Saturday, March 30, 2013

2013 Week 13: Snowy Spring Break

Sunday: Birthdays, cakes, cheese and boots.
We celebrated two birthdays.

Jimmy, 39; Stephan, 42
And, of course, we sang the crazy birthday song.

We shared the cheeses from Wisconsin and showed off the boots from Canada.

The boots were gifts from father and son for their wives.

Mine, Karen's
The soles are unique. 

The retractable cleat system is available for icy conditions.

Karen's moccasin-style soles tell a story.

The heaviest snow storm of the season hit our area that night especially for us ladies to sport our new boots.

This is what we woke up to Monday morning.

Tuesday the robin is still waiting for spring high up in the tree.

Meanwhile in New York, Sam and family were enjoying spring break. 
I'm borrowing my favorite family pic posted on Facebook.

Thursday I headed north to attend a Red Hat ladies society event with Mother.
She has always refused to wear red because it "clashes with my red hair". 
Even with predominantly white hair now, she still hesitates to wear red. 
So I had to see this with my own eyes.

I stopped at Leah's on the way there and back.
Her doggies always give me a warm welcome.

Saying goodbye

Friday is often house-chores day, like mopping the floor, especially if we are having guests.
It was our turn to host the 6X6 church fellowship. 
(Groups formed randomly from those interested in participating in a three or four month rotation.)
We decided to try a Basque style meal. I sent out selected recipes and each family unit prepared one.
One of our members has been designated the dessert lady. She made the Basque cake.
I was so busy being hostess, that I totally forgot to take pictures until they were about to leave.

What's left of the Gateaux Basque
Our dessert lady is new in our community. 
Her house was being built at the same time as ours and by the same contractor. 
She got to pick out a belated house-warming Klaytivity piece.

Saturday: a beautiful sunny day: 
a few snow patches on the ground, but not for long; 
one lonely first spring flower, but not for long.

Lonely spring flower in the tiny bud vase
We remember Jesus sacrifice,
how He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
how He took up our pain,
and bore our suffering,
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him...

We remember His body in the tomb...
but not for long!
Tomorrow we celebrate His Resurrection
and new life in Him!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

2013 Week 12: Quiet and Cold

Sunday afternoon parents and baby brother came to pick up the two who had spent the night. 
They couldn't resist a little chess distraction.

Monday the ice carvers were making their way back from far away Yellowknife. 
As they had access to the internet, images of their creation began to appear on Facebook.

The Elephant Pupeteer
Tuesday around 4:00 a.m., Mike finally made it back home. That was the good news! 
The bad news--my computer was 'hosed', as he put it. 
He spent hours bringing it back to life. Now that is an act of love!

The photo challenge for the week was something blue. I chose some of Mike's blue creations.

Klaytivity Blues

It didn't take the ceramicist long before he was back at it! 
Looks like he's teaching the boys to make clay faces/heads.

Wednesday at the Red Barn
I was back on the computer Thursday trying to meet a writing deadline. Looking out the window I kept seeing a woman jogging up and down our lane, a very disciplined person out in the cold. 

Friday I got to hold my nietito precioso again before they took off on their family spring break trip.

Baby Jude (5 months)
This morning when I was out and about I saw a flock of turkey vultures airing or drying their wings. 

It is a beautifully sunny day, tho' it has been an unseasonably cold week. I hear we can expect more snow.
I hope all the spring-breakers have good weather and refreshing experiences.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

2013 Week 11: South and North

Another veteran missionary passed on to eternity, my Aunt Joyce.

Brother Alan, Mother and I left Sunday after church and traveled as far as Knoxville, TN.
The next morning we joined all four de Rosset siblings and their spouses and children in Dayton, TN, at cousin Karin's house.
It was such a privilege to share this time with all of them and for Mother to reflect on her relationship with her older sister.

We looked at old photographs and shared memories. I found a drawing (by Joyce and/or Dan?) of the Octagon at Bryan College, where Mother and Aunt Joyce had roomed. Several stories were told of those days.

Mother decided she wanted to go see her alma mater, only minutes away. We drove around in the rain. Everything was so very different, hardly recognizable after so many decades.

On the way back to Indiana we stopped for a few hours to tour the Creation Museum. Mother had long wanted to visit there and it was on our way.
She is learning to enjoy a few different opportunities, impossible during the years of Dad's illness.

When I arrived home Mike was already on his flight to Yellowknife, NWT, Canada, to team up with son Stephan again in the Long John Jamboree ice carving competition.

This year's piece will not be as delicate, but hopefully as awesome. Wait and see!
I'm borrowing a couple more photos from the Long John Jamboree facebook page.

The calm before the Jamboree

Let the fun begin!
Brief messages from father and son report very sunny clear skies and bright aurora evening lights, but -36 to -32 degree cold! Such extreme temperatures make the ice brittle and work conditions more challenging.

Meanwhile back home, I am settling into old routines that were set aside for a few weeks. However, to break up the lonely days, it is good to have a few events to attend, such as a fundraiser chili dinner for The King's Academy where I taught one year. What a special treat to listen to student talent!

Today, Saturday, I attended a poetry workshop at a new Arts Center in the neighboring town and had a lovely lunch at the Common Grounds nearby.

And now, I am waiting for two young grandsons to arrive and spend the night. More fun awaits!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

2013 Week 10: Winter Getaway

We left for our planned getaway Sunday after church and stopped at Bob Evans in Warsaw for lunch with Mother and a last visit with brother and SIL before they flew back to Argentina.

Throughout this post I will give sufficient clues and let you guess where we went.
We drove through a big city...

...and arrived at our destination by evening.

Monday we set out to visit Mike's 94 year-old aunt two hours away. When she finally understood on the phone who we were, she was delighted.
She may be hard of hearing and unable to see clearly (macular degeneration), somewhat unsteady on her feet, but her mind and mouth do not stop for a minute.

The whole while I was taking notes and learning interesting family history. I often wish I'd begun that habit many years ago.
We took her out to eat to a nearby favorite eatery where she likes to order chili and chocolate ice cream.

I think she is a fascinating person.

Every evening we tried out a different indoor waterpark and ventured on some of their fun features: the great wave; hot tub; a few tube rides. Gotta do this stuff while we're still young (smile).

Tuesday a big snowfall was expected. We had a four-wheel-drive vehicle so we went out anyway to a nearby outlet mall and shared a colorful delicious nachos lunch. I think that was our only meal out during the five days as we had a complete kitchen at the resort.

Wednesday we visited a cheese factory, watched a video about the whole operation and stocked up on our favorites (cheese curds that squeak when they're fresh) and a bunch of new varieties to try.

I tried to get some photos of the country side as we were driving by. Mike jokes (or is he serious?) about the landscape in this area being nigh unto heavenly.

Are you any closer to knowing where we were? It is famous for its rock formations.

We greatly enjoyed our Thursday visitors--Mike's brother Terry and wife Sandy. They live only an hour and a half away. Mike had made a big pot of chili and I made a salad.

They love being involved in several volunteer endeavors. When we said our goodbyes, instead of saying, "Take care" or "Don't work too hard", I said "Don't volunteer so much." I didn't really mean that. Do your sentiments ever come out the wrong way?

Friday we said goodbye to our five-day haven and headed home.

After the intense robotics season, it was good to have those days to relax and be together.

And now it is good to be home where I look out the window and see birds, black squirrels, and deer.

Tomorrow, however, I leave again for three days. My 98 year-old aunt died this week. My brother and mother and I will travel together to Tennessee.
Mike leaves for Canada on Tuesday to team up with son Stephan in the Long John Jamboree ice carving competition in Yellowknife, NWT.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

2013 Week 9: Memorable Memorial

Sunday morning Mother got her wish--all her children gathered  in her church. The latest arrivals came all the way from Argentina! This was minutes before the service. We all got up to hug them.
Others were from Colorado and South Carolina.
The viewing was in the afternoon. We cried when we saw how good Dad looked and how peaceful.
Mother looked queenly as she waited. There was a steady stream of visitors for four hours, and many hugs, and heartfelt words.

The service Monday morning was emotional and beautiful. Each of us siblings prepared something to share. I stumblingly made it through mine. The pastor had warned us and put us at ease about foibles and things that could happen. I said my piece out of order, but it turned out to flow better that way. One brother sang a solo, and all four a quartet. I accompanied them. My feet were shaking noticeably, fortunately my hands weren't. We all messed up on the quartet, but got over it with a bit of humor.

It was a beautiful sunny day for the burial.

Rose from the casket spray
The church people were wonderful. They prepared a great meal for us so we could enjoy a lingering time of fellowship with relatives and friends from afar.

Mike and I came back home later that day. I am so grateful that Mother has had family with her all week. Ivan and Kim (Just a Southern Girl) are still there.

Beautiful expressions of love have been coming in all week cards, plants, flowers and an ongoing flow of Facebook messages, especially from Argentina.

Meanwhile in Alaska, Stephan was competing in Fairbanks at Ice Alaska's World Ice Art Championships 2013. They had 60 hours over three days, Tuesday through Thursday. Forty-seven teams from as far away as China produced amazing ice creations. Here is Stephan and Jess Parrish's sculpture.

Blue Ballet
I've rested and reflected a lot this week and begun to get back into a routine.
However, tomorrow we leave for five days away.