Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Poopy Kind of Day

I've been a "float" at work for the last month. Each day is a little different than the one previous and I'm getting to know everyone, children and teachers, a little at a time. Some days I see sad things, but the love I am privileged to share with a small child multiplies a hundred times over when they smile at me or wrap their little arms around my neck. It's hard to believe I'm getting paid to be loved like this.

I changed several poopy diapers during the course of the day, fed hungry mouths, and soothed little ones to sleep. I colored pictures, drew cats and dogs, and took a short walk. I cleaned sinks, swept floors, and rinsed dishes. But best of all I hugged the most precious commmodity on this planet and was loved in return. It may be a fleeting and limited love but it is priceless just the same.

In September, if all goes well, I will embark on the quest to obtain my Child Development Associate (CDA). I went about it in a backward kind of way by getting my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) first. I never really wanted to work in a nursing home, I just took the long way around the block and back into childcare. It's where I've always belonged, but I already knew that.

Can't post my work babies so you get the dolls I bought my granddaughter for her first birthday five years ago. (She's about to turn six!)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Clay Pots

Neglected but not forgotten. My blog. Here is a little piece of my week.

I took up pottery again, I think I told you already (if anyone is listening) and my class is on Tuesday evenings. We've done pinch pots, coil building, and last night we made slab cups. Fun stuff. I should have a perpetual pottery class... So anyway, here is a very small sampling of some of my handiwork. Stay tuned and maybe I'll post the finished product in a few more weeks.

Perhaps these little figures will be my trademark. The pinched bowl, though nice on its own, looked a little lonely so I added some people. One of my fellow students asked if I had two children... Ha ha! I wan't sure the bowl was big enough for seven. Maybe that will be a future project. Or I could make it even more fun and do my ten grandchildren.

Friday, June 23, 2017

This Week

I've been without my computer since Sunday. I miss it not only because it is my connection to my friends and family, but because it is where I sort and organize brain files. Pen and paper might do, but I find typing faster and easier. My heart is feeling achy tonight and that makes the missing a little stronger. Never mind the fact that the CD with Dad's songs is tucked inside the CD drawer and I am mssing him as well.

It's been a busy week. I missed my CoDA meeting on Monday night to enjoy a family birthday celebration with strawberry shortcake. Happy 27th to Nathan! The little guy who used to hang on my knees now has two little guys of his own.

My Tuesday night pottery class found us rolling coils and building pots. It's too bad the reclaimed clay they provide us doesn't behave better. I just may have to find an alternate source of material.

The Daycare was crazy this week. The kids were wild and crazy due to Pre-K graduations and the onset of summer. Today was probably the most difficult since I started. I'm told next week will be completely different as the ranks of children ebb and change. I'll be headed out of the Pre-K room and into the infant room starting Monday. I must remember to stock up on bubble gum. :0)
Pictures courtesy of Monday night's birthday celebration. I took pictures of the grands and totally bypassed the birthday boy. Oops. Ah well, I caught Numbers 10, 9, 8, 7, and 5.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Missing In Action

My laptop has gone visiting. Hannah has taken it home to work on her Rosetta Stone Spanish class and so I am left with my Nook or the Cabinet Maker's PC. I'm not lost (just in case you miss me...) just busy at work and without my own computer.

Work has been fun. I have moments of frustration, but overall it's going great. My pottery class has been going good too. Never a dull moment, unless I'm outside watching chickens... ha ha!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dear Dad,

Dear Dad,

To say I miss you would be an understatement. Hardly a day goes by when I don't think of you. Just last night, as I lay in bed listening to you sing, I thought back to the day in July 2009 when you slipped that first $20 bill into my hand. "I have something for you," you said, "I don't know why, but I feel like I'm supposed to do this. It can be our little secret," and so for the next several Sundays you took my hand in yours and put a wrinkled $20 bill into my hand. By the time you went into the hospital five weeks later, you had blessed me with $100 which I tucked away awaiting its intended but unknown purpose. Months later I purchased a cassette tape converter to put your old recordings on CD's. It cost $99.

I have always been grateful for the gift of having you as my earthly father. God knew I would need a dad, who though not perfect, would be for me a shining example of what it means to live for Jesus. I've had my faith shaken, Dad, shaken to the core, but I'm still hanging on. Sometimes it feels like I'm hanging on by a thread, but I know God heard all those times you uttered my name and the names of my children in prayer and He is faithful even when my strength is weak. He is holding me.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. Thank you for being mine.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Say What?

I heard myself say it today. Twice. "That's not what that is for." I wasn't sure whether to be amused or terrified. Ha ha! Now I'm trying to remember what it was they had, and what they were doing with it... Ah, yes! The marble chute. A couple of boys put the short marble chute pieces together into L-O-N-G tubes and were using them like swords. Boys and play fighting go together, but not inside the classroom... I can't remember now what happened in the second incident. So much happens in a day that it's surprising I remember anything at all!

This afternoon one small boy got angry with me. I heard him say, as he sat on his naptime cot, "I hate you!" but later, when I drew some pictures and said yes he could keep them, he told me he liked me and I was nice. Ah, the fickle four year old. I was never worried.

So, this week I spent time with the babies, the 3 year old class, and the 4-5 year old group. And I survived. Perhaps it's sad, but I don't miss my old job at all.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Imagine That!

Work is interesting. Never, or at least very rarely, is there a dull moment. I occasionally find myself longing for the "olden days" kind of childcare, where a short time-out was an acceptable method of discipline and children weren't constantly admonished about proper use of playground equipment. Remember the days when there were literally no adults on the playground, only children?
 Recall the days when we were allowed to climb scary playground edifices, and experiment with various ways of going up or down the slide? Do you remember what it was like to twist the chains of your swing as much as you could and then lift your feet off the ground so you could spin yourself dizzy? Remember those backyard contests to see who could jump off the swing and land the farthest? I suppose we could have broken bones or needed stitches, but it never happened to us. Apparently there is now a concerted effort to ensure it will never happen to any other child either. I do understand the desire to minimize accidents and injuries, I just find it terribly sad that childhood has become so strictly managed. I desperately want to let them be brave and imaginative, and I can't. I will adjust. I have to. But I won't like it. I won't like it any better than I like hearing adults tell children, "that's not what that's for" when little girls wear what looks like shower curtain rings as bracelets. An adult out there somewhere came up with a game of some kind and utilized shower curtain rings, but the little ones, so full of energy and imagination, are seemingly discouraged from from doing it on their own. This I do not understand. I will adjust to this too, at least I will try... Okay, maybe I won't.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Little Bits

* Had a mom stop on her way into the daycare this morning and tell me how her 2 year old daughter put her jacket on all by herself this weekend. Laid it out on the ground, slipped her arms into the sleeves, and popped it up over her head. Easy peasy. And when Mom asked who taught her that she said, "Miss Martha!" (I borrowed a picture online, but it's not "my" toddler.)

* Gave out lots of love today and got lots back in return. I kind of like being a float and moving from group to group throughout the week. I make more friends that way. I need to buy some bubble gum on my way to work tomorrow or my little friend Lucas will be disappointed. He's always looking for my bubbles now.

* And finally, God letting me know He hears prayers. Interesting topic at my CoDA meeting tonight. That Step 11 caught my attention even before it was drawn from the topic box...

* Morning comes early and I have another busy day tomorrow. I start my hand building pottery class tomorrow evening. Can hardly wait!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Be The Center

Jesus, be the center
Be my source, be my light,
Jesus, be the center
Be my hope, be my song,
Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in these sails,
Be the reason that I live,
Jesus, Jesus
Jesus, be my vision
Be my path, be my guide

I've been knocked off center, left wobbling about and unable to get myself back where I need to be. Thankfully I have Father in Heaven who hasn't set me on a shelf and forgotten me. He knows just what is needed to get me centered once again. Please pray it happens soon.

(Kudos to the Half Naked Pottery Guy who spun a pot just for me at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival 4 years ago.) 

Sunday Afternoon

When we were little girls Mom and Dad visited Tim every other week on Sunday afternoons. With my new work schedule I'm  no longer able to see him on a week day, so we've switched to going on Sundays (unless we have a vacant Saturday, because that works too).
Today we met Priscilla and she went with us. All four of us, together in one car with Dad playing his music on the CD player.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Here and There

Today I vacuumed and dusted. It wasn't an especially thorough cleaning job, but I took a stab at it anyway, and I did a bit of laundry. Weekends go by fast when one works full time. I should have known that already, and maybe I did, but it's being reinforced. I'm still fighting this year's allergy fatigue so perhaps that is why I am feeling so unaccomplished. Then again, the weekend is only half over and I'm already thinking it's done... Oh, silly me.

Just a few photos from my walk around the yard last night. One of the cats followed me from my falling-apart-rocking-chair-swing all the way to the back corner of the yard where our property meets the orchard. Cats in the orchard make me nervous, especially with foxes grabbing unsuspecting chickens and coyotes who yap and howl in the dark of night. Call me paranoid, but I don't want my friends to end up being someone's dinner.

On my jaunt about the "estate" I found a secret garden of violas and little blue flowers behind Barn 2. A perfect treasure to put in my photo collection.

Tomorrow my sisters and I plan to visit our brother and take him out for another ride through the hills of Wayne County, a stop at Wendy's for a "small chocolate Frosty," and a plethora of childhood memories. Maybe I'll pack my camera.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Bits and Pieces

I'm not sure how it got to be Friday already. Let's see if I can remember anything from my week...

* I hopped from room to room at the daycare. I will be a "float" until the end of June. I'm not sure what happens after that. I'm getting to know all the children a little at a time and it's been going pretty good. I do have some curiosities about the grownups though... I have to wonder where imagination comes into play and why they keep telling the little one "That's not what that's for!" Why can't that toy be worn as a bracelet, and why can't the dress up rack double as a boat? Why can't children go down the slide on their tummies or let wood chips and cars slide down? Why can't we paint puddle water with sticks? So many questions and no answers...

* I bought some bubble gum so I could blow bubbles for the babies. They love it.

* I passed my sister on the way to work again. She didn't see me this time either.

* I met my friend Marlene for coffee last night, and then dropped a chair off at my son Joe's new apartment. He has a cute little place overlooking Main Street in Webster.

* We let the chickens out while we planted peppers the other night and they were thrilled. The Cabinetmaker found a nice juicy worm in the garden and they thought they were in chicken heaven! Then they almost killed one of the little pumpkins I'd just planted and I decided it was time for them to go to bed early.

* Naughty Too followed me around the yard for a while tonight while I was taking pictures. Guess he likes his picture taken too.

* Signed up for a pottery class. Hand building this time instead of wheel thrown. I start on Tuesday night. I think I'm going to like it.

Monday, June 05, 2017

It's June, So Step 6

Step 6- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character...

"Entirely" is the key word here. Am I entirely ready? Do I know what God needs to remove and could it be something I never before thought of as a "defect of character"? A few things came to mine in tonight's meeting. My fear of ending up "alone", my fear of change, and my tendency to feel insignificant and unimportant. Maybe, just maybe, God is working on something I wasn't expecting...

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Barn Collection

Lazy this weekend. Tom's post sent me looking for some pictures taken back in 2012...

Tom's Barn Collective.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

A Ticket to Ride (or not)

The house was empty when I returned home last evening, so I grabbed my camera and set off toward Sodus Point. I took a few photos down by the lake and then headed south out of town. I had no determined destination, just the thought that perhaps I could capture an interesting photo or two.

I was a little ways past Arney's Marina when I passed a sheriff headed my direction. He made a quick turn-around in a parking lot across the road and began to follow me. My mind made quick calculations as I glanced at my speedometer. It said about 40 mph. When I passed the 55 mph sign I sped up and the sheriff came flying up behind me. I pulled over thinking maybe he wanted to pass, but no, he turned on his lights and stopped behind me.

He asked for my license and registration and glanced at the stickers on my windshield. "Do you know why I stopped you? Where are you coming from and do you know the speed limit in Sodus Point? Do you know how fast you were going? Where are you headed?"

"Probably home," I told him.

"Probably or definitely?" he asked.

I wondered what that mattered and why he thought it important to ask... I hadn't yet decided where I was going next myself and here he was wanting to know. I felt a little like a scolded child and a bit like a rebellious teenager. Wasn't this still a free country? Even if he gave me a ticket wasn't I still free to go wherever I felt like going? My mind was spinning.

"I'm definitely going home eventually," I answered, and it was true.

I couldn't see his expression behind the sunglasses. He accepted my answer and asked if my license had been suspended. "No," I said, and so he took my ID back to his flashing vehicle and ran my license. Apparently having a clean driving record helps when it comes to traffic stops because when he returned with my license he did not have a ticket in his hand. "Watch your speed and slow it down," he told me, and then he let me go. And then

I decided to go home.

Friday, June 02, 2017

On My Way to Work

I've been leaving a little earlier for work this past week. On Monday I passed my son Ben as he was on his way to meet his dad for work. I am fairly certain I followed my son in law on his way to work Thursday, and this morning I passed someone else I know and love.

I was halfway to work when I stopped at a country intersection and waited for the light to turn green. The light changed and the cars ahead of me made their way through. When I turned left and glanced at the car waiting for the light to turn on the intersecting road, I caught a glimpse of my sister Priscilla. I chanced a wave but it was too late for her to see me and she never looked my direction. My cell phone felt a "little hot" in my pocket as I felt myself get momentarily teary, but as we were both driving I resisted the urge to call her right away.

My brief but sudden burst of emotion took me by surprise and made me realize how much I miss her and need to find a time to sit with her and share a visit. Maybe soon.

(Pictures from my drive to work. That farm road up and over the hill catches me every morning, And the swamp? Well, Tuesday morning I had to wait for a train down by the canal and this was the best I could do.)