Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dropping my Transmission with the Beans

I spent hours on the playgrounds of Pleasant Hill, California last week so this little bean...
 and this big bean...
could be out from under Mom who was recovering from an operation.
Helping Robbin out was mostly getting the boys out of the house and giving her the rest that she needed to recuperate. I would get dinner going in the evening and clean up afterwards. My son did most of the homework/ bath/ getting them to bed part. It all worked fairly smooth.
I learned to play the video games on the interactive Wii (I think that was what they called it.). I got to pick this blond girl persona and ride a motorcycle around a track trying to collect gold coins. I felt very cool. Then I picked up some coins... and then I hit a wall. I don't know why I hit it. I just couldn't keep the motorcycle going in a straight line and I forgot to slow down on the turns. The Bean had an unfair advantage. He was awesome.... except for the laughing. I told him not to laugh at Noni. That this was only the second time I had played this game with him. I told him that I wouldn't play with him anymore if he laughed at me. So, he stopped laughing. That's when he cut me off and took my gold coins. What a little beast.
At one point Little Bean (5 yrs. old) watched me hit a wall ( for the one hundredth time.) and then go off of a cliff into the darkness of a cyber black hole. He shook his head, leaned over and said, "Noni, I think you dw'opped you' transmission." I thought I would die laughing. I NEVER won a game, but it was fun anyway.

We spent a lot of time at the playground. I haven't spent this much time in a playground since my own boys were little. Every child had one or two parents, grandparents or caretakers  watching them like hawks. It was the weekend so the park was very crowded. It took all my concentration to watch my grandsons and make sure that I had them in my sight at all times. This was absolutely necessary.
 I learned that the ice cream man comes to the park in the afternoon at about 3:00 p.m. and plays almost the same music that I remember hearing when I was a kid. He is the pied piper of the sandbox set. They all run to him like Pan with his flute. The ice cream is very expensive now and I had to put a limit on what the boys could spend. They were delighted when I said they could buy one. I heard later that Mom and Dad rarely do. Of course they didn't tell me this at the park. Noni is such a soft touch.
A couple of days in a row we had lunch together. Did you know that there are two drive thru's at MacDonalds.You have a choice of just about everything now. The boys choose Mac Nuggets and a chocolate milkshake.
I also learned that you can get a "happy meal" with sliced apples now instead of french fries. and that the cherry on top of the whipped cream, on top of the milkshake will sink to the bottom of the shake in about 5 minutes if left in a car holder. We didn't have a spoon so we tried to retrieve the cherry with the straw. This doesn't work unless you have good sucking power and hold it long enough to get the cherry up and out of the milkshake. It's a fine art and my BEANS know all the ins and outs of these ingenious fast food concepts. They are, at 5 and 7 years of age, experts in the field.
My sister and I took them to the Lindsey Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek one afternoon. The Bean didn't want to go when we got there, so we had a little power play. You know...
"I don't want to go in there."
"Sure you do. It's going to be fun."
"No, I don't think so."
So... that's when you become the "heavy".
  " Yes, we came to see this and we are going in. This is the plan. There is no option. Come on. Just wait until you see what's inside."
Well, guess what? He loved it...
 and Little Bean loved it.
We saw hawks, a fox, a trained squirrel and a real live golden Eagle.
They got to lay on top of a big fake bird while watching a video from a birds point of view.. It was truly like the boys were flying. My grandsons, who have been to Disneyland, were having a great time. There were all kinds of taxidermy animals on a fake mountain, with a staircase going up around it and all kinds of games for them to play, buttons to push and sights to see.
Afterwards we went to the Larkey Park playground. We wore them out. That was the whole point. Then home for dinner and bedtime. I slept well every night.
Mom slowly got on her feet and on Tuesday I drove her to the elementary school to register Little Bean for Kindergarten. By Thursday we WALKED to school and picked up The Bean. She is amazing.
I love this girl.
Bean does too., don't you know.

The day I left I brought them a Valentine's package with candy and these...
Can you believe I found "Love you Beans"?
You plant them in a little container and when they grow the pod will say I love you on it. I got them at CVS. What a cute idea and perfect for MY BEANS.
This cold is better today. I feel better. Taking naps and sitting on the porch in the sun. We are having beautiful weather here but a storm is suppose to come on the weekend.
That is OK. We need the rain... and snow in the mountains.
The chickens say hello. I want to update you on Squeeky. She's still with us and hanging with the big hens. More to come on the little one with the big attitude.
I can hear Brownie and Murphy complaining about their dinner.
Carl is sleeping beside me and all's right with my world.
Hope is is with yours.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kind of Feeling Better

Ever since I was a little girl I have had this attitude that sickness was a chastisement for some bad thought or action... or even if I had a wishful desire for something I wanted... but shouldn't have. I carry this feeling with me today and will probably take it to my grave. This isn't a full blown syndrome or a case of mental instability (I hope.) but it's always there in the recesses of my mind, telling me to look back and see what it was that I did, said or thought that caused this illness or distress.
This is a "confession" of sorts because I don't admit weakness or failings readily. I do believe that my Mom could have raised me with a more religious bent. I was a good candidate for carrying guilt around and being manipulated by visions of torment and darkness. She would have raised a good Catholic. I might have even been a Nun.... no! Scratch that. I was too boy crazy for that.
My Mom went to parochial school and was a practicing Catholic until she married my father. It was how she was raised and old habits die hard. We had fish on Fridays and said our prayers. But she didn't want us to have to search for reasons to confess our childlike sins. I always felt like my sister and I were raised with a liberal and freethinking theology. I think I picked up more than this.
I don't remember any direct hits on my "closet Catholic" tendencies. My Dad did have a way of making me feel REALLY bad about my behavior and he was raised in a rather benign christian church without the benefit of confession, rosaries or Mother Mary looking down on him. But he could make me feel awful just by not talking to me. Maybe the absence of "a voice" telling me why he was angry and what I did to make him angry was what started this odd behavior of mine. Maybe it's my father who is still guiding me, silent and angry, in the belief that I must have done something wrong to deserve getting sick. Don't know. I only know that the feeling is always with me. I do wonder about our ability to manifest sickness as a form of reaching out for love. Not in every case, but sometimes.
I'm feeling better, today, so this must have been a small transgression. Last year, when I got that virus that lasted so long... or long ago, at 39, when I found out I had breast cancer.... Those were real soul searching moments. But... this time I probably just yelled at someone. Like, when I shouted a rather provocative expletive at someone who pulled in front of me on the road and then I realized  that both of my grand babies were in the back seat... silent and looking at me. I apologized, but that may have been when the nose cold started. Who knows.
 Direct correlation?
Subliminal Catholic guilt?
 Farmlady is thinking too much into this?
She needs serious psychiatric help?
I don't know.... I only know that my cold is slowly getting better but my brain is exhausted trying to figure out where it came from and why.
I need to channel my "monkey mind" into a controlled environment for a while.
Take to the goats.
Feed the chickens.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I'm back home

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved..loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
~Victor Hugo~

I came home with an awful head cold. I'm recuperating and letting the Prospector and the dogs spoil me.
I left my dear daughter-in-law, Robbin, standing and walking... and living without taking large amounts of medications. She is over the big "after surgery" hump. The fibroid tumor is out and she is feeling really good. Everything is going to be OK. I left when I knew that the only thing I was going to be able to give her was MY COLD. So, I came home.
I will write more about my many hours at the Pleasant Hill playground and the drive thru at MacDonald's in a few days. My age is showing and the "Noni is resting" sign is hanging on my door.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you.