Friday, October 2, 2009

Dessert Dissolving Pine Straw Raking

Last night, Sarah and I were invited by the Main Man in our lives to go outside and help him rake pine straw. (For any of you pine straw newbies, pine straw consists of old pine needles fallen off old pine trees.)

May I just say that raking pine straw is not a job for semi-flabby, quasi-wobbly, out-of-shape housewives? May I also just say that the workout I got during my long (30 minute) stint of raking was better than a 2-hour workout at the gym? (Not that I've ever personally experienced a 2-hour workout. I'm just sayin'.)

I would just like to hereby give public thanks that my callings in life usually include indoor pursuits like cooking dinner, writing blogs and organizing home school materials. Indoor pursuits where I get to sit down occasionally. Indoor pursuits that do not cause me to be weak, worn and weary for weeks at a time. Indoor pursuits that in no way include the raking of pine straw.

Here are a few photos of the Slave Driver and the Slave Drivees.

Look at the way Steve is mercilessly chasing Sarah down while preparing to brandish his rake at her to tell her to move faster! Work harder! Don't let up the pace! Move! Move! Move!

Nothin' like a little quality father/daughter time.

We hooked Snowy to a tree outside so that he could be a part of the Hardworking Family Milieu. He immediately put himself into Watch Doggie Mode and diligently scanned the neighborhood in order to ascertain that the perimeter was indeed secure.

Because we all know that pine straw raking families in small Southern towns on golden Thursday evenings are often times the target of sinister criminal activity. Who knows what evil might have befallen us last night had it not been for Snowy's diligence?

And just so you know that Snowy has an unblemished record in security work, here he is in the front yard with Sarah several years ago.

Note the look of intense concentration on his little doggie face. He is quite serious about his task.

Here we have the Slave Driving, Pine Straw Raking Fella.

And here is the Slave Driving, Pine Straw Raking Fella's Slave Driven, Pine Straw Raking Wife.

May I ask you to
pause for just a moment and take note of my fabulous pine straw raking technique. For being such an amateur, I think I am actually good enough to consider trying out for the Pine Straw Raking Olympics. If they ever decide to add that category.

Just call us The Survivors! Sarah survived cancer. I survived raking pine straw.

Um. Her job was a little bit harder but I'm still proud of myself. And her. And our pine straw free lawn. And Snowy's diligence in being our security guard. And Steve for finishing up the front lawn with us and then raking most of the back lawn by himself!

We are one high achieving family, pine straw rakin' family!

(By the way, my hat says, "I'd give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter.")

Let me show you one last photo to illustrate just how long we have lived in this house. Can you believe how much Sarah has changed? Me either.

And may I just say one more thing about picture taking? When I went out with the camera to take pictures of Steve and Sarah, I took half a million pictures in the space of about five minutes. (And you think I'm exaggerating!)

When I was done, I handed the camera to Steve and asked him to take some.

He diligently walked around the yard with the camera and after a little while he announced, "Okay. I'm done."

I said, "Oh good. How many did you take?"

He said, "Two."

Two?? Two!?!?! He took only two pictures?

Obviously he has not yet mastered the Becky Smith Secret Technique of Photography which states that if you take at least a hundred pictures of any given subject, chances are that at least one or two of them will turn out.

Sigh. I can see he's going to need a lot more training in this important area. He may rock at raking pine straw but I am the undisputed Queen of A Zillion Pictures!


Thanks to those of you who have expressed concern for my mom. I talked with her on the phone last night and she sounded a bit weak and tired but in good spirits, all in all. My sister, Debbie, had driven over to spend the night with her.

And speaking of Debbie, she is certainly becoming a medical angel of mercy! In August, she spent the better part of several weeks with Dad in his last days, and then she camped out at the hospital after Caleb's accident two weeks ago. Now she is being a nurse to a lovely mother with a broken collarbone. (And newly removed skin cancer.) Thanks, Deb, for your giving, generous, and loving heart. We all appreciate you!


And now, a few miscellaneous notes before I close.

Some of you asked how Steve is doing and I'm happy to report that the meds he took and the rest he got seem to have done their job. He's still a bit "coughy" and husky, but is feeling 100% better than he was on Monday.

We'll leave for Manteo after lunch and get settled into our weekend housing. I truly appreciate those of you who emailed recipes or posted "traveling food" ideas in the Comments section. I have gotten some great ideas from you all!

And to Buff, who asked if we'd eaten at the Lone Cedar Cafe, yes we have--about three times in the last month!

Actually, the chairman of the board at our church in Manteo owns the construction company that recently rebuilt that restaurant after it burned down. From what I understand, they did it in just ninety days!

The Manteo church has provided meals for us there a couple times and we have enjoyed every single, delicious bite. (Their desserts are especially amazing.)

I'm just hoping that some of the pine straw raking we did last night dissolved some of those desserts!

Dessert dissolving pine straw raking. Sounds like a plan!

9 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Anonymous said...

We had two of those pine trees in TX. Raking those needles was a never ending project. They seem to drop year around!

We also had a monster oak that was 50+ years old that dropped many many bags of leaves in November and December. Notice it was too late for fun Halloween bags though which bummed us out. We could have the great plastic pumpkin bag patch in our yard if they had dropped earlier.

I had to laugh at Steve taking 2 pictures. I'm in very few pictures because I'm taking all the pictures. My hubby is like Steve, take a couple and figure that should do. He forgets I'm not very photogenic so that's often not enough to get the decent one.

What did you decide to take for meals this weekend?

Travel safely and enjoy your new adventure.


MaryH said...

Have fun in Manteo. I didn't have time yesterday to suggest any "traveling food." Sloppy Joe's travel nicely and also a good pot of stew. I do not make casseroles often, my family doesn't seem to like them - what is wrong with them!??! Just a couple of ideas - Lil' Debbies pack easily and travel very nicely!

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky ~ loved your story but sure did cringe when I saw you in Capri's. Here's praying that your pine needles don't have the red bugs! Becky up the road from you

Anonymous said...

You get to put the pine needles around shrubbery?!!! You don't have to lug it off into the Deep Dark Woods?!!! I need more pines & less maples!

Oh ... and anything chocolate packs & travels well! Enjoy Fall on the water, Smithies!

Love - guerrina

Vickie said...

Like Connie, we rake "needles" instead of straw around here. I recommend you switch so that it will sound more treacherous and worthy of surviving.

Also, I'd like to note that Erin had the same jeans that the younger version of Sarah is wearing. Quite fetching!


Sue G said...

I cannot believe that I have been so focused on preparing to move tomorrow that I fell behind SIX blog posts!!!!! Even when I don't have time to comment, I always read. This is unforgivable.

I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I know that her medical condition is not new to her, but having to weather it without your dad certainly is. I pray that she does not feel isolated or alone as she heals. I know she has loving family surrounding her, and for that I am grateful.

I pray that she will heal quickly and without incident, and that her heart will begin to mend as well. I pray that her spirits will be raised each day by memories of the outstanding love she and your father shared and continue to share, albeit differently. And I also pray that God wraps His gentle arms around her, draws her near, and that she is comforted by the sound of His heart beating in rhythm with hers.

lesley said...

I was wondering if you are bringing Snowy with you every weekend when you travel? If you are, is it hard to find a rental that will accept 'dogs'?

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