Friday, June 13, 2008

When you went to London, what did you see?

Some folks go to London to see all the traditional sights:

Of course you wouldn't want to miss this sight:

(That's my mom...oh yeah, and some famous rocks...)
My mom and I got to go to London together, just us two girls, in 1986.
She called me up one day and asked me if I wanted to go with her to England.
I said "YES!"
She said "Well, what about the kids?"
(Referring to my two children, her two grandchildren, then eight year old Laura and six year old Jeff.)

My answer:

"WHAT kids????"

And with that, away we went.

It was October, and the London news papers ran articles commenting on the unusually fine fall weather.
I wasn't the least bit surprised.
Wherever my mom goes, the weather is always just lovely.
(If you want to travel and have good weather, check with June Dustin and match up with her travel schedule. Frankly, travel companies would be wise to pay her to travel with them...there would be no complaints about the weather that way.)
When we flew home, there was not a single cloud in the sky between London and San Diego.
There was a note of that fact by the pilot when we landed. He had never seen such a thing before.

Another funny well known fact about my mom: Wherever she travels, she always makes friends with cats.
She has been all over Europe, North America, Mexico and the British Isles.
Her travel photos are a nice mixture of scenic and historic places.
And local cats.

These two London cats were lucky enough meet Mom, and get a cuddle as well.
I'll bet those cats bragged about that for awhile.
It is also a well known fact that any cat that my mom owns is a very lucky cat.
Frankly, I think anyone who meets my mom is lucky.
She is one sweet and caring lady.
And today is her birthday.

I'm hearing the people out there say:

Happy Birthday!

And all the cats out there say:


(Happy Birthday Mom with lots of love from all of us!)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Here we go again....

Wherever Bernie is perching...

Our two cats are also perching.

Which would normally be fine, except right now, right outside the office window...

These two mockingbirds are also perching.
And they DO NOT like having two cats looking out the window at their tree!

The birds spend ALL yesterday afternoon bouncing around the tree, squawking cheet chee-t cheekk-up
at the two cats, who frankly couldn't have cared less.

It was a long, long noisy afternoon.
I think I will encourage the three guys (Bernie, Tiggie and Hart) to take the laptop into some other room this afternoon, and give those poor birds a break.
Even if they don't need one, I certainly do.
Gads those birds are loud!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fashion as Diversion

I try never to look while someone is jabbing me with a needle.
Yesterday while the nurse was busy missing my vein on the first try, I was busy keeping my mind and eyes occupied with looking at the fashions in one of last April's fashion magazines.

Is this a yummy corset or what??? Just wide black piece of lace wrapped around a cotton sundress, then tied on with a ribbon.
Fresh and glam all at once.
Must find out when you can get lace that is that wide!

Then there was this amazing dress. Smocking for grown up girls.
Isn't it lovely to see dresses with such amazing details?
Wouldn't this be incredible on a wedding dress?
And those sleeves...can they be dropped to make this an all season frock?
I am in love with this design!

(The needle stick was because I had my colonoscopy done yesterday; all is well! Or at least the injury is healing well.
It was necessary to put me under while the scope was being done, which of course meant having an IV inserted in a vein. I am a "hard stick", that is to say, it is rare that the medical personnel hits a vein on me on the first try.
I try never to look while all this jabbing is going on.
This time I paged through an old magazine.
It worked, I hardly felt a thing.)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Prom Dress take 2: Meeting Lovella's Challenge

After I posted this picture of myself in my Senior Prom dress, my fellow blogger and dear friend Lovella decided to up the ante.

In my post I mused about today's high school graduates, and how we could still celebrate graduation if we wanted to, by painting our graduation years on our car's back windows.
A simple user friendly suggestion.

Never trust a Mennonite...they look sweet and innocent, but they are really wile crafty gals.
Lovella later emailed me and said that my post had inspired her to get out her graduation dress, and to try it on again.

She didn't have a prom dress, there was no dancing for her back then, dancing which could lead to you-know-what according to her church at the time. I danced; I must have done something wrong because it sure didn't lead to anything more than a gentle hug from my date. Fine with me...he was my brother's best friend and when no one asked me to the prom, he took pity on me and offered to be my escort.

Anyway...Lovella then merrily emailed me that she had tried on her dress, it fit perfectly, and she was going to post a picture of herself in her graduation dress today.

Will see about that...

I marched straight into my guest bedroom and pulled my prom dress out of storage.
Unzipped it, and stepped into it.
It was a tiny bit snug in the hips, but not too tight.
Ta-dah! It still fits!
Well, almost. The ta-ta parts have gone from girlish to matronly, whoo hoo...cleavage at last.
I couldn't zip up past my rib cage.
Like I care...if I had had ta-tas back then, I probably would have had some guy asking me to the prom. Silly me, silly times; no Victoria Secrets to secretly add alluring curves to those who were lacking.

Lovella's lovely yellow dress was sewn by her mom, my pink gown was likewise sewn by my mom.

That tradition has fallen by the wayside in my family; my own daughter's prom gown was a stunning black dress created just for her by a professional seamstress. My alteration skills just were not up to the challenge.

Lovella has posted her encouraging and thoughtful reflections on her post today, as have other bloggers with fond memories and pictures of their prom/graduation dresses.
I hope you will visit her site, she has a message for all of us that shouldn't be missed.
And I hope you take a moment to see some of the other dress links on Lovella's site.
Bernie is out of town right now. We had talked about taking a picture of me in my gown with him in his tuxedo escorting me to the prom as should have happened all those years ago.
We planned to put on some music, and dance to the songs that bring back memories of our high school years, at different school and at different places in our lives.
It would be lovely to dance with him in this dress.
And to see if maybe the Mennonites were right about what dancing would lead to after all.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Old Swimming Hole

According to the calendar, it isn't quite summer yet.
According to me, summer is here, and then some.

For me, summer is when the temperature soars to over 80 F for a week.
Or in our case, over 90 degrees for several weeks.
Yup...when the old temperature reading hits 94 degrees everyday like it did last week, spring time is officially over and done with for another year.

In our neighborhood however, summer officially begins the first day that the neighborhood pool is open for business.

AH yesss.....
To get the pool, all we have to do is ride our bikes down the street one block, and then peddle on through the woods (about a five minute ride) and then go across a wooden bridge that spans the small bayou.
Once we get to the pool, we find a lounge chair in the shade, take a dip, and then kick back with a book or a magazine.
The pool even has adults only swim for part of every hour for the grown ups who don't want to dunk with the kiddie set.
We went to the pool yesterday, on a Saturday, at 4 pm and practically had the pool to ourselves.
A couple of families from our block were also cooling off with their kids.

There is a baby wading pool next to the pool house. The tiny tykes were splashing around with enormous paintbrushes that they were using to create drawings on the pool deck using just plain pool water.
Clever idea, wish I had thought of it when I had tadpole sized kids.

On the other side of the fence is a wonderful playground.
No one was playing there at all.
It amazes me how blessed we are with things for kids to do, compared to the rest of the world.
I wished I could have magically transported kids from trouble places for a day of fun with us.
What a pity to have a playground like this and yet there be no one there to enjoy it!
The blue water slides at the side of the pool was a new feature for this season.
We asked the teenage lifeguard if adults could go down the slides too.
He said yes.
Bernie was busy swimming laps when I decided it was time to give the slides a whirl.
I carefully climbed the steps up to the opening of the straight slide, wondering if I would knock my head or clunk my back if I tried it.
(The caution adult mind is an annoying spoil sport at times...)
I whooshed down the slide with a hearty scream.
(What fun is it to go down a slide without screaming?)
Bernie swam over to me.
"I heard you scream before I saw you come out."
"Yeah, I know. Screaming is part of the fun."
"Yeah, you are right. You've got to scream if you want to have all the fun."
I gave the twisty slide a try next.
(Secretly worried about how low the exit point was to the edge of the pool.)
I had hardly gotten whee! past my lips when I was already rocketing into the water.
Bernie was waiting in the water near the edge of the pool.
"So it was fun?"
"Which one did you like better?"
"The straight one."
"I just like coming out higher above the water. Come on, let's both go down the slides together, you take the curved one, I'll take the straight one."
We pulled ourselves out of the pool and walked over to the slides. Bernie climbed up and out of sight before I had put one foot on the stairs.
Just as I grabbed the hand rail to start climbing I heard the lifeguard speak.
"Ma'am...only one person on the slide at a time."
"Oh. I'm sorry...I didn't know."
"You will have to wait until he is through the slide before you can go."
(I felt rather foolish that as a 54 year old woman I was being admonished by a kid probably not even old enough to drive....)
At that point Bernie came whooshing out the end of the slide head first and careened into the water with a huge splash.
Bernie righted himself and shook his head.
" is against regulations to go down the slide head first. You can only go down the slide feet first."
"Oh. OK. Sorry. I didn't know."
We sheepishly climbed out of the pool, under the watchful eye of the polite young man in the lifeguard chair.
This is getting to be a disturbing trend. Bernie and I have always tried to live in a law abiding, non-rebelling fashion.
Lately thought, whenever we get around holes filled with water, we some how find ourselves in trouble with the law.
I scarcely know how this can be.
(We didn't bother to point out to the young man in the red suit that obviously you actually could go down the slide head first just fine, and the correct word to use should have been "may" instead of "can." I figured we should just lay low and stay out of trouble, we've got a long summer still ahead of us, and the last thing we need is to be blackballed from the neighborhood swimming pool just for the sake of semantics!)