I Hate A Tease.

The weather gets nice, then goes back to nasty bitterness. I can see spring just up ahead, then winter is slapping me in the face again. I’m getting really tired of it. Not to mention that everybody in my house has some level of sickness and I’m sure the bipolar weather is not helping it at all.

Yesterday, the weather was nice again (today it’s pretty foul) so what did Rudy and I do? How predictable can I get: we went on a little walk. There, sadly, is just not much to post about right now. I’ll get more creative soon, I promise, once my foggy-winter-head clears up.

RMW

Birds.

Distant.

A Brief Warm-up

Taking full advantage of the oddly warm weather yesterday, Rudy Mae and I ventured out for a (wet and mucky) walk. She was so happy to be out of the house in fresh air, as was I. We really had a lovely time.

Spikey

Happy.

Leaves.

Please hurry, Spring.

In The Trash

Wood and nails.

We passed by a garbage can topped with naily wood while on a walk a little ways back. I know it’s not too cold to go out for walks now, but it’s just not as comfortable as when it’s a bit warmer. This photograph makes me long for spring.

Dirty Walks Part Two

After the morning’s walk, we did a lot at home: fixed two laptops, did some laundry, ate lunch, put Rudy Mae down for a nap. Once it started to be early evening, we wanted to spend a little more family time fun before I had to go into work at 830p. We decided to go over to a gorgeous nature preserve literally less than a mile from our house. Glen Helen is not only a wonderful place to go hiking and soak in the beauty, but it also where Caleab and I were married. We are sentimental dweebs so every now and then, we like to take Rudy and show her where the two of us united our family and tell her how she was there, very tiny, in my belly.

Now, in my head, I was thinking that with the canopy and the shade and the (hopefully) light breeze, it would be cooler inside the glen than out in the unguarded sun. How wrong I was. It was suffocatingly boiling hot. Rudy was soaked in sweat, with actual drips running down her face and her hair looking like she just came out of the bath. I will not even get into how you could have rung out my bra. But we did not turn around and run right back to our air-conditioned abode. We continued on our walk because Rudy was loving it and so were we. We were sweaty, exhausted and (more for Rudy) filthy when we emerged, but we made our Fourth of July memorable and, of course, I got a few good shots.

Rudy Mae sitting by the front of the building where Caleab and I were married.

Caleab overlooking the glen and all of its beauty.

Everything that Rudy Mae sees when we walk, she not only needs to pick up and carry, but also needs to show us.

Caleab and Rudy Mae are standing in the back, where he and I were married.

Teensy tiny little flower heads.

If only my photographs could really capture the glorious beauty that I was seeing with my eyes.

There is a really wonderful water area way below here, but without our proper hiking feet and being with Rudy (for the time being), we were not prepared to make that journey. It is incredibly steep and dangerous to get there.

A most inviting path.

Crumbling and eaten.

Some spider found prime real estate.

The end of a fallen tree.

A loving father holding a precious daughter look at a drop off area, staying back in safety.

One of the million times Rudy Mae had to stop to look at/pick up/dig around in something.

These legs have a film of grime just coating them.

Rudy Mae heard a noise and looked around quickly.

She dug that little hole in her exploring.

We were walking back toward our car and we passed these windows. Rudy saw her reflection and squealed, said “Baby!” and ran and kissed it. There were several of these windows and doors and she made a point to go around and kiss every single one of them.

Rudy Mae by all the windows and doors that she kissed.

When all was over, we had a very sweaty little critter on our hands.

Dirty Walks Part One

Caleab and I have arranged our work schedules so that we have a few less hours than your typical 80 hour pay period but this way, one of us is always home with Rudy Mae and we do not have to have anybody or any place watch her. This was very important to us and so we were willing to lose a few hours and work completely opposite schedules to make it happen. One of the toughest parts about this is how Caleab and I don’t get to see each other very much. We make the most of it and still keep our love alive and kicking, and of course as much as it hurts, the old line “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is quite true. Once in a while we will get a special treat like yesterday, where he was off due to the holiday and I did not have to go in until 830p.

Of course, though, this heat is being stubbornly absurd and we had to work around that. Once again, we tried for a ‘beat-the-heat’ morning walk, which did not really beat anything since it was sweltering already. We still loved every second of it, maybe especially because Caleab and I got to do the walk together with Rudy, and more so for her, maybe especially because she got to play in the dirt, one of her newest loves.

Waiting on the porch for Dad to come out.

The sunglasses arm pinched her little finger.

Trying to master the porch stairs, with my help.

Let’s go!

Father/daughter.

The area Rudy decided to make our play place.

Dirt, rocks, twigs, leaves, bugs, etc.

Rudy is very particular with her kisses. Ask her for one, there is a high chance you will not get one. Wait for her to kiss you on her own, and it makes you want to cry with love.

Dig, dig, dig, explore, share, learn.

She was very intently studying every piece of nature she picked up.

Dirty, pebble-y little knees.

She was very excited to show her dad something, whatever it was she was holding.

I don’t even remember what I was saying, but I was talking to Caleab and said the word “cute” about something, and once I said “cute” she did this tilt-her-head and smile softly thing; I was dying laughing! What a ham!

Leaves and twigs were still abundant on the ground from our recent storms.

We were trying to wrangle her into the shade to be as cool as possible, which didn’t work very well. She likes to walk where SHE wants.

Calm After the Storm

On Friday evening, our area got pounded by a storm that left many (though not us, thank heavens) without power, trees down, structural damage, the works. Just 48 hours later, another storm came rolling through that was very similar in rage. So many people still had not had their power restored from Friday, and then the new storm added even more problems. Caleab’s friend’s house was still out of power from Friday, and then thanks to Sunday’s wild weather, their neighbor’s tree fell into their yard, tearing off their gutter, ripping out their cable and blocking their car in. Our lights flickered a few times during Sunday’s storm and I got a knotty stomach each time, but our power persevered. I am incredibly grateful that we did not experience even a fraction of hardships as theirs. I was also grateful for the 30 degree drop in temperature in just minutes. As soon as the storm passed, in my excitement about the cool weather, I suggested that we go for a stroller-walk with Rudy Mae. Within minutes, we were on our way. Rudy had an absolute blast, as did Caleab and I.

The road to and from our place.

The sun was shining and so we were, when just a few minutes before, it was black as night.

I love how wooded our village feels.

What the heck is that?

This bush looked like fireworks going off; quite appropriate for the upcoming holiday.

On one of the street corners of our walk.

Still wet leaves enjoying the cool breeze.

She kept turning around telling Caleab and I all about the birds (mostly) and other things she was viewing and exploring on our walk.

Another street corner.

This twisted wood was so rich brown and beautiful; this photograph just does not do it justice.

The little leaf was holding onto the raindrop and refused to let go.

The top of one of those cement corner posts, covered with moss, bugs, and sunshine.

Bright and smooth: an extreme contrast to the rest of our walk.

So many leaves, twigs, pods, etc, were blown out of the trees during the storms.

The storm did not push this sign over, it’s always like this, I just liked how it looked.

The roads, sidewalks, and ground was completely littered with debris. Mostly it was much bigger sticks and branches. I did not think about that factor when I thought a stroller-walk would be fun. It was quite the obstacle course and full of stroller-pop-a-wheelies.

Headed around the corner towards home.

I said, “Phwew, all done!” and Rudy said “Ahh Duh!”, in that sing-song way. She says that when I’m reading her a book, too. Before we’re even at the end, she’ll close the book and say “Ahh Duhh!”

Free as a Bird

On Sunday morning, Rudy Mae and I woke up before everyone. We ate a delicious breakfast and as soon as we were done, I could tell she was ready and rarin’ to go. We got dressed, brushed our teeth (a current obsession of hers), grabbed jackets and a camera, and went outside for a walk. Outside walks are a new thing to Rudy Mae. She has been walking for about two months now, but had a vendetta with shoes for the longest time (which I am just fine with- I have never had any of my children in shoes until they were steady walkers and we needed to walk in a public place or the likes. I feel like bare feet is the best way for them to learn). And if you know our outdoors area here, it is riddled with pine needles, twigs, soggy grass and an entire assortment of other maladies that she did not enjoy walking on with bare feet. Then one day, out of the blue, she picked up a shoe and demanded it be put on. Now she does not ever want to come back indoors.

Rudy Mae looking at the birds.

Time to get going.

So very happy to be out on a walk!

Sharing the pinecone with her mama.

Sharing the pine cone with her mama.

It was such a beautiful morning.

As we went around the block, Rudy Mae was intrigued by what seemed to be a garage sale and helped herself up into the driveway. As I went to retrieve her, I saw a family that we know from our local library’s play group that Rudy Mae goes to on Thursday afternoons. We said our hellos and when I joked about Rudy just walking into people’s yards, they laughed, “Well this is the one she should go to! This lady is giving tons of stuff away for free!” I immediately began to have an internal struggle! “Free?! Go look, Erica!” “You are constantly trying to reduce at home and get down to bare essentials- GO HOME!” “But maybe Rudy Mae might find a little book or something…” In the end, Free won, and we walking into the garage. We found some pretty awesome treasures.

It was hard not to go nuts and take all the books!

This sealed the deal to go look inside: the first thing I came across was a box set of the small, hardcover Beatrix Potter books. I grew up on those and although we have a complete treasury in one big book for Roo, it is just not the same as having the little individuals.

There was tons of these old puzzles, but we only grabbed two.

An old Fisher Price “Western World’, basking in the sun.

Wooden toys.

A little wood crate filled with wood planes, trucks, cars, etc. Trees, stop lights and road signs completed the set.

These little people did not necessarily go with Western World, but the lady just hand-picked a few out of a box filled with them.

Rudy Mae helped me wash her new little dishes. It’s a shame I did not get a close up of them. I’ll have to do that some time. In any case, they were those little Tupperwear play dishes from my childhood.

Cup cleaned? I think I’ll drink, then!

Beautiful, thick fabric I am contemplating using as a table cloth.

Caleab and Rudy Mae on our back porch cleaning up Western World.

Now that Western World is all clean, it’s time to play!

“Howdy Partner!”

My latest project

It all started with my 30th birthday. Between my family and my in-laws, I acquired enough cash (and gift-cards) to either pay my local taxes or get myself something nice. As horrible as it sounds, yes I was actually considering using the cash for taxes so they were able to be paid on time. My husband put a quick stop to this by firmly telling me that the money was my birthday present and I needed to spend it on myself. I decided to look closer at our money situation, and we were actually doing okay. I think it is just hard for me to spend money on myself so I automatically went somewhere else in my mind at first. After I decided I would, indeed, get something for ME, I was put to that long, head-ache-inducing task of trying to decide what. In the end, instead of getting a few smaller things, I decided to get something nice (well, nice to me, it may just be a silly ‘nothing’ to other people) and ultimately purchased a Nook Color.

I love my Nook. I am incredibly happy with my purchase and I use it quite frequently, especially while not at home. I am frugal, however (putting it lightly), and when looking at the books or apps, I mostly scour the free options. I kept coming across the free WordPress app but passed it up, as I did not have a WordPress blog. The more I kept seeing the app, though, the more I started considering starting one. My family and I live about 3 hours from most of our families. I try to keep everyone updated by the means that I have, but my cell phone camera is junk and I am very, very selective about what I put up on social networking sites (which I started using only because my Tia Mary asked me to start one as a way of keeping in touch with everyone once I moved).

So here we are. My first post. I have ideas rolling around in this big ol’ head of mine and photographs to boot, but for now, I will wrap this post up. I am just trying to get a feel for all this and am taking a practice round, will you. I have to study this website and the app and hopefully it will eventually become second nature. I do apologize if to my family it seems like blog-overload (we have a few amazing blogs in my family- in addition to my Tia Mary’s, her daughter, my cousin Lauren, has one of the best blogs I read.) I look forward to sharing with you and keeping everyone who cares to read updated on my family’s adventures.

A rare moment when Rudy Mae allows Caleab and I told hold her hands during a walk.