Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in the Midwest

For the first time since 1975, I was far from home for the Christmas holidays.

My first destination was SHEEcago where Kelty and Duane reside at 'Harbor Point' located downtown on the little peninsula that juts right out to Lake Michigan. They live in the cylinder-shaped part of the building. What a panoramic view!

(Sorry, friends. This is a stock photo , but the real thing is just as incredible.)

Kelty is growing by leaps and bounds. Just a few weeks until her little chickadee makes an appearance. The pregnancy has gone smoothly, even through the rigors of graduate school.

Located near their home is a place called Navy Pier where tourists board cruise ships, visit museums, shop til they drop, eat til they're stuffed, and RIDE THE FERRIS WHEEL.

We rode.

It was about 15 degrees outside, but we did it.

AND, we got this cool shot, just after de-boarding.

As Christmas drew nigh, Kelty and I packed our holiday gifts into her Toyota and headed east to Columbus where Leah (my other daughter) and her family live. About a six-hour drive.

Leah and Cody are parents to three lovely little lassies who are full of rip-roaring energy. Ages 1,3 & 6.

We built tents (out of sheets, which they really loved), frolicked to Christmas music, baked cookies for Santa, played games, and SOME of us took naps!

The morning after our arrival, we took a dip at their community pool. It even had an indoor "Lazy River". Quite a CLASSY facility, really.

* * * * * *

On Christmas Eve, Duane logged off from work, hopped onto a flight from Chicago and joined the gang in Ohio.

Here's the traditional shot that EVERYONE takes. Unfortunately, we weren't brilliant with the whole tri-pod thing so Leah was behind the camera instead of in the picture.

As for the presents . . .

Brinley, the eldest, was delighted with the COLOSSAL gift from Santa -

a dramatic play kitchen

which Daddy spent a good part of Christmas day assembling.

3 year-old Avery was quite content with a new set of puzzles
which she could assemble all by HERSELF.

Parting shot for 2009 -

Left to right: Brinley, Grandma Ginger, Avery, Leah, Aspen.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kelty Is Blossoming


My baby Kelty's
baby is due
to make her appearance
in January.

Family and friends gathered to honor the mother-to-be, to shower her with sweet little baby things and fortify her with sage advice.

There was 'LIGHT SUPPER' which wasn't all that light.

Then, Jill
(my extraodinary daughter-in-law)
asked Kelty
to remove
the petals of a yellow rose,
thoughts or feelings
about becoming a mom,
one for each petal.

Followed by the ceremonious
opening of the gifts.

Let me just say, this wee little buttercup will have some stunning (and cozy) outfits during her first year of life! The presents were thoughtfully chosen and accompanied by sound advice from moms who've proceeded her on this journey.

Dana, my goddaughter #3, is also expecting in January and the two mamacitas look so darling together with their swelling bellies.

THANK YOU Jill and Leah, for putting together this marvelous event. You'll see no shots of my Leah girl, since she is tethered to her three little babes in Ohio. None-the-less, she managed to orchestrate various elements of the shower from the Midwest. She even made and mailed 30 parties favors and they were A HIT.


I can't believe my BABY is With Child.

I look at her and my heart sings . . .

"Is this the little girl I carried?"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

The Thanksgiving holiday translated into a full week of wonderful chaos around my place.

(And, BTW, that's legitimate excuse for skipping the blog about my amazing drive home from Nevada.)

Amidst it all,
there were moments for snoozing.
Duane on the couch.
Pregnant Kelty on the floor
and Chica, the dog cozying into the scene.

And early morning wake-ups.
Grandson Kenneth on my bed.

Delightful, fully-awake play times.
Grandma Ginger's "Wiggle Cars"

And communal work times.
Arian and Duane peeling potatoes for a crowd.

Time for good conversation
with intermittent turkey basting.
Sister-in-law Cathy, her eldest girls Robyn & Eliza,
my goddaughter Victoria.

Finally, the BIG feast . . .
(Sorry, folks. I didn't catch everyone in this shot.)

and some little feasting too!
My darling granddaughter Audrey.

there was a willing clean-up crew.
Kelty, Jill, niece Grace, Duane, goddaughter Dana and others.

When the dishes were done,
the extended family gathered for carol singing.
Every one of our clan loves to sing
and I have to say, we sounded awesome.

And, of course,
there were stolen moments for
hiking up the canyon
Here's my dear daughter-in-law Jill
during one of those strolls.

Good times.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

In Charge, In Nevada


My son and his wife did their first ever
Get Away, just the two of them.
Off to Boston.

So Grandma Ginger came onto the scene
and did the A - Z with her dear Nevada Kidlets.

I brought a pile of play toys with me.
As you can see, the dinosaurs were a hit.

Little Audrey loved having a Patty Cake Partner.

Bright and early,

3 year-old Kenneth

climbed onto

the preschool bus.

Notice that


He absolutely LOVES

going to school.

In turn, the bus driver

and the teachers ADORE

Mr. Kenneth. Who wouldn't?

Then THIS darling tike and I
got some one-on-one time in the mornings.

We strolled the neighborhood together,
which was ever so pleasant in the Nevada sunshine.

She absolutely WON my heart,
fair and square!

* * *

In the evenings, there was time for stuff like
Artistic Endeavors & Culinary Crafts.

Notice Audrey, APPRECIATING our masterpieces.

* * *
One day, I took my grandson to gymnastics.
I was totally awed by the things a good teacher
can get a 3 year-old to accomplish.

When Mommy and Daddy arrived home,
it was tough to say goodbye.

However, I had sweet little adventure coming home.
I'll share THAT in the next post.

Let me just say,
I didn't travel on the Yellow Brick Road.
Rather, the Red Sandstone Highway.
It's something else!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Zipped Down to Zion

Zipped down to ZION where my friend Fae lives.
In fact, I took this photo from just outside her home.
She has a 1,000,000 dollar view of Zion's National Park.
And a Way Cool House, to boot!

If you don't know about Zion,
this photo will give you a second glimpse.
(The first glimpse was at the beginning of this post.)

I took it while strolling near Fae's home.

And here's where Fae lived for two years,
as she and her husband were building their home . . .
FROM SCRATCH. Sacrificing visionaries in their sixties!!!
Fae's husband died unexpectedly two years ago,
but this courageous woman keeps their dream alive.

Fae has been my friend forever and a day.
She gave each of my daughters a celebratory massage
to mark their passage into womanhood.
I guess we go back to about 1985, nearly a quarter of a decade!!!
And here we are in 2009, together over the weekend!

I can't even begin to describe Fae's hospitality.
There was a WELCOME sign on the door and lit candles in her casita!
Then she swept me off for dinner at Oscars.

Here's an outside view of the casita (or guest house).
It's made up from three little buildings, each with it's own unique roof.
They are linked together with doors,
giving the honored out-of-towner a bedroom, kitchen,
and bathroom illuminated by several skylights.

Here's what it looked like when I opened the door of the casita
after a good night's rest.

I got up LATE.
Due to the fact that Fae and I had such a fine evening together.

First of all, the dinner and over-the-top dessert
was a benefit for Fae being an organizer of the

After stuffing ourselves on bleu cheese garlic burgers and fish tacos,
we soaked for literally HOURS in her hot tub.
Here's a daytime shot, taken while I was leaning against the hot tub.

Pretty amazing.
But NOTHING compared to
watching drama in the night sky from such a wild & wonderful place.

I saw FOUR shooting stars!
November 2009 is THE month
for the Leonid Meteor Shower (SEE HERE)
and I got to experience the show
from the comfort of a hot tub located far, far away from city lights.

After a very long time steaming away under the stars,
I sort of looked like a lobster, well done.

Fae, on the other hand, looked refreshed
and ready to play.
We chatted another hour in the casita.
Couldn't get enuf girlfriend time.

* * *
In the morning, I took in the many
"Fae Touches" around the place.

Intriguing sculptures are placed around the property.

This wind art changes with even the slightest breeze . . .

And I can't even BEGIN to describe
the imaginative crafting of the inside spaces.
Unfortunately, this is my only shot
and it's really about the beauty seen through the windows.

If you want a bit of my friend Fae in YOUR LIFE,
go to her website and see how you can experience
fae & zion

Last photo.
From the NE corner of Fae's home.
Taken just before I drove away.
Sad to leave.

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