I asked Papa to say a few words so everybody could SEE how he was feeling. Here is the video.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Gardenia and I went shopping Friday. Then all the Mundelein Flowers went to Uncle Sweet Pea's annual After Thanksgiving Pancake Breakfast.
Sunday and today we are putting up Christmas decorations. Everything is going according to plan except it started snowing yesterday and it's still snowing. I can't put up the outside decorations. Curses!
This is the place you can comment on my poll. What is your favorite Christmas Movie. Mine's It's a Wonderful Life.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Today is Gardenia's birthday so I hope to hear the phone ringing off the hook.
12 December is Sweetpea's birthday and we are done for the year.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Orchid and Tulip are doing well too, but we don't get their report cards for a while yet. We are very happy with Orchid's work habits and attitude toward school this year.
Star was also invited to go on a trip next summer for 3 weeks to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. It is very expensive and she is doing everything she can to help raise the money.
Papa is holding his own right now. He has been receiving chemo for Pancreatic Cancer for a month now. He's lost a lot of weight; he has his good days and his bad; but his blood work is still good. Say a prayer, meditate or send positive thoughts his way.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The latest word is that it is pancreatic cancer. You know I'll be researching that, but don't know if I'll post the results of that research here.
I've decided that on this blog I'm just going to post what is happening, not what I feel or how our house feels. Holly suggested a journal, but if I do that it won't be on this blog. Because interpreting the research will probably include a lot of my own opinions, it will probably not appear here.
Anyway, more prayers, positive waves, appeals to the ancestors and whatever you can do is needed, now more than ever.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Please say a prayer, meditate, send positive thought waves or whatever you do for his speedy recovery and for strength.
Seeing as it is mid September and the summer is almost technically over (with the Autumnal Equinox) I figured I really ought to run down everything that happened this summer:
- Star graduated from 8th grade at Santa Maria del Popolo. *Orchid played bells for the ceremony
*Star won the President's Award (from the President of the US). There were only two students who won.
*Star read the Reading at mass
- Star and I went to Washington D.C. for her 8th grade trip. She was one of four students who laid a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
- Star went to summer school for her state required Health class (she was the star pupil)
- Star's 14th birthday!
- Star, Orchid, Tulip and I got passes for our park district pool and we tried to go as often as we could
- Orchid got contact lenses (she's almost as blind as her sister Star).
- The Owasippe Trip
- A new flower blooms! On 4 August 2008 my brother, Ginger and his wife Holly added a new bud to accompany Lilac and Geranium. Let's call him PETUNIA!
- We added another flower, sort of, by marriage. Marigold married Apple Blossom. We never thought we'd see the day when Marigold got married. We all had a blast.
*Started High School (gasp)! She loves her teachers and classes
*Started Volleyball at school. She's on the Frosh B team (takes after her old man on the B team), but she has Volleyball as a specific gym class so maybe next year she'll move up.
*Isn't playing clarinet anymore. She had a good run there, from 4th to 8th grade.
*Started 7th grade. Just one more year to go. She's doing very well so far and has a great attitude toward school.
*Signed up for Track but switched to Volleyball. She dropped out of band, but says she'll keep up her flute. Let's hope she can.
*She's not going to be in Girl Scouts anymore herself, but she's going to be helping Tulip's Girl Scout Troop
*Started 2nd grade, but she still has the same teacher. We loved that teacher last year so this should be another good year for her.
*Still in Girl Scouts and still loves it
- Bushia (aw heck, she doesn't need a flower name) went into the hospital. She's 88 and very weak, but she is home now and recovering.
- Star is now sharing her wisdom and holy graces with younger Orthodox youth by helping out as an Assistant Sunday School teacher
- Tulip started Sunday School and Greek School (actually tonight is her first night)
- Star has moved up to full fledged GOYA (Greek Orthodox Youth Assoc.) and has left poor Orchid in Jr. GOYA.
- I'm going to be starting adult Greek school on Thursday nights. Cross your fingers for me.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
So, here is what we did. If I missed anything and you were there, please leave me a comment or send me an email.
o Left at 11:30 (much later than planned)
Signed up for
· Ice cream social - good do again
· Wall climbing
· COPE - Good do again
· Paintball - they want to do again
· Carmel apples
o No swim check
o Kids went to Pizza Hut for dinner with Pansy and Begonia while Gardenia and I cleaned
o Next year leave earlier so we can swim check and see Wolverine's opening campfire (Jonquil did go and said it was great)
o Swim tests and Adult swim on the :45s
o I intended to do hikes at 9:00, but never made it (Monday I had to do low COPE and pay for all our stuff) Juniper did go everyday I think.
o Our Anniversary
o Sailing winded out - rest of the week full
o Went to get Monster Shakes
o Wall climbing at night
o Anniversary dinner at Lakeview Inn Resort (very nice)
o Hike with Tulip to the Quaking Bogs
o High COPE
Sweet Pea made it as far as me, but when he fell off he said, "I'm going down bad. This is going to be ugly." He fell and hung up by his ankle while the girl on his belay shot up in the air.
Lavender went all the way
Star went all the way, but she sat down on the last obstacle and slide along on her butt.
I made it to half way through the third thing (trapezes, I made it up the rope ladder, across the log and across the cable with the dangling ropes). I had to stop because I just didn't have the hand/arm strength.
Jonquil went all the way.
o Went to Ishnala for ice cream
o Went to museum and the old man there said that Owasippe's Grave is only 20 minutes down the Red trail. I sent him a copy of the '83 Carlen staff photo (on Monday after)
o Star Hike - Tulip had to leave early to go to the bathroom and because she was scared. Jonquil gave the stories of the stars.
o Gardenia, Daffodil, Juniper, Cathy and I went to the Quaking Bogs (went to Turtle Valley first by mistake)
o Mile Swim for Carnation and me. I finished (12:50 - 13:40) and kept swimming with Carnation until she finished at about 14:30 (about 1.5 miles for me)
o Closing campfire. Gardenia said we would come back next year. Orchid cried that night because they might sell Owasippe
o Flower Family Pot Luck
o Christmas in July
Christmas breakfast from the staff and it was only 1/2 a banana, OR 1/4 an orange, OR 1/6 and apple with one donut
o Packed up
o Went to Ad Center Trading Post (I got a mug and a hat, Tulip got a walking stick and Orchid got a shirt, Star didn't go in with us)
o Went to Owasippe's Grave. It's very up and down hills and took us 40 minutes (I timed it, with me carrying Tulip for about 1/5th the way).
o Didn't eat breakfast
o Went to Ishnala for ice cream
o Ate at Pita Place in Muskegon
o I will do Channel Swim
o Flower Family Mile Swim club
o Flower Family will do Christmas Breakfast
o Bring boat
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
"I've actually been dieing to write this, but I haven't had time. I've got a lot to tell you, but first I want to mention that I'm at the Greek Consulate right now with Yarrow and Peony. Cool huh? They needed to get some paperwork done so I offered to drive them downtown. It's a long wait so I thought I'd type this out now. There's no WiFi here so I'll post it later.
The big news is the Junior Olympics. Last Saturday we went to SS Constantine and Helen (Gardenia's Alma mater is Kores, the grade school there and we got married there, btw) in Palos Hills. We got there for the opening ceremony, but volleyball didn't start until 4:30pm. That was good, because when we arrived I still wasn't sure we had a team (I had had one practice and only my girls and another pair of sisters showed).
We met the other pair of sisters and we had six. The only trouble was the four not mine had never played volleyball before. I had brought a ball so we spent all day getting to know each other and hitting the ball around.
We ended up winning the game! The girls really worked well together well and helped each other alot. They're all great girls and I'm very proud of them.
The second round was Sunday afternoon (to give us all a chance to go to church I'm sure, but only Star, Rose and I took advantage of that opportunity). We showed up and got mown down by a team full of High School volleyball players. The thing that surprised me the most was that I wasn't at all unhappy that we lost, I was sad that we couldn't play anymore. The girls were that great.
Now we will get away from sports, but stay with the Greeks."
I don't remember what I was going to write next, but the report up until then was very good and exciting (to me at least). I wrote all the green text on my PDA. I love having the opportunity to do that (although it is a bit of a pain because my fingers are too big and the keyboard is only virtual).
I didn't mention it in this post, but I was the coach for that team. Both Star and Orchid played on the team and Tulip made herself the team nurse.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
There were two problems with this, one: the grass was very wet so it wouldn't go into the bag; and B: it got dark by the time I was finishing so I couldn't see where I was going mostly.
The end result, after more than an hour and a half was a poorly mown lawn. It, of course, didn't rain from that point until Monday. I went out and mowed it again, twice! It looks really nice now, but that is what prompted the latest poll about lawn mowers.
On to the Olympics, no, not the trouble in Tibet or other protests, but the "real" Olympics, the important one, Junior Olympics.
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago holds a Junior Olympics every year. Every year my girls sign up for volleyball and every year our church can't field a volleyball team. This year I asked if it was lack of players or lack of a coach.
Monday, April 28, 2008
EDIT: I said I would add another post, but I will just put it here.
We went to church Saturday night. We got there early enough to get a seat, but not in the church proper. Our church is a bit small (we know this, but it is really an interim church building) so they set up chairs in the narthex and they extend all the way back to the Sunday school classrooms. We were in the narthex.
We all got candles and as the service progressed and people left we moved further and further ahead in our seating. Eventually we actually got into a pew in the church itself.
All the flowers were old enough this time for us to stay almost all the way to the end, and we all stayed awake this time! The younger two were drooping a lot by the time we got to communion so Gardenia decided that it would be best for us to leave directly after Communion.
While I was going down the street to the local school (where overflow traffic parks) they waited, back in the narthex. Well, that's where they usually set out the snacks for the after-service fellowship. On Easter they set out lamb and soup (I'll have to ask Gardenia the exact names for them because they are special dishes just for the middle of the night, after Easter feast). Remember that Holy Saturday is a strict fast day. When I picked them up with the van they were all drooling.
We managed to get home with a lit candle. That's supposed to mean blessing and good luck on your house.
A few years ago we went to Opa! in Vernon Hills right after church. That was really cool going into a Greek restaurant right after Greek Easter at about two in the morning. The only people in there were Greek so we were greeted with Christos Anesti (Christ has Risen) and answered Alethos Anesti (Truly He is Risen). Star ate so much, so fast that night that she got sick.
Unfortunately Opa! doesn't do that anymore so we stopped by a Dunkin' Donuts / 31 Flavors that is open all night and all got ice cream. That's a lot different from Easter soup, dolmades, calamari and octipodi, but we enjoyed it.
Sunday afternoon we went to Oak Lawn to see Yarrow and Peony. They were very happy to see us. We had lamb and beef. We also took home a pile of cookies which have already disappeared.
Kalo Pascha (Happy Easter)!
Friday, April 25, 2008
My new poll is about what you do for Easter. I'll post after Sunday what we do, but I wonder what special things everyone else does.
I've always felt that Easter should be the most important holiday of the year and I've been confused that it is second banana to Christmas. Christmas would be meaningless without Easter.
Here's a crazy idea (it's not Orthodox or orthodox, just my crazy thinking) what if we had kept Christ's birthday celebration on his actual birthday (presumably in spring because of the shepherds watching over their sheep) then we could have had one big celebration with Christmas and Easter together. Now that would have been something.
Anyway, no meat today (that is the Orthodox way). In fact, no meat, dairy, fish or oil this whole week (only shellfish). Also tomorrow we are not supposed to eat anything until we go to church at about 11:00PM until after midnight.
As the little flowers grow old enough to observe the ritual fasting I find new and more extreme rules that I didn't know about before. I didn't know that we weren't supposed to use oil.
Today is also Star's Ribbon Ceremony Day. She's in 8th grade and she gets presented with her hat tassel thing for her graduation cap. Gardenia and I are going to try to attend.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Out like a lion? Spring Break was the last week of March. Star went to Pansy and Begonia's house for the first half of the week. I have reports that she and Rose worked hard with the barn and the horses.
The ending weekend of March saw me at a Friday / Saturday conference to learn more about the FRG. It was a very useful conference. On Sunday, I once again doffed my Army duds and went trolling for volunteers. An outreach group from a Church in Oak Park has volunteered to help out with home repairs for our group and I went to the services to drum up support. I go a standing ovation at the 11:15 service. That was really nice.
We just lived our lives as usual in the first week of April.
Last weekend we were supposed to go with our FRG to Springfield to help support he family members of our soldiers who live outside the Chicago area. Unfortunately, only one family said they wanted to come, so we didn't go to Springfield.
Fortunately, a new water park / resort opened in Gurnee (about 25 minutes away) so we signed up for Friday night. We went Friday and swam for over two hours and then we swam again for almost 11 hours (!) on Saturday. Holy Cow! Finally, I told Gardenia, "I'm done." I had been trying to keep up with three girls all day and I was sore and exhausted. We had a good time though.
Monday morning dawned and little Tulip was sick, really sick. She was burning up with fever. This is when our scheduling comes in really handy. I didn't get much sleep, and neither did Gardenia, but we took care of her. Tuesday morning she wasn’t yet better and Orchid went down too.
Orchid is doing much better, but we are still waiting to see if Tulip can make a full recovery. She was doing much better after her bath Tuesday evening, but then heated up again.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
It was also Greek Independence day. We don't really celibrate that at our house, but it is easy to remember because of Tulip's birthday and because it is the name day of my mother-in-law, Yarrow and my daughter Orchid.
I usually try to fly my Greek flag on Greek Independence Day and Oxi Day (28 Oct), but shame on me, I forgot until late in the day so I'll just "fly" it here.
Friday, March 21, 2008
They gave out letters to the eighth graders. Now we'll have to buy Star a sweater to sew her letter onto.
They also gave out pins to put on your letters. I guess Orchid will have to wait a couple of years to pin hers on.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
When I started, they had just started a new program that took three years to develop staff members. We were the second class.
The program started with staff members being Apprentices. The first year guys only got paid $20 for the whole eight-week camp season. We were supposed to spend the first week, Staff Week, in training and then rotate to different section camps every two weeks.
Owasippe is so large that it is divided into section camps. In '82, they had Camp Blackhawk (Go!), Camp Wolverine (Zaxie!), Camp Robert Crown (Mojave!), Camp Reneker (family camp), the outposts (Pack and Paddle (canoe and backpacking), horse coral, COPE and Wilderness Survival) and they were just opening Camp Sauger Lake (Over All! (in '83, Sauger Lake changed their name to Camp Carlen (Bahooka!))). Blackhawk and Sauger Lake were dining hall camps while Wolverine and Crown were hotpack camps (they delivered the meals directly to the individual troops by hotpack).
I did so well in training that at the end of Staff Week I and five other Apprentices were advanced to Associate. Associates were supposed to rotate only once in the summer.
I met with Rick Lowe, the camp director for Camp Sauger Lake and we decided I would work in the brand new dining hall. There were two of us on permanent dining hall staff and two more Apprentices that rotated in. We didn't cook there, just served food prepared at the "Ad Center" (Administrative Center) and hotpacked to our dining hall.
Because of my schedule at the dining hall, I was available between meals to help out in other areas. I did a lot of work with the Field Sports area and the Nature area. In the afternoons, I swam with the scouts at free swim (we had a pool).
They liked my work so much, I never rotated and the second year Rick hired me as the Assistant Dining Hall Director with two permanent staff members reporting to me. I spent Staff Week in Philmont because I was nominated to attend National Junior Leaders' Instructor Camp (NJLIC). Only 100 scouts from across the country are invited each year to attend.
Anyway, I had another great year working at my old camp with the new name. That same year my brother Sweet Pea worked as an Apprentice. He would in later years end up working at Camp Robert Crown.
I have the staff photo from '83, but shame on me, I can't remember most of the guys' names. I'm the fifth from the left in the back.
I remember Rick Lowe (far left in the back) and Michael Reese (standing, far right). To my immediate left (as you're looking at me) is Steve Tabor and then Mark Plebanski (my cabinmates). The very tall, blond guy in the back was my boss in the dining hall. His name is Dave and he was from Oconomowac, WI. The guy kneeling on the far right was called Mange (like the French word for eat, he worked for me in the dining hall) and the guy sitting on the far right is Tim Klinefeld (sp? his nickname was Mouse).
Can anybody help me with the other names?
Thursday, March 13, 2008
On Friday, March 13, 1992 Gardenia and I closed on our house in Mundelein. We were the very first owners. That weekend we moved in.
Some of you may recall the incident with the gas / desiel in the moving van or maybe you have fond memories of bellyflopping on the slippery new kitchen floor only to leave a big gouge with your belt buckle.
Anyway we have had some good times and bad times, but it looks like we are going to have a lot more time in the old house. Here is a photo of the old gal getting a new roof this last October.
This first one is an update to my post about Star winning the DAR essay contest. This image has been in the Mundelein Review and the Daily Herald and we have gotten a lot of congratulations over it. Star has threatened to find and burn all copies.
The next one is from last Tuesday night. They had a winter concert. Both Star and Orchid are in the advanced band. The band director has said that Orchid is doing so well with her new instrument that for the next concert she will probably play in the intermediate band with that instrument and in the advanced band with this one.
As far as little Tulip is concerned, she got her new glasses. She looks SO cute, but I couldn't show that image.
She also went roller skating on Wednesday. That meant that Daisy walked behind her for 2 hours and 15 minutes before she was confident enough for him to step aside for the last 15. She has very large bruises and a bump on her head, but now she says, "skating is my life."
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
When I was in Afghanistan, I figured I had already given up enough so I just made a commitment to go to Mass every Friday. Trouble was the priest wasn't available for most of Lent so I satisfied myself with doing a rosary each Friday. I had just learned to do the rosary while in Afghanistan anyway.
I was going to do the same thing this year, but I'm pretty sure the priest will be available this time. I got a late start because Greek Easter this year is 27 April, more than a month after "regular" Easter (23 March) and I'm all messed up. My Fridays have been messed up as well so I've decided to read the mass readings everyday instead.
What are you giving up or doing extra?
I've recently heard a lot of people who are trying to do something extra instead of giving something up.
Do you think abstaining from something or making an extra effort is better? Is the whole thing a waste of time?
I think it's useful either way. It makes you stop and think, which is; I believe the real value in not eating meat on Fridays during Lent. It makes you alter your regular daily routine and examine what you are doing and why. It gets to psyche and who we are really. I think it's valuable even for non-Catholics.
The Greek Orthodox and presumably all Eastern Orthodox observe Lent slightly differently. Firstly, it starts on a Sunday, not a Wednesday. Also, they abstain from all meat AND dairy products on Wednesdays and Fridays for all of Lent. They call this abstinence, "fasting." During Holy Week (the week from Palm Sunday until Easter) they "fast" every day. They don't give up anything else, but I think the reminder and the chance to think about things greater than the everyday is still there.
For those of you who don't know, Catholics start Lent on Ash Wednesday and it runs until Easter. You are supposed to give something up (traditionally) and you are required to abstain from eating meat on Fridays and Ash Wednesday. You are also required to fast (as in not eat more than one meal) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Monday, February 18, 2008
The theme of the camping trip was Mystery. The Cadets hosted the thing and they did a skit in which the components of the S'mores were stolen. All off Saturday were events to help solve the mystery. They had a reveal on Saturday night. All three of Star, Orchid and Tulip were in the skit. Tulip was an adopted scout since her Brownie troop didn't go.
This weekend Star and Orchid went with Begonia and Pansy to see Les Miserables. They enjoyed it very much. I, Daisy, went to a meeting of our FRG (Family Readiness Group) while Gardenia and Tulip stayed home and watched movies.
Tomorrow is Peony's birthday so we are here at Peony's and Yarrow's house in Oak Lawn. Happy Birthday Peony.
Speaking of Peony and Yarrow, Greek Lent starts on 10 March this year and Greek Easter is 27 April, more than a month after "regular" Easter (23 March).
BTW the FRG is the group supporting the families of the 108th Sustainment Brigade HQ that just got deplyed to Iraq. The 108th is my old unit that I just retired from last May. I am the FRG Leader. There was some discussion about that since I'm not actually a Military spouse, but when I tried to step down I was outvoted.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
This weekend we are going camping with the Girl Scouts. We'll be in a cabin and the theme of this "Camporee" is Mystery! We've written a mystery skit and the girls will be spending the weekend trying to find the thief and where she stashed the "loot."
We call it a Camporee because it is as many of the troops from our school as want to go. I think we have three troops.
Also, this Sunday we are going to meet with the Daughters of the American Revolution because Star won an essay contest they had. She gets to go and read her essay.
The theme of the essay was writing a letter as if you were a girl of the Revolutionary period. With all the historical fiction, Star reads she had no trouble coming up with material.
Hopefully she will let us post her composition here on Flowers of Mundelein.
Monday, January 21, 2008
The first was this:
How many Chicago Bears fans does it take to change a light bulb?
Four, one to change the bulb and three to compare it to the 1985 light bulb.
The second joke can be found on this post at Illini 6, my personal blog.
Now here, without further ado is Joke Number Three:
How did the librarian get into the Winter Olympics?
She was a champion Shh-er.
Well, it's probably one for all those first and second graders out there. Fortunately, I have several nieces and a nephew that may just be in the right age group to find this one funny.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Well, we had our first basketball game of the new year and we won, 27 to 8.
This must be starting to seem like a blog only about basketball. For that I apologize, but basketball is a nicely packaged topic. Also, I happen to be sitting at the 8th grade boys' game (right after our 8th grade girls' game) while writing this.
We also have two science projects going on. Star has been monopolizing our kitchen with her project on natural dyes. I don't think her hypothisis that artificial dyes are more effective is going to prove true.
Orchid is working on a project with water rockets. She is going to try to show that bottle rockets with water and air are more effective than water or air alone. She is going to shoot the rockets at a 45 degree angle and measure the time and distance. We are sort of waiting for the weather to get warm enough to do it.
Will write more later. Don't forget to participate in the poll.