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May 21 2008

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Menopause, the Weekend

Filed under Thought for the Day

I flew up to Massachusetts for a Sister Weekend with my 3 SisterDears! To say that we had a blast would be a monumental understatement! Here we are the first night, in our “Relaxing Clothes”!

My visit was a Big Secret, or so SisterDear2 and I had hoped! SisterDears 3 & 4 were just sure I was the BIG surprise when SisterDear2 asked them to reserve the weekend and plan to sleep over her house Friday & Saturday nights.

My very dear Brother-in-law was our Cabana Boy for the weekend! His self-chosen name for the entire weekend was Enrico Suave!! He was more than a good sport! He made home-made ravioli for me! He also cooked for us all weekend and fetched us wine whenever our glass was empty!

Actually, the BIG Surprise was that SisterDear2 had told her hubby that for her Mother’s Day gift she wanted tickets for all four of us for Menopause the Musical which was playing at the Stuart Street Playhouse in Boston. If it’s in your area, I wholeheartedly recommend seeing it!

We started the day with an early lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery, located in the heart of Boston’s Historic District and just down the street from the Theatre District. We ordered Improper Hopper Pale Ale, which we all agreed was quite yummy. Two of us ordered the Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Onion Rings and two of us ordered Steak Tips: the chicken was delicious and received 2 thumbs up, the steak tips were not enjoyed by either sister and unfortunately received 2 thumbs down. The Clam Chowder appetizers and Onion Rings were both absolutely marvelous!

Then we walked around Boston and I took tons of photographs!
I had forgotten how much I love Boston! We’re going back to “do” Boston in the fall!
My travelling day yesterday was simply exhausting. I actually missed my second flight because of air traffic in Boston, but all three of my flights were late. In trying to rush to my Gate to make my second flight, I arrived only to see my plane pulling away. Talk about adding insult to injury, I have a huge blister on the ball of my right foot to further add to my aggravation and frustration! The flights themselves were all quite enjoyable. I took many photos which I will share on some upcoming Sky Watch Fridays!

A now, in the spirit of Menopause, I leave you with a joke. I can relate only too well!

After starting a new diet I altered my drive to work to avoid passing my favorite bakery.

I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning, and as I approached, there in the window were a host of goodies. I felt this was no accident, so I prayed … ‘Lord, it’s up to you. If you want me to have any of those delicious goodies, create a parking place for me directly in front of the bakery.’ And sure enough, on the eighth time around the block, there it was!!!

God is so Good!

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May 01 2008

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Sister Weekends

Filed under Thought for the Day

Do any of you have Sisters? If you do, do you have a very close relationship?

I can’t imagine my life without my 3 SisterDears. They know all the worst things about me and they love me anyway! I live about 1500 miles away from them, but through the miracle of technology, we remain very close! Cell phones, email and blogs, gotta love it! Truth be told, with life happening everyday, school, sports, work…. something always happens so they can’t get together all that often. That is until I make my ‘annual trek’ up for our Sister Weekend! We all truly treasure our Sister Weekends.

I’ve been trying to decide when to go up this year. I usually go in July, but every 3-5 years I go up for Christmas. I wouldn’t want to completely forget how much I dislike snow and the bitter cold now would I? I finally decided! I have decided that this year I will go up for the Fall Foliage!! The last time I saw New England Fall Foliage was October 1993, and it was past its peak. So, I have decided to go up at the end of September this year. Plans are being made. Excited? Who me? Only completely!

We’re going to “do” Boston this year! Plans, we must make plans!! Faneuil Hall, The Paul Revere House, The Freedon Trail and Boston Common, the Old North Church, Bunker Hill Monument, the Museums… a Red Sox game!!! We’ll also do some sitting around the fire in our Norman hats sipping wine, listening to the piano and singing along in our relaxing clothes. Bliss!

Stock up the wine! Which restaurants shall we eat at? Decisions, decisions!

Oh, what fun we shall have!

Today is a very special day!

It is SisterDear4’s Birthday and her daughter/my niece’s Leann’s Birthday!

Happy Birthday, SD4! ~ Happy Birthday, Leann!

It’s also my beautiful gray boys’ Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Gandalf & Grayson!

Gandalf is 4 and Grayson is 5! Stop by and wish them a Happy Birthday!

7 responses so far

Mar 25 2008

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Today is my brother John’s funeral. The Service should be over in just a few minutes, actually. I did not attend, partly because our parents live with me here in Georgia and the services are in New England. They are just not up to the trip, emotionally or physically. It is too much for them to fathom, too much to face. Truth be told, I have never been one to attend funerals. If they were held months or even seasons past the pain and emotion, perhaps. But not so soon.

img010_web.jpgThis is the last Family Portrait where all of eight children and our parents were all together. It was taken at SisterDear3’s wedding, so I’m estimating it was 22 years ago or so. We were planning a new one for this summer.

MotherDear asked me to sign John’s Online Guestbook on behalf of our youngest brother who cannot attend. I searched for a poem I thought would suit them both. As I reread it, it makes me sweetly sad. I think they would both approve.


Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Love, Billy

By Christina Rossetti with thanks to The Poetry Foundation

5 responses so far

Mar 20 2008

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Oh, Brother

family4kids_web.jpgMy regular readers (all 3 of you) already know that I have 3 wonderful sisters. You may not recall that I also have 4 brothers. Three of the brothers have been estranged from the family due to heavy drinking and lifestyle choices that caused them to walk a path that we could not follow.

The oldest brother, who is 4 years my junior, had a heart attack a few years ago. At that time, his doctor told him that if he continued to drink he would surely die. Yesterday, sometime between 10:00AM and 1:00PM, he went into cardiac arrest. The doctor told MotherDear that there was nothing they could do for him and that it wouldn’t be long… With his 2 sons and 2 daughters with him, my parents oldest son died at 2:15 this morning. He would have been 49 in July.

My SisterDears and I are all experiencing the same surreal feeling, like the other shoe has dropped. We aren’t feeling anything in the way of grief that one might expect with the death of a brother, at least not as the adult he had become. It’s very odd, to say the least. I do feel incredible sadness for Dad & MotherDear.  It was devastating news for them, despite all the heartache my brother had put them through over the years. They certainly have no reason to have regrets; they did far more than any reasonable person could expect of parents. They never gave up hope for him. Sad to say this, but I gave that up about 20 years ago.

I also feel sad for my brother’s 4 children and 2 grandchildren. I don’t know them as well as I might have liked because of the lack of relationship with my brother. They haven’t exactly had idyllic childhoods. They had to grow up without ever knowing how wonderful it would be to have a good role model for a father. The boys have a really good mother, thankfully. His daughters, from another union weren’t as lucky and have grown up in foster care for the last 10 years. I can’t imagine what the future holds for them, but I sure hope it’s much better than their past.

john_tina_xmas1964.jpgI will remember John as he was when he was a young boy full of promise. Poor kid. He had 3 older sisters and then another sister after he was born. We had him surrounded. He finally got his wish to have brothers and then he spent the rest of his life teasing them. He also seemed to take particular delight in tormenting the youngest SisterDear. Right, Miss Piggy?

Maybe he is at peace now.

12 responses so far

Mar 09 2008

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Weekend Snapshot: Mowing his new grass

button1.gifDad’s mowing his newly planted grass.

Some areas are coming up much better than others. For instance this area at the back fence… not so good! Dad ran out of seeds.

This area gets “2 Paws Up” from Grayson!

Weekend Snapshot Participants

1. SnoopyTheGoon
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3. eastcoastlife
4. poor man’s nicole richie
5. Haydee
6. MyBellavia
7. liza
8. Carver

Learn more about Weekend Snapshot here.

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Mar 05 2008

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Precious and Few


It was a lovely Christmas morning. Me, my SisterDears and brothers were joyfully opening our gifts. Later in the day we were having a large family gathering, my favorite kind of Christmas! Nana Gert, Auntie Jeanne and her family were coming to have Christmas dinner with us. I had crocheted a peach-colored scarf and hat for Nana and I couldn’t wait for her to open  it!! It was going to be a most wonderful Christmas Day!

I had just opened a gift. It was a brand new 45 that I’d been wanting so badly, Precious and Few by Climax.

The phone rang and MotherDear answered. I heard the most mournful sound come from her mouth. Nana Gert had died during the night at Auntie Jeanne’s. She had fallen asleep in the rocking chair, knitting a last minute gift for somebody. The doctor said she had likely fallen asleep and had a stroke during the night. She never knew anything.

nana_gert.jpgThe rest of that day is just a blur, the only other thing I remember from that day is that I went downstairs to the basement and spent the entire day and long into the night crying my heart out. I played that 45 over and over and over again. I literally wore it out, remembering my Nana and missing her so badly it was physically painful.

It was the first time in my life that I realized that I had to treasure each moment with somebody who I love. From that moment, I am always mindful that it might be my last opportunity to share time with them. Because none of ever knows when the last moment in time may come.

Visit here if you’d like to do your own Message in a Bottle, you do not have to be tagged. I chose to combine mine with a post because Nana Gert was my inspiration for my Message.

4 responses so far

Mar 04 2008

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Candy Gram

an00020a.gifDid I ever tell you about the time my BIL nearly killed MotherDear? BIL was traveling on business and was only a few hours from the Deep South so he decided to surprise us for a short visit. He rented a car and drove to the Yellow House, armed with wine and beer. Oh yes, he is and will always be my favoroite BIL!

Dad was taking his afternoon nap. The doorbell rang. MotherDear looked through the peephole, but it was covered. So she meekly asked..

Who’s there?

Candy Gram.

Excuse me, but Who is there, please?

Candy Gram.

MotherDear quickly turned the dead bolt on the door and ran down the hall like a Thundering Herd of Elephants, terror mounting all the way. (Yes, she is still quite spry!)

She shook Dad awake saying “Someone’s at the door and he won’t tell me who he is. He just keeps saying ‘Candy Gram’ and he’s covered up the peephole”.

Dad got up, walked down the hall and looked through the peephole. Because BIL had tipped his head down, all Dad could see was BIL’s hat. Dad opened the door. 

BIL was now in stitches, and no doubt, feeling quite pleased with himself.

Even after several seconds of staring at BIL, Dad & MotherDear were in total shock and couldn’t register who this Land Shark was.


Needless to say, we won’t be doing that anymore. I explained to BIL that while Land Shark is quite amusing, Dad is now 79 years old and MotherDear is 73, and somehow they didn’t appreciate the humor in it quite as much as he did. It may be a good idea to call ahead next time.

And bring more wine!

5 responses so far

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