Sunday, June 28, 2015

At the Fairy Ball

Oh my, I am tuckered.  In addition to Playdate, I had hoped to have the kiddos in smaller groups this summer, so I could do activities more tailored to their age groups.  My original date with the little boys had to be canceled, due to services for my sister.  Today was the day for the girls, and what a big day it has been.
We planned and executed a Fairy Ball.
My wee fairies started arriving about 12:30. There was much to do. Actually, I planned a bit too much. You're shocked I know.  I failed to consider that I usually have a minion or two to do my bidding, but it was just the girls and me (well, Handy Man was reading a book and taking a nap, but did jump in at the end).
So my hope was to have fun, but also pass along some training in entertaining and preparing for a party.  First, we made a list and then got down to business.  Lots and lots of pictures.

We created fairy wands from grapes with a kiwi star on top. We made the beloved mints in a fairy shade of violet.
 A mini vanilla wafter and Hershey's kiss became acorns. Celery and pretzels became butterflies and cheese and cherry tomatoes were transformed into mushrooms.
 Yummy shortbread was cut into little woodland animals.
 For Fairy punch ( aka, or maybe I should say,  formerly known as "prom punch"), beaded stems were added to the wine glasses.

 Not even fairies enjoy bad bugs, though fairies love mint and lavender, bad bugs don't.  Each guest received a fragrant sachet.
 Toliet paper rolls made great napkin rings.
 Then it was time to put all of this together on the tables.  I just handed the fairies pearls and tulle, tablecloths, etc and let them do their fairy magic.

Goodness, after working and working all afternoon, it was time to get ready for the ball.  My yard was transformed by their beauty and all aflutter with flying fairies. You know I think playing in make-up and dressing up is all well and good, until I look at them and they look nineteen and it about gives me heart failure.  I want to order those dresses off and that make-up off their face.  I fight it and give them their night.

I felt they needed proper fairy names and this was a subject of much conversation, as you can't figure out your name until you know what kind of fairy you are.  That decision was tough when one wishes to be an animal fairy and the spring fairy.  Antebellie finally decided to be Preparation Fairy- crack up.  Considering all the preparing they did, I am not at all surprised. Can't say as I recall a Preparation Fairy in any of Cicely Mary Barker's illustrations.  I do love the Willow Fairy.

Guests were welcomed and all our yummy food enjoyed.

Much dancing followed the feast.  What a big time!
And of course, I wonder how much longer such pretend play will be something they enjoy.  I never tire of it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Looking Forward and Looking Back

One of my favorite parts of summer is blueberries- usually.

 Auntie G-Lou loved them so, but picking them was bittersweet.  Usually I eat them by the handfuls, but this year, the taste seems off to me. They taste like sadness and tears.
Funny, when you pick, you take a look at the bush and it looks like you've picked it well, but then you go past the bush and look back and see what you've missed.  I keep looking back over the last year, wondering where we went wrong, what we missed with Glenda. How did things get so bad? I know it doesn't do a bit of good, but I simply can't keep from looking back.
We siblings and my mom are pretty well spent.

Ahhh, okay before I'm a sobby mess, let's look back at something else.

This morning at 6:30, as I prepared for the day, I wondered, "What makes Playdate what it is?"

Is it Gramerly's tea, that began as Bean only, but now has many followers?

Is it running out to pick the spearmint to offer a cold drink they all love, since it is hotter than blue blazes and Aunt SuZQ isn't coming?
  Is it a new clearance craft book and the supplies to use it?
 Ahhh, perhaps the beloved snack basket, that goes hand in hand with the equally beloved story hour?
 Or all the hands who pitch in like Gardner E. who lovingly provided seedlings for planting in the deep dark woods?  And sweet girls like our Jenna and Sidley who so sweetly help our wee ones with big projects.

 Or Ms. Glitzy who trails the group and snaps piks while I play the  part of the village botanist, geologist,  and animal tracker.
 Perhaps it is just chillaxing in our state of the art swim facility?
 Major splashing to cool off?
 Playing with our babies?
 Enjoying the creek from the youngest to the oldest Playdater?
 Rae and Ol' Mother Hubbard helping to keep everyone slathered in bug stuff and keeping them fed?

Uncle Jimi training them on tool use?

Ceece loving up those wee ones and making us laugh.

For Michael, who takes off work, when Rae Rae is sick, so the boys don't have to miss.

Pappy who keeps us and all the pools, hammocks, batteries, etc.  in working order?

For all this and every precious one I've been allowed to love, I am grateful.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Slogging On

Grief is simply exhausting.  No matter how much sleep I get, I wake up tired.  Today I tried a nap and woke up in the middle of dream, where I kept going up and up a mountain pass that got steeper and steeper and I could never see around the next curve.  I've no doubt where that dream was coming from.
This path to keeping Mom where she wants to be, doing what she wants to do, becomes more challenging by the day we're discovering.  Have mercy.

But, alas, I have a couple of gramerlings who love looking at themselves here, so I need to get cracking.
Though we got a bit of a late start, we did our "Woods Walk Workshop."
 We learned to identify Poke Weed, Poison Ivy, shale, deer tracks, maple and sassafras trees.
The 99 % humidity and heat directed us right back to the water.
 Mr. Smiley is loving life outside.
 Our newest lovey this summer. Our sweet Kate's littlest JR.  He handled the fray remarkably for one so wee.
 At lunch, Miss Linee reminded me they weren't able to stay for the whole time and hadn't we best be headed to the creek pretty soon?  Miss Jenna is back this year to help and Aunt Bran joined us for a day of fun.  It is always fun to me to have extra hands, and hands of this amazing Pre-school teacher and friend are always most welcome.

 Slow, sweet summer days are the best!  I handed off the camera to Ol' Mother Hubbard and told her I needed some face shots.  It is fun, when later I download my piks and discover all these faces I so love.

 These crazy girls!
 Time to haul it back up the hill for a snack and a story or two.
 Mr. Smiley has decided he is going to do everything the big kids do and just marched from the blankie to Uncle Jimi and climbed up in his lap for his turn at Tool Time.
 Bless Handy Man's heart, in the chaos that has been our life these past two weeks, he was able to get a  kit together for the boys to make a little stepping or sitting stool. Uncle Jimi insists they do all their own measuring and marking.  I love what they are learning.

 And back to the pool with a cool and tasty treat.

And so I find myself now a bit more lighthearted after reliving Tuesday- good times.

A big, hearty congratulations to our oldest Gramerling- Bean Town's team won the championship in baseball last night.