Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Time for Tea and Frogs- Not Together

My mama decided to part with some little keepsakes that long sat in a huge picture window with many shelves. This was a house and a few years ago. She told me to take them for tea parties. I did. They were much enjoyed throughout Playdate. Aunt SuZQ brought some spearmint tea that was equally enjoyed.

Hey Ms. Shell Mabelle, what did you find this time?
Whoa, three of those big tad-frogs.

Baby Boy is again thrilled, only this week, they are tad-frogs, not crayfish.
Annabelle was so tickled holding that slippery tad-frog.
The kids so enjoy the creek catch and release. While they watched during Playdate, the tad-frogs last appendage separated from his body-fascinating. At first he only had one arm and two legs, but we sent him back with four working parts.
Baby Gideon is mostly amused at all the chaos. He loves being outside, but it's time to say, "So long!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Ummm, another ridiculous amount of pictures. Goodness, we have some busy Playdates.
Last week, while reading at SouleMama's site, she had a visiting blogger that had a tutorial on making your own hula-hoop. Well now, I thought that was pretty neat and something I had never tried. So I trotted down to the Home Depot in search of poly pipe-nothing. I shared my despair with Handy Man and he was on a mission, but, alas, neither our little neighborhood hardware, nor Tractor Supply had the required poly pipe. Next, I complained to Pete, who ran to the Ace Hardware and all supplies were found!
First we distributed the pipe. Nine feet for the little ones, ten for the bigger ones. Next, you dip one end in hot water and push in the connector. If you want a noisy hula-hoop, you have to add some beebees. Then dip and connect the other end.
If you are Baby Boy or Baby Gideon you just entertain yourself with a little tea party, or some lovies.

Now for the first round of fun-decorating your hoop with electrical and duct tape in a variety of colors.

A few flower blossoms adds to the prettiness, don't ya think?
Now, who is the best at hooping.
Big Al did it in his usual dramatic fashion, while Matt-Man barely moved in his stoic way.

As is typical, some had more trouble than others, but most stayed with it and worked hard.
Little Miss Linee was cracking me up. She had those hip moves down pat.

Bean just got better and better-love the boots.
Turns out it was worth all the fuss and bother and much fun and lots and lots of movement was enjoyed by all.
Still to come-tea parties, frogs and a visit from Uncle Jimi.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Little Red Hen

I ran off to Indy yesterday. It is nice to feel free to do that when it's summertime. I still do such things when I'm teaching, but it really is tough to only have one day to play catch-up from the week when I need about three days. Anyway, it was cool and beautiful and nothing more pressing than a wish to spend the day with folks I love, so off I drove.
I returned home to some sad news. Handy Man found Little Red Hen dead in the chicken yard, like she literally fell over and died. I was not expecting this, no warning. She was one of my most favorites. There are two more of her kind, Henny Penny and Ruby. Now, I'll be nervous about them.
It's afternoon already, how did that happen. I've been out in the garden most of the morning, but I must remove the layer of garden I brought in with me and move onto to other chores and errands.
Have a blessed Sunday!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

All Things Kaye

I have not posted on Kaye in a good bit. Not because there isn't a lot always happening, but because there has not been a high crisis situation. When there isn't a crisis, I get a lot of my information second or third hand, so I'm always a little unsure what's what. Since I'm off, I'm able to go once a week again on a regular basis.
Pete was successful in getting the new type of dialysis at home and she seems to be handling that pretty well.
Her circulation continues to be a problem. She had a toe removed a few weeks ago, then a nail and now there is a new problem. At first, it appeared they would be removing more of the foot. Now, it seems that the vascular surgeon would like to try an oxygen chamber, where she'll have to be by herself for two hours daily for a month. She flatly refused.
As anyone would be, she is most weary. I don't have the ability to convey the sadness I feel for her and for Pete as they just put out one fire and another pops up. Pete doesn't want any part of her taken off, but when it's causing pain and risking horrible infection, something has to be done. But to have to be hooked up to dialysis multiple days and week, and then think of another daily procedure-have mercy. She can be very, very difficult when she doesn't feel well, and bless her heart, she mostly doesn't feel well.
So, she and Pete are happy recipients of your loving prayers.
Also, so many needs today. Two friends are hospitalized in Indy, Big D and Papa Bear, for cancer treatment. I'm headed up there today to give their wifeys a hug. In addition, a little baby several weeks early due to Mama's rough road with toxemia. We'll keep praying on.

The Big Dog Dilemma

You've met my dog many times in these posts. I felt so very blessed to find her. She's been a wonderful pooch. From the time the chickie girls go to roost at night, until we are home the following day, Arwen lives in the big pen in the back. It's a huge space where she can run and dig, rest and play. We have never seen evidence of even a tiny mouse in or around the coop. Her first summer, I would put her on a leash and walk the property line. I had hoped she'd get the idea of where she was supposed to be. Sadly, a time or two, she travelled across the street to a neighbor. Said neighbor apparently has a thing for my pooch and takes her for walks around the pond and feeds her constantly. Consequently and sadly, my now chubby girl thinks the busy road, his house and property are also under her domain. I am not too much for conflict. If it weren't for the road, I'd share my sweet dog for the sake of harmony. Alas, there is a road. One folks walk on and drive on. Needless to say, my fierce watchdog gives walkers the business. This is not usually a problem because most walkers know her and know she's just warning them. They stop, smile, let her sniff, another friend made. Recently, someone was not amused by her barking and kind of lunged at her and she lunged back, so I'm told. She did not bite, but it is frightening. Recently, if Handy Man or I are not in the yard, she goes on the chain, in the shade with treats and water, but still. It hurts my feelings. I'm back to walking property with her on the leash, but she's no fool. If someone were waiting across the road to love on you and give you lots of treats, what would you do?
The way the creek runs, there's no way to fence her in. Anyway, I wanted her rolling and peeing all over so the deer and other critters keep their distance. So, the dilemma.

I have been slow to introduce Merry and Pippin to all the creatures great and small around here. Over the weekend, we introduced them to Arwen. She was fascinated, and as usual, well-behaved.

Pippin decided it worked both ways and wanted to check her out as well.
Sweet girl.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We aren't in Kansas anymore Toto!

I was sitting at Lilly's, being treated to fine dining in the extreme by a dear friend, when it started sprinkling last night, about eight o'clock. Finishing up and getting to the car provided a good soaking. We flipped on the radio to discover a tornado had been sighted near Churchill Downs and was headed straight for the Highlands. Happy day! Somewhat alarming for a couple of reasons. Rae-rae lives near Churchill downs and we were driving down the street where it was expected to hit next. We kept heading north, out of harm's way, thank the Lord! Still a bit stressful, as Rae wasn't answering her phone. I comforted myself with the notion that in her haste to get that boy to the basement, she'd left her phone. That was indeed the situation. Their local alarm sounded, then after a time the warning ended. Michael walked outside to check it out and saw the funnel cloud arriving a bit after it's scheduled warning time. Aggghhhh. Lord bless those folks who received damage!
Speaking of storms-we were frolicking in the creek on Tuesday when it started sprinkling.

Good skip Ol' Henry

Baby Boy was intrigued by the crayfish. He said, "Look, a tad-frog!"

When the sprinkling turned to rain my little creek sprites welcomed the cloudburst with a rain dance!

In response, the rain came faster, then thunder accompanied by his friend lighting. Out of the creek! What to do?
Snuggle up on the porch with yummy snacks, good stories and silly songs. Well,well, now I know 19 people fit on the front porch.
So happy that Aunt SuZQ has been able to join the fray this year. Always great to have another creek sprite snuggler.
Gideon is quite intrigued by all these wee folk. He loves it when they give him their undivided attention and they love when he smiles, laughs and squeals at them.
The storm finally headed out to another location and I brought Merry and Pippin out to play.
Such blessings, these special days.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

I love a lot of things about Playdate. I love that cousins and friends of all ages can find a common area of play to engage in. This is the fifth year for summer Playdate. I can't say I ever really dwell on it, but now and again, it crosses my mind, "How old is too old for Playdate?" I figured there would come a day video games, other friends, interest in the opposite sex, or whatever would put an end to playing at my house. Whaaaaaaaa. Well, I'm starting to think it won't be anytime soon. I'm surprised that the original Playdaters are already taking on the role of helpers. Today Bean brought books to share at snack time, again spent a good deal of time swinging Miss Linee, then drove the jeeps and trucks in the rain back to their parking spot and covered them up until next week. Not what I expected from a six year old, but I surely loved it.

When Miss Linee was ready to move onto other play, Bean returned to my grand boy, ever in need of a long trip in the blue dolphin and a Civil War story. We were interrupted by a Girl with Pearls, who happened upon a treasure-a tiniest inch worm and needed to share it with Gramerly and Bean. Then of course we had to find it a home, and some friends, etc.

Their favorite thing to paint is they wee selves, and paint they did. Ol' Mother Hubbard's were still slapping it on over at the art easel.

Ms. Shel MaBelle was a bit shy the first week, not having been here since she was about 4. Now, she could run the Playdate-helping me with snacks, kidlet watching, animals, etc. Since Big Al left for a warmer clime, oh wait, is there a warmer climate then what we're experiencing? Well, an ocean view at least, Shel brought her brother and a friend, all a great help and joy to spend the afternoon with. And-ee and An-ee have spent a lot more time with kidlets, so were doing their usual of being ordered about by the youngest ones-God bless and love their faithful hearts.

Then it started to rain, then thunder, then lightning. Umm, what to do with 19 people, age 2 months to 60 plus for an outdoor Playdate when a storm settles in? Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Don't fathers come in all sort of interesting shapes and sizes. I am privileged to love and know so many fathers.
I have sons who are fathers, along with two brothers, several brothers-in-laws, cousins and friends.
I always enjoy being an observer to their fathering.
I have such a clear memory of Bean's first belly laughs, and of 1st Lt.'s laugh in equal measure and declaration, "That is the best the sound in the whole world." For someone who never cared a fig for wee folk, I stood by smiling when a four pound red head wrapped him right around her little finger in beat of her heart.
Watching Drummer Boy swing BJ and telling me he positively knew there could be no cuter baby anywhere. Hmm, I remember a boy that might have been that cute.
Michael sharing the stories he's been reading Gideon since he knew he was coming.
Pete, who stands in prayer and unconditional love for his own, though the road has been so very challenging.
A nephew-in-law who goes like the energizer bunny, though he's my age and has four busy, busy children.
And then there's my Handy Man. I know there's a host of folks out there longingly admiring the grass on the other side and perhaps some have good reason. Not me. If he loved more, cared more or tried more he'd be perfect.
Let's not forget my Heavenly Father, so merciful in blessing me and future generations with all these fabulous examples of wonderful fathering. I am grateful.
Happy Father's Day to all. There is no more important job in life to do well!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dawn Near the Downs

I crept out by dawn's early storm this morning, across the river, to fetch baby Gideon from his sleepy Mama after his six o'clock feeding. Mama Rae headed back to bed for a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, while the little man and I settled in for a snuggle on the couch.
He went right back to sleep, but was only still or quiet about twenty minutes of the two and a half hours we snuggled. I easily see how he's earned the nickname, Grunty McGruntle. He pushes and grunts due to his reflux. It's better, but he still spends part of his day plenty uncomfortable.
When it was close to snack time, I changed his diaper, which woke him up. He's just too adorable. I got him dressed and out we went for a little porch time. It was raining slow and steady, a perfect summer garden drizzle. Gideon was intrigued by the rain.

I need some practice on trying to take pictures while trying to keep talking and making eye contact, so the boy keeps smiling.

Thanks Great Grandma Ol' Betsey for my littlest angel.

Papa Michael appeared on the porch, so I took Gideon in to fix Dad some breakfast. I sat the boy in his little seat in front of a big black and white "R" magnet Rae has on the frig. He was quite content to talk to the magnet, while I cooked. Then he joined us at the table .

On the way home, I called Aunt Lois. As you might guess, I filled her in on every wiggle, smile and coo. She said her oldest boy behaved exactly like that (fidgety and grunty) and at the time, it was called The Stretching Disease. That would have been over seventy years ago-interesting.

When I'm with my gramerlings, I try to be very in the moment- talking, singing, snuggling, smooching, telling stories, picking eggs, whatever. However, after I'm home, and look at the pictures, such an intense feeling washes over me that brings me tears of thankfulness for such an opportunity to grandparent these sweet little souls.
Uh, Gideon didn't understand why he wasn't included in the Bubble Ballet post, so here he is. No, he didn't learn to stick his face in the bubbles from his cousin Big Al. These are of his very own making-genius baby I'm thinking.