Sunday, September 29, 2019

Oh Johnny

The kids were out today for roasted pork, garlic smashed potatoes, green beans and all things apple. I've been doing a big pioneer project with the kids at school. A few of them love to construct things from these block/plank things I have in class.  I decided to add some extra goodies. I let the gramerlings break it in this afternoon. Westward Ho!

After playing hard all afternoon, I broke out the apple, peeler, corer, slicer, which most of them had never seen and was great fun.
As part of our pioneer game at school, and since Johnny Appleseed was an Indiana pioneer, we celebrated him on his birthday last Thursday.  In my class we were watching blueberries and grapes lose their matter from the sun's energy in the window.  I told the kids that folks dried apples in order to keep them through the winter.  Now we have technology to get the job done faster in a dehydrator. 
So they cored, peeled and sliced away.
I wanted to do the same with my own kids. 

 It is intriguing enough to watch the peel come off and go on and on, perfect for snacking.

 But then you pull it off and the core is gone and a big apple spiral is all that is left.

 Fascinating. Then you take it to Pap to go in the dehydrator.

Then I asked for a favor.  When I moved to second grade, I wanted my little ones to have a real service project, an ever learning project. I decided a school garden would be ideal. 
Little did I know.  I started it as Lowe's began to mark down perennials, having no idea we'd get almost no rain at all this summer after the torrential days of rain we had in June.  My little second graders have toted and toted water and Handy Man and I on the weekends.  I asked if on their way out they would stop by school and lend a hand to the weekend watering.  My back is not appreciating all I've tried to do. Nice to have good help. 

 It is interesting to me how tiny it looks, when in fact, there are fifty plants in there.

 My second graders are going to invite the other classes to come out in turn and learn about seed dispersal, so I'm trying hard to keep it blooming till then.
Thankful for a day of play and good food. Love the Johnny Appleseed.
Oh the Lord's been good to me,
and so I thank the Lord,
for giving me the things I need,
the sun and rain and apple seed,
Oh the Lord's been good to me.
Did you know Johnny primarily grew cider apples?
Come on Rain!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

And the Big "40"

There just has been no end to the celebrating around these parts.
On Friday night I celebrated September Friend Birthday at  my house.  There were leftovers. Yes, I know you are shocked, so Rae came to help out on Saturday and the boys played with the water heater box and Giddy-up needed pictures.

 Then Handy Man and I celebrated our 40 anniversary on Sunday with  a movie and dinner.
Next up was our so grown-up Buttercup, who wanted to fish.
Gwen dropped her off to me at school. We hurried home and I finished up some homemade chicken tenders, potato salad, baked bean  and brown butter rice krispie treats and she and Pap were off to his brother's place, where they caught lot of fish.

 And fed some fish.

Last night was time to celebrate my second teen grandchild.  Wow.
A very busy week at school doing a pioneer study and celebrating Johnny Appleseed today with tasting apples, and Handy Man's Ma's chopped apple cake, dehydrating apples and sipping cider for 73 kiddos. 
I am tired.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Big 60

What a great week of birthdaying.
Rae and I went out Thursday evening for pedicures and a long visit over tasty treats.
Friday night was mighty weird as Handy Man headed out for the evening to the bowels of the hospital for his last test, we hope, in a long time.  He got to be  stuck up all over once again, but at least these sticks weren't painful.  Then he tried to sleep.  Well, he didn't pass that test, so one of those fun machines are about to be a part of his future. Actually, it seems he is sleeping better as we titrate off so many of the post surgery meds.  I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself since he was fit as a fiddle and didn't need me there.  I don't think either one of us slept much.
Saturday Mary Ann introduced me to some new and very cool places.  One with all these kinds of beautiful flowers to make a bouquet. Such a fun morning.
Then Surprise!  A birthday luncheon with friend girls at Mae's. So lovely.
Then today, all day with the all the kith and kin, and Surpise 2,  the Captain made it back from military 

and Surprise 3, our favorite picker came to serenade us.

Lots of good food that I didn't have to fix made for a day that was practically perfect in every way.
Wow, too much fun.

Handy Man knows my love is a sing along.  Rae knows it too and sang in front of everyone with her brother, Surprise 4 on this happy day. 

This here is my tribe that rotates through on Sunday Playdates.  Love them each and everyone.

 Umm, excuse me, but that looks very tasty.

I will have so many sweet memories of this birthday time.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Deconstruction Zone

Handy Man was happy to also be the Tool Guy at work this week.  He'd grown weary of inventory.  I guess if you are the Toolmaker, it will be beneficial to know where every last thing in the building is located.
Finally, of his own accord, he kept that old water heater without me asking him, so the kids could take it apart. It was a big hit.  I sent Bean out to photograph the damage.  I was not quite ready to abandon the hot bread and just made pesto.

 Reached the point of having to have some help from Pap.

 Nothing, no matter how exciting, trumps the creek.  Off we went.
This right here is what makes my heart sing.  She brought a couple of tools with her, found this piece of creek debris and informed me it was her workshop, but she was willing to trade her work for creek treasures.  Later they were trading for entertainment that looked like old slapstick routines. I sadly did not get a picture of that. And, thankfully, no one got a picture of me falling off a rock I was trying to rest my laurels on. I slipped off, right into the creek.  Do you know that is the closest I've every come, praise be, to falling in the creek.  Don't think I  damaged anything too severely. 

 Speaking of deconstructing- their joy, shale and a hammer.

 Speaking of treasures, look at these beauties.  I remain endlessly fascinated by these brachiopods and other sea life fossils right in my very own creek.

I spent almost an hour with my second graders in the creek on Friday. We have caves and fairy houses coming right along.  I had to send their creek shirts home to be washed, they were so muddy.
Doing my part for outside movement, creative play, and fun!
I always worry about being another person creating a life with all the highs and none of the lows on social media.  I am my mother's child and I do delight in feeding my people, sitting on the couch and adding the notes I know on my ukulele while I sing with Rae, or whoever is playing, and I get just as big a thrill out of unearthing creek treasures as the next kid. 
But the truth is, there are other times.
 Times that don't even make sense to me.  Times, like the funk I've been in for a few days, when recent and past ICU moments come in like a flood and nearly knock me down. Times like shopping at Hobby Lobby Saturday and remembering how fun it was to do Mom's birthday, just one year ago.  I remember and I cry all the way home.  Times when I despair of every being able to teach a child to read and I can't shake it, no matter how fun I make learning, that I can't make the education system work for this little one. Times that I feel everyone of the sixty years I'm about to be and then some. 
 I absolutely do stop and smell the roses, but I also prick my fingers and it hurts.  
So while what I put here is my joy and very real, it just isn't all there is in this life. Just sayin'.