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Showing posts from July, 2012

This and That

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My lovely niece, Amanda, and her little buddy, Leo, taking a trek in New Mexico.  Leo has an overbite, so he always has a growl-like look on his face.  Too cute!
Maya had a big weekend with a friend's swimming pool birthday party on Saturday and a pizza and movie party at her Brownie (Girl Scouts) troop leader's house last night.  I did really exciting things like go grocery shopping.  Somehow, she had the better weekend!  How was your weekend?
Laura, my sister from Iowa, is spending most of this week in Lincoln, staying at my mom's house.  We're looking forward to eating out, shopping, swimming, and just hanging out and chatting with her.
Did anyone else watch the opening ceremony for the Olympics?  If so, what did you think?  Maya and I loved watching, but we seem to be in the minority.  Maya was in charge of reading every country's name, population, and number of athletes in the games during the parade of nations.  We loved the Indian women's dresses, "…

Happy Birthday, Keli!

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My best friend, Keli, invited us to join her and her daughter, Shon, for dinner last night, which just happened to be Keli's birthday.  The "birthday girl" chose The Olive Garden.
 Shon and Maya in the car.  Photo taken by Shon.
Maya's favorite part of the evening was dessert--berries and zabaione.  Yum!
Here's hoping the next year of your life is a fabulous one, Keli, and thanks for inviting us to celebrate with you!

Incoming Mail--July 13-23, 2012

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Letter and card from Sherri Kay in Wisconsin.  My favorite flowers are tulips and sunflowers, so this card is another perfect choice.
 Postcard from Becky in Oregon of Woman Reading a Book by Torii Kiyonobu I.
Postcrossing card of Chamberlain Square in Birmingham, England.
Postcrossing card of the National Library of Belarus in Minsk. 
Postcrossing card from Finland.

 California surfer postcard from Claudia in California of Moncy3.

 Postcrossing card from China of Diagrams Building, housing the Gulangyu Organ Museum.

Hoover Dam postcard from Becky in Oregon.

 Postcrossing photo card from Russia showing the mark on a house illustrating the Neva River flood level in St. Petersburg on November 7, 1824.

 Letter from Barbara in South Carolina.  This is a Snoopy and Woodstock card, though it looks like a postcard in the photo.

This and That

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Another cool wild peacock photo, courtesy of my goddaughter, Shon.

This summer is just passing too quickly.  Maya's school open house, where we meet her teacher and see her classroom, is August 9th.  The first day of third grade is August 16th.  Didn't she just finish second grade??

Some of the joys we're experiencing and appreciating this summer:

--Fresh sweet corn and cucumbers

--Maya working to fill her entire notebook, a gift from her new teacher during the move ahead time at the end of last year, with "juicy words" before school starts again

--Family time with my sisters and nieces

--Birthday celebrations

--Reading lots of Magic Treehouse chapter books

--Postcrossing postcards for geography and culture lessons

--Swimming lessons for Maya, the little fish

--New puppies at my friend's house and the house next door--some of the fun and none of the work of having our own new puppy

How's everything going with you?

Recent Reads

Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye (2011)--Romance.  Trapped in the dark in an elevator, two strangers share an evening of deep thoughts, humor, and strong chemistry.  Then the lights return.  Quick read about two interesting, though very different, characters.  Highly recommended.

Try by Lily Burana (2010)--Romance.  A relationship between a middle-aged rodeo cowboy and a young artist that reads more like a realistic, "lives of quiet desperation" story than a fairy tale romance.  I admit I left the book feeling sad and unsettled.  Highly recommended.

Ishmael Toffee by Roger Smith (2012)--Thriller.  Novella about a man just released from prison who becomes friends with a little girl who is being abused by her father.  What does he do?  Quick, dark read written by a now must-read author for me.  Highly recommended.

Incoming Mail--July 7-12, 2012

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Multiview postcard of Abensberg and long, long letter from Stefan in Germany.
First letter from Susi in Germany of Letter is Better.  Dolphins and dogs are my favorites, so her stationery choice couldn't have been better.
Postcard from Becky in Oregon of Henry Bacon's 1877 painting On the Open Sea--The Transatlantic Steamship "Pereire."  Maya grudgingly accepts this isn't actually a scene from the Titanic, one of her interests, because of the information on the back of card, not because her mother says so!
Letter from Sherri Kay in Wisconsin.  The anonymous quote reads, "When you help someone up a hill, you get that much closer to the top yourself."
Letter from Wanda in Canada.  The quote on the card is from Rabindranath Tagore and reads, "The butterfly counts not months but moments. . .and has time enough."  Butterflies run a close second to dogs and dolphins for me.

More Photos, June & July 2012

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My niece, Liz, and Maya at the Huntsville (Alabama) Botanical Garden.
My niece, Amanda, and sister, Michele, at Huntsville Botanical Garden.
A duck visiting the pretty pond at Granite City Food and Brewery in Lincoln, Nebraska.

 Tiramisu at Venue Restaurant and Lounge in Lincoln.

Fireworks in front of our house on the Fourth of July, which is Maya's favorite holiday.  Maya and Herb had the best time shooting off fireworks with the neighbors.  I had a headache, so I stayed only long enough to snap a few photos.
Muffin after her most recent groom because you can never have enough dog eye candy.

Incoming Mail, June 21-July 6, 2012

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A 2002 Sisters, Oregon, quilt show photo postcard from Becky in Oregon.  I have to say her postcards are making me yearn for a trip to Oregon during the time of the show!
Another lovely quilt show postcard from Becky.  I think this would be particularly nice hanging in a library.

Mail from Elizabeth in Mexico of My Air-Mail.  She received my name in the Package Pal swap held by Shannah at Write Before Your Eyes.

Aren't the stamps from Elizabeth's envelope lovely?  And, yes, she hand-splattered the paint on the beautiful envelope, too.

Letter from Barbara in South Carolina.  She's one of my longest-term pen pals.  We "met" through Suzy's Zoo when the company had a newsletter that included ads for pen pals.

Letter from Sherri Kay in Wisconsin.  She's another one of my longest-term pen pals, and we also "met" through Suzy's Zoo.

Maya made this butterfly at daycare, and she said, "Mail for you" when she handed it to me.  Cute!

Recent Reads

One Hundred Eighty Two Days in Afghanistan by Ryan John Manganiello (2009)--Memoir.  Daily entries from a Marine written during his 2009 deployment to Afghanistan.  Interesting, enlightening, and frustrating look into the American military world.  Highly recommended.


Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter (2012)--Paranormal romance, first installment in the Angels of the Dark series.  While not usually a fan of books revolving around angels, I enjoyed this book because Showalter excels at writing strong heroines.  Annabelle Miller is no exception as she survives being marked by the demon she saw kill her parents, plus being accused of their murders and institutionalized, before being found by the leader of an army of angels, Zacharel, who Showalter fans may remember from her Lords of the Underworld series.  Recommended.

Forever Changed by Tiffany King (2012)--Young adult.  Queen of the popular girls Kassandra finds her life completely changed after the death of her father, which left her mothe…

Miller Family Reunion--June 22 & 23, 2012

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The 32 family members at the Miller Family Reunion, held in Huntsville, Alabama, on June 22 and 23.  These are some of the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of my maternal grandfather and his six siblings.  People who attended live in Alabama, California, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Oregon.

Back row--my sister Michele and my sister Laura.  Front row--my niece Amanda (in front of her mom), Maya, my mom, and my niece Liz (in front of her mom).

The rest of the photos are from the Huntsville Botanical Garden, June 24, 2012.


Amanda & Leo Visit--July 2, 2012

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My niece, Amanda, and her dog spent the night at our house last night before continuing their move from college in Iowa back home to New Mexico.  They're in a packed car, and my sister is leading the way in a packed minivan.

This handsome fellow is Leo, just short of ten months old.  He's quite the happy-go-lucky, active guy, despite having his left leg amputated.

Maya's woebegone look translates as, "When can we see them again?"

Incoming Mail, June 27-29, Part 1

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Photo postcard from a 2002 quilt show from Becky in Oregon.  She is also a quilter, and I regularly drool over the photos of her own creations.
Butterfly card and matching stationery from Tami in Oregon of A Mother's Musings.  She even used the cool 65-cent butterfly stamp.
Mary Engelbreit stationery and card from Sherri Kay in Wisconsin.  The quote on the stationery is "Success consists of getting up once oftener than you fall down."  So true.

The photos below show Maya opening her package from Kym in Colorado.