Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

creek day

We spent most of the day at the creek. Well, at least until we got hungry for corn dogs and macaroni and cheese.

The kids ride across the pasture in the back of the truck

                                            Then a walk through the enchanted forest.

                                 Sun block by the gallon for these fair skinned kids

                                  Testing the depth of the water

                                 Who needs a swimming pool when you have this?

They found a little bit of sand and were happy to make sand castles.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

keeping the grand kids fed and entertained

This is the second day of my two week stint of caring for the grand kids while their mother is in Uganda. They will spend the weekends with their dad so I've been trying to plan meals and events for their time with us. Yesterday they spent time at Tara's house swimming in the pool.  We had tacos for dinner. Today we went to the creek but a thunderstorm came up before they could put a toe in the water. So, we came home, ate some taquitos for lunch and went to the public library to see a magic show that was part of the summer reading program.

                                             Jenna volunteers to assist the magician

                                            Jenna wanted a picture of her posing with the magician

Friday, June 24, 2011

let them eat cake

Dorothy enlisted my help for another cake. I used my pasta machine (I never make pasta with it) to roll out fondant to make the black squares for the checkerboard effect, It also came in handy for the roads.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

--Red Green

Our washing machine stopped working. My first thought was, "Oh boy!".  I enjoy trouble shooting machines to learn the problem and then making the repair.  The washer started the cycle just fine but when it came to the rinse and spin cycles it just stopped. My first thought was maybe the timer went out but if that was so then  it shouldn't have been able to fill with water and agitate.  So, I decided to check the lid switch. The lid switch turns the machine off whenever the lid is lifted during the rinse and spin cycle.

I removed the cabinet and found that the lid switch was broken and part of it was laying on top of the tub.

I used 14 ga. wire to fasten the two parts of the switch together as you can see in this photo. I used my meter to test the continuity and the switch actually worked.

I reinstalled the switch, put the cabinet back on the machine, and the washer worked good as new with no money spent for a repair man or parts.

Monday, June 20, 2011

quote of the day

"For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die."

--Anne Lamott

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

oh, the irony of it all....

or, funny how things turn out...

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor about a mole on my face. I spent over twenty years outside delivering the mail so it's expected that I would have trouble with sun damage.  Well, the doctor didn't share my concern with that particular mole, but he noticed a spot on my nose that he suspected was a basal cell. A biopsy was done and surgery was scheduled for this morning.  I showed up, the monitors were attached and it was revealed that my blood pressure was sky high. Now, I have white coat syndrome and my pressure goes up in the presence of a doctor, but this was higher than I had ever seen it. He rescheduled the surgery and sent me to the ER where they were able to get me under control.  I have an appointment with my regular doctor tomorrow. I'm 65 years old and this will be the first time I have had to take medicine on a continual basis. I'm glad I caught it before something happened.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

more lillies

                This is shaped like a Stella D'oro Lilli but it is a brighter yellow. See the bug?

I like to take pictures of flowers in the early morning light.  These are Asian lillies.

I was walking along the gravel bar down at the creek this morning and came across this old hulk of a lawn mower.  You never know what's going to be swept down the creek bed by a storm.

Friday, June 10, 2011

quote of the day

"Clutter and mess show us that life is being lived...Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation... Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist's true friend. What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here."

--Anne Lamott

what I'm reading now

Who Owns the World: The Surprising Truth About Every Piece of Land on the PlanetWho Owns the World: The Surprising Truth About Every Piece of Land on the Planet
If you like books with lots of statistics and lists then this one is for you. Who Owns the World by Kevin Cahill reveals the ownership of every piece of land on the planet. Some interesting facts gleaned from the back cover:

  • Two of the largest landowners in the U.S. are the federal government and Ted Turner.
  • 80% of the American population live in urban areas
  • The least crowded state is Alaska with 670 acres per person. The most crowded is New Jersey, with.7 acres per person.
  • 60% of America's population are property owners.
  • Queen Elizabeth II own 1/6 of the entire land surface on Earth.
  • Only 15% of the world's population lays claim to landownership, and that landownership in too few hands is t arguable the single greatest cause of poverty.


Thursday, June 09, 2011

new trail to the creek

For several years whenever the grand kids wanted to go swimming in the creek I took them to places other than my own property because over time the trail to the water has become overgrown..  The storms from this spring have created a gravel bar and swimming holes that are just too beautiful not to use so this morning I started a project to clear the way.  Here are some photos:

                                                            Here's the overgrown trail.

Making progress

Looking back up toward the truck.  Almost done.

       Now we have access to this swimming hole.

I found these wild flowers

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

quote of the day

A good marriage is where both people feel like they're getting the better end of the deal.

--Anne Lamott

Monday, June 06, 2011

misinformed quote of the day

"He who warned, uh, the,  the  British that they weren't going to be taking away our arms, uh,  by ringing those bells.... and uh  making sure.... as he's riding his horse through town... to send those warning shots.. and bells that, uh we were going to be secure... and we were going to be free.

--Sarah Palin

Warned the British?
Ringing bells?
Warning shots?

Bonus misinformed quote of the day:

"I know my American history."

--Sarah Palin

Sad note:  Fans of Sarah Palin were actually attempting to edit Wikipedia's page on Paul Revere to change the web site's narrative to agree with Palin's.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

quote of the day

"The society to which we belong seems to be dying or is already dead. I don't mean to sound dramatic, but clearly the dark side is rising. Things could not have been more odd and frightening in the Middle Ages. But the tradition of artists will continue no matter what form the society takes. And this is another reason to write: people need us, to mirror for them and for each other without distortion-not to look around and say, 'Look at yourselves, you idiots!,' but to say, 'This is who we are."

-- Anne LaMott

a summer day in spring

I always like spring days working in the yard after a bone chilling winter. The warm sun on my back thaws not only the body but the psyche. But this year there was only a brief tornadic interlude between winter and summer and it's not even officially summer. It is hot.

The grand kids came down to spend Friday night with us. At their request I made fried chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner. I timed it so Dorothy would be home from work in time to make the gravy. She's the gravy expert. Then, Saturday morning it was pancakes to fortify us for the day ahead.

The little ones wanted to go to the creek so I called our friends Kathleen and Rick and asked if I could take them to their creek. They have a wonderful space for swimming and picnicking.

We drive down this highway a few miles.....

turn up this dirt road,.......

and into this gate.

I spent most of my time in the shade.

Marley and Jenna rode in the back of the truck until we got to the state highway and then they joined hunter and me in the front.