Saturday, August 28, 2010

2010 Week 35

We are still enjoying summer weather and food. I attempted to copy a salad our host prepared for our first meal in Hondarribia, with added avocado.

 The week was consumed with everything involved in teaching a Spanish course at Ivy Tech: mountains of the paperwork; gathering materials; setting up an area for all the stuff; lesson planning; driving 40 minutes each way twice a week; and the actual class time interacting with the students--by far my favorite!

I thought I had neglected the one-a-day photo project, but it seems there are more than enough pictures to illustrate our week.

Sunday we celebrated Dad and Mother's 68th anniversary.

While there in the Retirement Dining Room, a very special person from my past came up to me--the dean of women when I was a student at Grace College. She is almost 93 and her husband 95!

And, hear this, they were married six years ago! Eons ago they had dated a year and a half when they were in Bible college until someone else came along and swept her off her feet. After 46 happy years and three daughters, Miriam became a widow. Twenty years later she remarried. How's that story for a Hallmark movie?

My drive to Ivy Tech takes me right by son Sam's workshop. It's fun to drop in, chat, meet his guys. I was very impressed with all the equipment he has acquired for his business--SAM'S CUSTOM WOODWORKING.

He would not get in the picture so one of his guys stood in for him. Ha! In the back part of the warehouse is the huge skateboarding bowl. The last time I remember stopping by was a Saturday morning 8 a.m. and already there was a group skating the bowl--fathers and sons, old timers sharing their love of the sport with their young'uns!

This week the DIL's book came out--Hope for the Barren Heart. I was soooooo excited and happy for her. Did you know that 12% of the population is affected by infertility? I didn't.

Last night we watched this interesting video in anticipation of another farewell celebration tomorrow at our church: Jay Kesler's pastoral legacy at Upland Community Church. We are so blessed to have Jay and Janie as neighbors and have enjoyed his preaching ministry very much. This is his third retirement, at least. Will it be the last?

I don't think this looks very much like him, though.

Nor does the next photo capture what I saw initially. The hummingbird feeder we love to watch out of our den window, was momentarily on fire, lit up by the setting sun.

Speaking of fire--I went by the mail box today at noon, it was open and this is what I saw:

On closer inspection, the policeman and I found scraps of notebook paper among the ashes. The mail was delivered later.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2010 Week 34: The Routine and the Unexpected

Life is a constant mix of both. This week was a stark example.

Monday Night meal has become our normal routine. Always a fun time with friends and family, a varied group each time. The food is often a surprise new culinary experience along with the anticipated chai and fresh baked bread. Joking banter is the norm as the evening progresses. This time we were also entertained by Chef-son and protege Kayla's swaying and singing with the radio pop tunes as they prepped the food. Glad to report no one was hurt!

Kayla J (who now lives with Stephan and Karen and is not to be confused with our granddaughter Kayla) had started a new after-school job at a flower shop, so beautiful centerpiece-bouquets may become routine. We will never grow tired of  these discarded samples of God's creativity!

Tuesday we received the most unexpected shocking news of the passing of niece Elizabeth's husband. Sadness prevailed.

Wednesday was a very long day. I didn't know why I had awakened so very early and accomplished a great deal of the usual reading/writing/responding before mid-day, until son Sam needed help with transportation to take his car to Warsaw and bring back a truck. I was able to spend a few hours with Mother and watch her use the new birthday gift. Amazing! She reads all our blogs and e-mails now with ease and is loving it.

Also that day I received an urgent plea offer from Ivy Tech Community College to teach a Spanish Level 1 class beginning next Tuesday! I spent much of Thursday trying to decide whether this was right for me/us at this time. Then went to the Muncie campus to accept and pick up the necessary materials and information. Hopefully this new assignment will not interfere with writing and blogging which have become an important part of my routine.

Mike continues to work at the Red Barn. They estimate the work will be finished in the next week or two. A large donation has allowed them to go this far. The regular after-school program began this week. The youth will be grateful for more space and an art room.

In his spare time, potter-Mike continues to experiment, create and fill up his shelves with a variety of unique pieces. Here he is using horse hair to decorate raku-fired pots.

Saturday I spent all day working on a syllabus for Spanish 101.
In the late afternoon, we dusted off the tandem and rode to Payne's Coffee and Custard for a light supper.

Today we traveled to Warsaw again to celebrate with Mother and Dad their 68th anniversary. All the cards on the bulletin board were different and made by Elizabeth but this one is special because it was signed by Mike, hr husband, before he died.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Lynn escorting his youngest daughter 
A little over eight years ago, my mother and I flew to Florida for Elizabeth's wedding, which happened to be on my birthday, May 18th.
I remember how Mother's adventurous spirit won over her very dutiful nature, when at the last minute she decided to go ahead with travel plans even though it meant leaving Dad behind. He was unwilling to travel as the hiccups would not go away; that lasted seven days! Mother and I had a great time. The few days of separation from his help mate, revealed to all of us how dependent he had become. That was when we were made keenly aware of Dad's condition.

However, today I am thinking of another separation. Michael, Elizabeth's husband, has been taken from us to a better and eternal home. As I write, many friends and family are gathering in Georgia to remember his life. My brother has written about him in his blog.

Lizzie and Michael, the day before their wedding
 Lizzie, we love you and are praying for you as you begin a new life without your life companion.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back to School

Today as I think of the last of the grandkids heading back to school, I am reminded of another family-member-of-sorts, who has a whole month yet left to enjoy summer activities and their traditional festivals! Lucky Amaia!

I have a few photos of our visit to her school back in June when we were in Hondarribia.

Somehow the green courtyard and the big trees reminded me of my school days.

One of Amaia's teachers gave us a tour. Some classes were still in session, but Amaia had already finished her courses.
I think they were watching in amusement  the attention our friend Laurie was receiving from all the children and young people.

Laurie wanted to know which desk was Amaia's.

One of the labs. Science is a must for someone contemplating a career in the medical field!

So, Amaia has a month before she heads back up the hill for her last year of bachiller (high school), and a year to decide and prepare for the next step. Will it be medical school, nurses training, midwifery??? A big decision and a very challenging year.

We are praying for you, Amaia!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another 5 K

All of the above +

That would be my answer to the question posed in a previous post and reflected in the responses of those who know me.
a. I don't run to get a race T-shirt, but am happy when they give me one, especially when I sign up on the day of the race. That was my luck these last two times.
b. to place in my age category and earn a medal. I tend to look around for my competition before the race and try to keep my eye on them.  It is always a bonus to place whether first or second.
c. to get a door prize, hopefully worth more than the race fee. The last two entry fees were high, especially on race day. I felt a little guilty spending the money so frivolously, so YES, I was hoping. I lucked out: the first was a Kits for Kidz replete with school supplies for the grandkids; and the second was a box of popcorn for all the race participants.
d. to keep up with my husband's fitness feats. I will never be able to keep up with him, but it does motivate me.
e. to meet other runners. Both races I met some really neat people.
f. to prove that I can still do this, even with minimal or no training. I'm not necessarily out to prove anything, but I like to keep in the running as long as possible, even when I have not had the opportunity to train.
g. to lose weight. That would be nice.
h. to get out in the sun and absorb vitamin D. I enjoy the tan as well.
i. as a physical discipline. Of course.
j. as a spiritual discipline. Indeed.
k. to learn perserverance. Always challenged to hang in there to the end.
l. to follow the example of DILs and consuegra and friends who run. The mentioned ones are younger. However, this time I was so very inspired by someone older. Read further.
m. to inspire others. Though I am not a consistent or great runner, people do tell me that they are inspired.
n. to think, ponder and plan blog posts. It happens.
o. Other:  Crazy! Fun! (Your responses, both true!)

You chose as my greatest motivators: i, j, k, l, d, e, f, g, and you are probably right.
Eight years ago I was blown away by a 72 yr. old who flew past me.

I saw her once or twice more and knew better than to think I could beat her. She belongs to a runner's club, trains consistently, and carries no extra weight.

Saturday as I was trudging along, I recognized her small frame coming up beside me. That motivated me to stay ahead of her, so much so that I cut off nearly 2 minutes from my previous time. So intent on beating the famous Edna West this time, I could not waste even the breath to speak to her. I maintained an even pace, looked straight ahead and propelled myself forward with my arms. It was not easy. The day was very humid. For the first time I 'suffered' a bit, coming close to feeling nauseated.

After it was over I thanked her. She told me she had been cheering me on in her head, "Go, go!"

 Will I still be running when I am 80?
Of course, Edna won the award for the oldest female runner. (I won it a few years ago when she wasn't there.)

As it turns out, I have not beat her yet! Although I came in a few seconds before her, she had crossed the starting line after me! Here are the results, with one gross error (can you find it?):

Place   Bib #   Name               Age   Gender     Start      Finish   Elapsed
112344Edna West360Female8:33:269:11:040:37:38
113137Rita Koch66Female8:33:209:10:590:37:39

Sunday, August 15, 2010

2010 Week 33

Sunday we celebrated Karen's BD with taco dinner and Tres Leches Cake.

I followed Pioneer Woman's recipe and in the process discovered the wonders of our Kitchen Aid which hubby got some time ago and I had never used.

Monday I re-learned how to create a photo book with MyPublisher. I was so focused all day on the project that I forgot everything else, until suddenly it was time to make the peach cobbler I promised to take to Monday Meal.

I followed the recipe in Home Cooking Sampler by Peggy Glass--delicious! I got this cookbook for each household one Christmas after SIL  recommended it so highly.

Tuesday was the annual visit to the state fair where we saw chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, pigs of all varieties and sizes. It is The Year of the Pig. For you Charlotte fans, can you see her and can you read her web?

My favorite experience was watching an enormous sow feed her fourteen piglets, a noisy and most fascinating process. Two 'siblets' fought the entire time!

My favorite photo was of Skye checking out the chicks ;)

Wednesday I got to see my gordito precioso. I speak to him in Spanish and his face lights up. Will he be the first grandchild to love Spanish?

Thursday my friend and I 'walked' a couple hours in the blazing heat of midday--she in her electric scooter/wheelchair and I keeping up behind! Crazy? May be. Destination--the ice cream shop!
Camera wasn't working. But later I got a picture of the window box. The flowers don't seem to mind the heat.


Friday I became acquainted with yet another kitchen gadget Mike has purchased over the years--an ice cream maker. It was not so difficult to use and the results were wonderful! I am enjoying taking ownership of my own kitchen.

Mike worked all week at the Red Barn. The project is not quite finished. The kids will be going back to school this next Tuesday and the after-school program will be in full swing.

Saturday morning we went our separate ways again: he to ride with the cycling club, and I ran another 5K.

In the evening we took two grandsons to the Popcorn Festival. We enjoyed watching the bed races, a drum corps, and walking around eating fair food and trying out different games.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Flashback Friday: Back to School

I have a strong aversion to BTS ads! It never fails--summer vacation ends too soon!
Two grandsons have already started school, and the other school-age grands begin next week.
Why not keep the old tradition--all schools begin on the same day, right after Labor Day?

Anyway, Mocha with Linda picks up the BTS theme with the following prompt:
Did your family have any back-to-school traditions when you were growing up? Were you generally eager or reluctant to start school? Was buying school supplies a big deal or did you order them through the school? Were there any school supplies you particularly loved? Did you take your lunch or buy it at school? Brown bag or lunch box/thermos? Does the first day of school from any grade stand out? Did you ride the bus, walk, or go by car to school? Do you remember how early or late school began/dismissed each day? Did you go to kindergarten? Half-day or whole day?
 I found two old photographs that I hope will help jog my memory because, to be honest, I do not remember much.
This wrinkled photo is the only remaining reminder of my first public school experience--second grade in Winona Lake, IN. Mrs. Little was my teacher and she did not live up to her name.
I wonder if I combed my own hair? Was that one of my mother's perms?
I do remember that for Valentine's Day, Mother made the best decorated heart cookies for everyone in my class.
Here, back in Argentina, I am wearing the typical uniform--guardapolvo--the white-starched-pleated mothers' nightmare. And I am carrying the brown leather portafolio. 
The date on the back says August '53, which is strange considering classes began in March. Maybe that's when the roll of film was developed. In any case, that was my first public school experience in Argentina. I started in the third grade. Sooooo much was new, especially considering that when we returned from a year in the USA, I could not remember Spanish. It must have come back to me quickly because I do not have any traumatic memories, and I may have had some time to recall the language before entering school. I do know my teachers were very kind and my report cards reflect very favorable outcomes.
Delia, the girl around the corner, walked to school with me every day. She is still a dear friend to this day and we are in regular contact via e-mail.

To answer the questions posed by Linda:
--no memorable traditions
--I was usually an eager student
--we had to purchase our own school supplies: cuadernos (notebooks), carpetas (binders and paper), Ăștiles (pens, pencils, erasers, geometry tools, etc.), libros (books), as required for each grade level. And, of course, the uniform and brief case mentioned above.
--No need for lunch. We either attended primer turno in the morning, or segundo turno o turno de tarde in the afternoon.
--Elementary or primary school was in our town and we walked the seven or eight blocks.
Secondary school was in another town and we had to take the public transport bus and then walk some ten blocks.
--No kindergarten back then. I did not do first grade either, so my parents must have taught me to read.

This exercise in dredging up childhood memories is very helpful, especially for someone who hopes to complete a memoir of those years. Thank you, Linda!
I encourage readers to go to Linda's blog for many more reminiscences.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

2010 Week 32

The photos I managed to collect make this week seem very ordinary. I know it was far from that.

Elijah spent two nights at Grandma's house while big brother Malachi was away at camp. He was entertained  mostly by cousin Kayla. The puzzle was only one of many activities.

The first morning he said, "Grandma, can you teach me some piano skills?" ;-)

Twice again this week Mike went to help his friend pick peaches. So, the seconds have covered our counter all week, and I worked on them most days. Monday I made two peach pies, actually Peach Kuchen recipe, to take to Monday Meal for DIL's birthday this week. Didn't remember to take a picture until the last piece.

Another day I made a wonderful peach salsa, even if I say so myself!

Almost all of it disappeared today when the family came over.

Kayla had to go to the orthodontist twice and also had to get two shots before registering for school.

Did you notice the predominance of the number two (2) so far? It's time to change that.
I accomplished three (3) house cleaing projects: kitchen/dining room floor; the stairs; the oven!

Mike worked at the Red Barn four (4) days and they accomplished their goal of closing it up.

This eighth-grader attends the after-school program and was there to help.

Saturday I ran a 5K. That's nothing, Mike rode 60 miles with the Delaware Cycling Club.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Why do I run 5Ks?

This morning I ran another 5K race and pondered the question ( in the title, NOT the one on the T-shirt!).
Help me understand myself better by casting your vote for all the options you think apply to me.
I have listed some in no particular order.

a. to get a race T-shirt.
b. to place in my age category and earn a medal
c. to get a door prize, hopefully worth more than the race fee
d. to keep up with my husband's fitness feats.
e. to meet other runners.
f. to prove that I can still do this, even with minimal or no training.
g. to lose weight.
h. to get out in the sun and absorb vitamin D
i. as a physical discipline
j. as a spiritual discipline
k. to learn perserverance
l. to follow the example of DILs and consuegra and friends who run
m. to inspire others
n. to think, ponder and plan blog posts
o. Other:............................................................................................

I will post the findings next week.

Friday, August 6, 2010

La ermita

Church-theme continued...

I started the week on this theme so I wanted to add a couple more posts highlighting another two of the many churches we saw in Spain.
My favorite was a smaller chapel on the mountain above Hondarribia, perhaps because of the view of the town and sea from there. The picture calendar I brought back from Onyarbi features this photo, except that I could not scan the entire landscape. The view I included in a previous post is the view from up there.

Here are some photos we took.
Every sizable town has a chapel on the hill. These are called ermitas, and are not used regularly, only on special occasions.