Thursday, January 31, 2019

It Was Cold Today

With school closed due to the arctic wind chill, we had a different kind of day at the center. No more than 31 children showed up, including our school age group. It was a more relaxed atmosphere and I had the rare privilege of going home 45 minutes early.

I've had two "much better than Monday and Tuesday" days. I know deep inside that grief comes in waves, but when it hits I am still overwhelmed. I also know I am not alone in my grief. Perhaps that is the biggest sorrow of all... It is just a part of why my heart is torn. I will be okay, but there will be days of intense pain in the process of getting there. I need to hurt, it's part of the healing, so please forgive me for the times when it bleeds through my writing.

Life is not all pain. There are hundreds of moments each day when I stop to soak in the blessings and remember to be thankful. Each little child, each hug, each smile... our sweet, soft babies, rascally toddlers, rambunctious preschoolers, and surly school age kids... I smile when our babies learn to walk, to talk, and say my name... We have one small child who calls me "Marka." Ha ha! When Sophia wrapped her little arms around my neck and said, "I luf you," my heart melted a little. I love the children, my coworkers, and my boss. I am thankful for my kitchen and the time I get to spend in the classrooms. It's a good place to be.

I am thankful for week days and week ends, for church on Sunday mornings, my step study on Monday nights, and the pottery studio. I am thankful for our counselor, my sisters, and my attic bedroom. I am thankful for my kids, for the cabinetmaker, and for my friends. I am blessed by the blog and my blog friends, and I'm even thankful for Facebook. And right now, I am thankful it isn't yet 11 o'clock and that my teeth are already brushed. I'm ready to turn out the light and go to sleep. Thanks for being there, guys.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Arctic Air Mass and Stuff

The weather was normal on my way to work this morning. Average winter temperature and no snow to speak of. Our after work staff meeting was cancelled and I left work on time for a change. The temperature dropped considerable throughout the day and the wind picked up, cancellations were many, but the drive home was uneventful.

I'd already been home for an hour when Hannah realized she'd forgotten about Joe asking to come over tonight. She'd already eaten dinner, but I hadn't, so I called to see if he still wanted to come. I figured we could grab something together and bring it back to eat. We decided on Wendy's. We went inside instead of using the drive-thru. We had picked up our orders and were about to leave when a small voice called, "Hi!" Three children hurried up to us. I got a hug from Lucas and was pleasantly surprised to find my son and daughter in law in front of me. It was a chance meeting (or divine appointment). They were planning to hit the drive-thru when they spotted my car in the parking lot. We all decided to stay and eat together. Funny thing is I'd been thinking about them on my way home from work earlier. I think God heard me thinking.

My Minnesota son was able to work from home today. He may be all grown up and far away, but when the weather is especially cold and nasty, he's still on my mind. I was blessed to know he was safe at home with his little family. How about that Number Eleven?

PS. It was a much better day. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


But first last night. (ha ha!)

Last night I forgot to drink my tea. I left it at the top of my fold-down attic stairway and forgot all about it. I found it in the middle of the night when I got up to use the bathroom. I took it downstairs with me (because why not?) and popped it in the microwave. I retrieved it on the way back through the kitchen and took it upstairs into the darkness. Before climbing into my bed, I set my cup down on the lid of my closed laptop. Just until I straightened the covers. But all was not well. I heard a strange noise and then a thud. Seems I'd left my mouse (because I'm touchpad handicapped) on my computer and the lid was not totally closed. Sadly, my cup slid off and tea was all over my bedroom floor. I probably used up half a box of tissue cleaning it up. After that I was wide awake.

So, today.

* Today I did not get a speeding ticket, thanks to the individual coming toward me on Canandaigua Rd. They flashed their high-beams and I took notice. When I entered the 30 mile an hour zone just down the road, I had already slowed all the way down to 30 mph. Good idea. There was a police car just waiting.

* I was cranky and flustered this morning. It was partly because I was cranky and flustered, and partly because I couldn't leave the baby room to pee. And then later because I couldn't leave the baby room to start my job in the kitchen. But mostly because I was cranky and flustered. I didn't sleep much after spilling my tea on the floor last night, but really I've just been emotional lately. My boss actually stopped in the kitchen to check on me and see if I was alright. I got teary, but felt better afterward. I told her later that I was going to be okay. We all have our days and I have had a few. Maybe I'm done for a while now.

* The remainder of the day was good. I fixed the lunch, cleaned the kitchen, and set out snacks. I snuggled little ones, changed diapers, and played games. I worked an extra half hour and then visited the chiropractor, who did his best to take what felt like a knife out of my right shoulder blade.When that was done, I went to the pottery studio. I wasn't there alone this time and that is good. On the way home I stopped to fill up my gas tank, because I know I won't want to fill it tomorrow. We're going into the deep freeze!

Monday, January 28, 2019

How Am I?

Emotional. That's how I've been feeling. The teary kind of emotional, where I just want to cry. (How's that for honesty?) I'm going to be okay. Really, I am.

All week I look forward to the weekend, and then for half the weekend I wonder what to do and find myself looking forward to Monday. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but I think it's mostly good. At least I'm not spending half my weekend dreading my return to work... even if I do feel a little overwhelmed when the alarm goes off in the morning.

I had some time to stop at the pottery studio on Saturday and found one of my boxes waiting on the bisque shelf. I took a few minutes to glaze it and am looking forward to seeing the finished result. I put another box in the kiln room for a first firing, rolled some pieces for a new box, and bought another bag of clay. I am finally amassing a collection of something beside bowls. Ha ha!

I had a wonderful visit with my beautiful daughter on Sunday afternoon. (Why, yes! They ARE both beautiful!) It was nice to simply sit and enjoy each other's company. She's going on a trip soon and I can hardly wait until she returns to tell me all about it.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Where am I?

I don't know whose life I am living, but this certainly isn't what I imagined myself doing in my mid fifties. It's possible I may never get used to working 8 hours a day five days a week every week of the year. It seems a strange existence even if I am doing what comes natural, and I am thankful that it does, but it still isn't what I had envisioned...

Last night, after a painful week and much frustration, I made a visit to the chiropractor. I am rarely totally free of pain in my lower back, but today it was noticeably better. I was relieved not to have any restaurant sized cans to wrestle this week, but we do have a new baby in our infant room. He is not quite 11 months old and weighs about 30 pounds. I'm not joking. Lugging him about is an injury waiting to happen, and he's just a baby.

After my chiropractor appointment I went to the pottery studio. I'd desperately wanted to go over the weekend, but the weather did not cooperate with my intentions. I found my little trinket box on the glaze shelf. (I took the picture with the bottom turned around backward.) A music box was waiting on the bisque shelf, and another was patiently waiting to be cut open and finished. And of course, I worked on assembling another box as well. Maybe this weekend, if I acquire some fresh clay, I will take a turn or two on the wheel again.

This evening I got out of work 15 minutes early, filled my gas tank, and came home. My people were here, I washed the dishes, and made a batch of banana bread for my little grandson to enjoy. It was a good night.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Snow Tires and Stuff

Yesterday morning I was entirely thankful for good tires on my vehicle. (I can't remember if they are snow tires or brand new all-season tires, but they are doing a good job in the snow.) All the roads were snow covered and slick. It was so cold that every step I took made a squeaking sound as the snow moved under my feet. It was what I call "booger-freezing weather! I left home while it was still dark out and didn't come home until it was dark again.

Monday night is Step Study night. I am sorting through hard things. Some of it gets written down, but there are also thoughts still swirling, thoughts that haven't yet found a landing place. I'm learning more about me and it's an interesting journey.

Today was a hard day. A cranky day. I felt off and I knew it, but I made it through. It helps to be aware of my feelings and work my way through the day by giving myself room to breathe and admit I'm not always going to be okay every day. I just need to take one day at a time.

This evening I met my son Joe and we went out to Chipotle for a bite to eat. It's nice to catch up with my kids every once in a while. I knew there would come a day when they would go off on their own, I just didn't know how fast it would get here.

I'm expected at work a half hour early tomorrow morning. For some reason that makes me feel like I need to go to sleep earlier. Or maybe I'm really tired and that's why I was feeling cranky today.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Snowy Sunday Snowday

I turned off my alarm clock last night and slept in this morning. Woke up at 7:15 am for a potty break. I may have been awake, but I crawled back into bed to enjoy the moment.

The snow fell fine and thick throughout the night and temperatures were bitter. No snowmen sprung up today. It was too cold. Churches were closed and it was well past noon before many folks ventured out. There were mostly snowplows and police officers when I headed to my sister's house around 1 pm. She wanted to take pictures. We didn't drive far, just down to the bay and back again.

 I had to stop and take a picture on the way into Rachel's neighborhood. The snow was incredible!

The seagulls on the bay were quite certain we had brought something to eat. They were mistaken.

The little beach houses between the bay and Lake Ontario looked shocked by the storm, yet they've weathered many.

These evergreens were dressed in snow, the first wearing the heaviest coat and the last the lightest. 

I went from my sister's house to my daughter's place and had a cup of tea at each. I love the plants on Bethany's window sill, along with the menagerie of containers on the countertop.

 I headed for home just before dark, and the road into the track caught my attention. The snow covered side street took me back in time 40 years ( how is that possible? ...), to a time when my friends and I would go out to school functions on snowy evenings and walk home afterward. It looked very much like this in the late 70's.

And then I was home. Back to the little house I grew up in, the one I now share with a little family of three. I no sooner got in the door than a small boy said, "Play cars, Grammy?"

Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Snow Covered Saturday

I went out to the eye doctor this morning. I hadn't been since 2011, but the doctor and I chatted about our kids, and she asked if my daughter had told me about the time she walked in on Bethany's Norwex demonstration. She said Bethany stopped mid-sentence when she saw her eye doctor but recovered nicely. Dr Weisenreder has been her doctor since she was just a little girl. I left with severely dilated pupils, squinted my way home through the snow, and was thankful the sun wasn't blasting. This afternoon, while my eyes were at half dilation, I took a nap. I did not go to the pottery studio, even though I wanted to.

Life has been different the past two weeks. The Cabinetmaker left for a job in North Carolina nearly two weeks ago. We met for breakfast the day before he left, but I haven't heard from him since. Our second son is with him and I'm sure all is well. It's just different. Different not to hear from him at all.

We are having a snow storm. We are doing this because it is winter in the Great Lakes region and that is how we roll. When I was a young girl my dad went to work in weather like this. Now we have travel advisories. No unnecessary travel. Once I got home, I stayed home, mostly because I had a headache.

Several churches have already cancelled services for tomorrow morning, even places that never used to close. I haven't heard anything about the one I attend, so I'm assuming they haven't cancelled anything yet. Storms have a way of doing their own thing at the last minute, so maybe they're waiting to see how it plays out tonight. (Never mind. They cancelled too.)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Bits and Pieces

I haven't posted all week. I guess that's what happens when life is wild and crazy. Or maybe I just don't always know what I'm thinking...

* Sunday afternoon my friend Laura invited me to dinner. Dinner with a friend is always nice.

* Monday night was my Step Study meeting. I go there directly from work which makes for one very long day, but it's so worth it. Even if it makes me cry.

* Tuesday night... Ah, yes! I got my hair cut and then came home. Sometimes it's nice to come home after work.

* Wednesday. I had an a appointment and then went to the pottery studio. I made a box (Are you surprised?) and I glazed my little box with the upside down character on top. Haven't seen my friend Ginger in a while, but Myong was there taking her first wheel thrown pottery class.

* Thursday I drove out to Williamson after work.I needed to print some papers and my printer here doesn't want to connect with my computer. Then I hurried home because Ben was coming to dinner. We stayed up way too late talking and listening to him tell stories. When he left, Hannah and I stayed up even later. What was I thinking? I had to get up for work this morning.

* Today I came directly home after work. Wait. No, I did not. I lied. I went to get gasoline and then stopped at Wegmans for bread and milk. Ha ha! Not really. I stopped for a few other things, and then I came home and had Cream of Rice and a cup of hot tea for supper. Now I am hunkered down, ready to cover  myself up and go to sleep, except I haven't brushed my teeth yet...

*Tomorrow I will go to the eye doctor and pay a small fortune to have an eye exam. Perhaps I shall pay another small fortune for a pair of spectacles. We shall see. (Ha ha! No pun intended. Sometimes I surprise myself.) And then maybe we'll have ourselves a little snowstorm.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

No Pain, No Gain

I had an appointment with the counselor this morning. I've found myself teary the past few times and today was no exception. Digging deep is painful, but pain brings awareness, and awareness births change. Before I left he asked me what I was going to do today. I told him I didn't know...

While thoughts swirled I ran a couple errands. Bank. Target. I left the shopping center and headed toward the city of Rochester. Pottery Studio. I found my little gymnast box on the bisque shelf and rolled slabs for future boxes. I molded a couple of figures, wrapped them in wet paper towels, put them away and headed out, thoughts still swirling...

On the way to the car I called my friend Laura. (Even calling people stresses me out. It didn't used to, but it does now. She was getting ready to leave home for her grandson's birthday party, but not too busy to chat for a few minutes. When we hung up I called another friend and was surprised by her sudden appearance on the other end of the line.

Angel and I have been friends almost ever since I can remember. We don't catch up often, but today we did. After a little while on the phone, she suggested getting together for coffee, so I left the city and headed back toward home. I stopped at her house on the way and I think we were both blessed to reconnect. There is something incredibly special about old friends. It was an exercise in change. A step toward healing.

Tonight I shared a bag of popcorn with Idris (Number Nine). We ate the whole bag together, and then we watched a few storybook videos on my laptop while he ate apples slices and mandarin orange sections. His mommy was there too, and then his daddy came home. We enjoyed the time together and tonight I am blessed.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Little Snow Storm Too

I didn't leave home early enough this morning. I wasn't late leaving, I just needed to leave earlier than I did. My first clue was the snow piled on the hood and windshield. The second was the ice underneath the snow...

Had the roads not been snow covered, the snow not flying sideways, and the temperatures not bitter, I might have arrived at work on time, but blizzard-like conditions have a way of convincing folks to drive closer to 25 miles an hour rather than 45 or 50. (The photo is not from today, rather one I took one snowy November morning. I left my camera upstairs today.) At the halfway point I was doing okay, but rapidly approaching a time crunch. The kicker was the 55 mile an hour section where the guy in front was going about 20 miles an hour.

I punched in ten minutes late. (Yes, we still have a time clock with cards to punch.) Thankfully, I still worked my 8 hours and punched out at ten minutes til five. Between the holiday and going home early, I lost about 8 hours last week. My unused vacation time is in this week's check, but it feels like I've been shorted by an entire day. Ha.ha! I think I might get over it. I do typically garner a little bit of overtime most weeks.

I went to the pottery studio last night before the storm blew in and worked on another box with a figure on top. This time it's sitting on the edge of the lid with its legs hanging over the front. I'm never sure what I'm going to do with them until they happen and sometimes I find myself smiling at the result. Kind of like the little guy standing on his head on the lid of the little trinket box. I might have stayed longer last night, but the few others there cleared out early and being there alone just isn't quite the same. Besides, my car was parked across Monroe Avenue and I'm not real keen on being in the city alone in the dark. I decided to go home once I was done. It was only 7:30 pm. and the snow hadn't yet started to pile up.

Ha ha!

It's definitely January now!

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

January? Really?

Can it really be January in upstate NY? Will the rain drumming on my roof be snow by tomorrow morning? Anything can happen, but it's not looking probable. The good thing is we don't have scrape rain off any windshields.

I popped into the pottery studio a couple of times this past weekend. I rarely stay long, but I do have a few items to show for the times I do stop. I've been asked by a couple of wheel throwing friends if I am going to take another class. They think I should take the advanced class on Saturday mornings... but for now I am rather satisfied dabbling. Throwing aggravates the tendonitis (or is it arthritis?) in my thumbs, while handbuilding is a bit gentler. I like both, but have been doing a little more handbuilding lately. Boxes. With figures on top. And... I really don't have the extra cash for a class. Right now I prefer renting a shelf. I think it's a nice arrangement.

I'm not even sure how I ended up with an upside down figure on the little trinket box. It just kind of ... happened. I hope it doesn't fall apart before it gets fired and glazed.
The blue box has music inside, and the other one has yet to be glaze fired. The head still isn't firmly attached. Perhaps it is a sign. Mom used to say I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached. Ha ha!

Sunday, January 06, 2019

The Barn Collective

A little follow up to my friend's barn, the barn that fell a few weeks back.

She is much loved herself and a few friends came to rescue her anniversary card/ tribute to Al.

I am blessed.

Come visit Tom at the Barn Collective.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Bits and Pieces

* Looked at my camera this morning and decided to leave it home.

* Still low on babies at work, so I peeled potatoes in the kitchen until I was asked if I could be in the toddler room while one of the regular teachers stepped out. It was early and children were still arriving. I ended up snuggling one small child for a half hour after her mother left. She melted into my shoulder as I rocked her on my lap, and I thought she might have fallen asleep, but she was just soaking in the love and attention. This small child drank in every ounce of love I could give. At nine o'clock I had to put her down and go back to the kitchen, but by then she was okay and ready to play with her friends.

* I've been mixing up the menu this week. Shuffled lunches around until the food truck came today. Meatball subs will be served tomorrow, now that we have meatballs.

* Getting out of work early usually comes as a surprise and today was my lucky day. Again. Such is the holiday weekend. We've been taking turns going home early. I was "free to go" after I was done in the kitchen, which included putting all our "groceries" away. I punched out at 1:15 pm and headed to the pottery studio.

* At the studio I used some old slabs and made a cute little box. No room to fit music inside. It will have to be for trinkets (or teeth) ha ha!. It turned out so cute that I suddenly wished I'd brought my camera along. (Of course...) Throwing on the wheel is fun, but building boxes is easier on my thumbs which get sore and achy from tendonitis or arthritis or whatever. I'm giving them a rest for bit while I play a different game and it's a game I like.

* Number Nine is running a fever tonight. He went from a happy, bouncy little guy (on Motrin) to a fiery hot, bundle of snuggles in the space of a half hour. Didn't cry, just found laying on mommy the best place to be. He got quieter and quieter as he grew hotter. Here's hoping he feels better soon.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

New Beginnings

Today is not Monday. But it feels like it. Yesterday felt so much like Saturday that I had to repeatedly remind myself that it wasn't. Ha ha! I'm beginning to see why Federal holidays are always on a Monday... (except July 4). Ha ha! My days are all messed up. The holidays have totally thrown any sense of routine right out the window. Good thing we aren't changing the clocks anytime soon!

I came home last night feeling chilled to the bone. It was dinner time, but I put my pajamas on and crawled into bed with my heating pad and laptop. I should have made myself a cup of hot tea, but once I was under the covers I didn't want to get out again. I went to sleep early, woke up at about 9:30 pm when my phone chimed, again to use the bathroom at 10:30 pm, and then stayed in bed until it was time to get up for work. I must have been tired.

Today was a good day. I'm eating healthy and looking forward to whatever 2019 brings.