spring and returned safely in the fall.
We had a lovely Thanksgiving and Christmas with Captain America and his family.
As we got closer to May, wedding  plans went to a fever pitch. We had a few issues and we had a few bumps, but if everything had been smooth, what would we talk about? It's going to take me a little bit of  time to get over some of the shenanigans...
We had a lovely shower for LLB in March. She got a lot of really nice things for her new home. Her childhood friend, Gram, and I did our best to give her a special day.
LLB rents an apartment in the city close to her new Navy job. We move her in on the one free weekend we have at the end of April... yes, her birthday weekend. And then she heads back to school.
May arrived and the craziness began!
LLB's senior arrived a wee bit early, so we were able to make the VMI Awards Ceremony and see LLB get a prize.
LLB and Captain America commissioned - She Navy and He Army.
They both graduated with Honors from VMI - She in Applied Math and Physics. He in Mechanical Engineering.
We arrived home and had a couple of days to run around like chickens before the Wedding Rehearsal.  LLB had to stay in Lexington at ROTC for work. The Navy commissions you, puts you right to work, and pays you. The Army is completely different...
Saturday, the day of the wedding started with decorating the venue - #1 and his sweet girl (I'll call her Yellow Rose because she is from Texas) got up early and worked with me and Captain America's mom and aunties. We put chair covers on, did the table runners, lanterns, guest book, photo booth props, etc.
The wedding ceremony was simply lovely! They all looked great, the message was beautiful and timely, and nobody passed out!
The reception was a blast! The food was phenomenal. The music was fabulous. LLB and her dad did a choreographed father - daughter dance complete with groomsmen backup dancers. The guests loved it! Captain America was duly impressed - although his parents not so much. In their defense, they'd had 14 people sharing one house for a week. I think they were completely fried.
The following weekend was the Strawberry Festival. We are tired...
A couple of weeks after the wedding, Captain America and LLB headed off to get him settled at his base out in middle America. His wee car was packed to the gills!
Captain America's little brother graduated from high school and we attended his party which was very nice.
Since then, we relaxed a little bit, swam in the pool, had some adult beverages, and put our feet up. I've made a bunch of crochet items and am working on some small blankets for a charity, some  shawls, and some mittens.
We've moved some more furniture pieces into LLB's place and helped her set up her apartment. We hung pictures. We organized her closets. And it is really cute!
It's now mid-July. I've organized, filed, and inventoried the church's handbell music. I've chosen music for the year and sent the emails. I've got to purchase a few pieces to purchase for the other church, and then I'll be ready for September.
We've got one more party by the pool this summer - ok maybe 2... The water is great! Come on over - but call before you come so we can make some lemonade!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring 2016 Update

Ok, so the path to hell is paved with good intentions.  I had every intention to blog at least once a week... We can all see how well that went.

Anyway, back in February, Captain America proposed to LLB and she said YES! She was completely surprised. We were fortunate to be out to dinner (at a different restaurant) with his parents. We all knew he was going to pop the question, so we hung out and waited until we got "the call" from a very happy, very tearful LLB. She then called her grandmother and her brother. It was such a happy night!

We have been in the midst of planning and acquiring all that is needed for a wedding. We have a year, but these things take time. We have a venue. We have the church. We have the bubbles! We have the invitations. We even have the table runners, chair covers, and chair bows. Most importantly, we have "the dress". It is simply gorgeous, but you all will have to wait until next year to see it, as I can't risk Captain America getting even one glimpse... It is an exciting time!!

We are currently figuring out table numbers and center pieces. I can't believe how many lists I have going -- potential attendees (we only have room for 100 people total), music selections, line dances I need to learn, items for the registry, and more.

Mr, LLB, and I went to Texas to visit #1. We had a short, but lovely visit with him.  He will deploy soon, but we know he is well trained, well prepared, and will be back sometime this fall. We won't have much contact -- if any. It's a good thing time flies, huh? His apartment is really nice and he will get his very own washer and dryer upon his return. Its funny how priorities change as they age - the laundromat I not his favorite hangout. ;)

I was given a chance to visit with my dearest childhood friend at her parents' home in Naples in early April. We went to the zoo, vegged by the pool, and chatted about everything and nothing. It was a great time and I do so hope they invite me back.

My latest endeavors include crocheting mittens, blankets, and shawls. You can get a lot done while waiting for flights... LLB will need a shawl for her wedding, so we will be taking a trip to the yarn shop to get some super special yarn. I'd like to make her something out of a really fine and snuggly soft yarn... But first we need to find a pattern. :)

Gram is well. We try to get out a few times a week. Sometimes we shop. Sometimes we go to appointments. We always go to lunch! :)

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Happy New Year!

We were away for New Year's this year because LLB and Captain America were marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. We couldn't miss this bucket list item!  So, we packed it up, jetted out to LAX, rented a car, and made our way.

Our first stop was the beach -- we joined the VMI Band for a party at the Pacific. It was breezy and chilly, but some of them were in the water. It was way too cold for us, so we just watched. The band played a rehearsal on the beach after dinner - that was pretty awesome! The sunset over the Pacific was simply stunning...

Our hotel was in Pasadena, so we braved the horrible LA traffic and headed north. We discovered that google traffic in DC is very different than in LA. When it comes up as red in DC, it's stopped. In LA, it is still moving. Imagine that!?  Our hotel was in a convenient location for the parade, had no coffee, and had a noisy heater, but was clean.
We woke up in the morning and headed to Bandfest. I'm really glad I reserved tickets, because the line was out the door and around the corner. VMI was the smallest band there, but they were great! LLB had a solo - which she rocked! We are so incredibly proud of her! Our seats were pretty good - we sat next to a local whose best friend happened to be a VMI Grad. He told us what we should see while we were there.
We took his suggestions so after Bandfest (and lunch with friends), we headed off to see the Rose Parade displays at the convention center. It was terrific! We sat in on an hour presentation by a float designer - his float won best animation this year! We saw displays about the history of the parade, got our pictures taken, listened to the Air Force Jazz Band,  held a grenade launcher, and basically had a great time.
The next day - New Year's Eve - we decided to see The Getty Museum. It was awesome! They had a display of Louis XIV's tapestries. They were amazing - the colors, the detail, the workmanship.... We saw impressionist paintings, furniture, photography, sculpture, and more. The museum is terrific -- and big! We missed a couple of exhibits, but we were tired and we still had to get back to Pasadena. That night we decided to have an early dinner in Old Town Pasadena. We ended up at The Cheesecake Factory because our first choice restaurant was closed -- it was New Years Eve, after all. We had a lovely meal which we finished off with cheesecake!
We woke up early on New Years Day and headed off to our parking spot right behind our grandstand seats. We arrived early enough to get a good spot, get some breakfast at the McDo right next to our grandstand seats, and watch the parking guys Tetris the parking lot. (That was worth the price of admission!) We sat with the VMI alumni. They are a really fun group!
The floats were gorgeous! The bands were great. The VMI Band was terrific - as expected! LLB was on our side of the street and Captain America was in the first row. We saw both of them, took a bunch of pictures, and had a really nice time!
We tried to see the floats after the parade, but the lines were crazy and they were late opening the venue. We decided that we would rather go back to our hotel, take a rest, pack for our return home, and watch the reruns of the parade on TV. That night's dinner was sushi! We found a really nice place not too far from our hotel.
The next morning, we headed home. It was definitely a fun time...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Merry Christmas


I thought I’d fill you in on our family life this year. Since there is so much to tell and I’m too lazy to write it all down in each and every Christmas card with a pen, you’re getting this note.

#1 is now 23 and graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in May. He commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army and is currently stationed at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas.  He left here in July and spent a few months learning everything about his new job as an Intelligence Analyst at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona.  While he was in Arizona, he studied hard, had a great time, met a lot of terrific people and even purchased his first new car – a Honda Accord – which he absolutely loves.  #1 arrived in El Paso on a Friday night and jumped in with both feet first thing on Monday morning. He is currently looking forward to moving into his first apartment – on December 17th.  Gram and I packed his pod with all kinds of “goodies” and shipped it to him right before Thanksgiving. I am so glad we don’t have to unpack it!  FYI: Mr has claimed #1's room as his new Model Train room.

LLB is a Junior Applied Mathematics and Physics Major at VMI. She continues to play the trumpet and is a member of the Regimental Band, the Jazz Band, and the Brass Ensemble. She will be marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena for New Year’s. This is one trip that Marc and I refuse to miss. Watch for us on TV!!

LLB has had an amazing year. She continues to embrace all that VMI has to offer. This past summer, LLB spent a week on a submarine and absolutely loved it. She enjoyed everything about her week - except the flight to California and back. Because the dates of her sea week changed a few times, it turned out that we would be in Canada upon her return. So – we booked her a flight to Burlington, Vermont, and picked her up there.  We brought Captain America with us to Canada. Somehow he managed to survive the family for a few days without her and didn’t hop on the first flight out while we waited for her to arrive at the airport. He was and is a real trooper... 

Mr was LLB's date at the VMI Ring Figure Ball this fall. He dressed up in a tux, didn’t drop the ring, and danced the night away. He enjoyed every minute of the evening. Mr is still at MITRE doing whatever it is he does there. He enjoys sawing fallen trees with his chain saw and mowing our acreage with his tractor in his spare time.  He continues to play bass guitar in the Church Gospel band, and rings bells in three choirs.  I now direct two handbell choirs and ring in one. I am active in the Prayer Shawl ministry at a local United Methodist Church.  Mr and I are involved in the VMI Parents Council and a half dozen other volunteer committees. Basically, we keep busy.  

We had a rough summer and fall. My father contracted West Nile Virus in early July. He fought it valiantly, was doing great, but succumbed to congestive heart failure in early November. We all miss him dearly, but know that he is in heaven with his siblings eating my grandmother’s cookies, donuts, and pie. Zeb, our sweet corgi, crossed Rainbow Bridge this past Sunday. We aren’t sure what happened, but we do know that he and my dad are together – sharing snacks.

If you’re ever in DC, shoot us an email. We’d love to see you.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


26 years ago I said, "I do".

I still do.

Happy Anniversary, Mr. Bug.