Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Rains Came Down and Floods Came Up

I guess I'll start this little story with the continuing saga of the great "pool project".  Finally the ground was ready and the pool parts came out and everything went up just fine.  The water man came and filled our little above ground sweat shop and he was impressed how nice and level it was.  I say "was" because the next day the torrential rains fell and like the little church song about the "house on the sand washed away", the little pool on the sand almost did! Here's a pic of what happened on Thursday.
The creek overflowed all the way from the Creepy Woods and down the hill toward the house....
The water made a left turn at the pool site and washed alot of sand away and flowed toward the creek...and if you look carefully at this pic you can see the pool starting to sag in spots...

Thankfully,  the water didn't come to the kept on flowing like a river to the creek side! I wish I had taken a video just so you could hear the roar..I was dumb struck at how fast this flooded and how much rain we received in such a short time. Did I mention that we were getting ready for my Granddaughter's graduation party on Saturday?  The yard was drenched, alot of mulch we had put down in flower beds was now in the lawn...the pool however did not collapse.  Never saying "DIE", Jack found a way to get it back on level ground and he, along with my Sister who was visiting,  got it back to normal....whew! The water receded fairly quick and we had our party on Saturday.
Pretty cake...
Requested zebra design with pink frosting cupcakes made by me...and they were good!
Tables set on the deck..
In the yard..
Mulch returned to it's rightful spot!
Happy Graduate Driana on the right...sweet little sister Summer on the left with happy smiles! The day turned rainy, but nice and cool and we set the food up indoors and also had "plan B" for indoor dining..but most everyone stayed under the tents when it sprinkled...Ok, when it rained...and we all had a good time.
My son Jack and Driana..

Oh yes! My sweet Mom and my sister Midge came from Chicago and as you can see Mom is doing well. Her left arm is healing great...the right is taking longer because it was really a broken mess..but it's doing good.  She had a good time and I don't know what I would have done without Midge's help in getting everything running smoothly...Thanks Sis! Love ya!  So the pool saga is doing fine...although we're having a rainy beginning of the summer, I'm so hoping for a little bit of dry weather so we can enjoy it...for now, I'm gonna take a nap!  The End!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Was I Thinking?

Did you ever do something that really sounded like a good idea at the time....but then sort of turned into the project from hell?  We've done a few of these projects in our lifetime. When Jack's dad was alive, he and Jack would get into so many "fix-it-upper" projects and Dad's words always made me break into a sweat: "This is going to be easy"..or something similar.  I realized then that there are no easy projects...even small things turn into complicated silly putty.  Secretly I think his Dad enjoyed these the best.  Well, Dad would have loved the "let's go ahead and get the pool up this year" project.  We put up a small 16ft. round pool a few years ago....and took it down at the end of summer and stored it until the next summer. Except last year we didn't do it.  So, I thought it would be nice to put one up again this year, but get a newer version that was a bit sturdier and leave it up all the time. Jack came on board...because he loves me and I now owe him big time!  We purchased the pool and set out to level the pool spot...the same one we've used in the past but was never really quite level.  A 16X48in. deep pool isn't suppose to have a deep and shallow end..who knew?  Well,  that's where the story gets in 90de. and humid with lots of  "skeeters" while digging out the dirt and rocks and leveling, digging some more, leveling, cursing quietly, hauling dirt and enough little rocks to fill our driveway.  All the time I kept thinking...."What was I thinking?"  I didn't even ask Jack what he was was all over his face what he was thinking.  Well folks, it's done...almost. The filter isn't connected yet...Oh yeah, I thought a salt water filter system seemed like a good idea.....To Be Continued....notice I have no pics to share...very unusual for me...I will post when it's totally ready...I just need to make sure Jack's at Scout Camp before I take a first swim... in case he decides to drown me!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hop On Over For Some Fun!

I can't believe it's Thursday and I'm just posting about last weekend's events....whew, it's been a bit busy at the Pines. We're working outside like crazy demons to get the yard ready for a graduation party on the 29th.  I decided to also have an above ground pool again.  We got a new one, but the spot needs to be leveled and poor Jack has been working hard to make that happen.  Then let's throw in work and babysitting off and on for the kiddos..well, you get it!  So here are a few shots, starting with Friday, of our weekend gone by.   Jack went camping with the Boy Scouts at a cabin that the troop built from scratch... they've been working on it for 4yrs.  Derrick, the owner, has also been working on it and they christened it on Friday night.
See those trees across that field? The cabin is in those woods.
It's good to have one of these to haul all the "stuff" Boy Scouts need to camp.
Viola!  It's not complete, but it's getting there. There's a whole story about building this and what was's been an adventure! I'll have to have Jack do a guest blog spot to tell it!
The leaders actually slept in the cabin and boys slept out in their tents.  The cabin will be great for Winter camps and it even has a wood stove inside. 
This was not at the campout! On Saturday we really got things "hopping"! If you take one of these blowup monsters...
It was ginormous!
Throw in a bunch of ankle biters....Add screams, and laughs and a couple of birthday's a PARTY!
Our Granddaughter Lexi had her birthday in May, but wanted to wait to celebrate it with her best friend Mackenzie who also turned 7.  So they had a combo party at the Pines. We set the tables up under a shady tree and threw in a bunch of balloons...some presents...
Hey, come back with those gifts! (Lexi's Dad, Phil)
Happy party a kid sister named Addy!
A very cute...Little Mermaid...cake was a big hit as well as tons of good food with old and young in mind!
Don't forget the birthday girls....Mackenzie on the left and my Grandkiddo, Lexi, on the right...Happy Birthday girls and thanks for a "hopping" good time!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's Your Day Dads!

I'm very behind on blogging this week. We've had some fun things go down and I'll post about them next week, but today it's all about  DADS!  I was blessed with a great Dad in my life.  He was a strength that made me think that everything would be fine as long as he was there. He was funny, smart, could fix anything, loved to travel, took us on great camping vacations all over the country and the best part was his love for my Mom and for us...we never doubted that we were the most important thing in his life.

 This picture makes me laugh because my Dad looks anything but fun, funny, friendly, and happy! He and I have the same squint going on here but my brothers seem pretty happy! That brings me into some other Dads I admire and honor this day.
My 4 brothers are super good Dads. They are always there for their kiddos, even now that the kids are grown and gone...they are great Grandfathers too! They are wonderful brothers so it only goes to reason that being Dads would come naturally! I have a few other Dads I want to give some "high fives" too....
My oldest son Jack is Dad to 4 great kids.  He supports them in all ways and is great at showing them how to accomplish anything they want to kite flying!
#2 son, Craig, is a super Dad to these 3 monkeys!  When I see his parenting skills I always admire his patience with them.  I've never seen him really get mad or fly off the handle..then again, he's that way with everyone!
#3 son, Phil, is Dad to 2 little girls...growing up with all brothers I admire his skill with doing "girlie" things with them!  (Hope he doesn't mind me saying that!)
I've saved the best for hubby Jack...He's the Dad to my 4 boys and I'm grateful to him for being the other half  with me in raising them!
Like this pic of him and Jordan some years ago, he's always there to support and help them when they need it...(a good backup guy, even off a horse!) and has taught them many skills along the way.  I didn't mention Jordan as a Dad because he's not a Dad yet! But if he ever does have kiddos, he'll be like his brothers..His nieces and nephews think he's pretty cool!
He's also a great "PawPaw" to all 9 of our Grandkiddos...ready with the special hugs..or head locks!
So Happy Father's Day to all the good Dads I've had in my life!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Helping Hands

Sometimes a helping hand is needed.  I know that volunteer work goes on all over the world.  Tons of good deeds that never get headline news, or Oprah worthy TV, or medals and prizes.  Quiet acts of service.  The things Heaven is hoping for and people appreciate. This past weekend a tiny congregation needed some landscaping help.  The Minister of this Church wasn't  sure how he could get it all done.  One of his members is related to the Bishop of our Ward.  A few phone calls and plans later....57 of our Ward members showed up in force with tools and helping hands.
The area was cleared and grass seed was planted and straw was put down to protect it.
Plants went in and mulch was spread....Good job Jack!
Smiles and thumbs up from happy, helping Missionaries!
Even the United States Post Office came by and gave it's approval...This is Mike...he's a member of our Church and just stopped by after his route was done.
Happy Bishop (Lloyd) and his sister, Marla....all done! In 31/2 hrs work was completed! Lunch was provided by their Church and we brought the dessert.  Why can't all the world just get along and help each other?
I'm sure the members of this little Church enjoyed walking in on Sunday and seeing how lovely the grounds  look.
Now, on another "Helping Hands" subject....Our little friend, Elyse, needed some TLC after having some eye surgery.  She stayed overnight with us so drops could be put in her eyes and she wouldn't have to be alone that first night. (Her parents are on their own "helping hands" Church mission until November.)
She did get subjected to "new recipe night at the Starkey's"...
 A Tortellini casserole number that I thought was pretty good...Jack thought it needed chicken! It had cheesy tortellini, fresh spinach, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese, garlic, and other "stuff"...but no chicken!
Some lemon cake to top it off and "helping hands" turned into "happy hands"....and that's how it's done here in my corner of the world!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Just Because

I don't have any earth shattering news today.  My Mom is recouping and I talked to her tonight and she's working hard at rehabbing her hands and planning a trip out to see us in a few weeks.  She sounded very "chipper", more like her old self than she has in the last few days. Probably because my Sister is taking such good care of her! Thanks Midge! Now, just because I can, I will post these two photos taken at my Granddaughter's graduation.  I just love the look on Cameron's face in the first pic...then I realize that his Grandpa has the same "ornery" gleam in his eyes!   I made them pose again for a normal shot...but I do love the first one the best...So "Just Because"'s two of my favorite guys!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Can It Really Be??

This afternoon our oldest Grandchild...Driana...received her high school diploma.  She sat with her's a small rural school.  The senior class that's comprised of only 68 students,  did their parents and teachers proud.
Many graduated with honors. 5 are going off to serve our country. One student already has an associates degree he earned from a junior college while he was still in high school. Smart boy! Our Driana had all A's the last 2yrs and she's deciding which college to attend to become a Psychologist.  She also has her license as a beautician  so she can work while going to girl!
As I watched her receive her diploma I kept picturing her life speeding by since birth...almost like a notepad with pictures that you flip quickly through and see them move...I remember how small she was when she was born..(she's still tiny!) How funny and head strong and smart. Her school days...her basketball games...her love of playing her guitar...her solo she sang at a school program in middle school. Her homecoming dances, proms..and now going off into this crazy world. One that will be better because of her.
So toss your caps!
Thank your parents! Hug your Dad!
Hold that diploma until you trade it for a college degree.
And never lose that smile and enthusiasm for life.  It's all ahead of you. Good luck honey!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's A Wash Out!

First of all...Happy June! If you've been the recipient of nasty, cold weather this crazy Spring, I sure hope the sound of JUNE makes you smile and I also hope warmer weather is now in your future.  We seemed to be  on the verge of a drought, then the skies opened up and we were happy to get some lovely rain.  Except yesterday we also got severe thunderstorms in the afternoon.  They came just as our annual "Relay For Life" event was getting underway.  The wind and rain did damage to the tents and the vendors that were hoping to make more money for the fight against cancer.  Our team captain, Kim, had done so much work for this day. She even took off of work to do it.  It was cancelled after the deluge of rain and wind swooped in.  Jack and I got there right after the storm had moved by, but another was on the way so the event was closed down just to be on the safe side. 
Hello nasty looking sky.
Kim was packing it up.  We are going to do some of the final fundraisers at the hospital in the next few weeks.  We have until August to turn in the final amount we raise. She lost a really cool looking pink tent that she was so excited about.  I hope it can be repaired.
The idea behind "Relay for life", in case you didn't know, is to walk the track in teams for 24hrs. while fun activities and food and music is going on all around the track. It's a great community gathering to do something to bring awareness to cancer.  It's such a touching moment when the survivors walk the track first, then head over for a free dinner to celebrate.  Our sweet Donna was there (even though I missed her!) and I hope she enjoyed the time for just a bit before it was over!
Luminaries are set up all around the track with candles inside and the names of people who are being honored or being remembered in memorial. That's another very "misty eyed" moment when the names on the luminaries are being said over the loud speaker while everyone walks in silence in the dark carrying candles with the lights from the luminaries glowing...on the bleachers the word "HOPE" is spelled out with lighted luminaries too.   I wish every one of the bags had only survivor names because that would mean cures have been found to end this horrible disease.  As you can see from this pic, the rain ruined sad.
As this sign states, "there is no finish line until we find a cure" we will walk again next year and if you see a "Relay" event in  your neighborhood...usually around a high school track....please stop and visit.  Buy a luminary to honor a friend or loved food or raffle tickets to help raise goes to a good cause.  I have too many family and friends who have gone through treatment...some are survivors...some, unfortunately, are not. So let's keep walking!
This is where cancer really needs to be....flushed away for good!