summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Thursday, July 9, 2020

pictures of July....

The girls picked me some Tiger Lillies...and Wulf and Elise, cousins!

Jonathan got his driving permit, and drove all the way home from the city. I think he's the only one of my kids to drive home from getting their permit. Either I'm getting more patient or he's just a good driver and I trust him.

All the Aunties meeting little Achilles...Sonja, Char, Cam...and Evelyn.

Baby Ophelia.

Auntie Kathryn from Oregon with Anya and Elise.

Anya loves her baby cousin Achilles.

The baby cousins meet, little Ophelia and Achilles.

Kathryn and Darius, and Jon, and Sonja, and Siri-The-dog, hanging out on the deck.

I kind of like the pool deck without the railing, but when the lumber comes in for it, it'll be built, for safety.

It's hot today, was 96, 35.5c. Shivery hot weather. We've been in the pool a LOT.

Tonight we're having pizza and wings from the local place, a place Kathryn misses. They don't do New York pizza in Oregon.

Kathryn brought her Nintendo Switch for the kids here, and they are playing MarioCart, after a long day spent mostly outside. The sun and heat do tire one out, and I feel so sorry for those who have to actually work on a day like today. Samuel works full time, landscaping, down in Virginia, and it's pretty warm there, warmer than here. Jonathan also works full time landscaping, I'm sure he'll jump in the pool when he gets home.

Ah well, it's good to have our visitors. It seems like vacation. We went to town to get ice cream today, because apparently they don't do soft-serve very well in Oregon either:). And shh, I actually got one this was as good as I knew it would be...chocolate and vanilla twist. Oh dear.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

so, is anyone out there melting yet?

Or is it just me? It's mighty hot here in central New York state. Mighty. It might not be the top topic for me if I had air conditioning, but no sir, we just turn on the fans and blow the hot air around a bit. We COULD install a few window units and put up a curtain in the hall doorway, we have done that before. But when it's NOT really that hot, it seems like too much work, then when it gets like this, I'm thinking we're crazy. You do get acclimated a little bit, but it's not fun.

This fine summer morning, I have somewhere to go! Mr. Jonathan has an appointment to take his driving learner's permit test today! It's the day he's been waiting for all of his life! I am not sure how it will work, if we have to line up outside...can I just faint now and get it over with?!

We picked up our dear Kathryn, and Darius, and little Achilles from the airport last night! (The airport looked like a ghost town! So few cars lined up, so few people inside the big shiny glass windows, no one sitting on the benches...this airport just had a multi million dollar facelift, and now it's so apocalyptic...) They are staying with Benjamin and Ashley. Ben and Ashley's little Anya has stated that this is better than Christmas, AND her birthday, to have them there. They are all coming here later, to swim and visit. So we do have to clean up the house, don't we?

So fun things are happening! Did you know that I am an old lady? Yup. I am turning 55 on Friday. So Evelyn Joy, my 20 year old daughter, is planning a party for me, a deck party, here at my house. She is taking the day off of work on Friday to set things up, but she says we have to have the house clean already, oh yes, we are on that, not. Anyway, she has invited some friends, and my sister, some nieces. We shall socially distance, and mostly be outside, and it's under the recommended gathering size here in NY.

Also, we are having a gathering at our church on Sunday, a summer barbecue, with less people than the recommended gathering amount, and outside. We shall serve the food with masks on, and serve it one family at a time. Guess who is buying and cooking? Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, ha. I'll fit it in somehow, to plan and shop. It's more difficult these days because of limits, and higher prices, ect.

Well, I have just enough time to sweep the floors and put in a load of towels before we have to go out the door, I just don't want to get all sweaty. Who am I kidding, I don't want to get more sweaty.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

never a dull one...ever!

Yesterday, I got to have Lydia over for the day! Her mama wasn't feeling well, and when you're a nurse and have to work that 12 hour shift, well, sometimes it's nice to actually get some sleep!

Miss Lydia likes the book Owl at Home, and she also wanted to read a Junie B. Jones book, about a stinky fish. We read the entire little chapter book in one sitting. What an attention span Miss Lyd has! She looked through the whole book by herself later, it's mostly words with just a few pictures.

Yesterday, I also got a new-to-me pool ladder! I'm very excited about it. They're out of stock mostly, online, and pricey. So when I found one on marketplace, I messaged the lady, and asked if I could come get it, no price dibbling, just paid the eighty bucks, and went on an adventure with Miss Charlotte Claire. It was on a road I've never been on, in a neighborhood I've never known about, and less than half hour away, so it qualified as FUN. I did put a mask on when I handed the lady the money, and she passed over the ladder, it's such a strange world. I did save money too, if I could have found one brand new, it would have been at least fifty bucks more, and the one I got was used only one season, looks very nice.

(Pet peeve: since I have been eying marketplace looking for the pool ladder, I've noticed that pools are rarer, and extremely marked up, price gouging! A little ten foot Intex pool for $300? Just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD. All the moms who have little ones who want to cool down, and have something to do, all the public pools that are either closed or limiting capacity, beaches too, plus the kids who have vulnerable people in the house and can't go to these places...and want a pool...and there are none to be had, or they are way expensive. How can one sleep at night, charging such exorbitant prices?)

Pool parts, solar covers, ect., are hard to come by too. Between demand, and reduced imports from China, ugh. Store shelves are a bit alarming. Where things are well stocked, if you look closer, there will be only one row of something, and so many empty places on shelves. Our local Target has hardly anything, so picked over. When the summer stuff came out, there was a fraction of what there usually is.

One of the pool hoses, the one from the pump to the filter, has two good sized cracks in it. I taped it up this morning, but the water just leaked right around the tape. We might have to used water welder on it, because I'm thinking it may be hard to find a new hose. I am sorry if I seem to obsess about the pool. I have so many feelings about my pool. Love and adoration top the list, followed by guilt (I wish everyone could have one!), and then there is fear: fear that after putting so much time, effort, and money into the nice deck, the pool is going to collapse and die. Or the water is going to turn back into a murky green, or or or. Now, this fear doesn't keep me up at night, but when you love something so much, you just naturally fear its loss.

And I do love it. It's so hot out this week...

Hot, and humid. We have no a.c. in the house, except for a window unit in Jon's room. It does get hot for sleeping, and in the afternoons, the house is really really warm. But a dip in the pool, and ahhhh! So refreshing.

Okay, I'm done with talking about the pool now. Has anyone else tried the Keto ice cream from Aldi? It's SO good, but how are you supposed to stop eating after one third, a serving, is gone? I did put it away, but it was hard, it's yummy.

We have some house cleaning to do, story of my life. Two shedding Labradors, two long haired cats, and the lot of us going in and out, and these floors need every day maintenance. It's not even close to how much daily housework there used to be, but still, summertime isn't ONLY vacation. The girls are all going out and about today, so I'll have some time to putter around and get things done, shh, that means lounge in the pool prob.

Kathryn and Darius and baby Achilles are coming in from Oregon tonight! They'll still be here this weekend when Sam and Grace and little Grant drive up from Virginia, we are doing a new family pic on Sunday! Sadly, Aaron and Suzanne won't be in it, as they are in California, and there are restrictions on travel from there to NY right now, they would have to quarantine for two weeks if they came.

Can I rant about Walmart a little bit more? My rants aren't worth the paper they're written on, because the minute I need something, I'll be back at Walmart, but I still like to complain about them. Back in the eighties, they had this huge Made In America campaign, all the while they were setting up more and more factories in China. They would tell a manufacturer, like a sock maker, that if they didn't close up their Tennessee factory and build one in China, they would stop buying from them. These small companies NEEDED to supply Walmart, so they complied. Televisons, toys, clothes...all moved to production in China, because it was cheaper. Now we have this pandemic going on, and...we're running out of STUFF, and as Americans, we need our stuff! Most of it's Walmart's fault. And the fact that somehow, they got to stay open and rake in the cash during all of this, while smaller stores suffered closures...NOT FAIR.

Let's see, anything else to rant about? How about some more respect for our BLUE? Most police officers are respectable, hard working, honest and ethical. There are some bad eggs, some who have let power go to their heads, and so on. But most of them, they put themselves in harm's way day after day. They see things like car accidents, so sad, so gruesome, so upsetting, and they are professional and compassionate, then they have to go home and process it all, then...go back to work the next day. They deal with some crazy people, and have to do it all within department guidelines and mandates. They are continuously challenged and never know when the suspect they are approaching will be armed, so they work in a mindset of low to highly fearful possibilities, day in day out. And this new "defund the police" crap, seriously? How about keeping the criminals they work so hard to apprehend ACTUALLY in JAIL! The world is upside down, I tell you.

I think I'm done venting for the day, but if I think of anything else...I'll be sure to run back to my comfy chair and let it rip.

Have a nice day, and I hope your weather, wherever you are, is as beautiful as ours...

Monday, July 6, 2020

the sweet and total joy of summer...

Our summer here in central NY state has been absolutely and completely beautiful. We are having a bit of a drought, we do need rain, but the days are amazingly full of sunshine and warmth, and we are reveling in it. Our deck is almost finished. The order wasn't fully delivered, there are things still back-ordered, and there are more materials we need to complete the steps and railing, and we need a few more deck boards, but it's really nice!

Eleven of the kids were here yesterday, 2 son-in-laws, 1 daughter-in-law, and five of the grandkids. We grilled burgers and coneys, Mariel brought over the yummy cut up watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and grapes, we had salt potatoes, and there were cupcakes with peanut butter frosting (and little peanut butter cups INSIDE the cupcakes!, thank you Mariel!), brownies with peanut butter and milk chocolate chips, fresh cinnamon donuts and half moon cookies (Thank you Margaret!), and lots and lots of cold drinks, seltzers and Diet Pepsi, iced tea...(thank you, Abigail!). Ashley also brought fresh cut up melon, which was so good.

(And if you're thinking that no WONDER she doesn't lose weight, I didn't have ANY of the desserts, not even a crumb.)(it's not fair, but it's my lot in life)

Grandchildren! And Auntie Evelyn, holding baby Ophelia.

Charlotte Claire, Camille, Margaret (she's due next month!), Abigail, and Mariel.

Auntie Emily with Ophelia


We surprised Adrian and celebrated his birthday!

Lovely Molly Rose and Benjamin...

Jonny's four-wheeler is burning a bit of oil. He has three of them, all works in progress. I like the flag on the back. Wulf is in LOVE with going for rides with Uncle Jonny.

Mr. Jonathan, celebrating his freedom. Yes, it's real.

Back in March when things were looking so dire and we weren't sure what would be open when, or if ever, it seemed smart to stock up on pool supplies, and I am ever so thankful we have the pool. With the deck on it, I'm sure it will be even more of a gathering place.

Tomorrow night, happy things are happening! Kathryn and Darius and little Achilles are coming from Oregon for a visit. Isn't it completely upside down and crazy that it almost seems CRIMINAL? What?! Airline travel?! From another STATE?! Oh dear. I'll be picking them up at the airport tomorrow, yay!!!!!!! I am SO excited. I was there when little baby was born, remember back in December when he was overdue and born right on the day we had to leave to fly back to NY? We were there from Thanksgiving day until December 13th, his birthday. I saw Kathryn and Achilles in California in March, but the rest of the family hasn't seen him at all, except for Jonathan who was with me when he was born, but that hardly counts, he was only a few hours old then.

(I stole this from Kathryn's instagram)

So today we have no definite plans except for the clean up the house a bit, put together a highchair that's new in the box so baby Achilles can use it, and, well, don't hate us, but...lounge in that pool!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

build that deck!

Yesterday was a scorcher. It was hot, at least 90, and sunny, and humid.

It's not finished yet, more deck boards need to be put on, then the railing and the stairs. We still need another trip to the home improvement store for the stairs material. Also, not all the lumber arrived, as we thought it did, because things don't always go smoothly, right?

The deck is nice so far though, nice and solid and very lovely.

Wulf on Jonny's four wheeler. Wulf likes to help build things, and dig in the dirt.

Today we are celebrating the fourth, having the family over. There will be burgers and hot dogs, salt potatoes and fruit. Mariel also made cupcakes. I bought ice cream bars and popsicles. We have much to be thankful for!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

the land of the free and the home of the brave....

What a blessing to live in such a country! We need to pray for our leaders, and be faithful in our own lives, and things will go well.

Yesterday, Jonathan had the day off from work, as did Abigail. Jon wanted to go shopping, and we had to drive to the suburbs to return the auger anyway, so...Walmart.
It was a zoo. It's simply outrageous that they require a mask, post reminders about social distancing, then have only THREE CHECKOUTS OPEN! They did have the self scan checkouts opened, limit 20 items, and the line for those snaked around far and wide.

This was the line we were in, which curved do you social distance in Walmart? By not going to Walmart.

I've often said I'd like to just walk around and take pictures of the sad things I see in Walmart, but as Jon said yesterday, "Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's not creepy, Mom." I still took a pic of this guy's shirt. I love it.

The pups, black Miss Suri and blonde Miss Sunny, Little Miss Sunshine. Because they bring joy.

Paul went out fishing this morning, and today is deck building day. Benjamin got called into work, so we haven't gotten started yet. I plan to work in my swimsuit, so I can hop in and cool off. It is a scorcher, an absolute scorcher. It's humid and sweaty already, we don't have A.C., and just sitting in my chair, ugh.

Last evening, our dinner was fantastic...London Broil on the grill, sliced cucumbers and baby carrots, and sourdough bread and butter for those who carb. Eating steak is few and far between these days, but I knew the girls would be going to the bluffs at Lake Ontario for pizza with Emily, and we would need lots less, so I splurged. It was on sale for $4.99 a pound, which is way more than it was before all this virus business, but oh well. It was a bit tough, but so good.

And...time to get to work.

Friday, July 3, 2020

well, we did try!

Have you ever dug a hole? Not in the sand, in a dry, hard yard? It's not as easy as they make it look in movies, when they accidentally murder someone and have to bury them real quick. We got all hot and sweaty, and got 3 holes like a foot deep, when ten had to be dug 4 feet deep. Sonja K. came bounding out the door saying that Dad said we should just rent an auger, and they have them in stock to rent at Home Depot. I threw the shovel down, and went in to change my clothes, we were going out and about!

Going in the rental place was in experience for Sonja, Char, and I. No other ladies were renting tools at this time, you see. One fellow was trying out the chainsaws, really revving them up, like five feet away, and saying some colorful words when the thing sputtered and coughed. Our eyebrows were raised.

They put the 71 pound auger on this little cart, and I was like, um, is someone going to help us put that in the truck?

All loaded in by a nice kid who works there, and wow! We saw two of the girls' friends go into TJMaxx! Of course we had to go in there and sneak up on them! And peruse the clearance racks, why not? I found bathing suits for Anya and Elise, a dress for Lydia, and and and.

We have to go return that auger now, here's our progress:

Today, we have to pick up all the empty cement bags, then fill in the holes with the extra dirt. Tomorrow: decking begins!!!! I am so excited. Of course our pool was a do-it-yourself project, and is crooked, so the deck will have to be a bit crooked too. If I woke up one day and everything in my life wasn't crooked or tilted or missing a piece, I would know I was dead ha.