Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy 21!

"new" 21 greets "wise" 55

We had the pleasure of celebrating Meghan's 21st birthday in London.  She'll get the "real" celebration once she is back in Houston next week.  Unfortunately, Tom had to travel to Vancouver so he missed the fun.  And, well, with the legal drinking age at 19, it wasn't quite as much fun for her.  She did get carded the day before when we went out to lunch.  But, it isn't quite the same.  Still we had fun concocting a pink cocktail (her signature color if you didn't know.)  Peter made the cake and populated it with gummy bears.  We also enjoyed some bacon stuffed cherry tomatoes for an appetizer.  Enjoy the photos!  Earlier Meghan, Mary and I walked downtown and did a bit of window shopping.  We stopped into Attic Books and found three to take home.  Lunch was at Nates in Covent Gardens.
Wild Night Out:
cranberry juice, lime juice,white tequila shaken over ice, with club soda

making champagne cocktails with brandy, sugar cube, a dash of bitters and champagne

Mish Mash of Pictures

Kate is checking out the slots while Tom and I were renting the car.  Definitely a small change disposal device!  She still had her winning smile.

After Mass Sunday morning on the steps of my parents' home.  
Back row: Peter, Tom and me.  Middle  row: Kate, Meghan.  Mary in front.
Notice the freshly painted exterior.  All done by my parents!  Fabulous colors, and pretty awesome considering they did it themselves!
Picnic at the city park with most of the family.  Pictured are my Mom and Dad, Aunt Margi and Meghan.  All of my sister Debbie's family made it.  It was a very special gathering for them, and she is grandmother to some awesome little babies.

The dynamic duo (Tom and me) at the picnic.

My sister Barbara with Meghan and Kate on the playground.  My sisters and I spent many a long summer day playing with friends at this park.  Most of that equipment is gone now.  This slide was here while we were raising our own little girls.  Kate and Meg recalled it being a lot taller when they were smaller.

Can't have a Fourth of July without fireworks.  The skies around Ely still get very dark at night, so the small show was spectacular.

Above is Peter, me, Meghan, Mary and my mom Helen.  Below are Meghan, Kate and Mary.

Squashed Bug

It is one of those phone calls we all dread to get.  "(sobbing sigh) Mom, I've been in an accident..."  This was from Kate yesterday.  On her commute home she rear ended a car, and (details are still fuzzy given the emotional state of the person on the other end of the phone -- you choose which end.) was hit by another car.  Fortunately, it was when the freeway is pretty much a parking lot, and it was only at 30 mph, not 75 mph!

The little bug is "more round" now, and waiting at the mechanic's garage across from the house for the bad news. But the good news is that nobody was injured.  I suspect a few trips to the chiropractor will be in order.  She received a citation, and learned first hand what happens when you don't have an up-to-date insurance card.  It needed to be replaced the day before!

That moves Meghan and my drive south up a few days.  Because this is a long weekend for Canada (Civic Holiday because they simply don't have enough holidays!!!) we'll wait until early, early tomorrow morning to, hopefully, avoid the traffic jam at the border.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

One Month Later

Since the last post we flew to Las Vegas, drove back to my home town and enjoyed a good old fashioned Fourth of July with family.  Tom has been traveling, spending more time sitting on airplanes than sleeping in his own bed!  He gets in late tonight, then has to head back north on Tuesday.

The four of us (me, Meg, Peter and Mary) made it to Las Vegas, enjoyed a chatty lunch with my sister, Nancy, did a bit of shopping and flew back to Detroit.  After stopping to pick up groceries, we finally made it back to London around 3:00 am!  I think we finally finished putting groceries away, making new dog food and unpacking around 5:00 am.  Whew!

Meghan has been a painting diva.  Right now she is finishing up the trim upstairs.  That leaves the living/dining rooms.  Don't know if those will be done before we trek back south next week.  It has been quite a refreshing summer having her stay with us.

She and I drive back to Houston, starting early next Tuesday morning.  About that same time Liz and John Paul will be winging their own way back to Houston from Germany via London, England.  It will be nice to get to see Kate (who has been working very hard in Houston, and getting some nice call backs for her audition).  We are all looking forward to sharing a pitcher or two of margaritas at Chuy's!!!

I fly back home on Saturday, August 6.  The following weekend the four of us will drive south to help Liz and John Paul move from Lafayette to Bloomington.  Originally, it was going to be just me and Tom, but Mary and Peter let us know they really missed their big sister and new brother so they'll be coming along. We can always use more strong back when it comes to lugging box after box out of the moving van!

Summer has been interesting around here.  We started off very cold and rainy.  Then the heat and no rain set it!  Last week it was more humid and higher temps than Houston was getting and some blessed rain starting Saturday night.  Not complaining!!!  I remember all too well how cold it got here last winter.  If we could just figure out how to pump heat for storage in the summer, to be released in the winter, and vice versa with the cold in winter ... life would be good.

Several projects that we hoped to do this summer simply won't get done.  There is still the fall, so perhaps the deck will get torn out, and replaced.  The paving stones will be poured and patio finished.  Firewood absolutely needs to be restacked!  The driveway repaving will have to wait until next summer.  As will the dining room wallpaper removal.  Trees will have to stay where they are in the yard.  Secretely, I'm hoping to get a good landscape planner in here to "show" me what the possibilities are.  There are so many nice trees, but they have about reached their limit in size.  Having grown up where things took so long to grow, it kills me to think about cutting down some of them.

The next weeks will be busy for all the kids with school/work getting underway.   I've got plenty to keep my hopping as well.  Pictures to come.