Monday, March 31, 2008
I've actually accomplished a lot today - for me, that is. I ran three errands, did four loads of laundry, made asparagus cheese soup for dinner, went by and checked on a friend who's under the weather, and crocheted three squares of an afghan I'm slowly working. I haven't crocheted for years and it's slow getting started again.
Harry and his golfing buddy are playing 36 holes today. They went to a rather difficult course so I bet they both come home with their tail feathers draggin' their tracks out. They take their games so seriously that you'd think every game is a tournament. I bet it will be quiet at our house tonight.
Nothing new to report from this front. I'm just being the old fart that I am - as a matter of fact I think a nap would be in order. Hope all of you are having a good Monday.
The guys just came home from the golf course. I was right. They are the two most pitiful guys in the county. Walking slooow, hair looks like a weed eater went through it, clothes obviously exposed to mud, and grins from ear to ear. It's definitely been a good day on the green.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
While all the women were enjoying our gathering the men folk were next door grilling, watching a truck race, and whooping it up. The more things change the more they stay the same.
NASCAR just said "gentlemen start your engines" - I'm outta here.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Hard back books. (Yes, Jamie, we share this one.) I do have a few paperbacks but only a few. I buy new books and pass a few of them on.
Jeans that fit but still let me breathe.
Coffee in the morning and big glasses of ice water the rest of the day.
Better Homes and Garden’s Home Designer software. It’s saved me from many mistakes.
Aveda. I love Aveda.
A period of absolute quiet everyday. Fifteen minutes will do on a busy day.
My collection of cookbooks that keeps growing.
Music. From light classical to honky tonk country. Not rap or heavy metal.
My old baking pans that I’m ashamed to let people see. We have history together.
My collection of art. Most was done by friends who are artists or by family.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Like Lucy, I'm going to my beanbag to pout. Not really. Gonna read for awhile.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
We go to our favorite shoe store where we can get properly fitted shoes. The boys select their own shoes for play, hiking, and casual wear. They have to agree to a bit of direction when it comes to their dress-up shoes. We usually get ice cream afterwards. I absolutely love Shoe Day. It’s so much fun to watch them look at all the shoes displayed, have their feet measured, try on all the potential new shoes, and discuss their decisions among themselves. My blessings abound!
I love watching Mary with the boys. The love and pride is really obvious.
The boys will be fast as lightening now. Their new shoes have an N on the side. (New Balance) Everyone knows shoes with an N are f-a-s-t. The transformer sandals are way cool. All their straps are adjustable with Velcro and they look like fighters. Dress shoes feel good and are OK but they aren't exciting. We stopped for ice cream at our local ice cream shop. The boys ate their dinosaur sundaes outside so we could enjoy the warm sunshine. After snack time at the ice cream shop both boys had heavy eyes so they went home for rest time. Everyone knows that "older boys" don't take naps. As for Mommy and Nana - well we take whatever rest we can get. We don't care what you call it.
Yes, Brad, I'll adopt you. When should I send you your task list? Even the grandsons have one.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday was filled with shopping, planning, and coloring eggs. Sunday cooking was easy. Everything was easily prepared – no fuss or muss. I baked and glazed a spiral cut ham, made baked asparagus, boiled corn and a few “pick-ups”. Mary (DIL) made deviled eggs and a key lime pie. Sarah (DIL) brought a carrot cake. We skipped the green leaf salad – what’s this world coming to? So much for the food. As you may notice I always write about the food first. We have to keep our strength up, you know.
All the local kids were here and we were lucky enough to have Sarah’s parents with us, too. Mike and Terri are really nice folks by anyone’s standards. It was a pleasure to have them with us. Harry hid 64 plastic eggs around the front and back yards. He hid plastic and we kept the colored eggs inside for safe keeping. Last year the guys hid the colored eggs and when they cracked the boys were disappointed.
After everyone was through eating, it was time to hunt eggs. Those two boys went wild. I’ve never seen them run the way they did. They were laughing and yelling – having a really fun time. All the adults just followed them from front to back yard enjoying their antics.
The day began and ended with many hugs, good wishes, and “I love you’s” as all southern gatherings do. At least the gatherings in our family end that way.
Bottom line: I did not clean and polish the house in prep for Easter Sunday. No one seemed to notice and everyone enjoyed the day anyway.
We missed having Judy (daughter) and her family with us. She did send pictures of Maddie’s Easter. She is soooo cute and growing up fast – already over a year old. We wish we could see them every weekend but understand that Mommy and Daddy are building careers in Phoenix. It’s good to know that Daddy’s family is there so they aren’t alone on holidays.
This is a long post. Hope I haven’t bored you. I’m off to read about your weekend.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
I hasten to say I have never eaten one and never will! It's disgusting to me now and was disgusting to me then, too. But I wanted to be as "in-the-know" as the adult siblings. One of those girls was the sister who is now 91 years old and lives in Palm Springs, CA. Another lived in LA's Hills, and the eldest lived in Atlanta. The incident that I wrote about last evening happened during a family gathering.
Now how one goes about gigging: You need at least three people. One to paddle the canoe and to hold the sack that the frogs are put into, one to hold a flashlight (you do this just after twilight), and one to gig (spear the frog). The flashlight person shines the light along the banks of a creek or waterway where you can hear the bullfrogs calling. The light catches their eyes and the person with the gig has to spear the thing really fast. When the frog is on the spear it is put into the sack and the process begins all over again. (You never have to touch the frog.) The problem was that I didn't know bullfrogs had really tough skin - you have to hit hard. I was gentle and the big boy jumped, peeing into the boat. The rest is in yesterday's blog. I was in disgrace the rest of the evening. A few tears in the morning made me everyone's pet again.
Now you know the rest of the story. I wish I could say this is the only such mess I got myself into, but it was just one of many.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
In a comment to last evening's post, Soul asked me if perhaps I might be gigging today. Nope - Golf it was. I was allowed to go gigging with the three much older sisters when I was around 12 or 13 years old. It wasn't enough for me to sit quietly in the big, long canoe. No, not me!! I begged and begged to be allowed to gig a frog. Finally the oldest broke down and handed me a gig. Everyone searched to make sure I had a LARGE frog so I could take the largest back to the cabin. Well, I didn't gig that frog; I only tickled his butt with the gig. He jumped into the canoe. I stood up, screamed so loud that the people at the cabin heard me, jumped around, and turned the canoe over. Everyone was in the water and mad. When folks heard me scream, Brother jumped in the ski boat and came up the creek to see what was wrong. Oh, it was a circus. Brother laughing, three furious sisters, and me wanting to go home - not that dumpy cabin - I wanted to go HOME. Everyone survived and went on to live happy lives.
My life is full of mishaps much like this. Guess I'm just not very good at new challenges.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I did a bit of Easter Bunny shopping today. One year we bought tin buckets decorated as Easter baskets. The boys broke every egg they found by chunking them in the bucket. This year they will have soft baskets that they can use to carry their Hot Wheels cars after Easter. I know the eggs will still break but this seemed like a good idea. Each boy is getting a stuffed animal from a safari series (rather than a bunny) with a Timex for Kids watch for a collar. Of course there will be a choc bunny. No Peeps this year - at least not on my watch. Those things are pure dyed sugar and spell trouble in the form of a sticky, hyper mess.
I have to tell you about an absolutely horrible thing I did. During the sleep-over Jesse, the oldest, ask me if the Easter Bunny was real and I said that I really didn't know. He looked straight at me and said that he knew I did know because Nana's know lots of things. He followed that bit of information with, "Nana, whatever you say I'll believe because I know you won't tell me a story. I can always trust you." Well, I guess you know the rest of the story. I told him that the Easter Bunny wasn't a real, live rabbit. But it was a really fun game for for children at Easter, and in that sense the Easter Bunny is real. I hope I haven't ruined Easter for the boys. I really feel bad but I just couldn't look Jesse in the eye and tell him that there is a giant bunny who lays colored eggs on Easter. The boy's parents aren't at all upset at the way I handled the situation. For that I'm thankful. And I thought parenting was hard!
I think I'll go watch TV with my bestest buddy (Harry) and relax. I'm really good at relaxing - I have lots of practice.
I hope each and everyone of you enjoy your evening as much as I intend to enjoy mine.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I spent more than two happy hours this morning enjoying Happyone's vacation in Ireland. Here is the link she provided in her blog. If you haven't visited the site, you should. What a trip that must have been - I've never seen a vacation shared so beautifully.
I seem to be without words this evening. I hope everyone is well and making smooth progress towards all your goals. Until later, my friends.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Buddy, our expectant father, had to work so he was marked absent. Sarah and her parents came and visited for a little while. It was good to see Mike and Terry again. They are a wonderful, loving couple. Because Sarah is pretty uncomfortable these days they didn't stay long but we are so glad that they came. They took the piece of furniture that will be used in the nursery with them - it's a wardrobe that belonged to Harry's great aunt. It dates back to the 1800's.
The rest of the gang was here for the race and pizza. The boys asked when the next sleep over would be. We'll have to think about that later and coordinate with their parents. At least they didn't cry and sob as they left yesterday. They are looking forward to play day on Friday.
How could two old farts be so lucky. The only thing that could improve our gatherings is if Judy and her family could participate. But, alas, the commute from Phoenix is too far.
Monday is happening as I sit here writing about yesterday. Gotta get moving and try to accomplish something.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Pick up was traumatic. Jesse announced that he wanted to live with Nana and Papa all the time. James sobbed because he wanted to stay for another sleepover. It's wonderful to be loved as much as you love but it really hurts to see them sad. We're lucky that parents understand and aren't jealous.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Now on the the present:
Hamburger fixins' - Check
Broccoli - Check
Red Bell Pepper - Check
Cake makin' stuff - Check
Strawberries - Check
Popcorn - Check
New pajamas - Check
New inflatable mattresses - Check
New sleeping bags - Check
Swords that make bubbles - Check
Lego's at the ready - Check
New DVDs (2) - Check
Everything is ready for the Big Sleepover. The boys will make the cake (mix) and frost it (canned). Desert will be wonderful. Jesse will go to music lesson as usual. The sleep over will officially begin around 5 PM with dinner and whatever they decide to do next.
I do hope the boys have a good time. Mommy and Daddy really need a night out and alone. I'm so glad that we can give them that. Friday night is going to be big for everyone.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Yesterday I twisted my ankle so I have a hitch in my git-along. It's much better today so I believe I'll live without permanent damage. Of course, I think the pain med made me silly. Who would-da thought?
Hope everyone has a happy day.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I did a bit of shopping today for the Friday night sleepover. A new sleeping bag for each boy is something I'm going to surprise them with. I also found some swords (they are 'into' pirates right now) that you pour bubble "stuff" in. When you wave the sword bubbles come out. It's an outside toy but they should enjoy waving their swords and challenging the make belief bad guy. I bought some new sidewalk chalk. We'll try our luck at hop-scotch. I have a couple of new DVDs for after dark and new pajamas to wear while we watch them and eat popcorn and chips. Saturday morning we'll all be worn out. The time is fast coming when these 'dates' will no longer be something the boys want to do. I'm making hay while the sun shines, so to speak. I'm no saint - I enjoy this as much as the boys do.
Harry went to bed early. I think I'll head that way now. A wish for your perfect tomorrow and a hasty "Goodnight" takes me outta here.
Couldn't sleep - still awake at midnight. I changed the header picture to one Ricky sent me of the dessert bloom. That's Cucamonga Peak (7,200 ft el.) in San Bernardino County, Ca, in the background. There's been a lot of rain in the dessert that is bringing an impressive dessert bloom this year.
Back to bed. Hope I can sleep now.
Monday, March 10, 2008
My dental appointment was cleaning only. No other work required. A quick check by the dentist, a couple of jokes, and I was out of there. I'm saved for another 6 months. Whew!!
Sarah's parents will be in town for a few weeks beginning sometime this week. They are from the frozen north land (Wisconsin) but have been in Florida for most of the winter. I know Sarah and Buddy will be glad to have them close. While they are here everyone will work together to move a heavy piece of furniture from our house to Sarah's. She will use it for storing baby necessities. The piece belonged to Harry's great aunt and will be perfect for the nursery. (Sarah really likes antiques especially if their history is linked with family.)
After the piece moves to its new home, I'll begin re-doing that room. Fabrics are already in-house as is the furniture. Painting and sewing is all that remains to be done. Oh yes, and the floor. I'm going to have the carpet taken out and go back to hardwood floors and a Persian rug. I'll have my time filled with both a day project and an evening one, too. (Remember the afghan - that's really slow-go.)
Sunday, March 9, 2008
All the children were here today. Sarah, our mommy-to-be, is now at 8 months and growing. She has the usual aches and pains from pregnancy but otherwise she is doing really good. She has an upbeat attitude and both she and the youngest son, Buddy, are happy. OB said we can expect a big baby - at least nine pounds. Of course it's too soon to depend on that calculation but we will have a big baby. Little babies don't happen in this family.
Both grandsons are well and in rare form. We not only have a play date set for next Friday but a sleepover as well. Now don't feel sorry for me - it's my suggestion and we'll enjoy it. Also Mary and Keith need some time for themselves. Mary will have the afternoon to make ready for their night out and Saturday morning will be a sleep-in morning.
It's night, night time. Both Harry and I are tired but we can sleep late in the morning if we need to. I have a late morning routine dental appointment but otherwise the day is open. Sending prayers for a safe and happy week to my readers.
The mully-grubs I had last evening are gone this morning. I still haven't decided on a menu for today and I'll probably have to go to grocery. I'm late, I'm late for a very important day.
Will post after the day's activities - Hope everyone has a fun day. Soul, your fun day should include lots of sleep.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Youngest grandson extending a welcome to the snow and inviting each little snowflake to bring all its friends.
I really feel used up this evening. Not sick, no pain, not in a bad mood, not depressed - just tired and used up. Can't think of a thing to say so I'm just going to bed now - before dark. Tomorrow will be better. . . I hope.
Take care and my best to everyone.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Some of my readers commented on how well I remember the details in the Blizzard Blanket story. I don’t remember many things that well. This was the first real blizzard I was ever in, white-outs only happened in the movies (I thought), and civil defense had never declared a total curfew in my world. All these things plus the fact that I was on my own with my two young sons totally depending on me was terrifying. I had seen movies of snow being blown as high at the roofs on houses, but this would never happen in my world. This blizzard began with a violent thunder storm. Snow and lightening together just didn’t compute. Cooking eggs in corning ware bowls over tea candles, and listening to the wind howl for four days only happened in horror movies. As was opening the drapes over the glass doors and realizing snow was piled against the window all the way to the top. I was so afraid my sons would freeze if I went to sleep and didn’t keep constant watch over them. Even though the lady from next door was with us, I felt so alone. This experience was truly a horror story.
Now I must file away those memories and get back to reality. Today is play day - the boys will be here to play with Nana and Papa before long. These are happy times.
I hope each and every one of you is well and happy. Make plans right now to do something fun this weekend – even if it’s only to sleep in.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
The Blizzard Blanket became part of this little family’s history in January, 1978. Even though my mother taught me to crochet at an early age I had never, ever made anything larger than a dishcloth with a crochet hook. I had done lots of knitting and was comfortable with all aspects of the craft. I knew it was a lot easier to rescue ones self from a dropped stitch while crocheting than while knitting. With two young sons and a husband living almost 600 miles away I certainly didn't need a dropped stitch to ruin a perfectly good day.
A friend who lived close to me made a small afghan in granny-squares. She used bright colors to compliment a quilt her grandmother gifted to her. The boys liked it and talked about it over the next week or so. Next frame has me buying yarn as the boys selected a variety of colors. The decision was to frame each block in black was mine. My friend gave me a copy of her pattern and helped me get started. I decided to work the pattern using two strands of yarn. (Otherwise I would have had way too much yarn.) The first stitch was made on the Monday following New Year, 1978.
I found that the squares were easy to make and that I could hold a conversation with the boys, take part in some of their games, and watch meals cook while making the squares. When I had as many squares as the pattern called for I looked at the left over yarn and decided to keep making squares until most of the yarn was worked. That decision resulted in an afghan large enough for a king size bed. I started setting the huge, heavy monster together at the end of January and finished it in the early hours of the 5th day of February.
The 5th day of February, 1978, was a lovely day. Temps were in the high 60s to low 70s. The sun was shining. Children were so excited that they could play outside. My two boys were invited to visit with a friend who lived a few miles away. Because it was very close to the grocery store, I decided to do my shopping two days early. I only shopped once a month and our shelves were getting bare. I filled the trunk of the car and part of the front floorboard with groceries and drove by to pick up the boys.
When I stopped at their friend’s house the boys were ready to go. It was 1:15 and a fairly strong wind had begun to blow but the temps were still steady. The mother of the boy’s friend told me that, while the weather reports didn't say so, we were in for a severe blizzard. I didn't really believe her. You know how it is in the mountains – folk tales rule. No way was she correct.
By 3PM it was 35 degrees, wind was blowing, and snow was swirling! By 6PM the weather reports said we were in for “the storm of the century”. Our dog was in the dog run and I went to leash her and bring her inside. While I was outside I was caught in my first whiteout. I couldn't’t tell up from down but the dog pulled me to the door.
Shift workers were kept at jobs, civil defense declared a total curfew, power and phones were out. My next door neighbor and friend made it to my garage door (her husband was trapped at work) and stayed with me and the boys. We had plenty of food but no heat. Temps dropped to waaaay below zero and the wind howled for three days. We huddled under that afghan for hours at a time with the boys between us to keep them as warm as possible. Thus the Blizzard Blanket was born.
Now you know the rest of the story.
This was called “The Storm of the Century” It lasted from February the 5th to the 7th and covered the whole Northeastern United States.
I've decided that I need to declare a hobby. Harry is busy with his two little companies plus coral sales and I need something to do that keeps me occupied. Don't suggest spring cleaning. I retired from one job and I'm retiring from that one, too. What I really need is something to do for the two or three hours after dinner and before bedtime. The TV is always on but I seem to have lost interest in most programming except for Lost. I know, I'll make an afghan. I've done it before - I can do it again. Which brings to mind "The Blizzard Blanket" That's a story I'll tell you all sometime later. I'd like to take it out of storage and have a picture to go with the story.
This is the day that I need to do some major damage at the grocery store/s. I really don't mind going to grocery shop, going through checkout, and loading the stuff. I hate unloading at home and putting everything away. I'm thankful, though, that we have plenty of stuff to put away. Tomorrow is play-day and I look forward to that. The boys are growing up fast and before long play-days with Nana will be boring. I'm making the most of these days.
I've rambled about nothing. Time to take a deep breath, put on my big girl britches, and get on with this day. Hope all my blog buddies have a good day. Until later.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
Tonight I'm going to re-prioritize my "list" I lost out before the children were ill and our trip. Now I'm home and things are on even keel again. Time to get some things done. I have a BIG box to put things in for the curb. I also have a box for things to donate. Before I lost out on my routine I was doing a pretty good job. I plan to do even better this time. I absolutely hate the way my house looks - too much stuff. The little ones love it, though.
Last evening, the youngest came running from the sewing room to the kitchen with a beach towel in his hand. His eyes were sparkling and he sounded so excited. "Nana, Nana, wook what I fownd!" He found the beach towels that we brought back from Florida. We planned to give both boys a towel before they leave for the beach in a month or so. (When spring breaks are over.) Needless to say, each boy went home with his beach towel and a happy smile. Those children love the beach! It's OK that the towels were found. Maybe they'll find other treasure, too. Any suggestions?
Hope everyone is safe, sound, and happy this evening.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
The menu was eye of round roast, garlic potatoes, gravy, cooked carrots, and the ever present green salad. Desert was a strawberry pie (made with fresh strawberries) topped with whipped cream. Harry and I will have the same (left overs) for dinner tomorrow.
It's a long story and I won't tell it tonight but.........After years of thinking my mother's special recipes were lost forever I found at least some of them.
Caroline, they were under a powder puff in a cookie tin. Your encounter with powder puffs made me remember that smelly tin so I opened it, moved the puff, and there they were.
I'm going to make each and every one of these recipes over the next few weeks. I made the meat loaf already and it was exactly as I remembered it. Harry really liked it and told me not to loose the recipe again. I cooked the eye of round according to mother's hand written notes today. I was afraid it would be tough as shoe leather but it wasn't. It was lean, firm, but very tender. The gang all complimented the roast and I know they liked it because of the way they ate it. (No half slices left on plates.) Having everyone here and cooking for them makes me happy.
The guys watched the NASCAR race and I checked on it as often as possible. It was not a clean cut race. Tony Stewart had an accident and was pretty shaken up. He had to be helped from the car. Later he complained about his back. I hope it is not anything serious. Jeff Gordon wrecked at the end of the race. He really took a hard hit into an inside hard wall. Jeff was - of course - shaken but smiling and saying that he just made a wrong move. Edwards won and did his customary back-flip from the car window to the ground.
And so went my day. I hope you also had a pleasant day. Thanks for stopping by. My best to you.
I received my first award since becoming a blogger - it's from Jamie at Grace, too. She has serious health problems and I feel very humble that she would have thought of me for an award. If you have time, please visit her blog and wish her well.
This is the day that I should see all the kids. It's always a happy time for me when they are here. We wish our little family in Phoenix could be here, too. That would make a perfect day even more perfect.
I'll try to post again this evening, but if I don't I will tomorrow and remember - I wish all of you only the best. I'm thankful for all of you.