Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lightning, Thunder and the Tooth Fairy

There is nothing like an Indiana thunderstorm in the forest, at the cabin on the porch with 4 screaming maniacs and grandparents!

This weekend we were counting up to Fifteen one hundred before we would hear the crack of thunder.  When we only made it to five one hundred, everyone squealed with delight!
In unison, with high pitched voices  “ That was really close!”

Graham was leaning up against the porch post when we saw the flash of light that required no counting.  We didn’t have a chance to get to one one hundred when the ground shook, rumbled and threw him into my arms.  His eyes were as large as saucers! His sister was right behind him, on top of me! And we screamed, and screamed and screamed again! Boy was that fun!  We were ready for another.  And none came that close again!

Harper, age 4, said, “That scared the heck out of me!”  I told her that I saw her heck lying next to the bird feeder!

Graham, who likes to tell stories and requires us to listen without interrupting because he stammers a wee bit,  allowed that bolt of lightning and crash of thunder to  scare the “stutter” out of him!  He was so scared, excited and craving for more that he socked his own mouth and knocked out a baby tooth!  Losing a baby tooth in the National Forest was even more exciting.  So exciting that he pulled out the one next to it! The one that was really, really loose to begin with!

So there we were, in the midst of thunderstorm talking about the tooth fairy.  The poor tooth fairy probably wouldn’t be able to find his tooth.  The poor tooth fairy had to endure a storm without a GPS.  The poor tooth fairy may just possibly get eaten by a mountain lion on her quest to find his tooth.

You know the story….you know a kid who has had a loose tooth….you have to make stories up about the fairy.  There are no rules when it comes to the tooth fairy!  When we realize that no one in the cabin had cash, stories became very creative! There were 3 grown daughters who have bigger imaginations that the state of Texas!

Tooth fairies bring money.  Just ask Cousin Garret, age 7, the expert on losing teeth! One time he got 2 crumbled dirty dollars!

So what does a tooth go for these days?  Well, I’m sure the tooth fairy who comes to the cabin is pretty darn cheap.  There aren’t ATM’s to near on a Saturday night. Who is ever prepared for the tooth fairy? Thank goodness, grandpa had some cash.  The tooth fairy--God love her--if she would make it to the forest, would leave $2 a tooth!

Graham decided that he would leave one tooth for the forest fairy and take the other one home for the city fairy just in case there would be more money involved.  Smart plan!

Lightning, Thunder, Tooth fairies……life is good at the Cabin in the woods!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

School and Hope

When Hope has a positive day in school,she gets a coke!!
School started last  Wednesday.  Are kids suppose to be excited to go?  Or are they suppose to feel like summer shouldn't be over?

Who cares, RIGHT?  I'm  glad it is started.  It gives me a chance to breathe... for a second!
Don't get me wrong, I love a great summer vacation...alone somewhere... which will never happen.

School for Hope has been very stressful for me.  In the past if I planned something on her school day, I most likely would be called by the teacher or principal to come get her.  She likes to be home, in her room, or with me.

Last Wednesday was different.  She went. She came home. She was happy!

There was a time when that did not happen.  I can't go into details because this is a small town, and I could possibly be tarred and feathered for speaking out poorly about our school system.

I was so disgusted in how she was treated that....I quit sending her.  Yes, didn't call in and didn't send her.  I just didn't think that putting handcuffs on a child  was an appropriate response to a melt down.  They begged to differ.  So, we agreed to disagree.   That year sucked the big one!!!!

Now that I have you all riled up.....  Thank you!

It is hard raising a child with special needs. There are good days and there are not so good days. Stubborn days and happy days.  Most days, however, are unpredictable.  Going into HS for the first year was that.....unpredictable.  I am happy to say,this is starting her third year and things don't suck!

She is now considered a junior. She has a teacher who gets her and I have met her new paraprofessional.  Life is good, I will take it!

Will she make homecoming court?  She doesn't care!  I don't care!  I am just happy she attends school.  Will she hold an after school job?  Not at this time.  I'm just glad she likes to shop at the Dollar Tree with me.  Will she leave home at 18, like the " typical" teen? Probably not, I'm just glad she sits next to me in the car when we run errands.  Willl she fall in love and get married? She has asked her dad to be her husband.

School and Hope?  No!!! We are schooled by Hope! Everyday is a new learning curve. 
She makes us better people!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The day I almost died by the cabin in the woods

I know you have been waiting for the post about the day I almost died by the cabin in the woods.

It was early spring and Tom rented a Bush hog to cut through the thicket of the woods. We are making this land a tree farm. And he figured that this would be a great way to clear the land. This bush hog was very heavy, very powerful and very noisy as it cut through small trees grinding and throwing the debry. He was very successful on the higher ground where it was nice and flat but the sound was deafening. I would listen for the sound from the cabin to make sure that he was o k.

The sound stopped. I looked out. I didn't see him. I scanned the horizon and saw him down in the forest where the bush hog was stuck.  It broke down at an angle on a cliff.

Ok....this is something we rented....we couldn't just leave it there like the neighbors leave their cars in the forest...we had to get it out.

Ok....again....I am not outdoorsy, I am not a workout queen, I am not a senior citizen who likes to get her hands dirty.  It was outdoors, it was muddy and I had on fashion tennis shoes!  AND....Hope was down there with us!

I had two jobs.
 1. To push the Bush Hog
 2. To push the Bush Hog so Tom could pull the handles.

When that job failed, I had two more jobs.
1. To pull the Bush Hog
2. To pull the Bush Hog so Tom could push it up the hill.

You know the story about the Little Engine that Could?
That was me. Instead of..."I think I can"...I said..."I can't do this. I can't do this."  I thought that I had died!  I am the person in the family who has a weekly appointment with a chiropractor for arm and hand pain.  I am the person who had carpal tunnel surgery.  I am the person who wears a splint on her wrist at night!! I knew that I was a goner....my life passed before my eyes! That bush hog slipped towards Tom and knocked him down.  Something happened and "wala" it was up on high ground!

We got it out of the woods without ONE cuss word. WE did it.

We weren't done. We still had to get it into the trailer. Tom laid his head on the handles and prayed! Hope stood there in awe.  I was huffing and puffing and didn't realize that we moved it off of the cliff.

In the end, we got it on the trailer. Once again, I had two jobs. (See the above descriptions)  We came to realize, that working in the woods is not an easy job for two seniors and a teen. We also realized that we need a back up plan for when we do have an emergency.

Here is what I have found out since this adventure.  Our area is covered by the 911 plan.  We actually have a address that can be found on gps and the $35 that I paid to the Volunteer Fire Department is my insurance that help could be on the way.  We also have located the nearest hospitals and exchanged phone numbers with our neighbors.

Remember when I told you about Hope driving the car....That could become a reality during one of these adventures!

On the day that I almost dies by the cabin in the woods, I found an arrow head.  It was laying right in front of me as I was huffing and puffing not realizing that we moved the bush hog.  I don't know if that is a "sign" or just good luck.  But finding an arrow head is pretty  darn cool.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Chile Relleno! No Problemo!

There are times when I really crave Mexican food.  Or Tex Mex...I really don't know the difference.   My barometer is from my college days in Sioux City, Iowa in the 70's.  The bar my sorority sisters and I frequented was called Half Moon Inn and the Mexican food was marvelous!  The quacamole had a beautiful presentation.  I copy it when I have company.  Otherwise...I like to present it to myself with just the bowl I make it in and using a chip, a spoon or my finger as the scoop!

Fast forward to this century..... Chile Relleno.   My daughters have been taste testing these in restaurant for 10 years and finally introduced them to me.  Their barometer is Los Bravos in Evansville, IN.

 On Wednesdays, during the school year, Bissy, my 4 year old granddaughter and I had lunch together.  Last spring,we were hitting every Mexican restaurant in the area to compare the recipes.  I made sure we had the quacamole and she always ordered the Chile Relleno.  We would critique it, using our "barometers". This introduction lead me to love it as well.  Since I am always trying to make things"original" I wanted to duplicate what my taste buds found.

I was excited to find  Chile rellenos peppers at Meijers. I swear the bag jumped into my cart. They were just sitting there in a bag with instruction on how to make this dish.     On that day, I was a Meijers virgin and I brought one daughter and 2 grandkids with me! Two Hundred and thirty three dollars later, we left the store. My favorite purchase....Chile Rellenos Peppers!

 I made the dish immediately!

Not familiar with the peppers, after I seeded them, I itched  my nose and swiped my eyes.  Oh yes I did!  I couldn't stop....I touched my mouth, licked my lips and and touched my nose again.  All this within seconds.  The label did not say use gloves.  These are not jalepeno's  these are not suppose to be hot.  It just burned a little...and then my face went numb....no problemo!

The recipe that I made was fabulous despite the burned eyeballs! I told Tom how excited I was about buying the peppers that he decided that he would grow some for me.

The peppers that I bought in the store where the size of the palm of your hand.  The picture below is what grew in our garden, by the cabin, in the woods.  Barbie size Pepper!

Chile Relleno! No Problemo! I think I will let the pro's fix it for me.  Is it Wednesday yet?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

I married a gardener.

I married a gardener. Tom loves the yard and he plants unusual species.  Seed and Flower catalogs arrive daily and Hope steals them. Tom ends up going online and ordering.  When I finally retrieve the catalogs from Hope's room, he shows me what he ordered.  It is like Christmas every day!

Remember the Sears Christmas Catalog?  I want this and I want that....I got this and I got that!  Seed Catalogs are the grown man's Toy catalog.

For the past several years, we have received cases....YES I SAID CASES....of tulips from Holland.  He gets a great discount because he is considered a wholesaler.....UMMMM he isn't a store!

Every November, he is in the yard planting thousands of tulip bulbs.  It is hard work.  I don't help.  I don't like to get dirty. I am not a gardener. There I said it!

Every March the tulips emerge.  What a show!

When we started planning "this Retirement business" last Spring and bought the chunk of land next to the Hoosier National Forest, I knew that the gears would be cranking in his farmer/gardener brain.

Now we have Tree catalogs coming to our house.
We have big boxes of trees coming to the house.
We are now considered wholesalers.
Do you know how many varieties of peach trees there are? Me either!!

When we planned this, I knew, I really knew that it would be a crazy year prior to retirement.  It is amazing what he has planted on every Saturday of 2016.

The bulb catalogs are sitting next to his recliner, Hope hasn't taken them yet and he has pointed out "some dandies".  It's time to get that Tulip/daffodil/hyacinth wholesale order in....What colors should we do this year????

Monday, August 1, 2016

Wisdom of Children

 We are shaped by the profound words of wisdom that surround us.  We must pay great attention to these words because they can mold us into better humans.  I have been thinking a lot about the people (mostly children) that have influenced my way of thinking.

This week was one of those wisdom building experiences.  My Grandchildren lost their uncle at the young age of 34.  How do you explain that kind of death to a 6 and 4 year old?  How in dept to you get with the passing?  I had the great honor to let them teach me about death. Kids are wise beyond their years.

Graham, age 6.

Looking at the sky...."Come look, the clouds are angel wings, I know that they belong to Cory!"

Praying at the dinner table..."Thank you for my uncle and thank you for having us eat his favorite food tonight, gyros."

"Cory taught me how to fish, we caught a Salmon in the Blue River" ( I don't know where the Blue River is and I kinda doubt there are salmon in the midwest)  Then he wanted me to cook Salmon in his honor.  We did, we grilled it and Graham said, " It tasted like steak. Cory would have liked that."

On the day of his passing, Graham had us gather outside and he performed a "Mass"
Praying, " Cory, be with me."  I told him that he need to add, "with Jesus help."
This was the most touching and profound act of a 6 year old.  He is wise beyond his years.

Harper, Age 4.

" If Jesus is in my heart, how is Cory going to fit inside my body?"
With that, I had to explain that it is the love of Jesus and the love of Cory that is in her heart.  We broke it down to the size of a piece of salt because there are so many people who love her, we need to fit it all in.  That was a tough lesson!

" Cory fell asleep too long and couldn't wake up." I just nodded.

" I cried so hard that I couldn't breathe." I just nodded.

" My daddy is sad."  We talked about all the family members who are sad for a very long time.

Wisdom, it is shaped at an early age.  Wisdom, it is something that grows.  Wisdom, we will receive it when we listen deeply.  Wisdom, it is love.