Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Springing Up

Winter's hanging on but spring is quite stubborn and deter- mined, even if the fight is won a little at a time. Under piles of crusty, old snow and matted leaves the flowers are growing. Faith and determination. I've heard plenty of people ask if winter is ever going to go away, but the flowers never question spring's arrival.

Today I realized that my mom's second cousin is a resident of the nursing home. I heard her name yesterday but it didn't click until most of the way through lunch today. When I had a free moment I asked her husband if her maiden name was C-------. He said yes and when I told them that my mother was one also and that they were cousins, he smiled. He seemed genuinely happy that I stopped to talk with them. I'm looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow as the family is always there to help with her noon meal.

We left class early today and after my arrival at home I had some time to "play" out in the yard. I picked up a bag of doggy doo (There's plenty left for another day...), raked a section of lawn, and burned a few sticks and leaves. I am thoroughly smoked now, smelling like a sausage, and in need of a shower. Our yard is in rough shape but I think we can recover it a little at a time. Sunshine and warmer temperatures are a great motivator.

I'm still feeding the birds and squirrels, though I've not had the same chance to watch them. The cardinals have been about and the other day a red winged blackbird came to visit my feeder. I did spot Little Red and Mr. Gray out there a few days ago. Gray was enjoying a meal and Red was scampering about fretfully. I think he's still worried about his food supply. He shouldn't be too concerned. I've still got a nice bag of Critter Crunch and another one of peanuts.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Back to Class

The last few weeks have changed the direction of my days. I don't spend my mornings wondering what to do. I haven't been wasting so much time during the afternoon looking at my computer screen. Today I spent the morning walking halls and attempting to help people get washed up and dressed for the day. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't too bad either.

We worked in pairs with an established staff member. Not every resident was feeling cheery and cooperative, but that's no surprise. One can hardly blame them. I was questioned as to how long I've been working at the nursing home and where I went to school. I had to think fast in order to reassure this particular resident and not lie. ha ha! Tonight my nose is playing tricks on me and I'm hoping this a normal and fleeting affliction. Everything smells like... well... you know... Maybe this could be a good weight loss program. :0)

I found myself thankful today that my mom and dad never had to live in a nursing facility, but not because the people there aren't compassionate. I'm grateful once again that my dad didn't linger long confined to a bed in a body that he couldn't control. As difficult as it was to let my parents go, I'm sure it would have been harder to have them stay.

Now I have a decision to make regarding employment. We've not yet been hired by the facility training us, but we do have that option. We can apply with them or seek out another option. I'm leaning toward staying and hoping this week will help with the final decision.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday

And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’fn
Hosanna in the highest!”
And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
Matthew 21:8-10

Friday, March 27, 2015

And Now For a Weekend

I have been utterly frustrated, and utterly amazed, at the impeccable timing of headaches. It's been two jam packed weeks of reading textbooks, doing quizzes, and practicing skills. I had a stress/eye strain headache on the first day of class, but was able to get through the first two weeks without anything major. Here we are at what is my first "relaxed" weekend and here comes the headache.

Now before you feel sorry for me, please recall that I often struggle with headaches. They come with fluctuating hormones and are no big surprise. What is a surprise, and actually a good one, is how God so often allows me a lapse in whatever I'm doing (babysitting, taking a class, ...) to take it easy while I deal with it. Yes, I'm looking for the silver lining (and taking ibuprofen).

Next week we go to class in scrubs. We're going to meet some of the residents and put into practice what we've been learning. In another two weeks we'll be done with clinical and then we'll take the state test. It's a little bit frightening and a little exciting all rolled up into one. This has been a bit of a whirlwind ride so far and so far it's been fun, aside from the headache. I'm pretty sure if Mom and dad can see me, they're smiling. The nursing home was pretty special to them. No matter which one they visited, they were all full of people they loved.

PS. These are old photos and have nothing to do with the facility where I am taking the class. (See my mom there talking to her Uncle Louie? He's the one she was talking about a few days before she passed on.)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Designer Paper Plates

Believe it or not, I am starting to wonder where spring is hiding. As much as I am able to enjoy the cold and snow of February, when my birthday comes (and goes) I am looking forward to green grass and warm weather. It's not happening. It's snowing; big, fat, fluffy flakes of wet snow. No more snowmen for me this year. No snowball fights. No way, no how.

I'm ready for picnics outside and afternoon visits on the back porch. I'm ready to whip up a macaroni salad and show off my really super cool new paper plates. Check out the fancy design! Have you ever seen paper plates so cool? Of course, you haven't. Not until now.

I found two sizes of  Essential Everyday Designer plates in town at the IGA. They were both the kind with the colored pattern across the center and white trees outlined through the centers. I was disappointed to see they did not yet have the rest of the set out on the shelves. Perhaps I should tell the store manager that the designer was once a stock boy in their store, and that he grew up in this very town. Maybe everyone will get excited and buy them! :0) Okay, so maybe not everyone is as thrilled as his mom, but I am looking forward to bragging a little bit at some picnics this summer. I wonder if there are napkins to match?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Click of the Tongue

I met Rachel today after class and we went for our biweekly visit with Tim. We found him quiet but content. As we drove the country back roads listening to Dad play his music, every once in a while Tim would click his tongue. Sometimes he smiled at Rachel as he clicked, sometimes he just clicked. I found myself smiling with the knowledge that he is happy.

The treats Rachel brought were quickly devoured; a little baggie of Wheat Thins and a banana. I found a clementine in my backpack and took the peel off. When I handed it to Tim, he broke it in half and popped an entire half into his mouth at once. It was gone in no time at all. Before taking him back we swung by Wendy's for a small chocolate Frosty which disappeared almost as fast as the orange. I think Tim is immune to brain freeze.

I must apologize for not always keeping up with your blogs. (I'm trying.) My free time is fleeting. After leaving the house at 6:30 am and not returning until about 3:30 pm, there is only a little time left to check my messages and try to post a blog. There is homework every night and I work on it until my eyes are too blurry to do any more. Then I take a Benadryl and go to bed. I find my eyes are much happier in the morning if I take the Benadryl. I tried going without on Friday night and could hardly get my eyes open Saturday morning. I looked like a pumpkin.  I could have packed groceries in those bags! Anyway, it's time to go look at that nursing book again...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My Tired Eyes

The CNA class is going well so far, but my eyes are beyond tired. The glasses I have are just over the counter readers, about as high a strength as I can find without a prescription, but they really aren't doing the job anymore. My left eye sees slightly different than my right eye and I continue to struggle with the afflictions of childhood, that old crossed eye and the other one that's lazy. They just don't want to cooperate. Maybe once I get through this course I'll make a visit to the eye doctor. they probably wonder where I've been anyway.

Spring took a vacation the past couple of days and frigid air settled in. We didn't get any snow that stuck around, but the wind has been bitter. I've been drinking more water :)  than ever and yet my lips are chapped and my face is windburned. Yes, I am looking forward to warm weather just like the rest of you. Tomorrow is supposed to be a little more springy.

Monday, March 23, 2015

It Was a Party

Well, we had a party yesterday. There was noise and confusion and excitement. There was a magic trick or two, and stories. Jakie spilled my tea all over the place, and nobody got hurt. We ate Noodle Surprise, which is one of my dad's creations, and had cake and ice cream for dessert. When the party thinned out and the little ones were gone, we played a game of Apples to Apples with the few remaining guests. It was a good day.

I am running short on blogging time, but I did figure I'd share a few pictures from the festivities. I hope you like them as much as I did.

Aubrey wasn't so sure about Hannah reading a book in Spanish... She told Hannah to "read it right." ha ha!

Aw, she's too cute.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Another Birthday Past

By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.

Psalm 76:1

Friday, March 20, 2015

"I Have Washed Your Feet"

"If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. John 13:14–17

My first week of CNA class is over. It's been both a challenging week and a rewarding week all rolled up into one. I'm the oldest one in the class, maybe old enough to be the mother of all the other students, and about ten years older than the instructor. Even so I have not felt out of place and I'm making friends. Today we practiced skills that included hand washing and foot washing. As Corie washed my right hand and Alyson washed my left, I mused at how on Monday (just five days ago) most of us were total strangers.

We had been prepared for the fact that we would be washing each other's feet, though most were apprehensive. I couldn't help but think of Jesus word's to His disciples when he girded Himself with a towel and prepared to wash their feet. Peter had been a little uneasy too. I made the decision to make myself available for foot washing and so I was the first. My foot was washed by the instructor. In the end we all had our feet washed, some of us more than once.

PS. I found the photo online and, after a little searching, discovered (I think) it is located in Dallas, Texas. If I ever get back to Dallas, I'm going to search it out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A New Kind of Schedule

I am getting used to my new schedule. I think the Benadryl at night has done wonders and I am grateful for its wonder working properties. I learned quickly to eat a good breakfast and make my lunch light. A yogurt, a granola bar, and a piece of fruit get me through the day nicely.

I saw my friend from yesterday again this morning. We didn't speak but he made me smile just the same. He was tooling down the hall in his wheelchair, his feet moving very quickly, and singing. Every once in a while he would yodel a refrain. Around the corner he went singing, "I fall to pieces..." the knit cap on his head completing the scene.

The CNA class has been interesting. I'm finding that I not only learned a lot from watching my father's illness and taking care of my mom, but I am also learning how I could have done some things differently. I'm thankful that moms are typically very forgiving and also very much aware that my own mom would be blessed if I learn from the experience and use it to help others. She had a huge heart for the residents in each of the nursing homes she and Dad visited weekly. They went to four every week until my dad went into the hospital a little over five and a half years ago.

Since I haven't had time to play with my camera, I've been perusing old family pictures. The old photo of my grandpa and a shaggy dog out in the snow makes me smile. I love the gloves and what look like goggles. (Maybe someone else can tell me if it's something different. I know he wasn't flying airplanes...) And then there is my grandma, with her hand holding onto her hat, and maybe one of her six sisters. I lose track of which sister is which and then sometimes I'm not even sure if it is one.

Okay then. I'm off to bed. It's 9:36 pm and getting late.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Today was Better Than Yesterday

I forgot to wear green today, neglected to look for leprechauns, and found no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, My Darling did make corned beef and cabbage while I was away. Maybe tomorrow I will find myself a Shamrock Shake...

This week I'm finding that taking a class is hard and not so hard all wrapped up in one. By the time I returned home yesterday afternoon I was exhausted and my eyes felt ready to fall out on the floor. I downed a cup of coffee and crashed on the couch until I chomped the inside of my cheek in a dream and rudely woke myself . After finishing my homework, and there was a lot, I popped a Benadryl and fell into bed by 9 pm. Today was better. We didn't do quite as much reading and though my eyes are tired, my stomach isn't churning. I shared a snack with a very young mom of three who had forgotten her lunch on the way out the door. I had an extra apple and an ample supply of granola bars in my bag. Always good to bring extra for those random moments.

On one of our breaks I passed a little old man in a wheelchair. He looked quite cheery. I smiled at him and he at me and after friendly hellos he said, "We meet again!" Of course, to the best of my knowledge, we have never met. I found myself smiling and recalling a time years back when we visited an old friend in the same nursing home. On our way out we had run into another elderly gentleman we knew. We had been members of the same church fellowship for many years, but when we walked away from Al, we heard him remark to someone nearby, "I've never seen those people in my life." Too funny.

I got my blood titer results this afternoon. I have immunities to measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox. The only thing that came back negative is hepatitis B and I was only guessing at that one. I remembered to make a copy to put in my files lest I need proof again.

*The photo is my great great grandmother and my father's brother Arthur. Photos of Grandma Arndt are rare so I am grateful to my cousin who sent me this one. I'm not entirely sure of gr. gr. grandma's  first name, but I think it may have been Julia. Her husband's name was Edward.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Here We Go

Okay. I think I'm ready. There are a few nagging fears that I may have forgotten or overlooked something regarding tomorrow. Am I sure of where the course is being held? Is there something I needed to bring? Actually, I guess I don't really have any major fears or questions, but perhaps with a little effort I could conjure up some anxiety... and probably very little effort. My class starts tomorrow. The butterflies are multiplying...

Last night we had some unexpected visitors. While My Darling helped Child Number 5 change the brake pads on his car, I got to visit with Grandchild Number 7 and his sweet, smiling mommy. Spencer was
content to sit on my lap for a little while, but it wasn't long before he let us know he'd had enough of Grandma and wanted Mommy back. When James and Nate came back in, we offered some supper. I had a big tossed salad in my fridge and that, coupled with some grilled cheese sandwiches (James and I had red chili sauce in ours), made for a tasty light meal to share. The others enjoyed a bowl of chocolate almond ice cream following the meal, but I opted to wash the dishes instead.

In the past 10 days we've had evening visits from five of our seven kids. Beth and Adam came for enchiladas with the boys just over a week ago and we had a great time playing Apples to Apples with them and Josh. Jake made certain we did not forget the promised dessert of ice cream. Hannah and Sergio were here for dinner Monday night. Nailing her down can be a challenge. Between babysitting and social engagements, she keeps herself busy. Dave called on Thursday wondering if we could keep the three while he and Leta went out together for a couple of hours. A dinner of macaroni and cheese and hotdogs was enjoyed by all. Ben came over to pick up his tax return on Friday night and stopped along the way to collect a pizza. Morgan was working so we missed her. Last night's visit from Nate and Sabrina meant everyone "very local" had passed through. Very cool. I'm hoping next weekend will bring a visit from Joe who is only an hour away, two if you count the fact that someone has to go get him.

You may (or may not) have noticed Spencer's cute "Princess in the house" bib. He needed a fresh bib and all I could find in the drawers were bibs for girls. He didn't seem too ruffled by the experience but did wait until it was removed to puke down the front of his sleeper. Ain't that just like a kid?

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Few Good Ducks

As I said on Facebook, I am getting my ducks in a row. I've talked to those for whom I babysit, gone for a drug screening, found and established myself with a new doctor, and had blood drawn for several titers. We're checking for immunities to measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, and hepatitis B. Fun stuff.

I had chicken pox when I was 2 months old. My brother Dan kindly shared the virus with Tim and me. Tim was "plastered" according to my dad's diary. Mom said they were in his mouth and down his throat as far as she could see. I was blessed with a light case and it was said that I'd be sure to get them again, but when my sisters and friends were down, I stayed healthy. The same was true when my own children broke out in spots.

When I was a few months shy of four years old, I came down with the mumps. I actually remember my mom feeling the sides of my throat and neck, and talking about "the mumps." Because of the memory, I asked her about me having them once but found she had forgotten all about it. Yet there it is on the back of my birth notice in Mom's handwriting, "Mumps- January 10, 1968" right under "Chicken Pox- May 21, 1964."

My brothers both had the measles before I was born. I had the vaccine but Mom hadn't written the date, and when I was in kindergarten in 1969, they herded us all upstairs to the nurse's office a class at a time where we were injected with the German measles vaccine. I remember it well because, not only did it feel weird to be taken upstairs in a line and given a shot, but I jumped when they put the needle in the first time, so I got a second dose.

I think I'm all set to start my class on Monday morning. Rearranging my sleep and rising times should be interesting, but having an actual reason to be up and out of the house early will be a great incentive. I'm trying to be calm and not stress out. Breathe deep, exhale... breathe deep, exhale...

Anyway, after this morning's appointment I came home to a quiet, empty house and wished for someone to meet for lunch. My wish was granted a short time later when the phone rang and I heard My Darling's voice on the other end of the line. The sun was shining bright, it felt like spring, and was a beautiful day to go out together.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Medical Records

The weather is changing and spring fever is running rampant. Underneath the snow rivers run and puddles grow. The driveway is a muddy mess and what was once a snow white over of fluff is now an icy, dirty, field of debris. In spite of the muddy disarray, the sun and warmer temperatures beckon us outside. Too bad I don't know what to do once I get out.

I went for a drug screening today, something I never imagined having to do. I've made numerous calls in an attempt to locate old medical records, specifically vaccinations, but apparently everything has been destroyed. I am a medical nobody outside of the records at my OB/GYN and they will disappear once my baby turns 21. I did learn I was last at the GYN in 2004. It was the same year I also had my last physical with a general practitioner, a mammogram or two, and was treated for a UTI. After that I lost my insurance coverage, wasn't sick, and soon after my then physician moved her practice to another location. All of my childhood records are gone and all of my adult records are gone too.

I am starting over. I have a clean slate, in a manner of speaking. Tomorrow I have a consultation with the nurse practitioner where My Darling has his doctor. (I should be writing out my life history...) I need to prove I am immune to the measles if I hope to ever get a job in the nursing home, and I need a doctor to order the titer to prove my immunity. Needless to say, it's been a busy week.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Visitng Tim and Other Sundry Stuff

Rachel and I went out to visit Tim this afternoon. In the month since we last visited he has been in and out of the hospital. He must have been pretty sick during that time (He had an e coli infection.) and perhaps our thwarted efforts to visit him were really for the better. He was up and walking today, eager to go out, and looking much thinner than he has in a very long time. If I had to guess, I'd say he's probably lost between 10 and 20 pounds in the past month. That's not all bad, as he has been overweight for several years, but it does verify he was in desperate need of help. I'm so glad he got it. He wasn't especially smiley today, but he did scarf down the snacks Rachel brought along.

Without much thought about it I left my camera home today. Sometimes I feel like a nuisance carrying it around, pointing it at people, and wanting to stop to capture whatever catches my eye. I forgot that it may be another month or so before I'm able to tag along again. I missed a sweet picture of Rachel and Tim walking down the sidewalk from the house to the car hand in hand. Even the aide there at the house remarked on the sweetness of the moment.

The snow is melting rapidly. There is no sign of snowmen in the little cars, just puddles of water left on the seats. The driveway is a patch of icy mud, with spots of cat grossness here and there, and there and here. Old cats and long, frigid, winters with deep, deep snow make for very yucky spring thaws. I'm not sure whether to haul a shovel out of the barn and attempt a cleanup or pray for a driving rain. Honestly, I need both, It's really that bad. (Blech!)

 I left you all hanging yesterday as to my future adventure. That's mostly because I am still digesting the plan myself. When Tim was to be treated with IV antibiotics, the intent was to move him to a bed at a nearby nursing home. Since we'd thought to visit him there, I looked up their website and saw they were scheduling a class for new CNA's. I planned to ask someone about it when we made our visit, but Tim went home on oral antibiotics instead. On Friday morning I picked up the phone and made an inquiry. That afternoon I received a call from the RN overseeing the program. She asked if I'd like to come in for an interview that afternoon. She told me I would know if I'd been chosen by sometime Tuesday. I received that call in the ten minute lull between Ladies' Prayer and our Women's Bible Study. I've scarcely had time to mull things over (which could be a good thing). I'm scrambling to come up with my apparently non-existent vaccination records and tomorrow morning I go for a drug screening. By Monday morning I'll be enrolled in a full fledged 100 hour class and on my way to who knows where...  Mom would be proud.

PS. Pets for your viewing pleasure. ha!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Turning Over a New Leaf

I promised no more snowmen and I am sad to have done so, but a promise is a promise. I will tell you that at least one of them, in their own pathetic way, made me smile this afternoon. The Red Hat Lady has quite the weight loss program... and a couple of the others succumbed to fatigue and were found slumped over their steering wheels... I've stolen their apparel leaving them stark naked in their vehicles. A cruel and heartless joke. (ha ha!)

I won't have much time for snowmen after this week. I'm turning over a new leaf, taking a break from my childishness, and shall try out being an adult for a few weeks. (I'll let you know how it turns out... ) I'll be taking a class, perhaps earning a certificate, and maybe finding myself a job when it's all complete. It's happened rather quickly and I'm finding myself slightly staggered and a little bit stressed. The class starts early Monday morning and run for 5-6 weeks. It will mean not only rearranging my own schedule, but it also means I can't get Em onto the bus in the morning.

I'm scrambling a little bit to get some medical records together. I've been remiss in keeping up with things like physicals and scarcely know if I have a doctor anymore. Tracking down my immunization records is proving to be a little bit of a challenge... Perhaps there is a blessing in this as I will need to get all that back in order. Better to do it now ahead of desperately needing a doctor for an actual medical emergency.

Prayers are appreciated as I begin this new endeavor.

Monday, March 09, 2015


It may or may not have been a picture taking kind of day. It was bright and sunny and warm, if you care for mid 40's. After temperatures in the single digits, even freezing feels warm! It was warm enough to melt a little snow and conjure up a bit of mud. I stayed in (mostly) and did some of that work that never gets noticed unless you don't do it. You know, stuff like vacuuming inside the couches, washing the kitchen floor, and scrubbing toilets. It smells clean and tomorrow I can go out and know that something was accomplished this week in the way of housework.

It's a drippy kind of day. My snow people, who had noses made of snow this morning, are without sniffers this afternoon. This gal is doing the best in the nose department and even her's is significantly smaller, not that you care or anything. She'd have dropped her mittens on the ground if not for the stick arms I pushed deep into her shoulders yesterday. (I can hardly believe she still has eyes...)

Herb used to have a mustache and a ball cap. He's not near as handsome now as he was as a younger snowman. I suppose I should climb that old snowbank and rescue My Darling's hat (I let Herb borrow one) before a big wind comes off the lake and blows it to Timbuktu or even down to the drainage ditch. Those glasses Herb's wearing certainly can't hold on much longer. In no time at all they'll be down on the ground next to his mustache...

And then there's the Red Hat Lady. He beads are drooping (ha ha!) and she's leaning back in a rather tired kind of way. She's lost her sunglasses down there in the grass. She looks as if she may have had a little too much to drink... Things aren't going to get any better for this crew tomorrow, not with temperatures forecast to be in the upper 40's again. Most likely by tomorrow afternoon they'll all be little piles of slush with hats.

Alright, enough of snowmen. (I'm done now, honest.) It's time to check on what's for dinner. I've got a little pork roast in my crockpot. We'll eat that with mashed potatoes and maybe some cooked carrots. Maybe I'll even toss a batch of cookies in the oven for dessert. Maybe.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Titched, Titched in the Head

I know everyone is sick and tired of winter. No one wants to see any more white stuff or face any more cold, icy mornings. We're done with skating, sledding, skiing, and practically every other "s" word you can come up with, except snowman. We aren't done with snowman quite yet...

Yes, I am a little off kilter, a little un- balanced. Titched in the head, you might say, but it is the end of a long, cold winter and I am still smiling. I could be tearing my hair out or picking nits off the carpet... Perhaps a snowman building fetish is mild compared to what could be. Who knows? I might not build another snowman for months! Maybe even years!!!

My Darling had gone outside. I'm not sure what he was doing but I thought he wanted me to follow him, so I did. I threw a snowball or two at him as he worked to fix my rear windshield wiper. I secretly prayed the snowball would NOT find its way down the back of his neck. He tossed some more snow at me and as he ran for the house and I got him again. This time it went down his back. Oops. Thankfully he was kind and did not seek revenge.

I guess My Darling is not into building snowmen because after he went inside he did not return. That is really quite sad because snowmen are such happy, friendly fellas.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

And Then It Was Saturday

I did something different this Saturday and hung out with My Darling. He had a small job to do for one of his clients, and I had a few errands of my own to run. Since we were both headed in the same general direction, we made it a team effort.

While at the client's home we saw a very sickly looking fox wandering through some backyards. His tail was bare from his backside down to the middle of his tail. It's been a long, rough winter for those living in the wild and I'm not sure that poor guy is going to make it. However, we saw a couple deer wandering through the same back yard a few minutes later. They looked much better than the fox, although I can't say there will be anything left of the shrubs and trees in the neighborhood.

My Darling and I enjoyed lunch together at Carrabba's, which has been on our minds since receiving a gift card from one of our kids at Christmas. We stopped at Target so I could pay off my credit card and picked up some pet food. The cats were very concerned this morning to find their bag of kibbles empty. Sofie had one more feeding left in her bag of dog food but she appeared oblivious. Truthfully, she'd probably be happy with a steady diet of apples, oranges, peppers, cucumbers and whatever other fruits and vegetables I care to share, but that would likely turn out to more expensive than a bag of dog food every few weeks.

Whilst wandering the aisles of Target we picked up a movie to take home and watch. (We considered going to see McFarland USA but we'd already been out for several hours, our animals were hungry, and the dog likely needed to go out.) After a "quick" snooze on the couch and a snippet of leftover enchiladas, we settled in to watch "The Book Thief," the tale of a young girl and her love of books during WW2. It was both interesting and thought provoking. We also picked up a copy of Disney's "Tangled" because it's my favorite and I decided it would be a good early birthday present.

Now it's time to turn our clocks ahead and attempt to adjust to losing an hour of sleep. I'll likely stumble around groggily tomorrow morning, like usual, until either a shower or a cup of coffee chases the sleep from my eyes. Spring is not far off once we switch those clock hands.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness (Week 4)

Random Acts of Kindness. Smiles in the grocery store. Hugs for a friend. Words of encouragement to family members.

I was on my into the grocery store on Tuesday afternoon as a young mom with two little ones was on her way out. As her preschooler climbed into her van and the door started to shut, she called to him, "Open the door." But the door closed after him and did not reopen regardless of her pleas. On one arm she carried a baby in a carseat. Her other hand was full too. "I can open the door for you, " I said, "and I'll take your cart." She smiled and thanked me as she tucked her baby into the backseat of the van, and we both went away smiling.

If you have an RAK to share, hop on over to Betsy's and link up with the rest of us.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Winter's Sad Goodbye

Although the snow continues to fall, I think snowman season is just about over. I have to say, it was a good year. I've never had quite so much fun with snow people as I did this winter. I'm almost disappointed to see it go. Almost.

Some winters come with an abundance of wet, packy snow and others, like this one, come with a ferocious cold that keeps the snow powdery until it gets old and turns icy. This was a frigid winter with only a handful of days warm enough to pack a snowball.

Next week's temper- atures are expected to rise into the balmy 40's. Of course the snow won't melt overnight, and saying goodbye to heaps of snow at the end of a long cold winter isn't really too difficult. Even Frosty couldn't be around forever.

Winter may not be the favored season of many, but it has a beauty all its own if only we'll take the time to see. I can't help but recall the excitement of childhood when those first flakes of the season signaled winter's arrival. I don't ever want to lose that feeling and get lost in the drudgery of what can otherwise be just cold, gray, dirty, and depressing.

Bring on the birds and squirrels. Heap up the snowbanks! Get out your toboggans! Dig yourself a snow fort! Traipse through the woods in snow up to your knees! Catch those snowflakes on your tongue! Breathe the frosty air and freeze your nose shut! Lace up your skates! Grab your snow shovel! And don't forget to build a snowman!