Friday, June 27, 2008

A little Melancholy

I find myself feeling a little melancholy this morning. Much of that, I'm sure, is that my neighbor Tam who's battled cancer for 13 years passed away early Wednesday morning. We really were not close - I would say more "casual acquaintances" than good friends. I'm certain that was because subconsciously I was afraid the cancer would return and she would have no options. (I'm not 100% sure why Pete (Priscilla) was different as we did become good friends.) Anyway...every time I think of Tam and her family I hurt inside. I'm certain much of the hurt is due to the fact that it brings back memories of Mike's death and the days afterwards. I am very thankful that she knew Jesus and I know I will one day see her again.

I also know that sickness and disease are part of the results of sin but I'm still tired of it.

On a different note, Stretch comes home from camp tonight. Dipstick is here again today. He and Squirrel have done fairly well together though both are frustrated with the video game machine that is wearing out. On my list for today is:
1. Clean out the refrigerator - a long overdue job that desperately needs done.
2. Laundry
3. Make grocery list and go shopping
4. I need to pick berries (wild blackberries I believe) that are ripening fast - they will need put up.
In between all that...there is still a chicken fence to finish and lawn that needs mowed. I'm writing this while having a second cup of coffee so the fridge is half finished and laundry is in progress. Tonight I hope to go to the local Old Settlers Day fair (? - not sure if that's the right description or not). B asked if I would ride the ferris wheel with him - it sounds fun and it certainly isn't as high as one I rode several years ago that terrified me.

Better go for now - coffee is almost finished and it's then time to finish up the fridge. I think from there I will work on mowing the lawn - at least the worst areas. The "new" mower I've been using since mine broke does the job much faster than mine did.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


It's been awhile since I've posted anything - life has been crazy busy. Stretch is at church camp this week - he left Sunday morning after service. We got to see him Monday afternoon - only because my sister and her family were coming for a visit. We decided that it would be best if we got Stretch on Monday afternoon for supper so they could at least see him. Final preparations for that and the trip to where he's at camp took care of Monday. Tuesday my sister, my niece and I went to "the city" to visit the craft stores. That was fun but exhausting. We came home to the blessing of some strawberries that had been given to me and fixing supper for B and Dipstick. Sister and family left this morning. Squirrel and I enjoyed a fairly quiet day mostly at home though we did run to town to go to the post office.

Speaking of Squirrel - he absolutely LOVED Jr. High camp. He arrived home Friday evening talking a mile a minute and very hyper - and equally exhausted. He had gotten slightly sunburned but did not have a reaction to it - at least not one that caused him problems at camp. His sleep schedule is still slightly off but improving.

Friday during the day I had the privilege of having the 3 year old son of a very good friend stay with me. He's known me since he was an infant but I was still a bit nervous about how it would go. He didn't cry when his mom - played trains and legos for most of the morning. After lunch - and a movie we went outside to blow bubbles. What a blast - excellent summer fun.

As far as summer projects go...I'm not making too much progress. The chicks are almost the size of full grown chickens. I have 8 tomato plants in and that will be it for my garden. However the fruit trees look good as do the blackberries that are coming on. They will be very small but look plentiful.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I drafted two random posts yesterday and never got either one of them posted. Last night I had random dreams about childhood friends that I haven't seen in 20 years or more and basically have completely lost touch with. There were other things involved in those dreams but I can't remember what they were- probably something to do with chickens and building projects!

Dipstick is here this morning - he arrived about 6:40. I'll take him home around 5:00 tonight. He and Stretch will work together on stuff. He's made at least a couple of pairs of earrings already this morning, watched a video and is now enjoying video games. We will finish Squirrel's room today, do more laundry and clean the back entryway/storage room. I may make some more jam today as well - not sure yet but need to do so. One thing I won't do is finish the chicken fence as I don't have the pole barn screws that I need. I want to make sure I finish it on a day that Dipstick is here because he's more comfortable with those than I am.

My girlfriend who is due with her baby hasn't had it yet - I'm on call for childcare for that at the moment. It's been very much on again/off again since yesterday morning. Other friends are trying to find a place to live as they have to be out of their home in less than a week.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Break Time

Break time. So I sit at the computer to read blogs and maybe ramble a bit on my own. Of course part of that is the fact that I'm having my second cup of coffee of the morning and I enjoy reading blogs while I do so. So far this morning I've spent 15 minutes in Squirrel's room, 15 in the kitchen, 15 in the pantry and 15 doing laundry. 15 minutes may not sound like much but it seems to work well for me - a large job is far less overwhelming when I know I have a timer to get as much done as I can then I leave it and come back later. (It is also easier on both boys when they are helping me to know that they only have to do it for a specified time span before they can go do something they want to do). In other rooms/areas 15 minutes is enough to finish the job then I have the satisfaction of a job completed. Sometimes I wonder if the reason we have so much attention deficit is because of so many things that are broken down into short time spans like that. Having said that...I know that I can spend longer than 15 minutes doing something I enjoy. And since I am not a particularly organized person I can only do some things for short time spans - mainly things that require deciding what to do with stuff. I am a dreadful pack rat - courtesy of moving so very many times I'm sure so that makes being organized much more difficult. The biggest challenge now is the ability to keep focused all day. I usually lose my focus around lunchtime.

B asked me last night how many chicks I had lost of the 25 new ones I got this spring. At that point only one had died and that was due to it getting too cold one night because it got out of it's box one evening. This morning Stretch told me that we have another one dead! I am very very eager for the new ones to start producing eggs - think my older layers are not laying regularly anymore as I'm only getting 2 eggs - from 5 hens - a day. I am not really looking forward to butchering day as I have vivid memories of plucking chickens as a teenager. However that is part of the purpose of this - to have some meat that I raised myself - in addition of the eggs. So we will see how things go.

Pictures on the computer are slowly getting organized - it's definitely an ongoing process. We've had a few strawberries off my plants this year. I'm getting pictures chosen for a couple of scrapbooking projects - and journaling one that needs finished up. That's kind of fun. I hope to make more jam this week - love doing that though it's hot work. Probably next month there will be wild blackberries to do. Thankfully I've had no poison ivy reactions this summer - think eating fried dandelions might have something to do with it.

Better go - coffee is finished and it's almost time to get back to work. I do enjoy these summer days when schedules are a little lighter.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Short Update

One batch of strawberry jam was made the other day with strawberries for a second batch prepped and put in the freezer. (I am so thankful to have a freezer that works) One strawberry shortcake was made and demolished with great enjoyment. I would have really liked to try my hand at making strawberry pie filling and canning it but there weren't enough this year.

I am down to cutting the last few quilt pieces out - rotary cutters are very helpful tools. I've left the two biggest pieces of purchased fabric and the shirts to the last. I hope to get those done this next week while Squirrel is at church camp.

Other than that...not too much is going on. I'm finished with my 2nd cup of coffee so had best scoot for now. We are going to B's sister for a Father's Day cookout tonight and I'm way behind on my day. Eventually I'll get pictures posted but not today.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Slow Starts

I'm getting another slow start this morning - though I've been "up" since shortly before 7:00 am. I had time for oatmeal and coffee then headed out to try to get some strawberries. Now I have 5 quarts sitting on my kitchen counter to take care of. I'm hoping for a nice strawberry shortcake and at least one batch of jam out of them. Strawberries are hard to come by this year - I pulled up to the place where I bought mine - there were 10 quarts sitting out for sale. Within a minute of when I pulled up there were 2 other customers also wanting some. The one gentleman didn't end up getting any this time.

Dipstick is here today. B dropped him off sometime before 6:40 this morning - I had set an alarm so I could be awake and still missed him. Being as I didn't sleep well last night I guess it's understandable though. The plan is for me to have Dipstick 1-2 days a week while B works. I'm not really wanting them to be back to back so we will see. I am going to send Squirrel and Dipstick outside for a bit before it gets too hot. Squirrel is finally recovering from his latest "sunburn" - he didn't look red at all but was all swollen and itchy on Sunday. We've been doing antihistamines since then. I blame myself for this one - he asked if he should wear sunscreen Saturday night to the birthday party and I figured that since it was after 5:00 pm he wouldn't need any. So now we go for sunscreen all the time - even when I don't think he needs it. Next week at church camp should be interesting for him - he'll be outside a lot. However our youth pastor - who is going along as counselor - knows the situation and has promised to keep an eye on him.

I've been sorting through stuff - papers, etc mainly and getting it put away. Don't feel like I've accomplished a huge amount since summer started but guess I will be doing baby steps. I have got the quilts started - as far as cutting out pieces. Think that when I try to work on that later today I will attempt to use the kitchen counter as it's higher and easier on my back. I'm excited about them and hope to have a lot of progress done. I've got a couple of calendars I need to make - have pictures for one pretty much together.

Guess I have rambled on long enough and it's time to get going on stuff. Laundry is doing, strawberries are waiting.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Woohooo.... School is now officially done and summer break can begin! I just got home from turning my bus in to the bus shop. The driveway is empty again and looks extremely big.

My morning started with a phone call offering bus washing services which is something I normally have to do myself. However apparently there are several people working community service hours at the shop cleaning buses. Being as I find it takes a lot of time and is somewhat stressful I was happy to accept.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer Break

1st day of summer break! I'm not sure yet that I really feel like school is out. Of course part of that is probably that I haven't got the bus cleaned out and turned in yet. Stretch and I spent close to an hour working on that this morning. The insides of the windows are cleaned and my "personal" stuff is cleared out. I had hoped to get the roof washed down and the junk that gets stuffed down into the seats cleaned out. However I found that I'm out of rubber gloves - and while I'm not usually really squeamish this is one area that I draw the line at. So we were satisfied with the progress we made and stopped. I also was able to get the chicken coop cleaned out before I figured it was time to come in for awhile. It's not too terribly hot this morning - just gray, overcast and muggy. Now the goal is to get the chicks all moved from the barn into the chicken coop so I can clean the barn out. I am still at the point that I have to physically put the chicks into the coop at night. I'm not sure how to solve that - probably will have to evict them from the barn and make sure it stays closed tight so they don't have a choice.

Squirrel is still away - he's due home sometime tomorrow afternoon. I think the first couple of days were hard on him - I haven't heard from him nearly as often since things started. He's had the chance to be at the Odyssey of the Mind World Championships
Charlie picked him up Thursday night about 11:00pm and took him with him. (Charlie is my best friend from OK's husband - she was with the team as the coach). It was very much a spur of the moment trip/opportunity that involved trying to get a hold of his teacher as he would be missing the last 2 days of school. Most of the people here that I've talked to have had no idea what Odyssey of the Mind is as there is no teams here in IN so it's been educational for me as well. Thankfully his teacher did and she said he would learn much more there then he would at school for the last couple of days. I really struggled with him leaving - he's my "baby" and this is the first time he's been that far away from me without a family member with him. I trust who he's with implicitly but at the same time I felt like he should still be wrapped in swaddling blankets in my arms. However this is a necessary part of him growing up - for both of us.

Stretch and I leave for Chicago tonight - we aren't going all the way. We will be meeting his aunt on this side of the city - having supper together. Then Stretch will go on to spend the next two days there watching his cousin while I come home. I am looking forward to the time alone - hoping to get the house cleaned so that it's just mainly maintenance for the rest of the summer. That way hopefully I will be able to work on some other major projects that have been waiting to be done. (Stretch just walked in from his run - did a PR according to his time keeping. He's dripping with sweat.)

Guess I have rambled enough for now - it's probably time for me to get off here and get some other stuff done. I have a couple of stops planned for our trip to Chicago - stuff that I either need (cat food, chicken feed) or a visit to the photo store that I wouldn't make a special trip for. That last requires some preparation as well.