Saturday I had plans. I was overwhelmed. I changed my plans. I felt bad backing out. I hate cancelling. But I had to do it. :(
My boss sent me a text mid morning. Her boyfriend was advising I get my snow tires put on my car as soon as possible. (I've been carrying them around in my car since the early November snowfall.) I got it done and the icy snow of today didn't keep me home from church this morning or away from a funeral this afternoon. We're expecting m ore snow overnight. I will extra grateful for snow tires on my way to work tomorrow morning, and my boss will be happy I have them too.
Last night I had some visitors. I haven't seen my friend Lori in many, many years. She was in town for the day and was able to make a short stop with her husband last night.What a blessing it is to reconnect with old friends!
The long weekend is over. It's back to work and my little friends tomorrow. What could be better (aside from staying home some more)?
At this moment last Sunday feels like a millennia away even though it's been less than a week. Honestly, on the Friday following Thanksgiving, everything feels a millennia away. Friends were scheduled to visit, but early this afternoon they cancelled due to a family emergency. I had a headache and decided to drink a glass of water, take some ibuprofen, and lay down for a nap, and that's okay.
The past week has been laced with emotional episodes. God knows I can't just sit home for a day... (*cough, cough*) I'm coming to a realization here... Could it be God just wanted me to stay home today? And do nothing? Do you think He would mind if I sneak out tonight for a little while? Or should I take a melatonin and go to bed early?
Thanksgiving was loud and busy, just like one would expect when the house is full of children. We had all the best vegetable dishes (green bean casserole, candied carrots, sweet and sour red cabbage, squash, sweet potatoes) save one. There was no corn casserole this year. (Yes, I noticed.) Seven grandkids bounced about the kitchen and another, a little more grown up now, hung around to watch football with the guys. I forgot to take pictures until dinner was over and by then the kids had disappeared downstairs to the basement.
It seemed the day flew by much too fast. I ate way too much, even went off my new "eating plan" for the day, and went home uncomfortably full. (That is not my belly.)
I did not-much-of-anything today, but I do have plans for tomorrow. Another friend is supposed to visit in the afternoon. I haven't seen her for years. Once upon a time her two year old and I were the best of friends. Now he's nineteen years old.
It's been a week of hard lessons. There have been tears, but through it all I know God is working something bigger than I can see or understand. He is good and I am thankful.
I went out the door this morning only to discover my car was deader than a door nail. Had to open the door with my key, and then found the driver's side was the only door I could unlock. The battery was so dead that the power locks wouldn't work. I might have a jumper cable in the back of the car, but if I do it is buried underneath my snow tires (Nope, they're not on the car yet.) which were locked in the back of the car. I am grateful for my son in law who came out to help me jump start my vehicle with his own jumper cables. What would I do without him? (Probably miss church while waiting for Triple A to show up.)
I knew the battery probably wouldn't be charged well enough by the time I got to church, but I parked anyway and went inside, already late for the service. Probably should have backed into the space or pulled all the way through... When I came out to start it up after church it went "rrr" when I turned the key, but the battery didn't have enough juice to turn the engine over. I can't say I was terribly surprised, just somewhat inconvenienced.
My sister Rachel and her husband were still at church in a class. I knew Dave could help me when Sunday school was over, so I went back inside. I don't know the mind of God or what He is up to, but things did not go well inside... Or maybe they went exactly as they were supposed to. I guess only time will tell...
The perfect storm had been brewing. It started last Sunday when the leader who asked me to leave the CR Step Study back in April interrupted my conversation with a former CoDA friend, sent her to do a job, and then gave me a trite apology. Storm clouds gathered yesterday morning when I met an old homeschooling mom friend for lunch. She mentioned possibly going to Celebrate Recovery and I told her not to go to the one at my church. Thunder rumbled when a short time later I ran into one of my former CR Step Study members in the grocery store and felt the all too familiar unease that often comes when I stop to talk with someone from the group. A stiff wind blew this morning when I returned to the church lobby and ran into the CR leader again. She gave me another apology for interrupting last week and said "I didn't realize you were deep in conversation," but her apology sounded far from sincere.
I'm not even sure how it happened, but all the pent up anger over what happened back in April and the distance I now feel from former friends came rushing out. "I'm sorry you feel that way," she said and I found myself feeling invalidated and even more angry. There were words. Loud words.
The storm has dissipated now, although I still hear thunder in the distance. The air feels cold and damp. I know God is still here beside me and that He loves me. Maybe there is something for which I need to ask His forgiveness in all of this, but tonight I don't know what it is. I only know He put me exactly where He wanted me to be. He let things appear a little out of control, and then put a familiar person there to help settle my heart and thoughts. This person listened to my heart's cry and said, "I wish I knew what to say..." and you know, that meant a lot because she took the time to listen even though she didn't know how to help.
And then Rachel and Dave came out of Sunday school. Dave helped me jump start my car and we stopped at Walmart and bought the very last battery that fit my car and he changed it for me while Rachel and I went to visit our Brother Tim.
It's late and I have to get up early again tomorrow, but it's been a week since I've posted anything so here I am.
* After not spending any time at the pottery studio for several weeks, I have now been thrice in less than one. I met a friend there on Friday evening and spent 3 hours playing with the clay I'd wedged up two weeks ago. I'm sculpting figures again. On Monday I stopped quick to uncover my work so it could dry completely, and tonight I made a return trip to play in the mud some more. My friend Myung was there again, and some other familiar faces as well. It was nice to see my friend Ginger who I haven't seen there in a very long time. In January I start a new hand building class and will make some more friends.
* I was slightly under the weather this past weekend, and after meeting my friend Laura for breakfast after church on Sunday morning, I went home to take a nap. I slept a whole 2 1/2 hours and then went to bed early to boot. I was asleep well before Idris. And then I beat him into bed again on Monday night. By Tuesday morning I was feeling all rested and well again.
* I finished reading a book on Friday night. It took me a couple of weeks, but I can finally say I read the book I bought over a year ago and left on my shelf. It was just too much information to absorb at the time. The Body Keeps the Score is not an especially easy read, but it is full of fascinating information. I'm still digesting much of it, and starting a new book as well. Going with something different this time, but yet another book I purchased and left (mostly) unread. Desiring God by John Piper was recommended by a friend years ago. Perhaps my concentration has been off for that long...? Anyway, I am making a valiant attempt to use some of my downtime at work in a more constructive manner. While babies sleep, if they sleep, and all sleep at once, I read.
* Hannah and I took Idris down to the bay to feed the birds just before dark on Saturday evening. No bread, just a bag of canned corn. The seagulls were happy with our offering and the child was thrilled to feed the birds. I was happy to take pictures of my grandson and his mom doing what I used to do with my kids not so very long ago.
* The past couple weeks have been emotional. The book I read was difficult in ways I wasn't expecting. Although I am in a healthier spot emotionally than I was a few years back, I can still find the wind knocked out of me every once in a while. Sometimes the drive to work is teary as I continue to work through hard stuff and as I watch my family work through hard stuff as well.
* Thanksgiving is almost here. Bethany is hosting as well as Sabrina. I will be taking pumpkin pies to Beth's house and eating dinner there, and making a visit to Nate and Sabrina later in the evening. I am looking forward to the long weekend off work. Four day weekends are unheard of at the daycare, unless it's Thanksgiving, which makes Thanksgiving a little like Christmas!
Bits and pieces because that's all I can do tonight.
* It's been a cold, snowy run of days. Last night I went home feeling slightly off, climbed the steps early, and turned the light out before 8 pm. I must have needed the rest because aside from getting up to use the bathroom, I slept all night.
* "Weird." That was the topic of conversation in the kitchen at work today, and I said, "Life feels weird. Not here at work, but outside of here life feels weird." And Kristie said, "It won't always feel that way." Perhaps one day life will normalize, but that day is hard to imagine. It seems as if life will always and forever be weird.
* The "D" Word. I thought it would never apply to me, but here it is stuck on my coat. "Divorced" I always thought it an ugly word, and in so many ways it is, but it feels all the uglier because I always hear my mother's words echoing through my thoughts. "God hates divorce." But does he? Is it divorce itself God hates? Or is it the events that lead us to divorce? I pushed it through, and life is weird. *sigh*
* Little arms reaching. Lots of them. They are looking for hugs. All those little arms, and how can I say no? They need hugs and I need them too. "Me! Me!" called one small child as she put her arms in the air. They are hungry for not only the food I bring, but the love. Oh, how I hate telling them I have to go make lunch or wash the dishes.
* The house was quiet and empty when I came home tonight. I considered going out to the pottery studio, but stayed here instead. I found a message from a pottery friend on Facebook. Someone looking to know when I might be there as she doesn't like to be there all alone on the weekend. And then, I signed up for another hand building class because I do not like being alone either. Friday nights from January through March. Eight weeks of mud therapy. Just what I need.
It was a short day at work, but not necessarily because of the weather.
Monday, Veteran's Day, and a snowstorm combined for a rather slow day at the daycare. We had a grand total of about 25 children, less than half our usual amount, and it was hot dog day. I went from worrying we wouldn't have enough hot dogs (there were forty) to having more than enough. We could have fed the entire staff and all the kids.
By 12:30 pm I had already cleaned up lunch, loaded the dishwasher, and set out afternoon snacks. Before punching out for the day I gave the two remaining baby teachers a potty break. I left my garbage bag in the trash can with the idea it might be needed since the center wouldn't close for another 5 1/2 hours. Then I set out for home, just as the snow storm started to churn.
At home I emptied the back of my car and lugged my snow tires out of the garage. They are now ballast in the rear end of my vehicle awaiting a break in the storm so they can replace my all season tires. It's nasty driving tonight and likely won't be any better tomorrow morning, but it's still a tad early, according to my BIL, for snow tires. I made it to the chiropractor's office and back tonight. It was good practice for tomorrow's early commute.
PS. Happy 26th to Ben! I love you to the moon and back!!!
I took my camera along on the drive to work Friday morning and wasn't disappointed. The snow, which had enveloped the world Thursday, was waiting. The winter-kissed autumn. It was waiting. God saved it for me. :0)
Today is Saturday. I did something different this morning. I dropped my darling daughter off at work and spent the morning with my sweet, "Honey Child," grandson. We had a strawberry/banana smoothie for breakfast and I cleaned the kitchen while he played cars and begged me to play along.
When the kitchen was clean there was laundry to be folded, and stuffed animals to feed. (We found the play food and dishes in the attic where Mommy stashed them one day after he and Jilly played Scatter the Dishes Everywhere.)
I was served ice cream, pancakes, a burger and fries, and a soda. Clear warning was given that my burger was very hot and I must be careful. The animals watched with hungry eyes.
At lunch time I warmed up a leftover daycare English muffin pizza. A real one. I don't always bring food home, but I couldn't stand to throw them out yesterday.
Multiple TicTacs were handed out in the course of the day, one for each time he peed on the potty. (He got three when he pooped.) There were no accidents and I only asked once if he had to go. He was doing a little dancing. But he didn't have to go.
Tonight I am downstairs, mostly because I am too tired to go upstairs... Hannah and I took Idris out to Christkindl Market in Canandaigua. A brisk walk from the car, and back again, along with some teeth-chattering moments whenever we stepped outside the heated tents, and another freezing walk from the car up Main Street to Simply Crepes, and back again, left all of us feeling weather worn upon our return home. It was a lovely evening.
* Monday was the day I thought I'd slept through Megan's lunch break just to realize I'd never turned the alarm clock in my car back an hour.
* Tuesday morning I climbed into the shower smiling inside because it was already Wednesday... except that it wasn't. My mind caught up with that mistake long before I stepped out of the shower. I have to admit I was a tad disappointed, but only for a moment. I'm not really looking for time to go faster. It's already too fast.
* Wednesday evening I took in a bit of mud therapy. I actually went to the pottery studio and got my hands dirty. I didn't make anything, but I did wedge up a bit of repurposed clay that had been sitting in my bedroom for far too long. It will be ready for me next time.
* Something didn't smell quite right when I climbed into my car this morning. The tea I'd made had a minty aroma and Constant Comment is not mint at all. It was too late to run inside for a different kind so I drank Sleepy Time tea on the way to work. Ha ha! Good thing we have a big pot of coffee in the break room.
* Tonight I enjoyed the company of a few of my kids. We made black bean burgers and, in honor of Ben's up and coming birthday, had a bit of ice cream cake and sang the birthday song. I was blessed to see three of my boys sit on the couch and smile at childhood memories brought back by a cartoon video one of them brought to share.
* Our first snow arrived late this morning as I was visiting the three year old class at the daycare. My friend Addison looked out the window and said it looked like it was snowing. Sure enough! The rain was turning to snow. By the time I went home several hours later the golden world of autumn had been kissed by winter. I didn't have my camera along but I soaked in every beautiful scene along the way.
I have managed to keep track of my keys since last Monday. No major incidents despite letting Idris carry them around the block on our walk the night before Halloween. Just imagine them being dropped down a storm sewer... or lost in a pile of leaves. Thankfully, that did not happen. So far, so good on the keys.
Sometimes I catch a few minutes of sleep on my lunch break. I keep an alarm clock in my car because once I fell asleep and woke up ten minutes after my break ended. They wondered what had happened to me but in actuality I'd never left the parking lot. Today I turned on my alarm, read a few paragraphs in my book, and then closed my eyes. I was having a dream and woke suddenly. I glanced down at my clock and it read 2:58. Adrenaline shot through my system as I jolted upright! How could I have slept an entire hour and a half? Why didn't my alarm go off? Why didn't someone come outside to find me? Where was Megan? She should have been going on break at 2 pm... And then I looked at my phone... It wasn't even 2 o'clock yet. I'd just forgotten to turn my alarm clock back an hour. I back walked across the parking lot to the building, my heart still pounding.
Daylight Saving Time is over for another year and we are back to Standard Time. This is what the world would look like if we never played "Change the Clocks." Yup, it's getting dark early.
We've talked for a while now about how the back room is so dark. It didn't feel dark when I was a child, and even then it had barn boards on the wall. I love the barn boards and really didn't want to take them down. What was so different now from when I was a child? Was it that the trees outside had grown so much taller? Why, although it helped, did the light colored carpet not brighten things up?
On Sunday Rachel and I took our usual drive down back country roads to visit our brother Tim. The sky was overcast, the sun hidden behind a thick layer of cloud, and yet along the way brightly colored leaves lit up the scene. Carpets of gold covered front lawns, fiery torches of red and orange adorned the woods, and it seemed as though the sun was out when in fact it was not... And then I realized something. Perhaps there was a reason for our mother's love of orange and gold.
Dad picked dark colors; barn boards, wood tones, and brown paint. Mom warmed the rooms with colors of autumn. I had resisted "Mom's colors," picking neutral tones instead, while Hannah leaned toward blues and browns. We weren't creating a warm environment at all. My encounter with God's Autumn Paintbrush inspired me to experiment and so I went in search of something to test my theory.
I bought some orange and yellow pillows at Walmart, and a big bouquet of fake, fall flowers at Hobby Lobby. Just those few items made the room smile. Tonight I perused the aisles at Home Goods and returned with a few more finds. I took the plain beige sheet off the futon and tossed a gold throw over the back. Then I hung a sunflower painting on the wall (It's still in its packaging.), and placed a bright yellow vase on the table. And of course, I turned on all the lights.
I received some fabulous hugs from my little friends today. They fill my cup each morning and I am so blessed to have them in my life. My heart hurts when they are sad, especially when one of them is having a difficult time adjusting. So many little people are hurting deep inside but don't have the words or knowledge to share their pain. Sometimes all they can do is cry, and the best I can do is hold them and tell them they are loved. Putting them down and walking away is hard, but I trust that every little word, every smile I give, and every hug will make a difference. I pray deep down inside they will know and remember they are loved.
Tonight our own little guy was having a rough moment. Mom and Dad had run out for a short bit and he was distressed. Nothing I tried worked, so I put his sweatshirt on him and took him out for a walk around the block.
It was a little after 5 pm and overcast. He rustled through piles of leaves and looked at Halloween decorations. We stopped to chat with out backyard neighbor who has the blowup motorcycle guys and by the time we returned home he had regained his composure.
Our Jack O'Lantern pumpkins were waiting for us in the driveway by the side of the house. Idris helped me unlock the door and we carried those pumpkins inside for a bath in the kitchen sink. When Mommy came home we had fun carving them. Daddy had to run an errand and missed out on the fun, but there are still two pumpkins waiting for him and mommy.
I hope one day Idris will look back and enjoy the memories of these days as much as my sisters and I still hold the memories of doing things like this with our parents. I love it all, right down to the smell of the pumpkin with a burning candle inside. All those yummy feelings come rushing back and I am a child again...
* This past weekend was rough. Both my women's groups were cancelled the two weeks prior and spent way too many evenings home alone. By Friday evening I was emotionally drained. I should have followed through with my original evening plan to visit the pottery studio, but there were no parking places left on the side street and Monroe Avenue is torn up due to construction.
* I had no Saturday plans, but it was a gorgeous autumn day. My sister Rachel agreed to go out with me for a couple hours even though it was her anniversary. We drove out Lake Rd toward Sodus and along the way I felt the need to drive through the orchard. She asked if we were trespassing and I said, "Yes." She said, "Will we get in trouble?" and I answered, "I never have before." I soaked it in and let it heal a little piece of my heart.
* At Beechwood State Park we ran into some friends of mine and I wasn't even surprised to see them there. They were coming out and we were going in. As we trudged toward the lake, I think Rachel wondered where in the world I was taking her, how far we would walk, and how long it would be until we turned around and headed home.
* I zigzagged down country roads coming home and passed a familiar looking fellow along the way. I rolled down the window to say hello and found that it was not my friend keyRandy from the nursing home, but his partner Dan. He suggested stopping by the house, but Rachel was ready to go home. Maybe I'll stop by next time.
* Sunday was church and Sunday school, a visit to our brother Tim, and a ghost birthday party for Number Nine who just turned three.
* Today I was careful to keep track of my car keys, but even so they were not in my pocket when I walked into the chiropractor's office. I didn't notice until I was on my way back to the room. After I was hooked up to the tens unit, he ran outside to see if he could find them. He found in the ignition with the car doors unlocked. I am totally and hopelessly blond.
* The doctor asked what I was doing this evening and I had no plans. At his suggestion, I stopped on the way home for a few pumpkins to carve into Jack O'Lanterns. It would have been a splendid activity this evening, but Hannah was working. Maybe we can do it tomorrow.
One of the hardest things is knowing he's lonely too, and still standing my ground...
There are broken pieces inside of me that I am struggling to put back together. Rebuilding is hard. I miss having friends to hang out with and find that I don't know how to make that happen. I know what I'm supposed to do, but the doing feels overwhelming, and it feels like I haven't had a good hard laugh in a long time.
I took the picture from Pinterest. Broken pieces put back together in a new and beautiful order. It didn't happen overnight, and I'm sure they didn't put themselves back together. I am moving forward, I am okay, and God hasn't left me to do this alone.
Every other Tuesday night our small group Bible study meets at church. It's been a little crazy because many of these Tuesdays have conflicted with other church activities. Once there was a free Rochester Philharmonic concert and another time it was a church business meeting. Last night the missions dinner was held in the fellowship area and church foyer. As far as I knew our group was meeting as usual.
I couldn't remember whether we meet at 6 o'clock or 6:30 so I sent a text off to the group leader who did not return my text. I tried calling but there was no answer. I set off for the church a few minutes before six as the setting sun was just peeking through the thick layer of clouds that had blanketed the area all day. I marveled at glowing tree tops of glittering gold and fiery red.
The beauty of the trees made it hard to keep my eyes on the road, but when I turned the corner onto Five Mile Line road, a whole new scene caught my attention. A brilliant double rainbow! Although I've been told to "always have your camera along," I did not. The sight was so incredible that I pulled over on the side of the road to absorb its magnificence before continuing on to church where the prayer room sat empty.
The church was full of people enjoying the missions dinner and presentation, but I did not know what had become of my friends. I hadn't dressed for a dinner and had come alone, so I went back to my car and headed home. The sky was rapidly turning black and the rainbow had disappeared. I was disappointed in not finding my group, but still in awe of the rainbow I'd seen just a few minutes earlier.
I came home and looked for pictures on Facebook. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. It was too gorgeous to be ignored. And my friends? They were enjoying the evening activities at church. I'd been sent two texts earlier in the day. I missed them because my inbox was too full. I guess God must have wanted me to see the rainbows.
* All of these photos are the same rainbow seen from different locations. Phenomenal!
* I need a second car key on a lanyard around my neck. * The locksmith now recognizes both me and my car. * I was not the only one locked out of my car in the Wegman's parking lot between 5:30 and 6 pm this evening. I was not even the only one in my aisle, but my vehicle was not running, and I did not have my family along.
I have managed to lock myself out of my vehicle multiple times and in multiple places in the past few years. I am getting quite proficient this and engage multiple techniques. Tonight I employed the Jacket Switcheroo method. It's quite simple. I got out of the car wearing my sweatshirt and then, because it was the fancy Pittsford Wegmans, decided to trade it for my jean jacket. I took the sweatshirt off, tossed it in the car, and grabbed my jacket. Then I went in the store for coffee creamer and came out with no keys in my pocket. Voila! Very simple and effective.
It did not take me long to realize my blunder. There were no keys in my pockets when I arrived at my car. I peered into the vehicle, and just as I had imagined, my keys were waiting on my seat, which is better than lost on the ground. At least they were safe. There is something for which to be thankful. I considered our Triple A membership that I had forgotten last time, and checked my wallet. No card. I threw out a call to James. No answer. And so I did exactly what I had just done less than two weeks ago. I called the locksmith and waited. He smiled when he saw me, probably because I was smiling and looking sheepish. I told him I was just trying to keep him employed... I'd say we're on a first name basis, but truthfully, I don't even know his name. He's the one who suggested the lanyard. Ha ha!
This thing of being locked out of my vehicle is getting expensive, but James has now updated my Triple A membership and they will soon be mailing me a new card. Maybe I won't lock myself out again (yeah, right..), but Triple A is always good to have.
Pictures from yesterday's visit to Letchworth State Park with Rachel.
It was too nice to stay home this weekend. I had an appointment early Saturday morning. From there I went to the camera store for a new battery charger. I came home with a battery charger, a lens cap, a storage box for my camera cards, and... a new, used 70-200 lens. (I spent a little money...)
It was a good day.We fudged the menu a smidgen, using up fresh fruit in place of canned fruit we didn't have. The expected delivery truck did not arrive yesterday, and it did not come today either. It is supposed to come the first and third weeks of each month and never on the last week of the month, but guess what? There are five Thursdays this October. What do you bet "The Powers That Be" changed the delivery to next week? This will make next week very interesting as our canned fruit is entirely gone aside from one can of pineapple tidbits. We are not permitted to purchase more and turn in the receipts so it might be an interesting week. Good thing the produce man comes on Monday. Here's hoping he arrives early.
Several rainy days in a row have left us feeling a bit soggy and eager to play outside. The sun was shining bright on the changing leaves as I drove home this afternoon. I longed for a fully charged camera battery, but the one I found in my console today was as dead as the one in my camera. Not to be outdone, I set my mind to take a walk when I got home. First I went inside to see if a small child would like to accompany me. While his daddy took a shower we walked around the block and admired spooky yard decor. He was especially enchanted by the blow-up "mommy" in the neighbor's yard. Ha ha!
Tomorrow is forecast to be cool and mostly sunny. I have an early morning appointment, but no definitive plans following. Perhaps I will find myself a new battery charger for that ramshackle camera of mine. If I time things right, I might even get it charged up in time to capture some of autumn before the trees are naked.
Did I tell you Number 14 is due in April? Beth and Adam got a surprise.
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. This is my journey. Thank you, Jesus, for not giving up on me.
I am mom to seven beautiful grown ups and grandma to ten beautiful grandchildren.