Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Posts have been sparse lately... I miss the years of posting daily. It's not that nothing happens, but by the time I get home I'm too tired to remember the interesting ones. Perhaps if I had one of those fancy, schmancy smart phones I'd be posting on my lunch hour, but I have a not so very fancy flip phone instead. It doesn't have an internet connection, but the price is right and it keeps me out of trouble.

I spend most lunch breaks in my car. Sometimes I listen to the radio. Often I take a nap, which is why I have a handy, dandy little alarm clock in my vehicle. Since my camera was along for the ride today, I took a picture of the lunch hour scenery. The playground was quiet because the little darlings were resting.

It's been another emotional week. Not entirely sure what's throwing me off (though I have an idea or two), but it seems everyone at work is struggling this week. No one was here when I got home this evening so I called my sister to see if she might be going for a walk this evening. She invited me for salad and a burger, and then we took a nice long walk around the neighborhood. I am grateful for her friendship as it keeps me from isolating, which is very bad to do if one is struggling emotionally. I think I shall visit the pottery studio tomorrow and find my friend Ginger.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Apple Blossom Parade 2018

This weekend included a bit of rain and a parade. It's Apple Blossom time at home...

I'm still finding it fascination to sit where the parade comes down the street directly across from where we're sitting and then turns in front of us. Especially interesting are the Towpath Volunteers. The happy character in the yellow belt is my grandson, Number 2. We were a scraggly looking bunch out there. Ha ha!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

This Week

Not much has been happening outside of work, but that's okay right now. After drinking an early evening cup of coffee followed by an ice cream sundae (with strawberries, hot fudge, peanuts, Reece's chocolate.peanut butter shell, Cool Whip, with a cherry on top), it's no surprise I was awake past midnight on Sunday and into Monday morning. Now I'm playing catch-up and endeavoring to turn the light and computer off by 10:30 pm.

I've had some incredibly awesome hugs from little people this week. Some of those children wrap their little arms around my neck, their chubby little legs around my waist, and hang on for all they're worth. Yeah. It's absolutely wonderful. That's why I go back day after day. For the hugs. Of course, I wouldn't get near so many if I hadn't invested in them in the first place. I hug those babies until they're big enough to hug back, and then I hug them some more. It's a pretty great job.

Oh yeah!I had some great news yesterday. Grandbaby Number 11 is on the way! Due in November. In Minnesota. I'd heard about the pregnancy way back at my birthday in March, but there was no public announcement until yesterday. We are still praying for the safe arrival of this new little one as we breathe a sigh of relief and rejoice in a healthy pregnancy. I might have to take a little vacation toward the end of the year...

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

I had a secret fear this Mother's Day. An irrational fear perhaps. I tried to squelch the feelings, but, instead they it left me feeling impatient and short tempered as the day grew closer.

My own mother is not here to celebrate the day. That in itself might leave me teary, but what was really eating away at my emotions was the underlying fear that my own children might let Mother's Day slide by without taking a little bit of time to remember how much I love and care for each one of them. I know they are busy with their own lives. I know some of them are mothers, are married to mothers, or have mothers in law to visit. I get that. Perhaps that is what made me insecure and impatient, because I desperately want to know that as much as I want to be here for each one of them, I need to know they are there for me too. They didn't disappoint me. I heard from each and every one, a couple through Facebook, a few who visited, and one who couldn't be here but called me on the phone. I am eternally grateful for each sweet soul who calls me "Mom." What would I ever do without them?

The Barn Collective

My daughter and I took a drive down through the hills between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. Part of what Tom calls "Barn Heaven." I couldn't pass this up without stopping for a picture. Talk about a barn! Wow!!!

What a gorgeous drive, even though the day was gray and overcast. I could have stopped over and over again, but we had a destination in mind and needed to get there before supper time. :0)

Visit the Barn Collective and have a cup of tea for Mother's Day. Hope yours is happy.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Date With My Daughter

Last Sunday after church I found a note in my Facebook messages. It was a personal invitation to the First Annual Finger Lakes Pottery Tour near Ithaca, NY. It was relatively short notice on a busy kind of weekend, but I didn't have any plans for Saturday. After thinking about it for a few days, I shot my eldest daughter a message of my own. I sent a copy of the invite while admitting that she was probably already busy... I was pleasantly surprised when she accepted my offer of a day trip.

Trumansburg is about  2 hours away. We'd hoped for a bright sunny day for our outing, but we got a gray and dreary day instead. On top of that it was cold and we hadn't bothered to wear warm jackets. Refusing to allow rain and chills to dampen our spirits, we determined to enjoy our day together. And we did. Thoroughly.

We found our potter friend dressed for the weather and smiling. Although she'd sent the invitation, she was still surprised to see us there. Once upon a time, more than 20 years ago, she was my daughter's best friend. Not only were they friends as little girls, but they share the exact same birthday. It was so fun to witness their reunion.

We mulled over the pottery, mostly hers, and each of us chose a mug as a treasure to take home. We planned to buy one for each other, but Hannah had a different plan. "I'd like to gift them to you," she said. We were speechless for a second, but in the end we accepted her kind offer, and then picked out something else to buy ourselves.

It was a beautiful day in spite of the weather. Not only did Bethany reconnect with her old friend, but I saw two of my friends from the pottery studio, and we stopped to look at a waterfall or two before heading back through "Barn Heaven" toward home.

I hope we can go back again one day this summer when the weather is warm and sunny so we can meander about some more. 

Sunday, May 06, 2018

The Weekend's End

It's Sunday evening and the house is mostly quiet. I'm doing laundry and just a minute or two ago heard a small animal scamper across the roof above my head. Probably a squirrel. In years gone by a cat would stare into the back dormer and meow, or crawl onto the edge of the open window over the driveway and ask to come inside. No cats live here now.

Weather wise it's been a gorgeous weekend. Emotionally, I am drained. If it were possible, I'd pluck myself from this present life and drop myself into a different one, one without so many hurts and questions. There would be different pains in a different life, but maybe the answers would be clearer... Then again, maybe not.
(old photo alert)
I am hurting. I am angry. I feel helpless. I hate being hurt. I hate seeing others hurt. I hate feeling like I am hurting those I love. I miss my kids, my grandchildren, and my home. I miss my cats, my chickens, and the apple orchard. I miss the Barefoot Lumberjack. I miss having a general sense of where life was taking me. Instead there are no easy answers and I am exhausted looking for them.

I have a warm and cozy place to live, but it is just an attic bedroom. I have a job that provides for me, but the little arms around my neck are not those of my grandchildren. I have friends, but I don't know who to call when I am alone. My mom in law doesn't answer my messages and my own parents are gone. I am more than blessed, but I am still lonely, and we are far from having worked through our difficulties. God is here and He provides, but today I couldn't help but think of a story I heard years ago. It relates, in a small way, to my perspective of where we are.  I know the Cabinetmaker doesn't share my view, and that is okay because I have  my own things to work through. I am doing so in the best way I know and God hears my cry. I know He's listening, holding me, and taking me where He wants me to be. I trust Him, but I still ache and that ache leaves me tired and emotionally drained. I am looking forward to little arms around my neck tomorrow. Those little ones put back into my soul what gives me life and hope.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Cinco De Mayo

This morning we met Laura for breakfast. No food pictures, just one of us smiling.

I made a quick visit to the pottery studio. It was good that I went today, but I'm considering freeing up my Saturdays and making semi regular evening visits once or twice a week while the weather is nice. Today I flopped two bowls and glazed four others. I don't mind flopping a few. It's a good learning experience.

Took a walk with Rachel this afternoon and did a little shopping. I found a shirt at Old Navy that says "Keep Looking Up" on the front, so I bought it. :0) The evening I took a drive home to Williamson. The chicken flock is quite thin. We are down to two. Although they are few in number, the coop needed to be cleaned, so The Cabinetmaker and I found some shovels and a wheelbarrow and set to work. Tomorrow the girls will be blessed with clean straw. For tonight they are blessed with a clean floor. Since he's been out of town and has nothing but eggs in the house, we went to Yia Yia's for dinner. (We had ice cream.)

Friday, May 04, 2018

Dream a Little Dream With Me

It's a cozy little place, a bit too cozy if I don't keep up with the clutter. Just a little attic bedroom, more ceiling than walls. Though I love what my father built fifty some years ago, I still like to dream of how it could be different, a little brighter and more spacious...

If money was no option I'd build a proper staircase. That attic ladder fills the bill but makes the climb and descent treacherous if one is taking anything more than him or herself up or down. Where to put the staircase is the question.

What I'd really like to do is add dormers, although this is more like raising the roof... Definitely a larger than present dormer in the back, but maybe in the front as well. Not only would it brighten things up, but it would add a little wall and head space as well. I can stand up right now, but only in the center of the room. There's probably an inch or two of space between the top of my head and the ceiling and I run my glasses, which I wear on top of my head, into it all the time. Hmmm... Maybe I could even get a backyard "balcony" out of the deal, but I'm probably pushing my luck there. (I'm pushing my luck thinking about anything at all. Ha ha!)

What will most likely happen is something a bit more like this. A fresh off-white coat of paint over old wood paneling, and a new window out to the driveway, one I could fit through if I needed to escape. The present window is old, rotted, and desperately needs to be replaced. I'm sure I could come up with funds for a bit of paint and a new window. My ceiling isn't quite so rustic as this one, but I still think a fresh coat of paint could make a big difference. The real question is, "How brave am I?" Braver than I used to be.

Dad would call this a "brainstorm." :0)

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Feeling Blond

Getting braver lately. Ha ha!

Since I work mostly inside there is little chance my hair will be lightened by the love of sunshine this year. I weighed the options, then took a brave and fearless step forward. I asked my favorite hairdresser about doing highlights. I'm not quite sure it makes me a "bottle blond" but it it does make blonder than I was yesterday. (I like it.) No picture tonight. Sorry to disappoint you.

The weeks roll along and blur together lately. At the rate I'm going old age will be here before I have time to dust off my rocking chair... which reminds me of my Uncle Chuck quoting me poetry. (here) Tomorrow is Friday already. I think this weekend is already booked, and next weekend is filling up fast too.

Flowers from the back yard yesterday afternoon...

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Today There are Flowers

Not sure what to write this evening. I'm lost in my own mind. Swirling, swirling... Not sure whether to breathe deep and exhale, or turn the light off and sob.

I drove home after work, home to Williamson, to see if my favorite tulip was blooming. She was. Two beautiful salmon colored flowers this year. Last year there were three...

Her resilience continues to amaze me. I don't know if she has any more lessons to teach me about life and beauty, but every year I find her beautiful. No matter what the weather, a late spring or an early warm up, she radiates strength and grace. I still want to be like her...

I am okay. God is good and He is in control.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Was That a Weekend?

Weekends go by a little bit too fast. Three day weekends would be nice. Ha ha! We'll get one at the end of May, I guess.

I'm amassing pottery. My family won't know what to do with me come Christmas. I might need to have a yard sale and see if I can sell off some of the "not-so-perfect" pieces while the weather is nice. I'm assuming the weather will get nice and stay that way at some point. Thinking positive here. About both the weather and the pottery. I'm planning on both of them improving.

I've been experimenting with glazes and shapes. The yellow salt glaze over shino is my favorite so far, but I need to work on reducing some of the bubbles in the glaze. Little bubbles add character, big bubbles leave pits. Pits are undesirable. Also undesirable are cone shaped bowls. I'm trying to round out the sides to make a prettier bowl and although I'm getting better, I still flop a good number of them. I'm also struggling to keep my pots from getting uneven and off center. Some of it happens in throwing, some in removing them from the wheel, and here and there in the trimming, if the clay body is too soft or fragile. It's a learning process.

Next time I go into the studio I'll be glazing these "pie bowls." I'm thinking I'll stick with the yellow glaze for now. Cause I'm on a yellow kick and I like it best.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Barn Collective

Checking the archives this morning...

My car is covered with a thin a layer of wet snow this morning. No likey.

Come join the Barn Collective . Maybe Tom will fix us some breakfast.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Out To Lunch (in a manner of speaking)

Lunch hour often finds me sitting out in my car. Sometimes I eat my lunch, sometimes I take a nap, and sometimes I make a phone call. This afternoon I listened to the radio and called my favorite Bethany. I was still talking to her when I got out of the vehicle and headed back inside. Perhaps that is why I didn't hear the chime...

On my way back out to the car after work, I realized my car keys were not in my pockets. I said a quick prayer that I hadn't locked them inside and breathed a sigh of relief when I found the door unlocked. The keys were in the ignition... and the battery was dead. It didn't even click when I turned the key. The only thing still working was the clock on my dashboard.

I headed back inside to see if anyone had a set of jumper cables. My coworkers weren't sure. One thought he might, but he couldn't leave the building until the kids were in ratio. Out of desperation I asked one of the dads picking up his daughter. He thought he might, but he didn't. A mom said she had one, but she didn't know how to use it. Between the two parents, one with the cables and one with the know how, we got my car running again and I am blessed. Good thing I don't work at night in some secluded location. I'd have had to call Triple A.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Circle of Life

Every so often during the course of years, the subject of baby doctors would come up. So and so was pregnant and looking for a good ob/gyn. Who would I recommend? I personally loved my own doctor and wouldn't hesitate to give out his name, but to the best of my knowledge no one ever chose him as a result.

Recently my own daughter has been on the search for a new doctor. She isn't expecting, but wasn't at all happy with her previous choice. She wanted someone new, did her own research, and found a doctor she really likes. This evening she asked me again about my own ob/gyn and smiled at my response. What do you know? She ended up choosing the very doctor who helped bring her into the world almost 23 years ago. He had come highly recommended, just not by her own mother. Ha ha!

I like that she chose him. I like that he was the one to deliver her and her favorite brother. And I like that he told me he wanted me to be 400% sure before I had my tubes tied. It's probably why she's here today. I just couldn't bring myself to go through with it after Ben was born, but then we didn't have Hannah, and she needed to be here.

Monday, April 23, 2018


Yesterday afternoon I was invited to go to the park with my daughter, her husband, and my little grandson. So often we cross paths and don't connect, but yesterday I went along. And I took my camera. While our little one explored the playground, another little one arrived. He looked at me, I looked at him, and we both thought the same thing. "I think I know you." It was Enzo, one of my little friends from work. It was a good afternoon. I'd been to church, seen my brother, and gone to the park.

I try to keep myself as busy as possible, because down time leaves me lonely and aching inside. I work, I go to church, serve in Sunday school, visit my brother every other week, attend my CoDA meeting on Mondays, and visit the pottery studio, but sometimes when I crawl into bed at night, I find myself just wanting to go home... This is one of those times.

I wish that it was simple, with no complicated issues clouding the way, but it isn't. It's not a matter of grudge bearing, unforgiveness, or me being selfish. Often what looks like unforgiveness or  selfishness to an outsider, is actually anything but. Deep inside I want what was, or what I thought was. I want to be blissfully unaware and naive. And then again I don't because that doesn't solve problems, it only perpetuates them.

Tonight I am teary and broken. The next couple weeks are going to be painful. I'm not sure I'm ready but I don't know what else to do. I pray to God He will carry me through, or reach through the heavens and lead me in a different direction if that is His will. I never wanted to be alone, but there are moments when I feel very much so. Tomorrow is a new day. There will be little ones looking for me. There will be hugs and kisses, and I will be renewed once again. What would I do without this job?

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Playing along with my sister Priscilla.

Reading ... Currently reading The Great House of God by Max Lucado. I'm about halfway through a book that could have taken a couple of days but has taken more like three weeks so far. This is partially due to my napping through lunch hours and feeling generally miserable the last week or so.

Playing ... Playing with babies mornings and afternoons, doing online jigsaw puzzles at night when I should be reading that book. :0)

Watching ... Watching children grow. It's pretty amazing how fast the little ones grow and learn. I don't watch much television, but I did watch Pirates of the Caribbean with my kids last weekend.

Cooking ... Cooking lunch for children. Goulash, grilled cheese, veggie lasagna, chicken salad, sloppy joes... and banana bread. I don't cook much at home unless you count toaster waffles or yams in the microwave. I have been making a lot of tea lately...

Calling ... Usually Rachel, although I should give the hairdresser another call.

Crafting ... pottery, just pottery

Loving ... I'm loving the sunshine and warmer temperatures this weekend. Even the grass is happy. It turned green today!

Disliking ... I dislike being sick. I am sick and tired of being sick. I fear I will be getting better just in time for allergy season to be in full bloom. Oh, dear!

Celebrating ... That Jesus loves me and has a plan for my life.

Feeling ... I'm feeling tired and achy at the moment, and my nose itches, which is a bit disconcerting because of how dry it's already feeling from all the blowing and wiping I've done the past few days.

Listening ... Listening to my computer whir and the water tank click. Just looked up Rich Mullins on youtube.

Wanting ... A week off work to play.

The Barn Collective

Old and new.

Unless one is Amish, the barns going up today are cold and made of sheet metal. This is an old barn, a familiar one with a chicken coop around the back under a shed roof.

Across the road is a new barn. On Easter Sunday it  was just a gravel pad. I hear the new structure ran into some turbulent times during a recent windstorm, but that didn't stop construction for long.

Now we have a nice.... barrier? wall?  Well, it ain't pretty and the drainage issues are already wreaking some havoc on the neighbors. (I liked it better when it was old apple trees.)

I think there's a ball game over at Tom's The weather's finally spring-like.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


I often feel the urge to write, but today the words don't flow like they did a few years back. I know in time the words will return, but today...

My days blur together. I arrive at the daycare early and stay til supper time. I hug as many little people as ask, and a few that don't, cook the food, and keep the kitchen clean. It's a decent job. It earns me enough money to get by, provides me with much needed love and affection, and keeps me busy doing something worthwhile.  I like it. Perhaps I even love it, but I still find myself longing for a week to wander the countryside with my camera, to sit on the floor with my grandchildren, or to eat a leisurely lunch with a friend. It's a different life than what I had four years ago, different from what I expected life would bring. And it's okay.

I'm making a difference. Perhaps there are those who wouldn't think so, but to a small child away from his or her mother for hours on end, I am making a difference. When a little one reaches for me or crawls into my lap, I am blessed with the privilege of wrapping him in my arms and rendering comfort. I am not mommy and I cannot take her place, but I can offer love, security, and friendship and I think that is pretty important, even if  one little girl did tell me, "We hate goulash." ha ha!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Barn Collective

I dug up a couple old pictures this week. My camera (although I've been dragging it around with me) has not been terribly prolific lately. I chalk it up to the gloominess of a New York spring and my job, which keeps me from gallivanting across the county.

Somewhere out in the drumlins of Wayne County I snagged these photos. It's those rides with my brother that occasionally produce a photo or two.  I'm not sure the location of the first barn, but the "ghost barn" and silo are at the foot of the Brantling Ski Slope in Sodus, NY.

I'm staying home today. The cold that began it's slow and sneaky attack last week, is in full bloom today. Guess I'll have to catch the sermon online.

The Barn Collective

Friday, April 13, 2018

My Best Friend

One day last week, on my way home from work, I was feeling teary and alone. "Lord," I said, "I don't have a best friend anymore, and I need one." He answered with a gentle reminder. "What about your sister Rachel?" he inquired, and I had to agree that she is very likely my present best friend. When I got home and turned on my computer, I found she had been messaging me at the very moment I'd been telling God I didn't have a best friend. How is that for an answer to prayer?

I was supposed to meet the Cabinetmaker yesterday afternoon, but our plans changed. I knew my sister was going to be home alone for a few hours, so I gave her a call. We decided to meet up, grab a few tacos at QDOBA, and work on a puzzle. It was a good idea. Tonight she sent me another message. "Working on the puzzle..." it said, and so I went over to help her finish.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

To Sleep or Not to Sleep?

I wanted to write something, just to let you all know I'm still here, but I have nothing clever or important to share. I don't even have any fantastic photos to share. It's been a "normal" week aside from being awake for what felt like the entire time last night. Every time I'd doze off certain thoughts would return and my heart would start pounding, waking me up again and again. So, tonight I am tired, even though I took a nap on my lunch break. Perhaps I'll turn off the light grab my book (a paper one), and try to sleep better tonight.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Follow the Leader

I was the lead teacher for the "Runners" class at church today. It wasn't a total surprise, but I hadn't technically "agreed to it" ahead of time either. Mostly I was feeling overwhelmed when the request showed up online. I never answered,and secretly hoped someone else would fill in. No one did. Ha ah!

Thirteen 3-4 year old children and two teen helpers. I took the easy way out and we watched the video because I didn't look at the lesson ahead of time. We all survived, even me. I didn't have time to play blocks and build a tower with Grady like I did last week, but he still told me he loved me. How's that for a reward?

Spending an hour with a roomful of small children is not a difficult task for me. These little people, most of them, look forward to being at church. They're glad to see their friends, to play with the toys, sing a song, and watch a video. They color a picture, eat a little bag of cereal, and run around the table. Nothing too hard about that.

The Barn Collective

I borrowed a photo today. Spring is coming, eventually, and I've been thinking on new places to visit.

I've never been to The Apple Farm in Victor, NY and it looks like a cool place to visit. (The barn is from their website.) A fire destroyed their store a couple years back and I'm not even sure if the barn remains. It's a little bit of a hike from here, but also close to Ganondagan State Historic Site, which is directly across the street from where my dad's Aunt Harriet used to live.

Meet us at Tom's.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Today Was Good

It was a rather nice kind of Saturday. There were no appointments to rush off to, and nothing terribly important to complete. I didn't sleep in, but I didn't get up terribly early either. I made it to both the bank and the pottery studio.

Having a key to the studio is interesting. I let myself in to a dark and deserted building, warmed by the firing kiln and smelling like clay. I did a little of everything today; wedged some clay, glazed some pots, trimmed a few cups, and flopped some bowls. Here and there a few other shelf renters trickled in and out. It's become a comfortable place with mostly comfortable people. Stress and tensions melt away when I am there, and this is a good thing. I stayed a few hours and left feeling relaxed if not prolific.

On the way home I decided to stop and visit my sister. The puzzle we'd started Wednesday evening waited on her dining room table. She offered me a cup of tea while we finished putting it together. I didn't overstay my welcome, and headed for Wegmans and hour or so later. The Barefoot Lumberjack was on his way to Wegmans too. We met in the parking lot so he could retrieve a few tools he's left in the back of the vehicle I'm now driving.

I hadn't intended to take a nap today, but not long after my return home, I curled up on my bed and drifted off. I'll probably be awake all night doing online jigsaw puzzles. Ha ha!

Rachel and I had our picture taken at church last week. I'm sporting my allergy face from Saturday's visit to the zoo. Today I bought some new medicine to combat the pumpkin I turn into when the molds and pollen start flying. I hope it starts working soon so I can get my eyes open again.

So... Yeah.

Trying to think if anything newsworthy happened with me this week... other than picking up a toddler slide and meeting my sisters for dinner.

I didn't go to the pottery studio. Perhaps that will amaze you, but I have plans to go today, after I go to the bank. I have bowls to glaze.

I had a few teary moments this week, but my days are always filled with clamoring children, and hugs and kisses. I got to thinking about the Bucket List I made ten years ago and how small pieces of it are coming true in unexpected ways. Perhaps when I come home this afternoon I'll take some time to revamp it.

The weather is wild. There's a battle being waged and it's bringing a bit of wind. I trust that spring will win in the end, the snow will melt away, and there will be flowers. Humph. Sounds a little bit like life, doesn't it?

Have a great day!