I had originally thought I would be going to visit Rachel today but my plans were altered slightly and I went out to see Priscilla instead. It was actually a long overdue visit on my part. I arrived with four children right at lunchtime. Priscilla had made some bread dough for pizza and I brought the mozzarella cheese, some red seedless grapes, and some of my freshly baked cookies. We sat on the front porch and drank some iced tea and had a nice visit. Alysa and Alicia drew pictures on the sidewalk.
The drive home takes us through farm country. This old barn caught my eye so we stopped to snap a picture. There is something I love about old barns and the simpler things of life. This one actually seemed to be in pretty good shape. There are so many that are falling down. It makes me sad but I know they are expensive to maintain.
Across the street from the barn were several cows. "Hi cows!" I hollered. They looked our direction and became very attentive. Before we left, all five cows were standing by the fence watching us. I caught three of them here.
Thank you, Gmj, for the wonderful cookie recipe! This morning we made Cinnamon Swirl cookies which I was told were very yummy. I often feel bad for not having cookies on hand to share with visitors and children. Now that I am in on the wonderful secret of cake mix cookies, I will never again be without a quick treat to share with guests. I'm looking forward to seeing how many different varieties there are and which ones my family likes the best.
It's been another very warm and steamy day. I am thankful for my neighbor who has a pool that my kids can use anytime. He and his wife rarely use it, in fact it only remains because we have kids. What a blessing that old pool has been the past six summers. Sometimes it's even too hot to sit out on the back porch and this week, instead of iced tea, we are downing Freeze Pops and hopping into the pool. Tomorrow is forecast to be cooler with some showers which we desparately need. My lawn is brown and crunchy, quite pokey on bare feet. I tried watering it yesterday but it still looks thirsty. I guess we have traded our backyard swamp in for a desert. Being human, we are never happy.
It was a hot morning so at about 9:30, I took the kids down to the park to throw rocks in the lake. The park was almost deserted aside from a flock of Canada geese who seem to have taken over and have left their mark virtually everywhere. They are dirty birds!
When my own children were small and we lived in town, I often took them down to the park where they could run and play and I could relax. It was especially nice in the evening when James was working late. We would stop at the store on the way, buy some fruit (grapes, nectarines, bananas) and have our "supper" at the park. Sometimes we fed bread to the seagulls and sometimes the kids tried to catch a family of ducks who lived at the lake. We often saw friends who were also enjoying the cool evening lake breezes. It was a great place to take the kids.
I have to wonder if the flocks of geese had anything to do with the emptiness of the park this morning. Last evening the majority of people were there for the wedding reception. Even the seagulls and ducks are absent. Where have they gone and what can be done to save our park? It would be a shame to lose this beautiful place to the birds.
It was a beautiful day for an afternoon wedding with a reception in the park. How wonderful that the bride chose the park by the lake. The weather was perfect there!
Bethany found some of her little friends and had some fun granting them the attention they so desparately wanted from her. Even the baby got a turn. (Good practice, Bethany! And you look great with a baby on your lap.)
James and I found some of these back in the orchard a few days ago and brought some home for Hannah.
June 25, 2007 The first photo just doesn't give you a good idea of how big this "pusteblume" really is, so I'm posting an addendum. That's my hand holing the stem and the "bloom" is just as big as my fist. Pretty impressive! (Well, I think it is anyway.) We think they are called Salsify and the root is often called Oyster Vegetable (or something like that). I guess the roots make great sandwiches. Anyone ever heard of it?
It's been a cool and windy day. Even though I've been wearing a sweatshirt, I have been cold most of the day. In spite of the cold wind it has been a gorgeous day with bright sunny skies. I babysat four kids today and they were able to play outside for most of the day. Actually, I think they spent most of their time down at "Hannah's Place" as the playhouse and tire swing are the main attractions here. Hard play and fighting the wind made the girls tired this afternoon and they fell asleep watching old Andy Griffith DVD's after the boys went home. I get a break for the weekend and then will have four kids again Tuesday. I hope we have good weather, they love playing outside.
Yesterday I took Sara, Alysa and Hannah to the park to collect some lake rocks to paint. Of course, while we were there we had to throw a few stones in the lake.
It was the perfect day for going to the park. We should have packed a lunch and stayed longer but we had already eaten. We brought home a good amount of smooth round stones, perfect for making ladybugs! The girls spent the afternoon painting their stones. Come to think of it, I don't think they painted ladybugs on any of the rocks.
This is the nest I discovered in one of our little apple trees. I was pulling wild grape and rose vines off the branches when I noticed someone was living there. I quickly decided to let the remainder of the vines stay put until the nest is no longer occupied. I have no clue what kind of bird built the nest. When she saw me coming today, she hopped off the eggs and hid behind the leaves of the tree. I think it was a rather small bird and not too brightly colored. I don't think I have the time or patience right now to sit and wait for her to show her face so I'm not sure if I'll ever discover who she is. In the meantime, I'll keep a distant eye on her darlings and go back to take a peek sporadically.
Yesterday's windstorm was no match for Beth and Adam's table out on their back deck. It went sailing away, over the housetop and into the front lawn where Bethany found it when she returned home from work. Now that would have been fun to watch! Good thing she has a dad who's handy at fixing things as two of her umbrella supports are broken.
Twenty-six years have passed since this day. There are times when it seems like just yesterday and others when it seems a distant dream. I don't know how James felt that day, but I was scared to death!
We were so young and yet here we are today, still together by the grace of God. He has carried us through and we are thankful.
James, I love you more today than I ever could have imagined.
After a hot and humid day, we are finally getting some much needed rain. Yesterday Jasmine thought it good to lay on the concrete floor of the back porch. It was a nice cool spot to take a rest. Since the hummingbird didn't make an appearance, I took her picture instead.
Last evening James and I went for an orchard walk. It seems a strange place this time of year as it looks so different than in the fall. We thought we had gotten away alone until Jazz came running down the road behind us. She was very plaesed with herself for having discovered us and did a cute little dance to prove her excitement. We again walked a bit too far for her liking and she was back home before we returned.
Tonight we celebrate Nathan's seventeenth birthday with strawberry shortcake. It is the standard birthday dessert for Nate as his birthday comes right at strawberry time. Lucky guy! Tomorrow is James and my 26th wedding anniversary. We have to teach the kids class at church in the evening so we won't be going out to dinner this time. Maybe I can get a rain check on that one...
Another Father's Day has come and gone. We had a lovely picnic at Rachel's house and mostly spent the time relaxing and talking together. It's too bad I let these special days sneak up on me when there are so many ways I appreciate my dad. He has been a constant source of love and encouragement throughout my life, always nearby to lend a helping hand or give sound advice, consistantly setting a godly example, and never backing down from what he knows is right. On summer nights when I was a little girl he would wash my face, neck and arms in the bathroom sink, then set me up on his knee to scrub the dust from my dirty feet before tucking me into bed at night. Sometimes he read stories or drew pictures for us. There was music when he played his guitar and harmonica and plenty of songs. Sometimes he got down on the floor to play "rough stuff" or threw me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. We always said our prayers before going to sleep at night and good night kisses were never forgotten. I never worried that my dad wouldn't come home at night or what condition he would be in when he arrived. What we learned in Sunday school he lived in his day to day life. And though he's grown older with the years he continues to set that same example for all us today.
Visitng Uncle Joe's farm is a treasured childhood memory. The sights and smells were so different than those of home. Uncle Joe had a dairy farm in Caneadea, NY, close to the Genesee River. Sometimes we watched the milking machines pump milk as the cows stood in the stanchions. There were troughs that ran behind the cows to catch the waste (Be careful where you step!) and the smell of manure was heavy in the air. Once a cow delivered her calf during our visit. Uncle Joe had a milk house where he kept a big tank to hold the milk until a truck came to haul it away. Once they even gave me a drink. I recall kittens in the haymow and lots of hound dogs. I didn't like those dogs. On one occasion they had a dead critter and were tearing it to shreds. I was not impressed and kept my distance from those horrible canines. There must have been horses but they aren't clear in my memory. I do remember the chickens and how Sally Sue would call out "Here chick, chick! Here chick, chick!" as she spread grain in the driveway. They all came running and gobbled up the food as fast as they could.
One year there was a little lamb which was fed with a baby bottle. Boy, could that little lamb pull hard on that bottle. I had all I could do to hold on to it. Aunt Sharkey had a big old fashioned flower garden full of beautiful flowers and it seemed as though there was always a big pot of corn on the cob cooking on the stove. We would often stay until after supper and drive the two hours home in the dark. The car was warm and cozy, the drive long and we always fell asleep along the way. When we were small, Dad would carry us inside, plop us down in our beds and cover us up. Baths could wait until morning...
Late this morning I received a phone call from my son, Josiah "Why this is unusual," I thought to myself. He doesn't typically call during the middle of a work day. "Have you seen the sun?" he asked. "The Williamson Sun?" I said. But no, he meant the sun, up there in the sky, shining brightly, not our small hometown newspaper. "Why?" I asked him. I took my camera outside and tried to look up at the rainbow encircling the almost noon sun. "Bad for my eyes" I thought. I aimed the camera and clicked the shutter. Pretty cool photo aside from the fact that I couldn't get far enough away to capture the entire halo.
These are the little johnny-jump-ups I'm used to seeing.
Oh, and pollen allergies are not the only thing I discovered in the blueberries. There's some nice healthy looking poison ivy down there too. I have a rather large patch of it on my right arm. Good thing I've been taking my Clariton faithfully!
It has been a rather sleepy couple of days. I'm not sure what has gotten into me but that nap this afternoon sure did feel good. (So did yesterday's) My boys have finished weeding around the blueberry bushes and the patch is looking so much better. Hopefully we will be able to maintain what has been done and keep those weeds from taking over again. (A robin was having a great time catching dinner down there late this afternoon.) I think the weeds have the upper hand when it comes to the flower gardens. There are just too many for me to keep up with. Maybe I should just plant grass and forget the flowers... nah, I guess I'll just have to learn to tolerate the weeds instead.
I was kinda wondering what that dress looked like after I finished the lollipop...
After yesterday's bout with the spring pollens, I decided to stay in the house a little bit more today. I only pulled a few weeds, and seeing as I enhanced my farmer's tan enough yesterday, I didn't need to spend too much time out in the sun either. Since I am destined to have a farmer's tan, I may as well get rid of everything sleeveless in my closet. I always wanted to be a farmer anyway so I guess I should be happy, huh?
This is what I did tonight, cut the dead blossoms off my lilac bushes. I'm not quite finished cause some are to high to reach without a ladder. And, my allergies are killing me out there. I spent way too much time pulling weeds around my blueberry bushes this afternoon. Now not only am I sneezing, but my nose is so stuffed up I can hardly breathe! It must be nearing the end of this allergy season, and then we will be on to the next.
Yesterday I made a mental list of things to do and then set out to get them accomplished. One of those things was to clean my bedroom and another was to make that rhubarb pie. I also managed to do three loads of laundry and hang two of them out to dry (the other one I threw in the dryer). By mid afternoon I was ready to sit on the porch and relax for a bit. While I was sitting there along came "my" hummingbird. I quick sent for the camera and then waited for it to come back. Those little guys are quick so it takes a little patience to snap their photo. What I like in this picture is the reflection of the barn in the water.
When I started feeling sleepy Hannah took a walk around the yard with the camera and found an interesting bird. (He's on the tree stump.) It looks like a woodpecker. My mom does some bird watching and said it sounds like a flicker. She's right, it's a Yellow Shafted Flicker
Bethany is about 20 weeks along now. She's looking pregnant but she's still just a little thing. Here she is, barefoot and pregnant, showing us her little vegetable garden.
Auntie Lori tells me that Grandma's always know what the baby is going to be... ahhh... I think it's a... baby. I really haven't a clue as to if its a boy or a girl. (Never was good at that.) Wednesday is the big ultrasound but Beth wants to be surprised so she's hoping she doesn't find out whether its a boy or girl. Haven't heard any talk of names and they aren't decorating the nursery yet either.
We took one of the rhubarb pies Hannah and I baked today, and a half gallon of ice cream and stopped over at Beth and Adam's house tonight for some dessert. She's still sweet on her daddy. Can't say as I blame her, I'm kinda sweet on him too.
Teal Lake has been gone now for several weeks. It's good to see the grass growing in the back yard again and to not worry about stagnant, stinking water. The grass has even grown long enough to mow. We have yet to fix the problem with the drainage tiles but that will come in time. We aren't looking forward to digging up the yard but know it has to be done eventually as the town agrees that the water has always been funneled through our property and not back through the orchard as we had hoped. It just seemed strange to us that it would make a big U around the back of our property instead of a straight line toward the lake. Oh well, it was worth asking and now we know. Hopefully, the big rains will hold off until we can get the tiles cleaned or replaced. We really don't want the puddle back.
It was a perfect day. Good for shopping. Good for working outside. Good for taking a nap. It was a good day to enjoy a cup of coffee. And a good day to bake banana bread. The 90 degree temperatures have moved on and we are looking forward to a week of great weather!
I used to have these little flowers growing in my yard when we lived in town. Now we a have a couple patches in my flower garden here. I guess some people consider them to be weeds but I still think they're pretty.
I made a visit to the chiropractor this morning and had my neck adjusted. The pain in my shoulder blade has lessened since my Friday trip to the zoo, but hardly disappeared. It kept me awake several nights and made it hard to accomplish much during the day. On Monday James decided I needed to make a trip to see Dr. Matt. The earliest I could get in was this morning. I was still sore for most of today even after the adjustment (which didn't surprise me) but tonight I am noticing more of an improvement. I am not much for going to any doctor's office, in fact, I usually avoid it like the plague, but I definitely don't want a repeat of what I was dealing with Friday. It was no fun!
Today, after my appointment, Hannah and I went out with Bethany as she had some errands to run and wanted some company. We stopped for a bite to eat at one of my favorite places, Wendy's. I love their dollar menu cause I can get a baked potato and a side salad for just a couple dollars and feel like I had a decent meal without being robbed. It was fun going out with Beth. She even found a dress to wear to her friend's wedding this weekend. It's not a maternity dress but it looked cute on her and will fit for at least a few more weeks. That baby is getting a little more noticeable lately.
I am a work in the hands of the Master Potter. I pray that His fingerprints are all over me as I walk through this life. This is my journey. Thank you, Jesus, for not giving up on me.
I am mom to seven beautiful grown ups and grandma to twelve, soon to be thirteen, beautiful grandchildren.