Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Year of Memories

So many memories thought of over the last year. Today it will be one year since dad went from his earthly home to join mom . So many hours going through memories and thinking of the many many special times spent with dad and mom.

Clearing out the Condo , getting it ready to sell and walking out one last time knowing that part of my life was gone for good.

Dad and mom were two of the most caring, and sharing people I have ever known. Their love for each other was such a blessing. 

I have always said that my parents were the rock of our family and for the last five years of dads life he was our rock. In going through a tote of pictures that belonged to my parents I discovered this photo of dad taken at the side entrance of the Choate family home  on Choate Island , Ipswich, Massachusetts. I guess saying dad was the rock of the family really met a lot more than I realized. 


We traveled to the Island in 1999 and in 2000 with my parents. What a wonderful time we had researching out Choate ancestors. Ninety of our ancestors were born in this house and the island was owned by the Choate family for 250 years. It is now a wildlife refuge and just three building are on the island. The Choate House, Proctor barn from a few hundred years ago and what is the caretakers home.  

Sharing my message today.

Dad
I thought of you with love today but that is nothing new.
I thought of you yesterday and days before that too.
I think of you in silence as I often speak your name.
All I have are memories and your picture in a frame
Your memory is my keepsake with which I'll never part.
God has you in His keeping. I have you in my heart.


Dad you and mom were the rock that held us together all these years. It just does not seem like it has been a year since you joined mom in your heavenly home. We are so thankful to have you as our dad.We could always come to you and talk to you. You never looked down on us and would always encourage us. You made us girls what we are today. You taught us to live life to the fullest, to laugh and to love. There has not been a day this past year that I have not thought about you or mentioned you. I never knew that I could shed so many tears. 

As I said dad just a year ago. I will not say good bye but will say see you later. 

We Love You. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Moving Forward

What a busy busy winter it has been. It has been a very unusual one weather wise for  Michigan. Very little snow for us this year. We have actually only had two good storms the first around Thanksgiving time and the second one this week. This one was after a week end of 60 degree weather. 

These were from the November storm. We were to get just 3-5 inches and ended up with 12 inches.
Here is today.




We have 8 inches out there. Enough that the dogs have to leap to go out side. It gave me a snow day and a long week end from work. Sunday we are to have 50 degrees so am sure that come Monday if it freezes over night we will have some very icy back roads here. 
The Christmas Holiday was celebrated altogether in the new family room in the basement. It was far enough along that I put up a tree and we all ate as a family in the big family room. It was so nice to not be scattered in three small rooms to eat. 
We had the walls up, bar built, lights put in, bathroom done. Drywall was finished and primed. Just did not get the painting nor the ceiling done. We did come up to the living room to do gifts. 

A few pictures of the progress in the basement. 

 




Top picture is utility sink  in the corner of the large bathroom we put in. We have poodles and it is way to hard to bath them in the bath tub so George had mentioned putting in a sink in the storage room for the dogs. My comment was the bathroom would be great being we have decided we do not want to put another tub or shower in being there are two full baths upstairs. Works great and I loved that it came built into a nice cabinet. 
The picture window and slider  are in the family room area.  Middle picture is the doorway into the kitchen and bar area. 

This is how it looked two weeks ago while putting up the ceiling.


We now have the ceiling finished , trim is all painted. My new drapes are hung and next week the carpet will be laid. At least the family room area will be pretty much done. George is now putting locking vinyl tile flooring in the entrance way coming in from the garage, and carrying it to the bathroom wall and into the bathroom. We still have ceiling to do in the kitchen and his man-cave room which now sports a pool table for the grandsons to enjoy.. 
He has about worn his knees out with all the ladder climbing and bending to put tile down. I keep trying to get him to take it easy for a few days but he wants it done before camping season. I love the two foot square ceiling tiles. We added three evenly space 2 foot square LED lights and boy it is like day light at all times in the room.

I have enjoyed decorating for the holidays. Loved going from my fall things over to Christmas and did put up several trees for the season. 

We bought 3 new large Christmas trees so had a total of 4 large ones up along with several of my small ones. 

My kitchen tree was new and we went from a 4 foot tree to a 7 foot. Loved having a kitchen large enough to have a bigger tree. It was a slim lined and I had always wanted a frosted tree so thought it would be great for my gingerbread men and candy tree.

The new kitten we brought home from the campground the end of August loved sleeping under this tree.  She was really quite well behaved as far as the trees. I figured she would be climbing them but she never did. Batted at a few ornaments but never did any damage.

This is Miss Precious the day we brought her home. Her mama was a feral cat and for some reason had a litter of very friendly kittens. She tugged at my heart strings and it did not take too much talking to get George to agree to giving her a home. The owners of the campground feed the feral cats there and in the winter he has insulated totes fixed up for them to sleep in. There is also a huge dog house  made over for the kitties . He even heats that for them.


This is one of her favorite pastimes. Watching from my sewing room window all the birds in the tree outside. At night when I sit down she has to be on my lap.



I had a slim lined tree I also bought to use as my angel tree. 7 1/2 foot and it worked wonderful for my angels. That was a hard tree for me to put up as I had brought all mom and dads angel ornaments home as neither of my sisters wanted them. Mom always wrapped each angel so carefully and as I would unwrap one I would end up crying. So many brought back  many memories of Christmas' past. It took me three days to get it up. All of mom and dads angels went so well with my collection and the tree turned out to be my favorite one this year. 


I then did my main tree all in red, green and gold. This was another of the three trees we bought this year. Perfect place was by the slider going out to the upper deck.


A few days before Christmas I managed to get out the 8 foot tree and do my winter tree in front of the picture window in the basement. I was sure I had taken pictures of the tree but they are no where to be found.

I did do four foot tree in my computer room on my craft and sewing table and also did the black tree with silver and white in our master bedroom. The two guest bedrooms each had just a small one foot tinsel tree one a gold and one a silver tree.

 I ran out of time for getting any of my other trees up other than the Christmas Tree at our Adrian Senior Center. I used all my hand made ornaments on that tree . They had so many wonderful compliments on the ornaments. I am excited to think that next year I will be able to add another tree to the basement and have all my exchange ornaments on it.

February arrived and I decided it was time to haul up a tree and decorate for Valentines Day. Here is that tree.


And here it is almost spring even if we have 8 inches of snow on the ground right now.
This is my tree now done for Saint Patrick's Day. 



I am thinking more and more about retiring fully this year. I figure that at my age I really do need to take time for myself and my family. I want to travel to New York this summer at some point and spend time with our Great Grandson born last June. We have just seen him for a week in July last summer and I so miss seeing him growing up. I am so thankful that our Granddaughter and her husband post so many pictures and videos of him but it is not like being able to see him a few times each year. I hate being a long distance Grandma.



We will be celebrating a wedding again this year with a Grandson being married in September. My Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren are growing way too fast and this Grandma here really wants to be available at all times not just certain hours and certain days for not only them but for my daughters.
Retiring will also let me spend more time enjoying the new house and the lake which we have not even been on as of yet. Pontoon boat all bought and will be arriving here in early May. So ready for warm weather and relaxing on the water.
 







Saturday, November 7, 2015

So Many Changes

So many many changes over the past year but now life is just now slowing down to an even pace once again for me. 

I am looking forward to the upcoming holidays and all of the excitement of the fall and winter holidays.


Maybe I should start at the beginning. The first big change came about over a year ago as our oldest Granddaughter Ashley walked down the aisle to marry . Ashley had lived with us for 10 years and this was a big change to see her marry and move to Georgia where her husband was stationed at Ft. Benning and later to Fort Drum in upper New York. 

One of my favorite pictures of that day. It was the night of the Super Moon.


                                                     And this is what I did a lot that day.
I seemed to have shed a lot of tears.


From this day through the rest of the summer I was working three days at the Senior Center and three days at the campground. Sure made for a busy summer. 

Fall and the fall holidays really kept me busy. First of November started my decorating for Christmas. I taught a couple of craft classes and also our Senior Center Director and I did a Holiday Baking class with our seniors. What fum making pilgrim hat cookies, chocolate covered smors, turkey cookies, along with a couple different dip ideas for snacking . 

Shortly before Thanksgiving we received news from our Granddaughter  then just a couple days later from a Grandson. Both were going to be making us Great Grandparents  and both babies due within the same week. 

Thanksgiving came and went fast. Several of the girls and grandchildren arrived for our dinner and we had a lot of laughter and fun. Day after Thanksgiving and George and I braved the Black Friday Crowds and when we came home all my Christmas Shopping was done other than for him. 

The Christmas Season just flew by. My dad and Jan came home for the holidays and am so glad that they did. Little did I know that this would be my last Christmas with dad. 

March arrived and I got a call at work that they were admitting dad to the hospital. He thought he had caught a cold. Been sick for just 3 days with it. Jan and my sister convinced him to go to Dr. and he sent him right over to Er. This was on a Wednesday morning. Wednesday night they transferred him from Zephyer Hills  to Tampa and admitted him to ICU where they diagnosed a lukemic blast. Sunday morning just after midnight he was again reunited with my mother.

We did not even have time to get to Florida for any of us to say goodbye. The next several days were a blur to me. Just could not believe this was true. Jan stayed here to be close to us girls until Mothers Day when she went to her daughters home and then back to Florida later in the summer.

Dads' final ride Memorial Tribute from the Blackman/ Leoni fire department.  Dad had been Fire Chief of the Columbia Township Fire Department for over 20 years. We had no idea that this was going to happen. Columbia Fire Department had arranged it. They along with Columbia Township Police lead us to the cemetery. As we rounded the corner and saw this display we were filled with so much emotion.

May arrived and the first two of the new babies to come along this spring arrived.
Then June and the birth of both of our Great Grandbabies just 5 days apart. Then early July  Great nephew arrived. That mad a total of 5 new borns in 6 weeks in our family. Talk about a growing family.

Then started the process of cleaning out dads' condo, getting what my sisters and I wanted and getting ready to sell it. We have had a sale and donated all the rest. What a long several weeks that was. 

 In the meantime George and I had decided at first to remodel our home and add on.That is until George started looking at a Access book with homes for sale. He suggested renting our home to our daughter and buying a new home. So the hunt was on for a house with just what we wanted. Not much at all. Just a lake home, low taxes, needing no repair, more space, 3-4 bedroom , large kitchen, dining area, walk out basement, preferably finished, at least 2 bathrooms, deck and a nice yard large enough we could have a small garden and lots of flowers.  

Nights I was on my computer and he was on his checking homes in the area. We were running from his to mine to check out what we found. Finely called a Realtor and set up a time to check out a few we really liked the looks of.

Checked out several and one in particular  we really liked the looks of from the outside. When we arrived to go through it we walked in through the garage. Not totally a finished basement but had plumbing in, large windows, slider door to a patio and some outside walls finished. It is on  almost an acre and just two doors away is the lake access we so wanted. Upon climbing the steps to the kitchen I took one step into the kitchen, stopped and looked around and said to George and our Realtor " I  do not think I want to look at any more. This is the one" It just felt like home to me.

We were scheduled to look at a couple more. George felt we should go ahead and look just to know for sure if this was the home. Neither tugged at my heart like this one did. We put in an offer and the next day had a counter offer. It was actually lower than what we figured they would counter offer us so we signed on the dotted line . Two weeks later we closed and the following day started moving in.

The new house.

The reason I fell in love with the house. 


This is the first inside view when we stepped into the home. This is taken after we moved into it . Upon entering we had a blank state to start with  I have decorated with my fall decorations  at the time I took this. Starting in the next few weeks I can start decorating for Christmas. So excited.

In the meantime we had also traded our camper for a new 5th wheel with three slides to it.


Here are a couple of the inside of the camper. So much room and I never did fill all the cabinets and storage ares.
 
 It seemed like from May till September I was packing boxes, hauling boxes and unpacking boxes. We still have a lot in the old house to pack and move and more to just get rid of.
 We spent or weeks at home and week end at camp where I am still their Activities Director.

September and fall arrived and we had to have a place for George to move all his wood working equipment too so we ordered an Amish built shed. Wow talk about impressive. Three young Amish men came in with all framing, walls built and painted. All loaded on a truck in the order needed. They pulled into our yard at 2:30 in the afternoon and by 7:30  they were loading up to leave. This was standing in our yard totally done.


I have always wanted to see an Amish barn raising and after watching them do this I even more than ever would like to see one. I was very impressed with these young men. Two were married ( with beards) and one was still single (without the beard) . They were so polite and just wonderful to chat with as they worked. They sure are hard workers.

Early October and while camping our oldest daughter and her boyfriend called us and were planning on coming over . With their work schedules and mine we do not get to see them often so were were glad to have a day to spend time together. While chatting the real reason for the visit was revealed. Doug asked our blessing for them to marry. I have to say before he even got all the words out I was shedding a few tears. We had just 3 weeks before the day they hoped to marry. What a busy time. It was an outdoor wedding and late in October ( the 24th) so with Michigan weather you never know what to expect. They were married in a beautiful park in front of the covered bridge.



The weather was beautiful and we so enjoyed such a wonderful day. We are all so happy for them.

November has been a beautiful month thus far.  For being in Michigan the weather has been beautiful. 60s -70s and so sunny. Today is the coolest but still 50s'

To keep busy during the time since we have moved into the house George has been busily working at finishing off the basement. There will be a large bedroom/office , large family room, 1/2 bath with a doggie wash area, large storage room and a bar room/ kitchen area there. We hope to have it done other than ceiling by Christmas. Pictures of that will follow later. 

I am getting our Christmas things around. Just brought lots over from the old house yesterday and hope that next week end I can start decorating. I am adding a lot of mom and dads things this year. So anxious to see just what I am going to uncover in a couple of the boxes marked village. I do not remember mom having a village. So this may prove interesting as we did not open the boxes before bring them home.

All  this time I am still working 3 days a week for the county in the Senior Center plus a day at the campground . This is the first week end home since campground closed and I know I am certainly going to enjoy it.

I am wanting to get more into Blogging again and plan on getting my Christmas Blog going again also.  I have Christmas shopping started and plan a relaxing time this year for the Christmas Season.

We are looking forward to our first family Thanksgiving here in our new home and I am so excited for Christmas this year and not having us packed to the gill in our old home. They were the good old days to me and I am anxious to make memories in the new home now.

Enjoy your week end.






  





Wednesday, February 5, 2014

And the Snow Keeps on Falling

Another day missed for all schools in the county along with a snow day for our senior centers. This looks like it is going to be a long winter.  

Thank you Punxsutawney Phil. If today is a prediction of the next 6 weeks of winter is like today I am sure you are going to have many hunting you down. 



I love the snow but enough is enough. I can not see the highway and we are just 3 houses off a main highway. The field next to us is not easily seen at at one point it was total white out. I did walk to the mailbox to send out Valentines to family and then snapped a few pictures. Got the bird feeders all filled. Hope that when George makes it home from work and snow blows a path to the chickens I can get there without trudging through the knee deep snow. 

I guess today will be a good day to bring up a few Valentine decorations. I have not gotten one thing out. I guess this winter the wind has deserted my sails and left me sort of blah when it comes to decorating.

Miss having a wreath up and love the one I made a couple years ago from cupcake papers. Very simple to do and did not take long at all to finish it up. Picture is taken right after I made it. I used it with my wall tree which is full of ornaments for Valentine Day. This year I may bring up my 6 foot white tree to decorate. 



I have been trying to de-clutter my life and guess that may be the reason. I just have gotten where I do not want to dust all the items I have. Needless to say I have come to the idea that less is better in my mind. 

Does not seem like we should already be a week into February. The year is going to just fly by. It will be one year next week since my open heart surgery. How fast that year has gone by. 

Will share my decorations as soon as I get them all up. 

Must get busy . Enjoy your day and to all those in this storm please stay safe. If you need to get on the roads drive safe and watch out for the other guy. 





Saturday, February 1, 2014

It Snowed, and Snowed and it Snowed

What a winter it has been thus far. It seems like we are in a never ending snow globe here in Michigan.
To go along with all the snow we have had has been bone chilling cold. Two night last week with wind chill factor it was -45 degrees outside.

Our local schools have used up all their free weather days. Since they were to go back after their Christmas break they have only gotten in 10 days of school and a couple of those were 2 hour delays to start time. The county senior centers have closed several days also. Was nice to be home a few extra days though one day George could not make it to work. A waist high drift in the driveway behind his truck and no way even with 4-wheel drive could he get through it. That day was almost 4:00 before he could get us snow blown out. Today as soon as it quit snowing it started to sleet then rain. And tonight it will freeze. Drive will be a bit on the slippery side tomorrow I am sure. That being I am sure our snow blower will not move all the wet snow off the drive.  .

We can not longer see the seats on the picnic table with the snow. The top is just peeking out. We have shoveled off the deck and again have 2 foot of snow that has blown over the house in the wind. Dogs have made a path to the other end though. We had to shovel a part of the yard down the steps of the deck to let them into the yard. As cold as it was they sure did not take a long time to do their business. That was surprising as two of the three love the snow and will run and play for an hour if I would let them.



These are our lilac bushes . This was taken before the snow last night and today.


Our spruce tree to the front of the side yard. Love how it looks covered in snow. 


The snow is half way up the mailbox.


Looking out the back door down the deck. Snow is high enough that if the dogs really wanted they could jump over the gate at the end. I think the only reason they do not is it is 4 steps down and they are too afraid to jump over it. 


This is the picnic table and this is before the snow actually started. Today it covers the seats totally. 

This weather has sure helped me in my wish to declutter. I have gone through papers and files and really made a dent in things. Straightened a few cupboards up and got rid of things we have not used in years, 

I have even managed a bit of sewing. I bought me a new Pfaff  Creative 3.0 sewing/ embroidery machine. I took my first lesson on it two weeks ago but last Monday would not go 40 miles in the cold and ice for the second lesson so will take that late February if the weather co-operates .   I have just done a bit of the fancy stitches and look forward to learning to embroider with it. All my lessons are free . Am really looking forward to try some different things with it. 

Mind you this is a total new thing for me. Have never had anything other than a cheap straight stitch machine. 

I was given a lot of pre-cut quilt squares and I am hoping to do some simple quilts with them. Got a big wedding coming up this summer and really would love to give them a hand made quilt. Sorted them out and there are lots of blue squares that are all in the same tone . Will buy more fabric and see what I can do. 

I guess I am getting more brave the older I get. 

I am getting now where I am totally going to have more time to blog and do a few other things I have not been able to do . 

Will share all my other exciting things in another post during the week. 

I hope you are all having a wonderful week end. 



Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day and Still Camping

Here we are at the end of our summer and Labor Day is today. I have had a busy summer thus far. As I mentioned a few months ago we went camping over the 4th of July. Can you believe it we are still at the campground. We put a camper on a seasonal lot and both George and I are helping the new owners out. I help in the office and George is helping with upkeep, painting and anything that he can help with. We are having fun and enjoying nature at its best.

Love the early morning and sitting on the deck with my second cup of flavored coffee watching the birds as they sing to greet the day.

Oh and we decided that out camper was too small for living in weeks at a time . As I blogged about the last time we had bought a 2013 travel trailer last year.  Well we happened to go to a camper show in early August. Just to see the new models. No intention at all on trading in the one we had. Saw one we both fell in love with. It is 26 foot with bump out. Five foot longer than what we had and at least with a bump out we could walk by each other without having to tuck ourselves tight to the counter or table to pass by.

Never did we think at the time we would be coming back to the campground preparing to pack all out things and move into a new trailer but that is just what happened. We traded the one we bought last year for a 2014 Salem towable.

Boy talk about a nice trailer. Funny thing our payments are  a lot lower than on the one we had.  Here are a few pictures of the new one.


First day after arrival and all set up


Just inside the front door



Looking across the bump out . Big picture window. The only one the dogs can see out good. 


Bathroom with tub/shower and the sink. Bit crowded but livable.


Bunk beds. Actually there is one on floor level also. The dogs now have their own bed. We can sleep 9 if need be with the dining table and couch as a bed. Couch is a hid-a-bed.

Standing  at the bathroom looking toward the kitchen area. 


Nice sized eating area for us on rainy days


In dining area looking toward the TV and living area. In back of the living area is the bedroom. Not sure what happened to that picture . Bedroom has a queen size bed. Two closets for his and mine. Love being able to get around it and can close it off at night. 

I have been doing lots of crafting since being here too. Brought  out wired ribbon and have 20 ribbon angels completed. Such and easy and pretty craft. I have also done several sets of tile coasters. Just bought the dots to add to the bottom so they will not scratch the table.  Went on a painting kick the last few weeks and have started several birdhouses and have a box full of wooden ornaments to get painted.  George leaves for work in the morning and I have  free time till noon or so. Makes it nice time to do crafting.

I have my winter job all lined up. Will be doing lots of painting. I am going to be redoing all the signs and cartoon characters here at the campground over the winter. That will be about a full time job for me. Sure glad that I enjoy doing decorative painting. The overflow restroom has looney- toon and Disney characters all around the outside. They all need a good sanding and then repainted.

I will also be planning next years week end activities. Right now I am planning the Boo Bash for the 5th of October. We are planning on a shoesting budget. lol . But  I am sure it will be lots of fun. Scarecrow decorating contests along with pumpkin painting for the kids, pumpkin carving for the adults, costume contest for adults and children,and a site decorating contest. I made a trip to the Dollar Tree this last week and came home with lots of things to use for our site.

Oh and I have been working for the county a few times also at one of the Senior Centers. Was nice to get back after being off since last October before my surgeries. Not working near the hours I did last year but do enjoy getting back into the swing of a few hours of work here and there.

Now on to fall and getting around for all the fall holidays.

Karan


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Celebrating the 4th of July, Camping and Crafts

Well I got my 4th of July  tree done .Only a few weeks late. All ready for a nice long week end at home.



Wrong. George came in and said " Lets go camping"  So guess who is packing up the trailer and we are heading a few miles up the road. Only going about 12 miles away but will be nice.

I  have not even posted about our new trailer. We took the plunge and last fall found a 2013 Ameri-Lite 21 foot travel trailer. Traded our pop up camper  and this will be our third trip out with it. Can not get used to camping with Air conditioning, a refrigerator , furnace, and microwave. But I am loving it. In fact if this week end works out I may be taking a part time position at the campground and put the trailer on a permanent site.I can work off the yearly rent. This idea came from the camp manager. Very nice lady.Here is our home away from home.Oh and I forgot to mention. We have a bathroom with tube and shower.


Her she is in all her glory on first arriving  to our home.
Yup I decided that it is a "she" 


All the items a person needs. 3 burner stove, refrigerator, microwave , and sink. 


I even can take a nice coffee pot and not have to use a camper stove to either perk coffee or drip coffee . So nice .


And this is my favorite. A bed that I can sleep in and not have to climb over George to get up. Oh how I hated that in our pop up. Would have been fine if we were alone and I could have slept in the 2nd bed in that but we always had kids and grandkids with us over the years. Managed to get away once if I remember right with no one.  


Even have a wall mounted TV. Came in pretty handy in May when we took it north for a week. Three days of rain so stuck inside . Sure watched a lot of old John Wayne movies that week. 

You know I am going to take several craft things to do. Being so local I plan on staying right at the campground.Thought that ribbon angels would be a quick and easy thing with not a lot of supplies to drag                                       along.The ribbon angel is on the bottom left. So simple.  



 Also am doing several sets of Coaster tiles so thought that if I cut all my papers here at home tonight I can take the Modge podge, paper and tiles and will not take much at all to get those done. I an planning on doing the fall craft show this year .


These are some I gave my dad for Fathers Day. I love the patriotic  ones and am sure they will sell well at the sale. We actually did these for our Senior Craft day in June and I even had two men come in for the craft class. 

Well guess I had better get busy and finish loading the camper. 
Baked cupcakes, made pretty pink lemonade cookies, past salad, loaded potato salad, and deviled eggs all to take with us. Good week end to not have to cook too much. All that and need to finish the laundry and straighten the house. It has been a busy day for sure here. 

Everyone have a " Great 4th of July.

And at this time a special thank you to all our military, past and present. 
And this is past and present.


My Grandson Donald  and a very special person Larry still working volunteer for disabled vets. Larry was honored a few years ago as "Lenawee Person of the Year for all the wonderful things he has done. What an honor to have these very special people in my life

Happy 4th of July




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