Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sunny is Good

Playdate's forecast was for hot on hot and more pop up storms.  Last week we dodged storms all day and I wasn't particularly looking forward to that again, but whatcha goin' do?  Nary a drop of rain the live long day, hooray!
The Vet Clinic was open and as is usual, lots of bandaged pets. Then we move to the People Clinic.

Well, a break from doctoring to pick a blackberry snack might be in order.

 Playdate began with these boys and I feel a catch in my throat and a sting in my eyes when I look at these pictures.  They are growing up, neither one the least bit intimidated by this newborn.
Though new braces put a hurting on Ol' Henry, he was thrilled at his turn to hold our newest angel boy.

 I'm amazed how well they manage him.
I love this picture of Our Kate and her boy.  He gets a lot of that at Playdate.

Seriously, how cute can one creek Pixie be?  She flies through the creek crawling and babbling like a brook.
 As is usual, the second half of the afternoon was spent here.  Who knew this little bit of rock, water and wonder would be paradise- blessed am I.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Right Place, Right Time

On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. Psalm 145
I asked the tree guys to dump my wood chips to use for mulch.  I went out early, before it got too hot, to ferry some chips around to different plants.  In addition to mulch, they mark plants I hope will not be mowed.  I was on my fourth load when I decided, mid emptying, that I needed some pictures.  Why didn't I just finish dumping that load, who knows, but it is certainly the way I seem to do most things.
I wanted a picture of these hydrangeas.

 These were at my Mom's and when we were trying to get the house ready to sell, I decided to take them.  Auntie G-Lou worked hard to keep them going and they were always so beautiful.  I had never transplanted such big bushes and it was way down in the fall, nearly winter when Handy Man and I moved them.  Let me tell you, they didn't appear to take the transition well and I sort of held my breath till spring.  While most all the branches died away, they not only returned from the root, but they are blooming like crazy. 
 Then I was thinking about the trees and wanted to get a picture of this tree that the Captain planted when he was nine, that was a tiny sprout.  
Of course, the Captain was on my mind as he is out of the country with his weekend job  in parts specifically unknown and generally  known to be a hot-spot. (Why yes, I would love if you would keep him in your prayers, thank you so much.)  That poor little tree struggled mightily between those two great maples. In every other high wind, a maple would lose a branch and it would crash down and knock the top out of that pitiful tree, which would then raise another branch to the sky to take its place.  Now that those bigger maple branches are gone, I'm curious how it will grow.
Next is the tree Drummer Boy planted, that was a wee stem with two leaves, and lastly, the  tree that came up volunteer and I just left there, as I knew those maples weren't going to last forever. 

 Wow, how easily I fall down every little rabbit hole that comes along.
So, I thought that I was out of things to photograph and, with my camera still around my neck, I was determined to empty that wheelbarrow, proof that I have matured in some small ways as in the past, I would have wound up somewhere and forgotten completely about those chips.  Well, till the next pop up storm, when I found  the wheelbarrow sitting in the yard full of water.
I heard an interesting bird noise and looked up and watched this majestic creature land in the top of the tree we'd just had trimmed.
It was so loud and big and, oh my, you are kidding, really?

 I have never in my life seen a bald eagle outside of the zoo and pictures.  This handsome dude is a long way from a huge lake or river.  Wow, just wow.  
I mean what are the chances that I was standing there, with camera around my neck?  What  a blessing. 
The hydrangeas, the trees, the eagle, thank you Lord for such precious gifts on this summer day.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hold On Tight

Everyday I resolve to hold tightly to these summer days. It is my attempt to make them last as long as possible. A foolish errand, as they slip right away in spite of my best efforts.  Already two weeks gone. How can that be?
Though I am physically out of the classroom, I can't take a vacation from being a teacher.  This morning I've been working on the Christmas play. Yesterday, motivating students was on my mind and I  spent time reading articles about just that. My prayer and meditations and heart have been on children that I fail to motivate.  I've struggled with liking someone, when no amount of effort on my part produces effort on their part.  I know I certainly wouldn't want to spend all day, every day with someone who didn't like me, so I wonder if there is some rock I haven't overturned in this teaching gig?
I did find some new things to try, and who knows, maybe they will work with that unmotivated learner.
In the meanwhile, I continue to enjoy Playdate, even when the day was spent outrunning pop up storms.  Sometimes I forget to pick up my camera and this was one of those days. Not much of a visual trail of our day.
We weathered a downpour on the front porch, eating snacks and listening to Ms. Glitzy read.
 Before the next storm, we headed to the creek. During the next storm, we had supper.  When the guests started to trickle out, and Giddy-up was given the fifteen minute call, he whispered in my ear, "Can we do some limboing?"  At first I didn't know what he meant, but soon realized he wanted to do the limbo. So, I grabbed the crazy lights and the broom and limbo we did.

Apparently, you limbo better when dressed like a chicken.

I wanted to record a couple of memories of my boy, Mr. Smiley.  On Pap's birthday celebration, he found a little plastic snake in the yard and brought it to me.  He said, speaking each syllable very distinctly and so seriously- "It's a sal-a-man-der.  It's going eat my face off." Crack up. I think he's repeating his Mama's angst over the fact that mosquitos love to bite his sweet face, and it swells all up just like her's did when she got bit.
When they were leaving one day he reached for me and said, "Hold you."  When he saw that I couldn't save him from leaving he pitifully said, "Come with me." "Come to my house."  Sweet boy.

Antebellie came up to me in the creek last week and said, "Kymbi, I love Playdate, my most favorite memories are of Playdate and I could hardly wait for this summer."  Ahhh, sweetest girly.  Everyone who comes for Playdate has had many, many wonderful experiences in their wee lives.   Sometimes I feel like what I offer pales in comparison, even though I really pour myself into it, it isn't fancy. I have to say, it was very nice to hear.  Though not fancy, when I now read article after article of play that involves dirt and water and sky and sticks and stones being so very wonderful for children, I smile big and know I did my part.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

So Long My Tree Friends

Well, this isn't a normal sight to greet me outside of  my front door, but I was glad for the arrival of the tree crew. 

As glad as I can be when parting with trees I love. We've had such wind and storms this year and two huge maple limbs were hanging over the house. 

 The vile Emerald Ash Borers did their dirty work on the big ash tree in the back, 
and one over by the big swing set. In addition three limbs in the middle of the giant tea house tree had to come out, or be found through the roof.  
Thankfully, this team wasn't tree trimming happy and only did the work that presented a danger. I tried to watch the kid in the ash tree, but it was just too nerve wracking.

Handy Man was off on his birthday fishing trip and I had a full weekend. Another Holy Hike, a trip to the Farmer's Market, a spin around my churches art fair, then working the art fair.  Ceece met me there with Missy Bugg and we got a pedicure.  Her color is Sunshine Pop.
I had ordered a few new games for our upcoming trip. She loves to play games and I knew this would be her cup of tea.

This morning we made sure all the plants and animals were well watered, anticipating another 90 plus degree day.  Then we went our separate ways, as it was Mom day.  Mom has yet another UTI, one they will again try to treat with pills. We'll see.
The fishing boys returned safely, praise be!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Yes, Summer

This week began with an absolutely glorious June day.  I decided to do a couple of camps this summer, reading and math, one morning a week.  I was able to do it outside with just the right mix of sunshine, shade and breeze.  My favorite way to teach.
I've read and read to try and come with ways to review important math skills in a fun and engaging way and send them home with a few games so they can continue to practice those skills.  Will they? Well,  that's anyone's guess.

Next up, Playdate, and again a picture perfect day!
First was shirt painting. 

 This was new last year and I really loved the results, so we again chose favorite shaped flora to use as stencils.
 I bought these bouncy balls to try this year as well.  They enjoy whacking each other with them better than bouncing on them.  Go figure.
 I just don't know when Sydlee grew up, but this was her wee charge for the day. Though not quite a teenager in years, she does this child tending like a pro.  Nick is now the tall guy supervising the middle boys.  How fun to watch them grow and mature into young adults.

 Our Kate supplied us with the Playdate baby this year and Miss Linee is enthralled.
 He's a cuddly boy, and will get lots of snuggles and kisses on Playdate days.
 We spent half the day at the creek.

 The mulberries ripen much sooner on the creek bank and were already available for face paint and snacking.
 Little Miss Pixie enjoyed sitting by the water's edge playing with rocks and water.
 Buttercup just chillaxing.
 Checking out the crawdad's.

Ahh, the creek rite of passage, picking them up.

Blue Eyes is still not so sure about handling them.

Supper outside after cleaning up from the creek.
It was  beautiful day, thank the Lord.  
On Wednesday I went to a workshop at the local fossil beds.
Learning some new things to take back to the classroom.
This morning I intended to take Mom to the dentist, but she isn't feeling very well, so I don't know if that will happen.
Sometime, year before last, I created a little twist on burgers and we loved it. I wanted Mom to try it so Auntie G-Lou brought her out.  It turned out Auntie G-Lou loved them too. I'm so very happy for that sweet memory of our evening together. It was the last time she was here. So today, I'm remembering. I invited her girls and the sisters out for the same meal and hopefully some tears and laughs, as we share memories of our girl.