Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Heaven on Earth

When we were heading to the airport a couple weeks ago I opened the front door and Ally was behind me, then Sharaya, Chuck, we had our luggage... and I whispered, "Stop! Stop! Stop!" 

One of the baby birds was perched precariously on the edge of the nest! I put down my suitcase and tried to get my phone to take a picture but he flew away. The other birds were hunkered deep down in the nest and I knew by the time I got back from Pennsylvania they'd all be gone.

And I was right. The nest was on the ground and there were leftover twigs and sticks hanging from the wreath. The Junko family has moved out. It sure was fun watching them grow!

Sharaya and Ally came over for dinner on Saturday. After we ate we played Uno, and then went out back to sit and talk and play some more.


Sunday we celebrated Pentecost. We had food trucks out in the parking lot for people to have lunch after church which meant me and my crew arrived at 7:30am to cone off the parking lot and set up the round tables and chairs. It was a very early start but it is one of my favorite Sundays of the whole year! We have many Internationals at our church and they each carry a flag from the country they were born in. One by one they walk through the Sanctuary and then they go up on the platform and say, "Vietnam exalts the name of the Lord!" "Nigeria exalts the name of the Lord!" But they say it in their native tongue. Nation after nation after nation, there isn't a dry eye in the place by the time it's over!

Waiting in the foyer for their cue to start

A friend of mine took this picture

People wear their national dress. The church is filled with so many nations, tribes and tongues. It truly is heaven on earth.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

A Whirlwind, 20 Years, and You've Got Mail

The day after Diana found her dress we decided to go to New York. We drove to the Rahway Train station and rode into the city. We walked around Central Park, that place is huge! We walked with Sharaya as far as the Met. She could probably spend all day there! Then Diana and I turned and headed out of the park. There was a bakery she wanted to take me to and we decided to go there for brunch.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Diana actually has a drawing of this hanging in her house!

On our way to the bakery we stopped on a sidewalk and Diana goes, "I think this is where they filmed You've Got Mail. Near the end when he says, 'As long as we both shall live.'" I go, "Yes! And where he tells her 'he' could be the zipper man. 'She'd never have to buy new luggage again!'" I think you're right Diana! This has to be the street! We got to the bakery and Diana was so disappointed that it was closed for renovations. Then I realized why. It was the place in the movie when they decide to meet and she waits inside with a rose and a book... "If you don't like Kathleen Kelly you aren't going to like this girl. Because it IS Kathleen Kelly." That's the bakery!!! Oh my gosh!! And then I was really disappointed too. And we had just watched it on TV the night before! Amazing! (Little did I know the girls had planned the whole thing. They streamed the movie, it wasn't actually on TV!) Have I told you how much I adore my daughters?! ๐Ÿ’–


We finally found a place for lunch and Sharaya met us there. Then we took an Uber to One World Trade Center. We had visited there back in 2004 when they were just beginning to rebuild.

I just saw this picture in my scrapbook...

 And realized Sharaya took this one last week from the same angle.

We wished we'd had more time so we're planning to go back again in September. We got another Uber to take us to the train station, then rode 45 minutes back Rahway and Diana took us to the airport. It was a whirlwind weekend but one I will always remember!

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 attacks

Did you ever see the Twin Towers?

Have you been to the 9/11 Memorial in New York?

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

What Does One Wear?

Computer's fixed! I'm excited to share our weekend with you!

Our flight left at 11:30pm and after a two hour layover in Detroit, we landed in Newark, New Jersey at 10:30am NJ time. I'd never taken a red-eye before and I actually enjoyed it. It was fun to just hit-the-ground-running once we landed and start the vacation right away! 

It was a massive plane. They told Sharaya very few people are flying internationally so they're using these planes when they can. There were two seats on each side and four in the middle!

We flew in on Friday and came home Sunday. Every day was filled to the brim but I want to start with Saturday. The main reason we went. 

Me, Diana and Sharaya met Peter's mom and sister for brunch, then we headed to Ashley's Bridal. The search for the perfect dress was on!


I'm only going to post this one photo. This is Diana with my veil and silk bouquet, somewhere around 1998-2000. She's been looking forward to this day for a very long time. ๐Ÿ˜Š


We were a little surprised to have a guy helping her (I whispered to Sharaya that she might have to go in and help her get dressed) but he was so good! She told him what style she was looking for and he would hand her the exact designer she wanted. When she was ready he'd help button the back and fix the dress once she was out with us. If she didn't like the sleeves he'd hide them, he answered all of her questions, he really was fantastic. She ended up trying on a total of 4 dresses. And in the end....


She said YES to the dress!! It looks absolutely stunning on her! We all cried, definitely didn't bring enough kleenex! Once she found the dress she was able to facetime her best friend back in Seattle and SHE cried! We all went to dinner afterward and Peter's mom asked her, "So what type of dresses do you want us to wear?" 

She said, "Well, we're kind of getting married in a castle." Oh, that's true! This is a picture of the venue off their website. So now I have a question for all of you.

What does one wear to a castle?

Monday, May 17, 2021

Back Soon

I just got back from Pennsylvania excited to share everything with you but our computer isn’t working. I’ve never posted from my phone before and it took me about 5 minutes to log on. ๐Ÿ˜Š I’ve got a lot to tell you but it’ll have to wait until the computer is working. 

In the meantime have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Bark, The Junkos, and It Could Have Been Worse

 Every few years I break down and buy some bark for the yard. I brought it home the other day and put it out in the front. Shovel-full by shovel-full I kind of shook it out across my little garden area. I didn't buy enough so of course every time I'd try to rake it you could see the dirt... so I ended up on my hands and knees spreading it out with my hands. I also bought some yellow pansies and put them in the big planter. By the time I got done and cleaned everything up I was so sore! As I slowly made my way back into the house, I remembered why I don't buy bark every year!

 We all went out to LUMI Dessert Cafe on Mother's Day and I got a Berrylicious Bingsu. It's a Korean shaved iced dessert and it was really good. It was huge, I got the small and couldn't finish it. It comes with cream that you pour over it that makes it more like an ice cream texture more than just ice. It was good.

Remember the picture I showed of the nest, when you couldn't even see the eggs because it was so deep? Well, now they fill it up quite well!

Mr. and Mrs. Junko sit out on the wires watching the nest. They chirp nonstop whenever we come or go.

 Chuck texted me at work the other day to say someone had run into ours and our neighbors mailboxes. A lady had just flown in on a red-eye and was taking her kids to school when - we think - she fell asleep, drove up on the curb and smashed into the mail boxes! Thankfully no one was hurt.

Our neighbor had their box on a metal pole and that's what stopped her. If she had kept going, she might have driven into the bricks and our big trees.

I'll give her credit because she did knock on our door and she gave Chuck all of her information. She also admitted she probably shouldn't have been driving.

Thursday, May 6, 2021


I've always loved photography and I've realized in the last few years that I get it from my dad. Most of the time he was the one behind the camera taking pictures of the family, or our vacations or of flamingos. 

We were all watching home movies one time and most of them were of flamingos. Forget me and my sisters, we have hours of film of those crazy pink birds standing on one leg... we never let my dad live it down.

Now that he's gone, I watch those movies and smile. 

I have his Brownie, the camera he used to record our memories in the 1960's. I also have my grandpa's (mom's dad) Polaroid.

One thing I love is Aerial Photography. The perspective it gives you is phenomenal! We took our girls to the Grand Canyon, I think it was in 1999 and I took this picture the day after a monsoon. The day before you couldn't see a thing!


And I think Peter was the one who took this picture. The Grand Canyon from 30,000 feet.

We've been to Yosemite. I think everyone who visits has a photo from this very spot because it's an over-look just as you're heading into the valley. ๐Ÿ˜Š

El Capitan is the massive rock face on the left and you can just see the tip of Half Dome in the center of the picture. When Chuck and I were coming home from San Diego in February we flew right over it!


Maybe this will help...


And Mount St. Helens. It erupted back in 1980. Chuck, Beth and I went there a few years back and my camera wasn't working right, so I'm sorry the picture didn't turn out well. Honestly, it was probably more operator error than anything else. ๐Ÿ˜

And from an airplane seat high above the earth...

I just love the different perspective an airplane can give you. Sometimes I'm blown away by the fact that people can fly. Just hop aboard and up we go! It's mind boggling to me but man, I love it!

Do you like to fly?

Do you fly very often?

Who takes the pictures in your family?