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

Saturday, July 30, 2022

oh sweet little vacation!


At the beautiful lake front venue, on Coroga Lake, for the string quartet:  me, Camille (the youngest), Emily (the oldest), and Evelyn (#11...Evelyn, Eleven...:))
We got to the lake and ate our dinner at the beach...the girls had Panera bread food, I had a chicken bowl/salad from Chipotle.
It was a lovely dining room, perfect temperature, what an evening!  

The music was stunning, gripping, amazing.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.   We navigated to the Holiday Inn, found our room, and ahhh, put the feet up and relax!  I took a quick shower so I could relax in the jammies, so sweet.  We ate some cherries, had some wine (only a sip for me), and watched HGTV and "Despicable Me", flipping through the channels.  We laughed too much and had an all around good time.

Eight o'clock in the morning, not too shabby for four of us sleeping in the same room.  There was a Keurig, so Emily made on cup, just so we could sip it and smell the morning coffee, aren't we awful?  But powdered creamer, um, no.  Yes, we are awful.  We packed up and found a cute little coffee shop.

They were trying to make serious faces, my first baby and my last baby.

Okay, that sounds really really weird, since Emily is a nurse practitioner, and is 37 years old...Miss Cam is 14 :)  (22 and a half years apart, Em and Cam: Emily and I are actually closer in age, 19 and a half years apart).  

Anyway.  We had coffee here, Camille had a bagel and an iced chai.  The coffee was good, the vibes were good, and we stayed awhile, long enough for a second cup.  The ladies in there were so nice, the conversation led to thrift stores, and they mentioned the one in the next town being we decided what the heck, we are on vacation, and we all love thrift stores...

Emily found a pay phone on the way in...I don't know why I didn't get pics of them in the actual store, we found so much stuff.  I wandered off by myself, and when I found them, their cart was overflowing.  They tried things on and ended up with just a few things each, but at absolutely amazing prices.  I found:  three pairs of jeans, including on pair of Levis for a total of $17, and a brand new pair of Adidas sweat pants in a nice aqua color, with zipper pockets, fit fantastically, for $9.99.  Camille found a dress, a jacket, a Columbia fleece with a hood ($3.99!).  It was way way way too much fun.  We spent an hour in there.  

Then, it was time for the beach!

Great Sacandaga Lake, oh the beach was nice!  We had a picnic in the shade, charcuterie:  brie, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, salami, ham, turkey, crackers and hot spicy Cheez-its, chili spiced pistachios, strawberries, cherries, cucumbers, and cold seltzers.  

Emily and I went in swimming, the water was a bit cold but so refreshing.  The skies clouded over too much though, and we were content with just staying there for a short time, then getting on the more destination:  a place that makes it's own ice cream!

We found another phone booth, this phone actually had a dial tone, must be an Adirondack region thing...there is very little cell service in many areas.

Miss Evelyn Joy
Camille with her chocolate peanut butter...two scoops of the same?  I don't mix ice cream flavors, she said.

It was a very quaint place, it smelled heavenly...fresh baked molasses cookies, so yes, I bought two to bring home...
I DO mix ice cream flavors, chocolate peanut butter, and mint chocolate chip.

Good old car-window pics, the countryside in New York State is breathtaking.

We got home around five o'clock...Kathryn texted me and was coming over with pizza and wings!  We sat on the deck after, and lit the fire-table, but Darius wanted to go for ice cream....

Kathryn holding Rhys, Darius sharing with her...

Let's just not ask if I had ice cream again....well, it was a vacation day!   Tomorrow, I'll behave.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

oh my goodness!


Me, Camille Anaya, and Kathryn Grace...we went to the movies to see Top Gun.  It was riveting, entertaining, but I am a super critic, and there were holes.   It was a fun night though, and we got popcorn!
Little cute!

It WAS a day today.  I took Camille to physical therapy, then went to Abigail's to do a bit of training, then to the post office to send in Jonathan's car's license plates, as in NY state you have to turn them in to cancel the insurance.  Home, ahh, home.  I did take a swim this afternoon, while Wulf played on the pool deck.  He doesn't like going in the pool at this time, but he does like to sit on the ladder and put his feet in, and fill buckets and use the squirt gun, so he wears his floaty.  He's very amusing, good fun.  

Margaret went home with the boys this afternoon, Kathryn went home earlier today with her now it's just Paul and I, and Camille....we just got home from the movies, and wow, I'm tired enough!  We went to Marshall's before the movies, and found a few nice things, for a few birthdays.  :)

My agenda is rather empty tomorrow, but shh, don't tell anyone, ha.  I could use a catch-up day.

Thank you for kind words and prayers for Grace's grandma, she's really not doing well, and Grace's mom is tired, what a thing to go through.  When my mom went into hospice, what a week we had, then when she passed away, there was relief, that she was out of pain, and that we didn't have to spend more time in the hospital, but such guilt about the relief, and such immense sadness.  Little did I know how much I would actually deeply miss her, for so long.  It's been sixteen years now, and I still want to call her and tell her the little things, those details no one else cares about.   

It'll be busy soon enough...tomorrow evening, the pool with our friends, then Friday...physical therapy for Camille, then we'll get in the car with Evelyn, pick Emily up from work in the city, and head to the Adirondacks for our string quartet, then our nice comfy night in the Holiday Inn....we'll bring beach stuff, and find a nice beach for Saturday....ahh, summer!  

Ah well....I'm tired!  BTW, my hip hasn't been giving me much trouble, just a twinge here and that's nice.  Goodnight, and maybe tomorrow, a more proper post!  Good night!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

on being grandma...


My house is Chaos Capital today.  Margaret is spending a few days here with Wulf and Tennyson (the first two boys on my lap), and Kathryn is spending a few days here with Rhys and Achilles (the other two on my lap).
They all went to bed well last night, and are actually being really good here.
They had ice cream last night, Margaret holding Rhys, and Tenny, Achilles, Wulf.

Wulf, cousin Achilles, cousin Grant...

This fine morning, I decided to make zucchini bread...and keto chocolate zucchini muffins (almond flour, monk fruit sugar)...

The zucchini was freshly picked from our garden.  Paul had bought me this cool grater attachment for my Kitchen-Aid, quite a while ago, and I finally hooked it up and used it, magic.  Two loaves of regular zucchini bread...and:
One dozen keto muffins, chocolate zucchini, oh so moist and yummy.  I did put a few chocolate chips on top, so not totally keto.

So yesterday, Camille and I were in the grocery store, in the back corner, dairy section, finishing up a quick shopping trip.  The announcement my dreams are made of came on the loudspeaker:  single donuts are now 6 for $2, single bagels are now 6 for $2....I was like PINCH ME, is this REAL?  It was like a blast from the past:  Attention Kmart shoppers...!

I told Camille they waited until we were in the farthest corner of the store from the bakery, and were watching us on the camera, scurrying...

Am I wrong, or are those donuts beautiful?  

We had so much fun, we went to Kohl's...they had some clearance...not for me, I tried on six things, and nothing fit right.  Even a Land's End bathing suit, it was all squishy in the top, and made me look like an eight year old girl.  But Camille found a Columbia rain jacket for $15, two cute skirts, a cute top, and it was all $17, after my ten dollars Kohl's cash.

Anyway, it's busy here...Emily, Abigail, and Mariel are bringing dinner over...ribs and Mac&cheese, and I have pork chops in the oven, along with some baked applesauce.  

I've had two training sessions with Abigail, am learning some bookkeeping basics.  I've got a ways to go, and will do some studying tonight...tomorrow I'll do another session, it's coming along.  

Ah well, so much is going on here.  Poor Grace is here with her kids, and her mama back home in Lousiana is with her mama, Grace's gramma, who is sick in the hospital, and honestly, not doing well, as in she won't be going home.  It's sad.  Pray for Grace's mom, if you are a praying person, that she can endure the day, and have peace and comfort from God as her mama goes on into heaven.

The day is winding down, this post was done in fits and starts, but what a wonderful day it's been.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

going down in history...

 as one of the best weekends ever!

We arrived at the lake on Friday, and took the pups straight into the water to catch that stick.
Our tent...and Suri.

Sunny, who is an excellent camper, and the best doggo 98% of the time...but sometimes, 2% of the time, when a small dog walks by, she's all barky....

The pups sleep so well in the tent, they just snuggle down and that's it.  Even when seagulls converge on the campsite at five a.m., they don't care, they just sleep.  
Jonathan, Uncle Jonny, saying goodbye to Declan, as he's leaving for a year...
Saturday at the beach...nice clear water, warm, too.
Miss Abigail.  She camped in the site next to us with Emily and Mariel.  We got a nice shady spot on the beach, there was sunshine too, but it's nice for the dogs to be able to rest in the shade after chasing the stick for a can sort of see them in the background.
Uncle Jonny and Ruth...
Samuel, Grant, and Jon.
Evelyn, Camille, Emily holding little Tennyson.
That sunset!
Jonathan, Grant, Wulf, Emily...marshmallows!
Tennyson, Samuel, Jon, Grant, Wulf, Em
Suri, Sunny, Camille...
My view from the tent this fine morning....we are home a day early.  The forecast was for rain, wind, and possible hail, no thank you in a tent.  So we packed up and headed home.  I actually slept well in the tent, my air mattress is comfy.  Also, if you happened to pray for me, thank you, with all of my heart.  My hip behaved like an angel hip this weekend.  I did step gingerly, and was a teeny tiny bit terrified it would go out and I would go down, but by today, I almost forgot to be so careful, barely any pain, and especially no stabbing pain, or sudden unbearable pain!  
Jonathan left for his big trip this morning, and this is from the Big Apple, he made it to NYC so far!  He'll spend a week in Norway, then go to Germany.  
The dum-dums.  Suri rolls herself in the sand when she gets out of the water, like a cinnamon roll.  They get so much sand in the tent, but at least they stay over in their corner.  

It's nice to be home.  I cleaned and put things away and vacuumed and got so hot!  Evelyn was here for a bit, we had leftover grilled burgers for dinner, some leftover salt potatoes, fresh peppers and onions browned up with the burgers, and some air fryer seasoned fries.  

Sonja and Charlotte Claire left yesterday morning, and are in Norway for a week.  Paul and I and Camille are all lonely, but not for long:  Margaret is coming tomorrow night with Wulf and Tennyson, to spend a few days because Adrian is in Norway for the week.  And, Kathryn is coming too, with Achilles and Rhys because Darius went to North Carolina with some of the boys for a few days.  It'll be more than busy in here, and Grace will come visit during the day, with Grant and Ruth.  

Tomorrow morning, however, Camille and I will be going to the library.  Then in the afternoon, I'm going over to visit with Abigail, to begin training for my job.  She has her own book keeping business, and needs help.  I don't know how much help I'll be.  I took accounting in high school, a few decades 40 years ago, oh dear.  We'll see though, I'm ready to give it a shot, and am hopeful it'll work out for me!  

Wednesday is physical therapy for Cam, then on Friday, we're going on an adventure!!!!  We're staying in a Holiday Inn, and going up into the Adirondacks to see a string quartet perform...Emily, Evelyn, Camille and I!  Saturday we'll meander our way home via a fun beach, and an ice cream place that makes their own stuff...

Ah well, I'm tired...taking down all the camping stuff, packing it up, then coming home and unpacking it all and putting it all away:  wow, it almost erases the vacation!  Oh dear though, I had a strong memory today of way back when, when we used to tow that 35 ft. camper with the 15 passenger van:  we would camp for 9 days, then get home with a PILE of laundry.   We didn't use the shower in the camper, but we would put the dirty clothes in there, and oh my goodness, there was so much to do when we got home.  We would unpack and start a load right away...and there were so many kids to take care of then, too.  phew.  I do miss it, but the work, it was a lot.  

I have big plans for tonight:  Paul bought me some Epsom salts,  so I'm taking a bath...ahh, sounds so relaxing...

Friday, July 22, 2022

...a nice calm morning...

 Well, I'm almost ready for camping.  You know, you get all the piles on the kitchen table, and have to organize things and get them actually packed.  We only take one vehicle, which is our pick up truck, and the Labradors take up the back seat.  It's a smallish bed truck, so we can't just take everything and the kitchen sink.  I'm not very organized, don't even know what we're bringing for dinner tonight, but we have stuff in the freezer...but I did make like 30 hamburger patties last evening, and put them in the freezer, for tomorrow night's dinner, with salt potatoes.

Yesterday we went for Miss Cam's appointment, and got her a new knee brace, said goodbye to the immobilizer.  It's only $240, but I'm hoping the insurance picks up most of it.  The brace she wore on the other knee after surgery: $1,999, before insurance.  We paid $400.  Two thousand dollars!  I'm old enough that you could buy a car for that much, back in the day.  

Anyway, from there we went to the house we're working on, and painted for four hours.  It was hot, humid, dripping, sweaty hot.  I had to carry a paper towel to catch the drips streaming into my eyes.  Camille even helped, but we did bring her a chair so she could rest after painting a bit.  The place is almost done, hopefully like one more visit to clean everything up...

It's looking good, the flooring is gorgeous.  

Before we left, we changed out of our painting clothes, and went to TJMaxx, as I promised the girls I'd bring them there after.  They found a few things, I found a cute dress for myself, which is a rarity, not even on sale, but it was only $20...I also splurged on a nice frying pan, on sale for  $20.  I buy cheap frying pans, but if one of those if $15, why not get a nicer one?   I am more excited about the frying pan than the dress, and I almost put one of them back because spending so much in one trip, ouch.

We stopped at the grocery store on the way home, they are good girls:  I offered to get them pizza or something, but they decided to get turkey, fresh Italian bread, a head of lettuce, and make sub sandwiches. It was so hot out, it was nice not to cook.  

The pool was so refreshing after being so hot yesterday...then, after dinner, I went out to an activity club swim time at our church pools.  Splashing around with the little ones, so fun, then Emily passed out popsicles, life is good.

This fine morning, slow going, first time since Tuesday I don't have to be out the door in a hurry.  But, I'm rather distraught:  I have been having problems with my hip for months now, on and off.  Sometimes it's fine and I tell myself:  you're FINE, no need to call a dr.!  But, sometimes it's really painful, like a sharp broken thing stabbing where the hip goes into the socket.  I'll be walking around like a completely mobile person, take a step, and wham, it catches wrong.  Some days if acts up all day long, but I can sometimes walk it off, and find a way to step that's tolerable.  This fine morning, I was walking in the kitchen when it came out of nowhere, just stabbing pain, caught wrong, sort of buckled, I lurched forward and caught myself on the counter top.  It shook the heck out of me, if I hadn't been near the counter top, I would have fallen down.   What if I had been carrying a baby?  Walking in the street?  On stairs?  

The problem here is that I'm going camping, sleeping in a tent (getting up and down from the air mattress on the ground!), and walking to the bathhouse several times a day.  I don't mind walking, and love camping, but oh dear.   I'm going to be taking slow mincing steps, like an old lady.  

And no, I have not called the dr yet.  I might though.  

Oh, the infirmities!  I found myself getting downright upset about this, because I just want to live my life, and move, and walk, and do things.  So I'm working on things, trying to find my thankfulness in it all.   It must be for my very best, if it is happening, and I don't know the big picture, I must need this somehow.  But, I am still praying that it goes away...

Have a really good weekend, and if you are so inclined, please say a prayer for me, that my hip behaves....