Sunday, September 13, 2020

Happy Birthday to Me

 What a great birthday weekend.  Gardner E stopped by with some cool socks and graphite drawing pencils with my name ( well, the company's name) on them. So fun.

Rae whisked me away to Yew Dell Gardens for the morning Saturday. The weather was perfect and there was hardly anyone there.

I was really so surprised by many flowers and plants I am not familiar with.  Ahem, and Handy Man and Rae gave me the funds to haul some home with me. Be still  my heart. 

I can't figure why my pictures no longer load in order, boo hiss. Anywho, this is in the fairy garden. These houses, oh my.  They say if you find a career you love you never have to work another day in your life.  Yeah, well I love teaching, but let me assure you it feels very much like work to me this year.  But, if I could drive a straight nail and draw a straight line I think I could play in the woods creating these adorable fairy houses happily, all the live long day.


What a beautiful place for a wedding. 

These rose hips were bigger than my thumb. I've never seen ones so big. 



And this plant- beautiful and covered in bees.  Bush clover is this beauty's name. 



















It was totally overcast and cool and a perfect day in the garden.  

We were just going to grab a sandwich somewhere, but saw a little Mexican place with outdoor seating.  I looked at the tropical flower pots, sipped a fruity drink and pretended I was somewhere else. 


I wasn't reponsible for this Sunday dinner, so enjoyed a long soak this morning. I have also enjoyed going to church virtually with friends and family.  This Sunday I got to hear Aunt SuZQ's man sing and read. 

Aunt Tish rounded up our people and we had a big feast and big time this afternoon.  Aunt Tish made all my favorite savories like caprese salad, pesto, and salsa. Rae brought Hershey Bar Cake and Jordan brought enough bread for everyone along with homemade kraut for me, wheeee.  We had some other dishes as well, so lots of yummy choices. 




The homemade cards from gramerlings were so sweet, full of shells, chickens, rainbows, memories and a very special ring.

Giddy-Up took his first beach vacation without his Gramerly and saved shells and some sea glass to make me a card.  Whaaaa. 

As always, I love a little picking and grinning with this first born grand.  He's taught himself so much.  I am so happy we love a lot of the same kinds of music.


 And hat's off to Missy Bugg for capturing a picture I actually like.  Usually only her mama can do that.
Aunt Tish did an awesome job pulling all the parts together and with Handy Man's help was the most restful Sunday I've had in a long time. 



I love for the kids to just be little wildlings, but I also love to share some things with them. I was gifted some white wool. Today we picked jewel weed and dyed it. So pretty. 

When Mr. Smiley was in the tool shop with Pap he spied a bit of red behind something and asked Pap what it was? Another multi tool, which led to a little knife sharpening session. 

He took it so seriously. 

This Covid life has revolved around the garden and bugs and butterflies and fat bumblebees.  These snake beans are just entertaining.  I will miss this lush yard like never before when the first frost visits. Happy to have pictures to remember. 


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Coming Up for Air

 Got back on the Playdate train today.  I enjoyed seeing my people.  Uncle Jimi came with his sidekick- Bekah, along with Rae and family, Aunt Tish, Jordan and Lucas and later Ceece and Missy Bugg.  Every time Jimi is himself and able to join us for a meal, I surely feel blessed to have been the provider.

School is just  a Covid Crazy dance, with who is sick, who is quarantined, who has who and what do we need to do. We are all just doing our best, but mercy, it it trying.

You know we're all desperate for entertainment when everyone who darkens my door has to take a tour of the garden and see whatever is new.

The big news is that the butterfly weed called um, well, okay, I didn't name this plant, "Hairy Balls" lived up to its name. 

Never have I seen such tiny blooms produce such a big seed pod. I bought it because it is supposed to attract monarchs and it did. When I put it in the ground it was like six inches tall and grew, well, like a weed. It has been covered with tiny , then big, then bigger caterpillars.  Then one day they were all gone as the caterpillars don't usually form their chrysalis on the host plant.  So, as I was deadheading, my stress release, look what I found.   Click on that picture, there is the butterfly wing.  How completely miraculous. God just knocks me out with such creations.  So, this littlest bit was the focus of the tours today. 


I am starting to see a lot of butterfly variety, finally, but these fat furry bees have loved, loved, loved, rolling in pollen in my garden this year. These Mexican Sunflowers are just putting on a big show.
So orange. 



And this Crepe Myrtle is like a jewel red covered bush.

Petals then fall in this tall grass and it looks like it is covered in berries. 






I will miss this garden  when autumn comes rolling in and am so thankful to have had this space to sow and reap.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Should Have Known

    Well, it was bound to happen when you are spinning too many plates. Blogger has a new style and with the new way I accidentally posted this on my school blog, not my personal blog, ugh. Thankfully I didn't say anything horrible, but way more personal than ever I would  have shared. 

Do you ever feel fragile, like the tipping point is so close and you will just shatter and blow away in the wind?  That feeling comes to me in waves, like grief, or maybe it is grief. Yesterday at noon,I was already feeling the stress of trying to teach in such a different way than I'm accustomed to.  I miss the most, being able to call my kids down to the rug and have them scooch up close and listen to a great story with wide eyed wonder. I miss hugging them good-bye. I miss that I can't let them group up and share what they are learning. There is no time in the day for all that many people to share. Sometimes it just feels like a sad place, when I used to think I had a happy room ( the new chicks helped lighten the mood).  Then I got a message that Jimi was back in the hospital, his second trip since that picture on the last post. Then, of course, a multitude of other things.  

I have a little rocking chair in my room that I bought when I first started this teacher gig 17 years ago.  When we dismissed, it was pouring rain. I had some work still to do but I had just reached my limit.  So, I pulled that rocking chair outside my room, under the awning, and rocked and cried and prayed a while.  Then, I was just spent.

The good news, our fav pizza place was finally back up and running and we had that for supper.  So pitiful what a cheesy carbohydrate can do to lift your spirits. 

And, we did it.  We finally took care of something that should have done years and years ago. We got all of our affairs in order- wills, living wills, medical directives, powers of attorney.   Whew!   Why do we have a tendency to put that off?  I remember that it haunted me when my kids were little. I just could not, in my wildest dreams, plan on not raising my own children.  Thank God no decision like that ever had to be made. 

Our Saturday was very busy for us.  Handy Man helped a neighbor, I had to run to school to check on the eggs and baby chicks. There were two more. Then it was library, grocery and off to Corydon to see our sweet girl, Miss Linee, in Charlotte's Web.  That director did an amazing job.  The sound, outside and under a mask was clear as a bell. It was just all kinds of adorable. She has a flair for the dramatic that isn't the least bit deterred by a mask.  She had quite a fan group. 





And this handsome Blue Eyed Boy had a birthday.  Oh my, growing right on up! And that brown eyed guy under those sunglasses is quite handsome as well. 

It can be said that all of my children are now pushing 40. Wow!


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Outdoor Cafe

 Sister SuZQ came to visit from Florida.  I had her over Saturday evening and invited Uncle Jimi and Jake, as I knew she wanted to see Jimi.  I decided, last minute, to also invite a good friend of his.  I realized the birthday party we put off in March when we were all swept away in the tide of Covid, wasn't likely to happen anytime soon and I hoped it might lift Jimi's spirits.  He was not his best self, but a far cry from his worst self.  


He wore his bandana the kids made him this summer.

Well, yesterday he fell and hit the table with his nose, and today was again unresponsive.  It is interesting that every time it is that first dialysis after three days. He's back in the hospital and I'm left to guess that Covid wise, things must be worse, because this week we are back to no visitors. So I again feel like someone has me by the throat and won't let go.  Each time, his ammonia level is higher- 16 to 60 is normal, his is 200.  

Between sitting here, having no idea how he is or what they are doing, teaching a grade I've never taught and doing the Covid dance, well, well, well. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Back At It

Today was the first student day and as you might guess it was strange and exhausting.  I am looping this year so it really helped that they are already familiar with a lot of things and genuinely seemed very happy to be back.

All this time I've worn the flat to my face mask, most made by Ceece, which has served me well these many months. They've been washed many times and live in my car for whatever has needed doing in public. I had no idea that running into a store is very different than wearing this most of the day and talking a lot with it on.  Oh my, they get so hot.  The phrase, "Full of hot air" is quite accurate as it turns out.  Then I have like a really fat head, so it feels like your pig tails are too tight and your ears are about to pull off.  Thankfully, my friend Peggy and my sister were able to make ones that aren't flat for the classroom.  I sort of resemble a strange exotic bird with a very colorful beak.

 


Our rooms are not that big to begin with and we have almost no storage.  With desks spread apart it just felt all day like something was off. 
The kids were really great and did an amazing job at keeping their masks on, hanging them on their hook when they ate lunch, etc.  It really takes a lot of your school day for ever keeping them apart, only letting one in the closet at a time, two in the bathroom, etc. 
I have to say it cramps my style in a huge way.  I always had lots of places for kids to sit or stretch out. We frequently used the gym for movement and a change of pace, and I often brought them back to sit with me on a rug so we'd be close and I could easily engage those that struggle with focus.  I don't even know how the kids in the back of the room will be able to see the board. We would sing all the time before.   So, like everything else since March, it is my room and they are my students, but nothing feels normal.  I hope it comes in time. 

It is interesting because I asked my kids what they were most worried about and most of them said, "E-Learning. " It seems some kiddos are happy as can be to learn that way, but it seems it wasn't a good fit for my little classroom.  I asked what things were they glad about and most of them said, "Being able to come back to my same room and same teacher."  Well, that was sweet and makes me feel better about the hoops I'm jumping through. 

I would have happily come straight home and gone straight to bed.  I know I'd be plenty sorry when I woke up at midnight, yawn.  I miss having the energy to do more in the evening.  Oh well.

Uncle Jimi left the hospital, against doctor's orders on Sunday.  This balance between keeping water off of the kidneys and having to have it to carry off the ammonia from the liver is just dreadfully difficult.   I feel his pain and that of his often caring nurses.  I mean how often does someone go from not being able to say his name or get a drink, to full function in twenty four hours, sometimes less. What he desperately needs one day, he doesn't require at all the next. Once he has his wits about him, he wants to get up and tend to his own business, but there is still an alarm on his bed or chair, they don't come in a timely manner to get him up and the list just goes on and on.  

Well, we finally did something long past the time we should have. Our wills, living wills, medical powers of attorney, etc. have all been drafted and will soon be signed.  About time.  What is it that makes that so easy to put off and put off?

Come on bedtime!!


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Sweet Sixteen

So, as completely unbelievable as it seems, Bean turned sixteen today.

The age where you finally get to drive. 


Of course, with this Gramerly, he has ever been in the driver's seat. 

The memory of this day is so clear, like it was yesterday.  We were playing in the garden when he heard his Pap pull in and stop to get the mail.  He ran, like every time, to meet him and drive the truck on to the house. My little dirt dauber.   Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

We shared so very many adventures. 


I mean seriously, could you resist this face.




He's always loved to fish.  We spent hundreds of hours at the creek, doing what a friend termed "bobbering". 


He's had the police called on him several times for fishing in the neighborhood lake.  A friend at school makes tee shirts, so I had this made for him. 



I hope he has many, many more happy birthdays.

In Jimi news, we sadly returned to the hospital today in the same fashion as three weeks ago.
It seems they just can't get treatment, on which his life depends, kidney and liver, to mesh.
Again, I had to leave him unable to press a call button or get a drink.
I am, on one hand, too sad to hold up my own head, on the other hand,  life goes on in this Covid craziness doesn't it? 
I would think I would become resigned to our medical system, to watching people that I love fiercely, leave me, one part at a time, until only memories remain. Yet,  the fear, angst and heartbreak never gets one bit easier.