Monday, February 28, 2011

Family Picture

My daughter-in-law, Diane, decided that we should have a family picture. We don't know why we didn't do this while we were all together at Thanksgiving. We set a time to do this on Sunday evening, but life happened and we let the opportunity get away. Diane was determined, though, and we all got together on Thursday night at daughter Jill's house and piled onto her sofa while son-in-law Nick set the timer.

Me, with my girls here.

It is always hard to get a good shot of this many people. Diane and I thought a pyramid would be fun, but the rest wouldn't go along with us ............. I did offer to be on top, maybe that had something to do with it. From the left is Gage, Maya, me, Gavin, Adrienne, Jeff, Zara, Diane, Jada, Jill, Layla and Nick. Grampa Drew and Makenzie are missing.

I had a sleep over with Layla on my last night. At 10, she is wise beyond her years. We sat and talked about school and friends and girl scouts while I mended a blanket for my sweet son-in-law. Then we grabbed some micro-phones and she sang while I tortured some songs. It was our night and her mom and dad made themselves scarce. Big brother Gage was at work. Layla, being a sweet and gentle spirit, could see how tired her old Gramma was, so we tucked in bed before 9 and she read me to sleep! I do love that child! She had to be up early to sell girl scout cookies and I had a plane to catch ............

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tea Parties and Dance Class

I have been home for a week. Wish I could say I have been productive, but my mystery illness has kept me down. I won't go into details, but none of the home remedies have managed to make me feel much better. My friend, Yvonne checks in on me daily and is constantly calling with new ideas and suggestions. I am now referring to her as "House". She would be a relentless diagnostician if she had gone to medical school. I have to admit that she scares me just a little ...

Last week was filled with all the things that little girls do. My daughter-in-law is a little girl at heart, I think. She was brave enough to invite five girls to join her three for a tea party after school on the Thursday afternoon that I was there. They are big fans of Alice In Wonderland.

So, down the rabbit hole we go ..........

I made a pound cake in a sheet and cut it into hearts and cats. Didn't plan it that way, it was one of those things, you know, necessity being the mother of invention. We happened to have those particular cookie cutters and no bundt pan. Worked out okay, except for me not taking a photo of my creation all dusted in powdered sugar. Hey, we were outnumbered eight to two! Our "tea" was orange juice. I happily reheated the morning's coffee for a boost of energy ..........

That day started early with dance class for Zara. Big sister, Jada, goes with her ......... otherwise, she won't go. I stood in the door snapping away, listening to all the young well-groomed moms chat. Me with my hair on end, gray roots showing, no make-up, trying to be invisible. Big, big sister Kenzie drove us and then treated her Gramma to a coffee and scone before bringing us home. I never would have found my way there with the fog that had rolled in overnight.
I am missing all my girls this afternoon. I enjoy my solitude, but I could do with a tight hug from baby Zara and the soft, shy whisper of Maya as she tries to tell me secrets while Jada shows me a new dance step.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hair and Fabric

I am serious, Gramma, we have to do hair!!

I thought she meant her hair. Maya was at school, she had no part of this. Jada and Zara sat me down and had their way with my hair. Jada proclaimed this a garden do, what with all the flowers in my hair. You can't see the crown of my head ............ that's where all the ethnic hair product is. The oil. Jada likes shiny.

I did draw the line at walking outside to the bus stop in my new do. I do have some pride, you know.

They were so proud. This was taken before the whole buckets of hair doo-dads spilled every where.

Fat cat. They call her the bad kitty. She bites. Not me, she likes me okay. She has been sleeping with me.

Diane (my daughter-in-law) and I escaped last night to the fabric store. As you can see, we made a good haul. Gramma will have plenty of sewing to do when she gets home. Even the fat cat was impressed.

Love this store. See all the trims? Row after row to dig in and plunder through .......

After a couple of pictures, I was too busy finding treasures. We stayed until closing time. We didn't even get to the buttons ................ This was more fun than Disney World to me!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Silence Is Golden

Nothing so sweet as a sleeping baby. She is almost three, so we can still call her Baby. She is the youngest, so she will always be Baby .......... well, unless, she isn't the youngest ..........

In case you may wondering why the child is sleeping in a jacket; it isn't cold in here. She fell asleep in my arms while we waited for big sister, Jada, to catch the school bus ......... with her hands in her pockets.

I did pull the snow boots off and would have pulled the sock up, but I was afraid I would wake her. I shouldn't have worried, she was exhausted and slept for nearly three hours.

Three hours. Three blissful hours. I showered, caught up on some e-mail and even caught a 20 minute nap myself before my daughter-in-law came home. We even had a conversation without interruptions!! Then the front door flew open and the school girls were home with giggles and valentines and tales of their school day.
Homework followed. Kindergarten has homework!! I took one and Diane took the other for homework. Maya did fine with me and she even managed to read her books to me in the surrounding chaos. Jada was as tired as Baby Zara and had a complete meltdown over her homework. Gramma Barb showed up to help with Jada, while Daddy cooked dinner. Barb did dishes and I bathed girls, then read two chapters of Junie B Jones, tickled the back of Jada and then we all went to bed. I call it managed chaos.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Preparations Are Being Made

I am not as young as I used to be. I will be boarding a plane Saturday and winging my way to my son's house to help take care of three very active little girls. I think I will need these vitamins, don't you?

He who has to work will be on his own. I am making sure he is all set, too. He truly has no idea which of theses drugs he is to take. I suppose he could read the labels ............ oh, who am I kidding, he would call me.

I am tired of the dreary skies and the heavy clothing. I made the girls some happy jumpers that give hope that spring is coming.

I don't know if I have ever mentioned that I love buttons. I buy them all the time, just because. My mother saved buttons and I have those, too. I have buttons from my dad's Navy uniforms. I have some buttons that my mother told me were my grandmothers. I liked the hearts for Zara. It was hard to just choose two, so I didn't.

I was happy to find some square buttons among my collections. I only found two, though. Since I scattered buttons on the bodice of one jumper ........

Maya got the squares and Zara got hearts, so Jada gets stars.

Matching swirly skirts with tulle underneath for dancing girls.

I didn't forget big cousin Layla. The picture makes it look like old lady drapes, but this fabric hangs so nice. Layla would never tell me she hates it, but I hope I will be able to tell .....

I know she will like this ....... she asked for it. She has lots of school spirit and this will help.

Made this doll cheer leading outfit for a dear friend to give to her granddaughter and the only thing left to do is make an orange and black one for Layla's sock monkey. I really love that girl.
I have thoughtfully stocked the freezer with meals for he who pretends he knows nothing about nutrition. I am sure the folks at the Chinese restaurant will see him more than once while I am gone, though. I still have cookies to bake for the boys and the big kids. Then get out those handy-dandy space bags and suck the air out of my clothes so everything will fit in my luggage.
Almost ready .........

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Phone Etiquette

There I lay in the dreary light peeking through the drapes. Half asleep, half awake ...... just drifting ...... dogs snuggled next to me, all warm ......... gray light ......... no real reason to get up early ....... I think hear the phone ringing. No, maybe I was dreaming. Then I hear it again, I am sure this time. Before I can finish the debate I am having with myself, it stops after three rings. One foot was out of the covers and before I can pull it back, the ringing starts again. I get up and head out of the bedroom and after three rings it stops before I reach it. Then the cell phone starts ringing (not mine, his, I only give my number to people I don't mind getting calls from).

I pick up the phone and scroll back wondering who was calling with such urgency. Something must be amiss. Maybe there is a geyser from a broken pipe spewing water skyward ........ or a fire .....or some other emergency has befallen the kampground and three different people have called to alert us. But, why have they ended the calls after only three rings?? Is there a gunman loose shooting everyone on the third ring? My imagination is working without benefit of caffiene. I grab the cell phone and head back to the bedroom, a phone in each hand. I awaken he who sleeps blissfully in any situation and toss his cell phone on the bed next to him as I check to see who has called on the land line .................

First call was at 8:01, second call was at 8:01, third call was at 8:02. Same caller, all three calls, then the same caller calls the cell number. The cell number to be used in the event that a call to the business line is unanswered. You know, like an emergency. Like ........ the building is on fire. And, why would you hang up after only three rings? Even if the office were open with me standing right next to the phone, there are still situations that might prevent me from answering the phone right away. So, if you need to talk to someone, I suppose you call three times in a matter of minutes. Why not let the phone ring nine times in one call? After six rings, you will get the answering machine and you can then convey your message. But, I suppose, with this method you will get my attention and I will be ever so pleasant when I finally make it to the phone before you hang up, right?

So, you may be wondering what was so urgent. It was the company that we purchase our propane gas from. They taxed the last delivery. They aren't supposed to tax what we sell, just the tank that feeds our residence. He who was running some of his endless errands happened to be near their office yesterday and stopped by to tell them of the error. We have been purchasing from them for 7 years and this is the first time they have taxed us. The phone calls, the THREE phone calls in less than two minutes, the calls that pulled me out of bed before I was ready to be up and about .............. They can't seem to locate our tax exempt number. Really. That is the problem that prompted three calls in succession with such a sense of urgency.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Have It Your Way?

I think I have cabin fever. I am cranky and achy and just want to be plain mean to every one. I have so many things to do today. I need to put the finishing touches on the skirts for my little grand girls and get them packed along with enough clothes for my week with them. I am leaving Saturday to head north. The weather is supposed to be spring like in my absence, causing one particular camper to opine that I should head north more often.

I went to WalMart today. Had to pick up the RX for he who has high cholesterol. Also had to buy underwear for me. I will be gone eight days. I don't have that many panties. I know I can wash my clothes while I am there, but I think I deserve more panties ........ As luck would have it, Fruit of the Loom had a 10 pack on sale! We were also out of Jif peanut butter and that is a tragedy in the making for he who will have to prepare his own food while I am gone.

Since it was well past lunch time and the Burger King was pushing Whoppers, he who loves beef pulled into the drive-thru. He ordered and I distinctly heard him say "no onions". I don't like onions. I should say, raw onions, on my burger. He does, but thought it best to keep the order as simple as possible, since they usually get it wrong. He is thoughtful, this man I am married to. We get the order and maneuver back onto the road and head onto the interstate, with the nice warm bag in my lap and the smell of french fries filling my little car. I open the burgers and neatly pull back the paper so he who is driving can eat. Then I get mine out and open it. What do I see hanging out? Is that just a piece of lettuce. I lick it. Onion. I pull back the top of the bun and see all the onion. To go back we would have to go to the next exit and double back, so I just pick all the onion off as I hum the old theme song............... 'Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us' 'Have it your way, have it your way'. Whatever.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do Spirits Wander ........ I Wonder

I awake with a start, my mouth closed, yet my jaw is hinged open. The dream hangs in the air, like dust particles, impossible to reassemble. I concentrate on the white noise of the machine that filters the air trying to re-enter the dream. Too late. I am awake and my mind is wandering to the air filter to wonder if the dream might be trapped inside.

As I sip my coffee I try to evaluate my state of mind. I feel disturbed and a little angry. It was the dream. I don't know how I know that, but I do. "Mother, are you here?" I say it aloud. She does not answer, she is hiding. Maybe she is trapped with the dream in the filter.

Do I believe in Spirits? Do you?

Friday, February 4, 2011

forecast ............ more snow ............

We moved south in an attempt to avoid using this snow shovel. We sold our snow mobiles and snow thrower and packed away our snow bibs and puffy jackets. We kept this shovel for those light snowfalls so we could sort of push it along the sidewalk ........

White out conditions closed the interstate. Okay, it is beautiful.

But, come on, it is not supposed to snow like this here. Really, they promised. Yeah, but they also promised this to be a turn-key operation and that wasn't true ......

This is mid-morning on day one of the 2011 Blizzard.

Next morning the sun is out and the temperature has dropped. But, the wind has settled down. Newscasters are telling every one to stay home ............... okay with me.

We did have a nice stack of wood on the front porch. There still is a good bit of wood ........ under the snow. Just gotta dig it out.
Depending on which network you listen to, we are supposed to get more snow either tonight or tomorrow. Oh, goody.