Wednesday, May 10, 2017

We Might Have Spring Now

I think we can officially call it.  Flip-flops and no sweaters.  Sunscreen on little cheeks and arms (and red shoulders in spite of it).  Birds singing, flowers and trees in a riot of blooming.  The streets and parks of Snoqualmie full of people and dogs enjoying the heck out of our delayed season.

It has been a bleak time for me lately in spite of trying really hard to be positive.  I'm looking for the sunshine and extra hours of daylight to make it better.

Graysen and I are fascinated by the spring changes - and therefore Katherine is too.  She parrots our exclamations over flowers and birds and bugs and uses the word "beautiful" a lot.

We go over to the park when we get a chance, and Graysen and I took a nature walk one day.  I'll just post a lot of pictures of things we saw so I can come back and cheer myself up when I'm down.

I'm sorry I don't have video of Katherine saying the work "slug."  It comes out like a nasal SNNUUGG.  The girls found a slug's shiny trail on the deck in the sunshine and, despite their aversion to the little creatures, were upset by the fact that it wasn't moving.  Graysen brought cool water to pour on it, and Katherine stood and repeated over and over "Died, snnuggg."


I really didn't have any intention of getting on this shady path behind the park since I have read about bobcat sightings this week.  I know - only at night with security cameras - but I have a horror of encountering an animal with these little ones.

They headed down it though and loved it so much.  I did too.  Such a beautiful canopy of trees with ferns along the path, birds singing, a dog barking at the house near us which gave me peace.


I took a different path when I walked home last week and enjoyed the beauty of the sky and cherry trees  



The pool is ready whenever it gets warm enough.  Graysen likes to check on it when she gets the chance.

This sidewalk runs alongside my building, and I need to take it more.  So lovely and quiet.



Our little maple tree from Montgomery.  I'm always surprised when it comes back in the spring.


I think of Japanese magnolia being a Southern tree, but they are beautiful here too.  I've seen forsythia and dogwood also.  I'm not sure I've seen a regular magnolia, but I imagine they grow here.









Graysen looking carefully down into her "jungle" trying to see a lion.


We've watched this rhododendron at the foot of my stairs develop buds and now begin to bloom.



Debby sent me home with these little teacup covers which were, of course, snatched up by the girls.  There are 3 of them, and they have become cats with tutus.  Good call, Debby!  She looks so grownup here.

 Popsicles are a big hit already, and they love Outshine bars.  Strawberry for Graysen and pineapple for Katherine (because of the big red mess a strawberry one would cause).




I added this one to show how dirty she got at school last Friday.  She was covered with mud from her face to her boots.  She never went into detail about what they were playing, but half the class looked just like her.  She's decided boys aren't quite as bad as she thought and is now running and sliding and knocking them down and loving it.



I can't even begin to pronounce popsicle like Katherine does it.


I took a trip to Georgia and Alabama a couple of weeks ago, and that was a good dose of medicine for my soul.  Elise and I had a whole day together.  We did a little shopping, a little eating, some TV watching, and just talking and catching up.  So nice.  It was good to see Kathy & Alan although briefly this time, Debby & Tom, Mike, Carol and David.  We also went down to Ft Walton to visit another cousin Bobby and do a lot of reminiscing.

The trip was bittersweet, of course, like it always is.  Mike loved this area and especially this drive from Montgomery to Andalusia.  I wish it were possible to live in two places.



I finally let myself go to the cemetery.  It was hard - so hard - just seeing the footstone for the first time.  Kathy and Alan keep it looking so nice and took care of the marker, keeping me from as much sadness as possible.


We celebrated Mama's 94th birthday while we were there.  She was amazed that she was that old!  I didn't take as many pictures as I thought I did, but my brother sent me some, so I'll add those later.  Carol planned the party, and a few of us cousins gathered to catch up and eat some delicious cake (Dean's Cake House, of course).

I thought this was a cute picture of Carol and Mama.




I enjoyed one of my homes away from home at Debby and Tom's beautiful place.

Gus wanted to join me at my coffee-drinking, meditating on the deck.





Especially beautiful in the early mornings.






Mama enjoys what I call the Rose Garden at the Manor when we can get her out there.  She's always afraid it's too cold for her.  I think she found out that it was not too cold that day.  She's still insisting on matching her socks to her shirts.


We did the seasonal changeover of clothes from winter to summer, although she wasn't convinced it was time yet.


I think she did enjoy her newly organized closet - for now.  She does love to touch and try on her clothes and can't hang them back up, so we enjoyed it for a day or so.


I'm glad I made myself write something today.  I'm going to do all I can to get myself happy again.  The trip to St. George's is coming up next week, and I know that will be a happy time with friends and family.  After that, I hope maybe I will get myself out and meet people and get back to my sewing.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pretty Good Day for a Monday

I was hoping for a nice day to go to the park and have a picnic, but there was a 90% chance of rain.

When I got to Steller, I saw this little guy in the yard.  I stood quietly and watched him get up in the flower pot.  He looks like he's dined here before, but there's not much to be eaten right now.  All along, they thought it was deer taking bites off the flowers, but maybe it was the Easter Bunny.









I never know what's going to greet me when I walk in the door.  Usually some sort of costume.  Today it was hats, boots, and socks for mittens.  No one ever told me what they were playing.  But they immediately want me to be the Bad Mouse or Bad Queen.  I've found out that I can get a cup of coffee and drink it while sitting down and growl and grimace at them every once in awhile, just enough to elicit a scream here and there.  Much safer than risking another fall.


This glittery shamrock shirt has all of a sudden become one of Graysen's favorites.






So we saw some sunshine, talked about a picnic, and packed some snacks.  But by the time we cleaned up and found shoes and socks and jackets, it had started to rain again.  

We drove to North Bend to the grocery store instead and stopped by the post office in Snoqualmie.  Both are fun stops for the girls.  Graysen is so interested in cherry trees and likes pointing them out.  In North Bend there are a few bushes with flowers and drooping berries or something on them that we call the Fancy Nancy bushes after one of her favorite storybook friends.

She asks at least 3 questions a mile when we're driving.  I'm not sure how I'm going to find enough answers when Kate starts asking questions too.

This is the way Katherine likes to ride - side-saddle - and Graysen chose to hang on the side this time instead of ride inside.  They are so good in the store and give me lots of advice on what to buy.  Kate said orange juice and mac and cheese.  Graysen just wanted rainbow goldfish and also mac and cheese.  



We spent a good bit of time in front of the Easter bunny shelves, picking out which one they would like the Easter Bunny to bring them.  

As we were rolling around, I noticed a couple come toward us, and the man had a wooden leg - a peg leg  - yep, just like a pirate.  I felt lucky that Graysen was looking somewhere else because I just knew she would ask questions about that and make a pirate comment.  I breathed a sigh of relief, but I had to go back for something I forgot, and there they were blocking our aisle, for a good 3 minutes.  She did see it and look at me and say, "Why that man....."  But then she didn't mention it again.  I was relieved but figured she was going to bring it up again.  I guess she either forgot about it or figured it was really a pirate.  

Getting home with the groceries is my least favorite thing, especially with these two.  Graysen was able to take one bag upstairs for me, but Kate wanted to stand and stare at a crow a long time, so I was exhausted after one trip up and down.  

This bag of Fancy Feast was very interesting to Kate for some reason.  She stared at it for a long time.  There must have been some cute kittens on it.



After lunch, they played in the playroom very nicely while I cleaned up, and then Graysen wanted to color at the dining table.  I really felt lucky that they were both happy and passed by every once in awhile to check on Kate.

Looks perfectly innocent, right?


I did hear some prolonged scratching or scraping noises, so I got up to check.  I knew I was in trouble when Kate met me at the door with a hot pink crayon in her hand saying, "MoMo,"  Her word for rainbow.

LOTS of rainbows.  On the plastic storage box.


And on the wall of the playroom.



I guess Graysen dropped a crayon on the way to the table because I don't keep anything like that within reach.

I figured it would come off with a Magic Eraser, and I was right.



Not much remorse though.



In the meantime, Graysen was putting all the barrettes in her hair, "so my mommy will flip out!"


Kate finally took a 2-hour nap, and Graysen and I watched as a huge dark cloud descended, and it began to rain - loudly.  We went out onto the balcony just in time to enjoy a big hailstorm.

"Look Mimi, ice is falling from the sky.  And it hurts my ears."





Later on, I was just about to close my blinds for the night when I saw this.



I called Emily to see if she saw it, and she could see the whole thing.  So beautiful.