Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Simple Natural Fun In Ireland March 2009

You know, it is not everyone who would allow the world to see such simple and natural fun, especially at this hour of the night. But, there is something about the sheer joy of being yourself and daring to share it with those who just might appreciate it.

I hope whoever sees this enjoys it! It was so nice to be so relaxed and playful and have so much fun! That was three so's in that last sentence so I must really mean it : )

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Two Videos Of Jackson Walking And Derek Talking

Davey had a doctor's appointment this morning and Sarah asked if I could help. I met them out at the clinic and stayed with Derek and Jackson in the waiting room while Sarah took Davey into the doctor's office. Davey is fine...just an infection that showed up as a red rash. He has some medication and it is getting better.

Here are some pictures of Jackson. Do you believe how big he is getting?

And, here are a couple of videos of Jackson at the doctor's office while Derek, Jackson and I were waiting for Davey and Sarah. Where does the time go? It was just yesterday, wasn't it, that I first said hello to him minutes after he was born? How could it be that that first hello was fifteen months ago!

If you listen to what Derek is saying in one video, you will learn that boys are he's and girls are she's and he's have a team and she's have a team. Made me smile.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twins Spokesman...None Better!

I had to share this! My friend, Joe from Ireland, created this video with some new software and it is fabulous! He took video of Tom's and cut it and inserted the clip of Jackson. Amazing!

When Joe was here this summer one of the things we did was go to a twins game. It was Jackson's second twins game believe it or not. Joe bought Jackson his little Twins outfit for his first birthday in June. He is a true Twins fan from the inside out.

I hope you enjoy the video. I can't stop watching it!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jackson is One Year Old And Likes More Than Pancakes



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jackson LOVED His Pancake And Joe's

After Sarah, Davey, Jackson, Joe and I got to Perkins last night, Dave and Derek were able to join us. As you will see in the videos Jackson absolutely loved his first Perkins pancake.

In the first video Sarah mentions that Jackson's real first Perkins pancake was the one he grabbed off Joe's plate. Before we knew it Jackson's hand had found Joe's pancake and away it went.

It was then we decided we best order Jackson his very own Perkins pancake. Gosh, it was fun to watch him eat it! I wish I had video of Jackson pulling Joe's pancake off Joe's plate!

Joe says there must be a Perkins pancake gene that got passed down from my dad to Jackson! I think he might be right! For those that don't know, my dad who is 96 years old, LOVES Perkins pancakes and has eaten them for I bet thirty years if not more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Joe Meets Jackson At The Airport


The long awaited meeting of Joe and Jackson, after a year, has now happened. Joe arrived at the Minneapolis airport at 4:02 p.m. today and Sarah, Davey, Jackson and I were there to meet him. Hugs and kisses were shared and then it was time for Joe and Jackson to check each other out. I think the pictures speak for themselves. It was love at first sight and first bite! You will see what I mean when you look at the pictures.

Welcome to Minnesota Joe! It is so nice to have you here!

Joe meeting Jackson in person at the airport

Jackson saying, "Hey, I think I remember you from last year when I was born"

Jackson saying, "Yep, you look familiar"

Someone likes Joe's eye

Jackson really likes Joe's eye

Jackson saying, "Joe, I have to ask you something"

"Joe, can I have a pancake please?"

Joe said, "Of course love, you can have anything you want"

Yep, Joe bought Jackson his very first Perkins pancake and now the next leg of the Perkins pancake tradition has begun! Jackson LOVED it!

It is sooooooooo nice to have you here Joe!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Is It Snowing Today?


I went over to Sarah and Dave's this morning to take care of Derek (4) and Jackson (almost a year) because Davey had his track and field day at school to finish up his kindergarten year and Sarah and Dave wanted to be there and sweet little Jackson is sick. Boy, that was a long sentence!

Derek and I spent some nice time together while Jackson slept. I don't know how the conversation started, but for some reason I asked Derek if it was snowing today. Derek said, "No." So I asked him why not. Derek said, "Because it is daylight! Silly goose!"

And, I laughed. How could I not know that?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The New Tradition

It was about 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, May 24, that the phone rang at Adam and Sara Beth's house. It was for me. It was Sarah letting me know that my being in South Carolina was really hard on Davey. You see, Davey and I are the best of friends and he calls me pretty much every day when I am at home. We hang out together on the phone. We watch his shows, play his computer games, go outside, eat and do pretty much anything he is doing. He just likes having me there.

Sarah also let me know that some or all of the family would be meeting us at the airport Sunday night even though we left our car at the airport. Here is the story.......

When Tom and I arrived home from our trip to Ireland in March, Sarah and the rest of the family met us at the airport and then Sarah and Davey drove us home to our house. seems that we were locked out of our house at 11:00 at night. Not one of us had a key to the house so we called Kara to bring her key in to let us in. Because Kara was coming from Chaska and it would be a half hour or so wait, Tom, Sarah, Davey and I decided to go to Perkins and meet Kara there. We now have the makings of a party going on in the middle of the night and now Davey thinks this is how we do things. When gramma and grandpa go away they pick us up, drive us to our house, we will be locked out and then we go to Perkins!

Below are a few pictures of our trip to Perkins.....the new tradition!

Davey (Punkin to me) and gramma at Perkins
Derek and Punkin with blue tongues from the blue drink they both ordered

Sweet little Jackson having his snack at Perkins. His little eyes are so tired. He is getting over his pink eye
You know something? I think I am going to like this new tradition!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Few More Pictures From South Carolina May 2009

I will miss the early morning get on gramma's lap, snuggle and watch cartoons routine with the boys

Kallsen, Joseph, me and Parker eating home made ice cream at the festival in Seneca

Adam getting Kallsen into the car following Kallsen's graduation

Kallsen with the photo album he received following his pre-school graduation. It had pictures from his entire year of pre-school. It was just wonderful!

Kallsen sitting in the grass at the
Meet for Three Festival in Seneca.

Sara Beth with Kallsen in his cap and gown

Grandpa with Parker




Pictures Of Kallsen At His Pre-School Graduation 2009

Kallsen at his pre-school graduation

Kallsen age 4 in his cap and gown

Kallsen with his mom, Sara Beth, and his brother, Parker age 3

Kallsen studying his rose

Kallsen's daddy congratulating Kallsen on his graduation

I love you son

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kallsen's Dance Recital

It is Sunday and it is the day we head back to Minnesota. The day looks cloudy and like it is going to rain. What a busy time we have had.

While it might rain today, nothing could rain on Kallsen's performance in the dance recital last night. Kallsen has been taking dance lessons for the last year at the professional dance studio in Seneca. He is the only little boy in his class and he has loved it from the beginning. He takes tap dancing and ballet.

I had no idea what to expect. Adam had said Kallsen sometimes does everything, sometimes just the tap, sometimes the ballet and sometimes neither. He is 4 which helps to explain that last sentence.

Last night Kallsen did it all. He did everything. He stood on stage with the other 3 and 4 year old children in front of an auditorium of maybe 200 - 300 people and did it all. He tapped to The Good Ship Lollipop and did ballet to The Baby Bumblebee. He did all the movements, he knew his dances and there was one row of parents, brothers and a gramma and grampa who were bursting at the seams with pride, smiles, laughter and happiness.

Kallsen honey, you did a fabulous job and I am so glad gramma and grampa were here to see you in your dance recital!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Joseph's Post

Now you must of heard about or read about grandma and I watching Zoolander while everyone else was gone. If you haven't heard about it here's your chance. Well, everyone else was gone to do something and grandma and I were at my house just hanging around. I suggested to watch a movie and grandma said sure and I pulled out Zoolander. Now for the people who don't know what Zoolander is it's about Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) who is a male model trying to become the best model ever. Now he's not happy about his competition Hansel (Owen Wilson).

Now for the people who haven't watched Zoolander won't know anything about the next paragraph. People who have go ahead and read it.

Grandma and I shared tons of laughter about the movie especially when they couldn't figure out how to turn on a computer. They started beating on it and howling like monkeys. And we started busting out laughing when Hansel and the DJ started break dance fighting. Grandma started having hysterics about Derek's phone that's the size of a piece of candy. Grandma thinks she's part of the underground now. Grandma had the best time she's probably ever had watching a movie.

All in all we both had a great time. Who ever said senior citizens couldn't have fun?

Kallsen's Pre-school Graduation

Last night we went to Kallsen's graduation from pre-school. I don't think any of us expected what we experienced.

The ceremony, and I do mean ceremony, was held in the auditorium of the Wallhalla High School. The 25 or so children, ages 4 and 5, performed a wonderful program on stage. They sang and performed little skits to music and their faces were full of smiles and excitement as they entertained parents, brothers, sisters, friends and grandmas and grandpas.

Following the stage production, there were taped interviews of each individual child which were played on a big screen. Each child was spotlighted and asked the question, "If you were President of the United States, what would you do?" The answers were amazing. Each child had some idea of what they would do to help people or help the world and make it a better place if they were President of the United States. Remember, these little ones were 4 and 5 years old.

There was a slideshow of pictures showing each child doing the things they do every day and the slideshow was done to a song that I really have to find. Adam will know or at least he can find out. The words that I kept hearing over and over were "Let Them Be Little." For some reason, pictures of children in all their innocence and joy set to music touches me. I can still see those little faces and hear that music and there is hope for our world. I keep thinking...yes let them be little even when they get big...and they will be the best big they can be. For those that don't understand what I just said...leave me a comment and I will do a post on that.

And, finally, the end of the night came. The children put on their red graduation robes and mortar boards and awards were given and each child's name was called and they walked across the stage to receive their certificates and before they left the stage the owner of the school, Ken, congratulated each student and said "I love you."

No, I don't think any of us expected what we experienced.

Congratulations Kallsen on your graduation!

Love, gramma and grampa.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My South Carolina World This Morning

Tom and I flew to visit our son and family in South Carolina yesterday. We were met at the Atlanta airport by Adam and Parker, who is three.

Kallsen, who is 4, had a field trip at pre-school yesterday and Parker needed a field trip too. So, Parker got to have a field trip with his daddy to go pick up his gramma and grampa at the airport. It was a really good field trip. We got to find and count all the trucks on the road and get some food at Wendy's and go to Walmart to buy some black pants for Kallsen to wear at his two special events this weekend...........which is the reason for our trip.

Tonight, Kallsen is graduating from pre-school and tomorrow night he is in a dance recital.

Both little boys were so excited to see us. Joseph, who is 12, was excited too. Kallsen waited patiently for us to arrive home....that is if you can count his looking out the window and asking Sara Beth ... "When are they coming?" Sara Beth told him, "They will be here at 7:00 tonight." And, from then on Kallsen said, "Is it 7:00 yet? Is it 7:00 yet? Is it 7:00 now?"

And, then it was 7:00 and Kallsen was out the door and in my arms. It was such a nice welcome. Joseph came to greet us too and told me all about the things going on in his world. Joseph is so nice and polite. He said he had to get up for school early and he hoped he wouldn't wake us up getting ready. I told him not to worry about a thing.

I did hear Kallsen and Parker getting up and getting ready though and I got up to see them before they headed off to school. What is it about a gramma being sleepy and coming out to the kitchen and saying hi to little boys and having them say, "Gramma......" and come running into your arms that makes you feel like your world is very, very special? And, them wanting gramma to put their socks and shoes on and tap the bottoms five times when each shoe is on and double tied? And, wanting gramma to read a book before they leave and watch a movie and you have to make plans to do all those things when they get home school? What is it about being wanted and needed because you show up with sleepy eyes and messy hair wearing your flannel nightie and all you want to do is spend those precious minutes with them before you have even one cup of coffee?

Good morning everyone.........Welcome to my world! x x

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Arriving In London And The Changing Of The Guard At Buckingham Palace

Tom's and my trip to see our friend, Joe, in Ireland was made even more special by including an all too short trip to London.

On March 12th, Joe, Tom and I boarded a plane on Ryan Air at Shannon Airport. Shannon Airport is only about an hour's drive from Joe's house and Dublin Airport is about two + hours drive from Joe's house. Our good friend, Pat Whelan, drove us to the airport and he included a short trip through Limerick. It was the first time Tom and I had been to Limerick, so that was nice, as we got to see one more part of Ireland.

Our flight was comfortable, smooth and just a hop, skip and jump from Shannon to London Gatwick where we were met by Joe's sister, Peggie, and her daughter, Maria. Tom and I had never met Peggie and Maria before and we were so excited to finally meet them face to face. We had spoken on the phone before which was very nice, but seeing them was just wonderful!

When they spotted us in the airport at London Peggie came hurrying over with arms outstretched and a beautiful welcoming smile. Maria, who is full of personality, nearly galloped over to hug her Uncle Joe and hug Tom and me in turn. It made us feel very welcomed and loved.

We got a good night's rest at Peggie's beautiful home and on Friday, the 13th of March, we visited Buckingham Palace so we could witness the changing of the guard.

Later I will write about why Friday the 13th might not have been the best day of my trip.

The first video was taken as we took our first steps out onto the streets of London and the other videos are of the changing of the guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace.

Enjoy the videos and stay tuned for more of our London holiday! x x

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What A Nice Day

I had such a lovely day today. I set my radio for 5:45 a.m. so I could be on the road to Sarah's house by 7:30. Derek had his end of the year pre-school program today and I was invited. Now, how nice is that?

I arrived at Sarah's with a half hour's time to spare before Punkin (Davey) had to be taken to the bus stop. Punkin was gong on a field trip today to the Minnesota Zoo and then going to his Spanish class right after getting home from the zoo. So, I only got to see him for that little bit of time before leaving for school.

But, I got to go to Derek's program and it was fabulous. It had a baseball theme and all the children did such a nice job of singing, doing the actions and dancing. Derek did everything just like a little showman. I was so proud of him and so proud to be his gramma!

Below is a video of Derek (4) in the program and another video of Jackson at home. Jackson is 10 months old now and has started to crawl.

I had such a wonderful day! I don't know how I could be any happier or luckier except maybe if Adam and his family lived closer to us. I love all of you and if I could have kept the older grandchildren little I think I might have been tempted to do just that.

I hope you enjoy the videos. Derek is the blonde boy second from the right in the front row wearing the Oshkosh zip up sweatshirt. He just loves music!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Son

(Gershwin Lullaby..........Click to play)

Our daughter-in-law, Sara Beth, called me this afternoon. Adam, our son, is in California this week attending a convention for his work at the radio station. It is funny, and yet not so funny, that when Adam called earlier this week I said to him, "I have just one thing to tell you NOT get the swine flu while you are there."

In my mind's eye I saw and heard the look I love so much when he replied, "I won't, Mom."

Nobody knew how fast this swine flu would move when he left for California. Sara Beth wanted us to know that California has now put a restriction on flights out of California. She said they will be taking every passengers temperature at the airport and if anyone has a fever, they will not be allowed to fly.

Adam is fine so far. He has gotten face masks, vitamins and every conceivable supplement he can in an effort to remain healthy and be able to make the flight home.

Sara Beth has been alone with the three boys and working for the last week. The little boys love their daddy and simply don't want to sleep when he is not there, which makes for a very tired mommy.

She was sweet tonight on the phone. She told me she said to Adam, "You have to come home. You have to come home."

I know one way or another Adam will come home, even if he has to drive, and with any luck he might make a stop in Minnesota. Now, wouldn't that be nice? I know it won't happen, but a mom can wish!

Two Things

Two things touched me tonight as I watched tv. One was President Obama's response to a question he was asked as he discussed his first 100 days in office. The other one was a commercial for AT&T wireless phone service.

The question asked of President Obama was......."In your first 100 days in office, what has surprised you, troubled you, enhanced you and humbled you." There was a tittering of laughter in the room and one might have expected President Obama not to take the question seriously in the face of the other issues being raised.

But, President Obama said, "Let me write those down." And, he did. And, then, he proceeded to address them with thought and elegance and dignity. I was extremely impressed and touched by the thought that went into his answers. He was human. He is human. He is facing an enormous task as President of the United States and I appreciate so much his humanness as he dares to tred where not many of us would dare go and can so easily criticize.

The second thing that touched me was a commercial for AT&T phone service. It was a commercial for selling shoes. The owner of the shoe company said one line that touched me and made me think.

He said, "When you do well, you can do good." He does all his business over his phone I think he said. And, for every pair of shoes he sells, he gives one pair of shoes away." He has given hundreds of thousands of pairs of shoes away to needy children. It makes me want to cry.

To give from abundance and to make a difference touches me deeply. I know I believe we all have an abundance of something. It may not be money. It may be time or love or compassion or caring or a simple smile.

It feels good to really listen to people, take them seriously and to give out of our own gift of abundance, whatever that may be.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Dad Singing To Jackson Toby

I had a wonderful birthday party today! I will tell the whole story in a different post but for now I wanted to share a video I took today.

The video is my dad, who is 96 years old, singing to Jackson Toby at my party. My dad used to sing this song to me when I was little. He just changed one little word is all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Heading Home From Ireland

We are heading home tomorrow. The last few days have been so nice and relaxing. And, when I get home and get some time, I will have lots to post about.

For now I can say that we saw many new things in Ireland and in London, but for me this trip was so much about the people......seeing Joe's children and grandchildren, his sisters and Neil again and for the first time meeting Joe's sister, Peggie and her family, who live in London. And, always, always, always, it is wonderful to see Pat and Greta. We have also met two more of Joe's friends, Dick and Betty, who have already made it a point to say we must come to dinner during our next visit!

My heart is full and I am going to take so many memories home with me. Joe was a wonderful host and gave us the run of the house. We felt so at home and we can't wait until he visits us in June. The three weeks went by in a flash. This was the longest vacation Tom and I have ever taken and it was wonderful!

This will be my last post for a few days now. There is a day of travel tomorrow and I will see how the jet lag treats me at home.

Thanks everyone for enjoying this trip with us and Joe, thank you for everything. We love you!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

From My Heart

(Lean On Me)

I was getting ready for church this morning and, as is customary for me, I started to think. It seems I do some of my best thinking as I am getting ready for the day. I have wanted to say some words about why I have not yet posted about our trip to London.

We were in London from March 12 – March 17. It was a time filled with wonderful site seeing, my 66th birthday walking along the Thames River and crossing the Tower Bridge along with Tom, Joe, Maria and Louise, meeting Joe’s sister, Peggie, and being so graciously hosted in her home, and meeting Peggie’s extended family, who so warmly helped me celebrate my birthday.

While we did not have internet access during that time, I know that was not the only reason I have not posted about London. My original plan and goal was to compose posts in Word so I would be able to capture the excitement and beauty of each day as it happened. Then I would just have to copy and paste them into my blog and add pictures and videos.

But, on the first day of site seeing, just outside Westminster Abby, I fell and hurt my left arm (I was run over by a pram/buggy and ended up in the street) and as I thought about it this morning, I knew I wanted to say that it, regretfully, defined the remainder of the time in London.

Tom, Joe, Peggie and Maria all thought it was a good idea for me to go to the ER. I knew I should and I didn’t want to. They ended up taking x-rays and while a break did not show up, there were indications that the tip of a bone had chipped and I left ER with a sling. There was nothing else to do.

While my arm hurt, the hardest part was losing my independence. I had no strength in my arm, I couldn’t turn or twist my arm, couldn’t get dressed alone, open a jar, cut my meat, and the things I could do made my arm hurt. I wanted to hold onto someone to walk because the thought of stumbling or falling again was frightening and unacceptable.

Absolutely everyone accommodated me. They were kind and helpful, compassionate and caring. I was a brave and good girl. I said my mother’s line when faced with adversity, “It’s just another role to play,” and I wanted that to take care of how I felt too. But, it didn’t.

I felt bad. I hurt. I didn’t like needing help. I didn’t like having my energy taken from me as I accommodated the pain. I didn’t want to worry about falling again. I wanted to be me. I wanted to be the me I know. I don’t have pain as a rule. I always say “I don’t do pain.”

So, I guess what I am trying to say is that when I look back on London and all the places I saw and visited, it has been through the eyes of a me I don’t know very well. And, I expected myself to be able to be the me I am usually able to be.

My hope is that writing this will take away some of what is in the way of being able to feel the beauty and excitement of London and be able to do my posts with the good feelings that were under the pain.

I asked God this morning, “What is it I am supposed to learn from this?” I know there is always something I am to learn when I experience something that is hard for me. I may not know for a long time what that is, but I know there is something.

So, that is it! A short story made long perhaps. But, that is how I do it. I have talked out loud to anyone who reads this, and you got the long version……… got the paragraphs and not just the headline or abbreviated version…..

Because that is how I do it!

Thanks for reading words from my heart. I feel better and I wanted you to know why I hadn’t written about London. It really was spectacular and now I think I can write about it from the “inside” and not the “outside.” And, as they do in London……..x x…...

I really do love that…….kiss…………..kiss!

Thanks Tom, Joe, Peggie, Maria and Louise for letting me lean on you!

Friday, March 20, 2009

First In A Series Of Three Posts....I Hope You Enjoy Them!

Joe, Tom and I had a day at home yesterday that included a trip to the grocery store known as Tesco's. We went specifically for what Joe calls minced meat, which is hamburger to us. But, Joe tends to shop like I do, which means I go to the store for one or two items, and come out of the store an hour later about $100.oo or more poorer.

Poor Joe! Poor, poor Joe!!

Not only was Joe in the store, but both Judy and Tom were in the store.......and, I think we were all hungry which is never a good idea. Tesco's has great stuff!

It has a great selection of everything and I love the layout of the produce. I took some pictures to show you some of the shelves and also our purchases as we checked out.

In the following post you can see our shopping trip to Tesco's in a slideshow. And, in the post after that you can see five......yes five........videos of Joe making his now famous Shepherd's Pie!

Our Shopping Trip At Tesco

Joe Cooks Shepherd's Pie

Here are five videos of Joe cooking his now famous Shepherd's Pie for dinner on Thursday night. Joe is a good cook and only had to have one humungous glass of Diet Coke to calm his nerves!

He was also a really good sport to let me video him! Thanks, Joe!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Nice Story From Our Night At Bunratty Castle

Joe, Tom and I were the guests of Pat and Greta Whelan last night at the Bunratty Castle for a medieval dinner and evening of entertainment. It was a spectacular evening that was preceded by a visit to King John's Castle. This is only one post of the few I will do on this evening.

King John's Castle was wonderful. The dinner and entertainment were superb and the experience of eating with our fingers and one sharp steak knife was fun. I have pictures of the food that I will post, but tonight I will just tell a story.

Below is a picture of a little girl, who is 11 years old, and her father. They are from Nashville, Tennessee. They were our table partners. As we got to talking, we learned that the little girl had done a unit on Ireland in her Geography class at school. She had to learn the distance ,I think, from her capital to the capital of Ireland. I am so sorry if I don't have this right. I think I am remembering part of the story but not all of the story.

The little girl decided to look up how much it would cost to fly to Ireland and said to her father, "Look how cheap it is, Dad!" And, before you knew it, the dad and daughter had come to Ireland where the little girl got to have her 11th birthday. How special is that!

The evening was filled with fun, music, good food, messy fingers, talk, laughter and new friends!

I am using the picture with the permission of both the little girl and her dad.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just A Note

Hi everyone.....this is just to let you know that I am still working on downloading and getting stuff organized to continue with my posts. We slept in a little bit this morning. We were all tired last night and didn't even pretend to want to stay up. I love that we can be just however we are with each other. Thanks Joe for making your home our home.

At the moment we are waiting for Pat Whelan to pick us up and then we are heading out to do some site seeing. I think we are going to St. John's Castle and then on to Bunratty Castle for an evening of Irish food and entertainment.

Joe just said we might not get knives and forks to eat with because it is to be a medievel dinner. Perhaps that will be the entertainment to watch each other eat.

So, off we go and I will be posting as soon as I can.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Home Again In Ireland

Tom, Joe and I are back home in Ireland now. We arrived at Shannon Airport about 4:25 this afternoon and our friend, Pat Whelan, picked us up. We had a wonderful time in London and had a lovely visit with Joe's sister, Peggy, and all her family while we were there. More gracious hosts we could never imagine.

I am going through pictures and videos as fast as I can and will start posting about our trip as soon as I can. I have so much to share! Five days of travel without benefit of the internet will test my memory but not my heart!

In the coming days you will see and hear about Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard, a day with John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, a day on the Thames River where I spent my 66th birthday and also my trip to the ER in Lewisham to treat my run in with a pram (buggy) as we walked along outside Westminister Abbey.

Yep, I have stories to tell, pictures to share and videos to play. And, now, I am going to bed.

Good night everyone....kiss kiss......I love that!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

On Our Way To London Today

Today is the day Joe, Tom and I leave for London. We will fly out of Shannon airport which is about an hour from Nenagh. Joe's and our friend, Pat Whelan, will be driving us. Pat dropped by yesterday, (he is called Pat the caller by Sarah) and we had a nice visit around the kitchen table.

We will fly into Gatwick airport in London and I believe John, Joe's nephew will be picking us up. Funny....I don't have that detail clear in my mind. I will ask Joe. We will return on March 17.

I just asked Joe and his sister Peggy is going to pick us up in a mini-cab so she can come to the airport to meet us. Everyone in Joe's family is so wonderful and gracious.

Joe went to the doctor yesterday and got some antibiotics and cough syrup and was put to bed early by Dr. Judy.

I will be taking my laptop with me to London. I don't know if we will have access to the internet, but at least I will be able to download pictures and videos while we are there. I think I will try to at least write posts in Word so I don't have to try and recapture the time in London when we return to Nenagh. Then all I will have to do is transfer them to my blog. I think that is a right good idea!

So....until I write they say journey!

Please wish us a safe journey........I just love that!

I love you family and friends! See you as soon I can! xoxoxo

Off we go.......cheerio!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

All Aboard........Our Trip To Dundrum

Judy and Tom at Freddie's home

Our trip to Dundrum was so nice. We traveled to Dundrum, which is about an hour from Joe's house where his sister Kathleen and her husband Neil live, as well as his sisters Freddie and Biddy.

We stopped at Kathleen and Neil's home for a beautiful lunch and a nice visit in the afternoon. Then we went on to Freddie's home which is just a few yards away for a lovely dinner with Freddie, Biddy, Joe's brother, Jim, and Tom and me.

Below is a picture of Joe and his four siblings at Freddie's home and a picture of Joe, Tom and me with Kathleen and Neil at their home. We will be meeting Joe's sister, Peggy, in London along with her children and grandchildren. We leave for London Thursday morning.

Everyone's beautiful welcoming of Tom and me with their open arms and hospitality will be some of our best and lasting memories of our trip to Ireland in 2009.

Joe, Kathleen, Freddie, Biddy and Jim

Joe, Judy, Neil, Kathleen and Tom

I am working at getting up to nine videos of our trip to Dundrum posted. I have been successful with four and and will continue to work at posting the rest. There is one in particular I hope to share with all of you. It is the one where we come up to the Rock of Cashel. (I don't think that one got posted yet...)

The videos are large enough that I may have to switch to plan B to get some of them uploaded. Keep checking and I will do the best I can this evening. We leave for London tomorrow and I am not sure I will be able to post while we are gone.

We will return to Nenagh on March 17th, one day after I turn 66 years old. How lucky am I? I must have been born in a field of shamrocks! I hope the videos take you on the journey with us from Nenagh to Dundrum. What I don't get posted tonight I will post later.

Below are four videos I was able to upload. I hope you enjoy the trip to Dundrum.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Home From Dundrum

We arrived home from Dundrum around 8:30 p.m. tonight. We stopped in town and picked up a pizza and sat in Joe's sitting room and just relaxed after the time spent in Dundrum. Our time with Joe's family was wonderful and I thank Freddie for doing the post right below this post.

I will be posting pictures and videos tomorrow. I just viewed the videos I took on the way to Dundrum and I think they show the countryside and small towns we traveled through really well. Even though I was in the car and made the actual trip, I enjoyed it a second time on the videos. I love being here and I love sharing the trip with all of you.

Joe has gone to bed now and Tom and I are still sitting in the sitting room. Joe is not feeling well tonight. He has a fever diagnosed by me..........the hand touch thermometer needed. We all need to be well as we travel to London on Thursday. Tomorrow will be a day of resting and just hanging out.

Look for the photos and videos coming up. They are great!

Good night everyone. See you tomorrow.

My American Visitors By Freddie

Hi everyone,

This is Freddie. We had a lovely evening here last night. We had Tom and Judy who are visiting our island for the second time. And, they started off being friends of my brother, Joe, but by this time they are part of our entire family. We enjoy their company very much. They are really very nice and they make themselves at home and we all feel very comfortable with them because they are just like one of ourselves. So, when they come we really have a nice time and all the family gets together. We have Biddy, Jim, Kathleen and Neil and of course Joe himself.

So, we do have a great evening altogether. We have a meal and then we sit around the table and chat for a long time and we are never in any hurry. So, then, after a time we go to our sitting room and sit around the fire. We talk and talk and talk and we have a drink and we take photographs. We discuss all the current events and we talk about the history of Ireland and everybody is racking their brains to see what they can contribute.

Then we retire back to the dining room again and we have tea and cake. By this time my brother Jim wants to go home so Joe takes him home. When Joe comes back we might chat again for a while and we might have a little video show and finally we decide to call it a day. Because by this time it is 1:00 a.m.

And, this time we retire to our respective bedrooms.

Love to all,

Monday, March 09, 2009

Will Freddy Be Able To Do It?

Today is Monday the 9th of March. It is evident on the videos I have been making that I have had some laryngitis. Along with that I have had a cough which I thought was getting better. In fact, last night somewhere around midnight or so, I thought I was sounding downright better...almost normal.......almost.

And, sometime during the night, I had a coughing fit that might just have set my laryngitis back a bit. We will see what the day holds once I wake up a little more, have a little more coffee, a shower and step into the day.

We are going to visit Joe's sisters today and will be spending the night at his eldest sister, Freddy's, house in Dundrum tonight. So, it is lunch with his sister, Kathleen and her husband, Neil. And, dinner at Freddy's. Dinner at Freddy's usually means we get to see his sister, Biddy, as well.

We met everyone in 2006 and seeing them again this visit was one of the things we were really looking forward to.

I don't know if I will have a chance to post before we return home tomorrow. Freddy has had quite the interest in computers, so it might just be possible that a post will be done. Who knows, if all works out I just might ask Freddy to do a bit of a post.

You know, in 2007, when Joe made his first visit to America he was the guest speaker at our daughter-in-law's 5th grade classroom in Iowa for her unit on Ireland. We could make Freddy as famous as Joe if she will do a post on an American blog.

How about it Freddy?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Anniversary Mass

Today was the 10th anniversary mass for Joe's late wife, Ann. We left the house for church at 10:40 a.m. for the 11:00 mass. The church we went to was St. John's, one of two Catholic churches in Nenagh, the other being St. Mary's. We had visited St. John's during our last visit in 2006. The service was really special for me. I loved the music and the homily. But, most of all, I loved that we got to share this day with Joe and some of the members of his family. Following the mass, several of us went to the cemetary to pay our respects to Ann.

It might sound funny. I don't know. I had been to the cemetary before in 2006. And, like that visit, this time I spoke silently to Ann and thanked her for having a happy marriage with Joe and keeping him safe for our time with him. I told her we were taking good care of him and that he is the Godfather now to our newest little Grandson, Jackson Toby. I feel like Joe is a gift to all of us and I wanted her to know.

The family then gathered at the Hibernian, a lovely restaurant in town. I got to talk with Joe's granddaughter, Deirdre, who is 16, her friend, Lisa, also 16, and Joe's granddaugher, Claire, who is 12. I learned all about what is called a transition year in their school system, which precedes the last two years of high school. The students do all kinds of interesting things during that year like participate in drama, visit a court room, and golfing plus many other things. There are no tests. It is a year of experiences. I thought that was just a wonderful idea. And, I learned about what Claire is doing in her sixth grade year. They are wonderful young people and it was such a pleasure to visit with them.

Joe's son Milo, and daughter Eileen, and a friend Alice, were the other adult family members who were at the Hibernian. It was nice to visit with them as well. We missed several other family members who were unable to join us at the Hibernian but
were fortunate to meet and visit briefly with following mass.

It is wonderful to be welcomed by Joe's family and given the privilege to share this special family event.

Below are two of the gate to the cemetary. The other is of the car Milo is driving. Joe followed Milo's lead by making an illegal u-turn to get headed in the direction of the Hibernian. Tom, Joe and I had a good laugh about that since the navigation system in my car at home instructs me, when I am going the wrong direction, to make...................a legal u-turn!

Following the pictures are three videos.

Here are the pictures.......

Getting ready to make the illegal u-turn
And, here are the videos.............

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A Rainy Day In Nenagh

Today was the first day we have gone out of the house. We had to solve the "hair dryer for Judy" problem as tomorrow is a big and important day.

Tomorrow is the day we go to church for the 10th anniversary mass for Joe's late wife, Ann. Tom and I feel very honored to be a part of Joe's life and to participate in tomorrow's recognition of this very important person in his life.

As it turns out, Greta, a friend of Joe's and now ours, offered to let me borrow a hair dryer so I wouldn't have to go out and buy one. This is just another example of how kind and generous everyone is here. I cannot say enough how welcome both Tom and I feel.

Below are some pictures of the day here in Nenagh as we drove downtown in search of not only a hair dryer but a new little table and lamp to go beside the couch where I sit. In fact, I am happily sitting right in my spot with my new table and lamp beside me. Joe is afraid it will be missing when I leave. It won't be Joe. I promise!

You will see how drizzly and rainy it was here today. It didn't matter. It was just nice to get out and feel the air and see the town bustling. I hope you enjoy seeing Nenagh. It has been home to Joe for 46 years.

Following the pictures are two videos showing Nenagh bustling with activity in spite of the rain.

Pictures of Nenagh..........

And, now the videos..........

Friday, March 06, 2009

Big Plans For Tomorrow Seeing As I.........

Yesterday afternoon, Friday, Joe went out to the store to get some food. Before he left he and I put an adaptor up in my bedroom so I could plug in my hair dryer. We tested it and things looked good.........................and then Joe left the house...........Tom was napping..................and I showered and was going to see if I could beat off the case of jet lag I had.................and then I was going to do my hair.......................

It sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

It was simple enough..........until I smelled the smoke!

In fact, I had gotten my hair dry and turned off the hair dryer. I was finishing getting ready and out of nowhere the hair dryer turned on all by itself and I saw and smelled smoke. I didn't really believe in little fairies or leprechauns or banshees until that moment. All I know is I didn't turn the hair dryer back on and I really didn't want Joe to smell smoke when he walked in the door!

So, I did what any self respecting girl would do and called for Tom right after I unplugged the hair dryer. And, when Joe came home I said I had good news for him. He asked me what that was. I told him the good news was that the house didn't burn down...that we had had a case of a smoking hair dryer and he shouldn't take his coat off because we needed to go out and get me a new hair dryer.

But, at that moment, that would have postponed his cooking, we decided to do our hair dryer buying on Saturday, which it now is, because none of us seems too interested in going to bed and it is now 12:35 a.m. Saturday morning.

We are having a great time............all of us! Joe is a great friend and a great host and he never loses the smile no matter how many opportunities I give him.

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