Thursday, May 30, 2019

This and That

I have an abscessed cyst under my arm, just beneath my armpit, but toward the front so it doesn't actually get pinched or rub on anything. It's been angry for a week now and getting more furious every day. I am exercising patience and treating with warm compresses as I am able, which isn't often because my schedule isn't very conducive to sitting long periods with a microwaved rice bag under my arm. Although I did sit for a time in the baby room with it yesterday morning. I will make a trip to Urgent Care on Saturday when my new health insurance kicks in. The one I have now is garbage. The closest "in-network" Urgent Care is an hour away, and the first available appointment at the doctor's office wasn't until after Saturday. I don't have a fever and have been able to work all week. One more day to get through...

Speaking of work, things have been a bit tense. We're due for a "kitchen audit" and whatever is happening has the owner in a tizzy. She's been there almost every day telling everyone all the things they're doing wrong. Who knew feeding/serving preschoolers was so complicated? They say it's "all about the children," but it's obviously "all about the regulations" and pleasing The Powers That Be. Oh, my... My boss is stressed, my co-workers are stressed...  Even the kids are stressed! And yes, the pressure is on me too. The Big Boss is so busy scrutinizing the classrooms, that no one is taking the time to make sure the cook isn't missing some minute detail that may cost us points. Makes the head spin!

I pirated the pictures...

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

What's Going On?

Is there a post within? I've asked myself this question several times while staring blankly at the computer screen or spinning off a post that ends up being nothing more than a draft in a file folder. The truth is, I want to write posts about funny children, family picnics, and grand adventures. You know, the kind of stuff I used to write about, but life is a little off track right now and when those things do happen, they get a little lost in the shuffle of thoughts.

I did sit and play dishes and pretend food with Idris after work one day last week. We were outside at the picnic table in the driveway and his daddy was mowing the front lawn. the game entertained the small child long enough for Sergio to take a shower while the little guy was busy. And then last night, we took a walk around the big block while Hannah and Sergio got ready to go out to a picnic. He likes to stop and poke sticks and leaves down into the storm sewer grates alone the way. When he runs I have to walk fast to keep up, but when he's looking down into the watery darkness of the storm sewer, I try to be patient and wait, because I remember looking down into them when I was about his size.

I had a rough morning at work. Just didn't feel like myself. Tired, achy, and irritated. (I was being much nicer than I felt...) On my lunch break I took a couple ibuprofen and tried to catch a short nap. I didn't sleep much, but I did find myself feeling better a little later. Not sure what has me off, the weather, allergies, or the abscess under my arm. I'll go see a doctor when my new health coverage kicks in this weekend. In the meantime, since I don't have a fever and it's not giving me too much grief, I'll stick to warm compresses and keeping my hands off it.

The 30 Day Cleanse is going good for me. Nine days in now and I don't feel starved. I'm making better choices and drinking a whole lot more water. Sometimes I miss my coffee, but not too much. I haven't even missed eating meat and that is kind of amazing. Had a great salad last night at Panera Bread. I customized a Modern Greek Salad. Erased the Feta cheese and replaced those two things with cucumbers and olive oil. (Hannah is a genius.)

It's a short work week due to the holiday yesterday, and another short one next week because I took Thursday and Friday off. Going on a women's retreat with a few friends. I'm feeling both excited and a little intimidated all at once. ha ha!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

An Accidental Phone Call and a Trip to the Lake

This afternoon I was alone and looking for some company so I decided to call my sister Priscilla and see if she was home. I heard the phone ringing on the other end of the line and a voice said ,"Hello." I said hello back but when the other person said, "Hi, Martha," I suddenly realized I had not called my sister. Silly me. "Is this Pam?" I asked the voice on the other side, and she affirmed it was. My mind spun a little and I decided to honest and admitted I'd called her by accident. (Both Pam and Priscilla start with the letter P...)

The last time I saw my cousin Pam was likely in the parking lot at Wegmans when she told me she had moved "far, far away" which actually meant out of Webster to a town about half an hour away. Once upon a time Pam and I spent hours upon hours together. We were great friends as children, and later on I babysat her kids while she went to work, but now we rarely catch up anymore. My accidental phone call turned into a purposeful meeting she told me she was going to visit her mom, my Aunt Margie, and I asked if I could meet her there. We had a nice visit in the courtyard of the home where Aunt Margie lives. I am thankful God had me distracted when I pushed the button on my phone. It turned out to be a good afternoon.

There was no one here when I returned home, so I took myself for a ride to the lake and took a few pictures. Lake levels are high again this year and expected to rise a bit more. Not so great for those with homes and businesses along the shore, but it made for some interesting pictures.

 In other news, Hannah and I have now completed seven days of our 30 Day Cleanse. So far so good. I'm getting the hang of it, enjoying the shakes more (never imagined I'd be doing this...), and drinking lots of water. Only 23 days left and hopefully by then I'll be ready to stick with more permanent and healthy eating habits. And yes, I have dropped a few pounds.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Bits and Pieces

*Not much to post. Lots of mind chatter, but nothing blog worthy and that is why we end up with "Bits and Pieces."

* I drove through a flurry of pink "snow" on my way to work yesterday morning. It happened so fast it surprised me and I really wanted to turn around and go stand in the falling petals, but I would have been late so I kept going. Ha ha!

* Made my weekly visit to the pottery studio this evening.  As it spins on the wheel, the clay dries out the side of my right hand leaving it to crack and bleed. I am not sure what the remedy for this is, but I'm sure there's one out there somewhere.

* My room is a cluttered mess filled with boxes I need to sort through. The garage is getting filled up too as we move things from one house to another. Some things get moved just for the sake of getting them out of the way... Lately I can't remember what I have or where anything is. Please pray I can get everything sorted and either put away, sold, or donated before the summer is over and winter sets in again.

* I've moved a few pieces of my parents' furniture back home, and by home I mean their home. The furniture used to live here and now it does again. Different places maybe, but the same house. Mom's china cabinet is once again full of her dishes. I think the girls and I need to have a party or something. Maybe.

* I have embarked on the adventure of a 30 Day Clean Eating Cleanse with Hannah. We're two days in. There are lots of obstacles to overcome in the next several weeks but I am pretty determined. Besides, I have a co-pilot this time. I am thankful for Hannah.

* Last year's work babies are growing up and leaving the Infant Room to join the toddlers. It is sad for us, but good for them as they have more room to play, more age-appropriate activities, and the opportunity to play on the playground outside. I still get to see them for a few minutes each day, dole out and collect hugs, and see them grow. Makes me miss my own "Flower Garden."

* Making an attempt at turning the light out a little bit earlier each night. Every little bit of sleep counts...

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Apple Blossom Parade 2019

The weekend is waning... Sunshine prevailed and we were blessed with fair weather for the Apple Blossom Parade and my son Dave's gathering in celebration of the occasion. I took my camera along for the day and actually took pictures.

We were sitting across the street from where the parade turned off the side street and onto Main Street which gives a little different perspective than just the typical side view of everyone marching past.

Number Nine was excited to see the firetrucks. He loves them, but they were just a little bit too loud sometimes.

Local parades never fail to produce favorite groups and bands year after year. The Towpath Volunteers are always one of my favorites. I love their vintage clothing too.

The Marion Redcaps always show up too. That's what neighbors are for, right? I like their simple uniforms as well.

 There were a few cool old tractors. This one says "Oliver" down the front.

 Mighty St Joe's Alumni Drum and Bugle Corp.

 Kook Sul Won Martial Arts has been part of Williamson for many years. How about that guy closest to me in the center? (That is Number Three. Number Two has a red belt also but he was passing out fliers to the crowd.)

And then there was this cool old jeep near the tail end of the parade. (I took a picture for Bethany who wasn't there and loves Jeeps.)

I walked down Main Street to the grand stand and food truck area looking for familiar faces. I saw a few. Stopped for a hug with my friend Erin, talked to Carla for a minute, and had time for a quick hello as I passed some others, but the streets were mostly full of strangers. At one point I realized that all the children who went to school with ours are grown up now and we are growing old. Slowly, of course. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Looking on the Bright Side

I am thankful. Just in case you think I'm not...

* My health plan did not cover that x-ray I had taken in April... but I didn't have an MRI and I do have a little bit of savings in my bank account... for now. I probably need to look into this matter.

* I cross the railroad tracks every day on my way to work. I go over them slowly, so (maybe) I won't have to replace the suspension in the Kia like I had to with the Mazda. The guy in the car behind me yesterday knew sign language... he didn't want to go slow for ten seconds, but he didn't run into the back of my car.

* I have a lot of stuff from the house to sort through. There boxes and boxes of stuff... I feel a bit overwhelmed, but getting rid of it, even a little at a time, will set me free. Baby steps.

* Stinkbugs and carpenter ants are not pleasing... but there is one less stinkbug in the world tonight, and carpenter ants, though definitely not good, do not actually eat houses. They only make their nests in wood that has already been damaged... and I think I know where the damage lies. Unfortunately, it is in a not-so-easy to access location. (I am thankful the roof no longer leaks and am guessing the bad spot is directly above the barn beam on the living room ceiling... or even in it.

* It rained almost every day this past week, with spots of sunshine interspersed. We had some very nice days with some very wet, rainy moments... It's supposed to be nice this weekend, and it's time for the Apple Blossom Festival.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Good Gifts

Tonight I am thankful for the group of women God gave me every other Thursday evening. I am slowly getting to know them and they me. We are all wounded and recovering, searching for meaning, and learning to love ourselves. This is the group God gave when He closed the door on my Step Study and the gifts He gives are good.

I continue to sort through files and folders in my mind. This will not surprise those who know me well. God is healing as I work this task, and I am thankful. I hurt deeply, am lonely, and long for connection. Sometimes I fear I have forgotten how to reach out or grow new friendships. I don't always know how rekindle and maintain old ones, but it's not for lack of wanting. I shall climb this mountain too.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Little Thoughts

* "Hello. My name is Martha and I am a stress eater." Nothing has proven this better than the month of April, and now May... *sigh*

* Wondering. Do "mean girls" ever change? Or do they just turn into mean women?

* It was nice today. I almost went for a walk around the block after my appointment this evening. Almost. I walked around Wegmans instead.

* Also wondering. Can I get a few days of in the "no days off granted" in the very busy month of September. There's a wedding I'd like to attend in Minnesota.

* Why, when she works so hard to have children be free spirited when it comes to art, are we to follow every jot and tittle? Does it really matter in the big scheme of things if we needed to flip yesterday's lunch with today's? It's not like we could feed them what wasn't there. Oy!

* Will I ever "get there"?

Monday, May 13, 2019

Bits and Pieces

* All I want to do is sleep. I was wondering what in the world is wrong with me when I suddenly remembered... it's allergy season! It's been a cool, wet spring, but one look out the window at those flowering trees, bushes, and flowers will remind you there is an abundance of pollen in the air, on the ground, and covering anything in the vicinity of flowering plants, which is just about everything. (I'm not sneezing yet, but that could happen tomorrow...)

* Today I received a very special package in the mail. It came from Minnesota and a sweet almost six year old. I hate that he is growing up so far away, but I know he has a set of grandparents there who love him and his baby brother very much, and they don't have other grandchildren like us. We have a plethora of grandchildren, which makes sharing just a wee tiny bit easier.

* Two of my boys brought me flowers for Mother's Day. So sweet of them. Especially the one without a wife to remind him. He is a treasure, but then again, aren't they all? I only wish I could gather everyone under one roof again, ... or at least in one yard. That is the hope and prayer of this mom's heart.

* It's supposed to rain most of the week. I hope that means we'll have a nice weekend.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day

We had a little gathering out at the house. Four kids, two in-laws, four grandchildren, James, and me. It was a dark and rainy afternoon. Although I'd hit my snooze button a hundred times before dragging myself out of bed this morning, I was still feeling like a sleep deprived child. I took my last chance to curl up and take a nap on the couch in the living room, while my family watched a video. One of my favorite boys took a picture.

The Barn Collective

Pretty much left to the elements. Once upon a time I used to see an old woman out tending the yard and, on cold winter days, smoke would waft in a little, white cloud from the chimney of the little, stone building. I can only imagine what it was like fifty to a hundred years ago...

I'm not likely to pass this way often once James closes on our house, but curiosity will occasionally call me down this road. I already know that, and I already miss spring in the apple orchard.

Our days on Shepherd Road will forever be a cherished memory.

The Barn Collective

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Bethany Day

It was a beautiful day to drive south toward Ithaca, NY and the Finger Lakes Pottery Tour. I did not take a ton of pictures and we did not stop to gaze at waterfalls this time, but Bethany and I did have a very nice day together, and we did find her childhood pal Hannah Graeper Carver who smiled when she saw us and gave each of us a hug. (Visit her page and take a look around.)

We were treated to a glaze trailing demonstration which was really cool. I'd like to try it sometime and was given some good tips. Beth and I each bought a piece of pottery. I am amassing my collection slowly. I have a total of four pieces now, and maybe I'll add another piece or two this summer. I figure it I'm going to be a fan of any potter in particular, I'm choosing her. Her pottery is beautiful.

Beth and I visited a second location on the tour as well. A potter from the studio in Rochester had some of her work displayed there. Very nice, and very expensive. I admired it, but didn't buy anything. We had lunch in Ithaca, saw some white deer behind the fence at the old Seneca Army Depot along the way home, and stopped for an ice cream cone supper at Yia Yia's on our way through Williamson.

Friday, May 10, 2019

No Headache! Yeah!!!

Today my headache is gone. I had a smallish one early in the day, but I am very thankful to say it has disappeared. It was a rough week. In spite of going home 6 hours early on Tuesday, I did manage to collect 38 1/2 hours of actual working time, and I am grateful for that too. I won't need to collect vacation pay to make up for any lost time.

I was talking with my boss at the end of the day. She mentioned how she didn't think one of our coworkers would last very long, and I replied that when I started they probably didn't think I was going to last very long either. I said I'd started the job fried. Ha ha! But it's true. I'd sat with my friend Gail for close to two years, was going through one of life's most trying times, and was totally used up. In my first couple weeks on the job, I worked eleven days in a row. It's no wonder I didn't last in the toddler room, even though they are some of my most favorite people in the world.

So now it's the weekend. And Mother's Day to boot. I have plans to spend the day with my daughter tomorrow. We're going back to the Finger Lakes Pottery Tour. I don't get many Bethany Days so I'm looking forward to this one. And just maybe another piece of Hannah Graeper Carver's pottery for my meager collection.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Just Stuff

I was able to get up, go to work, and function today, although I'm still not feeling my best. Yesterday's migraine changed into a tension headache and left me feeling not only achy, but sleepy as well. One of my coworkers said I "looked like death" yesterday. (Oh, dear!) And she laughed because when another teacher came along asking if I could check the spoons in the kitchen for one a child had brought in from home and lost, I looked at her and said, "No. Not today. Maybe tomorrow, but not today."  There is a black hole in this daycare center that sucks in lost spoons rendering them gone forever. I've played the "Find the Spoon" game before and it's a lost cause. Besides, yesterday was not the day to go searching for anything.

 I was out to the house in Williamson on Monday evening. The Naughties were enjoying the nice weather.

Today James replaced the stove in Hannah's kitchen here in Webster. It's been acting up for way too long and this bad landlord finally decided to ask for help. We even got a new dishwasher out of the deal.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Migraine Day. Yeah!

Migraine headaches are no picnic. I haven't had a bad one in years now, until this morning. Nausea threatened as I attempted to eat my dry, bland breakfast. I felt spacey, like I shouldn't be out driving, but I was. My head throbbed, my eye, nose, ear, and neck ached. I wanted to crumple up in heap and go to sleep, but I passed out breakfast and headed to the baby room... I sent my boss a text, "I am here but I have a migraine. I don't think I can stay." She texted back, "ok" and I waited for 9 am to arrive. I'm sad to say, I don't think I was much help between 7 am and 9, but I did hold little ones and bottles and let the others sit on my lap and crawl across my legs. I sat on the floor with my eyes closed and my back against the wall. When I was able to punch out, I went to my car and slept in the parking lot for an hour before going home to sleep some more. This evening I went to the chiropractor and played in the mud at the pottery studio. Now I am tired and ready to sleep. Pretty sure I'll be good as new tomorrow.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Totally Whooped

So tired tonight. I popped half an Excedrin for my developing headache and plan to turn the light out early.

I stopped out at the house after work. I'd thought we'd fill my car and get a little more of the job behind us, but we had dinner instead. I ended up coming home with one small cabinet and two child sized chairs which are still in my car. I'm too tired to think about anything tonight. I am in desperate need of sleep.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Hunks and Chunks

* Today I got mad. Hopping mad. I don't get mad like that often, but today I did. And when I got home there was not a big pile of dishes to wash, so I put my angry energy to good use and fixed up the front room. Swept the floor, moved a table out, brought some chairs in, and rolled Mom's old buffet in from the garage. Took the drawers out and the mirror off, and rolled it right through the galley kitchen and into the dining room. I think it looks pretty nice in there with Mom's dining room table. (Thanks to the Cabinet Maker for refinishing the table top.)

*I'm slightly at a loss as to what to take pictures of lately, but the sun was hitting my water tank friend just right this evening. He looked handsome with his new paint job and the trees are dressed for spring. I know it's silly, but that old water tank has been around ever since I could see straight and I'm kind of attached to it. Besides, I liked how those two trees were framing the picture.
(Now you know I'm weird.)

* I dug up my tulip yesterday and brought her home. She brought some friends along; a bit of English ivy and some grassy looking stuff. I need to find her a permanent home in one of the gardens, but I haven't quite decided which one yet. Isn't she beautiful?

The Barn Collective

A barn for Sunday. Although I took the photo Saturday... Lake Rd, at Fisher, Ontario, NY.

The sun peeks through every now and again, but mostly when I'm stuck inside. Yesterday it was gray and overcast until I came home and everyone else went out. The sun is shining now and I'm just getting ready for church. Here's hoping for a bit of sunshine this afternoon before the work week starts on Monday morning. Sunshine during the week is great, I just like a little leftover when I have a chance to enjoy it.

Running a little on empty this morning since I didn't sleep much last night. No trouble getting to sleep, but I woke up at 2 am... The coffee pot is calling.

The Barn Collective meets here.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

The Mom Files

Sometimes my mom and I were good friends and other times we were painfully disconnected. I desperately wanted to break down the walls that had been erected between us, but if she was aware of the separation, she never let on. Mom taught me that if you ignore the problem or pretend it didn't happen, it will eventually go away. Except that isn't really true and so the chasm between us remained, along with a pain I couldn't reconcile. - February 26, 2016

This is where I need to start, and I have known deep inside for years upon years. I love her, I miss her, I wish she was still here, but what I really need to do is go back, open the envelopes, grieve, cry, forgive, heal, and move on as a stronger, healthier, and wholer individual.

Mom wasn't perfect, none of us are... She was wounded, because none of us escape life without wounds... And she made mistakes, because we all mess up along the way. There is no looking to place blame, only to heal and embrace the beautiful but jagged pieces of Martha that are so much like my mom. It's okay to be like her in those precious beautiful ways.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Hugging the Lunch Lady

It was a good day. Lots of hugs. Hugs always make a day good. I'm getting down on their level more often because otherwise they only hug my legs and it's hard to hug them back. I hug them until I feel them let go first, unless it's Sophia, Julia, or Abby because they hang on forever and tell me, "No, don't go!" and "You stay here..." and I can't stay forever. Somebody has to make lunch and wash the dishes.

The hugging... It's good for me, and it's good for them. It makes their lunches full of love.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Covered in Kids

I had a few minutes this morning, after passing out breakfast, t visit the toddler room where I was bombarded with children holding books. (How do they know I'm a sucker for kid books?) A few piled onto my lap and soon I was covered with children. Okay, so there were three or four of them... I wasn't needed in the infant room yet and while I was covered in toddlers, the second toddler teacher was able to help in another classroom for a few minutes. Jonah showed me a book of cartoon dinosaurs and he knew every color except gray. He just turned two at the end of February and is pretty amazing. When it came time for me to leave the room he crumpled up on the floor and cried just like he used to do. Aw...

It was a poopy morning in the baby room. Some days are just like that. One dirty diaper after another. By the time I was done the score was four stinky and one just wet.

This afternoon another small child cried when he was left in the baby room with me. The other teacher went on break and he was not happy. Ha ha! A piece of graham cracker, his blanket, and a small snuggle fixed it, but he cried at me all over again a few hours later.

Tonight I got to stay home and play with Number Nine while his mommy and daddy spent some time out. We looked at cars, played Duplos, swept the floor and vacuumed, and read some books. He has a book on time with lots of flaps to peek under, and he's pretty excited about his book of clocks. I told him it was a fantastic book. "Where'd you get this book?" I asked, not expecting an answer, but he said, "Target." We had a wonderful time looking at the pictures and I am amazed at how much he knows. He cried his head off when I put him in his crib, but once I let him get out to find his Hot-Wheels Mustang, he was fine. No noise after that.