Archive for September, 2006

Decked Out in the Garden

deck2summer06.jpgAbout two years ago, my husband Mike, our son, Jeremy and some friends helped build a beautiful redwood deck in our backyard.  Jeremy did the designing, and Mike did most of the grunt work.  This summer, we have finally been able to enjoy the fruits of all their labors.  After looking through dozens of catalogs, we settled on some deck furniture.  It wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but we could not find any furniture with a Tuscan grape theme.  So we settled for palm trees instead. 

Last year we had sod laid in the back yard and planted three baby Aptos Blue coastal redwoods.  I named them Surely, Goodness and Mercy.  This year, they have grown about two or three feet and have filled out beautifully and add a nice touch and a mountain feel to our backyard.  When spring came, Mike and I went on a planting frenzy.  I went to Target and fell in love with their Martha Washington Geraniums.  We ended up buying about a dozen of them and planted them around the outside of our deck.  Mike also picked up three Lilac trees, which he named, Lila, Leila and Lola.  He and Jeremy also planted dozens of other flowers in the yard, such as Foxglove, Marigolds, Snap Dragons, Hydrangeas, Bougainvillas, Star Jasmine and several others.  Our most recent addition has been five baby Italian Cypresses on the side of our yard.  Since we like to name things, I decided to name them after my Great Grandma Cappetta’s five sons.  They are, Angelo, Edwardo, Gildo, Romeo and Pasquale.  I call them “The Cappetta Grove”.  After all, they are Italian cypresses!

Many nights this summer, we have all enjoyed sitting out on the deck and have derived much pleasure in the beauty of God’s creation in our little “Garden of Eden” that we have had a hand in designing.  It kind of gives me a small idea of how God must’ve felt when He created all the plant life, animals, birds, fish and his crown creation; man.  Ecclesiastes 3:13 talks about enjoying the good of our labor…it is the gift of God.  So we have been enjoying all our labor and toil.  We’re thankful to God for this special time to bask in His creation and be refreshed in our little “Garden of Eden”.  As I sit there, the tense muscles in my shoulders and back begin to relax, and I feel the cares of the day slowly fade into the background, and a calmness pervades my being.  Sometimes I’ve even fallen asleep out there.  I’m thankful for our little “Shangri-La”, but I look forward someday to basking in the eternal glow and presence of Jesus.  The beauty and splendor of our little garden will pale in comparison. 

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Mom’s 67th Birthday


A week ago, our dear Mom celebrated her 67th birthday.  It’s hard to believe she’s that old.  I can remember thinking she was old when she turned 30!  Whew!  She’s ancient now!  Mom has always had a youthful spirit about her.  While most of her friends are barely getting around or using canes and walkers, Mom can still saunter at a pretty fast clip.  I think that’s because of all those Midwest winters when she walked about a mile to the laundry mat with her shopping cart full of our dirty clothes.  Or maybe it’s from all those times she walked to the grocery store, again with her shopping cart to buy us food.  I remember one time when she didn’t have a ride to church.  She walked about 5 miles to the church house, and although service was just ending, she made it nonetheless!  Mom has walked everywhere all her life.  She never learned to drive.  She began her walk with the Lord in 1979 at the tender age of 40.  And she’s never stopped walking or even looked back.  But I digress.  Like I said, Mom has a youthful spirit.  So it shouldn’t have been any surprise when she told me she wanted to have her birthday dinner this year at Mel’s Diner.  Mom was a teen in the 50’s, and this diner is somewhat of a replica of the teen hangout from that decade, complete with chrome decor and jukeboxes at every table, blaring 50’s style music.  Mom ordered a cod dish that came with mashed potatoes, veggies and coleslaw.  She loved it.  At the end of our dinner, the waiters and waitresses had everyone sing happy birthday to mom while they presented her with some balloons and an ice cream Sundae.  She was tickled.  After the dinner, the family all came back to our house to sing happy birthday in three-part harmony and present Mom her birthday cakes; a carrot cake and a chocolate cake.  Yummy!  Our brother Tommy, wrote a special poem to honor Mom.  There are six siblings in our family, so Tom included us all in his little sonnet below:  


(Poem for Mom’s 67th birthday)

By Tom Contino

  Our Mother birthed some monkeys.

Some say, “She had a barrel!”

When asked which one she loves the most,

Her answer’s always, “Carol!” 

One monkey is a swinger

He does it as a hobby.

His goal:  To swing each country’s trees

This swinging one is “Bobby!” 

There is a prim and proper one

She grooms from head to fanny.

She swings with flowered under wear

We call her “Annie Pannie!” 

And then there is “The Kookie One”

Who always cries, “Eek, eek!”

With little hesitationAll eyes veer toward “Keek!” 

The youngest of this swinging pack

And certainly the least

Not one of us would ever doubt

That monkey’s “Baby Tzeetz!” 

The perfect one in every way

Whom people love to coo

Is cuter than a little lamb

Coo coo sweet Tommy Poo! 

The Mother of this motley crew

We hear her urgent plea:

“You may be apes, but you can’t make a monkey out of me!” 

We showered her with gifts to Barnes & Noble and her favorite clothing stores; Kohls and Christopher & Banks.  Mom had a good birthday that night, and I hope will enjoy many more to come.  After all, she’s still a spring chicken when compared with Methuselah or Noah.  Happy Birthday Mom!  You’re the Best!

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The Death of Strep (A Murder)

When I was younger, I used to get Strep throat almost every year.  Thus, this limerick was born!

  There once was a wicked villain;

Who crept down my throat for a killin’.

Though strong and adept;

The notorious Strep,

Was murdered by Penny Sillan! (Penicillin)

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weebles_body_graphic1.jpgThis is a silly little limerick that I wrote years ago about Weebles, those cute, toy characters with the weighted, rounded bottom that never stay down long.  A lesson to us all!



A saint of God is like a Weeble®,

At times he seems so weak and feeble,

From trials that do make his face to frown.

But though he may appear to totter

As the battle grows fierce and hotter,

Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down!

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