Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bye Bye Winter . . . . Sort of

Have I mentioned that we live by a lake? I can see it from my kitchen window. It is a cute little lake, very quiet, very pretty.

Pretty Lake (no really, that's the name)

My Dad told the kids that this winter they could walk on water out on that like. In other words, it was going to freeze and they could walk across it. They waited and waited for that opportunity.

Then, our world turned cold. Very cold. And the lake finally froze over. But looks can be deceiving and even though the lake was frozen they had to wait for it to get thick enough. Boys will be boys so they were banned from the lake until Hubby and I gave the ok for them to go out on it. Fishing shanty's started showing up so they were allowed to go out. New adventures in this new land of ours. They have even learned to ice skate.

Winter has been lots of fun. But we have had "warm" days for the past week. The snow has melted. A LOT! And even though we are all ready for spring to be here, it is a little sad to say goodbye to winter.

Today the boys decided to play outside. Their auntie then informed me about 20 minutes later that they had grabbed ice skates as they ran out the door. Being the mother that I am I started to panic that maybe they went out on the ice. And being as warm as it has been maybe it wasn't safe. So I was putting my boots on to go get them and glanced up and out the window. This is what I saw:

I guess they are going to get the ice where ever they can find it. Not a very big patch but less worry for me than if they were out on that lake. We still have a little bit of winter left, and we are slowly saying goodbye. We will miss you winter, but we will see you next year.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thrifty, Thrifty, Thrifty

One of the biggest things I miss about Tucson is the abundance of Second Hand, Thrift, or Resale shops depending on what you like to call them. There was practically one on every street corner and I think I shopped in almost every single one.

With three kids and a small budget, second hand shops were a must. Well, a must in my mind. But I have always been a second hand shopper. I love getting a good deal. An added bonus was because I wasn't buying brand new, everyone walking past me was not wearing the same clothing.

Today hubby and I had to head into Grand Rapids, which is the closest major city to us. My little sis was finally headed home and we had to pick her up from the airport. Close to the airport is a HUGE Salvation Army. Great selection of items, and of course the ever loved half off tag sale. I scored these items for my daughter. All for two bucks each!

The Limited

Pretty awesome day. Also nabbed up a pair of ice skates for the youngest for $5.00. Oh and on Saturday evenings they have an even better sale. Instead of the selected color tag of the day being 50% off, from 5PM to close the selected color tag of the day is only $0.49!!! Definitely going to have to plan a Saturday evening trip back to Grand Rapids.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tears, Memories, and an Awesome Tree

Today was all around a good day. Kids made it out the door for school with no complaints. Then hubby and I checked out some homes for sale. Very nice properties with lots of potential. Then we headed to my aunt's house to continue projects. Hubby is remodeling their bathroom and I was starting my photographing and logging all my Grandma's treasures.

Grandma is looking worlds better today. She hasn't been eating well for awhile now and the nurse came yesterday and layed out a strict eating, drinking, and medication schedule. She feels better, talked better, and looked 100 times better than she did just a few days ago.

Today she had visitors. Friends coming by to check on her and see how she was doing. It is so hard for her. Her "old brain" as she calls it is not working like she wants it to. She was telling her friend how nice it is to have family taking care of her now. She started to cry. I hate when people cry. I always have to join in no matter how hard I try not to. So we shared some tears, a hug and a kiss. Love her!

After her company left we started the task of opening treasure boxes. Oh how much fun that was. We only made it through one box today. Grandma tires easily and even though she is just sitting, I think it is mentally as well as physically exhausting for her.

Found some very intersting things in that little box. An old collapsable alluminum cup that was a "prize" in an oatmeal box from long ago, a tool that belonged to her mother that was used to darn socks, an old can opener that she and her siblings used when they were young, and her mother's wooden spoon. I can't wait to see what we find tomorrow.

I had to take a break during the day to come meet my youngest little munchkin as he got off the bus. On the way I captured this beautiful, lonely, little tree.

How awesome is that tree? I have been trying to find the perfect one to do a four seasons series with. I think I found him!

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Mission

So now that I am in Michigan and very close to my Grandmother I am trying to spend as much time with her as possible. She will be 92 years old this August. Her health has been deteriorating and she is so small and frail now. I am very sad to see her his way. She has always been so strong and independant.

My grandmother is a keeper of many things. Not a hoarder, but a keeper of life's momentos. Little things that you can pull out and feel the love contained in them. Feel the history behind each little item. Over the years she has given me some little things. I treasure them more than one would treasure a gold nugget. One of those things was a trunk that belonged to my Great Grandmother. It is an awesome thing. Not one that was kept in pristine condition but one that was used and loved. This is where I keep all those treasures she gives me and treasures I have added myself over the years.

I was visiting Grandma a couple of weeks ago. It is very snowy and icy here so she does not get out very much. She has been wanting a trunk to put some of her things in so my cousin took her shopping and she finally settled on one. So she was showing me how she fit some items in and then showed me boxes of stuff that did not fit. Then she opened said boxes to show me what was inside.

This is where I discovered my new mission. Inside those little boxes are the most wonderful treasures of all. These are not treasures you could necessarily take to "Antiques Road Show" and walk away knowing you hold a million dollar item in your hand. These were treasures that I love especially. She pulled out a short wooden spoon that was so well used it was smooth and almost black. She looks sentimentally at it and says my mother used this spoon almost every day to cook our meals. She pulls out a couple of other items describes who they are from, what they were for, and then gently places them back in her box. Finally she says I probably should just throw these things away. "I am the only one that knows what they are, no one else is probably interested." I had a faint heart attack followed by a panic attack. I am glad I was there. I quickly assured her that if no one else, I especially am interested and she had better never, ever, throw her things away.

So, starting next Monday, I will be spending every Monday and every other spare moment I have sitting with her with my camera and a notepad, documenting every little piece of my history. I can't imagine the things I will see and hear. I am also contemplating taking along a recorder of some sort because she always throws in a little bit of her life story. I don't want to forget a single word!