Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Okay....now I feel better.

I've been looking forward to the day when these two were old enough to want to play together. They played, they shared and they bumped heads. This was taken at way past bedtime.

I put out a rubber nativity for the kids to play with. At some point baby Jesus went missing.

This is where I found him.

Mcclellan liked Grandma's chocolate pie.

Trying to encourage Riley with 'big boy pants', but he just wanted them on over his clothes. It was more fun to play with the tractors.

Mariell's first Christmas.
Modeling new red shoes from her stocking.

Verity's first Christmas. I am concerned that she may be undernourished.

Is it spring yet?

I've been sitting here exhausted and down in the dumps. The out of town kids have headed home and the house looks like we've been having a party all weekend. Which we have. They have it worse though, a long drive with 2 children under two who don't like to ride long distances. Verity can cry for over an hour without cease.

I can't think of anything to write that others might be interested to read.

Yesterday, I got the first seed catalogues for the upcoming year in the mail. I haven't had a vegetable garden for several years. First, Mike was sick and the last 3years I've been traveling for Habitat in the spring and fall. A garden would either dry up or grow to weeds.

I'm thinking of staying home this year and planting a one. Maybe trying to do a little landscape beautification. My rock garden is even starting to look pathetic. Is this what brings on New Year's resolutions?

I think it could be a good time to figure out how to use the photo editing program I bought or start using Quicken to track my finances. I've had the program for 2 years. Oh, yes, I haven't been able to sync my Palm since I got Vista. I'm told that I should join Facebook, everyone is on it. Wow, where do I start? There are so many possiblities. I have boxes of fabric for quilts and rugs, maybe I could start something there. Of course, I could finish one that I have started.

I think I need to go start a list. I accomplish more when I make lists.

I hope your Christmas was a wonderful time. I have some great pictures. When I get my thoughts sorted I'll post a few.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Must Read

I just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I read a great deal and this is one of the best I've read in a long, long time. I don't use words like delightful and poignant, but I would use them to describe this story. The setting is just after WWII. The writer wants to cover war stories in a different way than the usual. She finds those stories through a series of letters. There is humour, sadness and tales of evil.
I even made note of a couple of quotes that spoke to me. Seneca was credited with saying "Light griefs are loquacious but the great are dumb.

In response to the statement "Life goes on." the Authors say have their character, John Booker, write, "It's death that goes on....There's no end to that. But perhaps there will be an end to the sorrow of it"

This story isn't all gloom and sadness. I really didn't expect to finish it, but I found I didn't want to put it down. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Weather, Tractors and Age

Just before I got off work tonight it began to rain. It's 27 degrees outside and raining. Do you know what that portends? ICE!!!!!!! There was Christmas party tonight that I'd organized, but I made about 30 calls quickly and cancelled. I'm home and tucked in with milk & bread (staples).
If the ice builds up, we could lose electricity. I pray that doesn't happen. It'll get very cold, quickly, in my house. When my husband was alive, he would've hooked the tractor to the generator in preparation for the worst. I still have both, but have never mastered my fear of that old tractor. It's truly as old as I am. Just think a tractor that is half a century old. It doesn't have any safety features, either. Also there's a ritual you must go through to get it started. Something like: get the key down from over the door in the shop, turn on the gas, walk around it 3 times clockwise, stand on the ground operating the choke while you push the starter. Well, maybe you don't have to do the walk around thing.
It's so complicated I need to write it down. Anyway, I think I was born with a fear of getting a limb ripped off by the PTO. I just don't mess with the tractor.

Maybe I could get an auto-start standby generator? I suspect that could cost as much as a new tractor.

I guess I'll just call the assisted living center and put my name on the waiting list. I must be ready to have someone take care of me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday Snap

Please excuse the quality here. Riley just noticed the nativity at church.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Follower

I am so excited! I don't have very many followers but I noticed one on my FEEDJIT that had visited several times in the last few days. I guess they really want to see what I have to say. I must post something to keep their interest. I even mapquested to see where Blue Rapids, KS is. I found out that it's 280 miles from here. So maybe it's someone that knows me? Who could I know that lives there? I don't think that I've ever been there, myself. Today I figured out who it was. Yup! It's me, dummy. Evidently my server has moved their location. It was exciting while it lasted. Just like before the baby figures out who that is in the mirror. ;+(

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Grandma's Bag

I have a little bag that I take to church with me. It's filled with things to occupy my grandson and keep him quiet. It doesn't go home with him. It's saved for church only. When he sees it, he wants to carry it and tells everyone, "towees, towees".

I started with an insulated lunch bag.

Preferably, one that the lid will lay flat when open.

This one happens to have a magnetic? scribble board in the lid.

Then, I fill it with an assortment of things that might interest him. They have changed with his interests and abilities.

He liked this when he was smaller. It gives little fingers something to hold and they really aren't noisy. I used a springy key ring wrislet and attached an assortment of other plastic key tabs.

Stickers, a simple stencil and a pencil for little hands.

A small snack of cereal and dried fruit. Sometimes, I keep that in my purse until the sermon.

Small toys. He's into buses and airplanes, currently.

And that's my "towee" bag. His mom says less is more. So I rotate items from time to time.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mothers-in-law/ Mother-in-laws

I've been really lax in posting this last week. Tuesday my mother-in-law was in a traffic accident which had the whole family in a tizzy. She spent a couple of days in the hospital because she has some health issues. She also takes blood thinners and had some subdural bleeding problems last year. She's home now with some beautiful bruises and staples in her head. The small town hospital where she was taken only has a nurse practitioner. The accident happened around 6:30 p.m. and at 10:30 she was still strapped to the spine board and not allowed to eat. They had taken a scan and evidently they are read in Australia. Really! It took 3 hours for them to discover that it had not been received. I only know about email, faxes and phone calls. If it's important I follow up to see if it was received. How simple it that? Well, they didn't ask me, anyway.

I consider myself fortunate. My husband was a child of divorce, so I have 2 mothers-in-law. Each very different, but each an important part of our family. My kids had the advantage of an extra set of grandparents. My husband's mother remarried and had a second family. When we got married, she had a 10, 8 and 5 year old. So a few extra kids in her house were no big deal. His stepmom never had children, but she is a true grandmother to my kids and grandkids. I also had the luxury of backup sitters, when mine cancelled. Yes, we all live in the same town.

Christmas was usually at Gramps on Sunday night, Grandma's on Christmas Eve and my parents' on Christmas day. Very hectic and the kids had a car load of loot from each one. It was crazy finding a place for it all.

I had planned to post a little tutorial over the weekend, but I don't have an uncluttered place to take pictures (+;

Maybe later.

What about your mother-in-law?
I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.

Marth Washington

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Is it better to regret the things you've done or the things you haven't?

I began this blog to chronicle a trip for Habitat for Humanity RV Care-a-vanners for my family. I read about care-a-vanners a few years ago. I mentioned to my husband that it would be fun to go on a build, but he wanted to wait until he retired instead of spending his vacation time working. Sadly, he didn't get to live long enough to retire, but I went on my first build the summer after he died. I was scared to death to get in that motorhome and drive across the mountains and infamous Wolf Creek Pass to work with people I didn't know, doing work I didn't know how to do. I had never done the tank filling and dumping, the leveling, the water and electric hook-ups. All those things RV'ers do. I had to practice everything before I left home so I wouldn't embarass myself. Good thing, too. The first time I emptied the sewage tanks, I dumped them right on my foot. Fortunately, I had filled them with clean water. I now have six 2-week builds under my tool belt.

I have ample regrets for things I've done, but I want my list for the things I haven't to be a short one. I've got one thing down. I wonder what the next one will be. Any ideas?

Monday, December 1, 2008

What's for dinner?

I just spent several days over the Thanksgiving holiday with my "city" kids. For the past year or so, we made a tradition of going to an Italian restaurant while I am visiting. They know I really like the salads and the chicken dishes and the sangria isn't too bad either. The place we chose last time was so noisy and the server so over extended we vowed to find a new place. This weekend we returned to another location of our original favorite that had closed. Unfortunately that didn't really measure up, either.

Matt & Christina suggested trying Indian food, but I said I didn't really like it. Truth is, I haven't tried it. Thinking about it later, I realized that I didn't even eat pizza until I was 17 years old. I went for a college visit and was taken to a Pizza Hut by my future roomates. The only Italian I had ever eaten was spaghetti out of a box marked Kraft. Meat not included. Small rural towns 35+ years ago didn't have Pizza Huts. Eating "out" was rare. The local cafe served chicken, burgers & steaks.

I didn't eat tacos until I was well into my late twenties. A local dairy barn began serving them one evening a week. What a treat!

Maybe it's time to step it up a notch and try the Indian. Put it on your schedule for my visit next month.
Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending.

Carl Bard