Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Childhood Friends

Have you ever heard this song? I heard it somewhere, and it's always stuck in my bank of songs. It goes something like:
I don't want to play in your yard, I don't love you anymore,
you'll be sorry when you see me, sliding down our cellar door.
You can't holler down our rain barrel, you can't climb our apple tree,
I don't want to play in your yard, if you won't be good to me.
There's more, but that song always reminds me of one of my best friends as a child. She lived right across the street from me, and it was heaven! We'd play ALL the time, when we couldn't play, we'd stand out in our yards and yell back and forth to each other over the road.
We were so close; like sisters. So close, that we often fought like sisters, and that's why this song reminds me so much of my own sweet friend. We used to each take one of our shoes and trade it with the other, so that we'd go around with mismatched shoes. I'd always hear her mother say we were "ragamuffins". I had no idea what a ragamuffin is, but I took it as a huge compliment.
One thing that stands out in my memories of her, is that her room was always messy. Really messy. I loved it! My mom never let me have my room a mess like she got to have hers. I would sometimes try to hide some of my messes in my closet, or under my bed, but I don't know why I never caught on that my mom would look there. Linda got to have her messes right out for all the world to see. She taught me about ABC gum. I had no idea about gum until she informed me that is was called ABC for "Already Been Chewed". She also showed me how she put her ABC gum on her headboard of her bed. I can't tell you how surprised I was that people would actually do that! I knew I may as well forgo trying that at my house. I think my mom had some kind of phobia about gum anyway, that she passed onto me. I would hear her say to my dad, "Did you see that kid playing with his gum that way?" Meaning the kid was pulling it out of his mouth at arm's length, he was popping bubbles that landed on his face, fun stuff like that. When I would chew gum, she would say, "Would you chew your gum the right way?" I can remember slowly chewing, concentrating hard on how to chew gum. To this day, I can't stand gum. I'm ruined for it. It reminds me of someone chewing on their dental floss. I can't stand it when I find gum on something. My kids may be ruined, too lol. And no, our family wasn't what I'd call disfunctional, we were just trained to not like gum.
Back to Linda. And picnics. We would pack up a lunch in our basket and go out in the pasture, and have ourselves one of many wonderful picnics. We'd of course bring our dolls. We would play house, we would be friends as moms, just like our own moms were best friends. We'd pack our babies around, and powder them, and change them.
The doll box above is way older than the kind we had. Ours were shiny plastic, from the 1960s. I've got this one listed in my Etsy shop, my own that I played with is in storage. What kind of stories and memories are contained in this little case? Makes me wonder.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Midsummer Night's February

The family. The cowgirl is cuddled up on the swing.

Here's my men.
Yes, you can even read comics in the dark! My husband likes to collect old comics, like Sad Sack, for the boys.
The guy who works so hard to make my life so good!

Like everyone else in the Pacific Northwest, I am amazed and thankful for this glorious weather we've had the last week. It's just been gorgeous, not to mention, the kind of weather that gets you out, working in the yard, catching the sun's vitamin D!
I've had my greenhouse heating for the last week, and have had to turn it off during the day! It's nice to think that I can go in there and get warm any day, rain or shine! My husband and kids and I went out yesterday and started on one of the flower beds farthest from sight (it always seems like we work on the one's more visable as you drive up, and the rest get too neglected) of the entry into the house. We worked hard, cleaning out the leftover stuff that had fallen during windstorms, like leaves and twigs, etc., getting the weeds out, the ground turned. We got quite a bit accomplished, and decided to quit on that for the day, and move to a different project so he, I and the kids didn't get so burned out on all the weeding right away. He promised we'd do a major part of the flower beds each week, then we'd get them covered with bark dust, and be ahead of the job.
So, our next project, was to go up to a spot we created years ago, which has two trees just the right space apart for a hammock. We used to have the hammock there, took it down for winter several years, but it got old and worn out, and we just haven't gotten it replaced. That's a priority for this year, we ALL decided. He moved my old bench back up to the spot, on the brick that I had put down all those years ago. I always called it my secret garden, but the last few years it was pretty much neglected. We got it cleaned up pretty good, now we need to get the hammock, and we'll be set for a pleasant afternoon of reading up in the spot. I'll take pictures when I get flowers and get it finished.
Today, after church, we had pizza with a lady Randy's building a house for after he gets the one done he's working on now. They talked about the plans, the ideas, all that. It was a nice lunch, our town has some good pizza!
When we got home, I took my Sunday nap. Before I did, my boys said they wished we had an outdoor fire today, so I told them, you build it, and after my nap, I'll be there. They came in and told me they had it going; dad had gone in to town and got stuff for s'mores. I surprised them with some homemade hot cocoa. We saw the saw go down, wish I would have thought to take the picture of the beautiful sunset we watched just over the edge of the fireplace, as we sat in the benches around the fire. The picture isn't real clear that I did get of the family around the fire. But we all had a lot of fun, visiting, talking about whatever, just relaxing, staring into the fire. Just some memories we will always enjoy.
The dark picture, I wish it turned out better, is the window of our chicken house, the hens are roosting. I always get a laugh out them when we go out to our hot tub, you look over at the hen house, my husband for some reason still has a lamp on it there, and you can see them all roosting. You get the feeling you're being chickens! Wish I would have gotten the picture just a little earlier, and just a LOT more skilfully, but use your imagination.
The best part of the whole story, is IT"S ONLY FEBRUARY!! Our first outdoor fire, and it's only February? YES!!! Thank you Lord! Here's to many more family evenings around the fire. Now you know why my boys would rather stay home than go anywhere else!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Did you mention books?

My title was going to be something like "My Husband Scares Me!", but I thought I might get a bunch of hits on my blog with people thinking he's abusive lol.
Floss, over at Troc, Broc, and Recup, was talking about books today, and I've mentioned before that my husband likes books, but she got me inspired to share my troubles with books. Well, actually, I like books, too, but when we married, all those years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I know, I know, a lot of us can say that, right? He probably has at least thought it himself!
Let's just say, every time I was with my husband, when we first met, he was ALWAYS smiling! When we were together, he laughed ALL the time! I thought to myself, we are EXACTLY ALIKE! What I didn't realize, is, he's actually very serious, very quiet, very contemplative, and when I thought we were exactly alike, was more that he was "in love!" I hadn't noticed that he's not really like that with everyone else, for some reason. Well, one of my first clues, was when we went to my first class reunion. If you knew me, you'd know, I've always been...talkative...loud?...laughing.... I could go with him to his class reunion, and when I left, I'd probably know more people than he did! I can't help it! Seriously, I go to little get-togethers of all kinds, and before I go, I tell myself, "Be quiet!" "Don't talk." "Don't laugh." But then, all of a sudden, something comes over me, and there I go again! On my way home, I wonder, "Is it because I'm home all the time, with kids, with homeschool, living in the country, like they don't let me out?" No, I've always been that way and there's not a thing I can seem to do to change it, try as I may.
But now, back to Randy. When we are alone together, we laugh, we have fun, but he is...intelligent. I think he had a lapse of some sort when he met me. I didn't know he loved to read. He loves to study. He loves God and he reads a lot of early Christian history, missionary biographies, study books, all that kind of stuff. He has a library that I don't often venture into, but it's so packed with his books that I don't even know how he manages to get them in there. He's sold a couple of HUGE collections a couple of times, and he still has books! I tease them that the mustier they are, the more he likes them. OK, it's not just books upstairs. He has pictures whever he can put them, like on the ceiling of his cubby-hole study, of things the kids have drawn him. He always has them sign them, and date them...all that. He collects books for them, too. The family room has a large shelf that is full of the Nancy Drew's, and other literature from the earlier 1900s. Just this morning I mentioned that we have a LOT of books, are they really reading these books. Yes, as a matter fact, they are!
Well, since Floss, my new blogger friend in France, was sharing her "book story", I thought I'd share some of my husband's problem. I didn't go every in the house he has book shelves, but here's a taste of what you'd see if you visited me. I got one of his clocks, and some of his family's heirloom stuff, too. But OK, I'll admit, he does have some pretty neat books, don't you think?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My First Hummingbird! YES!!!

Today as I was doing a few things that took me outside, I was amazed at how warm it was. I'd say 58 degrees wasn't bad. I mean, that's only 12 degrees from summer! Considering that in December we were having VERY cold weather, I think this warmth we had was a good sign. I forgot to check, did the groundhog see his shadow? I also forgot which was it goes if he DID see it?? Oh well, between you and me, I think spring's trying to pop out all over.

And I know I spilled the beans by my title, but you know, one year, I had a hummingbird come to my window on February 13th. This was several years ago, and I was so surprised to see him so early, I've begun a watch every year to see when the first one comes. I just told my kids a few days ago, PLEASE tell me when you see a hummingbird.

And guess what? Yep, there was one out on the porch today! How exciting is that? I hurried to the kitchen to make some syrup, b/c he's expecting it, right? It's amazing how they come back every year! And they just seem to me to be like flowers; the first sign of spring. Yes, they are like a flying bouquet, with all their color.

A week or so ago, we went out and did some raking from the winds we had had, and it's always a little sad to see so much work to do. Our huge maple tree seems to just be so hard on the lawn. I try to get all the leaves up, but there's always that period of time where I can't get out there, it's too rainy or something else is going on, and even just a few leaves left on the ground will put my lawn in a mess. I've been looking out the window near my sewing room, busy inside, but needing to get out there and work. Randy's getting some things done in my greenhouse for me this weekend, if all goes well. I'm very anxious to get that going. Right now, I've got cuttings I took last fall of all kinds of plants, to see if I could get them to start. I actually think some might have made it, and what a wonderful thing that would be, to actually propigate my own plants!

Spring? Bring it on!!