Monday, July 28, 2008

Seven Days Later

Seven days and one big project later... That's my excuse for not making time to blog all week long. Instead I painted the ceiling, walls, and floor in a little guest room at the back of the house. Tom helped put up a border, Davey boy helped with touch up -- a quasi second coat, which is what you do when you're too cheap to go buy more paint. It's done, looks fine, and will sleep two when we have the "Cousins Reunion" here in a couple of weeks.

That room (like every room in this house) has a history. When Tom and I were first married it was a cluttered closet. The whole room was being used for storage. It was off the largest nicest bedroom of the house. Which, once upon a time, was most likely a parlor and the little room was a bedroom. In the early 70's it was a spacious bedroom with a walk-in closet (that you couldn't walk into for all the stuff). That was when Tom and I used to visit "the farm" on weekends -- driving four hours to sweep the cobwebs and dead flies (me), mow the lawn (him) and swim/fish/row-the-boat on French Creek. One night I had a dream that we had a baby girl. We named her Lavender, and she slept in that little back room off "our" bedroom.

From then on we referred to that room as little Lavender's room. And a couple of years later, when I was pregnant with my first child, we teasingly called "it" Little Lavender. Lucky baby turned out to be a boy so he wasn't saddled with that colorful moniker. I wouldn't have done that to a girl either, honest; but it was great fun teasing about little Lavender.

If I'd ever have had a little girl I wonder if she'd be as cute as these three...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bruce Family Reunion 2008

Erma Bombeck:
You hear a lot of dialogue on the death of the American family. Families aren't dying. They're merging into big conglomerates. Another year, another (somewhere near to the) 4th of July reunion for the Bruces. There seems to be some confusion as to how long my Uncle Jim and Aunt Marion have been hosting the reunion. I remember when Aunt Marion's parents summered in the cottage by the pond and a duplex cottage with a big swimming pool in the front yard was summer digs for their children's families. A picnic pavillion and a little wooded area separated the two homes, with a wooden foot bridge for connection. Now Jim and Marion occupy the cottage, and the old duplex has been replaced by a lovely home for one of their sons and his family. A big old farmhouse sits nearby -- year 'round home to their daughter and her family. The picnic pavillion, the foot bridge, the pond and the pool have been constants for as long as I can remember. In fact, I learned to swim in that pool when I was 7. My Aunt Marion sat on the side and instructed me. I did just what she said, and glory-be, it worked. I was swimming back and forth, back and forth in the shallow end of the pool, couldn't get enough of it! Oh, sorry for the rabbit trail -- I was going to say that we've been celebrating family with a Bruce reunion picnic for more than 40 years. How many more than 40 I can't say, but I think it may be more like 50. Someone ought to nail that down.

Uncle Jim has had some serious health issues this past year. It was a blessing for us to enjoy his company at the reunion. And I know it was a joy for him to have us come.

We also took time out from the festivities to remember and honor Aunt Helen who passed away this year. She had been a colorful member of the family and some fun stories were shared celebrating her life and honoring her contributions to our family.

Alex Haley:
In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

For Beth (and others) -- Wish You Were Here

I'll get some shots of the tree nursery as soon as we remember to take a camera out there. Until then, here's a reminder of what you're missing -- but the picture didn't capture just how much we're missing YOU! Or did it???

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Schedule

Minor setback. Okay, so one of the fields might be done this week. We got rained out Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Then we had a luncheon date today (Wednesday), followed by watching the little munchkin. The rain dried up enough that we got to play in the pool until Mommy arrived. Then, back to the tree nursery for us. Yeah, it's looking like one field might be finished up and another started before Tom's vacation is over. Not all three fields as previously planned. I mean hoped for... as in pipe-dream!

I'm exhausted. Gotta be up and heading out to the north forty by 7:30 a.m.
Good night.

Monday, July 7, 2008

There's Work and then There is WORK!

Tom is on vacation -- it's his working vacation. One week to do all the projects that require more time than a fella has on weekends. You should see the list I made him! He loves it when I make him lists. (You believe that?)

This is the time of year when the tree fields are begging to be tended. Mow. Shear. Cut out the losers who grew double trunks as well as all the trees with weeviled tops. I do the mowing. I like to mow. It's hard, but still, I like to do it. The tree fields all have to be mowed by hand, push-type mowing, because of the bumpy lumpy terrain and the unfortunate spacing of the trees. The weeds are thick enough that I can't see the holes where trees were dug out until I or the mower fall(s) in one. So rather than zipping up and down rows and rows of trees it's more like a herky jerky wrestling match to keep the mower in line and on task.

I had my back adjusted last week to prepare for such hard work. As long as it's aligned I'm not hurting myself by push mowing -- that's what my chiropractor says. (Of course I didn't tell him what I told you in the previous paragraph about holes and uneven terrain and such. That will remain our secret ;) By the way, I know that my doctor is a chiropractor, but most people around here go to a quiro-practor. What's up with that anyway?

We worked from 8:30 to nearly 11 this morning. Plunged our sweaty bodies (eeeeww) into the pool (it's okay, we'll add more chlorine), and now we're doing easy work through the heat of the day -- like blogging! Tonight we'll get back at it. By the end of the week all of the fields will be done. (You believe that?)

I told Tom years ago that if we got a pool we'd get a lot more work done. Turns out to be true!

Move Over Shirley Temple

Some days I think I'm babysitting Shirley Temple. All little kids are cute, but some are way cute! This little girl is one of those. (Or is it just the caregiver's bias?)

Friday, July 4, 2008


Here's a picture that works for Independence Day -- taken a few days ago. The little guy is my friend's newest grandson. I am blessed with lots of babies to enjoy. And even though this little guy isn't exactly one of our own, he's pretty close. He'll be with us today with his momma and daddy and "big" brother and nanna and papa -- our substitute family, the Shaffers.

More wonderful children that I get to love...

The big brother
My part-time charge

And, three sisters!

UPDATE -- THIS JUST IN...Adam and Alicia are in town. Tom and I will have one of our own kids for a picnic too. Davey boy's coming tomorrow to spend over Saturday and Sunday. ("Spend over" That's a blast from the past -- Adam and his little buddy Caleb used to beg to "spend over" at each other's houses. But Adam never could make it the whole night away from home, though he tried valiantly. I think age 11 was his first successful over-nighter. But I'm prone to exaggerate.)