Monday, March 2, 2015

My First Snowbird Trip to Florida

So here's the story behind my two-week snowbird trip to Florida. Joe, my ex-husband, and I have remained friends over the years. He lives in Florida, but was home for Thanksgiving. He was saying how much he missed seeing the grandkids on a regular basis, 
(These grandkids)
so I said, "Hey, I have a great idea! Why don't we do a house swap!" He said, "When?" I said, "January." He said, "For how long?" I said, "How about a month?" So we planned it out and bought airline tickets. He would stay at my house, drive my car. I would stay at his condo and drive his car. And we did it - not for a month, but two weeks.

On January 21st, I flew to Tampa, Florida, found his car in the parking garage, and there I was, just like that, away from frigid January in Indiana and in Florida paradise. As I drove from the airport across the Courtney Campbell Causeway, lined with palm trees and beautiful water on both sides of the highway, it was kind of hard to believe.

Joe's condo was very nice. One whole wall was windows and looked out at the Bellair Bluffs Bay Bridge. I spent a lot of time looking out those windows.
(The view from the condo's windows.)
I loved seeing the sunsets. I could go to the beach, only a mile away, or there was a dock by the condo with a lovely view. I took a lot of pictures.

The first weekend I drove to Port Charlotte, about two hours away, and stayed in a hotel overnight. Two of my music friends, Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly, were appearing in concert at a church there. They live in Rhode Island and were spending six weeks in Florida this year, booking concerts along the way. I enjoyed seeing them and their concert very much.

On the way back, I stopped at St. Armand Circle near Sarasota where my grandmother used to take me when she lived in Florida. My, my, it has really changed! It used to be kind of a rustic shopping center on Longboat Key. Now it is a high-end shopping area with lovely restaurants. It was a beautiful day and I mentally wrote a letter to my grandmother telling her how much it had changed.

One day I had lunch with my cousin and her husband, who were doing a test snowbird trip this year. They are both recently retired teachers.

The second weekend I went to the Pinellas County Folk Festival. It was held at a historic park where old Florida houses had been moved and restored. There were at least eight music stages, lots of vintage cars, food, and very tall pine trees. And dogs, lots of dogs.

The rest of the time I did a lot of reading, and had to find a project, so I bought knitting needles and yarn and began to knit a shawl. 

I ate seafood and went to the beach. And the bridge right outside the window turned out to be a bridge that people walked or ran across, so I started doing that. It was a beautiful walk. One day I got caught in the rain, but I didn't care. It was warm and I was just walking in the rain, something you don't find yourself doing every day. 

(The view from the top of the Bay Bridge)
I flew home on February 4th, hoping that winter in Indiana was nearly over. That hasn't happened. I have been shoveling snow for two days. And dreaming of the beach.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Cake Bake

Well, I want to update everyone on my snowbird trip to Florida, but that's going to be kind of lengthy. First I want to tell you about a wonderful trip to Broad Ripple to the Cake Bake. You just have to go! It is at 6515 N. Carrollton Av. in Indy. They have wonderful cakes and desserts, coffee, soup - things like that. The decor is like a French pastry shop. I took my mom on a cold February day. We had a delightful time!
This is the entrance to The Cake Bake restaurant.
Another view of the entrance.

This is the Marie Antoinette. It cost $8.50, but honestly could have fed three!


Me, totally in my element!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christmas 2014

Here's a look at my Christmas 2014. So much preparation!! 
And it never fails - my Christmas pictures never turn out. 
Or at least I am always disappointed in them. 
I guess even pictures can't convey all the excitement that goes along with Christmas.
I decided to use my Charlie Brown Christmas tree this year. 
Every year I make my granddaughter something. This year it was a Hello Kitty nightgown.
She liked it. She even put it on before the evening was over.
Close-up of the yo-yo I made for a decoration.

Christmas at Mom & Dad's. Now you will begin to see what I mean about the pictures.
Now, this one I like. I gave my grandson a little backpack and he loved it.
I swear, this is the best group shot I got of the kids. Kind of surreal.
At my house. Christmas chaos.
These two were SO excited! Really.
No one told me to make a silly face.

Over Christmas break, the kids and I took a winter walk to Ellenberger Park.
It was very cold!!
I really like this picture. My two buddies.

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Shadow

"Peter Pan:  Look! My shadow! My very own shadow!
Wendy:  It's only a shadow.
Peter Pan:  Yes, but it's all mine! Oh, I'm so clever! Oh, the cleverness of me!"

Did you watch the newest version of "Peter Pan" last night? I taped it and started watching it tonight.  I noticed mixed reviews on Facebook last night, but so far I think it is pretty good. I had forgotten I knew all the words to the songs. It really brings back memories.

And I still don't want to grow up. In fact, I WON'T grow up!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My Grandfather's Obituary, November 11, 1929, Part II

(Blogger said my post was too long, so here's Part II)
I was so excited and thought it would be easy to find the actual obituary. But it wasn't. I don't know how many times I looked at the obituary below before I realized it was for my grandfather, Michael James Barrett Kelly. 

Here it is cropped and enlarged. This obituary was in the Indianapolis Star on November 11, 1929. He actually died on November 10, 1929.

I asked the librarian if it could have been in any other newspapers of that time, so she pulled several other tapes. By this time I was getting the hang of the Microfiche machine.
This obituary is from the Indianapolis Star on November 11, 1929. Do you see it? The more I searched, the more interesting it was to read the news of the day so long ago.
Here it is a little larger.
And here it is cropped and enlarged again.
Next I searched the Indianapolis Times and found this obituary.
A little closer.
Cropped and enlarged.

For Mom's present, I put all four notices on one sheet of paper and framed it. I also gave her copies of everything I found. She loved it and said it meant a lot to finally see her father's obituary after all these years.

I think it is pretty special, too.

My Grandfather's Obituary, November 11, 1929, Part I

This is my grandmother, Helen Marie Laffey Kelly, and my grandfather, Michael James Barrett Kelly, on their wedding day, November 19, 1919. She was 24; he was 41. 
I never knew my grandfather. He died when my mom was two. She never knew him either, really. The other day Mom mentioned she had never seen her father's obituary, so I decided to find it and present it to her for her birthday.

First, I spent a couple of hours on the computer doing a search for my grandfather's birth and death dates. I found them fairly easily. Then I went to the Indiana State Library Genealogy Department and told the librarian what I was looking for. She asked if I had a death date and I told her November 11, 1929. She went to the file cabinet and pulled out a tape for the newspaper for that day. She showed me how to put it in the Microfiche machine (it seemed very old-fashioned) and start searching.  
Well, right away under "Death Notices", we found it listed! Do you see it above? It's not easy to see. 
And here it is cropped and edited.

Blogger said my post was too long, so this is a two-parter. Scroll up for Part II.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Jacob's Ladder

Every June I travel to Battleground, Indiana, for the Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering. In addition to  great music, they offer camping and music workshops and a dance. There are also little booths that sell crafts. Every year the Quilter's Club booth draws my attention. I stop and chat with the ladies who are sitting around a quilt on a frame, quilting and talking. They have a raffle for one of their quilts and I always buy some, 6 for $5.00. I never expect to win.

But this year I did!!
This is the label on the back telling all about it.

I can't tell you how excited I was!!
Lucky me!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Avery's 9th Birthday and TARDIS

Last weekend marked Avery's 9th birthday. She decided she wanted a "Dr. Who" theme for her party. After much discussion, we decided to make a "TARDIS" birthday cake. Now, just a few weeks ago, I had never heard the word "TARDIS". I had to do some investigating. Here is Wiki's definition:

The TARDIS (/ˈtɑːdɪs/; Time and Relative Dimension in Space) is a time machine and spacecraft in the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who A properly maintained and piloted TARDIS can transport its occupants to any point in time and any place in the universe. The interior of a TARDIS is much larger than its exterior, which can blend in with its surroundings using the ship's "chameleon circuit". In the series, the Doctor pilots an apparently unreliable, obsolete Type 40, Mark 1 TARDIS. Its chameleon circuit is broken, leaving it stuck in the shape of a 1960s-style London police box after a visit to London in 1963. Although "TARDIS" is a type of craft rather than a specific one, the Doctor's TARDIS is usually referred to as "the" TARDIS or, in some of the earlier serials, just as "the ship", "the blue box", "the capsule" or "the police box". 

There you go. Everything you ever wanted to know about the TARDIS.

On Saturday, Sam and I spent pretty much the whole day making this cake. And it really turned out pretty good! My first time for fondant!
The TARDIS cake!
Happy birthday to you!
They didn't believe we "made" the cake!
She blew out all 9 candles! (Applause!!)
Aunt Jess arrived fresh from a photo shoot where she had her eyes "done" by a make up artist. So beautiful!
This one found some fire trucks to play with.
It is tradition that the birthday person read her card before opening the gift. Much to the boredom of her audience. I love the looks on these kids' faces!
Ooops! She's losing them!
At last! Now she's got their attention. What is it?!
I love the look on the little girl's face next to Avery. The present was some sort of doll. The boys were like "so?"
This is when Avery's dad went to get her big surprise! It was all very exciting.
You can't see very well, but the big surprise was a hamster. He is black and white.

Happy birthday, sweet Avery!