Sunday, March 31, 2019

Number Eleven

Minnesota came to visit. I had a chance to snuggle my newest grandson and it was sweet. A few of my kids got together for a pizza party and four grandsons ran about and made a ruckus. The fifth made a ruckus too, but he didn't run about like the other four.

I took Number Nine to church with me this morning. He went to Sunday school while I was in big church. I think he liked it.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Spring and Stuff

Spring never arrives without a fight. March is a continual battle of winter winds and snow against lengthening days and climbing temperatures. It's been a wet, muddy week with warm days and cold days, sunny days, and rain. Tomorrow we could get a bit of snow. Anything is possible.

The past week has been heartbreaking, hopeful, and hard. I am exhausted from staying up too late and waking up too early. I've been grateful for my work friends, especially the little ones, the ones who wrap their little arms around me daily and never look at me funny if my eyes are red and puffy. I am thankful for a God who loves me more than I can imagine, and Who knows just what I need well ahead of time. He provided me with friends who took me out to dinner this week because He knew I would need an extra bit of encouragement to get me through, and He made it possible for me to drive out to the house in Williamson for a couple of hours this afternoon before the Barefoot Lumberjack takes off on a far away trip for ten days.This evening I met up with my Minnesota family and met my newest grandson who is four months old already. I left my camera at home, on purpose, and just savored being with them.

Tonight I am better again. I feel more settled even if nothing around me does. I have a full and busy week ahead, along with a doctor appointment sandwiched in on Wednesday afternoon. Maybe one day I will sort through the boxes of stuff scattered about my room, but I don't think it will be any time too soon. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


It was a good day. I am okay today. I hugged babies, cooked hot dogs, and hugged the babies some more. Not every day is as hard as some. God is always good and he is always working. The sun came out and spring is in the air. Soon I will go out to the house, find my salmon colored tulip, dig it up, and bring it home with me.

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Bag Lady

Today life feels full of loss. It's hitting hard, knocking the wind out of me, and seems there is no escape, but earlier today God reminded me that He is a giver of good things and very often one must let go of what feels important in order to gain something of greater value. I want to hold on, but He is prying my fingers loose, and didn't I ask Him years ago to do this? I knew it would likely be painful, but I had no idea what it would entail...

I went out to my car on my break this afternoon and turned on the radio. K-LOVE, because they're positive and encouraging, I am blessed by the music and the announcers make me laugh. I turned it on just in time to hear Luis Palau mention Psalm 103, and he said to read it out loud. I haven't been taking my Bible to church lately because I can't see the pages clearly and the scriptures are posted on a giant screen up front, but yesterday I left for church early and took it along. It was still in the car, so I looked up Psalm 103 and read it. Out loud.

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, 
bless His holy name! 
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 
3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 
4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 That's just the first five verses, but I felt better after having read them. I even fell asleep for ten or fifteen minutes before it was time to head back inside, and I needed it. I did a lot of crying last night and didn't sleep well. This morning I had giant bags under my eyes. I tried laying cucumber slices over them but if the bags got any smaller I didn't notice. 

I'm sure the tears aren't done falling, but I am doing my best to keep them turned off for tonight. I need sleep. I don't need any more bags under my eyes.

(Yes, I do know that is a man, and hopefully I didn't look that bad, but he was all I had for an illustration. Many thanks to my son Nathan and the Draw This blog of years gone by.)

Friday, March 22, 2019

I'm 35 Again

It was my birthday. It was a good day to turn 35 again on my way back down to twenty.

I had a little company this evening. They brought milk and ice cream to go with the Oreo Cookies I bought, because who doesn't love a milkshake with Oreos? Four grandkids this time. I learned The Trio are visiting Florida with their parents... (Nice to know these things.) Tomorrow evening I shall make a visit to another couple grandkids and see their new place.

Winter returned this evening, all of a sudden like. March is like that. Totally unpredictable. 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 C) right now, but it feels more like 7 degrees (-14 C).  I'm glad to be inside where it's warm.

Back in 2012 I had summer for my birthday! (See?)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Uno, Dos, Tres

Went out to dinner tonight and it was nice. Nothing too fancy, just a trip down the road and around the corner to Uno's. I may or may not have gotten emotional... That's been happening a lot lately. We ate salad and pizza, drank iced tea, and talked.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Goodbye to the Weekend

The weekend is coming to a close. A new week lies ahead. A piece of me is relieved to go back to work. I know what is expected, I know I am appreciated, and I know I am am loved and accepted, but another part isn't quite ready to let the weekend go. I don't suppose there is anything terribly unusual about those feelings.

I stayed home more this past weekend than I have in months, maybe even in the entire time I've lived in my attic bedroom. I was out Saturday morning for coffee with a few friends from my step study, but I came home afterward. I made a valiant attempt (again) to sort through my things, to organize, and declutter. I'm not done yet, but it was progress for the moment. I went out again in the late afternoon to gather a few grocery items, and returned home again. Today I went to church, my meeting afterward, and home. I had a headache and climbed under my covers and went to sleep until a text message on my phone woke me up. I probably needed a weekend like this.

Number Nine came upstairs to visit twice this weekend. Once Saturday morning when his daddy wasn't looking, and once this evening with his mommy. I like visitors.

The weather is back to bitter. Sergio came home while Hannah and Idris were upstairs with me and found himself locked out of the house without a key. He tried calling Hannah (a hundred times) but being upstairs, she didn't hear her phone ringing. So he called me. Poor guy was freezing out there! She went down and let him in. She's nice like that.

I called the police yesterday. Trouble with the house next door... No one is there and the back door blows open during wind storms and then stays that way for weeks. No one can see it but us.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Bits and Pieces

It's Friday already and I haven't posted since Tuesday. This means it's time for a few Bits and Pieces...

* I decided to keep my shelf at the pottery studio and give myself some time to work out of the funk I've drifted into. The waiting list to rent is just too long and if I give up my spot it could be months before another one opens up. Besides, I have the perfect spot.

* A few of my recent pottery projects have not survived the fire. I might need to look for a better sculpting clay. Something that bends a little more easily. So that arms and legs don't fall off.

* Yesterday I had a hair appointment. I got out of work at 4:30 pm so I could get to my appointment at five, but when I got to my car I found the keys in the ignition and the battery dead. My sweet boss called her boyfriend who came to jump start my little Kia Rondo with his gigantic and beastly Hummer. I got to my appointment about 20 minutes late. My hair cutting friend was very accommodating. I love her!

* Today I learned that The Man With the Hummer came upon a fella in a ditch as he was on his way back home. This fella had been attempting a K-Turn when he backed up a little too far and got stuck. A tow truck driver who chanced to be driving by left him after finding he had no more than twenty dollars in his pocket, but The Man With the Hummer was happy to help him for nothing. My boss said it was meant to be.

* I don't have any pictures, because I have not been that annoying camera person quite as much lately, but I had a very nice dinner date this evening. He was handsome, polite, and charming. I enjoyed every minute of our time together, and whenever I am with him I can't help but think, "I must have done something right as a mom." (Thank you, Ben.)

* The weather, in typical March fashion, has been all over the place this week. Sun, wind, rain. Freezing cold, pleasantly warm. Wet, muddy. We started the week with snow, lost most of it, and will likely find ourselves a bit more over the weekend. Fickle. March is fickle.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Six and Eleven, and Forty-three

Two stories...

Story One- I stole a photograph. It's hard to be so far away from these two, but I heard they're coming to visit, so that's cool. I only wish I could spend enough time with them that they would love me like the little ones at work love me, but I must be grateful for the time I can have. Austin (Number Six) waited a long time to be a big brother. Over five years! They look so much alike. There's no doubt they're brothers! Parker could be his twin!

Story Two- I stole another photo, but not this one. Forty-three years ago this guy was eighteen and a friend of our brother Dan. Marty lived at our house for a time, and we came to love him like another big brother, but circumstances made it so that one day he had to leave the area quickly. We were at school and my "Twelve Year Old" diary says, "Marty left and I didn't even get to say goodbye." That was it. He was gone. We didn't hear from Marty for another forty years...

Facebook and the internet make even the most unlikely of reunions possible. Three years ago we found our old friend. He is a yacht captain in Daytona, Florida. Each year Rachel and her family go to Florida for a week. Last year she thought about Marty. This year she convinced her husband to drive an hour or two out of their way to catch up with our friend. It wasn't a long reunion, just a meeting in a fast food restaurant, but I find it wonderfully sweet. And yes, I am a little bit jealous.

Truthfully, the pictures made me smile. I am blessed to know she made a connection. So cool!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Barn Collective

I've passed this barn on the hill for a year and a half year now, every so often thinking I needed to stop and take a picture. This past week gave me that opportunity.

 Going to work earlier meant a little less traffic on the roads, so pulling off to the side for a minute didn't feel so awkward. This is normally not a good place to stop for something as trivial as a photograph, but no cars coming behind me made it possible. It does help that I'm heading away from the city of Rochester instead of toward it. In fact, going away from the city in the morning and toward it after work, is generally helpful all the way around. I don't get caught in long lines of stalled traffic.

Across the road from the barn a tractor and his buddy are waiting. Looks like they're in for a long wait...

Meet me over at Tom's for The Barn Collective and get in out of the wind.

Friday, March 08, 2019

More Bits and Pieces

* We have been short staffed at work and so I have collected a bit of overtime this week. Overtime is nice. I like a bit of overtime.

* Did I say it's been a crazy week? Well, it has. Something every night save this one. It's Friday and I opted to come home, have a bite to eat, and crawl into bed. The house is pretty quiet. Number Nine has gone to bed, and H and S have gone out to get French fries. I agreed to them going if they would bring me some. (It seemed like a good trade. LOL )

* I caught another train. On the way into work this morning. They're typically not any longer than a few minutes. Good thing or I might have been late for going in early.

* It was English muffin pizza day. It's a favorite with the kids. Easy to make and easy to clean up. That makes it a favorite with me too. There are a few meals I'd like to put on the menu more than once every five weeks.

* I made another visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles this week (went last Friday too and gave up). I punched out 40 minutes early for my lunch break thinking I'd be back in plenty of time, but everyone in NY is turning their standard driver's license into an enhanced ID and the wait is nothing less that aggravating. Almost two hours and my license was enhanced 8 years ago. My boss gave me extra time to get it done. God bless her!

* I Have been going new places and making new friends. Scary, but fun at the same time. Learning and growing. God is good.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Keep On Keeping On

Yesterday, on my way to work, I realized I am not angry anymore.

I had my income taxes done last night. Married filing separate. I owe ten dollas. I get twenty-nine back. Looks like I can go for a burrito at Moe's. LOL.

 I went to visit Dave and Leta after seeing the tax lady. It was nice to see The Trio, give them hugs, and play a game of Apples to Apples Junior. I get to hug and love on kids all day, kids who will grow up and forget all about me. It's a good and important job, a necessary one, but I miss my grandchildren. I love visiting them.

Going to work earlier is working out fine. I don't get out any earlier, but it's working out fine.

I am fighting depression. I recognize this. I will be okay.

I've considered letting go of my pottery studio membership. I don't typically get there more than once a week. I was feeling disinterested last week, not only in pottery, but also my photography. It doesn't help that I broke my favorite lens, but when I start losing interest in the things I love, I know there is another reason. I will be okay. I will persevere.

Winter is almost over yet we all know it can't leave without a good fight. The temperatures have been bitter the past couple nights and I've been blessed to throw my treasured afghan over the bed to keep me toasty warm. It's the one Mom made for my 22nd birthday just a couple years ago... It's just like she's giving me a hug.

 Caught the train on the way home last night because I had my camera with me.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Bits and Pieces

* It was an intensely emotional week.

* It took one of my little friends into my arms the other day and turned my head to look at him just as he turned his head. Boogers. Right across my top and bottom lips. Oh, yeah! That's not cool. I'm probably fighting his cold right now. There wasn't much chance of escape. Ha ha! Ah, the perils of caring for tiny tots.

* Friday evening my sister Rachel and I went to a Paint Night fundraiser for Browncroft MOPS. It was fun to play in the paint, and it was fun also to be recognized as "Nate's Mom" by a few of the women from the church fellowship where he is worship leader.

* Saturday was errands and a visit to our brother Tim. He is in his new house and it is hard to see him strapped into a wheelchair and visibly unhappy. He was good on our ride, smiled at Rachel, and was pleasant. He a tooth grinder which drives her nits as a dental hygienist.  We passed a dentist's office along the way and he said "No" when she asked if he wanted to go to the dentist.

* Idris (Number Nine) is a cheerful, energetic, and friendly little guy, but he is not typically snuggly, at least not with me. He will sit by me on the couch, climb onto my lap, or hold my hand, but he doesn't typically hug me. Saturday morning though, he gave me the nicest hug, long and sweet. I needed it. How did he know?

* Late this afternoon I took a very long nap. It was supposed to be short, but I have been sleep deprived and so I sunk into a coma. (It felt a little like one...) When I finally came to the clock read close to 7 pm. Here's hoping my Marley Mellow Mood puts me back to sleep.