Sunday, August 21, 2005

Been a LONG Time!

Yes, it's been a long time since I've posted. I've missed it! I have so much I want to write but not a whole lot of time right now. I am hoping I will find some time on Wednesday to blog but until then I just wanted to stop by and say "I'm still here!"

In the meantime, here is one of my favorite pics of my Allison. It was taken when she was about 2 years old. I love how this picture shows her funny little personality. She is always smiling and so much fun and this picture just seems to capture that.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

A Lesson from Pap Pap!

My parents have a farm...not a big one but one that they refer to as a "gentleman's farm." It's 13 acres and one of my favorite places on earth. The only animals they have now are beef cattle and a couple of barn cats. He doesn't do it as a business but for his family and occasionally he sells a side of beef or a whole cow to the people who ask. Growing up, in addition to the cows and cats, we had dogs, horses, a sheep (a pet for my younger brother that followed him around like a dog), quail, rabbits and pigs. Never chickens because farm chickens are too dirty for my Dad. The pigs were anther story. Pigs only roll around in mud to keep cool. My Dad's pigs had no mud. Their pen had a wooden floor the entire length of the pen. He piped water underground all the way back to the barn. And every day we kids had to go back to the barn and spray the pigs! It was the most important chore of the day! Do you have any idea how many times a day I heard "Whose turn is it to spray the pigs!" I used to hate those words but now as an adult I would love for my only responsibility of the day to be to "spray the pigs!"

Okay, I got off track which is easy for me to do! On this farm my Dad also had gardens. They were huge! His biggest and main one is still about an acre big. He grows corn, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, garlic, pumpkins, watermelon and others that I can't think of right now. Again he does this for his family but will sell dozens of corn to the people around town since my Mom doesn't can as much as she used to. Well this year my Allison showed an interest in my Dad's garden and he took off with that interest! He told her that he would give her a corner of his garden to plant her own. Well, then he changed his mind and built her an elevated garden in the back yard so she could see it from the patio and house! It's also easier for her to go out daily to water her plants. They planted tomatoes, green peppers and purple and pink flowers in her garden. She is so proud...and so is my Dad! Usually you can find my Dad bragging about his garden to his farmer friends. You know the kind of bragging that I'm talking about..."I've got red tomatoes already" or "Wait till you see how big one of my pumpkins is." However, he's bragging on his granddaughter's garden this year! I LOVE that he has taught her about gardening. It will stay with her forever.

The first fruit from her garden was a tomato. Of course, I had to make a big deal out of it. You can see it growing on the vine in this picture. My Mom said when it first grew, she was watching out the window and saw my Dad and Allison arguing. Allison wanted to pick it and he was trying to convince a very stubborn little girl that you had to wait. Patience is not my daughter's best trait! My Mom enjoyed watching them because who do you think she got her stubbornness from? Dad! Anyway, here is the harvested tomato. Yes, I took a picture of it! Would you expect anything less from a scrapbooker? Isn't it beautiful? Yes, I agree! Well Allison wanted to make ketchup from it. I told her that I didn't know how. She told me that all you do is "put it in a bowl with water and mix it up real good." LOL...I wish it was that easy! I decided to cut it up and put it over barbecued chicken topped with cheddar cheese. Here is the finished product! Yum! It was so delicious! I can't wait for more vegetables from her garden! I don't like green peppers but you better believe I will LOVE those! Curtis on the other hand is waiting patiently for his favorite stuffed green peppers with peppers grown from his precious daughter's garden!

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Just me and the fish!

It's almost 5 AM and I have been up since before 4. I can't sleep and I'm not sure why. So I thought I would come downstairs and blog a bit. I peaked in and checked on Allison before I came down and this is what I saw! I love looking at her when she sleeps. You can almost see her storing up her energy for the day ahead! This little one has always been on the go all day long...since the minute she was born! It always seems that the first comment from anyone that spends some time with us is always something to do with her energy. Usually the comments are "I wish I had half of her energy!" or "Is she always like this?" or "Does she ever slow down?" and "How do you keep up with her?" The answers are "Me, too!", "Yes, all the time." "No, not even at bedtime, she goes from high speed to passing out." and finally "I don't think about it. I just try to keep up!" Sometimes I think she really should have a younger Mother but then I think of my dear old Aunt Edith who passed away at 85 when I was 5 months pregnant with Allison. Once when I visited her in the extended care home for seniors, she was telling me of her daily routine which included going down to the dining room and helping set the tables for the meals. I told her "Aunt Edith, let the staff do it. They get paid for doing that." She replied that she didn't do it for the staff but for herself. She said keeping busy both physically and mentally helped her stay young. She said she didn't want to become vegetative like some of the other residents. As I try to keep up with Allison, her words often come to mind and when I think I can't go on anymore, somehow I find the energy. Thank you and God bless you Aunt Edith. If you were right that keeping active helps you live a long life, I'll be around for my grandchildren!

Okay, it's not me and the fish anymore. Dennis (the fish) has hidden behind his plant and gone back to bed! Thanks buddy for leaving me! Maybe I should take a hint from him and try to get some more sleep myself. Allison will be up in a couple of hours and I'll need to be ready!

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