Monday, November 1, 2010


Did I mention that grandparents were visiting from NY at the end of October? And I'm just now getting around to writing about it! Actually, I'm not even going to write about it. Instead, I'll rely on pictures which are supposed to be better than thousands of words (at least when taken by someone who knows more about photography than I do).

The main theme of this visit was "work hard and then work even harder". Here we go...

Grandpa was on a mission to build a ladder to the tree house. But we ran into a problem - the treehouse platform is just too high on the tree for any regular ladder to be used by a preschooler (or anyone who's not exactly a monkey). Grandpa came up with a solution so grand in scale that it included 3 flights of stairs and 2 landings. But darn it, it's safe! (Secretly, I prefer it to any other option 'cause I'm not giving up on an idea of a romantic stargazing evening with wine in real glasses and have you ever tried climbing down a vertical ladder in the dark after a few glasses of wine?!)

M got to participate in much of the action. Here he is helping to drill holes to secure one of the landings. But the rest of the time he ran around the yard, helped Grandma (more on this - later), bugged Xander (keep scrolling), and built various structures out of his newest set of building blocks - off-cuts from construction lumber (the non-treated ones).
At the end of the first day the super-structure looked like this:
And this is what it looked like at the end of the second day of construction work:

Yeah, that's a lot of work! Mind you, no construction plans or blue prints other than what Grandpa came up with on the fly and jotted down on a piece of paper that he kept losing. Add to that communication difficulties (Grandpa - almost no English, my hubby - practically no Russian) and this starts looking as challenging as the International Space Station.
Drinking to the success of the project became paramaunt! Plus it helped to bridge the linguistic divide.

As I mentioned, M got all sorts of awesome homeschool education that weekend and not just in toasting. Here he is with his own tape measure:
Does he know how to use it? You betcha! Here he's measuring the girth of our cat, Xander. The verdict - too fat and too lazy.
In the mean time, in the other corner of the yard, Grandma was also very busy, but with landscaping chores.
Pulling weeds, raking leaves, building compost piles,

replanting some of the herbs (here she is replanting the Bay Laurel seedling that she first grew from seed, gave to me to be neglected throughout the summer, and then rescued just in time; not to say I don't have a green thumb - check out that huge mint mound behind Grandma)

Plus she cooked. One of the evenings we decided to dine al fresco (yeah, fancy like that) and put Grandma in charge of lighting the grill and fixing up something quick and delicious - baked potatoes, grilled hot dogs, baked apples. She's good at making the best out of the most rustic conditions.

As a reward, we took Grandparents to the Fair, fed them s'mores and let them spoil their one and only grandson. Totally fair!


  1. Great job, guys!!! I could not recognize the back yard!

  2. Well, you really need to stop by and check out this awesomeness first-hand. Tea and pryaniki are guaranteed :)