No matter how many toys they have kids seem to have the most fun with things they devise for themselves. My grandkids have of late picked up Mattress Surfing as their favorite sport when we have family get-togethers at my youngest daughter's house. At a recent party for my youngest grandson's first birthday, all it took was an old crib mattress and a long flight of basement stairs to keep the bigger kids entertained.
My pictures aren't great.....they were going too fast. Fortunately none of my fears about broken bones, etc., came to pass.
The birthday boy, Beck, left the Mattress Surfing to the big kids.
His first ever birthday cake was plenty of fun for him.
My trip to London was not a long one, but it was a good one. Between trying not to get run over by traffic coming from a direction I wasn't used to, trying not to start a fire with the power converter for my hair dryer, looking for toilets and in some cases making sure I had the right change to get into the toilet, I saw lots of sights and had a great time.
After a long overnight plane ride I got to my hotel at about 8:00 in the morning. Of course, I couldn't actually get into my room until about 2:00 in the afternoon, so I left my bag and started walking.
I walked around the neighborhood my hotel was in near Paddington Station, I walked through Hyde Park which was close to the hotel and around Notting Hill.
By the time I finally got back and got into my room I was exhausted and it took me about 2 days to learn how to make the room key work in the door. It took me another day to figure out I should leave the very heavy key at the front desk instead of carrying it with me all day.
I spent the next few days riding buses, trains, taxis, and of course doing a lot of walking and seeing as much as I could see. I hit a lot of the very popular sights including, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and, of course, I made a stop at Harrod's.
I, fortunately, succeeded in not getting run over. The signs in the streets saying to "Look Right" or "Look Left" were great, but I needed one saying "look behind you because someone coming around the corner is headed right for you".
I did a lot of eating on the run, but I did have afternoon tea at Harrod's one day and a traditional pub lunch at a pub near Buckingham Palace on another day.
A trip to the bathroom in the pub after lunch took me up three flights of these stairs, but at least I didn't need any money to get into it once I got to the top. I often found myself without the right change when the need to use a pay toilet arose.
I read a lot of Henry VIII history before my trip so I enjoyed a train ride and visit to Hampton Court Palace.
The hotel staff was very friendly and wanted to say "Hi" to everyone.
Oh, and even though I didn't get invited to tea at the palace I did get to visit briefly with The Queen.
She was very friendly and it was nice to visit with her and she only charged me a pound to take her picture. She was a little taller than I expected.
Yikes! That is about all I can say about this past week. I have been playing catch-up at work from being sick on Tuesday and I have been playing catch-up at home because, well, because I am almost never caught up at home. I am even less caught up at home than usual because I have been spending too much time trying to get a new laptop up and running.....quite a challenge for the techno-deficient.
In the spirit of catching-up I need to catch-up with some family birthdays.
My grandson, Wil, turned six on August 23.
My daughter, Jill and my son, Rob, celebrated birthdays on September 8th and 13th. This picture is actually from a couple of years ago because we sort of missed celebrating their birthdays last year and we haven't gotten together to celebrate this year (but we will).
Here's why we missed Rob and Jill's birthdays last year....my grandson, Beck, turned 1 on September 12. There is a family party for Beck on Saturday and I am sure Rob and Jill will be celebrated also.
My friend, Sam, dropped by my office on her Harley to visit me last week. I have ridden a Harley and it is not an easy thing to do. I"m very impressed that Sam, who is about my age, rides her bike everywhere and is strong enough to keep it upright.
I, sadly, have not yet heard from the Queen about coming to tea, but I'm still leaving for London this weekend. I'll be gone for about a week. If I get my new laptop to cooperate I'm sure I'll be checking in on blogs when I can.
If anyone has any tips about gate-crashing at Buckingham Palace, please let me know.
I have never attended a class reunion of any kind and I have never thought too much about it. A recent post by
Nancy at Blissed-Out Grandma about attending her class reunion made me regret that I had never been to one and made me determined to find out about and go to the next one.
After reading Nancy's post I did an internet search and found numerous sites dedicated to my graduating class showing pictures of past reunions, a list of the entire class with information about those who had submitted it, old yearbook pictures and other memories from our high school years.
Since I started looking and thinking about it I have been sort of obsessed with reading all of the information and going through the hundreds of pictures, both the old ones and the ones of the most recent reunion held in 2010. Since my classmates are all now around 64 years old, the recent pictures showed a group of people both the same and very different from the ones I last saw in 1965. It made me feel both old and young again at the same time.
The most sobering thing is that out of a class of 641 there have been 67 known deaths....nearly 10%. Several of those deaths have happened since the 2010 reunion.
High school was not the best time of my life, but it has been very interesting to travel back in my mind to a time that, I believe, leaves an imprint on all of us.
The next reunion won't be until 2015, but I really think I want to plan to go. I haven't kept up with anyone I was friends with in high school and my best friend died a few years ago. A lot of the others I was good friends with are "missing" but maybe some of them will turn up before the next reunion. I went from kindergarten through high school with a lot of people who were in my class and I would love the opportunity to reconnect with them.
If nothing else it will be a great motivation to lose a few pounds.
Have you gone to your class reunions? If so, what was the experience like for you.?
Our little town's Labor Day parade is an annual tradition for my family. We have all gone to the parade together for many, many years and all my kids have been in it at one time or another. I didn't do a great job of getting pictures of all the kids together this year, but great or not here are a few of the ones I got.
Some friends of Joanna's very kindly bought balloons for all the little kids.
A lot of candy gets thrown to the crowd, so you have to be ready and you have to have a big bag. In addition to candy, this year they went home with footballs and full sized soccer balls that were thrown from floats.
Jill and Joanna always impress the kids by singing the fight song from their old high school when the school's band goes by.
Beck watched the whole parade wide-eyed and happy.
The big kids made sure the little kids got their share of candy and Anna dove right in to hers.
When she stood up we found out what she had been doing with her wrappers.
The years really go by quickly....Anna and Ellis have grown up a lot since their first parade 3 years ago.
Ours is not a fancy parade....it starts with fire engines and police cars and ends with city trucks and milk trucks with lots of clowns and bands and politicians in the middle, but it is a fun family tradition.
Joanna at The Fifty Factor has invited us to join her in a Summer Seven, a list of 7 off-the-top-of-our-head happenings of summer. As exciting as I know you would find my summer happenings, I want to update you on the summer of someone else who has had a very eventful summer Several of you have asked me about Addison, the now 7 year old son of my daughter's friend who was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 5, in April, 2010. Addison has completed 16 months of chemo and still has 22 months left to go until he is cured. Addison's new motto is "I don't have time for cancer". Here are 7 of his many summer activities that show how true his motto is.
He was named the Leukemia Society's Boy of the year. With this title he has participated in numerous fund raising activities and speaking engagements. Addison is an actor who takes these events seriously and performs them perfectly.
Hiking with his family
Taking a little rest follow a fundraising "wellness walk".
There are good days and bad days and fatigue comes easily due to the disease and the medication.
Taking his sister, Madelene, to Asthma Camp.
Waking up from a spinal tap to greet his friend, Bella, who is also fighting Leukemia.
Participating in the "survivor lap" of a local Relay for Life cancer fundraiser.
All of these picture are from Addison's Facebook page "Help Addison Kick This Thing" which has over 1000 followers.
It is amazing to see how far Addison has come since the early days following his diagnosis and the beginning of his treatment.
Please keep this amazing and brave little boy and his family in your thoughts and prayers.