Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sam's MiMi Cmap! Day THREE.....

Tuesday morning came in with a wet rain. We sat in the gazebo anyway and read a few more chapters of our book as we had our morning coffee. Sam used to drink his coffee in tiny demitasse cups but now that he is nearly 8 years old he uses a regular sized one. Granddad selected one for him that has a smiling cat on it! Sam has been so good with them. Snowball (13 yr. old & diabetic) and July (18 yr. old & has thyroid disease) are living with us until Amber and Mike return from their year in Aberdeen, Scotland. They arrive back on August 6th...36 days and a wake up IF you are counting and I AM!
After our reading and since all the rain has made the ground soft, Sam and I worked in the front flower beds pulling weeds and grass from around the roses, liriope, marigolds and other plants. He caught on quick as to 'Weed Identification'! Sam then took Lucy for a walk around the block for which Lucy is so grateful! My heart fills with memories to have my first born grandson here in this home where his dad grew up. We moved here when Jesse, Jr. was 2 months old. Sam looks so much like my son when he was that age it is almost like deja vu!

Sam decided he would come on in and write his letter. (We write a letter to someone everyday. Day 1 we wrote to Aunt Amber all the way in Scotland!) I taught him to fold the notebook paper into thirds to fit a business size envelope. He brought it out to show me and was I ever SURPRISED! I thought he was writing to Sam, one of his friends in his neighborhood. But, NO! This letter was to ME! I told him my heart was completely melted now!
Next on our agenda was 'Furry Vengeance' at Starplex where the movies are 50 cents on Tuesday and always $1 hot dogs! We splurged on a movie meal to boot....small drink, popcorn and a candy. Woo hoo! After we loaded his hot dog with ketchup as he requested and got all situated in our seats, Sam leaned over and whispered in my ear, "MiMi. I don't LIKE hot dogs!" Aren't kids FUN?

After the movie Sam wanted to spend the $$$$$ his dad had given him and being as frugal as his MiMi, he chose The Dollar Store for his shopping spree. Good choice! He got 4 whole bags of candy and still had some change to which later Aunt Summer added some!

Our day ended with arts and crafts, dinner, a visit with Aunt Summer and a trip to the snow cone stand with her! We read a few more chapters in our book, put some drops in Sam's ears (he has a new swimming pool at home....need I say more?) and Day Three drew to a close. Three more days! We are enjoying every minute!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sam's MiMi Camp! Day TWO.....

began bright and sunny! We made Banana Muffins from a really old recipe book I bought at a garage sale a long time ago for 25 cents! It is the best recipe! Sam has a special fondness for these muffins and requested them on Sunday evening in advance. Smart boy! We all had coffee out in the gazebo where we did the first few chapters of our book for camp this year....Little House on the Prairie. Excellent! We dug out an old erector set left over from Benjamin's childhood days. Ben is now nearly 22 years old. I don't know how old this set is but when Sam put the batteries in the little motor set 'thing'....they WORKED! Amazing!

Next on our agenda was a movie.......Toy Story 3! We did a few errands on the way to The Movie Tavern in Bedford and arrived in plenty of time! Ordered Root Beer for Sam and some snacky foods and enjoyed the film....which was really good. It was in 3D.....(not sure what the hype is all about with this 3D stuff myself!)
The day that started all bright and sunny turned dark and stormy as we did a few more errands on our way home. It RAINED and THUNDERED and LIGHTNING-ED...if that's a word! Sam said, "Do you get this kind of weather often here?" As if we lived FAR apart instead of  less than the 30 miles it is. He said, "We don't have weather like THIS at OUR house!" We kind of liked it! I love weather of any kind but I am quick to point out I have never been in the truly life threatening kind. Sam and I ventured out to the gazebo where I snapped this pic of him. The lightning crashing and the thunder rolling scared even the two of us so we came back in......just drenched! And it is only 2 steps from the French doors to the gazebo.

For supper we had rice and stir fry beef.....with Sam getting a 'vintage' small bottle of Coca Cola I had purchased just for MiMi Camp.

We ended our evening with reading several chapters of our book. We hope to finish it by end of MiMi Camp on Friday.......

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sam's MiMi Camp! Day ONE......

finally arrived! Jesse brought all three grandkids over for a visit Sunday afternoon/evening. He also brought Arby's for everyone so after our supper we proceeded to PLAY! We did all sorts of things......Sam played with the water hose watering Lucy....

....and then Sam and Levi watered each other as well! Kids and water equal FUN! Granddad and I sat on the front porch and enjoyed watching them. ONE DO NOT water MIMI!

Faith and I played Memory.....the game used to be called Concentration when their dad was growing up! She beat me fair and square......but only by ONE match!

Each grandchild got a lollipop......the size of the lollipop reflecting their age order. Sam's was the largest and he STILL has a good part of it left. Levi pretty much ate ALL of his while Faith took at least half of hers home with her.
Sam and Faith had a Checker match with Sam winning this round!

We all gathered in the gazebo while they had a re match! Faith is quite the strategist and had some experience from her session on Checkers with Grandad (the grand master of the game!) while here at HER MiMi Camp. Sam was a quick learner, though, and a worthy opponent!

We played bean bag toss, Bubbles, Thomas the Train blocks, roasted marshmallows, made s'mores and topped it all off with ice cream cones dipped in sprinkles! The cones were so cute because they were just TWO INCHES tall! Granddad bought them when Faith was in camp because it said "child size." You can sure eat more than ONE of these!
Faith, Levi and their dad left around 9. Sam, Granddad and I continued to sit in the gazebo reading the first chapters of 'The Little House on the Prairie.' Last year we read 'The Little House in the Big Woods' finishing it in the last hours before camp was over!
It was a lovely afternoon and just as  wonderful to be feeling better after a real bout of dealing with a summer cold I had suffered for over a week! We put Sam to bed then Louis Dean and I enjoyed a few moments together as we recounted the good time we had today and then made a few plans for the camp days ahead.....

This was the moon as we watched it rise in the early summer night sky......
Good Night, Moon.......

Saturday, June 26, 2010

You have a MATCH....on!

Today Louis Dean and I are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary! It all started on April 16, 2005 when I received a notification from"You have a MATCH."

I joined eHarmony on January 1st, 2005. My mother helped me do the 4 hour profile procedure which was pretty in depth! eHarmony matches you with someone compatible in LIKES and DISLIKES as well as character, interests, education, spiritual qualities and a host of others. I married at such a young age that I had never 'dated' before and was not at all sure what I was getting into. After recently ending a 41 year old marriage I had no real intention of getting serious about anyone but I did think it would be nice to go to dinner and movies and have a bit of a social life. I was matched with a banker, a minister, several truck drivers, a couple of postal workers, several business men.....and then on April 16, 2005 a retired school teacher! He, too, had been married 41 years .......happy years! Sadly, he had lost his wife in 2000. When we matched Louis Dean had clicked on 'Fast Track'....meaning skip right to the chase and exchange emails. I was talking to my mother on the phone when I received his message through eHarmony. My mother said, "Click YES!" So I did....and the rest is history!
Our first date was at the Fort Worth Zoo.....he was the tall, dark and handsome man standing on his 6'1" tip toes looking out over the parking lot for ME! He had prepared a picnic lunch for us which we ate on the tailgate of his truck......2 kinds of chicken, potato salad, baked beans and homemade rolls. We walked and talked and spent the entire day and into the evening together. I was so comfortable with him from the very beginning! I had become very wary of men in general and barely even allowed myself to  be hugged by my own brother and dear brother in law. You know how when you first meet someone there is a bit of hesitancy and self conscientiousness? I felt none of this......I was as comfortable with him as if I had known him my entire life! He held my hand and we had a word of prayer in his truck before he left for his home in Brownwood. (169 miles from my front door to his!) I believe our match was a God-thing. We are perfect for each other. After a very short time I was as surprised as anyone to find myself married to the nicest man I have ever met in my life! I thank God for Louis Dean every day!
We have been through a lot in these few years but never have we had harsh words with each other or stress between us. The stress has come from outside pressures....supporting a granddaughter which required him to go back to work for awhile, me losing my job, surgery for me, a heart attack for him, sadness over some of his family deciding not to share our life as well as the usual ups and downs of life in general. Through it all we have supported and comforted each other as well as laughed and had more fun than we thought possible. We are truly better together than we would be apart! Life is always an adventure! Life itself is a blessing! To spend the rest of our lives together as soul mates.....well, that is PRICELESS!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Garage Sales.....

You gotta LOVE them!! As we were taking my mother to the beauty shop we passed what looked like a promising one....meaning it had a lot of what my husband lovingly refers to as 'debris!' We dropped Mother off, made our Sam's run and came back by the garage had closed up due to some rather unexpected rain in the area.....a very SMALL area at that! Oh, well! I unloaded Louis Dean at my sister's (where Mother lives) and went back to the shop to pick her up. On our way home I noticed the garage sale was back in business! Happy Day! I do so love the thrill of walking up and browsing....never knowing what, if ANYTHING, you will find! Glory! Glory! This lady had some awesome 'fall colored' Christmas ornaments....only to me these are fall colored FALL ORNAMENTS! I keep a tree up year round and Autumn is my favorite season. (I nearly named my daughter, Amber, 'Autumn'....still think it is a pretty name!) Each ornament was just twenty-five cents and the little scarecrow was all of $3! I begin decorating at the very end of August so everything is in place on September 1st on which day I play Neil Diamond's 'September Morn' non stop ALL DAY! I also make a favorite fall/winter cookie recipe.....Fruitcake Cookies. Here in Texas on September 1st it is just as apt to be 100 degrees in the shade as not but to me.....the season has begun! I leave all my decorations up until the day after Thanksgiving. Most people go shopping then......but I UN decorate! I don't need to tell anyone what I do next, now do I?

A closer up look at my treasures.....all shades of gold and amber.......over 3 dozen items!
Perhaps I need to get me a BIGGER tree this year.........

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Back to normal.....

or at least close to it! I am on the last few chapters of  'A Mother's Hope' by Francine Rivers....and I have made a pretty good stab at some art projects I have been wanting to start! These two activities....reading and painting....have been pretty much ALL I  have been doing lately. I will dress and put make up on in the morning and resume my 'normal' life! I find it hard to admit but I have only worn make up (and just a LITTLE at that) only TWICE in the last 7 days! Gasp! I, who NEVER go out without my makeup on! Of course I have only been out of the house ONCE in the last week and the other time I fixed up was because I felt sorry for Louis Dean. My son, Benjamin, told me back when I was dating Louis Dean, "Mom, it's not fair to marry him if he has not seen you without your makeup on!" Fortunately (for me) Louis Dean saw my 'inner beauty'.....RIGHT??

Anyway I have 2 art projects with a first session each on them.....
An 18 inch table saw blade done in palette knife style....which I am loving even though a hard metal is not the normal surface for this technique. This painting Summer promised her next door neighbor over a year ago. Now WHY am I painting this for him? I forgot! Anyway since I was enjoying the palette knife style....
I decided to do this 9 X 12 stretched canvas. The scene is from an Italian calendar I found at Half Price this is step 2 of my version.....
Now that I am 'well' will be art on Tuesdays as it has been for over 30 years! Next week I will show you the 'Three Shades of Santas' I have been working on as well.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rest and Relaxation....

A little R & R is what I needed...or so Louis Dean insisted I take! He waited on me hand and foot! The hardest work I did today was fold and sort my collection of napkins.....some vintage and ALL connected with memories. That's how it is when you COLLECT many memories associated with them. I have one set that was given to me by my good friend, Deborah. I have known her for over...what? 40 years? Perhaps not quite that long...but close!

After my nap, we watched 'The Italian Job'.....great movie and just the thing since Amber recently returned (to Scotland) from an Italian vacation! Louis Dean made all the meals today....oatmeal and orange juice and coffee this morning, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches for lunch, and peanut butter and jelly for supper. He was serious about wanting me to get well!

After our movie I returned to the art table and painted an old truck license plate with a farm scene...and an old truck out by the barn. I think this will make a nice (late) birthday gift for my brother in law.....Roy and Ruth Ann have a farm in Ranger, Texas. Perhaps he will hang this on his porch out there!

I must say the rest and the relaxation must be helping because I may not SOUND any voice is little more than a squeak tonight......but I AM feeling better! Perhaps I will wake up WELL in the morning! If not......there is a HUGE round table saw I am going to paint a Southwest scene on.......

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Painting is THERAPY....

Painting is therapy for me....pretty much ANY kind of painting! I have spent several days doing very little physical activity due to a summer cold. I could not watch another TV program or SIT another minute doing NOTHING! SO.......I drug out the bucket of paint I had purchased in late winter to paint the lower portion of my living room wallpaper! Since it was the LOWER portion....I was able to SIT down to do it! This paper was beautiful when I hung it back in 1983 but had faded over the years. It has a texture to it so painted it actually looks somewhat like suede.

This also was a good opportunity to CLEAN under and around things (like the couch) I seldom get around to cleaning!
I even found some missing CD's I had stored in a burgundy sewing basket under one of the end tables!
Now that my living room is all spic and span....I have my oil paints waiting for me at the art table. Love the smell of turpentine! Better for a summer cold than a vaporizer!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Mother's Voice...

I am 61 years old and am blessed to have my 84 year old mother's voice reassuring me that all is well. When I am sick in body (as I have been for the past 6 days!) or sick at heart with a worry of some is my Mother whom I call...sometimes just to hear her voice and hear her cluck with concern and love. Mother had a stroke in September 2005 that greatly affected her speech. Be that as it may....she continues to communicate! And I continue to be blessed by that! I may not understand every WORD but I ALWAYS understand the EMOTIONS behind her words.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Under the TEXAS Sun....

It is Saturday and I am still not all the way throat continues to hurt, however, my fever is gone! For whatever reason it feels good to sit in the sun and just read and relax. I am normally NOT a sun least not in the last 25 years or so. My 'tan lines' now come from being out in the yard pulling weeds or mowing or watering! The sun is feeling good on my skin today and the weatherman forecast 100 degrees for the afternoon high! Louis Dean bought a watermelon and I think that would make the perfect snack after it gets icy cold in the fridge!

In the mean time I think I will read another few chapters in the exciting new book by Francine Rivers. This story has a special interest for me as it explores the bonds between a mother and daughter. I am fortunate to have two precious daughters and I, like the Mama in 'Her Mother's Hope', wanted more for them than I was actually able to give. I called MY mother today and thanked her for the hope she gave me.....when that was all she COULD give.....but it was the most precious gift of all! There will be a book following this one titled 'Her Daughter's Dream' which will continue the saga of the bonds of love between four generations of mothers and daughters. We all have a story to tell......

Friday, June 18, 2010

MiMi Camp for Levi: 5th and Final Day...

Not all things go as planned! We had been having a great time even though Levi was a bit under the weather with his runny nose. What I should have anticipated was ME coming down with something! Looking back I wish I had started taking my Wellness Formula on Monday! It helps jump start your body's own immunity system. By the time our train had reached Fort Worth on Wednesday my throat had started to hurt. It was downhill from there with me waking up on Thursday morning PAST the 'I don't feel well' stage to the full blown 'I am SICK!' I cried Uncle and asked my son to pick Levi up on his way home from work. Ironically Levi was feeling better by this time! I can't say I did much to make 'Meaningful Memories' with him on Thursday! I was trying hard to stay upright and the minute they left I headed straight to bed! I DID make some chocolate chip cookies for him with extras to take home and share with his brother and sister.

And although I don't think Levi napped he DID rest and allowed ME to nap with the promise of cookies and milk when we got up! We only got ONE 'Levi-ism' on this visit. When I told him we would take a nice nap he responded, "SHORT one, MiMi! Because life is SHORT, right??"

Jesse got to sample a cookie, too, when he came for Levi!

Both the SON and the GRANDson are two of my blessings in life!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Train Whistles!!

The train whistles were one of the thrills for Levi yesterday! He smiled and giggled EVERY time they blew. When Amber and Benjamin were little we found the neatest library book on the meanings of these train whistles. Levi and I could NOT locate it again on our recent trip to pick up some books. However, in this day and age all you have to do is google something and the information is right at your fingertips! SO...THIS is what we found out about Train Whistles!

"Despite the advent of modern radio communication, most of these whistle signals are still used today:

- One short: Stop or stopping; apply the brakes

- One long: Approaching railroad station or junction (if moving), or apply air brakes and equalize pressure (if standing)

- Two short: A general answer signal or acknowledgement; identical to the "roger" or "10-4" radio terms

- One short, one long: Inspect the train

- One long, one short: Visibility obscured

- Two long: Train is about to proceed forward; release the brakes

- One long, two short: Additional section follows signaling train

- Two long, one short or two short, one long: Train is approaching a meeting or waiting point

- Two long, one short, one long: Train is approaching a grade level crossing (i.e. a road crossing). This is a widely used safety signal used to warn motorists and is blown at every grade level crossing, except where local noise ordinances prohibit it. Known in railroad rulebooks as rule '14L'

- Three short: Train is about to proceed in reverse (if standing), or train is about to stop at the next station (if moving)

- Three long: Train cars have come unhooked; train has come apart

- One long, three short: Flagman, go protect the rear of the train

- One short, three long: Flagman, go protect the front of the train

- Four short: Request for signals

- Four long: Flagman, return to the train from the west or north

- Five long: Flagman, return to the train from the east or south

- Four short, one long: Fire alarm; fire on the train

- Multiple short: Danger, get off the tracks! Used to warn pedestrians or livestock who are on the tracks in front of the approaching train.

We heard several of these yesterday as when we got off apparently there was some difficulity with the doors and the flagman was pretty busy! It is kind of interesting to know the 'language' the trains are speaking!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

MiMi Camp for Levi: Day 4!!

We started out this our 4th day of MiMi Camp 2010 with a train ride. Now Levi TRULY loves ALL things train! Seriously! He was so excited and we had been looking forward to it as well. Riding the rails is one of Louis Dean's all time favorite
 things to do. He is wanting us to take a train trip to San Antonio in the future. Who knows....maybe MiMi Camp in the years to come will involve some real travel adventures!
But for now Levi was pretty impressed with a very simple train ride!

Levi and Granddad at the T & P Station....

Rode all the way to the end of the Fort Worth. Had snacks in the terminal and then rode east to Union Station in Dallas. Had lunch during the 'layover' there!

Levi played 'train' ......he was a FREIGHT train!

After we returned to the South Irving Station we celebrated with milkshakes at The Big State Drugstore on Main Street in downtown Irving. One of the few soda fountains still around!

Levi liked drinking his from TWO straws!

We all three napped for nearly THREE hours this afternoon! We were tired. Levi's nose is still running but the meds help. You can tell when they wear off because it starts right up again! My throat began to hurt so I came home and took Wellness Formula and some pain reliever.....we are having too much fun to get really sick!

After our naps I had some housework to do so Levi tracked down the kitty cats. July was in a chair under the dining room Levi joined her! When I asked if he had petted her he said, "No...because she hissed and I couldn't say it!" Only he didn't SAY 'hissed'....he SOUNDED it! Good boy! He is both strong AND gentle! A good combination!

We ended our day by having supper in the gazebo and we all watered yard/plants/flowers before coming in for a movie night! Our featured presentation was 'Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco.' I don't remember ever seeing it before and Louis Dean sure had not so we ALL enjoyed it! I love Michael J. Fox and Sally Field's voices for the characters. Now our bed is ready and it is time to go there. We all stayed up a little later since we had taken such good naps! Sorry we missed your Skype call, Amber! Hopefully you can visit with Levi sometime tomorrow! But for now.....we are calling it a DAY! And it was a GOOD one!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MiMi Camp for Levi: Day 3!!

This morning we visited the Fritz Petting Farm where Levi got to see a cow, donkey, peacock, bunny rabbit, goats, deer, chickens, & a turkey! He got to pet SOME of them! His favorite was the bunny rabbit who was a soft cuddly white and reminded him of Snowball, Amber's cat, we are caring for.

OK....I have to tell you that Levi is a real trouper! He has had a summer cold since Sunday! Poor guy has had a runny nose and I KNOW he does not feel the best! But he just keeps on going and has the greatest attitude! This little guy is going to be someone who goes far in life because of his ATTITUDE! He has not complained once since he arrived on Sunday and 'goes with the flow'....which is uncommon for ANY child much less a 3 year old!

We met Granddad at The Olive Garden for lunch....Granddad has had computer problems and was at Best Buy which is in the same parking lot! No matter! I LOVE the Olive Garden so Levi and I had Soup, Salad and Bread sticks! Good and healthy!

This is Louis Dean asking me what to order....
 and THIS is Louis Dean when I told him. "Whatever you want!"

Levi and I went on to Northwest Park where we fed the ducks.....then headed home for a lovely nap in a dark air conditioned room! We BOTH slept soundly!

Finished off our day with the not the best idea craft project! Hand prints on a ribbed can do NOT come out as desired! As my art class arrived...Ruth Ann and Sabrina.....Levi entertained us with 'The Ants Came Marching One by One'.....and he was so adorable! Not just his MiMi thought did Ruth Ann and Sabrina!! He played outside with Granddad while we did art. When he came in I asked him, "Where is Granddad?" Levi answered, "He is still outside playing!" We are having a blast with this little grandson!