Gardener’s Hiatus

Another litter of kittens found their way into the dog hut next to the house. Our poor old Eva was kicked out once again. She usually sleeps in the hut on the old house porch though. Lela is the mama kitty. She and Stitch were sister kittens a few years back. Both are quite wild. I cannot catch Lela, though she does come for extra milk and fat the last few weeks.

So there are five little kittens to name and play with and pick up. The little fur balls were not too keen on the handling today. A good pair of sheep gloves came in handy. Two of the little hissy-fits were pretty scary. But I picked them up with out much damage to their pride or my fingers.

The “Complete Sherlock Holmes” has been keeping me company this past week. And the last few days I fell ill with some sort of flu bug that gave me none other than extreme fatigue. Of course, I had to look up sleeping sickness and found there is a real thing. So thank goodness it was not that. But after three days and nights of such lethargy, my hubby dragged me off to the doctor for some blood work and a check up. All is well, just busy fighting off some virus or another.

Glad, to say that I have actually been upright for nearly three hours now! The heavy limbs and head ache are a bit nagging, but none-the-less the symptoms are so few, that I was quite nervous at the amount of sleeping one can achieve when fighting off some viral bug. Much fluid intake at least kept me rising to use the facilities.

Upon some further investigation, we presume perhaps a flu bug just had no chance with all my fluid intake and vitamin consumption. I am rather thankful not to suffer the stomach bug as the some other extended family had the misfortune to befall.

So, inspired by the little hats that I conjured up about a month ago, I began this little prayer shawl. Not sure how many I will make after this fashion, but the pattern is an easy one to attempt and does not require much for concentration. My faculties have been in the dull-drums of late, so it was smoothen to do as I work back into my house keeping chores. Even, the laundry lady suffered. She is nearly exhausted jut over the sorting!. (I am the laundry lady and took a short snooze after that chore completed!)

The chief cook and bottle washer have gone on vacation. The gardener left the morning’s work unattended. The maid has not tended to any of the house hold duties. The dog trainer was under the covers for nearly three days and may return by the morrow. The grandchildren’s Oma even lost tuch with reality for nearly a day or two. None of the text messages were answered. And finally, the hubby’s dear even advised perhaps he should sleep in the other room. She thought the flu bug would result in some unpleasantness. However, the capacitor of all those roles survived with nothing more that much work left undone. Only a few days of catch up required.

All those people are one and the same. The roles I play are not stage perfect. And the occupations that call me back to the present life are beginning to scream louder than the heavy limbs that returned me to my cot. On we go in this life of ours. The bell on the washer is ringing out for the laundry lady to rise from her slumbering ways…

Monday Mumblings

Watching “Mayo Clinic Minute: How weighted blankets “lift anxiety” on YouTube this morning, I learned all about those little sleep hormones and the feel good hug.

One week has passed since I began sleeping with my gravity blanket that we purchased a few years back. I had tried it off and on but never just in itself for a full week trial. It is pretty amazing how a full week of rested sleep changes one’s mood! It must be knocking my anxiety hormones down a bunch, because for the first time in fur-ever, Honey took a nap on my lap!

Unfortunately her “serviceability” goes way down when she senses anxiety . She feeds on it and gets more hyper! This is not very helpful to say the least. So, in spite of the fact that she is now five years old, I am going to look for a trainer that can give me the right response commands to get this crazy dog down on all fours when the her hyper kicks in.

Saturday morning my dear helper hubby found the aphids moved into the pansies that i multiplied to hundreds. We spent a few hours treating them with some nnatural remedies. They look a little tough but I will be spreading them out into some more spacious quarters today and hopefully things will go well with the proper treatments. It’s so difficult to keep on top of it all once the nasty bugs begin their residency.

This is Holy week for the Christian and Jewish populous. It is always such a special holiday for me. Both of my daughters were baptized on Easter morning during their teen years. Easter has so much triumph and hope. How can the rest of the world live without that joyous celebration? I am so glad that we are back to church gatherings and that the “pandemic” shifted to endemic and everyone is just kind of “over” all of the talk. Yes, there are some rough memories, but not gathering has to be the worst. People are meant to live in community. And not being together makes everyone so depressed and cranky.

The wind blew something fierce the end of last week, and I though all of the old anxieties would come back also. Then I found Amy Carmichael’s book “The Edges of His Ways.” Though it is a daily devotional, I listened to nearly a full month. One of her notes was about the wind. And she encouraged me to look for inspiration from the wind that the Lord blows my way. So rather than fighting the blustery forecast for another day, I took up the “inspired by” list that i could find. The first one was comforting classical compositions that were inspired by … you guessed it-The Wind! Some of the pieces I have heard before but many were new to me. So the next time that I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances, I am just going to begin with looking for inspired by… a list that helps me turn the thing around and lifts up the mood.

This morning, I uncovered the rose bush that I planted in the tire flower bed next to the greenhouse. Today is going to be another beautiful day here. Without that nasty gale to knock me over. I also went out and zip tied the wind wheel at the Hydrant flower bed to the water meter pole there. The poor wind wheel has been knocked over so many times from the westerly hurricane breezes. (And we do not have hurricanes here… just the wind.). That made me FEEL like I had really accomplished something.

Then, I spray painted the basket that I had crocheted. The dye in the wood glue had not worked entirely to color the basket green. So I emptied the black spray paint on it. The rest of the paint was used on the wire baskets in the greenhouse. I had not done anything to them since purchase. That too FELT like I was really doing something. Then I repotted the little holiday cactus starts into two beautiful red pots that I found while shopping the other night at our local wally world. They look so happy. And now they will thrive. The other containers had proved to be too small over the long haul. The little plants had been in their since Thanksgiving and I would constantly forget about them. So they were either too hot, too wet, or too dry. There you go little holiday cactus starts. And I even decided who I am giving them to as gifts. But I am not telling you.

It’s not Monday. Thank goodness. You would not have wanted to talk to me this Monday. My visit to the greenhouse found the pansy stats much worse than before. I tossed quite a number of them due to some nasty little fly of some sort. We treated them again last night at sundown so I hope there is not burn from the spray. It is just not fun growing plants to just toss them out. Part of my eyesight problem, part of the learning curve.

So here goes to a lengthy post again. Today, I hope to get a new mosaic crochet project going. My last two project attempts were a bit lacking. I did not like the outcome. Yep, I feel like I spent the whole time mumbling. But I got it all out right? And the gravity blanket is still working to help me sleep. Yay!

Bad hair day

Monday was a bad hair day for me. While today’s hair is definitely bed head, the picture fits. Waking up in a shadow mood set me up for an emotionally dead day. The battle to avoid saying the wrong thing ended with a journal entry worthy of trash.

So after fighting the head ache with all the normal things, the decision to simply go back to bed was made. Other people might not have that option. Since no one is here to stop me, back to bed it was.

Dreams about log picking or stacking are common themes in my nightmare migraine mode. Either being chased and having the paths clogged with fallen trees, or stumbling over large surface roots fill my sleep attempts. This day being chased by others with torches and forced to carry my cross beam did not make for much rest. Burned at stake, and waking up feeling tied down was common.

Just when my emotional state is most empty and the longing for some cuddly little snuggly critter overcomes me, Honey rises to the alert service dog that she is and saves my life once again. Sleeping nearly eighteen hours with a few moments of awake to eat, drink or relieve myself was a bit of a shock. More so was Honey hitting and bumping my hand with persistence to wake me up. She would not stop nosing my hand until I actually took both puffs on my inhaler. Then she would lick my hand as if to say “good” and go lay back down. She did this job three times Monday into Tuesday morning.

Dark, depression days are something like a shadow life for me. My memory of these thoughts goes all the way back to my teenage years. The battle to emerge out of these dark valleys is lifelong. The last ten years of solitude days have counted more shadow days than sunshine. Some times my emotional being is a dragonfly skimming across the surface of a ditch full of dirty water. And I wonder when the rain storm will come, causing my wings to loose their strength and I will be sucked into the swirling drain pipe and drown. I know that is not a pretty picture.

Where is my faith in all of this? Scripture and the the Bible has always been there to lift me out of the darkness. The pit of self pity and mental vomit must be cleansed by God’s word. Rising up out of myself means letting Jesus blow the healing breeze that will let my spirit soar once again. Is life to be full of these roller coasters all of my earthly journey? Must this life in which I dive and plummet nearly to destruction and then be lifted up once again be so constant? David writes in the Psalms about the downcast soul. And then he writes again “Bless the Lord, o my soul!” Oh, that my heart, soul, mind, and strength could be in the same place of worship all of the time! Faith is no magic wand. Prayer is not some magic words.

Here is the latest mosaic crochet that I have completed during this past week or two of physical, emotional, and spiritual battles. There have been a few books in the pile next to me as a crochet. And no, Honey does not sit next to me. She usually falls asleep on the othe rside of the room.

It’s “wind”-s-day again. The whistling , howling ambient sound is not pleasant and peaceful. The thoughts of others in the path of the storm does not help. My prayer list has been updated for the others list this week. Taking my mind off of myself and thinking about others helps. The refugees, the cancer survivor, the brain surgery recovery, the waiting for a kidney transplant, the sniffly nose, the coughing, the allergy sufferers, the war torn lands and people. ALL remind me that my life is relatively easy. Get out of the mire and the mud and get on with the day. Call Honey in for a hug even if she growls while I administer my own healing potion.

Isaiah 12:3. (ESV). “Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.” This is the promise from God’s word that I am clinging to this week. While there is no Joy is seems and I am not even sure which wells God would have me dig up, I will ONE day find joy again. He will provide for my salvation and He will be glorified in it.

And so it goes…

And so it goes.. you never expect your dog to bring back the collar that she lost over six months ago. And so, when doing the spring yard clean up, it was a pleasant surprise to find the collar that I paid 25 dollars to have her name and my phone number embroidered on. The return of the tag for vaccine info was nice also. We found a few other things that went through the roto rooter. That dog has an iron gut. I don’t thing the average dog would live after some of the things that she has ingested. We call it the typical Labrador genetics. Lab genes brings a garbage disposal to your fount yard. And most of the time it looks more like an explosion of some sort. She is such a little trash compactor and bulldozer. Thank goodness she has overcome her initial fear of the cats. when the refrigerator leftovers come out she is growling and snarling with her head in the bowl just like the other heads! EVA!!!!

And so on… Finding space in the greenhouse for all of the babies has been the latest project. I begged my hubby for some help on Sunday. And we came up with the one legged shelves to put the trays of pansies on. There are 120 clear dixie cups of pansy plants. Hoping to sell them at the local farmer’s market. And I am considering doing a donation to a local charity with the proceeds. And so on go the enjoyable tasks of watching things in the greenhouse grow.

And so forth… It took me five or six attempts to replicate a basket that I already made last year. This one did turn out swell. It was a challenge to get the beginning the same. And the handles are a little useless. Just for looks. I had an old ice cream tub to shape it on. To dry it stiff, it must be on a similar form. I love making the little baskets out of crochet. It is rather rewarding. And so from now on, I’ll just do an exact count before I try to copycat!!

And from now on…. I packed up my piano books the other day. It was bittersweet. Left out only the hymn books and a few other favorites. I have not been able to read the music because the RP has become so pinpointed. The tunnel is closing on so many of my activities. I have to study the music note by note and them memorize it for performance. My in-ability to read music makes me sad. But I have always been able to “ad lib” better on the third and fourth go around anyways. Memorizing it means the quality is there from the get go! Such slang we use in all of this gibber-gabber. And so from now on I will have to practice before the actual rehearsal. I am so thankful that my training through the years has lead me from reading, to chording to playing jazz improvisation to playing by “ear!” While I would readily admit that I can’t actually play by ear, one’s fingers must be used in response to the thought process in the mind. There still has to be some knowledge of the musicianship of piano to complete the task. So very thankful that I can still tickle the ebony and ivories!

Therefore…. While the family is all about their happenings and my life trudges on in absolute monotony, our Pastor’s sermon series on Isaiah has me buoyed up with many memories of my own studies on the great book. Here’s one of my favorite verses from the prophet found in chapter 26:4 “ Trust in the Lord forever. For in YAH the Lord is everlasting strength.” My own study notes have been misplaced, but nevertheless, the mind does recall much through the days and the nights. One night I began my own midnight worship session just considering the name of Yahweh, and the Hebrew whispering of the “Breath of God.” The Yah is spoken as an inhale something like a yawn and the Weh is whispered on the exhale. This name of the Lord is true to the Genesis account of creation in which the Lord breathes into the nostrils of man the breath of life. Our modern day common place use of the Lord’s name does not hold this intense reverence and awe in whispering the name of the Lord because it is too holy for unfit human lips to speak. If only we could hold such awe and fear of the power of our God to give life and to take life. Therefore, I will trust in the Lord forever. For indeed Yahweh (as a whisper of breath0 is indeed my strength and my song. Isaiah 12:2-3. HE alone has become my salvation.

In like a lamb

The old weather forecast says “In like a lamb, out like a lion.” Beware the ides of March. For indeed the weather dawns mild and warm for the month of March and the forecast says we will continue to lack rainfall or snow accumulation for this month. My third little grandee is gripping on tighter to her teeters this fourth month of life. Her great-grandfather ended February saying goodbye to another of his teeth. What a contrast in the ages. The weather has nearly the same contrast from day to day lately.

The coral kalanchloe has the most beautiful blooms and has been hanging onto them for nearly a month now. It loves being the centerpiece of my coffee table. I think I found it’s perfect climate! I purchased some little tea cup pots to give away in the next couple of months. The flowers will be full expanse by mid-March. i hope the transplant shock does not do too much damage. But I feel selfish keeping the blooms to myself. The crowded succulents seem to so happy!

Here is the baby progress in Greenfield Greenhouse. The left picture is the coral cannas that I split up in December just before Christmas. It is so scary doing such a thing. Of course some of the near 40 temps were a little hard on the early shoots in January. But the latest from February are growing with gusto. And the last week with nearly 85 temps in the afternoons has encouraged the tropical to put on plenty of new life! The tray of pansy seedlings is showing promise. The seeds were from a boughten package. I was hoping to transplant this week. That’s clearly too early. Perhaps by the end of the month. The petunia seeds that I saved all show hopeful leafage. Some things grow so slow! And then suddenly take off like geese to the skies. Which by the way I have heard two days so far flying overhead. it is one of my favorite spring sounds. Friday of this week I began to transplant the pansy cells. Uff day-I did not realize the tray is 200 cells not 100. Only 150 left to go. Time for some dixie cups.

We took care of the little flies and aphids or something that was attacking the Shasta Daisy starts. This one is the only bloom progress. Some of the seed that I received from my good friend in Minnesota produced a dozen or so starts. I think I will try to leave some in the landscape this fall. But will continue to bring some into the growing dome for overwinter division. Every time I have daisies left outside the winter is too harsh for the rebirth.

So there’s the update on growing! This month will continue to be busy with some spring cleaning in the house. Today I am doing the carpets with my “citrus” vinegar concoction and baking soda. Hubby informed me they are expecting uppers to take a few Saturdays to work in the foreseeable future. The first Saturday on his feet drove him to finally replace his work shoes with new ones. Hmmm…. I anticipate being well this month. My two weeks of “under the weather” in February was difficult to keep up with the plants, pets, and meals. This month should be better organized. I already have my mental list made.

Proof that airflow never hurts a geranium! This pale pink beauty is one of the ten seed geraniums that I picked up at a 99 cent sale. Since last summer the plants are just now bushing out. One of the rooted geranium babies decided to bloom since I cleaned “house” on Monday of all the blooms. This is one of my favorites, too! And there is ggrowth on the fig trees! These three sticks show promise of future fig trees. I though I would try to root some out over winter, but not much luck. Of 24 twig branches only these three remain.

Trial and error marks much of my growing dome experience. Some of the food attempts have been disappointment to say the least. Growing food really does work best outside. Our carrot trials have been very sweet but the miniature status over six months just not worth the amount of fertilizer one must use. Well, I am back in my hallway house and it is time to keep on with the spring cleaning. Some days I would rather just go back to play in the dirt!

Stitches of Prayer

Numbers 6:24-26 “the Lord bless you and keep you/ The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you:The Lord lift up His continuance upon you And give you peace.” In other words, May God smile at you and may His gaze upon you bring Him joy1

More than a walk in the garden with the birds singing, and the gentle breeze catching a piece of my hair. Each project that I crochet has a rythm of prayer to it. The familiar song has the words, “I come to the garden alone…”. My crochet time is gernerally speaking my quiet time.

My plans for a crochet group / club in my area fell by the wayside when covid hist. I really was thinking that last yearwould be my year to start something new. Well, more than ever before, my alone time just simply escalated. So the prayer/crochet club was going to have to be tabled for a while.

Not just getting by on a stitch in a prayer life for me has got to have purpose. Every project that I do usually has a person on the other side of it. I pray for them, and want to give the item away with the knowledge that this person was covered in prayer long before the item arrived in their hands. It gives me peace to focus on prayer through all the stitches.

Praying through the projects sometimes involves a Bible passage in mind, other times it is just Spirit led. And on those rough days for me, a read aloud book keeps me going and the prayers often interrupt the book more than phone calls.

This waffle stitch baby blanket began before I knew that or we knew that grand baby number three was on the way. I had some yarn that I struggled with what to do. When the hook matched up to the stitch and the size of the thread, this stitch was the perfect combination. Needless to say, I did not have enough yarn to finish the concept. But the blanket is looking so lovely. And a November baby needs a nice warm cozy blanket, right?

“Stitches of Prayer“ is the name of the group that I would like to start. If you crochet with prayer filled purpose, let me know. If you live in my area and want to share your love of the craft with me let me know that too. If you want to join me once a month for a focus Bible study on the concept of “prayer projects” let me know that too. The first person that I am studying is Esther.

The above projects are all recent ones. My second attempt at the apache tear pattern mobias praer shawl worked out well. The size on a mobias is so hard to get right. The next stitch is a new one for me. The Bavarian box stitch turned out lovely but I need another cake of the caron yarn to finish. I took a break from the normal items to try my hand at a basket. The idea is to find some cheaper threads and make some cement pots for planters this spring during my early garden time. We’ll see if that happens. And the latest project is a new pattern that I actually bought the day that it came out for purchase! The “Ellas Gem” by BebaBlanket is so addictive. I think there is another writing brewing on addictive crochet habit.

Prayer is vital in my life. The last week and a half, I decided to give up coffee. The first few days were rather rough. Just drinking water my headache clearly screamed for caffeine. I felt that I was so addicted to the coffee drive that I was not even sleeping at night. Giving up coffee is hard for me. I actually love the taste. But I knew that my ability to function during the day was getting poor. Sleep is primary. The body must have rest. And my body had finally screamed loud enough for me to say no more coffee.

Ten days into the fasting from black liquid, I am much more clear of mind. My writing has been boosted by day time activity that I was unable to accomplish before. Wow! Sleep does matter. The only caffeine that I take in is in minor chocolate pieces, and some green tea or oolong tea. Both of these teas are considered body cleansers. And water is my new friend. (P.S. apparently coffee was not my sleep problem. I am doing some psychology study and find that “rumination anxiety” is a big problem for me. Learning scripture meditation and memorization of Psalms again is helping. But I am limiting my coffee intake yet.)

Meanwhile, I am going to put out the invitations to the stitches of prayer hopefuls. Feel free to check out my contact info or comment directly on this post.

Winter garden

This little snow lady is my most recent “snowman” in my collection. Usually the the little snowball people go on my piano top. This year I only put out my favorite ones. The Less seemed best in these days of living big in my small hallway house! I have been living in a “small” house for two decades. It makes one choosey about our collections.

After painting the living room and hallway a white color and discovering the ceiling also needed a fresh coat of paint, my love for the “white” in my life is showing up everywhere. I finally unpacked my white milk glass collection and put it back on top of the kitchen cabinets. As mauch as I like the little snowman, I am not the first to go out and build a cold icy wet one when the opportunity arrives. The cold air is just not so fun anymore.

So… This little “garden” loving figure was the perfect gift from my daughter for the holidays. (Even though technically it came after the holidays were over.). I am really going to enjoy the little figure with it’s air plant this year.

Winter gardening for the most part involves house plants, seed planning, and dreaming about spring and summer. Rooting our geraniums in the greenhouse and constantly monitoring the temperature is also on the daily to do!

Meanwhile, we studied up the best option for a physically fit piece of exercise equipment for out small house. Both of us managed about five minutes on the rowing machine the first day! I was up to ten minutes on the second day with a well rested body. We shall see how many videos on YouTube actually keep me fit this year. I’ll probably have my favorite “house plant tour” video memorized soon. Haha.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday are going to be my official work days in the Greenhouse. If I can just keep my focus and my lists and the plans going, there should be plenty to “share” with family and friends of the growing dome. Today, I managed to get three hours in before my asthma got the better of me. Yesterday, I had to apologize to my asthma control specialist. Honey was so sticky and annoying Sunday morning while I was trying to get ready for the day. I actually got angry with her at one point. Then, the true nausea and shortness of breath kicked in and my Honey doodle would not give up the nudging. She was right. She actually nudged my hand three or four times even while I did the inhaler. “Thanks, good girl. You are the best!”

The oregano received a new home. There are three little four inch pots to “share.” And the beds all received a bit of clean up as I prepare for new planting and the seed starting trays. The Baby Sun Rose is looking about ready for it’s haircut. This lovely spiller works great in the planter displays.

And of course what is a trip to the greenhouse in the winter time without a little time to “enjoy the roses?” These pink geraniums are the joy of my work day. The soft pink seed geranium that I picked up on clearance are looking awesome. I think there are ten total. The Blush pink is the mother plant to a dozen new cloned babies. And the Bright Coral plant is a mother also. I can’t remember how many babies I have from that one. I am so grateful to my mother plant donors for the joy of working with these lovely flowers.

And finally, I am trying to finish up a new stitch shawl. The Bavarian Box Stitch is my latest know-how. And it has been rather fun to learn something new. Of course every stitch is done with prayer and someday I will finally get to start that club. “Stitches with prayer” is a dream of mine. One day…

Talking about love, love, love

My temperature blanket is finally taking shape! The idea sown last January is coming to fruition. Each month is represented by one square. The chosen colors are based on the temperature high and low for the month. Then the set of seasons are put together with the rising and falling temperature. Each season is put together by the weather that becomes them.

The whole blanket may or may not have a border. That has not been decided yet by the amount of left over yarn from the original skeins of color. I am excited to have cold enough weather to actually continue this project.

Talking about the weather is pretty much what begins every conversation in my life here in the Dakotas. The wind, the cold, the sunshine or the lack of moisture proceeds all other topics. While some people are oblivious to the weather, some of us have pets that require attention outdoors rain or shine.

Those people that show up at the day job in shorts and end up having to go home at break to change…. I don’t understand them. Every day of my life is decided by what the weather is today or tonight. The temperature tells me just what to wear. How to dress in this blustery unforgiving windy cold is very important if I want to feel my fingers the rest of the morning!

Well that’s enough about the weather, Now, How are you? The next topic of conversations might just involve who suffers from the most pain , you or the person you are talking to…. But even that is not a conversation that will last real long.

What is new? Yep, that the next headline. In my life it usually means some flower that is blooming. Here are some examples below. The Holiday cactus has decided the holidays should begin a week earlier this year. I forgot that by painting the living room and hallway, the cycle would be sped up nearly one week. The poor plant sat in the library for nearly five days before it returned to its prominent location in the south front window. The canna in the greenhouse finally recovered from it’s move to the indoor location. And these beautiful winter bloom begonias were a recent find at wally’s world.

This week we get back to the blanket and perhaps some Christmas ideas. I am not much of a crafter. The hot glue usually burns my fingers more than it sticks objects together. So minimal painting or such is my plan. Though giving plants is easier, not everyone want to take care of plant babies. Oh, and this next month will be full of plant seeding and seed starts! Oh, how spring shoots forth hope in my being. (Hope springs eternal?)

November is nearly to a close. We were blessed with sharing flowers to a few loved ones around Thanksgiving. And I found a gorgeous poinsettia to give to an elderly friend who turns 93 this week. Perhaps my passion for plants and flowers will help me spread a little holiday cheer this year!

Silly Oma! Opa…!

“My new stage name is ‘To Be…!'”Truth from a two year old can be hard to take. The innocence of little children is the power of looking right through the motives or objectives of adults. Even a three year old can surprise someone with their observant reality. So the old saying “Oh be carefull little eyes are watching you” should apply during all phases of life.The other day my three and half year old granddaughter surprised us with a declaration. “My new stage name is ‘To Be…!'” So I asked like “the number two and the bug a bee?” No she replied. I queried again, like “to be determined, or to be announced?” YES! She agreed. Wow, I thought that is a smart little girl. A little girl waiting for a new sibling and letting her mind go to imagination in other area’s of life. Whether the baby will be a boy or a girl is yet to be determined.So when that little one arrived safe and sound as her little sister. We soon began to hear many little “grown up” phrases from the excited big sister.Opa is really fast! Until he is not. Or until little legs carry the body above it faster than it should. Children enjoy running. Grandparents do not, usually. So when Opa is fast it is in relation to how quickly he can pick up all the toys, or throw the stuffies into the box. Relativity is important here. Oma is slow. When we take the stuffy puppies for a walk little legs tend to run circles around the aging grandparent. For me, however, it is the empty peripheral that brings with it the surprises of little children that make me go so slow. Toppling over those little less that two foot statues usually brings with it much apologetics as said statue suddenly finds it’s voice.”Hush! -the baby is sleeping!” From a two year old is rather cute. But from the three year old argumentatively with her eighteen month old brother can cause quite the stir. And suddenly you would think the whole neighborhood of puppies were wakened by the raucous! What fights can take place between siblibngs during the learning-about-compromise years. And though little sister fresh home from the hospital, might hear the above quite frequently, two busy little toddlers forget quickly and are right back at it.”Let’s go to the ocean!” Use to work for the two year old’s nap-time siesta. Now, it is the play time plane ride of the sofa. How can a little mind remember so much? Sleep sounds were never an option for my children. Sometimes I feel deprived. Then again I feel like this poor little ones will never know even how to really quiet their minds on their own without the aid of technology. I am glad that when I go out into my garden or greenhouse, I can easily get lost in the sounds of the world. The air-breaks from the local semi-drivers do not sent me into a barking frenzy. But then again the fans in the greenhouse really do sound just like the white noise on that little electronic whale.”Silly Oma!” That’s the response I receive much of the time. Especially when I started asking my grand daughter (after potty training) if she swallowed a wiggle worm, or if she had ants in her pants, or if she was doing the potty dance. Little bodies are so wiggly when they are awake. Her brother on the other hand can sure sit still for a snuggle much longer.”Lecka play the dog gone song!” What she really wanted was the Alexa device to play the Mickey Mouse version of “Oh Where oh where has my little dog gone.” But learning the commands and the politeness of the echo dot machine has taken nearly a year. Then suddenly just as fast, this little Isabelle has grown up enough to get alexa to play the right song listing and just as simply the little three year old mind forgets how to get the music to stop. That was rather funny and frustrating at the same time.

“Be right back!” At just two years old is so adorable. Though it took me an entire day to figure out what she was saying. And we say the same thing so frequently. Of course if you are the one in charge of said two year old, it might be best to count to fifty or less to make sure she comes back, or you go to figure out what said child is getting into now!Isabelle-isms in our family are things she says sweetly. Learning to say a three sylabble name can take a lot of practice. At first she called herself “Belle.” Then it came out as “Ah-belle. And finally she could put it all together and say “I’m Isabelle!” Especially when trying to give her character trait nicknames, she would pipe right back with her declaration of name. Are you silly? ‘No, I’m Isabelle.’Behaving like a little person is very common of the first child in a room full of adults. The first child picks up on prayers at meal time and will learn to say, “we need to pray!” The second child just keeps right on eating, because waitng for the meal was so long. It only took a few months of word grasping before little Isaac began to holler, “AMEN!” After the prayer.”I saw a mouse!” Must be followed by, “where did you see the maouse?” The answere was a clear “there” with a pointed arm at the window. For my tunnel vision, I often fave to ask several times to get things all figured up. “In the window?” Was my next question followed by a fearful face yes. After a little explanation, we understood that the mouse was the bright reglection of cat eyes peering though the kitchen window as the picni table outside gave easy access to the most “pet” pet cat that we have. Watching the movie ” lady and the tramp” with it’s dog chase rat scene under the cradle had given way to the imagination of the two and a half year old.”The dinosaurs are upstairs!” and other imaginations… When a mother hears then nearly two year old let out a blood curdling scream from the basement, we think perhaps someone is hurt. My daughter recapped the story later and hearing that her momentary nine months pregnant body had not fallen down said stairs in such quick response is now funny. Little minds have strong imaginations, and momma’s lumberjack treading upstairs can sound like dinosaurs if you are all alone playing downstairs. She does not like to be downstairs by herself much anymore. Having a good imagination does take some training , I suppose.Reality skewed by the two year old mind seems funny. Until the little ones stay over night and little brother wakes up crying in the middle of the night too many times. Thank goodness my imaginations has been well trained and I can try to be in their place. Little brother forgot where he was and woke up crying because it was not his bedroom and sister wasn’t nearby. A few minutes of soft talking about being afraid and going home soon and how his sleep buddy puppy “Scout” was scared now that Isaac was not in bed, and soon little eighteen mont old was snuggling his stuffy and headed back to sleep.”Look it’s a rainbow shadow!” That one took me awhile, but soon I found the prism’s effect laying across a chair in the kitchen. Indeed, it was a rainbow shadow and quite pretty. The sun hit part of the glass from a wind-chime and the reflection had landed right where little eyes caught it. Moments like these are so precious. Even though the busy-ness of the moment did not allow for any more lesson time. I’ll be looking for the rainbow shadow every time the sun shines through the morning glass.”My cry is gone!” That one took a bit to comprehend also. Knowing that. Little girl is homesick for mom and dad and putting it into relatable terms is hard. Ten o’clock in the evening cries are different that ten in the morning. But it’s best just to give the feeling a name. We talked about that really strong “family” feeling and how it was good not bad. This is family love, I explained. I am so glad that you love your mom and dad so much and that you miss them. That will make having a new sister easier. It’s okay to be homesick, but we still have to eat and drink and take care of our bodies. It’s okay to cry because you want your mom and you dad. God wants families to be together. Should we pray so that Jesus will help you take your sad feeling to be glad that you now have a sister to love? And within fifteen minutes said home sick child was sleeping. So at ten in the morning when little girl declared “My cry is gone!” On her way home, the tears ready to burst the damn of emotions, we were happy to help her express that her “sad was gone because she was going home!” And little borther who missed mom and dad in his own way, became a little parrot and proclaimed “Sad Gone!”