Category: Children

Happy St. Patrick Day


Hopefully with the last snowstorm behind us, I would like to give you an insight through my roving reporter’s eyes this past week.

Registration is now being taken for men’s and women’s softball teams for the spring/summer leagues. Wonder if they might have to clear home plate of any snow?

Did you happen to see the early morning traffic as they maneuvered around the rabbit that was sitting in the middle of Smith Valley Road? Speaking of rabbits, we’ve had a rabbit that has been hanging around our mini barn on a regular basis. I hope he doesn’t get any funny ideas on becoming a house guest. Once I get my garden with red tomatoes….let me be the one to pick them.

More than one red bird is feeding in our bird feeders now along with several robins, which is always a good sign that warm weather can’t be far off.

The daffodils that grow along the front of my house have put forth blooms and my tulips lived through the winter, though they seem to have suffered a bit of wilting in that brief snow we had a week ago.

Yesterday my sister brought me a Mosquito plant, so that I might be rid of the pesky little critters. The easy-to-grow Mosquito plant emits a fragrance that keeps mosquitoes away! The only catch is you must rub or crush leaves to release the scent. I’m hoping to plant it along side of the garage and convince my husband to crush a few leaves each time he comes home.

Remember if you do not like Indiana weather; give it a day or two. Within days of the last snow this month, we actually opened up a few windows in the house mid-afternoon to enjoy the fresh air.

Then it snowed the next day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saran Wrap It Up …….

 

Saran wrap, at times when I see it, I am reminded of my Aunt Mona.

When we were kids, my sisters and I yammered and argued when we sat in the back seat, on the way to visit our dear Aunty Mona. “There’s nothing to do there,” I’d say.

“She’s family,” my father would say.

Her fruit and scroll garland printed settee, chair and ottoman were all covered with plastic. Even the accent ruffled pillows were wrapped in plastic. The lamp shades were covered with yellowing plastic wrap.

In all the years of visiting, our family never touched anything directly but plastic.

I never once felt comfortable in her house.

There was an unspoken rule about visitors and fingerprints. I never once touched her coffee table. Even our parents arranged their bodies on the couch so that they never touched anything!

When she opened the door, we were hit in the face by the scent of moth balls. It lingered in the air making our little eyes water. We could even smell it on our clothes on the way home. Mother would shoot “that look” in our direction, so us girls knew not to blink our eyes or even mention the odor.

We visited in the heat of summer we knew it would be torture. “Have a seat,” she would say. Sweating away inside her non-air-conditioned house was terrible. We couldn’t even squirm around on the plastic. In this heat, once your legs were planted – they stuck.

In the living room, I was worried about my legs being permanently attached to her plastic covered chairs. My sisters and I always left the house thankful that we still had skin.

Life was never cleaner or quieter than at Aunt Mona’s house. My sisters and I sat there on the couch until Daddy would finally say, “We should get going.”

Earlier today, in my kitchen, I watched my nephew Doug poke holes in saran wrap. He had already made a mess of things in the den.

I’m just grateful that my nephew feels comfortable in my house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Calm – Back To School Tomorrow

 

The Greenwood Community Schools start the 2019 school year next week. Although my nephew could spend a few more days enjoying summer vacation, his mother can hardly wait until the start of school.
We spent last Saturday at stores going over Back to School Sales. Shopping for his first day of school is a task that we all agree can only be endured once a year.
Why is it that mothers and sons can never agree while they shop? I assured my sister that school shopping for the little guy will get easier as he gets older. She gave me a sneer, she knew I was lying.
Each item has to be just right — approved not only from the school but also by his peers. He is ten years old now and why would he actually want to use last years back pack? Why would he need new socks? The ones he has worn all summer are good enough for him.
The list from the school states he needs to bring four large glue sticks, a box of tissues, scissors and yes a box of Band-Aids. No ring binders are allowed in school and please bring one sealed box of children’s Tylenol. My sister wonders if she should buy a box of Tylenol for the teacher.
Perish the thought that he might ride his bicycle to school on summer days. He is a year older now and would rather walk than ride a bicycle. Can a motor bike be far behind?
When we parted at the end of the day they were still discussing how
he was going to get his hair cut.
This summer has been hot and humid but tolerable. After many happy hours on his skateboard except one – my nephew will have his cast taken off in two more weeks.
School started this week and for the most part both mother and son
are glad of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trick Or Treat

 


Halloween is a uniquely magical time of the year. Children turn into adults. Adults turn into children.
Halloween past was spent with my three nephews. With only a flashlight the three kids dressed as ghosts were shuffled from one house and on to the next. By the end of the evening each bag was filled to capacity. What other time of year could a kid load up on a mountain of candy and other teeth rotting goodies?
“Whatcha gonna be for Halloween this year,” is a dilemma for children this time of year.
Little girls opt for costumes like an angel, or a princess. Cheerleaders and Cinderella are popular as well as the Ice Queen Elsa or perhaps a teeny bopper (complete with a poodle skirt).
Young boys want a costume that makes a statement. A zombie maybe a vampire. Costumes like a Count Dracula, or Sorcerer Harry Potter are typical. Perhaps dressed as Batman, or Pokémon, even a pro football player (complete only with an agent)
All the little skeletons, ghosts and goblins will come out of the closet this Halloween. So, get ready to have a spooky good time October 31st.
When the neighborhood kids come to say “Trick or Treat” be prepared to see a variety of costumes. This is the best part about Halloween–a kid can be whatever he wants to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s In A Nickname ??

 


As friends relived old times during the course of last evening the subject of nicknames arose. So, I started scribbling them down — which is basically what I intended to build this column around.
I went to school with Carla whose nickname was Hurricane. While in grade school, there was an actual Hurricane that made the headlines in Texas called Hurricane Carla. She brought the newspaper to school and everyone called her Hurricane from then on.
Moose got his nickname while playing high school football. A nickname the coach gave him. What if the coach hadn’t liked his players? What other animals would he have used? A weasel perhaps?
Tiny, was a kid in high school who stood over six feet five inches. Yes he was the tallest kid in school and played center on the basketball team.
One friend has the least original nickname ever. He has natural red hair and his nickname is “Red”. My friend Charlotte goes by the nickname Char. Simple idea really, like we don’t have to use both syllables when we call her name.
At times, nicknames make perfect sense and sometimes they do not.
My cousin’s name is William and he goes by the name Will.
Yet another cousin, Michael, answers to the nickname Ronnie.
Go Figure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sound of Birds Stopping By…..

Construction of birdhouses and bird feeders can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it. Bird feeders can look like tiny bungalows, wooden A-frames or miniature chalets. Bird houses need no ornamentation to serve the birds using them, but an attractive design can enhance a yard. Thus, the custom built bird feeders are for the person filling them not for the birds.

My neighbor has two wood salad bowls with a wooden rod through the center. The house across the street has a large glass hanging feeder.  

A feeder could be attached to any window.   It will bring the  bird up  close for an exciting view.   The tube bird feeder,  found in any variety store,  could be fun.   One neighbor has a  bird feeder  made from old car license plates.

My  nephew  made an egg carton bird feeder in school. My Aunt Hilda has bird houses made out of gourds hanging off of her porch. My grandmother has a rustic barn creation bird feeder that has painted on the top, “See Rock City.”

Building a bird house can be purely practical or absolutely outrageous.   In   Greenwood  I have found bird house  and  feeders built to resemble a  gazebo,  a church,  a log cabin,  a totem-like housing complex,  a pagoda,  a school house,  even a little outhouse!    It was a one-holer of a different sort.

Would the blue jays, sparrows, starlings or finches that visit the feeder in my yard be more excited if I had a little deck for the feathered guests to stand on? I think not.

Bird feeder and houses are designed to bring pleasure for you and benefit our feathered friends. Where is it written that I have to build a fanciful birdhouse? It doesn’t seem to matter to the birds.

Mix together my plain and simple looking bird feeder with bird seed and it looks like a scene from the movie  The Birds  in the back yard.  Works for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother Nature Has Done Her Best

Don’t put away those snow shovels, heavy coats and gloves just yet.   Better double check that bag of salt for the sidewalk too.

Mother Nature has done her best, teasing us that spring is right around the corner. The daffodils have jumped up out of the long silent lawn. Within a few days the tulips should pop up to say hello. Yet, you can bet there is plenty of a snow, ice and below-freezing temperature waiting to grab our attention.

The old saying about Indiana, “If you don’t like the weather, stick around another five minutes and it will change,” rings true. Less than a week ago registration was taken for the men’s and women’s softball leagues. Will they have to clear home plate of any snow?

Last Saturday, folks ignored the occasional raindrops to enjoy the first few days of comfortable weather. My brother-in-law, who supposedly is a winter couch potato, could be found on the golf course. Who can tell what winter will be like in March?

It is nice to see the garden shops around town preparing for their openings. Walmart is getting their patio display in order on their side parking lot.   More than one produce stand is setting greenhouse items. With the promise of warm days not too far away, we will be able to plant that garden!

Remember if you do not like Indiana weather; give it a day or two. Within days of the last snow this month, there were customers in Walmart wearing t-shirts and shorts.

Definitely, the warmer temperatures forecast for the next week is a welcome diversion from ice, snow and freezing temperatures. Yet it means only one thing—potholes.   And plenty of them.