G. Hummingbird.

When I was a little girl, my grandparents lived in New York.
I grew up in Washington state.
Every few years we would pile into the red VW bus and make the trip.
What brave parents I had, driving 4 noisy kids across the country.
But it was always worth the crazy drive.
From the time I was little, I can remember my Grandpa slipping me money.
While my siblings all got a five dollar bill, my Grandpa would sneak me a twenty.
I'm not sure what he liked about me, but it's safe to say I was his favorite.
I know my siblings were aware, but to their credit, they never got mad at me for it.

Grandpa served in World War II.
Whatever he saw and did there took its toll, and we always knew him to be a bit "crazy".
And yet, he wasn't.
He was also gentle, sweet, loving and hilarious.
He could make you laugh till you cried.
One day as we were all sitting around chatting outside,
we were interrupted by the hum of wings.  
Hummingbirds!  Taking little sips of red liquid from the feeder.
We rarely saw hummingbirds back in Washington, so it was a real treat.
That is the day "crazy" Grandpa turned into "Grandpa Hummingbird".
Because he got us kids giggling as he flapped his wings, and pretended to sip red liquid from the feeder.

As I grew older, Grandpa would call me often from New York.
Each time he called, the conversation went something like this...
"Is this Shelli?  Well, hello Shelli, this is a boy from down the street.  I think you 
are so beautiful, I really want to go out with you.  Will you go out with me?
Maybe we could go rollerskating.  Would you like to go rollerskating with me?"
And each time I would laugh and tell him I would love to rollerskate with him.
Then he would laugh and tell me it was really Grandpa Hummingbird.
As if I didn't know.

When I was 19, and away at college, my mom called to let me know
that Grandpa had passed away.
I was sure I hadn't heard her right, but I can still remember that punch in the gut.
I quietly went outside, sat against my roommate's old car tire, and balled my eyes out.

Did you know my Grandpa loved flowers?
He loved to garden.
The whole time I knew him, I was never interested in flowers.
Funny that it is one of my passions now.
Many years after he was gone, my mom gave me 2 wrinkled 
packets of flower seeds and a note that she had tucked away from my Grandpa.
They are Zinnia seeds.  One of my favorites.

And in his handwriting is my name written on each packet.
The note says, "Dear Debby (my mom),  Just came back from the nursery.  
New seeds.  I get a big kick looking at seeds.  These are for Shelli, NOT for you Debby!  HA!"
Now..I get a kick out of that note.
And the fact that he bought Zinnia seeds for me when I was an uninterested teen.
A few years ago my Grandma gave me a leather bound book, and a small jewelry box.
Inside the book are clippings of Grandpa's tennis tournaments he played
as a young man in Buffalo, New York.
And in the jewelry box are several gold charms that he won playing tennis.
I do treasure these.

I love hummingbirds.  I always have.
I have been lucky enough to see at least one every year that I have had a garden.
This year, the plants I put in to attract them had matured.
AND I tried a hummingbird feeder.

I love that I saw more hummingbirds this year than any other!
My kids laugh at my excitement when I see one...but they get it.
They never got to meet Grandpa, but they know the stories.
They know why hummingbirds make me happy.
And now so do you.



I love this time of year.
I like how things slow down a little.
Time to enjoy some sweet little things.
Lately I've been enjoying...

 Cottage cheese with fruit.  
This is one of my new favorite things.
I very much like it with sliced red grapes, sliced bananas 
and slivered almonds.
It's like healthy dessert.
Oh so good!

 My coach has been working with me for quite a while to try to get my backhand better.
I used to have a two handed...think Nadal.
But it felt so much better to me to use a one handed...think Federer.
So the switch has been a long process.
But I am happy lately because I am starting to feel very comfortable with it.
Maybe soon it could even be a weapon!
Practice!  Practice!  Practice!

So I thought the birds ate all my grapes this year.
I have four different seedless varieties.
They wiped me out of my favorite green ones.
But throughout the last week, I have discovered
that they did not eat my blush colored ones!
I just sit on the ground and pick off all the ripe ones,
and pop them into my mouth one by one.

I'm not sure why, but sometimes I need soft music.
And that is all I will listen to for a while, 
because my soul likes the calm.
So, crazy as it sounds, I have had my radio on the 
SYMPHONY station of all things!
I know, I know.
But I have found that I really love Brahms!
And Beethoven.  
But especially Brahms.

One of my best friends, Valoree is getting married in October!
(She is the cutie on the far right).
I am thrilled for her!!  It is wonderful!
And you know what?
She asked me to be a bridesmaid!
Isn't that exciting?
Elece & Janelle are too!
This is DEFINITELY a sweet little thing.

The pumpkins in my garden are GROWING!
This is the first time I have grown pumpkins,
and I LOVE to see them.
Bright orange and round!

What kinds of sweet little things have you been enjoying lately?


A favorite thing.

Why I like my ATV
by Shelli

It's bright red.
It goes fast.
It takes me through rocks, mud and sand.
It lets me feel and smell the air.
It's noisy.
It's powerful.
It's even comfy for napping...you heard me...
Oh, and I do like dirt for lunch.

And that is why I like my ATV.



Jam Packed...

 That was our summer.  
Crazy, busy fun!
As you know, I didn't blog much.
We were here one day and gone the next.
But now it's time to settle down, clean house, update blogs...
So keeping with tradition, here is a little recap of our summer.
In pictures for your viewing pleasure!

My "Voluptuous" tea rose.  I did not enhance this photo at all, this rose glows!

Love these climbers on my split rail.  Ahhh.  Enjoyed my flowers this summer.

Made a few 4-wheeling trips.  The sand dunes were a new experience, but I think I prefer trail riding in the trees.

When they got bored...

Did some outdoor camping in the backyard.  Perfect.

Check out the heart on this apple!  It made my day, and that apple tasted extra sweet, I swear!

My girls on our white water rafting trip.  Googles was a bit unsure. We came out soaked, but we did it!

In Sun River waiting for our bus to take us to the white water.  And that's my hot hubby. I told you...a hotty.


Biking the trails in Sun River.  It was BEAUTIFUL there.  The trails are wonderful!

Seats four!

My reaction to Trev's comment.  Don't remember the comment, but he tried for this reaction and got it.

At the park in Sun River.  My oldest kept asking..."Where did Dad go?"  She didn't see him climb.

Listening to live music while waiting for pizza in Sun River.  Googles and I danced to it while the teens tried to look cool and not related.  Party poops.

Playing Farkle at Banks Lake with Cheryl and Heather.

Boating on Banks.

My son tearing it up on the stand up.

The kid crew at Banks.  A GREAT bunch!

Back to school cookie baking! MMMMM.  Made plenty to stick in the freezer.

The teens on their first day of school.  What happened to my kiddos?

The youngers on their first day of school.  Still kiddos.  Sigh.

Hope you all enjoyed your summer!
Now of course it is almost time to enjoy fall.
And you KNOW I will enjoy my fall.