Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ready or Not

The rooms are ready, but I'm not exactly sure when the occupants will arrive...

Nate and Sabrina have until tomorrow to be out of their apartment. I imagine they will be here when I get home from work tomorrow evening. Their bed is all made and waiting. Moving is exhausting so I figured it's the least I could do.

The other end of the room has been cleared for Spencer's crib and anything else that may arrive with the little family. Once upon a time it housed three boys with their beds and dressers, so I think it will be fine for a family of three. (Watch. They'll probably want to move the bed to this other end of the room... Cape Cod roof lines can make furnishing rooms a challenge and this is the shortest furniture in the bunch. Even the crib is taller.)

Hannah's old room has been turned into a temporary bedroom for Joe. He'll have to put his belongings on the shelves and deal with James' inversion contraption, but I'm sure he won't mind. He'll likely turn himself into a bat (hanging upside down) every once in a while too.

I must admit, it does have a cozy kind of look even if the box spring and mattress are on the floor. Perhaps, while I'm thinking about it, I'll go remove Hannah's paraphernalia from the door. I don't think she'll mind.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Home for the Holidays

The smell of turkey soup permeates the kitchen. The traditional Day After Thanksgiving meal made from the turkey carcass that goes directly into the crockpot after being stripped of sandwich size pieces of meat. I didn't find any carrots in my refrigerator today, so I tossed in celery, sauteed mushrooms, and half a cup of rice. Easy peasy.

I stayed home on this Black Friday, which is my ordinary custom. There is nothing I need or want enough to drag me out to fight the crowds that will be virtually non-existent on Monday morning. Instead I woke up at the normal time (or a little later) and, after downing a cup of coffee, The Maintenance Man and I set about sanding and painting the upstairs bedroom which will soon be occupied by a very small family of three. Nate and Sabrina are coming to stay with us for a few months while they pay off some debt and attempt to regain their footing financially. After a dozen years of housing boys with soft air guns, the walls were in need of a face lift.

Nate and Sabrina are not the only ones moving. Dave and Leta are moving their little family a few doors down the road from where they now reside. Uncle Joe will need a place to land for a time also, so he is set to occupy the bedroom previously inhabited by Hannah. Sorry to say, but he is not getting any new paint or wallpaper, although it is on order for the future.

It's about to get a tad busier in the house, just in time for the holidays. And I was worried about who would venture out into the wintry white world to find me a Christmas tree. I think that problem has been solved.

 PS. No photos to match my blog post, so instead you get some photos from Monday morning's snow. How about those apple trees?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I'm Thankful for Family

It's the holiday season in full swing. From here to the beginning of the new year is a whole ton of craziness. Each year we are blessed with new family members, two this year.

In January it will be
my happy bloggiversary. 
(Perhaps I'll write some poetry.)

I will celebrate ten years of blogging. A whole lot has happened in that time. Lots of hellos and a few goodbyes along the way. Time is constantly changing our circles, expanding and contracting them as it races along.

2006- Two of our children were married. We had no grandchildren.
2007- We welcomed our first grandson in October 2007, Joshua Adam.
2008- At the year's end Lucas arrived, just in time for Christmas.
2009- We bid my dad farewell in September 2009.
2010- James' dad passed on in early February.
          Simon was welcomed into the family in April.
2011- In July of 2011 Aubrey Rose came to stay, our first granddaughter.
2012- Sabrina joined our family when she and Nate were married in June of 2012, and
          Beth and Adam were bless with a second son when Jacob arrived in September.
2013- Jim and Michele were married in April, and
          Austin made his debut the very last day of July 2013.
2014- Mom flew away to join Dad that February.
           Spencer James joined Nate and Sabrina in October.
This year we added two more family members...
2015- Little Jilly was born September 3 of this year (Josh and Jake were blessed with a sister), and
          we added Sergio when he and Hannah were married two weeks later on September 18.

I was blessed this morning by my Kitchen Helper who stuffed the turkey, peeled the potatoes, and helped me clean the kitchen. It was a busy several hours. Dinner was delicious and I ate too much, of course...

We had sixteen for Thanksgiving dinner, if you count the baby who didn't eat any turkey. I didn't do any fancy decorating, but I did clean the house. We used paper plates again. I've had plenty of holiday dinners where it felt like the clean up would never end. We don't own a dishwasher, so I am grateful for both paper plates and those who always lend a hand when it's time to do the dishes. Maybe one day I'll get out Grandma's china. She used to put on a fancy dinner on special occasions, but I'll probably save that for a time when there aren't quite so many little boys running through the house.

Dessert was just a yummy. The pumpkin pie was perfect! I think there's even a piece left for tomorrow's breakfast. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Making Preparations, Kind Of

Sitting here at work with my friend... She is settled into bed for an afternoon rest and I am settled into the chair, ... kind of. Kind of settled, that is. The hormone headache that plagued me the past couple of days, the kind that won't go away no matter what I do, has mostly subsided, leaving me just a bit achy and very sleepy.

Before I came to work today, I gathered supplies and stopped at Hannah's house and together we whipped up a couple of pumpkin pies for tomorrow's gathering. The turkey is busy thawing, and on my way home I will stop at the holiday mad house, otherwise known as the grocery store, to pick up a few last minute items like fresh mushrooms for the stuffing.

I'm fairly certain my favorite cabinet maker will lend a hand in getting the meal under way. Maybe he'll even peel the potatoes if I ask sweetly and bat my eyes.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The White Stuff Falls

The yard was a blanket of white this morning. I was thankful for a fire in the wood stove as it took away the chill that surely  would have enveloped me otherwise. I told the Barefoot Lumberjack that I would put some more fuel on the fire before I left for work, if I remembered, but I forgot. Good thing Sofie, Little Cat, and the Naughties have fur coats!

It was a genuine wintry morning, complete with the need to brush accumulated snow from my vehicle, drive through a blizzard on Rte 104 in Ontario, and back into the sunshine again in Webster. I wore my winter coat and pretty red mittens. It would have been a great day for Snowmen in Cars had I not needed to stop at the credit union on my way to work.

I've been fighting a headache today. The desire to put my head down, close my eyes, and resign myself to sleep was all but impossible this afternoon. Ibuprofen was my friend today as it feels like somebody smacked my head down a little too hard on my shoulders. Makes me wish I'd actually gone to visit the chiropractor last week, but by the time Thursday morning arrived, last week's ache in the back of my neck had started to subside. Besides, I was busy. Hopefully work associated aches and pains do not become a regular occurrence.

I'm blogging at work while my friend dozes in a living room recliner. Another resident is repeating  my unspoken thoughts, "I wanna go home. I wanna go home..." I guess there are moments when we all long for the comfort of our very own dwellings. It won't be long before I'm on my way. After my arrival I'll upload some photos and press "publish".

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Into the City

I went for a different kind of drive today. Rather than heading out into the country, my son Josiah and I headed for the city of Rochester, NY. We didn't find exactly what we were looking for but we did have a nice time just being together. We only stopped and got out of the car once. Put some quarters into a parking meter, and then got back into the car less than 5 minutes later. Going downtown always intrigues me. I love the architecture of the buildings. Maybe one day I'll go back and wander around a bit. Maybe.

The spire is part of Christ Church on East Avenue in the center of the city. I love the French Gothic style which gives it a sense of age and mystery. Since I was the driver, I didn't have much time for picture taking, but the relief sculpture over the door of the old Gannett building caught my eye and the light was red. You've got to love the detail put into old buildings.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Happy Birthday to Tim!

Yesterday was my brother's birthday. Rachel and I both wondered if the caretakers at his residence would recognize his special day. When we went to visit this afternoon, we found that he did indeed have a birthday celebration, and when they brought out the cake, he started singing. He started singing without them. To himself. ha ha! The caregivers seemed genuinely impressed and entertained.

It was a nice day for a ride down those country roads, sunny and clear, even if the trees are looking naked these days. The bison were out in great number today and we stopped to take a couple photographs. (I learned something new about my camera when it refused to take a photo and then clicked when I brought it back inside the vehicle. It has a delay setting...)

Tim was patient for a time, even repeating our comments about the shaggy creatures grazing in the field, but he soon tired of the game and wanted me to give him my camera. ha ha! Not likely. I'm pretty sure he didn't want to look at the pictures or take one of his own. Probably wanted to toss it over the fence to the bison.

It's been hard to sit though so many gorgeous autumn days with my friend at work, so I have been blessed beyond measure by the last two days of sunshine and fair skies. The forecast had called for rain on Wednesday, and it did rain here at home, but there was no rain in Webster while Hannah and I went for our walk. Winter is at the door and the weatherman is predicting snow by Monday. By then I'll be back in the Memory Care Unit again...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Today. Today Was Nice

The barren treetops and matchstick telephone poles were graced with afternoon sunlight and bits of blue dotted the gray and white cloud filled sky. It was 4 o'clock and I was on my way home from Webster. My camera had decided to stay home on this beautiful day, so I took pictures with my mind instead. The blue hour Betsy spoke of settled in as I got our supper into the oven and washed the day's dirty dishes...

I was pleasantly surprised to find my day full. A phone call brought me downstairs at 7:10 am. It was my sister Priscilla who had arrived at her high school librarian job to find last night's wind had knocked out the power to the high school. Since the school is in the neighboring town, she came over and we enjoyed some early morning conversation and coffee. Too bad I didn't have any bagels and cream cheese.

At 9:20 am Priscilla headed toward Webster to do some shopping and I headed off to find my little granddaughter who has been fighting an infection this week. Aubs needed some help getting to the doctor's office while her mommy did her weekly cleaning jobs and Daddy stayed with the boys. My little sweetheart met her new pediatrician for the very first time. I had assured her Dr. H. was very nice and I think Aubrey agreed. I returned her to her daddy after we picked up a bottle of pink medicine at the pharmacy.

My own house was quiet, and the Naughties well behaved, when I sat down at the computer. I checked the blog, my email, and took a look at Facebook. I watched a video posted by a friend... (this video)... and promptly decided to go out and fill a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child. I wandered about in KMart for an hour or so picking items and hoping I could get everything in the box I'd found in my closet but left in the car.

A little while later I was wandering the aisles of Wegmans, buying a few staple items and pie crust necessities, when my cell phone rang. It was Hannah wondering if I might still be in Webster. She was hoping for a visit and it was still early afternoon. She helped me deflate the soccer ball I'd purchased to put in my shoe box and then, rather than doing the dishes, we decided to take a walk around the block. Twice. 1.6 miles. It was a nice walk, one I should do more often.

Now I am home again. The meatloaf I mixed up is bubbling over into the bottom of my oven and the house is smelling like dinner. I cheated and made a dish of boxed scalloped potatoes, but my broccoli is fresh instead of frozen.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Songs in the Night...

You can tell the waves be still,
Tell the ocean roar to pass.
Lord, until it does,
I'll wait here.


You can part the raging sea,
Bring the miracle I need.
Lord, until it comes,
I'll wait here...

Songs in the Night
-Matt Redman

There are moments when I want to run... when I want to run far, far away. Some days I tremble and groan, and some days the storm is far from my thoughts and I am all too care-free. It's pendulum ride...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Playing Games

So, I'm trying something new again. I put my photos on before I left home this morning and am just now adding text from work while my friend takes her afternoon rest. Looks like I will need to rearrange the photos later... They're not moving for me right now. (Well, not aside from disappearing altogether...)

I don't know if this gray squirrel is the same Mr. or Mrs. Gray who frequented the trees on the west side of the house last winter, but he or she was quite enthralled with our party yesterday afternoon. Too bad I couldn'the invite the poor creature in for a slice of apple pie and a cup of coffee.

It's another gorgeous day and I am attempting to be thankful for my friend's big window, which at the very least allows me to enjoy the sunshine and the now mostly bare trees in the facility courtyard. By the time I leave it will once again be cold and dark.

I've not been sleeping well at night this past week. Even when the body is tired, the mind is all too often unable to rest. Sometimes, even when the mind is tired, sleep is impossible. Of course, if I could, sleep would come easy right now. I don't suppose reading a book will keep me awake... *yawn*

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Suff, Just Stuff

It was cold when I left the house early this morning, but not as cold as when I came out of Wegmans several hours later. I actually checked my glove compartment to see if I'd left any mittens in there last winter. Yup, a nice pair of pretty red ones. Of course, I'm a little reluctant even yet to put on that winter coat. My mind is stuck somewhere in July.

I stopped in Walmart today too, in search of an electric can opener. It's not that I mind the manual kind that fit in my silverware drawer, but the tendinitis in my thumb balks and screams while I twist the handle and then sulks for days afterward. Unlike the usual Martha, I picked the most expensive contraption on the shelf. It takes the entire top off the can leaving smooth edges and cans good for baking Boston Brown Bread.

The Naughties are growing up. In another two weeks they will be 5 months old, and a month after that I will be dragging them off to the vet in an effort to keep them tame and sweet smelling. They still don't have individual names, but that will come in time. I've always wished we'd taken a little more time when naming pets as the "perfect" name typically comes along when personality and habits become evident.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

12 Hours of Noise

It was a busy kind of day. I am happy to report that the cookies not only got rolled, cut, and baked, but they were frosted and decorated too.

We kept a few, for Grandpa, and sent the rest home with some smiling children and their accepting parents. (The cookies, some of them, were smiling too.)

The Niceness of Noise

Three small children have come to visit me today. There are blocks and toys scattered across the floor once again. There have been plenty of laughs, a few tears, and one little girl yelling, "Stop trying to kill  me!" A little sister drama... (She just asked one of her brothers, "Do you even know what I'm sayin'? Are you deaf or sumpthin?")

The kittens have been snuggled and mauled, cookies have been cut and baked, and the house is a general disaster. There is something strangely comforting about the disarray and little voices in the room.

I didn't sleep much last night, lots of tossing and turning. I'd probably take a long nap on this dark afternoon if not for the commotion about me. Although, truthfully, I don't feel very relaxed and would likely not sleep more than a few minutes. *sigh* Maybe I should go mix up some orange frosting for those pumpkin face cookies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Bits and Pieces

- It's a rainy morning.

- I baked a frozen homemade apple pie last night after I got home from work. Today, on my way back in, I will drop it off to my favorite Benjamin who is celebrating his 22nd birthday today. My 11-11 baby, born 2 minutes late at 11:13am.

- The Naughties have knocked the curtains down again. They like parkour and the curtains are the casualty. Maybe I can tighten up the pressure rod and make them stay up.

- Sofie is in desperate need of another bath and haircut. Perhaps I'll shave her bald this time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Winding into Winter

Autumn is winding down and although stubborn leaves still cling to the branches of selected trees, the nakedness of winter is closing in. The season of baked goods and fireplaces is descending upon us. Perhaps I should dig out my favorite pair of mittens and maybe even order another pair or two for those mornings when I'll need to brush the snow and ice off my car before heading out to work in the morning and back home again at night. Maybe I should even make sure I have a snow brush hiding behind my seat.

It's supposed to be cold and rainy on Thursday so I'm planning to take some time to mix up and roll out a batch or two of pumpkin shaped cutout cookies. I'm hoping the grandkids will come over to help me decorate them with candy corns and chocolate chips.

Friday, November 06, 2015

The Naughties vs The Nephews

Sleep doesn't come easy when the sound of your own blood pulsating through your body is echoed in your ear every time the room gets quiet...

Our Indian Summer is almost over, and though I missed the first three days, I did get outside for a while yesterday. Hannah came over with "the nephews" and they were eager to play in the cars, which I had lined up under my naked sassafras trees to wait for snowman season. They got one more good workout from three energetic little boys and are now parked once again under the trees to await a good packy snowfall.

The Naughties enjoyed our visit from the nephews and didn't mind at all when they were chased across the yard and up into a tree or behind some bushes. I think they were excited to be out running through the leaves.They're growing up, those Naughties, and I'm beginning to think upon that fateful day when I will need to cart them off to the vet to be "neutralized."
Sadly, we do not qualify for all those wonderful low-income spay/neuter programs offered to the "less fortunate." There goes two weeks of sitting on my rear end just to pay for a few quick snips. (Anybody got a strong stomach and a nice pair of clippers?)

Speaking of the nephews, Hannah's little nephew Leo has taken to calling me "Granny." He must have misheard them saying "Grammy..." I had to smile a little bit. My daughter gets married and I inherit some more grandchildren. How cool is that?

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Dew on the Grass (Yesterday)

The king's wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass.
Proverbs 19:12

I tied the dog out yesterday morning and found the lawn to be a carpet of fallen leaves and dew covered grass. There is something about getting low to take a photograph that gives the world an entirely new perspective...

In case you picture me sprawled out on the concrete of our back porch with my eye to the back of my camera, I assure you that was not the case. Sometimes I just hold the camera low and hope for a good shot, and sometimes I squat low and peek through to make sure I'm getting what looks right.

When I tied Sofie out this morning the leaves and grass were dry. There were no drops of dew sparkling in the early morning sun. As a matter of fact, the morning sun is struggling behind a band of clouds this morning. Either way the world is golden and I can't help but think how the smell of apple pie baking would set the day right.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

An Abundance of Children

Hannah is one brave girl. She and Sergio (who is also brave) agreed to keep Josh and Jake while Bethany and Adam are gone away this week. That's brave.
They also agreed to keep two little nephews next week while their mommy has a C-section. Leo and Tony are 6 and 4 years old. That's two weeks of bravery.

Yesterday Hannah called and told me she'd had a message from the pregnant mommy of Leo and Tony. She was in the hospital, possibly going into labor... Guess what? They now have 4 little boys for the week instead of two. I think they are really, really brave! And when the week is done they will probably be ready to inform us that they are NEVER having kids. ha ha!

Hannah can't fit more than 2 children into her little car, so I lent her my vehicle which has 4 back seats.

PS. It's the Naughties. :0)

Monday, November 02, 2015

Nostalgia Comes to Call

Do men start waxing nostalgic in middle age? Or is it really a desire to put right what feels as if it went terribly wrong so many years ago?

Not so long ago I had a message from an old friend. It simply clarified a friendship. We had been best friends for many years, but he had never told me so. I knew, of course, because some things in life are known deep within even if the words are never spoken out loud...

Last week I had a phone call from another old friend, more of an acquaintance actually. We'd known each other briefly as teens and met again several years ago at church before he passed out of my life again. He wasn't looking so much for me when he called as he was looking for another old friend, one he had fallen in love with as a very young man. Things had gone wrong when he'd expressed his devotion and she got scared and ran. All these years later he thinks of her, wants to express his apologies, and hopefully find himself forgiven... I didn't know what to tell him except that young girls get scared when they aren't ready for serious relationships, and that although she lives here in town, I haven't run into her in years.

Nostalgia is my middle name. I am perpetually nostalgic and often struggle to keep those thoughts and feelings from controlling my life and actions, so I found it curious that these two guys should be waxing nostalgic enough to make connections. Perhaps it is just a normal way of reflecting on our past and what makes us who we are today...

Sunday, November 01, 2015

November First

We went out to lunch after church and then we went down to the lake for a look at the water. It was a warm November afternoon with sunshine and gorgeous cloud formations. The wind blew stiff but not terribly cold and the waves left bubbles on the speckled beach. Here and there a spot of gold or a bit of orange brightened the otherwise gray shore littered with bits of stone, shells, and driftwood.

Mixed amid the bits of beach were smalls tufts of white feathers stuck into the sand. By spring washed beach glass will be scattered too leaving touches of white, green, and amber.

There is a unique beauty in late autumn unrivaled by the other three seasons. There is nothing quite like unspotted blankets of snow in mid winter, the bright greens of spring, or the brightly colored flowers of summer, but the feel and colors of autumn are my favorite and the excitement of falling leaves always leaves me in wonder. I only wish I had the time to savor its goodness and wander in its loveliness a bit longer.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Gone to the Dogs

 From last week's adventure...
 Two purdy pooches.
The good news is no one left us any piles to step in.