Monday, July 31, 2017

Some Days

Some days I am sad.

The very last thing I've ever wanted to do is hurt those I love. I have no intention to do that now either. I can be courageous and kind at the same time. I can love deeply and do hard things, even seeming impossible things.

I am tired today, probably because it's Monday and weekends knock the snot out of me. (Actually, I stay up too late and don't eat quite as well... ) It was hard to keep my eyes open at work. I found myself grateful for the hour lunch break where I can set my little alarm clock and go to sleep in my van for 20 minutes or so. (Yes, I actually do it quite often.)

I had a few minutes to stop "home" before my appointment this afternoon and then I will be off to my CoDA meeting. Maybe I will have a minute or two to pop in on one of my East Rochester kids... Maybe. If I am brave and courageous.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Sometimes life throws you for a loop, and sometimes it tosses you head over heels, knocks the wind right out of you, and leaves you gasping in agony as you try to suck some air back into your lungs. A piece of me desperately wants to accept the comfort of denying the issues in front of me, and another part of me wants to run away and start life all over again. Neither one is a healthy choice. It's been a dark and difficult journey but I am making progress. Thankfully God has provided a wise but gentle counselor/therapist, a challenging support group, a few good books and resources, and a handful of faithful praying friends.

Last weekend was one of the hardest in my life and, at least for a time, I am not living at home. It's hard to write that, especially because deep in my heart one of my greatest fears is hurting those I love the most. Forgiveness is not the issue, I do not hate, and I love deeply, but along with love comes doing hard things. Sometimes we do them because it is needful for our own health and well being, and sometimes we do hard things because it is, or we hope it will be, beneficial to the other parties involved. At the moment lines of communication appear to be opening, and with them a much needed flow of tears.

I haven't run away. I am tucked under the eaves of my childhood home, in the bedroom my father built a lifetime ago for my brother Dan, the one I once shared with my sister Priscilla. The afghan Mom crocheted for me lays at my feet, and my daughter and her family sleep downstairs. This morning The Cabinetmaker brought a vase of flowers, some from his garden and some from the patch of weeds and wildflowers that grow between the barns and the apple orchard. We met at Moe's and shared a burrito for lunch. I don't know today where the journey will take us, but I do know the One who holds the future and we are in His care.

Please understand I am not trying to vilify anyone else or justify my own wrongdoing here. I'm just letting you know where we're at today.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Playing in the Mud

Mom almost always let us play in the mud. Mud Pies was one of my favorite games and remains a favorite childhood memory. As my mud pie making buddy will testify, "Yes we made the very best mud pies in all of the land, for sure." (Never mind the time I fell in a puddle as a toddler and cried, "Get these muddy things off of me!") As long as I don't have to wear it, I love it.

My hand building class is wrapping up just as we are really getting into it. This time around I have taken advantage of a few Thursday evening open studio nights to play. This evening was likely my last night to build any new wet projects and so I did just that. I made a cute mug to replace the one that met its demise. I assume it probably tumbled off the edge of the shelf... Oh, well.

I didn't take any pictures tonight but I took a couple on Tuesday when we had class. My "burlap box" has not yet met the fire but it's ready. I am looking forward to the finished product because I already think it's kind of cool. Oh goodness! I'm going to need another class.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Finding myself excessively tired today. Long tunnels not only have lights at the end, but scattered here and there throughout the darkness are the little lights that keep us headed in the right direction.

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
Psalm 121:2-4

Friday, July 21, 2017


My son went camping in the Adirondack Mountains. I found this on Facebook yesterday with the caption "Sorry, Mom." He is a funny guy...

Life feels a little like a "cliffhanger" at the moment. Some recent topics at CoDA meeting lately were willingness, choices, and decisions... They go along with that eleventh step.

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."

I'm fairly certain a piece of Step 9 is wrapped up in not only those topics, but Step 11 as well. Making amends. A willingness to apply a soothing salve to those I may have knowingly or unknowingly had a part in wounding. I am finally ready for Step 11 which involves not only knowing what to do, but having the strength to do it. (A few prayers to that end would be appreciated.) I find it interesting that he (the counselor) stopped asking me what I need. Maybe he thinks I finally figured it out...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bits and Pieces

Too much going through my mind to post, so I will attempt to keep it simple for now.

* Hannah's birthday was yesterday. My baby is 22. We celebrated with her traditional birthday dessert; brownie sundaes. I didn't take pictures. You'll just have to use your imagination... or maybe I'll post an old one.

* I love my job. I get lots and lots of hugs, and give out lots and lots of hugs and kisses. I will admit to checking the clock when it gets toward the end of the day, but only because I have to do something besides play during the day.

* My pottery class has been fun. It's not over yet, but we are winding up the wet work and after this week the focus will be on firing and glazing. My current project is a large piece. I did the bulk of building last night and will hopefully finish tomorrow.  Too bad things are winding down just as I am gearing up. You know what that means? Yup. I need another class.

* On my way to class last night I witnessed a good Samaritan help a snapping turtle safely cross two lanes of westbound rush hour traffic. I had a front row seat. It's nice that most folks stop for turtles, and they are most often assisted across the road. They're kind of like little old ladies, I guess. Ha ha!

* There are no flowers in my gardens, at least none to speak of. Perhaps there will be a bed full of them down by the vegetable garden. It's hard to believe all my perennials have disappeared.

* Life goes on. It changes, but keeps moving forward.

* My caterpillar morphed into a butterfly and flew away. So cool.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Other Side of the Story

Top photo is the other side of the hill from last week's posting. Beautiful farm in a gorgeous location.

Following are a few more from the same general location. It was threatening rain, and followed through, as I left work on Wednesday afternoon.

 Mr. Airy's Holsteins.

Standing alone. (Reminds me a bit of that petunia in an onion patch song...)

Barn on the corner. Apparently this place is for sale.

Lost to the winds of time...

And that is it. Brought to you today because someone over at The Barn Collective said I should always have my camera along..

Saturday, July 15, 2017

And So...

Sleeping in means staying in bed until 6:30 or 7 am. I guess that's what happens when one wakes up at 5:45 am every other day of the week. I don't mind too much. I actually like morning. My house is the real casualty of working full time. It doesn't get the attention I once gave it and just the other day my vacuum cleaner complained of being hungry and bored. I should probably stay home on Saturdays and focus my attention on getting things done around here, but I am going out again.

I have a 9 am appointment with the counselor. It's been a long 2 years but I think I'm making progress, even it it is painstakingly slow. There are times when I feel like I am fighting this battle alone and in the dark, but I know there is One Greater who fights for all of us, and I am not really alone. I have a select few who pray for and encourage me. Along with that there are other silent fighters in the midst. I may not know their battle but I know they're not alone.

Last night I wandered the yard with my faithful Canon shooting as I went. You'd think I'd already exhausted every photo opportunity on this 3 1/2 acre piece of land, but I just keep capturing images anyway. (I think we need some new hollyhocks. All we have left is white.)

Friday, July 14, 2017


I'm still here. The week is almost over and my bed is calling. I'd thought I was catching up on my sleep, but last night left me lacking once again. The adults at daycare were all tired but the kids had all kinds of energy.

Yesterday morning one of my little friends came to sit on my knee when I squatted down to talk to him. He put his foot up and said, "Look at my shoe, Miss Martha." I took hold of his foot and asked him something about his shoe. It didn't look new. I wasn't sure what he was wanting me to see. That's when he said, "I stepped in dog poop." Ha ha! His shoe was clean and his mother said he hasn't stepped in any in months.

Now for a weekend.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Friday, July 07, 2017


The weekend is upon us. Snippets from my week...

* A poopy day is a good day, at least for me. Poopy means I got to spend time with some of my favorite little people. They leave messes to clean up but make the effort more than worthwhile by the love they give in return. There is nothing like a small pair of arms around my neck, a little one who voluntarily climbs onto my lap, or little people calling my name. "Miss Martha, Miss Martha... "

* I let the chickens out for an hour or so Wednesday evening. The balked and clucked and headed straight for their favorite place to take a dust bath. I sat outside while they dusted themselves and scratched about, and then I lured them back into the coop with the last two pieces of bread.

* Naughty One makes himself scarce these days. Each time I'm sure he's either adopted a new owner or fallen prey to a predator, he shows up for a pat on the head. Maybe he's just sore because we treated him for tapeworms...

* Naughty Too has been antagonizing the barn swallows down below the barn. He sits out in the grass while they screech and dive bomb him. Lucky for them they are the stealth bombers of the bird world.

* Thursday evening I went from work to the pottery studio which was closed on Tuesday for the 4th of July. I didn't end up with anything grand to save, but being there was therapeudic just the same. No pictures this time. Maybe next week. :0)

* Tomorrow my favorite granddaughter turns six. (I hope you know I have two favorites.) There's supposed to be a party. I'll be going but I have an idea she'll be far more interested in something other than her grandmother. How does a grandma compete with friends, presents, and yummy treats? Ha ha!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A Nostalgic Little Picnic

July 4th is good for picnics so we pulled one together. Hannah thought it a good idea to have the gathering at her house, like in the "good ol' days" when Grandma and Grandpa had picnics there, and so we did.

Lucas hung out with Uncle Ben for a bit and enjoyed a bit of Pepsi Cola.

The meal was scrumptious! A little American, a little Mexican, and a little Chiavetta's for the chicken marinade. So good! 

Sergio's parents brought a watermelon with seeds! The kids had never seen one quite like it. Sad, huh? I taught them how to spit watermelon seeds like a good grandmother.

Aubrey and Simon faught over a tiny toad Uncle Joe found in the back yard.

Abuelo and Abuela loved on the grandbaby (of course),

and there were several games of badmitton played. It's a great backyard, and teaming with childhood memories for me, my sisters, and all of our kids. 

Go back and take a look at my dad's outbuildings. They put a smile on my face.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Teaching the Pre-K Class

I didn't know what to expect when going into work today. Turns out the pre-K teacher didn't make it in so I fulfilled my dream of being the "kindergarten" teacher. Fun times. Just five little ones to look after. Easy peasy.

I'd taken one of my monarch caterpillars in to show the children and so the little creature became the focus of a short science lesson and paper project. At nap time I read stories for an hour to a few children who either couldn't sleep or had already woken up. It made nap time (and sitting in while another teacher took a break) much more tolerable for all of us. The kids were happy and I felt good too.

Tomorrow the center is closed for the 4th of July and I have absolutely no clue what awaits when I return on Wednesday. Thankfully that does not intimidate me anymore. It just makes every day an adventure.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Little Friends

We have a scraggily patch of milkweed where once I grew a flower garden. It's not a pretty spot, an eyesore rather. However, it does provide a home to some fancy creatures. This afternoon I spotted a monarch caterpillar. I went inside for my camera, and then back inside again for a container in which to put him. And then I found another caterpillar. Two! Science is what I call them. One for the Trio and one for the daycare.

And as a bonus, I found a chirping friend as well. A little green treefrog attempting a nap. He did not appear pleased at my appearance. Ha ha! I woke him up and snapped his photo but left him to live in the leaves, catching flies and various unsuspecting bugs.

On Tip Toe

Some days it feels like the "step in the right direction" is a step that leads upstairs to a very long nap. One of my poorer coping skills, nap taking, though not so destructive as other options... I'm walking, perhaps on tip toe, and ever so slowly, but I am walking just the same.

"Progress." Isn't that what I once said my new name should be? The one God would give me? It's only in looking back that I can see how far I've come, and yet the mountain still feels insurmountible. Is it even possible to tip toe up a mountain?

Babies learn to walk at different rates, varying ages, and in how they move. Some toddle, others take off running, but in the end they all need to learn both skills, walking and running. There might be a corralation here somewhere... maybe.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Playing in the Mud

If you check out "my complete profile" you just may find, at the bottom of the page, a question Blogger posed to me way back when blogging was fresh and new to my world. And then, of course, my answer.

If mud is dirt plus water, what is clay?
An endless possibility! I can't wait to get started.

I already had that 50 pounds of clay when I started my blogging adventure and every once in a while I am inspired to take it out. (This typically happens when I am taking a ceramics class...) Yesterday I sat down for a bit and got my hands dirty playing. Somewhere in that pile of "children" is a parent figure. She's somewhat buried... This happens in parenting.

The poor caretaker in my sculpture has been swallowed up. If I am honest, I don't know quite how I feel about that. I really wanted her to be more visible and still have seven children...