Weekly Photo Challenge – Grid

One of the things I love about the weekly photo challenge is it forces me to look at the world around me differently.  When the word Grid comes to mind I first think of the Electrical Grid, then the grid of my quilt cutting board.  Leaving for my grandson’s 5th birthday party I saw examples of grid in the line of fences and their shadows, criss-crossing electrical lines and iron work designs.  Unfortunately, the driver was unwilling to stop along the way to take photos.

Lucky for me the party place had plenty examples and that is what I will share.

Looks like a fun grid to me.
Looks like a fun grid to me.

Many of us have been to these party locations.  This particular one had a high wire rope walk that is formed of a wood and rope grid.  And don’t forget the grid work in the walls and windows.  It is grid heaven!!!

Layers of grid and shadows
Layers of grid and shadows

And at the basketball shoot we have layers of grid and shadow.

Looking at it close
Looking at it close

And then there is the grid that captures the attention of all the party goers.

Forgive the filter, but they were more interesting this way.
Forgive the filter, but they were more interesting this way.

The toy grid!!!  Sadly, no stuffed animals left the party with our group but a great time was had by all.

Grid

A Sideline Nana

Watching from the sidelines has been in my blood for a long time.  First as a mother and now has a Nana.  I always had, and still have, my camera at my side.  Now most parents have their phones at the ready to video everything.  I prefer my snapshots or moments.

Love that he took time to throw a wave my way.
Love that he took time to throw a wave my way.
It is so important to have fun!
It is so important to have fun!

There is a soft spot in my heart for the early sports teams.  They were so thrilled to be dressed in their team shirts, playing with their friends.  Not sure what they were doing, but having fun.

It actually looks like they know what they are doing.
It actually looks like they know what they are doing.

Saturday morning was the first day for a new season.  New team, new shirts, new friends.  So exciting!  And Dunkin Donuts for a team treat!  Woo Hoo!

Game over and time for treats!
Game over and time for treats!

Wonder what college sports would be like if they offered a box of apple juice and cookies at half time?

Weekly Photo Challenge – Connected

When I started this post it was going in a totally different direction.  Before I finished we were blessed with a visit from my two youngest grandchildren… both boys.  When they arrive they immediately tackle the stairs to Nana’s play space.  This is where I knit and sew and play on my computers.  It is also where they play.  It is filled with the toys of my sons’ childhood.  There are legos, duplos, wooden trains, Playmobile sets and matchbox cars.  Everything that can feed an imagination.  The youngest child is just starting to move from chasing balls and pushing things to playing with smaller toys.

M trying to connect duplos for the first time.
M trying to connect duplos for the first time.

Like all boys everywhere, Legos and Duplos are great building blocks for the imagination.  But first you have to learn how to “connect” them.  It may seem simple but it requires a little something from your fine motor skills.

Getting the hang of it.
Getting the hang of it.

He was working very hard to build something.  Learning is all about connecting.  Connecting bits of information in a way that makes a concept understandable.

Success
Success

Joy and Pride!  He has figured out how the connection works and is well on his way to creating new adventures.  Just like his dad before him, he wants to share each and everyone of his creations.  And I am his #1 fan.

Connected

 

Today Was a Good Day Photo Challenge

I would like to believe every day is a good day.  Some are better than others, but I strive to find the good in every day.  But, to me, a good day would include:

Family

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.

Desmond Tutu

We just returned from Arizona where we celebrated my mother’s life.  Her Arizona family was very dear to her.  They surrounded her with fun and love.  These are the cousins that started out as little toddlers.  They grew up and have definitely gone different and interesting directions.  So fun to get together with them and watch them share stories.  It is never often enough or long enough.

The little cousins grew up!
The little cousins grew up!
You can always find a friend!
You can always find a friend!

The same trip found us shopping which can be a little tedious for grandchildren.  G always finds something to capture his interest…even it is him!  He makes a point to find the good in every day and he spreads that around.

Brother Britt and his daughter Brittany.
Brother Britt and his daughter Brittany.

A visit to Arizona is never complete without visiting my brother.  Both of my brothers have Huntington’s Chorea.  It is a horrible disease.  I wish I could see him every day.  The quality of his care in AZ is so much better than I could get him here. A good day is when he has family to visit him.

Color and Creativity  –

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”
― Pablo Picasso

My current knitting project.
My current knitting project.

Only two squares left.  It has taken forever, but it has a wonderful calming to the creation of it.  I try to work on this a little every day and that makes it good.

For three happy grandmothers to give to their new grandchildren.
For three happy grandmothers to give to their new grandchildren.

These just came back today.  Once I bind them they will be off to the grandmothers of the babies for which they were created.

Nature –

“I’m not a social butterfly. I’m a caterpillar.”
― Jarod Kintz

Caterpillars are fascinating. Butterflies have wings to fly.

Caterpillars are fascinating. Butterflies have wings to fly.

I try to start every morning on the back porch watching nature wake up and start it’s day.  My mind wanders in and out of prayer and admiration for all that is nature.  It is a very peaceful and spiritual time.  A little bit of time out never hurt anybody.

Music

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I know there is more than this to make a good day… sometimes it is the simplest of things, a hug, a smile from a stranger, seeing someone helping another, and sometimes you just have to break your spirit free above the clouds to see the sunshine.

A Good Day Above the Clouds.
A Good Day Above the Clouds.

Today Was a Good Day

The Art of Play

“An unbridled imagination is the fountain of youth; it’s what keeps us young at heart.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

There are mornings I wake up and wish that my body was as young as my mind.  It takes a little longer to limber up the body and prepare it for the day.  It doesn’t help that I have a wonderful back porch that beckons to me and says sit, have some coffee and enjoy all the morning activity,   How can you turn that down?

What does get me moving is the prospect of family visiting.  Not too long ago I had a young visitor.  One of my grandsons.  We saw a play at school, ate lunch and brought him home with us to play.  I have a huge collection of toys that belonged to my boys.  Legos, PlayMobile, Brio and G, my grandson, has the imagination to bring them alive.

G playing with some of his father's toys that I have kept over the years.
G playing with some of his father’s toys that I have kept over the years.

He sits in my upstairs work area and plays while I sew.  There is a quiet rhythm to our work/play.  He quietly talks through the activities of his play while my sewing machine hums away.  I remember the acting out of play.  Much of it was spent assigning tasks and actions and what everyone would do or say.  Listening to him brought up so many childhood memories and I was so happy to see real play hadn’t changed that much.

Eventually we needed some some outdoor play.  Part of me hated to leave the cool interior for the meltdown that was outside, but I also remembered children are more immune to the heat than those of an age.  We went to a wonderful little park located in a shady part of our small little downtown area.  It is his favorite park and he always wants to visit.

Walking across the plank bridge,
Walking across the plank bridge,

There is a playset there that has all sorts of imagination built into it.  Again, I listen as he adds a storyline to his play.  What a marvel is a child’s imagination.  Looking through their eyes brings back wonderful memories and refreshes the child within.  He conquered the rock wall like it was the highest mountain.  Look, Nana!  We clapped with joy.

G on slide in park.
G on slide in park.

Every slide was explored up and down.  Talking the whole time.  It was a lazy summer afternoon… until…

One very unhappy boy!
One very unhappy boy!

One very unhappy boy.  The face was so comically unhappy I wanted to laugh, but he was seriously unhappy about something.

The lecture.
The lecture.

And before I could ask him what was wrong, this happened!  I choked so I wouldn’t laugh.  He was lecturing a bee for upsetting his fun and not just moving along.  Needless to say, our park time was over and even with the heat it was wonderful fun.

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Little Bit of Bliss

One of the things that happened this summer is that I decided to unofficially retire.  My job teaching computers to K5 students was terminated due to lack of funding.  That is how bad schools are today.  A lot of money goes into a top heavy, highly paid administrative department.  Nuff said.  I mostly work for insurance, but hopefully I can find some adequate insurance for a reasonable amount.

As a result of being unofficially retired I can spend more time with grandkids.

IMG_2684We are having a lovely afternoon quietly playing and watching the Disney channel. Kids need a lot of this “unorganized time” to just quietly play and create.  So does this kid (meaning me).  While he played I played, putting strips of fabric together and creating.  Can’t think of a better way to spend a muggy, summer afternoon.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

– George Bernard Shaw

Saturday Fun and Sleepover…

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James

graham_h0Summer is one of the blessings that came with moving closer to family.  Although I am not a fan of the heat and high humidity, I am a fan of pool time with family.  Graham loves pool time at Nana’s.  Our neighborhood pool is wonderful and is very family friendly.

The kids live 25 minutes away, but every once in awhile they come south for a sleepover.  We love those times, and so do they,

sweet kiaaLots of pool fun, good food and ‘lovin.

maclane_crawl

We get to enjoy big and small moments in their lives like first crawls and giggle moments.  Movie time and snacks just before bedtime finish off the day.  ‘

Morning comes early with little one.  Pancakes and Disney and playing with Daddy’s toys from when he was a boy.

toys

Matchbox, Playmobile, pirates and spaceships.  They all mix together for wonderful playtime imaginings.

sleepover

It reminds me of one of my favorite children’s books, The Napping House by Audrey Wood and illustrated by her husband – Don Wood.

“And on that granny / there is a child / a dreaming child / on a snoring granny / on a cozy bed / in a napping house, / where everyone is sleeping.”

aptime

Perfect!