Monday, October 31, 2016

A Bushel and a Peck

I was awake this morning for the golden moment, that time of day when the sun first peeks over the horizon and the shadows on the wall appear yellow. It's a fleeting moment, one I often miss, so it was a blessing this morning.

I mostly stayed home today, except for going out to find some apples. My favorite apple stand is just about closed up. It was self serve today. Take your apples and leave the money in a box. I wanted a bushel and a bushel is $15. I had 3-4 ones and  a couple of $20's. I filled a bushel box and a peck basket and slipped $21 into the box. I'm going to be making a few more pies for my freezer. Maybe Thursday.

Tomorrow it will be back to work. Today I am thankful for a mostly low-stress job and the ability to rearrange my hours just enough to  make a visit to the hospital before visiting hours are over.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Weekend Ends

Ah, the weekend...

We actually made it to first service at church this morning. Okay, so we were ten minutes late, but they were still singing. I sat down and my friend Barb leaned over and whispered, "I was afraid maybe you weren't going to make it." I smiled and when it came time to greet those around us, we gave each other a big hug. It's our weekly routine.

Our pastor finished up the epistle of James today. Toward the end of the service he said, "Sometimes God answers prayer with a baby." I thought how absolutely appropriate it was for our family this week. Our little grandson arrived in our son's darkest hour and we have witnessed Divine intervention.

That verse I posted on Monday...

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 

... is a verse my son used to claim as his favorite. He doesn't go to church anymore. He told me the other day that he doesn't believe, that he hasn't since he was sixteen, but that doesn't stop God from thinking thoughts of peace and not evil towards him, and it doesn't stop God from giving him a future and a hope.

Another friend, one who was once a nurse in our pediatrician's office, greeted me after the service. "How are you?" she asked me. "I'm okay," I answered, and she said, "You are not! there is sadness in your eyes," and once again God gave me a friend to love, encourage, and pray for us. He's just like that.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Letting Go a Little at a Time

Giving up the reins is hard. Even giving them over to those who care can be next to impossible...

It's been a long, hard week. I am tired and teary. I am blessed by a brand new grandson, and my heart, though full and happy for my daughter, aches just a bit because I know how much her heart will break when her child faces the struggles that come with life. She will never be the same.

I slept last night. I wasn't thinking about a daughter in the throes of childbirth. Hannah's labor and delivery are accomplished. She has a beautiful baby boy. Today they will take him home and start a new chapter of life.

I slept last night. I didn't have to worry about where my son was or if he was needing help. I knew he was surrounded by people who would give him what he needs and I knew he would finally be able to sleep too. This is another road I haven't been down before, but I know I'm not alone on the journey.

Twelve Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous-

3. Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

Friday, October 28, 2016

This Beautiful Day

It's been a long day, but this mama will sleep better tonight. My boy is in a safe place. He has help and there is hope.

When life gets too big to carry by ourselves, we have a God that is bigger than the burdens on our shoulders. I am in awe again at how God puts us exactly where we need to be when we need to be there. This time He gave an older brother two days off work at the perfect time so he could be there in his brother's time of need. (Thank you, Jesus!)

Twelve Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous-

2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Number Nine

In other news...

We have a new grandson with a head of wavy black hair. He arrived this morning, and now Hannah and I can have honest labor and delivery conversations without me scaring her. She been through it. "I was ready to die," she said, and I laughed because I remember the feeling all too well.

It will take me a little while to get used to his name as it is one I have never heard before. His name is Idris, and although
I'm, still mulling it over, I'm sure it will grow on me just like the names of all my other grandkids. (If not I'll just keep calling him Russell. ha ha!)

Mom and baby are doing well, with baby getting a little extra attention for having pooped in his amniotic fluid. A little time in the NICU and some antibiotics.

You gotta love his hair!

The Kids I Love

"A mother is only as happy as her saddest child..." my friend Karen

My daughter is due today so when I heard my phone chime this morning, I automatically assumed it was news. Instead the screen read, "I love you so much" and it was not a text from my sweet girl, but my heartbroken and aching son...

My heart jumped and I immediately pushed the button to call him. On the other end I found a broken and sobbing man. My little boy. One who once snuggled down next to me for long naps, who had the softest ears ever, and who used to look up at me and say, "Mom... I neeeeeed you."

No details, just a mother's plea for prayers. Again.

Twelve Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous-

1. We admitted we were powerless over others - that our lives had become unmanageable.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Almost Arrested

It's already been a long week, even though it's only Wednesday night. Some weeks are like that.Maybe it's the coldness, I don't know.

My Minnesota son called me a little over a week ago to let me know he and his wife were "out of the country..." (He thought maybe I should know.) I was thinking Canada, but it turns out they were in Tijuana, Mexico. (Fancy that!) The little guy, known here as grandchild Number 6, stayed with his Minnesota Grandma and Grandpa. On Saturday they went to the airport to pick up the travelers and that's when it happened.

Jim called this past Sunday evening, from Minnesota, to let us know he and Michele were safe at home, and that Austin almost got arrested at the airport. He's three and when one is three, and his mommy has been gone for an entire week, the sight of her can make one lose all control.

So anyway, the little guy spotted his mom and dad coming and took off running, right through the security doors, and into his mother's arms. They didn't have a chance to stop him. Thankfully, the folks in the airport were lenient.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Train in the Tunnel

How's this for a mural? Protected from many environmental woes, sheltered by its location, and apparently unfinished. Designed by Emily Waldman, and started 3 years ago, the mural is 80 feet long and 10 feet high. (Article here)

Very cool. What a great project.

Traipsing and Gallivanting

Yesterday, after my morning appointment, I was blessed to catch up with my sister and go traipsing about for a couple of hours. We stopped at White Haven Memorial Park and said hello to our grandparents and great grandparents...

Grandpa... I love that someone in the family bought him a marker. I don't think it was my dad.

We decided to stop at Powers Farm Market across the street...

They had a great quick bread collection, but we didn't buy any. We each had a pumpkin fried cake instead.

And then we decided, since it wasn't too far off, to drive out to the Auburn Trail in Fishers and find that old railroad tunnel where Dad and Uncle Art almost got themselves killed back in December of 1948.

It was a beautiful day for a short walk through the woods.

Old Railroad Marker

And the infamous, to us anyway, thruway overpass...
Have I told you Dad never laughed when he told us this story?

"Sat. December 11, 1948-"This afternoon Arthur and I went out to Victor in the Model A and started home after dark. On our way home we decided to follow the unfinished Cloverleaf highway (dirt and high). We rode a few miles going about 50 or more when we came terribly near to going off a high drop-off onto a railroad track where they're going to put a bridge in. Arthur swerved the car around on two wheels, blew a front tire, crashed through a pile of iron bars and tore one running board in two. If we'd gone over the bank we wouldn't have had a chance. When we got home Mother, Dad, and I went to a show and saw "Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid" and "A Southern Yankee".

Monday, October 24, 2016

Thoughts of Peace

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 
Jeremiah 29:11

It's a common verse of scripture, a favorite of many, and a comfort to those who are discouraged. I didn't go looking for it, but it keeps showing up lately. It's on one of the giant banners gracing the room where I've been meeting with a friend for Community Bible Study. That's when it first caught my eye, but, not wanting to claim what wasn't  mine, I brushed it off. But of all the 31,102 verses in the Bible, it continues to show up.

I'm finding
a lot of anger and sadness in my heart lately, so it is comforting to know that I have a Father in heaven who still reaches out to touch my heart. I have a God who brushes away the tears and thinks thoughts of peace toward me, even when I am feeling so very far from where I want to be. I am not alone.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Clouds and Thick Darkness

A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Zephaniah  1:15b

Taken out of context, just for today. Because it is dark, gloomy, and raining buckets. A perfectly splendid day to stay inside, curled up under a blanket with a good book (or a computer), a hot drink, and a cat or two. 

However, I've already been to Webster and back. Saw my favorite chiropractor, stopped at the store on the way home, and am now enjoying the smell of chicken roasting in my oven. It's a good day for chicken soup, I think, and so that is my plan. It probably won't go together until after our visit to my brother Tim, but at least I have a plan, which is more than I can say for most nights lately

"It's a good day to be a duck." That's what my mother would say. I'm not sure how the chickens feel about all this rain, but I did let them out to wander about under the shed roof of the barn. Maybe they'll find some fat, juicy worms.

It's about time to winterize the coop, I guess. I'm thankful it's already somewhat protected by being built under the back portion of the barn. Now for some cardboard insulation along the exposed sides, a heat lamp water heater, and some extra straw. Maybe even a heat lamp up inside the nesting box area. And maybe I should locate my snow boots in case I have to ford a blizzard to get down there once the snow starts falling. Shoot! Today I'm thinking a pair of hip-waders might come in handy too.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Well, that was one extremely long, loud day. I guess we all have our breaking point and today mine was exceeded. Thankfully, the quiet has settled back in, I have managed to pull my living room back into some semblance of order, and have a chance to sit down before running out later tonight. (Insert heavy sigh here.)

The end of October is fast approaching and our trees are finally beginning to blush and shed their leaves. My youngest daughter is due to have her first child in a week, October 27, so we will very soon be welcoming another grandson into our lives. I am both nervous and excited. The thought of my girls going through labor and delivery is always scary, but I am looking forward to snuggling a new little bundle in my arms. Hurry up, Number Nine!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Marching Band, Grandpa, and a Parade

I don't like posting from work but it's quiet at the moment and I have the time. It was hard to be here yesterday when it was so very gorgeous outside, but I was blessed by the opportunity to take my friend out in the courtyard to soak up some sunshine and breathe the fresh air. There are plenty of others who had to stay in all day, so I  am thankful.

While enjoying the weather we were serenaded by a marching band in the auditorium. The volume outside was perfect. Not too loud and not too quiet. We both enjoyed the concert. At one point G. leaned forward and called softly, "Grandpa.... Grandpa..."

Not knowing exactly how to respond, but thinking that grandpa's are often tired, I responded with, "I think Grandpa's sleeping." It seemed to satisfy her at the moment. A little while later she told me she wanted to go see if we could find Grandpa in (or at) the parade and her looking for him made better sense.

Late in the afternoon, when we were back inside, we had a visit from an adorable Cairn Terrier puppy who sat on G's lap and gave her kisses. It turned out to be a good day.

Today I managed to lock the key to my vehicle inside on the floor of the passenger side where I'd apparently dropped it.. No chiropractor appointment for me this morning. I was only a half hour late to work, thanks to the diligent efforts of James, who left work and came to my rescue. I'll have to reschedule the appointment, I guess.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Slumped Over

It isn't that nothing is going on, it's just that my words are at a bottleneck. The thoughts are bouncing, but not flowing out in an orderly fashion...

My sister Rachel and I went out photo hunting on Friday afternoon. We started off at Webster Park but didn't find ourselves overly impressed.

 There still wasn't much color up close to Lake Ontario last weekend, but it should be looking gorgeous by this next one.

We ended up at Mount Hope Cemetery where the leaves were mostly green and still holding fast to their moorings.

On our way back toward home we took a detour to Corbett's Glen.

I walked about my own yard late Friday afternoon and found a bit of color popping out on the sassafras trees. I also found The Grandfather's wooden cart left out at the corner of the orchard by a mischievous child or two. By the look of the cement blocks they'd collected, I'd say they were planning some type of construction project.

Apples. Autumn doesn't happen here without apples. The trees are still loaded and there is music in the orchard.

We had The Trio for a few hours yesterday afternoon, so we  loaded them up and took them to the fish hatchery in Powder Mills Park.  For a quarter they got a handful of fish food and the excitement of feeding some brown trout.

After we ran out of quarters (not really) we took them over to Power's Farm Market to run through their totally awesome cornstalk tepee, look at the animals, long for a wagon ride but not get one, and eat a yummy pumpkin fried cake. It was a good afternoon.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Seven is Two

Happy Birthday, Number Seven! 

Now you are two. Every year goes by faster than the one before. In no time at all you will be a big brother. Can't wait for your birthday party next weekend. It's gonna be great!

Thursday, October 13, 2016


My walking partner, actually my sister Rachel, and I have differing schedules and so we have not been walking together lately. Yesterday I left home early and walked around Central Park of Webster (better known as North Ponds) by myself. Two laps = two miles. I didn't have time for three.

The colors are slow to change this year and many trees remain green. Not sure if that's good, bad, or indifferent, but that's the way it is. We probably won't get a chance to rake the leaves into great fluffy piles before the snow flies, but it isn't the first time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I'm not sure if we're already "broken" when we come into this world. I know we're flawed and sinful, but brokenness, I think, comes along the way. I've heard it said unless one experiences pain, it is literally impossible to empathize with those who are hurting. In many respects, our brokenness is a gift.

"We are all broken, that's how the light gets in."

We must be broken in some aspect in order for the Light to shine through to the emptiness that so often exists on our inside. How would we know we were empty unless the Light shined in to show us? And what good is a dark and empty room?

"Light only shines through broken vessels."

Sometimes the Light shines through to the inside, showing a need, and sometimes it shines from the inside, through the cracks, lighting up not only the inside of the individual carrying the flame, but the entire room as well... In either case brokenness is essential.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Lunch in Buffalo

Yesterday I took a ride to meet my friend Patricia for lunch. I drove from Rochester to Buffalo, she drove from Erie, PA to Buffalo, and we met up at Cracker Barrel which is a very nice place for lunch. (They have fried okra...)

It was a beautiful day, a nice lunch, and a wonderful meeting. Since I had all afternoon, and she would be meeting her brother later, we took a little stroll through a nearby Salvation Army Store and a walk about the incredible sculptures outside The Garden Place Hotel just off Thu-way Exit 49 near the Buffalo Airport. Wow! Pretty impressive.

I loved "Lunch on Top of a Skyscraper" as much as I loved the statues of the children playing and took a bazillion pictures. (Please forgive another rash of photos.)

One of the residents at the nursing home where I sit was a former steel worker. I'll have to ask his wife if he ever ate lunch on top of a skyscraper.

Loved the boots, especially the pair with holes in the bottom.

Looks like a game of Follow the Leader...

 Love the detail!

Giving little sister a boost, I think. Reminds me of when we would pick up our own baby sister.
I hope he doesn't drop her.

 Toy airplane. Remember when all the noise and motion came from us? No mechanical parts or batteries?

Even though they're all metal and fiberglass, these kids were having a great time. Almost makes me want to go play in the woods. Okay, it really does.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Pie Making Day!

I really should open a bakery, even if it's a seasonal adventure.

Beth and Adam came over with the kids this afternoon and after eating lunch together, Beth and I set up baking in the kitchen. We put together six apple pies, a far cry from our record of 18 six years ago, but an accomplishment none the less.

I love apple pie, but I've learned through the years that apple pie packs on the pounds, so I'm trying to go easy on my pie consumption. I ate a tiny piece of the pointed end and a small spoonful of ice cream. It was scrumptious!

Tomorrow I will pack up my extra pies and make a few special deliveries. I'm pretty sure I can find them all a home.