Saturday, December 31, 2022

The Saddest Days...

The saddest days are when the sunshine disappears. Amanda was the sunshine. Always smiling, always encouraging, always loving. I don't understand why the brightest stars are so often snuffed out early.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Jen's Choice

Goodwill wasn't part of my plan this morning but a small voice in the back of my mind urged me inside. I wandered aisles of castoff possessions wondering what treasure I might stumble upon. I don’t need more coffee mugs but I always look anyway, just in case, you know?
I scanned the shelf of mass produced mugs and picked up one with Disney character. It felt cheap and misshapen. My eyes fell upon a an obviously handmade cup, but it was clunky and uncomfortable. Then I saw her and knew right away that she was different. She is signed by the artist and even has a name. How sweet is that?
In November I signed up for an advanced wheel pottery class. It doesn’t start until mid January, but I’m just not there yet even though I’ve had my hands in the mud for years. I called and canceled last Friday. What I need is an intermediate wheel thrown class instead, and maybe that will happen in the next year, but the cup I bought today isn’t wheel thrown. 
On Friday nights my cousins and I do pottery together. Julie's husband has affectionately dubbed us "The Man Haters." We recently acquired a second hand electric slab roller from a retiring potter. Perhaps Jen's Choice, the cup I rescued from Goodwill, will be my inspiration to once again build some slab pottery. She’s so very beautiful. I really did find a treasure today.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

The Merry-Go-Round Goes Round and Round

I arrived home from my Florida vacation on an emotional high. I'd reconnected with my family, loved on my grandkids, soaked in the sunshine and warm weather, and allowed my mind and body to rest. I had the privilege of catching up with a friend who the twelve year old me never got to bid goodbye. I didn't have any trouble getting through security on my way home this time (I steered clear of oils and lotions just in case...)  and felt ready to return to work.

By Sunday evening I was not quite as ready to resume my duties in the Infant Room as I had been a few day prior (ha ha). In spite of myself, I arrived at the daycare bright and early Monday morning (although it was still dark). The morning did not go well and on Facebook I posted "It was a little bit like the morning from hell but, hey, thanks for asking." It's not trying to keep up with 7 or 8 little ones until 9 am that is the difficulty (Yes, I do have a second person when we get over four babies) but listening to the angry cry when I am already doing everything I can to take care of their needs. I was entirely relieved when the other four went to their own room and I was able to get my four down for a nap. One small child, who is extremely big, was very unhappy. Our other baby teacher, in desperation, tossed a blanket from his car seat into my room and he magically turned happier. By Tuesday afternoon he came down with a fever and it was discovered he had a double ear infection. (Always remember they're trying to communicate something.) 

I probably don't need to tell you that I crashed before the week was half over. The Christmas season is an emotional roller coaster for so many reasons and I had a few moments early in the week where I was once again overcome. One of my own kids was having an emotional struggle as well and shared a vulnerable moment in a Facebook post. I could relate and replied,  

"If I am totally honest, I feel a lot of the same, and this time of year brings it out like no other. I feel like I’m going nowhere and there’s nowhere to go. A piece of me knows it’s a temporary feeling because I’ve ridden this merry-go-round long enough to know that the high I felt last week will eventually return, and the low of this week won’t last forever. Each one, the highs and the lows, give me insight and a slightly different perspective than I might have had previous. Although my understanding of God has changed (may He reel me back in too) I know He hasn’t abandoned me."

Somewhere along the way the despair I'd felt earlier in the week dissipated and a semblance of normalcy returned. In between I took a vicarious journey with my friend Marty down the Intracoastal Waterway from somewhere in Maryland on Wednesday to Little River, South Carolina on Friday. There was some rough weather on Thursday when the storm blew through, some good looking food (I had to eat vicariously too), a beautiful sunrise and a safe end to the trip. I told Marty thanks for taking me along (on Facebook) as he moved someone's boat down the coast to warmer waters. Vicarious is good for me. I get seasick. Ha ha! Although I'm still looking forward to an actual boat ride someday.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

The Last Night

It's my last night here in Florida. We've had a good week and I've soaked up all the warm weather and sunshine I possibly could. Today Jim and I took a ride to Blue Springs where we did not find any manatees (no surprise) and then met my old friend Marty and his wife at the Swamp House Restaurant by the St John's River. It had been 46 years since Marty and I last saw each other. It was a nice reunion and I will return home smiling.

Monday, December 05, 2022

Florida Take 2

This is my second trip to Florida. It's not the second time I've been here, but the second trip to visit my Florida family here. We did some traveling yesterday.

We went to the "beach" by way of a little park called Castaway in Palm Bay. It's on the ocean, but with a barrier island in between. We had a picnic, took some pictures, and played a little bit. I put my foot in the water and found it surprisingly cold. This was not a swimming beach, maybe more like a great place to fish. Palm Beach was the destination for more than the little park by the water. Our friend Dan has a sister who lives there. We stopped to visit Kate and Josh for a little while before heading back. 

After it got dark out we went to the zoo where there is a fabulous Chinese lantern display. So cool!

Thursday, December 01, 2022

The Time Has Come

Actually, the time is tomorrow, which means I more than likely won't be sitting down to write anything, and that is why the time has come. It all makes sense. Really. It does. Tomorrow evening I'm flying to Florida to visit my former "Minnesota Family." They've been in Florida for a little over a year now, so I guess it's safe to call them my "Florida Family" now. 

I've worked a few extra hours this week. It will be nice to see a bigger paycheck at the end of next week, unless I get sent home early tomorrow afternoon, which is entirely possible. Did I mention how I have a love/hate relationship with my job? I love the babies and they are hard work. I am attached again and dreading the day when I have to let this bunch go. I'm still tossing alternative job possibilities about in my mind... Ugh. Why does it have to be so hard? I can't do this job without putting my whole heart into it...

I made a simple phone call today and changed my primary care doctor. I was booted from the last one because I hadn't been therein three years. The office was not convenient to my home or work. I visited Urgent Care once or twice for a test this past year but have otherwise not been in need of a physician. So anyway, I called the office close to home and asked to be added as a patient there. If my shoulder is still hurting when I come home from Florida, perhaps I will pay them a visit.

I signed up for another pottery class. I should probably have my head examined!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

The Good Life

Life just keeps getting better. If I put the old me next to today's me, we would look alike but actually be two almost completely different people. Healing is a beautiful thing. I can breathe, I can cry, I can laugh. 

I took Number Nine to the lake last night while his mommy took the Little One to Urgent Care for an earache. The ever changing lake shore has captured this boy's heart and imagination. Sticks, stones, and running water. Is there anything more for which a boy could ask? 

In another week I'll be packing my suitcase for my trip to Florida. I'm going early this year. Early for Christmas, that is. I'm looking forward to a wonderful trip and perhaps a meetup with a friend I haven't seen in almost 47 years. I can't wait to give him a big hug.

On Tuesday I left work a little early for an appointment in the Village of Webster where I submitted a passport application. The "long form" birth certificate finally arrived in the mail. Now I wait for the passport. Where will I go? I haven't a clue but I'm one step closer and a little bit excited.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Out With the Old

Who am I kidding? The old typically has to be torn from my clenched and grasping fingers... I'm learning to let go, but it's not an easy exercise.

I have a new (to me) box spring and mattress. My tiny bedroom feels so much smaller and yet the bed is only taller, not wider. And three feet away from the wall. So I can sit up in bed without my head hitting the roof.

Two weeks ago my chiropractor asked, "How old is your pillow?" And "How old is your mattress?" My pillow gave up the ghost long ago. But I keep it because... well, because it's been with me for so long. The mattress? I picked it up at a friend's garage sale. It's not terribly old, but I know it isn't doing my back any favors. 

When I got home I sent my cousin a text message. "Do you still have Maddie's bed?" (She's been trying to find a new home for her daughter's bed since May.) I knew the mattress on Maddie's bed would be much better quality than the one I currently slept on. I was relieved to find she still had it and was still looking to find it a new home. All I needed was a truck to move it.

I sent a text to my friend Dan. "My cousin has a single bed for me," I told him, "but I need a truck to move it. Do you know anyone with a truck?"

"I might," he said. "Let's do this."

So Sunday afternoon, while the sun was shining and November was playing June, he helped me move that bed from my cousin's house to  my garage. Later that day I hauled the box spring, which was wearing a fitted sheet, up my attic stairway to my bedroom. (Don't tell Dan.) Sergio helped me with the mattress and I have a much more comfortable spot to sleep. I'm adjusting to having space between myself and the wall, and also to being a foot higher off the floor. I have another chiropractor appointment on Monday. If I don't smash my head into any shelves at work (did that just after my last appointment) or my own ceiling here at home, my neck should feel better. (I tossed the old pillow on the floor and am getting used to a new one.) My lower back, aggravated by constantly lifting babies at work, should at least get a break from the abuse when I go to bed at night. The mattress is fabulous.

I have yet to clean out my clothes closet and sort through various and sundry items that clutter my room and take up space in the attic. I need to let go of so many things, but I'm not sure how without feeling panicky. What if I let go of the wrong things?

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

This is Your Life (or mine)

I went to my high school reunion looking not only for connection, but to come clean as well. I've woken up thinking about Frank telling me he couldn't find my picture in the yearbook, wondering if perhaps I'd missed some bit of rudeness or an intentional jab, but all I can come up with is an unintentional compliment. For some reason unknown to me, he was expecting me to be there this weekend and had actually looked for me in the yearbook. This is one of the guys that 90% of the girls had a mad crush on 41 years ago. He was nice looking, but not one of my crushes. To the best of my recollection, he never acknowledged me, until the reunion (He was a somewhat quiet kind of guy.) , so the fact that he sought me out and asked the question is accepted as complimentary. Now I'm finding myself more concerned about the friend who, in her effort to protect me from prying questions, may have inadvertently steered people away from me. I wanted them to ask questions, but hardly anyone did.

After the reunion was over, I posted this on their Facebook page. For those who wondered and didn't ask. For those who asked someone other than me, for those who didn't ask but were told something anyway, for those who have known all along, and for those who didn't even remember me. It's not "water under the bridge" as one friend put it. It is my story and it deserves to be told.
Although I started kindergarten in Webster (I was part of the group who walked to Spry from Indian Village for a week or so when the school budget didn't pass in 1969) and attended Webster School for all of that time, I ended up not graduating with the Class of 1982. It's one of those things I've grieved silently for years. When the Class of 1981 was graduating on June 20, I was getting married. Our first son was born in Albuquerque, NM that September. We would go on to be married for well over 30 years. In that time we had seven beautiful children. I received my GED after our third child was born, not quite the same as a regular diploma but it brought a small sense of closure at the time.

Today I am back in Indian Village, living in the tiny ranch my parents called home my entire childhood, looking out the front window at one lonely Webster water tank where there used to be two. Our children are grown and we have more grandchildren than most of you could imagine. (I have a hard time imagining it myself...) 
I am so grateful to have been included in last night's gathering of the Class of 1982. The sixteen year old Martha thanks you. (And the 17 year old one too.) Thank you to each one who signed my 40 year old yearbook. It's no longer completely empty. I'm looking forward to seeing last night's pictures and meeting up with some of you for lunch or coffee in the future.
The mind is still settling. It was quite the weekend in more ways than one.

Monday, November 07, 2022

The Vulnerable

Years back I read that being vulnerable could be healing, that sometimes a secret is harder to live with than the truth. 

There are still days when I'm uncertain as into whose universe I've been dropped.

Will I ever find love?

Will I learn to love the solitary existence?

How can something feel so comfortable and yet lead seemingly nowhere?

Sunday, November 06, 2022

The Savage Salve

Still absorbing the weekend... trying to put words to the tangle of emotions swirling through my mind. There have been laughter, tears, and sighs of relief. I confronted long held fears. After 41 years  I went "back to school" (by way of the 40 year class reunion) and owned my past, a past that isn't near as frightening today as it was at seventeen. (I was 15 in this photo but it was all I could at the moment.)

"Martha, I looked for your picture in the yearbook," a former classmate told me on Friday evening, "and it wasn't there. Did you know your picture isn't in the yearbook?"

"I wasn't there," I answered, "I didn't graduate."

Gail said it was a weird question and she was annoyed he'd said it. She was more offended than I was. I hadn't been offended at all. I hadn't even thought to be offended. Whether it was an honest question or not didn't really matter. He was absolutely right. My picture is not in the yearbook. Besides, he addressed me by name. I wasn't invisible. He saw me.

Another classmate stopped to say how he'd always had a sweet spot for me. I'm not sure I ever spoke with him in school, but he saw me... Another called my name and gave me a big hug. One of my favorite guys at school. He's still loved by everyone and he still makes everybody smile. He saw me too.

Being seen is healing. Being seen for who I am and what I have been through is healing. I still might need a good long cry, the cleansing kind that washes away the built up tension, but that will come in time.

Friday, November 04, 2022

It's Been A Week (Almost)

Crazy busy. Something going on every day and night. I've consumed more coffee than usual, partially on purpose and partially... well... on purpose, I guess. Ha ha!

Sunday. The birthday party for Idris. It was a huge success. All of my area kids were here, and all of my local grandchildren except one. There were cupcakes, there was pie, and thanks to Abuelita, there was a Bounce House.

Monday. Work. Chiropractor appointments.

Tuesday. Work. Hannah took my car for an evening appointment. I watched the kids and made dinner.

Wednesday. Work. Therapist at 6 pm.

Thursday. Work. Grand Opening Ceremony at the Chiropractor's new office. (It was a fabulous party!)

Friday. Work. Pre High School Class Reunion gathering at the New York Beer Project. (I'm digesting this experience. Processing, processing... ) That's me and my second cousin Kathy. I haven't seen her since we were in high school forty years ago. It was a fabulous evening and I am looking forward to the dinner tomorrow night.

The week's not over yet. We still have tomorrow.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

I Stayed Home (Mostly)

It was a fresh, crisp autumn day, the kind where in previous years I have taken off for the woods, gone for a long drive, or perused a seasonal antique shop one last time until next year, but yesterday I chose not to wander far or long. I took a quick trip to Old Navy and Wegmans, but otherwise stayed home. We cleaned up the garage, washed and folded laundry, drank coffee, and I made stuffed shells for dinner. I purposed to set aside the anxious spirit that calls me to stay busy and enjoyed the day at home.

Late last night I pulled up Youtube and let a playlist of contemporary Christian music fill the darkness... It's been months since I soaked it in, the kind of music that makes me close my eyes, breathe deep, and raise my hands... I'm not always sure if it's a balm or a burning... I finally know, after a lifetime of not understanding, why so many wounded individuals spurn Christianity. I've been awakened to the ugly side of organized religion, the kind that ignores the injured in favor of aiding and abetting the perpetrators. They call it grace, "Amazing Grace" even... We all need grace... even perpetrators... and this is where things get messy, complicated and confusing... Those who do everything to keep the faith and hold life together, who completely spend ourselves in the process, are tossed aside as unworthy... We are left broken, wondering what else we could have done, while the others are lauded as heroes...

Am I bitter? I suppose that all depends on your interpretation, which I've found to be another curious piece of present Christianity... The injured, the reeling, those who've had the breath literally knocked out of their soul are labeled "bitter" while the offender is credited with having been "redeemed." Bitter has a completely negative connotation, and yet we are forced to swallow the bitter pill, to take the bitter medicine, and expected not to grimace or recoil...

"Changed and different..."  The church so often gives this credit to offenders, and a huge piece of me understands the premise, after all I grew up hearing the message. I haven't a clue as to whether or not he's changed, but there is no doubt today that I am changed and different. Is this no less a work of God and His redeeming power? It's playing now... "I'm no longer a slave to fear..." He has freed me to become the woman He always intended me to be. The bitter medicine is doing the work.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

If You Really Have to Know... October 26, 2009 (and today)

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:55 am  (5:10 am. Yesterday it was 6:34 and I was already 4 minutes late for work.)

2. How do you like your steak? Medium rare (medium rare)

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Um, I think it was Marley and Me (The one about CS Lewis, "The Most Reluctant Convert")

4. What is your favorite TV show? I don't watch it (I don't know what's on TV anymore.)

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I haven't a clue! (New Hampshire, or maybe Vermont)

6. What did you have for breakfast? Pumpkin pie (raisin bran and almond milk)

7. What is your favorite cuisine? I really do like Mexican (Mexican)

8. What foods do you dislike? Anything yucky ;) (Must think on this...)

9. Favorite Place to Eat? My blue chair (I hope you didn't mean a restaurant… okay, I really enjoy going to the Rheinblick in Canandaigua)  (Someplace with friends)

10. Favorite dressing? Ranch or Italian (probably ranch)

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? Ford Windstar (Subaru Forester)

12. What are your favorite clothes? Blue jeans and a sweatshirt (blue jeans and a sleeveless top)

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Not sure… (The Dolomites)

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Oh, come on! Just fill it up all the way! (1/2 full, please!)

15. Where would you want to retire? At this rate I don't think I'll ever get the chance (the mountains)

16. Favorite time of day? A little morning, a little night (early morning, if I can drag myself out of bed)

17. Where were you born? Genesee Hospital, Rochester, NY (some things don't change)

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Can't I just do something else? (figure skating)

19. Who do you think will not tag you back? I don't think anyone will (We're not playing tag.)

20. Person you expect to tag you back first? nobody (What kind of tag is this?)

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? I haven't even finished, why would I have tagged anyone? (Go ahead and play the game if you like.)

22. Bird watcher? sometimes (If I can spot them, I take their picture.)

23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Both, or is it neither? (It depends on when you make the coffee.)

24. Do you have any pets? 1 ½ dogs, 3 cats (One cat and a couple of grandchildren)

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Other than Leta expecting? nope (I'm going to Florida in December.)

26. What did you want to be when you were little? (a mom)

27. What is your best childhood memory? At the moment anything having to do with my dad. (Playing in the woods.)

28. Are you a cat or dog person? cat (cat... I guess.)

29. Are you married? yes (Not anymore)

30. Always wear your seat belt? Yes, until I take it off  (yes)

31. Been in a car accident? No (no)

32. Any pet peeves? (Anything having to do with marriage. I'm working on it though... the attitude, that is, not the marriage.)

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Pepperoni, cheese and black olives (same, with banana peppers)

34. Favorite Flower? Sweet peas and daisies (always sweet peas and daisies, and zinnias too)

35. Favorite ice cream? vanilla  (soft serve twist)

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? taco bell (the sub shop at Wegmans)

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? 0 (none)

38. From whom did you get your last email? Facebook (Who knows? It's mostly junk mail.)

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Would I still have to pay the bill? (Hm... probably either Lowes or the furniture store)

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? (I went to the Flower City Pottery Invitational, and bought some pricey pottery)

41. Like your job? Most of the time (I do, but it's become increasingly stressful.)

42. Broccoli? Yes, with cheese sauce, please  (roasted, steamed, and raw)

43. What was your favorite vacation? New Mexico in 1992 and then Colorado in 2002 (Jackson, NH 2021)

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? James, and after 30 years, we decided we don't like Maria's Mexican Restaurant anymore. (my friend Chris Nagel at Mama Lor's)

45. What are you listening to right now? My dad singing (the fan)

46. What is your favorite color? blue (exciting)  (still blue, dark blue)

47. How many tattoos do you have? I'll let you guess… (I have one in my mind...)

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? Not sure, at least Barb (none)

49. What time did you finish this? 5 pm on the dot (9:12 pm)

50. Coffee Drinker? With some French vanilla (every morning, with some yummy creamer)


Ain't That Fancy?

We have a new sidewalk/ sitting area. I don't know if it's big enough to be called a patio... but it sure is pretty! And to think all I needed to do was order a load of crushed stone! Now we're talking a small patio set, a table and a couple of chairs. And of course we'll need a potted plant or two come spring.

My son in law and his brothers are absolutely amazing!

Sunday, October 23, 2022


Headaches have become an almost every weekend occurrence, most likely brought on by the stress of the past week and the pressures of whatever weekend I am facing. I attempted to walk off last Saturday's headache by heading to the woods with my camera, but I came out with a headache of either the same or greater intensity. Being calm on the outside does not produce peace and rest when my insides are churning. (Thankfully, I did not have a headache today.)

If last Saturday I was an emotion- ally tense and vulner- able mess, today I was far from it. The headache and emotional upheaval of last weekend produced some changes this week. I made some plans to reduce a bit of stress. I ordered a load of crushed stone for our unfinished front walkway, made a plan to purchase a bit of insulation for my attic whose 70 year old insulation is tired and drooping, and decided once again to "eat the elephant one bite at a time." 

I was blessed this week with a visit to my therapist's office on Wednes- day, dinner with a friend on Thursday, the return of "Man Hater's Club" (pottery night with my cousins), and a absolutely gorgeous autumn woods walk with a childhood friend this morning. Hannah made an apple pie this afternoon and two of my boys came for a visit. It was a fabulous day! Tomorrow after church I will stop by the Flower City Pottery Invitational after church and make a visit to my beautiful Bethany who has a birthday tomorrow. Maybe I'll even pick up something special for dessert.

I'm slowly, ever so slowly, learning what makes Martha tick, slowly learning to be compassionate with myself. It's almost disappointing to have all of this dawn on me so late in life... but then again, maybe it's happening exactly on time.

Sunday, October 02, 2022

The Weekend Recovery Program

Last week was a little rough. From the pounding headache and queasy stomach of Sunday morning to a few dramatic episodes at work, I was more than ready for a little time off to settle my soul. 

A very young baby demands a lot of time and attention. Two small babies require twice as much, and even if I can settle myself into position to feed two hungry infants at the same time, it is quite literally impossible to hold three bottles at once. It is also impossible to clean up mammoth puddles of spit up without sending the feeding infants into squalling fits when their bottles, and their bodies, are no longer in feeding position. I have four infants daily and though our routine is somewhat established, it is still a work in progress. 

Thursday was picture day and it totally threw me for a loop... I literally felt myself start to twitch. Not sure that's ever happened before. I'd already asked for help with my babies several times, but either no one was listening or no one cared, and then I was chided for having "an attitude." Honestly, I'm not sure how I kept from spontaneously combusting. Thankfully, this does not happen on a regular basis.

Friday I was given some relief from the Infant Room and provided lunch breaks for coworkers. I went outside with the Older Toddlers, took my own break, sat with sleeping Younger Toddlers, sat for an hour with the infants, and finally went back to the older toddler room. The day provided several opportunities to interact with my previous infants who are now "waddlers" in the Young Toddler room. Occasionally one of our new teachers likes to steer them away from me, preventing any interaction. No hugs, just tears from the little ones I spent eleven months loving and nurturing. I have no intention of interrupting class activities, but neither do I intend to send my little girls the message that they don't matter, that I've traded them in or abandoned them, or that I don't love them anymore. When they see me and ask for a hug, whether that be with newly found words (Bennett says "hug,") or tears (that's Mara), I will be there to hug them, kiss their foreheads and tell them I love them. How can I not? (I had a slight altercation with said new teacher. Ugh.)

Life has dished up some mighty fine dishes of drama these past few years. I went home from work in tears on Friday, partly from the altercation and partly from something else deep within my own heart and soul. If dealing with our own childhood pain is necessary to healing, then I have some work to do loving the infant, toddler Martha within. I'm not entirely certain how that is accomplished. 

My grown up heart and mind knows I was loved. It knows my parents were embroiled in a heart wrenching trial even before my arrival. As a mom I understand how difficult it can be to meet the emotional needs of every child all the time. I'm not angry and there is no blame, but there remains a pain inside I can't yet name or soothe. I am on a journey to comfort the infant/very small child I used to be. She needs a hug, a kiss on the forehead, and a reminder that she has always been and always will be loved.

Oh, yes! The weekend. My lovely Bethany and I took four children to find the fairy houses and feed the birds at Mendon Ponds. Hannah and Sergio were gone to a wedding and I had the boys for the day. Today my friend Laura and I went out for breakfast after church, and then we drove down to Naples, NY to look in a few shops and buy a grape pie. Both days were lovely.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Dinner at Mom's

He's come a few times on Tuesday evenings. I've been inspired to make dinner several times. Shepherd's Pie, meatloaf, and spaghetti with homemade meatballs. I used sauce from a jar, but I haven't an ounce of Italian in me, so I think it's permissible.We all ate too much. Bethany stopped to retrieve Henry and had a few meatball too. Maybe I should host Dinner at Mom's a few times this winter... 

I returned to work today. No more headache. I learned a valuable lesson. Dehydration and a glass of wine are mortal enemies. Cheers!

Monday, September 26, 2022

The Party

My cousins, a friend, and I rented a spot to set up a booth at the Naples Grape Festival. It was kind of like going to a big party. There were lots of people, tons of food, and so many things for sale. (We discovered food sells best.)

I didn't sell much, maybe one of my people, but it was a beautiful Saturday to be out with people I love. We could have stayed for Sunday's festival too, but the forecast called for rain all day long, so we made a last minute decision to pack it up. It turned out to be a good choice. It rained and rained. 

Exhaustion and dehydration took over sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. I struggled with a headache all night long and a queasy stomach in the early morning hours. By 7:30 am I had decided I needed to pack up my things and go home. I'm thinking there was something in the Airbnb the didn't agree with my system. That combined with being tired and dehydrated made me sick. I couldn't even eat pretzels without my stomach turning. At 8 o'clock I climbed into my car and headed for home, stopping to sleep at a Thruway rest stop along the way.

I took today off to recover and sleep on the remainder of my headache. I learned several good lessons this weekend...
1. Don't go into a big weekend already thoroughly exhausted.
2. Stay hydrated even if it means using someone else's bathroom or a porta-potty .
3. Eat healthy. Always. (Carrots, mini cucumbers, nuts, water...)
4. Leave enough room next to your table full of wares for a chair, and talk to people who stop by.
5. Don't sell your heart for a song.
6. Take the following Monday off just because, not because you have to.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend. My son had a 45 minute slot to sing at the Festival and we were positioned close enough that it was just a short walk to get there. I am abundantly grateful and blessed.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Leaving Town

 I'm going away for the weekend. Leaving town for a few days. Meeting up with four childhood friends and one new friend. We're going to a party. A big party.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Oh, Now I Understand...

Those songs... The ones that stand out in my mind. There's a reason why, and a reason why we weren't supposed to listen to country music. (It was bad stuff.) He had never liked country music... except he had. That's why we knew the songs...

Colin Raye... I Think About You

Shania Twain... Looks Like We Made It

and Alan Jackson, who I listened to much later... Remember When

Three songs. One story. It's hard to sort the truth from the lies but the knots are coming untied one at a time.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

The Perfect Weekend

 It's been a phenomenal weekend. Full of everything lovely.

On Saturday my friend Laura and I went to the Clothesline Art Festival. Sunshine and summer filled the sky. We wandered the booths, took in the sights, and enjoyed each other's company. There was so much to see that we didn't even see it all. Paintings, pottery, leather crafts, jewelry... Just anything you might think of. We bought meatballs from a food truck, downed two bottles of water each, and cooled ourselves down in the shade of large trees. My sister Priscilla was there somewhere with a cousin, but we didn't see them. We did find my friend Dan sharing a booth with another potter from the studio, and Andy (also from the pottery studio) in his booth. I bought just one item. A small mug from Andy.

It was early afternoon when we left the city. Laura was longing for cold water in which to soak her feet and we were also hungry. We headed toward Seabreeze and each got a cheeseburger at Don and Bob's. From there were visited the small strip of beach next to the Irondequoit Bay Outlet. We took some pillows and blanket out of her car and lay down in the shade for a while before heading down to the water. I was wearing my jeans (silly me!) but that didn't stop me from going into the water. The sandbar was heavenly!

After retrieving my car I stopped at Bethany's for a baby butterfly bush. By that time it was already evening, but I wasn't quite ready to go home, so I drove down Lake Rd to my favorite spot. Such a beautiful sunset! It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Today's forecast turned from sunshine to rain, but that didn't stop us from going to the zoo. It simply served to thin the crowd that might have gathered otherwise. This too was a beautiful day, just a different kind from yesterday. I took a bazillion photographs!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Can You Hear Me Now?

 It's been an interesting week. Labor Day feels like forever ago...

I'm falling in love with my new babies, loving on those who miraculously turned into toddlers, and still stopping to hug any 3 and 4 year old friends who need some love and recognition. I choose my earring carefully each morning. This week they were ice cream cones (mint chocolate chip), chocolate chip cookies, pink gummy bears, and Cosmic brownies. I'm not sure anymore if they're looking for me or my earring collection. LOL!

Back to the interesting. I forgot to make my coffee on Thursday. Got ready for work, grabbed my things and ran out the door and realized when I was a mile or two up the road with no time to turn around. I am grateful for a Dunkin on the way. That afternoon I left my phone at work. Got another couple of miles down the road and had to turn around. After work I decided to pull some weeds and inadvertently tossed dirt into my own ear which wasn't discovered until later in the evening when I was down at the lake. 

Yesterday topped off the interesting week. I got written up at work. I told a friend got caught using. Using my phone. It wasn't my wonderful boss or one of my coworkers who caught me. It was the owner. (Insert eye roll...) The owner who in our Wednesday night staff meeting just mentioned how we are not allowed to use our phones during work. (Something about regulations...) Of course the two children in my care were not being ignored or neglected. I was sitting on the floor with them. But it was true. I'd looked at my phone. No excuses. I felt bad for the coworker who was told to write me up. She seemed genuinely sorry. I'm not going to be fired and they couldn't send me home. We're all adults and I decided not to let it ruin my day. It is what it is.

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

It's a Tought Job but Somebody's Gotta Do It.

Kitchen work was easier than being a baby teacher. I liked working in the kitchen. It wasn't so hard on my heart.

After spending the summer at home, today my little friend Hannah returned to the daycare. I saw her come in and hurried to say hello, but my time was cut short by a new baby coming in right behind her. Later, when I was given a chance to use the bathroom, I stopped to see how she was adjusting to the Waddler Room. We had just enough time and interaction for her memory to be stirred. Like her cousin Olivia last week, Hannah suddenly realized that I still loved and remembered her and she cried when I had to leave. Traitor is not too strong a word for what I feel. Ugh.

My Infant Room is filling up quickly. Today I had three, tomorrow I will be at capacity with four. The numbers will fluctuate depending on the day but four babies is the maximum for  one infant teacher. It was a day filled with snuggles and puke. On the babies, on the floor, and on me. I'm wearing it like a badge and wiping it off the best I can. Ha ha! These babies, at least so far, appear to be better sleepers than the former group. I'm taking the good along with the hard.

In other news, I'm still growing, learning, and letting go, although I'm not always entirely certain how to do all of that. It's the letting go/hanging on that cause me angst. I can do either one if I only know which one I'm supposed to be doing. Let's just say not all of my children and grandchildren appear to want a close relationship at this particular moment. They have their own lives and make their own choices, and that is okay. As much as it stings sometimes, I can give them that privilege. I can let go and entrust them to the One who knows all things. I am okay. They have returned before, they may return again...

Monday, September 05, 2022

The Rainy Day

Today was dark, dreary, and delicious. Deliciously rainy. There was no big family picnic. No games in the yard. No photo opportunities. I slept in because it was just that kind of morning. Dark and rainy combined with a day off. A beautiful rare occurrence.

Although there was no big family gathering, we did have one family come over for the afternoon. Nate brought three of his four and we cooked up some hot dogs on the stove, made a pot of macaroni and cheese, and warmed up a can of baked beans. When Sabrina picked up the kids and while Hannah and Sergio were out to the mall with Idris and Killian, Nate and I went down to Moe's and picked up some dinner. I didn't get my messy room clean but there are more important things in life than a tidy bedroom.

Saturday, September 03, 2022

New Beginings and Last Hurrahs

The transitions are almost complete. Last year's little ones are settled into the "Waddler Room." I hate letting them go. They still arrive in the morning expecting to find me waiting for them. In all honesty, I feel a bit like a traitor though I haven't a say in the matter. This is how the Daycare Center works. I chanced to meet Mara and her mom coming in yesterday and was handed a card, a thank you for taking such good care of this sweet child. I wanted to cry.

Although I can't be with them all day, I will stop to say hello and wrap my arms around my girls as I can. Mara cries when she sees me. (Ugh. My heart hurts.)  She's so little. She has new teachers and loves being a big girl, but still wants Miss Martha. I could have moved up with them but along with the move would have come all the responsibilities of a full blown Toddler Room and I am not ready for that.

New Littles are filling my Infant Room. I welcomed twins on Monday. Girls. Five months old. Charlotte and Julia. On Tuesday I meet Ensley. She is eight months. Jack will come to play Wednesday and Thursday. 10 months. Leo will still come on Fridays. He just turned one. I will soon be attached to another group of little people and they will be looking for me too.

My friend Livie came for three days this past week. It didn't take long for her to cling to me when I had to leave the room. She's gone now too. She starts a new daycare center on Tuesday and her cousin Hannah will join our Waddler Room. It's hard to believe that a little less than a year ago I agreed to leave my kitchen to be in the Infant Room until "mid December" when my girls were 3, 4, 5, and 6 months old...

Oh my goodness! Where are the tissues?!

Thursday, September 01, 2022


Sometimes life smacks me upside the head when I'm not paying attention. Sometimes I'm not paying attention because I'm tired and/or distracted. Ugh. Sometimes when I am tired and/or distracted I react instead of respond. Sometimes when I react instead of respond, I dig myself in deep enough that is really tough to get out of the hole.

On Saturday, in desperate attempt to fix a physical issue, I sought some help and advice. I believed I was going to the place recommended to me by a trusted friend. I bought the line, hook, bait and sinker, and agreed to pay a rather hefty chunk of change. There were a few red flags, but paid them little heed. It wasn't until I had returned home that the mistake was realized and by then it too late. There are no "backsies" on this deal. (I feel rather foolish...) Perhaps the product I purchased will help in spite of the error. I can only hope so.

Yesterday, in desperate attempt to fix an emotional issue, I reacted. There are no "backsies" on this either. Tensions were already running high. Tired, distracted, and frustrated by the unrelated issue of Saturday's fiasco, which is not an excuse for bad behavior, I said some things that were unnecessary and probably not totally kind, even if part of me wanted them to be... 

Being a grown up is hard.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Bits and Pieces

 More bits and pieces because I always run short on time to blog...

* It's my last week with Bennett and Mara. On Monday I leave the Waddler Room and go back to my Infant Room to begin the school year with new babies. Next week will be my last with Damien (I've had him for the summer) and a final week with sweet Olivia who will return for just the last week of August before beginning a new daycare. It's rather bittersweet.

* I've been doing some soul searching recently. Digging deep into my own heart and mind, untangling experiences and emotions, and attempting to settle a bit of angst. All is well and God is good whether life turns out the way we want it to or not. Somehow, even though it seems otherwise, He is still on the Throne.

* I'm tossing vacation possibilities about in my mind... Ocean City, Maryland and Maryville, Tennessee are two hopeful future vacation destinations. One had been on my bucket list for 44 years now. I'm sure Ocean City is completely different today than it was back when I was 14, and I won't be going with the blond haired, brown eyed boy who suggested it, but it's still on my list.

* I met my friend Gail for dinner this evening. She had chicken wings and I ordered a bacon cheeseburger. I got some kind of chicken sandwich instead... They were all apologies about the mix up and gave me my original order free of charge. I must go back again sometime in the near future. It was a nice little place and I really don't mind paying for a meal.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Big Kids

Last Friday afternoon, while my little ones were asleep, my boss poked her head in my Infant Room and asked if I wouldn't mind spending Monday in the "Waddler Room" with my three babies. I agreed, thinking she was simply asking Monday. In reality, she was asking for the entire week, and maybe the next couple. 

Although moving my babies to the next classroom has been expected and inevitable, my heart hasn't had time to prepare. Monday and Tuesday found me completely overwhelmed and out of sorts. I was thrown entirely off kilter. However, my babies have found the "big kid" room to be quite alluring. There are different toys, a big kid table and chairs, and they even go outside to the playground!

It's been quite the week. I am so proud of these three. M learned to wear her shoes and walk in them. She's been sitting at the table for her meals and sleeping on a cot! She hollers and squeals with delight when we go outside to play. She is going to do great as long as she can do it without me. (It hurts my heart when I have to leave and she cries...)

B has been fabulous too. She has already spent time in this class when we have had an extra baby in the Infant Rooms. She knows the drill and is very self confident.

D has been amazing! He will be 16 months old by the end of August, but he is tiny and doesn't walk just yet. In one week's time I have seem him grow by leaps and bounds. He's pulling himself up and very slowly taking steps along the furniture, occasionally sitting in a regular chair, and wanting a sippy cup instead of a bottle. Today he scooted himself all the way down the hill to the edge of the playground where he hoisted himself over the board edge and into the wood chips. He's going to be okay.

Maybe I'll be okay too...

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Um... It's August...

So much for bring the blog back to life. It's not that nothing happens, it's just that I'm either too tired to write anything, or it's too nice out to be sitting in front of the computer. (Or I remember that I haven't finished that online course that I started... Still working, very slowly, on that Child Development Associate.) 

I've not yet had to report for Grand Jury Duty.I call the court again tomorrow evening to find out if anything has changed. Tonight I'm hoping to slide through without ever having to go in... I'm really tired now

Monday, July 18, 2022

And That's What's Goin' Down

It's one of those weeks where my heart is not at rest. I know the reason, but I haven't yet been able to completely quell the pangs of anxiety that occasionally swell in my chest. I'm not sure the arrows through my heart will ever disappear entirely, or if there is an absolute remedy for ache within. I am grateful for happy, relaxed days that now far outnumber the anxious achy ones that creep up unexpected at predictable times of the year. Better forward planning on my part could likely alleviate some of the angst. Perhaps next year I will remember...

It was a rough afternoon in the baby room. Summers days are not quite as predictable as those of the school year and our routines, if we happen to have any, get thrown into a tizzy. Scrambled routines and infants make for frazzled caregivers. I was more than ready to go home at 3:15 pm. 

Next week will find me playing a new game, which is not a game at all. It is often referred to as "civic duty." Yup, I got a jury summons. It's not the summons one typically thinks of. It is instead a grand jury summons. I'll find out what time to report when I call in next Monday. If I am seated my dates of service run through the month of August. Pretty much three days a week.

It is Hannah's birthday today. She's 27. I'm not sure how that happened because it seems I just posted about her being Sweet Sixteen (almost). Yesterday a few brothers came over and we enjoyed ice cream floats. Today we visited our favorite chiropractor in his new office, and then stopped at Wegmans to find a fancy dessert. I splurged on a cheesecake sampler. :0)