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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Attic Treasures and Summer Fun

Thursday was day three of TXsons' (my name for my Texas son and grandsons) visit.  The day began early for Grandpa and Middle.  It was the promised day for one on one fishing for the two.  They call each other Pickle. I think it is cute and Grandpa loves the special nickname.  Not sure what time they left but it was earlier than I wanted to arise.  My body was a little cranky after Wednesday's body surfing on the floor of Incredible Pizza. 

Tuesday night Youngest, afraid to sleep alone, chose to sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor next to Grandpa's side of the bed.  Luckily Grandpa did not step on him during his dressing for the fishing trip.  It was 9:15 before I was ready to dress but Middle was still sleeping soundly.  I noticed this morning it takes longer to dress if one is trying to do so very quietly.  I finally emerged from the bedroom and found Son on yet another business conference call. 

Once the calls were completed and breakfast was eaten Youngest was awake.  Youngest needs to ease into the day much like Grandpa when it is just the two of us.  Son and Youngest snuggled on the sofa while watching a 'Phineas & Ferb' show.  Dry cereal for Youngest 'cause the smell of milk was making him ill today.  Then it was time for my adventure with Son and Youngest.  A journey into the past.

Son pulled down the stairs/ladder that led into the attic.  He went up first. I stayed half way up the stairs and the past was handed down and placed on the floor of the garage.  Youngest decided to join us on the stairs and then in the floored attic.   Instantly Youngest became a sort of Marty McFly and went on an adventure to the 1940's through the 1990's. 

Box after box of Star Wars, Hot Wheels, stuffed toys, action figures, Legos and Playskool toys  .... Son's past .... were opened, checked for content, closed and placed by the opening for a ride down the time travelling stairs.  An assembly line formed.  The past handed from one generation to the next down the steps.

Middle and Grandpa returned from the fishing trip on which no fish were caught.  But worms were touched and hooks were baited.  Tall tales were told.  Somehow Grandpa managed to treated Middle to three chocolate cones at three different Andy's Custard locations.  Somehow Middle did not explode.  That was quite the fishing trip!  When asked about the favorite part of the trip as expected Middle responded, "Ice cream".  Grandpa said listening to Middle crack jokes and cut up with him.

By the time of the intrepid fishermen's arrival the hot attic had given up about 2/3 of the past.  We three time travelers were stopped for a cool off break.  When we three were ready to resume the attic adventure Middle eagerly wanted to help.  His strength and size made him perfect for reaching into the attic areas too low for my body.  With more teamwork the last of the precious attic treasures were moved to the garage floor.  Even Grandpa's baby buggy from 1940 made it down the time traveler stairs.  As boxes were opened, shrieks of excitement filled the hot garage and drifted into the surrounding neighborhood.  And the grandsons were excited, too.  Then it was time to return to 2013 for a movie and dinner.     

Borrowed from
While "Back to the Future" might have been the obvious choice, it was not playing at any of the local theaters.  The Middle, Youngest and Son thought "Monster University" would be a good choice.  Electric reclining theater seats, barrel of popcorn, drinks and snacks all around seemed the perfect way to spend a hot afternoon.  The Adcock bunch followed the movie with dinner prepared by someone else as well as dishes cleaned by someone else.  The choice fit my needs to a tee!
When we returned home Son and grandsons enjoyed digging through the boxes in somewhat cooler hours.  It was a kick to see the buried treasures of the boys' dad come to light.  They seemed to relish the thought that Dad and Gabe had played with these toys, too.

Son and Middle check contents of Darth Vader character storage unit.

Even more delightful for me to walk into my living room and see it alive with toys.  The toys of Gen X strung across the floor.  It had been probably 30 years since some of these toys had been out of their boxes.

Look, Dad, The rescue folks and TV folks are here for the race in case there is an accident.  AT-AT's were just for fun.

TV camera of the 80's becomes a cannon for 2013 play.

Twilight signaled it was time for some outdoor fun and another firefly adventure.  So into the backyard and front yard for fire flies!  And they caught 12.  Four more than the first night.  All caught and released.

Friday morning saw Grandpa and Youngest on a fishing trip.  Two fish were literally snagged by Youngest.  Grandpa was again fishless.  And for some reason, no ice cream cones were eaten on this return ride home.

Of course another evening of lightning bug chasing was enjoyed by kids and grandparents.  Eighteen was that night's count.  That was some of the outdoor adventures for the week at 3871!

Some of the lightning bug captives before release.  My jars were all packed > (.
While all this was going on Oldest was on his own adventure in the hills of the Ozarks of Arkansas.  His last day ended with a big campfire.  Son/Dad, a former scout himself, drove down to Arkansas.  They enjoyed one on one time, a rare thing for a dad of three.  The arrived at 3871 well after most of the crew had turned in for the night.  Grandpa was the lone person to greet the returning Scouts.

Today is the last full day of the summer fun.  College days friends came for a short visit and a cookout.  This was followed by some downtime for a group of tired boys ... and three adults.  Oldest and Grandpa went for some one on one time, no fishing, just walking and talking in a nearby park.  Of course it was far enough the Jeep had to be driven there.  If there was a bucket list for Grandpa three of the top items would have been:  one on one with each grandson;  Jeep ride with Oldest Middle and Youngest;  and individual time with Son.  Check, check and check.

My desire was to watch the grandsons enjoy the backyard.  Well, that was accomplished in spades.  Even when Youngest brought in the dead fish that Middle had harpooned.  Seems Middle scoured the backyard finding " a smooth stick, rope and a little metal hookie thing, Grandma."  With that contrived device Middle retrieved the dead fish.  Then as any wise older brother, Middle convinced Youngest to put the fish in the holey, lightning bug plastic and "take to Grandma."  Yep, a perfect summer vacation at Grandpa and Grandma's.  I'll just close with what Youngest said the first night after playing in the backyard.  Looking out the back window he turned that adorable freckled face up at me.  He crinkled his eyes, nose and sweet mouth into a smile while saying, "Grandma, I like your garden.  It's cute."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Man Down

Today was the first full day for grandson and son play.  A slow start in the morning was pleasant.  I awoke to my husband standing in the room just looking out the window.  After being gone for almost 3 weeks, it was good to have him in my sights.  When asked why he was up so early he said to get breakfast started for the grandsons.

He headed out of the room while I remained in bed long enough to get the weather for the day.  Hot and humid is almost always the forecast this time of year.  And so it was predicted for today.  I knew how to dress so that was next on the agenda.  I needed to unpack but my heart was not in it as I knew I would be leaving in another week or so.

Dressed for the hot day I peeked down the hall to the kitchen  There was Gene and Middle grandson making blueberry pancakes.  They disappeared toward the table end of the kitchen.  They had a major game of Mario Memory in play.  After a few stolen shots of the two that call each other pickle, I let my presence be known.  Youngest grandson and Son came in from different directions.  Son was conducting business while Youngest was just awakening.

After breakfast we had settled into a day of not much of anything other than finishing a memory book for son and playing with grandsons.  The phone call from a realtor asking for a viewing at 1:30 changed our day.  Beds quickly made, suitcases stashed and we were out the door for errands and Incredible Pizza marathon.  The first stop was for Grandpa to drop off some mending as my sewing machine is buried so deeply I cannot get to it easily.

Due to an inconsiderate person in a truck blocking traffic in the parking lot, Gene just got out and walked across the parking lot to the store.  Finally Inconsiderate Person/Jerk moved so we could get to a parking place.  The parking slot was about 4 slots down the row directly in front of the store.  We waited for Grandpa and finally realized it was far too long.  Grandpa was lost.  My cell rang.  It was Gene asking where we were hiding.  He had been wandering up and down the parking isles looking for us.  Oops.  Almost had a man down.

Next we headed to Best Buy for all important electronic equipment.  For folks that at one time made a living selling home entertainment equipment, electronic stuff is essential.  Gene and I wandered off to the home theater section to further research a remote speaker for my hearing impaired mom.  My cell rang.  Son thought something had happened to us.  He was concerned one of us was down.  Nope, we are fine, just wandered off to where we told him we were going.  Do kids ever out grow ignoring what parents say?  Probably not as I caught myself only half listening to my mom last week.

Finally it was time for the Incredible Pizza experience.  This pizza place is actually a games facility with a buffet for the old folks and kids when they slow down long enough to eat.  But Son insisted that before games could commence, food must be selected and eaten.  Tables nearest the TV with the soccer international playoffs was selected by Son.  Food consumed, Middle and Youngest were chomping at the bits to get to the game area.  Middle needed a pit stop before the games so I showed him the way.  He returned the hall we had used and I chose a different route.

Yes, I chose the path less traveled.  Suddenly I was aware of dampness on my arms and legs.  I was so surprised to find myself on the recently mopped floor.  My body was splayed in numerous directions.  The floor became soiled from my shoe soles as I attempted to get up.  A nice gentleman that was sitting in the row next to my family rushed to my assistance.  A young lady was coming to my aid.  Both the kind folks kept looking in the direction of my family with puzzles looks.  "Why were they not rushing to my aid?" was the question on their faces.

Remember the soccer game on the TV?  Well, that is why my electronic minded family did not rush to my aid.  Their eyes and ears were Glued to the screens.  I finally with the use of a nearby bench was able to position myself to get up.  I know better than to let other people standing on the same wet floor try to pull me up from a prone position.  Well, I guess they could have used the areas which I have now dried with my butt and hips as I wallowed to a crawling position. But I really knew it would be just more slapstick comedy with additional men down.  I thanked the group of kind, concerned people that surrounded me by then.  After placing the 'wet floor' sign (that was leaning against a chair) in the middle of the wet area, cautiously I made my way back to the table.

Eventually I asked Gene if he knew I had fallen.  He looked like a deer in headlights.  Son and grandsons were playing games in a different area.  We wandered in the direction of the game rooms, carefully watch for unmarked wet spots.  A couple of hours later I told Son I had fallen, had strangers come to my assistance and watched as my family remained glued to the TV.  He was mortified when he finally realized the entire family had missed the fall and recovery.

I have learned this today.  There are many places on my body that do not like to hit a concrete floor.  My family loves me but strangers watch me fall.  I need to have my cell so I can call to declare, "Man Down" if I want my family's help.

Fire Fly Magic

After almost 3 weeks on Mamma hip watch I returned home in the company of Son, Middle and Youngest grandsons.  The boys could see Grandpa sitting on the front porch as we turned onto our street.  The car was barely stopped before the doors were opening and boys racing from Grandpa.  Hugs, kisses and high fives all around.  Even a request by Middle for a personal fishing trip was made within minutes.

It had been a peacefully, delightful 6 + hour trip from the Dallas area to our home in the Ozarks.  Of course there were the usual are we there yet and how much further questions.  No, still 10 Phineas and Ferbs to go.  There was even the occasional he touched me or he looked at me.  But it really was a no blood drawn kind of trip.  Obviously, road trips are the perfect application for videos and itouch entertainment.

We did discuss such things as the tornado in Moore as we passed near some of the damage.  Beetle colors and claim of ownership for spotting it were randomly shouted.  We searched for hawks, one of Grandpa's pass times when driving.  Son and I never figured out how Dad/husband could spot a hawk on a tree a quarter mile off the road and not ever lose control of the car or swerve into oncoming traffic.

As we drew nearer to Grandpa and my home the boys began saying things they remembered from their visit in 2010.  The pond and fish in my back yard had made impressions on both boys.  Youngest grandson remembered falling in the pond.  Most other facts were not accurate about our home.  It included facts from homes of other old people in their lives.  I found that mix up very amusing.  Middle grandson just knew we had a big two story house.  Nope, that was a great grandma from the mom's side.  Then it turned into almost a guessing game.

The building of memories for these boys is a driving force some days.  Before leaving the Dallas area the four of us visited my Mom in the hospital.  She was sitting in a wheelchair, fully clothed and smiling ear to ear when Middle and Youngest gave her hugs.  She was equally pleased to see Son, also called her Road Buddy.  They had made many summer trips each year when we would let Son spend 2 to 4 weeks with my parents and sisters in the Dallas area.

As we visited Son asked her to tell how she killed two diseased cats with one shot.  Mom obliged by recounting how my dad had shown her how to aim the double barrel shotgun.  Dad left for the fields telling mom to watch for the cats and shoot them if possible.  Never one to just sit and wait, Mom set out a saucer of fresh milk from one of the family cows.  Sure enough, the cats showed up for the milk.  Mom took aim and one shot took out both cats.  Tomorrow we will pull out the shotgun and show the boys the gun Great Granny Mary used to get the cats.

After a rousing game of Mario Brothers memory, bar-b-que ala Grandpa and baths, the daylight was almost a memory.  In that twilight time Son sent the boys out into my backyard garden in search of lightning bugs.  What joy for the us adults to watch the boys chase and catch the little bits of light.  Some folks call them fire flies.  But for Middle and Youngest they were magical.  And in those brief few minutes another simple childhood memory was made for another generation.

Monday, June 24, 2013


The duties of elder care are wearing.
I stood in the bedroom containing
the furniture of my teen years.
Drawers to be emptied once again.
First the drawers contained my youthful items.
Then empty for a while till my return before marriage.
Now filled with unfinished projects of my Mom's. 
Half finished dresses, Amish dolls and other dreams.
While the drawers are empty tonight I wonder,
Are they weary of the changes?
Will they sag under the weight of Mom's
last remaining possessions?
After the weeks of thinning out
my own cabinets, closets and drawers,
I am feeling weary.  Weary from making
decisions for the remaining treasures of living.
Be sure, I am not weary of the living.
Tomorrow brings grandsons Middle and Youngest
for a visit.  Together with their dad, my precious son,
we journey to Missouri.
 In Missouri these Texans will begin
to sort the treasures from their dad's
growing up years.  An attic full of
Star Wars, collections and trains.
So different drawers, different dressers,
New chests, boxes and trunks will begin a new life.
A life with those still full of hopes,
Ready to gather their treasures of life.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Happiness and Joy

Spin Cycle challenge is what makes one happy, happy, joy, joy.  Upon reading this the vision of a song from 'South Pacific' came to mind.  Oh, you know the one where Bloody Mary is trying to convince Cable to marry Liat.

As we sisters encourage our 94 year old mom to continue her therapy, there is lots of 'Happy Talk'.  Mom had hoped to return to independent living but the therapists have determined her to need assisted living.  Mom's dream is shattered.  I would love to be able to help her find a new dream.  She is resistant, stubborn.  Native Texan stubborn.

But, alas, I cannot dream Mom's dreams.  Nor can I come live with her as I still have dreams to live with my husband.  Dreams with grandsons, friends and family.  I dream that Mom can be able to walk without pain.  That she realizes her gift of life is  such a treasure no matter where she lives.

Tonight I felt joy at the sight of my husband as we skyped.  Joy at the sight of the fish in the beautiful, clean rebuilt pond and stream in my backyard.  Joy for my relationship with my sisters.  Joy that Mom made it through the surgery with flying colors.  Joy to see her walk and exercise with such determination,

And the joy of hearing Texan talk.  Stuff like the family at the corner of an adjacent street was 'kind of rough.'. Joy hearing long forgotten stories from my Mom's mouth.  Hearing a neighbor from my teen years respond to the question of her work in the cotton fields.  "Daddy said he did not want me to work picking cotton.  He said I would never pick enough to pay for the cotton sack".  I will say I am still smiling about that.  If you grew up around the cotton fields, you are probably smiling, too.

Now you go on over yonder a ways to Gretchen's Second Blooming and see what makes some other folks be happy, happy and feel joy, joy.

Second Blooming

Monday, June 17, 2013

Snakes, Mom and Other Random Things

While being in Texas to assist with my Mom's needs during her recovery, I am basically living with one of my sisters.  Sissy has a lovely home situated in a gorgeous neighborhood.  The area borders one of the Dallas area reservoirs.  Several of the properties back up to the corps of engineer undeveloped areas with thick underbrush and trees.  And snakes.  Not just any snakes.  Copperheads.

This morning I was awakened by house alarms and slamming doors.  My B I L later shared pictures of the 50 inch copperhead he killed on the patio.  This evening the next door neighbor killed their third copperhead in two weeks.  Yard workers had killed two in my sister's front yard about 10 days ago.  I am ready to move to a hotel very far from the lake.  I am not thrilled to think about being here by myself after Friday.  I will need to check the grass for snakes before letting Bosco go out for a run.

My Mom's progress continues to be fairly steady but hard for her.  Due to pain in her hip she had quit doing much of anything.  Her muscles we pretty badly diminished by the time of the surgery.  She is having to recover from the trauma of the surgery and rebuild 94 year old muscles at the same time.  She began choking on her food but a session with an occupational therapist has. resolved the situation.

To take a break from the hospital, rehab, how to get the house ready drudgery Sissy and I did some fabric shopping today.  The fabric is for new drapes for Sissy's formal and informal dining rooms.  Shopping with my sis rocks.  I have really missed these types of outings with her through the years.  Ready to live closer so we can still have more times like the two hours we spent touching fabrics, envisioning how to make the special hardware and just being together.

Gotta figure out how to get rid of snake threat then the times together will be even better.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Relaxing with Martha

The original rest blog was a couple of weeks ago.  The last 7 days have been stress filled with my mom having a hip replaced.  Mom is 94 and one tough cookie.  Since I am again too tired to think straight, here is a rehash of a previous post.

Dear Martha,
For years I have been accused/complimented about being like Martha Stewart.  I will assure you I was never a model .... anything.  I have been able to take a sow's ear and make it into something that looked, well, not like a sow's ear.  And the not a sow's ear was a good thing.

While some folks, who shall remain unnamed, have seen me as lazy others have seen me an overachiever. Statements upon seeing my back yard include beautiful, a jungle, over done, relaxing, too much, just perfect.  So far as we were concerned it was a good thing.  Till the moles moved in anyway.

Now, Martha, with all the TV shows telling us how our homes should look as we live in them and then as we sell them, I have been feeling like the shows were not a good thing.  We have been working pretty hard getting things "show ready".  We were both pretty worn down and that was not a good thing.  But, thank God, the rains came, friends had lunch together, we slept in and cousins came to visit.  For the last 36 hours we have relaxed more than in the last 63 days.  Martha, relaxation is a very good thing.

Restfully yours,

For more takes on rest, visit Gretchen's Second Blooming and this week's Spin Cycle.
Second Blooming

Friday, June 7, 2013

It Was The Best of Times ......

Best and worst is this week's Spin Cycle.  Today is a mixture of both as we four sisters, a beloved aunt, a first cousin and two BIL sit waiting for our Mother's hip surgery.  Mom is closer to her 95th birthday than her 94th.  So we sit laughing together over all the funny things from the past.  And in deep, silent prayers for a successful rehab for our Mother/sister/aunt/MIL.  A cloud of witnesses surround us today as they will over the next few days.

We just met with the surgeon following surgery and all went very good during the surgery.  That means we have the worst behind us, worry.  But Mom's "worst" may be the rehab. 

For us for the moment it is thumbs up!!!!

For more best and worst check out Second Blooming's other spinners!

Second Blooming

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Update on Home Sale Project

Well, most of the back yard no longer looks like a construction area over run with brush.  Still have a few things to go.  A couple will be optional, others are just things we are wanting to do.  I generally have not thought about pathways being unstable but now?  After watching a neighbor walk in an unsteady manner down one path concern has entered my mind.  I can just see a "looker" falling over loose stones and suing us.  Now I am wondering if I should put up caution tape before the open house on Sunday.

We still do not know for sure about the hip surgery.  Seems the heart test will be done sometime on Thursday, the day I am flying down to spend time with Mom.  If the surgery is a no go the time will be spent finding a permanent home for her.  I ask for prayers no matter the surgery or now.  Mom is depressed about her health, imagining all sorts of problems and being somewhat contrary.  This is how Mom usually reacts when she is scared or unable to cope.  And being 94 with little to look forward to except more pain she is feeling both scared and unable to cope.  So she shows anger.

Back to the home stuff.  The river is flowing, the new filtration material is in the tank and plants in the pond.  Tomorrow morning we will put the fish back into the pond.  One fish already made is in one of the plants.  I was in the pond putting the plants in place as Gene handed them to me.  A little black fish startled me as it flopped into the water.  I did not jump because a sudden movement would have put me into the water in a ungraceful butt flop move.

With pictures of the house taken on Monday, the Murney Realtor viewing on Tuesday morning, a private showing on Tuesday evening and one this morning we were feeling pushed to get a lot done in a short time frame.  No additional showings are scheduled till the open house on Sunday so this afternoon and evening has been pleasant.  A load of laundry, Birthday Card for Oldest grandson made, home bound envelopes printed, packiing done, suitcase weighed and measured leaves me in good shape for the trip.  Could use a few more hours to do a little more work in the yard.  We will see how that goes in the morning.

Though I will be packing a tablet I do not guarantee any blog posts until I return from Texas.  Got questions, call Gene is my best suggestion.  And if you look here you will see what the place looked like on Monday.  There have been changes in the yard since then.  Like a river, trimmed shrubs, fresh paint on the outbuilding and as ever, stones have moved.

Thanks for visiting today.  Will see you later.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Tank Is About Empty

With the "For Sale" signs officially in the front yard we are getting pretty tired.  Yesterday Gene did so much including painting the little out building.  The river was finished tonight.  Just waiting for 12 hours for the glue to be firmly set.  Then it is time to begin filling with water unless Mother Nature sends more rain.

Yesterday, not that was just this morning that the realtors from Murney did a walk through.  There was a showing at 7 tonight.  Another with a Remax realtor is scheduled for 11 tomorrow.  And the list still has 9 things on it.  None will be as demanding as hauling all the heavy rocks for the river.  Whew is what I have to say about all this.

Tomorrow will see more things knocked off the list.  Not sure all of it will be done before I leave on Thursday.  I must get as much done before I leave as Gene should not have to do it all.  And the pressure is on now with an open house planned for Sunday.  I can assure you that my tank as well as Gene's tank are running on empty and there are still 9 things to get done for the best showing.  Maybe I will just pack dirty clothing to take with to Texas.