July 29, 2009

The Sister

After this post for Uncle Furry, my sister emailed me asking why she didn't get a post all to herself for her birthday back in May. I thought about it for a while then wrote back: "I don't know." I know I didn't miss her birthday. I probably emailed her and I'm sure I texted her with birthday wishes. I even sent her a (late, of course) birthday gift. I'm not sure why she didn't get a birthday post but to make up for it I'm going to write about her now. When I told her I would write something just about her, she emailed back, "I know you will dig up old nasty pictures and put those up." Of course I'm going to do my best but I don't know how many old nasty pictures I have of her.

This is my sister.
Her name is Vee. Actually it isn't really Vee, but that's what we've always called her. Her real name begins with the letter "V" and it's kind of long, like Veronica or Vanessa. (Only it isn't Veronica or Vanessa so you can cross those names off of your list if you're trying to guess what her real name is.) Because her name is so long we immediately shortened it to just Vee which has simplified all of our lives a great deal.

Vee was born a few years ago in Ohio. She was my little sister then and since she hasn't reached the ripe old age of 24 yet she's still my little sister. People often told us how much we looked alike which we always thought was ridiculous. See?
She has this fabulous blond curly hair -- mine is dark and just a little bit wavy. She is taller than I am. While we both have blue eyes, the blue is different and so is our eye shape. Our faces are also shaped differently and her nose is much smaller than mine. Even our smiles are not the same. So while we may resemble each other a little bit, we do not look alike. The ultimate proof is in our feet. I'm sad that I don't have a picture of Vee's feet to show you. They are long and bony and very narrow. Her toes are so long that she could play the piano with them, I think.

While Vee might possibly be able to play the piano with her toes, she can definitely play it with her hands. She is a gifted pianist. She was able to study with a very good teacher for several years. She has played in many recitals and 3 years ago performed Gershwin's "Concerto in F" with a symphony orchestra. That was the summer after I got married and moved away -- I wanted so badly to be there. I had big plans of flying to Washington and surprising her but just didn't have the money for a plane ticket. Before I got married I took voice lessons for a couple of years and Vee was my accompanist. We spent many, many, many hours at the piano, me singing and Vee playing and often singing with me. We did many specials at church as well -- sometimes Mom sang with us. I miss those times. Here in Jersey my SILs can play the piano and sing specials with me in church and while that is a very good thing, it is not quite the same.
~I need to pause here and inform you that I am the only female in my immediate family as well as My Man's immediate family who does not play the piano.~
Spending hours and hours practising with someone gives you a "feel" for singing with them. Often we would go through a song and one of us would say, "I think we need to work on that one place," and the other would know exactly what place without being told what it was.

Music is not the only area where we have mind-meld. My family watched a lot (and I mean A LOT) of old movies when we all lived at home. Vee and I made up a game to play together: I would name an actor, then Vee would name an old movie that the actor was in as well as another actor from the same movie. Then I would name another movie that the second actor was in as well someone else who was in the second movie. We would go back and forth until we couldn't think of another person, and we had several variations to that game (it was great for road trips.) We still quote movie lines to each other all the time and make each other guess which movie they are from. But I can't tell how many times I would say, "You know that movie?" and before I could go on to describe which one I meant Vee would name it. It would happen the other way around, too, with me guessing which one she meant. It was eery, people. Like connected brains.

Vee is a funny person. She makes me laugh a lot. She can be silly and goofy. I wonder where she gets that from?
She is, hands down, my absolute favorite sister.

July 28, 2009

My OLDER Brother

I have two brothers. Furry is the youngest. His birthday was exactly a week ago. My other brother is B. Up until last year he was always younger than I. Today is his 25th birthday. Since I will be turning 24 (again) next month, this means he is now the oldest. I'm okay with that.

B and I have some good memories ... and some not so good. I guess that's the way it goes with all siblings. One good memory that comes to mind is when he went with me from western Washington to Montana to visit my BFF, Mrs. Cowboy (this was prior to her becoming Mrs. Cowboy) so that I wouldn't have to drive the ten hours by myself. We had a fun time on that trip. B is usually good company. Conversation is never lacking when he is around. His brain is full of facts and figures and trivia, some of them useful, some of them not so useful. Anyway, on this particular trip while it was my turn to drive, B fell asleep in the passenger seat and I happily cruised down the road at 80 mph. The speed limit was 70. Suddenly an unmarked white Volvo station wagon pulled out of a gully ahead of me, started flashing blue lights, and the state trooper inside motioned for me to pull over. The instant I hit the rumble strip on the side of the highway B woke up. With his trademark big grin on his face he said, without even sitting up, "Got pulled over, huh?"

For the record, I didn't get a ticket.

B, if you're reading this, happy birfday.

July 27, 2009

The Humidity

We haz it. Google says it is 78 degrees and humidity is at 85%. 78 degrees is perfect for me. I happily open all my windows and turn on some fans and get a nice breeze through our apartment. But the humidity wipes me out. I can't open the windows and let it in. Praise the Lord for central air!

Last night after church we had a humdinger of a storm blow through. We were still at church having a meeting of VBS workers when the wind picked up, torrential rain began, hail hailed down, lightning flashed and thunder thundered. It was crazy. We lost power at church (but carried on with the meeting) and a huge limb came off one of the trees on the grounds. We had to take a different route home as there was another giant limb across the road near the church. I like thunderstorms but not really that kind. Too destructive.

At the end of last week we had a finances seminar at church. Some teens generously pitched in to help out with nursery so that the ladies could attend most of the sessions. The seminar was very good and informative and we learned a lot! Hopefully we can implement a lot of that in order to be the best stewards we can be with what God has entrusted us.

On Saturday afternoon we went to a local Farm Fair. It was SO HOT but we walked around and looked at everything. The Boogie liked the animals though she was leery of big cows and loud roosters. My Man and I are people-watchers and watching people at the fair was better even than going to Walmart.

Vacation Bible School is next week. My Man is Skit Guy again and this year I am Snack Lady. I will also help MIL decorate her classroom on Sunday. The Boogie will play with cousins every night for a week and everyone will be exhausted when it is over. But it will be worth it!

I am d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g today. For some reason, though I went to bed at a reasonable time, I didn't sleep very well. I blame the humidity. I even went back to bed after My Man left for work but was only able to doze a little bit more. I need another cup of coffee. Any excuse for another cup of coffee, right?

July 23, 2009

I Can Laugh At Myself

If you know me in real life and have known me for very long, you know that I'm not always the sharpest tool in the shed. You may also have read this which proves my point. But most of the time I can usually laugh at the dumb things I say and do. To prove it I'm going to share the latest thing with you so you can laugh, too.

One of my duties at the chiropractor's office is to take brief medical histories of the new patients and then review the histories with the doctor before he examines and adjusts the patient. This gives him more time to actually do the adjusting as patients often tend to be very long-winded and give drawn-out answers to questions like, "Where is your pain?" and "When did it start?" One of the new patients yesterday afternoon had previously had back surgery. When I went over that fact with the doctor, he asked, "Where did she have the surgery?" I thought it was an odd question (why did he care where she had the surgery?) but looked through her file and told him, "Jefferson Hospital." He chuckled and said, "No, I meant where on her back?"

Well, duh. Of course that's what he meant. Because, you know, he's a chiropractor who will be adjusting the lady's back. See what I mean? I'm just not too bright! Sadly it's pretty much par for the course for me.

Honestly I just wasn't on top of my game at work yesterday. I felt like I kept making stupid little mistakes. I hate days like that, but they're bound to happen occasionally, right? Nothing to do but move on and make the next day a better one. Since the next day is today it's time to get started doing just that. Happy Thursday to you!

July 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Uncle Furry

Today my youngest brother, Furry, is nineteen years old. He is a pretty swell person and I love him a lot. Furry, if you are reading this, I wish that we could send you a plane ticket for your birthday so you could come visit us again, but we can't ... so we'll just have to remember the last time you came. (And I'll get your gift in the mail as soon as I, um, you know, get you a gift. I know you're okay with that cuz that's how you and I roll.)

In no particular order ...

Furry, I just want you to know ... you are my favorite!

July 20, 2009


The other night, just as I turned out the light and rolled onto my side, I saw a flash of light right outside our bedroom door. I sat up in bed and leaned over to try to see down the hallway just as there was another flash. It startled me for a moment until I realized it was a lightning bug! Somehow they've been getting into our apartment -- we've caught several and released them outside. We missed this one and as soon as the lights went out it lit up. My Man and I laughed as it flew around our room, flashing. Then zzzzzzzt! it flew right into the standing fan! There was an explosion of light as firefly fragments shot out of the fan. Gross, huh? Poor firefly. It was just doing its job. What a horrible way to die.

This morning the Boogie was watching Word World which is an animated PBS program for preschoolers. Each 15-minute episode is full of spelling and making words. She ran into the kitchen and exclaimed, "Honey! Honey! A-O-I-A-O. Book."

That's my girl. Two years old and a speller already. A bad speller, yes, but a speller nonetheless.

July 18, 2009

Baby Turtle

There is a tiny turtle living in the pond at 52. He just showed up one day and has stuck around. See him?
We often see him swimming around and sunning himself on rocks. Then one day I went out to look at him and found this ...
... and we've found him this way several times since! Do you think he thinks this is his mama? It makes me laugh!

We went to Camden on Tuesday with all my coworkers to watch the Riversharks play. It was a perfect night for a ballgame. The Boogie was very excited and chattered away to everyone around her ... ... until the mascot showed up. He was a giant shark and while he stayed down on the walkway she was okay. Then someone asked her if she wanted to go down to see him. She shook her head frantically and clung to me. Then the shark came up the stairs past us and the Boogie FREAKED OUT. She was very subdued for the rest of the game and kept looking over my shoulder for the very scary shark. The doctor bought her a little one which she eventually warmed up to. We had a really fun time at the game! We ate hot dogs and nachos and sunflower seeds and funnel cake.
The other day in the middle of a conversation with me the Boogie suddenly said, "I'm a monkey!" and made this face.I have no idea where she learned it but she's been doing it constantly ever since.

Yesterday was so hot and muggy. After dinner we were so tired of being inside so we went out front. It was starting to rain but we stayed pretty dry under a big tree. The Boogie picked up a stick and pretended it was a microphone. "Attention, dinosaurs!" she shouted into it. Then she turned to us and shrugged her shoulders saying, "They never listen." This child watches too much television.

July 12, 2009

A Wedding and A Sunburn

Our friends J & M got married yesterday! It was a really beautiful wedding. It was held outside at this lovely facility.

The weather was just about perfect for an outdoor wedding. It wasn't too warm, nor too humid. It was fairly breezy, however, which resulted in music stands and floral arrangements being blown over and candle flames refusing to stay lit!

The bride was gorgeous, the groom beaming with happiness (I know he was because I could see his face for the whole ceremony; you'll have to take my word for it, though, since My Man couldn't get a picture from where he was seated) the bridesmaids were lovely in yellow, the flower girl and ringbearer behaved impeccably and did exactly what they were supposed to do.
The music was provided by these two. Can you imagine how lovely the music of two harps would be at a wedding? Well, you are right. It was that lovely. Both girls played beautifully and one of them played the flute as well. She also accompanied me on the harp as I sang during the unity candle lighting. It was the first time I had been asked to sing in someone's wedding and I was so excited to do it. I sang "Good and Perfect Gift" by Abigail Miller. (If you go to her website and click on the "listen/purchase" button, you can listen to a sample of the song from the disc I Can Go In. Many thanks to my mom for telling me about it!)

The ceremony was scheduled to start at 1:00. Not wanting to be a distraction, I took my seat near the musicians about ten minutes beforehand. See me sitting there?
But as anyone who has been to any number of weddings knows, they rarely start on time. This one was delayed for thirty minutes. So I sat there for a quite a while. Let's take another look, shall we?Notice how the sun is reflecting off of my very white skin? My pale, untanned, haven't-seen-the-sun-in-who-knows-how-long shoulders? Do you think that it even occurred to me to put on sunblock seeing as, you know, the wedding was OUTSIDE in the middle of the day?


I have pictures of me afterward but I'm not going to show them to you. I am too embarrassed. After the ceremony there were hors d'oeuvres and then there was a wonderful sit-down dinner with toasts to the bride and groom and the whole time my shoulders just got redder and redder and redder until the people around our table were looking at me in alarm and someone said that I was starting to glow. Over 24 hours later I am still very red and tender to the touch. My good Man slathered my shoulders with A&D ointment tonight which helps. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll notice much improvement.

But enough about me, back to the wedding ...

During the picture-taking after the ceremony the guests ate bacon-wrapped scallops, chicken tenders, and fried ravioli. There was a digital camera set up with a printer next to a table with scrapbooking things; guests could have their picture taken, then scrap a personalized page for the bride and groom. There was a Wii game system set up with a big tv. There was a candy bar. Not a candy bar like this:but rather something similar to thiswith Skittles, M&Ms, Twizzlers, Hersey's kisses, chocolate-covered raisins, and my own personal favorite, Jelly Belly. It was a huge hit. My Man and I are still eating from our boxes of candy.

Then everyone was called into the dining room to sit down for dinner. My Man and I sat with BIL/SIL1 as well as several other people from church. Dinner was yummy. There were toasts to the bride and groom by the best man, maid of honor, and the bride's parents. There was an amazing slide show/movie that the best man (the grooms brother) made. My Man and I slipped away right before the cake was cut so we didn't eat any but it certainly was beautiful!I'm so happy for J & M that everything turned out so nicely. It was a perfect wedding day.

Meanwhile the Boogie stayed with her Auntie MA and Uncle B (my coworker and her husband.) I was a little apprehensive that she wouldn't be comfortable with them but she had the time of her life. They took her out to eat and to a pet store/small zoo where she fed monkeys and chased chickens. When we arrived to pick her up she just looked at us as if to say, "oh, it's you," and went right back to what she was doing.

Now I must take my sunburned shoulders off to bed. I hope you had as enjoyable a weekend as we did!