Thursday, July 20, 2017

Miscellaneous Tidbits...

Papa has a new front bathroom. His toilet was leaking. The maintenance guy came to check it on a Friday. Showed me a crack in the toilet and said the entire toilet would have to be replaced. He would have to purchase a new one and could not do that until a Monday. He also felt the flooring would have to be replaced. 

Monday morning I was at Papa's at 9am and would spend the entire day there. The flooring guy showed up at the same time almost at the toilet guy. The flooring guy was not supposed to come until the afternoon. So, the toilet guy had taken out the toilet when he arrived and found the piping into the wall was also leaking and needed to be replaced. He flooded the bathroom with these broken things and had a big fan going to dry it out. The flooring guy put down new vinyl tile as soon as the floor dried. The toilet guy finished the piping but didn't get the toilet in. 

Tuesday morning I was back at Papa's for another day. Goodness. The toilet was fixed though. And, the back bathroom toilet is also leaking. It can be repaired but they want to replace that floor as well. Ball Realty is supposed to call me and set up a time. We are now a week away and no phone call. Hmm...

When we visited Michigan in May with Bonnie, we took the family to the Emporium. It is a great candy store. Katelyn found a huge all-day sucker she wanted for Raelyn. Claude bought it for her. Somehow it made it to Kentucky in our luggage. Oops. When the Ropers were here over the 4th of July, I returned this big hunk of candy to Katelyn and they took it home. Katelyn sent me this picture of tiny Raelyn enjoying her very big candy.
I made Raelyn her second outfit. Bought the fabric to make two outfits before they came to Kentucky and only got one finished. So I mailed the second one this week.
When I drove to the post office in Sadieville to mail the package, this is what I found on Main Street. Now one just doesn't see a rocket on Main Street everyday. It was made for the Eagle Creek Baptist Church's Vacation Bible School. Someone put a lot of effort into that rocket. 
Now I'm off to visit Papa for a bit. 

A Day of Firsts...

My life is so filled and intertwined with Papa and his care. No complaints. Well, maybe a few. One of which is the need to keep some balance in life. I have prayed and pondered over this often. I have found myself pausing at points to say a quick thank you to a loving Heavenly Father for watching over me and prompting me to do or say certain things. Sometimes I do something when I feel an impression and later find it prepared me for the next bump in the road. Again, I pause to thank my loving Heavenly Father. 

One of the things I noticed is the ability to get so consumed in the things that must be done or that I want to be done that time with my hubby can get put on the side burner. He is so very busy with the government, committee and board work he does that we just pass each other between going and coming to things. We did set up a habit at the beginning of this to time our meetings to have meals together. This means a lot of meals out but I love those bits of time together to catch up and visit. 

I have found it needful to visit with Papa every day, not just a phone call but a visit in his home. It allows me to check if he is taking his meds, to see what he is eating and empty trash and other little things that keep his home running for him. At minimum this takes 3-4 hours out of a day. This is important and a must at this point. It doesn't take into account other things I must do at my home for him but it takes a chuck out of each day. Being the type of person I am, I find myself stressing about the things I'm not getting done that I need or want to do. 

I ponder about what I thought retirement would be like with Claude and how this is so not what I thought. If we want to take a long trip, it must be at times when my sisters are free which is not always a time of our choosing. I don't take the little trips with Claude that he does with the things he participates in. Doing a mission for the Church is out the question. There are lots of things we would do very differently if Papa's care was not the priority now. 

One of the answers to my prayers is that I need to fill 6 of the days in the week and try each week to have a day or a part of a day where Claude and I do something we want to do. This has brought me great comfort. I consciously remind myself that this is what retirement for us would be like. Then I revel in that period of time. My cup is then full and I can go back to 'enjoying' time caring for Papa. I am learning about balance.

Last Saturday was a day set aside for Claude and me. We made it a day of firsts. 

Our first, first was lunch at the Blue Door Smokehouse. I simply Googled BBQ places in Lexington and at the top of the list was this place we had never eaten at. Claude remembered hearing about it. It was delicious. A true 'hole-in-the-wall' type place. The guys running it were covered in tattoos and smiles. We loved our meal and will definitely go back.
Our second first was a drive on a country road Papa and I like to get to Ft. Boonesborough. We have tried to visit this re-constructed fort and it was always closed. This time we found it very open and very enjoyable. It is not re-constructed on the exact site. We have been to that location nearer the Kentucky River. But it is a well done reconstruction with modern conveniences that make your visit more enjoyable...like air conditioning in the buildings.

Here are a few pictures of the fort.
One thing they did nicely was have a cabin that was how they originally settled there. Dirt floor, no bed but straw or animal skins on which to sleep. Then followed 3 other cabins that showed how they evolved over time with beds, fireplace, furniture, cooking utensils, etc.  
Okay, we first saw this stump standing on 3 legs. It obviously had been chipped away at the center of the wood. We looked at it and determined it might have been used to generate kindling for a fire. Then in front of the next cabin was a stump with two hatchets on top. Hmm...we found it interesting they were just laying there for anyone to pick up. We visited a couple more cabins. Then a man came out and took the hatchets and had two young boys come with him. They stood a distance back from the chipped stump on 3 legs. The man showed the boys how to hold a hatchet and throw it at the stump on three legs. It was simply a game trying to get the hatchet to stick in the target stump on 3 legs.  
 
We watched this nice lady for a long time. She was weaving bottoms in chairs. She answered all our questions. When we left, Claude said he thought he could take up caning chairs as a hobby. 
This cool bit of chain with that gadget on the shelf was used to measure things for construction like buildings and fences and roads. 
This my friends is a 'brick of tea' from China. This is how they would have received the tea. The tea leaves were crushed into a brick. These were easier and less fragile to ship across the ocean and then carry over land. Pieces were chipped off the brick and crushed again to be used to make tea. We were informed this is the kind of tea that was dumped in the water in the Boston Tea Party.
This is a game we bought for when our family visits. Roll the dice, using any combination of numbers you flip down the tabs totaling that number. The person who turns over the last tab wins that round. 
This guy gave a talk about the importance of dogs and how they were used. Loved that he was bare-footed. My kinda guy!

Our third and final first for this Saturday was a stop at Crank and Book Ice Cream in Lexington. Yummy end to our outing. We will go back there as well.
We headed back to Sadieville and enjoyed a movie together. Great day. Cup was full. Ready for another week.

St. John's Music Camp...

Bailey loves to participate in the St. John's Music Camp each year. For a week they learn a play and then perform for their family and friends on Friday evening and again for the worship service on Sunday. St. John's is the church where Hayden and Bailey attended pre-school. The play is always a religious or moral themed play. Lots of fun music. Lots of opportunity for lots of kids to be involved. Some in more major roles and some in chorus positions. Even the little nursery kids have a place in the play. It is performed in the sanctuary of St. John's. Claude had meetings in Elizabethtown, Kentucky that day so he drove over from there. I came from Sadieville. Hayden and Michael were on the bus driving back to Kentucky from their scout trip and wouldn't be home until 11pm. They would attend the Sunday service.

Okay, I knew I had heard this word 'agape' but it is definitely not of common usage. I found an entry in the Institute New Testament Student Manual for 1 Corinthians 12:31; 13:1-8. This is where Paul emphasizes charity. This is the paragraph in the student manual that helped me understand why the word was familiar. "The word charity is a translation of the Greek noun agape, which can also mean simply "love". Agape is used in other New Testament passage to describe the deep and abiding love between the Father and the Son, the divine love that God has for man, and the love we are to have for our fellowman." That is why I kind of knew about the word but didn't remember it. It is a Greek word and I always read the English translation of the Greek word in my scriptures. 

Bailey auditioned and received the role of Jumper. Jumper is member of the Agape League in the play. This is a group of superhero like characters with superhero powers. Jumper is a very hyperactive person. Hmmmm...Bailey is perfect for this role. She put her heart and sole into it. Learned all of her line and performed with great enthusiasm. She had a rap number for one song and the girl was over the top cute in it. 

Here are a few pictures. Bailey is in the red cap turned sideways, red sunglasses, and red legging with a white t-shirt.
Caught her yawning!! 
 She was trying to get the audience to rise for a standing ovation.
Pose for her mother after the performance. The girl has sass.
She must love the costume because this was the next day at home eating pickled green beans.

Michael and Andie usually buy her a bouquet of flowers to be given after the performance. As I drove to the Marx home Friday evening, I stopped at Kroger and picked up a bouquet of daisies. When I entered their home I put them on a table in the entry and quietly told Andie. She hid them so Bailey wouldn't know we got them. We completely forgot to take them to the church. When I was driving home I remembered and when I stopped for a soda in Waddy, I sent Andie a text to reminder her there were flowers for Bailey and she could give them to her now or wait until after the Sunday performance. Bailey was right there when Andie received this text and told Andie to wait till Sunday because she would have forgotten by then. Whew!! Andie did wait till Sunday and had Hayden give Bailey the flowers. 

We saw the teacher that directed the play after the Friday performance. She just looked at Andie and said, "Was this the perfect role for Bailey or what???" We all had a laugh and then she told us that she was telling this to Bailey about it being her perfect role. Bailey simply said to her in her most sincere voice, "It is the role I have been preparing for all my life!!"  (All 10 years.)

Bailey is about to age out of this performance. She can go back as a helper of the children. She seems to think that would be a great idea. Love watching her perform.

Camps for the Mini's...

And now...they are old enough to go to camps that last a week and are away from home. Rights of passage. 

First to leave was Hayden and Michael. They left Sunday morning, July 9th and would return Friday, July 14th about 11pm. The only thing they didn't get to do that was on their agenda was an amusement park named Cedar Point. But they did see the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame, Niagara Falls, toured a coal mine, rode a raft down a river, and lots of other things. These scout leaders had the grid thing down to a science. I was amazed. Michael and Hayden were each allowed one tub of their belongings for the entire trip. No cell phones for the scouts. Andie put each set of clothes for the day in a Ziplock bag for Hayden with another bag for toiletries. The plan was for him to clean up and put on the new bag of clothes from a Ziplock bag and put his dirty clothes in that Ziplock bag. Very clever lady. I wrote letters for Michael and Hayden. They were going to have one day with a mail call. Andie took my notes and gave them quietly to the scout leader over the mail call. Andie took pictures as they left and got a few pictures from Michael during the trip. She also took one when she picked them up Friday evening.
This week Bailey is at 4-H Camp. She left Monday morning and will be back Friday afternoon. Andie took pictures as she left. She wasn't allowed her iPod so she won't be taking pictures. Andie did send me this one of her leaving. Andie also found a Facebook page and there was a video of them on their first night having music and dancing. Guess who was right at the front of this huge gathering of kids...Our Bailey, of course. They were allowed daily mail. I did for Bailey and I did for Katelyn when she went to camp in Michigan. I wrote a note for each day and labeled them as to the day they were to be opened. Then I put them all in a big envelope and mailed that to the camp. We'll see if Bailey adheres to the opening on the day they are labeled or not. I think she will. But they are hers to do with as she pleases.  
Can't believe the Mini's made it to this stage of life so quickly. But they are filling up their lives with good things and that makes a Gramma very happy. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Harry Potter for the Win...

Received an eMail alert some time back that the Louisville Symphony was having an event at the Kentucky Center in Whitney Hall. They would play Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on a huge screen over the stage while the Louisville Symphony Orchestra played the music. We asked Andie if the Mini's would be available Saturday, July 8th. They were. We purchased tickets for the four of us to go see Harry Potter and the Louisville Symphony. 

After many trips to Whitney Hall, Claude and I have determined our favorite place to sit. We like the Grand Tier which is really the lower balcony. We prefer sitting in the 3rd or 4th row from the edge in the center. This seating affords a full view of the stage and we usually don't have to worry about anyone's head being in our line of site. That is where I purchased these tickets and the tickets for Claude and me to see Mama Mia later this month. I explained this to the Mini's and let them know there was no center aisle so there would be no leaving the theater once we got inside, not even for the intermission. They understood. 

Their choice for dinner was Taco Bell. Michael gave us directions to a Taco Bell on our way to the theater. Had a wonderful dinner with the Mini's. One does wonder how much longer it will be before they begin to pick more expensive dining on these outings?

We arrived at the theater and found parking with about 20 minutes to start time. We made our pit stops and regrouped to find our seats. The kids were very happy with the seats. Although Bailey would like to try those fun seats that stick out along the side walls (box seats). I told her we have tried those and they are very nice for certain performances but for this one having the screen right in front of us was the best. She was fine with that.
And, the show began. The conductor came on stage and we all applauded at his ability to do that. Then he spoke to the audience before the move and music began. He assured the audience the Louisville Symphony wanted audience participation. Cheer for your heroes and boo the villains. The Mini's were very happy with this. They robustly carried on throughout the entire evening. At intermission Claude and I grinned at each other and called this one a win for sure.

After the performance, we realized that adults in full costume were sitting on the back row of our balcony. When we got back to the lobby, there they all were. I was trying to get a picture. One of them noticed and told them to all turn around and pose. I yelled for Hayden and Bailey to join them and we got these great pictures.
Icing on the cake I tell you, icing on the cake. Hayden found signs saying they would be doing the next movie with the Louisville Symphony. He and Bailey definitely think we should get tickets and do this again!! Makes me very happy. Loved that they enjoyed a very different kind of music than the normal teenage rock stuff. We would highly recommend this to other parents and grandparents for an outing. Excellent evening.