Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thoughts on Weddings

I am involved in the Artisan Wedding Fair with my shop on Artfire and there is a link on my main page to the blog for the wedding fair that has all the participants...and there are allot of them with beautiful and very useful products.  If you or someone in your close circle is planning a wedding this year, it really would be worth your while to check it out.  We are supposed to blog about weddings, and that is what I am doing here...the only problem is that I don't feel like I have allot to say...but, as usual, I'll give it the old collage try.

My husband, John, and I have been married for almost 46 years - so our wedding is way back where I can hardly remember anymore.  Other than the fact that I was a New England wasp marrying a Slovac Catholic, and all the stress that that created, mostly for my mother, not much is crystal clear.  However, I do remember a few culture clashes - but those should be relegated to the back of my mind where they have been for almost 46 years.

Both of our daughters were married in our back yard in Warren, Ohio.  Warren is a small town with, at that point, no wedding co ordinators.  I have a few points to make to anyone planning a backyard ritual - first of all, think long and hard, because it can and does rain in most parts of this country.  It rained until 5:00 for the 5:30 wedding of one of our daughters, you want to talk about stress...it was ugly. Thank goodness, I was wearing a hat for that one, cuz there was not enough time to dress and do my hair.  Both ceremonies turned out beautifully but they were allot of work.

I decided, when I found out about the first wedding that I needed some help.  I knew with everything being at home that when the inevitable crisis happened on the day of the wedding that I needed someone capable of handling it without involving me.  I asked our decorator to give me a hand, because I had done business with her for years and she was organized and anile - just what I needed.  It worked out fantastically...she got people seated before the ceremony...started the music when it had to start for the bride...got all the wedding party down the aisle...and best of all, helped me plan and do the decorations. This became a great sideline to her decorating business, other than the fact that she wouldn't charge me, I had no complaints.  She helped with the second wedding too - which if anything was even harder, because we had done such a great job on the first wedding that there didn't seem to be any way to do as good a job, but we did manage. Both of our daughters had beautiful, dry, outdoor weddings.

I remember highlights from both of those special days - Lisa had very specific ideas on the table flowers, we had pictures of how she wanted them to look and the flowers to include to give to the florist.  The flowers arrived with bright orange lilies - lovely flowers, but neither the color nor the flower were on Lisa's list - that was a tearful moment that got worse with each delivery.  I just pulled the offending flowers and threw them out and we solved the problem.  Amanda calling me when her dress came in, in tears, that her dress made her look like a pregnant marshmallow.  Amanda's lovely and slighty weird friends from art school, posing around our yard in yoga poses - neither John, nor his sister knew what was going on. The Scottish bridesmade that had to find a chemist - took me a half hour to figure out she needed a drug store.  The cookies I worked weeks on left in the freezer by the caterer.  I could go on and on, but the best memory is of two beautiful brides, who had the wedding that they wanted, in the yard that they wanted to be married in, and they were both married by my sister.  They were both very special days.

I can only wish that you too have a very special day and that your marriage is long, loving, and joyfull....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Musings on Holiday Travel

We just returned from traveling to Pennsylvania for the Christmas season and we had a wonderful time, there is nothing better than a 5 year old on Christmas morning...especially one who sleeps until 8:00 A.M.. Now, is that a good kid or what???Of course, all of my grandchildren are perfect, so I really didn't expect anything less. So, before I get to the meat of this post, I would like to wish each and every one of you who reads this blog, a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2011.

We left lovely Arizona over a week before Christmas, in hopes that we would miss some of the holiday craziness of the airports. Other than the fact that we had to get up some time in the middle of the night to catch our plane, the airport was very empty...either that, or it was so early that my eyes hadn't woken up yet. We landed in Philly to the first snow of the season - oh, lucky us!!! Driving to our destination, which was about a one hour commute, we saw 5 fender benders and one very serious accident, reminded us graphically of why we wanted to leave the snow behind us when we retired. Not only was it white everywhere, IT WAS COLD - I MEAN COOOOOOOOOOLD.  I think I had blanked that mind numbing cold and how much that I hate it out of my memory banks, but it's back again.

Spent Christmas week in a blurry of activity - including making lots of cookies with a 5 year old - she cracks a mean egg, but other than that, her culinary skills are rather limited, except for the infamous cut out Christmas cookies. I think that it took us all day to complete one batch - granted, a large batch - but still one batch.  I'm not sure who won the colored sugar wars - the cookies - the floor - or the cracks in the table.  I am just very grateful that I got the chance to do this and that it wasn't in my kitchen.  We did make a mess - and my daughter may never get the frosting cleaned up - it was spread around a little more that one would normally see.  I must admit that my grandaughter vastly improved my ginger snaps - they are rolled into balls, rolled in sugar and then baked...she had to add red and green sugar to the white that I gave her to roll the balls in, and they ended up looking much more festive than mine have for 45 years.

Had a great time going to school with our granddaughter for her Christmas Party and I got to read to the class - fun!  She has the most incredible teacher and I told my daughter that it's going to be hard to top this one and she's only in kindergarten.  If you ever want to practise your powers of concentration, try reading "The Night Before Christmas" to 25 five year olds on December 23.  There was not allot of focusing being practised in that room, that day, but I did enjoy it.

 I was very glad that I brought my long underwear...I never took it off for 2+ weeks, as I said before, it was COLD. I even wore it to the two parties that we attended, luckily I was wearing a turtleneck so it didn't show, but I would have worn it even with a strapless gown - it was COLD. One good thing about the cold, we were able to make our secret egg nog that has to age for about 5 days and unless you have a walk in refrigerator, that usually takes place outside,so we haven't made it since coming to Arizona.  John couldn't wait to sample it - and did so most nights that we were there, it is good! ! As he was coming in from the patio with his evening glass, our grandaughter looked at him and said, "Poppy, you have an egg nog problem".

We had an uneventful journey home although it was a few days late - Mr. Flu paid a visit, early in the morning that we had planned to leave, so we had to change our plans.  Ended up flying in on New Year's Eve and stopped at In and Out Burgers on the way home for our big night out. So for now, my big green long wool coat is put away as are my gloves and winter hat - sadly though, I needed them when we landed. It was high 40's when we left Philly, it was 37 when we landed in Phoenix, the pilot thought he'd gotten lost, and it was 32 when we arrived home - ugh, at least there was no snow on the ground...Happy New Year All