New Digs for the Old Boys

December 5, 2016

We’ve spent plenty of time upgrading, restoring and cleaning our wonderful old barn.  My Loving Spouse has now added new function for the old space and our two old boys are very happy about the upgrade.stableOur horses are not young, sort of like us and winter can be hard on them.  Unlike us, they can easily loose weight in the cold winter months.  My Loving Spouse wanted to bring them in each night, so he set about making stalls for each horse.stable-1He managed to find lumber that matched the style of the barn and built the new stalls out of beautiful long planks.  He used EMT to create see through spaces for each horse.  Beau and SunDance can see each other, but not bite each other, which can be known to happen.stable-3He moved a bit of wiring, built a few doors, made mangers, added some straw and before I knew it, our horses were ready to spend the night indoors.stable-2The horses quickly got the hang of their new routine.  We fill their mangers at night in each stall, open the barn door and stand back as each horse makes their way to their new bedroom.  We can keep a better eye on each horse through out the winter, knowing exactly how much they are getting to eat and that each one can eat at their own pace.stable-4The barn looks so good and the horses are quite content with the new arrangement.

Beau and SunDance…every nag should be so happy.


Dear BJ

November 28, 2016

Dear BJ,

Do you remember the wonderful quilting pattern book you sent me?  Oh, I am sure you do.  You probably don’t know, that I do not usually follow patterns or instructions or directions…but I just, love that book!  That gal with a Bee in her bonnet, sure is creative.dear-bj

I used that book a lot this summer.  When I was lonely and wanted/needed to sew, while My Loving Spouse gone.  It was wonderful.  That farm girl gave me some good ideas, especially when I did not have enough cowboy fabric to make a cowboy quilt, but I just needed to use it!dearbjIt gave me a place to jump off of and try something new and this quilt came out, well, if I do say so myself, pretty darn nice.dear-bjWe both know, that I have a thing for pumpkins, but that doesn’t mean I can sew one…or two.  The book was just the thing!dear-b-jI even leapt into a house quilt, because of the book.  Some of my houses were the wrong colors, so I took the ‘good’ ones and made a table runner with them, which is sort of cool.dear-bj-table-runnerSo, in closing, I just want to say, thank you again.  I love that book.  Even I can sometimes follow directions!

Thank you, for blessing me!


Wow, Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2016

We had family that traveled to be with us this year for Thanksgiving.  An honor, a crowd, a lot of food, pumpkin pies or just plain pumpkins, if you are a cow.thanksgivingI think I should write a realistic cookbook for Thanksgiving.

Go to the store 1,001 times.  

Still forget something,

Put the bird in the oven,

Clean up the kitchen 101 times,

Plan all side dishes accordingly,

omit side dish that doesn’t make the cut, when the bird is done about an hour early,

if you drink, have some while cooking,

do not learn how to make gravy,

so you can organize side dishes that do make it into the good china while,

Your Loving Spouse makes the gravy.

Pray, eat, repeat.

The septic tank handled the crowd, for which we are always grateful!

However….the biggest…the best…the greatest Thanksgiving distraction on earth came when Number One Son called to say…Number One Wife’s water had broken…they were at the hospital (in Spokane)…we stopped to pray…and waited…

Between, ‘oh my goodness, I am so full’ and ‘perhaps I will make just a small turkey sandwich’…

She arrived…and we are THANKFUL on this Thanksgiving!

Little E….

Eleanor Dawn

6 lbs. 13 oz

19 3/4 inches

and I am very blessed.



Why a Parade?

November 15, 2016

I do know something about parades.

I spent many high school hours practicing with my marching band for parades…band reviews…marching, playing and looking good.  I grew up entrenched with the ‘Granddaddy of them all’, the Rose Parade, leading of this parade twice in the band.  If you’ve never seen the Rose parade in person, you should add it to your bucket list!  I stood in the cold on Thanksgiving day in New York City and watched the Macy’s Day parade with their great balloons float by.  I have even waited outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and watched a parade or procession of the entire Royal Family as they celebrated the now deceased Queen Mother’s 80th birthday.  I have waved and watched Team Offspring in parades of their own.

I have never seen a parade like the Veteran’s Day parade here in my small town.

whyThe short parade route was lined with people of all ages.  There was a color guard.  Cub scouts…why-a-parade-with-cub-scouts…and girl scouts…why-aparadeThe high school band played…

The ROTC marched in straight lines…why-a-parade

There were military vehicles….why-vechiles…and even a few horses.

The parade watchers clapped and cheered…and hollered words I had never heard at a parade before…

“Thank you for your service!”why-a
As the Veterans streamed by…whyaparade…there were fathers marching with sons…whyaparadI know something about Veterans.  Most of my childhood friends had father’s that had served in World War II.  We knew something about my father’s time in that war.  Every Uncle I had served during that War…

I do not remembering honoring them.  This parade might have been the best I have seen.

This parade was a show of respect…

from us to them…

and we are blessed.


Growing Pains

October 31, 2016

My Sweet School is crowded.  There are 3 schools in town and the over enrollment at all 3 schools would almost fill a fourth school.  We do not have that fourth school…and therein lies the problem.  Every year for the last 3 years, classrooms have been added and this year it just feels different…tighter…like wearing your thin jeans when you’ve gained 10 pounds, everything’s covered, but it is not comfortable.

The Good, Bad and Ugly…

The Good

The Good is very good, in fact you might even say it is great!.

In order to get everyone ‘in’ and give all the teacher’s their planning time, we (the library) have all upper grade kids, 3, 4, 5th grade kids one class everyday, so sometimes we have them twice in one week, while we have K, 1, 2 grades every 8 days, except they come to the library every week, but not always to be taught by us.  If you think this is confusing, well, you are right and more than one teacher has turned up in the right place on the wrong day or the right place on the right day for the wrong thing.  Ok, do you understand our schedule now?

Having the older kids more often has given us (My Librarian and I) the opportunity to create a Makerspace opportunity in the library.

A makerspace is a collaborative work space inside a school, library

or public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing.

We run a library program for 3 days and then we run Explore.  Explore is our makerspace time.  We offer engineering play & challenges, creative endeavors, and teach strategic and fun games.   We also believe in the power of age-old play…blocks, coloring and puzzles.  We have more ideas than we have time.  If you enter the library on an Explore day, you might see paper airplanes soaring across the room, Lego cities being built, Zentangle drawings to name a few.  This week the kids were learning to play cards.explore1

Many of our kids had never played cards before.  We taught Crazy Eights, taught them to deal, shuffle and how to play.  What to do when you loose.  You’re allowed to say, “Good game”.  There is no ‘cry, whine, fuss, fuss’ and if you are my sibling, you know who coined that phrase.  If you win, you are allowed to say, “Winner, winner chicken dinner!”

Our library is not a very quiet place.  When the noise is that of kids learning, playing and laughing…well, it is a very good thing.  Hearing a Special Ed kiddo happily announce “Winner, winner chicken dinner” and seeing he’d beaten one of the brightest kids in his class, Explore seems to make a level playing field and we love what we get to do.

The Bad

In every creative way possible, every available teaching space and room has found a use.  Our school is built like a 4 legged spider.  Each leg a ‘pod’ with classrooms built around it.  Two of the four pods serve as lunch rooms, so those pods are only available for a fraction of the day.  Supporting teachers and students by pulling students out of the classroom is a vital role I play for 1/3 or my day.  Except…finding a quiet place to work with kids is a challenge.  We’ve run out of rooms and quiet space.  We sneak into spaces already being used by others and teach kids to read in whispers.

I had a Grandmother Reading lunch all set up for this fall.  One lunch each week for 3, 4 & 5th graders, to eat their lunch and be read a favorite chapter book.  A delight for some kids who are not read to and for others who always crave another story.  It is amazing which 12-15 kids show up each week, anxious to hear the rest of the story and know that this adult came just for them.  Except, now we have no room.  The library is being used to often to squeeze the weekly lunch in.  Darn (or something like it).

The Ugly

To meet the needs of all the children, we are sharing our library space.  Even though we are not ‘on child duty’ while we are sharing the space, it still impacts us.  My Librarian and I lack the ability to spread out, create and collaborate.  We often joke that we share one brain and some days now, our brain seems to be missing altogether.  My desk/realm is smack dab in the center of the library.  Sharing our space is a bit like trying to pay one’s bills while sitting at your kitchen table all while your kitchen is full of guests trying to cook on your stove.

I love my school.  I love the kids.  I am not an extrovert.  I recharge by quiet or time with close friends or my family.  There is nowhere in my day for me to ‘get away’…no classroom to escape to while the kids are at recess.  I can sneak in about 10 minutes at lunch before the library gets utilized again.  Because of this most of all, I come home exhausted.

The Final Good

I’d say all the adults at the school have a good attitude toward our situation.  Everyone is trying.  Everyday I try to be an encourager and a positive person to those around me, even when sometimes I just want to say a Bad British Word.


The Pumpkin Delivery

October 23, 2016

The pumpkins have been harvested, and I needed to make a very special delivery to THE Grandson in Spokane.giantWith My Girl riding Shotgun, we set out early to see our favorite 2-year-old.  As soon as we arrived, THE Grandson, grabbed a few tools and set about measuring the pumpkin.giant-pumpkin-measureThe tricky part was getting the Giant out of the truck without splattering it all over the Spokane sidewalk.  We’d brought what we hoped were strong boards to carefully roll the 200+ pound vegetable down out of the truck.  I didn’t fancy cleaning up a huge pumpkin splat, but more importantly, I didn’t want to fail so close to our goal.  Luckily we prevailed and Number One Son rolled the pumpkin across their lawn to set it at the foot of their porch stairs.  THE Grandson told me that his (unborn) sister needed a pumpkin too.  So I brought two more pumpkins, one for his Mamma and Daddy and one more for baby sister.giant-pumpkinsSpending the day with THE Grandson is pure joy.  Reading to him, walking to the park, listening to him laugh…splashing in puddles.   Even watching him be a little naughty to his Daddy is sort of entertaining…well, to one of us.giant-puddlesSpending time with all three of my kids and THE Grandson was just bliss.  Watching the Uncle and the Auntie delight in the little man was a special and delightful treat to me.giant-team-offspring

Number One Son and Number One Wife are trying to finish painting their house, before the weather catches up to them.  We were trying our best to be helpful, Number Two Son, My Girl, THE Grandson and I cooked dinner.  Building home-made pizzas with a 2-year-old, no one was overly concerned that THE Grandson licked his fingers after patting the dough, spooned some of the pizza sauce into his mouth, ate half of the pepperoni and spat out the mushrooms during production.  Watching Auntie and Uncle cooking with the darling boy…oh, be still my heart.giant-pizza

THE Grandson is potty trained.  I know!  He is amazing!  He just can’t actually pull his little underpants down, so that was my job.


“Yes, sweetie.”

‘Do you have a penis?’

“No, I don’t.”

‘Daddy has a penis.’

“Yes, he does”.

 ‘Mamma doesn’t have a penis.’

‘That’s right’.

‘Uncle Riley…do you have a penis?’

…and I left the bathroom laughing.

It was a great day…and yes,

I am blessed.


Cashing In

I’d love to think, that after 4.5 years, we would have been well finished with our restoration of this old home.  We are not, not at all.  Years ago, Dear John explained that we had taken on a ‘massive restoration’.  He was right, very right.  We may not be done for quite some time, but […]

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I sent My Loving Spouse a text.  I needed to give him a shopping list. Except, I did not type the text, I told the phone what the shopping list was and the phone typed the text. SOCKS ‘SUCKS’ So I was really careful and enunciated clearly, so the phone would understand… SOCKS, SOCKS, SOCKS ‘SUCKS, […]

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The One Grammy Made

We are having a Granddaughter.  We are quite excited!  This little baby girl, like her big brother, THE Grandson, will not have any shortage of special blankets and quilts made for them with great love by their Mamma, their Grandma and their Grammy.  I’ve seen THE Grandson go to sleep with 3 blankets, one made by […]

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Back On The Trail

School is back in session, so My Loving Spouse and I did what we’ve been wanting to do for a long time.  We hit the trail.  The September evening was gorgeous and perfect for a trail ride.  Out the back gate, along the John Wayne Trail with a loop back along the canal.  This also […]

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After The Rodeo

Rodeo weekend is a celebration.  We still carry the aftermath of what a Los Angeles Crowd looks, feels and sometimes smells like, so a ‘crowded’ Rodeo night just makes us giggle.  The numbers are mild, but the attitude is festive!  Everyone is there to enjoy the western sport. This year, we added to our education by joining […]

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Unfold The Map

There are certain times in one’s life, where quitting is just not an option.  When the garden hose attached with the sewer unplugger is stuck in the waste pipe one is trying to unstick…yes, that would be just one of those times.  My Loving Spouse crawls under the house.  My instructions are to jam the […]

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