March 31, 2012

Achoo, pardon me while I sneeze


It starts with the first little buds of the trees and shrubs and my eyes will start to itch and feel dry. Allergies. Then before you know it the view from my front window is a sea of yellow pollen that covers all the surfaces of the deck, the lawn furniture, my car and our pickup truck. The offenders are Juniper, Elm and Poplar the predominant pollen's for this time of the year and the cause my allergies.

Sneeze, sniffle, cough ugh! I've used boxes and boxes of tissues and  I'm not even going to go into the awful congestion and yuck running down the back of my throat.*throat clear* Both OTC and prescription medication do tend to keep me up at night and I find no appreciable difference in how they work. But when all is said and done I'd rather be able to breathe; I can deal with some minor sleep disturbances.

This years been a particularly bad year in Virginia and I have the allergies to prove it.

How have you been doing? Allergies have you running for the tissue box?

March 30, 2012

Blogging from A-Z April challenge

Have any of you ever done an A-Z challenge? Well I've decided to join my friend Martha over at Seaside Simplicity who suggested to me it might be a fun way to meet new people; I think she's right! I also think it would be a good way to get into a writing routine and squash some of my procrastinating tenancies.  Mostly  I'm looking to rid my brain of some cobwebs and to get my write on. I've been in a bit of a rut of late; this is the push I needed.

So for the entire month of April I will be posting every single day. It will truly be a miracle, but I'm committed to doing this! Each day I will write something regarding the corresponding letter of the alphabet, starting April 1st. {day one is A day}  but that will be the only Sunday. All other Sunday's I won't be posting and that will continue throughout the month. Click on  the button on this post or the button on the right of my blog for the hop if you'd like to sign up or if you'd like to read some of the other submissions. It's  very popular. over 1,400 and counting!

I also wanted to thank the hosts for having me!

March 29, 2012

on my last day I want a party and a parade...

My grandmother was a a huge part of my life, I grew up at her knee and there isn't a week that passes that I don't think of her.I was also with her for her last days and hours on this earth; As old as she was {in her mid 90's } she was rather sharp for an old gal but as the end drew her moments of clarity became less and less frequent until the moment when God called her home. I hold on to those moments as special possibly because I didn't get those moments with my Dad who died in the hospital or my children who perished on the side of a highway in the middle of the night. They open up so many questions for me about life and death and faith...

Have you ever imagined what your last moments on this earth would be like? I imagine God willing I'd be old laying in bed surrounded by all the people who love me- who I love, or some such scenario. Maybe drifting off to a peaceful death in sleep....

When I last saw my grandmother just hours before she passed this is what she told me.  Let me just say this; I wish truly I could  do this story justice, that I could express more eloquently her words, to paint for you a picture of the glint in her eye and the delight in her voice as she told me what I'm going to tell you now. 

When I entered her room she was sitting in her hospital bed straight up, her eyes clear and not the least bit cloudy or confused as they had been. She looked me in the eye saying in a slow but steady voice, "what a lovely party last night"  then she raised her right hand and swept it from left to right across the room showing me what she believed to be party decorations from the previous night.

She looked so darn happy in fact I saw more emotion than I'd seen in a long long time on her face. "A party?"
I asked playing along not wanting to break her mood." Look at the decorations, aren't they beautiful?" she repeated.
" Daddy {my Popa} was here, and The Moores and The Lynches {both old family friends from Brooklyn and others to many to name} were here.
Contented with her memory of the night before she leaned  back in the bed and said,  "it was so much fun and there was music and dancing."

This gave me a few moments to think, my grandmother was telling me she attended a party the night before and every single person she mentioned that attended  was dead except her! My grandmother saw all those people in her bedroom in the house she lived in since 1960, in the same room my grandfather died in when I was six. Tears pricked the back of my eyes and I was overcome with emotion. At that moment I became overwhelmed with the feeling that my grandmother would not live much longer that that day would be her last day.

Then she calmly turns to me and said.
"Do you hear it?"
"Do you hear the parade?" "I so love a parade, don't you?" I nodded as I watched her as her face transform before my eyes and I saw joy.  She strained to here her parade drummers drumming and horns blowing and she smiled and tapped her hands to the beat of the music, her music.

I've seen my share of death. I cry, I mourn but I always always always try to celebrate the life of the person who died. No matter how painful I remember and then I celebrate their life. I remember.

Was there a parade? No
Did Popa and those old friends come to take her Home?
I'd love love love the thought that they may have.

She died three hours later.

I've heard accounts about a white light. On the day I die I'm thinking I want a party and a parade, just like Nana.


March 27, 2012

live in the sunshine

I've missed this link up for the past two weeks and I'm sorry that I did. There was a short trip for a  St Patty's Day celebration and I've been miserable with allergies because of all the pollen in the air here. It took about a week for me to get enough medication into my system after I got back from my trip so that I could actually breathe.

Anyhoo,  I love looking for great quotes reading others, it's so much darn fun. Well I'm back this week and thinking about vacation actually...can't you tell by my picture! I know rushing it right? It's been almost 90 degree's here a few days this week so I'm thinking beach, really can you blame me? I don't know about you but we've already have a house rented for our vacation this summer; a family vacation timed so that we can celebrate  my son Matthew's thirtieth birthday.

Family, beach, water, sunshine...that's where I'll be, what about you? Any plans for the summer yet?  Are you having vacation or a stay-cation?

 Linking up with Bits of Bee today.


March 25, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 3/25

It's Sunday again and here are my submissions for this weeks Scavenger Hunt Sunday. I appreciate all the wonderful feed back from my photo's last week while I was away.  This week I'm home and I'll be visiting all the blogs I didn't visit then, thanks again! 

Our inspiration words this week are
Whimsy, Create, Dust, Seed or Sprout, & Swing or Drop. 
Here are my interpretations for this week, enjoy and thanks so much for visiting and looking at my pictures.


This is my cousin's Jeanmarie and Hans' yard in Charlotte ( where I spent the long weekend last week) This is a beautiful pond filled with  koi, a lovely bridge with plants and bushes, statues lights, bird houses, stones, it's magical. They are talented couple who did this all by themselves!


Sometimes I create a yummy second dinner, like this vegetable beef soup with a leftover piece of roast and some fresh veggies; this for instance was this Saturday nights dinner.

The dust builds up on this filter screen pretty regularly and honestly I hate to actually have to show my dust on this blog *cough cough*. I know it's pretty yucky isn't it? 
Seed or Sprout

This is my amaryllis sprout, I took this picture a few weeks ago. It's blooming right now, tall and strong with the most beautiful creamy white blooms {four of them} laced with the lightest blush of pink on each of the blooms. You can see it in full bloom by clicking here.
Swing or Drop

Here's a picture from my file (sorry) of my grandsons left and right relaxing with my son swinging away on the hammock last spring; rough life huh?.

Thanks Ashley!
This is what we'll be doing next week
Sun flare
High Angle
Low Angle

March 22, 2012

Neighborhood Watch-watching doesn't mean killing

Both my kids, son and daughter are doing their in service training, one this week, one next, it's a yearly event. Both in law enforcement, one State, one Federal and like clockwork the have to train, be re-certified in certain aspects of their fields; for their safety and for the safety of the public, make sense doesn't it?

Got me to thinking about this other thing......

Trayvon Martin- victim
It's all over the news, a man belonging to a neighborhood watch in Florida shot and killed a child in a gated community. A gated community with gun toting neighborhood watch personnel, damn! I don't know about any of you but for me watching doesn't mean killing, watching doesn't mean carrying a gun.  Watching means if you see or come upon something suspicious you get on your cell or phone and call the police.Watchers should just darn well watch, guns in the hands of untrained people pretty much always result in tragedy.

I just can't wrap my head around what this guy was thinking! If he thought the child was breaking the law then he should have called the police. What was he doing that was so bad that couldn't wait for the police to respond to the scene?  What a fool to think that he could do a cops job. It's my guess is he's going to be brought up on charges for this child's death.

Police have a function in our society. They wear uniform and have a badge a car that is identifiable.  In most cases respect their authority, they are trained on how to talk to the public in the most tense and violent situations, they have firearms training and renew their training yearly as I said earlier. They have the authority to investigate search and arrest.  They most certainly do not shoot unarmed people especially children, nobody should be allowed to shoot an unarmed person.

Think about this. What would you do? What would your child do if a man without a uniform in possession of a gun confronted either of you  or all of you and pointed a firearm one night...... have you ever had a loaded gun pointed in your face? I'd fight for my life, what about you? And I bet that's exactly what this kid did because that man had no authority over him, no badge no uniform.

My thoughts on this;  I'm thinking this guy is just a bully with a gun, I bet maybe even a cop wanna-be and now a he's  murderer... just sayin!

Now that precious child is dead and his parents are living the nightmare no parent should EVER have to live, you can take that from me as a damn fact, the rest is just my opinion.

my amaryllis is a beauty!

My friend Becky gave me an amaryllis bulb several Christmases ago. It took me a while to learn how to get the thing to bloom but finally I have it blooming every March or April. It is one beautiful plant.

After the bloom dies down I put it out on the back porch for the summer until just before the it gets cool in the fall.

Then it comes in the house and stays in the den and I continue to water it until all the green stuff dies back. When it does I put if in a cool dark place and stop watering it completely, usually this is about Dec. {it may be different in your area}

Usually around late Feb a green sprout will start to form; then it's time to replace the top two inches of soil from the pot and start watering. It is also time to move the bulb back to a lighted location in the house.

Your amaryllis should bloom if you follow these steps!

March 21, 2012

here's the O'scoop- about my St Patty's Day

This St Patty's Day I went to the parade with my cousin's Jeanmarie and Colleen  her friend Jim  and her son Landon my husband Bill and our friends Claire and her partner Dewene. 

Claire{ left} Jeanmarie{ center }Dewene{ right }me { back}
at the parade

The parade was great, lot and lots of different floats, bands. Irish groups, bagpipes and others. I have to say I attended this parade years ago and it has grown tremendously these past years, the crowds were huge.

This is a shot down to the end of the parade where the festival was to take place when the parade concluded. It was such a mad house and was so crowded with people we actually skipped it and went to a local restaurant and had lunch. My cousins were having a party so....

We arrived early and got a place on the curb  much like the people in these pictures. Actually I took these pictures which were to the left  and across the street of where we sat. Oh my aching rear end, we didn't bring pillows and the curbs are granite!

St Patty's Day is a big day for people of Irish decent. Actually my Aunt Frances would say everyone is Irish on St Patty's Day! On this day in the company of friends and family, we'll share food and beer, shots of Jameson Irish Wiskey and to listen to Irish music; and we did!

 my cousin colleen thinks if she smiles we're not going to notice she's drinking
Italian beer on St Patty's day, shame shame!
Katie with Jameson Irish Whiskey Jello shots- green jello of course!
Did I mention the funny hats? My husband's hat was so funny he actually got the Guinness truck drivers attention. The man stopped the truck in the middle of the parade to give him a thumbs up on his original head wear.
Bill, my husband
Hans and Jeanmarie are wonderful hosts and have a beautiful home. Hans cooked up a storm and became Irish for a day, he cooked a ton of corned beef and cabbage, potatoes and carrots and I shouldn't forget to mention that my Mom peeled for him!
Hans O'Schuler taking a quiet moment from all the madness
 We told jokes, sang songs and some of us even wore green hair and red hair,  the more embarrassing the better.  We're very good at it, it's what we do!

Jim and his beautiful flowing green hair
Claire with her cap and red hair wig

Hans and Amy
My cousin Hans who is my favorite beer brewer and his lovely wife came ready to "party" to the party at his parents house. Their little son was visiting with his other grandparents since this was an adults only party!

We returned on Monday, very tired after a few great days hanging out with the cousins and our friends down in Charlotte. I promise once I catch up on things here at home { like sleep} I'll catch up on all my blog reading and commenting.

March 18, 2012

Scavenger Hunt 3/18

I'm afraid that time constraints. a weekend trip to Charlotte North Carolina to celebrate St Patrick's Day left me no other choice but to dip into my files for all of my photo's this week with the exception of vintage.

So here are my interpretations  of the words vintage ,word or quote, nature's own,  people and  photographer's choice.

This crystal candle holder was something we found in a bunch of junk in a basement in a rental my husband lived in once years ago. The landlord told him he could have it and what a treasure it has turned out to be. It's beautiful isn't it?
This is my first born, his name is Matthew. When I was pregnant I used  go down to the beach and lay on my stomach {digging holes in the sand was the only way, I was rather large, you see} He's always been a sun and beach lover since before he was born!
photographer's choice
I have loved this picture ever since I took it and I knew instantly this would be my photographers choice.  This is my niece playing in the water on the very beach I grew up on. 
natures own
We planted this oak tree years ago when we purchased our house, each of our boys got their own tree to plant. This tree is our son Eric's tree and is particularly meaningful to us since he passed away in 2006, dying in an accident with his older sister Gretchen.
You know my niece is just lovin being on top of this people sandwich, the other layers are her brother and her cousins {my three grandsons who are the two bottom layers and #2}

Thanks Ashley for hosting this link up every week, and thanks to everyone for stopping by to check out my set of photo's.

March 15, 2012

someone doesn't love me, and i want to stop the stalking

photo attribution 
I'll say this for the umpteenth time. I love reading other blogs - love following - staying connected. Lately I've come to appreciate the convenience of having blog posts delivered to my mail box, it really is a rather convenient way of keeping up with what my friends are doing around the interwebs.

Here's my problem, nothing new here I've had it since I've started blogging.  I'm actually hoping you can help me because I'm at the end of my rope with this. The problem is this.....

I have never been able to successfully subscribe to a WordPress blog- if they have Feedburner it works but otherwise, no dice. I put in my e- mail it say's it's sending me an e-mail confirmation and it never comes, nothing, not even in my spam folder!

Does anyone know if there is any explanation why WordPress doesn't seem to love me? I happen to be a very lovable person ya know! Is there's a fix of some sort something I can do on my end? Or and explanation?

I have a large and ever growing list of WordPress blogs that I stalk regularly that I'd love to subscribe to each and every one. I really want to stop the stalking..... but I can't. I would be grateful and would love you forever if you could help me with this problem.
Suggestions please.

March 12, 2012

ok, spill it!

I've been following the traditions of not eating meat on Fridays during Lent maybe you have too? Some people give up an additional things, they usually sacrifice something else like giving  up a favorite food -drink or activity. Actually I didn't this year, bad I know, feeling a bit of guilt about that..... us Catholics are good at that!
 photo attribution 

Anyway, did you ever hear the expression-


pleasure? ......of course you have...

According to the merriam- webster dictionary it means: something pleasurable that induces a usually minor feeling of guilt.

My guilty pleasures all fall into a few categories, like.....
  • I just rather not live without it, whatever it is.....
  • Something that I either do or eat or drink little to often. 
  • Then there's the guilt, because I'm good that way. 

Now a brief list of a few of my favorite guilty pleasures....
  • Italian food, any and all Italian food! I can't just have one bowl of pasta or one slice of pizza I always want more! 
  • Coffee, couldn't go a day without it. I know all that caffeine isn't good for me, but it's so darn good! 
  • Sleeping in after Bill gets up in the morning. I'm not the greatest sleeper anymore so if I have the bed to myself and get a few extra zzzz's {sorry honey} is wonderful! 
OK my friends, we all have our guilty little pleasures so tell me; what's yours?

Linking this post up with Shell at
      Pour Your Heart Out

March 10, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 3/11

It's Scavenger Hunt Sunday today and I have to say this weeks submissions were so much fun! I wish I had a bit more time to spend on them but it was a busy week.

Thank you Ashley for having this link up. I love that you're giving this novice the opportunity to show my pictures, to stretch my imagination and to think of original way of presenting my subjects.

This week the subjects are water, light, chocolate, animal and are my interpretations of the selections.


I know, I know not very original but I had my heart set on a puddle with a bird taking a bath in it or something like that! When that didn't happen I just couldn't come up with anything else so this was all I had.... sorry!


This is the afternoon light reflecting through the front door on to the living room wall.

Yum, one can never have enough chocolate; so why not have a chocolate doughnut and hot chocolate?

This is my winter robe, meow!

Crowded was a bit of a challenge for me since my husband and I live alone and when I think of crowded I automatically think of people. So I had to come up with something else.
 Is there room for another pen or pencil in this holder? Crowded huh?

Next weeks five are

Word or Quote
Nature's Own
Photographer's Choice
Thanks for taking a look at my pictures this week.