Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Flower Power

This past weekend flew by.   Funny, when I was off work for 3 months they didn't seem to go that fast!  I had Friday off because we weren't busy at the hospital and I enjoyed it.  However, even though we had beautiful blue skies and sunshine we had a morning temp of 26de that broke the previous record.  I'm all about improvement and breaking records, but not when it comes to temps...too cold ones or too hot!  This was the way my, finally, blooming tulips felt about it.
So sad!  Saturday came and the sun was gone.   It was cloudy, cold and damp.  We had our Missionaries from the Church come over to do some service for us.
Our friend Kyle came with them to take his fancy camera and look into our drainage tile in the backyard.  We've had some water issues that make our yard very soggy.  We needed to see what was going on.  Thanks Kyle!  They also trekked into the Pines for a look see at other spots that might be a water problem.
It's a jungle in there!  Thanks fellows for helping us and I hope you enjoyed the lunch I made.  It was a perfect day for soup...I didn't have any pics of the food...sorry! Sunday arrived bright and sunny again but the temps were still chilly.  Jack and I had purchased some flowers to put on his parents grave so we went over there in the afternoon. 
When I saw this little hole in the ground I laughed and told Jack I wonder who escaped!  Kind of creepy..but then I do enjoy a bit of creepy!  Well, it was a nice way to end our weekend.  Flowers had the power...
They brightened up a sad spot.  I know Jack's Mom would like these.   Flowers also have a way of bouncing back, even after a frost.
This was taken on Sunday...see, all better!  It would be nice if everyone could find the power to bounce back after life's freezes, frosts, and cold snaps.  Perhaps we just need a bit of flower power!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Art And No Crap!

Ok, that's a bit of a harsh title for my blog today, but there's a story behind it.  I'm not artsy...I don't paint, or sing, or knit, or crochet, or draw.  Usually when arts and crafts are involved I call my work "arts and crap"....hence the title!  That's the reason I'm always thrilled to cheer others on with amazing talent.  Yesterday, Summer, my Granddaughter,  participated in her high school's  art show and I was very excited to go.  Of course as soon as Jack and I got out of the driveway my call phone went off.  Dang it!  Jack dropped me off to get my car.  I went to work and he went to the show.  (Lucky duck!)  He took some pics of her work for me and I just have to share!
This guy was pretty cool and I'm sure if this was for sale Jack would have snapped it up!
I like this mosaic.  Pretty!
This one blew me away! Very nice Summer! 
This piece isn't finished.  The idea was for the artists to be working on a project during the show so folks could watch the magic happen.  Summer is on the left by the way! This is a painting of the back of a lady looking at a landscape I believe.  Since I wasn't there I don't have all the facts. But it's a large canvas and I can't wait to see it finished.
Congrats Summer...or I as call her "Summer Days"....you make us all so proud!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Long And Winding Road

This morning the day started out with a lovely sunrise across the fresh mowed grass here at the Pines. It's always a kick to get that first mow of the season done.  Everything looks so smooth and fresh and pretty...not to mention the smell of fresh mowed grass! I was happy I did that little chore last night and my knees didn't even complain!
 With the mowing out of the way Jack and I were able to jump in the jeep this morning for a little road trip.
It was going to be about an hour and a half down the twisting, turning and very winding road to a place close to Jack's heart.
The skies were blue, the temps warm in the 70's and the Amish farms looked pretty.
But the real reason for this trip was to help dedicate this place. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome the new lodge/dining hall at the Boy Scout reservation that Jack has spent a week every July for the past 25....well 26 years, come this July.
The building is about twice the size of the old one.
It was nice to see that they kept a covered front porch. A great place to hang out and visit with your buddies at camp.
The inside also kept some of the charm and history of the camp.  They will put up the wall hangings that were here as soon as all the inside work is complete.
This young man, a new scout, was asked to cut the ribbon.  He represented the new generation of scouts who will occupy this facility and make many new memories and perhaps come back as adult leaders in the future. 
Scouting does prepare boys for life if they adhere to the standards and the things learned over the years....just like Jack has!
The camp looked beautiful this morning.  Can you see the pool way off in the distance?
These two young scouters were doing something that made me smile.  They were out cleaning up the camp.  Giving service is one of the backbones of the scouting experience.
After the ceremony Jack and I walked over to the campsite they always stay in.  Zane is it's name and it's under the pine trees.  How ironic!
Feeling at home with the pine cones and needles Jack?  Strange to see the camp with no tents or leaves on the trees!
I had to take a picture of this knot display. Mainly because I'm horrible at tying knots.  I noticed that out of the 40 knots I can tie only 2...a square knot and a surgeon's knot.  I teach the 11yr old scouts in our troop and that's the only reason I can tie a square knot...the surgeon's knot is a given considering what I do for a living!
I snapped a pic of the scout oath...the wood burning was beautiful but it's words are what the boys pledge each week in scouts.  Good words to live by.  We  hit the long and winding road back to Ashland.  I was glad I went with Jack this morning and I know he's looking forward to helping break in the new building.  There will be other changes at the camp this year with a new camp director,  but I know he'll come back with funny stories of all the adventures the kids and the adults will have.   Sometimes I'm not sure who enjoys camp more...our scouts or our grown up leaders!  I'll end with the scout slogan to "Do a good turn daily".  I dare you...I double dog dare you!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tozy...I Mean COZY

It's funny how in blog land you can feel connected to people you've never met.  I have found some extraordinary artists and craftspeople during my 7yrs of blogging.  I've read really good books and articles written by authors I've met in blog land.  One of the craftspeople I've known for a few years is truly gifted with her crocheting.  I received a lovely gift in the mail yesterday and I just have to share with everyone how fun and cute and...as my Granddaughter used to say when she was little..."Those are "tozy" YaYa"!  Of course she meant "cozy".  She would be totally correct in this case.  My blog buddy Deb from Poetesswug sent me these cuties.
First off,  I love the colors she picked!  The cute little buttons are really pretty and make them more than just "slippers". 
Even the soles are pretty! (like Deb's soul!)
Plus they fit perfectly! They will be worn and enjoyed with much gratitude.  Thanks so much Deb for your gift. I feel so unworthy! If you get a chance, go to her website and check out her many items she makes.  There's some really cute boutonnieres that she makes for groomsmen in any color you'd want (it is wedding season you know!) And her hats are adorable!  The weather turned from very soggy to beautiful.  Sun that made the cooler temps feel perfect was the order today.  Even though I did make it outdoors this afternoon for some garden cleanup, I was indoors doing a little spring cleanup.  I do love to clean carpets so the living room had it's Spring fling today. Also, I made a lovely key lime pie. (yes, I used real key limes!)
Notice that I didn't put limes all the way around? Well, I knew the pie needed to be taste tested to make sure it was as good as it looked.  Trust me here....Yum is the word! I also made a Texas sheet cake.  Tomorrow we're going to cook some ribs and have a little celebration for my son Phil who was promoted to manager at his work.  Good job Phil! The weather is going to be sunny and warmer and a good finish for a lovely weekend.  Hope your weekend was fun and "tozy"!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Oh Those April Showers!

The pitter patter of rain drops on the deck has been the symphony the past couple of weeks. 
The rain from heaven has filled the bird baths.
April showers have greened up the grass too!
Yeah! Clusters of little daffodils.
And big rain soaked daffodils.
The lilacs are beginning to bud out.
Daylilies want to be noticed too.
The trickle from the Creepy Woods fills the creek on the side of the yard.
Rushing down.
And flowing out.  Our acreage is like a sponge these days and the driveway is taking a beating...floating our stones to the street! But through it all the temps have risen to a nice high of 70 today.  Of course that's short lived as a cold front moves in. The weekend may  be cooler but drier too.  I'll take a bit of sun!  I'm happy we don't have snow and I know that April showers bring May flowers...and I'm counting on it! As always the sunsets have been beautiful.  My sunset pics look the same but I really did just take this a little while ago.  Soon all the warm and wet will have these trees in a full dress of leaves.  Night all from the Pines.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Traditions

Easter is my favorite holiday.  Now Jack might say that Halloween is my favorite or he might say, " What about Christmas?"  Well, I do enjoy all holidays because it gathers friends, family, food, fun and traditions. Everyone has their way of enjoying and honoring the reasons for the seasons.  Growing up, Easter was always centered around Church and family.   We do the same here.  Twice a year our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) has General Conference.  It's held in Salt Lake City and the two day conference is broadcast over the Internet or by satellite for us to watch. That means no traditional church on that weekend.  I'm not always crazy about it when it lands on Easter weekend.  I enjoy dressing up for the day and seeing all the kiddos in their new Easter duds!  But the messages that are given are always good and inspirational...plus the music is wonderful from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Today we had a smaller gathering than usual.  Our oldest son and his family came home from vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama just in time to enjoy the day with us.  Unfortunately, the Grandkiddos spent the day with their Mom and her family since we had them last year...divorce makes holidays harder.  But we had beautiful weather...sunny and 60de! It made the traditional egg hunt after our Easter feast a lot of fun.  We only had 2 littles that hunted for eggs, but they enjoyed it!
Phil, Addy, and Lexi colored eggs last night.
Some had glitter...very pretty!
One of my traditions that I grew up with is baking a cake in the shape of a lamb. I have a cast iron lamb mold like my Mom's and it never fails to bake a delicious cake. It's a pound cake and I flavored it with lemon this year...good stuff!
Glitter chalk was in the Easter baskets and we had some very sparkly pics on the driveway! 
The hunt was on! Addy was eagerly searching with basket in hand.
You never know where an egg might be found! You have to look up...
And down!
So Spring has sprung and all over the house it's flowers:
And bunnies.
Some pulling eggs and even some musical ones...I'll spare you listening to that one!
We had fun with my son Jack and his girlfriend Evelyn and her daughter Megan. We Skyped with our son  Craig in Oregon, Portland.  Our son Jordan came over early in the day with Eddy but wasn't feeling good at all and didn't come back for Easter dinner...or maybe lunch since we ate around 1:30.  Craig and his family have their traditions and some are similar to his that he grew up with and I'm sure they do some that his wife, Amy grew up with.  It doesn't matter how you celebrate as long as we remember the real reason for today, and that has nothing to do with bunnies, eggs, candy or glitter chalk.  Because He Lives is a wonderful, short video that says it better than I can. If you have a moment, go and watch.  Happy Easter!