Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Update

It's been quite awhile since I've taken time to post - or even write in my personal journal. The last week has been busy but overall good. Recapping will be a challenge so I'm sure I will ramble but guess that fits the name of this blog well.

The last couple of days before Christmas were spent busily baking as we had the family Christmas gathering slated to be here. We also had Jessie and her family here staying with us - our first overnight guests in our "new" house. The multiple couches were all used and I think most slept comfortably. Christmas day was full of rather mixed emotions. We had a nice breakfast - Squirrel made monkey bread and I had got an overnight egg casserole in the fridge to be baked in the morning. Both turned out well and there was leftovers. We opened gifts after breakfast - the three boys were thrilled with their new MP3 players. They spent a good part of the next couple of days figuring out how to get music on them. Then it was time to get the hams in the oven to have them ready for dinner (lunch) and get ready for company. Pretty soon most of the entire extended family - except for B's brother N and his family - descended on the house for most of the rest of the day. We did a buffet meal - ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, clementines, rolls and butter, pecan pie, fudge, cookies, a veggie plate...it really turned out delicious though I forgot to get peas and corn fixed. Oh yes - we did have corn casserole as well. After food and visiting there was more gifts to open followed by more visiting. Squirrel played carols on the piano and then there was much Wii playing. (Jessie's family had brought theirs along). I even got on the 4-wheeler and did donuts on the ice in the field outside the house (as a passenger). That was fun - unfortunately the camera died about that time so don't think I have any pictures.

I found out shortly before everyone arrived that Mike's grandma had passed away very early that morning. While I knew she had been sick it was only the night before that I'd found out that she was declining rapidly and would be gone soon. I did spend some time sitting in a quiet place with a cup of coffee - wished I could journal then but there was not the time.

Christmas Day and the day afterwards were bitterly cold - with lots of ice on roads and surfaces. Friday night temperatures finally warmed and yesterday morning snow was almost melted. We had temperatures in the 60's during the day yesterday - grey, gloomy scenes though as the sun never really came out. We had heavy rain and thunderstorms late in the day. Jessie and family left yesterday around noon and we went to attempt to move the chicken coop up here afterwards. It was quite a chore as far as I was concerned - B's skidloader forks were not quite long enough to completely lift the building. Eventually we did get it loaded onto the trailer, chained down and moved. Unloading it was not as difficult though it is still not in it's final home as the yard was far too muddy. Overnight there was a great deal of strong howling wind and the temperature has dropped 30 degrees - the ground is beginning to refreeze.

O.k...guess I've rambled enough...am attempting to take things easy today. I need to send some emails and want to get some stuff put away this afternoon. We will see what happens. I also want to attempt again to get pictures down-loaded onto this computer.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Beautiful Treachery

Today is the second day of beautiful, treacherous ice on the roads, trees, and pretty much everywhere else. School was canceled yesterday and we got an early start to our Christmas break. School was closed by 6:15 am - I got a call on a 2 hour delay at about 5:10 and they called back an hour later to cancel. I felt like we got a lot of settling done around the house - there are still a few boxes in the "great room/open hallway" area. However they are now up against the wall, boys computer is set up and working!! and we have play station set up also. We got out pictures to begin to hang up last night but both B and I were too exhausted to do it.

I did have to go out yesterday evening to take care of the chickens at the old house. The sad part was that Squirrel and I stopped at Suz's to get some food to give the remaining cats at the old house. The only problem was that I apparently set the food down in the back of her van and left it there. I was distracted by the 2 50 lb bags of potatoes she had in the back of her van - which are now residing in the back seat of my car waiting on a couple of strong guys to take to the basement.

My car now has a new ignition switch - B drilled out the old one yesterday - with the car sitting in the ice-covered driveway. Once I figured out that the key they gave us with the new switch would not work because it didn't have a computer chip in it the car worked fine with the old key.

I'd better get off here now - time to get bills paid, laundry folded and kitchen cleaned.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pushing

How fast to push a child is the question...Stretch drove to school this morning as he had to run the sound equipment for an elementary music program tonight and he was going to miss the shuttle buses. The original plan was for him to run sound then drive to praise team practice (if he got done in time) then drive home. However it's been snowing fairly heavily since 3:00 pm and snow has accumulated on the roads. I knew that he was nervous about the thought of driving home tonight but figured he could attempt it. (I was very nervous about allowing him to attempt it but know that he's got to learn sometime). Anyway...Suz decided that it would be better if he did not attempt it and took him home with her. Deep inside I feel that that was the right decision - he's demonstrated a fair bit of wisdom in knowing when he's too tired or otherwise not safe to drive so far. It's just hard to know when it's my "over-protective" mothering and when I need to push him just a bit more. Driving home from Squirrel's TaeKwonDo took us close to 40 min. Roads had not been sanded or plowed yet - not even the main east/west highway so I went fairly slow. I didn't notice as much ice under the wheels as I had earlier in the evening but visibility was very bad.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To Explain...

I had to laugh at the comments on my last post - I truly had not intended to do a 1 word post but it seemed fitting at the time.

To explain...Stretch got his driver's license on Friday evening. I would not allow him to drive to the high school for the basketball game he had to attend. However he drove himself around on Sunday - he had two Gospel Choir concerts that day to be at and it made it so much easier to allow him to drive himself to meet the bus - and then drive himself home. At the same time...it is scary to have my boy on the roads "alone" on snow-covered roads. B is having a much easier time with it - and wants him to drive more so that I and Squirrel get home after school at a much more reasonable hour then when we have to wait on Stretch. I think the compromise will be to allow him to drive to where I park my school bus and then ride from there. In the evenings he will be able to get a shuttle bus ride back to near the car to drive home from there. That way the roads he will be on are less curvy and he won't be driving as far - comfort for this mommy's heart - yet the rest of us will still get home at a more reasonable time most days.

The old house is pretty much empty. I still need to get down there and finish cleaning it - and we need to move the chickens up here. Hopefully by the end of this week that will happen. Unpacking is happening - slowly. There are still too many boxes around here that need sorted through and stuff put away. However it is coming along.

B is still not back at his old job. He has been able to work in his shop for the last week and a half - beginning to get work in there. I rather suspect that that will continue for some time.

I'd better run - must change back into work clothes and head to the grocery. We are out of milk and I have a long shopping list to purchase. I won't be home again until after afternoon route.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Driving