Friday, June 19, 2015

A Birthday, a Change of Attitude, and Some Other Things, TToT 105

Well, it's happened.

I've gone viral.

Don't worry. I won't forget all of you who were with me in the early days of bad writing and pointless posts.

I may not have time for you, what with signing autographs and all, but I won't forget you.



It's so absurd I can't even take the joke any farther.

I'll explain later.

But first (also known as 1.), I must say a gigantic thank you for

this guy.

Fourteen years ago, Star brightened our world and made it just a wee bit (ok, a lot. A LOT) louder. He's brilliant. He's funny. He's brave. He's extreme. He's maturing into a thoughtful, helpful, responsible young man. Most importantly this week, he's forgiving and patient. His birthday plans have been blown to bits. Every single thing we were planning to do had to be put off for a variety of reasons, and he has rolled with it with no complaints. Even when his birthday party had to be postponed because of the endless rain we've had.

He could easily be my favorite kid this week. :)

OK, back to my fame (aka 2.)...

Normally, when I put a link on my Facebook page about a new blog post, that update is shown to 25-75 people.

This week my post on my kids' lack of smartphones must have struck a chord. Both Melody  and Susan shared it. And then more people did. Last time I checked, 21 people shared it. I've gotten over 500 hits to that post from Facebook alone. (That's about 100 times what I usually get.)

I had that post in my drafts for months. Even during the A-Z Challenge, when I dedicated the whole month to giving unsolicited advice, I chose not to post it. I was nervous about it for some reason.

I'm glad I finally just hit the publish button. Not because it brought me fame (I can hardly type the word "fame" without laughing.) without the fortune, but because I've heard from some people who said it actually prompted them to have discussions with their husbands. It got people really thinking about the subject. Whether they agree with me or not, I just want parents to go into a smartphone purchase after dedicated thought, not just because it was the easy thing to do.

As an added bonus, I got some serious back-up for when my kids mention their sad state of being the only kids without smartphones. :)

3. It's been raining. For days. While I grumbled about the landscaping we couldn't do, Cuckoo cheered.

IT'S RAINING! (As opposed to snowing, which his foot attire might indicate.)
So, we've embraced the rain. It's warm, and there's usually no thunder or lightening, so there's no reason NOT to play in it. Only difference is their crazy is now wet.

I'm cool with that. And yes, they were in their pajamas to play this morning. I'm cool with that, too.

4. A couple of times this week, we enjoyed a couple of breaks in the rain (Well, as much as one can enjoy a sauna-like atmosphere.). One day, we even saw the sun for an hour. Take a guess how they spent that time...

Yup. Playing in water. Falling from the sky. In their clothes.

 I am happy to know about this great, free park to take the boys once the rain eventually stops (It will stop, right?!?!?) and the heat of summer descends upon us.

5. Buttercup is coming home tomorrow!! She's had one heck of an experience out at the reservation, but we're ready to have her back.

6. I have to say, even though the rain is making my life a bit more difficult, it has been marvelous for all things fruits and vegetable. The black raspberry bushes on our property are popping with fruit. I've already frozen 5 cups of them, Turken has eaten about a quart, and I have enough in the fridge to make a cobbler tomorrow. And there are plenty more to pick.

7. The green bean plants are out of control, too. When I was in the garden pulling weeds on Thursday (during a break in the rain), there were teeny, tiny beans all over. I'll be doing plenty of canning in the coming weeks. I'm excited, seeing as how they all went to waste last year thanks to my injury, our trip to Europe, and my surgery.

8. I took the boys to see Inside Out this afternoon. It was THE BEST movie. No joke. I loved it. The kids loved it. I even had one of the teens with us. I won't embarrass him and call him out by name, but he loved it, too. It's funny. It's touching. It has some real truths about emotions in it.

9. Our summer of getting projects done has been derailed, but I'm not letting it go for good. We've gotten some cleaning out done inside the house, and it makes me happy. The game closet has been reclaimed!

10. I love summer. (Have I mentioned that before?) To go with the cleaning/project completion, we also get to try new things. Today, the little boys and I made homemade lemonade. We used this recipe, and my word, it lived up to its name.

We'll be making plenty more throughout the summer.


11. In one break in the rain, Giant and Phoenix and I did manage to get some landscaping work done. There is one area in the back of the house that we have not touched for two years. It is filled with poison ivy, and we're all terribly allergic to it, so we simply avoid it. NO MORE! The three of us donned our long pants, long-sleeve shirts, gloves, and hats and had at it. We pulled out 4 (little) trees and innumerable tree-sized wild rhubarb bushes. (No joke. They were as tall as me.) That was Monday. As of today, not one of us has come down with a rash. WOOHOO!

12. Blast. I know I'm forgetting something, but I can't remember what it is. Consider this a place holder.

Well, Friends, it's your turn. (And yes, you are friends. Internet friends are real friends, no matter what my family thinks.) Link up your post or tell me what made you smile this week.

Have a lovely day!

Ten Things of Thankful

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  1. Happy Birthday, Giant, and Congrats to you! You make people think and that's something to be proud of! I admit I am envious of your produce bounty, but I'm with you in hoping the rain gives us a break.

    1. I will give Star the birthday wishes. (Not your fault that you had the wrong one. I realized that I never actually put his name, just his photo, and even people who know us in the flesh mess the two of them up constantly.)


      I really hope you get some nice weather on your trip!

  2. most awesome thankfuls - a little bit fame mixed in with some rainy day fun...(and you know how I love a rainy day, yet RAINY DAYS not a big fan at all)... omw the black raspberries look so scrumptious - I remember when I was a little girl my Nonno would take us to this park near his home that not only had the best water sprinklers (YAY to free water parks) it also donned at the entrance these gorgeous berry trees, bushes IDK I was little they were big yet we would pick this blackberries every time and while running around splashing we had these black berries - not sure what kind but does it matter my grandpa said it was OK. LOL.

    Congrats to your 14 year old happy Birthday to your son...James turned 14 in the end of May not sure where James has been since his birthday I think aliens took over his body, yup saying its been crazy since his birthday is an understatement... I leave it at that and say it's getting better.

    Congrats to your fame what a wonderful post.. it's something to think about and you are 100% right.

    What else the lemonade looks delicious the boys look like they are having fun making it - I've made lemonade that way many times ...i also make ice tea like that too. - I can't buy that powder stuff.

    Hope the rain stops soon for you guys and just remember;

    The Sun will come out tomorrow....and if not tomorrow the next day because that's tomorrow too.


    1. One rainy day...great! A week of rainy days...ugh.
      Ha! As long as grandpa says it's ok, it must be! Funny that two things on my list in combination remind you of one memory.

      I remember James's birthday, because I noted how close in age our boys are. Sorry about the aliens. I hope they "go home" soon so your boy can get back to his normal self.

      Thanks. :)

      They did enjoy squeezing the lemons. It is delicious lemonade. I have never made it with simple syrup before, and wow! It makes a difference!

      Ha! Just so it comes out and STAYS out!

  3. A belated Happy Birthday to Giant, it sounds like he's growing into a mature and selfless young man.

    Love the photos of the kids playing in the rain; they wouldn't do it over in this country though, our rain is cold.

    I don't 'do' Facebook, but congrats on your 'fame' - if your post has made just one parent think before giving his/her child a smart phone as an easy option then it's been worth writing and hitting 'publish'.

    The home made lemon juice sounds good, and just the thing for a refreshing drink on a hot day (what's one of those??) lol

    1. Sorry, I meant Happy Birthday Star.

      I suppose I could blame you for having so many kids, I keep getting them mixed up! lol

    2. Ha! Not your fault at all. I think you commented before I stuck his name in there. (Sarah started it!) Plenty of people confuse the two of them. Even people who have known us for years.

      We are lucky to have warm rain. Or at least warm temps that make the cool rain feel good.

      Thanks. :)

      The hot air is coming this week, so I'm sure the lemonade will go fast!

  4. Your wonderful photos make me smile. :-)

    1. Oh good. I'm glad. They make me smile, too. :)

  5. HB! G!
    (tradition: )

    very cool on the viral… (ain't it exciting and a little…. ' oh oh! whats going on here?')

    loves doing the larger scale yard work… such payoff the whole place looks different!

    1. I'll give Star (not Giant) the message. :)

      Cool. And a bit unnerving.

      It is amazing how different the back looks just from removing those trees and rhubarb. It's still a mess, but a much more manageable mess. :)

    2. …and I used to wonder how the heck I could get a 'C' on a test…. an open book test! lol ayiee!

  6. Congrats on your new found fame! ;) What a great post for people to see, though. It really is an important thing to think about. I love that you're embracing the rain. It gets really, really old when it's nonstop like that.

    1. Ha! Thanks.

      Thankfully, the kids are embracing the rain. It was starting to feel like winter around here, with everyone cooped up in the house.

  7. Poison Ivy is a horribly invasive weed. I've managed to keep it out of my yard, but my mother with a bush lot across the road struggles with it constantly. Worse, in Ontario we cannot buy herbicides so it has to be dealt with just as you describe. Long sleeves, gloves, etc. Kudos to you that no one came down with the rash.

    The rule in my household regarding cell phones (we started before smart phones) was they had to be able to pay their own phone bill before they could get one. I can understand why parents would want to put it off as long as they can. My youngest has friends who's last names I don't know. They call his cell phone, never the house phone. So there's a lot less awareness or knowing of the people he spends time with and to me that is a big minus.

    1. Poison ivy is one giant pain in the rear. Lucky you to have managed to keep it out of your yard. We are so, so allergic. I swear, I get it out of the air!

      That is a good point! Without the house phone ringing, it's a lot harder to keep tabs on who is calling and associating with the kids.

  8. Love your fun in the rain pictures! Your entire post is filled with fun, happy things and I loved them all. Your raspberries look scrumptious! We lost some spinach this past week due to too much rain, but our broccoli is thriving nicely because of it. Happy belated Birthday to Giant. Hope the rest of your summer is filled with continued fun! :)

    1. Thanks!
      Sorry to hear about the spinach. We grew broccoli one year, but there were so many bugs to clean out of it before we could eat it! Do you have that problem? We may try growing it again next year, now that we have kids who will eat it.
      Wow, Sarah really started something. I will pass the birthday wishes on to Star. :)
      Thanks! I'm counting on plenty of fun!

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  10. ♪♪Happy Birthday to you,♪♪
    ♪♪Happy Birthday to you,♪♪
    ♪♪Happy Birthday Dear Star,♪♪
    ♪♪Happy Birthday to you.♪♪

    I love your new blog look. Awesome.

    Your family is great. I so enjoy reading about your family.

    Have a fabulous weekend. ☺

    1. I will pass on the song. :)

      Thank you! I can't stop looking at the header. I just can't believe I figured out how to do it!

      Aw, thank you Sandee. I'm glad someone besides my dad enjoys reading about them. :)

  11. Hey nice header! Happy Birthday! Just graduated too right? I read your phone and your everything screwy at the coop posts.... loved them both but I think my phone was screwy and wouldnt let me comment on one of them at least.... go figure!

    1. Thanks! He did just graduate. Good memory you have. :)

      You couldn't comment? Shocking. Ha! What gives?

  12. Love the pictures of your kiddos in the rain. A few years ago, we had a nice spring downpour, and the girls wanted to go out. My first response was "what the heck are you THINKING???" my second was "Heck, why not???", so the three of us donned rain gear and headed out. We had so, so much fun; I believe I got a cold later, as I always get when I'm out with wet hair, but it was totally worth it.

    Home-grown fruit and veggies are the best! I can't wait for our own produce in a few years. We're having some strawberries, but I think the plants need a few years to really get familiar with their surrounding :-)

    Hope you have a great weekend, Christine!!!

    1. Way to jump in an not only let them, but play out there with them!

      Homegrown are most certainly tastier. I'm sad to say we have no strawberries this year. We are going to have to start from scratch next year.

      Thank you!

  13. Happy birthday to Star!
    Congratulations on your fame. You deserve it! (Only the good things that fame brings, of course. I'm not talking paparazzi.)
    California will gratefully accept any excess rain. My daughter's friend is getting married today in a backyard ceremony, and the homeowners had to PAINT the grass!

    1. Thanks! I'll pass it on.

      Ha! No joke. I have no desire to have real fame.

      I can't even wrap my head around that. Painting the grass green?!? Wow. Ours is growing so fast we can barely keep up.

  14. I like the new header. When I first looked at it, I was all hey, why is that one chicken different, and then I figured it out before I made a fool of myself....
    Aren't you supposed to pee on poison ivy to kill it? I would think you have at least five willing participants to give that a try.
    I'm probably one of the few Americans who doesn't like lemonade. Or anything else lemon.
    My husband would crawl to Indiana for some of those blackberries.

    1. Thanks! Buttercup did the same thing with the chickens. :)
      I have never, ever heard of such a thing. No doubt the two youngest would be all over giving it a try, even if I doubted it could even work.
      I can't drink much of it at one time. Little bits of lemon things I like, but not a whole piece of pie or anything, which is sad, since my mom has perfected the lemon meringue pie.
      Wow. That's a love of berries.

  15. Inspired list this week! First, your son has grown into such a handsome young man. Happy birthday to him!
    Smart phones...All three of my kids got theirs as high school grad gifts. We wanted them to have the data and navigation for being in new cities for college. Until then dumb phones were just fine.
    Can not tell you how much I love the rain photos! Classic summer fun.
    And raspberries on your property?! So jealous!
    Thanks for remembering us little folks now that you are famous!

    1. Thank you! I'm going to have to agree with the handsome part. :)
      Dumb phones are fine, as are smartphones in certain situations. I'm sure your kids were thrilled to get theirs at graduation, and appreciated them to boot.
      We have 4 raspberry bushes at last count. Don't know how they got there, but we're glad they are!

  16. Love the dancing in the rain photos. Reading about your family makes me happy. Your phone post was spot on and I'm glad many parents are reading it and taking your advice. It's brilliant really. The phone to keep in touch with you and the IPod touches for the kid stuff - and you can use it as leverage when you need to without breaking the communication by phone necessity. And I like the new header. I want to change mine, too.

    1. Thank you, Val. I am happy with the response to it, as it means parents are talking about it. We need to make these decisions with our eyes open.

      I was quite intimidated to try a new header. I barely knew where to begin to get the design I wanted, but it ended up being much easier than I anticipated. Give it a try!

  17. Happy belated birthday to Star!!

    I just love the pics of your kids playing!! I can't wait to take Riley to Inside Out. It looks amazing!! And that lemonade...sounds very tasty!

    1. Thank you!

      Let me know how you and Riley like the movie!

      It is tasty! The kids said it almost tastes like orange juice.

  18. All those berries look delish! How nice to have so many right on your own property.

    The new header is great. Did you design it?

    1. I love having all of this food right out my door. I feel so pioneerish. :)

      Thank you! I did design it myself. (Design is such a strong word, though.) I knew what I wanted a long time ago, but I didn't know how to do it. When I messed up the whole template, I didn't have much choice but to learn. It was way easier than I thought it would be.

  19. I love your new look and congrats on going viral. Great post about smartphones. My daughter has a computer and smart phone. Sometimes, I wish she didn't. I will have to take it away for a few days to encourage her to enjoy simple things and love. Thanks for sharing this important reminder. Your photos of your boys enjoying the rain are priceless. ;)

  20. That is wonderful on your fame without fortune! Great topic too, I am glad you got people thinking! The photos of your kids are fabulous. They look so happy. That alone is worth your ten thankfuls, as well as the bonuses!

  21. I'm embarrassed to say I haven't yet read your smartphone post, but it's bookmarked.
    Playing in the pajamas...that's what summer is all about. Have to say after reading you post I feel ten times better about the plans and projects that have quickly fallen by the wayside in favor of reading and playing and going to new parks. I'm OK with it.


Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!