Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cribs and Cots

This week I learned that in Ireland, baby "cribs" are called "cots." So, then I immediately thought about the MTV Show "Cribs"---and how the title of the show might not be clear to everyone. Then I wondered, "Does the show air here?" ....

Punchestown holds a 5-day Irish National Hunt Festival every April. In June ACDC will perform in Punchestown. Just so you know. I am not going. I spent my money on Elton John tickets. But, I have a plan. I am going to leave my window open and maybe I'll be able to hear the performance. If you want to call me-I'll put my phone on speaker so that you can hear them too.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brussels, Belgium

Manneken Pis- The little peeing boy- My father had a bottle opener of this guy's likeness. It mortified me growing up. Yesterday, I bought one just like it.
You know how you imagine a place in your head- & then, the reality of the situation is totally different? Well, this wasn't like that AT ALL.
In Middle School, I did my first real report on Belgium. From the encyclopedia, I learned that Belgium was known for its lace, chocolate, and beer. I learned about the areas history, population, languages, and food. Brussels was freaky in that it matched up to my childhood imagination. Grolier Encyclopedia must of done a heck of a job describing. Kudos- This is an area within the Grand Place. The Grand Place is the Central Market Square- this is where I spent the majority of my time.

Chandler on the balcony of our hotel room. The hotel was Hotel Le Plaza on Aldophe Maxlaan. We liked the place.

Umm, Did I mention that I had a fantastic Birthday this year?

Anywho- We also went to the Comic Museum-

Chandler at the Comic Museum- Choosing a book to read.

Chan & Scott at the Comic Museum

A Christian King--

Back @ the Comic Museum--

I like this one- because Chandler HATES chocolate- We went to the Chocolate Museum. I have to admit, the only fun in going was torturing Chan. It was pretty boring.

Chandler at the Atomium- This structure has nine spheres and is a model of an iron cell. (magnified). People can take elevators up to the spheres and look out over the city.

Chandler & I reading the maps---

Brussel's Arc de Triumphe-

Chan & I navigating the alley.

After 4 days of togetherness...

What I liked-

1. LOVED the trillion Chocolate Shops- Never imagined that distinct differences offered at each one.

2. In Grand Place, there is a deli named-"Fripiers"- The food was fresh, delicious, and reasonably priced.

3. Grand Place- Truly beautiful and fantastic shopping.

4. Lace- beautiful handmade items-

5. Waffles- There were many waffle stands and took us about a day to "Snap" oh YEAH "Belgium Waffles!" Duh---My exposure to Belgium Waffles had been limited to the Village Inn variety. It never occurred to me that they had originated in or were actually popular in Belgium.

5. The beer. I loved the trillion types of beer. How could I forget the beer?
6. The Police- There are those of you who know that I like to call the Popo. Well, I noticed that there were Dutch and French Popo in Belgium. Fantastic- I felt comfortable know that I could call either or both...should the need didn't. But I liked that they were visible and available.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Our Protector

During our walk, we were threatened by a group of rogue balloons. Never fear- Valley is here! She defended us by picking them off- one, by one.

Clearly, the pink one must go next- This one was talking smack.

The yellow went soon after---No Match for for Valley!!

The green justed wanted to escape- but Valley had no mercy.

It was going down.
Threat neutralized- You don't mess with Val.

Spring Walk with Valley- Girl

Now that Valentine is here- We are getting plenty of walks in. Luckily, the lambs & the daffodils are in abundance.

I don't know the facination with the pole- but they were all mouthing it..???

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Counting Blessings by Remembering Poppi

When I married Scott- I received the gift of another Grandfather. From the moment I met Poppi- he was my family. He became my rock solid support. If I had a dream, a goal, or a problem, Poppi was my cheerleader and ally.

Poppi was our go-to man for just about anything. If I got a flat tire, needed a bug-man referral, needed a bookshelf, a tow, some money, a meal, it really didn't matter. I knew that I could unconditionally count on him.

Poppi gave me away at our wedding. I remember us walking down the aisle and him having to remind me to "slow down."- I was nearly running and he was trying to keep time with the music.
Thank goodness he stopped my sprint...

If I argued with Scott, I could count on Poppi to take my side. If I was having a hard time at school or work- I could count on Poppi to tell me I was in the right- & the others ...were not.

In graduate school, Poppi literally paid me for good grades. He never missed an opportunity to ask about school and always found ways to help.

He was at the hospital when Chandler was born. The bond between the two of them was and is beautiful. Each time Poppi saw Chandler was like the first time. His face would literally light up with a huge smile. A pure joy and happiness.

When Scott and I started our businesses, Poppi did everything he could to help. He asked me everyday about patents, manufacturing, and distribution. He counted my inventory, helped us ready the offices, worked on the wheel chair ramp. Whatever we needed, he was there.

There are so many things to be said about Poppi's life before I met him. A World War II Veteran- who served as a Tail Gunner. Poppi was sent on more than the usual maximum number of fly over missions...and survived.

As Scott's Grandpa, Poppi taught him how to play baseball. He and Scott spent hours in the back yard throwing and catching the ball.

When Scott was young, he built him a wooden go-cart. Many years later, he contributed towards a gas-powered go-cart. This was when Scott learned the phrase, "If you mess with the Bull, you get the horns." When Scott would drive the go-cart too close to Poppi, Poppi would throw partially full beer cans at him. Dodging the beer cans is how Scott learned his defensive driving skills.

Poppi did his best to attend ALL of Scott's and later Chandler's sporting events. He could be counted on to rake the field, bring cold drinks, and yell at the coaches & referees.

Chandler says, "If you told Poppi that the game started at 6 p.m. you could always count on him to be 2 p.m. When we showed up at five thirtiesh he would be angrily tapping his watch, but after a second out came his smile. When swimming in his pool, Poppi would throw sinking discs to me as I jumped in. He would always check on me."

My words have failed miserably to capture the essence of what Poppi has meant to us. We are so grateful to have had him in our lives, to have the wonderful memories, and to know that how much we were loved.

We love & miss him terribly!!!