Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bits and Pieces

Too much going through my mind to post, so I will attempt to keep it simple for now.

* Hannah's birthday was yesterday. My baby is 22. We celebrated with her traditional birthday dessert; brownie sundaes. I didn't take pictures. You'll just have to use your imagination... or maybe I'll post an old one.

* I love my job. I get lots and lots of hugs, and give out lots and lots of hugs and kisses. I will admit to checking the clock when it gets toward the end of the day, but only because I have to do something besides play during the day.

* My pottery class has been fun. It's not over yet, but we are winding up the wet work and after this week the focus will be on firing and glazing. My current project is a large piece. I did the bulk of building last night and will hopefully finish tomorrow.  Too bad things are winding down just as I am gearing up. You know what that means? Yup. I need another class.

* On my way to class last night I witnessed a good Samaritan help a snapping turtle safely cross two lanes of westbound rush hour traffic. I had a front row seat. It's nice that most folks stop for turtles, and they most often assisted. They're kind of like little old ladies, I guess. Ha ha!

* There are no flowers in my gardens, at least none to speak of. Perhaps there will be a bed full of them down by the vegetable garden. It's hard to believe all my perennials have disappeared.

* Life goes on. It changes, but keeps moving forward.

* My caterpillar morphed into a butterfly and flew away. So cool.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Other Side of the Story

Top photo is the other side of the hill from last week's posting. Beautiful farm in a gorgeous location.



Following are a few more from the same general location. It was threatening rain, and followed through, as I left work on Wednesday afternoon.


 Mr. Airy's Holsteins.


Standing alone. (Reminds me a bit of that petunia in an onion patch song...)


Barn on the corner. Apparently this place is for sale.


Lost to the winds of time...

And that is it. Brought to you today because someone over at The Barn Collective said I should always have my camera along..

Saturday, July 15, 2017

And So...

Sleeping in means staying in bed until 6:30 or 7 am. I guess that's what happens when one wakes up at 5:45 am every other day of the week. I don't mind too much. I actually like morning. My house is the real casualty of working full time. It doesn't get the attention I once gave it and just the other day my vacuum cleaner complained of being hungry and bored. I should probably stay home on Saturdays and focus my attention on getting things done around here, but I am going out again.

I have a 9 am appointment with the counselor. It's been a long 2 years but I think I'm making progress, even it it is painstakingly slow. There are times when I feel like I am fighting this battle alone and in the dark, but I know there is One Greater who fights for all of us, and I am not really alone. I have a select few who pray for and encourage me. Along with that there are other silent fighters in the midst. I may not know their battle but I know they're not alone.

Last night I wandered the yard with my faithful Canon shooting as I went. You'd think I'd already exhausted every photo opportunity on this 3 1/2 acre piece of land, but I just keep capturing images anyway. (I think we need some new hollyhocks. All we have left is white.)

Friday, July 14, 2017

TGIF

I'm still here. The week is almost over and my bed is calling. I'd thought I was catching up on my sleep, but last night left me lacking once again. The adults at daycare were all tired but the kids had all kinds of energy.

Yesterday morning one of my little friends came to sit on my knee when I squatted down to talk to him. He put his foot up and said, "Look at my shoe, Miss Martha." I took hold of his foot and asked him something about his shoe. It didn't look new. I wasn't sure what he was wanting me to see. That's when he said, "I stepped in dog poop." Ha ha! His shoe was clean and his mother said he hasn't stepped in any in months.

Now for a weekend.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Friday, July 07, 2017

Snippets

The weekend is upon us. Snippets from my week...

* A poopy day is a good day, at least for me. Poopy means I got to spend time with some of my favorite little people. They leave messes to clean up but make the effort more than worthwhile by the love they give in return. There is nothing like a small pair of arms around my neck, a little one who voluntarily climbs onto my lap, or little people calling my name. "Miss Martha, Miss Martha... "

* I let the chickens out for an hour or so Wednesday evening. The balked and clucked and headed straight for their favorite place to take a dust bath. I sat outside while they dusted themselves and scratched about, and then I lured them back into the coop with the last two pieces of bread.

* Naughty One makes himself scarce these days. Each time I'm sure he's either adopted a new owner or fallen prey to a predator, he shows up for a pat on the head. Maybe he's just sore because we treated him for tapeworms...

* Naughty Too has been antagonizing the barn swallows down below the barn. He sits out in the grass while they screech and dive bomb him. Lucky for them they are the stealth bombers of the bird world.

* Thursday evening I went from work to the pottery studio which was closed on Tuesday for the 4th of July. I didn't end up with anything grand to save, but being there was therapeudic just the same. No pictures this time. Maybe next week. :0)

* Tomorrow my favorite granddaughter turns six. (I hope you know I have two favorites.) There's supposed to be a party. I'll be going but I have an idea she'll be far more interested in something other than her grandmother. How does a grandma compete with friends, presents, and yummy treats? Ha ha!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A Nostalgic Little Picnic

July 4th is good for picnics so we pulled one together. Hannah thought it a good idea to have the gathering at her house, like in the "good ol' days" when Grandma and Grandpa had picnics there, and so we did.


Lucas hung our with Uncle Ben for a bit and enjoyed a bit of Pepsi Cola.


The meal was scrumptious! A little American, a little Mexican, and a little Chiavetta's for the chicken marinade. So good! 


Sergio's parents brought a watermelon with seeds! The kids had never seen one quite like it. Sad, huh? I taught them how to spit watermelon seeds like a good grandmother.


Aubrey and Simon faught over a tiny toad Uncle Joe found in the back yard.


Abuelo and Abuela loved on the grandbaby (of course),


and there were several games of badmitton played. It's a great backyard and teaming with childhood memories for me, my sisters, and all of our kids. 

Go back and take a look at my dad's outbuildings. They put a smile on my face.
:0)

Monday, July 03, 2017

Teaching the Pre-K Class

I didn't know what to expect when going into work today. Turns out the pre-K teacher didn't make it in so I fulfilled my dream of being the "kindergarten" teacher. Fun times. Just five little ones to look after. Easy peasy.

I'd taken one of my monarch caterpillars in to show the children and so the little creature became the focus of a short science lesson and paper project. At naptime I read stories for an hour to a few children who either couldn't sleep or had already woken up. It made naptime (and sitting in while another teacher took a break) much more tolerable for all of us. The kids were happy and I felt good too.

Tomorrow the center is closed for the 4th of July and I have absolutely no clue what awaits when I return on Wednesday. Thankfully that does not intimidate me anymore. It just makes eery day an adventure.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Little Friends

We have a scraggily patch of milkweed where once I grew a flower garden. It's not a pretty spot, an eyesore rather. However, it does provide a home to some fancy creatures. This afternoon I spotted a monarch caterpillar. I went inside for my camera, and then back inside again for a container in which to put him. And then I found another caterpillar. Two! Science is what I call them. One for the Trio and one for the daycare.

And as a bonus, I found a chirping friend as well. A little green treefrog attempting a nap. He did not appear pleased at my appearance. Ha ha! I woke him up and snapped his photo but left him to live in the leaves, catching flies and various unsuspecting bugs.

On Tip Toe

Some days it feels like the "step in the right direction" is a step that leads upstairs to a very long nap. One of my poorer coping skills, nap taking, though not so destructive as other options... I'm walking, perhaps on tip toe, and ever so slowly, but I am walking just the same.

"Progress." Isn't that what I once said my new name should be? The one God would give me? It's only in looking back that I can see how far I've come, and yet the mountain still feels insurmountible. Is it even possible to tip toe up a mountain?

Babies learn to walk at different rates, varying ages, and in how they move. Some toddle, others take off running, but in the end they all need to learn both skills, walking and running. There might be a corralation here somewhere... maybe.


Saturday, July 01, 2017

Playing in the Mud

If you check out "my complete profile" you just may find, at the bottom of the page, a question Blogger posed to me way back when blogging was fresh and new to my world. And then, of course, my answer.

If mud is dirt plus water, what is clay?
An endless possibility! I can't wait to get started.

I already had that 50 pounds of clay when I started my blogging adventure and every once in a while I am inspired to take it out. (This typically happens when I am taking a ceramics class...) Yesterday I sat down for a bit and got my hands dirty playing. Somewhere in that pile of "children" is a parent figure. She's somewhat buried... This happens in parenting.

The poor caretaker in my sculpture has been swallowed up. If I am honest, I don't know quite how I feel about that. I really wanted her to be more visible and still have seven children...

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Poopy Kind of Day

I've been a "float" at work for the last month. Each day is a little different than the one previous and I'm getting to know everyone, children and teachers, a little at a time. Some days I see sad things, but the love I am privileged to share with a small child multiplies a hundred times over when they smile at me or wrap their little arms around my neck. It's hard to believe I'm getting paid to be loved like this.

I changed several poopy diapers during the course of the day, fed hungry mouths, and soothed little ones to sleep. I colored pictures, drew cats and dogs, and took a short walk. I cleaned sinks, swept floors, and rinsed dishes. But best of all I hugged the most precious commmodity on this planet and was loved in return. It may be a fleeting and limited love but it is priceless just the same.

In September, if all goes well, I will embark on the quest to obtain my Child Development Associate (CDA). I went about it in a backward kind of way by getting my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) first. I never really wanted to work in a nursing home, I just took the long way around the block and back into childcare. It's where I've always belonged, but I already knew that.
:0)

Can't post my work babies so you get the dolls I bought my granddaughter for her first birthday five years ago. (She's about to turn six!)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Clay Pots

Neglected but not forgotten. My blog. Here is a little piece of my week.

I took up pottery again, I think I told you already (if anyone is listening) and my class is on Tuesday evenings. We've done pinch pots, coil building, and last night we made slab cups. Fun stuff. I should have a perpetual pottery class... So anyway, here is a very small sampling of some of my handiwork. Stay tuned and maybe I'll post the finished product in a few more weeks.

Perhaps these little figures will be my trademark. The pinched bowl, though nice on its own, looked a little lonely so I added some people. One of my fellow students asked if I had two children... Ha ha! I wan't sure the bowl was big enough for seven. Maybe that will be a future project. Or I could make it even more fun and do my ten grandchildren.
:0)

Friday, June 23, 2017

This Week

I've been without my computer since Sunday. I miss it not only because it is my connection to my friends and family, but because it is where I sort and organize brain files. Pen and paper might do, but I find typing faster and easier. My heart is feeling achy tonight and that makes the missing a little stronger. Never mind the fact that the CD with Dad's songs is tucked inside the CD drawer and I am mssing him as well.

It's been a busy week. I missed my CoDA meeting on Monday night to enjoy a family birthday celebration with strawberry shortcake. Happy 27th to Nathan! The little guy who used to hang on my knees now has two little guys of his own.

My Tuesday night pottery class found us rolling coils and building pots. It's too bad the reclaimed clay they provide us doesn't behave better. I just may have to find an alternate source of material.

The Daycare was crazy this week. The kids were wild and crazy due to Pre-K graduations and the onset of summer. Today was probably the most difficult since I started. I'm told next week will be completely different as the ranks of children ebb and change. I'll be headed out of the Pre-K room and into the infant room starting Monday. I must remember to stock up on bubble gum. :0)
Pictures courtesy of Monday night's birthday celebration. I took pictures of the grands and totally bypassed the birthday boy. Oops. Ah well, I caught Numbers 10, 9, 8, 7, and 5.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Missing In Action

My laptop has gone visiting. Hannah has taken it home to work on her Rosetta Stone Spanish class and so I am left with my Nook or the Cabinet Maker's PC. I'm not lost (just in case you miss me...) just busy at work and without my own computer.

Work has been fun. I have moments of frustration, but overall it's going great. My pottery class has been going good too. Never a dull moment, unless I'm outside watching chickens... ha ha!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dear Dad,

Dear Dad,

To say I miss you would be an understatement. Hardly a day goes by when I don't think of you. Just last night, as I lay in bed listening to you sing, I thought back to the day in July 2009 when you slipped that first $20 bill into my hand. "I have something for you," you said, "I don't know why, but I feel like I'm supposed to do this. It can be our little secret," and so for the next several Sundays you took my hand in yours and put a wrinkled $20 bill into my hand. By the time you went into the hospital five weeks later, you had blessed me with $100 which I tucked away awaiting its intended but unknown purpose. Months later I purchased a cassette tape converter to put your old recordings on CD's. It cost $99.

I have always been grateful for the gift of having you as my earthly father. God knew I would need a dad, who though not perfect, would be for me a shining example of what it means to live for Jesus. I've had my faith shaken, Dad, shaken to the core, but I'm still hanging on. Sometimes it feels like I'm hanging on by a thread, but I know God heard all those times you uttered my name and the names of my children in prayer and He is faithful even when my strength is weak. He is holding me.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. Thank you for being mine.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Say What?

I heard myself say it today. Twice. "That's not what that is for." I wasn't sure whether to be amused or terrified. Ha ha! Now I'm trying to remember what it was they had, and what they were doing with it... Ah, yes! The marble chute. A couple of boys put the short marble chute pieces together into L-O-N-G tubes and were using them like swords. Boys and play fighting go together, but not inside the classroom... I can't remember now what happened in the second incident. So much happens in a day that it's surprising I remember anything at all!

This afternoon one small boy got angry with me. I heard him say, as he sat on his naptime cot, "I hate you!" but later, when I drew some pictures and said yes he could keep them, he told me he liked me and I was nice. Ah, the fickle four year old. I was never worried.

So, this week I spent time with the babies, the 3 year old class, and the 4-5 year old group. And I survived. Perhaps it's sad, but I don't miss my old job at all.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Imagine That!

Work is interesting. Never, or at least very rarely, is there a dull moment. I occasionally find myself longing for the "olden days" kind of childcare, where a short time-out was an acceptable method of discipline and children weren't constantly admonished about proper use of playground equipment. Remember the days when there were literally no adults on the playground, only children?
 Recall the days when we were allowed to climb scary playground edifices, and experiment with various ways of going up or down the slide? Do you remember what it was like to twist the chains of your swing as much as you could and then lift your feet off the ground so you could spin yourself dizzy? Remember those backyard contests to see who could jump off the swing and land the farthest? I suppose we could have broken bones or needed stitches, but it never happened to us. Apparently there is now a concerted effort to assure it will never happen to any other child either. I do understand the desire to minimize accidents and injuries, I just find it terribly sad that childhood has become so strictly managed. I desperately want to let them be brave and imaginative, and I can't. I will adjust. I have to. But I won't like it. I won't like it any better than I like hearing adults tell children, "that's not what that's for" when little girls wear what looks like shower curtain rings as bracelets. An adult out there somewhere came up with a game of some kind and utilized shower curtain rings, but the little ones, so full of energy and imagination, are seemingly discouraged from from doing it on their own. This I do not understand. I will adjust to this too, at least I will try... Okay, maybe I won't.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Little Bits

* Had a mom stop on her way into the daycare this morning and tell me how her 2 year old daughter put her jacket on all by herself this weekend. Laid it out on the ground, slipped her arms into the sleeves, and popped it up over her head. Easy peasy. And when Mom asked who taught her that she said, "Miss Martha!" (I borrowed a picture online, but it's not "my" toddler.)

* Gave out lots of love today and got lots back in return. I kind of like being a float and moving from group to group throughout the week. I make more friends that way. I need to buy some bubble gum on my way to work tomorrow or my little friend Lucas will be disappointed. He's always looking for my bubbles now.

* And finally, God letting me know He hears prayers. Interesting topic at my CoDA meeting tonight. That Set 11 caught my attention even before it was drawn from the topic box...

* Morning comes early and I have another busy day tomorrow. I start my hand building pottery class tomorrow evening. Can hardly wait!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Be The Center

Jesus, be the center
Be my source, be my light,
Jesus
Jesus, be the center
Be my hope, be my song,
Jesus
Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in these sails,
Be the reason that I live,
Jesus, Jesus
Jesus, be my vision
Be my path, be my guide
Jesus



I've been knocked off center, left wobbling about and unable to get myself back where I need to be. Thankfully I have Father in Heaven who hasn't set me on a shelf and forgotten me. He knows just what is needed to get me centered once again. Please pray it happens soon.

(Kudos to the Half Naked Pottery Guy who spun a pot just for me at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival 4 years ago.) 

Sunday Afternoon

When we were little girls Mom and Dad visited Tim every other week on Sunday afternoons. With my new work schedule I'm  no longer able to see him on a week day, so we've switched to going on Sundays (unless we have a vacant Saturday, because that works too).
Today we met Priscilla and she went with us. All four of us, together in one car with Dad playing his music on the CD player.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Here and There

Today I vacuumed and dusted. It wasn't an especially thorough cleaning job, but I took a stab at it anyway, and I did a bit of laundry. Weekends go by fast when one works full time. I should have known that already, and maybe I did, but it's being reinforced. I'm still fighting this year's allergy fatigue so perhaps that is why I am feeling so unaccomplished. Then again, the weekend is only half over and I'm already thinking it's done... Oh, silly me.

Just a few photos from my walk around the yard last night. One of the cats followed me from my falling-apart-rocking-chair-swing all the way to the back corner of the yard where our property meets the orchard. Cats in the orchard make me nervous, especially with foxes grabbing unsuspecting chickens and coyotes who yap and howl in the dark of night. Call me paranoid, but I don't want my friends to end up being someone's dinner.

On my jaunt about the "estate" I found a secret garden of violas and little blue flowers behind Barn 2. A perfect treasure to put in my photo collection.

Tomorrow my sisters and I plan to visit our brother and take him out for another ride through the hills of Wayne County, a stop at Wendy's for a "small chocolate Frosty," and a plethora of childhood memories. Maybe I'll pack my camera.
:0)

Friday, June 09, 2017

Bits and Pieces

I'm not sure how it got to be Friday already. Let's see if I can remember anything from my week...

* I hopped from room to room at the daycare. I will be a "float" until the end of June. I'm not sure what happens after that. I'm getting to know all the children a little at a time and it's been going pretty good. I do have some curiosities about the grownups though... I have to wonder where imagination comes into play and why they keep telling the little one "That's not what that's for!" Why can't that toy be worn as a bracelet, and why can't the dress up rack double as a boat? Why can't children go down the slide on their tummies or let wood chips and cars slide down? Why can't we paint puddle water with sticks? So many questions and no answers...

* I bought some bubble gum so I could blow bubbles for the babies. They love it.

* I passed my sister on the way to work again. She didn't see me this time either.

* I met my friend Marlene for coffee last night, and then dropped a chair off at my son Joe's new apartment. He has a cute little place overlooking Main Street in Webster.

* We let the chickens out while we planted peppers the other night and they were thrilled. The Cabinetmaker found a nice juicy worm in the garden and they thought they were in chicken heaven! Then they almost killed one of the little pumpkins I'd just planted and I decided it was time for them to go to bed early.

* Naughty Too followed me around the yard for a while tonight while I was taking pictures. Guess he likes his picture taken too.


* Signed up for a pottery class. Hand building this time instead of wheel thrown. I start on Tuesday night. I think I'm going to like it.