Saturday, February 29, 2020

Pots, Pals, and Panera Bread

Pottery class last night, lunch with a friend today, and a coffee date with a stranger tomorrow.

* I am thoroughly enjoying my class. The clay I was given a few weeks back is nearly gone and so I took a bag from home, one that has been sitting in a cabinet for a year or so. I'm back to making figures, this time with pets. No sadness. Just contentment. And pets.

I followed the pottery teacher into the front room to look at the bowls set out for today's Chili Cookoff. She showed us a few she'd made and then I checked out a few others. There was a wide variety covering the tables and shelves. I picked a few up to look at them. A blue one caught my eye. I picked it up, turned it over, and got a surprise. My names was on the bottom! A lost bowl found. How I missed it on the shelves, I do not know. I could have taken it home, it was mine after all, but I didn't. It will go home with someone visiting the Chili Cookoff and that's okay with me. I already have a collection of bowls in the attic.

* Lunch at Panera with my friend Marlene. We haven't caught up since the end of July and both agree that is just long to wait between lunch dates. We sat and ate and talked for hours. I love her! I also ran into an old friend, one I babysat for many years ago. Her son is 31. I started watching him when he was five weeks old, so that takes us back a few years. Maybe she and I will meet for lunch some day.

* Tomorrow, after church, is my meeting with a stranger. We are going to be friends too. I'll call her Betty, but that isn't her real name. We already have so much in common that I'm not nervous at all. I have looked for someone like her for many months. She is a gift already.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

What's Going On?

It's dark and cold in the house tonight. It's evenings like this I wish for a cat to keep me company. But I am gone most of the day and the responsibility, as well as aggravation, of owning a cat would fall upon the one who is not generally fond of them. Every so often I miss my Naughties and feel sad at losing them. Maybe one day I'll get a new pair...

A dear friend recently helped connect me with a friend of hers. I'd previously tried in vain to make my own connection and I am ever so grateful for the assistance. Common trials, help in healing, like minds. We talked on the phone for nearly an hour Saturday afternoon and will meet for coffee after church on Sunday. Our stories aren't exactly the same but have common denominators. I am grateful. Ever so grateful.

Saturday, if the weather cooperates, I will have lunch with my friend Marlene. We are long overdue. It's been months and months since we met up. My blog says the end of July. The very end. I thought it had been even longer. Her son and his wife bought our farm. Oh, the irony.

Work is much better this week. Most of our babies are back, although one has been out sick every day this week. The dishwasher fills up quite nicely after lunch, and I have not been sent home early. Getting up for work every day still seems strange and surreal, but it keeps me busy and fills my days with purpose, not to mention it provides for my needs. I am thankful every day for the little ones. They will never know just how much their smiles and hugs mean to my sometimes lonely heart. Even though they will, in all likelihood, grow up and forget about me, I know I am still making a positive difference in their little lives. And they are in mine too.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Pizza Night

It's been an incredibly great weekend. Not only was there a tea party with my granddaughter yesterday, but I had a very nice lunch at Chipotle with my son Nathan this afternoon. I got a peek at my Number 12 grandchild (Logan) and a hug from one of my favorite daughters in law. To top it off I made pizza for two more of my boys this evening. Joe and Ben came for dinner and a movie.

I can't even remember the last time I made pizza for my kids, and that is really sad because it was once upon a time a weekly occurrence. I even had to look up the crust recipe that I once knew by heart. My KitchenAid mixer was happy to help and the two new, giant sized, baking sheets were perfect for making one pizza with pepperoni, cheese, and veggies, and the other for a total veggie pizza. I plan to do this much more often in the future.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Valentine Tea

My favorite Leta hosted a fabulous Valentine Tea this afternoon. Hannah was able to be there for a short time before going to work.

Bethany was not able to make it, so I took Jilly. She was very excited.

Leta is a natural when it comes to hosting parties. Everything was beautiful!

I may have cheated on my diet. Ha ha!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Short Day

It's Presidents Week, and on top of that today is George Washington's birthday. Our child numbers were low, only 25 kids today, so I had the rare privilege of leaving work early. I might have left even earlier had the produce truck not shown up and given me some fruits and veggies to take care of.

I punched out at one o'clock and headed to the pottery studio to play in the mud. On the way I wondered why in the world I was going there when it was such an incredibly nice day for a walk... but I kept going.  :0)  I was only slightly disappointed to find no parking spaces on the side street and opted to park across Monroe Avenue at the church.

Inside the studio a few people were working on projects, one of them a fellow student from my Friday night class. Inspired by his creation, I set about building something out of character for me. It's a vessel of sorts, maybe a planter, I don't know, but something different from my usual stuff anyway. It turned out to be a good afternoon. Don's inspiring project looked little today like it did on Friday night, but it was a continuing inspiration none the less.

When my out of character project was done for today, I picked up a new piece of clay and made something more typical of Martha. It looks like it's wearing a sweater and although if feels somewhat useless, I kind of like it. It would be perfect for a handful of pens and pencils, or maybe a set of crochet hooks.

After the pottery I picked up a loaf of Ezekiel Bread and a small cup of coffee, and stopped to visit my chiropractor friend. I was early for my appointment and found myself back on the road before my scheduled time had even arrived. Stopped at my lovely daughter's house on the way home and was invited to dinner, but not before knocking on the door of my friend Angel just to give her a hug and tell her that I love her. One day we'll do coffee.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

And That's the Weekend For Ya!

I spent Valentine's Day at work with the Littles this year, and afterward I went to my class at the pottery studio. It was a good day and I was thankful for the evening activity. It meant not going home to a quiet, empty house. I thought we might be missing a few class members, but everyone was there. I guess it was good for all of us.

Saturday evening brought a potluck dinner with my friends from the Divorce Care group I attended last winter. We all have different stories and are in differing places of healing. They are a great group, but even so sometimes I feel lost in the middle of it all. Much of it is my own tendency to build walls of protection around myself and to put distance between me and others. I'm still working on this.

After unsuccessfully trying to sleep off a (most likely) tension headache this afternoon, I met a friend for coffee at Barnes and Noble. It seemed a good place to sit and talk because they have comfy chairs and a built-in Starbucks. I went for something simple and got a regular coffee and a giant oatmeal raisin cookie. We sat for several hours and when I left my headache was gone. Friends are good medicine.

Although I'm rarely ever looking forward to waking up while it's still pitch black outside, I am ready to get back to work and those sometimes smiling, sometimes squalling children. Love them (most of the time) either way! Ha ha!

Grabbed a photo from 2015. A sleepy kitty. Maybe one day I'll get another...

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Bits and Pieces

I'm still here. It's been a busy week.

* I met Dave, Leta, and the kids (my Trio) at The Strong Museum of Play on Saturday morning. It was a short visit, but oh, so nice. I would like very much to go back for a longer visit sometime soon.

* Sunday afternoon I went to lunch at my friend Becky's house. My friend Sandy was there too. A long overdue gathering of friends.

* Before leaving Williamson I stopped to see my friend Tahnya's new house. She is a work friend turned stay at home mom. Her little one is a beautiful one year old now and so cute.

* Sunday evening Joe and Ben came for pizza and a movie. I so love having my kids around. I don't know if I will ever have them all in one place again, but I love every moment I have with each and every one.

* Monday I had my taxes done. It took all of fifteen minutes.

* I was supposed to work late on Tuesday, but that didn't happen. Perhaps it was because the Lord knew I needed to go home. It was that night I went out and got myself a burrito from Moe's. Hardly remember the last time I was there.

* Wednesday night (last night) I went to visit Nate, Sabrina, and the boys. It was a sweet evening. The kids were excited for my visit even though Spencer was feeling a bit under the weather.

* Tonight I stayed late after work to renew my CPR/First Aid certificate with a few co-workers. It was so much easier this time than 2 years ago. I wasn't as nervous and found I retained much more of the information than I had imagined.

* After I got home tonight, I made Valentines for the work babies. Nothing like waiting until the last minute!

* Tomorrow, if the weather cooperates, I will go to my pottery class.

Busy week.

Friday, February 07, 2020

"Winter Storm"

"Winter Storm"

It's a curious term. At least it's curious to me. Isn't winter in upstate New York all about storms? And doesn't winter always come with wind, snow, sleet, and freezing rain? Oh, and below freezing temperatures? Aren't snow tires a necessity? And slippery, snow or ice covered roads a given? Has it really been winter at all without at least one "blizzard"?

When I was a young girl, forecast or not, winter storms typically roared in during the night with plummeting temperatures and swirling mounds of snow. We would lay in bed on week day mornings, ears trained on our radios, waiting for our town to be named in the list of school closings. An unanticipated holiday. A gift from above, in more ways than one. Not so today. Now days school closings are communicated by a call or text to parents, or decided the night before an impending storm is scheduled to arrive.

Today we had a real Snow Day. I went to work like usual because The Daycare never closes. We had one baby today instead of eight, but our toddler room was busy with 8 or 9 little people. The preschoolers combined into one class of about 7 or 8, and I think there were 6 or 7 school age kids. A grand total of about 25, give or take a couple. It was a good morning to visit my toddler friends during breakfast.

I was free to leave work by 1:15 pm and decided to head to Rochester and the pottery studio. I got a great parking place just outside the studio door. I'd bee inside the building less than 5 minutes and was talking with the resident artist who is my current instructor when my phone started to ring. "No one ever calls me..." I told her as I reached for my phone. I glanced at the screen which read "Flower City Art." Ha ha! It was Kate at the front desk in the office calling to tell me my evening class had been cancelled. I stayed to play for a while before heading home for the evening.

* I've made a connection with each of my kids this week and have a new sense of peace inside. In all the world there are none who mean more to me than my kids and grandchildren. Taking care of myself means making sure we stay connected.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Take Two

Two posts because I need to write this too.

I am coming to the painful realization that I am entirely able to build walls and silently sabotage my connection with my kids, even though I desperately need them in my life. I sent my daughter in law a photo and a short text this afternoon, and the result? We set up a dinner meeting next week. look at me! (I'm smiling.)

All That Stuff

How can it be Tuesday night already? And whatever happened to Sunday and Monday?

On Sunday morning I met with the woman who brought Celebrate Recovery to our church. I gave her some background information and told her what had brought me to the Step Study. I told her how after 41 weeks I had been asked to leave the group and how invalidated I felt. I told her it was like having the rug ripped out from under me. From our talk, I understand there were some Step Study guidelines I did not follow. I did not always have my homework finished. Apparently this is a requirement that was not enforced or talked about until I was asked to step out of the group. (This is why in an email I told the leader that "I'm willing to follow the rules, but I do need to know what the rules are in order to follow them." and "You are trying to hold me accountable to rules you didn't know existed, and that is not fair.")

Whether or not what I shared with CR Lady will make a difference (for anyone else), I do not know. What I do know is that talking with her helped open a different door in my heart and mind, a door God has been working to open for a while. I cried during the meeting. I tried not to but I did anyway. This woman was once my eleventh grade English teacher. Eleventh grade was hard. Not because she was my teacher, but because it was the year I became pregnant with my first baby. When the senior class was attending high school graduation, James and I were in my parents' back yard getting married... So many emotions... So much bottled up inside of me...

During the church service tears kept rolling down my cheeks. I couldn't stop them. I forgot to bring any mascara with me, and by the time I got into my car, there wasn't a bit left on my face. I took an hour nap on the couch in the afternoon before a friend picked me up for another emotional meeting. (A story for another day.) My stomach was feeling sick and my head ached.

By the time I arrived home Sunday evening, I was literally ill. I texted my boss a warning and crawled into bed hoping I wouldn't throw up, and went to sleep at 7 o'clock. I was able to drag my tired and headachy, but not sick to my stomach, self to work Monday morning, and after a visit to the chiropractor that evening, came home mostly just exhausted. I went to bed at 9:30 pm and woke up feeling so much better this morning. I had a good day at work and didn't burn anything. (Yesterday I burned the broccoli. Oops.)

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Growing Pains

Pottery class last night, therapist this morning.

 A late afternoon cup of coffee, half decaf, got me through the class without feeling like falling asleep. The last figure I glazed is out of the kiln. I was initially disappointed in the glaze, but the more I look at it the better I like it. It adds to the mood of the piece in an unexpected way, and although I think I know what happened to cause the effect, I am not entirely sure I could duplicate it. (The damp glaze must have rubbed off on my hand when I turned it over to wipe it off the bottom.) I'm not sure what I would call it if I were to give it a name. It is not quite so troubled as the one I called "Disappointment".

There were tears this morning. Unexpected tears.  My kids. They have been, and still are my greatest joy. I never imagined feeling so separated from them and so helpless to remedy the resulting ache deep inside. Once upon a time it was easy to schedule family gatherings, but today I feel crippled. Instead of planning dinners I am finding reasons why not to plan them. This is self defeating and crippling. It isn't good self care, and it isn't helping heal our brokenness. (*breathe deep*)

Tomorrow morning I have a short meeting with the woman who brought Celebrate Recovery to our church. She is not the leader, but has great influence over those who are. She was also once my eleventh grade English teacher. She is not warm and fuzzy, yet I know underneath is a caring woman who will (hopefully) hear the cry of my heart. I am going in response to my therapist's encouragement. I am not the only one to be hurt by this particular group. I need to be a voice for not only myself, but others as well. This is hard. I hope I don't cry. That would make my mascara run.