Cooling off

Found these pictures from last year while going through my phone. Levi took off his shoes and pants to cool off in the overflow bucket. Wish I was small enough to do that!

“Getting Dressed”

Keendays are the days when I get to babysit my nephew, Levi. He is the one who gave me the name Keen when he was just starting to talk. “Aunt Carleen” was too much for him to master, so I became “Keen”. Nowadays I am Aunt Keen.

Yesterday was a Keenday. After breakfast I sent him to his room to get dressed while I went out to the front porch to have a smoke. I had not quite finished my cigarette when he came out the front door, completely naked. He stood there on the top step, asking me one question after another about many random subjects. Finally I reminded him that he was supposed to be getting dressed and that every car driving past on the road could see his “business”. He said, “Oh, yeah.” and headed back to his room, ostensibly to put some clothes on.

After a few minutes I went to check on his progress to find this:


After drawing two ninja turtles and Shredder and convincing me to draw Splinter it was time to complete the process of getting dressed….


After accompanying himself on the guitar to “Bingo was his name-o”, dancing around the room, and inviting me to play a tune as well, it was REALLY time to get dressed…


AFTER a wrestling match with BigBear, running from one end of the house to the other a couple of times, and taking pictures of Mr. Magoo, the cat, on his camera, Aunt Keen was starting to lose her cool a little bit. “GET YOUR CLOTHES ON!” At which point he actually did open his dresser drawer and got some clean clothes out….


He actually put on some underwear, pulled his little tool box out form under the bed and proceeded to take inventory of all his tools, measure everything in his room with his little tape measure, and inform me he needed a “real tool belt” for his next birthday.

As he rambled on he began planning out what toys we were going to play with for Keenday. (Tinker toys first, then tractors) I reminded him that we couldn’t play anything until he PUT SOME CLOTHES ON! Oh, yeah. Finally, finally he actually put some on shorts and a shirt. (After a thoughtful consultation regarding which shorts and shirt combo would be best for the day.)

The whole process of “getting dressed” must have taken at least 45 minutes. I was exhausted. He was raring to go! And it wasn’t even lunch time yet….

Keenday Photo Session

Levi and I had planned on a Keenday picnic for our lunch, then a trip to the village pool before chore time. The weather, however, had different ideas. The rain started just as we had our food ready to head to our planned picnic spot. (Naturally.) So, we decided to have our picnic on Sissy’s front porch. It actually turned out to be an enjoyable meal. Sissy’s porch is deep enough for us to have plenty of room to be comfortable and to stay completely dry. At the same time we had a full view of Sissy’s flower bed, her front yard, along with the birds, chipmunks, snails, etc. that were out and about during the storm. After eating I wanted to get some shots of the rain soaked flowers. It was perfect. My camera and I were dry under the porch, yet the flowers were right there on the other side of the drip-line. Levi had just gotten fresh batteries in his camera that morning, so he was snapping lots of photos of his own. June, Levi’s dog, and Thomas, one of his cats, were also enjoying the rain from the dryness of the porch. It was cozy, cool, comfortable, beautiful, relaxing. Not the day we had planned, but a good Keenday none the less.

Thistles, anyone?

Levi decided to nip some of the thistles in the barnyard. After cutting several down, he got the brilliant idea to feed them to the sheep. He insisted I cut them up and add them to the sheep’s feed tubs. THAT was a lot of fun! My sister had heard or read somewhere that lambs can be trained to eat thistles and nettles, so I figured I might as well give it a try. What she doesn’t know is how the heck I’m supposed to cut them up without getting pricked or stung. So, thistles were included in the sheep’s supper tonight and the lambs got thistles and nettles. Yeah, these items were NOT a big hit. They sheep ate around them. But, I think I will continue to add small amounts of thistles and nettles to the lamb food. Might even try some wild parsnip on them. It would be so awesome if they really can be trained to eat these plants. Our pastures could be a lot nicer in future years if these weeds weren’t left to grow and go to seed.