A Whole Lotta Love

These two have my heart.

This photo of our children, Jason and Ashley, was taken years ago when both were students at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Ashley arranged for a friend to take pictures of the two of them for a Mother’s Day collage. It’s still one of the very best gifts I’ve ever received.

I love seeing their young faces. Neither had any idea at the time what trials and triumphs awaited them, or the strength they’d need to develop in order to prevail. I’m proud of who they have become, but nostalgic for who they were. My babies.

Peace and love, people.

A Texas Sized Love

Today in my February celebration of love I am featuring our Texas grandkids.

That’s D, above. D is our eldest grandchild. She’s 17 and a junior in high school. D is a talented tennis player on her high school’s team. She’s also developed an interest in baking, and has a weakness for macarons. Oh, she has a pet hedgehog and several cats. I’m not certain where this picture was taken, but it looks groovy.

J, her brother, is 13, and the next to the youngest of our five grandchildren. He plays trumpet in the school band and is a serious skateboarder. The kid taught himself to swim when he was just a little tyke, and he is fearless both in the water and out. He’s got a fine collection of knives, some of which he’s found while exploring at estate sales. He’s a motorcyclist, too. I think this photo was taken at a concert.

The two of them are smarter than I am. They get jokes that go over my head, and they actually get along with one another. I’m more than a little proud of them. I just wish I could see them more often.

Peace and love, people.

A Festive State Mind

Hallelujah, I’m finally in a festive mood. The humbugs have been banished, and the grinch is gone. What, you might ask, has prompted my change in spirit? It wasn’t just one big thing that did the trick, but a series of small events.

1. My daughter called me several days ago with more than a hint of excitement in her voice. She lives in Illinois, and the long, cold winters there take a toll on her. So to hear her bubbling over with happiness made me happy.

2. All of my Christmas shopping is done and gifts are either en route or already under their respective recipients’ trees.

3. Studly Doright and I attended a company Christmas party at a Humphrey Bogart themed restaurant in DeFuniak Springs, FL. Since I’d just mentioned the film Casablanca in a recent post, I thought that dinner at a place called “Bogey’s” was more than a coincidence. Before we arrived at the restaurant Studly and I both thought it was golf themed. Boy, was he disappointed.

4. Our daughter sent photos and video of our youngest granddaughter performing in her school’s holiday concert. Isn’t she adorable? (The answer is “yes,” by the way.) Note the cute little guy next to her with his puffed out cheeks.

5. Our daughter, who played trombone all through middle and high school, is playing again–now in her kids’ high school pep band. Her family lives in a small town, and the pep band is correspondingly small, so when she realized a parent was playing in the pep band she asked the director if he could use another trombonist. He could, and that’s why she was so excited (refer to #1). She played her first gig on Monday night at a basketball game.

6. We’ve gone three days without finding cat pee where it shouldn’t be. Knock on wood.

7. This morning I’m meeting a friend for a holiday art show at LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts in Tallahassee and lunch at somewhere still to be determined.

8. Tonight Studly and I will attend the last of his company’s Christmas parties at Giorgio’s in Tallahassee. No ugly sweaters this time–I’m not sure whether that makes me sort of sad or extraordinarily excited. Leaning towards the excited; although, that means I probably need to put some thought into my appearance. At least with an ugly sweater I could just wear jeans.

8. Finally, I found this on Facebook. https://youtu.be/tEjLS0OHWnQ

Peace, people

It’s Raining FRIENDS, Hallelujah!

Characters Ross, Monica, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, and Chandler first came to the small screen as FRIENDS 25 years ago. I watched the series sporadically, but was never one of those super fans who never missed an episode. I’ve most likely seen every installment by now, though, given that the popular series has never exactly gone away.

My daughter, Ashley, IS a super fan, and she’s shared her love of the show with her middle child, McKayla. So, when Ashley learned that the 25th anniversary of the popular series would be celebrated with exclusive showings of select episodes in movie theaters she got pretty excited.

I’m at Ashley’s home in Illinois this weekend, and coincidentally, one of the showings of FRIENDS was scheduled at a Cinemark theater in nearby Davenport, Iowa, on Saturday night. Well, how could we not go? Ashley bought tickets, and away we went.

(Waiting for the first of four FRIENDS episodes. That’s daughter, Ashley, on the left, granddaughter, McKayla, in the middle, and yours truly on the right.)

It was such fun to see these small screen characters on the big screen in four episodes. Ashley’s favorite episode in the series “The One Where No One’s Ready”

was among the ones shown, as was one of my favorites, “The One with the Embryos.”

I had a great time laughing at the familiar antics of the friends on FRIENDS while enjoying movie popcorn and candy with two of my own best friends. The evening was practically raining friends, don’t you know. As Chandler might ask, “Could there BE anymore friends?”

Peace, people!

Snapshot #263

I’m calling this one, featuring my handsome son, on the left, and two of his handsome cousins Russ (middle), and Brad (right), Tres Hombres Muy Guapos.

That either translates to Three Very Handsome Men or My Taco Needs More Guacamole. Either way, it works.

I took the photo at the Noyes Family Reunion in Hereford, Texas, last weekend.

Peace, people.

Snapshot #262

Today I’m heading home to Doright Manor after an extended weekend in Hereford, Texas. As I write this I’m at gate A14 in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport, and Studly Doright is on his motorcycle on a backroad somewhere in the middle of nowhere also heading towards Doright Manor.

We were in Texas for a Noyes family reunion, and we had quite a good time visiting with family members from near and far. I might share more photos from the event at a later date, but for now I wanted to post this one because it features two of my favorite nephews, who I seldom get to see, and me.

Let’s call this one, “Happy!”

Snapshot #261

This little guy made an appearance at our family reunion near Hereford, Texas. I played with horned toads, or as we called them, horny toads, as a child in the Texas panhandle, but they’d become an endangered species, and I’d despaired of ever holding one again.

The species seems to be making a comeback, though, since many of the folks in attendance reported having seen them recently.

Several of us petted him before we let him go to hopefully live a long and happy life on the dry, dusty plains of Texas.

Let’s call this one, The Comeback Kid.

Peace, people.

Unexpected Treat

Our daughter. Ashley, has been visiting us at Doright Manor since last Wednesday. She was supposed to fly home today, but the flight she was on was overbooked. Delta airlines offered $1,000 to anyone volunteering to be rebooked on the same flight tomorrow. Her response?

So, we have our favorite daughter for another night! I’m excited because I get to introduce her to my Meetup group at dinner tonight. Studly Doright is happy because he got to introduce her to his work buddies this afternoon. Ashley is happy because she gets another day of rest and relaxation. It’s a win win win situation.

Peace, people!