- Memorial Day 2011 -

Growing up, we called it Decoration Day. We still decorate the graves of our loved ones on this day and also remember those who died in wartime service to our country. I thought of that when I was awakened to the sounds of a gun salute at 6 am this morning.

Just as shocking as the sound of thundering guns was the sight of a flurry of snow that covered our yard, flowers, and trees.

Scott left the house early to help the Scouts put flags in all the yards in the neighborhood.

We always visit the Logan Cemetery on Memorial Day to remember Scott's mother, father and other relatives. Scott's family enjoys being together....

they got a little goofy while taking photos - that's Mike on the headstone...

joined by Aunt Mary....

joined by niece Gracie...I think the cold weather is causing temporary insanity in all of us.

Later in the day I took the opportunity to join my mom and dad at the cemetery in Portage - the town where my mother was raised and her parents, grandparents, brother and other relatives are buried.

Evan and Jean - grinning because the rain stopped and the sun came out just in time for their walk through the cemetery.

It's always fun when someone special shows up - here's my cousin Diane fixing up flowers on her father's grave. Diane has just completed all the auditioning and training to become a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She and her husband Rob (also in the Choir) brought her mother.

Aunt Norma made the WHOLE dinner for us - she's a fabulous cook and organizer.

The small-town church house where we had a little family reunion with my mom's cousins...good and exemplary people, each one.


[ deer hospitality ]

These deer are running because they have just enjoyed the sweetest bulbs and tenderest leaves of hundreds of tulips in my front flower patch.

I just want to remind those stupid deer that...my flower garden is NOT YOUR SALAD BAR!!

These tulips are the survivors - a dozen of them escaped the deer's munching and lunching.

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in the merry month of May ...

Brookelyn turned TEN! We had a little party for her at Becky's house and should have given her a thousand presents - she's that good and sweet and smart and cute. (Grandma bias.)
Aaron relaxed for about five minutes this month - and I got a picture of it. He's a busy guy and I'm proud of him - but most important of all, he's Brookie's dad - and a good dad at that! And I can't mention Aaron without praising his cute wife Aimee - she's a jewel.

Gordo got married!! Gordo is Mike's best friend since grade school - and he's pretty darn special to me and Scott too. We are so happy for Gordo and Jess! She was a beautiful, radiant bride and her dress was fabulous - the photo doesn't show it, but oh, it was cute. And their reception was wonderful too...

Buffalo played at the reception and sounded so good. Gordo has been Buffalo's "manager" and biggest fan. He introduces the band when they perform and usually tells a funny story to warm up the audience. So it was natural that he'd ask them to play. They sounded so good. All those late nights practicing paid off in a grand way.

Pitt, Emmett and Becky were at the reception which made it extra special for me and Scott. I got to show Emmett to all my friends and watch him dance to Buffalo's "joy" song.

Just when I thought my smile couldn't get any bigger...a photo came in my email of pregnant Suzie.

If that isn't merry I don't know what is!!!


= great lessons =

Me, I love Oprah - always have - though I don't watch the show every day, and I'm pretty picky (thanks to Tivo) about which episodes I do watch. But honestly, Oprah has enriched my life in many ways, and I kind of feel that we grew up together (we're both 58 right now). Best thing about Oprah - the way she has promoted reading and writing. I've loved getting to know authors better by watching the Oprah show and reading the magazine...like Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Lamott, Eckhart Tolle, etc.

When an email called "The Oprah Show's Greatest Lessons" came into my inbox, I decided to check it out, and something Toni Morrison said rang true to me and I agreed with Oprah that it was a great lesson...the idea of being delighted when someone we love walks in the room. Two thoughts:

First, my dad. Talk about being thrilled to see anyone and everyone. Evan is better at greetings than anyone I know. When you walk into his house or he into yours, you know he's very glad to see you, and you get a big hello, smile, and a hug.

Second, smiling at our spouses. When you read Toni Morrison's wisdom (below), add your spouse to the list of people to smile at. I've regarded this as important in a marriage, and when I have to write some kind of advice in a wedding reception sign-in book, I sometimes write, "Be sure to keep smiling at each other." (Think about how much newlyweds smile.) This came to me one day when Scott was backing out of our driveway and I was on the porch watching him drive away. And he looked at me and smiled and I realized how much that meant to our relationship. So simple but really very powerful. Thus my hearty amen to the following "great lesson" from Toni:
The Oprah Show's Greatest Lessons
Toni Morrison
One of Oprah's favorite lessons comes from Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and the question she asked of all parents: "When your child walks in the room, does your face light up?"

"When my children used to walk in the room, when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up," she told Oprah in 2000. "You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you're caring for them. It's not. When they
see you, they see the critical face. But if you let your face speak what's in your heart...because when they walked in the room, I was glad to see them. It's just as small as that, you see."


{ quiLting inSpiration }

Vignette is a gorgeous quilting and stitching magazine that makes me want to hide in my sewing room, not answer the phone or doorbell, and sew, stitch, and quilt until I finish every project on every page of every issue...or at least read every word (I seem to do more of that actually, no matter what). Instead, I just stare at the cover photos and read their blog.

This publication is from Australia - no surprise to me - the Aussies seem to have extra-wonderful flair in both sewing and scrapping. One thing that intrigues me in the magazine is the block-of-the-month mystery quilt that appears in each issue. How fun it would be to create a quilt that way.