Monday, June 5, 2017

A Big Milestone!

Mark graduated from high school yesterday!  I can't believe it; for the first time in 30 years - yes, THIRTY years - I won't be sending anyone off to school in the mornings.  My baby will be going to college in the fall.  I'm not going to lie; this is weird. (I don't know why these pictures won't sit right.  This is annoying.)

Mark went to a Jesuit high school (and I learned yesterday that there are only 47 Jesuit high schools in the entire country), and the graduation was the most formal one I've ever seen. The boys were in tuxes ($133 rental, thank you very much) and the girls wore long white dresses.  I was in the middle of the audience, and couldn't get any really good pictures.  Even the 200mm camera lens wasn't much help.  But here he is, walking across the stage!
 Ignore the fact that Mark is on his side - he was really standing up straight.  Didn't he look handsome?  The school gave the rose boutoniers to each boy, and a red rose with baby's breath to each girl.

 Looks pretty pleased with himself, doesn't he?
 No, I didn't suddenly get taller; I was wearing 4" heels for the occasion. 
 Once we got home, I got a picture with Mark where I'm my normal height.  You can see just how delighted Mark was with having his picture taken....again....
 And, the day before he graduated, the school held a baccalaureate mass, and gave each graduate an inspirational medal, with a quote from St. Ignatius.  I hope this doesn't mean they expect to have just turned loose 173 fresh arsonists.
Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Garden Tuesday, on Friday

It's been rainy here for weeks.  Seriously, my weather guy just said last night that it was cloudy and/or raining 24 days in May.  That's just too many.

So, when I saw this sky, I had to take a picture!

Happy Weekending, everyone!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Another Birthday...

Can you believe Ryan turned 21 last weekend?  What happened to the cute little guy who used to haul around a Winnie the Pooh who started out as big as Ryan?

Of course, I made a cake.  When do I not?  Plus, that flour isn't going to use itself.

I'm not standing in a hole; I promise.

See? The boys are taller than their dad, and you know my Dearly Beloved is no short guy.

He looks pretty happy, don't you think?

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


So, I often order pantry staples online, and let the guys in brown or purple take care of hauling it in.  Yesterday, Ryan dragged (okay, he carried; I'd have dragged) in a big box for me.  He and his father had a good laugh when they saw what I bought.

"What?" I demanded.  "It was the best price.  And it isn't like I won't use it fast.  You guys do like to eat, you know."

They should consider themselves lucky I didn't find a 50 pound bag for even less!

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Kellie's Wedding, At Last!

Yes, as Pam rightly guessed, Kellie's wedding was Saturday.  Early May in East Tennessee equals perfect weather, right?

No. Not even close.

So, we flew in Friday with Shannon and family - Grandpa held Nora when she wasn't eating while we were going up.  She's up to 5 pounds, 9 ounces: That's 2 full pounds gained!

And the rain came down in buckets.  Big honkin' buckets.  Dan rented me a Suburban, and I didn't even get to really try it out, the weather was so bad.  Except when the rain let up on the Parkway at one point, where I might have opened up the throttle just a bit....nevermind.

The rehearsal was supposed to be outside, but we held it under a tent.  I had a pretty dress, and sparkly shoes, and d***near froze to death.  Wet feet does not a happy Marjie make.  And it was in the 40s even in the afternoon, and this dope insisted on wearing her open toed, sparkly shoes.  Good move.  No pictures.  (I realized when we were taking off that I forgot my real camera anyway; good thing the kids browbeat me into getting one of those fancy cell phones; that's why I have even these pictures).

For the record, rehearsal dinner was great; Larry, I can recommend Sullivan's downtown.  Their beef is quite good, and the atmosphere is very nice.  Parking isn't good, but that's downtown for you.

Saturday dawned clear and cold: 40 and sunny.  But then it clouded up, and drizzled.  Poor Kellie was not happy.  The wedding was set for 5:30, with pictures starting at 3:45.  Bride and groom pictures in the drizzle.  Not really ideal.  Then, at 5, the drizzle stopped, and at 5:25, the sun came out.  It was still cold, but we had sun!

Now I'll shut up; here are some pictures.

(click on it; she looks absolutely radiant.)

(And, if you ever host an outdoor wedding where it's 46 degrees, do what I did: send someone to get a space heater and extension cord, and get the heater put under your table.  Let everyone else be cold; you can be warm and cheerful.)

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Drive-By: Where I've Been

Just one picture from this weekend, whilst I try to regain my bearings: taken by her sister, this picture was dubbed "Kellie's Security Team."

Oh, and one of my hair.  It was worth every penny of the 60 bucks I paid.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


So, we went to see Nora in the NICU again Saturday, and this time her granddaddy held her (despite his protests that he's too big and clumsy to hold a 4-1/2 pound infant).  And guess what?  She was medically cleared to go home today!

She had to have a special car seat, of course, rated for infants down to 4 pounds.  It was still too big for her.  But she'll get there.

All is well; all of our family is home, and life is as it should be.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Day After Easter!

Some of the family came for Easter weekend, including Maddie.  It was a busy, loud weekend, as one might expect.  Shannon didn't come up, but I didn't expect her.  On the preemie front, Nora hit 4 pounds on Good Friday!  Looks like she might well be out of the hospital by the end of April.  What a girl!  She's allowed to wear clothing now, since she only has a couple of monitor wires on her.

Of course, I made Hot Cross Buns.  Only 32 this year.

I added 2 tablespoons of shortening to my recipe this year, and they stayed soft for 2 days.  It was amazing!  Of course, only 3 Hot Cross Buns lasted 2 days, so I don't know if that was a representative sampling of just luck...

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

More on the April Fools Baby Shower

So, Shannon's baby was due on May 29th.  And her baby shower was on April 1st.  The perfect theme arose: "April Fools Day Shower!" (Photo cards compliments of her doting Aunt Cass.)

Yep, she went into labor on a Monday night, and the doctors couldn't stop the labor, but delayed her long enough to administer steroids for the baby's lungs.  And on Wednesday, in the wee hours of the morning, Nora Brooke arrived.  All 3 pounds, 9.5 ounces of her.

 I went and saw her Saturday morning, before the shower.  She isn't hooked up to tubes or anything, other than the feeding tube so she doesn't "waste calories eating."  She did lose 5 ounces, but she's back up to her birth weight as of yesterday.

Nora is perfect, other than having arms the size of a chicken wing and otherwise being just so frighteningly small.  She was 2 full months early, so this is a miracle!  Preemies usually stay in the hospital until their due date, but her doctor thinks she might be able to go home after only 4 weeks, and at least one nurse was speculating it might be only 3 weeks.  We're not even thinking that such a thing might happen.  (The wires attached to her are all monitors.  Even at 3 days old, she only had a feeding tube.)

But Nora is healthy, and strong, a good wiggler and kicker, and that's huge.  So my family is one tiny person larger as of 8 days ago, and the baby shower was the oddest and happiest ever!

Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

An April Fools Baby Shower!

My oldest daughter's baby is due May 29, so, of course, the expectant Grandmas got together to plan a shower back in January, and we settled on the date of April 1.  April seemed not too far in advance, sandwiched in nicely between Kellie's wedding and the celebrations beforehand, and so we went full steam ahead.  Actually, I had next to nothing to do with the shower; it was all Diane, with my daughter Cass, who lives right there, keeping a lid on her so she wouldn't go too overboard.  It was held down where the girls live, 2.5 hours from my house, so I was just a guest.  But that was fun!

 Decorating onesies with fabric paint is Cass' and Diane's favorite thing to do.  I believe there were 40 of them.
 There were a few men there, because Chris wanted to come.  So Jeff, Wes and Scott came for moral support (Scott being the son of the close friend who's here every Thanksgiving; the kids consider him some sort of undefined cousin).
 See? Jeff clowning around and Wes being his usual smiley self!
 Diane had the event catered, and the finger foods were good.  Cass created an ice cream bar later, because Shannon just adores ice cream.

This cake was made from diapers.  Diane did this for a co-worker of hers, and loved it so much that she did it again.  I understand it took about 120 newborn sized diapers.
 Opening presents
 What, you didn't think you wouldn't see my other two beautiful daughters, did you?
Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Belated Birthday Report!

My first beautiful granddaughter turned 1 two weeks ago!  And I have been remiss in reporting.  My excuse'll get back to you on that one.

Anyway, I made a great cake!
Maddie's mommy loves elephants.  So there you have it: why an elephant is on a baby girl's cake.

 Uncle Ryan and Uncle Mark chose this big friendly caterpillar for her.
 He was more appropriately sized for Uncle Jeff, who's always happy to clown around.
At my insistence, Maddie got to check out her cake.
 Tank was ready to help with cleanup, if needed...

 ...and it was!
So, it was an exciting day!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!