A little of this, and a little of that….but not a card today

Good Saturday morning to You All! What? It has been a month since I last posted? Where, oh where, does the time go?? I have been very busy, obviously, and it is summer. Lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer? Nope. The definition of Summer is ‘BUSY’ in the heartland.

For all my followers who follow expecting to see another greeting card I have made, this is not the post for you. My card making has taken a back seat to other endeavors. I will try to do a card post in the next couple of days.

There is always something to do outside, weather permitting, of course. We have had our share, and then some, of rain. At least weekly we are under a watch or a warning of some kind…severe thunderstorm, tornado, flash flood, etc. I praise God every day (or nearly every day) that we have  been safe here in my neck of the woods. And mourn with those who have not been as fortunate.

We did have a storm yesterday, but I was not at home. Apparently it was quite windy, (predicted were 60 mph. winds) from the looks of the yard. My burn barrel was blown out into the cornfield, corn broken off or flattened, and limbs, twigs, branches, sticks and leaves everywhere. I won’t be able to mow until it is all cleaned up. That said, it was NOT a serious storm. Just inconvenient. And messy.

That is, unless you had crop damage. It has been a tough year to be a farmer.

Yesterday I was privileged, once again, to, what? Babysit? That hardly seems appropriate as they are not babies. One is 5+ and the other 2+. Watch? That isn’t really accurate either. Whatever the term, I get to spend time with my great-grandchildren who live nearby. Their mommy, my granddaughter, works from home, and sometimes she just needs some uninterrupted time to finish her work. As the children’s grandmas are still of working age, that leaves me as the most available to do that job. I love it!

Writing a letter to one of her friends.

Not to be outdone, he colors while she writes.

We get to play games, watch videos, pick up toys, go to the library, go to the park, have snacks, etc. And, simply love each other and enjoy being together. Most of the time anyway. The younger of the two generally greets me with open arms, a huge smile, and a “Hi, GG! One day however, when I walked in the door, I was met with a scowl and “I don’t want you to come here today.” WHOA! If that isn’t a blow to the self esteem, I don’t know what it would be!

Within moments though, his mood had changed and he was all smiles and laughter, and Mom was upstairs working while we played. Another day, the moment his mom made an appearance he asked her, “Are you done working now?” When she replied in the affirmative, he turned to me, and in a VERY serious tone, said, “You can go home now.” Out of the mouths of babes…!

I had promised the girl on one of my visits that I would bring some hollyhocks and we would make dolls. The first time I went there after that statement, I forgot them. OOPS! The first thing she asked was whether I had brought the hollyhocks. Little brother chimed in with, “Did you bring the hollyhops?”

The next time I went, I had already gone to town to run some errands when I got a text asking if I could come by for a couple of hours as she unexpectedly needed me to watch the children. So, of course, no hollyhocks. True to form, I was asked about them. Small children have memories like elephants! They never forget that you promised something, so you better not forget either!

Yesterday was the day. I remembered the hollyhocks, and we made dolls. They turned out really cute and we made another memory. At least I hope that is what we are doing. Perhaps someday she will be a grandma and make hollyhock dolls with her grandchildren and say, “My GG taught me how to make these.” I think these pictures tell the tale.


I have also taken the time to do a little bird watching. I am a Volunteer Wildlife Nest Monitor for the DNR, which means I volunteer to monitor bald eagle nests. I have not done a very good job of it this year, but I have enjoyed watching them on the nest and as the young come out of the nest and branch, then learn to fly away. I also like to watch all the other birds.

Coming home the other day I spotted a white bird, which upon closer observation I believe to be an albino house sparrow.I had never seen an albino anything, so that was quite a thrill.

The eye appears to me to be reddish, or pink, and there is not a speck of color in any of the feathers. It is seen here perching with sparrows.

I won’t promise, as I don’t like to break promises, but I will say this….my intent is to blog a minimum of once a week. Sometimes it will be about a card I have made, sometimes just whatever I want to write about, and sometimes, perhaps, there will be something that will be of interest to you, dear follower.

The last of the this’s and that’s for today….it is county fair time. I judged the open class photography division on Wednesday. Thursday I went to watch one (of 8) of my great-nephews show his goat. He is 7 and not old enough for 4-H, but Iowa has a 4-H division called Clover Kids. This is for children who want to be in 4-H but do not meet the age requirement. They get a taste of what it means to be in 4-H and have projects, whether it is with animals or other kinds of projects. Today he shows his bucket bottle calf. On Thursday his city cousins (4 more of my great nephews) came to watch as well. After the big show, they all went to Grandma and Grandpa’s (my sister and her husband) to go fishing. It was super hot, 90 degrees and 88% humidity, but fans kept the animal barns relatively comfortable for the critters. Too hot for me, so I was happy to get home to my air conditioning!

They are not awarded placement ribbons in Clover Kids, but do get a participation ribbon. I think he shows real potential as a showman. His goat was very well behaved and obviously had been trained to be led.

The showman, his little brother (back right) and the city cousins. I think it is hilarious that my sister, who had 4 daughters, now has 8 grandsons and no granddaughters. Only 6 of them are shown here.

In addition to his animals, he had a couple of other projects…homemade dog biscuits and a watercolor landscape he had painted. Talented kid!

That’s about it for today. I hope you are not all bored to death with my ramblings. I am so blessed to be in close proximity to much of my family, and to be able to participate in their lives. There is much more going on right now, but I will save that for another post. Thanks for stopping by, and PLEASE leave a comment below, even if it is that you don’t like this post. I love to hear from you.

God Bless you all!


20 thoughts on “A little of this, and a little of that….but not a card today”

  1. I enjoyed your post very much! My husband and I are birdwatchers and have done some birding in Iowa. The name of your blog was what attracted me to your site! I am also a SU demonstrator (hobby demo). I look forward to your next post, card or “this and that”! Thank you for sharing your story.


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Joyce. Where do you live? It is too hot to bird today, other than from my front porch. This morning I had Baltimore Orioles, Cardinal, Red-headed Woodpecker, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Chipping Sparrow, Robins, Dickcissel, Brown Thrashers, Grackles, House Wren, House Sparrow and House Finch, Goldfinch, Downey Woodpecker, Mourning Doves and one European Starling, I am a hobby demo too, and really enjoy making cards. Problem is, I enjoy too many things! Thanks for stopping by!


  2. I don’t like this post. Of course, you know what comes next…I love it! It warms the cockles of my heart to see children growing up the right way with no cell phones or tablets attached to them! I just adore goats, 4H and your posts, no matter what they are about. We had hail the day before yesterday, 60 mph winds and severe lightning strikes. I’m anxious to see one of your lovely cards.


  3. Oh, Julie, I can’t believe you’re a great-grandmother!! How wonderful for you to be so active with the kids & all your other projects!! My 2 daughters waited til their mid 30s to have children (like I did), so I have a 9-yo granddaughter 2 hours south & a 3-yo granddaughter 1 hour north of me here in Sarasota. At 73, I pray every day that I can stay healthy to be a part of their lives for a few more years (praying for 10 years). Spending time with them keeps me young and they are both interested in crafting! Being a grandmother is a great “job”!
    You’re doing what’s important. Enjoy your summer & all those children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren!!!
    I’d love to see how you make the hollyhock dolls.


    1. Well, I got married young and had children young. My daughter was 21 when her daughter was born. So, yep, I am a GG. They call me Gigi. They are so much fun, and I am so blessed to be included in their lives. We get to enjoy them while we have breath left in us. 10 years would be great, but any number of years at this age is a bonus! Thanks for commenting. I guess I could do a blog about making them, but you can probably google and find out how to do it. I have 3 colors of hollyhocks so far. I never know which ones seeded themselves so until they bloom I have no idea what colors I will have. Too hot here today! 91 as of right now and feels like 103! Just glad it isn’t REALLY 103.


  4. Well – anyone who says they didn’t enjoy this post didn’t READ this post! What a fun glimpse into your oh-so-busy and wonderful life in the heartland! Hollyhop dolls…who knew??! And Finn would be more than happy to help taste test any and all homemade dog treats! Thanks for a wonderful read, my friend! 🙂


  5. good read and I enjoyed seeing your grandchildren’s photos. I especially was excited to see the white bird. How awesome was that!


  6. Oh Julie, I love this post! I usually do see your cards and save them for future inspiration but today I read the post you wrote. While I think your cards are beautiful, I love to see a glimpse of other stampers lives! I don’t blog and I don’t get enough time to make cards but it is my favorite hobby. I also love to read but don’t always get to that either. I’ve been taking care of my two grandson for six years while their Mom, my daughter, works. They are now six and three an although capable they still need watching for sure. Your great-grand nephew looks extremely and all the boys are adorable! I must say, I could take a few lessons from you–you are very active with them and active on your own also. Thanks for the inspiration in your post!!


    1. Thank you so much Peggy, both for stopping by and for READING my post. Bless you for your involvement in your grandsons’ lives. I don’t think I could do it all day every day. I just enjoy my ‘part time’ job! Grandparents are so important, in my opinion anyway. I grew up with grandparents nearby, and had 3 great grandmothers and a great granddad. I certainly was blessed to be able to know them. Your boys will think so too, someday, if they don’t already. Enjoy this time with them. They will be grown soon. Thanks again!


      1. Julie–I didn’t know three of my grandparents and only slightly knew my last grandmother who died when I was ten. I think that’s why I do what I do! You were blessed!


    1. Thanks, Amy! 4-H is so good for kids. When I worked at the newspaper, I practically lived at the fair. It was such a joy to watch the kids grow and mature over the years. Good memories!


  7. I loved reading every word of this and shared lots of it with my husband. We used to have all kinds of birds too, until he got to where he couldn’t feed them and the raccoons found the birdseed! I was a 4-H’er so love that they still show animals. It’s a great organization for leadership development. I’ve never heard of hollyhock (or hollyhop) dolls but they are cute and I’ll make note if I ever get my granddaughters in the summertime! Keep the posts coming, even with no cards. You are one busy lady!


    1. Thanks Susan! I am glad you enjoyed it and hope it didn’t bore your hubby. Yes, 4-H is great. A friend of mine has a granddaughter who was in 4-H all through h s and college. Even did some judging at the college level. She applied for a pretty high powered job after college and got it. The owner of the company told her later that her being from Iowa and having been in 4-H, gave her a definite edge over all the other applicants. He knew with that background that she had a good work ethic. Sorry about the raccoons and the bird seed. It does happen. I have squirrels and chipmunks. Had an opossum a while back, but haven’t seen him for a while. Yes the hollyhock flowers make pretty little dolls.


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