Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Photographs & Memories

Photographs & Memories
Christmas cards you sent to me
All that I have are these
to remember you...

Photographs & Memories
All the love you gave to me
Somehow it just can't be true
That's all I've left of you...

-Jim Croce

Memorial Day weekend...
What better way than to spend it reminiscing with loved ones. I come from a fairly large family, and as many of us that could make it this year converged on my brother Todd's house. Stacey, Willie, Dawn, Joshua, Brittany, Shilo, Tommy- We missed you! Much to the disgust of my teenage son and nephews, we spent much time gathered in the back yard talking of "dead people", "used to be's" and of course the "remember whens..."

It was also the first Memorial Day that we have all gathered at the cemetary with armloads of flowers to celebrate the lives of our Mom and Grandparents. If they can no longer be with us, at least they are together. My dad says that poor Grandpa gets no peace, as he is TRYING to rest between Grandma and Mom.

Todd and Gidge just recently moved back to Elgin, the tiny Northeastern Oregon town that we grew up in. It is always bittersweet to return home after so many years away. Todd couldn't be happier than to be home. He radiates with the pleasure of stomping through the same mountains and rivers that he grew up on and running into old acquaintences, be they young or old. You can see his delight in the knowledge that Shelby, their two year old, beautiful daughter, will grow up in these same mountains, walking the same paths and fishing the same rivers as her daddy, and her grandpa, and her great grand-dad did. There is a settling in going on in their house. You can almost hear the family roots sigh with pleasure as they settle back into the Union county soil.

May not be long before Dad and Sharon join them there. Gidge's parents will be moving up in a few months, also. Looks as if Shelby will be able to grow up surronded by loving Grandparents, as we did. Time marches on...

May you be blessed with memories and roots...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy (Late) Birthday, Brittany!

Yesterday was Brittany's 19th birthday. She was born when I was 19, so this is our "half-year". She is exactly half my age this year and that will never happen again. I read an article somewhere about a mother and daughters "half-year" and how it was a magical year for them. It was magical just because they wanted it to be, not because anything spectacular or life-changing happened...just because. I really liked that image and idea.
In my mind (not in realty, since I don't posess the technology!), I have posted then and now pictures. Brittany in 1987 and Brittany in 2006. Wasn't she cute? Oh right, you can't see it!

We are headed to Elgin for the Memorial Day weekend. We will stay at Susan's in Echo Friday night, then truck over the mountain to Todd & Gidge's on Saturday. Dad & Sharon are coming up also, and Grandma & Grandpa will be coming over for the picnic at Promise. Should be a fun weekend.

May you all be blessed with a magical year....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I'm Back...

Well, I'm back at it. Surgery went fine and I am feeling pretty darn good. It is amazing that a person can have 4 holes poked into them in various places on the belly and not really feel any pain! The day after surgery was opening day of the Sunday Market here in Astoria and not to be missed, so I hauled myself into the truck and Riff drove me down. I couldn't walk very fast, so I parked myself at one of the tables in the food court and had my first of the season Lavender Mint Julep Sun Tea. To die for!!
Anyway, things are going great. I'll write more later...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

So you had a bad day...

American Idol's theme song...I think all of America had a bad day when they failed to vote for Chris this week. What were you all thinking??? I cannot believe Elliott and Taylor are still standing on that stage and Chris is gone. There is no doubt in my mind that he will have a good career. The boy can blow, dog!! I want to boycott the rest of the year, but won't, as Kat is still standing.

I was greeted yesterday afternoon by a large beautiful basket of flowers on my kitchen counter when I came home from work. Ryan and Natascha had sent them as an early Mother's Day gift and a "get well soon" gift. So nice and thoughtful, you guys, thanks!! Ryan is still in Kuwait and Natascha is at home in Germany, missing him. They were thinking about sending his troop back to Germany, but so far doesn't look like that is going to happen anytime soon.

Sam is in Iraq, and his wife, Jessie, is in Wyoming. He has leave in June, so will get to go home for a couple of weeks. We wish we could get out there to see him, but just can't right now. Both boys have laptops with them, so we do hear from them from time to time.

Brittany is still in Wyoming, working at Dairy Queen and Wal-Mart. She may come out to start school here in the fall, but still hasn't made up her mind completely. We keep hoping she does.

Kevin is enjoying Western Culinary Institute. It is alot of hard work, but so far he is doing great, making friends and getting used to living in Portland.

Shilo is ready for school to be out this year. She doesn't want to play this silly game anymore this year. I've told her that it is way to early for her to get senioritis, as she is just finishing up her sophomore year. Focus, focus, focus....

Dustin is grounded this week. I was throwing out some garbage yesterday evening and right on top of the trash in the outside can was an envelope addressed to "The Parents of Dustin Niziolek". I dug around a little bit and found a detention note from a few days ago. He said "Damn it" in reading. He's mostly in trouble for throwing the slip away and not fessing up to his discrepancy. Bad Boy!!

Surgery tomorrow. Oh, well. It'll all be over and done before I know it.

May you all be blessed with healthy, working gallbladders....

Monday, May 08, 2006

Spring Fever....

Spring fever,
Spring is here at last.
Spring fever,
My hearts beatin' fast.
Get up, Get out
Spring is everywhere....
-Elvis Presley

Mother Nature gave us an incredibly beautiful week. Several days in the high 60's and low 70's, sunshine, sunshine sunshine!! I drove around(well, back and forth to work, anyway) with my sunroof open and windows down. Spring is here at last and a long time in coming this year, I might add.
Shilo went to the skate park to watch a competition and hang out with friends on Saturday. Dustin was at a friends birthday party all day, so Riff and I took advantage of the nice day and did a bit more exploring of Cannon Beach. On the way down, we stopped at a garden shop and nursery between Seaside and Cannon Beach called Raintree. I had been wanting to go, but had not made it down that far. OH MY GOSH!!!! It is amazing. They have everything you could ever want. The plants are all healthy and beautifully arranged. It seems the nursery goes on forever. My backyard aspires to look like that nursery someday. Gorgeous....
Cannon Beach was busy as usual. They were having a "meet the artist" in the galleries and other festivities later in the day. We really enjoying just walking around and popping into galleries and shops that we have not been in before. We purchased a mothers day gift for Riff's mom (uh-uh, Lee. I'm not telling what it is. You'll just have to wait!), then had an late lunch/early dinner at the "Fireside". I had a blackened chicken sandwich with baby spring greens, lettuce, tomato, grilled onion and avacado on an onion roll and Riff had a pastrami reuben. Both sandwich's were very good.
We got home just in time to babysit our friends, Derith and James, 4 month old, Grace. She is so cute. She got a little crabby, took a ten minute nap, and was just as happy as a clam again. She was sleeping again when they came back. She heard her Mama's voice and woke right up, but it is her Daddy she really saves the smiles for. Derith says that she is trying to not take it personally! We are happy to watch her for them and even happier that our "baby" is 13!
A rainy Sunday...Riff painted indoor trim all day. Really is freshing the house up. I recieved an early Mothers Day gift in the form of a bamboo love seat for the sun porch. I have had my eye on it for several weeks now, so is really a wonderful gift. I spent the day rearranging the sun porch. I have not been happy with the way it looks lately, but it is fresh, clean and inviting again now.
May you be blessed with sunshine and a baby's laughter....