Monday, July 17, 2017

Cake, Kids, and Stitches

 The applesauce cake tasted like a cross between pumpkin pie and banana bread.  Everyone liked it.  No, it didn't come out of the Bundt pan perfectly.  

Our basement is a little scruffy.  A former owner of this home made it workable enough, but somehow it's still very basement-y.  Anyway, James and Noah have a lot of fun messing around down there.  It's a good way to keep Noah safe. He is on the move!  Notice Tim is joining the fun.

 Red hollyhocks are pretty miraculous, right?
 I posted this on Instagram so I'm sorry if you've already seen it.  I knit patches for my jeans.  I really like the cut of this brand of jeans, but I don't like the "cool" holes in the knees.  I don't think the designers had grannies in mind.
 I was looking at old photos and I found this one of a tree I knit many Julys ago.  I guess I like stitching in July.  

 The zucchinis and yellow squash are appearing.  I think they are going to outdo themselves.  I guess we had better start getting hungry for grilled squash. 

I'm going to Washington later this week.  I'm looking forward to seeing all my sibs and my lovely mother!  I'll see my auntie as well!  Yay!
I shall also see the water.  Another YAY!
God be with you. Thank you for stopping by.  You are kind. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Grandmother's Birthday

(This is the house my mom remembers)
My sisters and I are honoring our little granny today because this is her birthday. My mom knows about Grandma Evelyn Day but she has a lot going on this particular Sunday (church, a memorial service for a friend, my niece and her family coming to stay overnight).  Since I've been reading my grandmother's diaries for a few years, I know a lot more about her than I did before.  I suggested a few fun ideas to my older sister.  My younger sister and I thought of quite a few ways we could remember Grandma today.  Here is a short list:
Watch Bonanza (she loved it)
Change the bed (she did this A LOT and recorded it each time in her diary)
Read something written by Billy Graham
Put a big rubber band around a well loved book (Grandma liked to use them for keeping her books closed)
Make a pie, a cake, or cookies
Make a soap ball
Write in your diary
Write a letter
Notice the weather (she recorded the weather almost every day)
Record how much money you spent today (I didn't spend any)
Play Yahtzee (she loved to play this with us when we were little girls)
Think about your hair
Take a bath and go to bed 💓🙂🙂

(This is the church where she met Jesus and was confirmed and baptized at age 47)

 (This is the house she lived in later with my great granny and my auntie until Auntie got married).  We had fun playing on the stairs in this house.

My little grandmother had some hardships.  The biggest tragedy occurred when her husband died.  She had only been married fourteen years and had three children at home.  She possessed a little bit of life insurance and some war bonds, but she did not work so finances remained very tight for her entire life.  She managed to live on Social Security and her savings.  My mom thinks she still had a kernel of savings when she died in a nursing home at eighty-four.  She was VERY frugal and she appreciated everything she was given. 
When I was a child Grandma was a fixture in our lives.  She didn't share her feelings much or give my mother suggestions, so sometimes I forgot that she cared about everything occurring in the lives of her children and grandchildren.  Reading her daily diaries allows me to know her and understand her.

I looked through all the diaries I have and opened to July 9 (her birthday) in each one.  Her life was beautifully ordinary.  She wasn't looking to stand out in a crowd or "succeed" in the way that brings one kudos.  She simply did her work at home, paid attention to her kids and grandkids, read her Bible, watched soap operas 😉 and tended to her personal business. Here are a few things she did over the years on the day of her birthday:
1935: hung clothes on the line, received a vegetable grater, measuring spoons, and a toaster (from her hubby), made her own cake, went for a ride and got a flat tire
1936: It rained.  She received a big box of candy from her husband
1937: baked her own cake and made ice cream, husband had a fender bender
1938:  a hot day, made a cake and cookies, hubby was away visiting his hospitalized father
1939:  a hot day, mother-in-law visited
1940:  baked pies, hubby forgot birthday

Her husband died in 1943 so there aren't diaries (or they are lost) for a few years.
1950: 48th birthday, my mom (her oldest daughter) made a nice dinner for her (at our house) and baked a cake

Here there is another gap (I think she had a serious stroke) 

1964:  polished her nails, my mom and sister and I visited (I was six years old), she came to our house for dinner, she received a gift of yarn to knit a rose colored sweater 😊 and my mother helped her wind the skeins.  She stayed up until 11:30 knitting.
1965:  63 years old, received a card and three dollars (wondered what she might buy), my younger sister and I came with Mother bearing a bakery cake, she received a  toaster, my paternal grandparents came by for cake and brought Grandma Evelyn a pink hat (love that!)
1966:  64 years old, washed sheets, spent five dollars at the grocery store (oh me!), Mother and Karol and I brought a cake and a gift (a camp chair), my brothers came later and mowed her lawn, my dad finished the lawn, my older sister spent the night (sleep overs!) and they stayed up past 11:00 pm watching a movie.
1967:  65 years old, kids (my three older sibs) picked strawberries, my dad gave her a ride to church, she received beautiful yellow towels from my auntie and ten dollars from my mom, her feet hurt
1968: 66 years old,  washed and hung clothes on the line, watered the flowers, we brought cake, my older sister brought her friends over to eat cake (at this time she lived across the street from the elementary school and the high school in our town)
1969: 67 years old
"Well, I don't FEEL any older!"
washed windows, ordered a pair of shoes, enjoyed a ham dinner at our house (she LOVED ham dinners), went to see Peter Pan!
1970:  68 years old, cleaned floors, went to the grocery, my mom and a few of us visited, received a blouse and a raincoat 
1971:  69 years old, ironed, went to the grocery store, came to our house for dinner, received a photo album
1972:  70 years old!  rained, slept until 9, went to church, did three loads of laundry, went to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor (at this time she had moved in with my auntie) and they played the drums and wished her a happy birthday (how nice!)
1973: 71 years old, mush for breakfast, out to lunch with Auntie's family, ate cake, Auntie cooked roast beef for dinner
1974:  72 years old, went out to lunch in Burlington, went to the fabric store (she was visiting my family)
1975: 73 years old, went to town, had eyeglasses adjusted, ate cake with my paternal grandparents and my brother and his wife, received a blouse, a plant, a book, and some stationery
1976: 74 years old, dined at Country Kitchen (she had moved in with our family now), ate cake and ice cream, received body lotion, bath crystals, a red sweater, and a calorie counting book (oh, brother!)
1977:  75 years old! bought hearing aid batteries, ate cake, had salmon for dinner, the girls (us) did the dishes
1978:  76 years old, went out to breakfast, there was a bbq at church, received lotion and a "house coat"
After it became to difficult for her to stay at our house (my youngest sister was leaving for college and my parents were extremely busy with a political campaign) she went to a home care residence for a while (nice people).
The last diary I have was the recording of years she lived in a nursing home.  She still wrote daily.
On her 80th birthday she combed out her hair (she had been a beautician before she married and she cared about her hair), they placed a Happy BIRTHDAY sign on her room door and she appreciated it. 

Dear little grandmother.  I am so thankful that she took the time to document her days.  She and my auntie stood up with me when I was baptized as an infant and I believe that was a very holy moment that God smiled down upon.  I know He smiled down on Grandma and cheered for her as she soldiered on even when things weren't happy.  She had courage.  My mom says that she was a VERY good mother, always there to tend to her chicks, nurture them when they had sore throats or measles, plan their birthdays, sew their clothes, and cook healthy meals.  She loved being a mother and her oldest daughter (my sweet mother) grew up to be strong, helpful, responsible, and tough.  My uncle (her second child) grew up to be hardworking, extremely successful, and fun loving.  Her youngest (Auntie) was just two years old when her daddy died.  Grandma cherished Auntie and prayed and prayed for her.  She is a lovely person, too.  She is strong and giving.  Isn't it an accomplishment that registers in heaven, raising up three good souls?  

Well, you didn't have to read this far, so if you did, God bless you.
If you record your daily doings maybe one of your grandchildren will someday savor your words the way I savor my grandmother's diaries.  
Happy birthday, Grandma. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Summertime July

Yesterday (the Sabbath) after walking to church, cooking a hot breakfast, and taking a little nap, I settled in for some cardi knitting.  I'm making some good progress even though the yarn is a bit splitty.  It's soft anyway.

 July!  The sweet peas smell delicious. 

And within a few years I should have a big crop of rhubarb, thanks to my sweet neighbor Reve. 
 The wild grass growing up in the catmint is pretty, isn't it?
 When I had jury duty they took away my addi turbo circular needle (I guess one could stab someone else with my little workhorse needle) so I had to go back to the yarn store and buy another (and then weave it into the stitches - thankfully this went well).  There is NO PLACE like the yarn store.  I thought you might like to see some of the goodness. 

While browsing around Hobby Lobby, I noticed how lush the fake flowers look when they are displayed well.  I'd buy a BUNCH, but they are expensive. 

Here's a cute line up of happy kids.

I am so thankful for the marigolds.  I did not plant any of them.  God did.

 Christie took this photo of our Jeff.  What a cute daddy!  My heart grows two sizes when I look at this picture. 

A fancy red bug on a sunny shiny sunflower!  
 We have one zucchini already and many more to be had.  Too many, I know. 
 We had houseguests last week.  Tim does not have warm happy feelings toward houseguests.  He wants his people at his beck and call.  

Sometimes he goes up to Bill's office and checks out . . . zzz

 "no bees no honey no work no money"

Our precious friends visited from Washington.  They were in high school when Bill and I worked with Young Life almost forty years ago.  We love them so much. 

After they left us they headed south (destination Texas) and stopped at the Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs.  FUN!

And our dear animal hoarder got another puppy.  Winnie.  I know, they are both adorable.  Circus!  Circus! 

This one revels in being the only pet at our house.  He doesn't appear to mind at all that he doesn't have cat friends (or dog friends).  He's been moth hunting in the morning.  He eats them.  Yikes.

We have a busy grandkid week ahead.  Side note: Our Brad and his family will celebrate at a nice hotel because Brad will bagpipe for a small town parade.  Isn't that fun?  They have been doing lovely summer things like going to drive in movies (April packed a wonderful bag of movie snacks to be eaten in the van.  The kids wore their pajamas to the late movie).  They are also swimming and going to the library.  They have finished the church's VBS (April is a master organizer of VBS's).  
Here, the local grands will come over today.  The three puppy girls will sleep over and their parents will come for a picnic lunch tomorrow.  Christie is meeting a friend for coffee this morning so James and Noah will pop by for a short stay.
Thursday Sam and Liz (Plum) will come and then they will sleep over on Saturday while their parents celebrate their anniversary.
So, there are many doings around here. 
I am looking forward to a trip to Washington later this month.  My sister's oldest daughter is getting married in the woods around their seaside home.  I'll spend time with sibs and my precious mama.  I'll visit Guemes Island.  Oh, to see the sea again!  Yay!
Happy 4th of July to American friends!
Happy belated Canada Day to my Canadian friends!
Happy summer to my friends abroad and  happy winter to my sweet buddies in Australia and New Zealand. 
Sending heaps of love your way.
Thank you for checking in to say hello!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

VERY Cute!

 Here's Noah, just hanging around drinking some water.  

When we go down to our basement to play (the boys) Tim likes to join us.  He lurks and slinks around the borders, going in and out of hiding places.  
 He's almost one year old.  So handsome. 
 Sam and Plum had a fun weekend. They went paddle boarding and kayaking with their parents AND they welcomed a new member into their family. They came to our house on Saturday and ate strawberries, walked to the grocery store, and watched Kids YouTube videos (Baby Alive - girls love watching someone else play with dolls).
 Here's their new addition.  Her name is Amelia.  She was found on a busy highway and a nice lady fostered her for a while.  Jenny is such a cat lover - she passed the "are you worthy of this precious kitten?"  test and brought her home to a delighted pair of girlie girls.  

Here's Sam showing off her hula skills.

And if that's not enough cuteness, Kelli took the girls to their babysitter's house to see some golden doodle puppies.  They are all sold (thankfully) so no more pets will be added to the already full house o'animals.

I am waiting around for my little kitchen island/cart to arrive.  The handy man is going to assemble it here so it'll be in its new spot soon.  Moving the other island into the living room was not a "yee haw" picnic-ish sort of endeavor.  We had to shift a table, then take the top off the big island, then move it.  Argh.

I find moving things around very satisfying (if I can do it myself and not inconvenience someone else) and when I actually do it, I wonder why I waited so long.  
God be with YOU, good visitors.  I'm very appreciative of your kind attention.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Same Old Pom Pom Stuff

 Timothy is an early bird like us.  He likes to watch for moths in the morning.  

I took this photo of me fake sleeping, but Tim is sleeping for real.  I sent it to our Jenny and she said, "He thinks he's a human."  He does. 

 The trees are so green and full.  This is such a pretty time of year. 
 When I was out filling the wading pool and planting some nasturtium seeds someone was watching me. 
 The fire-colored marigolds volunteered their beauty again this year.  Yay!
 Gulp!  I have enough zucchini plants to feed our whole neighborhood block.  Ooops. 
 Today Sam, Lizzy, and I went to Sam's Club and we came upon some tea party fare.  Pretty!  We ran out of time and didn't have a tea party after all. We'll do it Saturday. 
 This is the earliest we've EVER had sweet peas.  I'm thrilled with them!  They smell so delicious. 

 Hollyhocks coming soon. 
 I think this kind of rose is called florabunda.  I am thankful the beetles are not dining in our flowerbeds. 

I put a chair in the dirt garden.

Wonder of wonders - MIRACLE!  I am actually finished with my alpaca vest and I am using my new blocking pads that I received for Christmas!  

When I made the sleeves and sewed them in for this striped sweater that I've been working on for one hundred years, I realized it is all wrong.  The sleeves are dropped but skinny.  I looked like a stuffed sausage when I put it on.  Bad planning.  So, I shall make the body into a pillow!  Poof!  Remind me not to make anymore pullovers/jerseys because they do not turn out well when one has a Winnie the Pooh body to work with.  Cardigans.  Just cardigans. 

 This nature journal guide is full of info.  I didn't realize there was so much to learn.  
 I would like to become more aware, more appreciative of God's creativity, so I'm going to give it a try (journaling with art in response to natural beauty). 
 I like to order used cookbooks.  Cheap!  This is a beautiful addition to my cookbook library.  I don't know if any of the recipes really fit my particular cooking style, but looking at beautiful photos of food is almost as good as eating lovely food.  Do you agree?
 I have a small yarn stash compared to other enthusiastic knitters, but I LOVE looking at wool, dreaming of all kinds of knitted possibilities.  

 My friend Nana Go Go sent me a Facebook link informing me that there is a a new Pooh movie all about Christopher Robin.  Oh my goodness.  I can't wait.  Let's have a little honey to celebrate! 

I'll put the kettle on and wait for you to get here.  I'll be knitting.