Thursday, June 30, 2016

Another Day in the Life

I had a bit of a shock when I woke up and looked at the clock this morning. "9:20 am" I never sleep that late. I hopped out of bed, jumped into the shower, and when I came downstairs found that my lovely daughter in law had left a gift on my kitchen table. There wasn't a note or a card, just three items left for me to discover. It had "My favorite Leta" written all over it.

Although the day started off slow and I feared I'd get little to nothing accomplished, at the end of the day I feel alright about it. I ran the dishwasher, made a visit to my son and grandkids in town, took a short nap before the other three grandkids came for a couple hours, folded the laundry (a day late), and cleaned the kitchen. Not too shabby.

Yesterday I took my camera down to the chicken coop. A few of the hens were doing acrobatics, but of course, they were camera shy and didn't pose for me when I brought it out. I did, however, catch a few nice shots of that crazy rooster.

My Minnesota son will be here in just another couple of days. I am looking very much forward to wrapping my arms around him for a long hug. They haven't been home since Hannah and Sergio's wedding last September and my little grandson is growing up without me there to watch. I'm pretty sure that shouldn't be allowed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

And Then It Was Wednesday

I didn't have to work today. (Cutting back some more with G. and going for an interview with another organization on Tuesday morning...) I thought I might stick around home, clean the house, and catch up with things around here, but I was feeling a little "off" and decided it might be best to get myself up and out of the house.When one is feeling blue, there is no need to stay home and sit in it, so I didn't.

My sister Rachel and I went shopping for Hannah's baby shower, which is on Sunday. It's an early shower since she isn't due until the end of October, but this is when Michele will be in town and we want to include her in the fun. Rachel and I also drove out to see our brother Tim and take him out for a ride. He was his quiet kind of self, a little unsteady on his feet due to a change in meds, but still walking. I always feel loved when he holds my hand on the way back into the house. Rachel and I had already been out to lunch at Panera before our drive to Newark, but we decided to stop at Yia Yai's for a soft serve twist on our way back home anyway.

This evening, after more than enough food for the day, I felt like I really really needed a walk, so I met my friend Lorrie at "our parking lot" in Pultneyville and we went for a walk together. Walking is always better with a friend. This time I took my camera along too. Aside from clouds of vicious gnats, it was a beautiful night.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tuesday Treasures

I kept myself busy again today (or yesterday, since I wrote this last night...); had an appointment in the morning, lunch with my daughter and one v-e-r-y long game of UNO with Josh and Raul, an afternoon ride to the Port of Rochester with my sister, a stop at my son's apartment, and my support group meeting this evening. (No wonder I'm tired.)

It's only here for another day. The Spanish galleon "El Galeon." I was pretty sure Jack Sparrow was hiding somewhere on board. Please forgive another rash of photos.

Somehow or other, my Dad passed his love of ships on to me. It happened several years ago when we chanced to be in Oswego, NY at Fort Ontario when a clipper ship came sailing into the harbor. My dad had died the previous September and, if I was the superstitious sort, I'd have thought he was sending me a gift. I've often found myself wishing we could have toured the boats together because he loved them so much. Can you stand another Dad drawing?

Linking up with Tuesday"s Treasure at Tom's

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Barn Collective

On my way out to Chimney Bluffs yesterday I passed several barns but only stopped to take a picture of one. Looks like his corn will be "knee-high by the fourth of July." Sure hope we get some rain soon.

Sweet corn is a summer delicacy enjoyed by most locals. I've ordered corn on the cob in other places only to be disappointed by it's lack of sweetness and flavor. I'm rarely disappointed in our local corn stand. They grow the best. Can't wait for it to be available.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Calling My Bluff

I hadn't plans to visit the bluffs today, but the Cabinet Maker needed something from home, so I packed it into my van and went for a ride. The cottage he was working on this morning is on top of a bluff on the shore of Lake Ontario. I took my camera along and went for a walk along the shore. Please forgive the plethora of pictures. I don't get out by Chimney Bluffs very often.

One with my long lens from the backyard of the cottage.

Making my way down the beach. I had to go over , under, or around a few fallen trees.

This lady caught my eye. I liked her beach attire.

"Danger. Stay off Bluffs"
I'm pretty sure that sign wasn't always towering. That's what happens when the beach wears away. Good thing they buried it deep... I guess.

And there they are.

Not quite as majestic as they were 30 years ago.

People on the beach. Maybe they're the ones we passed on bicycles along the road later. 

Heading back to the cottage. I could have walked up the road, but the beach was more fun.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Today Stuff

Those chickens sure are strange birds. They flock to the door when I arrive, only to run away in fear when I step inside. I understand the term "chicken" in a whole new way. Did I tell you that Bubba has started crowing? He's not been obnoxious yet as far as I am aware. I can't tell one hen from another, but he's unique. I always recognize him immediately. Of course, you'd worry about me if I didn't. (Perhaps you worry anyway... ha ha!)

I went for a walk with my friend Lorrie again tonight. We parked down in a church parking lot in Pultneyville, walked down to the park, along the lake, and back again. It's been a good week for walking.

I like summer. Flowers. Sunshine. Fresh fruit. Picnics. Just one more week and my Minnesota boy will be here for a week. It would probably be a good idea to plan some meals and activities. Perhaps I'll give him a shout tomorrow and find out what he's hoping to do. We have a baby shower planned for Sunday afternoon and I'm hoping to catch everybody in one spot for picture, or at least all the grandchildren, and maybe, just maybe we'll find a fireworks display on the Fourth of July.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Few Flowers

It is imperative that my world include flowers. I planted a few seeds in a lonely garden a few weeks ago, but it will be weeks before any flowers appear. I couldn't wait that long. So I picked up a few packs of annuals at one of the local garden stores. My parents always went to Welch's and so, even though I don't live in Webster, I carry on the tradition.

It's been a busy week. The Cabinet Maker has been out of town on a job in the Finger Lakes, so it's been just me and Joe. Between work and a couple other activities, I stayed busy the entire time. I took three evening walks this week, two with my sister and one with a friend, and had three grandchildren for the day (along with a fourth this morning). My other sister stopped to visit this afternoon and the house just got quiet again for the first time all day. The Man should be home in an hour.

Tomorrow I will tackle the house again. It needs a good rustling every now and again. Perhaps I'll shine the upstairs bathroom and chase the cobwebs out of the hallway corners. And, if I still have some energy left, I just might find a little more empty space in Grandma's room. After that I'll feel like I deserve a trip to that fancy little ice cream shop up the road. There is nothing quite like a soft serve twist after a good day of work. Shoot! There's nothing quite like a soft serve twist after doing nothing all day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This and That and Here and There

* Summer has arrived, complete with sunshine and blistering heat. I am not complaining.

* My house is finally regaining some semblance of order and there is great hope that Mom's Room will soon be living space regained. The "guest room" upstairs is ready for our Minnesota family's visit, and the kitchen is slowly coming together. I think the trim is next.

* Working 2 days a week has been both a blessing and exhausting. I guess that is how work goes for everyone. It's good to have a way to occupy some of my time and put a few dollars in my pocket. I'm still considering where else to apply as my present job requires not only a whole lot of sitting, but doesn't offer any way to expand.

* I was blessed to accompany Hannah and Sergio to the ultrasound of their baby on Monday. So cool to see little "Russell" (not his real name) in person. And Nate and Sabrina made the official Facebook announcement regarding their impending arrival also. It will soon be a great  and wonderful challenge getting all the grandchildren into one photograph. I must invest in Tootsie Roll stock.

* Keeping up with The Blog has proven difficult lately. Perhaps it is preoccupation of the mind and perhaps it is the amount of time spent away from home. I have all I can do to write a blog of my own and then find I have neglected to visit my friends. Here's hoping it is a season that will pass, because I treasure my blogging adventure and the many friends that come with it.

* And now, if I am to get anything accomplished before work, I must get my day started. The shower calls, the bed needs to be made, and perhaps a bit of coffee is in my near future.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Number Ten

We planted plenty of seeds and are now reaping the rewards. Grandbaby Number Ten is on its way. Nate and Sabrina are expecting their second little one just two or three months after Grandbaby Number Nine makes his appearance.

Speaking of Number Nine, I was invited to go along for an ultrasound examination this afternoon. How cool is that? Little hands and feet, tiny face... Hannah is in love.Yeah, so am I.


I go to a support group on Monday evenings. Every few weeks they draw a topic from a box. The first time I went it was "honesty." I'm putting great effort into practicing honesty. Sometimes it's hard. It isn't necessarily lying that catches me up, rather not always telling the truth when the truth needs to be told. All too often I am afraid to say what is on my mind or how I am feeling deep inside, so I bottle it up instead where it can fester and burn. I'm trying to loosen the bottle cap and learn to let off some steam. Trying.

Last week's meeting topic was "healing." When someone is sick or wounded, we pray for healing, but what we really want is total restoration. We want the cancer to go away, the broken bones to be normal, and everything back to how it was to start with. But that isn't always how things work. Sometimes God heals in ways we don't expect. Sometimes He heals in ways we don't want. Cancer patients die, broken bones heal crooked, and relationships change. Healing requires growth, and growth requires change. And sometimes change leaves scars. Dad's childhood battle with polio left one leg an inch shorter than the other, but it also left a determination to succeed. He told me learned to "push through" when things got tough.

I'm trying to remember, as I pray, that God's will is not always the same as mine. It counts when I pray for the needs of others as much as when I pray for my own situations and the needs of my family. My dad didn't have his cancer healed here on earth, but in heaven he is cancer-free. Our hearts may have been broken when he left us, but the tenderness the wound left gives us new perspectives. We would have loved the gift of physical healing, yet the balm of spiritual healing is what we really needed.

Wounds and scars. We all have them. As I pray for healing, may it be the kind that God gives, because even if it isn't what I wanted to start with, His healing is complete.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Barn Collective

By now you know that in my little corner of the world, dads, drawing, and barns go together. As a child my dad loved nothing more than to spend his days down in the southern tier of NY state on one of his uncle's farms in Angelica. He wanted to be a farmer so much that he and Mom spent the first year or so of their marriage as tenant farmers.
By the time they were done, their savings had been spent in daily survival. Either farmers aren't particularly rich, or he ran into one who lacked in generosity of any form. If I remember correctly, they were given all the eggs and potatoes they could eat and a place to live. Mom said they nearly froze to death the first winter. It was a learning experience. Dad never did become a farmer. Instead he got a job in the city of Rochester, and they eventually bought a little ranch house on a concrete slab, raised a family, and grew a garden. When he got the hankering for cattle, hay, and the smell of manure, we took a ride down to Uncle Joe's in Caneadea, NY, not too far from Houghton College. (That's the backroads trip I want  to take.)

In a way, Dad's backyard garden was his farm. We didn't have cows or chickens, a tractor or manure spreader, but we did the best vegetable garden on the block, which once in a while included a hot pile of manure cooling for a summer. Our manure spreader was Dad, with a wheelbarrow and a shovel, our barns were the sheds he built to fill with firewood to warm the house throughout the long winters, and our animals included a dachshund named Katie and here and there a cat.

I don't know how he did it without a barn of his own and a hundred acres, but he managed to pass that love of country on to me. Maybe it was all those warm, fuzzy photos in his collection of Ideal Magazines. The ones with neat and tidy farmhouse kitchens, delectable baked goods, sweet baby animals, and smiling children in straw hats. Come to think of it, my chickens are probably due to have their water refilled...

Happy Father's Day, Dad! I wouldn't trade you and the wonderful childhood memories for anything in the world!

Come visit Tom at The Barn Collective.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Today Was a Good One

It's been a long, long time since I hung out with my friend Lorrie. Too long. I had an after church breakfast with her several weeks ago when the Cabinet Maker was out of town, but aside from that it's been years. Our meeting last night was an answer to prayer. I've actually asked God for time with her, so when I saw she'd left me a note on Facebook, inviting me to go for a walk, I jumped at the chance. Last night we took a long walk together from her house, down to the Pultneyville Pickle where we ate salads at an outside table, and then back again. It was a gorgeous night to walk.

Today, my beautiful daughter sent me a message and we met up for a morning trip to Babies R Us so she could fix her baby registry and we could do a little dreaming. They're dubbing the little guy "Russell" for the time being, because it is Hannah's practice to give expected children a name whether or not it's permanent. She's not sharing the names they've picked out for later.

It was our day to visit Tim. I called Rachel to let her know I was home from my outing with Hannah and to see if she might want to stop at Yia Yia's for an ice cream on our way out. She said I'd "read her mind!" There is nothing better for lunch (or supper) on a hot summer day than a soft ice cream from Yia Yia's. Our brother was quiet today, but we did catch him smiling when I told a story about getting in trouble for whistling during class in first grade. (I was a talented child even if it was just one short blast. The teacher scarred me for life with her reaction, but my brother found it amusing today and that makes all the trauma worthwhile.)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Webster First Responders Memorial Playground

Today was Kid Day They arrived bright and early, ready for a day of fun. They helped me fill all the water jugs for the chickens, and a little before noon we packed our things into the van and headed to the playground/ spray park in Webster. The park is new, located just outside the Xerox complex, and dedicated to the West Webster firemen who lost their lives in the Christmas Eve ambush in 2012. It's a beautiful little playground.

Hannah met us there, and Bethany came with her kids making it almost like a party. The cousins had a wonderful time climbing on the equipment, running through the spray park, and munching their lunches. I think it was a good day, even if Simon did tell me halfway through that he wasn't having any fun...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Work Stories

My friend was very quiet yesterday morning and throughout most of her nap. I've been around long enough to know that could mean trouble. She was "yanked" from her bed fairly early (3:30 pm instead of closer to 4 or 4:30 pm) and plopped into her chair. When she requested the latrine, I took her up the hall to find a CNA to help. (Though I possess a CNA of my own, I remain in a "hands-off" position.)

By the time the aides arrived to render assistance, my friend had forgotten all about the urge to go and insisted she had no need. Of course, all that changed in the middle of supper, at which time she turned a rather abrupt corner and became incorrigible. Have you ever been to a nursing home where one or two residents call for help loudly and repeatedly? These are the dear folk who can't be charmed or coerced into compliance no matter which tactic is employed. (I personally think many of them are spoiled rotten, but then again, who am I? Maybe one day I'll be just like them...)

I finally gave up on getting the rest her supper into my friend and carted her off to her room so the remaining residents could eat in peace. The nurse assured me "help" would come. (ha ha! I know better.) On our way into my friend's room I accidentally bumped the door casing whereupon she stated, "You almost knocked me off my pedestal." I considered how appropriate her words were, but dared not utter my thoughts. Frustrating as she can be when she gets in a snit (and then asks me why I'm being nasty after I've answered calmly and politely), she is also mildly amusing.

Today at lunch a conversation was being had when my friend interjected a comment of her own. "Sometimes the older you get the younger you get." Again, she was right on target. We spend our entire lives learning and trying to be mature, only to grow old and turn back into children.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

This and That

* I've taken my camera along with me on several outings, but somehow haven't managed to take any photos. The Cabinet Maker and I were up by the lake on Sunday afternoon. Out by Chimney Bluffs actually. The wind was whipping the waves into a fury, but I was deep in an allergic fog and passed up the opportunity. (Read a twinge of regret.) I blame the relentless wind for the fatigue that I couldn't shake. I took two naps Sunday afternoon and went to bed with a nighttime sleep aid (or two, if Benadryl counts).

* Did I mention The Naughties latest adventure? They've had a lesson in skunks. Early in the week the living room smelled slightly of musk. Sabrina thought perhaps a skunk had been hit by a car in front of the house, but I discovered Naughty One smelling a bit skunky and he was napping on the couch. Thankfully, he didn't smell too strong. Fast forward to Friday night/Saturday morning. I smelled it while I was still in bed. The house was dark. It wasn't time to get up, and a pungent odor filled the house. I went back to sleep. In the morning I discovered a very smelly Naughty Two asleep on the loveseat, my usual resting place. He stunk like a skunk. We tossed him outside. I think Naughty One was laughing, but I can't be totally certain... Unfortunately, the little stinker must have decided to sit on the back of my loveseat while freshly christened. I've washed the cover, but it remains somewhat offensive...

*A few changes around here. I'm going to be having every other Wednesday off. The companion who normally relieves me Wednesday afternoons was willing to switch off with me every other week and I opted to take her up on it. Three of our house guests moved into a little apartment of their own on Friday. It's a temporary move until the apartment they'd originally put a deposit on is repaired. It was damaged in a fire the week after they left the deposit. I'm going to miss our buddy Spencer, but I'm grateful for the time we had to build that relationship that was missing previous. He's managed to wind his way deeper into my heart.

* I took myself for a walk this morning between prayer group and work. Two miles today instead of three. I rarely get the targeted number of steps, but I'm doing better than I was the past few weeks.

PS. The photos are from previous adventures to the Chimney Bluffs. That baby in my arms in now 22 years old.