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.