Thursday, August 29, 2019

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor...

There is a heaviness in my soul tonight. It's been a week of bad eating and not drinking enough water. I would like to believe a diet of ice cream, donuts, and root beer is okay, but the truth is something much different. It isn't good for my body, and it isn't good for my heart and soul. I've been feeling so  much better the past couple weeks. I know tough patches are inevitable and I will get through this one too. God is good every day.

It was a wild day at work. We are short staffed and the center will soon be filled with children for the coming school year. I not only fixed lunch for 44 children, but managed to find some extra time to help with lunch breaks for three coworkers. Every half hour extra helps on days like today. I stayed 45 minutes extra, sat with the school aged group, and took them outside at the end of the day. There were a couple who desperately needed attitude adjustments. I benched one of them who then proceeded to tell m e there were "poisonous caterpillars" on the bench earlier this afternoon ad did I want him to get bitten by poisonous caterpillars? I said "yes."

Tonight Hannah, Idris, and I went for a walk in Hobby Lobby. We'd plan to only look and not buy... Ha ha! We only bough a couple little things. And they were on sale. Except for my bag of Halloween Spider Confetti. It's not a "fall item." Who knew? My new Christmas snowman was 40% off, and so was the Thanksgiving crow that hopped into our cart.

And now it's bedtime. Time to find an old Sunday sermon to play while I settle down under the covers...

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Hunks and Chunks

Lots of thoughts fluttering about my little mind this evening...

* I wear my sneakers (tennis shoes) every day at work, but after work I pull them off, toss them into my car, and slip on my cozy Teva Mush flip flops. The next morning I either go out to my car in socks or wear the flip flops and carry my socks to put on when I get to work. This morning I put the socks on. I'd already taken my purse and water bottle out to the car, come back in for my tea and lunch bag, and was on my way out again when a sudden thought struck me. My shoes were not in the car! They were sitting along the wall in the laundry room where I'd left them last night when I came home from the pottery studio... I almost went to work in socks. Ha ha! I'm getting blonder every day!

* Last night I made one of my frequent visits to the chiropractor. My lower back started acting up several years ago and continues to do so today. Years of lifting "too heavy" objects, carrying children on my hip, and two years of sitting in a chair in a memory care unit (previous job) have taken their toll. My current occupation, though much better for my morale, isn't always great on my back either. Yesterday was one of my more painful days. One in which I find myself limping until I get moving a little. I asked the doctor if perhaps I should let my primary care physician send me for the MRI he wanted me to get back in May... but he told me an MRI is what you do when you are planning surgery, "and you don't need that," he said. He set me up with the tens unit and some heat, stretched my back a little, and gave me a couple of pops. Today I felt much better.

* I joined a women's small group at church and tonight was our first official meeting. I'm feeling good about it already. No wildly waving red flags tonight like there were at the beginning of last year's step study. God is good. I'm holding His hand and letting Him lead the way.

* Some thoughts are heavy, like the situation I found myself in yesterday. It was one of those moments where doing the right thing is terribly hard. I hope I don't face this one again in the future because what I will need to do then feels impossible today. The thing is though, God has already been with me in the doing of impossible things, and He always has my back.

* Photos from our trip to the Sunflower Farm on Sunday.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Barn Collective

I'm running to catch up again this week. It was a fun and exhausting afternoon at Wickham Farms with my daughter and her brood. The barns, most of them, are new and that's okay because they're still cool.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! See you at Tom's!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Grammy Daycare

A little change of plans this afternoon. I didn't make it to the sunflower fields, but I did spend a little time with a few grandcritters. They're wild ones!

Tonight there was a different set of cousins here. Cousins with hair and eyes that match Number nine's hair and eyes. They had a campfire, played games, and made S-M-O-R-E-S. I listened to their laughter through my open bedroom window and it made me smile.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Bits and Pieces

The week has flown by. It's been a busy one. Since I haven't posted since Sunday, it's the perfect time for some Bits and Pieces.

* Sunday- Rachel and I went to visit our brother Tim, and later in the evening James and I had a bite to eat at Red Robin.

* Monday- I had a chiropractor appointment after work, and then went to the pottery studio for a bit. I played in the mud and left a few creations on my shelf when I departed. They'll be ready for the first firing by the time I return.

* Tuesday- I met my good friend Shelly at Jeremiah's after work. We sat on the patio, ate our dinners, and talked until I began to wonder if the waitress thought we might stay forever. We moved ourselves from the table to some empty chair by the fire pit, and talked until we couldn't sit still and went to look for the restrooms. Once relieved, we headed next door to Panera, bought  two soft drinks, and sat on their patio until it was getting dark and time to go home.

* Wednesday- I received a text from my sister Priscilla inviting me to dinner. I accepted with a smile. :0) We took a walk through an historic neighborhood after supper. It was a nice visit, a nice walk, and a nice evening.

* Thursday- I had time to come home after work and change my clothes before heading out to my women's meeting.

* Friday- I'm spending the evening here at home. There is a Cousins Gathering here in the living room. Two of my kids, two of Priscilla's, and two of Rachel's. I am sitting on the fringes listening to them interact. It's nice to see them get together on their own. My niece will be leaving Monday for a four month stay in Italy and they wanted a cousin night before she goes away. I love that.

* Tomorrow I have an early morning appointment with my counselor. Afterward I'm meeting a friend for breakfast, and then we're going to visit the sunflower fields down the road.

I hope there are still some things left to do next week. Ha ha!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Barn Collective

It was Visit Our Brother Day. I almost left my camera home, because he hates it so much, but at the last minute I changed my mind and took it along.

I'm not exactly sure where were were, but it was somewhere in the wilderness of Newark, NY and Port Byron, Leach Rd was out there, along with a Gifford Rd (I remembered because of Kathie Lee...) Rachel was kind enough to pull over while I stuck my camera out the window and our brother voiced his complaint.

Hope you liked my contribution to the Barn Collective this week. See you over at Tom's.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Blond and Very Tired

So, here I am again. I should be turning off the light, snuggling into my pillow and drifting off to sleep... but I'm not. It's likely to be another one of those nights when I listen to a past sermon online and fall asleep to Pastor Rob preaching. At least I stay awake when I'm actually in church.

It's been a week of craziness. I returned home from my long weekend last Sunday night and took a glance at the photos I'd taken. There weren't too many. I had a few from my jaunt into Delaware. Couldn't go there accidentally without a few pictures... The building in first picture I looked at seemed terribly familiar, almost exactly like one here in Webster. I even pulled a photo off Google Maps to compare the two. They were eerily similar, right down to the trees in front of the buildings. I showed it to Hannah who made a remark about the Twilight Zone. Ha ha!

Number Nine was crying in his room and Hannah went off to perform her motherly duties. I went back to staring at the photographs. I was completely amazed! And then I noticed the signs in my photograph. I zoomed in and took a closer look. They were signs for route numbers, 250 and 104... I suddenly felt terribly foolish. It wasn't a picture from Delaware at all! It was one I snapped while stopped at a red light on my way out of town Friday morning. And here I had been going on and on about how the buildings looked so much alike...

I seriously considered never mentioning it again. I glanced over at Sergio who was watching television. I didn't really want him to know his mother in law is a nut case. What would he think?! I wandered sheepishly down the hall to where Hannah was comforting Idris in the dark of his room. I kissed the child's head and that of his mother, and went back to the living room. On the way I found myself smiling at my silliness. It was suddenly terribly funny. "Hey, you know those two buildings?" I said to Sergio.

"Yes," he answered.

"They're both the same one," I told him, and we laughed. This evening when I drove past it, I heard myself say, "Martha, you're such a dork," but I was laughing at the same time. When Hannah came home tonight, I asked her if Sergio had told her about my silly mistake. She smiled and said, "Yes. He did."

Now that I've caught up with myself a bit, and I'm not so tired, maybe I can stop doing crazy things... or maybe I can just enjoy the ride

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Many Adventures of Martha

It's no secret that I've been tired this week, but I must have been totally out of it last week if the mistake in my banking was my doing...

A few months ago I decided to try paying my bills online with Bill Pay offered by the credit union through which I do my banking. It's easy. I set up the contact information, and the credit union prints and mails out the check. Works like a charm! Usually...

Last night I decided to pay my Kohl's bill. I opened Bill Pay and scanned my contacts. On my way down the list my eye caught something unusual. I was about to pay out a very large sum of money, more money than I have in my account. Instead of $46.12, I'd okayed a check for $4,612.00. I tried to cancel the payment online, but didn't find the option, so I comforted myself with the fact that it was dated for Friday, August 16 and went to sleep.

I work near one of the credit union branches, but made an early morning call to them rather than waiting for my lunch break. After explaining the issue, waiting for them to look up my account and do some research, they told me they would put a stop payment on the check at no charge. Honest mistake, longtime customer. And then they suggested I make a call to the company receiving the check and ask them not to process it.

I am relieved to say everything appears to have been successful. The representatives from both companies were very kind and helpful, and the credit union is sending some paperwork to extend the usual stop payment time to six months in order to ensure it never gets processed. Once again I am thanking God for taking care of me in such and incredible way.  As they say, "God watches out for old fools and little children" and apparently middle aged blonds as well.

Stopped into the pottery studio after work this afternoon. I'm missing one sculpture, the one in my header photo, but I found these waiting on the shelf. They made me smile.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

God Knew

God is always in control. A sweet child of mine had a medical emergency this past weekend. I first heard of the trouble through a text Sunday morning while I was still in New Jersey. The request was for prayer. The surgery didn't happen until Monday. Emergency surgery. Life-saving emergency surgery.  Strange how sometimes things just happen, things beyond our control, and God just shows up. And then He waits to see if we notice He knew all along.

I may have been far away on Sunday morning, but on Monday I was back home, and not only was I home, but I didn't have to be at work until one o'clock in the afternoon. I had a doctor appointment at 10:45 am  and had originally planned to be at work on time and leave at 10 am, but my boss asked if I could come in at one and stay until six instead. Going in so late gave me plenty of time to run an errand to retrieve some grandchildren. After my appointment I had time to run in Wegmans and pick up a few lunch items for a grandkid lunch, take them home, and still arrive at work on time. Timing is everything and I find God's ability to arrange schedules quite astounding. (He's done this before...)

My child in need is home recovering. I was able to pay a visit last night after work. (Keeping the details vague. Perhaps this child of mine will tell the story one day or allow me to share. For now I'm respecting privacy and trying not to overstep boundaries.) Let me tell you, I am a much blessed mom.

Monday, August 12, 2019

A Long Story About My Mini Vacation

I am a little exhausted tonight. I guess all that driving and staying up late has caught up with me...

I already mentioned how I inadvertently ended up in Delaware. I didn't say that I'd already turned around on 95 North to head south prior to crossing the state line, or how when I realized (in Delaware) that I should be going north, and got off (again) to turn around, that the on-ramp was closed due to construction. I had to follow a detour to find the highway again.  After crossing back into Pennsylvania, I stopped at the Pennsylvania Welcome Center for a potty break and got back on the road only to discover, after finally crossing the bridge into New Jersey, that my handwritten directions were missing. I had no idea how far I'd traveled off course, or that the remainder of my own directions, even if I did find them, were pretty much useless until I got closer to Heather's house..

I crossed the Commodore Barry Bridge from PA into NJ, and finding myself confused (and without directions), I turned south on Rt 130. I didn't go far before turning onto a dirt road. I got out of my car to look for the paper with the roads and route numbers and found it between the seat and driver's side door. I started north, felt unsure again, and took another exit to turn around go south once more, but the on-ramp for Rt 130 was unmarked and confusing. For the very first time on the trip I wanted to panic, but I decided not to. After braving the on-ramp, I connected again with Jen, turned around for what felt like the hundredth time, and started north again. I needed to stay on the highway, which soon turned to I-95, for about 40 miles before reaching my destination, from the exact opposite direction that I'd anticipated the entire trip. No wonder I was confused! Where was my trusty Road Atlas?

Heather and I had a wonderful time together. The weather was fully cooperative. We ate grilled cheese and fries at The Pop Shop  on Friday night, stopped for lunch in a diner on Saturday before making a visit to Wheaton Arts and wandered about the campus. Our favorite spot was probably The General Store, just because. We considered going to the boardwalk, but it was another hour away and it was almost dinner time. We opted to head for home and have the girls bring the babies over for pizza. Heather's daughter does foster care. (The photo is her son Davin.)

We stayed up too late on Saturday and Sunday morning arrived all too quickly. (Vacations are like that.) After the fiasco with being lost and miles off course, I was gifted a gently used Garmin by Heather's sister Jen. After years of resistance to a GPS I acquiesced and accepted the offer. Alan programed "Tom" to recognize home, but before getting on the highway north, I had another stop to make.

Grayce and I have been friends on Facebook since January of 2010. I am also friends with her sister Marilynn who I have met briefly years ago when her daughter lived nearby in East Rochester. We met through other Facebookers named Teal, some of them distant relatives. (Marilynn and Grayce are sixth cousins to my father in law.) I knew Grayce lived in New Jersey, but I didn't know where. I decided to get on my computer and see if I could locate her whereabouts. She was just fifteen minutes away! I sent her a message Saturday morning and had a reply just minutes later. We met Sunday morning and had a lovely visit. She made us a light lunch and we talked like old friends for hours before I looked at my phone and knew it was time to hit the road. I am so glad I looked her up.

By 2:45 pm, "Tom" (not to be confused with The Backroads Traveler) and I were on the road. He's a mighty fine navigator but a bit insistent if I make what he considers to be an unexpected detour (or potty stop). He also told me to "take the highway" several times, but he was most insistent when I did not keep left and merge onto I-90 on my way out of Syracuse. It was miles before he settled down and recalculated our route down 370 to 104. All in all he's a pretty good traveling companion.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Where in the World is Martha?

I had a wonderful weekend mini vacation. On Friday I drove to... Delaware. By accident. (See photo...) My directions, hand written by me, got a little confused when I missed a major exit and ended up south of Philadelphia instead of staying north. Rout 476 suddenly ended and turned into Interstate 95. Although slightly confused, I went south like my directions said. I knew something wasn't right when I crossed the state line into Delaware. Ha ha! There was no panicking, just a phone call or two to my friend in New Jersey, and then her sister who is better with directions than Heather. Jen helped me get headed back in the right direction and I finally reached my destination. It only took two hours longer than necessary.

It's really too late to write tonight. I don't have to get up too early, but I do have a doctor appointment and am supposed to work in the afternoon. Any other stories will have to wait until tomorrow.

The Barn Collective

South Jersey barn this morning. It was part of a glass making complex we visited yesterday in Millville.
I'll be heading home this afternoon, after I meet another friend for breakfast.

See you at Tom's!

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Long Weekend for Me

Time to go to sleep. I am way sleepy and I've had two nights of decent sleep the past two nights. No afternoon coffee those days... And I so love my afternoon coffee. Tomorrow I shall wake early, pack my bag (or more likely repack it) and drive off into the sunrise. I'm going on a mini vacation and taking my camera along.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Bouncing About

Many thoughts are bouncing about my mind this week. Maybe one day soon I will be able to get them out of my mind and into words... for now they are bouncing too fast to capture.

Sunday-  The Trio had a blast at Vacation Bible School and I was invited to the closing program. It was wild! (Wild West theme) It was a little strange to be at this particular church that we attended while my mom was living with us.

Monday- Quick trip to the chiropractor after work, and then I came home. Felt teary. Called my sister. She came over and we went for a longish walk. I felt better afterward.

Tuesday- Song on the radio in the morning. Appointment with the counselor after work. He always makes me think. (I guess that is his job. Not giving answers, but getting me thinking.)

Wednesday- I came home after work today, mixed up some banana bread, and then went out to fill my gas tank. Took a run to the pottery studio. Found some sculptures on the shelf and glazed them. Came back home again.

Thursday- Working from 9-6 tomorrow. Boundaries Group following.

Friday- I have the day off and will be going out of town for the weekend. Just a little vacation to New Jersey. I was told to let my hair down a little, and have a beer. Ha ha! I don't even like beer.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

The Gift of a Song

Weekends have been emotional lately and this past one was no exception. The road to healing is long and often difficult. I am constantly aware of the journey. Sometimes I'm not sure how to go on, but Jesus always knows that.

I am grieving on multiple fronts. One of the losses is the piece of property on Shepherd Rd. in Williamson. It was everything I ever could have wanted in a home. I soaked it in, tucked memories away, and thanked God for how He had blessed us with such a place. It is no wonder my heart aches... But God. He knows the ache I carry deep inside. He knows I can't go home, and so this morning He gave me a song.

August 10, 2013 titled "Blessed"

I've heard the song before, but it touched me in a different way this morning. The car radio had just turned on when I heard the words.  

"... Yesterday's a closing door 
You don't live there anymore 
Say goodbye to where you've been 
And tell your heart to beat again..."

Sunday, August 04, 2019

The Barn Collective

We took our brother for another ride through the Wayne County countryside this afternoon. He didn't appear to mind Rachel's stopping along the way so I could capture a few photos, but he did seem especially emotional. Perhaps it was his own memories of days gone by as I shared a few childhood happenings. I so wish he was able to share what is on his heart and in his mind. I want to know what he remembers.

We listened to Dad's music and I sang a few lines of the old songs while Tim sniffled and wiped his nose. (I'm not sure if it was my singing or an old memory that triggered the tears.)

At one point I mentioned the little creek that used to run between our neighborhood and the woods at the dead end. I have a long ago memory of Mom helping me over the water when we walked to visit a friend. I said how it was just Mom and me, and that Tim must have been out at Elim, a Christian school for the deaf near Chicago before Priscilla was born. I thought I saw him smile for a brief second, and then he was sniffling all over again.

The farms along the way made me think of Dad's Uncle Joe and the dairy farm he had near Houghton, NY. It wasn't a pretty barn, just a low-slung concrete structure to shelter a herd of milk cows. We talked of the names of Dad's cousins, Stanley, Sharon, Sheryl, Sally Sue, Keith, and Gary. They'd all seemed so very grown up to me as a little girl, and yet they were all living home and were probably still just kids themselves.

I know my brother remembers these people and places too. Their mention often triggers tears, and I'm not totally surprised. It's most often sweet, sweet memories that make me cry as well.

Come visit Tom and check out some more old barns and have a glass of tea,

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Bits and Pieces

* Summer makes days at the daycare unpredictable. I know I'll be working in the kitchen between 9 am and 1 pm, but other than that I never really know for sure. Tomorrow morning I start at 6:30 in the toddler room.

* I've nicknamed one small child "Rembrandt." You don't want to know why... What? You do want to know? Let's just say he found something rather gross to paint the walls with. And he made it himself. And now the room must be steam cleaned and sanitized.

* I love our babies. And toddlers. And three year olds. And UPKers. And school aged kids. I hate Thursdays in the summer when those Thursdays are Ice Cream Days. Not all children have $ for ice cream. Naughty children are threatened with losing their ice cream all. day. long.  Some naughty children have nothing to lose since they aren't getting ice cream anyway and therefore find tormenting the teacher a source of entertainment. (I am not the teacher.) Hate Thursdays in the summer. Love the kids.

* This week I managed to make several trips to the pottery studio. Only time will tell if the trips were worth the while. Well, as far as the pieces go. Spending a little time with my hands in the mud is always worth the while.

* I'm a little better every day. (I emphasize progress over perfection.) Had a very nice lunch with my friend Marlene yesterday afternoon. Knowing I'm going to get out early is nice. We needed a lunch out and yesterday was the perfect time. I also had late afternoon/evening time to go out with Hannah and Idris to the Carter's Store and Trader Joe's. All time well spent.