Saturday, June 18, 2022

Work and Play

Stacia and I were out in the garden when Arielle and Benny showed up to spend an hour or two helping us. The girls had planned to weed eat around the electric fence and in the garden....BUT we couldn't start either eater....nor the riding mower. In the end Arielle DID mow the orchard. What a blessing. 

I took a mental picture of Benny in the garden. He'd helped pull weeds around the beds, fed the chicken's beet seedlings I had thinned, and helped Stacia place sprinklers. Everyone had left the yard, I came out of the greenhouse, and he was standing in the middle of the garden, hands on hips, just watching the sprinkler, checking out the plants....a gardener may yet be born. Though he insists he doesn't want a garden. 


The storage shed/hoop house in the garden blew away. There was a lot of stuff inside it. When we started to work on that space, the stuff inside the fence, was thrown into the yard. We moved tires, broken pieces of this and that, misc. stuff I haven't a clue about....and in the process I tripped over some rototiller wheels and landed on a rusty t-post.  After lots of icing, I took a hot shower in the middle of the day. LOL 

Bre and the kiddoes came over to play at our park today (yard). I have it on good authority (Bella) that our swings go higher than the ones at the park and so they need to come over here more often. I heartily approve this plan. Anytime....The yard is actually open even if we aren't home. LOL  

πŸ“·by BreAnne - Jojo 19 months


Bella, Annie, Gideon 

The kids personalities crack me up. "Grandma push us." 

"Careful, careful Grandma! We could fall off," from Gideon, and "I could smash into Annie," shrieks Bella.

"Higher, Grandma, HIGHER," from Annie, even as I did an underdog with her. LOL Some of it is sure to be due to her toddler swing, but the older two are nurturing and precise with details, Annie is all go - at full speed. 

Annie points out we have "hamMOCKS" and she loves hamMocks! She especially loves to cocoon in a hammock and surprise passerbys. She's convinced it's the best hiding place around. She may be right. 



As the kids grow, our "toys" will probably grow.  We have a trampoline and we've been talking about a zip line....I'd LOVE a spiral slide off the deck, but suspect the zipline would be a better investment.  Everyone is sad Allie is working so often these days, but having Stacia here is a big plus over local parks as well. The kids like playing with the Aunties and it helps to give Moms a break. 




AND, WibblyWobbly Acres Park comes with snacks. I have invested in zbars just for grand gherkins, and added raspberries and strawberries. It didn't take long for Annie to find a solution to the big table....we do have a kids picnic table but it is used for steps to the trampoline. 



Bre brought a couple of frozen pizzas over, I added salad, fruit and pasta to the mix and they stayed for dinner. It was a fun day. Michael was preparing for Sunday morning, Izaak was at a camp out for True North/Alive Alaska, the 3 elder at home gherkins were at work. We worked and played! Great balance. 

Friday, June 17, 2022

Fantastic Friday with some Grand Kids

 I was up at 0430 so I could attend an 0530 meeting AND be ready if GG woke up before I left the house at 0700 for breakfast/study with Stacia.  We beat the waitresses to the cafe today! ::snort:: 

We spent a few hours vibing. Soon Michael was leaving to meet Alex for a lunch/study, Nolan had the day off and came up to stay with GG, Stacia and I took Allie to work and then met up with Bre and the kids from the Friday Fling. 

Jojo (front), Annie, Bella, Gideon, Bre, Stacia

The honey booth was a big hit! I enjoyed asking a few questions. Michael would like to have a hive or two...I told him in TX I would buy a gallon of local honey for $30. HERE a pint is $20 and they don't sell it in the gallon. 


The wooden toy vendor, jewelry and freeze-dried candy vendors were also a hit.  We headed over to the town's museum and garden next. We also walked along the old, rusted farm machinery.  In the photo below I told the kids I was going to take a picture on 3....the girls have the model pose down. LOL 


Bre, not so much. LOL I'm actually not sure what she is doing - but it's the only photo of Jojo I have. 


As we walked down the street towards Bre's car I noted a decorated ROCK...Bella ran to get it for me and it's perfect with my rock cairn at home. 

A few feet further and Bella found her own rock. 

At the next property we found four more rocks. In the end each child took one rock and we hid the rest. 

Bre invited us to join her and the kids at Wendy's. I texted Michael to see what he thought about dinner. He said the men could fend for themselves and we should go out with Bre and kids...which we were happy to do. 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

A Day Full of Family Connecting

I am amazed at how much thought has to go into simply getting out of the house these days. 😏  I knew Allie and I wanted to leave at 0900 for our breakfast study.  GG wakes up anywhere from 6 - 10 and when he wakes up it's a solid hour - 90 minutes to get "all the things" settled. I SHOULD be able to get up at 0800 and leave the house at 0900...in reality I have to shower at 0500 to be sure I'm ready for the wake up call from GG. It wouldn't be a problem except Michael is a night owl and I am regularly staying up until after midnight.  Now that I'm acknowledging the facts, mornings are going much smoother. LOL 

Allie and I enjoyed the chance to connect this morning. The chances are precious with her out of the house working so much this summer. While we enjoyed breakfast Stacia had gone with Arielle and the boys to a park day organized by some mothers at Arielle's church.  Allie and I decided to drive over to Wasilla and join them, after a quick trip to buy more chicken feed.  Altogether this resulted in a total of an hour behind the wheel for Allie...another trip to Wasilla and lots of practice with "demon circles" - something we'd wanted to spend some concentrated time working on. I think she's feeling more comfortable with how they work after doing so many in one day. 



A fun part of being a grandma (Baachan) at the park is I can watch the drama and not feel compelled to get involved. This is the moment Danny realized the child next to us had brought Goldfish. Look at how nonchalantly he walks to the blanket and starts toddler chattering to the mom. πŸ˜‚

"Ma'am, someone appears to have left a cup of perfectly good goldfish crackers here. I can help you out with those." 


SCORE. The nice mama let him take them. 

Meanwhile, Benny asked Alli to play Frisby with him. Here Benny explains his unique take on playing Frisby. He would toss it as far as he could and then they'd both run and find it. πŸ˜‚

Of COURSE, Danny joined the fun! 

Benny walked his bike back to their van AND lifted it into the back. I was telling him how strong he was when he assumed this stance. Check out his muscles! 

I was excited to have Carrie and Liv stop by today. In general, it is harder to connect with the Gherkins in the summer....we're off hiking, fishing, camping, paddle boarding, ATVing...and there is simply less time when our schedules match up well.  They'd been missing us and we have certainly been missing them. We snatched a few hours when they could drive out and we would be at home.  Carrie and I talked while I got a casserole ready for the guys. 


I zipped Allie to work, and Stacia and I met Krista for her and I to get a pedi. I had given all the girls certificates for pedicures for mother's day....and this was our chance. We had planned to do it with Larissa, Carrie, Krista and I  today, but schedules...(Arielle, Bre and I did it in May). I'm glad Krista and I decided to go ahead...and glad Stacia joined us. 

Michael put in a lovely ceiling fan/light in our room! He also took Grandpa for his second infusion. The rest of the day is a blur. My love tank is full - it was a day of connecting with family in various ways. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Breakfast Companions

My highlight today was a massage - I have not one photo to show for it. My only complaint is she spent a lot of time working on my neck which resulted in wild, oily hair...a style I had to wear through Bible study tonight. LOL My back feels much better today. 

The second highlight of the day came as Grandpa came to the table for breakfast! Look who joined us! Dad saw one first and said - "Look, a baby Caribao!" Caribou are not native to Alaska, though they are to the Philippines.  

Via Google photos

It took just a second to realize there must be a baby moose...and then he noted two and I knew Mama had to be nearby. Can you spot all three in the photo below? 


In a matter of minutes all three were clearly seen...and they were great breakfast companions indeed! 




They are welcome as long as they stay out of the orchard and the garden, and away from the Aspen trees. They were well-behaved today. 

Michael installed a fan in Dad's room and is working on one for our room.  

Dad/Grandpa was up a lot last night...2:45, 5:00, 6:30...I finally told him to take a shower at 8:00 and come have breakfast.  In any event, I'm too old to be up all night long...I HAD to grab a quick nap. 

Here are some shots from the garden today....I still don't trust that I understand the growing season around here...not sure if anything will produce. Last year it was cool, we had lots of GREEN but not a lot of food. It has been hot but this past week was cool and rainy. I think things are doing o.k. Although I think the squash is getting too much water - not much I can do about the rain. 

Tomatoes

Dragon Eggs coming along

This new bed survived the rain 

Kale


I think I can start harvesting baby greens any day. 

I have no idea if Bok Choy SHOULD be flowering at this point. I don't see anything that looks remotely like Bok Choy in the store.  LOL 

C'mon melons! 

I up planted some sunflowers...and watered everything...that's about all I did today. These are the remaining plants to transplant into the garden space.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Michael is Home

 

Michael is home! If I handled online security correctly none of you realized he was gone. We have done 9 month deployments and I must admit life has never felt as overwhelming as it did during this stint of absence. There is a well-known deployment rule...3 things will break, 3 conflicts will arise, 3 illnesses...you get the idea. I'm here to tell you the rule of 3 applies to retired civilians. ::snort::  BUT I have now handled our wonderfully chaotic life alone...it wasn't pretty...but we got it done. LOL  BTW, this is why we weren't at the parade with the grands...GG wasn't up to it, and I wasn't up to figuring out the logistics to leave home if he didn't come. LOL 

Michael flew down to Idaho to surprise a friend for his birthday. It was a special time. The surprise was a hit. I suspect he'll be making more of those trips to see a friend in FL and his brother in CO...so I will have many more chances to learn how to handle our special brand of chaos.  Michael's suitcase had more frozen salmon in it than clothes...by far. 

Dad does better when Michael is home. He was mentally all kinds of out of sorts the whole time Michael was gone...but he did know to keep asking, "When will Mike be back?"  Come to think of it, I was mentally all kinds of out of sorts too and counting down the days. ::snort::  I still believe we are seeing some improvement since Dad's last infusion, he isn't sure. He has another one this week. 

Millie and the Garden  - the topics which have occupied us most this past week. 


As Millie feels better it is getting tougher to keep her "sedate" and from "jumping, running and bouncing."  She is still on sedatives and there is a magic bubble where she is sedate...overly sedate, but most of the time it's a battle. The t-shirt is working MUCH BETTER than the cone. 

The beets have sprouted. I need to find time to thin them...even if it's cloudy and rainy. 

I can't for the life of me remember what we did on Thursday and Friday. I know I had breakfast out with each girl and we are moving from Abraham to Isaac in our study. Saturday I previously blogged. 

We had thought we'd make it to church on Sunday but in the end it wasn't to be. Grandpa simply wasn't up for it, and it seemed pointless to force the issue. Instead we watched Grandpa's pastor from OR on YouTube. 
Allie, Millie & Stacia

Bright and early Monday morning Allie and I had a zoom meeting with a program advisor at UNCO.  We cuddled on the couch with hot drinks and discussed her first weeks at her new job, plans for college and life was good. 

While we cuddled here at home...Stacia and Krista cuddled on a 5 hour cruise of Resurrection Bay. Krista invited us to attend this base event, but Allie and I had a zoom meeting. Krista came out and picked Stacia up on Sunday. Thank you, Krista. Thanks also for the photos - not sure who took them...





Monday afternoon Arielle and the boys came over. GG was thrilled to see the boys. He's missed his Monday mornings with the boys.  Danny discovered the piano and surprised us by playing very gently and quietly. 

Benny joined him for a rousing duet. 

0800 this morning found me playing Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel (or something like that) with the boys.  I hurt my back while Michael was gone, and I wasn't as fun this a.m. as I usually am. We played this game, read books and watched a Chip and Dale cartoon. 


Arielle returned home and the boys and she went to the Library story hour. I headed across to the next town to sort produce for our food co-op. 

Michael and GG ran to Anchorage to retrieve Stacia. They met Krista for lunch. GG was TIRED this evening, he told me he was really weak...but he got out and enjoyed it. We may need to quit asking and just tell him he's coming. LOL That works when it's Michael doing the suggesting - he just tells me no. LOL 

Stacia and I put food away and delivered a few treats to the grands. We decided an Encore Presentation was in order for dinner (leftovers). I unwittingly served Grandpa the one steak, which he promptly smothered in ketchup, leaving Michael disappointed and cringing.  This was not my best wifely moment. Look for a replay of steaks as soon as possible. ::blush:: 

Michael had a project to work on after dinner - I moved the fridge while he was gone and he helpfully moved the handle around.  GG, Stacia and I watched an episode of When Calls the Heart and the Waltons (which Dad enjoys) before he and Stacia went to bed. 

It is 11:37 p.m. and is light outside. I guess we need to simply "turn out the lights" instead of dinking around until the sun goes down. LOL Of course, we're sort of waiting up to hear stories from Nolan when he gets off work. LOL 

Editor's note: Nolan didn't get home until 1:30...and yes, I was up...but not functional. LOL