Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday Memories - The First Half of Summer


One of the sounds of our summer is crop dusters.  All the fields around our house get dusted at one point or another.  We love waking up to the sound of them zeroing in on the fields.

My niece, Charlie, and my sister, Chris

My sister Chris and her family came to see us for a few days.  We went to Seattle to Pike's Market.  Chris was a floral designer and she especially liked seeing the long row of flower booths and the t-shirt shops.  

Calvin and my brother-in-law Bruce pulled chairs out to the street and visited, and dozed, and watched people, and held shopping bags.  It was a great arrangement.

Levin reading scriptures to us.  Notice he is using his finger
as a marker and the book is upside down.  I wish I could remember
the story he told us.  It had to do with bad guys fighting good guys.

One morning my job was to stay in bed and hold Atlas and Henry while 
Cali and Grace got ready to feed them.  It was one of my favorite jobs 
of the whole camping trip, and wasn't nearly as rough as I look.   

We went on a good hike.  

Everybody, and I do mean everybody, had a good time.

Abe teaching Cali how to read compasses and maps.  

Ray, Levin, and Atlas swinging in the hammock.  I do believe Atlas is singing.
One afternoon while everyone else in camp was napping, Levin took me and Atlas on a little hike. 
He ran out in front and said in a matter-of-fact voice over his shoulder, “I’ll be the leader.”  
Then as a side comment, “If you get scared of moose or reindeer come and tell me.”  

Grace and Henry
I told Henry that he saved the camping experience for future generations.
If he hadn’t been so good we might have bagged trying to take babies in the future.

Abe cooking garlic biscuits and cowboy stew.

Calvin, Atlas, Cali, Henry, and Grace
Our camp was a long, long ways away. When we came to a fork in the road
(and they were both less traveled) and Calvin and Abe couldn't remember
for sure which road to take, Ray, Abe, and Levin drove ahead to scout them out.
Calvin, Cali, Grace, and I swatted no-see-ums and smelled the pines while we waited.

We had a great time camping over the 4th of July.  Our camp spot was clear back in the Blue Mountains.  It was a beautiful and primitive place to camp.  It was well worth the winding roads and the long drive.

Dog Days.

Calvin does not always believe me when I tell him it's hot.  

But I have proof.


The other morning we woke up to the strong smell of smoke.  If it would have been a month or two earlier I would have sworn the canal company was burning the ditch banks around the house.  Instead, Washington has several fires going and even though the fires are a hundred miles away, the smoke lingers over the Basin and ash falls from the sky.

As I was out jogging I saw all these blackbirds sitting in this dead tree with the smoke sky in the background.  It was almost Edgar Allen Poe'ish.

Fresh Picks.

We're eating a lot of red potatoes, onions, and green beans from the garden, and Calvin ate the first tomato tonight. The spinach and lettuce have already bolted and been fed to the chickens and pigs.  Fresh corn is available in town.  The peach, pear, and apple trees are loaded.  It's a year of plenty and we're eating very fine.

Girls' Camp.
Calvin is teaching the girls how to eat ants, because some day you just may be 
lost, hungry, and sitting on an ant pile.

We had a great year at Girls' Camp this year.  Really good.  We played a lot of fun games, ate good food, slept in fancy tents, and didn't shower for five days.  It was also a wonderful spiritual experience.  


I needed to finish four classes, or 11 credits, in 3 months to be able to graduate in August. I had just about given up on being able to meet the graduation deadline when the kids bought plane tickets, arranged with commanding officers, or cleared very busy schedules so as to come to my graduation.  Failing to finish was no longer an option.  I had to finish.  The pressure was heavy.  I took my computer to girls' camp and climbed the hill early each morning before the girls woke up to sit outside the caretakers' cabin on a bench or rock where I could reach an internet signal and turn in assignments.  I called friends who were English majors and asked them to tutor me in grammar so I could learn faster and pass the tests.  I asked Ande and Abe to teach me how to write a research paper and then proofread them.  I worked around guests, said no to outside activities, didn't touch the garden for a month, and stayed home from events so I could work on classes.  But wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles the assignments were all turned in and the last test was taken two days before the deadline. Now we wait to see if I passed.

Calvin and Henry

Sweet.  Close.  Warm.  Happy.

Jane's Birthday Supper.

Calvin fixed butter for supper with a dab of shrimp, crab, and corn on the cob on the side.  It was very, very, very good.  He's always so thoughtful like that.

Keep forgiving.

This little pot of marigolds has to work twice as hard to stay alive because I keep forgetting to water them. Twice I've let them get too dry and they've wilted and started to die, but both times they bounced back after they got water.

I know it's cheesy to over-moralize a simple watering problem, but I couldn't help but notice how quick they were to forgive and put out new blooms even though I was thoughtless.  Lesson learned:  a grudge doesn't help a thing, it just makes you dead and ugly so keep forgiving.


If this were a Facebook picture I would like it.  It's what our evenings look like.   We have a very good life and I like it.

Memorial Day.
Atlas, Ray, Levin, Cali, Cooper, Haley, Ryan, Henry, Abe, Grace, Dan's nose

Ryan and Haley, my niece and nephew, came to visit for the long weekend.  The men went hunting, made measuring boards in the shop, and taught Levin to swim in the canal, while we women did womenfolk things. My niece Jesse who is working in the asparagus and cherry harvest in Yakima came too, but she was the one taking this picture.

Not my circus.  Not my monkeys. 

I just heard the saying, "Not my circus.  Not my monkeys."  

More than likely you already knew it, but it was new to me and I can tell already it's going to be real helpful. Just this morning I was thinking about something that really isn't any of my business.  After a few minutes, "Not my circus.  Not my monkeys," popped into my head.  

Tonight we went out to eat pizza for Family Home Evening and to celebrate no more homework.  I was watching a mother and father with their adult daughter.  Pretty soon a man came in and joined them and it appeared the daughter was officially introducing her new boyfriend to them.  He had earplugs draped around his neck and those big earring holes in his ears.  I was just starting to make assessments and guess how everyone was faring when "Not my circus.  Not my monkeys" popped in my head again.   

That saying is going to help me mind my own business like nobody's business.   


Ty, Michelle, and the girls sent me this card with a box full of nuts and chocolates to give me fuel to finish my schooling this summer.  Inside the card it says "Happy studying!" The chocolates were to help me stay strong and the nuts were to keep Calvin occupied so he didn't sidetrack me from homework.

Afton added her own note of "happy birfday" and "we vacuum" to the bottom of it.


Last Saturday we went to the free concert in the park.  Collin Raye was the performer.  He was a great entertainer and I enjoyed it very much.  It was pretty hard not to:  the amphitheater sits right on the lake with the breeze coming off the water, people were in good spirits enjoying the evening and camaraderie, the music was fun, people sang along, and the mood was light . . . and we had a bag of popcorn we'd brought from home.  Pretty much perfect.


Tonight Calvin took me out to a field where a farmer has put a baseball cap on twenty or so of his fence-posts.  They're just standing there like sentinels watching over the field.

Now that I think about it, I'll bet his wife did it.  I'll bet his two-dozen John Deere and Cenex hats kept falling off the closet shelf and she got tired of tossing them back on it so she took them out to the field and nailed them to the posts.  

Front Row:  Cali and Nicole
Back Row:  Donna, me, Sonja, Sandy, and Jenny

Twice a year a dozen of us meet to work on projects at a retreat house.  Some of us scrapbook and make cards, others sew, and sometimes we just visit. We take turns cooking the meals and have a grand time and get a lot done.  We've been doing this long enough that many of our daughters go now too.

Here are half of us.  It was July 11th so we went to get free 7-11 slurpees.

Another informal retreat we had was when Ray and Levin went fishing in Alaska.  I had given Cali "a day of sewing" for her birthday.  Cali and Atlas came over and I played with Atlas while Cali cut and sewed little quilts for the boys' beds.  My niece, Jesse, came that weekend, too, and we had a great time together. Creativity is therapeutic.  Then Ray and Levin came over and we helped them cut up and freeze their coolers of salmon. Evidently fishing is therapeutic too.

SafeCo Field. 

Calvin and Levin

Cali, me, Calvin, Bruce, Charlie, Chris, Amber, Jake, and Atlas 

Ray and Levin, Red Sox fans

We attended a Red-Sox and Mariners game.  The Red-Sox got thumped.  Badly.

Estrella, Rocio, Breanna, me

We went to the temple and did baptisms last week.  It felt so good to serve other people and be with the people from the Branch.


Some sunrises are extra beautiful.


Last Saturday Calvin and I were working in the garden and I was in my bare feet.  I got stung by a bee and his stinger was so deep that brushing him didn't work.  I had to pull him out and then fish out his stinger.  It was a cause of great vexation.  I won't be going barefoot for another couple of years, by which time I will have forgotten again the pain of a bee sting and will have to re-experience it.  Some lessons take years to master.


Abe and Grace and Calvin and I went to Wicked.  We tag-teamed -- Calvin and I went to the matinee, then babysat Henry while Abe and Grace went to the evening show.  It was fun to spend the weekend with them.

Calvin and I need subtitles.

A month later, Abe and Grace spent one of their vacation weeks with us.  Time goes so fast when they come over and we had a great time together.


I attended work-training on my birthday.  Joe, who was our host, made a double-chocolaty, double-layer cake with pink sprinkles.  It was the kindest gesture.

Young Women and Young Men
Yenica, Dulce, Hannah

Yenica, Denielson, Adrain, Benexi, Gaston, Jonathan

We taught the kids how to play Dare Base one night.  It's an old game our cousins used to play with us when they came to visit.  The kids liked it as much as I did when I was a kid.  I spent most of my time in prison on this game.  My legs are not as fast as my head thinks they are and I got caught and put in prison.


It was our turn to feed the missionaries Sunday.  Their enthusiasm is not for the food, but rather for the work they are doing.  They really are excited, happy, and grateful to have the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others.  

Now on to making memories the next half of the summer . . . and blogging more frequently, because did I tell you my homework is done?

Do tell.  What is one of your favorite memories from the first half of summer?


Ande said...

She's back! The Neighbor is back! Hooray! I have lots of favorite memories of the summer, most of them are just small things. Like yesterday Zeph coping my while I was showing him how to dance. He concentrated so hard and shook his bum from side to side. Or Zeph running as fast as he can and giggling away from Joe. Or driving three hours round trip as a family to buy peaches that we froze as a family. Or maybe when Zeph growls back at Joe when they hug. Or maybe when Zeph brings me the same four books over and over to read. Or maybe when Joe and I went to DC. Or maybe when Jayne's came to visit. Or maybe when Joe's friends came to visit and we went on a walk to see alligators and dolphins and played games. I do know that tomorrow will definitely make it into the highlight reel! Can't wait to see you guys. I'm so glad your classes are done so you can enjoy being here.

Charity said...

We spent the first part of our summer in Haiti working in an orphanage and teaching English to the community. We took all our children this time (!) and on the way back spent a glorious 2 days with the Franks and Allreds in Royal city, where we picked cherries, played in the pond, went to a wonderful 4th of July breakfast,visited and subsequently took home, in our carry-on baggage, 50lbs of wonderful hand-picked cherries. The perfect way to start summer.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Ande, your opening line made me feel like I'd run through a tunnel, tore past the cheerleaders and through their sign, and onto the football field.

I loved reading your good summer memories. I can't wait to see that dance in person.

Charity, oh my goodness! That's incredible going to Haiti. I'd love to hear lots more about it. Wait. Did I know that you knew the Allreds? How does this circle of friendship work? The cherries were especially good this year I thought.

Haley Krumblis said...

Aunt Jane!!! You're back!! I thought maybe I was dis-invited from your blog! Weeks went by! This makes sense!!! You. Are. Done! Congratulations!

There were so many fun updates and pictures! I loved them all! Some of my favorites were hearing about all your fresh produce! I can't wait for ours, I love summer because of that. I loved the, "Not my circus, not my monkeys." I need to say that as well. I am sad I missed the retreat. I could use one. So many projects I am behind on... Sad the Red Sox lost, but it sure looks fun. And SO sorry about the bee sting. I'm afraid I will have to learn that lesson again soon too.

Summer here is good. I have been assigned to two big projects at work, which challenge me and it is fun. Cooper is saying, "Mum" and his mouth is crooked when he says it. He also says, "Uh-Oh". He can now give a high five and dances whenever music comes on. Ryan is busy but we have had fun camping, etc. Hope to see you soon!

Alisa said...

Congratulations!! So exciting for you!

I love the phrase not my circus not my monkeys. I use it often. Yesterday savanna was trying to get me involved in a sibling squabble with the boys. I answered with the phrase and she looked at me and said "actually they are your monkeys!"

One of my favorite moments from summer so far was coming home after a road trip to Utah. We had such a great vacation and didn't want to leave. When we walked in our door I felt that comforting feeling of home and was glad to be here.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Thank you Haley! I. am. done. We be mates on fresh produce. I'm so glad we got to spend time with Cooper. When you tell what he is doing I can imagine it.

Alisa, how funny. Savanna got you good. That comforting feeling of coming home is so familiar, no matter how wonderful the vacation. You pegged it.