Monday, March 30, 2020

News From Home

* I honestly don't feel isolated. Perhaps I don't stay home enough, or haven't yet. It's not that I'm unwilling. Aside from our walks I stayed home when my car was in the shop. I stayed home over the weekend. But this morning I went out to the chiropractor. My lower back was bothering me on our walks and I don't want to let it go too long, so I went. It was a very empty place. From the chiropractor I went to the grocery store where I slathered both my hands and the cart handle with hand sanitizer. I filled my little cart with fruits and vegetables, eggs and coffee creamer, a few canned goods, and some vitamin C, and then I came home and washed my hands some more. Walks help with impending cabin fever, so late this morning we walked around the neighborhood.

* Last week I had my car repaired. and this week we replaced our hot water heater. I am ever so grateful for my son in law who picked up the heater and installed it this evening. It's been a guessing game the past few days as to whether or not there will be hot water for showers. (The pilot keeps going out and the water heater was 14 years old yesterday.) I went without a shower this morning and washed my hair in the sink instead. The water was cool, but not freezing. Sergio lit the pilot again after he came home from work and was able to get a hot shower this afternoon. Idris was blessed with a warm bath tonight instead of a coldish one like last night. Tomorrow I will once again be graced with a hot shower.

* On Saturday I pulled out my clay and sculpted two dogs. I don't know if they'll make it back to the pottery studio in one piece, but it felt good to hold a ball of clay in my hands. There is something soothing about playing in the mud. Always has been.

* I need to pack an overnight bag. Tomorrow might be a good time to do that. I'm not going far and it's not a vacation. The date of my departure is unknown but sure. One day in the next few weeks my 14th grandbaby will make his way into the world and I will stay with his brothers and sister while his mommy is in the hospital. Maybe even a day or two after she comes home.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Isolation Saturday

I've really just begun this season of isolation. Not because I haven't been practicing social distancing, but because going to work at the daycare made everything seem at least partly normal. It was bittersweet leaving yesterday afternoon. There weren't supposed to be hugs, but there were...  On my way out the door, I grabbed my pay stub and a card in an envelope out of my folder. I wasn't feeling emotional until I opened my belated birthday card and started reading the little notes. "Happy Birthday, my friend..." my boss wrote, and I felt a catch in my throat. No one yet knows what the next five weeks will bring. Who will be there if and when the daycare center reopens? Only time will tell.

I was home two days this week while my car was in the shop. We took walks, baked, and did art projects, but I planned on going back to work... One day into my time off and I'm realizing I might need to make myself a loose schedule. You know, so I don't sleep until noon and wile my time away online. Ha ha! (I laugh, but I'm serious too.)

I stayed in bed too long this morning and missed my walk with the family. When they came home to eat breakfast, I had already eaten two bowls of Cheerios, so I didn't eat eggs. It was late morning when I pulled some clay out of the bag and sat at the dining room table fashioning a couple balls of mud into dogs. Idris was very interested in what I was doing. I gave him a piece of clay to smoosh.  Later, after he had taken his nap, we made a construction paper bear to put in our window, just in case any of the neighbors are playing the Bear Hunt Game.

We sat around and watched some documentaries and looked at our digital devices this afternoon. The snacks we baked earlier in the week have been devoured, and our bodies are craving sugar. We had sloppy joes for dinner, and then we went for our evening walk to the village and back again. It's been a gray, lazy kind of day.

Oh, yes! We did have some family members stop by to drop off some items. We tried to keep a safe distance, but not hugging the son I haven't seen in weeks was impossible. I couldn't resist a hug.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

This Crazy Life

The world gets stranger every day. I'm not always certain if it's the pandemic that is causing all the craziness, or if the craziness is the cause of the pandemic. Nothing really makes much sense. The only thing certain is that none of us can stop the chain of events unfolding before us. There is no doubt people are sick and dying, and it is certain our way of life is in jeopardy. There is no way to tell what information is accurate and what is being spun to the advantage of those who would like to take control. Thankfully, when all appears to be out of control, there is One who is always in control.

My car, which I left at the shop on Tuesday night, is finally back in the driveway. Both the AC unit and the serpentine belt have been replaced. It was not an inexpensive repair, but it was less expensive than replacing my car altogether, even if I did miss two days of work. I am grateful to the mechanic who fixed it (a friend of my son), thankful I followed my gut on taking it in, and overwhelmed by the love of God and how He is always taking care of me.

I missed two days of work while the car was in the shop. One of the infant teachers covered for me in the early morning and my boss made lunch for the kids. We had eight yesterday. I don't know how many showed up today... Tomorrow I'm going back to work. That's the good news. The bad news is the daycare is closing with an expected return date of May 1. Five weeks. What will the next few weeks bring? Perhaps more cinnamon rolls and home baked cookies... some artwork? ... a painting or some new sculptures? Maybe we'll get the garage cleaned out! I know we'll take lots of walks. So glad my Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; 
His mercies never come to an end; 
they are new every morning; 
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

More Bits and Pieces

* As our daycare numbers dwindled last week, I began to come home early. Thursday evening I walked in the door to my family sitting together in the living room. There was a little gasp and Idris cried out, "It's Grammy! Now we're all here! Me and Mommy and Daddy and Grammy!" I couldn't help but smile.

* Our weather has been fickle. Friday was quite warm, so on the drive home I flipped on my air conditioning. While stopped for a traffic light I noticed an odd, burning odor. I turned the air off, opened my windows a bit, and hoped it was someone other than me.

* Other than filling my gas tank and running into the grocery store Friday evening, I stayed home. My car didn't move again until Monday morning. I started the engine and proceeded to scrape the night's accumulation of ice and frost off my windshield. In the process I noticed the car seemed to running louder than usual.

* I've been listening to my car's engine upon starting it and while idling at stops along the way. I didn't like the new sounds I was hearing. Something under the hood was amiss, but I didn't know what, so I sent a text message to my favorite mechanic. I stopped by after work to have him take a look at it. Good thing. It was something having to do with the unit that hooks into the air conditioning, a belt, and some bearings. (I can't keep it straight) All I know is it could have left me stranded and been a much more expensive job than it already is. (My feet as I sat waiting to find out what was wrong with my vehicle.)

* My boss, bless her heart, is covering for me in the kitchen tomorrow. The baby teacher will come in early, and I will stay home from work while my car is being fixed. This evening, after a cold, late afternoon walk, and no coffee, I am exhausted. I'm turning in early tonight. My eyes don't want to stay open.

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Mind Doesn't Rest

* I had an online therapist appointment on Saturday morning. Something new, different, and distracting. It went okay, and the pain running down the side of my neck and across the top of my shoulder dissipated gradually throughout the day. That's a plus. I told him I think my anxieties come out in pain. Rather than feeling anxious emotionally, my body ties itself in knots.

* Idris and I  took a cold walk around the block Saturday afternoon.

* Sunday was my birthday. We had church online. I was showered, dressed, and had my coffee in hand when it was time for the service to begin. This time I was alone in my room. Maybe next week I'll invite my daughter. Hannah and I took an afternoon walk to the village and back with Idris, and made pizza when we returned. There were chocolate cupcakes for my birthday, and then we watched "What About Bob" after the child went to bed. It was a different kind of birthday, but a good one just the same.

* This morning I got up half an hour late and missed my shower (again). I set my alarm for 5 pm instead of am. I may never learn, but I wasn't late. We had four babies today, four toddlers, and three 3-4 year olds. I made sloppy joes for lunch and headed home at 12:30 pm.

* After a little nap, Hannah, Idris, and I planted a garden in our front window. My dad would flip if he knew I glued the flowers to the glass. Ha ha! It looks cheery and is making us smile. Perhaps it will bring a smile to someone else's face as well. There are lots of people out walking when the weather cooperates.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Day 5

* My job is considered "essential." I'm honestly not sure how I feel about that.

* I went in at 6:30 this morning and left at noon. On the way home I filled my gas tank. (Gas prices look good.)  Before going home I ran into the grocery store for some coffee and a few other items.

* I have an online therapist appointment tomorrow morning. My appointment to be fingerprinted (again) for my job at the daycare, has been cancelled. Finally. I cancelled my Monday afternoon chiropractor appointment myself. Church is online,. The only reason to leave home is work.

* Wading through information regarding this Corona virus is overwhelming, and necessary. I want to be smart, even if I don't want fear and anxiety to take over. Like everyone else I want to be on the other side of this nightmare.

* We took another walk this afternoon. I think that's still allowed for the time being, and it's been something that brings us together as a family. Perhaps one day we will be confined to our own back yard. I'm thankful we have one.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Day #3 of Semi Isolation

Going to work makes life feel almost normal, except that it isn't. In my kitchen, cooking for the kids, I can somewhat forget what is looming on the outside, but the daycare, aside from crying babies, is much too quiet. Our numbers drop as more parents opt to keep their children home. It is to be expected. Soon we will stay home too.

Last night I took my camera on our family walk to the village. This afternoon I took pictures with my cell phone. We stopped by the woods on the way home. My old playground is almost unrecognizable. Old trees are rotted and fallen, the road narrowed and hidden by leaves, but this is where the neighborhood children gathered when I was a girl. It was a wonderful place.

Other than work, a quick stop in CVS, and our walk, I've stayed home. Pizza for dinner to support a small local business. We might as well save our stockpile for when we can't go out anymore. My bank account is low after rolling several thousand into an IRA so I can keep my health insurance, but my bills are paid and I still have a paycheck coming this week and next. God has me and those I love in the palm of His hand. And He has you too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Strange New World

I am ready and willing to stay home, but the daycare remains open for the time being. We had just 24 children today. I went in an hour and a half later than usual, and left early as well. Tomorrow will be the same.

After work I picked up my non-driving son and took him to the grocery store. He hasn't been in a while and was a bit concerned because he heard that everything was gone. I told him "everything" is a funny word. He was able to find what he needed (even a package of toilet paper), and said he was looking forward to a good salad later tonight. We had enough time to go through the drive-thru at the bank before taking his groceries home, and then I dropped him off at work.

This evening Hannah, Sergio, Idris and I went for a walk. It was a bit chilly, but I wore my gloves and hauled my camera along. Down through the path by the woods and on to the village, past the four corners, the fire station, the middle school, and back home again. I'm finally getting some steps worth counting, which my "new" phone is doing rather well at. Almost 9000 today.

Be safe, my friends.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Number Fourteen

We planned it weeks ago and had a rather long list of guests. Should we cancel or wait and see how things panned out? We waited, and as we did guests began to cancel for a variety of reasons. In the end it was mainly family. Just two friends came.

He is due mid April but can make his way into the world as soon as his mom has two negative Group B Strep tests. Or before too. That would be fine. He's already a hefty chap and we don't want him putting on too much more bulk. (Prayers to that end would be greatly appreciated.)

We decorated. We made sandwiches. We frosted cupcakes. We cleaned. We filled a basket with freshly laundered, rolled washcloths for drying hands in the bathroom. I hugged my girls. We had a baby shower and now the distancing begins.

School has been canceled but the daycare is still in business. Perhaps I will find my days shortened. Maybe we will close too. No one knows what to expect. Only time will unfold the story.

Be safe and well, my friends. Spring is near and the sun will still shine. Soon the leaves and flowers will appear, and a baby will make his way into the world. God still reigns and He is still in control even when the world is not sure what to do. And He is good.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

"Go Away and Leave Me Alone"

The child was not tired, in fact he was getting more and more wound up by the minute. When the time came and he was tucked into bed,he could not sleep. He didn't even try. Multiple trips to the living room only resulted in his being taken back to bed, but he had a plethora of new reasons to come out again. He begged, he cried, he cajoled (whatever that is), and when all of that failed, he persisted.

His father was not amused. His mother was entirely less than pleased, and quickly unraveling. His grandmother, who had retreated to her attic hideaway, tried to avoid becoming entangled in the ordeal but necessity overruled and she made her way downstairs to see what might be done. Call it intervention, if you'd like. It doesn't happen often, but last night it did.

I donned my jammy pants and sweatshirt, grabbed my alarm clock and went downstairs. My daughter was frustrated and exhausted and still Number Nine howled and cried. We put him back to bed and I climbed in and lay down near the wall. He did not want me in his bed. "Go away and leave me alone, Grammy!" he wailed over and over. I stayed. I closed my eyes. I tried talking to him. I told him not to get out of bed. He finally promised to stay in bed and go to sleep. I went upstairs and climbed back into my own bed, but the peace downstairs was short lived.

On the return trip to the child's bedroom I took my pillow. I was there for the duration, whatever that might be. He was not happy and begged me once again to leave. His mother came in to announce plans for a quick trip to the store for some children's melatonin. He howled when she departed, cried for her, and then wanted daddy. When Mommy returned he gladly chewed the gummy pill and settled back on his pillow, hopeful in the promise that if he went to sleep, Grammy would go back to her own bed. A half hour or less later, I gathered myself together and returned to my room.

This evening, though still not thrilled about bedtime, he was convinced to stay in bed by the threat of Grammy sleeping in his room again. He never came out at all. Not once. LOL!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Well That Stinks

Poopy morning. When I pulled her shirt off, it went all the way up her back to the base of her neck. She really needed a bath, but I didn't have the option, so I cleaned her up with an entire box of baby wipes. Okay, maybe not THAT many. Thankfully, it was not in her hair. Then I would have HAD to find a way to bathe her. As it was she screamed the entire time. I should have been the one screaming, but no. It was her. And she was my third poopy baby out of four. The fourth was not poopy.

I played with them, fed them, and changed them. I did not make their morning bottles. I did make their afternoon bottles and gave them lots of snuggles. Babies have to be snuggled. Even if they are boogery.

I've been trying not to think too much about the pandemic of Covid 19. Honestly, it's mostly because I don't know what to think. I'm not afraid, just confused. If the world shuts down for two weeks it's literally impossible for me to work remotely. Can't change diapers that way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


Sometimes during the day, when I'm away from my computer, I think of blog posts, but by the time I get home I've usually forgotten them. Such is the case today. (What a waste. Ha ha!) Not to worry. It will likely come back to me in the middle of the night only to be lost again by morning like a forgotten dream.

The atmosphere at work is somewhat tense. I don't know how long it will take until everything feels normal again...

The mental stressors piled up enough for me to reach out to "Betty" this evening. She said she'd been thinking of me today. "If you get a quiet moment this evening, can you kneel by your bed, hash it out with the Lord, and dump it in His lap?" Ah, yes. This is a little bit like letting go, isn't it? And "Surrender" is what I need to do most. So many things I need to let go. Which is probably why it took me half an hour to find my box of empty checks that used to be in my dresser drawer. So much stuff to look through...

I came home tonight, even though I got out a little early. The pottery studio might have felt good, but I needed to come home. And that was good too.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Just Weekend Stuff

The weekend has come to an end. My Friday night pottery class was a great help in melting the stress from my back and shoulders. I made a return trip late Saturday morning and spent some time glazing my pieces. It is a wide variety of random stuff. Next week is our final class. I'm not ready for it to be done and would sign up for another if I had the extra cash, but that will have to wait. I am grateful for the shelf I rent because I can still go in anytime.

My sweet Number Nine, who dodges my camera, enjoyed taking selfies yesterday morning with my phone. He is quite the character! Ha ha!

Today my sister Priscilla and I went out to see our brother Tim and take him out for a ride and a small chocolate Frosty. He was terribly sleepy. He was asleep with his head on the table when we arrived, ate his snacks in the car and fell asleep on the drive, and ate his Frosty at an average speed today. Not at all like his normal self. And then he fell asleep on the way back to his house too. Not much of a visit.

After driving out to pick up Priscilla, taking Tim out for a ride, and driving back home again, I was terribly sleepy too. I pulled into the driveway, parked the car, leaned the seat back, and conked out myself. I should have gone for a walk, but I probably needed the sleep.

Back to work again tomorrow. It'll be dark out again when I leave the house, rather than just getting light, but I'm looking forward to a bit more sunlight when I get home in the evening.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Bits and Pieces

* Is tomorrow Friday already? It seems as though the week just started and yet here it is coming to a close. How is it that every weeks goes faster than the last?

* Stressful day at work. A bit of drama and a visit from the state. Not looking fantastic for someone at the moment. I'm feeling tense, and all I did was answer questions. Questions can be hard to answer... Will my answer get someone else in trouble? Will I be in trouble too? ... My back hurts in a place it hasn't hurt in a long time, all down the middle between my shoulder blades.

* Met my friend Christina for dinner. I ate a salad but she just bought a drink.

* The house is quiet and empty tonight but it's actually feeling like a good thing right now. I might actually brush my teeth and tuck myself into bed. But I don't think I'll go to sleep quite yet.

* Something wonderful must have happened this week, but tonight I can't think of what it was. Maybe those couple of bright, sunny days and a promise that spring is just around the corner. Our snow is pretty much gone for the moment. That's pretty wonderful.

* Ah, perhaps it's a very good thing the weekend is almost here. I am ready for a good weekend.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

After Church

I had lunch with "Betty" today. Our original destination was closed, so we drove down the road to a local bagel shop, ordered two bowls of soup, and sat for three hours just talking. She gets it. She understands my heart, my struggles, and my tears. I understand hers. In a world where finding each other is nearly impossible, God has made a way. He is so good. So very good.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Pots, Pals, and Panera Bread

Pottery class last night, lunch with a friend today, and a coffee date with a stranger tomorrow.

* I am thoroughly enjoying my class. The clay I was given a few weeks back is nearly gone and so I took a bag from home, one that has been sitting in a cabinet for a year or so. I'm back to making figures, this time with pets. No sadness. Just contentment. And pets.

I followed the pottery teacher into the front room to look at the bowls set out for today's Chili Cookoff. She showed us a few she'd made and then I checked out a few others. There was a wide variety covering the tables and shelves. I picked a few up to look at them. A blue one caught my eye. I picked it up, turned it over, and got a surprise. My names was on the bottom! A lost bowl found. How I missed it on the shelves, I do not know. I could have taken it home, it was mine after all, but I didn't. It will go home with someone visiting the Chili Cookoff and that's okay with me. I already have a collection of bowls in the attic.

* Lunch at Panera with my friend Marlene. We haven't caught up since the end of July and both agree that is just long to wait between lunch dates. We sat and ate and talked for hours. I love her! I also ran into an old friend, one I babysat for many years ago. Her son is 31. I started watching him when he was five weeks old, so that takes us back a few years. Maybe she and I will meet for lunch some day.

* Tomorrow, after church, is my meeting with a stranger. We are going to be friends too. I'll call her Betty, but that isn't her real name. We already have so much in common that I'm not nervous at all. I have looked for someone like her for many months. She is a gift already.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

What's Going On?

It's dark and cold in the house tonight. It's evenings like this I wish for a cat to keep me company. But I am gone most of the day and the responsibility, as well as aggravation, of owning a cat would fall upon the one who is not generally fond of them. Every so often I miss my Naughties and feel sad at losing them. Maybe one day I'll get a new pair...

A dear friend recently helped connect me with a friend of hers. I'd previously tried in vain to make my own connection and I am ever so grateful for the assistance. Common trials, help in healing, like minds. We talked on the phone for nearly an hour Saturday afternoon and will meet for coffee after church on Sunday. Our stories aren't exactly the same but have common denominators. I am grateful. Ever so grateful.

Saturday, if the weather cooperates, I will have lunch with my friend Marlene. We are long overdue. It's been months and months since we met up. My blog says the end of July. The very end. I thought it had been even longer. Her son and his wife bought our farm. Oh, the irony.

Work is much better this week. Most of our babies are back, although one has been out sick every day this week. The dishwasher fills up quite nicely after lunch, and I have not been sent home early. Getting up for work every day still seems strange and surreal, but it keeps me busy and fills my days with purpose, not to mention it provides for my needs. I am thankful every day for the little ones. They will never know just how much their smiles and hugs mean to my sometimes lonely heart. Even though they will, in all likelihood, grow up and forget about me, I know I am still making a positive difference in their little lives. And they are in mine too.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Pizza Night

It's been an incredibly great weekend. Not only was there a tea party with my granddaughter yesterday, but I had a very nice lunch at Chipotle with my son Nathan this afternoon. I got a peek at my Number 12 grandchild (Logan) and a hug from one of my favorite daughters in law. To top it off I made pizza for two more of my boys this evening. Joe and Ben came for dinner and a movie.

I can't even remember the last time I made pizza for my kids, and that is really sad because it was once upon a time a weekly occurrence. I even had to look up the crust recipe that I once knew by heart. My KitchenAid mixer was happy to help and the two new, giant sized, baking sheets were perfect for making one pizza with pepperoni, cheese, and veggies, and the other for a total veggie pizza. I plan to do this much more often in the future.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Valentine Tea

My favorite Leta hosted a fabulous Valentine Tea this afternoon. Hannah was able to be there for a short time before going to work.

Bethany was not able to make it, so I took Jilly. She was very excited.

Leta is a natural when it comes to hosting parties. Everything was beautiful!

I may have cheated on my diet. Ha ha!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Short Day

It's Presidents Week, and on top of that today is George Washington's birthday. Our child numbers were low, only 25 kids today, so I had the rare privilege of leaving work early. I might have left even earlier had the produce truck not shown up and given me some fruits and veggies to take care of.

I punched out at one o'clock and headed to the pottery studio to play in the mud. On the way I wondered why in the world I was going there when it was such an incredibly nice day for a walk... but I kept going.  :0)  I was only slightly disappointed to find no parking spaces on the side street and opted to park across Monroe Avenue at the church.

Inside the studio a few people were working on projects, one of them a fellow student from my Friday night class. Inspired by his creation, I set about building something out of character for me. It's a vessel of sorts, maybe a planter, I don't know, but something different from my usual stuff anyway. It turned out to be a good afternoon. Don's inspiring project looked little today like it did on Friday night, but it was a continuing inspiration none the less.

When my out of character project was done for today, I picked up a new piece of clay and made something more typical of Martha. It looks like it's wearing a sweater and although if feels somewhat useless, I kind of like it. It would be perfect for a handful of pens and pencils, or maybe a set of crochet hooks.

After the pottery I picked up a loaf of Ezekiel Bread and a small cup of coffee, and stopped to visit my chiropractor friend. I was early for my appointment and found myself back on the road before my scheduled time had even arrived. Stopped at my lovely daughter's house on the way home and was invited to dinner, but not before knocking on the door of my friend Angel just to give her a hug and tell her that I love her. One day we'll do coffee.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

And That's the Weekend For Ya!

I spent Valentine's Day at work with the Littles this year, and afterward I went to my class at the pottery studio. It was a good day and I was thankful for the evening activity. It meant not going home to a quiet, empty house. I thought we might be missing a few class members, but everyone was there. I guess it was good for all of us.

Saturday evening brought a potluck dinner with my friends from the Divorce Care group I attended last winter. We all have different stories and are in differing places of healing. They are a great group, but even so sometimes I feel lost in the middle of it all. Much of it is my own tendency to build walls of protection around myself and to put distance between me and others. I'm still working on this.

After unsuccessfully trying to sleep off a (most likely) tension headache this afternoon, I met a friend for coffee at Barnes and Noble. It seemed a good place to sit and talk because they have comfy chairs and a built-in Starbucks. I went for something simple and got a regular coffee and a giant oatmeal raisin cookie. We sat for several hours and when I left my headache was gone. Friends are good medicine.

Although I'm rarely ever looking forward to waking up while it's still pitch black outside, I am ready to get back to work and those sometimes smiling, sometimes squalling children. Love them (most of the time) either way! Ha ha!

Grabbed a photo from 2015. A sleepy kitty. Maybe one day I'll get another...

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Bits and Pieces

I'm still here. It's been a busy week.

* I met Dave, Leta, and the kids (my Trio) at The Strong Museum of Play on Saturday morning. It was a short visit, but oh, so nice. I would like very much to go back for a longer visit sometime soon.

* Sunday afternoon I went to lunch at my friend Becky's house. My friend Sandy was there too. A long overdue gathering of friends.

* Before leaving Williamson I stopped to see my friend Tahnya's new house. She is a work friend turned stay at home mom. Her little one is a beautiful one year old now and so cute.

* Sunday evening Joe and Ben came for pizza and a movie. I so love having my kids around. I don't know if I will ever have them all in one place again, but I love every moment I have with each and every one.

* Monday I had my taxes done. It took all of fifteen minutes.

* I was supposed to work late on Tuesday, but that didn't happen. Perhaps it was because the Lord knew I needed to go home. It was that night I went out and got myself a burrito from Moe's. Hardly remember the last time I was there.

* Wednesday night (last night) I went to visit Nate, Sabrina, and the boys. It was a sweet evening. The kids were excited for my visit even though Spencer was feeling a bit under the weather.

* Tonight I stayed late after work to renew my CPR/First Aid certificate with a few co-workers. It was so much easier this time than 2 years ago. I wasn't as nervous and found I retained much more of the information than I had imagined.

* After I got home tonight, I made Valentines for the work babies. Nothing like waiting until the last minute!

* Tomorrow, if the weather cooperates, I will go to my pottery class.

Busy week.

Friday, February 07, 2020

"Winter Storm"

"Winter Storm"

It's a curious term. At least it's curious to me. Isn't winter in upstate New York all about storms? And doesn't winter always come with wind, snow, sleet, and freezing rain? Oh, and below freezing temperatures? Aren't snow tires a necessity? And slippery, snow or ice covered roads a given? Has it really been winter at all without at least one "blizzard"?

When I was a young girl, forecast or not, winter storms typically roared in during the night with plummeting temperatures and swirling mounds of snow. We would lay in bed on week day mornings, ears trained on our radios, waiting for our town to be named in the list of school closings. An unanticipated holiday. A gift from above, in more ways than one. Not so today. Now days school closings are communicated by a call or text to parents, or decided the night before an impending storm is scheduled to arrive.

Today we had a real Snow Day. I went to work like usual because The Daycare never closes. We had one baby today instead of eight, but our toddler room was busy with 8 or 9 little people. The preschoolers combined into one class of about 7 or 8, and I think there were 6 or 7 school age kids. A grand total of about 25, give or take a couple. It was a good morning to visit my toddler friends during breakfast.

I was free to leave work by 1:15 pm and decided to head to Rochester and the pottery studio. I got a great parking place just outside the studio door. I'd bee inside the building less than 5 minutes and was talking with the resident artist who is my current instructor when my phone started to ring. "No one ever calls me..." I told her as I reached for my phone. I glanced at the screen which read "Flower City Art." Ha ha! It was Kate at the front desk in the office calling to tell me my evening class had been cancelled. I stayed to play for a while before heading home for the evening.

* I've made a connection with each of my kids this week and have a new sense of peace inside. In all the world there are none who mean more to me than my kids and grandchildren. Taking care of myself means making sure we stay connected.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Take Two

Two posts because I need to write this too.

I am coming to the painful realization that I am entirely able to build walls and silently sabotage my connection with my kids, even though I desperately need them in my life. I sent my daughter in law a photo and a short text this afternoon, and the result? We set up a dinner meeting next week. look at me! (I'm smiling.)

All That Stuff

How can it be Tuesday night already? And whatever happened to Sunday and Monday?

On Sunday morning I met with the woman who brought Celebrate Recovery to our church. I gave her some background information and told her what had brought me to the Step Study. I told her how after 41 weeks I had been asked to leave the group and how invalidated I felt. I told her it was like having the rug ripped out from under me. From our talk, I understand there were some Step Study guidelines I did not follow. I did not always have my homework finished. Apparently this is a requirement that was not enforced or talked about until I was asked to step out of the group. (This is why in an email I told the leader that "I'm willing to follow the rules, but I do need to know what the rules are in order to follow them." and "You are trying to hold me accountable to rules you didn't know existed, and that is not fair.")

Whether or not what I shared with CR Lady will make a difference (for anyone else), I do not know. What I do know is that talking with her helped open a different door in my heart and mind, a door God has been working to open for a while. I cried during the meeting. I tried not to but I did anyway. This woman was once my eleventh grade English teacher. Eleventh grade was hard. Not because she was my teacher, but because it was the year I became pregnant with my first baby. When the senior class was attending high school graduation, James and I were in my parents' back yard getting married... So many emotions... So much bottled up inside of me...

During the church service tears kept rolling down my cheeks. I couldn't stop them. I forgot to bring any mascara with me, and by the time I got into my car, there wasn't a bit left on my face. I took an hour nap on the couch in the afternoon before a friend picked me up for another emotional meeting. (A story for another day.) My stomach was feeling sick and my head ached.

By the time I arrived home Sunday evening, I was literally ill. I texted my boss a warning and crawled into bed hoping I wouldn't throw up, and went to sleep at 7 o'clock. I was able to drag my tired and headachy, but not sick to my stomach, self to work Monday morning, and after a visit to the chiropractor that evening, came home mostly just exhausted. I went to bed at 9:30 pm and woke up feeling so much better this morning. I had a good day at work and didn't burn anything. (Yesterday I burned the broccoli. Oops.)

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Growing Pains

Pottery class last night, therapist this morning.

 A late afternoon cup of coffee, half decaf, got me through the class without feeling like falling asleep. The last figure I glazed is out of the kiln. I was initially disappointed in the glaze, but the more I look at it the better I like it. It adds to the mood of the piece in an unexpected way, and although I think I know what happened to cause the effect, I am not entirely sure I could duplicate it. (The damp glaze must have rubbed off on my hand when I turned it over to wipe it off the bottom.) I'm not sure what I would call it if I were to give it a name. It is not quite so troubled as the one I called "Disappointment".

There were tears this morning. Unexpected tears.  My kids. They have been, and still are my greatest joy. I never imagined feeling so separated from them and so helpless to remedy the resulting ache deep inside. Once upon a time it was easy to schedule family gatherings, but today I feel crippled. Instead of planning dinners I am finding reasons why not to plan them. This is self defeating and crippling. It isn't good self care, and it isn't helping heal our brokenness. (*breathe deep*)

Tomorrow morning I have a short meeting with the woman who brought Celebrate Recovery to our church. She is not the leader, but has great influence over those who are. She was also once my eleventh grade English teacher. She is not warm and fuzzy, yet I know underneath is a caring woman who will (hopefully) hear the cry of my heart. I am going in response to my therapist's encouragement. I am not the only one to be hurt by this particular group. I need to be a voice for not only myself, but others as well. This is hard. I hope I don't cry. That would make my mascara run.