Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Year Happenings

I've given up Mondays at the facility. Now it's time to start working on an alternative plan. Several possibilities are rolling around in this tiny brain of mine. A vegetable garden, honey bees, chickens... baker of cookies, maker of pies, painter of pictures... Time will help me make the decision.

Since I didn't need to be at work this afternoon, I went to visit my daughters and smile at my grandchildren. Hannah was over at Beth's coloring pictures with Jakie. We decided to have tea, and a little later bit of lunch. Beth served homemade soup and grilled cheese stick sandwiches. After we'd eaten I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, and helped Hannah fold what was left of Beth's clean laundry before heading for home.

It was strange to look at the clock in my van and realize how early in the afternoon it was. Not quite 2 o'cock. I took the long way home.
First I drove down to the Irondequoit Bay outlet for a few photos and then all the way down Lake Rd to Pultneyville, stopping here and there to stick my camera out the window if something caught my fancy. A cold wind blowing off the lake kept me from venturing too far out onto the Irondequoit pier, parking and walking down to the shore, or keeping the van window open for long.

A man and his dog walked farther down the pier than I cared to. He assured me it was bitterly cold at the water's edge. I took his word for it  and rather than tie my hood on my head, pull on my mittens, and be brave, I decided to shoot from a distance and head back to the safety of my van.

Tomorrow, unless I hear something different, I'll be spending the day with my friend G at the facility.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Barn Collective

Out my front window and across the street is one of my favorite barns. I call it "Bob's Barn" even though it no longer belongs to Bob. It's really Dave's Barn now, but it will always be Bob's Barn to me.

I love the way the evening sun lights up the west side of the barn where the lane goes back into the orchard.

I take most shots right out my front window.


Once upon a time we had a few apple trees in our yard.

Early autumn.

 Towering pines along the orchard lane.

Sunshine again.

Before he moved, Bob had to have an old gas tank removed. The shovel made great entertainment for my grandsons.


Perhaps one of the reasons I love Bob's Barn so much is because Bob is greatly loved. I truly miss having him as  my neighbor. Always a "Howdy, Neighbor!" a smile, and a joke or two. I really need to make a visit one day.

The Barn Collective

Friday, February 26, 2016

Martha Stuff

It's been almost two years since my mom took wing and flew away from this world. Two years ago today we took her to the doctor who asked if she was in any pain. Her response, "No, I don't have any pain. I don't even know why they've got  me here." Of course, the rattle in her left lung told a slightly different story. The doctor sent her for a chest x-ray and prescribed a round of antibiotics. The next morning she was gone and I found myself thankful for having taken her in while I had the chance.

Sometimes my mom and I were good friends and other times we were painfully disconnected. I desperately wanted to break down the walls that had been erected between us, but if she was aware of the separation, she never let on. Mom taught me that if you ignore the problem or pretend it didn't happen, it will eventually go away. Except that isn't really true and so the chasm between us remained, along with a pain I couldn't reconcile.

On one hand I can be grateful for the aching pain inside because it did open some lines of communication between myself and my own children. Some. But on the other hand I am still learning how to guard my own heart and rebuild the boundaries I previously allowed others to trample. Today I am sad. I'm sad because I miss my mom. I'm sad because we never really bridged the chasm. And I'm sad because sometimes old wounds still weep and bleed. This is life, and this is what makes me the woman I am today. Perhaps without the wounds my old heart would have become hard and calloused. Maybe the pain I feel is a gift from a Father who has woven in enough heartache to keep me tender, but not so much that I am totally broken, even if sometimes I feel like I am. They say God uses cracked pots (or maybe it was crackpots...). Whatever it was they said, I do know "the cracks are how the light gets through..." Here's hoping I don't need any more cracking.

I Will?

A photo from my morning stroll through Facebook. It goes along with the Max Lucado book we've been reading. I picked the book up at the thrift store way back in October but hadn't taken the time to actually read it. Before the Cabinet Maker and I go to sleep at night we've been reading a chapter of "You'll Get Through This." Sometimes I'm not really sure I will, at least not unscathed, but God keeps offering up these little bits of encouragement.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

3X Thursday

1. Under what circumstances might you get a tattoo and what would it be? (I hope I asked that right...)

2. What is one food you never want to taste again?

3. If you won a lottery ticket and had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

G is for Goofy

I asked the Cabinet Maker for a word that started with G. "Goofy," he replied. I'm not sure if he was referring to me or this game I play... ("Game," another word that starts with G.)

I will admit to being goofy, but being grown-up is really not much fun if one can not retain a bit of immaturity. Perhaps this is why I am drawn to small children, and also why they sometimes look at me funny.

For more ABC Wednesday, visit Mrs. Nesbitt and her friends here.

Work and Stuff

I haven't posted much about work lately. It hasn't been terribly exciting, except when G got mad and asked me, "Do you want to die?"

By that time I was a bit fed up with her too. I stood in front of her wheel- chair, looked at her, knowing she couldn't look back, and said, Bring it on, G---. Bring it on." 

"No," she said, "I think I changed my mind."

The next day we had a tussle over a cup of juice at lunch. She was going to throw it on me, but I wouldn't let it go. "What are you trying to do?" I asked her.

"I'm going to kill you!" she yelled. (Oh, my! And all this because I wasn't ready to leave the dining room yet...) She got the attention of everyone in the dining room, which is probably just what she wanted.

Thankfully, I'm not the only object of her ire. The sweetest CNA was getting her ready for the day one morning and decided to put some lotion on our friend. "I'm going to make you smell nice," she told her.

"As long as I don't smell like you," G retorted. "You smell like a whore."

We laugh at these things. They break up otherwise long and often sad days. I don't have many stories these days. Since G broke her arm we've spent a lot more time in her room rather than the common area. The wheelchair she now occupies makes my transporting her possible. It also puts me in the position of being bossed about. She's always in a hurry to get out of the dining room and fusses if I dare have a conversation with anyone else.

A part of me wants to stay at this job and "give of myself unselfishly" and another part says I need to put my time to better use. After eight months I've decided on the latter. I'm going to concentrate on cleaning and organizing my house for a while, and when the weather warms up maybe I'll begin a new adventure.

My photos don't match the post, unless you figure that folks in the MCU often revert to childish ways. That's me a few short years ago.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday Treasures

I am repeating an old post, so none of this happened yesterday, but the little carving I found in a drawer when we cleaned out my parents' house several years ago is still a treasure.

But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
Matt 14:24

It may not look like much, but yesterday I found a small treasure forgotten in a drawer. At first I thought it was just a broken piece of wood, but once in my hand, it magically transformed. I held the little boat and peered into the back of the drawer. Was there also a mast for the tiny vessel?

I am finding that it is really the little things that make me stop to think. The bigger pieces, like furniture, do not hold the same place in my heart that this small carving does. Once held in the palm of Dad's hand and carved because he loved both wood and ships. What looks worthless to some is priceless to me. I'm not quite sure what I will do with this tiny treasure. For now it is resting on a shelf in my living room, kind of like it once rested on the mantle behind Dad's wood burning stove.

More treasure hunting here.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Barn Collective

I'm not sure if The Barn Collective has any rules aside from posting barns. I could have asked ahead of time, but I'm pretty sure you won't mind me posting these drawings from my dad.

Like our brothers before us, when my sisters and I were little girls, a favorite after supper activity was to sit around the table with Dad and draw. Dad made drawing fun. His people and animals were stiff and awkward looking, but he drew the best trains, ships, and barns. Thankfully, some of them have been preserved through the years.

I think most of the time Dad drew whatever came into his head at the moment, but I believe this particular drawing was actually from a farm owned by one of his grandpas or an uncle. I used to know, but my memory fails me now. I once copied it in pen and ink for a high school art class.

As a child my father spent many hours "on the farm." His paternal grandpa owned a place on Creek Street in Penfield, NY and his maternal grandfather and uncles had farms in and around Angelica, NY in Allegheny County. He dreamed of being a farmer himself when he grew up, but his dream never came to fruition. Instead he and Mom bought a little ranch style home in a small tract of houses and stayed there for 50 years. He might not have had animals, other than cats and dogs, but he had a magnificent vegetable garden.

I never lived on a working farm but loved our trips to visit Uncle Joe Shafer on his dairy farm in Caneadea, NY. There was a barn full of cows, a bunch of chickens, some cats, and a pack of hideous hounds. Uncle Joe let me taste fresh milk from the cooler in the milk house and I loved Sunday afternoon walks in Aunt Sharkey's flower garden. There was always corn on the cob for supper and plenty of attention from the older cousins. And somehow I learned to love the smell of cows even if stepping over the trenches in the cow barn was a bit treacherous.

More barns can be found here.

That first picture always reminds me of Dad playing his guitar or banjo and singing this song. Of course, I've said that before.

Friday, February 19, 2016

From the Land of Ice and Snow

While our friend Tom has been in Hawaii, we have been having winter in upstate NY. I hope he is not too terribly disappointed to find a land of ice and snow on his return home. I have been doing my best to follow his advice and take my camera with me wherever I go. I had it along on my way to work Wednesday morning when a red light made this photo possible. I'd stopped at Lowe's along the way and found these snow laden trees and traffic signs on Five Mile Line over Rt 104 interesting. Thankfully, unlike the commuters on Tuesday morning, I found crossing the Bay Bridge rather uneventful.

The truth is, everything about the snowy weather on Wednesday was interesting. This week's snow took me back in time to the days of pulling on extra socks, piling on the layers, and putting on two pairs of mittens. We could hardly move when we to traipsed out into the winter wonderland. Trees laden with snow, banks as high as our heads, and snow up past our knees. We played follow the leader, walked the frozen creek, and hid beneath the lower branches of evergreen trees. We went out without parents, stayed out too long, and came home to thaw our red and itchy toes and fingers in cold water. I wanted to be a little girl again. I wanted to find a friend and hike off through the snow and into the woods. Of course, that didn't happen. I had to work and most of my friends aren't much into playing in the snow.

Yesterday the sun was bright, and my furred and feather friends came out to play. I stayed in and pointed my camera out the window. Please forgive the plethora of pictures.

The Naughties ate sporting bells on their collars once again, this time attached by little wire rings. They managed to remove the bells when attached with anything else. Hopefully they will keep the collars on and my bird and squirrel populations will stay safe.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

3X Thursday

Here we are again. Thank you so much for your suggestions for questions to post.

1. If you were a comic strip character, who would you be and why?
2. What thought or message would you want to put in a fortune cookie?
3. If you had to give up a favorite food, which would be the most difficult to give up?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

F is for Freezing

F is for freezing. Our mild winter has turned into a wild winter. Temperatures plummeted this past weekend. Saturday wind chills were well below zero degrees Fahrenheit, too cold to be outside for more than a few minutes.

A tale of heroism arose from the frigid cold when an early morning snowplow run turned into a daring rescue. He was  making his first pass on Jay Street, traveling north toward Lake Ontario, but when he got to Lake Rd. an unusual sight caught his eyes, a pair of tail lights in the lake. Thanks to an observant snowplow driver and a willing passerby, a young man was rescued from an icy death. He escaped with a serious leg injury when he was temporarily pinned between his car, tossed about by angry lake waters, and the frozen blocks of ice collecting on the shore.

I watched a video of the car being slowly and steadily lashed by the icy waves of Lake Ontario and shuddered to think that this young man could easily have been encased, along with his car, in the icy Lake Ontario shore. Yesterday the temperatures were warmer, but nearly two feet of snow fell on the region. We could have made a grim discovery come spring. Instead we have reason to rejoice.

More ABC Wednesday here.

PS. Photos (not mine) were taken on Saturday morning while the car was visible and the following day after it was totally encased in the shoreline.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday's Treasures

Two blogs because two-day is twos-day.

I have some treasures at my house. I bring them out for small children. This afternoon my small grandson needed a playmate while his mommy was cooking dinner. I figure if she is going to cook dinner, the least I can do is play with Spencer. Down from upstairs came a Fisher Price school bus and a few Little People. Down from the high-up shelf came the old Fisher Price Ferris-wheel. And then we had some fun.

Do you have any treasures to share? Tom is collecting treasures here.

Snowstorm 2016

Winter caught up with us this week. If the subzero wind chills over the weekend weren't enough, we got walloped with 2 feet of snow today. My boss sent a text to let me know it was okay if I preferred not to drive today. The wise choice seemed to be staying put, so I did. It turned out to be one of my wiser decisions.

My fur and feather friends outside were hungry so I ventured out into the deep to bring them some seeds and nuts.  Then, being a tad on the nutty side myself, I took  my own portrait in the mirror inside Hannah's Place.

The snow came down like powdered sugar from a sifter early this morning. Too cold to make snowballs but fluffy and deep. Then the precipitation turned to rain for a short while before making the switch to a heavy wet snow. Traffic on the Irondequoit Bay bridge was at a standstill around 9:30am. No going forward, no going around, and no backtracking either. No way it would have been passable by the time I'd have needed to get through.(Borrowed the photo from a FB friend who was there.)

It's stormed all day in the way of snowfall. It's a mess out there with a ton of accidents, cancellations, and delays but we can be thankful that the bitter temperatures and wind chills didn't coincide with the snow.

I took the opportunity to catch my bird friends on camera when they stopped for a late afternoon breakfast or early lunch. My poor red bellied woodpecker was having a bad hair day. ha ha!My have gotten caught out in the rain.

Mrs. Cardinal was looking splendid and sat so nice for a photograph. Her mate was there too, guarding the food supply, as if there wasn't enough to share. The blue jays were out today along with juncos, a titmouse, a gray squirrel, and even Little Red. I'm having a tough time keeping bells on The Naughties so I hope my bird friends are watching each other's back as well as their own.

Monday, February 15, 2016

One Fine Winter

One fine winter back in the 1970's my brother and his buddies built a snowman. It was the biggest snowman I'd ever seen and the only one I'd known my brother to build. Perhaps it was the fact that the guy in the parka on the far right was from Florida. I can't remember what he was doing so far from home, maybe he'd run away to the land of ice and snow for a little excitement. I remember he was young, about 17. It was 1976.
Little sisters are easily impressed by the feats of older brothers and we were quite impressed. Even Mom was impressed. She came outside to take a picture of us and that was really cool. Shoot! Even the creators look pleased with their accomplishment.

PS. That's me with the red mittens.