Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

I "cherish" God's greatest gift of love that we celebrate in this season!


Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

We scaled way back on decorating this year...I think the issues with my Mom have sapped some of my Christmas spirit, but we still have a tree and some of our treasured decorations placed out here and there.
Enjoy the peek inside our humble abode!

My very first "real" cross-stitch piece ever...I saw this in a magazine at a yard sale and wanted to stitch this for our home.  I loved it then and I love it now...

The very first ornament I bought for my sweetie.  We were still "long-distance" dating and I wanted him to have something special for his tree, especially when we weren't together.  We are both "eggnog hogs", so this seemed like a perfect ornament for him.

This angel is so precious to me.  My dad bought this for me the year I was born.  I was a Christmas baby and he wanted "an angel for his angel".  This poor little angel looks older and more worn every year but she hasn't missed a year being the topper on my tree.  I shed tears every year she goes up, I miss my dad so much.  Now my dad is celebrating Christmas with the real angels in heaven.

I love my snowman lamps....

Could Christmas be complete without a dancing Santa?  LOL  My mom bought this for Ian when he was little...Unfortunately,  this Santa has followed us on every move we've ever made.  LOL

I bought these lighted "twigs" and the glass container a few days ago.  It's definitely a work in progress...the bow is about as far as I've gone with this.  I seriously need a trip to Hobby Lobby to get some "fillers".  The container is filled with sand...hey, we live in Florida!  It works!  :)  Our entryway is a round "rotunda".  It's hard to  find things to decorate round walls with - I thought the twigs/container were a nice solution...use your imagination, if you will.  I can see red fillers and hearts for Valentines, greenery and shamrocks for St. Patricks Day.  Wait, I'm getting way ahead of myself!  For right now, just imagine these lonely twigs being interspersed with red and green for Christmas.   :)

What would a pantry door be without Santa?  (I made this old fellow from a bleach bottle years ago)

I hope you've enjoyed your tour of some of our Christmas cheer!  May you all have a blessed holiday season!!!  :)

I "cherish" Christmas memories - old and new....


Monday, December 05, 2011

Diary of a Christmas Tree - Florida Style! :)

Ian had the most amazing opportunity last week and I want to share it with ya'all.  Ian was able to take a sand-sculpting class with a professional sand sculptor.  Jim Smith has won many awards and has sculpted for various Disney events and for lots of towns in Florida.  Jim started by showing Ian the basics of the trade.  Above is a pic of Ian's first "project" - an arch.  :)   I initially thought that this was just going to be a "play in the sand" class, but oh my, it was SO MUCH MORE!!!!

The business where Ian took the class is just opening up and is going to be offering sand sculpting classes as part of their artistic offerings.  The owner of the business requested a holiday-themed display in the huge "sandbox" in the front of the store.  After some basic design ideas, the hard work really began in earnest.
The guys had to  build the foundation for a Christmas tree.  When I saw this picture, I was a lilttle skeptical that it would ever amount to a "tree"...

The next day,  the barrels of sand grew into this:

Can you see it now?  You haven't seen anything yet!!!

But wait, there's more!!!

Don't you love the lights????

And don't forget the presents!

I "cherish" living in Florida on the beach and having such wonderful opportunities open up for Ian.  We can't wait to see what we can build on our own, now that we understand the "basics".  Anyone want to come wiggle their toes in the sand with us?  We don't have snow or hot chocolate but we have sand, waves and sweet tea!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I think I'll name him "Cyclops"...

Here's a progress shot of my wolf buddy.  I am just having the most fun with this piece.  Stitching this design for someone I love so much  has just been a joy.  Ian is so excited to watch this stitching grow...and his enthusiasm is definitely contagious!  I'm stitching this in four sections, so "Cyclops" is going to be stuck with having just one eye until I get to section 3.  LOL

I *cherish* having a son who "hearts" wolves.


Bad Blogger Mama....

First off, I'm sorry about neglecting my blog for the last little while...I mean it, I'm REALLY sorry!  You want to know what a small part of the reason is that I'm sorry?  Because I'm a mom.  Yup, that's why.  A homeschooling mom to boot.  As Paul Harvey used to say, here's the "rest of the story".

As you know, my mom's health and mental stability have been on a rapid decline.  Being real here, it has not been easy to be my mother's daughter.  Because we're a family, it's been hard on all of us...not just on me.  Ian has tried to be such a rock for his mama, but from time to time, the pain of dementia strikes a  little too close to his heart as well.  Since he is definitely his mama's son, he has an inherited tendency to hold painful things inside and let them build up and build up and so on, until, it all spills out in an unpredictable moment.   He had one of those unpredictable blowing off steam moments this past week.  Bless his heart.  He's hurting in his own way and isn't quite sure how to express himself and let his emotions not be held inside so much.  I suggested that he might want to start keeping a journal.  He could write random things, whatever he feels like talking about, on the pages of his book. I really think it might help.  Nice mom moment, BUT - the not-so-little smarty pants said, "Hey Mom, isn't that what your blog is supposed to be???????????"   (Yes, I'm sure there were that many question marks behind the question when he asked it!)  LOL      "Mom, when's the last time you up-dated your blog???????"  (There are those darn question marks again!)   "Mom, you should really send yourself to the principal's office...because you have been a very bad blogger."   Can you tell he wants to be an attorney?

Can you also tell that he's right?

So, I apologize - I need my little blog.  I enjoy blogging.  And I do LOVE my blogging buddies!!  Could any of you possible know that sometimes when I have a few minutes, I'll go blog-hopping and just browse what you're up to and you cheer me up?  I most often don't leave comments (please don't tell Ian - he'd probably want me to write, "I will leave comments on blogs" 100 times, by hand, and have it turned in by tomorrow).  LOL 

Anyway, I love just peeking in and checking on you.  Your blogs never fail to brighten my day and put a smile on my face.  (unless something sad has happened in your life.  In that case, I stop right there and whisper a prayer for you - honest!)  Thanks for being there:  for sharing your lives, your talents, your abilities, your spirits, your blessings and your trials with me.  AND, thank you for the great comments you leave for me. Sometimes, an awful lot of encouragement can be found in a simple sentence or two.

I will try to be a better blogger.  Both as a writer and as a commenter.

Especially if it means that I won't be a "do as I say, not as I do" parent!   :)

I "cherish" a reality check from time to time!


Saturday, November 05, 2011

I *HEART* Our Son!

So, our not-so-little guy played in a tennis tournament today.  This was a tough tournament for him for a variety of reasons.  This was his first tournament since July and the upset of my mom's issues.  This also was a higher-tier tournament and his first time playing "up" into a new age group.  He played two matches today and took both matches to tie-breakers.  We were really proud of how well he stepped-up to the challenge!  He didn't win - but to get both matches to tie-breakers was a great achievement for him.  Having said that - the thing that we're MOST proud of .......drumroll, please...........  Ian was awarded the Sportsmanship Award.  How awesome is that????  Honestly, this award means more to us that any other trophy he could have brought home.   Ian has a gentle soul and doesn't ever hesitate to congratulate his opponents on good shots and he always tries to be fair with his calls.  His coach actually gets on him because he tends to a little too generous with his line calls...LOL.  Ian may not have won this tournament but I'm glad he's living by the adage "nice matters".  Now, if I can just remember to follow his example in my own life!  :)

I "cherish" being Ian's mom!


TUSAL - October

I asked my little panda buddy to hold my orts for this month and he happily agreed.  I love this little guy!
I'm participating in Daffycat's TUSAL.  I love watching the colors of the orts on top change colors.

I "cherish" my panda friends.  :)


Friday, October 14, 2011

The things you do for your kids.... :)

This is my current project.  I normally am not much of a kit person, but I am SO loving this for a lot of reasons....the main one being that my not-so-little son picked out this kit his very self and asked me to stitch it for him.  :)

Ian LOVES wolves and anything wolf-related.  He says that when he plays tennis he has the heart of a wolf (pack leader position, of course!  LOL) so when he saw this kit, he claimed it.

I told him that he'd probably be about 27 before I get this finished and that after I put all the work into this, he'd better not ever stop loving wolves.  Hee hee.

After my stitching sessions are over, he always wanders over to my stitching corner to see how my progress is coming along.  It's fun that he's so encouraging!

This is my progress shot  -

I know, it's looks more like a horse or cow or blob instead of a wolf, but I think I'm moving in the right direction.  :)

I'm having so much fun watching a wolf grow out of my blank fabric and floss.  I'm pretty sure that this will be my main focus project for a while. 

I "cherish" stitching something so personal for someone I love so much!


Thursday, October 06, 2011

A cartload of pumpkins

I can honestly say that these were pumpkins stitched in pain.  My mom's dementia has reared it's ugly head in a way that none of us saw coming.  She has decided to shut members of her family out of her care.  She doesn't want us involved in any way in her care or her life.  I have had so much pain over this...the more I try to get in, the further I get pushed away.  I've realized (after much prayer and many tears) that there is just nothing I can do at this moment...I am locked out of her heart (and her life and her medical decisions) and I don't have the key.  She has changed her power of attorney, her will and her medical directive.

I have had more than a few rough days lately.  Bless my hubby's heart - at my lowest point, he told me not to worry, his faith can be big enough for the both of us right now...that made me love him even more than I ever thought possible.  I also want to say thank you to all those who have taken the time to leave a comment, e-mail me and think of us or say a prayer.  I am more grateful than you could ever know, please believe me.

Some of the brightest things that have come out of this awful mess is that I've gotten close to my sister and brother-in-law and my sweet great aunt, who is an angel who walks among us.  If you ever need to be lifted up, go visit my great aunt...she makes homemade candy that tastes like it should only be served in heaven AND she gives the best hugs in the world.  When you leave her home, you know you're loved, no matter what.  My faith is also growing - some days even when I don't "want" it to stretches to meet my needs.  I am trying to "cast my burdens on the Lord" but in my human-ness, I keep trying to be a control freak and taking them back.  My life and faith is a work in progress - - - I think I've finally started to accept that.  The serenity prayer keeps coming to mind...

Now, on to my pumpkins!  This was a fast, fun stitch for me and I loved stitching with the Autumn colors!  The fall hues are always my very favorite colors to work with.  :)

This will probably be my last "finish" for a while.  Every year, I always stitch Christmas gifts for various people in my life.  With all the on-going turmoil, we've decided just to go the gift-card route this year for everyone except hubby and son.  I want to just stitch for fun and relaxation, not on a dead-line. Hopefully next year, I'll have lots of gifts made and ready to go.

Ian loves wolves and asked me to stitch a wolf for him.  He picked a design that he really likes so I'm having fun getting started on that.  I think I'm going to try and make 2012 the year that I really concentrate on finishing some of the designs that I have in my stash.  Somehow, a lot of UFO's have made it to the bottom of my stitching basket and I'd like to get them finished.   It's easy to say this now...just wait, I bet a bunch of designers are out there right now working their magic, creating more patterns that I'll "have" to have and make me blow my resolution right out of the water.  We'll see....  :)

 Again, thanks so much for all your support!

I "cherish" each and every one of you!


TUSAL - September

I know I'm late with my TUSAL report this month...but I can honestly say that this September has been one of the hardest months of my life.  I'll post more about it in a later post, but suffice to say, dementia stinks...both for the patient and the patients' family...

I like looking at the jar when it comes to this time of year...I can see the pastels of spring topped with the oranges, greens and rusts of Autumn.

I'm looking forward to happier times with more stitching time to add more orts to my 2010 collection.

I "cherish" the tough times that make us strong.... my faith has had to grow in ways that I never imagined that it could...


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rockin' the Happy Dance!

This is such a special finish for me.  The Battle Hymn of the Republic was my Dad's favorite hymn. He wanted it played at his funeral and to this day, hearing it can bring a tear to my eye because I remember my Daddy's humming this tune so often during my growing-up years...  So, Daddy - this one's for you....

Battle Hymn of the Republic by Little House Designs...stitched on recommended fabric and using recommended floss.

I "cherish" memories of my Dad...


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Finding Peace....

I'm not quite sure how to start this post or even what exactly I want to say...but here goes.  This is painful to write, but since my blog is part of our family history, I'm just going to be honest and write what comes to my heart....

As I mentioned previously, my mom was diagnosed with dementia.  (I lost my Dad to Alzheimer's).  Both  are terrible diagnosis which can rob you of your loved ones in a long good-bye.

While we were in Ohio, my mom's disease spiraled out of control, to the point where we became a true irritant to her.  The disease won and drew a "line in the sand" in our relationship.  My mom is receiving the best care that can be provided at this point and from there, I'm placing her in God's hands and trust and have faith that He will bless her in meeting her needs that I just can't meet.  There's a lot more I could write about how awful this situation is and how truly sad I am - but, I'm trying to be grateful for what I do have and  not focus quite so much on what I don't have (and never again will have) in a relationship with my mom.  It's a burden that we as a family have been challenged to deal with and we'll cope as best we can.

I have to say that I have the best hubby and son in the world...they have shown me nothing but compassion and unconditional love.  I pray that I might reflect their grace with me onto others...  Having said that, I just have to share what my sweet Ian did for not-so-little son bought these beautiful flowers to help cheer up his mama.  This was such a touching gesture on his part - and I might just have to remember this the next time he gets a little lazy and barks a little bit about keeping his room clean.  :)

As I love to do, I have turned to my stitching for comfort. There's just something about the rhythm of putting floss to fabric that soothes me.  This is my progress on Little House's "Battle Hymn of the Republic".  I'm heading towards the finish line on this one and hope that I can do a happy dance before too long.  :)

Hug your family and hold them close - let's never forget how 9-11-01 changed each of us...  There truly is no place like home...

I *cherish* my faith that sustains me through the trying times...


Friday, September 02, 2011

TUSAL - August (and my feline nephew, too!)

Since we're on the regular oer jar has turned into an ort baggie,,,So, I VERY humbly submit my pitiful little sandwich bag with this month's additions:

I want to give a big shout-out to my BEAUTIFUL, favorite (okay, so he's my only,,,) feline nephew, Max.  Max allowed me to use a floor of his kitty condo to take the pic of my orts.
Max has generously allowed my sister and her hubby to share their beautiful home with us for a few days.  (L-O-N-G story as to why we're not still at my mom's. but that's a post for another day)...Anyway, without further pause (paws???  LOL), please allow me to introduce his royal nephew-ness, Max.....
Our poor little pup, Tea Tsu is SOOOOO intimidated by Max, she just doesn't know what to do.  Max out-weighs our dog by about 8 pounds, and literally has had our dog cornered on more than one occasion.  LOL

Enjoy the pics and have fun envisioning our dog being "tree'd" repeatedly by a cat!

I *cherish* "my" Max and time spent with my wonderful sister and brother-in-law.



Monday, August 22, 2011

Okay God, You have my attention....

What a dang-blasted, stressful week this has been!  It's been one of those weeks when I keep asking "what else could go wrong?" and God, in His sense of humor, keeps showing me what else could go wrong....

First off, I have to say a great BIG thank you to all of my sweet on-line friends who took the time to write me such sweet, encouraging notes of comfort and offers to let me vent.  Ya'all are treasured more than you could ever imagine!  Just knowing that other people care and pray and understand and think of my mom and me makes a world of difference!
Okay, here we go.... I've learned that my mom is in sort of a "donut hole" when it comes to medical care.  She has long-term care insurance, but PROVING that she NEEDS long-term care is proving to be head-banging impossible!  She has been diagnosed with dementia and congestive heart failure and kidney failure, but apparently, that's not enough for the long-term care folks.  I can't tell you how often I've had to literally sleep with one ear open so that I can hear the medicine cabinet door open (she goes in search of pain pills or pills that she's sure she's forgotten to take,,,I'm sure she hasn't).  The pills have been hidden away along with the car keys.  She can barely stand up without getting dizzy and short of breath - I can't imagine what she'd do behind the wheel of a I'm making sure that WON'T happen.  She's given me holy heck for "hiding" her pills and keys, but I have to do what I can to try and keep her safe.
Then...On Friday night, our little sweetie fur baby had a seizure.  She seemed to recover okay, but we watched her closely through the night on Friday.  When she woke up on Saturday, she had a stroke!  She had no control of any of her legs, her head lolled to one side, her tongue hung out one side of her mouth and her eyes wouldn't focus correctly.  We'd call her name and she'd try to look around but she couldn't focus in the right direction.  She'd try to walk, but her feet would go out from under say we were terrified is an under-statement!  We were in a strange town and needed a skilled vet!  We were so blessed to find the sweetest, most patient, skilled vet in the world right in this little town!  Dr. S. was great!  She gave our sweetie a very thorough going-over!  Her theory is that the dog might have licked one of my mom's flowers which may have had fertilizer on it.  (My mom has a HUGE yard that has LOTS of flowers!).  Her second theory (which she said was less likely, but still possible, is that the dog picked up on our stress level and stressed herself out).  Long story short, after an I.V. and careful watching, our fur baby seems to be getting back to her happy, attention-demanding self!  We are so grateful on soooooo many levels.  I just can't imagine what would have happened to us if we would have lost our baby in the middle of all the rest of the mess we find ourselves in.  Who could not love this little face????
We're also a little also concerned about Hurricane Irene...we live right on the beach and if it gets a little too close to the coast of Florida, I'm not sure what we're going to do...

Anyway, it's been a bad/good week.  We still don't know what we're going to do with my mom, but my fur baby is going to be okay and around to beg us for treats for hopefully a long time!  We're praying that the hurricane heads off to sea and doesn't affect anyone anywhere!  I know that the people in the Bahama's are in the target - I pray that they stay safe and suffer only minimal, easily-repairable damage.

Again, bless you all and thanks for all the love and support!!!

I "cherish" each one of you!!!!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Trying to adjust....

Well, I made it to my mom's.  I was really hoping that she would allow me to be a blessing to her and give her the help that she needs...unfortunately, it's just not working out that way.

When I got here, she was in the hospital because she had let her blood sugar levels go over 700.  (normal is between 80-120, from what I understand).  She's diabetic.  When she was in the hospital, she was combative and confused and to quote a nurse, one of her more "difficult" patients in recent memory.  When mom came home, upon discharge, the Dr.'s noted that she had issues with confusion.  What we thought was alzheimers is really dimentia.  Unfortunately, caring for my mom is becoming more and more difficult by the day.  Her Physical Therapist came by the house today and told her that he could only help her as much as she would let him.  She was very stubborn with him and on the way out, he told me that I should put some sort of warning notice sign on our lawn.  LOL.  We've hit the point where, in my mom's eyes, I'm doing nothing right and I'm just making her life difficult.  She's having trouble with remembering when (or if) she's taken her medicine and gets obstinate with me when I try to help her.
Being honest, the stress is really weighing on me...I'm just praying, praying, praying at this point.  At her appointment this morning, she actually apologized to the Dr. because I'm so "ugly".  Argh!  Her Dr.'s are working on a plan for her care for both the short-term and the possible long-term and I'm just waiting for the cavalry to show up.  (BTW, there is no cavalry...I just keep hoping!)  LOL

I haven't had any time at all to stitch, but I'm REALLY hoping that soon (VERY SOON!!!!), I'll be able to relieve some stress and put thread to fabric.

In the meantime, I'm trying to hang in there and realize that this is just a horrible disease with horrible consequences.

I'd really appreciate any love, thoughts or prayers you could send our way!

I'm "cherishing" being here to help my mom, whether it seems like I'm really "helping" or not....


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

You knew I just had to do it!

A tip 'o the hat from the cutest not-so-little tennis player in our family!!!  Plus, a pic of our ever-growing trophy shelf!  Win or lose, this sweet fellow is a keeper!!!  :)
I *cherish* this little sweetie more than life itself.  I'm so blessed to be his Mama!!


August - TUSAL

This should be called my "totally pitiful stitch-a-long" instead of "totally useless stitch-a-long".  Gotta love  Daffycat! I've put in a few stitches here and there but not nearly as many as I would've liked.  Now, if you wanted to see our tennis ball hopper(s) - (yes, we have more than one), I think you'd be pretty impressed with the amount of little yellow bouncy balls we've collected.  Not so much happening on the stitching front - but, someday, my needles may start smokin' again!
Our not-so-little fellow has been burning through tournaments this season!  I have quite a few trophy shots to post of him, hopefully in the not-too-distant future!  :)

My mom's heath is rapidly declining again, so I'm off to care for her as best I can.  I'll be doing the next few blogging bits from her home.

In the meantime, keep hugging those loved ones, keep those stitches crossing, the tennis balls bouncing, and most important of all - keep "cherishing" each and every moment of the ride!


Monday, July 11, 2011

TUSAL - July

Finally, a post from me!  Whew - busy, busy, summer!!  :)
There's been a just a tiny bit of stitching happening - here's my TUSAL...not much, but it's growing ort by ort.

I *cherish* the moments I get to fill my jar.


Saturday, June 04, 2011

Pneumonia, Caffeine and Stitching!

Whew - I think I just put my whole entire blog entry in my post title!  First things first, my not-so-little guy has pneumonia.  Ugh.  He's felt kinda funky the past couple of weeks and then we went from funky to really sick in a matter of a couple of days.  He's feeling better than he was - this mama is SO grateful!  If you get a minute, please say a prayer, or think a good thought for him? 

Now, as to the caffeine, my sweetie knows of my affinity for all things Starbucks.  This was a good thing (in a way), because of a couple of health issues I have, my Dr. recommended that I add more caffeine consumption into my day.  One of my biggest complaints (other than price!) about Starbucks is that I'd find myself wanting a  tea or light mocha frappe' at weird times of the day (or night).  Sometimes, it's just not convenient to get out of your jammies and head out to Starbucks.  So, my sweetie ordered this little magic machine for me. 
I LOVE it!!!!  I can make any kind of frappe' I want at any time I want!  Yes, I probably could make the same thing with a coffee pot and a blender, but this machine just makes it sooooo easy!  It takes about 2 minutes start-to-finish and clean-up is a breeze.
(No, I don't work for Mr. Coffee or get paid in any way from sharing this) I just really love this little baby!  My hubby knows just how to keep me a happy camper!  :)

On the stitching front, I stitched a quick little gift for a friend, but because it's a giftie, I can't share it just yet.  I DID have a finish though - yippee!!  It's been a while since I've been able to say those words!  In other stitching news, I'm still working on my Battle Hymn of the Republic piece.  Here's the latest progress pic.

I just love this piece - give me my "mighty bright" magnifier, some lubricating eye salve and hey, I'm in forward progress mode.  :)   I'm hoping that this will move to the finish pile before "too" long.  :)

Thanks again for good thoughts for Ian, for visiting my blog and for sharing all your blogs with me.

I "cherish" medicine that helps Ian feel better, a sweet hubby that is loving and generous and for too many other things to even list right now!


TUSAL - June

It's growing!  Now, if I just had finishes to go along with the orts!  LOL,  I'm working on it!!  :)


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

There be stitching going on....

FINALLY, a stitchity up-date from me!!!  My eyes have been improving (I'm SO very grateful and feel SO very blessed!) and so, I've found a bit more time to stitch!  Yippee and yee-haw!  My eyes still get sore and let me know that I'm over-doing it, but the stretches of "good" times are improving.  :)
This is my current piece. Little House Needlework's "Battle Hymn of the Republic".  This was my Dad's favorite song so it means a lot to me to be stitching it in remembrance of him.  Also, our guest bath has a red, white and blue theme, so it will be a perfect fit when it gets finished, framed and hung in there.

Ian's whack-a-doodle non-stop tennis schedule, practices, and season has started up again, so it feels like it's 24-7 tennis at our house.  I have a small Bent Creek design that I take for "on the go" times...but, I usually get so caught up in yacking with the other tennis mom's, that I forget to stitch.  Also, I've discovered that it's pretty tough to keep an eye on the matches and stitch at the same time.  Ah...such is the life that I'm so blessed to live!

I "cherish" that my eyes are getting better!!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Griswold Family Funeral

Has anyone ever seen the "Vacation" movies with Chevy Chase?  They're sort of an "everything that could go wrong, does go wrong" genre of comedy.  They certainly aren't "high brow", but....sometimes, if you don't laugh, you cry.  This past week, WE became the "Griswold's."
With that being said, let me tell you about our trip...

 My sister-in-law's funeral was in Connecticut, so we flew into Boston, which was the closest major airport.  The trip TO Boston was smooth as could be.  We landed right on time, picked up the rental car, checked into our hotel and GPS'd our way to Connecticut.  The viewing was lovely and it was great to see family members that we haven't seen for a long time.  Just have to say here - doesn't my sweetie son look good in a suit?  :)

After the viewing, back to our hotel.  So far, so good.  (In case I forget to mention this later, Connecticut is LOVELY in the spring).

Okay, cue the organ music (you know that music in really bad old movies that you hear right before something bad happens?  Yup - that's the music that would begin playing on this part of our trip.)

First off, the minister that normally would have officiated was "elderly" and ill (bless his heart) and just couldn't make the funeral.  So, the search was on for a stand-in.  (Note to self - NEVER, EVER let someone eulogize you who has never met you).  The stand-in was a lovely gentleman and I'm sure the service would have been beautiful IF he had gotten my sister-in-law's name right during the funeral.  He kept calling her by another name the entire time!  We kept looking at each other, wondering if we should stop the sevice and let him know that he was messing up the name...but the message was nice, (if not personal, LOL), so the family let it go.
On the drive back to the church from the cemetary, my hubby was struggling a bit.  This passing was such a shock and I think it started to sink in at the burial.  As hubby was releasing his sorrow, a HUGE goose did a MAJOR size "poo-poo" right in front of the driver's side of the windshield.  My hubby immediately said, "Friedie, that wasn't nice - now cut that out!".  We decided that that was his sister's revenge for us not speaking up at the funeral to have her name corrected.  We laughed so hard, we were in tears.  I have to say - that was a really nasty bomb - HUGE, I tell ya - HUGE!  We were sure glad it happened on a rental and not our personal car.  LOL       (just an aside here - the church ladies put on a wonderful post-funeral spread - it was a yummy, sweet gesture and the family is much-appreciative that ya'all treated us so kindly).  After lunch, we GPS'd back to Boston and got ready for a bit of sight-seeing and relaxing.
Minus the in-accuracy at the funeral and the MAJOR "poo-poo", we were still standing.

The next day was spent touring Boston.  Here are some of my favorite pics - -

This is the "one if by land, two if by sea" church
Paul Revere statue

Boston City Skyline
The building that is shown at the beginning of the TV show, "Cheers"

Forget all the history stuff...the only place Ian wanted to go when we were in Boston, was to see Harvard Law School.  His dream is to go to Harvard's law school.  His dad and I are hoping the family budget will hold out through his first four years of college.   :)   Hold on to your dreams, son!  Dream big, work hard and pray much - you can do anything your heart leads you to do!!!! 
Entrace to Harvard
Harvard Law School
Tuckered-out tourist
(I think Ian picked one of the prettiest spots in Boston for a bit of a rest)  :)

Enough with the pictures, already! :)    After a busy day of touristy stuff, we headed back to our hotel for some rest and relaxation.  (There was a minor incident involving our dinner, but compared with what was to come, I'll avoid mentioning the details of our "dinner that wasn't really dinner".  I think food has to be un-frozen with NO ice-crystals before you can call it "food" - just my opinion, though.) Moving right along...the hotel we stayed at had a lovely indoor pool and hot tub...just what these tired tourists needed.  (Don't forget that scary organ music - dun, dun, dun....
So, we're in the pool, having a grand time (and of course, I decided to go for it and get my hair wet and everything), when....the fire alarm goes off!!!!!  Now, if I'm in a fire, I think one of the best places to be is in a swimming pool.  Am I right??  Well, the hotel staff didn't quite see it that way and suggested that we get out of the pool.  So, dripping wet, we head out to safety.  Picture this with me, if you will....first off, we were the only ones in the pool during the fire "incident", so while all the other guests had the good sense to be in "normal" clothes, we were standing around in swim-wear.  Can I just be honest here and tell you that a bathing suit is not exactly my best look?????   Talk about feeling like a fish out of water (pun intended).  Imagine making small talk with well-dressed folks while you're standing in your bathing suit and trying to cover yourself with about 60 towels in a losing attempt at making your hips and thighs look about 4 dress-sizes smaller than you really are. Sigh....
The fire turned out to be on our floor but thank goodness, it was VERY small with just some minor smoke damage.  Shout-out to the folks at the Marriot suites.  The staff was apologetic and very  accomodating. They made a great effort at making up for the inconvenience.

Okay, now that that trauma was over with, it was time to head home.  First off, I get pulled out of line for a security check.  I get that security is what it is and that in today's world, it's a fact of life for an airline passenger - but me?  Really???  I mean, I couldn't look any more like a soccer mom if I tried!  I'm thinking that they were just looking for the crazy lady who was experiencing post-traumatic bathing-suit snarky hubby and my snarky son relished the thought that I was the TSA's poster girl and they walked away, no sweat.  Anyway, I cleared the check-point and went on my merry way.
Time to board - whoops, weather delay.  Time to board again - whoops, air traffic control delay.  Whoops - new gate assignment, another delay.  Then, the BIG whoops - the tail of our plane was struck by lightening, which took off an antena and put a hole in our tail.  This was a BIG delay as there now needed to be a new plane sent to replace the one that had been damaged....this also put us in a position of missing a connecting flight.  I'm sure grateful that this happened when we were readying for take-off and not in the air!!  Again, we were blessed with a great staff - the airline folks worked really hard at making things as easy as possible for us.  (Of course, I think it also helped that we weren't standing at the counter SCREAMING at the poor gate agents.  I couldn't believe how some people were treating the agents.  It wasn't their fault that the plane got a "boo-boo".  So many times, the announcement was made that if people would just sit down, they would be called to the counter and all arrangements would be made once they (the employees) had all the information.  (Did I mention that the computers all decided to slow WAY down at this time...Oh, I didn't? Well, they did...more organ music!!!)  I understand travel frustrations, (believe me, I REALLY understand travel frustrations) but honestly, is SCREAMING any way to help the situation?  Okay, off my soap-box...
We finally got on our way and landed at our connecting point with only ten minutes to spare.  We ran (on my two bad knees, mind you!) to the gate listed on the monitors, only to find that the gate number had changed!  Argh!  Of course, the new gate was at the other end of the terminal, so off we went running again.  Luckily, we made that flight and FINALLY started the last leg of our journey.
Once we landed in Orlando, we collected our baggage and went to get our car.  (We had parked off-site of the airport, that made parking much cheaper!)  Mind you, because of delays, we didn't land until about 1:00 AM.  So, we called for the shuttle and waited.  And waited. AND waited, AND WAITED.  Still no shuttle.  Umm...hello?????  We called the shuttle again (seems that our message that we were waiting at the airport never made it from the shuttle desk to the shuttle driver.  Whoops).  Can I just tell you how good our own bed felt that night?

I'm still relishing our own bed and our own food and...well, there truly is no place like home!!!!
So, to review...wrong name at funeral, a MAJOR birdie "bomb", frozen food, a bathing suit and fire, major flight delays, including a hole being blown out in the tail and a shuttle "incident", I have to say, I've had better trips.  BUT, we endured it all as a family and sink or swim, we were together.  Just call us the Griswold's.....

I "cherish" funny memories.