Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Weekend with the Garland Twins

A Week-end at Mimi’s and Pappy’s House

The twins have come to stay at Mimi’s and Pappy's for the weekend.  They are two years old and we are always excited to see them. Their first order of business upon arrival is to take care of the spice cabinet. Ethan and Emma do not feel that I have that cabinet organized correctly.  The reason I know this is because they roll that cabinet open first thing each time they visit and "shake, shake, shake" each spice and then proceed to put each container in another spot, usually not in the spice cabinet.  I have found spices in the drawers with the pots and pans, in the living room, on the counter tops, in the toy box, etc. On this particular visit Ethan grabbed the pepper shaker when my back was turned and took it to the living room table and proceeded  to "shake, shake, shake" it everywhere. I didn't discover the problem until Emma came up to me with pepper in her mouth.  She had her hands in her mouth and was trying her best to get the pepper out. She wasn't crying but she was very uncomfortable.  I gave her milk in her sippy cup and then a drink from Pappy's iced tea but that wasn't working. What really worked after I wiped as much as I could off of her face and tongue was a piece of ice.  That worked.  She loved it.  Note: Never turn your back on a two year old!

Generally we explore the toy areas in the house.  One area is in their bedroom and the other is in Mimi’s and Pappy's bedroom in cabinets under a window seat.  That one was just recently discovered.  It is the cabinet where some of Kacie's and Karli's toys are.  Wow, Kacie and Karli have great stuff.  Binoculars (pronounced neck- u-lars by Ethan), a camera (Emma always says "say cheese" when she plays with a camera) and balls, and books, and ELMO! and a big blue bat, and birthday hats! The "birt-day hats" were identified by Ethan and he gave each of us one.  Pappy and I both put ours on and wore them even though they are not really birthday hats. They are safety cones that belonged to Lee Ann when she was a safety patrol in grade school. Yes we grandparents revert to a couple of silly-willies quite often when the twins come to visit.  I think we have more fun than they do.

I asked the twins if they wanted to go outside.  "Okay" . The twins don't answer with a yes or no.  Well, yes they do if the answer is no.  They like to say no.  But if the answer is yes they say "okay".  Going outside at Mimi's and Pappy's is lots of fun.  There are chickens (bwauk) and cows (moo) and cats (meow) and a dog (woof, woof).  When identifying animals one is required to make the sound that the animal makes.  It's an Ethan and Emma rule.  Anyway, before we went outside Ethan got a net sock from the kitchen.  It was netting that tomatoes came in at the grocery store.  I put it on his head like a stocking cap but he insisted on pulling it over his face like a bandit.  He wore it while we played outside.  He was very comfortable in it as it was a perfect fit.  He had no qualms about meeting the neighbors and saying hello with his mask on. All activities outside on that occasion were played with his mask on.  I wish I had taken a picture of it.  He was so cute.

One of the places we like to play is in the cypress trees north of the house.  We have a game we play in the trees. They run through them and hide behind them and I say "Ethan, Emma where are you?" and they appear through the trees with big grins on their faces and they squeal with delight. "There you are!" I say.  Emma is especially fond of hiding. She moves into a bushy tree with her back to me and says "Where's Emma"?  And then she happily squeals again as she turns around to see me.  All the while she is quite visible to me.  As far as Emma is concerned if she is in the bushes and she can't see me, she's well hidden.

Another place to play is what we refer to as the 'tee box' in the back yard.  There are steep little hills on each side of the tee box that Ethan and Emma love to run up and down . They laugh and run and don't seem to mind if they lose their balance and fall.  They just hop right up and do it again.  Ethan discovered some droppings that Hank  the dog had left at the bottom of  one of the hills.  He carefully inspected it and pointed to it and said "Poo-poo....Poo-poo nasty" .  He says this quite often at his own house too when he spies Daisy's poo-poo.  Very observant and smart young man.  He steers clear of poo-poo.

When we get back into the house the twins get into high chairs for a quick bite.  They like to have their chairs facing the TV so they can watch Sesame Street as they eat.  Ethan allowed me to remove his bandit mask in order to eat thank goodness.  I hid it after that so he wouldn't want to wear it the entire weekend.  After cleaning their faces and hands and getting them down they began 'free play' again.  Ethan likes to go in circles.  He goes through Mimi's and Pappy's bedroom, through the closet, through the laundry room and kitchen over and over.  He has his little football in his hands.  Emma begins to follow him but somehow takes a shortcut into Pappy's bathroom unbeknownst to Mimi for a minute or two.  When I go looking for her I find her in the bathroom with her back to me with some Kleenex in her hand.  "What are you doing?" I say when I see her.  She jerks around and has a quick little "oh-oh she's caught me" kind of look and drops the Kleenex and runs to me. Of course she gets a big kiss from me. Didn't see until later that she was pulling all of the Kleenex out of the box and stashing it behind the cabinet.  Those little looks are so special to me and I left the Kleenex where it was for a few days so it would remind me of her sweet sheepish little mischievous face.  How fascinating a Kleenex box is to a little two year old.  It continually keeps popping up another Kleenex for you to pull out.  The feel of it and the sound of it are just too much for Emma to ignore!  What a precious child.

Now it's time to go to sleep.  Since they haven't really had a nap it wasn't difficult getting them down.  We brushed teeth and watched "The Princess and the Frog" Disney movie.  Emma fell asleep on me as we watched.  Ethan was concerned with the villain in the show.  "That's scary" he said.  He did like the music in the show and paid particular attention to it.  I picked up Emma and put her in the crib in their bedroom.  Ethan followed but turned around and went back into the living room with his Pappy not sure yet that he wanted to go to bed.  Then he came back into the room and I lifted him into the crib as well. They may have whimpered just a bit but Emma crawled up toward Ethan and wrapped her arm around him and they went to sleep.  They are precious little angels and slept all through the night.

Ethan and Emma, your Pappy and Mimi love you dearly.  It is such a joy to take care of you.  You will both grow into gentle souls just as your parents have.  I hope that you both have a chance to be grandparents because then you will realize what a special thing it is.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm a Wanna Be Knitter

My friend Roz likes to knit. She learned how when she was a little girl I guess. My grandmother once told me that as a baby I would watch her knit and pretend that I was knitting too. I'd work my fingers like her knitting needles. I have no recollection of this but let me tell you I was one cute baby girl. Anyway, I digress. Roz urged me to learn to knit so I bought a CD and taught myself how. If ever I get in a jam, Roz rescues me. This happens more often than I care to discuss at this time. Anyway, she talked me into going to some knitting retreats that a local knitting shop started. These retreats are usually a weekend long so it involves spending the night. We've had some great times in a nun's convent (no kidding) and also in a great lodge with a pool. Always great food. And there's always someone there to give you a massage. Wonderful. Oh, and yes, lots and lots of knitting projects. But I must confess the very most fun I've ever had at a knitting retreat was in France. Somehow Roz convinced me to go to France to be in a class headed by a famous knitter, Louisa Harding. It was a fabulous experience I kid you not.

Each time I go to a retreat I learn something more; a new stitch, a new trick, a new pattern, a new yarn. I am still a struggling amateur. My main problem is that I don't really do it to relax and so I end up rarely finishing projects. I usually knit when I'm with my friends who knit. I have completed a couple of pretty purses and scarves. One purse was started in France at a chateau in Mont Blanc. We had to design an heirloom stitch. Mine was called Mary Gail's Oil Derrick stitch. Louisa really helped me tremendously with this project. She had beautiful books of stitches we could take ideas from. And she was an inspiration to me. She was working on swatches she designed for her next book. Roz stayed after me until I finished it although it took several months. Roz came to my rescue when I got tangled up at one point. I entered it in a contest and it placed 2nd!!! I won a $50 gift card to a yarn store. I bought a cardigan pattern and some yarn. Someday I'm going to start knitting that sweater. I'll probably wait until the next girl friends retreat at the farm!! Now that's another story all together. All for now.... now where are those knitting needles?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I'm a Wanna Be Gardener

I have so much to do outside in the flowerbeds and on the porches. I have been inspired by a friend's blog about Feng Shui. If it would ever stop raining I could really get excited about getting to work on making my porches more comfortable. But right now I'm just sitting in my easy chair with my cat Shui by my side. We're watching the humming birds. They drink sugar water, lots of it, and I've never seen a fat one. And I'll tell you what else drinks my sugar water: Baltimore Orioles. They don't seem to mind sharing their perches with the hummers. And some of them are brilliant orange. Such a treat to have them visit my feeders. I am sure I get my love of wild birds from my Grandmother Stover. She had a wren house that she watched each year. She had a pair of binoculars by her kitchen window and she let me watch them when I visited. She was always shooing the sparrows away from that wren house.

Well, I haven't addressed the flowerbeds. They grow weeds much faster than they grow flowers. I have tried to only put perrenials in so that I don't have to do too much planting every spring. I have purchased a nice little pruner and a nice "fork" type hoe that will help me get my work done... hopefully. But right now it's just too muddy. The rain has been good for us but like I said, it makes my weeds grow fast. I know I need mulch of some kind. It's so expensive. I have lots of planting around the house and I've tried to plant ground covers to help me keep the weeds down. We'll see how that plan works.

This year I have decided to plant some fruits and veggies. I have an herb garden that I have thinned out enough to put a tomato plant, a cucumber vine and some okra plants in. I also have a strawberry patch in there, with a pretty good crop of berries. This is the second year for those. I harvested ONE strawberry last year. I also planted a jalepeno pepper in the front bed. Gotta get some spice into my salsa plans. I have a concord grape vine next to my garden gate. This is the second year for that. So far it has not grown any grapes but I still have faith. My blackberry bush is at the end of that bed and it is really taking off. I surely will get some blackberries this year. This will be its second season too. I have it up on a trellis of sorts so that it will be lifted so as to make easy picking. I gotta get my berry baskets ready.
Well, all for now. I'll keep you informed.