Friday, June 17, 2011

The Golden Retriever Puppy Son Pot-Stirring Plot

Our family has always said that having Nathan around is just like having a Golden Retriever puppy; he is the world’s biggest tease and loves to stir something up if something isn’t already stirred.

Case in point?  Our family’s visit to Jockey’s Ridge when Nathan was home in May.

Steve and Sarah were striding purposefully, peacefully, and contentedly along.


All was well.  All was grand.   The Golden Retriever Puppy Son was not up to his usual tricks.  He was walking along with unusual calmness and restraint.

Until he glanced over and noticed the peace and calm emitting from The Dad and Sister Tableau.

And then?  The puppy instincts kicked in!   He thought of a plot to stir the pot! 

Yes!  It was a Golden Retriever Puppy Son Pot-Stirring Plot!


See if you can possibly guess what the plot consisted of.





If you guessed, “Running in circles” you were oh so right!

And then to make him even happier, he actually compelled Steve to join him in the circle chase!  Nothing makes a Golden Retriever Puppy Son any happier than to be chased!  In circles!  Yay!




Sarah waited for the Golden Retriever Puppy Son and his father to cease and desist in the continuing circling of her person.


Finally.  The excitement was over.  The circling ceased.  The Puppy Son trotted off to ponder his next moves.





Have I ever mentioned how much I love this fella?





Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tree Wranglin’

Around our house, there are no pesky Child Labor Laws in place to protect our delightsome, delicate daughter from performing toilsome and tedious tasks. And since Nathan moved away to college four years ago, her toilsome and tedious task list has grown a bit since she is the only Smith sibling remaining on active duty.

Last week, when Steve was clearing out some small trees from behind our house and needed a little help, he stopped for a moment to contemplate his helper options.

Snowy? No.

Becky? Naw.

Sarah? You guessed it.

And since this was a chore beyond her usual weekly household jobs, Steve told her he would pay her $7.50 for each hour she worked. Visions of iTune cards and thrift stores danced through her head and she said, “I’m your man! I mean . . . um . . . gal!” (It’s not quite so hard to replace a big brother when big bucks are on the line.)

We renamed her Sarah Bunyan and the work began.



Sarah learned that you have to be very firm with trees. You have to show them that you are the boss of them.


You have to swing your ponytail authoritatively and wrangle those rebellious branches until they unequivocally opt to obey. Sarah was a natural at it. She never had a younger sibling to boss around so she had plenty of pent up bossiness to unload on those unruly, unsuspecting limbs.


The two of them made a great team.


In the midst of all the work, there was one moment of great drama and excitement when Sarah had to step back from her wrangling duties and exam her hand for signs of grievous injury. Or at least a broken fingernail.

Thankfully, all was well.


Of course, whenever anything even remotely interesting happens at the Smith house, I have to be there to photograph it and so I was hangin’ out with the tree wranglers for a few minutes with my camera. At one point I wanted a posed shot so I asked Steve and Sarah to stand together at the back of the pick up. My goal was to try and get a shot from a little lower down but since my ancient knees no longer bend in any sort of a supportive manner, I usually have to lean sorta sideways in order to get my “low down” pictures. (It’s a very attractive look, I might add.)

Steve liked the look so much, he mirrored it. Sarah just looked confused.


Then when I bent a little further, Steve did too. Sarah was asking herself, “Do these have to be my parents?”

She finally decided that unless she humored said goofy parents and joined in their parental goofiness, the day’s work would never get done. And hence, this photo.**


As you can tell, the whole “Becky Bending Over” incident brought immense merriment to Paul Bunyan and Daughter Bunyan.



At long last, after the photos and the smiles and the wrangling, the first of three loads was ready to be taken to the dump. (Happily, someone from church loaned Steve a pick up while his car was being repaired.)



As they left, I waved a fond farewell and then wandered around taking a few pictures of a nearby flower.

I really loved this flower because unlike the trees, it not require wrangling . . .


. . . and unlike my family, it did not make fun of me when I leaned over sidewise to snap the photo.

However, it also did not break out into gales of merry laughter as I took my pictures. Which I sort of missed.

So all in all? I think I prefer my family over the flower.

Just thought you’d like to know.


** You may remember that I posted the "leaning sideways" photo a couple days ago and asked if anyone had any guesses as to why Sarah and Steve were behaving that way. I received the following two guesses:

Random said, "My guess is that Sarah and Steve have noticed that the world is tilting a little bit off its axis, and they're attempting to remedy its spin. Tell them to lean really hard and maybe we'll get an extra-long summer!"

Jodi said, "Anything is possible with those two! Perhaps, the photographer is doing something odd, thus, causing them to react the way they are."

Random wins the award for being randomly entertaining and Jodi wins the award for being right!


I'm still here--just snowed under a bit.

We're gearing up for a really big event on Father's Day and I'm speaking for a women's group Saturday morning so my little ol' spare moments are getting eaten up pretty fast.

Steve made it to and from Pennsylvania safely (flew out at 3:30 pm Sunday; drove back home by 6 pm Monday) and the car is working great. So we got that particular mini crisis straightened out.

I've have a "real" post up soon.