Monday, August 28, 2006

We never tire of traveling places and seeing the sights, especially the beautifully meaningful ones in Washington, DC, such as The White House.

Don't know how "beautifully meaningful" Buddy is (President Clinton's Chocolate Lab), but I took this picture of him as we were walking by the White House grounds. He was having fun with the Secret Service agents, chasing and retrieving a tennis ball they would throw for him. Rest in peace, Buddy.

This was taken from our hotel room window....sun shining on the brick....Washington Monument in the background....and, of course, an airplane in view. :-)

The exquisite Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Washington, DC.
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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Back in the Fall of 1968, I began working for Ed and Fran Webb at their studio, Webb Recording Company, 812 N. Dearborn, in Chicago. I loved working for and with Fran, and she became a mother-figure to Phil and me, as well as "Gramma Fran" to each of our three daughters.

Fran was the personification of loving kindness, and demonstrated the love of God on a daily basis to everyone with whom she came in contact. She was gracious, sophisticated, and yet very humble and warm. Fran loved with unconditional love, and each life she touched was made better and more special.

I loved her red hat, and always took every opportunity to capture a picture of her when she wore it. This time, I guess Phil captured the picture, since I'm in it with this beloved lady who cared so deeply for me, my husband, and my children.

You were God's gift to us, Francoise..........and I'm not certain you ever knew the profound effect you had upon me in particular. The lovingkindness you bestowed upon me and mine made our lives beautiful. How can we ever thank you?

I love you, Francoise........Myrni (as you loved to call me)
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Today, Phil and I attended a lovely Remembrance Service at Tabor Hills HealthCare Facility in Naperville, IL. The purpose of the service was to honor those residents of the facility who had died sometime during the past year. Our beloved Fran Webb died February 2, 2006, after having been at the Tabor Hills facility for a year. She had turned 97 years of age in November of 2005.

I took this picture prior to the service. You can see Phil seated in the upper left-hand side of the picture.

At the end of the service, family members or anyone who wanted to remember a departed loved one was invited to light a candle. I offered a prayer, thanking God for allowing Fran to be a part of our lives for almost forty years as I lit my candle.

The garden area where balloons were released to demonstrate the "letting go" of the loved one who has passed away.

A cluster of purple balloons, lifted heavenward by the strong breeze, and seemingly escorted by winged assistants.

We love you, Fran, and miss you terribly. Life just isn't the same anymore for the many of us who loved you.....and love you still.
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Friday, August 25, 2006

On one of our trips to Rome, Italy........the beautifully romantic Trevi Fountain (remember, "Three Coins in the Fountain"). Was that the name of the movie, also?

All over Rome and other European cities, we saw the Smart Car. I LOVED these little things and thought they were so cute! Now it appears these automobiles will become available in the United States!

Ah, such glorious structures and monuments in Rome! This is Piazza Venezio.

History is visually breathtaking and represented by such as the Forum ruins, Rome, Italy.
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It's 11:06 PM, Chicago time. We flew home from San Francisco this afternoon, and anticipate a nice weekend at home.

I was looking through (the myriads of) pictures on my computer, and as usual, my eyes were drawn to some shots that are full of light and life.

You can probably tell that the picture above is a sparkler. We were with some dear friends in northern Minnesota July 4, 2004, and played with sparklers that evening in the back yard.

Our friend also built a bonfire. A close-up of the intense fire....scary yet beautiful.

We were riding in a taxi in Hong Kong, and I just couldn't resist taking pictures so that I could see later what I captured. I love this stuff! ha

Our first trip to Venice, Italy, we stayed at the Hotel Christmastime. The above picture is the Christmas tree in the hotel lobby.
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Monday, August 21, 2006

Well, this is the only picture of Tim Mayfield that I could find. (That's me on the left, and his sister, Marcia Twadell, on the right. This photo was taken on the set of Day of Discovery when we were all part of the program and The Discovery Singers.)

We want to say congratulations to Tim and his wife, Teddy, on the birth of their first grandchild this past weekend.....a tiny baby girl.

The above picture is my younger sister, Teecie, and her husband, Phil. (Yes, we have Phil 1 & Phil 2....both much more well-behaved than Thing 1 and Thing 2! ha)

I'm sharing this so that I can publicly express our gratefulness to God for protecting Phil from severe injury the end of last week during a terribly freak accident in Colorado. Phil was injured when an arm of a forklift broke and fell on his head, right shoulder and arm. He sustained a slight concussion, and lots of stitches! We are SO thankful that he is on the mends, and the doctors in Colorado say that he will recuperate 100%.

We love Phil very much, and are thrilled to have him for a brother-in-law! (We love you, too, Teecie!) :-) We're especially thrilled that he's alive, alert and enjoying all the things and relationships that are so meaningful to him!

Thank You, Lord, for Your kindnesses, which truly ARE new every morning!
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This past June, Phil and I celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary. Rather than do anything particularly special at that time, we made the decision to check online and see when we could get tickets for Celine Dion's show in Las Vegas.

Well, we were able to get tickets, and made that trip to Las Vegas this past weekend, flying there on Friday from San Francisco where Phil is presently on an IBM engagement. We stayed at the Venetian, where we've stayed on previous trips to LV. We love being there because the surroundings remind us of our trips to Venice, Italy, one of our most favorite places to visit. After arriving at the hotel Friday evening, we were able to have a great dinner in one of the many restaurants in the hotel.

We had a leisurely day on Saturday. Saturday evening, we walked from the Venetian down the street to Caesars Palace, where Ms. Dion appears at the Colosseum, the theater designed especially for her and her show, "A New Day." We had seats in the 8th row from the stage! We could see and hear everything perfectly! I'm amazed at Celine Dion's vocal range, and what she's able to do with the gift God has given her. The show, with all the dancers and musicians, was wonderful! And.....she sang all the songs that she made famous and that are familiar to those in attendance. She's a great entertainer.

The Venetian is so massive (as are so many of the hotels in Las Vegas) it was impossible to get the entire complex in one picture, but I tried with this shot capturing just part of the place, taken from the sidewalk across the street from the hotel.

This is the hallway upon entering the building. Notice the "Phantom of the Opera" banners. The Venetian has a brand new theater, and this musical is now showing there. We've seen "Phantom..." several times in London, but would love seeing this presentation with its special effects!

These canals are within the Venetian Hotel, complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers.
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We made a trip to Las Vegas a few years ago, and at that time, stayed at the Bellagio. What a delight to have a room on the "front" of the building which enabled us to watch the famous fountains. The activity of the fountains is synchronized to music that plays over the television sound system in each room. It's mesmerizing, and tempting to just sit in a chair, watching and listening for stretches of time.

The "tracks" of the Bellagio fountains....lying still and "silent."

The airport at Las Vegas has a seating area facing a large wall of glass windows...must be at least 50 feet tall. We sat in this area yesterday, watching the planes land and take off with great regularity. Guess who the blond in the lower right corner is? Yep....PJ. :-) And guess what he's doing? Yep....working on his computer. :-)

See.....and he's loving the sunshine directly on him:-)
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There's always a sense of anticipation when we open the drapes each morning here at the Marriott Hotel near the San Francisco Airport, as we view the water and skies.

One morning last week, I opened the drapes just in time to capture the sun rising over the water, and to see a plane taking off to the north (the little spot in the left-hand side of the picture) and its silver linear "shadow" in the water.

More pictures taken immediately......the one above of the sun rising....

....a plane approaching the landing strip....

.....and right after the plane crossed the sun's "track." This may not move you at all, but I find exquisite beauty in sights such as these, and a sense of awe overcomes my soul. How grateful I am for my digital camera that enables me to grab these pictures, download them to my computer, and view them onscreen immediately!
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Friday, August 18, 2006

I didn't take the picture and I haven't actually seen this glorious sight, but our good friend, Tim Mayfield, who lives in California emailed me this California hillside with colorful ground cover. Beautiful, huh?

TransAmerica Building in background; streetcar wires in foreground on a San Francisco street.

Hollywood sign in the background; more streetcar wires in the foreground on a Burbank, CA, street. (Phil was on an engagement in Glendale when I took this picture.)

Gorgeous, colorful ground cover....hillside, Burbank, CA.
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We never fail to experience a certain thrill when we drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, and it was especially fun to get a picture on a beautifully clear day!

Even a dead, twisted and broken tree provides a strange beauty........and Phil's presence in the picture gives a perspective as to the size of it.

Ah.........the California marine layer.

And a cute dog is ALWAYS a cute dog....even hangin' out this driver's side window traveling 70 miles an hour!!
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