Mother’s Day and Summer Vacation

Hi all! I hope you had a lovely weekend and enjoyed your Mother’s Day as much as I did. My kids called to say they were taking me out to dinner and arrived with a surprise.

mothers dayThose lovely pots contain red raspberry plants aren’t those planters beautiful? 🙂

My granddaughter was so excited with her gift to me the first thing she did was excitedly hug me and ask if she could eat any berries that she found. Of course she can.  I was informed the plants are non-GMO and are in organic soil.  I love my kids. 🙂

Please ignore that door, it’s on the list to tackle this summer when I re-side that section of the house.

Dinner was interesting. Our server arrived at one point to inform us he had good news and bad news. Our meals were ready but my dish had been dropped on the floor and they would need to start over. I quickly changed what I ordered to a simple sandwich so I could eat while the rest of the family was eating. In the end the restaurant took 20% off the entire bill, did not charge for my meal, plus they gave the children free cookies.

My oldest granddaughter called and told me she had a present for me. She spotted a wildflower she thought was pretty and dug it up (after getting permission as she knows one has to be careful with native plants), planted it and is caring for it until she sees me next month. She said she thought of me when she saw the flower because I love nature. 🙂

Summer Vacation

During our conversation she wanted to plan things to do when she visits the next month.  Last year she came for a two-week visit but a few months ago asked if she could come for an entire month. Her parents have agreed and I’ve extended an invitation to both to come down any time and visit her.

I don’t think much about toys when the children visit as there is always so much they can do but I know some people think children need toys, or that without toys children will be soon bored.  I’ve already begun to hear grumblings from parents who aren’t looking forward to school vacation.

I’ve never quite understood how children could be bored after spending most of the year sitting at a desk, or how parents wouldn’t want their children home with them, but then again I’ve always had lots of open space for my children to venture out into nature.

Speaking of children finding things to do outside I thought you might enjoy a peek at one of my grandson’s favorite activities.

compost helper

He especially loves to try and spin the compost tumbler after it’s rained because when he pulls it towards himself he gets really wet.

With school about to let out I thought I would share the list my granddaughter came up with for her summer vacation, maybe there is something here your children might enjoy.

  • Swinging from the rope in the tree.
  • Visit the Zoo
  • Sew on the sewing machine
  • Paint furniture, I have two chairs needing attention so I can list them for sale, she can paint those.
  • Swim
  • Could I teach her to make friendship bracelets
  • Make presents for her parents to thank them for letting her stay with me.
  • Visit a farm
  • Play Scrabble
  • Bake
  • Have a picnic and invite the neighbors
  • Visit the library
  • Find the Jungle Book to read a chapter each night before bed. She just saw the new movie and now wants to read the book.
  • Have a sleepover with her cousin
  • Visit the local playground
  • Make banana splits
  • Have a craft day
  • Could I teach her to cross stitch

To this list I added something my daughter-in-law and I have wanted to do with the two girls which is to visit a Tea House which we’re told serves a proper Tea.  The Tea House is in a lovely old Victorian house and the owner has put a lot of time, and money, putting in beautiful landscaping with outdoor seating. I think the girls will very much enjoy experiencing an afternoon to get dressed up and have this experience.

As you can see there are few things she wants to do that involve either an outlay of money (the zoo will be the most expensive afternoon) or the need for toys.   I didn’t have a Scrabble board so picked on up, when did board games become so expensive?

What do you enjoy doing in the summer?

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42 thoughts on “Mother’s Day and Summer Vacation

  1. I always liked summer better than the school year with my boys. The school year had too much pressure with homework, etc. When summer came there was a lot of playing outside, board games, library visits, dollar movies, zoo visits (We bought a membership), camping, etc.

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    1. Me too. I hated the school year and homework drove me nuts because it took away from family time. I can’t count how many times one or both of my boys had to take homework with them to a relatives birthday because they had so much to do. When you can’t stop to enjoy a grandparent’s birthday (just dinner and cake at home) school has become too intrusive.

      We did many of the same things during our summer breaks. I loved to hike so we would go hiking at least once a week. Living walking distance from the lake swimming was a regular activity too.

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  2. Beautiful raspberry bushes/containers….Thoughtful of them to note they are non GMO, etc..

    Sounds like a lovely summer of plans. It will be interesting for you, as children grow so fast, I bet when the older Grand daughter/Grandson come, they will have grown so much, and learned new things, etc…

    Board games..yup pricey. Have not bought one for so long. Funny enough, the last one I did buy was a scrabble, about fifteen yrs back, and was lucky to find it in a clearance pile, for peanuts.

    Grandson spinning the composter is so cute. Bet come summer you will have more helpers for this.

    Is your oldest Grandson going to be able to make the trip too? Hope the kids all have a chance to be together at Grandma’s.. Often that is the best place for grandkids to “meld” together, so as they grow up, they can stay close.

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    1. Already I see so many things new in the children. Their new figures of speech they have learned from the other school children and now they can read…very well, so nothing is safe when they are around. 🙂

      Yes, the oldest grandson will be coming down this summer but I don’t have definitive dates for him yet and it will probably be a two week visit maybe two- two week visits. That’s the fun of working around custody situations. 😦 We’ve already talked about having both children here together at least part of the time but time will tell if it works out that way or not.

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      1. yes, custody situations are very tough…

        Glad to hear he is coming down, and hope they can all be together…it means so much

        will cross my fingers for you all.

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  3. When my kids were little we made easy summer shorts out of fabric they chose…the wilder the better. That was so much fun because the boys had never used my machine. Lots of giggles and a fun project. 🙂

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    1. Hello Karenlee! I can just imagine the fun your boys had making outrageous shorts for themselves. The request I received was for a dress but yes, I’m going to let her select any fabric she finds. Knowing her it will either be really wild or very girly. It will all depend on her mood that day. 🙂

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  4. I am so delighted you had a wonderful Mother’s Day even though it was reduced to a sandwich. I think they spoiled you because you didn’t make a major fuss and just went with the flow. It’s embarrassing to see adults throw tantrums because something goes wrong. You have a good heart. There are no accidents, you know. Your summer plans for the kids are even better than those I had with my kids. Mine played outside with friends most of the time or read inside or played quietly in their rooms. I wasn’t as creative as you are with them. Wish I had been. I’m glad you get to spend so much time with the kids. They will remember it forever. BTW, I had a wonderful, peaceful day as well. Couldn’t have been better.

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    1. I’m glad you had a peaceful Mother’s Day there don’t seem to be enough peaceful days.

      I didn’t care what I ate, I was just enjoying being with my family. When we were told it was my plate that was dropped we all cracked up laughing because I am the slowest eater ever (thanks to a problem swallowing) so of all the plates to drop we thought it was hilarious that it was mine. As for tantrums, accidents happen and throwing a tantrum wouldn’t change the outcome, personally those who throw a tantrum irk me.

      I think being a grandparent is a lot different than being a parent. When my boys were little I spent time doing things with them but I had to fit in making a living and taking care of a house. The demands on my time are less now so I can give the little ones my full attention. The house may not be as clean for the month the children are here full time, but they will help with the chores so they have more time to play with me. I used to shake my head at how differently my grandparents were with me versus how they were with my children, but now I get it, it’s all about the demands life puts on us at those different stages.

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      1. I wondered at how nice my mother was to my son after the way they treated us. But then you get it. She didn’t have to worry about white glove inspections anymore. She did make him mind pretty good though. I appreciated that. I’ve not been a real grandmother so I have no clue. Didn’t really have a relationship with my grandmother’s either. They both died when I was quite young. Just a few memories from each. I’m pretty mellow about accidents too, just not so mellow about bad service. Used to wait tables to support my kids so I know what hustle means. Some waitstaff are just plain lazy these days but it’s embarrassing for someone to behave like a child when something can’t be helped. You’ve seen it happen too, I’m sure. I don’t think I’d have the energy for little ones for so long. A couple of hours and I’m toast. Think I got old early. 😦

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        1. I don’t know about your mother but at the same time there is also the lack of responsibility when you are the grandparent. All those big decisions are no longer mine to make. I tell the little ones that their parents make the rules and I just follow them. 🙂

          You missed out on quite bit didn’t you? A grandparent might have been able to give you what you couldn’t get at home, I’m sorry you didn’t have one in your life.

          Waiting tables is one job I didn’t have, not enough strength to carry trays of food, but I worked as a bartender and also a hairdresser both service jobs so I have an idea what waiters go through. I won’t tolerate bad or rude service but will praise exceptional service, which is what we had on Mother’s Day

          I love my grandchildren and look forward to the month long visit because I miss them so much but it will be hard on me not to have my alone time. I’ll probably withdraw for a few days once I get to be alone again. 😉

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  5. I love this, Lois, and I’m so glad you had a special Mother’s Day with your family. The red raspberry plants are lovely and will, no doubt, be a great addition to your home this summer.

    I enjoyed what you wrote about your grandchildren and the upcoming visit. It reminded me of times when we visited my grandparents every summer (all 7 of us cousins) for the whole summer. Like you, they didn’t have any toys but we played together and can’t remember getting bored.

    We had small things to play with on rainy days like marbles or coloring books. But, that was pretty much it. Grandma had one tray of paints she bought and we would use that to paint rocks for doorstops she used all over the house. They were good times and I love the desire to have simple times like that between grandparents and grandchildren is still alive. 🙂

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    1. Pat, I can’t even imagine having seven children here at once. I’m too old to care for so many at the same time. 🙂 You were very lucky to have had those summers at your grandparents house.with your cousins sadly today with so many having to move around for work it’s rare cousins grow up knowing each other much at all.

      I bet your grandparents loved the rocks your children painted for them. I’ve had my share of painted rocks given to me as well, but of course I’ve also painted rocks for them. 🙂

      I do have a few toys here, most have been given to me by the children. For instance, my granddaughter inherited a huge Barbie doll collection from a friend of the family and decided to leave a couple here to share with her cousin when they can be together. But yes, most of what is here for the children are books and coloring books.

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      1. I can’t imagine that myself, Lois. As time goes by, I realize more and more how rare and special was that time.

        Like you, I try to capture a little of what that was like with my own grandchildren but don’t think I ever could. Times are different and every one has their own experiences that’s perfect just for them.

        I’m just glad to be a part of it and, like you, do the best I can with what I have. Love is the most important ingredient no matter the people, places or how things play out. 🙂

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        1. There are days I question my decision to tackle this house and wonder if I should have rented an apartment. I know I wouldn’t have been happy in an apartment that had no land to play in but then I think of the visits with the children and know they would be so bored visiting me. I don’t think they or I could handle a month long visit if I didn’t have the land for them to play in.

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          1. I can really understand what you’re saying, Lois, especially now. Our daughter and family are looking to move out of state from Colorado to South Carolina and wondering if it’s something we may also consider.

            Looks to be a lot less expensive living there and could probably find something with less maintenance. Oh my, life is an adventure isn’t it? Happy days! 🙂

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          2. It all depends on where in South Carolina I would guess when it comes to real estate. I can’t believe you and your husband would give up the Rocky Mountains but as time moves on not having to shovel snow would be an advantage for you.

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          3. I know, Lois. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? We’ve lived here almost 35 years but we’ve definitely have to be led in that direction. They’re looking in the northwest corner of South Carolina?? I think — Greenville? Don’t know much about it other than what Google tells me.

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          4. You move to South Carolina I’m definitely going to have to plan to get together with you!

            Take your time with the decision it’s a big one and I know just from being in the Rocky’s for a short period I still miss them and hope to visit again.

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          5. I would love that, Lois — would be cool. It would definitely be a major decision and not to be taken lightly. A lot depends on how it works out for them and, down the road, our other daughter moving out there. Whew! Hugs, my friend — love your take and votes of confidence. 🙂

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          6. I wondered if you other daughter would be moving as well. What a hard decision you have ahead of yourself. I wish you all the best with this one.

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          7. Thank you, Lois. Yes, she will probably be moving as well but not for a few more years until after her youngest son graduates from high school. He’s finishing up his sophomore year this year. They’re looking to move to North Carolina.

            Still, you’re right, it would be a hard decision and one that would probably be our last in the moving department. But, it’s not something we would make lightly. This time we’re not in our 20’s — we’re at the other end and a new host of things to factor in.

            Thankfully, not deciding soon and a lot can happen in a year or more. 🙂

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          8. Wow so your entire family would be relocating, how wonderful for you. The one thing I wish is that both my boys could have stayed in one location so I could be near their families instead of one or the other as it is now.

            I know what you mean about moving. I used to move around quite often but as I’ve gotten older and slowed down considerably it’s harder. Luckily when I moved this last time I didn’t have much to move. 🙂

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          9. Yes, it’s going to be different for sure. We’ve always had the girls within driving distance (except for the time our oldest and her family were in Carolina in the military).

            It’s exciting, though. I can feel the shifts and changes, especially for them. Right now, we’re happy to be where we’re at in the peace and serenity of Nature. Have a great weekend, my friend. 🙂

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          10. I can hear the excitement of possibility in your words. I know you love the mountains but a change can be exciting as well. Have fun on your journey and enjoy your weekend for now.

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  6. Hi Lois! Your post reminds me of some wonderful summer that I spent with my grandparents when I was young. For several summers my older sister and I took the train to Nebraska from where we live in Southern California. It was a day and a half trip and very exciting. Then my grandparents picked us up and we went and worked on their ranch. And I mean worked. Grandma cooked and Grandpa supervised. It was amazing how much we were accomplishing at such a young age with the right direction. Good for you for inviting them to visit you. A month was exactly how long we stayed with my grandparents. You and they will have a wonderful summer. ~~Kathy

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    1. Kathy, how much fun your summers must have been! I imagine a ranch in Nebraska was a lot different than life in Southern California. 😉

      your story reminds me of a conversation I had with my son not all that long ago. He was lamenting the loss of freedom his children will experience as parents can’t allow children to freely roam, or travel, like past generations. It would be so much easier if he could put the children on a greyhound bus at his end and I met them on my end but even that short distance which turns out to be about two hours by bus is not guaranteed to be a safe trip for them.

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  7. What a beautiful Mother’s Day gift Lois.. and what a wonderful surprise. And a great restaurant to compensate for your disappointment in not getting your meal .
    Love that List of things for children to do.. They do not need a lot when their imagination is inspired.. But I bet they will enjoy the Zoo and the Tea House idea sounds a lovely one..
    I am sure your raspberries will be provide lots of berries once established.. Did I tell you my cooking apple tree still only tiny has loads of blossom this year.. So fingers are being crossed.. The eater hasn’t yet bloomed again this year.. So hoping for next year it will flower.
    We are quite busy in the allotments right now.. But loving it..
    Love and hugs your way Lois..
    Sue

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    1. My family is amazing, they get me and when they give gifts they are so thoughtful. My granddaughter checks for berries every time she visits and has already found several places where the berries are starting.

      I probably should have given a shout out to the restaurant by name. It was a Bob Evans. My kids told me they would have liked to take me some where nicer but not wanting to make a reservation, it’s easier to just work around the little one’s nap schedule, most places had huge wait times. Unlike a lot of people I didn’t have my heart set on any particular meal so making a change was fine.

      How old are your apple trees? Just wondering because I planted two last fall which are two years old and have been holding out hope it will only be another year before I see apples on them. I do hope your eater will bloom. The weather has been so crazy that even our non-edible trees have been late to bloom.

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        1. I’m sorry to hear your plum tree didn’t make it. I tried to order a plum tree last fall but they weren’t able to uproot them, something about the cold arriving too early.

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          1. Yes It died last autumn, and do not know what killed it.. it died from the root upwards.. But both neighbouring allotments have lovely plum trees and they both gave us an abundance of plums last year.. As they had that many they were rotting from falling ripe ones .. And they can have some cookers if we are lucky to get a few 🙂

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          2. How wonderful that you have allotment neighbors who share their bounty. I’m sure they would be thrilled to receive your excess apples.

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          3. Yes we shared some excess cabbage and broccoli plants.. We tend to do that..Its still a pity we have a theif on the allotments.. While we were in Scotland, two plots away they had a green house heater stolen and the one next to us had some paving slabs he had holding a sheet over the manure heap go.. So its some one on the plot who is doing this… Such a shame to think so..

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          4. Yes this seems some one feathering their own plot.. Unlike the Mass shed break ins at the end of the last year when they took rotivators and hand tools along with wheel barrows mowers .. That was organised crime.. Yet the police didn’t even bother coming to the allotments… Just gave the man who runs the association a crime number.. and that was the end of that.

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          5. How sad that your police weren’t more interested in finding the thieves. You would think that not wanting people to give up on growing their own food would be incentive enough to make an effort to find them.

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          6. Hi Lois.. apoliges for the delay, My computer had to have major surgery.. A new hard drive.. 🙂 And yes, the police are stretched beyond belief.. Even years ago when my Son got his car broken into and his car radio got stolen.. No one came, they just give you a crime number.. and that is it.. Nothing is done.. and you feel like the criminals are winning.. 😦

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          7. Oh, Sue never apologize to me for taking a break, even if it’s imposed on you. I’m sorry to hear of your problems with your computer but glad you got it fixed. I may have a love-hate relationship lately with technology but when it’s taken from me I realize how much I rely on it.

            I’m hearing more stories of police here not following up as well. What a sad state we are in. I do hope your thefts will stop and all can enjoy the lovely allotments you have.

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