Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winter finds Indiana

Lost glove saying "where is my owner?"
Remember how much I whined last year during the Winter months?
Snow. Snow. Snow. Broken record.

And this Winter we had a relatively mild December and January.  So Winter should be over, right?  Spring should be on it's way, and I should be seeing crocuses poking out of the ground.

But NOOOOO!  This year February is the freezing cold month!

Grey, snowy day
Did a mom write the last sentence?
Sunset over the backyard

Enjoying dinner out

So we look for fun wherever we can find it...

Dinner with Beth Ann and Melanie

Saturday night out.  Great pizza and band!
Dress for success?  Typical evening in front of the fire.
Mikie, where are the martinis?

Sewing project-pillow cases

Saw this last week. Blind men driving?

Ok, so there are lots of meals out.  Sounds strange, but it's an excuse to get out of the house.

And notice I didn't have any Fitbit pictures. Hey, it's dangerous to walk outside.  That's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it.

And we've spent hours in front of the fireplace catching up on episodes of The Blacklist, State of Affairs, Madame Secretary and Person of Interest.  And thank goodness the new season of The Voice started last night.

Normally I would be happy about breaking a record, but not today.  Minus 3 degrees.  Enough said.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Day to day living

Happy cookie day
It's been a strange time.  With so much happening these past few months, it's been hard to get back into my own daily life.

So here is a glimpse of the past couple of weeks...

Sweetie with big heart

My sweetie surprised me with a Valentine's Day breakfast of crumpets (to go with my hot tea).  It took several hours to make them, but they were delicious.

Mikie making crumpets

Crumpets, blackberries and cheese

 Last weekend we were in St. Louis with Stan, Kevin, Kathy and Kristopher for a Blues-Blackhawks hockey game. Our friend Mary was supposed to be there with us.  We thought of her often during the game...

Blues vs. Blackhawks

Mike and I with Kathy and her son Kristopher

I visited mom last week, and we enjoyed getting together with family for dinner at our favorite BBQ place.
Enjoying food and laughter

Walking tall, that's me!

And I have been walking my little shoes into the ground.  Nothing like a Fitbit and my friends commandeering my device to set me up for weekly challenges.

Basically at any time during the week(or weekend) I can see how many steps each person in the challenge has taken.

I haven't won yet, but I was ahead for a short time last weekend.  And yes, the competition keeps me walking, and maybe I am a bit competitive...

Love that few minutes of being ahead...

And yes, it's been cold here in the Hoosier state.  Mike and I tried to warm up with some winter hats.  Lovely, don't you think?

For walking at night?  Hunting?  Scaring aliens?
Fashion statement for sure!

And because my eye is often drawn to the strange and unusual,  here is a picture I took at my mom's house.  Not sure there is an explanation...

Reaching for love or lemons?

Hope you are enjoying the week!

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Angel 1-cherub
No, not the Victoria's Secret kind.  Or the Charlie's Angels kind.  No just the old fashioned statues kind that you find at Goodwill.  Lots of them...

Yesterday we were on the North side of Indy, and Mike wanted to visit yet another Goodwill store.  Yes, this happens often with us.

Sometimes I stay in the car and play Scrabble or work a crossword puzzle, but yesterday I decided to accompany him, and did I strike it big!

No, I didn't buy anything, but with my handy iPhone, I took pictures of all the angels I could find.  

There were so many, and each was different.

Angel 2-with flowing hair
Angel 3-pretty in pink

Angel 4-with horn
Angel 5-with bird
Angel 6-pensive look
Angel 7-with little girl
Angels 8 & 9-the band
Angel 10-anonymous
Angels 11 & 12-hanging out by the tree
Angel 13-collectible
Angel 14-adorned in gold
Angel 15-flaking gold
Angel 16-elegant
Angel 17-with stars
Angels 18, 19 & 20-forever together

The obvious explanation is people donating unused Christmas decorations.  But in the back of my mind I wonder why...

So many angels...


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tribute to Mary

Biking at Eagle Creek Park
With a heavy heart, I want to say a few words about our dear friend Mary who passed away from ovarian cancer in late January.  She often read this blog, and so I don't think she would mind if I wrote about her here.

The words "kind and thoughtful" don't quite do justice to Mary...

On her first day of chemo in early December she was texting me to find out how my surgery went.
In her first week of chemo she baked her niece's favorite cookies and sent them to her at college.

During her first weeks of having cancer she sent my mom a lovely card from Our Lady of the Snows Shrine offering up Catholic Masses in my mom's name.  Although she never met my mom, she was thinking about mom's treatment for lung cancer.

She often helped out people at work who were struggling.  She was a supervisor at the USDA, and she was known to help people who got behind in their work.

Once she told me and Mike about her daily drive to work through East St. Louis. Each day she passed an older man sitting on his porch, and she would offer a wave and a smile.  Eventually he waved back to her each day.

She was very active in her church and helped countless people join the Catholic faith.  One of the people wrote a lovely letter to Mary's husband Stan about the difference Mary made in her life and faith. Mary's friends from church kept constant vigil over her during her final days of hospice at home.

I met Mary's boss at the visitation.  I had often heard Mary talk about him, and with tears in his eyes he told me how much of a void there was without her at work.

With Mike at park in St. Louis
And Mike has so many memories of Mary.  He knew her since his childhood days growing up in Westville, Illinois.  He has countless stories about Mary including tutoring her in high school physics and introducing her to the music of Emerson, Lake and Palmer which later was something she had in common when she met her soon-to-be husband Stan.

And how the memories come flooding back...of a wonderful hiking vacation Mike and I took with Mary and Stan to Bryce and Zion...and all the Blues Hockey games...and a wonderful trip to Kansas City...and their involvement in our Halloween parties...and the New Year's Eve party where they helped us cook a wonderful Greek meal...and trekking to the Dairy Queen in their town for a late night ice cream fix...and a Caribbean cruise...and the list goes on and on.
Stan and Mary at park in St. Louis
Hiking bluffs near St. Louis

Hiking out West

Shaking it in Aruba

Walking in the woods with Mike, Kevin, Stan, Mary and Kathy
Crazy Halloween Party

And another Halloween party

Sunset in Aruba

We are just beginning to come to understand her death and the void in our lives.  But as  I see the beautiful Cardinals at the bird feeder I'm reminded of Mary and her involvement in the National Audubon Society.  And in the sunset I see her beautiful smile.  And these sights clear away some of the tears as we learn to live in a life without her.  At least for now until we see her again one day and laugh and share memories of our time together on Earth.