I’m Still Watching Hockey

Happy Memorial Day after to you! It was a busy day yesterday – not a single photo was taken, shoot.

I got myself out of bed early and did a 27 ride with my cycling buddies. I, once again, had a difficult time getting to sleep so when I dragged myself out of bed in the early morning, all I could think of was – gotta get coffee, gotta get coffee. As it turns out, I was fine for the first 20 miles or so – after that I hung on for dear life. But I couldn’t rest because I promised Miss Caroline that I would make her some Thai sticky rice and larb. A promise is a promise. Then there was a picnic and pool party because it was Memorial Day and because it was Memorial Day, three of our friends said the most beautiful prayer for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in our military and for our country. It was all perfect –

All that being said – there was a hockey game last night, did cha know? Hockey in May! The Anaheim Ducks were playing the Chicago Blackhawks in the semi-finals for the Stanley Cup. I’m praying – praying that the Ducks win the series and Neighbor Doug gets the championship. He deserves it after all these years in the NHL.

This is how we watched the game on our not-so-done porch a couple of nights ago.

hockey1We don’t have any lighting out there yet so I lit candles and we watched on wifi by candle light. It was very romantic, especially during outbursts when they scored.

porch-buzzfeed

Found on buzzfeed.com.

It’s still very rustic out on the porch. Here’s another inspiration I found on the internets. We don’t have a wood fireplace anymore but if we did this would be a great idea! If only we had a couple of kids to cut and stack the wood . . .

neighborsLast week, Neighbor Doug and Carrie’s dog Zoe came to visit. I snapped this photo and Amy-girl, their daughter, used it as her phone wallpaper.

Then this happened at 10:01.

hockey3She has glasses!!

Alright Ducks and Neighbor Doug, get that win! Your dog and your neighbors are counting on you!

Thanks for listening to the rambling today.

When Everyday Is Memorial Day

may25I took this photo of Glacier National Park off the boy’s photostream because it was so representative of the majesty, beauty and rich blessings of our nation. I have been overwhelmed by the sentiment in social media and in the news of the celebration as it were of Memorial Day. Some of the most poignant photos I’ve seen are on Lens, the photography section of the New York Times.

Here’s the link. Even if you’re not a patriotic person, these will move you.

Here’s to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Always remember –

Black, White & Yellow

may25With all of the life changing events the last couple of weeks, I remained amazed at how it just continues to go on – as if nothing has changed when everything has and every day it continues . . .

I’ve turned the above passion pink rose to black and white and it’s beautiful in its own haunting way. But I miss color and right now, my favorite color is yellow.

may20Yellow is a beautiful joyous color and I’m so in love with it right now that I wore yellow pants with a yellow sweater yesterday. I looked like a lemon, but it made me happy.

may19That’s the boy way out on the pier. He and John made it back to school safely, and they seemed to have had the time of their lives. Another reason to celebrate and revel in the yellow glow of a peaceful sunset.

yellow1After changing our minds about 12,000 times on whether to go to my parents’ home to spend more time with our newest kidney transplant recipient, we finally decided to go, and took all the animals with us. Ella is a yellow lab, so the theme fits. It’s always an interesting ride with all the animals. They are always good on the six hour drive, but boy we were all glad when we finally get there.

yellow2I spent the majority of today studying for an instructor certification. The above photo is from our lesson on how to fabricate or break a chicken down to its main parts.

yellow3Here was our lesson on food presentation. Pineapple is a more photogenic subject than raw chicken. My mind is on food, food, and more food.

yellow5So as summer approaches, I’m ordering a couple of wardrobe pieces online. Guess what color dresses I’ve been looking for? I love this photo of little Aaron and his cousin. The yellow tie, handkerchief and the little yellow dress are adorable.

yellow6

So in between chapters on food safety and prevention of cross-contamination, I ordered this yellow skater dress from thelimited.com. I can’t wait to wear it. BTW, there’s a 40% off all items sale on their site right now. Hurry!

Just thought I’d pass along a little bit of yellow joy today! Have a super weekend!

My Porch Story – The Beginning

porch-cotedetexasdotcomFound on Cote De Texas.

I’m excited about our newest porch renovation project. We have a great space off of our kitchen that is not being utilized because frankly, I don’t like to go out there. This summer, I’m doing something about it  and we’re committed to doing it on a budget. The beautiful photo above is my inspiration, among others on my pinterest board. I wonder if we can do this with the budget we have . . . I can only dream! So beautiful!

porch6Here’s what our porch looks like right now – we’re not quite there yet.

porch9The husband took up the awful blue astroturf rug that had been there for about 30 years. It was dirty and stained and really hard to clean. The porch gets quite dirty because it’s open to the elements and I wanted to be able to just sweep the dirt out, not have to vacuum.

porch8When the rug was taken out, we found the floor boards underneath it was in great shape. I started staining it (Minwax Pecan 245) and I’m still not sure if this is going to be the end product but so far it’s looking good.

porch7I love seeing the old wood coming back to life again!

It’s a slow process, I’m putting down two coats and then I have to seal it. I’ll be done sometime in 2024.

porch3Another look at the floor. I love it, so rustic.

porch1This is what it looks like now but I have been dreaming of what it can be. I’m not sure of the direction in which to go.

porch-diynetworkdotcomFound at diynetwork.com.
Should we make it more of a sunroom? With a real floor and a half wall? I like the idea of a half wall with windows above – it will keep it a lot cleaner, and we can use it during hotter or cooler weather. The door leading out to the porch looks a lot like our kitchen doors.

porch-homebunchdotcom

Found on homebunch.com
I love this! I think it’s my favorite so far. It’s an indoor/outdoor space and I love the touches of whitewashed stain all over. I thought about whitewashing the walls and ceiling of the porch. I still might. I’ll have to get my elbow greased . . .
porch-apartmenttherapydotcom
Found on apartmenttherapy.com
Speaking of ceilings, how beautiful is this? Maybe I’ll paint the ceiling blue instead.
porch-silivedotcom
Found on silive.com
Here’s another blue ceiling. How pretty . . .
 Maybe I’ll just leave it stained. It will be great, as soon as I find a design direction . It will be an interesting makeover journey!

porch2
In the meantime, I’ll have lots of four legged help.

The Tug

mom1Over the last week or so life handed us this crazy tug of war between hallelujahs and heartbreak. After waiting two years, my mother finally had her kidney transplant surgery last week. I never once thought about the complications and what might go wrong. That’s the truth. Instead, I was caught up in her excitement.

Did I mention that my sweet brother was the one who donated the said kidney? He’s very generous, and very brave and has always been.

A day after the surgery, she couldn’t stop talking and was awake all day. Before the surgery, she would fall sleep as soon as she sat down on the couch and on a drop of a hat. There were so many miracles that day, from the surgery itself, to how both my mother and my brother are recovering post surgery.

may17The husband and I stayed for three days at the hospital and decided to come back and see the girl. She was home alone taking care of the animals. She is done with her first year of school! – and boy is she happy about that. The year had been a difficult one so we’re looking forward to having her at home for the summer.

ella1She kept us entertained by sending us funny photos of the dogs.

ella2They are frick and frack.

Where does that saying come from?

boy1The boy and John are on a road trip to Montana. He’s been sending us gorgeous photos of Glacier National Park. We wish we were there too! They drove 15 hours from school to get there, it’s great to be young!

boy2Our boy is a beautiful kaleidoscope of many wonderful things but above all, he has the soul of a dreamer. Montana looks like heaven doesn’t it?

kim1And finally, the heartbreak.

kim2On our way home from the hospital on Saturday, we were told that our good friend Kim went to God’s arms. He joins many of our loved ones who have gone home and now it’s one more reason to go to heaven. We are keeping our beautiful and special friend Miss Ann closely in prayer.

No matter what this week brings you, remember that God is the one who is brings it.

May 12, The Plantings

may8We have been putting quite a bit of time into the yard lately. The weather has been beautiful and one just wants to be outside. But we’re losing the battle to the weedy and the bothersome and as great as the dandelions are to photograph, they are the worst of the weeds.

So we’re going to call in the big guns – a landscaper who will help us in the battle.

may11It’s hard to admit we need help, but it’s the first step in getting a great lawn:)

This year we’ve had some new plantings from our neighbors and friends and I can’t wait until they take root and bloom. It takes a village to get a beautiful garden. Because of that, I’m taking special care to take care of these plantings.

Here’s a Heloise tip: the husband made some garden friendly homemade weed killer yesterday. It’s a combination of vinegar, epson salt, and dish washing detergent. If it rains we’ll be awash in bubbles! I’ll let you know if it works –

Have a super Tuesday!

May 11, Belated

mothersdayHappy belated Mother’s Day to all of you! I loved going through social media and seeing all of the tributes to you – and to your moms. I was feeling a little under the weather myself so there was no celebration here, just some recuperation. Truthfully, it kicked my bum! A day of watching LifeTime tv and shopping for blinds on the internet never hurts so yes, it was still a great Mother’s Day, albeit a little lacking a little bit of glam.

But it was exactly what I needed.

The Incredibles

may9aLast weekend I had the honor – once again – of photographing one of my favorite events, Oil Change Day. The guys in our church take time out of their weekend (and their honey-do lists) to service 155 cars with new oil, air filters and tire inflation. It’s pretty neat.

may8bYou may wonder why I’m posting about guys on Mother’s Day weekend especially when this event took place last weekend.

may8cIt’s because I’m always a week behind. Next weekend, I’ll show you what I did this weekend.

may8dEvery year, twice I year, I serve with Tom. He’s a computer guy who works somewhere in DC but on Oil Change Day, he helps me check volunteers.

may8eAnd here are two more great guys who serve almost every Oil Change Day.

Nick just retired from the Navy, I showed you his beautiful retirement here. And Eddie causes a lot of confusion for us at checkin every time because his son’s name is Eddie and his grandson’s name is Eddie. Databases tend to balk when he comes along to checkin. That’s why you need humans like Tom to figure things out.

may8fAnd because Nick is a military guy, he’s also really strong.

mau9Then there are the boys. There’s never a dull moment with them because they’ll fill it with an impromptu wrestling match.

may9I really love these guys. This is exactly what we need, men who are responsible, strong and with serving hearts. Paul is in the middle with his son and the rest of the young guys flanking him are serving right next to him.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend – I know their moms are really proud of these incredible men.

Will He Or Won’t He

home1Some people have asked me if the boy was home yet. The question is not whether he is home, it’s whether he is going to come home.

That is the question.

home4This is the gang during an aviation banquet at last month. It’s of the guys and some of their parents. It’s so nice to see.

In our conversations over the last couple of months the boy has expressed a desire to take the summer off – i.e. no obligations. He said he’s tired, tired from taking classes for almost three years in a row. He not only has gone to school during the normal semester year, but he took classes during the last two summers. He says he needs a break.

home3I had to post a photo of just the parents because we have a huge stake in all of these shenanigans.

I understand, but I haven’t had much sympathy. I mean, we’re paying for it, get the classes done and get out! It’s my motto when it comes to the boy.

But as I listen to him lay out his case, my heart, like the Grinch’s heart, began to soften. A little.

home5All this posing can get really dull so as it often happens, a wrestling match breaks out in the corner.

When I was in North Dakota last month, we sat around the kitchen table talking, Roommates John and Kevin, Miss Diane, the boy and I. We talked about their plans for the summer which included, internships, weddings, vacations and the like. The boy talked about a wedding he was going to attend and I asked him when it was. He said, “The 27th.” I said, “June 27th?” To which he said, “Mom, I already told you this.” Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. All I know is that I don’t remember the conversation.

home91Here’s a photo of a group of young people at a Newsboy’s concert. The husband asked him what he was doing at the Ford dealership:)

So as it turns out, he will be home sometime in July.

July.

Along with all of the above, he says that he and John are just going to fish, hunt and chill.

home9I found this photo of Tyler on the boy’s photostream. He’s obviously at the library, which means the boy was at the library too – good to see.

Must be nice to be young and with a seasonal schedule. I know how hard he’s been working and since he’s in the middle of finals, I know how difficult things are now, right now so . . . I guess it’s alright to succumb to the philosophy of “They’re going to work the rest of their lives,” just for this moment in time.

We all know how that is don’t we?

home8I just hope he squeezes some studying time in while having fun too.

home6He better! He’s handsome isn’t he? My boy . . .

I’ll see him again someday.