Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Papa update.

This is a quick Papa update for those of you who are following along for info on him. After a lengthy hospital stay, Papa is finally gearing up to return to Shenango Presbyterian Senior Care's skilled nursing unit today. The consensus between heart, kidney and primary doctors is that they have done all they can for him with respect to the CHF symptoms. He is weak and growing more and more confused at this point. Hospice will start to work with him once he returns home. Mom is hanging in there, but I think this journey has been a rough one. Keep them both in your prayers, will you? Here are a few shots from yesterday.

I took Will (who is on spring break this week) to visit Papa in the morning. They were happy to see each other.

Papa always coaches the kids on how to give a proper greeting. "Look me in the eye and give me a hardy handshake'. Even 3-year-old Sam knows to do this now.

Papa heads down the hall for therapy. When he was hooked up to IV's, they needed two more people to assist him with walking. They called it his entourage.

Mom and Will watch as Papa walks down the hall.

My sister Betsy and I visited again last night at bedtime. Although a little confused, he was happy to see us.

Betsy delivered a handwritten note from her youngest, 6-year-old Mary, written in pretty pink pen that wished Papa a quick recovery.
I will continue to keep you posted...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Looking in the mirror, if only briefly.

I used to sit and draw like this when I was a kid. When I see Will doing this now, I smile to myself. That was me. I loved notebooks and drawing journals, markers, pencils, and crayons.
I love how he gets lost when he's creating. I did that too.

I love how he imagines things and then translates those ideas onto paper. I did that too.

He's oblivious to what's going on around him when he's busy drawing.
Yup. That's my kid.
Both of my boys remind me so much of me when I was little.

Until they do something like this.
Who pees outside??

Blowing your nose without a Kleenex??
Are you kidding me?
'Accidentally' landing in mud?
Who the hell do these animals belong to anyway???

Friday, March 26, 2010

Double trouble!

I started helping the family florist out this week with the blog ( They might as well put my blog and photography addictions to good use, right? If you have time and/or interest, check it out. Here are a few pictures from my time in the greenhouse yesterday.
Hyacinth babies.

Heavenly hydrageas.

Love the colors in this shot.

Can't wait to see what else pops up this season...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunday highlights (on Wednesday.)

In my family, I'm notorious for being late. Ever since I was a kid, I've been a foot-dragging, lolly-gagging, slow-poke of a person. Trust me, I have good intentions and high hopes of being prompt. And in all fairness, I've had moments of shocking timeliness. But for the most part, I excel at being just a little behind.

With this being said, the following includes highlights from this past Sunday...a little late of course.

Will competed in his first Home Builders Association Lego competition at the cathedral. For anyone who knows my kid, he is obsessed with all things lego. It's all he thinks about. It's all he talks about. His free time totally revolves around legos. And I truly believe if we were to study his DNA, we would find millions of tiny rainbow colored building blocks. He's the lego kid. (And he's the one in the black t-shirt in the bottom left corner).

Sam had a hard time sitting still during the competition. Thank God we found vendors at the show who 1) tolerated small people with hundreds of random questions and 2) had candy.

Will took home the blue ribbon in his age division with his lego home, car and greenhouse (way to make the family proud, buddy!)

The highlight of my day was spotting Florida Susan Patton's sister, Judi. She said she recognized my kids right away from pictures she's seen on this blog and I recognized her right away from photos I've seen on her sister's blog (see 'Life in Color' to the right). None of us are safe anymore, are we !!!? But what a wonderfully, small world this is. Judi, it was great to meet you!

The highlight of Sam's day: getting a free rubber eyeball from Judi. Correction, getting two free rubber eye balls, since he launched the first one somewhere into the room of vendors in the basement. Nice. And speaking of nice, check out Sam's mouth. I need to start posting a weekly injury report. More on that later.

Judi, you don't know how much joy you've brought my family.
Hope everyone is having a joy-filled day as well!

Monday, March 22, 2010

luncheologie with auntie.

I had lists of things to do yesterday. Laundry. Clean. Grocery shop. Conquer the mountain of school papers which is a day short of being as tall as my fridge. I needed to just spend a whole day buried here at home. Naturally, I ditched my domestic responsibilities when the phone rang with an invitation for lunch with my Aunt Laurie. We had much to catch up on, you see, which is far more important than silly laundry and even sillier piles of paper.

For those of you who don't know her, Aunt Laurie is the brain and beauty behind Pepperberry's (see blog to the right) the little shop of eclectic treasures in New Wilmingon, PA. To me, Laurie is the MacGyver of all things home-related. You give her a paperclip, a rubber band, and a roll of duct tape - she'll turn it into a living room full of exquisite decorations and a delicious dinner for 12. She's just that good. Her insides are loaded with creative magic. She is enthusiastic and bursting with one-of-a-kind ideas. And that energy is contagious. You can't help but want to go along for the ride because she just makes it all look so fun. Oh, and did I mention her wit? It's as sharp as her taste. Between me and you, I don't know how she stands to be with herself sometimes!

Aunt Laurie and Uncle G. headed east to a suburb of Philadelphia this past weekend to check out a place called Terrain, a greenhouse owned by Anthropologie. Aunt Laurie came home with a trunk full of treasures. Here are a few shots of her finds.

Lavender topiaries.
I couldn't take my eyes off these...or my nose out of them.
At one point I even considered eating one.

Flowering lavender.

A skirted flower bucket from the U.K.

A sweet little hyacinth.

Look at those delicious layers
and that soft color.

A sweet little fern.

Oh, and check out this arrangement. Auntie made this in a class she took while at Terrain. Can you stand it? I just love the hydrangeas and the poppies. I have no idea what the other things are...but I love them too.

I love anything on a vine.

And things that dangle? Heavenly.

One more shot of that. Yummy.

On the way out the door, I started taking pictures of things I love around Aunt Laurie's house.

I love this crazy twisted tree. It's like wild hair...
Speaking of which, Laurie did not want her picture taken.
Doesn't she have lovely hands though?

Aunt Laurie has a soft spot for old benches. This is one of my favorites.

And this one too.
I want to do a photo shoot in her yard sometime.
There's just so much to look at.

Love the blue chair.
Love the aunt more.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy first day of spring!

It's official! Spring has arrived in Western PA and my face hurts from smiling! Here are a couple pictures taken today at my mom's house, where we went to enjoy the weather, the flowers, the swing, the birds, the trees, Enzo the cat, the company of my mom (to the grandkids she is known as 'Aiya', pronouced I-yah), the neighbor's brownies, the grass, the peace and quiet...there really wasn't much about today you couldn't enjoy.

Mom's pal, Enzo the Cat. He's just shy of 70 years old.
No wait, my math is off, he's closer to 12 or 13.
But he acts like a geri-cat.

I secretly wonder if my family is full of closet pyromaniacs. From oldest to youngest, we can't help ourselves. We love burning sticks and leaves, bark, weeds, whatever we can pick up and throw into Mom's little firepit. We probably need an intervention, but we're all too busy watching things burn.

My new favorite thing to do with my camera is to lay it on a surface and start shooting without looking. I love ground level shots, but don't always have my play clothes on, so this technique works great at those moments. Love the moss on the stones out front of the house.

Another ground shot.

Once again, I held my camera against the base of a gorgeous oak and started shooting. Look at all those delicious nooks and crannies!

The watch cat.
Happy spring, everyone!!