Father’s Day

We are at our place on Jekyll Island again. Grace’s boyfriend was here for a week and the family took him to the airport on Saturday morning so he could catch his flight home. The children asked for Chinese food; we ended up at a Japanese place in Brunswick. Seth and Sarah constantly ask for ramen (they watch manga) and were thrilled to get some.

Rich had a massage scheduled at a place on St. Simons Island, so as we were waiting for the kids to eat the rest of their food, he took the car in order to get to his appointment on time. The children and I took the opportunity to stay in Brunswick so we could shop for Father’s Day (which was the next day).

We finished up our food and walked across steaming hot parking lots to Target.

Why is it when a woman is in Target with five children and knows she’s stuck there for two hours, that she automatically is done with it all within half an hour?

Grace and Brittnee had their own ideas for gifts, and I asked Sarah (a card), Seth (a digital weight scale) and Caleb (a dad trophy) to each pick out something for their Dad.

He ended up with so many gifts that I made a comment on how he got way more than I did for Mother’s Day. (teasing).

Right after I said it the girls put their heads together and said things under their breath like, “We buy her things all the time, don’t listen to her, it’s totally fair, we never buy Dad anything, she’s spoiled…” and so on. It filled my heart with joy that they stood their ground, and they WERE right. I laughed and took a photo.

I was amused, but also tired out and a little snippy (not about the gifts, but just because I was tired and done and hot and wanting to go home). I was even snippy to the lady taking my order at the Starbucks in Target. Then, being an empath, I felt guilty for it and felt like a bad person. But she didn’t need to ask me so many pointless questions to try to understand why I needed a side of cream for my latte (there are NO pitchers of cream left out for customers anymore, ya know?). I like to top it off, okay? Am I that confusing for asking for a little cream in a cup? The regular Starbucks do it cheerfully without question!

So we got done with our shopping and left the store because there is NO place to sit indoors in public places anymore, ya know?

We found one bench under a tree in the shade and sat there to wait for their Dad to return.

Seth wandered off and found a bees nest.

He also stood on top of the Target ball;

Sarah cried because she needed water so I asked Grace to take her inside to buy some (there are no public water fountains anymore, ya know?)

Brittnee pretended to push the cart into the street to see what I would do. (I got more anxious).

Sarah and Grace came back and after Sarah revived she asked to go to Petsmart which was a few stores down the plaza so I asked Caleb to take her. “Why do I always have to take her?” “Because, Caleb, Jacob had his turn, Ethan had his turn, Grace had her turn, David had his turn, now it’s your turn.” (sibling age-order of responsibility). He didn’t argue with that (Thank goodness) and off they went, only to return 10 minutes later, “Mom! Mom! there’s a kitten!” “Can you come see it?” No way was I moving myself off the shade covered bench, so I sent Grace and Seth ran off to see it, too. We all miss our cats back home and have been wanting a kitten ever since we got here (a month ago). I told the children to be on the lookout for a feral kitten to adopt off the island but no luck. They looked in Petsmart before, but on that day there were no kittens. But on Saturday, June 20, their luck finally improved.

Brittnee was alarmed, she knew like they all knew that their Dad had said no to a kitten, but I was in that perfect *mood* to do what I wanted to do. She stayed behind with me and took a call, she wanted no part of the kitten adventure.

We also took a selfie.

Soon, Grace and Seth came running back, “Mom! It’s so cute, she said we could have it for 25 dollars!”

I handed over my credit card and wallet and they were astounded, followed by instant and joyful glee. Seth took his flip flops off so he could keep up with Grace as they ran back to Petsmart as fast as they could go.

And then Rich arrived, all relaxed from his massage. We loaded up the purchases and hopped into the air conditioned car.

“Where are the others?”

“Oh they will be right back, they are in Petsmart.”

(This is where I would have known right away what was happening, but he is so trusting, so honest and pure, that he had NO suspicion of wrongdoing.)

Grace came running back, again. This time with a clipboard that I had to sign in order to adopt the kitten.

He yelled. “WE ARE NOT GETTING A KITTEN!”

I didn’t know what to do so I signed the paper and Grace left looking worried but determined.

I sound like such a terrible wife, but I know my husband and this family better than they know themselves. I KNEW without a shadow of doubt, that we needed a kitten. And I knew from experience, that my husband would come around.

“NO! I TOLD YOU NO, I TOLD EVERYONE NO! SARAH ASKED JUST YESTERDAY AND I TOLD HER NO!”

“YOU ALREADY HAVE THREE CATS AT HOME, WHY DO YOU NEED ANOTHER ONE?”

“I’M TIRED OF SPENDING HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS ON CATS!”

To each claim, I countered.

He sat there, looking out his window, and trying not to smile.

We drove down to Petsmart so the kids didn’t have to walk back AGAIN in the heat.

waited and waited

And they came out triumphantly, all in a row, Seth carrying a litter box and cat food, and Caleb carrying a cardboard box with a kitten inside it.

Rich continued to look very disturbed, but melted just a tiny bit when we realized the kitten was already spayed and he wouldn’t have to pay for that. She had all her shots, too.

“And they gave us coupons for the litter and the cat food.”

The kitten was pulled out of her box as soon as the doors were shut to the car.

“IT’S NOT EVEN CUTE.” he remarked.

We went home. Everyone wanted kitten time and I ended up having to set my timer in thirty minute increments.

my turn was short changed and also I wasn’t left alone with her. ūüôā

The kids are IN LOVE.

Sarah’s turn.

Sarah being consoled because it was Seth’s turn next.

By the end of the day, someone else even had a turn.

“This kitten is skin and bones. I think she’s cold.”

This man.

He has so much grace and forgiveness for his wife and family.

We all see it. We all love him. We all want to please him.

On Sunday morning, he opened his numerous gifts as we sat and watched. He opened each one carefully and thankfully, ending with a note from Brittnee, who thanked him for being the Dad she never had, and asking him to dance the Father/Daughter dance at the wedding next year. “Of course, Brittnee, of course I will,” he gently said.

“This day is special because of you all, you know that, right?” he started to cry a little. “You are the ones who make this a wonderful day for me.”

It was such a pure and tender moment, time stood still for a moment, and several of us also shed a companionable and understanding tear or two.

He works so hard as the rest of us spend our days having fun in paradise.

He wouldn’t have it any other way and resentment is never part of his character.

I look up to him and respect who he is. I wish I could be more like him.

He comforts me and protects me.

In return, he has the love and respect of a family of ten………….

…….and, a kitten.

salmon fishing with his grandpa

(I have been wanting to record my husband’s memories. This will be a new feature on my blog. I sat and typed while he told me a story he remembered this morning.)

I was 12 years old, I might have been 11. I was either 11 or 12 years old and my grandfather was going to take me on a fishing trip to Palaski to fish for salmon. I thought the fishing trip (specifically the fishing) was going to be the enjoyment but it turned out that the whole entire trip was going to be completely recorded in my memory. My mom put me to bed early that night because my grandfather was going to pick me up around 2 o’clock in the morning in order to be up there early. I couldn’t sleep at all, I was too excited, he ended up picking me up at 130 in the morning and we traveled in his big station wagon. We picked up my great Uncle Richard on the way but before we left we all sat around in his house, my Grandfather and my Uncle Richard sitting around drinking coffee telling stories in the kitchen and I was in the living room with my cousins watching “National Lampoon’s Summer Vacation”. That was my first introduction to the National Lampoon movies. We watched the whole movie and then headed out. We got up there just as the sun was rising and we lined up on the bank of river. There were a lot people there and we were fishing to snag the salmon from the river. You’d simply cast out a big weight with three hooks, you could see the salmon swimming up the river and so you’d try to throw the weight over them and hook them. Whenever someone would snag one, they would yell “Fish on! Fish on!” which that would be the sign that everybody would need to reel in. Everyone had to reel in because there were so many people there fishing and once it was hooked the salmon would fight and be trying to go up the river and down the river so it was important to stay out of the way or there would be a big tangled mess of lines. The salmon would be anywhere between 15 pounds to 30 pounds, these were big fish, so it was very exciting. Now I was the only one in our whole entire party that day to catch one and I fought and fought and fought. It was so big, I got it in and my Uncle went to catch it in the net. They were so big you couldn’t pull them on shore with your pole. Someone would go into the water with hip waders on and use a net and get it for you. They would net the fish and bring it in. When my Uncle went in to get it in the net he got it and it was so big he fumbled with it and slipped and my fish got away. And it was very big. Then, at the end of the day, my grandfather decided to take us out to dinner at a big restaurant. There was a buffet and we all sat at a big circular table. Part way through the meal I put my head down on the table and I fell completely asleep just like that because I was so tired. Suddenly I heard laughing and my Grandfather saying “I think we better wake him up now”. It was time to go and I had slept through most of the dinner with my head just like that down on the table. I don’t remember a thing but I remember I had a good sleep. I remember him laughing to himself as he woke me up. We all loaded back into the station wagon and headed home.

all sorts

I probably shouldn’t use the word “crap” to describe this photo because the other day we were standing in a little cafe and Sarah said, “I don’t know what to order, everything here is crap” (She said this because all she could see were sweets and pastries and nothing healthy. if it’s not healthy it’s crap, apparently).

Hello and good day to you my bloggy friends! I’m awake but very tired after a restless night. It was one of those nights when Rich and I unwisely plunged into a heavy discussion right as we got into bed and then hours later in the night, Seth woke us up with a headache and stomach ache. Rich is working from our island home from here on out (for the rest of our stay) so he was up very early with the birds this morning and then just as I was falling back to sleep after that, Seth came in my room. I might fall asleep as I type.

Rich is right next to me typing on his laptop and Grace is across the table on Pinterest. The therapy of Pinterest, I should say, as she is adding to our mutual private board entitled “I am Independent” which is for us as we are both nurturing types that tend to forget ourselves as we love everyone else, and have a hard time putting up bounderies when being sucked dry in unhealthy relationships. (hows that for a mouthful?) Easier said than done, because we are both loyal to a fault, as well. To all the independent women out there reading this, we want to be like you.

We took the children to DQ the other day. To save money since there were ten of us in all, I said, “Eat a sandwich at home first and we will go just for ice cream.” Still, we overtaxed the workers. The cashier laughed as she gave the order to the ice cream makers. “That’s a lot,” she explained.

They almost got our order correct. And it was super fun. My peanut butter sundae was divine.

We were walking home from the pool.

Home Sweet Home

Naturally, we brought some of the vast fiestaware collection from CT to GA.

This area gets the most use BY FAR. We have another living room upstairs but the TV is downstairs so we are always on top of each other here, it’s fun and heart-healthy to have the family pile-ups. We still need curtains for these windows.

The giant shell decoration on the stand is where we all put the shells and things we collect. The door to the right is the girls’ room.

I just love it here.

This is the back of our home. We own half this building. Our building-neighbors are named Cindy and Clay and we have all met them, they are very nice. The place is well- built and solid, and they assure me that they hear nothing from our side. They gave us a lovely card and a Target gift card when we moved in. They told Grace about an app she could put on her phone which tells you the names of the boats outside on the ocean.

In the photo you can see David upstairs on the porch and Jacob on the lawn below. David and Grace like to be on the upstairs porch and tend to listen to music, play the guitar, talk, read, or chat with their significant others on the ipad/iphone together. They are good friends.

a new friend

Ethan with his beach hair. Rich and I took him out for an ice cream one evening.

a good book

We took Jacob, Brittnee, and Ethan out for seafood the day they had to leave.

We are all such good pals.

Faith Chapel on the Island

I’m getting overwhelmed with blogging all these photos. But it must be done. ūüôā

beautiful; it was the condensation on the windows that struck me…

Ethan took this one.

Jacob took this one.

While we were biking Rich stopped to read this little plaque tucked up on a tree branch.

“Kahlua

This area was a favorite of an amazing little dog. May you experience an unconditional love while here.

I’ll love you forever, Baby Girl”

Lunch at The Pantry over at the Jekyll Island Club.

Photography by Seth

my friend

I loved these jars (in The Pantry) I’ll be keeping an eye out for them while browsing antique stores in the area.

back at home…….our Jekyll home…..I miss my cats so I started a little cat knick-knack collection. The tails get me. The set of four (a litter) on the right have real bells upon their necks. And silly faces.

whimsical turtles (the red shell opens up!) I want to hide notes in there. Today I will. It will say “Happy Birthday Caleb” on it……I wonder if anyone will find it?

Naturally, Jacob being a friend to all and an extrovert, we had our first company while he was with us; his friend Alec from work in CT who now lives in FL along with his girlfriend Alex. I took this photo as they were coming back from the pool.

Everyone needs a Life Is Good shirt!!!! My biggest and my littlest (sons).

Life is Good shirt for G

Its the arm that gets me, and those faces, and they way they were talking to each other in the long long line for BBQ.

my heart!

Grace is DREAM of a daughter. We get along so well, we are so alike and I marvel at her.

the best……….loved my chopped beef brisket drenched in the sauce with a side of collard greens.

When you’re feeling kinda sad that afternoon and reading a book quietly and he reaches over and puts his hand on the hurt spot without saying a word …..and you feel the love, the healing love, in just the time you needed it.

This is my healing place. We all have them.

I think it’s brave

i think it’s brave that you get up in the morning even if your soul is weary and your bones ache for a rest

i think it’s brave that you keep on living even if you don’t know how to anymore.

i think it’s brave that you push away the waves rolling in every day and you decide to fight

i know there are days when you feel like giving up but i think it’s brave that you never do.

Lana Rafeala

day with the husband

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Rich and I celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary on Sunday the 16th of September and since Sunday is a busy day for us, Rich took today off so we could spend time together while the kids were in school. ¬†He’s at an eye doctor appointment now (4:30pm) so I have time to post a few photos.

We ate breakfast at a diner, the next town over, even though at the moment we don’t “like” this town because their youth football teams beat our teams very badly last week. ¬†That was Rich’s remark anyway, which made me laugh. ¬†This diner was hopping with folks “of a certain age.”

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This is a small town to have so many people at a diner for breakfast and Rich thinks it’s because it’s such a nice place but I think it’s because there is a senior living community just down the road. ¬†It was fun to see people coming in a various times and getting enthusastic welcomes from their friends. ¬†There was an older lady that looked similar to my Aunt Betty and I kept looking at her. ¬†There was an older man with an oxygen tank. ¬†There were hugs and loud conversations. ¬†“Yeah, I feel good today!” said one gentleman to another. ¬†Rich and I settled in to our eggs and potatoes and just enjoyed the atmosphere before heading to my hair appointment.

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This was taken in the car after my appointment.  My hair stylist, I think, let the dye sit a little too long because my head along the hairline is also dyed and it will not come off yet.  I had the roots done and a little trimmed off the ends and Rich worked on his laptop outside in a lawn chair while he waited for me.  We had enough time that I could have dropped him off at home while I had my appointment but he said he wanted to stay with me.   Then we drove the backroads to the mall and stopped at an apple stand/coffee/bakery on the way.

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Rich picked out a nice apple but when he ate it in the car he said it was mealy, so that was a little disappointing.  Out it flew through the car window into the trees.

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He saw this toy tractor and pointed it out because he liked it. ¬†He’s a farm boy still. ¬†He has a small John Deere tractor in our garage.

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He took me to Barnes and Noble and I bought the newest Flow mazazine but once I got home I realized that someone had taken the free wrapping paper out of it so I’m a little annoyed about that. ¬†I also got a Breathe magazine and the Newbery Honor book Echo, which is a big beautiful hardcover book with 585 pages!!!! ¬†I hope it’s as good as I am anticipating. ¬†I can’t read it until I’m done with The Windy Hill (1922). ¬†Rich got a couple of men’s fitness magazines and one of them has a young Arnold S. on the cover only wearing a small bathing suit which was horrifying to see. ¬†Rich is slowly easing into running again after his disc surgery but has been able to keep working on his upper body and to me, looks amazing. ¬†I’m so proud of him and the way he continues to get up early three days a week to work out and keep himself healthy.

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I took a photo of the cover of this book because……..

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Inside there was a photo of fiestaware (mixed with Bauer).  SO pretty!

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We sat at a table by the window for a while.  He had a pumpkin spice latte and I had a matcha green tea latte and then we drove back home.

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We ended up having a good hour to ourselves before the bus came.

a little husband and wife story

On Friday night I started falling asleep before our tv program was over so I gave up and went to bed. ¬†A few hours later I woke up to complete stillness in the room and thought, “Wow, Rich never came to bed, he must have fallen asleep on the couch!” ¬†Nothing gets by me even in the middle of the night……I don’t even need lights to get to the bathroom at night. ¬†Thus I got up and blindly walked around the bed to the bathroom and then when I was done, to save myself some steps, I started crawling over Rich’s side of the bed to get back to my side. ¬†To my shock and horror, I landed right on top of my husband who was flat on his back, peacefully asleep. ¬†He woke up startled, grunted, and reached out his hands to grab my arms and help me over which I thought was strange but I quickly backed up while apologizing and went back the way I came, which was around the bed and not over the bed. ¬†I crawled under the covers meekly on my side and held my breath. ¬†Thankfully he fell right back to sleep and so did I. ¬†By the next morning I was laughing and laughing. ¬†I had never jumped on top of my husband while he was sleeping before. ¬†Although I secretly knew he wasn’t really trying to be chivalrous and gentlemanly about helping me get over him, it made for a good story. ¬†I also wanted to see if he would react to my altering reality slightly. ¬†After hearing me tell the tale to the children multiple times that morning he finally spoke up and teased, ¬† “You can go right ahead and keep telling yourself that I was trying to help you but I was really trying to protect myself, I was in a very vulnerable position.”

And that’s the truth.

 

seth wrestling

Seth started out really well in his wrestling career at age 5 but now that he’s nine he definitely has to work a lot harder for wins because unlike Seth who practices only during the season as a town sport, most of the other participants are in clubs.

Seth had a meet today and I didn’t go so I have nice detailed texts from Rich.

When I got up this morning they were about to leave and Seth was wearing 1) his Nike leggings 2) his wrestling shorts that are just like Tristan’s from the HS team who is a great wrestler and Seth looks up to him, and 3) his Champion Tshirt from when he won states at 7 year old. ¬†As soon I opened the door and came out of my room he walked straight to me without a word and gave his mom a big hug which became a moment I have thought about all day long. ¬†“You look snazzy!” I said.

Sometimes wearing just the right clothes gives you that winning edge.

I awaited the first update and here is is:

10:32am

“Seth lost a heart breaking match. ¬†He was up 8-2 but got caught in a headlock and got stuck for a pin late in the 3rd against the same boy he lost to a few weeks ago. ¬†It was a crazy fast paced match. ¬†Both boys are real good but Seth was clearly the better wrestler today which made it hard for me to watch the way it ended. ¬†The other boy’s head coach came over after the match told Seth the same thing. ¬†Ugh!!! ¬†Time to wrestle for 2nd.”

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As his mom I felt better a little while later when Rich sent me this adorable photo of Seth and his friend Johnny talking over their matches in a quiet corner. ¬†I can see a smile on Seth’s face and I had imagined him like huddled in a corner crying or something (which he honestly never does).

11:18am

“He won his second match.”

“Good! ¬†How was it? ¬†Points or pin?”

“He won by pin. ¬†He could have wrestled better though so we need to do better this next match.”

12:07pm

“He just won his 3rd. ¬†Most exciting match of the day so far. ¬†He was down 3-4 with 20 seconds left in the 3rd and he was wrestling very well. ¬†Seth was on top but having a hard time turning him for back points. ¬†I had Seth let him up which would give the other kid a point but if we could get a takedown we could tie it and have a chance for the win. ¬†Well Seth got a takedown with only seconds left to tie it and we went into overtime. ¬†(In first overtime first wrestler to score wins.) ¬†Seth got in on a good shot but they ended up in a scrambled he couldn’t finish it going out of bounds. ¬†Then he got the same shot but ended up in a scramble that was back and forth–at one point the other kid clearly had better position and almost scored the takedown, but Seth held the helm and ended up being able to get around and finish the takedown for the score, the win, and to take 2nd for the day!”

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Way to go Seth (and his Dad)!

 

day by day

watch me.
i will go to my own sun.
and if i am burned by its fire,
i will fly on scorched wings.  S.Amil

*****

The hard working man sets his alarm for an early hour.

He pushes the covers back and walks into the bathroom to get ready.

It’s as dark as night outside the windows.

He gets dressed silently and leaves his sleeping wife with a kiss.

“I love you,” they say.

He goes into the kitchen to make coffee and then goes out, in all kinds of weather.

This morning it was snow.

The hard working man has a half hour drive to work.

He listens to the radio, or a podcast, or music.

He parks in the city and walks up to his office.

He always has much to do; meetings, meetings, phone calls, interviews, paperwork, emails, questions, answers, problems, people, situations; he does so much that people never see, never acknowledge, his hands and mind are put to the test every day and he does what he needs to do without excuse.

He thinks, “I know I could be doing something more, something better, something greater.” ¬†He is like a kite pulling and tugging at the string.

This is a sign of something special.  To be forward thinking.  To be pressing ON and on.

To be willing.

Sometimes life allows him to gain new heights.

He has a wife and children.

They look up to him, they respect him, they want to please him.  They need him.

The hard working man works two jobs in the wintertime.

He is also a coach.

A very small team for a very big man who wants more.

He is willing to lay the groundwork, willing to wait the years it takes to grow a team.

He loves his boys.

This season, he begins each practice with words for a variety of listening ears.  What will they remember of his talks that come from places in his heart that he only shares with the most special of people?

He does every work out with them.

Even though he struggles with chronic pain.

He works out, he’s as alive as he can be.

Strength is life.

This sport is a metaphor for life. ¬†He doesn’t hesitate to push his athletes into situations where they will often be defeated . . . . .or fly.

Winning is flying.

Losing is learning.

Losing isn’t pretty.

Life isn’t always pretty.

Winning doesn’t come often for this small team.

But glory is in the man himself, who was made in the image of God, not in the sport.

Sport and life are tests of time.

The hard working man passes the test.  He has it.

Persistance.

Patience for another chance, another day, another goal.

He also has love, so much gentle love.

After the day is done, it’s time to return home to his wife and children.

He always returns to them.

He eats a good meal.  He is often as hungry as a wolf, because he works more than he eats.

He is warm and safe.  The day is coming to an end.

In one sense he isn’t working any more, but in another sense he’s doing the most important work; resting, watching tv, catching naps, putting his arm around his son, calling his daughter sweet names, holding his wife’s hand.

Later, he slips between the sheets.

He rarely has a sleepless night.

He works so hard that he sleeps like a stone.

His alarm will go off the next morning at an early hour.

weekend report

He has been with me everywhere I have gone.  Genesis 35:3

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.  Job 5:9

Not to us, Lord, not to us but to you be the glory.  Psalm115:1

The friends and pleasures of which you speak cannot compare with the joys which I seek.  Christian, in Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan

If you love me, feed my sheep.  John 21:17

*****

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Sarah’s last school program for 1st grade. ¬†Next year she will be moving on to the bigger elementary school in town. ¬†(my baby!)

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On a flower the size of a dime.  Sarah and I made baby sounds at it because it was so small.

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The tree we planted from Grandma and Grandpa ¬†(Rich’s dad and step-mom). ¬†The children never forget about this tree and love to check on it. ¬†“It’s growing, Mom!”

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Lady’s slippers in bloom

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We found a small toad….. I took this picture moments before she started jumping around (similar to a toad) because she’s trying to be brave holding it in her hands….but she’s really feeling rather squeamish.

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~Buttercups and guess what?  We all like butter, very much.  Especially on toast and popcorn.

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Gentleman Gray walked with us. ¬†I had to carry him back, he’s not a cat that enjoys walking in the heat through tall grass with a strange dog “over there”.

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While I had Gentleman, my sister randomly texted me a picture of herself with her fur baby.

Sisters!

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Tessa’s Jr. Prom! ¬†She invited Ethan, of course.

They’ve been dating almost 2 years.

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It was so hot outside.  I did a five minute photoshoot on the driveway before they left.

Aren’t they good looking?

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cuties

They didn’t get home until around 1:30 in the morning so I didn’t sleep very well. ¬†Mom-worries, you know. ¬†ūüôā ¬†They had a wonderful time, so happy.

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Lots of baseball games for the boys!

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I turned to Rich and silently mouthed, “Take my picture!” seventeen times before he got it. ¬†I had to be sneaky because if Seth had heard me he would have run off — he likes to tease me. ¬†This boy…..we rarely see him during his brother’s games but every once in a while he’ll come visit me. ¬†In this case he was coming to say, ¬†“No one’s working the food booth today. ¬†If you had a key would you work the food booth Mom?” ¬†Maybe he was hungry. ¬†Or wanting candy. ¬†Look at his outfit. ¬†Batting gloves, knee high Garfield socks. ¬†He’s so cute!

But what I love the most…..is he is still so much a Mama’s boy and loves to come close for some obligatory lovin’ . ¬†He knows it’s his duty so mom doesn’t get lonely and sad because her children are growing up.

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Grown up Jacob came to the field after work.

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The little kids spent most of the time up in the unused announcer’s booth watching the game from up high. ¬†Sooooo cute. ¬†Rich and I could see them from across the way.

The little league fields are our “home away from home” these days, we are there almost every day. ¬†If I drove a horse and wagon I wouldn’t even have to direct the horse….I would just say, “Take me to the ballgame” while flicking the reins and off we would go in the wagon.

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Our rabbits are not caged, they live free in the chicken coop and when I let out the chickens they are also consequently free to roam.   Number 1 bunny never hops out, but number 2 bunny is more adventurous and we were highly amused when we came home from the game and found it talking to the cat.

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Sunday night dates, we love Pinkberry and Auntie Anne’s pretzels at the mall. ¬†And each other. ¬†Rich says, “I don’t even want to buy anything I just love walking around with you.” ¬† ¬†He’ll stare at me while we eat our treats and say things like, “you’re beautiful.” ¬†or, “I love that hair color on you.” And he’ll walk behind me five steps as we go upstairs and whistle. ¬†You know, regular & comfortable married couple stuff like that.

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We went to Barnes and Noble and I took a picture of books I want to look up at the library.

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Sunday evening walk all by my lonesome. ¬†I picked a few wayward lily of the valley (they spread through the years and I found some fair game– in the ditch) one of them pulled right up with it’s roots attached so I transplanted it in the garden back home.

I found a feather on the side of the road. ¬†I also got scared by the neighbor’s little vicious white dog.

Thus concludes the weekend report.

46 photos if I’m not mistaken

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HAPPY MAY 1ST

Today is a “catch up day” on the ol’ blog of all the photos I want to share from the last week and a half. ¬†I have 46 photos in this post. ¬†Life is good, full, beautiful, cherished.

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.‚ÄĚ — Willie Nelson

I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.  Psalm 1:9

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Mom, as she always does, made homemade meals when I was visiting; soup on Friday.

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pumpkin bread on Friday evening; I grated the nutmeg and ground the cloves.

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pizza on Saturday night

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with homemade sauce preserved last fall from her own garden tomatoes

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It was so good I was almost crying as I ate it. ¬†Tears of joy and of sadness because I can’t make pizza like she does and I have been trying for years. ¬†Mostly joy though, I ate three pieces.

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She showed me how to make breadsticks using leftover pizza dough. ¬†She divided it into pieces and we rolled it out thin (like a snake), drizzled lightly with olive oil, and then twisted it and pressed it through a sprinkling of spice mix of mom’s own choosing on the counter. ¬†I remember smoked paprika, fennel, sesame seeds, pepper, poppy seeds. ¬†We put them on a cookie sheet to bake and they ended up delicious and fragrant. ¬†The next day Mom and I each took one and used it as croutons on salad by crumbling it on top of the greens.

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Salad fixings on Sunday afternoon; asparagus, seasoned chicken, tomatoes, cheese, homemade salad dressing.

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I went with Dad to his drumming lessons with Kubla the dog.

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And for several walks with my parents.

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And a nice long walk by myself on a sunny Sunday.

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Sunday morning we woke up to frost and a pileated woodpecker! ¬†God knew what would get us outdoors in that kind of weather…Mom and I quickly pulled on our coats and boots and had a lovely walk before church, birdwatching. ¬†In fact, come to think of it, I do have more photos of that morning but they are on another memory card so I’ll have to share those maybe tomorrow, if ever.

It was a thrill to see the pileated woodpecker; they are the largest woodpeckers in our area and so pretty with the red hat on top.

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Mom and Dad’s cat Asian.

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Mom’s vegetables started at the window. ¬†She uses cut down milk cartons to transplant the tomato seedlings into as they grow bigger.

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Dad keeps busy doing wood and keeping the fire going.  Even this is picturesque with the wood sheds and rock path, wood smoke, forest in the background, and Dad in his pop of orange.

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Sunday afternoon was fun. ¬†The frost had melted and the temperature had risen enough to make being outdoors the very best place to be. ¬†We worked in the flower bed by the driveway. ¬†Mom has a “Rusty Garden” with a collection of old rusty things that she uses as decoration. ¬†It’s a fun theme. ¬†We took everything out and threw it behind us on the grass.

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You can see the different objects she has, most of which came from her Dad’s farm and land years ago before they sold the property.

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We cleaned up the edge of the bed and thoughtfully replaced everything in new spots.  By the end of summer the plants will fill in among the decorations and be so pretty.

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Back at my own home; last week was The Week of the New Lens.  The first day it came it was raining outside.  (sobs) But then the weather cooperated and I was able to try it out. (cheers)

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I was quite far away from these birds and I am thrilled with the photos.

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Baltimore Oriole! ¬†I stood and listened to it’s beautiful voice before I finally saw it. ¬†It was hard to take a photo through all the tree branches–my camera didn’t know what to focus on.

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It’s too bad that the roof of the car was in the way but nonetheless, I was so happy to get this photo of a female cardinal and her mate. In my peach tree.

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And then on Friday there were four ducks on the pond! ¬†I sat on the bench and snapped bout 50 pictures with perfect ease. ¬†ūüôā

I texted Rich “this lens is awesome!”

He texted back, “I love you, too.”

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It’s so funny when they go “bottoms up”.

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quacking!

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Rich was on a business trip and sent me this selfie! ¬†ūüôā

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Thursday was “take your child to work day” and Seth was the chosen child this year. ¬†He went to work wearing clothes just like his Dad wears and with his hair slicked back all handsome. ¬†By bedtime he was asking/begging me (and not Dad) to tuck him in and I understood he had had a huge dose of Dad that day. ¬†His little love tank was full to overflowing.

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Which leaves us with photos from Saturday; Little League Opening Day! ¬†It was hot and bright all day long. ¬†I went to Home Depot before the game and to my sister’s house. ¬†I picked up Naomi and Weston so they could watch the games, too.

The photo of Seth is from the National Anthem.  Rich took it with my new lens.

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Caleb at bat.

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I was sitting on the bleachers!!!  So happy with my camera!

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After making a double play!

This boy is very verbal and keeps his attention on EVERYTHING, encouraging his teammates and getting them ready and watching for the next plays. ¬†He gets VERY into the game, even at home it’s all about baseball with this boy now.

(By the way, he’s a Yankees fan) ¬†LOL

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I’m going to get him that black stuff that you smudge on your cheeks.

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POOR SETH!!!!!!!! ¬†He gets TERRIBLE allergic reaction to the dust; his eyes were so red and swollen by the end of the day. ¬†Bless his heart. ¬†I’m giving him allergy medicine and eye drops now. ¬†He’s a good ball player, too, and got to pitch for a few innings.

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And that dumb string was dangling all day long. ¬†I never did get close enough to tell him to put in inside his pants where it belonged. ¬†ūüôā

Isn’t he so cute!?!?!

Last, but not least; DAVE! ¬†He is 14 and on Juniors this year. ¬†He’s known for his speed around the bases, he runs around them just as fast as his dad did when he played. ¬†He’s like the Flash (his favorite show on TV).

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LOOK at that face of intensity!

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I’m so proud of my baseball players. ¬†There is practice and/or a game every evening but it’s all worth it. ¬†We get outdoors, talk to friends, and watch our boys do great things. ¬†In every game there are impressive catches, scores, etc. ¬†The moms laugh and try to keep track of everything. ¬†Even when the team loses it’s fun simply because they are working together and learning so much. ¬†Pastor says baseball is a spiritual sport because “you’re trying to get home”.

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ALSO: in pond news:  the toads came and mated and then left again (leaving their long strings of eggs behind to hatch and grow on their own)

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I had a moment of peace on Saturday evening down by the pond with the toads.

*****

It’s May 1st so try to include flowers in your day¬†or better yet surprise someone else with them. ¬†That’s my advice for the day.

Time for me to get off my behind and get to work. ¬†Be blessed, my friends. ¬†ūüôā