Saturday, January 12, 2019

No Pain, No Gain

I had an appointment with the counselor this morning. I've found myself teary the past few times and today was no exception. Digging deep is painful, but pain brings awareness, and awareness births change. Before I left he asked me what I was going to do today. I told him I didn't know...

While thoughts swirled I ran a couple errands. Bank. Target. I left the shopping center and headed toward the city of Rochester. Pottery Studio. I found my little gymnast box on the bisque shelf and rolled slabs for future boxes. I molded a couple of figures, wrapped them in wet paper towels, put them away and headed out, thoughts still swirling...

On the way to the car I called my friend Laura. (Even calling people stresses me out. It didn't used to, but it does now. She was getting ready to leave home for her grandson's birthday party, but not too busy to chat for a few minutes. When we hung up I called another friend and was surprised by her sudden appearance on the other end of the line.

Angel and I have been friends almost ever since I can remember. We don't catch up often, but today we did. After a little while on the phone, she suggested getting together for coffee, so I left the city and headed back toward home. I stopped at her house on the way and I think we were both blessed to reconnect. There is something incredibly special about old friends. It was an exercise in change. A step toward healing.

Tonight I shared a bag of popcorn with Idris (Number Nine). We ate the whole bag together, and then we watched a few storybook videos on my laptop while he ate apples slices and mandarin orange sections. His mommy was there too, and then his daddy came home. We enjoyed the time together and tonight I am blessed.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Little Snow Storm Too

I didn't leave home early enough this morning. I wasn't late leaving, I just needed to leave earlier than I did. My first clue was the snow piled on the hood and windshield. The second was the ice underneath the snow...

Had the roads not been snow covered, the snow not flying sideways, and the temperatures not bitter, I might have arrived at work on time, but blizzard-like conditions have a way of convincing folks to drive closer to 25 miles an hour rather than 45 or 50. (The photo is not from today, rather one I took one snowy November morning. I left my camera upstairs today.) At the halfway point I was doing okay, but rapidly approaching a time crunch. The kicker was the 55 mile an hour section where the guy in front was going about 20 miles an hour.

I punched in ten minutes late. (Yes, we still have a time clock with cards to punch.) Thankfully, I still worked my 8 hours and punched out at ten minutes til five. Between the holiday and going home early, I lost about 8 hours last week. My unused vacation time is in this week's check, but it feels like I've been shorted by an entire day. Ha.ha! I think I might get over it. I do typically garner a little bit of overtime most weeks.

I went to the pottery studio last night before the storm blew in and worked on another box with a figure on top. This time it's sitting on the edge of the lid with its legs hanging over the front. I'm never sure what I'm going to do with them until they happen and sometimes I find myself smiling at the result. Kind of like the little guy standing on his head on the lid of the little trinket box. I might have stayed longer last night, but the few others there cleared out early and being there alone just isn't quite the same. Besides, my car was parked across Monroe Avenue and I'm not real keen on being in the city alone in the dark. I decided to go home once I was done. It was only 7:30 pm. and the snow hadn't yet started to pile up.


Ha ha!

It's definitely January now!

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

January? Really?

Can it really be January in upstate NY? Will the rain drumming on my roof be snow by tomorrow morning? Anything can happen, but it's not looking probable. The good thing is we don't have scrape rain off any windshields.

I popped into the pottery studio a couple of times this past weekend. I rarely stay long, but I do have a few items to show for the times I do stop. I've been asked by a couple of wheel throwing friends if I am going to take another class. They think I should take the advanced class on Saturday mornings... but for now I am rather satisfied dabbling. Throwing aggravates the tendonitis (or is it arthritis?) in my thumbs, while handbuilding is a bit gentler. I like both, but have been doing a little more handbuilding lately. Boxes. With figures on top. And... I really don't have the extra cash for a class. Right now I prefer renting a shelf. I think it's a nice arrangement.

I'm not even sure how I ended up with an upside down figure on the little trinket box. It just kind of ... happened. I hope it doesn't fall apart before it gets fired and glazed.
 
The blue box has music inside, and the other one has yet to be glaze fired. The head still isn't firmly attached. Perhaps it is a sign. Mom used to say I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached. Ha ha!

Sunday, January 06, 2019

The Barn Collective

A little follow up to my friend's barn, the barn that fell a few weeks back.


She is much loved herself and a few friends came to rescue her anniversary card/ tribute to Al.

I am blessed.

Come visit Tom at the Barn Collective.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Bits and Pieces

* Looked at my camera this morning and decided to leave it home.

* Still low on babies at work, so I peeled potatoes in the kitchen until I was asked if I could be in the toddler room while one of the regular teachers stepped out. It was early and children were still arriving. I ended up snuggling one small child for a half hour after her mother left. She melted into my shoulder as I rocked her on my lap, and I thought she might have fallen asleep, but she was just soaking in the love and attention. This small child drank in every ounce of love I could give. At nine o'clock I had to put her down and go back to the kitchen, but by then she was okay and ready to play with her friends.

* I've been mixing up the menu this week. Shuffled lunches around until the food truck came today. Meatball subs will be served tomorrow, now that we have meatballs.

* Getting out of work early usually comes as a surprise and today was my lucky day. Again. Such is the holiday weekend. We've been taking turns going home early. I was "free to go" after I was done in the kitchen, which included putting all our "groceries" away. I punched out at 1:15 pm and headed to the pottery studio.

* At the studio I used some old slabs and made a cute little box. No room to fit music inside. It will have to be for trinkets (or teeth) ha ha!. It turned out so cute that I suddenly wished I'd brought my camera along. (Of course...) Throwing on the wheel is fun, but building boxes is easier on my thumbs which get sore and achy from tendonitis or arthritis or whatever. I'm giving them a rest for bit while I play a different game and it's a game I like.

* Number Nine is running a fever tonight. He went from a happy, bouncy little guy (on Motrin) to a fiery hot, bundle of snuggles in the space of a half hour. Didn't cry, just found laying on mommy the best place to be. He got quieter and quieter as he grew hotter. Here's hoping he feels better soon.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

New Beginnings

Today is not Monday. But it feels like it. Yesterday felt so much like Saturday that I had to repeatedly remind myself that it wasn't. Ha ha! I'm beginning to see why Federal holidays are always on a Monday... (except July 4). Ha ha! My days are all messed up. The holidays have totally thrown any sense of routine right out the window. Good thing we aren't changing the clocks anytime soon!

I came home last night feeling chilled to the bone. It was dinner time, but I put my pajamas on and crawled into bed with my heating pad and laptop. I should have made myself a cup of hot tea, but once I was under the covers I didn't want to get out again. I went to sleep early, woke up at about 9:30 pm when my phone chimed, again to use the bathroom at 10:30 pm, and then stayed in bed until it was time to get up for work. I must have been tired.

Today was a good day. I'm eating healthy and looking forward to whatever 2019 brings.

Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Eve 2018

It's New Year's Eve 2018. It was a busy day with a "somewhat stressful" few moments...

 I worked this morning and then made a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Always a fun place. The last time I went to the DMV there was a problem with the title I was transferring. We had to order a new one. This time I had all the paperwork filled out and accounted for. I waited my turn and they finally called my number. The woman was just starting to go over my paperwork when another announced, "We're out of passenger plates." Can you guess what I was there for?

I started to panic a little. I don't get much time off for running errands that might take hours, and the inspection sticker on the vehicle (which I was transferring from James to me) was about to expire. In order to keep the vehicle fully legal, I needed a temporary inspection sticker, and they don't give them unless you are registering a vehicle, and in order to register my vehicle, I needed new plates. Thankfully, they gave me a paper (a rain check, of sorts) to expedite my visit to the regular Department of Motor Vehicles, which is where I headed next. I was able to get in and out in short order, new plates, registration, and temporary inspection sticker in hand, albeit a bit poorer.

Facebook has been rife with New Year's posts and status updates. I don't feel in any particular hurry to bid adieu to 2018, but I did find some of the "Best Nine" photos interesting and decided to try one of my own. Bits and pieces of the last year. They make me smile. It was a good year with some hard bumps. Tonight I choose to focus on the smiles rather than the pain.

No wise words to ponder this evening. I'll save that for another day. Maybe tomorrow. We'll see.
:0)

I was just editing my post when the lights decided to flicker and the electric went out. Three times. Now I have to wait for the internet connection to reboot, so I am here adding useless chatter to the bottom of my post.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Barn Collective

My camera came along for the ride to church this morning, and on the way home I made this capture.


My parents knew the owners back before and during my childhood. I would recognize them when they visited our church, but I never knew them personally. I still recall the names of a few of their children, but doubt any of the children even knew I existed. (I was invisible, you know. Besides, I did not go to Rochester Christian School like the majority of my childhood church friends. Had I gone, they might have known me too.)

 I suppose at one time, in the distant past, the old barn and its farmhouse ruled the hill and land behind it, but for as long as I can remember Bunker Hill has been covered with two-story neighborhood homes. A few other kids from my childhood church lived there.

Pull on your boots and come on over to Tom's.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Perhaps a Nap

It's been an emotional weekend. I still have an aching sadness deep in my heart, and I know there is a piece of that ache that will never fade completely away. There are moments when I feel the throbbing, even if nobody else sees the bruise. I have to turn around often, not to go back to where I was, but to see how far I've traveled.

Weekends are rarely restful, but after today's accomplishments, I tipped over on the couch and fell into a deep sleep. I even woke up wondering where I was, what time it might be, and where in the world I was. Maybe because I've not gone to sleep on the couch here before. At least not this couch in this decade. Decades ago I slept on a different couch in this same house... but I digress. I had a long nap, a now unusual weekend occurrence.

Ahead of me is another crazy week. New Year's Eve will bring another short work day, followed by another chopped up week. Holidays wreak havoc on routine. ha ha! I guess I'll be looking forward to January and a return to regularity. My resolution this year is to be kinder to my aging body and soul, even if I am in denial as to how old I am. I'm almost 35 now, right? (Passing my kids on my way back to 20!)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Christmas 2018

Christmas 2018 has come and gone. Although there were moments in the weeks preceding that I only wished to have it over and done with, I must admit it turned out very nice. There were no major confrontations, no injuries, and no debilitating illnesses.





 I spent the morning here at home, shared my little Christmas tree with my grandson and his family (I actually brought it downstairs fully decorated), and took Josiah with me out to Williamson in the early afternoon.

We had four of our kids, two in laws, and six grandchildren at the house. We shared a lasagna dinner, ate too many cookies, opened gifts, and watched "A Muppet Christmas Carol."

That first grandson of mine turned 11 back in October. I didn't get a group photo of the kids, but I do like this one of Josh by himself.

It was back to work again yesterday.



Saturday, December 22, 2018

Ready or Not, Here It Comes

I thought I'd be ready, but I'm not. I'm running out of time and the pressure is on, but I'm sitting here with my computer, listening to Christmas music, and pretending I have all the time in the world. I did put a few things into gift bags last night and I wrapped some Christmas books for my grandchildren. I almost made cookies, but found I had no anise extract and wasn't ready to brave the grocery store twice in one day. Not on the Saturday before Christmas. So I didn't.

I still don't know exactly how or where I'll spend the majority of Christmas Day, but tomorrow afternoon I have plans to help the Cabinetmaker assemble lasagnas for the holiday meal. (Maybe I'll find my anise extract there...) Each Christmas gets progressively harder. I don't think it's supposed to be like this. How did I end up with grown up children who can't gather together in peace and harmony? What happened to the days of "writing nice things about each other" and "sitting on the couch touching"? The days of my own attempts at sibling peace are gone and all I can do is pray they work things out... It's out of my control. (Step 1. Admitted we were powerless over others- that our lives had become unmanageable.)

I must admit, I didn't spend much time as I'd wanted in preparing my own heart this Christmas. I'd intended on more anticipation, more thinking on the season of Advent, but doing it alone is challenging. There were no parties, not even a work party, and no children's Christmas pageants. (I'm not even sure my grandkids do those... ) Still, I have much to be thankful for, a new grandson, a roof that doesn't leak during cold, December rains, and a Savior who is the reason we celebrate. The Light of the World, remembered on the darkest day of the year.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Today is Friday and It's Almost Christmas

I got to leave work early today. It wasn't raining when I left, but it's been raining for hours now. If the temperatures weren't unseasonably warm, we'd be having a blizzard. I'm not keen on getting drenched in December, but it sure is easier to walk through, and it doesn't require shoveling. I think I'll just be grateful, because I won't need to clear a path to my car in the morning or brush the snow off my car... unless the temperature really flash freezes. Ah, the joys and surprises of living in through winters in upstate New York. Anything is normal and no one really knows what to expect from one to to another.

Somewhere in Minnesota is a family I will be missing this Christmas. A quirky five year old with a silly sense of humor, his sweet, sweet momma, his fun loving father (once my own small son), and a brand new baby boy. I'm trying not to let the want take over the impossible. I can't be there right now, and they can't be here. I have to be okay with that, but I can still miss them. And I do. I hope they know how much I love them.

I stole a couple photographs from Facebook... :0)

I am not ready for Christmas. I haven't been stressed over preparations. I shopped here and there throughout the year and have a stockpile of bowls from my time at the pottery studio, but family relationships are strained. I was asked if there was "anything beautiful that you wish your kids will buy for you for Christmas?" but the truth is, I only want to find my kids all in one place and happy. I know it's a lot to ask, but that is my only wish, even if it's only my area kids. Perhaps deep down that is the wish of every Mom of Many.

Tomorrow I will meet my friend Laura for breakfast, and maybe I'll check out the mall before Christmas is over. I havne't been there yet this year. And maybe I'll go back to the pottery studio, glaze another music box, and start putting the next ones together. Who knows? Maybe by this time next year I'll have a whole collection of those.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Bits and Pieces

* Two turned ten today. There was a pizza party in his honor on Saturday. His dad makes fancy pizzas. Ever have cheese burger pizza with dill pickle slices on top? How about cheese and bacon pizza topped with fresh shredded lettuce and a drizzle of Ranch dressing? They were delicious! (Four is watching him conjure up his birthday wish before blowing out the candles.)

* The weekend flew by way too fast, but tomorrow is Wednesday already and that means we'll be halfway to next weekend. Christmas is right around the corner and I don't have a clue what is going on. Perhaps I should make some inquiries.

* Number Nine loves birthdays, especially when they come with cake and ice cream. Cake and ice cream are so wonderful they are "two fork" worthy. Ha ha! Yes, he actually ate off both. He's quite talented!

* I have been searching the pottery studio shelves for several weeks, looking for a bowl I glazed and but I couldn't find it. What do you know? It was there waiting for me this evening. I blame its absence on those naughty studio elves and their trickery. I'm still missing a handle-less mug, but so much time has gone by since I glazed that one, that I don't believe the elves will ever return it. Perhaps it turned out so beautiful they decided to keep it. Ah, well...

Monday, December 17, 2018

Fearless

Step 4- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory

I may or may not have done this already... Now it's time to put the old letters in order, to make sense of then, and then lay it all to rest. I'd been struggling with what to write and how to write it when I came to the sudden realization that perhaps I'd done the hardest part of it 3 years ago in the form of "homework assignments." I thought digging them up would be harder, but God knew exactly where I'd buried them and they weren't too hard to find after all. There are more hiding somewhere but He knows where those are too. It's almost time for Step 5. Maybe I'll actually be ready when the time comes.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Thankful and Blessed

Wednesday evening I came home after work. I was tired from being up at 5 am that morning and had just finished a cup of hot, white chocolate when my phone rang. It was James on the other end. He asked how I was and then said, "I didn't know who else to call. I rolled my van..." He assured me he was okay and after we hung up, I gathered my things and drove off into a very dark, cold night, not entirely knowing what to expect, and praying he really was as fine as he said. 

I don't have GPS and he was in a rural area between Canandaigua and Keuka Lake, on a dark country road. "Once you get to the road, " he said, "You'll see the flashing red lights." I had to call him when I found the wrong "Middle Rd" which wasn't too far from the right one. The policeman helped give me directions to the right place and I think we were both relieved when I finally arrived. It was pretty surreal seeing his full size, utility van, full of his tools, laying on its side in a snowy cornfield, the front windshield badly mangled. I know it could have ended so much worse, but haven't let my mind go there.

We have our struggles, but there was no hesitation in my going. I wouldn't have thought to stay home or send someone else, and if it had been me who'd been in an accident, he is the first person I would have called. I know he would have come to help me too. I am grateful he called and thankful he escaped without injury. I wouldn't want it any other way.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Midnight Adventure.

Okay, it wasn't really midnight, but it was dark... (and this was last night's post.)

I took an unplanned drive this evening when a friend in need called. They'd had an accident and were in need of a ride home, and they were in the middle of nowhere. So I did what I do. I got in my vehicle and set off into the cold, dark night.

I ended up here, except that it was very dark, there was snow on the ground, and a lot of flashing lights (from the emergency vehicles). My friend's vehicle was laying on its side in the frozen cornfield.

And then, although I'd gone potty at home before I left, and stopped along the way to go as well, I found I was in desperate need of a rest room... AT the fireman's advice, I backtracked to the tiny town I'd just driven through and found the only place open, a scary looking establishment called Federal Hollow Staples. It was scarier on the outside than the inside and reminded me of an old mercantile. I asked if there was a restroom and was almost turned away until I told her I'd come to help my friend who'd rolled the vehicle up the road away. I left quite relieved.
:0)

All is well. My friend was not injured and for this I am grateful.

Actually, it was the Cabinetmaker who had the accident. He called last night to see if I could help him get home once the tow truck came. Today we are all thankful, especially when we look at his van. It's a mess.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Hard Work

Some days I get to spend time with a few of my favorite little friends, and other days I just miss them. It's not because they aren't there, more than likely it's just because we don't end up in the same classroom at the same time. Missed my friend Jonah today, although he did make a brave effort to climb over the gate. (He knows I love him... Maybe Wednesday.)

My friend Parker was just getting ready to go home when I showed up in the infant room doorway. I felt a little bad for his daddy. Parker was pretty sure he needed to snuggle with me instead of go home. Ha ha! (And I get paid for this!)

Lunch was not well received. Most of it went into the trash. Spanish Rice with ground turkey is okay, but they really don't like it with chunks of white chicken breast. The tomatoes throw it all off. Today I stirred grated cheddar cheese into it, called it Cheesy Chicken and Rice, and hoped it would go over better. It didn't. I don't write the menu, I only implement it.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

The Barn Collective

Back in June I shared a special barn, one with a John Deere Green love letter painted on its white doors. It was in very poor condition, which was terribly apparent when I walked around the back side. Becky's youngest daughter prayed the old barn would be standing at her September wedding, and it was. Maybe it felt like a piece of her daddy remained...

But last Sunday afternoon the old barn heaved a heavy sigh, groaned, and collapsed. My dear friend Becky posted a picture on Facebook. "So the day has come.....and there was a great rumbling. And yes. She’s down. And yes I am crying."

I hate to end on a sad note, so I give you a peek at happier days, a picture of Becky and Al together and smiling. He's been gone for almost 14 years. Cancer took him, but Becky's love remains. I have to believe that someone will help her rescue those beautiful doors from the wreckage and when they do I'll post another update.

Visit the Barn Collective at Tom's. See you there.


Saturday, December 08, 2018

Bits and Pieces

Where do I start?

*  I burned a tray English muffin pizzas at work on Monday. Thought I'd turned the broiler off... Nope. A little plume of smoke was coming out of the vented back burner. Oops. Thankfully no alarms went off and I had an extra tray of pizzas waiting. Ha ha!

*  I stopped at the pottery studio on Tuesday and cut some slabs for another music box. On Thursday evening I put them together. Today I returned to put on a few finishing touches. Sometimes I run into friends. Today I saw my friend Myung who was in the hand building class I took the summer of 2017.

*  Friday afternoon I attempted to take care of some business at the DMV, but I messed up a vital document which must now be replaced before any action can be taken. I had everything necessary and still managed to make it a seeming wasted trip, and like many other DMV visits, I left wanting to cry. I also left wanting to berate myself for my stupidity. Instead I took it as an opportunity to "be kind to Martha." It wasn't intentional and everyone makes mistakes. I am still driving a legal vehicle. It's okay.

* My Monday night step study has finally reached Step Four, the searching and fearless moral inventory. We need to find accountability partners/ a sponsor... It's part of the process to find and ask someone to be those helpers and I find it impossibly difficult. I am ever so grateful for those who have stopped to think of me this week and send a note of encouragement my way. The finding of a sponsor may prove more difficult than the actual inventory, but I am looking.

*  Life is a continual day to day challenge. I work long days and endure too many sleepless nights. I am a mom with a broken heart, broken times seven, for each and every one of my children who are struggling. I pray they are able to take the pain in their hearts and lives and lay it at the feet of the only One who can heal their brokenness. I pray one day we all come out on the other side better than we are today.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Little Arms

It been a healing week of hugging little ones, and God hugs me back with the arms of small children. When little arms are wrapped around my neck I feel Him loving me.

I had time this week to sit with my toddler friends. Our infant numbers were low and so staff was been shuffled to keep the center running smoothly. The wonderful thing about the toddler room is these children were our babies not so long ago. They are used to climbing into my arms and they already know I love them. Sometimes they cry when I leave the room. (Breaks my heart!)

I've said it before, "Life is complicated," and it's true. I was telling a friend that I often wish I could go back in time and do things differently. They responded with, "You'd just have different problems." My friend is right. The best I can do is to let my experiences, good and bad, be teachers. I can grow through the pain, and hopefully one day use what I learn to help and encourage someone else, because even the toughest of problems aren't totally unique to me. There is always someone in a similar situation who needs a listening ear, and perhaps a shoulder to cry on.

I am learning and growing. It may be painful, but I know I will be okay. I have not been left alone, because Jesus isn't like that. He promised to be here always, and He is. He is with me. My biggest fears and heartaches are always for my children. I can't fix their brokenness or heal their wounds. I can't take away their pain or make the way forward easy, but I can cheer them on. I can set an example, and I can always, always love them. Sometimes that's all we really need, to be loved and encouraged.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Advent

I am certain the church we attended when I was a very little girl was one that celebrated Advent, the time leading up to Christmas. There was an aura of excitement surrounding the impending birth of the Christ child, one I haven't yet been able to recapture as an adult. Maybe because somewhere along the way we forgot to observe the preparation.

Last year I found some Advent calendars on clearance and was thrilled to find they weren't filled with cheap chocolate that would melt or go bad before the season came around again. We're three days in and I just opened my own. (I gave several others to my kids with kids.) I may not be keeping up like I intended, but I'm making progress.

Each little compartment in this calendar holds a tiny book, a piece of the Christmas story, and each one is an ornament as well. (How fun is that?) Maybe tomorrow I'll hang the first few on my little tree.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

The Barn Collective

 I'm cheating today. I found the link to this great story on Facebook just this evening. It's found on  John Kucko Digital (that's "cutch-ko"). Apparently he showcases an area farm or barn each Friday. (Who knew?) Very fascinating. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing.

November 28- "End of an Era: Happening right now—this 1890 barn is being leveled due to very poor condition. I have driven by this place here in WNY every day for the last 27 years. Something told me to stop on my way into work and actually take a few winter images. I was stunned to see guys tearing the barn down, had no idea this was going on. The property was recently in foreclosure and the new owner was told by the bank that the dilapidated barn had to be down by this Friday. Among the beautiful finds here—a stunning indoor wood silo (bottom right) which the owner will try and salvage. The stone foundation will be saved and a new barn will be built here, using a small portion of the wood from the old barn. This was a dairy farm in Penfield, NY back in the day and the barn had been neglected for decades. One can imagine how spectacular this was back in the late 1800’s. It’s sad to see this and makes me appreciate, even more, the barns of that era that remain intact."

November 29- "End of an Era (Part II): Happening now, this 1890 barn in Penfield, NY is being leveled due to major deterioration over the last few decades. First posted about this yesterday and heard from many of you. As you can see, much work has been done in the last 24 hours with more to go. The new owner acquired the foreclosed property and was told by the bank that the barn had to be gone by tomorrow. I have driven by this, once grand, dairy barn every day for the last 27 years and can vouch for how poor the condition was, a gaping hole in the roof for years didn’t help matters. The owner will re-purpose as much of the original wood as he can as he builds a new barn in the same spot, the stone foundation will remain. A hidden gem was discovered inside the structure that’s still standing, a wood silo which will be saved (will do separate post on silo, it’s amazing). It’s a sad reality with these barns when they’re ignored for years and, as noted yesterday, makes me appreciate—even more—the old barns still standing with their integrity intact."

November 29- "End of an Era (Part III): An absolutely amazing find in this 1890 barn here in WNY that is being leveled due to deterioration. Inside, a wooden silo was discovered—these are very rare anymore. I have talked with two local farmers, whose farms have been around for a combined 300 years, and both tell me this is extremely unusual. This silo was likely last used anywhere from 50-60 years ago, maybe longer. The silo had straw in it, which ended up preserving the wood—taking the moisture out of it. It was completely inside the barn structure, never visible from the outside. As noted in previous posts, this barn was once a dairy farm back in the day. The new owner took possession of this foreclosed property in Penfield, NY and will save the silo, sparing it from destruction. He is determined to salvage as much wood from the original barn as possible and use it to build a new barn on the original stone foundation. Per orders from the bank, the barn had to be taken down by the end of this week. I can attest that it was in awful shape, likely beyond repair. Amidst the rubble, a gem was unearthed and this silo will survive...and thrive. Very cool!"

Don't forget to stop by and visit Tom at The Barn Collective.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Work, Snow, and Deer on the Highway

I thoroughly enjoyed the long Thanksgiving holiday. It was a true long weekend and a much needed break from my usual daily routine. It was also good to get back to work again.

I'm not entirely sure when things just clicked into place for me, but sometime in the past year I began to feel much more comfortable in my own skin. I'm not fearful and uneasy at my job, and I get along, for the most part, with my coworkers. Some better than others, of course. And the little people look for me every day, even the naughty ones.

I talked with my son Jim in Minnesota on my lunch break Wednesday. I wanted to hear his voice and ask him about the new baby and so I called him. After I hung up I got the crazy idea to tell my boss I'd decided to go to Minnesota next week. I went in her office and said, "I decided to go to Minnesota next week." She knew I had a new grandbaby. She was also reeling from several lost employees. It was a terrible time for me to be asking for a vacation and I knew that. She stared at me but her expression never changed. I waited for her to say something, but only for a few seconds. I didn't really want to torment her... Ha ha! "Not really," I told her, "I'm not really going to Minnesota." She looked absolutely relieved and then said, "WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO? GIVE ME A HEART ATTACK!?"

Wednesday morning brought a cute little snowstorm. Driving was just slightly treacherous. I drove slow and careful, and wouldn't you know it? Two deer ran out in front of me as I was making my way down a dark, snowy road. They are some crazy animals! I breathed a sigh of relief as they ran off into the woods.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Welcome to the World, Number 11

He made his arrival last evening. I'm not sure what time it was, but his daddy replied to my inquiring text with, "He's here!" That's all I wanted to know before I closed my eyes for the night. My little grandson was safely nestled in his parents' arms. I'd prayed all day long and my prayer had been answered.

Parker. His name is Parker. I have to post borrowed photos, beautiful borrowed photos, because he is too far away for me to visit right now. I am thankful for this internet connection that allows me to share in the celebration of his arrival. I heard my son cried. They waited so long and tried so hard for this child. Three tiny angels wait for them in heaven... and this little one is here. We are incredibly blessed! I can hardly wait until spring.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Thinking Different

It's been an emotional day. They come in waves and today it just washed over me. I savored baby hugs and remembered to be grateful for the little ones who grace my days, and clothing, with slobbery kisses, boogers, and spit-up. Oh, the little arms wrapped around me and the little heads upon my shoulder! Such a healing balm!

I rearranged my room over vacation. The spindly headboard prohibited me from pushing the bed against the wall, and so I decided to think a little differently. I pulled the mattress off on the floor, took the frame apart, and turned the bed around. Once it was headed the opposite direction, I hauled the mattress back onto the frame. Now I can have the bed closer to the wall, and while the headboard is now the footboard, I'm liking the arrangement. It kind of cozy-like.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sunday Night

It's Sunday night. I'd intended to visit the pottery studio today, but once I got home after church, I did not venture out again. It's been a nice long weekend and I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow. Back to my little friends. My friend Jojo is already looking for me. When his mommy told him tomorrow is a school day, he said my name "clear as day," she said. I do love that little guy!

I've had fun building marble chutes with Number Nine the past couple days. They aren't terribly stable, and the marbles are plastic, but they're still fun. I could sit and watch for  a very long time, especially if the marbles are glass. An old fashioned stress reliever of sorts. Maybe I need one in my bedroom, just for those desperate moments when I need a bit of "marble therapy." Ha ha!

And here is the wreath Tom and I made yesterday. It's brightening up our garage door and looking festive. I searched Hobby Lobby for a hanger yesterday and just missed the display by giving up and turning down another aisle. I wandered the store picking up several thing I didn't need and finally asked a young, handsome employee who was more than happy to help. (Thanks, Kyle.)

The Barn Collective

Sometimes I take Tom's advice and have my camera along for the ride. Two autumn barns, the first one the way home to Williamson a several weeks ago, and the other on my way back to Webster after church. Love the barns, love the colors!



Winter is settling in. Here's hoping for a few good weekends, camera in hand, to catch a few great winter barn photos.

Come on over to Tom's and have a cup of tea.

(Tom, I really had no idea what your place looked like when I invited everyone over for the barn dance. I was just having fun. Thank you for giving me a bit of your time yesterday, the wreath is beautiful!, and for all you words of encouragement and gentle rebukes these past couple of years. )