Sunday, November 23, 2014

Let's Play Catchup!

I know you folks haven't heard from me in a while. I'll tell you, 2014 has been the busiest year yet! Not only am I still writing (and trying to keep up with three blogs), but I have been babysitting my youngest grandson—plus I have a new granddaughter due any day now. And yeah, I had a big old vegetable garden this year too. The year just flew by.

Actually so did the Met Life Blimp, which we spotted a couple times in August.

It floated so quietly, you could barely hear the hum. The months though, they went zooming along.

Where does the time go? I think Einstein proved that time moves faster if you are really busy. I can vouch for that!

One nice thing about this property is the open skies. Makes stargazing at night a lot of fun, as long as you don't mind mosquitoes, the screeching of Great Horned Owls, booming bullfrogs, and wailing coyotes.

Now that avatar picture above, which I fondly named, 'The Old Broad Side Of The Barn', was taken back in April, a couple weeks after my 57th birthday. 

BTW, for my birthday, Roger sent me the ladle below, which was handmade by him from a picture I sent him of something I found online. That is treasured, and hanging in my kitchen. Roger doesn't do much woodworking anymore since his auto accident back in 2012. It's hard for him to stand long enough, and he doesn't have the strength and endurance he had. So this was really a challenge.

I love one of a kind art. Sorry about the busy tablecloth, but it kind of fit the summer mood. Here's the back of the ladle...

We drilled a hanging hole in the handle later on in the year so I could put it up. I won't use it, to me this is a rustic art piece.

Life you know, is full of surprises, and not all of them are pleasant. We haven't gotten much done on the house lately, but not from lack of trying. Lots of things—big and little—have gotten in the way. One of the hardest things for me to accept this year was my 80 year old mother's gradual health decline. She is more frail than before, and earlier this year, we all noticed her memory was not what it should be. The diagnosis was Vascular Dementia. The prognosis is ongoing mental decline. 

Yeah, I cried. More than once too. It's hard when you know that all you can do is never going to be enough. It's hard when people don't understand that this is just one of those random bad things that happens, and there was no way of preventing it. We clutch at straws, we look for hope, but mostly... we cope. We just plain cope and go on.

She's on medication, and it helps. But we have good days, and bad days. Right now I savor every moment I can get with family, and so I have her over here just about every weekend. She knows us all, but tends to confuse relationships, time and dates, and events past and present. She forgets which town she lives in now, and is a bit foggy on who is related to whom. She forgets if she ate, and repeats herself. Sometimes she just sits quietly and hums, and you can't get her attention for a few minutes. I know this is just the beginning, and my heart aches for not being able to do more than I am. I keep her as safely busy as I can manage, and try and be positive and understanding when she gets upset with me. My boys and DDIL have been very good to her, and supportive. We will keep her happily at home as long as we can. Just one more of the seasons of life to get through.

Getting outdoors and working the soil has always helped me deal with stress. With my hands in the dirt making things grow, I feel closer to my spiritual side, all grounded and centered. Gardening is my meditation time. We had an exceptional garden this year, and while I didn't take a lot of pictures, I got many of the wonderful produce we grew. There's just something about sunshine on your back, the smell of good earth, the song of birds and wind, and watching life unfold before you that chases the blues away. I made time for the garden, and this year it really paid us back. I will have an entire post about it another time this week.

I didn't get out thrifting or shopping as often as I have in the past, but I did go a couple times. I will have a bunch of thrifting pictures for you in a third post. Something about finding little treasures at a bargain price always makes me feel so crafty. Probably a good thing I don't go too often anymore, because I am so out of room for more stuff!

We had a ton of blackbirds this year, Redwings and Grackles, with a few Brown Headed Cowbirds thrown in. They cost me a fortune in bird seed mix and sunflowers, and forget suet, they gobbled that down. I put out suet late into the spring because a male oriole was eating it. He'd come up by the house every day and sing, and then feed. I had pictures but have no clue what I did with them. Sometimes we'd have 20-30 blackbirds under the feeders, along with all sorts of other birds. They bring their babies over to feed. I guess I am creating a welfare state for them all, but they brighten my days. 

We had a wild tom turkey courting a hen in the big field back in the spring. I took a lot of pictures in a very short time.

I heard a whippoorwill one night as I sat here at my PC. I had never heard one before. What a lovely, haunting cry they have. So good to know that there are still things I can discover even in my late middle years.

Somebody had a first birthday this year! He seriously needed a bath when this was done.

It was worth it, though he looks like he dismembered something. That intense glare just screams 'Mad Scientist', doesn't it? Or maybe Zombie Apocalypse...

You know, I didn't even have the time or energy to get my usual fall pictures. This was the only one I could find from this year, and someone else took it with my camera. But oh, the colors were glorious this year! This doesn't do them justice.

I was surprised that my holly has a few berries, since I thought it was all one bush, and you need a male and a female to get them. Maybe it's trying to impress me.

Fall can be a melancholy time of year for some folks, though I have always loved it. The cooler, shorter days bring longer dark hours, but for me, they bring more time to craft and plan, cook and organize things. Keeping busy is the key. And who wouldn't be busy with a gradually growing family. I love my two grandsons to pieces, and I'm thrilled that they get along so well, despite the big age gap. Zack is 1, and his brother Ben is 10, but they are best buddies.

Those blocks were thrifted BTW, and the jar was a throwaway I found a good use for. I reuse a lot of containers for storage. Saves the environment, and saves me $$$.

Halloween brought us a visit from a little dragon and his royal attendants. I think one of them must have either swallowed a pumpkin or she might have a baby sister dragon in there waiting to hatch. Isn't he a cutie though? 

 Even Great Granny can't resist him. This is a crappy cell phone picture from my Dumb Phone, but she got right down on the floor to play ball with him. How many 80 year old women will do that? Heck, if I got down there, you'd have to call 911 and have them bring in a crane to get me back up again! 

Ah yes, Thanksgiving is this week, and the crazy Yule/Christmas/New Year's holiday madness a month after that. The weather has been cold and we've already had a dusting of snow once. Who knows what the next few months bring, when I return to full time babysitting of not one, but two little ones. Where will I find the time to write and garden? I guess we'll all find out together...

Watch for my next blog posts here, because I'll have some more interesting pics to share,


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