Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Cool Mama

I had the nicest compliment this weekend.  Lynette informed me that all her friends think I'm "cool".  Now how many of you people out there are cool?  The sad thing is that most of the time I wish I was cool. 

Temperaturewise that is.  My family is already complaining that "they are freezing to death, it's fall, and isn't it time to have some heat around here" and I'm running around wondering what more I can take off and still be decent. 

Anyway, back to the coolness factor.

 I'm cool because I make my daughter breakfast every morning. 

I'm cool because I'm a stay at home mom, and I'm home when she comes home from school.

I'm cool because I let her and her friends take over the kitchen to tie dye and not only do I take pictures but help, advise and want to dye, too.

And I'm cool because we eat supper together at night.

I'm probably also cool because I actually let three extra girls stay for the weekend for my daughter's birthday.  Lynette has discovered how neat and easy it is to tie-dye with a purchased kit so here we are getting ready to MAKE A MESS and have fun doing it.

First cover the entire kitchen floor with a painter's drop plastic.  (I guess this is after you twist and rubberband and whatever your items to dye.

Then after mixing the dye, squirt the cloth with the cute little squeeze bottles provided. They squirted over plastic bowls to catch excess dye.

Then wrap the t-shirt in plastic wrap to sit for 6-8 hours to make brighter colors. We left ours overnight.

Before wrapping.

When Lynette tie-dyed in her art club they tried several different ways to dye t-shirts.  One of which was a splatter method.

And then when it is all over it's time to clean up.  It comes off the floor and counters alot easier than it comes off hands and feet.

A final note:  The last thing you do with tie-dyed garments is wash them separately in hot water and dry them.  And I wonder if separately could have meant from other clothes not each individual shirt, of which there were about 8.  And 8 different loads (well, loads isn't really the term) while I'm getting ready for 50 people to come potluck at my house wasn't really very convenient.

Especially since the dyed clothes were sitting on my dining room table.

But one nice thing about being so cool, is that it didn't really matter, it all got cleaned up in good enough time with no one losing their temper, and we had a very nice time with their company.

And a FINAL final note: One of the girls that stayed over, said among other things, "your house is so nice", "it's cozy", "it looks like people live here", "you don't have to worry about things". I'm taking that as a compliment, because we DO live here, we have lots of company here, and that means our house is only clean enough to keep the health inspectors at bay.

The finished product!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What I'm Reading...

Eden's Outcasts, by John Matteson

I've never read much non-fiction, but I always go look at the new books in the library, and since I'm a big fan of Louisa May Alcott, I picked this one up and really enjoyed it.  It was an interesting way to get information into my head; I feel like I'm learning something when I read non-fiction.

I feel it is good for my brain to read "information" books, and I don't tend to think I need to sit down and read and can't get up and get anything done.  For one thing, they are usually too long to do that, and for another I usually already know the ending.

And I am learning things, in this book, I looked up calomel , since I didn't know what it was.  It's mercury and was used for fighting infections.

I especially enjoy learning new words.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One Year Later

Today I've been blogging one year. 

I entered the blogging world to document my grandson's life for far out relatives to be able to see him changing and growing.  It is a much nicer format than emailing, because they are preserved a little better.  It is funny to think of anything done on the "Internet" as being preserved.  I always imagine all the little pieces of my information floating around in space somewhere waiting for someone to ask for them and they all come flying back together for you to look at.  I suppose really they are stored in some absolutely humongous  computer somewhere that (or I think network of computers) that has to actually store the information. I am very dumb about all of that. 

To be very truthful about the whole thing, even though I had other friends who were blogging and I was thinking it looked like fun, I didn't think I'd be able to do it. 

Then, a friend who very many people know as 'The Prairie Hen" started blogging. And her first blogging was so cute, so inspiring, so "if she's going to write like that, I'm going to try it at least."  So, I started.  And as they say,.... the rest is history.

And in honor of the day.... I give you ZANE!....

...who has never eaten as much at one time of ANYTHING as he did when he got out the peanut butter and went at it himself.

Happy blogging!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kids Will Be Kids

I'm not sure who was having the most fun here. 

The idea was, "I know Zane will love to paint", so they dragged out paper and paints to go at it.

His idea was to unscrew all the lids and pour them out on the paper.

You sure go through a lot of paint that way!!  He didn't really like to get his fingers dirty!  Maybe next time we'll try a paint brush.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Zane the Fearless

Sometimes it is best to let actions speak for themselves.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Outside the Box

I hardly consider myself a photographer since I don't really know what I'm doing when I take photographs.  Sometimes it is a big surprise when I actually get something that turns out extra special.  But I can't always guarantee results.  I do know a few things, like the rule of thirds and what not to do with sunshine and shadow.  But I don't even entirely know how my little point and shoot digital works!!  And it is a pretty good camera for it's kind.

But, anyway, this one is a good one. 

And this one is an interesting one.

And this one just shows how daring Zane is, as he was jumping back and forth over the bridge.  I don't know that I want to take him anywhere on a bridge or anything with no "falling off prevention", because he doesn't seem to care how high up he is.  When he wants to jump, he's going to jump.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Never Too Early

I LOVE books. 

Not all books, of course, just the best ones.  I am discovering to my slight sorrow that the books I love and can't live without are not the same ones by book-loving daughter loves.  But, at least we can come together on a few of them. 

I love these books here, too.  I love them so much I keep them in my bedroom so I can watch when Zane is looking at them.  I've seen what happens to books when I'm not looking.  His "feel the baby animals" book comes in separate pages now. 

Really I love every book about Max and Ruby, I bought these when MY baby was really too big for them which is why they are still nice for my grandbaby. 

At LEAST once a day, Zane gets these books out, spreads them all over my bed and says "Mac, Mac", and we read a page or two out of a couple of them.  He doesn't seem to need to have a story read in any particular order.  He turns the pages, he decides in what order we'll read it.

I read to my kids.

I read to them a lot.  We would go once a week to the library and bring home as many books as the library check out basket would hold.  We would read them all and go back again for more.  I checked out hundreds of books, I think.  The really amazing thing is that I only had to pay for two lost ones.

There is a lot said about reading to your kids and that will make them better readers.  It sure worked around here, but even if it doesn't, there is nothing better than snuggling up with a bunch of kids reading, reading to them.  In the morning after breakfast, in the afternoon before nap (ha ha ha, I just made that one up, who has kids that take naps) and before bed.

And Rosemary Wells says it best.

"Read to Your Bunny"
Read to your bunny often,
It's twenty minutes of fun.
It's twenty minutes of moonlight,
And twenty minutes of sun.
Twenty old-favorite minutes,
Twenty minutes brand-new,
Read to you bunny often,
Your bunny will read to YOU.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Oldies, But Goodies

I don't really know about this getting old(er) business.  I mean I still feel like ME.  The same person I always was.  Well, not really.  I know a whole lot more now, I tolerate a whole lot more now, and one thing I know for certain sure, is that I would rather be on the wrong side of 40 knowing what I know now, than on the other side starting over.  Even if it does mean that life is marching on. 

It is just going WAY too fast.  I suppose that means I'm WAY too busy.  I just don't have time to stop and think about what I have accomplished personality wise, as what I want to yet.

But, here we are just a little closer to the top of the responsibility chain. The older generation train?  The "there are more people younger than older in our family" game?  Whatever. It's here and I don't even have time to know it.  I suppose when I wake up next I'll be 75, and really wonder where the time went.

This is the sad part.  Really.  In the last 20 years there are a lot of people we should have spent more time getting to know a little better and now it is too late for some, and if we keep on going, it will be too late for everyone.

Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing with all the time I could be "connecting".  Some of it is wasted blogging and on facebook and reading.  But, some of it is just plumb tiredness from fielding schedules, independent wishing teenagers, very many self owned business jobs, and an independent thinking toddler. Sometimes I just want a day off!

I try that from time to time and then wish I hadn't.  It tends to make everybody crabby, likely because mom is that way, because, clothes aren't folded, the kitchen isn't clean, stuff is on the floor, and supper is late or nonexistent.  Days off are NOT worth it.  Hear ye, hear ye, are you listening Gramma!!

Of course, if everyone would cooperate by getting home and to bed on time, and passing their classes, and, and, not making me worry about them, I could get some sleep, and not have to depend on tea to get me through the day.  (not coffee, mind you, I don't like to drink that stuff)  I do like to EAT it, with plenty of sugar and chocolate.

So, the whole point of this post is to pay tribute to the last member of Jim's mother's immediate family.  The brother and the sisters part.  I never met any of Jim's aunts and uncles on his mother's side except Aunt Marie.  And I was glad to meet and know her a little, as people said she was the most like Jim's mom of all of them.. I never knew Jim's mom, she died before we were married.

So, we went to her funeral the other day.  And there were very few to attend.  Her remaining sons live far away from here now, so aside from a very few old friends of ours and theirs, it was just her sons and a couple of cousins and nephews.

And then they tell stories of what she was like when they were growing up, and the cousins tell stories, and I realize how many more stories there are that I don't know, that I wish I did.  Like, what it was like for Jim's mom growing up with all those kids together,  (There were 8, but one died in infancy.)  Where did they live, and how did they live.  Jim and his sisters know some of those stories, but when we are together, we are too busy telling the stories of the lives we are living now to tell stores of the long ago.

Here are photos of the cousins Jim knows best, they are older than he is by 15 and more years.  I want to tell more stories and I want to hear more stories, but the time is always too short.

Aunt Marie's sons and daughter in law.

A second cousin and her husband.

Flowers from the funeral bouquet.