Sunday, June 29, 2008

Going Green

My mother, grandmother, and favorite aunt were the champion recyclers of all time. Or at least in my limited frame of knowledge. Probably most people in their generation were who had lived through the depression. My mom and aunt kept it up though long after they had to out of habit and because in their mind it would have been wasteful and sinful not too.

My sister and I thought it was silly - and so became part of the generation that is causing havoc with our environment. In our house a glass jar was never discarded. It was used over and over for leftovers, making jelly, catching lightning bugs, storing nails, thumbtacks, bolts, screws, whatever. We had shelves of glass jars in the basement and garage. Same thing with coffee cans. They were used for some of the above, especially in my dad's workshop. He stored everything in them and neatly labeled the outside. Bacon grease was also kept in both glass jars and coffee cans. It was a precious commodity. You couldn't cook green beans, or dried beans and fresh corn, or cornbread without bacon grease!

I guess when I was a child we used paper towels and napkins, but I don't remember many. Mostly we used rags and tea towels. My mom would do a whole wash load of rags sometimes. She kept every old t-shirt, towel, sheet, and they were torn into good sizes for whatever she needed. My aunt would even go to yard sales and buy other people's old towels for rags. Speaking of my aunt, she is a wonderful, spunky 80 something who lives alone, looks and dresses like a 60 year old, still drives, and still lives this way - she even saves her dryer lint and puts in the edge of the woods behind her house for the birds to use in making nests.

Food, unless spoiled, was never thrown away. They always knew someone with dogs who could use the scraps, so they were sorted into what was appropriate and frozen in (used) plastic bags in the freezer until they saw that person. Plastic bags and aluminum foil were washed and used over and over. Wax paper too if possible.

Leaves, grass clippings, egg shells, coffee grounds were composted by my dad for use in the garden and yard.

My grandmother used a plastic pan in her sink for dishes and when she was finished always took the water and used it to water flowers. She had a beautiful flower garden.

I didn't know how far ahead of their time they were (or maybe out of necessity we are just going back to that time) and I'm sorry that over the years we got away from most of those practices and became as wasteful as we are. I'm trying to do better.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

11 Year Old Granddaughters

are the very best! I've enjoyed every age B has gone through, but there is something special about her now. She still enjoys coming here and staying with us - I know it is coming, but dread the day when she is too "busy" and can't leave her friends. She can take care of herself - but still lets me baby her a little. She's not too "cool" for us yet. She's fun and easy, but keeps us hopping and we love having her here.

I loved when my children were in elementary school. I just think that is such a great time - but where did that time go? I remember how fast it went and all the mistakes I made and can now just enjoy the grandchildren without all the responsibility that goes along with parenting.

If you aren't a grandparent yet - just wait, there is nothing like it. The best thing - I have an 18 month old still to enjoy and then a little one from China in a few years to look forward to.
The Bamboozle sweater is about half finished. I finished the back and have now started on the front. This pic is from Sunday when I enjoyed knitting on the back deck.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Aptly Named

Can you see the butterfly on my butterfly bush? (Click on picture for close-up) Everytime I tried to get a better picture it moved, but he/she was working so hard! Those wings were just going. Yesterday there were big butterflies, but of course when I got my camera they were long gone.

Today is a quiet day - which I needed. How do young mothers do it? How did I once upon a time? Having my kids and grandchildren from Thursday till Saturday afternoon was wonderful - but I crashed after they left. Little ones just starting to walk are hard work!

I still have the 11 year old granddaughter, she is staying for two weeks, but she is at her other grandparents this weekend and will be back later today. She is a breeze though after taking care of the baby. Since my son and daughter-in-law don't live near any family they have very little help or babysitting available so when they visit I try to do all I can to give them a little break. I try to feed and bathe her and DH and I play with and watch her most of the time. I love it, but don't think I could do it full time anymore.

Friday we did go to Dan Daniel Park for son to see the Veterans Memorial and the kids to play at the playground. The city needs to work on that playground! No shade, no benches, no swings, very little for toddlers to do. As you can see from the pictures, she loved it anyway, especially climbing and "driving".

When she's a little older we will try to keep her more, but as of now her other grandmother and I both work full time and the granddads who are the babysitters are not ready for her! DH works 3-4 12 hour days a week and has the other days off and the other granddad is retired, so they share keeping the 11 year old. She loves it, as she pretty much has both of them wrapped around her little finger. She's such a good kid though, she has always been easy. Not so sure about the little one

A little help from Daddy.

Not so sure at first.

Hey, I like this driving business.

A little help from Sissy on the swinging bridge.

B on the climbing rock with her new Webkinz dalmation - her 15th.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm So Excited!

Grandchildren are coming! My son and DIL are coming in tomorrow from Norfolk with the two girls and I can't wait to see them. Since I saw them last N has started walking so I can't wait to see her toddling around. B just finished elementary school last Friday and in the fall will be going off to middle school so I've promised her a shopping trip to celebrate. The weather is supposed to be about perfect so I'm hoping we are able to go to the park or somewhere outside to play!

I took off work tomorrow & Friday, so I also get a 4-day weekend out of this which is a plus! I hope to have lots of good pictures!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Unfortunately my dad is no longer with us - but he was the best dad in the world. He was the most laid-back, kind, genuinely good person I've ever known. When I was a kid he worked 2nd shift and was home in the mornings. Before we started school and in the summers my sister and I went everywhere with him. I remember lots of trips to the lumber yard, garden center, the gas station, where we always got a cold drink from the cooler (remember the old ones where you raised up the top and scooted the bottle, which was in ice water, through the slots?) A group of men would be sitting in a circle on upturned bottle cases and I would just sit and listen. I always wanted to go so I must not have found it too boring! He was a supervisor in a coal mine and it was a very stressful job. When he wasn't at work the phone rang constantly with problems, so when he had a vacation we always went away somewhere so he could escape. He loved to travel and was a whiz with maps and directions. Often other aunts & uncles and cousins would go along on our vacations and my dad was always the leader, they just followed his directions and followed along in their cars. I remember once going through Atlanta on the way to Florida my uncle ran red lights in fear of losing our car! That was when there were no interstates and we went Hwy. 41 from Kentucky to Florida right through Nashville and Atlanta and it took forever (with no air conditioning!)

After I got married my dad and husband got along great and often my parents went with us on trips. When we traveled anywhere without them I knew as soon as we got home Dad would want to know everything we did, which route we took, what we saw, etc. He died in 1999 and every trip I have made since then, I've thought Daddy would love to hear about this! He loved his grandchildren too - and let them run all over him. We would tell the kids to leave Grandaddy alone, but they always wanted him to go to their rooms or outside, etc. so they could have him by themselves. My daughter called him "Gray" before she could say Grandaddy and my son had an imaginary friend "John Cates", which was Daddy's name. The ultimate compliment. Thank you Dad for everything!

My husband's father was a wonderful Dad too. He unfortunately was killed in an accident when my children were very small so they never got to know him as well, especially my son who was just a baby, and I'm so sorry they missed that chance. He was a wonderful man.

My husband is a teriffic father and grandfather. Our children always came first and I know he has sacrificed a lot for them, but nothing he didn't want to do. He coached little league, was a band dad, worked at many concession stands, went on many band trips, and enjoyed it all. With our two granddaughters he thinks they hung the moon and the feeling is mutual. We have always kept our oldest granddaughter a lot in the summers and he is her main babysitter as he has more days off during the week than I do. He has played many, many games of Candy Land and Barbie! Love & Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Babies, Babies

Each month China matches a certain number of babies with new parents. These referrals are what every adoptive parent waits for expectantly each month. Referrals came out the first of this week - what an exciting and happy time. After the parents receive the baby's picture and medical information they have a few days to get expert advice if needed before accepting their child.

Every month it is a crap shoot as to how many days of LID's (log-in-dates) are included in the referrals. A few years ago China was going through about a month's worth of referrals each month, then that shortened to 15 days, then 7 and last month they only went through 2 days. This month however, they went through 8 days and everyone is so hopeful that the process may be speeding up. We all hope so or my daughter won't get her baby till 2014!

If you would like to see some of the wonderful new babies - here is a link

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Little Progress

I am making slow progress on my summer sweater, but it is moving along. I have good intentions of knitting more often and longer when I do, but it never seems to work out that way. I do like the different stitches in this project, because just about the time I really get tired of a stitch I can change to another.
On another note - it is hot! Much too hot for this time of year. What will July and August be like?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Do you hide your underwear?

Today was the dreaded, yearly gyn checkup. Why do we hate it so much? Why wouldn't we? Oh, the indignities!

The hated scale! The main reason I dread this visit all year, and I'm convinced the single factor that keeps most women from seeing their doctor. If doctors could skip the scale and just take our word for what we weigh, many women would see their doctors, avoid serious illness, and many lives could be saved!

The rest of the preliminaries don't bother me much - I can pee in a cup okay, I don't mind having my finger pricked, and now that my blood pressure is under control I actually enjoy having my blood pressure taken. I can be proud of something!

Next - the dreaded exam room. Undress, fold your clothes, put on paper gown and try to not rip it yet, hop up on the table and psych yourself up for the next step. Don't get me wrong, I have a wonderful, smart, kind doctor who I really like, and he is as gentle as possible, but the exam itself is just the most awkward, weird thing a women must endure. I won't go into gory details, but you know the routine.

While I was getting dressed, I noticed that I had carefully folded my bra and panties and tucked them under my clothes. Heaven forbid that a doctor and nurse who had just seen my boobs and bottom should see my underwear!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sex & The City - The Review

Why not, I think I'm more qualified than some of the other critics. I had at least seen the series. To the one who said it was draggy in places - bunk! I couldn't even go pee because I was afraid I would miss something. One critic said it was just a glorified 30 minute episode. I thought it very satisfying the way it explained the past four years and also what was going on now. I loved it!

No spoiler though, if you haven't seen it I won't give it away.