Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Weekend

The weekend is over and it went by much too fast. I got my laundry washed and folded, but my room is an utter disaster (again). Ha ha! Story of my life.

I worked from 9 am til 6 pm on Friday, came home exhausted, and put myself to bed early. I found Sergio and Idris playing soccer in the backyard when I same inside and sneaked back out for my camera to snap a few pictures before they knew I was there. "I make a goal," he said as he ran through the grass with the ball. He is doing great for a little guy not quite three.

I had an appoint- ment Saturday morning and then met my sister at her house. It was too beautiful to be inside, so we took a walk by the Erie Canal in Pittsford, NY. So pretty. Maybe another time we'll take a boat ride.

Today, after church and Sunday School (I went to both!), I drove out to Williamson to find Number Nine at Abuela's house where he'd been for the morning, and took him home with me. We took a nap and then went out to the Fireman's Park to play for an hour or two. Hannah and Sergio had taken a day trip for their anniversary which is why the grandmas were watching the child.

Tomorrow it us back to the kitchen and all my little friends. I believe grilled cheese is on the menu, and that should make everyone happy.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The G.O.A.T.

I have been home from Minnesota since Monday night. I found my missing hairbrush, which wasn't actually missing at all, in the very last bag I unpacked (Yes, I unpacked all of them.), but not until after work on Tuesday. On Tuesday morning I had to borrow the hairbrush I keep in the car.

Today I was looking for a pen, but when I reached into my purse for the little bag I bought to keep them in, I found the bag was missing. I checked the cabinet where I'd stashed my purse during work. I checked my car. When I got home I checked my bedroom. I did not panic even though my checkbook is inside the pouch, but the longer I looked without success, the more uneasy I became.

I filed a missing item report with the airline. I wracked my brain. When was the last time I'd seen it? I knew I'd used a pen in Minnesota, but I couldn't remember anything past that. It's not anything fancy, just a plain white/gray canvas pencil bag with a goat on one side, and "The G.O.A.T." on the other. I bought it because the large pocket inside my purse has a hole, and I don't like things like pens and checkbooks floating around the liner of my handbag. It was doing a splendid job.

I prayed the Lord would help me find the bag, not because of the bag itself or the pens, but because of the checks. This evening I left a status update on Facebook. "Lost something. Maybe on the flight from MN to Rochester. Or maybe it's here somewhere and I just can't find it. Prayers for its recovery would be appreciated. Thanks."

My son answered, "What did you lose? Besides your hairbrush." Funny guy. Turns out I left it in the glove compartment of Michele's van. Tucked it in there when I lightened my load before we went into the Renaissance Festival, and then completely forgot about it. Ha ha! Good thing my son's memory is still working. In my defense, I was very sleepy on the way home from the festival Sunday afternoon... Maybe I was sleepy when I put it in there too.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

No Pictures, Just a Story

She was at the wedding. I didn't take her picture, though I desperately wanted to.

I'd heard her story online last year, but had no reason to connect her to anyone I might know, other than the fact that she went to the church my son once attended. Jim had left a tag for his friend (in this case Saturday's groom), but the friend had never responded and I forgot all about the story until last Saturday when a thin, older woman showed up among the guests at the wedding.

The pastor looked up before the rehearsal, and said, "Isn't that -----? I didn't know she would be here." And there was talk of her connection to Dan between the pastor, his wife, and a couple others who I don't recall. As they spoke, her story came back to mind with the sudden realization of who the woman was. She was connected to the groom in the wedding because she had once been his mother in law. (There is something about this guy. He loves deeply and completely. I suppose that is why both his ex in laws were in attendance, seated in the front row between his parents and me. Honestly, I wondered what was going through their minds... But that is another story.)

Before the ceremony began or the guests were seated, this woman was sitting alone waiting. I decided to sit by her and introduce myself. "Hi," I said, "I'm Martha. I'm Jim's mom."

We sat and chatted about nothing, and then she looked at me and said, "Last summer I had something very interesting happen to me. I found out I was switched at birth." And then she told me her story, and it was just like the news story I'd read.

I wonder how many people have grown up in the "wrong" family. It's kind of a scary thought in a way. I'd left this comment under the FB link to the news story last year...

"One of the reasons my dad was born at home in 1932 was that my grandma was afraid of this kind of thing. It almost happened with my Uncle Art. She knew the baby they brought her one day was not the one she'd held previous. She complained to the nurse who assured her it was her baby, but there was another woman down the hall putting up a fuss about the baby they brought her too."

My daughter did an Ancestry DNA test a few weeks ago. She smiled when she told me she was going to find out if she was really adopted, and I'd asked if she sent any family tree information in along with her test. She said no. Well, I turned out to be her mother, just like I knew I would. She's mine.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Bits and Pieces (while I can still remember them)

Long post alert. Sorry.

* I flew out of Rochester at dinner time last Wednesday with a box of fried cakes (cider donuts) packed in my luggage. By the time I arrived in Minnesota I'd eaten only airline crackers and pretzels, so I ate a donut before crawling into bed.

* It rained all day Thursday. I had a headache. We did not go out. We ate eggs and donuts for breakfast, lazed around, took naps, and played with the baby while we waited for Austin to come home from school. At dinner time we went out to play miniature golf and eat pizza in the basement of the old American Can Company in Saint Paul. Pretty cool!

* On Friday the sun came out. Mid afternoon Jim and I rode out to Farmington for Dan and Rachel's rehearsal dinner. It was cold and damp. I had my jean jacket along, but the sleeveless shirt underneath added no second layer for warmth. (I should have asked to borrow a sweatshirt.) I stood by a smokey fire to keep warm. Ha ha! We had burgers and hots on the grill and I got a big hug from the bride to be as well as the groom.

* Saturday was wedding day. The little boys were dropped off with Michele's parents for the night. We arrived at the house well before the ceremony and enjoyed the preparations. It was a cowboy wedding with all the trimmings including a chuck wagon dinner.

* There was a baby dedication at church Sunday morning, a trip to the Ren Fest in the afternoon, and then, because it was my last night in Minnesota, I stayed up way too late chatting with my son. And I don't regret that for a second. It's one of the things this mom misses.

* Monday morning my friend Kristina came and took me out to breakfast. We ate on the patio of a little place called Day By Day Cafe. The food was good and the weather was even better. It was a perfect day to be outside and we were both disappointed to have it cut short by my impending departure.

* My bags were packed when my son took me for a ride in his old "farm truck." I should have left my cup of coffee on the counter because it sloshed all over the place on our short drive around the block. Ha ha! And in no time at all the trip I'd looked forward to for so many weeks was over and I was headed to the airport for the return flight home.

* This evening after work a small dark haired boy came to greet me in the driveway as I climbed out of my car. He was smiling. Love that Number Nine!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Minnesota Ren Fest Take 2

Yesterday morning at church I witnessed the dedication of my sweet little grandson Parker. Number Eleven. He didn't cry when the pastor took him his arms to pray and his big brother was well behaved too. It was the grandparents who had their eyes open, cameras in their hands...

Following church we headed to Shakopee, Minnesota and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. We rode the shuttle bus from the parking lot, dodged mud puddles in the path, and dined on turkey legs. There was more to see than the eye could, or should ..., take in. Ha ha!

We left the festival tired and sun soaked, but not as dusty and dirty as six years ago. I mostly just took in the scenery and didn't spend much, but I couldn't resist buying a teapot from ASH Pottery.

I fly home in two and a half hours...

The Wedding

I came to Minnesota because my son lives here, but the gentle nudge to follow through and actually book a flight came from my son's childhood buddy Dan. He called me back in April or May and said, "I'm giving you a verbal invitation to my wedding." An actual wedding invitation followed a few months later, but by then I'd already made the decision to be here. Dan has called me "Mom" for years now, and as much as he loves me, I am also grateful for his parents who stepped in to be family for my son when he first moved here twelve years ago.

The wedding was incredibly beautiful, and fun. I put my camera down for the ceremony. Actually, I left it in the care of my beautiful daughter in law who was sitting several rows behind me. I did not want the temptation in my hands because I knew there would be moments I wanted to capture, and there was a photographer for that. Instead, I sat in the front row with Dan's parents and another couple close to his heart. What an honor bestowed on me! I am humbled and grateful, and I love that boy!  (I stole a photo online.)

No pictures of the horses that carried the groom and bride to the ceremony. No shots of the dogs who came in with the bridesmaids. And no photos of the pooch turned ring bearer either. I took it in without distractions. This wedding, like those of my own children, had my full attention.

Congratulations, Dan and Rachel! I wish you every happiness!

Friday, September 13, 2019

I Think It Might Be Friday

It was a day of sunshine mixed with clouds. I wasn't sure how to pack for five days in Minnesota, but when I was here five years ago it was warm and sunny, so I packed summer clothes and brought my jean jacket. I should have brought my sweatshirt too.

Tomorrow is Dan's wedding. I went to the rehearsal with Jim this afternoon. I had my jacket with me, but underneath I had no extra layer of sleeves. After yesterday's rain everything is damp, and the temperatures and wind were just enough to make me feel the chill. Thankfully the forecast calls for temperatures in the 70's tomorrow. I left my camera at the house when we headed out this afternoon, but I plan to take it along tomorrow.

I don't have many pictures of Number 6 (Austin). He was at school all day yesterday and today. Tomorrow he will be staying with his Grammy and Granddad while we attend the wedding, so I hope we have time for some pictures on Sunday. He's got a great head of hair!

It's been a relaxing time here so far. Now for a weekend of fun.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Here I Am in Minnesota

I did not pay attention to dates when making plans to fly, only to days of the week. The wedding is on Saturday (my son's best friend) and I wanted a couple days with my family as well. I considered flying out on Thursday morning, but that would have meant getting up at an ungodly hour to be at the airport for a 6 am flight. I opted to get out of work early and fly out at 5 pm on Wednesday instead. It wasn't until Tuesday that I realized I'd purchased a ticket for 9-11.

I arrived safely in Minneapolis at about 9 pm local time just as the storm clouds were rolling in. It's been a dark, dreary, rain-filled day and that is perfectly okay. This morning I sat on the floor and played with my little grandson. It comes so natural, just like I was made to snuggle little ones. Ha ha! We took it easy today, caught naps this afternoon, and went out to play indoor mini-golf and eat pizza this evening.

Sleep has been elusive and I am totally tuckered. Weirdness fills the dreams I can recall by morning. You know, the kind something akin to chasing a school bus from one stop to the next, never catching up to it, and finally arriving at school only to find you are not fully clothed... ? Except it wasn't that one this time around. And it wasn't the one where I am in desperate need of bathroom facilities that are all occupied, filthy, or nonexistent. This dream, which occurred a few days ago, had to do with me needing a shower and all kinds of complications in getting the task accomplished; falling shower hooks/curtains, a public shower facility, a man in the adjacent shower, people knocking on the door to get in... I don't recall ever being successful in acquiring a shower while still dreaming. I only know I'm still tired.

It is a strange thing to lose all track of time. Not only have I entered a different time zone, but I've almost completely lost track of what day it is. I knew what day it was when I got up yesterday morning, but lost it somewhere along the way. Maybe that's a good thing, huh?

On another note, I got this little bit from my sweet Hannah this evening, "We pulled onto our street tonight and Idris gasped for joy and said, 'Honey Gram is home!' 🙃 He’s going to be so excited when you get back!" He probably saw my car in the driveway and forgot that they took it home from the airport. Aw, I miss him too.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

One More Vacation

My bags are pretty much packed and ready to go. Just a few more things to tuck inside; personal items and a box of "cider donuts." I'm working up until my lunch break tomorrow, then coming home and heading out to catch a 5:05 pm flight to Minnesota. I am looking forward to seeing my son and his family, and then a wedding on Saturday. My flight back is Monday evening and then I'll be back at work on Tuesday. Maybe I should sleep on the plane...

Sunday, September 08, 2019

The Barn Collective

These are my barns. There isn't much inside, not much exciting anyway, just an old lawn mower, a few forgotten tools, and a bit firewood my dad stacked inside over ten years ago.

The "barns" my father built are, or were, woodsheds and tool sheds. I noticed they were looking raggedy this year, so I spruced them up with a coat of exterior paint. Maybe one day I will put them to good use once again.

 The Barn Collective

Thursday, September 05, 2019

This Sweet Guy

He is short, dark, and handsome. This evening we went to the park together, and afterward stopped for a bite to eat. At Taco Bell. We took our bag of tacos home to eat. He bit the bottom of the taco and found himself frustrated when it no longer stayed together. "It happens," I told him. I should have bought more tacos. Two each was not enough. However, after a fruit cup of diced peaches and a whole banana, he was satisfied. We brushed our teeth, read some stories, said our prayers, and I kissed him goodnight. It was a very nice evening.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Grammy Daycare, Take Two

Two, Three, and Four are eight, nine, and ten. They're still full of energy and antics, but they don't run in three different directions anymore, and they don't bite each other. They came to play yesterday afternoon while Dave and Leta went to a wedding reception.

This afternoon Rachel and I went to visit our brother. It was our normal week to go, but last time Rachel had told him that we wouldn't be back for three weeks. She just returned from the Outer Banks last night. I did not take my camera today and I think that was good. Tim was emotional today. There was a lot of sniffling as he ate his snacks and I found myself hurting for my brother who struggles everyday to walk. A drug induced form of Parkinson's keeps him confined to a wheelchair for most of the day. We never know what makes him sad.

Tomorrow is a work holiday. A rare and unusual occurrence. I have no special plans. There is a gathering at Nate's tomorrow evening, but I have no clue what I'll be doing with my day. If it rains maybe I'll sleep in! Ha ha!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor...

There is a heaviness in my soul tonight. It's been a week of bad eating and not drinking enough water. I would like to believe a diet of ice cream, donuts, and root beer is okay, but the truth is something much different. It isn't good for my body, and it isn't good for my heart and soul. I've been feeling so  much better the past couple weeks. I know tough patches are inevitable and I will get through this one too. God is good every day.

It was a wild day at work. We are short staffed and the center will soon be filled with children for the coming school year. I not only fixed lunch for 44 children, but managed to find some extra time to help with lunch breaks for three coworkers. Every half hour extra helps on days like today. I stayed 45 minutes extra, sat with the school aged group, and took them outside at the end of the day. There were a couple who desperately needed attitude adjustments. I benched one of them who then proceeded to tell m e there were "poisonous caterpillars" on the bench earlier this afternoon ad did I want him to get bitten by poisonous caterpillars? I said "yes."

Tonight Hannah, Idris, and I went for a walk in Hobby Lobby. We'd plan to only look and not buy... Ha ha! We only bough a couple little things. And they were on sale. Except for my bag of Halloween Spider Confetti. It's not a "fall item." Who knew? My new Christmas snowman was 40% off, and so was the Thanksgiving crow that hopped into our cart.

And now it's bedtime. Time to find an old Sunday sermon to play while I settle down under the covers...

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Hunks and Chunks

Lots of thoughts fluttering about my little mind this evening...

* I wear my sneakers (tennis shoes) every day at work, but after work I pull them off, toss them into my car, and slip on my cozy Teva Mush flip flops. The next morning I either go out to my car in socks or wear the flip flops and carry my socks to put on when I get to work. This morning I put the socks on. I'd already taken my purse and water bottle out to the car, come back in for my tea and lunch bag, and was on my way out again when a sudden thought struck me. My shoes were not in the car! They were sitting along the wall in the laundry room where I'd left them last night when I came home from the pottery studio... I almost went to work in socks. Ha ha! I'm getting blonder every day!

* Last night I made one of my frequent visits to the chiropractor. My lower back started acting up several years ago and continues to do so today. Years of lifting "too heavy" objects, carrying children on my hip, and two years of sitting in a chair in a memory care unit (previous job) have taken their toll. My current occupation, though much better for my morale, isn't always great on my back either. Yesterday was one of my more painful days. One in which I find myself limping until I get moving a little. I asked the doctor if perhaps I should let my primary care physician send me for the MRI he wanted me to get back in May... but he told me an MRI is what you do when you are planning surgery, "and you don't need that," he said. He set me up with the tens unit and some heat, stretched my back a little, and gave me a couple of pops. Today I felt much better.

* I joined a women's small group at church and tonight was our first official meeting. I'm feeling good about it already. No wildly waving red flags tonight like there were at the beginning of last year's step study. God is good. I'm holding His hand and letting Him lead the way.

* Some thoughts are heavy, like the situation I found myself in yesterday. It was one of those moments where doing the right thing is terribly hard. I hope I don't face this one again in the future because what I will need to do then feels impossible today. The thing is though, God has already been with me in the doing of impossible things, and He always has my back.

* Photos from our trip to the Sunflower Farm on Sunday.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Barn Collective

I'm running to catch up again this week. It was a fun and exhausting afternoon at Wickham Farms with my daughter and her brood. The barns, most of them, are new and that's okay because they're still cool.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! See you at Tom's!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Grammy Daycare

A little change of plans this afternoon. I didn't make it to the sunflower fields, but I did spend a little time with a few grandcritters. They're wild ones!

Tonight there was a different set of cousins here. Cousins with hair and eyes that match Number nine's hair and eyes. They had a campfire, played games, and made S-M-O-R-E-S. I listened to their laughter through my open bedroom window and it made me smile.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Bits and Pieces

The week has flown by. It's been a busy one. Since I haven't posted since Sunday, it's the perfect time for some Bits and Pieces.

* Sunday- Rachel and I went to visit our brother Tim, and later in the evening James and I had a bite to eat at Red Robin.

* Monday- I had a chiropractor appointment after work, and then went to the pottery studio for a bit. I played in the mud and left a few creations on my shelf when I departed. They'll be ready for the first firing by the time I return.

* Tuesday- I met my good friend Shelly at Jeremiah's after work. We sat on the patio, ate our dinners, and talked until I began to wonder if the waitress thought we might stay forever. We moved ourselves from the table to some empty chair by the fire pit, and talked until we couldn't sit still and went to look for the restrooms. Once relieved, we headed next door to Panera, bought  two soft drinks, and sat on their patio until it was getting dark and time to go home.

* Wednesday- I received a text from my sister Priscilla inviting me to dinner. I accepted with a smile. :0) We took a walk through an historic neighborhood after supper. It was a nice visit, a nice walk, and a nice evening.

* Thursday- I had time to come home after work and change my clothes before heading out to my women's meeting.

* Friday- I'm spending the evening here at home. There is a Cousins Gathering here in the living room. Two of my kids, two of Priscilla's, and two of Rachel's. I am sitting on the fringes listening to them interact. It's nice to see them get together on their own. My niece will be leaving Monday for a four month stay in Italy and they wanted a cousin night before she goes away. I love that.

* Tomorrow I have an early morning appointment with my counselor. Afterward I'm meeting a friend for breakfast, and then we're going to visit the sunflower fields down the road.

I hope there are still some things left to do next week. Ha ha!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Barn Collective

It was Visit Our Brother Day. I almost left my camera home, because he hates it so much, but at the last minute I changed my mind and took it along.

I'm not exactly sure where were were, but it was somewhere in the wilderness of Newark, NY and Port Byron, Leach Rd was out there, along with a Gifford Rd (I remembered because of Kathie Lee...) Rachel was kind enough to pull over while I stuck my camera out the window and our brother voiced his complaint.

Hope you liked my contribution to the Barn Collective this week. See you over at Tom's.