Wednesday, September 23, 2009


We're enjoying our trip to New England. This whole area is steeped with/in history. The place where we've been staying is called Back Bay as it was the Back Bay of the Charles River. Before it was homes and businesses it was water! That's right. The walk-up we're renting is built upon land that was "added" to Boston by landfill. The place we're in, Copley House, probably dates from the mid to late 19th century, so it's "new" relative to Boston standards. And when I say walk-up that's what we had to do with our luggage. Yep, no elevators here. Luckily we weren't all the way to the top floor, just the third floor. The place has character I'll say that for it. I just wouldn't have gone for PINK paint on the interior walls. Fortunately, the room we're in is painted a light yellow. We have a little kitchenette a couch, a table and three chairs and a nice TV. The floor's wood, the area rug has seen better days as have the bedside lamps, but since we're not into having "luxury" we're fine. It's been comfortable and we check out tomorrow.

We spent Monday getting to Boston. Tuesday we spent taking the Freedom Trail. This trail covers some of the significant sites of Boston-in particular those that featured prominently in the War of American Aggression (that's what my friend Ellen calls it.) We walked and walked and walked. We listened and walked and walked some more.

Some of my favorites included the Behind the Scenes tour of the Old North Church-you know the one if by land, two if by sea place. The Behind the Scenes tour was worth the 8 bucks each. We got to go where you don't usually get to go-down in the crypt below the church and up in the Bell Ringing Room as well as the upper balcony where the organ and "cheap seats" are. I thoroughly enjoyed it-Michael did too.

I loved the old cemeteries we visited as part of the Freedom trail. With some tombstones dating into the 1600's. Unfortunately for Michael I LOVE reading the inscriptions on them. It's interesting what some people either have written or their family has written for them. Some of the inscriptions are very involved-not so much epitaphs but almost eulogies/obituaries. Others are very simple. The symbolism of the artwork is also fascinating as it reflects religious beliefs of the time.

I could go on and on about Boston. We did get a good taste of it, but I'd welcome the opportunity to visit it again. Today we drove out to Lexington and Concord.

Lexington and Concord are all about the Minute Men. I thought I had a pretty good idea about pre-Revolutionary activities especially those surrounding "the short heard round the world." I feel like a sponge as I've absorbed (or tried to absorb) so much more information. After being in both of these places and touring some of the historic homes involved, think every child should be required to actually GO to these places of importance and truly get a feel for what went on; the lives and livelihoods sacrificed, the differing opinions, I will not be the same.

While we were out near Concord we went to Walden Pond-the site of Henry David Thoreau's two year odyssey of simplicity. I was surprised to find people swimming there and wish we had brought our swimsuits with us (they were back at our place). We did walk down to the pond and I'll admit to collecting one small rock to remind me of the message of this place which I take to be to simplify your life and pare it down to the things that mean the most and are worth the most to you.

A lesson well worth remembering. Tomorrow it's time to head to Cape Cod.



Last Saturday we were getting ready for our trip. We had stopped by Carynn and Jamie's to borrow their car and to get a "Ty Fix" as we wouldn't be seeing our favorite little guy for nearly three weeks. Melinda happened to be over there as well so it was nice to see her too.

Ty looked so darling in his jeans and was very happy to see Nana and Papa. In fact he was so happy to see us that he wanted to go with us. As I sat down by Melinda he grabbed my hand and said, " "up/hand/go. He grabbed Michael's too. So he had both of us by the hand and he wanted to head out the front door. He was in a bit of a dilemma as he was also trying to figure out how he could hold one of his riding toys and both of our hands at the same time.

As much as we wanted to we couldn't take Ty with us as we had a church function to go to. Carynn used the element of distraction so we could semi-sneak away. We'll miss seeing Ty (and his mommy and daddy and Melinda and her hubby) while we're away. It'll be good to see Bret and Laura and Lynette though.

Time to Up/Hand/Go

Apples and Pears

Ty had "helped" Papa pick apples and pears up over Labor Day. Well, Carynn and I had our "Second Annual Mom/Carynn Applesauce Fest" on September 16. Now September 16 was a very busy day in and of itself though it didn't necessarily start out that way.

I had committed to hosting the BYOP (Bring Your Own Project) group and had scheduled the first meeting on September 16. We didn't have a huge group, but we all had things to work on and at noon I had invited Carynn to come help do the sauce. Since we had a late start we didn't get as many batches done before she had to leave, but we did get one batch ready and in the canner and one ready after that.

Anyway, it ended up being a long night, but I was all done by 10:00 PM. In addition to the applesauce I got 4 quarts of pear sauce done. I'm excited to try those. The apples and pears from Michael's trees look much better this year. Between the spraying and the pruning they aren't as buggy and they are bigger.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor of Love

We had a wonderful Labor Day weekend and a busy one. While Carynn and Jamie headed west for some R and R; Ty Michael spent the weekend with us. We had such a good time. I was very tired (Michael too) when Carynn and Jamie picked up Ty on Monday, but it was a good tired. Here are some of the things we did. Note: some of Ty's favorite words are bolded.

1. Lots of PLAY- This is Ty's word for either playing with the toys in the toy cupboard downstairs or with the ones in the cupboard upstairs in the family room. This usually involves:
2. TRUCKS and BYE BYES. Ty definition of trucks includes the pick-up variety as well as the tractor/trailer variety. We have two small tractor/trailer type trucks. The trailer for each detaches. Ty likes switching these with each other (fortunately they still work when he does that) and often involves him handing the pieces to me and saying FIX IT. He still likes calling cars bye byes since that's what you do when you get in them. A few of the cars have doors that OPEN and SHUT and Ty and I practice doing this and saying that with those cars. He's also extended open and shut to other concepts correctly too. What a smart boy!
3. PLAY may also involve the little pink HELICOPTER (Yes he can say helicopter) and a space shuttle that he calls an AIRPLANE.
4. More PLAY includes playing with Melinda's old See and Say toys, the Little Tikes playhouse where he likes putting the family, especially the BABY in the car that goes with it. Sometimes the baby gets STUCK.
5. EAT. Ty usually wakes up hungry so breakfast is something we get to right away. He tries to say breakfast, but it doesn't quite sound like breakfast yet. Involving food he will say "please" but it often sounds like PEAS.
6. He understands "thank you" TINK YOU and will sometimes use it preemptively as in thanking you in advance for something he hopes you'll give him.
7. WALK is something Ty likes to do all the time. More often he walks with his PAPA but sometimes he walks with NANA too. On one of my latest walks with Ty we used the path that Michael made around the property and walked down to the picnic table to eat our lunch. We took the time to SMELL wild flowers that were along or near the path.
8. Ty's walks with Papa may include stops to eat an APPLE from one of the apple trees, and grabbing some BERRIES and GRAPES from the garden. He also has learned that PEARS are not apples. Since it was apple picking time at our house Ty ate a bunch of those (or began eating a bunch of them) this past weekend.
9. We also took in a SHOW or two. This is Ty's word for a movie. Some of the ones we watched with him included: Wall-E, Cars, Elmo, Lady and the Tramp, Quick Cutz kids.
10. He'll sometimes sit still through part of Dora the Explorer. He recognizes DORA and her sidekick BOOTS. When the character Swiper appears he'll echo Dora's, "Swiper no swiping." and Swiper's "OH MAN."
11. We'd also NAP. Ty's favorite naps are when we pretend to nap. We'll take BLANKY and ELMO (his bear) and lay down, putting our heads on our folded hands and snore loudly. This usually doesn't last very long. Ty doesn't like real naps as well as he likes pretend ones, but I'm glad he'll still take them.
12. Getting dressed can be an adventure! After a BATH where Ty gets WET in the WATER. We'll get him all dressed. He knows when he's supposed to stand UP to help and realizes that if he wants to do something outside he needs to wear his SOCKS and SHOES. It was cool enough outside that he sometimes had to wear his ACKET (jacket).
13. We also went to CHURCH while he was here. He enjoyed Melinda's old quiet book, eating a SNACK or two or three. He especially likes TOOKIES (cookies). Cookies are most any kind of cracker kind of snack. He did pretty well in Nursery considering he didn't know the kids, it was way past nap time and he doesn't have the concept of sharing down yet. But then none of the other KIDS did either.
14. I admit to caving in on a few things. I'd let him take a BOOK and a bye bye or truck or two and maybe his JUICE when I was putting him down for a nap/bed. I figure that's my perogative as a Nana. He'd still give me a HUG and a KISS even though I was putting him where he didn't want to go.
There are plenty of other words that Ty uses that I haven't noted,but you get the idea. He's a very vocal young man. He'll try most any word out and most of the time it'll sound something like the real word. It was a very busy weekend, but it was a-

Labor of Love,


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Coming soon--new words by Ty!

So when I'm bragging (okay, I try not to brag, but how can I help it) about our grandson, I tell people what a great vocabulary Ty has for a 22 month old. Next posting I'll write some more of his words. For right now...

I'm "all done." (a Ty-ism sometimes he's all done before I'm all done. Sometimes it's the other way around.)



We stopped by Carynn and Jamie's a week or so ago. Michael and Carynn were talking inside and Ty and I decided to go outside and play. Ty was mowing the lawn with his bubble blower mower and then decided he was done with that. He went over to his bucket of yard toys, dumped them out, grabbed what he wanted and then invited me to join him by saying, "Sit." He often accompanies that with a patting motion on the empty space next to him. So I sat. We had a good time playing with his toys.

Then we moved over to the gravel/sand area. He invited me to sit again, so I sat. It felt good sitting next to my grandson, talking with him, playing with him. I think there is often time in my life where I don't take the time to just "sit." Whether it's with him or with someone else. I'm going to try to be better at that. I hope anyone reading this will think about that time.

Take time to sit. I've an empty space by me, won't you join me?