Thursday, March 30, 2017

At Home

Once upon a time, I was young, blonde and unwrinkled.  
However, in those days I did not have grandchildren to take bad photos of me.  
That makes middle age, gray hair and wrinkles worth it. 
My mom never liked to have photos taken of herself.  I don't think she liked the way she looked.  
I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.  
Even when you don't look through the eyes of child-love, she was very pretty.  
We need a few photos of ourselves and those we love, because the remembrance is sweet.
I'm not fond of photos taken in my house because we seem to only take them when there are extras and that means lots of people and lots of mess.  
It really isn't a mess on this day, except maybe on the floor since boys are here, but the things sitting around are favorite things, things I like to look at.  
I have a blackboard on the door, a day book by the phone, Pioneer Woman pretties on the bar.  There are books behind the easel that holds a memory book of my grandparents and near me is a puzzle tray.  Jim and I are filling the last evenings of the chilly weather puzzling. 
You cannot see the plant among the napkins, salt & pepper shakers, and daily meds on the table.
You can't see the knitting on the floor and couch with the laptop nearby.  
There is no longer, except when the boys are there, toys all over the floor and the sound of childish voices in the air.  
Those days were good days and these days are good days.
I enjoy less mess, but I'm just as busy.  

Once upon another time, about 12 years ago, Lynette belonged to a craft club and every month she got a new craft to do.  
One craft was this cute button decorated journal.  Lynette being inflicted with the same mentality that I have, and not wanting to use it for just any old thing, it was never used.  
Eventually it ended up my property and I made it into a little journal using quotes I saved from some of my favorite books.  

I love this little book and I love these quotes. 
These are just the first three pages.
I chose them because they express my thought, ideas and feelings. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Rose Among Thorns

Last week I forgot to download photos from the birthday dinner last Sunday so I'm putting a few of them in this week.  It is so cute to see those boys playing with cousin Paislee.  
She is one of those kids who is "go, go, go".  She crawls like nobody's business, pulls herself up onto furniture and walks behind this old walker that I got second hand and all my kids and grandkids have used.  

Last weekend we went to my folks for my birthday.  We have made a tradition out of going "home" for my birthday.  Mom makes corned beef and cabbage and strawberry pie which is still one of my favorite meals even with my taste and smell gone.
There is a greenhouse about 3 blocks away from my folks and we went to look.  Mom usually buys a few things for my birthday and I got some begonias and a purslane which is a funny plant that looks an awful lot like the weeds that grow all over the driveway.  It has very pretty flowers.  

This week was spring break so I didn't go look after boys this week.  I found two gallon bags of grapes in the freezer that I didn't know were in there and made grape jam the old fashioned way, without pectin and a lot of boiling.  It tastes different, Jim says, but I wanted something with more fruit than sugar.  
I've been slowly "deep cleaning".  This week was our bedroom and it took me three days.  That included taking down the curtains and having Jim move the bed so I could dust and vacuum behind it.  I used to move the bed and all the other furniture around, but no more.  I feel like I'm still getting a workout when I have to lay down to vacuum under the bed.  I was annoyed after I was all done that I forgot the ceiling fan and had to go back and dust it.  I'm having a hard time with the sorting the clothes part. I like to keep everything because I never know when I can use it again.  It would be easier if I didn't ever go back to what I've kept, but I do.  So, I keep it all.  

I started in the office the end of this week and finished the toy closet.  That was a job.  That took me two days because .... something .... I don't remember .... got in the way.  Maybe it was birthday lunch.  I had a lovely dear friend take me out to Perkins and I ate pancakes and she had salad.  
I'm forgoing bedtime snacks these days.  It may have something to do with my meal choices.  
I enjoy sorting all the toys, making sure they are clean and all the pieces of all the things are together.  Of course, once grand children descend on us again, it will be just as big a mess as ever.  

Friday, Lynette and I went to the first fitting for her wedding dress.  It was even more beautiful than I remembered.  It was a drizzly, cloudy day and we had a lovely time.  We went out to lunch and then shopping for "mother of the bride" clothes.  When it was time to pay, I discovered my wallet was gone.  After some panicking and frantic calling, I found it where we had lunch.  After all that hullabaloo, I forgot to get the information my tax man asked for that afternoon.  Sigh.  

I just remembered what held me up on the toy closet cleaning.  
Wedding Plans.

One of the nicest things of this weekend was an "old friends visit".  Not that we are so old, but we have been friends for over 30 years.  That's a long time. 

Now, a new week has started and the first thing that will be done tomorrow, (after breakfast at 6:30) will be finding tax information and taking it to the CPA on a day when I am supposed to be at home and not running around town.

Full moon on the 12th.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Energy Strike

Once upon a time I had lots of energy and didn't use it.  
Now, I have more desire and less energy.  
It can be very frustrating to work hard and then face near collapse when done.  
Monday I spent most of the morning in the office because I got a letter from the government saying a form needed to be completed correctly right now, or face serious consequences.  After looking all over the form to see what was wrong I called.  I then spent 45 minutes on hold, listening to "you are caller number 44" all they way down to caller number 2 and my turn.  The very nice guy on the other end of the line was confused by my difficulty and as I'm looking on the form to see where I should possibly be, I found it!  Right there in front of me.  I apologized for taking his time and was really glad I'll never see or talk to him again.  
The next day, which was snowy and cold and I had to get out in it to take boys to and from school, I came home at the usual time to run errands and stop in at knitting.  I also stopped at the post office and made a complete fool of myself there and I'm not even going to tell about it and since my family doesn't read my blog I will never have to. HA.
On Wednesday I brought the stuff to make crescent roll 'pigs in a blanket' for Barry and Christian for lunch. Barry was the only one interested in doing any rolling so he rolled them up and we baked them.  Christian ate most of his and on the last bite, said, "I don't like the bread stuff", took it off and ate it.  Barry, on the other hand, had only taken a few bites, said, "I don't like the bread stuff,"  and didn't eat anymore and wanted candy.  I suggested he take off the bread and eat it up, which he not so willingly did.  
I'm always tired on Wednesdays, so I sat for an hour then rushed around the next hour, tidying up and vacuuming and warming up leftovers.  
Now, we are coming to the aggravating part.  I said earlier that I want to start cleaning out closets, and I've done the entry/coat closet.  M
onday,  I started on the bathroom and finished the closet in there, washed a load of clothes.  Yesterday, I cleaned out and sorted through the things in the vanity, tossing several things, sorting and finding new homes for some things and was so ridiculously tired that night, I was disgusted. I felt like I didn't do so much as to warrant complete bodily failure.
Now, I am confused, I know yesterday I melted all my craft soap leftover from when Lynette was into that, about 10 years ago, made sugar scrub and got nearly everything ready to make bathbombs (I had to buy one thing), and made pumpkin pudding.  Did I do the bathroom in the morning? I don't remember. I must have and then it is no wonder I felt to tired that evening.  
Of course, as soon as I was ready to sit down and rest, I was deluged with an avalanche of grandsons and daughters who made lots of noise with games and printers and talk and wanting to remove the soap from the molds and feel it and wrap it and take it home.
I collapsed when they left and I have no idea what we had for supper.  
Oh, yes, Jim had hamburgers. He made them.  I made microwave potatoes.  I had mine with cheese sauce; he had his with ketchup.  
Then I went to bed early.  

Photos of the week.  

Paislee can do this, I saw it with my own eyes.

Oh, we also had a 'March Birthdays' dinner Sunday evening.  
Nice to have everyone together again. 

I love cute little shoes!

My mouse has given up the ghost.  It's no go even with a battery change.  I am tired of continually buying them.  I belong to an age where things last a LONG time.  I'm not really one with the tech age.
I use a mouse because this computer is not a touch screen, I continually sweep over the mouse pad with my thumbs when it is one and that messes everything up, and it is a lot easier to edit blogs and other writing with a mouse.  

I already went shopping today.  Grrrr!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Windy Days

I didn't walk today, it was cold.
  I didn't sit down much the first part of today except in the doctor's office where Jim had his first punch biopsy to see if that funny changing spot on his arm is cancerous.  We have been expecting this, Jim has all the risk factors.  Next week we will know if it is to be  frozen off (pre-cancerous) or cut out (the real deal).

We had company last week. So, did Lynette. Here are part of her loyal clan, the kind of friends that were friends before they were born.  

It was ridiculously windy Monday and Tuesday of this week.  We have been extremely spoiled these last few years.  When the kids were young and I hung clothes out on the line all summer I would have to keep track of the time.  Left out too long and underwear might end up over at the neighbors.  I like a good stiff wind to dry clothes.  They get dry and wrinkle free in a hurry.  We haven't had much of that kind of wind in those years.  I used to tell people from other places that we didn't think a wind was very much until 25 mph.  Anything else was normal.  
Monday we were having winds of 30 mph with gusts of 50.  Any loose twigs and branches came down, trash containers went to visit the neighbors, and I dried three loads of clothes on the clothesline.  
Monday was also one of those days to get a boatload of office work done, and a whole bunch of other things that I can't remember now because even though I decided if I took notes to remember what I did each day this week, I only wrote down that we had wind and I hung out clothes.
For Tuesday, I wrote down that the boys played with purple playdough that I made, oh, I guess I did THAT on Monday!  
I didn't write down any notes for the rest of the week, but I don't have any trouble remembering what I did on Wednesday.  It was 'parents eat lunch with your kid' day at school and since Lorene was at school herself, it was 'gramma eat with ALL the grandkids at school', because Jim was working and forgot to think about taking the time off.  
Zane wanting to be exceedingly helpful took Christian with him and Barry having done this a couple weeks ago, felt perfectly capable on his own.  That was a good thing because while I was smart enough to leave my purse behind, I had Barry's backpack and winter coat to look after as well as Christian's tray when Zane got busy.  This time I remembered to pay in the line.  The last time I had to go chase the lunch lady down after we were ready to go home.  
All was well at first at the table.  Zane told everyone how to eat, punched the straws in their bags of milk and all three proceeded to spend more time looking at everyone else in the room instead of eating.  Barry drank his milk. Christian drank most of his. Then everyone decided they needed to go to the bathroom. I ate lunch and tried to get the others to eat theirs.  Zane gobbled a few bites, but spent most of his time getting up and down off his chair and talking to his classmate.  Suddenly, the room was emptying, another class was coming in, and not much food was gone.  Zane grabbed two trays and off he went leaving me to stagger after him with two trays, and the backpack.  By this time Zane had whisked Christian off to the playground and Barry and I followed. They played there until recess was over and we all went home, the boys reluctantly, me thankfully, ready to corral the boys I had left in four walls.  
They did go outside later, but they saw a bee and came back in.  
I remember another thing that happened on Tuesday.  I spilled a mug of water on this laptop.  I turned it over quickly to pour as much out as I could while Jim took out the battery.  Then I let it sit on the heat register for 24 hours and fearfully put the battery back in on Thursday and I was back in business.  Of course, I spent a good share of time before that thinking about a plan in case it didn't start up again.  
So, here we are to today.  Errands are done, I had a glimpse of the boys when Lorene stopped in, (no school today), there are clothes in the dryer, photos of the day are organized, and supper is planned.  
I need to go get started on it. 

Paislee--6 mos
by Lynette 

View of a foggy day.   

Saturday, March 4, 2017

There Comes a Time

When you have kids, you're in it for life.  
There isn't any of ... "my kids are 18 now and out of the house, I'm done."
 Nope, you're in it for the long haul. You celebrate their adult milestones just as much as their childhood ones.  
They have problems and worries; they get married; they have kids.  
When I first met one of my friends. Her children were all over 18 and "taking care of themselves".
I made the foolish comment (I didn't know how foolish at the time), something to the effect that her worries were over.
She laughed. I was afraid we'd never get her off the floor,

We went to a wrestling meet last night.  I would like to say it was the first I've ever been to, but I have a vague memory of going to one several years ago, I'm assuming a nephew was involved.  
I'm not a huge fan of wrestling, but when grandkids are involved, we go.
I reminded me a bit of all those taekwondo tournaments we went to back in the day.  
However, Lynette reminded me that they were a lot smaller and much less noisy. 
This was a meet for kids age Pre-K through 8th grade, so there were a lot of contestants and a lot of parents and a lot of noise.  I read in a novel sometime about an event that sounded like "a parrot house in the zoo".  This was something like that. 
The Pre-K events were not scored.  Each contestant had three matches that consisted of a minute each.  They all received a medal.

Zane 56#  Barry 38#

The second graders had three matches of 2 minute rounds.  Barry is more into this wrestling business than Zane is; he doesn't have the skill to wrestle effectively.  None of them do at that age.  
This time after two low point rounds, he rallied and went after his opponent that made for a very exciting match as we watched the points go up.  



All this time Christian was wallering around on us when he wasn't trying to take pictures on my phone or camera. It is rather amazing to me how soon a three year old can figure out how to take not just photos, but videos on either device. 

We were plunged back into early spring temperatures this week, instead of those lovely 70s last week. You know, 40s with right at freezing lows.
And snow.
I didn't want to walk around outside, but the boys spent one half hour outside playing. I couldn't persuade them to wear gloves, but in a half a minute they were back in putting them on. They had a nice time until someone got carried away and Christian came in crying with snow in the neck of his hoodie. A change of clothes and hot cocoa soon improved everyone's mood.

Barry loves to drink my ensure, but I don't let him very often, since it is an expensive drink.  He asks nearly every time he sees me, so this time I told him it was expensive and meant to be a treat.  Zane asked how much and I told him $1.50.
So, he went to his piggy bank and gave me a dollar.  He encouraged Barry to go get 50 cents, and he did.  So, he's getting his ensure, and I'm going to figure out a way to give them their money back. 

I play about 42 games of UNO in the day and a half I'm looking after those boys.  That isn't much of an exaggeration.  I usually bring playdough, but they've been tried of it lately so I brought my pattern blocks.  I had a wonderful time with them, but they may be a bit fiddly for this age and time. 

Christian made sandwiches. 

My efforts.  

The only interest Barry had in them was to mess up mine. 

Monday last week, we went up to check out Lorene's toilet because it was leaking.  Zane called a few days before to explain the problem, so he as well as all the other boys were interested in the project. 

After the toilet fixing we played a game of UNO, all 7 of us.  I was totally impressed with the skill, interest and sportsmanship of those boys.  

I have finished quilting on this quilt for the season. I have all the "Sunbonnet Sue" blocks quilted around and the filler blocks minimally done.  
This poor quilt is rather badly put together.  The corners don't match, some of the filler blocks are too big for the space so there is puckering, the girls aren't spaced on the blocks the same. Some have small feet, some crowd the bottom, the parasols aren't the same distance from the bonnet.  Either the person appliqueing didn't care or several people made blocks.  
The fabrics are pretty and when it is all done, I think most people will look at that instead of the faults.  I haven't quilted anything for decades, and never anything this big, so this makes a good learning project for me.  

Ideally it should have been taken all apart and redone, but thinking about it gave me so much anxiety, that I'm just going at it as is. 

These are some of my favorites. 

Now, it is time to start on wedding planning, in which deep cleaning the house is a part.  At least until yard cleaning is a priority.