Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Big G

Here is my Dad with his grandfather. My Dad looks a lot like Pope John Paul in this picture, which I mean as a total compliment. I loved that pope.
We just celebrated my father's 75th birthday. My entire family was together with all of their children as well as my aunt and uncle. It was a great evening with delicious food. The best part though was being together with family. I love them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

"Mom, you know when we sailed by the Statue of Liberty and New York New York was playing..,

Sorry for the blurry photograph, I must learn to take pictures at night!

...Well, that made me feel really proud to be a New Yorker." This is what our son Ian said about Friday night.
Friday night my son and husband and I attended the graduation party of one of his former classmates aboard The "Romantica". As we left the port of Port Washington Marina the beautiful storm cloud just above let loose a wicked blanket of rain forcing everyone from the deck to go inside. Don't feel sorry for us though. Inside there was a bar with delish appetizers about to be transformed into a dance floor with not too loud music with another lovely dining room below us. Then the rain stopped and we got to go back outside and enjoy sailing by the spectacular views of Manhattan. I felt completely indulged by this party. There were leis put around our necks from Hawaii and a magician traveling around the boat entertaining us. We had delicious cappuccino with Creme Brulee for dessert and lobster and salmon for dinner. It was beautiful. Everything inside was decorated as if we were attending a wedding. The large round tables in the dining room had sheer shimmery tablecloths with tiny silver and gold glittery stars draped over white fabric. Candles were lit all around emitting a perfectly soft glow lighting the room just so we could see the descending evening skyline of our beloved New York City. As we dined we were treated to live music playing Jimi Hendix. This was the artist the parents of the graduating celebrant slow danced together too. The way they danced and looked into each others eyes, you could just tell they were really feeling the music. Our hosts clearly were celebrating their daughters graduation but they were also quite generous to their friends and family in the process.
Most people seemed like they were enjoying themselves. It was a great party. It's funny though, because when I asked one of the parents how they liked it, she replied that the first two hours were OK but being stuck on a boat for four hours was a little much. I guess you have to be in the mood for this kind of thing, or at least well rested.
My favorite part of the evening was seeing The Statue of Liberty. I know, my photo does not do her justice! I have never seen her so close all lit up at night like she was. She was a lovely sight to behold. I could have easily stayed there gazing up at her until the sun came up.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First golf outing

Yesterday was the first annual golf outing in memory of my brother-in-law Paul. It was held at the Lido golf club in Long Beach, NY. Paul's beloved companion Diane organized the event in his name to honor him. There must have been 250 people there. The night before we had thunderstorms and the weather forecast for Tuesday wasn't very hopeful. Yesterday morning before I opened my eyes I heard the man on the radio say, "It looks like we are going to have a beautiful day today." He was right about that. Check out the photos.

This was at the very beginning of the day. Everyone was just starting out at around 1PM.

Here they are finishing up. It was that end of day feeling. The light was beautiful. As the sun was setting, the cousins practiced putting.

It was a day filled with mixed emotions. It is beautiful that so many people attended the event showing their love and support for Paul and his family. Everyone came together sharing something Paul loved to do. Funds were raised for two important organizations here on Long Island.

And, even though we weren't able to see him, it's not as if Paul wasn't there. Knowing Paul, I saw him there when his siblings won their raffle prizes and when his niece and nephews got lucky somehow and was able to drive the golf cart around the course most of the day. I felt Paul with us when his two sister-in-law's were laughing hysterically at their inability to pick out soda while on a soda run. Paul was there when his brothers and sister played an excellent game of golf. He was also there when a family friend brought flowers to his mother, and another thoughtfully gave his Mom a shirt to wear to match the ones their foursome was wearing. And then at the end, through the kindness of his siblings, Paul gave Diane roses.

Thank you Paul for always reminding us about what's important and thank you for blessing us with your generous spirit.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Quiet before the Storm

Ian just graduated from an idyllic private school where most children (including Ian) felt like it was their second home. It wasn't perfect but it was close. I wish every child had the good fortune to attend a school where they could take art classes and join the chorus and perform in theatre productions and learn to play bells in the bell choir. Ian got to do all of this in seventh and eighth grade.
I feel like this time in his life is mimicking today's weather. It's totally unpredictable.
This photo was taken right before a storm blew in. We have hundreds of cherries on our cherry tree. It's pretty cool to see.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Summer has officially begun...

yet it definitely hasn't sunk in. Tomorrow I do not have to get up until 7AM! Wow-what a break. Maybe when I wake up in the morning and realize that I don't have to call the bus company to tell them not to come to our house or that I don't have to communicate with Ian's "old" school-wow, now that just feels weird! Writing that I mean- Ian is no longer at his school! The place he has been spending 8 hours at everyday for the last 2 years! I will now be referring to it as his "old" school as in the school he used to go too! I guess it is starting to sink in. Yes it is true folks, Our son Ian has graduated from the eighth grade. (to be continued...)

I think I love this quote because if you have a good attitude you can almost never fail.

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."-Winston Churchill

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is Priscilla staring at the yellow fire hydrant?

No one can ever tell for sure exactly what she is doing or thinking. I can tell you this though, no one should ever have to endure the sound of a nine and a half pound Yorkie barking as if she is a German Shepherd before 7AM. When I watch her bark this early in the morning I seriously question how I could possibly love her as much as I do. Her bark is gruff and loud and pitchy and loud. Her bark makes my ears ring. I tried the dog whisperer tactic of talking softly, standing over her and making her sit. She responds by trying with all her might to sit as she desperately stifles a whimpering noise, eyes pleading, why? Why? Why are you making this so unbearable? She does actually sit there though and guess what happens after I tell her how good she is when I walk away?
Have I gone over her morning ritual as we wait for Ian's bus? How she runs to each of us looking earnestly with imploring eyes, begging us to think about what is going to happen. Once again, the yellow machine will be taking Ian away she seems to be reasoning and WHY ARE YOU HUMANS ALLOWING THIS TO HAPPEN? Every morning like clockwork she does her laps circling the living room. She jumps on Ian's lap letting him pet and cuddle her. Then she runs past my husband throwing him a glance quickly realizing he's the dog whisperers double so why bother trying to pull one over on him. She jumps up on my lap so she can look out the window hoping to catch a glimpse of the bus. Her head darts side to side, first looking out the window, then over to the door then straight at Ian. She repeats this intense looking at least three or six times. She acts as if her life depends on it or our lives depend on it.
As soon as Ian has one foot out the door it's as if she has completed a mission. She looks back only for a quick moment to make sure she has indeed accomplished her job of aggravating each one of us as she runs towards the kitchen stopping before her biscuit jar hoping for a reward.

Monday, June 9, 2008

isn't this beautiful?

This is where all the children sat at their graduation dinner. Parents of one of my son's fellow classmates were kind enough to decorate the school for the occasion. It is really inspiring to see how so many parents donate their time and energy to all of the children that their child goes to school with. It really is beautiful.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy night...

We had the most delicious and beautiful dinner last night at my son's school. It was for all the parents & the 8th grade graduating class & their teachers. It was so nice seeing everyone and just relaxing and chatting and eating! I will miss all the parents I have gotten to know & I will encourage my son to keep in touch with all the friends he has made.
I'm glad we were able to gather and celebrate because I think it will help us get used to the idea that all of the children are leaving middle school for real next week. It is a cause for celebration that they are moving and growing but it is also heart wrenching at the same time.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Have you ever seen a dog faking sleep?

I know she is faking because it is a rare moment when I make the slightest move and she doesn't spring to attention. This is the dog that jumps up (actually I should say hops, because she really does hop, like a bunny she hops! ) from a seemingly sound sleep a half a second before the alarm goes off. Here she lies directly on top my pillow acting like she is sleeping. She thinks maybe I won't disturb her, like I may not kick her hairy butt off of my pillow, if I think she may be sleeping.
Tired of me taking photos of her in the above position, she gets paranoid thinking maybe she really shouldn't be sleeping RIGHT ON TOP of my pillow, so she moves to the foot of the bed, hoping I will leave her alone.
Still hoping I won't "wake" her...I kneel down in front of her to get a better look. There is no denying it now, she's busted!"OK Mommy, I'm awake...look at me, look how I am so upright," she communicates to me telepathically. Only being like her mother I see her eyes are glassy and she really does need to rest.which is verified by her quickly sinking head...There she goes, eyes glazing la land here comes Priscilla. You can see why I love her.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

waiting for school to open

In 9 days I won't be driving my son to this school anymore. (I know, you can't actually see the school in this photo, but the view is nice, right?) I won't be picking him up either. Next year he starts a new school. Ian says he and all the other kids can't wait to get out. They are all ready for high school. I told him they will miss this place when they are in high school. His response with an added eye roll "yeah, sure mom."
Normally he takes the bus. I'm glad I had to drive him the last two mornings. It's all going by quickly so it was nice just sitting in the car with him chatting and looking out the window.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

reality's a beautiful day...

Thank you God. Thank you for my good health and my family's good health. Thank you for my family (which includes Priscilla & Sylvia). Thank you for my friends. Thank you for my home. Thank you for my food. Thank you for my car working again. Thank you for being able to buy a new one soon. Thank you for these awesome flowers. Thank you for your presence in my life.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Look at This!!!

This week is finals week for our son and this is what I found when I walked into our spare room last night. Not that I haven't seen this before. It's just that I can't get over how much information the students in his 8th grade class are expected to digest and retain. It seems like a ton.
As my husband sat in the car, about to leave for the golf range, Ian suddenly yelled out the window, "Mom I know my final is important but so is spending quality time with my Dad, so I think I better go with him." I couldn't find an argument for that. I mean exactly how much time is he supposed to study? I trust him to know for himself or at least give him the space to find out through his own experience.
Please say a prayer for all the children who are under pressure these next few weeks as they prepare for their finals. Please pray for them so that they can deal with whatever the outcome may be. They need our support, especially the ones who don't have any support.