Friday, October 27, 2006


Yesterday, was my mother's birthday. She would have been 92 years old. It is hard to believe that she has been gone for nearly 3 years. The following poem was one of her favorites. She quoted it every October - especially the first stanza, but she knew it all by heart.

October's Bright Blue Weather

by Helen Hunt Jackson

O sun and skies and clouds of June
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;

When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When gentians roll their fringes tight,
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks
In idle, golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunt
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers hour by hour
October's bright blue weather.

O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hard workers...

This was at the end of our work session. They really did work hard!

Charlie feeding chickens

DC with IC cone

This was taken in the restaurant in Grove City. He is such a dear little fellow!

Catching Up...

It has been over a week since my last post, so there really is some catching up to do. Early last week I went up to the Outlets with the little Blairs. The kids got shoes and I got a pair of boots. We also went to Hoss's for dinner. I was pleasantly surprised when a lady at a nearby table turned around and said that she would never have suspected that there was a table of little ones behind her- they were so well behaved!
On Wednesday I stopped to see Charlie who was busy feeding the chickens. Charlie is always busy with something. He is a very hard working person! Right now in additon to all his own work he is also cleaning up the White's house. I think he is really enjoying it.
Today I helped the Blair kids get started on a program of responsibility and self reliance. They did very well and seem pretty enthusiastic. We got some work done and they have their responsibilities for the week. I will be checking up on them in a day or two.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Linda is working on her master's degree in business.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The dump truck

This is a 10 ton truck.

A boy and his dirt.

That is Daniel peeking over the mound of dirt.

Two boys and a dozer.

Those Blair boys have the best toys!

Look who is driving!

David taking Joyce for a spin in the Dozer.

View of landfill

This shows the area to be filled in. The boys rolled the old tires down the hill to be part of the land fill.

The driveway

This shows how much wider the driveway has become.

The dozer


Today was cold and blustery, but what a lot of fun I had! I went over to Paul and Amy's to see what was going on and to take some pictures. They are putting landfill in beside their driveway to extend the usefulness of the property. Paul needs to have room to park his big truck and to be able to turn it around, so he has been hauling dirt after work and on weekends. Today alone he hauled a total of 300 tons of dirt in 30 loads! When I drove in I saw big piles of dirt to the left of the driveway and the kids having a ball playing in it. He has a dozer to push the dirt to where it needs to go. I can't possibly include all the pictures I took today, but I will add a few. The driveway is at least twice as wide as it was at the upper end. It was very easy to turn the car around with only one back up.
Later, I went to dinner with Linda. Now that was a treat! She is such a sweet thoughtful person!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

2 great cards

The card on the left was made by Betty. Betty is now selling rubber stamps and supplies for Stampin Up. The card on the right is the birthday card that Joyce made for her teacher.

J makes card for Mrs. Weaver

She did a great job with the birthday card!

P3 draws car


4 cute kids

P3 held everyone's attention drawing pictures of birds, fish and so on.

Thursday - brrr

Winter has arrived! What a cold blustery day! It was warm and cosy inside though and that is where I stayed. I had great company - the little Blairs were here this afternoon providing laughter and fun.
Paul is becoming a very good artist! He entertained his siblings today with his drawing and helped Daniel by drawing a Dukes car for him to color.
Joyce stayed longer today to make a birthday card for her 4-H teacher, Mrs. Weaver. David worked the Madeline puzzle 2 or 3 times. He is getting so good at it!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The "housie"

"Housie" is what David calls the tent made from the quilt draped over chairs.

Daniel crafting...

I think he is making a puppet.

The marbles

The egg

The teapot

Yesterday was the most beautiful weather! The sky was blue and the temperature in the 70's. I picked Joyce up at the church in the afternoon. She had been to the glass blowing place with Pioneer Girls. This time she was able to buy some souveniers. She carefully unwrapped her treasures to show me. There was a little glass egg, a tiny teapot and several packs of marbles which she bought to share with her brothers - she even got one for her expected baby sister!
We drove down to Schramm's market for some apples and then on to her Grandma's to meet her mother. I, of course, went on to the chiropractor.
Today was the ladies Bible study. It was a short study and prayer time, because they had a missionary speaker as well as the video. There was also a soup and salad lunch which I did not stay for.
The little ones were here this afternoon. It is a rainy day, so we all stayed inside. I cut up apples for everyone while they busied themselves with crafts and puzzles. David got some computer time in and of course we all had popsicles.
Aunt MJ called to say that she made it through her surgery and all went well.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Joyce by flowering cherry

This cherry tree was covered with beautiful blossoms in the spring - now it is full of tiny cherries.

The strawberry plant

Joyce planting a strawberry

I don't have any gardening tools, so Joyce made do with an ice cream scoop to dig a little hole for the berry plant.

Yesterday and today

Today is a beautiful and perfect day! The ski is blue The temp about 70 degrees. I would love to be outside right now, but I am enjoying the day from my bedroom window. Perhaps this evening I will be able to be out for a little bit.
Yesterday, I was not able to make another post, but I did have an eventful time! Joyce and I decided to take a stroll. We had not gone far when we met Julie who lives at the other end of my building. She pointed out her strawberries, which were going wild and urged us to dig up a plant to put in my front garden. We did so and returned immediately to get it planted. I hope it does well!
With the job completed we continued our stroll. Joyce found a wooly worm and we noticed that it was mostly brown with just a tip of black on either end. Wooly worms are known to be forecasters of winter, but I have no idea how to read their colors.
We noticed the leaves turning, but there are still many very nice flowers around.
When we got back I had a go at french braiding Joyce's long thick blonde hair. It came out reasonably well. She looked so cute! Unfortunately I never got a picture. Amy called to say that they were ready to come and get both of us and that we were going out to eat! We went to the Texas Roadhouse. Little David had a high chair at the end of our booth, but he was not happy there. I think he just felt insecure. He persuaded his Dad to get him out and then he crawled under the table to his mother where he seemed much more at ease and happy.
The food at the Roadhouse was fantastic! I had a sweetpotato that would have been enough by itself to make a couple of meals. I had a big salad and chicken with portabello muchrooms and cheese. I brought about half of the meal home. The cinnemon butter for the rolls was very yummy too. What a great ending to a great day!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

3 Boys and a Tower

As Daniel and P3 cast wary eyes toward an approaching intruder, David thinks to himself, "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll BLOW the TOWER DOWN!

Joyce making a card....

Joyce is making a birthday card for her Grampa Dietrich. This picture is from last Thursday.

The Madeline puzzle...

This is David's favorite puzzle. He always finds it and brings it to me to help him do it. I try to find 2 pieces that go together and give them to him and let him figure out how they fit together. Once he has the first little girl started he will say, "feet," or "hands" to indicate the piece he wants next. Pretty good for a 2 year old. It is a 35 piece puzzle. It amazes me that he has the patience to stick with it until it is finished. This picture is from this past Thursday.

Joyce doing math....

She certainly is agile!

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Joyce stayed over last night. It was fun to do some girl things. We made a list of teaparty themes we might like to try some day and watched 2 episodes of "Avonlea." That was such a great series! Joyce said that she had had her dinner before coming, but I hadn't so I put a pan of potstickers in the oven for my dinner. I hadn't ever tried them, but they were pretty good! Joyce, who sampled them with me, thought we could serve them at a tea party some time.
This morning we were up bright and early to do the laundry. Joyce is such a help - especially with getting things out of the dryer! She is also very good at sorting and folding. I think her mother could probably put her talents to use - especially when that new baby sister arrives!
Joyce is doing school work right now. Being homeschooled has many advantages, one of them is not having to stick to a strict M-F, 9amto 3pm time schedule. Joyce wants to go on a field trip on Monday, so she is getting her Monday school work finished up today.
I love having her here for whatever reason. She is good company!
We had pancakes for breakfast and Amy dropped off 2 doughnuts for us. I actually had a bite of one! I had leftover pancakes for my lunch and Joyce had a chicken potpie that she spied in the freezer. Before she has to go home again I am sure that we will have another round of popsicles.
It is a beautiful day! The sun is shining and the sky is blue. We plan to go for a walk once Joyce finishes her school work.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The garden's last blooms

Old sunflower

Sunflowers in full bloom are spectacular. But this is October and this sunflower is old. It makes me think of an old person with a dowager's hump. Its broad leaves are the shawl guarding against cold drafts.

Drying corn...

This is of course Charlie's sweet corn. I saw the neighboring farmers out collecting their field corn to make into silage. Dried cornstalks look like fall to me. Interesting that many folks use bunches of them to decorate their front doors, lamp posts, mailboxes or whatever.

The garden

Other than the marigolds and cosmos the garden looks pretty well finished.


The pepper plant is very attractive. I think its foliage and bright fruit would make a nice houseplant.

Pumpkin and marigolds...

The marigolds don't look that great, but I love their spicy scent.

Butternut and acorn squash...

I cut one of the butternut squash in half and baked it for my supper. I only ate one of the halves as it was very filling served with cottage cheese. YUMMY!!!

Wednesday October 4, 2006

It is wonderful to be alive, to have things to do, things to look forward to! Today, I made it down to the chiropractor - something I always look forward to. I feel so good after my adjustments.
Today I visited with Charlie and walked around the garden- something I always look forward to, but thought I would not get to do today. The weather reports were for severe thundershowers with wind gusts up to 50mph - which did not happen. I found the cutest little pumpkin, which I brought home with me and Charlie and I picked bags of acorn squash and butternut squash. We found one zucchini that was not torpedo sized. The dill is flourishing also. I picked a bouquet of it and put it in an old blue canning jar to dry. It fills the front of my little cottage with its delicious fragrance.
Summer is definetly over and we are into fall. The leaves are turning and much of the garden has finished producing. It is amazing what can be found there though, if you look carefully. The peppers are turning a brilliant red. The pumpkin's bright orange almost seems to glow against the dry brown cornstalks. The flowers are having their last hurrah. The first heavy frost and they will be gone. We spotted 2 little bright green tomatoes among the cornstalks- not where they belong, but a pleasant surprize.
Earlier today I visited one of my neighbors, Julie. She is certainly a "crafty" sort. Her home is full of the most interesting crafts. I wonder if I can get her to show me how to do some of her projects?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

P3 making a Christmas card

David plays solitaire

This is actually from last week.

Tuesday October 3, 2006

This morning was the women's Bible study. I was barely there on time. I couldn't seem to get in gear this morning. Oh well, a number of people were later than me. I enjoy the study very much. I met a woman who told me that she has fibromyalgia and has been going to the Butler Hostpital discussion group.
The Bible study is not very in depth, but that is ok. I love the prayer time- and the discussion was helpful.
The kids were here this afternoon. David slept nearly the whole time waking just before his mother came.
P3 wanted to make a Christmas card for his mother. It is a little early for that. Maybe he wants to be sure she remembers that Christmas is coming! Joyce made a birthday card. Daniel worked on a card for a little while then he got the blocks out and worked on building. The kids had popsicles and we started working a big 300 piece puzzle together. We made a good start, but that was all. After they left I spent the rest of the day off and on trying to do it. I finally finished. At least now I know that all the pieces are there.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Today was an unbelievably great day! We made it to church where we heard an excellent sermon preached by Doug. I had gotten the Psalms from the bulletin on the internet, so we tried them out on the way down. The first one was tricky. We did not really know it, so when we got to church, I think P2 was very relieved to find that DJ was leading.

After church we went down to the Heinz Museum and wandered through the exhibits. It was a "Radical" day which means it was free. We had a great time! My big regret was that I forgot my camera. I missed so many opportunities for great pictures.
Amy, J and I walked through the First Lady exhibit. It was fun to see the clothing that first ladies wore. Some of the old dresses were works of art! We saw some dishes, jewelry and other artifacts as well as lots of photos.
There were a number of interactive exhibits all through the museum. David was very taken with a little wooden train set and nearly cried when his dad dragged him away. I wonder what the big kids liked best? They seemed to be having a good time with everything!

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