Sunday, March 29, 2015

Farewell Spring Break, Welcome Spring

While spring weather has been hit or miss this week, I've enjoyed a restful week.  Sometimes you just don't realize how much you need a bit of peace and calm until the opportunity presents itself.
I know by the time we made up all the snow days last week, walked through the grief and funeral for the wee folk's Grandad and figured out that Auntie G-Lou is going to get better, I was spent.
While I always, always, have a list at least a mile long  to do, I mostly managed to give a workout to my beautiful new honey comb throw, lovingly crocheted for me by Ceece.
It held up marvelously and I foresee many more shared experiences in our future.  Thank you Ceece, I love it.
A friend from school called and invited me to go with her  and her daughter to mass at the Dome in Ferdinand.  If you've never visited there, I would encourage you to go.  It is so warm and beautiful.  I am not Catholic, but I can certainly appreciate the hospitality and beauty.
It seems every time I meet a new Sister.  This time I met a Sister and after learning where we were from,  she asked me if my name was Kimberly.  "Hmm, " I wondered how she would know my name.  It turns out I taught her great niece.  The sweet niece graduated last spring and sent me a very kind and uplifting note about how I had influenced her.  I have to say, I really appreciated hearing that.  Sometimes you work hard and you wonder.
On the way home, I had the pleasure of introducing my friend and former student to Hemlock Cliffs. They loved it as much as I do. Well, maybe. 
Just a few of the earliest flowers were peeking out.
 Ahhh, that means I will have to go back in a few weeks.

It will be a wild and wooly last nine weeks, but I certainly feel more ready to face it than I did last week.
And we're off!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


The first All Day Playdate of 2015.  Oh my!  While we didn't enjoy  the higher temps of Saturday and Sunday, it was warm enough and there was no rain- blessing, indeed.
Since there is a school at the other end of our property, I took the kids up to enjoy their playground equipment for  awhile.
After playing hard all morning, I sat them down to have a Playdate Committee Meeting.

A brisk business at the Ice Cream Shoppe.

Several of my Playdaters are growing up, and as school for them becomes more and more of just desk sitting and worksheets, I find it takes them longer and longer to remember how to play and imagine when given the opportunity.  Toys at Gramerly's fall into 0 to 8 year old range, and video games are a dirty word in this house.
I wanted to know what they wanted to do. So I began the meeting with a question.  What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of your Playdate experience?  While the older ones pondered, the three year old immediately blurted- "Popsicles!"  Love it!
Next came, "Cousins," then "Friends,"  then "Creek,"  and "Chickens."
The big boys agreed that there wasn't much in  the ways of toys for them, but really couldn't tell me toys they would enjoy.
So, I'm turning over some ideas in my mind about what we might do.  I also told them that part of their role in Playdate now was to show the little ones the many things they've been shown.
The meeting wasn't long and soon they were off.
Giddy-Up noticed some new kids on a different playground and asked if he could check them out.  I sent him on and he shortly returned with young fellow, new to all of us,  declaring, "This is another cousin."  Too funny.
There was time for dancing and spinning.  The girls told me they were dressed as the past, present and future.  For these girlies, imagination and creativity knows no bounds.

A little scrap building with the older boys- be still my heart.  A new toy for the wee folk.

Hanging out.

Being sweet

Poor baby. He came with a clear face, but seems to react to everything. Rae-rae chases him with ointment  for healing it back up.  He loves the outside as much as the rest of this cousins.

We waited until after supper to attempt the creek. The water was so cold that it didn't take long to move to just mud.

Usually, we make Easter candy, but due to the circumstances of the past week, I was short on time and just didn't make it to the candy supply store.  So, I made Rice Krispie treats, cut them out in flowers and we painted those.

  I found a little malted milk ball kit, where you paint white eggs with markers. Markers with NO red dye #40!  With exception to Missy Bugg, they were much more interested in eating them than coloring them.

One thing never changes, and that is one worn out Gramerly at the end of the day, but grateful to the Good Lord, for lots of smiles, sharing, dreaming, imagining and keeping everyone safe.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag

Sunday was my day to visit Mom and give Auntie Tish a day out. Since it was beautiful, warm and sunny, Mom wanted to come to my house.  She loves the chickens and enjoys being out, though moving around much at all is a challenge.  I'm not sure she'd been anywhere since she moved in with Aunt Tish.  I was glad she was willing to come.
 I had also invited Uncle Jimi and told him we'd celebrate his birthday.  Rae Rae brought my sweet boys to run and play in the sunshine.
 Sadly, a few days prior, Old Mother Hubbard's father in law was in a car accident.  He just was not able to withstand the injuries.  On Sunday morning, they called the family in.  I told her to bring the Gramerlings to me.
I got to the Happy Birthdaying early, as I knew we'd be facing some broken hearts later in the day.
 Oh, my. This  boy decided he just wasn't going to miss anymore of the fun. He wanted to swing and ride in the jeep.  Ol' Henry did a good job driving him about and holding on tight.
 He was having no part of being on the "other side" of the fence.
 Some cutest little dirt daubers.
It is strange, so much laughter and joy, and me knowing what  was coming.  How do you tell them their Grandad is gone.  Rae headed home.  Well, the good Lord worked it out perfectly. After supper, Ol' Henry wanted to go out, whilst the younger ones wanted to play dress-up. I kept them entertained so when Ol' Mother Hubbard and Mister pulled in, the Mister could share the news with Ol' Henry. Then we sent them out to their Daddy, one at time.  A bevy of little broken hearts, but lots of adults to love them up.  I guess that's all you can do.
The funeral was today and three of her brood began their day at 4:00 am with their heads in a bowl. When it rains, it pours.  Thankfully, it was relatively short lived bug.
My sister, Auntie G-Lou, was the caretaker helper for Grandad's wife, who is very disabled by Parkinson's, so a sad bunch around here.
I do believe Auntie G-Lou has turned the corner and am looking forward to her complete healing from the heart surgery.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

On our last Playdate we prepared for today.
You know, there just wasn't enough color or glitter on these hats.  We can fix that.

 My precious little leprechauns!

These pictures make me smile and lighten my heart. So thankful that we can capture these moments and revisit them when otherwise, the world seems kind of dark.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What is that Stuff?

Hmm, I think it's dirt.  I can finally see some.  Cool.
So, as is common for the Ohio Valley, we have the flipside.  Blue skies and pushing sixty degrees.  I was so ready,  my students were so ready, my chickie girls and bee girls, well, you've never seen such happy girls.
I wonder if you've any idea how hard it is for me to not put 72 pictures of this child on my blog.
 Handy Man and I are just all ate up with this boy.  We had no idea how blessed with were with our first five Gramerling babies. Trust me on this. We just thought they were your average run of the mill babies, till the next five came, each one more sensitive in nature than the one who came before.  Those five would hardly let us speak to them, in our quietest voice, forget holding them. It was kind of heartbreaking I'm telling you. I know how quickly that time goes and it was sad to not get to rock them to sleep or squeeze and smooch them.  It has been a long, dry, lovey baby spell.  Then comes this happy camper.  He reaches for us, hugs us, pats us, laughs, smiles and is so smart and sweet.
Now, thankfully those five sensitive babies were much more approachable toddlers, who have since blessed us with much fun, but boy, that first year or so was interesting.

Playdate was kind of low key. Bean had a swim meet and Bugg was with him.  I spent Saturday afternoon with both of them at his Divisional meet.  His relay team came in first and he was sporting several medals.
Miss SweeTee enjoyed some quiet time with the fairy house.
 Giddy-up built cars and then they raced them all around.

 A bit of picking and grinning.

 Wee Will and Gwanfader enjoyed a marble game.

Miss SweeTee  inquired about crafts, but those pictures will wait for an upcoming holiday.
I hope it springish wherever you are!

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Another snow day and what a snow it was.

That sweet boy is wondering why I don't come to visit.  Strider loves the snow.  The chickie girls- not so much.

 The bee girls are well insulated I think.

In the last five months, two of my siblings have faced a life or death health crisis.  Those type of events set you to thinking.   You know this house was old and in kind of awful shape when we bought it.  It had the space we wanted and the property, and it has been the best place to raise a family. I am so very thankful for the mass of people we've loved and fed here. This house was a blessing from God, and at the time, some help from Handy Man's mom. I'm grateful to have had the privilege of landing on this spot. 
 We last remodeled twenty two years ago and, needless to say, we are kind of back to having lots that needs doing. Ahem, maybe more than kind of.  Since we aren't exactly spring chickens, we've been having some discussion about what might be best- try and sell it, fix it up and live in it, fix it up before we  try to sell.  Ugh.
I decided to talk to the Captain about it as he buys houses and works on them all the time.  He is a very practical sort of person and after presenting a variety of options said, "Sell it for the land and move on."
Well.  Well's a deep subject.
So after laying out the options and hearing my angst at leaving here, and the snow affording him a few unusual off hours, he came to visit with his littles, freeing me from an afternoon of snow induced depression.  He wanted to take a look at my biggest concerns and see what would be the easiest fix.  Just his coming and considering my heart was precious to me, but the conversation that ensued, brought it home even more.  I so wish I had an audio of it. 
 When they got here it looked as if Bean had sought out the deepest pile of snow he could find and had on pants that showed no plans of turning any of that snow loose.  I asked him if he wanted me to get him some dry ones and put those in the dryer.  He commented that he thought my dryer was broke.  I said that it was my washer, which can only be fixed to the tune of 335 dollars and shall remain and be discarded in its brokeness.  
So, I dry the pants, fix the tea and omelets, play with Bugg's pretty hair while the Cpt. is measuring.  When he sits down we start discussing his findings and it begins to dawn on my gramerlings that we are talking about selling Gramerly's Playdate house.  Bean said, "What, you can't sell this, not now, not yet."  " You can't sell this house for ten more years, no wait, twenty years."  His dad tells him he is not helping, but Bean is not deterred.  "What about the creek?" His last argument was quite elevated and empahtic, "You can't sell a house with a broken washing machine."  In addition to laughing so very hard, I said to my eldest, "See, what did I tell you."
So the discussion continues and Bugg realizes the space we are talking about is the playroom, so she immediately, God love her, starts problem solving about ways to save the playroom.  Then she says that maybe we could sell a couple of those beautiful ball gowns.  Oh, my.  I then stop talking to the Cpt. and try to honestly lay out the whole reason we are having this discussion and that the playroom is not in any imminent danger, nor are Gramerly and Pap in desperate need of funding.
For whatever reason it was so very sweet to me how much they want to hold onto to this piece of their childhood, and how little our lack of modernity is noticed by the folks who matter most to me.
I still don't know what we'll do, but I know how they feel and that will shape our decision.

I was hoping to get a picture of how absolutely cute Bugg is in her new glasses, but I wasn't able to overcome the glare from the lens.

I spent most of the day making a very garlicky chicken soup from Gardener E.  It is a lovely soup for such a day and I bet would be most welcome when the cold or flu is knocking around in your head.
I imagine we won't be going to school tomorrow either.  Come on Spring!