Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lazy Sunday - Last Day of Stever's Visit

As Sean says,  "This morning everybody was so lazy.  They got up at ten o'clock!"  We ate at Ed's favorite -- Golden Corral.  

The bacon-filled breakfast was followed by a trip to the James Madison University's arboretum.  We had a nice walk through a beautiful forest.
Sean has been such a good trooper.  He played for days with a magnetic building set that I had and read with me as much as I could get him to.  His reading vocabulary probably doubled this week.  This is his robot.
He was quite take with Blanche. 
He thought it quite amusing that the cats don't like the air conditioning in the house so they spend a lot of time outside in the litter box area in the hot garage.  You might like to be in a warmer spot too if you were a Cornish Rex without much hair!

Here's the pet door going out of the utility room  (my invention).
Here's the "cat house" cage that Ed built so they can get to the litter box but not into the garage.

We went to Bravo's for some Italian food and to the famous Kline's Frozen Custard bar.  We were all pleased that Sean got to see three deer in the field across from our house as we arrived home.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Veggie Garden Fun

We went to visit our neighbors just down the hill to see their chickens yesterday.  Glen and Laura are such gracious and friendly hosts.  They raise chickens for Tyson that are used for the meat.  There were 23,000+ chickens in each of their two houses.  

But, the exciting part was yet to come......a tour of the vegetable garden.  Sean got to pick some blackberries and eat them.  He saw beans, cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes and more growing.  

He was thrilled with Laura dug some potatoes and he got to bring them home.  We're going to eat them for supper tonight.
Who would have thought that what I had envisioned as a ten minute visit to look at chickens would turn into such an educational experience for Sean?  A child's enthusiasm is contagious and I think it gave all our hearts a lift!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chicken Egg Farm

by Sean Angelil (age 6)

We went to a chicken egg farm.  When we got there we saw very, very long chicken houses.

There were 9,000 chickens and 900 roosters in the house.
Ms. Mary's cousin (Stashia Kline) showed us this cart with more than 2,000 eggs that she got that day.
She showed us the little contraption that brings out the eggs.  When the eggs come out on the moving belt, she puts the good ones into flat boxes.

Some eggs were not good to sell.  Some were funny, some were little, some were round and some were brown.  

She gave me some of the funny eggs.  

 My favorite one was the soft egg that was like rubber.

Sometimes chickens die so they put them in a thing that looks like a barbecue to burn them. 

Everybody liked the chicken egg farm and we ate the eggs that Ms. Mary's cousin gave us.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dairy Farm Visit

Ed's grandson, Sean, is six years old, which is a good age to travel because he's old enough to remember experiences.  We visited a neighboring farm to see how cows are milked.  Linden and Christie Rhodes' dairy operation is presently milking about 100 cows.

Here are Steve, Lorraine and Sean.

Did you ever wonder where the milk is stored until the milk truck comes to pick it up twice a week?  It's stored in this 2,400 gallon tank.  Now you know!


Touching a deer skull is certainly a new experience!

Sean got a kick out of Morgan holding his fingers out so the calf sucked them and followed him around.
  Sean enjoyed petting the calf, which wasn't as scary as he had anticipated.
So, what do cows do between the morning and evening milking times?  They loaf in the loafing shed, of course!

There is one concept I don't think Sean quite grasped so, for now we just let him keep thinking that chocolate milk comes from black and white milk comes from white cows.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ed's Son Arrives

Ed's son, Steve (Ed calls him "Stever"), his wife, Lorraine, and grandson, Sean (6) arrived last evening from Florida.  This is Sean's first visit to the country and he is so excited -- starting with seeing lightning bugs last evening.  We're going to see a milking operation this afternoon. 

If you wonder what we're up to for the next week, just let me remind you how much entertainment a 6-year-old needs.  Sean's a good kid but he's also a normal, active boy.  Naturally he wants to show Grandfather Edmond and Ms. Mary everything.  Ms. Mary is enjoying having him read to her and is scrambling to find some things for him to play with.  

Sean's magnetic art creation.

Is Sean entertaining Blanche or is Blanche entertaining Sean?

A teacher never tires of teaching reading, especially to a young man who can read and is getting better.
 Grandfather Edmond and Sean Angelil

Friday, July 16, 2010

More 85th Birthday Pictures

The Birthday Queen, Frances May

Maribeth found this flat crown on a stick in the gift shop at the restaurant and held it behind Mother's head.   What an eye that sister-in-law of mine has!

Is this how Shelley (her caregiver) gets through the day with Mother?
 Grandmother helping Levi count coins.
 My sister, Anita, at our first pretty breakfast at Maribeth's table.  Anita's fresh banana bread provided breakfast most of the week for us.

The 2nd morning I suggested we just get our own breakfast -- that Maribeth was going to too much trouble.  She said,  "That's just how I am.  Get used to it!"   She proceeded to make her presentation even fancier than the first day.

My lovely, kind and gentle sister, Anita May Krull.
 My brother and his fine family with Mother.

Frances May and Shelley McDonough 
(Shelley is a gal from Phil's church that we hire to spend several hours with Mother each day.  She's a true Godsend.  She gets Mother out of the room, takes her to bingo, drives her to the library, dentist, or wherever.  She's extremely patient and knows when and how to motivate Mother to try and to do things.)

Brother Phil plays Happy Birthday along with Liszt, Chopin, Beethoven and Ravel.

Leftovers for supper, then CAKE and ice cream.

Tears in Texas

How to Make Your Grown Children Cry

Mother wanted to give us something special to remember this week.  She and Maribeth cooked up a real surprise.
Anita reacts first...

Then Phil and I comprehend...

Are you curious?

 What a thoughtful remembrance.

Thank you, Mother and Maribeth.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

85 Years for Frances May

Today was Frances Freeman May's 85th birthday.

Shelley brought Mother from the rehab center over to Phil's about 10:30 a.m. We visited a while and Phil gave Mother a foot massage.

We headed for the Dove's Nest restaurant in downtown Waxahachie, TX.  Maribeth had had flowers sent for the table.  We all had good things to eat and especially enjoyed orange spice tea. 
(Click on each picture for a larger view.)
Mary, Frances, Anita, Phil
 Levi, Maribeth, Shelley

When we got back to Phil's, Levi helped his grandmother open her gifts.  He loved showing off his new knife, too.

Levi coaxed the best smile of the day out of his grandmother by telling her if she didn't smile, he'd pinch her hard!

Anita brought her cake tips and pastry bags with her from Ohio and made this beautiful birthday cake.

Here we are...."Tiptoe through the tulips..."

Maribeth May deserves full credit for having the idea for this week-long birthday celebration.  She planned it and made it happen -- with lots of surprises along the way.

Yay for MB May!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Talkfest in Texas

The week-long celebration of Mother's 85th birthday got off to a grand start yesterday!

Shelley McDonough, the gal/sitter who spends several hours a day with Mother at the nursing home, brought her over about 11 a.m. Shelley has become our other sister and spent most of the day with us.

Mother, Anita, Phil, Maribeth, Shelley, and I just about talked our tongues off for the whole day.  We laughed, shared memories, and ate Maribeth's good food. 
 Anita May Krull, Frances May, Mary May Angelil, Philip May 2010

Phil invited her doctor (who lives nearby) to stop in so "the sisters" could meet him.  VaVaVoom! Dr. Bousquet is a cutie pie, not to mention a nice guy.  He's certainly done a good job at getting Mother to feeling better.  He and Phil have worked closely on tweaking her meds and it seems they've hit a good balance.
It was after nine when Phil and Anita took Mom back to Pleasant Manor Nursing Home.  We were amazed at how well she did to last all day.  We couldn't even get her to take a with all of us, she didn't want to miss anything.