If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Afternoon Rambling (and a translation)

We've had a bit of mild weather round here of late.  It has proven delightful for some afternoon rambling.

Let me translate that for you:

The weather has been unseasonably cooler and less humid.  So, we have been doing some afternoon gardening.  When we are both pooped and don't feel like we can tromp through the soil or bend over to pull one more weed, we do some afternoon rambling in the ATV.

One afternoon during our rambling time, we drove up the hill to visit a couple of the grandchildren.  Well, we also visited with their parents, but the grands were really our primary interest.  (Sorry, parents!)

Even though I only had my phone camera, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to snap a few photos of these cute little ginger-heads.

Let me translate that for you:

Both boys wanted to get up onto the ATV with Mike and I got such a chuckle at Mike trying to lift the littlest youngest grandson.  I rushed to try to capture Mike's struggles.
I think it was at about mid-lift that grandpa, Bay, realized he may need a little more lead in his pencil to hoist an eager Easton up onto his lap!

Meanwhile, Levi climbed in and settled onto the seat all on his own.  Being more mature and disciplined due to his advanced age, he was content to simply sit calmly and smile for the camera.
Younger brother, on the other hand, was ready to take charge and drive!
Mike settled Easton on the seat beside him so I could get a shot of the three of them together.  This pose didn't last for long, though!
Oh, no!  Mr. Busy could not sit still!
He had to check out all the knobs and levers and try to turn the key to operate the ATV.

My favorite age for littles is newborn till they start to crawl.

Let me translate that for you:
I just love the sweet snuggling and how they stay where you put them. 

This stage is also a fun one, though.  I love watching them explore and learn and investigate and show us the world.

While Mike and I don't have near the energy displayed in our afternoon ramblings as these two little fellows do, we do have enough energy to simply sit and watch them do their own rambling.

Let me translate that for you:

Life is good when you get to visit with any of the grands!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sweet Drops of Rest!

It started raining early yesterday morning and I think Mike saw that as sweet drops of rest!

Our neighbor is out of town and he has been mowing his one-plus acre lawn.  Then, there is his mother's lawn which is about two acres.  Then, our various patches of grass - around the house, around the barn, around Pop's barn, and out the driveways.  I'm guessing that would measure at least three or four acres.  Then, he has helped out with Stephen's mowing while his mower was on the fritz.  So, that added another three or four acres.  LOTS of grass cutting!

He has been cutting grass and cutting grass and cutting grass and was ready for a break.  Of course, with rain in the forecast for the next several days, as soon as the sun shines, he will be behind on the grass cutting again!  I am reminding him that it is a blessing and we should be thankful for our blessings.  The snarl is real, ya'll!

We got our first return from his gardening efforts the other day!  Mike brought in three cucumbers.  So, yesterday I prepped one of his favorite summer-time dishes - Cucumber and Onion Salad.

Hop on over to my recipes to see why he thinks it is delicious!

I spent an afternoon participating in a webinar as a part of professional development for my job.  At this point I am looking at such activities with two different lenses.  The first is as an opportunity to learn, of course.  The second is to look at the webinar as a model for how I am going to turn something of this nature around and share it for other teacher learning opportunities.  I think I'm going to have to suggest we do some webinar/podcasts this fall!  After my suggestion of holding Google Hangouts as PD last year, that we ran with and got a series off the ground, the team may tar and feather me.  When serving as the online facilitator, the feeling is a bit tense.  We know that we are being observed by an audience online in real-time.  We also know that the workshop is being recorded and will be floating in cyberspace for anyone to access.  Whew!  Certainly caused us to step outside our little cocoon!  So, as a team, during the last couple of years we have launched:

Summertime is fleeting and when I realized yesterday was Thursday and I only have a couple weeks of freedom left my heart started to flutter!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Open Letter to Our Children

Dear Children-Who-Are-Parenting-Our-Grandchildren,

I was rewarded when reading this article because I see you all doing almost all of these things.  It reassured me that you are doing a wonderful job according to the world just as I have always believed in my heart of hearts.

Oh, I know that Mike and I sometimes mutter, question, and offer unsolicited advice in regard to your parenting (and usually regret it afterward when we think about how we would have received it when we were in the throes of raising youngsters).  But, really, we think our grandchildren are practically perfect in every way.

Don't all grandparents feel that way, though?


Thank you.

I thought so.

The post also made me do a bit of reflecting.

In reflecting on the way my own children were raised, I also thought about how many of these were incorporated into our lives.  I'm sure that is part of why you are doing such a fabulous job of parenting our adorable grands!

I will also add that, looking back, I wish I had done more of some (maybe all) of these things and want to be my bossy, interfering self to tell you to do so as well.  I think you could use this list as a guide to help you when you have self-doubt and I encourage you to look more closely at these:

  1. I wish I had given more undivided attention to you.  Why did I think some of those things needed my attention more than my precious children?
  2. Do more volunteering together.  There is nothing more gratifying and eye-opening than volunteering.  Providing a service for others with no expectation of anything in return is one of the purest forms of love for our fellow man.  It has always made me feel even more grateful for the many blessings I've been provided and, hopefully, others benefited at least as much as me.
  3. Nix negative talk.  I know I'm stretching this one beyond what the post mentions but, in my opinion we all could work toward erasing negative talk about ourselves and, even more so about others.  Watch the gossip.  Watch trash-talking.  Watch criticizing.  As the Disney character stated, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."  I know that is a most difficult thing to do but, please, at least try to prevent doing such within ear-shot of those children.

Each of the listed ways is important, I believe.  The article is insightful.  It could be used as a guide to inform you but, thankfully, I believe it will only serve as a reminder of what is important and reaffirm that you are doing the right things.

As the overbearing parent, I know that we often seem interfering and judgmental of the way you live your life or parent your children.  Please know, dear children, that we love you and think you are doing a marvelous job!  We know that we neglect to let you know that and hearing and feeling our approval is important as you weather through.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Confession Time

I have a confession to make.

I hope you are sitting down.

If you are not sitting, you probably better.

Here it is.

I'm letting the world know right now...

I am not a very tidy housekeeper.

I know it is a shock.  

I mean, you never noticed.  Did you?

Well, I have never been Mrs. Tidy.  

However, I have been doing lots of  - oh, I'll get to that later.

And I've done some - I'll tackle that the next time I'm off for a few days.

I told myself that before Labor Day last year.

I told myself that last fall before fall break.

I told myself that before Christmas break.

I even mumbled it before spring break this year.


Now it is summer time and all those I'll get to that laters are staring me in the face.

Today's project was the kitchen cabinets.  I told myself I would get that knocked out while Mike was out on the mower.
The last time the kitchen was REALLY clean - right after Mike and I married!

Do you have any idea how things can get out of hand when you say I'll get to that later?
Eeew!  Yuck!

So, I pretended to clean up a bit with some window-type cleaner and a swift wipe down.  Then, I looked really closely and saw the scenery above and all of its yuckiness.
Today, became THE DAY.

I mixed up a solution of vinegar and dish soap and got me a bucket and a spray bottle and a scrubber and a cloth and I've been doing a deep clean.  Just look at what a little elbow grease can do to the built-up yuckiness of cooking, dustiness, I'll-get-to-that-later.
I still love the distressed-over-time look of my cabinets and the kitchen.  It really looks so much better when it is just the distressed and not the I'll-get-to-that-later look, though!

It feels so good to see that cleanliness!  Two down...
...just eighteen more to go and I'll be done!

...with the top cabinets...ARGH!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer Time is Cleaning Time

Now that I have had a few days off for summer, I have taken today to kind of catch my breath.  Mike has been busy with grass cutting - the summer job that never ends!  It seems that just as soon as he gets everything mowed, we get a dowsing of rain and the grass jumps up there for another mowing.  No complaints!  The rain is also watering his garden.

I have given the minimal help with the garden this summer.  During the late spring - perhaps during Memorial Day weekend - I gave him a little assistance as we set out twenty-plus tomato plants, a couple of cucumber plants, a couple of squash plants, and sewed some okra, squash, and cucumber seeds.  Early last week I spent a morning with him doing a bit of weeding and sewing a few more seeds.  He has added a few more tomatoes to the rows and has started a few more from seeds to be late harvesting.  Mike also added another row of okra to be his late crop of okra as well.

Only a couple of days later, he came in with a furrowed brow.  His tomatoes had some brown spots on the leaves.  He mentioned it to a friend who provided a phone diagnosis of blight and suggested a good spraying with a liquid copper solution.  So, immediately, I logged on and searched for symptoms of blight and remedies.  We crossed our fingers and hoped the kind of blight his tomatoes were suffering was one that could be controlled with a simple regular spraying of this copper solution and I ordered a couple of quarts of concentrated solution with speedy shipping.  The next morning Mike was up with the sun and out spraying in hopes of saving his veggies.  We are keeping our fingers crossed.

I have done a wee bit of spring/summer cleaning.  Some of our closet shelves have been ministered to by my attention.  I've weeded out some sweaters and tops in my work stash and bagged them up for donation.  I've scrubbed the bathrooms with vigor.  I've cleaned a few of the kitchen cabinets and keep working on a couple more each day.  I plan to take just a little corner and do a bit of cleaning each day between now and my return to school.  Hopefully, I can get around to all the corners to have things cleaned without breaking my old, aching back!

I've become a fan of Kroger's ClickList and ordered groceries online last night.  Mike rode with me first thing this morning to see how it all works and we picked up our order.  He thinks that might become a job he can handle - the  pickup - when I return to work in the fall.  We shall see...

This afternoon I have stirred up a batch of Basic Granola.  I have come to be a big fan of this stuff added to some yogurt and fruit.  I stumbled across the recipe a while back and just recently rediscovered it and gave it a try.  I told Bridgette this afternoon that I really look forward to retirement when I can cook up all the tasty looking things I've saved to Pinterest!  I'm to the point that I sometimes just chant the date that I am hoping becomes my retirement date!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day Gift

Our fathers gave us the greatest gift anyone could give another person:
they believed in us.

They also provided an exceptional role model for us and our children.  
They remain forever in our hearts and are especially missed this Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to the guys in my life who are fathering and grandfathering!

Stephen and son, Easton

Stephen and son, Levi

Corey and daughter, Luci

Corey and daughters, Lydia and Lillie

Bryan and son, Harris

Mike and grandsons, Easton and Levi

Mike and grandson, Harris

Mike and granddaughter, Luci

Mike and granddaughter, Lydia

Mike and granddaughter, Lillie

We certainly enjoy many blessings!  I hope their day is as full of love as the love I have for them.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Flag Day

Why do we celebrate Flag Day?

Well, according to Fox News, the Second Continental Congress created a resolution which called for an official United States flag on June 14, 1777.  Flag day was officially observed in 1877.  Harry Truman signed Flag Day's permanent observance as a law in 1949.

We are proud to let the American Flag wave at our home!