Another Week-end Wrapped Up

We arrived back at Sonnystone early afternoon Thursday.  You can read about our trip at My Travel Blog.  Wink had traveled very well, (even alerting us to bear outside the camper one night!) but was glad to get back to his old box, as were we.

Saturday was Olivia’s Dance Recital (as well as the Preakness, which did not turn out well, but I don’t wanna talk about it).  She has really improved and this year was her best.  In fact, the whole (half) of the recital that I watched was better than the last few.  It’s tough to get dancing pictures from the cheap seats without blur, but here’s my best of her best…


Didn’t I warn you about what happens when we go off-grid?  While we were in the Smokies, the news cycle was Spinning, and when I came out of the no-news-zone it took several hours of reading to catch up with the chaos.  I’m glad I missed it in real time.  Reading it all summed up was anxiety-producing enough…  Of course, those of you who watch faux news 24/7 don’t have any idea what I’m talking about…

Busy week ahead.   The garden is growing strong.  Check out the photos at My Garden Blog.  Until we meet again…

Peace

 

A last hurrah to Christmas 2016

Our plans to drive to NYC on Christmas Day were unavoidably changed, but that’s okay.  We’re free, now, to come and go as we please.  Here at Sonnystone, we’re still walking around going, wow you really don’t have to go to work, as we do the same old things we’d always do…put away the decorations, bring in the firewood (though it’s been unseasonably warm), and eat up the leftovers.

The Leftovers are from our Christmas Eve get-together with the Jrs.  Olivia and Samantha spent the night with us on the 23rd, and we met up with their parents for breakfast the next morning at IHOP.  (good enough, but I wish Eville had more diners)   Returning to the Acres, we quickly got down to serious christmas business:

Opening presents…

dsc_0031

Playing with new toys…

Not just New toys, but old games, too…

dsc_0049

New toys are great, but Samantha currently loves the harmonica the best.  Since she figured out how to make music with it a couple of months ago, she comes in pointing and asking  for it every visit.  She insists that I play one with her, and we’re quite a duo, but with or without me, she doesn’t let go of her blues harp.

We’ve got it all put away now and we’re busy working on the laundry room remodel…wait, did I say We?  I’m still putting everything back where it was (where was it?) before the holidaze, planning some trips, and vowing to not make any resolutions this year…like I never do.

Perfect Weather for Camping

 

We went up to Harmonie State Park last Friday, staying until Monday.  The last time we were up there was our first outing with the Trailer back in April.  We were so excited to take to the road that we didn’t care that the weather was awful—high winds, rain, cold.  It was a pretty dull affair by most standards, but we tried the heater, the microwave, and the toilet, figured storage options, and started planning our Trips.   With four more trips under our belt, we felt like Seasoned Trippers as we set up camp.  This is a park that we are verrry familiar with.  We have camped there at least once a year since we bought our first camper back in 1989.  After we sold the Old Viking, we would tent-camp with the van and it became our go-to spot to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  We were up there just last year with the pop-up (and Olivia) and that’s where we decided to go whole whog and buy a travel trailer.

The weather (as you can see) was perfect.   Saturday morning we got up and went for a hike, starting with flannel shirts, but soon dropping off to tee shirts.  I didn’t take my camera, but we did have binoculars to spot birds.  Sunset found us on the banks of the Wabash River.

dsc_0014-2

Olivia marched in the Fall Festival Parade with her dance school, so the Jrs. were busy on Saturday.  They came up for lunch on Sunday, and to play…

Michael, Jessica, and Samantha went on home after some hot dogs for supper (yes, I said supper) and left Olivia with us.  We rode bicycles and roasted some more dogs.  She always takes the bedroom, so she settled down early with her tablets and a movie.

On our last trip, the stormy weather had precluded any TV or cellphone reception (there is no internet connection there), so I had Thought that I would be getting off the grid, taking a nice break from Anxiety-producing News.  Alas!  We usually had 2 bars on the cell, and the TV reception was perfect for our local network outlets…  We kept the TV off, though, so I didn’t realize there was a shit-storm the size of Matthew roaring through until Saturday afternoon, when I got sucked back into the “what the hell” that is our current political clime.  I did my best to keep my eyes and mind averted, but by Sunday night there I was in my comfy chair, clutching the remote and watching the debate.  Damn.  I guess there’s no place to hide…

But I’ll keep trying.

The next morning, we tore down camp and went for a quick around-the-pond hike as we left…

Peace, dear Readers.

News Round-up

Shew!  Busy times.

Martha, Nancy, and I went over near Robards, KY to a new winery/restaurant, The Farmer and the Frenchman.  It is brand-spankin’ new and very well-done.  It’s a little far out there–and we got lost, thanks to my directions–but the decor and view are terrific.  The menu was interesting, but I stuck with a familiar Greek salad;  not the best I’ve had, but certainly good.  The wine was nice, sweet, but not syrupy.  They were out of their signature “dressed-up cowgirl red”, so I drank a glass of white — good enough to persuade me to buy a bottle.  I plan on dragging Casey down there and I highly recommend it to ya’ll, too…

dsc_0062

Last Friday I drove over to my mom’s hometown, Grayville, IL, to visit with Aunt Shirley and my Compton boy-cousins.  Aunt Shirley is visiting from Melbourne, FL and I like to see her whenever she’s nearby.  We went over to Davina’s Country Diner for lunch–catfish fritters, green beans, and cucumber salad-

dsc_0023

-and then came back to Jeff’s house to smoke and drink and play cards.  It was a blast.  There is no one else alive who I’d rather drunk with than Any of my Compton cousins, and the guys are real sweethearts.  Those boys roll their own tobacco and it is nasty, she says since she puffed up a pound or two of it.  I napped and waited for cousins Lana and Charley to show up for some cards–chit-chat–and won $4…beginner’s luck.  My clothes were stinking and I don’t want to talk about the hangover the next morning…

I bought a selfie-stick a while back, but can’t get it to connect to bluetooth, so I have to use the timer and somebody else’s arm to snap the pic…not an easy feat when you’ve been dancing with Jim Beam all day…

Girlfriend Luann is in town for her Mom’s 90th birthday party on Saturday, so we’re getting together this afternoon.  I’m going back to Grayville on Friday for a more sober visit and to say hasta la vista to the Auntie.

Saturday is the Birthday Party and I guarantee you the food will be the stuff of childhood memories.  Lu’s clan is full of interesting people to whom I like to pretend I’m related.  Still, there’s no Jeff & Jay in that fam, so they are missing out (but will probably live longer).

The first full week in October is always the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival, which I will avoid like the plague.  Ya’ll go on down there, though, and enjoy yourselves!  Olivia’s dance school is marching in the parade, but the other grandparents are covering it for me.  Lily King is the grand marshal and it will be packed–we are proud of our homegrown Olympic Gold Medalist.

Casey has the week off, so we’re planning some sort of adventure.  I’ll be perfecting my selfie-stick skills and be sure to keep you informed…

Till then…Peace…

Best of Sonnystone 2012

While I take a break from blogging, every Sunday I will dredge up the Past, digging deep to find the most popular posts from each year since The News has been published.

Always nice to take a walk down Memory Lane…shall we?

3-days-filled-to-the-brim-and-spilling-over…January 1, 2012

Wrapping it Up…

Melissa surprised Emma and Eliza on Friday ,  swooping them up and flying them home on Sunday.  I miss them, especially in the mornings, but we were essentially out of activities, and they wanted to be home on their Dad’s birthday yesterday.   We had a big dinner on Saturday here at the ‘Stone, ate a nice breakfast at Denny’s on Sunday morning, and that’s it for the whole fam damily being together for a while.  I wish Eric could have been here, too, but he’s back to working a lot of overtime, and that’s a good thing.

DSC_0038 (1)

Saturday luncheon…

The rain is relentless, gloomy, and, err,  wet…    The gardening I can do is minimal and the house is clean enough, so how’s a girl to entertain herself?

Planning trips is always a good time,  and that’s what I’m up to this week.  Next week I will babysit Olivia and Samantha for three 10-hour days, and the following week we’ll take off for the Sangre de Cristo mountain range via Rte. 66.

Pretty exciting, eh?   In the meantime, I will be taking a break from “live” posting, and presenting “The Best of Sonnystone”, reblogging some of your favorite posts from the last 5 years.

I’ll be back after Labor Day, revived and ready to share my adventures with you.

Happy Trails to y’all.  Peace Out.

Eric: The Epilogue

I guess it will always be the Year-that-Eric-got-cancer, and it’s been a long rough-patch.  The days since March, 2015 have been fraught with temptation to fear, piled with prayers for mercy and healing, and full of gratitude as friends have shared our woes and lightened the burden.

Eric is Now (as of 6/23) not Just Cancer-Free, but Officially Finished with All his treatments.  That’s 17 rounds of chemotherapy, a rare adult who made it through All of the prescribed infusions.   That’s one surgery to remove 3 rays of his left foot with associated wound-healing complications.  That’s one bout of Sepsis following the final chemo treatment.  That’s 25 radiation treatments, burning his foot till it resembled Peking Duck and temporarily putting him back on crutches.  That’s about enough, isn’t it?

I want to use all of my eloquence to describe my son-in-law, but superlatives sound so shallow:  fantastic father!  great husband!  caring friend!   He is all of that and always has been, but adding !cancer survivor! misses the truth.  He was determined, often grimly, motivated by his daughters to stand up to whatever the cure required.  It has made him a deeper, stronger soul…

I’m reminded of these verses from the poem, Invictus by William Ernest Henley:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

I really think a celebration is in order.  Let’s get it started this Independence Day weekend—set off a bottle rocket, or light a sparkler, or maybe even throw one of those cherry bombs in Eric’s Honor.  Toast him with your favorite beverage!

You Really are a Rockstar, Eric! You did it!  It’s Over!  You are so loved and admired!

4/21/16

4/21/16