Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Brothers

Well, I'm sorry I missed out on this reunion last weekend. But...had I been there, I'm sure it would not have been the same for them! (a little bit is I guess what they would say). The Brothers got together in Santa Monica when Kevin drove down for a visit and they did a couple of nights on the town along the 3rd Street Promenade and crazy Venice Beach.

And...of was involved. This might be Venice Beach but there are outdoor courts in Redondo and Manhattan Beaches too. Greg used to play around here when he was in Grad school.

Meanwhile, Dave and I had a quiet weekend at home and went out for a walk in the early evening when, right at our corner, I had a coyote encounter of a really scary kind! Seriously! It was right on the sidewalk but by the time I fumbled around in my pocket to take a picture, he crossed the street (thank goodness) so I didn't get a great shot of him. But he's right there in the very center of the photo (which I can't enlarge because I took it on my phone and this blogger site can't accommodate enlarging these photos). Well, that added some excitement to my walk.

See him? He's on the pathway near the bushes. Dave said he was more scared of me than I was of him but you can't convince me of that.

Lauren, meanwhile has been studying (or procrastinating, which is hard work also). She has finals this coming week and is freaking out as is required of college students. But I get the best Mother's Day present because that's when she arrives home!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Easter Prayer

"We have a young Marine from Livermore down hard . Your prayers are needed."
                                              Viet Nam Veterans of Diablo Valley,

 Photo by: Cpl. Brian A. Tuthill
Sgt. Jason M. Ross, Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician 
Photo 04/28/2006 Taken by Cpl. Brian A. Tuthill

Please keep him in your thoughts and 
                    prayers today


"A Livermore Marine is back in the U.S. after being severely wounded while in Afghanistan.

Jason's father, George Ross, has been chronicling his son's day-by-day progress in a blog.

In the first entry, Ross said Jason 'was taken to an in-country medical center where they stabilized him enough that they could medevac him to Germany so he could receive additional treatment. Once he was in Germany they took him in for further surgery and it was a little scary again, as Bridgette, his wife, Linda and I were asked to fly to be with him.'

Before the family could get to Germany, however, they received word that Jason had been stabilized enough to be transported to Bethesda, Md., where he remains.

As of Tuesday, 'Jason was a bit more alert, and this was both good and bad, though I guess the reason it was 'bad' was an inevitability. The good was because we were able to communicate better with him, and the bad was that it seemed like Jason was beginning to recognize that he was seriously injured and that he wasn't physically the same,' according to Ross' blog.

He also noted that Jason's vision seemed better and he could focus on who was talking to him. Ross also thanked everyone for their 'prayers and good thoughts.'

Jason was set for another surgery Wednesday.

'We were spoken to by five sets/teams of surgeons, all of them wanting to be sure that we fully understood what they were going to be doing.' "

Pleasanton Weekly News, Thursday, March 17, 2011, 7:13 AM      

I read his father's blog every day and I am astonished at the injury and the suffering this young man continues to go through each day.  It is unimaginable.  And it follows me in my thoughts throughout the day.   If anyone has a prayer to offer, please do so.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Where's Kevin?

Where is Kevin?  There hasn't been anything on here in months about Kevin so it looks like we never see him but actually we see him every day because he's been back home with us since January.  He decided to start "Power-Saving" by ditching his apartment and the food and rent expenses and socking his $$$$$ away.  So we have the luxury of seeing him off to work every morning (he doesn't like to be talked to that early, though) and we have him here almost every evening after he finishes work ...and the gym ...and seeing his lovely Lauren, of course.  It's been such a nice opportunity for us because we know it won't last that long and then he'll be off again.  He even asks me to meet him for lunch from time to time - love it!  And Dave has a bud to watch sports with again.  After Drew moved to LA, Dave had to watch all the games solo so it's been great having Kevin here for March Madness.

Fond Memories of visiting Kevin when he was doing his semester abroad in Copenhagen

 This weekend, Kevin is down in LA, visiting Drew over Easter weekend and bringing along a Honey-Baked Ham to keep the family tradition going.  Lauren will be at Kara's house in Indianapolis with her really nice mom, Dianne, and their big extended family.  And Dave and I will be by our lonesome over Easter for the first time ever!  It just occurred to me that there won't be any jelly beans or chocolate bunnies in the house either!  Well, maybe that's a good thing!

                                                             Happy Easter Everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tornadoes and Whirlwinds

Chi Omega spent a half hour huddled in the basement of their sorority house on Tuesday night while sirens blared all over campus to warn everyone of an approaching tornado. Wow. I am totally not used to anything like that! But it sure would be nice to have a half hour warning before an earthquake.

I went out to visit Lauren the previous week for Mom's Day (which I happily turned into four days!) and then I headed home and right up to the lake with Dave to finish up some (never-ending) work on the house...that was the whirlwind part of things. But...getting back to Mom's Day...what fun!

Lauren and her best buds spent Friday night together with the moms for dinner...

Moms and daughters

Hot Mommas
On Saturday, the girls had an amazing brunch for us at the Football Stadium Skybox !
The Dads would have really loved this!

Cool being in the Skybox!

Ok ...eyes closed...wake up Mom

Lauren took me on a tour of her classrooms - this is the bridge between two buildings
The Purdue Union

And my home away from home whenever I visit - the campus hotel

Now, this was amazing! The girls took us to a fraternity party at Sigma Chi.  I haven't done that for thirty...thirty ummm...nevermind - over 30 years, anyway.   It was really odd because there were lots of middle aged women roaming around since it was Mom's Day for the whole Greek Community.  You can't tell from this picture but what was really sweet was that the boys were all dancing with their mothers.  We had a great time and I think the kids really enjoyed having us there...for one weekend.

Finals are coming so this is one of the last flings

Seventeen more days and Lauren's home!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lotsa Projects...(and Sgt. Ross)

I'll start off by saying we have been immersed in some projects we started a while ago.  The major one being the remodel of the fireplace at the lake.  It sure sounded pretty simple:  some observations about how the fireplace would look a lot nicer if it were set in stone...just casual conversations, you know.     (I should warn my children to be careful about casual conversations.)  Part of the reasoning was that we would do it at some point and the craftsmen in the Sierras are really looking for work now (ie: they really need some income in these hard economic times).  So....we figured OK, now's a good time...          (? whaaaat ?)  Anyway, it got Dave to talking to a couple of local tradesmen and, to make it short, we somehow became inclined to forge ahead with the fireplace remodel.  And, boy, was it a way bigger deal than we had ever imagined!  We've remodeled a home twice and built another one so we're not a newbies to this...but... it was a surprise how big of a deal this particular project was!  It took innumerable trips to rock quarries...I can't even count how many rocks I've seen.  (No more rocks,  please!)  And we finally settled on "Tumbled Old English"  which I told Dave was kind of like him...old, English and tumbled.  This elicited a wry smile on his part.  (ha)  I'm glad he still has his sense of humor.

Dave, Justin (aka 'Pud', who also does erosion issues at lake houses) and Marshall "the artiste"

Dave stained the mantle himself and did a really nice job!
Who knew we needed a major scaffold for this!

Meanwhile, I decided to work on making roman shade valances for my bathroom windows.  Now, these projects do seem gender-specific I suppose...the guys doing stone cutting and me sewing's really learned skill sets and the mentality of: "let's get it done"... I may be less sensitive to the gender thing because my Dad could sew way better than my Mom on the old tredle sewing machine and he did most of the sewing repairs in our house.  I learned a lot about sewing from my sister, Bernice.  She made her own patterns and used to make clothes for my Barbie dolls (whose fingers are small enough to make Barbie clothes?)   She made my Christening gown when she was a teenager (which I still have) and she designed much of her gorgeous wedding gown.  And when I was 15, going to my first formal, she and I made an emerald green velvet full-length coat for my dress (while she had a half dozen of her own children to manage in between stitching).  She was my inspiration.

This was was really hard making that first cut into silk  :(
And because it was a plaid, it had a repeat going sideways and up and about a brain freeze!  

On our minds, though, through the projects, were thoughts and prayers for Sgt. Jason Ross.  A young man and his family, very deserving of prayer.

I am off to see Lauren for Mom's Day and Dave is working at the lake while Kevin is holding the fort at home.

Friday, April 1, 2011

One Soldier

I added a new blog to my "Favorites" List.

If you have time... Sgt. Jason Ross.  He lives one town away, in Livermore.  I don't know him but I read about him in our local paper.  He and his family are just one of many others in our country to endure these difficulties.

My friend Michele is a nurse in the VA and evaluates soldiers medically for injury disability and has told me stories about young soldiers who are seemingly ordinary guys... but heroes at the same time.  She has a daily roster of of soldiers on her schedule for physical evaluations and each one is a story of strength in adversity.  Listening to her reminds me of ..."That which does not kill me, makes me stronger".

Sometimes, just reading about *one* soldier makes it real about all the others...

If we don't know about what they endure...well, you tell me...