Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Seeing RED

I've been a BLAH BLOGGER!  Last July I posted 11 times...so far this July...and it's almost over...I've posted twice...2 times!  That has me seeing RED!  The problem is I'm not really doing a bunch this year.  I'm sticking close to home and how exciting or blog worthy is that?  So I'm going to post what has me seeing RED...see if you agree.
The RED raspberries are finally coming in and I did a batch of jam the other day.  I do love RED raspberry jam!
Salvia is showing off it's RED flair.
Dear RED daylily....even though this wasn't taken in the day...it was more dusk.  Still looks very RED to me!
RED sky at night...or the RED dripping clouds...is truly a delight!
Last but not least...crazy RED glasses that help me see the RED around here.  Yep, it's a blog worthy day at the Pines! Hope your days are filled with RED!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Do You Like Sunflowers?

A few weeks ago my blog buddy Shady Dell, over at Shady Dell Music & Memories, nominated me for a lovely award. The Sunflower Blogger Award.  Now, I love sunflowers,  but these came in a bouquet of  questions!  Thank you Tom for thinking of me.  I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get around to answering the questions that you asked the nominees to complete.  They are interesting, thoughtful questions and I had to think about them for a bit before answering.  I'm a very complex person you see and I had to peel the onion that's my brain for some good answers.  (If you believe that, you deserve the "Buying some swamp land in Florida" award!) Anyway, here goes!
1.  Why do you blog?  My daughter-in-law, Amy, talked me into it!  Amy's gone the way of  Facebook now, and I'm blogging as a journal tool.  I make my blog into book form at the end of the year and have all my posts and pics preserved for future family members who have nothing better to do than see what their "YaYa"  did with her life!
2.  Are you an early riser or a night owl?  I start work at 7am so that makes me more of an early riser.  However, I could be a night owl and stay up until all hours doing blogging or watching Hallmark movies.  Then of course Jack would point out that I fall asleep around 9pm...I guess I'll stick with early riser! (except on weekends when I get up around 8am!)
3.  What's your favorite smell?  This is funny because Jack always says I have the most sensitive smeller around.  I can smell foul (or fowl) smells a mile away!  But I do love the smell of cinnamon or homemade bread or flowers....can I have more than one fav? Oh wait...let's not forget bacon!
4.  If you're feeling sad what's the one song that you could play or sing to make you happy again?  John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy"...seriously.  I would never sing it though..that would make many people very sad.
5.  When you look in the mirror, what do you see?   Many days I ask myself "Who in the heck is that looking back at me?!"  I'm surprised to realize I'm 61...where in the heck did that crazy kiddo go?  Time goes fast, but most of the time I like what I see...can't do much about changing it anyway!
6.  How would you describe your personality?  Wellllllll....years ago I would have said I have a good sense of humor....easy going....witty....a good listener...not a genius but not an idiot either...Today I would say...I'm more like Maxine the old lady cartoon gal with the big sunglasses, little dog,  and says things like " I'm as American as apple pie, if you don't mind a little extra crust."
7.  Name something you accomplished in your life through sheer determination.  I think everyday we need determination to get through the hours we're given on this Earth..to have a positive attitude takes determination.  I haven't had to overcome a bad addiction, or abuse or disease...not yet anyway.  But getting through school, marriage, buying a home, raising children, working in healthcare...all take a bit of determination. I'm sure I'll have many more things to get through before I'm done!
8.  What do you consider the most important world or national event that has taken place in your lifetime?  The invention of VELCRO...where would we be without it?
9.  If you had to spend the rest of your life in a different century, past or future, which would you choose?  I really like indoor plumbing and air conditioning and ibuprophen so going back in time might not suit me.  But the early 1900's calls out to me...those big Victorian homes and the dresses...except for corsets! 
10. If you had to speak extemporaneously for 1hr about anything, what would you choose?  How the practice of medicine has changed for the good and the bad in my time. 
Well, there you have it...the onion peel of me....and I want to thank Shady again for making this possible...now I know I'm suppose to nominate others for this award.  I have a slew of great blog buddies out there who deserve it more than me.  But instead I'm throwing this out to anyone who would like to answer any of the questions that I posted here...let me know what you would have said!  Take this bouquet of Sunflowers and give it a try!
                                Thank you very much, Abigail and Daisy!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

On My Honor (For The 25th Time!)

Jack's at Boy Scout Camp this week.  Our troop always heads down the week of July 4th.  (I think that gives them a discount since it's a holiday)  We've celebrated July 4th for the last 25yrs without Jack here...except for those times (like next year) when the 4th hits on the weekend.  For many years Jack was the Scoutmaster, but these last years he's gone down as a representative from the troop committee and also he's the 11yr old assistant (to me!) leader.  He serves on our Churches Stake Scout Committee too.  He really enjoys going this week. He's made wonderful lasting friendships with the other guys who serve.  I'm amazed at the men who keep coming down even though they don't have kids going anymore.  Jack has done a lot to serve the camp in different capacities.  He used to help give physicals (for free) until Chiropractors were not allowed to do them anymore..don't even know why that is since they can give school sport physicals and truck driver's....anyway, he has helped with tons of service projects and other needs that have arisen. In short, he's enjoyed his years of service and this is the 25th year he has gone to camp. I received a call from our Scoutmaster saying they were going to honor him at the family night festivities and wouldn't I like to come?  Well, sure I would, but I hate that drive.  It's a twisty, winding road, hilly, long drive. (11/2hrs).  I happened to get a low census day today so yesterday afternoon I headed down after work.  Jack had no idea I was coming and when he saw me he was really surprised. I used the excuse I had the next day off so last minute I decided to visit!  When he was called up to receive this recognition he was again really surprised...plus he now understood why I came down! It was a good night..even with all the rain that hit about half way through family night.  Here's a few pics of course! I actually left my good camera at home but was able to get the small camera Jack had brought to work so I could get some memories caught. Not all the ones I took turned out...we really need a new point and shoot camera! Anyway, Congrats to Jack!  You're a good Scouter!
The troop camps at the same place each year...Zane camp.  Here's a few of the tents...can you find Jack's? It's the one by the tree! (he'll understand that joke!)
Looking a little dazed here I think!
Many of the boys and most of the men bring their own tents, but I do so love seeing these green platform ones...they just "scream" Boy Scout Camp!
The climbing wall is near Zane camp. Anyone who deals with boys know that having a chain link fence around something like this is necessary. It doesn't look as high as it really is in my blurry (thanks to the camera) shot.
Many totem poles dot the camp...love them! I think the Pines needs one of these!
One of our dear friends, Tom.  He's been at camp for many years too.  He's an expert at tree removal and he's been clearing out trees for the camp all week. Great friend!
We began gathering for the evening's Family night at Camp festivities.  The camp activity director had everyone clapping, dancing and laughing! However, about half way through the rains came down in buckets and we had to head to the dining hall.  Jack still didn't know he was going to be honored and when he asked if I wanted to go home at this point I said..."Oh no, lets go to the dining hall and finish"...I thought "Heck no I'm not leaving! The fun's just begun!"
Again everyone was their feet singing and dancing.  Then Reverend Tim...the camp director....got up and gave Jack a wonderful recognition for his years here. The troop gave him a new camp chair, a beautiful etched glass trophy type thing...can't even think of what to call it...but we're getting it engraved when he gets home.  The camp gave him a lovely plaque he can hang with his other Scout things.
Congrats Jack! Of course, it wouldn't be Boy Scout Camp without the fun stuff..I mean, seriously, all the nice words, heartfelt thanks, statues, plaques, gifts, are really wonderful. But being hugged by a bunch of sweaty Boy Scout leaders while wearing a funny wig? PRICELESS!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Signs Of Summer

Being gone last weekend I realized I missed blogging about the beginning of Summer...the lightest day of the year! However,  I couldn't miss the signs around here.  When I saw this go up I knew we were in the thick of it:
Jack got his tent out to get it ready for tomorrow as he heads off for a week at Boy Scout camp.  It's his 25th year of scout camp and I hope the weather is kind...it's warm and humid for the beginning of the week, but looks cool and nice by the end.  He may not want to come home!
The little pool looks very forlorn out in the wilderness, but if you look closely you'll see these two little heads bobbing around:
Lexi and Addy
I laughed at this silly pic of Addy in her goggles.  She's learned how to swim under water this year and she's soooo excited! Notice the purple lips...and it's not because she ate anything purple! It was time to get out of the pool!  It was getting dark and she and her sister decided that catching these little guys was in order:
Fireflies...Lightening Bugs...whatever you call them, are out in force. I couldn't catch a pic of this guys' yellow, lite up butt!  The girls then curled up with a snack and blankets on the wicker couch on the deck to watch the light show going on in the trees of the Creepy Woods.  If you live out West, you don't see these cool guys...they do put on a fun show! The girls really loved it.
The raspberries are coming along nicely and soon it will be "jammin'" time!
We finally have our first real crop of blueberries coming on! Jack is so proud!
Green beans...check..the okra isn't doing as nice as last year, but we'll see what happens as the season goes on.  The Farmer's markets are coming on so hopefully fresh fruit and veggies will be available soon.  Hope your signs of Summer are making you smile...especially if you survived the past Winter! Bring it on!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

One Second

Last week we headed off for Chicago to visit family and have some party time!  Craig and his family were coming in from Oregon to go to a baptism of Amy's nephew.  A few months ago we had decided to make it a  "kill many birds with one stone" type of visit.  Phil and his girls and Jack (son) and his family decided they would come too, since it's been over 2 years since they last saw Craig.  Craig had suggested that we also could celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.  Our anniversary isn't until August, but hey, I'm game for celebrating early! My sister got all excited because she wanted to put together an "event" as I call them.  Pretty decorations, tons of food, family and also tons of work for her.  I was hesitant about that part.  I just wanted simple, low key.  But I'm not one to rain on anyone's parade so I let her have her way with us!  She's amazing.  Besides all the planning and doing and cooking and freezing food ahead, she and my brother Greg and her son Bill redid my Mom's kitchen....which looks awesome!  Craig had put together a sweet DVD for us of pictures from 40 years of our married life. It turned out great! Everyone loved it and the music he chose. As I watched the movie and then all the events of this past week and weekend, I couldn't help but notice that our lives are caught in the one second of a camera click.  In that one second you could see the joy, the fun,  the sometimes sadness, the silliness, the family trips, the gatherings, the ones who are no longer with us, and the ones who have gone from newborn to all grown up with newborns of their own.  There were a lot of one second happenings going on this weekend.  The weather that had been picture perfect since Memorial Day decided it was time for storms.  We fought time and weather as we put tents up for  a "just in case" moment for Saturday's party which started at 5pm.  It was a beautiful Friday and a lovely Saturday...until 6pm when the rain, tornado and flooding occurred! Anyone who knows me knows Mother Nature loves to pull this on any outdoor event I want to have.  Dang her!  We gathered all the kiddos and families and took group pictures right up until the rains hit.  We pulled all the food indoors and all the 50 or so family members squished into Mom's little house.  The house with the amazing growing walls that encompassed us growing up. All 6 kiddos and Grandparents who lived with us at times.  All in a home with 3 bedrooms and one bath until a fire destroyed the upper floor and then when it was redone another bath and bedroom were added.  No extra family room, formal dining, media room, or finished basement...in fact, that house has no basement. No huge kitchen with an island that you could skateboard on.  But somehow we managed to live and laugh and love as the saying goes.  Everyone was always welcome and nobody ever left or, I should say, leaves my Mom's home hungry!  The walls seem to expand and gather us and hug us and make us happy to be there.  We're not a perfect family by any means. Everyone has their struggles and the imperfections that make us individuals of interest.  I'm going to share a few of my "one second" moments.  I'm so grateful for all that was done for Jack and I and all the family that arrived and wished us well.  These forty years have gone fast.  It truly seems like only a second ago that my kids were little, my Mom had dark hair, I was thinner, Jack's hair was bushier, my Dad was still living, and my dreams about my future were just forming.  Click...one second. Picture perfect.
We knew we were in for a trip when the torrential rains and these skies followed us!
But the skies were clear when we arrived and we loved what Mom had done to her kitchen..
Very sleek and cool!
We took time to head to the Chicago Temple..love that little Temple!
Can't have a bunch of Greeks gathering without lamb!
Mom and our Grandkiddo Summer looking at old photos.
Friday night it was pizza night.
Brothers seeing each other for the first time in 2yrs...Phil on the left, Jack in the middle and Craig...where's Jordan? He and Eddy stayed home for this trip. He's getting ready to move in a few weeks.
Cousins always seem to find the swing and meet up....left to right...Andrew, Lexi, Addy, Alana.
My sister got the new doors on her outdoor oven area...she designed, and with the help of my brother and nephew, built it.....very nice Midge!
The tents and tables are ready.
Family picture time...Phil and his girls...Lexi and Addy.
Craig and his family...Sophie, Amy, Craig, Taylor, and Katie.
Jack and his family..Summer, Anthony, Driana, Jack, Cameron, and Evelyn.
Jack and I and 3 of our guys!
Mom and her whole gang.
After the rains stopped we all navigated back to the outdoors and enjoyed a nice evening. 
Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful "one second" moments of our lives.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Delayed Message

Today at work one of my co-workers said to me that she bet I posted on my blog about Father's Day.  I shook my head no and said this was the first year I hadn't put anything on the blog.  In fact, it's been a while since I posted...well, a week anyway!  I'm behind on visits to other blogs as well.  I really enjoy reading posts that are put up about the Dads in everyone's lives.  Maybe you aren't a dad yourself but hopefully you had a Dad who was an inspiration, a guide, a loving parent. Not everyone has or had that.  I was one of the lucky ones because my Dad was Superman! At least he was to me! He passed away in 1976 and I think of him everyday. I've written about him on many occasions. He's missed many things in our lives these past 38yrs,  but I really have a feeling he's not that far away and truly does know what's happening here!  He was the life of any party we ever had and he could make any day a special day.  Each of my siblings has a different memory of Dad. My older brothers were with him the most when it came to "guy" things. You know, fishing and car repair and other manly stuff! My Sister and I have our memories of a loving Dad whom (or is it who?) I can't ever remember getting a spanking from! (My Sister was the one who deserved a spanking but I don't think he ever spanked her either!...can't claim the same for my brothers!..they were stinkers!)  I guess my delayed message today is a belated Happy Father's Day to everyone...those here and those who have passed.  I want to thank my awesome hubby who is a good Dad to our kiddos....all grown up and Dad's of their own.  (except Jordan who does take care of Eddy!)
   "Happy Father's Day Babe!"...."Awww..thanks Kate!"

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Sit Down Tour

The weekend has flown by as usual.  I realized I was a bit behind in blogging so I took a tour of the Pines to see how things are progressing. Spring will officially be over in a few weeks and I know Summer will go as quickly.   So have a seat:
The red chairs are ready....come see what I found.
My feathered friends have left the nest..I saw the last one to leave the other day..I'm hoping they are snuggled in the pine trees somewhere...Good job Momma Robin!
Roses are blooming.
Window boxes overflowing.
Impatience patiently waiting for Summer.
Birdbath in the hosta garden is full from the torrential rain this morning!
Tomatoes are happy campers from the torrential rain this morning!
We just might get a few blueberries this year
The Creepy Woods is dark and lush.  Took a walk up there and the smell of the wet earth and quiet, except for chirping birds, was soothing.
The pool is also waiting...for some warm days to enjoy it! Days only in the 60's and 40's at night does not make for pleasant splashing!
The angels in the garden are praying for a colorful season ahead..and..
Whoooooooooo can blame them! Thanks for visiting with me!