Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Two photos

 This old cherry was dying little by little and now with a push from the storm seems to have just missed that budget arbor we put in.
Here are three of our neighbors who came by to help and get that big tree cut into movable pieces so that we could get out of the driveway!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I am putting it off as long as I can.  This morning was filled with hot and sweaty work outside.  Lots of lifting and carrying and putting in piles made me sweaty and thirsty.  Now I have come inside and opened the fridge for the very last time in heaven only knows how many days to take out the cool ice tea pitcher and finish it off.

The yard looks like an elephant herd was frightened down the street and took a detour past the house and through both sides of the yard.  The only things that do not seem disturbed are the birds and butterflies who have continued their sugar collecting even before the sun broke through the clouds today.   HUGE and small trees are down everywhere and it is a miracle that the house, shed, boat and dock were spared.

I am writing now on a laptop with a waning battery and am writing this post in MSWord as there is no electricity in the neighborhood, and I hope to post it at my daughter’s house.  Rumor has it that 80% of the county is without electricity due to some major power station router being down.  A man up the road who has a tree on his house and works for the electric company said we might get power by 9:00 this evening.  I doubt  it.  I am not complaining because the temp will not break 80 F for the next few days and I do not have large trees resting on my house as those who live on the Bay and elsewhere seem to have experienced.  There were emergency calls about once a minute to the local fire station last night.  (My neighbor, the lottery winner, volunteers as an EMT, and she has had no sleep all night according to her husband.)

I had promised to take my granddaughter down here this week to care for as she has no school or camp…but it looks like we will be spending the week up at her house.  I am putting off opening the chest freezer and emptying the contents into a cooler to take up the daughter’s house where there is electricity.  It seems like such a long and dreadful project, and I am debating whether to complete a wash/cloth bath before or after.  We are on a well and that means no water can be pumped to the house, so everything is done using the water we have set aside.  I have so much food from the garden that will have to be tossed away.

When I return here at the end of the week I have only a weekend left to pack for a two-week trip, and if there is still no electricity, this could be a bigger project than I wanted.  I will empty the fridge, the freezer, and try to check off my list the things that have to be done when one is gone for two weeks to a place far away.  It will be a job with many small errands and projects and I am fighting a chest cold which drains all my energy reserves.  My adult kids want to join us for the next weekend prior to departure, but I am NOT cooking anything while they are here.  Seems reasonable to me?  Either we BBQ or eat out.

At least, with the neighbor’s help we have cleared the driveway of a 16-18 inch diameter poplar and tons and tons of leaves and branches. It is a long drive this evening up to my daughter's house past many black or yellow blinking traffic lights, dark houses, and darker stores.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Let's see:
  1. Front yard is a lake
  2. There is actually a groundhog eating clover in the front yard in the torrential downpour!
  3. Back yard is a lake
  4. Dining room table has the weather radio with new batteries
  5. Dining  room table has electric camp lantern
  6. Bedroom in the basement which has never been used has fresh linens on the bed and is where we will ride this storm out due to danger of falling trees.
  7. Ice chest has ice and a few bits of food taken from fridge
  8. We have all the plastic camp containers filled with water for toilets and washing
  9. We have a large plastic tub outside filled with water
  10. Boat is on a trailer and parked in the neighborhood turnaround
  11. Canoe and kayak have been moved to high ground
  12. All patio furniture and light stuff have been moved to safety
  13. I am hoping all this prep means all of us, including you, will be able to ride this one out safely and successfully!
Lighting is flickering...so a I am posting NOW!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I just noticed that my last post on this blog was the 1,000th.  Quite the journalistic diarrhea I have going on here.  I didn't notice or I would have made greater use of the milestone.  Certainly it was worth a poem, but it appears that both you and I dodged that bullet.

This week I am breathing and eating slowly and catching up on all those murder mysteries that I missed watching when my grandson was here.  I did get him introduced to the Narnia series and now have purchased two other DVDs for when he returns for a few days this fall.

While I was breathing like a yoga instructor and sitting in front of the computer upstairs the house began to sway and jerk.  I did have a small glass of wine at the computer, but I knew it was not that, and instead, hopped like a crazy bunny outside.  I could see the bird feeders swinging dramatically from side to side in the back yard and I waited outside at least ten minutes before going back inside.  I am alone this week as hubby is on a business trip.  I figure I would not be found beneath the rubble for days!  5.8 on the earthquake scale and the largest since 100 years ago.  Everyone up and down the East Coast felt it.

I walked carefully around the house when I got back inside and found only one broken wine glass that had been hanging in the rack beneath the cupboard.  It seems that Colorado got a similar earthquake just a short while ago.  Here in the East we rarely get quakes, so they can be very startling.  Mother earth is settling down after all the water, oil, gas, and shale we have been taking from her layers.

Next week I get the 4-year-old girl for a week.  She is much more clingy and far less in love with the great outdoors  Maybe baking, making cookies, tea parties...!  Then we are off to Colorado and Utah for two weeks.  I will be taking the laptop and hoping to post and looking forward to some dramatic scenery to preserve with my camera.  I sure hope what I have to write about is of more significance and readability than these last few weeks.  I just need some Rocky Mountain air as my gray matter has been very sluggish these days.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Honestly, how honest.

As a grandmother on 24/7 duty this week, I do not have time to post anything!  So go to Bob Brady's    post here   and get an uplifting news story...better than anything we have managed to report on here in America.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Something Good

The morning has been washed with last night's rain and the air is cooler than it has been in almost a month.  One might actually think that autumn is waiting somewhat impatiently in the wings.  I am sitting out on the deck with beach towel covered chairs watching my grandson build animals from "play doh".  Towels keep the dampness from our legs.

Due to summer scheduling my grandson has no where to go this week, so we are attempting to provide some activities that can compete with the activity filled summer camps he has been attending since regular school was out.  Parents who both work spend hours in the spring signing their children up for this and that greatly enhanced babysitting service that can safely and expensively keep children occupied.

Weather has generously decided to be on our side this week and it does not look like we will have to spend hours indoors...as the week heats up again, we will see.

In the background I hear our little water fountain gurgling away on the patio below, my grandson is humming to himself ( a sure sign he is involved in something he enjoys), and the sea gulls are laughing back and forth across the river.  High in the wet tree leaves some bird is singing a joyful song with several movements.  As I type these words a hummingbird graces us with his presence, hovering at the edge of the patio umbrella and checking out our activities, adding another layer of perfection to the morning.

Then my grandson decides to share his latest escapade with Mario and Bowser (do not ask) and it takes some lengthy repetitive telling to reach the end of the story, which after twenty minutes he never actually ends, just stops talking from exhaustion and a need to visit the bathroom.  I realize that no one has probably ever listened to him for twenty minutes any time recently, and I ask questions and add comments, pretending this is the most amazing conversation I have had in days  Being a former teacher, I realize that allowing him to expound is good development towards future communication.  He does not have all of my attention, because I am distracted by the joy in his face and the twinkle in his eyes.

Mornings like these I pause in thankfulness for the reward, and like Julie Andrews, I keep thinking I must have done something good.  ( I do not even mind that my coffee has grown cold.)

Friday, August 12, 2011


She is tapping away on the keys to her laptop thanking someone who commented on her photo on the photo site where she adds to her collection.  She is distracted by the praise to her immature talent.  The TV has suddenly become so quiet and she raises her eyes to see what is wrong. It is not the TV.  PBS is honoring on the TV screen the 30 precious soldiers that were killed when their helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan.  The faces in the photos are young and handsome and full of generous smiles and hopeful eyes.  They are dedicated to changing the world with bravery and finely honed skills.  The photos were taken when they had many years of living still ahead of them.  In a fiery instant their lives ended over a desert in smoke and sand.  Their skills were abruptly dissolved in the blink of an eye.

I thank them for their huge sacrifice, but I regret that their contribution to peace on this planet was halted so abruptly and I pray (to whatever super power that may be) that this will all end someday very, very soon so that young skilled and talented men can make their contribution in a war less world.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Married Over 40 Years...Who Knew?

My grandchildren are blessed with more than any child needs.  They are being raised by responsible parents who help them develop a good value system, but they still get a large amount of whatever they want.  I asked daughter what to get my little gal who will turn 4.  She suggested two Barbie videos which I ordered over the net.

One arrived before our trip and the next after we got back.  The second one was "Barbie and the Diamond Castle" in case you were interested and are still reading this post.  It arrived with a rattle and when I opened the package I discovered the case lock had been broken and was rattling around inside.  I looked at the DVD and saw it looked scratched on edge in several places.  Therefore, I had to run it to make sure it was not damaged.  An hour of  watching lovely princess types with perfect flowing hair and perfectly fitted clothes sing and dance their way through life is much more than I can handle, so I put it on and ran it in the background while I went upstairs to work on photos.  I could hear if it was working correctly from there.

About 40 minutes later I wandered down the stairs to get something to drink and saw my husband sitting on the sofa, watching the animated feature...watching...really... I was speechless and like a good sport, I did not say a word!  I did drop a hint on FB...;-)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Into the Middle of the Vacation Week

I have never been a heavy sleeper and even less so as I age unless my day has been particularly stressful.  Seems that catching a 4-year-old diving from the pools  edge 500 times in an afternoon is not that stressful, because here it is 3:30 in the morning and I am awake and sitting in the living room of our vacation apartment on my PC.  I woke up for no reason and after a brief trip to the bathroom noticed that granddaughter was sleeping sideways with her feet in grandson's stomach.  I gently straightened her out and feeling wide-awake decided not to return to hubby's side and his gentle snores.

Ten minutes ago as I sat here reading blogs, my 6-year-old grandson stumbled bleary-eyed into the room complaining of a bad dream.  I put the laptop on the table and he crawled into my arms.  His sun-browned body is all boney joints and sharp angles but I cuddled for a brief time before carrying the heavy body back to bed and tucking him in.

It is now 5:30 and I am craving some coffee but hesitate to make it afraid the smell might wake up my daughter who is STILL feeding the 4 month old once or twice at night.  She has tried for three weeks to get him to sleep through until early morning and his crying does not abate.  So she has given up on that effort (she is breast feeding).  He starts on cereal soon, so that might allow her to get more sleep.  She returns to work full time this Monday!  When they were talking about how hard pioneer women had to work, I think about how we haven't really changed that effort.  Less physical but now mothers' days are just as long with more stuff to do.

This week has been fun and well-paced and except for the unbearable heat and humidity, a memorable one.  It is always stressful to cram a family with three children and grandparents into a two-bedroom unit, but we have managed to avoid arguments or stonewalling...except on the part of the 4-year-old who's determined spirit may out do us all.

Two more days of swimming, beaching, mini-golf, shuffleboard, walking, eating, board games and DVDs of Barbie, and then I return to the life of the retired and begin to research how that other group of spirited children (those in D.C.) have begun to destroy my carefully planned and saved for retirement.  I glanced at a headline that indicated Wall Street was not thrilled with debt ceiling compromise and has stamped its foot at least once already.