I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Monday, December 31, 2012

Three and a half hours until the New Year

Having a small child with you for a few days is like... life before you retired. There is no excuse for not getting up early and you better have your clothes on and be ready for anything. It's all about the unexpected. It's about having the right answer for the questions and making sure that there are apples, carrots and chocolate milk on hand.
And then, when you think that you are doing it all wrong...
You get this... flowers picked "Just for you, Noni."
Kind of makes "Hi Noni!" at 5:30 in the morning a little more palatable.

Friday, since we got up SO early, we drove over to WalMart by 7:30 a.m. This is a really good time to shop. There was no one there. (I must remember this.)
Little Bean needed another pair of shoes or boots to hike in. We found a pair that he liked a lot.
Pretty cool don't you think? He fell in love with them. The only problem was that they weren't waterproof and I didn't have any waterproofing spray to put on them, so they got kind of wet on the hike. At least he had his own shoes to put on later while these dried. We also bought watermelon toothpaste and some Trident sugarless gum that didn't "sting" like Noni's spearmint gum did.
Little Bean has the most amazing toothbrush. It it a battery operated brush that lights up with flashing lights.  Red for a minute, then green ( or yellow) for another minute and you are suppose to keep brushing  until it changes color again. This way you brush long enough and don't have to count the seconds and minutes. I can't remember the brand but it's really a great idea for kids.

The Bean helped Papa with some chores.
He got a refresher course on what Poison Oak looks like in Winter.

 Without leaves, poison oak looks different than in the Summer so we showed him the bunches of bare branches and where it grows. Well, it grows all over the place. It's so prolific, but by the end of our walk he was pointed it out and staying away from it.
He wanted to know why the deer didn't get poison oak if they were always walking through it. I said I wasn't sure but they were probably immune to it.
"What's "immune" mean, Noni?"
"The deer are around it all the time so they build up a resistance to it."
"You mean that they don't get it if they touch it?"
"Right, they just don't seem to react to it."
"But I do?"
"Yes. Noni does too."
Oh good. I must have said the right thing. Immune... resistance... react. Words that could have gotten me into trouble. But he was OK with my assessment of the situation. 

Then we went on a hike to the top of the mountain. It was beautiful and cold. We walked up and over into an area that has a seasonal creek and had a mining operation years ago.
Bean walked with his grandpa down to the creek and jumped on a log that was in the water... and then over to the other side.
He was really good at balancing on one foot and then the other. He never complained about anything and did what Papa told him.
I love this sweat shirt. It kind of fit the day.
We lifted an old wheelbarrow to see what was underneath. We would NEVER do this in the summer. Might be a Rattletail under it. But there wasn't anything except a worm or two.
Can you see how dark and shiny the Bean's boot was? It was soaked through. We should have bought rain boots.
We walked back across the creek and up to the top of the hill. Then we continued on up the road to an old cabin that we have watched slowly collapsing for 16 years.
It was a one room cabin that someone actually lived in. I found Irises in the area, years ago, and transplanted them to our garden. There were bed springs and a sink inside, and an old water tank on its side. Pretty soon the earth will take back the wood and the rusty springs will disappear too.
The Bean was rather quiet standing there with Papa. It's kind of sad to see a house, that someone has lived in, just go to pieces. It's like the lives of someone, who bothered to build a little house and try their luck at finding gold, was at its end. The dream had died. I hope that they found something and that living in this beautiful place was worth more than gold to them. It had been for us.
We turned back and walked along the ridge.
For the first time he ran ahead of us. We found a tree with clumps of Mistletoe in it, but too high to pick.
Little Bean finally said that his feet were cold, so we started back down to the house.
 "Come on Papa.We need to hurry"

When we got back to the house we had to soak Little Bean's feet in bath water to warm them up and change clothes. After lunch Papa took a nap and we went outside to do a little dancing.
This is called the "Running up the dirt hill" dance.
 Look at that form!

This one is called "Skateboarding on a dirt hill." His dad use to do this on a BMX bike.. at warp speed. Use to scare me to death watching his father do tricks on his bike.
 I was glad there was no skateboard or bike underneath the Bean.
He nailed the landing and them...
The Bean did a graceful " half turn in the air". I think the special tongue movement has something to do with this amazing skill. I think it's inherited. The Prospector's grandmother always did this when she was concentrating on something.
And then.... the landing.

 "Yes, it was."
"I'm cool."

Then the Bean made a "Play yard" out of salvaged wood.
This was done with pieces of wood that were in a pile near the old goat house. Don't tell me this generation doesn't have any imagination... that they can only play video games. He made a balance beam, a teeter totter, and two rocker boards to rock back and forth on. He would survive if the world lost its power grid... as long as his feet weren't wet.
Then we cleaned up, went in the house and had some "quiet time" before dinner. (This was for Noni.)

After dinner we had a fire in the chimenea stove outside.
 I LOVE sitting next to a fire, on a really cold night, outside. The fragrance was like camping in the mountains.
We don't build a fire outside very often. It's usually too rainy in the winter and not even allowed in the summer. But this was the perfect night.
Little Bean was excited about being outdoors and watching Papa building a fire.
Little Bean was outside, on a cold winter's night. He was lovin' life.
 The Chimenea was hot and happy.
I caught this photo with my new Nikon D5100 camera. Those were sparks and the camera followed the pattern of the sparks as they disappeared into the air.
Little Bean walked around with a flashlight trying to find animal eyes below the fence.
He said that he saw something move in the area below a pile of tree branches.. 
That's when he came back and sat with me again.
He wanted to know if wild animals could get though the two fences.
I told him "No. They are afraid of people, the Christmas lights, the dogs and PAPA."
Then he disappeared , leaving the flashlight on the chair. 
Guess where he was?
I guess he decided that being with Papa and Cutter was a better idea. They were all sitting on the couch INSIDE the warm house.
I sat out there for a few more minutes while the fire burned itself down. Then I returned to the house. It was nice and warm. I could see the fire from the living room. It was almost gone.
What a great way to end the day.

Little Bean left Saturday afternoon. 
His Dad and his brother came up and got him. 
It's kind of quiet around here.
Noni and Papa slept until 7:30 on Sunday. 
  Carl and Cutter keep looking for Little Bean.
We have lots of chocolate milk left... and lots of good memories.
See you soon Little Bean. 
We love you!

Three more hours to go...
 Happy New Year Everyone! 
I hope that it's a good year and that it brings good health and many blessings to all of you.


  1. hahaha you had so much fun...smiles....love that he sticks his tongue out when he is concentrating....i do that...smiles...cool new boots bud...had me chuckling at the getting up early...smiles. that is life...lol

  2. You have given the little Bean the most precious memories which he will take with him for the rest of his life.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

  3. Rain boots may have been too slippery on the hike, just get some spray on waterproofing for his new boots. I'm looking forward to the day that I can spend some time with a grandchild like you have.

  4. Well Connie, I think you deserve a nap! I know what it's like being 'on' when the youngins are around!
    Happy New Year to you as well. Love the shot of the fire wires!

  5. What a good time you have had with your grandson!!! Memories!!!! My Daughter and Family have been ill. I hope they get better soon, miss them!!!

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    You get this... flowers picked "Just for you, Noni." BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE.

    It's kind of sad to see a house, that someone has lived in, just go to pieces. It's like the lives of someone, who bothered to build a little house and try their luck at finding gold, was at its end. The dream had died. "...I ALWAYS STOP FOR A MINUTE AND LOOK AT THE HOUSE, THE TRAGIC HOUSE, THE HOUSE WITH NOBODY IN IT."


  8. Yes, Dawn I am blessed with these grandchildren. Thank you.
    I also thought of this lovely poem, The House with Nobody in It, when I was looking at this little cabin. I also thought of you and how you were probably the first little friend that I read the poem to.

  9. I'll bet he will be anxious to come back so he can go for another walk, and have playtimes with Cutter and Carl, and more special time with his grandparents. It sounds like it was perfect!

    Happy New Year to you from New England. All the best for 2013!

  10. I suspect Little Bean will remember those boots and bits about that day long after you have forgotten them. I love the photo of him wrapped in his blanket in front of the fire, it has a really special quality to it. Hope you are enjoying your well earned rest.

  11. like you said...perfect
    and he's so cute

  12. In all little Bean seemed to have a great time there with you and your husband. I believed he learned a lot and probably taught you some things also. His new boots are terrific. Now that he has gone home you can have a very well deserved rest. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  13. Little Bean must LOVE coming and spending time in the country with you and Papa! I really enjoyed reading this little tale of his visit.


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