Monday, July 26, 2010

I'd Rather be Camping

Sending this photo out for all the campers who follow the blog...stole it from Astrig's Facebook page...Astrig and her husband, Steve, own our favorite campground, Searsport Shores. This is site #13 and the water you see is Penobscot Bay. Hank helped Astrig's father build decks like this one at a few of the sites at last year's Spring Clean-Up weekend. Astrig...sorry to steal the photo but couldn't resist...we really miss Searsport when you post teasers like this. As soon as the new Casita gets to Maine, we are there!

Back Online!

We're finally back from computer hell! The short version is that our computer and printer died slow and painful (for me) deaths over the past month and we've been unable to blog, e-mail, upload photos, or work online. After many failed attempts by techies from India to the Philippines to resuscitate our "old" hardware, we have acquired a new computer and printer and two new best friends, good old Mark and Dave, at the local Staples easytech desk. I have learned just enough about firmware, USB ports, media cards, et al, to know that the term "easytech" is definitely an oxymoron. I missed being able to write on the blog and read the comments...more than I thought I it's good to be "back".

I know that everyone has been wondering how Nancy is doing so I'll start there. She had her third round of chemo on Thursday, the 15th, and, so far, has been able to head off the side effects with Zofran. Aside from some fatigue, she is doing pretty well this time.

It's been a beautiful summer in Maine this year; we have had "beach weather" just about every day. Unfortunately, this summer Hank and I are basically "camperless". We sold our little tab camper in April and ordered a slightly larger camper - a 17' Casita that sleeps three. The Casita is made to order and ours will not be ready until mid to late August so we're really into delayed gratification. We hope the Casita will be ready in time before school starts for me to go with Hank to Texas (yup...Texas!) to pick it up...we'd like to camp our way back through Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and the Virginias if there is time. Joanne and Mark have been camping in their tab just about every weekend; they really love it. I did try to organize a "Smith Girl Cousins Camping Reunion" for last weekend but it ended up a bust...some mixed feelings about camping out, no campers available to rent, no e-mail to communicate plans, and some conflicts with the's never easy to get a group together. Hopefully, we can plan a weekend this fall that works for everyone!

Hank and I did get away for a week in the Finger Lakes region of New York State early in July. Nancy and I had been there on a "Sisters Roadtrip" in 2006 and really loved the area and I wanted to return with Hank. It took four years but we had a great time. We started off at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, which Hank loved. Cooperstown itself is a beautiful old town full of gorgeous historic homes right on the tip of a lake. From Cooperstown, we headed west on "old Route 20", past hundreds of old hotels, mineral springs and antique shops, to Skaneatelas, Seneca Falls (home of womens' suffrage), Auburn (home of Harriet Tubman), Ithaca, Geneva and Hammondsport, at the tip of Lake Keuka. We spent two days in Hammondsport relaxing and touring the wineries before heading home via Corning (the glass museum), Elmira (Mark Twain's study at Elmira College) and Vestal (to photograph our old house for Mom...we lived there from 1961-1963). It is a beautiful area with so much history...great getaway.

While we were on vacation, Mom was back in the hospital for a few days with difficulty breathing but she's back home and feeling better now.

So now we are home enjoying our new grandbaby, Anna, who is 11 days old today, and our grandsons, Robert and Brian. Brian is staying with us for a few days, hanging out with "Grampy" in the pool and "Wizard's Forest". Robert just started his first summer job at Toys R' Us at the Maine Mall, a great opportunity for him.

We're also really busy planning to have 18 people to dinner Saturday night for a "Wizard's Gourmet" reunion. We've invited all past, present and honorary members of our "Gourmet Group" to enjoy a romp through Hank's Wizard's Forest, followed by dinner. Hank and the boys have been working to add special effects, lighting and finishing touches to the forest before the big event and I've been making costumes...I'm getting pretty good at pointy hats and beards. If the thought of 18 middle aged people dressed as forest creatures, fairies and wizards romping through forest paths with wands and Margaritas sounds strange, you're is. All I can say is that, after 30 years together, this group will try anything...I'll definitely be posting the pictures of this one!

p.s. When our computer crashed, we lost many of our e-mail contacts (addresses). I've been able to reconstruct some of them but, if you don't hear from us or receive the blog, please e-mail your email address to me at Thanks!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Baby Anna is here!!!

Our newest grandchild is here...Anna Thomasina Lawson made her entrance at 12:56 this morning, July 15, 2010, at Mercy Hospital in Portland.
Proud parents are Rob and Wendy Lawson. Anna weighed in at 7 lbs. 6 oz. and was 19-1/4 inches long. There's a good chance she will be spoiled by her two big brothers, Robert and Brian...and by "Grampy Hank", who will have Anna working in his garden any day now. Anna's other grandparents are Ron and Joanne Burns of Westbrook....I can only imagine how proud they must be.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Leaving for Japan

Tomo, Toshi & Taka on their way...July 4, 2010. The Uwasu's will be so happy to see the boys...they are too cute!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Taka & Kristen

Rob just sent this photo from Taka and Toshi's visit to Maine last week. They met Kristen at Friendly's for dogs, of course.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Taka & Toshi's visit to Maine

in the "Wizard's Forest" with Grampy...
Toshi (3) and Taka (6) in their new "Hobbit House"...

Welcome to the playhouse...any mail???


Taka riding his John Deere tractor in his John Deere hat next to the John Deere repair truck...pretty exciting stuff!

Toshi's "John Deere"...

Ice cream at Toots in North Yarmouth. Taka chose orange pineapple and Toshi chose banana!

Taka is a long way from Brooklyn now...feeding the cows!
Toshi watching the fish at LL Bean ...those are Taka's legs...he is in the "bubble" that allows children to climb in and observe the fish close up.

Taka checking out the moose at LL Bean...

Toshi wants to make sure that Daddy doesn't forget to pack the Matchbox cars fror the trip back to Brooklyn this morning!
On Sunday, Taka,Toshi, and Tomomi are leaving for Osaka on Japan Air Lines to spend the summer with their grandparents, Umeyo and Tokuhide, in Wakayama. Tomo hasn't seen her family in almost three years so we are very happy that she and the boys will have the summer to enjoy with all of them.