Monday, March 28, 2011

Slowing Time

Even though I'd heard this since I was a child, I still marvel how much faster time seems to slip by at 55 years old, than when I was a child.  But it does seem that one good way of slowing it down is to "look for the joy" in each day, finding, noting, and deliberately holding in our minds and on our tongues and fingertips gifts from every day's moments for which to thank God.  I give thanks for:

221.  wonderful weather, perfect for painting the house,

222.  two weekends in a row,

223.  allowing us to finish painting the 2nd story trim, soffit and exterior walls moments before the sun went down Sunday night,

224.  on the last day we would have the free scaffolding

225.  bucket truck to help us reach trim higher than scaffolding

226.  bonus time with Amber and Bennett, who stayed with us while Sam was away

227.  quiet walk together and playground exploration

228.  the total surprise of heart-pounding adrenalin fear coursing through veins when I try to pull myself onto second level of scaffold without side or cross bars, setting up challenge for both weekends (I LOVED climbing trees as a kid)

229.  several more attempts to let rational thought conquer adrenalin history of unsteady balance and swaying head...adrenalin wins again and I am reminded that cilia stiffens and fluid thickens as inner ear ages

230.  bucket truck to lift me and husband to talk me through transferring my weight to the rattling "OSHA approved" cotter clipped crossbar of the second level scaffold section with handrails  (this picture blurred by bounce of bucket, but perhaps an accurate portrayal of my pounding heart?)

231.  deep breathing and eyes focused on roofline and soffit to slow my heart pump and steady my feet on planks to paint

232.  second weekend confidence gained through pulling myself up and down numerous times, body and balance adjusting to walks along double and single planks with paint pan and roller in hand

233.  daughter-in-law who refused to let her fear limit where she could work and by the end of the second weekend was readily walking on the roof and across single planks without handrails or building to hold for balance security

234.  smiles and waves from high in the bucket truck with Grandpa

235.  noisy joy of 4 cousins together, the 3 older all vying for the youngest's attention

236.  energy enough in tired body to play backyard games of lion-hunt

237.  boys learning to climb trees

238.  young boy's giggles, learning to skip

239.  osprey hovering, its forward progress halted by strong wind over lake

240.  for "almost 6" boy dashing inside, bean sprout in hand, excitement over the first growth popping through the dirt, almost more than his body can contain "Look, Grandma, the bean seed is GROWING!"

241.  osprey flying to young ones in high nest on pole, carrying mouse or mole in its talons

242.  pitter-patter plop of hard oak leaves dropping to ground in back yard

242.  3 standing and gazing at bright, bright moon

244.  apogee moon, closest full moon distance in 18 years

245.  heading to the beach for the next evening's "big show"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Painting Crew

These past few few (exhausting) weekends have been filled with painting the exterior of the new family house, and I thought you might enjoy some of the photos as much as me.

After a few hours of real house painting, painting while standing on level ground was simply too tame for Isaac and "I do everything Isaac does" Eli.  So discarded forms were put to use as ladders.

Grandpa David taught the kids how to balance their paint tray on the 5 gallon bucket.  But I'm guessing he didn't anticipate they'd do it while squatting on a ladder.

Before she started painting each day, Michelle would pack coolers and snack bags AND assemble dinner in the crock pot which she carried to the job site for supper.

Seriously, can a painter get much cuter than this?

The kids really enjoyed painting.  I love their concentration...especially the tongue.  (Click to enlarge)

Kyle and Michelle have done wonderfully at involving each of the kids in the WORK of the house building so they can have the satisfaction of helping to build it, and hopefully ownership in helping to take care of it as well.

Grandpa David found out just how little individual work the adult who is "supervising" the kids gets done, what with filling paint trays and smoothing out blotches and runs for the half-pint helpers.


Dried on dirt from previous rains had to be brushed off before painting the stucco.  If only I approached ALL my work with this much joy and anticipation.

Isaac was so happy to be painting, that most of the weekend he was humming while he worked.

We are proud to be WORKERS!

I have always admired how HARD David pushes himself, but after painting 2 full days in a row of contorting my neck and shoulders to paint the trim under the soffit from the ladder, I have even more respect - He had done it even longer the weekend before.  I bought those big butt pants several years ago and have been saving them all this time just to paint in :-)

David keeps the rest of us adults in the family laughing at his attempts to communicate with Prema, but he worked with her for hours both days that particular weekend, and when he told her (through an interpreter :-) that she had done a good job painting that day, she just BEAMED.

I took all the painting photos on the weekend that Kyle was installing electrical on the inside, so this is the best I can do.  He's worked many nights after work in addition to the weekends for months and months, and will have plenty more ahead before it is finished, but I'm pretty sure he will say it was worth all the planning, stress and hard work.