Monday, August 25, 2014

Late Summer and Birthday Parties

There's an odd sort of feeling that comes over some of us NW Wisconsinites as the calendar approaches September. We know that summer is nearly over, which means that fall is rapidly approaching, which means that winter will be breathing its frosty, annoying breath down our necks before long.

But late summer tends to be the hot, humid, sticky time of year. One late August it was so hot that my German Shepherd lost most of the hair on his tail - and he was an inside dog. If we had cattle, the flies would be everywhere during this kind of weather. I remember when I was a kid that my mom would constantly be hollaring  telling us to 'Shut the screen door!' so that the flies wouldn't get into the house. Even so, we had one of those fascinating fly tapes (which I loved) hanging in the kitchen during the worst of the fly invasion, which also coincided with canning time.  The good thing about late summer is that the zinneas, rudbeckia, and echinacea are committed to stick around until a hard frost. In fact, they are worth covering with old bedsheets those first few frosts just because they've given me so much cheer throughout the season. 

But the best thing about late summer is the little 4 year old grandson's birthday. He and his baby sister are such a delightful blessing and treasure. We enjoyed spending the weekend with them, and yes it is a lot better to have them only 2 hours away, instead of 9. We hauled one of our many slate boards to their house so that Daddy and Grandpa could install it on the bedroom wall for this little guy. I've never bought into the chalk paint = chalk board idea. I'm old school when it comes to chalk boards, probably because these slate boards came out of old schools. Several old schools.

The beautiful, smiling baby you see pictured above is always happy. Oddly enough, she only cries when there's a good reason, such as being hungry or teething or needing a diaper change. I never had children that were that easy, so she continually amazes me by her cheerfulness. And because I'm their grandma, I never tire of looking at those sweet faces and listening to the funny things the 4 year old says.


 Sunny, cheerful disposition, generous,
Eager to please, friendly,
Loves a party

Why do my rudbeckia spread everywhere and my echinacea don't spread at all?? I'm going to have to plant more of them, I guess, but I don't understand why they need coaxing when the rudbeckia are so prolific. I suddenly realized that I'm starting to assign personality traits to these flowers. I think the canning of the green beans might be getting to me.

 Beautiful, but stingy and snooty
Introverted, aloof,
Doesn't play well with others,
Hates crowds.
Will most likely remain single.

I hope y'all had a great weekend. I'm hoping to get to your blogs now and find out!


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TexWisGirl said...

you made me laugh with the screen door and flies during canning time. thanks for the memory!

glad you had a nice weekend w/ your littles.

betty-NZ said...

Some of those old pieces have me scratching my head about how they work, but I'm sure they served their purpose!

Cheryl said...

Oh, I know it is wonderful to make a two hour trip when a nine hour one was previously required!

What darling grandchildren! I know you had a fabulous weekend, soaking up the family time!

Muffy's Marks said...

Those foggy September mornings will be upon us before we know it. I like September....all the tourist go home!! There is again peace in the kingdom.

Judy S. said...

Great photos, Judy. Your grand kids are adorable. We just got back from a week plus with our Chicago gang and were happy that the weather mostly cooperated so we could be outside!

Anonymous said...

Hey Judy,
I SO enjoyed reading this post. Informative, personal, funny. So, what IS the personality of a green bean??
And I know Exactly how you feel about grand babies. Mine are 6, 3, and 1. Always smiling, but they ARE opinionated little critters!

PS How is Noah?

:) maureen and jb

Pamela Gordon said...

Sweet pics of your little grands. And I love the 'rust' ones at the end. We are visiting our grands right now for 2 weeks and enjoying every precious minute. Number 3 still hasn't arrived! (due yesterday) Waiting rather impatiently.

Diane said...

LOVE the zinnias. My favorite! I like the name Oliver by the way.

Eileen H said...

Our seasons in the UK are the same as yours. It's still August but there is quite a nip in the air already.

I remember those fly tapes! As a child I remember our corner shop had one and I was quite fascinated by it. Surely that wouldn't be allowed in this day and age and in a shop selling fresh food.

You have beautiful grandchildren.

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Now those are some sweet little faces! How nice to give them the school blackboard - I'm sure there will be lots of creativity going on there! I love your Black-eyed Susan's. So bright and pretty. xo Karen

Our photos said...

Your photos are beautiful!

Janey and Co. said...

I like that old farm equipment...and what a cute little birthday boy! Janey

Vee said...

Ahhh, yes, just like clockwork, the hot, muggies return. Even after we were tricked into thinking that fall had arrived early and just in time for the poor kids (and teachers) who return to school tomorrow.

Your grands are so precious. I can imagine the hours of fun that you grandson will enjoy writing on his wonderful, old-time slate.

My goodness how the baby has grown! That's what they do, of course, but really, so fast! Your description of her cheerfulness made me smile. How delightful to have a happy child.

Hootin Anni said...

When we lived in the foothills of Colorado we had flies clinging to our screens too...but they came from the property down the road I'm sure....he had donkeys and horses. I think our flies were trying to get indoors where it was WARM.

Beautiful flowers no matter if they spread or not...just gorgeous.

And birthday celebrations with such cute ones...lovin' it.

[oh and the rubbish....great finds Judy]

Debby Ray said...

Ooh...beautiful flowers! Zinnias remind me of my sweet mom. Our August here in NC has been surprisingly cool, which is almost unheard of here! Yesterday it was in the high 70's with a gentle cool breeze all day long! I'll take it! I always look forward to fall, mostly due to the terribly hot weather here but this year I won't mind it so much if fall is a little later in coming... IF this continues. Next week...or tomorrow, I might change my mind!

Dicky Bird said...

"You're letting all the flies in" I can hear it too! Sticky fly tape - stuck to head....maybe just me. Beautiful grand babies.

Lynne said...

Love the smiles . . . baby and four year old . . .
School room chalk boards . . . (Black boards as I grew up calling them) are the best. Aren't grandparents the best! Bringing the best kind of treat for the grands . . . think of the tons of pictures, numbers, words that will appear through the years . . . (no crayons please!)

Love the picture of the farm equipment . . . name??

Bet I know plenty of people who don't know what a fly trap is . . . I remember them well . . . from my being a kid in Wisconsin!

Leslie Anne Tarabella said...

Such pretty photos of happy and sassy flowers!

Arlene G said...

Judy, you have beautiful grandchildren and I know you love having them near by. Two of our grands live here in our town and three more live in Birmingham, about an hour and a half from here. Your flowers are beautiful. My husband's family is from Minnesota so we have a midwest connection. The Grimms immigrated from Germany in the mid 1860s and Marvin's dad was stationed in Savannah during WW2 where he met Marvin's mom. He never went back to Minnesota.:) I had my first visit there two years ago and it is just beautiful and COOL compared to Alabama. We drove through northwest Wisconsin on our way home...

Debbie said...

hehehe, some funny stuff and some very cute family pictures!!

i like your descriptions of your flowers ;)

Stephanie said...

Good morning, Judy! Your blossoms were like a ray of sunshine on this gloomy, rainy day here in the mountains :) Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful day!

Farm Girl said...

Even though we won't have cold until almost Thanksgiving. We have that fly thing too. I loved the pictures of your grands.
You know I have pondered that question of the purple cone-flower problem. They are so picky, they don't over winter very well it is so true, they do not play well with others.
I have pots of them started, and I hope I can keep them growing for next year, We will see though. My other flowers always grow so well but not those.
Lovely photos today.

Bossy Betty said...

Not sure why some of your flowers don't spread, but your love surely does! Wonderful pictures and memories!

Susie said...

What great pictures. I love them. Plus the way you described the fly season...took me back in time. I can hear that screen door slapping now. Our mother would yell , "stop Slamming that door." But hey, wasn't that sound part of summer ?LOL blessings, xoxo,Susie

Lady Linda said...

ADORABLE pix! Oh you are so blessed. Thanks for sharing. I love looking at blogger friend's families. I know some people are so careful about posting family pix, but I love them.

Cynthia said...

Great pictures of some wonderful family time and memories. I'm sure you aren't looking forward to long winters again. I had black-eyed Susan's and they seeded so easily. I started clipping them down earlier at the old house to prevent this. Didn't really enjoy doing that since they are gorgeous flowers but things got outof control.

Red Rose Alley said...

This post hit home for me today because Jess just got a teaching position, and is now going to be only a couple hours away, instead of 7! We are blessed having them so close, aren't we? I think this is one of the prettiest flower pictures I've seen in blogland - wow! We are coming to an end here in summer also, so I know how you feel. Your grandchildren are very precious. I don't have any yet - you must be overjoyed when you see them.

Have a great week, and I'm going to take another peek at that flower.


Red Rose Alley said...

Oh, by the way, Fall is my favorite season of all. I'd love to know yours. I like winter too. :~)

Terri D said...

Well, Judy, I am not a flower or plant person. I barely know a weed from grass. I would just call the yellow daisy-like flower a black-eyed susan, and the purple one a purple daisy. Sorry that I am no help at all as to flower personalities.

I do, however, know a precious and adorable baby when I see one...or two or three. Four-year olds are amazingly wise and certainly worth listening to. How wonderful that your grands are only 2 hours away now!!

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Love your flower personalities! Lol! I should have planted more Zinnias this year.
You are right Purple cone flowers keep themselves to themselves. They don't spread like the black-eyed susans. When I had cone flowers I managed to coax two more seedlings from it, but you have to keep your eye out for them in the spring and make sure you don't pull them up. Also, I would make sure I left the seeds to drop.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, canning time...yum! You always paint some great images!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

The flies are bad here too and always seem to sneak in. I was just saying on the weekend I almost wish I had one of those gross dangling sticky things my grandmother had on the farm.
I have the opposite problem in that my echinacea self seed all over and the rudbeckia hardly even enlarge the size of their clump. Go figure.
Four is a fun stage with the grands although long gone for us.
Thanks for linking to MM Judy.

Ida said...

I'm opposite too with those two types of plants. They sure are pretty though and add color to the garden before the frost arrives. Dreading that for sure. Your grands are just adorable. I'm happy you are closer to them now so you can spend more time with them.

Roan said...

I remember hearing my grandmother yelling at us to shut the screen door. She also had those sticky fly traps. They always grossed me out with all the dead flies clinging to them. The old harrow looks to be in great condition. Love the rusty pitchfork, too! Great shots. Thanks for linking up!

Debbie Harris said...

Your flowers are just beautiful, Judy. I found them to be refreshing to my soul this evening after a long day.
Those grand babies... they warm the heart don't they? :)
Blessings to you! Debbie

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Oh, I remember the screen door and the fly strips! Your little grandchildren are so adorable! I know you are glad to be closer so you can visit more often. said...

Sigh, I wish I had a field of wild flowers outside my door for endless picking...those leaves are looking awfully fall-ish! Your grandbabies are so cute, I have one that is happy all the time too, such a blessing!

My Little Home and Garden said...

Your grandchildren are very cute. I like your flowers as well, very cheery!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time with your grandchildren and that is so awesome!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Lovely shares and there is nothing quite as special as spending time with endearing, making memories with the young from our own~

Donna said...

What a beautiful family. Do you leave the seedheads up all winter on the echinacea? When I do they volunteer all over the garden here...


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