Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Baking

Friday and Saturday were both such sleepy days that I was surprised to find myself not feeling tired today. I managed to vacuum the floors and carpets AND bake a double batch of banana bread. I was out of vanilla extract so this time I added a few drops of rum flavoring. I ended up with six miniature loaves and sent two home with Ben. Not too shabby for a Sunday afternoon.

It would have been a great day for renting a kayak or two and paddling up the creek, but I hadn't let that wish be known and Ben is in desperate need of a vehicle. The Cabinet Maker was available to help him look today and that seemed a bit more important to me than kayaking. I was rewarded this evening with some leftover pizza from their stop at Uno's. I'm not kidding, I was really happy to have it and my mouth and tummy are happy too. I'm also happy to say their search was successful. Tomorrow there will be a trip to the DMV and hopefully Ben will be back on the road again soon.

The Barn Collective

It was a short walk because I couldn't shake the sleepy feeling that had descended upon me the past couple of days. (This was yesterday.) Just across the road, down the orchard lane, and around back on the closest road and out again. That's as far as we went, and it was enough.

Perhaps there is a new kind of pollen floating through the air this week. I haven't felt so sleepy since the last pollen explosion, and just as I drastically reduced my coffee consumption too. *sigh* The temptation toward an afternoon iced cappuccino is almost unbearable. Almost. So far I'm still holding out. Mostly in hope of sleeping better at night. Maybe it's working. So far I want to sleep all day too. Of course, staying away from weeds and grass has never been my practice... Especially at evening with a camera in hand.

It's a good thing we live on a country road with lots of country noise because my friend Bubba is making a racket out there in the hen house. My son and husband are looking up capon recipes.... Ha ha. Not really... Well, at least not yet...

I missed the link earlier so I'm linking up now. (Thanks, Tom.)
The Barn Collective

Thursday, July 28, 2016

On Counting Chickens

Sometimes he helps me round them up and put them to bed for the night, like last night. I stood down by the coop and the Cabinet Maker shooed them down the hill and around the corner of the barn. Finally the last of them was inside. We made a quick count, latched the door, and went inside for the night.

My grandkids arrived bright and early this morning. They ate the breakfast their mother fixed out on the back porch, got up midway, and ran off into the yard. Naughty Too did not miss the opportunity.

Aubrey came in once to inform me that there was a dead mole in the "yawd." The boys fought viciously over a rope they "found" that belongs to their grandpa. Aubs returned to inform me that one of the chickens was out. "One is on the outside," she said, "All the others are inside the cage and the door is locked." Oops... I guess I'll need to be more careful when counting.Visions of raccoons, foxes, and coyotes flashed through my mind, but so far Hazelnut is still safe.

I dropped The Trio off a Vacation Bible School this morning, ran for chicken feed and gasoline, and returned home to find eight chickens on my back porch. By some stroke of luck, or maybe a miracle, they did not leave any floor decor, and I shooed them back into the grass, which now reminds me of James Whitcomb Riley's poem Little Orphant Annie that Dad used to read. I memorized it in 6th grade, which was really like cheating since Dad had read it to us for years, maybe even since I'd been born, but the kids in my class loved it.

Ltle Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Tim Post

No posts for four days and then two in one day. I am so unpredictable.

We went to see our brother this afternoon, Rachel and I. It was an emotional ride. As Dad played old hymns on his guitar and harmonica through the CD player, Tim wiped tears from the corner of his eyes, and Rachel cried too.

"We haven't gotten any kind of communication from him in a long time due to med changes, but I got a "Hi" today. I also saw him wipe his silent tears a couple of times while we were on a car ride listening to Dad's music. That's all it took. I cried too. Uninitiated hugs given to me and my sister, Martha... I can't provide any details, but please pray for my brother Tim. He's hurting and that makes my heart ache."

There was an incident at the residence. We aren't sure exactly what happened, only that it involved him and it is obvious that he is hurting. Thankfully, it is also obvious he knows we love him, and he loves us too. I even collected another kiss on the cheek before we left him. Tonight, two weeks seems a long time before we see him again...

Life in the MCU

I'm still here. Worked yesterday. Posted this on Facebook last night...

"Supper was interesting. One sweet woman, concerned about my hysterectomy, gave me instructions and the name of some doctors. I had to assure her later that I was okay and not bleeding. And then another observant lass noticed that I did not have gray hair. 
They're taking good care of me here..."

My sister is concerned that rumors will be started by those who don't understand my post. 

"What do I say when people ask me how your hysterectomy went? Or maybe you are hoping for meals delivered to your house. Cagey!"

There are reasons I like working in the Memory Care Unit, I only wish I could do more than sit mostly silently with my friend. Last night was a little on the crazy side. There are several new residents who are mobile but in need of assistance. They are constantly getting up when they are supposed to be sitting, and are therefore a fall hazard.

Upon bringing V, who had to "poop," out of G's room, I was witness to a runaway wheelchair and the fall of its occupant. Since she scoots herself around, the wheels on G2's chair were not locked. She reached for a washcloth she'd dropped and promptly plopped onto the floor directly behind the attending aide's back. She was unhurt but it did cause a bit of a stir. I decided to "help" the only way possible by being an extra set of watching eyes.

It was almost time for me to leave when my retired nurse friend/resident caught sight of me again. I'm not sure how or or why I turned into her patient, but she was once again concerned by my hysterectomy recovery and insisted on checking to see if I was okay. I assured her (the best I could) that I was "feeling better" and thanked her for her concern.

In the meantime my friend G was laughing at the aide telling V she needed to "sit down and relax."
"How can you tell a little kid it's time to relax?" she asked me, her voice full of amusement. Ah, yes. It was an interesting evening. I almost felt bad going home at 7:30pm. 

And since photos from the nursing home are frowned upon, I give you The Naughties sleeping on the back porch during Monday morning's rain. 


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Midnight Visitor

Last night we had a midnight visitor...

"Oh My!!! What did you do?"

Why I grabbed my camera, of course! 

"Good answer! But....then what?"

It was about midnight when, over the hum of the air conditioner, and through the closed door, I started hearing noises downstairs. They didn't sound like noises The Naughties would make, and James was snoring, so I got up and peered downstairs into the darkness. I heard something shuffling around down there, so I put on my Big Girl Pants and sneaked down the stairs.

I could tell by the noises that something was moving about in Mom's room. (I thought about the book where an alligator hides under the kid's bed...) I flipped on the kitchen lights, but in order to turn on the light in Mom's room, I had to go in and that wasn't happening without backup, so I went upstairs to find help. I had only one choice of helpers and he was still snoring. Lucky for me he is not a terribly sound sleeper.

Slightly groggy from being stirred from his sleep, my brave assistant crept into the dark, and now scary, room and turned on the light while I watched from the shadows. My brother's old double barrel shotgun, propped in the corner, fell over making a terrible clatter on the floor. Neither the intruder nor my helper were shaken, and no crazed animal bolted for the door.. "It's a raccoon," James said and he picked up my sign that says, "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord" He held it like a weapon/shield and told the furry, masked animal to get down. That is when I went for my camera.

Our minds were spinning. We have trapped tiny rodents, caught birds in our hands, and knocked bats out of the air, but this guy was a little too big (and possibly vicious) for those actions. We decided to open the door and see if he would comply and leave of his own accord. Mom's room has two doors. We opened the door from Mom's room to the computer room, and then one from the computer room to the front steps. Then I closed the one from the computer room to the living room. James stepped out of Mom's room through the other door and I peeked through the crack to see what would transpire.

"Yikes! Then what?"

And then, after looking around a bit, the masked intruder very quietly got down from the buffet, waddled through the door to the computer room, out the front door, and back into the darkness.

My rescuer and I went into the kitchen to find the masked bandit had knocked a few things over; a container full of kitchen tools, a teapot full of Jade plant (into the sink)... He had licked clean the spatula and knife from the peach pie and dropped the knife on the floor. (The noises I'd heard from upstairs.)

Good thing I'd covered the pie with a giant Tupperware bowl or he'd have likely had a feast and been back tonight for seconds. 

And then we went back upstairs and tried to go to sleep. Ha ha!

"How did he get in?"

The only way would have been the cat door.

"Yikes! Good thing you had your "helper"...I would not have liked to go through that alone" 
I went to bed wondering how I could have done it alone, and decided probably just the same way, except perhaps without pictures and with much more fear and excitement.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Another Naughty Post

Life gets crazy and there are times when I long for a spell of silence. It's quiet now... An hour or so of stillness in the midst of a sometimes hectic schedule. The sky is overcast. Perhaps it will rain. The clock ticks loudly on the living room wall. It's so quiet in here that I actually notice... It's hot outside, stifling even, and I am attempting to cool my dwelling with the air conditioner in the upstairs bedroom window. I could clean the remnants of grandchildren from the carpet and furniture, but I am sitting here instead, soaking in the quiet. But all that is not naughty, and I did title this "Another Naughty Post."

I was on my way to work on Wednesday morning (actually on my way to walk with Rachel before work, but that's beside the point), and getting into my vehicle, when Naughty One hopped up on my windshield. He is the most rascally of the two and was likely looking for a little excitement.  I snapped his picture and got out of the van to catch him, but he scurried up onto the roof instead.

I needed to take care of the chickens before I left home, so rather than snatch the cat off the roof, I drove very slowly up the driveway and down around the back of the barn. I could see Naughty One's tail cast in the shadow on the ground. I kept my eyes on the mirrors and made my way around and stopped in front of the chicken house. When I got out, there he was, proud as punch, and enjoying the ride.

Later, at work I showed P. a cat photo on my Nook. 
"That's my cat," I told him. "He's naughty."
Not everything P says is comprehensible, but this time he looked at the picture, laughed, and said, "No kidding!"

Yesterday morning that Naughty thought it would be a good idea to ride on top of Leta's van. When I attempted to scoop him off the roof, he layed down and made himself comfortable instead. He's a crazy one, that cat! Of course, we couldn't let him ride down the road to work with Leta, so we persuaded him to get down of his own accord. (He also likes to get inside of vehicles, so we have to keep a close eye on this character. One day he could end up going on a grand adventure!)

And now, I must attend to the crowing rooster and his harem of hens. They're all getting bright red faces and wattles now. I'm going to have to find some egg eating friends or family or we're going to be eating a whole lot of custard and quiche!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tuesday's Treasures

My grandchildren love treasures. Rocks. Feathers. Sticks. They are always collecting treasures of one kind or another. This assortment is from early June. Various leaves, flowers, and chicken feathers.

On Thursday I walked around the back of Barn 3 and found some new collections growing. Rocks (they love rocks) and chicken feathers (which they also love) on a concrete block table.

Beside the concrete block on the slab behind the barn was another collection. This one included rocks and bird nests.

I'm starting to love their collections. Perhaps a trip to the beach or the woods is in our future, and I think I'll bring an ample supply of Ziplock bags.

A collection of Tuesday's Treasures can be found at Tom's.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Lazy Blogger (or something like that)

Either my mind is tired or my fingers are. What have I been doing?

* Friday morning found me helping a friend, and Friday afternoon found me out at my sister's house. We walked the street fair in Canandaigua and went out for dinner together.

* On Saturday afternoon I kept my eye on several children so their daddies could help my friend and her husband move. In the evening the Cabinet Maker and I met our youngest daughter and her husband for a movie and a bite to eat.

* Sunday was church and then a picnic at Casey Park. The Cabinet Maker and I took a walk around the old iron ore bed. The trail on one side is flat and wide and goes through the woods. The north side trail is very narrow and follows a ridge high above the water. It was a good walk.

* After the church picnic I made a batch of brownies for an evening gathering in honor of Hannah's 21st birthday which is actually today. Messed up the first box by adding 1 1/4 cups of water rather than just 1/4 cup. (A blond moment to be sure.) It was a good thing I had two mixes on hand. In the evening we enjoyed brownie sundaes in spite of my earlier blunder.

* I've been letting the chickens wander the barnyard more often. Today they were out all day... For better or for worse, I'm getting braver and so far, so good. I still have 12 birds and no eggs.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Any Questions?

Life is a curious adventure...

1. Do you have any plans for the summer?

2. If you had the chance to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

3. What is you favorite childhood vacation memory?

All of this has very little to do with chickens, however, they do have quizzical and questioning looks regarding the cat who really wasn't at all interested in them.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tuesday's Treasures

(Stone Cherubs)
Last week's visit from my son and his family included a late Wednesday morning trip to Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, NY. My photo album of the day includes a decent balance of people, plants, pillars, and pedestals. There appears to be no end of effigies, icons, and statuary... It's always a fascinating trip.

Perhaps someone out there knows a bit of history when it comes to cherubs and (I suppose) Greek mythology. (I somehow missed that subject in high school... ) I can't help thinking of Carmen Miranda when I look at these two fruit basket bearing babes, but I doubt she had any influence over them. Perhaps they influenced her instead.

My little Minnesota grandson found this fountain  in the Sub Rose Garden rather curious and stood staring at it for quite some time. Down in the grass were chairs from a recent wedding, so being a good grandma, I sat down to watch and take pictures.

When his cousin came along (to dip his hands in the water...), I heard Austin say to Jake, "Wadder is comin' out uff der mouf."

And then they stared at it for a while longer before Austin decided to dip his sandal in the water. Grandma called out "Hey!..." and Mommy told him it was time to come down.

Down he came on the other side, past one of two beautiful stone cherubs. Wouldn't it be fun to have those babies in your garden?

One is a wonderful as the other...

And finally (for today), another little cherub who looks as if she's about to take a dive into the pool. And who could blame her? It was probably ninety degrees in the shade that day!

They're old, some have rust spots, and they're certainly treasures!
Tuesday's Treasures links up here.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Gnome is at Home

It's been slow going, but the Happy Gnome has finally moved in. It's the first in my "Fairy/Gnome Home" collection and I like it. The door needs a window of some kind, but it's a good start and it makes me smile. I hope it makes you smile too.

 I believe the Happy Gnome was inside taking a nap, but since I am not always watching, it could be that he has packed a bag and gone off to visit a friend. It is July, after all, and that is the time of travel and vacations. Perhaps I'll know he is home if the party lights come on at night... (I know, you're all fairly certain by now that I have gone completely over the edge, but I'm still hanging on.)
Do you "Believe"?

Here's my original post and a photo of the "empty" Gnome Home back in the winter.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

The Barn Collective

Just a few photos of local barns. Old pictures because I haven't been out traipsing around.

Just down the street and around the corner. This poor thing is gone now, but while she stood she made a great photo study. She's been overcome, overwhelmed, and overtaken. 

 Another "down the road and around the corner" kind of shot, but a little farther and in a different direction.

And this one is about an hour away. Down the road from where my youngest daughter learned to ride and fell in love with a horse.

Come visit The Barn Collective and share what you have found.

Friday, July 08, 2016

See You Later, Minnesota

So, I didn't get the job. Instead I got a letter that said, "We do not have a position to offer you at this time." I'm not sure whether to be disappointed or relieved. Mostly I'm thinking I have very poor interviewing skills. I'm also thinking a certain someone best not ask me what I am going to do now... Maybe I'll just eat ice cream sandwiches and sleep all day.

This morning Jim and Michele packed Austin into their vehicle and headed back home to the very sad city of Saint Paul. The time flew by all too fast, and for several reasons I find myself weepy today. That migraine that occasionally catches up to me is not helping much. I'm feeding it ibuprofen and hoping it gives up and goes away.

We got a little bit of rain this afternoon. Not a lot, but a little. I keep hoping for one of those crazy thunder and lightening storms in the dead of night. They are the best for sleeping through. Maybe I need one of those sound machines like they put into babies' rooms during nap time.

*sigh* I have done absolutely nothing all day.

 Oh, wait. I did empty the dishwasher, feed the chickens, and do some laundry. That has to count for something. And, I made a grand attempt at a nap. That counts too.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday we went on an adventure to Sonnenberg Gardens. Jim and Michele with Austin, Beth and her three children, Hannah, and me. It was a hot, muggy afternoon. I took a ton of pictures which will likely show up here and there for the next several days.

Minnesota has been here since Saturday. It's been a busy week. They say time flies when you're having fun, and we've had a lot of that. Austin is at an especially cute age, old enough to understand a little bit better who we are, and little enough to be terribly cute and funny. I found myself smiling this morning when he looked down the stairs, saw Lucas, Simon, and Aubrey, and called out "Hi, cousins!"

Today was a stay at home day, but not necessarily more laid back. The three grands were here all day like usual. That always makes for some wild activity... I made a double batch of stuffed shells and meatballs this afternoon, and the entire gang returned for dinner, ice cream sundaes in honor of a little girl who turns five tomorrow, and a grand fireworks display when it got dark.

Lots of hugs, kisses, and goodbyes were said as family members left a few at a time. I felt myself get a little emotional when Austin hugged Aunt Bethany and Jilly-a-Baby, but my time to shed tears is not tonight. I can cry tomorrow when the car pulls away and heads off down the road, and then remember to be grateful for the time together and love we share.

Tomorrow I'll be pulling the house back together, putting things away, and feeling the silence settle in. I'll await a call from the agency I interviewed with on Monday, probably take a nap, and miss the hustle and bustle of the past few days. And I'll settle into whatever comes next. Maybe I'll even take a walk.

I have some great photos from our days together and plan to print up one of the "grandchildren" pictures from the 4th of July. I love those group photos and I'm glad there are cousins of all ages. It makes a great little group.

A Minnesota grandpa saw this picture yesterday and said, "I miss that little guy." I have to admit, there is a little piece of me that is jealous. I want more than a week with this small grandson, and then I recall that he is the only grandchild the other grandma and grandpa have (No wonder he is so special.) and I am happy all over again that he has Minnesota grandparents too.