Friday, August 30, 2013

Gramma Camp

With school starting next week, this week teachers were back on the job getting ready, so we had the kids during the day Monday through Thursday.

The first day it was very hard to get up early to an alarm clock, so camping out in front of the TV for the first hour was the order of the day. 

Irene was pretty put out that I got to still be in my PJs, so I hurried off to shower and get dressed too.

I fed them breakfast each morning after an hour of waking up.  Not every breakfast was as grand as this one.  I had left over waffles, black berries and nectarines.  Irene is fond of whipped cream.

Each day we had a field trip.  On Monday we went to the library.  Isaac had finished his books and needed the next two in his series.  Irene got cat books, and played on the library computers.

At ages 10 and 8, they don't need a lot of entertaining, and they had fun discovering old toy friends in their designated bedroom.

 Soon they were spread out across both rooms, which was fine with me, since nothing was underfoot in my domain.

On Tuesday the kids and I went to the Cedar River Trail, where the kids rode bikes and I got a three mile walk.

 On Wednesday we went over to our neighborhood park, where Tom and I walked and the kids rode bikes and played .
On the way back home we stopped at an overhanging blackberry bush and refueled.

 Of course there was also lots of sedentary screen time, but I did make an effort to limit that.

Wednesday after noon Isaac and Grandpa harvested crops and Irene and I picked flowers for her to arrange.
 You won't see many posed photos of Isaac.  He does NOT like to be photographed, especially when he knows he could end up on my blog.  Irene, on the other had, has no trouble at all posing.

 She wants you to see that her arrangement has two sides, the fun, sparkly side, and the "wedding" side.
On Thursday the plan was to go to the Burien Farmer's Market.  Heavy rain showers were in the forecast but we hoped we could get there when it opened and have a clear window between storms.

Well, we got there for opening at 11:00 all right, and for the opening of the sky as well.  We took shelter until the worst was over.

 I love the colors of the fruit and vegetable displays.  I bought a few ears of corn, something we do not have in our garden.

 Irene saw this bouquet and announced that she was in love.
 It was only $5.00, so I bought it.  She says she wants her wedding bouquet to look just like this some day.
 Isaac loved his still warm kettle corn.

 It rained off and on the rest of Thursday but Tom and Isaac ventured out to use the chain saw to cut up some wind fall limbs from last winter that had been stacked in the back of the garden.
It's always a job getting the chain saw started.  I didn't stick around for the guy fun, but Tom reports that Isaac was very careful and did OK on his turns with the saw.  Isaac reported that it was "kinda scary".  Indeed!.

We got them delivered to Jill in time for her to get them to soccer practice, but just as soon as Irene was dropped off the next storm hit, with lightning and torrential rain.  Soccer practice was rained out, as was a whole lot of other stuff in the area.

Today Jill and the kids went to school to get her room ready.  Jill had been in meetings all week.  After our usual Friday morning breakfast, we joined them to finish up and get them on their way to Whidbey Island before noon.  Then we came home to a quiet, slower pace.

Tomorrow I'll make picnic food and we'll join family on the island on Sunday for a scaled down Phosie-Gertie picnic.  

And then, for kids and school staff, and most other working folks, summer will be over.  For me, summer is over September 22, when the calendar says it's over.  I love retirement!

Happy Labor Day, everyone.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Good Weekend

We had plenty going on this last weekend, but some good down time too.

Friday morning we rejoined our breakfast friends after three weeks absence.  There was lots of good conversation and catching up.  In the afternoon we went house hunting with Jill and the kids.  We may have found them a home.  Jill's offer is pending, but there is competition.  We went out to dinner and then came home and watched the second half of the Seahawks pre-season football game against the Green Bay Packers.  Seattle won.

On Saturday morning we met with some of our garden club members to get a lesson on how to make hyper tufa.  It's a mixture of peat moss, perlite, and Portland cement.  Masks and gloves are important in the mixing process.

These are examples of what a finished product might look like.  It is simulated stone, but much lighter.  Ours are curing.  I should have a finished product in three weeks of so to show.
We were quite lazy the rest of Saturday, but got in an evening walk, as our fair weather continued.

Sunday was Match Day, but that was later.  We actually slept in Sunday morning, a rare thing for me especially   It was about 11:00 before we got outside to get a few things done.  

I picked and arranged new bouquets for the house.

Tom repaired mole and raccoon damage and set more mole traps.  We are not kind when it comes to moles, and if we can eliminate a few for good, we will, but they are very clever at evading the traps.
We still have zucchini and cucumbers to pick, but the garden is slowly shutting down.  Here's Sunday's harvest.

The tomatoes are in their prime.
At 2:45 we were on our way to the light rail station, and then downtown to the stadium for early entrance to set up our North End Supporters display.  We are a small group but do what we can for big, important matches, and this was the biggest - a rivalry match with Portland.

We got our instructions.
And set out about 1200 plastic sheeting "cards" , plus flags and banners.

When we were finished Tom and I walked over to the south end to see what the big Emerald City Supporters were up to.  We had heard that the tifo would be epic.  It looks that way.  There was a well coordinated effort to organize, carry and install huge rolls of overhead banners.
We looked back on our end from afar and it looked good.  

 I have no idea how it looked when deployed.  It's harder to get people to participate on our end.  I hope someone got a photo.
Then it was time to head uptown, find a coffee shop near Occidental Park, and hang out and people watch until we joined the March to the Match.
The March was huge.  Did I mention that over 67,000 fans were expected for the match?  Many participants were first timers, and the whole march stretched about two blocks.  We started near the front, but were probably just rounding the far corner when Jake took this photo from the Stadium.
The stadium filled up, the National Anthem was played, and tifo was deployed.
Wow!  Epic is right!

All of this for a display that lasts only about three or four minutes.
Then as smoothly as it went up, it goes away, and it's time for Scarves Up and first kick.

It was a fast and furious struggle out on the field, and a lot of cheering and singing and chanting throughout the stadium. The official attendance was 67,380.  Portland Timbers Army were there in force, having come on about 15 buses.

But they had a long, disappointing ride back home, as the Sounders went on to victory.
And slowly the crowd dissipated into the city.
We had to take time to settle down when we got home, so we did not get to bed very early.  But we had to rise early enough this morning.  Jill has gone back to work and it's Gramma Camp time at the Reeder homestead.  The kids arrived at 7:30.  They are watching cartoons.  It's time to go feed them breakfast.