Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Grazing ...

Enjoying the view from my brother's back porch on Easter Sunday ...

This past week Ken and I have been in recovery mode from our daughter's wedding.  Getting through the work week wasn't easy, especially since it was one of those all-too-often six-day work weeks.  Ken and I were looking forward to a day of relaxation on Easter Sunday.  We drove to my brother's place in the country (Mississippi), sat on the back porch, and enjoyed the perfect weather and serene views.  Just like my dad and brother's cattle, we grazed all day.  Is it wrong to grill burgers while watching the cattle being raised for beef?!  Hmmm.  By the end of the day the cattle were laid out on the grass, soaking up the sun.  We were laid out on the lounge chairs doing the same.  It was a day that all seemed to enjoy.  We had some good quality time with my parents, my brother's family, and the "newlyweds" too!  BTW, I hope to get some pictures of the wedding from the photographer soon to share with you.  It was a one of a kind, true Southern wedding.

Of course, relaxation doesn't come easy for us.  We weren't home ten minutes when we got a call from our tenant.  The well wasn't working and they didn't have any water.  Two hours later we were finally home at eight o' clock ... and I was sleeping by nine. 

Perhaps next Easter we'll enjoy a different view ...

Today happens to be Earth Day, and I wrote a post this past weekend about all those planets that have been discovered recently and my thoughts about other life out there.  Isn't it crazy that we were taught that there were only nine planets?!  So much has changed so fast.  I wonder if our life on this planet is a result of destroying some other planet?  We'd better take better care of our Earth before it's too late.  

  Since I've written the post, I started wondering if any of you sailors have experienced anything UFO-like while on the water.  If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Out Of This World!

Not too long ago I was watching one of my favorite documentaries, Ancient Aliens, and was once again contemplating the possibility of aliens co-existing (and possibly mating) with our ancestors thousands of years ago.  The show often talks about theories of aliens visiting our planet, and possibly being the "missing link".   Although some of the theories are a little hard to buy, and sometimes the show is a bit too theatrical and dramatic ... I still enjoy watching it.  I've been fascinated with the concept of aliens since I was a kid.  I loved  "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "ET".  Haven't watched those movies?  You gotta! 

Whether or not you believe this stuff, the show shares some facts that are pretty amazing.  Ancient artifacts from around the world that tell the same story, Stonehenge and the pyramids, Hitler's fascination with aliens and implementing it in his production of weapons ... all of it so interesting to me.

I can't help but think that whether or not aliens helped create the human race, they've had to exist at some point.  Maybe it was thousands of years ago, maybe it's today.  After all, our planet is just a speck in the solar system.  Remember the days in school when we were taught that our solar system had nine planets?  This past February scientists discovered over 715 new planets in our solar system, bringing the count to over 1700 planets.  Wrap your head around that!  (Geez, I'm glad I only had to memorize nine planets in my science class).  Of the newly discovered planets, four could host life.  Wouldn't it be a little close-minded to think that with all those planets out there (that we know about), we're the only human-like creature around?

When thinking of sailing across oceans (just coastal cruising for us!), the world seems so large.  Yet, when I think about our solar system, the Earth seems so insignificant.  Are we kidding ourselves in thinking that we're superior?  But, then I think about how much emotion we feel and how much our race has invented ... I wonder.  But then again ... I think we underestimate the thoughts and emotions of our fellow creatures.  Elephants, dolphin, dogs and cats to name a few.  The stories that go viral about these creatures never cease to amaze me, and remind me that maybe we're not all that more superior ... especially if we're being viewed from out of space somewhere.

It's hard to comprehend what's out there, and when I think about the chain of life and the amazing creatures and beauty that our Earth holds ... I just don't know what to think.  However, I'm grateful to be on such a beautiful planet, and I can't wait to explore it further.

Some theories speak of ancient aliens visiting Earth and interacting with the humans here because their own planet was becoming less inhabitable.  Again, whether or not you believe the theory it should still make you take a look at our own planet and question where it's headed.  With Earth Day this Tuesday, remember to love and respect this Earth ... and love and respect your life on it.  It's pretty amazing!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Picture Perfect!

The past couple of weeks have been a blur, and my entire body still aches.  This past Saturday evening our daughter had her dream wedding!

The wedding turned out "picture perfect".  Everything went as planned, and we couldn't have asked for better weather.  It was a labor of love, as this barn wedding wasn't held in a barn equipped for events.  This was an authentic barn full of tools, equipment and lots of stuff.  Both families worked together the past couple of months, spending just about every weekend cleaning up the barn and getting it ready for the big day.  I can't wait to show you the inside of the barn, where the reception took place.  I have to say, the wedding was beautiful ... casual yet elegant!  Ken built a dance floor and wired the barn for chandeliers and lighting.  For outside, he built the arbor, two really cool corn-hole games, and a life-sized Jenga game too!  These were just a few of the projects he did.

My brother grows and sells hay, so he brought a ton of hay bales which we used for the ceremony seating, a really cool bar with a copper top, and an outdoor lounge area.  Erica's mother-in-law had some amazing ideas and painted a lot of cool decorations.  She also got a ton of parachute fabric from a local company ... for free!  This was hung from the ceiling and was so pretty.  Erica is also talented, and painted their initials on the dance floor and corn-hole games, as well as sewed the corn-hole bean bags and the runner for the ceremony.  She created several chalk-board signs and a bar menu, which really brought it all together.

A lot of decorations couldn't be done until the day of the wedding, or the day before.  Thankfully, not only did both families come together once again, but so did the bridal party.  We put them to work!  Groomsmen were staining the arbor and entry doors, bridesmaids were decorating the tables, and other bridesmaids were hanging parachute material with Ken's dad and the groom.  While it was hard work, and we barely finished everything in time, it was great to accomplish something so important with family and friends.  The bride and groom are very lucky to have so many people in their lives that love them so much.

The "Order of Ceremony" ... that's how we do it!

Erica's new sister-in-law taking care of her ... and fixing her dress.  Check out the lace and burlap runner ... Erica sewed all that lace on herself.  The arbor ... Ken built it.  Lots of labor in this wedding!

Father/Bride Dance ... this day came so fast!

Ken's dad reading some touching words that he wrote and framed for the newly wed couple ... so sweet!  No, the barn wasn't empty .. everyone's on the other side by the chairs ... and bar.

I don't have many pictures yet, but will share them when I can.  We received a lot of compliments from guests, saying it was the best wedding they'd ever been to and it should be in a magazine ... we agree!  A trolley brought guests from the parking area in front of the plantation-style home to the barn towards the back of the property.  A 1957 (I think) turquoise and white antique car brought the bride and her dad to the ceremony, and the trolley brought the groom and the rest of the bridal party to the barn.  All of these ideas were our daughter's, and it was the perfect touch!  Once again, friends and family came together to make her dreams come true.  The car is owned by the groom's great-uncle, and the trolley is owned by a friend of the groom's family.  We were very fortunate.  The reception ended with sparklers, then we all kicked back with a bonfire.  This wasn't a stuffy wedding, this was a celebration!  It was a lot of fun.

Since this wasn't a barn that we rented, Sunday meant clean-up day ... ugh!  No wonder I'm still exhausted.  Food and trash needed to be removed, hay bales were brought into the barn to keep dry, beer kegs needed to be returned ...  Again, we were lucky to have friends of the groom's family that entertain a lot and have white wedding chairs, tables, linens, plates and glasses ... enough for over a hundred people!  They loaned us everything.  So, we had to wipe down tables & chairs and re-packaged them then box up the dirty dishes, glasses and tablecloths to be cleaned and returned ... whew!

With all that going on, Ken managed to participate in a friend's annual "Crawfish Cook-Off" on Sunday.  There were eight teams, and guess who won ... that's right, Ken's team!  He really does boil those bugs better than anyone I know.  Ken and our good friend, Ted, will possess the trophy and belt until next year.  The band loaned Ted their washboard for a celebratory dance!

It was kinda sad to pull up to the barn Sunday morning, seeing the beautiful setting and wedding arbor ... now so empty.  It really was so nice, and we hated to see it all end so quickly.  The owners of the property were thrilled to see their barn so clean and nicely decorated.  They're already planning a birthday party for their 2-year old grand-daughter next month, and want to keep some of that hay.  At least we know our efforts restoring the barn will continue to be enjoyed, and we'll have pictures and great memories!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!
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