Thursday, August 23, 2012

Grandpa's Plum Tree

      It was like a yearly ritual with the neighborhood kids, the majority being related to me, that come Spring the watch was on.  A random, "See anything?" or "What's it doin'?" meant one thing, what stage was THE tree at.  THE  tree being an old plum tree in my grandparents' backyard.

     Grandpa planted that plum tree before I was born (okay, so maybe not BEFORE I was born but it was there for quite some time before I realized, "Heeeeeeeey!  That plant has 'things' growing on it!!!  Must. Look. Closer." It was the same thought process we all took regarding things that grew.  Remind me to tell you about the "Indian Cigar" tree...hmmmmm...yeah...  ) as something to tend to after his retirement.  I don't know why he chose a plum tree.  I don't recall the why ever being brought up.  By the time I was allowed to explore the neighborhood with the rest of the kids that tree was big enough to climb and dangle from.

     Dangle.  We did a lot of dangling when we were young.  The neighbor across the street had the best Sycamore tree for that.  The limbs grew almost like a spiral staircase, making it easy to reach the top and once flipped over not hit your head on the limbs below.  Perfect. That's another story though.   I couldn't talk about dangling, which we did in Grandpa's Plum, without thinking about that Sycamore and being compelled to mention it.

    Spring progressed as did our anticipation of the fruits of the tree and the letting out of school for Spring break and for the Summer.  Do you see, everything meant something and all the somethings, even though enjoyed separately, all meshed together.  The stages of the tree were a sort of clock.

     Blossoms appeared and were replaced by the beginnings of the best plums ever.  We all agreed, they don't get picked until they're at least the diameter of a silver dollar and they had to be eaten in the tree and not taken out of the yard.  Once the blooms disappeared, the race was on for bragging rights as to who would eat the first plum of the season.  Like playing Spades, once a trump was played it opened the field for all trumps to be played, or in the case of the tree, once that first plum was eaten, they could all be eaten but, the size and location still applied.  So, most times, bragging rights were given after eating a green, I mean GREEN, REALLY GREEN, plum.

     From time to time, although nothing outside of where we were at the time existed, I think now of what the neighbors thought of 10-15 kids in a Plum tree and it makes me giggle.  What would you think if you looked out your kitchen window and seen a tree full of kids?  It would surely make me smile.
     While getting our bellies full off the plums, Grandma, not Grandpa but, Grandma would come out of the back door, hollering for us to"... get out of that thar tree 'fore yer Granddaddy comes after you! Ya hear me?!"  We'd all laugh, not at Grandma really but, more because we knew Grandpa didn't care one way or another whether we were in that tree or not.  He'd smile and wave to us while we were up there.  We took off nonetheless.

    My grandparents weren't a lovey-dovey-hand-holding pair at least not that anyone would be witness to.  There was a lot of picking and fussing (Grandpa picking and Grandma fussing) between the two.  Things may seem like they go unnoticed by kids but they don't.  They just don't discuss them.  Why would they?  It meant nothing to me at the time to see Grandpa smiling as he shuffled away from Grandma after he finally got her mad enough to start fussing.  Reflecting on it now though, it means a lot.  I know they loved each other and made each other happy in their own way.

   Grandpa planted the Plum tree and Grandma looked after it.  I recall him smiling (like a, "that's my woman!" kind of look) one time she got onto us about being in the tree.  We waved at him and he waved back at us with a smile as we scurried by.  She'd turn and go back inside knowing she'd done right by Grandpa and his Plum tree.

    In retrospect,  I think that Plum tree represented them and their relationship.  I reckon one would just had to have been there.

I miss them.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Letter Zeeeeeeeeroooooo!

   A while back, I attempted to get an online extension on a library book.  For whatever reason, the password wasn't working and after trying different combinations (although the password was written down and verified with the librarian at the time it was initially person even) I called the library.  They gave me an extension on my book but said my password couldn't be addressed over the phone.  Two weeks later, I return the books and seek the help of the librarian at the desk.  I state that I'd like to reset my password. Here's how it went,
Librarian- "What would you like it to be?  It can be anwhere from 4 to 8 alpha-numeric characters."
Me- "2-4-4-the letter zero-7-1."
Librarian- "Would you like that to be the number zero?"
Me- "I thought you said it could be letters or numbers."
Librarian- "That's right."
Me-  "Okay then, 2-4-4-the letterrrrrrrr zeeeeeeeeeerooooooooo (complete with fingers forming the letter)-7-1."
Librarian- "There is no letterrrrrrrrrr zeeeeeeeeeerooooooo.  There's the number zero....would you like that?"
Me- Looking dazed and confused briefly and I felt my head actually as the gears clicked into place which was more like a KA-LUNK! when I realized what I'd said and what she was explaining.  "Awe geez!  The letter o...small letter o.  (laughing visibly at myself) No wonder I was having difficulty with my password...I was using the letter zero!"
     I would blame it on Monday but really, it could've been any day.  I think that has been my most public show of a need to have my brain burped in quite some time though.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

8 lbs of Yellow Cotton Yarn!

     Jiminy Crickets! What was I thinking?
     Okay. I was thinking it looked light enough that I could alter items made with it with dyes and probably can just it won’t be as true a color had it been white.
     It’s a LOT of yarn and it was an awesome deal on it and I wanted to make some more things from cotton and and and and
     One headband is
crocheted (pattern by Tina Rodriguez) the other knitted (pattern by Teresa Harmon). They and many others can be found on Ravelry Dot Com

I Am NOT A Hoarder!

           Although, I do have hoarding tendencies.  I save trash that can be useful.  I do toss out stuff if I've not gotten any closer to using it within a few months.  There's one item I find particulary difficult to throw out...laundry detergent boxes.  I'm thinking, it's probably because of some incredibly beautiful project I'd seen before that used one.
          I want to turn these into containers for yarn projects in progress so they can be transported and worked on on-the-go.

     Clean boxes inside and out with a VERY slightly dampened cloth or papertowel.
Sand the glossiness off. Wipe off accumulated dust with a Very slightly dampened cloth or paper towel.

Choose a base color and paint.  Paint several light coats, allowing each to dry before applying the next coat.

Choose image(s), position and adhere to box.  Get as creative as you'd like by adding painted details, beads, buttons, ric rac.  You now have a nice storage container.  Add a handle and the contents can be easily transported.  Line the inside, if desired and the contents will be extra protected.