Saturday, June 30, 2012

guadium #99,995

The last two days have been a frantic frenzy. Jiao came out to help me and we pulled it off. Cate and Maddie were adorable and won their 3rd trophy. It's not the Tournament of Roses but still a children's parade is a pretty sweet thing. The marching bands, the balloons, clowns, the sirens and colors. Delightful.

A few pics of our adorable grand kidlets. Oh how ld and I are missing our Faye and Emer. Our eagles nest is not complete without them.

I know. Enough already.

Friday, June 29, 2012


We drove into Chicago on Monday. Amazing city. Walked and walked and walked. Trying to take the city in. Faye loved the Millenium Park Fountain. We walked all the way from Jackson Avenue clear down to Navy Pier. No small feat when towing two small children. Just like Milwaukee, Chicago has a river running through it also and ld discovered they have river taxis. We gratefully hopped on one and boated all the way back which was great because we saw even more city sites.

The city is huge and beautiful. I'll be back.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

sunday with the staples

A crazy day of churchin'. Meghan had to teach primary and talk in church. Faye had a hard time in nursery so just hung out with her daddy. Emmer and I hung out together in relief society. And ld was happy to discover that a cousin he grew up alongside and went to school with is a member of Meghan's ward. Even better, she's Megs visiting teacher. I'm happy to know there is someone to look after her and call if she needed to.

A few pics then.
Meghan protested vehemently when I snapped this pic. "Not at church, Mom". Whatever. I took it anyway.

It occurs to me that I didn't get any shots of Faye. She was there, though. And she busted out the cutest grandkid move when she stood up on the church bench and shouted out "Mommy!" to her Mom speaking at the pulpit. She followed that up by blowing her a huge kiss.

Oh yes. Remarkable, I know.

Love this little family.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

bronze fonz

Yes, I know we look ridiculous. Old fart tourists. Shudup. We're on vacation.

Arthur Fonzerelli. Man, we're old.

down by the lake

We flew over Lake Michigan on our arrival and I had no idea it was so huge and beautiful. Really impressive.

I also didn't know that Milwaukee borders the Lake, which makes for an awesome view. These pics taken down Oak Leaf Trail in the Veterans Park. It's down by the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World.

There are beaches further down, just haven't had a chance yet to explore them.

milwaukee pt 2

The city has heavy German and French influences throughout in its architecture, names and food. Bars, beers and bratts. Sausage, sports and sailboats.

milwaukee in june. part 1

Meghan and her family live 15 miles outside of Milwaukee. She has the best of both worlds, beautiful countryside outside her window and access to a big urban center.

This pic happened because ld insisted. He always takes pics of power poles and power boxes in every city we visit. If you follow him on instagram you know this. Weird. Imagine his excitement when he saw this.

Along the river walk.

3 rivers run through the area. The Milwaukee, the Menomonee and the Kinnickinnic.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I forgot to post a birthday wish for my Dad on June 8th. Happy Birthday Dad and sorry this is so late. I like to remember my parents on their special days because somehow in my own personal theology I believe they have access to computers. Seriously, the spirit world is totally plugged into the internet. I keep waiting for them to comment on a blog post but they never do. Still, they lurk, people. Motivation for us all to keep posting. :)

Anyway. When my Dad lived with us he used to randomly tell me the story of blank. I really can't remember blank's name. Dad said he was a man that lived in Franklin many years ago. When he was a boy people would talk and comment about how blank was so lazy and Dad admitted that he thought he was, too. They would be off to the fields, or off to school and there would be blank, sitting under a tree, his lunch bucket next to him and his chin resting on his chest, softly snoring. My, my blank is a lazy fellow, they would all shake their heads and say.

Dad would always pause at this part in the telling. When he resumed, his words were sober. "And you know, one day blank died. Just upped and died. And no one could figure out why a young man like that would die. So the doctors in Safford cut him open and saw what no one could see. Old blank, well, turned out he had a brain tumor. A big one." Then he always added, "Folks were kinda ashamed, after that."

One of the most profound little stories my Dad ever told me. And heartbreakingly poignant. I've been thinking alot about it lately because my own health issues have been causing some real behavioral symptoms in me and my family is, well, puzzled. I have been spouting off to them a symptom list as long as my arm in the hopes that they will cut me some slack and show me some mercy. I have faith and confidence that things will stabilize here with my meds and with time, but I am, to be frank, a holy mess right now.

I am learning, painfully, too. The lesson my Dad was trying to teach me with his stories and by his example of living in a diseased and pain racked body and maintaining his dignity through it all, well, it didn't take too well when I was younger. But oh, the moral of that story now is slapping me upside the head.

Sometimes what we judge as a character flaw in another is really biology, or altered blood chemistry or disease. Or just plain aging. We can't know how another feels or what goes on under their skin. One day we will all want the mercy and compassion that withholding judgment gives.

My loved ones are holding true and especially ld. They are cutting me a wide berth while I continue to be 'the restless ocean, to their stable shore.'

Monday, June 4, 2012

happy birthday milwaukeans!

We miss these two terribly. And their children. Birthday wishes are flying in the wind to you, even as I type this. Open your door and breathe them in. Smell and feel the love.

Happy birthday you two. You're amazing.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

cardboard dream house

Last Monday I had this random childhood memory pop up of my old Barbie Dream House. I played with that thing and assorted Barbies forever. So much so that I overheard my mother telling her visiting teachers that she wondered if it was normal for a girl going on 12 to still play with dolls.

After getting all nostalgic I thought it would be great to make one for me my grand daughters. Here were my rules: it had to be made out of cardboard (mostly) and I couldn't spend one dime on it. Nada. Zippo. I challenged myself to just use what I had on hand around the house. Granted this would be hard to do if I didn't already have a fabric stash, glue, cardboard and other random crap stuff. The dolls I already had.

I can think of many other things I would like to add but Cate and Maddie saw it today for the first time and were thrilled. Cate has put in an order to make a TV and a Barbie car so I'll have to get busy.

Here it is then:

Since space is a factor I wanted to make it so it would fold up and be able to store or transport. I used foam board and cut slots in it for the walls.

The bedroom.

The Armoire opens up. Note the paper clip hanger:)

The Living Room.

The Kitchen.

The Bathroom. It's not finished, I need to add a sink obviously and wallpaper. Cate already stripped her doll down and tried out the tub and the toilet. It doesn't flush, though:)

It's a work in progress but I love making something come into being that wasn't there before.

I'll post updates on any new home improvements.