Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Things that make me go hmmmmmmmmmmmm

I have a new found fascination with living creatures. I am wondering if this is a latent response to growing up with a biology teacher for a father, living in the country, or maybe seeing the world through the eyes of two young children. Tonight we were watering our wilted landscape and I kept noticing bugs. First I saw 4 matching butterflies (or maybe they are moths, I can't remember how to tell the difference). I began to wonder what we had planted that was attracting them, since in 15 years here, I have never seen that many so close to the house. Then a bright green grasshopper crawled in front of me. I found myself observing this creature and looking for species specific traits. I am pretty sure I saw this insect poop. A first for me! Then a bumble bee buzzed by and randomly landed on some blooms, but appeared to be very particular in his choices.
On to the garden with the hose, and what did we see, lizards! And then the bunnies came out to play. I am fascinated with the games they play in the evening. I was telling my granddaughter one evening about the fun the bunnies were having and how they were chasing each other. She said; "But why are they chasing each other?" I didn't know what to say, because I have always taken rabbits games at face value. . . that is just what they do, I have always thought. However, her question got me to thinking. Are they just having fun? Maybe it is a dating ritual. How can you tell if they are mad and chasing each other in anger?
I need some feed back from my peers (over 50 age group). Has aging made you curious about things you used to take for granted? Do you find yourself seeking information just to have it? Curious minds want to know. Just some of the things that make me go hmmmmmmmmmm!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sweetest Words

I posted earlier that we took Maddison shopping on Friday for her school supplies. We could tell that she enjoyed the experience, but I guess I didn't know how much she enjoyed it until yesterday. I was in my bedroom with Maddie packing up her clothes after the overnight stay when she came over to me and hugged me. "Mimi", she said, "thank you so much for the backpack and stuff. You are the best grandma ever".

I am pretty sure my heart stopped for just a minute or two. Maddison is such a sweet little girl, but I haven't ever heard her say anything like that before. Is it any wonder that this child has stolen my heart?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Farm Pleasures

We live on 50 acres of land in the country, on a "dirt" road. We sometimes call it a farm, but the only thing that we really produce here is hay. And we usually give that away. There are many, many perks of living in rural Missouri. Tonight we saw several of those within a 15 minute span. We had to make a "town run" tonight to get some things we forgot to get yesterday. Coming home, as we pulled into the driveway, we saw our resident momma deer and her spotted twins. They turned in the field when they saw us, and stared for a few seconds before running off. Then as we traveled further down the drive, we spotted the yard bunnies playing. 5 of the cutest little brown rabbits were chasing each other in the side yard. Our boxer, Gracie, used to keep these bunnies out of the yard, but she is almost totally blind, so they really now have the run of the place.
After we put away our purchases, we went back outside to water our little garden and new shrubs. The sun was setting and the colors of the sky were gorgeous. There wasn't a sound anywhere. Deep from the woods, we heard an owl hoot. My husband hooted back, and the conversation between man and owl continued for several minutes. It was indeed one of those times when I appreciate the country and all the pleasant things it offers!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Fun!

Mason and Papa settle in for a recorded showing of "Swamp Brothers". Mason loves anything creepy crawley. I was sitting on the couch with him when it started, and he quickly left me to join Papa on the floor. I guess it is a "guy" thing!

Remember loving those school supplies? We had the pleasure of helping Maddie pick out her backpack and school supplies for 1st grade. I don't know who had more fun, Maddison or her Grandparents!

Aunt Bea and Uncle Scoot got Mason a 'Safari' discovery set for his birthday. He is wearing his Safari vest, and helping me pick vegetables from the garden. He loves to explore the great outdoors, even if it is 100 plus degrees out. We only lasted a few minutes in the heat, but he kept going back outside for more!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mason, the Explorer!

I took this photo in Florida as a way to remember how Mason spent about 50% of his time. . . . on the ground scrounging around. Mason is a most curious little fellow. He loves bugs and all sorts of creepy crawly things. He loves to "discover" items on the ground that most people would pass right over. Sometimes it is trash, such as dental floss, pop tops, pieces of glass or plastic. Often a moving object will catch his eye. Usually it is something that will cause an adult to say "gross, Mason, don't pick that up". I know he heard that phrase about 1,000 times on the trip. Of course, that usually didn't deter him from collecting his "treasures". For his birthday, he got a kit with a butterfly net, magnifying glass, bug trap and pocketed vest. I haven't seen him in action with it yet, but I hope to soon. He and his sister are spending some time at our house this weekend. On our agenda is some old fashioned bug hunting. We have lots of grasshoppers, ants, bees and other assorted bugs close to our house. I can't wait to see his excitement when we go on a "bug hunt". I happened upon a large walking stick this week while watering my garden. I grabbed my camera and took some pictures to show to Mason. It is really fun to see how excited he gets about God's little creatures. And of course we may have to do some rock hunting for Maddison. . . she loves rocks the way Mason loves bugs. I will try to post pictures of our adventures!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Good Golly Miss Molly!

Maddison was really styling on the road trip to Florida. I took pipe cleaners to play with in the car, and this is what we came up with. Add that to her toothless smile and you have one wonderful photo. (Which I am sure she will love when she is a teenager!).

This and That

It has been a few days since I have posted. In that time, Jessica and I attended a reading conference in Columbia. We are discussion leaders for a program called "Read From the Start." It is a fun job, which we do about 4 times a year. The conference was at the Stoney Creek Inn, which is a rustic lodge type hotel. There were about 50 DLs there from all over the state. We had a great time! What I enjoyed most was having some one on one time with Jessica. Even though we see each other often, we seldom have time to just chat without distractions. I discovered anew what a wonderful woman my daughter has become. She has her father's super quick wit and also his outgoing personality. People seem to be naturally drawn to her. She joined the conference a little late, due to work obligations. For me, the fun began when she arrived. I have to admit that I tend to lean on my husband and daughter's outgoing personalities. I am naturally shy and introverted, and find myself staying to myself in large groups. She did not let me get by with that this weekend. We had a chance to talk about life decisions, childhood memories and the general state of marriage. It was wonderful.
When we arrived back home, we were greeted by the rest of the family. The grands were patiently (not) waiting for me to get home to "harvest" the peppers in our little box garden. They get so excited when our plants bear fruit. We later enjoyed a delicious fish fry (from the fish caught in Florida), and my son and daughter-in-law made homemade hushpuppies with diced jalapenos right from the garden. I admire my son and his wife and the team work they exhibit. They enjoy working together and as a team can accomplish so much! They seem to be in sync in most things they do, which makes them stronger as a pair than they would be solo. A great thing for a mother to observe!
Randy had worked in the heat much of Saturday doing his weekend chores so, this morning he helped me complete mine so we could enjoy some R and R before the weekend ended. Since it is so blooming hot here, we decided to rent a movie (Lincoln Lawyer) and spend the afternoon inside.
All in all, it has been a great weekend. Now back to Monday. . . yikes!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Picture Perfect!

While in Florida, we visited a planned community, Seaside. I snapped a picture of this idyllic looking Post Office, the center of the community. It was a beautiful town, but almost too "perfect". Lacking in soul, according to one of our group. It was a great place to visit, and in case you are contemplating moving there, the 1 bedroom, 2 bath homes start at 1.5 million. Someone has to pay for all that perfection!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ah, Florida!

Some times I just dream about being back in Florida. . . I love the Spanish Moss hanging from the trees.

Is This Week Over Yet?

Here it is Wednesday already, and I am so ready for the weekend. On Monday we had monitors at work to review a grant I work with. Yesterday and today we have different monitors for the "main" program I run. Being monitored is a nerve racking experience. Extra people in the office, observing what you do, asking for documentation every time you turn around. . . and just in general making things "not normal".
Tomorrow a local "big wig" will be spending most of the day with us to observe our programs. We will eat lunch with him and then do some show and tell. By Friday, I will be ready to come home and play brain dead for a couple of days.
So, now that you know how my week is going, what about yours?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday, Monday!

Boy is it hot here. I finally decided to water the garden and plants at 7 tonight, hoping that the temperature would be better. No such deal. I watered and came back in covered in sweat. I have a vague memory of cold snowy days when I wished for the heat and the sun. Hmmm. . . .
This is going to be a long week at work. I am having two of my programs monitored this week. One is a two day affair with several state people observing and pouring over documentation. It may be brutal at our office! This is a routine event that happens every other year. It never fails to make the staff nervous and edgy. I hate to wish my life away, but some weeks are just like that. At least I have vacation to look forward to in a few weeks. I know, I just got back from Florida, but this is a trip West, not South, and it will involve my side of the family and a mini reunion. Mountains take me away!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mason Man Turns 4!

It is really all about birthdays around here this week. Jessica's is today, tomorrow Mason turns 4 and also tomorrow my nephew, Tristan turns 22?
Mason is a very special little boy. He is energy in motion with a bit of a comedian thrown in. He loves to make people laugh and thinks the sun rises and sets in his big sister, Maddison. He will pick up any moving thing off the ground and gets excited about bugs, snakes, fish, lizards, frogs and most other living things. He can't wait to go hunting with his Dad, and loves guns (nerf, pop, marshmallow, battery powered machine guns etc). He is 100% all boy, but has such a sweet, tender side that he can at one minute infuriate you and the next melt your heart. One thing I know for sure about Mason: he makes the world a brighter, funnier place to be. Happy Birthday Little Man!

Jessica is having a birthday today! Happy Birthday Miss Bea!!

Happy Birthday, Jessica!

31 years ago today, I became a mother. It is a role that I have enjoyed and that I think has suited me well. But this isn't really going to be about me. Jessica came into our lives 3 weeks past her due date during a heat wave that had lasted for over a week, and was breaking lots of heat index records. She literally had to be pried out of me by c-section after a long and hard 24 hours of labor. All that didn't matter, really, when I saw her. She did not look like a newborn. She had long black hair and smooth peach colored skin. It was love at first sight, and she has been a joy and a blessing to me ever since! Jessica is a typical "oldest child". She likes to take charge, is a people pleaser and has a passion to achieve. She is tender hearted, but can also be very firm in her committments. I am very proud of her and the woman that she has become. Jessica: you have blessed my life and brought me many years of joy. I love you and hope you have a great birthday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blogged down

I  have been "blogged down" lately.  I was on a great schedule of almost daily blogging and then. . . nothing!  I think the weekend did me in.  Friday: Work, shop,company and overnight guests.  Saturday, family reunion (hot, hot, hot!), Saturday night guests for supper (pizza) and fireworks.  Sunday, breakfast guests (in several shifts), see some company off, do a rapid house clean and sheet wash, prepare food, additional company, BBQ, games and more fireworks.  Monday, breakfast for overnight company, clean, clean, clean and then clean some more (no, I am NOT  a neat freak, it just rained alot, fresh mown grass, bad combination!). Rest, go to park for more fireworks.  Tuesday, alarm goes off, sleep.  Alarm goes off again, sleep.  Alarm goes off again, shoot out of bed, run to shower, dress, gulp cereal, off to work.  Tuesday night, come home, heat leftovers, drop on the couch and sleep.  Wake up from sleep, stumble to bed, sleep.  Yikes. . . who has time to blog?  Maybe I am caught up on sleep, and can get back to a routine!

Friday, July 1, 2011

What the heck?

This may be the strangest thing we saw while on vacation in Florida. A shallow canal flowed close to our beach house. A variety of floating devices were used in this area such as; kayaks, canoes, rafts, surf boards, skimmers and paddle boats.   One morning this contraption was spotted. It looked like someone had taken the moving parts of an elliptical machine and put it on floats. The guy was certainly getting his exercise while he enjoyed the water. My camera lens was fogged up from the heat, so this is the best picture I could get.  Now that is the kind of exercise I could get into!