Live each day like a cat in a sun spot;
Relaxed, content, and totally in the moment.
This week I had a blast getting creative!
A friend asked if I would make some decorative alphabet letters for her son, who will be turning three next week and loves Disney. She purchased the 9 inch wooden letters that spelled out his name and gave me a list of his seven favorite Disney characters. I knew most of them but, I admit, I had to look up one or two. Hey, my kids are in college! I’ve been out of the Disney loop for a while! 😊
Just for fun, let’s see if you all can guess the character each letter was based on.
[Updated 2/22/17…Each letter is now pictured next to the Disney character who inspired it.]
And the finished product:
Ta-da! I found painting the letters to be very relaxing, kind of like coloring. I highly recommend it to anyone who just wants to do something fun and creative.
At lunch time today, as I was walking to my car, I noticed two ladies heading toward each other across the street each pushing a stroller. I would say they were a bit older than me, maybe in their 60’s and were enjoying the crisp autum afternoon by taking, what I’m guessing we’re their grandchildren, out for a walk. As their paths met they pulled up beside each other and immediately began exclaiming over each other’s little bundle of joy…
“Oh! She is simply adorable! What blue eyes!”
“Isn’t he the sweetest! Such a happy boy!”
As I was getting in my car I could hear them introducing the babies to each other, not that the two infants in the stroller understood that! I had to smile because it was so obvious in their manner and how they spoke that they were both just bursting with that special kind of adoration that only a grandparent can have.
I glanced in my review mirror as I was pulling away and noticed that one of the ladies had turned her stroller around so they could continue their walk together. This is a pretty small town so it’s quite likely they already knew each other. They may have even arranged to meet. No matter the circumstances these grandmother had already been doing their most favorite thing-spending time with their grandchildren, and now they were able to share that special time with someone who totally understood how they felt. I bet they found a lot to talk about and I bet those two little babies were fussed over and spoiled rotten!
Very lucky babies. And lucky me. I got to caught in the overflow from that really “grand love!” ❤️
This past Monday as I was standing on a ladder with my head deep in the branches of the nectarine tree I was trimming, I heard Hubby, (who was holding the ladder steady for me) mutter,”Oh my!”
At first I thought he was commenting on my mad pruning skills or perhaps the shape of my legs but when I followed his gaze I notice two little black furry faces peering up at us from the corner of the yard!
The neighbor next to us and the neighbor behind us each have six foot privacy fences. They come together in the back right hand corner of our yard but instead of intersecting, they form a 8 inch alley along the back between the two fences. The end of this alley opens into our yard and, apparently, a local kitty cat (we’ve been trying to find out if she has a home or not) decided this was a perfect place to have her babies.
I guess Momma was off foraging somewhere because a couple of her curious little kittens thought they would come and see what Hubby and I were up to. These two were all black with bright blue eyes and are obviously the rebels in the family. Their third litter mate, a gray one, stayed way back in the shadows watching them. I could almost hear her admonishing them for their reckless behavior…
“You guys better not go out there. Momma’s gonna be mad!” Anybody ever see the “Aristocats”? The grey kitty is definitely a Marie.
So now we have kittens in our yard.
My friend Donna, the lady in Virgina with the 17 cats, tells me that they look to be about 5 weeks old and should stop nursing soon. We have been giving them some food mixed with kitty formula a few times a day and have set up a comfy little apartment for them right outside their hidey hole. The two black ones are very social and will hang out and play but the grey on is still too shy. Momma cat shows up each evening to feed them so I have been putting some food out for her too but she won’t eat till I go back inside.
The plan is to keep feeding and socializing the kittens till they are old enough to be weaned. Then we hope to trap the whole family so we can take them to the vet and find them homes. I have a sneaky feeling we may end up keeping one of them. Not sure how Jack and Chrissy will feel about that but just look at these fur babies. They are just so stinkin’ cute!!!!
See, I dare you not to smile. 😊
“The Man” himself, former Philadelphia Philly, Chase Utley made a very welcome return trip to Citizen Bank Park last night. This was his first appearance at the Philadelphia stadium since he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last August. When he walked out on the field for his first at bat, the fans eagerly gave him a standing ovation and cheered for a full two minutes before they settled down enough for the pitcher to throw out the first pitch. The players from both teams joined in on the applause as well. It truly warmed my heart to see such a good guy honored this way. You must be something pretty special for the opposing team and their fan base to welcome you that way.
Chase, (he’s such a “regular guy” that it’s hard to refer to him as “Mr Utley”) was a staple in our home from the time he debuted with the Phillies in 2003. Mr D, who was 8 years old at the time and already a few years into little league, idolized Chase from the start. ” Watch this guy hit,” he would say or “Did you see that amazing play Chase made?!” There was just something really special about him and when Mr D started playing high school baseball and was able to choose his number, he always wore #26 just like his idol.
The more I saw of the Phillies’ second baseman the bigger fan I became too. He was so much fun to watch! You could see how much he loved the game and was always giving 110% every play, every game. He gave just that much to his team and the fans too, leading by example, training hard, showing up for every practice prepared and ready to go and treating the fans (especially the kids) with humility and grace. In interviews he was always gracious and humble, owning up to any mistakes and lauding his teammates on their accomplishments.
When the rumors started last season, that the Phillies were considering trading Chase, I thought “No! Say it ain’t so!” He was, by far, the most popular well loved player on the team leading the Phillies twice to the playoffs and the World Series Championship in 2008. I don’t pretend to understand what goes on in the minds of managers and team owners but for some reason they decided it was time for Chase to move on. His leaving made me really sad, (Miss Dee was totally beside herself swearing to never attend another game) and made the Phillies games much less fun to watch. At the time, Chase, who is a native of Los Angeles, told the press that he was sad to leave and had hoped to finish out his career in Philadelphia but if he had to be traded he was glad it was to the Dodgers, the team he had cheered on as a kid. He also took out a full page newspaper ad the following week thanking the Phillies and the fans for the years of love and support.
Class act, that #26.
That’s why when the crowd was cheering on Chase Utley last night and while he was tipping his hat to the crowd looking overwhelmed and a little embarrassed, probably anxious to just start the game, I was in my living room smiling and clapping just as loud.
Last summer, Miss Dee and I started a new tradition that I hope will last for many years- a girls only beach get away! She and I both appreciate lazy days by the water. You know, no schedule, no plans, just sunshine, people watching and a good book. The boys in our family-not so much. They need to be moving, going places and doing thing. They want a plan!😳 So we left them at home and escaped to Hubby’s stepmom’s condo at the Jersey shore for a few days of kick-off-the-summer downtime. [Summer Bucket List item #1]
We arrived on Tuesday afternoon and managed some pool time before the rain came. We then endured a night of thunder storms, straight line winds and no power for six hours before Wednesday arrived with its abundant sunshine. This is more or less my MO at the shore so I was not surprised. I was happy that the bad weather was limited to Tuesday!
On Wednesday we slept in, meandering down to the beach (a block from the condo) around 10:00 and enjoyed the sand and the water before the beach began to fill up. Then it was back to the condo for lunch and a few hours by the pool. The weather was perfect, just enough of a breeze to keep the heat bearable and the pool water was so refreshing. An added bonus was the fact that We had the pool all to ourselves. I guess everyone else was on the beach.
Around 3:00 we were starting to feel crispy so decided to shower and drive across the bridge [Summer Bucket List item #2] to the neighboring town of Cape May. This quaint shore town is famous for its beautiful Victorian homes (some now used as B & Bs) and downtown shops. We did some window shopping, stopped for a bite to eat, and then strolled around “Congress Hall,” a wonderful old hotel built in 1816 that sits just off the beach. It is said to be America’s oldest seaside hotel. Miss Dee and I are both history buffs so we “oooo-ed” and “ahh-ed” our way around the elegant lobby and verandas. Maybe someday I will be willing to pay to actually stay there but until then I will just imagine what it would be like!
By 8pm we were running out of steam so, after stopping by the sweet shop for a box of salt water taffy because, hey, it’s the Jersey shore and you just don’t go home without taffy, we hoofed it back to the car. Our plan had been to spend another night at the condo in Wildwood and then head home Thursday morning since Miss Dee had to work that afternoon, but the weather report was predicting more storms in the morning and we had had quite enough of that! Instead we stopped back at the condo, packed up the car (it is ridiculous how much junk we packed for three days!) and headed on home that night.
Goodbye Jersey Shore! We had a wonderful adventure. The very best part, of course, was spending time with my favorite girl. I figure I better squeeze in these trips while I still can. I am hoping we can make another beach run this summer. Maybe we will even let the boys come next time. 😉
Our home tends to be a meeting place. My husband and I have always been fortunate, not only to belong to very close families, but also to have the two separate groups be very close as well. His nephews called my mother “Mimom” like her grandchildren did and our mothers often vacationed together. His father invites my sister and her family to his parties and they share photos and recipes over the Internet. We use every opportunity to appreciate and cultivate this close relationship by doing a lot of entertaining.
This weekend will be the official opening of the barbecue season and I just can’t wait. Not only will I be surrounded by the people I love, who are all relaxed and comfortable together, but we will be doing it under a (hopefully) clear blue sky.
Welcome burgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill, accompanied by coleslaw and potato salad! Welcome sliced watermelon, fresh picked strawberries and corn on the cob. Welcome water ice and Hubby’s famous peach pie. I can taste it all!
Welcome plastic table cloths and plastic cups brimmingwith homemade iced tea. Welcome coolers filled with beer and juice boxes, cans of lemonade and pitchers of my nieces special sangria. Welcome to the net tents that cover the platters and keep the flies at bay.
Welcome back to the yard game and the lawn chairs, to tables with umbrellas and citronella candles. Welcome jars of bubbles and sidewalk chalk just to keep the little ones occupied and welcome to the tire swing that has served us faithfully since my own children were little enough to enjoy it.
But mostly, welcome friends we’ve lost touch with over the long cold winter. Welcome tofamily who arrive, inevitable carrying dishes of salads and desserts to add to our bounty. Welcome laughter and good natured ribbing and the new babies wearing sun hats. Welcome to the smell of sunblock and the feel of the sun on my skin.
We had an especially exciting day at school yesterday. Thanks to the fifth graders and their mad reading skills, our school won a visit from the one and only Phillie Phanatic!
“WHO??” you may ask.
The Phillie Phanatic is the official mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team and he is quite a character! Wikipedia refers to the Phanatic as one of the most recognizable mascots. He’s been with the team since 1978 and according to his bio, this 6″6′ furry green bi-ped hails originally from the Galápagos Islands. When he is not busy cheering on the Phillies, the Phanatic enjoys dancing, playing pranks and watching his favorite movie which is, of course, “Rocky!”
The students were humming with anticipation as we gathered in the gym to meet the Phanatic. We were greeted by his “Squad” from the Phillies and were told that he was running a little late so they asked our principle, a very enthusiastic lady and a rather good sport, to read a book to the children while they waited for their guest to show up. Well, of course, as she was reading to the children, the Phanatic snuck in behind her and started doing silly dance moves! The kids pointed and laughed but the principle played right along and pretended that she didn’t understand why they were laughing. Eventually, the Phanatic revealed himself and gave the her a big phuzzy Phanatic kiss!
The Phanatic’s Squad talked more about the importance of reading everyday and then they congratulated the fifth grade students on their achievement. The class was then asked to come up and have their photo taken with the Phanatic. Finally, the big green guy himself led us all in a group dance-along to the song “Happy.” He even pulled several teachers and staff members out to dance with him. He sure has some great moves!!
When ever we go to a Phillies game, one of my favorite parts is when the Phanatic makes his appearance. I can’t believe some of the mischief he gets up to! He usually rides a four wheeler out on to the field before the games and our neighbor, Doug, who works part-time for the Phillies, happens to be the guy in charge of opening the gate to let the Phanatic on and off the field. I always wished that I could do that job for one night just so I could get a close up view of the big green dude’s crazy antics.
Now, all of us at the school can say that we did get to see the Philly Phanatic up close and personal and it was all thanks to the magic of reading!! If you would like some more information about this fun, educational, literacy program visit the Phillies web site and check out “Phanatic About Reading!”
The Weekly Smile is brought to you courtesy of Trent’s World. Stop by and collect a few more smiles or perhaps share one of you own!
Francina & Guests
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