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

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

tow truck!

 Oh, if it isn't one's a flat tire.  

I know, lovely, right?  We had some angels watching over us, this happened as we were driving on a small highway, it could have been bad.  This is our tire!  There was no pumping it up to make it to a tire shop, it was destroyed.  The tire pressure light went on, and ever so gently, we had a flat.  We were stopped in front of Molly's house, dropping Miss Lydia off, we checked, and oof, flat.

We decided to leave it there overnight, and call the tow truck this fine morning.  We had it towed to a Mavis Tire, in the small city.  I called first, and got a price on four tires, because may as well.   The tow truck finally came, and I finally got the call that the tires were installed.  Well, imagine my shock and surprise when the total was a hundred fifty dollars more than the nice man on the phone assured me it would be...  No sir, no way, now how, I explained.  It seems that they go through a call center, just like the tow truck third party service.  So the guy there approved a price I saw online (which should totally be legit, it's on THEIR website!), and the guy in the store said it was way more expensive for that tire.  I was nice, but stood firm, and one of them called someone who confirmed that my service order had that price, so it took an hour, but they honored it.  I walked out of there feeling like I hadn't just dropped five hundred bucks on tires, but like I had gotten a deal.  ( I really didn't though, I just got the price I was quoted!)

Anyway.  I should have gone home, as it was late afternoon, and what the heck was for dinner?  I got a total of TWO texts asking that very question.  I should have gone home, but I was all by myself, so shh, I wandered through BJ's.  I bought Hershey Kisses, because the jar was empty...Achilles had visited with us for a few hours this morning, as his mama and papa got their New York State driver's licenses instead of their Oregon ones, the Department of Motor Vehicles isn't for the fainthearted, or for two year olds.  Oh, and Achilles had the last few Kisses. 

So I bought some seltzer, a jar of cookie butter, burger, a pork loin roast, and some weed killer.   Then, I filled up the tank because gas was $4.69, which oh my goodness was a good deal, did you ever think we'd see the day?

I should have gone home then, but nope.  The dollar store beckoned.  I wanted to get pails and shovels for tomorrow's trip to the beach, but nope.  They had little tiny ones, I decided to get two, but I didn't find anything else.  Home, at last.

Dinner!  Oh dang, there was no time for grilling pork chops or chicken drumsticks!  The kids had to go out the door for a youth meeting, and I had to hurry hurry hurry....ha, I had dawdled, then had to hurry.  Taco salad again?  of course, why not?  I browned up some burger, Sonja chopped red and orange and green peppers, red onions, black olives.  Jonathan opened some corn, added cilantro.  We had fresh salsa, and there was sour cream.  A fantastic dinner, in the end.

And, tomorrow, the beach!  I didn't get to go the other day with the grandkids, but tomorrow, it's beach day!  The weather is clear and sunny, in the low eighties, not too shabby!

Monday, June 27, 2022

mean girls....

 I'll tell you a tale, a very sad woe, a true story.  

This fine day, after taking a morning swim and doing some of my aerobic exercises in the nice warm water in the beautiful sunshine, I took Miss Camille to her physical therapy session.  I'll skip over the boring routine that started the day, you know, sweeping and cleaning up and doing some laundry.  I will stop in on a few points:  talking with Mr. Grant, and holding Miss Ruth a few (several) times, she's a busy one.  Samuel had his first day of work today, which is a whole 'other tale.  (Grace was on her own with the kids, and was taking them to the beach to meet Kathryn with her two little ones, and Molly Rose with her two little ones, and also Emily went...)....but ANYWAY.  After P.T., I came home and picked up Sonja K. and Charlotte Claire, and off we went, to Target!

Target is always fun, in my humble opinion.  When you're with a college student who is almost done with her summer class (and doing well in it, a pharmaceutical class!), and two girls who are done for the summer, well, there is just a joy.  Plus, all the bathing suits were 50% off!  I told the girls they could pick one out, so they got busy perusing the racks.  I found some myself, to try on.  A few bikini tops:  I'm not brave enough for the general public, but I'll put one on for our pool now, those big granny suits are hot.  Hot, but not hot, ha.   

Anyway.  I picked out a few tops, a few bottoms, and a one piece gingham suit that was too cute.  Well, things on the hangars might be cute, but put them on ME, and whoa!  Eeks and ouch, where did those rolls come from?  I wasn't too surprised that I didn't look like a million bucks, but the bright lights and the big mirrors are pretty honest, and oh well.  I might have gotten just one of the tops for the back yard...then, I heard it, a loud-mouthed woman:  Oh my GOD, this makes me look horrible, the rolls, the fat it shows!  I don't look as bad as those girls in Walmart yesterday, did you see them?  They were horribly fat, letting it all hang out, the rolls and the jiggles, oh my GOD, disgusting....(barfing noises), at least I don't look THAT bad...another voice:  Mom, STOP, just stop!   (she didn't stop). daughter again pleaded:  STOP, MOM!  From my changing stall, I said loudly, "Thank you!"  There was dead silence in the change room.  The girl started whispering furiously to the mom, told her she couldn't say things like that....but it was too late.  Her words hurt.  She was mean.  I can't believe someone, in this day and age, could be so MEAN about fat people.  I stood there, a big grown lady, who knows full well about sticks and stones, and I started sobbing.  I stared at myself, all previously hopeful in that bathing suit top, and felt the full impact of those words....rolls.  jiggles.  disgusting.  

Then I decided anew to NOT care what people think about me, but I was still very sad that someone could be so mean.  I've experienced meanness from online, but wow, such vehemence!  Such anger, and coldness!  wow.  She wasn't even talking about me, but shh, I did wonder:  Gee, was I in Walmart yesterday?

When I caught up with my girls and told them about it, I got a bit upset again.  Fat shaming is not okay.  The poor daughter.    Anyway.  She wasn't going to steal the joy out of our Target outing.

We bought two new floats for the pool, some bubbles for the grandkids.  We went to the grocery store for a few things, and the girls ordered some fries and onion rings...I cannot believe how many they got, for two dollars and something each...!

(Char and Cam)(No, they did not eat them all, they brought them home and shared)

Last evening, Paul and I babysat for three grandsons for the evening.  I made pan-fried pork chops, cubed seasoned sweet potatoes in the air fryer, asparagus, and served unsweetened applesauce.  Guess what they liked the best?  Wulf said, "  Grandma, you make the BEST applesauce!"  yes, Wulf, I buy it at Aldi, and open the jar.  

They got along quite well, were a bit rambunctious, but played nicely too.

Wulf and Grant, cousins!
Little Tennyson...he was tired.
Achilles at the beach today...
Rhys and cousin Lydia
Achilles, Ophelia, Rhys...

Ruth and Rhys...

I was sad to miss the beach outing, but with Camille's PT at noon, I couldn't make it.  That's okay.  I love grandchildren time, but sometimes being with the younger kids is pretty special too.

This day went by too fast.  We had a glorious day, warm and sunny and not humid.  I grilled burgers for dinner for Paul and I, and cut up baby cucumbers, carrots, and radishes.  Jonathan and Charlotte Claire made a pepperoni pizza, and a cheese pizza, with garlic crusts.  

Anyway.  I wonder if the lady in the change room had mental problems, I don't know.  It crossed my mind, when I realized she was leaving, to open my door and confront her.  The "B" word that rhymes with witch came to mind, but I immediately ran that by God, and He didn't approve.  What can I learn from this?  I can't help that it hurt my feelings, but now I CAN help where my thoughts go.   I can learn to be careful with my own daughters, and never ever let judgy-wudgy words come out against other people.  We need to uplift each other, bear one another's burdens, and remember that love covers a multitude of sins.  The cry of my heart, "Dear Lord, help me to judge myself, and not others, and not return evil for evil..."

Sunday, June 26, 2022

in which she disappears, then returns...

 So Lake Ontario didn't disappoint, once again.  Paul and I took the two pups for a three night getaway.  Our site was right across the beach.  We were just steps away from white sand, and warm clear water.  This pic below shows Miss Suri, all tired out, lying like a good girl...she was tied up, as required in the campground.

My morning coffee with a view...
The sunset from our campfire...

Such nice water for swimming, cool and refreshing but quite warm.
Miss Ophelia, our granddaughter (Molly and Josh's two year old) came for a visit!
Molly Rose and Ophelia....
Suri and Sunny got so tired out from running and swimming to chase the stick.
Suri would roll in the sand...cinnamon donut dog.

They would get so tired, they were just ANGELS in the tent...we brought a nice shag rug for them to sleep on, it caught a lot of the we had a brush with us, to brush some of the sand off them...
Sunset from the campfire...
That sunset glow!
So relaxing.
Miss Sunny...
You know me, I LOVE the sun....

We got lots of exercise, between running in the water with the dogs, walking all the way to the bathhouse several times a day, and one of the days we went into Sacketts Harbor...
Just one pic of the old battlefield, War of 1812...
Paul with the pups on the harbor...
They weren't too bad, walking through the town....we stopped at a little coffee shop for iced coffees, and even bought home baked treats for the pups.  We avoided the scrumptious baked goods, oh they were tempting.
They settled in nicely.  Sunny would bark at passing dogs sometimes, but didn't care at all about the kids running around or anyone else either, just dogs.  Suri didn't care about anyone or any dogs, she just chilled, enjoyed the scenery.  They were lots of fun.
It was a good campsite, and it was actually hard to leave.  Usually after three nights of tent camping, one would be ready to go home.  But we had perfect weather, and the new tent worked out nicely.  It's big enough that we had room for our air mattresses and the pups had plenty of room.  After having leg cramps in the night last year (and the year before!), and not even having enough room to stand up and stretch, not to mention the lack of head room, couldn't stand fully up, thought I would trip and fall when trying to wrestle myself into my granny bathing this tent does make life easier (money  =   happiness, ha). 

That's the old cookstove, had it for years, and the new table top grill...

Anyway, we're home, and tonight we're babysitting for Wulf, Tennyson, and Grant while their parents go to a barbecue...bye for now!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

ah good morning!

 Oh how good it is, too.  I had to drive Miss Char to her very last state test this morning, and what a beautiful day it is, one of those mornings that almost hurts the senses, it smells so good, and everything is so lush and green.  I drove by farms, cows in the morning sun, and a peacock ran in front of my car.  I know, right?  

Yesterday I had to bring Camille to the doctor, she still needs the leg brace, and has to start physical therapy tomorrow.  The knee is still swollen, but is healing up nicely otherwise.  After her appointment, we drove up to the house we are fixing up.  Camille sat on the front porch and talked with Grant, who kept himself busy collecting nails and screws, while I painted outside trim and Mariel cleaned the front windows.  Paul got the kitchen sink hooked up, and Sam helped with the hot water heater.  It's coming along, we're waiting for trim to be available, then it'll be almost there.  phew.

So Sam and Grace are still living here, and it's busy.  Little Ruth pulls herself up and cruises along the furniture, sometimes she lets go and stands all on her own.  First steps are coming soon!  She is a busy smiley little girl.  

Today, we are going to the zoo!  I'll ride with Kathryn....Sam and Grace and their little ones will go too.  Just yesterday I was going on these summer outings with my own little ones, now I'm the old grandma!

I did overdo it yesterday, after all the work on the house, I went to our church and cleaned the kitchen for a few hours.  Sweeping and mopping and wiping things down, more stress on my arm and hand...well, I paid for it.  I woke up in the night and OUCH.  I NEED to rest it again.  When we were on our little vacation, by the third night, I finally had a night where I slept through without resting it does work.  Last night though, oh my goodness.  It's kind of discouraging.  I don't mind cleaning and painting, and I want to be a help...but I've read about it, and it's not good to just push through the pain, which I feel like I've done all my life.  Once, several-everal years ago, I went to the ortho dr. for my knee pain, and oh the arthritis on that x-ray!  The dr. asked, don't they hurt?!  Yes, I said, but I'm so used to pain...(try being fat and pregnant for years on end, and still have to take care of kids and the house, ha.)

Anyway.  I don't mean to complain, everyone has their trials in life.  It ain't all sunshine and rainbows, but sort of, it is.  If you're alive and breathing, God has been good to you.  

Grant, with the comfiest seat, on the TP!

Saturday, June 18, 2022

vacation speeds by, despite our best efforts to slow down time...


Is there anything lovelier than a sunset on Lake Ontario?  
I'm not sure how it happened, but I'm the griller.  I don't really mind, especially when the girls come out to keep my company, and steak, how can anyone complain about grilling steak?
Just so breathtaking...
Our afternoon repast...
Miss Cam getting some sun, there was a nice breeze off the lake.  She undid the brace and relaxed.
They discovered you can toast baguette slices with brie, prosciutto, and add some honey...

Watching the sunset...
A cozy kitchen...
A cozy living room...
Miss Cozy herself, Camille Anaya...
Hopscotch, Sonja K.
Camille tries it...

Evelyn, Abigail, Camille, Sonja, Mariel, Emily...Miss Charlotte Claire and Paul weren't with us, Char had a NY state test, and we're less than an hour from home, so he got up yesterday morning and drove her there.  It was awful:  she thought the test started at 9:15...a nice lady from the school called me at 8:07, where was Charlotte?  The test started at 8:00!  oops, dang.  The nice lady assured me it would be fine if she was late, and to drive carefully...Charlotte was a mess, oh the pressure!  She had a second Regent's exam later in the day, too.  She didn't have time to finish the essay, hopefully she still gets a good grade.  But if not, she can take it again in August, or next year.
Miss Cam, such a good sport.  We went to the beach the other day, there were a few trees so some nice shade for her.  She can't go swimming yet, obviously, and has to start physical therapy soon...

So yes, it's gone by too fast, and we've had too much fun.  Everyone is waking up now, we have to clean the place up and pack up and go home....Sam and Grace and Grant and Ruth are at the house, so yay, it'll be nice to get home.  I haven't seen Grant in way way too long, and now that he'll be living nearby, I'll get to see him all the time, and I am extremely thankful for that.  

Ah well....the lake is angry today, so cozy in here...windy and wavy and loud....lovely.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

...just at the lake...on vacation...


Paul brought his bike, Sonja wanted to try way too high.
This!  Emily Anne and Camille Anaya, my oldest and my youngest, 23 years apart, the firstborn and #16. 
The view here is astounding, we are right on Lake Ontario.  There is a scary hard path down to the water's edge, which is rocky and treacherous, to this old lady.  

Charlotte Claire, Sonja K., Emily, and Evelyn with Paul....the cold water feels good, he says.
Me this morning with the view from our window...

Down near the water, yes I braved the path down...and no, I didn't have a fretting worry running through the background of my mind the entire time I was down there about how in the whole dang world was I going to get back up to the house.  oops, I lied.  I totally did.  I tried to get into the water, but I just couldn't scale those big rocks like Paul and the young limber girls of mine.
Miss Camille got to Sid down near the water, Paul piggy-backed her down, and then back up.  He also brought us down chairs.  :)
This was the nice sign the owners left here for us, which we could see through the window while we tried over and over again to get the door code to work, turned out there is a little sign thing you have to press after the number, who knew?
So yes...vacation, just for three days, but ahhhh.

I had marinated chicken breast in lime juice and Jamaican jerk seasoning, then dried them off and tossed them in olive oil, and onto the grill last evening.  We had a fantastic salad: spring mix, romaine, freshly picked strawberries all sliced up, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, pecans (roasted and seasoned with salt and cayenne, and a dash of sugar, by Char), croutons, and red onion slices.  We set it up salad bar style, and ate it with the chicken sliced on top.  It was warm and muggy, and we ate outside with the lake breeze, the perfect summer meal.

Dessert:  someone has pics of it, I had bought an angel food cake...I sliced it into nine pieces, plated them, scooped the sliced strawberries on top, and squirt-y whipped cream, with one strawberry on top of each...we carried the little plates outside in a big cake pan, it was fancy and fun and special, and best of all, yummy.

This fine morning is breezy and gorgeous, and I'm sitting outside in an Adirondack chair, drinking my coffee.  I won't say everything is easy peasy perfect though:  I've been waking up with what I think is carpal tunnel pain in my hands, mostly the right one, shooting right up my arm.  Well, last night it woke me up, fourth night in a row of crappy sleep, I tossed and turned, stretched out, and LEG CRAMP.  oh dear.  It was strange though, because it was painful from the thigh to the ankle, mostly the thigh, ouch.  I stood up to walk it off, felt hot and cold and nauseous, but it finally went away.  I crept back to bed every so carefully, didn't want to accidentally stretch out again.  

While it was happening though, I had a firm resolve, like this revelation:  I want to be found faithful, I want God's good pleasure over me, I want nothing to do with lies, backbiting, evil.  I can't explain it, but it was like I needed a little lightening bolt of encouragement. 

So I'm tired today, again, but other than that, very very thankful...and quite happy.