Friday, March 25, 2016


 Sara and her children were up from Dallas over their spring break from Wed. through Sat. of last week.  On Friday Mike and I took them to COSI (Center of Science and Industry) in downtown Columbus, Ohio.  There are two newer sites in Bexley Square and Easton Center but the downtown one was closer, so we went there.  It's new since the 1990s.  I remember taking my kids to the first one in the 80s.  It was huge and quite nice.  There were various exhibits throughout three floors.  There were things to do and read about in each big section plus a play area.  The little one chose mostly the play area whereas Aaron walked around with Mike and read and tried things.  He really liked the LEGO section.  Abigail loved the play area in it as you can see below.

 This was in the LEGO section also.  You could make your own car and race it down a long slope.  Both children enjoyed that.
 This was an interactive that Mike was helping them with.

Then there was the humongous play area on the third floor.  There was everything imaginable, but their favorite by far was the water play area.  We only lured them away from there with lunch.  I accompanied Abigail throughout the day whereas Mike was with Aaron, so there are more pictures of Abigail as I had the camera.

 Resting while we wait for Aaron to put his water bib away.

This was the barn area.  There was also a big playhouse with a kitchen and all kinds of play food, etc but it was hard to see her well enough there for pictures.  The same with the playground area.  In that case, there were just too many kids milling around.

The bottom two pictures were taken at Columbus airport.  We always have lunch at Max and Erma's in the airport then they go through security.  It's become a tradition.

It was a wonderful visit!  Doug and his crew came over Thursday eve for supper and the cousins played together.  Then we went to Doug's on Friday for a surprise birthday party for Peyton.  She turned 13--a teenager!  I will post about that later.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Odds and Ends--cheesecake, a visit, and a birthday party

The Jr. Women's Club that I'm in does a fundraiser every Wed. night at the Elks.  It's community Bingo.  We serve the food.  I usually take dessert.  The people love cheesecake, but I had never made it from scratch before so I googled and got this simple recipe.  I put a can of cherry topping on it and it was delicious.  It was all gone too!

What You NeedPHILADELPHIA Classic Cheesecake


2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened

Make It

Tap or click steps to mark as complete
  • Heat oven to 325°F.
  • Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs; beat just until blended.
  • Pour into crust.
  • Bake 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours.
  • We are doing this fundraiser through March and then we'll be done.
  • Today I'm going to the Columbus airport to pick up Sara and her children.  They are staying until Sat. when I take them back to the airport.  
  • Sara has two meetings with her dad's family's company of which she is an employee and member of the board.
  • The children are on spring break and her husband is in his busiest time of the year (taxes), so she asked if  I wanted a visit and would I babysit on Friday?  I said "Sure!"  We're excited and so are they!
  • So I will be very busy the next few days.  My son Doug is having a birthday party for his daughter Peyton Friday evening.  She turns 13, I think.  Wow! A teen! Time goes fast!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Books I'm Reading and have read

The above are books I have from the library to read.  I'm reading the top one now.   It's Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini and is a historical fiction about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writing the poem "Christmas Bells" that then became the song, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."  It is excellent.  Henry's story is told parallel to a modern day story and that keeps the pace going.  It deals with the death of his beloved second wife Fanny (his first wife died in childbirth).  Fanny's dress caught fire and she succumbed from the  injuries.  The book deals with his horrendous grief.

Jennifer Chiaverini is the author of the quilt series, some of which are also historical fiction.   One such book was Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker.  Her book can become tedious in some parts, but this one only had a very brief spell of that and it was at the beginning before the first civil war battle.

The next book is Any Village by Faith Baldwin and is about the people in an English village.  I've not read her before, so I don't know how it will be.
Another author I've not read is Sara Addison, the author of Lost Lake.  I stumbled upon both of them when looking for other authors.  I'll let you know how good they are.

Tess Gerritsen and Harlan Coben are authors I've read before and thoroughly enjoy.  Tess writes the Roseli and Isles murder mysteries.   She also writes books that deal with other material such as Gravity which is about a strange disease in a space station.   That is the one I will read next.  Ones that I've read that starred Risoli and Isles was Ice Cold and Die Again -- great books.  Harvest was about illegal transplants and the Russian black market; it did not feature the detective Risoli and the medical examiner Isles.

Harlan Coben also writes murder mysteries and is excellent. He has several that feature sports agent Myron Bolitar.  Myron has a sense of humor while solving a murder. The ones I've read that feature Myron are Fade Away, Drop Shot, and Deal Breaker.  The first one that I will read that doesn't involve Myron will be The Woods, which I think was his first book.

Jude Deveraux is another good author.  She does romantic mysteries.  Some that I've read are: Someone to Love, The Mulberry Tree, and Wild Orchids -- all good books. So is Kristin Hannah, although hers always have a sad  part in them.  Comfort and Joy, Magic Hour,  The Things We Do for Love, and Night Road are excellent books.

Janet Evanovich writes the Stephanie Plum novels that always have a number in the title.  She's a bounty hunter that always ends up in the middle of a murder mystery.  They are risque, irreverent, and funny with a bit of cussing.  Some are silly; all have made me laugh out loud.  I've read 16 of them. I'm hoping there are more.

One of the best books I've ever read is 100 Days of Happiness by Italian author Fausto Brizzi.  It has been translated into English, but the references to artists, books, plays,celebrities etc. are all Italian. A man finds out he has terminal cancer.  He maps out 100 days and then dies in Switzerland by assisted suicide.  The book is about all the things he does and how his priorities change. Wonderful book!

So that's my update on books.  Happy reading!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

February highlights

 My birthday was Feb. 8th.  Below are the flowers Mike got me. He always gets me flowers which I love.

 These flowers are from my son, his girlfriend, and their kids.  They came in a bundle-like and I had to arrange them.  I was thrilled!

 In February, we had a big snowfall that shut schools down for three days.  Below are pictures of our home, etc.

 This is a 1959 tractor.  It was my husband's grandfather's.  He is very proud that it still runs and is very useful.

 Ginger was loving the snow.

His head is a little fuzzy but I still think he's beautiful.

 We are in March now and I've resolved to write more.  I think  I haven 't written because of several factors: that I'm isolated up in my room and that no longer is as appealing as I have time to myself a good bit of the day, and that I'm active in being out with friends and volunteering.  I don 't have the need to be alone or to reach out nearly as much as I did.   But I miss writing, so I will try harder.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Christmas with Doug's kids

 We had Christmas with Doug and his kids on the Saturday after Christmas.  They came for tacos and the opening of presents.  (I think our new Christmas standard meal may be tacos--easy to fix and everybody loves them!)
Peyton and Dillon with some presents.

 The kids each got a big Lego set, some goofy socks, and a workbook.  Peyton's was a math mystery book; she has had another one like it and loved it.  Dillon and Addy got Find the Picture books that they had asked for.
 Addy insisted on putting hers together right away.  It was a smaller one, so didn't take as long.
 The ice palace in Frozen.

 We had a good laugh while we got situated on the couch.  Addison didn't want to sit on a lap, but there was no room otherwise to get us all in, so Grandpa beat her to where she wanted to sit and he landed partially on me.

 The finished product. Scruffy, the girl cat, was hiding, but George wanted in the picture and of course, Ginger.
Peyton, Doug, Addison, and Dillon

Sunday, January 3, 2016

More on our time in Texas over Thanksgiving

 On the Friday after Thanksgiving, we went to George W. Bush's Presidential Library.  Here is Abby at the entrance.   They had a lot of interactive displays throughout.  The kids were quite interested.  Abby especially liked the books set up to be read.  They were part of Laura Bush's display involving her librarian background.
There was also a great exhibit on Christmas at the White House.  They set up special displays throughout the year with the main part remaining.
 The attack on our country on September 11, 2001 exhibit was tremendous and brought tears to our eyes.

  Then that evening we had Christmas together.  Abby got into a pair of Christmas pjs.  Aaron usually does, but didn't this time.

 They love workbooks and I had gotten Spelling ones for kindergarten and first grade.  Abby is still in pre-school but she reads and works on a higher level.  They were thrilled and got into those almost right away.

 Abby got a doll baby that made sucking noises when a pacifier or a bottle is put in her mouth, burped, cooed, and snored.  Abby was thrilled!  She also got Frozen pjs.

 Aaron got a Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill t-shirt which he immediately put on.  It's a bit of a story how a young boy in Dallas, TX becomes a Florida Miami Dolphin fan.  But a fan he definitely is!
He also got a soccer ball.

 There was vanilla ice cream with tiny marshmallows and chocolate sauce for a treat.

 She is holding an ornament.  They decorated the tree after we left on Saturday.

 Here she was playing make-believe restaurant.  I was the customer.  Both children have vivid imaginations and can entertain themselves.  I think not watching TV has a  lot to do with that.  They watch a few videos and go to G-rated movies at the theater.  Aaron also watches football games on his mom's tablet.  He was watching Ohio State on Saturday when we left.

 My wonderful husband.