Friday, April 19, 2019

Paid Holiday

Good Friday is one of the daycare's paid holidays. I slept in a little later than usual, hung around the house this morning, and ventured out into the world around noon. Actually, I straightened my room, did laundry, and headed out to the house in Williamson. I packed much of my mother's china cabinet into boxes today. While I did, the Cabinetmaker made me a cup of tea and I shared with him one of the bagels I'd brought from home, and a bit of cream cheese . 

The weather, which was warm and misty this morning, turned cold and rainy this afternoon. I'd left home wearing a sweatshirt and found myself wishing for a jacket when I  stopped at the shopping center to return a toaster and look for a items. I picked up a few tops, a new mattress pad, and two scarves on sale for a song.

The Barefoot Lumberjack stopped by the house in Webster for some metal pieces he'd left in the garage, and we decided to go out and share a burrito at Moe's. The burritos he orders always taste better than the ones I get. I've decided it's because he always asks for steak with peppers and onions, and I typically choose chicken because it's cheaper. I must remember to ask for steak the next time. I think it's worth paying a little extra.

I'm tired tonight. It's raining and I can hear it drumming gently on the roof. A cold, steady rain... It was a good day. Occasionally emotional, but this time there were no tears. I know there will be more, but there weren't today. Healing comes a little at a time.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Fog Horn

On my way to work yesterday, I drove through a few patches of morning fog. The sun was making its appearance, but there were spots along the way where the light was blocked by hills. The hills, even though low lying, momentarily kept the sun from shining through and dissipating the clouds. I drove past a farm shrouded in mist. At ground level the fog appeared thick, but I could see sunlight hitting the barn's peaks and the top of the silo as well. It was really a relatively thin layer and destined to be short lived.

The fog. It's been on my mind. I've been in a fog of my own. Getting tossed out of my step study group was painful and confusing. Another former member told me, "It may not seem like it but this is a blessing!!!! Please trust that God is blessing and protecting you. Give God all of your hurt and pain. And celebrate that you are special enough to God for Him to close this door, knowing God is about to open an even better door for you to get the healing your soul needs." She is right. And I knew she was, but at the time I couldn't see through the fog at ground level to where the sun was shining up above. Today a bit of the fog has burned away and I am beginning to see that God has closed that door and is opening another. He knows exactly what I need and when. (How does He do that?)

Last week I felt like I'd been left without a support group, but God had a different one for me. I'm not quite settled in yet, but it's getting more comfortable and I'm seeing that this group is better suited to my needs than the other one ever was. The fog hasn't completely lifted, but above the clouds, the sun is always shining.


Monday, April 15, 2019

Bumps

I'm not sure why God has put these difficult days in my life unless He means me to grow in ways I never imagined. I remember being a little girl and waking up in the middle of the night with an aching pain deep in my legs. I couldn't sleep and would cry out for my mother who would go to the kitchen to find me some medicine and a cup of cold water. The pain didn't go away as soon as I swallowed the pill, but I knew relief was on its way. The knowledge alone would enable me to settle back under the covers and allow my body to relax. Before long I would be sound asleep.

I can't see down the road and around the corner any better today than I could when my mom moved into our house eight and a half years ago. From November of 2010 ... "It feels like my family is falling apart. Life is not perfect, instead it dishes up challenges that we must overcome, some of them bigger than we really want to face. I do not know what is down the road and around the corner, I can only hope that the road once again becomes smooth. Until then the bumps threaten to throw us from the vehicle and leave us bleeding on the side of the road."  I made it down that road, not totally unscathed or without bruises, but I made it. I may have found myself bleeding here and there, I came out of the experience stronger and wiser.

Seeing down the road and and around the corner ahead of me is impossible, but looking in my rear view mirror is not. I can turn around and see what God has brought me through, and he's brought me through some hard things, and He's never left me to do it alone.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

A Minnesota Snow Family!

I stole my son's photos from Facebook because they made me smile. A Minnesota snow family! (How cool is that?) Maybe I've been an influence in his life after all... Ha ha!

In case you didn't notice, that smiling snow woman is holding a baby. Isn't he adorable?


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Today Was Good

It's been a good day. I visited my counselor this morning and met a friend at Panera afterward. We chose a small table in the sun, right next to the door and sat for the next three and a half hours. (We had a lot of catching up to do...) We didn't eat much, she had a salad, and I had tea and an orange scone, but it was really the connection we were seeking, and not so much the food.

I am not so much surprised at God's ability to meet me in my need, rather it is the way He meets those needs that always catches me by surprise. The week started out rough, really rough, but I've never doubted God's presence in all of it. Does He cause friends to hurt me, just so He can come to my rescue? I don't think so. But I do believe He is perfectly able to take what is intolerably painful and bring growth and healing through it. He is a God of redemption and that is how He works.

It was an incredibly beautiful, sunny day. My camera called out a few times, but instead of taking pictures, I went home to check my email and take a nap. And then I went out to pay my Target bill and buy a new toaster because our wasn't working this morning. Of course it's working fine now... I just want to know I can warm up my waffles on Monday before I head out to work. :0)

(I stole the picture... )

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Promise of Spring

Spring is gaining strength and winter is waning. Yesterday we had a few snowflakes in the air. This morning we had a fire drill and during the afternoon the children played outside in short sleeves. Tonight I am sitting at my little desk, once a wedding gift to my maternal grandparents, with the window open. The birds are singing their evening song and my heart is feeling peace.

Bible verse of the day, Psalm 126:5. They who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. I have to do a little more work on processing my hurt and anger from this week, but the pain is not overwhelming. I slept last night and tomorrow I have an appointment with my counselor. I am grateful for the appointment because for some reason I was thinking I didn't have another until the end of the month. I actually said, "Praise God!" out loud when the reminder came in my email.    

It's been a week of sorting mind files, a going through the baggage kind of week, and this time things are beginning to make sense. Being asked to step out of a group to which I have dedicated 41 Monday evenings, June through April with only Labor day missing, was devastating, but it hasn't destroyed me. God has better plans for me. The healing He has in store is the kind I really want and need anyway., because He is the only one who knows my story from start to finish, and the only one who loves me wholly and completely.

I have not only been asked to step out of the group, but banished from it. I do not have the choice to return. I've been told I am "stuck," "not ready," and have not gone "deep enough" with my shared answers...But I am not stuck, because God doesn't leave his kids stuck. Instead He is using the seeming unkindness of people I loved and trusted, to get me over the hump. I was told I could start a new step study come September, but that is not likely to happen. Had the leaders been honest with the other members as to why I wasn't coming back, ... I might,...  maybe... consider it. But they were simply told I wasn't coming back, as if it had been my decision, and I think there is something inherently rotten about that. It's like I'm seeing a field of red flags waving at me, and tonight I am grateful for blank answers and an inability to write down what would normally flow naturally.

I am okay. Good even. I am learning to advocate for and take care of myself. I didn't need a rescuer to swoop in and fix it up for me, and that is progress. I've learned a major trigger point in my emotional baggage and God has lanced the wound deep in my heart. Healing has begun. Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

You Go, Girl!

Standing up for myself (and probably a few others) for once in my life, and I'll sleep better tonight for having done it.

I'm disappointed the step study turned out this way. It feels kind of like a nightmare... and a bit unbelievable. I could almost laugh though at the way God has used this in healing a part of me that has been broken for so very long. He loves me and that is all that matters.

Maybe I'll go back to CoDA after all.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Character Defects

I took a brave and fearless step last night and wrote a letter to our step study leaders. I had to do it. For me. And for those who will come after me... "One of my greatest character defects is not standing up for and advocating for Martha, and so today I am asking God to remove that defect. Today I choose, with His help, to advocate for myself in a way previously neglected, and I am starting with what transpired on Sunday morning."  In CoDA I learned that my journey to recovery is my own. I go at my own pace, in my own time. There is no "right way" to work the steps. "I emphasize progress over perfection."

Today was a good day. I went to sleep after emailing my letter last night. It was still relatively early, but I was emotionally exhausted and sleep came easy. I had a good day at work. My boss had forgotten to take the turkey roll home to be sliced yesterday, but I heard God whisper in my ear to take my Mandoline Slicer along with me this morning and the kids had turkey sandwiches after all. At my last shift in the baby room I had the pleasure of cleaning up an incredible blow-out. One I might have referred to several years ago as "The Babysitter Test." This small boy ended up in a sink of soapy water. It was that bad. Ha ha! This evening I ate dinner with my beautiful Bethany and her family and then we went for a walk around the block. Well, Jilly and I walked. Jake rode his bike and Beth was dragged around the neighborhood by her dog.

 I am okay. I am learning, and God is showing me He is still right here with me, providing for my needs, and holding me firm when strong winds threaten to knock me down and suck my strength away.

The LORD is a mighty tower where his people can run for safety--
Proverbs 18:10 CEV

Monday, April 08, 2019

And I Came Home

So tonight, for the first time in 42 weeks, I did not go to my step study. I came home instead to a little boy who said, "Hi, Grammy!" as soon as I walked in the door. He asked me to play cars and we sat on the floor together for a bit. Last night, on my trip to Target, I found a shiny, chrome Hot Wheels firetruck in a multi-pack of cars. I took the firetruck out and gave it to him before he went to bed last night. He slept with it in his hand and woke up still clutching it this morning. Firetrucks are his thing.

As I was writing this, I got a text from one of the women in my step study. She said she was sorry to hear she wouldn't be seeing me on Monday nights anymore... I sent a message telling her it wasn't my choice, and then my phone rang. I was surprised to see my daughter's number on the screen. She was surprised to have me answer the phone because even though she'd felt God prompting her to call me, she expected me to be at my step study. (Cue tears...)

Bethany was surprised to hear I wouldn't be going back to the study, and I think even more surprised at a sobbing mom on the other end of the phone. She asked if she could come over. It's been a long, long time since we've had a heart to heart talk. There were moments when I thought that time would never come... but it has. I'm learning. I'm still learning. My heart is still broken, and there are still tears, but I am finding my own broken places and trusting God will heal my wounds, even old ones. I am learning what triggers tears and feelings of insecurity, and I am learning just what lengths God will go to show me that He loves me.

It's late now, and I'll have another set of bags to take into work tomorrow morning. (I need one of those old facial masks my mom used to wear occasionally...) I've heard Preparation H works on eye bags. I looked at it in Walmart this afternoon, but decided I didn't ever want to explain to a doctor why or how I got it in my eye...





Photos of Number Nine from Friday's gathering because I have to put something fabulous and wonderful here.
:0)

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Expect the Unexpected, I Guess

I am tired of beginning the arduous task of unpacking the baggage only to get overwhelmed and throw it all back into the bags unsorted. I don't know how to do this alone, and I don't know who or how to ask for help. It's such an agonizingly slow process that I can't blame my friends and family for shying away, especially when each item in the bags holds such deep meaning for me. I don't mean to chase people away,... really, I don't... and I don't know how to heal. I've come so far and have so far to go. The problem is I don't know where I'm headed or what I might need in those bags.

In the Bible, the Children of Israel were led out of a life of slavery in Egypt, and into the wilderness where God promised to take care of them and lead them into the Promised Land. They started out bold and courageous, ready for the journey, but ended up grumbling, full of fear, and wanting to turn back. They knew what they had left behind, and it wasn't all good, but had little idea of what lay ahead. They longed for the leeks and cucumbers of Egypt, but had no clue about the milk and honey that waited for them in Canaan.

I keep looking backward... I keep seeing all I have left behind. I keep seeing the good and forgetting the pain. It's not that I can't forget, it's that I have a hard time remembering. I circled some words on the checklist of flaws and assets... apprehensive, afraid, avoidant, defensive, enabling, fearful, indecisive, timid... honest, cooperative, faithful, loyal, reliable, forgiving, loving, concerned for others, patient, willing to grow... Fear has crippled me. I am frightened of other peoples' opinions, of being alone, and of expressing my own ideas and opinions. I am afraid of making wrong choices, even when I have every reason in the world to make them. Why? Why is it that I am so afraid? Where in the luggage is that piece buried?

"Three to five years..." That's how long he told me it could take to work through these things. I'm three and a half years in and some days I'm not exactly sure what it is I'm working through anymore. I know I need to change my focus... I need to work on Martha... but I don't even know most of the time what that means.

I've been asked to drop out of my step study. I don't have my inventory written and often haven't finished my homework... I didn't see it coming. I thought I still had time.

This was unexpected. This is painful. I don't know where to go from here.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

The Last Hurrah (for now)

It's really Saturday morning, but I haven't been to sleep yet so it still feels like Friday to me. When I say "tonight," just remember in my mind it's still yesterday.

My Minnesota family is leaving in the morning. Tonight we had one last family dinner before they go. We met out at the house in Williamson; six of my kids, three of our in laws (two daughters, one son), and nine grandchildren. James was out of town and gave us permission to borrow the house for the evening.

There were no planned activities aside from dinner together and time in the house. The house is listed for sale and James has accepted an offer. If the deal goes through, this will be the last time our kids will gather in the house...

I cried my eyes out two weeks ago. I love everything about the house, but God is working other things in our hearts and lives, and it is out of my control. Letting go comes terribly hard for me. I want to hang on to everything and everyone I love, and even things I don't love so much, but I must remember that in order to take hold of the new things God has for me, for us, I need to let go of old things. Even things I love dearly. Even when it hurts.

One lone chicken still roams the yard. She succeeded in the pecking order, so to speak. Chickens are cruel companions, and when the outcast chicken dies or disappears, the group chooses a new hen to hate. Perhaps she was always the instigator. Who knows? Anyhow, she lives in the coop alone now and wanders the property at will.

I looked for my salmon colored tulip amongst the English ivy, but the rock I planted her by is missing and so I'm not exactly sure where she's planted. Maybe I will find her in a week or two.

I managed to get nine grandchildren in one picture and it will have to do for now. Controlling others is not my job and I can't make all my children decide to be in one place at the same time. They must be allowed to heal and grow at their own pace and in their own way. Maybe next time, huh?

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Little Stuff

Today was Wednesday, that magical day midweek when the weekend feels not quite so far away and the week a little more tolerable... Although Monday and Tuesday are really not so intolerable and I like going to work.

I went to the pottery studio last night and actually threw a few pots. Fancy that! I haven't thrown anything on the wheel in weeks, but one of my friends asked if I was going to throw any bowls and it sounded like a good idea.

This afternoon I made a visit to the doctor. I had a couple of things I needed to check out. My back/right hip has been bothering me for quite some time. A long time, really. It hurts mostly when I lay down, but can be a nuisance at other times too. The good news is my hip is working fine. It is probably a pinched nerve caused by inflammation. I've been prescribed an anti inflammatory medication and given a sheet to have an x-ray taken, just to make sure nothing is amiss. The doctor was not at all concerned about the other issue. Just a small sebaceous cyst.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Where Am I and What Day is It?

Last week was stressful, a week of ups and downs, nights of decent sleep, and nights where sleep was terribly elusive. I woke up in a dark room one morning and looked at my clock. It was after 6 am, maybe a few minutes after, or maybe closer to six thirty. All I remember is flying out of bed, grabbing my jeans and bra off the floor, and trying to figure out what shirt to wear all while attempting to determine whether or not I had time for a shower. My hair really needs to be washed every day...

I turned a circle or two trying to recall what day it was, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't clear the fog from my mind. What was yesterday? What had I been doing? Was it Friday? I hadn't a clue, and honestly, it was a little frightening.

I flipped open my laptop and stared at the screen. SUNDAY, MARCH 31. Relief washed over me. Ah, yes! I had been out to dinner with my Minnesota son and his family the night before. I felt just a tad silly as I crawled back under the covers and closed my eyes, but mostly I felt that profound sense of relief. I must have been absolutely exhausted when I went to bed Saturday night. Either that or it was the chicken and waffles....

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Number Eleven

Minnesota came to visit. I had a chance to snuggle my newest grandson and it was sweet. A few of my kids got together for a pizza party and four grandsons ran about and made a ruckus. The fifth made a ruckus too, but he didn't run about like the other four.

I took Number Nine to church with me this morning. He went to Sunday school while I was in big church. I think he liked it.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Spring and Stuff

Spring never arrives without a fight. March is a continual battle of winter winds and snow against lengthening days and climbing temperatures. It's been a wet, muddy week with warm days and cold days, sunny days, and rain. Tomorrow we could get a bit of snow. Anything is possible.

The past week has been heartbreaking, hopeful, and hard. I am exhausted from staying up too late and waking up too early. I've been grateful for my work friends, especially the little ones, the ones who wrap their little arms around me daily and never look at me funny if my eyes are red and puffy. I am thankful for a God who loves me more than I can imagine, and Who knows just what I need well ahead of time. He provided me with friends who took me out to dinner this week because He knew I would need an extra bit of encouragement to get me through, and He made it possible for me to drive out to the house in Williamson for a couple of hours this afternoon before the Barefoot Lumberjack takes off on a far away trip for ten days.This evening I met up with my Minnesota family and met my newest grandson who is four months old already. I left my camera at home, on purpose, and just savored being with them.

Tonight I am better again. I feel more settled even if nothing around me does. I have a full and busy week ahead, along with a doctor appointment sandwiched in on Wednesday afternoon. Maybe one day I will sort through the boxes of stuff scattered about my room, but I don't think it will be any time too soon. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Sunshine

It was a good day. I am okay today. I hugged babies, cooked hot dogs, and hugged the babies some more. Not every day is as hard as some. God is always good and he is always working. The sun came out and spring is in the air. Soon I will go out to the house, find my salmon colored tulip, dig it up, and bring it home with me.

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Bag Lady

Today life feels full of loss. It's hitting hard, knocking the wind out of me, and seems there is no escape, but earlier today God reminded me that He is a giver of good things and very often one must let go of what feels important in order to gain something of greater value. I want to hold on, but He is prying my fingers loose, and didn't I ask Him years ago to do this? I knew it would likely be painful, but I had no idea what it would entail...

I went out to my car on my break this afternoon and turned on the radio. K-LOVE, because they're positive and encouraging, I am blessed by the music and the announcers make me laugh. I turned it on just in time to hear Luis Palau mention Psalm 103, and he said to read it out loud. I haven't been taking my Bible to church lately because I can't see the pages clearly and the scriptures are posted on a giant screen up front, but yesterday I left for church early and took it along. It was still in the car, so I looked up Psalm 103 and read it. Out loud.

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, 
bless His holy name! 
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 
3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 
4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 That's just the first five verses, but I felt better after having read them. I even fell asleep for ten or fifteen minutes before it was time to head back inside, and I needed it. I did a lot of crying last night and didn't sleep well. This morning I had giant bags under my eyes. I tried laying cucumber slices over them but if the bags got any smaller I didn't notice. 

I'm sure the tears aren't done falling, but I am doing my best to keep them turned off for tonight. I need sleep. I don't need any more bags under my eyes.

(Yes, I do know that is a man, and hopefully I didn't look that bad, but he was all I had for an illustration. Many thanks to my son Nathan and the Draw This blog of years gone by.)

Friday, March 22, 2019

I'm 35 Again

It was my birthday. It was a good day to turn 35 again on my way back down to twenty.

I had a little company this evening. They brought milk and ice cream to go with the Oreo Cookies I bought, because who doesn't love a milkshake with Oreos? Four grandkids this time. I learned The Trio are visiting Florida with their parents... (Nice to know these things.) Tomorrow evening I shall make a visit to another couple grandkids and see their new place.

Winter returned this evening, all of a sudden like. March is like that. Totally unpredictable. 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 C) right now, but it feels more like 7 degrees (-14 C).  I'm glad to be inside where it's warm.

Back in 2012 I had summer for my birthday! (See?)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Uno, Dos, Tres

Went out to dinner tonight and it was nice. Nothing too fancy, just a trip down the road and around the corner to Uno's. I may or may not have gotten emotional... That's been happening a lot lately. We ate salad and pizza, drank iced tea, and talked.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Goodbye to the Weekend

The weekend is coming to a close. A new week lies ahead. A piece of me is relieved to go back to work. I know what is expected, I know I am appreciated, and I know I am am loved and accepted, but another part isn't quite ready to let the weekend go. I don't suppose there is anything terribly unusual about those feelings.

I stayed home more this past weekend than I have in months, maybe even in the entire time I've lived in my attic bedroom. I was out Saturday morning for coffee with a few friends from my step study, but I came home afterward. I made a valiant attempt (again) to sort through my things, to organize, and declutter. I'm not done yet, but it was progress for the moment. I went out again in the late afternoon to gather a few grocery items, and returned home again. Today I went to church, my meeting afterward, and home. I had a headache and climbed under my covers and went to sleep until a text message on my phone woke me up. I probably needed a weekend like this.

Number Nine came upstairs to visit twice this weekend. Once Saturday morning when his daddy wasn't looking, and once this evening with his mommy. I like visitors.

The weather is back to bitter. Sergio came home while Hannah and Idris were upstairs with me and found himself locked out of the house without a key. He tried calling Hannah (a hundred times) but being upstairs, she didn't hear her phone ringing. So he called me. Poor guy was freezing out there! She went down and let him in. She's nice like that.

I called the police yesterday. Trouble with the house next door... No one is there and the back door blows open during wind storms and then stays that way for weeks. No one can see it but us.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Bits and Pieces

It's Friday already and I haven't posted since Tuesday. This means it's time for a few Bits and Pieces...

* I decided to keep my shelf at the pottery studio and give myself some time to work out of the funk I've drifted into. The waiting list to rent is just too long and if I give up my spot it could be months before another one opens up. Besides, I have the perfect spot.

* A few of my recent pottery projects have not survived the fire. I might need to look for a better sculpting clay. Something that bends a little more easily. So that arms and legs don't fall off.

* Yesterday I had a hair appointment. I got out of work at 4:30 pm so I could get to my appointment at five, but when I got to my car I found the keys in the ignition and the battery dead. My sweet boss called her boyfriend who came to jump start my little Kia Rondo with his gigantic and beastly Hummer. I got to my appointment about 20 minutes late. My hair cutting friend was very accommodating. I love her!

* Today I learned that The Man With the Hummer came upon a fella in a ditch as he was on his way back home. This fella had been attempting a K-Turn when he backed up a little too far and got stuck. A tow truck driver who chanced to be driving by left him after finding he had no more than twenty dollars in his pocket, but The Man With the Hummer was happy to help him for nothing. My boss said it was meant to be.

* I don't have any pictures, because I have not been that annoying camera person quite as much lately, but I had a very nice dinner date this evening. He was handsome, polite, and charming. I enjoyed every minute of our time together, and whenever I am with him I can't help but think, "I must have done something right as a mom." (Thank you, Ben.)

* The weather, in typical March fashion, has been all over the place this week. Sun, wind, rain. Freezing cold, pleasantly warm. Wet, muddy. We started the week with snow, lost most of it, and will likely find ourselves a bit more over the weekend. Fickle. March is fickle.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Six and Eleven, and Forty-three

Two stories...

Story One- I stole a photograph. It's hard to be so far away from these two, but I heard they're coming to visit, so that's cool. I only wish I could spend enough time with them that they would love me like the little ones at work love me, but I must be grateful for the time I can have. Austin (Number Six) waited a long time to be a big brother. Over five years! They look so much alike. There's no doubt they're brothers! Parker could be his twin!

Story Two- I stole another photo, but not this one. Forty-three years ago this guy was eighteen and a friend of our brother Dan. Marty lived at our house for a time, and we came to love him like another big brother, but circumstances made it so that one day he had to leave the area quickly. We were at school and my "Twelve Year Old" diary says, "Marty left and I didn't even get to say goodbye." That was it. He was gone. We didn't hear from Marty for another forty years...

Facebook and the internet make even the most unlikely of reunions possible. Three years ago we found our old friend. He is a yacht captain in Daytona, Florida. Each year Rachel and her family go to Florida for a week. Last year she thought about Marty. This year she convinced her husband to drive an hour or two out of their way to catch up with our friend. It wasn't a long reunion, just a meeting in a fast food restaurant, but I find it wonderfully sweet. And yes, I am a little bit jealous.

Truthfully, the pictures made me smile. I am blessed to know she made a connection. So cool!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Barn Collective

I've passed this barn on the hill for a year and a half year now, every so often thinking I needed to stop and take a picture. This past week gave me that opportunity.

 Going to work earlier meant a little less traffic on the roads, so pulling off to the side for a minute didn't feel so awkward. This is normally not a good place to stop for something as trivial as a photograph, but no cars coming behind me made it possible. It does help that I'm heading away from the city of Rochester instead of toward it. In fact, going away from the city in the morning and toward it after work, is generally helpful all the way around. I don't get caught in long lines of stalled traffic.

Across the road from the barn a tractor and his buddy are waiting. Looks like they're in for a long wait...

Meet me over at Tom's for The Barn Collective and get in out of the wind.


Friday, March 08, 2019

More Bits and Pieces

* We have been short staffed at work and so I have collected a bit of overtime this week. Overtime is nice. I like a bit of overtime.

* Did I say it's been a crazy week? Well, it has. Something every night save this one. It's Friday and I opted to come home, have a bite to eat, and crawl into bed. The house is pretty quiet. Number Nine has gone to bed, and H and S have gone out to get French fries. I agreed to them going if they would bring me some. (It seemed like a good trade. LOL )

* I caught another train. On the way into work this morning. They're typically not any longer than a few minutes. Good thing or I might have been late for going in early.

* It was English muffin pizza day. It's a favorite with the kids. Easy to make and easy to clean up. That makes it a favorite with me too. There are a few meals I'd like to put on the menu more than once every five weeks.

* I made another visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles this week (went last Friday too and gave up). I punched out 40 minutes early for my lunch break thinking I'd be back in plenty of time, but everyone in NY is turning their standard driver's license into an enhanced ID and the wait is nothing less that aggravating. Almost two hours and my license was enhanced 8 years ago. My boss gave me extra time to get it done. God bless her!

* I Have been going new places and making new friends. Scary, but fun at the same time. Learning and growing. God is good.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Keep On Keeping On

Yesterday, on my way to work, I realized I am not angry anymore.

I had my income taxes done last night. Married filing separate. I owe ten dollas. I get twenty-nine back. Looks like I can go for a burrito at Moe's. LOL.

 I went to visit Dave and Leta after seeing the tax lady. It was nice to see The Trio, give them hugs, and play a game of Apples to Apples Junior. I get to hug and love on kids all day, kids who will grow up and forget all about me. It's a good and important job, a necessary one, but I miss my grandchildren. I love visiting them.

Going to work earlier is working out fine. I don't get out any earlier, but it's working out fine.

I am fighting depression. I recognize this. I will be okay.

I've considered letting go of my pottery studio membership. I don't typically get there more than once a week. I was feeling disinterested last week, not only in pottery, but also my photography. It doesn't help that I broke my favorite lens, but when I start losing interest in the things I love, I know there is another reason. I will be okay. I will persevere.

Winter is almost over yet we all know it can't leave without a good fight. The temperatures have been bitter the past couple nights and I've been blessed to throw my treasured afghan over the bed to keep me toasty warm. It's the one Mom made for my 22nd birthday just a couple years ago... It's just like she's giving me a hug.

 Caught the train on the way home last night because I had my camera with me.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Bits and Pieces

* It was an intensely emotional week.

* It took one of my little friends into my arms the other day and turned my head to look at him just as he turned his head. Boogers. Right across my top and bottom lips. Oh, yeah! That's not cool. I'm probably fighting his cold right now. There wasn't much chance of escape. Ha ha! Ah, the perils of caring for tiny tots.

* Friday evening my sister Rachel and I went to a Paint Night fundraiser for Browncroft MOPS. It was fun to play in the paint, and it was fun also to be recognized as "Nate's Mom" by a few of the women from the church fellowship where he is worship leader.

* Saturday was errands and a visit to our brother Tim. He is in his new house and it is hard to see him strapped into a wheelchair and visibly unhappy. He was good on our ride, smiled at Rachel, and was pleasant. He a tooth grinder which drives her nits as a dental hygienist.  We passed a dentist's office along the way and he said "No" when she asked if he wanted to go to the dentist.

* Idris (Number Nine) is a cheerful, energetic, and friendly little guy, but he is not typically snuggly, at least not with me. He will sit by me on the couch, climb onto my lap, or hold my hand, but he doesn't typically hug me. Saturday morning though, he gave me the nicest hug, long and sweet. I needed it. How did he know?

* Late this afternoon I took a very long nap. It was supposed to be short, but I have been sleep deprived and so I sunk into a coma. (It felt a little like one...) When I finally came to the clock read close to 7 pm. Here's hoping my Marley Mellow Mood puts me back to sleep.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Sleep, a Storm, and a Song

It's not late, but I need to go to sleep. I haven't been sleeping well and I have to be at work a half hour earlier now. Our baby room was overflowing this morning and we must stay in ratio. There were six infants by the time I punched in this morning. Theoretically, starting a half hour earlier means I'll get out a half hour earlier, but realistically, that ain't happenin'.


We're having another "winter storm." That means it's snowing and driving is nasty. I am still scratching my head and wondering why this is big news. Ever since I can remember we've had winter weather in the winter. We drove in the snow if possible, and stayed home if it was too dangerous. Okay, sometimes we stayed home.

If my praying friends are reading, we still need your prayers. I know I need to turn it all over to the One Who Holds All Things, but I don't always know how. The burden is bigger than I can carry alone and your prayers help. Thank you for lifting us up.

The song? It touched my heart many years ago. I came across it this evening and found myself touched all over again. I once sang it for a child, and today I wonder if it's really sung for me...

Monday, February 25, 2019

More

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 
and I will give you rest. 
Matthew 11:28 

The past few weeks have been more than emotional. What started as a little emotion, ended up transforming me into a blubbering mess. There are several converging reasons. As a family, we are battered and bruised, struggling to come to grips with our situation, and searching for answers. It is emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausting.

But, there is another reason too. Muffled, and all but forgotten, is the upcoming anniversary of my mother's passing. Loss need not be at my mind's forefront to render me weepy. There is no wallowing in this sorrow, only a recognition its presence. Many are the moments I miss my mom.

In the midst of overwhelming sadness I have cried out to God. I know He hears, and I know He wants to help me, but like a child in the dark of night, I don't always understand when it appears He doesn't hear. How can I feel so completely terrified, helpless, and alone and He not answer? I know perfectly well why I did not answer every cry of my children in the middle of the night. Not only did I need sleep, along with others in the house, but the crying child needed to sleep as well. Somehow, some way, I must also learn to rest and trust that morning will come, and along with morning, the sunshine.

This weekend there were many tears, and there were prayers as well. God is listening. He hears. He sent a bit of unexpected financial help in the form of a few gift cards yesterday. I never saw it coming, but He knew. And tonight when I came home, there was a package wrapped in brown paper waiting on the counter. It had my name on it and said,"Contains Happy Mail!" An old blogger-turned-Facebook friend in Minnesota sent me a box of love and her timing was impeccable.

Does God hear my cry? He does. Does He hear the cries of my family? Yes, He hears them too, and He is loves each one of us. We are crying in the dark, hoping for morning, learning to trust in Him and rest.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Barn Collective

On my way home Tuesday evening... I turned the corner by the first barn and went a different way.



A friend's brother worked on the second farm as a young teen in the 1970's Looks like it's still a working farm today.

Have a great week everyone! See you over at Tom's Barn Collective.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Coffee, Tea, and Paradise

Today was good.

Another teary appointment today, but teary is not necessarily bad. I am learning about Me and that is good. I am growing and learning new things. I left my appointment and almost forgot the coffee gathering at Starbucks this morning. I remembered in time to turn around and be there on time. I didn't have coffee this time. I was treated to the "Pink Drink" instead, and it was yummy!

When I was about to leave Starbucks, I noticed a text on my phone. I gave my son Joe a call back and found he was hoping for a ride to Wegmans. I wandered around the store as he shopped, wondering where he'd disappeared to, while he checked out, and headed for the car. (Just like a guy.) It was one of those wonderful together moments. LOL. Truthfully, it was great to see him, to give him a hug, and to realize he's looking good.

There was a tea party at Bethany's house this afternoon. I brought the cookies and she supplied the tea. Earl Gray. She told me about her trip to Hawaii, actually Kauai and Maui. Nothing makes a body want to move away more than visiting paradise. She is in love with those far away islands I have never seen. What would I do if all my children decided to move away?

Irondequoit Bay and the Webster pier are not far from Bethany's house. Before coming home, I took a drive down the hill and around the corner to the lake. The birds would have been happy with a crust or two of bread, but I hadn't any and it was about to start getting dark. The beach was cold, icy, and wet, and though no stunning sunset lit up the horizon, it was pretty in it's own cold, forlorn way.

Tomorrow we shall have some big winds. I will probably not go to the lake.