Monday, July 27, 2009

Whew...July is almost over!

My stitching time has suffered terribly lately! Stitching on our trip out East was too difficult...poor lighting, no magnifier, too many relatives. What I had intended to work on was this:

I'm third in line for this humorous piece for a sisterhood that Annemarie organized. It feels so right. I'm working it on Belfast clay linen, a very appropriately named linen for this I thought. Once I get a few more stitches in it I'll post a photo. It was passed on to me by Kathy, who included a lovely piece of pale pink Silkweaver fabric and a skein of WDW Bubble Gum.

What did we do and see out East? Here are a few photos to share with you!

The MET...Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love that the hot dog stand got captured in the corner. With a sandwich going for $11.50 at the cafeteria, those hot dogs were pretty appealing. I did fork over $3.50 for the tiniest espresso I have ever seen. I really needed the boost.

This was a sculpture on the rooftop of the museum. Pretty neat. Note the cloudy skies.

As forecast in the previous photo, it did begin to rain. We should have done the MET last and wandered first! My poor planning. DD took shelter under her umbrella in Bryant Park, behind the NY public library. We were hoping to go inside, but it had already closed. We didn't want to see the books, we just wanted to see where Carrie Bradshaw was supposed to get married.

Bright lights, big city. Time Square in all it's neon glory, though it's not neon anymore but huge electronic billboards. Charlie Gibson is broadcasting the news in the middle. There are 2 blocks closed off where one can stroll or sit in lawn chairs (yes, lawn chairs).

This picture has nothing to do with us, but I was intrigued. This couple was getting photographed by 2 photographers at Grand Central Station. We were pretty sure it just a regular couple, not models. The wedding party was also there. I love the old train station.

Finally, a snap of DH getting his feet wet at Island Beach State Park in New Jersey. The lifeguards had a fit when he went out too far.

The rest of our time was spent with 4 of my sibs and my mother. Our trips out there are pretty short. It's just hard on me to be in NJ for very long. Not what I call vacation really and I'm always glad to get back home. I am always amazed by the cost of living out there and grateful for how easy it is in our little town in Ohio.

Thanks for stopping by and if you read all of this you are a very patient person.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A tribute

Towards the end of the memorial service for Michael Jackson today, my husband and I left for a much smaller but just as meaningful memorial service for an acquaintance of ours who recently passed away from a sudden heart attack. It was held at the local YMCA where he had worked for 35 years. Jim was only 59. He died waiting in line for a Judy Collins concert which was a surprise gift to him from friends. The parking lot was full, cars were lining the curbs on bordering streets and we could tell that there was a large crowd. The Y had even closed early for this service. I'm not sure how many people were there, but there had to be at least 200 and there weren't enough chairs to seat everybody.

Jim was a very unique person and well known by many in our small town. The microphone was passed around to those who wanted to say something about Jim and we heard stories that had us laughing, crying, reflecting and for myself, wishing that I had seen Jim more. My husband and I hadn't seen Jim for awhile, in part because he wasn't walking around town as much and we didn't work out at the Y where most people saw him on a day to day basis. I know my husband had wanted to share hip replacement stories, since Jim had had both hips replaced which made him give up running, something he loved.

I barely knew Jim really, but one didn't have to know him for a long time to sense what a special person he was. He had no money, but there was an article about him in the newspaper. He didn't hold public office or own a large business, but there were people from many walks of life at his service today. He was kind of homely and very tall, a gentle giant many said today. Jim always had a wide smile, a caring word, but not the fake kind of knew that he genuinely wanted to talk to you and to get to know you. He had a fabulous sense of humor. He loved loved loved baseball and was a huge Indians fan and even had a room devoted to all things baseball.

Jim lived a simple life. I learned today that at one time he had given away most of his possessions. He gave often and readily, never expecting anything in return. He was the most popular house and pet sitter in town, which I'm sure he did for extra income but also because he loved animals. I had to laugh at a comment made by his roommate...Jim was a vegetarian who didn't eat vegetables unless they were cut up into tiny pieces on his favorite pizza!

Funerals and memorial services are always a time for reflection. I leave with a feeling that I will change my life, be a better person, figure out what is really important. Today I left with the feeling that it won't be hard to be a better person. What maybe doesn't come all to naturally to me could really be so easy. Reach out to someone every day, speak a kind word, be sincere, give just a little of one's self in some little way. I know for myself that sometimes this is harder with those closest to me and with my family. I just need to remember Jim Boyd, picture his funny smile, hear his voice, and maybe I can remember how to be a better person.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

She's a goner

The sweet gum tree was taken down this morning and now the logs are waiting to be hauled off by a friend of ours. We'll have the stump ground out soon. It's amazing how much light there is in that area now. The tree man said that now our neighbor's trees will take the brunt of the wind so I'm hoping they don't have problems.

The area under the other tree in the photo has always been heavily shaded and it gets very weedy. I have tried to establish shade loving plants there. You can't see in this photo that there are ferns, Solomon's Seal, Lily of the Valley, Epimedium, bleeding heart and some other plantings. I'll continue to plant shade lovers there.

In front of where the tree was is a patch of grass that was supposed to be another part of the herb garden. I'll post pics as we progress with this. Right now everything looks to shabby to show!

I cleaned out the hard drive on our computer yesterday! I've been putting it off for ages! It took a long time to back up files and reinstall Windows, but it was very easy and went off without a hitch. Gone are all the kids games, ancient files, garbage from the internet, etc. I could barely use Photoshop without it crashing since the drive was so clogged up with debris.

A clean drive is a happy drive...