Friday, March 30, 2012

Brain Overload

Either Facebook has sapped all my creativity or my brain is overloaded. Most days I sit and stare at the computer screen waiting for some bit of inspiration that I thought was rising but suddenly seems to have vanished. I have accomplished little today.

I did however play giant Legos with a small girl, read Peter Rabbit, and take a very nice nap. The sunshine outside has been calling, but the cold wind blew the door shut. The vacuum cleaner is standing in the middle of the living room, and my folded laundry thinks it lives in the baskets. Mom still needs a shower, I have paperwork to do, and when James asks me questions I don't know how to answer. Perhaps the week of little sleep plus migraine is the reason.


Whatever the case, I am thankful. My book of 1000 Gifts remains my friend and the list continues to grow. I smile when I realize that I am thankful that my mother still has her own teeth, never had a driver's license, and will likely never be prone to wander. She's been tethered to that oxygen concentrator for almost eleven years and would never get far without it. Blessings? Yes, I do think so. I'm also thankful for dirty diapers, runny noses, and toddler laughter. It fills an empty spot that would otherwise wax achy and sore. Lest you think my journal is full of the ugly, let me assure you I am thankful too for sprinkles of daffodils throughout my yard, soft green grass under my bare feet on my March birthday, and skies full of twinkling stars. There were peepers in the orchards on those few warm nights and we even slept with our windows open. This week I am grateful for the woodpile that remains on my back porch, along with the loveseat that lives there in the summer. Life is a learning experience. Perhaps my brain is just a little overloaded at the moment.

Another Day, Another Shower

I know. It's supposed to be "Another day another dollar" but I have something else on  my mind. My mom is in desperate need of a shower. The days slipped by, and since I was feeling so terrible on Wednesday night and all of yesterday, it just didn't happen. Today Hannah is gone horseback riding and I have a small child to watch. The bath will not be taking place anytime soon. Blah. Believe me, it is harder on me than it is on her. By the time I get her into the shower I will want to wash her bedding all over again too.

I doped myself up with Benadryl before climbing into bed last night, I was just that miserable. Waking up this morning took a bit more effort and I forfeited  my own shower today. I am feeling better, no headache anyway, though my shoulder muscles are far from relaxed, and I remain somewhat sleepy. I think it will be a much more productive day than yesterday was.

It's looking like spring out there. The cold, which decided to return after our week of  "summer", has not deterred the grass from growing. I think we will end up having to mow early and maybe wear mittens to do it. The leaves on the trees, unsure whether to unfold completely, appear suspended in time. I pray the farmers find fruit on their trees at the end of the season, though I've heard the stone fruit crop has been lost. I hope they are wrong. I can't imagine a year without cherries or peaches.

PS. The photo has nothing to do with the post. Just one I took at the bus stop this morning.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Is It over Yet?

Note to self- Never, never hold the telephone with your shoulder.

I was in a hurry, but I didn't want to put the phone down, so I did it again. I held the phone between my ear and shoulder. I knew it was a bad idea (kind of like when I overload on gluten), but I did it. I even thought about it as I did. I have no one to blame but myself. I was able to stave off the pain by taking Benadryl one night, but it sneaked up on me late yesterday morning while I was having company. I scarcely knew what was happening and now I can't get it to leave. I've already tried everything I can think of; ibuprofen, Benadryl, coffee, sleep... Blah. Didn't I just say there are some lessons I have to learn over and over? Just when it makes me feel as though I want to die, it will suddenly disappear. Probably tomorrow.

On another note, since I deactivated my word verification, I've gotten some rather interesting comments in my spam folder. Thank you, Blogger, for the "spam folder".

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And Then There Were Muffins

Company was coming. I decided to whip up a batch, or two, of muffins. Cranberry Orange (from a mix) and Gluten-free Pumpkin (from scratch). And then there was a  cup of coffee... Boy, does that sound good right now. maybe some decaf, huh?

From somewhere, late this morning, came a headache, the kind that makes me want to curl up and go to sleep, so after I had fed my little one and put her into the Pack and Play for a nap, I tucked myself into the corner of the couch with my favorite pillow. I'm still fighting the headache. Likely it comes of holding the telephone with my shoulder the other day. (I really do know better.)  Ah, well, you live, you learn, and that over and over again.

Hey, Heather! I have your iced tea cup. Now we'll have to get together again. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Just Kidding

I am behind and need to make up for lost ground, so J and K are for "just kidding," and yes, I am serious. :)

Did you know cats are good at Scrabble? Well, this one is a whiz!

To see the other participants in of ABC Wednesday Round 9, Click here.

I feel like I cheated or something...

Hannah's Toes

Our internet went out as we were adding Hannah's toe party picture last night. Since I don't have her blogger password, I'm putting it up here until we can add it to her site. I'm glad I still have a daughter at home who likes to play these games.

Meet us over at Betsy's place.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Breakfast

For several weeks I have been desperately trying to find a mutually agreeable time to meet my friend Pam for lunch. It seemed all kinds of things got in the way, but we finally caught up with each other today, for breakfast! Lunch just wasn't working, and breakfast is such a great meal to eat out. I secretly hoped to find something spectacular on the menu. Something like this... Raspberry Almond French Toast -A Berry Lover's Dream.

Or, if that wasn't available, perhaps something else Fancy Nancy like a Turtle Waffle. Isn't it pretty? A nice big Belgian waffle, topped with whipped cream, drizzled all over with chocolate, and topped with what I imagine is a Turtle confection... But then, today wasn't Saturday and there didn't appear to be any especially fancy breakfasts listed on the board.

So I did the next best thing and ordered a full stack of blueberry pancakes. They looked something like this, except that there were three and the sausage, which really belonged to Hannah (I ate one), were on another plate. I shared one pancake with Alex who found it to be very yummy. And, I very much enjoyed my visit with one of my childhood friends who I haven't hung out with in a very long time. We must do this again soon (and this time I will swipe the check instead).

PS. I was so disappointed to discover I'd left my camera home. So, I "borrowed" a few of the restaurant's pictures. (Hey, you should see their Monday dishwasher! He sure is handsome!!!)

Pedicure Party!

Well, here they are. Definitely not a professional job. No cute ladybugs like the last time, although I did like them... Thought I'd try those cute little stickers I bought instead.(Shhh. My baby toes are sleeping....)

Come on and join the fun! Use an old picture if you don't have a new one. I won't tell.
Meet us over at Betsy's place.
And bring some cookies.

Friday, March 23, 2012

What's to Eat?

The dinner hour, that ordinary time of day that strikes fear into the hearts of unprepared moms and housewives. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not very good at planning meals and I have gotten worse with time instead of better. Honestly, there are nights when the Magic Wok is mighty tempting.

Last night I had planned ahead. I purchased a nice sized hunk of corned beef on Saturday, along with some sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing. James brought me some rye bread and we cooked up some absolutely wonderful Rubens. Too bad I didn't think about what to have with them... No chips? What was I thinking?


Tonight I didn't know what to do. I thought we might finally use that beautiful little gift certificate a friend sent us several weeks back. I thought it would be nice to take Ben and Hannah out, but then I was reminded of Mom. I know some of you are thinking, "Why wouldn't you just take her along?" but I honestly think it would have quickly taken all the "relaxed" out of the evening. Mom doesn't even like to go out anymore. Suddenly I remembered that nice looking package I had seen while rummaging through the freezer yesterday. It was something yummy left for us by Grandmanita. Wasn't I just missing her yesterday? And now here she was again to save the day and make us dinner. No wonder I want to be just like her when I grow up!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Best Present

In the far reaching corners of my mind, I recall a birthday long ago that was warm and bright. I remember it being summer-like. I'd begun to wonder if it was just a dream, but today (this whole week actually) it all came true again. God gave me summer for my birthday! There were birds singing, trees budding, and flowers blooming. I walked in the green grass with bare feet! I even picked myself a birthday bouquet. (I don't think anyone else would have dared pluck daffodils from my garden.) What a wonderful day!


This evening James and I went for an orchard walk. When we returned home I got a phone call from my far away boy. And then, I had a very small bowl of chocolate almond ice cream with a candle on top. I left it burning while I ate and the wax dripped down the ice cream into the bottom of the bowl. I chewed on what I thought was an "old" almond, but it turned out to be a blob of blue candle wax.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Plantings

My newest "flower" is settling in quite well. Oh, she still cries, "No, no!" when her daddy drops her off in the morning, but there are no longer any real tears or fits of anger. She has quickly discovered that angrily shouting, "no!" at me, or Hannah, doesn't get the desired result, only a trip into the corner of the living room where she is allowed to sulk unattended, and covering her little eyes doesn't help much either. She's decided it isn't worth the trouble in most instances and rarely tries it since I told her, "That doesn't work at Martha's house."She really is a very cute, bright, and happy little girl, and we love her already. On Friday her sister will come to play and we will once again have a full house. Doesn't that sound like fun? Alex will be outnumbered with all those girls!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

And Now It Is Spring

"The Winter That Wasn't" That's how this past winter will be remembered. This is better, I suppose, than "The Year Without a Summer". Actually, we did have a few bitter cold days, and we did see a bit of the white stuff, just not as much as a normal winter would have provided. And now, it appears as if we have skipped over the spring temperatures and hopped right on into summer.

This afternoon I hauled the push mower out of the barn and cut a patch of the lawn, the patch over the leech field, which had grown long and thick, and insisted on tripping small children who traipsed over it. It has now been tamed, and this on the very first day of spring. And here I thought the lawn mower could sleep until the end of April...


It is 8:30 pm. Mom has been showered, had her hair dried, and been tucked into bed. "You're a good girl," she says. I groan a little inside, but feel myself smile just a pinch. It's not because I am good though. It's because I know God is working something better into my heart and life. (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13) We're halfway through the six weeks it will take for Mom to get out of her cast, and you know what? Helping her take a shower and get ready for bed isn't so intimidating anymore. It's God. He is the good one.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Wrist O'crats

I am not quite ready for Monday, but that won't stop it from arriving bright and early tomorrow. Emma will arrive with the sunlight and Alex will follow soon after. I will drink my morning coffee, we will go out to meet the school bus, and Alex and I will return to the house to rouse Grandma from her sleep. She has another appointment with orthopedics, the fourth in so many weeks. Her wrist, broken in two places, could have been a candidate for surgery, however, Coumadin and oxygen therapy make her a bad surgery risk, so instead they continue to monitor her progress through x-ray technology. If all is well, the cast will come off in a few more weeks.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gorgeous

It feels more like May than March. I'm not sure how to dress right now. We live fairly close to Lake Ontario which keeps us feeling cool in the spring, quite a bit cooler than our neighbors just a few miles south. Hannah and I stopped at the lake to pick up some little round stones (for my houses) and I nearly froze to death!

Just as I was about to head back to the van, where Hannah had already retreated, I saw a familiar face. My Aunt Margie who had come to the lake in search of a few stones to take home herself. Beachcombers live in the Great Lakes too. We are collectors of smooth, round stones, beach glass, and driftwood.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Random Award

I think perhaps I have the most random blog around. Either I live a well rounded life, or an extremely boring and predictable existence. One thing is sure, I don't follow a set rule for posting. Life happens and I write about it.

Six years ago I could pretty much come and go as I pleased. Hannah was 10 years old and Ben 12. There were five children still living in our house, and all of our kids were local. We had no grandchildren, my parents spent their days together in their little house, and my "little garden of flowers" had not yet come to be. So much has changed...

I am blessed by fellow bloggers I have met; Gudrun, who  my sister knew through Community Bible Study,and her German restaurant, Tracy and her husband who came to stay with us almost 3 years ago, and Stacy and a chance meeting at the hospital just before my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Wanda, who I have not yet met in person, so graciously took my daughter in on her trip to and from Indonesia last year.I can't forget Kristina who hand delivered a cheesecake for my son's birthday just days before moving from Minnesota to Montana, or Apple and her sister Country Girl who served Ben and me dinner on our way to Oswego one summer. Yes, it's been a wonderful journey.

My followers are few, but that's okay because I've made some really great friends on this six year journey. I wouldn't trade them for all the "followers" in the world. And Facebook? It's fun and it's easy, but it just isn't quite the same as sitting down and having a cup of coffee and a piece of pie with my favorite blog friends.

Thanks for being there.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mossy

I wonder what can be done with this glorious crop of moss? Too bad I don't have a whole chest full of drawers...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Gnome Home

What a fun little project!

Once upon a time a little dresser drawer found itself all alone in the world. Unknown to the drawer, his companions had been separated and shipped off to the junkyard. Saving him from a similar fate were the pile of old papers and variety of little items once tossed inside. For a year the little drawer sat in the attic bedroom and waited.


One day a project was planned. A fairy garden was the dream, and the old dresser drawer would make a perfect container. The little drawer was emptied of its contents and gently carried home. After a thorough cleaning and several coats of exterior finish, it was lined with coffee filters and filled with fresh potting soil. The little drawer felt a strange yet comfortable satisfaction fill his entire being.

A little garden was planted; small jade plants, tiny succulents, and a miniature stone house. (It's really a bird house, but don't tell the gnomes.) A green dragonfly flitted about, along with an orange butterfly. A stone walkway was installed, and a tiny gnome came to play in the little yard. The little dresser drawer nearly burst with pride.

(Okay, so it's hokey. I still think it's cute.)

I is for Incognito

I is for incognito, or "having one's identity concealed".

Once upon a time we had a Cowboy Valentine Party. We played cards, drank Sarsaparilla, and ate Cow Pies. (Truthfully, I don't remember what we ate aside from peanuts and Cowboy Coffee Cake. Probably hotdogs and beans.) Anyway, Grandpa came with his guitar and sang us some cowboy songs. We played "Stick the Mustache on the Cowboy", after which everyone decided to go incognito. We had a tough time telling which one was Grandpa, although someone once suggested the one second from the left might be Willie Nelson...

To see the other participants in of ABC Wednesday Round 9, Click here.

Whew!

Wednesday already? Where did the last couple of days go anyway?

Monday- laundry, vacuum, take Mom back to ortho- pedics, bank, supper, play with my Fairy Garden, put sheets back on my bed...

Tuesday- early morning kitchen clean up, new "flower" potted, Vinnie visit, Grandma shower, play outside in the sunshine, naps, more playing outside, make supper, go to caretaker support group, stop at grocery store, arrive home hungry

Today is Pi Day (3.14). Do you really think I can get a pie into the oven? What kind shall I make? Hannah will say lemon meringue, but I still have a freezer full of berries.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

To Snow or Not To Snow?

Ah, the fickle month of March! Yesterday afternoon I snapped a few snowy photos and today James and I took an absolutely wonderful orchard walk without jackets. The silver maple down back is all budded out. Is that allowed the first week of March?


My daffodils, which started showing themselves in early February, continue to brave the snowy cold. They are a brave bunch. Today, though, the snow is gone again. It is forecast to be a warm week with a sprinkling of rain. I have a project or two cooking up in my brain. Perhaps I shall make one of them a reality one day soon. (One of them is a Fairy Garden. I have my garden box now, some dirt, and a few "toys" to put in as well. I must keep myself amused somehow.)

My mom continues to struggle in her recovery. We return to orthopedics once again tomorrow. I'm sure her wrist will heal just fine even if it does take another 4-6 weeks. The color in her fingers is returning to normal and the swelling is gone. As long as the bones stay aligned, she is on the way to recovery in that area. Her bruised backside and tendency to sit are my biggest concern. I am supposing it would be in her best interest to be up and about, but convincing her of this is another matter. She is in much more pain today than she was two days after her fall. :(

Friday, March 09, 2012

Pedicure Party

Monday, March 26 at Betsy's Place. You don't want to miss out on the fun! Be there or be square.

Details here.

Bipolar Weather and Spy Kid Pirates

The weather is wild. If variety is the spice of life, then this is the place to be. We have had everything this week. Ice, snow, wind , rain, sunshine, clouds, single digit wind chills, and record breaking highs. It was 68ΒΊ just two days ago, and 60ΒΊ yesterday morning. Today? Well, lets just say we didn't want to go outside without a coat on. No sense in packing the winter clothes away just yet, but keep those tee shirts handy because you just never know.

We took Alex outside to play the other day, but today was definitely a stay in the house and play kind of day. We had several bursts of wind and snow, and then, the next thing I'd know, the sun would be shining again. I'm kind of glad I didn't have to go out, even if I am out of Kirby bags. (who wants to vacuum anyway?)

We had two friends this afternoon. Alex left early, but Em came home for lunch (half day at school) and Josh came to play while his mom went to an appointment. Naps didn't appear to be in order. We did try... kind of... I'm not sure exactly how it came to be, but they were playing some kind of mix between Spy Kids and Pirates. Arg! Perhaps it was partly Hannah inspired?

Thursday, March 08, 2012

ABC Thursday?

It has just now dawned on me that I am totally missing out on the ABC game this week...

So....
H is for Hotdog. I don't know what name you give this mostly summertime treat, but "hotdog" is what I call them. They can be served to little ones cut up on a plate with ketchup, baked into a cornmeal blanket, or slipped into a bun. I have eaten them
boiled, fried, grilled, or skewered on a stick and warmed over a campfire. They've been known to wear ketchup, mustard, and pickle relish, be complimented by onions, or slathered in chili and topped with cheese. Here in upstate NY they come in white or red. In Rochester the whites are known as "porkers" and a little further to the east in Syracuse, I've heard there is another variety called Coneys. (I still prefer the red ones.) With all the different ways to fix them, hotdogs ought never be boring. (Just make sure not to buy the really cheap ones. Mom did that once and I couldn't eat hotdogs for years.)

To see the other participants in of ABC Wednesday Round 9, Click here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Happy Birthday Oreos!

My aunt Margie came to visit Mom yesterday, and as is her custom, brought us a treat. This time it was a bag of Oreo cookies. I thought perhaps we should save the unopened package until the batch of snicker-doodles I made was gone, but My Darling loves Oreos and so he opened the package.

These, unknown to me, were special Oreo cookies, Birthday Cake Oreos! And right on the Oreo Cookie's 100th birthday!!!

I have decided that I like Birthday Cake Oreos better than the original, but James still likes the original Oreos best. I looked for some more in the grocery store tonight, but those Birthday Cake Oreos were all sold out. I guess there must have been a lot of people celebrating yesterday! I'll have to check again next time and then hide the package!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Duplos

The Duplos came out to play today, giant, bright, primary colored Legos, perfect for little hands. They were, Once Upon a Time, a birthday gift to my own little boy, probably from his grandparents. Some of the pieces may broken or lost, and the storage boxes cracked on the bottoms, but the dinosaur mamas and babies still smile. And little ones still smile when they come out to play.

We brought the boxes out mid morning and Alex was all smiles. It is good that Hannah enjoys Duplos too because I was soon called away to help my other daughter. Bethany, already drained of energy by prolonged morning sickness, had picked up a tummy bug complete with fever and body aches. She needed Tylenol, Gatorade, and someone who loved her to deliver them.

A half hour later I found my ailing daughter curled up under the covers of her bed, Cat at her feet. Josh, dressed and ready for the day, was playing with his Hess truck collection. Molly the Dog wagged a greeting and even Louis the Naughty Cat came along to say hello. I couldn't go home without at least helping my poor girl with her sink full of dishes. Josh came home with me for the afternoon, which both Alex and Emma found quite nice, and I am hoping Bethany had a very good sleep in her quiet house full of animal friends.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Mom

My Uncle Chuck called from Florida this evening to talk to Mom."You know what the Bible says," he told her, "... the arms of the wicked shall be broken... " (Ps. 37:17) Leave it to Uncle Chuck, always the kidder. If he didn't joke and tease, we might be afraid he didn't love us anymore. I'm not sure whether she was amused or not...

This morning, for the first time, I helped my mother with her shower. Strange to now be helping bathe the woman who once did all of this for me... In so very many ways I am humbled. Mom had her second appointment at orthopedics this afternoon. The bone was broken in two places and had to be set last week. Now the doctors check to be sure they remain so. So far everything is good, but old bones are slow to heal and we have an appointment to return again next Monday. In her fall Mom not only broke her wrist, but also banged up her tailbone. I am not sure which injury is causing more discomfort. She appears more incapacitated today than a week ago.

In spite of broken wrists and bruised tailbones, God is here. He has not given up on my often hard and stubborn heart. He knows just where to apply the pressure as this lump of clay spins on the wheel of life. The Master's hands are gentle, and yet firm. Did I not say "I am a work in the hands of the Master Potter. I pray that His fingerprints are all over me as I walk through this life"? (See my sidebar...) Resistance is futile, but His love is sure.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 
2 Corinthians 4:7-8

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Hope

Now hope does not disappoint... Romans 5:5

This morning I found myself sitting next to my daughter in law at church. I am sad for what seems to be lost, but I am hopeful too. I pray that one day my son will appear there by her side, that he will find it in his heart to love and forgive us, and to realize how very much he is loved.


James stayed at home with Mom today. I am finding myself more concerned for her as time goes on. Her hand is slowly returning to its normal color, but she is sleeping more and more. Yesterday I found her in her pajamas at 5:30 pm. and by six o'clock she was ready to climb in bed. She turned down supper because she had a big sandwich at lunch, and said she'd probably feel better after a good night's sleep.
I left a snack on the table before I went to bed for the night; grapes and a banana muffin. In the morning the grapes were gone. It was after 10 am when she finally got up for the day, and then she went to sleep in her chair. She's asked several times what day it is. I'm unsure of how concerned to be.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

She Cried


My heart is a little sad today. I think she's forgotten us...

She still adorable, even when she cries, and I love her.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Today...

I want to write something but I'm not quite sure what to say. I probably should give up and go to bed, but here I sit...

Mom felt good enough today to go out with Rachel to visit my brother. Maybe the shower late this morning perked her up. Rachel and I put our heads together and decided a tub/shower seat and a hose type shower head would be helpful and it was!

While Rachel and Mom were gone I took off for the grocery store. I got the shopping accomplished and arrived back home before Emma got off the school bus. Tomorrow I will stay home with Mom and clean the house. I heard we might have some small company at some point and I am looking forward to that. Maybe I'll make some more cookies in the morning. I hear all good grandmas bake cookies.

I gave my little dog a haircut late this afternoon. It is a long and tedious job and she is not altogether cooperative. She still has a few stray long hairs and probably a few bald spots, but she is looking more tame and can once again see where she is going. I think I even saw her smiling after it was all over. (This picture was taken over a month ago before her hair grew over her eyes.)

And now, it is really time for bed. The wind is picking up and since we are not expecting any tornadoes here, I think I will be able to sleep. I usually sleep good when the wind blows or the thunder rolls and it's almost eleven o'clock.