Month: May 2005

  • Well, we're back.  Whoosh!  What an evening.  Saw the
    Waybourns as I was walking to the stadium (they were there for the
    Hines' daughter's graduation, but assured me they'd cheer like mad for
    Charles, too) and Laura said she'd warned her boys graduations are long
    and dull, so deal with it.

    Wise words.  True words!

    However, a few of us showed up to support Charles at this momentous
    occasion, including darling Beth, who had sat through an even larger
    graduation ceremony in Huntsville yesterday (for her cousin), then
    drove back here in time to make her bro-in-law's, and if that's not duty-above-and-beyond, I don't know what is.  ;^)  And Hannah was very good the whole time, bless her heart. 

    Give 'em their due, they started right on time, never mind the long lines of people still waiting to get through security:

    Here he came!  And I've put arrows in most photos, indicating the Graduate.

    That's him in the middle.

    I was pleased to see Charles remove his cap for the Star Spangled Banner. 

    On his way to collect his diploma.

    Almost his turn!  Unfortunately, the ones of him crossing the stage didn't turn out well. 

    It's blurry, but there he is, clutching his diploma as he returns to his seat.

    I'm thinking this was right after the cap toss.

    Outside the stadium, being congratulated by Beth.

    Receiving the congratulations of Dmitry, whilst simultaneously foiling my attempts to get a decent photo.

    Realized after the fact we'd never gotten a picture of Don and me with
    him, which is depressing but par for the course, considering who we're
    talking about.  Still, by jingo, he did it!  It was a bit
    dicey at times, but he did it. 

  • My nephew Jordan is back in the hospital, so Charles' Aunt Jeanne came
    over this afternoon to congratulate him on his graduation this evening:

    Watching her gift of a bobblehead, um, bobble. 

    A congratulatory hug from a fond aunt!

    At  last it was time for him to be driven to the graduation site. 

    To be continued . . . .

  • Tonight was the May celebration at Mom's house, honoring several
    birthdays, an anniversary, and Charles' high school graduation tomorrow
    night. In anticipation for that, the house was readied:

    Texas Tech flags now fly both in front and back.  ;^)

    Courtesy of Dmitry, a photo of Charles opening his gift sack from Don
    and me (he was particularly intrigued by the Texas Tech auto
    emblem...hmmm!  Is this a clue???), and me with the newly hacked
    hair.  That's Jessica chatting with her nephew, Benjamin.

    Mom talking with Jessica's eldest, Kirsten, who turned 12 earlier this month. 

    The hit of the dinner was Mom's homemade chocolate sauce, using Helen
    Corbett's recipe of thirty years ago.  It was quite distressingly
    good.  Wicked good.  Unnecessarily good.  To the point
    the precious tot on the left up there actually resorted to violence to get more of it!

    Marebear's mom wasn't paying attention to her pleas for a second
    helping of "ice keem and sauce" so she felt the need to give her a whap
    on the arm.

    Auntie Anne got her some more. 

    Our two photohogs . . . they simply adore having their picture taken, the silly billies.

    Dmitry laughing at something or other.

    Tomorrow night . . . The Graduation! 

  • I would yell "I'm back!" except y'all probably didn't know I was gone.

    Shows how in-the-know YOU are. 

    Just got back from San Angelo, where Tech Sargent Mike Cumbee had his
    official retirement ceremony, and Dmitry and I were there, and a dandy
    time was had by all. It was a wonderful ceremony!

    That's him.  ;^)

    That's him and Kelly.

    Here Mike is receiving a fabulous shadow box with medals and patches
    and an engraved map of the USA, showing where all he's been stationed.

    After the ceremony everyone chowed down.  Those are five of their children in the foreground.

    Speaking of fabulous, did I mention the cake? 

    And Kelly's mother, who was in with her husband from Arkansas for the
    event, most kindly treated the oldest three children to the new Star
    Wars flick afterwards, and invited Dmitry.  Wasn't that dear of
    her?  I was so impressed and humbled I could hardly stand
    it.  I'm Dmitry's mother and *I* wasn't willing to take him to it,
    yet here their grandmother was willing to make the sacrifice. 
    Mercy Maud!

    Oh, and another impressive thing she did . . . she's (can you tell I'm totally blanking on her name?  
    Knew it yesterday but now can't find the mental file cabinet it's
    stored in) an accomplished pianist, and was called upon at the last
    minute to play the piano for the occasion.  Played both the Star
    Spangled Banner and the Air Force Song ("Up we go, into the wild, blue
    yonder...!") without music, and having never played the latter song in
    her life.  Played from memory!  Can you imagine?  Did an
    outstanding job, too.

  • Got my hair cut (again) this afternoon in preparation for going to Mike
    C.'s retirement-from-the-Air-Force-after-22-years party in San Angelo
    tomorrow afternoon, which sparked a couple of observations.

    One was how those big photo books of hairstyles, provided by the
    hairdresser, are rather a mixed bag o' blessings.  OTOH, I have
    never seen collected in one place so many perfectly awful hairstyles.  The idea someone might actually point to one of them and say, "Make me look like that!"
    is laughable.  OTOH, by golly if there weren't some middleaged and
    pudgebuckets included.  This is a pleasant change, as usually one
    could not tell, based upon the models, there's anyone over 25 years and
    95 pounds dripping wet left in the world.

    Second was how odd it is to me to see a grand total of three
    hairdryer seats.  I clearly recall the days when the line of
    hairdryers took up most of a wall, but now they're tucked in the
    back.  Two of the three were being used when I came in, though
    judging by the foil and cotton, it was for dye purposes rather than
    drying hair on rollers.

    BTW, it's amazing - and rather painful - how hot those blowdryers can be!  Ouch.

    The young woman who did my hair had a ring through her nose, and a stud
    way down below her mouth, but she did a right nice job.  Took a
    lot of care, kept checking for stray hairs needing to be snipped,
    etc.  I'm always a trifle nervous, putting myself in the hands of
    someone with weird colored hair and metal adornments, but to be fair,
    they can be pretty decent stylists.

  • [snuffle]  We had to say Dasvadanya to Alex tonight.  He'll return in July, however, so that's good. 

    Is he the bestest uncle or what?  Not only does he give "airplane" rides . . .

    . . .  but he took Kirstin and her kids to the Joint Reserve Base
    (used to be Carswell, back in a more civilized age) so Benjamin in
    particular could get up close and personal with the airplanes. 
    Benjamin loves all forms of transportation . . . boats, cars, trucks,
    trains, airplanes, you name it.  Apparently he loved seeing the
    nifty fighter planes, and when they were driving away to come home,
    some pilot (probably a Weekend Warrior type) was stunt-flying, flying
    straight up, then twisting down, etc.  They pulled over into a
    parking lot to watch the "show."   Pretty slick outing, eh?

    While they were here, Bethany coaxed her mother into playing Memory:

    Naturally my Bryson Bunny was here, too!

    This evening Alex and Beth were over before he heads back to Tennessee
    in the wee hours of Thursday morning.  They're going to be living
    in an apartment in base housing, and there's some meeting Alex needs to
    be at early Thursday afternoon.  Beth is staying on in the area,
    though, for Alex is going on a short tour the first of June.

    Babies get no respect, poor li'l critters . . . they get passed around like a sack o' potatoes.  ;^)

  • Alex, Beth, and Hannah were over last night:

    Isn't she adorable? 

    This was my favorite, though: 

    He suddenly remembered the pacifier and whipped it out of his mouth, but it was Too Late.  The evil deed was done. 

  • Remember the LA cathedral?  How frightfully ugly it is?

    Well, by jingo, San Francisco says anything LA can do, SF can out-do!  And here's the proof . . . introducing the "winning" design for the new cathedral for that diocese:

    Get a load of the interior:

    Is this appalling or what?  What's truly astounding is that this design, submitted by someone at Notre Dame, was rejected in favor of the laundry basket:

    Now, why would anyone think that would be a suitable design for California?  Just because it's reminiscent of the Spanish missions which dot the state?

    California has lost its mind, or at a minimum, any sense of taste it ever possessed. 

  • All the academic grades have been posted, and the only class Dmitry
    flat-out failed was History.  He managed to pass (through the kind
    offices of the teachers in many cases, make no mistake) Pre-Alegbra and
    Computer with 73's, 77's in English and Earth Science, and an 82 in

    Considering that last July his entrance exam wasn't gradeable, that's pretty good going. 

    However, the principal of Temple called a few minutes ago and said the
    consensus of the teachers is that he should repeat 8th grade, which he
    flatly refuses to do, and I can't say as how I blame him.  Who
    wants to be the only 15 year old in a sea of 13 year olds, especially
    when your friends are all in the 9th grade?

    His time at Temple was well-spent, though.  It helped him
    assimilate, improved his math and English, and most important, really
    introduced him to the Scriptures.

    On to Plan B, whatever that winds up to be. 

  • Charles brought home his cap and gown today.  He even has a medal,
    if you can believe it!  Something about "Texas Scholars."

    Boy howdy, does his SAT score have everyone snowed or what?