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Day 4 of 16 with the Grands *Pay Jobs*

Being the organized slavedriver that I am, when the youngsters are here to visit they are all assigned chores, and I give them no money for tackling these little jobs. Not too many; just enough to help train them to pull their own weight. These chores include taking their dishes from each meal to the sink, taking care of their own rooms, making their beds, putting dirty laundry on the washer, and putting up their clean clothes after I wash them. At various times I add other little jobs that take just a few minutes after they have done their school work each morning.

Sometimes I pay, though, and Thursday was such a day. Eight dollars an hour were the wages for the boys; five dollars for Ella. They worked hard and deserve every bit of money I have paid (and in Ella’s case, will pay). One of our basement rooms was the object of our furious overhaul, and as I sorted and judged, they carried out items and/or stacked them neatly on shelves. We have hundreds of books displayed inside our home, and in this basement room we had boxes of others that we had considered discarding, but just could not take the step to do so. Now was the time. I refused myself the luxury of poking through these boxes, for I knew I would grieve at letting go of some of them, although Jerry checked through them after the boys had carried them out to be discarded. (I confess right now to have snatched from destruction  three books that were on the top of one of the boxes, and which now are lounging on a table in our bedroom.)


Brady wagged in a shop vacuum to take care of messy housekeeping by some of our vagrant mice families.

dsc_4510I can’t sew a stitch and don’t even own a working sewing machine, so it is quite strange that once upon a time I fell in love with these antique chairs and thought somehow I could recover them. In my mind I even picked out the material–a black and white glen plaid. They would be stunning in one of the upstairs guest rooms. Since the time of those regal dreams the green tufted objects have been mouldering in subject basement room, occasionally eliciting negative murmurs by the master of the house.

Out they went to the discard stack.

dsc_4511. . .as did this formerly handsome rattan chest, which now boasts a bashed in top, and was stuffed with winter jackets and snowsuits of all sizes. I sorted through the snow clothes, discarded tiny ones, and Cole lugged the rest of them into the house where I laundered them, then hung them on hooks in the garage.

After a milkshake break, and a half hour or so of work afterward, we were finished. Brady looked around, remarked how nice it appeared, and said, “We should have taken before and after pictures.” He’s right. We should have, but we didn’t

Jerry has spoken to Ken, our across-the-street neighbor, about borrowing his trailer. Tomorrow Jerry and the boys will hitch it to our Jeep, load up all these discards, and travel to the dump that is located over on Highway 18. Cool thing about our dump; a thrift store is there. So all the books, a stroller, a pitiful lamp, the beautiful green chairs, a huge suitcase . . .and such . . .will go the thrift store side. The rest? Dumped.

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Crestline Happenings

In the late afternoon yesterday we arrived back here in Lake Havasu after having spent the better part of a week at our home in beautiful Crestline. Jerry had a doctor’s appointment on Monday morning, so immediately after church last Sunday we drove home.

“I’m coming up on Tuesday to spend a few hours with you and Mom,” Rebecca told her dad on Sunday. “I’ll be bringing the rest of my birthday pie.”

A rare occurrence is for Jerry to grocery-shop, but on Tuesday morning, he traipsed down to Goodwin’s market and came home with a chuck roast, a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk. Rather proud of his selection, I think, he noted how beautiful was the roast, and a little fretfully explained that he had thought of buying steaks, but at nearly $10.00 a pound had decided instead on the old standby of a pot-roast. “They’re really hard to beat,” he argued to my smiling, “been-there done-that” face.

“Exactly so,” I agreed.

I seared well the piece of beef and set it to cook atop the stove in a heavy covered pot. The tantalizing scent permeated our mountain home during the afternoon and greeted Rebecca and Nathaniel when they arrived around 4:30. We had eaten no lunch. “Come hungry,” I told Rebecca earlier in the day, planning that we would have dinner as soon they could drive up the mountain after she picked up Nathaniel from school. He was a sight when he walked in the front door.

The meal was scrumptious, concluding with the half pie Rebecca had brought. Her birthday was on the previous Saturday and some friends had taken her out to dinner and somewhere in the mix a delicious Brownie/Caramel/Mousse pie came into play, and its luscious remainder was now split four ways…and finished off.  We visited so late and long that Rebecca told Nathaniel he had to get started on his homework, at which he balked, but to which he finally turned his attention.

We had plans, Rebecca and I, so at 8:30 on Wednesday morning, I pulled into her driveway, she heard me and quickly came to the car. We had lots to do. For breakfast, we drove to Starbucks for coffee and muffins (I know, I know. I’ve voiced issues with Starbucks, but read carefully I did not say I wouldn’t go there, but that when I had a choice I would choose another place, and anyway I had gift cards. 🙂  ) We talked a long time over our muffins, then drove to the mall where the mama treated the birthday girl to a couple of presents. Rebecca snagged a pair of brown shoes and a quite necessary unmentionable–actually two of the deals. And yes, the mama shopped too and wore new black shoes to church this morning as proof.

The day slipped too quickly, and we must have lunch before I had to drive Rebecca back to her home, for  Nathaniel must be retrieved from school, so we dashed to Marie Callender’s. We split a super dish of Beef Stroganoff and each had a green salad, which were so large, we could also have split them.

“We don’t spend enough time together,” one of us said, and the other agreed, but we’ll do it as often as we can, we pledged.

Rebecca is the best daughter any mother could have. She is beautiful in every way, and I love her dearly.

On Thursday I cleaned, for the holidays are coming, you know, and Jerry and I will be home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I can’t wait, and I want everything as nice as is possible, although I am not one to overly fret about perfection. However, my large collector’s cabinet in which I display a moderate collection of carnival glass was howling for attention. I spent 3 hours on the thing. You read right; actually it was probably closer to 4 hours. I completely emptied it, hand washed and dried every piece of glass, took out the glass shelves, washed and dried them, then polished the inside and outside of the cabinet to a gleam. I took a tiny brush to the crevices, then Windexed the little panes until finally it was splendid.

I gauged the crystal and carnival glass items as I returned them, rearranging, thinking of the occasions when I received some as gifts, or when I had bought them at a shop, fingering the tags on those I have promised to Chloe and Gentry and Nathaniel. I sketched around with thoughts of my death, and how those grandchildren will react when I am gone, and my pieces of colored glass will now be their own.

Andrew and Shawnna and their five came by to spend the night on Friday after a party in Rialto. It occurred to me as I hugged Cole that something looked funny about him. “Let me look at you, Cole.” He grinned, I held him straight in front of me, and saw that he is missing his four front teeth. Two on the top–two on the bottom. On Saturday morning before they left he posed for a picture.

“I can’t believe he’s grinning like that at you,” Andrew said. “He wouldn’t let us take a picture at all.”

Later I snapped a few shots of the kids with their Pappy, and in every one of them, Cole grins widely, as though to show well his snaggly appearance.