Archive for October, 2011

Tennis, anyone?

It was a sunny, cool fall afternoon, and Scott and I decided we should take advantage of the sunshine to do something fun together.  I suggested we go to Stockstill and hit some tennis balls.  I am not a good tennis player by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy just hitting the ball back and forth.  Scott invited Josiah to join us and together, we three had quite a fun time of it.

First, Josiah and I on one side spent a lot of time hitting them back to Scott.  Then we worked a bit on serves.  I am not very good at serving, but at least I was able to provide a level of comic relief to the guys.

Next, Josiah and I actually played a set against each other.  He won all six games handily, but it was fun.

Finally, Scott and I played a set together against Josiah.  It was close, but he ended up winning, thanks largely to my consistent double faults when serving.  However, I do want it to be known that in the final game, ALL SIX of my serves were in the appropriate little whit box.  I felt quite satisfied!

To cover or not to cover?

That is the guh-zor-nan-plotz.  The weather here is changing, and a week ago, it went down below freezing for three nights.  That’s not a problem, except that I have tomato plants that clearly have their summers and falls confused.

They finally bore fruit from the third week of July through the third week of August, but somewhere in there, we had had two weeks of 100 temps, and I think it messed up their hormones.  Since about August 21, we have had not a single tomato.  At least, not one we could eat.

The vines are loaded with green tomatoes and blossoms, but the fruit is just not ripening, or even getting far enough along to be picked and ripened inside.  So, on those three frosty nights, we covered them.  A few of you have seen our tomato “trees” in the side yard, and trust me, it was no mean feat to tarp those puppies.  The ones out front were just draped with sheets.

I have eight moderately-sized planters of tomatoes and then the two big barrels on the side, and most of them made it through those three nights okay.  Actually, the ones by the air conditioners looked puny, so I did end up picking the few on them and ditching the plants a few days ago.

The forecast had called for freezing temps beginning tonight and continuing, so I had planned to pick all the green fruit today and be done, BUT now it looks like it will only be below freezing for two nights and will rebound for at least another week. The barrel plants still look pretty good, they have the most and biggest tomatoes, and another week might be enough to motivate them to ripen, so I am considering asking Josiah to help me tarp them two more times.

However, the ones out front will be picked and the plants ditched this afternoon.

Just can’t relate

The other day Josiah offered to help me make burger patties for the Promise Keepers cookout tomorrow night.  He clearly did not know what he was getting into.

Burgers for Team Roberts were many years ago ordained to be made a certain way, and that way is messy and tedious.  We had five pounds of burger meat, and following the various designated additions, I intended to end up with 20 burgers.  I know exactly how much meat to squish in my hands to make a quarter-pound burger, but since Josiah’s hands are considerably larger than mine, his burgers kept coming out too big.  I pointed to our sample meat ball in the bowl and urged him to relate his to that one

His reply cracked us both up:  “Mom, I just can’t relate to a handful of raw meat!”

How to play bridge

We have developed an interesting technique for playing bridge.  It is a game that requires four players.  Scott, Jessica, and I are virtually always ready to play, but coming up with that fourth can be a challenge.  Josiah will play on occasion, but he has to be in the mood.  Sometimes bridge mix can be an effective enticement, but at other times, nothing will suffice.  Last night was one of those nights.

Andrew is learning to play bridge, but he doesn’t especially enjoy it.  If there is nothing else to do (read:  the neighbor kids are not available to play), and there is a bowl of bridge mix to which he has been granted unlimited access, he will play, but after about two hands, his attitude tends to go south.  However, since Scott feels that it is incumbent upon all bridge players to commit to a minimum of four hands (or a rubber, whichever comes first), playing with Andrew often means dealing with a lot of whining in the third and fourth hands.

Last night, someone – perhaps moi? – got the brainy idea that Katie might be willing to play with us.  I cannot actually remember Katie ever turning down an offer to play bridge.  She had a night class that ended around 8:15 PM our time, so she downloaded Skype and in a few minutes, we had her at the dining room table!

Katie was on Jessica’s laptop, perched high on a Staples paper box.  Her cards were standing up in a slot in the Blokus game board.  By bending Jessica’s monitor half forward, Katie was able to see and write down a list of her cards.  A little more re-arranging and she was able to see the play on the table.  When she wanted to play a card, she told the dummy which card to play for her.

It was refreshingly therapeutic to see her face; especially her smile when her team completely annihilated Scott and Jessica.  = )

Fun, fun, fun.  Katie and I were game to continue, but for some reason, the others begged off.  We all agreed that we should do it again sometime.

 

Some very special gifts

I have received some WONDERFUL birthday gifts from various family members.  Here are the highlights:

~ money toward some much-needed clothes (they have been ordered and should arrive soon

~ the Steven Curtis Chapman piano music for his Speechless album (I’ve already begun trying to learn “Be Still”)

~ a bird feeder to replace our broken one (I ordered it and got notice today that it has shipped)

~ a special package containing all kinds of unique goodies that are precious to me

I feel very treasured!

How about those Cardinals?

There was great rejoicing among the elder four Roberts’ last night, as the Cardinals beat the Phillies 1:1 and advanced to the final round of the National League Championships.  We watched the game at our vacation home.  Actually, Katie watched it in Virginia; Scott, Jessica and I watched it upstairs; and the boys played on the Wii downstairs.

I felt terrible for Ryan Howard, who was injured on the final play of the game, but I sure was happy for St. Louis.