Friday, August 31, 2012

A Concerted Effort

I am holding on to summer with all my might and yet I find the sands of August slipping through my fingers...

All summer long Joshua has longed to visit the beach at Sodus Point. All summer I have dreamed of making my way to Fair Haven. Today our wishes collided in a wonderful way. We packed our bags (and lunches) and met at Sodus Point for an afternoon at the lake. Perhaps there will be another opportunity to visit the other beach.

Wind, waves, and water. Sunshine, seaweed and blowing sand. The kids arrived at the beach clean and left looking like merchildren, covered in seaweed and a sticky layer of sand.

It was a wonderful day!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Once in a while I stalk my son's Facebook page... Is that okay? Tonight I found this. I'm pretty sure it's a pancake with teeth. I'm not sure if it's happy or hungry, but I found myself smiling back at it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

State of A Fairs

It wasn't necessarily in  my my plan this morning, though it did pass through my thoughts. But, Hannah wasn't up yet, and the drive to Syracuse is long...

In spite of no real plan to go to the fair today, I had two girls ask if we were going. How could I say no? I popped my driver's license and bank card into my back pocket, filled the diaper bag with snacks and bottled water, and grabbed both my camera and the umbrella stroller. Hannah called Kelly, and off we went to The Great NY State Fair.

It was a busy afternoon. We had ice cream for lunch. Do you think I'm a bad baby- sitter? It was so yummy!

When the girls finally finished their cones, we went upstairs in the Art and Home Center building and tried out the player piano (of course). We were just deciding on a song when Hannah and Kelly appeared. (Hannah likes the piano too.) Rocky played three songs; Sesame Street, No Business Like Show Business, and Maple Leaf Rag. It was a spotless performance!

After a walk through the livestock barns and a jaunt through the 4-H building, we met up with Hannah and Kelly again. For the first time ever I walked the midway. Loved the colors and the smell of carnival food!

Before going home we bought a bag of cotton candy to share. It was a fun day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

G is for Grand

G is for grand. "Magnificent and imposing in appearance, size, or style."

Ain't life grand? In this case, the children are grand. :)

Today I am blessed with four grandchildren, three little boys and one sweet, small girl. In another week or so, a brand new little one will join their number and the number of grandsons will grow to four. (In truth, I am already blessed with five grandchildren. "Fred" (not his real name), is quite obvious. There is no hiding his presence no matter how hard Bethany tries...)

 For more ABC Wednesday fun, click here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Winding Summer Down

Summer is coming to a close. School starts up again just after Labor Day and my schedule will be readjusted once again. Every years turns out a little different than the one previous, and life is always an adventure. This September will find Rocky keeping me company; just one small flower in this ever changing garden.

Since my friend Emma will be taking a hiatus (her grandma will be here for 6 weeks), and this was out last day alone for a while, I decided to take her out to lunch. Of course we headed up town to one of my favorite places.

My little friend eats little. She is more of a "picker" when it comes to food. She ordered the hot dog, doused it in ketchup, and then had me cut it up so she could eat it out of the bun. I chose a BLT on rye bread and sweet potato fries since Dutch Lettuce wasn't on the menu.

 Em thought we should order dessert, so we asked for some of Peter's specialty rice pudding, served up by the handsome dishwasher. I ate mine cold. She had hers warmed up and then ate the whipped cream off the top. Goofy kid! Ah, well, she does have a trimmer figure than me. Perhaps she is onto something.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Good Day

It was a good day, maybe even a miracle day.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Busy Kind of Week

What's the best way to recap a busy week? A list? Okay, we'll pretend it's Thursday. Thursday Thirteen.

Thirteen Happenings from this past week.

1. Horse- back riding with Hannah, followed by a trip to Wendy's on the way home. We took Emma along. This was Monday

2. Out to Ladies' Prayer and Bible Study on Tuesday morning. Three small girls went with us.

3. On Tuesday night, answered prayer. The phone rang and it was my dear, sweet daughter in law on the other end. She had been called to help a friend clean in the morning, and Dave suggested she see if I could watch the kids. A weight was lifted from my heart.

4. Tuesday evening brought the faucet fiasco and mom's subsequent second shower of the night. (Scroll down if you missed it.)

5. On Wednes- day, a full vase of flowers! Even without Emma, we had six beautiful children playing in the yard. Bethany came with Josh and I had all my grandchildren in one place for three hours! (I also found out if someone pulls down on the back of my rocking chair swing, it will tip backward and deposit it's contents directly onto the ground. This time it was Lucas. He was a bit shook up, but no one was hurt..)

6. My Wednesday evening brought a tumble down the back step and resulting coffee bath. I found myself thankful my full cup of Joe was not piping hot.

7. On Thursday we spontan- eously piled three girls into the van and went to Beechwood State Park. Finding ourselves on the beach was the highlight of the walk.

8. In spite of being tired from my walk at Beechwood, I also took an evening orchard walk with My Darling. It was nice.

9. Late Friday morning found us out running a few quick, normally-saved-for-Saturday errands.

10. After our errands I took the girls and Hannah to visit my friend Judy at her parents' house. The girls had a picnic in the yard and Hannah, Judy, and I talked for a couple hours before we packed up and headed back home. (I didn't take pictures, so today you get Judy and her husband Danny instead. I took this one last fall in the Bronx.)

11. While the little girls used the bathroom at Judy's, Judy showed Hannah her father's piano. When Judy asked if Hannah had any songs she could play by memory, Hannah smiled and willingly played a tune. :) I doubt she would have been so accommodating had I asked.

12. Hannah popped her head in my bedroom this morning to tell me it was 8 o'clock. She was dressed in her soccer uniform, reminding me of early morning soccer practice that I had totally forgotten.

13. While Hannah was at the park doing soccer practice, I did a little grocery shopping at the Super Walmart and met up with Beth and Adam. I returned to the soccer fields with Josh in tow so my darling daughter and her handsome husband can have a short getaway before the arrival of Little Brother. Yes, it was a planned acquisition.

14. On our way home from soccer, Hannah and I witnessed an accident involving a police car, on his way to a call (we knew by the ambulance he was following), emergency lights flashing, and another vehicle. They both ended up off the road, one of them upside down. This afternoon we spent a little bit of time talking to a sheriff's deputy about what we saw (and couldn't see because of hills and the vehicle we were following). We are praying those involved will heal quickly from their injuries.

Tomorrow is my mom's 78th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, there will be a family picnic here in the yard. I still need to help Mom take a shower tonight and then find something to make for dessert...


Friday, August 24, 2012

Finding an Old Friend

My friend Judy, who I visited last year at her home in the Bronx, is in town this weekend. She graciously made some time for me to stop over at her parent's house for a visit this afternoon. Judy and I were friends in school but spent the most time together during junior high. She was my country friend, a lover of horses, music, and art, and though she lives in the big city, the country in her still shines through in a beautiful way. Since I had spent a bit of time in her parents' home a a young teen, I had no trouble finding the house today.

Hannah and I took the girls along and a very nice time was had by all. The girls ate their lunch in the grass under the shade of a large tree, colored pictures with Mr. Lane (Judy's father), picked up sticks in the yard, and made themselves comfortable and friendly. They were very well behaved.

I took my camera along for the visit, but never took it out of the van. I didn't want to ruin a nice visit by putting a camera in anyone's face. Instead, I invite you to watch this cute video of Judy's big city, apartment dwelling, circus cat, Canvas.

Lake Walk

Yesterday we went on an adventure through an enchanted forest to the land of trolls and fairies. Two small girls ran on ahead, unafraid and excited to explore someplace new.

We looked down over the cliff to the lake far below and saw an ancient ship wreck. Well, it looked like a shipwreck to Emma, even if it was just fallen trees stretching out into the water. It was decided wise to keep small children well away from the precipice and so we continued our exploration.

We found aban- doned houses (really old girl scout cabins), peeked through windows, and dreamed of living inside. It was quite obvious the village residents had left their village on account of warring trolls.

Eager to reach the beach, we continued our search for a trail to the water's edge. Down, down the steep hill we went, all the way to the stoney beach and splashing water.

There were trees to climb and logs to haul ourselves  over. Stones were tossed into the waves and seaweed traipsed upon. Above our heads loomed the sandy cliffs of the lake shore.

Anyplace it was possible, the girls ran ahead eager in search something new. Uncon- cerned about trolls, who had obviously moved on, we traversed the beach.

Had the beach been clean, rather than covered in seaweed, it would have been a grand location to spend the afternoon, especially if we had remembered to bring lunch.

After thor- oughly exploring the beach, we began to feel hungry and since there was no food in our pockets, we headed back to the trail.

It was a long hot walk back to the van. I won- dered about the trolls and fairies along the way and thought perhaps they may have moved into the old pine forest we passed along the way. I wasn't sure whether to continue my leisurely pace, or take off running!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Full Pot

My flower pot was full today! :)

If you can stand it, another post...

Last night I received a surprise phone call from my dear daughter in law. She was in need of someone to watch her little ones this morning while she helped a friend in a pinch clean  few houses. Of course, I didn't hesitate. Hannah and I soaked in every moment. Aunt Bethany stopped by with Josh and we had a regular old party!

F is for Fiasco

F is for fiasco, faucet fiasco.

It all started last night when Mom went into the downstairs powder room to brush her teeth. I heard an unfamiliar sound and my mother's panicked voice calling, "Mart! Mart come quick! Mart! Mart! I need your help!!!:

A thousand thoughts went through my mind between jumping out of the computer chair and arriving in the kitchen. I had no clue what to expect. James got there before I did, which is probably a good thing, because he is supposed to know what to do in case of emergencies.

The hot water handle on our "not-so-very-old" sink (It was put in 2 1/2 years ago.) had given up and fallen off. Mom says she "didn't even touch it". Water was pouring out where the handle should have been. Without thinking, James put his hand over the hole. The water pressure turned his hand into a sprinkler system, and Mom got her second shower of the night. :)

We finally thought to turn the water off behind the sink, and turned to the chore of moping up one very wet toilet room. Now that it's all over, it's actually kind of funny. :D

This evening there was a different kind of fiasco. I was headed down the back steps with my book and evening cup of decaf, when I misjudged and thought I was at the bottom when I actually had one step left to go. I fell. My glasses went flying, my coffee mug hit the concrete rather abruptly, giving me a shower not so unlike my mother's last night, except that mine was "French vanilla". My "lawn guy", who is really my son Ben, witnessed my fall and came to my rescue carrying a handful of napkins with which to dry my dripping face.  I remained seated until gaining my composure, slightly bruised, but mostly feeling foolish. (Sorry, no photos.)

 For more ABC Wednesday fun, click here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Little Escape

Today we escaped and went to riding lessons with Hannah. It was a gorgeous day and the out of doors was calling. Having only Emma in tow made traveling easy and she always loves an outing.

I liked the farm and I loved watching Hannah and her friend Kelly with the horses. (They're dressed alike so look close.) These are rescue horses, so if they appear thin, there is a reason, and sometimes it is just age. This is an old horse. My friend Emma found the trip fun and exciting too. She even enjoyed our stop at Wendy's on the way home. It was a good day.

I am learning that I must leave an empty bowl and a box of cereal out for Mom if I leave for the morning. I have been suspicious on a few occasions that perhaps she had forgotten to eat breakfast. Today we arrived home at about 3 pm. She readily admitted to not having eaten lunch, which isn't totally unusual since she typically eats breakfast at noon. I asked her if she had eaten breakfast. "Yes, I had breakfast," she replied.

"What did you eat?" I asked.

"I had Raisin Bran," she said. "And I think I cut up half a banana on top."

While it sounds reason- able, I knew it wasn't true. The little bit of milk, just enough for one bowl of cereal, that I had left in the fridge was still there. James had eaten the rest of the Raisin Bran, and we were out of bananas. On top of that, there were only three bowls in the sink; James', Ben's, and mine. Blah.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Case of Crankiness

And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 
1 Timothy 6:8

I long to be content with such things as I have, but the plain and simple truth is being ornery comes much more natural than being satisfied. Today I have had a great case of crankiness. I did try taking a nap, but the relief I found was temporary. I don't suppose the reason for feeling out of sorts really matters much, I'm not even totally sure what my problem is, and even if I was to name it, it would be nothing more than an excuse for bad behavior.

I have a multitude for which to be thankful. (My list numbers well over 4000 now...) Each afternoon I pick fresh grape tomatoes from my little garden box, and every once in a while am blessed to find a cucumber or two hiding there also. Down the road and around the corner is a stand that sells the very best sweet corn in the entire northeast, always plentiful and always delicious! And, I have one of the best neighbors anybody could ask for. He joys in bringing us tomatoes for slicing, zucchinis, green beans, and elderberries.

Just outside my window are more blessings to be thankful for, the sun on Bob's barn, finches at the feeder, and an orchard full of apples. We are blessed with a smattering of blackberries along the old hedgerow, grass that is once again green and growing, and a God who takes plesure in watching me take time to notice how much He loves me.

Shame on me for being cranky!

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."  Hebrews 13:5

Saturday, August 18, 2012

White Elephant Gift

After two nights of little sleep, yesterday found me struggling to keep my eyes open. A blue sky full of fluffy, puffy clouds took that opportunity to play some games with my head. This is quite obviously a White Elephant. He was the first of many cloud creatures that danced before my eyes yesterday. Do you know it's difficult to keep one's eyes focused on the road when the sky is full of cloud pictures? No wonder folks lay on their back in the grass when watching clouds. I was relieved when the sky turned into a dark gray blanket between Buffalo and Rochester.

Visiting Erie

Our trip to Erie, Pennsy- lvania was somewhat of a whirl- wind tour as I am finding it a little tough to get away for anymore than a day or two at a time, but Hannah and I did make it there and back. On Thursday evening our friend Pat took us out on the peninsula and I forgot my camera. If I ever get back to Erie and have some time, I will have to walk the beaches of Presque Isle, check out the lighthouses, and take some pictures of those very cool and unique "houseboats" on Horseshoe Pond.

On Friday, which was just yesterday but somehow feels much longer ago, we visited the Maritime Museum and toured the Flagship Niagara. I learned a little bit more about the War of 1812, and dreamed of another Day Sail on a Tall Ship. I think perhaps Hannah is not as thrilled with old ships as her mother, but maybe she just needs a Day Sail to give her a little inspiration. Then again, it could be that she will never have an inkling of desire to sail off into the sunset. I think it sounds absolutely romantic, a wonderful dream. :)

After our museum tour, we stopped at a lovely little restaurant called Puffer- belly. The building is an old fire station and still had the fireman's pole from the second floor down to the ground and is decorated with memorabilia. There is even a large fireman's net hanging on the back wall. Just aim for the red spot in the center of the canvas and jump! Oh, yeah, Hannah had the quesadilla. Mm, mm, good! I had Southwest Chicken Pizza and it was good too.

We had just enough time after lunch to check out Liberty Park over- looking the bay and across to Presque Isle. It was a quiet day at the park and, aside from a few seagulls and a boat or two on the bay, we were alone. Too bad we didn't have a bit longer to stay. We could have taken the Aquabus across to the peninsula.