Thursday, March 31, 2016

Down for the Count

I stopped at my sister's house on my way to work yesterday. We walked through the neighborhood, and although my legs were achy, I was sure I'd feel better after the exercise. I didn't. The dull headache and achy muscles persisted throughout the day. I shrugged it off and went to a meeting on the way home. When it came time to eat, I wasn't hungry.

I don't get sick much, but I crawled into bed just before 9 pm last evening hoping the ibuprofen and Benadryl I'd taken would enable me to sleep. It helped, a little. It was a night of achy joints and muscles complete with an unsettled, but not volcanic, stomach. I tossed and turned for a good portion of the night and came downstairs with my pillow and favorite afghan this morning.

I don't plan on being down for long. I don't have time for that.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday Treasures

They aren't rusty, hidden by overgrowth, or lost in the woods, but they are old and they are treasures to those of us who loved my dad. A small and treasured collection of journals and diaries giving us a glimpse into the boy he once was, the young man he became, and the father he grew to be.

The early editions were written in surplus army journals and tell of summer jobs for local farmers, a stay at an Adirondack Boy Scout Camp with his brother, their summer vacation, and his adventures on and around Irondequoit Bay. The first also tells the story of his fisherman pal grandfather and his battle and subsequent death of lung cancer. We were stunned to learn he and his grandpa both died of the same disease on identical date. September 28.

In later years my dad kept a diary. Little blips on his daily journey through life. Jobs. Girlfriends. A stint in the Naval Reserves. Family gatherings. Hunting trips. Talent shows. Meeting my mom for the first time... There was a time of quiet too. Nothing is recorded about his and Mom's wedding, the adoption of their first son, or the birth of the second, but he picked up writing again before I came along and the story of my arrival is there, along with my sisters a few years later.

Treasures. Sometimes I find myself curious about the years he chose not to record, and then I realize that some events in life leave us too tired and emotionally spent to write. I know some of the stories in spite of them not being journaled in a diary and I am blessed to have had a dad like him. The journals and diaries are great to have, but the real treasure was my dad.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sunny Sunday Afternoon

I am equally amused at and frightened by children. I love their silly ways and childish antics, appreciate their zest for life and sense of adventure, and am terrified at what kind of trouble they might conjure up while we aren't looking.

Yesterday afternoon these five kept me looking out the window to see where they were and what they were getting into. They'd found a sleepy toad and made him a home in an old flower pot and then put it inside the wash pot. They even made him a "bed" of cattail fluff. He probably wished he'd stayed in hibernation.

Poor Spencer is too little to go outside and run with the cousins. He had to settle for looking out the window and waiting for his mom and dad to go for a walk after dinner. He didn't seem to mind too very much.

I was naughty at dinner and played with my food. But I couldn't help it. The opportunity was too great to pass up. I mean, how often do we have mashed sweet potatoes? They made perfect hair for the cute little plate I bought at the thrift shop a couple months ago. (I have both the boy and girl faces.) My husband looked more embarrassed than amused which made it all the funnier. I was surrounded by family and I think most of them love me in spite of my regression back into childhood.

The bald princess came to play and kept us entertained with her smiles. I don't see enough of this little granddaughter but am happy to see she loves the little dolly I got for her back at her mommy's baby shower a little less than a year ago. I didn't even get to hold her. Either I was busy or she was enjoying the company of her aunts and uncles, or Grandpa. Ah, maybe I shall snatch her up before anyone else next time.

Apparently Easter clothes are overrated. The weather was warm enough that the boys threw clothing to the wind while running about the yard. They confiscated an empty tub by the back porch, discovered Grandpa's garden dirt pile, hoisted a white, Sunday shirt flag, and declared the newly discovered territory their own. It all looked like wonderful fun.

Now that the sun is shining, I guess I should go out, reclaim, and put away the casualties.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

He Lives!

Happy Resurrection Day!

"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

The Barn Collective (Easter Edition)

Here we are, back at home again. These photos have been in my collection for a while. Most of them are about ten years old. I was probably really aiming at the flowers and loving the barns in the background.

Barn two (They're out of order...) That is The Cabinet Maker's finish shop, when it isn't full of cabinets for our own kitchen remodel.

Lilac buds. Like I said, it's an old photo. No buds on the bushes yet this year.

Barn One, in the background. That is The Cabinet Maker's shop. 

 I need to plant some more Hollyhocks out by the mailbox. 

And more photos of Barn Three. Once upon a time the paint wasn't quite so worn off. She looks pretty good there.

Sometimes from the ground up pictures are cool.

Hoping everyone has a wonderful Easter!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Jumbled Thoughts About Nothing Much

My thoughts have been a bit jumbled lately and when I come to write, the words don't flow. Instead I sit and stare at the blank white screen with unmoving fingers. It isn't that the thoughts aren't in there, but there must be a bottleneck preventing them from spilling out. I've been thinking maybe I need a paper journal and several hours of uninterrupted quiet.

I started a new book which is giving me a slightly different perspective on pain and struggles, and I have been taking a look into the life of Job as well. (Okay, so I've only read Job 1 so far... but it is a start and it's been several years now since I last read it from start to finish.)

My adventure in walking has been good, but my bathroom scale couldn't care less what my feet have been up to when they aren't standing atop the stupid scale. I know. I have to give it time, but what I really want is a magical overnight transformation.

Chickens. We did it. We have a box of twelve 5 day old cheeping biddies in the other room. (Are they still considered biddies when they're babies?) I'll keep you posted on how this adventure progresses.

And, I am playing Words with Friends on Facebook with my boss's mother in law. Family businesses are funny things. I'm  not "friends" with Sue, but I am friends with both her in laws. Then again, her father in law is my mom's first cousin... (And I don't know how I got off on that except that it was my turn to make a word in the game.)

I think I might need a vacation. ha ha!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

3X Thursday

My mind is full of questions, but when it comes to sitting down and asking them, they scatter. Do I look confused to you?

1. My youngest daughter got married in September. They answer the perpetual question, "How's married life?" I suggested they agree on a couple of interesting answers and now I'm wondering if you have any suggestions.

2. Have you ever kept chickens? Good idea or bad?

3. Where is your favorite place to walk or hike? Do you go alone or take a friend?

Just Keep Walking

I am liking my wristband Fitbit. It's been a great motivator to walk even when I don't feel like it, and I've found that walking when it's "too cold" is really not so bad. I've had some great walks with my sister Rachel, park farther out in parking lots, and hope one day, before too long, to feel a surge of energy course through my being. (Well, it could happen...)

My friend was very quiet at work yesterday, all tuckered out from Tuesday's adventure, which was really all in her mind. I even heard her snort several times during her nap. Poor thing.

It's been a quiet morning so far. Cold and wet outside and there is nowhere I have to go. I'm wondering how many steps it takes to clean the house, but I'm not exactly sure I want to find out, ha ha! Maybe I'll bake some cookies, choose a paint project to work on, or curl up with my pillow and that book I started reading the other day. Then again, maybe I'll do all of them.

And somewhere in the midst of it all I have to figure out how to take care of baby chicks and gather up some supplies, because we were silly and ordered a dozen. (Really I think it will be a fun adventure. I just have no idea what I am doing...)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Favorite!

The Chef made me pancakes for breakfast! And look at that awesome coffee mug my favorite son and daughter in law found for me!

My mom always said she didn't have favorites. She even emphasized the fact. But me? I have favorites. I have lots of them. (Kind of like the song where she says, "These are a few of my favorite things..." and then rattles off a whole list.) I realize my mom meant to be fair, I get that, and I mean to be fair too. I love all my favorites, and I'm pretty sure any one of them would prefer to be one of many favorites than not to be a favorite at all.

Today is my birthday. Others may be counting my years and hoping one day I'll grow up, but I'm thinking that isn't altogether likely and I like it this way. I think I can be mature and responsible, and still be a kid on the inside, 'cause why not?

I'm at work today and my friend is on the anxious side of the road today. She's lost her car keys, gloves, and can't find the dog. She hears every little move I make and wants to know who is in the room. She hears the noise from the hallway and wonders at that as well. It has been an interesting day so far... "Hey! Get outta here!"

Tuesday Treasures

A treasure from the mountains of Pennsylvania...

Not far from the little town of Franklin, Pennsylvania, above the Alleghany River is the old Joseph Sibley castle. The Cabinet Maker and I were there for an adult church retreat back in early October. Out on the grounds we found this rusty old road grader. How's that for a treasure?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Barn Collective

I'm staying close to home again today. I pass this old farm often, but only once before have I stopped to take any photographs. I used to see smoke coming out of the chimney of the cinder block building, but I haven't seen that in a very long time now.

I am curious as to what's inside.

There is an old and (I presume) rusty treasure outside.

The lonely cinder block building with no smoke coming out the chimney.

Hm... And old gasoline pump and what looks like a storm cellar. More treasures!

Join Tom at The Barn Collective

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sunday Song and Scripture

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.  
Psalm 36:7

I picked up a some used CD's at the thrift store a few months ago. This song, by Selah, has become one of my favorites. Sometimes I listen once and then play it over a time or two before letting it go on to the next.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Playing Games

The morning dawned colder today than yesterday and the forecast called for snow. A piece of me wanted to stay home but a bigger piece wanted to get myself off of the couch and moving. I met my sister Rachel at her house and we went out for a walk together. Three miles (give or take) around the neighborhood, and I survived. After our "hike" we had ourselves a cup of tea and pulled out our coloring books. (Yes, we like to color.)

Back at home I'm playing a new game with some old dollhouse furniture. The room is a photo box from Hobby Lobby (they were on sale 50% off this week), scrapbooking paper on the wall, and a textured felt carpet on the floor. Everything has been hot glued in place and I'm brainstorming ideas for accessories and the walls. Did I ever tell you never grew up?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Fit Bitten

I'm finding that Fitbit actually is an incentive. I got off the couch today and went out for a walk. Back to Webster and North Ponds Park. The sun was bright and the path dry. Two more loops around the park. Maybe next time I'll make it three.

I call these Fluff Twuff Weeds because I like Dr, Seuss.

More dog walkers. I might need to find a dog myself if I keep going here.

Not everyone was walking. Some were sitting still and talking.

Just two of way too many. They were kind today.

I do love orchard walks, but not alone. Orchard walks require a friend and I was walking alone again today. The drive to Webster for a safer place to walk is worth taking. Supposed to snow tomorrow. *sigh* Good thing I have mittens.

3X Thursday

I have now walked the loop twice thrice. (Three days in a row I walked the loop at North Ponds twice.) I found this group of ducks on Tuesday.

1. What is the last picture you took with your phone?

2. Have you ever been pulled over by the police?

3. Are you Irish? Do you pretend to be on St. Patrick's Day? Are you eating corned beef today?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

J is for Jump

J is for jump. (Warning: not for the overly squeamish.)

Catching mice includes a lot of jumping and dancing about...

If the Shoe Fits...

It's not really a shoe, it's a wristband. My Minnesota son, daughter in law, and grandson sent me a Fitbit for my birthday. (It was an early birthday present.) After repeated and unsuccessful efforts to connect the receiver it finally synced with my computer on Monday night and I am now counting steps. After spending so much of the last year sitting, I'm finding it a great incentive to get myself moving. I even parked way out there in the parking lot at work yesterday.

I had some time between our prayer group at church and work yesterday, so I stopped in Webster at North Ponds and walked two loops around the park. Each loop is one mile. Of course I carried my camera just in case anything wonderful caught my attention.

It was overcast and threatening rain, but not terribly cold or wet. I pulled my dad's windbreaker on over my sweater and started off. I met some fowl fellas along the way. They tried to look brave and threatening, but I paid them no mind and just kept walking. I suppose when they actually have little ones to protect they might be a little more intimidating, but for now the biggest concern is not stepping in goose poop.

I stopped to walk again today. While those with little dogs were out yesterday, today's dogs were mostly of a large or medium variety. I walked the loop in the opposite direction today, to unwind my legs, and passed the same walkers every half mile. After walking the first half I began to wonder if I would make it twice around. (Yes, I am that out of shape and my knee is giving me pain) But I pushed on and found the second loop not any more difficult than the first.