Week-end Wrap-up

It was still co-old and  very foggy when we piled into the Caravan Saturday morning, but by the time we arrived in Nashville, the sun was bright and temps rising.   Opry Mills is a gargantuan mall, part of the Opryland Hotel/Grand Ole Opry House complex.  We visited the Disney Store, ate at Moe’s, but only saw about 1/8 of the place.  Oddly, there were No Christmas Decorations!!  Not even a wreath or a bell!!  And Santa was somewhere, but who knows where?  (The girls got their pics with Santa at the Evansville mall, anyway, so we probably saved ourselves from exposure to cold and flu germs…)   There was, however, a carousel…

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The Opry House was right across the street, so we strolled on over—sans coats, great big blue sky with smiley sunshine everywhere.

Michael, Olivia, Samantha, and Jessica
Michael, Olivia, Samantha, and Jessica
Casey, Olivia, Samantha, JoJo
Casey, Olivia, Samantha, JoJo

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas-the musical” got off to a slow start, but the colorful set grabbed both the kids’ attention the beginning.  Even Samantha stayed tuned as Cindy Lou Who saved the day and the Grinch’s heart grew 3x larger.

We got the outside lights up on Sunday, finished up the tree decorating, and I do believe this Christmas Season is going to be the best!!



Happy birthday, Casey…(and a week-end wrap-up)

My old man is getting to be such an old man, but he’s still nearly 2 years younger than me.  Counting the days until retirement, Casey turns 61 today.  We had a little celebration yesterday with the Jrs…

I must gush about what a great man he is, how much I love him, how much the kids and grandkids adore him, and how lucky he is that I found him…   This is the 38th of his birthdays that we have been together and I appreciate him to infinity and beyond.   Looking forward to many, many more years of celebrating with him.

We just worked and worked, all four days of the week-end.  Remember the curtains, table & chairs project?  It’s about 75% finished.   I didn’t have the proper needle and thread to finish the backs of the chairs, but I’ve held them i place until I can pick up the supplies.  I’ll need yet another yard of fabric for the curtains, so I’m headed back out to get those today.  I’m still proud of what we did accomplish…



Sunday’s birthday celebration also included some Christmas tree decorating with Olivia in charge of the “Ornament Department”…

So now the countdown begins…  We’re going to Nashville, TN on Saturday with the Jrs. for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Opry House.  I fly to NYC on the 10th for the Rockettes and a whole slew of other festivities.  I’ve taken on a little accompanying job and will be practicing every Wednesday with the choir at Central UMC for their Christmas program on the 20th.  The Jose’ family is going to try to visit the week after Christmas.

Let the countdown begin…


Weekly Wrap-up…on an otherwise Mundane Monday…

I’ve had the song, “We need a little Christmas” buzzing through my head for a week now, so I initially decided to haul out the holly over the week-end and start the festivities.   As I assessed the house, mentally dressing the mantels and moving furniture to make way for trees, I managed to come up with a big-idea for the room I call the kitchen annex:  make new curtains and re-cover the chairs.  So the sewing machine is back out and I’ve cut 12 panels for the curtains.  I need 2 more yards of material for the chairs, I think, and that will be our lovely Thanksgiving celebration.

While out buying fabric, I stopped by a local used book store.  Amongst the books were some “Sheet Music” magazines and as I glanced through them (I subscribed in the 80’s and 90’s and have a boxful up in the attic), I came across one with the lovely air “Danny Boy”—and with Andy Williams’ picture above it, as this is the arrangement he used…allegedly… so I snatched it up for a dollar…



Since then, I’ve been channeling my inner great-Grandmother Mayne.  Danny Boy was her favorite, one she played often for me.  I can still see her 80-year-old hands moving across the keyboard and remember that she often cried when she played it.   I always think of her when I hear it , and along with the memory is this story:

Grandmother was 96 or 98 when she died, depending on what birth year you believe, and our family had gathered in the tiny little town of Albion, IL for the funeral.  My Great-Aunt Bernie, Grandmother’s older daughter, was sitting with her husband in front of us when the organist began to play, at the family’s request, “Danny Boy”.  Aunt Bernie had a rough, smoker’s voice that carried well across any room, even at a whisper.  But Auntie wasn’t very good at whispering, so when she turned to Uncle Harry and said, “Mother would roll over in her grave if she could hear the way that woman is butchering this song”,  we all heard it (probably not the organist, though).  Being the kind of people that giggle when we’re nervous, my Dad, sister, and I started laughing, uncontrollably.  Stifling our chortling only brought tears to our eyes and shook the folding chairs we were sitting on.  For the rest of the service, all we had to do was look at each other and make banjo-eyes, and the others would crack up again.  Ya gotta love a good funeral.

Still avoiding the news, and thankful that I divided my FB “friends” into categories that allow me to stay away from the haters, I’m going to start the stitching today.  Weirdly, the material I chose is also a Grandmother-throwback:  I remember some dining chairs at her house that were covered with a similar pattern. I’ll get the before and afters and I’m sure you’ll be impressed…which is what I live for, of course.




It started off well, didn’t it?  Mundane on Monday, Tuesday we got topical, Wednesday was whimsical, and on Thursday we remembered some good times past…

Friday, the 13th of November, 2015 it all went to hell.  It’s such a shame that we seem to only come together after such tragedies, and then only for a short time.  Please, please, please…don’t hate.  Keep your heart full of compassion for the victims—and we are all victims.  Don’t let the un-mainstream media fool you into thinking they’re giving you the true story.  The true story is that people are hurting everywhere and we must lift them up in love or we will be brought down by hate.  I’m a little surprised to quote the Dixie Chicks, but it’s a great song, written by Gary Nicholson and Timothy Page O’Brien:

Just look out around us
People fightin’ their wars
They think they’ll be happy
When they’ve settled their scores
Let’s lay down our weapons
That hold us apart
Be still for just a minute
Try to open our hearts

More love, I can hear our hearts cryin’
More love, I know that’s all we need
More love, to flow in between us
To take us and hold us and lift us above
If there’s ever an answer
It’s more love

paris attacks

On Sunday, Lana, Vicki, and I headed over to University of Evansville’s Shanklin Theatre to watch the musical, “Big Fish”.  It was just the touch of light-hearted that I needed (though it was a little too sappy for Lana and Vicki).  Since the last musical we saw there was “Sweeney Todd”, I think it was my turn for happy-heart-warming-with-just-a-touch-of-tears.   Nicely done, as usual.

Just in case you don’t remember the above-mentioned song…listen up.  LOVE

Throwback Thursday…

This post was originally published on November 12, 2012…

8 Belles 

it was the 2008 kentucky derby, the 134th time the race had been run.  eight belles was the 39th filly to qualify for that race, having proved that she could run with the big boys at oaklawn earlier that spring,  when she set a record, beating their butts by 13 1/2 lengths in the martha washington stakes.  she came in second in that 134th derby, running her life out chasing big bertha.  as 8B was slowing down, she suddenly collapsed and fell in a scene that, in real time, was probably the most heart-wrenching i’ve ever experienced…the vet was immediately present and determined that she had fractured both front ankles in trauma too profound to even move her from the track;  she was immediately euthanized..

just writing this now makes me tearful, and as i watched that day i wailed and cried and shook my fist at the injustice…i still believe that the jockey contributed to her demise because he kept pushing her, even though it was obvious she wasn’t going to catch up with “big butt” as i call him, yet she was far ahead of the rest of the field…  her trainer/owners said it was her tendency to trip on her own feet… thoroughbreds are, of a necessity, inbred and this has contributed to the weak ankles that run through the line.

anyway, we visited the kentucky derby museum yesterday and  paid  homage…

check out the halo

we had a great time visiting the museum and churchill downs yesterday…so great that i didn’t get any blogging done, so i’ll entertain you with another post later on:  more museum, but mostly horses, jockeys, and races…

Lost and Found…

I arrived here in NYC last Tuesday, happy as a little bean to see the E’s again and ready to play super jo-jo.  Their first day of school was Wednesday–Emma started 4th grade and Eliza is in pre-K 4.  Eric’s surgery is scheduled for 9/16 and I know I’ll be needed then, but for now he and Melissa have it all under control.  Eric gave me a short, but efficient, tutorial on using the subway that turned into a nice trip to midtown, along with Eliza, to visit the MoMA.  I love art museums.

moma basquiat

On Friday, I decided to take a day and wander around Central Park.  I actually had a plan to visit a Buddhist Temple that I thought was off Central Park West, so I just cut straight through to the west side at 86th or so.  On the way over, I stopped at the Belvedere Castle, climbing to the top to take some shots with my little samsung camera…(I am so accustomed to using a view finder on my Nikon that I am just bad with LCD screens.  Shooting on a sunny day, I just click hopefully…)

I proceeded over to Central Park West and up into the 90’s before I finally thought to check the address of my destination….it was on East 72nd…  Oh, well, I thought, I’ll just go on back into the park and have some refreshment at the boat house.

think that I went back into the park in the 90’s, but…  I wandered and walked, squinting for a sign of familiarity….well, I got it…  I ended up back at Belvedere Castle and Cleopatra’s needle again.  That’s okay right? After all, it’s a beautiful, (though slightly humid) day, .  The sound of saxophones wafting through the air kept me moving forward in the general direction I thought I should be going.  When I passed the saxophone player the second time, I was using all of my Be Here Now to overcome the pain from the blisters were that growing on my feet.  I tried google maps—god only knows where it was telling me to go.  Now really, I’ve been in the park probably 3-dozen times in the last decade, so I was a little stubborn, believing that I know how to navigate it…  Indeed, I do…

Finally….after running around the same old ground, I began to see some boats…


Just a little more squinting, and there it was…


Thank-you so very much….I stumbled my blistery feet to the bar…





Happy Week-end!!

The camper makeover continues, but we’re not ready for The Big Reveal yet…  I would have gotten farther, but we’re taking a short trip to North Carolina to celebrate my Aunt Shirley’s 80th birthday.  All of my favorite cousins will be there, plus a few I haven’t seen in decades…scores, even.  Aunt Shirley is my mom’s youngest sister, the only one still living,  Clarence and Flo Eaton’s baby #9.    She lives in Florida, but she’s driving up to her grand-daughter’s home near Asheville for the soiree’.  The Eatons are seriously funny folks and I’m hoping to laugh until I pee my pants at least once.

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to…

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I’ve been away from the computer a lot for this project, sitting in front of my new sewing maching.  It self-threads, what not to love?   I’ve got 2 of 4 curtain panels finished, a little behind due to last-minute changes in the design.  We’re going to finish up early next week.


I’m taking along some tomatoes to share with the fam in NC….there’s a glut around here…


For more pictures of the garden click  here

Hope you have a great week-end, full of laughter (the snort-your-drink-out-your-nose kind) and fresh veggies…


Week-end Wrap-up

I started back at the track on Thursday, taking inventory and buying new supplies for the season.

Friday was opening day and it was a rainy one.  There were delays due to the rain and equipment failure, so I had time to stew over the news that they had not found another nurse (for next week-end).  Many of my friends from last year didn’t return this season, including my favorite bartender, and the medic working with me tactfully explained that no self-respecting RN would work for the money I was being paid.

Saturday was better, sunny and no delays, but still…  I had told the powers-that-be back in May that I couldn’t work week-ends in July, yet they had no plan to cover my absence..  The track owner had said he “knew some nurses”, but without decent incentive (like $$) no one was coming forward to share the job.   There are a number of other problems that had surfaced…  I love these folks, have seriously enjoyed this job, and felt some pangs of regret that things weren’t working out.

Sunday was humid, and despite dollar dogs and beer, not very crowded.  Near the end of the day, I was asked to work next week-end.  So I did what I’m getting real good at doing:  I quit.  It was an amicable parting.  I spoke with them about what they need to do to cover their ass, talked to the jockey union steward about the situation, and handed out hugs.

I guess I am Really Retired now.retired 1

retirement 2








We are starting Camp Sonnystone this week.  Opening ceremonies are today, 2-6.  We will introduce our music and choose the poems to memorize.  Supper tonight is breakfast!  I’ve got to pick up some supplies and groceries, so I’m outta here for now.

Stay tuned for daily updates…

Week-end Wrap-up

Oh, my, I’m way behind on blogging, and that means there’s been a bunch of activity here at the Acres….

Emma and Eliza have settled in quite comfortably and our days are flying by.   Olivia and Samantha have been frequent visitors, and Berkeley and Briley brightened up our Tuesday.  Plenty of pool time, lots of laughs, an art show, swinging, singing, dancing….

Here’s some pictures…



While pictures of cute kids and sappy-sweet prose is what you have come to expect from Sonnystone, I have been going through changes…  This blog is my hobby, but it’s been more than that to me.  It has allowed me to express myself, and has given me a sense of self-satisfaction as I share the world that I’ve created.  Many people wrote me off when I was younger, but it is with great joy that I am still standing, right here in this beautiful life, surrounded with love…

I have invited You into it, and some judge me (after all, they knew me when).  While I tell myself that judgmental people are insecure, small, and mean, it’s hard to not take to heart what they say about me.  Because I wanted them to like me,  I hid my true feelings and thoughts. Still, even when I try to not offend, I offend.

Recently, I’ve  let go of trying to please.  I’m determined to stop hiding…to be really me, Truly who I am.

queenism 1

To that end, I want to express how proud I am that our country has finally provided a way for All americans to get the healthcare they need without going broke.  I am so excited that our country is finally standing up to the dogmatic christian denominations that would have us believe that God does not love All of Us…   I am immensely thrilled that the confederate states of america is finally on the ropes…

More eloquently than I,   Here is how a fellow-blogger phrased it.

Actually, most of the people who think I’m going to hell for my views haven’t read this far…and that’s okay.  I stopped following them  a long time ago…

I’ll try to post more often…




Going back home…

Our flight is scheduled to leave LaGuardia at 1:59pm…  We’re flying Delta and I’m hoping they’ve overbooked this flight so I can pick up a couple of bucks waiting for the 5pm flight.

But I’m a little homesick.  It’s been a hectic 2 weeks….

I don’t quite know how to express how I’m feeling about the situation here in NYC.  I’m not sure I really understand it myself.  Please consider if you can contribute to Eric’s Medical Fund.  It is very much needed and appreciated.

do know that I’m going to be having a blast with my grand-daughters—all 4 of them–this summer.  Six weeks seems like a long time, but it will fly by, so we’re going to fill up each day with memories to cherish forever.

The theme of Camp Sonnystone this year is “Music”…

mu·sic    ˈmyo͞ozik/
vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.


We’ll throw in painting, picnics,  crafts, swimming, and field trips.   Seeing my trashy hometown through the eyes of the girls will help me put a new shine on it, and the farmers markets, the festivals–even the heat and humidity– will be an adventure…