Wednesday, December 31, 2008
On a less serious note, the final vote is in and cut-out cookies have won the poll, even without Christy voting more than once. I guess I should believe that since we (along with our friends and families) managed to eat over 300 of them this Christmas. The final cookie count was just shy of 1100 cookies baked (not counting chocolate pretzels, which everyone knows are NOT cookies).
The diets start now.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
In the meantime, think on these (308 cutouts -- so many it took 2 pictures to get them all in!):
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Don't know what a springerle is? Here's a picture:
The goal is to have the design sharply cut on the top (like these) and the bottoms puffed out and soft & chewy (like the photo below).
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
He was always (and always will be) larger than life to me. Having settled in the LA area after World War II, he would come to visit us in Cincinnati once a year when he came to the midwest for the Worldbook Convention in Chicago. It was always in the winter and we'd all go to the airport to pick him up. I remember how his wool overcoat (certainly only worn once a year for that trip to the land of the cold) felt on my cheek as I snuggled next to him in the back seat on the ride home. We would usually not even make out of Kentucky to come home before he and my dad would have a heated 'discussion' about some political or religious issue neither would ever back down on. Sometimes I think that confrontation was something they both looked forward to -- a verbal step back in time to being 'brothers' .
We'd go to Graeters and Lloyd would buy a pint of chocolate ice cream and ask for a spoon -- I'd just wait for the look on the cashier's face as the realization dawned that he was just going to sit and eat it all.
He always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face (and great dimples)! He had a beautiful tenor voice and I'd love to hear him singing scales as he got ready in the morning -- that always made Uncle Lloyd's visits real.
Lloyd was one of the most passionately caring people I've ever known and was actively involved in the community well into his old age, working on Habitat houses and volunteering at food pantries. He was a champion of 'everyman' and every time he visited we'd hear about the new things he was involved in and the problems in the country he saw and most wanted to be solved. I have to admit that I got my first taste of Liberal thinking from my uncle Lloyd!
In my adult years he's always sent us lovely, long Christmas notes in beautifully hand-made and lettered cards, always signing them 'Lloyd Henry'. Each New Year's Eve we'd call him to say hi and catch up. I'm really going to miss that card and phone call this year!
Though he lived in California, he knew everyone we did (a strange thing to a little girl). He looked so much like my grandmother and my dad, yet he lived in an exotic place where Santa wore shorts and my cousins could go to the beach on Christmas day. He was one of us, but not exactly. When he'd come to visit and he and my dad & Ningle would talk about the people they remembered and the 'old days', I'd get a rare glimpse of my dad as a child and our family as a larger unit. Because he looked so much like them, having him around in the last twenty years was like having Ning and my dad back again long after they had died. With his passing, I feel like my last link with them is gone and I know that something precious has slipped away forever.
He was the only person in my family to call me Annie.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
We can't even imagine numbers like that and, God willing, won't ever have to again.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
(Made known to millions of Americans in the movie V for Vendetta)
Guy Fawkes & the Gunpowder Plot
Words of "Remember Remember" refer to Guy Fawkes with origins in 17th century English history. On the 5th November 1605 Guy Fawkes was caught in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with several dozen barrels of gunpowder. Guy Fawkes was subsequently tried as a traitor with his co-conspirators for plotting against the government. He was tried by Judge Popham who came to London specifically for the trial from his country manor Littlecote House in Hungerford, Gloucestershire. Fawkes was sentenced to death and the form of the execution was one of the most horrendous ever practised (hung ,drawn and quartered) which reflected the serious nature of the crime of treason.
The Tradition begins...
The following year in 1606 it became an annual custom for the King and Parliament to commission a sermon to commemorate the event. Lancelot Andrewes delivered the first of many Gunpowder Plot Sermons. This practice, together with the nursery rhyme, ensured that this crime would never be forgotten! Hence the words " Remember , remember the 5th of November" The poem is sometimes referred to as 'Please to remember the fifth of November'. It serves as a warning to each new generation that treason will never be forgotten. In England the 5th of November is still commemorated each year with fireworks and bonfires culminating with the burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes (the guy). The 'guys' are made by children by filling old clothes with crumpled newspapers to look like a man. Tradition allows British children to display their 'guys' to passers-by and asking for " A penny for the guy".
Credit to: www.rhymes.org.uk
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
To celebrate the occasion, here's a cheerful, geeky video for you:
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
On Saturday we went across the bridge to St. Ignace and, as a birthday treat for me, Kally, Carla & Mark W's mom, Jean, decided to go up to Cedarville. We used to go there every summer and rent one of the cottages at Patrick's Landing in the Snows Channel (the Les Cheneaux Islands). That area ranks right up there with London and Hawaii as a favorite place for me! Anyway, visiting Patrick's again (and going to have a cookout at Mark W's parents' campground later on) made it one of the best days I've had in a long time. Patrick's hadn't changed much at all and the whole day brought back many really happy memories of wonderful vacations going there and then (at the campsite dinner) camping with my family. The pictures from Patrick's will really bring back memories for Cindy (make sure she sees them Christy -- I know I can't count on Don) but no one else will care about them at all. Thanks for looking anyway, though!
The rest of the pictures are from the ferry to Mackinac Island and walking the bridge on Monday.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
- Intentionally watch a Hillary Clinton speech
- Applaud part of the Hillary Clinton speech (she DID do something historic for women in politics!)
- Feel moved by Bill Clinton's obvious pride in and affection for his wife
- Admire Hillary Clinton for her determination and class
- Believe that Hillary Clinton would have been the right candidate for the Democrats to nominate for either president (which should have been their first choice) or vice-president (which should have been their second choice)
- Feel bad for Hillary Clinton because, after garnering 1/2 of the Democratic votes, she's being discarded and forced into 'unity'
- Believe that Hillary Clinton should have stayed the course and NOT conceded
- Dislike another woman in politics more than Hillary Clinton (I'll leave my 2 or 3 readers to guess what woman that is)
- Publish a political post on my blog
Yet all of these things have come to pass. Strange days . . .
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
I can't pass up the newest development in the continuing story of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick: his first night in jail. Tomorrow he'll appeal the decision, but State Attorney General Mike Cox will probably charge him with a felony assault on an officer of the court.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I love you, Char!
Friday, July 25, 2008
- iTunes is so much fun (and I think it could get expensive if I'm not careful)! I've downloaded lots of songs, including the essential Donovan collection and Quinn the Eskimo (the Kinks' version, not the Dylan one). I didn't know you could get that crusty old stuff on iTunes.
- My newest favorites are Robert Plant & Alison Kraus -- I love Raising Sand (especially Please Read the Letter, Killing the Blues and Gone, Gone, Gone! I can't get over how beautifully their voices blend and I never would have expected it. I'm really in danger of listening until I'm sick of them.
- In the end, most of my favorite music is the stuff I listened to in my teens and twenties. I've added some new artists I like very much, but Crosby, Stills & Nash (and all their bands before and after) and the Beatles are still the best! I also still like everything Dylan did, but he REALLY can't sing -- his Quinn the Eskimo is painful to listen to!
- For the most part, everything Elvis Costello does sounds the same. I really only like 3 of his songs.
- For some reason, most of the music I listen to lately makes me sad -- either because it's inherently so or because it reminds me of the passage of time. The saddest song for me in the entire collection is one of Jim's -- Iron & Wine's "Upward Over the Mountain." I don't think I'll ever listen to it again.
- It's a funny thing that I'm just now getting an iPod, when the rest of the world is moving on to iPhones. We didn't get a laptop, either, until Charlie gave us his old one. It seems that I always depend on the kindness (and electronics) of family members!
Thanks for the iPod, Jim!!!!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
I'll start with some pictures from our trip to Florida (in April!) to go to Charlie's graduation from SDGA (San Diego Golf Academy). We had a great time -- the luncheon was lovely (at one of the Disney Resort hotels), we got to meet his friends and then in the evening we had dinner at Ruth's Chris with all the in-town family.
Charlie & friends after graduation
Charlie, Jim & Don at dinner
Cousins at dinner
I got to spend some really quality time with Christy -- an entire day of just the two of us at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival and then another day with her and Lily hanging out and going to a wonderful fabric shop (sorry, no pictures from the shop).
We rented a convertible for the week and went to Cocoa Beach one day. We had perfect weather and even though we didn't stay long -- just long enough to have a drink out at the end of the pier, sitting in the sun & watching the surfers -- getting there & back was half the fun.
Cocoa Beach Pelican at Cocoa Beach
(You should have known I'd get a bird picture in somehow!)
We passed the Red Bug Lake exit every time we drove back to Altamonte Springs, so one day we went there just to hang out. We saw some big carp and some moorhens, but not a single red bug.
Red Bug Lake
Moorhens at Red Bug Lake
(I think they were nesting in the rushes to the right)
Anyway, that's it for the April trip to Florida -- more later on what's going on here in Michigan.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
All chuckles aside, this is really sad for Detroit...
Monday, April 07, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives, and only the most elderly of our population (95 years old or older) have ever seen it this early before. None of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier! Here are the facts:
The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so only those 95 or older were around for that!).
The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. No one alive today has seen it any earlier or will ever see it any earlier than this year, barring some Star Trek-like miracle of science that keeps us alive for centuries!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Probably the best thing was having all the guys home for extended periods and in pretty relaxed moods. I know that they got bored, which was unavoidable because there isn't much to do here, but it meant so much to me to see them! And an added bonus was that we had *almost* 3 weeks without a fight . . . only one or two notable skirmishes and apologies were actually spoken (or attempted)! Considering how passionate we all are about our faith, politics & our own particular points of view, that was a Christmas Miracle.
* I had fun decorating this year. It was, perhaps, my best Christmas house ever. I really enjoyed having an extra week to get ready.
* I didn't bake enough kinds of cookies. There will be more next year.
* The divorce-gate (the piece of trash I dragged home -- actually, which I had 3 other people help me drag home -- and which was the evidence that I'd "gone too far" and which put Jim over the edge) was FINALLY up and even decorated in time for Christmas! Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of it until the snow day. The blob to the left of it is a lovely lighted grapevine tree that Kally made for me.
* We all had fun at Grandma's -- holidays have definitely improved now that the littlest little is in 4th grade. Cathy looked stronger and like she felt better than she did at Thanksgiving and that made me very happy.
* I got the stomach flu in the wee hours of Christmas morning and pretty much missed Christmas. I couldn't eat for 3 days, which probably was a good thing.
* Everyone, except Paul, made it here for Buehlersmas. We really missed him & I hope he reads this sometime to know that. It just wasn't complete without him. I felt like this Christmas was especially precious because last year neither he nor Christy & Tom could come and you never know how many more years we'll all be able to be together. It was such a blessing and I had a real sense of cherishing every moment.
* I got to spend time with Lily, which was great. She doesn't know me, except that I look vaguely like other people she does know, but it was fun anyway. She's a real sweetie & did very well, considering that she'd been away from home and living with non-stop stimulation for 3 weeks!
* Danny & Jim got to meet Lily for the first time, which was very cool!
* Young Jim was awarded his trophy as the winner of the 2007 UncFL. I know all his office mates at U of Maryland will be impressed when they see it.
* Gene fell on their second night here and broke her wrist and Jim and I made a 4:30 am run to the hospital with her. They couldn't set it -- just put a splint and wrap on it -- and she took it like a real trooper for the rest of the visit. She's amazing for 85!
* We all learned how to play Mexican Train Dominoes and it became the game of choice for the week. Gene did fine with that, too, one handed.
* On New Year's Day, we were welcomed with over a foot of snow. It was beautiful!