Thursday, July 20, 2017

Peter Pan In Neverland

This morning, thinking I better get these last piks up, I am just all emotional and teary again today.  So, I'm asking, "What is wrong with me?"  This never gets easier.  I decided I'm Peter Pan and who in the world would want to leave Neverland?  At school, I'm not Catholic.  At church, I'm not Episcopalian and there run into concepts and ideas that I just am unable to wrap my  mind around. I sure don't fit in with the fashionista crowd and my sweet, old farmhouse will never win an award for being neat or up to date. But at Playdate, I'm just who I am and Playdate is my happy place.
It was hotter than hades on Tuesday.  It was a day for bubbles and popsicles and lots of water play. 

During snack, before storytime, we took a minute to reflect on our favorite parts of Playdate. Missy Bugg declared that was an impossible question to answer, though the creek pops right out all over.  I brought their attention to the blessing of a safe and happy summer enjoying God's marvelous creations.  I prayed they would know good from evil when they lay eyes on it, to live long, prosper and have a merciful end.  My constant prayer for all my poopies.

We made bubble wands from wood sticks and string.  The definition of boy- Noise with dirt on it.

Sydlee was the master bubble maker, but everyone got in on it, including the adults.
We tried a recipe with gelatin. They did seem to last longer.

Watching Claire move like a robot and the kids following this bubble just cracked me up for some reason.

This next picture is back when she was Claire Bear and about the same age as her youngest is now.

June Bugg worked and worked to finally get this bubble- hurrah!
 Buttons is proud of her little bubble.
Nice job Blue Eyes.

And this girl, a most favorite former fourth grader who has returned for four summers to lend me a hand.  I love her, the kids love her.

Figuring out how these clompers work.
Michael got in the act.

I've gotten pretty good at having everything ready to roll, so I can get supper on the table in just a few minutes. Rae and Ms. Glitzy and I then fill plates as hard and fast as we can go.  Even though it was hot, a hungry crew inhaled the dumplings and green beans, Jello jigglers and bread pudding. 

And then you have these two sweet  funny kids, who joined Playdate at 2 and 5 years old.  Now their hysterical, impromptu, lack of stage show, plays to a captive audience.

After the dramatic production, Giddy-Up was desperate to limbo some more, so we did.

Holding up that end of the broom was about all poor Bean could do. He had a terrible allergic reaction to something.  Ceece reminded the same thing happened last year. I don't know what it is, but it sure is fast and awful.
So, like it our not, time for me to return to my day job.
Precious to me, these people, these memories, these blessings.  Thank you Lord!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Guess Not

In spite of my wishing, this summer isn't going to slow down and is flying to its end, as I return to school next Monday. As seems to be the case with me, leaving too many things that I never got to.  Well I did get to spend some time with folks I love.
Another ladies luncheon with good food and sweet fellowship, a week ago Saturday.
 Mr. Smiley and his crew came to eat yummy leftovers with bamboo tongs and safety glasses. You just can't trust that grilled chicken to not hop out after you.
 In the very major purge of the back porch I did set aside this shower curtain and a silver tablecloth to use for superhero or fairy capes.  In an odd turn of events, I actually didn't stow them away but made the capes!
 We have tried unsuccessfully to grow our own fruit.  The deer are relentless, but Handy Man did manage to save this peach- a banner day.  We shared it and it was delicious.
 We did some woodworking last Playdate.  The goal was for each family to end up with a pop gun, clompers and a pair of stilts.  Lots of sanding in the sweatshop.

 This week, our newest Playdate friends were our storytime readers and did a great job with much expression.  So cute.

Some of the kiddos returned on Thursday for a morning of watercoloring.  In the late afternoon Bugg and Giddy-Up helped me clean house for yet another dinner.
This year was my first to serve on our church's Art on the Parish Green Committee.  We had a pitch in here on Friday evening to share about the experience.  It was a great time.
Saturday morning found us perusing a local art garden and nursery in full bloom at this time of year.  
Sunday was Mom day. Oh my. She's been on the struggle bus, and when she is, we are as well.  A kind doctor friend shared some changes that might help and we are employing those in hopes of some better days.
Today I took a couple of chickens to present a lesson to Kid's Garden on compost.
This evening we'll head out to a wee campground to join Rae and her crew for a campfire.
Cramming everything in I can.  I better go feed and water and take care of the pot of chicken that will become dumplings for our last long Playdate.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Independence Day

In addition to fun in the sun with the Gramerlings, and some catch-up visiting, summer is time to try and undo some of the damage I'm able to inflict on this old house.  This week it was the back porch.  Still hate that job.  I have always parted ways with outgrown or no longer wanted things, but after having to purge Mom's house two years ago, I am even more willing to let go of stuff.  Maybe I should say more understanding of the need to do it.  Still, it is a challenge for me.
  Missy Bugg and Antebellie have long since outgrown their pink silkies from the early Playdates that involved a rest time.  But when I pick them up, I'm taken right back there.  It helps if I can give them a new home.  Since Rae is in the business of comforting baby girls, I passed them on to her.
 I got out Daddy's Christmas sweatshirt that I painted for him back in the day when painting sweatshirts was the thing.  He loved it and wore it every Christmas till his last.  Good try on my part, but it was washed and returned. So I wash and sort and pitch and cry.  It is done, thank the Lord. The bedroom is next.
My mama still grieves all of her things, even though she doesn't take one bit of notice of those items that remain.  I have a bag of her cookbooks that I will take and see if we can look through them and talk about them and give her a bit of comfort.
The holiday fell on Tuesday's Playdate this year so I decided to move playtime to a morning brunch, so as not to interfere with people's Fourth of July plans.  Sausage biscuits and gravy and creme brulee toast with sparkling apple juice were enjoyed.  We had a little morning rain so it was porch picnic.

This little sugar smack needed to tell me all about his rough night of endless noisy fireworks. Seriously, I could just eat him up.

 Be sure and keep your light saber where it is handy.

Most of my usuals weren't planning to come, so I didn't have much planned for the kids.  As is typical, they use whatever to make their own fun.
 Had some surprise visitors-SMK cuties.  Loved having a minute with our Bran and Susan.
 My bug boy brought a friend home from the creek.
 And Bean unearthed another treasure from the ancient seas.

I wondered how the dog would do on his first firecracker event. I told Handy Man we might better just stay in with a movie and him. Handy Man sarcastically commented, "You mean instead of going to all those parties we're invited to?"   I returned in kind, "Don't you know that if you want to have friends, you have to be a friend and have people to your house to eat?"  Handy Man chuckled and replied, "Oh, is that how that works."  Clearly,  I really don't how it works. So it was a quiet evening.  Mom is having an issue with a sore spot, so I cut men's cotton hankies in half, wrote her last name and apartment number on all twenty-four of them,  and hemmed them up to  see if some soft cotton padding might help.
Thank the Lord, no firework injuries.  And, as I've gotten more involved in this Refugee Ministries, thank the Lord for so much of all kinds of amazing goodness and freedom to make choices.
We're off this morning to sample some more Kentucky lime water, after they mix it with some corn and barley and a few other things, don't you know!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

So Long Sweet June

Today was our last June Playdate. I always have to swallow that lump lodged in my throat when I turn the page to July.  It was a full to the top last week of June for me.
Last Thursday,  excavating in the creek continued.  Giddy-up wanted one of the those brachiopods and I kinda of wanted one too.  I was thinking how cool it would be for all the chicklets to have one from the Playdate creek.  So, as we were looking and looking, I found myself whispering a prayer for just such a find.  Then guilt came in and my heart questioned my mind, "Really, people are having all sorts of awful issues to deal with in life and you are praying for a fossil? "  So, as I enjoyed the breeze and blue skies I prayed for those people I know who are in need.  For whatever reason, on this day, my mom's dear friend Mary, who was a dear friend to me as well, came to mind.  Sadly, she left us long ago, but I still have contact with her children, so I begin praying for each of them while I was chipping away at an interesting blob, that soon revealed a brachiopod.  Soon after a voice behind me, "Gramerly, I think I found one."  Sure enough, the biggest one we've discovered so far, discovered by Giddy-Up.

I attended an Orton-Gillingham training in Indianapolis the first four days of this week.  It was one of the more intense trainings I've ever attended.  No "break the ice," "find a different partner," just get down to business learning how this crazy language we speak works.  Whew.  It is one of those things you are glad to know, but not my favorite way to spend my summer days.  The days were certainly sweeter when evenings were spent with friends who take you in and make you right at home.
Uncle Jimi made a comment as we were reflecting on Playdate. He said, "I have never known such a group of great mamas."  I have to agree as I watch these youngsters grow and bloom.  Though my Sarah doesn't get to be a part of Playdate, she certainly can be counted amongst the great mamas.  I always love spending time with this family and every time I wish they were close enough to be a part of Playdates.
I came home Thursday with a sore hip from endless sitting and an equally sore brain from all that thinking.  Thankfully, Handyman had things in hand so Playdate could happen.

Our Kate was up to her armpits in alligators, so Ol' Mother Hubbard took watch and let her get some things done.  Ol' Henry helped- so handsome.

Big ones with little ones all around.

 Today, Miss Linee took her turn in the Storyteller's chair and did an excellent job.
 Time to create fairies.  I cannot express how dear it is to me that we are able to leave generalized notions of how things should be at the door.  Boys want to make dolls too. And you better believe those sweet girls want their turn at Uncle Jimi's coveted tools.

 When I look at this picture, I remember that these boys are a different color.  They have absolutely no idea.
 The play just goes on, big and little, black and white, boy and girl.

 I'm so glad I caught this pose. He does this little left foot, right foot prance when he's happy.  Usually we are in the creek when Pap pulls in and Pap walks down to say, "Hello." When Mr. Smiley saw him, he yelled, "Pap," big grin, then the dance accompanied with a sing song, "How you been, how you been."  That just makes me laugh.

Dear friend Deb stopped in for a bit to watch her sweetie grands play.

 She was there for the big event- June Bugg caught a ten pound fish!  You know, it is the same difference to her.  Right then, there could have been no greater catch.  How blessed I am to see the excitement and wonder.  On this side of things, knowing how quickly this time of intense wonder passes, I try to soak it up.

 Andrea came to visit with lots of goodies from her garden-yummo!
 Uncle Jimi and his beloved tools, were central to the archaeological dig.

 Mr. Smiley unearthed the best find of today.
If feeding this crew in the kitchen is wild and crazy, feeding them around a fire is more so.  Consequently, by the time I could pick up the camera and focus, they had already eaten and flown the coop for just a little bit more play.  Bean and Bugg were missing, off on a swimming adventure, so no one to be snapping, but there was a fire and lots of eating.

 Pap discovered a fruiting paw-paw.  Wow, where did that come from?

 This truck, rocks and the remains of a dinosaur dig were the last play spot of the day.  Giddy-up never turns loose of the day easily, even when he is the last Playdater standing.