Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I thought I taught them better!

My kids are dirty stinking liars.....but in the best way. When Gary left for the airport to pickup Amanda as planned and as scheduled, he was shocked to find it was actually Alison waiting at the airport. I was in the dark too, (although there had been some clues about a month ago,) and found out when I heard the garage door open and headed out to greet Amanda only to find Alison emerging from the car!!!! After having lunch out, we passed the scam along, by visiting my Mom, who was also expecting Amanda. I'm glad that she has a strong heart, because she gasped and said, "You're the wrong one" and then corrected herself to say, "just not the one I expected."

Not to fear.... Amanda flies in tomorrow, early enough in the day to be here for our feast at 4 pm.

I am so glad I have Thanksgiving down to a science, since I use the same recipes year after year. I am no longer flummoxed by cooking the turkey and all the sides, so I plan on enjoying the day immensely with the girls BOTH here...the first time in over 4 years.

And I am wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving as well....good food, good company, and bounteous blessings around your table.

The Fimo clay figurines were made by my girls and my niece about 10 years ago and are a regular part of the centerpiece every year!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dad's Rocks

My Dad was a rock hound, especially in his later years. After retirement, he went to the local (Norwalk CT) Community College and earned a 2 year degree in Geology and Archeology, which made us all proud. The basement in CT was his workshop and he tinkered down there endlessly, studying and setting up displays with cast off jewelry and watch cases from the discount store where he worked.

When Mom and Dad moved here in 1993, only part of his collection came with them. Imagine the moving company's surprise when box after box was filled with rocks! The rest of them were dumped under the side porch where the grape vines and the trash cans were. Never did trash cans have such a lofty and lovely perch!

Before Dad died in 2007, he was adamant that his collection go to someone who appreciated them, and not to a museum where they would just be boxed and stored in some dusty basement. Since then, we have been gifting specimens to friends and acquaintances alike, spreading his love of crystals far and wide. There are still a lot in Mom's basement, which we need to deal with, many more than he moved to Colorado with, since his collecting continued here with new places to go and minerals to be found. He loved nothing more than getting down in a hole and getting dirt under his fingernails!

With Mom moving to the apartment, I culled some of my favorites, since a sizeable collection should remain with the family. I purchased 3 shelves and put them up this weekend.
The perspective is off... all the shelves are the same length! Here are closeups of some of my favorites:

We have all Dad's original documentation as to the scientific description and location where each specimen was found. Priceless. We made many inquiries about selling the collection, but the consensus was that the value was mostly nostalgic, so what to do with rest? Mom's house will go on the market soon, and we are looking for a school or hobby organization who might enjoy and appreciate one man's collection and love of these minerals.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Moving Mom: Part Deux

Looks like home, doesn't it? (Click on each picture to embiggen it!) The family and kids will notice that all the important details are still present!
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Moving Mom!

Mom in the empty Living Room

What could have been terribly stressful, physically demanding, and endless turned into such a pleasure this week with Mom's move to the apartment at a senior living center. A week ago, the amazing Sharon and Gail arrived at Mom's house to pack up her "pretties" and household items. I assisted by helping Mom sort through the kitchen items realistically since her new kitchen would be quite a bit smaller with less storage available.

Really, how many corning ware casseroles does one person need??? We sorted, moved cupboards, sorted more, packed and watched the girls do the bulk of the packing. It was like having our own moving fairies running through the house. I helped keep Mom out of their way but she intervened when necessary.

On Sunday we went over to the empty apartment, looked around again, and realized that it was much bigger than we remembered with lots of closet storage space. We built a storage shelf (thank you Costco) in the closet to use as the pantry and enjoyed the space, followed by a great fish taco lunch nearby. We also hit up Walmart for some basic groceries.

On Monday, I went to work as planned, Sharon went to the house, and the movers arrived. By noon, I got a call from Mom that the movers had already left the house and were on the way to the apartment, where Sharon and Gail would direct the placement of boxes and furniture. When I arrived at 4:30 pm, it nearly looked completed. The furniture had to be shifted several times by the movers to make it work, but it was all in place and looked great. Mom's friends, George and Florence who live 6 floors up in the same building, invited us for dinner, and by the time we returned to the apartment, all the boxes were broken down and in the hall, the china cabinet was beautiful filled, the bed was made and Mom's home looked ready. I set up her computer, tweaked the furniture a little bit, rearranged and plugged in some lamps. Only the pictures and large mirrors needed to be hung and the maintenance staff would take care of that.

For anyone in this position to downsize, or move their aging parents, take my advice: hire angels like these to help you out. It was worth every penny!

The view outside from the living room, her balcony and "her" trees. In the spring and summer, she will have a lovely green view.

On Sunday, I will take more photos of the new apartment with all Mom's "Pretties."