Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Roll On

Well, we're all relieved that Aunt Lois can get in and out easily now walking, or with walker, or wheelchair.
The million dollar ramp is in and quite a ramp it is.
This will take her right to the car door.

I imagine baby Gideon will think it's equally fine for cars and trucks that are his size.
Aunt Lois has been to the doctor she will have here and liked him a lot. He says she'll live to be one hundred. She's also ventured out to church and the weird warm weather has given her an opportunity to be out walking a wee bit.
Still, it's quite an adjustment for her to the many, many changes and losses this past year. I wish I could ease that part for her, but I know it will take time.
Last night, when I was visiting, she was relating why she no longer drinks carbonated drinks. She said, "My friend and I both had kidney surgery about the same time. The doctor told us not to drink soda. I quit, but she still drank Sprite and 7-up. She's been dead a long time now." We all about spit our food across the table. She says the funniest things.
Continued prayers for her broken heart are appreciated. She is quite the pioneer woman.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

King of the Mountain

Lands, this has been the craziest winter ever. The temperature variations are not to be believed. It's like someone has a weather remote and has been channel surfing all winter long. We have hail, sleet, a smattering of snow, blustery winds, then sunshine, warmth-followed by freezing temps.
Well, anytime it warms above 40 degrees, the kidlets prefer the outside. Recently the electric company sent tree choppers out to free the lines. Uhhh, I hate having my trees messed with. I asked them to at least leave me the chips. Big fun I tell you!
Even in winter, there are some treasures to unearth.
The kiddos don't mind the cold near as much as the swing pushers. Bean didn't end up getting his turn until after dark. Ohh, it is so sad. He can't get in it anymore and has to sit on the top. I asked if we should be thinking of a way to raise enough money to buy a real playground swing set, but he shook his head, with a big "NO!" -still wants to swing in that blue dolphin.
Miss Swee-Tee needs a big swing, to feed the girls chicken seed (that's how we grow our chickens don't you know) and lots of candy when she comes to Gramerly's.
Pure bliss!

Gwanfader (Great Uncle Tim) burying the boy.
Swee-Tee wasn't quite ready to be buried, but she thought Bean getting covered was hysterical.
Missy Bugg was helping from behind.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


"Sew, a needle pulling thread."
As I said, I like doing small handcrafts. I love Salley Mavor's Wee Folk and started making them a while back. I love making them, but what do you do with them once they are made?
I proudly showed them off to some women I used to hang out with and they kind of looked at me like I'd grown three heads. About the same look I get when I talk about Lord of the Rings.
I'm happy for the Gramerly's to play with them during inside calm play, but they won't hold up to being shoved in little pockets, or left in the rain. Then I discovered felting and loved those wee animals too.
Cute, but not durable either.
Then I found pocket lovies on a blog, a mixture of wool felting and embroidery, and tried my hand at those. I love making them, but they won't really hold to to rough play either.
My gramerlings have this need to take something home from here every time they visit. I wanted some little something that would hold up to imaginative play, but not cost so much of my time that I would grieve it's loss.
Enter The Cuter Book. Oh my, I can't stand it. I want to make ten of everyone of these little cuties. After some careful consideration though, I decided to make several of a few of my favorites that I will name and tell stories about. They are perfect for pocket stuffing and will survive a fall in the creek and a good wash.
This littlest blue bird is only about an inch and a half long. I need to rework Itsy Bugg a little. I followed the pattern, but her head is too big for my liking.
Any name ideas?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sew is Me

I've had sewing on the brain this winter. Nope, have no idea where that comes from, but it was bad enough that I bought myself a sewing machine. Awhile back I bought a book, Wee Wonderfuls, thinking I would make dolls for the gramerlings. I've always had a sewing machine. It's lived contentedly in the attic for many years. I gave sewing a whirl when I was newly married. Yeah, well, as I've stated machines and I don't mix and the Handy Man finished everything I started. I couldn't sew even a straight stitch without the thread creating some sort of disaster. Being older and wiser I determined that surely the sewing machine was the problem.
So, I went to my friend Amazon and sought a sewing machine that didn't create massive thread disasters. Sure enough, I'm not the only person who has experienced this sewing nightmare, because on one simple machine practically every review mentioned that the thread never got tangled up- SOLD!

A couple days later, it showed up on my porch. I was thrilled that I figured out how to thread all the parts and start that baby up without any help from my Handy Man. I drug out all the stuff I bought to make adorable dollies from last year and went to work. Well, let's just the results were less than adorable, though, I never got that thread tangled a single time. I'm a bit embarrassed to show pictures of the little mermaid doll and teddy bear I tried to make. Luckily little ones are very forgiving and they suited the gramerlings just fine. Still.
So, I went to the Jo Ann Fabrics and signed myself up for a couple of classes. The first class was interesting, though not in a good way and could be a post in and of itself. Suffice it to say, I learned nothing, nothing at all except that was certainly not a good use of my money. I'd already paid for the second class, so back I went. Though most of it I had to figure out for myself, I had the time to do it and look at this.

Boy howdy, I can not only sew, but make something attractive and functional- get out. I am so loving this bag, I could kiss it and my sewing machine! Alas, there were no curves. I can't decide if I'm never going to try to make something that has a curve, or if I'm going keep practicing curves till I get it right. Curves cause me some serious stress.
I'm as excited as I can be with my ownest sewing self, but my love is still in hand sewing tiny things. That presents another dilemma, but I'll save that for another post as well.
I'm off today, shhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I told Handy Man I was going to sit right here and sew all day, and in addition to washing clothes and cooking, that's just what I'm doing.
Next up is pillow cases for the kidlet's pillows that I got at Kroger, yes you read that right, the grocery, for $2. What is up with that? I couldn't buy the stuffing for that.
Mom is finally over the hump, though not feeling too well yet.
Aunt Lois came through the big move, but now is needing some grieving time for her boy.
Pete is coming for supper. I'm proud of him. He is taking his pooches to visit shut-ins and nursing homes.
I am loving this day off and some beautiful sunshine. Thank you Lord!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Okay, Deep Breath

Well, it's been quite a whirlwind of activity, but I'm at home again.
Sister SuZQ headed to Florence on Sunday. She started the business of helping Aunt Lois sort through clothes and pictures and making the laundry list of changes that had to be made to move her here to my daughter's. I met her there on Wednesday afternoon and we continued to sort and plan. SuZQ returned Thursday to take care of things on this end. She and Rae-Rae met with a contractor to install a ramp outside and rails in the bathroom. I stayed on in Florence to wait for the movers who came this morning.
Aunt Lois has handled it very well. I so hated for her to have a make a move and so very many decisions during such a grieving time.
Friday was a day of many special people stopping by to say, "Good-bye." Jill, a young woman from her church has been a good friend to Aunt Lois for a long time. They will miss each other so. Lots of tears.
Her pastor Greg and his wife Meghan. Meeting these folks made me want to go to church there.
Sue and I put her room together and she was satisfied with it. Yes, it will take awhile for her to get used to a new house, but she's a bright cookie. I expect by the time I go back on Tuesday, she'll have it all figured out.
Rae-Rae said this was her first adoption. Aunt Lois asked when I took this picture if it was the "Adoption Picture." I think Gideon and Aunt Lois will love each other.
Well, exhausting physically and mentally for a lot of us, but we got it done. I pray she finds some joy with me and mine.
I sorely missed my Handy Man for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was taking things apart and putting them together- ugghhhh, not my strong suit. I was welcomed home with steak, mushrooms and asparagus from the grill, with toasted marshmallows for dessert. Ahhh, home sweet home!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Wow, my mind is going in a hundred different directions, but first things first.
Happy 31st Birthday 1st Lt. How did you get to be so old? Who is that fifteen year old holding that newborn (well, I was 21 actually).
We always joked that 1st Lt. was born a little old man. I remember telling folks when he was in his early teens that only lack of a driver's license impeded him. He could have taken his place in the working world at 14 and managed fine. He has always been independent and one of the hardest working people I know.
I fixed his favorite today, fried steak, gravy and biscuits, broccoli salad and Apple Betty. A little bittersweet knowing his next birthday, uh 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. will spent in Afghanistan. He leaves for training this week. He will be missed.
In other news my cousin is quickly losing his fight with the cancer monster. He's in a Hosparus facility and they don't expect it to be many more days.
I feel such heartache for my aunt. We will be moving her here. Any move after years at one place would be a challenge for someone of 91 years, but having to do it on the heels of losing your son, and last living child is just awful and that's all.
There's much to be done to close things there and prepare things here. I had hoped for everyone's sake, most especially hers and Randy's, that they would have the 3 to 5 months they told him. It is not to be. Your prayers on their behalf would be much appreciated.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Hills are Alive

Whew, another Catholic's School Week down. It's a busy and bit stressful bit of work that culminated with a Family Fun Night. This "Fun" night includes a talent show. A talent show that carries the expectation of the teachers participating.
Sadly, ahem, last year I had promised Ol' Mother Hubbard that I would be the creative director of Miss Linee's princess party and had to leave the "Fun" night before the talent show started. I didn't think I'd better try that two years in a row, so, with reservation, signed my name on the line. Boy oh boy, what was I thinking? First I get this e-mail that we're going to do one of those mob style dances that are so popular in malls and train stations now and the song to which the mob would be responding. I no longer recall the name as I was unfamiliar with that tune, but just the title left me curious about the lyrics, so I quickly googled it before responding.
Well, let's just say I would not be shaking my blub at a family affair to the tune of that song. At lunch I questioned the song choice. When the leaders looked into it, they agreed that chaste teachers in a Catholic school should not even know that song, much less be twisting the night away to it. I thought, "Perhaps the whole flash mob scene would be squelched for something a little calmer." No, no, that is not what happened. New news that our performance would still require simultaneously hopping up from the crowd to gyrate to Footloose. Oh goody!
I have a love hate relationship with technology and such events are why. Back in the day, batteries didn't last long, so, since we went last, you could be safe knowing that batteries had been spent taping cutest punkin's performing their best. Now, every other person possesses the power to video tape you in their pocket.
So it went down like this, we are sitting in the crowd and the principal thanks everyone for coming and what a great show it was, etc, the parent operating the CD player, who is in on it, blasts out the song while we all scream like thirteen year olds and run to the stage and break out in, well I don't even know what you'd call what I do. Instead of breaking out, I'm trying to smile and make it look like I have a clue what I'm doing without breaking anything. And what to my wandering eye appears? Cell phones popping up all over, and yes, I know they aren't calling anyone, they are videotaping or capturing my picture.
Did you know I love to dance (Did you care) ? I frequently dance around my kitchen and am content to be in the middle of group at a reception swirling around with no one noticing. I have never had a desire to find my flashdancing self on the old FaceBook.
Those situations are just hard for me. I liked getting some exercise whilst dancing with my teacher friend girls during rehearsals, but being the oldest and the, let's see, okay, I'll just say it, fattest, doesn't make me good performance material. I surely don't want to be in anyone's picture. At the same time, I hate being the old fuddy duddy of the group. Sometimes, there just aren't any good answers.
On a different note, somewhere at school Bean heard someone say that the song they were singing was from The Sound of Music. He knows that is one of my favorites, so that was his movie of choice on Playdate Thursday. I loved watching them watching and loving it.