Sunday, February 28, 2010

Because in serious situations, sometimes silliness ensues

We had a few days together as a family before the serious business of saying goodbye to our mother/grandmother. We ate. We drank. We reminisced. But mostly, we laughed and the finger moustache is always funny.Well, hello Dali. That's not a bong in front of Lisi. I'll explain later.
My sister-in-law, Evelyn, makes a point. I know, a monocle is needed.Aw, even a moustache can't take away the sweetness of our Mary.
Kate was a little unclear on the concept at first,

but she caught on in the end. (if a bit askew)

I like to think Mom would have been giggling along with the rest of us. Or she's writing in her diary in Heaven about her irreverent kids.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm pissy; Have some cuteness while I find my happy place.

I'm having one of those weeks where every single thing pisses you off or just annoys the bejeezus out of you. I could blame it on PMS but I hate to use that excuse (even if it's true). Or the fact that my Girl Scout Cookie order is short one box of Thin Mints. (I KNOW!)

So, while I'm trying to find the blue skies, here are just a few of the images I found by typing "too cute" in the search window.

aww, cute! I'm especially fond of the little bear. I'm feeling a little better already.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Supporting the Arts

As you know, I work in the field of Afterschool programming. Tonight our organization, in collaboration with Sportie LA on Melrose and Di Moda PR, held a showcase for one of our most innovative clubs--Fashion Design. Students were given plain white Converse Chucks (donated by Sportie LA) to customize with their own style. Our kids came through with some really incredible designs (which I neglected to photograph). There was a golf-themed pair, Frankenstein-themed, a pair covered with leopard print faux fur, and so many more. So, tonight, guests were able to purchase a pair of plain white Chucks and have one of our students customize them right there on the premises. Even with seven artists working non-stop, with finishers doing some last-minute fill work, the demand was high and the wait was long. The finished products were worth the wait.
These are Darshini's shoes (that's her name done up all graffiti style, with an Om and peace sign on the other side).

I managed to be one of the last to get my shoes on the table. I told the artist to put a moon on one and a sun on the other, but the style was all up to him. Anthony took the idea and ran with it. The result? The best shoes of the night (in my opinion, of course). And here they are:
Here the artist poses with his awesome creation. (new camera; wrong setting)Thank you, Anthony! I love them!

A portion of the sales tonight will be donated back to the organization to support the Fashion Design program. Thank you, Sportie LA.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shipping and Handling

I'd forgotten what it was like to be in a small town, not that the Poconos qualify as small town anymore, but still, smaller than LA. Yesterday, I took Mom's car out (twice in one week!) to mail off packages to my sister and brother Brian. I went to what used to be Eagle Valley Corners and is now Eagles Glen or something. The traffic pattern has changed, the old barn that sold Pennsylvania Dutch stuff is gone, but a lot of the stuff is still there. The nice young man in the UPS store was filling me in on all the changes--the new football stadium, the old middle school is gone, there's a Dunkin' Donuts where Jack's Market used to be, and a new elementary school.

From there, I headed on down to the post office. In order to avoid making multiple trips (like I had to from the house to the car) I tried to carry all the boxes at once. As I was struggling, a nice man jogged over to give me a hand. Then inside the post office, they let me go to the head of the line so I didn't have to stand there with the heavy boxes. Mind you, three out of four windows were open and only two other people were in line. Still, I was so grateful for the gesture I kept thanking them all.

Next, I ventured down to the Walmart. My brother Michael had picked up a digital camera for a good price and I wanted to see what they had in my price range. They didn't have the purple one I picked out so I ended up with a green Kodak that was cheap. I don't need a super duper camera anyway. After Walmart, I drove up the back way home, under Route 80, up and around and past the hospital and university. This road was not a road when I lived in here. It ended just past the supermarket at a propane store and became posted property. We used to walk back on the railroad tracks to ice skate in the swamp under the highway.

Today, my brother and I went out to the post office (it closed at noon, just as I was getting to the door, in fact). Then we took a drive to get his truck washed at the old Sparkle Car Wash that Dad used to take us to when we were kids. It's a drive through job with the octopus thing that goes up over the car. I love those car washes. Then, we out to see the new middle school and junior high for Stroudsburg, which looks like it could house the high school as well. It's Huge! Mostly, we just drove around all the back roads look at the new developments, a house I used to live in, and then down the back stretch of Chipperfield Drive which is all hills and turns and makes your tummy tickle. We used to beg Dad to take Chipperfield and go fast (not that we had to beg him to go fast). We passed my old high school, which has added a high school wing and auditorium, and came back through the university campus, which hasn't changed too much.

I forget how pretty the woods can be when it's all snowy, and how much fun it is to drive down the back roads on a sunny day. Mostly, I forget all the good things I loved about my home town. But, I think I'm ready for LA again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

All over but the packing

It was one long weekend. My brother Brian and I arrived Thursday. Kate and family arrived Friday and we had a family dinner with all five siblings under the same roof for the first time since...(hold on, I'm thinking)...1980? Wow! L to R: Laurie Ann, Roy, Brian, Kate, Michael

Plus the kids and spouses (that's 8 more), which adds up to one full house. The viewing on Sunday and funeral on Monday were both emotional roller coaster days. I was happy to see friends and relatives I hadn't seen in ages, but so overwhelmed with the finality of my mother's death. I hadn't seen her since she'd been sick, and it was so much to take in. Realizing I would never be able to hug my mom again (she gave good hug) or watch the Rose Parade with her via telephone makes my heart sink. But I have great siblings and they all give good hugs. I'll just have to call Katie now with all my mom questions.

But it's done and now we can get down to the business of packing up and dividing the things Mom left behind. Kate and I (mostly Kate) started on Saturday with her dressers and closet. Clothes were the easy part; no one else in our family would fit into her clothes. It's the rest of the stuff that is proving difficult. My mother threw nothing away. Not in a hoarders kind of way (she was extremely tidy), but in the way that finds us with two boxes of every card we ever made her or gave her since Michael learned to write his name. There are boxes of ornaments and knick knacks, four binders of a magazine she subscribed to in the early to mid 80's, boxes for appliances long past, a vacuum cleaner from the Kennedy era (which still works), and so much more. My allergies are killing me from all the dust we stirred up, as well as the memories and nostalgia. I'm trying to remain unsentimental and not hang on to everything, except for the knitting and crocheting stuff--tons and tons of yarn and needles and books.

Here's a photo of all of the siblings, their kids and spouses and a couple of cousins, minus Brian's daughter and granddaughters (and Jess, who took the photo):

Monday, February 08, 2010

Things may be quiet for week or two

Dear Everyone,
My beautiful mother lost her battle with cancer last night and died comfortable in her bed. Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts. I'm sure they helped make the end more bearable. I am going home to be with my brothers and sister and most likely won't be blogging. We'll see. I can't keep quiet for long especially with all five siblings in the same house at the same time.

I'll be back soon enough.
Laurie Ann

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Positive thinking, please

Without getting into it, my mother is not well. Please say prayers, light a candle or send positive healing thoughts in the direction of northeast Pennsylvania for my beautiful mommy. She could use all the help she can get.

Thank you.