Sunday, September 25, 2016

Up Up and Away

-  It was the end of another sweltering, hot and humid week. We drove down the road, headed for Raleigh for a weekend with the children and grandchildren. We passed the nursing home at the end of our road and I saw a large group of residents parked under the portico in various wheelchairs. One or two were set apart, out in the sun, still covered with blankets even though it was eighty seven degrees. Almost all were asleep or resting. It was a sweet vision but it still struck me a little funny. It looked like someone was housecleaning and all their belongings had been set outside to air. It was the first thing that popped into my head and I turned to Steve and said, "Look! All the residents have been set outside to air."

- For the first time, we actually stopped in Hillsborough, NC on our way to Raleigh. It's a pretty little town and we've often commented how lively a place it appears. We chose to have dinner at Hillsborough BBQ where they serve North Carolina, vinegar-style, pulled pork barbecue. Business was very busy so Henri, Steve, and I sat outside on a bench along the sidewalk while we waited for our order. There were a few tables outside and I saw a a lady seated there with a large Labradoodle-looking dog at her feet. A server went to the lady's table with a styrofoam container of barbecue and set it down on the ground and opened it up for the dog! He neatly ate it all. Definitely a pet-friendly place I'd say. Henri would have died if he ate such a meal, but we did give him a few tidbits as a treat.

- Obviously, the grandchildren are a treat for us. They are forever entertaining and adorable in their own individual ways. Mari now reads books to me! I needed a little nap on Saturday afternoon and Mari and Jack got very excited with the idea of coming to read to me while I rested. Our roles were reversed and I rested while they sat on the bed and read aloud to me. At some point I must have slept because when I woke up they were gone, books were scattered all over the bed and there was an entire beanbag chair left behind- on the bed. Mari is also writing little stories now and she laughs and giggles at her own silliness. She will turn six years old in two months and seems wise beyond her years. I forgot to bring my camera so I didn't take all the photos I would have liked, but this one of Matthew I took with my phone is my favorite. He will turn two in November.  He likes to imitate his big brother, Jack who is ever on the go. Jack wears a cape. You can imagine the rest : )

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hole in the Clouds

We expected the Monty Python hand to come down out of the clouds and grab our house.
No editing necessary!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Happy Guys

     It is the kindness and smiles from random people that can really make our day, is it not? This week I encountered two people who were so pleasantly happy while going about their ordinary day that I think they deserve mention.
     The first is a young man who is one of the custodians at school. He is easy going, notices everything, and wears a content countenance. The first time our paths crossed he smiled and said, "Hello" and asked me how my day was going. This may not sound unusual, but in a busy school, in the hallways, you usually just get a brief nod from from folks. Once in a while you will meet someone who asks about your day like they really mean it. I think that's what the difference was with this young man. He is genuine. When I went to deliver a message to the cafeteria today, I saw him sitting and talking with an elderly lady who helps out at the school every afternoon. They looked up and waved at me across the room and it made me smile. He was giving her his full, undivided attention, leaning in a little to better hear her while they waited for the children to arrive. It was a relaxed, contented scene on the brink of what would soon be chaos. (ie: elementary school cafeteria)
     Later today, after I was home, I heard a car pull into the driveway. It was the mailman and he had just placed a large flat box at my front door and had gotten back into his car. I stepped out onto the stoop to wave and thank him. He is also a young man, in his late twenties and newer on the job. He leaned out the car window and nodded at the box and said (imagine a southern accent), "Hey! I think there's money in there. It sounds like money. Go ahead and shake it and you'll hear it. I think that's money. That's a good present you got there!" I smiled at his supposition and shook the box as he suggested. I shrugged my shoulders, smiled back and said, "I don't know! May be!" He backed out of the driveway still smiling. I remembered what I had ordered. It was a swing and the chain sounds just like coins jingling around.
     Two random people. Two big smiles. My humdrum day is so much brighter.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Singing

Steve was away all last week and I stayed holed up at home with a head cold this weekend. So, eh, not much is new! I didn't even go out for church. But, I saw this video shared on facebook. The human voice is the most beautiful instrument. Enjoy : )

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Purple Dusk, Weekday Singing

     Although the days continue to be hot, each evening has brought relief with a gentle breeze. Daylight is retreating quickly and while we used to walk at eight o'clock each evening we now have to walk at seven. The view tonight was extra pretty with the moon riding high, so I snapped this photo with my phone. Henri wiggles and tugs so much on the leash, that's it hard to stop even for a second. I found that if I put the leash handle down and step on it, then I have both hands free to take a picture. (This is my method when Steve isn't with me to hand off the leash.) It was still too nice to go inside at the end of our walk so we sat up on the hill for a little bit and listened to the crickets.
     There haven't been any Sunday Singing songs that I've been able to find on youtube to share, but this song played in my car and it's been running on a loop in my head. I look at the hills here and tonight they are purple but, to be sure, they will be gold soon and so I think of this song.


Thursday, September 8, 2016


     What do you call it when one labors, but it's a labor of love and enjoyment? Amusement perhaps? Anyway, we amused ourselves with labor over Labor Day weekend. I wanted to hike Apple Orchard Falls but, the weather forecast showed temperatures too high for my hiking pleasure so we postponed that for a cooler weekend. Speaking of weekends, Steve is around on the weekends these days! It's so uncommon that we almost don't know what to do first with such a normal schedule. After twenty-six years employed in the same industry, he made a career change this summer. He has a much longer commute to work now, but workplace stress levels are greatly reduced and the number of hours he works each week are within a normal range. It is truly a blessing.
     We enjoyed three long days off from work for the Labor Day weekend and used the time to begin building a long overdue project for a garden shed. We also repaired the lawnmower that a mouse damaged ($160 worth!), brewed beer, planted some new shrubs, watched Stranger Things in back-to-back episodes, sat on the porch in the evenings, and enjoyed some good meals. I also baked some apple turnovers with apples from our pastor's trees, read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and I started a new hooked rug. I think we managed to fit in most of our favorite things. The only other thing that could have made it perfect would have been to have the children all here, in which case none of the above would have gotten done. We hope to see everyone pretty soon!
     After I baked some apple turnovers Saturday afternoon, I walked over to Mrs. C.'s with a couple of them to share with her. Have I mentioned that her home is an old schoolhouse? It was built sometime early in the last century. Mrs. C. tells me that she was born in it in 1932, but she doesn't recall when her parents moved in and made the schoolhouse their home. It's an amazing building with the interior still perfectly intact as it was originally built. The walls are covered in wainscoting and the ceilings must be twelve feet high. It's a pleasure to visit with Mrs. C. and to sit in the time capsule that is her home.
Beautiful wool cut into strips and ready to hook

Latest rug which will become the upholstered top on a bench.

During our evening walk, I looked back and snapped this picture of the shed being built.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Still Looking Good

     There is no way it is Thursday already. Can it really be September?! If it means saying goodbye to this long suffering heat and humidity, then I am all on board for that. We shall see...
     The zinnias are still looking good after everything else in the garden has died. We do have one other plant that thrives and that is the Cushaw melon. (Did I spell that right?) I don't have time to link it right now, but I will investigate further and report back later. Folks tell me to use it as one would use a pumpkin. Supposedly there's a shortage of pumpkin this year. I haven't looked for any in the stores so, by reporting the rumored shortage here on my blog, I am contributing to the frenzy of The Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2016.
   I have run out of morning time for now, but I'll share more of the week later.