Four posts today (go ahead and scroll down and count!)...way too many, but it is craft day and I do need to post my crafting because I actually have some things to post!
Four posts today (go ahead and scroll down and count!)...way too many, but it is craft day and I do need to post my crafting because I actually have some things to post!
Didn't take any photos today, so this one from a few days ago will need to suffice to show you that we are finally happily green and blooming here in Indiana! Our lovely front pear tree in all her spring glory.
Aimee and I had a very nice birthday lunch together (hers was last Friday, mine was last Monday) yesterday at Kona Grill
This was a birthday present for me...definitely one I really appreciated and loved!
After the scout campout this past weekend, he returned on Sunday, showered, went out to Chipotle for lunch (apparently scout camp food is not all that great...or even, in some cases, edible), and then he and Mark went to Big League Barbers and off came the months of growth in hair length.
This was not easy for Alex to do, so KUDOS big time for doing that for me, Alex...I love the new look. And, justsoyouallknow, apparently many others also loved it as he received many compliments on Monday.
Love it, Alex...you are still a Cool Dude!
This year's Carmel Swim Club Awards Banquet was yesterday and about 500 parents, swimmers, and siblings turned out for a nice brunch and salute to the swimmers. First photo here is of Matt and his USA Swimming coach, Chris. I think Chris has about an inch on Matt yet...but we are definitely closing in.
We had a table of eight of us who have been around a long, long time, and each year we marvel at how many years we have all been doing this and how little our swimmers were when they started out...we see the little ones go up for their awards and think that there was no way ours were ever that little, but they were...and Alex at the time was the littlest of the littles for about three years running. At the table with us were John and Jan, whose son Johnny could not be there as he was at a church retreat in southern Indiana. As it turns out, Johnny won the award for "most improved swimmer" in the senior group and didn't get to go up on stage to receive it...disappointing for his parents as well as for Johnny! Jan said, "Take picture of the group of all winners up there, and I will Photoshop Johnny in later." We all had a good laugh over that. Laurie and Buddy were also at the table, and Harrison's dad Jay, but Krystal never did make it as she was driving Harrison's brothers to various soccer games. (Our loss as Krystal is immensely entertaining always.)
I tried to go around and get as many shots as possible, but usually I just ended up chatting and would forget to take photos while standing there with camera in hand...oh, well...here are a few favorites (not all, and apologies to those of you that I did not get photos of...next time, okay?).
Here are Mike, Matt, Charles, and Elliot. Elliot is a senior and kept us all laughing during his senior speech. He first began swimming when he was in 7th grade and we all remember him as this little pudgy (okay, fat) kid who could barely make it from one end of the pool to the next. He had us all giggling with memories of that and how, as he said it, "My parents decided that I needed to get out of the house, off the couch, and into some exercise. Just my luck they would pick a sport where the uniform was a skin tight Speedo, not much to it, and showed all my rolls of fat! I remember one of my first meets, swimming a 100 and stopping at the end of 75 and begging the lane official to let me get out of the pool as I didn't think I could make it to the end." Elliot is one of the finest swimmers on the team and will leave a big hole when he graduates this year. Everyone loves Elliot.
Lauren and Morgan, if you remember homecoming, Lauren was Matt's date for that and a good friend. Matt, Mike, Scott, and Lauren have all been invited to some fancy invitation-only swim camp/meet in Arizona in June for swimmers who are 15-16 years old, have very fancy swim times, and might be thinking toward the 2012 Olympics and trials for those...WHAT, ARE YOU KIDDING??? Anyway, we told the boys that they need to look out for Lauren as she is the only girl going and that they should remember to include her so she has some fun and doesn't get lonely.
Lacey and Caroline, Lacey who broke all kinds of club/meet records this year and can swim circles around just about anyone on our circuit, and Caroline who used to follow Matt around when she was little because "Matt is just so nice to everyone."
Ali and Harrison, NOT an item, but both in close range at the same time so I could say, "Stop. One minute...can I take a photo?" One minute was about all they stopped the entire time...nailing jello to the wall trying to get those two stationary for any given length of time. Caroline again, Sarah, and Matt. Sarah's dad is Kelly, our friend with ALS who we are constantly asking for prayers for, again...please join us in prayer. Sarah is the same age as Matt, a terrific swimmer and runner, and her brother Scott is one of CSC's star swimmers. Scott's birthday is almost exactly a year before Matt's and Scott and Matt look like they could be brothers...when they were younger people often confused them. Scott was not able to make the banquet, but he is going to the fancy swim time camp in Arizona with Matt, Mike, and Lauren.
And, last, but not least, Charles' parents, Paul and Carolyn, who make all the swim meets, meetings, practices, phone calls, carpooling craziness a whole lot of fun! Congrats to Carolyn on her BIG FANCY NEW POSITION AT WTHR (NBC)...wow...Carolyn is now the News Director at Channel 13!
Lastly are a couple of photos from the play West Side Story at Guerin on Saturday night that we attended after my birthday dinner at Keltie's. I had, I thought, a really good photo of Matt and Samantha, but alas, Samantha's eyes were closed, so I will wait and get another soon of the two of them...Samantha was one of the Shark girls in the play and did a great job singing and dancing.
In the photo is Sam H., Jared, Meggie, Maria, and Julian. Meggie had the role of Anita and Maria had the role of Maria...they are both Barb's girls and have been in ICC choirs with Matt, and you might remember Maria from the photos on the choir tour to Italy last summer. Matt really wanted to try out for plays this year, but play rehearsals and swim practice do not mesh.
In this last photo is Daniel, A.J., Katie, and Sam G. Daniel and A.J. were homeschoolers in our ICHSA group, so Matt has known them both, but especially A.J. for many, many years.
And, that wraps up today's post...all the kids are looking forward to seeing their photos today, so I better get this posted before I am out the door for a little volunteer work, lunch with Aimee, and then some more work before picking Matt up and driving to swim practice. What's up over there today? Yikes, it is almost 10:00...gotta go..........
Photo of front pear tree finally in bloom!
Last week/weekend was the annual Gerth Guys/Gals Great Golf Getaway from Wednesday night through Sunday night. This year it was Mark, Nan, Brian, Alan, and a guest: Flat Stanley.
Flat Stanley is a children’s book wherein Stanley gets flattened by a falling bulletin board. FS wants to travel, so his family folds him up and mails him to California. Our nephew, Steven, read this book in his class at school and sent Nan a Flat Stanley to take on the trip. Afterwards, she was to write a story about it for his class.
Thought you all would like a little something different today, so this is the story, with photos, that Nan wrote for Steven and his class about Flat Stanley's little golf vacation in Tennessee last week.
Flat Stanley goes to the Smoky Mountains
Flat Stanley had a good time at the baseball game, but he wanted to see more of the country. So he tagged along on the Gerth family golf trip to the Smoky Mountains. He went along with Mark, Nancy, Brian and Alan Gerth on their annual trip. After a nice drive from Cincinnati, they arrived at the Ruggles Ferry golf course. It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone enjoyed their afternoon of golf.
Flat Stanley and the family went to the house they rented in Sevierville, cleaned up and went to dinner at Ye Olde Steakhouse in Knoxville. Then next morning the crew went to golf at the Eagle’s Landing Golf Club.
Here’s a picture of Flat Stanley with Mark, Alan and Brian. We had a fun day. Part of the course was under construction and it was funny to watch Mark climb down in a 30 foot construction hole and try to hit his golf ball out. After golf we took a trip to Pigeon Forge for dinner. We returned to the house after dinner and played some cards and took a dip in the hot tub.
After golf that day, Nancy and Mark decided to go to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We had a nice drive to the park and decided to go up to Clingman’s Dome. The temperature went from 61o degrees at the visitor’s center to 44o at the top of the mountain. Here is Flat Stanley with Nancy and Mark in the park.
On the way back to the house, we got stuck in a traffic jam in Pigeon Forge and it took an hour and a half to go 3 miles!
Aimee has been eagerly awaiting her birthday wish on the blog since her husband Jeff had his on October 26th, almost half a year ago already, most notably because she is much younger...she wanted you all to know that. (Not that much younger, but at our age, every little bit counts, and Aimee and I are lucky that our husbands carry the burden of being older for us so nicely.)
Aimee is pictured here with her son, Colin, a friend of Matt's since the first grade, who attends Guerin Catholic with Matt. The Andersons also attend Mass at our parish. I think there are numerous posts here at GKT that include Aimee, so you probably all know her by now, right? Anyway, happiest of birthdays, Aimee...we celebrate together with lunch on Monday!
Phil's oldest son, David, also has a birthday today...number 15! (Shown in photo are Phil's boys: David, Jonathan, and Steven at Christmas time this past December. Phil is Mark's second oldest brother, five years younger than Mark.)
David's sport is tennis, although he is good at basketball, golf, soccer, and pretty much anything that involves a ball. He plays tennis for his high school in Indianapolis.
David is one of the cousins that goes with Aunt Nan on the fabulous Aunt Nan and De Nephews vacations each summer, so the boys have a great time hanging out together each summer doing that, and also hanging out at Grandma and Grandpa's at various times throughout the year. They live as far south of Indy and we do north, so that prohibits neighborly bike rides and what not...just a little too far to work that in most of the time. Happy Birthday, David! Can't wait to see you behind the wheel with your new driver's permit!
We finally got around to celebrating my birthday last night...only three days late. Karen was concerned since the cards, gifts, flowers, cake, etc. had all been sitting on the counter in the kitchen for three days. She was worried we would NEVER get around to it...never fear, Sister Dear, it was just as wonderful on the 24th as it would have been on the 21st. Maybe more so...anticipation and all! Birthday dinner, will be Saturday before the play...I think we will have managed to spread the celebrating out over more days than heretofore ever attempted.
Thanks for all the cards, wishes, phone calls, and visits...it's fun to be showered with all this attention once a year. And, Jeff, you are absolutely right...we should be celebrating our birthdays together next year, so Boston it is...the Hoosiers and the New Yorkers will meet in Boston for one very fun-filled birthday weekend. Great idea. We can relive your undergraduate days at Boston University (before you saw the light and came to IU for law school), take in the historical sites and museums, hopefully (if they are in town) see a baseball game, and dine at your favorite dives and fancy spots. What's not to love about this plan? Happy Birthday, again from yesterday, Old and Dear Friend...next year I can give you a birthday kiss and hug in person because we will be in Boston...You, Jackie, Mark and Me...all in one place at the same time on the actual day of your birthday...how many years has that been???
Matt hit a 250 yard drive off the tee onto the fairway on the first two holes at the golf club last night. Mark just shook his head and said to me, "Now, Hon, all we need to do is to get him to work on his short game." (Sort of the opposite of his swimming...the short game is good, the long drives are not his thing.) With those huge muscular swimming shoulders, that boy can give the ball a good whack for a strong drive. Chipping? Putting? We're workin' on it. He had swim practice before and after school for a total of about 4+ hours, had school all day (with PE), came home and ate, and then went golfing. WHERE DOES HE GET ALL THIS ENERGY????? I am way jealous of it.
Alex and James worked on James' Eagle Scout project all evening, doing charitable work, some of which included moving a swingset from one location to another across town for a family in need of one. It was past dark when he finally finished.
Oh, and Shelley, I looked up "I haven't seen you in a coon's age," and this is what I found: in the wild raccoons live maybe about 8 to 12 years; 15 to 20 in captivity, at best (much like a dog). The saying originated, or so it goes, by people believing that raccoons lived a long time...so really it is a misnomer as they don't really live all that impressively long. Okay, so now we don't have to wonder about that one anymore. (Bonus for all you GKT readers incaseyoudidntknowthiseither and were always wondering...losing sleep over it and all...yeah, right.) It will be great seeing you all today...really, it does feel like a coon's age!
Gorgeous day here today, the trees are in bloom...lots of white and pink and purple and yellow and green and I am just thrilled with it all. And...guess who's coming on Monday...THAT'S RIGHT, BILL!
My little dwarf Magnolia tree in the backyard that Mark planted for my birthday a few years ago is blooming! The last couple of years it had only a handful of flowers on it in the spring, but was nicely green all summer. This year: Surprise! A huge amount of flowers...isn't it exciting? Well, okay, maybe not for you...but I am very excited with all the blooms this year.
Here is a ten minute post as I have been out and back and out and back again already this morning and need to be back out and working by 10:00. A beautiful day here, absolutely beautiful, and lots to smile about. Have a great day!
Not much going on around here...only a half day of school at Guerin today...and then Matt had a check-up at the Sports Medicine doctor's office to do a quick run on his back and shoulder. Looking good, so he is released to therapy-only now. A big relief. Photo is of him out at PC golf course late this afternoon after the appointment...at least the greens are getting green, if not the trees.
I love that they left the old Lynnwood barn standing when they built the golf course and the housing development...I smile whenever I see it and remember all the old days of hayrides and farm drives and visits...the good old days when all my 4-Hers could come out to Lynnwood and enjoy it all whenever we wanted to do so. It's nice the barn is still there to bring it all back in memory.
Matt, Colin, and Adam headed out to the movies this evening. Alex is camping out yet in the Men's Den for two more days of his sentence. How long does it take to outgrow this smart mouth thing? I keep thinking it will retire itself soon as having to miss social activities would not be Alex's favorite way of spending an evening. At least that is what I keep telling myself. (I would have included a photo of Alex relaxing in the Men's Den, but figured that might just add insult to injury, so you will all need to just imagine it for yourselves. If I were you, I would focus heavily on the scowling aspect and not so much on the smiling one.)
Mark, Alan, Nan, and Brian are out golfing (Mark's sister and two of his brothers incaseyoudon'tknow.) I have chauffeuring duty for the movie goers this evening. I am between runs at the moment.
I am thinking maybe the boys would like to go for a scoop of gelato after the movie...lemon gelato sounds like a fine plan this evening. What's up over there?
See you all Monday as the rest of the weekend is very busy. (Unless Buddy sends me a photo of himself throwing out the first pitch of the Indians game the night of his birthday...a little gift from his guy friends who he was treating to a suite at the game for his big THAT AGE birthday party...if he sends that over, I will post that as that is definitely worthy of a post. I think Ali and Laurie arranged to have his name in lights also on the big board, but I don't think they got an invitation to the suite as it was "guys only night.")
A nice photo of Alan and Mark last evening before they headed out for golfing. (Alan is Mark's youngest brother, eleven years separate the two.) As you can see, we are still way late in the blooming of the greenery around here.
READING: Bismarck: Profiles in Power by Katharine Anne Lerman (My take on it: Prussian ANgst and ANticipation over ANcillary ANnexations...I am not even going to try to convince you all to read it.) Come on, you are so impressed that I hooked that all up to the "AN" theme, right? Okay, maybe not so much...but I tried!
Mark has been on a scalloped potatoes and ham kick for the last couple of months. Maybe it's a midlife crisis...I can't think that I have made this dish that many times in all our years together. Since we had leftover ham from the "Godot" dinner, I made this on Monday and the guys were just delighted with it. I really love this slow cooker...it's like having someone work for you while you are out and presenting a completed task to you when you return. Love it. (For my "at college" and "new cook" readers: you can buy ham packaged in thick slices, or even in cubed form, at the grocery these days and use that since you probably aren't having a large ham with leftovers that often. This is an easy one, just for you all.)
Happy Birthday to Buddy! (I won't say which one, but the photo will probably give it away, dontchathink?) There is no way my mind can wrap itself around Buddy being (oh, my!) THIS AGE...wonderfully fun party guys who joke and live life to the fullest just should not be turning THIS AGE. I don't know how this happens, really, I don't.
And, with all your fancy lawyer ways and accomplishments, Buddy, your best work in our eyes, is, of course, the lovely Ali! Here's to many, many more wonderful birthdays: we love you and think that THIS AGE is looking mighty fine with you as a model.
See you Sunday at the CSC "Splash, Flash, and Dash Triathlon!"
Last week I practiced different knitting stitches for various weights of yarn, etc. on dishcloths...very useful indeed. The Navy, Wine, and Green ones are staying here. The others have homes already. Oh, I just love this knitting thing...it is so portable! Whenever I need to wait, I can knit if people are around that want to chat, and I can read if there are not people around wanting to chat. What a deal!
Caught in the process of committing the crime! (Forgive the blurry photo, etc. as I did not have time to grab my other lens.) This little robin was busy all morning stealing decorative grass/moss out of an old planter. This is only one of many beakfuls with which he managed to abscond as I was watching while coming and going this morning doing various things around here. Very fun.
The antithesis of Spring Break began today. Yikes. Getting up before the crack of dawn for school after sleeping in for ten days was a bit of a rude beginning actually. Those ten days of sleeping in felt really great. Now, however, it is back to school, back to swim team practice, back to choir rehearsals (oh, wait, we had those all during Spring Break and a concert as well), back to homework, back to THE SCHEDULE. Fun and frivolity of a different kind.
It feels very good catching up with everyone again today, hearing all their newsy bits...tomorrow I am sub-teaching at Guerin for the day, so I will get to catch up there and hear about everyone's Spring Break adventures. Today I am just trying to catch up a bit around here, as well as doing a couple of little volunteer gigs.
The sun is shining, it is fairly warm, the grass is very green and growing in leaps and bounds, the birds are singing, and flowers are blooming. April is a great month. I have been waiting a long time...finally, finally, greenery! Be still my heart!
Okay, this is NOT at the Augusta National Golf Club, but it is as close as we are going to get to "feeling" the spirit at all as it is cold, rainy, and wet here today...in other words: NOT a Golfing Day. This lovely Magnolia resides up the street from us, so we get to see it each day as we are coming to and fro from various venues. It is always the first tree in full bloom around here, so there is great rejoicing when the first one of us spies it blooming and says, "It's spring...the Magnolia trees are in bloom!"
On Shelley's blog she raised the question of the Green Jacket at the Masters, its origin, etc., so Shelley, here's what a quick search revealed, courtesy of Brent Kelley, and Your Guide to Golf so now you know...and so do the rest of us who were always curious about that "lovely" green jacket.
"The tradition of the Green Jacket at Augusta National Golf Club dates to 1937. That year, members of the club wore green jackets during the tournament so that fans in attendance could easily spot them if they needed to ask questions.
According to the official website of The Masters:
"Jackets were purchased from the Brooks Uniform Company, New York City ... Members were not initially enthusiastic about wearing the warm, green coat. Within several years, a lightweight, made-to-order Jacket was available from the Club's Golf Shop.
Before and after Easter, the markets were running hams at greatly reduced pricing, so I bought one as my guys all really like ham and will eat it in many forms (I also like ham, but I draw the line at "hamloaf," "ham balls," and such; and yes, I can hear you all gasp with your collective breath out there in Iowa, probably the land of origin of the "hamloaf/ham ball" cuisine).
Since Aunt Nan was cooking the Easter ham at her home in Cincinnati this year, we were not going to be eating leftovers here, so I bought the ham and last week on Thursday I said to Mark, "Oh, I am planning ham for dinner, so you might want to make a lunch choice elsewise" (I know that isn't a word, but I like it anyway). One thing led to another on Thursday, and I did not get around to making the ham. Friday we are meatless (old Catholic habits die hard), so no ham. Saturday, we planned on having ham and then other things came up and we never got to making the ham. Sunday, likewise, as it was A DAY FOR GOLF, and therefore no one wanted to be home for a "sit-down ham dinner." Turns out Monday was also A DAY FOR GOLF, likewise. Tuesday, the boys scheduled a movie outing with a couple of friends during the dinner hour, so Mark and I figured we would not make a ham dinner for just the two of us.
So, now it is Wednesday and I am thinking TONIGHT is going to be ham night. I mentioned this to Mark and he said, "You know, this is a little like "Waiting for Ham." Immediately recognizing this as being an analogy in reference to Samuel Beckett's play "Waiting for Godot," I chuckled and thought, "this is one of the reasons I knew I could be married to this man forever...he makes me laugh every single day with something along these lines with his humor"...I love his sense of humor. In "Waiting for Godot," Godot never shows up. The two characters wait for two days and Godot never shows up. Won't Mark be surprised tonight when Ham actually shows up?
And, because this is Spring Break and we are living a life of frivolity around here, we are not cooking anything complicated this week (and, dontchaknow, today is also A DAY FOR GOLF). I am posting the easiest recipe in the world, in case you don't already have it. I am sure this recipe has been around forever, and I can't remember a time in my childhood when we did not have this salad every now and again. If you don't like to cook, this one is for you: it could not be easier. Kids can make this without fuss, and they love using the electric can opener: cook with your kids...or someone else's!
Well, here it is CRAFT DAY at GKT and I have some things to actually show. Stop laughing. Right now. Our knitting class was Thursday (I finally made it to a knitting class). The photo shows what I have managed to eke out in the past four days (be kind as I have never done this before).
Please note: One long wine-colored scarf, completely knitted in the garter stitch, but lacking fringe on the ends as that is included in next week's lesson, when hopefully Jan will have her scarf finished also and can fringe hers at the same time; one green dishcloth, large size, garter stitch; one wine-colored dish cloth, small size, garter/purl stitch with something called a popcorn stitch in it (I think this is a bit small, but we are just using these dishcloths for practice on the different patterns so we can get a feel for things, while at the same time ending up with a completely useful item, also, somewhat "green"; and one blue dishcloth, "still on the needles", medium size, garter stitch, which I started last night during the final game of the NCAA playoffs. (How on earth did Memphis get all the way to the finals and NOT KNOW HOW TO MANAGE PLAYING THE LAST ONE MINUTE OF A GAME WITH HIGH STAKES???? Enough said.)
So, what is next in the knitting realm? Jan and I have a little list of practical things that the instructor says is manageable as we move along...things I have seen on other blogs and in the examples they have around the shop which are on display: dishcloths for pattern practice, scarves, mittens, maybe a hat (Matt wants some warm stocking hats for the winter to wear to and from the pool in the cold), market day bags, golf club head covers, a felted purse, socks, maybe eventually vests/sweaters...possibly an throw (although we have many of those from relatives who so lovingly provided us with such over the years)...and then, maybe I can make some baby/little kid things. So, that's the list...enough to keep me busy for a good long while and then some.
And, lastly to answer your questions about why I am feeling compelled to knit, etc. The answer is fairly simple: I want something to do while I am waiting around for the boys at various activities, especially Matt with the swimming and choir rehearsal gigs which go on for hours and hours at a time. In years past, I had plenty to keep me busy as I was homeschooling the boys and would write/adjust curriculum, plan lessons, write tests, grade papers, record grades, etc., to send in to Seton Homeschool. There was always plenty to keep me occupied. Now, not so much. The knitting, etc. seemed like something that would keep me occupied and also be something useful. (I don't sit still well without something to keep me occupied.) So far, I like it...and I always like learning something new. So, stop laughing. Right. Now. Can't wait to see what you all post this week!
Alex snapped this photo this evening, while he and Mark were golfing. It shows our goose friend from yesterday, aka The Guardian of the 8th Hole. It also shows his lady friend sitting on her feathered nest.
Apparently no one is getting anywhere near those blue tees until those baby goslings have made an entrance...everyone must tee off from the white tees instead...or else...!
Alex had a good laugh at the goose taking off in flight to chase his golf cart, honking, and dive bombing him as he tried to drive away. I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Maybe we should take them bribes...toss a little corn or oats here and there for distraction...maybe bake them little corn oat cakes. It could be Wednesday's GKT recipe!
A photo taken today in our daffodil garden reminding me of Amy Lowell's poem To An Early Daffodil, which begins, "Thou yellow trumpeter of laggard Spring!" I thought it fitting for today for three reasons: first of all, Spring really has been a bit of a laggard in central Indiana this year; secondly, Shelley already posted William Wordsworth's Daffodils on her blog this week (I love his lines "And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils."); and lastly, it has the word "AN" in the title and it's an "AN" kind of month around here at GKT, being finished with my "ING Game" from March and all.
It's officially spring...yesterday at the golf course Matt was cutting from one hole to the next, driving a golf cart fortunately, when a Canadian Goose took off after him (protecting a nearby nest, no doubt) and tried to dive bomb him as it flew over the golf cart honking like a crazy loon. Matt was willing to forego that hole, but Mark said, "This is golf...we don't skip a hole for some crazy goose, play through." Spring is here.
Everyone seems to be taking advantage of the "sleeping in" portion of the Spring Break agenda. I had several hours to myself again today as the boys did not surface until 11:00 a.m. (I took a break from all volunteer work this week, but now I am thinking maybe I should not have done so as no one would even miss me if I did it all before noon.) Alex opted for eating pizza at home for lunch while Matt wanted to head over to Hellas and eat Greek food. He has a four hour rehearsal this evening for an IYC performance, doesn't like to eat heavy right before singing a lot, so he did his damage at lunch. (Hellas is owned by the family of a fellow swimmer, so we like to patronize them for that reason and because their food is very good.)
Mark and Alex are headed to the golf course this evening and I am up in the air about whether or not I want to watch the choir rehearsal...of course, I could take my KNITTING with me and work on that, but it might be too distracting for the kids who will no doubt think, "OMW, Mrs. GERTH is KNITTING!" I know, I don't believe it either.
These pretty little pansies were planted yesterday in one of the beds at the entrance to our street. They are definitely a bright spot in the landscape, but I figure they so don't count towards the "things blooming around here" total as they are foreign imports. Still waiting.
We are being very productive...Matt and I completely overhauled the bathroom he and Alex share and he is ready to paint this afternoon. (Matt is big on overhauling and painting...all the years of watching Trading Spaces and DIY shows.) I ask you this: Why is it that children (and I have heard tell this is a common trait found in many of my friends' children also) do not seem to be capable of throwing away an empty carton, tube, box, container, bottle, etc. I can't tell you how many of these things I picked up and said, "Why are we keeping this?" Answer: "I don't know, I guess it just didn't get thrown away yet." Yet. Yet. Yet. The lovely little wastebasket is sitting right there...not a long stretch by any shot. One of those mysteries of life I guess. It is sort of like when I go through the pantry and think that we have granola bars, power bars, cereal, popcorn, etc. because all the boxes are sitting there nicely telling me that we have those things. If you actually lift the box, or peer inside, however, the answer is somewhat different...all because no one seems to be able to toss a box. Why is that? I know...I will miss it when it is gone, so I should just enjoy it now. Okay, I can roll easily on that one.
Mark and Alex are cleaning the garage...you know, that one day a year when we take everything out, spiff it all up, and put it all neatly back inside...the one day of the year that Google Earth flew over and took the photo for the world to see a couple of years ago? I am thinking the inside of the garage could use a good painting also, but so far all I have received with that bit of suggestive input was a blank stare from Alex and a "Not today," from the power in charge. Okay, I can roll easily on that one, too.
Lunch anyone? The kitchen is now open, orders are being filled. Have a great Saturday!
This photo is of the Pear Tree out front this week. It feels like anathema...a curse. I give you the first photo I posted on this blog last April 6th, which is the same pear tree out front. (Okay, I can't find that photo in the archives, so you will just need to click in the archives section for April 6, 2007 and see the photo there.)
Please note the vast differences: sunshine and one very beautiful blooming/flowering tree. There are very few signs of spring here. I am waiting for someone to show me the green as I am not seeing it. Patience is not running high at this point. (That would have been one definite advantage of going south for Spring Break. I didn't, however, know when we were planning things that spring was going to take so long getting to Indiana. I
might would have planned differently.)
So, Day One of Spring Break, so far has been fairly low key. After a big outing last night with their friends, the boys slept in this morning, Alex actually surfacing before Matt, who finally saw daylight at 11:18 a.m. Whoa! I was up at 7:00 a.m. as old habits die hard and I can never really sleep in much. It was nice to have a quiet morning to myself actually. I spent it KNITTING! Can you believe it? Mark thoughtfully brought home the library's BBC productions of four Shakespeare plays for me to watch while I was KNITTING this weekend, so I watched one of those and KNITTED. Can you even believe this? Me either.
Alex headed off to a friend's house and Matt and I ran a whole lot of errands involving things Matt and/or I needed to take care of, so by 3:00 he was pleading, "I am starving, can we please go to Big Hoffa's and get a sandwich for me?" Big Hoffa's is not my usual style of place by a long shot. Big Hoffa's is like no other. At least no other that I have been to...it is located on Indiana SR 32, just east of Westfield, and shares quarters with the Antique Auction House...a very strange combination indeed. Big Hoffa's has a scull and crossbones by the door, with Japanese paper umbrellas and lanterns, a down-home decor, Beethoven/classical music playing over the stereo system,very friendly owners, and barbecue that smokes out front all day luring anyone and everyone into the place. It defies description...you really just have to show up and experience it sometime. Matt was very happy with his sandwich. And, it took all my willpower to say "No, not today," to the lemon cake...lemon cake with lemon glaze...oh, be still my heart as lemon is my favorite flavor, and this cake is one of my all-time favorites...reason enough to go to Big Hoffa's. If you want to get a little "taste" of Big Hoffa's, Click here. Under "Photos," you can even see the Lemon Cake!
Teen guys are out for the evening at movies and friends' houses and whatnot. Date Night tonight is going to consist of watching Shakespeare's Henry V with a nice rolling fire in the fireplace as it is cold and rainy here. A quiet house all to ourselves sounded really appealing. Not exactly what one imagines when one says "We are on Spring Break," but we all still seem to be very happy that we are not driving or flying anywhere and just moving where the wind takes us here. It feels great.
My friend, Jan, in knitting class this morning. Her scarf is going to be Carmel High School gold...I opted for a deep wine color as the thought of making something in Guerin purple really didn't seem very "me."
When the boys were little, and wanted to "cook," I started them out with instant pudding as they loved pudding, but even more they loved using the mixer. Next was this recipe as it is very easy, fun for little ones to make, and is
pretty much foolproof (and, as a "nod" to James Thurber today, I deleted the "pretty" as he detested the usage of that word in that way). It's a stress-free recipe with hardly any clean-up, perfect for entertaining children on any sort of day. Cook with your kids...or someone else's...it's a great memory maker. And, now, upon request from my boys for this for dessert, I give you Seven Layer Bars.
This is a little something that my friend Katie made for me and gave to me last night as a surprise. Isn't it the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? It is a new little dangly for my day planner zipper (I keep moving these zipper pulls from zipper to zipper on things, but this one is staying on my day planner and going everywhere with me). I was so surprised and honored that she would make such a lovely little bit of goodness for me to enjoy every single day! You can see the beautiful blue bead with flowers imbedded in it, and from it dangle a lovely cross and a little Blessed Virgin Mary medal...I just love it. The whole of it is about three inches long, so dainty. It is such a perfect gift: how lucky am I to be the recipient? (And, since this is Craft Day here at the Table, this is so counting as posting a craft...no one said it had to be MY craft, did they? I am working on it, working on it...sometime soon perhaps, but in the meantime, I knew you would enjoy seeing this beautiful gift from Katie's craft room.)
Not an April Fool's Joke: Margaret and I had lunch today and went shopping at the mall (okay, it was a strip mall, but it does so count as my monthly trip to the mall, as we went into a women's fashion store and shopped for a new bolero jacket for Lora to wear with her Confirmation dress next month and I did not whine or get cranky one single time). If you remember, Margaret and I are eating our way through the alphabet for lunch (very slowly)...her husband Rex started this with his co-workers and Margaret and I decided to carry it on beginning in January (ending who knows when as we don't get a chance to eat out together all that often). In January we ate "A" at the A to Z Cafe (figuring if we never got any further, we could just tell Rex that we encompassed it all with that one meal). Today we ate "B" at BD Mongolian Barbecue which was really fun as you get to pick out your own mix of food and spices, etc. (you all know me...a place that I could tell them exactly what I wanted and not have to say, "Could I substitute this or that or the other and could you not cook it with any this or that or the other?"), so while it is a chain restaurant, it was still a lot of fun. Margaret is always great company...always!
How about this? It was one year ago today that I started Grandma's Kitchen Table. I started it on a lark, really, not thinking it would go this far. Mostly, in truth, I just wanted to prove to myself that I could set something like this up...it seemed somewhat useful, as I could post once and not need to write separate emails to everyone doing the newsy bits around here. Nothing lofty, definitely. It hasn't morphed into anything else throughout the year. Newsy bits around the table.
One nice benefit that has surfaced is that I can print off the newsy bits and use them for journal entries in the scrapbook albums for the boys. Not all of them, but enough to warrant continuing on with that in mind. It's also been fun to meet various internet readers (and why they read is beyond me as it would seem to me that if you don't know the players and truly love them, that one would be bored to tears quite easily). The emails regarding my entries often open my eyes in ways I hadn't heretofore considered...in a good, uplifting way.
And, unfortunately, there has been some heartache through the year as I stumbled upon blogging quite by accident through someone I didn't mean to stumble upon...this vast world, as it turns out, is rather small. It is always unsettling when something surfaces that can't and won't be healed. It makes me incredibly sad that there is nothing I can say and do to make it better. Maybe someday, with prayer and patience. Maybe not.
Despite the ups and downs, GKT will go on, I have decided. I had thought one year would see it through, but I am thinking that maybe another is in the works. While last year was somewhat reflective, I am thinking this year will be more focused on moving forward...albeit the two often intertwine whether we wish them to or not. Anyway, here's to the anniversary and the new beginnings for this coming year in blogland. Thanks for reading and writing such nice things to me...very sweet, and I am always all about the very sweet.