Friday, November 24, 2017

A Beautiful Day for Thanksgiving

Yesterday was such perfect Thanksgiving weather to me. Sunshine and a bit of chill in the air. Not so much that all of our little gobblers couldn't get outside to play.  Rae and Michael hosted and it was a lovely afternoon.
While this particular Thanksgiving was all cute and yummy and fun, these napkins have made me chuckle every time I've looked at them since I bought them weeks ago.


I managed to have the wherewithal to round up all my people for a picture before time to eat. I so very much dislike pictures of my myself, but part of this crew I am, so I'll take my spot. I'm always amazed at what joy it brings to me to see such big smiles on my kiddos.  Gwen is a very entertaining picture snapper.




 One little one is missing here, our Wayside Sassy Pants -that I can't have a full face picture of on anything social, even though we've had her for 14 months now.  Speaking of which, we got an emergency baby over the weekend.  He was so tiny and sweet.  Alas, I had the sniffles and didn't want to give it to him, so Pap got the honors.  He hates that job, can you tell?



Since Rae ended up with a tiny boy all weekend (he has since moved to a long term placement, much to the heartbreak of his weekend big brother), I told her to send the kids out Thanksgiving Eve and allow her to get caught up a bit.
We made turkeys and pilgrim hats and rakes full of leaves.



 Next, we broke out the crayons for some barnyard art.

Back to Thanksgiving.  Uncle Jimi and his crew made it..  Jakester made a delicious brussel sprout roasted medley. 
 Mom has had a tough time coming back from those two big infections.  I delivered her dinner to her and she ate up every bite and loved it.  Last night was the most normal and interactive I have seen her in over a month.  Thank you Lord for a little added Thanksgiving blessing.



 I usually bring a little craft to do after the eating has stalled for a time.  Nothing as creative as last year's scarves, but enjoyed all the same.




We no longer have handful of babies to juggle so Michael, Gwen and I actually sat down and not only started, but finished a game.  Woo, hoo.  Good times all around!
We have some new fluff balls to replace our decimated coop. They are pretty friendly.

I was asked to donate a Cinnamon Roll Baking Class to our Parish Night Auction and will need to do that in the morning.  Of course, this is also the week I volunteered to do coffee hour at church and the Gingerbread Party is next Saturday, so there is much to do today.  
Usually, I have Advent Story boxes ready to go by Thanksgiving as I've wrapped them over Fall Break, but there was a delay in something I needed, so I wrapped two boxes full yesterday and hope to finish one this morning.  
Christmas, here we come.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fall Back

I feel like I've fallen back a little.
We spent yesterday at a swim meet and watched  Bean and Bugg do their fish thing and do it well.
In the evening we headed to high school to see our Nick in "Newsies" and it was all kinds of amazing.
I got a call this morning at 1:00 that they were sending Mom to the hospital, the one closest to me. She was having trouble breathing.  I woke myself up and Handy Man and I made ready to head out, but before we got out the door, another phone call, she was in heart failure and they were going to the closer hospital.
It turns out she has pneumonia and a raging UTI.  She had to make a stop in ICU and now a step down to TCU. They expect she'll be there a couple of days for the IV antibiotic to take affect and then, oh happy day, they'll transfer her back to the nursing home facility.  Ugh.  The last time was a most unpleasant experience.
Just say  ICU to me and more memories than I care to have come rushing back like the wind.
It was funny, the nurse asked what they do for her in assisted living, ahem, it is more like what little they do compared to what we do.  It did make me feel good that she was surprised what great shape her skin is in.  She commented that she was in better shape then people twenty to thirty years her junior on the floor.  I didn't say, but certainly thought, "Girl, you have no idea how well I know, having gone down that awful road with Kaye, Jimi and Glenda."
We've tried multiple things to deal with her severe shaking.  They plan to call in a neurologist to see if there is something that hasn't been tried already.
Needless to say, she's not a happy girl when hospitalized and it looks like ten more days of unhappy ahead, so I feel sure she'd appreciate prayers, cards, visits, you know.
I've been doing stuff with kids, but not photographing much or writing about it.  Drummer Boy and family came for a visit last Saturday morning and we were due our first big frost that evening. The kids and I tramped around the yard to collect all the flowers we could find. They went home with three beautiful bouquets.  It was a great visit.
I pulled out the dregs of the chalkboard experiment after doing it with Bean and Bugg and  my students and had enough for Giddy- Up, Mr. Smiley and Sassy Pants to give it a go.  Kids just love that stuff.

 We thought we'd be in a new house for Ol' Mother Hubbard's traditional Halloween affair, but not quite yet. Her new home is coming along.







It was a big time.
It seems strange that the week of the Veteran's Day program at school always seem fraught with difficulty.  Just do the next thing and pray for grace.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Happy Birthday Glenda Lou

If you knew my sister at all you would know why this picture makes me laugh every time I look at it.

Everyone looks so serious, except her with that gleam in her eye  and that finger, I'm sorry, but too funny.
I miss you girl!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Farewell Fall Break

So, a sad so long to a great break.  Monday some of the gang came and we had a fun day painting faces, holding chickens, driving around the yard, tools and old lawnmower disassembly, the creek and sharing laughs and chicken and dumplings.  The big ones have taken over painting of the each other and the littles ones with some very interesting results, let me just say.















On Friday I pulled out the cookbooks and did some experimenting with a few Asian recipes.  Rae's family came out to sample my wares and we all liked everything.  Handy Man and I had it again today and most of the remains went in his lunch.  
Saturday was gorgeous and this month Holy Hikes was at my favorite little spot in the road, Hemlock Cliffs.  Today was a listening session with our new bishop, and between that and church I was gone most of the day.
I did get a few things accomplished. My frig and pantry are in much better shape and the laundry is caught up.  It is a wild ride these next nine weeks with lots of big things happening in my classroom as usual.  Hope I'm ready for it.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Climbing We Will Go

This weekend was the Rockfest at Red River Gorge. For some time the Captain has been climbing.  As Bean's swim schedule took more and more time, Miss Bugg and her dad would go climb at a place with a climbing wall.  Bean has long enjoyed fishing on the ocean with his other grandparents, which is not Bugg's cup of tea. So while he sails the deep blue she and her dad climb.
This year Bean was in D.C. the first part of the week, and was home by Wednesday to go along, and we old folks were invited to go see what this gorge and climbing entailed.
First of all, I suppose I was expecting something a bit more commercial- not so. No cell service for me and you were miles from what seems to me to be at every exit most places you go.  If you needed something, better hope the little service station had it.  No fast food to be seen, which has elevated a few hole in the wall joints in the area to great popularity.  Our house was nice and roomy for all of us and the dogs. Bugg and I went early in the day and had some time to ourselves.  A dear friend would celebrate the life of her Mom on Saturday, which also happened to be said friend's birthday.  She loves cookies.  I knew she would be having out of town guests, so I brought along my mixer and some new recipes for Bugg and I to try.

Our first batch was oatmeal, chocolate chip, peanut butter.  Before I left early Saturday morning to get home in time for the service we also baked cherry white chocolate, toffee pecan, and chewy chocolate ginger.  I threw some crafting things in the bag as well.
As I've shared before, time moves on and they are much busier than before.  Not only that, but they've succumbed like the rest of the world to communicating and being entertained via a techno device. I miss all the time I spent reading and doing projects with them.  So we enjoyed cookie baking and then a little painting.
The first morning we headed out to climb. Well, I hadn't planned to actually put on a harness and climb a cliff face. Umm, actually I hadn't planned to climb anything at all. Clearly, I had not adequately assessed my situation.  I'm thinking there is this very lovely parking lot beneath a cliff and you park and they climb and I say, "Yay, look at you."  That's my job, well besides feeding them.  Ahem.  First you drive on these very twisty roads, but at least said roads are paved. This vertigo girl concentrates on keeping her eye on the white line. Then you turn off the very twisty paved road to a very narrow gravel road that not only twists but additionally goes straight up or straight down, while still somehow twisting.  On the way, there is a random port a pot and the Captain says that is the all and there ain't no more, so I wisely decided to take advantage of the facility. As soon as I close the door, my phone dings and I have the only minute of service I had the whole trip. All the while I am seriously questioning why any rational person would think this is a road to be taken  and the Captain is oohing and ahhing over how much better shape it is in than last time.  Wow.  Then you park

 and walk, on the twisty gravel road, until you see (well, I didn't see till he pointed out this little wooden sign hidden in the weeds) the Chicka Bonita sign. Hurrah, we've arrived! Not.  Now you climb up the side of the hill, and more twisting, only sometimes on a very narrow dirt path from which I would likely not survive falling from. At last, there is a cliff for climbing.

 It was fun to watch the Cpt. do his thing.  Pap held the "Hope this Holds" rope while Cpt. set the line.

I was a bit curious how this would go as Bean had never climbed an actual cliff.  He shot right to the top.
 It was  bit harder for Miss Bugg who doesn't have the arm or leg reach yet that the guys do, but she makes up for it in dogged persistence and up she went right to the top, with her Gramerly cheering all the way.
Rinse, wash and repeat with Pap holding on while another line was set further down the cliff.

This was a big more challenging for Bean and I wondered if he wasn't going to get up there, but he did.  Go Bean!


Handsome Pants
 Since it was more challenging, I feared it might be more than my little missy could manage.  There really weren't good foot or hand holds anywhere she could reach to get started, so I gave her a little push up, and she was off. The whole time she wasn't sure she would make it and her whole goal was to get the ledge she is on here.  She challenged her Pap that if she got to the ledge he had to try.  Once she got past this point, she had no trouble going to the top.
 So a very reluctant Pap accepted the challenge and discovered he can, in fact, climb. Pooray for Pap!
 Ah, goodtimes!  Still remaining is to get myself back to the gravel road and home without losing my footing or my breakfast.
Later in the evening, I pulled out another craft/experiment I found on Babbble Dabble Do.
You make our fav Gak, only with chalkboard paint.

 Then you decorate the blob with chalk markers.
Then you pull, stretch, and appreciate the beautiful colors.

Even Bean joined the fun.
On Friday, the men folk headed out to  Indian Staircase, said to be a short but dangerous climb. In fear for Pap trying to climb while holding to a not so leash trained pooch,  Bugg and I stayed home to make more cookies and watch the dogs sleep on the front porch. Thank the Lord, they  all returned in one piece.
I said, "So long,"  and headed home early Saturday morning.  It was  big time!
When my kids were little, I routinely envisioned opportunities just like this.  However it turns out that I raised some very independent children.  My Mom is a fretter and I didn't want to be a fretter.  Yeah, well I am a fretter- go figure. While I certainly wanted to be a part of their lives and them mine, I never wanted them to feel like they had to call me everyday and keep me up on every jot and tiddle.  I didn't suppose that might mean that I would go longer than I like sometimes without talking to them.  Now and again I have to wrestle with some envy over families who do spend copious amounts of time together and are ever sharing their escapades and undying love and gratitude for parents on social media.    Well, anyway, the Captain came and taught my students about compasses, then he came again and helped with the refugee simulation and then I got to enjoy watching him do something he loves with his kids, so I am feeling grateful.