Emily’s grandparents have a small pond at their place and every year Mr and Mrs Frog raise their babies there. We usually try to time it right to experience the sheer joy of frog season. I don’t know if you are familiar with how frogs work but Mrs Frog lays huge caches of gelatinous eggs which very quickly hatch and turn into tadpoles and eventually frogs. If you watch carefully, you get to see all of the steps in between tadpole and frog which might be the stuff of nightmares if you didn’t know better. Seeing a pond full of tadpoles is simply amazing! They swim so awkwardly and yet not. When they start growing legs and losing their tails, things get really interesting. It is an absolutely amazing transition and a lot of fun to witness!
Anyhow, we were around the pond last week and got to enjoy the tadpoles in the pond. Abigail loves to catch them in her hand and sing to them. She caught a few and while singing, spotted Mrs Frog. Mrs Frog had a protective eye of course (we could tell) but seemed content to watch us watch her babies. Of course, what are her options? We don’t have ferocious frogs here in West-by-God-Virginia.
Abigail decided she wanted to give Mrs Frog a pat on the back, congratulating her on a job well done with her latest crop of babies. She squatted at the edge of the pond (I had my camera ready fully expecting Abigail to fall into the water) and reached out to touch Mrs Frog. With a flash, Mrs Frog leapt into the water upon feeling Abigail’s fingers. She swam across the pond and under a rock where we could see her one back leg hanging out. We decided to leave well enough alone and just watch from afar. Spring is just the absolute best time of year! There are so many opportunities to experience in the spring. The Frog family delights us every year!This entry was posted in Family, Nature, WV and tagged Did you get peed on? You'll get warts!, Family, Nature, WV by warren
Something occurred to me this weekend. In a way, I am a story teller, telling the day-to-day nonsense that goes on in our lives here on this blog. I know that’s pretty much what blogging is all about and it’s pretty cool how I get involved in other people’s lives and how (I suppose) some of you, dear friends, become involved in our lives. I enjoy telling our stories, for, like sands through an hourglass, these are the days of our lives.
Anyhow, this realization came to me while at an actual concert put on by a real, professional story teller, Lorna MacDonald Czarnota. My friend Granny Sue held a house concert where both she and Ms. Czarnota told several diverse stories and sang ballads. I don’t know if you have ever heard a professional story teller, but if you ever get a chance, go and listen.
Granny Sue is our neighbor so I knew her house. She has a fantastic house in the woods surrounded by trees and birds and flowers. Her home is incredible, filled with antiques and mountain heritage and beautiful glassware and books. She invited us to walk about her house and drink sassafras tea and enjoy a variety of snacks. It was a beautiful arrangement and truly an awesome experience. It’s what story telling was at its beginning…friends and neighbors getting together to tell stories and enjoy each other’s company.
Abigail and I had a great time and she re-told the stories we heard the whole way home. I am not sure I am really much of a story teller, but I am delighted that Abigail had so much fun listening and re-telling stories. I hope she will learn some mountain stories and make up some of her own. However she wants to communicate, the wonderful imagination that will be fed from these mountains makes me happy!This entry was posted in Fun, Thoughts, WV and tagged Appalachia, Family, Fun, Mountains, Not a soap opera!, WV by warren
While I am a little late in documenting it, Abigail moved from single digits to double digits this week! It’s hard to believe it was a decade ago when she was born. I still remember when I crossed the decade mark. It seems like yesterday and that was three decades ago! Anyhow, my little baby girl is growing up and it is so exciting to see her blooming into a cool kid! Sh’e smart and interesting and still likes dirt and bugs.
For her birthday, all she wanted was a new bedroom. We live in an old house and her room could use an update…something from this century or even the later part of last century. Her mom and her Granddad are helping her rip out the carpet and the old cruddy plaster so we can freshen up everything. We are even going to install an overhead light which she desperately wants! It’s funny how the simple things mean a lot to her…and that makes me happy.
She’s a great kid and I love watching her grow up into a great young lady!This entry was posted in Family and tagged Am I old enough for this?, Family, Mah baby! by warren
If it has to snow, I guess we might as well do something to enjoy it. We didn’t get too much snow on Friday but Abigail in particular decided to make the most of it. I bribed her brother to go and sled with her and it worked…he fell for it.
I had decided earlier in the day not to wear any pants all Saturday. Before you think me too creepy, I wore shorts all day, even out in the 25 degree weather. I wasn’t cold for some reason and it had nothing to do with Uncle Bill’s special cold weather elixir.
Anyhow, hills in WV are plentiful but hills that won’t kill you are somewhat harder to find. The kids spent an hour or so rolling up and down the little hill out back with sleds and without. It was really a pretty awesome time. The kids had a lot of fun together and any time we get that chance, I will take it.
While standing out in the snow, I also discovered the my phone can take really awesome panoramic photos. I took a few pics of the area from different angles. I sort of hate to admit it but the whole scene was sort of pretty.
I guess I might have had blood flow issues though as my body tried to warm my legs so I do not want to fully commit to claiming any part of winter is nice.
I had the opportunity to enjoy my favorite holiday of the year with my kids and that was pretty cool. I know you are thinking that Groundhog Day can’t possibly be Warren’s favorite holiday but, friends, I am here to tell you it is! It means the days are starting to feel longer, the maples will soon be blooming and winter is soon to be over! This year Phil was very kind also. And just to go on the record, Punxsutawney Phil is the one true seer, the prognosticator of all prognosticators. The others are all impostors!This entry was posted in Family, Fun and tagged Family, Fun, Snow still sucks by warren
Emily and the kids are off today because of the snow and the cold. It was 11 outside this morning and the roads were a bit of a mess so it was the right thing for the county to call off classes today. I just wish they hadn’t called at 4:35 am. We are very lucky (I think) that the county uses a robocaller to alert teachers and parents to closures, announcements, etc. We just need to work on the clock…
When I was a kid, we had to wait for the tv station to scroll our county across the screen. The closest station was 100 miles or so away. I am not sure it mattered but our little rural area was not terribly important to anyone else. Honestly, they never cancelled or delayed anyhow so there really wasn’t much to watch for anyhow. We just went to school every day. More than once I remember sitting on the bus waiting for a plow truck to come so we could follow it down the hill and get to school. I also remember one time when the bus tried to make it up the hill to the school. As the bus started spinning and sliding (even with chains on), the driver stopped it and we had to walk the rest of the way in the snow (we weren’t barefoot but it was up hill!)
I don’t want to go on about how easy kids have it nowadays, but it was just different. I am sort of jealous though! Anyhow, I am sure that the family is enjoying sleeping in while I slave away at the office! Snow days are special days in my book and I truly hope the kids enjoy a little extra time to relax. Heck, by tomorrow it may be 70 again and we will be outside in shorts (if only we were so lucky)…This entry was posted in Family, Thoughts and tagged Family, Snow days are cool!, Snow Sucks, Thoughts by warren
I have been pretty behind on saying much, but we have been busy! We have been on holiday vacation! We stayed at home for Christmas as we always do. I don’t like to rush around and do much of anything on Christmas day…it impedes my playing with my new toys/eating cookies/napping. This year, a few days after Christmas, we went to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Maryland (my parents met us there too). I mentioned in my last post about the snow storm…let me complain again…it sucked. A normally 6 hour drive took us 11 hours. Here is why:
Anyhow, once we got there, we had a great time. The boys stayed at home and ran the tractor, cleaned the chicken coop, drank…mountain dew. I had another run-in with an immovable object and my head…namely the chicken coop. Once again, I lost though it was slightly less gross/severe this time.
The ladies went on in to Washington DC to check out the art museums and enjoy the humanity around them on the metro.
We had a really great time and didn’t drink too much…mountain dew. Everyone made it home safe (in a second fairly bad snow storm) so I call it a success!This entry was posted in Family, Fun and tagged Family, Fun, Snow Sucks by warren
Just a few days ago, Isaac crossed over into teen-hood. Some folks dread the teen transition, but for us, we see Isaac becoming much more enjoyable. The boy was a bit wild when he was young, but he has settled down into an awesome kid! We give Isaac some room and let him be around us when he wants and be alone when he wants. I don’t know if we are just fortunate or if other folks try to push their growing kid into something they are not. Whichever way it goes, I am so thrilled that Isaac is growing into a pretty great young adult.
Isaac was born under duress. You can read more about that here. When he was born, he was 19 inches. In a mere 13 years, he has grown to 5’8″. That’s is just a little shorter than I am. He wears a size 14 shoe. That’s bigger than what I wear. I am not sure when he will grow into his feet, but I think he is on a pretty wild path!
I don’t know what is ahead of us, but I know that I am so proud of both kids and love them more than anything. I love being able to watch them grow into
real people adults and to be a part of such wonderful lives!
We like to play hide the pickle at our house. It’s an old tradition meant for the whole family to enjoy. We sometimes play hide the pickle when guests come to visit also. Gosh, I love to play hide the pickle!
When we lived in Nashville, we had a friend who worked part-time at a place that sold Christmas ornaments. One night at a get-together, she asked if we wanted to play hide the pickle. Being young and carefree, we eagerly agreed. She gave us a box with a glass pickle inside. I had never heard of the tradition but apparently folks back in the old country would hide a glass pickle ornament somewhere in their Christmas tree (check this out for an explanation).
I think whoever finds it has to clean the kitchen or do push-ups or something like that. The kids love that of course! So, we put our tree up the other night. Only since we moved back to West-by-God-Virginia have we had a real tree in the house for Christmas. We headed to the farmers’ market to get a tree grown in WV (which isn’t all of them at the market) the other night and finished decorating it finally. The finishing touch was for me to hide the pickle deep in the tree which delighted Abigail. Really, it’s a great tradition and one for which I am thankful!
Well friends, I don’t know about the people with whom you spend time, but if they ever ask you if you want to play hide the pickle, cautiously nod your head and see what happens!This entry was posted in Family, Fun and tagged Christmas, Family, Fun, It's a Family Tradition by warren
The other day, after my birthday hootenanny, my wife and kids only complained a few minutes (in honor of my day) when I said I wanted to roam about aimlessly in the local Cabela’s store. The Cabela’s people put on quite a show and I like looking at all of the things that I may buy cheaper elsewhere. There is something cool about actually fondling the products you are considering purchasing.
Anyhow, we all wandered by the fishing area where Abigail happened upon a lovely display of earrings they had out on display. She was amazed at how many varieties they had and how soft and fluffy they were. “Do they just leave them out in the open like that?” she asked. As Emily and I turned to see what she was talking about, we noticed that she had found the fly-fishing display and was holding one of the flies up to her ear to see how it would look. Thankfully she didn’t end up with a hook in her finger! I guess you could wear flies in your ears and they would be pretty cheap as earrings go. You’d better not walk too close to a stream though or a hungry trout may jump out of the water wanting a kiss!This entry was posted in Family, Fun and tagged Family, Fun, Yikes! by warren
I recently completed another trip around the sun. I am in favor of more trips as the alternative is not so good. Anyhow, this birthday, I had the pleasure of hearing Abigail sing in the annual Appalachian Children’s Chorus Christmas concert at the Clay Center here in the city. Abigail loves music and has been singing lots in preparation for this concert. It is so cool that she has the opportunity to perform in front of a large crowd in a first-class facility.
I did enjoy a birthday party at a local restaurant with some of my family several days after my actual birthdate and that was cool of course. It’s really been a week-long celebration of, well, me! It’s ok though, I am worth it!
So, anyhow, back to the concert. Abigail is a part of another musical group which performs Wednesday night as well. None of us knows the songs she’ll be performing or how this concert will proceed. It’s like a surprise present! Birthday presents when you are a kid are cool, but I think I get this adult thing a little now…the best gift is hanging with the kids and seeing them doing things they love! I still think I mostly think about things as if I were a 14 year old, but every now and then, I get to be an adult and it’s pretty cool!This entry was posted in Family and tagged Family by warren