Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Nonie requested we go to St. Peter's Cathedral last week. She wanted to pray downstairs in the tomb. The crypt. You see, all of the bishops of the area have been buried below the cathedral. To be perfectly honest, I was a little creeped out by this request. I mean, I love the cathedral, but...!

I usually go to a church closer to my house, but I've been to the cathedral many times. It is beautiful, inside and out. I don't pay close attention to mass at the cathedral, so it's good I don't attend there often. I study the stained glass windows. I wonder about how high the ceiling is, and daydream about just how did they put those paintings up there when the church was built before ladders were invented? (Well, probably!) Is there real gold in the walls? I think about why people sit in the way, way back when so many pews are empty in the way, way front. And can they hear better back there? I can't hear in the middle rows, but maybe I am just far from the speakers. Maybe I should sit in the back, too? Or if I were in the front, maybe I could hear the priest's actual voice and not need a speaker. There are many things to wonder about in the cathedral, you see.

Well, Nonie talked me into praying in the crypt. Actually, she didn't so much as talk me into it, because I never say no to Nonie, now that I'm an adult and all. (I was a stinker when I was a teenager.) I figured if anyone could protect me from ghosts of bishops long passed, it would be Nonie. (Nobody, not even ghosts, would bother Nonie, except stinky teenagers.)

So, we journeyed to the tomb and prayed. It was quite nice. I found a tiny chapel in the front of cathedral that I never knew existed. Downstairs, the crypt was calm and quiet. I'd like to go back and pray. There were no distractions! Cream-colored walls are too plain to wonder much about. Even the thought of the bishops resting in peace around me was no match for the glorious stained glass upstairs.

After prayers, we took pictures. Me, with my iPhone, Nonie, with her disposable kodak camera.
My beautiful Nonie
Nonie Balogna on the steps of the cathedral.
Angie Pangie on the steps of the cathedral.
Nonie hasn't quite mastered the art of iPhone pictures. 
{She's a tech-savvy granny though! She's on facebook and email, so it's only a matter of time!}

Monday, June 25, 2012


Over the last few years, wait, over the last ten years... ten years? How did that happen? It'll be ten years this August from when I started my freshman year of college. Ten years?...


Over the last decade, I collected inherited was gifted things to furnish my college dorm, college apartments, and post-college apartments. Christopher was the same. When we got hitched last April and combined our assets, then bought a house a few months later, we had enough stuff to overfill our house with old furniture.

And then we were given more used furniture.

I mean, what else would you give newlyweds that just bought a house? (gift cards to Target are nice)

We're using a lot of it. I love the pieces that have sentimental value. We have bedside tables that my dad made for my mom when I was little. We have a rocking chairs that belonged to our parents and grandparents. Our table belonged to Christopher's mom.

But some of the items were given to us via neighbors of our families, or just plain picked up along the curb. While sentimental pieces seem perfect, just the way they are, these other items needed a bit of sprucing up.

We have Christopher has moved them into our apartment, our new house's basement, out to the shed, then into our garage. Finally, (finally!) I started updating them so they can be added to our decor.

Well, sanding is not my favorite. How would you feel?

These are the first three pieces. The front and back pieces were given to us by neighbors of C's mom. The middle piece was picked up off the curb in college.

After one coat --- Christopher and I both forgot about primer. Shoot.

C and T decided to pack their things and run away.
And they weren't even painting! The nerve!

two coats

After three coats, I decided we'll need four.
Next time, I shall use primer!

I stopped painting in time for dinner. Christopher and Telula came home when I announced egg sandwiches were on the menu. 
I'll finish the painting this week, but maybe not tomorrow. Ouch!


On Saturday, C and I caught Telula trying to catch a dragonfly. I was laughing too hard to start my video in time to catch her full-body jumps in the air. Here's a viddy clip that sums up the cuteness (and how C and I entertain ourselves sometimes frequently).

Love that pup.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012


And this is how the morning looked.
Rise and shine, Lulabird!
Ready to walk Lulakins.

It was hot. We ended up at the beach. We always seem to end up at the beach.

Spoiled rotten, I tell ya!

And then there were three!

Peonies are a bit scary, are they not? 
There is something about that middle that makes me think of spiders.

And now, time to tackle the daily To Do list!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Let it be known that today, Tuesday, June 12, 2012, will go down in history as the Lopacs' first church directory photo op. Oh, I've been in plenty of directories through the years with my family! Maybe two? (They don't update very frequently.)

But this is my first as a married lady!

You see the importance of this, yes?

The day started off quite normal.
mini-wheats (not frosted) + bananas + blackberries
(+ Khloe and Lamar... not my favorite Kardashian, but she'll do)

Daily To Do lists keep me organized.

Then I straightened my hair and picked out possible outfits. They were both on the list.
Look, no glasses! (First time since February! But that's a story for another day.)

Should I wear this?

Or this?

I went with the pink. The top left picture will be in the directory!
The bottom left picture was cute, but Christopher said we had enough recent professional pictures.
(plus we like less-posed pictures with real scenes in the background)

The bottom right picture will be blown up and given to everyone on our Christmas list.
Merry Christmas!
(but I really want one!)
(my mister is very handsome!)


When we bought our house at the end of last summer, we were thrilled with our yard. I've mentioned before that we have plum trees, rose bushes, an apple tree, and raspberry bushes.

One thing we had hoped for in a house was a yard big and sunny enough to grow a garden. Our backyard is perfect for a garden! Christopher tilled up a little patch of earth for me to plant. If all goes well, we'll expand next year.
One of my coworkers planted seeds with her class in toilet paper rolls. It worked so well that I did the same with my class and now I'm trying it with my garden as well.

It's amazing to see the little seedlings grow! I haven't planted them into the garden yet, so they are all basking in the sun on our driveway. I wanted to give them a head start and be able to move them inside if it got cold. Yes, it's mid-June, but what can I say? The U.P.'s weather is unpredictable! We actually had a frost warning two nights ago.

I'm excited to see how (er, if?) our garden turns out. Since I've never planted more than a few herbs in pots, I'm eager to see if my black thumb can turn green.
Also! I've never been into birds, but this (Christmas gift) hummingbird feeder outside our kitchen window has turned me into a bird watcher. Yesterday, I spotted a monarch feeding.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


After months of pleading and convincing from Christopher, I have upgraded my vehicle. I've always hated change, so trading in my little cranberry Saturn was difficult for me. I shouldn't get so attached to things. I know, but! The memories!
Dear Cranberry Saturn,

It's been a long, beautiful ride. We've been through so much together. You were my top pick when my little white Ford Escort got too expensive to keep up back in 2003. You didn't have power locks, windows, or STEERING (seriously, I still can't believe you didn't have power steering!), but you made up for it with your smooth ride and high miles per gallon.

You transported me all over Wisconsin, the U.P., and even downstate. You were the first car I drove over the Mackinac Bridge (eek!). Each trip we made over it was easier and more carefree.

You put up with my mix CDs and audiobooks. Wait, put up? I mean, you were rewarded with my excellent music and intellectual (or not) books.

Remember when I left you with my parents while I had an interview in Arizona? I knew they'd keep you safe until I returned. You were so good, they forgot you were there. You didn't make a peep when my stepmother backed her Jeep right on top of your hood. That was your only accident and I wasn't even there for it! Good thing they had you fixed up before I got back! 

You listened to my tears of heartache. You heard my squeals of glee and saw my double fist pumps.

You were with me through (most of) college. What fun times! I drove you home to Green Bay occasionally on weekends, and through Marquette during the week.

You were with me on my very first date with Christopher!

I drove you safely to visit Christopher for nearly a year when we dated long distance. Gladstone to Eau Claire was an exciting trip, full of anticipation. Eau Claire to Gladstone was a long, quiet trip, full of wonder of when I'd see my love again.

You got me to my interview at my current (and past) school. You kept me safe for nearly four years while I drove over 50 miles a day on back roads, easily dodging black ice and deer.

Holli and I road tripped with you. Maybe one of the most memorable trips was to Country USA. You helped shade us in the 100+ degree weather. You saw our ridiculous homemade videos. You heard us practice (yes, practice) our parts in RENT musicals. Over and over. You listened to us ask my little green Bible and radio stations for advice on the night and the future.

Two years ago, my students wrote a song about me visiting Nonie. You were in the song! One of the girls said she could change the lyrics to my new car, but I told her to keep them as is. You will be forever remembered in the line, 

Over the highway and through the woods to Nonie's house she goes
Mrs. Lopac's cranberry Saturn knows the way in the white and drifting snow.

You got me to my wedding rehearsal! And wedding appointments! And my WEDDING! On time even!

You may have logged in 166,000+ miles already, but you have plenty of life left in you, old girl. Good luck with your new owner. Hopefully she'll have as good of taste in music as me.


My new ride, ready for years of memory making.
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