Well, Now. Wasn't That Fun?

The weather forecast here yesterday called for heavy cloud cover.  But, once again, the weather forecast turned out to be . . . WRONG!

We had some clouds, sure.  But all afternoon we had clear eclipse viewing!


What a spectacle!

My dad nabbed an approved pair of eclipse glasses just days before the eclipse -- and he was more than willing to share.  So we gathered in the backyard for a little eclipse party.

We tried a bit of everything when it came to watching the eclipse (because Science).

The humble colander (complete with requisite dog hair)


The tricky binoculars (with modification).


Old-school pinhole box camera (thanks Amazon Prime).

IMG_9114 2

Everything worked -- but nothing was quite as awesome as watching with the eclipse glasses!

Here is my very favorite photo from yesterday . . . 


(Makes me laugh out loud every time I look at it!)

It was a great afternoon.  So much fun!


And . . . speaking of amazing spectacles . . .


Today is our anniversary.  36 years.  And all of them sunny!


A Date With . . . SCIENCE

Last night, Tom took me to the 75th anniversary celebration of the Kalamazoo chapter of the American Chemical Society.  


Yeah.  I didn't do so well on the trivia challenge.  But they had wine, so I was good!

The celebration was held at the Kalamazoo AirZoo - a unique and popular aviation museum here in town.  I was excited to go . . . because I have never actually been to the AirZoo.  (I know.  It's one of those wonderful community treasures that you send visitors to all the time . . . but never quite make it there yourself.)  Tom has been there; my dad has been there; my kids have been there.  But me?  Not until last night.  


It was a great venue for an event like this.  Guests could take in the museum, get a drink, and then gather for the dinner and presentations.


There are tasteful "rides" for kids, full motion flight simulators, and something called 4D Missions Theater.  (These last two came with the caveat that you might want to try them before dinner.  Yeah . . . no thanks; think I'll just skip those. . .)


There are really cool interactive "experiences" throughout the museum -- hands-on activities to explain flight concepts like air flow, lift, and circuitry.



And let's just say this . . . once a science-nerd, always a science-nerd!


Tom had fun exploring (playing?) at all the interactive stations -- but he especially loved launching rockets.

The big feature of the evening (and the topic of the guest speaker) was the SR-71B Blackbird (U-2 spy plane).  This is the plane that Gary Powers was flying when he was shot down in Soviet airspace back in 1960.


So . . . what did the AirZoo and the presentation about the spy plane have to do with chemistry?  Why . . . I can't really tell you.  Because it wasn't really clear that it DID have to do with chemistry!  It was just a fun, celebratory evening for science nerds!  (And the people who love them.)

Plus . . . swag!


Now we have commemorative, his-and-hers pint glasses to remember our date with science!

Have a great weekend.



Hearts and Words


“The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.”
                                                                            — Helen Keller


“Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.”
                                                            — Leo Buscaglia


“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
                                                            — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fill the world with love.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Roll With It, Baby

Today is a special day . . . because this guy?


Birthday Boy!

And because every birthday needs a soundtrack, here's my song for Tom . . . on his 58th birthday.

You see, this year . . . well.  It hasn't been an easy one.  In fact, this year ranks right up there with some of the crappiest years of our 37 years together.  In fact, I'd place this year in the #1 spot of our Top Five Most Challenging Years Ever list.

There was 1993.  That was a frustrating year.

And 1999.  Lots of growing pains.

2003 was particularly nasty.  But only for a few very intense months.

2008.  Yeah.  That one was bad, too.  

But 2016?  Total shit storm.

But we're getting through it.  Because that's what we do!  We hold each other up.  We light each other's path.  We shoulder on.  We head up north.  We go to the gym.  Basically, we . . . 

Roll with it, baby.
Hang on and roll with it, baby.


Get on through it, roll with it, baby
Luck'll come and then slip away,
you've gotta move,
bring it back to stay

You just roll with it, baby,
come on and just roll with it, baby
You and me, roll with it, baby,
hang on and just roll with it, baby


So, happy birthday, dear Tom!  

No matter what life brings us in the coming year, I know we'll roll with it.  

Because that's what we do.


It's Showtime!

It's no secret that Tom and I like to go to the movies -- and especially at Oscar time.  We usually try to see all the movies nominated for Best Picture, and for most of the other "big" nomination categories, too.  In fact, it's kind of our Annual Movie Mission.

Since today is the day the Oscar nominations are announced, I thought you might like to hear how our particular "mission" got its start.

Let's go back . . . WAY back . . . to 1979. . . 

K and T circa 1979

Two college kids.


Always looking for something to do.

(And, as Tom reminded me last night, there's only so much drinking and dancing you can do in one week.)

We went to the movies.

Like . . . ALL the movies.

Every. Single. One.

And when it was time for the Academy Awards in the spring of 1980 (because they weren't called "The Oscars" back then), I watched -- and discovered with delight -- that I had seen every nominated movie!

The Best Picture nominees that year (just for some perspective)?






 (The big winner that year?  Kramer vs. Kramer.)

(It was also the year that featured Manhattan, Being There, The Rose, The China Syndrome, The Black Stallion, . . . and Justice for All, and The Muppet Movie.)

We discovered . . . it was so much more fun to watch the Academy Awards when you'd seen the movies, and cared about who won.

It stuck.

Although there were plenty of years (when the kids were little, for example) that we didn't see ANY of the nominated movies, we do enjoy the challenge . . . of seeing ALL the movies.

It's showtime, folks!




Sunshine of My Life

A special song . . . for a special day . . . 


Happy Birthday, dear Tom.


A year ago, when we were celebrating your last birthday, we would have had a hard time imagining all that would transpire over the next twelve months.  (Really.  This has been a banner year, hasn't it?)  And all through this rather mess of a year, you have maintained those qualities that drive and root you (and that I love most):  balance, integrity, thoughtfulness, creativity, and - best of all - a winning sense of humor.


Last January, I found this quote by Zora Neale Hurston and I wrote it in my journal:

"There are years that ask questions, and years that answer."  

Looking back now, I'm thinking that, for you, this was one of those years that ASK questions.  And I'm thinking, then, that this coming year will be one of those with some answers.

I can give you a few answers right now, though . . . 

You are the sunshine of my life.


You are the apple of my eye.


I feel like this is the beginning, though I've loved you for a million years.


Happy birthday!




Sing With Me

Soundtrack . . . 


When Brian and Lauren first got engaged, I asked Brian if I could knit Lauren a special shawl.

He said . . . Nah.  She's not a shawl kind of girl.

I said . . . Okay.  No problem.  Glad I asked.

And I let it go.

Until. . .

I had lunch with Carole and Patty back in October.  And they were pretty incredulous.  (Because we all know that EVERY girl is a shawl kind of girl.)  And right there, in the Taco-Bell-Turned-Indian-Place, they whipped out their phones, called up Ravelry, and had me set up with the Sweet Dreams pattern and a good idea for yarn before you can say "Boys-don't-know-shit!"  


So sing with me, sing for the years,

Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears . . . 


Sing with me, just for today . . . 

(Brian was wrong, by the way.  She IS a shawl kind of girl!)

Dream on!

(Ravelry details here.)

So. . . We Had a Little Reception

As you already know, Brian and Lauren eloped in late October.  To celebrate with family and friends, they threw a grand reception on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.


And - WOW!  What a party!

As the groom's mom, I didn't have anything to do with the planning or preparation.  Lauren and her mom, though?  Oh.My.God.  They went all out to create an absolutely perfect event! 


(I'm not kidding here.  Pinterest . . . come to life!)


Everything was PERFECT.  It was lovely and special and intimate.  And . . . most of all . . . it really reflected Brian and Lauren -- who they are and how they like to do things.


And we had an awfully lot of fun together, too.  (It's not often my whole family gets all dressed up at the same time!)






And even though he's all-grown-up and a Married Man (and all that), there's still plenty of THIS to go around . . . 


(Yeah.  Locked out.  Ha.Ha.)

 It was a wonderful celebration.  Filled with . . . 


and all about these two!


What a wonderful, perfect celebration!


The first four photos in this post are courtesy of Alyssa McElheny, photographer.  (The rest are mine.  I'm sure that's evident!)  When the rest of the official photos come out, maybe I'll share them with you.  (For now . . . this is all I've got!)




Sundays are for Poetry



So Much Happiness

for Michael

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness, there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn't need you to hold it down.
It doesn't need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records. . .

Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch.  You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

                    --- Naomi Shihab Nye
                          included in {Risking Everything} 110 Poems of Love and Revelation