Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer Seven: An Off-The-Top-Of-My-Head List of Summer Happenings

I blinked and summer is nearly over! Oh sure, I had grandiose plans for all the things I wanted to do and accomplish, but here I sit scratching my head wondering what the heck happened.

Considering how little I've been around Blogland lately, the blame can't be placed there by any stretch of the imagination. And speaking of imagination, one of the reasons I haven't blogged much is because my imagination and creativity has been missing in action.

So to jump-start my brain and wrap-up my activities, below are my Summer Seven: An Off-The-Top-Of-My-Head List of Summer Happenings...

1) I had a whopping 897 text messages on my cell phone bill in June! That's what happens when you send your first text message announcing to your very large family that you've truly entered the technology age and finally learned how to use your iPhone. It was great fun but I had to put myself on a "Texting Time-Out" after I received an additional $68 in charges on my cell phone bill. Oophs.

2) A "Cannonball" jump into the deep end of the swimming pool has a very different impact on a 53 year old's body than it does when this 53 year old was, oh, say, 40 years younger. It also gets a very different reaction from the younger generation, who apparently found my old self hysterically funny.

3) My good intentions of reading War and Peace were for not. It never left my nightstand, nor was it even opened. But, I did read Margaret of Nanny Goats In Panties' new book Sticky Readers: How to Attract a Loyal Blog Audience by Writing More Better. It's a fabulous and very informative read for all bloggers-- Not to mention way funnier than War and Peace. It's available on Amazon. Please check it out.

4) I learned to "never say never" and for the first time in my life I took a spin on a Ferris Wheel. I do not like heights so all I can say is-- Once was enough.

5) On five different days I happened to be in five different places that had record-breaking high temperatures-- all over 100 degrees with hideous levels of humidity. Unfortunately, I was not near the above mentioned pool on any of those days.

6) Blogger kindness never ceases to amaze me. I published a picture I took of a blue butterfly-- with an out of focus right wing. A blue butterfly was a first for me and I was thrilled to actually capture even a shaky image of it to share.

About a week after posting, I received this gorgeous Photoshopped picture from the very sweet Cathy of Yooper Yarns. Her photography blows me away on a regular basis (go check it out!) so when she sent me this perfectly edited photo, I squealed like a school girl. What a nice and unexpected thing for her to do. I have a framed copy in my office and think of Cathy's thoughtfulness every time I look at it. Thank you Cathy!

7) We have a thick and very tall wall of ficus trees separating our house from our crazy as a loon neighbor. Over the years, humming birds have made their nests in the trees and we've enjoyed numerous humming bird sightings. But this year I happened to be sitting on the patio when all the baby hummers were getting their first flying lessons! I watched all afternoon as at least 50 babes flew from the ficus to the opposite side of the yard, land on a camellia bush, rest, then fly back. It was amazing.

How about your summer? Wanna play along? Feel free to grab the above Summer Seven photo (Sorry, I have no idea how to make a button.) and join in. If you do, link up below so we can all see YOUR Summer Seven: Off-The-Top-Of-My-Head Summer Happenings.

Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © Maya Mishina - and Margaret Andrews

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I'm pretty sure if you'd ever met my step-dad, Dave, you'd have liked him. He was one of those guys with a big, friendly smile, a kind word or a funny joke, and always a warm embrace. After a few minutes of chatting, chances are he'd have learned a little bit about you and your family, and that you probably even had a few friends in common.

I'm sad to say, our sweet Dave passed away very unexpectedly and our hearts are breaking.

Over the past few weeks my family's heard a lot of wonderful stories about what a great guy Dave was and the kindness he'd shared with countless people. Some stories made us roar with laughter, other brought tears to our eyes, but all were greatly appreciated.

These weeks have flown by in a rush even though they have been some of the longest days I can remember. So many time I've sat down and tried to write about Dave and the meaningful impact he had on our family and how he embraced each and every one of us with his whole heart. But words fail me and emotions take over until I simply need to sit alone quietly for a while.

So I will share with you part of my Middle Sister's word about Dave from our family's Eulogy for his memorial service-- She started the same way Dave started each meal and it's the perfect example of the sweet, good-natured guy we all loved so much....

We'd join hands and bow our heads so we could not see the food we were anxious to eat. Dave would begin, Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all who are gathered here, please be with the people who are not with us (and sometimes he would name them-- all of them). Thank you for our many blessings.

Then, while the food was chilling and our drinks were warming, he would continue-- The weather was pretty good today but we could have used some more sunshine and many more drops of rain during the night. It was a little warm and too much humidity Lord. If you could please cool us down a bit and send rain-- during the night please, because we have things to do tomorrow. We would be ever so grateful.

Thank you for the food-- Oh, I almost forgot, he'd say with a chuckle, please bless the dog and cat too. Like I said Lord, please bless the food we are about to eat and nourish us with it. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

This wonderful man who married my mother more than 20 years ago touched three generations of our family and blessed us with his presence. He came to more family reunions, 4-H horse shows and pig auctions, Grandparents' Days, school band concerts and car washes, football games, weddings, christenings, anniversary parties, baseball games, clam bakes, camping trips, graduations and other various family related activities than you could count-- all to support Mom and her big, loud family-- and because he loved us. He managed to find something to smile about at all these events and occasionally caught a short nap in the process.

Dave will be missed more than I can say.... So will his comment at the end of every meal-- "Boy, that really ruined my appetite."

Big sigh.

Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins