Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I stayed inside as much as possible, venturing out only to grab some firewood or potty the dogs. I listened not to the persistant call of the grocery store, but around 3:30 pm, after Bethany had come for Josh, I ventured out to meet Priscilla in Palmyra and retrieve my darling daughter. I took so long to get there that my sister thought maybe we were stuck in a ditch or a snowdrift somewhere along the way. Tonight we are staying home, eating more junk food, and watching a movie.
So, all this has nothing at all to do with the beautiful baby pictured here. Who is this little darling? I do not know, except that the picture was in a box along with many other family photos taken from my grandpa's house years ago. I assume this to be a family member, but I'm not even sure how to tell if the child is a boy or a girl, or if that can be ascertained. Does anyone out there know?
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
PS. Advice from Mom, always carry a camera in your purse. You never know when you might need it.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
and not quite certain how to respond. I hadn't really made a list of wants and wishes, afterall, it is still fairly easy to fulfill those desires myself. My wants this year have been for the safe arrival of my new grandson and travelling mercies for my eldest son. These wishes were both granted along with a few material wants, so, yes, I did get what I wanted. The bigger question is did I GIVE what I wanted?
We have all heard it said "It is more blessed to give than to recieve" and my real wish is that I had been able to give more. The trouble is with keeping too close an account of what I give... I need to cultivate a life of giving, giving that comes so naturally I scarcely know it's happening.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Now that the celebration had come and gone, the pressure is off and I can relax again. The headache I had on Christmas eve is just a memory. Hopefully someday I will learn not to get so stressed in those few days ahead of time... Well, it could happen... maybe.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
I still don't feel ready for Christmas but today we cleaned the house and tomrrow I will be doing some baking. Maybe tonight I will make some toffee before the weather turns and it rains instead of snows. I think I'm done shopping although I don't have much to wrap. This was the plan and so we are sticking to it. I hope no one is too disappointed.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
A week ago I looked at my posts from last year and found a note that said I needed to change my "be ready" date from Dec. 24th to Dec. 1st. Unfortunately, it was already past the date and I was nowhere near being ready. I'm still not but I'm trying. I decorated my little tree, hung a garland over the windows, and plan to bake up some more gingerbread cookies. I want to make some candy, wrap presents, and cut snowflakes to glue on the windows. We dug up the Christmas CD's and Burl Ives is singing "White Christmas" as I type. I bought some candy canes and there is plenty of hot cocoa in the cupboard. We've been to Tim's for a Christmas tea and attended the cantata at our old church this past Sunday. What am I missing? A trip to the mall? The Muppet Christmas Carol? Someone to get excited with me?
How do you like Rachel's Christmas door hanging? Giant pine cones from a far away Sequoia tree. I think it's one of the prettiest Christmas decorations I've ever seen.
Happy Birthday, Priscilla!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Tim was born in place in time where the arrival of babies was often scheduled for the doctor's convenience. Some births were hurried and others stalled. This fight against nature took its toll on both mothers and babies leaving many wounded in its wake. Tim was one of these children.
Damaged at birth by an induced labor, his life has been far from ordinary. Autistic before it became a diagnosis, he struggled to fit in while Mom and Dad struggled to understand and deal with their precious son. Eventually, they came to the realization that they couldn't care for him alone and resigned themselves to putting him in the care of the state.
At one time his residence was an institution, now it is a group home staffed by a familiar group of people who do their best to love and care for its residents. Ironically, the little cobblestone house where he lives sits in the shadow of his former institutional residence.
Today was the annual Christmas party at Tim's house. Although Mom and Dad visit him almost weekly, my sisters and I usually see him only at Christmas time.
How does one break the tension and bring a warm feeling into the air when she sees her brother but once a year? I picked up a bowl of salad in the kitchen and sat down next to Tim. I gave him a playful poke or two with my fork and told him that's what little sisters were for, to pick on older siblings. I decided to take our picture. He was enjoying a slice of pizza but humored me by looking into the camera anyway. During the visit we talked and laughed while he sat quietly listening and occasionally asking for another cup of soda pop. Dad played his banjo and harmonica while Mom and Aunt Margie sang Christmas carols. Several times I saw a smile creep onto Tim's lips and a contented look come over his face. It was a short visit but I think he enjoyed it immensely. I know I did.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I headed for my bedroom and looked at the unmade bed. The covers were rather haphazard. I didn't feel like making it this morning. I wonder if anything would ever be accomplished if we all took that attitude and never followed through on the task at hand. I pulled the sheet and blankets up toward the top of the bed, straightened the edges and headed over to the opposite side. Making my bed each morning takes less than five minutes. It is something I commited myself to do several years back and the times I don't are few. Sadly, there are other little jobs and callings that I often put off or ignore all together. Maybe today, with the unexpected quiet, I can catch up with a few of those waiting tasks.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Josh stayed overnight with us last night. He has been having a bit of tummy trouble and after his morning nap he administered "The Babysitter Test" otherwise known as diarrhea. Today I am thankful for the sheet I purchased for my portable crib, a bathtub, a fresh package of baby wipes, and Hannah. (I did the cleaning up, she gave the child a bath.) I have been careful not to feed him anything questionable. He has had clear liquids (juice), banana, Froot Loops (is that cheating?), apple sauce with rice cereal, toast, and Cheerios. I told Bethany maybe she should bring home some Pedialyte. Between Josh's explosion, Troy's Lincoln log houses, and loudly barking dogs, it's been an interesting day...
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
What does a Christian look like? How does he behave? What makes him stand out in a crowd and how is he different than anyone else in the world? It seems that many people are a bit confused as to the answers. What do you think?
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
It was a beautiful winter wedding with snow covered pine trees, glittering snowfalkes, and soft lights. The bride refused to wear shoes and her mother chose slippers over hideously uncomfortable footwear. We nibbled cookies and sipped punch with all the wedding guests and dined in style with close friends and family. They cut the cake, threw the bouquet and made a toast. There was music and even a little bit of dancing. All too soon the party was over and we went home without our little girl. I can't believe its been three years already!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Gramanita, I wish the ocean was just a little bit closer so visiting would be easier. Maybe one day we'll actually make it to Nova Scotia. I wish you a big piece of cake and lots of laughter on this your day. I love you!
Monday, December 01, 2008
This afternoon I took Jasmine to the vet. She is not afraid of the vet like some dogs but is quite a pain in the neck when other dogs are nearby. I strategically scheduled her appointment when there would be fewer canines in the office. In spite of that she was plenty hyper and managed to pee on the floor twice. Jazz is healthy, has great looking teeth, and has gained three pounds since her last visit. She needed a rabies shot in order to renew her license, but is now good for another year providing I do not feed her any venison bones. We have been keeping a close eye on her when she goes outside and I removed the "missing dog" notice from the board at the vet's. I plan on keeping her around for a while.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
BOSTON BROWN BREAD
1 c. raisins
3 c. water
2 c. sugar
4 T. shortening
5 c. flour
4 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
Bring water and raisins to a boil in large saucepan. Turn off heat. Add sugar and shortening. Sift together dry ingredients. Add to raisin mixture. Beat well making sure no large lumps remain. Bake in 6 greased cans at 350° for 1 hour.
I took the kids out to Webster this afternoon. I went in Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, and the grocery stores. I don't suppose I am the only one who visits more than one store for groceries. Aldi is great for basics like juice, crackers, and breakfast items (bacon, sausage, frozen tators...), BJ's is like Costco, and I like to buy meat, cheese, and things like hot chocolate or other bulk items in there, and finally Wegman's, the hometown grocery chain, where I buy most of what we really want or need. I rarely shop in Williamson as the grocery store here seems very expensive. With gas prices down it's well worth it to drive to the better stores.
I'm cooking up another pot of turkey soup for supper. We had some last night and it was very good. I'm not sure what I did different this year but this is the best turkey soup I've ever made. Want a taste?
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Last night we went to church and people had a chance to get up and share a moment of Thanksgiving. I thought about getting up but am still somewhat reserved and so remained in my seat. My son, Dave, got up and thanked the Lord for the opportunity to lead the junior high group at church and the blessing of God teaching him as he prepares the lessons. Had I been braver I would have gotten up and shared that I am thankful God answers prayer and not only that, but He gives encouragement along the way and keeps us trusting in Him. Years ago when my son was struggling, God brought me to my knees and showed me that He really does care personally about me, about my family, and about my son. At one particular time I was reading through the book of Psalms. Each night before I went to sleep I would read a chapter or two, but one night I was particularly tired and discouraged. I didn't feel like reading my Bible. I just wanted to go to sleep, yet I felt as though the Lord was saying, "Read, Martha. I have something special for you tonight." I opened my Bible and turned to the next chapter, Psalm 132. The very first verse says, "LORD, remember David and all his afflictions." In the midst of a mother's struggle to have faith that God would carry her son through, He gave me a verse, a promise that He hadn't forgotten my boy and courage to keep on trusting. Today I am overwhelmed by the power of prayer and a God who loves each one of us in an intimate manner. He truly is good!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tomorrow is the big day. We'll have a turkey of our own on the table, complete with all the trimmings. I baked three pumpkin pies today and a batch of Boston brown bread. Tomorrow I shall stuff the turkey and pop it into the oven. I am looking forward to a wonderful day surrounded by my family. Mom and Dad will be here and most of our kids. I hope Jim gets a big piece of pumpkin pie tomorrow. He'll be spending Thanksgiving in Minnesota, probably with his friend Dan.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
This weekend I sent out my email list of school books. I've had two responses and also took a bag to church. One response came by way of a phone call this morning. "You don't know me," said the voice on the other end... She told me her mother would be passing my way and could pick up the books this morning. During the course of our conversation she mentioned that she had grown up in Webster but now lived on the opposite side of Rochester. I gave her directions to my house and asked her name. She told me her mother's name... Marie Richards. Now I must say, I have this strange and uncanny way of recalling names and faces from my past and "Marie Richards" rang a bell. "Wait a minute," I said, "I know who you are." I told her my maiden name but she didn't think it was familiar. No surprise to me, I hadn't actually known the daughter. I knew WHO she was, but we were both rather quiet and shy and she was two years older than me. Her mother, on the other hand, was one of those loud, effervescent, friendly individuals, one who everyone tends to notice. They went to a church in my hometown, one where my parents had friends and often visited. Marie led the Missionettes group at her church and also ministered to a family of children who ended up in foster care in our home. When I was in third grade, Marie was my best friend's step-father's step mother (figure that out...). I find it amazing how the world is full of people who are bound to each other by tiny threads of familiarity. I enjoyed my short visit with Marie who is eighty years old and claims to "never get tired". We talked of our connections, she gave me several hugs and the boys helped her by carrying the books out to her car. Today I am thankful for late morning visitor who shines the love of Jesus and is not ashamed.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The wind was bitterly cold today. Normally I would choose to stay inside my toasty warm house, venturing out only to gather some firewood or perhaps to let Sofie relieve herself, but today was my day to go shopping so out into the cold wind I went. Ben and Hannah came along because, not only do they need socialization (ha ha), but they also enjoy my company. In spite of our dire economy, the parking lots were packed with cars and the stores with people. We made several stops ourselves, nearly every one requiring a long walk from the car to the relative safety of the store. Now, several hours later I am blessed with another case of chapped lips. Such is the joy of the winter wind and the reason I like to take photos from the doors or windows of my house. I would buy myself a ski mask but I don't think any of the banks or stores I frequent would take kindly to my wearing it.
Josh came to play tonight. His mommy and daddy went out shopping together. Josh wandered around the house, called Sofie a kitty, checked out the cupboard doors, and played with some cars. I decided to get the play dishes out of the toy cabinet and Josh and I cooked up a storm! It's never too early to teach a man to cook just in case he moves far away someday and finds himself in need of cullinary skills. Josh is off to a great start and enjoying every minute of it. Grandmanita, you would be proud!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Cold weather is also great for doing inside projects. Maybe I will be inspired to get some things made for Christmas. I still have a Nativity to finish (just the wise men) and I would love to paint some puzzles too. Maybe I'll work on some scrapbooks or photo albums. Or... maybe I'll take a nap.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Dad had provided little detail and hadn't called either of my sisters. I considered what to do. I had no idea of her problem or condition but an ambulance sounded serious so I decided I needed to call Priscilla and Rachel. By the time we reached the hospital James' cell phone was ringing. It was Ben on the other end saying Grandpa had called and he was taking Grandma back home. Rachel was with us but I had no way to reach Priscilla. (I need to gather some cell phone numbers.) On the way home we stopped at Mom and Dad's house. There was no car in the driveway, just tire tracks and footprints. I still have no idea what happened or why they weren't home when we went back. I'm hoping someone will eventually call to fill me in.
That's me in the picture. I was just getting to know this soft, strong, woman who was my mother and she was just getting to know the tiny, bald person who was her first daughter.
UPDATE- Mom's heart was racing this morning. They called the ambulance and the EMT's agreed her heart rate was much too fast so they took her to the hospital. Once they had her heartbeat slowed down and under control, they started proceedings to have her released and Dad went home to get her some clothes. Priscilla was fortunate to find them in the emergency department but had an old cell phone number for James and none for Rachel. She decided to go out wait for us to let us know what was going on when we arrived. Having been told Mom was gone, of course we never arrived and Mom and Dad left while Priscilla waited. She did finally call here, got a new cell number from the kids, and then went to our parent's house to visit afterward. So, for now all is well and we have learned that we need to keep updated cell phone numbers in case of another emergency.