There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Finding healing in growing

One of the most persistent things that I missed while down south was the color green.  By those who don't know it is often assumed that because of the warm weather the south land is automatically green and lush all year long.  This is simply not true.  I discovered that, except in the mountains, where we lived green was prevalent in the spring and fall when the temperatures were more moderate and there was more frequent rainfall.  Otherwise the most prevalent color was brown.  How I longed to be home where, though you pay the price for all this green in sub-zero temperatures, long spring, summers, and autumns are lush and green.

When we got back these are the sights that greeted us. Because Ian had to have a big digger come in and put in a drain away from the house piles of dirt and stone sat by the former gardens and dared anyone who had the energy and imagination to restore that area back to its former beauty.

Enter the woman who is starved for green, hard work, and home!!!!!!

Little by little with lots of help the piles have been smoothed out. The weeds have been banished to the compost bins, and the perennials are being encouraged to flourish.

MK built this wall around the horse radish and tiger lilies and tucked the gladiolus bulbs into the earth to await their time for blooming.

On Mother's Day the fountain got it's annual dose of bubble solution and Layn got his chance to play in the water.  

Already the beds are free of weeds, there are piles of fresh topsoil and horse manure for renewing the earth, and the palates have been readied for the strawberry plants.

The hostas around the deck and the hydrangeas are looking lush and the garden furniture has been invitingly placed so that visitors to the garden can enjoy the view.

Even the early crops of lettuce and spinach in the cold frames have greened up and are inviting passersby to take a taste of the coming warm weather.
Once the ground dries out a little from the latest round of showers it will be time to tuck in seeds, mulch the walk-ways, and pull up a chair to watch things grow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The more things change

I recently read an article about the lives of mothers who are raising all boys.  The author wrote with a touch of whimsy and a spirit of camaraderie with other women who spent their days in the unique atmosphere that boys create in a home.

As I read my mind went back to my children's growing up years.  Though I don't technically fit into the group, I have one daughter along with five sons, there is so much about raising boys that resonates and can be summed up in a few short phrases.  
Boys and trees. Not their mere presence in life but rather the challenge that they present.  My son, Adam (above), is 29 and he still cannot ignore a good climbing tree.  Never could and probably never will.

Boys and chainsaws.  My husband is running a chainsaw to do some tree trimming here and we had all we could to keep Layn at a safe distance.  Notice that the photographer (me) was at a more than safe distance.  As long as I have known Doug the fact of a chainsaw in his hands has spelled doom for any stray branch, limb, twig, dead tree, whatever he may deem cuttable that enters into his sight. The younger generation is just as susceptible. 

Boys and large equipment!  My husband may be a man, look like a man, act like a man, and speak like a man but put him near a truck, tractor, loader, or any other kind of large equipment and he is all there!  I didn't have to ask him twice or even finish my sentence when I asked him about pushing up a load of horse manure for the garden.  He even graciously left me with the first bucket load full!

Boys and water! 'Nuff said!  All through their growing us years I cannot remember a time that I didn't pack a change of clothes for the whole crew whenever we went anywhere where water figured into the equation.

Boys and old plain old dirt!  I have shoveled it, swept it, scraped it, changed diapers full of it, and rinsed it down countless drains.  The beauty of all these experiences is that I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

Monday, May 18, 2015

C'mon to my house

Since returning to Upstate New York life has been going at breakneck speed and it's just the way I like it. I am a firm believer in having children play a large part in my daily life.  Even now that I am a grandmother I find that being around Layn Christopher on a daily basis helps to keep my mind active and helps me sleep better at night because I am tired from moving and serving my family rather than from being bored and looking for things to do with my time.
Last week I had a whirlwind trip to Tacoma, WA to see my new granddaughter, Evie for the first time and to witness her birth into the Catholic Church.  

I was also able to spend time with Adam and Maryanne and to celebrate the upcoming birth of another Kraeger grandchild.

Ian, as the godfather extraordinaire was also present and what a pleasure to be with my sons as they caught up on all their news.  

Uncle Adam took this opportunity to get in a little future daddy practice with his niece. Miss Evie surely loves to be with her daddy and uncles.

On the home front my heart is full of the little things that make up our day to day life. Such as Layn's stone skipping lessons courtesy of his grandpa.  

Layn's imagination grows by leaps and bounds. Sunday afternoon he spent a large part of his time with a corn stalk "sword" patrolling and protecting his family from such dangers as dragons and shotguns.

Watching the neighbor disc and plant his corn is always an important aspect of a farm boy's life.  I'm not sure that this job can be properly done without a little boy spending some time watching.
Uncle Ian keeping Evie happy before the start of her special ceremony.

Ryan and Kathleen renewing their own baptismal vows.

Uncle Ian and Auntie Danica vowing to renounce Satan on behalf of little Evelyn Therese.

Probably my favorite picture from the whole trip. The feelings of pride that I experience when I see my grandchildren brought to the altar of God is something that cannot be expressed in words. May the Lord bless and keep Miss Evie. May He make His face to shine upon her and give her peace.