William drives the dumptruck

Just a few shots of the kids when they were here last week.

Hey Elizabeth… look out the window!  There are cows out there.

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Thanks for moving out of my way……

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Because I LIKE to drive this dumptruck!

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These are my grandkids, Elizabeth and William.  William broke his leg a week ago, while visiting a museum in Pittsburgh.   That put a few kinks in their overall vacation plans, but all survived.

While here, William had only had the cast a few days and was still figuring out how to maneuver.  He will be 2 at the end of August.  Elizabeth is 5.

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Milk for my babies

My son, daughter in law and 2 grandchildren came to visit this week.  For several days ahead, I had asked them what kind of milk to get for the kids.  (they drink some kind of special soy milk due to dairy allergies)  They repeatedly said don’t worry about it,  they won’t need it.  I was so bugged by that, and couldn’t figure out why.

I was completely unsettled about milk for those babies.  I finally went to get their milk the night before they got here.  It may have been the wrong kind, but damn it, I was getting milk for my babies.

On the way home from the store, it struck me…..

When my son was 2, his Dad and I separated.  I lived alone in a very small, cheap, roach infested apartment.  Neil and his Dad lived in our house.

I had NO money.  The very little money I had, went to college tuition.  I worked part time at the college snack bar flipping burgers and pouring pitchers of beer for the rich kids from Anapolis and Baltimore.  It was a smelly job (I dont like beer, or the smell of it) since I often had to mop up the beer that drunk students dumped on the floor.  The pay also stunk.

My apartment was dismal.  It had so many roaches that my kitten played with them all day.  He would bat them across the room, then chase after them.

If I turned on a burner on the stove, there was an exodus of roaches.  I never turned the oven on.  ever.  never ever.  I don’t know if I ever even opened it.  I was afraid to.  The fridge was no better.  The gasket was broken, so it really only kept food cool, not cold.  And the roaches could get in it too.  The only food I ever bought while living there was a 6 pack of Pepsi (cans) and a package of Chips Ahoy every week. The cookie package could reseal by rolling the end up and folding the tabbed ends.  The roaches couldn’t get in it.  It was all I could afford.  I was merely in survival mode.

So, when I would get Neil for the weekend, it was a problem.  I loved having him… but I never quite knew how I would feed him.  I didn’t have enough money to buy additional food, nor could I leave food in the fridge.  Each time I picked him up, I hoped that Gary would throw some snacks in his bag.  Sometimes he did, sometimes not.  When he did, I was really grateful.  I was too proud/stubborn/stupid to ask him for more help than he had already willingly given me.  For sure, he would not have denied his son.

So…. I had no milk for my baby.  I would cry myself to sleep when I could not scrounge enough money to buy milk on those weekends.  Maybe it was only a few times, but each time it happened, it about killed me.  It didn’t take long to discover that if I took Neil with me to the college snackbar, my coworkers would feed him.  They weren’t supposed to, nor did I ask, but they did it.  Neil would say something like ” fwench fwies Mama??”  and they would make him some fries.  Or give him something else to eat that he would point out.

And that stinky floor mopping job?  I realized that if I watched carefully,  I would often find money on the beer covered floor when I mopped… and that money bought milk for my baby.

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………. so…. that is why it was so darn important that I have milk for my grandbabies this week.

Mail

I had a great mail day yesterday.

I won a cone of thread from Shawn Bailey at Thread Tails on a blog giveaway.

It is King Tut…. and I may use it on my One Block Wonder quilt I am working on.  I never considered green for that quilt, but it works!  I love how well this thread runs on our Gammills.  Thanks so much Shawn!

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I also got great mail from my 4 (almost 5) year old granddaughter, Elizabeth.  She sent me a wonderful card.  I didnt take pictures of the envelope or the outside of the card, but here is the inside:

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In case you need a little help… it says:

Elizabeth

!ouY knahT

Grandma Gayle

her Mom wrote out Thank You Grandma Gayle for her…… she already knows how to write her own name.  Actually, she has written my name different times too, but didnt remember how to spell it.  So she was copying the words thank you.

She was thanking me for the Valentine’s Day cards I sent to her and her little brother.  (William is year and half)  So….. I asked Elizabeth what she did with the money I sent.  (3 dollar bills in each card…. yeah, I’m cheap.  They have everything under the sun already)

E    I put it in my bank.

G    What did William do with his?

E    Put it in my bank.  (giggling)

G    You mean he put it in HIS bank?

E     No, I MEAN….. I told him to put it in MY bank!  (now laughing)

uh huh.  She has the world wrapped.

Gingerbread house

Elizabeth entered a Gingerbread House contest at the library.  It is SO beautiful that she won a prize!  She told me she won a book about Christmas.

She used up the rest of her Halloween candy decorating it.  I think she did an excellent job, dont you?  Elizabeth is 4.  I think her Mom helped with the building, but Elizabeth did the decorating.

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Yvonne made one too.  She also won a prize.  I havent seen a picture of her house yet.  What’s up with that Yvonne?

Note to Elizabeth

Yvonne left this comment on the previous post, about Steve getting the snowplow truck out of the ditch:

Elizabeth just looked at your pictures. She thought the snow looked like a lot of fun. She said she wants to come and make snow men and snow angels, and snow balls. She also wanted to know why that truck came to your house. And her last question was “Were the cows cold?”

Elizabeth,

I would love it if you came to visit Grandma Gayle and Steve to play in the snow.  You would need to bring all your winter clothes because it is colder here than at your house.  I hope you bring William too.  Oh!  and Mom and Dad!

The truck was at our house because as he was trying to plow the snow off of our road.  It snowed SO hard, he couldnt see.  That is called a whiteout.  He tried to stop because he couldnt see the road in front of him and didnt know where the road was.  And he drove off the road, into the ditch and field.  That was why Steve had to use the powerful tractor to pull his truck out of the field and ditch to get the truck back on the road.

The truck has a big plow on the front of it, and then it has a salt and cinder mixture in the back to help melt the snow after he plows.  He had already plowed our road earlier in the day, but had come back to do it again.

In this picture, you can see he is raising the dump bed of the truck to put some salt on the road.  And his plow is still up off the ground, but he will lower it when he is ready to drive away.  It works kind of like a giant snow shovel.

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And Elizabeth?  No, the cows arent cold.  They have very heavy skin and hair.  It is like a warm winter coat all over their bodies.  When it is super cold, or windy or snowing alot, they go in the shed and lay down.  All of them crowd in and stay warmer by huddling together.  When they stay outside, they sleep in the snow and dont mind it a bit.  They get plenty of water to drink, hay to eat, and get fed grain twice a day.  Do you want to come help feed them?

Just in case anyone else has read this far….. here is a picture of my beautiful granddaughter …. my little princess Elizabeth.

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And this is William:

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I think I need some new photos of my grandchildren.  HINT HINT


Oh Happy Day!

OMG children are such a blessing. My son and his family were here for much of the day. It rained all day, so we didnt go to the animal park as planned. We just sat and visited, and I spent some time showing Yvonne how to do some basic things on her new sewing machine. She was pretty excited that it has needle up/down, doesnt need a foot pedal for regular sewing, automatically threads itself and has a thread cutter. Elizabeth was intrigued when it stitched Mickey Mouse’s ears out in embroidery. I think they should have fun with it.

William has grown and changed so much. He is a happy boy, but oh boy does he love his sister. His world lights up when she is in the room with him. Elizabeth will be staying with her maternal grandparents for a week, and I think William will miss her a ton…probably more than she will miss him.

Steve is a saint with kids. Did you know that? He is way better than I am when it comes to entertaining kids or spending lots of time with them. So Elizabeth ADORES him. She was all over him, all day. Up and down on his chair, move over that way, ok, now mover over this way, ok, lets play with this magnifier, oh, you need a pretend bandaid on that owie, here, lets share this pillow, no, lets put the pillow over your face so you hide from me.. …… on and on and on it went. He took a nap right after they left. He was exhausted!

Elizabeth took the next 3 pictures of Steve and our “bathroom door “, her Daddy and the “holiday lights” (we turn them on every time they come) and her Mom and brother. (note she didnt want one of me or herself!)

I got Neil to take a couple too:

THIS is the kind of day worth remembering!

Catching up

My friends Sally and Paul just left.  They had to come over to see if I had been taken over by The Blob.  No, but I have felt like a blob!

I think the last couple weeks caught up with me.  I was too overwhelmed for a couple of days to do much of anything.  But several days of naps and a little retail therapy got me back into a more normal (for me) state.

So…… the addition is coming along well.  Drywall done.

Painter starts Monday.  Heat/AC should be set Mon as well.  My bathroom should be ready for us to have real showers Monday.  The drywall should be done in the bath too.  Really all that is left to do is paint, floor, lights, and trim after Monday.  And all the painting outside.  And finishing the rest of the bathroom ourselves.  And the living room wall.  And and and and and….. you know how it goes.

They started this job 7 weeks ago.  Can you believe how fast it has gotten done?  I cant.  The contractor said today how slow this job has been.  He is normally in and out of a job in 4 wks or less.  But this job has had some major differences.  The biggest difference for him is having so much of his Amish crew off because of Benny getting hurt in the accident.  He is home now, doing better.  We are so thankful for that.  He still has alot of recovery time ahead of him, but the docs thing he will be ok.

The part for my machine came today, so Steve got it on and fixed for me.  He is my miracle worker mechanic jack of all trades.  Think I better keep him around another week or 2.

Steve started haying this week.  He cut some Tues, raked Wed, (it got rained on a little Wed) raked and baled some yesterday.  Then it rained.  Alot.  He was not happy about that.  But, we didnt get flooded like Iowa either.

My babies will be home for a day next week.  I can hardly wait.  I dont get to see Neil and Yvonne and the kids more than twice a year usually.  It is always such fun to spend some time with them, regardless of how little or much time it is.  We hope we have good weather so we can visit Deer Park.  Elizabeth loved it last year, and would like to go back.   I think William should do well there too.  Lots of shade, lots to look at, and  he is happy in his stroller.

I am also looking forward to giving Yvonne her sewing/embroidery machine.  It is not a surprise, but it will be fun to share with her something I love so much.  She sounds excited about it too.

Oh!  that retail therapy??  Thank goodness for online shopping huh?

These are mostly Michael Miller.  Im not into licking fabric like some of you are, but I wouldnt pass up rolling around in some of this.  Most of the fat quarters are Fairy Frost.

And these next ones…. I have coveted this fabric for too long.  When I found it on sale, I had to do it.  I am still looking for the same kind of fabric (same fruit ladies) that are in squares, on point.  If you see any, let me know.  Only place I have seen it online is wholesale, by the bolt.  I dont want a bolt, only 2 yards.

Arent they hysterical??

So which kind of fruit butt are you??

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