Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Journey Northward....Leaving, the most Difficult part....

Leaving Home is hard for me. Very Difficult. Separating myself from my Dearest One geographically is difficult. And so, even tho I have been looking forward with Great Joy since Last June, soon as Camp was over, leaving Home is hard for me.

Rob took multiple photos of the van packed to the gills and insisted that I dry my tears and load up and drive.

His encouragement in the pursuit of my dreams is something that I cannot even describe. No words for it. I can only state how grateful I am to have someone who believes I can do anything.

Sometimes when HE believes it, it empowers ME to believe it and jump in the van and GO.....

I love driving Arkansas Hwy 59. It is curvy and twisty, but then so is every highway going in or out of Tahlequah. Hwy 59, however, gives one new vistas at every twist and turn. Each season brings with it new and glorious revelations in the forests that line the road.

Only about 50 miles from our home is a place called Natural Dam, Arkansas. It is a tiny little community or "populated place" about 30 miles north of Van Buren, Arkansas and I-40. Every time I stop there, depending on the amount of rain they have had, the natural dam looks different.

Here's the 3 boyz staying quite nicely while Mom snapped away.

The wildflowers along the way were Magnificent! The Queen Anne's Lace was in full glory, and waving, how it does, so gently in the wind.

I am always reminded of my sister when I see these wildflowers. They are her favorite.....Commonly called "Wild Carrot," their roots grow deep into the rocky soil. They withstand drought and hot weather with ease.

Little Rock is only about 4 or 5 hours from our house, give or take a potty break or, of course, a stop at Hobby Lobby in Conway. I found several treasures there, and somehow found room in my already-stuffed van for the additions.

I arrived at the Penderosa, let the boyz out to pee, sequestered them in the house, and took off to the elementary school. It was the endoftheyear party, and classes were full to overflowing with delicious snacks and treats. Bailey Rose was quite surprised to see GrandTone appear in her classroom.
And Isaac was quick to show me how fast he can shinny up the fire pole....
A quick re-group at the house, and by 5 pm, we were heading to the church for the Brownie Fly-up and Bridging ceremony.

Some of the very cutest liddle Brownie Girl Scouts I do believe I've ever seen.

I had them all sitting here whilst the leaders made last minute preparations. We learned a few songs, I told a few tales about their leader, Mrs. Emily, and they recounted their favorite Brownie activities to date. Don't they just look like a gathering of little birds ready to launch and fly!

Here's a few pictures of MY favorite Girl Scout Leader.....

I always love the candle-lighting ceremony. These signify the Ten Girl Scout Laws.

And here we are....The third generation of Junior Girl Scouts....

Semi-toothless and maturing quicker than the eyes can behold.  Oh, yeh...I made the heart necklace. She hasn't taken it off since I gave it to her.  Rose quartz and citrine and moonstone.

After the pins were pinned on and the fly-up wings presented, the parents and families all departed leaving us with seven new Juniors until 8 am the next morning. Emily had wonderful activities for each girl to experience, and, of course, everyone wanted to see me dance with the Collies.

And the boyz were More than willing to dance with the Girl Scouts, once they realized what pepperoni pizza
tasted like.

It was actually pretty amazing at all that the girls and the dogs could do, especially given the various distractions and multiple commands. It was a fun lesson in training, both for the girls and for me!

Bedtime was around 11:30. The girls were ready to sleep after several scary stories, silly songs, and even a lullaby or two. I had forgotten what it felt like to spend an entire night sleeping with my glasses on and in a sleeping bag on the hard floor.....Dog Camp will seem like no challenge at all after this!

Heading further East tomorrow. Should arrive at Brenda's in Northern Virginia sometime Monday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Something ELSE to Worry About

Today the boyz and I walked to the Gun Shop. Well, actually, I walked the two "fast cars" as Rob calls them....James and Prosper. We are "practicing" team-walking because, well, CAMP is coming up in little more than a week!!!

If you wanna know WHY I was walking to the Gun Shop, you'll have to go to the end of this post, because the Gun Shop has nothing to do with the story....

I decided to take the path alongside the creek because it is a bit shorter, and the sidewalks and asphalt can get pretty hot on liddle Collie feet here in the hot summer. And it is summer.  90 degrees here all week. Curious that there is no "degree" sign on the keyboard anymore...

We were walking as a Team just fine. In fact, I was beginning to wonder what had happened to my Liddle Wolf Cubbie....Someone musta stolen him and replaced him with this nice heeling, no peeing-every-step Collie....

Allofasudden, I heard my ankle POP! and I was skidding flat on the ground! (now, before you scroll all the way down to see if Everything's All Right, I will tell you now that I am FINE and everything's all right and no one is hurt).

SOMEhow, my left foot had "found" a hole hidden in the grass, and that is what caused my fall. As I was sitting, sprawled on the ground, Prosper came and sat down backwards on my lap. Literally pinned me there until I regained my composure, realized that I had NOT injured anything, and was able to arise and walk again.

What a Close Call!  CAMP was looming in the distance, and all I could think about was, well, HOW I was gonna get there with an injured foot. What if! What IF! WHAT IF????!!!! SO many factors that could line up to keep me from trekking to Vermont!  It was a painful Reminder that Life can change your plans in a heartbeat.
All our planning and making ready could be for naught in the "Grand Scheme of Things" (DH Rob's phrase), so the Delight must also (and Always) be in the planning and making ready. "In the Moment," so to speak..

A Lesson that I have learned, and I thought learned Well, but, I suppose we Always need a reminder when we get too focused. And MAN! I guess I AM a bit over-focused---wanting to get Everything Right and packed in "just so." Go to CAMP with me sometime, and you will understand.....It is something that you do not want to miss...

Gun Shop duties done, walking home thru the Felts Park and wading a bit in the creek. Even letting the pup off leash in places. SOMEone please Tell me where has my naughty liddle boy gone??

Back to walking on the sidewalk and heading home, wet and tired Collies in tow, I spied a piece of wood with nails sticking up, ready to puncture a sweet paw prancing along so happily. I quickly steered Prosper away from the offender, and we walked on, he completely unaware of my protection and guarding of his well-being.

It was then that I realized that this is a Bit like what God does with us everyday.

    If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,
    No evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your dwelling.
    For He orders His angels to protect you wherever you go.
    They will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.   Psalm 91

Sometimes, probably MOST times. we are steered away from Danger and don't even Know it.
So I will not Worry about the "things" that "could" happen to trip me up. I'll pray a lot. And I will keep my eyes upon Him.  And I will be ever grateful for the angels guarding my path. And remember that the Journey is half the fun of Getting There....

Oh, yeh... WHY did I go to the Gun Shop? To get my scissors sharpened, Silly!

Now....Where did I put that paint stuff for our Dorm Tee Shirts?.....

Peace.....Dog....Happy Valley.....


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Me and Laura Bush and Compost

So, yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to Sam's Club in Fayetteville, AR to Laura Bush's book signing. A dear friend of mine "fixed" it so that I did not have to wait in the long, LONG line, but rather be scooted right in at the very first moment. I bought 2 books (one for my sister who Loves "signed books"), and was able to get them both autographed.

Laura is a very pretty woman, and quite gracious....from my point of view, and also from my dear friend's. She even commented on my Collie necklace I was wearing.

Now, I must confess, that I did something entirely illegal....You see, I do not own a Sam's card...Nope. Going to Sam's for me is just WAY too over-stimulating and my A.D.D. takes over, and I literally cannot see ANYthing. So, I just have never thought it worth my while to purchase a shopping card from them. Besides...they won't take Visa, either...

However, in order to GO to this event, and buy the book, I needed a durn card. So I have "other contacts," and another friend loaned me her card for the day. The Sam's not the Visa...

The book signing did not take all that long, and I had a few minutes to kill before I left the area, so, it being Saturday and all, well, there were Lots of Free Samples out for the taking. So I Took. It was almost enough for a complete lunch! And had the grilled steak guy had any left, I suppose it would have been.

I did buy some of those wonderful cocoa covered toasted almonds.  23 oz for less than $10. Pretty good price, and very little sugar. No salt added. Emerald makes them. I think I've seen them in 100 calorie packs at the WalMart's....

Strolling thru the lawn and garden department, GUESS what I found!!! A compost bin for only $39!!!!  PERFECT size for my area and easy as pie (sorry) to assemble.

I called dh Rob and ran it past him, and he said "GET it! Now I don't have to Build one!" I even suggested it be an Anniversary Present (isn't 39 years the Compost Year?). After all, what Else could he buy that would make my heart beat so fast?!

Home at last. Rob helped with the assembly. The label sez it'll last 25 years....

As I was taking apart the makeshift "other" compost box beside the garden, I spotted a very large garter snake living between that and the wood fence. I promised him improved quarters soon as we "installed" the new box. He stayed around, and lives there, still, hopefully just as content. I Like having snakes in my yard. There's huge worms there, too. And slugs.  I fed the slugs to the fish in the watergarden....

Here we are, getting started all fresh and new..... 
That's a pink rose on the top...And yes, that's a mailbox on the fence. It holds hand tools and such. The doors at the bottom of the Compost Bin slide up for access to the "oldest" dirt. I have one bag of leaves (on the left) to share between my tomato plants and the Compost Bin....After that, it'll be mostly kitchen vegetable waste until Autumn comes again. 

I sure do wish Laura could see my cool Compost Bin! I think she would approve! Maybe even like my Collies, too.  Her book's a pretty good read as well!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lessons Learned.....From GrandTone.....

As you probably already know, I am in KansasCity keeping the grandchildren while daughter Kathryn and her husband Danny deal with the loss of Dan's mother to lung cancer this week.

True story, this am...It is Recycle Day, so I dutifully put out the Recycle on the curb (dammit, ... You Teach a kid to love the planet, and it comes back to whack you in the butt--she had a Lot of stuff to take to the curb).....I did this last night, because, well, I'm not too "wonderful" in the mornings....Never have been.

So, anyway, the children are up at 7 am (sigh....HOW did I DO this before when my own children were little???), and I make coffee and fix them a smoothie ("Don't Tell yer Momma that you had icecream for breakfast!" Giggles all around----smoothie has banana, peanut butter, milk, yoghurt, and, well....m&m's). Dogs out back to pee (all 4--their 2, my 2 "fast cars" as Rob calls 'em...The old Friend stayed at home w/Dad/akaRob).

Now, once coffee is ingested and smoothies consumed I have a bit of brain about me. I decide that it would be a cool thang to have Bowling Down the Long Hallway.....So, I trip out, in my flannel dog-print pajamas, and retrieve the several plastic Coke bottles that were in Kathryn's recycle.....and cruise over to the neighbors' blue boxes for a few more. Grace is watching me from the front porch.

I got a Lot of empty plastic Coke bottles! Now, all we need is a couple of balls to roll down the hall. Shouldn't be a difficult thang to find, considering "Ball" is Sam's first word...

Sam is 2. He is not verbal at all. No words, to speak of, tho he does have excellent cognitive language. Since I've been here, he has made attempts to say GrandTone ("GaGa"---shall I begin wearing skimpy clothing like the LADY Gaga?), James, and Please and Thankyou. He's learning that all I really Want is an Effort on his behalf, and if he does ANY verbalization at all, he'll get whatever he wants. Seems to be working somewhat.

I'm back on the front porch, and Grace, in her pink shortie pajamas, says that Sam has "locked the door." I had made SURE that the wooden door did not close behind us....It automatically locks when pulled to, and I'd learned that on Sunday....The glass door, however, was pulled closed so that Sam would stay inside. And stay inside he did.....turning the locking mechinism on the handle.....

Okay....NOT a problem. I happen to Know the code to the garage door opener. I trip down the porch stairs and enter the code, and while the door is going up, I remember that last night I had Locked the door from the house to the garage in an attempt to "secure' the place....The key, that normally stays on the keyring in the ignition, was safely stowed away in the pocket of my purse.....INside the house.....

Okay....Still NOT a problem....I had let the dogs out earlier into the back yard, so I go thru the gate Collies swirling around me, and head for the back door. Okay....well...I'd also locked THAT door, just out of Habit when I let them out for First Morning Whiz.....

Now we have a Problem. A problem dressed in Doggie flannel pajamas and a 2-year-old loose inside the house....

Samuel is smiling in the door when I return to the front. His eyes "disappear" when he smiles, and he has the kitten in his arms. I am telling myself that there IS an answer here somewhere, I just need to find it out. Meanwhile, Grace is pounding the empty plastic Coke bottles on the porch railing.

It actually only took about 10 tries to get Samuel to twist his precious little fingers around the lock and turn it the opposite way. We are INSIDE! Pop bottles in place down the hall, and we are Bowling, ladies and gentlemen!

ALL my daughter could do was Laugh (SO inappropriate!) when I told her......I get very little respect these days. Wonder if it could be my choice of bedclothes?