Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rainbows and a ride

Austin and I are “baching” it.  Just the two of us.  Jim is camping with his buddies and Julie and her family are doing outside in the heat Bar B Qing today.  Austin is just getting over the croup and I’m still recovering from stuff, so we decided the two of us would hang out together last night and today.

I got a little nervous last night at bath time.  We unloaded Austin’s bags…  One night?

A bed full of clothes that Austin had packed

Surely there is enough clothes packed for at least a week, wouldn’t you say?

Austin with a surprized look on his face

When I asked Austin what was up, I got this rather suspicious look…. hmmmmm

One of the last things he asked for before he fell asleep last night was for me to show him the rainbows.  It always makes me feel good when I can do what my sweet grandkids ask, but this was one wish I couldn’t grant last night.


A prism

This is my rainbow maker and no amount of coaxing was going to get it to work in the dark.

Windows of prisms

There are prisms hanging all along these windows.  Fifteen of them.  Some belong to me and some belong to my kids, but they haven’t taken them to their homes yet.  The grandkids love seeing the rainbow of colors dance around the room as the sun shines through the prisms.  And that is exactly why I couldn’t give Austin his rainbow last night.  He finally accepted the sad truth and slumbered for the night, knowing the first thing in the morning, we would do the prism dance.

Austin twirling a prism

And here we go, starting the prism twirl.  The sun was cooperating marvelously!!!!!


Little man and I decided we needed to go for a ride on our 4-wheeler before it got too hot.  On the way to the garage we passed my cone flowers and of course I had to snap a picture.

Austin and Deanna's feet

My 4-wheeler has a manual clutch, which isn’t too bad, except I don’t have a lot of strength in my legs/feet and have trouble kicking up on it to get it from gear to gear.  Today was even more of a challenge with the help of little feet counteracting my every effort.


We had to laugh at my first effort of taking a picture of us.  Austin seemed to think I was supposed to get him in the picture too!

Deanna and Austin

Ok, this is better.

Austin lookiing at a sheep

Our first stop was to say Howdy to the rams in the upper pasture. 

Our dog Radar

Then we headed down to the lower pasture to check on Radar (we gave him a treat) and the rest of the sheep and lambs.  The lambs are almost as big as the mama’s at this point.

sheep in the shade

Who says sheep are dumb.  They are in the shade and they are at the water.  What’s dumb about that?

chicory along the roadside

Then up the road we go to check on the mail.  Isn’t the chicory along the side of the road beautiful.  It attracts gorgeous bright yellow and blue finches.

stop sign and mailbox

STOP!  So we did.

Austin on the 4-wheeler

austin on a slide

Back at the ranch, we stopped to play in the shadows of the shade trees.

Austin hanging by a rope

I wish I could do that….

Austin swinging

Hey Austin, swing quick – it’s starting to get hot out here.

Austin walking back to the house

Heading back to the cool air of the house…

Austin watching cartoons                   

Ahhh, this is more like it. 

And it is only 10:00 in the morning… now what?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How sick were you…

I’ve not been feeling well for weeks now. 

I have Lupus and usually it just lurks in the background waiting for the right moment to attack.  And when it decides to attack – yikes!  It causes a lot of pain in many of my body’s joints and makes me just totally exhausted.  I’m usually able to keep going with a combination of a lot of rest and often pain medications.  Until yesterday.

Yesterday I hobbled out of bed (hadn’t taken any pain medications yet), showered and got ready for the day.  In the back of my mind I was thinking, “things just aren’t right”.  I had agreed to make a presentation to a local elementary school on my embroidery business – complete with pictures of the machine and samples of my work.  So I headed out for the day still thinking about the fact that I was feeling worse than normal.

Halfway through my presentation to kids age 10 through 13, I realized I was getting feverish and needed to get done quick.  Of course, they had tons of questions.  If I had felt better I would have totally enjoyed every minute of the experience.  All I could think of was the fact that I didn’t want to give these kids whatever I had.

To top that off, I had a hair appointment to get my hair cut, and getting in to the little gal that cuts my hair is tough, so I kept the appointment and warned her not to let me breathe on her.

I finally made it home, and collapsed onto the couch, head in hand.  There was not a place on my whole body that didn’t hurt.  Other than a lucid moment here and there, I didn’t come to until the middle of the night.  When I woke up I realized my fever had broke and I was feeling a lot better.

Today everything has changed.  I feel tons better – even the Lupus seems to have decided to  give me a bit of a break.  I was trying  to explain to Jim just how bad I felt and finally found just the right term to use. 

I felt so bad that I didn’t even turn on my computer.  Now  that is bad!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Do you know?


Earlier this Spring we discovered a weed looking plant growing in the middle of our flower bed at the edge of the walkway.  It was there last year too.  Jim and I neither one remember planting it, but we thought “what the heck”, it kind of balanced things out.  So we left it. 

So this weedy bush just kind of sat there last year and… I guess just balanced things out.  And there it was again this spring.   So, we left it to balance things out again. 

Sometime if you give something (or someone) time to sort things out and pull it all together, it (they) will pleasantly surprise you.

green bush with yellow flowers

   Here is my “weed bush”.  See the beautiful yellow flowers?

close up of my mystery bush

The intent of this post really was to see if anyone can identify my beautiful mystery bush.  (I swear neither of us remember planting it!)

macro of yellow flower with flying ant on it

But then my mind did strange things as so often happens, and I realized this bush was like people.  Sometimes time is all that is needed to work things out and the beauty to shine through.

(I love the digital macro setting of my little camera)


So, how about it everyone.  Take a moment to look past the mundane around us and discover the beauty just waiting to pop!

Super hugs and as always – later!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Dad Day





Asiatic LillyHappy Dad day to all you wonderful guys who tenderly love and care for the children of this world.

Brick walkway lead to my house


P.S.  Yes, I do miss my dad today.  Don’t ever take them for granted. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

As time goes by


With our best friends - Gerard, Jim, Patti, Deanna

There is magic in the air.

Jim and I were married 37 years ago today. Thirty seven! How is that possible?

Long, long ago, in a far away place, we met in of all places, Kindergarten. The long, long ago would have been in 1957 and the far away place was about 30 miles down the road from where we live now. Our hearts were torn to shreds when his parents moved across town and another school in 1960. (ok, so I’m exaggerating about the hearts. I honestly don’t remember him from those years, but he claims to remember me…)

Then one hot, summer night in 1969 our eyes met across a crowded dance floor. My heart fluttered. He flexed his muscles underneath the white “Fonzy” type t-shirt (Fruit of the Loom with the sleeves rolled up). He sauntered over to me and asked me to dance. Me! Little ol’ wallflower me! I shyly let him lead me out onto the dance floor, feeling like Cinderella in my mushroom print blouse (I’m not kidding here – I swear it was a mushroom print), navy blue culottes (that is what we called them in the good ol’ days) and glass slippers (they might have actually have been white sandals). We danced the night way as my best friend glared a hole in my back (she thought he was going to ask her to dance).

He called me for a date the next day. My overly protective mom and dad were not too happy that I was going out with this boy who turned up out of nowhere. They were even less happy when he turned up in a “sports car” – a 1961 (I think) Karmann Ghia(I swear I have to get a picture of that car scanned!). But go I did. We saw the original Herbie Love Bug movie.

After that night we were pretty much inseparable. We tried dating others a couple of times during our Senior year of high school but always ended back together. We even separated for a long period of three months after we had been dating for awhile. But somehow, we just couldn’t stay away from each other. On June 17, 1972 we said “I do”. And now, 37 years later, we still do.

family 1980

I love you Jim. Thank you for a wonderful life and especially for our three wonderful children.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Play Ball!

Jamestown v. Prairie Home.  It was the game of the season!  A real nail biter.  And we were actually able to get tickets.  Unbelievable!

The star players were the unlikely pair of Anna and Allen.  And they just happened to be relatives.  Inseparable, best buds type relatives.

They also happened to be my grandkids.  My son, Greg, helps coach Allen’s team.  And let me tell you – watching a t-ball game of age 5 – 7 year olds is absolutely hands down the best time to be had.  It is a riot!


When I took this picture of Anna, I didn’t realize Allen was on first base for the opposing team.  I almost got him in the picture too.  Darn fence messed me up.  I was intent on framing Anna’s serious face as she got ready to steal to second to notice anything else.

I asked Allen after the game what they said to each other.  He told me, I said “Hi, Anna” and she said “I’ve been watching for you”. 


Absolutely NOTHING is going to get by this kid!  Well, except maybe every ball that came his way.  Allen would stand like this looking good but only a few times did he try to retrieve a ball and then only when we yelled  “ALLEN”! 


My sweet little Anna Rose looks absolutely “don’t mess with me” tough here. 


Pssst Anna… Allen is stealing base behind you.  You do see him, right?  That’s Greg barking orders to those poor tykes.


A little fatherly advice never hurts.


Oh, and you ask what our little Reagan was doing during this hotly contested game?  The only thing a year and 1/2 year old should do.  She was eating and feeding her new friend gold fish crackers.


I think she had decided she was done sharing in this picture.


Reagan finally realized I was clicking the camera and moved in for a close-up.  Those big brown eyes are killers.  Irresistible!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Strange and tender

As I was driving to work this morning, I saw the strangest sight. At least for me it seemed strange.

A young man (early 30's) crossed the road in front of me. I was on a straight stretch of a service road where there are no homes. The highway is on the other side of the service road and a nursing home on down the way a bit. This young man was heading to the highway side of the road. He was dressed in an old baseball hat, t-shirt, obviously dirty jeans and work boots. His hair was the long, greasy type pulled back into a pony tail. He was the type of character that my stereotyped mind immediately thought "what is this dude up to..."

But wait! He had something clutched in one of his hands. It was a spash of color against his dreary appearance. He was clutching a bouquet of wildflowers! Freshly picked wildflowers from the roadside. I found myself looking around the area. I couldn't see a destination - no parked car with a loved one patiently waiting inside, no house... just this guy with some precious wildflowers. All of a sudden rather than seeing the stereotyped dude, I was seeing visions of my own children bringing me a boquet of freshly picked flowers from the yard.

Where could he have been going with those flowers?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The blanket that almost wasn’t…

Granddaughter Emily is spending a couple of days  with us.  What to do to keep busy… 

First thing we did yesterday after I picked her up from her Dad’s office was go to McDonald’s for breakfast.  We have to keep our strength up, you know.

By then it was 9:00 and JoAnn’s Fabrics was open.  Material!  Oh yea. 

There were signs on all of the shelves by the fleece and Emily wanted to make a fleece blanket for her bed.  50% off!  What a deal! 

So, Emily picked out two pieces of fabric – a print for the front and solid for the back.  We took it to the cutting table and order 2 1/2 yards.  The nice lady cut the first piece and rang it up full price… huh? 

“How is that?” I asked.

She replied “only some of the fleece is on sale.” 

“But you have 50% off signs all over that display!” I replied.

And the saleslady replied I needed to read each individual sign.

Ok, I have a 40% off coupon that I can use for the print that isn’t on sale and decide to just let it go.

So I ask, “what about this solid piece?  It’s on sale, right?”

She checks and replies, “no ma’am”

Now I’m not a happy camper but I tell her to go ahead and cut it because, well, Em and I had our day planned and I wasn’t going to let them ruin our day.

She asks if I want to talk to the Manager and I say yes.  The manager comes out, says she can understand my confusion but there is nothing she can do (so why did they bother having me talk to the manger…).  Anyway, at this point I was starting to embarrass Em, so I let it drop.  It just wasn’t worth making a bigger scene than I already had.

We bought the fabric, and I’m glad we did.  The pictures below tell the rest of the story.


Emily first cut the “selve edges” off the side.


Then after we pinned the two pieces of fabric together, she cut 4 inch slits all the way around.


Then after nimble fingers (more like sore fingers) here tied the two fabrics together… voila!  A beautiful fleece blanket for her bed.  Can anyone guess the color scheme of her bedroom?  Anyone? 

Hint, hint… it is hot pink, black and gray. 

We did good, didn’t we!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Art In The Park

It was absolutely gorgeous here yesterday.  The sun was shining, the temperatures were only about 80 and the humidity was low.  A perfect day for going to a local tradeshow dubbed Art In The Park.

Most of the vendors were Missouri artisans, although some came from neighboring states.  The things available ranged from day to day boring to very unique.  There was a lot of beautifully expensive pottery everywhere I turned.  We loved the original art work but couldn’t quite fit that into our budget either. 


This short guy amazed me.  He juggled and played the harmonica at the same time while walking around.  I found myself wondering if he was chewing gum too…


We are planning a bathroom makeover in the near future.  We’ve settled on greens and white as the color scheme but couldn’t quite decide what green.  This rug was just the ticket.  In addition to the dark green you see, there is a lighter green woven into the white.  It is perfect!  So it became a must have at $37.00.

006It’s a good thing this pooch  was sitting on this colorful rag rug rather than the rug we wanted.  I don’t think we would have won that battle.  One of the things we noticed is that a LOT of people had their dogs with them.  They were better behaved than some of the adults.


Planter anyone?


After a couple hours of snooping, we needed to take five.  They had Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Jamaican lemonade.  According to Google they use raw sugar or Sucanet in their lemonade.  I just know it was very tasty.  And if you’ve never had Jerk Chicken… try it if you ever get the chance.  We first tried it while in  Jamaica and fell in love with the flavors.  It is spicy but not burn your mouth spicy.  We never miss an opportunity to eat jerk chicken.  Some is better than others, but it has all been good.


Back to shopping!  We found this little Gecko metal critter for our Granddaughter Anna.  She will be celebrating her seventh birthday in August (how is that possible!) and has recently decorated her bedroom in a can’t get to sleep bright jungle theme.  This will be perfect for her!



I didn’t need new jewelry but the prices were really, really good on these earrings and bracelet.  I can’t remember exactly how much but between $6 and $16 for each piece.  I’m not into the heavy jewelry that is so popular today.  I love  it on other people, but not on me.  This is more my style.


And this is more  my style…  So we bought all four.

Once we left the arts, we put the top down on our VW and drove the back roads home, stopping at antique stores along the way.

I’ll have to say yesterday was an A+ day!!!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Charlie comes to my house

We have a squirrel bird feeder right outside our kitchen window.  It has been hanging there nine months or so.  It was fun to watch all sorts of birds as we’d eat our meals all winter and into the Spring. 

There are quite a few bird feeders around our place, but the squirrels have never bothered them.  That’s probably because there are enough acorns, walnuts, etc. to keep them happy.

All of that changed last night.  Jim noticed him first.  Isn’t he cute?  A baby Charlie!

Photo of a baby squirrel sitting in a bird feeder

I was afraid I would spook him, so I first took his picture with the blinds down. 

 045  He didn’t seem to mind, so I pulled the blinds up to get a better shot – and he kept right on snacking.


I crept closer… He really didn’t care - he was cleaning up the old feed (see the grass growing in it) and couldn’t be bothered with us at all.


I was so close when I took this picture that the lens of the camera hit the window glass.  He didn’t even flinch… the little piggy squirrel kept right on eating.


Closer still…


Charlie finally had a full belly and sauntered off into the sunset.  Silly squirrel…