Saturday, December 30, 2017

Last Blog for 2017

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” 
― Frank Herbert

     I haven't blogged for the whole month of December, so for my final blog of the year, I am going to combine LOTS of topics!
     Early December, Andrea and I flew to Portland, Oregon to attend a wedding of Dick's brother's granddaughter...or my great niece!  We planned to be there a bit longer to see something to the area.  On our first day, we did a personal walking tour....and went to the Portland Museum of Art.  One of the exhibits that was going on was a retrospect of Three Wyeths, N.C., Andrew, and Jamie!

A Window painted to honor the Illustrator, NC Wyeth
Three Generations of Wyeths

Then we walked to Powell's Bookstore....advertising to be the largest Independent new and used bookstore in the World!  And I can believe it! It takes up a whole city block and contains over 68,000 square feet of retail floor space....several stories high... nine-color coded rooms and over 3,500 different sections.  Needless to say, we did not see the whole store!

Just a sampling picture of Powell's
     That afternoon, my SIL Janice flew in for the wedding from Belton, Missouri and had planned to stay at the same hotel where we were.  She texted me when she got in and, coincidentally, she was in the room right next door to us! We had read about a craft fair down by the river that evening in a big warehouse, so we ordered a Lyft and took off.  

The Fair
Food trucks are a big item in Portland....we saw them near Powell's when we were there, but it was too cold for us to partake in outdoor eating....but this evening, there were several set up behind the building with many of those outdoor heaters.  We ate our dinner standing up huddled under a heater, then went in to join the crowds!  None of us are too fond of crowds so we stayed about an hour then called another Lyft to go back to the the bar for a hot toddy!!
     The next morning, we had scheduled a city tour for the morning.  The wedding was to be at 3:00 so we had plenty of time to check out Portland!  It was a good tour, although, again...chilly and damp!  But that did not "dampen" our spirits! One of our stops was a Japanese Garden which was very lovely...then a stop along the river, the Wilamette...and then a tour of one of the best known homes in the area, the Pittock Mansion.  It is now a part of the Historical Society of Portland and one of their moneymakers to go towards the up keep, is to rent various rooms at Christmas to different groups to decorate according to their interests.  Then, of course there are the fees for visitors...but it was a beautiful place...and again, very popular!
The Japanese Gardens
Andrea, Jay, and Jan with Portland on the Wilamette in the background
The Pittock Mansion overlooking the city
The staircase at the split at the landing and went to the left also.
     We returned to the hotel to shower and dress for the wedding.  It was a lovely affair; the venue was a unique location...I don't know what the building had been originally but the huge room, which the family had transformed into fantasy, was just perfect for this couple. After a very short service, the entire attendees, approximately 300, I think I was told, were served  fun buffet dinner of the couples' choice...tacos and all the traditional sides!!

Jon and Lauren
Sister of the Bride-Emily/ Mother of the Bride- Cathy (my niece)
Jay and Andrea having a great time at the wedding!
    Dick's brother, Fay, took all of us back to our hotel.  Jan was flying home the next day, so we made a plan to meet at the airport for a brunch before she had to leave.  Cathy who lives in Portland, picked us up and for a least a short time, we all got together...all 13 of us minus the bride and groom.   After we saw Jan off, we went back to Cathy's house to visit for awhile then the suggestion was made to go see Multnomah Falls, just outside Portland along the Columbia  Gorge. What a site!  611 feet of cascading icy water!

Multmomah Falls
Then Andrea and I were taken back to our hotel.  All of the family were heading back home on Monday; we had planned to stay another day and had scheduled an all day tour along the Oregon coast.
     That Monday, we woke up to sunshine for the first time we since we had come!  Although it was still pretty cool, it was good to have sunshine while we toured because we did a lot of getting in and out! The coast is beautiful; we did a lot of walking /hiking at various stops. At one stop we were really in the forest primeval! There was a steep path leading down to the beach which I only tried part way.  On the path, there were many surfers in their winter wet suits heading down.  Brrrr!  I headed back to the top to wait for the others!

Pacific Coast, Oregon
Rock formation at certain locations along the coast
A temperate rainforest with fantastic mossed covered trees.
Not a sign we see in Texas!
The next day, Tuesday, we had an early flight out and got back to the DFW area before noon. Great trip; beautiful wedding; got to see lots of relatives and lots of fabulous scenery!!
     The rest of the month of December was spent with my art groups, working with my art, and celebrating Christmas.   My first art meeting was the North Texas SAQA  at which we all brought goodies to celebrate the holidays. We discussed what we want to do next year and then our fab show and tell!!

     And my North Texas Art Quilters (NTAQ)  met at my house...again plans for next year and another fabulous show and tell...

And then we went to lunch at a new restaurant, Rise, in the  Shops of Clearfork area.  It is a souffle eatery, very yummy...the best French Onion soup I think I have ever had!

Most of NTAQ
    Another nice surprise...a couple friends took me to Dallas for a belated birthday dinner...a new place for me.
Yummy seafood!
     Andrea and Leo came over on the Saturday before Christmas.  Sunday we went to see "An Act of God" at Stagewest where we also had dinner.

Cast of An Act of God
    We had a nice quiet Christmas Day...Marti and her family had decided to go on a Caribbean Cruise over the holidays; they all like to do physical stuff...snorkel, zipline, etc. which Andrea and I are not that crazy about so we opted to stay home, saving our money for a trip next spring to Colorado.  I can say I had a Wonder Woman personal hero since childhood!

     Then on the 29th, Dick and  I would be celebrating our 54 anniversary if he were still with me.  As it was, I had decided to go out to the National Cemetery where he is interred in part.  I say in part, because I am still dispersing ashes when I go on trips where he would have gone too.  Andrea offered to go with me so I met her for lunch and we drove over there....very nice surprise...I did not know that Christmas wreathes were placed at each and every tombstone and along the columbarium.

Nor did I know that there is an organization where one can donate and/or volunteer to lay the wreathes known as Wreathes Across America.  I will get involved in it next year.  They may be the ones responsible for other times of decorating the cemeteries...I'll have to check it out!

     So in drawing this lengthy blog to an end, I wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year with this card I stole off Facebook, posted by a fellow Unitarian Universalist!
Love to all, Jaye

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Busy Week and Lots of Good Family Time

“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough” 
― Walt Whitman

Tuesday, November 15-Book Club at the Villas.  The book reviewed was "The Law of Gravity" by Liz Rosenberg.  A good read about the legalities of a promise...dealing with family and health issues. It made for a very lively discussion!

Wednesday, November 15 was my turn to have dinner for the Awesome Foursome... a couple years ago four of us living here who are all single gals, decided to start a little dinner club and once a month we meet and eat at each others' homes....except for one who doesn't like to cook, but she takes us out so that is OK!  I usually experiment on them with new recipes.  I had wanted to make a ham loaf which I had not done in years and because I had a new attachment on my mixer to grind stuff that I wanted to try out, that is what I made.

Thursday, November 16 I attended an all day workshop with Debby Maddy on dyeing with Indigo and creating shibori fabric.  Great fun!  And I learned a lot although I don't have anything to show yet because I am sooooo slow in anything I do!
Wrapping a long silk scarf on a slinky to get a very cool patterned scarf !
Debby showing a lot of her work and telling us how she got the different patterns
The vat of indigo dye used to make the shibori and other indigo dyed fabric
I love the  look and did get one of the kits so I can make my own indigo at home...need to find a slinky! Anyone know where I can get one?

Saturday, November 18 was my birthday and my granddaughter Kathleen had just gotten home from school for Thanksgiving vacation. So she and  her mom and dad took me out for dinner that night.  My choice...Italian!

Kathleen, Me, Marti and Graham
We took a picture back at my house  when we got back.  Marti had also brought a variety of "Nothing But Bundt" mini cakes for dessert.  YUM!

Monday, November 20 my buddy Debby came up from Glen Rose to take me to lunch.  We spent the day catching up as we hadn't seen each other for awhile.  I drove all around to show her some of the new things being built around.  Neiman Marcus has opened up their new store in an area called the Shops at Clearfork....a very upscale shopping area not too many miles from me.  Then we drove up to the Montgomery Plaza area which she had not seen and ate at Gloria's... a Mexican restaurant that advertises "with a Latin flair"!

Tuesday and Wednesday, I spent most of the time getting ready for Thanksgiving.  Andrea came over on Wednesday to help.  Then Thursday, November 23 was Turkey Day!  I hadn't had Thanksgiving for the family since I had moved into my condo.  We used to host it every year when we had a larger place. But this year those able to come were at a manageable  number of eight and since my kitchen remodel adding more counter space was finished, I wanted to host again! I had a great I hope every one else did! 
All my peeps...Kathleen, Colin, Graham
Andrea, me and Marti
Bob and Eddy Lou...Graham's parents
My Grands...Kathleen and Colin
Andrea-my sous chef and all around helper!
After eating, we all went over to Bob and Eddy Lou's to finish out the day with football, more eating and games!  Graham's sister Angela and her husband Brant were also there after eating with his family...switching off every other year. Marti had brought her iPad to show them a video she and her team of teachers had made while learning to use some new equipment....very funny!!!
Brant, Marti, Angela and Graham standing
On Friday, November 24, I had gotten tickets to see the film "Loving Vincent" at the Modern Museum in Fort Worth for Andrea and me.  We spent Black Friday at home dyeing fabric, trying some new techniques we had both learned from various classes, then after a quick midday meal, we got cleaned up and went in to see the movie.
All these portraits by Van Gogh come to life!
It was just fabulous!  Really well done!  It is an hour and a half, animated character using these portraits as well as many familiar landscapes and scenes from Van Gogh's paintings.  It is difficult to explain just how they make does have story line which takes place about a year after his death.  A few years ago, a couple guys came up with a theory that he did not commit suicide, but was shot either accidentally or on purpose.  This film runs with that idea which is quite compelling.

And while at the Modern, we got to see it all lit up for Christmas!
Looking in from one of the patio areas
An exhibit with the outside lights showing through 
Overlooking the water surround with Museum Way in the left background 
Saturday, November 25, Andrea headed on home about midmorning and I had one more meal with the Ayers...a last chance to see the Grands before they headed back to school on Sunday!

I hope all of you reading this had as a great a week as I did....Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Memory Monday - Wedding (Part II)...and the honeymoon!

“A wedding is an event, but marriage is a life.” 
― Myles Munroe,

The day has is a sunny but cold day in December/Illinois.  The wedding is taking place at half past the hour of three.
My dad and I, getting ready to go down the aisle.
My dad who is usually a very jovial guy has a very serious look on his face..and funny thing, my sister got married about four years before I did and there is a picture of dad with Judy with the very same expression on his face!

Our wedding party consisted of  my sister as matron of honor and a junior bridesmaid. Nancy was a  daughter of good friends of my parents I had know all my life.  Most of my girl friends were already married or had moved away....and I really didn't want a huge wedding.  I had too many bridesmaids dresses that never got worn again and I didn't want to inflict that on my friends! Dick's brother, Fay, was his best man and my brother  was a groomsman. So we did the vows' thing...and exchanged rings (already tried on in the snow covered Rockies!).

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Dodds
All of our album wedding pictures are in black and white..1963 style.. the one of Dad and me is color as are a couple others...probably taken by one of my cousins.  Anyway...on to the reception, held at the Old Orchard Country Club.  We had the traditional toast, cutting of cake, band or extras of any kind....just not done back then, at least not in Pittsfield.

The the wedding table
Pictured above from the left...Dick's dad, my mom, Dick, me, Dick's brother Fay and my sister Judy.
Then we, the newly weds, left the reception to go back to my mom and dad's so I could take off my wedding dress and get into my going away attire. Another tradition was for the bride to change from her wedding dress to a nice outfit to drive away.

On the way to change clothes
One little deviation from the norm was the driver of our "getaway" was my mom!  Usually it is the best man or one of the groomsmen, but as we were going back to my home, my mom wanted one last goodbye!  And to get a picture of us on our way out!

And we are off on the honeymoon!
Honeymoons were not quite as flamboyant as they are today.  We went to St. Louis, Missouri for a couple of reservations or particular plans! It was probably around 9:00PM when we got away.  St. Louis is about 1 1/2 hours from  Pittsfield.  We were pretty tired from our night before and all the tension of the wedding so we just checked into a motel as soon as we got near St.L.

 The next day we enjoyed some touristy things in the was December 30th so all the Christmas stuff was still up...then that night we had a nice dinner and went to a movie.  It was "The Cardinal" an Otto Preminger film with Tom Tyron.  It was a big film in brought out many controversial topics about the Catholic Church at a time when the church was going through some questionable dealings itself. I've linked you to IMDb info on it if you are interested.
1963 BlockBuster!
On December 31st, we returned to Pittsfield, to my parents, to spend New Year's Eve with my family and another big party at the American Legion!