Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Time for the California doctor

We're excited to be able to visit our wonderful doctor in Southern California again. Along with this blessing comes not only the opportunity to see orange trees, but we'll once again be enjoying the hospitality of my husband's cousin and aunt.
We are also taking our kids to their most desired destination these days (how did I get two kids that both want to work here?)

E will be getting some acting instruction and B will be checking out a 3-D animation school.
When purchasing the tickets, the available flights were routing us through Salt Lake City with a two hour layover. On our last trip to California, my two sisters that live there, along with our niece and two nephews, met us at the airport for an hour. We couldn't face that short of visit again, so we treated ourselves to a three day stopover this time. Yay!

And E might just get to see her favorite author at another author signing party while we're there, along with meeting many of her fellow "fan of Shannon" friends she's met on-line who have become close friends to her over the last few years.

So...off to try again to pack.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday outing

Today was one of those gorgeous Indian summer afternoons that practically pushes you outside and says, "Do something!" After our Sunday feast of delicious grilled turkey fillets enjoyed out on the deck, followed by a few minutes of backyard frisbee, we still weren't completely satisfied. When the guys decided to go frisbee golfing later, I jumped in the truck and tagged along.

The frisbee golf course on the college campus is well used. Brady discovered the fun of playing the sport this summer. We had an old frisbee (the golfing ones are heavier then normal frisbees,) which none of us had used (we can't remember how we acquired it!) After Brady had gone with a friend, he wanted to take his dad, so went to a local outdoor recreation store to pick up another frisbee. He found himself overwhelmed with the selection available - he faced racks of frisbees in different weights, sizes, brands, and colors. My guys still use just one frisbee each, but the picture above shows a guy who has just finished his round of golf carrying his bag. Yes, it is filled with his different size "clubs."

Sights along the course.
The holes run back and forth through some old poultry barns on the edge of campus (the Dome is in the background of the below photo.)

"Teeing" off.

Heading back to the truck. Autumn has started its glow show.

Sights from the truck afterwards, when we decided to drive downtown to see if Erin needed a ride home after a filming session with some friends.

(The real estate logo that Brady designed!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to my 20 year old!

As you begin your new year, here's a quote from a book I recently read:

"To dream, you need to starve doubt, feed hope."
North of Beautiful, Justina Chen Headley

Keep on working towards those dreams, Brady. Blessings! Mom

P.S. Everyone else who's reading this head over here to wish him a Happy Birthday and to check out what he has been up to lately. His first 3-D animated product is for sale and he has a new website with a flash gallery for easier browsing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hurrah for the SCD!

I have a stomachache. I just don't get those anymore - for good reason. But yesterday, when I was majorly fatigued, crazy thoughts and cravings tempted me. I couldn't cook dinner and as we each straggled to the kitchen to get a piece of toast with almond flour and nut butter, I decided I couldn't have any kind of almond flour product for breakfast the next morning. Oatmeal (a GRAIN, yes, gluten-free, but still a grain) is what I wanted. We're all so tired of our almond flour baked goods, pancakes, or waffles.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet which we're following is a diet that is strictly grain-free. We've been on it for 14 months now, take away a week (ten months ago) when a doctor who didn't know about the SCD had urged us to try oatmeal, which didn't go well for any of us.

So I should have known better, but I did the whole rationalization thing in my head - gathered all the ammunition from our recent health improvements to shoot down any doubt trying to poke its way into my brain. I found the directions for soaking rolled oats overnight to make them more digestible. So I followed them. I was feeling pretty smug, as I covered the bowl for the night, thinking I'd taken care of any risks.

This morning as the oats cooked, the foreign smell of grains steaming up from the pan made me pause a bit - but I pushed doubt away with determination. I felt my pain about the time I was taking the last bite. Now I feel like a toddler that's been told not to touch-"Hot!"- but I had to do it anyway. Just a dumb thing to do. We aren't even eating many of the advanced foods that are allowed on the diet yet. Thankfully the kids don't have the stomachache, but that doesn't mean, yet, that everything is okay.

Keep on working the diet, Sherry. Yeah, got it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bonie Scotland

My mom recently returned from a trip to England, Scotland, and France. A cousin who lives in the area of Aberdeen, Scotland invited any of her first cousins to her Scotland home for two weeks, and the ones who could go decided to add visits to London and Paris, as well.

We had information about the church that Brent's great grandparents were married at before crossing the pond with their first-born (and only child at the time) and eventually landing in Iowa. The village the church was in turned out to be about an hour from Mom's cousin's home and so a few of them ventured there one day. Now we have a small photo album of the church, village and surrounding area. What a treat!

Mom also surprised me with a couple of poetry books she bought from a used book vendor at some Highland game competitions they watched. One is by Scotland's own poet, Robert Burns.

Today I enjoyed my first reading of some of the poems. Here's a short one:

Ye Flowery Banks

Ye flowery banks o' bonie Doon, (o' - of, bonie - pretty)
How can ye blume sae fair; (sae - so)
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae fu' o' care! (fu' - full)

Thou'll break me heart thou bonie bird
That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o' the happy days
When my fause luve was true. (fause luve - first love)

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird
That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o' my fate.

Aft hae I rov'd by bonie Doon, (Aft - oft, hae - have)
To see the wood-bine twine,
And ilka bird sang o' its love, (ilka - every)
And sae did I o' mine.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose
Frae aff its thorny tree, (Frae - from, aff - off)
And my fause luver staw the rose, (staw - stole)
But left the thorn wi' me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fiddler on the Roof!

Yes! God said yes to your prayers for health and strength for Erin. Thank you for praying! The show was super fantastic! Thanks to a friend, David, we have these amazing pictures to share with you.

This picture above, (the only one that David didn't take,) are three of the five daughters at the end of "Matchmaker" on opening night, all starry-eyed and full of hope.

Please go to the bottom of this post and scroll up for the rest of the pics because I mistakenly loaded the pictures in reverse order. Make sure you click on the picture to enlarge it.

(Erin will probably post many more pictures over on her blog Backstage Musings - so check that out, soon.)
After dad, (Tevye,) quickly turns and says "God be with you." Oh, happy moment.
I'm going to be a bragging mom and tell you that Erin performed Chava brilliantly.
Just married. This photo catches all five daughters celebrating.
A serious moment with Tevye, Chava's dad.
Erin's good friend, Cristina, was one of six main dancers in the production. She danced as a village daughter and a village man. You could not tell this was her first musical theatre experience, she danced with such perfection and grace - and she even kept the bottle on her head during the bottle dance every time.
Hodel (Meredith) and Chava (Erin) singing their duet in "Matchmaker."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wish you were here

Excitement! It's showtime! Opening night is tonight. Thanks for your prayers! Keep praying. Erin's doing pretty well, considering. She's very tired, but adrenaline will take over now during performances. (She does keep getting bloody noses - which would be bad news if it happened on stage.) So please pray in regards to that and also, for her voice to stay strong.

Yes, that's a microphone you see in the photo. The theatre holds 2500 people, so all the leads are mic'd. The show only runs this weekend, so a big crowd is expected tonight even though they are just opening.

My parents are on their way over the mountains and through the woods. They'll be here later tonight (when they left their house they were going to "take it easy" and not get here until Saturday noon. Interstate driving just makes you want to get there, doesn't it?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Another Sunday stroll

My daughter suggested (after reading my previous post) I return to some more beauty. So. Last Sunday night, I went on another lone stroll in the park that is a little way out of town. The pictures above were taken as I neared the end of my walk. (I'll probably post some other pics from the walk another time.) The sun was setting and some church friends were enjoying a parish picnic not too far away. They began singing, filling the quiet evening with beautiful Psalms. Through the pines, their voices found their way to me. Pine trees and Psalms - balm for my soul.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Now that's a growth spurt

(Art by Juan Carlos Bravo)

I know that I said I was the most interested in the 75 years ago column of "Days Gone By" in my hometown newspaper, but that 100 years ago column sure has been trumping it lately.

July 25, 1908
There is in New York an Italian family named Guitilla, who have an infant daughter 25 months old who weighs 110 pounds and adding to this weight at the rate of nearly a pound a week. She is the youngest of seven children who with the parents are normal size. She is healthy and strong in proportion to her size.
(The Wilmot Enterprise)

Children's author, Roald Dahl, comes to mind, doesn't he? Oh, what he could have done with this.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Beautification of the Backyard (Part 1)

So I was sitting outside on the kitchen deck enjoying the sun, resting with a book, and admiring the pale yellow centers of the baby pink bougainvillea bloom that was showing off right next to me.

My gaze moved to the vast expanse of "The Great Wall."

This is the view from the bedroom deck of the tail end of the far left wall, the middle, marigold wall, and part of the wall that is next to the stairs.

This is the view standing by the marigold wall looking down at the far left wall. These walls were built by my husband and son. The walls themselves were nearly finished four years ago before we left on Labor Day for our trip to the UK. ("The trip" has come to be known as the starting point of the kids' and my illness.)

My husband built the steps over the next summer or two. Last year, he put the flagstone down between the two stair levels and this spring he put top soil in the beds. All summer he "threatened" he was going to go pick out and bring home a bunch of plants to fill up the beds. Those kinds of threats usually get me moving, but any moving except trying to keep up with breadbaking, cooking, and doctor visits has been pretty non-existent. But this weekend looked to be different. Dh was off work from Thursday through Monday. Here was my "window" because of the extra help since he was home for longer then usual.

Yeah, we actually did it. Drum roll, please...

Excitement galore: Plants! Pretty Plants!

There has been an advantage to sitting outside and staring at those empty beds for so very many hours. I figured out what I wanted in them - well, in two of them anyway. I learned that walking into a nursery knowing what you want, is just as less agonizing as going to the video store knowing what you want. For once we came home from the nursery feeling a sense of accomplishment. No awful feelings such as "I think these will go somewhere," loomed while taking the plants out of the truck.

The gal who helped us knew her plants - sun needs, food and water needs, spring color, fall color, where they were located in the nursery, how many were left, if they were one sale, etc., so when I told her what I wanted - color, with a few evergreens, and a few perennials - she was right on it. You would have thought we were two old ladies out clothes shopping together we had so much fun. Dh found a wagon and gathered the selections. We found a place to line them up and look at them. How does that look? Do the colors go? Too much yellow? How should we accent? We looked at them at different angles, and hubby carted off what we didn't like. And do you know what? We came home with just what we needed.

The perennials will need to be purchased next spring. We're thinking of ornamental strawberries to grow down the bottom wall and a few catmint blues to intersperse in back of the yellow day lilies and pink roses. We hope to plant some bulbs this fall, too.

Okay, one bed down, two to go. Hmmph...tell that to the bank account. And let's not even think about the back fence. No, we can't even go there.

(P.S. Don't be fooled, the only work that I could contribute to the project was at the nursery, unless you count the supervision of the hole digging from my lawn chair.)