Monday, April 30, 2012

April showers bring May flowers..

..what do Mayflowers bring?


You know how some things seem to stick with you and seem funny no matter how 'mature' you get or how many years go by? Well, that old joke still gets me grinning the same as when I was a little girl.

1963 - I'm the 2nd kiddo from left back row sitting on hearth
This April brought more than purty April (or May ;) blossoms... though there have been plenty of those and more to come!

April also brought us Eli-o home from school for his summer job with Ben up at Lassen.

if you click this pic & think you see Ben giving me one of his 'looks' you are correct ;)

It's always so heart-warming & thrilling to have any of our three big kids come home. Eli's first 24 hours were no exception. He broke me and then impressed me all in the same time period.

The boys were only staying the night before moving into their cabin at the Park. After supper, while everyone was otherwise engaged, I had gone upstairs to do a little 'mothering' in the boy's rooms and arrange for extra bedding in case it got cold in the night.

On the way up the stairs I noticed, and climbed past, a shirt Eli had thrown in the middle of a step before he'd gone down to shower (an old classic Baker Hause 'no no' rule). I'd usually call to the kids or move any offending item like this out of the path and scold the child responsible, but figured I'd let it go this one time. Silly Mama.

On the way back down that steep narrow stairwell I'm hauling an extra bundle of blankets, completely forgetting about the shirt, when suddenly Slip!Wham!Bam! down I go; slamming my head and tail bone first & then spraining both wrists and ankles in an attempt to keep myself straight, while sliding, so as not to end up a tangled broken mess at the bottom of the staircase.

I immediately let out a whoop, a scream, and then a holler and mixed cry of surprise, fear, & pain... surprise at my stupidity, fear of what might happen in the fall, and pain cuz of what did happen ;)

Eli, down in the shower, is oblivious to the drama, while Papa & Ben, in the living room, start laughing and joking saying, "Well, that didn't take long!" thinking Eli had just done his usual jump-out-of-nowhere-and-startle-Mama-out-of-her-wits-routine. But then, not hearing Eli's sinister 'Got Ya!' laugh, only me crying in pain (hey. it kept going. I couldn't help it :p), they decide to come investigate.

Miraculously  it ended up I wasn't broken; just extremely banged up. Here's where Eli's superb educational expertise came into play. He gave me a thorough check-up, determined the extent of my injuries, and proceeded to do a professional physical therapist fix. He talked me through some painful moments, explaining in medical and physiological ways what was happening and what he was doing to help me.

He was able to take care of everything except, naturally, my poor tailbone. From prior experience (a fall from my horse as a young girl and the resulting doctor's visit way back when) I knew that injury was going to have to rely strictly on time before it would heal. A week later I have no major residual affects from the fall -well, other than the fact that it's still painful to sit ;)

1964 -being tricky with 'Melody' (that's her filly 'Star')
We're still not sure whether Eli set all this in to motion so his Mama 'n Papa could be soo amazed and impressed with his knowledge and skills.. but hey, it does feel wonderful to know he's definitely cut out for his chosen career as a DPT physical therapist!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring Cleaning

I have a good boy. Actually, I have two. But this entry is about Son One and his outstanding help around the property, cleaning up after that March storm wiped out part of the yard, and then tidying up the apple & peach trees with the ever-present orchard work.

As a brief reminder here are a couple 'before' shots:

The day after the storm Ben was chompin' at the bit to get out there and start in on rebuilding the destroyed shed and clearing away the downed elms. While Papa was working 12 hour days for Caltrans, and I lay sick a-bed, that ambitious young man went to work in-between persistent storms.

Within a matter of days he'd gathered up the shed debris, dug new holes and cut new posts for the frame supports, put up the siding, deconstructed and rebuilt the roof, and had it looking like nothing had ever happened:

With the splitter safely ensconced in its new shelter he had me bundle up and come out to direct the placement of the piggly-wiggly signs back over the entrance...

Click on the pics to see your old signs with those dearly departed piglet's names
..and then I hung the old 'Pig City' sign -that Abby made years ago- on the apple tree between the two pig pens in the piggy pasture of yore.

As the weeks went by Ben kept working at restoring order to the place. He sawed his way through the downed trees; gathering up the branches & stacking them in the brush pile, cutting the trunks into rounds and hauled them out of the way, & rebuilding the smashed fences and gates along the way.

I ended up being sick for a month, running through two different courses of antibiotics. There were a few days here and there where I was sure I was on the mend and, yearning to be outdoors and moving around, managed to lend a hand occasionally; mostly hauling downed branches off the lawn and sometimes coming out to toss a few pieces on the bonfire when he burned the brush pile.

Last, but not least, Ben decided to start pruning the orchard the last week prior to leaving for Hawai'i:

"…and when he was good he was very very good, but when he was bad…" hmm. no. Longfellow's rhyme doesn't really fit in this case... cuz he was just very very good :D

(4 yr old workin' boy Ben - with 1 yr old Abby Jayne)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Travel and Adventure

So last Wednesday the light is blinking on the phone message machine. I walk over to it, push the button and it's Ben. His usual calm, cool, collect, deep voice states:

"Hey. I'm not in California..."

..and then continues in a higher pitched wiggling-like-a-little-puppy-dog excited squeal:

"... I'M IN HAWAII !!"

Yep. Pretty darn cool. He'd driven down to Sacramento the day before, stayed overnight, & caught the morning flight out to the Islands for to see his baby sister (and Richard :). 

That night Abby called us on 'Skype' to fill us in on their fun day. Suddenly BEN sticks his face into the computer screen and, with a hand waving at Papa & I and a huge grin, says once again:

"I'm in Hawaii :)"

I respond in complete amazement, "..whaat? I thought you were upstairs in your room!" Though I was having fun teasing, it honestly was a bit odd seeing him in Abby's living room in that tropical setting that we're usually seeing Richard & Abby in..

Ben emailed pics, after vowing not to keep in touch, clarifying that 'Abby made me do it'. hehehe -good job, Abby. So ya, here's picture-proof the boy's there and having a great time :
First beach day catching some uv rays (ouch)

Kayak tour to the island & beaches in the background
In just another 3 hours he'll be at the Honolulu airport flying back to the mainland... just in time for Eli to show up this weekend (Eli's comin' hide yer heart girls), both of 'em moving back into their shared cabin, and starting back to work at Lassen.

Papa and I are planning a grocery shopping trip to stock the pantry before they arrive and the feeding frenzy begins ;)