July 22, 2011

Are We There Yet?!!

We are blessed that our daughters and their husbands and the grandsons are willing and able to join us for vacation at the beach this year.  We have visited Kiawah Island for many, many years and we have always left with anticipation for the next year.  It's that much fun! The girls have grown up with summer vacations there with high school friends, college buddies, boyfriends, and now husbands.  AND the grandsons!  I am so excited to spend the time with everyone and watch PDub enjoy a whole week with the beach at his beck and call.  He is already a junior surfer dude who loves to troll the beach for new friends.  Baby Bird will be spoiled by his Auntie Mama at Law who will meet him in person for the first time, and hopefully, Mama Cat can get some rest. She and Jaybird will also be checking in with old friends who they haven't seen since the move, while Mama at Law and Daddy at Law avoid the city altogether.

By the look on Mama Cat's face, you would think she was being told that next year she would bring her own baby!  She didn't have a clue!
We have many traditions on our vacation.  One is that we take turns preparing dinners.  Mama Cat and Papallama tend to be the most creative.  Mama Cat tries out new recipes on us and is a fabulous cook. Papallama goes all out with a Louisiana meal that he has been presenting for several years.  Red beans and rice, gumbo, jambalaya, beinets, hurricanes...oh yeah, no biking is allowed on the night he cooks.  Speaking of which, biking is another fun tradition.  Kiawah has trails throughout the island and we have literally gone on day long treks.  Don't know if we'll be doing that in this heat though. Then there are books in all our hands, even PDub's, and a community puzzle that is usually finished in a marathon session the last evening there.  This year is a 3000 piece number.  I may have been too ambitious. 

Last, but not least, are the photo sessions, loved by the women and dreaded by the guys. Gotta have 'em though!

Don't take beach pictures on the beach.  Too much sand, wind, and sun!

See how much they love having their picture made?

Completely out of control
This year, we have a 'professional' coming to capture the moment.  We'll see if she can control the guys any better!
~Surf's up!

July 16, 2011


Today I am sorting and sifting through thirty plus years accumulation of jewelry from my mom.  It's a girl's dream come true. 

Mom was bitten by the antique bug in the 1960's, so in addition to her love for jewelry in general, is a mix of vintage pieces she would buy from her trips to different treasure troves.  And by vintage, I have learned that that term includes jewelry from the 70's.  Not the 1870's, my friend, the 1970's.  That's right.  Are you vintage, like me? 
To sort the jewelry, I am accompanied by a magnet to test for gold (not magnetic) and a magnifying glass to read the silver label or costume signature.  I am getting an education in this field of antiquity as I go.  I place each piece into its own bag and label it with any notes I need to make, so that its new owner will have a place to start in determining its value or use.

I have purchased and almost used at least 1000 bags so far.  It has been a great adventure and I only wish Mom were here to enjoy seeing these again.  I have discovered her intelligence in knowing what she was buying, her eye for beauty in the lovely pieces I have picked up to admire, and her appreciation for the whimsical in the funny little pins of clowns, owls, frogs, and smiley faces, that are included right along with the 'good' stuff. 

Like books, I believe jewelry should be used, not shelved and tucked away, so most of this will be passed along to the next generation.  One piece I did find that I think I will keep is this peach pin.  Born in Atlanta, my parents referred to me as a Georgia peach.  I imagine that had something to do with why Mom bought it. 

And speaking of births!  There's another grand on the way in late '11 or early '12, depending on doctor's holiday schedule.  I even know what the baby will be...but the word is still getting around to family, especially Mama Cat, so I'll save that till next time.  Or you can just check Facebook, the telegraph of this generation.
Until then,

~I hope life's peachy~

July 10, 2011

Aaaargh! It's a Birthday, Matey!

Capt'n PDub turned three on Saturday, and celebrated with a pirate themed birthday party at a nearby play zone.  Plenty of mateys showed up to have fun and enjoy the pirate booty of cake, whistles, silly bandz, and most of all, FUN!

The pirate theme was so cute and perfect for PDub's third birthday!

Capt'n PDub

Watch out for this swarmy crew!

Yes, pirates love Tonka Trucks!
When it came time to blow out the candles, there was another surprise.  (The next time Mama at Law has to run in for birthday candles, I bet she'll read the box.) 
 It's hard to believe PDub has already turned 3!

Where does time go?~

July 2, 2011

Dive In!

We are officially in summer, in case anyone missed it, so now is the time to really dive into some summer books!  I've been searching for something new for PDub to read, and now I am adding Baby Bird's new book to the search, too.  I don't know why summer has such the reputation for reading, except I guess, that people take vacations and find more time for reading.  Gotta tell you, though, that children need to be immersed in books all year.  You heard it from Grammy.  Books are always a great investment for your children. Never feel guilty about buying them.

So, on to the selections...

Jonathan and the Big Blue BoatFor PDub, I picked Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat, by Philip Stead.
I was drawn first to the illustrations.  Having illustrators in the family, I can not help but be a fan of the illustrator's work.  This is a beautiful book with no accidental details.  Look closely and appreciate the story told through the drawings and the use of color.  Secondly, the story is one of a little boy who has lost his beloved teddy bear.  He sets sail to find him and picks up a rag tag crew along the way.  There is adventure and triumph and will spark PDub's imagination.  Last, there are lessons of shape, size, and colors that will continue to help him learn new concepts.  So let's set sail with this one for PDub's beach book this summer.

Now Baby Bird needs books, too, so I am going with a board book favorite of mine, Karen Katz's
Where Is Baby's Beach Ball?: A Lift-the-Flap BookWhere is Baby's Beach Ball?  Much like Where is Baby's Belly Button, this is a lift the flap book that I think Baby Bird will enjoy for easily his first year.  I have a feeling that PDub may sit and help read this one to him while they are at the beach together. 

For Grammy, I have selected What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty.  In this story, Alice wakes up to find the last ten years gone from her memory after an accident. What if you woke up with the last 10 years of your life erased from your memory? What has changed in that time? How has your family changed? Your friendships? Your living arrangements? Your personality and appearance? Those are questions I am sure I will be wondering as I read what will be a different kind of beach book for me this year. 

And speaking of diving in, I have done that with my mother's estate and have begun to shift through at least 30 years of collecting various antiques, collectibles, and trinkets.  I started with some of her jewelry.  What a blast to the past as I sorted through 30 years of earring collections.  It was a wonderful few days of recollecting both those times and my mother's takes of the events during the 70's, 80's, and 90's.  There is much more to do, and it can seem overwhelming, but the material things remind me of the priceless treasures she gave us all.  My sister said, "We know that everything in the home is meaningful, as my mother wouldn’t have gotten anything without it having some particular significance. She would never have placed anything in her home without great thought and intention."  We honor her in how we now give her things new homes. I just have to remember to come up for air.

~Stay afloat~