Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Birds and the Bees...

So, now that I have your attention, I'll tell you about my day. It was one of those days when you have a plan, but one thing leads to another, to another, etc., etc. This morning I asked my neighbor if we could borrow his truck tomorrow to take some things to a friend's house for a yard sale (that's another whole blog topic). He had plans to leave town for the night so he told me just to take the key. We can use the truck, but it had grass in it. I offered to take it to the green waste dump. So, if you're going to the green waste dump, then you need to have a full truck, right? I thought I'd pull a few of the big weeds and maybe our zucchini plants. Well, upon looking at the zucchini plants, we discovered it must have frozen last night because all the garden plants were suddenly dead. So, we might as well remove them all. That was a job! It's a sure sign of Fall and the migration of the BIRDS (see, this is about birds) when you clean out the garden. We wrestled the multitude of entangled vines and packed them in the truck. I was a sweaty, scratched-up mess, but now it was time to go to the dump. So, in the truck with no air conditioning we had the windows down. Four or five minutes before arriving at the dump, Dale felt something on his neck. He went to swat it only to find it was a bee, which in its startled state stung him on the knuckle. Being so brave, he didn't want to pull over or anything, but you could see the stinger in his knuckle. Five minutes later, we stopped the truck and I went to pull it out. It was still attached to a tiny piece of the BEE's tailend and it was still moving!!!! It's like the chicken with its head cut off. The tiny piece of bee bum was wiggling back and forth as if to stick the stinger in further or maybe get it out so it could fly away (it didn't realize the rest of its body already did!) So, I found a place to store it undisturbed to look at later. We emptied the truck and came home, but I couldn't do the next thing on the list because now I needed to get out Daniel's microscope and look at it. Is there any question where he got his nerd genes? But, I didn't want my blog friends to feel left out, so then we had to take pictures to share. These are pictures of the stinger under the microscope. Go ahead, admit that it's cool! The long straight part of it was about 1/16" long then it widened to what looks like a little bulb. I won't bore you with all the details of the rest of the day, but I will add that Dale's finger is really swollen tonight, and his evening isn't going quite as planned either. And so it goes with birds, bees, the passing of the seasons, the "never quite as planned" story of my life, etc. etc. And to top it all off, I got my new driver's license in the mail today. That takes me back to the passing of the seasons, the "never quite as planned"..............and raises a new question about how can I make this newly-designed license into the traditional 16th birthday cake. Hmm, I'll put it on my "plan" for tomorrow!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A dream come true

When we were young, didn't we all dream about a really cool clubhouse we could call our own? I remember building a little fort (really little) when I was 7 and Cathy was about 9. We used scrap wood we found in the alley. It had a Huckleberry Hound pillowcase for a door. Well, Daniel has not only dreamed of a clubhouse, but he's made various little hideouts over the years. Recently, he and Dale decided to really build him one. They designed it on paper, bought the materials, then constructed it - a 6'x8' home for adventure. The frame is pretty solid and made of 2x4s. They wanted a lightweight covering for the outside, instead of plywood, so it could be easily moved or changed. Well, after some shopping, we decided on tarp material for the outside. The stuff that comes in rolls, 6 feet wide, just happened to be orange. Before we knew it, the boys had constructed The Great Pumpkin. With orange tarp on the outside, green tarp on the roof, and a cloud shower curtain for a door, Daniel and his friends are set for adventure! They have stocked it with chairs and a table as well as a cart to hold things like snacks, pens, paper, games, etc. There is a broom and dustpan (we'll see if they get used) and space for many hours of fun. Yesterday, Daniel was in his own little world for two hours doing his homework. He's a happy man! And, so to our neighbors, I offer no real apologies, but I do say that the Great Pumpkin really can rise for those who truly believe!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

And now to segue to the next event (or shall I say Segway?)

What a way to spend a beautiful fall evening. Last week, my parents came up to see my nephew off to the MTC. While they were here, we decided to try something new. We went to the gardens at Thanksgiving Point and rented Segways to cruise around the garden. It was really fun! Mom and Lucky weren't so sure at first, but it didn't take long for them to become real pros. We rented two of them for an hour so we just switched off combinations of people and enjoyed the ride. Mom and I rode to the highest point in the garden to look around. Dale and Lucky practiced the art of getting off and getting on again a few times. Dale and I tried to see how fast we could make them go (about 12 mph is the answer). Mom and Lucky tested their uphill driving skills as they returned the machines. The gardens were beautiful and the transportation was just a very fun adventure. And I give a big round of applause to my parents for being such great sports about it. Way to go!

Where did September go?

I looked at the calendar today and saw that September is more than half over! Egads, time is really going faster in my old age -- just like Mom always said it did. Then I looked at my blog and realized I haven't entered a thing in the month of September. That caused me to wonder what in the heck I've been doing. So, to spare you the details, I've decided to summarize my last few weeks with a few one liners. I figure you can get the gist of my life and you'll ask questions if needed.

2 of 3 computers at home died -- that made blogging tough
Both have been resurrected, though not in their previous glory!

Noah's - lots of proofreading

School - getting them ready, getting them there, keeping them there, paying for it in the afternoon with homework!

Harvesting, canning, freezing, pie-ing (that's a verb at our house), harvesting, canning, freezing, teaching my 24 year old neighbor how to harvest, can, freeze, pie, etc., etc., etc.

Tutoring - I still get to do algebra (See, kids, there is a reason you need to learn this stuff 'cause someday you may need to know it when you're in your 40s.)

Building a clubhouse - this will get its own blog entry soon

Fighting the dreaded FALL COLD! Yuck!!

Those are the biggies. There are plenty of little things going on to fill in the gaps, but that gives a nice broad overview. I'll make a few new entries soon. Thanks for reading!