Friday, June 17, 2011

The Robins - empty nest today

My daughter Nichole at work with her new business - porta potties. She and Ned are now the proud owners of 350 porta potties. This is her in action. They are already finding out it is a lot of work. I keep reminding her if they weren't busy they would be in big trouble.

Last baby bird to leave the nest. I don't think he wanted to go. Maybe the mother pushed him. I didn't get to see how he left.

Latest and final update on my robins nest. About two weeks ago, I noticed broken blue egg shells around on my porch and I feared something had gotten into the nest and ate the eggs. I watched the mother and father come and go from the nest with mouths filled with worms so I de cided there must be baby birds in the bottom. I watched for a couple of days as the two birds were busy coming and going always with worms. I then left for about 10 days and upon return, wa la, I find five baby birds waiting with mouths open for their next feeding of worms. Wow, they had grown fast and the nest was filled, as you can see from above. I have enjoyed watching them for the past five days grow and eventually stand, spread their wings, and peek out over the edge. They were not a bit afraid of me when I would go out and get a closer look at them but the mother bird would go crazy. Iam surprised she didn't attack me. She always seemed close by and very vocal about me getting close to her babies.

Yesterday, one by one they began leaving the nest. I don't know if they left by choice, as I never got to see them actually jump or if they just got pushed out by one of the other birdies. It was real crowded in that little nest. Today, upon examining first thing in the morning, there were only two babies left and I had a hard time leaving my window from where I have watched them from the beginning. They would peek over the edge, look around, and wonder if they should really go or stay in the security of the nest. As I returned to the window, the second to last birdie had left the nest but wasn't happy and was trying to get back up. He couldn't fly yet and was trying to climb up the boards on my porch. He just wasn't successful and finally fell to the ground and wandered off never to be seen again. That left the last little birdie and he seemed totally lost and confused as to what he should do. There was no one there to push him out and the mommy birdie kept coming back feeding him. I watched as much as I could, fascinated, most of the day as he kept creeping to the edge, looking down, then going back to the comfort of the nest waiting for the next worm to arrive. The mom was faithful to keep feeding him and about 4 p.m. as I return to the window, he had left the nest and was walking around on the porch. For a while, he just sat, I'm sure not knowing what to do and waiting for the mommy to bring worms, but she never did and my heart went out to him. I wanted to go put him back in the nest, but realized this is the cycle of life and they all have to leave the nest sooner or later.

Once the nest was empty, I saw the mom and dad or the babies no more. I felt like they had deserted me and left me with nothing to entertain myself with. How dare they!! But, it is just like real life. After working so hard for your little babies, they eventually leave the nest and you must find a new life. I just wonder if the little mommie robin gets to hang around her children and watch and enjoy the next generation. We'll see if any of them return next year to their home to have their own little family. I will miss watching them daily but will not miss the mess they left. Birds sure do poop a lot.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

This post is for my family members that did not get to visit the graves of my mother, father and two sisters, Linda and Diane. I made three trips out to the cemetary and decorated graves in the blustering wind but luckily, the rain stopped long enough for me to get my chores done. I have accumulated quite a few plastic flowers that I add to every year and I know plastic, but they don't need water and I am not good keeping real flowers alive. I also buy 6-8 pots of mums that I have learned how to secure down with stakes so they stay upright for the three days I leave them there. I then take them back to my house and plant them and if I remember to water them, I enjoy them for a couple of weeks. As I left the cemetary on Friday night after watching the sun set with my family, as I drove away I was gently reminded that I hadn't left my usual bunch of lilacs that my mother loved. I usually stop at the little house she lived in while in IF and cut lilacs but this year I took a different route to the cemetary and totally forgot the lilacs. I promised her I would get some in Boise and leave them on my way back home. In Boise, I didn't see one lilac tree and as I left, I wondered where I would find blooming lilacs on the side of the freeway. In Twin Falls, I was prompted to take a street running along the side of the freeway that I thought I had seen a lilac tree on the way past but wasn't sure. As I was just about to turn around, wa la, there were two small blooming lilac trees in the gutter so I didn't have to invade anyones property. Cut my lilacs and off I went back to the cemetary. I left the lilacs next to mom's headstone and was proud that I had listened to that still small voice telling me where I could find them. Again, the wind was blowing hard so I quickly grabbed all my flowers and I think I might have taken some other flowers that had been left there. So, if anyone left flowers at the graves and they disappeared, I probably have them and they will be put back next year.

Update on my robins. My little robin has gotten braver and doesn't frighten quite like she used to. She is spending more time in the nest so I think she must have layed her eggs. I saw something so touching today I need to get it down for all to enjoy. I haven't seen the male Robin lately but today as I sat in the chair watching, the male Robin flies to the edge of the nest, gives the female a worm, then the female jumps to the side of the nest, the male looks down at the eggs and flies away. It was sooo cute. I would love to get up there to see how many eggs there are, but I am afraid I would get attacked. Whenever the mother birdie leaves the nest and I am outside, she is close by chirping as loudly as possible warning me not to get closer. I can't resist looking at her and saying "I was here first" and off I go. I have begin to use my back door as much as possible as not to disturb her. I can't wait until the little birdies hatch. I will get another photo when that happens. If by chance someone reading is wondering about the robins, check out my last two posts.

I am looking at life different these days. Will post more on that later.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Robin update

I need to add an update on my little birdie post I did on Mother's Day. In the last two weeks my little robin has attempted to build a nest above my porch light. Many times the wind has blown the nest down but she never gave up. Last attemp she was successful and I sat in my mothers favorite rocker and watched her as she finished it off. She would add sticks then move around in a circle as she cemented them down. I don't know how she ever made it stay where it is but she managed to get it in perfect sight of my watchful eyes as I sit and rest in mother's rocker. She watches me from her perch and up until today, every time I stood up to try and get a photo she would fly away. The last few days she has spent a lot more time there and seems to be more hesitant to leave the next. If she leaves, it isn't long before she is back. I think she must have layed her eggs and knows she can't leave them unattended for very long. Today, I was able to sneak up on her and snap this photo before she could fly away. I think she is realizing I am not going to hurt her or steal her eggs. I have been tempted to climb up there and look in the nest but I am afraid she will attack me. If ever I am on the porch, she is watching intently from the tree that is close by and squacking the whole time. She is definately acting like an over protective mother. I can't wait until the little birdies hatch. I will have to use the back door to avoid getting attacked. I used it as often as I could today to not disturb her. I will keep a running post and it will be interesting to see how long it tackes before the eggs hatch.

One more short post. I have to get this on record that last Friday afternoon was my afternoon from He**. I had planned a 90 minute activity for my sixth graders that was inspired by the show the Amazing Race. I had clues to each little activity I had planned and assumed it would take each of my eight teams about 10 minutes to complete the activity (which was inspired by the show Minute to Win It). I had nine activities and had some of them planned outside the school (bad idea because it has rained or snowed for the last 30 days). The first disaster happened as one of my leaders took her folder outside with all the clues and the wind immediately blew them all over the yard. Crap!! It all went downhill from there. I had parent volunteers helping with each station and I think they thought they were helping the teams by letting them complete the station as soon as possible. To make a long story short, each station only lasted about 4-5 minutes instead of the 10 I had planned and with 45 minutes left in the day I had 70 11 year olds that needed to be entertained. I couldn't send them back to class as this was a success party and that would not have been a good time for them. I ended up running relay races in the lobby of the school as by now it was pouring rain outside and the gym was being used by the p.e. classes. I have to say, that was the longest 45 miutes of my life. I'm sure I will get a call to the principals office tomorrow and I know I will burst into tears the minute I walk into his office. Lets hope he takes pity on me if I show a lot of remorse. It probably wouldn't have been so bad except there were a lot of rug burns on elbows and knees and some over hyper boys almost broke the glass doors. Only 3 1/2 days to go and a few months off. I have more time off that expected after tomorrow. Later.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

Anyone reading this blog must wonder what a robin looking in my window has to do with Mother's Day. I am now almost convinced this is my mother in the form of a beautiful bird visiting me on this special weekend. I woke yesterday to this robin watching me from the window in my bedroom. I thought surely it was a one time thing but this went all day long. It wasn't just my bedroom window, when I would go into the living room it wasn't long the bird would be watching from my porch. Back to the bedroom, sure enough, soon the bird would appear. This went on all day long. As you can see, I even got close enough to snap a bunch of photos. The puppy-dog eyes were just begging me to let her in but I really didn't want bird poop all over my bedroom or I probably would have. Also at times, the little birdie would sit on my car window (again poopy) and act like she wanted to get in and have me take her for a ride. My mother's favorite thing to do was go for a ride and somewhere along the way stop for a soft ice cream cone that she would take so long eating that it would pretty much be melted. At first, I thought it was just a coincedence, but again this morning early at my window was the robin and this time she had a partner with her. They took turns standing on the ledge looking and watching me get ready for church. Waiting patiently for me on the window ledge when I returned from church, my little robins. I am now convinced it is a visit from my mom and dad just letting me know I am not alone on this special day. Thanks mom and dad for the company.

Because I was in McCall and Boise last weekend and gas is like filling my tank with liquid gold, I didn't go visit children this weekend so all day long I been reminiscing of when I really was a mother and had a home filled with laughter, song, teasing, and an occasional punch. I decided to list some of the things I remember most back when I really had to act as a mother. Now, I enjoy just being "Nana" and not have to be the mother figure I was for many years. I enjoy watching my own children take on that role and me just stand by and enjoy the payback.

These are just a few memories I have when I had children at home: Our drives in the car when we would sing and play games; playing hide and seek at my parents home; bike rides and playing at Holt arena; Saturday soccer games; Sunday evenings watching our favorite tv show: Life Goes On; trips to Lagoon and staying as long as possible to get our money's worth; the many, many ball games where I was so proud to be "the Nead's mom."; the band and choir concerts where I was just as proud; games around the kitchen table where everyone cheated except me; everyone helping with the children we tended in our home; Sunday's with the Belnaps and our weekly grilled cheese sandwiches; our bedtime routine where I would sing my mother's lullaby and tell the same boring story till all was quiet; our move to Teton Valley and how well everyone adjusted and quickly made friends; our Christmases at my parents home and the arrival of Santa with everyone wearing new pajamas; our Thanksgivings with the Manwarings and Manwaring reunions together with mom and dad; the pride I felt every time my little family performed together; my children bearing their testimonies every fast Sunday;

I could go on for pages but I just wanted to list a few of my fond memories. The last memory I would like to list is that of the joy and sorrow I felt each time one of my children left home and me hoping I had taught them life skills they would need in order to survive in the world. Apparently I did something right, as I have the greatest children anyone could have and I am so lucky to be their mom. I love you Nichole, Jessica, Spencer, and Kelly. You are my life and you have made my life one I will cherish forever and ever.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Birthday for Nana

It's been a while since I posted on my blog, and I don't mean to bore anyone that reads this blog, but until I get faithful with a journal, this is my lazy way of keeping track of my life. I am going to run quickly through my last couple of months as a lot has happened but I have got to get it down before I forget. I am planning on writing a history for my family as soon as I get time and I wished I had started this about 35 years ago. Word of advice to young families. Start writing down the cute things your children do so you don't have to go back and try to remember. Spencer's children love to hear stories about when their dad was young. I have about ran out and I wished I could also tell stories about their mother, but I will leave that to the other Grandma. As soon as they can understand, I can't wait to tell them the story about when Spencer was the Santa at our elementary Christmas party. He had forgotten boots so he wore his tennis shoes and as the kids came up to get their candy canes, they were amazed at how tall he was and how big his feet were. I remember one little boy looking up at him and saying "Wow Santa, you are really tall." I couldn't stop laughing. Spence didn't think it was very funny though as he hadn't expected the whole school to be there, he was sweating to death, and he was running out of candy canes. I don't think he will ever put on another Santa suit after than ordeal.
Back to my story. Starting with Thanksgiving. We had Thanksgiving this year in Boise and Kelly and his family couldn't get there until Friday. Thursday, those who were there went out to eat and I kept wanting to stand up and make the statement that we weren't being lazy and not cooking, but we were going to celebrate on Friday but I didn't (surprise, surprise). By Friday, my whole family had shown up, even our Texans. Spencer had assigned me the job of taking care of Cole (my newest grandchild) and I was in hog heaven. I pretty much just sat, held the baby, and watched with pride and happiness my family having fun together. Summer had a beautiful table set and we felt very elegant in our surroundings. It was a very memorable Thanksgiving. My family will be glad to know I didn't make them take a family photo. I wanted to but was too busy holding my newest grandchild.
Christmas, it's back to Boise after Kelly and his family stopped at school (at my request) and we celebrated in my classroom. That was fun and I am glad the grandkids got to see where I spend most of my time.
Again, I spent most of my time holding the baby and hopefully that freed Summer up to get some things done. I can't think of a better Christmas than holding a baby most of the time. We had a great time Christmas Eve and then Christmas morning. It was my job not to let the children come down the stairs until Summer and Spencer were awake and considering how late they stayed up putting things together, it was a good thing the kids waited until about 7:30 to get up. I tried entertaining them for a while upstairs but I finally ran downstairs to wake the parents and Spence rolls over and says "Just give me five more minutes." I infomed him that he needed to get up now and would miss the whole thing if he didn't. And Christmas morning began. That afternoon I drove to Council to finish off my deliveries, and got to visit with Ned's family some. I only stayed long enough to unwrap gifts as I was worried about the fog and the roads going back to Boise. It's always interesting at Ned's parents home. I have never seen a quiet moment there. There were snowmibiles flying around, kids running in and out, and Gwen in the kitchen, which is where I usually find her.
What a fantastic Christams! Thanks Summer for putting up with me so much. I realize that it's not easy having someone invade you home but you never blink an eye and I never feel unwelcome. Next celebration was my birthday. My birthday always falls on the first couple of days back to school after Christmas break so it usually isn't a fun time. This year I decided to make it a little more interesting so I took 120 mini muffins to school for the students. The last ten minutes of classtime I showed them the muffins but told them they had to earn them by writing me a nice birthday note. Wow! I didn't realize that I was the "Best Teacher in the Universe", that I reminded one students of her grandmother that she loved, and that I had "Eyes the color of the ocean." It really made me feel good although I had bribed them with muffins. Then in the middle of the afternoon, I got flowers delivered to me. That was a real treat. By the end of the day, I had heard from all my children, I was exhausted, and glad to fall in bed with another year behind me. I can't believe how old I turned on this birthday but I really can't complain because I am very healthy, my bones don't creak, my heart has a regular beat, I don't have cancer, and I am still alive and kicking. I know this coming year is going to be the best of my life. All I have to say is: "Bring it on."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My newest grandchild

I have to keep this short as it is late but I had to show off the newest member of my wonderful family. Little CJ (Cole James) joined our family Oct. 4th and he fit right in as each of his siblings held and passed him around when he was about 3 hours old. My job was to get his brother and sisters to the hospital in time to be there when he was born, but because he came quick and earlier than expected, we were about an hour late but got to see him when he was an hour old just as his dad brought him out of the delivery room. About an hour later, we got to join him and mom in the hospital room where they each got to hold him and welcome him to their family. What a wonderful experience for all of us. Even though no one believes me, I got him to smile twice at me - at three hours old. I do have a way with babies. I feel like Grammy Anderson was hanging around after escorting him to this earth and little CJ pretty much supported my feelings. I had a hard time leaving him on Wed., and he even grunted (my interpretation of a goodbye) when I had to return to my mountain home. I haven't been able to stop thinking about him since I left. I have more picures I am going to post later.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend from the past

Yesterday (Sat) I took a trip back in time. It was the Shelley Spud Day celebration and I usually go down to see old friends and remember my many years at Spud Day and the many parades I got to participate in. First, I got to Rigby in time to see most of Keayen's flag football game that Kelly coaches. I enjoy seeing my boys coach as much as I enjoy watching the grandsons play ball. Kelly has a good team and I wish they could challenge Spencer and Max's team. I don't think Spencer's team has lost or even been challenged - mainly because all the dads are former football payers and their boys look like sons of football players. Maybe they could meet in the middle (Burley) and have a friendly little game on neutral turf. (And the competition between my boys continue except in a different fashion). I don't think it will ever happen though but it would be fun.
After the game, I jumped in my car and rushed to Shelley in hopes of getting in on the end of the parade. I got there in time to get a parking spot at the end and probably got to see about half of it. I looked over next to me and there was a little golf cart with two older ladies sitting in it with a young girl driving. I took a second, longer look and realized one of the women was who I could call my second mother. They lived just down the road from me in Jameston and I think I spent more time at their house with my best friend than I did at my own house. I went over to her and told her who I was, but I don't think she could quite understand. We visited about the past but she still didn't quite comprehend but it was sure fun to see her.
By now, Kelly and Becca had arrived and had surprised me with the fact they were coming down. The knew I went down every year and decided to join me this year. We got to have corn dogs for lunch (a little pricey but you pay for the atmosphere) and an Indian taco. Then, I took them over to the potatoe picking contest and conned Keayen into participating. I can remember the many years I spent in the spud fields picking potatoes and I wanted my grandchildren to experience picking spuds and trying to dump them in a gunny sack. He was a good sport and agreed to pick potatoes just for his nana. We missed his age group so he went with the next age group up but you couldn't tell the difference. He is a tall boy and some day he will realize what an advantage that will be to him. For never picking potatoes, he did a good job and even got the hang of dumping the spuds into the gunny sack. I don't know how he felt, but I was very entertained and it took me back to the years that I won the potatoe picking contest pretty much every year.
From there, we went over to the activities which were not you normal carnival rides but jumping toys. The kids each got to pick about three each and paid a dollar for about a minute on the toy (which we had to stand in line for about 15 min for each one). By now, it was time for Keayen to get back for a birthday party so the family piled in their van and off they went. I tried to locate some old friends but couldn't find them so headed back to my mountain home here in the Tetons. What a fun day I had and it brought back a lot of old memories.