Monday, May 29, 2006

Dulcimer Festival

Over the weekend we attended the Dulci-More Festival in Lisbon, OH at Camp McKinley, Ohio's most historic Boy Scout Camp. A delicious ham dinner was served Saturday evening including homemade desserts! The concert featured Tina Bergman & Bryan Thomas followed by Magpie.
The camp was beautiful with the sounds of traditional music, wildlife and water running through what was the Sandy & Beaver Canal. City tension melted away warmed by the first weekend of summer sun. Ahhhh...Summer!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Beta No. 2

So whenever your ready with the real thing, Bill - just let us know.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

My Engaging Daughter

Another Mother's Day weekend treat - my daughter and her boyfriend put an engagement ring on lay-away!

She is so excited - it is wonderful to see her so happy.

We went shopping for vintage dresses - perfect for her - she is petite and they all fit fairly well. The first one may be the one she gets and it will only need shortened and any changes she wants.

They plan on a Fall 2007 wedding.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

War and Peace

An interesting op-ed on the history of Mother's Day ran in the Akron Beacon Journal today on the same page as an article about the war on terror.
Contrary to what card makers would have us think, Mother's Day wasn't always a Hallmark holiday. The first Mother's Day proclamation, written by Julia Ward Howe in 1870, was a rallying cry for mothers to make their sons and husbands quit the business of warfare.

There has never been an age without war, not ever. Mass violence is a continual aspect of the human condition. Peace, like good weather, is always local and temporary. And what is peace anyway but the result of past victories in war and the effective threat of future war against would-be aggressors? We play with our children, read books, go to work and enjoy recreations only because people with guns stand ready, willing and able to kill other people with guns who would kill us if they could.

While best known for writing the Battle Hymn of the Republic, Howe lived through the Civil War. She was horrified by the violence she saw, and used her poetic gift to pen a proclamation against war -- a proclamation that birthed Mother's Day.

``Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause,'' Julia wrote. ``Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.''

It's sweet to forget this and therefore difficult to keep it in mind. ``It is hard for those who live near a Police Station to believe in the triumph of violence,'' as the poet T.S. Eliot wrote. That's us -- we Americans, protected by a mighty military that by and large obeys the rules of our republic -- safe enough, and keeping much of the world safe enough, so that we find it hard to believe in whatwould happen if that protection failed.

But these fighters do keep us safe. And because keeping us safe is harsh, dangerous work, we should glorify them, exalt them in story and song by way of appreciation.

Her solution? Women should join to ``promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.''

For the sake of mothers in the United States, Iraq and Iran, we should heed Julia Ward Howe's 1870 cry to ``Disarm! Disarm!'' and find the means ``whereby the great human family can live in peace.'''s not bloodlines but national creeds that make a people. And while even so great a creed as ours can't guarantee the decency of individuals, evil creeds surely sweep them up into destructive madness and therefore must be opposed.

Today, we face an enemy in the grip of a belief system just as evil, just as destructive in its intent as the system we fought back then. We were attacked at home in this war as we were in World War II. The outcome of the struggle is just as much in doubt.

Worse, because Islamic fundamentalism supersedes nationhood, the danger it poses is more protean and diffuse. It's easier to pretend it isn't there, more tempting for the war-weary and the fatally foolish to waver and sound retreat.

While assessing the intricate failings of our moral history, many of us have lost sight of the simple truth that the system that shapes us is, in fact, a great one, that it has moved us inexorably to do better and that it's well worth defending against every aggressor and certainly against as shabby and vicious an aggressor as we face today.

When war comes, as it always will, and when it is justified, as it is now, nuances and shades of gray have to be set aside. It is time, instead, for faith and for ferocity. Our enemies have these weapons, after all.

We're going to be Grandparents!

My stepson and his girlfriend are expecting a baby. It is an unexpected surprise for all, but we are looking at the bright spots. I've been in the 'in-between' group of my friends. One has small children, getting started with her family in her 40's. Pregnancy, childbirth, babies, toddlers and children - all wonderful memories now. When I watch her chasing after her little one, I am grateful that that exhausting time is in the past. Another friend has five children, the oldest of which has two children, making her a grandma. Last year, my sister became a grandma and this year she will have two more grandkids. Even though I admit I was jealous, I realized that our kids were young and it would be a while before we would have grandkids. Well, now that is in the future and my grandma fantasies can become realities. In the children's department at the library, grandparents bring their grandkids to story hour. They read to them, pick out books, put together puzzles, look at the fish and our turtle, Spike. We have books on grandparenthood, activities to do with grandkids, etc, etc.

We are all starting to think of each other differently. They are starting a family, a new life and moving from dependence on us to having someone depend on them. You can tell they see us as parents - not the authority figure of their childhood but parents like them. We have this in common - expecting a baby. What greater event to expect? They can tell that we know how excited and scared they are - that we've been through the long wait of pregnancy and the uncertainty of childbirth. It may take a while for the reality of not only a life - but a lifetime of a child is ahead of them - their child to love, teach, take care of and enjoy. They are no longer young adults trying to find their way - they have the path ahead of them now.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

This is How I Am

Just a rambling post about how I feel today, which is like a slug! I've been lazy, unmotivated, blah, a couch potato, dragging, limping because of my heel pain, sleeping so hard during my nap that my husband greeted me with 'nice drool' upon seeing my pillow. My usual routine consists of the morning routine: get up, bathroom, coffee, let dog out, have cigarette (unless I've quit smoking that day), make simple breakfasts for hubby and son, pack lunch for husband, kiss him goodbye, take son to school. Then if it's a work day, I get ready & go to work for 5 hours shelving books at the library - a job which I LOVE for so many reasons: it's peaceful, I love books, no late fees for employees, coworkers are great, boss is even better and I have the best schedule in the world - I work Tue, Wed & Thur. Yes, 5 hours 3 days a week with a 4 day weekend every week at a job I LOVE. But if it's not a work day, I come home & tidy up, work on laundry, grocery shop, clean house, do errands, lunch with a friend - but only one of those. One activity a day is usually all that's accomplished. I'm a very low energy person - a type B personality, perhaps with adult ADD, an underactive thyroid (I take synthroid), depression (ditto on anti-depressants), aches and pains (anti-inflammatory meds), sleep apnea or maybe I'm just relaxed - a little too much. Once a week or so a spurt of energy shows up in time for me to keep my head above water. All this - and it's so much better than it used to be when I was a divorced, full-time working mom of 2 finishing college at night with an ex that didn't pay child support consistently for so long, he's $25,000 in arrears. Then I had NO energy, but managed to take the kids to their sports practices and games, scout meetings, friend's houses, movies, museums, fire station open houses for the free pancake breakfasts, the library (of course) and even saved for a vacation to Disney World. My house looked like it should be condemned, but everyone said the kids are only young once and they don't care. Well, at 19 and 15, I can see that was right - I am enjoying these young adults and am proud of our life. Things were not perfect - you do your best, work on priorities - but there will always be some things that were hard. I had to learn to make decisions even if there was no really good choices or outcome to be found. Adulthood - Responsibility - not always fun and games.