Tuesday, January 31, 2012

C is for Candle

C is for candle.

Candlelit rooms are cozy and relaxed. Add some soft background music and someone much loved for maximum effect.(I'm keeping it simple this week. Don't want to spoil the ambiance.)

To see the other participants in the new round of 
ABC Wednesday, click here!

PS. If you are hungry, check out yesterday's posts on cupcakes. :0)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hurricane Annie's Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

I put a little frosting and some sprinkles on top... :)

Speaking of Cupcakes...

It's been a sleepy day and I just can't stand the thought of more coffee. (I have a bottle of water instead.) Visions of cupcakes are dancing through my head. Little bites of sugar topped with... more sugar. Probably not the healthiest thing in the world, but fun anyway, and getting "funner" all the time! Oh, the possibilities! It is fun to dream, isn't it? (Have you ever googled "cupcake" and checked out the images? Oh, my!)

I'm thawing a bag of frozen pumpkin. It is my plan to make gluten free pumpkin muffins (finally). I wonder how they would taste with cream cheese frosting....Do you think they could be so pretty as these cupcakes?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Panic Attack

Throughout the week I have felt my anxiety level rising. Tears hide just below the surface, occasionally spilling out and running down. My eyes are tired and puffy. Sometimes I think a good cry would release the tension, but feel stupid crying when I'm not even sure exactly what is making me want to.

This morning I felt panicky. I went out to do my shopping and run errands alone. It was good. It was quiet. I wandered Walmart and Hobby Lobby unhurried. I took on the grocery maze that is Wegman's on Saturday afternoons and came out feeling sane. I also came out with a cup of coffee.

I am tired. I miss my grandkids and I am overwhelmed with some of my other responsibilities. I am also adjusting to my mom being able to hear after over a year of adjusting to her being unable to hear. (She has new hearing aides.) I should be thrilled, but I am once again thrown a bit off kilter, and maybe she is too. Perhaps it is the family issues that are plaguing me than anything. I guess there are things chocolate can't fix after all. I wonder if cupcakes...

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Bit of Bouncing

Yesterday was a kid day. Though I was missing one little guy due to illness, we made up for it by having two other friends for the morning. The living room floor was covered with toys. Play food, toy cars, and dishes were strewn across the carpet and three small children danced amongst the Beanie Babies.

I had a brief encounter with one small escapee, but quickly chased him down. Good thing I was wearing my slippers and can run faster than a two year old! The door will need to be locked when he visits from now on otherwise we'll need to reinstall the "garden gate".

After the escape attempt, couch jumping seemed a rather benign activity. On "normal" days I would discourage bouncing on the couch, but after my run around Barn 1, I was glad for a safe alternative to children running shoeless through the yard. I was relieved to have both boys safe inside the house.

Can you tell which boy's socks are drying by the wood stove? Luckily they were dry by the time his mommy returned.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

An Update

I am not entirely certain where the last six weeks went. They were right here one moment, and the next thing I knew, they were gone! How does that happen?

I am incredibly blessed to have had my favorite mom in law here for several weeks. We faced some terribly emotional days together, cried a few tears, and laughed a lot too. We shared the pain of lost loved ones, a bout of sickness, and a Christmas holiday. We ate many wonderful meals, baked Boston Brown bread, made tamales, and drank countless cups of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. We spoke of times past and made new memories.
We took pictures, went shopping, and visited friends and family. We watched movies, read books, and stayed up late. We went out to eat, took afternoon naps, and played games. It seemed she had scarcely arrived and it was time to go home already... Almost six weeks went by and yet it seemed just a few days.

By now Grandmanita is safely back home. I'm sure her friends are happy. I bet her cat is thrilled! I'm fairly certain Auntie Lee Anne is doing the Happy Dance. I will miss her for many days to come. I love her.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Letter B

A Booger-Freezing Story from last winter. (My creativity this week has been somewhat questionable, and so you get a re-run from last February.)

Bright, beautiful, and deceptively sunny... I bundle the little ones into their winter clothes and together we make the short trek down the snow covered driveway. The powdered snow squeaks under our feet and my nostrils burn with the cold. The windchill is once again well below zero degrees Fahrenheit, though the actual temperature is about 8ยบ. I gather Mom's newspaper from the box and check for yesterday's mail which was forgotten in the busyness of the day.

The bitter wind stings my cheeks and bites at my nose, but the children barely notice. They are too caught up in the excitement of snowballs and mounds of snow left behind by Dave's snowplow. The bus arrives, gathers the girls into it's shelter, and rumbles off down the road. Andrew and I wave our mittened hands to the driver and head back toward the house. Untouched snow along the driveway and into the yard is left sculpted by the wind. I can just imagine what the frozen wastelands of the tundra and Antarctica must look like.

Inside the house we pull off boots and mittens. My coffee, is finished brewing, an inviting aroma in the air. My Little Guy nibbles on graham crackers and drinks apple juice while I sip hot vanilla coffee. The day has just begun...

 To see the other participants in the new round of 
ABC Wednesday, click here!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Talk More, Write Less...

... or was it "write more, talk less"?

I find can get into trouble either way, and the last few weeks prove that. No matter how good my intentions, I still fail often. It has been another painful week. There have been moments of hope and others of complete despair. I've found myself unable to write, unable to pretend all was well when in actuality it felt like my entire family was falling apart. On one hand I have sought forgiveness, and on another have been asked to forgive. I have been made aware of my own error, one I will own up to, and been reminded of past events that can never be undone. As I endeavor to forgive and move on, I pray others will do the same. There is only one direction to go from here, and that is forward. There can be no looking back.

So are we to write more and talk less, or talk more and write less? I find writing typically gets me into less trouble as I am able to read and rewrite a message before it is delivered. Not only can I edit the written word, but I can erase it altogether, or hold off on sending it at all... Then again, if I mess up and send it off... Well, maybe I won't think about that right now.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A is for Ants

A is for ants, a whole army of them. I think maybe they were on their way to a picnic somewhere.

To see the other participants in the new round of 
ABC Wednesday, click here!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wiped Out

It has been a long an emotional few days. Perhaps there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all, but it is going to take my eyes a few days to recover. (Tears do this...) I figured I'd post tonight because I'm not sure I will be able to pry my eyes open in the morning. In the end, God is still good. I hugged my son today for the first time in over a month. Though wounds remain raw on both sides, there is hope, and hope will also help me rest. Thank you for your prayers. (And thank you to a wise pastor who helped us through a very difficult afternoon.)

A big wind is blowing outside. I sleep well during storms, so maybe while others lie awake in bed listening to the wind, I will be sound asleep.

The picture? Oh yeah, it makes me smile. I need something to make me smile. A friend of Grandmanita's sent it to her because it made the friend think of her and I have to agree. It has been amazingly good to have her here with us this past month. Next week she will be heading home again. I am going to miss her terribly.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Great... Uh... Skate! :)

When I grow up, I want to skate like Gramma Gail! She's amazing. Of course, Canadians are born with skates on their feet.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A little Polishing

So, this afternoon we finally decided to have some fun with the nail polish... Bethany helped me out with the ladybugs this time.

Mr. Linky seems a little too much for me right now. I'm not sure I'm ready to head up a full blown meme of my own, so if you want to play along, just let us know here and post your own pretty toenail pictures at your place.


Can I say my heart is grieved? I am grieved over the loss of oneness in the church of Christ and the idea that it somehow doesn't matter how we behave because the grace of God covers all. God's grace does cover all, but when did the Bible say it didn't matter how we behave? What happened to "Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ"? Just what kind of conduct is it that makes us worthy? And if it doesn't matter how we behave, then just what is it that differentiates us from the rest of the world?

I've seen some videos lately that leave my soul crying. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), but does it really say "all" sins? Can a man be a Christian, commit adultery, and immediately afterward feel guilty and hear God say, "I love you"? I was under the impression my sin is what separates me from God. How is it we share testimonies of being "saved" out of alcoholic families and keep a cupboard full of booze? How do we testify of being rescued from anger and yet have a mouth full of perversity?

I know it is Christ who comes into a life and saves, He has done that for me, but He doesn't leave us like he found us, He begins the slow and painful process of conforming us into His image. He calls us to leave the old way of life behind and become something new. I fear there are many today who want what Jesus has to offer in the way of salvation, but who aren't willing to let Him change their hearts and actions.

 So much for keeping the mood light...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Drama Class

There has been more than enough drama this month to last for years to come. Every time we think we've seen the last of it, another episode pops up in a different set of people. Sometimes the people circles overlap. Actually, a lot of the people circles overlap... Okay, so maybe we're all connected in one way or another. The truth is Facebook has made more drama possible than one people circle should ever have to deal with. I'm losing friends/family left and right, some for the simple fact that they've deactivated their accounts. I can't say as I blame them. If it wasn't for the fact that it connects me to my children, I'd probably delete my own. Then again, I suppose that is the exact reason some have decided to be done with it altogether. Blah.

Z is for Zebra

Z is for Zebra. I'm taking a chance and posting the obvious here. Every children's ABC book I've ever read has a Zebra for the letter Z, and why not? They're pretty cool looking animals. This particular zebra posed for a photograph at the Buffalo Zoo several years ago. I think he's very handsome in his striped pajamas.

To see the other participants in the new round of 
ABC Wednesday, click here!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quiet and Overcast

Today I went to Ladies' Prayer at Calvary Chapel and ran errands. Hannah and I had two small boys to watch, so she stayed with them at the church (during Bible study) while I ran about taking care of business and buying some fruits and vegetables.

So far this winter we have had little to no snow. No need to shovel sidewalks or have the driveway plowed. Kind of nice in a lot of ways. Of course, this could change at any time. I am well aware of that. But, yesterday I saw a robin sitting in one of our maple trees when I went out to the bus stop with Emma. I hope he knows what he's doing.

I have managed to lose one of my brand new alpaca wool mittens already. I took them on my way out the door Sunday when we took off for Canada and discovered one missing when we were at Gail's house in Fort Erie. I suppose it is laying lost and lonely somewhere on Transit Rd. in Buffalo where we stopped for gas (our gas cap was stuck and James had to break it off...), ran in Loews Home Improvement, and grabbed a snack at Mighty Taco. Ah well, at least it is not the only pair of mittens in my possession, even if they were the most expensive, and I am not outside building snowmen or shoveling the walk.

Monday, January 09, 2012

No Tears

I want you to know that I am not wallowing in despair over my son's decisions. If I feel guilty at all, it is because there is an element of relief, relief in knowing that I did nothing to warrant this present tirade and that it is not my responsibility to "fix" my son's problems. As he has said, he is a big boy now, and it is up to him to make his own choices and face the consequences. My house is peaceful, children frequent my arms, and I am not unhappy. Sadly, something tells me this is not a short term situation, so if photos and stories of his little ones are absent, you will understand.

There is no shortage of children here. Emma comes to get on and off the school bus each day, Alex and Asher keep me company several times a week (one four days and the other two), and Josh pops in with his mom frequently. Vinnie and his little sister feel like surrogate grandchildren and show up here and there as needed. I love them all! Toys continue to be strewn across my floors, the high chair gets regular use, and I still buy things like apple juice and animal crackers. Please don't feel sorry for me, just keep my son in prayer.

Time Out

A cup of hot tea, a warm Chinese dinner, and a welcoming home. I like visiting Gramma Gail.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

And That's the Truth

The truth is my son is not talking to us. He is angry. We have apologized for words spoken under pressure and in frustration, but he is unwilling to forgive us for the events of last fall. Sadly, he is only validating our decision not to rent him my mother's house.

My little grand- children were here on Christmas day for a few hours, but I haven't seen them since. I don't think Dave will be showing up here any time soon, and we are not welcome at his house. I have been told, "I don't want you here." We are blocked from his Facebook page.

So anyway, I am trying not to think of sweet, small faces and little voices. I can't let my son's anger control my life and make me miserable. I must choose instead to trust the One who holds the world in His hands. He will watch over my son and his family and He will take care of me. I will be here waiting, praying for my boy's return. In the meantime, I will love the little ones who God brings into my home and play "Grammy" to them as often as I am allowed.

Between the fire and death of a friend/family member and his sons, my own son's anger, and other recent family  issues, maybe you can forgive me for not "Lookin' Up" quite the way I'm used to... I covet your prayers and thank you ahead of time.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Impossible Feets

I decided to reach back a short distance in time and pull something random out of the bag. I need to do something totally silly and pointless, yet inexpensive and mildly entertaining. (I did say "mildly.")

Not long ago my friend Betsy told her Tail Tale. Since we had just mentioned pedicures, I suggested the "Feet Feat" and I think maybe I'm ready for a Pedicure Party. If I can figure out how to get along with Mister Linky, and come up with a name for a periodic meme, maybe you can play along.

This time around I'm suggesting a pedicure. Do your own or pay to have it done for you and post a photo. (This is my "before" picture...)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Window Treatments

My antique bottle and doodad collection has been returned to the upper windows in my living room. Dusting will be a little trickier now, but they look cheerful and friendly up there, and I could use a little bit of cheerful and friendly.

Now that the blinds have come down (when we painted...), the morning sun can come in. I call that minute the sun comes up over the horizon "the golden moment" because it turns my kitchen and a corner of my living room to gold. It's a seasonal thing and I must remember to treasure the gift.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

I Can't Believe You Said That....

Old post, new circumstances.... Actually, this post might refer to several circumstances right now. It seems as though the world has gone mad and we are along for the ride. 

Sunday, January 03, 2010

But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:8

Extenuating circumstances have left me contemplating the power of the tongue and how quickly words can destroy character and reputation. Words can be a healing balm or a deadly poison. Once released, poisonous words seep deep into the heart and soul, set on a course to destroy. They can never be totally undone or erased no matter how sorry the speaker may be.

Words reveal the condition of the heart, as Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." The mouth is a leaky seal releasing the contents of the soul. Where the heart is given to God, blessings will come forth, but where lies and deceit reside, cursing will pour out.

As you may have guessed, we are struggling with the effects of an unbridled tongue and seeking the wisdom of God in how to deal with the situation. It would be easy, in some ways, to lash back, but that is not a real solution as we are not seeking to alienate, but restore. (At least that is what we want to want. The truth is, sometimes it is difficult to pray a blessing on those who hurt us. That is, none the less, what Jesus desires us to do, and we want to follow Him)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Y is for Yawning

Y is for yawning.

Bo Cat was just waking up from a nap. Still feeling rather sleepy, she opened her mouth in a huge yawn. I laughed when I saw the photograph. She looks dangerous and scary and... funny.

To see the other participants in the new round of 
ABC Wednesday, click here!

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday was cold, but not near as cold as today. I think I shall endeavor to stay inside, now that I've already been out to stand at the end of the driveway with Emma. The bus arrived on time. Alex and I waved her off and hurried back inside.

I suppose I do need to go out with James later, his van inspection is expired, but then I will hurry back home to the wood stove and my pile of warm blankets. If there weren't still so many cookies hanging around I might turn the oven on.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Angel Toes

We stopped to visit Angel yesterday afternoon. Her little grand daughter was there and offered to paint her grandma's toenails. Angel was very agreeable. (She also told us about the time she wore sandals to work forgetting that Autumn had given her a pedicure... I don't suppose she will have to worry about that this week. It isn't sandal weather.)

Autumn also painted Aunt Lindsey's nails. She looks very pleased with herself, don't you think? I can hardly wait until my granddaughter is big enough to paint my nails!