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Monday, September 28, 2009

Memory Monday------Great Grandpa and Grandma Hales

I have not been very good at keeping up with my Memory Monday posts. I wasn't able to get organized enough during the summer to get photos scanned and well......that is part of it.....you've got to admit.....it does make the post a bit more personal.

So, this week I decided to write about one of my more pleasant memories. When I was younger, I lived in Utah----I believe that you remember the posts I did before, about this time in my life.

Now......I am not sure where my Great Grandparents lived, but they were my Mom's grandparents, and I know that it was somewhere in Utah, as we had to drive a ways when we went there. I always loved to go to their house----there were so many things to explore and everything was so different!

My grandparents lived in a small white house, not very fancy. I still remember walking into the back door---that is how you would enter----and you would be in the kitchen. There was a big sink with a large pump.....yes, the kind that you would pump up and down to get water. It was always the first thing that we did! My grandma would get us a glass, and we would pump some cold well water to drink. There was always something baking at their house, also. My grandma would slice up some warm bread and get down some homemade jam to spread on it. It was so divine!

I guess by now you have figured out that my grandparents didn't have indoor plumbing---I don't think that they had electricity either. It was one of the amazing things that we loved about going there. Of course, we had to go outside to use the outhouse-----which was one of our favorite things to do. I am sure that you are all cringing over this, but you have to remember that we were children and it was such a novelty! They always had a stack of things to read in the outhouse, and the only time that it wasn't so fun was in the winter---boy, was it cold.

My grandparents also cooked using a wood stove. They cooked everything on that stove----we would go there for dinner----I seem to remember that it was on Sunday----and have homemade pies, all kinds of meat cooked, home made bread and rolls. I will never forget those smells----the musty smell of their house, the fresh smell of baked goods, and the starched smell of my Grandma when she came in for a really big hug.

After the kitchen, there was the living room----and through the living room, you could see a huge organ----that we loved to play around on. We didn't really know how to play it, but my Grandma knew how and would sometimes play for us. My Grandpa was funny and liked to tell us stories, and make us laugh-----and he would take us outside and show us his garden, so we could pick some fresh vegetables.


I still remember, one year, when I got older, that my parents and my aunts and uncles decided to surprise Grandma with indoor plumbing and a real bathroom! It took awhile, and she got really sick before it was finished. She ended up dying shortly thereafter, and it was so sad to go see Grandpa after. He just couldn't get over the fact that Grandma never got to use that beautiful new bathroom.....


Years later, after my Grandpa had tried to live all by himself, they had to put him in a rest home.
I still remember going to visit him there. He used to tell us about all the "crazy" people in the rest home and how there was no one to talk to, as no one could carry on a conversation. He would also take snacks and treats from his meals----when ever he knew that we were coming---and stash them to give to us. There was one time that we had been fasting for our church, and we went to see him after church. He handed us these little graham crackers that he had hoarded from one of his meals. We didn't know what to do, because we weren't supposed to eat anything! But, my Mom just nodded and smiled and said that it was ok----she wanted to make Grandpa feel good----and I was super glad----because I was starving!




Outside my great grandparents house....in our Sunday best.....

....and a little older sitting in their living room----weren't they adorable?
(thats me, my older sis, Janene, and my little brother, Jeff)

This is with my Grandparents, my Mom AND my Great-Grandparents!
(I'm down on the far left...)


When my Grandpa died, I went to his funeral. I was very sad, because I felt that something had shifted in my universe. I realized that I would never again experience some of those unique things that I had enjoyed, as it was as if a whole generation of that pioneer spirit had died with them....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Its Alright,....Its Alright,....Al--right.

A few months ago, a good friend and amazing person, Michelle, asked if anyone would like to go to U2 with her. Well, let me tell you, folks, I am a gal that LOVES me a great concert, and I have been a fan of U2 music since I was rather young. (Well, they HAVE been around a long time!)

So, I told her that I was definitely up for it----and yes, it was this week and it was rockin'!

Now, many of you are not really into Bono, I know this from reading your blogs. And I know that he was slammed because of his 40 million spent on the huge structure that he used for his concerts, and he sometimes gets overly political, but let me tell you-----I can see why he did what he did.
Now, hear me out a second, Ok?

U2 plays only in stadiums these days----and Bono knows that when you are going to a concert in a stadium, the band basically looks like ants. Yes, unless you have the money to pay for the first few rows, you can barely see the band. Well, this was called the 360 Tour, as there was a huge circular screen that hung over the band----and a huge structure that housed this screen. I thought that it was rather brilliant, and a cool idea for them to make it like a space ship. It was fun, entertaining, and they put on a great show! And well, the amount that they spent on this structure, is nothing compared to what they will make for the entire tour-----of which, hopefully, some will go towards their AIDS charity.

Bottom line? I think that I am not the person to judge what others do----especially when they are trying to raise awareness for those that need help, but can't help themselves......

So----now I'm off my soapbox----the concert was great----with the exception of a few poooo-ooopy women that sat behind us that kept telling us to sit down. When you go to a concert----you stand and dance! HELLO! Just sayin'.

The band was phenomenal and they put on a fantastic show-----structure and all!

Snow Patrol opened for them----LOVE this band----so that was
exciting for me-----and check out the crowd!

Snow Patrol lead singer....

....and here is the controversial structure-----cool, huh?

You can just barely see Bono and the band with my camera zoomed out!


Oh yeah----look at that baby light up----pretty spectacular.

Here we are----the concert goers-----gorgeous Michelle and I!

"Its alright, its alright, al-right....
(And please ignore me singing in the background---force of habit----ah-hem)
video


Well, there you have it. I love concerts. I love live music.


It. Makes. Me. Happy. Inside.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fabulous Find For A Friday-------A Historic House No. 2

Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile remember how I am always trying to buy a house. Yes, I am close to 50 and don't even OWN a house!

Sigh.....

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE history and boy, do I live in a place-----New England----that is steeped in history! So, as I get closer to when the lease is up on the house that we are renting, I start to get antsy and DREAM of having that special house of my own.


Do you remember the last time I found the house of my dreams? It was that Historic House No. 1. It was perfect and I had already mentally moved in.

Well, it sold to someone else, and I still drive by it and curse the people that are living in MY house. (Whoops----did I really type that out loud?)


Until this week.


I had seen this house for sale about a year ago, but it was way out of our price range, so I hadn't even bothered. But a year and a half later, it is still on the market and we went to see it this week. (At my prodding, of course!) It is still over what we could pay, but maybe the owner would consider less?

We still have some hoops to get through----that might not get resolved for a few months, but if it all works out------------and the house isn't sold yet, and they accept our offer (another long shot)----maybe we can have this house?

A girl can dream, right? (And dream....and dream.....and dream.....)

The house was built in 1700----even earlier than the other one and is one of the four oldest houses in this area. Cool, huh? It is in fantastic condition, and only needs some wallpaper removal, some carpet removal and floors re-done, re-painting, a few bathroom re-dos and its good to go! (All these things can be lived with, with the exception of green carpet in what would be my son's bedroom----kelly green shag-----Ugh!)

The grounds are beautiful and large and the house has lots of meandering, quirky characteristics. These are ALL things that I love about really old houses! It has a great feel about it----not creepy----it felt like a very happy old soul, and well taken care of.


I instantly fell in love.

Here it is----red with a blue door...

....and the side entrance----which is where most New Englanders go.

The front entry way.....


.....And the family room-----don't you just love the exposed beams?














The master bedroom---lots of blue, huh? But isn't the woodwork great?


The guest bedroom----it has a HUGE walk-in closet! (We know that I would be
using that one)


One of the baths---off of the guest room.



I guess it would be strange to pray for something like this, right? But I am getting just about THAT desperate! So, if any of you have a close relationship with the big guy, could you put in a word or two for me?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Awwww.......I'm Not Worthy......

I have been lucky enough to find terrific bloggers as I search the blog world. There are tons of fantastic blogs out there, but I think that the ones that I read are the creme-de-la-creme. I usually don't feel as if I am worthy of being on the same level as them, so I am always extremely flattered when I am given an award.

It really makes my day when someone remembers me and.....well......even comes back and reads my blog again! I have been blogging longer than most. I believe that it will be 4 years in Nov.-----hmmmmm----I guess I better check that date out, as I SHOULD have some kind of a giveaway for that date.

I have been inspired by so many of you-----you blog everyday and share so much of your lives and your world with those of us, the readers. AND you manage to read lots of our blogs and COMMENT----which in turn is making that blogger feel so much better about themselves!

In short-----I am not worthy of it, but the unbelievable Redhead Riter has given me two----yes, two-----awards! She has only been blogging since the first of this year, yet she has a HUGE following, always leaves great comments, and has amazing thought provoking posts. It would really behoove you to go on over and check out her fun blog!

This one is all about the rays of sunshine----which we all love!



And isn't this great that this is the button for one of my favorite
bloggers.....The Scholastic Scribe!
(Its her award and she has passed it on to many---I was 1010!)


Thanks for these!!

Now for the rules:

1. Each Superior Scribbler I name today must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends
2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post which explains The Award.
4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit
this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this Prestigious Honor.
5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Have fun----you superior bloggers, you!

1. Hailey at Hailey Tracks. She is an amazing mom, actor, singer, comedienne, daughter, and one of my best friends! (And yes, she is my oldest daughter!) Check out her fantastic posts about her very busy life!
2. Kristina at Pulsipher Predictions. She is one of the funniest bloggers around----and can even make a Snuggie look good! She probably has gotten many awards, but she deserves it as she will make you laugh out loud reading about her life.

3. Julie at The Art & Life Of the Ruby Nest. She is a super talented artist with her fantastic paintings, she seems so sweet and you have to read the stories that she makes up about her the girls that she paints----she has so much talent for stories!
4. Tiberon at Shark Bait. She is an inspiration with her exercising (biking like a crazy person!), her daily blogging and her fun look on life----I was once up against her for a blogger award, and I didn't have a chance----yes, she is that superb!
5. Angela at Domestic Lifestyle. She is a real (in life) friend of mine----super smart, super gorgeous, a super mom, wife and a travel agent also. AND she home schools too!

Congrats ladies!! You are all Super Superior Scribblers!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Tenders Are So Glad To Be Off This Seat!

This was a week of firsts.


The first day of school.....

Yes, those are his new glasses, by the way-----so trendy,
don't ya think?


And he picked out his this new shirt all by himself----good taste for
a little guy.




And the first time that Aydan finally rode a bike by himself!


Now, this is always a huge thing for children, but most of them go through it when they are 5 or 6----or even 7.

But Aydan is 9. It has been an issue for awhile.


So, as we were walking our bikes to the soccer park to work on his riding.....again., he kept this dialogue going:


A: I don't like this bike.

Me: You will change your mind soon.

A: I don't EVER want to learn to ride a bike.

Me: You'll be fine. Just be patient. (and like a cheerleader) You are going TO DO IT today, I can just feel it!

A: No I won't. I really DON'T WANT TO RIDE THIS BIKE!

Me: We are almost there. Just hang in there. It doesn't do any good to be negative about it.

A: I hope a car comes along and runs over my bike-----right now!

Me: Well----you know that Daddy will just buy you another....

A: And I WILL PUT IT INTO THE ROAD TO GET RUN OVER AGAIN!! AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN!

Me: Ummm....


Well.....we got to that park.

We worked on his balance....again.

I should win Mother of the Year, because I was patient. Oh, yes, I was patient. Holding that little seat upright and running alongside.

And.........little by little, he went farther and farther. Hubby came and took over for a bit---- helping with holding the seat upright.


Then-----yes, he let go. And Aydan kept going.


It was so satisfying. So sweet. Knowing that this was my last child to do this with-----was actually bittersweet.


And from his satisfied grin, you could tell that he was so happy to finally get it!

And his only complaint, as I was complimenting him and giving him just one more "great job!"


"Well, this seat is too high! My tenders were HURTING!!


And when he got home and off the bike entirely----yes, he DID make that statement above. (the title of this post--------for those who aren't catching my drift----and what do your boys call their "packages?"-----that is a whole new blog post all on its own!)


Yes, I know that the bike is too small---but its been a few years....

But here he is....VICTORIOUS!
Priceless.



Now, to get to those swimming lessons..... Sigh.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Super Birthday Swap!

I believe that you remember about the birthday swap that was held in celebration of a birthday over at SHAWN'S blog.

Sure, you remember it, right? If you need refreshing, check it out here.

Well, I was lucky enough to get the gorgeous Cadance as my swap person, and boy, did she give me some great stuff! I LOVE getting things in the mail, (have I mentioned that at least eighty times?) almost more than sleeping, so you have to know that I really LOVE IT. And sure enough, this last week, I got this great package and THIS was what was inside:

Fresh, fruity, fragrant and fantastic cards!


I adore smells----(well,.....bad ones are my pet peeve, you know)----and am so into candles---I have them going all the time----with my candle warmer. So, I am lovin the candle, and then, since I am a HUGE Bath and Body shopper----love their soaps, smells and antibacterial products----she sent me a fantastic pomegranate hand soap----smells amazing. Last, but certainly not least---there were some great cards for writing on and sending to those that you are thinking of----so adorable. (Not sure if she made these or not---but they are the cutest!)


Thank you, thank you Cadance and thank you, Shawn, for a successful swap! You gals rock!


I was lucky enough to get Debi over at Girlz A Soul Sista.
She is a super cute gal that loves music, crafting with beads, is into movies, and has an adorable sister! (It was her birthday this week...) I am looking forward to getting to know her better----and will be checking out her blog from time to time....

So----if you get a chance to do a swap----go for it----its downright fun times and you get something in the mail, to boot....


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

How I Spent My Summer----Through Aydans Eyes

I had a very great summer----well, part of it, anyway.

Next week I have to start 4th grade, so I decided to show what I have been doing all summer.

First of all, my Mom teaches Musical Theatre Summer Camps. She ALWAYS makes me take them whether I want to or not, because she either needs some boys or she needs more kids in her class. I don't really like to take them, because I have to do the rehearsals. I don't mind the memorizing, but I HATE the rehearsals in class.

But by the time the second class came around, I knew some of the steps, so I could help my Mom teach some of the things. That was ok. I liked to do that better.

"One" singular sensation....my top hat number.
Here is a video of my part----I'm an orphan, dont'cha know!
video


Its a "Hard Knock Life!"
video


The closing number---"Fame"----can you see me on the front row?

Here I am with all the girls-----luckily the next two classes had boys in them.


My sister came to stay with us for a few weeks also. She brought her kids----who are my nieces and nephew, so that was fun---to have someone to play with every day. I love playing with Mila, my oldest niece-----she is the SAME AGE AS ME!! (Well, I am really 5 months older than her, but we are in the same grade.) Sometimes we argue a bit, but this time, we got along almost all of the time. My nephew, Ethan, sometimes wants to play with us and gets in the way, but I try to be patient with him. Then there are the twins! They are so cute and they get into things, but I don't mind as much, except when they make a mess of my bedroom!

Here I am with Mila and Ethan, at the 4th of July parade!

And here is where we put on a play for the family.

Here I am with Lane, trying to get her to pet Musette----she was scared of my dogs---silly!


After the summer camps were over and my sister and her family had left to go home, my Mom took me to some really cool places! We went to the Boston Childrens Museum for an entire day, and I really loved that. The best part was where we could play games on a big dancing pad----we had to try and keep away from the colored ball on the floor. It was super fun!

Playing the musical instrument----it was fun!

This is how the astronauts go to the bathroom----you have to attach something
to your bottom and match up the holes with the toilet----it is bizarre!!

This was the fun "Dodgeball" game that we played on the floor----see how you
get away from the light "balls"?

Mood lighting....

....and birds of a feather flock together.

We got to color, then use paint water to make a wash over the picture---
it was a neat effect.

I loved to climb in this climbing tower----there were many levels, and
you could crawl for three stories high!


I also got to go to the Museum of Fine Art, in Boston, with my brother, Clayton and my Mom. I got bored some of the time, but I liked doing sketches of things the most. I liked the Modern Art part of the museum and enjoyed see the illustrations and cartoons. I want to be an illustrator someday. I REALLY like going to the gift shop! They have the coolest things in there----and my Mom got me a "little monster" stuffed toy to attach to my backpack. (My Mom had some pictures, but she can't seem to find them!)


My Mom traveled a lot this summer, so I got to go to LOTS of places with my Dad. I LOVE to spend time with my Dad, and we like to go camping, and fishing. My Dad got in an accident at work and smashed his finger, so he has not been able to go to work, and that means that I get to spend more time with him! We went to Pennsylvania one time with Clayton and his girlfriend, Meg, went camping in Vermont a few times, and even went down to Boston to hang out at Boston Commons! We even went to Colorado to see a bike race----one that Daddy was supposed to be in, but couldn't because of his hurt finger-----but we got to see Lance Armstrong----who won the race. I also got to play with my cousin, Taylor, and hang out with his Dad, Patrick-----and I got to ride a horse at his house. I did it all by myself!

Camping fun----and one of the best things about being out of doors
is the hiking!

This is the pool in Pennsylvania.

And we got to ride the boats in downtown Boston Common!

Daddy likes to use his camera to do great black and white shots of me---in Colorado.

Yep, that is Lance Armstrong finishing first this year at the Leadville 100 race!

We got to go to see where the Golden Spike was laid for
the railroad in Utah---so two railroads could connect.

Caught in the tree shadow....

.....and hanging with Dad at the Continental Divide!

Some Moab rocks---they were really cool!

YES! Here I am riding that horse----all by myself! (I need some cowboy boots,
by the way...)


Another fun place that I went with my Mom was The Armory Museum. This is the COOLEST place ever! There are lots of swords and armour from history----dating back to even before Christ was born----my Mom told me that is what BC means. I liked the weapons the best, but thought that it would be neat to be a knight. Although, we tried on the knights helmets and they WERE HEAVY!! I could hardly lift them on my head! Another favorite place was a fantasy room where they showed a professor that had gone to find dragons and places like Medusa and things. I spent about an hour in this room, because I LOVE fantasy, dragons, and mythological creatures. I have invented many types of these creatures when I draw.

An early piece of armour.

Say----what are you guys fighting about----hang on----is that a skirt? Hmmmm.

My Mom really liked these armour shoes----I think that she wants some.

Mom, sitting in repose----contemplating the middle ages in the great hall.

Some really old armour----scary----they are so real looking!

I really WANT this castle for the knights that I have----but its a bit too big.

Time to try on a armoured helmut----whoops----it is HEAVY!!

Mom looks silly in this helmut----it is an Asian armour helmut.

....And this one fits just......uh.....where is my face?


Oh, yeah......I almost forgot about going to the Ecotarium. It is a place where there are a lot of ideas for living green, as well as lots of cool hands-on things that you can do to experiment with science, sound, the atmosphere, and even animals! My Mom and I even got to see a Polar bear, several owls, and my favorite was the river otters. They would swim right behind you and come up to the glass. It was cool!
Making bubbles outside.

Here is the prettiest snow owl ever!

Can you see the polar bear behind me? Its like a camoflauge trick---good luck!
(Hint----its over to the left of me from your view)

These river otters were my favorite! Look at how they swim around.

Walking through the different plant life on the trail back to the car.


One of the favorite times that I have are when I get to spend time with my brother and sisters. I got to go to dinner with my sister, Maryn, when she was in town, and I got to spend some days with my brother, Clayton. I love going to his house in Boston, because I get to play video games all the time and watch lots of movies, and stay up late! I also went to spend a few days with my sister, Brinna and my Mom at the beach. We went into the ocean and floated around and had a ton of fun!

Here I am----just lazing around the beach in the shallow water---it felt so good!

Someone had built a huge sand castle, and I was trying to save it before the
high tide ruined it!

There's my Mom taking it easy---getting to read and enjoy the warmth----hey, Mom,
your hat is crooked!

We couldn't stop the high tide from covering the sand castle.

The ocean on the Cape----the color is beautiful!


I have also gone to the library several times this summer. I started reading the Harry Potter books a few weeks ago and I am already on book 5! I love to read, and just sometimes wish that the books were real....I would love to experience all these awesome things!


Its been a fun summer, yes, it has. But now I have to get ready for school. My Mom got me a new shirt for the first day and I am excited to meet my new teacher. I hope that she is as good as my teacher last year, because she was great! I am sure that my Mom will post a picture of me from my first day. We don't go back to school until after Labor Day, so it is a week away.

Well, thats about it. I hope you have had an exciting summer! What were your favorite things that you did?


****Be sure to go on over to my blog and write a caption for the caption contest!!! My Mom said that I can give a prize this time!!! YAY! www.aydan-drart.blogspot.com******
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