Remorse, Fish, Family, and Fun



This is one of our three formerly feral cats, obviously no longer feral. They were a daily source of delight for 3 yo Vivian Rose and 7 yo Alastair.


Before the summer was over, our two younger grandchildren came  across the state for a week of Nana (and Granddad) camp.  As all grandparents know, it was a fabulous, memorable time for all, not the least of whom were their folks who were relieved of parental responsibilities for a week. How well I remember that special joy in years gone by.

In an effort to give this some sewing references, I must tell you that Vivian Rose’s suitcase was packed with nothing but Nana-made clothes.  I love my daughter for that–and a million other reasons.  Vivian wore her firefly outfit, the ever popular parade dress, her ABC shorts set, the CC Jane tricycle set and others.  More pictures should have been taken, but I was too wrapped up in the children to shoot more.



With a goofy grin and a little chocolate cake still lingering on her mouth, Vivi wears a well-worn Children’s Corner Katina, made fir her mother 35 years ago. There is something to be said for polycotton. The dress and bloomers are in near perfect condition.



A highlight of  the week was a visit to our friends’ garden and koi ponds.  The day before our outing,  Alastair and Vivian Rose collaborated on a pair of koi dishtowels for their hosts.  Alastair actually did most of the embroidery, with Vivi pushing the needle threader, presser foot lever and start button occasionally.  They chose the threads and were quite proud of the results.

the children did the embroidery at my Dream Machine. Alastair is fascinated by the technology and Vivi loves to push the buttons--any buttons.

The children did the embroidery at my Dream Machine. Alastair is fascinated by the technology and Vivi loves to push the buttons–any buttons.


John and Susanna are the grandparents of Baby Shrek who surely found a world of delight at their home when he visited in September.  Vivi’s mother and our daughter, Rebecca Susanne, was named for dear friend Susanna. (But Rebecca Susanna sounded a little too heavy on the -a”s.)




Susanna led the trail through her jungle paradise.

Susanna led the trail past the koi pond and through her breathtaking garden.


After a short time, Vivian left the fish.  They were pretty, they swam, she moved on.  In her explorations, she discovered a quiet hideaway where Susanna likes to sit and read, though she seldom sits.  She and her husband John are always on the go, what with keeping up with the garden and ponds, doing church work, and being friends to all.



Vivi was awed by the wind chimes and a singing bird in a secluded nook in the garden.

Among the bromeliads  was a pink pineapple.  Alastair was old enough to know that it was unique.  Vivi just saw a pineapple.


Vivian points to the nearly ripe pink pineapple.

Vivian points to the nearly ripe pink pineapple.  Take note of her outfit, lovingly made by her adoring Nana.  Read on to the end oft his post for news of its unseemly demise.



Our host John led Alastair to a barrel full of tadpoles under the treehouse. Somehow frog eggs had traveled through the pump to this holding tank and hatched.  It was brimming with tadpoles that he could see up close and personal.




Both children enjoyed the treehouse, one in which their mother and uncle spent time as children.  That fact didn’t impress them one bit, but I thought it was nice for them to know.




The visit ended with cookies and lemonade.  John and Susanna know how to end a perfect visit.


At the end of the week, the parents returned along with our son and his family.  It was so special to have all both of our children and their families  home at the same time.




Twelve yo Laurel and 11 yo Robert are idolized by the younger cousins.  Their mutual affection and admiration for one another is a joy to behold.




Of course, there was swimming.  In lieu of her own darling swimwear, Vivi chose one of Laurel’ s old suits from our box of swimwear loaners for visitors.  The suit is size 8–not a good fit for a 3 yo. But she loved knowing it was Laurel’s.




All four grands are good swimmers and had a grand time splashing around together, along with their parents.  Vivian Rose, on Uncle Ryan’s back, couldn’t get enough of him.

Now, Vivi is the only grandchild who hasn’t outgrown the old rope swing on the side yard and she loved it. How this size 3 little gal managed to hold on with the size 8 straps falling off her shoulders is a mystery.




Alastair did his swinging under the treehouse, often eating a homemade orange juice pop.




We had so much fun!


Then there was The Incident. Vivian found a long lost permanent marker and decorated the house, her arms and the outfit she wore to see the fish.





This is our ancient and well-loved pine kitchen table, unembellished until the day of The Incident..


This was all accomplished while Alastair and I were watching a 3:30 video of his summer camp. What Vivian lacks in artistic style, she makes up for in speed.




And this is Vivian Rose showing genuine remorse in her ruined outfit.  But it was the set’s second summer, so I wrote it off as a lost cause.

The day after The Incident, which I handled rather gently, Vivi came to me, unprompted.  With those big blue eyes looking up at me, she said, “Nana, I not never gonna mark on your walls or your stove or your table or my arms or my dress ever again.  But if I do, I’m gonna say sorry.”  I THINK she meant it.

As it turned out, the stove and woodwork cleaned up, thanks to Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser and the efforts of Vivi’s mother.  The yellow walls in the utility room were scheduled to be painted the next week.  Whew!  The table remains embellished with Vivi’s signature artwork.  Granddad wants it left as is, a colorful reminder of our special week with the children.  I may start using tablecloths in the kitchen.

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