Monday, August 23, 2010

My Engagement & Wedding Pictures - 1983

I was so thin!  And Bob had so much hair!  The funny thing is, he only wore glasses for about 3 months and then switched to contacts, although he is back to glasses these days — just not quite so big!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Three Junes" by Julia Glass

Book Description:
An astonishing first novel that traces the lives of a Scottish family over a decade as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all its guises.

In June of 1989 Paul McLeod, a newspaper publisher and recent widower, travels to Greece, where he falls for a young American artist and reflects on the complicated truth about his marriage.  Six years later, again in June, Paul’s death draws his three grown sons and their families back to their ancestral home.  Fenno, the eldest, a wry, introspective gay man, narrates the events of this unforeseen reunion.  Far from his straitlaced expatriate life as a bookseller in Greenwich Village, Fenno is stunned by a series of revelations that threaten his carefully crafted defenses.  Four years farther on, in yet another June, a chance meeting on the Long Island shore brings Fenno together with Fern Olitsky, the artist who once captivated his father.  Now pregnant, Fern must weigh her guilt about the past against her wishes for the future and decide what family means to her.  In prose rich with compassion and wit, Three Junes paints a haunting portrait of love’s redemptive powers.

My Review:
Yet another book I did not enjoy.  More dysfunctional family stuff.  And I found the homosexual part very distasteful.  It's not so much that I have anything against gays; I really don't.  I just find descriptions of their sexual encounters to be repugnant.  I, personally, don't want to know what arouses them.  Plus, I have a really hard time believing that your average straight, middle-aged woman author can really understand what makes a gay guy tick.  Just saying. . .

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Little Bragging (and some Shame)

In 2005, I took my Dad to Norway.  We had a wonderful time and we met dozens of cousins!  And, I got a wild hare that I needed to cross stitch something for every one of the female cousins we met — all 14 of them!  So here is the bragging part because I finally got them all done (and the shame part, too, because it took me so long!)

"Families are Forever" (Familier er Alltid in Norwegian) for Brit-Elin

"Gunnar" & "Freya" for Brit-Elin's daughters Rigmor & Kristin

"Colorful Rooster" & "Cat Treat" for Aud and her daughter Liv

"Four Seasons Angels" (with the seasons in Norwegian) for Oddlaug

"Victorian Roses" for Guri

"Hummingbird Paradise" for Sis

"Mini Strawberry Sampler" for R√łnnaug and "Tree of Life" for Ingrid

"Morning Glory" for Sissel

"Majestic Magnolia" for Thora, who passed away before I could finish them all

"Floral Fancy" for Heidi

I did my best to match the design to the person, so I really hope they enjoy them.  I certainly enjoyed stitching them!  And, in my defense, I did take time out over those five years to stitch other things of a more immediate nature, like baby blankets and such.

2010 Family Reunion

For family members, here are the photos I took at the impromtu family reunion while I was in South Dakota.  Just click the photo and it will take you to a slide show.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Natural Well, Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville, AL

Yesterday, I decided to hike to the Natural Well for a change of scenery.  It is a big black hole in the ground that is technically a "pit cave."  A pit cave is a type of natural cave passage which is vertical rather than horizontal.  According to park officials, Natural Well has an initial drop that goes more than 180' straight down and then goes 325' under the mountain.

I always enjoy the 1.75 mile walk to the Natural Well, even in this ungodly heat.  I have several friends who won't go on the mountain trails in the summer because of snakes.  Snakes shmakes!  In the nine years I've been running, walking and hiking the trails of Monte Sano, I have only seen two, maybe three, snakes.  What bugs me the most are spider webs!  I have visions of being wrapped up by the forest spiders from The Hobbit and being hung up to "cure!"

But, truly, my worst pet peeve is the teeny, weeny little black bugs whose sole purpose in life is to land on an eyeball!  Like tiny little Jedi warriors attempting to bomb the Death Star...

"Blue Leader, this is Zeeezzzz.  I'm in position; I'm starting my run."

"Roger, that.  Hold steady...hold steady.  Oh, no!  The eyelashes are coming down!  Pull up!  Pull up!"

"Too late!  Aauugghh!" {spins wildly off into space}

"This is Blue Leader.  Blue Team prepare for bombing run."  Suddenly, a giant hand comes up and brushes the entire Blue Team away.

"This is Red Leader.  It's up to you to now, kid.  Make us proud.  Remember, there is no greater glory than to die by tears!  You will get your reward when you reach the Great Poop Pile in the Sky!"

"Aye, aye.  This is Bzzt.  I'm in position.  I'm going in now.  I'm locked in...I'm in!  Aauugghh!  Tell my mother not to cryyyyyy...blub, gurgle, glub."

Since I just had cataract surgery on my right eye on Tuesday, I wore my sunglasses to protect my eyeball from the teeny weeny Jedi bugs!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our Nightly Visitor/Pest!

This little critter has been visiting our house nightly for the last two weeks or so.  We wouldn't mind that very much, except for the fact that our cat goes nuts, running from window to window, pawing at the blinds, knocking things off windowsills and just generally making a racket!  All at 3:49 AM...

Last night, he showed up just after 9 PM.  He's not as mean as he looks in the photo; he was trying to catch a moth that was caught in the beam of the flashlight.  He seems quite friendly, so we suspect someone is feeding him.

He likes to walk along the ledge outside our kitchen windows and last night, we discovered why the hummingbird feeder has been going empty so quick!  He grabs the plastic perch rings with his teeth, pulls the feeder close, wraps his arms around it in a big, ol' bear hug, and then laps up the sweet nectar!  Of course, he spills a bunch, too.  I'm going to try putting less food in the feeder so he can't waste so much.  I guess I'll just have to refill it everyday until he gets tired of visiting our house.

He usually wanders along the ledge and spends some time on the deck, too.  All this just makes the cat crazy, of course.  Here he is looking in the patio door.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

On the Road Again!

So, the doctor said I could start running again at the end of July.

I did 3 miles on the mountain on Saturday morning and 2 miles Monday night and again tonight.  The "innards" felt secure — no pain, no discomfort — but the knees didn't get the memo!  I walked more than usual tonight, partly because of the knees and partly because it was still 94° with a heat index of 100° at 8 PM!  What's up with that!?!?  I've had about enough of this heat . . .

I will post some pics of my trip to South Dakota in the next few days.