Saturday, September 8, 2012

I'm BACK!!!

It's been over 3 years since I settled with a Friday Five or just a blog entry.... a lot has happened in 3 years.  We are still Living Life Zestfully and very happy on Yellow Creek Lake.  We recently bought another lot on Yellow Creek Lake - and we will be building a new home on this lake that we love so much.  I will continue to feature an occasional Friday's Five! and I plan to chronicle the events of our building progress, I'm sure I'll discuss my girls and my grandkids well as happenings with our new healthy lifestyle.  It's good to be back!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday's FIVE!

My friend Esther and I went to the Wagon Wheel Theater this weekend to see Sawyer Brown...
a group that has been performing for over 27 years. Iwas a fan of of the TV show, Star Search... and Sawyer Brown won that competition in 1983 and have continued with a long and successful run. Esther and I always have a good time together, and our husbands don't enjoy country music... so we make it a girls night to go to these concerts. It was a fun concert - and it reminded me of several other concerts that I have attended. I've been to many concerts - and many different types of music - from Arrowsmith and Kiss to Clint Black and Martina McBride to James Taylor... Hootie and the Blowfish, Dave Matthews Band...Sara McLaughlin, Elton John and Billy Joel - but this weeks Friday's FIVE! is Five of the 'stand-out' concerts I've attended...

1. Diana Ross - Steve and I went to Roselawn in 1982 to see Diana Ross and it was an AMAZING performance... it was truly chilling to see such a superstar!

2. Bette Midler - I have been a Bette Midler fan since 1972...before many people had even heard of Bette Midler. I've had the chance to see her a few times and I've never been disappointed by the show she puts on... The costumes...the music... the performances.... the stage.

3. Jimmy Buffett - FINS TO THE LEFT! What else can you say... ???? There is nothing like a Jimmy Buffett concert... Bruce and I saw Jimmy Buffett in Sept. 2001 - with Roger and Colleen. It was right after Bruce and I had started dating...and it was the first concert Buffett had performed since 9/11. He was scheduled to play at Deercreek on 9/11 and this was the re-scheduled event. It was a show I'll never forget.... We've seen him a few times since... but nothing has compared to that concert.

4. Ringo Star and his All Starr Band - with Ringo Starr - drums, vocals
Joe Walsh - guitar, vocals , Nils Lofgren - guitar, vocals , Todd Rundgren - guitar, vocals
Dave Edmunds - guitar, vocals Burton Cummings - keyboards, vocals , Timothy B. Schmit - bass, vocals , Zak Starkey - drums , Timmy Cappello - saxaphone.
We went to this concert with Laura and Jeff Farber...Laura was working for a radio company that had the security contract with Sunshine promotions. Because of Laura's connections...we had backstage passes...and we were able to meet Ringo Starr and all of the rest of the All Starr band - Ringo shook our hands and said - "very nice to meet you"... it was something I'll never forget!

5. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill - The concert was fantastic...and the couple put on a great show - but the best part of this concert was that this was a girls night. Mom, Katie and Betsy and I went to Indianapolis to see the concert at Conseco Fieldhouse. We had dinner in the Varsity Club and sat on the rail while were served dinner and beer and wine throughout the concert. It was such a wonderful evening...and a memory that we all hold very close and dear to our hearts...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday's FIVE!

Priest Bargaining Scene - Daddy played the Priest in the black and white stripe...

Palm and Garland Girls

Jerusalem Maidens Claudia

This weekend we celebrate Easter... Christians celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is a blessed time for the faithful to celebrate the life, death and resurrection of the Savior... This weekend we celebrate Easter by attending our local Church ~ Center United Methodist in Silver Lake, IN...and we took Mom to lunch and we gathered at Bruce's Mom's to celebrate in the late afternoon with the Lankenau family. This weeks Friday's FIVE! I am remembering Easters past...

1. Marion had been home to the Marion Easter Pageant founded in 1937. In the year 2003 the pageant was suspended due to issues with the building's plumbing system. The Marion Easter Pageant is unique in that no spoken words, lines from any cast members is ever used. The pantomime story of the last week of the life of Christ on earth is told entirely with song, dance and of great anthems and familiar hymns
As a child, my family was involved in the Marion Easter Pageant. My Pence Grandparents were involved in the first pageant and the tradition continued until the pageant ended a few years ago. My mother and my father were both involved in the pageant in high school.
As a child, I was a Palm and Garland girl - and can remember practicing at the YWCA. Little did I know then how deep of a traditions this would become for my own daughters. I was a Palm and Garland girl for a few years...and then later sang in the choir for a few years while in Jr. and High School. My mother was in the Ave Maria choir and Daddy was begger in the early days and later a Priest. My Grandma Alexander did make-up - Grandpa Alexander was a pilgrim on the floor for a few years and also built props. Katie and Betsy were both Palm and Garland Girls and Members of the Cross. Betsy was a pilgrim on the floor with me ~ while their Dad was Moneychanger and a Priest. Katie was also a Jerusalem Maiden. She carried the tradition into her own adulthood by being a member of Claudia Retinue and later played Claudia. It was deep strong community tradition that I am proud to have been a participant.

2. Our girls were raised in the First United Methodist Church in Marion. As a child growing up - my family were members of the church, but we did not attend regularly. It was different for my daughters - We didn't miss a Sunday ~ and we were often there several nights a week for many different commitees and activities ~ but the preparation for Easter and Christmas were the highlights of our Christian faith. Easter Sunday services at First United Methodist Church in Marion in that beautiful sanctuary - with the pipe organ made for a truly spiritual experience.

3. As a stay at home daughter of two daughters - I knew I would have to make their dresses myself if I wanted then to have the ruffled... crinoline dresses that I dreamed for them to wear.
The "Martha's Minatures" were too expensive for me to buy - so I would just learn how to make them... So- I took to the machine and with a McCalls/Simplicity pattern in hand...I would lovingly sew the girls Easter Sunday dresses. Mother would often make one - and I would make the other. We would carefully plan the colors and patterns to coordinate. We would spend hours and hours and hours with gathered ruffles and piping to make beautiful dresses that (If I do say so myself) put Martha's Minatures to shame....

4. Easter Brunches... We would gather with Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa Alexander for Easter Brunch after Church. In the early days, we would go to the Sheraton ... the downtown hotel in Marion for the brunch. Later, Mom and Dad joined the country club where we would go for our Sunday Brunch. The brunches were always a fun time - and at the country club, the Easter Bunny was present and often a clown or a magician. It was a special family time and I treasure the memories.

5. I've already mentioned the pageant... but it was such a huge part of the celebration ... and there are so many memories included with that tradition. Weeks and weeks of practice - the smell of the old Marion Coliseum... I still refer to that terrible tired feeling as 'Easter Pageant' tired...when we stayed up all night, or got only 2 or 3 hours of sleep to be able to arrive for the make-up call by 3:00AM - so we could be prepared for the one hour Sunrise presentation that began at 6AM. The smell of the make-up ... and the traces left behind... The hunt for sandals without buckles... the last minute run for panty hose - The quick, hurried change from the make-up covered faces... to our Easter Sunday best ... so we could make it to church on time at 9:30..... But the best memory of all...was the joyous sound of CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY ~ followed by the Hallejulah Chorus...with the sun peaking through the windows of the Coliseum. We arrived in the dark ~ and left with the Sun shining down on us reminding us...


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Firday's FIVE!

This weekend we are celebrating Betsy and Debbie...
My daughter Betsy and her partner Debbie, were joined in a ceremony in Maui, Hawaii...
on November 11, 2008. This weekend on April 4, 2009 - we celebrated with a reception.
This weeks Friday FIVE! is a celebration of Betsy and Debbie!

1. Betsy and Debbie met in Muncie, Indiana... Betsy was working at her Dad's restaurant and Debbie was working at a local downtown store. Betsy was a student at Ivy Tech and Debbie was working on her graduate degree at Ball State. We knew when Betsy introduced to us to Debbie...that this was something special and she was going to be around forever!

2. Betsy and Debbie moved to Chicago... in the Lakeview East area ~ near the lake. The culture in the area was true match for them. They are able to walk most places... they have the lake nearby to satisfy their love of nature...and they have the city with all of the concerts, shows, arts and restaurants. The city is a perfect place for them to start their life together.

3. Betsy and Debbie love nature... They love to hike... to backpack...and to enjoy the outdoors.
The have enjoyed many backpacking trips...including a dangerous adventure to the Smokies one spring break that nearly left them stranded in the mountains with a heavy lake spring snowfall.

4. Betsy and Debbie love their kitty - Djembe. They have a beautiful, healthy...'handsome' kitty that enjoys the window in their apartment. He is a sleek, athletic cat ~ and he brings joy and harmony to their home.

5. Betsy and Debbie are a perfect match... They balance each other - they intuitively pick up on each others strengths and weaknesses...They bring out the best in each other. I am blessed with such wonderful children ~ and even more, that my children have partners that make them happy...and make them whole. I'm so blessed that I am the natural mother of two beautiful daughters ~ and because they have blessed me with their partners...I now am proud to have four wonderful children....We are so thankful to have Debbie in our family!!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday's FIVE!

I am so fortunate to have a career I love... I work for the best rehab company in the country, Paragon Rehab....and I am so fortunate to have co-workers that I love to work with... I respect my team-mates... and am so blessed to be a part of the team! One of the advantages of my position - is the travel that I have the opportunity to do... While I get lonely on the road, and I miss being home with Bruce and Millie - I do get see so many wonderful places around the country. This weeks Friday's FIVE! is a look at the five places I have been in the last few weeks!

1. Louisville, Kentucky - The location of our home office...I love Louisville. I love the feeling I have when I drive across the Ohio River and see the cityscape... there are so many wonderful things to do in Louisville...and as a road warrior, I'm always happy to spend some time with my team-mates!

2. Lima, Ohio - A quick drive to our westward neighbor... My drivetime always give me time to enjoy my Sirius Radio - sing... pray... chat on the phone a little - and organize my thoughts.

3. Birmingham, Alabama - It is true what they say about southern hospitality. Everyone is so thoughtful, courteous and pleasant. We drove from Birmingham to Montgomery and stopped at a gas station to fill up the tank - I ran in to get a cup of coffee - and had a friendly conversation with the salesclerk as I poured my coffee. When I made my way to the counter to pay for the coffee - the salesclerk said to me, "Oh Ma'am, there is no charge for coffee here... enjoy your coffee and have a great day!" It made me smile the rest of the way to Montgomery!

4. Hendersonville, Tennessee - Outside of Indiana, Tennessee is truly my favorite state. I love Nashville, home of our Paragon Office...I love Memphis - the BEST BBQ ever...and Eastern Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains is one of my favorite places in the world! I was reminded this weekend how much I love Tennessee. This wasn't a work related trip - This trip was a quick 24 hour trip with Bruce to go to Hendersonville, TN to pick up a new boat. We had a good time together - and we enjoyed the beautiful scenery of Tennessse and a taste of the Tennessee spring weather!

5. Claypool, Indiana - Sweet HOME Indiana! While I see wonderful places...and I enjoy so many different climates, scenery and friendly faces...there aren't any places I love as much as my own home. When the planes land...and I'm on the ground Indiana ~ I know I have arrived in my favorite place in the world. The place where my husband and my home are - the place where my grandsons live... where my mother and my oldest daughter reside. Oh, the wonderful, blessed comforts of home.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday's FIVE!

March 22, 1955 ... Bruce was born in Grand Rapids, MI...
This weeks Friday FIVE! is a celebration of Bruce.... and a few things that I love about him ~

1. His School-boy Heart ~ Bruce is a true boy at heart ~ he is the epitome of "Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails"... He likes to get dirty, he likes to play hard, he likes to shoot his guns ~ and sail his boats...His school boy heart makes a perfect playmate for his two grandsons!When it comes to buying Bruce gifts - most who know him well, know that a squirt gun, a nerf ball or some water balloons will make him just as happy as any costly gift.

2. His Tender Heart ~ Bruce is peaceful and gentle...rarely gets mad or participates in angry conflict. His peacefulness has been such a blessed gift to me. His calm demeanor is evident with his youngest grandson, Trevor. From the time Trevor was a tiny infant - he would be calmed by sitting on Grandpa's lap. He still is... Bruce insists it is because the rest of us have to play with him and pick at him... and he just lets him 'sit'... Now that Trevor is getting bigger - if Grandpa is around, he is content to find a place close to Grandpa where he can sit and play.
3. His Love for the Outdoors ~ We both love to be outside... playing in the sun ... in the water... in the woods... in the mountains... in the snow - if it is outside, we love it! Bruce has an innate need to be outside. He is a red-head...and a few minutes in the sun and his cheeks show the evidence of outside play. It is his place of solace... I will often find him outside sitting on the porch eating peanuts...or chopping wood or just walking around the yard. During the warm weather months - we are outside until bedtime - often cruising the lake in our pontoon, paddling our kayaks, pedaling our bikes or taking a walk.

4. His is a Handyman! ~ Bruce can 'fix' almost anything.... If something is broke - he can usually fix it. If a coffee pot or hairdryer breaks - my response is to go buy a new one, he will usually 'fix' the item before I have the chance. Our boats and cars are always running in top-notch condition because he knows by the sound they make, the repair that might need done. He likes to 'fix' things - and is often found under the hood of his Volkswagen bus - or tearing apart a boat engine.

5. His Essential Lifestyle ~ Bruce is more comfortable in his blue jeans and sweatshirts over fine dress apparel in most any situation. Essential living is far more important to him than the traditional 'finer things' such as fine leather shoes, fine wine and upscale restaurants. Of course, there are fine things he enjoys, and he is always willing to accomodate me if I want to enjoy a fine dining experience or a glass of wine, but the true essentials in life are what make him thrive. He prefers comfortable living with his family ... a cold beer at a local bar with close friends... his best worn jeans ... and classic rock and roll. Bruce's father passed away unexpectedly at the age of 62 - and because of that, Bruce is dedicated to taking care of his body - it is essential to him that he is faithful to his cardio and strength training routines. So, essential to Bruce... is family, friends, happiness and health.... and to me, that is his most endearing quality.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRUCE... I love you!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday's FIVE!

Springtime at Yellow Creek Lake!!! Spring is not my favorite season... I'm a true lover of summer of fall.... but there is something magical about Spring - This week's Friday's FIVE! is a focus of five signs I've noticed this week that remind me that spring is just around the corner....

1. HIGH WATER - We've had High Water since we've been residents at YCL, but this season is the record. The Tippecanoe River reached well over 15 feet causing flooding in the area. Standing in our living room was like standing on a boat = we had water all around us!!!

2. LOONS and other migratory waterfowl.... I've seen hooded mergansers and wood ducks - I've seen Sand hill cranes... the robins are back and the Martin house goes up this week. We had dinner this week at El Arriero and saw a loon on Center lake....but we haven't seen or heard our resident loon yet. We anxiously await the call!


3. CROCUS and other perennials are starting to pop up. I've got little buds of Rhubarb coming up ... it won't be long and the trees will be budding.


4. FISHERMAN on the lake... this weekend we saw the first Fisherman of the season... it's time for all the lakers to return.


5. DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!!!! I LOVE Daylight Savings time!!!! It gives us an extra hour to enjoy the great outdoors!!!! The days are getting longer and the time has changed!!! While Spring is not my favorite is the season that ushers in Summer... So - bring on the sunscreen, the hats, the coolers of beer and fun in the sun!!!! I LOVE SUMMER!!!

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday's FIVE!

My California Cousins, Mark and Bob
Bruce and his brother Matt, first time together in 15 years!
Temecula ~ Wine Country

Kayaking in the Pacific

Humpback Whale ~ Splash after breaching 4 times!

Bruce and I have just experienced a wonderful trip to San Diego, California... We did so many wonderful things - and this Friday's FIVE! is a tribute to five of the highlights of our trip!
We enjoy so many of the same things...and have such a wonderful time together. The objective of this trip was to see whales while kayaking in the pacific as it is whale migration season...
The highlights of our trip include:
1. A visit with my California Cousins... I stayed in Ocean Beach in 1973 with my cousin, Mark...and this time, Bruce and I rented a cottage in Ocean was a wonderful little cottage less than a block from the ocean. It was so good to see my cousins again.... We were able to have dinner with them two times during our visit. I'm so fortunate to have a relationship with my cousins that live 2000 miles away.
2. A visit with Bruce's brother, Matt, his wife Maria and his girls, Lauren and Angela. It was wonderful to meet Matt and his family...and it was wonderful to see Bruce visiting with his brother. It was the first time they had seen each other in 15 years!! We were able to have dinner together at Downtown Disney ~ it was a great visit.
3. The vineyards in Temecula were a pleasant suprize and not something we had orginally planned to do - however, the weather on that day was too cool for we make the drive to the beautiful country and had such a great time tasting wine!! Our favorite winery was a friendly place family oriented place, Wilson Creek
Winery. We enjoyed all the wines ~ and are looking forward to the deliveries of our wine purchases....including Wilson Wineries famous Almond Champagne!
4. Our objective for the trip was to paddle during whale watching season... We paddled for about 4 hours with a guide all around LaJolla. We saw many, many sea lions, harbor seals and leopard sharks. The kelp forests were amazing... it was a an eventful paddle and we had a great time! All of the sights significantly reduced the disappointed fo the no-show of the whales.
5. Because the whales were a no-show during the LaJolla paddle - we decided to take a harbor cruise ... a 'whale-watching' cruise. It was such an exciting event! We were several miles off shore when we saw a huge humpback whale breach ... FOUR times!!! After witnessing the humpback - we were treating to glimpes of 4 gray whales.... it was a wonderful.... truly awesome experience. I was thrilled to be able to check off a box on my 'bucket-list' by seeing the whales in the pacific!
Honorable Mention
We also went to Disneyland, We toured the Midway, a retired Aircraft Carrier, We went to the San Diego zoo and saw the Panda Bears and we visited San Diego Wild Animal park. The evenings were spent at sunset cliffs watching the sun go down over Ocean Beach...and eating fish tacos and enjoying each other at many of the shops in Ocean Beach before settling in for the night in our bungalow... it was a great trip!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday's FIVE!

We are looking forward to Kayaking in San Diego during whale migration soon.. Bruce and I enjoy each other ... and we both enjoy paddling and have planned several vacations around paddling... This weeks Friday's FIVE! focuses on some of paddling adventures.

1. Key West/2002
Getting married off the coast of Key West was certainly the highlight of this trip - but the paddle was definately a runner up! We rented a tandem kayak - and paddled all over the shallow water of the Keys for several hours and saw wildlife, nurse sharks and one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. It was truly an amazing paddle!

2. Canaveral National Seashore/2005
We put in at JBs Fish Camp and paddled all over the Canaveral National Seashore - It was an amazing paddle - we saw so many wonderful migratory birds.
It was quiet and peaceful and a perfect day for a paddle. When we were done, we ended up at JBs Fishcamp for dinner and cold beer - I had a basket of Rock Shrimp... It was a great local spot...and a perfect place to make a wonderful memory!

3. The Great Calusa Blueway/2006
We rented a great little cottage in Matlacha on Pine Island
and spent everyday paddling. Some days we paddled for more than 8 hours. It was an amazing trip and we logged a lot of miles... paddling through the solitude of the mangroves. We saw dolphins and sting rays - birds - and other wildlife. There was still alot of hurricane damage from Hurricane Charley in 2004 - and abandoned boats were found in many of the still waters of the mangroves. It was wonderful trip... one of those that was so good, I hope we return someday. Pine Island/Matlacha is someplace we would like to think about spending a few winter months once we retire.

4. Fontana Lake/Great Smoky Mountains/2007
Bruce and I typically take a fall hiking trip to Great Smoky Mountains ... and we usually stay near the Gatlinburg area - but in 2007, we rented a cabin near Bryson City and brought our kayaks. We kayaked Fontana Lake and had a wonderful trip. We saw bald eagles - and other wildlife. The water levels were very low due to the summer drought - but the views were truly amazing. We spent the entire day in our kayaks and paddled miles and miles and miles along the shore of Fontana lake. We also took our bikes and pedaled the trails of the Tsali. In the evenings we refueled and enjoyed carbo loading at the Nantahala Outdoor Center where we saw many other paddlers and bicyclers.
It was truly and event made for Bruce and Mindy!

5. Kosciusko County ... right where we live!!!
While we love to pack the kayaks up/or rent kayaks at an exciting... exotic out of state location - the very, very best kayaking we have ever experienced is right here in our own backyard. We love to get our kayaks out and paddle around the lake about any evening of the week. Often on summer weekends, we like to pack the kayaks up and head to another one of the 100+ lakes in the county. Some of the other enjoyed paddles we've enjoyed include the backwaters of Webster, Pike Lake area and the Barbee Chain. We love to load up our kayaks - fill the cooler full of beer, make a few sandwiches and grab a few apples ... we pack the sunscreen and bug spray and head out for a day full of kayaking. Life is so good!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Friday's FIVE!

February 14Th is Valentines Day.... However, it is MORE than Valentines Day to me - Valentines Day has always been a special day to me... On February 14, 1958... I came into this world weighing in at 8 lbs 1 oz and 19 inches long. I've always enjoyed my birthday on Valentine's Day ~ so this weeks Friday's Five! is dedicated to five of my most memorable birthdays.
2/14/1967 ~ I was 9 years old. As a child, our birthday family tradition was Mom's favorite dinner of your choice (My Mom has always been an amazing cook)... Grandma and Grandpa Alexander would usually come over.... of course there were gifts and cake and ice cream. My favorite birthday dinner request was always Pork Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Peas, Applesauce Jello and Cherry Chip Cake for dessert. Grandma Alexander would usually make the applesauce jello. In 1967 ~ my dream was a piano. My friend, Teena had a piano...and I always admired the music she was able to make with that piano. I dreamed of playing the piano. After dinner that evening - I was escorted to the living room...and much to my parents had given me a piano for birthday. I was ecstatic! I didn't become a concert pianist, but I did learn enough to be able to play Christmas songs... Unfortunately, I lost that piano in a fire in 2003...but it brought many happy memories to my life.
2/14/1974 ~ I was 16 years old. I had a small party at my house on 52ND street with a few friends. The significance of my 16Th birthday though is a gift that I received... The year before I was born, my Grandpa Alexander had given my Grandmother a heart shaped amethyst ring with six small diamonds for Valentines Day. My grandma had early onset osteoarthritis and her hands were very knobby and deformed from the disease. However, I can remember holding her hand and admiring that ring on her knobby fingers. I was about 4 years old, and she promised that the ring would be mine on my 16Th birthday. She didn't realize how fast those 12 years would pass...but she kept good on her promise and she gave me the ring. To this day, it is one of my most prized possessions.
2/14/1998 ~ I was 40 years old... How did I ever get to be 40 years old??? Several of our Sunday School friends were a little older than we were... and I would get great joy giving those friends a hard time about still being in my 30's... They really let me have it when I turned 40.
My dear friends had fabricated a 20' tombstone for our yard that said "Here dies the youth of Mindy"... There was a horror commercial on the radio about the death of my youth... and my family had planned a surprise party for me that included the grim reaper delivering my birthday cake. It was a fun party that included music by the Posse... and many friends and family. I was completely surprised and happy that my friends could revel in the death of my youth.
2/14/2002 ~ I have always shared my birthday with Valentines Day... and in 2002 it became my day. Bruce and I married off the coast of Key West on Valentines Day. It was an incredibly romantic day. We were married on a catamaran, The Dream chaser ... at sunset.
The day was absolutely perfect... and the absolute perfect day to marry my soul mate.
2/14/2008 ~ My 50Th birthday was such a wonderful, special day. My girls and my mother planned a fabulous fiftieth birthday party for me. It was such a special day, because the party included old friends, new friends and my family. Everything detail was perfectly planned. It was a homecoming of there were many friends I had not seen or spent time with for many years. While the 40Th gave my friends the opportunity to celebrate the death of my youth... my 50Th gave me the chance to celebrate the unconditional gift of family and friendships and truly celebrate the happiness in my life!