Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Pumpkin Patch

In some ways I have a more manageable Pumpkin Patch, in some ways... In other ways they present new challenges. They call me "Grandma"... The other day I decided to pull back the cover and let them play in the sandbox. You'd have thought I'd offered them gold!

 Maybe it's worth sand in my couches...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Missing Mom

Lately I have sat staring blankly at the empty post form on the computer screen in front of me. Perhaps I have "writer's block" or maybe I just haven't yet worked through some of the emotional trauma of the past few months. In some ways I have succeeded in blocking out the pain of my mother's passing. Maybe that's common with full time caretakers, I don't know, but there is a part of me that just doesn't want to go there... and then there is another part that desperately wants to fall apart and sob uncontrollably.

In all honesty, I miss my mom. I miss the woman who lived here for the past three and a half years, the physically fragile, emotionally detached, and child-like woman, but the one I really miss disappeared long ago, a little at a time.

I'm not sure exactly when she began to slip away... She often appeared to be there when she wasn't, and then there were times when she was more present than we imagined. One of the most difficult things was that we didn't talk about it with her. It was like we were all keeping a deep, dark secret that would maybe go away if we could just ignore it long enough.

We lived with much uncertainty. Did she have Alzheimer's disease? Was she having strokes? Was the memory loss and confusion all caused by her oxygen use? Would it help to know what was causing the confusion or was looking for an answer a waste of time and money? Would knowing change anything? How long would she continue to slip away and what kind of person would she eventually become? How could we plan for the future and still keep up with the everyday? There were so many questions, but in the end God took her home in just the way I'd hoped and expected, the same way my son had desperately feared in his year of living with her.

I looked for my copy of Mom's memorial service today but didn't find it. I must have packed it into the box of my own stuff that I cleaned off her table last weekend. Maybe it's not really a good idea to cry this afternoon anyway. Perhaps listening to Dad sing is a better idea.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Start of Summer

Yesterday's picnic came together last minute. We almost totally missed out, but I couldn't stand the thought of starting summer without a Memorial Day picnic. So we found some friends and family, threw together a picnic, and had some fun.

It was a good day to eat on the back porch.

It was great weather for a bit of bouncing.

There was a little bit of road rage and a minor accident...

I gave "selfie" lessons. (That's my baby sister.)

And we played some Frisbee.

I stepped in a hole and fell down but didn't let it stop me.
(Thank you, Josiah, for the documentation.)

It turned out to be a good day full of yard work and topped off with a picnic. 
It also would have been my father in law's 75th birthday.
Hope you all had a good Memorial Day and remembered to honor those who gave their all for our freedoms.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Grandchild Collection

Several years back I started a new collection, a grandchild collection. So far it includes five little boys and one sweet (and sometimes sour) little girl. Around the first week of October we will add a new little one to the grandchild group, another little boy. (We found out last night that it will be a boy.) He will bring our collection to seven.

Our computer is acting up so it's possible, if things don't clear up, that I may disappear for a bit. James is thinking he may have to take it in for an overhaul.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Smaller Pumpkin Patch

My "pumpkin patch" is shrinking. I'm down to grand- children twice a week and two little girls on and off the school bus for the next month. My days with Rocky are done. Kind of funny to think that just a few years ago I had a houseful of children and my mother... (Linda, it looks like my border crossing just got easier.)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Today's To-do List

It's highly unlikely that that floor will get washed or even vacuumed, but I do have a few jobs that I've been dragging my feet about. It's not 10 am quite yet, so I've got time to accomplish something great today...

On my list-
Clean out the fridge
Write a letter
Pack some yard sale boxes into my van
Read a story or two
Sift through a few more of Mom's things.
(I think I need to put some scrapbook items in a special box.)

If it happens to get warm out, maybe we'll take a few small children outside to play or take a walk.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

S is for Sunrise/Sunset

 S is for Sunrise and Sunset. (Reminds me a little of a song...)

I have a friend/acquaintance nearby who takes sunrise photos at Lake Ontario almost every morning. I am amazed at the variety of shapes and colors that one location can produce. Ours is an ever changing world and I often like to imagine God wielding a giant paintbrush, each morning splashing the sky with different hues.

From the little marina nestled in the cove to the expanse of open water stretching north east across the lake to where the sun rises, all is beauty. We have much to be grateful for.

The last few days have produced some magnificent sunset photos as well. There is nothing quite like a large body of water to create sunsets full of wonder. I really should be spending more time at the lake. My camera isn't equipped, nor do I have the knowledge, to take pictures like these, but my eyes can drink it in and that is a pretty special gift too.

Photos courtesy Susan Denagel.

I totally missed the letter R last week. Must have been distracted or something. So my post for last week went up yesterday. It's here.

 For more ABC Wednesday, click here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It Has a Nice Ring

A few weeks ago my favorite husband and I went to look at new wedding bands. His was mangled and misshapen from work and he hadn't actually worn it in a very long time. We sat and looked at rings. We tried them on. We dreamed a little bit, and then we walked out without making a purchase. I laughed a little while admitting that the only ring that really caught my eye was the pricey one. Lacy rose gold with diamond chips. We took a catalog home with us, just to look at, in case we decided to buy something.

I was unaware when My Darling decided to go back to the jewelry store a few days later. He took his old ring to be reshaped and resized and ordered the pretty rose gold ring for me. I have to admit, it's a little out of character for us to buy expensive jewelry and we were so young when we got married that diamonds weren't even a possibility. My hands aren't young and pretty anymore, but I'm blessed to know I am loved. And you know, his ring looks pretty good on his hand too.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hanging Out With the Hubby

Yesterday I hung out with my favorite husband. We left church early, changed our clothes, and headed south, mostly because north isn't much of an option... ha ha!

Our fickle weather, which left us uncomfortably cold inside our house in the morning, later warmed up our vehicle rather nicely, too nicely. Between the sunshine outside of the van and the almost too warm inside of the van, we soon became sleepy and decided to find a park and take a quick nap. Sometimes that's better than falling asleep at the wheel. Our rest was cut short by an amateur open-air guitarist and her maraca playing partner, so we deiced to move along and find some lunch and a cup or two of coffee.

After sitting spell in Denny's we drove south some more and ended up driving around Keuka Lake. It is currently our favorite Finger Lake and we end up driving it's shoreline again and again. There some pretty great wineries on the hills between the lakes and sometimes we find ourselves popping in at one or another for a little taste testing. Either way, whether we stop in the vineyards or just keep driving, the hills of New York State's Finger Lakes are a beautiful place to be.

One of my summertime plans is to catch a glimpse of as many Finger Lakes as possible. Apparently there are eleven with a couple that are sometimes included and other times excluded from the club. There are also a myriad of small "puddle-sized" lakes as well. Many of them are within easy driving distance and the shores are dotted with small parks and private cottages. I've lived here my entire life (minus 6 months in New Mexico) and still can't name all the Finger Lakes, however, I do have my favorites and I know them by name.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Apple Blossom Festival

It was a good day. It wasn't especially warm, but it didn't rain and that made it good. It was the day for the "big" Apple Blossom
Parade, which wasn't nearly as big as it has been in previous years. I went up with Hannah and her friend Kelly, and Bethany met us with Josh and Jakie. It's always fun to see friends up at the parade, even if they live just across the street. It gave me a great excuse to take a picture of me and Bob. I love him!

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Parade, Some Rain, and a Crafty Time

More pictures, lots more pictures. This is what you get when words elude me.

Last night was the beginning of the Apple Blossom Festival. We had kids, so we took them to the Kiddie Parade. One the way there Aubrey said, "We're going to the Kiddie Parade? I LOVE Hello Kitty!"

It rained last night. Everything is soaked and soggy out there. Today is definitely not a play outside kind of day, unless one happens to be a duck, then maybe it would be okay. We can't complain, really. We're wet, but not flooded like some of the towns down along the Finger Lakes. Our only real "flooding" is Teal Lake and that won't stick around long.

It turned out to be a great day for our friend "Miss Linda" to come over and do a craft with the kids. They would have done this one at church a couple weeks ago, but one or more of them was sick with a tummy bug and they stayed home that night instead. They had a great time putting together kaleidoscopes and fighting over, oops... I mean decorating them with stickers. I thought it a cute little craft. Just hold it up to the light and turn it around and watch the beads make cool designs.

It's been a good week and I'm looking forward to a good weekend too. The rain is supposed to clear up and tomorrow afternoon I might tag along with Hannah to the big Apple Blossom Parade. I have to do it while she'll still let me.

A few friends have told me they're no longer able to leave comments on my blog. I haven't changed any settings so I'm wondering if perhaps it is a browser issue. Maybe using a different browser, like Firefox or GoogleChrome, would make a difference. I hate to think there are people who can't leave comments.That makes me sad.

PS. Teal Lake is gone. The drainage tiles are working well. :0)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Getting Dirty

I hesitated to take the grandchildren outside today. Not only did I have five of them to keep track of by myself, but it rained last night and I was somewhat afraid they might head straight for the dirt pile. I needn't have worried. Ha! (Please forgive the barrage of photos. It's how I keep my sanity.)

So, they got dirty, and we all survived. A few of them had their clothes tossed into the washer at the back door and another couple were brushed off and declared good enough. I found that a dirt pile keeps them centrally contained and rather happy. And when they're happy, I'm happy too.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Artwork is for the Birds

I am not a very good "poster child" this week...

I had to smile at a photo my friend Susan posted to Facebook yesterday. Apparently there was an excessive amount of dead fish down at the lake yesterday morning and this resulted in an overabundance of seagulls.

They did a little "rock painting" and since Susan is down at the lake taking photos every morning, she took a wonderful picture of some rather unique artwork.

Photos courtesy of Susan DeNagel.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Six Out of Seven

I liked this Mother's Day. It was full of children, big ones and little ones. The whipped up an impromptu lunch and set to work cleaning out my flower gardens, and I got to catch them all in one rare photo besides.

Bethany, Dave, Josiah, Ben, Hannah, and Nathan. The only one missing is Jim. Maybe we'll catch him in the next one, eh?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My Qiverful

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, 
So are the children of one’s youth. 
Happy the man who has his quiver full of them; 
Psalm 127:4,5a

It will be my first Mother's Day without a Mom... I'm not quite sure how to feel about it. A little sad maybe, but then again, there is so much to be grateful for and I know my mom would say, "Aw, Mart, don't cry." So I'll try not to.

Instead of being sad, this year I will be grateful for the passel full of children God has blessed me with. They won't all be here (Jim's in Minnesota), but the past year has brought about a miraculous healing in our family, one I feared might never occur, and I am blessed.

To my mom: You gave me one of the most blessed childhoods. You always loved me, always prayed for me, and always tried to encourage me to count my blessings. I can only imagine the wonderful Mother's Day you must be having in heaven with your own mom. Give her a hug and tell her I can't wait to meet her, okay?

Friday, May 09, 2014

Outside Fun

It's finally getting warm enough to play outside. I mean it's finally getting warm enough for "Grandma" to play outside. (I must be getting old... ha!)

Hannah and I took her bunk bed apart. Now she has a single bed and doesn't have to climb up to the ceiling to put her bed together. The mattress from the bottom bunk is old. I dragged it off the back porch and into the grass yesterday afternoon. It made a great toy.