Breaking News: #2 grandie graduates 8th grade

How bittersweet it is to watch your grandchildren grow up! As I watched the graduation ceremony, a montage of images slid through my mind, beginning with the first time I ever held her, hopping through 14 years of smiles…and some tears…and plenty of growing pains…and achievements beyond her own expectations.

Covid wiped out Olivia’s 6th grade year and she was home-schooled for 7th, so her experience of middle school has been brief, but full, as she was active in choir and on the Math Academic team. She received the Presidential Scholar Award and some other Civic Award. She was chosen to speak on “Looking Ahead” at the graduation ceremony; she seemed so grown-up as she delivered her remarks. She had also spoken at her 5th grade graduation, so I couldn’t help but compare and contrast. She is Remarkable, Super, and My Grand-daughter, so I’ve been tearful for the last 24!!

Olivia Mayne Casey, my sweet little buddy and occasional sparring partner, has been known to read this blog, so here’s to you, Nova!! I know you know, but I’ll say it anyway…

Peace

Boxing Day

It’s the Second Day of Christmas and I’m expecting the delivery of my turtledoves anytime now. Boxing Day in the UK was originally about opening the alms boxes to give to the poor, but has devolved into a shopping day. It’s also St. Stephen’s Day in the Catholic church, the day that Good King Wenceslas looked out where the snow lay round about…

Last Monday was the anniversary of my daughter’s birth and we were in NYC to celebrate. After luncheon at The Community, we proceeded to the movie theatre to see “West Side Story”. (We Loved it, we cried, we marveled…you really should see it.) Then we trooped back to the apartment to sing and blow out candles; I’m Sure her wishes can come true.

We had a super time on Christmas Eve with the Jrs. After a good meal replete with mashed potatoes and gravy, we opened presents. Then it was off to the movie theatre to see “Encanto” which was encanting…(insert punny emoji)

We called the grandies on Christmas morning; beyond that it was just us, two old kids, exchanging presents, drifting through the day, content with grazing the leftovers, amicably sharing. The Day was balmy, so we walked through the woods, planning a pruning spree next month; walked around the gardens discussing plans for the 2022 upgrades; walked down to the campfire circle and envisioned a wall of forsythia between us and the neighbors’ pond… I hope your Christmas was just as heartwarming as ours…

We may or may not have visitors from Manhattan this week, depending on Covid testing. I think Emma may have gotten caught in the blizzard out there…

Peace

The Final Sunday Report

Last week I spent some time staring at the campfire and contemplating. Something inside me kept saying “I’m done” in a loop. I’d been feeling my age lately and this year’s Camp Sonnystone really brought it home as I cope with my grandies growing up in what seems the blink of an eye. But there’s no reason to think that I’m done, not at all; with so many good times to look forward to and our health still strong, I couldn’t justify that sort of morbid thinking. So I examined it more closely, listened more intently.

This blog means so much to me; it is the Chronicle of my Life. Including the defunct blog, for the last 16 years it has witnessed the birth of all my grandchildren and my evolution as a JoJo. Through two organist jobs, two nursing jobs, Christmases, Birthdays, Camps, and plenty of Disney Trips we’ve watched the grandies grow. But there were also lots of topics; I did interviews, reviewed every “Best Motion Picture” Oscar winner, went through my CD collection with comments, occasionally talked politics, often talked about Peace. There were some deaths, as well: Aunts Thelma, Almeda, and Shirley; Uncle Jr; my friends, NuNu, Lois, Chuck, and Beaver. I’ve taken you on lots of trips with us, kept you apprised of what’s growing in the garden, what birds are at the feeder, and sometimes just blathered.

Even though I upgraded my WP account, I have now very nearly filled up all the allotted media space for Sonnystone and for the garden blog, Growing Every Season, which I started around the same time. At first I thought I would do a whole lot of work to download and delete old posts, but I kept putting it off. The next upgrade costs quite a bit more money and is more for a monetized blog. I believe the voice that was saying “I’m done” meant that I’m done with this particular blog and the obligation that I feel to keep it going.

To give The News a proper send-off, I compiled a video of photos. In order to not make it an hour long, I concentrated on just the people, then had to pare it down more to mostly grandies growing up. The music that I chose is poignant; Over the Rainbow and Wonderful World by Iz, the wonderful Hawaiian artist. He speaks in one part, almost unintelligible, but he’s using two Hawaiian words: “kuleana” has multiple meanings, including “land divisions”, but represents your space or spirit; “pono” which means “to make correct” or “to make good”. So what he means is that kuleana pono is an “automatic plan”, that if you make your space, your spirit good, “stuff” is just waiting to come to you, waiting until you are ready.

It makes me kind of anxious to think of not blogging every week, so I remind myself that I’ll still be keeping up the ancestry blog, and our trips will still be recorded over at the travel blog. The fact is I need to let go and open my mind up to new things, especially regarding my writing. By letting go, I will open up my spirit for some of that “stuff” that has just been waiting until I’m ready.

Thank-you for following along with me. I have truly enjoyed your company. Now I’m taking one long look back, then turning out the light, closing the door behind me.

Peace

Camp Sonnystone 2021 : A Short Video

My babies are growing up. Each Camp has been precious, though every year included a new version of the children who I call my Grandies. Now ages 15, 13, 10, and 6, there’s still the Magic that being together brings, as we bask in the genuine Love that gets passed around amongst us.

(The original of this video was set to The Beatles “I Will”, but youtube put a big block on it. Verry interesting, since Disney has always let me use their stuff. Anyway, I had to change the music and I chose from their free audio.)

Peace

Sunday Report 8-8-2021

There is nowhere else I’d rather be than with my grandkids, so the last two weeks have been heaven. As usual, Camp Sonnystone 2021 was a rousing success. Our Word was Believe, and our Theme was Rainbows. We ate well, swam a lot, painted, made suncatchers, sang, danced, laughed and had a few tears just to keep it real. My daughter has been making regular posts to FB, but for my WP followers, here’s a few pictures.

I’m just beginning to work on a video and hope to share that with you next week.

Peace

Camp Sonnystone 2020: The Movie version…

What a Wonderful two weeks it has been!  Let’s all get Together (wearing masks and social distancing, of course) and Save the World for our grandchildren.  They are soo worth it.

Come on, people!  Smile on your brothers and sisters! 

Everybody Get Together and Love One Another right Now!  Right Now…

‘Cause We’re All in this Together…

Peace

Sunday Report

It’s Closing Day of Camp Sonnystone 2020 and I’m preparing a feast of summer foods. It seems like I’ve not taken enough pictures, so when the Jrs arrive we’ll go into a frenzy of snapping pics for this year’s Movie.

Like All of 2020, it’s been a different kind of camp– No field trips, No restaurants, No visiting or visitors, just a lot of pool-time, dancing, painting, playing, and relaxing.  Eliza is a Donut Bank Fiend, so most days began with a drive-through there for coffee and sweets — especially the free cookies that she Loves.  The Jr. kids have been here every other day and we’ve had dinner from every fast-food place in town, plus a few carry-out restaurants.  We’ve had plenty of ice cream to keep us cool in this record-breaking heat and humidity.

The New Yorkers have been in school every morning Mon-Fri and I’ve sat in to read “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” with Eliza, as well as “Stamped” with Emma.  They’ve also continued to practice their Irish Dance on the Dance Floor Pawpaw set up for them.

Our Theme this year is Together and our Theme Song is “We’re All in this Together” from Disney’s High School Musical.  Emma studied the choreography and taught it to the her sister and cousins…and me.  Wait ’til you see my moves…

Eric drove back to NYC two weeks ago and returned yesterday evening.  During those two weeks,  Evansville’s Covid-19 cases have quadrupled from 250 to over 1,000 and the mayor is begging people to wear a mask.  Please.

The Jose’ Fam will head home tomorrow, leaving me to my memories… The Quiet is always deafening after they are gone…  This year’s video will be Great, if I do say so myself, and I’ll share as soon as it is complete.

Peace

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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