Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shaggy ~2001- 27 Nov 2010

Goodbye old friend.

The other day I went down in the basement to check on the sump pump and I smelled something just a bit off.  I checked in the tank where I thought Shaggy was sleeping and, well he wasn't sleeping.
I'm not really sure when we got him, but I ordered him on-line and he came in a box.  He was very small back then and either Tulip was either very new herself or yet to land.  We expected him to only live for about seven years, but when we got him Bearded Dragons were fairly new to the pet industry.  Now they say they live about ten years, which is about what he lived.

I buried him in the backyard behind the young maple that sprouted from one of the other trees we have.

He was a step up from the fish I had.  I could actually hold him, though I rarely did because the kids were small when he arrived.  He also interacted with us more.  He watched us and genuinely seemed interested in us when we were in the room even if we weren't bringing food.  He never hurt us or even tried to hurt us.

In all, he was a pretty good pet for something that isn't a dog and only has a lizard brain.  I think I would get another one (since we haven't advanced to mammals yet), but Tulip wants a Greek Tortoise, which I think would be cool too, except they live like, um 1200 years or something.  I don't think I could wait that long to move up to a dog.

On a similar note, I think this will be the very last post for Flowers Of Mundelein.  I don't want to shut it down, but I just don't post here.  The idea was to share family stuff here while being descreet and not divulging any actual names, but I find that my daughters have already been plastering their names and faces all over Facebook, so any internet anonymity that I might have salvaged is gone.

Goodbye Shaggy

Goodbye Flowers of Mundelein

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Orchid's Back!! And Other Weekendy Things

Our little Orchid went on her first plane trip alone this weekend to Washington D.C.  She went with people from school, but it wasn't an official school trip because the Catholic Archdiocese has some sort of rules against that sort of thing.

She got back late last night.  I'll get some pics from her and post them here soon.

Tulip was sick Sunday morning and we didn't go to Wisteria's birthday party, church or my in-laws.  She's better now though.  I think it was from the swimming.

Oh, I didn't mention that Tulip and I went to Key Lime Cove in Gurnee on Friday to Saturday with her Girl Scout Troop.  Gardenia and Star were supposed to go with us, but Star came home very sore and hurt from Track practice on Friday and Gardenia didn't want to leave her.

Star had a big track meet all day on Saturday (which was also why she couldn't come the water park) and met Uncle Marigold and Aunty Apple Blossom there.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Goodbye Papa

This last weekend we had the Memorial for my Father. On Friday we had the Visitation, Firefighter and Police Honors and the Celebration of Life. On Saturday we had the Memorial Mass, Military Honors and a lunch.

My In-Laws went with us and stayed in Rochelle on Friday night. I have to say that I am very grateful; it was a hardship on them.

The Visitation started early. Before we even had everything set up there were people there. The firefighters were a huge presence. We all mingled around and looked at the photos and memorabilia, but most of the visitors formed a line to talk to my Mom. The line went out the door of the room and at times I think it may have even gone out the door of the building. That went on from 15:00 when the doors opened. At the time we were supposed to have the Honors there was still a big line.

We started the Honors with a bagpiper from the Chicago Police Department playing some tunes. All I could think of was Braveheart ("Sayin goobye in there oin whey, playin outlawed tunes on outlawed pipes).

The Fire Department filed in. The room was full to start with and they packed it. There were about 30 men and women, and this from several departments in a rural area.

The Chief gave a very moving introduction. He said that many of them had never heard of the Firefighter tradition of the Bell Ceremony until my Dad taught them. Dad insisted that they have the material and be prepared to perform the ceremony in the event they lost one of their own. As it turned out, he was the first to be so honored. The Chief was impressed by the turnout and he couldn't keep his voice from breaking a bit at times.

They rang the bell three times, and three times again, and again.

Afterward they opened the mic for people to come up and give testimonials, a Celebration of a Life.

I went first. It was hard, but there were three funny things. I had been thinking about what to say since my Mom and Dad first said that they wanted that ceremony to be part of the memorial. I had chewed on what story to tell, how to present it. In the end I started telling the story of how "We" took one of my Dad's Literature tests, and I threw in a few other things that just came to me. Once the story started flowing it became easy.

The second funny thing was, I mentioned how I had always tried to be different than my Dad; I never wanted to be like him because it was too easy to be a chip off the old block, hide in the old man's shadow, Junior, Little Bill. I always tried my hardest to be my own man. Afterwards many people told me that I looked, sounded and acted just like him while I was up there. They said it was scary.

The third funny thing was as I looked out into the crowd, and I had thought that I wouldn't be able to look out into the crowd because it would have made me cry, but as I said the story just took me. As I looked out into the crowd I thought I saw his face. He was there between other people watching me, smiling.

Of course it wasn't him; he wouldn't have been hiding in the back anyway.

Others got up to speak, some several times. Friends and family spoke. Friends and family didn't speak as well, but it was clear that no one had nothing to say, it was just the right thing for some and silent respect was right for others.

My brother Rose spoke last. He gave a moving speech as well and it was a good ending to the ceremony.

I don't know how long everyone stayed after and talked, I had to get my young ones and elders back to bed.

In the morning we went to mass, just as my Dad requested, and to my Mother's consternation. It was clear that he homily was directed to my Mother, that my Father was a good Catholic and he would have wanted my Mother to be too. I don't think she bought it.

The grandchildren and my sister, Lavender brought up the gifts and roses.

In one of the side chapels they set up three of the poster-sized photos of my Dad and had Firefighters "guard" them. It was a very nice touch. Beside the altar they had the poster of my Dad as a Firefighter.

The Fire Department also brought out the old fire truck and had it outside for people to see.

When mass was ended we went out to the parking lot and the local VFW gave him a 11 gun salute and played taps. The bugler really hit some of us hard and my Dad's sister worst of all. My brother Rose, who was in uniform, received the flag and presented it to CW2 Don Proven, who in turn presented to my Mom with a tear-filled thank you.
The lunch was in the church basement and was very lovely. Another line formed to talk to my Mom.
In all I thought it was a fitting and excellent send off for a great man. We will see him again when we get the ashes back in a couple of years.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


(Boy am I behind.  I intended to post this Sunday night.  I actually wrote it on my PDA while out of the house, but just now got a chance to post it)

Happy Easter everybody. Christos Anesti! Alestos Anesti!

Yesterday we went to the McCormicks' for Easter Brunch. Everybody was there except Boushette and Big E. It was very nice, except we couldn't technically eat anything because it is also Orthoox Easter (Pascha).

We went to church last night, starting at 10:00pm. Service went until 2:00am. We went to Baskin Robbins afterward for ice cream and then had a lovely steak dinner with mashed potatoes and sauted mushrooms.

Today we're at Yaya and Papou's house for Pascha dinner.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Papa 1942 - 2010

We lost Papa last night at about 7:30.  Several members of the family were with him in Rochelle as he passed quietly in his sleep.  The rest of us were enroute. 

We will have a memorial service the week after Easter.

He is and will be greatly missed.

Visitation will be held on Friday April 9th from 3:00 to 6:45 p.m. at Unger-Horner Funeral Home, 400 N. 6th Street Rochelle, IL with a celebration of Life at 7:00 P.M. and Memorial Mass will be held at St Patrick Church on Saturday April 10, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. Memorials may go to donors choice.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Papa Report

Went to visit my Dad again this weekend.

The week before last he came home from the hospital. He had had to go in because he was very weak, not eating and not having BMs. After a few days he decided that he wanted to go home and Ginger said that we would do whatever it takes to make sure he could be at home and get the physical therapy he needed.

So that week he went home and we boys started rotating visits to help out. My first visit was last Saturday to Sunday.

They put a hospital bed in the front room with the big TV and accessories for it.

His spirits were up when he got home, but as the days go on and he's slow to regain strength, his drive is up and down. He's still not able to get out of bed by himself, and on days when he is strong enough he can walk around to his chair using a walker.

I'm here with Star this weekend. Gardenia had to stay home because Orchid is having a sleepover and Tulip didn't want to leave Mommy, so she stayed home too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent Lent Lent

I just got a comment on my post about Lent from 2 years ago (wow). So I'm prompted to post, because I really should.

For the second year now Star is going whole hog, so to speak, about lent. She is doing the strict Orthodox Fast. She, Gardenia and my other daughters are Greek Orthodox and they started Lent on Monday (Clean Monday). Greek Easter (Pascha) and Catholic (regular) Easter are on the same day this year (not usual). That's good and bad. Lent is aligned, so there isn't a problem there, but since they are on the same day we run into the same problem everyone has on Christmas, when to go where and see whom.

We haven't even begun to talk about that yet because my Dad is really very sick right now. He's extremely weak and we're (the boys) are going to be taking turns going out to Rochelle and helping out.

So there's what we're doing for Lent. I'm not buying into the whole silly fasting thing anyway. Star just does it to say that she did it and to hold it over our heads.

Monday, January 4, 2010

First Update of 2010

I haven't been updating here as often as I'd like and I'll get to that later.

We had a nice Christmas at home. We went to church Christmas Eve and then to Opa for Greek food.

Little Tulip couldn't get to sleep and was crying that Santa wouldn't come because she was too excited to sleep. I think she cried herself to sleep.

In the morning we got our Santa presents, our presents and then we went to Yaya and Papou's house.

My Dad has been hit really hard by the new chemo and this is why I hesitated to post. He didn't manage to get around to anyone on Christmas Eve or Christmas day (the tradition is to go by his sister's on Eve and my Mom's brother's on Christmas day). He wasn't' happy about that at all.

Gardenia was off the week between the holidays. Star and Orchid went to Papa's house for the four days. Some of their cousins were there too. I think my Dad was doing pretty well at the beginning of the week, but after all the excitement he was beat by the time we got there on New Year's Eve.

He came out to sit in his chair on New Year's eve, but he spent the day in bed on New Year's day. We all spent a lot of time in there with him, but it's been very hard and frustrating for him.

Two old family friends came and cooked breakfast on New Year's morning, then they ended up spending the whole day with us. My Dad has really touched a lot of people's lives in a very positive way. I'm very proud.