Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 14

For today I'm thankful for my husband who is working so hard to make his business a success.  He is in the shop from 8-5 pretty much daily as well as on Saturdays.  He tends to often get the difficult jobs - doing engine swaps on fire trucks, working on a 1968 truck...I'm thankful for him.

Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days of Thanks - Day 11 & 12

I missed a few days.  Just going to go back and do yesterday's and today's.  Trying to go back any further is just stressful.

So...for Day 11 - Veteran's Day.  I am thankful for all the veterans who sacrificed to allow me the many freedoms I have in this country. 

Day 12 - A nice warm home when the weather outside is frightful.  :)  We had snow this morning - mixed with rain and sleet.  It stuck for a short time.  The sun came out this afternoon but it didn't warm up much. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 8

Today I am thankful for....a warm wood furnace even though it currently has no fire going.  That is being worked on as we speak.  (or as I write).  I am thankful for a nice home and plenty of food.  And I am thankful for healthy strong boys that can do much of the heavy chores around here.


On a different note - today ended up being another rather crazy busy day.  Did bus route this morning where I dealt with a couple behavior issues.  Got to take a short nap when I got home, balanced the checkbook, took care of my chickens, did a parts run and a little shopping, did bus route, had a meeting with someone I'm sort-of discipling, ordered food, picked up boys and finally got home about 7:30.  Makes for a long day but thankfully today I was not overly stressed about it.  This in spite of the "surprise" I found in the chicken coop today.  Unfortunately a possum decided that would be a nice warm dry place to hang out last night and today.  No chickens were harmed and I did have one egg so that was good.  (Picture may have to come tomorrow).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 7

Today I am thankful that the election is over.  Even more so I'm thankful that God is still in control and I know he still has a plan.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving - Days 5 & 6

Well I rather hope this still counts - even if I'm not posting daily I should still end up with 30 thankful things.  Of course that won't cover all in my life to be thankful for but hopefully it will put me in an attitude of thankfulness.

For Day 5 - I am thankful for daylight in the mornings when I take kids to school.  It makes bus route so much easier when it is light outside.  Even though I know where all my stops are it is difficult to see them in the pitch black - and even worse when it is raining.  So...much as I dislike daylight savings time I really really appreciate the daylight in the early morning hours.  Actually....I've always liked early morning daylight.  I remember way back when I was little - like 4th grade and we lived in Ethiopia we lived outside a little village on a mission compound.  The house was tiny - only had 2 bedrooms and no indoor choo.  I originally slept on a cot in the living room - the windows faced east.  I remember waking up early when the sun came up shining in - usually being the first or maybe the second one awake after Dad.  That first peek of daylight.  Makes me think of the Scripture that says "His mercies are new every morning". 

For Day 6 - I am thankful for the freedom we have in this country.  Today we have the freedom and the privilege to vote for the people of our choice to govern.  They are not perfect people by any stretch of the imagination and I won't agree with many of their decisions.  But in this country we have freedoms that many many people in the world do not enjoy.  And for that I am thankful. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving - Days 3 & 4

I didn't post yesterday - it turned into a crazy busy day.   So...for yesterday (Day 3) I'm thankful for a wonderful visit with my son Stretch.  He came home for the weekend - spent Friday evening with friends.  Saturday morning we went to breakfast and spent about 2 hours just talking together catching up.  It was so nice to have that time.  After that he indulged me and walked through a craft show with me. 
(Not a great picture but it shows two of my boys having fun together).

For today (Day 4) - I'm thankful for a store employee who opened the door of the local hardware store for my husband and Dipstick so they could purchase me a new kitchen faucet.  I am also thankful that they installed the faucet for me so I can have my kitchen back in working order.  Having the faucet fall apart in my hand after turning it on is not conducive to keeping a clean working kitchen. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thanks - Day 2

Today I am thankful for the sunshine that we had.  It was uplifting after so many days of rain.  The clouds are cool sometimes - the different shades of grey.  But sunshine is better.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Going to try to do 30 days of thanksgiving.  Don't promise to have long posts though some may be.  Tonight as it's late and I'm beat it will be very short.

Today I'm thankful for safety on the roads.  I spent most of the day out and about - getting my bus serviced, bus route, taking Squirrel in to have his foot looked at, Grief Group tonight with Dipstick.  All added up to a LOT of driving - and plenty of traffic.  Thankfully I witnessed no accidents and were not involved in any.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Today is a cold, blustery, grey day - we've had rain, sleet and snow coming down.  The snow will not stick of course but the flakes were there in the air.  I've not accomplished a huge amount in getting the house reclaimed.  However I'm satisfying myself with baby steps at this point.  Goal for today is to get the kitchen cleaned before bed (waiting on the boys to unload the dishwasher after school).  It is improved from what it was first thing this morning but not great.  I started working on clearing off our second table for Thanksgiving.  When we bought a new table I wanted some way to expand so we could seat more than 6 around it.  Since we couldn't find one that was reasonable that we both liked we purchased 2 identical smaller tables that can be put together in a couple different ways to hold plenty of people.  I doubt we will do a sit-down meal but I know we will want both tables available since Thanksgiving is here this year.  Having said that...the thought of hosting can be anxiety causing for me - I'm trying really hard not to fret over it.  I won't have to cook everything - we will do the turkey.  Sides and desserts will mostly be brought.  The boys will likely make cookies as well.  I have not thought beyond that.  Really would like to get back to setting out a page and having people write down things they are thankful for.  Makes it really nice to go back and read later.

Just realized what time it is - guess I'd better stop and get ready for work.  Got to go tend the chickens and get cleaned up for route. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Still Here...

Beautiful sunny breezy day today.  B has the overhead doors on the shop opened - that is a good thing as I'm in the office again today.  So thankful for windows and doors that let the light in.  I am writing this while waiting on a business call.

I've not written anything of note in several months.  A small part of that is the fact that I'm busy - back to school, sports events, bus driving...the list goes on.  A much larger part is that I fell into a deep black hole of depression over the last 6-8 weeks.  Even a bright sunny day like today could not lift my spirits much.  It took all my energy to function at basic level - get bus route done, kids to where they needed to be and the most minimal housekeeping and cooking accomplished.  I drank far too much coffee and ate too many sweets and packed on the pounds.  I can't explain exactly all the things that triggered the increased depression - shorter days, a boy leaving his teen years and renewed grief were definitely part of it but probably not all.  I finally realized something had to give the day I teared up on my morning route when I could not figure out which child was causing all the commotion in the back of the bus.  When another, younger child said "she's crying" in wonder the tears spilled over.  Thankfully I was able to get into the doctor the next day for an appointment.  That was a week ago today. He diagnosed me with a sinus infection, depression and anxiety - doubled the depression meds I was already on, gave me something for anxiety and an antibiotic for the infection.  By Monday I was beginning to see a difference in how I felt emotionally.  I've noticed I don't normally "need" as much coffee as I was drinking before - I definitely eat less sweets (and crave less).  I'm not napping as much as I was - still do occasionally but no longer long daily naps and I'm slowly beginning to reclaim my house.  Additionally B has noticed - that is huge.  The anxiety is definitely still there at times - I feel my face begin to tingle when it gets bad.  But unless it's really really necessary I'm avoiding those meds and able to deal with it other ways. 

Fall sports are over - that frees up Squirrel some.  He is still training to run a half marathon in early November so is still running alot.  He is also involved in Gospel Choir and will be helping with the fall play.

Dipstick is still enjoying attending Squirrel's school district though he is not enjoying school.  We still do Grief Group twice a month and he is getting involved in archery. 

Stretch is pretty much gone from the house.  He is enjoying his 2nd year of college - this time with no broken bones.  However he does have an extremely heavy course load this fall - he's found that rather stressful.  He has a serious girlfriend and an on-campus job, both of which also keep him busy.

That's probably enough of an update for now. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

I'm thinking the seasons are definitely changing.  It's dark out at 8:30 pm and temperatures are below 68 degrees.     I'm not sure that I'm ready for winter to come early but I suspect that it won't matter whether I"m ready or not. 

Life has been crazy busy - I will catch up in another post.  For's enough that I'm writing again

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Severe Storm

Chairs in the woods
Under another severe thunderstorm warning but so far it looks like just wind.  Unfortunately we need more rain and less wind.  Friday we had a severe storm move through - lots of swirling wind, heavy rain, power outages...Many people had property damage - roofs peeled up, siding off, trees down - some on vehicles, power lines down.  In all actuality we were very blessed.  We had an empty 55 gallon steel drum (the kind we used to pack in for Africa) blow from the northwest corner of the house the full length of the house and across the road into the woods.  We also had a couple of our porch chairs (plastic) in the woods, plenty of smaller branches down, grills and wooden bench blown over.  But again nothing compared to what others had.  Some people are expected to be out of power until as late as Wednesday. 
Overturned grill

As I've been typing this the wind has already died down - birds are back out and we didn't get any rain. 

Suz and I drove down Friday evening to pick up the boys from church camp - they went and 2 girls went.  We had a good time going to get them - the rearview mirror fell off the van when I went to adjust it to drive.  For a school bus driver not having a rearview mirror was interesting to say the least - and it certainly made for a lot of laughter.  It was neat to listen to the boys on the way back and get their "debriefing" in the van.  They both did have a lot of fun - weren't together the entire time so that was good.  Fridays storms hit them as well - they were all gathered in one building for awhile.  I think one of the highlights was getting to help clean up afterwards - Squirrel was put "in charge" of one group that was stacking wood.  Dipstick was working elsewhere.
Overturned flower pot and grill

I spent the week mainly doing parts runs.  L and I walked a couple times and I did spend some extra time with Suz.  B and I enjoyed the quiet evenings though he worked late a couple nights.  One night we went to the local festival to hear a live band.  That was fun.  I managed to scan a few rolls of negatives into the computer and did make a top for a lap quilt.  Going to take that to Mom hopefully. I wasn't going for perfection - just completion.  I bought some ribbon to use as the binding but it's too dark a red.  So not sure what I will do now.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Long week

Been a long week - this will be a rambling post.  We still need rain desperately - it is cloudy and cooler tonight.  But so far not a drop up here.  The grass is brown and crunchy - crops are shriveling in the field.  We had some rain over the weekend - seemed like the corn grew inches.  But we need more - the corn leaves are rolled up again.  My zuchinni does have a tiny baby on it - hoping it survives.

I said it's been a long week - Monday morning early Mom K called us to come help her get Dad back to bed.  (Early like 4 am).  We went and got home about an hour later.  90 minutes later she called again - this time to have help getting him up and into the ER.  Ended up with Dad K getting admitted - he was just released today.  He had an infection and broke his nose during the 2nd fall.  That short night took a couple days to recover from.  I will never regret going - to help anyone.  But between the lack of sleep and the memories it brought 

Summer is flying by.  Guess the boys will be going to church camp next week.  Squirrel has done alot of work to make that happen - we have no counselors going from our church so it wasn't being advertised.  He checked into it and began making arrangements for those who wanted to go to go with another church.  But now that we are down to the last "minute" he's somewhat ambivalent.  There is no one going from our school and no one that he is close to from church. So it will be an opportunity for him to make new friends.  And he usually loves it.  Dipstick will be going also giving B and I some uninterrupted time together - after work hours at least. 

After church camp comes the 4H fair followed by a trip to Ontario to see my folks.  After that it seems like school will be starting again already. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

If you look closely you can see a woodpecker in the crook of the tree

 My dreams of having a yard that is attractive to birds and butterflies are coming true.  I have more birds this year then I've ever had - at least 3 different varieties of woodpeckers, goldfinches, blue jays, a cardinal pair, at least one bluebird, hummingbirds, doves, tufted titmouse (mice?)...there are probably others that I can't think of.  Unfortunately I am also having issues with raccoons.  They've been into my chickens - have had a couple as a midnight snack.  Now they are coming up and messing with my birdfeeders - that is a new issue with me.  Thankfully Dipstick is willing to set traps.  So far he's caught two coons and at least two cats - the cats are freed with the hope they've learned their lesson.  Last night the coon tripped the trap and moved it but was not caught in it.  Dipstick will need to weight it down tonight.
Goldfinch on feeder outside window
While I've got both annuals and perennials growing I still have work to do.  My "flower ring" is slowly becoming more full - added some columbine to it this year.  My blanket flowers are back and blooming some, coneflowers are up, pinkish chrysthanamum is up and blooming, white shasta daisy is blooming.  I've added some other annuals - as well as have a 3 ft area that is currently covered in mulch and cardboard.  Oh yes...forgot the salvia.  There is still plenty of weeds to pull throughout this area.  (No picture of the flower ring this time)

The coneflowers are up in the flowerbeds as are the black-eyed susans.  Both are just beginning to come into bloom. Those are slow due to lack of rain.  Zinnias, snapdragons and moss roses are also blooming.  My brake drum flowerpots are filled with blooming annuals. 
This is just one corner of one raised bed.  Irises are in the background here

It is very very dry this year - crops are stunted.  B said this evening that he was glad we did not get a full garden put in.  When I water I use 10-15 gallon milk jugs as we don't have a hose that works.  Therefore if it's not a new planting or in a pot it does not get watered often. 

Tomatoes in the background, zuchinni in the front

I did do something different with my tomato plants - I'm excited to see how they turn out.  So far I'm really happy with it.  S was studying online and find something called a "tomato ring" or a "Japanese tomato ring".  Basically it's tomatoes grown off the ground in a ring that is filled with soil and compost.  I have 6 tomato plants in mine and while I don't have any fruit on them yet they are growing well.  Next year I will put cardboard around the bottom of the ring so that the soil stays in. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wow...not sure I'm going to love this new layout.  Seems like a lot of blank space. goes for another long overdue update.

School has been out almost a week now and already time seems to be flying by.  Last Friday Squirrel and I finished cleaning my bus and got it turned in.  Usually I wait til the absolute last minute to get it done.  Saturday B, Dipstick and I went to a large swap meet that only happens 3x a year and only during the spring/summer.  We left without too many purchases but I think we all enjoyed it.  Then B and I went on a date that evening - went to Sears to look at tools.  I usually enjoy any dates we go on - even looking at tools. We did the tools and then went to a bookstore to look.  As we were heading back to the car to go find supper and maybe a movie I realized we had a flat.  B didn't believe me until we got closer to the car but I was correct.  He told me later he was proud of me for spotting it.  Anyway...we drove the car over to the car repair place to have it fixed.  Instead we ended up with 2 new tires.  All I could do was laugh about it...some date night!  We had supper and then headed home as we were both pretty tired.  Sunday was a day I won't talk about - suffice it to say Dipstick got himself into some trouble.  Monday I walked in the morning with my friend L while Squirrel ran.  Once home I got to spend the day working on my Bible study lessons and starting to clean and organize my bedroom (something that gets thoroughly ignored the rest of the year!).  Tuesday I ended up being gone most of the day - Bible Study in the morning and grocery shopping after that.  I picked Squirrel up from where he was working and he made the choice to go home and help B split a tractor instead of going to get himself an ankle brace and a new pair of running shoes.  Today was another day of running with chai (tea) with S, a massage and a couple of hours of parts runs.  Walked again - think we are up to close to 3 miles. 

The picture below is of the strangest "dandelion" I've ever seen.  The seed head was huge - at least twice the size of a normal dandelion while the flower is about the same size but shaped more like a daisy.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012's cold out this morning. The wood furnace is going full force while the wind is blowing outside. We are under a "hard freeze warning" for tonight. While I've been sort-of hoping we get enough of a freeze to kill off the bugs we have already out I'm wondering how the fruit trees that are blooming will fare and trying to decide which flowers, if any I need to cover. I've mainly put perennials in as I'm not fond of spending loads and loads of money on things that don't come back so most will likely survive. However there are a couple of lilies that I think I will cover lightly...and my rhubarb possibly.

Yesterday morning was gorgeous - all shades of red and pink as the sun come up as a glowing red orb. It was all set against dark dark grey clouds. I really wished I had a camera on bus route.

Speaking of bus route - hard to believe that yesterday was our first day back from spring break. The week did indeed go by very fast. I never did get the vacuum sweeper working correctly. (Good thing we don't have carpet anywhere except upstairs!) That still needs to go out to the shop to be looked at. I did get my desk cleaned off to a workable spot. Still need to take a picture of that. I spent some time working on albums for Stretch and Squirrel. Wednesday I went for breakfast with B's mom after which we visited some garden nurseries. I did not find any affordable forsythia to plant in the yard. However I did find a new plant tower thingy with hooks and two rings that will hold hanging plants. I'm quite excited about that though I've not got it put together yet. I used to have a spring-loaded tension pole that held inside plants. The spring finally died and I've never been able to replace the pole. Since that time my plants have been on stands - they just don't do as well that way for me. And I'm hesitant to ask B to install ceiling hooks. Anyway...we got home and B took the afternoon off. We went north to an amish town - went into one shop that was excessively expensive for most things but I thoroughly enjoyed it. B wanted to look at windmills but he forgot while we were there. From there we drove to another town about an hour away - maybe a little more - to visit "The Olde Bag Factory". It used to make feed sacks. Turned out to be a major disappointment overall as it no longer makes feed sacks and the little stores in it were decidedly uninteresting as well as mostly closed. I was expecting crafty stuff and there was very little of that. (It was supposed to be a major "tourist" attraction when one comes to this state). AS a result of that trip, B and I will make a list of things he wants to do when he takes a day off - drag races, tractor shows, etc and I will do research to find dates and locations. That way we have options that are not totally spur of the moment and usually end up disappointing for at least one of us. We did have a nice time together though. Stretch came home that evening - that was the end of our "no kid" time.

Friday morning Squirrel got in about 8:30. He was a couple hours earlier than anticipated. However we and 2 others kids that went on his trip went and had breakfast in town and did some shopping before we came home. I enjoyed the breakfast as it gave me a chance to hear how the trip went in a relaxed setting. WE did some shopping before we came home. Squirrel had managed to not get sunburnt the entire trip - that was awesome. However that afternoon he mowed our yard - it was cool and windy and not overly sunny. He didn't even think to put sunscreen on - by that evening he was looking a little pink and was itchy. He ended up with a mild case of sun poisoning over the weekend - just on his face. We joke about that a bit but he will no longer mow the lawn or do other outside work without sunscreen on his face. (He is a true son of his mother in this area. I used to burn on my face even on shady days).

Saturday B and I drove back to Chicago to pick up Dipstick from the airport. That trip went smoother (more smoothly) then the trip to drop him off. We did not get majorly lost even though we didn't take the same route to the airport. I had my first experience on the skyway - and will never do that again. Even though I got my driver's lisence in that area I do not enjoy driving in that traffic. So thankful to live in the country.

One more thing - self-cleaning ovens really really smoke when one cleans them! Especially when it's not been done in a while. And trying to open the door in the middle of the clean cycle usually results in a repair call!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 1 - No kids

This week is going to fly by I think. B and I got home about midnight last night from taking Dipstick to catch his plane. The day would have been slightly shorter (and we would have been able to attend church) if I had remembered that there was a time change involved. However we were halfway to Chicago when I remembered it. So we had a good laugh and continued on. We spent some of that time checking out the giant camping supply store that I've passed several times - complete with stuffed (is that the right word?) animals from all continents. Think B enjoyed looking at the African animals which of course were my favorites. Then more of it was spent getting slightly lost. We still don't know if we read the computer generated directions wrong or if they were indeed wrong. Anyway...we had a nice drive through the countryside off the freeways. We did eventually make the airport, get the car parked and get Dipstick on the plane. B was able to go through security with him, get him fed and watch him board. Of course I had left my book in the car so ended up going to purchase a magazine to read while I waited. I understand all the security issues but it sure would be nice if they actually had more shops and nicer places to sit if one has to wait there.

Today I actually spent all day at home - can't remember the last time that's happened. I have finished Dipstick's closet except for the vacuuming. Went to do that and found that the sweeper needed some work. So I will finish that up completely tomorrow morning. I've also started washing the mountain of blankets we found up there and folded all the laundry that had been done previously. Kitchen got wiped down and dishwasher ran. I spent a couple hours working in my craft corner in our bedroom - made noticeable progress there. There's still a couple more hours work to do though. And I still need to figure out a good way to store/organize my beads. I function much better when I can see my stuff and they are out of sight mostly at the moment. In my dream craft space I have a work area for each craft - so there's a sewing area, a beading area and a scrapbooking area at the very least. I spent time outside clearing out my flower-beds - only to hear that a freeze is possible the end of the week.

Tomorrow it's more cleaning, paperwork and maybe a run to town. Not sure I really want to do that...maybe that can wait until breakfast with Mom K on Wednesday. The pile of garage sale stuff in the dining room is getting larger and I have a few books I want to add to that stack.

B is waiting for the computer and I need to finish getting supper put away and spend some quiet time.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Long Overdue Update

I've wanted to blog for awhile and have just not taken the time to do so. Today however is mainly a quiet day at home. No checks so can't pay bills yet (especially as the office computer is in use) and B and Dipstick are gone for the afternoon. Laundry is running, the TV is going and there is mountains of folded dry laundry around. It will get put away but I'm waiting until Squirrel is done packing for his trip this spring break with Campus Life. He leaves this evening. Tomorrow Dipstick leaves for TX to visit his sister. It will be his first time flying and he will fly alone. We will drive him to a major airport about 3 hours west of here. He will likely have to use his passport as a picture id since his state issued id has not arrived yet (and the mail has run today). I need to call the airline and double check that though. Possibly he could use something easier to replace.

I had intended on taking Dipstick to get his id this past Tuesday when the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles)was open late. However due to Squirrel's accident Monday night I was at the doctor's office with him again Tuesday. B worked late so he was unable to take him either. I had forgotten however that one could no longer walk into the BMV and walk out with an ID or Driver's License. So...we will see what happens.

Squirrel's accident...ended up being relatively minor. He was out running Monday afternoon like he does more often than not. He looked both ways and went to cross a main state highway. Unfortunately he missed seeing a car until it was too late. The car ran over his foot. But it required an ER visit, an ambulance waiting with him until I was able to get there and plenty of stress. My boss radioed me and asked when I got done with bus route and if I was able to come down to the town where the high school is. I said "yes..." with a great deal of hesitation in my voice. (Several bus drivers commented on that later that night and the next day). I finished my bus route - all the while wondering which parent was so upset with me that I would have to go to the bus shop and if I would have a job after. Never did it cross my mind that something had happened to Squirrel. He told me later that my boss and he were talking about when to tell me - and that they had agreed together to wait until after my bus route was finished. Wise choice on their part I have to admit. No broken bones at all. Tuesday the family doctor said it was sprained and he should be on crutches for a week. He used the crutches up to today but left them behind for his trip. I'm hoping and praying that's not a bad decision.

Later I was thinking about him - God's hand of protection was on him in a big way again this time. The car could have hit him much harder and more directly rather than being able to swerve so it only got his foot. He could have had broken bones rather than a sprain and bruises. Then I got to thinking about all the times he's been injured or sick and how it's clear that God's hand is on him. At 6 months old he got staph in his leg and was not expected to be able to walk properly at all - he not only walks but he runs and he runs competitively. In 7th grade he passed out and went headfirst off a stage - yes as a result he's deaf in one ear. BUT again it could have been much much worse. He's compensated for that and is singing in a very "elite" choir. Then this week he gets hit by a car...'nuff said.

Anyway...he did get to go down and spend Thursday night and Friday with his brother at IWU. He attended classes with him and then went to a concert with him. Got home about midnight last night. He said his favorites were theology and New Testament - he took a theology test. Don't know yet how he did.

Spring has really sprung here. Daffodils are up as are tulips. Allergies are also in full swing. On that note...I'm getting really tired and have about 6 hours round trip driving to do tomorrow. So guess I will close for now.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wow! Playing with my new toy...Bruce got me a kindle fire for my birthday. It will take me whit to learn to use it and I probably won't blog much using it. But nice to have the ability.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Feel like I'm on the upswing today. Was an emotional mess this past week - especially yesterday. Had known that this was an anniversary week but wasn't really aware of the date. Hard to believe Mike has been gone 9 years. So much has happened since then...Stretch has graduated high school, had a major bone break (2 bones) and started well in college. Throughout his healing from breaking his leg he maintained straight A's. Squirrel is now a freshman in high school and doing great. He's got his learner's permit and drives anytime I allow him to. I've remarried. We've all moved twice.

I've not written in what seems like forever - guess it's only been two weeks. In that time I've made an unplanned "emergency" trip north to help Dad with a couple things. (My sister who was originally scheduled to be there was not able to.) I rode the train this time - while both Stretch and Squirrel would have come with both had school. B does not like to travel and was extremely busy in the shop. I thoroughly enjoyed the train ride - not so much the layovers. I was really glad to be able to be there with Dad as well.

When I got back I jumped back into "life" with both feet - on the go. Rescheduled some stuff this week. It was nice to have Stretch home on his spring break. Probably the highlight of the week was breakfast with him on Wednesday morning.

Guess that's enough for now. My two goals for this month - that have not happened at all so far were to post a picture a day and get at least 10 minutes of mild exercise daily. I did get a couple good pictures while I was up north but that's as far as I've gotten. Feel like I need to wait until next month and start over. Maybe I will aim to start the 15th.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Left home this precipitation. None at all. Then...a few occasional flakes - just enough to make you say "maybe it's starting to snow". By a half mile down the road there were consistent flakes - definitely snowing. By a mile down the road it was constant - big wet fluffy flakes that make visibility difficult. By two miles from home there was visible accumulation - tracks on the road, grass turning white. By the time we made it the 7 miles or so to the fire station where the bus was parked we had at least a half inch on the ground and it was still coming down hard and fast. Hours later - by afternoon bus route - the fields and grasses were brown again, the sky was grey and all that remained of the snow was the shattered remnants of a gigantic celestial snowball fight.


Driving in that mess this morning was definitely interesting. I didn't have a huge amount of trouble driving but stopping was a challenge. By the end of route I'd seen at least 2 vehicles in the ditch and knew there were alot more. I was thankful to be able to get safely home and stay home until afternoon route time.

For the first time in a week I felt pretty good today - had some energy and was able to get some cleaning done. Made supper tonight, did an invoice for B and have washed eggs. There's much more to be done but will only get the dishwasher reloaded tonight.

Don't have much more to write about. Hoping the word picture is clear.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

No Delay...Slide-off...Winter weather

Roads are snow-covered this morning as are trees and bushes. Snow has stopped coming down now but we are supposed to get freezing rain later. I'm not looking forward to that. Hoping it holds off until tonight anyway. We had no school delay this morning though Dipstick did. Squirrel and I took off a little later than we should have for bus route but I drove slow. Didn't matter though as I spun out on the first "main" road we came to. It had not been plowed but was well packed. I wasn't going real fast but got too far off to the right side of the road and fish-tailed when I came back on. No damage done and we were able to back out and get going on to work. The miracle was that I didn't hit either of the two vehicles that were coming towards me.
By the end of bus route I was running a good ten minutes behind. At least though I didn't get stuck anywhere. One of our other drivers did - she was eventually able to get out without being towed but it took awhile. It's right at freezing though.

I was originally scheduled to have Bible study with a friend this morning followed by a trip south to see Stretch. However between the roads and my having a cold both those events were canceled. Instead I came home and have puttered around since - done some laundry, loaded the dishwasher, tried to take a nap. The nap didn't work as congestion is making it hard to breathe.

B took off about 9:30 to take a clutch into the "city". That's something I would normally do for him if I was around. Thankful not to be today though. I've got some phone calls to make and plenty of other things to accomplish today.

Yesterday morning was beautiful - clear, no snow or fog. The moon on the way to the bus looked like it had broken in half - split by a jet contrail. It was an interesting perspective and I really wished I had time to stop and try to get a picture. However as I only had my phone with me and we were not any too early I didn't. I saw several deer also - the first four were barely visible as the sun was not up too far and they were fairly far off the road. However the second group was a group of 10 or 12 deer near the main highway. I had just finished my last out of town stop and was waiting to turn right when we saw them. They of course took off running but it was really neat to see them. The sun was an orangish-red as it came up.

The birds are very busy at the feeders today - mainly goldfinches. I've seen one chickadee though and a few other types of finches. Would like to also attract some cardinals as their brilliant red really brightens things up. Would be nice to have some woodpeckers as well. Will eventually need to get a couple more feeders but that will have to wait a bit. Am dreaming about what flowers and bushes to plant that will attract more. B is even appreciating the antics of the birds.

Guess that's enough rambling for now.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday and I'm only sortof watching the game. I have no understanding of football at all. Rugby yes, soccer yes, basketball yes...No desire to understand football. Squirrel is required to watch it as a homework assignment - I think that's funny.

This morning was incredibly beautiful - freezing fog that burned off quickly once the sun came out. Weather has been crazy - yesterday morning we got up to close to 6 inches of snow. Now it's mostly melted. Anyway I got around early this morning and went out to take pictures. Spent probably 45 minutes and could have gladly kept going. Had to stop taking pictures so I could get to church. Was still 10 minutes late. I have decided I will need to take my camera in - got some spots on the lens that I can't get off. But got a couple of really good shots I think.

Today was a fairly quiet day - nice after the last two hectic very long days. Friday we had a two hour delay then I did a parts run then we went out to supper with an old friend of B's. That turned into a very enjoyable evening - they have spent time on the mission field so hearing their story and some of their experiences was awesome.

Saturday was a long day. Squirrel got me up early (earlier than I'd intended on getting up) as it was snowing heavily and he had to be in the city by 8:20 for his competition. We left the house 20 min or so earlier than planned, met another student who needed a ride 15 min later than planned and made our slow way east. The only plowed road was the main east/west highway and it was not well plowed. The back roads were deep snow - when we got to the city and stopped for gas I noticed that the back wheels were still packed with snow around the hub cap. It alternately snowed heavily, sleeted some, changed over to rain and eventually the sun came out.

Squirrel and his fellow students did very well. They are now going to the state competition in Indy in 2 weeks. The plan is to take a big bus which I will hopefully get to drive. Anyway we finished up there about 3 pm and headed back home. B and I had been invited on a double date with S & C to go to the RV show and then to supper. Basically I dumped Squirrel off at home, B jumped in the car and we went to meet them. The RV show was amazing - not someplace I would want to go on an annual basis but for someone who'd never been it was fun. There were RV's of all shapes and sizes - both tow behinds as well as self driven ones. Some had bunk-houses and multiple slide-outs, some were pop-up tent type things - a few were meant to literally live in for several months. Probably the most amazing one to me had a full size tv mounted on the outside. Nice features on some of them were kitchenette things built into the base of the camper - complete with grill/cooktops and fridges. This of course was in addition to the regular inside kitchen area. I did see a small size, drive yourself camper that I would love to use to take vacations with B. It was even what I would consider reasonably affordable - especially as compared to the other larger ones. We probably were there an hour and a half before we left for supper. The wait at the restaurant was still close to an hour - thankfully we were able to call ahead and get our names on the wait list. Anyway...B, S and I all ordered steak meals. Mine and B's were overcooked, S's was perfect. The waitress looked at S's and ordered her another one thinking hers was overdone. I sent mine back and B was eventually convinced to allow the manager to get him another steak to go. We ended up with 3 extra meals to go. In addition to that the manager completely comped our entire meal. None of us had asked for that - or really expected it. Needless to say we left thankful and laughing. Writing it does not do justice to the experience - think laughter until you cried and gasped for air.

Better close for now.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Normal Life

2 hr delay this morning due to fog. It was getting foggy last night as Dipstick and I were coming home from grief group in "the city". At first Dipstick couldn't see it then 30 min later he was saying "oh it definitely is foggy". I am thankful for the delay but rather wish I could have gone back to bed and slept some more. But we usually get the call too late for me to do that - I'm usually about to go get dressed.

This week has been nice weather overall - highs have been well above normal and it feels rather like spring. However the groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter. We will see if that is what happens. (Squirrel says he has run shirtless this week - that means it's been warm. His definition and mine tend to be a little different.)

There's not much else going on - just normal life. Today after bus route I have to go back to the "city" on a parts run. Will probably have just enough time to do that and then back on the bus. Tonight we are meeting a college friend of B's for supper - he's not seen this friend for over 25 years so that should be interesting. Tomorrow is ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) competition. Squirrel has to be there by 8:40 am and it's an hour drive. We probably won't leave there until after 2 so that will be another long day. (Not as long as the final state competition will be but that's in Indianapolis and right now we don't know if we are going or not).

My slide/negative scanner appears to have died. It turns on and scans but will not save and will not stay on. I do have another one but have not got it out of the box and installed yet. The new(er) one is supposed to also scan photos so that will be helpful if it works.

I'd better scoot - time to go get dressed. B and Dipstick are wrestling around on the couch. I want to leave a little early as my bus needs fuel and I won't want to do that after route.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another Snow Day

We are on another "snow" day today - think that's our 3rd already this school year. This time it is for ice in the southern part of the district. We had sleet and freezing rain last night - I have no idea how long it went. The dividing line seemed to be the major east/west highway that is south of where I live. At least when I went to pick the boys up from church last night roads were clear and dry north but as soon as I hit the church parking lot (which is right on the south side of the highway) I could see the ice on the surface. Anyway I was glad to get them safely home - Squirrel drove home so he could get some more of his required practice time in. I just checked the deck out the back/front/main door - it is coated in a skiff of ice and it is currently precipitating. Squirrel has gone back to bed and Dipstick has not gotten up yet - except when he first found out he was delayed. (Just for the record - Squirrel and I are in one school district while Dipstick is in another. We technically live in Dipstick's district but didn't before B and i got married. Boy that's a convoluted enough explanation isn't it??)

Just got off the phone with a guy that works for B part-time. He said that a buddy of his took 90 min to get from the road we live on to Arcola - it is usually no more than a 30 min trip. Maybe roads are worse than I thought. Think I'm beginning to be glad I'm not driving the bus today.

Linds asked where I'm finding "story-starters" after my last post. Over the years I've purchased several books on scrapbooking, journaling, and writing your family/personal history. It's not because I have a burning desire to write a published book - but I do want to record as much of Mom and Dad's story as possible. I can't write about their best friends but on my last visit north Dad and I talked about some of the family stories we have and I learned new stuff. Anyway...the story-starter I worked on earlier this week was from the book "Scrapbooking Your Family History - The Ultimate Workbook". It was published in 2007 by Creating Keepsakes. You can check out their website at There is a place there you can download the family history worksheets.

Well since I started this I've spent time in the shop office working on stuff for the shop and made sure Dipstick did his chores correctly. Squirrel is still asleep...I could tell he was really exhausted. Anyway...I guess I need to scoot and do some laundry and tidying up around here before I have to go back out to the shop office. Still haven't got my stuff re-installed. That will keep for the next time I sit down at the computer.

To leave a word picture: One rather wet cat wanted to come into the house. On not being allowed to she turned around and attempted to scamper down the ramp - only to slip and fall twice!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just stuff

I am sitting down to have my 2nd full cup of coffee today. I had one before bus route and part of a 2nd one. Really hoping it helps my headache while not upsetting my stomach. Think there is a flu bug going around here. B's sister was ill over the weekend. Last night B was ill - currently he's asleep on the couch. I'm hoping this is only a 24 hour stomach bug and more importantly that the boys don't get it.

The weather is still doing totally crazy things. It started snowing near the end of last week - Friday I think and by Saturday morning we had over 6 inches on the ground. Now the great majority of that has melted away - yesterday temps were in the high 40's and we had a very cold rain most of the day. Today it is just below freezing (31') and cloudy. More snow is predicted by the weekend. I saw on the news last night that so far this winter we've had 24 inches of snow - that equals to 75% of what we get all season. Overall this moisture is a good thing as it will refill the ponds and streams.
Having said that I do wish the snow would stay around for more than a day - the only snow pictures I've taken this year have been on my cell phone.

I've not been particularly creative this week - unless one counts some extra journaling. I found a story-starter asking about best friends from childhood last night and worked on that. It was kind of fun. I still want to get my slide/negative scanner re-installed hopefully today. Need to wait until I can turn on a light out here without disturbing B.

Bus route is going well overall this week. My noisy little girl from last week has done much much better. Am hoping that will continue.

Guess I've rambled enough. Kinda missing having comments but reminding myself that is not the reason I write.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wow...twice in a month?

Tried to blog last night but it would not save let alone post. So I gave up. However since I've waited until tonight it will probably be a much more cheerful post.

It is cold out tonight. We've got snow on the ground again - just a dusting. It started yesterday afternoon about route time and continued into the evening. Yesterday morning temperatures were in the 50's (F) and we had thunderstorms. To go from that to freezing and below and snow was quite the shocker. (I know it's an old wives tale but am certain we will see a lot more colds and that sort of stuff going around.) We are scheduled to have more snow during the day tomorrow - guess it's supposed to start about bus route time in the morning. We will get the kids to school...I heard on the news tonight that by this time we normally have about 8 inches of snow. This year we've had something like 18 inches already. But we get snow followed by melting followed by rain followed by more snow. It is odd to say the least.

Bus route this afternoon went so much smoother than yesterday afternoon. It was so much nicer. My one very loud elementary child who sits directly to my right was quieter today after a brief chat with the principal before she got on. I did not have to have defroster, all heaters and fans going - that always helps with the noise level. Students overall were quieter. To top it off - as I was standing outside the bus as students were loading another of my elementary girls wrapped her arms around me in a hug - completely un-urged. (That's not the word I'm looking for) she's been in trouble with me before and was initially not at all happy with the fact I was friends with her mom that was an unexpected very pleasant surprise.

B has been at a farm show since about 3 pm. He just walked back in the door - said the directions I printed him were absolutely crazy. And he got lost coming out of town. I'm laughing as I usually am the one getting lost. Dipstick is watching a movie. He was totally furious that I did not consider him getting his grades from F's last week up to D's this week enough of an improvement to allow him to go to a skate party at youth group. It would be different if he was not capable of getting A's and B's - but he is and has shown us this before. He is very capable - just gets lazy (his description) and does not bother to do the work. So he continues to be grounded from extra activities and from riding his 4wheeler and the snowmobile he was recently given. (Not that there's enough snow for that at the moment). Personally I want to see him get his grades up and maintain them. I had a meeting with his principal, guidance counselor and a couple of his teachers last week after B and I found out how poorly he was doing - he'd built himself an excellent reputation at his school so we are now hoping he will maintain that with the renewed focus.

Squirrel is at youth group at the skate party. He's busy most evenings but is doing very well in school. He's also growing and maturing spiritually - I love watching this.

One other really exciting thing that has happened is that Mom will be transferred from her current nursing home to one that is in the same retirement center as Dad is living (where they lived together before she got sick). This move will be much easier on Dad as he won't spend so much time traveling and will be able to be home during the day. Also it means that while a replacement vehicle would be nice it is not nearly as important an issue as it was before. Mom has declined alot the past several months but will hopefully do well with the move.

B will want the computer and I would like to go stitch so will wrap this up for now. Hopefully by this weekend I can get some pictures back on - and software back on to allow me to scan in old photos.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Time Flies

Well hard to believe it's already the 14th of January. Time is flying by as usual. The house is quiet this morning...B, Squirrel and Dipstick have gone to cut down a large tree for wood. We won't use the wood - S's husband C is along and he will take the wood for their outdoor wood burner. Stretch is back at college - he went back last Sunday evening. Classes started Tuesday for him.

Inside the tv is on, the dishwasher is going, the wood furnace is going and it is snowing lightly outside. It is already warmer this morning at 16' F then it was all day yesterday but still pretty chilly. The snowflakes are actually bigger than they were yesterday as well - maybe they aren't as cold??

I was very thankful to have an unexpected day off yesterday - we all had a snow day though it didn't snow as much as was predicted. Having said that I'm thankful we didn't have to have school kids on buses - many do not dress as warm as they should for the weather and my bus at least does not warm up well. Guess the roads were pretty slick yesterday morning - and the wind was howling. I used my time to get the Christmas tree down and put away - ornaments also this year! Also inventoried both freezers and left one unplugged. I need to go down this morning and clean that out so it can be used again. Squirrel helped alot with both those jobs - probably would not have accomplished either one without his help.

Do have some goals for this year - will try to post them next time. One of the key ones is to spend more time being creative - whether that is blogging, working with my pictures or working on one of my other hobbies. In order to accomplish those however I have to also become more organized. Yikes! Guess I've got a start though as getting an inventory of the freezers was part of one. Now I just have to figure out how to keep an inventory current.

No pictures on the computer at this point in time as we had a computer crash already this year. It's back up - we had to set it back to factory settings! However I've still not got it back totally set up the way I want it. Step at a time.