Monday, June 25, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (3059-3072)

an extra propane tank
a friend to hold the umbrella

company for dinner
swim days in the pool
Lanie swimming the width of the pool underwater
front row seats
David at my side

Erin's sweet wave to me from the stage
visiting with Denise
baby goats
a very good night's sleep
Lanie's smiles while she danced

Christmas music in the car
heart-shaped leaves


Lanie carries our cat, Rudy, in her arms. Lanie makes up dialogue for Rudy from time to time, to our amusement. Today, what she says,

"Hello. Me llamo Rudy."

What Erin hears and says,

"Hello, meow-mo Rudy!"

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tree of hearts

Joel told about this tree, how it flowered purple in the spring. He was here the day The Tree Expert came to check the health of nearby trees. He mentioned it had some splits, and would probably not last very long. He said it would fall on its own, and not hit the house.

It flowered purple in the spring, and I took pictures of it at Easter and thought of it as Joel's tree.

As it leafed for summer, the weight of its top put more stress on the fractures, and the tree started to lean hard. Deeper fractures formed.

Heavy rains last evening must have been more weight to bear. I woke this morning to this:

I showed the girls when they woke up, and Erin was sad. She noticed the trees leaves were shaped like hearts.

I took the kids to dance dress rehearsal, and Shane sent me the image of his handiwork.

I came home to make lunch and gather up a full handful of pods to plant. And took a picture of a heart for Erin.

No singing here

An afternoon swim date. Strawberries and cherries in sangria. The delay of thunderstorms, that is, until the patties are formed ...

Kudos to Shane and Allen for not only grilling, but changing the propane tank during (what seemed like) the season's heaviest rain.

Laughter is good for the heart.

Monday, June 18, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (3034-3058)

3034. the line of black raspberries along the perimeter of the field
3035. littles' delight at finding ripened berries to pluck

3036. how fragrant the air is on a summery day
3037. a new study: Beth Moore's study on David
3038. parking lot chats with a friend
3039. half birthday cupcakes
3040. lessons' end: piano and dance

3041. three deer eating dropped apples below the trees
3042. friends over for a swim day
3043. lettuce from the garden
3044. the friendly cashier at Wegman's
3045. country roads home

3046. Denise coming to the girls' dance recital
3047. and David too!
3048. plans for pink lemonade cupcakes and a bbq
3049. that we are here
3050. black-eyed Susans making their debut in the gardens

3051. Lanie and I lost in the same thought over lunch
3052. a special delivery to David's and the hug and kiss goodbye
3053. fajitas on the grill
3054. a visit with Dad, Lori and Linda
3055. birthday cake ice cream

3056. his love of Lily wine
3057. a table for four seated tightly for five
3058. His song, over me

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gone pickin'

After dinner we go to the field for a round of picking. The woodpeckers are out and so is a hawk. The girls get black raspberries. Harvest runs down the outline of the yard.

The kids run back up to the house, and I join Shane on the patio.

I love Fridays.

Monday, June 11, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (3012-3033)

  • the ting and pop of strawberry jam jars sealing
  • a morning visit with Karen over coffee and scones
  • running into Beckie in the frozen foods aisle
  • minis to gift away
  • ballet attire on a 5 year old

  • strawberries left over to make a cake
  • a fence down
  • trees down
  • playset almost up
  • getting back into life after a season of hold
delicious blue

  • good reads on the couch
  • Christy's kindest words--a treasured friend
  • anticipation of summer deliveries
  • homemade bread
  • a good check up

  • a new-to-us library
  • blue that splashes like kids in the pool on a summer day
  • dance recital costumes
  • mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • afternoon light
  • crazy good afternoon light through the living room windows

  • the smell of cut pines
  • family swim
  • This. The life. This life.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


We took down two and a half pine trees this weekend. They were tall ... and one was leany ... and they were all messy, dropping bitty cones at the pool deck. I had mixed feelings about taking them down.

I loved them because they were tall.

I loved the sometimes-shade they provided around the pool.

But the leaning one bothered me. And the half one just needed to go. So three went this weekend.

We got them down, cut, dragged, stacked (for fire pit bonfires) in half a day ... times two days.

And then we jumped into the pool and swam the afternoon away ... times two days.

I couldn't be happier to see Shane enjoying a weekend. The kids splashing and giggling and echoing Linda's words from Friday night when she reclined back in a lounger and said, "This is the life."

I hope this post doesn't sound braggy. Since we moved here we have both been hard at work to make this place feel like ours. I'm so grateful for this house and property and a husband who trudges alongside me to get things done--and that he can finally take some time to enjoy himself. So grateful for that. Our lifestyle may not be "the life" for many people, but there is a beauty and a story here that absolutely make it "the life" for us.

Monday, June 4, 2012


It's been full steam ahead since spring started. So many hours in the gardens weeding, mulching, planting. I always had an interest in gardening, but was hesitant to do one on this scale in case it looked bad. I love that the plan was already established, and I could still come in and tailor it to our likes.

Lanie helped me plant the impatiens the other day. I remember last summer walking down the front walk and delighting in hidden impatiens hunkered beneath hosta leaves. I let her tuck them in. I worked nearly the entire day hauling mulch to the beds at the walkway. It was hot and muggy and I was a sweaty mess. There was also the task of priming the schoolroom walls and ceiling (which is now accomplished). And tidying up for a breakfast meeting Thursday morning. After waking at 4 a.m. to blog at 66 Books.

I talked to Shane when the breakfast meeting broke up at 1:30 p.m. I felt beat from very full days of something to do and a time by which to get it done.

"I don't want to paint the ceiling or pull a weed or put down mulch," I said. "I just want to go be with the girls and play and read books with them."

"They will love that," he said. "They've been wanting that."

So that's what we did. We read books. And I gave Erin a wagon ride along a nearby street. Lanie and I walked and talked about flowers and Halloween costumes and every other thing we thought of. Came home to cool breezes and open windows and sat outside eavesdropping on a conversation between owls in the woods, watching blue birds and cardinals, listening to the treetop rustle of leaves. So lush.

Now a week of slower pace. Packing up baby board books. Giving the school room a content makeover as Lanie enters fourth and Erin looks ahead to kindergarten. Reclaiming our dining room from computers and text books and Play-doh. Reclaiming us from the and, and, and.

One thousand gifts and still counting (3001-3011)

owls chatting in the woods
the ache in muscles from hard work
the school room back in use
a fence down
sweet watermelon

the first swim of the season in our own pool
a hawk flying over us
ch-ch-ch-ch-changes--medieval meets kindergarten
his blue eyes
an almost slow week ahead

a wagon ride with kids in tow