Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A January Visit- Entertaining the Children

     This big ol' house is quiet most of the time. Steve and I often have "downsizing" conversations. We usually end up coming around full circle and decide this is where we need to be for the time being. It turns out that we fill this house to capacity with children and grandchildren more often than we expect. When we do, we're appreciative that we have the space to accommodate everyone.
     Over the past two weeks, we've had Claire's two boys come and stay while their mom, dad, and big sister traveled to Hawaii. Simultaneously, Audrey and her daughter Violet came to stay while her husband did renovations on their newly purchased house. (He came to stay a couple of nights, too!) It all worked out marvelously because Audrey was here to watch Claire's boys while Steve and I went to work. All three children were entertained by each others' company and Aunt Audrey was a wonderful guide for fun times. There was never a dull moment and our days were busy and noisy from sun up to sun down. Thinking back on those days, they all felt productive and satisfying, like real work was being done.
     The weather and time of year were a challenge, having children cooped up inside. We got outside as often as possible. Mainly, we made really good use of the play area in the basement. I must say, it's the best use of space we've ever made. We kept the basement wood stove burning so it was always warm enough for play and all the toys we saved from our children's childhood were still enjoyed by this next generation. It's fun to overhear what they say when they're playing, especially to hear Violet's little seventeen month old voice amid the boys' boisterous play. "Go,go,go!" she would shout or, "That, that!".
     Sleepy, morning cuddles were most appreciated along with still moments when the children all leaned in to have a book read. Appetites were ravenous and four-year-old Matthew ate like a starving football player. They had Easter egg hunts (In January), built forts, rode the wagon down the hill, had an outdoor picnic lunch on a balmy forty-four degree day, baths and movies (1966 Batman- hysterical!) in the evenings, chicken legs (Matthew's dinner request), tiny ice cream cones, William's baby lambs, a trip to the Walmart toy aisle (typical grandparents), a visit to the Transportation Museum, and more car, gun, and light saber noises than I've ever heard. I found myself still saying the same things I said to my children twenty and thirty years ago: "Don't talk with food in your mouth.", "Nobody likes a tattletale", "Say, 'Thank you, Nonni'", "Do you want milk, juice, or water?", "Wash your hands." and so on.
     On our last evening together, after a long day of play, Audrey and I decided we would enjoy a little adult drink while I prepared dinner. She was with the children in the living room while I worked in the kitchen. I called in to her and asked if she would like to join me in an apertif. Matthew's little voice piped in and he asked in a hopeful tone, "Is an aperitif good for little children?" What a funny little guy he is.
     Finally, the last day of their visit arrived and it all seemed to come to an abrupt end. The house is once again silent, Steve and I are dining alone, and I have time to blog. We'll probably come back around to that downsizing conversation one of these days.

Jack is gentle and loving with babies and animals.

The engines at the Transportation Museum are massive!

I was excited to see the 611 steam engine up close.

Note: Super hero Matthew holds his lovey : )

Serious explorations of bologna.


Friday, January 18, 2019

Snow Days and On The Frame

     We have had multiple snow days off from school since Christmas break ended. This week we were off Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. I really do love snow days. Tess and Ian were visiting here on Monday and Tuesday so that made those days off from school even better. When the announcement was made Monday night that we would be closed on Tuesday I jumped up and down and shouted with joy. Ian said he thought I had won the lottery by the sound of it. It felt that way to me!
     We used our days off to do many things, one of which was to go sledding. There was a thick sheet of ice over the snow and it made for some very fast runs. The sled that Steve built out of old skis and wood really flew over the ice. We discovered that we had to bail out at the bottom of the hill or we would either run into the ditch at the side of the road (which I did) or run into the telephone pole. After my last bail ended with a scraped and bruised arm, I called it quits. It was well worth it though as you can see by he expression on my face.

     In between snow and ice storms, I started a new rug. The pattern is, "Art Deco" by Joanne Gerwig. I like the look of the dark blue wool for the background. I was able to use a couple of thrifted and over-dyed garments in the medallions because those portions didn't require too much yardage. Everyone asks where I will use this rug. Sometimes I have a placement in mind but, often times I need to finish the rug and let it tell me where it should go based on its color and pattern. We'll see!

     Today's small amount of snow was enough to cancel school again. The sunrise was pretty in pink so I dressed and took a walk around the property. I love the wide landscapes of snow and the sunrise over the mountains. I am equally entertained by the animal prints and cozy places the snow reveals. The rabbit prints are the most fun to follow. You can see where they lead to patches of forage.

Facing the sunrise

Peaks of Otter and Sharp Top ensconced in clouds.

These roads are why school often closes. 
Bunny breakfast

Lone deer