Friday, October 31, 2008

Apple Picking in Ohio

Autumn. Cooler weather. Yes, even in Florida! Time for apple pie. Or apple cake..... Or apple torte.... or just to hear the crunch, and taste the juice, of a sweet, fresh-off-the-tree apple! We went apple picking, in Ohio, a few weeks ago. And picked us a peck, or two, or three, of perfect apples.

And, when we'd picked and eaten our fill, we munched on mouthfuls of luscious raspberries, from an overgrown raspberry patch......

And soaked up the warm, end-of-summer sunshine.

One of our number, tired of apple-picking, had himself a roll in the clover.....

and a dash among the trees......

...and was later found, sitting once again among the raspberries, contemplating life's mysteries.

Wouldn't you like to go back and experience how the world looked from inside your head when you were four?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Day In The Life Of A Royal Seamstress

'Tis a taxing job being the royal seamstress. All day long, and into the night, have I been stitching, so that my royal clients will not be left with nary a stitch of finery, in which to disport themselves, on the Eve of All Hallows.

Away in the Kingdom Of The North, six year old S was offered options by Papa, as they perused together the great pictorial tome "Simplicity Patterns."

A clown, may hap?

Or a witch, perhaps?

Upon seeing pictures of typical witchy garb however, S recoiled in suitable six year old horror!

Such a dearth of glisten and glitter,

paucity of pinks and purples,

total absence of baubles and bangles!

And the nose.....What dark arts would be required to transform her delectable button nose to that of a withered hag? And her golden tresses to the greasy, lank hanks of a crone?

The royal girl-child goes about, most days, disguised in the humble threads of a peasant child. But All Hallows Eve is a time to let her true colours show. How to decide?? Glinda,the Good Witch [a misnomer for sure---she looks like a cross between a fairy and a princess]---or, a No-Holds-Barred Princess?

Somewhere in the middle, S decided. Size 6.

Princesses should never go about without a Knight in attendance. Everyone knows that. Or should. Small brother D, undecided on what manner of get-up to request for himself for All Hallows Eve, was quickly recruited to be a Knight. Requiring shining armor. And a helmet. Size 4. Oy!

And that was all the information given to the royal seamstress.

Said personage betook herself, forthwith, to the local Cloth Merchant, famous throughout the land for the beauty and richness of his wares.

And tottered home, laden with yard goods, and commenced to sew. This humble peasant woman, can, of a normal day, be found toiling at her treadle machine to provide bed covers for all the royal beds, and tapestries to hang on the castle walls, the better to keep winter's chill from the royal bottoms. Nor does she toil alone, in this, the season of All Hallows. All across the land, sewing machines are humming. Why, even the bold and intrepid Lily, who, truth be known, prefers the click of knitting needles, has taken seasonal employment as seamstress-in-waiting to Han Solo and his band of Storm Troopers. Last I heard, [this may be but a wild and unfounded rumour,] she was reportedly sewing party duds for Chewy himself!

Accustomed as our heroine is to working with fine silks and rich brocades, she nevertheless had difficulties, pricking her poor peasant fingers with the blasted needle, numerous times, and muttering imprecations under her breath. But, in the end, perseverance triumphed. She hustled her buxom bustle to yon royal Post Office in hopes that the Royal Mail Coach would speedily carry her earnest efforts to the Kingdom of the North. So that she might find favour with the Pink and Purple Princess, who will sally forth, resplendent, on All Hallows' E'en, attended by her Trusty Knight, bedecked, as befits a Trusty Knight, in gold plated, metallic [grrr!] armor.

Otherwise, she might spend the rest of her days languishing in a dungeon......

Note; Pictures added later to appease the peasants......

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I'm rarely stuck for words.

To the untrained eye, I look like a quiet person, but that's only because I don't have my brain on speaker phone. The babble in there is constant, and random. Sometimes I daydream about having an orderly sequence of thoughts, all on the same subject, each thought another brick in the house of an idea. It would be nice to think something through, from start to finish, without a million other, unrelated thought fragments clamoring for a piece of the action.

Think of a class of eager children, all of whom have something urgent to say---a sea of hands, frantically waving----Pick me teacher, pick me! Oh please! My idea is the best! Just wait 'til you hear it! And then they pout when you want them to line up in orderly fashion; take a number; please don't jump the queue! You'll all have your day in court! But some days nobody does. Too much white noise......

Which is why writing, in any form, at the moment blogging form, is a compulsion. If I can snatch one fragment I like from the melee, and write it down, then wait a while 'til another related fragment drifts by, and snatch that too, eventually I'll have enough on my subject to write something at least semi-coherent.....


This was the preamble [the babbling before the brainwave!] to a draft I've been fiddling with. It wasn't going anywhere. Then I read Rhubarb's recent whine and thought---I can just put it out there. I'm not looking for a Pulitzer. Just wondering how it works for others---from sitting down to a blank screen, with a matching blank brain, to hitting "publish".............

By the way, is Nablopomo happening again this year? And if so, where do I sign up? Just so I can babble some more....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tempus Fugit

Meggie remarked recently how time seems to speed up as we get older. I think it starts to race as soon as you have children! One minute they're babes in arms, and you're wondering who deemed you reliable enough to be entrusted with their safekeeping?? The next, they're off to school; then they're all gangly arms and endless legs, and you find yourself craning your neck to look up at them---you who used to think you were tall! Next thing you know, you're holding back tears at graduations and weddings.... Tears of joy? Tears of sorrow?

This was what it was all about, you remind yourself. The object of the exercise was to make yourself redundant, to equip them to carry on without you, into the future, that land to which you cannot go. Lucky if you can accompany them a few miles along the road. So, why so mopey? Don't like not being needed so much? Don't like what you see in the mirror? Who is that old crone anyway? And why is she looking back at you so impertinently, with no apologies for the ravages of the years? As much as I like the sun, I could delude myself much more successfully if I could live the rest of my life by candlelight!

They move away from you and become independent, which is how it should be. Still, though you know it means the universe is unfolding just the way it was intended to, it makes you sad, along with the glad.

But then they have children of their own, and those sweet babies lead your children right back to you. The circle of life.

I'm home from my travels, pinching myself, and wondering, was I really there for two whole weeks?

Daughter Dear drove me to the airport, between Kindergarten pick-up time and afternoon soccer practice. She joked about making me walk there, not wanting to aid and abet my leaving...... But, "life goes not backward 'nor tarries with yesterday....." and I'm sure the waters closed seamlessly over the space I occupied there for a while. Next time I see those little

ball players ["I'm open Ginny!"],

counters ["I can count to a hundwed!"],

"spellers ["I know what begins with football---"F"!]

they'll be a couple inches taller, and I'll be another bit older.

There's something bittersweet about seeing our children as parents. To see in them that fierce love and protectiveness we all felt for our babies. Each life has its portion of happiness and sorrow. And time continues its inexorable march, with or without us. I sometimes wonder what God was thinking, to let my Dad die at the age of fifty seven, when my firstborn was merely a toddler. He would have been a great Grandpa.......

It seems such a waste somehow, for us not to live down the road from our children and their children, or in the next village, or at least the next county, or failing that, in a state adjacent to theirs.....So we could have Sunday dinner together, and see them for Christmas, and birthdays, and all the little occasions that families should share, without it becoming a nightmare of planning and co-ordination, and intergalactic travel!

I have the time now.

I could babysit.

I could read stories.

And bake cookies.

And throw footballs!

Regularly, instead of squeezing it all into a few weeks....

But then I pause, and am glad that our grandchildren are fortunate enough to have parents who love and care for them, watch out for their physical safety, and mental and spiritual well being. It is not so for all children, as I was heart-breakingly reminded when I visited Suburbia for the first time today. Life could be, and is for some, really harsh. And even though time flies, so can I.

I think I'll go curl up somewhere quiet now and count my blessings.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Words [Just A Few] On Wednesday

Guess who was happy to see me home? And insinuated himself, through a small portion of open zipper, into my suitcase, and there built himself a cosy little nest from which to spy on the proceedings?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Someone's In The Kitchen With Molly.....

I have trouble keeping one blog going, but have, nevertheless, had the notion in my head for a while to start another. As a way to get my motley and insanely out of control recipe collection under control. I have accumulated some wonderful recipes over the years, but my "filing system" is haphazard at best! I've tried various ideas for organizing them, but then I need a certain recipe, and I need it now , and my rummaging, and my haste, makes a mess all over again. Lily is a lot more organized than I, and a wonderful cook, but she agreed, that even with her recipes, something had to give. When I told her of my idea to start another blog, just for recipes, she said "Why don't we do it together?" Why don't obvious, brilliant ideas like that occur to me?

We hope you'll come on over and visit "Molly And Lily In The Kitchen." You can pull up a chair, have a nice cup of tea, and maybe find some new recipes you'd like to try!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My Coaches Are Three And Four Feet Tall.........

*** My Ohio name is "Ginny," pronounced like that snooty relative of the Irish pound from days of yore, the guinea, which permitted members of the legal and medical professions to charge by the guinea [twenty one shillings], while lesser mortals, like the butcher, the baker and candlestick maker, charged by the pound [twenty shillings], and fractions thereof. Why "Ginny?" you ask? "Grandma" was taken, since the other grandma already had a few grandchildren, and T's first attempts at "Granny" came out sounding like "Ginny," so there you have it....

It's Fall in Ohio. Season of changing leaves. Football season. Although, for little grandsons, any day of the year is football season!

I don't recommend American football for people my age. As a spectator sport, maybe, but certainly not as an activity for those whose idea of a good workout is an hour of Tai Chi. The medication was tinkered with, tweaked this way and that, so that a person could walk again, without limping, and play tennis even. "But only doubles!" the wagging finger cautioned.

That was in my last-week-life. My this-week-life would make the wagging finger blanch. Every day I've been throwing that strangely shaped "ball" with T and B. It's child sized, made of soft rubber, pleasant to throw and catch. Complications don't set in until B nods encouragingly at me and lisps "You can run, Ginny!" after he's thrown and I've caught. Because he knows he can catch me as I try to get by him! Then he jubilantly shouts "Got you! Two hand touch!"

The pair of them, pint-sized coaches, have been schooling me in the finer points of America's favourite game. I know what a "hopper" is now and a "hike" ---not, in this context, a traipse through the woods!

I finally have a glimmer of an idea why those hulking players you see on TV hug the ball to their chests and run like hell, to get it over the touchline. It only counts if they're not tackled....Which is what B dearly loves to do. No matter that he is about three and a half feet tall, and weighs a little more than a third of my weight. He can throw! He can catch! And is completely unacquainted with fear. He takes it on the nose, he takes it on his little pint-sized chest, "I'm okay!" he shouts, lest the game lose momentum.....He "takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

[Here they are, on the weekend, with Dad, M, the biggest footfall fan of all!}

After the first few days I wised up. Having landed, one time too many, with a thump, on the grass, I decided it would be kinder to the aged bones to throw, only. Less chance, that way, of returning to Florida in a body cast! But, as the saying goes, "Good luck with that!"

My resolution was short-lived. Who could resist those limpid blue eyes, looking up pleadingly, from under those sweeping lashes, holding the football and saying "Please, Ginny?"

Today,I've been lying low, sitting inconspicuously in a quiet corner, stitching. It's raining, proof positive that there is a God, and He does look down with mercy on feeble grandmas!

But tomorrow the sun will be out, and I'll be ready, again, to do my coaches' bidding!

Because it's a narrow window here. I know how fast the years and decades tumble by. I'll throw that ball as long as they want me to!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Tis Well For Some"

The cat has a finely tuned "dither" sensor. As soon as the suitcase came out of the closet he was suspicious.

"Oh-oh!" I could see it in his eyes. "Somebody's going to leave me again!"

So he climbed into the suitcase, just to be on the safe side, and settled down to watch.

Columbus in October? I had no idea what to pack. Even though Daughter Dear, and the OC both had told me what weather to expect. When I'm standing, barefoot, in Florida, in shorts and a t-shirt, with the fan going, you can quote temperatures to me 'til the cows come home. It won't be until I land and start to shiver that I'll think "Oh dear! I should have brought....!"

So I ransacked the closet and threw all the possibilities on the bed. Then slowly put back the ridiculous, the impractical and the out-and-out ludicrous, and whittled it down to pants, long sleeved tees, underwear and a few sweaters. And, of course, some books and stitchin'.

But no cat. Much to his chagrin.

When I landed, beautiful, smiling daughter and oldest dark haired, shiny eyed grandson scooped me up and whisked me off to pick up younger grandson from preschool. There was a definite chill in the air. Brrrr! A lovely, crisp hint of Fall. I was glad about the sweaters tucked in my suitcase at the last minute.

As my darlin' sister commented in my last post "'Tis well for some."

It's so nice to have the OC home. Ideally all my family would live in the one town and they could all come over every week for Sunday dinner. The grandchildren would all be friends. They'd roll around regularly on the floor with their Uncle Bean, tackle Grandad every chance they got.......Go horseback riding with Auntie California.....

And pigs might fly.

Life is messy and untidy. But the OC is home to check on the Ancients, freeing me to come and spend time with our firstborn, and play with the grandchildren---for two whole weeks! Of course small eyebrows were raised and little people wondered why Grandad wasn't with me, since I'm not quite as much fun to tackle to the ground as he is!

So it is, indeed, well for some...... Wish you were here Auntie Rise!