This Girl

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Emma Magnolia Mayne Jose graduates from 8th grade today.  Emma’s my first grand-daughter, my #1 who Named me Jojo.  I am so proud of all she has accomplished in her 14 years. We’re tuning into the Town School ceremony via livestream, buckets of tissues nearby, to listen to her speak.  I’m so glad we could attend in this way, but I’d rather be in NYC…

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Coincidentally, Ten years ago today I posted my first blog on “The News from Sonnystone Acres”.   I started the blog “Sonnystone Acres” in June, 2004. I can’t access those stories anymore, though I did find about four years of them.  It’s cringeworthy stuff, but I liked blogging.  In 2010 I came across the free WordPress site and started the garden blog, Growing Every Season.  The platform was so much easier to use that I re-started The News to chronicle my life– good thing, too, since we often have to go to the blog to remember when we went where, or what year something happened, so it’s now essential.

Anyway, the first blog post on The News brought along my following of about 12 people.  I had just returned from a trip to NYC to visit with Emma..  It is All Emma, 4 years old, radiating charm…  I adore this girl…

All together now?

Thank-you for following me!  I want to tell you all about my recent trip to NYC………

Sunday morning tap class:

Melissa sang beautifully at a recital that afternoon (tears from Mom) and we supped at Maz before she went off to sing a Mass.  Eric, Em, and I stopped by Merrion Square for a short snort, then grabbed the car, picked up Mel and we went down to the HighLine.  Remember when I went there in November?  It sure looks different now with all the plants in bloom.  I took tons of pictures of the flora and fauna, but you’ll have to check those out over at the garden blog.   Here’s some people pix:

From there we walked to Bill’s for a coldass beer.  It is this kind of backdrop that makes me feel like I’m on a movie set when I’m walking the streets of New York.

The next day, we took Emma to school and ran some errands.  After school, she and her buddies (and her mom’s buddies) went over to the park and play, play, played:

 

On Tuesday, the City opened up all the museums along Museum Mile for free, closing off the streets for an Art Fair.  As we arrived, lo and behold, there was de la Vega, an artist I have long revered (I have 2 t-shirts, that’s how much I revere him) chalking his art from 103rd down to 80-something where the Met is:

Emma picked up a piece of his chalk (he carried a bagful, and would hand it to the kids or leave it to be picked up when he finished) and began to do her own art all the way down the street (until her chalk was gone):

The finale was a sneak preview of  the St. Joseph end-of-school Show, to be presented next week, but kindly practiced on stage just for a visiting Grandma…thanks to Andermanis….

The songs were great and not your usual kids song, and the best: All You Need is LOVE.  As they stressed the LOVE, they put their hands in the air…..I love Emma’s school.  I love her whole life, actually, and it’s so fun to watch and be a part of it!!

Peace

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Sunday Report

My son-in-law, Eric the Super Dad, cancer Survivor, started experiencing pain in his right lower abdominal quadrant last week.  They live in New York City, you know, so there was much consternation.  As the pain steadily worsened over a couple of days, he zoomed into a CityMD and was directed to the hospital….  The Hospital…in New York City.  Eric’s cancer had been treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering and some of their Good Friends work there and they could have presented there.  However, Melissa’s Crohn’s Disease has been treated at Mt. Sinai and since this was obviously a GI problem, they decided to go there.  You’ve no doubt seen scenes of overwhelmed doctors and nurses battling against the virus that has inundated the building

The had to take an Uber through the Belly of the Beast and by the time they got to the entrance, Eric could hardly walk.  At the metal detector just inside, Melissa had to leave him.  She walked the mile back to their apartment and she and her daughters held each other tight.  And she called me.  As usual, I was ready to fly to her side.  As usual, there would be nothing I could do to help.  And as always, I wanted them to Be Here under my wings where I could Protect them, but that is deluded thinking.

Right away Eric was tested for coronavirus.  By the time it came back negative, his appendix had burst.  Thank-you, Lord, he was where he needed to be.  Melissa’s surgeon, the Amazing Dr. Ky from Sesame Street, showed up to take care of Eric and the very angry appendix and he was whisked to surgery.  I am so thankful that it was Dr. Ky and I know that it made Eric feel more confident.  Last report he would be heading back home soon.

While our media has seemed to emphasize the polarization of our country regarding these stay-at-home orders and seems to delight in scaring us as we watch the California beaches fill up and the Michigan protesters scream their ignorance at healthcare workers, I’d like to point out that in NYC they’re unified, determined to do whatever it takes to win against this formidable foe.  Every evening at 7pm the New Yorkers appear at their windows to Clap for the Carers.  They Know that these are People, their neighbors and friends and loved ones who are impossible to replace and they’re not going to be sacrificed for any amount of money.  Fact is, as a Blue State, even their stimulus checks have been held up, but they’re tough and they’ll make it.  Even with their stupid mayor, they look to each other for strength and keep their children closely guarded.  I Love You, New Yorkers!

So I’m a little weepy these days.  I just give in to it.  Looking Directly at my Fears, I can give myself the Compassion that I extend to Others.  Hell, yeah, we’re all scared.  We spend a lot of time cheering ourselves up, and that’s fine, but don’t be afraid to Feel the Helplessness that is inevitable in a time such as this.  My Dad did not tolerate tears and I still feel that childhood conditioning that crying is a sign of weakness.  Wrong-o, Dad; Crying is a sign of Humanity.  I plead Human.

And the Dreams…ever since we started isolating I have had vivid dreams that involve many dead people: Mom, Dad, my cousin Janice, my ex-husband, and my great-grandmother. There’s almost always a Baby, too.  Every one of the dreams ends up with me Lost and running around trying to find my way to someplace that I just can’t find. Once I had run all up and down the streets asking for directions and they were all wrong. Finally I found a couple sleeping in a doorway; the guy looked like Shaggy from Scooby-doo and the gal looked suspiciously like a young Me, wearing a fascinator.  They woke up and pointed out that the Door was right behind me. I turned and there it was; I woke up.

In the dream Last night I was trying to drive a sheriff’s car to rescue someone.  When I sat in the driver’s seat I couldn’t see out the windshield. I fiddled with the seat controls, squishing myself into the steering wheel and laying the seat back until I finally found the control that lifted me up above the dashboard and I could see  through the windshield to drive.  I took off and made it back to a room where Casey was sleeping and I crawled into bed to sleep, then woke up.

I’ve wasted so much Time worrying over things that just don’t matter and I’m grateful that I see that now.  I’ve tried to live up to some sort of expectation of Life while not seeing what’s right in front of me.  I hope this new-found clarity lasts.  I pray that All of Us can See over the steering wheel and find our way Home to our Hearts where our Loved Ones are held tight and safe.

Remember, it’s okay to melt down.  Know This: You are Not Alone…

 We Are All One.

Peace

 

 

 

First Post

I have had the most Wonderful Holiday Season, culminating with a surprise visit from the Jose’ Fam and my Entire Family being together right here at the Acres.  It was exquisitely peaceful and loving.

Whilst basking in the Joy of my family, I didn’t realize for a day that our country had started a war, assassinating another country’s leader, acting as if the USA has some sort of moral superiority to judge and attack any other country (or religion) it doesn’t like.  This sort of verbal aggression is to be expected from the bully that is president right now, but to Start A War…and don’t kid yourself, we are now at war…in order to distract from his corruption is pure evil.

I pray for the people in the Middle East who have been abandoned and assaulted by our country.  I pray for our own people who are going to die paying for this sick man’s ego games.  I pray for all of us as we wander around in this dangerous world.

As I have studied history and its wars, I have found that there is no winner, that in fact Everyone Loses. I would be against war even if the other side had started it.  I believe we are all the same and those who fail to see every human as their brother or sister are blinded by their own fear.   I pray that Love can pierce their blindness and wake them.

Remember: we’re All just walking each other Home…(Ram Dass)

Peace

Monday’s News

The Rain was unrelenting this morning, and I woke up to a Sonnystone Acres shrouded with drab drab.

But there’s a Bright Spot on my calendar, bright enough to dispel the Any gloom:  The New York City Girls and their Mother will be Arriving on August 4!!  Melissa will be staying until the 7th; Emma and Eliza will stay until I take them back to NYC on the 14th.

Because Olivia has to start school on the 7th, we’ll do an abbreviated Camp Sonnystone from 8/4-8/6.  We still haven’t decided on a Theme, but we’ll brainstorm once we’re all together. I haven’t seen Emma and Eliza since March at Disney, so I am Ready to give them some hugs and have them hang out with me.

I should probably insert the brag here that the Girls are Rocking the Irish Dance World.  Just last week Emma got her first 1st in champion level and Eliza got three 3rds in her new prelim level.

I am weaning myself off of Ancestry in prep for the Visit.  I am to a place of blogging the ancestors where I need to start a new line of research on several grandmothers’ families which will take weeks.  It’s hard to stop, though!  Check out my latest post great-great-grandparents Leander and Emma Mayne ,

Livvy, Sam, and I went back to the Zoo to visit the Budgies last week… I really love those Parakeets, but you have to be patient.  I have the Jr girls for a day this week and I wouldn’t be surprised if we went Again…and of course we’ll take the New Yorkers. when they are here.

I’ve got to open up the upstairs and get the rooms ready, but not much else.  I can hardly wait! I’m horrible at doing countdowns — does today count — but I think it’s about 12 more days..!

Peace

Weekly Wrap-up

Monday morning Olivia and Samantha came to stay for three nights!  It was like a mini-Camp Sonnystone:  we painted birdhouses and signs, went to the zoo, played games, swam, and had ice cream every night before bed!

I had the best time with the girls.  I hope they can stay with us every time their mom has to go out of town for work.

The rains have been quite rainy, so we waited until today to head up to New Harmony for their annual antiques fest. A lot of the outside vendors had not even set up due to rain and the usual crowds were non-existent, but we were there.

I’m still getting caught up with the info that my distant Mayne cousin mailed me.  It is intriguing.  My goal is to get some blogging done over at All My Ancestors this week…  But I have some musings to share with my fellow Sonnystoners, too, so expect a tick-up in posts as we creep on toward summer…  Hope you’re having fun!

Peace

The Late Wrap-up

It was a full week last week…  My #2 grandie, Olivia Mayne Casey, was promoted from elementary school last Wednesday.  She was the picture of poise as she gave an excellent speech.  She received several Awards for her participation in extracurriculars, and was chose to have her picture hang on the “Wall of Fame” for her performance in Language Arts.  She looked beautiful…..

Between pounding rains, we brought up the trailer and set it up just outside our back door, ready to be used as a kind of summer house.  Inspired, I pulled out the cushions of the banquette and went crazy buying throw cushions (BOGO 1/2 off at Big Lots) and voila!

By Friday we were able to put up the pool, though the windy rains continued to intermittently pass by…

Saturday was the Shannon’s School of Dance Recital.  This was Olivia’s 7th performance and she did a perfect job…it may be her last, as well, and she went out in style.  She has chosen to d/c the dance during the 6th grade year while she gets the hang of Middle School and their extracurricular offerings.  She says she may go back, and I agreed — the first dance was performed by “old” students at Shannon’s (where were you, Melissa?) who tapped to 42nd Street and it made me want to buckle up my tap shoes and join the fun. (sorry about the quality of the pictures, but the lights…)

The dance recital is always a looong one, so we took Samantha home with us during the intermission and she slept over with us.  She and I sleep together in my bed, putting Grandpa off to the couch…  We picked up Olivia the next morning and the three of us hit up IGA for some fried chicken and other picnic fixins.  Michael and Jessica arrived for lunch and the Indy 500 was on the TV all day.  There was a cloudburst, so no swimming, but we played games and sang songs…

I have been feeling extremely emotional and anxious about nothing, compounded by thinking too much about the past…which has passed…and I know better…but it was 22 years ago last week that Dad died, my grandkids are growing up waay too fast, to say nothing of my children being middle-aged so what does that make me…

This getting old shit is getting old…

So I felt all the feels, but walked them away at the cemetery after I put a fresh arrangement on Mom & Dad’s mausoleum.  Memorial Day is a party at the graveyard and a little bit of sunshine and smiling did me a world of good.

It’s going to be a wonderful summer vacay with the Jr. girls,,,I’m planning weekly adventures and the sky’s the limit on the fun we can muster up.   I’m not sure when the Jose’ girls will visit, but they will!

In the meantime, there’s plenty of work to do around the Acres…right after I sit a spell on the front porch swing…

Peace

 

Weekly Wrap-up

Thursday was Samantha’s last day of 4-year-old Preschool—whoa, time, slow down…   The program was darling and she was, of course, right on it with the songs and choreography…

I haven’t written about the Derby because it was such a disappointment…  Even though it’s not a Real Triple Crown this year, I dutifully bet the Preakness, picked that 25-1 longshot that placed, and made a cool $21.60  The Real Winner was Bodexpress, who ran the race without a jockey….I bet on him, too…

…On to the Belmont, she says half-heartedly.

Next week is Olivia’s week…She will be leaving elementary school (K-5) and moving on to middle school (6-8).  They call it a promotion and will have a program on Wednesday morning… Friday evening she will have her Dance Recital…

If the weatherman is correct, we should be getting summer-like temperatures just in time to get the pool up and filled for Memorial Day.

My Family History research continues to fill my rainy days…and  I do want to get over to decorate graves in Southern Illinois and prowl around the counties that I’ve been studying.  The great-grands seem so real to me now…

Wait!  I see the sun!!

Peace

 

Weekly Gibberish

The Big News from Sonnystone this week is that Nothing Happened…

As the Polar Vortex bore down on us, we turned on the furnace to amend our fireplaces and stayed quite toasty.  Feeling a cold coming on, i looked around for some medicine, only to find that I was out of my usual Allegra.  There was a bottle of Claritin that had been prescribed a while back and it was only a little past expiration, so I downed one.  Accustomed to my 12-hour Allegra, which only works for 8 hours, I had no qualms taking another Claritin about 10 hours later.  The next 24 hours were spent nearly comatose, waking only to feel nauseous and afraid that I was having some Silent Event that I should worry about at my age and not toss off to od-ing on Claritin…  I got up for a couple of hours and sat in front of the computer, then worried that I might be losing my mind and went back to bed.

When I finally woke up (36 hours after taking the fateful pill), it was like a New Dawn.  I felt so refreshed, no cold symptoms, either.  If you have to give up a few days to sleep, crashing through a Winter Freeze is the time to do it.

It seems to me that January went by quickly, but I might be in the minority there.  February always seems longer than its 28 allotted days.  The taxes are begging to be filed, if I can pull myself away, and it is Birthday Month, so I expect to barely turn around and it will be time to leave for Florida in March.

In the meantime, I’ll be immersed, obsessed with the Ancestry.  I changed the link to All My Ancestors if you’d like to visit.  Between the research and the writing, that’s all I’m up to these days.

I gave up on the Photo Synthesis Picture a day… Engrossed in the ancestors and Stuck inside the house, I quickly tired of taking pictures of my walls.   I may have underestimated the Power of Genealogy Addiction..

Peace

The last 2 weeks…

It seems like forever since I’ve blogged, but with good reason.  I always feel a little guilty when I don’t keep ya’ll up-to-date with the latest coming and goings around the Acres, but sometimes life is just too full of Now to stop and write about it…and that’s all right with me.

Olivia played the piano beautifully at her recital on the 8th.  The grandkids are sure growing up fast… I have a lovely video of her performance of “Belle”, but WP makes it difficult to upload videos, so all you get today is a pic…

We flew to NYC on the 11th…remind me not to take the earliest flight on earth next time.  We arrived early enough to pick up Eliza from school, the first time I’ve visited there.  She took the next two days off to hang around with us…

Early our first morning, we took the subway to Rockefeller Center for the NBC Studio Tour.  It was so incredibly cool.  At the end of the eye-opening tour — who knew the SNL set was so small? — the do a video of a “late night talk show”.  I can’t take the time to upload it to wordpress and you probably wouldn’t watch it anyway, but Eliza was the announcer and I was the guest.  It is hilarious.  So fun.

We spent Thursday hanging out, decorating the tree and playing games.  Emma was there, too, but Emma will be 13 next month…if you know what I mean…

Friday both girls were back in school.  Eric, Melissa, PawPaw, and I spent the day traipsing through the Oculis and over to the Whitney to view the Warhol exhibit.  It was as good as Warhol, but I thought there might be more…  Seems like I had seen many of them already…am I getting jaded?

Or maybe it’s because NYC surrounds a person with art…like here on the High Line…

Saturday morning found us at Radio City Music Hall for the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, our annual tradition.  This was the 14th visit for my daughter and me, and the show has changed for the better.  I told them last year we needed to just concentrate on the dancers and they took my advice.  They added new music, new choreography, more light-show stuff, while keeping the old favorites…though they don’t do the Santas with mirrors anymore.

 I just realized that my obsession with the Spectacular is as strong as my obsession with Disney….okay, not quite, but I do tend to repeat my good experiences again and again.

 

 

We flew back home Sunday and spent Monday doing laundry and at the grocery store.  We’ve had Samantha for the last 2 days and that’s as much a workout as walking NYC.  Olivia’s out of school now, so they’ll be here for a sleepover tonight.  I still have to buy gifts…and get these witch nails manicured…and get more food…

Our Christmas with the Jrs. will be this Sunday and by Monday the sound of the silence will be strong…  I’ll have plenty of time to write…

 Jingle All the Way…

Peace

My daughter-in-law’s surgery went fine and she is back home loopy on meds, so I’m still doing the chauffering for her.  It was about 8pm last night that Michael brought her home, so I had Samantha asleep and Olivia at least in her room — I felt like a real Mama.  Samantha gets out of pre-school at noon, so I’ll just say “hey” and get back to work…

I’m glad the election is finally over, but it won’t stop the incessant roar of anger in this country.  I continue to avoid watching cable news, facebook, and twitter, though facebook, for me, seems the mildest of the three.  Facebook just hasn’t been showing me much more than ads until recently when folks (and their cute kids) started popping up–finally a reason to hit the like button..!  Believe me, a person can stay informed without the shrill and shriek of the talking heads manipulating and triggering emotions…

Casey is out putting some cages around the rose bushes.  There are some tall canes that I fear will be destroyed by winter snows.  Our first “snowfall” is predicted for next week…the kind that melts by noon…but we’ll be ready for anything.

Getting up early and getting out of the hou-hou-house seems like such a new/old experience.  Out there in the early morning with the school buses sends me back in time when I had places to go and things to do…and stress out the wazoo.  I’m glad I can help the kids out and take a little of the stress off of them.  Soon enough I’ll be back here with plenty of time to write.

Perfunctory Picture

 

Peace