Friday, March 30, 2012

So That's What it Tastes Like

When it's warm enough for the creek then the creek has to be explored from one end to the other.
Baby Boy usually has two moods- grumpy or euphoric. He has never been crazy about me. Uncle Jimi is his most favorite person in the wide world. He is growing up though and was willing to allow me to be his creek playmate on Wednesday. He wanted me to get a scoop of rocks and pour them in his net. Then he would fling them into the "pond." Next, he would sternly demand more "pond rocks" and I would humbly obey.

Since his playtimes with me have been few and far between, I figured I'd best capture the King's demand for pond rocks from his humble servant Kymbi on film. He had just finished flinging and then looked up at me.
I snapped the pik (good thing I was quick) as he immediately changed his face to a big "Cheese!"
Then, "I need more pond rocks." "Yes, sir."
Brrrr, the weather may be warm but the creek was cold.
So, when their lips were blue and whatever to see in the creek didn't take priority over warmth, we hauled them out for a good scrubbing.
Now they were ready to settle down to candy eating, er making.

Rae chased the baby whilst we painted. When it was over I told her the boy needed to try his hand at painting, you know, for the archives.
This was so very funny in real time. First, Rae paints the mold and tells him what she's doing.
He isn't terribly interested, but decides to try some finger painting. We tell her to give him the brush.

Okay, this interesting. And what Ol' Mother Hubbard and I were waiting on, the taste!

Well now, this is different and dee-wish-us, but alas, I licked it all off.
Next, the dawning of understanding that what was painted in those mold was the same stuff. Toss the brush, let's slurp out the good stuff!

So, so funny.
Today I ordered his first birthday present when I noticed a new post from a blog I follow, "The Blessing of Verity." This is a blog about a big family with a Down's Syndrome baby, who saw a horrific CNN report on an orphanage in Bulgaria. They proceeded to go get one of those little ones. The environment these children survive in defies imagination. Now more people are going to adopt them. Funds are being raised for the families here-

Of course, it made me stop and think not only about all the toys Giddy-up already has, but all the love he is surrounded by. About his Mama and Papa who have tried since before they even knew he was coming to make his environment the best place it could be, and how I wish that every little person could be so loved.
Anyway, I made a donation to bring Maykayla home in honor of his birthday and believing there will be a new birthday soon for little Miss Maykayla. If your in the mood to spread some love and good, take a look!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Return of Playdates 2012

Our weird warm weather continues here in the Ohio Valley. On my Spring Break, I always have the gramerlings over to make Easter candy. I picked this day, as thunderstorms were predicted. Looks pretty stormy to me. I knew, owing to the warm sun and blue sky, that no one would want to sit around the table painting candy molds, so out we went. Baby Giddy-up enjoyed a visit with his pretty little cousin Miss Bugg.

I love this discovery that sticking out a tiniest toe finds a whole new texture.
Hmm, what is that I feel?

Ahhh, this is the way Bean now rides in the Dolphin Swing. All stories now include Daddy and Afghanistan.
We were proud and happy to include a new Playdate member this year. Aunt Lois joined us today and plans to be a part of our Playdates. She walked in with just her cane. After a bad fall last week and a still purple/black noggin, I was mighty relieved to see her moving around so well. I so love that Playdates will now be four generations. I love that it is important to her to know these children who are so very important to me.
Time for a little lawn mower repair for heading to the creek.

Stay tuned for some hysterical pictures of Gideon's discovery that the mold he was painting held something tasty. So funny.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hemlock Cliffs Continued

Oh my, this would certainly stir up some interesting stories to entertain Mr. Bean. I cannot wait to take him to this place.
I'm so sorry you can't hear the babbling brooks.

Ah, sweet to revisit such loveliness.
A dear friend got a bad report from the doc and is scheduled for a biopsy on Thursday. 1st Lt. is heading home at the end of the week to take his Bean and Bugg on their first trip to Disney before he leaves. Lots of last minute changes that have caused quite a stir in the National Guard. I won't use my blog to complain about our leaders, but I am feeling some serious angst. Prayers, prayers, prayers.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hemlock Cliffs

Well, the Handy Man and I did something a bit unusual for us. While we spend a lot of time together, we aren't exactly on the same page. We turn in early and spend a good bit of time in our own books before sleep. Often I'm in the "Nipping Room" turning out some little bit of felt something, whilst he is in the wood shop making something wonderful. If he is enjoying a movie that's not my taste, I'm looking up how to harvest garlic on the computer.
This week, a dear friend told us of a recent visit to a little box canyon located in the Hoosier National Forrest called Hemlock Cliffs and recommended we check it out. So off we went to while away the afternoon tiptoeing through the most blooming wildflowers I've ever had the privilege of viewing in one spot. All this warm weather has those tiny treasures blooming their wee heads off. It was such a sweet day with my sweetheart and I may just have to make my ownest self a picture book to remind me of our perfect date. The weather was ideal, no mosquitoes, red buds in bloom lining the way until we ran into huge patch of wisteria, one of my favorite flowers, then the canyon. I want to live there.
Um, so we're going down there? What, do we slide down? Handy Man, "There are stairs, but they wiggle and they are slippery." Okay, well, good to know.
Sure enough there were some slippery wiggling stairs. Aren't I adventuresome?
Look at that falls, be still my heart. Do you see my Handy Man down there? He's down there and I'm not because, as sister SuZ will freely tell you I have to stop and smell everything, or at least look and sigh or wonder or smile-big. Mercy, there was a lot to stop and smile over. I have to admit that at this moment I felt a little tug of guilt over how much total joy my little wood sprites would have had splashing in that waterfall.
On the roof of one of the overhangs.
I just lovey these fiddleheads.
It encourages my heart to see such beauty literally spring out of something dead. What a Creator!
Oh my, Dutchman's Breeches.
A hemlock pinecone.
I'll post more pictures tomorrow of trilliums, trout lillies, jack in the pulpits, and more.
We were starved by the time we hauled ourselves out of that canyon. We enjoyed a delicious supper overlooking the river on the way home.
I'll certainly enjoy this Spring Break catching up with those I love and never get to see enough of, but it was wonderful to start it off with my best buddy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


As strange as it seems, when I'm weary I not only cry easier, but I laugh easier as well. Today a friend posted on fb that her wee one was disappointed to find no visit from a leprechaun today. The friend was unaware of need of a leprechaun, though her child assured that he was visiting all her friend's houses. The friend asked, "What next?" Someone posted that perhaps Johnny Appleseed should visit on Arbor Day. Don't ask me, I can only attribute my fit of hysterical laughter at that comment to my weariness.
Detour- Did I ever tell you I hate grades and standardized state testing? Well, you haven't spent much time with me then because I've just completed both and I rant and rave from two weeks before, throughout the whole ordeal. At least we used to get two half days to do conferences, now I have to do them after school for my twenty four students. Why can't we just mark progress. I have some kidlets who work like dogs and will never be on the coveted A/B honor roll. I have others who are as bright as new pennies and will ever be on the A/B honor doing very little, cause they simply don't care to do anything more than what's required of them. UGHHHHH.
Anyway, back to the Leprechaun strand. I probably comment on FB about two times a year. But I added that Uncle Sam could visit on Flag Day. How about the Ghost of Something Past for Memorial Day. The Garbage Man for Labor Day, by which time I am literally crying I'm laughing so hard. What, you don't find it so funny? Well, you must of had a better week than I've had.
What is particularly interesting about this is I'm a big celebrator and I think any day is a good one for gifts and dessert. Though I love to give gifts, it stresses me a bit of the generations we've raised standing around with their hand out, expecting everything great and small to be handed over to them.
Hats off to all those young folk who work hard for they have.
And this picture, well it is just because he's cute and how can you look at that sweet face and not smile ( you know, a little gift in case you were forgotten by the Leprechaun too).
Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Carols

Its the most wonderful time of the year

Just planting tomatoes and dreaming of potatoes

Fills me with cheer,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

There are daffodils popping and pansies show stopping

And seeds to be planted in rows

There are fat pink cheeked babies and bluebirds a mating

And perhaps the end of the snow

Its the most wonderful time of the year

Just planting tomatoes and dreaming of potatoes

Fills me with cheer,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

There a chickens all laying and bunnies a playing

And little ones swinging so high

The forsythia blooming, soon kites will zooming

Not a cloud in this spring blue sky

Again we are having some unseasonably warm weather and I loved being out planting pansies all evening. Pansies to me are the most cheerful flower. I can't help but smile when I look at them.
I requested of the Handy Man an herb table for the side porch. I've had a table there for years. Though it had long been peeling it's finish, I never tired of it and just threw another seasonal plastic tablecloth over it. It was a multipurpose planting table all these years, but I so remember when it was new. All the babies had arrived by that summer, and making an outdoor furniture purchase was a big deal. It was so sparkly white and I loved the yellow striped umbrella that came with it. At the time we lived in town and all of our neighbors were elderly and most lived alone. I loved them so and the children and I would always take them some homemade goodies. I was so proud to have them over to sit at my new table and share some cookies and lemonade. No, that table suited me fine.
Alas, when Handy Man finished the herb table, there was no way I wasn't going to have it out in front, so I attempted to move my old faithful. It gave up the fight and fell apart, deciding it had moved for the last time. I think it was 28 years old. Wow, that's a lot of rain and winters and hot suns to weather.
I'll miss that old table, but I love, love, love my new herb stand.
It is currently planted with spinach and lettuces. When those bolt, the herbs will go in.
It feels like spring has sprung!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


How blessed we were this time to not be in the path of the wicked storms that blew through yesterday. Just a few miles away folks were hit and there is much devastation.
I spent all afternoon trying to keep our little school children calm in spite of what was happening outside the window. Parents started picking up kiddos by lunch and every child who left increased the anxiety of the ones who remained. By three, we were all wall to wall in the basement. During all that, I hoped and prayed that all my people, wherever the location, were seeking shelter. I remained calm and cool throughout, but once home and the all clear for our viewing area was finally announced, I was exhausted. Lord bless and keep those folks, who in a mere moment, found themselves homeless.
Speaking of devastation-
My son visited my classroom recently to speak to my students about the lives of the folks he is spending the next year with in Afghanistan. Our visit followed his visit to Bean's 2nd grade classroom.
I think for both Ceece (who came along) and I it brought the reality of this trip home and kicked in some anxiety. 1st. Lt. did a great job explaining his mission and the deplorable conditions the people there live in. He brought tools they made from their recent blacksmithing training and a slide show of the people and area. My students had lots of questions. Some of the answers were things I didn't really want to hear, yet at the same time didn't want to miss. While there, the soldiers try and support the economy by making purchases at a market. When they travel they move in tank like vehicles. These two situations are when they are most vulnerable to the Taliban. Apparently the enemy aims for truck in the middle. Since these soldiers will not leave a fallen comrade, the whole convoy is stopped by this action. Market places are out in the open which again makes them easy targets. Hard to hear.
He really impressed the kids by allowing them to try on his gear. It weighs seventy pounds at least. Bless him, he tried it on all 34 of them- over two hundred ons and offs.
First the helmet, then the bullet-proof vest, then the next thing that holds ammunition, and lastly the backpack. It nearly toppled several of my little ones. I tried it on too. Oh my.
I am so happy he was willing and able to visit. Next year when we write letters, send gifts and support those men and women, the kids will have a much clearer picture of the what and why of our service. Well, at least as much as any of us understand it.