New Life!

A new member of the family. So tiny. So precious. Such a blessing. Thanks to all who have sent their regards and best wishes for this new little life. Her name is Ella – and she is perfect! ( And I now have enough grandkids for a basketball team.) 

In the meantime, her big sister and I have been having a great time ignoring the rules. I do believe I read that in the grandparent handbook. I’m remembering that old adage, sleep when they sleep. Absolutely – except when you have a blog to write. So here I am, sitting at the computer instead of going to bed.

Two days of rain. That is a nice blessing. Fortunately, I mowed the lawn – in anticipation of the baby, not the rain – so the timing was perfect. My iris are blooming and are gorgeous this year. The pots I planted a few weeks ago are looking good and beginning to fill out. I suppose weeds are going to come on like gangbusters after this rain, but oh well.

So, that is all for now. Maybe in a week or two I’ll be in the groove again. In the meantime, enjoy the joy of spring and new lifedsc_0785. Summer is right around the corner.

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Last Monday morning, I got a lot done. I believe it was because I was working off the high from seeing my finished book cover. The cover is awesome! I probably use the word awesomeRhyaden book mark too much, but honestly folks, the cover is magnificent, stellar, great and exciting! Whew! Done! That’s the kind of high I can’t get enough of. An artist out of California did the individual assets (and they are very good), but it was the layout done by my son-in-law Price that made it great! Heady stuff.

We’re a couple short days away from a new grand baby. Also exciting! 

The sun has tried to peek out a couple of times this week, and in response, my purple daisy like flowers in the back yard have unfurled themselves to show their beautiful color instead of hiding, wrapped up in their leaves, trying to stay dry.

I had a lovely Mother’s Day. One of the highlights was a card from my 2 1/5 year old granddaughter entitled “Fun Facts About Grandma.”

Here are some samples off the page – I’m not making these up. They are her responses – written down by her mother.

My grandma’s favorite thing to do is: toys

My grandma’s favorite food is:  cereal and oatmeal  (hum…not so much)

I love it when my grandma:  plays with “arf arf”  (the stuffed dog she confiscated from my house)

My grandma is really great at:  hop scotch 

The one thing I hear my grandma say a lot is: do I need to go potty?

I know my grandma loves me because: she gives me graham crackers

You know folks, I love writing, but my only real goal in life is to leave my grandchildren a good memory with their grandmother. I want them to remember me as the one who got down on the floor with them (and fed them graham crackers). Maybe it’s so important to me because I don’t have a memory like that.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

And I mean to everyone, of course, not just the moms out there. I want everyone to have a happy day – that just happens to be Mother’s Day. Now for the moms, I wish you an extra special, warm embrace of love and gratitude for your efforts through the terrible twos, the still terrible threes, sometimes terrible fours, the teenage years, and then those heart wrenching moments of letting them become adults. 

I heard a saying once, children are a headache when they’re little and a heartache when they’re big. Be that as it may, children are the best blessing I have ever experienced. After all, they gave me my grandchildren! Just kidding, well, mostly just kidding. I do love those grandkids.

So, I thought I would give you all some great sayings to start or end your day with. Mine is going to end with my family gathered around my son-in-law’s famous, awesome lasagna, so I know what a fine day I am going to have. I hope you have one just as wonderful. Love to you all.

Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of love, compassion and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love. Stevie Wonder

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. Abraham Lincoln

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. Theodore Hesburgh

and one funny one to end on:

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? Milton Berle

Happy Mother’s DayIMG_2033

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Welcome Home!

I got my fingers in the dirt and planted some flowers. Color! That felt good. I walked to the mail box and the delightful smell of blooming Canada Cherry trees stopped me in my tracks. My next book is mapped out. My son-in-law is home from deployment! Welcome Home! (The neighborhood Boy Scouts put up the flags to welcome him home – pretty awesome). Blessings abound.

I am less than two weeks from having a new grand baby. I am excited for the kids and myself, of course, but I am so anxious to see the big sister’s reaction. I expect to have a lot of fun this summer. Now, next summer, when there is a one year old toddler trying to keep up with a three year old dynamo could be a whole other story!

I sent off a Mother’s Day card to my mother. I am still in disbelief that she is 98 and still with us, living at home, no less. Her hearing is failing, so our nightly phone calls have become disheartening. My sister answers the phone now, and that is so not the norm. Mom has been the receptionist at their house for decades. It feels like a step in the wrong direction, but hearing aids are not an option she will entertain. 

It is my opinion that grass grows too fast in the spring. I believe that because I don’t like having to mow too often and here it is time to mow again. Of course, it is also my opinion that grandkids grow too fast. Do you suppose there is a pattern here? It could have something to do with my age, so we aren’t going to go there. At any rate, complaining is not allowed because the lawn is green, the trees are green, and the flowers are blooming. After the grays and browns of winter, mowing the lawn is a price I will pay.IMG_3258

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Climbing High

Two days of rain, glorious rain. Not a drowning downpour, no flooding, just beneficial moisture that came mannerly and kindly so the earth could soak it up. The slope in my backyard that gets so dry in summer is happy. My tulips are happy. The budding aspen trees are happy. As soon as the sun comes out, everything is going to burst out of those final layers that protect new growth from late frost. They won’t be able to help themselves. Spring has sprung. 

Nests are being built. Eggs are being laid. Baby bunnies will soon come out of hiding and venture around. Wasps are even buzzing in the warm afternoons. The eternal cycle has begun again. I see bicycles, joggers, and white legs. Driving home from two long days at a conference, I came up to a busy street corner and was delighted by the sight of a mother and father goose with four goslings out for an evening stroll. I got a little concerned  when they attempted to cross the busy street without benefit of a cross-walk. The traffic seemed to deter them and they changed to a route parallel to the street. My light turned green and I had to go on. I hope they made it ok. No way to know.

I drank too much coffee at the conference I guess. Sleep seems to be avoiding me. It’s either that or the inspiration from hearing Jim Davidson speak on his climb up Mt. Everest last year. Wow! Preparation and Perseverance. It was his second try and frankly, I wonder how many would have tried again after the disaster that happened the first time. It is a rather amazing story. Resilience. Patience. Perseverance. Work. He put all of those elements together and made it to the top of the world. Like I said. Wow!IMG_3256

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Vacation Planning

Yesterday was a long, intense day of work on my book. (Rhyaden is ready as an e-book!) What I did not do yesterday was write a blog, so today you get one of those off the cuff missives written at 3 am in the morning, because that’s what time I woke up and remembered what I hadn’t done yet.

One of the things I did get done yesterday was plans for two trips, one this coming summer and one for next winter. The one this summer includes kayaking and no computer for several days at least (no blogs either) and the more I think about it, the same for the trip next winter. Vacations are supposed to be vacations after all.

My mother’s hearing is going downhill, so our nightly phone calls are getting more and more difficult. Be prepared: when you are 98 not everything is going to work well. Heck, I’m in my sixties and many things aren’t like they used to be. (For instance, I never used to wake up in the middle of the night and remember what I hadn’t done the day before.) I worked in the garden a few days ago, digging grass out of a flower bed with a small trowel. My hands hurt for a day after that. Good grief.

To clear my head out yesterday, I went for a walk after lunch and then mowed the lawn. There is a chance of rain today and tomorrow (which we badly need), so maybe I’ll have time to fertilize again. It’s always good to let nature water it in. The yard has nice color right now. The grass is green, the crabapple tree is white as snow with blossoms, the phlox are brilliant pink, and the aspen trees are budding. The feeling that we survived another winter, we made it seems to come with the color. I like that. 

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Oh technology! I had one of those scary scares. Thought I’d lost my book to a crashing computer or malware or cyber space or or or. I panicked. I called my daughter who calmed me down. I called technical support and fixed the problem and found the file. The printer wasn’t printing either from a completely different issue that was entirely one of my own making. At least now I know. Kudos to Amber, the technology wizard who helped me out. She was awesome and deserves more than the virtual hugs and flowers I gave her over the phone. Technology — got to love it!

I find it kind of amazing how in such a short amount of time, we have become so dependent on computers and modern technology. Shakespeare never had to worry about Malware in his quill. I wonder how much parchment he really went through. As I cut and paste, I think to myself, at least I’m saving a tree by not using so much paper. However, the electricity to power all of these computers uses some kind of fuel, so are we really saving trees? or are we causing pollution of a different kind? This is not an easy subject to quantify.

I haven’t jumped on my bandwagon in a while, so why not? The sun is shining and the air is clear. We only have ONE planet people – no re-dos – no second chances – no other option except for Earth. All the little things we can each do every day – add up to a big difference. How long our resources will last, how long clean air and clean water is a given, how long our climate sustains life as we know it — are all issues that are hard to quantify. What we do know is that with so many living on this planet – every little bit, every time we do our part, every time we recycle, reuse, or employ technology to cut back on water consumption, every bit of it helps. 

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