Monday, March 30, 2020

News From Home

* I honestly don't feel isolated. Perhaps I don't stay home enough, or haven't yet. It's not that I'm unwilling. Aside from our walks I stayed home when my car was in the shop. I stayed home over the weekend. But this morning I went out to the chiropractor. My lower back was bothering me on our walks and I don't want to let it go too long, so I went. It was a very empty place. From the chiropractor I went to the grocery store where I slathered both my hands and the cart handle with hand sanitizer. I filled my little cart with fruits and vegetables, eggs and coffee creamer, a few canned goods, and some vitamin C, and then I came home and washed my hands some more. Walks help with impending cabin fever, so late this morning we walked around the neighborhood.

* Last week I had my car repaired. and this week we replaced our hot water heater. I am ever so grateful for my son in law who picked up the heater and installed it this evening. It's been a guessing game the past few days as to whether or not there will be hot water for showers. (The pilot keeps going out and the water heater was 14 years old yesterday.) I went without a shower this morning and washed my hair in the sink instead. The water was cool, but not freezing. Sergio lit the pilot again after he came home from work and was able to get a hot shower this afternoon. Idris was blessed with a warm bath tonight instead of a coldish one like last night. Tomorrow I will once again be graced with a hot shower.

* On Saturday I pulled out my clay and sculpted two dogs. I don't know if they'll make it back to the pottery studio in one piece, but it felt good to hold a ball of clay in my hands. There is something soothing about playing in the mud. Always has been.

* I need to pack an overnight bag. Tomorrow might be a good time to do that. I'm not going far and it's not a vacation. The date of my departure is unknown but sure. One day in the next few weeks my 14th grandbaby will make his way into the world and I will stay with his brothers and sister while his mommy is in the hospital. Maybe even a day or two after she comes home.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Isolation Saturday

I've really just begun this season of isolation. Not because I haven't been practicing social distancing, but because going to work at the daycare made everything seem at least partly normal. It was bittersweet leaving yesterday afternoon. There weren't supposed to be hugs, but there were...  On my way out the door, I grabbed my pay stub and a card in an envelope out of my folder. I wasn't feeling emotional until I opened my belated birthday card and started reading the little notes. "Happy Birthday, my friend..." my boss wrote, and I felt a catch in my throat. No one yet knows what the next five weeks will bring. Who will be there if and when the daycare center reopens? Only time will tell.

I was home two days this week while my car was in the shop. We took walks, baked, and did art projects, but I planned on going back to work... One day into my time off and I'm realizing I might need to make myself a loose schedule. You know, so I don't sleep until noon and wile my time away online. Ha ha! (I laugh, but I'm serious too.)

I stayed in bed too long this morning and missed my walk with the family. When they came home to eat breakfast, I had already eaten two bowls of Cheerios, so I didn't eat eggs. It was late morning when I pulled some clay out of the bag and sat at the dining room table fashioning a couple balls of mud into dogs. Idris was very interested in what I was doing. I gave him a piece of clay to smoosh.  Later, after he had taken his nap, we made a construction paper bear to put in our window, just in case any of the neighbors are playing the Bear Hunt Game.

We sat around and watched some documentaries and looked at our digital devices this afternoon. The snacks we baked earlier in the week have been devoured, and our bodies are craving sugar. We had sloppy joes for dinner, and then we went for our evening walk to the village and back again. It's been a gray, lazy kind of day.

Oh, yes! We did have some family members stop by to drop off some items. We tried to keep a safe distance, but not hugging the son I haven't seen in weeks was impossible. I couldn't resist a hug.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

This Crazy Life

The world gets stranger every day. I'm not always certain if it's the pandemic that is causing all the craziness, or if the craziness is the cause of the pandemic. Nothing really makes much sense. The only thing certain is that none of us can stop the chain of events unfolding before us. There is no doubt people are sick and dying, and it is certain our way of life is in jeopardy. There is no way to tell what information is accurate and what is being spun to the advantage of those who would like to take control. Thankfully, when all appears to be out of control, there is One who is always in control.

My car, which I left at the shop on Tuesday night, is finally back in the driveway. Both the AC unit and the serpentine belt have been replaced. It was not an inexpensive repair, but it was less expensive than replacing my car altogether, even if I did miss two days of work. I am grateful to the mechanic who fixed it (a friend of my son), thankful I followed my gut on taking it in, and overwhelmed by the love of God and how He is always taking care of me.

I missed two days of work while the car was in the shop. One of the infant teachers covered for me in the early morning and my boss made lunch for the kids. We had eight yesterday. I don't know how many showed up today... Tomorrow I'm going back to work. That's the good news. The bad news is the daycare is closing with an expected return date of May 1. Five weeks. What will the next few weeks bring? Perhaps more cinnamon rolls and home baked cookies... some artwork? ... a painting or some new sculptures? Maybe we'll get the garage cleaned out! I know we'll take lots of walks. So glad my Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; 
His mercies never come to an end; 
they are new every morning; 
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

More Bits and Pieces

* As our daycare numbers dwindled last week, I began to come home early. Thursday evening I walked in the door to my family sitting together in the living room. There was a little gasp and Idris cried out, "It's Grammy! Now we're all here! Me and Mommy and Daddy and Grammy!" I couldn't help but smile.

* Our weather has been fickle. Friday was quite warm, so on the drive home I flipped on my air conditioning. While stopped for a traffic light I noticed an odd, burning odor. I turned the air off, opened my windows a bit, and hoped it was someone other than me.

* Other than filling my gas tank and running into the grocery store Friday evening, I stayed home. My car didn't move again until Monday morning. I started the engine and proceeded to scrape the night's accumulation of ice and frost off my windshield. In the process I noticed the car seemed to running louder than usual.

* I've been listening to my car's engine upon starting it and while idling at stops along the way. I didn't like the new sounds I was hearing. Something under the hood was amiss, but I didn't know what, so I sent a text message to my favorite mechanic. I stopped by after work to have him take a look at it. Good thing. It was something having to do with the unit that hooks into the air conditioning, a belt, and some bearings. (I can't keep it straight) All I know is it could have left me stranded and been a much more expensive job than it already is. (My feet as I sat waiting to find out what was wrong with my vehicle.)

* My boss, bless her heart, is covering for me in the kitchen tomorrow. The baby teacher will come in early, and I will stay home from work while my car is being fixed. This evening, after a cold, late afternoon walk, and no coffee, I am exhausted. I'm turning in early tonight. My eyes don't want to stay open.

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Mind Doesn't Rest

* I had an online therapist appointment on Saturday morning. Something new, different, and distracting. It went okay, and the pain running down the side of my neck and across the top of my shoulder dissipated gradually throughout the day. That's a plus. I told him I think my anxieties come out in pain. Rather than feeling anxious emotionally, my body ties itself in knots.

* Idris and I  took a cold walk around the block Saturday afternoon.

* Sunday was my birthday. We had church online. I was showered, dressed, and had my coffee in hand when it was time for the service to begin. This time I was alone in my room. Maybe next week I'll invite my daughter. Hannah and I took an afternoon walk to the village and back with Idris, and made pizza when we returned. There were chocolate cupcakes for my birthday, and then we watched "What About Bob" after the child went to bed. It was a different kind of birthday, but a good one just the same.

* This morning I got up half an hour late and missed my shower (again). I set my alarm for 5 pm instead of am. I may never learn, but I wasn't late. We had four babies today, four toddlers, and three 3-4 year olds. I made sloppy joes for lunch and headed home at 12:30 pm.

* After a little nap, Hannah, Idris, and I planted a garden in our front window. My dad would flip if he knew I glued the flowers to the glass. Ha ha! It looks cheery and is making us smile. Perhaps it will bring a smile to someone else's face as well. There are lots of people out walking when the weather cooperates.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Day 5

* My job is considered "essential." I'm honestly not sure how I feel about that.

* I went in at 6:30 this morning and left at noon. On the way home I filled my gas tank. (Gas prices look good.)  Before going home I ran into the grocery store for some coffee and a few other items.

* I have an online therapist appointment tomorrow morning. My appointment to be fingerprinted (again) for my job at the daycare, has been cancelled. Finally. I cancelled my Monday afternoon chiropractor appointment myself. Church is online,. The only reason to leave home is work.

* Wading through information regarding this Corona virus is overwhelming, and necessary. I want to be smart, even if I don't want fear and anxiety to take over. Like everyone else I want to be on the other side of this nightmare.

* We took another walk this afternoon. I think that's still allowed for the time being, and it's been something that brings us together as a family. Perhaps one day we will be confined to our own back yard. I'm thankful we have one.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Day #3 of Semi Isolation

Going to work makes life feel almost normal, except that it isn't. In my kitchen, cooking for the kids, I can somewhat forget what is looming on the outside, but the daycare, aside from crying babies, is much too quiet. Our numbers drop as more parents opt to keep their children home. It is to be expected. Soon we will stay home too.

Last night I took my camera on our family walk to the village. This afternoon I took pictures with my cell phone. We stopped by the woods on the way home. My old playground is almost unrecognizable. Old trees are rotted and fallen, the road narrowed and hidden by leaves, but this is where the neighborhood children gathered when I was a girl. It was a wonderful place.

Other than work, a quick stop in CVS, and our walk, I've stayed home. Pizza for dinner to support a small local business. We might as well save our stockpile for when we can't go out anymore. My bank account is low after rolling several thousand into an IRA so I can keep my health insurance, but my bills are paid and I still have a paycheck coming this week and next. God has me and those I love in the palm of His hand. And He has you too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Strange New World

I am ready and willing to stay home, but the daycare remains open for the time being. We had just 24 children today. I went in an hour and a half later than usual, and left early as well. Tomorrow will be the same.

After work I picked up my non-driving son and took him to the grocery store. He hasn't been in a while and was a bit concerned because he heard that everything was gone. I told him "everything" is a funny word. He was able to find what he needed (even a package of toilet paper), and said he was looking forward to a good salad later tonight. We had enough time to go through the drive-thru at the bank before taking his groceries home, and then I dropped him off at work.

This evening Hannah, Sergio, Idris and I went for a walk. It was a bit chilly, but I wore my gloves and hauled my camera along. Down through the path by the woods and on to the village, past the four corners, the fire station, the middle school, and back home again. I'm finally getting some steps worth counting, which my "new" phone is doing rather well at. Almost 9000 today.

Be safe, my friends.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Number Fourteen

We planned it weeks ago and had a rather long list of guests. Should we cancel or wait and see how things panned out? We waited, and as we did guests began to cancel for a variety of reasons. In the end it was mainly family. Just two friends came.

He is due mid April but can make his way into the world as soon as his mom has two negative Group B Strep tests. Or before too. That would be fine. He's already a hefty chap and we don't want him putting on too much more bulk. (Prayers to that end would be greatly appreciated.)

We decorated. We made sandwiches. We frosted cupcakes. We cleaned. We filled a basket with freshly laundered, rolled washcloths for drying hands in the bathroom. I hugged my girls. We had a baby shower and now the distancing begins.

School has been canceled but the daycare is still in business. Perhaps I will find my days shortened. Maybe we will close too. No one knows what to expect. Only time will unfold the story.

Be safe and well, my friends. Spring is near and the sun will still shine. Soon the leaves and flowers will appear, and a baby will make his way into the world. God still reigns and He is still in control even when the world is not sure what to do. And He is good.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

"Go Away and Leave Me Alone"

The child was not tired, in fact he was getting more and more wound up by the minute. When the time came and he was tucked into bed,he could not sleep. He didn't even try. Multiple trips to the living room only resulted in his being taken back to bed, but he had a plethora of new reasons to come out again. He begged, he cried, he cajoled (whatever that is), and when all of that failed, he persisted.

His father was not amused. His mother was entirely less than pleased, and quickly unraveling. His grandmother, who had retreated to her attic hideaway, tried to avoid becoming entangled in the ordeal but necessity overruled and she made her way downstairs to see what might be done. Call it intervention, if you'd like. It doesn't happen often, but last night it did.

I donned my jammy pants and sweatshirt, grabbed my alarm clock and went downstairs. My daughter was frustrated and exhausted and still Number Nine howled and cried. We put him back to bed and I climbed in and lay down near the wall. He did not want me in his bed. "Go away and leave me alone, Grammy!" he wailed over and over. I stayed. I closed my eyes. I tried talking to him. I told him not to get out of bed. He finally promised to stay in bed and go to sleep. I went upstairs and climbed back into my own bed, but the peace downstairs was short lived.

On the return trip to the child's bedroom I took my pillow. I was there for the duration, whatever that might be. He was not happy and begged me once again to leave. His mother came in to announce plans for a quick trip to the store for some children's melatonin. He howled when she departed, cried for her, and then wanted daddy. When Mommy returned he gladly chewed the gummy pill and settled back on his pillow, hopeful in the promise that if he went to sleep, Grammy would go back to her own bed. A half hour or less later, I gathered myself together and returned to my room.

This evening, though still not thrilled about bedtime, he was convinced to stay in bed by the threat of Grammy sleeping in his room again. He never came out at all. Not once. LOL!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Well That Stinks

Poopy morning. When I pulled her shirt off, it went all the way up her back to the base of her neck. She really needed a bath, but I didn't have the option, so I cleaned her up with an entire box of baby wipes. Okay, maybe not THAT many. Thankfully, it was not in her hair. Then I would have HAD to find a way to bathe her. As it was she screamed the entire time. I should have been the one screaming, but no. It was her. And she was my third poopy baby out of four. The fourth was not poopy.

I played with them, fed them, and changed them. I did not make their morning bottles. I did make their afternoon bottles and gave them lots of snuggles. Babies have to be snuggled. Even if they are boogery.

I've been trying not to think too much about the pandemic of Covid 19. Honestly, it's mostly because I don't know what to think. I'm not afraid, just confused. If the world shuts down for two weeks it's literally impossible for me to work remotely. Can't change diapers that way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


Sometimes during the day, when I'm away from my computer, I think of blog posts, but by the time I get home I've usually forgotten them. Such is the case today. (What a waste. Ha ha!) Not to worry. It will likely come back to me in the middle of the night only to be lost again by morning like a forgotten dream.

The atmosphere at work is somewhat tense. I don't know how long it will take until everything feels normal again...

The mental stressors piled up enough for me to reach out to "Betty" this evening. She said she'd been thinking of me today. "If you get a quiet moment this evening, can you kneel by your bed, hash it out with the Lord, and dump it in His lap?" Ah, yes. This is a little bit like letting go, isn't it? And "Surrender" is what I need to do most. So many things I need to let go. Which is probably why it took me half an hour to find my box of empty checks that used to be in my dresser drawer. So much stuff to look through...

I came home tonight, even though I got out a little early. The pottery studio might have felt good, but I needed to come home. And that was good too.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Just Weekend Stuff

The weekend has come to an end. My Friday night pottery class was a great help in melting the stress from my back and shoulders. I made a return trip late Saturday morning and spent some time glazing my pieces. It is a wide variety of random stuff. Next week is our final class. I'm not ready for it to be done and would sign up for another if I had the extra cash, but that will have to wait. I am grateful for the shelf I rent because I can still go in anytime.

My sweet Number Nine, who dodges my camera, enjoyed taking selfies yesterday morning with my phone. He is quite the character! Ha ha!

Today my sister Priscilla and I went out to see our brother Tim and take him out for a ride and a small chocolate Frosty. He was terribly sleepy. He was asleep with his head on the table when we arrived, ate his snacks in the car and fell asleep on the drive, and ate his Frosty at an average speed today. Not at all like his normal self. And then he fell asleep on the way back to his house too. Not much of a visit.

After driving out to pick up Priscilla, taking Tim out for a ride, and driving back home again, I was terribly sleepy too. I pulled into the driveway, parked the car, leaned the seat back, and conked out myself. I should have gone for a walk, but I probably needed the sleep.

Back to work again tomorrow. It'll be dark out again when I leave the house, rather than just getting light, but I'm looking forward to a bit more sunlight when I get home in the evening.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Bits and Pieces

* Is tomorrow Friday already? It seems as though the week just started and yet here it is coming to a close. How is it that every weeks goes faster than the last?

* Stressful day at work. A bit of drama and a visit from the state. Not looking fantastic for someone at the moment. I'm feeling tense, and all I did was answer questions. Questions can be hard to answer... Will my answer get someone else in trouble? Will I be in trouble too? ... My back hurts in a place it hasn't hurt in a long time, all down the middle between my shoulder blades.

* Met my friend Christina for dinner. I ate a salad but she just bought a drink.

* The house is quiet and empty tonight but it's actually feeling like a good thing right now. I might actually brush my teeth and tuck myself into bed. But I don't think I'll go to sleep quite yet.

* Something wonderful must have happened this week, but tonight I can't think of what it was. Maybe those couple of bright, sunny days and a promise that spring is just around the corner. Our snow is pretty much gone for the moment. That's pretty wonderful.

* Ah, perhaps it's a very good thing the weekend is almost here. I am ready for a good weekend.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

After Church

I had lunch with "Betty" today. Our original destination was closed, so we drove down the road to a local bagel shop, ordered two bowls of soup, and sat for three hours just talking. She gets it. She understands my heart, my struggles, and my tears. I understand hers. In a world where finding each other is nearly impossible, God has made a way. He is so good. So very good.