Friday, June 29, 2018


It's been a weird week. I slept so good between Monday night and Tuesday morning that I woke up too late to take a shower before running out the door to work. I had time to throw on my clothes and grab some breakfast and that was it. But since that night I've slept pretty horrible. It's making me a little crazy.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

So Far

It's been a busy week, both at work and out of it. I started going to a new group on Monday evening, a step study with Celebrate Recovery. Still looking to be healthy emotionally and spiritually It was a good sized group of women. There were two I knew from outside of CR and it felt very comfortable. Going to this group will mean not attending CoDA, or at least not attending regularly. Perhaps it is time to move on...

I met a friend at Panera this evening. She had a dessert and since I'd not eaten dinner, I had a salad. It was a good visit. Tomorrow evening I have a date with a different friend. We're going to Chipotle because neither of us has been there before. Next week I will meet my sister for breakfast one morning before work.

The school year is over and our daycare numbers are dwindling. Teacher's kids have the summer off. One of our little guys won't be back next year because he's moving a few towns over. It will be sad to say goodbye and I will miss his little arms around my neck each afternoon. This is the way of childcare. Our job is to love them while we have the opportunity and to remember the days are fleeting.

Tonight I caught a few minutes with a few grandsons because Seven and Ten came to play with Nine. How fun is that?

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Barn Collective

Barns. Dad loved them. He loved the farm and all things related to it. As a young man he dreamed of having a farm of his own.

Not long after Mom and Dad got married they moved to what in later years was referred to as "the farm," but it wasn't theirs. They were just the hired help. After a couple of years on the farm, their savings had been spent and they were tired of living in the drafty old tenant house with little to no hope of ever getting ahead. They moved back to Rochester and Dad took a job in the city.

As a child I never knew life on the farm, not really. But I did catch a bit of the bug from my dad who had all kinds of wonderful stories and Ideal Magazines. And it was Dad who would take us to visit the farms of his relatives scattered across the southern tier of NY state. As a very little girl I fed a little lamb with a baby bottle, searched for kittens in the hay loft with Dad's cousins, and witnessed the birth of a calf in the milking barn at Uncle Joe's. I learned to love the smell of manure, fresh hay, and sweet corn on the stove. I tucked the memories away and every once in a while I pull them back out to savor.

In adulthood my husband and I bought a little farm tucked int he apple orchards of Wayne County NY where we finished raising our seven children, grew a vegetable garden, kept a few cats and dogs, and tended a dwindling flock of chickens. One season we had a tractor in the barn, and one spring a few ducks a friend had incubated as a school project. Mostly I chased children, my own and the children of others. We enjoyed long orchard walks, dark starlit nights, and camp outs in the back yard. A little dream come true.

I'm not out on the farm today, but I am forever grateful for the time I had there. More memories tucked away. Memories that can make me sad if I let them, but should really make me smile because they are so very wonderful.

It looks like it might rain today. Come on over and take cover at Tom's and add your own barn photos to the collection.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Bits and Pieces

* I'm still alive. Life is so completely different from what it was a few years back that I often feel like a stranger in my own skin. I'm still me inside, but I feel as though I've been plucked up and dropped into a different world. Going to work every day can still feel foreign even though I am comfortable there. No complaints, it's just different.

* This past Sunday was Father's Day. It was different. We had former NFL player and a mini car show at church, along with a free hotdog bar. Of course I took my camera along. I did not get a picture of Cory Proctor, but I did take a selfie in a shiny hubcap.

* Sunday afternoon my little grandson wore the soccer uniform his Uncle Carlos sent him from Mexico. It came home with Abuelo and Tio Raul after their February visit to Hidalgo. Maybe him wearing it was good luck. Mexico did win the game. If nothing else he was the cutest little soccer player ever! 

* I stopped on my way to work one morning this week and captured a bit of beauty along the side of the road. Crown vetch. A bit of pale purple growing on the edge of the field. I'm taking it all in as I go but I don't often have time to stop. The calves that I saw a few early mornings, following their mamas through the fields, haven't been there anymore, but I remembered to count the blessing of seeing them while they were.

* Yesterday I noticed some new flowers growing in our own front garden. Since Hannah and Sergio  recently cleaned it out, I asked what they had planted. They both looked confused until I asked Hannah what she had done with the pumpkin that sat out on the front step last fall. They both laughed.

* This morning my sister and I picked a few strawberries at a local farm. This afternoon we had strawberry shortcake for lunch, my first of the season. It was wonderfully delicious! Afterward we were so sleepy and satisfied that we both took a nap, during which somebody took our picture. Ha ha!

* a job to go to
* recovery
*crown vetch
* calves in the field
* pumpkin surprises
* strawberry shortcake

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

Missing the man, grateful for the legacy he left.

He's not here in person, but I can still listen to him play and sing on his back porch where he loved to sit with Mom, his instruments, or a cup of coffee.   

The Barn Collective

" 'Billy Bob loves Charlene' in John Deere Green..."

In this case "Becky loves Al." I'd guess it's been painted there for about fifteen years now. I remember when the paint was drying... so to speak. I've seen barns with other messages, but this one is special.

It's in rough shape. Trees came up on opposing corners eventually squeezing the life out of it and rendering it unsafe. You wouldn't know from the front, but I took a walk around the back side...

Someone (Al) tried to save it years ago. He built a concrete block support under the beam. That and the doors (where Becky painted her John Deere Green message) have provided just enough strength to keep her standing. How long the old barn will last is anybody's guess.

For now Becky's John Deere Green love story remains. A tribute to the man she once loved and still loves today.

It's gonna be a scorcher today. Come on over to Tom's for a tall glass of ice cold lemonade.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Weekend Thus Far

Yesterday I went home from work an hour early. I arrived home as my daughter was going out. After staring at my computer for a while, I decided it was way too nice out to stay in. I called a friend who I haven't seen in a while and we went out for an ice cream cone. While waiting for our cones, another friend appeared in the line behind us. We had a great time catching up and visiting while we ate our ice cream.

As we sat there a small child arrived with her daddy. One of our daycare kids. I called hello to her. She looked at  me and said, "You're the one who makes our food." :0)  This afternoon I saw another of our little ones in Target. After saying hello to her, she looked at her mom and whispered, "I think that's Miss Martha."  Ha ha!

I had an appointment this morning with the counselor and afterward drove out to Avon, NY to the Western NY Pottery Festival. I went alone, because I wanted to go and the friends who thought they might meet were were unable to attend. It was okay. I went alone and enjoyed myself. I even ran into the same two friends from the studio who I'd seen back in May when my daughter and I went out together.

It's been a good weekend. I've randomly met up with several friends while shopping and the weather has been gorgeous. There's a former Dallas Cowboy/ Miami Dolphin speaking at church tomorrow along with a car show and hotdog bar. They go all out for Father's Day, I guess... I'm looking forward to what the day will bring and taking my camera along.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Maybe I'll Go on Vacation...

I finally figured out my employer's vacation policy. Had to ask repeatedly, and look at the employee handbook myself, but I've got it now. I have four paid vacation days this year. Now I need to figure out the best way to utilize them. Do I break them up into snippets? Take two here and two there? Or do I take them all at once? I'm still thinking about it. Funny thing is I feel more relaxed just knowing.

It's been a good week. I'm learning how to recognize my feelings for what they are, breathe through them, and come out okay on the other side.

I'm still soaking in the beauty of each day, I'm simply not able to capture it as often as I have in the past. It wouldn't do to tell my boss I was late to work because I had to stop and photograph those calves following their mothers through the pasture in the early morning dew, but I do smile as I drive by. That has to count for something. I'm counting gifts even if I'm not assigning them numbers.

* cows and calves in the morning dew
* weeds
* pottery, even the ones I forgot to cover. (They dried out and went into the reclaim bucket.)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Lookin' Up

I went in Old Navy a few weeks back and found a shirt I couldn't go home without. It's not the best picture of me, I was having an emotional weekend, but I decided it would do.

My people weren't home on Sunday when I returned from church and the lonely waves started to wash over me. I started to talk to myself out loud. "Well, Martha, what are you going to do about it?" "I'm going to stop and buy myself a coffee," I said, "And I'm going to the pottery studio for a bit of Mud Therapy. And maybe after that I'll take a walk with my sister." Then I did just that and it turned out to be a good day after all.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Barn Collective

A couple more barns from our drive last Sunday afternoon.

I have to admit it was the truck that really caught my eye, but without the shelter of the barn, I probably wouldn't have taken the picture.

This second barn is a beauty, and I love the old, green shutters opposite the rolling door at the bottom.

I love old barns. See some more and share your photos at Tom's Barn Collective.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Bits and Pieces

Random bits of my life

* Road rage. Had a fellow "wave" violently at me and call me pretty names the other day as I turned the corner into our little neighborhood, Can't imagine what terrible infraction I could have committed between there and the stop light three tenths of a mile back.

* The lights went out at work one day this week. Although there are flood lights in the classrooms, the two rooms without windows to the outside have no backup lighting, therefore both the restroom and the kitchen were dark. Thankfully the lunch was prepared and all the plates, cups, napkins, and flatware were already counted and waiting on the counter. The only thing I had to do in the dark was dish up goulash and vegetables.

* The Cabinetmaker drove to Nova Scotia this week to visit his mom. It was a surprise to her. I'm glad he was able to go, but I'm still finding myself emotional. We'd long talked of going together...

* Yesterday afternoon I left work an hour and 45 minutes early, stopped to visit my friend Deborah, and then drove out to Williamson to pick up some mail left for me. I probably should change the mailing address on a few things, but I'm dragging my feet.

* Took a few photos while the Naughties followed me around, meowed, and got under my feet. I love them.

* Today I went for a morning drive with my sister. Nowhere special, just out and about.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Choose Wisely

I found Sunday morning's message intriguing, like God got together with Pastor Rob and told him all the things I've been thinking the few days previous... It was almost like he was talking about Martha. Well, he was. He was talking about Mary and Martha. There were many things he said that resonated with me, some of them simply words I'd been thinking on.

I posted this quote on Facebook and got a little backlash. "The life that you have is the life you have chosen."  One person sternly disagreed, another said it was how rumors got started, because I'd posted without context. I'd also mentioned I was still "chewing" on it. Recall that several months ago I wrote a series of blogs on choices...

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

I'm still wrestling with choices.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

The Barn Collective

The barn caught my eye first.

We were out for a ride with our brother, and taking different route from where we've traveled the past few years. It was just off the beaten path, but not far off.

It's a peony farm! (here) There were rows upon rows of bright smiling peonies. How fun is that?

I have more photos, but my computer and the photo editor haven't been getting along proper lately. It's kind of driving me crazy. Come visit Tom at The Barn Collective and get in out of the rain.