Showing posts with label DD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DD. Show all posts

Friday, November 9, 2012

Who is Ranger Anna?

Okay, I'll play.

I've been reading a couple-a blogs where the blogger lets the bloggees know a little bit more about herself.  And since I've got no original or even vaguely interesting thoughts or projects right now, here goes.

Sitting on a dock in the bay..... okay, it was really a boat in a fjord.  I have a ski-slope for a chin.  

1. I'm a mid-western girl thru and thru. Actually, I'm really a Great Lakes girl.  I totally wrap myself in the sturdy mid-western values (think Prairie Home Companion here), and I need my Big Water Fix on a regular basis.  If you haven't stood on the shores of a Great Lake, you haven't been in touch with the 75 percent of you that is water.

Did you know that the Mighty Maumee River is the largest watershed of any of the Great Lakes?  Now ya do.

I'm Heinz 57 American.   My Dad was born and raised in Toledo, and his Mom was from West-by-God.  His Dad's roots remain a mystery, despite my Sis and BIL working their fingers to the bone trying to find something about the guy. Zip. Zilch. Nada.  And since he worked for the B&O Railroad, there should be records, but there ain't.  Hmmmmm...... WITSEC?

My Mom was born and raised on an island in the Tampa Bay.  Did you hear my use my Florida accent when I said that?  She was a very head-strong and determined young lady, which explains a lot about me.  Did I ever write about my 'rents WWII work?  Remind me to do that next week, if I didn't already write about it.  Anywho, I spent my first and only vacations as kid on the beach at Indian Rocks, Fla.  So I have a hefty amount of salt-water in my veins, too.  Oh, wait a minute..... Well, you get my drift.

Terra Ciea use-ta be a real island.  Not no more.

2.  I'm a mom.  Dang that's hard work.  I have the world's greatest step-daughter.  A mere technicality in my opinion, since she lived with her Dad and then her Dad and me for the majority of her growing up years.  I think of her as my daughter. We had rocky times (due to the insanity of her birth mother), but now we be bffs.  Yea.  See side bar for cutest pic evah of her and my darling SIL.

I have two sons.  Both adopted.  Both have autism.  I write about them a lot.  Things are very, very rocky with one of them right now, which has me plunged back into that perpetual state of grief where parents of kids with special needs always live.  I've said before that it never goes away, cuz it don't. See sidebar for pics of Thing One and Thing Two.

3.  I'm a wife.  Hardest job ever.  Sharing your life with someone opens you up for all sorts of stuff--the good, the bad, and the ugly.  My DH is 14 years older than me.  I fell in love with the big jerk before I figured this out, and by then it was too late.   But who can resist a guy in uniform?  It was dang near love at first phone call.  See side bar for DH doing his thang.  He's silly.  A 72 year old fart, masquerading as a 12 year old.  Oh, and he's lost 40 lbs since that pic was taken.  I'm so proud of him!  Sadly, I found most of that poundage.  Damn this middle-aged business!!

3.  I have two useless Master's Degrees.  I earned them in 2 years.  Yep, over-achiever all the way.  See note about my Mom.  I went to a small, Presbyterian liberal arts college called Alma College.  I may be unemployed, but I can take on any topic at a cocktail party.  I loved Alma.  Still do.  If anything horrid were to happen to my DH, I'd move back to AC in a heart beat.

My B.A. is Environmental Education~~Majors in Nat. Sci (a group major so I had to take 2 more classes than a plain 'ol major) and El. Ed, and minors in Sociology and 2ndary Ed..  See note about my Mom.

4.  I love to organize stuff.  Big events.  The bigger the better.  Just do what I tell you to do, and it will work out fine is my organizing philosophy.  Committees usually suck (which is blasphemous for a Presbyterian to say, we invented the evil things.  Sort of a self-abuse thing we do),  so I try to avoid them at all costs.  By the by, my next really Big Event is Whitehouse Winterfest in Feb.. Oh, yeah, you'll be hearing a lot about that.

5.  Crap.  Can't think of anything else.  Oh, yeah, there is that ranger business, but I'm not s'posed to write about that.  Hells bells.

I'm so freakin' iconographic.

Well, there you have it.  And last but not least, I'm the World's Laziest Birder.

You're it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Birdies, Quilts, and a Couple of Parties

A new birdie season has begun here in the Midwest.  I don't think we'll have many more Snowy Owl reports from here (I missed them all, drat), but the spring migration has begun.  The Woodcocks are back putting on their awesome Sky Dance. Buzzards are all over again, though sadly the roost just up the road from us is no longer used as it once was.  For a good many years, we would have upwards of 300 Buzzies roosting for several days.  Somewhere I have my 35mm prints of them sitting all over the neighbor's house, holding their wings out to dry off, before continuing north.  Awesome sight.

The 75 or so Pine Siskins that ate us out of house and feeder this winter are gone, so our resident Chickadees, Nuthatches, and Downies have the run of the feeders now.  But for excitement, Mr. and Mrs. Cooper are back. DH spotted the Missus carrying new sticks in her beak, while the Mister sat and preened.  Yesterday, the Mister was back, just hanging around waiting for who-knows-what.  Oddly, the little birds didn't seem to mind his presence.  Usually, when the hawks are around, the woods go still and silent.  Not so yesterday.

Mr. Cooper, greatly cropped.
The fun part about seeing Mr. Coop yesterday was that FTD spotted him first. Last week, DD saw the Pileated and went berserk.  He could not believe how big it was!  We might make a birder out of him yet.

Party Stuff
Speaking of DD, we had his party on Sunday.  The weather was phenomenal~~70 degrees, sunny, and no wind.  Holy cow, we could get used to that! ('Course last night we were hammered with fierce thunderstorms... a small home nearby was hit by lightening and burned the whole roof off.)  Today is fabulous again!

I cannot begin to fathom the generosity of our friends and family.  They showered DD with gift cards and cash, and several really thoughtful, just-for-him gifts.  Before the party, he kept telling us that he was going to sit in the basement and watch the race.  We said fine. (Also meant we got soooo much work done down there.)  We went with an open house idea, so every time someone new arrived or someone left, he was right there. He isn't often speechless these days, but every time he opened a card or gift, he was just.... speechless.  By the time it dawned on him to start adding up the numbers, he was completely bowled over. And so are we.  We told him he can't spend any of it, until the thank you notes are out, and we need for him to settle down before blowing it all.  He has so much that he wants... When we had FTD's Eagle Scout party, he had a tough time trying to figure what to do with his take.  Not so DD.  Any who, the party was grand and fun and I'm sure glad we did it for him.  Later on, in another post, I'll run down how last week's IEP meetings at FTD's school have left us laying on the floor, once again, as the rug has been pulled out from under our feet.

Quilty Stuff
Next up, I did get some sewing done last week, but haven't had a minute to post, so here 'tis!

First, I participated in my first quilt swap.  It was called New Beginnings, and it was for mini-quilts.  I figured I might be able to do this.  My partner, Marsha, is from Mississippi and suffered through Katrina, so her quilt for me is called Three Waves, and it's a beauty!  It arrived yesterday, along with some swag, and I'm giddy! Check out Marsha's Blog, Anything with a Needle.

It was sunny and dry enough to hang it on the back deck for a picture!  And the cool part for me is that this is a pattern I decided I should try last week. I'm taking the free BoM Craftsy class and this month shows how to do this.  Win win for me!!!!!  Now I have a real one that I can look at, while trying to figure out how to do it!  Woot!

And since I'm running a little slow on sewing projects (like I still have one of Feb's BoM blocks to do, in addition to both of March's), I'll be mailing Marsha's quilt tomorrow morning.  So here 'tis:

It's a Thimbleberry pattern (for a bigger quilt) that I found at one of my LQSs, The Quilt Foundry in Maumee, Ohio.  I didn't care for the colors used in the pattern, so I really switched them up, much brighter.  And I can tell you now that I either need to spend hours and hours of quality time making triangles, or give up on them!  On the bottom row, below the bird house, they aren't too bad, the ones at the top really suck.  I also realized, after I got my beautiful quilt from Marsha that I didn't add a way to hang it.  I read just a last week about a way to put corner deals on a quilt, and presto!  Marsha did that for mine!  Now I know what that should look like. Next time, I'll do better, I promise.  Anywho, I'll get it in the mail tomorrow.  

Also last week before the party-cleaning-blitz, I finished the mini-quilts for the West Yellowstone Whack-a-doodles silent auction.  The W-a-D's are a Relay for Life team, and each of the gals is fun, so when you put them together, look out!  My special peep on the team, Miss Molly put out a note on FB that for $20 the W-a-Ds will put a purple toilet in your yard!  Or better yet, the yard of one of your friends. Why do you ask would you want a purple toilet in your front yard?  To show folks that you want to FLUSH cancer!  Both of my parents succumbed to different cancers, so I'm all for this.

Or you can bid on a purple quilted toilet!  I sized it to fit right over your current toidy, which I guessing isn't purple.  (If it is, I soooooo want to see pics of it!)

The applique stitching doesn't show up very well in this pic, but it's there, honest.
I mentioned in my title 'a couple of parties.' The other party will be this Friday, my place (or hopefully yours if you're not here in my local patch) and it's a Cocktail Party Girls' Night Out!  DH is in South Carolina this week, playing golf or something, the boys are in school, and the house is clean.  That can only mean one thing~~another party!!!!!!  With DH gone, and me hounding the boys, the house will stay clean.  Yesterday, I spent most of the day in my bedroom chair, enjoying the clean-ness, and today I'm in the family room, enjoying the clean-ness of it and the kitchen.  (Yes, the kitchen is clean... the boys and I will be eating out a lot this week, heh heh heh.)

So that's only a partial wrap up of the past couple of weeks.  The business with the boys is actually taking lots and lots of time.  More on that later. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget:

Friday, March 16, after work till whenever
Girls' Night Out Cocktails!!!!!
Be here!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

And We Go On

Services for Ranger Margaret Anderson will be tomorrow afternoon.  I've had a weird sense of euni since her murder, partly because I'm so far away there's nothing I can do, partly because I've been re-winding all the times that DH or our family were in some type of real or perceived danger, and partly because life goes on for the whole rest of the world, while it screeched to a halt for the Anderson family.  After my Mom died, I was pissed/annoyed/dismayed that the rest of the world didn't come to a halt.  The whole rest of the world remained the same for those folks.  Seeing people do normal everyday things irritated me.

And yet, here I am, doing the normal, everyday things of our life.  Very unsettling place to be emotionally.

So the normal stuff I've been doing includes a sort of clean out--the Living room is almost back to it's wonderful serene state, and most of the Christmas things are being put away.  I have a bunch of winter stuff that I leave out.... snowmen, cardinals, several sets of lights in funny places.  Okay, not so funny, but still up for us to enjoy until we start enjoying those longer days of spring.

And for many, many folks in our neck of the woods, the total lack of winter so far has left everyone off kilter.  We're all waiting for winter.  We're currently in a stretch of 50, yep 50 degree days.  It should be 25 or something.... yuck. I must say the only time I didn't complain about it--in fact appreciated it, was yesterday, when we took down the train layout at the Toledo Zoo.  My son, DD the Younger, is a rabid rail fanner (even now, he's watching train cams, and plotting which model train engine he should buy ~~read Mom buys~~for him. ("Mom," says he, "it's a limited edition!")

So here are some pics of train layouts and displays from this winter.
The magic starts here, at the WPA built Museum of Science at the Toledo Zoo.  As well as the Great Hall, where we set up the trains, there's a balcony meeting space, and a fantastic auditorium.  It's a marvelous building.

 Entrez vous
Part of my section (on the top) that I call "Silent Night, Holy Night."  The Star-on-a-Stick is new this year. I really like it.

Three of my 6 churches I used this year.

My little Polar Bear family.

Da bears.

These are some of the folks who make up the O gauge division of the Swanton Train Club.  Dan C., Kurt B, Larry W,  the O gauge 'suprintendent', Jerry, and DD the Younger.

A view from the balcony.

Bird's eye view.  We run 6 tracks on this layout.  I think it's 12 by 26 this year.  We'd like to make it 8 feet longer!

Behind the scenes.... time to put stuff away...... it takes 5 people 5 days at 6 or 7 hours a day to set it up.  A day and a half to take down....

You should see all the wires underneath. In addition to the wiring needed to run the trains, nearly each building on the layout has it's own plug.

Heavy duty transformers, called ZW's run the tracks.  We use one for each of the 6 tracks.

The skeleton of the section I help decorate.

Ron M. is the Chief Electrician and Bottle Washer on the crew.

And now, I'm just sitting and enjoying our tree with just the lights on it.  The sun is shining brightly in the windows surrounding it, so it rather glows all by itself.  We'll take it down... soon... and put it on the back deck for the birds to use for cover, as they hoover up the seed we put out for them.

So if I neglected to tell you before, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!