Sunday, July 24, 2016

Cabin Days

Last week, the family rented a cabin at a nearby lake for two nights. The kids and grandkids spent some lake time celebrating just being together for longer than 3 or 4 hours at a time. Rick and I had told them that this is what we wanted to do to celebrate our anniversary.

The weather and water weren't terribly cooperative: over 100 the whole time and dangerous blue-green algae in the lake. The kids are so little that we didn't want to risk them getting sick from the water, so we had to improvise. Thank goodness for water balloons. (And I was really grateful for the gizmos that allow you to fill and tie 100 balloons at one time in a matter of seconds.)

These photos are from Water Fight #2. The first fight started with the kids and water balloons when suddenly glasses of waters were dumped on us from above. Papa and CB were up to no good, and the kids loved it. The second fight involved water balloons and glasses of water. The kids weren't going to be surprised again.

Your age didn't matter in this fight. The littlest Bug had no idea what was going on but was as soaked as anyone. She sought safety with Uncle CB. She is his biggest fan! She loves her Uncle CB.
This is her "I have no idea what the heck is happening" face, "but I keep getting soaked."

The Mr. and I rented a pontoon one morning so we could spend some time on the lake if we couldn't be in it.

Avoiding sunburn was the challenge of the day.

The last evening we went to a new restaurant on the lake for dinner. We plan to return in all the seasons of the year to enjoy the views from their decks.

It was so nice to have time to spend together, though K and L should not be turned loose on Snapchat face swap.

I say that, but I downloaded Pokemon Go. Crazy, but I wanted to know what my students have been up to when school starts. I found my first Pokemon at the lake. (I think it is fairly overrated, but it does seem to be the latest craze.)
We enjoyed coffee on the deck in the morning and watched the sun set in the evening. We might try to figure out another long weekend trip next summer. I'm ready to go again. And all of us being together was the only thing we wanted for our anniversary. It was a great way to celebrate.
Oh, and I might be wanting a lake house again. *sigh
Mrs. E

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Celebration Day

Today is Little Big Brother's Birthday. I won't share the number, but Social Security is now an option. (!!) I love the fact that he lives in Tiny Town now, that he is a valuable assistant director for plays, and that he is still as witty as when we were kids.

The Mr. and I are also celebrating today. We made the mistake of getting married in August. If our anniversary isn't part of the first week of school, it is always darn close. Since this is our 40th anniversary year, we are celebrating with the girls and families today on a mini staycation. I'm sure there will be pictures to follow.

And that is why today is Celebration Day on Easy Street. Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Yep! That Time of Year Again

"That time of year thou mayst in me behold..."
When Back-To-School nightmares haunt my dreaming
And few or none do anything I expect

William Shakespeare didn't know how I could make his lovely sonnet into something entirely different than he intended. Sorry, Will! I took a few liberties.

Officially, I had my first back-to-school nightmare. I have one every year. They are usually a bit frantic, and always pretty darn funny.

This year, my principal (not to be confused with my daughter who is my assistant principal) had 30+ students enrolled in my 6th hour drama class. (There are really 23 or so.) As the hour progressed, more and more kids kept showing up. I finally had someone count, and we were over 50. To top it off, the librarian was also teaching a class that hour, and the principal had decided that we needed to share my room. She could take half, and I could take the other half-- or use the auditorium.

I woke up laughing. It was a bit like herding cats. Every plan made for the first day went straight out the window. This was the authentic me-- flying by the seat of my pants.

And once again, I sure am glad it was just a nightmare.

Of course, if I don't get busy planning for the 23 drama students, I might feel like I am herding cats...! This is just the kick in the pants I needed to start planning 2016-2017.

Yep. That time of year again.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Random Thoughts on Monday

*One month from today will be the first day with students for the 2016-2017 school year. We need to slow this train down!

*The basement remodel is maybe 1/3rd complete. The sheet rock is to go up this week while the Mr. and I attempt to get the floors in condition for the flooring. (That involves a lot of scraping.) Still keeping my fingers crossed for being finished the first of August. This is probably overly optimistic.

*This is the dumpster we are renting. We have two weeks left, and the dumpster is quite full. (Some might say overflowing.)

If I have to get up on it and stomp it down, we will make sure we have enough room for all of our debris and clutter. On top is our lovely collection of branches from our windy weather. One word of advice: I don't think this is a dumpster that should be on anyone's dumpster diving list. Not a thing of value inside!

*I have been living in gym shorts this summer. They are comfy and cool. They are also never leaving the house unless I am exercising. In the dark.

*Because of the gym shorts, this has become my new best friend.
I picked up this little electric razor (battery powered) for a song. It fits in my purse. Every time I discover that I need to stand a little closer to my regular razor, I can pull this out and shave the spot I missed. Voila! Now, I can be really sloppy shaving my legs.

*L has taken the job of Instructional Coach in a different elementary school in her current district. She is excited for the change. This is a good step to becoming an administrator. We are so happy for her.

*Did I mention that I have poison ivy? I do. *sigh  Spray-on Calamine lotion is my new best friend. That being said, a couple spots are on my face (not a fan of calamine pink) so the Clear Cal works really well, too. *double sigh  To top it all off, I have no idea how I ended up with poison ivy. I'm blaming Baxter.

So maybe when school starts a month from today, the basement will be done, the dumpster will be gone (lovely yard art), my legs will be shaved, and the poison ivy will be gone.

Time will tell...!
Mrs. E

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Things Learned While Babysitting

K and CT came home last night and surprised the girls by arriving early. Both girls were quite happy to see them.

So what did Nana and Papa learn?

*Little Bug is not only fast, she is also persistent. The two main attractions: stairs and toilets.

*Bigger Bug really likes technology. We had to limit video viewing.
*Little Bug has a bit of a temper. She tries to hit, pinch, and bite. After taking a swing at Papa and being scolded, she acted like she was patting his arm as an apology; however, while smiling at him, she tried to pinch him. She is quite the charmer.

*Bigger Bug will disappear when she is upset, mad, or pouting. Nana had to hunt her down more than once.

*Sonic corn dogs and fries are a game changer. Things get done when Sonic is involved. (Corn Dog for Big Bug and fries for Little Bug.)

*Three adults are necessary to take two kids swimming. All hands were needed. Thank you, sweet sister-in-law and LuLu.
*Nana and Little Bug can sleep for six hours in a recliner. One of us slept more than the other. You can probably guess who.

*Big Bug asked when she could have gray hair. I told her soon enough. She said she really wants it now. (We'll talk in about 20 years.)

*Little Bug is quite obsessed with the tennis ball hanging in their garage. (It tells K how far to pull in.) The little stinker has to hit it and send it swinging at least once every trip through the garage.

*Picking up after these two is a full time job. 

*Silly Dilly Duckling is a cute children's book the first and second time you read it. After 18+ times, I was tempted to burn it. (The Little Bug was obsessed.)

*Big girls sometimes need a little one-on-one time because little sis demands quite a bit of attention. Big girls also still need naps--even when they tell you they don't.
*The Big Bug was pretty thrilled when Daddy told her that they were never going on vacation without her again. (She might have taken that to mean they were never going anywhere without her again. She wouldn't mind that either!)

*Mainly, I'm not sure how K gets out of the house in the morning. There is so much baggage that comes with kids, I didn't have enough arms.

*Who am I kidding? I'm not sure where she finds the patience or time to accomplish anything. Just finding time to eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom is challenging.

*Given enough sleep (and wine!),  Nana and Papa will recover. And then be ready to go again. Pretty sweet girls!

Monday, July 11, 2016


L and CB have moved to a new house. We went up to "help" them yesterday morning for awhile. (Actually, the Mr. just really wanted to see the new house and where they are landing.)

The house is quite a bit larger than their first house. They have room to spread out a bit. And as cute as their first house was, it was located on a really busy street. This cul-de-sac is a really nice change.

When I talked to L late yesterday, she said the two step daughters hadn't been out of their rooms. They were putting away and arranging--and quite delighted to each have a room of their own in the new house. I think she is discovering the joy of not having children underfoot all the time.

My favorite part? I love the backyard. Big trees, a fence, and room for E to play and explore.

I think all of them will love this new home.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Nana and Papa Duty Begins

Since K and CT are vacationing (very belated honeymoon), we are keeping the two little Bugs. They have spent a couple of days with the other Grandpa and Grandma, and we are meeting halfway to exchange car seats and kids tonight.

I have a hunch the next three days will be quite exciting. The littlest Bug comes with quite a few eating restrictions--yikes!--and the older Bug is in charge of making sure Nana doesn't make any mistakes. (Not really, but she assured me she knows what to do. And I'm sure she does!)

The Big Bug also told Papa since Mommy and Daddy were "maybe" coming home really late on Wednesday night that she could stay with her little sister by herself and wait for them. So thoughtful and mature of her. And that is a NOOOOO!

I think things are about to get really interesting around here.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Basement Repair and Remodel

And so it begins...

The sheet rock, insulation, and carpet have been hauled out. I have a hunch this might be the easy part.

Next up for the contractor is to install the new insulation and sheet rock.

Next up for us? Trying to remove the carpet glue from the cement, so that we can do something different with the basement floors. I have a hunch this will be labor intensive: hot water, scrapers, and eventually a sander. Yousa! (That seems to be the most eco friendly way to take care of the problem.)

As for the dumpster, it is almost completely full. It was almost half full before the contractor ever arrived. We will see if the local company can empty it, so we can add quite a few limbs from around our yard. We also have a few railroad ties and landscape timbers that need to be thrown out. Finally, the Mr. has an old buffet in the garage that he stores his "tools" in. (I use that term loosely. It looks like a lot of junk to me.) We are cleaning that out and ditching the dilapidated buffet and probably about half the "stuff" in it. I think a tool table is in his future.

Hopefully, the bulk of the project will be finished by the first of August. I'd like to head back to school with my house returning to normal.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dumpster Lady

The basement remodel is about to begin. This involves tearing out sheet rock, carpet, and who knows what else. Construction trash added to Easy Street trash meant a dumpster was needed.

I am  now the proud renter of a dumpster. Construction work hasn't even begun, and I have already managed to fill it about half full. It's a good thing they will come and empty it for us. I plan to take full advantage of this month to clear out anything that is due for a trip to the dump.

That being said, I took an old bookshelf out yesterday and dropped part of it on my leg. It looks lovely.
 Earlier in the day and then late evening.
It looks worse than it feels. An aspirin a day makes any bruising look worse. I think I will forego shorts or short skirts for a week or so. (Who am I kidding? With these legs? There is never a good time for short shorts or skirts!)

The basement is almost empty, so now I am ready for round two of "Let's not store it if we aren't using it!" Stay tuned.
Mrs.E  (Black and Blue-- get it??!!)

Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of July Weekend Or How I Should Own Stock in Kleenex

I am praying this is a summer cold and not allergies. I can't tell.

On Friday and Saturday, I was exhausted and almost couldn't swallow.

On Sunday, my nose ran like a faucet on full blast, and my nose and eyes itched so bad that I was miserable. By the time I went to bed, my eyes were swollen and red.

Today, I am feeling much better.

So, I've been celebrating this 4th of July with a red nose, red and white eyes, and a blue disposition.  It just seems wrong to be sick in the summer--and especially on a holiday weekend!