Monday, December 16, 2013

2013 Christmas Season

This last week end, I spent with my son, his wife and their 3 new children.  It was a special week end, starting out with visiting when I arrived.  The mom had to go pick up a daughter from sports, and the dad was giving his last presentation for his classes for the semester. There was the making of gingerbread houses. Always a fun Christmas activity. Of course, afterwards, there were the territorial markings of MY gingerbread house (and candy.)  But nothing out of the ordinary.
starting construction.
Nibbles were required to make sure the product was good. :)

The next day we were up and it was 31 degrees outside.  Did the family let that stop them? No, we were out walking on the green belt just huffing and puffing.  It was fun.
There was shopping to do later and in the evening we went to the church ward party.  The dad had to create a stall for their part in the party, it was a night at Bethlehem event.
Stall and creator.
Stall keeper and wife.
Of course, Mary and Joseph had to stop by the stalls looking for a place to stay to end up at the stable.
When the baby was born our own little angel was in attendance.
Mom's creative costuming and a bid smile.

We contributed a wise man... it was touch and go at first because we were looking for a Sheppard and they changed the roles in the back. J  

The next step was to visit Santa Claus. How special is it that someone would take the time to give young girls and boys so much fun.

There was fun to be had by all. Afterwards, we went home and they were allowed to open my presents to them.
The next day we went to church and I headed home.  Yes, with a tear in my eye. It is so hard to leave your loved ones, but love modern days so we know it is easier to visit than in days of yore.
Chat at you later. --Hummer--

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Grandma Langley's Fry Bread

As I was looking for a recipe by my grandmother Lenora Gildon Langley to post on FamilySearch's Family Tree, I realized she did not have specialty recipes like we see today.  Grandma Langley was a pioneer camp cook in her methods.  Everything was cooked with bacon, and she used stuff from the garden.  There weren't steaks or chicken like we have now in abundance. They would kill their own chicken, dress it and most of the time, boil it with dumplings or noodles, and carrots.   
My favorite memory of her was my early teen years.  She lived in a small house my dad had bought for her behind us.  When I got home from school, she would pull out her handy wash bowl full of flour and whip up some of her version of Indian fry bread and serve it up with homemade jelly or strawberry jam from the store. Sometimes, there was honey.  I watched her as she made it, so I continued to make this for my children as they grew up.  Yummy days. 
I know my oldest aunt Della Langley Whitaker, and grandma had the same type of wash bowl they kept by the stove ready for anyone who dropped by for a quick snack.  I inherited the bowl from my grandmother, and still have it. It is pictured on the scrapbook page.
My grandmother only put flour and water in her fry bread.  You would have to put yourself in her surroundings as she grew up. It was a tradition. When they traveled in the wagons, and apparently they moved more than we thought, it was easy to have flour and water to mix up bread and fry in a pan of grease over the fire. You pour the water into them middle of the flour well, mix with your fingers, make a patty and fry in grease (oil).   Every time I eat it now I feel I am experiencing a taste of the past.  I have created a scrapbook page for a visual. J  

Sorry, I didn't wait for you it was finger lickin’ good. J

Friday, November 1, 2013

Let a Child Alone and They Will Create

I love children’s creativity.  
multi-media art by my granddaughter
As my 6 children grew up, we would have a room full of toys and they would always go for the oatmeal box as a drum or my pots and pans. Don’t know how many spoons were taken outside for shovels, I still find some occasionally.  The youngest used a hanger to jump out of a loft to catch his fall… that didn’t turn out too well. (oh my)  However, there weren't any broken bones… the daughter twirling knives caused that. Laughing at the memories of the oldest son galloping across the yard with his stick horse his father and I had made for him.  He ended up on the front page of the local newspaper when he took it to town, and the reporter was amazed at a child that was happy with a toy that didn't do anything. Oh yeah it did.  It spurred imagination.

Now that I have 23 grandchildren, it has been a delight seeing my grandchildren continuing in the world of imagination and creativity.
The oldest daughter has 8 children.  She has an area of dress up and her boys will take sticks and anything (and I mean anything) and create boats, bridges, “scientific experiments”, just to name a few.
The second daughter has 5 children.  The oldest is 19 now and he writes stories and illustrates them.  His little brothers will take boxes and create anything you want or never dreamed of.  The redhead took his sister’s gift bag and was sitting in the middle of the room with scissors.  When asked what he was doing, he replied… “I am making a TV for when the lights go out.”  Now that takes a moment to process, but on reflection it makes perfect sense.  (giggling at the memory of his mom’s face)   
An attempt to be a unicorn... that is his wings behind

The oldest son’s son will find a piece of metal, or a screw and it becomes a treasure.  The girls will go off into a world of dreams and imagination of dressing up.  They had their first pumpkin experience of creating a Jack O’ Lantern and how cute they were dipping the hands in the raw pumpkin.
Number 4 child and 3rd daughter has 4 little blonde girls.  The oldest goes from scientific experiments in the bathroom with “whatever” and being a ballet dancer in film fabric from the sewing room.  The second daughter always has paper and pencil or crayons going drawing, or following her sister’s lead in dress up.  The third’s mind goes into how to get into the cupboards to find snacks (and usually succeeds), but she likes playing pretend too.  Number 4 is getting ready to learn to crawl.
The 5th child and Number 4 daughter has three sweet children.  The oldest boy likes pretending in the super hero world or with his sister creating a box into something. (Boxes are wonderful tools for children) the youngest is learning to walk and I am certain will be quickly creating on her own… She thinks for herself.
My sixth child has not married, but he continues his own world of creative thought and putting life into motion with his own way of thinking. 
Taking time for his imaginative nephew who keeps him laughing.

Of course Halloween activity was what triggered this post, so here are a few pictures and scrappy pages to show you my creative family. J

fun things to do.
memories made

Cowboys are always fun.

When I arrived home, my granddaughters decided to write me a letter. 
All my girls love to dress up and act some have been in plays.
Carving Pumpkins... Old pros and newbies.
Only 4 families represented. California didn't get pictures to me. The two in the masks made the ones they are wearing.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A New Way to Exercise.

Yesterday I went shopping with my daughter and son-in-law when they were looking for appliances for their new house.  While they were doing the comparisons, I took the two older granddaughter out to the garden center to look at the plants.  (You knew this would happen.) We looked at the different plants. I told  them the names of each as well as why they would or would not do for the new house.  A front apparently rolled in because the wind picked up and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees.
 We chose to go back inside and looked at yard art and the seeds.  We found Butterfly Weed seed
Why we wanted the Butterfly Weed.
... only one package left so we picked it up, some Johnny Jump ups, and Nasturtiums they could plant in the hanging back which could be brought in on cold days.  Of course I found one or two other things I could buy to spoil them with.

The transaction for arranging delivery was taking a while so the parents suggested we check our stuff out and wait for them on the benches in front.  We picked up some water, and chocolate coconut water ( this was a hit with the girls)  to keep cool with... (didn't I just say a front came in?)  We checked out, I declined a sack, thinking no need, then we headed to the benches... Oops, the benches had been removed for winter time.  Our second choice was to go sit on the back of the pickup tailgate and drink our drinks.  That was a hit with the girls.  I put them in the back of the pick up and started unloading the basket.

We forgot, no keys.  As I put the plant in the back, the wind picked up again, and before you could say Jimmy Cricket off went a package of seeds that were sitting next to my purse.  I went in pursuit.  Smack, I heard another package hit the ground behind me as the wind came again swooping the first further away.  I jogged to it and started back for the second.  By this time the oldest girl saw what was happening as two more seed packets took flight.  She stood on the back of the tailgate and giggled as she pointed out where each packet had gone while I jogged from one side of the parking lot to the other in pursuit.  I finally retrieved them all, and stuffed them in my purse.  By this time the little girls decided it was cold and we snuggled and drank our coconut water until mom and dad came out to let us in.
When I got home, I sat down in the chair and put up my feet.  Fun?  Yes, but maybe planned exercise might be better... Where is my Curves membership card?   

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Humiliated by a Gopher.

Since I began blogging in 2009, I have had photo envy of Carol at Reflection's Flora and Fauna .  I love the way she catches wild life.  I have been trying so hard to catch an animal, bird, insect, or reptile in a nice pose or at least a realistic pose instead of a blur.
This last weekend I had my chance, or so I thought at a picnic the family went on at a local park in California.

My son in law, called my granddaughters attention to the fact there was a gopher digging next to us.  In a few minutes it was evident he was coming up.
I grabbed my camera and rushed to stand near enough ( I am terrible with zoom coming out clear) so I could catch a shot of him as he emerged.  There I stood, camera aim... so I thought, first picture was of grass, second was of freshly dug grass.
Then!  I caught a shot as he emerged.  I clicked 3 more times but only got him once as he paused to look at me considering what I was doing.

The quick as a flash he flipped and I was left with a picture of his backside.  I stood  for 10 min with my camera ready to catch him coming back up... I hoped...but he never came back and I looked quite foolish with my camera aimed at a pile of dirt.

Not giving up though.  I love taking the time to capture pictures of nature and beauty around me. Hope you are having fun too.   

Friday, August 16, 2013

Gardening and Memories

This morning I went out to start planting the shrubs I had chosen to replace the rosebushes my daughter had lost to gophers.  Just the thought of having your landscape eaten by gophers was a new one to me.
As I started to dig the first hole, I realized I had the wrong tools.

A hand spade and small shovel would not work.  I had not dug in dirt this hard since I had tried to get some dirt for an experiment in the frozen tundra of Idaho in March of 2004.  Oh my!  It was time to get out the pick ax and the heavy duty shovel.  As I chopped and dug through the hard clay and rocks, my thoughts went to the pioneers that had gone to climates like this and had to create fields to grow crops.  Well, just the few holes I dug were tiring, can't even begin to put myself in their shoes.  Hats off to the pioneers!

My young padawan was disappointed when I informed her that the tools would put her in danger and she would have to wait until we were ready to put the plant in the ground... Oh wait! That wasn't true... What do you have to do when planting in Gopher Land? Why yes, you have to build root protectors called gopher baskets. That means, if you are cheap like me, wire cutters and chicken wire.
(Yes, I was sitting on the job. With the slant of the yard, it was easier to keep my balance.)
Nope, young padawan, you will have to trim the dead blooms off the Butterfly Bush to make it pretty, which she did a nice job of.

There was another glitch, since we were buying so late in the season, the plants had become root bound at the small nursery. We found the sized we wanted so it was our choice. I just added some special TLC and Super Thrive. 
Things went fairly well today, I finished the bed next to the driveway.  The youngster that just had her tonsils out came out to inspect... Hey!  I'm not done! It's not that bad. (smile)
Photo courtesy of the older sister who needed something to do. ;) 

Tomorrow, we tackle the front beds.  Think I will keep my hat on and wear a cooling neck band. Since it is smaller plants, the young padawan should be able to dig a hole or two before she gets too tired. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Florist Fun For Mother's Day

I was helping a special friend today, who does not have a car right now.  We were in town at the bank, when I received a call asking about my address.  I was hesitant to answer the woman speaking because no one was at home.  After a few moments of conversation, the woman explains she is trying to deliver flowers for me.  She is at the address that I gave her.  Well, I couldn't get home, and had left our sweet dog outside, who was barking at her.

 She was delivering from a Florist that was 25 miles away, so neither of us wanted to repeat the trip.  I finally said, put the phone out and I will talk with our dog and get him to sit down.  She said, "I'll try".  She puts the phone out the door and says "Here he is..." my cue to talk with him.  I told him it was okay and told him to sit down, in a stern tone.  She walked up to the door and sat the flowers down on the porch.  I asked if she needed to keep the phone on while walking out to the car.  She said, "no, he sat down next to the porch and just watched, still looking at the phone."  My friend and I laughed visualizing my dog looking quizzically at the phone trying to figure out where I was.  Shades of technology.
Back to the flowers.  
When I arrived home, there was the sweetest arrangement of Daisies and Roses with a pink gingham ribbon around them...
 Beautiful and simple.  
Thank you my son and daughter in law!  I love them!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Spring Time Fun

This spring I have had the fun working as my daughter's gardener.  It has been satisfying when people drive up to her house and say, "Beautiful yard!".  Hard not to get a puffed up attitude.  The Lord has blessed my efforts to keep her yard beautiful.
The front yard we started out with barren brick mail box.  I added 'Carolina' Jasmine on each side and replaced some lantana that had died over the winter.
Will show you later in the summer the results.

The front yard we planted some 'Kaleidoscope' Dwarf Abelia, it has been touch and go, but it has taken hold and will be great to show you when it is blooming. Great fragrance too.

We also planted violas and pansies for color in the beds. They have lasted until now. Getting ready to change out for petunias.

The back yard we put in 'Purple Hempstead' Verbena, with 'Mystic Spires' Blue Salvia, and Soft Pink Petunia, with some beautiful hanging baskets for one bed.

The Clemantis was on the corner wall, but we cleaned it up and put it on the Trellis.  It is beautiful seening the two varieties 'Henryi' and 'Barbara Jackman' together.
Will share with you as they fill out and I make some small changes as the summer progresses.  Yep, it has been a nice gift my daughter has given me.  It is nice to take time from research to work and meditate in a beautiful garden.