Monday, June 30, 2008


. . . is for LOVE!

There have been seven weddings in our family (six kids, seven weddings - I had the mulligan!) Dennis and Helen's was by far, hands down, the best! Perhaps because I'm older and wiser, more likely because they are older and wiser - but this event was fabulous. Even the record breaking 115 degree heat of Calabassas, CA didn't wilt the smiles, flowers or spirits of anyone involved.

Weddings always bring out the lovely girls; these are seven of the loveliest - Dennis and Helen's combined niece set!Their dance cards were quite full most of the evening. In fact, the one in the blue dress had to be carried to the car and into bed! (As did her mother - not so much from dancin'!)

Much love poured out from the new parents-in-law who adore their new daughter-in-law and she they! Can you tell?

It was grand! I loved every minute of weekend. But who doesn't love a good wedding - especially one where your own true LOVE is the officiant and presides over the ceremony of your little brother and his true LOVE.

L is for LOVE.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

I'm checking out for a bit. Kathryn and I leave this afternoon for San Diego. Tomorrow afternoon we will drive up to LA with my sister and her family to meet up with Jon and the rest of my entire extended family. There are big doings going on out there! My baby brother Dennis (all of 42!) is marrying his beloved Helen on Saturday. He is last of the six siblings to get married and so for my folks this must be a bittersweet celebration.
We all adore Helen but think she must be quite mad for wanting to marry into this mess of two parents, six children, 5 spouses, and 9 grandchildren that we call the "Endy Family".

But on the bright side, she does get me for a sister-in-law.

To Denny and Helen - we can't wait to be with you, to share this weekend with you. I know it's been a stressful few weeks months but it will all be over soon! And you will be sharing a life together. But first - let's party!!

"For wherever two or more of you are gather in his name, there is love, there is love."

Kathryn and I will then head back down to San Diego to spend a week with mySister and her family. Back on the 27th of June!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Father's Day

This year we celebrated Father's Day with Jon's family and although it's a much smaller gathering than my last year's Father's Day, it still contained a startling number of handsome gentlemen. . .

. . . and tender grandfather moments . . .
. . . and dogs, dogs, dogs!!!
Featured young men are Jon's nephews Max (sophomore at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin - striped shirt) and Sam (senior at Rudy Perpich High School for Performing Arts in Golden Valley, MN), and Papa Jim - Jon's dad and grandfather to Kate and the boys.
Featured dogs are Holli, Murphy (her cousin, a Golden Doodle) and Cooper (our neighbor Toy Poodle).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cooking Camp

Kathryn & two girlfriends were scheduled to take a four day camp this week which was cancelled due to low enrollment (I got you three kids - just how many did you need??). The two other moms and I, when faced with the realization that our girls now had four unscheduled days of - FREE TIME - decided to hold our own camps. I'm not a crafty-type mom (my personal crafts notwithstanding) but I have been spending time in the kitchen with Kathryn lately so we thought a baking school might be fun.

My students (Colleen and Tara) arrived by 9:30 this morning eager to start. First up were the super easy cinnamon rolls made with Pillsbury crescent rolls and marshmallows. These require so little but as you can see, the resulting products are pretty and appear to be quite satisfying!

After that, it was a "make your own brownie bar". Using the recipe off the Nestle's Unsweetened Chocolate box, we divided the brownie mix into muffin cups and then topped them off with whatever we wanted - chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, Heath Bar chips, cinnamon hots, coconut and sprinkles.
Those are cooling on the counter behind me right now. I am exercising remarkable restraint. The students all graduated with high honors from my camp.
The best part about going first is that you can set the bar REALLY high and make the other moms work that much harder for the next two days! Good luck Heidi and Laura!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

One Dad, Many Cards

Like most of you, I have one dad, just the one. Yet every year when I go into the "giant store for all that you need and even the stuff that you don't need yet somehow just decide you have to have" to stand in front of the giant wall of cards to buy my dad his one-of-a-kind, special Father's Day card, I come home with no fewer than 6.

There is my card for my dad, Kathryn's card for Jon, my card for Jon (technically NOT my dad, but I was responsible for his becoming a father and I think this warrants his at least receiving a card from me acknowledging this - plus they have a whole section of cards for "Husbands" so you have to figure I'm supposed to give him one!), Kathryn's cards to her two grandfathers (again - there are sections for these cards so they must be required, plus she is so lucky to have both of them, I feel like this should also be recognized with a card at the very least!), and then, since I'm there anyway, I pick up a card for Jon for his dad. Before Sammy joined the family, the animal used to give cards on these occasions. Animal cards do not change over very often. Tigger and Holli often gave the same Father's Day cards several years in a row.

I find this whole process very humorous. I buy one card for Mother's Day - for my mom - and we all sign it. But dads are different. They are unique and need to be singled out. Whether they are husbands, grandfathers, fathers-in-law or dads - they have to have their own cards.

To all of you who have any of these in you life, wish them a Happy Father's Day from me (and Jon, Kathryn, Holli, Tigger and Sammy too!!)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Up to the Challenge

The slower pace of summer and Kathryn's busy social and camp calendar have left me with enough time to join in on Carole's 10 Minutes A Day spinning group. I decided to spend my ten minutes early this morning, even before posting, and this is what I accomplished. See what even a few minutes a day can bring forth.

See how the mind's eye can fool you if you haven't had your caffeine yet. Truth be told, this small morsel had to be wound off and skeined as it was left unattended. Again, I foolishly left it to go grab some breakfast and tea. Someone else needed a little free running exercise and took off with the free end. I was lucky to be able to salvage this as the last batch was not so lucky.

I have plenty more to go; with just 10 minutes a day - in a Sammy free environment - I'll be done in no time.
This fiber is a super-wash,100% merino (Merlot Sparkle from The Ranches Angoras with a tiny bit of glitz. I'm having a bit of trouble that I believe you could attribute to beginner-ness. I could use a good reference book on understanding different fibers (long hairs, short hairs etc) and how they will spin or how I should draft / spin them. Any ideas for me? This particular fiber has what I would call, clots, in the darkest color; bits of fluff that have all gathered up together, nub-like, and don't lay flat. Not knowing what to do about these, I simply let them flow onto the spun fiber. It looks kind of dorky in parts and kind of fun in other parts. Definitely homespun. But I guess that's what it is, isn't it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I've been in bed long enough to watch the entire "Firefly" series, including "Serenity". I'm quite well rested and even my nurse abandoned me yesterday for a friend's house for the afternoon and a sleep over. I've had plenty of tea and water. Today, it's mind over matter. And the funeral of our neighbor's son. Even though he was 59 and they are in their 80s - no parent should have to bury a child.

Then maybe I'll come home and hug Kathryn a lot and climb back into bed and watch some movies with her.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Message from the Animals

Dear Mom's Blog Friends,

Mom is too sick to blog today. She got a bad, bad cold or something. Yesterday she came home from 4 hours of begging for volunteers for Oktoberfest (again!) and went to bed. Two of us kept her warm (the kitties); one of us kept just worrying 'bout her (Holli). Dad and Kathryn left her alone - prob'ly a really good thing 'cuz she was crabby! She's still kinda crabby today 'cuz she didn't sleep so good (kitties were fighting for who could sleep close enough to her 'cuz she had a lot of hot on her!) Also maybe she has stuff to do today like take Mrs. Stinky Pants Smelly dog to the groomer for a bath cuz she can't lick herself clean like cats can. Also she has to go get the rest of her hair colored to match the stuff that's growed in. AND Kathryn has to get her hairs all cut. Animals just have to lay around all day. We wish mom could do that too.


Holli, Tigger and Sammy - the most wonerfullest little kitten who did all the writing of this cuz Tig is too fat to reach the computer and Holli is just plain 'fraid of everything and I'm not scart of nuttin!!

Friday, June 06, 2008


. . . is for Kathryn.

My one. My only. My cherished and beloved daughter. There isn't a thing on this earth I could love more. She is wise beyond her years and teaches me everyday that I still have so much more to learn. It amazes me that this young lady is growing up to be confident and self-assured as these are not characteristics generally attributed to her mother while growing up. She is compassionate and caring to those around her. She shares her mother's innate sense of right and wrong and fairness - at times to a fault. Her faith is unquestioning; I'll give that a few more years but I can always hope for the best.

Clearly, I think she's perfect. And so it makes me sad to think I'll never see this smile again.

Nope - not this particular smile.
Because $6000 and two years from now, all those teeth will be straightened out and fixed up "just right."
And then I suspect I'll lose her to this group of fine young boysmen who never cared that her teeth were all over the place to begin with.

K is for my Kathryn.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

What Time Is It?

If you have a pre-teen, "Disney" girl, you know that the answer to that question is:

Party Time!
Tuesday was birthday day for the June birthdays in our Knitting Group. We have two back-to-back birthday girls , Sue and Peggy. Sandy's was in May, and we celebrated that too - but without a camera!

Peggy needed a little assistance and had to search for her scissors to cut her ribbon. Sue, on the other hand was able to tear right into her package.

Of course the camera battery died for the close-up shot so a description will have to do. The necklace each have four die-cut washers with one word or phrase on them. I selected the ones that remind me of each of them. So for Sue - friendship, journey, strength, to life. For Peggy - faith, mother, happy home, friendship. Sandy got one on her birthday too - dream, journey, friendship and I just can't remember the 4th one!, On the back of each washer is a blessing for each.

Birthdays or not, these are the among the most precious people in my life. In case I forget to tell them someday. they will always know, everyday, what they mean to me! Happy Birthdays girlfriends!

Monday, June 02, 2008


Life's little chores are finished; dinner is prepared or preparing; child is off with another family swimming; husband is returning home from bachelor party in Law Vegas. I am uncharacteristically alone on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. We know what that means.

Happy hour. One tall vodka and limeade, splash of soda, splash of pomegranate juice (to make it healthy) and a sprig of mint. I'm particularly pleased with myself for embellishing it even though it was just for me.
Oops. Well they say the first one is for thirst. BARTENDER . . . .! Damn, I thought someone would be home by now to make my second one. Ah, they'd probably never get the proportions just right.