Friday, August 29, 2008

Birthday Cake

My birthday was the 17th. All I asked for was chocolate cake from Merritt's Bakery. And, boy did Joe deliver. Three round layers of chocolate decadance. Each layer separated by chocolate cream. The whole thing covered in lucious chocolate buttercream. And finally, the most beautiful sugary trimmings imaginable in sweet ruffles and roses. It must have weighed 5 lbs. Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Comment on "Comments"

I read recently that there is etiquette in the BlogUniverse. One of the rules of polite blog-society manners is to leave feedback if you enjoy someone's work. I confess I'm more reader than commenter and for that, I apologize. It is nice when someone leaves a note on your blog now & then; it lets you know at least one person in the cyberworld cruised by and paused for a moment at your place.
I would like to add something to the etiquette rules: if you want to leave a comment, please introduce yourself. Give your name or at least a web-name or some fun little code name. Comments from 'Anonymous' really just don't mean anything. Sometimes people ask a question about something I wrote. I don't mind answering if I know the person. But when someone anonymously asks a question, I see no reason to answer and, thus, delete the comment.
Here's how I have the comments feature set up on this blog: Click on - you guessed it - "comments" at the end of the post. Another screen pops up & you write your thoughts in the little box. Choose your options for signing your name & submit. Your comment will go to an email address. I then have the option to publish the comment or delete it before it ever sees the light of day.
I'm so glad when you stop by, sit a spell and read my blog. Just take a moment now & than to say hi. Groovy?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Full Moon Monday

Did anyone else have a crazy Monday? Or was it just me? Because I had trouble sleeping last night and when I finally did, it was deep. I mean to tell you - when hubby woke me up, I didn't even know what planet I was on. And the day went from there. Assorted little weirdnessess, the weirdest being a computer problem. Which is better than a weird people problem.

Sister-friends: you can be mad at me all you want, but I do declare all y'all who drive vans, big-a$$ Suburbans, or anything bigger than my Mazda Tribute should either have your licenses revoked or be sentenced to driving a Mini-Cooper the rest of your natural lives. You seem to get a testosterone-hit when you get behind the wheel of one of those things. Put a cell phone in your hand & you become a menace to society. I'm just sayin'.

Did I mention I was cut off TWICE today by women drivers in plus-size vehicles?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Ohio Chronicles: Last Chapter of Book One

I call it "Book One" because all my family is still there and I'll be making another pilgramage within a year to see them; Ohio Chronicles is an ongoing story. It's about my life & theirs, places we shared, and all the memories & events in family life and growing up that intertwine and interweave to create our personal tapestry. I'll wrap up Book One with a few odds & ends and some pictures that I just kinda liked.

These lilies used to cover the bank of hill in front of our house. It was very steep & difficult to mow, so someone planted a mass of flowers. At the time, I thought they were ugly. Now there's only a few left.
Grandpap's favorite cigar, or stogie. There was a tree behind his house that grew some kind of long string-bean-looking thing. I saw one just like it in Kansas City & snapped this picture.They called it a stogie tree. I thought Gramps plucked his right off the tree. I suppose that ranks up there with the dog on the bridge story.
The building on the left used to be the dance studio where I spent many, many happy hours learning modern jazz - real dance, Bob Fosse stuff - not the gymnastic-aerobic-hiphop hybrid choreography done today. (Granted, the contemporary style takes great talent & athletic ability. But, it's just not .... jazzy)The mini-park fountain the town council had built when Uncle Bud was a councilman. I called him Uncle "Fudgie" because I loved fudge and he was my favorite uncle - as good as fudge. But something happened along the way and sadly, he died a lonely, crotchety man.
The church Joe's entire family attended, where he was an altar boy, where we were married, where our baby son was christened. It was a classic village parish. But time took it's toll. The village aged and died off, the young families moved away, and the diocese shut the doors a couple years ago. A non-denominational congregation bought the building.


We've come to the close of this particular journey. I hope you enjoyed our little trip back in time. Thank you for coming along.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Charlie: "Joanne, darlin' - dial down the religion."
Joanne: "I was saved by Jesus Christ and I am not ashamed of it."
Charlie: "...just tamp down the fervor."
Joanne: "I can't modulate God's will, Charlie."

Charlie Wilson's War. Loved the movie. Loved the book.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Ohio Chronicles: Summer Breeze

A storm is coming in and the temp has cooled down to the lower 90's with a pretty good breeze. We opened our front and back doors to let fresh air blow through the house. It feels like my childhood and makes me think of 'home'.
Sometimes, I feel like I miss out on the essence of summer because we go from our air conditioned house to car to office and back again. Don't misunderstand - I am not complaining! A person could bake alive some days here. The sun can be unrelentingly hot and bright with no breeze at all. So a day like today is special and I like to savor it.

At work this week, one of the building units was down and one wing of the office was without a/c. Maintenance put about 6 fans in the hallway to pull some of the cold air from one end of the office wing to the other. The sound of the fans blowing warmish-cool air had everyone remembering our childhood summers.

One of my favorite memories is the Nickels Bread Truck. Not only did the Ice Cream Truck ring-a-ding its way down our road in the summer, but Nickels Bakery would occasionally include our out-of-the-way hillside on their route. When that big, red truck would stop in front of his house, Gramps would always purchase a jelly roll. Nickels also carried banana flips, assorted pies (the real crust kind), and a snack cake that I've never found anywhere else. It's an individual size, chocolate cake confection topped with a filling similar to a HoHo, then covered in chocolate icing. MMMMMMMMMMMM! I craved these when I was pregnant; mom would send them to me in a care package. Every time I go visit now, I stop at the store located at their main bakery and buy a few to take home.My mother-in-law was part of Nickels history. She was one of the first two women drivers they ever employed. It was during WWII, when the menfolk were away and the women helped keep the country going. She then worked in the bakery and learned to make the best pies on the planet. She was a good woman; a good mom and a good mother-in-law. She's in heaven now and I know she received a hearty "Well done" from Jesus.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Ohio Chronicles: Cemetary Tour pt 2

Several months ago, I posted a picture that I found online of this particular monument. It was cool to see it again in person. This thing is HUGE!. My Grandmother told an interesting story; she said this man owned the local upscale department store. There are two women seated with their backs to each other (or maybe to him!) She said one represents his wife; the other, his mistress. When I repeated that story on my blog, it occured to me that perhaps this was another Grandparent Tall Tale and maybe I should not present it as fact.
As my sister & I were cruising through the cemetary, we happened on a caretaker. I asked her if this was the cemetary where the man & 2 women monument was located. She said it sure was & told us where to find it. I asked if she knew who the women were and she said......

one was his wife and the other was his mistress! Which one do you think is the wife?

They both look sad to me. And that dude is standing there in front of a cross looking all sanctimonious. I really wonder if he commissioned that thing for himself. I haven't discovered any more about it and there's nothing identifying the women. A mystery for the ages.
Below is an interesting monument in another cemetary located on top of a very high hill. I was looking for my in-laws resting place, which sadly, I never did find. I wish I had taken time to read the carving. From the dress, it must be very old. She almost looks like a sentinal, the guardian of the valley. Maybe she was a teacher.
And with that, friends, we conclude our tour of the Ohio Valley's historical cemetaries. Maybe a couple more chronicles, then time to move on to something else!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Ohio Chronicles: Cemetary Tour

Ladies and Gentleman, we shall now begin our tour...

My sister was somewhat appalled that I was going to drive through here and take pictures. But then she got into it and shot a few pix herself.
I think we have relatives buried here somewhere. I just remember as a kid visiting with my grandmother, mom & aunts. Grandma was diligent about keeping her loved ones' plots neat, so that has to be the reason we were here. I've been intrigued with this particular cemetary ever since. You'll see why.My favorite photo of the group is below. It looked like a little fairy tale house at the end of a curving road. It's not a chapel; it's actually a mausoleum. I desaturated the picture a bit to give it Rivendell quality.
Just one more set of pictures to post. If you think these monuments are big, wait til you see what's next!