Monday, June 29, 2009

Frankie's Big Graduation Party!


I have tons more photos, of course. But I think I have to restrain myself. If you were at the party and want to see your picture, comment me and I'll put it up!
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Nick the DJ


He did a great job!!!
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The Seniors at the Party


Here are the graduates from the party! :D
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Dancin' in their Seats


"SWEET CAROLINE... waaa waaa waaa..."

Ok, it isn't waa waa waa. Frankie told me Pop wants me to fix it. But I forget what he said the correct lyric is... ??????
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Now Off They Go!


These are the guys going to the same college with Frankie... and they left this morning, 5:30 AM, for Freshman Orientation.

On to the next adventure!
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Sunday, June 28, 2009


I woke up groggy and disoriented. I'm sitting here on the computer trying to get my head together before today's big party. I had some wild dreams last night, that went off in all directions, to places I could never go. Even though I knew that I didn't belong, I didn't want to leave, and only when I woke up did I know that they were dreams... and I want to go back, but probably never will. Tonight? Probably not. I can never recapture a dream, can you?

Friday, June 26, 2009

My short video of nothing in particular!

It's all over but the shoutin'!


So, I've posted more photos. Nowhere near ALL of the photos. But here are the actual stats:

Frank's GPA: 4.0004
Frank's rank: 19 out of 296
Frank's extra cords on his graduation gown: Red and gold for Spanish Honor Society; Gold cord and Gold tassel for National Honor society.
Frank's favorite moment (I think): When the mayor mentioned his name (along with six or so other students) in his speech.
Time Frank got home from the school-sponsored after-party: 4:30 AM
Frank's first night at College: This Monday to Tuesday -- he's got Freshman Orientation.

After all of this excitement, it's probably gonna be hard to get back to normal life. But... he did remember to take out the garbage on graduation night. (surprisingly, since he hardly ever remembers!)
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Tug of War


It's the blue and golds against the green and whites!!!
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Mom and Pop K

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Mom and Pop D

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All 296 of them, in height order...

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My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades

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The Official Tassel Flip

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HEY! I think this is actually my 1000th post!!!

Here I am, posting about a million pictures, and I didn't even realize that I was passing the 1000th post!!! This is it!!!


OK, on with the photos. Thank you.

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First picture with a diploma!

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Dancin' on the field -- they've graduated!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Congratulations Graduates!


This is one of about 300 pictures I took ... I can post more sometime soon, when I get some free time (yeah, right!) Frankie was very happy, and we are all very proud of him.
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Graduation day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spur of the moment free concert tickets! Really screws up my schedule, but you only live once!

June is Crazy!

Too many holidays all at once this time of year. I can never keep up.

Here is a "video" my Mom sent me of her and my Dad celebrating their birthdays and anniversary this month... Just funny!
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Count Downs

10 -- minutes until I better be in bed -- it's getting late!!
9 -- days until my "vacation" starts -- camping and canoe-ing and hiking! (I'm not ready!)
8 -- posts until I hit 1000 on this blog!!! (I think!)(That's huge!)
7 -- years and both kids should be finished with college and starting jobs -- I hope!
6 -- months until Nick gets his license!!
5 -- Days until Frankie's big Graduation Party!!
4 -- months and supposedly Pearl Jam will be touring again (Frankie says)
3 -- Three is a good number, but I got nothin' for three...
2 -- days until Frankie is officially out of High School!!
1 -- I better make one serious list of things to do tomorrow. Too much is going on around here!

Monday, June 22, 2009



I spoke too soon... I wrote earlier this morning about the clouds, and now we have sun! It might not last, but I'll enjoy it while I can!
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Summer is Here! (Can you tell?)


This has to be the cloudiest summer ever. I feel like I'm moldy from all of this rain.

On the positive side, it hasn't been swelteringly hot, I haven't forgotten to water the garden, and I had already decided to have Frankie's graduation party inside, thank goodness.
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

A night at the Opera

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This was the first time any of us had gone to an Opera. Alyssa, who is Thor's brother's daughter, had a small role dancing. We took the opportunity to broaden our cultural horizons. Who knows where Alyssa will dance next? She is a very talented girl!!!

I Tre Compagni.... by The Encompass New Opera Theatre


There was a notice, that photos could NOT be taken of the performance. I didn't disobey the rules, but I found this tiny one on the internet. I also met a man who did take photos, and he said he'll be posting them on Flickr, so I'll be looking for them.

This is the first opera I've ever been to. I'm certainly not qualified to judge a good opera from a bad opera, but of course I have my opinions. The theatre was small but very comfortable, not ornate but still posh. I would term it "intimate." The curtain was beautiful, red velvet, and above the stage the subtitles were projected, so you could always look up and read what the singers were saying. The audience was all older, dressed as I would expect in a range from dressy-ish to pretty casual. If the weather had been nicer, I think that dressier dress would have prevailed. These people were opera people, I do believe, from their reactions -- shouting "Bravo" and "Brava."

We had great seats - third row, smack dab in the center. I could swear that when Alyssa came on stage, she looked us straight in the eye. I hoped that wouldn't blow her concentration! It made the experience so much more impressive, though, to be so close and not to have someone else's head in my way.

I bought the libretto, in spite of knowing that there would be subtitles. The story is about three friends - I Tre Compagni, in Italian - who arrive at a feast in a town on Fat Tuesday. They each tell a story, and there is a big party going on. Alyssa, a dancer, played a part in making the festivities more festive; her first dance was as a contortionist in a belly dancer outfit, and man is she flexible!

The Opera had the usual turns and twists that you would expect from opera; do they always die in the end? The friends tell their stories, the lovers have a quarrel, the one friend goes off in search of death to kill him, the two men make death give them gold from the crypt, the three friends quarrel over the gold, the two men friends... wait, should I spoil the ending? I guess not, you never know when you'll want to see this opera!

I can say that it was very pleasant. It was entertaining. The singing wasn't the stereotype of some huge fat woman shrieking the whole night, and EVERYTHING was singing, although none of it stuck in my head; I didn't walk out of there humming the chorus to myself. The three lead singers did an excellent job, as far as I can tell.

And of course, the dancers were wonderful!
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Waiting for the Cast

After the show,
we waited
for Alyssa
to come out.
She is an incredibly talented girl.
She took her bows
for her family
and went out
with the rest of the cast
to celebrate
in the City.
It's a lovely thing
to be so young
and have everything
ahead of you.
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City Night


It was a warm night, although not uncomfortably so, and very humid.

After the show, we headed back to the tunnel and out of the city.

As we drove through the streets, I snapped plenty of pictures, but none of them really captured what I wanted to show. The light coming through the buildings was all caught up in the mist of the rain, and it was very soft and everything was glowing.

We drove for a pretty long time to get out, because there is always traffic, and it always takes a while to get home.
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Opera and the Ballet

Tonight, Thor and I and his parents are going into the city to see "I Tre Campagni," an opera and ballet that our niece will be dancing in. She's a serious ballerina, and has high hopes for a great future in dance.

I don't know if I'll be able to get any photos but I'll write tomorrow about the show, if you are interested check in tomorrow! :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

This was ages ago - Hot Sand in Asbury Park

Remember back on Valentines Day, I said we went to Asbury Park and blew a glass bubble? I've been wanting to do the photo slide show from that day for ages now, but my computer was giving some kind of weird error message every time I tried. Now, though, Thor got it fixed. So I put together a video.

Some of the photos aren't in the right order, because I can't exactly remember the definite order everything was done in. I like creating these little slide shows... I hope I get better at it! I have ideas for a few more.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fresh Shelled Peas

This year, in the garden, I planted some of the usual... string beans, tomatoes, peppers. And I did a few things that are unusual for me, too: I planted an eggplant in a pot, which I'm leaving on my patio - because it's actually way sunnier than the garden - and I planted a few pea plants.

I didn't plant the type of peas with the edible pods, because no one in the family ever wanted to eat the pods. I planted the regular kind with the peas that you shell, because I figured we'd eat them better.

So yesterday was my first pea harvest. I got enough peas for each of us to eat about two tablespoons of peas. But they were DELICIOUS... some of the best peas ever!

I think it's been a good spring for growing peas because it's been rainy and cool for so long. Now, I'm hoping I'll get another harvest, from these same plants -- but it's not so sure that I will. I'm going to plant more of the peas for a fall harvest, too.

For sure, if I had to grow the food for my family to eat, I would have to try harder. It was just a nibble, barely enough to make a dent in one meal.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I survived!



The backpacking trip was... unique. I am proud to have survived, considering how out of shape I am. It was very challenging, and very much a learning experience.

I learned that I'm getting old, and I learned that my son Nick has become a man. I'm calling him Mr. Muscles, because he could run up the hills with all of the gear, smiling, and I walked at a turtle's pace, red in the face and with my heart pounding.

I learned that the part of backpacking that I like is a very small part of what backpacking is actually about.
I like the part about packing the gear, figuring out what I need to survive, figuring out how to be comfortable with what I can bring, and how to bring practically nothing and still live well.
I also like the part about seeing so much nature -- beautiful scenery, beautiful flowers, plants, trees, turtles, stuff like that.
And I like the time to be alone with my thoughts, in the peace.

I learned that the part of backpacking I don't really like, but which may be the most character building, seems now to be the real nature of backpacking, which seems to me now to be all about endurance and determination. And I'm not overly determined. It seems like it's mainly about being determined to make it up that next mountain, and dragging my sorry butt up that trail in spite of the fact that I'm really tired and can't go any further. Now I think it's more about making the trip, one step at a time. In spite of the fact that the turtles really could have passed me if they were headed in the same direction.

I learned that when I make decisions, I almost always err on the side of being way too cautious. But I really don't think that I can help that, and I'm not sure how to tell if it's a bad thing.

I already knew that I'm a control freak... I learned that if I let someone else be in control, and they do something differently than the way I want to, it isn't the end of the world. I can get over it, and a lot of times it really doesn't make the slightest difference anyway. It might even be way better than my ideas. Or maybe not, but it doesn't matter either way. (I learned this lesson in politics a long time ago, you'd think I would have been able to apply it to life.)

I posted a few more pictures, but it's REALLY late now. So I might write more about the trip tomorrow. Like about the pouring rain, and the mud, and the middle of the night one mile evacuation hike away from the storm that never happened.

Or I might not; it really depends.
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Off we go... with a lot of gear


You can see the size of the packs we had.

I was really wrong about what I needed. So much of the stuff that I brought to make myself comfortable turned out to be unused, although it would certainly have made me happy to use it, for one reason or another it wasn't something I could dig out of my pack when I wanted it, it was easier not to have it. Like food. I had a few things to cook that were simple meals to cook, one pot, two cups of water, and relatively delicious. BUT. I really didn't feel like cooking ANYTHING. It was all I could do to toast a piece of spam on a stick over the fire. That was dinner. I was way happier eating the pretzels and peanut butter. I found that even though I've never liked granola bars, the Kashi pumpkin spice ones are pretty tasty and pretty filling, and that's all I was looking for.

Looking back, the most important piece of gear I brought (Well, Nick carried it) was the extra tarp that I almost didn't bother packing. We hung it between the trees with a tarp Michelle brought, and had just enough room for all of us to sit out of the rain. Michelle decided we should put the campfire under the tarp with us -- which would never have occurred to me, I would have though we'd burn the tarp. But it was a great idea, and it worked perfectly. So the kids were able to stay out of the rain and still be near the fire.
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Our campsite


It was a beautiful site, very removed from other sites, with several areas for fire pits and nice spots for tents, and a beautiful view of the lake. And a beautiful beach, in fact... rocks, not sand. But no table or picnic shelter. Or portapotty or outhouse. Or water. We had to hike a ways to get those kinds of facilities.
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