Home again

Thanks, dear friends, for the many happy-birthday-wishes. The Jubilee has just begun! Day 4 of being 70 is showing promise as we unpack and plow through the laundry.

Our trip was Super! We did several things that we’d never done before: watched the sunset from Topolino’s Terrace, ate lunch at La Creperie in France, and rode Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind.

Cosmic Rewind is the BEST RIDE EVER!!! so we rode it twice.

On my Birthday Evening, we were gifted with reservations at Raglan Road, where we met up with one of the Irish Dancers there who made it such a special treat. We watched the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach at Fort Wilderness, visited Port Orleans French Quarter to celebrate Mardi Gras, and basked in some beautiful sunsets.

The picture below kind of sums it up: These two kids are happy…

One of the perks of our traveling is how good it feels to get back home. Breaking up the monotony of winter is especially invigorating, and with only three weeks until the Spring Equinox it feels like the days are considerably longer, if not brighter.

My Jubilee Mission continues: To fill the Year with love, laughter, good health, and good people. So far, so good…


Birthday Day

Disney World is Not just for kids, as I have shown you. In fact, we’ve walked nearly 12 miles since we arrived and I haven’t had anyone carry me, so far, like I see all these little’uns.

Yesterday we broke camp at Fort Wilderness and moved over here to Pop Century — our home-away-from-home. The weather is very hot and humid, so I’m glad we’re not camping the whole trip.

And now the Big Day has dawned and I’ve completed yet another trip around the sun, my 70th. Park Hopping is my cardio and I’m feeling pretty fit. We’re scheduled to ride Guardians of the Galaxy – Cosmic Rewind around 4:30 at Epcot today and have most of the day free to do whatever we feel. Celebrate!

It seems appropriate to quote Walt Disney…

To finish up the Judith Viorst poem, quoted in Sunday’s post, re: turning the big 7-0:

……In the meantime,

Let us consider

Drinking wine,

Making love,

Laughing hard,

Caring hard,

And learning a new trick or two

As part of our job description

At Seventy.

That’s a pretty good job description for any of us, don’t you agree? I’m so grateful for all of you, truly appreciative of all my readers, whatever your age… Join the Jamboree and celebrate with me!

Hope you youngsters are able to keep up with us Class-of-’71-ers…


and the Jubilee Jamboree begins…

After a particularly gray, gloomy week here at the Acres, we’ve escaped, driving south toward sunshine and balmy temperatures. As if that weren’t enough, it’s Birthday Week!

We were off to a great start Friday evening with a Game Night Party to celebrate Samantha’s 8th and my 70th. We played the new Life Goals card game and learned the Clue card game. Both of us Birthday Girls won, and though the Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game was very competitive, the victory went to me.

If it’s noon, we’re driving through Chattanooga, a highway that makes me nervous. There’s something about runaway truck lanes that puts me on edge. If you’re reading this later in the afternoon, we’ve hopefully made it through Atlanta without too many stops and are cruising down the looong state of Georgia. We’ll stop tonight around sunset and spend the night in a campground. Goldie has been remodeled since our last outing and I believe we’ve got the layout just right for our needs.

I recently discovered an old (2005) book of poems by Judith Viorst, titled “I’m too young to be Seventy And other delusions”. She so perfectly put into words so much of what I’m feeling about this aging thing, and I’ll probably be sharing some of the poems with you this year. The title poem, “At Seventy”, starts like this

Instead of “old”

Let us consider


Or maybe “oldish”

Or something, anything

That isn’t always dressed in sensible shoes

And fading underwear.

Besides which, seventy isn’t old.

Ninety is old.

And though eighty is probably old,

We needn’t decide that

Until we get there.

I’m considering this trip a reset, a re-boot, a rejuvenation, a kick-off celebration of my long-ish life and overflowing blessings. I’ll be in touch, and we’ll see how that poem wraps up.


Hear Ye! Hear Ye! ‘Tis a Jubilee Year!

Time, Time, Time…see what’s become of me: in February of this year, I’ll turn Seventy…

I’ve been planning a year-long celebration of this momentous occasion ever since last February when I turned 69, wading bravely into my 70th year. At first, I thought I’d begin the festivities on my actual b-day, but now have decided that the entire year must be one of Jubilee. I share passing this landmark with nearly everyone who went to high school and nursing school with me, so I’m in good company. I’m hoping that all my friends – regardless of age — will come together for a Sonnystone Garden Party in July. Mark your calendars for that second week or so, and watch this spot for more info. If that doesn’t work for you, let’s just meet up for lunch sometime this year!

In addition to planning this gala, I’m looking forward to finally taking that Long Drive in Goldie, visiting the New Yorkers on St. Paddy’s Day, and more WDW (of course). I hope to get the Family History printed and there will be changes to the blog. It’s time to pull out the mandolin and brush up on some chords. Bring on fresh piano music! Refresh my reading challenge and strive again for 24 books this year. Maybe Windsor, England? Amtrak sounds like fun. Jubilee years are packed with pleasure, so here we go!

Resolutions? Ha! I plan to stay healthy, happy, and Curious… There’s still so much I want to learn, especially the stuff I thought I already knew…


Still Partyin’ with the Queen

Occasionally I note that other people are not as obsessed with the British Royal Family as I am; in fact, many don’t even like them… (The Family are like a soap opera for me — I don’t like all of the characters, but they’re essential for the plot.) It is Clear, however, that World-wide most Everybody feels kindly toward HM The Queen. It has been quite emotional for me seeing her on the balcony Three Times! From the Trooping of the Colour on Day 1 to today’s Platinum Pageant, the Brits have put on a spectacular show to celebrate her 70 years on the throne. Last night’s Party at the Palace was so so good — I was dancing one minute and crying the next. Did you happen to see the clip of her having tea with Paddington Bear? Now we know what she keeps in her purse!!

Now that the Jubilee has wound down, I’m about all royaled-out. Back in the gardens, we’re enjoying the Perfect weather and so are the crops.

We decided to wait to put up the pool until it gets hot again — probably next week — and in the meantime started a new project down at the firepit. Here’s what it looks like now…from the back of the Edible Garden…

We’re putting up more privacy fence at the bottom so I don’t have to look at the neighbor’s solar panels. We’ll also add some larger shrubs to enclose the sitting area… I have a vision…

The cottage garden is growing and the black-eyed Susans in the Peace Garden are about to explode. We’ve put out three hummingbird feeders and they’re all staying busy…wish I could get a shot of them, but I never seem to be handy with the camera at the right time…

Hope you’re enjoying a lovely day wherever your area!


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…

Surprise Week-end in NYC

Our daughter, Melissa, turns 40 on December 20.  Her husband, Eric, and I started planning a surprise party for her several months ago.  He did all the work, really, but I had to keep the secret…   It was a complete success, I’m here to tell ya, and her first remark to me after everybody yelled “surprise” was:  You usually can’t keep a secret.

But I did!!!   Let me show you…



Melissa has always made the very nicest friends, and her NYC family is the best.  The treat of the evening was the presence of two of our Evansville peeps, the Carnahan Sisters, who flew in for the occasion. It was a great party…

It was a quick trip, but we packed it full.  Any time I’m with the grandkids, there is always Love.  Just hanging out with Emma and Eliza fills my heart.



But, hey, it’s New York City…   It’s been a tradition to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular since Emma was a sprout, and the City is such a nice backdrop for Festive Pictures…

As if all of that weren’t enough, we had breakfast with Santa after Sunday Mass.

The breakfast was given by the school that the girls attend and they had lots of baskets to raffle.  Casey got lucky and won one that will supply the kids with books for a while—the cherry on the sundae.

We flew back home without incident, collapsed and returned to work today.  I meant to post this much, much earlier, but back to work involved actual work and I had to have my nap….

We’re going to Nashville, TN this week-end to see the Rockettes with our Eville grand-daughter.  Till then…

Week-end Wrap-up in Photos

New Harmony, In, (pop. 766) held their Christmas parade on Saturday morning.  We picked up Olivia and drove over for the festivities…

Throughout the parade, candy was thrown to the children that lined the streets and Olivia kept busy picking it up and adding it to her bag.  After we had welcomed Santa, we ducked into the Main Cafe to warm up with lunch and count our treasure.

All of the shops offered more candy as we strolled through;  Hoosier Salon had a great dance floor, and the Women’s Gallery helped us make ornaments to take home.  We were pretty-well worn-out by the time we sat on Santa’s lap for a quick pic.

I finished up the around-the-house decorating today, not because I feel like it’s perfect, but because I have to move on to preparing for our Christmas in NYC trip.  It’s pretty nice, though.  I’ll share some pictures of that tomorrow.

Hope you’re getting into the Spirit, as well!  17 more days till the Big Guy climbs down the chimney…


Casey’s birthday #60…

He is my beloved husband, my best friend, the love of my life.   Wait, that’s about me…   Okay, he is a great guy, a good man.    He was born 60 years ago today.  Let’s celebrate!

DSC_0004We met the Jrs. for lunch at Applebee’s, then ran into Kohl’s to buy some Birthday-flannels…   He’s outside hanging up the Christmas lights now and I’m getting ready to take a nap in his honor…

Happy birthday, Casey!  I love you forever and ever and always…




shiftless (week-end wrap-up)

My to-do list for the week-end was full…and I did manage to get cross off everything except the outside-of-the-house stuff…meaning that I didn’t get off the property much.  There was a trip to the pumpkin store and I popped into the grocery.  I cleaned like a little scrubby-Dutch woman, sneezing the dust away as I went, and cooked up some soups (tomato/basil and grilled cheese;  hearty vegetable)…also read some Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor short stories, wishing I could write like that.

I did take some pictures, lucky you…


This is a 4-day work-week, giving us a 3-day “Fall Break”—hahaha!   It’s the week that we Celebrate Grease and Embrace Obesity (it’s all about that bass) here in E-‘ville in our never-ending quest to stay on top of the fattest-city competition:  WestSide Nut Club’s Fall Festival!!!  I usually skip that, but you never know.  Casey and I have been planning a get-away to the mountains, but the weather looks shit-esque, and right now that’s on hold; I have seen the Appalachians in fog many, many times already.

I’ll let you know where we end up.  Till then, Happy Monday!