A First, at My Age!

I lost my glasses! It’s a common thing, you say, for the elderly to lose their glasses. Not this elder! I can’t see a foot beyond my nose. That’s why my glasses are ALWAYS on my face or on the bedside table. I’ve worn glasses all day, every day, for about 63 years. This morning they were gone. GONE! My first thought was that I could walk to the creek if John went with me, because he could see to cross the highway. Get practical! Go get John!

John was at his computer and immediately got up when I said I needed his help. Bless his heart, he looked at the table and dropped to his knees to scan the floor. It wasn’t until he moved a bit that the light reflected from the glasses. They were slightly behind the table, next to the bedpost. Ah! My knight in shining pajamas!

Three Seasons in Two Pictures

In December the orange color of a Bradford pear tree in our neighborhood seemed out of place with snow. Either the tree should have done fall cleaning earlier, or winter should have cooled her heels.

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I was remembering that photo when the same tree, now blooming, had a backdrop of snow on the roof. A bit later in the day, trees and shrubs displayed the snow. The blooms would have looked dirty in comparison. A summer view of that tree is missing. Summer doesn’t share snow with anyone!

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On the first day of spring, before the snow started, I gathered a few sprigs of mint. They were hugging the house for warmth, but they smelled fresher than they will in the heat of summer.

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Our snow put on a brave show. It couldn’t hang on to whiten things up and graciously gave way to spring sunshine the next day.

Logan’s Snow Day

We were supposed to get several inches of snow, so I was fairly sure local schools would be closed. Still, I hesitated to text neighbors in case they were still asleep. John said go for it, so I asked Shawn if she were awake and school closed. If so, would Logan like to walk with us? Surprisingly, Logan was still asleep at 7:15! John and I walked to the creek in gentle flurries as the sun tried its best to poke through the clouds.

Mid-morning Shawn asked if Logan could come over, and of course, we were delighted to have him. John paused in the checkers game when Logan found the green silicone oven mitt. It is shaped like an animal’s head. Logan moved it to make it appear to talk, then tossed it up in the air.

They resumed the checkers game.

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As the fellows played, I made some dough. It was one of those recipes that called for the yeast to be added with the flour, using a mixer. While it sat for 20 minutes, John and Logan read a short book together. Logan agreed to help make the coffeecake, so he washed his hands with soap (in front of me) before kneading the dough with his hands.

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He did very well rolling the dough with my heavy rolling pin.

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Painting the dough with melted butter was a piece of cake easy for him. His touch was light, so he didn’t tear the dough.

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He sprinkled the pecans and chocolate chips evenly. I couldn’t have done a better job, so I presume that is amazing for a 7-year-old. Well, maybe I’m a klutz. One long edge was left bare, and he used his finger to apply water, which acted like glue to seal the roll.

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He finished! As he skipped off to play with John, I covered the roll with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. It can be baked from 2 to 24 hours later.

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Before you ask, I’ll tell you that I did not do this kind of thing with my children. I didn’t have the patience. Today patience was on the other foot, because Logan had to wait as I got things ready for him.

John helped Logan memorize a Bible verse before they had a killer game of balloon/volley ball.

Don’t Read if You Love Spiders

I know I’m in good company when I say I hate spiders. I see one, and revulsion explodes within me. I have been told often enough that the horrible critters are good for the earth and that I’m rebelling against God when I kill one. God forgive me, but that does not change the inner workings of my gut.

As John was driving our garbage to the collection center, I found a spider crawling in the tub, unable to get out. There was no use screaming, because no one would hear. I didn’t panic until I knocked my clean clothes into the tub. That would have given him a ladder of escape. Quick as a wink, I got the clothes back where they belonged. If I’d been thinking straight, I might have thought of something to kill it. As it was, the spider was out of reach. That’s when the phone rang – John telling me he was at the garage, leaving the Honda for repair. It was useless to moan or squeal. My thoughts: “Quick! How can I contain that monster while I pick John up? The dustbuster! Get the hand-held vac and suck it up. Great! Now what? I can’t see it. Don’t put it outside, because rain clouds are looming. Put the spider, dustbuster and all, in the tub. I am reasonably sure it can’t escape from the tub, even if it gets out of the vac. Now go get John.”

Later I tiptoed in the bathroom and peered into the tub. Nothing was visibly crawling except my skin. I fetched the camera for documentation.

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I never thought to wonder if fear or curiosity would dictate my actions. Either curiosity won, or I was afraid of what might happen if I left that wicked spider to its own devices. Making sure there were no legs visible on the outside of the little machine, I picked it up. Turning it on seemed like a good idea. Spin the spider to oblivion. I couldn’t see it at all, but I did spot a lady beetle crawling about inside. Just what I needed! Not only was the spider most likely still inside, it now had a live lunch waiting for it. John and I needed to have breakfast, so I replaced the dustbuster in the tub. You will note that even though John was in the house, I did not seek his help. His spider rescues always start with laughter. Not a good sign!

After telling myself sternly that I had to deal with the spider, I checked the tub again after breakfast and picked up the dustbuster. The vile spider was inside with lots of dust bunnies. If you have arachnophobia, close this message immediately. Go on! Nothing to see here! Click on something pleasant!

I could deal with a dead spider, or even a stunned one, but this was an Iron Man Spider! Nothing seemed to faze it.

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Wicked Iron Man Spider inside the dustbuster

In a scared little voice, I said, “John? Will you help me?”

After laughing, he said, “I can’t even see it. I’ll turn on the vac. There it is. I’ll thump it. Now it’s in the lower section. I don’t know how to empty this thing. Take it apart.”

We went on the deck as I told him to check which way the wind was blowing. He claimed there wasn’t any wind. Yeah! Right! There wasn’t any wind until I pulled the innards out of the vacuum. A gust blew dust back at us. By rights, I should have let out a blood-curdling scream. He picked up the two sections and shook them. The spider was gone then, but where had it gone? Had it blown back onto my jacket? I wish I’d thought to pull off the jacket and flick it violently in the air. For all I know, it latched onto the garment and is hunched down in terror, waiting for me to be still and quiet. I am typing on the computer, telling myself the spider should not be poisonous. If it’s waiting to get me, I should survive a bite. If you don’t see another message from me in a few days, you could check the obituaries for either John or Anne. If the spider were venomous, look for me. If John continued to laugh, I murdered him.

Coffeepot Declared Not Guilty

I took no chances with my mocha coffee after losing six cups a few days ago. I not only stayed in the room the whole time it was brewing, I made the camera document the levels of water and coffee. There were 10 cups in the reservoir.

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The machine yielded just under 10 cups of a very satisfying brew.

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I am no nearer solving the mystery of the missing coffee, but I have ruled out murder and theft on the part of the coffeemaker.

When Logan Says….

When neighbor Logan (7) says, “Look what I can do,” you look quickly.

He said, “I can move like a worm.”

He dropped to the floor and wiggled across the room in jig time. I was pulling the camera out of my pocket as he rolled to his knees and jumped up without using his hands. Both John and I asked him to repeat the worm show. This was too good to miss.

Logan was with us in the middle of the day because he had a snow day. The white blanket outdoors had disappeared by then, letting the battered daffodils rise up again. His first choice was to play basketball on John’s computer. John set a time limit, after which they played a few games of checkers.

I had Logan stomp on a few air bags. He loves that noisy chore. I want the bags deflated before we throw them away, and he loves to jump on them. That’s child labor you don’t have to pay for!

I was surprised he didn’t want to work the jigsaw puzzle I bought for him at the thrift shop. He put the pieces out on the floor and almost immediately began putting them back in the box. I’m just now realizing he did that cleaning up without any prompt. His mother will find out when she reads this. [Good going, Shawn!] I pointed out that one piece was missing, and there was damage to a few pieces on the edge. I said I picked it up because it glowed in the dark. I had hardly finished that sentence when he was running down the hall. He had a few pieces in his hand and ducked into a closet to check out the glow business. It didn’t work. When he came back, I told him the glowing pieces felt a little rough. We found one, which he took to John to hold up to his bright desk lamp. He invited me in the closet with him, and we saw the dim glow. He did this several more times before putting all the pieces back in the box. I got my miserly money’s worth, after all.

I had intended to feed the horses with grandson David, but we didn’t get around to it. When I mentioned I had apples, Logan threw on his boots and jacket and streaked out the door. The horse DW ambled over to see what Logan was doing and promptly ate every piece he held up. It didn’t last long, but horse and boy were happy. We looked at a show on TV and just came to the end when Shawn called him to come home. There is never a dull moment with Logan around.

A Snowy Day

There was snow during the night, which continued through our walking time. The temperature was well below freezing, but it was the wind that concerned us. The weather station said it was 15 mph. We went out anyway, making our ice report to neighbor Joyce. If the roads have black ice, we text Joyce to be careful going to work. The wind had been quiet, but near the stop sign it began to blow. We turned and went home, enjoying the snowy neighborhood as we walked.

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The little cat accompanied us half way to the stop sign and waited for us to come back. She was in hunting mode, but would pause (paws) now and then to be petted.

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We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of Egg MacMehrling and coffee in our toasty-warm house.