Thursday, June 11, 2020

A Birthday Brings A Road Trip Without Winnona

Posted:  June 11, 2020                                               Most Recent Posts:
About Late May 2020                                                Back to the Farm
Severn Maryland                                                        Quarantined in April

I would love to take Winnona up to see Carrie and her family but she lives in Maryland in the outer DC megapolis and there is no campground other than the $$$$$ Cherry Hill within almost an hour of her. 

So I break the stay at home order and take Ruby up to visit for a special day.

So cute that they are waiting for me when I arrive.  So heartwarming to be greeted with such smiles.


Actually they were on their way out for a walk so I just come along.  I wear one of David’s shirts to drive in and don’t take time to change it so I look like I’m swimming in it.



Enough walking, Celia has a two wheeler with training wheels and she zips around the cul-de-sac with other kids on the block.  Her mom doesn’t like her riding in the street but “everyone is doing it” and you have to pick your battles.


Back inside we play I Spy with our “magnifying glasses”.



Outside, Inside, Back outside it has cooled down but Colin doesn’t seem to need a jacket like the rest of us.


Even Daddy comes along.


Back inside again we take a short rest.  Very short.


Celia and Nana are both big book lovers so we have to share some.

celianana2 (2)

A little dancing is in order.


Is she teaching him the waltz??


I arrived on a Sunday and on Monday Carrie takes us to Patapsco State Park for some hiking.  My cup of tea for sure.


Celia goes on ahead, Mommy waits for Colin.

Just a little support to get over the tree.

A much bigger deal for Colin.

Feet on one side, hands on the other.


Feet and hands on the top.


Getting into position for standing up.


Almost up.


and here we go.   Whew - Hard to remember how much of a big deal it was to go hiking when you are just a little guy.



A fork in the trail….hmmmm


What a face!  Boy do I love it!!


Nana’s girls.


We head back down to the river.



A nice spot for sitting except children aren’t much for that sort of inactivity.




Off we go again.


Back home in the afternoon it’s bubbles in the backyard.


Then time for another walk.  Nice to have a big sister to provide the horsepower.



celiasign1resizedAt bedtime, Celia had said she wanted a “sign”.  Not sure where she got that idea.  Carrie did have a sign when she was younger than Celia.  We bought it for her and put  up in the house every year for all the years she was at home.  But I don’t think Celia knew that.   Still,  at 10:00 at night it’s too late to go looking for a sign like we had or to order one on line so her mommy makes her one.

We hung it up over the dining area window with presents on the table from Mommy and Daddy for her to find in the morning.  Nana’s  presents come later.


Here it is close up.  The stickers idea was Matthew’s.  Good one!!  I think it’s still hanging there.  Hope it will be OK to take it down by Colin’s birthday in September.  HA!


It’s Tuesday, it’s Celia’s birthday.  There is opening of the presents and then breakfast of course in that order.  Where are the pictures?  Beats me?


Then it was time to go to Celia’s preschool for the goodbye.  Preschool has been closed for at least a month or more so she hasn’t seen her friends and misses them.  She didn’t get to be with them here either since we stayed in our cars except for getting out and standing by our cars for the “Freeze Dance” at appropriate social distances.  All my pictures of that fun turned out blurry since everyone was moving.   Celia got a special birthday hat since today was her actual birthday and she showed me how she had written her name.  Clever girl!!

I did take a video of the “Freeze Dance” but OLW won’t let me post it.  I can’t log into Youtube with the id and password I used last time before the latest OLW upheaval in 2019.  It’s too bad since it is so cute.  If anyone knows why my youtube email and working password – since it’s all google – won’t work from the Video tab in OLW, would you please let me know.   I LOVE MY COMMENTERS.  Bob explained what was going on and told me how to get the video to post. THANK YOU BOB!!

So if you’d like to spend less than a minute total seeing the circle round freeze dance, here are two videos.   Hope they make you smile.

         video 1          video2

Unfortunately for some reason the upload of videos was fine when I looked at them but after being published, the beginning was almost too dark to see.  I tried deleting and uploading again and the same thing happened.  Hope it only happens to me.  Perhaps it’s because they are such short videos. Still, they give an idea of how cute it all was.  If you know what happened here, let me know.

IMG_3659Each student then got their picture taken with their family and then with their teacher next to the Croften Preschool sign.  Took me WAY BACK to when Carrie was just a little shy girl at the Mollie Michie Co-op Preschool in Charlottesville.  How can time fly by so fast??

The wind was blowing and poor Matthew hasn’t had a haircut since the lock down began.  With his thick hair, it ended up in his face.  But it’s still a sweet family picture.

Celia and her teacher Mrs Johnson.

Back home we made THE CAKE for her birthday.  We almost forgot to put the butter in the batter  but TRAGEDY averted.

While we’re waiting for it to bake, we have to decorate ourselves with some of Celia’s hairbows provided by her fashionable babysitter Nicole.  How do we look?


Mother and daughter hairbow selfie.


Celia’s trying out her table top easel birthday present from Mommy and Daddy.


Then a little puppet playing.


After lunch it’s time to open Nana’s presents.

There’s only one box but it’s heavy.


So funny that Colin, unlike most siblings, isn’t trying to get in on this present stuff.


She gets it open and finds there are more presents inside.

And more presents.  That’s what Nanas do.




Celia and I love books.  She got several from me.  This one is called How to Babysit a Grandma.


Another book she got from me was a one on backyard birds geared for her age and a great pair of toddler binoculars.  Here she’s gone out in the backyard with Daddy to try out the binoculars.


It’s a 3rd generation birder in the making!


Colin wants to come out too

So Mommy brings him out.  He’s too wily to allow him to run because of the open pool they are getting ready for swimming.  Now, in June, I’m sure they are glad given that it’s been in the 90’s.

The birthday girl thinks they might need a little adjustment?


She seems to like them.  Look at that smile.


The last fun birthday thing is eating THE birthday cake after dinner.  Carrie cuts it. It is DELICIOUS!!! 

And with that the 4th birthday for my darling granddaughter is over.   It’s back to work for Carrie tomorrow.  She’s taken both Monday and Tuesday off to be with me and the kids.

We do have cake for breakfast on Wednesday just before I leave and they kindly send some slices home with me.  Nicole comes to take care of the children and Carrie and Matthew go up to their offices to work.

It really is such a different world than when I had a sweet 4 year old at home

With this post I’m pretty much caught up and so far June is proving to be VERY HOT, as in the 90’s, and boring so I’ll post again when I have something worth saying and showing.  Sure wish I was on the road again.

Stay Tuned, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy.


  1. What a great 4th birthday time for Celia. I love the present you got her, what a great idea!

    1. Thanks Laurie. She seemed to love the binoculars and the books.

  2. You all look so happy. Birding and babysitting Grandma are a marvelous combination. Celia is such a beautiful little girl with you and Carrie showing strongly. Glad you made the trip. I hope you can get into Shenandoah and cool off. Probably some volunteer opportunities right now.

  3. Thanks Gaelyn. I really hope she's going to be my hiking Pal. Crossing fingers about Shenandoah.

  4. That little Celia is quite a sweetheart, just like her mommy and nana...well...maybe a bit sweeter. :) So nice to see such a lovely, happy post with family and birthdays and cake and ribbons. Happy Belated birthday Celia. Hugs all round.

    1. It was a Happy Time Sue. And well needed given our current situation.

  5. Binoculars! What a great gift for her to grow up with. They can be upgraded every few years as she gets older, and as she learns to use them to best advantage!

    Virtual hugs,


    1. I was so pleased at how well she like them. With four-year-olds you never really know.

  6. I am with Sue....what a wonderful, happy post!!! Celia is a beautiful young lady...oh those eyes!!! Yes, it is a different world today raising children. Looks like Carrie and Matthew are doing a great job with those 2 bundles of joy!! I especially like the photo of Celia looking at you reading the "Snow" book...she looks so happy!! Now, hope you can get up the hill and cool off a bit...Be Well!!!!

    1. Nancy that picture is one of my favorites too. I just wish I hadn't been looking down at the book. But her face was fantastic.

  7. What a joyful birthday celebration! I love the gifts you got for Celia..."How to Babysit a Grandma" is hilarious. And the binoculars and bird book are wonderful. It looks like you have a little birder in the family. :-))

  8. It was a great book. Very funny! I think I gave her four books. Her mother said she wanted to read them over and over for days. Really do hope she becomes a birder.

  9. Your grandchildren are adorable, and so are your pigtails! So nice you got to go for a visit.

    1. Thanks for the comment Karen. I'm Surprised you noticed the pigtails. Did you see the Quarantined in April post with the close up of them? If not, there's a link at the top of this post. Too funny the color difference. I've since cut about 9 inches off my hair and it doesn't seem to make any difference. Too much hair. Need to find a decent salon that knows how to cut thick hair short and carefree without making me look like a guy.

  10. Great post to honor your visit and Celia's big day! The sign is not still up! Lol! She loves the binoculars and the 4 books you got her are the ones we have read every night in her bed since her birthday, to include Madeleine. She can almost recite "There's a Bear in My Chair" from memory or at least finish the sentences when I start them. So cute! Thanks for being the world's best Nana 💗

    1. SO glad she is happy with her gifts! Wish I were there to take her "birding"!! Love you all

  11. Looks like a very fun filled day! In the picture of Celia turning around during the hike, she looks like Carrie. Love the picture of Colin looking out of the window. "There's a Bear in my Chair" is a great book! Happy 4th Celia!

    1. I particularly like that picture of her Pam and made it the "desktop" on my phone. See you soon hopefully.

  12. Happy belated Birthday Celia! What a wonderful trip you had. The hiking with the little guy must have been so much fun.

    1. Thanks for the comment Jo. I wish I could take them both hiking every day.

  13. Looks like you had an enjoyable time with the gang. On the video you could never post a video with it as far as I know. It's not worked for a very long time. If you want to post a video just go to YouTube the regular way and upload it and then copy the URL to your post and it all should work.
    Keep having fun.

    1. Thanks for the comment and the advice Bob. I'll try it and go back and add the link. Wonder why OLW has a "video" button on its bar??

    2. I think the video button used to work when Live Writer first came out but then Google did something at YouTube and it stopped working. I do really still like Live Writer. I'm mot sure why OLW didn't remove the button.

  14. What a great time, I'm sure it was good for your soul. My mom used to use a roll of tape on each present, or so it seemed. I still remember some of my book gifts though I no longer have them. I'm so thankful my folks instilled the love of reading in me.

  15. Hi Faye. I am so happy that we are now at least in the 4th generation of readers. Both of Carrie's grandmothers were great readers as am I, as is she, and now Celia and Colin is right behind her loving his books too.

  16. You're doing a great job spoiling your grandkids. It's what grandparents are supposed to do! Glad to see you know will be babysat properly, too. What a hoot that book must be. :c)

    1. It really is a great book. Very funny. Thanks for your comment Paul.

  17. So much fun with grandkids! We spent yesterday with Arya and it was so great! Glad you could get together! They are soooo cute!

    1. Thanks Lynne. I only wish they were as nearby as your Arya.

  18. What a fun trip. Your grandkids are too cute and growing up so fast!

    1. Hi you guys. It was a fun trip and about the only good thing resulting from being quarantined in Virginia.

  19. Love the pic of you and Celia reading, and the one of her at the crossroads. She's so beautiful and engaging. Can't believe Colin is already walking and such a big boy. What a great birthday visit. Ezra had a "distancing" graduation at his pre-school where he could only see his friends from their cars. It's truly a different world for all generations. We're hot and spending too much time indoors because of it. I hope we'll continue to hear from you!

  20. How interesting that both of our grandchildren had these distancing graduation things. I don't think they really understand what's going on. How could they. It's hot here too. But maybe not quite as hot as Where You Are. For the most part I can still get outside some and get some hiking in. Not sure I'll have much to say from here on out. As you have found it's harder to blog when you're not on the road. Thanks so much for sticking with me and for the comment.

  21. What could be better than a visit for a 4th birthday party for Ms. Celia! Surely this little one will be ready to follow instruction on "How to babysit a Grandma". Little Colin seems to have enjoyed his hike although with these short legs he has to work hard to keep up. No worries...his energy is boundless. i know this was a breath of fresh air for you, Sherry, to visit the littles and party hard with Ms. Celia. I am now anxious for your next adventure. "Lets take our hearts for a walk in the woods and listen to the magic whispers of old trees."

  22. What a wonderful family and time!!! Can't believe those kids are that old already... time does fly...
    a different world indeed.....

  23. Your grandchildren are adorable. So glad you could celebrate with Celia!


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