Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Grandmothering--The Best Job

I started a new job yesterday.  
Grandmothering isn't really a job of course, actually, yes it is.  I've always felt that mothering children is a job. It's a privilege to have that job, to help unknowing little people grow into wise adults.  
It's a lot harder than you think before you've done it. 
I have the privilege to make sure that two little ones eat breakfast and get to school and watch the one left at home until time for the preschooler to come home. 
It's the opportunity for me to know those little people a little better and for them to know me. 

First day of school.
Zane--2nd Grade

Play time before and after Barry came home from school.

We had Barry overnight for the first time in his memory.  He has stayed over with Zane but before he remembers.  He's been wanting to so he came.  He's more of a 'home-body' than Zane so we made sure to keep him busy and avoided any mention of home. 

He loves to spend time with both of us. 

One of two frogs living in our pond. 

Barry came to visit with corn on the cob for supper, his favorite.

 Barry and Charlie

Barry got a new ball that lights up when it's caught. It can't be seen in the daylight so after Barry spend a while learning how to catch well, we tried it inside in the semi-darkness to watch the light show as we caught the ball.  
Later Jim and Barry went outside when in was darker to play, but trying to catch a ball in the dark that only lights up when it's caught is futile.  You're much more likely to get hit in the face.  

Flowers from a child are the best gifts.

Nearing the end of his visit, we fed the fish off the bridge at the Archway. 


Nathan's little girl. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Gramma Again

Some people write beautiful words of prose when a new baby arrives in their family.  
I feel them, but I can't seem to write them.
Rest assured, I feel them in my heart when I hold a little tiny perfect new baby in my arms. 

We are now the grandparents of a granddaughter.  
Not another grandson, a little girl this time.  
Paislee Annette was born August 10th, a little early but perfect.  
Perfect in size, perfectly cuddly, perfectly beautiful. 

These aunties are pretty pleased with their new niece.

These cousins, except Zane, aren't so sure about this tiny little creature that their mommy 
loves so much.

Of course, Gramma and Papa are pretty impressed as well.  

Mom and Dad with new baby.  

I love this photo of my son.  He always love little baby things.  
This one is his.

A little sweetie.

This is just gorgeous.

There was something so special watching Zane holding this new little piece of humanity.  
"She's so tiny," he says.
"Look at her little fingers, even with fingernails, and look at mine,"
His hands looked so big compared to Paislee's.  
He's not very old, but old enough to appreciate the beauty of new life. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Penny For Your Thoughts

I got tired of being an adult today. I'd much rather sit around and knit.  
Actually I was tired of being an adult about 11 am this morning after I had cleaned up the breakfast dishes, went to the dentist, paid a bunch of bills, made one difficult phone call and a bunch of others not quite so difficult. I don't really like making phone calls.  I had garden stuff waiting to take care of and errands to fun.  It didn't look like I was going to have time for any fun. 
The last phone call was to a fellow knitter that we hadn't heard from since she had a big skin cancer removed from her arm.  She was so good to call when I had all those ear surgeries last year that I was ashamed I hadn't called her earlier.  
Others were trying to check on her and it looked like she had gone into hiding.  
She answered my phone call, and talked like she hasn't had anyone to listen for weeks.  She told me how so many other things had gone wrong with her body and she could hardly walk for back pain.  She was in hiding, Partly from physical difficulty, partly from mental.  
One thing she told me that I can't forget because I've been there,
"It's just one thing after another going wrong. I want to be like I used to be." 
She can't do the things she used to right now.
She can't do much of anything.  She reminded herself that so many are worse off than she is.  I used that line, too.  But, when you are used to a way of life, anything that makes that life harder means adjustment and adjustment very seldom comes easily.  

We have finished our flower garden reconstruction.  Saturday, Jim and I finished it.  I weeded while he dug a trench for new edging, and lowered the extra space for sod.  Then Jim cut sod from the place where we will put the sand box while I rolled it.  It takes far more sod that I realized to fill in bare spots.  Jim would measure and we would still come up short.  
I thought I had a nice photo of the 'before' view of the garden so we could see the difference.  This first photo is most of the garden and shows some of the biggest changes.  The fence in back is gone and the middle garden now includes the tree.  It was taken in 2014 before the pond was done.

2014--Pond area finished. 

This view is close to the first.  No fence, no arch, more grass, the tree is enclosed.


This is a slightly different view which shows more of the grassy area that used to be covered in this last few years with more weeds than flowers. 


These would be better photos if I hadn't quickly done them tonight to put on the blog.  The pond is still there but in shadow so it is hard to see. 

We did more corn this week and that is the end, thank goodness.  It goes a lot easier with Lorene and family helping.  There are boys underfoot and I make supper, so I always looked forward to those corn days with dread.  Looking back, I did just fine those days.  The boys were not a problem, the supper was simple and I did not get overtired.  I'm rather impressed about how well I did.  I think I worry about too many things that never come to pass. 

Zane would rather help me in the kitchen than just play around.   Probably because I let him do things like chop a watermelon with a really big knife.  But, all that comes to a screeching halt when Papa comes by with 4-wheeler.

We were early finishing up corn that day and while enjoying the outside, found a sunken spot in our brick path.  Jim was just going to get a little dirt to fill in under those bricks.  When he pulled them up we found a big hole under there with a tunnel! Jim stuck his shovel handle in until the tunnel curved. We are assuming something dug up there, couldn't get through the plastic and the brick and that was the end of it.  I have no idea what sort of animal it was.  Jim filled the hole with a lot more dirt that we expected and it's done.  
Very strange.  And a little unnerving since we know snakes live under that green stuff by the
 air conditioner.  It seemed too big for snakes, though.   

When we were digging in the flower garden on Saturday, Jim found this penny.  I washed it up to see how old it was. 
That's when this house was built.  Rather an odd coincidence.  

By the way, I'm keeping up my 5 days a week walking.  
AND, I had my fun earlier and took care of the garden produce later.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Another Week...

...more produce

I was so tired after walking my 15 minutes and picking in the garden this morning that I had to sit down.  I was so annoyed.  I used to be able to do these things and not turn a hair.  I was going to write a celebratory post on a week's worth of 15 minute walking as a renewal of an earlier resolution.  
This time I am wanting to walk and I'm enjoying it, It's not "oh, great, I said I was going to do this so I better to keep my resolution", type thing for the first time in my life.  
I started out arm-swinging, enjoying the blue sky with little puffy clouds over the green trees, and at the 10 minutes mark I had slowed down pacing myself.  Surely, after two weeks, after a good breakfast I could do better than this??
Since it's going to be over 90 degrees this afternoon, the only time to pick garden was right then, so I did, and puffed all the way back to the house.  I just couldn't face the putting away of all the corn paraphernalia (rats, missed the spelling on that one the first time) from last night, cleaning out the dishwasher, looking out jars, and all the other things pertaining to canning cucumbers.  I was just too tired.  
So, I made a green smoothie and loaded the pictures.

The garden is going great guns.  Here are Saturday's vegetables.

And part of the outcome.

Here's what happened on Saturday:

            It had rained a couple days in a row so Jim and I armed with our array of buckets descended on the garden about 8 am and got thoroughly (didn’t do so well on that one) muddy.  Then I rested awhile and Jim helped me get the beans cut (6 cups), dill pickles in jars (4 qt.), bread and butter pickles, (4qt, 3pt), Caddie pickles in jars (6 qt.) and 6 pints of zucchini relish. I didn’t blanch the 4 cups of sliced yellow squash, or slice the 2 pints of strawberries and 6 pints of blueberries I bought on Friday.  I was too tired.  I’m not looking forward to any more garden produce, but with the weather going to be hot the next few days, I’m going to have stuff growing out of my ears!  (I’m not slicing the blueberries, I’ll just sort them).
            Since I was out and muddy from picking garden, I stayed out a while longer to pick two buckets of rocks.  It’s so easy to get them up out of wet ground.  I probably need 10 more buckets to finish.  My bucket isn’t very big, it gets heavy.  It’s about ice cream bucket size.  Then Jim and I weeded a bit in the flower garden, and I came in and had a shower.  That’s when I rested and got started on all that preservation. 

Like I mentioned before we did corn last night, and last Thursday.  Jim wanted to do corn tonight, I said, "Not if I'm involved!"

Lorene's family come and help us.  The boys like the shuck and cob dumping part best. 

The backyard view.  

Here is part of my other harvest on Saturday. We got these out of the garden.

Lorene and boys.

This mushroom seems to be a perennial.  

Lynette using her creative skills.  

Can you see what is going on here with this broom?  I was getting the broom out and just set it aside before I swept.  I didn't stand it up there on purpose.  So, I left it there to see if would stay there long enough for Jim to see it.  It did.
I didn't leave it there to see how long it would stay up.  I wanted to sweep the floor before night.  
It was a few hours like that anyway. 

I haven't tried it again.  I have too many other things to do.