Monday, June 29, 2009

I'll Take the High Road and You Take the Low Road.........

......then we'll all meet at the Ohio Scottish Games. Saturday, we went off to the Highlands for the Scottish Games. Gee, I've wanted to go to these for YEARS.....really. It just wasn't a priority (because, really, we're Irish.....and well, I don't like scotch too much) so when the weekend came every year for the games, and something else was going on, I just never got there. But, finally, we went. Unlike our "Feis" days, the Scottish Games encompassed a lot of other activities which is probably how Feis days began many moons ago. I hear they started out as "picnics" where competitions were held and now, there are still competitions but don't even THINK about bringing a picnic basket because the facility won't let you bring so much as a cup of coffee into the place!

We didn't head out there until late morning and most of the traditional Scottish dancing competitions were finished by that time, but we did get to see some and I've included those below. One is a very traditional Scottish dance and the other looks to be compared to our choreographers, where teachers are allowed to make up their own stories based on history. The Glengarry Bhoys, a celtic rock group from Canada, played at the games and we got to listen to a couple of their sets.

On Sunday, I attended the bridal shower of the daughter of one of our friends. A group of guys that Lude has been friends with since he was in college and working summer jobs....four of us couples were married in the same year and one couple were married a couple of years later. Then, we began having children and the rest is life. Here's Kim and her Mom and then a picture of Kathy, Peggy and me. Kim and Mark will be married in September.It was Jess' last day in town, so Papa came over for dinner.....I'm sure she can't get out of Cleveland fast enough! Lude spoke with her last night and she was with a bunch of her friends walking through Olde Town in Chicago having a ball. AHHHHH, isn't life grand? She had new head shots done while she was here in town with a photographer she's used on a number of occasions. He always gives her a good price and he took thousands of shots. I've included a couple from the CD he gave her. My head was swimming after looking at all of them.....I'm sure I haven't picked the BEST ones, but

We are "THIS" close to closing on the condo.......what an ordeal. But we are looking forward to what it will mean for us.

This is the July 4th weekend coming up which always brings lots of fun and very anti-weight watcher foods! My cousin Erin is having her annual July 4th picnic on the 3rd! (She's a little calendar challenged!) And, we have some family coming for dinner on the 5th which is always fun. If we don't own the condo by the weekend (and then feeling obligated to start work on it!), maybe we'll head over to the islands for a picnic or something.


Happy July 4th

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ahhhhh...........

Wow.....Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and now Michael Jackson?

Catching Up with My Cousin......

Cheryl and I had a chance to catch up on Monday over dinner. Between everything going on, we haven't had an opportunity to do that and it was fun.

We talked about: food, kids, cars, work, money, investments, husbands, vacations.....yadda yadda.

What we didn't get a chance to talk about was that tomorrow was the day we were supposed to leave for our big Scrapbooking weekend. We had to cancel out our plans because the place needed a minimum of three people to sign up.....and well, it was just her and I! So, boo-hoo.

But, I look forward to our all day scrapbook day in a couple weeks - that will be fun and in the meantime, we're headed for the Ohio Scottish Games this weekend! Woot Woot.......a Scottish Feis! Should be interesting!

Ahhhhh, swords, bagpipes and the Highland Fling: I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's Day Fun

It was a beautiful, sunny day and we had a potluck picnic at Sean's on Father's Day. Good eats, lots of family....cool pool!

The State of Library Funding in the State of Ohio is in a Sad State

I knew that I should say something about the library funding situation in the state of Ohio.

I'm not a lobbyist and I'm not a political debater by any means.

But I feel strongly about libraries and their impact on our lives and I know that I would feel this way even if I didn't work for the library. I am a lifetime library user.

Libraries are an extension of the whole learning process - take your kids to the library regularly and they WILL become lifelong readers. Let them see YOU reading regularly and they will catch on. Lude always said "more is caught, then taught!" Oh how true.....let them catch you reading and you have taught them a skill for LIFE. Isn't that right, girls?

So........what to say about the whole thing???? I don't know, I don't even understand the whole thing. But what I do know is that the library is a safe place during economically difficult times like now. More people than ever are coming to my library for career counseling, computer classes, programs on more topics than I could ever list, newest and latest releases in books and movies, books on tape, CD and now the new PLAYAWAYS, magazines and newspapers from all over the country, genealogy specialty resources, meeting room use, Internet and of course, the most important: more services for children than you could ever need. ALL FREE....but for how long?

Will this budget cut, scheduled to be decided on June 30th, require us to charge for all these services? Not really, but it will be cutting library funding 50%. That's huge. And we will begin cutting services - how and which ones are TBD.

It's true.....everybody's jobs are cutting back - people are loosing their jobs; not getting paid bonuses; being forced to decide whether they want to move to Pittsburgh, for crying out loud! Home of the Steelers? I don't think so.

But, what's important to remember about THIS cut, is that (and I quote Regina Brett from today's column) "If you have a library, you have a shot at equal access to the world". We're supposed to be there for you during these difficult times. We're one of the LAST outlets for free stuff!

So, here's a link to Regina Brett's column from today. She did a nice job of touching on the emotional part of the whole issue. http://www.cleveland.com/brett/blog/index.ssf/2009/06/tell_gov_ted_strickland_public_1.html

But, log on to saveohiolibraries.com to stop this
Call the Governor at 614-466-3555 or 614-644-4357
Fax him at 614-466-9354

Tell him "you understand he has to cut corners, but that we can't afford to lose any corner of the library"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

News From J, K, L & M...........

I've been feeling a bit of writer's block....... ...but it's not just that, it's been a busy couple of weeks for J, K, L & Me. Lot's of crazy stuff. Some important and some just busy stuff.

kClare is doing the "Master Cleanse". Talk about interesting! I don't know if I could do it. I will be interested in how she does and feels at the end of the cycle - maybe 10 days? I'm not sure how long it lasts. Good luck, kClare.....it'll be tough, but you can do it! And, well, I JUST got off the phone with her: when she woke up this morning (day 3, I think), her blood sugar was so low she could barely drag herself to the refrigerator. A miscalculation on spreading out the liquid and sugar intake caused her body to give her a good tongue lashing this morning! So, she had to resort to eating a few crackers and fall off the wagon. She has the drive - she needs to manage the program differently. So, maybe next time! (OK - I've awoken from yet another Mother's nightmare!) Not really; I knew that if it was going to work, it was going to work and if not, it would flare up in the beginning. It's a learning experience for her and from what she's said, she's had a few epiphanies along the way.

Jess is home and roaming about the house like a little mouse. The first night she was home, Lude and I were in the kitchen and I was momentarily frightened by the noise coming from the laundry room......(give me a break - my mind is a little cluttered these days!) She's focused on her next move which is to Chicago again in about two weeks. In the meantime, it's doctor appointments, banking issues, visiting with relatives and friends and let's not forget the laundry! She's trying to catch up on visiting all of her old restaurant haunts that she's missed these past four months. I think she's trying to shock her system, too! What's with these kids and shocking their bodies!!!??? Come on over here, I'll give your body a good shock!

Our niece and nephew had their graduation party on Saturday - combined. They had a combined First Communion party about 10 years ago also! A lot has changed for both of them since then! Lauren is headed for UofT and Owen to BW! Good luck! Study hard, stay healthy, have fun!



We had Scrappy Day #5 this past weekend also! Once again, I had 10 women in our basement cutting up paper and taping it all back together again! Seriously, everyone had a great time and as usually, said "it was the most I've ever gotten done!" Mark your calendar for Scrappy Day #6 on October 3rd. Ten will be the limit.....half or full day, so get your reservation in soon! Here are a few pictures from Scrappy Day #5......notice our littlest scrapbooker (who was visiting Mom for dinner!)





So much is happening around the house too........we left the light on in the car and the battery was dead in the morning. Triple A to the rescue; thank goodness! Lude's computer crashed......talk about stressful times! Now HE isn't sleeping nights! He's got it back now from NJ, but he lost a good bit of data and now he's been writing:

I WILL BACK UP MY HARD DRIVE

I WILL BACK UP MY HARD DRIVE

I WILL BACK UP MY HARD DRIVE


I think he's almost done with that! Poor guy.


Finally, we got a contractor to come out and fix the piece of siding that flew off in a storm....I've only been trying to get that done for over a year. I'm not sure if they thought our little job was too small for them or what. It's funny that the amount they wanted to charge wasn't proportionate to the size of the job! Either way, they never came back to follow up. I think I contacted three or four contractors.


It's time to paint the Great Room......there's irony in it being called the Great Room, I'm sure. Anyone who knows our house knows that no sane human is ever going to be interested in painting our Great Room. So, you see, there's nothing really so GREAT about our Great Room after all. This will be another contractor nightmare, I'm sure. The worst is picking out the color because once it goes on, it's there to stay forever! So, it better be right and good.


Our summer plans are beginning to mount up and the days are flying by. Funny it doesn't seem to work that way during the long winter months. I think we don't have a free weekend until mid-August. Sure, if you want to get together for dinner, we can meet you on Thursday mornings....but, that doesn't usually go over too well! But, we have some exciting things going on and all kidding aside, we wouldn't have it any other way. Our friends Pat and Gerry are taking a cruise and they leave tomorrow.......have fun, guys! Can't wait to hear all about it. We'll get together with them a couple times this summer to visit the wineries and maybe just hang out in their hot tub! We're going to try to make it to Falling Water in PA this summer. We've always wanted to go there. I'm secretly glad that one of the kids is returning to Chicago - I LOVE Chicago, so maybe a weekend trip there is in order as well as a visit to see kClare's productions in Normal. Then, there's the all day Scrapbook event with Cheryl, the Scottish Games, the Dublin Irish Festival, the Cleveland Irish Festival, Erin's July 4th shindig, the Kemock Picnic, the Steak Roast & Clambake at the Club, winery visits and our trip to Put 'n Bay - can't forget that. We have a cousin visiting from England in the month of August, so a visit with her is surely a must. Busy, busy, busy.


Sunday is Father's Day and although I know my Daddy doesn't do Internet, I still would like to acknowledge him and his influence on my life. The biggest of which was his love of my Mother and us kids. To my own husband, who is THE best father to our girls. I know they are especially proud of him, I see it in their conversations, their notes to him and their interactions with him. Thanks for the great kids, Ludeeee. And, to my brothers who are great father's to wonderful children.

Happy Father's Day everyone.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Catching Up......

The Feis was a couple of weekends ago and the day was fun. The month of May is so busy in Feis preparations and after it's over, there's such a withdrawal period.

But, I'm over it! I'm not doing the entries for next year although I will still be involved in some way.

I'm posting a few pictures from that day:

Dad with the Patrick McCafferty Award winner. Aren't they cute?


PJ, Myself, Dad, Lude and Judy



A bunch of us at PJ McIntyre's after the Feis for the Cavs Game!




And, after the long weekend, I finally got a few things done in the garden.

Lude snapped this of me planting and I took a series of photos of the peony in various stages of bloom.







In other news......Jess will be home in just over a WEEK. That's hard to believe.
And, kClare is working away in Illinois.
They're doing their thing......what can I say?
I think I need to read the next chapter on Motherhood.
Did I loan that to you?