Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy, Happy Hee-Haw!

Heather Michelle, my dear niece and goddaughter, turns the Big 4-0 today!  And I am sure, she will do it with the flare and fan-fare that she does everything in life! 

In the Chinese zodiac, Heather was born in the Year of the Mouse.  For Heather, this is somewhat ironic, for she is anything but mousy, in the traditional sense.  Those born in the Year of the Mouse are charismatic, well-organized and practical, with a strong work ethic and great leadership skills. Those born under this sign also have great enthusiasm for life and a strong will. 

All of this is Heather to a "T" - she is a hugely enthusiastic person, always in motion, always having fun, intensely loyal to friends and family, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS doing the right thing, whether it's...

planning her brother's birthday party (which she did last year),
her work as head of the PE/Health department at a local middle school,
spending time with friends and family,
celebrating Christmas, always inth her signature red stocking cap,
organizing family game nights and activities
cutting her hair and shaving her head in a fundraiser for cancer survivors.
This photo is the epitome of the birthday girl:
broad smile,
#1 Cowboys fan,
furry hat!

Heather has two facial expressions:  a broad, beaming smile, and a tense, focused scowl.  She wears the smile 99% of the time.  The scowl appears during sport events!  She loves all sports, and plays many of them herself, even spending a few years on Baltimore's women's football team a few years ago!  But talk to her of football, and it's the Dallas Cowboys ALL THE WAY!!!

That's our Heather, she lives life to the full, enjoying all it has to offer, with no apologies.  To know is to love her!  And love her, indeed I do! 

Happy Birthday, Hee-Haw! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Douglas!

Well, I can hardly believe it!  Today, the first-born of my nephews and nieces turns 41 years!

I'm just so proud of Douglas and all that he has grown to be: a young man of great humor, heart, and integrity, with wonderful acting skills and directing abilities.  The list could go on and on...

Happy Birthday, Doug!

As the King of Siam in
"The King and I"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

(Pre) Tombstone Tuesday - Welsh Tradition

I am just starting to really sort through the almost 900 photos from our trips to Wales, the UK and Ireland in March and earlier this month.  And this does not include the 500 or so generations-old family photos that hubby brought home to scan, which we returned a few weeks ago. 

I have spoken here in the past about hubby's Welsh heritage, and the Welsh tradition of wearing leeks (for the men) and daffodils (for the ladies) on March 1, the feast of Wales' patron saint, St. David's Day.

This tradition continues in many forms throughout life, including the final farewell.  We visited the family plots in Aberduar Chapel burial grounds in the village of Llanybydder, Wales, where my father-in-law lived as a child.  His mother's family is from the area and generations are buried in the chapel's churchyard. 

While walking through the grounds, I came across these relatively fresh graves. For me, this was a different treatment of a fresh grave, something I had not seen previously, and I was touched to see the leek and daffodil taking pride of place on this (I can only presume) native Welsh person's site.

Another fresh grave in the churchyard, more modestly decorated.