Friday, September 30, 2011

Duo Celebrations

9-30-11 reminiscing brain
Not a God-daughter, but an important girl none the less. Elizabeth age one in 1991. This "Top Cat" sweatshirt is the first thing Greg ever bought me, in 1991 was we were dating.....funny to think now that this cat looks like our Clover cat!

Not sure- but think this is 1992.

Just found these in my picture closet.... which is totally unorganized, but once in awhile something pops out at me when I'm looking for something else. Happy Birthday to Elizabeth who's birthday falls on her parent's Wedding Anniversary, one year later. How cool is that.... making September 30th a very, very special day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


9-28-11 judy still vacation brain

Toronto, Final Leg of the ’11 Road Trip

Dateline July 30, 2011, the finale of my summer road trip, the big Caribana parade. Caribana is a three week festival held every July celebrating Caribbean culture. It ends with a humongous, a million plus, masqueraders dancing down Lakeshore Blvd. The parade runs about ten hours with “bands” split up in several sections. Each band and section have their own music and hundreds of “players” dancing in masquerade costumes. There is a rhyme and reason for the set-up, but in the end, thousands of people walking miles and miles, dancin’ with each other in formats that you will not believe.

Pre-parade events included an “all white” boat cruise around Lake Ontario. So glad I packed a white top/skirt, just need to buy the white shoes (found in Chinatown). Before the cruise, I had my first “trunk-orama” party aka “tailgating”. So funny, we went to the nearby grocery to pick up a few things, and we looked so “Miami Vice”. The food was de-lish, the drinks, well mix it up and drink it. Then we went to the boat for some bumpin’ and grindin’. Let me just say, I’m not a bump n’ grind girl, but it was a ton of fun. It was a long night, well early morning before we got home.

I got to do something fun on parade day, take a boat ride to the harbor, what fun! It didn’t take us very long to meet-up with the family and as usual, my aunt packed a great lunch (roti chicken) for us. The parade started somewhere around 11 am and we left at 5 pm. The day was really fun; eat, drink, eat, drink… and they sure like to see me drink (when they are not looking, the drink is poured out).

To wrap-up the trip, day 1- drove to Punxustawney, PA (900 miles), Days 2-4 NYC (200 miles), days 5-6 New Britain, CT (100), days 7-11 Toronto (500), day 12 back to Iowa via Michigan, Indiana and Illinois (900). I left at 4 am and was back in Ankeny at 6 pm with one pit stop, Michigan to pick blueberries. Not sure what I’m going to do with the berries, but for now, it’s in the freezer.

I got a lot accomplished in 12 days, saw a lot, did a lot, mended fences, secured a few fences all while thinking of Dad and wishing for just one more trip. Honestly, this trip was Priceless. Thanks everyone for cheering me along the 3000 mile journey.

Chat Later,
That Girl, Ann Marie

Monday, September 26, 2011


9-26-11 vacation brain
As I spend time with Greg in Ohio visiting his family, Ann will fill in a few days...... and who knows I might even post from the road one day this week.
PS: Greg and I were in Toronto 10 years ago and these pictures make me want to go back.

Canada or Bust, Eh?

I know a lot of you have been to Canada, but have you really been to Canada? Yes, yes, I know a lot of you go for the “amazing fishing” but the major cities have so much to offer. Say like, Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

My Canadian connection goes back to the 70’s when my Uncle Frank moved to Mississauga/Toronto (from Trinidad). Since Trinidad has British ties, entry may have been easier back in the day. With 5.5 million living in the GTA, it is one of the most multicultural areas in the world and I can attest to that. Mississauga is one of the cities, with a diverse mix of people. In addition, it has a new claim to fame with the Absolute Towers (5 buildings). The newest towers are 50 and 56 floors tall and the tall tower is nicknamed “Marilyn Monroe”, I wonder why? These buildings are gorgeous, that is if you like buildings.

Over the last few years, I’ve renewed my love for this city and the annual Caribbean festival “Cariabana”. This year I added a few more sights to get accomplished in six days. Daily, I made the drive to Toronto although I really did want to take the train in from Mississauga. Traffic was a nightmare and what would you expect from a city of 5.5 million. The value of mass transit cannot be understated. Some travel 2 hours to get to work (bus to train to subway then back to bus).

I made three trips to Chinatown and I am amazed at the people, the food and their shops. I got caught up at a movie shoot in Chinatown and stood in the drizzle for two hours, just people watching. I forget now who was in the move, but it was so much fun to watch.

I got down to the CN Tower, St Lawrence Market and got a nice shot of their version of the “flatiron” building. I drove up and down the streets of Toronto, in-between, cars/cycles/bikes/electric trams, crazy just crazy.

Then there’s Casa Loma, house on the hill (overlooking the city of Toronto). I’ve been wanting to tour this house-like castle for a long time. Built by Sir Henry Pellat in 1911, it was the largest private home in Canada, boasting 98 rooms, with a cost of $3.5 million dollars to build. And like all good things, he had to leave his dream home due to financial woes in 1923. Today, the Kiwanis Club operates the home. Let me tell you, it’s a beautiful home with lush gardens. Touring the house reminded me of the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, NC (250 rooms) and many of the castles in Europe.

Other than the sightseeing, I enjoyed spending time with Uncle Frank (mom’s brother), Aunt Sheila and my cousins. They are great people, always welcoming me. Aunt Sheila is an amazing lady, street smart for sure, and what a cook. If I lived at her house, I’d never eat out. Of the many things I wanted to buy, I bought 50 pounds of rice. Don’t ask me why, just can’t pass up a good deal. (Aunt Sheila and g’daughter Bella)


Up next, the pre-festival activities and the big A$$ parade. If only I looked this good.

Chat Later,

That Girl, Ann Marie

Friday, September 23, 2011

Celebrating TGIF

9-23-11 excited brain

I realized that I’m really getting use to my split life as my new normal, but  THIS month, since Greg and I have been off schedule….. I’ve been missing Greg a lot this week. This is probably just due to the fact that we haven’t gotten to spend as much time together as we usually do. Life has been busy for both of us- my out of town work meetings, him going to Ohio to football game, and me not getting to spend my usual time in KC this month.

This week I’ve been feeling a little bored by living alone so much… but I can’t really see what the next step would be for us. It is hard for either of us to consider giving up a good job when you have one these days. The good news is that Greg and I will be spending the next week together again….. and that makes today a great TGIF. Also I'm excited today because I made my work deadline this week! My 2010 cancer cases are complete! I'll be getting new software in October and a new case-year will begin for me!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fun Memories

9-22-11 reminiscing brain
I'll answer Ann back..... What is a special Birthday memory for me?

Well, they do tend to run together, but I guess my birthday age 11  (I think) ??..... I was in love with the TV show "the Monkees" and my birthday present that year was a unicycle, since the Monkees rode unicycles.

I collected all their albums for those few years in the late 60's and had them displayed in my room.

Here is me learning to ride my unicycle by using the walls of the hallway. I know I put black marks on the wall, and Dad had to repaint. This was in our old house on 8th street.

I was still pre-puberty then and not in my ugly-duckling phase yet. (6, 7, 8th grade) I did master the unicycle and even rode it in parade when I was 12.

Also this outfit I"m wearing was new and very groovy.. it was yellow and orange.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday GUEST Blog

9-21-11 sharing brain
Thanks Ann for sharing those memories, I enjoyed your guest blog today!.~Judy
PS: I thought YOU were in the clown outfit! ?

Birthday Memories, You Have a Special One?

Last week while watching the Jackie Kennedy tapes with Diane Sawyer, I recalled the tape of Marilyn Monroe singing “happy birthday Mr. President” (May 19, 1962) and wondered if John and Jean can remember what they were doing that evening. Judy was probably in 2nd grade and me, well I was two and back on the island.

Most will remember their 16th, 18th, 21st then the ones ending in 0’s. At 16, I graduated from high school, got my license, started community college and did not have a car to drive. At 17, I flew the coop and joined the US Air Force shortly after my 17th birthday. My life really began on my 17th birthday.

At 21, I got remarried at St Mary’s Church in Waverly (we married a year earlier in Idaho) and started nursing school. Then I turned 25 and Robert was born. These years were a blur and I never stopped to have that “big party.” Maybe that’s why I decided to have one when I reached the big one, which I termed “39 + 11”. Here’s a few pictures of these milestones.

I always felt cheated with my birthday being so close to Christmas (November 29th), I vowed not to pass this on with my son’s December 22nd birthday, always wrapping his gifts in non-Christmas gift wrap, mostly the Sunday funnies. For his first birthday, I cringed when he ate his chocolate cookie monster cake, messy but very cute. When he turned three, I wanted to do something fun as this would be the first birthday he could or should remember. I hired two clowns to come to the house and as usual, the coldest day of the month. I hope I accomplished my mission. At five, I took him to see “Hoppy” at the Ingersoll Children’s theater.

Then there’s Dad’s birthday. Today, September 21st is Dad’s 80th birthday. I’ll go out on a limb here, Dad probably never had an “official” birthday party until he was 65. He moved to Iowa at 64 and when he turned 65, we went on our first road trip to St Louis to see the Redskins vs Rams. We celebrated his 65th birthday at Friday’s then went to the game (Redskins won!), which he thoroughly enjoyed as well as my father in-law. Here are some pictures of the day.

Last year we made a special trip to Toronto during his birthday week, his 79th, for a family funeral, where he insisted on going to. Looking back, he was able to say his goodbyes to most of his family. I especially remember Dad thanking a family friend for helping him back in Trinidad, he was so emotional when he saw him.

So for his 80th, I’m hoping we would of made a special road trip, maybe to see his granddaughter in Tennessee. He would of loved it! Dad would be looking forward to road trips, watching Nancy Grace on Dancing With The Stars, watching college and pro football games cover to cover and preparing for American Idol.

Oh well, on behalf of my brothers Tony, Glen and sister Charmaine, we’ll wish him a happy 80th birthday and remember him by lighting his memory candle.

Love you DAD and go Redskins!
Chat later!
That Girl, Ann Marie

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday fun TV night

I baked lasagna, Ann made brownie dessert.... and Monday night was the kick off with Dancing with the Stars. It almost felt like Renee was watching with us, via FB, but she had the nerve to drive to the store right in the middle..... but then she has a Tevo or something. Carolyn came over just in time for the first dance. Sue missed out since she was at an important church meeting.

 Ann made us score cards and we rated most dancers a number higher than the judges it seemed.

Who do I want to leave the show? Ron, since I don't really know him at all.
Ann was loving Nacy Grace, and me I guess I got the biggest laugh out of Carson.
He'll be like a Cloris Leachmen type of dancer with a high entertainment value.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend Report

9-10-11 worn out brain
I have things to write about, but not much energy at this point. Sunday afternoon, after encouragement from friends Ann and Roy, whom Greg and I had dinner with Saturday evening, I headed to the basement in hopes of working for 2 hours to finally start to put things back in order after the sump pump work in April. I decided to start with the laundry room. I believe Ann and Roy are tired of hearing me always talk about my messy basement when we see them every few months or so…. So they said just start and do what you can in a few hours.

Well, once I did get started, after having lunch with Vivian and Clyde after church, I actually worked for 4 hours and thus I’m exhausted….. but I did make great progress in the laundry area. I now have a place to hang, fold and iron. There was this layer of fine dust everyone due to the sump pump work- a blessing and curse all in one.

The real fun of the weekend was on Saturday at the Beaverdale Fall Festival. Greg and I joined friends Friday night to listened to a few bands…. It was chilly, but dry. Now Saturday morning for the parade, we did get a sprinkle half hour before the parade, but it wasn’t bad at all….. just cloudy and a bit chilly… I was prepared with many layers of clothes on.

This year my church did Theme of “All under God’s Umbrella”….. so we had an umbrella brigade, and we did a “march” type of routine along the way. It was fun. Greg took these pictures.

PS: tonight I’m hosting a Dancing with the Stars “party” for those of us who get a laugh out of this show. It’s that time of year when the new TV season is kicking off. It will be interesting to see who I decide to cheer for this year.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wrap up of Saturday

9-15-11 late brain
Today it was a cool morning here in Iowa- 41 degrees was the low at my house. It’s that time of year when you don’t know what to wear…… summer dress one day, jeans and hoodie the next day. Hard to believe that Ann and I were sweating on Saturday as we took a bike ride.

Since Greg was out of town for the weekend, I thought it was be a good time to finally make it downtown Des Moines for the Farmer’s Market. First Ann treated me to breakfast at the east side HyVee, her usual hang out on Saturday morning. I must admit I had a good omelet there. We then parked up by the Capitol and rode our bikes down hill to the Farmer’s Market. First we passed the 9-11 flag memorial set up on the side lawn.

Coming back we hung out for a bit in the East Village and then started the ride up the hill. Ann was only riding a no-gear bike she bought at a garage sale, where as I had my 24 speed bike, but rode in low gear so I wouldn't get too far ahead of her..... we were sweating a bit at this point, but it was a lovely day..... and we created a memorable trip. Ann was able to haul our bikes with her Dad's red Jeep which she inherited and loves driving now, I'm sure as a way to still feel close to him.

Later that afternoon was my neighborhood Potluck Party. We had a small group this year with only 10 out the 40 houses represented…. But we had some great food, and fun with those you came. Deb's pouring the wine.

Steve entertained us with his keyboard as usual and the kids had fun playing together. It was a perfect day weather wise, but we noticed it was dark by 8PM so we started clean up by 7:30.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday GUEST Blog

9-14-11 vacant brain
Ann continues with the story and pictures of her summer "road trip" vacation. Tomorrow I'll tell you about how Ann and I made 9-10 memorable. ~Judy

Family Pictures “Priceless”, New York to New Britain

Leaving NYC was just as nerve wracking as getting into the city and I was relieved that I drove out without hitting something or getting my car dinged up. As I drove along the Hudson River, I thought about the importance of this river over the years and of the “miracle on the Hudson”. This is an amazing photo.

Oh well, next stop, New Britain, CT to see my godfather/Dad’s brother, Uncle Mickey. Oh my, my family tree is a bit bent on Dad’s side and something he never talked about. Dad is the fourth of six children of George and Louisa Aloy Chee You. His three older siblings have passed on and he is survived by his brothers Mickey and Willie of Trinidad. His dad was born in Canton, China and was a shopkeeper. His mom was born in Trinidad and her family is from Venezuela. So on my Dad’s side, I’m Chinese and Spanish. Here’s a picture of an unknown relative and when I look at it, feel proud to be of Chinese heritage.

Throughout Dad’s life, he never talked about his parents, who died before I was born, or how he was raised. All I know is that it was not the best childhood and I’ll leave it at that. Over the years, I’ve kept in contact with Uncle Mickey, visiting him twice and he came to Iowa five years ago. I’m so glad he came as that was the last time Dad saw his brother (2006). Uncle Mickey is 77 years old and still works two part-time jobs, God love him (Dad worked until he was 77). Here’s a picture of Dad and Uncle Mickey in 2006.

I was able to get some history and when the time comes, I will put that to paper. I admire my Dad and Uncle Mickey for working hard and making the best of their lives. I hope I’ll be able to do that. Other than some history, I was able to get the only picture I have of my Dad as a young man. Shucks, no picture of him as a child! So here he is, age 25 in 1956 (before he met my mom). Dang he looks so skinny. I’ll cherish this picture for a very long time.

Here are two other pictures, parents and sister and my parents. How come I don’t remember my Dad looking like this?

This leg of the trip was successful, I got to share my Dad’s last days with Uncle Mickey, he got to pass a long some family information and pictures to me and I felt, well somewhat at peace.

Off to Toronto by way of Upstate New York. Wow, the drive was beautiful, all 500 miles. (1200 + 200 +500). Yikes, call me road warrior!

Chat Later
That Girl, Ann Marie

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sunday Continued

9-13-11 Continued brain

FORGIVENESS…….is something I thought I was good at, and like “to preach” to others…. But I was wrong. Sunday morning as I watched TV and the Ground Zero remembrance, my sadness and memories of 9-11 returned and also my greatest frustrations returned….. my belief that our country totally missed the boat on honoring those who lost their lives on 9-11. In fact, I believe we took their names in vain when our leaders, at that time, took us into a false war on Iraq.

Our country’s knee jerk reaction was vengeance. Terror and hatred was just going to be mirrored back out into the world, and sadly, at a time with great hope and the opportunity to be embraced by the unity and love from each other, and from those around the world, we blew it.

I found myself once again being pissed off, and wondering what our country would be like today if the Iraq war, which bankrupted us morally and financially, had never happened. Some of you know of my opposition stance to all this back in 2002 and 2003 in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq. This was the start of my walk with peace, and today I still believe I was correct in my predication of doom at this move to war….. but Sunday, I also have come to realize that these negative thoughts (towards Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld) have became a scar on my heart and I too was still in need of the Bible’s lessons on FORGIVENESS after all. This is one of my great challenges today!

Pastor Scott reminded me that FORGIVENESS is a process and he said:

“We can only be FREE when we are forgiving people

Since Jesus forgave the people who crucified him, ( Luke 23:34)..... Then it is clear that this is what is expected of me, and those to call themselves Christians.

PS: Greg flew out to Ohio this weekend to attend a Browns game with a friend from high school. They lost, but I know he had fun. I love it when he sends peace to me!

Bless your Face.... Peace Out!

Monday, September 12, 2011

My thoughts on Sunday

9-12-11 emotional brain
Sunday turned out to be more of an emotional day than I expected. I woke in the morning to the sound of church bells (typical for that time of day), but I also heard the sound of an Iowa National Guard fighter jet roaring over Des Moines (not typical for a Sunday)…… So I scrambled out of bed to turn on the TV, wondering if another attack on the 10th anniversary of 9-11 had happened.

All I found on the TV was the ceremony from Ground Zero taking place and the reading of names. I had intended not to watch any TV on Sunday, but was drawn in for a time.

Then, in a somber mood, I walked over to church and was greeted by a visual surprise in our fellowship room. The walls where lined with the colorful dresses made by our women for the girls in Africa. This put a smile on my face…… Although I felt bad that my material bought for this project still remains in a sack unsown.

Our church service was powerful, moving and healing. The start was the reading of the “Devotion upon Emergent Occasions” written in 1623 by John Donne.

You might know the famous lines:
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

At the closing of our service, we all sang “We Shall Overcome”…… the ending lines:

We shall live in peace. We shall live in peace. We shall live in peace someday. Oh, deep in my heart I do believe. We shall overcome someday.”

You can’t beat this version done by Bruce Springsteen.

The middle part of the service was the scripture lessons (Genesis 50: 15-21 and Matthew 18: 21-35)….. and sermon contained reflections on 9-11, and centered around FORGIVENESS…….

Continued tomorrow-

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blue Sky Interrupted

9-9-11 memorial brain

I've been thinking about the 10th Anniversary of 9-11, as I'm sure most people have.... and the news shows are covering the story. BUT I fine myself not really in the mood to do that much deep reflecting on the topic this year..... as I also fine myself loosing interest in writing blog posts lately.

Either I'm worn out, or just tired of talking about myself at this point in time.

So to keep it brief today, I'll share with you here, the Peace Art I made specifically for my peace blog on Sunday. One of the strongest memories for me of 9-11 was that it was such a perfect autumn day with the prettiest blue sky.  I remember walking outside in my back yard after the attacks, and I watched the squirrels for awhile and took a long look upward. I wondered if the squirrels felt the shift in energy that day?.... In varying degrees, life changed for all of us that day, everyone on the planet.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday GUEST Blog

9-7-11 traveling brain
I'm in Iowa City this week giving training, so happy that Ann send me another of her guest blogs. ~Judy

The Day Before, Remembering September 10, 2001

The world is filled with “if only” when an accident, death or tragedy occurs. I often think about this with my Dad, “what if I had said no to hospital discharge or why didn’t I take him back earlier to the doctor? That got me thinking and I ran across a USA Today article titled “The Day Before” USA Today article by Rick Hampson (published September 11, 2002). Wow, all I can say is wow! God works in mysterious ways, some were saved by an intervention, others had a chance to enjoy their loved ones and others, well one can only imagine. Thank you Judy for posting the article (in abbreviated form).

The Day Before”
USA Today article by Rick Hampson, September 11, 2002).

For some, Sept. 10 was the last day of an era. For 3,031 people who would be at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on four hijacked airliners the next day, it was the last day of life. The Monday before Sept. 11 was like any other day, and unlike any other. Here is how it went for some.

The sun rises at 6:32 on the East Coast. In New York, the day's high of 86 degrees is recorded at 2 p.m. The Yankees are 13 games ahead of the Red Sox. They play tonight at Yankee Stadium with Roger Clemens going for his 20th win. The day's horoscope for Virgos (born Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "There are major upheavals afoot. ... Even if your life is thrown into turmoil over the next 48 hours, something good will come of it eventually."

A 7-pound abandoned newborn girl, found in Central Park by a homeless man, is in good condition at a hospital. The New York City Opera is preparing for Tuesday night's opening of Wagner's Flying Dutchman. Michael Jackson is playing Madison Square Garden, his first live performance in the continental USA since 1989.

The mayor attends a firehouse rededication in the South Bronx, where the Rev. Mychal Judge, a fire department chaplain, talks about firefighting: "You have no idea when you get on that rig. No matter how big the call, no matter how small, you have no idea what God is calling you to."

On Staten Island, a fire captain named Joe Farrelly understands. He always leaves a love note for his wife when he goes to work. Today he writes: "I can't begin to tell you how much I love you. ... Already I can't wait to come home." Then he heads for a 24-hour shift at his firehouse in lower Manhattan.

Tomorrow, a far more horrible act will destroy entire Trade Center and kill 2,798 in the towers and the jets. A small group of people atop the south tower will escape. But in the north tower, all 1,360 above the 91st floor will die. For them, Sept. 10 is the last time they will ever walk out at closing time, ride home on the train, eat dinner with the family, fight over the remote. It's the last bedtime story, the last kiss good night.

For them, what the world will call "the day before" is the last day. This is how some of them lived it.

It's the first day on the job for insurance disaster specialist Scott Vasel, who is thrilled with the view of the Hudson River from his desk on the 97th floor of the north tower. It's a seemingly lucky day for Greg Clark, who survives layoffs that claim two dozen of his colleagues on the 104th floor. And it's a seemingly unlucky one for Paul Beatini, who has to stay home with his two little girls because his wife has a meeting. This morning, he plays Barbie's bakeshop. Tomorrow morning, he has a meeting on the 105th floor.

Brooke Rosenbaum and Will Raub are both home sick but determined to go in the next day. Rosenbaum, a friend will say, felt that without him, "the whole place would fall apart." Telmo Alvear, a dinnertime waiter at Windows on the World, the restaurant atop the north tower, agrees to cover breakfast the next morning for another waiter. Dorothy Chiarchiaro, who normally works Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in an office down on the 93rd floor, stays home today with her two granddaughters. She'll go in Tuesday instead.

John Cruz, who works on the 101st floor, sets his wedding date: Sept. 21, 2002. Joseph Romagnolo, whose office is four floors above, calls his father to say he's selling his motorcycle — which he loves and his wife hates — and is buying a camper the family can enjoy.

The Last night, the sun sets at 7:06 p.m., but no one sees it in New York City. A thunderstorm dumps .41 of an inch of rain and floods the field at Yankee Stadium.

In Dunellen, N.J., Lydia Bravo, who works on the 94th floor of the north tower, makes Tuscan stew for herself and her husband. In Yonkers, Joanna Vidal is so busy arranging a conference for Tuesday morning at Windows on the World that she eats standing up in her parents' kitchen. Shreyas Ranganath, who's come from India to work on a three-month project on the 97th floor, shares a feast of Indian delicacies with two roommates in Hackensack, N.J., to celebrate the birthday of Krishna, the Hindu god.

Tim Grazioso, who works up on 105th, drives to Clifton, N.J., to take his mother out for a belated 66th birthday dinner. Karen Joyce Klitzman, who works on the same floor, is supposed to have dinner with her mother. But she gets a message saying her mother can't make it, that they'll have to reschedule. In the Bronx, Joe Kelly, who works on the 105th floor of the north tower, has taken his sons, ages 8 and 6, to the Yankees game. The rain has stopped, and they wait to find out if the field is dry enough for play.

Bojan Kostic, who grew up in Belgrade, recites the names of the original 13 states to prepare for his citizenship test. Michael Asher shows his son a picture of an old Jaguar that he wants to rebuild. Martin Lizzul, who always calls his parents Wednesday night to say hello, for some reason calls them tonight. At 8:50 p.m., the Yankees game is canceled, but Kelly's sons are having a good time anyway, feasting on chicken fingers and Coke. In a moment of weakness, Dad buys the older boy a "Boston Sucks" T-shirt. Kelly's happy for a different reason. A week ago, he and his wife learned she's pregnant with their fifth child.

In the Kelly family, Joe takes the photos. As a result, he appeared in only two of the 195 pictures from their vacation at Disney World. But tonight, a family friend snaps a shot of father and sons together. In Verona, N.J., Bill Erwin is just back from Cape Cod with his wife and 2-month-old son. He stays up late, folding two baskets of freshly laundered baby clothes. It's a surprise his wife will discover the next morning as he's en route to his office high in the north tower. Kelly, meanwhile, calls his wife on Long Island to say he and the boys are driving home from the stadium. This is goodbye. She'll be asleep before they get back. The next morning he'll leave to catch the 6:14 from Hicksville to Manhattan before she's awake.

At Windows on the World, Marisa DiNardo Schorpp dances until after midnight at the birthday party she arranged for her mother. Schorpp, a natural gas trader, will be tired the next morning. But she has a meeting at her office two floors below. On Monday Night Football, the Giants-Broncos game ends well after midnight in the East. Some viewers grumble about going to bed late. Tomorrow, some who work at the Trade Center will give thanks for getting in late. The skies clear as a front moves through. Tuesday will be a perfect late summer day.
I’m left speechless, in tears and realizing that my intervention taking Dad home was a blessing. He got to come to my home on March 29, 2011, we had dinner together (rare), watched Dancing With The Stars together then he went off to bed. March 30, 2011 he’s hospitalized and you know the rest of the story. Yes, God works in mysterious ways.

Chat later,
That Girl, Ann Marie

......and Reminder to Fly the Flag on September 11th

Monday, September 5, 2011

Manic Monday

9-5-11 holiday brain
Today, I woke with plenty of hyper energy. I’m not sure why unless it was the fact that I had two relaxing days up in my hometown hanging out with Mom and Dad, and the weather had cooled down 30 degrees. Greg also was able to relax and he was surprised that we didn’t have any thing on a “honey-do” list. So he slept a lot this weekend, probably due to being on so many allergy meds….. Labor Day is when the worst of his allergies hit him hard.

Here I made quiche for us all on Sunday after church.

I did manage to lie in bed for awhile this morning, but my brain started in over drive. I had visions of going down to the kitchen and cooking a big breakfast spread for Greg, just like Ann would do. Then I had visions of starting down in the basement painting project, just like Jean Ann would do. Then I had visions of playing tennis, just like Molly would do. But instead, when Greg left for KC about noon, I headed to my art room. Since it was such a beautiful day out, I moved my paints out into the back yard are garage and “labored” hard at playing with my art.

Here working on project for Westminster art show which will be in January.

I did this for two hours, then managed to force myself to lie in the hammock for 45 minutes, accompanied by the neighbor’s cat, Max.

Then it was off the Ace Hardware; got my car filled with gas; stopped over the Vivian and Clyde’s to deliver some honey from Charles City (they weren’t home)… then ran into Carolyn and visited for a few minutes; meet a new neighbor, Bubba, Chris and Paul’s new cat. By then it was time to pick up Sue at 5:00 for some tennis.

Molly would be proud of us, we managed to play for about 40 minutes and then we decided we needed to eat and ended up at a new restaurant over at Drake University, it’s called Haiku. This is my new favorite place! The BEST crab-rangoon ever!

We had to end the night off with one last trip to Snookie’s Ice Cream shop to celebrate the last day of summer. Boy, if September could be filled with days of this beautiful weather, we all would be so happy, after the hot summer we endured..... we would sure feel blessed.