The summer just flew by and this post that I began back in June has been sitting, unfinished, in my hold file the whole time. I remember becoming overwhelmed with emotion when I began writing this and started looking at the pictures that I planned to include. Instead of starting a new post I think that this is important enough for me to continue from where I left off.
|Olivia, 8 years old|
Just about eighteen years ago I became a grandmother for the first time. When my daughter, Amy, told me that I was going to be a grandma I was in denial for the first few months, claiming that I wasn't old enough to be a grandma. In reality I was more than old enough but this was the first time. Of course the denial melted away the first time I held that tiny, adorable, red-headed, newborn, Olivia, in my arms.
|Olivia, almost 18 years old|
I was so privileged to live nearby and be involved in Olivia's life for the first two years. After Rich and I married and I moved back to Ohio and soon after my daughter and son-in-law, Steve moved their family to Jacksonville and later to Columbus, I have been very fortunate that the kids made a herculean effort to ensure that we got together often. As a result, I have always been close to our grandchildren.
This week my intelligent and beautiful granddaughter, Olivia, graduated from high school and the whole family was there to celebrate. We are all so proud of her. I had trouble holding back the tears as I snapped the pictures of Olivia marching out, all smiles, onto the Schottenstein Arena floor with all of the other graduates.
That was back in June and here it is late August and Olivia has been away at college for a week and by all accounts that I see on Instagram, she is having a good time and getting along with all three of her roommates. I am going to miss her spontaneous calls with requests to come up for the weekend to bake or make jam with me. In recent years she has driven herself up, often bringing along a girlfriend to stay overnight. It was always a joy for me to hear the girls chattering and giggling into the night; a sound that took me back to the days when her mother and aunt were that age. However, I am so proud to see the confidence and eagerness with which she headed off to the next stage of her life.
Out here at Buckeye Star Alpacas the corn is as high as the proverbial "elephant's eye" and after a bit of a dry spell in July and early August, it has rained enough that the corn, the pastures, the tomato plants and the lawn are a lovely, lush emerald.
|How high is an "elephant's eye" anyway?|
In late July, I was fortunate to be able to travel with Olivia and her mother, my daughter, Amy, to Portland, Oregon for a visit with my granddaughter, Zaidee and her mom, Susie, my younger daughter. It was only for a few days but we had a lovely time. I am so proud of the work Susie has done on her fixer-upper house. She was left with a shambles inside and has done wonders updating her cosy little home into the comfortable abode where we stayed.
I don't get to see my little granddaughter, Zaidee, often enough and each time I do I am amazed at how much she has grown and how lovely she is. I use the word little
very loosely only because, at almost 12 years old, she is my youngest grandchild. She towers over me at a very poised 5' 8" tall. Zaidee also has a smile that lights up the room and I am tremendously proud of her.
|"Little" Zaidee and Olivia|
Portland is a unique and very quirky city to visit. We walked miles just in Susie's neighborhood because there is such a vast selection of one-of-a-kind restaurants and shops nearby. We drove south of Portland, towards Eugene to visit my son-in-law's niece and have dinner with her and her boyfriend and their adorable daughter. On the way we stopped at a couple of lovely wineries. We sampled and purchased a few bottles which we drank in the evenings as we sat around and talked before heading off to bed.
|Ramen Noodles at the noodle place|
|Loaded 'Tater Tots at the ramen place|
|Burritos at the local Mexican restaurant|
I enjoyed my first Uber experience when we called for rides to downtown Portland to visit the Japanese Gardens and the International Rose Society Test Garden. I must say each of our Uber rides were comfortable and our drivers were very personable. The Japanese Gardens were so peaceful and serene that I could have sat and gazed at the waterfalls and koi ponds for hours. However, one does not sit in one place for long when the kids are along. I'm afraid such serenity is just plain boring in their book. Maybe the next time I go back there I'll be able to meditate in the gardens!
As we walked through the rose gardens I couldn't help but think of my friend, Nancy, who loves roses. The flowers were in full bloom and all of the colors were breathtaking. Zaidee, who was into her Pokeman Go game with her best friend whom we brought along, wouldn't hold still for photos with the roses but I snapped a couple of great pictures of my Susie and Olivia.
|Susie in the Rose Garden|
|Olivia and the Roses|
The whole time was spent in sight seeing, eating delicious food, hours of enjoyable conversation and mugging for selfies with Zaidee and Olivia. Sometimes doing two or three of these activities at a time!
|Mugging for the camera at the Mexican restaurant|
|Amy and Olivia with Mt. Hood in the distance|
I had a wonderful time and the overnight delay in Chicago was only mildly frustrating. The compensation was a classic deep dish pizza at Giordano's.
|Giordano's in Chicago|
The trip was a memory I'll cherish for ever because I seldom get to spend a few hours, let alone a few days with "my girls."
I received a message from my friend, Rhonda, at Grass Run Alpacas while I was out in Portland. Attached was a picture of a fluffy, white, female cria named, Merri who was our herdsire, Nikko's, first progeny of the season. Nikko, if you'll remember, became so aggressive that we had to put him down after shearing. It's nice that a little bit of him lives on.
Then about a week and a half ago, our friends on the next road over, the Wurm family, were so excited when their first cria was born. She is a little female that they named Agnes, Aggie for short and was born to their Dora. Aggie is a light fawn color like her mother.
|Amadora and Aggie|
Our three females, Leezza, Mango and Took, are due at the end of September and the beginning of October. Since September begins this Thursday, I'll begin to spend more and more time close to home on "cria watch." This will be Leezza's first and she may be late; but Mango delivered Dionysus two weeks early last year so I'll be watching her carefully. All three have bulging sides so we are hopeful that soon we'll have little ones romping in the pasture.
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