Wednesday, April 25, 2012

And They Lived Happily Ever After.....

What a fantastic weekend I just had!!!   In order to maintain some privacy, I won't post photos of people here....but my son and his sweetheart of several years got married last Sunday morning.

I went to St. Louis on Friday, arriving about 3:30 pm.  The "couple" came to the hotel (Drury Inn...very nice!!!) and we got ready and went to meet the rest of her family.  I'd never met any of them before so was naturally a  little nervous.  Went to a Mexican foods restaurant (El Maguey) and it was great.  Super, super neat people.  Her parents, her twin sister and her husband and 2 year old son (what a doll!!!), her other sister and her husband...all were fantastic people.  I felt quite comfortable within just minutes of arriving.  A lot of food and drink and getting "stuffed!"

Then Saturday am while the bride and her female entourage had "mani's & pedi's", my son and I took in The Container Store and REI.  Both places extremely addictive!!!  WOW!!!   I'm actually glad they're not local!   At noon my son dropped me off at the Pastries of Denmark restaurant where I met the other women plus the daughters' godmother and her daughter.  Lunch was "girl talk" and "wedding talk"...and a lot of fun!

Saturday night was the "dress up" dinner at Bristol.  VERY nice...the food was exquisite, the service was too.  Again...what a great group of people.  And again...a lot of food (and drinks) and laughter.

My son spent the nights with me at the hotel, so Sunday am I followed  him in my car to the Old Hickory Golf Club where the wedding was to be held.  Beautiful setting!  The bride was stunning!!!  She's truly a very very pretty girl!

I'd never been to a Jewish wedding before and was in for a treat.  Many customs that I was uneducated about..and found absolutely fascinating.  The grandfathers' prayer shawl was draped over the chupah (canopy).  There were two glasses filled with wine; one to be passed from family member to family member, each taking a sip while the Rabbi said the blessings.  The other glass was a couple's blessing to be shared by the bride and groom.

Since this was an interfaith marriage, the Rabbi read/sang the seven blessings in both Hebrew and in English.  The couple circled each other seven times, maintaining eye contact.  This is to confirm they will protect each other (and more.) 

A ketubah - a marriage contract - is arranged and signed by both bride and groom, the Rabbi, and two witnesses.  It will be displayed in the couples' home.

The ring exchange was also different than I'd seen before.  The groom places the ring on the bride's right hand index finger as vows are spoken.  Then the bride places the groom's ring on his left hand ring finger.  Then the bride is told if she accepts her groom as her husband, the two of them should move the ring to her left hand, ring finger.

Also at one point the bride and groom each hold one end of a knotted handkerchief (the bride's grandfather's or great grandfather's I think) while repeating vows.  And then of course, there's the smashing of the glass.  The glass is inside a cloth and the groom steps on it and smashes it.  I read later that it is often said that's the last time he'll get to put his foot down!  :)   

After the ceremony and lots and lots of photos, we went to a private room for a wonderful brunch.  The parents of the bride then had a "crowning."  Traditionally after the last daughter is married (today it is sometimes the last child..male or female), then crowns are placed on the heads of the parents and their children dance around them.  Two wreaths were available and the bride and groom placed them on the parents' heads and then all three daughters and all three son-in-laws danced around them and gave them kisses.  Lots of laughter and fun!!!

All in all, an absolutely wonderful weekend!  What a memory!  Oh...and also both the bride and the groom had chosen songs to be read during the ceremony.  My son chose "What Are You Doing For the Rest of Your Life" and the bride chose "This Is Always."  Lyrics can be googled if you're interested....every time I read them I'm still leaky-eyed! 

I'm delighted to see my son take this step.  I'm delighted with his bride...she's not only beautiful, but smart and talented as well...and much more!  This is good...this is very good!

Count your blessings...mine are HUGE in number!!!  And I do appreciate them!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tornado Weather!!!!

Wow!!! Quite a day! I had a craft show until 2 p.m. today and was rather concerned as the weather gurus were warning of severe storms all across the Midwest today. When I left the church where the craft sale was held, I commented on how "us Kansans can feel tornado weather." There's just something you sense after you've been around them a few (hundred) times. It's too warm, too humid, too everything. Smells funny even.

I actually got home just a few minutes after 2:00, flipped on the tv, and have been glued to it ever since. Tornadoes everywhere! The reporters were jumping from one cell to another all day and evening. It's now 1:10 a.m. and it's just beginning to slow down. Hutchinson is currently getting rain (much needed rain) and it appears this is part of a line of "the last" of the storms.

Hutchinson seems to have been spared much damage ... actually none in my part of town (I think)...but a lot of damage everywhere else. A few minutes ago they reported that estimated damage in Wichita will exceed 283 million...and that will change with daylight. Lyons, Raymond, Salina, Marquette, and on and on...all had damage. So far I haven't heard of any deaths and very few injuries. Again, that may all change with daylight.

Bedtime...I can sleep with rain....count your blessings and stay safe.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Day at the Dog Show

Today Carol and I took in the Sunflower Cluster dog show held at the Kansas Coliseum near Wichita. It's a four day event put on by the Salina, Wichita, and Hutchinson kennel clubs. I think this was a first "in-person" dog show for Carol, and it had been several years (about 20-25??) since I'd been to one. We had a great time!!

We got acquainted with quite a few breeds and both of us gained knowledge. We watched a lot of obedience work (my old favorite) and several of the breed rings...of course, Dobermans (my old love.)

This gorgeous gentleman, Marshall, a Bernese Mountain Dog, acquired enough points to finish his championship today. (That's a cool wet chamois on his hind quarters..not shaved or anything!)
However....earlier in the day Carol and I had stopped and chatted at length with a woman with the most gorgeous, HUGE...123 lbs. of HUGE...Bernese Mountain Dog. "Indy" had taken Best of Breed yesterday...and turned out he took it again today. He's already a champion and goes in under a "Specials" class.

As I said, we had met his Mom earlier in the day and watched several other conformation rings and obedience rings, then went back by that area just as the Berners were being judged. So we stuck around. At one point, Indy needed to be groomed a little so I held his leash while Mom groomed. She turned her back and of course, he decided to lie down. I kept his front end up but he managed to get his hind quarters on the ground. When a 123 lb. critter that I don't know wants to do something, I'm probably not the person that should be holding the leash! So...after another round of quick grooming, she asked Carol to hold Indy's 8-month old niece while she took Indy over to the handler. She handed me a chunk of bait and said, "Here....keep her your fingers!" Hellooooo.... actually it was never a long as one doesn't mind watching your entire hand being inhaled!

But I think Carol was falling in love...and I think the pup was too! I've kicked myself that I didn't get a good photo of Indy, as he did wind up taking Best of Breed again today.

The Berners' mom thanked us several times for helping her out...and we thanked her right back for letting us. It was an up close and in person adventure. FUN!

Also I got acquainted with a Lowchen...had to ask what it was...nice small-medium dogs. Also had a great encounter with a beautiful Bouvier des Flandres. I had always been under the impression they were not particularly friendly. Conversation with the owner was enlightening. She breeds for temperament....and obviously was having good success. Her dog was charming! And beautiful!

Also gathered some information on English Springer Spaniels for a friend of a friend looking for a quality puppy.

It's been over 25 years since I shown a dog (Doberman) in obedience...and a lot has really changed. However, watching today, I would love to do it all again. One of the nicest things: to be shown in Obedience, Agility, or Herding classes....they do NOT have to be registered breeds. So....adopt a rescue dog and have a ball! Sure is tempting....hmmmmmm.

Great day...great friend...great fun! And tomorrow supposed to be nice and we plan to get in another ride. Did a little over 25 miles yesterday and it looked like it could open up and pour on us at any second...but it didn't! Hurrah!

Count your blessings...enjoy only go round once! And watch out for the Easter bunny...he's out delivering, ya know!!! Happy Easter!