Thursday, September 8, 2011

Field Trip to the Reds Ball Park

 My boss took us to the Reds offices today for a field trip. We do all the framing for the Reds baseball team. These 1st 2 pictures are from Bob Castelini's office (he's out of town). I framed the champagne bottles, and re-stained the shadowbox that has the base in it. (It was Ken Griffey Jr's 600 home to the Castelini's).

 On this wall were 3 pieces I framed for last years Gold Glove award winners. It is really fun to see my work on display (each of the players received their own framed piece, I made 3 copies of each...don't know where the others are).

 I do a lot of framing for Corporate sales. This is the Press Room. In here are examples of corporate sponsors (Kroger, Skyline...) items that were framed for example pieces. This way, the sales team can show new sponsors, what types of ways they can utilize their business within the ball park. I'm not explaining it very well. 

 This is the 700 WLW radio booth. Greg is sitting in Marty's chair. You can see Bill's legs on the left, in The Cowboy's chair. There was some artwork on the walls in there, even though it was a small area.

We didn't have any art work in the sports reporters area. This is for beat writers from all over, so the space is kept neutral.

 This wall was in the corporate suite.
After the tour, we had lunch at the Holy Grail across the street from the ball park. We have framed most of the pictures and sports items for that restaurant also.  So, it was a nice break from the norm.

Monday, June 20, 2011


  Well, since I haven't blogged in a while, I thought I'd rather not try to catch up. Really. I mean, why? What's the point of writing about all the stuff that happened last week (or 2-3 months ago - for example).

  Lets just start with today.

   Sam left for Scout Camp this morning.  Yep. And I am doing well so far. And so far, I am guessing the leaders are doing well also. We'll see how we are all doing by Friday. I'm sure I will be happy to have him home and safe. And I am also very sure, all the leaders will be MOST happy that he is returned to ME safe and sound.

  Bari (Big Bari) is working at the Reds Game tonight......

  Soooo... Madeline and I are having Chinese for dinner.

  Bari Ray and Brittany are watching movies downstairs this evening....
See How Easy it is to catch up?
 And what kind of blog would I have without a pic of Pete Rose and Arnie....
 3 Gold Glove Award recipients....I framed each of those pieces for the Reds to present on Opening night....
 My 2 lovin-bunches kittens........
 And the grand-baby boys!

I will have more grandboy pix soon....
But check out our other blog (cherryblossom design) for our latest wedding and engagement pix!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February . . . . . . WHAT?

Holy Cow, it is February 22. Somehow I have missed almost the whole month. Then again, my weeks are almost always the same. Work, home, kids, work, home, kids, work, bridal shows, kids, home, engagement shoots, home, work - - -kids. That pretty much catches me up with everything.

I am getting over a pretty rotten cold (thank heavens- and thanks to the RS sisters who put up with it while I taught my class a couple of weeks ago). Bari has the sniffles, so that's never good (he should try Menopause some time- now that's a character builder!).

The kids are all doing well. Sam has his ups and downs. I can't always predict when things are going well with him. We met with his teachers a couple of weeks ago, but I'm not sure anything has really changed.

  Madeline is getting ready for Mock Competition this weekend. It is a performance night at the studio in full costume/make-up. There are judges who rate each dance to help with any last minute changes before the first competition.  She has 6 competition dances, and 11or 12 for Recital in the spring.

 Weekend before last, my brother and his son were in town for college meetings at UC. Ben has been accepted into the DAP program there. We were lucky enough to have dinner with them that Friday night. They live in Boston (Cambridge really), so we don't see each other as often as we would like. The next morning (Saturday) they headed up to Moms for a short visit. It was great to see them.  The Tuesday they were back in Mass. he called me. Randy hadn't been feeling well during the trip, and even before he had left for the weekend, his Dr had ordered a Scan, thinking Randy had some kind of blockage. But he called to tell me that it wasn't a blockage as we had hoped, he has Stage 3 or 4 Colon Cancer. He will be having surgery soon, followed by chemo. I am in shock. The whole family is.

  What can I say? Life is short. Be kind. Be grateful. Be generous with your talents. Teach love. Teach tolerance. Be at peace with your life and the choices you have made. Be forgiving. Forgive others and forgive YOURSELF.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Back to the norm. . . . the busy-busy norm

  It is about time I got back to the normalcy of blogging. Where else can I write every little bitty thing about my day?
   It is Tuesday, Church Activity night. I have already gone from work - to Madeline's physical Therapy - to Subway - to home. So, see how my life goes? Go here and then Go There.
  I really can't complain. Yes. We have been busy, but life is good. Bari and I have been to 2 Bridal Shows already this year. There have already been some follow up meetings and bookings. (The latest is for a May wedding at the Cincinnati Zoo!). We have also had the opportunity to go to a photography Trade show here. That is always good for us. It gives us a chance to physically check out products (primarily wedding album/books) that we have seen in catalog's or on line. There were a couple of pieces of equipment that we needed to ask about, also. And (I am so excited) I have a new Tripod! We have 2 tripods- a new one Bari bought a couple of years ago, and an ancient model that was hard to use. Guess which one I got? Well, it only made sense, because I am usually up in the balcony of a church, and I don't move around as much as Bari during a wedding, but now, I am more mobile. The goal is for me to shoot more. For that, I needed a new one.

 Speaking of new things, (and old equipment that no longer works)- we got a new bedroom set, with a king size bed/mattress. Have I ever blogged about the joys (not) of having a Water bed. A queen size water bed. Yep. I was getting really tired of trying to get out of it every morning. And there were times I just wanted to prop myself up and that was impossible. And then, there were the tiny leaks that were starting to be a problem. So, all of that lead to the necessity of a new bed/mattress. Last Tuesday it was finally delivered. The last couple of hours bailing out that stupid water-mattress was horrific. But the new king is fantastic.

So, moving on- the kids all seem to be doing well. Katy is busy planning William's 2nd birthday party. Madeline is busy planning her 14th. I had lunch with Joey last Saturday, and he is moving forward with his recovery. Sam still struggles, we will be meeting with the school psychologist next week. Bari Ray is deep into classes and work. He has the best relationship with Sam right now. It is heartwarming to see them together.

  Work is busy- home is busy. Life is normal.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Follow up

 I just wanted to finish up with notes about the funeral.

Katy left Monday early afternoon (not before taking Henry to the Dr's office because of a little cough) and drove to Clyde to see my Mom. Of everything that was going on. This is the one event I would have loved to been a part of. Mom saw the twins for the first time. We could have had a 4 generation picture. Well, hopefully, we will all be able to manage a trip at the same time sometime this summer. Anyway, they went to Clyde on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday night they went to Lima and had dinner with Dane and his wife Yuka, and Diane and her family. I guess it was ok, except the boys were all tired and very confused. (Translated, that means they were very Cranky).

I picked up Joey the next morning at 5:30. Sam, Madeline, Joey and I all drove up to Lima from there.

We got to the Church around 8. There was only 1 vehicle in the parking lot, a Council on Aging bus. I did think that was a little weird, but didn't really pay attention very much. Then, as the bus drove past us, it slowed down, and the driver rolled down the window. The driver was an old college friend that I had lost track of years ago. Kathi and I had known each other at Bluffton, but had gotten really close when Gene and I had moved to Columbus Grove. Katy and Joey were small, and we would go to Kathi's house every Friday night when Dane and Gene went to the basketball games. Kathi had a daughter- Samantha, who was Joey's age.
  It was so good to see her. She had found the Obituary on Gene in the paper and stopped by to see if she knew anyone. The timing could not have been any more perfect. We are planning on getting together really soon. I can't wait until she meets Bari.

 Anyway, Kathi had to leave, so we went on into the church and saw lots of people I hadn't seen for 10 or more years. It was strange. Thea, Gene's younger sister, asked me how I was doing. I put my hands out in front of me- about a foot apart from each other. I said, "It's like this. Today is just this part of my life". I couldn't express how it all took me back to 20-25 years ago. Which has nothing to do with where I am today. Like I said, it was strange.

So, the Bishop who presided over the memorial - oh, side note, Diane had Gene cremated, so there wasn't a casket or urn, or anything. - Sorry, back to what I was saying, The Bishop who was presiding was the Dr who delivered Madeline, and the same Dr who rode in the ambulance when Katy had her seizure when she was 4. He got pretty emotional when he gave a little concluding talk. Anyway, Gene's brother-in-law gave a talk on the purpose of life. He did a good job, then I spoke. I guess it went well. I was able to tell Diane that we all knew how much she meant to Gene, how happy he was when she came into his life. And I talked to the kids about their dad, how he had a testimony of the Divinity of Christ, and how important it was to him. Then, Dane got up and spoke a couple of minutes. He was in his full dress uniform - he serves in the Army. Gene would have been so proud.
There was a really nice luncheon afterward and lots of the guests stayed and visited. The chapel was full for the memorial.

 Madeline rode back with Katy and Josh. Katy was exhausted. I don't know if she has gotten any sleep yet. Madeline had a basketball game, dinner with the cheerleaders, and dance. She was ready to stop crying and try to get some normality back into her life. We'll see how she does. I still worry about her.

So, I just had Sam and Joey with me on the way back. We stopped at the Uno's in West Chester. It was a pretty big splurge to go out to eat, but I sure felt that we deserved it. Oh, Joey had a suit jacket and suit pants, white shirt and tie. Besides Katy's wedding and prom, I don't remember the last time I had seen him dressed up.

Not having a casket or graveside services was the hardest on Joey. He said that it didn't seem finished. There was no real closure for him. That might pass in time, we'll see. He was the most emotional at the memorial.

Diane said that she would put a marker for Gene in the cemetery where his parents and grandparents are buried. His ashes will go to her family farm. I think she will eventually settle there in a couple of years.

So, today, at 5 o'clock when my workday ended, Lynne and I decided that the New Year would  officially begin (again) for us. This first week sucked. It was time to start over. Sooooo

Happy New Year - 2011 ! I think I am finally ready for YOU!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Saved the Worst for Last. . . . . . .

If you hadn't already heard, my ex-husband passed away on New Year's Eve day. A little over 2 weeks from the death of Bari's father. My ex, and the kids dad, died in Lima from undetermined illness.

So, I was thinking, if the last 2 weeks of 2010 were the positively worst weeks of that year. And the 1st week of 2011 (with Gene's funeral and grieving children) is the worst week of this year, it is all uphill from here, isn't it? Really, if this is the worst week of this year, then it's just about done and overwith.

Yes, so, Gippy passed away December 14th, we had a wedding on both, that following Friday and another on Saturday. We all left Cincinnati around 4:30 am on Sunday and made it to Chattanooga in time for the last Viewing and the Funeral. A grandson, close friend, and 2 co-workers spoke before me. We all said almost the same things, -he was a great guy, and he loved Cadillac's.

We came back into town on Monday and went back to work on Tuesday- 12 hour shifts to try to catch up. At that time, I was framing Champagne bottles, 28 of them. The first adhesive I used re-acted to the finish on the frames and I had to pull all of them apart and start over. Nothing like doing something TWICE. Anyway, they turned out just fine.

That next weekend was Christmas. Christmas Eve I worked (of course), and we went to Bari's mom's. Christmas Day we all met at Katy's house for dinner. Joey was able to get a ride there, and  Dane and his wife drove up from Ft Knox. When I walked in, Katy told me that Diane (her step-mom), had called, and that her (Katy's) Dad was in the hospital with a fever of 104. She didn't have much information, and later in the evening I asked her to call back and find out what was going on. She was able to talk with both Gene and Diane. Diane had taken Gene to the hospital the night before because he had flu like symptoms that were getting worse. Diane told Katy that Gene had a blood infection. Both Bari and I knew that was very serious.

Joey was able to get permission to visit his dad in Lima the next day, so I drove all of my kids, Katy, Sam, Madeline, and Joey to Lima first thing in the morning. We stayed about an hour and a half. Diane stopped in for 20 minutes or so. Gene really didn't seem to feel well, but he acted just like his old self.  He did take time to ask each of the kids a question, and try to include them in the conversation. I don't think any of us (adults) left with the assurance he was going to get better soon. It just seemed as if he wasn't getting better at all, and that was a big problem that we all recognized.  The next day, Gene's oldest son -Dane- visited, too.

 Katy called her dad every day the next week. Thursday night she was distressed that he seemed quite bad off. He took a lot of time to answer her questions, and then the answers were one word answers. Friday morning - New Years Eve Day, she got the call that if they wanted to see their dad, they better hurry and get to Lima quickly. There wasn't any way to get ahold of Joey, but the 3 others were able to drop everything and drive up I75 that morning. Dane and his wife were notified and they showed up later in the afternoon.

From what I understand, at some point in the week, Gene had a heart attack. This possibly changed the oxygen level to his brain, and that was why he was having trouble talking to Katy. When the kids got to the hospital, Gene was already on life support. They think he was still lucid enough to know they were there, but Katy isn't sure of that. Anyway, things got worse quickly, the doctors tried everything, and finally Katy said that her dad would not have wanted heroic measures to keep him alive. Diane agreed, and said she just didn't have the strength to step up and stop it. Katy said that the kids did a little better when they saw him without all the iv's and tubes and things. Unfortunately, they stayed by his bedside watching every last breath and heart beat. I can't imagine how traumatic that is.

They all drove back later in the day. I felt so bad for Katy, she was emotionally and physically exhausted.

So, the funeral is Wednesday the 5th, at 9 (!!!!) in the morning, actually, the visitation at the church (LDS church in Lima) is at 9, the funeral is at 10. And yes, I was asked to speak. No matter how strange that is, it does give me the opportunity to tell my children all the good things about their father. Yes, there were a few.

I will be picking up Joey at 5:30 Wednesday morning and we will drive up with Sam and Madeline to Lima.

I feel bad for Sam and Madeline. They started their Christmas break with a funeral, and ended with a funeral. Pray for the kids.