Sunday, November 17, 2013

Outdoor Concert

We asked John to play outside so that we could visit in the living room.
He enjoyed himself out there and so did his young audience who pulled up their own chairs to listen!
Unfortunately, Larry was out in the woods hunting on this perfectly still late afternoon.
He heard the trombone playing the whole time which he claimed sounded like an elephant bellowing.
No deer were seen but the concert was fine!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Computer Pro at Work

Jeff spent the night with us while in town studying for a computer certification. At 10 pm, he decided to completely rearrange our computer set-up. He disconnected all of the myriad gear and wires while Tori and I took down hundreds of books from two book cases and moved them out of the way. 
By 2 am , we had a completely upgraded computer center with everything dusted and the wiring simplified.
He also found six or seven viruses on our computers and removed them. He gave us and connected up a new type of router called a "meraki". That tool showed him that we have been loosing our internet signal a couple of times a day. We had noticed that but thought it was us. 
The next morning he continued this project and called our Internet provider to get the best deal possible. We have been overpaying for a long time. He arranged for a service call as well.

We are all enjoying this huge upgrade. We have better virus protection and he will manage to get the updates that we have been neglecting from his home, hours away. I stayed up until 2 am watching him work and was amazed by how much  he knows about maintaining a computer network. I kept worrying that this project was keeping him from studying for the very important tests he had to take the next day. Thankfully both he and his partner (and cousin), Brian, passed both tests easily and were certified.

Four Corners

In the month of November, Catholics pray for the Departed Souls and so we arranged a field trip to a local cemetery.
We walked around the perimeter of this especially scenic cemetery that has original grave sites from the 1760's.  Mount Hebron Cemetery opened to the public in the 1840's and has been in continuous use since then. The trees are spectacular and the monuments, beautiful. We purchased a map of the grounds to aid us in finding the graves of notable people. It outlined the many sections dedicated to the southern states in the Civil War.
We prayed in each of the four corners, symbolic of encompassing the whole place, for the dead, especially for those who don't have anyone to pray for them.
In addition to many soldiers including those who are unknown, this graveyard is the final resting place of many famous people including Daniel Morgan, Turner Ashby, Richard Byrd, and ...
Judge Handley. This gentleman never lived in this town but generously bequeathed a fortune to build an impressive high school and the public library that both bear his name.
As a group, we visited the grave of  my mother-in-law and prayed for her soul as well.
I was not able to photograph the wonderful ruins of the Lutheran church located here where we had a picnic of donuts and hot chocolate. We tried to emphasize with the kids the naturalness of life moving into death. This cemetery is peaceful, dignified and tranquil. There is nothing creepy about it.
It was a privilege to  participate in  a Spiritual Work of Mercy, praying for the dead on a lovely November afternoon.

Pretty Baby

We were honored to have Kat and her little fellow come to visit us for tea and cookies. We all loved meeting the newest member of our large extended family.
Meg and the kids were here and we had a wonderful time discussing the details of  the baby's birth story and his daily routine. It is such a special thing to witness a young woman's transformation into motherhood.
Everything about him was enthralling. He is very cute and his skin so beautiful!
I can't believe that I am now in the position of Great Aunt instead of the young mother which was almost thirty years ago; but that is the circle of life and I am thrilled to be a part of it!

Monster Buck

Greg harvested a large 8 pointer and he could tell it was an old deer. He called Larry to tell him and in no time we were on our way to see his trophy buck.

It was almost Handsome's bedtime, so we kept our visit short. It was so sweet to see each other mid-week!
Visiting in the garage, we admired Santa's workshop. A stepstool is ready to be painted.
Greg has also built these little thrones that Hank finds to be just his size!
The little guy is here measuring the spread of the antlers on his Daddy's catch. They were wide indeed.

Pumpkin Eater

We put this fresh uncut pumpkin by the doorway as a fall decoration. Each morning we are seeing a little more eaten up by an unknown animal. I thought it might be a squirrel but am starting to deduce that it is probably a nocturnal animal. It is fun to think about what a find this must be for an animal not used to such a delicacy in the wild.

Olden Days

Juby dressed up one morning in this Colonial dress that we made for Natalie when she was younger.
She volunteered to bring in some firewood as part of her game.

Bon Fire Party, Turn Up!

Sam had a Halloween Party to which he invited his cousins, friends from church, and the Band.
We cleaned out the big garage, borrowed a lot of decorations, made food and started the Bon Fire.
 About 50 teens  attended and seemed to have a great time.
A little bit of Live Music was played but the party really took off when his cousin Matthew arrived.
Matthew's truck is a mobile party machine. The flashing LED lights underneath it were a huge hit and so was the sound system.
He backed it into the garage, turned off the engine ( very smart!!!) and pulled his speakers out, putting them into the bed.

 He played a great selection of music and the kids danced!
They did large group dances and had a ball.
Every bite of chili was eaten and I made it with six pounds of hamburger! They ate everything we served and even enjoyed the apples. Next year, we will make more food.
The kids stayed until 11:30 and played "Manhunt" in the yard, a version of Hide and Go seek. The temperature outside had just a slight chill so the bonfire was nice to sit around. Larry and I were impressed that so many of the teens said" Goodbye and ThankYou" to he and I. It was fun to prepare for this party and very rewarding to see that everyone enjoyed themselves so much.

Sunday Night Football

We were invited to watch the evening game at Greg and Cindi's  house.
We were joined by Meg and Jon and another young couple with their twin daughters.
It's always more fun to watch the game with a group and the refreshments were a real treat!
The many children were no trouble. They played well in the playroom which connects to the family room where we were hanging out downstairs.

I couldn't tell you who won the game, but we all had a blast!

Trick or Treat

We Trick or Treated with our good friends in their neighborhood as is our custom. I was pleased that the boys had no compunction about being "too old". They suited up and showed up for a great evening of walking around in the dark with friends getting a large amount of free candy!
Kit was Joan of Arc and Juby was the Black Widow.

Three adults went with this group and we had a wonderful time enjoying the night air and the great decorations.
One special house had an outdoor "Halloween Party" going on complete with many games for the kids to play. They had to "fish" for their treat.
They had three games of corn hole set up.
and Candy "Pong".
Many folks stopped here to play the games for at least twenty minutes or more. The crowd contributed to the party atmosphere. It turned out that a church group was sponsoring this and they had some scripture verses they passed out with the candy. They also served fresh popcorn and your choice of either hot or cold apple cider. Since we could see the many adults working at the party we felt very safe eating their outdoor refreshments. I had never seen anything like this while Trick or Treating before.
Check this out! A full sized witch is projected onto the side of this house from the metal piece below it.
This was a great place to be because so many folks went to the trouble to put on a special time for the kids.
Before we left this wonderful neighborhood, we stopped by to see Tom and Holly.
They were very welcoming and generous with their candy!

I am actually eating some Halloween candy as I type this. Someone left their almost empty pillow case candy bag in front of the computer!

Handsome's Blanket and Pillow

This busy grandma finished her sixth afghan, this one for my grandson, Handsome.
Although his room is baby blue, Cindi  liked the idea of adding some green in his blanket.
I am told that he likes it!
This little guy also was given a pillow because of a crochet  mistake I  made along the way. When I began his blanket, I decided to change my hook size a few inches into it. That created a "bow" that could not be repaired. A friend suggested that I stop right there and turn my project into a scarf. I restarted a new afghan from the beginning for Hank.
Instead of a scarf that would be too thick for anyone to actually wear, I realized that this piece would make a great matching pillow!

 I bought matching fabric and poly-fill..
I sewed the pillow insert and crocheted a pocket into the case.
An old hand-me-down skirt had five nice brown buttons on it that were used to close the case up. The inner pillow can now be removed and both pieces laundered.
The buttons were able to go through the crochet and I didn't have to make any special button holes.
A week after Handsome got his afghan, he received a matching pillow. I hope they hold up for many years.