Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bits and Pieces

* My pottery class is officially over. Now all I need to do is pick up all the pretties which I will probably do Thursday evening. Otherwise I will need to find someone with a key to let me in the building.

* On Sunday morning I had the privilege of listening to a guest speaker at a local church. I was inadvertently given the wrong time and showed up a little late for the meeting, but I did get there. At the end of the service Sophia told me that Petra had been talking about me all week and that they missed me. I was blessed by two wonderful hugs. It was my only chance to see them and I'm so glad I did otherwise we'd have all been disappointed.

* My friend Petra found herself a new pet. I think it was a grasshopper nymph... She carried him all around the churchyard and I was reminded of times past when she adopted other small creatures. She was terribly disappointed when she set him down, turned her back for a minute, and found he had disappeared. Next thing I knew she'd found a new pet, a tiny earthworm. :0)

* Sunday evening found me down at the lake taking pictures. I went from Webster Park to the pier down by the Irondequoit Bay outlet. The bridge is out for the summer and I didn't want to drive all the way around, so I stayed on the Webster side. I was relieved to see there are still a few strips of sandy beaches left even if they are on private property.

* I walked out to the end of the sidewalk to sit on the rocks and watch boats come in and out of the bay and took a picture of this seagull sitting up on the light post. I was just about to step under him when he let loose and decorated the sidewalk. If I were keeping a gratitude journal I'd be thankful for his bad aim.

* The babies at work are coughing and boogery. Some are teething on top of fighting colds and they're all feeling generally miserable. Poor things. Somebody, I don't know who, left a nice booger on my shirt this afternoon. It's a good thing I love them. (The babies, I mean. Not the boogers.)

* Speaking of babies... Our baby buggy lost a wheel a week ago. It fell off in the parking lot and we went without walks for the remainder of the week. Rodney is our new hero. He fixed the broken wheel and we went for a wonderful walk not long afterward. It works better now than it has the entire time I've been walking babies.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Jagged Coast

I took my camera down to the lake last night. The shoreline, battered and bruised from a season of high water and wicked waves, is no longer tranquil. Perhaps we are all gawkers come to stare at the wreckage. I didn't look specifically for scenic beauty this time, instead I took pictures of people.

In time the jagged shore will recover and perhaps our tranquil, pebble beaches will return...

Friday, August 11, 2017

And I Thought of Betsy

Life presents lots of little opportunities to make your neighbor's day just a little brighter. This week has presented several.

My son locked himself out of his car Sunday evening. I went to "help" him. He'd hoped to jimmy the lock himself and so I hesitated in calling the locksmith who had rescued me a month or so ago. I shouldn't have hesitated. I ended up calling in the end, but not before my boy, in a moment of frustration, gave the tire a good swift kick and injured his foot in the process. (He said he forgot he wasn't wearing his steel toed boots.)

Yesterday I stopped in Wegman's for a salad on my way to the pottery studio. I followed an elderly couple out of the store. He pushed a small cart with a few bags and held her hand as she toddled/shuffled along beside him. Out the door, through the entry, and into the parking lot he held her hand. He never let go. They stopped beside a little blue car parked in the handicapped area where he opened the door and attempted to lead her into the car. She resisted, not wanting to leave her cart of groceries.

My two years spent in the memory care unit have left me a little braver. I stepped toward the gray haired couple and said to the man, "I'll stand with her." I took her hand. He smiled and said, "She wants me to put these in first." He loaded four small bags into the hatch of his car while I held the hand of his sweetheart. She smiled at me me, put her head on my shoulder, and kissed my cheek. "I think you must be a honey," I told her. She smiled again and hugged me, and he said, "She is." And then he thanked me, took her hand and gently put her into the car.

I left a little speechless and headed for the pottery studio.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Filling Up the Tank

I love the babies at work and I've come to realize just how much I've missed with my own grandchildren. It's hard to admit my inner reserves were so low for so long that I literally didn't have anything left to give. It's also kind of ironic that it's been children who have filled me up again. Some folks are skeptical, but I really do love this job.

PS. I may be on KP come September. Something new around every corner.

Sunday, August 06, 2017


This goes along with last night's post...

After skipping along the shore at B Foreman Park and getting soaked by a monster wave, we headed east toward Sodus Point to see what was happening down at the pier. We found more wildness. Same lake, same crazy waves, with an added twist. Sand.

I saw it before I got out of the van, but didn't fully comprehend what I was seeing. The air looked cloudy, almost like it was full of smoke or fog. But it was neither of those, it was instead little grains of beach. I stepped out of the vehicle and into a giant sandblaster.

You wouldn't have thought it painful to be standing out there, at least not by the number of people dotting the beach and shoreline, but the wind whipped sand was nearly impossible to escape unless you took shelter behind a car. Yet there they were sitting out in the open, many sporting cameras, enjoying the pure exhilaration of a Great Lakes sand storm.

James, who carried no camera, retreated to the safety of our vehicle, leaving me to brave the tempest. I couldn't resist. It was all so wonderful!  Now I was not only wet from God's sprinkler system, I was being exfoliated as well! Like a free trip to an exotic spa. ha ha! By the time I made my way back home there was grit stuck around my eyes and settled into my ears. My hair was full of sand and a pre-bedtime shower was inevitable.

I have to say it was worth every second. I came away with a few decent pictures and I'm sure I wasn't the only one.


The Cabinet maker and I took a ride down to the park in Pultneyville . I had my camera and wanted to see what the wild winds and high water levels had done to the place I spent so many summer evenings with my oldest four when they were little people.

The park is quiet these days, not near as many people, but there were a few. A pair of children enjoyed the spray of the waves as their parents watched and a few straggling couples walked the grounds.

The waves were unpredictable, pounding the shore, tossing spray into the air, and receding only to return with a vengeance. I squatted down to take picture when God saw fit to send a bigger than average swell that rose up, slammed the rocks in front of me, and shower me with lake water. All I could do was hold my camera as far from the water as possible and duck. Ha ha! As cold as it was there was something exhilarating about it too. For once this week I forgot about being sleepy.

Our lake rock beach is gone for the time being, but something tells me it's attempting a comeback. The lake has churned up those round stones for centuries and if you listen closely, what sounds like the wind is actually lake rocks tumbling in the water.

Years ago, on a day similar to this, I let my children play in the churning surf. It was a different beach back then without the boulders brought in to protect the shoreline. They went home soaked to the skin and smiling. Sometimes letting children do what comes natural is the best decision. It's a memory that lives on today and it's been almost 30 years.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Bits and Pieces

Let's see... What do I have to share?

* I've not been taking many photos, but I have lots of pictures in my mind, pictures of smiling babies. And then I have some of not-so-smiling babies as well. The best pictures include little arms around my neck or little people climbing on my lap.

* Our last official pottery class was Tuesday evening. I'm still glazing projects though, so I'll be making another few trips to the studio in the next week or so. It was fun and I'm wishing I could do it all over again just because.

* I got my hair cut on Wednesday. My friend "Karen in the Hair Room" does an excellent job and she's still as sweet as when we knew each other almost 30 years ago.

*Stopped to see my friend Sandi last night. She called as I was leaving the pottery studio, just to say hi and see how I was doing. She'd been asked if she ever hears from anyone from church and recalled the time I stopped by on my way to work just to give her a hug. Little things mean a lot.

* I went out to Wegmans this evening and asked Hannah before i left if there was anything she needed. She said no but then remembered it was National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Of course a holiday like that can't be ignored!

* It rained tonight, poured even. I called Rachel to ask if she wanted to go for a walk. She laughed at me. I called just to prove she really would laugh because of a conversation I had with a woman at the gas pumps.

* Tomorrow is my First Aid/CPR course for work. Too bad. It's been the busiest week ever and I'm ready to take a long nap.

* I miss my photography and a huge piece of me wants to go home. I got an interesting message the other day. Just the beginning of well meaning people who think they understand a situation they know nothing about. This has been looming in the back of my mind for a long time. I could't have handled it two years ago, but today I think I'm ready.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

What's Happenin', Man?

It's been a busy week full of appointments, meetings, and classes. I missed my alarm this morning, or forgot to turn it on last night. Thankfully I woke up with plenty of time to get where I needed to be. I simply went through my morning routine backward so as not to be in the bathroom when other household members would be needing it. I made my bed, the coffee, and put my lunch together first, and then took my shower. Tonight I'm making sure the alarm is turned on.

It's been a very sleepy week. The humidity doesn't seem to be any higher so I'm thinking it's probably something in the air. Maybe a new pollen has emerged sending us all into a seasonal stupor. If I am honest, I probably don't get the sleep I really need. A result of midlife tossing and turning perhaps.

Our pottery class is down to firing and finishing. I did a little of that Tuesday night but will head back to the studio tomorrow evening for a little more. My burlap box must have been in the kiln because I didn't see it on any of the shelves. I'm kind of excited about that piece. It's been a fun class, one I'd like to try again sometime. In September I'm going for another wheel thrown class, Introductory II. I'm kind of excited about this one too. Perhaps I should clear a spot in the attic to store all those beautiful works of art. ha ha!

I got my hair cut this afternoon. My friend Karen in the Hair Room does a wonderful job!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Some Days

Some days I am sad.

The very last thing I've ever wanted to do is hurt those I love. I have no intention to do that now either. I can be courageous and kind at the same time. I can love deeply and do hard things, even seeming impossible things.

I am tired today, probably because it's Monday and weekends knock the snot out of me. (Actually, I stay up too late and don't eat quite as well... ) It was hard to keep my eyes open at work. I found myself grateful for the hour lunch break where I can set my little alarm clock and go to sleep in my van for 20 minutes or so. (Yes, I actually do it quite often.)

I had a few minutes to stop "home" before my appointment this afternoon and then I will be off to my CoDA meeting. Maybe I will have a minute or two to pop in on one of my East Rochester kids... Maybe. If I am brave and courageous.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Sometimes life throws you for a loop, and sometimes it tosses you head over heels, knocks the wind right out of you, and leaves you gasping in agony as you try to suck some air back into your lungs. A piece of me desperately wants to accept the comfort of denying the issues in front of me, and another part of me wants to run away and start life all over again. Neither one is a healthy choice. It's been a dark and difficult journey but I am making progress. Thankfully God has provided a wise but gentle counselor/therapist, a challenging support group, a few good books and resources, and a handful of faithful praying friends.

Last weekend was one of the hardest in my life and, at least for a time, I am not living at home. It's hard to write that, especially because deep in my heart one of my greatest fears is hurting those I love the most. Forgiveness is not the issue, I do not hate, and I love deeply, but along with love comes doing hard things. Sometimes we do them because it is needful for our own health and well being, and sometimes we do hard things because it is, or we hope it will be, beneficial to the other parties involved. At the moment lines of communication appear to be opening, and with them a much needed flow of tears.

I haven't run away. I am tucked under the eaves of my childhood home, in the bedroom my father built a lifetime ago for my brother Dan, the one I once shared with my sister Priscilla. The afghan Mom crocheted for me lays at my feet, and my daughter and her family sleep downstairs. This morning The Cabinetmaker brought a vase of flowers, some from his garden and some from the patch of weeds and wildflowers that grow between the barns and the apple orchard. We met at Moe's and shared a burrito for lunch. I don't know today where the journey will take us, but I do know the One who holds the future and we are in His care.

Please understand I am not trying to vilify anyone else or justify my own wrongdoing here. I'm just letting you know where we're at today.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Playing in the Mud

Mom almost always let us play in the mud. Mud Pies was one of my favorite games and remains a favorite childhood memory. As my mud pie making buddy will testify, "Yes we made the very best mud pies in all of the land, for sure." (Never mind the time I fell in a puddle as a toddler and cried, "Get these muddy things off of me!") As long as I don't have to wear it, I love it.

My hand building class is wrapping up just as we are really getting into it. This time around I have taken advantage of a few Thursday evening open studio nights to play. This evening was likely my last night to build any new wet projects and so I did just that. I made a cute mug to replace the one that met its demise. I assume it probably tumbled off the edge of the shelf... Oh, well.

I didn't take any pictures tonight but I took a couple on Tuesday when we had class. My "burlap box" has not yet met the fire but it's ready. I am looking forward to the finished product because I already think it's kind of cool. Oh goodness! I'm going to need another class.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Finding myself excessively tired today. Long tunnels not only have lights at the end, but scattered here and there throughout the darkness are the little lights that keep us headed in the right direction.

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
Psalm 121:2-4

Friday, July 21, 2017


My son went camping in the Adirondack Mountains. I found this on Facebook yesterday with the caption "Sorry, Mom." He is a funny guy...

Life feels a little like a "cliffhanger" at the moment. Some recent topics at CoDA meeting lately were willingness, choices, and decisions... They go along with that eleventh step.

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."

I'm fairly certain a piece of Step 9 is wrapped up in not only those topics, but Step 11 as well. Making amends. A willingness to apply a soothing salve to those I may have knowingly or unknowingly had a part in wounding. I am finally ready for Step 11 which involves not only knowing what to do, but having the strength to do it. (A few prayers to that end would be appreciated.) I find it interesting that he (the counselor) stopped asking me what I need. Maybe he thinks I finally figured it out...

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.)