Thursday, November 05, 2009

Life and Stuff

"One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life; That word is love." ---Sophocles

Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep. ----Carl Sandburg
"Practice hope. As hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve a permanently happy spirit." ---Norman Vincent Peale

"It's always too soon to quit." ---Norman Vincent Peale
"Our attitude toward life determines life's attitude towards us." ---Earl Nightingale
"The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time." ---Abraham Lincoln

"Music has charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks or bend a knotted oak." ---William Congreve

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 25 - Hamburger and Fries Day

Nobody could hold up the line at McDonald's like my brother! Our family would stop there for lunch on our semi-annual trip to Madison. It was only after suffering through our regular dental visits that we were treated to the extravagance of lunch at the new hamburger joint on Park Street.
We certainly earned our 19-cent burgers and 15-cent fries those days! We had endured the usual rigamarole in the dentist's chair and the interminable wait in the boring waiting room with the horrible "elevator" music. Good old Dr. Nania had presented each of us with the usual nickel or package of sugarless gum (nothing at all like we have now) and we would be on our way! I still wonder why I was always the one that also had to have a "little" cavity drilled and filled on the spot - sans novacaine! (It was probably better than scheduling a follow-up appointment, however, which I would have had to dread for weeks until it was over with.) All of it brings back horrible memories except the lunch at McDonald's!
We never ordered our own. We just waited in the car in happy expectation while our parents did the ordering. It was a big job, you see, and they had to handle it. We just waited in the car... and waited, and waited, and waited... I can imagine the conversation inside: "Oh, one of those six burgers has to be plain!" "No, no ketchup, no mustard, no pickle!" "No, I said no pickle! Now you have to start over... the pickle has touched the bun!" Screech! The assembly line ground to a halt while someone figured out how to make a McDonald's hamburger that was "p-l-a-i-n"! while we waited in the car...
Today I think I will have my burger and fries at Burger King where a person can have it their way. "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us." By the way, Happy Burger and Fries day in honor of my Big Brother's Birthday! Make mine plain, please, just like his! He would have been 64!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

He's caring.
He's considerate.
He's clever.
He's creative, convivial and kind.
He's positive,
and a man of prayer.

He's generous, devoted,
respectful, enthusiastic,
and loving...
He is wise and wonderful.
He's handsome,
thoughtful and careful.

He's a giver,
a tenor,
a lover,
protector and problem-solver!

He's musical, he's ethical, he's wonderful.
(Did I say that already?)

He is supportive.
He is understanding.
He is industrious.

And he
cooks for me,
and he makes my tea.
And he starts my yoga video for me!

He's my plumber,
my mechanic,
my electrician and mason.
He's my roofer, finisher, gardener, and landscaper.
He is my installer and appliance repairman.

He's my rosemaler,
dog trainer,
and doggie trainer.

He has character.
He loves the Lord.
He is a great Dad.
He is a doting Grandpa.

He is the best.
He wants the best.
He always tries to do better!

...and he is my friend.

So glad I married him forty-one years ago today!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Phil "Junior"...

Rachel had a great time rummaging the other day. She was very excited to find more tools to add to her growing collection! Her latest finds: a chain saw, a large bolt cutter (to use for trimming bushes) and a shovel! She recently received a scroll saw and belt sander from some family friends and is planning projects for her home. Already in her collection are a mitre box, drill, hammer, screw drivers and other various small hand tools.
If you really wanna make her happy she would love a circular saw!
Phil enjoys this as much as Rachel does. He gets to play with the tools, too, as he shows her how they work and teaches her how to sharpen them or oil them or whatever...
Rachel hangs the cabinets and shelves at her house. She also has been know to help her friends and relatives install mini-blinds and other stuff.
Look out now! She will be cutting down trees with her new chain saw!

Of course, there is no job she would rather do than "mother" her kids. She just likes to have something to do while they are napping! (hahahaha)

Good job teaching her, Phil!
I bet she can even change a tire and an oil filter...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Welcome home...

Welcome home, Jerome!
It has been seven months since you were home and we are so glad to have you back! They changed some doors and built you a ramp and deck, but it is still HOME.
Your bathroom has been changed so you can move around in there, but it is still HOME!

We love you and we are proud of how hard you have worked to be ready to come home.

It is so good to see you enjoy being outside and visiting with friends and neighbors! It is so good to see you decide when you want to come in again. Dianne is happy to have someone to cook for and it looks like you are happy to have her cooking!

It has been a long journey,

and we have seen you come so far...

The boys came often to visit you and they began to feel right at home at St. Luke's. They were just glad to be near you.




and a New Year!

Valentine's Day.

Easter. Spring!

Many friends celebrated your progress and prayed for your return to strength.

We love you Jerome! and continue to pray for you and for your family. Welcome Home!

Memorial Day...

We celebrated Memorial Day as we often do with a visit to the veteran's cemetary at Wood, Wisconsin. It is always an emotive experience, but is especially so on this day of "remembrance". The straight rows of headstones formed ranks in every direction and each marker was decorated with its own American flag. Families walked among stones, thinking... remembering. We instinctively went to our location in section B, marker number 194 - Chester Mowbray DesRochers, Ensign - U.S. Navy.
As always I simply said, "Hi Dad!"

One thing that caught our attention was the peace and quiet that is always a part of the experience. Another notable thing was the beauty of the grounds with the lush, green grass and the flowering shrubs lining the drive. Finally we wondered at the sheer numbers that were buried there. Men and women who shared the common bond, whether in peace or at war, of service to our great country. We walked among the markers, we thought of them and we remembered with gratitude.

Back home at Woodland Wonderland we proudly fly the flag. Each day as we count our blessings we count our freedom, our nation, our patriots. We remember and we are grateful . May God Bless America.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Family Fun...

Cousins, Elodie, Gabriella and Owen, got lots of attention during their recent visit to Grandma Mama & Grandpa Phil's house. Wanna see? Click the arrow below, and watch!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rising Star...

I was privileged to meet and greet several members of Lori's "family" of stars at their headquarters in Brandon, Florida. It was great to discover yet another part of Lori's world. Her world of work. Celestar Corporation has seen significant growth in recent years under the leadership of company CEO, Greg, his capable wife and company V.P., Joanne, and the company's President, Ralph.

They were small business of the year finalist in 2008.
Check it out!

Yeah, so what do I know? I'm just a Mom...
...but I do know that Lori loves her work, loves the people that are a part of her work and they take good care of her. It's a two way street and that's what counts for me!

She loves them; they love her;
she's a star and they let her shine!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lori's Triathlon...

Just when I think my days of spectating are over I am invited to be a fan at another event! The Escape Ft. DeSoto Triathlon took place on Saturday in St. Petersburg and I just happened to be in town for the occasion. Even the little training that Lori did paid off as she walked away with first in her age group!

It was fun times with Lori and friends as they participated in the .5 mile swim, 11 mile bike and 4 mile run. It started in a deep fog at the beach where you could hardly see the orange bouys and kayaks that directed the more that 11oo participants over the swim course and back across the beach to the transition. Lori and her friends, Erinn and Angie started in the same wave - different age groups.

Erinn's hubby, Tony and their nephew, Matt followed up in the men's division as the men participated in their first-ever "Triath-a-lon" ...

...complete with a cheering section of extended family from Pittsburgh, PA! It is a faithful fan club that will show up before dawn and stay until the finish! and listen to the details of a struggle to keep swimming while being dunked and battered and kicked in the "free-for-all" known as the men's swim.
(Special thanks to Lori's main "support staff", photographer and number one fan, Constantin, who also happened to be in town for the occasion.)
Lori finished with a strong run and posted high in the women's standings with her 1:08 time.

By the end the sun had burned through the morning fog revealing a gorgeous blue sky, brilliant sunshine and great beach temperatures! Woo Hoo!, Lori Jo!!

Time to celebrate with a twinkie and a ho-ho!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Remembering Chet...

10/25/45 — 4/8/99
Remembering a Classic…

It seems impossible that it has been ten years since he has gone. But count them again! It has been TEN! Ten years since cancer claimed his life. Ten years since he lost his courageous battle with that destructive foe. Ten years since we gathered as a family to mourn his passing. Ten years since we had to say goodbye to him. But...

...we said we would remember him and we will continue to do so! Indeed, we will always remember him! We remember collectively when we head out for our hamburgers and french fries on October 25 and compare notes about our meals via email.

Each of us also remembers in our own special way. Myself... I particularly enjoy looking at old pictures. I love poring over those old photos from long ago... snapshots that were taken with care to preserve moments and memories. (Thanks, Mom, for your watchfulness and for always being alert for a "Kodak moment"!) Like this one of Grandpa, Dad and Chetty playing with the train set one Christmas.

Sometimes I remember him with awe as my big brother - so strong, so smart, so cool! I wanted to be like him. Or, at least, I wanted to do all the things that he got to do. Like driving and going to high school and acting in plays and stuff.

Sometimes I remember him without awe. He was too strong, too smart, too cool and always had the upper hand. He always won in things like, "pink belly", "indian underwear" and "ninety-niners". Try as I might, I lost every time. (Did anyone EVER get him back?)

Class of 1964. The year the Beatles came to America, wasn't it?

He usually took charge and sat at the top when we took the "stair" pictures like this one in 1973!
The best part of remembering is the realization that, even though he has gone ahead, we will see him again someday. It thrills my heart to know that he is in heaven now - a much better place! He is where there is no more suffering or pain; no sickness or disease; no worry or anxiety; no waiting; no time! The greatest gift he ever gave us was the reassurance that he had trusted Christ in his life and knew where he would spend eternity. (I am so grateful to God for this fact and for the truth that we can know our destiny and that Christ is enough in this life and in the life to come.)
I picture Chet in Heaven's great Banquet hall - at the rowdy table, of course - and I just know that he is saving seats for all his dear family and friends!

Chet with his precious family Jeanne, Jen, Aim and Nic

...and Momma, Mimi.
He may be gone from this earth, but he definitely is not forgotten! As a matter of fact his spirit lives on! His spirit lives on in all of us, but it is so apparent in the lives of his daughters! These stong, smart and independent young women are leaving their mark (and his) on this world. Their joi de vivre is contagious, their individuality is powerful, their generosity is spontaneous and their laughter is outrageous!

Chet's spirit lives on in Nic (and Farn) who are "testing their moxy around the world"; challenging every adventure with, "Is that all you got?" He lives on in Aimee's quiet strength and her loving, loyal spirit. He is there in Jeanne's wild, and articulate exposes of her everyday life that leave me weak from laughter.
Knowing that his spirit lives on keeps me smiling ...

Chet with Nic...

clowning with Aim, Troy and Nic...

Jen and Nic running in their underwear for a great cause!

Hey bro! I hope you are saving a place for me up there! (at the rowdy table, of course)